Wednesday, June 29, 2016

What's up Wednesday- June 2016

This morning, I'm a bit sad as my brother left Canada. Nil, with my sister in law and nephew) came to Canada last year just around this time to complete a year long fellowship (he's an opthalmologist) at a Toronto hospital. The seven of us went on many little adventures in this past year. We explored Toronto, got to do little day trips, had many chill weekends, explored different restaurants and had lots of late night chats. 

This is the first time in 12 years I've had my immediate family live so close to us and it has been a joy. To say I will miss them a lot is the understatement of the year! The love and support that they have given us in this year of moving and the broken bone has been overwhelming. It has been a privilege and a pleasure to spend so much time with them. At the same time, I'm so thrilled for them that they get to go back home to Trinidad and begin life there again. It'll be an exciting year for them and I can't wait to see what the future holds both personally and professionally for their little family of three... soon to be four :-)

Now onto some catch up.

What we're eating this week?
My mom is here to help me as I recover so there is lots of Trinidadian home-cooking going on. And she's been baking home-made coconut bread. And she's bought lots of Ferrero Rocher. Oh and my brother just discovered 99c Frostees. Can you tell I've fallen off the clean eating band-wagon?

What I'm reminiscing about
This past year with my brother and his family being here and the fun we had. It all started off with a July 1st BBQ (he makes the best BBQ).

What I'm loving
It's C's last day of school today.
+That my mom is here and right after that D is on vacay for a week! Bring on the summer.
+Cassia is getting to be such a strong swimmer and A is really coming along as well- I'm loving our 16 year old swimming instructor. 
+That the kids are pooling almost every day.
+That I'm seeing improvements in my collarbone-- I really, really hope that the bone is fusing so there will be no surgery involved.
+ that a friend is coming to take me to lunch today.

What we've been up to…
Lots of family time before my brother left, pool time and pool snacking! I've not ventured out too, too much these past few weeks with my arm but we've loved all the little trips and family time. First my in laws came back to help me out again and then my parents did.

What I'm dreading…
Not getting to work out as much as before the broken collarbone-- it will be a long road. 
Oh and how much Cassia is getting dark in the sun-- girlfriend does not wear enough sunscreen when I'm not around.

What I'm working on
Getting our summer schedules finalised.
Sorting out stuff at home. Tons of little projects on the go! 
Unpacking about 5 bags of stuff my sister in law gave me from moving!

What I'm excited about…
Napa in August. 10th wedding anniversary time!

What I'm watching/reading…
My new book by Emily Giffin got delivered to my Kindle this morning! I've taken a little peek and it seems to be a great read. I also need to watch the last episode of Season 2 of Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce. Oh and the Bachelorette sometimes.

What I'm listening to..
The Google Play app and Here To Make Friends- this HuffPost podcast that recaps the Bachelorette- though I'm totally not feeling this season!

What I'm wearing…
My sling! Lots and lots of swing dresses. With the collarbone, it was very hard to move my arm initially so swing dresses were so easy to throw on and SO comfy. Oh and these studs for just a bit of detail. 

What I'm doing this weekend…
It's  the July long weekend-- our holiday, Canada Day, is July 1st so we are off to a neighbour's party. We also have friends coming over the day after. Throw some outings and some pool time and there you have it!

What I'm looking forward to next month..
Darin and the girls being off for the summer! 
A's flamingo party
Lots of playdates and pool time. 
Beautiful weather.  

What else is new?
My mom leaves tomorrow and I'm really hoping that my grandma, my aunt and cousin come to visit!
Summer camp season and lots of fun!! 

What are your favourite Fourth of July Traditions?
Well seeing as I'm from Canada there aren't too many. The few times I've visited, we done family time, BBQs and fireworks. Oh and one time I went to DC for the 4th of July- It was SO exciting! 

 Linking up with the lovely Mel, Shay and Shaeffer

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Favourite Summer Salads

We eat lots of salads around here all year round. Yeah there's the standard recipe of protein, baby spinach, veggies, nuts and fruit tossed with some vinaigrette which I use lots but I like to mix it up ever so often.  Here are just a few of my favourite different light summer salads, light, healthy and super easy to put together. 

This parmesan kale salad is pretty light--- with the exception of a few parmesan shavings. The dates and nuts add lots of sweetness and crunch.

I make this cilantro chicken pasta salad all the time every summer! It's one of our family's favourites around here and I use wheat pasta and throw in a pepper or two to make it just a little bit healthier. 

Photo courtesy all recipes

This summer quinoa salad is crunchy and flavourful for lunch. And has SO much veggies. Throw in some protein for a heartier, healthy dinner.

summer quinoa salad

 My sister in law made this Mexican bean salad one time and we just about went crazy over it. Beans, veggies and cilantro in a vinaigrette- yes please! It makes a whole lot and is also a great side for a BBQ.   
Photo courtesy All Recipes

What are your go-to summer salad recipes. Linking up with Shelly and Katy today for Spiel The Beans!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Five Friday Favourites

Happy Friday, folks!! Here are a few random favourites from this week.

1- I've just printed and started organising A's flamingo pool party. The 'vision' (and I use that word very loftily) started with a $10 Chapter's gift card and this float.

flamingo party

Then I fell in love with this invitation

flamingo party

And now there are lollipops and a cookie cutter. 

I'm at a loss for pool party favours though. In the past couple years, I've tended to do just one bigger spend item- I'm kind of done with giving and getting all the tiny trinkets and trash as party favours that end up being SO much money. I've done buckets and pails one year and sunglasses the other year, both of which would have been perfect for this year's pool party. Any suggestions?

