Purple Houses, Lost Soothers and Ocean Views

I rocked my baby to sleep, admiring the sunset reflecting off the quiet harbour and bring the already vibrant house colours to life. I wished I could capture it but my hands were full of an almost sleeping baby and there was no way I could capture what I wanted without leaving our hotel suite.

Purple Houses, Lost Soothers and Ocean Views || this vintage moment

Purple Houses, Lost Soothers and Ocean Views || this vintage moment

I was rocking my baby to sleep because on one of our earlier walks, he had lost his soother and I failed to realized that until hours later when we were cozied up in our hotel room. His sisters were asleep in another room, they fell asleep quickly because the previous night they were wide awake for hours past their usual bedtime.

But despite the lost soother (and travel on Easter weekend in a seasonal town meant no stores were open to buy another), a sick child and the bedtime that didn’t really happen, it was still worth it.

Purple Houses, Lost Soothers and Ocean Views || this vintage moment

We’ve done this sort of travel for years whether it’s been an escape to the mountains on a long weekend or tagging along when Jared has a work-related trip in another city. It’s a little bit crazy sometimes to get five people out the door for two nights, get everyone settled the first night when there’s so much excitement of a hotel room with view (and a TV) and of course the challenge of finding a place that serves good coffee.

This past weekend we traveled to Lunenburg, a UNESCO heritage town just under a hour from we live. It’s filled with old houses, most with their building dates and original resident noted. The oldest house is from 1760 and was home to a German family. Every street is sea of colour- bright reds, blues, yellows, pinks and purple. There is always something interesting to see- lobster traps and fishing boats, four colours of paint on one house and a life-size mural of a blue whale.

Purple Houses, Lost Soothers and Ocean Views || this vintage moment

Early Saturday morning we sauntered out to the only cafe open, The Savvy Sailor, and throughly enjoyed Lunenburg bennys- poached eggs on fish cakes with hollandaise. With a view of the ocean and a baby who slept the whole time, it was practically perfect. We headed out to find the bookstores, two out of the three were open, and we browsed happily. I found the missing book to complete my Emily trilogy and a lovely book for an upcoming baby shower. We were all smitten with Lunenburg Bound, a used book and paper store with huge windows, floor to ceiling bookshelves and short descriptive notes on the one shelf of new books. Not to mention the four vintage typewriters that I wanted to bring home.

Purple Houses, Lost Soothers and Ocean Views || this vintage moment

We always choose to spend money on one meal out and hit up the local grocery store for food to eat in our room. It makes it more manageable with small children- no paying for a meal that they hardly eat plus no stress of constant restaurant behaviour. Plenty of walks along the colourful streets and waterfront, fun snacks to accompany cozy afternoons of colouring and movies- it was a slow, relaxing weekend away from our normal routines and we returned home rejuvenated and ready to go on a slightly longer trip.

Purple Houses, Lost Soothers and Ocean Views || this vintage moment

Travel, it’s one of those things that makes all of us feel alive and adventurous. And something that we’ve found totally doable with small children as long as there’s plenty of snacks and coffee. Is it easier to stay at home sometimes? Always but the shakeup of our regular routine and spending time together as a family in another place is more then worth it.

What are your favourite places to go and things to do while traveling?

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How I Find Time to Read with Three Small Children

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about what I’ve been reading lately, and posted it to my personal Facebook because I love hearing what my friends are reading as well. One of my friends asked how I read so much and I gave her a quick, off the cuff answer. Here is my long answer for her, and for anyone else who wants to fit more reading in their life or who wonders how I read so much.

I try to always have several books on the go – on my night table to read a few chapters before bed, downstairs by the couch and one in my purse. Several books and several different topics means that it’s easier to reach for a book than my phone and keep me from getting bored with one author. I’m finding new ways to read a few chapters since my arms are almost always full of the most adorable baby. My old habits of reading while the girls played at the park or beach or bath have had to be revamped.

How I Find Time to Read with Three Small Children || this vintage moment

I don’t do a lot of anything else right now. I don’t sew or knit or craft. I’m not hosting multiple gatherings in a month. Reading is my thing. It has always been my go-to activity ever since I could read but right now it’s my only one besides taking care of my beloved little family, date nights and homeschooling. I will read over doing anything else and especially if I happen to co-ordinate my baby’s nap with my big girls quiet time.

I’m always requesting books from the library and getting titles from blog round ups like this one or following bookish people on Pinterest. And I love asking people what they’re reading lately, sometimes we can nerd out on a favourite one we’ve both read or get new titles to add to my list.

