Category Archives: Holidays



Thank you to all the brave men and women who have served, and continue to serve, our country. Today I remember that many men and women have selflessly volunteered their lives to protect our people and the oppressed people around the world.

I am always incredibly proud to be Canadian, but this year I feel even more appreciative of the true north strong and free. Given everything that’s happened this week, my love for Canada is at an all time high. I would be naive to think that the new US President won’t affect my country – the leader of the free world impacts the entire world, and I am heartbroken at the result of the election. I know that in a corporate setting it is the leadership that sets the tone and culture for the entire organization. And with a country, it is the leadership that sets the tone and culture for the entire nation. It starts at the top. And for that tone to be of hate and intolerance is extremely disheartening and scary. I just want everyone to have the same rights, privileges and freedoms that I enjoy, and I can’t understand why everyone doesn’t want this. I don’t know what’s going to happen and unfortunately I do think we’re in some weird, dark times… But I am thankful to live in a country with a leader who embodies inclusiveness, tolerance, kindness, freedom, love and acceptance, and who values everyone of all religions, races, genders, and sexual orientation. I truly hope that Canada is able to continue to set this example for the world.

Today please remember that there are so many people who have and will continue to give everything to stand up for you.


Canada Day Camping

Happy belated Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day! #proudtobecanadian

And happy belated Fourth of July to all my American chums. We had Friday off so I was envious of you as I sat at my desk yesterday. I hope everyone had a great long weekend! We went camping with my friend Sherrie and her boyfriend Will, and sadly not in the beautiful mountains above where I was last year, we went to Silent Lake, where my family always went when I was a kid and where Evan and I went to last Labour Day weekend. The weather this time wasn’t wonderful but we had a gooood time.

The reservable sites at Silent Lake booked up really early and were gone by the time we decided we actually wanted to go camping, but there were several sites reserved for walk-ins that you couldn’t book in advance. I called them and they said it was first come first serve for those sites and we should be good if we got there as early as possible. So on Friday morning I left my house at 6am (Evan was coming later with Will), booked it to get Sherrie, left there at 7am, and made it to the park just after it opened.

A lot of people had arrived Thursday night and taken sites so when I checked in the morning there were only a three sites left. It was almost a two hour drive from Sherrie’s place so we sped up there and prayed the sites wouldn’t be taken when we got there. We were super lucky and got the second last available site. A guy in a truck came just after us and got the very last site, and a lady came just after him and was SOL. If we had been even 10 minutes later we wouldn’t have gotten a site, so we were pretty happy about that and raved on about how lucky we were. There were only walk-in campsites left, which meant we had to park offsite and walk our stuff in, but we are resourceful. We made friends with a ranger with a golf cart who let us load up all our stuff.

My tent (on the left in the pic below) is a complicated beast but we were able to get those puppies and the dining tent set up pretty quickly.



Which was a good thing because as soon as we finished it started raining annnnnd it continued to rain for almost the rest of the day. It figures. We’ve had a bit of a drought lately and have had beautiful sunny weather for the past few weeks, but Canada Day weekend comes along and of course it rains. We still thought we were so lucky though, first snagging the site and then getting everything set up before the rain. Typical Canadians raving about their good luck when it rains all day.


We got wet but what can ya do. It wasn’t bad, Sherrie had an extra pop-up tent that is meant to be used to shield from the sun, but we set that up over our chairs in front of a fire we built and it kept us pretty dry. Even with the rain I’d rather be camping!

Our first meal of the trip was not extravagant but it sure did hit the spot.


Sherrie makes the best Kraft Dinner. You can’t get more Canadian than eating Kraft Dinner while camping on Canada Day (it’s our national dish and we eat 55% more than Americans, take that Paula!). I love it. I need to eat more of it.

The rain eased up a bit in the afternoon so we walked down to the lake and then went on a little hike.






It is a beautiful park. One of my faves in Ontario!

The boys arrived together around 6pm and I’m glad they came when they did even though they missed the day. Evan was pretty sick on Thursday (I think he had the bug I had the week before, it was no good) and it was Will’s first time camping, so if they sat around in the rain all day I think they would have hated their lives. Thankfully by the time they arrived the worst of the rain was over.

I was on dinner duty and made us some tacos.


Camping tacos are the best tacos.

Evan still wasn’t feeling 100% so he had a spectacular napular in our tent.


Poor muffin. He’s a trooper.

