winter is coming

I dislike winter, but I think I dislike Game of Thrones More….

Still friends? Moving on.

Fall is over. Done! Did you accomplish everything on your list? I didn’t but that’s okay. After all, It is the time of year when you should be thankful for all of the amazing stuff you DID accomplish this year and start planning all of the things you will and won’t attempt to do in 2016. That list is coming… but today, I’m looking back at what happened from October 1 to December 21 – Feeling it. Falling for it

  1. Write 2-3 posts a weekYes! Mostly two but was anyone counting?
  2. Wallpaper something – No. I will keep adding this to my lists until I actually do it.
  3. Paint somethingYes! We still have not tackle our bathroom update but I painted my sister’s bathroom vanity. Chalk paint for the win.
  4. Run a marathonYes! Chicago. (warning, Chicago comes up often on this list)
  5. Rake leaves – Yes! And in all honesty, I’d rather shovel. Say it ain’t so. 
  6. Carve a pumpkin – Yes! We asked random trick-or-treaters who’s pumpkin was the best and David won. So much for the classics. 
  7. Avoid all things pumpkin flavoured. Unless in a pie – Yes! I ate a slice of pie and avoided everything else despite the marketing overload. 
  8. Visit the beach – Yes! We went for a walk on the Gulf Shore in Pugwash on a beautiful fall day.
  9. Sharpen the skates and skis – No. But we need to. The Oval is opening soon and Mike is checking the webcam at the ski hill daily.
  10. Visit the valley – Yes! Amanda and I took David to the valley in search of some pumpkins and fall foliage.
  11. Conquer a corn maze – Yes! At the Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago. They have nothing on the size of both the maze and the stalks in comparison to the valley. 
  12. Pick apples – Meh. We did go to the valley to pick apples but didn’t actually pick apples. We picked out apples from the local market in the valley and I did pick some crab apples off the ground of my backyard.
  13. Make apple pie – Yes! Yum. 
  14. Watch season 1 of Game of Thrones – Yes! We are on season 4.
  15. Make my 2016 calendars – Yes! I’ll show you later.
  16. Make my 2015 holiday cards – Yes! And a newsletter too.
  17. Make David’s halloween costume Yes!
  18. Dress up for halloween – Yes! I was a cowgirl.  
  19. Dye my hair pink – Meh. I bought pink hair chalk.
  20. Drink cider – Yes!
  21. Travel via train, plane, automobile (and boat) but no need to watch the movie – Yes! In Chicago
  22. Visit a new city – Yes! Chicago.
  23. Buy a souvenir – Yes! A Christmas ornament. It’s my souvenir of choice when travelling. 
  24. Visit a museum –Yes! Chicago.
  25. Throw a party – Yes! a taco party.
  26. Swim laps – No. Like wallpapering, I will keep adding this to my lists until I actually do it.
  27. Declutter & update my sock and underwear drawersMeh. I have purged. Now I need to restock. 
  28. Hike a new trailYes! It wasn’t Everest but when we visited the valley, Amanda, David and I went on a lovely little hike through a park – there were turkeys and bunnies and ducks; oh my!
  29. Try a new restaurant in Halifax – Yes! Lot Six and Temple Bar Cocktails and Kitchen
  30. Make soup – Yes! Ina Garten’s Easy Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Croutons

24 Yeses, 3 Mehs and 3 Nos… I’ll take it as a win. I am actually excited for a new season and especially excited for a new year. Have a safe and happy holiday and may you check everything off your list!

IMG_3908Fall on the Golf Shore, Pugwash Nova Scotia. Taken with my iPhone.

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it’s that time of year

MPNE-01

It is my moment to shine. The season of LISTS.

I’m a list girl and I can not be more excited to write my 2016 must-do / must-try / must-not-do lists and as I’ve been thinking about what’s ahead for 2016, I found this: 26 Things Every Person Should Do For Themselves At Least Once A Year

Here are the ones I love and plan to incorporate into my 2016 resolution list – and too keep with the list theme, I am sharing my top 5!

