Tagged: summer fun

Fun in the Sun

Hi people! Time for me to re-cap my recent California trip. I was there for 10 days (8 Sept – 18 Sept) and the time flew by. As usual, it was harder to leave my family and friends behind than it was the last time. I’m a little disappointed in the lack of “important” photos I captured; on the plus side, I got a ton of my nephew. So, if you’re not interested in that…well, what are you even doing here? As previously mentioned, my sister and her husband recently purchased their home. They moved in on August 25, and have been renovating since the beginning of August. In between helping my sister make decor choices, comparison shopping, purchasing, unpacking and entertaining a 14-month old – we were pretty busy.

Let’s do this!

First of all, as I mentioned in my previous post, this was the first time I flew from Canada -> US. I was (and still am) confused about how that process works, but we’ll get into that in a bit. I looked up on the AA website the recommended amount of time I should arrive at the airport before my flight: 3 hours! I scoffed and decided 2 was enough. Keep in mind that my flight took off at 9:15 am, which meant getting the airport at 7:15 am. Short story short, I was sitting at my gate at 7:45 am. This was after going through customs. Crazy town.

My “window” seat.


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It’s been like, forevz, since I’ve done an OMP. And this summer I ate lots of great food, so I didn’t want these photos to go to waste. Soon enough it will be time for soups and pumpkin-themed everything!

The drink of Summer 2012.


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Right in the T-Spot

Side note: I spent some significant time this week drafting and lining up posts for the next three weeks! I’m pretty excited about my new schedule (a post will go up on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.) Here goes nothing!

Labor Day weekend included an overdue birthday celebration in Toronto with some of my most favorites from London. I was only there for a little over 24 hours, but it was fun-filled! Dave and I drove up on Saturday, he left after dinner that evening, and I came back home on the train the next day. Here it is, in pictures:


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This Land is Your Land?

Here is our Vacation Recap! First, I’ll start with a nice long list of all of our activities and then I’ll throw a bunch of pictures at you. Sound good? Good.
Dave’s parents rented a cottage up on the Bruce Peninsula in an area known as Lion’s Head. Here’s where it is on the map:

And for those of you unfamiliar with the area, here is a more zoomed out version:

The “A” is the Bruce Peninsula

-The crew (Dave’s immediate family, brother-in-law, two nephews and two dogs) all arrived on Saturday, with us following closely behind on Sunday
-Monday, Dave and I took a mini-trip to Sauble Falls where he wanted to spend some time feeling around the rocks at the bottom for his missing wedding ring from last years’ fall-jumping adventures (no such luck!)
-Tuesday was my birthday, which I spent knocked out with a cold, but I took some pictures and got to explore Lion’s Head with my mother-in-law (which was about all we had energy for, that day!) Dave (and the rest of the crew) went to Flowerpot Island without us.
-Wednesday Dave and I went on a hike (a section of the Bruce Trail) and enjoyed some beautiful views.
-Thursday, the guys all went golfing (snooze-fest) – Dave’s first time! I enjoyed some swimming and I cooked an elaborate dinner. When they got back they had a Man Swim, which I got some great photos of (the sun was setting and it was gorgeous on the water.)
-Friday, we took a family trip to Dorcas Bay/Singing Sands, then half of us went to the Grotto for another hike & swim and the other half (me, included) went back to the cottage. That’s when my MIL and I decided to drive into Wiarton to do some window shopping and try to find Wiarton Willie (Canada’s answer to Punxsutawney Phil.)
-Saturday we woke up, cleaned and were on the road at 10 am! Dave and I took the scenic route home, we stopped back through Wiarton so that I could show him Willie’s home and at a Farmer’s Market where we picked up some fresh bread and DILL GARLIC SCAPES AKA THE BEST TASTING THINGS ON THE PLANET

Now, for the photos!

Road trip! I like the Instagram version of this picture way better than the original.

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Photo Booth!

