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Ten things I know to be true

  1. Babies smell great and they can turn a bad day into a better one!

Five years ago, when I was going through a rough time and needed a pick me up, I would visit my then baby nephew, Johnny. He would smell delicious and would be happy to be held, kissed and snuggled. I would always leave my sister’s house a happier person.

  1. Travel whenever you can

We get hung up in our day to day lives and sometimes forget there is a big world out there, go places, see new things, meet new people and learn about new cultures. It truly broadens your perspective.

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  1. My husband is my one true love

I was lucky enough to find him at a young age. I’ll tell you that story sometime.

  1. Crying to a police officer doesn’t always get you out of a ticket (don’t ask)

It used to work like a charm when I was younger, go figure.

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  1. Practice gratitude daily

I mean it. What a difference it makes when you can say out loud a few things you are grateful for. It’s an instant perk. Try it.

  1. My world lights up when my kids walk in the room

I’m always so amazed that I gave birth to two great kids. Besides being smart and good looking, they are compassionate, giving, and loving human beings with great big hearts. They believe in loyalty, honesty and kissing their parents.

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  1. Make time to do nothing

Yes, you read that right, I’ve only been doing that in recent years. It may mean meditating or just chilling. Life is not about being busy all the time and running around. Sometimes you can hear more in quiet and silence then you ever could while racing around.

  1. Keep the past in the past

If there was a reward for hitting the rewind button on the past, it would go to me.  I’ll say this though It solves nothing. Whoever said you can’t go forward while looking back was right. Don’t look back.

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  1. Surround yourself with positivity

Positive thoughts and positive people make an enormous difference, I found this out myself when I chose to distance myself from the Debbie downers and negative Normans.

  1. Make the time to pray

You don’t have to be in church to pray. Pray wherever and whenever you want too. I have prayed in the most predictable places (airplanes) and the most unpredictable places (traffic jams). When the feeling hits go for it, God is always listening.

 

What things do you know to be true?

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It Ain’t Over Until I Say So!

Years ago, when the children were small, the arrival of August would mean that the dog days of summer were drawing to a close and soon we would have to start back to school shopping and discussing their birthday plans. (Both my kids are born in September!) Excitement would mount as the kids and their friends would speculate, who’s class will we be in? Eagerly anticipating the release of class lists and teachers.

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Now with adult kids, and a limited time running out to enjoy the beautiful days, things have changed. Don’t get me wrong, I look back with love and remember the endless summers I was lucky enough to spend with them. Looking at our summer list with places and things to do that at this point in the summer would be all checked off. But as life changes and kids grow. It’s the hubby and I that are making our plans.

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For those of you that may be in a comparable situation and perhaps don’t have grand kids to keep you busy quite yet. There is an abundance of things you can do, while the summer weather is still with us. Here is a list of some of the things that Hubby and I get around too, with a few that we still should do:

  1.  Oshawa- Tree top Eco-adventure park– From zip lining, to axe throwing and combat archery there is an abundance of things to do! There’s even night climbs and this is all located here in Durham region.
  2. Port Perry- Blue Heron Casino always promises a good time, but the fave for hubby and I is a stroll along the Port Perry waterfront. Often there is a musical or a movie night in the park. A beautiful way to enjoy the lake and the weather.
  3. Niagara on the lake- We always make it out to Niagara on the lake, the lure of fresh peaches and wine is all it takes! Touring the wineries and then settling in for a nice after noon lunch overlooking the vineyards is so much fun!
  4. Dining in Toronto is a blast- We love Rodney’s Oyster House; the fresh delicious abundance of Oysters is both mind boggling and delicious. The staff is patient and knowledgeable as they help you make your selections (if you are a newbie to the oyster world). Might I add that they have the most delicious and spicy Caesar I have every had! Highly recommend!
  5. Jazz boat cruise- We never miss Eddie Bullen’s smooth jazz boat cruise, this year it will be held on August 18th on the River Gambler, complete with a delicious dinner served to the sounds of fantastic jazz as the boat cruises around the Toronto skyline at sunset.

