Wednesday, November 30, 2022

What's up Wednesday

What we're eating this week...
Sunday - Eggplant Parmesan at Annette Food Market
Monday - Shrimp and Orzo
Tuesday - McDonalds
Wednesday - Chicken Enchilada Soup
Thursday - Leftover Soup
Friday - Dave and I are out but I'll make lasagna for the boys and my mom
Saturday - Leftover lasagna

What I'm reminiscing about...
As always around this time, I remember back to Christmases past when I was little.  My Nana always had a different colour-themed tree each year, and one year even sprayed painted her tree black!  I saw this gold tree at the store this week and had to snap a photo.

What I'm loving...
My new pink coat. It only has one button which I didn't love at first, but since it hasn't been that cold, the one button isn't too bad. It's just a nice colour and goes well with my grey scarf and white and grey toque.

What we've been up to...
Trying to eat healthy food and drink less, at least for the month of November. It's not exactly a free for all come December, but the opportunities for treats are certainly more abundant.   

What I'm dreading...
E is in ski racing this winter and I'm sort of dreading the amount of driving we will need to do.  We may not all need to go up on Saturday and Sunday, but E will need to get there so someone will be making the trip. And if it's good skiing weather, then we should all be going up anyway!

What I'm working on...
Getting things ready for our Christmas party - decorating, baking, planning groceries, etc.

What I'm excited about...
I am excited about the party though.  We had to skip it in 2020, but managed to get it in last year before Omicron took over, this year should be "back to normal" and I'm excited to welcome everyone back again.  It is a great opportunity to see people, some of whom we only see at the party each year.

What I'm watching/reading...
The Crown, Friends From College (again), Amazing Race, and Easy. 

I wrote about my November books here. Now I've got some Christmas books on hold at the library. I don't find I have as much time to read in December but I like grabbing a few moments here and there to sit by the tree and read a festive book. Last year I read almost a whole book while waiting in a line for my COVID booster.

What I'm listening to...
My favourite Christmas songs (post here).

What I'm wearing...
I'm back to wearing my mask on the subway.  Although it's not COVID that I am specifically worried about now, I am worried about RSV and the flu (although vaccinated for the latter).  I want to be able to enjoy Christmas without being sick or bringing anything home with me.  I feel like most places I go are fairly well ventilated or I can keep a good distance, but I'm on the subway at rush hour twice a day, and it can get pretty tight in there, so the mask goes on.  I feel like we know that masks help and people can make their own decisions about what they want to do to keep themselves healthy. 

What I'm doing this weekend...
My mom arrives for a week's visit, my work Christmas party, house party, and skating with Santa.

What I'm looking forward to next month...
Hmm, what could there be?!  Christmas extravaganza! And some skiing. 

What else is new...
Well, we were pretty excited that Team Canada was at the World Cup, and even excited with their play, but not as excited that they only scored one goal (so far, could still score against Morocco) and will miss going onto the next round. Still, a respectable showing.  A friend of mine was there and I have enjoyed following her journey through Instagram. Also, someone commented that E resembled the head coach, certainly the same haircut, smaller ears ;)

Linking up with Shay.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Weekend Recap


Christmas time is upon us and we are here for all of it. 

On Friday, we borrowed an idea from @mel_larson, someone I follow on Instagram. They do Home Alone night where they order cheese pizza, drink Pepsi, and make ice cream sundaes, just like Kevin.  It was so fun.  We got our pizza (and garlic fingers) from Maker Pizza, and a large 2L bottle of pop.  Q had never seen a pop bottle that was that big and he was shocked!

On Saturday morning we went to pick out our tree.

As I was taking this photo, E said "new backdrop?" for my phone, and he was right!

My Nana Do would have loved this gold tree.

E helped tie the tree to the car.

We did the last of the leaf bags when we got back and then I took Q to swimming. It was his last lesson and then it was cut short because of a pool fouling (ew).  
Dave and I each got a workout in and he commented it was like we were at the gym.

Then we went to the Marlies hockey game.  Our neighbour gives out free passes for Halloween so a bunch of us chose the same day to go and met up there. 

We like popcorn.

And we went out for supper afterwards in Liberty Village.

We were lucky we could do a parents table and kids table.

We tried watching a movie and I could not stay awake unfortunately, but I think Dave liked it.

On Sunday we were at church for most of the day.  Regular service, special service for our new minister (where E was participating), and a craft event (more on that below).  But we did sneak in a visit to the post box to mail Q's letter to Santa. 

And we were able to help Dave with the lights.

We brought our friends with us to church for the craft thing.

So nice to see the lights on the house.

I also went out for dinner with friends on Sunday night.  We went Annette Food Market. That place is a gem! The food was delicious and so was the wine we chose.  It is always nice to go out to actually catch up with friends. 

Monday, November 28, 2022

October and November Books

I actually only read one book in the month of October so I just lumped it into this post. I enjoyed all of this books.

