Thursday, July 2, 2020

Last Day of School

Hello there!! It's a week late but here are our last day of school photos. I say this ironically as I am thinking between the Ontario Teacher's Strike and the quarantine, my kids have spent about 40% of the school year at home. 





Let's take a moment to observe how this young lady has GROWN this year, definitely physically but also mentally and emotionally (not an easy feat for a pre-teen). She is still in French Immersion in a 5/6 split. We scored with having her first grade teacher now become her fifth grade teacher as well. This lady brings out the very best in our girl. She inspires them to think critically and act responsibly. This year C was introduced to Canadian politics and we loved listening to her thoughts and strong feelings on who we should vote for (sidenote, she swayed both of us). She enjoys learning and researching different projects. Distance learning first proved to be a challenge for her as she  didn't realise that there was actual accountability for her work but slowly she began to understand and then would buckle down to her assignments at 9 am. Her grades are wonderful and she has very strong ideas on lots of different world issues. She enjoys hanging out with the boys in her class more than the girls as girls are complicated .

C is sweet, diligent, calm and respectful. I am proud to be her mom and aspire to be more like her. 







A is in Grade 2 French Immersion and she is in a split 2/3 class this year. She has an English and a French teacher. Her French teacher is one of my very favourites and she taught C in Grade 3. We are thrilled that she is in our childrens' lives again. She knows my kids well and she understands A and how she works--- aka rushes through her work. A loves math, math games and mental math but doesn't understand why she needs to go through all the work when she can do it in her head. She is in an enrichment math program and loves her time with that teacher-- mostly because he rewards them with snacks and stickers. A is also a strong reader but doesn't really enjoy reading like her sister and I do.... The My Weird School series and I are working on changing that this summer. 


Just like her sister,  smarts come easy to A but she needs to check over her work and not rush through stuff as she is beginning to make some careless mistakes. She has asked me to learn cursive and enjoys lots of art and origami. She is also a list maker like her mama. Home schooling got a whole lot easier when she got a list every morning. Most of her report was incomplete as it was hard for them to assess the younger ones but what she was graded on she did well! A is easily frustrated and a little sassy. She learns very quickly, follows through and she is strong in her will and ideas. I must confess, she did me in a little when it came to distance learning... some days were loooong.



Can you tell one of us is happier than the others?


Cheers to the summer, kiddos!!


Wednesday, June 24, 2020

What's up Wednesday- June 2020


, What’s Up Wednesday {04.29.20}

Yes to June! Warm weather, kids finishing school, family fun and a whole lot of nothingness in the near future.


What we're eating this week:

Eating healthy-ish... 

Monday: asparagus, shrimp/crab cakes and a nectarine/basil mozzarella salad. And pasta for the kids

Tuesday: chicken, stuffed mushrooms, zucchini fries and cauliflower salad

Wednesday: turkey wings and salad

Thursday: veggie burgers

Friday: my kids want Wendy's for the last day of school. I'll figure out something for myself. 

Weekends will be time on the grill, some tacos and maybe one set of takeout


Pictured: home made poke from last Friday--- it was so delicious!




What I'm reminiscing about:

Summers that were packed. A part of me is looking forward to a quiet, productive but lazy summer at home but another part....


What I'm dreading:

These days I have FOGO (Fear of Going Out) and FOMO all combined into one as so many people go back to a somewhat normal life. It's a tricky one for sure hahaha! 


What I'm loving:

My garden is slowly showing up for me and I'm here for it!!






What we've been up to

Finishing up our school year... at home! This has been a year for my kids, that's for sure. I'll provide an end of year synopsis really soon. 



What I'm working on

Back yard stuff. We gutted the hot tub (we got it with the house as-is and it was unfixable). Now we are rethinking the backyard and wanting a little bit of a refresh. 


What I'm excited about

We are eating a lot of farm to table these days. Between a weekly delivery of a CSA box from Thames River Melons and specials at a local grocery, the quality of the produce is really exquisite and it's making us experiment with different things like baby beets and baby zucchini (I made fries out of them in the air fryer). 


What I'm watching/reading

Our family is getting into both America's Got Talent and World of Dance. 


Re: reading, our local library has opened for pickups only and I have a bunch of stuff to read... All beachy, summer stuff. I also just finished the latest Elin Hilderbrand and Emily Giffin books... both of which were page-turners. 


What I'm listening to:

Podcasts during my walks and runs. 


