My 10 Favourites This Summer

Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #35! I’m glad you’re here. Please come on in, help yourself to a cup of coffee, tea, hot chocolate or a cold drink at my coffee station and let’s chat.

It was a week of sunny days with less heat and humidity. There were thunderstorms, lightning and rain last weekend although the rain volume was less than what I expected. I had a good week doing health activities in the morning, house chores in the afternoon, and reading and writing in the evening.

September, a new month, just began. After sharing what made June joyful, I intentionally skipped a July wrap-up and waited until August is over to write a two-in-one wrap-up post. Here are my ten favourites in July and August:

1. Family Celebrations

After a long lockdown, Ontario re-opened in three phases that allow social gatherings with increasing capacity limits. I enjoyed a tasty pasta in July and mostly meatless meals in August while celebrating family birthdays and graduations.

2. Health

I give myself the gift of health by doing strength training three times per week and yoga three times per week. I also continue my daily meditation and online French and Spanish lessons.

Mixed fresh fruit.
Eating healthy is easy in the summer with many fresh fruit and vegetable choices.

3. Paddling

Canoes and kayaks.
Weekly canoeing, kayaking, stand up paddling and wildlife sightings exceeded my expectations.

4. Cycling

Cyclist painting by Ghazaraza, 2019.
I had so much fun cycling most mornings to explore various neighbourhoods…
Clear lake water.
…and take in nature’s beauty.

5. Disc Golf

Disc golf course and lake views.
I played disc golf twice weekly, partly because I love walking on the grass and the views.

6. Walking

Purple hibiscus.
I took many walks and stopped for the gorgeous flowers in various parks and gardens such as Berczy Park, St. James Park, the Rose garden, and Toronto Music Garden.

7. Photography

I was pleased to photograph and catalogue the garage door murals at Euclid-Palmerston laneway (first batch here, second batch here), the stunning Fleurs de Villes Rosé floral designs and these five eye-catching art stations.

Princess Margaret fountain.
Princess Margaret fountain on a gorgeous summer day was one of the many objects and moments that I captured.

8. Music

Concert in St. James Park.
The sounds of live music in public parks brought me joy.

9. Reading

10. Blogging

I had fun writing five blog posts in July and four posts in August for my weekly Weekend Coffee Shares. I also did something new, i.e. Guest hosting the Sunday Stills photography challenge while host Terri is on a blogging break.

Thank you to everyone who shared their in the garden and afloat-themed photos. I’ll be hosting the Sunday Stills photography challenge on September 5. The theme is ‘Colourful Murals’. I look forward to seeing your beautiful photos.


July and August were enjoyable and wonderful. I’m grateful for all the good things that happened. While I’m aware of COVID-19 surge, natural disasters, and other bad craziness that’s happening, I choose to focus on what’s good and continue taking steps to live a healthy and enriched life with gratitude every day.

How was August for you?

Shared with #LifeThisWeek, #TheChangingSeasons.

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106 thoughts on “My 10 Favourites This Summer

  1. Denyse Whelan Blogs September 3, 2021 / 8:07 am

    How much joy exuded from this post Natalie. I loved reading and seeing what those favourites were. I recently saw a sign to a place for Disc Golf and thought of you straight away! Keep on enjoying all you can and do. It’s a great example to us all on living life as it is now. Thank you for the link up. Denyse


    • Natalie September 3, 2021 / 7:05 pm

      Thank you, Denyse, for your kind comment. It’s been a wonderful summer in my small patch of the universe. Not many people know about disc golf and the park where I play has stunning views of the lake. Have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Denyse Whelan Blogs September 9, 2021 / 5:18 am

        Thanks for linking up and I hope to see a post old or new for next week as I mark 5 years of Life This Week, Blog Link Up. Warm wishes, Denyse.


        • Natalie September 9, 2021 / 8:19 am

          Five years of LTW is fantastic Denyse. I plan to link up next week. See you soon.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. leannelc September 3, 2021 / 8:31 am

    Hi Natalie – I agree about focusing on the positives and letting go of the bad stuff you have no control over. I loved your summery pics and I’ve pinned your beautiful flower photo x


    • Natalie September 3, 2021 / 7:08 pm

      Hi Leanne, I’ve seen many hibiscus flowers in red, orange, yellow, or white but not pale purple. It’s quite rare here. I’m glad you liked it and pinned it. I enjoyed reading your post. Thank you for sharing your creative project suggestions. Have a great week!


