Tuesday, July 31, 2012

warm summer nights

{any excuse to have a picnic}
I am still in denial that my vacation is over so in an attempt to feel "vacation-esque" we decided to dine al fresco this evening. Okay it was just an ordinary picnic, but al fresco sounds so continental I couldn't resist! We dined at a local playground, which is not very continental at all, but Violet had fun running through the sprinkler while Jeff and I hung out in the shade.

I picked up a new picnic blanket while I was in PEI. My mum, Violet and I stopped by a yard sale in an old log cabin on our way to the ferry -- it cost a whopping five dollars! Just another reason I love that little island.

The breeze was refreshing, supper tasted better because we ate outside and Violet went to sleep so easily because she had skipped, galloped and run out all her giggles at the playground. If I must work (gosh I wish I was a member of the aristocracy), then this is not a bad way to pretend like I am on an extended holiday. There really are a lot of hours after work, I just never know where they go!



{so easily pumped about almost anything: awesome}

{mixed prints}

{pretty cute for five bucks, huh?}

{dinner conversation -- don't mind the quinoa!}

Monday, July 30, 2012

I wanna go back

{beach bum}
The smell of sunscreen and sweat, messy hair made crunchy by salt water, worn pages from hours of uninterrupted reading, watermelon juice running down a sun-kissed chin -- there is nothing quite like a summer holiday. A holiday is like a good night sleep on steroids. I feel better, I look better, I think I am even a better mum and a better wife. All it took was a week on a beach. I'll take one a month please and thank you. 

Wanna see some pictures?

Come on, you're bored at work, indulge me!

{the littlest jam maker}
The first day of our vacation we made strawberry jam, all four generations of Harris women lent a hand. Don't get too excited, Violet was the only one to go topless ;)

{she's still got those cheeks}
{private beach}
The cottage we stayed at was so sweet. We had a huge grassy lawn that overlooked this beach. Violet loved running in the clover. My mum, who is allergic to bees, not so much. Excitement with every step!

{action shot}

{how I spent a lot of the week}

{best nana ever}

{best papa ever}

{kindred spirits}

{mama's shades and lip gloss}

{fast friends}
Violet met a friend at the Murray River parade. I love small town parades. Lots of vintage cars, princesses in fishing boats and every under-12 hockey team that plays on our end of the island! We were in Brad Richards country remember. Hockey is king.

{break it down}

{fantasy land}

{this cracks me up!}

{not as fun as I remembered}
Fantasy Land is a playground my parents and my sweet great-uncle Keith used to take me to when I was a little girl. I loved it. It was magical. There were lots of nursery rhyme characters scattered in the woods. It was the best playground I'd ever been to. Walt Disney apparently made Fantasy Land change its name (it is now known as King's Castle) -- can't you see how people would mistake this awesome airplane ride for Disneyland? The park is in need of a major facelift and the mosquitos seemed worse than ever. Maybe you can't ever really go home...

{Lobster Supper}
Lobster suppers are the best deal going. I've been quite a few times growing up but I really wanted Jeff to experience it. The good folks of Murray Harbour prepared a delicious spread including lobster (duh), potato salad, biscuits, coleslaw, jello salad (yuck), rolls, various squares and strawberry shortcake. Everyone eats together at long tables in the rink. Everyone drinks copious amounts of very strong tea. It is awesome. After we bought our tickets I left Jeff for a minute to visit the ladies room, but I overheard someone say, "is she a Harris?". Jeff said I was and that I was Ron's granddaughter and Mark's daughter. The person didn't know my dad or my grandfather and he still knew I was a Harris! I think that deserves a yikes!!

{pretty canola}

{the way they are looking at each other melts my heart}

{profile picture}

{I am so lucky to have such great parents}

{feel the love!}
Back to reality this week. It is always nice to sleep in your own bed isn't it?

Did you miss me? I sure missed you!



Friday, July 20, 2012


{excited, but a little nervous at the movies}

I am on vacation!

