forty before forty

Happy birthday to me. Not yet forty but it’s creeping up (730 days) so it think it is time to publish the forty before forty list and get this party started. And started I did – I revealed the first 10 in January but here is the full list – some are very ambitious (like #10), some are scary (like #14), and some are just pure crazy (like #9) but why not dream big? Wish me luck!

  1. Take piano lessons (I quit after one year – my sisters are beautiful players and I’ve come to regret dropping out).
  2. See Hawaii – it has been my dream to take David to Hawaii for his 10th birthday since the day he was born. He will turn 10 less than two months before my 40th so the timing will be tight but I am sure Mike can make this happen.
  3. Make some pottery – take a class.
  4. Visit all of the National Parks in Atlantic Canada. There are 10, I’ve seen 5 (can you go to Sable Island?)
  5. Get a tattoo. Hah! Where the heck did that come from?
  6. Make a move. Not sure if it will be career or school or a move to the country but I like the idea.
  7. Sail away – even if it’s just around the Armdale.
  8. WALLPAPER my itty bitty bathroom.
  9. Bangs. Try them out.
  10. Rent a cottage with some lady-friends for +2 nights and drink way too much wine.
  11. Scuba dive. Ideally off the Florida Keys. With Kyle Chandler.
  12. Win something.
  13. Buy a silk blouse. I’m thinking a nice deep midnight blue button down.
  14. Try Whole 30. It’s just 30 days… how terrible can it be?
  15. Sip sweet tea in the South like a Georgia Peach.
  16. Take tennis lessons.
  17. Sign up for a Yoga session.
  18. Get eyelash extensions.
  19. Make a batch of wine. I promise, it won’t be low class and I promise I will not force you to drink it.
  20. Run a Spring marathon (I’ve run September, October and Novembers only)
  21. Get a new personal best in a marathon (which would be sub 3:56:00)
  22. Learn and preform the full Footloose dance.
  23. Try snowboarding *again.
  24. Buy watercolours. Watercolour.
  25. Attend an epic festival, concert or event (like Mardi Gras, The Beach Boys in California, Running of the Bulls, etc.)
  26. Donate plasma.
  27. Ride in a helicopter (ideally while visiting #2)
  28. Volunteer.
  29. Get a reading done by a psychic medium.
  30. Go to a drive-in movie.
  31. Explore a new country.
  32. Read a novel in one weekend.
  33. Take a solo vacation.
  34. Host a holiday dinner or a murder mystery party.
  35. Change a tire. Change the oil. Learn these skills.
  36. Scoot around on a scooter and end up at the ocean.
  37. Attend a retreat or workshop of some sort.
  38. Watch all of the movies on the AFI’s 100 Greatest American Films of All Time (I’ve seen about 40 so far).
  39. Dip my toes in Lake Louise.
  40. Party like it’s 1979.

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SUMMER starts nowish

The long weekend is here and that means Summer starts nowish! In celebration, I am launching my fourth annual 100 Days of Summer LET’S DO IT list where I try and make the most of the sweetest but shortest season. I may not get it all done, but here’s hoping… And, I hope you can join in on some of the fun.

Note: I always start with the ones I’ve yet to complete… There are also pick-ups from previous years because awesomeness is always worth repeating.

