Wednesday, May 30, 2018

What's Up Wednesday: May 2018

It's What's Up Wednesday time again and here's what has been going on around here lately.

image from here

What we're eating this week... At my book club in April, one of the other members suggested a new cookbook to me. It's called Fuss-Free Vegan and we've discovered some great recipes in it. Dave and I love it and the kids are tolerating it and it's just been so nice to have an infusion of new ideas. And no, we're not vegan and I just use regular milk or Ranch dressing or cheese if it calls for the vegan kind.
image of cookbook from here

What I'm reminiscing about... I've been thinking a lot about our Kenya trip last summer. At this time last year we were in the midst of getting ready to go and looking forward to visiting our friends and experiencing new things. If you want to read all about our trip, you can check out my posts here.
What I'm loving... Rachel is really excited about learning to bike and, after I saw my friend and his daughter on the trailer bike, I hooked up ours. The nice thing about this is that kids don't need to be able to balance to ride it. Rachel wants to go for a ride whenever she can. Last week we even biked 13km/8 miles to Sam's ball game and back.

What we've been up to... I've been fighting a cold for over two weeks now so I've been laying low. And trying to participate in life when I can. So we're just trying to stay on top of things over here while I try (only semi-successfully) to get ten hours of sleep a night. Blah.

What I'm dreading... All the car repairs/maintenance we need to do over the next six months. There are a few little things wrong and one big thing and, unfortunately, it means that a lot of our bills over the next few months will be car related, which isn't nearly as exciting as baseball or travel or...

What I'm working on... In between sleeping and trying to recuperate from my cold, we've been spending A LOT of time in our yard. Last summer, Dave had sciatica so the yard felt very overwhelming and neglected for much of the summer. It's been such a change this spring to have two (and sometimes four!) able bodied people to work on things. You can see yesterday's post for more yard before and after pictures than you can imagine here!

What I'm excited about... I'm excited that food truck season is back. We have a food truck gathering just down the block from us every Thursday and it's awesome. There's also one at a church near us on Wednesdays so we could basically eat from food trucks twice a week. We don't but...
I'm still dreaming about the cold asparagus-tomato salad 
I got from one of these trucks last week. Yum!!!!!

What I'm watching/reading... I have a whole stack of library books I'm working my way through. And I'm watching all my flowers grow :)
The pile on the left are my library books which is what I mostly read from. The pile on the right are books I've gotten from elsewhere (and they have no due dates) which I should start reading. Ha!

What I'm listening to... The Blue Jays playing baseball on the radio. It was so fun this past weekend to listen to them outside while I was planting flowers. And then on Sunday we listened to them while we got some inside tasks completed.

What I'm wearing... We seem to have skipped over jeans and t-shirt weather this year so I'm wearing all the shorts and tank tops. And I'm enjoying my summer skirts. Skirts just make me happy :)
Here are all my short skirts.
This also explains why I only have four pairs of shorts!

What I'm doing this weekend... Our pool opens this weekend so hopefully I'll get to spend some time swimming and reading. I'm excited to see how much Sam and Rachel remember from their swimming lessons last year.

What I'm looking forward to next month... I'll write more about this in June's What's Up Wednesday but Dave and I will be celebrating 10 years of marriage on June 29! Yay! The kids finish school on June 28. And Rachel turns 7 on the 17th. Next month is going to be busy :)

What else is new... I think that's everything. It's been a bit of the same old, same old around here but honestly, I really like that once in awhile.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

