Thursday, April 28, 2022

Monthly Musings


Linking up with Patty and Holly for today's Monthly Musings.

1. What trips/vacations do you have planned for the rest of the year?
We are going to Cape Breton in the summer but haven't actually booked our flights yet.  And we have three camping trips planned - Algonquin, Arrowhead, and Pinery.  That's it for now.  E requested Disney World for his birthday in October (isn't he presumptuous?!) but I don't think we'll be going there this year.  It was great fun in 2018 though!

2. Best packing tips?
I'm not actually a great packer, I feel like it takes me forever.  But what I do is put everything in one spot so I can see it and then talk (usually out loud) myself through the outfits for each day and the other things we'll need.  Unless we are going to a resort, then I don't worry too much about forgetting something.  I always say as long as you have your phone, credit card, and passport, you're good to go!

3. Packing cubes...yes or no?
No, never used them.

4. Favourite travel outfit?
Leggings or long skirt, loose t-shirt, sweater, scarf , and sneakers. 

5. Favourite travel destination and why? 
Europe.  It's pretty quick to get there.  There are so many unique cities to visit.  We have travelled to Italy, Switzerland, France, England, Ireland, Portugal, and Spain.

6. Have you flown since March 2020?
Yes. Timmins, Halifax, and Jamaica.

7. Beach or mountains for vacation?
We did have a very successful ski vacation to Quebec in March but I think the edge has to go to the beach for me. 

8. Do you prefer to sightsee or relax on vacation?
The best trips are ones that combine the two.  Mostly we are visiting a place because we want to see it and experience the location, people, food, sites, etc. but we do try to appreciate some downtime so we don't burn out.  That said, you're more likely to find us on the go when travelling, rather than sitting in our room.

9. Hotel, camping, or AirBnb?
All of the above, and again it depends on the trip.  We have stayed in AirBnbs in Spain and Portugal and those have worked out really well for us. We chose them based on cost and the fact we were staying for a few days and liked having the extra space.  We tent camp in Ontario but we don't have a trailer/camper so we wouldn't be camping while travelling.  Hotels are sometimes the only option and I do love housekeeping and a buffet breakfast. 

10. Overpacker? Underpacker?
Overpacker for sure.  I have been getting better at removing the four of five extra shirts I think I will need, but I always bring more than I need. 

Lima, Peru

Maui, Hawaii

Lake Placid, New York

Wawa, Northern Ontario

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

What's up Wednesday

 What we're eating this week...

Sunday - I had a spinach salad and popcorn at the movies.
Monday - Steak, mushrooms, salad
Tuesday - Sweet and Sour Pork
Wednesday - Pancetta and Pea Pasta
Thursday - Work dinner at Buca
Friday - Beer Butt Chicken
Saturday - Penne and Turkey Meatballs (carb loading for Dave's half marathon on Sunday)

What I'm loving...

E has been getting himself to piano lessons instead of us having to drive him and pick him up.  His lesson is on the way home from school so he's just been playing in the schoolyard and then leaves in time to get to his lesson.  And conveniently piano is near a coffee shop so he's been bringing money to buy some treats to take home for himself and Q. 

What we've been up to...

Getting back into a bit of a routine in the last couple of weeks.  After semi-lockdown, followed by two trips, and then actually getting Covid, we seem to be emerging back into the real world.  Our weekday routine is kicking into high gear with E's baseball and tutoring starting next week, and soon Q's soccer.  

What I'm dreading...

See reference to sports and tutoring above.  It just means suppers and workouts will have to be shifted to accommodate those things.  I do hate rushing around but it is all worth it for the kids to be finally back into some activities.  It just takes a little extra planning, which is one of my strengths. 

What I'm working on...

I'm trying to do a better job of setting aside specific time for my administrative tasks at work.  I tend to just let them go and then rush to complete them, but I'm now putting blocks of time in my calendar to dedicate to those things.  It seems to be working so far. 

What I'm excited about...

Last Thursday I met Dave and the boys on my way home from the office for supper at a cool restaurant on Bloor.   We all took the subway and just met in the middle.  We want to make this a regular thing and try out different places. 

