June Smiles and Summer Week 2

Pink poppies.

Hello blog friends! How are things going? I hope all is well with you. Come on in to my blog space for a coffee (or tea) chat and catch up on our news.

If we were having coffee (or tea), I would share that Toronto had a full week of sunny and warm days. We said goodbye to June and the first half of 2020. We welcomed July with a Happy birthday to Canada on July 1. Life in Ontario continues to evolve with some good news on the COVID-19 front.

June was a month full of stunning sights and fragrance from flower blooms. Birds continued to be active and they filled my mornings with beautiful sounds. The lake shone like diamonds in the sun. I took many photos and included some samples in this post.

June in Numbers

I feel grateful to wake up every day with a new set of 24 hours to live. We all had 30 full days or 720 hours in June. Of the 720 hours, I spent about 240 hours for Sleep, another 240 hours for Home Life, and 240 hours for Fun.

I kept track some of my fun activities in simple numbers. Every one of the following items made me smile:

  • 1 new baking success: Banana blueberry loaf. Recipe below. I used blueberries instead of cranberries.
  • 2 coffee dates with my sister.
  • 3 bicycle rides.
  • 3 online jazz and piano concerts: Miles Davis jazz at Lincoln Centre, Diana Krall on YouTube, and John Legend’s live streaming from his home studio.
  • 4 blog posts.
  • 4 movies: Election, Margot at the Wedding, Keep the Change, and One Week. All four were good although I liked One Week the most.
  • 6 books: They were included in my Reading Update #2.
  • 13 strengthening workouts.
  • 13 yoga sessions.
  • 26 walks to where I could see beautiful flower plants and fish-themed art.
  • 30 online French and Spanish sessions.
  • 30 meditation sessions.

Some good news on the COVID-19 front, mainly easing of restrictions and re-opening of businesses. Here’s what’s of interest to me:

  • up to 10 people allowed for social gathering.
  • up to 10 people allowed in social bubbles.
  • library curb-side pickup by appointment.
  • dental clinics, hair salons, farmers’ markets, ferry service to Toronto Islands, malls, and restaurant patios although I’m in no rush to go to these places yet.

Summer Week 2 in Pictures

The second week of summer continued to be sunny and hot with a heat wave that lasted several days. The high temperatures ranged from 27C to 33C (81F to 95F) plus humidity so it felt a few degrees hotter. Not a drop of rain the entire week.

My day went something like this:

  • Morning: Breakfast, meditation, cycling, walking, and strengthening workouts or yoga. I usually take photos during my walk.
  • Afternoon: Lunch, checking in with family and friends, home maintenance, and language lessons. Kayaking in the late afternoon if lake is calm.
  • Evening: Dinner, reading, writing, movie or music, and sleep.

A sample of what filled up my senses one morning last week:

Another sample to show more water, some Canada geese and aquatic plants, with a pop of red colour from my kayak:

On July 1, to do something special on Canada Day, I went kayaking with my best friend within the Toronto Islands for about three hours. It was a beautiful time while being in peaceful company with cormorants, egrets, ducks, fish, swans, turtles, lots of green plants, and fresh water.

Great egret within Toronto Islands.
Great egret within Toronto Islands


I was so happy and grateful for how June turned out for me. Week 2 of summer 2020 was amazing. Words are not adequate to describe the beauty that I see every day. The weather forecast for the coming week is sunny and warm again. I look forward to making the most of it.

How was June for you? How did your week go? I’d love to hear your comments.

Linking here.

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83 thoughts on “June Smiles and Summer Week 2

  1. Jill Weatherholt July 5, 2020 / 6:58 am

    You did a wonderful job expressing how much you enjoyed the month of June, Natalie. I loved reading about all of your activities. That’s good news on the restrictions being eased. We are still in phase 2 of re-opening, as our cases continue to increase. That said, June was spent on my back patio enjoying the outdoors and writing. Thank you for sharing your gorgeous pictures! I hope the month of July brings you just as much joy.❤️


    • Natalie July 5, 2020 / 1:44 pm

      Thank you so much, Jill, for your kind comment. I’m glad you’re enjoying the outdoors on your back patio and writing. Our cases have been on the downward trend as we continue to follow public health guidelines to slow the spread of the virus. I hope the cases in your state will decrease soon. Have a wonderful week ahead!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. trentpmcd July 5, 2020 / 8:28 am

    Glad you had a good week. The paddle looks nice – always great to be out in nature.