Enjoy the beautiful days we have left! If you have been somewhere fantastic in the city or GTA. Let me know so I can shout it out from the rooftops! Well blog about it!

Blessings,

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If I’m not red…I’m dead.

Staring in the mirror recently I started thinking how much it drives me nuts to have to get my hair coloured on a regular basis. The need to cover the grey hair, and the window that keeps getting shorter and shorter in between each hair dressing appointment! Damn! I looked closer and decided that I was pretty much done with the dark hair and the lack of personality in my hair.  My personality! I kinda felt like my hair belonged to someone else. I needed a drastic move, drastic for me at least.

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Ashley in Oshawa Centre’s Curio, listened to me go on and on and on, I mentioned red for some reason. Probably because it’s my fave colour. No sooner did the words escape my lips that I knew I had a horrified look on my face. Could I have red highlights in my hair? I was almost 51! What would people think? What would people say? Holy hell! Was I having a mid life crisis?

Ashley confidently smiled and said I would look great and she would be able to make that red show beautifully and that it would suit me well.

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It made me think..why are we so concerned about what others think? I mean I can give myself some credit and say that I have cared less and less as I have become older, and sometimes I even speak without thinking. But at the same time there have been too many times I’ve seen older women who..well..are either dressed or have a hair colour that would better suit someone in their 20’s.

But the thing is who made those rules? Who says that certain hair colours are for certain ages? I mean if I was 70 and wanted to rock some green or purple strands I could do it! Right? Damn right! Ok, Ashley from Curio. Bring on the expertise!

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So, we began by removing layers and layers of dark colour so that we could give me a medium dark root, we then chose the red. Ashley began expertly applying it to my hair. Friendly, and incredibly knowledgeable about hair colour I was intrigued and picked her brain on stuff related to hair colour.

While sitting and waiting for the stuff in my hair to do it’s thing, I felt myself becoming increasingly nervous. What if it turned out bad? What if my hair fell out? What if I looked like a clown? What? Why the hell was I thinking that? Ashley periodically came by and with her big smile she would check my hair. Why didn’t she look nervous I wondered? She should be nervous this was a big moment. Then I realized that she has done a kabillion of these in her lifetime. I sat quietly and thought about how good a glass of wine would be at that moment.

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Finally, we washed it out and I looked in the mirror. I was beyond pleased!  Ashley started styling my hair, it was perfectly vibrant with just enough sass! There was red in my hair, and it looked great! It looked like ME and that it belonged there, like we belonged together! Red and Maryse! Together at last. I finally felt like the colour reflected my personality. I felt quite comfortable in my own skin. This was exciting!! I was so happy and the compliments have been flowing non-stop.

Yep! I was almost 51 and rocking red highlights! What’s next?

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Butter Tart Heaven

There a few things in life I am addicted too; the smell of my Hubby, beautiful sunsets, yellow roses and butter tarts. They all make me insanely happy and grateful to be alive. The other day I posted a teaser picture on my Instagram about this upcoming blog on butter tarts and delighted in a lot of questions from my fellow American bloggers. Butter tarts are indeed an essential Canadian dessert. Let me explain…

What are butter tarts? A butter tart is a small flaky round pastry shell that is filled with a gooey buttery filling that is semi solid with a firm top. Butter tarts have been around since the 1600’s. Created and developed in Canada it’s origins are believed to be from new brides who arrived in Canada and needed to make dessert. They used what could be found, butter, lard, maple syrup, sugar, raisins. Hence the butter tart was born. This delectable dessert can be seen across Canada, sometimes with variations, such as the additions of chocolate chips, or different dried fruits, coconut etc.  But for me a true butter tart is an original plain butter tart. One where the pastry is not too thick and not too thin. The pastry must be firm, but not hard, flaky but not fall apart. The inside of the tart should be gooey yet firm. A runny tart is not a good butter tart in my opinion.

