Friday, June 14, 2019

Books Lately

Yay for Friday! This gorgeous, sometimes sunny, sometimes rainy weather is just perfect for all the reading I've been doing lately... Here are just a few of my recent reads. 

Where the Crawdads Sing by [Owens, Delia]

 So I drank the blogger Kool Aid and read Where the Crawdads Sing. Well actually, I listened to it. A quiet town in North Carolina, a "Marsh Girl" who basically raised herself and a murder that she is being blamed for.  The writing was very detailed, I found myself in the marsh, on the edge of my seat for many parts and felt all the feels for this orphan. The ending blew me away as well. Very surprising.

The Hopefuls: A novel by [Close, Jennifer]

THis book and the author's style of writing was akin to Judy Blume, one of my favourite authors of all time. I immediately put her other two books on hold in the library. It's set in the city, focused on and around the time of the Obama campaign and two aspirational politicians and their wives. The author really captured the hopefulness of the entire Obama campaign- I'd recently read Becoming and it really did read the same way. I thought it was brilliant, detailed, nuanced, realistic and complicated!

Fly Away: A Novel by [Hannah, Kristin]

When perusing Amazon, I realised that Kristin Hannah was a very highly author whose books I'd never read. This one  was about family and friends dealing with the early death of  a mom and the damaging years that followed. I couldn't read all of it at one time. It was emotionally complex, heart wrenching and eventually hopeful. 

A Nantucket Wedding: A Novel by [Thayer, Nancy]

I really needed a lighter read after the previous one,  so this one by Nancy Thayer totally did the job! A marriage, a blended family, lots of beach fun, summer eats-- a quick read that gave me all the summer feels!!!

One Plus One: A Novel by [Moyes, Jojo]

This novel by Jojo Moyes was another great one. Two totally opposite people whose lives-- well, they kinda suck-- they get together on a road trip with two teenagers en tow and a smelly dog. Funny, relatable and an unlikely love story with dips and turns along the way, this was another good one.

What's been on your bookshelf lately? 

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

How has your life surprised you?

On a Cup of Jo, the topic was How Has Your Life Surprised You? This got me thinking... as a teen chatting with my high school girlfriends, we had all these earnest and lofty plans for ourselves... Where would our lives take us? Of course each of us would meet the love of our life (some of us thought we did already-- spoiler alert, we were wrong). Would there be kids? We'd all end up with wonderful careers... and balance it all. If my teen self had a look into the future though... just a few things would surprise her...

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First off, though I was never consumed with the mortality of my parents and can't imagine life without them , I'm so happy that my parents are here and so healthy still. My parents both lost at least one of their parents when they were young adults. At my age, my dad had lost both of his. I am thrilled that my kids get to experience all of their grandparents... something I was never fortunate enough to have.

My teen self would have been surprised to see where my academic/professional life has taken me. I loved accounting  and wanted to pursue it but the accounting program at University wasn't really recognised so I studied Management studies with a focus on HR. I sort of fell into Marketing as it was the first job offered to me out of University and stuck with it through my MBA and then my career after. Was it my life passion though? Though it was a whole lot of fun, I'd have to say no. When I decided to leave the corporate world, I was totally okay with it. So much so that recently when my old manager asked if she could recommend me for a job that she was leaving in our field, I was inclined to say no. And now, I'm back into accounting... slowly trekking along... on a totally part time basis but I really do love it. 

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I would also be surprised at how independent I am. I know... adulting is independence. But I grew up with my dad taking care of lots in our house. Now, I feel that I'm the one to do a whole lot of heavy lifting as well-- figuring out plumbing technicalities, car stuff, travel insurance, the health of four people, legal matters and a bunch of other stuff. I'd like to say that I kind of  rock at this adulting... some days anyways. 

As a teen, I was super skinny... so my teen self would be surprised that I'm not scrawny anymore. Ha!I was a weakling though-- my phs-ed grade was never my highest. That being said, teen me would also be surprised with how fitness is a huge part of my life with me aiming to exercise five days a week-- and most weeks crushing it. I may not be a super model, but I am strong, fitter than I've ever been and I can crush a tuck jump. 

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I'd also be stunned to know that we made our home in Canada... a place I'd never even been to before D and I started dated. And to tell you the truth, I didn't really love it when I came-I thought it was cold, sterile, I had no family and not a lot of friends and I missed my homeland of Trinidad so very much. Fast forward many years and I love how full life is with the family life us four have cultivated, the friendships we've developed in our little city and how we've made our house a home. 

