Make a Christmas Wreath in an Hour

The finished Christmas wreath

This time of year,you can purchase a pre-made Christmas wreath for sale at a price of $15,$20 or more on practically every corner.

But you can make your own for less than that, and decorate it so that it reflects your personal style. All you need is a few simple items, and an hour or less. Don’t even worry about ‘not being creative’. Making a Christmas wreath is easy and you’ll discover your own ideas for decorating it are what makes it truly unique and truly yours.

To make your own Christmas wreath, you will need:

  1. An assortment of evergreen bough such as pine, cedar,holly, boxwood or fir.I usually use mostly fir with some pine.
  2. A wreath frame-check out craft stores such as Micheals
  3. Green floral wire
  4. Wire snips
  5. A bow, and other decorative accents that strike your fancy

    Christmas Wreath supplies
    Christmas Wreath suppliesow and other decorations that tickle your fancy

Cut your greenery into lengths of about 6 inches. Fasten the wire onto the frame.

Starting the Christmas Wreath
Starting the Christmas Wreath

Gather a bundle of these greens-3-4- pieces and ties the ends firmly with the wire onto the frame looping it around the stems several times. Mix the greens adding a spring of pine or the fir, or a bit of box wood or holly.

Continuing with the Christmas Wreath
Continuing with the Christmas Wreath

Add additional bundles of greenery, overlapping each bundle and wrapping securely with the wire. Tip. It’s faster and easier to not cut the wire into sections, just use it straight from the role. You’ll also be able to recycle the wire for next year if you want.

Wrapping the wire on your Christmas Wreath
Wrapping the wire on your Christmas Wreath

Christmas wreathJust continue wrapping and filling out your frame until the circle is complete then tuck the final bundle under the first one, and  tie the wire to the underside.

Now you can wire  or hot glue balls, bells, berries and bows til your hearts content.

The finished Christmas wreath
The finished Christmas wreath

10 Things to Do Day Tripping Along in Colchester County

Bear-y Good Near Debert

Alright. You neither know nor care where Colchester County is, right?

I’m telling you anyway, because its just a beautiful part of the province.

Colchester encompasses Shubenacadie to Truro to Five Islands and some of the most spectacular views of the Bay of Fundy and Cobequid Bay you will  ever see.

We aren’t strangers to this area-hubby has a camp on Economy Mountain. Sometimes we just jump in the car and make  a day of exploring -always something new to find.

Economy Mountain in Falls Colchester County
Economy Mountain in Falls Colchester County

Like this ‘flowerpot’, almost close enough to touch along Soley Cove Rd.

Flowerpot in Colchester County
Flowerpot in Colchester County

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Guzzle and Gorge in Port Williams

Planters Ridge Port Williams

Port Williams is a small village that doesn’t know it’s small. According to Wikipedia,the population hovers around 1,100. The area was initially populated by Mi’kmaq, Acadians, and Planters-the Acadian influence evident by the nearby dykes.

The village perches on the northern shore of the Cornwallis River-named after  Edward Cornwallis, first governor of Nova Scotia. In the days of sail, the Cornwallis served as a very busy waterway,  bringing ships into the port to be loaded with local  goods destined for faraway places such as Great Britain. In fact,the village website proclaims Port Williams to be” The Biggest Little Port in the World”.

I recently spend an afternoon exploring and it really wasn’t enough time. Although Port Williams has parks and dykes and churches and museums and cycling routes to explore, I must confess..on this day, I visited none of those places.

I came to eat and drink.

Port Williams
Unsuspected Roadside Art,Port Williams

Fox Hill Cheese House is a 6th generation family farm which started out delivering milk door to door by horse and wagon.Now the operation produces many fine products including  Jalapeno Gouda (which I recommend) and gelato.I  had heard so many good things about Fox Hill Cheese’s Gelato-well,what could I do, but stop in and try some.

So, I did.

Fox Hill Cheese, Port Williams
Ashley getting me a scoop at Fox Hill Cheese, Port Williams

O.MG. No point of reference, because it was my first ever gelato-but it this chocolate stuff was delicious!

Port Williams
Chocolate Gelato-Fox Hill Cheese

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Contest Time!

Go to Our Facebook Page to Enter This Contest

Christmas Contest
Christmas Contest

Hello Weekend wants to give two lucky winners a early Christmas Gift! 

Simply go to our Facebook Page, like that page and share the contest post. Draw for 2 centre centre row floor seating tickets will take place Nov 28th .Please remember to like Hello Weekend’s page, not just the post.  If you already like Hello Weekend, simply share this post.

Hunting for Red in October- Red Bench Tour

The Red Bench of Kings County

We all know that 2017 has been one big year long celebration thus far.

The party continues.
Recently I went on a Red Bench bus tour hosted by the Municipality of the County of Kings-the last of 4 that were spread out over the summer and fall. The brain child of Mayor Peter Muttart  and his councilors, the tour was designed to visit each of the 5 permanently installed benches  throughout Kings County as the municipality’s contribution to Canada’s big 150 birthday.

Our guide for the tour was David Poole, now retired and formerly with the municipality’s planning department.  He did a great job, spicing his dialogue with little stories  about the area and his life.

Here’s the great thing-you can do this tour in your car. Course you may not get all the dirt, err, information we got, but it would be fun just the same.  It was a daylong trip for us, but you may want to spread it out over a weekend. Grab a map of the itinerary  here

 Red Bench #1 Aylesford Lake.

The gate to the  beach  is locked this time of year, but you don’t mind a little stroll in  from the road,do you? Aylesford Lake is the only one in Kings County with lifeguards on staff during the summer months. It’s also fully accessible including the canteen, toilets and picnic areas. It’s part of the Gaspereau Watershed.

