August Wrap-Up

Butterfly on flowers

Hello September and goodbye August! August was a lot of fun with family, friends, and enriching leisure activities. The weather was pleasant so I spent more time outdoors in August than in July. Let me share my highlights and I invite you to tell me yours.



I went to see five art exhibitions in Toronto and visited one new-to-me art gallery in Kingston:

  • The Museum of Broken Relationships exhibition caught my attention because I had passed by the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb, Croatia. The exhibition was more interesting and less sad than I thought.
  • The Brain Project 2019 showcased fifty brain sculptures designed by artists, celebrities, and researchers to raise brain health awareness and to advance research on dementia and aging #noblankbrains.
  • The Art of Zhen (Truth) Shan (Compassion) Ren (Tolerance) International Exhibition is a collection of over 60 paintings. It has toured about 300 cities in over 50 countries.
  • The 17th Annual Canada International Children’s Art Festival showcased many colourful and impressive artworks. Most of them were created by 7 or 8-year old artists.
  • The Into The Clouds installation by FriendsWithYou displayed the adorable Little Cloud and three friends. I liked both the installation and its location in the beautiful Allen Lambert Galleria.
Embrace the Earth painting by Xiao Yu Ren
Embrace the Earth by Xiao Yu Ren, age 7
Into The Clouds art installation by FriendsWithYou
Little Cloud and three friends are spending the lazy days of summer hanging out in the Allen Lambert Galleria at Brookfield Place.”


I wrote four blog posts to document my fun experiences at home, in Heidelberg (Germany), and in Regina (Saskatchewan, Canada):


I enjoyed reading seven good novels. The authors’ biographies are also interesting in case you want to look them up:

  • The Moroccan Girl by Charles Cumming
  • The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen
  • Crimson Lake by Candice Fox
  • Less by Andrew Sean Greer
  • The Next Person You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
  • And Then You Were Gone by R. J. Jacobs
  • Call Me Evie by J.P. Pomare


I attended nine outdoor concerts. The music and vocals were fantastic, especially the first four artists listed below:

  • Ammoye
  • Alana Bridgewater
  • Jordan John
  • Avery Raquel
  • The Arsenals at Island Soul festival
  • The Recipee band at Island Soul festival
  • Susie Vinnick Trio
  • Elinor Frey & Phoebe Carrai: Duoletto violoncello
  • Toronto’s All-Star Big Band: Dance music from the 50s


We had two big family gatherings in August, one was to celebrate my nephew’s new home and the other was to celebrate a few birthdays in my family clan. We were glad to see family members visiting us from the USA. It was so nice to share meals, talk, and do fun activities together in person. Some of our good eats came from the weekly farmer’s market. How lucky we were to have plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables! They were as delicious as they looked.

August harvest


I went out six times with my friends for coffee and some of the concerts I mentioned above. My family and I also met and dined out with our friends in Kingston when we were there for a few days.


I completed 14 strength workouts in the gym, 8 yoga classes, and 4 swimming sessions. I also meditated and walked every day. One of the very enjoyable walks was on the beautiful Toronto Islands.

Toronto Islands


I enjoyed learning new words from my daily French and Spanish lessons. I learned about the artists and/ or the projects from the art exhibitions that I viewed, the authors of the books I read, the actors and musicians at the shows I attended, popular songs in the 50s, and the history behind some of the places that I visited this month.


I watched only three movies because it was more fun to be outdoors:

  • Long Shot (comedy)
  • Stockholm (drama)
  • Idiocracy (comedy)


My family took a six-day trip to Kingston which is located about 2.5 hours by train east of Toronto. In typical Natalie the Explorer style, I walked to explore some of the historic sights in Kingston. For arts, I visited the Agnes Etherington Art Centre at Queen’s University. I’ll share some of my discoveries in a later post.

Kingston Sign


August was incredibly fun and enriching. I look forward to September when I’m expecting more relatives visiting us, a trip to Vancouver Island, and lots of leisure activities.

