31 December 2009

[talk: It's All in a Name]

Good morning *smile*.  I just wanted to share with you a funny post on MSN this morning.  It's all about ridiculous names ... Like Stan Still.  Or Justin Case, Drift Wood, Anita Bath ... Tu Morrow.

I thought it was funny ... you can read it here.

And now I'm off and running.  Today is my hubby's birthday - and were having a small group over tonight for our annual New Years Eve fondue.  Tomorrow is Josiah's and my MIL's birthday- so both sides of the family are coming over for Lu's famous fajitas (don't ask.  I'm not a fan of them *smirk* ...).  Then Saturday, I'm photographing a wedding - can't WAIT (I lie awake at night picturing scenes in my mind ...).  Sunday, we leave for a little ski-get-away ... except my hubby can't ski because of his leg - so I'm not sure if I'll be going this year either. 

SO - that's my few days ...

To all of my family and friends who read this, and even those whom I don't even really know, I wish you a fabulous 2010.  A year full of wonderful memories, much laughter and time spent with those who breathe life into you.

Bah bye 2009 ... hellllllo 2010.  Gee, I thought we'd be living on the moon by now ...

Have a good one!

30 December 2009

[digiscrap: MASSIVE Sale!!]

Ok - I'm off to get the boys a haircut, grocery shop for our New Years fondue & my hubby/MIL & Siah's bday on the 1st, meal plan for our few days away, and get my hubby a birthday gift - BUT - wanted to let you digiscrappers know that Little Dreamers has its weekly "One Dollar Wednesday" on today!

You say, "Well, if this happens every week - why tell me about today?"

BECAUSE they have a $30.00 kit - INCLUDING a tuturial on HOW to DIGISCRAP, papers, elements - the whole shabang - for $1.00!!   That's a 97% savings ... Find the kit here.  (You need to have an account with Little Dreamers to buy the kit - but it's simple ...)

Ok - that's it.  Thought you'd like to know!

29 December 2009

[redhandedphotography: New Bling]

Well - not REALLY "bling" ... but camera bling.
I've been looking for a camera strap on Etsy for some time now and was going cross-eyed looking at so many cool fabrics and options.  After weeks of going back and forth, I decided that a lens cap pocket on the strap was of upmost importance (as I seem to leave them around in all sorts of places ...) - so that elminated a whole bunch of options.

Originally I had wanted something fun and funky - orange and turquoise - maybe apple green and indigo.  But then I found this:

It's a business card holder - as I can never fit them in my wallet without them getting all yucky.  And I've found myself needing cards day in and day out - plus with my SIL's new Party On Store (yup - that's a LINK to her new website - the store I talked about here) - she's needing to have some there for those who are inquiring about photographers.
So when I decided on that - it seemed only fitting that I would choose this as my camera strap:

Here's the thing - it's black and white - which really is the true me.  Most of my wardobe is B&W - they were my wedding colours for Pete's sake *grin*.  And the red chenille lining?  Well, how could I not with the whole "Redhanded Photography" thing?  ... oh, how I wish I were more spontaneous *GRIN* ... but orderly and thought-out am I.

If you're interested to get your own - check out http://www.phatstraps.com/ (I didn't use them, only because they didn't have a lens cap pocket in their products ...).  Or check out Etsy here.  I did the searching for you *smile*.

Have a good one!

28 December 2009

[biggest loser: Monday After Christmas ... UGH]

I'm scared to step on the scale.  We've had 3 family Christmas celebrations - to which I have tried to be very good.  No desserts - except once.  No baking.  No potatos/pasta, except once.  Lots of running around, cleaning, cooking, setting up, tearing down, dressing kids, undressing kids ... even some Wii competitions with the hubby when the kids were safe and sound in bed ...

I'm going to save this entry and weigh myself in a bit ... Still potty training Josiah and came against a road bump yesterday:  diarrhea and a sore bum.  Him.  Not me *grin*.  It's hard to train when he's walking bow-legged saying, "ouch ouch ouch ...".  And yesterday had been REALLY good - much better than Tias ever was on "day two" of potty training!!   Tias had taken months to train ...

Siah has been so different, as different kids will be.  I had hoped to be pretty much done with training today, obviously with some "accidents" down the road ... but he wants to sit in his diaper right now because he says it feels nicer on his bum.

