Friday, April 28, 2023

Friday Favourites


A few random favourite things from this week:

The Rosé All Day playlist on Spotify.

Getting off the subway a few stops early and walking the rest of the way (not by choice as the subway was  stopped, but I decided I should make it a habit when the weather is nice).

Watching PTI (Pardon the Interruption, the sports show) and getting the inside scoop.  Because of that show I'm actually interested in the NBA playoffs even if the Raptors aren't in it. 

Indian Matchmaking is the one mindless show I love. 

The Instagram algorithm that shows me funny videos - currently I'm getting a lot of Tom Holland and Zendaya, Kardashian spoofs (@yurilamasbella), Influencer Parodies (@hayderz), "I'm rich, you're poor" spoofs (@shabazsays), The Office bloopers, and work memes.

The kids have a dance-a-thon today.  Last night Q was practicing his dance moves. 

This is the worm.

and the "fish".

E was practicing standing still because he said he and his friends weren't too keen on actually dancing.  But I put on Party Rock Anthem and said "try to stand still with this song playing!". He eventually got into it so I hope he actually enjoys himself today.

It looks like we will have another rainy weekend, but we have acquired some boxes so it's a good excuse to start packing (in preparation for our reno).

Linking up with Andrea and Erika.

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Monthly Musings


1. Favourite spring fashion pieces?
I picked up a few new things at Nordstrom (before they leave Canada for good, boo hoo) and one of them is a bright skort that I can't wait to wear. 

2. Favourite spring scent?
Lilacs.  I cannot resist a lilac bush when I see one and will always stop for a big sniff. 

3. Go to spring meals?
Anything on the BBQ. Although our BBQ is available in the winter too, we don't usually use it until the weather starts warming up.  We like all of the traditional meats, but also like to grill peppers and asparagus. 

4. Share a spring dessert recipe.
Is strawberry shortcake for spring or summer?  I saw our first boxes of Ontario strawberries at the store the other day, so I'll say it's for spring.  This isn't really a recipe, just an idea.  You can make tea biscuits or buy a premade angel food cake at the store.  If you're using tea biscuits, make sure you slice and butter the inside.  Then top with fresh sliced strawberries (mixed with a small amount of sugar and allow to sit in a bowl for a few minutes so they get runny) and real whipped cream (sorry, not the canned stuff!).  It really doesn't need much more than that.

5. Share a few spring traditions.
Going to see the cherry blossoms in High Park, finding a patio to sit on, getting an ice cream cone after supper, 

6. Best spring cleaning hack?
Nothing specific for spring really, just an opportunity to exchange my winter clothes for summer clothes and get rid of things that I didn't wear all season.  This year because we are doing a renovation I will have extra motivation to get rid of things so I don't need to pack them up. 

7. Will you plant a garden this year?
I'll get a few baskets for the front yard and the backsteps, and some herbs.  That's the extent of my green thumb.

8. Spring rain - love or hate?
I don't mind the rain, as long as it doesn't carry on for too many days in a row.  I love a thunderstorm too and they usually start in late May as the weather heats up.  That was one of my favourite things when I first moved to Ontario many years ago.

9. Favourite spring flower?
Magnolias. The blooms don't last for long but they are so pretty and it means spring has definitely arrived when you see them.

10. Any spring travel this year?
Yes! Dave is going to California for a work thing so I'm going to tag along.  We will spend a couple of days in Berkeley and a couple more in San Francisco. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

What's Up Wednesday


What we're eating this week...
Sunday - Chicken Caesar Salad
Monday - Haddock, roasted green beans, sauteed spinach
Tuesday - Salmon, cauliflower
Wednesday - Zucchini Pasta
Thursday - Order
Friday - Steak
Saturday - Something on the BBQ

What I'm reminiscing about...
Around this time of year I always think about university days - finishing up exams, moving into new apartments, starting jobs, and going out! I was in Halifax so it was always still freezing at night so we would often be huddled outside in our "spring clothes".  There was often a bit of a stretch between school ending and jobs getting started when you had no obligations, it was glorious!

