Things to do on a Rainy day

We’re on our own this weekend and I didn’t really make any plans at all. Yesterday was sunny and nice out, we had a nice park playdat with my cousin and I got to go out for dinner with a friend (thanks to a generous auntie happy to babysit!)

Then today it was dreary and drizzling all day long. I figured we’d poke around the house playing but then realized that’d make for a loooong day. And one nice thing about having my little guy all to myself with no plans is that I can just focus on him. I don’t try to also do chores, catch up on email or make a meal from scratch. We can just let the day unfold. Here’s how we enjoyed a rainy day this Saturday!

Step one – Wake up, eat breakfast and text a good friend and make last-minute plans. Spend the morning watching boys scrap and share, and trying to imagine how ten years ago, we were such different people. No kids, no responsibilities besides work and rent and having a good time.

Step two – Get the toddlers help make pizza for a cheesy and delicious little lunch. Sneak in some snuggle time with my friends sweet baby, and eat lunch.

Step three – Drive home and realize that despite the dreary weather, and the cozy blanket, a nap is not in the cards so watch a little Bob the Builder instead and have a bit of quiet playtime. Then crank up the Beach Boys and dance around his room, before a little indoor hockey session.

Step four – Decide it’s time to get some fresh air. Marvel at the fact that your two year old is for once happy to ride in the stroller for a good long walk (yay excercise for me, and for the dog!) before getting out and playing at the park. Put up our rain hoods at his insistence and take a quick selfie to send to Daddy.

Enjoy the fact that even though the slides and swings are dripping wet and the play structure is slippery, he’s easily entertained. Poking a stick in the ground to cover it with sand then calling it a candle, marching around the park singing Happy Birthday, gazing at a dragonfly, calling up a tree to a squirrel to entice it down to eat a pinecone – these are things that give me a peek into how his little brain works and makes me love how creative he’s becoming.

rainy day leaves puddle

rainy day dragonfly

Step five – Gently haul the dog and child home after an hour and a half of running and playing and swinging. Throw them both into the bathtub for a hilarious washdown, leaving the tub full of grit and sand.

Step six – Eat leftovers for dinner. Make cookies together for dessert and watch a bit of a movie while enjoying warm cookies under a blanket on the couch. Head downstairs to throw in some laundry and laugh at your kid calling out, ‘Mommy! I coming to get you!’ but let him help put the clothes into the machine.

Step seven – Bedtime. Tell few stories, at his request – one about Daddy and Herman, one about the Batmobile (a new word of the day) and one about Batman’s cape. Then as he snoozes, take some time to write, reflect, and listen to the rain pattering on the windows outside before doing some folding and curling up with a book (and a couple more cookies).

So there you go – our seven steps of piecing together a rainy day and enjoying as much as we could. Still, I’m hoping for sun tomorrow!

Last long weekend

It’s weird that it feels like a chapter is closing, like summer is grinding to a halt when it’s 31C degrees outside. We’re sweating in shorts, lapping up ice cream and longing for a pool, but it still feels like these golden days where the nights are long are closing in on us.

It’s not like we have much to do with a school year; we’re not teachers or students, and the weekend didn’t seem much different than usual. I can’t put my finger on it. I’m still starting to shift into fall/ winter mode, thinking about boots and soup and what we’re going to do next.

We had a great summer – we took lots of little trips and adjusted to life with a 2 year old. We went to park after park and discovered some new ones. We did go to a couple of splash pads, although little J is happier to climb this year than splash fearlessly. We got in some live music shows at the Jazz festival, Ribfest, and Beatlefest at the Brylee.

splash Ottawa

jazz festival Ottawa

jazz festival los gringos

park at sunset

We also moved around a lot from weekend to week, enjoying time with family, good friends, and co-workers. We went to two cottages, spent a weekend in Toronto, a week in White Lake, and a few days in Montebello.

swimming in Low

cottage in Low

coffee at cottage

cottage fishing net

cottage fun

white lake

It was the summer Julian first played at the family baseball tournament (1 swing at the T-ball), the summer we discovered (and polished off) countless bottles of Jacob’s Creek. It was the summer we got rid of diapers! We enjoyed as much time outside as we could, while also working and gigging and trying to get things done. We ate corn on the cob and food truck tacos. We went to the Farmers Market for super fresh fruit and veggies. We watched movies. We went swimming.

Moscasto wine

dinosaur park



To cap off the summer, we had some family over last night for dinner – thankful that they don’t mind squeezing around a tiny kitchen table, or waiting for me to clean off some forks before we can start eating. We playing games and talked, and today I spent the day with Julian, first breakfast at my mom’s, then painting, playing, spaghetti, and watching ET before bed.

playing dragon game

I hope you all had a wonderful summer. I’m looking back on all the photos I took (thank goodness for my iPhone) and although it seems such a short time went by, we packed a lot in, and did different things than usual, thanks to having a kid who loves playing outside.

scooter boy

Here’s hoping to enjoy a few more days of sunshine and popsicles in the backyard before we need sweaters!

Cooking up and Chilling out

While there’s technically a few more weeks of summer left, and the sunny hot weather this week is nicely dragging it out, there’s still a chill creeping up in the evenings. Fall’s going to be upon us before we know it and I’m not quite ready. Because you see, I’ve been putting off my summer to do list something fierce!

One thing I’ve managed to keep up on is Masterchef – the only reality show I watch (I sometimes check out Survivor, but without cable I really have to seek out and remember to watch it each week) and the stunning, scrumptious dishes they keep cooking up call out to me each week. I love to cook. I love to eat. I’m not anywhere near a chef like those contestants and my phone screen protector gets a good run while I spatter it in oil trying to follow a recipe. But. I told myself I’d try at least 5 new recipes this summer and that’s one item on the list I’m making good on!

We had an enjoyable dinner the night I scrounged in the cupboards to make this Italian chicken and chickpea recipe, and I’d been meaning to try out cookie dough bars since someone brought them to our house concert earlier in June (so, so good – both the concert and the bars!)
This sweet broiled salmon recipe was pretty quick and pretty good, and we enjoyed these apple zucchini muffins last week, with a few lurking in the freezer still, so hopefully they thaw out and taste ok.

italian chicken chickpeas

cookie dough bar recipe

Tonight’s dinner blows it all away though! Baby J had some kind of weird neck/ headache today and was quieter than his usual self. He seemed ok – no fever, but was saying ow! and telling us that when he looked up, it hurt. I debated taking him in to the doctor and I will if he feels the same tomorrow, I think. He was happy enough to play at the park in the warm summer weather though.


And then, he watched cartoons with his Daddy as I whisked around the kitchen. Preparing a great meal is a nice dose of ‘alone’ time for me. I don’t know if it’s the focusing or the making but I just love it. Today’s new recipe was this Parmesan Garlic Quinoa (I found it just by Googling ‘quinoa side dish’) which went nicely with our steak, roasted tomatoes and asparagus. I wanted to try it since the recipe called for toasting the quinoa in garlic before cooking it.

The result? Pretty tangy and cheesy, garlicky and good. I recommend it! And mixing in the balsamic tomatoes on my plate was a good move too.

steak and sides

garlic quinoa parmesan

So full and so happy. What have you been cooking lately!?