  1. go on a sail boat***
  2. watch an outdoor movie***
  3. see Shakespeare by the Sea***
  4. fly a kite***
  5. ride a slip & slide**
  6. visit magic mountain**
  7. make homemade ice cream*
  8. hike Cape Chignecto*
  9. go to a country fair*
  10. ride shot gun in a car driven by Amanda*
  11. have a water balloon fight* 
  12. have fresh flowers in the house always*
  13. tube down a river*
  14. buy a summer dress*
  15. mow the lawn*
  16. golf (the real deal golf. not mini)
  17. go to a concert
  18. surprise someone
  19. cheer for someone
  20. hike the Skyline Trail
  21. swim in a lake
  22. swim in the ocean
  23. dive into water
  24. go to Eliot & Vine
  25. go to the Shore Club
  26. go to Chain Yard Urban Cidery
  27. start a bullet journal
  28. start designing my 2018 calendars
  29. spend more time on my front porch
  30. host a strawberry shortcake cocktail party
  31. host a bbq
  32. borrow Jill’s pizza oven and host a pizza party
  33. sunrise at the beach
  34. sunset at the beach
  35. have a lunch date
  36. have a brunch date
  37. have a post-work beer date at the Stillwell beer garden
  38. go prom-watching in the Public Gardens
  39. order a pizza and eat it in a park
  40. bike across the MacDonald bridge (if it EVER opens!)
  41. bike a trail
  42. hike a trail
  43. run a trail
  44. run by the ocean
  45. run across the MacDonald bridge (if it EVER opens!)
  46. go for a run and jump in the water right after
  47. pop a wheelie
  48. go berry picking
  49. make raspberry jam
  50. sleep in a tent
  51. ride a roller coaster (or some other carni ride)
  52. spend an evening on an outdoor patio
  53. wash and clean my car (inside too)
  54. run laps on a track
  55. run with a run club
  56. train for a marathon
  57. rollerblade on the Oval
  58. visit the Discovery Centre
  59. play croquette
  60. visit Hope for Wildlife
  61. night swim
  62. drink my morning coffee outside
  63. accidentally get a sunburn
  64. picnic with a basket and blanket
  65. celebrate with sparklers
  66. grow tomatoes
  67. have a campfire
  68. dance in the rain
  69. make iced coffee
  70. run through a sprinkler
  71. make peach pie
  72. make rhubarb pie
  73. make key lime pie
  74. rent kayaks
  75. selfie with a lighthouse
  76. selfie with a lobster trap
  77. selfie in a boat
  78. hear bag pipes
  79. watch a parade
  80. leave the province
  81. leave the country
  82. cut my hair
  83. tie dye
  84. watch fireworks
  85. toss a frisbee
  86. clean my office
  87. eat from a food truck
  88. only use the clothesline
  89. make cedar-planked salmon
  90. drink beer from a cooler
  91. drink beer from a pitcher
  92. go to a yard sale
  93. go tidal bore rafting
  94. ice cream on the Halifax waterfront
  95. try hot yoga
  96. visit McNabs Island
  97. take a water taxi
  98. plant a tree (or shrub)
  99. play hooky
  100. write my 40 before 40 list

NOTE: *2016 not complete **2015/2016 not completed ***2014/2015/2016 not completed.

The rules are simple. Summer starts this weekend (the long weekend of May) and ends on the last day of September. Here are my lists from 2016 / 2015 / 2014

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where in the world

Got the travel bug? Looking for something a little more exciting than a snow globe or postcard?

My parents are going to Germany and they’ll be passing through the Black Forest. The first things I said when I heard this was, DO NOT bring me home a cuckoo clock! Turns out they had no intention to do so however, I had to make it clear that one day, I will go to the Black Forest and pick out the most perfect, be it slightly ridiculous, cuckoo clock. It’s on my bucket list!

This conversation got me thinking about the sub-sections on my bucket list (yes, my bucket list is categorized) and I realized I have two distinct travel categories:

  • Places I want to visit (Maui, Italy, Amsterdam, India, South American, to name a few)
  • Souvenirs from places around the world

Souvenirs from places may seem like and odd category however hear me out, they’re the most perfect way to remember a holiday. Sure, I can get a cuckoo clock anywhere but one from Germany would be so much more special. Same goes for a beautiful rug or a new blanket. I often bring home prints (posters), tea towels or Christmas ornaments, which are all great but below are the things that I’m holding out for when I hopefully make it to these places one day.

Germany : The Black Forest : A cuckoo clock

Germany is a country both Mike and I really want to visit so it’s made both categories. He wants to go to Oktoberfest, I’d like to run the Berlin Marathon but mostly, I have always wanted to go to the Black Forest and get a Cuckoo Clock!

hellosunshine_blackforest_cuckooImage (L / R)

Morocco : Marrakech : A wedding blanket / rugs! / pillows

Editing down what I’d want from Morocco would be my biggest problem. That, and figuring out how to transport several 8 x 10 rugs home. I think a wedding blanket would be more practical. Toss in some pillows and a pouf too please!

hellosunshine_moroccoImage (L / R)

New Zealand : Something warm & fuzzy

Ideally I’d like a sheep but, I’ll take a nice wool blanket. My Dad worked in New Zealand when I was little and he brought back Maori dolls which were pretty fantastic. Sheep are my very favourite animal and I may loose my mind with excitement over there.

hellosunshine_nz_sheepImage (L / R)

Russia : Matryoshka doll (nesting doll)

Ignoring the cold temps, Russia is a place I’d love to visit. Holy architecture! I’ve always loved Matryoshka dolls and remember playing with a friend’s set when we were kids. Now that I think about it, we were likely not supposed to be playing with them, but I digress. They’re so beautiful and I love the colours. My bookshelf needs this.

hellosunshine_russia_dollsImage (L / R)

Switzerland : A Swatch (and throw in some chocolate)

I have been to Switzerland and I already have a few too many Swatches but I think they’re the most perfect souvenir for anyone planning to travel there – something that will always remind you of a good time. hah! (I’d also like a St Bernard)

hellosunshine_swiss_swatchImage (L / R)


We’re heading out west next month for an Ackerman Family Ski Holiday and the one thing I hope to NOT bring home is a cast.

hellosunshine_whistlerImage (L / R)

Let me know what’s on your souvenir bucket list? And let me know what’s the best souvenir you brought home. I am very curious!

