A New Home for the Holidays

Hello from the other side of the Montreal-to-Halifax journey.

It’s been quiet here on the blog, mainly because over the past month we packed up a truck with all of our belongings and moved our three kids and two cats to an ocean province. For those just tuning it, it was a lifestyle move, a conscious step to slow down and refocus in a place that truly values family over ambition.

I’ve been waiting for inspiration to strike and the right words to explain how much this journey from homestead to seashore means to us. I’m still not quite there yet, but I wanted to give an update, especially for the kind readers who have messaged and emailed to check in. Thank you for sharing our excitement and joy.

Yes we’re here in Nova Scotia! And we’re slowly getting settled before the holidays. Every morning we wake up, look out over the water and breathe a sigh of contentment. We can’t quite believe our dream has come true, after so many months of waiting.

I feel like I could write a whole book just on the waiting part. It is sometimes so much harder to sit still and trust than to take a leap of faith. I’m such a woman of action – I am always ready to say yes to new adventures – but I discovered that I am not so good at being patient or waiting for the right time to step out.

In the end though, we bought a cozy cottage on an acre of land just 15 minutes outside of Halifax. It’s on a beautiful, quiet lake, where we have big dreams for a dock wide enough to run a table down the middle and host dinner on the dock. Will dock dinners replace my harvest dinners of summer’s past? Only time will tell.

Our new neighbourhood is the perfect mix of community and country, with schools close by and a little farmers market I can walk to for fresh fish, veggies, good coffee and bread. There’s apparently a microbrewery in the plans for the street; and across the lake, a provincial park sprawls with all-season walking trails in all directions.

More than physical beauty, though, it already feels like we have more margin in our lives. More space. The simple fact that the Maritime provinces don’t deal with city traffic – that alone adds hours (yes, hours) to our days.

The Atlantic ocean is just twenty minutes away and you can take your pick of white sand beaches, quaint fishing villages or rugged coastline trails. We love them all and can’t wait to explore every corner of this beautiful province starting with wineries, lighthouses and exquisite ocean views.

Lobster season started this week in our area – I may say that casually, but really, I can’t believe that this is how I get to eat local now. Lobster fettuccine, lobster Cobb salad, and lobster rolls are all in our immediate future.

I’m not sure how many interior photos I’ll share (or if you are even interested), as the home feels a bit sacred – private – right now. There are still boxes everywhere, yet it feels like a hygge home from top to bottom.

I will share this view from my little writing office, though. It’s a space just big enough to hold a small desk, a bookshelf and one chair – but that lake view! So far, it has been inspiring, even in the grey month of November.

Nova Scotiaian readers, please drop me a note to say hello ( aimee @ simplebites dot net) I am feeling a tad alone in this new place, although I’m sure it won’t be long before I find my community. Food has a way of connecting us all.

Readers, you can follow my Maritime adventures on Instagram @aimeeofns where I promise to post more than just lobster. 🙂

Have a beautiful countdown to the holidays. xox Aimée

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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  1. So wonderful!! I do hope we will get a peek at your
    Kitchen! ❤

  2. Welcome to Nova Scotia! You’ll love it here and we’re glad to have you!

  3. So glad to have you as nearly neighbors! Beautiful words. Xo

  4. Thank you for sharing, can’t wait to hear more. We’re thinking of a similar change ourselves and it’s nice to watch the journey taken by others. Enjoy these days.

  5. I was just wondering where you were in this journey! Congratulations on finding your new home. It sounds lovely, and I look forward to whatever you decide to share here.

  6. So happy for you guys! I’ve always wanted to visit the Maritimes.

  7. I am so happy for all of you. It looks as if you’ve landed in a perfect wonderland. Truth be told, I’m also so jealous. The Maritimes felt like home to me from the start. My heart pines for the Canadian coast and I hope I’ll have a chance to visit you one of these days! There’s also a great blogging community in Halifax, so I know it won’t be long until you find your people. Sending love and my very warmest wishes for the holidays.

    • Elizabeth, you and yours are welcome anytime. There’s actually a cool little CAT ferry that runs from Maine to Yarmouth, NS, so it’s really accessible for the US Eastern seaboard.
      Thanks for your well wishes – I know you’re happy for us. xo

  8. Welcome to Nova Scotia!! Glad you and your family are enjoying everything so far! Lobster season is one of the yummiest seasons! Lol.

  9. Don’t forget to cross on the Sydney ferry to Newfoundland. The food here is good too.
    Also, if you are in the Greenwood area, there is a fish and chip place called Pearl’s that is worth the trip.

  10. Christina Wilson says

    Thanks for sharing, I quite enjoy reading what you write. Congratulations on your new home and province! Although I am a born and raised BC’er, I did my undergraduate degree at Acadia University and have a place in my heart for Nova Scotia. I wish you and your family all the very best as you discover your new home. And look forward to reading about your adventures! My warmest wishes for a happy Christmas. ?

    • Thanks for reading, Christina. It’s amazing how many people feel the pull of Nova Scotia after spending time here. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  11. Ariel Vallis says

    Welcome at last, Aimee! We are cozy on a country road in Kings County, down in the Annapolis Valley. I am sure you will be down this way with your family before too long – Luckett Vinyards, Lightfoot & Wolfville, The Wolfville Farmers Market, Just Us Coffee & Roaster, Dempsey’s U-Pick and the Union Street Cafe may interest you… my SIL is a bread baker at The Old Apothecary, downtown Halifax and she recommends checking out the IG account @coffeehalifax. Best of luck with unpacking and settling in. Maybe we will cross paths one day! Xo

    • Love that list, Ariel. Great recommendations, thank you. And yes, would love to meet up sometime.

    • We are in the Annapolis Valley as well! I’ll add North Mountain Coffee (Berwick), the Aylesford Zoo, Hello Handmade craft boutique in Berwick (with local goods), Jonny’s burgers & ice cream also in Berwick. Cocoa Pesto at the Woodshire Inn, the Wolfville farmer’s market. Basically I wish I lived in Berwick instead of where I actually live haha.

  12. Thanks for the update! I was wondering how you were doing and loved seeing where you’ve made your new home!

  13. Thanks for the update. I sm so excited for you and inspired! I have a good friend that is moving from Montreal as well to go to NS – so it seems to be a “thing!” I hope the children are doing well and that all the major adjustments luke school and work go smoothly. I am sure this move will be your dream cone true and more! Congratulations!!!!

  14. John Popovich says

    Thanks for the update. I was raised in Cape Breton and
    Have a sister in Dartmouth. I think you will find
    Your place there. Best of luck and best of the upcoming season.

  15. Thanks for the news, hopefully the move went smoothly. All our moves have been during the winter months. Can be tricky as Mother Nature can dish out some interesting weather. How are the children adjusting to their new schools? Your husband? Don’t worry about the boxes, after 10 years I still have some left to empty. Has been a task on my New Years resolution list for the last 9 years! Best Wishes for the Holiday season. Keep those lobster recipes coming.

  16. Best wishes to you & your family in your new home. It looks wonderful. All that gorgeous scenery to take in. I have been to the east coast once many years ago. It would be nice to see it again but it may not be in the cards for me. I’m sure you will feel right at home before too long & be hosting your lovely dinners for friends & family.

  17. Ellen Tresidder says

    Like others, I was so glad to read your update and savor those beautiful photos. What a lovely place you and your family have chosen. Wishing you all the best as you settle in. Happy Holidays and looking forward to future posts.

  18. This is awesome! Congrats to you and your family!! The place looks absolutely lovely and peaceful!! I can’t wait to see more photos! Happy Holidays to you and your family!!

  19. I am so happy for you! I adore Nova Scotia and I long to see your home when/if you want to share it.

    • Thanks Elizabeth! You’re not along, so I’ll try to make a home tour happen at some point when the boxes are gone and the walls are no longer bare. 🙂

  20. Congratulations! Enjoy your new home and the beautiful natural environment around you. Your heart must be singing joyful songs! (PS you must visit “the Valley” in apple blossom time and hike Blomidon/Cape Split…)

  21. shawnna Griffin says

    hey girl- great post! I would love to visit! It looks so pretty up there. I’m way down here in Oklahoma! You and your family are so blessed. God is good!

  22. It looks like you are getting settled in your new home and new town. It looks so lovely there. Your pictures are just stunning! And yes, I’d also love a peek inside your new, cottage kitchen!

  23. Chantal Vaillancourt says

    I loved reading this. My heart almost exploded. So happy to have been part of this transition for you xoxo

    • Thank you so much for aaaallllll your help. You were a key part of the process and certainly eased the transition significantly. PS> Come visit anytime.

  24. A trip to Halifax and PEI this fall has turned me into a believer and I dream of making myself your neighbor. Thanks for giving me permission to make life changes by your example.

  25. Jody Hoover says

    Just found your blog. Signed up for email also. What was the reason for moving to Nova Scotia. I understand that you previously lived on a homestead. I am so interested in raising veggies and doing things from scratch. I am 65 and want to raise my own. talk with you later and best of luck on your journey.

  26. Gloria Bourque -Warren says

    I just saw your cookbook in my Lee Valley book…..and your name caught my attention as well….I also am a Bourque….and have a much younger cousin named Danny. I can hardly wait for your cookbook to arrive. I am in Ontario now, but was born in the Magdalen Islands, I really love the east coast. Good luck in all your endeavors. Gloria Bourque-Warren

    • Thanks for the support, Gloria! Yes, there are quite a few Bourques out this way. Hope you can get back for a visit to the East Coast soon. xo

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