What I'm wearing...

Well I'm not wearing them yet but I did get two new pairs of shorts at the Gap the other day, and someday it will be warm enough to wear them.  I went through the kids' dressers earlier this month and now I need to sort through my own clothes and figure out what else I may need for summer. 

What I'm watching/reading...
We are watching three shows right now - Severance, We Crashed, and Anatomy of a Scandal.  We are also still watching our Raptors in the playoffs, Game 6 is tomorrow night! Blue Jays games and F1 races are also on the TV.  Hockey playoffs start this weekend and like any good resident of Toronto, we will be tuning in to see the Leafs. 

I'm finishing up my fourth book of the month and will post about what I read on Monday.

What I'm listening to...
I posted about my workday playlists here

What I'm doing this weekend...

Q has ball hockey on Saturday morning.  On Sunday morning Dave is running a half marathon so we will be cheering on the runners at the finish line. 

What I'm looking forward to next month...
My mom's visit, our wedding anniversary, kids' sports getting underway, and hopefully some warmer weather. 

What else is new...

We got a new Dyson vacuum this week so that's pretty exciting! Haha.  It's the handheld stick version so it's easy to use on the stairs and furniture.  It's like this one, but not exactly:

Resolutions Check In...

I actually did a good job of the one on one time this weekend with the kids - taking E shopping and then walking to the park with Q.  I have cleaned up the toys and clothes and I'm seeing two friends this week.  I still haven't made any food donations but I will make that a priority next month.  

Linking up with Shay.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Weekend Recap

On Friday morning I noticed something that looked like dirt collecting under the Easter tree.  Upon closer inspection it looked like something was inside the branch eating away, so the dirt was actually wood dust.  I took the tree down then and thought I'd better take a photo before I did.  The boys  had done all of this decorating themselves and did a great job!

I had a busy day at work and was happy to transition to pizza night after I picked up Q from school. We put on a movie while we made our pizzas.

On Saturday morning Dave went for a long run in preparation for his half marathon on May 1 and I did a 45 minute Peloton ride.  We then watched the F1 qualifying sprint race and had an early lunch.  I took E to the mall after that.  He needed some new pants, shorts, and sneakers.  We were successful with everything but the sneakers, but I ordered some online when we got home. 

Mandatory stop at the Apple store.

Mid-afternoon we sent the kids outside to play and then we caught up with some of neighbours in their yard before going home for supper. 

On Sunday morning we were at High Park bright and early for Q's first ball hockey game.  They will usually be on Saturdays but they had moved this week before of the forecasted rain on Sunday.  Q was very excited to play!

Dave and E threw the baseball around.

We went to the park after lunch to visit with some of Q's friends.  It was nice to be outside in the sun!  Dave had bought last minute tickets to the Monster Truck show in Hamilton so he took the boys to that and they grabbed some supper beforehand.  The recommendation was from Q's friend who had gone to the truck show the day before.  Dave said it all worked out really well in terms of parking, timing to eat, and proximity to the arena. 

E has been to truck shows before but this was Q's first time.  He had a great time.

If you think I felt left out, don't worry about me!  I went to the movies by myself and had a great time. I saw All My Puny Sorrows at the Cineplex theatre at Bay and Bloor.  It was a beautiful movie and although not as good as the book, because it never is, it was pretty close. The acting was perfection, both in terms of casting and performance.  It was also nice to be out in the warm evening, I walked down to St. George station after the show and you can tell spring is getting here!

The kids were late getting to bed of course, but they were feeling fine the next morning.  

Monday, April 25, 2022


Shay posted some random things about her kids the other day and I thought it was a good idea to borrow for today's post.  I only have two kids (not four like her) so I'm adding Dave and me to the random facts for a little check in. 


Most likely to be: Playing video games on the iPad, Nintendo Switch, or computer
Favourite food right now: His Easter candy
Currently watching: Total Drama Island on Netflix, or the Marvel movies (Thor and Infinity War this weekend)
What they're doing after school: Now that the weather is getting nicer, hopefully more playing outside instead of just playing video games.  
If they were to get in trouble: Having to be told something several times (like put the game away, we're leaving to go somewhere so get ready to go)
When they grow up: Something with engineering or computer programming.