    • Natalie July 5, 2020 / 1:47 pm

      Thanks, Trent, for your comment. Paddling within the Toronto Islands is wonderful. To see the great egret up close was a special treat.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. dprastka July 5, 2020 / 11:17 am

    What beautiful photos, especially LOVE all the flowers. It’s so wonderful you had such a lovely month and summer is showing it’s full colors. The lake and water photos are great too! Thank you so much for sharing and looking forward to July! ❤️🤠


    • Natalie July 5, 2020 / 1:51 pm

      Thank you, Diana, for your kind comment. I’m glad you liked my photos. Summer is a fun time of the year, minus the high humidity 🙂 Have a wonderful week ahead!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sagittarius Viking July 5, 2020 / 11:34 am

    It was so nice riding about your happy two weeks of summer, and seeing all your pretty pictures. Very positive and refreshing Natalie! I’d say that I am in a more positive spirit today, than I was yesterday writing my post, due to my daughter feeling a lot better today. I am fairly sure she did get the virus just when her summer break started (3 weeks ago) today is the first day she have not coughed constantly, only a few times this afternoon. The evenings have been the worst so far, but I am positive it’s going in the right direction. Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and have a fabulous new week!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie July 5, 2020 / 1:54 pm

      That’s great news about your daughter, Maria. I hope her cough will go away completely soon. The evening cough must have bothered her sleep and yours. I enjoy reading about your summer activities, too. Have a wonderful week ahead!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Colline July 5, 2020 / 11:37 am

    You had a very fruitful month! I enjoyed looking at the pictures that you shared with us.


    • Natalie July 5, 2020 / 1:56 pm

      Thank you, Colline, for your comment. The weather has been good which makes it easy to take nice pictures. Hope you’re enjoying your summer break. Have a wonderful week ahead!


  6. Janis @ RetirementallyChallenged.com July 5, 2020 / 2:47 pm

    It sounds like you had a great week! I heard that it’s been quite hot where you live so I’m happy you enjoyed great weather. The pink/purple flowers in the first picture are lovely… what are they? We have a very prolific blueberry bush so I think I’ll try that recipe… I assume you just substituted blueberries for the cranberries called for in the recipe?


    • Natalie July 5, 2020 / 5:20 pm

      Hi Janis, The flowers in the first picture are poppies in soft pink/ plum colour. If you look at my 3rd photo collage, the flowers in the lower left corner are also poppies, some are red (common colour for poppies) and some in salmon pink (another pretty colour and different from those in the first photo).

      I did substitute blueberries for the cranberries called for in the recipe. Thanks for pointing that out. I updated my post with that note. How nice that you have a prolific blueberry bush. I love blueberries. If you have extra, freeze and use them another time. Either fresh or frozen blueberries work well with this recipe.


  7. Lydia C. Lee July 5, 2020 / 6:03 pm

    What a cheery post! You really plow through those language lessons. I’m impressed!


    • Natalie July 5, 2020 / 6:41 pm

      Thanks, Lydia. I take my lessons for about 30 minutes every day. It keeps the languages fresh in my mind and is not time-consuming. Enjoy July and your holiday!


  8. Debbie July 5, 2020 / 6:56 pm

    It was great to read of your happy and fun filled June Natalie! Happy Canada Day to you 🙂 #lifethisweek


    • Natalie July 5, 2020 / 8:00 pm

      Thanks, Debbie. Even though Canada Day celebrations were mostly virtual this year due to the covid-19 pandemic, I had a wonderful time kayaking within Toronto Islands and my close encounter with the great egret was awesome.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie July 5, 2020 / 8:01 pm

      Thank you, Lisa. July is great so far. I hope you and the Captain are doing well.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Jennifer Jones July 5, 2020 / 7:30 pm

    Hi Natalie I love reading about summer activities while we are enduring winter. Your photos are lovely


    • Natalie July 5, 2020 / 8:08 pm

      Thank you, Jennifer, for your comment. I hope you have a reasonable winter, not too harsh weather-wise, so you can enjoy the season.


  10. Jo July 5, 2020 / 7:49 pm

    You’ve had some fabulous weather. I admit to letting my Duolingo slide a week ago under the weight of other commitments. While it is only 10 minutes a day & doable the notifications & reminders were doing my head in. I suspect I’ll get back to it soon. Your pics are, as always, lovely & your month beautifully balanced.


