Tag Archives: summer

it was a happy new year’s day!

hello, friends!

i hope everyone enjoyed our last long weekend of the summer. yesterday was new year’s day, did you know?! yup – seeing as how we are back to school today and entering into the autumn season, this past weekend truly should be recognized as the start of a new year. i celebrated it as such, anyway!

i knew pretty early on yesterday morning that my theme for labour day was going to be BLACK and WHITE with a few fifty shades of grey thrown in for good measure.

to kick-start the holiday monday, i headed out for a funtastic tour:

BLACK shorts and tank, WHITE socks and shoes

to be honest, those white compression socks are my least favourite pair. but i chose not to wear my hot pink CEPs because the very thought of the exertion that would be required to peel them off post-run made me tired. [like how i matched my nail polish to the water bottle holder?! haha! i’ve pretty much given up on putting on any colour of polish other than black – *obsessed*].

consumed: a chocolate gel on course because it is BLACK(ish)!

[sidenote tangent: those clif shots are the best: first, i love the flavour and consistency; if blindfolded, i would swear i was downing chocolate icing. second, it’s the little things that count: these packages are the easiest brand to open mid-run -> there is nothing more frustrating than having to break stride and practically crack a fingernail trying to rip open a gel when you’ve got a good rhythm going].

runners: what is your favourite mid-run nutrition brand?? i am interested.

on purpose, i chose to wear my old BLACK yoga tank for the rest of the day:

that is the back – had to take off the top for the photo, i have not yet figured out how to do a behind-the-back self-portrait!

on sunday, mom and i went to conestoga mall, and i got a NEW backpack for back to school to celebrate autumn!

on sale, 40% off, so i paid $14 plus tax! note the BLACK and WHITE – with yellow!

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sidenote tangent: i used to be very BLACK AND WHITE in my opinion of singer neil young – ie i hated didn’t like his music at all and mocked his style at every opportunity. well, i like when i can see evolution in myself, and i fully confess that i now stand corrected:

saturday eve entertainment: the neil young doc, “journeys” at the princess, with mom and dad!

i loved this movie, and the songs featured. i now have a newfound appreciation for neil young’s lyrics, song-writing prowess, and unique musical style. my favourite songs as heard in the movie: ohio, and leia. it was a great evening out!

~*~*~*~*~

since it was labour day yesterday, i thought i better do some cleaning. i kept the toiling to a minimum, though – who wants to be cooped up inside on a gorgeous, sunny holiday?! i book-ended my cleaning with reading:

GREY up on the rooftop!

WHITE vinegar is my favourite cleansing agent!

GREY in the BLACK and WHITE great room!

could i get through my last 150 pages of “50 shades freed” by sundown?! i sure could try!

late afternoon, it was time for ice cream…MONDAY!

VANILLA ice cream with mini CHOCO-pb cups from coffee culture! thanks, mom and dad!

last task o’ the day: i started composing my christmas list! family, don’t worry, i am not brainstorming 100 items this year!

my organizational method is very BLACK and WHITE this year: i have repeat items and new requests:

a shot of just the beginning: my list needs to be ready by thanksgiving weekend!

sidenote addition: i finished the last page of the 50 shades trilogy at 6:23 p.m. juanita, now we can meet for s’bux again, and i can give you back your books – many thanks! i LOVED this series!!!

file photo: july 15, 2012

all in all, yesterday was a fun day and a great start to the new year!

what colour was YOUR labour day?! how hippie-dippie does that sound!

[too bad i am clueless about photo-editing, it woulda been fun to post today’s pics in BLACK and WHITE!].

a perfect AUNTI day!

hands down, when i see my real-life friends who read the blog, the posts that elicit the most compliments and exclamations are those featuring little e and cutie c. and who am i to argue!? my nieces are the most adorable children on the face of this earth bring a lot of joy to my life!

file photo, july 2012

so, as you know, goal #2 of this year’s kikiproject was to “babysit little e and cutie c two times so that the brother and sil ana can enjoy a significant date or special event.” and babysit i did, here (in march)and here (in may).

well, if we stretch the definition of “special event” to include “the brother and sil ana must go to work,” then i can count this past wednesday as extended babysitting day #3!

