Thursday, June 30, 2016

Cliff Family Reunion

On Monday, Haig started work at his new job so I got to hang out with Rachel and Kent for most of the day! I showed them around town and we did some shopping. I wish we lived closer to this super cool couple because I'm sure we would hang out all the time! When Haig was off work we put some stuff together to head out to Cavendish. We were so busy, hot and sweaty that we decided to skip waiting for the rest of the family to meet us in Charlottetown and go to the beach instead. We didn't get to Brackley beach until maybe 5:00, but it was perfect weather to take a dip in the ocean after a long hot day! Kent, I'm sorry I have to bring this up but I can't believe it was your first time swimming at a beach! I don't know what I would do without the beach in my life, it's part of who I am.

We got changed at the park and headed out to the cottages in Cavendish where most of the Cliff family greeted us. It was so great to meet new faces and people that my husband admires. We got some dinner ready the first night and mingled. Aunt Sally have Granny a beautiful t-shirt quilt that she had made especially for her! It was really cool to see the shirts that everyone sent to represent themselves. I sent a PEI diet shirt and Haig sent an East Coast Lifestyle t-shirt.

On Tuesday, Haig and I both had to work all day. When we got off work we went home to get changed and went out to the cottages. Tuesday night we had 40s Era night and also an unbirthday party! The night was lot of fun and we also had a really nice bonfire! My sister even came out on Tuesday night to see the craziness that we were up to! 

On Wednesday I was off work, but Haig still had to work for the next two days. I decided I would stay in town and wait for him to be off work instead of spending the whole day out there. I needed to do some grocery shopping and some cleaning around the house. I also took a nap and watched a show. When I picked Haig up from work, we decided to take our time getting ready because some of the family was still doing some things in town. We were also staying for the next two nights so we had some packing to do. On Wednesday night we had a fun bonfire and got to know each other a little more. Haig and I slept in the same cabin as Granny and Uncle Richard in our own room. Haig was not impressed with the double, uncomfortable bed, but hey it was only for two nights!

When we woke up on Thursday morning, Haig got ready to go in town for work and I got ready to spend the day with family. The weather looked somewhat unpredictable, but it ended up being gorgeous all day long! We started our day by going to The Toy Factory and then the Preserve Company. I bought two pieces of coconut cream pie from the restaurant to share with my husband later. When we got back to the cabins we made some lunch and made plans to go to shining waters in the afternoon. I was having a really hard time deciding if I wanted to go or not. I felt really bad that Haig was at work on this gorgeous day and that I was spending time with his family doing fun things. I missed him a lot. After some support and encouragement from mom, I went and put my bathing suit on and everyone else got ready to go. It was a really nice afternoon and I am glad that I at least tried to enjoy it as much as I could. I was so happy to see my husband when we got home to the cabins. He had been there for a little while so he took a swim with some of the cousins. In the evening after supper we took our family pictures at Cavendish Beach.

Friday morning was kind of a blur, saying goodbye to family and helping our family get ready packed and ready to go. Our family would still be spending the next week together and I was sad we would not be with them. We helped them as much as we could and we made our way back into town around 11:00. We stopped at my parent's house to go to a Canada Day BBQ with them, and then we headed home so I could get ready to go to work.

WHAT A FUN (and busy) WEEK IT WAS. I am so glad that I could meet all of these lovely people celebrating Granny's 70th Birthday. I hope we can all be together again someday.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Family Family Family

Hello! We just had one crazy week with our friends and family. It was such a blast. It all started last weekend when Haig and I went over to Nova Scotia on Friday afternoon. We waited at the house for Rachel and Kent's arrival from Alberta only to find out they went out to dinner with mom and dad, so we hurried over to the restaurant they were having supper at to eat with everyone. It was so good to see Rachel and Kent (or Rent and Kachel as I mistakenly called them a couple times leading up to the weekend). We have not seen them for almost a year and what a year it has been for the both of us! On Friday night we hung out with our family as everyone was pretty relaxed and tired from a long warm day. 

