What I’ll Be Drinking All Summer Long

Totally Random 16 July 2014 | 0 Comments

I usually drink white wine in the summer, with the occasional beer, margarita or even a gin and tonic for variety. But a couple weeks ago I had bourbon lemonade (pictured above) at Hogtown Smoke with my pal Hilary. It was delicious.

I need to figure out how to make them so I can now drink bourbon lemonades all summer long. Do you have a good recipe? I’ve found some online that suggest using triple sec or maple syrup in addition to the lemonade and bourbon, for sweetness. Or this recipe on The Kitchn suggests using honey bourbon with lemon juice, sugar and water. I guess I’ll have to try a few different recipes to find which one I like best. Sounds like a fun experiment.

Family Day Out at Bluffer’s Beach

City Love 9 July 2014 | 0 Comments

BeachUmbrella

This past Saturday, Ian, Clara and I went to Bluffer’s Beach. It’s part of Bluffer’s Park (remember this post from 2010?) and it was amazing – seriously the best beach for young kids I’ve seen in Toronto. That’s because it’s man-made. No rocks, no algae… just clean, clear, shallow water with a sandy bottom.  We got there around 10:00am and were able to easily find a parking space (although the lots were all full when we left around 12:30pm – so get there early!). We set up our Sportbrella, put on some sunscreen, and set out to build sandcastles and wade in the water. Lake Ontario was cooooooold but it felt good and refreshing after sitting in the sun. A perfect way to spend a Saturday in the summer, and only a short drive from our house. Toronto is so cool sometimes.

Here are some more photos.

ClaraInWater

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BeachFamily

A New Poster for My Office

Get Your Art On 25 June 2014 | 0 Comments

poster

I just ordered this print from Holstee – it’s an illustration of Maria Popova’s 7 Things I Learned in 7 Years of Reading, Writing and Living (a post on her delicious BrainPickings blog). It’s going to look awesome on the wall above my computer in my office.

Do You Read Graphic Novels?

Good Reads 20 June 2014 | 2 Comments

thisonesummer

Other than a few Neil Gaiman comics I read in high school, I don’t often read graphic novels. But I’ve heard of two recently that intrigue me, and both are by Toronto writers. The first is This One Summer by illustrator Jillian Tamaki (whose work I adore) and her cousin, writer Mariko Tamaki. It’s about two girls on the cusp of becoming teenagers, during one summer at their families’ beach houses. Sounds like the perfect summer read.

The second graphic novel that interests me is Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley (you know, the guy who made Scott Pilgrim). Apparently it has a strong female lead (which you know I love).

Have you read any graphic novels that you really enjoyed?

[images via Jillian Tamaki's blog]

Do You Like Rollercoasters?

A Good Laugh 18 June 2014 | 1 Comment

rollercoaster

Do you like to ride on rollercoasters?  I hate them.  I get all tense and want to vomit. I can do the kiddie ones but that’s it!  Ferris wheels and carousels are enough for me.

This video from last night’s episode of Jimmy Fallon made me laugh. Comedian Kevin Hart seems to hate rollercoasters as much as I do!  Enjoy.

 

 

[img via Flickr user 55Laney69]

Before and After Pics of Our New Backyard

Totally Random 22 May 2014 | 5 Comments

YARD

I took off a few hours from work today to put the finishing touches on our new backyard, and I’m so happy to say it’s done! We just finished a 3-week long full overhaul. Our old deck, shed, walkway and pathetic grass patches were full removed, and a new patio, deck, and gardens were put in (with proper drainage and grading and all that not-so-sexy-but-all-so-important stuff). We worked with Ted Hobson and his crew from Hobson Landscapes, and they did an *amazing* job. I highly recommend them. Lots more photos of before, during, and after the landscaping after the jump…

[...]

Something to Try This Summer: Camping with the Kid

Kid Stuff,Wanderlust 16 May 2014 | 6 Comments

robby tent

Before Clara was born, Ian and I loved to go camping at different provincial parks in Ontario. We’re not hardcore into backwoods camping or anything – we do “car camping”, where you pull your car up to your reserved spot so it’s much easier to pack and unload. We have a massive tent that fits our queen-size air mattress, and I have even been known to bring a duvet and feather pillows (way more cozy than sleeping bags… hey… don’t judge).

We have camped with our dogs (that’s our old dog, Robby, in the photo above) but haven’t tried camping with our kid. I think this summer it’s finally time. Clara is 3 now, potty trained, eats regular food, and sleeps somewhat regularly.  She’d probably love to explore and play in the woods, and splash in the water on a shallow beach. I think there would be enough new stuff to see and do to keep her entertained. And if the whole thing is a total gong show, we can always just pack up and drive home, right?

Have you gone camping with small children? Any tips?

 

A Mother’s Day Card from a 3-Year-Old

A Good Laugh,Baby Love 9 May 2014 | 1 Comment

ClaraMothersDay

3-year-old Clara came home from preschool with this gem today, tucked inside her Mother’s Day card for me. I think “drink some juice” is a euphemism for wine. I also like that I’m apparently 5 years old.

Happy Mother’s Day!

PS – My blog post from my first Mother’s Day, when Clara was an infant.

I cannot wait for this movie.

Totally Random 8 May 2014 | 0 Comments

boyhood

I love Richard Linklater. The “Before” series (Before Sunset, Before Sunrise, Before Midnight) are some of my all-time favourite films. I even enjoy his goofy stuff, like School of Rock and Dazed and Confused.

When I heard about his latest film Boyhood, I was blown away. It took Linklater twelve years to make the film. That means he started it in 2001 (woah… can you remember what you were doing in 2001?).  He filmed the same cast for a few days every year, slowly piecing together a story about a boy growing up. The film is fiction (this isn’t a documentary) but it was made in real-time (the star of the film, Ellar Coltrane, was seven years old when they started; now he’s 19).

Sounds cool, but also a bit gimmicky, right?  Hopefully not with Richard Linklater. I hope he brings the same amount of depth and thoughtful nuance to Boyhood that shows in the “Before” series.

What an amazing project. The movie comes out in July. Watch the trailer here.

[via Kottke.org]

Stay in an Unusual Spot… Without Costing a Lot

Wanderlust 29 April 2014 | 0 Comments

CrownhillFort1

CrownhillFort2

CrownhillFort3

Ian and I are kicking around the idea of going to England late this summer or this fall. We’d spend a few days in London, and then get outside the city a bit to explore. While researching places to go and places to stay, I read about the Landmark Trust – a charity that “rescues buildings that would otherwise be lost” and turns them into places you can stay overnight. We’re talking castles, literary landmarks, and unusual spots (like prisons, rectories, mine towers, and gatehouses). The properties are in England, Wales, Scotland, France and Italy, and the best part is… they’re totally inexpensive.  There’s a 4-night stay minimum, and some properties are as low as £90 for all 4 nights. That’s crazy.

The website is pretty great – you can read about the history of each property, its features, get a floor plan, and learn about the local area. We’re totally going to book one… now we just have to decide which.

[images above of the Holiday at Crownhill Fort in Plymouth, where you stay in the Officer's Quarters and have free run of the fort once the gates close in the evening. SO COOL.]

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