aunti wednesday is nothing unusual, but today’s EXTENDED aunti wednesday plans came together with very little effort – funny how that happens sometimes (and then other times you’re emailing back and forth 54 times, trying to pull a date together).

i arrived in TO just after 11 a.m. and after chatting with sil ana for a bit, the girls and i hung out until lunchtime. happily, sil ana left all the ingredients so that aunti could make one of her three specialty lunches: grilled cheese [it’s either going to be melted-cheese-on-bread, tofu, or scrambled eggs, those are the only options when aunti’s in the kitchen].

and cheesy was the operative word!

nice work, little e!

cutie c enjoyed a little sandwich with her ketchup!

wednesday was a perfect summer day – so we headed over to the neighbourhood park!

the girls were very excited to tell me that they dressed as twins on purpose: same-patterned shirts, bright pink bottoms, and the sandals were the same brand!

we started off in the playground area…

yippee!!

whee!!

…then it was splashpool time!

the girls were mesmerized…

…by the pool-filling process!

nice balancing, cutie c!

ready to play!

the cool water was refreshing!

now THAT’S a snuggly towel!

then it was back home for some arts ‘n’ crafts and reading time:

yea – stickers! here, we’re making a garden…

we got through a maze a-ok!

fortunately, the brother bbq’d up dinner for us before he and sil ana enjoyed the “date” portion of the day:

yum!

unpictured moments of our time together included a dance recital, reading with all three of us squished in the comfy chair, and a singing performance (with glue-stick + popsicle stick microphones!).

such a great day!

with four plus months left in the year, we’ll see if more babysitting adventures can be had!

how i will remember this summer

happy long weekend friday, friends!

can you believe that we are at the end of summer?! (sorry to break it to you, but summer ends this weekend, and monday is new year’s day, that’s been my philosophy for eons, now).

this weekend is the perfect opportunity to reflect on the past couple of months. here are my top themes for summer 2012…

on a lighter note:

1) big earrings! i have really enjoyed wearing fun earrings:

peacock feathers! (TWO pairs after one earring of the first pair blew away)

madonna feather earrings!)at “magic mike” with bff debbie)

the ones that got away

i may head over to conestoga mall this sunday; if i do, i am going to see if melanie lyne has those feather earrings in the last pic; if so, they will be my final splurge-purchase of the summer (i am putting the hammer down and curtailing my spending on clothes and accessories starting after labour day!).

2) compression socks! these knee socks have been my signature look this summer:

black ones!

pink ones!

[the white seem to have gone un-photographed, somehow…that’s ok, they are my least favourite pair].

i will continue to wear my comp socks into the fall but NOT once i have to start wearing capris. comp socks + shorts = cute look; comp socks + capris = dorky look.

to talk running for just a sec: i am so appreciative of how much i have enjoyed running this summer – it’s been exhilarating. and it’s all thanks to the good karma brought on by the compression socks – haha!

3) country music! i have my friend cass from the store to blame thank for introducing me to this musical genre. i still put the country station on sometimes when i am working alone at the store, in honour of cass! my two favourite songs from this summer:

somethin’ ’bout a truck

5-1-5-0

[cowboy boots may be goin’ on my xmas list!]

on a deeper note:

1) rediscovering my love of reading: i read more during the daylight hours this summer than i have in years…and it was so enjoyable! whether i lounged on the chairs up on the rooftop, sat with a tea at starbucks, sprawled on the floor in the condo casa, or lay out in the park, it was lovely to relax and immerse myself in a satisfying work of fiction.

2) letting the mantra “let it go” guide me: there are so many ways i can interpret this phrase! [and did you know the dragonette song by the same name is on my ipod, it always seems to come up (i have my songs on constant shuffle mode) at the most auspicious of times]. sometimes i have felt so free-of-heart that i just smile! here are three little examples of *let it go* – -

~ the blogcation put blogging into perspective for me – i do enjoy writing, sharing, being imaginative and creative…when i have the time and inclination! if blogging feels like a burden or a *have to do,* that is not a good thing.

~ ice cream once a week (or even twice, oh the daring!) is way fun!

THE BEST cone of the summer!

~ living in fear of “what if’s” is a waste of mental energy. do your best, be true to your heart, and things will work out.