    • Natalie July 5, 2020 / 8:11 pm

      Jo, You’re one busy lady so Duolingo can wait. I turn off most notifications as they drive me crazy 🙂 Have a wonderful week!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jo July 5, 2020 / 11:03 pm

        I figure it will still be there when I’m ready again for it. Have a fabulous week.


  11. leannelc July 5, 2020 / 9:48 pm

    Hi Natalie – it looks like week two was lovely indeed and also a great month in general. I liked your numerical breakdown of what you’d been up to during the month – and all the water photos were great too. Nice that you can make the most of the weather even with limited numbers and social distancing in place x


    • Natalie July 6, 2020 / 7:35 am

      Hi Leanne – Spending the summer at home is easy as I know where and when to go to outdoor places with a lot of space and few people. The sunny weather has helped, too. Have a wonderful week!


      • leannelc July 8, 2020 / 1:24 am

        Hi Natalie – just back for #MLSTL and to share on my SM x


        • Natalie July 8, 2020 / 8:29 am

          Thank you , Leanne, for hosting MLSTL and sharing. Much appreciated.


    • Natalie July 6, 2020 / 7:35 am

      Thanks, Gary, for stopping by. Have a great week!


  12. Bella July 5, 2020 / 11:10 pm

    Happy Canada Day! We actually did a Canadian cuisine night recently, which I’m planning to post next week. So good to hear that Covid restrictions are lifting where you are. Hopefully things continue to improve. Sounds like you had a very productive and enjoyable June!


    • Natalie July 6, 2020 / 7:37 am

      Hi Bella – June was wonderful. I look forward to reading about your Canada cuisine night. Have a great week!


  13. Retirement Reflections July 5, 2020 / 11:58 pm

    Hi, Natalie – You continue to amaze and impress me. I don’t know how you fit this all in.
    Most of all, I ❤ your positive attitude! Wishing you an equally happy July!


    • Natalie July 6, 2020 / 7:40 am

      Hi Donna – Thank you for your kind words. A positive attitude is something that we have control over, turn it on or off at any time. I leave it on as life is more fun that way. Have a wonderful week!


  14. Vanessa July 6, 2020 / 1:05 am

    I kind of tried a banana bread but yeah I am not a baker! I took the bananas to a friends house and she brought me some back that actually tasted like food haha.


    • Natalie July 6, 2020 / 7:45 am

      That’s what friends are for 🙂


  15. Sanch @ Sanch Writes July 6, 2020 / 2:58 am

    Such an uplifting post Natalie! I’m glad restrictions are easing over there and your weather is beautiful enough to enjoy the outdoors! June seems like it was pretty awesome. Go you with all the language lessons and meditation and keeping yourself occupied! I hope July is just as fantastic!


    • Natalie July 6, 2020 / 7:49 am

      Thank you, Sanch, for your kind comment. July is off to a good start with warm weather and more time outdoors. I hope your day is going well. Have a wonderful week!


  16. Joanne July 6, 2020 / 6:22 am

    We’re having hot, muggy weather this week but after a week of rainy & cool weather I almost don’t mind. June sure did have lots of reasons to smile.


    • Natalie July 6, 2020 / 7:54 am

      We have a heat warning this week and maybe thunderstorms by weekend. Thanks, Joanne, for stopping by. Have a great day!


  17. Laurie July 6, 2020 / 10:33 am

    Natalie, what a positive, uplifting post. Your nature photos made me smile. I am glad Toronto is getting some good news on the pandemic front. You are doing awesome sticking to your French and Spanish schedule. I, on the other hand, have drifted away from my language studies. I need to buckle down!


    • Natalie July 6, 2020 / 1:41 pm

      Thank you, Laurie, for your kind comment. Nature has her way to lift us. I’ve invested some time in learning French and Spanish so I’m unwilling to give up either language. Have a wonderful week!


  18. msomerville2014 July 6, 2020 / 2:55 pm

    Sounds like you had a very productive June with a strong sense of gratitude that I think characterizes your writing. Gratitude and appreciation. I like all your pictures (Okay, I am partial to water pictures, but “go figure!” Love the picture of the Great Egret. Do you take your pictures with your phone, or do you take a camera on your walks? Thanks for sharing. Michele


    • Natalie July 6, 2020 / 4:29 pm

      Thank you, Michele, for your kind words. I love watching the lake. Water moves constantly even on a calm day. To see the great egret up close was a real treat. I’ve been taking pictures with my phone for about a year now. My camera is heavier so I leave it at home. Hope your day is going well. Have a wonderful week!

