Category Archives: Fam Jams

Christmas Things

On Christmas Eve we headed to Evan’s aunt and uncle’s an hour north of the city where we were staying until Boxing Day with Evan’s mom, Brotherman and family. Their house is absolutely beautiful and the town is cute in a Stars Hollow sort of way, so it was a really great place to spend Christmas.

Evan’s Uncle Stevie and Auntie Jan used to live in Tobago but moved back to Ontario in 2016 (whyyyy didn’t we go visit them when they lived there??? Dummies!), so this is the first Christmas we have spent with them. I briefly mentioned in my last post that Evan’s nana unfortunately passed away in the early fall and this was also the first Christmas that the rest of us didn’t spend it with her (first after three years for me). She loved to host Christmas and it felt really weird not to not have her around, and not be watching House Hunters and true crime TV shows in her living room and laughing at her sassy commentary in her proper British accent. I’ll have to tell you some stories about her sometime because she was such a character and her presence was noticeably missing, for all of us. But, that is life and it goes on. At 90, she lived a great one herself. We made the best of the situation and had a wonderful Christmas together.

On Christmas Eve we all congregated in the kitchen and made pizzas.

Evan being a good son and taking pictures for his mom on her iPad.

We picked up dough from Nino D’Aversa (Italian bakery in Toronto) and added all the toppings. They turned out deliciously.

We listened to Christmas carols and drank wine and ate our pizzas with a big Caesar salad with homemade dressing from Uncle Stevie. A very good Christmas Eve.

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On Christmas morning we woke up, had a leisurely breakfast, and opened our presents. This year we decided to just do stocking stuffers for everyone, which worked out really well because we all had a pile of fun things to open but we only spent $20-$25 on each person. I think that might become a tradition.

It was awesome having Landon around. At a year and a half he is not super enthused about Christmas just yet, he mostly enjoyed the boxes and wrapping paper. Next year though I think he’ll be getting there! He was so cute though and was so good the entire time. Just a little muffin.

I also fell down the stairs, which was not a Christmas day highlight for me… But also not a huge surprise as stairs and I sort of have a history. Actually it probably would have been a Christmas miracle if I didn’t fall down the stairs.

My most embarrassing stair fall was probably at my bestie’s grandfather’s funeral last year because I was in a dress and I almost took out an old man – I realized at the last moment before grabbing onto him that he wasn’t going to be able to save me. This was a close second in embarrassment though because I was carrying my phone and Nintendo DS (with Harry Potter Lego in it!), both of which went flying and made such a giant racket that everyone came running. I don’t know what happened but the stairs were polished wood and slippery and I stepped on a narrow part where the stairs curved and my foot went flying out from under me. I felt it happening but I was powerless to stop it and hit every. single. stair. on the way down.

I had some pretty bad bruises on the right side of my body and am still sore but otherwise escaped unharmed, though I still can’t do a pushup because my right arm/shoulder can’t take it (not that I could do a proper pushup before anyway). Everyone said they couldn’t believe I didn’t hit my head or break a bone and I don’t know what to say except if there is one thing I’m good at, it’s falling. I’ve fallen enough times that I know to let my body go slack and roll with it for minimal damage. Anyway, it was not the first flight of stairs I’ve fallen down and it will likely not be the last. But (YES DAD) I am going to be more careful.

After presents and my big bad fall, Evan, Kelly, Uncle Stevie and I headed out for a walk to the lake. It was super cold but it was super beautiful.

I love a frozen lake. That is certainly not the type of ice that you can just blow across on though. There’s a beach there so we’re going to have to come back in the summer when it’s hot for some swimming!

After our walk we napped, read our books by the fire, took our annual Christmas Day selfie…

The fourth one we have now! The first with champagne, fancy. And then we popped open our crackers and donned our colourful paper crowns for dinner.

Christmas dinner number two (we had our first at my dad and Mona’s the week before) did not disappoint. It was delicious. Holidays are really the only time I have turkey and stuffing with gravy so I cherish every bite.

After dinner we played this hilarious game that Evan’s Uncle Stevie and Auntie Jan introduced us to – I don’t know what to call it other than try to unwrap a present wearing oven mitts.

Evan and Brotherman got matching shirts for Christmas and I love that they were wearing them proudly.

Anyway, there were about four layers of wrapped boxes and you had to try to open them wearing oven mitts while the person in front of you rolled the dice. If they got doubles you had to stop what you’re doing, pass the box and the oven mitts to them and they had to try to unwrap the box while the person in front of them rolled trying to get doubles, and so on. I will definitely be busting this out at every Christmas party I attend in the future because I tell you, it was a time.

By the end there was just a tiny box to open. That man is 96 years old and was killing it. But of course, Evan won, because that’s what he does best. Wins all the things.