3) deciding, very recently, in a burst of clarity, to NOT participate in the goofy challenge at disney in january. i have absolutely zero regrets about registering back in april for this trip. at the time, it was a great idea and the right thing to do. however, both the get-away and the race are no longer goals i want to pursue. [ok, i am remorseful that i am out the $309 entry fee – that money could buy a lot of lulu gear!! (disney has a no refund, no transfer policy)]. however, i am remembering what janetha shared on her blog once, about something her momma b said to her: “it’s only money.” yes, it’s unfortunate to lose an *investment,* but when i consider that health, family, time are more important to me, it is only money.

what are some themes that YOU will remember from this summer? i also grin when i recall all my meet-ups with friends and outings with family!

now go enjoy this last weekend of the summer!

party tricks

…aka BUSKER FESTIVAL!!

dad and i wandered over to uptown friday eve to catch a couple of performances. the spectacular weather (sunny, hot) drew HUGE crowds of all ages!

meet “bendy em,” a contortionist from australia…

…with amazing strength and flexibility!

the final act: bendy is going to squeeze into this 16″ box…with that basketball!

she did it!

we caught this guy mid-act, so i do not know his name. he was about 20 feet off the ground on taht pole! (i was attempting artsi-ness with the moon, the blue sky, the flag, the guy).

balancing on one arm!

party food ->

the only thing missing, practically, is deep fried COTTON CANDY!

on saturday eve, the weather was just as perfect – back uptown went i, searching out feats of amazingness!

look! a human wind-up doll!

the first show i happened upon was “strings of fire” from australia (although he was a finn):

can you balance a plank on your chin?!

how about a spoon on your nose?!

he was doing full situps with the axe end resting on his chin…

…then she hula’d + played a song!

moving along…

again, i missed this performer’s name; the little 4 yr old volunteer fulfilled his duties admirably!

fire juggling while lying on a bed of spikey nails!

focus!

now, this comment will make me sound like a real PARTY POOPER, but to be frank, i was unimpressed by the *talent* on display this year. none of the acts i observed had the wit, humour, energy, or skill that i have admired in previous years. an off year, perhaps? or did i miss the best shows?? all in all, i was disappointed in this year’s festival.

the most impressive sight of saturday twilight: this gorgeous half moon in the clear, blue sky

[sidenote #1: i used dad’s camera for all of these photos. i promise it is on loan, only. although i am SO tempted to keep it, much like the ipod BEAST that is still in my possession!].

[sidenote #2: for the sake of blog continuity, here is the buskers 2010 recap! and 2011!].

how was your weekend? did you partake in any fun ‘n’ games? one of these years, i am going to ride the ferris wheel that is a mainstay of the festival midway!

people pictures!

for as far back as i can remember, i have so much preferred looking at pictures of people rather than gazing at scenery or peering at historic sites. for example: our family subscribed to national geographic magazine when i was little and every month, i read the magazine – well, let’s use the term “read” loosely as i never read the articles, just looked at the photos. i loved the people pictures the best, and would simply skim over the blah blah greenery of south america or the white snow peaks of the himalayas.

nowadays, i quite enjoy looking at friends’ vacation photos…as long as there are lots of people pictures! and those are the type of photos i prefer to take, too.

today, i’d like to share with you some fun photos from the past little while:

1) early last week, the brother had to be in waterloo for some meetings at the uni (and he and dad managed to squeeze in nine holes of golf, too!) so little e and cutie c tagged along in order to enjoy some g’ma/g’pa/aunti time!

this is my absolute favourite photo of our time together – i even posted it to fb and it is now my new background on my laptop:

as i’ve said before, you can’t *pose* children too long – this was a lucky break to get all three of us “lookin’ good!”

i asked little e to show off her gap-toothed grin…since BOTH front teeth are now missing!

cutie c’s curls are growing!

up, up and away! the barrels in g’ma and g’pa’s lobby are always a big hit!

it was a marvelous day! and the very next day, we celebrated cutie c’s THIRD bday, in toronto!

happy third bday, c!!!

our little darlings are growing up so fast!