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I just blinked and Summer is over. F#@k.

I am sure y’all are itching to know how many things I checked off my list so here we go… excuses, regrets and gloating included:

  1. go on a sail boat**  (STILL A NO!!! Mike sails every week but the 1 time I was invited, I was not available, cue the violins) I did walk on a few docked sail boats including the mighty Bluenose but I am not counting this as a victory.
  2. watch an outdoor movie**  (No, I’m sad)
  3. play corn hole**  (Yes, would you believe it if I told you I found a core hole table downtown Seattle and we tossed a few bags!)
  4. see Shakespeare by the Sea**  (No, I just could not get in the mood for the drama)
  5. fly a kite**  (No, I’d be easier if we had a kite to fly)
  6. play sandbar soccer*  (Yes, in Pugwash, on the Gulf Shore)
  7. drive in a convertible*  (Yes, Larry took me for a cruise around the coast of Pugwash)
  8. try rock climbing*  (Yes, at Scout Camp… I was so excited to see the wall I pushed many kids out of my way and made it to the top)
  9. drink a road rocket “kidding” *  (Yes, while dining outside downtown with Sabrina and Josh, thunder lightening and rain broke through and we made a mad dash to the car – Josh was smart enough to grab his beer and he let me have a sip in the backseat)
  10. ride a slip & slide*  (No, and my formally fractured middle finger is not disappointed)
  11. visit magic mountain*  (No, it’s a shame because it’s always fun in Moncton)
    NOTE: the above 11 items are * 2015 not completed **2014/2015 not completed. Third time a charm?
  12. swim in a lake  (Yes, more than once)
  13. swim in the ocean  (Yes, more than once)
  14. swim in the Wallace River  (Yes, once)
  15. make homemade ice cream  (No, but I had homemade ice cream and it was amazing)
  16. hike Cape Chignecto  (We had a weekend booked but the damn fire ban cancelled our reservation)
  17. visit Victoria Park and climb Jacob’s Ladder  (Yes, and so glad we did! Beautiful park)
  18. sunrise at the beach  (Yes, Sarah and I started a long run at the beach at 6:30 am, just as the sun was rising)
  19. sunset at the beach  (Yes, on a walk)
  20. find a waterfall  (Yes, I actually found a few but the first was in Cape Breton)
  21. go to a country fair  (No, the timing did not work out)
  22. ride shot gun in a car driven by Amanda to either item 21 or 22!  (No… there was one opportunity but I was not available)
  23. learn photography… for reals  (Yes<ish>, I am learning and trying – but not fully learnt)
  24. make sweet tea  (Yes, not bad for being too lazy to Google a recipe)
  25. have a lunch date  (Yes, a few and need to do so more often!)
  26. have a brunch date  (Yes, a few and need to do so more often!)
  27. have a post-work beer date at the Stillwell beer garden  (Yes, post-work / pre-prom-watching date)
  28. go to a wedding  (Yes, in beautiful BC)
  29. bike a trail  (Yes, the COLT/BLT trail with David and Mike)
  30. hike a trail  (Yes, a quite a few!)
  31. run a trail  (Yes, a few – and I even dragged Mike along on his first trail run in BC)
  32. attend a festival  (Yes, a few – the first being the Greek Festival)
  33. send a postcard  (Yes, to David when we were in BC)
  34. send a parcel  (Yes, to my niece and nephew)
  35. ride a train  (Yes, a monorail in Seattle)
  36. ride a ferry  (Yes, in Halifax and all around the west coast)
  37. ride a bike (with David) to bike and bean  (Yes, from the Bike and Bean but same thing)
  38. run to bike and bean  (Yes, great route)
  39. do a pull-up (just one)  (Yes, barely… from the monkey bars)
  40. go strawberry picking  (Yes, with David, Noah and Kristin)
  41. make strawberry jam  (Yes, so yummy)
  42. train for a marathon  (Yes, 13 weeks done, 5 to go)
  43. sleep in a tent  (Yes, in my parent’s yard)
  44. make campfire Kraft Dinner (must remember to bring a pot)  (Yes, it’s the best way to eat KD)
  45. go for a run and jump in the water right after  (Yes, and it feels so good when the humidity is high)
  46. have a party (or two)  (Yes, little gatherings for ice cream and dinner)
  47. attend a party  (Yes, a few gatherings and a wedding)
  48. watch the movie The Man In The Moon  (Yes, and I forgot that it’s really sad)
  49. watch the movie My Girl  (Yes, and it is still really sad!)
  50. watch all of the Star Wars movies with David (in order of release dates)  (Yes<ish>, well at least the first 3 – they’re the ones that count)