The final present was a deck of cards, so we can play together and he can beat me at more games!

On Boxing Day we left Uncle Stevie’s bright and early to hit the road to Evan’s dad’s for Christmas number three, about a two hour drive east. Unfortunately, it had been freezing rain since the early morning and the roads were pretty crappy. They were mostly just wet by the time we set out but there were several accidents on the 401 (the biggest highway that crosses Ontario east/west) and they actually shut down a big section that we needed to travel on. Getting off was a nightmare, and then we had to take a side road that was RAMMED with traffic and that two hour drive somehow ended up taking us six hours. I’d like to say the drive was a good time but I was in the front of the truck in the middle, between Evan and his mom (who we were dropping off) and the hump of the seat was digging into my bruise from the stairs. The worst thing about this though, was that the snacks were all in the back of the truck. So that’s a lesson learned – keep the snacks up front! I have to say that Landon was a SERIOUS trooper through all of this.

When we finally got to Evan’s dad’s, his road was basically a skating rink and we could not get up a hill before his driveway. So Brotherman and I (VERY CAREFULLY) slid across the road and up the hill and trekked to the house to retrieve their dad. Then he had to come and rescue us with his tractor and pull the truck up the hill and into his driveway. It was quite the adventure.

Luckily after that ordeal, dinner was waiting for us.

And Christmas dinner number three was just as delicious as the previous two! I loved the addition of sausages and sauerkraut.

Since the roads in that area were not great and we got there so late, we decided to stay over another night, which ended up being really nice because we got more time with Evan’s dad and Loulou.

It was such a good Christmas with all of Evan’s family and I was so grateful for everyone for having me. But after three days of traveling, I was so excited to go home on the 27th. Evan and I made it home in the afternoon and immediately got into our pajamas and did our Christmas together with Tilly.

My favourite present was this custom ornament of Winnie from Evan!

I love it so much! Dawn’s sister Melon has her own business (Garbaroo Co.  you should check her out, her stuff is really cool) doing custom pet portraits, magnets, ornaments, basically everything, and she sculpted and painted this, that talented minx. The funny story behind it is I had actually contacted her back in November and asked her if she could do one for Evan for Christmas, but she told me she was unfortunately too busy and wouldn’t have time to finish it. I was disappointed and then I saw her signing up to do things for people on Facebook so I was all “WTF I THOUGHT SHE WAS BUSY!” Then I received this and Evan said he told her to tell me that because he was already getting her to make the Winnie ornament for me! I had no idea, those tricksters. I will cherish it forever.

So that was Christmas 2016, a good one all around.

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Dock Days of Summer

AHOY! Sorry for the blog hiatus. Summer be BUSY. I mean, I cannae complain because I elect to be busy and it’s busy with fun things (I don’t even have kids so I’m sure many of you are side-eyeing my “busyness” because I’m basically just leisuring), but when I’m out in the evenings after work and doing stuff all weekend my blogging suffers. I miss it! There are so many things I’ve been wanting to talk about. Hopefully I can still catch up with everything.

The most exciting thing lately is my BFF Lisa was visiting from Calgary, which I already mentioned, and also my brother Eric from Kelowna was here for a week and a half. He came out with his girlfriend Kenya and their friend Dixon (I just consider Dixon my second brother now) and have been staying with Evan and I.

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They arrived on the Friday of the long weekend and they just left this past Sunday, so it was a whirlwind squeezing in all the fun times with them. Lest we be boring hosts. They sure showed Evan and I a good time a couple summers ago so we needed to repay the favour. Eric and Kenya visited me a few years ago but Dixon has never been to Ontario so we needed to show him that a time without mountains can still be a time!

They arrived at 11:30pm on the Friday so Lisa and I picked them up from the airport and headed straight to the cottage for the weekend. She had slept over Thursday night as I took her to the Lumineers for her birthday (AMAZING), and I took Friday off work so we could go shopping for my wedding dress. More on that later but things actually looked pretty good on the ol’ bod so that was a success! Evan went up to the cottage a bit earlier in the afternoon to prepare for our arrival. The rest of us didn’t get to the cottage until like 1:30 in the morning but it is tradition to grab a beer and walk down to the dock on arrival so that’s what we did. The stars up there are beautiful and we had a good time catching up. I’m so glad Lisa was here at the same time as them, last year she was leaving as Eric was arriving so they only saw each other for like 10 minutes at the airport.

Anyway, cottage.

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Making breakfast at the cottage and then doing all the dishes is not my favourite. Dinner is easier ’cause we do it on the barbecue and lunch is usually a random assortment of snacks, but for breakfast Evan and I find it’s usually better to just go out. So the six of us headed to Golden Beach Resort. Their Boathouse Cafe has delicious food so it’s a cottage staple for Evan and I.

