Monday, July 31, 2023

Saskatchewan Skies And Super Sand Dunes

I mentioned last week that while we were in Saskatchewan we did a little road trip. My parents rented a huge van and we drove to southwestern Saskatchewan to Maple Creek. We visited Cypress Hills, the Great Sand Hills, Fort Walsh, and Scotty, the T Rex at Eastend. So today I'm taking you on the first day. Just be warned, I LOVE the never ending skies and fields of Saskatchewan so I took A LOT of pictures!

I was so happy that we were in Saskatchewan while the canola was blooming. It was brilliant yellow and this is one of my favourite views.

Some people think Saskatchewan is too flat to be interesting but I just love how you can see forever and see so much sky.

More canola fields but this time with a bale in the foreground!

Every small town used to have grain elevators but you rarely see them anymore so I had to capture these two giants in a small town we drove by.

My mom and dad packed food for the whole trip and our first stop was for a picnic lunch in a small town. They had this huge chair so our whole family posed on it. This was in Leader, Saskatchewan, if you want to try and follow our trip.

Rachel loved the burrowing owls and Sam loved the Kangraroo rats. To each their own!

On the way to our final destination we stopped at the Great Sand Hills. These are in southern Saskatchewan and it's a 1,900 square kilometre (750 square miles) active, desert-like sand dunes. It was very windy and the sand dunes are constantly shifting. What is so interesting is that they are surrounded by prairie and ranch land.

The kids loved running all over them and sliding down them and climbing up them.

It seriously looks like the desert in the middle of the prairies. So cool!
Dave and I had fun posing for some unique pictures! Can you believe we're on the prairies?!?!

Can you see me in the middle, far away?! I was trying to get a perspective of how big they were.
After the Sand Hills, we drove the rest of the way to our final destination. We stayed in a great hotel in a small town. One thing to note is that over four days we drove 1,300 kilometres (800 miles) because we were fairly far south and things were very spread out.

I loved this day of road tripping and seeing some very different, and unique, places.

Friday, July 28, 2023

Monthly Musings: Summer Fashion

The reason I'm a day late with this link up is because you all know I'm not a fashion person. But then I read some of the other posts in the link up and realized that it's really all about sharing who we are. And so I'm linking up with Holly at Pink Lady and Patty at Good, Better, Best for one of my favourite posts of the month, Monthly Musings. Just be warned (yet again): In case you haven't figured it out yet, I'm not a fashion person :)

1) Favourite summer outfit?

A few summers ago, I bought myself a pair of denim shorts because Rachel was wearing them all the time and I wanted them. I love my denim shorts and am seriously considering getting another pair because I wear them so much. I love shorts, a fun graphic t-shirt, and sunglasses.

Some of my favourite t-shirts are pictured below:
2) Favourite summer footwear?
My favourite shoes to wear in summer are ones I can wear without socks but yet walk forever in. The past few years I've gotten into Sketchers and now I have three pairs. It helps that my mom keeps buying pairs which she doesn't like and passing them on to me. I love that I can throw these in the washer when they get dirty and I can walk forever in them and my feet never hurt.
3) What summer accessories are you wearing on repeat?
Well, I love having a fun drink in my hand or eating an ice cream cone!
Oh, is that not what you meant by "accessories"?!?! :) I bought the bracelets below from a neighbourhood teen who was making them a few years ago and I love wearing them as a stack. She customized them for me and I love the bright colours.

4) What do you use for a summer bag?
Again, I'm so boring. I will get a bag and use it for a few years. Then I will usually get another one and use that. The past few years I've carried this purse which my best friend crocheted for me for my birthday. Funnily enough, I've carried it for a few years now but suddenly in June, I was getting all sorts of compliments on it.
It's not as long as it looks in this picture because I was carrying too much stuff in it here.
5) What summer scents are you wearing?
I never wear perfume so I probably just smell like sweat (summer real life) or my body wash which is lavender and honey.  
6) Maxi dress? Romper? Jumpsuit?
Again, I don't like any of these options. I did find a fun maxi skirt earlier this summer and I've really enjoyed wearing it. I wish I liked maxi dresses (or looked good in them) but I just haven't found one which works for me yet.
7) Favourite summer sunglasses?
I currently have a pair which I bought at Old Navy a few years ago. I don't know what brand they are but I'm excited that I haven't scratched them up or lost them yet!
8) Favourite summer PJs?
I love the patterned shorts from Joe Fresh and this year I discovered tank tops from Old Navy to go with them. I browsed on their websites last night and I like the sets I came up with below.

Image number 4 showing, Scoop-Neck Rib-Knit First Layer Tank Top for Women  Image number 4 showing, Scoop-Neck Rib-Knit First Layer Tank Top for Women

 Sleep Short Sleep Short

9) Do you wear white after Labour Day?

The only white I wear is my white t-shirt, and yes, I wear it after Labour Day.

10) Favourite summer fashion trend right now?

This assumes I know what the fashion trends are!!! I could probably ask Rachel what's in right now but I seriously don't know.

So there's my hot take (because it's summer, get it?!?!?) on fashion right now. If you're looking for me, I'm hanging out in my shorts and t-shirts and wishing I had somewhere to wear a dress! Next Monthly Musings we're talking about Back to School Shopping, Prepping, and Meal Planning and I am all over that one!