After he finishes his breakfast, I'll have him run around naked.  Truth is, THAT'S the best thing for his sore bum.  Then, I'll just be hovering over him all day - making sure he doesn't squirt something out.   Hmmm.  Is that too graphic?  Sorry *grin*.

** delay **

Ok.  Here are today's numbers and I am HAPPY!!    
weight: 139.8lbs         waist:  31"          hips:  37"

Next week's goal? 
weight: 138.5lbs      waist:   30.5"       hips:  36.5"

Possible?  Hey - ANYthing is possible ... Siah's gone poop on the potty THREE TIMES today.    NO accidents, no sore bum ... could this be?  Could he actually be TRAINED? It's 11am.  Maybe I should get through the day first. *Grin"    

Timer just went off - to the potty he must go ... have a good one!

27 December 2009

[talk: First Christmas 2009]

PHEWF!  What a great week - and now the sun is shining, the frost is sparkling and life feels good *smile*.  I'm home with Josiah, as we started potty training yesterday and he has yet to poop in the toilet.  Oh, he's pooped alright ... just not in the toilet *grin*.  SO - instead of going to church, he and I are having a little time together ...  My hubby and Tias went - so the home is quiet and I'm trying to not eat the bucket-full of "reward" MnMs for breakfast *GRIN*.

So - while I have a moment here (Katia is still sleeping for the moment ...), thought I would give my family and friends a little update on what's been going on around here ...  so much to catch up on.

My parents have a great tradition.  Because of all of us having in-laws and in-laws in-laws and such, Christmas can be crazy trying to see both sides of the family in such a short time.  But my parents have taken off that pressure of the "24th and 25th only" thing ... we have our family celebration on the 21st and 22nd.    This way, we can all be together.  I love it.

And this was the first year with our whole family being "complete" with Katia having her very first Christmas.  Of course, she had no clue what was going on - and was happy to be observing from her swing *grin*.

My brother and his family, as well as my own, met at my folk's place for our "pretend" Christmas Eve.  We had a fondue, like every year, and then we all slept over.  The Family Fondue is one of our favourite traditions, because dinner lasts a long time, conversations develop and you eat and eat.  Probably not the healthiest meal - ok, FAR from healthy - but it's TRADITION *grin*.  The sacrifices we make for tradition *wink*.

Mom and Dad were so gracious to let my hubby and I, along with Katia (who hadn't slept anywhere other than her crib before ...) sleep in their room.  Mom wouldn't have it any other way - and she and Dad slept in the family room. 

Then - in the morning - we all had "Christmas Day" breakfast, full of German Pancakes, eggs, bacon and the list goes on ...  After breaky, we read the story of the birth of Christ and then opened presents.  After presents, we play games, sit and chat, eat and eat ... it was SUCH a great year this year.

Josiah's hiding behind me in this pic ... probably finishing stuffing his face with fruit *grin*.

Mattias was much quieter this year - acting a little embarrassed when we would make a big deal over a present.  All he wanted were Wii games ...

All Siah really wanted this year:  a red monster truck - and he LOST his mind when he opened it.  It was so great!

My bro and SIL got Katia these Converse.  I will keep them forever!!  LOVE them!

And this was before the REAL Christmas Eve and Christmas Day even started ... so fun!  There were three different family Christmas' - and too many pics *GRIN*.

Hope that your Christmas was a special time for you and your loved ones.

Have a great one!

23 December 2009

[redhandedphotography: Christmas Portraits Part Deux]

Part deux, because I couldn't possibly leave out my other little guy.  Josiah - he's the funny one in the home, the one that makes us CRACK up.  Here are some shots from that same photoshoot last week ... for more pics, please go to my Redhanded Phototgraphy blog here.

Also - if any of you ever visit and click on my "village" on the right to go visit another friend's site from here - you'll  notice that mine has vanished!   UGH!  So - here's what happened ... I was up at 1am a couple of nights ago ... Katia decided to go to bed late and I was wired - so I started playing around with blog templates.  Have you ever done that??  Oh my word - it's a craziness of  "ok - I'll just check ONE MORE site ... " as the clock ticks and your eyes go dizzy.  I kept uploading, re-uploading - trying out new sites and by the time I realized I wanted my original one *of course* ... well, it had erased a bunch of stuff.  I had to reload some pics, some links ... it only had kept my "archives".  SO - maybe during another late-night whim, I'll start reloading.  What a pain, considering some are sites are "by invitation" only.  Plus, I lost my digiscrap links, and my links to my favourite sites.  UGH.