On Saturday morning my sweet husband took me to the temple. I took a family name for the first time and it was a really great experience for me and did really inspire me to do more family history work. After the temple, we stopped to visit with my friend Jocelyn because we was doing some work in town that day. We also visited with Samantha and Jacob Moses and their new baby boy Skyler. He was so cute and I was happy to have some snuggles with a new born baby. I had a nap in the afternoon and we had supper with our family in the evening. Rachel, Mom and I went to visit with the Misner family who also just welcomed a new baby, Hazel. More baby snuggles, yes please! We also went grocery shopping for the meals and snacks we would be taking to PEI for the week! 

Haig and I had a fumble in the evening because earlier in the night he smashed his iPhone. I was not happy about this because it was the second time it had happened and because we just paid off the phone. Luckily for us, a couple days later we remembered that he did buy Apple Care with the phone and a box is in the way for us to send it away to be fixed!

Sunday was such a great day I'm so glad we could attend church as a big family. We took up a whole row! Right after our first church meeting, Rachel, Kent, Haig and I got changed and drove to the ferry in Pictou! We made it just in time for the boat that was crossing at 2:45pm. I was so excited as we drove off the boat when we got home to PEI especially because we had Rachel and Kent with us. I hope they did really enjoy their vacation here! We had some dinner with them and a lovely evening of catching up and playing some games. 

Lots more to come about the Cliff Family Reunion 2016!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016


I have always loved the Body Shop and the products they carry, but in all honesty, I stopped using them for a couple of years just because I found other products that I wanted to try. When my acne started to come back in full force, I did a lot of research about natural skin care products that also help the environment. That's when I decided to give THE BODY SHOP a try again. The company makes products that they can be proud of, using raw ingredients to create products that are safe for skin while keeping the planet in mind. Their products are 100% vegetarian, are not tested on animals, packaging that reduces waste and the stores even conserve on electricity by using LED lights!!!

They also have a great rewards card called Love Your Body. This program gives you 10% off any purchase, $10 reward on your birthday, accumulating points towards more rewards and exclusive member events and offers. I signed up for a new card today ($10) and I got a free eye shadow and cosmetic bag.

The sales associate that helped me today in Charlottetown was wonderful. I told her the skin problems I have been dealing with and she did not judge me in any way! She offered great suggestions for my blemished and combination skin. Today I purchased the Tea Tree Oil Skin Clearing Foaming Cleanser to wash my face with everyday. I love the smell of tea tree oil, but sometimes I find it can be a little overwhelming for my face, but also very refreshing. I will also be trying out the Seaweed Pore-Cleansing Exfoliator to be used about once or twice a week. I haven't been using anything to exfoliate so I hope this helps! I also purchased the Seaweed Oil Control Overnight Gel. I have been waking up with super oily skin so I also hope this helps. I will write some reviews in a couple weeks after trying out these products, but for now I just wanted to share them with everyone!  

Friday, June 24, 2016

weekend getaway

I'm pretty excited for a weekend off island! I think sometimes I feel like we are all stuck here, it's nice to get away for a little while. I've talked to Islanders who have never been to Nova Scotia or sometimes New Brunswick and I'm honestly shocked! I think it would be so strange to never have opportunities to travel off island. Don't get me wrong, I love my home and I love that I can call myself an Islander and that my husband moved here for us to start our life together, but I need to travel every so often, especially to see family, friends and the people we care about!

This week was alright. I got my hair cut, you can read more about it on my previous post. On Wednesday we had our car into he shop to learn more about a noise it is making. We just spent about $300 getting something fixed and to get it registered for the year, and now we will have to spend another $500 to get something else fixed! I guess that's the problem of buying an older car. Haig got a new job, so we know his schedule for next week and we are both looking forward to this new opportunity for him. Haig also finished up his spring course and hopefully he will have his grade sometime next week. 

We celebrated Kayla's 21st BIRTHDAY a little bit early. We took over a deep and delicious McCain's cake and hung out with her before she was going to meet up with some church friends. We will be away this weekend and she will be in Alberta later next week so we won't be seeing much of each other. I'm so happy to celebrate another birthday with my not so baby sister! I gave her Taylor Swift's 1989 on vinyl and some other things I knew she would like! Kayla is going to have one great year, I just know it!