  3. Dan Antion September 3, 2021 / 8:57 am

    It’s been fun following you this summer, Natalie.


    • Natalie September 3, 2021 / 7:09 pm

      Thank you, Dan, for your support. Have a wonderful long weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Jill Weatherholt September 3, 2021 / 9:01 am

    Thanks for sharing your summer with us, Natalie. I’ve enjoyed all of the spots you’ve taken us to. For me, August went by way too fast! I’m not quite ready to let go of summer.


    • Natalie September 3, 2021 / 7:11 pm

      Hi Jill, While I’m glad the humidity in August has disappeared, I’m hanging on to the next few weeks of ‘official’ summer. Thank you for your ongoing support. Have a wonderful long weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Erica/Erika September 3, 2021 / 10:00 am

    It is difficult to narrow down favourites, although fun to reflect and try, Natalie. You are right how live music is beginning in parks. I wholeheartedly agree with you about choosing to focus on the good despite the chaos often surrounding us. Your beautiful posts help focus on the good, Natalie. Thank you!


    • Natalie September 3, 2021 / 7:14 pm

      Thank you, Erica/ Erika, for your ongoing support and kind comments. I hope you’ve had many favourites this summer and wishing you many more to come this year. Have a wonderful long weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Liesbet @ Roaming About September 3, 2021 / 11:28 am

    Another well-balanced month and summer for you, Natalie. Can you believe that autumn is upon us already? Time flies way too fast for my liking. I hope to slow down my pace a little more soon and take in the present, like you do so well. I have a feeling part 3 of the laneway murals is around the corner in your next Sunday Stills feature. 🙂

    I’ve been eating pretty healthy this summer as well and our alcohol intake has been much lower than before. Not that it was that high… Looking forward to more healthy changes to come once we hit the road – more hiking, outdoor activities, appreciation of nature, and family time with Mark and Maya.


    • Natalie September 3, 2021 / 7:30 pm

      Hi Liesbet, The humidity of August is gone and the weather is usually pleasant here in September. Over the years, I’ve curated my lifestyle and I’ve got it to the pace and activities that I enjoy. It’s an ongoing process although it’s in easy maintenance mode now for me.

      Your feeling is right. I plan to post part 3 of the laneway murals on Sunday. I only drink alcohol for special occasions. It’s not an item on my regular shopping list. Glad to hear you’re making more healthy changes once you hit the road. Where do you plan to go first?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Liesbet @ Roaming About September 3, 2021 / 7:49 pm

        Believe it or not (I think you’ll believe it), but we haven’t decided our route or destinations yet, except for returning to Baja California, Mexico at some point this winter. Like I mentioned before, I’m looking forward to taking life easier again and not making plans is part of that. I do have an inkling that we will take a northern route across the country, heading west, though. 🙂


        • Natalie September 3, 2021 / 8:15 pm

          Haha, I believe it. I know you like warmer climate. You’ll be at home on wheels so go where it looks good on the day of. I’ll follow you virtually.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Gary A Wilson September 3, 2021 / 11:57 am

    You’ve had a good summer Natalie. Thanks again for hosing out Coffee shares.


    • Natalie September 3, 2021 / 7:31 pm

      It’s been a wonderful summer in my small patch of the universe. Thank you, Gary, for your coffee shares.


  8. Diana September 3, 2021 / 12:02 pm

    Hi Natalie!
    I Love your positive posts and enjoyed as you reflected in the last 2 summer months. It always puts a smile on my face being able to see the world through your eyes and all that you share! Your photos are amazing and beautiful. I’m visiting my sister this weekend and will participate in a coffee share next weekend. Thank you for the coffee! 😍 Have a great weekend!! ❤️


    • Natalie September 3, 2021 / 7:34 pm

      Diana, How exciting that you’re visiting your sister this long weekend. I’m glad you love my posts and photos. I greatly appreciate your ongoing support. Looking forward to your coffee share next weekend. Have a wonderful time with your sister!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Astrid September 3, 2021 / 12:20 pm

    These are wonderful things you’ve enjoyed over the summer! For me, August went by way too quickly, I really am not ready for fall yet.


    • Natalie September 3, 2021 / 7:36 pm

      The weather is pleasant here and summer is not officially over until September 21 so I stretch summer as long as I can. Have a great weekend Astrid.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Deborah Drucker September 3, 2021 / 12:34 pm

    I like the mural of the cyclist. More nice photos. The pizza looks pretty yummy.