Hi folks! It’s been a crazy couple of days and I missed my every-other-day posting streak once again! I guess that goal was just too lofty (even though I’ve got a whole line-up of posts ready to go!) Saturday evening we had our Block Party wrap-up meeting followed by a potluck. I spent some time cuddling my nephew who was working his way through some kind of sickness (he threw up at least 8 times that evening – this is foreshadowing.) We stayed outside for awhile after dark, which always always always ends up in me getting attacked by mosquitoes. (I have no less than 10 bites on my hands/wrists from that night.) If anyone in a room is going to get bit by something, it’s going to be me. What isn’t typical is waking up at 6 am the next morning to a burning hand. It was itchy and puffy and red, oh my! Recently, Dave had a swollen hand/eye flare up and we rushed him to the doctors only to be given Benadryl and some hydrocortisone cream. That made me feel not as nervous about the current appearance of my hand. But, I was without Benadryl! I took a Claritin and got an icepack on it and tried (unsuccessfully) to get back to sleep. When I was finally able to get myself out of bed, I headed straight to the drug store and bought some Benadryl. I got home, took some and passed out for most of the day. I woke up, put ice on it again and fell back to sleep. I woke up with a frozen hand, which was a little bit scary at first. Before I went to bed for the night, I Benedryl’d it up again and I was out until the late morning on Monday. My, my, how time flies!

When I got around to looking at my phone, I saw that my sister-in-law and her husband had caught what their son had on Saturday and didn’t have a good night. So, I went and collected him for a bit so they could have a break and maybe catch a nap. Everything was fine until I got back home from dropping him back off and then I felt nauseous; Dave informed me that he was having stomach cramps, as well. I won’t get into the gory details, but suffice it to say that Dave and I were pretty much out of commission all day yesterday. I was SURE I had a fever, but my thermometer only told me lies. We spent the evening in bed, catching up on our weekly shows and eating toast for dinner. Today I am on the mend and am able to work through some packing and purging and cleaning (with lots of breaks in between!). We made some decent progress today. Yesterday was Dave’s last day working from home, so he packed up his work computer and now I can use that space to stack boxes!





But, anyway, enough of that update! Here are the results from our Photo Booth from the Block Party. That backdrop was hand painted by yours truly with the help of my dear friend Rebecca who is never afraid to freehand her own font.
We had a LOT of participants on this photo booth, I’m only going to show you my most favorite pictures:

I loved all the ones of just a solitary kid hanging out. It helps that I’m close to this little lady, too.

He’s nice.

This is Mike (brother in law/head honcho/dude in charge) and our music planning volunteer, who was just as happy as a clam!

And there’s that whole, nice, Campbell clan! Each of them showcasing their own, special personality. 🙂

A crowd favorite. This is the first blog appearance of a nephew of mine!

Hi Dave!

Ken’s shirt should have said “I heart Dave”

I get it!

New to the neighborhood & first-year volunteers!

Bailey offered to take a “love picture” of us. I wish we would have gotten more together during the day but we were both pretty busy.

Some more of our happy volunteers

This was after he changed out of his wet, dunk tank clothes.

Ken’s crush slowly moved to Fraser. This is how Fraser responded to that.

These were the guys that we rented the bouncy castles from, they really REALLY had a fun time. They kept telling me all day how much fun it was.

Tweens! These ladies were a handful. They kept trying to get more of our free raffle tickets and I kept asking them where their parents were.

Another family photo that encompasses some individual personality.

And, finally, one of my favorite photos ever taken of the Dave-ster.


Now, I’ve got to get back to my laundry list of to-Kijiji items. Stay tuned for that post, another that involves space planning for our new apartment and maybe some window shopping thrown in. It’s practically August which puts us on our final 2-week countdown!

July 21st, Pt. II

The Old East Village Block Party!

It happened; it really, really happened! It had been such a crazy roller coaster of a planning process, but it all came out perfect in the end (and any hiccups we had on the day-of didn’t seem to matter as much.) It takes a lot of help from the people around us, a lot of planning and organizing (two of my specialties) and a lot of time (something I’m also gifted with, these days). We started the planning this year around April and the party happened this past Saturday, July 21st.