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And another cottage tradition:

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After breakfast we went in the gift shop and could not resist buying these shirts…

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Usually when we match it is not on purpose, like this time was a total accident…

You know you're best friends when you meet up for the first time in 3 months and you happen to be wearing the same shirt.

But this time we couldn’t resist. We weren’t the only matching besties!

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Doesn’t Dixon have incredible hair? We all raved to him about it. I’m sad I never got to braid it.

We had some friends up on Saturday so they started arriving once we got back from b-fast. It was gorgeous outside so we spent nearly the entire day on the water. We busted out the inner tubes and the party raft and it was just a big floating fest.

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I love the cottage. Everyone took the SUP boards for a spin, even little Scarlett!

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I should note that she enjoys wearing bandaids, for fun not for her injuries.

For dinner we did pork and veggie skewers, chicken burgers, and corn on the barbecue. Well, the chefs did, I just watched.

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Evan also made a white bean dip from Eat, Shrink and Be Merry and he does this amazing potato salad with halved small potatoes, grainy mustard and a bunch of herbs (basil, etc.). It’s so good.

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Summer barbecues are the best. After dinner it was back to the lake.

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Mark and Dawn brought their boat (and made Evan super jealous, next year I think we are just going to have to suck it up and get a boat) so at dusk the boys went on a fishing trip.

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Apparently Eric and Dixon were the only ones who caught anything. Just sunfish though, nothing crazy.

 

Once the lads got back we had a bonfire and spent the rest of the evening killing ourselves laughing. It was so much fun and probably my favourite day of the entire summer so far.

Sunday was overcast for most of the day so we had a bit of a break from the sun. Everyone had left and it was just Evan, Eric, Kenya, Dixon and I, so my dad (aka Bobby) came over in the afternoon to spend time with us.

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Upon meeting Dixon he said “Are you a musician?” (the hair) except we thought he said “Are you a MAGICIAN?” which I wish actually happened because it would have been way more funny. Dixon, for the record, is neither a musician or a magician…as far as I know. My dad also wanted to show us his back stretches, so suddenly he was doing yoga on the floor. That was entertaining. He’s a good time that Bobby.

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Bobby stayed for dinner (burgers!) and once he left the rest of us had quiet reading time inside. We also watched Demolition Man with Sylvester Stallone, which was pretty hilarious, though I fell asleep so I can’t tell you if the ending was any good.

Monday was a holiday in Canada so we stayed at the cottage until the afternoon. It was another ridiculously beautiful day so a lot of lake time happened.

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It was the best weekend. When I asked Eric, Kenya and Dixon the highlight of their trip to Ontario they all said the cottage. I’m going to recap some of our other adventures but I guess it’s all downhill from here so don’t get too excited!

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BBQ & Bobby’s Birthday

Sorry I’ve been sort of MIA lately — a few people have asked me if everything is okay and what’s going on, and yep and nothing! Just lazy. Okay, well weekdays lately have been really busy and by the time I get home I want to watch Game of Thrones with Evan and not open a computer. I am really hoping to get back into a regular routine though. This is me breaking the ice.

On Friday a few coworkers and I walked to this Italian deli near our work for lunch. It’s really just an Italian grocery store with a little deli in the back (La Salumeria), and it is quite unassuming but it has fresh bread and buns and an insane amount of meat and probably more kinds of cheese than I’ve even heard of.  I scored the most amazing sandwich.

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In the end I went with the garlic turkey breast, prosciutto and Gouda. It was a tough decision but I have no regrets about it, it was delicious. It was a super hot day so we broke out some popsicles afterwards. These remind me of childhood!

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Evan and I usually have a pho date once a week at our favourite Vietnamese place, Pho Com Vietnam, so after work on Friday that’s where we headed. It was way too hot for a big bowl of soup, so I decided to switch up my order.

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The bun cha! Grilled pork with other delicious things on top of rice noodles. We also ordered the pork spring rolls to share — we’ve both been loving them lately and even tried to make our own a few weeks ago (good, but these ones are the best). Anyway, that was all just as delicious as it looks. Afterwards we came home and watched Game of Thrones (we’re just finishing season 3 so no spoilers!) all lazy and full.

On Saturday I went for a run because I’m still training for that stupid 10k. Alright, for the most part it’s been fine but it was just so hot the last week that I felt like I was really sucking and it was discouraging. I think I need to switch up my times and go super early in the morning or just before it gets dark. At least my route is pretty.

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Around noon we headed downtown in our Blue Jays gear to hit up a game!

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I was excited to show off our matching shirts.

