Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Sneak Peeks of Nova Scotia

Good morning pals!

As many of you know, last week I was off on a much-needed long weekend getaway to Nova Scotia with Lindsay.  We had a blast!  We stayed at her parents’ cottage right on the ocean in St. Margaret’s Bay, and we had a wonderful 5 days of rest & relaxation, sight-seeing, adventuring, eating, drinking… it was pure bliss!

A real Nova Scotia post(s?) is/are coming in the hopefully near future, but I just wanted to pop in and say hi!  I’m still working on editing pics (I took a zillion of them!), and haven’t uploaded many yet – only the ones I used in my Project 365 – so I’ll leave a few of those here as a “sneak peek” at our trip.

Nova Scotia 1

The view of St. Margaret’s Bay from the deck of the cottage

Nova Scotia 2

At Peggy’s Cove

Nova Scotia 3

In Lunenburg

Nova Scotia 4

The view from the Harbourwalk in Halifax

Nova Scotia 5

A stroll down Queensland Beach

Nova Scotia 6

One last sunrise on St. Margaret’s Bay

Stay tuned for more pics and tales of our adventure down East!  I can’t wait to share it all!! :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

What I’m Lovin’

Let’s start with what I’m NOT lovin’, actually: Headache. Day #2.  UGH.

Thankfully, it’s not bad enough to keep me down.  Just annoying.  I wish I could figure out what causes these sinusy issues and understand why I get them.  blah.  In the meantime, I guess I’ll just pray for more sneezes that relieve the pressure.

On to the happy, folks.  Here’s what I’m loving this Wednesday!

I’m loving the super-nice forecast for the next few days, which includes Wedding Day for Adam & Sue!  I know, I’ve been dying for fall to get here, and craving chillier weather, but right now, I’m happy to have a few really nice warm, sunshiney days. :)

Speaking of Adam & Sue’s wedding… I’m loving that it’s almost HERE!!  Weddings are such exciting times, and I’m looking forward to all the fun the day will bring, and celebrating with some of the best friends a kid could ask for.

Sarah's wedding photo booth

(This was in the photo booth at Sarah’s wedding… the next bride-to-be is on the far right!  Can’t wait for more fun with these ladies!)

I love that I have kind, thoughtful, generous people in my life.  I truly am a lucky girl.

I’m loving that it’s time to start planning this year’s annual Christmas House Tour for our church!  Things will be vastly different for me this year, as I’m back to being a regular tour goer rather than a stop on the tour like I was last year.  I’m so pumped to already have two houses confirmed, and hopeful that I can find two more in the coming weeks!

I love that in exactly one week, I will be Nova Scotia bound with Lindsay!!!

By extension of that love, I’m loving the thoughts of eating fish & chips! haha!  It’s one of my fave treats in recent years, and when I mentioned last week that I might get fish & chips when we went to Montana’s for Stacy’s b-day dinner, Lindsay reminded me that I was going to be in the land of fish & chips very soon, so maybe I should save it.  I’ve been craving ‘em ever since. lol

fish and chips

I’m loving Big Brother!  And a little sad that it’s almost over… I love that the new Fall TV schedule is winding up and that all of my favourites will be back soon, but it’s always a little bittersweet to bid farewell to my summertime pals in the Big Brother house.

BB 17 cast

I’ll miss my main summer love, Johnny Mac!!

johnny mac

And…I know I’m contradicting an earlier love here, but man, I love that it’s almost Autumn!  The hints of colour are already starting to appear in the trees, and I’ve been daydreaming about cozy sweaters and leggings, crisp evening walks through crunching leaves, making pots of soup and chili, baking more pumpkiny treats, buying Halloween candy, watching scary movies… I’m excited for it all!!!

fall loves

Happy Wednesday, pals :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Weekend Odds & Ends

Ever wake up in the morning just feeling out of sorts?

That was me this morning.  I had my alarm set for my usual early time in order to get my workout done before getting ready for the day, and from the moment I peeped my eyes open, I felt it. 

A fuzzy, achy head.  A general feeling of being disgruntled.  Crankiness.

My workout sucked, and I wasn’t surprised. *sigh*

I think the grumpiness today has taken me a bit by surprise, simply because I had a really good weekend.  And I’m looking forward to another really good weekend.

I have no reason to be disgruntled and cranky.  And yet, here I am.  The little sinusy headache I have definitely isn’t helping.  It feels like it’s taking great effort today just to keep my eyes open, and it’s not even because I’m tired… it’s just the fuzzy head, it feels better when my eyes are closed.

Alright.  Enough complaining.  I said I had a good weekend, and I wanted to share some of what made it such a good weekend…

It started Friday evening, when the girls and I hopped on the Ferry to cross over to Kanata for Stacy’s birthday dinner at one of my fave restaurants, Montana’s.  When we arrived, the parking lot was super-jammed and busy, and after a failed attempt at parking in a little end-of-the-row spot, I drove around trying to find a better one.  No dice.  When I came back around, I saw that little spot still vacant, and I had this sudden impulse that it would be easier to back in to it. 

