Thursday, November 30, 2023

Monthly Musings


1. Favourite holiday traditions?
Watching all of the fun movies - we have so many favourites but the must-watch ones are White Christmas, The Holiday, The Family Stone, Elf, The Grinch (new animated one), and Love Actually.

2. Favourite holiday fashion items or accessories?
I like a sequin for those fancy parties, and a festive t-shirt or sweatshirt for the more casual times. 

3. Share your favourite holiday recipes.
Jamie Oliver's Pannetone Bread Pudding (see below) and these Peppermint Cookies.

4. How do you celebrate the holidays?
 We celebrate Christmas - very traditional, we go to church, host family and friends, make all of the fun treats, watch the movies, visit Santa, and give gifts. 

5. Do you go to see holiday lights?
We will usually take a detour on our way home from somewhere to see what lights we can see, but we don't usually go out specifically for that reason.

6. How do you decorate your house for the holidays?
We put up a tree and other indoor decorations, and lights outside.  You can see last year's decorations here.

7. If you get a Christmas tree - is it real or fake?
We get a real tree. I love the smell and the look of it and I also don't want to store a fake one all year.

8. Favourite holiday treats?
On the sweets side I tend to go for the shortbreads, iced sugar cookies, and anything peppermint, and for savoury, sausage rolls and any sort of warm cheesy dip.

9. If you have pets, do your pets get and give gifts?
We do not have any pets now.  When I was little we would get our cat a stocking with treats in it. 

10. Best tips to make the holidays less stressful?
I don't know.  Christmas is a full-time job (on top of the full-time job you may already have) and I just try to dive in and enjoy it all.  It's just one part of the year and I don't mind feeling a bit frantic at times. 

Linking up with Holly and Patty.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

What's Up Wednesday


What we're eating this week...
Sunday - Chicken Condon Bleu, Sweet Potatoes, and Salad
Monday - Chicken Stirfry
Tuesday - Steak and Waffle Fries
Wednesday - Spaghetti and Meatballs
Thursday - Salmon and Vegetables
Friday - Cheese Pizza
Saturday - We will be out at a party 

What I'm reminiscing about...
As always, thinking about those special Christmas memories accumulated over the years.   

What I'm loving...
I'm loving that our ski hill is getting snow (and making lots too!) but that Toronto so far doesn't have any.  This is ideal, nothing to shovel or deal with here, but a ski season that may start soon :) [EDIT: Will start soon, hill is scheduled to open on Saturday!]

What we've been up to...
Christmas has been a bit mixed up so far this year.  As many of you would know, while our house is being renovated we are living in our basement.  Therefore we haven't been decorating our house, we aren't able to host our annual neighbourhood party, and we can't do any baking.  This means we haven't felt as much in the spirit as we may normally have in years past.  We're getting there though. And since we are scheduled to move back upstairs around the 15th (although there will still be things not done) then we will have to cram in some decorating and baking in those last days before Christmas. 

What I'm dreading...
Remember that week before Christmas I mentioned above? As if it's not busy enough, we will also be trying to move back in!  It's one of those things where you just have to work hard, get through it, and know it will all be worth it in the end.

What I'm working on...
Christmas gifts.  I bought a few things already (and even something for myself!) but I will have a few things left to ship out in the coming weeks.  
What I'm excited about...
Some live music events coming up - E's guitar recital, Q's school concert, our church's children's symphony, and all of the lovely music we will be singing at church during Advent and on Christmas Eve.

What I'm watching/reading...
We are watching Welcome to Wrexham and The Morning Show.  And Raptors basketball and Maple Leafs hockey. 

I will post about my November books on Monday.  Then later next month I'll pick my favourite book that I've read this year. 

What I'm listening to...
I'm onto my Christmas playlist now. I am excited to see what will be on my Spotify Wrapped top songs this year, I have a couple of guesses.

What I'm wearing...
All of my comfy clothes when I'm at home, but looking forward to wearing some fancy holiday clothes next month.

What I'm doing this weekend...
Home Alone Night (watching the movie, and eating cheese pizza, Pepsi, and ice cream sundaes), church bake sale, first Sunday of Advent, and a Christmas party

What I'm looking forward to next month...
Moving back upstairs and all of the Christmas things!

What else is new...
Our new Harry Potter decoration.  I like the inflatables on other people's lawns, but I've never wanted them.  A couple of years ago we got a small inflatable Grinch for Q's room.  This year E picked out a Harry Potter that for some reason I thought would be similar to Q's Grinch and HP could stay in E's room.  While it's a bit bigger than I thought!! Not sure if this will be able to stay up there or if it will have to go outside after all!

Linking up with Shay

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Weekend Recap

 We had a fairly quiet weekend and it was nice. 

On Friday we did some bowling on the Switch after school.  I wasn't that good but Q was doing well. 

Then we went out to meet one of Q's friends and his parents for supper. We had a great meal and it was so nice to catch up with them. 

Meanwhile E was at a birthday party, his yellow jacket was perfect for glow in the dark mini-putt.