      Liked by 1 person

      • msomerville2014 July 6, 2020 / 5:11 pm

        Natalie, that picture would be worth framing, and perhaps entering in a contest of something. It is really good, imho 🙂


        • Natalie July 6, 2020 / 8:59 pm

          Thank you, Michele. I may frame it. I remember how the great egret looked at me with curiosity. I just sat quietly in my kayak and looked at it. I may have had a happy grin on my face 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  19. Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid July 6, 2020 / 3:42 pm

    Always love your beautiful pics! Summer has definitely arrived in Toronto! How wonderful that you got to kayak around the Toronto Islands – our visit to the islands was one of our Toronto highlights.


    • Natalie July 6, 2020 / 4:32 pm

      Hi Sammie, I can see how your visit to the Toronto Islands was one of your highlights. The Toronto islands are special, not far from the city centre yet once there, it feels totally different and so close to nature. Thank you for stopping by. Have a great week ahead!


  20. 3sistersabroad July 6, 2020 / 4:44 pm

    Happy Canada Day xx…what an amazing month of June you had xx SeniSal


  21. Erica/Erika July 6, 2020 / 9:37 pm

    You are always inspirational, Natalie, with all you accomplish. I am curious how other places/centres are lifting restrictions around the world. Unfortunately, some are locking down again. I have heard about the heat wave in Ontario. We have had a mixed bag of weather, which is fine by me. All of your photos are beautiful and interesting. I especially like the one with the egret. Thank you for sharing a beautiful, inspirational and interesting post!


    • Natalie July 7, 2020 / 7:48 am

      Thank you, Erica/ Erika, for your kind comment. The close encounter with the egret was super. It’s still hot in Toronto this week. I hope to go paddling again. Aside from being cooler on the water and close to nature, it’s good physical distancing from people. Hope you’re enjoying the summer with your family and friends.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Liesbet @ Roaming About July 6, 2020 / 9:51 pm

    Such a happy post, Natalie. You made me smile as well with all the color and bliss in your expressions. How wonderful to get out on the water in your own kayak and take it slow and peaceful. Enjoy the month of July as much as you did June!


    • Natalie July 7, 2020 / 7:51 am

      Thank you, Liesbet, for your comment. The lake has offered me so much fun and cooler feeling while the heat continues here this week. I hope you’re enjoying July.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. csuhpat1 July 7, 2020 / 8:20 pm

    Such a wonderful you had. Very nice. Thanks for sharing it with us. #MLSTL


    • Natalie July 7, 2020 / 9:29 pm

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


  24. Deborah July 7, 2020 / 10:58 pm

    It looks like you had lovely weather! I love the images of the flowers, so pretty – it’s winter here of course so less-brilliant in that respect.

    I love your wrap up in numbers as it’s quite amazing seeing how many hours were allocated to certain things or the number of things you achieved. (And of course you always do so well!)


    • Natalie July 8, 2020 / 8:26 am

      Hi Deb – The flowers are amazing this summer. I’m glad you liked my photos. When I was wrapping up June in numbers, I was thinking maybe I can sleep less than 240 hours and have more time for Fun. Although I know lack of sleep will make me cranky and less fun to be around 🙂


  25. Denyse Whelan July 8, 2020 / 1:55 am

    What a fantastic brightly coloured and activity filled post. Love the joy and the colour. Lots to be grateful for here!

    Thank you for sharing your post for the link up #lifethisweek Next Week, the optional prompt is #selfcare. Come on over and join in with a post old or new. Warm wishes, Denyse.


    • Natalie July 8, 2020 / 8:28 am

      Thank you, Denyse, for your kind comment. June was excellent. July is looking good so far. I look forward to next week’s link-up. Have a wonderful week!


  26. Suzanne@PictureRetirement July 8, 2020 / 12:23 pm

    Natalie, I love your positive energy and the way you present your day to day life here. Hopefully, July will be more of the same! visiting again from #MLSTL


    • Natalie July 8, 2020 / 5:41 pm

      Suzanne, Thank you for your kind comment. July is off to a good start so far even with the heat and humidity. Hope your week is going well.


  27. Ally Bean July 8, 2020 / 2:40 pm

    You did so many fun things in June. I am in awe. June got away from me, but not you. I like your positive vibe. Need more of it around here, I do think.


