Tuesday, May 30, 2023

I Spy 2023: Week 21

Oh my word. Is anyone else being driven up a tree by their allergies?!?!? I am suffering so much from them right now -- runny nose, lack of energy, sore throat, irritated eyes -- and the sneezing, oh the sneezing -- I am so ready to be done with them as I've been dealing with them for six weeks straight. They get better and then they get worse again, and right now, I'm going through a "they are worse" stretch and I am not dealing with them well at all. UGH.

Anyways, now that I've had my little allergy pity party, let's get on with "I Spy." It looks like this is the week where I stopped keeping up with the prompts last year. Let's see if I do any better this year :)

Let's Play iSpy 2022

 backyard – quarterly


Our "backyard" is definitely at the height of "wild and green" right now. The bottom of this picture is being taken over by our rose bush. I am very excited that it looks like it will actually bloom this year. It's absolutely covered in buds and I can't wait until they open. In the middle of the picture, you can see the red and white "Canada Day" planter Rachel put together this past weekend. She is very excited to take care of it all summer -- ha!


I was very happy to be "together" with Sam, and two of his friends (not pictured), at a Toronto FC soccer game this past weekend. It was a very belated celebration of Sam's birthday and it was really fun!

starts with 'O'

I was really struggling with this prompt until Rachel Googled "starts with 'o'" and found overalls. She and I went on the Ion to the mall this past weekend and she was so excited to find another pair as she'd outgrown her old ones.


It was an absolutely gorgeous "evening" at the Toronto FC game and I especially enjoyed the view of the sunset over the video board. I also loved that on one side of us was the city and on the other side was Lake Ontario.
Choose Anything (same vantage point) monthly


Our dining room, May. Tacos are still hanging from Cinco De Mayo (Sam wanted them to stay up for his birthday. Dave, if you're reading this, you can take them down now. Hahaha!!!), cake pans are on the Hoosier cupboard to be returned from my birthday at the beginning of the month, and there is a lack of flowers because I'm all about the outside flowers now. Our dining room is somewhat boring this month because the majority of our meals are being eaten outside. Whooo hoooo!!!

*week 73 of Lysha's challenge prompts. See her post here.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Monthly Musings: Celebrating Victoria (Memorial) Day Weekend

It's time for another Monthly Musings with Holly at Pink Lady and Patty at Good, Better, Best. These two bloggers host such a fun link up and I always enjoy joining in with them. This month we are talking about Memorial Day Weekend, but, since I live in Canada, I'm going to write about Victoria Day, which is the Canadian long weekend in May, and which we celebrated this past weekend.

First, a little history: Victoria Day celebrates the birthday of Queen Victoria, who was Queen Elizabeth's great-great- grandmother. Since Canada is part of the British Commonwealth, Queen Victoria's birthday (May 24) was picked as a national holiday in the 1850s. It was meant to help unite the French and English in a mutual celebration. Victoria Day falls on the Monday between May 18th and May 24th. It is considered the unofficial kick off to summer in Canada. We are the only country which celebrates Victoria Day. It is usually a huge day for fireworks although there aren't many official celebrations, or specific ways people spend the holiday. It is also known as the "May 2-4 weekend" since it happens around May 24th. With all that preamble out of the way, now on with the link up :)

1) How are you spending Victoria Day weekend?

We often spend this weekend doing yard work. This past weekend, however, we visited friends in Toronto, stayed overnight at a hotel, and went to a Blue Jays game on Sunday. Then on Monday, we did a few errands (I bought all my annuals!!!) and went out for ice cream. We ended the weekend with a BBQ.

Enjoying the Jays' game with each of my family members this past Sunday.

On Monday we went out for ice cream and Sam got an ice cream taco -- two scoops of ice cream, two toppings, and whipped cream in a taco shaped cone.

2) Favourite ice cream?

 I love going to our local ice cream shop and enjoying their creative flavours. My favourite flavour of theirs is lavender honey. However, this past weekend I got their raspberry lemon and I am fan of that one too!

Enjoying ice cream from our favourite local ice cream shop.

3) Victoria Day travel or hang at home?

While many people we know go camping for Victoria Day weekend, we do not. We don't have traditional ways we spend this weekend, other than doing yard work, but we do often try to catch a Blue Jays game.

left: doing yard work; right: a Jays game with our best friends last year to kick off the May long weekend!

4) Burger, hot dog, both?

If I'm at a baseball game, I love a hot dog, but at home I always have burgers.

Hot dog at a baseball game -- sooooo good!!!

5) Favourite cookout side?

I really love a good salad -- a Greek pasta salad, chickpea salad (recipe below), or some good grilled veggies.

6) White before or after Victoria Day?

I start wearing my white t-shirt around Easter. I've never thought of the May 2-4 as being the date to start wearing white. And I had a scarring experience with white pants in Grade 10 so I never wear white pants.

7) Victoria Day traditions?

Doing yard work! Hahaha! While many people set off fireworks or go camping, those are not traditions we embrace. For us, it's basically a weekend to chill before we start the final push of the school year. (School ends for us at the end of June so this long weekend gives us a chance to gear up for that.)

In looking at my pictures, I realized I often buy all my annuals around Victoria Day. I don't always plant them, but this is around when I purchase them.