What I'm loving...
We had some really great summer temperatures a couple of weeks ago, although it has been more seasonal lately, spring is here and I'm grateful.  There are many flowering trees in my neighbourhood that I like to see.

What we've been up to...
Mentally preparing for our renovation.  We are putting an additional half storey on the back of our house for Q's new room, changing his room into an ensuite, adding a closet to our room, and then finishing floors, walls, and trim on the main floor and second floor.  Nothing is happening to the basement, and nothing is happening in the kitchen (other than new floor). Our house is almost 100 years old and still doesn't have insulation in most of the house and the walls are the original plaster and lathe. I say mentally preparing but I don't think I really have a sense of what we will need to do in terms of making decisions on design features. 

What I'm dreading...
Packing up and getting ready for the aforementioned renovation.  We will be living in the basement throughout so we need to squeeze some furniture and our clothes down there, but will pack up everything else and put it into storage.  

What I'm working on...
Helping Q with his reading.  He doesn't seem to be making much progress and I know we could be doing more at home. The school is offering some tutoring so we will try to get him into that too as another avenue for learning. 

What I'm excited about...
Keeping with the theme of our reno, I am excited to throw things out! Once I get into a groove, I can be ruthless on what I get rid of.  Fortunately our church is having a yard sale next month so I should be able to donate a few things there. 

What I'm watching/reading...
We are watching the Maple Leafs in playoff hockey! Great game on Monday, so we'll see if they can close it out tomorrow night back here in Toronto. 

I'm finishing up the only book I read this month, one of my favourites, The Poisonwood Bible.

What I'm listening to...
Catching up on my podcasts - The Daily (New York Times), The Bridge (Peter Mansbridge), Armchair Experts and the other shows under the Armchair banner (Dax Shepherd and Monica Padman). 

What I'm wearing...
I got a few things at Nordstrom the other day in their closing sale. A new dress and skirt from Zella (although it's not warm enough to wear them yet), and a couple of t-shirts.  Dave got a Ted Baker suit for a good price too!

What I'm doing this weekend...
Watching Q's first ball hockey game of the season, watching the F1 race (it's finally back!), and starting to tackle our packing -first step is to get some boxes.

What I'm looking forward to next month...
Mother's Day, baseball and t-ball starting up for the boys, golf, and our trip to California.

What else is new...
Two quick movie recommendations - Don't Worry Darling and Empire of Light.  I watched both of these on the plane last week.  I had heard of Don't Worry Darling from the various gossip that came from it's production and promotion (if you know you know) but didn't really know anything about what it was about.  I really enjoyed it and particularly the performances by Harry Styles and Florence Pugh.  Empire of Light stars Oliva Coleman who can really do know wrong.  It was an excellent movie, like a love letter to the movie theatre, but so much more. Highly recommend this if you get a chance to see it. 

Linking up with Shay.

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Weekend Recap


This first photo is actually from Thursday morning when I was leaving Mexico

On Friday I worked from home so at lunchtime Dave and I biked to High Park to see the cherry blossoms.  They weren't at peak bloom but were still pretty to see.

We watched Misson Impossible 2 that night with the boys and even though it is and old movie, it stands up.  Love Tom Cruise doing the rock climbing at the beginning with his flowing hair.

On Saturday Q was supposed to start ball hockey but it was cancelled due to the rain. So instead I tided up the house while Dave took the boys to the mall to pick up a present for the birthday party E was gong to.  We were having people over for supper and the Leafs game that night, and that's my number one cleaning hack.  I popped on a few podcasts and got a bit done. I went to Costco after that and then dropped E off the birthday party.

I never remember to take photos when we have people over, but I got this one of the boys playing. We enjoyed our yummy Maker Pizza (and garlic fingers) and a Leafs win!

On Sunday morning I went to church with the boys and then we went to E's piano recital. 