Unfortunately our tickets fell through so that didn’t end up happening. It was disappointing, but what can ya do? We went out for lunch on a rooftop patio and watched part of the game on TV there instead. Drinks were cheaper than the game I tell you what!

When we got back on the subway some guy saw us in our apparel and approached us saying “oh you guys like the Jays! I have two tickets for the game going on right now that I can’t use, do you want them?” The tickets were in the same section we were supposed to be sitting! So, that was a crazy coincidence. If he had asked us an hour before we would have been all over it, but we didn’t end up taking them. We had afternoon drink and BBQ plans with our friends Sherrie and Will, and it was an exciting game that went into extra innings, so we would have been super late for that.

So we headed to Sherrie’s and we sat outside with drinks and played games — we even had a little bonfire. They also made us THE BEST dinner, a full rotisserie chicken over the barbecue and a bunch of other delicious things.

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Really good times.

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Gratuitous couple shot because I can’t believe how excited I am to marry this amazing man. And it’s been a month and I still can’t stop staring at my ring.

Sunday was my dad’s birthday, the big 65! His actual birthday was the weekend before, but Sunday was the party. We had beautiful weather and a bunch of family was there, and it was a really good time.

I’ve mentioned this before but my dad (aka Bobby) plays the keyboards and he used to be in a band with his friends from work. One of the guys, Rob, was at the party, so the two of them jammed out like old times. I was surprised at some of the new stuff they were playing. They were really good! Here’s Bobby in all his glory.

Ladies and gentlemen…my dad.

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Not new, that’s a classic Bobby song.

My dad is a big Collective Soul fan – he actually took my friends Dawn, Leanne, Julie and I to see them at Ontario Place with the Cranberries when we were about 16. Every time I hear any songs from their CD Dosage it reminds me of my dad driving around in his white Lumina with the disc man plugged into the tape deck blasting Heavy. So for his birthday Evan and I got him the Collective Soul CD and also tickets to see them with the Goo Goo Dolls in August. With us. Hanging with us, that’s a present in itself.

He got some other great things as well, like a metal detector for his adventures on Florida beaches.

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Really funny because we almost got him that also.

And my Auntie Nancy’s best friend Jo-Ann who grew up with my dad made him this amazing album of old pictures…

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And a bunch of candy they used to enjoy back in the day.

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Bobby liked.

Mona went ALL OUT with the food and had the most amazing spread from a Greek restaurant she and my dad really like. Somehow I didn’t get a picture of it, but I can still see all that delicious Greek food when I close my eyes…

And strawberry cream cake. It’s becoming a birthday tradition and it’s so good!

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Good family times all around.

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^ my dad and his big sister, my Auntie Nancy

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Hope you had a good birthday dad!

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And let me know when you’re free to go to Shoppers Drug Mart with me so I can take advantage of your senior’s discount. 😉

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Jays Game, Beavertails, and Jeffrey (where’s your purse?)

On Tuesday evening Evan and I hit the Toronto Blue Jays vs Oakland Athletics game with these two.

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Eric and my dad, who is seen above in his very first selfie. During the game my dad told us that he’s never really worn sunscreen but he’s thinking about starting. He’s 64 and he smoked until about 7 years ago (I am so proud of him for quitting!). Now, I’m not saying stop wearing sunscreen and take up smoking, but I am saying his skin looks damn good. Of course, he is my Nana’s son! I would be ecstatic to have one and a half wrinkles when I’m his age.

I haven’t been to a Jays game since last year in Boston and it was pretty great to see them on our home turf with my family and Evan.

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Oh, Eric. I am going to miss him.

If you follow baseball at all you know the Jays have just been on fire lately. We actually have a good team this year, so that is pretty exciting. They won the game 4-2 and have won two games since against Oakland, totally sweeping them, which means they have now won 11 games in a row! The series record! If they win against the Yankees this weekend they will actually break the record. People are going nuts for those games and the ticket prices have absolutely skyrocketed. Jays fever hadn’t quite hit yet when we went though, so we still got a decent price. We paid $50 for our tickets and we had pretty good seats.

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I chose the first base side rather than third base because I think it has more action.

The guys all got new hats and I debated buying a Blue Jays T-shirt from the shop there, but the majority of the female Blue Jays’ shirts were bedazzled so I refrained. Whyyyy? Why bedazzle?! I don’t need gems on my baseball shirt!

We did all the ballpark things, a la drank expensive beer (I actually saw a bottle of Smart water for $8.50! WTF is that?!) and ate giant expensive popcorn and footlong (expensive) hotdogs. Evan was really excited about his hotdog.

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I was excited about the toppings. I was getting my money’s worth.