I make fairly quick decisions about books, I don’t have any time to waste on a bad book or a topic that is not for me right now. I will abandon books within a few pages or even after reading the back cover. And I’m trying to be a little more realistic with my book goals- reading some of the super long classics may not happen this year and I’m okay with that. I’m looking at you Les Miserables and Gone With the Wind.

How I Find Time to Read with Three Small Children || this vintage moment

Read aloud time has become a backbone of our homeschooling day and it has motivated me to read more personally. I want to reach for my book more then my phone and I want to model reading for my children. Through reading I can enter many different worlds and learn many new things all from the comfort of my couch or my back porch.

There’s always something I could do when I have a few quiet moments but I will almost choose to read.

How do you make time to read or do your go-to hobby? I’d love to hear what fills your cup!

 

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A Notebook of Happy// Vol 2

I used to say that I write in the crannies of the day and now that’s more true then ever before. I don’t write during quiet time anymore, I grab a nap or read while holding a baby. Nor do I write after the girls are in bed, I watch an episode of something (right now Gilmore Girls has my full attention) while I feed Kieran and then go to bed at a very early hour.

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But lists of the things that make me happy? I can always write those. And especially in this season of more intensive mothering (all three children were up several times last night, pass the coffee) I need to write down the happy. Because there is so much of it, right along with the overwhelm.

  1. Conversations with my girls are so fun right now, they have many, many questions and observations about the world around them. They help me remember to make it fun like using jelly beans as math manipulatives on days when I would rather hire a math tutor.
  2. A good book. I’ve been reading some really enjoyable reads lately, nothing too deep or fluffy or emotional. I love having a few good books on the go!A notebook of happy || this vintage moment
  3. Bird-watching. I realize that mentioning my early bedtime and now bird-watching takes me into a whole other category but I’m okay with that. We’ve set up a couple feeders in our front yard tree and I take such delight in seeing the many chickadees gleefully perch on the suet. I’m hopeful for a nest to be built among the branches, the epitome of spring.
  4. Time out with friends- baby showers, phone conversations, coffee dates and playdates where the children play long enough for good conversation to happen- these are filling my cup right now. The last month of pregnancy and first couple months of newborn life I tended to hibernate but now that the fog is clearing, I am enjoying and needing these times.A notebook of happy || this vintage moment
  5. Using Pinterest and my library system to work for me and give me inspiration to make learning fun for my girls. This month we focused on Ireland and Saint Patrick, our library bin was full of all sorts of great books and my girls can’t wait to visit Ireland to hunt for leprechauns. Homeschooling with a newborn (after moving 6 months ago) is a post for another day but being intentional about having good books for those days when we do a lot of read aloud and art is making me happy.A notebook of happy || this vintage moment
  6. Seeing friends dream big and then getting to be an observer as they take big leaps to move their families into places they’ve dreamed of gets me so excited every single time. Even when they move away from us, there’s just something so beautiful about big dreams, pursuing them and seeing the reality of them lived out.

 

That’s my list on this grey March day, tell me what big and small things are on your list of happy?

 

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Hey Self, These are the Good Days

These are the days that you will look back upon and remember. These days of hand-written signs with all the words spelled phonetically inviting you to an after-dinner dance performance. When your library basket is brimming full of picture books and just a few books for yourself to read in the evenings, chapter by chapter before bed.

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These days when you have done three amazing things before breakfast, after getting up with your baby a few times during the night. You’ve sat and watched the sun rise while you cuddled your baby and drank your coffee hot before the demands of the day call to you.

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These are the days when you and your husband high five over small victories and smile over seeing your children reach an accomplishment. These days of saying no to more outside activities so you can yes to more family days and slow weekend breakfasts and long drives by the water. These days when you go through more coffee then ever before and yet order decaf if it’s after 3 because you also need to sleep at night. These are good, good days. Even those days when everyone cries and there are tantrums and words and it’s all a mess. There are apologies and forgiveness and fresh mercies tomorrow.

These are the days of date night ins, of Friday night pizza and movie night, and porridge for breakfast. Of letting the dishes pile up in the sink while you homeschool and feed the baby and send the girls outside. Of painting pictures and telling the girls that they each have their own magic and that’s what makes their pictures unique and beautiful.

these are the good days || this vintage moment

It’s the same for you.

These exhausting, beautiful days when you have to choose between reading stories and sweeping floors, between doing the dishes and soothing the baby.

