Thursday, June 30, 2022

Monthly Musings


Linking up with Patty and Holly for Monthly Musings today.

1. Favourite summer destination?
You can't beat the East Coast of Nova Scotia in the summertime! 

2. Do you prefer warm or cold trips?
Definitely warm, see answer #4 below.

3. Are you travelling this summer? Flying or driving?
Yes, we are going to Cape Breton in Nova Scotia to visit family. We are flying. 

4. Ocean? Lake? Mountains?
The beach is my happy place.  I'd prefer the ocean but since I live in Ontario, a lake is fine.

5. Best travel tips to share?
Research, research, research - I always look through Pinterest and Google maps to figure out the best places to stay, eat, and visit.  I don't necessarily get to all of the spots I've found, but I do get a good sense of where we should be.  I keep everything recorded in a Google Doc that is also linked to my phone and available even when I'm offline. 

6. Vacation budget trips?
Budget, what's a budget? Haha.  Honestly we don't think too much about all of the details, just try to pick a decently priced hotel and try to adjust plans based on airline ticket price (except for this year, Cape Breton tickets were ouch!), but particularly after not travelling for the last two years, I'm not adverse to going out for a nice meal, buying the souvenirs, and seeing whatever the destination has to offer. We spend our money on what we want to spend it on and one of those things is travel. 

7. Overpacker? Underpacker?
I've been getting better, but I usually err on the side of overpacking.  Now I pick all my clothes and then make myself deduct at least two tops from the pile. 

8. Vacation planned in advance? Last minute adventures?
Planned in advance.  Although the decision to go to Montreal was made quickly and planned within a month.

9. Group vacations or immediate family only?
We usually just go with ourselves, but we did go to Jamaica with friends and that went well. 

10. If you have them, do you travel with your pets?
We don't have pets.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

What's Up Wednesday


What we're eating this week...
Sunday - Dinner out at the golf club
Monday - Chicken wraps
Tuesday - Lasagna
Wednesday - 
Thursday (camping begins) - Sausages and salad
Friday - Chili and nachos
Saturday - Pasta and garlic bread

What I'm reminiscing about...
I've been seeing lots of grad and prom pictures lately and I was reminiscing about my own prom night.  It was so fun to get dressed up with hair and makeup too.  A few of us went out for dinner and then we got rides up the school in antique cars.  Prom was a pretty big deal in my small town, lots of people came out to see us. 

What I'm loving...
Summertime in Downtown Toronto.  My office is right downtown and I've been taking advantage of getting outside at lunchtime.  My favourite place is back - the Union Summer Market.  I took in some feta fries and live music on its opening day.  I'll be back next week!

What we've been up to...
Running hither and yon - all of June seemed to be a blur during the week with sports, tutoring, golf, and meeting up with people.  I don't think we ate dinner as a family too many times in the last month.  Although we embraced it and liked being busy, a few of the things have now ended, and with E away for two weeks at camp, there will only be Q's sports to attend.

What I'm dreading...
It's not dread, just the momentous task of getting everything packed for camping.  All of the effort is worth it!

What I'm working on...
I've set two work projects for myself for the summer - organizing our signed NDAs and capital leases.  Fun stuff :) but usually things slow down a bit in the summer so I will take the opportunity to sort through these things. 

What I'm excited about...
The last day of school is tomorrow! Yes we go to the bitter end of June, but the first day isn't until after Labour Day, so it's a good trade off.  I wrote about the kids' years here and here. I get to do my favourite Instagram post tomorrow where I do a side by side of the kids' first and last days of school, I always love to see how they have grown. 

What I'm wearing...
These Zella shorts.  I have them in grey and black.  They are so light and comfy and I can bike in them too.  Highly recommend if you're near a Nordstrom.

What I'm watching/reading...
I'm watching Conversations with Friends on my own.  Dave and I are watching Bridgerton, For All Mankind, and Casual with Stranger Things and Only Murders in the Building on deck. 

I did my June book post on Monday. Now I'm reading Cloud Cuckoo Land and I immediately liked it, I'm about 180 pages in.

What I'm listening to...
Current Spotify playlists - Dopamine, Pop Goes Classical, Celine Dion Radio, and the Dawson's Creek Soundtrack #teampaceyforever

What I'm doing this weekend...
Camping at Algonquin

What I'm looking forward to next month...
Taking E to camp (and picking him up), golf, paddle boarding, bike rides, eating outside

What else is new...
The construction I mentioned in last month's post has finally come to the end of our driveway, blocking access for our cars.  Fortunately there are a few spare driveways we have been parking in so our cars aren't on the street.  Lord knows when they will actually finish this work, right now there are just several big holes. 

Resolutions Check in...
I finally donated my clothes and half of the toys, and I started carrying change with me on the subway, although I haven't had anyone ask me for money lately.  I've gotten together with some friends with more plans for next month.  I'm still mostly doing just cycling and strength classes on Peloton but I've tried some new instructors, so that counts!