How was your August? What good things happened? I’d love to hear your comments.

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65 thoughts on “August Wrap-Up

  1. Erica/Erika September 1, 2019 / 10:37 am

    I am always in awe as to how many fun adventures are part of your month. The children’s art is amazing. I am always curious about the books you have read, Natalie. So many good books, so little time:) The family reunions are always priceless. Thanks for sharing a fun month. I know you will make September just as fun!


    • Natalie September 1, 2019 / 12:01 pm

      Thank you, Erica, for your kind and encouraging words. So many fun activities and so little time. I imagine how quickly time flies where you live with the great outdoors beckon. Happy Labour Day long weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Erica/Erika September 1, 2019 / 12:36 pm

        Happy Long weekend to you, too, Natalie. I know you list out the books you read. Have there been any books that stood out. Heading off camping soon, and I love suggestions! I also meant to mention I always enjoy all of your photos. It helps give a frame of reference for when I read and learn about the areas you visit. I know you will enjoy out West. I look forward to reading all about it. Safe travels!πŸ™‚


        • Natalie September 1, 2019 / 1:24 pm

          Hi Erica: In no particular order, I’d suggest A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King, Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan, A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, Washington Black by Esi Edugyan, or Crimson Lake by Candice Fox. These books cover various genres and from authors from Canada and abroad. Many of the thriller/ crime novels that I read this year are very good, too. Happy camping and reading!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Erica/Erika September 1, 2019 / 1:32 pm

            Thanks Natalie for getting back to me. I really liked “A man called Ove” and “A thousand splendid suns.” I haven’t read the other books (excerpts of Stephen King’s book). I look forward to checking out the books:)


  2. Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid September 1, 2019 / 5:31 pm

    Oh I’ve heard such good things about The Museum of Broken Relationships – how cool that there is a Toronto version! That Mitch Albom book is on my to-read list, have you read Tuesdays with Morrie? It’s one of my all time faves! We loved the Toronto Islands when we visited, so pretty! My September was divided between the UK and Australia and it was full of good times, good food, good people and just the right amount of adventure!


    • Natalie September 1, 2019 / 5:54 pm

      Your August sounds awesome. The Museum of Broken Relationships has a traveling exhibition. I was pleased to see it in Toronto. Maybe it will travel to your city. It was my first time reading Mitch Albom’s book and I liked his writing style. Tuesdays with Morrie is on my to read list. I look forward to hearing more about your new puppy.


  3. Jo September 1, 2019 / 7:31 pm

    Another full month. I love how you incorporate learning into each of your activities – not only are you keeping your body healthy, but your spirit and brain as well. I have Less and Crimson Lake on my TBR virtual pile…I really must get to them. Here’s to September.


    • Natalie September 1, 2019 / 7:55 pm

      So many good books to read and so little time. It’s a great phase in life atm since I can focus on activities that are fun to me and that are good for my brain, body, and spirit. Here’s to a wonderful September!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Min Write of the Middle September 1, 2019 / 8:40 pm

    I am amazed by how much culture you fit into your months Natalie! I absolutely adore that painting by the 7 year old child ‘Embrace the Earth’. So much talent – I love it! πŸ™‚


    • Natalie September 1, 2019 / 9:00 pm

      Hi Min – I’m fortunate to live in a city that supports culture and the arts. Many of the events that I attend are free to the public. I’m grateful that I have flexibility to devote more time for the arts now than when I worked full-time. I took many photos of the children’s artworks. They were really amazing for such young age. I like my photo of the Embrace the Earth painting and its message is lovely so I added it to this post. Thank you for stopping by. Have a wonderful time with your Mum and daughter! I look forward to hearing about your trip when you return.


  5. Deborah September 1, 2019 / 9:03 pm

    I recognise a couple of books from your reading for the month and again (like Min above) I’m in awe of how much art and culture you fit in (I guess it’s a matter of prioritising it and not spending as much time doing NOTHING – which is what I do!!!!).