I was monitoring the @IsTheDomeOpen Twitter feed (I am so happy it exists, Jays games are always better with the dome open and it’s good to know what you’re going into) and it said the dome was going to be open so I was pumped. We had some sketchy rain clouds around though, so the dome didn’t actually open until midway through the game. I don’t actually think I have ever seen it open in action before.

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It just…slides across.

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And then the smaller dome just slid over and in between the other two parts of the dome.

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Et voila. Open dome. All electronic, and pretty impressive engineering for being built in the 80s.

I am almost positive we spotted Don Cheadle on the JumboTron. If you look really closely in the below photo I think the man sans hat is him.

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And he was sitting at the bottom of our section. We should have done some stalking.

Once again I did not appear on the JumboTron. Story of my life.

It was a really good game, and it was so close that even in the last inning it could have gone Oakland’s way, but the Blue Jays killed it. Good times.

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I took Wednesday off work to take my brother to Canada’s Wonderland, our largest amusement park, for his birthday. You absolutely can’t go on a weekend, it’s way too busy. There were still lineups, but definitely not as bad. I think the longest we waited was 45 minutes.

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We got there as soon as the park opened and ran straight for the Leviathan since it is the newest roller coaster and therefore usually the busiest. It is hands down the most intense rollercoaster I’ve ever been on. During the first drop I was thinking I wasn’t sure if I could handle rollercoasters anymore…but then I got over it and was all good.

I haven’t been to Wonderland since I got stuck on the Windseeker for 40 minutes and thought I might die. That wasn’t the best experience and I totally avoided that ride this time.

windseekerNever again (also, that is my top viewed post the last couple of years – people really like Googling about people dying at Wonderland – and note, no one has). Eric and I just stuck to all our favourite rollercoasters.

I had my very first BeaverTails experience! BeaverTails are a pastry in the shape of, you guessed it, a beaver tail, with all kids of delicious toppings.

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I wanted to experience it with Paula when she was visiting earlier in the summer, but unfortunately we couldn’t find a stand. It was everything I thought it would be and more.

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I went for the Triple Trip with Nutella, peanut butter and Reeses Pieces, which was so sweet my teeth hurt. But insanely good. Eric got the Cookies n’ Creme, and his was pretty delicious also. I think even the cinnamon sugar would be good, or the maple! I think I’d get that next time.

We stayed in the park for a good 7 hours (I don’t think I could do opening to closing anymore) and had a great sibling adventure.

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After Wonderland we picked up Evan and the three of us headed downtown to Koreatown for dinner (will be a separate eating the world post). And then we met Eric’s childhood friend Jeffrey for a drink. Jefferey, like my best friend Lisa, had a cottage near the house we grew up in, and he and Eric were absolutely inseparable when they were kids. I’m so glad they were reunited.

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The last time we were all together was about 5 years ago, so it was good to see him!

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Back in 2010

Jeffrey used to refuse to look at the camera in pictures. I’m glad he’s outgrown that.

I was describing Jeffrey to Evan before we met up with him and I said that Jeffrey was the kid from the city who would come around and know all the dirty words way before any of the other kids and would teach them all. So then Eric would come home and ask “Lindsey, what’s a scrotum?” Jeffrey kills me like no other though. When he was about five or six he used to carry around this little Pokemon sack that Lisa and I called his purse and he would be all “It’s not a purse! It’s a Pokemon bag!” and then the next time we saw him he had a little fannypack type bag and I was all “Geez Jeff, you have more purses than I do!” So now it is a longstanding joke whenever we see him, we’re like “Jeffrey, where’s your purse?!” The second I saw him this time he was all “I’m sorry, I forgot my purse.”

Evan and I had a good time laughing at their antics.

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Sadly, I dropped Eric off at the airport early yesterday morning, and I am already missing him. He just makes me laugh hard. I do think our relationship is closer because of the distance though. It’s hard to have typical sibling fights when you’re across the country from each other (and you have a 10 year age difference). And he and my mom give me an excuse to visit Beautiful BC.

Have a great weekend!

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Nana, Chromeo, and Parent Parties

My little brother Eric is visiting from BC!

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I saw him about a month ago when I was in BC, but it was only for one night so I have been looking forward to a more lengthy reunion with him. He’s still only here for 9 days though, so we have been squeezing in all the fun activities.

I picked him up from the airport last Tuesday, and coincidentally his flight from Kelowna came in at the same time mon bestie Lisa was dropped off at the airport for her flight back to Calgary. We were able to sneak in a little airport rendezvous.

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I know Eric was disappointed he wasn’t going to be in Ontario the same time as Lisa, so even seeing her for 10 minutes was a good start to his trip.

