I love when things come together. Whether it is a plan with friends, a surprise, a great meal or, more importantly, time with my family. In a world with so many moving parts it is sometimes difficult to slow the momentum and see where all of these pieces really fit. Perhaps that is why the holidays bring me joy. It is really that one time of year when we make a concerted effort to touch base with friends far and near and when we gather in the places that make us feel close to home, rekindling the stories that always made Christmas so magical. It is unfortunate that this re-boot of family life is often only once a year.
While “busy” was once worn as a badge of honour, I think there is a gradual shift in our culture to find a more balanced approach to our robust schedules. We all have different ways to find balance.

Recently I made the decision that I was ready to take that leap back into the formal working world. I was seeking something that would have some meaning in our media organization; I wanted to contribute and I wanted to make a difference. So I set on a plan that will hopefully evolve into a publication that not only speaks to your inner design diva but also tells the stories of the people that live in this particular region of Nova Scotia and are transforming who we are as a community. Because of this, I was delighted when Nicole LeBlanc agreed to be featured in our first At Home With profile. This is a series that will run in each issue and tell the story of a mover and shaker in our community from the perspective of their life at home, how they spend their down time, and focus on things outside of their work and volunteer worlds and the reasons why they make their life in northern Nova Scotia. Nicole opened the door of her new home in Trenton that she shares with her partner John Rushton and “fur baby” Tyson.

As you flip through the pages of our fresh layout you will find your usual departments for this type of publication with all of our talented contributors bringing a hyper local focus to our content. I think you will enjoy our cover story, “Hybrid House.”   Dan and Monika Thompson balance life on the farm with their own careers and creative passions. It was a wet day in October when we captured the cover shot for our holiday issue, but I think Rachael McLean, one of our new At Home contributors set the mood with her wonderful and welcoming woodland feature.

While we live in Nova Scotia, our hearts and senses are often drawn to tradition but we are also becoming more savvy with our approach to design and resourcing unique product has never been easier. I hope that as we tell the stories of people, where they hang their hats and the roots that they are planting in this wonderful part of our country, we will create balance between the old and the new, frivolity and philanthropy, rigor and relaxation.
Wishing you a wonderful holiday season where you find the time to be with the people you cherish.

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Crystal Murray
Crystal likes to think about her forays in journalism like interval training. " I have had a wonderful freedom to be home when I needed to be and work when the spirit moved me. In the spaces between I have learned things about myself, my family and my community that I hope will find a rightful place in the new and refreshed pages of At Home on the North Shore. "