Today we are leaving to go to Nova Scotia until Sunday. Rachel and Kent fly on this afternoon and we will enjoy our weekend with them before bringing them back here with us on Sunday evening. Our whole Pinsent & Cliff family will be on PEI for a whole week! We are excited to see everyone and I'm excited to meet some new family members! All in celebration on Granny's birthday this past January! Woot Woot!

What are your plans for this weekend? Hopefully it stays nice and sunny for everyone! 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

who you are

This is going to be a pretty real life post about something that have been on my mind lately. 

I am insecure.

I've felt like this for a little while now, but just over the past month it has really escalated. I have been especially insecure with how I look. My acne has come back in full force and my hair has been getting more and more unhealthy. For those of you that don't know, acne is something I have stuggled with for a long time but has definitely been better in more recent years. It just makes me feel so insecure to  hide my face behind make-up that isn't being applied in the right way. Don't tell me what to try, because I probably have tried it already and it hasn't worked for me (proactiv is a joke people, for me at least).  All of the cleansers, moisturizers, or natural oils have not been able to help me out this time around. I think it will just be time to let nature run it's course. So if you see me someday at work, at church or running errands and you can see my red skin and white head pimples, please don't have the nerve to tell me, because I already know.

Then comes the hair. The last time I got my hair cut the hairdresser literally said "oh, your hair is soo unhealthy". Like, wow thanks a lot that's great to hear? I have had better hair days,but since that cut in February I have been scared to see a hair dresser again, afraid of being judged. So again, someone pointed it out to me recently and I was upset. No one wants to hear negative remarks about their looks, especially not when I am feeling like this. So today, I put my big girl pants on and I went in to a new stylist and told her to cut all my hair off, and I am pretty happy with the results, except I think I will be getting a new curling wand soon to be able to tame these short but luscious locks.

I have been experiencing insecurities in other aspects of my life though, not just my looks. I don't think of myself as vain when it comes to my looks, but I am concerned for my health and my body and that does include my self-image and how it boosts my confidence. Does that make sense? 

I am feeling pretty good about work right now and our plans for the summer. I don't know what this next year will hold and my husband is getting pretty bummed out about me worrying every minute of every day about all of these little things that I think about. I focus so much on the planning of the events or setting goals that I have been having a hard time being present in the now. That makes me insecure. I am worried so much about the future so it makes it hard to find joy in the present. 

When it comes down to it, these insecure feelings are just weighing me down. If I could just learn to be who I am without worrying what other people thing, without worrying what tomorrow brings I would be so much better off, and maybe it would help the acne clear up too. I hope I can find new ways to embrace myself, love myself, learn more about myself and grow into a more confident and happier woman. I think the hair cut was the first step.

Monday, June 20, 2016


We have some family coming to PEI in just one week!!! We are super excited to have everyone come visit the beautiful Island that we are so lucky to call home. I thought I would make a list/itinerary of some things I like to do around Charlottetown and Cavendish so our family can get some ideas of things they might like to do when they are here!

The St. Dunstan's Basilica gets me every time. Such a beautiful chapel with so much history and faith. The stained glass windows are amazing. In Charlottetown I also like to go into the used bookstores like The Bookman and Used Books. I also like to have a look around the Confederation Centre Art Gallery (which is free!!!) and walk on Victoria Row and at the shops on the Waterfront. Near the Delta Hotel, there is the new 2016 numbers, a great picture spot. The Alley has $5 bowling all summer long (Monday-Thursday), LET'S GO!

Richards Sea Food 
MY Favorite Fish & Chips on PEI. This place is worth the wait (of long lines that is, sorry not sorry). Beautiful views near the Covehead beach and bridge. I wouldn't want this place to ever change.

Burlington Amusement Park or Sanspit
Because we need some Go-Karts to recreate this awesome picture of Granny. In my opinion, Burlington is really great because they are a smaller business, but Sandspit is closer to where we will be staying.