And if I don't get a chance to say it, Merry Christmas.  This blog is one way that I keep in touch with my NZ family and friends who live out of town ... please know that you are loved, and that I hope you have the most wonderful Christmas!!  Much love to you all ... xo.

Have a great one!

21 December 2009

[biggest loser: Another Weigh In]

WELL, rather than be disappointed, I'm going to be happy that I didn't gain anything this week ...

Weight:  140.8lbs ... same as last week.   Waist:  31inches ... down an inch from the last time I measured.  Hips:  37inches ... down 1/2 an inch from the last time I measured.

My goal for next week?  To not GAIN anything during the Christmas season!  *GRIN*

To all of you, I wish you a very Merry Christmas - full of wonderful things with your families and friends.  Sometimes this season is a difficult one, celebrating while living with broken relationships or passed on loved ones.  But I hope that you have Christ, the One to lean on - to give you strength and hope for every day ... not just during this Christmas season.  I'm realizing when I'm feeling sad or lonely, it's usually because I haven't been in His Word, and spending time with Him.  He is the only One that can fill the void.

Maybe it's been a long time since you've stepped foot in a church.  Or maybe you want nothing to do with "organized religion."  He doesn't need a specific format and can still meet you where you are, all you need to do is ask Him ...   He is the reason for the season.

Merry Christmas!

[redhandedphotography: Christmas Portraits]

The thought of taking the kids somewhere to get portraits was too overwhelming, but I really wanted to have a photoshoot with all three of our kids.  So, I set up a make-shift studio and got the kiddies dressed. 

I'll tell you, it's a tricky thing being the Mom AND the photographer *laughing*.  I couldn't take the pics as I was positioning them.  The boys were willing, but Katia wasn't having any part of it ... this was the best shot:

SO - a few days later, I tried again ... and again, the boys were fine - but Katia, not so much.  Here's the best shot:

Ah well, memories - right *GRIN*??  Well - since I had everything set up, and we were in the comfort of our own home, I figured I might as well take some individual pics.  Mattias put on his CD player, blasted "Here I Am To Worship" and said, "Mummy, when the song's over - no more pictures."  HA!!  That gave me about 3 minutes ...

For more pics, please visit my Redhanded Photography blog here.  Have a great one!

15 December 2009

[make: Chocolate Caramel Pecan Squares]

It's been a LOOOOONG time since I posted a recipe.  This one is from the new "Bravo" book from Best of Bridge.  I made it this weekend, and brought it backstage at our Christmas Production ... it was a hit. 

I've had a lot of requests for the recipe - so here it is.


Chocolate Caramel Pecan Squares

2 cups flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups pecan halves


1 cup butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 tbsp whipping cream

1 cup chocolate chips


Base:  Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease a 13x9 baking dish and then line it with parchment paper, with about an inch overhang.  Crumble base ingredients together (except pecans!), until resembling course bread crumbs (or you can pulse them in your food processor).  Pat into the bottom of prepared baking dish and sprinkle with pecans.  Bake for 10 minutes - or until crust is partially cooked.  Remove from oven, leaving the oven on.

Filling:  In a saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar over medium heat.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly for one minute.  Remove from heat and whisk in cream.

Carefully pour filling over pecans.  Bake for 12-15 minutes, checking periodically to make sure it isn't burning!  Cook until set (it becomes frothy-looking).  Remove from oven, and sprinkle chocolate chips over top.  Let stand until chocolate chips are melted, and run a fork through to create "swirls".  Refrigerate for 2 hours.  Using the edged of the parchment paper as handles, remove from pan and transfer to a cutting board.  Using a sharp knife, cut into bars.  Crust is FIRM - so use a sharp knife.

Can be frozen.

14 December 2009

[biggest loser: Today's Weigh In & Our Christmas Production ...]

Today's weight:  140.8lbs.