It rained on and off until about 9, but we got a little sunset break!


We spent the rest of the evening hanging out by the fire.

In the morning Will cooked us breakfast.


And it was probably the best camping breakfast I’ve ever had.


Scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, fried tomatoes, and potatoes. The potatoes were the highlight. He had boiled and seasoned them before he left so he just had to throw them in a pan and brown them up. Excellent idea and so, so good.

After breakfast we headed down to the lake to rent kayaks for a lake adventure.


Evan and I kayaked the whole lake last year in a couple of hours — we also walked around the whole lake in about five hours. It was 15k on uneven hilly ground and it was torture, this was not the weekend to do that again. But the kayaking we knew was a good time. There are no motorboats allowed on the lake so it is perfect for kayaking and canoeing, and it’s small enough that you can see the entire lake.



I love the rocky shoreline and the little islands you can explore.





Evan picked us water lilies! Romantique!


Mine had bugs all over it so it went overboard pretty quickly…

At the far end of the lake it gets pretty shallow and narrow. It’s a fun area to explore.




It was a windy day and it was quite choppy in the main part of the lake, but the little channels were calm.


It’s so pretty.

After our kayak adventure we headed back for burgers (homemade by Will and delicious) and then hit up the beach. It was not the warmest of days but I really wanted to go swimming. That was basically the entire point of leaving the city for the weekend. You can’t have Canada Day weekend without swimming! So, we swam.


We also played some beach bocce ball.



We stayed at the beach for a few hours before going back to hang at our site. I was feeling pretty groovy in my camping attire.


The lake was really close to our site so we walked down for one last hurrah before it got dark.

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And then Will made us the most amazing dinner. Corn on the cob cooked over the fire…


Shrimp skewers, chicken and vegetable skewers, and coleslaw.


It pays to be friends with a chef!

And we had some spider dogs later that we cooked over the fire.


We also went down and looked at the stars over the lake once it got dark, and they were some of the best stars I’ve ever seen. I’m so glad we had a good day on Saturday, it made up for the Friday rain.

We all had to work on Monday so on Sunday we just packed up and headed home. It was a real good time camping with these guys!


And we didn’t even have one noise complaint! There was a group in their early 20s who had two sites just down from ours and they really took the attention off of us. We were walking by them in the dark on Saturday night and one of the guys yelled “HEY do you guys want to come hang out with us? …or are you cougars?” I said “Maybe we are…” and we kept walking back to our old people site with our old people music (70s/80s rock — probably not cool to them). Ah to be young. And then they got a noise complaint, suckers.

We actually have a big group camping trip coming up in a few weeks which I am really looking forward to, even more now. I have the camping fever for sure.


Holly Jollies

Welp, I am back to the ol’ grind this week. The holidays were very busy and I do wish I snuck in a bit more leisuring, but I am thankful to have had a week and a half off. Actually, in every job I’ve had the office has shut down for at least a week and a half over Christmas, and I don’t think that is super common so I might be spoiled.

On Friday I was actually thinking  I wasn’t feeling as gross as I usually am after Christmas and I was proud of myself for keeping my eating mostly in check. Big meals, for sure, but my snacking wasn’t outrageous and I didn’t really have seconds of holiday dinners, so I think that helped. This was up until Friday night. And then we ordered Pizza Hut and I snacked on all the chocolate and cookies we had lying around, and generally ate like a glutton the rest of the weekend. So, that feeling went away. Come Monday I was ready to get back into a routine of my lunchtime work walks and not eating all day. Well okay, still a Girl Guide cookie or two.

Wednesday last week was the first time I had nothing going on so my plan was to do nothing but catch up on TV all day. That’s it. Well, and a bit of laundry and present-organizing. But that’s it! Evan was working, so it was just this little minx and I on the couch.


I watched the entire second season of The Affair, which I am just loving. I think it is the best show on TV right now. It’s funny because I really don’t like any of the characters, except for Cole, and maybe Helen, but I can’t get enough of it. I love the subtle differences between the perspectives and it is the first show in a while where I want to watch the next episode immediately because I need to know what happens. I can’t wait for the third season. Also, Alison’s mouth is distracting.

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Also, Noah is gross.

