Five things

Flowers are blooming, birds are singing, the sun is shining — it’s what we’ve been waiting for, isn’t it? And yet this time of year I find it especially hard to fight the urge to crawl into bed and shut out the world. Spring has sprung! We’re supposed to be happy! But what if you’re not? If you struggle with anxiety and depression or something else crappy, you might feel a little (or a lot) guilty. A little (or a lot) out of place. A little (or a lot) like something is wrong with you. Maybe all of those things. That’s how I feel a lot of the time, but I keep trying small things to lift myself up. Here’s what I’ve been up to lately.

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1. My kiddos just turned 6 and 8. We’ll celebrate with their friends next month when we’ve had a chance to get ourselves organized (one year we didn’t get around to it ’til October and had a joint Halloween-themed birthday party), but on their birthdays each got to pick what they wanted to do and we did it together as a family. For James it was dinner at McDonald’s and playing on the lighthouse and the steam train outside the Science and Tech Museum. Lily picked bowling and lunch at the Dairy Queen. What do the littles in your life like to do for their birthdays?

2. I’m pretty sure there are fairies hiding in here somewhere.

3. Random House sent me a copy of Tara O’Brady’s Seven Spoons: My Favorite Recipes for Any and Every Day and it’s a treasure. The food stylist and blogger shares over 100 recipes inspired by a variety of influences, including her family’s Indian, English and Irish roots. If it’s true that we eat with our eyes, readers will be just as nourished by the gorgeous photographs and stories as they will by the dishes. I’ve made the roasted red pepper, almond, and feta salad and the trail mix snack bars several times (new family favourites!) and can’t wait to try O’Brady’s seeded boule, Vietnamese-inspired sausage rolls and za’atar chicken and roasted vegetable salad.

4. Saturday we happened across a fair when we were out doing errands. We didn’t go then (heavens, we don’t do things spontaneously!) but promised to return on Sunday as long as everybody was being good. Lily and I went on the ferris-wheel-type-spinny-ride you can see in the sky behind the ticket booths and thought we were going to die, then Lily joined her brother on a couple of the tamer rides. I’d love to share some pictures here if we did that sort of thing, but Hubs is most comfortable keeping the kids’ identities on the down-lo. You’ll see a lot of feet and hands and backs-of-heads here on the blog and on my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts.

5. Do you like entering contests? Here are some (Canadian) giveaways you won’t want to miss: Hélène is offering a one-year subscription to Ricardo magazine, Monica has a contest for a $100 Visa gift card, and Chris wants you to win a butt-load of Pringles.

Have a great week everybody! Maybe try some small things along with me?