Friday, June 28, 2013

Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose

Violet and Jeff had a daddy-daughter day today, how cute are those two together?

It looks like it is going to be a rainy Canada Day weekend. I'm trying to remain optimistic since the weather people never seem to get it right. Honestly though, I'm just happy to have a few days off to spend with my family. We had a meal this week with someone who just moved to Canada from Afghanistan and I have never felt luckier to be from the true north strong and free. Crappy weather ranks pretty low on the list of complaints you can have about your country.

As I mentioned we are off to the South Shore for a few days this weekend. Guess what? The cottage my parents rent doesn't have the Internet. It is like being pioneers, or at least like being in the early nineties.

I'll take lots of pictures. You know you want me to ;)

Have a great long weekend friends. See you back here next week!



According to the Internets:

Cherries, feta and olives together in a salad? Sounds delish. 

Asparagus, new potatoes and eggs? Also delish.

Being married is hard. That's okay.

There is no great rush to have babies ladies, phew!

Language > grammar 

Having an only child has its perks (again, phew!)

This is a great deal if you are feeling crafty (or have a lot of rainy hours to fill)

Wet hair can look good, I knew it!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Beach Bum

{summer girl}
Summer is here and despite the forecast I'm already feeling happier, more relaxed and my skin is a slightly less haunting shade of white (hashtag SPF 60). We are taking our first few vacation days next week --let's call it an extra long long weekend. My parents are heading to the South Shore for a few weeks and we are crashing their party. Just what they want, right?! It's supposed to rain the whole time, but we won't let that stop us from having fun. I'm going to pack boardgames, art supplies and an ipad stocked with fresh apps (of the educational variety, bien sur), but unless it is really raining we'll be spending most of our time on the beach.

You may have heard that Nova Scotia was recently snubbed on a list of the nation's best beaches -- thanks for that Globe and Mail. I guess that's what happens when a bunch of land lubbers are put in charge. Two of the listed beaches are in Toronto, I mean come on people!

Apparently I am not alone in my outrage, CBC's Mainstreet has been polling Nova Scotians for their top picks for best beaches.

Do any of these beaches look familiar?


Clam Harbour Beach Provincial Park on the eastern shore
Martinique Beach Provincial Park on the eastern shore
Crystal Crescent Beach Provincial Park south of Halifax in Sambro
Queensland Beach Provincial Park west of Halifax in Hubbards
Mavillette Beach Provincial Park on the French shore near Yarmouth
Melmerby Beach Provincial Park on the Northumberland shore
Pomquet Beach Provincial Park on the Northumberland shore
Point Michaud Beach Provincial Park in Richmond County, Cape Breton
West Mabou Beach Provincial Park in Inverness County, Cape Breton


Carters Beach in Queens County in Port Mouton on the south shore
Crescent Beach in Lockeport on the south shore
Hirtle's Beach in the District of Lunenburg on the south shore
MacLeod's Beach near Inverness, Cape Breton
Cabots Landing Provincial Park is a place to start exploring the beaches at Aspy Bay, on the northern tip of Cape Breton

(list and links via

Better than dirty ol' lake beaches in Toronto, am I right?

I haven't been to the North Shore Beaches (Melmerby, Pomquet) or any of the Cape Breton Beaches (Point Michaud, West Mabou, MacLeod's, Cabot Landing), but otherwise I have this list on lock down. Other than Queensland, which I find altogether too crowded, I have to say I love all these beaches. If pressed, Hirtle's and Carter's are my favourite, but I also love Summerville Beach, Risser's Beach and Conrad's Beach, none of which made the cut. 

Do you have any favourite NS beaches?

I'm thinking about all the things I want to do this summer and hitting up a few of these new to me beaches ranks high on my list. Swimming in Lake Ontario? Not so much!



(Ontario family I love you and I would jump in any old lake you asked me too despite my firm believe they ain't got nothin' on the sea!)

Monday, June 24, 2013

two peas in a pod

Two peas in a pod, or more accurately a watermelon and a green pepper.