Green Gables
What would a trip to Prince Edward Island be without a visit to Green Gables. This place will put you right in the book! We will have a couple of passes to the National Park so no need to worry about the fees. You can also take adorable pictures at Green Gables like my friends Laura and Jeremy did when they visited in 2013. They also took great pictures at Grandpa's Antique Photo Studio if that is of interest to anyone (this business is kind of expensive in my opinion, but still lots of fun).

The movies that will be playing while everyone visits are Independance Day: Resurgence and X-Men: Apocalypse. Certainly not movies of interest to me, but the drive-in is still a fun family experience. 

The food here you guys, it is a must. The Butterfly House is a lovely spot too. Emma and I visited here last summer and it was so fun. The Toy Factory is also near by which is a great spot for any toy-lover. 

Greenwich National Park
SO, I have never been here before but I am just itching to go sometime this summer. I will go with anyone that wants to make an afternoon trip to this beautiful National Park. It is a little far from Cavendish but I know it would be worth the drive.

Stanley Bridge Marine Aquarium
I have also never been here but it sounds pretty interesting. Also, a side note, if anyone wants to go see Finding Dory I am totally game.

I know you must all think I am forgetting to mention one of the most important things about PEI... ICE CREAM. If you don't have COWS ice cream while you visit PEI, did you actually visit PEI? 

Can't wait to see you all SO Soon,
love Haig & Alyssa.

Sunday, June 19, 2016


my mother's grandfather, her father's dad. My great-grandfather.

Hugh Stewart was born April 5th 1902 in Kirkintilloch Scotland to Daniel and Mary Stewart (MacFarlene). He was their only child. He married Helen Templeton in 1929. They had 2 sons, Daniel and Alexander. Hugh died in 1965.

Hugh immigrated from Scotland as a young man. He was a freemason and he also enjoyed playing football (soccer) before moving to Canada. He was apparently quite good, however he got injured while playing and the masonic group was able to find him a job in a dairy in Winnipeg so that's why he came to Canada. He met his wife Helen (some called her Nellie) Templeton in Winnipeg, Manitoba and they were married.

Hugh and Nellie had two sons, Daniel (my grand-father) and his brother Alec. Unfortunately when the boys were young, things were not going so well with Hugh and Helen. Hugh and Helen separated and he met another woman, Elizabeth and they had two children together. My Aunt Helen tells me that this was hard on the boys, and usually they lived with whatever family had room for them. My grand-father Daniel would have quit school in Grade 8 to start work.

Fast forward a couple of decades. My Aunt Helen was doing some genealogy online and she found a forum where people could post messages looking for family members. She did a search for her grand-father, Hugh Stewart and a message came up from Heather Birchall-Stewart who was looking for her two half brothers who had moved east with their mothers after separating from Hugh. Heather says that she waited until her mother had passed away before she searching for her brothers, and her full brother had no interest in that side of the family. Helen asked her father, Daniel if it would be okay to look her up as the description was very accurate. Helen replied to the message but didn't hear back, Daniel remembered that the family had moved to Ontario and so Helen started a Canada 411 search for Heather Birchall (Stewart). After 4 attempts she was able to reach my half-great Aunt Heather.

Although there were a number of challenges in his life, I respect this man for the decisions that he made in supporting his friends and family. Life can take us down many paths, and because of that we can learn a lot of things about ourselves and those around us. I am very happy that we know his daughter Heather and that she has become a part of our family. She was a great support to us when my grandfather passed away in 2011. Hugh Stewart was a brave man despite the tough decisions he had to make in his life, and I look forward to learning more about him in years to come.

top left: Hugh (on the right) with a friend
top right: Hugh as a young boy
bottom: Hugh, Helen and baby Daniel (my grandfather)

Saturday, June 18, 2016


my mother's grandfather, her mother's dad. My great-grandfather.

Edmund Pineau was born August 4th, 1907 to Henri and Sophia Pineau (Poirier) in Bloomfield PEI.
He was the 3rd child of what would be a family of 8 children. He married Louise Arsenault on August 6th 1930. They had 8 children. Edmund died in 1977.

Grandfather Pineau was a carpenter. During WWII, he was in the protected trade so he didn't have to go to war. He was a pattern maker. In the days before 3D printing, he would make mock-up pieces engineers had drawn out of wood. They would use those wooden patterns to make molds to make the actual metal pieces.

