all or nothing?

DSC_0730Lets rewind. Back in 1995, long before scrapbooking was a thing, I started a Nothing Book – it was grade 10.

Page 1: This book represents my life. Things that I have experienced and people I know. It was made for no reason but to remind me of some good times and to show other generations ahead the life of a youth in the nineties. DSC_0733… Lets just say Angela Chase was my spirit animal…

Grade ten was the beginning of high school. Amanda had recently moved to Hudson, Quebec and Sarah, Georgina and I spent a lot less time in Waverley and much more time exploring Bedford and Halifax making new friends and trying new things. We wrote a ton of letters to Amanda and and recorded every detail of our lives in our books. The Halifax music scene was strong and we spent almost every weekend pining after boys in bands at Café Olé. There were a lot of mix tapes, road trips, beach nights and rides on the 80 (bus) downtown.

So what’s inside my Nothing Book? Everything:

  • Every day of the summers of 1996 and 1997 are summarized
  • Every movie stub and Café Olé ticket were saved
  • Lists!!! A bucket list like: buy and drink my own big gulp
  • Our list of nameless but well identified boys (skater boy, green coat boy, downtown boy + 60 more)
  • Minute-by-minute details of our two trips to Quebec to visit Amanda during the summer
  • Concert tickets – Sloan, Inbreds, Super Friendz, Backstreet Boys, The Tragically Hip, Rheostatics, Barenaked Ladies, Chixdiggit, Plum Tree, Violent Femmes, U2, Thrush Hermit, Our Lady Peace, Ben Harper, Cake and Jello Biafra
  • Detailed descriptions of big events (the G7 summit, the Buskers, road tripping to Moncton to (not) see the Inbreds, PEI cottage adventures, hotel parties, Sarah’s car accident, leaving high school, leaving Halifax, first year at University)
  • Accounts of spontaneous nights like dancing in a circle with Sloan and the Barenaked Ladies during a Danko Jones set at Halifax on Music
  • Fan pages for Elvis Stojko, My So-Called Life and Dave Foley
  • Movie reviews : Grease vs. Grease 2 / Alive / Anything featuring Christian Slater or Ethan Hawke
  • Ashes of the grade 11 chemistry periodic table of elements (literally!)
  • A tribute to Tim Hortons and our coffee cup shrine (464 cups saved and then burned at a sacred campfire)
  • High school : Clippings from the Pickle Jar (student-run school zine), Root Beer Fest, Drama Fest and how things went down when we got caught skipping
  • Mentionings of Eagle’s Rock, the tracks and late night road trips to Martinique Beach
  • Emails, letters and a lot of notes
  • My drivers test and beginners license plus a full description of what went down at Has Driving School
  • Song lyrics to REM (with this note included: “The first visit to Hudson, we decided to figure out the words to What’s The Frequency Kenneth. Our second trip we advanced to this song It’s the End of the World As We Know It. A bigger challenge but with new technology we went into the NET and found the real lyrics…
  • A ticket of every single metro stop in Montreal that I visited in one day
  • The menu to Wong’s Cuisine at the Cock N Bull Pub on Ste-Catherine Street, Montreal
  • And then a few blank pages at the end where I abruptly stopped writing. It was the end of first year at Concordia, I left residence and turned 19.

It breaks my heart but makes me so happy.

We had a lot of fun and despite how embarrassing some of it is to read, we had one hell of a good time.DSC_0734 DSC_0735 DSC_0736 DSC_0737 DSC_0738 DSC_0743 DSC_0744DSC_0747DSC_0748DSC_0750DSC_0745 DSC_0749On Saturday night, the four of us got together over dinner and a bottle of wine. We read from our letters and books, listened to mix tapes and laughed a lot. It was the best. Thanks guys. xo.girls_at_beach“Mental note: Never forget Corey Feswick”  

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holiday snaps

I hope everyone is enjoying a bit of holiday cheer. I am taking a bit of a break from my home-office and computer but wanted to share a few photos from December. Two of David’s cousins are in town from New York so it has been fun to see the kids together. I will be back with some Friday Finds and my 2016 bucket list … but until then, have a good one!

