Just wanted to pop in to share with you the fireworks from our local community’s celebration.  They didn’t happen on Canada Day here as it was drizzly and damp out.  But last night was perfect for it and we had lots of people out for them, too!

I brought my camera to snap a few pictures of the fireworks.  I’m not very good and in hind sight, I should’ve had my tripod, but here’s a few of the best ones I managed to get.  Hope you enjoy!

We’re off to enjoy the last day of our long weekend! Hope you do the same!

To be continued,

Lori

 

As we celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, it’s a great time to look at some of the Iconic Canadian things, people and places.  Join me as we do a little search for the well-known symbol of Canada – the Beaver!

When I started the #RedAndWhite campaign with Canadian Tire, the wheels started turning – what would I do?  How could I capture what Canada means to me?  Without travelling across our vast country to do it?

Lena threw the idea out of wrapping the red and white lights around a set of antlers.  I laughed and continued to try to come up with a game plan.  Until I realized she was right.   In a way, anyway.  I needed to showcase some of the things that I love about Canada.  So I started thinking about Iconic Canadian things, people and places.  Then I throw the call out on my Facebook page!

Oh my, I opened a can of worms with that!  It was so neat to see what people responded with.  The random ‘Canadian’ stuff they had and offered up! And so the plan was hatched.  I started a list of Iconic Canadian things.  I thought about the people who make Canada great.  I thought about the objects that speak of Canada.  I thought about the places that make up the landscape of Canada.  And then I thought about a few of the things Canadians are known for.

When you think of Canada, what comes to mind? The Heritage commercials? Blue Rodeo? Canada Geese? Sid the Kid? Our veterans and soldiers? St. Lawrence River? Terry Fox? Niagara Falls? Signal Hill? Bare Naked Ladies? The Northern Lights? Hudson Bay Company? Louisburg? Hockey? The Maple Leaf?  Hayley Wickenheiser? Jann Arden? Baseball? Stuart McLean? Pier 21? Snow? Sheree Fitch? RCMP? Beavertails? Loonies? Ketchup chips? Red dirt of PEI? Shania Twain?

Hang onto your toque, grab your plaid coat and let’s start our search for the most Iconic Canadian things!

First stop, Peggy’s Cove.  Our coastlines are dotted with lighthouses that help our sailors navigate our rocky shorelines.  These lighthouses have been a guide for years and years, guiding our fishermen, our soldiers, our visitors.  Plus, they make of pretty awesome photographs!

The next stop on our search, is not a place, as much as it is a time.  We’re going into the past, to when I was a wee Canadian child.    #99, Wayne Gretzky and Ian Miller with his horse, Big Ben are the sports stars of my childhood { I wasn’t into sports, this is a stretch for me }  but I remember cutting pictures of Wayne Gretzky out of the newspaper and taping them up, I may have had a school-girl crush on him. Anne Murray and Stompin’ Tom Connors come to mind for the music scene, along with Bryan Adams.  And I can’t talk about Canada without mentioning Bob and Doug MacKenzie of the Great White North….ironically I was introduced to them by Americans….too funny…and not a true representation of us…really…we don’t all smoke and drink beer!

As we continue on our search, we need a coffee break, don’t you think?  Let’s just pull into the nearest Tim’s to grab a double double and a donut.  I love that we can say we’re going to Tim’s or Timmy’s and no one asks who Tim is…. What kind of donut would you like?

While searching for Iconic Canadian things, I’d like to mention a few things I wasn’t able to get pictures of…things like the Rocky Mountains, the prairies, the CN Tower in Toronto or Parliament Hill in our nation’s capitol.  These are definitely things one thinks of when Canada is mentioned.  I wasn’t able to find a moose or a polar bear. I had offers of a taxidermy moose, but no beavers.  I looked in some spots where I know beavers lived, but no luck.  And our local town moose has moved on {thankfully}.  So I borrowed a moose antler from a friend and continued searching for the Iconic Canadian Beaver.

As we carry on our search, let’s flip on the radio. Oh, it’s the Tragically Hip. They’re Canadian. But here’s a special fellow who is also Canadian, a huge Hip fan and also a major supporter of Canadian musicians here locally.  Meet Carlton Munroe – he has a history of working on radio and at a local venue where he has brought so many great Canadian musicians to the stage.  He is battling cancer but in true Canadian spirit, remains positive, active and involved.  In fact, he was off to play ball after I snapped this picture.  What a guy!

I’m afraid the next stop is a disappointing one.  I wanted to show you the Bluenose II, I may have mentioned stealing it in the above FB thread, but I was really only kidding.  And then it arrives in Pictou Harbour!  We went to visit it, but alas, the gates were closed and they weren’t letting anyone in!!  So close, yet so far!  I did have the opportunity to board it in the past, but in case you forget what it looks like, find the nearest dime and have a peek!