A Little Before And After: Our Yard Spring 2018

One of my happy places is our yard, especially when it looks pretty awesome! Honestly, last summer the yard was more of a stress than a joy but that was mostly because Dave had sciatica and so it was all up to me (and whatever work I could wrangle out of the kids). This spring yard work has been a two person task and it's been so much more enjoyable. So here's a little "before" and "after" for you. Also known as "more pictures of our yard than you ever wanted to see!" Ha!
This is the bed behind our playroom earlier this spring.
I did some work on it earlier but there was still a lot of grass growing in it for some reason? Weird.
I finally finished weeding and edging it last week and this weekend I planted four gomphrena in a mix of purple and white in the big empty spot. Yay! I'm so happy this spot is complete. I'm also happy our bleeding heart didn't die over the winter. Phew.
 The daylily bed by the clothesline just needed some edging. It looks much better now.
Did I mention that I'm so happy that Dave con contribute to yard work this year. Not only can he mow (Yaaaayyyy!!!), but he dug all the grass out of our two patios.
On Saturday we went to a nursery (finally!), and I bought 64 annuals. (A few years ago I somehow bought 103 so this didn't feel like a lot.) I also bought two bags of mulch.
Happiness :)
Because we went to Kenya and were gone for over two weeks, I didn't plant pots last summer. I thought they would be too much work for someone while we were gone. However, this year we are only gone for bits and pieces at a time so I wanted to plant some pots. This area needed some weeding and attention.
 I planted petunias and snapdragons here and I can't wait until they all bloom.
I'd done work in the "light post bed" previously and I thought it needed some mulch to clean it up a little. After I took the "after" picture, Dave pulled all the weeds in front of the rocks so it looks even better now.
Our main front bed is where most of my annuals go. Unfortunately, it gets a lot of shade so I have to find shade loving plants for it. I'd already weeded it once this year but it needed it again. It also needed some colour.
I planted sixteen impatiens and four marine bells and it's so much prettier now.
This bed has always been the bane of my existence. There was a big bush I wanted to trim one year and it turned out that it was mostly dead inside. So we got rid of it. Anyways, since we rarely see this bed, and it's filled with a couple of hydrangeas, it's hard to care too much about it. 
I discovered that one of the hydrangeas was dead so I pulled it out and weeded the rest of the bed. Then I remember the extra mulch we had so, after I planted a few impatiens, I filled the rest in with mulch. It looks so much better now, and I actually kind of like this bed as opposed to being glad I never see it.

So I'm excited about everything that has been accomplished over the past week. Now I just need it to rain so I can weed, edge, and deal with a few more problem areas. I can't wait for that to happen so I can show you "before" and "after" pictures of those areas too.

Then I can just enjoy our yard for a few minutes before I need to weed again. Ha!

Friday, May 25, 2018

Photo Of The Day -- May 13 - 23, 2018

Hey, look at me go -- two blog posts in two days. Yay!

May 13, 2018 -- We went to see a Blue Jays game on Mother's Day. We got there early as it was a giveaway day and we got to see where they film Blue Jays Central. Jamie Campbell is the main host. All these people were taking selfies with him on their smart phones, and when he came to where I was holding Rachel, I obviously couldn't take a selfie with my huge DSLR. So I asked Jamie if he was willing to hold Rachel so I could take a picture. Rachel and I were both so happy he agreed. We may have started a trend as after he held Rachel, other parents were asking him to hold their kids! Ha!
May 14, 2018 -- Rachel was super excited about her first day of soccer. I'm excited because her soccer league is organized by Sam's friend's parents and it's all at the school. I LOVE seeing all the neighbourhood kids converge on the school in their soccer shirts.

May 15, 2018 -- You may remember in my What's Up Wednesday post in April (read it here), I was dreading the fact that I thought Bluey was dying. However, I practiced some amateur fish psychology and determined that he might be depressed. So I moved his bowl to a room with more light. The kids have added some friends around his bowl to hang out with him, and he is much happier. Phew.

May 16, 2018 -- When Sam makes it to the big leagues as a pitcher, it will be because of all the hours he spent practicing in our backyard. Ha!

May 17, 2018 -- We went to watch Tessa and Anya and their friends run the 4x400 in a track meet. Rachel made a sign to cheer them on!

May 18, 2018 -- I've been taking so many more photos (the main goal of this project) that I'm not even bummed when I miss a day. I still feel like my goal is being accomplished.

May 19, 2018 -- We went to Toronto to celebrate Donny and Marika's 10th wedding anniversary with a ten course Chinese dinner. It was delicious and I got over this fish staring at me and ate a good portion of it.

May 20, 2018 -- Our peony bloomed. Yay!!!

May 21, 2018 -- We did some major work on our yard this day and celebrated by eating our first supper outside. One of Sam's friends joined us.