The first activity on the agenda was visiting our amazing Nana. We met my dad and my Aunt Nancy at her home on Wednesday and Nana was so, so excited to see Eric. It’s been a while and he’s grown a lot since the the last time. I’m surprised she recognized him.

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Touchin’ his face!

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Touchin’ my face! She likes to alternate the face touches so we don’t feel left out. Still can’t get over how good she looks. And I don’t even mean how good she looks for her age (101!), I mean how good she looks in general.

Eric stayed with my dad for “boys’ time” the next couple of days while Evan and I were working, and I picked him up on Friday evening for party time. First we hit up Taste of the Danforth with Evan and my friend Hannah, but that is going to be a separate post about eating the world (Greece!). From the Danforth we caught the subway over to Nathan Philip’s Square (Toronto City Hall) for Panamania!

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The Toronto sign was added as part of the Pan Am Games hype and I’ve heard some people complaining that it’s tacky, but I am really liking it. I hope it stays after the games are over.

I mentioned that Toronto Harbourfront had free concerts every night while the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games are on, and Nathan Philips Square is doing the same but on a bit of a bigger scale. Friday night was Chromeo!

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I love them. I used to listen to them back in 2011 when I first started running, so some of their earlier stuff made me feel like breaking into a jog and running around the crowd. Alas, I wasn’t wearing a sports bra, and we all know I can’t just break into a run without the proper gear.

It was super packed, but they had a really great set up with several screens, and the audio was good also, even though we were closer to the back.

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I usually like to get as close as I can, but it was pretty rammed so we were fine staying back a bit. Both Eric and I could not stop dancing and Hannah was like “You realize you two are the same, right?” Oh yeah. We realize.

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Bra strap! Y u no stay in my shirt?

It was a goooood time.

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And you know they played Jealous!

I am really loving this free concert thing #chromeo #toronto

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If you don’t know Chromeo, you may know that song because it’s all the rage right now. I don’t think they played their other favourite song of mine, Don’t Turn The Lights On (unless it was their first song, we were a few minutes late and may have missed it), but they played Needy Girl, Hot Mess and Fancy Footwork, so I was happy. They were really great.

The show ended with fireworks off City Hall.

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We were standing basically right underneath them, so that was really cool. I am loving that Toronto has all of these free events going on! I enjoy fun on the cheap. Saturday was the Roots! I heard they were awesome. And tonight is Jann Arden, so if anyone happens to hit that up let me know how it is! We’re going to a Jay’s game or I’d be all over that.

On Saturday Eric, Evan and I drove up to Lisa’s parents lake house to spend the day with Lisa’s parents.

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You know you’re a grown up when you go to someone’s house to hang with their parents. Lisa had already gone back to Calgary, and Heather and Brent (who live in Edmonton) were actually around but at a wedding on Saturday, so sadly we missed them (but I saw them at the beach last week, so that was good). Evan was disappointed to miss out hanging with Lisa’s ‘rents a couple weekends ago, and I knew Eric wanted to see them, and I like to think of them as my second parents, so off we went. They made us a fantastic lunch as soon as we arrived.

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The weather wasn’t the greatest for most of the day, but little Roxy really wanted to go for a boat ride, and who can say no to that face?

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That Roxy has it good and she knows it.

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The boys really enjoyed the boat ride also…

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Just living the dream.

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Eric said he hasn’t been on a boat in years so I know he really liked it.

I also spotted my new summer home.

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That is all one property, I would just like to point out. The house to the left is the guest house. Tough life.

Finally the clouds cleared and we could spend some time hanging in the sunshine.

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Lisa’s dad Phil made us quite the pork loin for dinner. He even staged  it all nice with sliced apples so I could get a good picture of it for the blog.

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He was very excited about it and it warmed my heart.

That pork tasted just as good as it looked!

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It was an excellent dinner. Don’t be surprised if I move in here.

Sunday we had another parent party. We went to my dad and Mona’s for more barbecue (you can never have too many), and don’t be surprised if I move in here either…

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Freakin’ delicious. I never want the summer eating to end (but my pants say yes, it needs to). That was followed by possibly my favourite dessert of all time. Lemon meringue pie. Mona knows where it’s at.

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Ughhhh, I love it. Well it might be tied with homemade cherry cheesecake (my mom’s) but it is up there for sure.

We spent the afternoon in the backyard with this cheerful kitty, Tweety, who suffers from resting bitchface.

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He is pretty cute though.

Like Winnie, he cannot let plants go uneaten.

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But I don’t think he throws up the plants everywhere like Winnie.