Linking up with Shay.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Weekend Recap

I feel like I'm a broken record but we had another great June weekend, the last one of the month.  We have been very fortunate to have lovely weather with a good mix of hot and humid and also breezy and comfortable.   

I actually went into the office on Friday, it was a beautiful day so I had to snap a few photos of my view.

My drink matched my watch. 

Dave got a round of golf in with some of his friends.

After supper we hung out at the neighbours' yard, Q was hanging in there with the big boys.  Quick stop to get a drink.

On Saturday I took E to his baseball game and Dave went to ball hockey with Q. 

It was the last day of hockey and Q's team won their game and got the trophy.

After lunch we took a spin over to Hendersons where they were doing a pop up oyster bar.  A successful outing!

The kids love the cream soda...

...and pinball.

We made the kids stay outside when we got home where they had some time in the sprinkler and Q did some chalk stuff.  Dave was working on the lawn and I did have a little nap :)

Then we made some drinks and got the Blue Jays game on the outdoor screen. 

We had picked up some frozen General Assembly pizzas from Hendersons.  We cooked them up on the BBQ and quickly devoured them.  After supper we watched Obi Wan.

On Sunday morning I went to Costco and bought all of the chips, then did some tidying up.  E had his first in person piano recital in the afternoon. He did well. 

We went to Canadian Tire after that and got a few things for camping.  Dave cut the boys' hair and we did some more stuff around the house, and then it was time for dinner at the golf club.

Milkshakes for dessert. 

Monkey see, monkey do.

It was right to bed for the kids when we got home after a few late nights.  Dave and I watched a couple of shows and also tried to get to bed early.

Monday, June 27, 2022

June Books

I read two books in June, not many, but I seemed to have less days on the subway, and even with my quick trip Montreal, I didn't even take a book to read on the plane! 

The first book was Peter Mansbridge's book, Off the Record, complete with signed bookplate :)

If you've been reading here for awhile you know I am a fan of Peter - I listen to his daily podcast, The Bridge, on a regular basis, have written in a few times and he's read my letters on the air, and I read his previous book, Extraordinary Canadians.  He was also the face and voice of many of those major events in my life - 9/11, wars, terrorist attacks, William and Kate's wedding, and many Remembrance Day ceremonies from Ottawa - when he hosted CBC's The National and other special events.  Now I listen to his podcast where he guides us through Covid, Canadian political stories, and the war in Ukraine.  
This book tells us those stories about what was happening behind the scenes during the big moments, along with some not so big moments.  I loved every chapter.  There is a part at the end that talks about Gord Downie and I was definitely wiping away tears on the subway. 
If you like news stories and Canadian history, check out this book. 

This next book is another Canadian one and from my reading list - Black Water by David A. Robertson.

I picked up this book because someone I follow on Instagram, who is active in a lot of social justice issues, said it was a book we all must read. 
The author writes about growing up half-indigenous, but not really knowing his father was Cree until later, and not understanding what that meant. The book is a bit of an autobiography, but also tells us of his father and the journey he has been on to connect with him. Black Water is a location where his father's old trapline was. He lived on the land until he was 9 years old, then had to go away to school (residential school but we don't get many details about that). Eventually the author and his father travel back to the trapline. 
It was a good book but I wouldn't go so far to say it is one we all must read.  To be honest, I felt it was only mediocre writing.  I wasn't sure if the author was trying to tell his own story or that of his father, and he didn't really make the connections that I thought he could have.  It fell a bit short for me.  I didn't feel like I got that much out of it and I only read it to finish it, but not because I felt invested in it.   There was the odd passage that drew me in but they were few and far between.  

Friday, June 24, 2022

Friday Favourites

Lots of fun this week, starting out with Monday night when I got to meet up with Natasha and Dara, two bloggers I've been following along with for a few years now.  Dara lives in the US but was up in Niagara Falls and Toronto for a family vacation, and Natasha lives in Kitchener.  Their families came along too, but since E had baseball I left my family at home. 

Our geraniums have taken off! There were so many blooms on both of them this week, and they all came out at once. 

On Wednesdays, Dave has men's night at the golf club so I usually take the boys out for supper.  This week we chose Shakeys and got to sit in their awesome Muskoka chairs outside. It was a hot night, but the food and beer were delicious. We even saw a couple of E's friends.

The sun got me eventually so I had to borrow Q's hat.

That drink was in a precarious position but it didn't spill!

Then we stopped in for some gelato on the way home.

As school wraps up next week, I wrote about the kids' past year - E in Grade 5 and Q in Senior Kindergarten. We're looking forward to finishing up the year and officially head into summer!

Linking up with Andrea and Erika for Friday Favourites.