So, one of my ideas was to have a Photo Booth. Which meant I had to manage that from the idea to the finish product. I think I did a pretty good job (pictures from the photo booth to come in another post.)

Let’s get to ’em!



Here are two people that I somehow tricked into helping me set up the photo booth

And from the front.


Here are a few pictures of the set-up:

One bounce house


The stage!


The other bounce house. Looking good!

This was right as the party started.



The dunk tank being filled up. Oh yeah – two hoses!

This is our ward Councillor, the Mayor and the (former) President of the OEV. (With the two ladies who were helping me in the Welcome Booth that the Mayor insisted were in the picture)

The crowd is filling up!

We had community booths:

One of the booths we had – trying to save a local school from being closed down the school district.


Another booth – helping share the history of the neighborhood.


This was a booth where you could write what you wanted out of the community on a “brick” and they made a Wishing Wall.


I had Dave take this picture of us at the Welcome Booth


We also had local artist booths:




More paintings

We had a kid’s area that had tables for crafts, hair braiding and face painting, relay racing and hand stamping:

Kid’s Tent







One of our volunteers, who spent a lot of time on that small shelf…

I finally got a picture of him going in!


Look at that crowd filling up! It must be food time.


We had food sold to us at cost from the local farmer’s market and some of it donated completely. We’re talking 1,000 pieces of sausages, 100ish pizzas (cooked on the BBQ), veggie burgers, local corn, garlic bread, spring rolls and caramel corn!


There it is!

And don’t forget the snow cones!


The omnipresent Kenny D


Flash mob dancers!


This was Mike’s idea – and boy, was it a good one!

There was more than just the one guy watching; I just thought it was a cool shot.


This was all her idea.

Her view.


Block Party mascot?


A couple-a volunteers.

You never saw him without it!


The night is winding down.

Final band


Final crowd


The group shot we got of (most of) the volunteers!



Phew! There was like a million and one pictures. I think it captured the day pretty well.

We had an estimated 2,200 people show up (grown from 1700ish from last year) and raised $537.94 in donations, $194 from a raffle and at least $1,200 from selling t-shirts (with a big list of people who are interested in MORE t-shirts.) We have a wrap-up meeting and potluck planned for this weekend to talk about everything that happened on the day and get together for some fun, downtime with all of our volunteers.
And that, my dear readers, is what I’ve been spending my time on for the last few months. It was worth every second!

July 21st – Pt. I

First things first, I just want to apologize for the radio silence around here at Broader Borders. These last few days have been absolutely crazy and we are now finally getting back to our regularly scheduled life. Some updates you might be interested in knowing: we were accepted into our #1 apartment choice and have been working through those details for the last few days (stay tuned for a post showcasing all of the apartments we saw before we found The One), we threw a yard sale (what this post is about) AND we threw a Block Party (this will be another follow-up post). Then we spent a day, just the two of us, relaxing at the beach and enjoying some Folk Fest music and eats. I spent today cleaning up the damage done to our apartment after a busy weekend and now, finally, we are back to “normal.” Normal for us, anyway. 🙂

When I say Yard you say Sale. Yard! (Sale!) Yard! (Sale!) I did not take nearly enough photos to properly convey how our yard sale turned out. Here’s the main game plan of what we did to make it happen:

-Have someone convince you to have a yard sale instead of just taking everything to Value Village

-Sign up for the community yard sale happening on the same day as as the block party that you are helping to organize

-Immediately regret the decision to have a yard sale but realize it’s too late to turn back

-Make piles all over the house of items you know are useable and will probably sell

-Decide that you do not care at all about any amount of money you are getting from this sale <— this really helped reduce the stress of the event

-Find someone to be in charge of gathering up the goods at the end of the sale to take to donation so they will not, I repeat: WILL NOT, come back into your house

-Sit in your driveway for an ungodly amount of hours, sweating your life away and wishing you were still sleeping/preparing for the really busy day you have ahead

-Continue regretting your decision to throw this sale and ask people what THEY want to pay YOU for items

-Around 12 pm decide that you are D O N E; have your husband bring your furniture to the backyard and resign to putting up a “FREE” sign on your front door and walk…away…

-Take a shower. Put on your I ❤ OEV volunteer shirt for the block party and get that party started

Here are the very few photos that I did get, revolving around the sale:

That’s not so bad, right?