Still down - yes - 17lbs in fact - buttttttt I weighed 140.0lbs on Saturday morning *grin*.  SO, I was HOPING to be in the 130's today ... but perhaps the 3 Nanaimo bars I ate in between the Production shows yesterday attributed to the .8 of a pound.  *GRIN*.

The Christmas Production is over now ... six shows in four nights (including 2 matinees).  I thought it was a good show - had a lot of people, young and old alike, say how much they enjoyed it.  I also had other people, young and old as well, say they were disappointed in what was presented.

I always find people's feedback interesting.  Obviously, not everyone's taste is the same - that's the beauty of the diversity of people ... and I'm just a volunteer in it - so it's not like I have any say it what goes on ... but still - as someone who believes in having a show for the community, I always feel a little sad when people are disappointed with our efforts.  I think the beauty in having many different churches doing presentations, is that many styles can be shown.

For certain, there will be people who would  prefer something a little more traditional than what our church did, or perhaps more of the way our church did in the past.  But as someone who appreciates the birth of creativity, I for one really, really enjoy watching how the same message - the message of Christ's birth and the hope that is in that - can be done in so many different ways.  This year, the story line was about how five different Christmas carols came to be.  I hadn't been involved in our production in four years - and everytime I saw the show during those four years, I was touched - yet disappointed - to not have been involved in such a fantastic outreach and gift to our community.

This year, I had the privilege of singing in our production.  And baby Katia was Baby Jesus.  This was such an emotional thing for me the first night ... and I hadn't expected it to be.  As we sang, "This, thiiiiiis is Christ the King - whom shepherds guard and angels siiinng ..." I was overcome with emotion.  The last time I was in the the Christmas Production, I was pregnant with Shalom.  The day after it was over, was the day we were told we were going to lose her.  And here I was, four years later - and our baby girl was Jesus in the play.  It was all too much, as tears streamed down my face - and I mouthed the words because nothing would come out.  Tears of blessing, I assure you ... God is so faithful!

If you came to see ours, I hope you sensed that those who were a part of it were passionate about their volunteer positions.  I hope that you could see the feeling of family, a sense of community.  But most of all, I hope you were able to see that Jesus is our joy, our strength and the hope of the Christmas season.

Have a great one!!

10 December 2009

[redhandedphotography: The Holiday Hat]

STILL waiting for a few babies to be born ... can't WAIT to take their photos.  And next year is already starting to get booked up ... family portraits, weddings, maternity/newborn sessions.  Looks like it's going to be a full year ... if YOU are interested in having a session with me, then you need to go to my redhanded site and fill in the contact information. 

So - while I wait?  I'm continuing to use my little angel as my model.  And honestly?  I get stopped pretty much ten times a day with people asking, "WHERE did you get that hat???"  If you likey like ... go here to the Bumble Babies site to order your own.  This hat is the "Holiday Hat" ... and my new fave!

ANNNND - the owner and I are joining forces, where I'm going to be the photographer for her website and she will let my work be known.  SO pumped!

Ok - here are a couple of pics from today's shoot ... for more pics, go to my redhanded blog site here.


09 December 2009

[biggest loser: I'm Still Here!!]

Ok - it's been a while, hasn't it ... sorry 'bout that.  But this is the first morning that I've been home ... the kiddies are in their pjs playing with GeoTrax, so I thought I'd finish up my breakfast while doing my blog.

So I weighed myself this morning ... I'm down again *yay*!!  AND wearing my size 6 pants today, withOUT an elastic around the button hole *grin*.  A LITTLE snug, but hey - they FIT!

Before I get to the numbers, here's what's been going on around here.  I'm involved in our church's Christmas Production - so that's where I'll be every night this week, including the weekend.  I love being involved - I haven't been since I was pregnant with Shalom.  I even said to a friend last night, "Do you realize the last time I was in the production ..."  and she finished my sentence with a soft, "I was just thinking about that today." 

My mom took the boys to the Christmas Train in Stanley Park last night.  On her OWN!!  Well - she went with her friend, and her friend's THREE grandkids!!  How brave were they??  And the boys haven't stopped talking about it all morning.  SO sweet!  You can't go wrong with McDonalds and Christmas lights!