My dad (aka Bobby) played his keyboards for us…

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That’s an old pic, but same thing only my dad’s hair is longer and he has four more keyboards and several amps and quite the sweet setup in his mancave. Remember when he sent one of his songs in to some electronica contest and the first prize was to attend a rave in Montreal? I’m still sad he didn’t win that. He is quite an excellent keyboard player. Evan said his playing took Bobby to the next level for him and he is looking at him in a whole new light now.

And then we had a photoshoot in the garden.
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Followed by a hot tub party.

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Thanks for the photo Mona!

It was a lovely afternoon and it finished off a lovely weekend and now you are all caught up.

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Happy 101st Birthday to my Amazing Nana!

Happy 101st (yeah, one hundred and first!) birthday to this wonderful lady!!!

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Whenever someone asks me what her secret is I tell them this. It is, without a doubt, her positive attitude. Her life has not been all sunshine and rainbows. She has had her struggles and difficult times, just like anyone else. But she has never let those things define her. And you would never know her struggles by spending time with her. She lives for the little things in life, and she has always been, genuinely, to her core, the happiest and most positive light in my life.

So in honour of my Nana on her 101st birthday, I am going to share my favourite memories of her, moments with her, and funny things she has done/said. I’ve mentioned a lot of these things on my blog over the years, but it’ll be nice to have them all in one place.

36 Reasons Why My Nana is the Best Ever

1  She looooves horoscopes and she has always read hers, mine, my best friend’s, and my boyfriend’s, religiously. One time she called me and was all “Lindsey, Lindsey, is everything okay? I read in your horoscope that someone is going to try to undermine you today, so please be careful!” Noted. And one time after reading my Bestie Lisa’s she called me and said “Lisa’s horoscope said there is going to be a new man in her life soon, tell her to keep an eye out.” Thanks for the heads up, Nana!

2  We were getting ready to leave her house after Easter dinner one year, and she called out to my dad, who was driving “Do you want a beer for the road?!” Oh Nana. That is illegal.

3  Her reaction to pretty much everything you say to her is “Oh, wonderful! Beautiful!” and then a pause, and then “Fantastic!”

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4  One time Evan and I were visiting her in her home and as we were leaving she forced a $50 bill into my hand and said “I want you to take this and go and buy some CHIPS.” And just the way she said chips made us die of laughter. We still laugh about it today. Sure Nana, I will go and buy $50 worth of chips.

5  When I was born I was quite dark. I can apparently credit this to my Papa, my dad’s side of the family, the Bulgarians. I had very dark hair and darker skin, but somehow I seem to have lightened up as I’ve gotten older. Anyway, my parents were pointing me out to my Nana after I was born when I was in an incubator in a room with all the other babies at the hospital, and when my parents pointed to me my Nana said “The negro?!”

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Not quite…

6  Her care packages. OMG the care packages. When she lived on her own, and after I moved out on my own, she would make care packages to give me when I came to visit her. These consisted of random items such as half used bottles of Windex, one roll of paper towel, oranges, a can of soup, bread, cheese (wrapped in tinfoil and then wax paper), PC Decadent cookies, stamps, and whatever else might be useful that had been on sale at the grocery store. Now that she is in a home and can’t shop for herself, she still tries to do this, but her items are things she has somehow acquired, so therefore even more random. Usually cookies and muffins she has saved from various meals and stored in Ziplock bags, socks she won at Bingo, and stickers.

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This one was around Easter

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I love it.

7  Fairly recently she called me and told me she was not doing very well so I needed to come see her immediately because she had something very important to give me. It was this:

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Still trying to take care of me, even though she wasn’t well herself.

8  A couple years ago my cousins Chrissy, Allie and I were all at my aunt’s house with Nana. My Nana suddenly pulled a couple of adult diapers out of her bag and handed them to Chrissy and I saying “THESE ARE FOR YOUR PANTIES!!!” (very loudly). I guess she didn’t need them anymore, but we might, you know! Girl time! I didn’t really know what to do so I was trying to say thank you as tears of laughter were streaming down my face, and Nana looked at me and said “Oh, sorry Lindsey, these aren’t for you! I thought you were Allie!” and snatched the diaper away from me. Then she handed me my present: cookies saved from meals, and $20. And my cousins were all “But…why doesn’t Lindsey get a diaper?” and Nana said “Well Lindsey lives on her own you know…” Which, yep I did! To this day I don’t think I have ever laughed so hard (I actually blogged this whole story just after it happened).

9  Before she moved into a nursing home, she had a little vacation in one for two weeks to try it out and see how she liked it. When I asked her how it was there, the first thing she said was “The food is AMAZING!” and then went on to describe everything she ate.

10  Whenever I ask her what she ate for breakfast she always says porridge, toast, eggs, yogurt, coffee, and orange juice. Pretty sure we all inherited her love of food.

