Christmas Decorating, Sunday Brunch & Weekend Warrior Workouts


Hobbes loves when we decorate for Christmas. It’s just another reason for him to nap surrounded by coziness.

This weekend was busy as we caught up on some shopping, decorated and well, I spent Sunday afternoon with a well deserved 2 hr nap. I’ve been feeling zonked lately. Perhaps with all the BTS excitement that’s been non-stop for the past two weeks! And it’s not over what with the recent record-breaking 28th spot on Billboards 100 for any kpop group, BTS included (beating their previous top 100 for DNA). Plus there is the new Japanese single they are releasing in a couple of days.


Brunch at our favorite spot – Black Dog Pub

Anyway – it was a great weekend though. We ate Sunday brunch at the Black Dog Pub which is our favorite pub usually for dinner. And while it does serve traditional pub fare, it is a more upscale version from most pubs. Their wine list is amazing! Rather than having to settle for one or two choices of red wine in most pubs/bars, they actually have a good vintage selection. Anyone who knows me knows I don’t go for the cheap stuff if I can help it. Yup – I’m a bit of a wine snob. I never meant to be one – it just sort of happened. As I got older, my palate started to change.


Hobbes always makes a great backdrop for my manicure posts!

To start the weekend, I went to get my nails re-done. And I managed to also go early both Saturday and Sunday to the gym for 1.5 hrs cardio sessions each day. Saturday, I also did a 50 minutes push-up and delts + tricep weight session. On Sunday, I rounded the weekend off with 40 minutes of yoga. My poor body was too sore to do much else by then!

And of course, between all that, we ended Saturday night decorating the house – all but the tree since we always get a live tree which needs to be bought a week or so before Christmas day (to stay fresh for the holidays).

Christmas time always comes by so quickly. I hope this year it takes its time a bit as I won’t complain if it even drags itself out. I have a lot of wrapping to do this year and I admit I went ahead and spoiled my daughter with a crap-load of kpop merchandise. I hope I did not over do it but as her obsession over BTS has not slowed down I’m sure she won’t be disappointed. Hell, even I bought the BTS Live Trilogy EPISODE III THE WINGS TOUR DVD for myself! I’m wrapping it up and putting it under the Christmas tree with the message, “Dear Mommy – Hope you like this! Love, Hobbes!” Don’t worry, I’ll share it with my daughter. She can also have any posters/photo cards it comes with. What am I going to do with BTS posters, anyway?


I Lied

Earlier today I posted about how we were going to have a nothing-day.

I’m obviously a big fat liar.

But with the weather the way it was, I just could not pass up an opportunity to hit the trails. Plus, Hobbes the Dog needed his exercise.


Blue sky, green trails


Hobbes the Dog on the look out for squirrels

And the Rest of #Canada150 Weekend…

I always come back to work feeling content after a good weekend well spent. I do. I feel like I deserve a pat on the back or something. Because that’s the kind of ego I have!

Granted, some weekends are very “nothing” weekends. Ones where we are just lazy. And that’s okay – I think we need those types of weekends every now and then. Then there are weekends where we are booked with social events. These are the weekends I try to avoid – It’s one thing to spend an evening with friends or family but it’s another weekend where every single minute of our day is spent socializing.

And, no surprise, these types of weekends happen not by choice. We’re about to approach just that type of weekend when we visit my husband’s family in Thunder Bay. My MIL has this weird obsession of making sure the entire city has a chance to visit with us when we arrive – something no one in the immediate family cares for. But she INSISTS. Which is why I always stop at the liquor store and stock up for such weekends.

I’m almost positive there are rumors going around that my poor husband is married to an alcoholic. Fine by me… just give me my red wine!

So due to this impending weekend of doom approaching fast, we’re making sure this weekend is going to be one of those nothing-weekends. Today, yeah, I did play around with the idea of a hike but I have too much to do with laundry and stuff at home as it is. So I’m going to just throw in the towel and stay home. I will, however, enjoy our patio just to say I ‘got out of the house’ – how about that? Does that count?

And I’ll have a martini whilst I’m enjoying our patio.

Last weekend which was the #Canada150 long weekend, we had one of those very fulfilling weekend where we saw no one but did a lot as a family. Chaeli and I did participate in the July 1st festivities, but we also made sure to spend the rest of the weekend doing things we love to do (and take advantage of good weather)!


Crawford Lake Hike – 1 hr 45 min


Our first raspberries of the season


Late afternoon stroll by the lake


Hobbes the Dog was a happy pup!

And a Camping We Go Again

After only going camping 3 weeks ago, we were off again! This time to Darlington Provincial Park.


Early morning view of the lake.

We’ve camped once here before and though the distance is only 45 minutes average from where we live and considered a park close enough to the suburbs, it’s surprisingly a very nice place to camp for a short, weekend! It does feel like we’re cheating being so close to home but when we’re in the park, it has that camping-like-feeling. And it is beautiful – like an oasis we can escape to for a quick trip.