I do have a boat to show you, though.  This is a Kajait that my friend’s son built for a school project.  And if you are anything like me, you had no idea what it was, but it is an Inuit style of a kayak built typically from wood or bone and covered with animal skin.  Xander built his from wood and leather and it’s pretty awesome!

When I think about Canada and it’s industries, there are 4 that come to mind that rely on our natural resources.  And I have or had ties to all of them at some point in my life, mainly through my upbringing and through Michael.  I grew up on a dairy farm in rural Nova Scotia so agriculture is a big one for me.  The area where I live is coastal, too, so fishing is a huge part of life around here. Michael spent many early mornings and late nights out on the water.  The forestry and mining industries are the other two, and if you look across the landscape of this country, you’ll find all four and regions where the people rely on these industries for their livelihood.

Another tasty natural resource of this great country is our Maple Syrup! I can’t talk about Canada and not mention our maple syrup!  It’s the perfect topping for so many things – obviously pancakes but add it to your coffee, top your grilled cheese with it, drizzle it over your sausages, mix it into your baked beans and whip cream and pour it over your ice cream.  Yep, pretty Canadian that maple syrup!  So let’s make maple flavoured everything – cookies, marshmallows, vodka, fudge, bacon, coffee, donuts…

And since we’re talking about food again, we need to mention poutine.  That’s pretty Canadian, eh? Now, I’m not a huge fan of poutine because I’m not fond of gravy.  But I know people LOVE their poutine.  Donair poutine. Classic poutine. Lobster poutine. Bacon poutine.  Sweet Potato Poutine.  Just make mine light on the gravy…. And should I bring up seafood chowder? Classic!

Of course lobster is pretty Canadian, especially on the East Coast.  We hit the wharf but the fisherman were all home for the day.  So, we settled for this lovely old wooden lobster trap.  The particular stop is also at one of other things that we’re known for – our great beaches.  But, alas, no beavers.

We’ve covered some ground, had some fun looking at some of the things Canada is known for. And, finally, at the end of the search, I came across a beaver.  But not just any beaver.  But a pretty amazing little beaver.  This beaver symbolizes the future of Canada.  Our country is only as great as the people who live here and call it home.  And as a parent, it is my hope and prayer that we are raising up little people who treasure our great nation and will stand for everything Canadian, now and into the coming years.  But it is up to us to teach and guide them.  So, put on your #RedAndWhite, grab your family and neighbours and celebrate our nation today and always!

To be continued,

Lori

I was provided with some of the items in this post by Canadian Tire for the #RedAndWhite Campaign and the Letterboard Company but my take on things is just that!

 

 

 

  • Catherine Moore - July 1, 2017 - 7:41 pm

    Wonderful article Lori. Your words come alive and bring a smile. Cool that you have our grandson’s Xander’s Kajait on display. How lucky and blessed we are to be Canadian!ReplyCancel

  • Beth - July 1, 2017 - 8:26 pm

    Hey, I’ve seen that little beaver at SES!ReplyCancel

    • lori@farmfreshstyle.ca - July 7, 2017 - 1:51 pm

      Cutest one there, right?ReplyCancel

  • mary chaisson - July 6, 2017 - 4:59 pm

    and your take was just perfectly youReplyCancel

This is not a math lesson, this is a lesson in comparison and how I feel about where I am.  And why you need to reassess where you think you are, too.

All too often we compare ourselves to those around us. And in these days of social media and phones by our sides all day, every day, it’s always staring us right in the face; a digital reminder og where we are at in the grand scheme of life.

We are bombarded by everyone’s best version of themselves, shown through the filters of Instagram and Facebook.  The neatly styled corners of their homes, wardrobes, work and life.  And its hard not to compare. Really hard.  Someone else’s vacation was better than where we went, their house is bigger, prettier and more current.  Her wardrobe looks so good on her thin frame and their car is newer, fancier and better.  She seems to be going places in her career, that Facebook page has more followers and her Instagram post has way more engagement than mine.  See? We are constantly fed a filtered glimpse into other people’s lives.

This has been on my mind lately.  I looked at my shower floor the other morning and wondered if other people have a hairball, clumps of soggy soap and a razor begging for attention.  The kitchen is barely functional for the stuff piled on every available horizontal surface.  The laundry is gathering wrinkles in the back bedroom while I frantically get my children out the door, hoping they have what they need for their field trip to the beach.  Greeting me outside is a lawn that could be made into a hay field, shutters that need to be painted and a barn that is crying for some tidying and a good sweep.  This is my reality.  I barely have time to take it in as I scurry to get myself out the door for the day.  Throw into that a blog hop with fellow bloggers that I yet again managed to mess up and social media posts that seem to be flopping.