These days of letting the sweet old lady before you at the checkout peek in at your sleeping baby, knowing that she is not that far from the end of her life and he is just beginning his story.

these are the good days || this vintage moment

You are savouring the moments. You are seeing the extraordinary in your everyday. You know you will remember  these days.

These days when sometimes you have no idea what you did or what you accomplished. You’re deep in your race of motherhood, it’s not a sprint-its more like an ironman. You’re accomplishing far more then any check mark on a list can convey. You’re building a lifetime of stories, starting with today. Because even if you don’t feel like you did anything, you did more then you know and today was a really good day.

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What I’ve Been Reading Lately

I’m republishing this post since I first published it a week early for the linkup.  Sorry for the extra post in your inbox. Newborn fog is real, friends. 

Linking up with Anne of Modern Mrs. Darcy to share quick snippets of what I’ve been reading lately.

I’ve gotten back into my reading habits and it’s like re-discovering an old friend. I don’t often read while feeding my little guy, there’s too many other distractions but if I’m rocking him to sleep or I have a few moments, I will always read. My to-read list is super long at the moment and I can only read a certain type of book right now, anything too dark or too emotional gets returned to the library with just a chapter or two read. These ones were fantastic and I’d love to hear what you are reading during these winter months.

winter reading march 2016 || this vintage moment

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My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life by Ruth Riechel

When the magazine, Gourmet, was abruptly closed down Ruth was out of her job of editor in chief. The future was uncertain and so she headed to the kitchen of their country home to figure out what the next chapter held. It’s a very personal read, laid out by the seasons and puncuatated by her discovery of twitter and her take on life in 140 characters. It is chock full of recipes, tells the back story of when she wrote her first novel (Delicious!) and is the story of one woman making slow peace to a whole new way of  life. It’s been on my radar for a long time and I’m so glad I finally read it. The kitchen is often where I disappear to make sense of life’s events and I enjoyed Ruth’s telling of her journey.

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein

This book was such a fun read! In Willy Wonka fashion, 12 twelve year olds are chosen by their essays to spend the night in a town’s brand new library funded by a brilliant millionaire. Mr. Lemoncello made his money designing board games and the over night stay turns out to be the most epic game of the kids’ lives. It’s a more peaceful version of the Hunger Games complete with holograms of librarians past to help with the game’s clues, full of references to great books and library trivia. It’s a great YA read.

The Knockoff: A Novel by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza

Fashion, New York City, social media- this book covers it all in a fast-paced, hilarious (sometimes snarky) manner. I loved this story of a magazine editor in her early forties coming back to work as editor in chief only to find her role seemingly taken over by a brash, ambitious 20 something who turned the magazine into an app. It’s the complete opposite of my daily life and I loved this peek into a different world. If you liked The Devil Wears Prada or the film,The Intern , this book is right up your alley.

 

Jane of Lantern Hill by Lucy M. Montgomery

I chose this book for ‘the book you can read in a day’ from Modern Mrs. Darcy’s reading challenge and I could read it in a day, before I had a newborn. Nevertheless I thoroughly enjoyed this story of Jane who finds out that she has a father after 11 years of living in Toronto with her mother, grandmother and great aunt. The only problem is her father now wants her to spend the summer with her on Prince Edward Island. She goes and falls deeply in love with the ocean, red roads and Island living. It’s delightful and spunky and Jane is one of my favourite LMM heroines.

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

Another title that has been on my list for way too long, I finally picked this one up after hearing about on the What Should I Read Next podcast. It’s quirky and beautiful, set in a South American country where a group of wealthy men and their wives have gathered to celebrate a Japanese man’s birthday with an American opera singer as the feature of the evening. It all goes amuck when terrorists take the house hostage and what follows is a study in human nature, relationships and love with many musical references. I particularly enjoyed the fact that the book is set almost entirely over the course of a few weeks and only in the house of the vice president.

Tell me what you’ve been reading lately and what books I should add to my TBR list!

 

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A Notebook of Happy // Vol 1

One of my favourite questions right now is ‘what is making you happy?’. I’m a fan of this question because it focuses on the little (or big) things in our lives that bring a little extra sparkle. And in these early weeks of roller coaster hormones and emotions, I need a little extra sparkle.