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On July 15th, Enniskillen General Store hosted their traditional butter tart festival and as always yours truly was there at 9am. Never too early to start consuming butter tarts! Right? The samples from vendors were abundant, the selection of tarts amazing! Flavours such as, smores, nanaimo, chocolate, coconut, bacon bits, pecan, raisin and many many more! I was as usual giddy with excitement.

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I knew what I was looking for, what I am always looking for the PERFECT butter tart. I finally sampled one from a vendor from “Heavenly Palate” based out of Ajax. I was intrigued at the taste of the tart. Easy to eat while holding it, the tart didn’t run down my chin. The flavour evoked yummy buttery sweetness that melted in my mouth. Impressive! The sample had impressed me. I eagerly bought some and headed home. The whole time thinking about eating a whole tart to myself!

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Once I was home and eating one, I was a little disappointed at the pastry, while it was pretty good, it wasn’t quite flaky enough and there was so much of it. It far outweighed how much tart there was. I prefer a butter tart to have as close to even as possible pastry to tart ratio. Having said that, I did enjoy eating it and they were gone the very same day. Tee hee!!!

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I think that there was an abundance of happy people that day, in Enniskillen and many fellow butter tart lovers because I’ve been told that approximately 24, 500 butter tarts were sold that day alone! Amazing! As for me, I am still in search of the best butter tart ever. If you know where that butter tart lives ….let me know.

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Black Magic

How important are the eyes? How does the old saying go? “The eyes are the windows to your soul”. So, while that may be true, eyes are the first thing I notice about someone. Are you making eye contact with me? If you’re a female, I’m checking out your eye makeup. Eye makeup and the way you apply it, tells me a lot about you. Eye make up goes back in my life to when I was thirteen years old and sneaking to school and applying oodles of eyeliner and blue and pink eye shadow before class. *shudder* what were we thinking back then? Fortunately, I have matured in my outlook and learned the simplicity and importance of application of proper eye liners. Finding what I really want is another story. My requirements of a good eyeliner:

  • Good pigmentation
  • Not tested on animals
  • Gentle enough for contact lens wearers
  • Gentle enough for sensitive eyes
  • Long lasting power
  • Trouble-free application
  • Fair price point
  • Waterproof

Finding all of this in an eye liner has been challenging for me, so when the Motives Cosmetics rep met with me again and held up “Black Magic” I was doubtful.  But I won’t lie I was intrigued looking at it. Why? Well there was a lot of product. I loved seeing that, it wasn’t going to be a case of a little pencil and that’s all. The pencil was an excellent size. It also had an unusual twist tip that I would never have to sharpen! Whooo hooo! A huge plus already. My Motives Rep went on to show me the very cool built in smudger located at the other end of the pencil for easy blending. And she happily told me that the product was not tested on animals. I hadn’t even tried it yet and the check marks were adding up!

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I chose a Friday to test out the black magic eyeliner, I did this because I knew I would have a busy day and I had plans to be out for the evening as well. Around 10am I carefully applied the eyeliner and I was pretty impressed with the stable and precise tip of the pencil that let me use the eyeliner how I wanted it, I even experimented with a thin line and a thicker line, with wings and with no wings. The pencil followed me with great degree and precision. Awesome and easy application!  Easy because it went on in a single creamy stroke. The colour was beautiful! Fantastic pigmentation, no need to go over my eye more then once! Impressive! I was nervous that it may burn or my eyes may water because I wear contact lenses and I have super sensitive eyes. I hung around the house waiting for some type of reaction to occur, just in case. Nothing happened. My eyes looked great and my contacts were happy as well as my eyeballs.

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Throughout my day I looked in the mirror a few times and happily noticed that there was no transfer of colour to my upper eyelids, which often gives me a reverse type of raccoon eye. Nor was there anything at the bottom of my eyelids for the dreaded panda eye look. Everything was in place and looking great.