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Hiking Crystal Falls

Hike to Crystal Falls
Hike to Crystal Falls

I first heard about Crystal Falls when perusing fellow blogger Laura Churchill Duke’s write up on Valley Family Fun, so on a day off hubby and I decided to give it a go. Laura had already gotten good directions from the Kingston Visitor Centre-we used those. I have included them below. Autumn is my favorite time of year and I love it especially for getting outdoors and exploring.

Directions to Crystal Falls

Take Exit 17 to hwy 1 and continue west into Kingston, then turn left at the lights to Greenwood. Turn left at the lights in Greenwood ( across from Canadian Tire) and then right at the next set towards the mall.

Go past the Greenwood Mall and across from Walmart, turn right at the Enviro Depot onto Rocknotch Road.
Cross a one lane bridge and come to a T in the road,where you will take a left turn, then right onto a dirt road. There is a red barn on the corner. This is still Rocknotch Road.
Continue until you come to a T in the road,then turn left on Harmony Road, crossing a one lane bridge.
At the top of the hill, park along the road.
The hike begins at the first dirt lane on your right.

Walk along until you come to a intersection- turn right and go down and  over the bridge, or turn left and head along David Morse Trail.
We queried a dad four wheeling with his boy and he said that David Morse route, although more rugged, was shorter.

Liar!!!

But it certainly was rugged.

David Morse Trail, Crystal Falls
David Morse Trail, Crystal Falls

 

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The Beautiful Cabot Trail, Cape Breton

Sunset on the Cabot Trail

 

Personally, I think the best time to tour the Cabot Trail is once the leaves turn color, but recently we took the opportunity to introduce some friends from Holland to it’s beauty.

We were only joining them for part of the trip,so we picked up the RV they had booked at CanaDream in Waverly, and headed out.

Day One

We only made it to Port Hood-and only stopped there because it was the closest thing we could find for a camping spot. We drove into Sunset Sands RV Park at around 8pm.No one was around to help us so we helped ourselves to a site. A telephone number posted on the door led to a voicemail. It was easy to see the park catered to mostly seasonal people, but I was disappointed at the work involved in trying to connect with someone-anyone- so we could sort out payment and such.

It was waterfront and windy-but it’s Cape Breton after all.

Port Hood, Cabot Trail
Port Hood, Cabot Trail

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6 Great Ways to View The Fall Colors

Kejimkujik in the fall

I love fall-everything is  brighter and crisper. No humidity. No mosquitoes. It makes me feel like actually DOING something. Not work. No. I mean fun things.

And there are a lot of choices. Hikes. Kayaking. Just a drive with a stop for a quick fall picnic.

This year, the leaves are  a little late turning. But give it another week or so and everything will be gor-ge-ous.

So, here we go

Drive this Fall

If you are out for a Sunday drive, a beautiful spot -even without the reds and yellows of fall is the drive along White Rock Road in Kings County.

Grape vines line the southerly slopes of the hill and the Gaspereau River snakes though the valley at the bottom. There aren’t really good pull of spots along there so take care when getting out to get  a photo.  If you’re heading to Benjamin Bridge Winery,the driveway to winery is a great place to snap a picture .

How to get there.

At Exit 10 on Highway 101, and continue into the town of Wolfville. +Turn up Gaspereau Avenue ( across from Tim Horton’s ) and continue along that (about 3.5 km) until you see Gaspereau Vineyards on your right, Turn right there-you are on White Rock Road. Drive along about 8km, until  just before the crossroads, you will see Ridge Rd on your right.Travel back east along that for more fall beauty and a stunning view of Port Williams , Greenwich and  the Minas Basin.

Fall snapshops of vineyards on White Rock Rd.
Fall snapshots of vineyards on White Rock Rd.Just a teeny bit of color so far…. Susan Carey Photo

Church Street, Port Williams to the Look Off
Apple Orchards, Wineries, Cheese, farm and dyke land, topped off by this view below. Stop at Fox Hill Cheese for some gelato.

How to Get There:

Take Exit 11 and go down to the set of lights  and go straight through them-after they turn green of course,that is Hwy 358. Once into the village of  Port Williams, turn right on Church Street and just follow that around the loopuntil it connects back to Hwy 358, then head north to the Look Off

Fall Colors at the Look Off
Fall Colors at the Look Off

 

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Whale Watching on Brier Island

Whale flipping it's tail on Brier Island Whale Cruise

Brier Island Whale and Seabird Tours

Briar Island is a smallish basalt  island off the coast of southwest Nova Scotia, only 7.5 km long and 2.5 km wide. The economy runs on  fishing and seasonally on  ecotourism-mainly whale and bird watching tours.In fact, some lobster fishermen set their traps from the last Monday in  November and pull them for the season on May 31st,clean the boat,then captain these ecotours during the summer season.

Whale season runs from about mid June to Mid October. Then they all stream back to the Caribbean and its warm waters for the winter months. Humpbacks are preceded to the Bay of Fundy by Finback Whales, Minke Whales and Harbour Porpoises. Right Whales return in July. In fact, as many as 12 different species of whale make the Bay of Fundy their summer home,feasting on  the squid, krill and fish.
Whales usually have their babies here and return seasonally for years with growing youngun’ in tow.
( Whale babies can gain 100 per day!)

Mama & Baby Humpback side by side Brier Island Whale Tour
Mama & Baby Humpback side by side Brier Island Whale Tour Photo Credit Brier Island Whale & Seabird Tours

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