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Here’s my short list of what’s making me happy during these marathon nursing sessions and cozy winter days:

  •   a new podcast by one of my favourite bloggers, What Should I Read Next. It answers the questions that every reader asks, introduces new titles and thoughts about old favourites and I always head to my library’s website after finishing an episode. I love it.
  •  a new cookbook called Date Night In. We’ve already declared this the year of date nights at home (hello new baby!) and this book is tailored made for that purpose. Ashley has done all the work of planning out menus, timelines and shopping lists because as a mother of three she knows the reality of making date nights work. It’s a beautiful book with essays about their marriage that made me tear up, more then just post partum emotions. She’s from Seattle and for the personality geeks, Ashley shares the same Ennegram as me which was super fun. I can’t wait to start cooking from this book.
  • a new (to me) Netflix show, I have become enamoured with Gilmore Girls. It hits the sweet spot of an engaging story without too much of anything and is the perfect companion to evening nursing sessions. I also want coffee every time I hear the opening music.

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  • a family book club– I love the idea of focused reading as an addition to our homeschool and was delighted when Jessica approached me about joining in this endeavour. Each month has a theme and three books to read along for various age groups. The titles are great and I’m excited to explore along with my girls through reading. Join in on discussions, reviews and activities with our Facebook group . I’ll be posting more about this in the months to come
  • hoodies, leggings and top knots, I would never leave the house in this uniform but for cozy days around home, comfy clothes that fit my post baby body and make me feel somewhat pulled together make me happy.
  • coffee and chocolate – coffee always makes any short list of happiness but right now I’m especially enjoying a hot mug of husband made coffee. I had gestational diabetes during my pregnancy and it was challenging. I’m enjoying being able to eat sweets again and not think about every morsel of food I put in my mouth.

I’d love to hear what things are adding a little extra sparkle to your days!

 

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Hello. From the Other Side

kieran3

Hello. It’s me. I hope you’re doing well. When I started my blogging hiatus in November, I didn’t think I’d be gone this long and even now, I’m just taking a break from snuggling my littlest one to share our news here.

Kieran Donovan Piper joined our family on January 7, just before midnight. He’s healthy and my happiest baby yet. We’re all so in love and delighting in everything newborn and tiny. The girls can’t stop kissing him and saying how adorable he is. My heart is healing in little newborn kisses and tiny fingers wrapped around mine. I’m so grateful.

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We’re finding our way as a family of five and so thankful for the tremendous support from our families and friends. Both of our moms have flown across the country to love on us through stocking our freezer and pedicures and schooling the girls and hot cups of teas. The winter’s storms haven’t seemed so hard this year but rather an invitation to slow down and savour this fleeting season.

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Someday, sooner then later, I’ll write more and share more of our everyday extraordinary stories on the blog but for now I’ll be soaking up these first weeks with my little man.

Thanks for sharing in all our news, friends, and being part of this lovely community!

XO, Breanne

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November- the month of crimson sunsets, parting birds and rest

“It was November-the month of crimson sunsets, parting birds, deep sad hymns of the sea, passionate wind, songs in the pines.” – L.M. Montgomery

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The trees ringing our backyard are mostly bare, the green grass a mottled carpet of red, brown and orange leaves. There’s a chill in the air, we reach for our woolen hats when we go for a tramp. I light the candles by late afternoon, especially when the fog rolls in. Soup is back in regular rotation, much to my delight, and I’ve made up my master list of autumn meals.

I’ve been more aware of the changing of the seasons this year, probably because I’ve been changing along with them. Autumn has found us quietly getting ready for hibernation and this next season of our life. We’ve been slowly finding new rhythms for this new house and it feels like home now.

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I wanted to write all about that, the settling into a new house, about writing lists when life feels frantic and how an hour outside each day is saving my sanity right now. But I haven’t yet and I probably won’t more then that little sentence. This pregnancy has been my most challenging one thus far- physically and emotionally- and any spare time I have finds me napping, reading or in a burst of energy, batch cooking.

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We started homeschooling this fall and while it doesn’t look like how I envisioned it, it has been a sweet and stretching adventure. Lately we’ve spent our mornings on the couch with books and crayons and notebooks piled around us. In spite of late pregnancy discomfort and my body needing a lot more intentional rest, I’ve been savouring this season with my two girls before their little brother joins the family circus.

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My priorities have shifted a lot in the last few months with physically not being able to do what I anticipated this fall as well as settling into a new house with new routines taking more mental energy. It’s been a good shift but a hard one for me as I’ve had to say no to things I would love to do and focus on very few things this season.

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As much as I love blogging and the community around it, it’s taken a back seat and will continue to do so for a few months until our little guy is here (I’m due shortly after Christmas!) and I’ve found a new groove. Life needs to be slow and simple right now and I’m embracing it for the gift that it is. I’m always on instagram (@breannemosher) and sometimes on facebook , let’s connect there!