If this doesn't make your Monday better, I don't know what will:

Friday, June 21, 2013

Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose

It is the longest day of the year. It is the first day of summer. The weekend is starting. My heart is so full. I was in Wolfville, my hometown, this week for work and I remembered how nice it is to be in the country this time of year. People's gardens are in full bloom, the sun was warmer and the sky was bluer than in this old coastal city. I love Halifax, but we get more than our fair share of grey days! In fact, Violet was colouring this afternoon and she choose silver to colour the sky. I thought that was rather optimistic! We are heading back to the valley tomorrow to deliver my mum to an all girls weekend. I'm excited to go back, pop into my favourite shops and grab some pie or ice cream at our favourite haunts. 

It looks like it is going to be a beautiful weekend in Halifax. If you have a minute say a little prayer for Calgary. I can't believe the flooding. Stay dry sweet Calgarian friends of mine.



{herbal magic}
{the original baby carrot}

{love paying for weeds!}

{I'm the only one who likes rhubarb in my family. I stewed some last weekend, and let's just say I don't recommend eating a whole bunch to yourself ;) }

{I love geraniums #grannyatheart}


Let's not talk like this ladies, are you with me?

Healthy chocolate chip cookie dough dip? Yes please!

The definition of happy changes as you age. This is why a movie and a thick knit blanket is all I need these days! 

This is the worst case scenario ever.

I'd take the perks of a high-tech start-up, calories and all. Mid-afternoon pinkberry anyone!?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

How to make your dad smile on father's day (or any other Sunday for that matter)

1. tell your mummy you are big enough to make father's day breakfast all by yourself this year 
2. whisk eggs for said breakfast
3. sing a little song about whisking
4. add a pinch of salt
5. really get your fingers in the salt pig
6. it's okay to be proud of your accomplishments: dang those eggs smell good
7. get pumped to show daddy the final product
8. make sure you make a second plate for yourself. A girl has gotta eat!

What are the chances that Violet and I have the two best dads in the world? We are lucky ladies and we know it.



Monday, June 17, 2013

peanut butter and chocolate cupcakes

Oh, hello there friends. Last week was, well, a real treat. I was on the road for work, which I actually enjoy under normal circumstances, but I was plagued with a sinus infection, an ear infection and strep throat! So that was fun times (it also explains the radio silence on the old blog).

The silver lining is that I felt so much better by the weekend. We had a good one, that is for sure. Lovely weather both days. I have a few pictures from Father's Day, but I'll save those for later in the week. Tonight is all about cupcakes. Peanut butter, chocolate, and cupcakes.

I was invited to a friend's baby shower and I decided to whip up a sweet treat to take along. It worked out well because I just doubled the recipe for our favourite chocolate cake and made pretty little cupcakes to take with me and a cake for my man aka the best dad in the world (tied with my own dad for the title actually).

It is impossible for me to tell you something about chocolate and peanut butter that you don't already know. Is there any better combination? Seriously. Salty and sweet. Rich and richer. My mouth just watered. Jeff and Vi both agreed that the peanut butter icing makes their favourite cake even more favouriter -- yup, a new word had to be invented to capture the glory they felt upon eating these treats.

I combined two of Ina Garten's recipes to come up with heaven in a cupcake wrapper! You can find them here and here.

Have a lovely evening!



Here are some pictures of the final product. So dang yummy.

Friday, June 7, 2013

clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose

Since Violet was away almost all week I hereby dedicate this weekly installment of my gratitude post to her. Well, to her and lilacs. Both flowers. A theme. It works.

Like most of you, we have busy weekdays over here on Roome St. which is why I love early mornings together, even if they are chaotic. Vi often crawls in bed with us and falls back to sleep. She is so not a morning person! I love her grunts and groans as we drag her out of bed. I don't always never arrive at work looking polished, but I do always make time for just one more kiss, which is way better anyway.

We have a low-key weekend in store, but if the sun comes out on Sunday we might dash out of the city after church. Where should we go? The valley? The South Shore? Now that we are a party of three again the options seem limitless.

 Have a great weekend lovelies. Meet you back here next week.