As I sit and write this it is the middle of the day and a cool breeze is blowing in our living room window. Sweet Violet is sound asleep on the couch beside me. We brought Jeff a picnic lunch and checked out the tall ships. Holy crowds. The ships are breathtaking; Violet was particularly taken with the Halifax-Dartmouth ferry ;) In her defence it did have festive flags festooning its upper-deck. In a matter of hours we will be off to PEI for a week. A whole week. I haven't had a summer vacation in years! I am very excited. I have my fingers crossed for sun, sun and more sun.

The great thing about PEI beaches is how warm the water is. If you are a member of the Harris clan, another great thing is that you get to go home to a fabulous meal prepared by Nanny and Pop -- they live in PEI and they never go to the beach. I don't get it! But, I will eat that lobster roll ;)

Given the number of emoticons in this post, can you tell I am just a little excited.

Cute Violet story before I leave you for a whole week. (Whatever will you do ;) She and I went to see the new Madagascar movie last night. It was our first time at the theatre together. Jeff has taken Violet to a few matinees, but this was her first evening show. She liked it, but assured me she wouldn't watch the scary parts again. (There were no scary parts.)

On our way out of the movie Violet saw a Spiderman poster and said, "there is Spiderman." I have no idea how she knows who Spiderman is. Does that make me a bad mum!? Anyway, there was a huge line up of teenagers waiting to see the new Batman movie, as we were walking past them Violet said, "look mum, "Black-man". I was obviously mortified. Thankfully she was pointing at the Batman poster. Then she looked and me and said, "I love Black-man." Oh Violet.

I explained to her that the superhero is called Batman, but she refused to believe me. "No mum, it is Black-man, just like, you know, Purple-Girl. I love Black-man and Purple-Girl".

Whatever floats your boat Vi.

Have a great week. Hopefully when I check in again I will be a much browner version of myself.



Wednesday, July 18, 2012

real life

{Violet added the sprinkles -- obviously}

I read an article recently that lamented the fact that since the advent of facebook, blogs and other social media everyone seems to be portraying a highly stylized version of their life. The author begged everyone to please stop being so awesome. Isn't it a little exhausting living your life and running a full time PR campaign? Lower the bar people! Life is not a magazine photo shoot.

It is natural to want to make sure your house, your kids or even your own face look their best before you publish a photo for all the world to see. It is not like people didn't care about these things before facebook; the news cycle has just gotten shorter.

I am just as guilty of this as the next person. I love all pictures of Violet, but I am even more thrilled if she happens to be wearing a particularly cute outfit. I love sharing ideas about recipes with you , but I would never take a picture on the nights we have KD. But we do occasionally eat KD and Violet is occasionally wearing a mismatched outfit and that is okay. The world will continue if my coffee table books are out of place. No one cares.

Tonight Violet and I made rice krispie squares; they did not look perfect. She decorated them herself with gratuitous amounts of garishly coloured sprinkles. Her hair was wet from playing outside at Susie Q's and flat in the back from sitting in a dentist chair. She was wearing a hand-me-down dress that she adorned with a huge strawberry shortcake sticker. Even her smile was kooky because she was trying really hard to say cheese.  I know I am biased, but she is every bit as cute as the days where I painstakingly choose her outfit and comb her hair and ask her to pose in perfect lighting. She definitely enjoyed those rice krispie squares more than something fancy. Especially since she decorated them herself, by the fist full!

This is what our life really looks like. Not too bad, huh?



{unstyled but so cute}

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Do you ever wish your future self could visit your present self and say, "relax present self, everything is going to be fine, and I know this because I am the future you and I am alright"?

Please tell me that you have those thoughts too or I will have another thing to worry about...my sanity.

I think it is safe to say that I can, on occasion, be a bit of a worrier. I prefer to call it scenario-planning -- tomayto, tomahto. The problem is that scenario-planning can be exhausting, especially when there are so many unknowns.