WAIT WHAT. Sorry about the blur, it was a shocking scene and I didn’t take more than one photo.


The single photo I got of our Yard Sale.

This is what it looked like after the sale  and block party. Yikes.

We made about $80, which I suppose is pretty good. I still would have just as happily sent everything to VV two weeks ago, but it is what it is. And other phrases that mean exactly what they mean.

Stay tuned for more moving posts and a metric tonne of block party photos.

It was looking rough there for awhile (hadn’t made it out to do a full grocery trip in a couple of weeks) but now, we are back on track! This week I used the crock pot, we had a classic, not-traditionally-vegan, bar menu item turned vegan for a quick dinner AND had festival chomps. What a nice week for food, it was. Onto the photos!

Here we have a grilled “cheese” sandwich and tomato soup. Pretty sure this tomato soup made both of us sick, so I wouldn’t recommend buying soup in tetra packs and forgetting about them in the back of your pantry.

A pretty typical lunch around here: blueberry soy yogurt, half a bagel with a slice of Tofurkey, mustard and half an avocado.

Nachos! This was our “bar food” night. I’ll let you use your imagination to see how it turned out; I wasn’t satisfied with any of the after photos.

Crock pot meal! Put a pound of spinach (not exaggerating) and a bunch of Indian spices into your crock pot for 6 hours on low, add a can of chickpeas and what do you have? Chana Saag! A crowd favorite.

Here’s what we had for dinner tonight. Dave’s meal makes an appearance for the first time! Usually if we have different things for dinner (i.e., eating at a restaurant) his is typically not vegan. That wasn’t the case for today!  He settled on a Veggie Roti from a Caribbean booth (which was delicious) and I chose Veggie Noodles and a spring roll from a South Vietnamese joint. We shared the jumbo lemonade. Perfect!

I don’t always dessert. But, when I do: I churro.

That’s all for now! Hope you’re staying cool in this hot, hot summer heat.

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Baby, You’re a Firework

Hi people! To celebrate my third Canada Day in this country, we did what any typical Canadian does: we watched a fireworks show, we swam in a pool, we attended a BBQ, we talked about how nice the weather was and we complained about stores that were closed!

First, let’s see that fireworks show:

An inappropriately low-quality picture of Dave and I before the show starts.

Most of the crew.

He was showing me the tricks he could do with a stick and a couple of glow necklaces.

“These ones are LED” – Dave informed me.

“That one was huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge.”

Two very satisfied customers.

Now onto BBQ and swim time. We were invited to tag along to a family friends house for their Canada Day celebrations. If I’m being completely honest, these were taken the day after Canada Day, but it was still a celebration of the holiday. There are mostly pictures of the kids at the par-tay enjoying themselves. The adults jumped out of the camera’s view when they saw me coming.

Everyone is near each other and no one is being choked? This was a rare sight!

They started playing a game involving collecting as many pool noodles as they could; they didn’t like when the adults would play.

Which meant that this would happen. Wouldn’t want to lose a noodle to your brother while you were enjoying a water slide!

Head first!

All of the kids went down the slide; no matter how sad it made them.

Nap time!

This one fell asleep in the pool and had to be carried out (by me).

She sure was tired!

I had/have my nails painted red with a gold glitter accent nail, but I couldn’t get a picture of them that I was satisfied with. I also painted my toenails blue. Shhhhh – don’t tell the Canadians!

By the time you read this it will be the 4th of July – Happy Independence Day, America!