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11  Speaking of food, all the food she made. Homemade pierogies, cabbage rolls, lasagne, pizza, pickled everything, soda floats, SALAD, Easter dinners with painted eggs, cookies… The homemade birthday cakes she used to make with buttercream icing (always white with blue trim and pink roses), and she would wash coins and then wrap them in wax paper and put them in the batter. We would have competitions to see who could find the most money.

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12  Her shortbread cookies. They are the best ever.

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13  The nurses in her home are each in charge of various games, and are reviewed for the attendance of the residents. Nana knows this and she doesn’t want the nurses to get bad marks, so for a couple of years she would go to ALL THE GAMES. Mystery Word, Bingo, and table bowling were her favourite. And whenever I would call her and ask her how she was she would say “Oh I’m just so BUSY!” Going to all the games was really tiring her out, but she couldn’t risk the nurses getting bad marks!

14  One time I asked her if she was able to play Euchre in her home with the other residents, and she looked at me and said “Euchre! Most of these people don’t even know where their room is! They can’t play Euchre!”

15  She always looks like a million bucks. She gets up and does her makeup every morning, is always wearing lipstick, and her nails are always freshly painted in a bright colour.

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16  My friend Melissa and I used to stay with my Nana at her house for a week in the summer when we were younger, and her favourite thing was to take us shopping. She was in her 80s but she would make us shop with her ALL DAY. And we would be all “Nana, slow down, we need a break!” and she would just say “Come on girls, we still have stores to hit!” and so we started calling her the Energizer Bunny.

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17  It was my Nana every year who would take me shopping for back-to-school clothes, and it was my Nana who would take me shopping for my prom dresses (I went to a really small school so I went to prom for five years).

18  She was always so welcoming to my friends in her old house, and then her apartment. Most of my best friends have stayed with her for at least a weekend.

19  When I was young and would sleep over she would always make me a real banana split before bed. When I woke up in the morning there would be freshly squeezed orange juice beside my head. Followed by porridge with all the brown sugar.

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20  She would always have puzzles and books tucked under her couch for when we came over.

21  Her apartment used to be just plastered with pictures of her grandchildren, and she had album upon album of us also. We were everywhere. My cousins and I used to have a competition about it, and we would go around and count how many pictures of us there were when we were visiting, and my cousin Chrissy (she is the oldest) was always in the lead by a couple. Until I got Nana an entire calendar of pictures of me 🙂

23  She saves every card anyone’s ever gotten her, and she keeps them all in a big photo album.

24  One time she couldn’t get out to get me a Valentine’s Day card, so she just whited out the name on a card a child had made for her.

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Oh how this made me laugh.

25  The way she signs all her cards to me.

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And how she adds her own stickers to spice them up.

26  How happy she is when holding a baby, or just in the general vicinity of a baby.

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26  The smell of her, and the smell of her house. I’ll never ever forget it. If I concentrate really hard I can smell it in my mind right now.

27  Her house in Toronto, the one my dad grew up in. The backyard in particular, I just loved it. It was huge, with the biggest garden, with grape vines, and a willow tree. In the front she had a big maple tree that was perfect for climbing, so we would climb and hang out in it for hours.

28  Throughout my childhood she had various figure skaters from around the world boarding with her while they were training in Toronto, so she wouldn’t have to live alone. She treated them as part of her family, and they would come to our holiday dinners, etc. One of them went on to be on the American Olympic Team, so I felt like my Nana lived with a celebrity!

29  Every time I see her she tells me how beautiful she thinks I am. And if I ever am worried about something she will say “Don’t worry, you’re beautiful!” not that it would make the problem better, but it does make me feel nice.

30  Her love for the Young and the Restless, the Y&R!

31  When she worries about things, they tend to be things that make me laugh. For a while she was worried that my brother Eric was going to join a gang and start smoking. And she was always concerned about my purse, because you always had to watch out for “those purse snatchers.” They could strike when you least expected it. Like when you’re in your car and you have your purse on the passenger seat, and someone opens your door and snatches it when you’re stopped. This was a big concern of hers.

32  When she was 99 she fell and broke her hip, and the doctors thought she would probably never walk again. But she was walking in the hospital the day after her surgery!

33  One time I witnessed her pick up her walker, carry it around an obstacle, put it back down and continue walking with it. Like it wasn’t needed at all.

34  She is the easiest person to buy a birthday present for because she does not want me to spend any money on her, so all she has ever asked for from me is pictures of me.

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35  I love the love she has for her family. That she must be touching us if she is near us.

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36  I love that I have never in my life seen her without a smile on her face.

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There are so many more reasons, I feel like I could go on forever…but it’s almost time for her birthday party!

The happiest of bithdays to my most wonderful Nana! We love you so much!!!

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