Posts Tagged ‘summer’

Watch this video if you have a pool or know someone that does. It’s about the 40 children who have drowned in swimming pools this summer (so far) in Quebec. Tragic.

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Since I get one more week’s vacation than my husband, I usually take a week in the summer and spend it at home by the pool and veg the whole week. This year was no different. 🙂 Sometimes vegging is just what the doctor ordered to recharge my batteries and do whatever I want to do. So, here’s a recap of my week of laziness time-wasting restoration.

It started off with my sister Julie coming down from Montreal to visit for the weekend. We spent some time walking along Lake Ontario in Port Credit, playing backgammon, taking pics of the wildlife and enjoying the sun.

I’ve played on this set since I was a little kid – it’s made of corduroy and leather – very 70s. And I always play the white side. 🙂

We spent lots of time watching (and taking pics of) this baby swan with its parents. So adorable…

We also had a great meal at 360, the restaurant at the top of the CN Tower.

We saw two movies while she was visiting. The first was Snow White and the Huntsman and the second was Magic Mike. Both were Ok. Julie headed back to Montreal on Monday and my week of vegetation continued… 🙂  Actually on Tuesday, I did a massive cleaning marathon so that I could rest the rest of the week guilt-free. 🙂

Most days were spent by the patio and in and out of the pool due to the heat wave. I managed to read quite a bit and finished Insurgent (book 2 of the Divergent series) and Bared to You (this was recommended for those who liked 50 shades). I’m currently reading Beautiful Disaster (James McGuire) and Outliers (Malcolm Gladwell), alternating between the two depending on my mood.

I also watched a couple of movies. I finally saw The Artist to keep up with my life list item to watch every Best Picture winner from 1990 to present. I actually liked it a lot. I didn’t miss the lack of speaking – the actors were great to watch and very engaging. What I did notice is that unlike with other films, where I could do something else at the same time (like check Facebook or whatever), I had to pay attention to the movie the whole time so I wouldn’t miss anything! Very different experience. 🙂  I also watched 21 Jump Street and that one was just OK. I like Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum but the story was pretty weak.

I also knocked off a couple of recipes in my cooking challenge but feel guilty that I didn’t take more advantage of my free time to cook more…especially when I found out that the Barefoot Contessa has a new book coming out in the fall. I vowed to myself to get my butt in gear and cook more recipes over the summer.

Chris and I have started watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy as well – we’re halfway through the second one The Two Towers. We had seen the trailer for The Hobbit and it got us in the mood for Middle Earth.

While I was by the pool, I also researched future travel plans, including tours and cruises (Grand Canyon, Maritimes, Mediterranean, etc.). Planning is the best part – I could plan trips for hours! I dreamt of fresh lobster in Nova Scotia, amazing views of the Grand Canyon, walking the streets of Rome, sipping wine in France… It was exhausting. Hehehe 🙂 I also drafted an initial packing list for our upcoming cruise in October.

And for good measure, I occasionally kept my brain active by playing Texas Holdem on my Blackberry and doing quizzes at JetPunk.com. 🙂

So, at the end of my week, I have a tan, I’m very relaxed and plan to continue vegging out the last day of my stay-cation.

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My sister Julie arrived on Friday night and we had a great weekend planned – the weather was looking fantastic too. Here’s a recap of Saturday:

We went out to breakfast at Sunset Grill (local all-day breakfast chain), then headed over to Port Credit to walk around the lake and enjoy the sun. Imagine my glee (glee is actually a very soft word – I was so excited, like a kid in a candy store) when we spotted a baby swan with its parents swimming along with ducks and geese. Pardon all the pics in advance – it’s the first baby swan I’ve ever seen.

After this, we returned home to have lunch, relax by the pool and go for a swim. It was a gorgeous day. We all took a nap (not together :)), then got ready for dinner at 360 – the rotating restaurant on top of the CN Tower.

The views were amazing and the meal was excellent. We had read some reviews about the food not being that good and that you were paying for the views, but we were very happy with everything.

Chris and I each chose the prix fixe menu which consisted of an amuse bouche, an appetizer, a main and a dessert. My sister Julie got a main and a side dish plus dessert.

My meal:

Amuse: Chili seared tuna (avocado, cilantro, corn chip) – this was a bit of heaven – the best one-bite food I ever had.