Hubby and I headed downtown for dinner that night and my eyeliner still looked awesome. At dinner, I ended up ordering a super Spicy Caesar that had me sniffling and my eyes watering, I was afraid to look in the mirror after dinner. When I did I happily noticed that only a small amount had faded at the top of my lid and it looked like it was more due to the time I was wearing if for, instead of all the sniffling and runny eyes I had suffered with my Spicy Caesar.  Not bad for close to 8 hours which would ordinarily be my whole day.

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When I got home, my eyeliner was easy to remove with eye makeup remover, no need to scrub, it came off with a cotton pad.

Motives Black Magic waterproof eye pencil was sealing the deal for me as it fulfilled all the checkmarks to me for an eye pencil. I am without a doubt a tough customer when it comes to eyeliners, mainly because I have many needs that it needs to fulfill.

I highly recommend this eyeliner and it has become a part of my daily makeup routine. Don ‘t close your eyes to this one, give it a try.

 Priced fairly at:

$17.95 US

$24.23 CAD

Colours

Black Magic

Dark Chocolate

Rating

9.5/10

By clicking the link and ordering your Motives Eyeliner you will receive 2% cash back on your purchase, detailed cash back information can be found on the Motives web site.

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Sorry not Sorry

Recently I met up for coffee with a rep from Motives Cosmetics. She held up a tube of gorgeous lip colour and laughed at how speechless I was. If you know me at all, this is a rare occurrence. I was beyond excited!

Let me back up a bit, Motives Cosmetics began in 2008 by Loren Ridinger. The company prides itself on quality and front-line technology. Motives is one of the world leaders in the cosmetics industry and a glance at their Instagram page will show you that that their cosmetics are worn by numerous celebrities and is a go to line of products for photographers, makeup artists and models. And…I get it! Wow!

I love matte lip colour and often struggle to find colours that feel good, look good, are priced well and above all LAST on my lips. I need staying power! This awesome colour is actually called Sorry Not Sorry and is a beautiful cross between orange and red and comes from their specific line called Maven Mattes.

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The design of the tube is user friendly, and easy to slip into your makeup bag for portability. I decided to try out this colour on a very busy errand filled Saturday, a day that I knew re applying lip colour would not be an option. The applicator was amazing to use, rounded tip and slightly bendable. This is a big plus for me because I rarely use lip liners. The manoeuvrability of the brush allowed me to apply the colour flawlessly to the shape of my lips.

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The colour went on creamy and smooth, I worried about drying time and wondered if it would end up as the matte finish I wanted. It dried quickly and looked stunning on!! I was so impressed and began my busy day at 11am.

During the course of the day, I ran into my young nephews and kissed them both, happily noticing that there was minimal transfer of colour to their little faces. I had lunch and met a friend for coffee, noticing as well minimal transfer to my utensils and coffee cup. I glanced in the mirror at one point and happily saw that I sill had on a fair amount of colour. I was astounded, rarely do I have this kind of luck.

Finally, my day wrapped up with me shopping at Costco and having to deal with countless food samples that magically kept jumping in my mouth. Surely by the time I got home my beautiful matte will be gone.

When I arrived home, I checked in the mirror and noticed that my lip colour was STILL on. Not as perfectly applied of course as it had been in the morning, but well enough that I had colour and there was no need to reapply until perhaps later in the evening. I was very impressed with this product.

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A quick glance at the website will actually tell you that it may have to be reapplied. I liked reading that, a cosmetic company that does not mislead you. However, in my case I did not require a reapplication.

Considering that perhaps I had beginners luck, I continued to make Sorry Not Sorry part of my makeup regime for the next few days. It looked amazing and stayed on consistently. Even better were the compliments I was receiving. Fantastic matte line and fantastic colour.

Priced fairly at:

$21.95 US

$29.63 CAD

Rating

10/10

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Canada…I’m glad we met!

It’s often around significant birthdays, that people will share with the individual celebrating special memories and important events that they shared. So, as you celebrate your 150th birthday Canada, I think it’s a perfect time to remind you of how we met and yessss how very much you mean to me.