First up was Grown Ups by Marian Keyes.  I hadn't heard of this author before but I picked it up from the overflow cart at the library.  I liked it so much I picked up another of her books (see below).  The story takes place in Ireland I loved the little sayings and ways of speaking that appeared in the book, I could hear the characters in my head.  I started out being a little confused about all of the people, but there was a helpful family tree at the beginning.  The story starts at the a family dinner party where one the attendees has suffered a head injury and can't hold back a few of the family secrets she knows about.  It's only a few pages, but then we hop backwards to 6 months earlier. We get to know the characters and start to learn those secrets ourselves. It's an easy read once you get into it, it doesn't take long though, and because there are various story lines going on at the same time, you are always flipping the pages forward to see what is happening next. 

One thing I loved about the story is that one of the characters has a lot of money and plans elaborate and luxurious trips and weekends for the rest of the family. I liked hearing about the various destinations where everything was just exquisite.  There were enough problems going on with the people, so it worked to have the perfect background as the setting. 

Next was Primates of Park Avenue: A Memoir by Wednesday Martin. I had heard about this book from someone (a blogger but I can't remember which one) and it was on my list for awhile.  This is a non-fiction book where the author writes about her move from Lower Manhattan to the Upper East Side about the time she had her first child.  She noticed right away how different it was from any other part of the city. Being an anthropology major in college, she decided to write about the Upper East Side as though she were studying a foreign culture.  Each chapter covering a different aspect - childcare and school, vacations, Birkin bags, etc.

Although I do find great wealth and high society fascinating, I found parts of the book to be a little silly. She was trying to write her thesis but a few of the connections she was trying to make seemed a bit of a stretch.  Then she of course turns into one of her subjects and has to get her own Birkin, and wear the clothes, and speak to the right people, and all of that. I was certainly a bit judgy reading the book and was glad I don't have to deal with people like the ones she described.  I think there are definitely pockets of Toronto that would be similar in terms of status symbols, but fortunately my neighbourhood and friend group is not like that, and I am grateful!

I'm on the Sally Hepworth train now with this book, The Mother in Law.  The book starts with news of the mother-in-law's apparent suicide.  We then get flashbacks from when the main character married her husband (son of the mother-in-law) and from the mother-in-law's own life, and then back to present day as we learn that the death is more suspicious than once thought. We wonder about each of the other characters and if they could have killed the mother-in-law. 

A central feature is the relationship between the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law.  The mother-in-law was always a bit cold and standoffish, not overly emotional and kept boundaries.  In other words, she didn't act like the daughter-in-law was her actual daughter.  That always bothered the daughter-in-law, whose own mother had died when she was young, and who wanted a closer relationship.  Most of the time I found myself siding with the mother-in-law and I wondered what sort of mother-in-law I will be to my own sons' spouses.  Hopefully a bit more warm than this one, but I'm also fine with boundaries.  We also learn that she had her own reasons for acting the way she did and I could understand why she did things the way she did.

Last book was also by Marian Keyes, Again Rachel.  I think there are other books about this same main character, Rachel, so I will see if I can find them.  This book is also set in Ireland.  Rachel is an addictions counsellor, herself a recovering drug addict, she is divorced and recently started dating someone (named Quin!).  Then she hears that her ex-husband's mother had died and she has to decide if she will go to the funeral.  She does go (spoiler!) and sees her ex-husband then things spiral from there, there is unfinished business, as well as some things Rachel has failed to deal with properly.  
Like Grown Ups, this one has a lot of characters, but I was able to follow them this time.  All of Rachel's sisters have a few plot points, and the patients at the rehab facility where Rachel works have things to add, although to be clear the whole book is told from Rachel's perspective.  
Something I really liked is that she was so honest and open with the people she talked with, she had great relationships with her parents and sisters, and there were no instances where I was frustrating that people weren't talking about something, or that they were being stupid.  I'm not sure I'm explaining that well, but perhaps it could stand out for you too.

Friday, November 25, 2022

Friday Favourites

I caught this beautiful sunset from my office window on Monday night.  I tried to catch it as best as I could through the window. 

We have stepped up our homework game (perhaps spurred by some recent report cards).  Q is working on sight words and E is doing long division.  The hot apple cider helped too.

I bought a few early gifts - Green is for Christmas, part of the Crayons book series. 

And some Harry Potter tree ornaments.  This could be an advent calendar but we just opened them all up.  They come with this paper tree but they will go on E's tree in his room when it goes up.

The kids worked on some Christmas cards for seniors in our church congregation. 

So creative!

On Monday I wrote about some Christmas music I'm enjoying right now, but I left off another gem that I was reminded of this week. Bring Me Love on John Legend's Christmas album, you'll be bopping along.

Speaking of being influenced, I picked up this cute t-shirt after seeing the ad on Instagram. It's from Light and Shine  I got a medium and it's a bit long, but since I'll be tucking it in anyway, it will be great. 

From now until Christmas we are going to be full out (to borrow a phrase from "Cheer"). Every weekend is jammed packed with fun and events, and really I can't wait.  We had two years of quiet holidays and I'm excited the events are back.  That said, I will still try to take some quiet time using my own little mediation guide I posted about on Wednesday.

Linking up with Andrea and Erika.