This year I bought 90 individual plants. Many of them will go in my planters but about half will go in flower beds. Last night, however, they all got moved into the garage because we had a frost warning. And this is why I usually don't plant them for a week or so yet!

Annual purchases from previous years!

8) Share a summer recipe.

One of my favourite summer recipes I got from a dietician at our grocery store. Take 1-2 cans of chicpeas and rinse them. Toss them in a bowl with a good sized grated carrot, a good handful (around 1 cup, maybe) of chopped cucumber, a chopped pepper or two (I often use a combination of red, orange, or yellow ones), chopped feta cheese (again, around a cup?), 2-3 chopped green onions, and a good handful (10-15) of mint leaves -- chopped up. Mix 1/2 lemon juice and 1/2 olive oil together. (I use maybe 1/2 cup of each). Add 1 tsp cumin and 1 tsp honey. Mix together and pour over the salad. This salad usually lasts us about 5 days in the fridge and Dave, Sam, and I all love it.

I wish I had some of this now. It's one of my favourite salads!

9) Parades, fireworks, or cook outs?

I hate fireworks with a passion (thanks to living in a war zone -- read more about that here if you want), so I will definitely go for cook outs for this one. There's not much tastier than a meal cooked mainly on the BBQ.

10) Show us your red, white, and blue!

While Canadians tend to wear red and white (our national colours) for Canada Day, I don't think there are specific colours associated with Victoria Day. It's not a holiday celebrating our country, or England, in the same way.

Thank you for reading about our Canadian traditions. And thank you to Holly and Patty for letting me fit these questions to my non-American tradition. Not that I asked them if I could, which maybe I should have :)

To all my American readers, I hope you have a good Memorial Day long weekend!

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Not Just A Mom: Day In The Life Weekend Edition

A couple of months ago, the "Not Just A Mom" bloggers wrote about a Day In The Life, Weekend Edition. I was going to blog that week but a) it snowed a whole ton the day I was going to blog about so we spent most of our time shoveling (which would have been very boring) and b) we went on vacation five days later and I ran out of time. So I decided to document two Saturdays ago, which ended up being ridiculously busy. Ooops. Continue reading to see what I/we got up to this day.

I woke up around 8:45 and got a load of laundry going. I didn't think I'd have much laundry to do this day, but (spoiler alert), I was wrong.

Then I convinced Dave that it was nice enough to enjoy morning coffee outside. I carry Kleenex with me everywhere these days, thanks to stupid allergies.

The first load of laundry was a rather large coloured load. Hanging laundry out is one of my favourite things to do! (I realize I claim a lot of things are "my favourite thing to do." It's because they all are! -- hahahaha!!!)

Next, I did some menu planning and grocery list making outside. On nice days, I just want to be outside all the time! I love it so much!

Part of Rachel's dance show (although not the pieces she was dancing in) were based on Mamma Mia, so Rachel wanted to watch the movie. And of course, I got sucked in to0. This is such a fun movie!

After the movie was done it was around 11am, Dave drove Sam to badminton and went to an event at the synagogue, and I convinced Rachel to join me outside. I went through some schoolwork of Rachel's, ate a bagel for breakfast (I can never eat first thing when I wake up), and did some yard work. Rachel knit (a skill she learned at school) and also did some yardwork.

At noon, I walked to badminton to pick up Sam. I admired a neighbour's tulips and Sam and I walked through the cemetery.

When I got home, I admired the yard work I'd completed (HAHAHA!!!), heated up lunch for myself (eaten outside of course!), and supervised the kids while they made their lunches. We only had about 40 minutes between getting home from badminton and heading out again. Also, I am attempting to drink more water (flavoured with lime juice) and this meme made me laugh. A lot. It's so true!!!

The kids had a Jr Youth event and they had to meet at a certain LRT station. So we decided to take the LRT to the station, and then Dave and I were going to walk some errands on the way home. Well, it turned out we met two of the Jr Youth sponsors on the LRT so we handed Sam and Rachel over to them and got off a stop early so we could start our errands sooner. (And save ourselves a little bit of walking.) We went to the library, the bank, Starbucks, and the liquor store so we got everything essential done. Hahahaha!

We got home around 3 and I started folding laundry, while drinking a Coke, and listening to the Jays' game. It was such a great afternoon!

Around 3:45, Dave went to pick the kids up, and drop off our friends' child, I moved inside with the Jays' game, put away dishes, washed more dishes, and did the early stages of grilled cheese prep.

The kids got home, I folded more laundry, we ate supper, and I ironed my skirt.

Then it was time to do Rachel's hair for dance. We always apply the hair spray outside or downstairs, since she needs so much of it!

We took a few pictures with our dancer before the show. The show started at 6:30 and ended around 10. Rachel danced for approximately seven minutes of it. Hahahaha!!! After the show, our volunteer commitment was to clean up the changerooms so we didn't get home until about 11pm. I was t-i-r-e-d.

After a long day, and over 17,000 steps, I was more than ready to crawl into bed with my book.

And that was our way too busy weekend day in the life. On Sunday, I basically sat on my butt and read all day to recuperate! Thanks for reading and you can check out the original link up at Sarah's blog here.