We first met when I was an infant. So, the beginning of our relationship has been told to me by my parents.

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The 1960’s was a time of much change and movement as people looked to immigrate to different countries.  I was born in Guyana, South America.  My parents considered moving to a different country to give better opportunities to their children. A pretty big decision for my parents indeed as they would be leaving their respective families behind.

I asked my Father about this recently and he said in those days there was choice as to where they could immigrate. They considered Canada, England and the United States. They ruled out England due to the weather and no offence, but that type of climate is definitely not my cup of tea! HA HA! Therefore, I’m pretty glad they decided against England. The United States was ruled out because the 60’s was extremely turbulent times. Fast forward 2017, there is still turbulent times and political unrest in the United States. Smart thinking Mom and Dad!  Hence, Canada you remained standing proud and tall and without hesitation my parents chose you, and you welcomed us with open arms.

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We arrived in Canada on a cold and snowy day in February. Looking out the window of the plane my parents told me that they were deceived by the sunny clear skies and lack of snow and immediately assumed that the weather may not be so bad. They were very wrong!

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We adapted quickly and were warmed by the friendly people in Toronto.  Cold winters were no longer a surprise, I grew up skating, skiing and snow shoeing. We loved the changing seasons and the celebrations of all different religions. A true melting pot of culture.

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So on this your big birthday Canada,  I’d like to thank you for giving me:

  • A Country that welcomes and respects immigrants, because without that, I would not be here.
  •   A Country that allows us all to happily coexist with each other, regardless of what country we are from. Without that, I would not have made lifetime friends who come from so many different countries, India, Japan, China, Thailand, Greece, Lebanon, Africa just to name a few!  For that, I thank you Canada.
  • Safety and respect. I have always felt safe in Canada, whether I am downtown Toronto, in the Muskokas, British Columbia, Ottawa or anywhere.
  • A beautiful Country from coast to coast, mountains, lakes, forests, valleys, endless lakes and beautiful scenery beyond belief. None of this beauty has been lost on me.
  • Freedom! To be who I want to be, say what I want to say and well – write what I want to say!
  • My sisters, my children, my nephews who were all born here.
  • My parents who made a pretty damn good choice in choosing you Canada.

Happy 150th Birthday. You are…simply the best!

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Self Care – Why massage therapy matters

Over the last few months, I have blogged about the members of my self care team who help me feel and look good on a regular basis. The pedicures, manicures, hair styling and hair removal experts that I enjoy visiting and who mean the world to me.

This is my second to last blog in my series on self care and it’s a very important one. While this aspect of self care is not aesthetically visible, the mental and physical benefits make a complete difference to me.

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Massage therapy dates back thousands of years and involves working on the body with pressure. Without a doubt, I am a massage therapy groupie and I have been for as long as I can remember! While on vacations I always make it a point to seek out a massage to complete the relaxation experience.  It’s always enjoyable and soooo very relaxing.

In my late 30’s I soon started noticing the physical and mental benefits of a massage, as well as the type of massage I liked and the sort of therapists I preferred. My interest in massage therapy seemed to indicate that I needed a therapist on a regular basis. I began the search for this individual. At the risk of sounding extremely picky (okay maybe I am) I met nice therapists, but there were things that I realized were also quite important to me.

I wanted a spotless environment that was close to home, a friendly and welcoming professional atmosphere from front desk that extended to the treatment room. Of utmost importance was the need for a therapist who didn’t talk too much (I really don’t want to hear how much you loathe your mother-in-law). I wanted a place that offered current equipment and knowledgeable staff,  as well as a qualified RMT (registered massage therapist ) and of course a great massage!

Just when it seemed I was never going to find this person, on a recommendation I made an appointment with Sara at Brooklin Massage Therapy. On a winter’s day in early 2005, I went off to meet yet another massage therapist.

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Sara greeted me with a bright smile and was thorough in her discussion with me in terms of my needs, muscles, aches pains etc. And at the ripe old age of 38 at the time, there wasn’t that much. Ahhhh the good old days. That day I had the best massage ever. I finally found who I was looking for!