    And I love those floating clouds. I need some of them in my house!


    • Natalie September 1, 2019 / 9:19 pm

      The Little Cloud and 3 friends are cute and mood-lifting. I adore their expression. I like art and culture and am happy to have more time for them now than when I worked full-time. Toronto has an amazing number of art and cultural events year-round. I barely scratch the surface.


  6. leannelc September 1, 2019 / 9:56 pm

    Natalie you definitely fill your months much fuller than I do! Maybe because it’s Winter down here in Oz, I’ve felt more like hunkering down at home? I am amazed at all the exhibitions, musical performances etc that you have available – and that there’s always more each month. I’m going to have to look at what’s out there as our Summer approaches and see what inspires me to get out and about more often!


    • Natalie September 2, 2019 / 10:02 am

      Hi Leanne – There are usually events going on in the community, especially in the summer. Weather also affects how often I go out. I do indoor activities when the weather is extreme, like too cold or too hot or too humid. Fortunately, the extreme days are not that many. I look forward to hearing about your discoveries.


      • leannelc September 3, 2019 / 11:38 pm

        Just popping back again for #MLSTL and to let you know I’ve shared this on my SM xx


        • Natalie September 6, 2019 / 9:25 pm

          Thank you, Leanne. Have a beautiful week!


  7. Retirement Reflections September 2, 2019 / 1:18 am

    You’ve definitely had a very full August, Natalie.
    I look forward to meeting you soon.


    • Natalie September 2, 2019 / 10:05 am

      Hi Donna – I look forward to meeting you soon, too. Have a beautiful week!


  8. Sydney Shop Girl September 2, 2019 / 1:41 am

    Fascinated about the Museum of Broken Relationships, Natalie and how you found it less bleak than it might sound.

    SSG xxx


    • Natalie September 2, 2019 / 10:09 am

      Hi SSG – The Museum of Broken Relationships exhibition has personal items donated by people from all over the world. Each item has a brief story about the broken relationship and why the person donated it. Although some of the broken relationships were sad to read, I felt a sense of freedom, relief and hope for the donor who has reached the point of readiness to let go and move on.


  9. lunalyon September 2, 2019 / 3:27 pm

    I love how you keep statistics on your activities. I bet that helps you reach any goals you set!


    • Natalie September 2, 2019 / 3:53 pm

      Thank you, Luna, for your kind comment. I keep track of my goals and statistics for myself on a simple spreadsheet. I like to know how I use my time and if I need to make any adjustment πŸ™‚


  10. 3sistersabroad September 2, 2019 / 7:07 pm

    Im in awe as to how much you pack in a month xx…#SeniSal


    • Natalie September 2, 2019 / 7:30 pm

      The weather was close to perfect in August for us and there were lots of fun outdoor events so I enjoyed as much as possible. Thank you, Bree, for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Italian Goodness September 2, 2019 / 10:11 pm

    Wow! Sounds like a super fun and productive August! Good for you!!! #SeniSal


    • Natalie September 3, 2019 / 8:20 am

      Thank you for your visit and comment. We had close to perfect weather in August and that made going out easy.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Shiju Sugunan September 3, 2019 / 12:44 am

    What an exhaustive month you had. Full of nice activities.


    • Natalie September 3, 2019 / 8:21 am

      Thank you, Shiju, for your visit and comment. We had very good weather in August and it was perfect for outdoor activities.


  13. paigebainbridge September 3, 2019 / 12:41 pm

    Wow – you have been busy! Seven novels in a month is impressive! And I am always saying I want to go hear more live music, especially at outdoor venues, and you saw so many! This post is inspiring to me as the month of September is spread out before us, so I can design and plan the things that I want to experience this month. Thanks!


