Thursday, June 29, 2023

Monthly Musings


1. Favourite Vacation Destinations?
I love Europe. We haven't been across the pond for a few years now, for obvious reasons, but I'm hoping we can get there in 2024.

2. Best Packing Tips?
Put everything out that you think you'll need and then subtract three shirts, one dress or skirt, and one pair of pants/shorts. I always used to bring too much but I've really been trying to live by this rule of subtracting and I'm doing better. Plus you can usually wear something twice (!! I know!). But don't forget a sweater or jacket, even if you think it will be warm! I have gone on a few trips to a warm location or in the summer and it just isn't as warm as you think it will be.

3. Fly or Road Trip?
I prefer to fly if it makes sense.  We have done road trips and I wrote about how we do that here.

4. Favourite Vacation Memory as a Child?
We went to Cancun when I was in Grade 4.  We didn't do a lot of big trips, not like my kids seems to get to do, so it sticks out for sure.  I remember how pretty the view from our hotel room was, and that we played beach bingo and painted ceramics. 

5. Ocean, Lake, or Mountain?
Ocean every time!  I love being at the beach so much!

6. Campout or Indoor Grill?
I don't know why these are opposites, but I'll pick outdoor cooking and eating any day.

7. Favourite Summer Cocktail or Mocktail?
A good old Gin and Tonic is my go-to summer cocktail at home.  I like Bombay Sapphire Gin and Fever Tree Tonic, garnished with a lime.  When I'm out I like to order an Aperol Spritz

8. Most Amazing Travel Upgrade Story?
I can't say I've had many upgrades before.  I still remember when my Nana and I went to Winnipeg we got upgraded to first class and that was a highlight of my youth.  When Dave and I went to Hawaii we were given an apartment instead of just a hotel room, but we didn't really need the extra space and we were only there for two nights anyway. 

9. Ice Cream or Popsicle?
Can I have both? Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream and a 3 flavour or root beer popsicle for me please!

10. Do you Camp?
Yes, we go car camping. We usually go two or three times a year. I wrote about how we camp here and how we cook for camping trips here.

Linking up with Holly and Patty.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

What's Up Wednesday

 What we're eating this week...
Sunday - chicken tenders, roasted potatoes
Monday - BBQ'd chicken legs, rice, salad
Tuesday - Pizza and Pasta
Wednesday - I may surprise the kids with dinner out to celebrate the end of the year, Dave will be at the golf course.
Thursday - Leftovers in the fridge
Friday and Saturday - Camping meals

What I'm loving...

My favourite summer lunch spot is back, the Toronto Union Station Summer Market. It's right across the street from my work and I convinced some of my co-workers to join me yesterday. 

What we've been up to...

Making ourselves comfortable in our new living quarter in the basement

What I'm dreading...

I suppose you could say I'm dreading the dust and noise that will start in earnest today as demo gets underway, but I'm just looking forward to everything getting started.  I'm sure it won't be anything we can't handle. 

What I'm working on...

I've got my packing lists ready for the boys to go to overnight camp.  I need to pick up some clothing labels at Staples today, and then I can start packing.  We always make things difficult on ourselves by going camping on the same weekend that camp starts, so it means some rearranging of swimsuits, jackets, and shoes at our campsite to repack for overnight camp.  I took the camp's list and then made it into my own personalized checklist. 

What I'm excited about...
The last day of school!! The kids go right to the bitter end of June with the last day on Friday this year.  I always love seeing the first day vs. last day of school photos to see how they have grown.  Stay tuned to my Instagram on Friday (@smacto).

What I'm watching/reading...
We are watching the Arnold and Duggar Family documentaries, will start Season 2 of Succession next week, and we always have time for Seinfeld and Downton Abbey.

I will do my June book recap on Friday, so check back then. 

What I'm listening to...

I'm back into the Dopamine playlist on Spotify, it was my go-to last summer and it is constantly being updated so some of my favourites have been removed, but some other standards remain.  "As it was" is not the song of summer 2023 but I still love to hear it.

What I'm wearing...

I bought a new mascara when I was at Sephora to get my birthday gift.  I have been wearing Benefit's mascara for years, but I wanted something that wasn't as dark and hard to remove.  I asked them what they had for brown mascara and this was one of the ones they showed me. I love that I don't have to pry it off my eyelashes at the end of the day.

What I'm doing this weekend...
We are kicking off the first true weekend of summer with a camping trip to Killbear.  Then we are dropping both boys off at overnight camp.  Q will go for a week and E will stay for two weeks. 

What I'm looking forward to next month...

A kid-free week while both kids are at camp, golf, family pool party, and camping at Tobermory with our neighbours.

What else is new...
I won two raffle prizes at the Party in the Playground last week (after telling E I never win anything). One is for Ernie's Icebox where we got our ice cream sandwiches last week, and one is for Sweet Flour cookies.

Linking up with Shay.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Weekend Recap

 Friday night pizza looks a bit different down here in the basement.  We made pizzas on flatbread and grilled them in the BBQ.  Q did most of the prep work.