Appetizer: Rabbit, duck, salami and cheese (Kozlick’s triple crunch mustard, pickled onions) – this came served on a cheese board and included rabbit rillette, thinly sliced duck, salami, breadsticks, pickles, dried tomatoes and mustard – very very good.

Main: Willow Grove Farm’s Ontario Pork Three Ways (Apple braised pork belly with French beans, Shepherd’s pie with celery root and yellow flesh potatoes, Grilled pork tenderloin with truffles, Niagara ice wine jus) – The pork belly was phenomenal, shepherd’s pie was very tasty and had a nice crust, tenderloin was also good but least favourite compared to the other two. 🙂

Dessert: Dark chocolate tower with summer berries (Raspberry coulis, vanilla creme Anglaise) – Holy mother of God. That’s all I can say. Delicious.

once dinner was over, we visited the gift shop and walked back to the car. Got to take some good shots of the tower – it was lit up for the Pride parade scheduled for this weekend.

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If you walk to Baskin Robbins, the ice cream has no calories.

No lie.

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I’m on a mission.

I’m refusing to wear socks until it gets cold enough for my toes to freeze and fall off. Ok maybe not fall off, but get seriously cold. Yesterday was chilly but it was still in double digits (in Canada, Celsius). Today it got up to 20 degrees again so it was fine.

I once read somewhere…when asked what they would do differently if they could talk to their younger self, the woman said “Start wearing sandals earlier in the spring and wear them later in the fall.” So, I’m taking her advice. 🙂

Summer is already so short. Living in a cold-weather climate where sweaters are the norm for almost 6 months of the year, I figured I could extend my sockless state for a couple of weeks longer than usual.

So, I’m boycotting socks until there’s frost on the ground. I am willing to wear closed-toe shoes, without socks, on chilly days.

Who’s with me?


Just me?



*not my footprints

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Our cat, Gizmo (“Giz”) is an indoor cat. He loves laying in the sun as it streams in through the windows, and cries when anything takes his favourite spot on the couch until we clear the way (even if we’re the ones taking up his space). Yesterday was a treat for him – we let him hang out with us in the yard. After roaming around the entire yard and investigated all nooks and crannies quite thoroughly, he finally settled down and enjoyed the warm concrete:

When we’re out on the patio, he’ll sit by the patio screen door (inside the house) and keep an eye on us. So he was already accustomed to the noises (birds, neighbour’s dog barking, etc.) of our backyard and wasn’t phased at all.

He even swatted at the occasional butterfly or fly that flew by…

It was a hot day yesterday. One of those days where you move in slow motion and just feel languid. Lazy, peaceful, languid.

The he moved to a sunnier spot and performed his grooming ritual…

Such a diva.

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I’ve mentioned the heat in an earlier post. It’s been called a few choice names thus far and several hashtags have been suggested: Hotpocalypse, Thermageddon, OvenTO, SwelterTO, heatwaveTO…

Looking at the long-term forecast… Things will cool down a little bit but the humidity will keep things nice and tropical-rain-foresty (i.e. like the gates of hell have opened over Toronto) for at least another week. And all of those “isolated showers” you see in these charts – ya, they never happen. We had a sad drizzle one morning last week (it didn’t even warrant an umbrella). No big storm, no rain to cut the humidity. Unless it did rain but it was so damn hot it evaporated by the time it hits the ground. Could happen.

In CelsiusIn Farenheit

Using wicked witch of the west voice in Oz: I’m WILTING!!!

Must stay inside.

Or I may die.

No, not really.

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We had family visiting from Montreal this weekend. Our weekend was filled with a visit to the zoo, time spent in the pool, game nights, cooking for people (woohoo) and great company!

We went to the zoo on Friday and the weather was steamy. Picture gallery included below of the furry friends we got to see (and some not so furry). Warning: Please pardon the pic of male kangaroo (you’ll know it when you see it) – I couldn’t help it.

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I mean seriously…what’s not to love about the foods of summer!? Our local Loblaws had a makeover and expanded the produce area – I’m in heaven. And even though it’s just Chris and I, we’re totally going to eat all of it over the course of a week.

Avocados, garlic, red onion, yellow/red/orange tomatoes, peaches, nectarines, lemons, limes, oranges, plums, peppers, jalapenos… And the rest are in the fridge: raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, basil, grape tomatoes…

Several recipes planned this week – stay tuned!

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Peonies from the garden. 🙂


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