2) last sunday, it worked out perfectly for me to go watch cousin alex‘s soccer match!

there’s alex in the yellow jersey, on the left – number eight!

the morning’s overcast skies turned to beautiful sunshine by the 5 pm game time – although it was super windy!

cousin alex plays for a rep/travel soccer team – the opponents were from london (ontario, not england!).

action…as seen from afar!

i had so much fun at the game!!! sharon and i sat together and chatted non-stop, and the soccer game was pretty intense. alex’s team ended up winning 4-1 – yippee! i was super-impressed with the skill level of all of the players – fancy footwork, quick sprints, we saw it all.

and – bonus! – i feel like i increased my knowledge of soccer’s rules and strategies ten-fold! it is just too bad that this was alex’s third-last game of the season and his last year of playing competitively (alex begins university in september and his studies will take priority!).

cousin alex, post-match!

…and the three of us, post-game! me, alex, sharon – see how that strong wind was messing with our hair!

3) now let’s go back and talk about the olympics for a minute. specifically, i want to revisit the women’s marathon [i watched pvr’d coverage over at mom and dad’s sunday eve, after the soccer outing]. obviously, i was not in london in person [although my friend julie is, lucky duck!!] but i feel the need to exclaim about the running form of competitor priscah jeptoo from kenya who won the silver medal. take a look at this photo:

(source)

jeptoo is the runner on the extreme right.

all through sunday’s race, i could not hold back my verbal outbursts to mom and dad on her *unique* style of running – see how her knees almost knock each other? and when they showed the leaders’ foot strikes in slo mo, it positively made me cringe to see how she landed on the inner portion of her foot, pronating extremely.

(source)

i just cannot fathom how an elite marathon runner can have success with this running form! i guess there is something to be said for running in a way that is natural to you. but i tell you, all through the viewing of the race, i was thinking “ouch! oo! yikes!”

the women’s marathon was super exciting to watch – i hope the men’s race on sunday is equally as captivating!

4) vfbf joanne and i are on a roll!! three weeks, three visits at vincenzo’s. yesterday was the first day we had to sit indoors due to inclement weather:

we were aiming to get that bistro-ish poster in the background…not quite!

an hour of chitchat always flies by – but we talk very fast and non-stop, so we do squeeze in quite a bit of updating!!

ok, that’s it for today. i may see you tomorrow, i may see….in a while!

happy weekend!

it’s time for a blogcation!

a peculiar thought popped into my head late last week when the temperature soared and the humidex made it feel like it was 37 degrees out:

it’s too hot to blog and read blogs.

how bizarre! i can see if i felt it was too hot to lie out under direct sunlight, drink steaming coffee, or knit with thick wool yarn…but to feel lacklustre and lethargic about blogging-related activities? that is a first!

i’m actually glad i got this vibe…see, back in june i decided that it would be in my best interest to take a holiday from blog-writing once july rolled around.

(source)

why?? there are three main reasons:

~ i want to avoid hitting blog burn-out -> longtime readers will remember that i posted a blog entry every day last year in 2011. achieving that streak was super fun – it was a creative marathon, if you will.  but then i hit a slump in january – the writing mojo lagged for a bit. i learned my lesson to be pre-emptive in taking a break – for us amateur, unpaid bloggers, this hobby should always be fun!

~ it’s primo vacation time -> i have a feeling a lot of you will be on the beach, at the ball park, lounging by the pool (if so, invite me over, yes?!)…not spending time with eyes glued to the computer screen.  and that is as it should be – let’s get out and enjoy the sunshine and heat and relaxed holiday vibe that is filling the air! [gina is my role model for this leave-the-computer-inside philosophy; she has mentioned before that winter is the time to devote more energy to computer projects, not summer!].

~ i have a major project lined up for the next few weeks (let’s add an air of mystery to our chat today!). i want to do a bang-up, A+ job without trying to balance blogging in there, too. i’ll share more details at the end of the month!

so: for july, i am going to post a six month kikiproject update on monday, july 9th [we’re half way thru the year – zowie!] and regular blogging will resume on wednesday, july 25th. why the 25th? well, because it is then five months until christmas day!

:)

what i may do is experiment with more frequent contributions to facebook (i tend to just lurk-read and *like* other people’s status updates) and return to tweeting some twitters (twittering some tweets?!) – my last twitter comment (of the 236 i have ever made) was april 11, 2011. there’s an art to expressing yourself pithily within the confines of 140 characters!