On Saturday morning, I got an email that Q's ball hockey game was postponed due to the expected rain so we didn't need to go anywhere before noon. Everyone piled in my bed with their screens and we watched a movie.  It was nice to do nothing.

Then I sort of tidied up and took a few photos for yesterday's post

The weather was actually pretty good so the pool party we were attending was still on.  The host and attendees were from Sunday School. 

Hot dogs, cheezies, watermelon, and ice cream, best kind of pool party food.

I took the kids shopping after that to find sneakers for them.  After we went to Sport Chek, E requested a stop at the Apple Store.  They played a few games and I browsed at Pottery Barn across the way.

We made pizzas again for supper, preparing them outside, watched the Blue Jays game on my phone and talked to my mom.  

Q's ball hockey game was rescheduled to Sunday morning which meant we had to miss church, but it also meant we didn't have to leave the house right away.  We ate breakfast outside and then got ready for the day.

I took Q to ball hockey and E got himself to baseball by biking with a friend on the team.

Warming up for the big gold medal game.

Go Leafs Go!  They announced their names as they took to the surface.

Lining up to sing O Canada.

It was a hard-fought game with the Leafs taking the Silver Medal.  Q let in a few goals, but he wasn't too upset. He said the orange team was the best team in the league and they have never lost.

Happy with his medal.

It was so hot!! Each player got a ticket for a free hamburger or hot dog, so we got that, and then went over to watch the end of E's baseball game.

We all got sunburns, oops!

I kindly dropped the boys off at home and went by myself to get E some sneakers at a different Sport Chek (as the one at Sherway didn't have his size) and got him a few new things at Old Navy.  I also picked up a few groceries.
I saw this at the checkout, choices were made.
(It seems someone put down raisins to get candy instead.)

Meanwhile Dave had been in PEI golfing for the weekend on his annual tournament with his friends.  They have done this trip for many years, but the last 10 years have been in memory of our friend they grew up with and who used to attend those golf trips.  We miss Brad and I still shake my head when I think about how he is not here anymore. The boys always put together a bit of money and a bursary is awarded in Brad's name at their old high school each year.

Dave was the big winner this year, finally! He was in 3rd place going into the final day of play and then shot an excellent round on Sunday for the win! 

We picked him up at the airport, trophy and all!

Monday, June 26, 2023

Home Sweet Home (in the basement)

 Welcome to our new abode, our basement. We moved down here last weekend while our house renovations got started. We are quite comfortable down here, although it has only been a week and for most of that week Dave was away, so it was just three of us in the space. Check back with me in August and I'll let you know if we still feel the same way.  

We decided to remain in our house instead of rent something else.  There were a few reasons for this, first it's difficult to find a short term lease and we don't need to be out for an entire year, just four to six months (knock on wood). Given our timeline, a whole house rental would be very expensive, so when you look at a two bedroom condo, the square footage is less than what our basement would be.  The bonus is that we are on site to monitor the progress and will be here if there are any issues. 

So come on down!

Food on the left, and a selection of dishes and other items.  We were able to leave everything else we didn't need in our actual kitchen as it's not part of the renovation.

This is Q's bookshelf with some appliances and cooking items.

The area under the stairs needs a bit of work, right now it just has baskets filled with hats and bags and there is no rhyme or reason to it. Some shoes are in the house but we put most of them (like rubber boots and sports shoes) out in the garage on our shoe rack.

Our guest room is now our bedroom. We brought our mattress down to put on top of the box spring down here and took the guest mattress out to storage.  The tall brown dresser came from upstairs, but the shorter brown dresser was already here. 

We have never had a TV in our room but we moved one down here. It's like being at a hotel!

Our dining room table was difficult to get down here, even with the legs removed, but it was worth it. Not only is it a place to eat, it's also a place to prepare food, and work.

I was working at Dave's desk this week while he was away. The cabinets on the left were already here and used to be all full of toys and topped with Lego kits.  I don't love using paper plates but we had a bunch leftover from the party we had a few weeks ago so occasionally I do use the paper plates or put something on a napkin instead of a real plate. 

Now they have dish linens, plastic containers, plastic wrap/tinfoil/bags above, and food storage in the middle drawers below.  There are still art supplies and toys in the other drawers.

Welcome to the dormitory. The boys love having their beds down here, on the first night Q could not believe he was watching TV in his bed! We just had to move the couch up closer to the TV, and slid the Peloton into a new space. Note the dehumidifier, it's a bit more humid down here than I have ever really noticed before.  

The boys share this dresser, and our beer/wine fridge now has regular food in it. 

That door is our storage room where we added a few more boxes.

We have a nice big bathroom down here, not many changes here, just looks lived in now.

This area still needs work too.  The dresser was in our bathroom upstairs and it fit perfectly down here. I think we can find homes for everything on the floor, I just haven't been able to do it before I wanted to do this post.

We can also cook on our BBQ and eat at the table in the backyard.