But what did I show you? A peaceful scene on a beach from a month ago. Not my kitchen, not my yard.  Certainly not my shower floor.  I didn’t show you my reality. So, really, what you saw wasn’t real.  It’s what I’m choosing to put out there for the world to see.  I show you the pretty while the reality or behind the scenes is very real and not at all pretty. AND WE ALL DO IT! And accept everyone’s posts as their reality.  But is it? No. It isn’t.

There are times that I feel like I am doing a half-assed job of 20 things and not giving 100% to any one task at hand.  Not my mothering, not my work, not my home, not my friends and not even me.  But I see how well everyone else manages to get through life…or appears to…

So, where does this leave me? I could wallow in my ‘less than’ and self-pity.  And yes, I have let myself put my head down and have a little cry but I don’t stay there.  I am more than my house or my blog or the number on the scale or the number of followers on any given social media platform or the balance of my bank account or the items crossed off (or not crossed off) my to-do list.  I am more than what I find in those comparisons.

That elusive word ‘Balance’ comes into play.  How do I find that balance in my current stage of life/family/career?  I let go of some of the things and I hold tighter to others.  I prioritize, I make lists and I seek out help.  I realize that where I am today is because of my yesterdays and not where I need to be tomorrow.  What my reality is today doesn’t mean I’m tied to that for tomorrow.  I have a choice every morning, every day, every minute of where I want to be.  Maybe not physically but for sure mentally.  I can let comparison steal my joy or I can be thankful for where I am today.

Where am I today? Well, let’s have a look, shall we?  Two years ago I didn’t have a blogging tribe to even do a hop with.  I may not be my ideal weight but I’m healthy. My children are wonderful little humans whose company  I enjoy and they’re healthy, too.  My husband makes me smile and I know without a doubt he loves me. I enjoy my house, mess and all.  I have friends and family who offer their support and friendship to me on a daily basis.  And I’m carving out time for myself to grow creatively and artistically.

And dear readers and followers, please don’t compare your today to my today.  We are all at different places and stages in our lives.  I’m not less than nor am I more than you.  You are not less than nor are you more than me.  I am me, living my best life with where I am today, so you best be you, living your best life. And my gifts and talents are not your gifts and talents.

Someone said, in one of the podcasts I’ve been listening to, not to compare your Chapter 1 with someone else’s Chapter 15.  We are all at different stages and places in this journey of life.  Wake up each day determined to do the best you can with what you have to work with.  And if you feel like you failed today, try again tomorrow.  Every day can’t be filled with sunshine and lollipops, but remember the sun does shine again after the rain.

“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it, it just blooms” ~ Zen Shin

I share pictures of my life as seen through my lens.  I tend to shoot close.  There are two reasons I shoot close.  One being that, yes, it hides the background and usually the mess.  I’m not going to lie, I hide the messy bits of my life on social media.  The other reason is so we/I can focus on the little details and take joy in them.  The swirl of frost, the curve of a petal, the freckles dancing across a cheek bone.  If I trust you with my reality, I’ll span out.  I’ll show you the soggy soap and the shaggy lawn.  Those messy bits are there, trust me.  Just like I know that you have them, too, and I hope you have people in your life that you can trust with those bits, too.  Your real bits of reality, the messy parts, the hurt and scarred bits.  Find your people and let them love you.

To be continued,

Lori

 

 

 

 

 

  • mary chaisson - June 26, 2017 - 11:06 pm

    I so love this one Lori… and you are right…we all do it…compare ourselves to others and often find ourselves lacking… I am a bad one for that…I look at others and think all of those same things you mentioned and it sometimes takes me days to stop and think of all the love and joy I have in my life..and how blessed I am b/c of them…I am getting better at stopping those thoughts now..but every now and again I run across something like this post….and it helps put things into perspective…thank youReplyCancel

  • JB - June 27, 2017 - 7:46 am

    Thank you for this. On tough days we have a rule at my house, name three things you’re grateful for (quickly!). Some days it’s really hard. We look at each other and say “I don’t have leprosy” which always makes us laugh and then I AM grateful. My laundry is rarely folded, and I am lucky to have a husband who could care less about the bathroom (as long as it is working!). Sometimes I win…and sometimes the farm does. I guess that’s only fair! And if you’d like to have that “hay” baled we can supply several grateful recipients!ReplyCancel