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Twelve years later, Sara is still my massage therapist and I see her regularly. I recommend her all the time and I know I do this with the risk that getting an appointment will be tough. But, hey that’s how it is with good people right? Share I must!

Over the past decade and some, Sara has worked with me in dealing with injuries (torn hamstring), migraines and arthritis. While I “whoa is me” to her about the ‘arthritis monster’ she remains positive and upbeat.

Massage therapy is such an essential part of my self care; my body feels relaxed and brand new. At the end of every appointment Sara always asks me how I feel. The surprising thing? She really wants to know and it’s never a passing or routine question. Her genuine interest and care always makes me happy.

Don’t get me wrong I still book appointments for massages and/or body treatments while away on vacation. I also receive the odd gift certificate for a massage at other places. However, nothing compares to Sara! She is my person for massage therapy. I’m hopeful she doesn’t mind massaging me into my golden years, because for me there is no one else.

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Friday Fave- Island Mix’s Spicy Shrimp

Some like it spicy and some like it hot! Then there is the Hubby and I, we like it both spicy and hot! Island Mix Restaurant and Lounge in Pickering Ontario is a regular haunt for the us. Most Fridays will often find us there, eating and listening to live steel band music.

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One of my favourite appetizers that we like to begin with is the pepper shrimp. The best way to explain this delectable mouth watering spicy delicious food is to describe it right from the menu:

“lightly dusted jumbo shrimp deep fried, then gently sautéed with onions and scotch bonnet peppers. Garnished with fresh steamed broccoli. “

The bold zingy tantalizing hotness of the shrimp is so enjoyably spicy it gives you a new appreciation of the words to the famous calypso “feeling hot! Hot! Hot!” sniffling and sweating it’s impossible to stop eating!

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The yummy steamed broccoli that is served with it is a welcome retreat in between bites, but I can guarantee as soon as you finish consuming one platter of this spicy shrimp platter, you will be motioning to your waiter to bring you another one.

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Summer Solstice 2017

Today is officially the first day of summer! Woooo hoooo! Margaritas, sunshine and watermelon!  Also known as summer solstice. What is summer solstice? It is when the sun is at the most northern point and the longest day of 2017.

All I know is today is the day that summer officially starts! And not a moment too soon! Parts of the U.S. are so heated up that flights are being cancelled, however In Ontario and other parts of Canada – our days have had temps below seasonal values and endless rain. So much rain that flooding has been an issue.

Will the arrival of the summer solstice bring us a warm summer? Here’s hoping! Summer is one of the best seasons and promises many exciting things. What kinds of things you ask? Well – let’s take a look at a few of my favourite things!

Socializing! BBQ’s, picnics, pool parties and family get togethers typically happen in the sunny and warm summer months. For me, there is no better way to spend a nice warm evening than with a few cold drinks and some great company!

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Travelling! With the kids who are out of school for the summer, this is the best time to plan trips of any kind. Day trips, overnights or even a few weeks! Plane, train or automobile! A quick little getaway is sometimes all you need to reboot and refresh.

efe-kurnaz-242515 Happiness! Everyone is happy in the summer have you ever noticed that? There is something about that dose of Vitamin D that just puts everyone in a good mood. Positivity and smiles are everywhere. Embrace it and soak it up! Hey, why not smile at a stranger – you never know how it might change their day!

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Relaxation! In the summer, you can find bits and pieces of relaxation almost everywhere. Sitting around a campfire, stretched out on the back deck, swinging in a hammock, or dangling your feet in the water at the end of the dock at the cottage. Give your mind and body a well-deserved rest.

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Memories! The kids on their bikes, making a fancy cocktail, hanging out at the beach, a water balloon fight or sitting outside under a blanket of beautiful stars. Summer time is a beautiful time in many ways.

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.Welcome back Summer! I hope you stay a while! We missed you xoxx

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