    • Natalie September 3, 2021 / 7:38 pm

      I like that cyclist mural, too. Reminds me of me with shorter hair 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Thistles and Kiwis September 3, 2021 / 4:01 pm

    A lovely positive post for me to read with Saturday breakfast. Of course, it is spring here, and even though we have a pretty tough lockdown just now, things are looking lovely out there.


    • Natalie September 3, 2021 / 7:39 pm

      Spring is a beautiful season. I hope you have many lovely things in your surroundings to take your mind of the lockdown.


  12. Retirement Reflections September 3, 2021 / 4:29 pm

    Hi, Natalie – Thank you for contributing to WOYP and WOYBS. Your Margherita Pizza looks amazing! I am jealous of your thunderstorms and lighening. They are very infrequent out this way!


    • Natalie September 3, 2021 / 7:43 pm

      Hi Donna, It was hot and humid here in the last two weeks of August, prime conditions for a good show of thunderstorms and lightning, especially at the CN Tower. Thank you for hosting WOYP and WOYBS. The WOYP one challenges me to slow down, take food photos before diving in, and to try new recipes.


  13. Lydia C. Lee September 3, 2021 / 5:23 pm

    I really like disc golf – it’s are really fun way to get moving and enjoy the outdoors. You’ve also inspired me to try and find a kayak place in our 5kms that is renting…would be a great exercise.


    • Natalie September 3, 2021 / 7:46 pm

      I’m glad you like disc golf. I hope you find a place to rent kayaks. Kayaking is a safe activity to do during the pandemic and it’s wonderful to be on the water seeing things from a different perspective. I love it.


  14. Debbie September 3, 2021 / 6:26 pm

    I always enjoy reading your posts Natalie and appreciate your efforts in healthy eating and activity. You bring a smile to my face with your outings and adventures and this post is no exception. I also applaud your for focusing on the positives in the world around us. There is so much sadness and grief out there in the world at the moment but we can’t forget the good things that happen too.

    In regards to August, I have linked my Bold update for this week’s #weekendcoffeeshare


    • Natalie September 3, 2021 / 8:07 pm

      Hi Debbie, The older I get, the more mindful I am about staying healthy to enjoy life. I know the potential unhealthy effects of constant streams of negativity. So I keep them out and do my own ‘screening’ of what I let into my day. Thank you for linking up. Have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Jennifer Jones September 3, 2021 / 6:37 pm

    Joy and happiness for zen from your writing Natalie. I loved reading about all you’ve been up to. Once lively again your photos are beautiful. I’m so envious of the places you’re able to exercise. I agree with you that it’s much easier to eat healthy in summer. Spring is here now and I’m finding myself being drawn to salads and fruit more often.


    • Natalie September 3, 2021 / 8:19 pm

      The last two weeks of August was so hot and humid here, light meals, fresh fruit, and cool water were more appealing than anything else. Spring is a good time for outdoor activities. I hope the weather cooperates where you live.


  16. Susanne September 3, 2021 / 6:50 pm

    I’m so glad to hear about your joyful summer! I couldn’t agree more – yes there are lots of bad things happening in the world, but we have to focus on the good things in life. Nobody will be happy because we dwell on the bad things and make ourselves miserable. August was mixed here – but I’ve had some good times.


    • Natalie September 3, 2021 / 8:22 pm

      I’m glad to hear you had some good times in August. I’ll visit your blog shortly. Have a great week!


  17. msomerville2014 September 3, 2021 / 8:43 pm

    So glad i was able to stop by this evening, instead of having to wait until later in the weekend. Your post gave me some good perspective I was missing. I always love the pictures, especially transported by your water pictures. Getting ready to jump in for the coffee share. Blessings, Michele


    • Natalie September 3, 2021 / 9:10 pm

      Michele, I’m glad you stopped by. Being in or on the water is one of my summer favourites. I’m grateful to have easy access to Lake Ontario. I look forward to your coffee share.


  18. Ju-Lyn September 3, 2021 / 10:45 pm

    What an idyllic month in recap!
    I have enjoyed so much spending the summer in Toronto with you vicariously. I have told Older Child she needs to seriously consider Toronto for her further studies.


  19. Jo September 4, 2021 / 1:46 am

    While it looks as though you’ve had a fabulous summer, can I just stop at that pizza? It looks exactly how a fabulous pizza ought to look.


    • Natalie September 4, 2021 / 8:46 am

      Hehe, that’s a big compliment from you Jo as you’re a chef and foodie. I use Mutti passata strained tomato for the sauce. It’s great for pasta dishes, too. For once, I remembered to take photo of my pizza before diving right in.