Say what?!?  I do not back into parking spots.  Ever.  But I felt gutsy, especially since I had a car full of eyeballs helping and directing me.  And I did it.  I was shocked at how easy it was.  I had to take a picture to document this monumental occasion. ;)


Continuing with my gutsy moves, I decided to try something new off the menu that I’d never had before.  I usually stick to my tried-and-true favourites (chicken tacos or firecracker burger), but decided to go out on a limb and get the Waffle Chicken Club Sandwich.  ohmygodsoooo good.  Literally my new favourite.  Drooling just thinking about it right now. The sweet and salty combo was just to die for!  Someone take me back to Montana’s STAT!!!

Waffle Chicken Club

It was a fun night out with the girls, and a great way to kick off the weekend!

Hollie & Stacy

Jill & Priscilla

Saturday dawned bleak and gloomy, and I’m sure for many they thought it was crappy.  But I really love a dark, rainy day, especially when I have nothing much to do!!  I dug out my suitcase and made a list of things to pack for Nova Scotia, and also sorted through my travel-sized stuff to see if I needed anything (and I didn’t! woo hoo!)  Then I got ready and ran up to Shawville to pick up a few things at Giant Tiger and the grocery store. 

When I got home, the rain was coming down good, so I settled in to bake some pumpkin muffins, made a little go of spaghetti sauce, read for a bit,  drank my first pumpkin spice latte of the year, and watched some of the Blue Jays game before cuddling up on the couch to watch a couple of movies.

Rainy Saturday

It was cozy.  It was fall-ish.  Ohhhh, it was bliss.

Sunday morning was grey and rainy again, so it was a little hard to get moving.  But I made myself get up and go to church, out for brunch with the fam-jam, and then back to my place with the kids while Mom and Kara went to the cemetery service in Shawville and Chris went to play ball.  When Chris dropped us off at my place after brunch, we were heading to the house when Caden said, “Jilly, watch it, don’t step on the turtle.”  And sure enough, this little wee baby turtle with a really long tail was sitting there in a puddle in my driveway.  If that isn’t a photo of the day opportunity, I don’t know what is!


The kids and I had popcorn and watched a movie (actually, I napped through most of it, not gonna lie), and then went back to Mom’s for supper afterwards.

Danica Sept.15

Literally nothing exciting, nothing worth this long of a blog post… and yet, it was so wonderful.  I don’t remember the last time I had such a relaxing weekend, and I’m not sure if there’s another one in store for a quite awhile, so I soaked it up big-time.

There.  That makes me feel better.  Less crusty now.  Even though the fuzzy, achy head persists.

Onward and upwards… Susie and Adam’s wedding week is finally here, with rehearsal set for tomorrow night and then their big day is on Saturday!  Lots of fun & excitement ahead… I can’t wait!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Celebrating Luke’s 30th

Good morning, peeps!

So, today is my brother Lukey’s 30th birthday.  The last of the Young children to hit the big 3-0.  Kinda crazy, eh?

We celebrated Luke’s birthday a little early this year, with a family dinner on September 2nd at his house.  They made homemade Chinese food, which I’m still drooling over…soooooo good!  My mom made one of her famous chocolate cakes.  We chatted and the kids played and it was just a really nice evening spent with some of the people I love best.

My SIL Amanda is an amazing photographer, but her battery was outta juice that night, so I took on the role as photographer for the evening.  Here’s a look at Luke’s 30th birthday celebration…

Luke's 30th 2015.5

This pic makes me giggle.  I still haven't quite figured out how to use my camera in some lighting situations, and with the low lighting in their house, I found it just easier to shoot in auto mode, thus the flash was coming on.  Neve was not a fan of my flash, though – she would pose, smile, say cheese, and just automatically close her eyes.  every.single.time.  Apparently Luke decided to do the same in this pic…Like father, like daughter! haha!

Luke's 30th 2015.2

Two of my very favourite boys, Noah & Caden

Luke's 30th 2015.3

Beautiful blue eyed girl :)

Luke's 30th 2015.11

Keeping the kids out of the cake before suppertime was a bit tricky.  Even Caden had a hard time staying away!

Luke's 30th 2015.4

When you turn 30, you pass blowing out candles on to the little people…

Luke's 30th 2015.7

Snuggle time!!

Luke's 30th 2015.6

Caden & Noah

Luke's 30th 2015.8

Sweet baby boy :)

Luke's 30th 2015.9

I love that chubby little face!!