What I'm wearing:

Summer gear and Gym wear. My very fave F45 has started outdoor boot camps so I've been going to a few. 8 people per class, spaced very far apart with the instructors. Also, my friends and I have been going for long, socially distant walks--- good to squeeze a workout in and also for the soul. 




What I'm doing this weekend

Same as the last few weekends. We might have some family friends over for some takeout and pool time but we're not sure yet. We haven't had people over since March with the exception of a couple neighbours outside for a BYOB. It will be a new undertaking and entertaining is not as it was before....


What else is new:

Father's Day was filled with lots of outdoor time for this guy! A picnic by the river, walks, sushi and lots of sunshine








This girl takes her Kindle everywhere...











Have a great week, friends!



 Linking up with  Shay and Shaeffer








Friday, June 19, 2020

Friday Favourites

Yay for the weekend and the second to last week of school. We are DONE over here-- figuratively and mentally!!! Here are a few favourites from the last couple weeks...

1- My eleven year old is done with violin lessons for the school year. Her teacher asked if they could do a socially distant recital and we invited a few neighbours to listen in. It was such a nice way to spend a Sunday morning and my big girl played her heart out for about 20 minutes. You can get a sneak peek if you check out my Instagram.

                                       


2- We have been getting a market box from one of the vendors in St Jacobs Market since farmers' markets are really suffering right now. The quality of this local produce is so stellar and it feels so good to be eating in season  and totally  random stuff. 

Like garlic scapes which are amazingly delicious on the grill--- think of a really a tender asparagus with a garlicky flavour.


                                


We have been doing everything with rhubarb but painting our walls with them! Loafs, crisps, muffins... yes please!!

And yesterday we got a huge amount of strawberries so we made some very delicious strawberry oat muffins ... 




3- Another obsession is black cod or sablefish. I always order black cod when I see it on the menu at a nice restaurant. When I saw it at our local grocery, I picked up a box and it did not disappoint. 

Served here in a garlic hoisin sauce with cauli-rice and kale

4- Our veggies are making process... we planted a bunch of different veggies, fruit and herbs. So far, we have a few strawberries daily (it wasn't the brightest idea to plant them in a pot so close to the birdfeeder) and lots of fresh herbs to marinade our veggies and protein with. We should be getting kale and swiss chard but our groundhog has been munching on them instead. 



6- We did a virtual escape room with some family the other night and it was soooo much fun!!


7- Of course I had to celebrate National Rose Day...


7- I made some freshly squeezed juice for A the other day and now she is obsessed. My kitchen floors have never been more sticky!!


8- Peonies are my very favourite. These bush peonies are almost done in my yard but my neighbours' regular ones aren't... #freebouquets



9- Pool days are the best days. Also, when did this kid get so big?



Have a wonderful Friday and a marvellous Father's Day weekend. Special shout out to my very own dad and my very special D!! Spoil those dads, friends!!

Linking up with Andrea. 





Sunday, June 7, 2020

Not just a mom- fun facts!

Hey lovelies. Today's Not Just a Mom link-up that I cohost with AdrienneLaurenAshley and Dara. is about fun facts-- about me :-). I borrowed from an old post and added/amended several of these!!

                                       



  • I was born in Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean
  • I had never seen Canada before deciding to move here
  • I cannot be easily surprised. In fact, only my 21st party thrown by my best friend and my baby shower have surprised me
  • I had spinal fusion surgery when I was 14 to correct a severe case of idiopathic scoliosis. Because of this, I have a steel rod in my upper back... D says that I really am a woman of steel hehehe. 
  • I am a creature of routine especially with my kids and especially during the week
  • My favourite colour for walls is a grey-white (this changed from the last time I did this. It was light blue)
  • I am better at saying no than I used to be
  • I save my emails and texts- especially the sentimental ones
  • I love chocolate--- when I check the menu for dessert, I usually gravitate towards the most chocolatey item
  • I was a very skinny kid. Oh to have that metabolism again! But then again, I was also quite the picky eater and now I clean my plate... and sometimes my kids' plates ha!
  • I love a to-do list and make one almost every day. My little one loves a list too.
  • My favourite herb in the whole world is culantro--- but as I can't get it easily in Canada, it's cilantro instead.
  • I can touch the tip of my tongue to my nose.
  • I really learnt to cook after I got married-- I'm a quick study!
  • I believe there is inherent good in everyone. 
  • I cannot ice-skate- never learnt in hot TNT and now because of my back I can't learn. Also, I never learnt to ride a bike (don't judge me.... it took a lot of courage to put that here!)
  • My two most favourite vacations so far were Italy (pre-kids) and Turks & Caicos (post-kids). I hope to go back to both these places
  • Though wine is my drink of choice, I love a really good, really dirty martini
  • I love my sleep. I can't operate on too little sleep- I try to get between seven and eight hours every night. The blue light from my iPad affects my sleep I know though!
  • Appetizers are my favourite! That way I can taste many different things!
  • I don't like clutter but at the same time don't like totally sterile surfaces--- a little bit of stuff is good 
  • Exercise is so necessary for my mental health... so is fresh air. 
  • My favourite scents are jasmine, lilac and vanilla. 
  • I laugh lots but no one makes me laugh more than D. 
  • I make a really, really big deal about birthdays! Just ask my family!
  • My language of love is words of affirmation--- maybe that's why I've been blogging for more than 7 years.