I also caught up on Downton Abbey since I haven’t been watching since season 3. I miss the costumes before the roaring 20s but I am still loving the story. I even got Evan to watch the fourth season with me. He said he just wanted to watch it so he could spend time with his “lover” but I know the truth. He likes it. And we started Making a Murderer — like everyone else in the world apparently. I feel like if I don’t watch it I am going to be left out of pop culture. I already have all the feels about it but I don’t know what to think. Lighting the cat on fire really tainted my opinion of Steven and I think he should be in jail for that alone.

On New Year’s Eve we headed to Dawn and Mark’s for an old fashioned house party!


I love that Evan wore that shirt. It kills me. It is quite the New Year’s shirt. I picked it up for him in Vegas, you may remember ($9.99 down from $50! Bargain!).

We played a ton of games and I can’t even explain them to you because we made them dirty. Everything we played was NSFW and therefore NSFB (not safe for blog). They had us laughing hard and that is most important.


I meant to mention in my last post that Winnie’s present to Evan (from me) was Exploding Kittens and I meant to bring it to the party but completely forgot. We played it alone in our hotel room when we were in Huntsville and I have to say it is a pretty fun game. And quite…interesting.


Judging by the amount of crumbs I find in my bra at the end of the day I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a boob wizard living in there.

Anyway, NYE. Most of our gals and their lads were in attendance and we had a really fun time!




I loved the entire night. I was especially excited that for the first time in about six years I rang in the new year with Lisa. As the countdown was happening I was regaling her with the story of the time my Nana tried on a new shirt, patted her boobs and said in a sad and wistful voice “Empty.” So, Lisa entered the new year crying with laughter. When the new year starts and you are gasping for breath because you are laughing too hard, it’s gonna be a good year.

In the morning we all went out for breakfast (Wally’s World in Oshawa, it’s an old standby) and I started off by getting myself rehydrated.


All the drinks. I spent the rest of the day marathoning Downton Abbey and taking down the Christmas decorations.

On Saturday I headed to Emily and Corey’s — they were having a gender reveal party!


Which means they did not know the sex of the baby and found out at the same time as their close family and friends. I have never been to one of these parties but I am a blogger who has Pinterest so I am well aware they are increasing in popularity. Any excuse for a party, I say!


I was team boy and I wore my clothes peg proudly.

And any excuse to be eating!


Emily had pulled pork in that spread and it was amazing.

I just want to show you this picture of Emily and Corey’s baby announcement to their family, because I think Ace just looks so dapper.


What a proud young man. A true guard dog.

And then it was time for the big reveal!


Our group was pretty split on whether the baby would be a boy or a girl. But in the end…



Boy! They were both excited, but Corey was beyond. I am so happy for the lovebirds.


Evan and I spent Sunday cleaning and organizing the condo, sort of like a mini spring cleaning, but winter. In the evening we ate the world with Emily, Corey, Dawn and Mark — Peru! But more on that later. Afterwards we hit up Casa Loma.


Because we were doing the escape series there, Escape Casa Loma, King of the Bootleggers! This is already so long though and I am waiting on our group photo, so I will save the recap of that for another post.

So the holidays were a busy time, but a really good time!



Experiences of 2015


Evan and I partied at our friends Dawn and Mark’s last night with many of our best pals. It was the perfect way to ring in the new year!

Last year I mentioned that 2014 was my year best traveled and I really loved doing a recap post at the end of the year of all the activities I got up to. It made me appreciate my life. I didn’t think my 2015 could possibly be any better, but after looking back, somehow I think it was. In keeping with my New Year recapping theme, here are my favourite experiences of 2015!

The wedding of my oldest friend Emily to her lover Corey!

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My trip to Vegas with the most fun group of people ever. Ever!





My axe throwing birthday party!



Cayo Coco Cuba trip with Evan.



Some highlights from our #cayococo vacation on my blog today! ( It was a goooood time.

It was a time.

Adventures with the girls in Nashville!



Paula and Fabian come to visit!


We are on a spelunking adventure!

Not a bad way to finish off their Canadian adventure.


And we did all the things.

Camping in the mountains over Canada Day.


This was my dream weekend.



Man, that was the best time ever.

And then visiting Eric and my Mom on that same trip.


My Nana turned the big 101!

Oh this Nana ❤️


I had the most fun beach day on Hanlan’s Point with most of our Vegas crew.

Toronto isn't so bad at all.

Living the dream at Evan’s cottage.


And not just that specific occasion, we had so many great cottage weekends this year.

Eric came to visit!



Camping (well, yurting) with Evan at Silent Lake.



Even our 15km hike.

Melissa’s wedding in Muskoka.



