5 Things: birthdays, mugs, sunsets, lotions and Olympic Gold!

The 5 things that brought me joy this week:

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My brand new mug! I got it at Indigo, and I’m very excited about it! It’s keeping the other mug that I have that says “I read past my bedtime,” company.

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It is one of my best friend’s birthday today! Shan is 29 today. And the exciting thing is that her birthday falls on our girl’s weekend trip to Niagara! It’s gonna be good!

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It has been incredibly hot over the last couple of weeks here in Toronto, and for me it’s so hot that it makes me not want to do anything. The evenings, however, especially by the lake, cool down considerably, and that’s when I start feeling awake and energized. This picture is from one night this week walking by the lake with Doug. Also how gorgeous of a view to have in your backyard essentially, am I  right?

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This is my new favourite body lotion. It’s actually the lotion that they use at The Westin in Ottawa, and I loved it so much I bought a couple of bottles at the gift shop. It’s so light and smooth and yet so hydrating (especially in this crazy heat that Toronto is currently having). Definitely one of my new favourite things!

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Penny Oleksiak has now won 4 medals for Canada at the Rio Games. 1 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze. Also, she’s only 16. What a champ!

As ever my 5 Things is inspired by Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere. Make sure you check it out!

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5 Things: best birthday gift, portraits, pumpkin bread & books of course!

So, last week I totally missed my 5 things. Life got busy, I fell behind in my blog schedule etc. Thus, this week combines two weeks worth of 5 things.

As always, I got the idea for 5 Things from Emily of Cupcakes and Cashmere. An awesome lifestyle blog that you should follow.

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For my Dad’s 60th birthday we got him a flight on a Lancaster Bomber. There are only 2 left in the world that fly – one is in England, and one is in Hamilton Ontario at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. It was an hour long flight and he had a blast. It might have been the best birthday gift ever. I’m just sayin’.

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This is my new tote bag from Indigo that I absolutely love. My cousin actually got it for me because she spent over $30 in the store and thus the tote bag dropped in price to $6.99. Can’t go wrong with that. I also finished Cream of the Crop, which was hilarious. I will be writing a blog post about that soon. And currently I’m reading The View From the Cheap Seats. I actually have to finish it by Monday (I have 300 pages left to go) because it’s due back to the library by then. Challenge accepted!

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Doug and I went to Ottawa earlier in the week. We were visiting a friend of mine and his family. My friend and his wife teach in Costa Rica and they (and their gorgeous year and half year old daughter) came to Canada for a month to visit family and friends. It was fantastic seeing them, plus Doug and I got our first weekend away together, which was fun.

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In Ottawa we went to the National Gallery of Canada to see the Vigée Le Brun exhibit. It was spectacular.  Above is a portrait of Marie Antoinette in full court dress. There are 4 portraits of Marie Antoinette and dozens of others in the exhibit. It’s definitely something that you should go see if you’re able to.

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This is a new recipe! Doug’s mom gave it to me, and it’s a recipe for pumpkin bread. She had made 2 loaves when we went to visit on our way home from Ottawa, and so I tasted pumpkin bread for the first time. Delicious. I was also given the second loaf to take home. I’m so excited to make my own!

#CanadaStrong

Today, my country, for the first time experienced what some are calling a terrorist attack. One man, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, shot and killed Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, a 24 four year old reservist, while he stood guard over The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The shooter then made his way over to our Parliament and started shooting there too – injuring 3 other people before he himself was shot and killed.

Canada is known the world over as a peacekeeping country. We go in and help countries. We go in and try and stop people from killing each other. Today, one of our own, a home grown something – I hesitate to say terrorist – tore into our heart. He created violence in the heart of our democracy. And it’s made us afraid.

What makes me afraid though, and what also disturbs me, is that there is someone or a group of someones here in my country who are preaching hate. There is someone who is teaching people to hate Canada, and the people in it. And this is not okay. And worse, it makes me feel powerless. What can I do, or the average person do, to keep Canada safe?

The only answer that I have for that, is to be kind. It seems silly I know, but whoever is preaching this hate is picking on the people who are outcasts, who are loners, who are easy pickings. To combat this, that means we have to be kind to those people. We have to be inclusive. We have to get people involved in their communities, in the business of our country because if someone loves where they are, the country they live in, the people in their country, they’re less likely to attack it. So let’s be kind Canada. Let’s be overly kind because someone is luring our countrymen to extremism. And we won’t stand for it.

The other thing that the world needs to remember is that Canada will not be intimidated. Canada does not back down. And if you think that we do, or that we will, learn your history. It proves otherwise.

Canada won’t ever be broken or beaten. Take note world. #CanadaStrong.