What would also thrill me beyond all belief is that I have daughters. Growing up with brothers and male cousins and not always a whole lot of estrogen, I craved a daughter but always thought I'd have a son. In my heart of hearts, I wanted two girls and I'm so thrilled (and a little shell shocked ) that I'm blessed with two. 

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Life isn't always how we planned but sometimes it can be even better though the journey was hard. 
So tell me now, what in your life would surprise the younger you? What would (s)he say about it all?

Monday, June 10, 2019

Weekend Fun!

Happy Monday, friends!!! We had beautiful weather and we certainly made the most of it... This weekend, here's a snapshot of our shenanigans.

+ Went to our friends' house for a swim, dinner and the Raptors game!! It did not disappoint! We the North.

+ Celebrated National Donut Day

+ also celebrated National Rose Day... a day early.

+ went to an MBA friend's son's backyard birthday bash! So great seeing so many of my Ivey friends and colleagues again... and we'll be meeting up again next month. 

+ The kids swam again!

+ I read until almost midnight and loved every minute of it.

+ Woke up this am and finished my book.

+ Did laundry, prepped lunches and did some furniture adjusting outside! 

+ A headed to her old school's picnic with her bestie from last year. 

+  Visited our friends in Listowel for some evening fun. We hung out in the backyard, used their ATV, chatted with some other friends who we hadn't seen in almost seven years and ate Trini food. 

+ Came home and cleaned the kitchen because #priorities.

And now it's Monday, but yay for June and only three more weeks left of school!

Friday, June 7, 2019

Kinda summer and kinda outdoor tips from a somewhat outdoor person.

I was listening to a podcast the other day and the topic was outdoors! And what type of outdoor person you are.... Are you an adventurer? If you had a choice, would you spend all your waking hours outside? Are outdoor sports or  camping your idea of a good time? Or are you like most of my (extended ) family and prefer the AC, indoor activities and not too much sunshine.

Summer is my jam.... I love the patio season: the warmth, the sunshine, the good moods, the grilling, the flip flops, the fashion and the flowers! But here's the deal. I like easy summer fun! Anything that requires loads of pre-planning or work to 'get there' is not my idea of fun. I'm okay with sticky and sweaty but not mosquitos and outhouses. Fresh air is awesome, so is a good walk but you won't see me going on a daytime backpacking trip anytime soon. Give me a spritzer, some good music and a little sunshine and I'm a happy camper--- who has seriously never actually been camping (ha!)... except for that time we did it in our back yard.

Anyways, here are a few things we do to make the most of gorgeous weather.

1- Parks are awesome and we try to vary it quite a bit with different venues. However, as my kids are getting older, dare I say they are outgrowing parks. It's nice to vary it a bit by maybe bringing a different thing sometimes-- maybe a ball, a frisbee or some bubbles to add something new to the experience.

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2- Sunscreen, baseball caps and water bottles to keep hydrated and cool through it all. 

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3- Keep updated on different festivals and things to do in your area. We've discovered so many different things in and around our area like rib festivals and bunkerfest. There's a berry picking farm in our area that we love to go to! 

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4- For those bugs, area sprays are awesome in addition to mosquito repellant.

5- When entertaining, keep it simple. No need to make multiple course meals and complicated cocktails. Do what you can before and then enjoy your company when they get here... ( I don't always follow this advice)
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6- Relax with the rules: my kids eat a bit more sugar and go to sleep just a bit later in the summer time!! Also, we take time as adults in the house. At one time, I was entertaining almost everyday pool side... We've stopped that big time now. 

7- Mix it up... some weekends are busier than others but it's nice to get some time at home with a whole lotta nothing to just chill (or catch up on laundry or projects in my case). We also mix up those play-dates with different friends and to different places. Also, make some time for the adults only.

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8-  D always love to walk on the "shady side of the street". Ha! Makes a huge difference in the sweltering heat. 

9- Make it fun, educational and observational for you and your kids. We look at different flowers and plants and discuss our favourites! If we go on a roadtrip, we all like to learn about the place we're heading to. Sidenote, D and I check the architecture out and cool houses that we like. 

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10- Push yourself outside your comfort zone! For the sake of the family, ha! Yeah I've never been camping before but when we camped in our backyard-- I'm like maybe one of these good days with the right company I could do this camping thing. Also, I don't really like a big mess but I turn a blind eye to the chalk paint, the outdoor slime and the mud pies... 

Are you an indoor or outdoor person? What outdoor tips do you have to share with me?

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