He was also in Halifax at the time of the smaller Halifax explosion (an ammunition depot blew up). His family at home on Prince Edward Island were very worried about him until he managed to call.

A personal family favorite that I have heard before was that he had to go out in a snowstorm on a cold February night in 1934 to get the doctor when my grandmother, Anne was born. She had the umbilical cord around her neck and the midwife was very worried about her. My Aunt Helen says "sounds like The Little House on the Prairie to me".

I have visited the Bloomfield area once with my family. I am not sure what we went there for, but my grandmother and grandfather also came over to visit for the day and we went to visit some family in an old country house. I would like to look into the area some more to find where he lived and where he is buried. I am happy to have the island in my blood. This man seems like he worked very hard for his growing family and I am proud of him for it.

top left: Edmund's parents, Henri & Sophia.
top right: Edmund in military gear
bottom: Edmund working in the shipyards pattern shop, may 1946
From left: Jim Pineau (great-uncle), Helen Stewart (aunt), Edmund Pineau (great-grandfather), Cathy Pineau (great-aunt), Annette Stewart (aunt), Anne Stewart (grand-mother), Louise Pineau (great-grandmother), Doug Stewart (uncle), Ralph Pineau (great-uncle)

Friday, June 17, 2016


Over the next two days, in celebration of Father's Day weekend, I will be partaking in a challenge that was set out by our the leaders of the Charlottetown Ward Family History Centre. This challenge was to learn more about your GREAT GRANDFATHERS. Since I didn't have very much time, this year I am focusing on my maternal grand-fathers. Hopefully I can carry on this tradition next year and also start to learn more about the women in my family too. I would like to thank my Aunt Helen Stewart for all of her help and for the pictures, and also my own mom and my great Aunt Heather Stewart for their help as well. This was such a neat opportunity to learn about these two men who mean so much to my family.  

Thursday, June 16, 2016

eShakti dresses

I have probably talked about eShakti before, but it's like a can't stop, won't stop kind of thing. I have loved their dresses for a number of years now, especially the classic styles that they usually carry. The colors are always so pretty! This is my 4th dress (see more herehere)  from them, but my favorite to date is the dress I wore to my sister-in-laws wedding last summer. I like the idea of having a new dress for the summer. I loved the color of this dress because I don't wear a lot of pink, but it was a nice rich shade of coral that I think we will be seeing a lot of this summer! I wore it with my brown oxfords because I wasn't really feeling like wearing heels that were too high on this particular day. I also wore a blush t-shirt under the dress because it is a little low in the front. I hope to eventually find a tank top that is the same color, but that might be a challenge (wish me luck!).

eShakti usually has some really great deals on too, so sign up for their e-mails to learn more about their great dresses and customization options! 

Thanks again for a beautiful dress eShakti. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Glen Afton Golf Course, 2016

Around this time last year, I accompanied my husband to Glen Afton Golf Course. This past weekend I ended up taking someone's shift on Saturday from 7-3. It was a really good shift and I was happy to get the extra hours, except it was so gorgeous outside. I was itching to get outside as soon as my shift was over. I texted Haig shortly before he came to get me and asked him what we were going to do in the afternoon. His emoji game was strong, he sent me the couple kissing with hearts and a sunshine and the golf icons! Hilarious. So we went to play golf.

Things have been a little challenging since Haig lost his job earlier this month, but things are going well too. We needed this afternoon more than anything. I love watching Haig golf. He really enjoys it and he golfs with such an intense focus. It has been really great to see his game improve in just a year. I think he wants me to start golfing pretty soon, but for now I am content to just watch and walk with him.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Tuscan Stew & Michael's Biscuits

I am sharing some recipes today! It has been a little while since I shared some of my favorite things to eat, and last week it was a rainy and dark week and I really wanted to make this wonderful stew! We invited my parents over for dinner, and they were running late, so when they finally got to our apartment we started eating to quickly that I forgot to take pictures! So thank-you to Campbell's for this picture of the delicious stew.