  • Renee - June 27, 2017 - 12:39 pm

    Thanks for sharing this Lori. I love your message, it is so important. I try not to compare, but look for inspiration instead. And you have done just that with your words above. I hope you having a fabulous day, just as you are.ReplyCancel

  • Cathy Moore - June 27, 2017 - 2:21 pm

    Beautifully written Lori… you hit the nail on the head… truly a gift to see and understand what is, is and yes we hide our bits and pieces… Proud you claimed the truth.ReplyCancel

  • Lana MacEachern - June 27, 2017 - 10:33 pm

    Beautiful, wise words from a beautiful, wise soul.ReplyCancel

  • […] Source: Less Than…More Than….. » Farm Fresh Style […]ReplyCancel

  • Reg. - July 2, 2017 - 5:09 pm

    Beautiful post! I love the honesty and wisdom you are sharing.ReplyCancel

  • Sylvia Estey - July 6, 2017 - 10:39 pm

    Love this! Love the bits. I have people who I can trust with all that and more and I need to remember that. Thank you my friend. This came just when I needed it. Love you 😘ReplyCancel

    • lori@farmfreshstyle.ca - July 7, 2017 - 1:51 pm

      Love you back, lady!!! ReplyCancel

A meeting at the fabulous Oceanstone Seaside Retreat with the East Coast Mom Media was a no-brainer…I had seen so many posts about the wonderful place from my fellow bloggers that I didn’t want to miss out!  Join me as I show you my day and then hop over via the links at the end of the post to see their take on the day!

Oceanstone Resort has been on my list of places I wanted to explore after I saw all the beautiful posts that my fellow bloggers had shared on social media.  So when the next East Coast Mom Media workshop was being hosted at Oceanstone, I knew I wanted to be there!  Not only to explore, but to connect and to learn, too. So, I shuffled my schedule, booked a carpool buddy and we hit the road for Oceanstone a couple weeks back.

First off, when selecting your carpool buddy, pick someone who is energetic, willing to grab coffee first and who is game for pit stops at iconic Nova Scotia sights.  This trip my carpool buddy was Sara of Dashboard Living based in Truro.  You need to check out their blog!  She was great company, very inspiring and encouraging!

So we roll in and wander down the path to the main lodge and meet up with the group of other bloggers.  Lizzie from Oceanstone greets us with a warm welcome and we go on tour of the nearby restaurant, Rhubarb, and some of the sweet cabins and rooms available to stay in there.  I’ll let the cabins themselves tell you how adorable and well thought out they are!

I mean, seriously, right?  I could stay in any one of the spaces we looked at.  Some are tucked along the ocean and some are tucked among the trees and paths.

Here’s some shots of the grounds, again, equally as charming as the cabins.

After our tour, we made our way back into the main building.  I couldn’t help but snap a couple of pictures of the sitting area by the reception – doesn’t this make for a warm welcome?

Oceanstone made us feel so welcomed and spoiled, we got a cooking lesson from their chef, who was not only a great chef, he was very entertaining and personable….now if only I could remember his name…Steve maybe? Hmmm…..apparently I need to take better notes. Anyway, he got us involved, this next photo shows Thanh of Love and Sundays and Kayla of Short Presents slaving away over a hot stove….er, cutting up veg for the salad.  They fed us an incredible meal, along with a tasty dessert and had drinks set up for us all day long, too.  Seriously, they treated us so well!

This is what happens when you get a bunch of bloggers with smokin’ social media in a room….photos of the food before we eat the food!

After our tasty lunch, we got down to business.  Blogging business, actually.  The East Coast Media Moms, Erin of DIY Passion and Colleen of Curtains are Open, lead us as we discussed Content Planning and  Scheduling. { Sidenote: I’m writing this at 5:30am and the post is due to go live at 7am…I think I need to take our talks to heart and look at the calendar and plan my content and time more wisely… }  As always, the discussions are lively, interesting and humourous and we may have gone off the beaten path a few times, too.  But I learn so much from my fellow bloggers, they are so supportive and willing to guide and help.  I feel like I’ve learned more in the past year or so than the previous 4 years of my blogging.

These types of events are so great.  To be able to explore new places and learn new skills, or hone the ones we have, is so important.  Plus getting spoiled while hanging out with bloggers who have become friends is win-win all around.  Jennifer of Simple Local Life is especially dear to me, so any time we can meet in the middle-ish and chat is a good day in my books!

Before we knew it, it was time to go again.  All goods things must come to an end, I guess.  I love that one of the last things we did was take the little jars that Lizzie from Oceanstone left for us and wander down to the beach, looking for tiny treasures to tuck inside to remember our time at the charming Oceanstone Resort.  It was the perfect way to wrap up our time!