Most likely to be: Playing Legos
Favourite food right now: Cheerios and Yoghurt
Currently watching: Ninjago
What they're doing after school: Playing at the YMCA after school program
If they were to get in trouble: Whining about something instead of using his regular voice.
When they grow up: Something creative and social

Most likely to be: Checking on the stock market and the lawn
Favourite food right now: Eggs on toast
Currently watching: Raptors and Blue Jays
What they're doing after school work: Tidying up the house
If they were to get in trouble: Putting away things too quickly (like I'm still using those ingredients you don't need to sweep through and put away everything on the counter). 
When they grow up retire: Play golf, work at Home Depot

Most likely to be: Looking at Instagram and Twitter
Favourite food right now: Chicken Shawarma wrap from Sultan's Mediterranean
Currently watching: Seinfeld
What they're doing after school work: Getting a workout in or making supper
If they were to get in trouble: Not putting something away
When they grow up retire: Travel, volunteer at the church

Friday, April 22, 2022

Friday Favourites


I had a small lunch on Monday at work so I picked up a cookie and coffee in the afternoon from Pilot Coffee in Union Station.  They are building a Sephora in Union Station so I'm looking forward to that being there so I can browse while getting a coffee. 

It snowed on Monday evening and everyone on my Instagram from Toronto was posting about it.  No thanks, we don't need anymore snow.  

I made some food for our church meal this week.  I may have written about this before - about once a month a group of us puts together a meal for about 25 seniors in the congregation. Some of us make the menu items at home, others put together the meals in the church kitchen, and then more people deliver them to the recipients.  This month I was making a salad.  Id didn't really make the salad, rather got all of the ingredients together so that when the people were putting the meals together, they could just build the salad then.  I did make the salad dressing, my mom's recipe for poppy seed dressing.  Then I brought spinach, strawberries, mandarins, and goat cheese. 

1 cup white sugar
2/3 cup vinegar (white or cider)
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
2 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp salt
2 cups oil (sunflower, canola, etc., not olive oil)
3 tbsp poppy seeds

Mix sugar, mustard, and salt.  Add vinegar and onions and place in blender or food processor.  Blend/process until the onion is chopped very finely and mixture is well blended.  While still blending/processing, gradually add oil in a slow, steady stream.  When thoroughly mixed, stir in poppy seeds and store in covered jar in the refrigerator. Stir/shake well before using.  Keeps for a month or more in the fridge.
Yield - approximately 1 quart

(I actually made 1.5 times the recipe)

We may have started a new tradition this week. We used to order food once every week or so but lately we have been getting bored with our choices. Ordering was fine during the past couple of years, but now going out is an option.  Yesterday we met at El Furniture Warehouse for supper.  It's between Spadina and Bathurst stations so Dave and the boys got off at Bathurst and I left work and got off at Spadina.  The food was good and cheap! Would highly recommend.  Especially as the weather gets nicer, Thursday night dinners may become a thing!

I meant to a Prayers on Thursday post yesterday but didn't get to it.  I am still thinking about the Ukrainians and praying for the rest of us that nuclear threats from Russia are hollow.  I'm also thinking about some people I know who are dealing with cancer treatments, including everyone's favourite Blue Jays announcer, Buck Martinez (and Jamie Campbell of Sportsnet).  I am also praying for the people making the decisions about banning books and the word "Gay" in Florida, and banning abortions and transgender care in other Southern US States (listen to the Daily podcast this week about the latter).  I pray that they can see the harm they are causing and I pray for the people that will be directly affected by those decisions.  

Linking up with Andrea and Erika.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Workday Playlists

I have a job where I do a lot of stuff on my own, I'm not in a lot of meetings and I don't talk on the phone too much.  I do a lot of reading and writing so it is conducive to listening to music.  Before the pandemic and before I had AirPods I didn't listen to a lot of music while I was working, but after being at home for so long I got in the habit of doing it.  I can also put in one AirPod and listen and still hear if people are talking to me.   And of course when I'm at home, I can just listen to the music without AirPods.  