I am really trying to be the type of gal who lives in the moment. I try to focus on the things I am grateful for, and there are so many of those things, but I can't help think, but what if this happens or what if that doesn't happen. Trust is not my strong suit. I find it hard to trust that everything will be okay, or at least work out as it should. I want to trust God and the people around me who love me, but I find myself worrying.

Worrying is a teeny bit narcissistic isn't it? I can't trust that the God who created the universe? I can't trust that my sweet husband who always comes through for our family will come through again? I can't trust that I have friends and family who love me and who will support us no matter what happens? Who do I think I am to question these things?

It gets worse. When I don't trust that things will be okay and when I am feeling overwhelmed I try to control everything -- because obviously I am amazing and if I am in control everything will be fine? When I say it like that, it doesn't reflect how I feel. But that is ostensibly what I am saying isn't it? I don't trust anyone but me. I must be quite something...

You know what the funny thing is? I don't even have anything in particular to worry about. We have a beautiful daughter, our health, great family and friends and jobs in the city we love. Imagine the state of my stomach if a legitimate concern arises.

I am going to try to work on being more trusting. Hopefully that will have a cascading effect and I won't feel so worried and thus won't feel a propensity to control everything. Three birds with one stone sort of thing.

Does that sound like a good plan?

Who needs a therapist when I have you? Thanks for listening.



Monday, July 16, 2012

al fresco

{lunch out of doors}

Yesterday was not a "classic beach day". A classic beach day is Harris speak for a sunny day, no hotter than 30, no cooler than 25. Saturday was a classic beach day, Sunday, not so much. After an overcast, but fun morning with friends on Summerville beach we decided to meander along the coast instead of heading right back into the city. The coastline between Liverpool and Halifax is so pretty. There were approximately one million properties I fantasized about one day owning.

We stopped for lunch at the LaHave Bakery. We eat their bread sometimes, but I didn't realize they had a full service cafe. The place was hopping. It was a very " Halifax Seaport Market scene" -- a lot of hipsters and a few young families. We grabbed a seat a an outdoor table that overlooked the LaHave River. So so pretty.

Doesn't eating outside makes food taste better? It doesn't make sense, but it is true.

I would definitely make the trip to LaHave again, in fact it is the perfect distance for a mini-road trip. Just an idea for any free "not so classic beach days" you may have on your vacation. Or better yet, if you get too hot at a nearby beach (Rissers, Crescent and Hirtle Beach are all a stones throw from the cafe) pop over for a bite to eat. Call us if you go, I can still taste my sandwich --that sounds gross but I mean it in a good way!

If you go, get the eggs benny (that is Jeff's addition!)



{yummy Greek pizza}

{veggie panini with feta and olive tapenade -- I love salt!}

{just cheese and sauce pizza for the wee one}

{a man who loves his eggs benny}

{chocolate milk}

{this picture is so my dad -- I love him!}

Sunday, July 15, 2012

summertime in Nova Scotia

{Violet and her beloved Papa}
Sure we may not have as many jobs, our cities may not be as cosmopolitan, our cars might have a little more rust and it is possible that we have just a teeny-weeny inferiority complex when it comes to our Upper-Canadian compatriots, but when Nova Scotia does summer right you cannot beat it. It cannot be beaten. It is the best. Absolutely exquisite. Totally and completely worth the pay cut and the salty winter roads.

I'm just going to go out there and be all Woody Allen about it; Summer is Nova Scotia is terrific.

I so wish you could all be here!



{my mum is a stone cold fox}

{so is my sweet husband}

{I really need to tone down my "smile for the camera" face}

{a sausage and s'more eatin' nudie}

{has she reverted to crawling?}

{heck no! just climbing some massive boulders!}

{so gorgeous}

{end of the weekend cone}

{and snuggle!}

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

officially quitters -- at least for now!

{if I'm not happy, ain't nobody happy -- you got that?}
Just a quick update: we have decided to take a break from soccer for the foreseeable future. Summer is too short for tears. We plan to fill the void with picnics, park visits and our 24 inch pool (jealous?). Those things make us all happy. When you are three years old and it is the summertime, being happy is the goal.