[a note to blog-friends: i look forward to our continued visiting and chatting…except that it will all be taking place on your blogs! commenting is much less work than composing!]

bloggers: have you ever taken an extended leave of absence from your blog? i will admit to some feelings of trepidation: what if no one reads, ever again (well, i can always count on mom!…) or what if i don’t want to take up blogging again? i hope these fears are normal – and unfounded!

what are your vacation plans for july-august? i am not going away anywhere – and that is fine as i truly enjoy summer in the city, and i will make my escape in january!

hello, summer!

today is the first FULL day of summer 2012! yippee!

the only sad thing is that the days are already going to start getting shorter!

what are you most looking forward to between now and the first day of fall (ick)? me=just the summer weather. life in general is just more fun when it’s hot, sunny and light late!

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i am in the mood to talk about books today. every tuesday, zo participates in top ten tuesday, hosted by the blog site the broke and the bookish. i’ve joined in once before, too (again, on the wrong day). i always look forward to seeing zo’s take on the weekly topic. this past tuesday, the theme was “top ten books on my summer TBR list” – oooh, yes! that is a fun challenge! i want to play, too! and top ten THURSDAY still rolls nicely off the tongue. i’m going to go for it.

top ten books on my summer TBR list

1. 50 shades of grey – e.l. james (will start asap when i get the book from a friend or my name comes up on the library wait list!)

2. where we belong – emily giffin (the latest from this author – i’ve already read three eg’s this year!)

3. in one person – john irving (one of my favourite authors, this is his 2012 release)

4. a sophie kinsella that is NOT part of the shopaholic series (will follow up on gina’s suggestion)

5. shoe addicts anonymous – beth harbison (idea borrowed from zo)

6. then came you – jennifer weiner (one of my fave reading-on-the-beach type authors)

7. the newlyweds – nell freudenberger (seen in a globe and mail – or was it the toronto star? – book review section)

8. a joyce carol oates novel (any one i have not read; i am in the mood for her style)

9. ready player one – ernest cline (**11th hour substitution [which bumped bossypants by tina fey] – sil ana and i had a brief yet very enjoyable chat about the 80s yesterday – she mentioned that ready player one was recommended to her as a fun read with a lot of cool 80s references in it. since i ♥ 80s-everything this summer…well, and the 70s…i am IN for checking out ready player one!)

10. tom cruise: an unauthorized biography – andrew morton (i started this one a few sundays ago. to my horror, it is very boring so far. how can you make tom cruise boring?? i am only into his childhood era, so am really hoping the interest level picks up as we move along…)

[i can practically guarantee i will not get ten books read between now and labour day (my definition of the end of summer) – two is a realistic goal!].

what are, let’s say, the top TWO books you would like to read this summer? a book a month has proven to be my pace thus far in 2012!

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30 day photo challenge:

day #21: faceless self-portrait

i was bored with the thought of standing in front of my full-length mirror, again, and simply chopping off my head (or putting a paper bag over my head). here’s the variation i came up with instead:

“criss-cross”

sitting cross-legged like this is a meditative yoga pose, but i also like it as a stretch…and boy, did i feel the tightness in my hips as i snapped this picture! in terms of composition, i was aiming to capture unique angles – usually we see legs in their straight up and down alignment. and!…please note there are no compression socks in this leggy-photo, for once!

wishing you a great first-day-of-summer 2012!!

summer recap: hot and not

good morning!

how’s your first day of back to school/returning to routine/feeling like fall going? all the best to anyone who’s jumping into the swing of a new schedule. this week, i will work my first shift at the OTHER store, and i have tons of hours at the store, so it’s going to busy, kids!

i’m going to be a contrarian today and take a look back at the highs and lows of this summer. the season, to my mind, is defined as father’s day through to labour day. the calendar may say otherwise, but that time frame makes sense to me!

le’sssss go!!

best summer motto:

this tshirt goes right back on my back as soon as it's out of the laundry!

hottest celebrity heart-throb:

(source)

yes, this witty star of horrible bosses (hilarious!) bumped clooney and cruise from their solidly entrenched places in my heart. on the fall to do list: get my hands on season one of arrested development!