The biscuits are one of my all time favorites! They are super easy to make (except I forgot to take a picture of these too...) I love making these biscuits as a dessert too! They are so yummy with strawberries and whip cream and also for as a breakfast biscuit. 

I know the summer months are not a great time for stew/soup, but I love this recipe, 
let me know if you try making it!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016


I am so excited to be a part of this blogger series for the first time

I wanted to be a part of this series because I even though I don't ever want to have a "fashion blog", I do like to showcase my sense of style on my blog, and it has been especially cool to see how my fashion has evolved over my years of blogging. I was thrilled when I got the email from Deidree Emme letting me know that I would be in the series this month! 

The look that was chosen was "casual summer days" and the style inspiration was from
Gentri Lee's Bittersweet Changes // Fawn Design post. 

SO I don't know about anyone else, but when I read "casual" summer days, my first thought was hello leggings. Leggings are one of my favorite go-tos in the summer months because they are modest, comfortable and they are great when the weather can be somewhat unpredictable. I obviously wear my leggings a lot as you can tell from the wear in the knees, I think I should get a new pair soon! So whether I am going for a walk with my sister, or on a date night with hubby or catching up with the girls for a ice cream, leggings work every time. I paired them with a floral kimono and plain top I bought from H&M a little while ago. This outfit makes me feel light, airy and most of all, comfortable! 

This is also a great transition outfit for day-to-night if you add a 
statement necklace, big earrings or a bright lip colour !!! 

Sandals: Target (old)

Go and have a look at how these other wonderful ladies styled their "casual" summer days look!

Deidre at Deidre Emme
Madeline at CaseyLand
Riley at Riley Jo Blog
Jessica at Mason Jars and Lemon Bars
Kelsi at Lovestrong
Samantha at The Samantha Show
Emily at Emmy Jake
Rachel at Rachel Sayumi 
Robin at Penn & Quill
Ruth at My Little Nest
Britt at My Little Sunshines
Autumn at Stay gold Autumn
Jen at Real Life, On Purpose
Alyssa at Pinsent Life
Emma at Ever Emma

Tuesday, June 7, 2016


The saints of Eastern Canada were blessed with the opportunity to hear and see General Authorities speak on June 5th 2016 at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick. Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife Ruth and Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the presidency of the seventy and his wife Susan spoke to all those who came from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and a few from Newfoundland. It was a very historic and wonderful opportunity to be visited from these individuals who serve in our church.

I loved Elder Renlund's talk. One of my great friends Jen Parlee sang "Be Still My Soul" at the opening of the meeting. I can't imagine how she must have felt when he thanked her and the accompanists for the beautiful rendition. He told the congregation about the importance of the song in the Finland nation and his ancestral roots in Finland. He then shared a sacred and important word with us, sisu. The idea of sisu was the core of everything he talked about that morning, especially the concept of resilience and perseverance. Sisu is about displaying courage and resoluteness in the face of adversity.

Elder Renlund, as an apostle of Jesus Christ bestowed an apostolic blessing (a message/statement that conveys counsel, support and guidance) to the congregation to press forward, to have health and strength and to stay true to the faith. I felt weight being lifted off my shoulders as he said these words. I felt arms wrapped around me in love and support, in knowing that whatever happens these next few weeks, months and years, that everything will be okay if I stand steadfast and immovable. I hope I will be able to remember the feelings I had this day for a very long time.      

Monday, June 6, 2016


A couple of weeks ago, we had Riley and Kayla over for a girls' night. I made yummy brownies and we watched a well-known Mormon love story called Charly. The main reason for us getting together was because Riley would be moving to Alberta that coming weekend, and I wouldn't be home to say goodbye to her! Riley is such an amazing person to me. I met her through our other sweet friend Julianna, who already lives in Alberta with her family. Riley started coming to church with the Ceron family and I really loved seeing how much they all cared for one another as family, even though they were not actually related. It was sad to see them move in 2014, and Riley had a hard time with them gone, but she remained strong and determined to set goals and work hard. Riley made the decision to move out west to be able to spend more time with this wonderful family before her and Julianna to to serve missions for the church. I could not be more proud of these young women. I am glad that Kayla and I were able to be by Riley's side these last few months.