Luke's 30th 2015.10

Kara hanging with her nephew

Luke's 30th 2015.12


Luke's 30th 2015

Luke wasn’t a big fan of me bringing him the “birthday attire” that Aunt Marion gave me to wear on my birthday.  However, when Neve asked nicely, he finally put it on for a few pictures.  Doesn’t he look snazzy?! ;)

Happy 30th, bro!!  Hope you have the best year yet!!!

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

What I’m Loving Wednesday!

I’m loving that it is Wednesday already!!!   I had an extra-long weekend, though not really by choice, and the ending wasn’t really anything to write home about.  I woke up on Labour Day Monday with a cold.  ugh.  Blaming it on the Shawville Fair germs!!  I took the day off yesterday to rest & recover. I slept.  A lot.  So…super-short week for me this week!

I love the Halls Vitamin C drops.  They keep the tickle in my throat at bay, and the flavours are so much more delightful than regular Halls cough drops!

vitamin c halls

I’m loving Seinfeld.  Yeah, I got in some Seinfeld time yesterday in between naps, and they do make me laugh out loud sometimes.  Still not like my love of Friends, but I’m a Seinfeld fan for sure now.

I love looking back on some of the pictures I took this past weekend at the Fair!  These are some of my favourites:

Fair 2015 1

A pic of the swings at night time

Fair 2015 2

Auntie Stace was being silly with Riley – caught this one by fluke, and it makes me laugh!!

Fair 2015 3

Maddy with one of her faves, Brea Lawrenson, getting an autograph and pic after her performance

Fair 2015 4

Shannon & her beautiful girl, Rylie

Fair 2015 5

Grandpa Alvin showing Rylie around the petting zoo

Fair 2015 6

What’s a Fair without a Carousel?!

Fair 2015 7

My mom looking at the flower exhibit

Fair 2015 8

Charlotte with one of her 1st place winners!

I’m loving the memory of the best thing I ate at the Fair this weekend (aside from Billy T’s pizza, ice cream, and a Beavertail, of course) and that was this “Nacho Libre” poutine from the Big D’s food truck.  They served only gourmet hot dogs and poutines.  This was a traditional poutine (with cheese curds and gravy), then topped with sour cream, salsa, jalapeno cheese sauce, and crushed Doritos.  Lordy, it was delish!

Nacho Libre Poutine

I love that we’re having a girls night out this coming Friday in celebration of my friend Stacy’s birthday…and we’re going to my all-time fave restaurant, Montana’s!  Yum!  Cannot wait!  Bring on the Antojitos!!

I love that Sue & Adam’s wedding day is only 10 days away now!!  Woo hoo!!  So excited to celebrate their big day with them!!

Adam & Sue

This is Adam & Sue in the photo booth at Sarah & Ian’s Wedding :)

I LOVE that Lindsay & I are exactly two weeks away from hopping on a plane for Nova Scotia!!!

And of course, I’m loving that fall is finally almost here (though it sure hasn’t felt like it lately…I’m done with the stinkin heat!!)  On Monday, I made my first pumpkiny baked goods (inside with the AC on, I could pretend it was fall instead of 40 degrees Celsius with the humidex) and while the Pumpkin Pecan scones I made didn’t taste as good as I’d hoped, it was the first time I’d baked something in eons, and it felt wonderful to be in the kitchen doing something I love again!

pumpkin-pecan-scones-with-maple-glazeAlso, I love that since those scones didn’t turn out the way I wanted, that I’m going to make some tweaks and maybe try a second batch tonight. ;)

Happy Wednesday!!

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

What I’m Loving Wednesday! :)

It’s kind of a dark dreary day around here… always a good idea to perk things up by looking around and taking note of what I’m LOVING!!

I’m loving CIZE!  I’ve discovered it’s much easier to get my ass up and out of bed in the morning when I know I’m going to do some fun living room dancing with Shaun T!  This morning I had to set my alarm 10 minutes earlier to have enough time to do the “You Got This” routine for the first time, and I had no problem getting up because I was excited to check it out.  WIN!!


I love that we’re celebrating my brother’s 30th birthday tonight!  We have to do it a little in advance (he won’t actually turn 30 until September 10th), but that’s OK, because there’s nothing I love more than having all of my family in the same spot at the same time… can’t wait to play with the kids and cuddle with baby Noah!

