Friday, June 5, 2015

Catching Up - Part 2

Two days after we sold our home (see Catching Up - Part 1) the husband and my mother and myself flew down to Nova Scotia to celebrate our daughter's graduation from University of King's College and Dalhousie University in Halifax. We had a lovely time taking part in all the many special graduation events and we also went on a little road trip over the May long weekend. Lots of fun!

Kate makes the fifth generation of women in our family to graduate from university and coincidentally graduated from Dalhousie just like her great great grandmother did back in 1901 (in the photo below is Kate with my mother and myself - we both graduated from the University of Toronto, as did my mother's mother)

We always seem to hit up a Tim's on important occasions (like just before our son and daughter-in-law got married)

All the students were led in a procession by a bagpiper from the university through the city to the cathedral where the convocation took place.

The cathedral in Halifax is beautiful and a fitting place for such a grand affair. 

University of King's College is a beautiful university with stone buildings all around a quadrangle. It is the oldest chartered university in Canada (founded in 1789, chartered in 1802 ). Kate had a wonderful four years there - worked hard, learned lots, and made fantastic friends.

We also spent some time visiting Kate's favourite spots in Halifax.  Places like the Public Gardens which were spectacular with all the flowers - especially the daffodils and magnolias

And the new Public Library with its amazing building complete with a cantilevered reading room, words on the windows, and book art on the walls.


And the market on Saturday where we enjoyed a breakfast pizza and coffee while looking out across the harbour.

We also went on a little road trip to Yarmouth and, of course, had to stop at Lunenburg and Peggy's Cove.  We have been to Lunenburg and Peggy's Cove before, but they are both beautiful spots and are definitely worth a second (or third) visit. 

Lunenburg is full of beautiful old wooden buildings and ships at the harbour, including the Blue Nose (finally).

We stopped at Sand Dollar Beach just south of Lunenburg and stretched our legs. There were people in swimming (crazy people is what I'm thinking as the ice had been there just a few weeks before.) There were also sand dollars all over the beach. The live ones leave little trails in the sand as they move. I actually didn't know they could move, so that was interesting. 


Yarmouth was new to me and although the weather wasn't the best when we were there, the historic homes were gorgeous and definitely made it a worthwhile visit.  We also popped into the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Yarmouth and enjoyed the Lucy Jarvis exhibit.  She was a new-to-me Canadian artist, but I really am glad to have learned about her and seen her work. We also drove out to the Yarmouth lighthouse which we visited in the gale-force wind and threatening rain.

And Peggy's Cove was classic and gorgeous - as always!

Oh, Nova Scotia you steal my heart every time I visit.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Catching Up - Part 1

It has been such a long time since I posted and so much has happened. I never really intended to stop blogging, but a few things got in the way. First, I discovered Instagram in the late fall and have slowly been falling in love with it ever since. So yes, I've been cheating on my blog over on Instagram. I know I'm late to the game, but instagram fits me well as it is all about random photos of small details of life or your travels and lets face it that's mostly what I write about. If you are interested in checking out what I'm posting on Instagram my name is "aliasgracie", you can find the link on the righthand sidebar of my blog, or here.

So yeah, sorry blog. You've taken a back seat for the past few months. In addition to me spending all my screen time over there on instagram, we've also been super busy in real life. We bought a house and sold our current house and are currently getting ready to move in July. 

Here's a picture of our new (old) house. It was built in 1872, but has been been really renovated inside. It is located in a little village near a larger centre so we have the best of both worlds. We back onto conservation land and can walk to the centre of the village which has a little bakery and a book shop and an art centre, but aren't far from groceries and the train station. It is all the things we always dreamed of having in a home.

the front porch of our new house
the gazebo and tree-covered hill in our new home's backyard

The timeline was tight on selling our house and we had so much to do because we weren't really planning on moving just yet.  We had it on the radar to move to somewhere quaint over the next few years, but when your friend sends you a  listing with a house that ticks all the boxes on your list, you jump at the opportunity.  

Once we bought the house, then we had to do the mad scramble of decluttering, repairing, and staging our home (which included having all new windows and a new roof put on). It was a crazy whirlwind of a month.  Here's how it played out (I want to record those dates so I won't forget how fast/tiring/crazy that month was):

April 7th - a friend sent us a real estate listing of a house she thought we would like
April 12th - we bought the house
May 6th - our present home was finally ready to be on the market
May 11th -  we had 44 people view our home and two open houses and sold it with 6 offers and over the asking price. Hurray!  It was such a tiring month that I'm only now recovering from it.

And to make things even more fun, the husband broke his wrist a few days before we listed the house and we were still in the throws of sorting and tidying. Good times. He still managed to do an amazing amount of work with an arm in a cast. 

Here's a few photos of our current house after it was tidied up and the stager had made suggestions. The person we had come and give us suggestions on how to stage our house was fantastic. She was not a minimalist and did a great job of making our home look better than it ever had before. (Apologies for the terrible photos as I took them all with the iPad,)


I was going to put everything in one post, but it was just getting unwieldy so I'm going to post the rest in another post.  Stay tuned for Part 2 in which we go to Nova Scotia.

And as for the blog, I hope to post updates on the house once we have moved in. It will be fun to see its transformation. The new house isn't terrible now, but we do plan on putting our own stamp on it. I do know I won't be posting as frequently as before and mostly when I have something to share. In the meantie, feel free to keep in touch over on instagram.