Yesterday, my friend who owns Bumble Babies stopped by with a new hat for Katia!  It's now my new favourite, with a black hat and massive red flower.  It's going to be her "Christmas Hat", as her dress is black and red.  I told Jamie that I would be taking photos of her in it as soon as I can ... so be sure to come back and check them out ...

Enough already, the numbers, I know.

Ok here they are:  142.4lbs      waist:  32inches   hips 37.5inches

So I'm down 1.5lbs this week with 1.5 inches from my waist and 1/2 inch from my hips (based on the last time I measured).   In total, I'm down 15.5lbs from when I started and from when I started measuring,  4 inches off my waist, and 3.5 inches off of my hips.  Remember - when I measure my waist, it's not from the "smallest point".  Dr.Oz says to measure around your bellybutton - so that's what I do.

Are any of you still in this with me?  Have you reached your goal??  I'm FAR from mine ... I want to get to my "wedding weight" of 124lbs and 29inch waist.  Possible?  I'm giving myself until March.  And YES.  Anything is possible if I'm serious about it ...

Have a great one ...

03 December 2009

[cool products: New PARTY SUPPLY Store]

Oh, have I got a TREAT for you!!

If you live near me (and you know if you do ...) there's a NEW party store that has JUST opened up yesterday.  How do I know?  Because my sis and bro-in-law are the owners and BOY - have they outdone themselves!! 

It's a specialty store called "PARTY ON!" - full of sections of really, really great things.  Each section has special products ... there's kids birthdays - full of balloons, pinatas, plates, party favours ... everything you can imagine - with themes from Cars to Dora to Princess to Pirates. They have loot for party bags, including wrapped candy and tons of specialty items.  Then there's the Bachelorette section - sooooo fun *wink wink*!!  There's baby boy, baby girl, "old" birthday, fiesta, luau (with my favourite coconut cups!!), hockey, oh it's full of so many things ...  There's Christmas and New Years ... with Rudolf red-nose-lights for your own nose *grin*, hats, streamers ... You can do "theme" parties ... the possibilities are endless.  They also have a balloon section where you can create your own bouquets for ANY occasion ... really great!!

Seriously - it is SUCH a great store - I'm not just saying that.  It's inexpensive and - well - you should just come and check it out for yourself.

There's nothing like this in our town ... and I hope they really do well.  It's located at the Happy Face complex off of the freeway on 200th Street - behind the Tim Hortons.

If you're from Langley - check out the Langley Advance newspaper for the PARTY ON coupon.  Spend $35.00 get $10.00 off!!  BUT if you don't have the paper and just say "Tawn's Blog" - she'll honor the coupon for you as well - spend $35.00 and get $10.00 off!!

So - if you stop by - make sure you say "Tawn" sent you!!  Have a great one!

02 December 2009

[talk: Ramble Ramble]

(I'm posting this in the morning ... but wrote it the night before)

So - it's late - and I should go to bed ... Katia's asleep, and that' my cue to hit the hay.

But I just took a few moments to look back on my "biggest loser" posts - curious as to what the progress has been.  And - seriously?  I'm pretty happy with myself *grin*.  Since I've started this, 8 weeks ago, I've lost 14lbs.  FOURTEEN POUNDS.  And I had said that I would be happy with 15lbs by Christmas ... NOW, I'll be happy if I'm in the 130's by the Christmas Production ... um, next Friday?  Is THAT possible?  Probably not ...

SOOO - I've got a bit of a spring in my step *grin*.  Just when I was thinking this was all for nothing, and I am never going to be "pre preggo" weight again ... fourteen pounds.  Yay!!

... the other part of this post is an update on a couple of things.   First off - Shalom's grave marker.  Haven't done anything about that ... was GOING to.  But I realized that my hubby and I needed to go into town to go through all the choices and wording etc ... December is NOT a good month for that.  So, maybe in January.  We'll see.

The other update - regarding "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep" photography opportunities.  I haven't been brave enough to contact them.  It's been all a little too close to home for me ... even though it'll be 4 years on December 17th that we lost Shalom.  I was all gung-ho ... then ... just nervous?  Scared? 

So - there you have it *smile*.  I'm a big, fat chicken.  Well - a fourteen-pounds-lighter-chicken.  But I'll get 'em done.  I just thought it was "time" - and it really wasn't. 

And right now I'm ok with that.