    • Natalie July 8, 2020 / 5:46 pm

      Thanks, Ally, for your comment. My mode of operation is Seize the day, especially a summer day, when one lives in cold climate 🙂 Hope July is going well for you.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. patwdoyle11 July 8, 2020 / 3:55 pm

    Thanks for sharing your typical day… it is quite inspiring. I’m going to try and take photos on my walks more often…. I did take one last week. OK, one. Last week. But it is a start!


    • Natalie July 8, 2020 / 6:22 pm

      Hi Pat, One photo sounds like a good start. One per week adds up to 4 or 5 per month and you can choose the best of them to share if you like. Have a wonderful week!

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Min Write of the Middle July 8, 2020 / 6:22 pm

    Such a lovely positive post Natalie. Nice summers days you’re having too by the sounds of it. It’s winter here but here in Queensland we’re still having some lovely warm sunny days – thought it gets a bit chilly in the mornings and evenings. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the flowers in the very top photograph of this post but they are beautiful! What are they? I’m so pleased for you that restrictions are easing a bit over there. It’s a bit scary here again with outbreaks in Melbourne and the fear that it will reach other states. In my state at present all is good. xo


    • Natalie July 8, 2020 / 6:56 pm

      Hi Min – The flowers in my top photo are Poppies. Most people have seen red or orange-red poppies but I’ve also seen the pink/plum poppies as shown in my top photo, and the soft salmon/pink poppies shown in my 3rd collage. If you click on the photo in the lower left corner of the 3rd collage, it will enlarge and you can see both the salmon colour and orange-red poppies.

      Good to hear all’s good in your state. Although our case numbers have shown a downward trend, I still practice social distancing.


  30. Sydney Shop Girl July 8, 2020 / 6:27 pm

    I’m inspired by your number of mindfulness sessions, Natalie! Your final photo of the egret is so beautiful!

    SSG xxx


    • Natalie July 8, 2020 / 6:59 pm

      Thank you, SSG, for your comment. I meditate about 15 minutes/ day and it has become a habit. My close encounter with the egret was a wonderful surprise. I’m glad you liked that photo.


  31. Sue from Women Living Well After 50 July 9, 2020 / 3:19 am

    Looks like you are having glorious weather, Natalie and again your photos have brightened my day. Loved your June in numbers and your constant positive and grateful outlook on life. Thanks for linking up as always at #MLSTL and have a beautiful week. xx


    • Natalie July 9, 2020 / 7:26 am

      Hi Sue – The weather continues to be sunny and warm here. Summer in the city has been great. Hope you’re enjoying July. Have a wonderful week!


  32. Kerrie @travelswithmum July 9, 2020 / 5:30 pm

    So glad things are easing on the covid front… and enjoy that sunshine!!


    • Natalie July 9, 2020 / 9:25 pm

      The gradual easing on the covid front and summer sunshine are good. Thanks, Kerrie, for stopping by. Have a wonderful week!


    • Natalie July 15, 2020 / 4:56 pm

      Hi Leanne – Those first flowers are real poppies. Most people have seen red or orange-red poppies but I’ve also seen the pink/plum poppies as shown in my top photo, and the soft salmon/pink poppies shown in my 3rd collage. If you click on the photo in the lower left corner of the 3rd collage, it will enlarge and you can see both the salmon colour and orange-red poppies.


  33. Dr Sock July 19, 2020 / 3:16 pm

    Natalie, do you have your own kayak? How do you get it down to the water? I have been wanting to buy a kayak ever since we moved here. I’ve looked at some second hand ones, but I’ll need one that’s suitable for a small woman and not too heavy. My problem is how to get it to the water. We have wheels for portaging but we’re about a kilometer from the water (actually closer, but one km. to the nearest launch spot) and there are a lot of hills between us and the water. My little car doesn’t have a roof rack, and although I could install one, I’m not sure I’d be able to get the kayak on and off by myself.



    • Natalie July 19, 2020 / 5:53 pm

      Jude, I don’t own a kayak for the reasons you mentioned. When I want to go kayaking, I rent a kayak from the Canoe and Kayak centre located at the waterfront. They have a launch pad and the staff have the kayak and paddle ready to go when I arrive. Our summer season is short and kayaking is weather-dependent so it makes more sense for me to rent. If you want to own one, my suggestion is to look into good quality inflatable kayaks which are light to carry to the water. It may take 20-30 minutes to inflate or deflate it so there are pros and cons. Or maybe there is a kayaking group in your area. The kayakers can help each other to get the kayaks to the water.


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