May 22, 2018 -- Rachel came home and for some reason decided she was peeling all the vegetables for supper. I didn't complain :)

May 23, 2018 -- Once again, I forgot to take a picture this day. Ooops.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Photo Of The Day -- May 1 - 12, 2018

So for my last photo a day post, I'd promised you another post by the end of the week. And then I promised to be caught up on blogging until, and I quote myself, "At least until the next time life intervenes and I don't blog for two weeks :)" Well, who knew that the two week period would begin after that post? I must have had some premonition. Anyways, all this blathering is to say, "Hi! I'm back." And yes, it's been two weeks. Ha!

I'm currently sick with a cold that has settled into my chest and is sapping all my energy. When that hasn't been taking up my time, I've been biking with Rachel on the trailer bike. Last night we biked to Sam's ball game and back (a 13km/8 mile trek). It was really fun. And yes, Sam playing ball twice a week and Rachel playing soccer once a week have also been taking up time.

And now with all that preamble/explanation/more information than you wanted finished, on with the photos.

May 1, 2018 -- My birthday was the following day but, since Sam had ball the next night, Dave made my birthday dinner this night. Can I just do a shout out here to how much I love BBQd cherry tomatoes. Oh yum.

May 2, 2018 -- I want to do a whole post about my birthday as I filled the day by doing all my favourite things. Here's a picture of the pansies I planted in our window boxes.

May 3, 2018 -- Rachel had the dress rehearsal for her dance recital this day. She was a peppermint lollipop in Mary Poppins.

May 4, 2018 -- Just some of Rachel's adoring fans with her after the show.

May 5, 2018 -- Winter seemed to last forever and then BAM! It was spring. There was no transition time. I was excited to see my peony ready to bloom.

May 6, 2018 -- We went grocery shopping and Sam found this bacon flavoured tomato juice. Even though he LOVES bacon, he was a little (a lot?!) skeptical.

May 7, 2018 -- It was Music Monday at Rachel's school. Did I tell you she surprised Dave and I in November by saying she'd joined the school choir?! Anyways, here she is with one of her best friends, E, after the concert.

May 8, 2018 -- It was time to do some yard work, which in this case meant mowing. Rachel gave it a good try before handing the mower off to Dave.

May 9, 2018 -- I love magnolias and am so happy that our next door neighbour has a tree in their front yard for me to enjoy.

May 10, 2018 -- I can't remember what was happening this day, but for some reason I didn't take a picture.

May 11, 2018 -- When your new favourite player hits a walk off home run against your biggest rivals. Yesssssss!!!!

May 12, 2018 -- We finally got to go see CANstruction and I loved this bee structure. I'm going to write a post about this because a) CANstruction is awesome! and b) our attempts to get there were comical :)

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Photo Of The Day -- April 20 - 30, 2018

I haven't been very consistent with posting my photo a day pictures but I have been consistent about taking them. I will do another of these posts later this week and then I will be caught up again. At least until the next time life intervenes and I don't blog for two weeks :)

April 20, 2018 -- Knowing Crazy Hair Day was coming up at school, I started looking on Pinterest for ideas. Rachel loved this one so much, she didn't want to save it!

April 21, 2018 -- I had to miss a family social event to get some work done so I consoled myself with pizza. Pizza makes everything better in my opinion :)

April 22, 2018 -- We walked to a neighbourhood park this evening. It was the first time we'd spent a lot of time outside after supper and reminded me why I love these longer spring evenings.

April 23, 2018 -- It was nice enough for popsicles after school! Yay!!! I love how Rachel is intently telling Sam something and Sam is just enjoying his popsicle!

April 24, 2018 -- After piano lessons, the kids grabbed their cameras to capture a picture of the rabbit in our backyard. I think at this point they had stalked it into our neighbour's yard. They made me laugh!

April 25, 2018 -- Some days the only picture I get is Rachel being stubborn in a box.

April 26, 2018 -- I had my stack of books ready to go for the Readathon!

April 27, 2018 -- It was officially Crazy Hair Day at school featuring a Minecraft Creeper and an octopus at the bottom of the sea. I couldn't pick just one picture this day.

April 28, 2018 -- It was finally Readathon Day!!! Also known as The Best Day Ever!!! Bluey enjoyed getting into Obsidio as much as I did. Hahahaha!!!

April 29, 2018 -- A picture of all the books I read during the Readathon, including a few chapters out loud to Rachel from The Secret Garden.

April 30, 2018 -- Family ice cream selfie.