According to the Internet:

Coffee pods are a bust

Naming a baby can be tres stressful (good thing I started a list of names in high school...)

You're not alone if the first sip of beer does something to you

Middle age sucks (this is really funny)

This is the best playroom ever

Tips that make hosting a party less daunting  

Annie Leibovitz' work is coming to Halifax 

Best written tv series of all time -- something to do while you hunker down during the rainstorm Haligonains!

I dream of renovating our kitchen. Check out these five trends I hadn't considered. I'm especially digging the tiled walls and I love an eat-in kitchen, so cozy! 

I know a lot of people hate her, but I have a special place in my heart for Leah McLaren. She reminds me of how my dad used to always save the Style section of Saturday's Globe for me. Oh, and I like this article.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Mary, Mary quite contrary

I have a confession to make. Until this weekend I wholeheartedly disagreed with Margaret Atwood. I know, I know, who am I a Ford? What's next, blaspheming Alice Monro? The truth is I've never been one to like getting my hands dirty. Even touching flour gives me the hebejebes. I love spending time outside, but I'd rather sit and read, or lay is the sun, or even kick a ball around than dig in the dirt. That is until I actually tried digging in the dirt.

On Sunday evening Jeff and I decided to tackle a few odd jobs in our backyard that we haven't gotten around to. Our to do list included planting the rest of our vegetable garden. Since I'm not much for mowing I volunteered. I put on old clothes and threw my hair into a pony, I can do this I thought to myself. I took a deep breath, knelt in the soil and dug my hands in. Guess what? Nothing happened. I didn't get chills up my spine like I do when I touch flour, I didn't see any rodents (which always feel like a clear and present danger), I didn't even mind when a few eight legged friends scurried around my spade.

A noticed a few things about gardening that I hadn't really thought of before this week. First, it is physical, I was glistening (read: a sweaty mess) by the end of it. Secondly, digging in the dirt felt therapeutic in the same way a good clean or a hard run is. You could take your stress out on that earth, that's for sure! And finally, gardening is ever so quiet an activity. When Jeff shut off the mower and he and I were just working away, I could hear birds, and the children playing a few houses up. It was nice. When we were done I showered and actual dirt came off my body, not gross city pigeon dust, rich dark soil. It felt good. I'm not going to give up my day job, but I think I'll join my mum in the garden more readily than before.

Have a lovely sunny evening friends.



image via: restored

Monday, June 3, 2013

extra sparkle

I don't normally use this blog as a forum to gush about my daughter (HA!), but this weekend my heart almost exploded with pride. One of the best things about being a mum is that you really do believe that your child is extra special. You know all kids are special, but you secretly know your kid is just a titch extra special.

If you haven't already guessed, Violet's dance recital was this weekend. As I watched her prance and skip across the stage I truly believed her moves were just a little more graceful and that her jumps were just a little bit higher than the rest of the kids in her class. I actually wondered to myself, can other people see the extra sparkle in my girl or is it just me? My husband, parents and brother confirmed it wasn't just me -- she is in fact extra sparkly. (I couldn't have chosen a more unbiased sample on which to test my hypothesis, I know).

The truth is, all the tiny dancers were just perfect. When you are three or four, all you have to do is show up to be perfect. Showing up in a tulle and satin unicorn costume helps too. Each of the kids went on stage, danced their little hearts out and almost cried when the audience erupted in clapping. (In Violet's own words, "It was totally shocking. Shocking is a lot like surprised." -- someone has been ready a lot of Fancy Nancy lately!) I'm not sure you recall last year's recital. My blood pressure still skyrockets when I think about it and that is saying something. (My blood pressure is normally so low it doesn't register! In fact, I calmly watched myself flat line the last time I was hooked up to a monitor.)

Vi's class danced to the cutest song Always be a Unicorn. It makes me tear up (#getagrip). The chorus goes, "Always be yourself unless you can be a unicorn, then always be a unicorn." Such a lovely little message for kiddos and grown ups alike. In fact, I might just make that my motto this week.



Here is Lady Vi (covered in her supper and dirt from our backyard and the park) practicing her best moves: