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Meet Vanessa Norris!

Hi everyone! Kyla here…I’m happy to welcome a new contributor to the Peaks & Harbours team, my dear friend Vanessa Norris. Vanessa is an amazing mom to two girls, a kick-ass high school Science teacher and passionate environmentalist. So without further ado, please welcome Vanessa!


What does it mean to spend a year at home with a baby and toddler?

I have finally accepted that I am clinging on to the last few threads of my second maternity leave with white knuckles and a raw heart.

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Sans Social Media Saturday.

In my endless quest to find balance between technology and sanity – without moving off-grid to start my own self-sustainable textile/veggie farm – I have begun to institute Sans Social Media Saturday. No instagram, no facebook, no websites, no email…

I’ve had a grand total of ONE of these Saturdays. Apparently I was firmly stuck in the procrastination station, because although I’ve had this idea for months, I just instituted it last weekend.

So how’d it go, you ask?

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Chocolate chips and chardonnay

Phew, what a day! No telling what has been the culprit but lets just say I’m glad the day is over, and I’m even more glad for wine and chocolate chips. I’m guessing that this wave of ‘je ne sais quoi” might have a little something to do with having stepped outside of my comfort zone this week.

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How My Computer Put Me In The Hospital

Rest assured faithful readers, this is not a click bait adΒ (Bree and I haven’t lost our minds) that you might see on other “news” sites. No, this is a real-honest-to-goodness-true-life-experience by yours truly. In fact, as I sat on a hospital bed at Mount St. Joseph’s a few days ago, clutching the thin blue gown that barely concealed my nether regions, I had to force myself to take seriously the words of the doctor as he explained to me that the reason I’d been having concussion-like symptoms was actually due to “too much screen time” and not a brain aneurism like my anxiety convinced myself it was.

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Tracking Happiness: that time I cried over food.

Finn and I were holding onto each other as the ferry pitched side to side, the view out the window oscillating between: sky, water, sky, water. As inevitably happens in these types of situations, I immediately started planning our heroic escape from a possibly sinking ship – I would abandon my laptop and our clothes to use our backpack to somehow strap Finn to my body and swim safely to shore in the freezing waters. Passengers screamed around us, a man sitting beside us filmed the chaos on his phone, and I shrieked silently inside as I stroked Finn’s head and told her we’d be fine.

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Single-tasking your way to sanity: how to get a good night’s sleep

I wrote about this a while ago – how I’ve had to admit to myself that I’m a terrible multi-tasker; however, I have to insist that this is actually not a bad thing. Often when you’re multi-tasking, say at work or with your kids, you are not fully present in any of the things you’re trying to do simultaneously. When you’re single-tashing, you’re focusing on that one thing fully, rather than a diluted way. While it’s been a long road in trying to peel myself away from such ingrained habits (always juggling 10 things at a time), I’ve had huge success where I have managed to pare down and be more present – one of those areas is: sleep.

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