just curious

Hello friends,

We’re friends right? And friends help friends so I am asking for some help. Hello Sunshine has been around for a few years and I am so grateful for all of the reads, shares and comments; it truly means a lot. However, I have been wondering, what do I want from this and more importantly, what do my readers want from this? If you look at stats, which I rarely do, the most read post ever was this one (a big thank you to Aimee, Caylum and everyone else for sharing it!).

Does that mean I should write about more wedding stuff? Wedding ideas, trends, things I’ve seen, things I’ve done, Wedding planning (which I’d like to do more of)? Give me a gig, and I am happy to write about it!

But my next most read post was this one. Perhaps everyone loves a great debate. Should I write more about design? Or more about local stuff? Or more local designy stuff?

The third most read was this one. Which probably means I should talk about Oprah more… Or things I want.

Rounding up the top 10, there’s a post about hosting Aimee’s wedding shower, the sneak peak of Halifax’s new library, old photos, the up and away halloween costume, my lonely boy post, the DIY fakeo fauxdenza post, and boobielicious.

Topic-wise, it is all over the place, which means both me and you are all over the place too. I do think it sums up my ‘career’… I mean really, what is my job?

I have a few upcoming posts in mind and will be welcoming guest posts too. I was also thinking trying to go a bit more local. Places to eat, things to do, etc.

Embarrassing disclosure: I have not visited the Art Gallery in twenty years! I am such a bad BFA girl. 

So while I think about the future, the friendly favour I am asking from you is to answer this quick poll I created below. Maybe I can get a better feel for what I should be talking about. As always, feel free to offer some ideas in the comment section. Love you all!

psst. If you like what you’re reading, please subscribe and share. xomeg

travelling with a kid

We are on our way home from a mini vacation to my sister’s house in New York State. It has been a whole lot of driving for such a short visit but worth every mile/kilometre!

Having a chance to see my sister, her husband, and our niece and nephew is a rare treat – we try and visit once a year but they are the real troopers who haul the kids up to Canada more often than most sane families would dare. As mentioned before, all of our nieces and nephews live outside of the country which sucks, but at the same time, it is an excuse to travel.

Long gone are the days when Mike and I would get up at 3 am and beeline it out of Montreal, aiming to make record time to Halifax in the VW Golf TDI.

Now with a child, we have had to adjust and here are some tricks we’ve learnt on the road. David is five and has road tripped several times to Montreal and New York and also around California, Spain and Florida so he’s a backseat pro. This being said, it’s not always fun and he’s not always enjoyable but you can’t blame him.

  1. Always try to book a hotel with a pool. Especially if it will be a long day in the car and especially if you have another long day in the car the following day. A pool is a great way to burn some stored-up energy and it’s a great bribing insensitive on the road “Five more hours and thennnnn you can swim”.
  2. Food. Lots of snacks. It’s vacation so don’t stress about being healthy but the more you pack, the less gas station and fast food stops you will require.
  3. Invest in a good pair of earphones. I love these. They enjoy their movie and you can enjoy a good podcast or music up front.
  4. Stay at a hotel with free breakfast.
  5. Take the fastest route always. Kids don’t care much about the scenic route.
  6. Fill a basket with books, markers, paper, activity books, small toys and even an iPad. The more they can reach, the better.
  7. Start the day on the road early and finish early and plan ahead as much as possible so you can stay in a kid-friendly location.
  8. If you can, bring movies to watch on the road.
  9. But, if you have something like a movie, save it for when it’s really bad – do NOT give them all of the good stuff too early.
  10. Expect the unexpected and embrase the rest stops and playgrounds.

We decided to take a day off in between a seven hour day and a ten hour day of driving ahead. Right now I am at a hotel in North Conway, New Hampshire which has two pools, an arcade room, a movie room, DVD rentals, access to easy hiking, shopping and family restaurants. It is actually cheap (less than $100/night) because it is not peak season and it has hopefully helped us recharge before tomorrow’s journey.