I’m in full preparation mode for baby and Christmas so let’s talk about your favourite ways to prepare for this next season!

 

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Quick Lit for October

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared my recent reads on the blog but I’ve been reading a lot. I’m sharing my favourites from the last month or so and our current read aloud. Joining up as always with Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy for quick takes on our latest reads.

 

This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer Smith
I fell hard for Young Adult fiction this summer and clearly my crush isn’t over. It’s the stories as well as the cover art that sucks me in. A mis-typed email address leads to months of correspondence without knowing who is on the other end of the email address which leads to a small town in Maine becoming the site for a movie star’s next movie. He wants to be her friend, she wants to be friends with the guy she knows from her email screen not the silver screen. It’s classic summer romance and the discovery of being friends with someone because you connect with them and not just because their name is in the latest magazine.

 

 

 

Pat of Silver Bush by Lucy Maud Montgomery

I’ve had this classic pair on my list all year and it’s taken me until autumn to really get into them. Pat is similar to other Montgomery heroines in her love of trees and naming special places, her desire for a bosom friend and the heart wrenching grief of disappointment and loss. There’s also shades of every other hired girl in Judy Plum and I find myself wanting to curl up with a morsel from her pantry and a hot fire to read the rest of the book. Pat isn’t the most exciting heroine but it’s a sweet book filled with love of home, family and place.

 

 

Mistress Pat by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Pat is older in this sequel, old enough for beaus and talk of marriage but she has none of it. Her first love is Silver Bush, her second is her family. She has plenty of offers of marriage but she balks at the changes in her own life and those in her siblings’ lives.  The book is divided into years and I enjoyed the passing of time in the book with all the changes that time brings but also an appreciation for the old favourite spots around the house.

 

 

 

Hothouse Flower by Lucinda Riley

I requested this one on a whim and read it within a couple evenings. I’ve learned that I enjoy books that switch between contemporary and historical fiction and this one does not disappoint. An old manor house, a grieving widow and her loving sister meet at an auction where they find memories from their childhood and their grandfather’s orchids. The story switches between cold, dreary England where people marry for their family’s sake and exotic Thailand where recovering POWs fall in love with orchids and a little more. There’s a few weak links in the story but overall, I enjoyed a fresh take on a period of history where manor houses reigned king and a World War brought countries together in the most unlikely ways.

 

On my nightstand:

 

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Every autumn, I like to re-read a favourite series. This year its the Harry Potter series, perfect for curling up with a mug of tea and a cozy blanket. Even though the first few books are more simple in their writing and descriptions, I’m really enjoying the development of the characters.

 

 

 

 

Read Alouds with the girls:

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

After reading a picture book of Alice over and over to my five year old and not loving how simple the story was, I got a slightly abridged edition with fantastic illustrations to read aloud with her. To my surprise, she loves it even though the characters are just as bizarre and mad as I remembered. It’s one of those books that I think everyone should read for its references in today’s culture. It’s prompted some good discussion with my daughter and plenty of laughs over the ridiculous characters.

 

 


What books are your nightstand or in your read aloud collection? Tell me in the comments and then head to Modern Mrs. Darcy for many more titles!

P.S. Clicking on the images takes you to Amazon and I get a little something from your purchases, thanks for supporting this blog!  

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Making the Most of Autumn

Thanks for all your kind comments on my last post, you truly are wonderful readers. 

We were finishing up our second weekend in a row packed with multiple events and calendar commitments and we were running a little on empty. I had been sick all week long and was staring down another new week of not feeling great. We tossed a couple ideas around over the last bit of coffee and toast and decided to just hop in the car, take a new road and find an adventure.

making the most of autumn || this vintage moment

The air was crisp, the sky blue and all the leaves a rainbow of red, gold and green. Autumn is at its finest in Nova Scotia in October but along with the array of colour comes the reminder that Winter is coming and we must make the most of every day.

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We parked the car close to an old boat shed, piled high with lobster traps and mossy antlers, and set off walking. The water to our right at all times and the most glorious green hill to our left. I’ve never been to Scotland but it felt like what those green hills would look like.

making the most of autumn || this vintage moment

We found our way to the water, each of us perching on a giant rock and the girls finding treasures in amongst the stones. It was a sheltered bay, we could see the ocean waves crashing against the rocks on the horizon but the water was calm and clear by us. The trail wound along the coast as far as we could see but work deadlines for Jared called and we made plans to come out again to this secluded spot before the season ended.

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It wasn’t on our calendar but it was exactly what we needed to exhale and refresh ourselves before diving into the days filled with work, school and life.

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