And of course, our murder mystery dinner party.


Once again, I did not realize how great my year was until I went looking back through my blog to write this. And once again I am reminded of why I love blogging. I love having a record of my adventures and I love to share them with you! So thank you so much for reading! I am so lucky to have a great audience to share my shenanigans with. Here’s to 2016 being awesome!

And if your 2015 wasn’t great, may your 2016 be a million times better. We’ve all been there with the crap years. I still don’t even want to talk about 2012.


Hip Hip Hooray for Christmas Vacation

Ah Christmas. I can’t believe it’s already over. I hope you had a great one! I’m late with the recapping but yesterday was my first day home since like the 23rd. It’s been a whirlwind of eating, family, friends, and more eating.

My Christmas was really busy but really good! I worked until about lunchtime on Christmas Eve and then left straight from there to meet Evan so we could drive to Belleville together to Evan’s nana’s place. We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day there with their mom and nana, as has become tradition.

Evan and I seem to take a selfie every year on his nana’s couch, so here is 2015:


And 2014:


Annnnd 2013:


Less festive this year apparently.

We arrived and caught up with Evan’s fam and then ate a few boxes of Oriental Party Pack for dinner, as you do. We started this last year and I am hoping it becomes an annual tradition as well!

On Christmas Day we did the present thing. Evan and I saved ours for later when we went on a mini getaway this week, so we just exchanged with Evan’s fam. Evan’s mom got us a Coleman stove for camping! I am pretty pumped about that. We don’t have a legit one and have borrowed someone else’s the last few times we’ve been camping, so I am excited to cook on that thing. Or I should say, excited for Evan to cook me things.

For the rest of the day we played with Landon and watched marathons of House Hunters. We usually watch that or all the true crime shows at nana’s. I look forward to being lazy there and catching up on trashy tv.

Christmas dinner was fantastic.


Evan’s nana made her famous meatball curry along with turkey and stuffing, as is tradition over there. It is so, so good and I always get so disappointed when I’m full because I want to keep eating it forever.

It was incredibly mild this year, so after dinner Evan and I went on a walk to take advantage. And to walk off our dinner. His nana lives in the older part of the city and there are a lot of really neat (and huge) century homes in her neighbourhood. Including the Glamore House, which is now a museum.


The moon was so crazy bright! It totally looked haunted and like something out of the Adams Family. Or Downton Abbey.

On Boxing Day we had breakfast with Evan’s mom and nana, and then we hit the road to Evan’s dad and Loulou’s. You know, the place with all the animals. Remember this chicken?!


Who is somehow sort of like a cat?


That’s Panda Bear, and he has grown up. Into a rooster.


Don’t be jealous of my jacket. I am aware of how attractive it is.

He looks so different. I can’t believe he’s the same animal.


He was still really nice, and quite snuggly though.

The newest addition to the farm (there is always one) was baby rescue pigeon that had been kicked out of his nest and left to fend for himself.


They are hand feeding him until he’s big enough to hang out with the other birds. Just like one big happy family.

Sasha was quite festive for the occasion.


Much collar. Such Christmas. She is such a lovely muffin.

Dinner was once again amazing.


This turkey dinner also included pork, sausage and sauerkraut! I love how everyone has their own traditions. It was delicious. I am having turkey withdrawal now. I want to eat it all the time.

On Boxing Day night I headed over to my Bestie Lisa’s parents’ place, as she is visiting from Calgary. Dawn and Emily came over as well so it was quite the old fashioned slumber party.


Of course we had to get a picture with some of the Santas. There are five new ones this year so I think that now makes 107 Santas in total. Lisa had texted me earlier and told me about the new Santas and her mom said I had to guess which ones were new. I told Evan this so when I texted him that photo later he responded with “Are those new Santas?” which made me laugh.

Oh, and now seems to be a good time to tell you that Emily is pregnant! She told us all in Ottawa when we went to visit Lisa, who was there for work. That sneaky minx Emily was also pregnant at Evan’s cottage in the summer. She was tricky with her non-alcoholic beer and I had no idea at all. I also had no idea when we went out for Ethiopian food with her and Corey and she ordered a virgin Caesar. Who orders a virgin Caesar? Looking back now there were so many signs. I should have known. I am so happy for her and Corey!!! I also love pregnant Emily. She is the most laid back but also energetic pregnant person I have ever known.