Images below: A trip to the Discovery Centre in Binghamton

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Images below: A kid free night at an AHL game. Who knew there were two Nova Scotian’s on the Binghamton team. We spent most of the game yelling Port Hawkesbury! Antigonish! Thank you to Mat’s mom who got the kids to sleep before we got home.IMG_1543 IMG_1550 IMG_1556 IMG_1558

Images below: Binghamton has an awesome playground
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Images below: Hiking in North Conway, New Hampshire
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Let me know if you have any additional tricks. Safe travels!

psst. If you like what you’re reading, please subscribe and share. xomeg

old photos

Have you heard about Grandpa’s Photos? A family found a collection of old photographs taken by their Grandfather. Unfortunately Grandpa can not remember where the photos were taken, or the stories behind them and so this site has been created to help the family identify the locations. If you recognize a place, let them know. Or, better yet, take a picture in the same place and send it to them.

Great idea. great photos.

It got me thinking about old family photos of favourite memories and places. A few years ago, my cousin scanned boxes of slides and negatives her parents took. They’re of pre-kid adventures, babies, holidays, growing kids and the beach! After discovering Grandpa’s Photos, I got caught in an hour of going through the pictures Kathleen scanned and I especially enjoyed the ones at the beach.

Hands down, the Gulf Shore in Pugwash Nova Scotia is a favourite place. When we were kids, my cousins rented a cottage every summer and there were many days spent on the beach. Our other cousins lived close by which made it extra special. A few weeks ago, we were back at the beach with David and Henry making new memories… it is still special.

So, there is no need to identify the location in the photos below, and although I am not sure who some of the kids are I can say, most of these cute kids are family.My beautiful picture My beautiful picture My beautiful picture My beautiful picture My beautiful picture My beautiful picture My beautiful picture My beautiful picture My beautiful picture My beautiful picture My beautiful picture My beautiful picture My beautiful picture

Enjoy the beach this summer.

psst. If you like what you’re reading, please subscribe and share. xomeg

 

 

holiday wrap

Planes, trains, trams, buses, subways and cars galore!

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We are back from Europe and I thought I’d share a mini photo journal. We had a great time, made memories (that hopefully David will even hang on to) and spent time with family.

Day 1. We went to a football match and had dinner at a nearby pub. The pub had a playground which is one of the smartest ideas ever!

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Day 2. I went on a lovely 8km run and bought Cadbury chocolate at the local store. The kids played on the trampoline and we all watched Joel’s football match.

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Day 3. Up bright and early to catch the train to Brussels and spent the afternoon roaming around the Grand Place.

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Day 4. A day in Brussels with the kids including a Lego exposition, the Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate, the Pantone Hotel and the Belgian Comic Strip Center. A lovely dinner out in the evening.

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Day 5. A trip to the Atomium and Mini-Europe plus one last visit to Grand Place and an evening train back to England.

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Day 6. Another 8 km run and a trip to Barleylands Farm (sorry, no pics … imagine barn animals, slides, bouncy pillows, mini trains and zip lines … my personal nightmare)

Day 7: The three of us spent the morning in London exploring the city and caught an afternoon bus to Oxford to see my cousin and her husband. We had dinner and drinks at the Turf Tavern and walked the trails home.

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Day 8: A morning stroll through Oxford and a visit to the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. An afternoon bus back to London and curry take-out with the family.

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Day 9: Plane trip home.

Thank you to all who took us in!

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football. not the Friday Night Lights version

As mentioned on my life list and here, one of my must dos when visiting the family in England was attending a proper football match with the nephews. Did it done it.

We didn’t make go to a top league team but rather a more low key local club – a little less overwhelming for all (Colchester United vs. Tranmere Rovers). It was fun – similar to going to a Moosehead’s game but without the jock jams.

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Our nephews play soccer (football) and they’re damn good. Here’s a quick 5-question interview I did with them.

Evan, age 8.
Position: Right or left midfielder
Team: Hutton
Favourite team: West Ham
Favourite international team: England
Favourite Spanish league: Atletico Madrid
Favourite player: Andy Carrol

EVAN

Joel, age 10.
Position: Striker and goal keeper
Team: Hutton
Favourite team: Arsenal
Favourite International team: England
Favourite Spanish league: Real Madrid
Favourite player: Santiago “Santi” Cazorla

JOEL

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