August Weekend 2015.21

Totally loving my evening dish of vanilla frozen yogurt with a spoonful of peanut butter and a drizzle of honey.  Strange combination?  Perhaps.  But I literally crave it all day and can’t wait to have it when I get home.   Yummm…

Speaking of food cravings, I’ve also been loving my new favourite supper – I take a Greek pita and top it with a thin layer of pesto and a sprinkle of shredded mozza cheese.  Then I add baby spinach, chopped artichoke hearts, slices of red onion, chopped black olives, a little more mozza, and crumbled feta cheese…sometimes I toss on a few hot peppers too… o.m.g…. salty, cheesy Mediterranean pizza goodness.  Yummmmm x 2!!

mediterranean pizza

I’m loving my Project 365 Photo Challenge!  Ok, that’s not entirely true… There are days when I’m like, “UGH what am I going to photograph today??  THERE’S NOTHING!!!”  But that’s the beauty of the challenge.  It forces you to find something and ensures that the camera is being used daily.  Some days my pics are pretty sad and hardly worth sharing, but it motivates me to find something better the next day, and to play with edits to make what I DO have look better.  Hard to believe I’ve been at it almost one month already!

kids on trampoline

I know I’ve already gone on and on about it too much already, but just really, really loving the prospect of fall.  The heat wave this week is keeping the next season at bay for a while longer, but I’m so excited for cooler weather, fall wardrobe, and having time to cook, bake, go on photo-taking adventures (because, let’s face it, autumn scenery makes for GREAT photo ops!)

I’m loving that Sue & Adam’s wedding is less than 3 weeks away!  eeeek!!  When did that happen?!  Also, loving that I discovered last night that they will be getting married ON JIMMY FALLON’S BIRTHDAY!!!  I mean… there will just be SO MUCH to celebrate!! ;)

sue & nick

So…what are YOU loving this Wednesday?? :)

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Hello, September :)

How about some random Tuesday ramblings on this foggy September 1st morning?

  • I woke up first thing this morning, before my alarm even went off, with a smile on my face.  I felt instantly happy, and that rarely happens to me first thing in the morning.  My first thought was that it was my friend Stacy’s birthday…and Stacy’s birthday means it’s September.  My favourite time of year has officially begun. :)


  • I know it’s not officially fall for another few weeks, but I’m jumping the gun a bit… as usual.  The weather this week is probably going to bring my fall fantasizing to a grinding halt – we’re heading into a week-long heat wave, the weather man says – but that’s OK, too.  No harm in summer sticking around for a little while longer.  We’ll take the heat while we can.
  • Shawville Fair weekend is upon us, and in my mind, it’s always the best way to end the summer. I’m looking forward to wandering around the fairgrounds, checking out the exhibits, the arts and crafts, watching the little ones on the rides, just people-watching in general, and a good snack of fair food.  I don’t think I’ll be going up every day, but I’m sure I’ll be taking in at least couple of days/evenings.
  • Last Friday evening, I had the pleasure of joining my Relay for Life team, the Slipper Sisters, for a BBQ at friend Sharon’s house, to “de-brief” our success from last year’s Relay (which I missed, unfortunately, but was with them in spirit!) – and to make fundraising plans for the 2016 event.  It was a fun evening with lots of laughs, delicious food, cute kids running around, and I even learned a new word:  “LARPing”.  I try to use it in a sentence now at least once a day. ;)
  • This past Saturday, the girls and I had a lot of fun, as we were out on the town for our friend Sue’s bachelorette party.  I was reminded of how much I love live comedy!  We went to Absolute Comedy for dinner and a show, stopped in at a few other bars nearby, before coming home to relax, have a few drinks, and just sit around for some girl talk.  It was a great night, and I’m already dying to go back to Absolute Comedy again some day soon!
  • A random act of kindness took me by surprise on Saturday, when Shannon showed up at the bachy with a little gift for me.  She knows how much I love Pumpkin Spice everything, and that I don’t get to Starbucks very often, so she picked me up a package of their VIA instant Pumpkin Spice Latte mixes!!  I was so excited!!  I haven’t had one yet… waiting for more Fall-like weather to hit – but I can’t wait to have one!  Thank you so much Shannon!!

pumpkin spice latte VIA

  • September is full of as many fun things as the previous months have been, and I’m so excited for all of it – we will be celebrating my brother’s 30th tomorrow night, then it’s Fair weekend, a friends dinner out next weekend to celebrate Stacy’s birthday, then it’s Sue & Adam’s wedding, and finally, my long weekend trip to Nova Scotia with Lindsay.  No wonder I’m so happy that September is finally here!!
  • This is back-to-school week for the kids around here, and that’s the one part about this time of year that I don’t like.  Back to school time was always rough for me when I was a student, and it still puts knots in my stomach to think about it.  I have to say, though, that it helps to know that most of the little people in my life are excited to go back – or at least they aren’t having meltdowns over it like I used to. 
  • So, as we all know, I’ve been thinking about my Scary Movie Marathon for way too long already, but now the previews for new scary movies are starting to come out.  Normally, not interested in seeing a scary one in theatres (I prefer to watch them at home when I can hide under a blanket!) – but there’s a new M. Night Shylaman one coming out soon called The Visit, and it has me intrigued!  I’m a big fan of The Sixth Sense, Signs, and The Village, so maybe – just maybe – I’ll be able to talk someone into coming with me to see this one!

the visit

Happy Tuesday friends!  and HAPPY SEPTEMBER!!! :)