On Saturday morning we had a few more bags of leaves to rake. We may need to do one or more judging from what's left on the trees, but this is the most of it!

I took the kids to swimming.  E's phone wasn't plugging in so while I sat at swimming I worked on figuring out what was wrong with it. I realized it had kleenex lint jammed in it.  I got most of it and took this photo to show E what was wrong with it.

After we got home we walked up the street to see what was going on with the annual Santa in the Village.  Dave said when we got home it felt like we were doing a little food tour in our own neighbourhood. 

We got some pizza for lunch.

They kids made decorated some gingerbread cookies

Then there was a kids' music performer and Q was all in for that!

He joined in with the rest of them.

We got some hot chocolate, coffee, and popcorn, and bought some Krispy Kreme doughnuts whose proceeds were going to charity.

And we waited in line to see Santa! 

We picked up some sausages for supper, and some cheese and crackers.  One of the stores had a place to write a little note so the kids did that.

Q's cookie, I forgot to take a picture when we were up there.

On Sunday we watched the last F1 race of the season and went to church in the morning.  In the afternoon Dave and I went to Home Depot to look at toilets, and Home Sense to buy sheets and look at mirrors and lamps.  The kids played Lego and made stop-motion videos while we were gone.

We had bought this Harry Potter a few months ago, so E got him out. He's bigger than I thought he would be!

We had a nice dinner and watched a couple of shows before going to bed at a decent time.

Friday, November 24, 2023

Friday Favourites


Just a couple of things to mention on this week's Friday Favourites post.  

Earlier this week I posted about how I wasn't really feeling ready for Christmas yet.  Well this week I was able to shift towards having more Christmas spirit.  We feel confident that our house will be ready enough for us to move back upstairs soon, and certainly before Christmas Day.  I also bought a couple of gifts. I started adding some fun events to our calendar. And we even started listening to some Christmas music. And just to follow up on that same post, the words of the hymn that I was moved by were: “she bore a precious baby”. 

Besides the songs that the kids had requested, Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer (E's choice) and Santa Claus is Back in Town by Elvis (Q's choice because of the Christmas Chronicles movie), my first song that I queued up was Jamie Cullum's The Piano Man at Christmas". Last year I described it as ducking into a dark pub in London for a pint and a meat pie.

I love the Fairmont Royal York in downtown Toronto and their Christmas decorations went up this week.  I made a special trip to pop in and see them yesterday.  

We worked with Q to study for his French quiz this week.  He needs to conjugate "avoir" and "ĂȘtre" and then know when to use them. 

We picked out our paint colours this week and also looked at wallpaper for the kids' bathroom.  There are so many fun patterns, and I think we picked one. This isn't it, but it's so fun, maybe too Christmas-y though!

Have a great weekend, especially you Americans celebrating your Thanksgiving!

Linking up with Andrea and Erika.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Christmas Wish List

Hehe.  I bought a few things for myself in Miami and we are buying a lot of things for our house, so I really don't need too much for Christmas this year.  I do like to put together this little list of a few things I do want.


Jo Malone English Pear and Freesia Candle. I know the price of this candle is outrageous, but it's such a pretty smell (it's the perfume I wear).


A new brush.  I have this one from Dry Bar but the ends are coming off and it's hurting my head now. I'm not sure if I want the same one or if there is something better.



A new set of PJs. Not flannel, but a thinner softer pant, and then a t-shirt or tank top.  They had so many nice things at Nordstrom when I was there but I didn't buy anything.  I know a store near here has some of the same brands, and then Joe Fresh and the Gap usually have good sleepwear.


Stolen Focus. My good friend recommended this as a must-read. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Weekend Recap

The kids did not have school on Friday because it was report card day.  Dave and I went in to meet with the teachers.  And then later on we all went to get our COVID and flu shots for the year.  We were done pretty quickly and I was thankful our kids were so well behaved, there were quite a few kids having a hard time and I felt badly for their parents. We picked up some groceries and went home to make burgers and fries for our supper.  We watched Amazing Race and then part of Terminator 2 (although that meant the kids were up way too late!!).

We woke up to some gorgeous fall weather on Saturday and after watching the F1 Quali, we went outside to rake leaves. 

I spy Dave up on the roof with the leaf blower.  Check out the new addition with the siding complete.

Dave then went to help a neighbour with some gutter work, and the kids were so tired, they declined my offer to walk up to get a pizza lunch.  Instead we made sandwiches and the kids had naps. Combination of the late night and vaccine shots wore them out!  After tidying up, I walked up the street to get some groceries and then did a workout.
We had been invited for supper at our neighbours' and we enjoyed a lovely evening there. 

We had church on Sunday morning, with F1 race watching on both sides of that.  
Then we went to the Toronto Marlies hockey game.  We get ticket vouchers every Halloween from one of our neighbours that works for Maple Leaf Sports so we make a habit of going with some other friends.

Not a bad seat in the house, popcorn, and great hockey!

We went out afterwards for supper at Liberty Commons.

Monday came quickly!