    • Natalie September 3, 2019 / 1:04 pm

      Thank you, Paige, for your visit and comment. I’m glad my post inspired you to plan some fun experience for September. I hope to hear about them.


  14. csuhpat1 September 3, 2019 / 9:17 pm

    Looks like that you had a wonderful August. Thanks for sharing it with us. #MLSTL


    • Natalie September 4, 2019 / 8:25 am

      Thank you, Patrick, for your comment. I greatly appreciate it.


  15. DB McNicol September 3, 2019 / 10:34 pm

    Wow! I’m tired just reading all you’ve accomplished! Well done…

    #MLSTL visitor


    • Natalie September 4, 2019 / 8:27 am

      Thank you, Donna, for stopping by. August was a lot of fun without much effort required on my part.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Denyse Whelan September 4, 2019 / 4:24 am

    What a busy but lovely time you have been having whilst the weather has been so kind.

    It was fun catching up with you again via your words and pics.

    Thank you for linking up for Life This Week. Next week the optional prompt is Taking Stock, I hope you can join in again. Denyse.


    • Natalie September 4, 2019 / 8:28 am

      Thank you, Denyse, for hosting and being patient with me even when I’m off prompt. Have a beautiful week!


  17. Nancy Andres September 4, 2019 / 11:06 am

    Thanks for this colorful and varied august wrap up post (tomatoes look so juicy) Natalie. Sure enjoyed the pics. My august project was to keep cool and stay indoors most of the time (read, blog, market my book, and do projects around my home). Heat here in Tucson has been ranging between 99-110. We love monsoon season and happy listening to the rain, and seeing the washes run after a storm is sublime. Be well and have fun in Sept. too. Visiting from #MLSTL.


    • Natalie September 4, 2019 / 11:27 am

      Thank you, Nancy, for your visit and comment. I’d stay indoors when the heat is that high, too. There are lots to do indoors and sounds like you’ve made excellent use of your time. Have a wonderful September!


  18. patwdoyle11 September 4, 2019 / 1:04 pm

    The breadth of activities you engage in always inspires me. I need to look for more museum offerings! This month we were lucky to have The Burning Man exhibit at our local museum and I loved it. So much so that I went twice – once with a girl friend and then insisted hubby needed to go with me. I’m an avid reader, so just added a few more titles to my to-read list! Thanks.


    • Natalie September 4, 2019 / 7:54 pm

      Hi Pat – Your museum visits sound wonderful. I’m sure if you look up what’s on in your community, there will be many offerings. The local library and librarians are great resources for book suggestions, too. I find the Best Bets section in my library which displays recommended books read by librarians are usually good reads. Thank you for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. restlessjo September 4, 2019 / 4:39 pm

    Sounds like a great month, Natalie. You surely didn’t let the grass grow πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚


    • Natalie September 4, 2019 / 7:56 pm

      I love your second sentence πŸ™‚ Thank you, Jo, for stopping by. I look forward to hearing about your next walk.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond September 4, 2019 / 4:40 pm

    Another fun month for you Natalie and I love the Little Clouds plus the flowers in your feature image. You always impress me with the variety you bring to life and I’m looking forward to meeting you in real life very soon. xx


    • Natalie September 4, 2019 / 8:00 pm

      Hi Sue – Thank you for your kind words. I’m looking forward to meeting you IRL, too. P.S. There is a butterfly on one of the flowers in my feature image. It blended right in. Nature is amazing. Have a beautiful week!


  21. Jo September 5, 2019 / 10:29 am

    Looks like you’ve had a wonderful August, full of fun, full of art and culture. I loved your reading list and will take a couple of ideas from that. I love our library and they are great at ordering books. Currently I’m into some light reading and ploughing through the Joanna Trollope books – very British, very aga-saga, but she’s so spot on when it comes to relationships. #MLSTL and Shared on SM


    • Natalie September 5, 2019 / 12:40 pm

      I’ll look into J. Trollope books. Thank you, Jo, for mentioning them.