Hobbes guards our trailer from pesky squirrels

I feel like we’re counting down each camping trip we have with our little old trailer. It’s been good to us for several years but come around this time next year, we’ll be graduating to our new 20′ custom trailer. Things will work for once – like the fridge, the sink and we’ll have temperature-controlled HVAC! Of course, I’m not sure how much we will need the A/C as we tend to camp at the tail ends of the season more than the hot months, but the heating will help us stay warm in the spring and fall, and should it get hot, Hobbes can be more comfortable. Especially if we need to leave him for a couple of hours if we venture somewhere where dogs are not allowed. HVAC is a standard component for all of their trailers – But I do see it as a bonus!


Part of our hike was along the beach.

We did the Burk Trail this time (last time we did the Robinson Creek Trail) which took us about an hour to complete.

I made the unfortunate mistake of asking the person on duty in the historical pioneer cabin if the structure we were standing it as an original. Instead of a simple answer (with perhaps a dose of a little history lesson along with it), he went on and on and on giving me what I can only describe as a history LECTURE! The whole time, Doug was outside waiting for Hobbes while Chaeli and I were trapped inside with this very odd man.

Doug said afterwards this man needs training at working in the business of volunteerism in the interpretation/historical sector. I’m sure he was harmless but it was getting VERY uncomfortable because as I tried to get away with him, he would follow me very closely and even position himself right in front of me. When he started to do the same with Chaeli, that’s when I found a way out and left.

Amazingly, he continued to follow us outside.


Lovely inch worm came for a visit.

The 2-night weekend trip was perfect. The weather was beautiful and oddly enough, it wasn’t as buggy as I thought it to be. We spent glorious amounts of time outdoors. I could feel the stress just melt away no sooner than we arrived and set up.

As always, that first sit-down at the campfire on the first night with a mug of wine is always one of the best moments. As is the early fresh air greeting me when I step outside our trailer after waking up.


Last view of the lake.

Unlike last time, after being exhausted from the red-eye out of Vegas that morning going into our camping trip (and the business trip was such a busy trip), I was back to my morning schedule – woke up 6:30AM, took Hobbes for a long walk (30-45 minutes), snack on half a protein bar while I read, and waited for the other two to wake up so we can make brunch.

We go again in August for our week long trip and I only wish we had time to schedule a July weekend trip.


Dogs deserve a chair, too!

First Camping trip of 2017

There’s been a lag in my blogging.

You see, there was Mother’s Day at my parents’ place…


Orchids for my mom – her favorite color is purple

And then there was the business trip to Vegas the morning after where I saw just snapshots of Vegas during short lunch breaks, between meeting to meeting or the most I saw of the actual Vegas strip, my ride in the cab back to the airport…


View from my room


The Mirage Atrium


Las Vegas airport – butterflies


Las Vegas strip – on the way to airport

It was a crazy week and I’m questioning how I survived. But somehow I managed to survive. A part of me questioned if I was really going mad when I decided to take a red-eye out of Vegas Thursday night so I had time to pack and go camping for our Victoria Day long weekend starting Friday evening.

At the time, I regretted it but as soon as I arrived at Balsam Lake Provincial Park and we set up for our campfire, all was good.

I looked up at the stars as the sky was crystal clear that night and said to my husband, “This is what I needed. I came from Vegas, a busy week where there was constant bright lights and big noises all the time… to this! Quiet. And the only bright lights are from the campfire and the millions stars above us.” What a difference, to come from one crazy world into another one so opposite it’s difficult to believe they both exist on the same planet.


Hobbes the Dog guarding our site from dangerous wildlife – like birds and squirrels


My belated Mother’s Day gift

Knowing the week before wasn’t ideally a great mother’s day for me, my husband and daughter saved my present for after our first brunch in our trailer. I saw this book a couple of months ago and had to get it – Glamping with MaryJane. I immediately put it on my wish list and now, my wish has been granted.

I love the style and sass of this book but more importantly, as we will be a proud owner of a 20 foot trailer next summer, it gives all the essentials in taking care and maintaining one’s trailer. As well as how to make it a home away from home with stylish decoration and craft tips.


Our traditional steak dinner over the campfire.

And hubbie got creative – using our tripod from our outdoor cast iron dutch oven, he fashioned some chains to a round bbq grill so the steaks could cook further away from the flames. It worked. That’s all I can say – it worked very well!

We did do a 1hr hike on the Saturday but since it rained all day Sunday, we went to a friend’s cottage 20 minutes away (after sleeping in, having a late brunch and doing some chill-out time in the trailer – it’s a small trailer but it’s still nice to chill out in it). I finally got to meet his two kids (both in their 20’s) along with the daughter’s boyfriend and another friend. So odd to be sitting there among the “young folks” but I enjoyed it very much. The boys were so kind they even gave me a hug good-bye! I assume I passed their ‘coolness-test?’

Monday, we left right at check-out time, trying to enjoy our stay as long as we can as the rain let up and gave us a comfortable temperature. Heading back to the city, we had severalĀ  hours left before the end of the day to clean-up and relax a little. Aside from the rain, it was a successful first camping weekend – and we’re off again for a 2-night camping trip in a couple of weeks!


Hobbes the Dog was so pooped the last night of camping – he feel asleep on his back (he rarely does this)