  1. Listen to CDs you forgot about, songs from 2007 or your junior high dance. A few months ago I pulled out my Sloan and Inbred CDs. No lie, I belted out the lyrics and reminisced about all of the fun times at Cafe Ole for hours. If these bands were not a part of your life, I am sad for you.
  2. Send a long email or card or pay a phone call to someone you lost touch with but didn’t really want to. I love this idea and I truly cherish mail and special messages. Just the other day I received a lovely note in the Facebook from an old friend about hello sunshine – it totally made my day month.
  3. Buy yourself a good pair of shoes. A really good pair of shoes. I can not see why new shoes could ever be a bad idea. And for me, I am not talking about running shoes!
  4. Do something surprising and unbelievably kind for someone who will not expect it (send flowers to a random friend, Paypal someone $100 for a massage, buy someone you love a really nice, special dinner). I have to stop taking my friends and family for granted, which is why I am all about my 2016 motto: make plans, not excuses.
  5. Make a pilgrimage. Go on a trip where the travel portion is just as crucial as the event or destination. It can be a long drive, car ride, train, flight, cross country road trip – whatever. I love the idea of exploring and I love a good road trip. I think I will pack my Sloan and Inbred CDs for the ride.

I encourage you to read the full list – there are great explanations for each item that will truly make you want to plan the year ahead.

As always, I’d love to hear from you! What are your wishes for 2016. Two Thousand and Sixteen is an even number and a leap year! I sent out my holiday newsletter and hope to receive one in return. Remember, the first newsletter back* gets a 2016 desktop calendar made by me. They’re already printed!

My 2015 you say you want a resolution list
My current feeling it, falling for it (fall list) Ahhh, I only have 13 days left!
Other listy links: The 52 Lists Project and The List App

*Shannon, Heather, Anna, Kristin, Sabrina, Jill, Aimee, Jodie or Amanda, there is already a calendar with your name on it. #B4B
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10 under 10 stocking stuffers

You asked for it. You got it.

After reposting last year’s 50 Under 50 Favourite Things list, my friend Anna suggested a 10 Under 10 Stocking Stuffer list. Ok!

Here are ten awesome items, all under $10.00, for the little and big kids in your life:

Stocking Stuffers

Kids

Lego 8pcs Super Heroes figures ($7.18)

Shopkins – Season 3 – 5 Pack ($7.99)

Mud Puddle and other mini books by Robert Munsch ($1.99)

Nutcase Bicycle Bell ($9.50)

2-pac Dot Socks ($7.20)

Crayola 16 Pip Squeak Markers ($6.49)

Geo Form Diamond Shaped Wooden Puzzle ($10.00)

WinnWell Street Hockey Balls ($1.99 each)

MEC Newbie Kids Sunglasses ($10.00)

Star Wars Pez Dispensers ($3.36 each)

Big Kids

Rose Salve Lip Balm ($7.70)

Beer. A bottle fits nicely in a sock. This is my pick ($8.00)

MEC Turbo Red LED Light ($6.75)

Maybelline Great Lash Mascara ($7.79)

Feed Nova Scotia – A New Kind of Light CD ($10.00)

Cocoa Camino Fair Trade Instant Hot Chocolate ($6.75)

e.l.f. Studio Matte Lip Color ($4.99)

HotHands Hand Warmers 10 Pair Value Pack ($7.99)

Made in the Maritimes Seaweed Soap ($7.50)

Nautical Letterpress Bookmark at Inkwell ($3.00)

* * *

Oh, and don’t forget to add a clementine, toothbrush and lotto tickets in all the stockings!

* * *

Our stockings are hung by the chimney with care!IMG_3997IMG_3998Mike and I made our stockings when we first moved in together … 12 years ago … and we’re still fighting over who’s better. My mom made David stocking – which is the better than both of our combined because it’s bigger and wool expands better than felt. My mom knit/felted these as well: IMG_3994IMG_3993 IMG_3995Happy stocking stuffing to all and to all a good night.

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onward, upward and over the hill

Back in February I was physically (and mentally) snow bound. We were at my parent’s house on the Wallace River and got caught in a snow storm – the roads were closed for two days! There was a limit to how much snowshoeing and complaining I could handle so I decided to write a list of what I should/could/want to do after my great escape.

And that’s how the thirty six before thirty six list came to be. Thirty six things to do before my thirty-sixth birthday. Now it is time to recap:

  1. Paint a room
    It’s sad when the first item on a list does not get crossed off. Argh. I still want to paint our bathroom Kelly Green but it didn’t happen. No excuse… I just hate painting.
  2. Wallpaper a room
    And it’s really bad when the second item does not get crossed off either. Again, I still want to wallpaper the other bathroom, and I have a plan, it just didn’t happen
    … hang in, it gets better
  3. Go to the art gallery (for real)
    I was down to the wire on this one. Last week I had to run downtown to pick something up at the printer and had an hour to kill before school ended. I could of gone home and worked but I went to the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia instead. I love the Maud Lewis room.
  4. Get a pedicure
    Amanda and I went to Princess Nails on a cold, wet, dreary night. It was not as blissful as a spa but I love the neon pink toes. IMG_2343
  5. Relax on the beach with a magazine
    This would of been less enjoyable had I done it this spring on a beach in Nova Scotia however, I was lucky to vacation at Anna Maria Island in April.
  6. Run in a race
    Bluenose and the Cabot Trail RelayIMG_2507
  7. Go snowshoeing
    I crossed this off the list on day one (did I mention we were snowbound?) but I went out again for our Storm the Mountain eco-challenge. IMG_2249
  8. Go on an airplane
    We made Anne Murray proud and snowbirded the hell out of here to Florida
  9. Ski moguls
    I’m no Jean-Luc Brassard but I made it down the mountain in one piece. IMG_2168
  10. Sell five items on Kijiji
    1. A sweater 2. Push bike 3. A DVD 4. Tent 5. Washer & Dryer flood victims 
  11. Finish 4 books
    1. I’ll Give You The Sun 2. When Everything Feels Like the Movies 3. We Were Liars 4. The Sky is Everywhere
  12. Brunch at Edna Restaurant
    So good. Sooooo good! When Jane’s closed I never thought I’d find another good vegetarian Eggs Benedict but then I went to Edna’s.
  13. Visit the ocean
    I saw the ocean in Nova Scotia but my hands were too numb to snap a pic. Florida was a lot warmer. DSC_0746
  14. Learn how to rug hook
    I did and now I’m hooked (wink). I can’t wait to show you my finished project. IMG_2084
  15. Swim
    I even boogie boarded DSC_0895 copy
  16. Walk in point pleasant park
    Several times – I walked around with David and Henry, ran it, raced in it, cursed the hills, and even assisted a photoshoot in the park.
  17. Hike Cape Breton Highlands National Park
    I ran it, which I think is cooler. However, I did hike up the damn steep hill at the end of my leg. IMG_2601
  18. Choose a signature drink
    I’m so fancy… Basically I fill a glass with gin, some tonic, a splash of grapefruit juice and a lemon (if I have one). Best consumed from a beach-friendly sippy cup with straw. IMG_2352
  19. Make homemade rolls
    I think Karen is holding back on sharing her actual roll recipe because mine were nowhere near as good as her’s but I really enjoyed making them. IMG_2499
  20. Go to Field Guide for a drink
    X 2! If you haven’t gone, go. I love Field Guide and I especially enjoyed reuniting with an old friends over drinks. IMG_2233
  21. Make a chocolate cheesecake
    My aunt Joanne made the most amazing chocolate cheesecake and I always felt like she was making it especially for me because I loved it so much. I thought I had her recipe but I can’t find it. I still made a chocolate cheesecake but it tasted horrible and it made me miss her even more. IMG_2524
  22. Build a sand castle
    Another victory thanks to our trip to Florida.
  23. Host an outdoor FNPN 
    Sarah helped me with this one. We had a Friday Night Pizza Night at the Park Avenue Community Oven. Everything was delicous, especially the s’more pizza. Jealous? DSC_0912
  24. Take a kickboxing class
    I did this over the weekend. To say I was good and/or graceful would be a total lie but I did it.
  25. Take a carload to Value Village
    Yes and there’s more to go!
  26. Go for a bike ride
    We’ve done a bit of local biking but one of my favourite days in Florida was our bike adventure. We had so much fun exploring the island… Didn’t we Jodie? IMG_2369
  27. Explore a new park / beach or trail in Nova Scotia
    On Mother’s Day we went to Crowbar Lake Hiking Trail and it was awesome. You’d be surprised how far kids can walk when you dangle a granola bar in front of them. IMG_2470
  28. Visit a new store in Halifax… like this one
    I’ve now been to the Independent Mercantile twice and it’s a great store.
  29. Barbecue 
    Barbecue season is the best.
  30. Buy stain to paint the patio
    This is a big debate in our house. I am going to write more about it another time. Lets just say I haven’t convinced a certain someone that it’s worth it.
  31. Go for a run with a friend 
    Running a half-marathon with a friend is so much more enjoyable than running alone. Thanks Jenna. IMG_5103
  32. Ride the yellow slide at the Canada Games Centre
    And the blue one too! Another thing I accomplished this week.
  33. Skate at the Oval at least once more
    I don’t think this fail is my fault. Because of the extreme weather conditions we faced this winter, the Oval closed early and without much warning. I only made it there once and didn’t get back after I wrote this list. I did however ski a boardercross course and nearly killed myself. My friend suggested that it made up for the lack of skating.
  34. Print and frame a photo
    I wrote about this hereDSC_0678
  35. Open the windows and put out the patio furniture
    Yes! However we’ve also turned the heat back on in June. Oh my…
  36. Go dancing
    Technically I didn’t actually get gussied up and go dancing but I have danced. Mostly alone or with David but I am still counting this as complete. 