Anyway, Dawn’s Santa was quite flexible had his leg in the air, and coincidentally Dawn also has a crazy talent for putting her leg in the air (useful!). So, we all tried to get in on it.



Dawn wins. I don’t know how she does it so well, that flexible minx!

It was such a good time with Evan’s family and then with the girls. My pants are snug, but it was worth it, as it always is. The only thing that could have made this Christmas better was snow! Next year.


Merry Christmas Eve!

It’s my favourite day of the year!

The weather has been so incredibly mild lately that it doesn’t really feel like Christmas. Today is supposed to be something like 14C (57F) and sunny! That is not common Christmas Eve weather. I have actually only had to bust out the winter coat twice so far this year, other than that I’ve been chilling in spring/fall jackets. I think this is purely because of where I live though, because it’s not truly winter to me unless the temperature is below 3C (37F). Any higher than that, spring coat.

However, I definitely remember the same thing happening last year. I was outside in a long sleeved shirt and a scarf on Boxing Day and I have the blog evidence to back that up.


It was balmy. Evan and I tried to do our winter getaway last year and we were all pumped for tobogganing and cross country skiing and snowshoeing, and instead we got muddy nature walks. Well okay, on the last day a bit of skating.

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And then it was freezing until like, July. So I know winter is coming. It’s just taking its sweet time. I do not have any hope for a white Christmas though.

I am working until about 1pm today and then I am off until the 4th! So I am obviously pretty excited about that. Christmas kind of snuck up on me this year but I am ready. All the wrapping is done and packed to be toted around with us. Actually, I saw a present for me under the tree from “The Soobz” (my car, the Subaru). What a thoughtful car I have. I just got my brakes done and it was not cheap so it’s nice to see my car paying me back. I also see a few presents to Evan from Winnie that I did not buy. What a thoughtful cat we have also.

Anyway, we are off to Evan’s Nana’s this afternoon, until Boxing Day, which we will spend with Evan’s dad and Loulou. From there I am heading to my Bestie Lisa’s parents, as she is home for the holidays, and then Evan and I are doing our annual petite getaway to Huntsville for a couple of days. There’s no place like everywhere else but home for the holidays. It is pretty busy around here and I won’t be blogging until mid next week, but I wanted to pop in with a few updates!

The most notable thing – my Macbook Pro is about three years old now and it is noticeably slowing down. It was starting to take a long time to close and open programs and editing photos for a blog post was taking ridiculously long because my Photoshop was being a jerk and freezing all the time. I always thought that MacBooks had about a three year shelf life so I was thinking maybe it was time I got a new computer, but they are so expensive I was trying to hold off.

And then along came Evan. We got a new solid state hard drive for my Mac, and two sticks of ram at 4g each (my Mac had two sticks at 2g each). Evan opened up my MacBook, took out my current hard drive and put it into an external enclosure (so I can hook up to it with a USB and bring my files back on), put in the new hard drive and switched to my new 4g memory sticks, so now I have an extra 8g instead of 4g.


I guess if you’re handy with tile and floors and renovating things and rebuilding boat motors it translates to computers also? I don’t know. That man can do anything. But it’s like I have a whole new computer! I can’t believe it! When I open or close a program it happens instantly. Everything is so fast. Before Evan switched everything I timed how long it took to start my computer and it was two minutes and 30 seconds. I actually didn’t think that was bad. But now, since he upgraded, it turns on in 13 seconds! THIRTEEN SECONDS. It is insane to me. It cost me less than $200 for all the parts, compared to $1500 (at least, if I were to get a new computer) and the difference is just crazy. I can’t get over it. So if you have an older MacBook that is getting slower, take note! Seriously, it’s like new.

In other news, I went out for lunch with my team at work the other day and we went to a Japanese restaurant on Yonge Street, I Zu. I was feeling sushi but I noticed they had ramen on the menu and I have never tried it before (aside from Mr. Noodles), so I felt like it was time. I don’t know where ramen has been all my life.


Holy crap. It was so good. I want to eat it all the time. And those eggs may look weird but they are poached in the soup and insanely delicious.

I’ve been pretty busy this week so I haven’t done a Christmas post this year. So here’s a couple I’ve done over the last few years to make up for it.

The Christmas Presents I Always Wanted (and never received)


My Favourite Childhood Christmas Presents


Kid vs. Adult Christmas Morning


Santa’s Village


And that’s it. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! I hope Santa is good to you all, and you get a thoughtful gift from your car!