2- My mom is here to visit and help me out in my time of need. Yay for all the help, the cooking, the chats and the QT!

3- I finished this last Elin book in just three days--- another light summery read chockful of all the complex characters and interesting minutae that I find so very entertaining. #nojudgementzone 

4- And these little ladies just finished up gymnastics for the season! 

5- A belated Mother's Day present from my D is my new favourite. It's been a long time since I carried around a wallet, preferring a small cross body wallet/bag instead. I'm going bigger again and this is the first step… now to find a bag!

Hope everyone's weekend is amazing!! One's done with school and the other has only three days again.  We are in full on summer mode here beginning with an invite to a pool party with a Hollywood Glam dress code-- if anyone knows how to combine those two in an outfit, please help a girl out!! 

Linking up with 
AndreaErika and Narci for Favourites on Friday
Amy for Hey Friday
Amanda for Friday Favourites


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday- Flowers, flowers everywhere

A little mommy and me walk with my sweet girl checking out the flowers in our new neighbourhood..
Ontario flowers

Ontario flowers

Ontario flowers
girl on hill

Pretty flowers

Pretty flowers

At this point, we might have been trespassing-- my neighbour is often featured in horticultural magazines for her beautiful blooms. 

Pretty flowers

Ontario flowers
Ontario flowers

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Orange Berry Bread


I haven't been trying new recipes these days, what with the broken collarbone and all. Slowly though, very slowly it's beginning to heal. This weekend, I found a recipe in my Vitamix cookbook and ventured  to tweak and try it.


2 cups of flour (I usually mix half whole wheat and half white)
1 tsp of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
2 tbsp of melted butter
1/4 cup of water
2/3 cup of sugar
1 orange peeled and quartered
1 egg
1 inch strip of orange zest
1 cup of fresh/frozen berries (I used a mixture of blueberry and strawberry)

1- Preheat oven to 325 and grease a metal loaf pan
2- Combine the first three ingredients

2- Add melted butter, water, sugar, orange and zest  into your blender (I used my Vitamix) until totally pureed.

3- Slowly add the wet to the dry ingredients ( this was the part I got major help with, no one wants me to re-break my collarbone making some bread)

5- Fold in the berries

6- Pour into pan and bake for 60 minutes or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean. 

The end result, a light summer bread just bursting with brightness and flavour. Perfect with a cup of coffee or tea!

What are your favourite home-made breads?
Linking up with Beth and some other lovelies for Tuesday Talk.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Father's Day Weekend 2016

And just like that it turned into Monday! Here's a few snapshots from our weekend. 
On Friday, the girls and I were solo so we did swim lessons, ate leftovers, had a blind-folded taste test and watched The Princess Diaries.
 On Saturday:
+ a friend came to visit and help me out for a few days and was showing us how to tie a scarf around the kids (hands free indeed)
+ we ran errands and bought Father's Day gifts
+ I tried the 'pink drink'- we don't have strawberry acai in Canada so I subbed hibiscus berry. It really wasn't all that
+ C had her first book signed by an author.
+ D got his new bike
+ the girls went to a movie with my friend so D and I  headed to a patio for sangrias and appies
+ I made an orange berry bread- D did all the stirring

On Sunday:
+ we opened presents-- lego for the win
+ the orange bread was an awesome light breakfast
+ we headed to the Cambridge Mill for a champagne brunch-- oysters and crab legs for the win-- I always get my money's worth
+ C and I went for a nice  sweaty walk
+ we swam in the sweltering heat and drank some mojitos

Happy Monday, friends!

Linking up with  Biana

Friday, June 17, 2016

Favourites on Fri-yay

HAPPY FRIDAY! Here are a few of our faves from this week.


We've gotten a local neighbourhood teenager who is a swim instructor to come a few times a week to teach the girls some swimming- a half an hour for each girl. Cass can already swim a bit but we're working on her technique! A needs all the help she can get. Only problem is that girlfriend gets so cold so fast so we've been having to teach her for fifteen minutes, take her out to warm her up for 1/2 an hour while C goes in and send her back in.

Mega Duplo

We are all about the Lego here these days. Cass is doing an Angry Birds one and A is obsessed with her mega duplo creative picnic. She can play for an hour with it-- and it comes in a box so she can toss stuff in it store it after. Grape and ketchup sandwiches, anyone?


My mom gifted me some bedding for our new king size bed (the  house came with a king size bed frame) in January and my mom brought it for us last month. It's from West Elm when they had their huge begging and although the quilt at the bottom is accidentally twin sized, I'm loving the clean, calm look-- I'm thinking some sort of small textured pillow to complete the look.

Family Love

Well my in laws are leaving today (cue the ugly cry). They've helped so much since the collarbone incident and we will be forever grateful! The girls have loved spending all this time with them... think sugar and sleepovers for three weeks straight! A friend is coincidentally visiting from the US for a couple days and then my mom will be here for about 9 days! So happy for the help.

Magic Eraser Magic

 Since I'm home more these days, I'm doing all these little long overdue projects like washing winter coats, scrubbing lunch bags and going crazy with my magic eraser.... FYI, great on shoes and boots to give them a fresh look.

Happy weekending, friends! And to all the dads out there, especially my dad, father in law, brothers, and of course sweet, sweet D who has pinch hitted me out so, so much these past few weeks, have a wonderful Father's Day!

Linking up with 

AndreaErika and Narci for Favourites on Friday

Amy for Hey Friday

Amanda for Friday Favourites

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