  22. mommyhon333 September 5, 2019 / 9:42 pm

    Going to look up the Museum of Broken Relationships exhibition. I would expect it to be poignant and heart-wrenching, which would probably draw me in! Toronto has so many cultural offerings. We are such a poor community that there isn’t a lot of money for quality of life projects. We only have a handful of struggling museums.

    How was the Mitch Albom book? My father read then recommended The Five People You Meet in Heaven to me. It is a book I have never forgotten. And I found the movie to be faithful to the book and very good, too. Need to add this sequel to my to-read list.

    Tomatoes are one of the foods I eat most reluctantly. But your photo of the different varieties of tomatoes makes them look almost appetizing! Such varied shapes and shades.


    • Natalie September 6, 2019 / 7:48 am

      The Mitch Albom book was good and an easy read. I’ll add The Five People You Meet in Heaven to my to-read list. The cherry tomatoes in the summer were tasty. I like to eat them on their own or in salads. Thank you, Leslie, for stopping by.


  23. CarolCooks2 September 6, 2019 / 11:48 am

    Wow..what a fun-filled, cultural month and still time to read…and exercise I am impressed…#SeniSal


    • Natalie September 6, 2019 / 12:49 pm

      Thank you, Carol, for your visit and comment. I’ll visit your blog soon. Exercising has been part of my lifestyle so I usually get it done first then leisure activities as time permits. Reading is a pleasure that I do in the evening.


      • CarolCooks2 September 6, 2019 / 8:15 pm

        It is about having a plan isn’t it?, Natalie I walk a lot it relaxes me and frees my mind… 10,000 steps is my daily target… I love your energy πŸ˜€


        • Natalie September 6, 2019 / 8:41 pm

          Walking has so many health benefits. I totally get it when you say it relaxes you and frees your mind. Have a great weekend!


  24. betty - NZ September 6, 2019 / 7:06 pm

    Sounds like a great month! Those little clouds made me smile πŸ™‚


    • Natalie September 6, 2019 / 7:19 pm

      The little clouds are cute, aren’t they? I like them, too. Thank you, Betty, for stopping by. Have a great weekend!


  25. Sheryl September 7, 2019 / 9:45 pm

    I really like “Embrace the Earth.” I was surprised when I noticed that it was done by a 7-year-old. She is an amazing artist.


    • Natalie September 7, 2019 / 10:00 pm

      Thank you, Sheryl, for your visit and comment. There were many amazing paintings done by 7 or 8 year old children at the art festival. I liked the Embrace the Earth message and painting so I featured it in my post. I’m glad you liked it.


  26. Joanne Sisco September 8, 2019 / 8:06 am

    What a month you had! This is what summer should be all about – enjoying the outdoors and the many things we have available to us. You are rocking it!!


    • Natalie September 8, 2019 / 8:37 am

      I took full advantage of the close-to-perfect weather in August. September is pretty good so far. I’m sure you’re rocking it, too πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Joanne Sisco September 8, 2019 / 8:44 am

        Actually I’m keeping a much lower key this month. It seems that most of my spare time is going into art projects rather than being out and about.

        I have to remind myself that this pocket of beautiful fall weather is short-lived so I better not waste any of it!


        • Natalie September 8, 2019 / 8:50 am

          I’m saving my home projects for November. I hope we can meet again and maybe with Deb (the WB) after I come back from BC.

          Liked by 1 person

  27. Deb September 13, 2019 / 9:05 am

    You fit so much into your months Natalie! What a great time you have had. I love the photo from the local market – whenever we go somewhere new I like to go and look around the markets to see how different they are to where we live and there’s nothing quite like fresh produce straight from the farmer’s stall.


    • Natalie September 13, 2019 / 10:20 am

      Thank you, Deb, for your comment. I like to visit the local market when I travel, too. It’s a good place to mingle with the locals and browse local produce.


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