I am pretty happy with the results = 32/36 = 89%. Most of them were really fun and it was an excuse to spend time with great people. My theory… Make a list and they will come.

I am thirty six. What the hell? No time for a pity party… I have a summer list to tackle. Bring it.

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it’s back

Take it in folks – the long weekend in May has come and gone and that means summer is coming! In celebration of this joyous occasion and back by popular demand is my 100 days of summer to-do wish list! The rules are simple and I welcome all of you to join in with your own list – it started this weekend and ends on September 30. Get what you can get done because summer is here for a short time so it is best to make it a good time.

(You can see last year’s list here and the results here)

I am not going to lie – it’s hard to get them all done, and because I didn’t finish all of them last year, I am going to pick up a few and try again. I am also adding some from my thirty-six before thirty-six (because I am not 36 yet) and a few completed repeats because they were awesome and worth doing again! Have fun and remember to wear sunscreen.

  1. swim in a lake*
  2. swim in the ocean
  3. swim in the Wallace River
  4. go in a sail boat*
  5. hike Cape Split*
  6. go strawberry picking*
  7. make strawberry jam
  8. watch an outdoor movie*
  9. play corn hole*
  10. play croquette
  11. play washer toss
  12. night swim*
  13. make smores and eat them*
  14. have a campfire and sing a campfire song
  15. roast veggie dogs over a campfire
  16. leave the province*
  17. accidentally get a sunburn*
  18. buy a rash guard
  19. train for a marathon
  20. sleep in a tent*
  21. go to Cyclone 5 times in one week*
  22. see Shakespeare by the Sea*
  23. ride a horse*
  24. mini golf*
  25. take David to Citadel Hill*
  26. fly a kite*
  27. bike over the MacDonald bridge with David*
  28. picnic at the ocean
  29. picnic at Public Gardens
  30. do a kart-wheel
  31. go the the Bicycle Thief
  32. clean my black car (mike told me to put this in)
  33. make iced coffee
  34. run laps (speed work) at least three times
  35. hill train once a week
  36. run in 5 races
  37. visit Taylor Head Provincial Park
  38. jump on a trampoline
  39. redecorate our bedroom
  40. plant a vegetable garden and enjoy its bounty
  41. plant basil and make pesto
  42. run the golf shore loop (again)
  43. make rhubarb pie
  44. host a women and whiskey night
  45. eat a banana split
  46. kayak down the river
  47. tube down the river
  48. play sandbar soccer
  49. eat on an outdoor patio
  50. drink on an outdoor patio
  51. hang out on the Halifax waterfront
  52. go to Shubie Park
  53. go to Point Pleasant Park
  54. drive in a convertible
  55. buy a summer dress
  56. wear summer dresses everyday for a week
  57. wear heels
  58. hear bag pipes
  59. watch a parade
  60. dance
  61. visit the new North End farmer’s market
  62. have a taco party
  63. run in a race
  64. go for a run and jump in the water right after
  65. bike to the skate park and watch David in the skate park (this was David’s request)
  66. watch fireworks
  67. watch 500 Days of Summer
  68. watch Dirty Dancing
  69. make a spiralized dinner (this)
  70. start and finish Jill’s bathroom makeover
  71. attend a party
  72. go to 2 movies
  73. make ice cream sandwiches
  74. finish my rug hooking pillow
  75. cheer on David’s first triathlon
  76. play hooky
  77. read a magazine outside
  78. read a non-fiction
  79. read a fiction
  80. eat from a food truck
  81. only use the clothesline
  82. try rock climbing
  83. buy new running sneakers
  84. visit a cottage
  85. drink beer from a cooler
  86. drink a road rocket. “kidding”.
  87. run across the bridge before they close it to pedestrians (June 29)
  88. ride the ferry
  89. get muddy
  90. get sandy
  91. ride a slip & slide
  92. ride a water slide
  93. visit magic mountain
  94. hike Cape Breton Highlands National Park
  95. get highlights
  96. go to a yard sale
  97. watch a sunset
  98. watch a sunrise
  99. declutter
  100. have David plan a prefect pre-first-day-of-big-school / end-of-summer-day

* 2014 not completed GreatSummer_6109

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Photo: Scout’s Honor Paper