10 Things I LOVE : 09.04

1. Spring! When it’s NOT raining. It’s not my FAVORITE season – that’d have to be fall, but I do love the newness and anticipation that Spring brings. I love the starting over. I love knowing that summer is near(ish). I love starting to get outdoors again. I love making all our holiday plans!

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2. Eating from my own garden! There is nothing better than making a recipe and saying “Oh, I have this ingredient down in my garden. I’ll go get it.” Of course, all I’ll have this year are tomatoes and raspberries, so we’ll be eating a LOT of tomato salad and raspberries on French Butter Cake

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3. BLOGGING 😉. I’m 160 posts in, and busy as all heck, and still manage to have things to say just about every day. People are even reading – AND COMMENTING! I love – LOVE – getting comments and answer every single one. It’s validating, sure, but I also enjoy the ongoing conversation of it. The comments always add to the piece, so it’s cool that way. I already have the Poetry of Life poems set up to post twice a month through until OCTOBER. Ooooh, the anticipation !!.

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4. Dinners. Family dinners, dinner parties – give me 90 minutes in the kitchen, and preferrably an unlimited budge, and I’m in my happy place. Dinners out get harder the better you begin to cook, but if it’s something I woudn’t cook at home, I still enjoy it! Once a year I get two dinner cravings – and only ONCE a year : for a Big Mac and for Chinese Food. Chinese was done last night, so I’m good for another year. We’ll talk about that Big Mac.

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5. My sleep… Oh, I do love my sleep. I miss my sleep, desperately. I love my pillow – I take it with me on every holiday to ward off bad sleeps. I love my warm fuzzy blanket. I love my med-hard bed. So far these two hotels have offered THE ABSOLUTE BEST sleeps : Manteo Resort in Kelowna, BC and the Sofitel at the Heathrow Airport in London. THE best beds in my life.

6. OPI. We have a bit of nailpolish and are ever-collecting, but must say OPI is our fave. Not only great colors, but they go on smoooooth as silk, and aren’t too soupy or gloppy. Are soupy and gloppy words? Who cares. We particularily liked the “France” collection.

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7. Fashion. Love to look at clothes. Always have. Always will. Wish I had money and time to dress half way decent. Always have. Always will. ‘Nuff said. Check out my “wish list” and my “Fashion picks“. I won’t bore you with a photo of how I currently dress. Yawn.

8. Homeschooling. I’m so excited for September to come! To get a teacher-aide, to get fresh new boxes of books, to watch Tt on his first soccer team, to sign up for piano (oh, wait… that will likely be painful…). Ahhhh, it’s hard to wait for Sept when you really don’t even have to ;-). Tt? Not sure I would use the word “excited”. He still thinks that school IN ANY FORM is “optional”. *sigh*.

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9. Thrifty shopping! Guilt-free shopping – who knew? So far the only things I pick up are collared shirts for the boys (mostly Boo – the older ones are too worn or just plain old UG-leee), and kitchen gadgets, but it’s the thrill of the hunt. We’ve about exhausted the thrift stores and will be moving up to “home consignment” stores in the near future. Will keep everyone posted, I’m sure ;-).

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10. Tea. Nothing like beginning the day with a cup of tea while making the boys breakfast, reading our Bible story and talking. And nothing like ending the day with a cup of tea while softly tapping away at my computer (except for that DANGED “I” key which Boo yanked off that never sits quite right and so I BANG it into place and say bad words) visiting people near and far. Ahhhhh, tea. Especially on tuesdays ;-).

Which ones do YOU love too??

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Other posts you might enjoy:
10 Things I LOVE : 09.03 Recipes!
10 Things I LOVE : 09.02
10 Things I LOVE : 09.01

Dinners around the World – France edition

Every year the girls have birthdays, and although they always have a party with their friends, we naturally we want to celebrate with our immediate family as well in some way. When they were younger and everyone was far less busy, we had cousins of all ages come for big “kids” parties. But as the girls got older, and people got busier, it evolved into a new tradition with our immediate family – Dinners around the World.

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We started one summer with A and have continued ever since! It’s been nice to have both sides of the in-town (or near-town) family over to sit and enjoy a festive meal. At each girls’ birthday, she picks a country to “visit” and I (we) make all the food from that area. We often also try to set up decorations – one year B made a zillion origami cranes for A’s visit to Japan and hung them all over the house! It was crazy!

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So far the girls have visited Italy, Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, India – and now France. My personal favorite, because I so often cook French food, but the girls weren’t going to choose it for their “visit” because I make it all the time.

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This will be B’s last “visit” dinner before she’s all off being College-y (*sniff*) and we’ll take the opportunity to evolve our tradition further, so I made a bit of an extra special effort. Pates, cheeses, baguettes. Wine, sparkling waters and lemonade. Goat cheese puffs and Escargot. Delicious salad with herbs and pomme frites. (Oh, my mouth is watering just typing this!!!) (How it is possible we’re not all 300lbs is beyond me). Sole Normand and Chicken Tarragon. Cauliflower gratin and Asparagus.  Fresh fruit terrine with raspberry coulis and macaroons. Whew!

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Three days of planning and cooking everything from scratch (I even had to MAKE my own almond flour), 1 hour to gobble it all up.

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Younger daughter A still has about 3 Dinners around the World to go, then I’ll wait a few years before starting a new tradition with the boys. I’m sure there will be a way to tie it into their homeschooling too ;-). And I leave myself wondering what I’d cook from Russia. Or Africa. Or … OHH! The possibilities are endless!

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Happy #17, my dear B!

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