lately things have been busy.. a lot more busy than I like my summers to be and with a lot more morning alarms than I would like.

Our first two weeks of July were family filled. My parents left, my in laws arrived (they live with us for parts of the year) and then my sister in law came for a visit with her two kids.. they are very similar aged to ours which meant lots of love, laughter and lots of fights. 

The next week and the week ahead are full of classes. D is taking an intense tennis class bright and early every other morning.. hence the need for an alarm. And then both boys are doing their annual summer swim crash course.. but thankfully things will all slow down as the month ends and then we can take a little break.. with no alarms. 

How's summer been treating you?

Now a question for my crafty friends.. my son attended a paint by arrow class. Paint filled balloons dangled over a canvas and he shot arrows at them. 

This is the canvas he created. Now I was thinking this could maybe turn into a pillow or something.. is there a way to seal in the paint? Don't know what kind of paint it is.. but it seems water based.. Any ideas?

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20 Questions with D

These last few posts have been quite D centric.. he's been having all the moments. Things are about to get busy around here so I may disappear for a bit. My parents left and my in laws flew in.. they live with us for half the year. And my sister in law in kids flew in to spend two weeks with us.. so A LOT is going on.. Have a Great Summer! Stay cool.. this heat wave has been intense. 

1. What is your favorite color? Red
2. What is your favorite toy/game? Minecraft and Roblox
3. What is your favorite fruit? Raspberries
4. What is your favorite food? Hot Dog
5. What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Cookie Dough
7. What is your favorite tv show? Monster House on Netflix
8.Favorite Movie? Zathura
9. What is your favorite animal? Gorilla 
10. What is your favorite song? Sucker by Jonas Brothers
11. What is your favorite book? The Percy Jackson series and The Lost Hero Series
12. What is your favorite city/country? Budapest
13. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play Tennis and Cricket
14. What do you want to be when you grow up? Dentist
15. What is your favorite thing to do with mummy? Hugs and read Harry Potter
16. What is your favorite thing to do with baba? play sports
17. What is your favorite thing to do with Hasan? Watching videos and playing video games
18. What makes you feel sad? Leaving elementary school
19. What makes you feel happy? my graduation fondue
20. What was your favorite thing about your birthday? playing water tag

To take a look back here are
20 Questions with D at 4
20 Questions with D at 5
20 Questions with D at 6
20 Questions with D at 7
20 Questions with D at 8 
20 Question with D at 9  
20 Question with D at 10
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D Turns 11

D turned eleven last week. And we had  a little party. 

As per tradition we bought our plain white butter cream chocolate cake from Wegmans and decorated it ourselves. The theme was water tag.

It was the perfect sunny day and the kids had a blast

We sorta dropped the ball on taking a picture of the cake cutting.. I had to take a screen shot of a video.

Each kid went home with a water gun, some water balloons and a couple of snacks. All in all a good day and most definitely D's last organized birthday party. phew. 

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Graduating Elementary School

This is a big month for D.. not only will he be turning 11 this week but he also graduated elementary school! They held a simple outdoor ceremony. Guests we kept at a minimum but it was special nonetheless.        

He received a certificate of graduation from his principal

and a dragon pin (their school mascot) from the vice principal

His two teachers.

and my parents who live on a whole different continent yet decided to come visit us for a couple weeks.

We went out to celebrate that night at The Melting Pot. The kids had never had tried fondue before.

I can't believe D is going to be a middle schooler soon.. I am both excited and terrified for him.  

D's thoughts on going to graduating elementary school on moving on to middle school: 'I am looking forward to lockers and picking classes. I will miss having recess because there is no recess in middle school. I am scared about forgetting things and the possibility of detention but still excited to be going to middle school.'  

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Recent Reads

I didn't write a recent reads post last month.. honestly my recent reads haven't been all that great. 