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

What's Up Wednesday: July 2023

Phew! July has been a whirlwind!!! We started out the month with lots of family visiting, then we headed off to Saskatchewan for over two weeks to hang out with my parents, and this week I'm trying to catch up on life (laundry, yard work, errands) while Rachel is volunteering at dance camp. Summer is crazy, but in the best of ways :)

As always on the last Wednesday of the month, I'm linking up with Shay at Mix and Match Mama and Sheaffer at Sheaffer Told Me Too for their What's Up Wednesday post.

image from here
What we're eating this week... We're trying to figure out what to eat this week since it's the week after vacation and we ate so well at Mom and Dad's. So we're having regular things like tacos and CSA & BBQ and stir fry. But I'm going to reminisce a little bit about what we ate at my parents' house since they always cook all our very favourites, plus we get Mom's fresh garden veggies.

My mom made Saskatoon Berry pie just for me and I ate it one morning for breakfast. Also, my dad made milkshakes many nights from fresh raspberries (the best!) or strawberries or mangoes.

My mom made my childhood favourite meal of warenky (pronounced "ve-ren-e-key"; very similar to a perogy but with just cottage cheese), cream gravy, fried onions, and farmer's sausage. Also, she made pflinzen (similar to a crepe) and I enjoyed them with mangoes and brown sugar.

Here's a BBQ & CSA meal at home. I steamed yellow beans and then attempted to make a Greek salad similar to what my mom had served. And a local flower farmer was selling bouquets at pick up so I got one of those as well!

What I'm reminiscing about... We got to watch my cousins' son play volleyball this past weekend (see below for more information on that) so I'm reminiscing about when we lived closer to him and previous times we've hung out with this family.
On the left is P meeting Rachel and on the right is P giving Sam a ride on his toy quad.
P really loved Rachel. My lasting memory is that he taught her to clap on Easter Sunday. 
Left: We got to visit with P and his older brother, J, in August 2016 and (right) again in August 2019.

What I'm loving... I've gotten to hang out with so many of my cousins and their kids this month and I have been LOVING all the cousin (and second cousin) time! It's been soooo great. My cousins are spread out across the country (from British Columbia to Ontario) so I don't get to see many of them all that often.
Left: me with some of my cousins (from BC and Alberta) on my mom's side; Right: Cousins, spouses, and second cousins on my dad's side when we were in Saskatchewan. (I just noticed I wore my pineapple shirt both times -- oops!)

What we've been up to... Some of my cousins came to Ontario for a visit so most of the family in Ontario got to spend a lot of time together. We went to a Blue Jays game, had a gathering at my aunt's, and hosted some of the second cousins for an impromptu sleepover.

Then we flew to Saskatchewan for a few weeks to see my parents. While there, we saw more family and went on a road trip to southern Saskatchewan. I'll be blogging more about that next week.

We got home this past Saturday and went to see my cousins' son play in a big volleyball tournament out of town on Sunday, so we hit the ground running.

This week I'm trying to get Sam ready for a week away at camp, get Rachel and I ready for an adventure (more on that below), and trying to catch up on laundry, yard work, and seeing some friends. 

What I'm dreading... I'll write more about this below but Rachel and I need to get up at 4am this coming Monday and I'm kind of dreading that... Ugh.

What I'm working on... Yard work. Our yard needs a lot of help after two weeks away and a lot of rain. I'm weeding, dead heading, and generally trying to get on top of things.
Also, a year ago today, we were in Paris at the start of our summer vacation and I want to work on the photo book for that trip since I haven't done it yet. 

What I'm excited about... This summer, each kid has a week on their own at sleep away camp. I told the other kid that I would take them somewhere (within reason -- we're not crossing oceans here!) on a "mom and kid trip." Rachel and I are headed out next week and Sam and I are going later in August. Each trip is pretty different but I'm super excited about both of them! Plus, I'm looking forward to one on one time with each kid. So that's what I'm excited about!!!

Also, I told each child that this was not going to be happening every summer so their expectations aren't too high for future years :)
What I'm watching/reading... When we couldn't watch my cousins' son play volleyball in person, it was livestreamed so we watch a lot of that in Saskatchewan. It was really fun!
Here I am making raspberry jam and watching volleyball!

As for reading, I'm reading a variety of books now that it's summer. The two I'm currently going between are these ones:
What I'm listening to... Silence. This week Dave is working, Sam is sleeping in until noon (teenagers!), and Rachel is volunteering at dance camp so it's been very quiet around here.

What I'm wearing... While we were in Saskatchewan, my mom gave me a pair of emerald studs she doesn't wear anymore. So for the first time in ages, I have earrings in both my holes. Also, my parents gave Rachel a bunnyhug (Saskatchewan term for "hoodie") for Christmas from a local store and so we stopped there and I got this amazing t-shirt!

What I'm doing this weekend... Getting Sam ready to go to camp, getting Rachel and I packed for our trip, and hopefully fitting in some more yard work and maybe even a trip to the pool... We haven't been there very much this summer and I miss it.
What I'm looking forward to next month... I'm looking forward to the trips with the kids. On Sam's trip we get to see some more family plus we're going somewhere I've never been so I'm really excited about it!!!

What I bought on Amazon... Nothing. I've been buying all my things on Expedia lately :) Hahahahaha!!!

What else is new... I think that's everything. I'm just trying to soak up all these lovely summer days where I don't have to work. I have three and a half weeks of summer break left and I am determined to make the most of it!

Happy Wednesday! If you've done a trip with just you and one of your children, please let me know if you have any advice! I'm both excited and nervous to travel with just one kid and have no experience doing anything like this so your thoughts are more than welcome...