biggest oversight: no ice cream! sure, dad and i enjoyed marble slab back in may…but that’s way outside the summertime boundary. i genuinely can’t believe i never made a trip to dairy queen or baskin robbins over the past couple of months. at least i got me a hotdog! and i lapped up 31 16 flavours of august!

best routine to let slide: i’m pretty committed to cleaning the condo casa weekly. that chore slid to the sidelines this summer. i scurried around with vacuum and windex every two weeks or so, and wasn’t so insistent on keeping a june cleaver-type home. [although this past weekend, i made up for lost time but decluttering, organizing, rearranging, scouring…hey, it’s more fun to clean when you can actually see the difference, right?!].

song i have listened to 1,017 times: lady gaga wins this award – > born this way is just the best.

most mysterious loss: my coffee tastebuds! i’m about ready to put up a wanted poster. also, if you desire a canister of taster’s choice instant coffee (with caffeine or without!), let me know. i’m overstocked. [i have but four packets of my starbucks via left – at least that is not stacked up to the heavens!]

biggest waste of money: seeing glee the concert movie in 3D. i shared with you that the movie cost me $13.50 for the ticket. but here’s the kicker: i bought my ticket online, using my visa card. when i got my statement last week, i had TWO ENTRIES for the ticket purchase! $13.50 + $13.50 – > error! i called visa. they told me to call empire theatres. i left a voicemail. have you ever tried to get customer service over the phone at a movie complex? yea, you can bet i got no.where. i called visa again. a very nice boy told me that he would take care of my double charge, and that i shall see a credit of $13.50 on my next visa statement. i sure hope so. glee was not worth THREE FIFTY let alone $27!

hugest wish-i-had-a-bag-over-my-head experience, part one: getting bangs cut into my hair:

getting a FRINGE cut in back in the spring was fine; this second big bang cut was not so delightful

what quickly became my go-to look: thank goodness for barrettes

best way to keep that summ-ah time feeling going: real housewives of new york, season three!!! i watched all of season one with these gals, missed all of season two, and just found season three on the slice network, online. i’ve decided i watching the new york ladies best, out of all the real housewives series. this show + jersey shore? rock on, summertime vibe!

hugest wish-i-had-a-bag-over-my-head experience, part two: i became a walmart shopper. and again.

most serendipitous story: on a whim, i went to a free outdoor yoga class, received a two week pass, took advantage of a groupon offer, and bing-bada-boom, yoga is back in my life after a four year hiatus.

the day my swelled two sizes too big: cutie c’s birthday party (two years old!) on toronto island.

most liberating act: i ditched my scale. yup, i have not weighed myself since wednesday july 13th, and haven’t missed playing the numbers game at all. try it – you’ll like it.

best new website find: thanks to nicole’s fyi…

file photo from our august visit!

…i’ve been checking out mrs january almost daily. canadian readers: we must thank nicole! you would not believe the coupons and deals on this site! amazing!!

most grateful for: the fabulous summer weather we enjoyed. the trend was to hot, sunny, and generally gorgeous days. i have no complaints about our july + august. it was a true ontario summer.

what’s one of your thumbs up and/or thumbs down experiences from the summer of ’11? my biggest surprise was how much fun i had at the concerts in the park on sunday eves – geek activity of the highest order, and i enjoyed myself thoroughly!

one august goal was GOLDEN!

welcome to the last day of august! everyone says this, so i’ll say it, too: where did the summer go. i am throwing my arms up in the air in dismay because you know as well as i do that in the blink of an eye, we’ll be walking around in conditions like this:

(source)

so enjoy the sun and warmth while we have it!

at the end of july, i shared with you three goals that i concocted for this month of august. let’s review:

goal #1: be a girly-girl

success rate: B

this goal was more of a success than a failure. i’m esp happy because i kept on trying right to the end of the month. here are a few ways in which i showed my girly-girl colours:

  • i watched an episode each of bethenny getting married and the hills. with regular viewing, i could pick up some very useful grooming and fashion tips. [i am also up-to-date on jersey shore. whether that show assists with self-improvement goals is debatable and up to you!]. watching these fluffy shows brought out my inner air-head, i did notice.
  • i switched up my earrings and hair barrettes/hairbands every day, and used hairspray once or twice (had to buy the hairspray!)