They also sent us away with a bag of goodies, too, and when I say goodies, I’m not even kidding!  Hello, I mean Lure Caramels, a s’more kit, Fisherman soap and a sweet hand written note!  I’m telling you they spoiled us!

As we rolled out of Oceanstone Resort, Sara and I took a right and headed to the iconic Peggy’s Cove as it’s so close by and I think it’s a rule that if you are that close, you have to stop, right? It’s so stunning.

From experiences to learning to run my blog better to chatting with new and old friends, these ECM Workshops are a win in my books.  I’m so thankful for businesses who see the value in what we do and are willing to host us and for fellow bloggers who are willing to invest their time in us, coaching and teaching and offering opportunities – what a great day!

Be sure to follow the other links to see what the other bloggers who I hung out with have to say about their time exploring and learning at Oceanstone!

To be continued,

Lori

I was provided this opportunity to explore Oceanstone through their generosity and through East Coast Mom Media but my take on it is just that!


  • Renee - June 23, 2017 - 1:07 pm

    Lori it is always a pleasure being in your company. I loved reliving the day through your post.ReplyCancel

  • Crystal - June 23, 2017 - 9:34 pm

    I totally stopped by Peggy’s Cove before heading back home too! It’s a must!

    It was so great meeting you 🙂ReplyCancel

With the big celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, preparations must be done!  Thanks to Canadian Tire, I have some extra goodies to decorate and have fun with!

Celebrating Canada Day is always fun and we usually try to do something special to mark the day. But this year, as it is a big one, I feel the need to do something EXTRA special!  Clearly, a 150th birthday is something worthy of a grand gesture. { You can read what we did last year HERE }

So, I started to think – what would I do? Would I make something? Decorate a space up? How would I, Lori of Farm Fresh Style, mark this occasion.  And when I came up blank, I did what any mom would do….I asked my kids.  And I’ll admit that at first I chuckled at Lena’s response…until I really saw the merit of her idea!! And then the wheels started turning and a plan was hatched!! A plan I’m super excited about…as in foolishly excited about…. 🙂

But, before I tell you anything about my plan, you need to see what was in the box! I did a Facebook Live with Hannah helping me.  You can watch it on my Facebook page HERE.  { After we finished, Hannah asked me to record her as she talked about the flag in our box!!  Too cute!! }

So, here’s the pretty red box.  I love red….but I’ll bet you knew that already.  And know what else I love?  Surprises!!!  Well, some surprises…not like a blind mouse in my glove box kinda surprise but a big red box of goodies kinda surprise….  I knew a couple of the things that were coming in the box, but they added some extra goodies, too!

Inside they had 2 sets of the Red and White lights which I will wrap around my porch or fence after I finish my secret mission.   They were even generous enough to send 2 extra sets for our local community’s Canada 150 celebrations!!!  How great is that!?!?!?

There is a Canadian Flag, which I’m really excited about.  I’ve never owned a flag before.  How sad is that! I’m trying to decide where it’ll go, I have a few ideas….you’ll have to wait to see.  I love that the package even says its suitable for windy locations….it’s certainly windy here and I can’t even imagine how much more so in other spots across this country! My friend was recently at Signal Hill in Newfoundland….’nough said?

The softest t-shirt arrived for me, too, along with a handy dandy flashlight.  I think that you can never have enough of either.  Comfy t-shirts and bright flashlights.  And ones all decked out with maple leaves are even better.

And a fun little extra they threw in was a gift card to Canadian Tire.  That was so unexpected!  I wonder what I’ll buy with it….knowing me, spray paint or something like that!  Or maybe I should get something for the Veranda, or plants for the yard. Or outside toys for the girls, maybe? Hmmmmm, or wander the aisles and decide?

So, I’m going to be working on my little project here over the next week or so, you’ll have to stay tuned on Instagram, Twitter, my Facebook Page to see little bits and pieces of what I’m working on.  But I’ll give you the hint of Iconic Canadian and that’s all… { And feel free to comment with some Iconic Canadian things and people for me to use for the final post!! }

To be continued,

Lori

I was provided with this kit by Canadian Tire but my take on it all is just that!

  • mary chaisson - June 22, 2017 - 3:39 pm

    Terri Fox…light houses…maple syrup…Rcmp…beavers…hockey…inukshuk…igloo… loonies/toonies….maple leaf… there are many iconic Canadian symbols…loggers..Hudson Bay…Great LakesReplyCancel

  • Linda G - June 23, 2017 - 5:35 pm

    Moose, beaver, maple syrup, toboggan, hockey sticks & pucks, curling, canoe, Canada Goose, northern lightsReplyCancel