I tend to listen to lighter music in the mornings and then move into more upbeat music in the afternoon that I can bop along to in my chair.  Here are some of my selections (all on Spotify):


Noah Reid (Patrick from Schitt's Creek)

To Build a Home 

Wild Rivers (my cousin's band)

Jon Batiste

Pop Goes Classical

Chill Hits (Ed Sheeran, Adele, etc.)

Happy Folk

Acoustic Hits

Nina Simone Radio


Robin Arzon's Labour Playlist (she's a Peloton instructor)

Tiesto Radio

All Out 2000s

Doja Cat Radio

Peloton's Top 50 Countdown 2021

All Out 90s

I also get inspired to check out an artist after hearing one or two of their songs somewhere.  Like when Nelly was on Dancing with the Stars, I listened to his music for awhile.  When I did the Reba McEntire Peloton ride, I listened to her and then some other '90s country.  And when I don't know what to listen to, I go back to my old favourite, the A Star is Born soundtrack, it never lets me down.

I will also throw on a podcast while I'm working too, but I find it hard to listen carefully to that as I am distracted by my actual work.  I'm more likely to listen to The Daily in the morning while getting ready and then finish it off when I get to my desk, but since I'm just doing some emails it works.  Or I'll listen to something around lunchtime. 

And if I'm at home and want to take a quick nap, I can put on Peaceful Piano and snooze for 10-15 minutes. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Weekend Recap

 We had a simple long weekend at home.  It was interesting to think that it was our third Easter weekend in the pandemic, and even though there are less restrictions now, I felt like we could keep going with our at home Easter activities. 

I went for a run on Friday morning.

When I got home, Dave went for a run, and then I got the boys started on doing some Easter drawings.  We like Art for Kids Hub on YouTube. 

And then I put the livestream of the Good Friday church service on and did some colouring of my own while Q kept drawing.  E had abandoned us for video games. 

In the afternoon Dave did some yard work and spread out some dirt with our neighbour.  Q tagged along to climb their tree. 

We ordered fish and chips for pick up from the golf club and that worked out so well.  It was easy to pick up and it was good.  Last year Dave waited for a long time to pick up our fish ad chips so we were happy that the club offered this option.  Q did like his meal but didn't feel like smiling. 

Then we went to the movies! We saw Sonic 2. 

On Saturday morning, Q had his last session of skating. 

We decorated our Easter cake when we got home. 

I had actually thought of not putting up our Easter tree this year since I was so late at getting the decorations out, but Q was excited to decorate, so I found a branch that had fallen in our yard after the high winds on Friday night and used that.  Q and E did all of the decorating and did a great job!

Then I got them to come back to pose by the cake.

We walked up to see the Easter Bunny and grab some lunch.

We picked up some noodles at Noodle Me, and Booster Juice for the kids. 

The Easter activities keep coming, we dyed eggs after we got back.

We watched the Raptors game on Saturday night, which did not go well :( 

On Sunday morning we found that the Easter Bunny had been here to leave some treats for everyone and hid some eggs too.

I enjoyed some of our dyed eggs for my breakfast, along with the Easter version of panettone bread.

Then we dressed up and went to church.

After church we decided to get outside for a walk around High Park.  It was a bit chilly but the sun was out for the most part.

In the afternoon we made Resurrection Rolls.  We have made these before and just like the Easter tree I was going to forego this activity but then E asked if we were going to make them so I made sure we did.  You did a large marshmallow in butter, sugar, and cinnamon and then wrap it inside a Pillsbury crescent roll dough.  The marshmallow represents Jesus and then after you bake it, the marshmallow disappears so when you open the "tomb", he is gone, just like in the Bible story. 

We watched some Blue Jays and rested, then the kids went outside to play with the neighbours while Dave and I got dinner ready.

We had ribs and salad. 

We watched some TV and tried to get to bed at a decent hour.