He did well.

We went out for lunch afterwards and chose The Crooked Cue so we could watch the Blue Jays game.  This was the first photo I took of the boys, they look thrilled.

A bit better.

Mom and Dad

E got his own plate of nachos, and managed to eat half of them, taking the rest home.

Q got sliders and he was saying his burgers were "so cute and little" and was snuggling with them when I got this photo.

Dave and I had a nap on the couch when we got home and the boys took their ipads up to Q's closet to play.  It was cold in the house and the closet was a cozy spot.  

I rallied after my nap and walked up to pick up some vegetables for the week, did some laundry folding, changed the sheets on Q's bed, and got ready for the week. 

Monday, April 24, 2023

Next week...


April seemed like a long month to me, I think because we had Holy Week and Easter, and then my trip to Mexico, and also there hasn't been an F1 race for weeks!!! 
May will be busy for us as we prepare for our house renovation - we need to pack most things up, move furniture down to the basement, put stuff in storage, and think about the design for the new spaces. 
Until then, I'll be singing NSync. 

Friday, April 21, 2023

Friday Favourites

Checking in a bit late today.  I just got back from Mexico but wanted to link up to share some of my posts from this week.

I was in Mexico for a work trip and posted about that here.

I also continued along with my list of prompt questions - topics include favourite books, movies, songs, what I want to change in the world, and what excites. You can read that here.

And a recap of our simple weekend - here.

Linking up with Andrea and Erika.

Thursday, April 20, 2023


This week I got to travel to Mexico for work.  It was a really great trip, with some new experiences.  It's great to visit Mexico as a tourist, but I got to see (sort of) what it is like to live and work here and it was invaluable. Mexico City reminded me of Barcelona, Zacatecas and the countryside reminded me of Peru, and to some extent Jamaica. 

On my layover in Mexico City, I left teh airport, with our VP Ops, and met our lawyer who has been doing our Mexican work for years but I've never been able to meet in person.  We met him at a restaurant serving authentic Mexican food.  I did steer clear of the ants eggs and grasshoppers, and ordered rib eye tacos.  They were very tasty.  The tortillas came warm in the little pouch on the top left of the photo.

I was a tad underdressed than my dining companions, but it was a travel day *shrug*.

Then back to the airport to fly to Zacatecas.  We arrived around 8:00 and went to the house our company rents. 

There are two houses side by side and some of the permanent expat employees stay next door to the house where I was staying.  We went over there and had a beer.

Up bright and early to find the kitchen well stocked.  I was able to have the breakfast that I usualy eat at home. Those little crackers were like tortilla chips.

Then we stopped in at our office and warehouse. We have a really great space there.

Then we hit the road to visit one of our projects about 2.5 hours away.  It was a beautiful day.  I tried to catch some photos along the way.

Quick pit stop at the gas station, this little guy was hanging around.

The topography was something to see!

That's our headframe in the distance for the shaft we are sinking.

Ready for a site tour.

This is the mine proper with housing and other facilites.

Not regulation safety glasses.

Got my harness on ready to go down in the shaft (wearing the correct goggles now).

In the bucket on the way down.

There is a bottom part that is enclosed and an open part at the top.  I rode in the bottom on the way down.

Standing at the bottom.

Heading back up

Mexican and Canadian flags at the top.

This is the snake wrangling gear, some poor soul has the job of collecting the snakes, putting them in a bag, and relocating them. 

Heading home.

Then we had dinner with a bunch of people.  About half of us were visiting and the other half works there all the time.

We did watch the Leafs game (ouch!), and had a delicious meal.
I tried some mescal, which is made from agave but is not tequila.  It reminded of scotch a bit (like the bite it has in the back of your throat).  I had one straight, with an orange slice, and then one I mixed with soda to make a Mexican version of a scotch and soda - Mescal and Topo Chico.

The next day we worked in the office and we fly out this morning. We definitely felt welcomed and enjoyed the warm Mexican hospitality.