  51. make a batch of beets  (Yes, and they’re great for salads)
  52. have ice cream for supper  (Yes, and then pizza for dessert)
  53. buy a fern  (Yes, small but mighty)
  54. get a pedicure  (Yes, at the mall, alone, right before we left on vacation)
  55. eat on an outdoor patio  (Yes, a few good times)
  56. drink on an outdoor patio  (Yes, a few great times)
  57. play croquette  (Yes, and I won)
  58. play washer toss  (Yes, and I lost)
  59. night swim  (Yes, in a heated outdoor pool in Victoria, BC on the night of the full moon)
  60. have a bbq at least once a week  (Yes, the easiest way to please the family)
  61. go two 5 different farmer’s markets  (Yes, Pugwash / NorthEnd / Seaport / Liscomb / Pike Place)
  62. drink my morning coffee outside  (Yes, often)
  63. have a water balloon fight  (No, however I did watch one from a patio while sipping wine)
  64. accidentally get a sunburn  (Yes, but very mild)
  65. picnic at the ocean  (Yes, sand free)
  66. picnic at Public Gardens  (Yes, after all the pre-prom watching, we got hungry)
  67. make iced coffee  (Yes, post-run iced coffee is the best)
  68. make lemonade  (Yes, so much better than frozen)
  69. watch Lemonade  (Yes, happy I didn’t pay for that)
  70. run in 5 races  (Yes, Bluenose Half Marathon / Cabot Trail Relay / Natal Day 6-mile / Not Since Moses 10 Km / Rum Runners Relay)
  71. plant herbs  (Yes, then they got scorched)
  72. run the golf shore loop (again)  (Yes, the full loop has now been run in two segments this summer)
  73. go to the 2016 Canadian Sprint Canoe Kayak Championship in Dartmouth  (Yes, played hooky (see 88) and David, Libby, Sarah and I biked over)
  74. cheer for a friend  (Yes, easy when you run two summer relays)
  75. have fresh flowers in the house always  (No – I’m somewhat disappointed in Halifax’s flower availability, I tried but I got annoyed with the high prices)
  76. make rhubarb pie  (Yes, yes!)
  77. stand up paddle board  (Yes, I stood for 3.5 seconds)
  78. kayak down the river  (Yes, it was lovely)
  79. tube down the river  (No, I kept thinking there’d be time)
  80. hang out on the Halifax waterfront  (Yes, a few times)
  81. go to the Tattoo  (Yes, David was my date)
  82. build a sand castle  (Yes, at Cleveland Beach)
  83. buy a summer dress  (No, I looked but did not see anything I wanted)
  84. hear bag pipes  (Yes, something you do not need to go looking for when in Nova Scotia)
  85. watch a parade  (Yes, Canada Day / Pride Parade / Natal Day)
  86. dance  (Yes, at a wedding)
  87. watch fireworks  (Yes, from my window because I was too lazy to go down to the waterfront)
  88. play hooky  (Yes, see 73)
  89. read a magazine outside  (Yes, with cider)
  90. buy a pineapple  (Yes, but then I forgot to eat it)
  91. get crafty  (Yes, poster making for the Rum Runners Relay)
  92. eat from a food truck  (Yes, a few times and we found a great one in Seattle)
  93. only use the clothesline  (Yes, although somedays, the indoor rack was used … but never the dryer)
  94. go to the Shore Club (I’ve never been!)  (Yes, we took Mike’s mom for her birthday, it was so fun)
  95. visit a cottage (Yes, a few)
  96. drink beer from a cooler  (Yes, a few)
  97. get muddy  (Yes, always a muddy time at Not Since Moses)
  98. get sandy  (Yes, as you do when visiting a beach)
  99. go to a yard sale  (Yes, but I am proud to say I didn’t buy anything)
  100. mow the lawn  (No, because sometimes the easiest ones don’t get done)

So there you have it. 100 items – 15 = 85 DONE! Better than I thought.

Thanks for joining in – I may not have a lot of readers but I sure do have a lot of awesome people in my life that make doing fun things more fun.summer

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school’s out for summer!

Grade one is over! Summer Starts Now!

IMG_5749I feel like David kind of turned into a seven-year-old punk. Hats were lost, teeth fell out, glasses were replaced but we all survived.  Grade1I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful holiday and you all check everything off your list! Here is David’s Summer Bucket List:IMG_5739

  1. Camping
  2. Bike at Nanna and Poppy’s house
  3. Ice cream
  4. Swim in Nanna and Grandad’s pool
  5. Beach day
  6. Kayak from Nanna and Poppy’s to an overnight camping adventure

Kids are a lot easier to please… he has 6 and I have 100.

IMG_5752(Source for banner idea) It’s all about celebrating everything.

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