  •               

    If you want to link up in future months, we'd love to have you! Here's the list!

    Now it's your turn to link up.... just grab our graphic, link back to one or more of us and join the fun :-)


    You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

    Click here to enter

    Tuesday, June 2, 2020

    Currently and Prime Lately

    So much tragedy going on in the world right now, so much we need to not ignore, be mindful of, teach and really just do better... all of us in our own ways in our little parts of the world. Be brave and prayerful, all!

    Not a smooth transition really but coming in for a little Currently with Anne. 

    Feeling: pretty okay. We've adapted to this new normal and honestly, there are some lovely things to appreciate. I mean yeah, it would be great to get together with people and go shopping but eventually...


    In the meantime, we do a pretty good time being social at home and virtually.


    Wearing: sunscreen... lots of it... Need to replenish over here.

    We have been spending so much time outdoors...

    Craving: sushi... so that's what we did last weekend after a few months. So delicious. 



    Discussing: all things COVID still and now all that's been going on in the US. My heart hurts for my American family and friends. 

    Buying: Groceries with curbside pickup or free home delivery. After not buying too much for the first month or so as we were scared of packages coming in (for the most part I just nudge them with my foot into the house), packages are an even bigger part of life now that they are saying that surfaces are less of a risk than airborne. 

    Here's what we've been priming lately.  

    A moisture meter to measure if some of the soil  for both indoor or outdoor plants need a bit more moisture. This gardening thing is complicated. 


    SwimWays Toypedo Bandits Pool Diving Toys - Sinking Torpedo Swim Toys - Pack of 4, Colors Vary,  (12298)


    These tiny diving toys are a huge hit around here with these kids.


    My mom gifted D this air fryer for his birthday, and so far, we love it... I just did some turkey meatballs and some croquettes for the kids but they were delicious! Next stop, air fried chicken!!I need to start researching some more recipes! 


    This handwriting paper for the little ones who need a little help with shaping those letters :)


    D was getting tired of the narrow openings of the Thermos lunch container so we got this mini warmer for the days that he goes into work. He's left the device in work and just brings the inner container home. 



    The Ipad cases from Amazon are waaay cheaper and just as good quality (IMO) as the ones from Apple. 



    We have been doing family artwork recently and our Sharpies were running out. Another great Amazon product offering at a great price that should last until quarantine is over.... I think... especially since I accidentally ordered two packs. 


    C loves her Fitbit ace 2 for kids-- now if she can only find the charger!

    And that's we've been priming lately. Linking up with Tanya. 

    Hang in there, friends!



    Friday, May 29, 2020

    Kids’ Corona Quiz

     I got this idea from Sarah and thought it was a wonderful idea to see what these kiddos thought of the coronavirus...
    FYI, we have an eleven and seven year old!
    What is the Coronavirus?
    C: A virus that's kind of like a flu and cold and you get cough, sneezing and headaches. It's pretty okay when you are young like me or A but not so good if you are older.
    A: It's a virus spreading around the world

    Who is the Prime Minister?
    I didn't even ask C this one 
    A:of? Justin Trudeau 

    How many days have we have been in lockdown?
    C:70 days?
    A:Maybe like 50 days?

    Do you want to go back to school?
    C: Yes, I guess but I don't like track and field so it's a good thing we're not doing track and field.
    A: Yeah because I want to see my friends.

    Who is the first person you're going to hug when lockdown is over?
    C: I'm not really sure about that one... (she's at that awkward, no hugging except immediate family phase)
    A:mmmmm... my best friends

    Where is the first place you want to go?
    C: I want to go to Jamaica
    A: Jamaica

    (As you may have realised, we had a trip planned with my parents and brother) 

    What do you think we can do to get rid of Coronavirus?
    C: Stay home... just stay home already! (preach!)
    A: The fastest way would be to stay in your home and heal... that's one of the quickest ways. 