I have finally accepted I may not be the mother of a future Olympic soccer player (there are lots of other sports, don't worry). And yes, I am obviously already planning to blame anything that goes wrong in Violet's life on our decision to let her quit soccer. It is the only rational thing to do ;)



Tuesday, July 10, 2012

one-piece bathing suits: do or don't?

{full coverage}
I love bikinis. Unlike shorts, mini skirts, and tank tops I think they look great on so many different figures. There are, however, times when a little more fabric is required. No, I am not talking about church camp (literally the last time I wore a non-Speedo one-piece) I am talking about swimming lessons, pool parties and prancing around my backyard with Violet (there is construction next door, you understand). Violet tends to get grabby in the water and when I am wearing a bikini I always feel like I am going to flash someone. After four summers of this, I have had enough!

I hemmed and hawed about getting a one-piece. Was this the beginning of the end? What's next? Running shoes with work clothes? A fanny pack (without a sense of irony)? Or worse, mum jeans? A quick aside: mum jeans have really come full circle haven't they? When I was in high school, mum jeans were high wasted and tapered. Now that is cool. We used to wear low rise boot cut jeans, the bigger the flare the better -- I think that pretty much describes the 2012 version of mum jeans. Oh the fickle world of fashion!

So what do you think, are one-piece bathing suits a one way ticket to frumps-ville, or are they a cute, modest alternative to my summer favourite?

I am still on the fence, but at in my one-piece I won't flash anyone!



{"mum stop making me take pictures with you, your suit looks fine!"}

Monday, July 9, 2012

Baby W

{Amelia doesn't know the sex of her baby so Keira planned a rubber ducky theme - hence the red and yellow}

To celebrate the impending arrival of my good friend's baby I hosted a baby shower in her honour this past weekend. "Host" is not really an accurate portrayal of my role for the day. It was our mutual friend Keira who really got the party off the ground (with a healthy dose of support from both grandmas-to-be, of course!). I really just offered up my centrally located apartment and let the good times roll!

My friend Amelia is one of the cutest pregnant ladies I've ever seen. She manages to make pregnancy look good in 100% humidity -- that is saying something! She is busy working on the cutest nursery. She is also the type of woman who can turn an old wooden palate into a gorgeous headboard for her guest room and not break a sweat. (As opposed to the type of woman who can turn a paid off credit card into a big fat bill in order to get her house looking better...not that I know anyone like that...)

As I mentioned, Amelia and her husband chose not to find out the sex of their baby (an incredible feat in and of itself) so Keira thought a rubber ducky themed shower with a retro feel would be a good uni-sex option. Good idea huh? I thought it would be funny to make a sign that said "Congratulations Mother Ducker", but the idea didn't seem to take off ;) I can't imagine why not...

In sticking with the red and yellow/ retro theme I decided to make Thomas Keller's pineapple upside down cake. Um, it was not that good. It looked pretty and it was definitely consistent with out colour scheme, but the middle didn't cook all the way (I cut the cake in the kitchen and gave everyone smaller pieces so I don't think they noticed, although I am giving away my secret here) and the fruit made the cake a little soggy. (Side note I actually laid eyes on Keller in his restaurant Bouchon, our meal was ridiculously good and I was totally star struck).

Thomas Keller, you may be a culinary genius but your pineapple upside down cake stinks -- there is no nice way to say it!

The shower was a really fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon and I really cannot wait to meet this little baby -- who will most likely be born with a glue gun in hand knowing Amelia!


{diaper cake}

{puffs are so festive}

{garden flowers}

{nothing says a party like helium balloons}

{Keira made tonnes of sweet ducky bunting}

{pineapple upside down cake - meh}

{devilled eggs: yellow and red, and retro!}

{cheesecake strawberries -- so good}

{I love these straws}

{the spread}

{the spread v.2}

{yes that is a rubber ducky in a bubble bath}

{the guess of honour [left] and our beautiful friend Alanna - two preggos}