$5 flower-power earrings that i found when i was out with sarah - i went back for them!

  • i party-prepped extensively for angela’s birthday party!
  • mom and i enjoyed a bonus shopping outing one aft over at the mall. at the embellished room, i picked up two floral pieces:

a mini - dress (treat from mom!)

this top, i adore. the vibe is such that i am calling it "my grandma i. 1970's florida top" - > the floral pattern is just of that vintage!

  • i wore nail polish more days than not, and make up every time i left the house

there is still room for improvement! i fell a little short on:

  • actually wearing skirts – shorts are still just soooo comfortable
  • lotioning up during the day [in my defense, i do not enjoy putting on lotion before a yoga class as it makes me too slippery]; i did cream up my face nightly

take away lesson: i’m certainly not on the path to becoming a diva any time soon, but it is fun to do a little something to spice up your appearance, even if you are the only one who knows it.

goal #2 blog in lower case letters

success rate: a+

ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner!

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i hearby declare that this writing style is the new normal for the blog. i ♥ love ♥ blogging entirely in lower case! hopefully, you don’t miss the capital letters because i’m going to stick with no capital letters until further notice.

goal #3: enjoy a different sweet treat every single day

success rate: barely a pass (d+? c-?)

i was doing really well with this goal until i got the flu in the middle of august. that 24 hours of *upheaval* completely messed with my taste buds and appetite. i abandoned this goal because the whole quirky point of it was to riff off baskin robbins and their 31 flavours, and present my own 31 flavours. oh well. i still enjoyed fun treats this month – hotdog, anyone?!

i had no specific reading, knitting or grocery goals for august, but let’s recap anyway.

groceries: cheapest month so far since i started tracking in may. chalk that up to the flu: saltines and frozen pepperoni pizza are cheaper than fresh veggies – did you know?!

knitting: i’ll talk separately about the silky baby blanket when it’s done – almost there!

reading: i finished american wife on sunday august 28th

just in time for it's due date at the library on monday august 29th!

this novel’s structure is unique in that it is divided into four parts, one for each of the places alice lives over the course of her life. while the book is absolutely wonderful, and i highly, mightily recommend it,  the weakest chapter is the final section, “1600 pennsylvania avenue” when charlie and alice are in the white house. i just found the tone and pace to be somewhat different in this last part.

here’s one quote from alice, from near the end of the book, that struck me: “oh, the past, the past – how the memories of the people i loved sear me.” p 546

this novel gets a resounding **** four star rating. i will miss alice! i am totally inspired, now, to read a biography on laura bush. there are a few suggestions in the back of american wife, so hopefully i can find one at the library. for now, i am doing a brain vinyasa and spending time with…

counts towards the girly-girl goal, no?!

and next up is september – the TRUE new year begins on labour day, totally, don’t you agree?

how was your august? any highlights to share? i’m happy with all the outdoor time i enjoyed. i did make the most of the hot and sunny days!

smile! you’re at the buskers!

waterloo was buskers-crazy this weekend!

the fun and games all started thursday eve, but i was working at the store then, and again all day friday, so my earliest opportunity to get in on the action myself was friday eve.

we were blessed with perfect weather this weekend, too, for the outdoor festivities:

this year's colour theme

i was really keen to see a 7 p.m. show on friday eve: the aerial angels from kalamazoo, michigan. i was a few minutes early, so i checked out the *midway* section of the festival for a bit:

the ferris wheel: is there a more classic carnival-type ride?!

games of chance...

i swear "toss the rings" is rigged - too bouncy!

i didn't play - just what i would need to come home with -> a giant horse!