The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen

Synopsis - Present Day newly divorced, Julia Hamill, buys a house and discovers a skeleton in her front garden. Looking for answers to the ancient mystery dating back to 1830, she soon connects with the family of the previous owners. 
In Boston, 1830: In order to pay for his education, Norris Marshall, a talented but penniless student at Boston Medical College, has joined the ranks of local “resurrectionists”–those who plunder graveyards and harvest the dead for sale on the black market. Yet even this ghoulish commerce pales beside the shocking murder of a nurse found mutilated on the university hospital grounds. And when a distinguished doctor meets the same grisly fate, Norris finds that trafficking in the illicit cadaver trade has made him a prime suspect. To prove his innocence, Norris must track down the only witness to have glimpsed the killer: Rose Connolly, a beautiful seamstress from the Boston slums who fears she may be the next victim.

Thoughts - This book seemed to have all the makings for a great who dunnit. It had very good reviews. But unfortunately it kind of dragged on for me. The last couple of chapters was where the pace really picked up and I hadn't seen the end coming so that was good.. but I had to skip over a lot of paragraphs in order to get there. 

Lost and Found Sister by Jill Shalvis

Synopsis - After losing her sister in a devastating car accident, chef Quinn Weller is finally getting her life back on track. She appears to have it all: a loving family, a dream job in one of L.A.'s hottest eateries, and a gorgeous boyfriend dying to slip an engagement ring on her finger. So why does she feel so empty, like she's looking for a missing piece she can't find?
The answer comes when a lawyer tracks down Quinn and reveals a bombshell secret and a mysterious inheritance that only she can claim. This shocking revelation washes over Quinn like a tidal wave. Her whole life has been a lie. On impulse, Quinn gives up her job, home, and boyfriend. She heads up the coast to the small hometown of Wildstone, California, which is just a few hours north, but feels worlds apart from Los Angeles. Though she doesn't quite fit in right away, she can't help but be drawn to the town’s simple pleasures…and the handsome, dark-haired stranger who offers friendship with no questions asked.
As Quinn settles into Wildstone, she discovers there's another surprise in store for her. The inheritance isn't a house or money, but rather something earthshattering, something that will make her question everything she thought she knew about herself, about her family. Now with a world of possibilities opening up to Quinn, she must decide if this new life is the one she was always meant to have—and the one that could finally give her the fulfillment she's searched so long for.

Thoughts - This was a cute read. It had heart. But it was predictable. I don't read a lot of contemporary romances but I like to read a couple here and there on the off chance that I will find one I love like The Rosie Project or Josh and Hazel Guide to Dating. But this was not it. I read it all the way up to the end but just didn't have the will to finish it. 

Pretty Little Wife by Darby Kane

Synopsis - Lila Ridgefield lives in an idyllic college town, but not everything is what it seems. Lila isn’t what she seems. A student vanished months ago. Now, Lila’s husband, Aaron, is also missing. At first these cases are treated as horrible coincidences until it’s discovered the student is really the third of three unexplained disappearances over the last few years. The police are desperate to find the connection, if there even is one. Little do they know they might be stumbling over only part of the truth…. With the small town in an uproar, everyone is worried about the whereabouts of their beloved high school teacher. Everyone except Lila, his wife. She’s definitely confused about her missing husband but only because she was the last person to see his body, and now it’s gone.

Thoughts - This was the best of the three books. It was clever and unpredictable and kind of messed up.

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Friday Photography

Redchurch Street in Shoreditch East London

London Travel Art Print Horizontal Home Decor Wall Art

Colorful Graffiti Wall Mural on Redchurch Street in Shoreditch East London

Redchurch Street - A colorful wall mural and graffiti found on Redchurch Street in East London's trendy Shoreditch. Want to read more about our trip to London click here

You can buy this print here. Get Free Shipping with code BLOGGER

Prints also available in larger sizes. Contact for more information and special requests.

I am open to wholesale and licensing opportunities. Get in touch for more information.
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Strawberry Picking

Happy Memorial Day to my US friends.

This long weekend was a complete wash out... it rained all day, every day.

The kids had an extra snow day so the school gave them Friday off as well. There were a couple of rain free hours on Friday morning so we squeezed in a quick strawberry picking trip at a local farm.

This was our first time strawberry picking. We unintentionally ended up with 8lbs of strawberries. So now began the task of how to use all these strawberries.

I made pancakes

and milkshakes

I also made ice cream and pureed a bunch and froze them as ice cubes to be used in futures juices, I love a good strawberry lemonade.

And now we have just a bowl full left to eat. They were absolutely delectable.  

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