    Is mom a good teacher?
    C: Yep
    A: Mmm hmmm...
    (I don't think they can really say no, can they?)

    How did the Coronavirus start?
    C: It came from bats and snakes in China and people enjoy eating snakes in their soups.
    a: Scientists gave it to bad animals . (hmmmm)

    (Clearly, we need to have a more detailed convo about this)

    If you had to wear protective clothing to help you what would it be?
    C: it would be a mask, my glasses, a hat (she clearly saw me going to Costco)... Oh and gloves (her sister prompted her)
    A: long sleeves, long pants, gloves and a mask and very long boots. 

    Are you enjoying lockdown?
    C: Yahhhhh but I miss social interaction
    A; kinda cause when you finish all your work you can leave and have free time. You can't do that when you are in school.

    How long do you think it's going to take before we can leave lockdown?
    C: 2-3 months. I think... I hope 
    A: They say until September but I think, not hope, that it will be October. 

    Have a good one, friends!


    Wednesday, May 27, 2020

    What's UP Wednesday, May 2020!


    , What’s Up Wednesday {04.29.20}
    I haven't been here for a hot minute, I know. The kids at home, their homeschooling and well being are keeping me so, so busy. I miss this little space of mine so much though and all of you! Here's a little bit of what's been going on with us. 

    What we're eating this week:
    After a couple weeks of all the carbs in all of the land, I'm reining it in just a little bit. There is still baking and snacking but we're just trying to start the process again.
    Monday: cauliflower salad and chicken wings
    Tuesday: grilled veggies and shrimp
    Wednesday: leftover wings and quinoa salad
    Thursday: coconut red lentil curry with cauliflower rice
    Friday: so far away but maybe ground turkey tacos or a turkey "rice" bowl
    Weekends will be time on the grill and maybe one set of takeout

    What I'm reminiscing about:
    Summers past when I visit my family in NYC. It's not happening this year so I'm thrilled that I did an extended visit last year.

    What I'm dreading:
    There seems to be no end in sight some days for this pandemic. We are making the most of it and love a whole lot of it that's for sure and I'm seeing a sloooowwww improvement but it's a long way to go...

    What I'm loving:
    It's warmed up so I can sit on my balcony to have my morning cup of tea or the rare breakfast!

    What we've been up to
    We did some fruit and veggie planting with our landscaper's advice and help. There is a bed and we have a couple pots as well filled with an assortment of fruit, veggies and herbs... hopefully, my indoor green thumb will transfer to outdoors.



    What I'm working on
    All of the homeschooling in all of the land. I have to be on top of A's work with Google classroom. There's minimal stuff with deadlines but soooo much extra stuff... and my personality A tendencies tend to want my kids to do most if not all of the extra stuff... and their music practice and some French reading we do at home. 

    What I'm excited about
    Hopefully takeout this weekend... there's a sushi place we want to try with very good reviews.... I miss sushi after not having it for almost 3 months.

    Also, D got an air fryer from my mom for his birthday... time to start researching those recipes!

    What I'm watching/reading
    We started to watch Hollywood and it is not exactly my preferred genre.... I like more the Virgin River variety that I finished last week. As a family, we're also either going to watch The Voice or America's Got Talent next...
    Re: reading, my Kindle Unlimited is getting a workout.... the last one I read which was pretty good was this one below about two estranged sisters with a very traumatic childhood.

    When We Believed in Mermaids: A Novel by [Barbara O'Neal]
    I also bought the new Jennifer Weiner and just started it.... looks like my Kindle will get more use this year with the libraries being closed until July. 
    What I'm listening to:
    The Headspace Radio podcasts... Andy does one daily for a couple minutes and it's a good listen especially in these times. 

    What I'm wearing:
    All the swimsuits and summer dresses... it's been a scorcher lately and I'm thrilled... We've been spending lots of time outside!
    What I'm doing this weekend
    Low key and fun.. Hopefully more time in the pool, cocktail hour with friends,  a walk with a friend (on the opposite side of the street), maybe a chat with the neighbours, some time to read and grill.... all little, fun stuff...
    What else is new:
    Our very favourite boy had his birthday last week and we kept the celebration low key and lovely with our meals outside, some prosecco, Thai food, an olive oil lemon loaf and quite possibly the best donuts I've ever had.





    This food lasted for four more meals after. 


    We were lacking candles but not cheer!




    Have a great week, friends!


     Linking up with  Shay and Shaeffer





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