      • Jo September 4, 2021 / 7:12 pm

        We use the same tomato pasta – it’s a good one for sure.


  20. Dr Sock September 4, 2021 / 2:02 am

    Natalie, I think you would be a fun person to hang out with because of your upbeat attitude, your enthusiasm to try new things, and your love of art and nature. We enjoy a lot of the same things (although I’m not very upbeat, sometimes).



    • Natalie September 4, 2021 / 8:56 am

      Jude, I wish we lived closer to deepen our friendship. Nature, art and general explorations keep me feeling positive about life. It’s normal to feel not very upbeat sometimes. That’s when having a good friend helps. Your comment made my day. Thank you 🙂


  21. trentpmcd September 4, 2021 / 9:24 am

    Sounds lie a great summer, despite some restrictions. it sure went by too fast… Hope you are havign a fantastic weekend full of outdoor fun and have a wonderful week ahead.


    • Natalie September 4, 2021 / 1:31 pm

      The restrictions don’t bother me. The weather is great today for outdoor activities and the air show here. Have a great long weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Maria September 4, 2021 / 9:58 am

    I feel happy just seeing your photos! It seems like you had a very joyful, well balanced summer. Thank you for sharing your positivity 🙂


    • Natalie September 4, 2021 / 1:32 pm

      I’m glad my photos made you feel happy. It’s been a wonderful summer for me. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Jackie September 4, 2021 / 10:17 am

    I am glad we are rid of that humidity but would like summer to hang on for a while. We are looking for another gluten free pizza spot since Libretto got rid of their gluten free dedicated oven and also are no longer open at lunch. Fresh fruit and yogurt are my favourite breakfast.


    • Natalie September 4, 2021 / 1:36 pm

      September weather is usually pleasant. I haven’t been to Libretto nor eating out much since the pandemic started. Fresh fruit and yogurt are my favourite breakfast or snack, too.


  24. Janet Alcorn September 4, 2021 / 10:33 am

    I love this approach to the weekend coffee share–so much I’m going to steal it 🙂 This summer has passed so quickly–it’ll be fun to look back on the highlights and, most of all, to be grateful. Thanks for a lovely start to the morning.


    • Natalie September 4, 2021 / 1:38 pm

      You’re welcome, Janet. I usually do monthly highlights so I can look back and recall what happened, and always with gratitude.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Kirstin September 4, 2021 / 2:06 pm

    Your posts are always so energizing and inspiring. Pizza looks so good. Of course love all the murals and water posts you share.


    • Natalie September 4, 2021 / 4:42 pm

      Thank you, Kirstin, for your comment. I hope you’re enjoying the Labour Day long weekend. Hope to see you on Sunday at the Sunday Stills photo challenge.


  26. csuhpat1 September 4, 2021 / 8:46 pm

    Looks like you had a great August. Love the food and the places you have gone.

    August was good. I enjoyed seeing my daughter the first week and then it was back to school.

    Thanks for hosting and I hope that you have a wonderful week.


    • Natalie September 5, 2021 / 9:21 am

      I’m glad to hear you had a good August. Your school year starts earlier than ours. Over here school starts after Labour Day holiday. I hope you have a great class of students who are eager to learn. Have a wonderful week!


  27. Sanch @ Sanch Writes September 5, 2021 / 1:27 am

    That sounds like a wonderful summer, Natalie. I agree about trying to focus on the good things and all things to be grateful for despite all the other stuff that’s going on.


    • Natalie September 5, 2021 / 9:28 am

      Sanch, I’ve been following the news in Australia so I know it’s been challenging for you and many people who live in Sydney and NSW overall. I’m glad to see your weekly gratitude posts. Keep them coming.


  28. Inspiring Max September 5, 2021 / 3:29 am

    I’m always a believer in focusing on what you can do. Even under our current lockdown in Australia there are things to enjoy and reconnect with. By the time our summer arrives we should also be able to enjoy things similar to what you have listed. Thanks for hosting.