1The great tree hunt of 2015. Unlike Clark Griswold, we have no problem going to the local lot. David got his own tree this year.2We made a heck of a lot of shortbread cookies
3.1My favourite view in December
3.2An early Christmas at the Ackerman’s. Your eyes are not playing tricks, that is half-a-tree!
3.3David squeezed in a morning at soccer camp session. He loved it.
4I may only go once a year but when I do, I make sure to find the cutest church out there.
5What’s Christmas without matching PJs?
6David and Margaret are adding raisin buttons to the cookies for Santa.
7 8A little quality control.
9Christmas Eve. Erin, Jill (and Sam) played some beautiful holiday songs on the piano for us.
10If I can’t have a white Christmas, I’ll happily take +15 degrees and sunshine. Perfect weather for an 8km run with Alex and Allie.
11Jill’s friend made a plate of amazing sweets for our Christmas dessert.
12Boxing day hike in Wentworth.
13Rocks do not work as great tripods. You get the picture – a big family walk.
14Better late than never. David and I drove around looking at the Christmas lights in Halifax. Photos by David.
15Dinner with the Hulk and Darth Vader.
16Turns out suitcases with wheels were a big hit for all three kids this year. They all loved them.
17 18 19And finally, the three sisters had a pasta night at Jill’s house. Margaret and David helped.

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oh snap

Weddings can be crazy stupid expensive, which makes planning for your big day stressful. In my opinion (and I’m a visual girl) I’d put my money into hiring professionals for some key things and when I say “professional”, I mean trained professionals. I hate to sound all cynical but it seems as though everyone with a camera thinks they’re a photographer and everyone with a MAC thinks they’re a designer so to be clear, I am not talking about them.

Now that I’ve vented… the first thing I’d splurge on is: Prep_MG_4977Photography: Weddings are one day and your memories last (give or take) ten years. The day is a whirlwind and as much as the day is supposed to be about you, it’s not. You have things to do, places to be, people to talk to and most of the time you’re being pushed and pulled in every direction. Hiring a trained photographer allows you to trust that they’ll know what shots to get and will capture moments you didn’t even know happened but are so grateful you have in print and digital format.

ReceivingBW_MG_5217Once the day is over, you will not regret spending money on a good photographer.

As for the shots you want, be sure to talk to your photographer before your wedding day. Give them a list of names (wedding party, family names, etc.) and if there are must-have shots, let them know! It also helps to assign a contact from your wedding party as the photographer’s go-to person. If the photographer needs to set up a shot they can ask your contact for help wrangling up people rather than interrupting you. If detail shots are important – make sure the photographer knows. If there are guests that are extra special – make sure your photographer knows. 

I’ve been lucky to spend time with some great photographers (her and her) and watching them work has made me appreciate the value of their job.

Next Wedding Wednesday: Flowers!

Photos by Shannon George

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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.

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book it

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Three times in one week the topic of making photo albums had come up in conversation. Not the photo albums we grew up with – sticky cellophane protector pages / brass ringed coil binding / padded landscape covers – but rather, the ones you make digitally and send away for printing.

I made my first album after our wedding and found the hardest part to be editing down the amount of photos to fit in less than 96 pages. After that, I went on to make albums of vacations and quickly realized editing is important because additional pages costs more money (I should know this, seeing that I do print production for a living).

Fast forward seven years, David is almost five, life is busy: We’ve been on a few great vacations but production has slowed down. I only realized this week, I started a California Book for the trip to California in 2012 and never made it past the cover page. Since then, we’ve also been to Florida (and I’ve been to California again) so I better start designing.

There are many options for book making online – Shutterfly, MyPublisher, and Pinhole Press to name a few – but I have only used Apple’s iPhoto print products and have been pleased with the results. Although there have been slight changes in their template design, I love the consistency and find the process to be super easy. And at this point, If I want to get at least one more done before our next vacation, I should stick to what works.

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What about you? Have you had great success with one of the other publishers? Can you persuade me to switch? I am very excited about the Pinhole Press products, like the personalized memory cards, and plan to make them for my youngest nephew, but that’s for another day.

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Note: The David book was made by David’s daycare provider, Miss Allie. One of the sweetest gifts a mom can receive.