GUESS WHAT. there is no whack-a-mole game this year. what a shame! that was the joy of my evening at last year’s buskers outing!

this year, i really wanted to see more of the cirque du soleil type acts. the aerial angels fit the bill perfectly!

the whole set up was pretty comedic, too

great to see such a huge audience with fans of all ages!

this man was beside me. i wanted to elbow him and whisper, "er, sir, mind taking photos for my blog for me?" i refrained.

mimi, isabel, and spike put on the quite the show. here are a couple of highlights:

"the warm up" - yes, that is mimi's leg that they are *stretching!* holy flexibility!

spike, mid-performance

fire-eating - it sure looked real to me!

supported only with fabric strips!

i really give isabel (the performer above and below, here) credit: she could not be that much younger than me, and she more than held her own with the acrobatic moves. plus, she had the most charisma and star-power of the three performers:

eye contact with the audience - she's looking right at me!

the finale act

wow, i give aerial angels top marks. the girls were funny, entertaining, acrobatic, and just put on a really good show.

from there, i wandered over to the main stage and caught most of ernest the magnifico who hails from redfern, australia.

unfortunately, i arrived after the show started and was at the back so it was a little hard to see and hear.

getting the crowd warmed up

goofy antics involving volunteer "victims" from the audience

this final act also involved a pogo stick, a fork on a helmet and a balloon. don't ask!

it amazes me how the performers are able to pick volunteers from the crowd who end up doing a really good job. these guys helping ernest the magnifico were perfect! this show was pretty funny, but the pace was a bit slow. still, a worthwhile performance to see, and i laughed out loud several times.

and that concluded friday evening!

~*~*~*~*~

saturday, i had good intentions of getting to buskers by late afternoon. we ended up putting together the ikea couch (photos at another time!) so i arrived later than planned but still caught parts or all of four shows.

first up, circo loco from ste-aurélie, québec. me = confused because the program said the show would start at 6 pm. that’s when i arrived, and i only caught the last 10 minutes! that’s ok, because this duo weren’t really my style.

their act was very dramatic, and included no talking

stilts + flames - don't try this at home, kids!

yes, that is a flaming hoop balanced on her middle! there are knives pointing inwards, too!

the grand finale: he dove thru the flaming hoop! that was pretty cool (hot?!).

since that show wrapped early, i accidentally caught most of les vitamens from sainte-brigette-de-laval, québec.

physical comedy - these guys were extremely funny!

it’s great how this worked out, as this duo’s performance ended up being one of the best shows i saw all weekend!

big guy + little guy - perfect set-up for physical comedy

the buskers program describes les vitamens as “high octane” and that’s the perfect description. very entertaining.

there’s been a staging area in front of the store all weekend, and twice i had caught snippets of a performance i really wanted to see: a duo called street circus from winnipeg, manitoba.

he's been performing since he was 10! 17 years!

this married couple, dan and kim, were just fantastic: high energy, funny, cute as anything, and they had awesome music to go along with their act. they really played to the audience, and exuded enthusiasm and humour.

these kids were so charmingly cute! great chemistry together and interaction with the crowds

so glad i had the opportunity to watch this show, beginning to end. plus, they entertained us for a full hour!

kim - another gymnast extraordinaire

never seen that kind of hoop before! he kept going around and around...

yes, she is spinning a hula hoop around her ankle!

audiences always lap up anything to do with FIRE!!!

this team gets my vote for "people's choice award" for the weekend!

the last show of my night was jason escape from boston, massachusetts. unfortunately, i should have quit after street circus, while on a high note. jason basically had one act – his big escape. he wasn’t all that funny (his ad libs were mildly amusing, at best), so the 45 minute set-up before the grand escape was rather tedious.

filling in time...

we'll just jump ahead to his upside-down, straight jacket pose...

part-way through - the ropes are off...

he's free!

i do wonder how he did that…part of the magic of a professional performer!

what a fun weekend! there was better variety in performers this year, and my yen to see acrobatics is satisfied. plus, i laughed a lot! i’d say the buskers festival this year was the best one that i have attended, over the years!

~*~*~*~*~

buskers outtakes:

i saw these hats in the vendors' area and it reminded me: if you are over the age of seven, please do not wear animals on your head. not a good look.

for the kittie-cat phobe, this drawing is enough to induce nightmares. i just about jumped out of my skin, at first glance!

"chalkmaster dave" - anybody else thinking of bert in mary poppins?

~ i met my cousin heidi, her husband jim, and 12 month old baby on saturday eve! had so much fun chatting, i forgot to take a photo!

~*~*~*~*~

favourite type of street performance? acrobatics, magic, slapstick physical comedy…what would you choose to see first? the more acrobatics the better, although i do appreciate a performer with a gift for funny ad libbed banter, too!

tomorrow‘s blog post will be up some time around mid-day! see you then!

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