    • Natalie September 5, 2021 / 9:34 am

      Thank you for joining me this week. Spring is a beautiful season with many new beginnings in nature. I’m sure with your positive attitude, you’ll find a lot to enjoy and reconnect with.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Scribble and Scran September 5, 2021 / 3:36 am

    Love the idea of combining months…a super month. Summer for me is a bit of a blur where the months merge, the kids get such a long break that seems to spread the tail of June, swallows up July and eats into August. Then boom we are into September and it settles down again. Always love to see your pictures. Love the canoes, just looks so inviting and an adventure awaits for the day. Stay safe. Alex


    • Natalie September 5, 2021 / 9:41 am

      The paddling season here is shorter than I like. It usually ends by September 30 when the weather gets cooler. I look forward to longer bike rides and hiking while watching the leaves change colours in autumn. Have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Antoinette Truglio Martin September 5, 2021 / 10:03 am

    I love how ypu get outside and take in the gifts around you. And you make time to read! Thanks a bunch.


    • Natalie September 5, 2021 / 10:10 am

      Thank you, Antoinette, for your comment. Being outside with nature and reading are life’s wonderful pleasures.


  31. Liz September 5, 2021 / 2:00 pm

    Happy Sunday Nathalie, you seemed to have had a wonderful summer. That’s awesome. We had a week off work in June and used it to organise our veg garden. For the rest we worked because we feel that colleagues with young children should have that time off. We can go whenever we please now that the children are out of the house. It was a typical rainy summer in the UK so we mainly rested and fought the weeds unsuccessfully in our garden 🤣 Thanks for hosting. This time I used the link party page. Take good care Liz


    • Natalie September 5, 2021 / 2:08 pm

      Hi Liz, Sounds like you have had a productive summer. Very kind of you to work so your colleagues with young children could take time off. You’re doing it right with your ping back to my post and entering the InLinkz party. Both will allow my blog readers and Coffee Sharers to see your blog. I’ll read your post shortly. Have a great week ahead!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Liz September 5, 2021 / 2:34 pm

        Thanks and you too 🤗


  32. Bear September 5, 2021 / 7:08 pm

    Running late this weekend. I was off to Faire! Had a blast.


    • Natalie September 5, 2021 / 7:26 pm

      I’m glad you had a blast and still got time to link up with Weekend Coffee Share.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bear September 5, 2021 / 7:43 pm

        I only wish I’d been able to get the faire pics off of hubby’s phone. I forgot to take mine. grrr. I haven’t been to this fair in nigh unto 10 years or so. Might be that long before I get back.


        • Natalie September 5, 2021 / 7:55 pm

          Maybe you can download the pics in the next few days and share some at next weekend coffee share.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Bear September 5, 2021 / 8:02 pm

            That’s what I’m hoping. 🙂


  33. Deborah September 5, 2021 / 7:43 pm

    The weather looks quite nice and I guess you’ve entered Autumn as we’ve entered Spring.

    That pizza looks amazing. The thing I loved best about my 2018 trip to Italy was the very authentic tasting pizzas. Simple toppings with a delicious base. (I’m coeliac / celiac so my options were a little more limited, but I used Trip Advisor to find some great places!)


    • Natalie September 5, 2021 / 7:52 pm

      We still have about three weeks of nice summer weather before autumn arrives here. This week is sunny with high temps around 25C and low humidity.

      Italy is such a fab destination for many things. It’s great that you could find great places that meet your dietary needs. I remember the wide variety of delicious pizzas and gelatos when I visited Italy.


  34. Julie September 7, 2021 / 1:02 am

    That’s a beautiful lake. Your August sound very productive. I need to pick up where I left off in my language learning journey.


    • Natalie September 7, 2021 / 8:24 am

      I’ve learned that when I focus, I accomplish more. Some days my focus is better than other days. I’m satisfied with how I spend my time overall.


  35. September 12, 2021 / 7:07 am

    What a blessed summer. I am totally impressed with your reading a book a week. I am lucky to get through a book a month. Unless picture books count!!

    So enjoy your photography and meandering through Toronto with you, albeit virtually. Loved the garage door art, and seeing the many beautiful blooms and scenic vistas you encountered. Always thankful that you share!!


    • Natalie September 12, 2021 / 9:10 am

      Leslie, I’ve enjoyed a wonderful summer. I hope yours has been good, too. I read mostly in the evening, in lieu of watching TV. I’m thankful to live in a great city and for blog friends like you who visit my blog. Have a great weekend!


  36. Prior... October 31, 2021 / 2:51 pm

    That flower in #6 looks similar to the rose of Sharon shrubs I have – and your great photo showed the beauty of that in full bloom


    • Natalie October 31, 2021 / 6:02 pm

      I think that hibiscus was at its peak when I saw it. How wonderful that you have the Rose of Sharon shrubs to enjoy. The flowers are beautiful.

      Liked by 1 person

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