01 December 2009

[biggest loser: Weighing In and Running Out]

Ok - I literally have two minutes to do this ... I`m helping at Tias`school this morning and have a photography appointement after that with a `wedding` client.  I`m photographing a wedding on January 2nd ...

Today`s weight:   144.0lbs  ... I didn`t have time to measure - BUT I can tell you that I`m wearing my NORMAL pants *praise the Lord* and they actually FIT.  The fact that the number is down is shocking ... we were at a Christmas party on Saturday night *soo much fun!!*, and a birthday party on Sunday night ... cupcakes, brie cheese, punch ... the fact that I didn`t gain 5lbs is amazing.

Ok ... sorry for the short post - that`s it for now ...

26 November 2009

[redhandedphotography: Baby Katia ... In a Hat]

Ok.  I weighed myself this morning.  And it was gooooood *grin*.  Hopefully it'll keep going down ... I know - I'm a bit obsessed - but yesterday I took all of my maternity clothes and put them in a garbage bag to throw away.  Now I HAVE to get the weight off.  Or I'll be walking around ... um ...*shudder*.

Yesterday I took some pics of Katia with her new Bumble Babies hat.  I've also ordered a couple from Baby Boo.  SO cute!!  Here's one of the pics ...

Click here to go my photography blog to see the rest.

I think she's pretty darn cute *smile*.

Have a good one!

25 November 2009

[biggest loser: Wednesday Weigh In ... What the Heck??]

Ok - you still there?

I got some smack from being silent the last few days - but I assure you, I'm still here.  SO - I thought I'd do my "Monday Weigh In" today ... why not, it's MY blog after all *grin*.

Weight:  145.8lbs   Waist:   33.5 inches    Hips:  38 inches

So - that's down not even a pound from last week - but down 1/2 an inch off my waist.  So that's a good thing.

This is all surprising to me - because last night I had the "Happy Housewives" over ... we're a group of women who get together once a month and one of us "hosts" and event.  Last night, it was my turn ... we watched a movie and had sundaes.  Yup.  And I sure par-took of that.  That's why I'm surprised I'm not 150lbs after what I ate.

Now, the struggle is going to have something to show for this upcoming Monday's weigh-in.  Wednesday to Monday isn't a lot of time.  Hmm ... let's see.  My goal will be to be in the 144's somehow, and a 33 inch waist?  Possible?


You, who are doing this BL with me ... how are you doing with it?  Would love to hear ... could use the encouragement on this gloomy, rainy day *smile*.

Have a good one!

19 November 2009

[contest: Prizes Revealed!]


Ok - so I didn't realize how much work it was going to take to complete all the Christmas cards I promised - especially with a deadline ... and there were problems with photos and such ...

But they're all finished - and I'm really happy with them. Each one is different. Here's how they turned out:
click image to enlarge

So to those who participated in my little blog contest - thanks for playing. To those of you who "won" - I hope you liked your Christmas Cards. And to all of you - have a good one *grin*!

18 November 2009

[talk: Michael Buble Sings David Letterman's Top 10 Least Popular Musical Standards]

This made me laugh ... especailly, "Kanye Kanye Kanye Kanye".

Oh, and "Al Go--re".  Made me laugh.

Watch it.  You'll understand.

17 November 2009

[redhandedphotography: J&K's Family Photoshoot]

Last week, before this wet, wet weather - I had the opportunity to have a photoshoot with a family that my own family is really close with ...

They have a 2 year old, and he made me think on my feet *grin* .... full of energy, and full of knowing exactly what he wanted to do ... so we just followed him, and the photos turned out really well.

Wanna see?  Check out my post on my redhanded photography blog.

16 November 2009

[biggest loser: SABOTAGE.]

That is SO what I did to myself this week ... why is it that as SOON as I have a grasp on things, I totally have a melt down and "poof".  I'm back to square one.

On Friday morning, I weighed myself.  I know, I know ... not supposed to - but I do it.   Every day.  A few times.  Morning, night ... after I drink a glass of water.  Bad bad bad.  I know.

But on Friday, I weighed 146.4.  I could TASTE 145lb.

So - I went to bootcamp that morning, got my butt WHOOPED, then came home.  And ate a chocolate bar.  Then some hallowe'en candy.  Then some more.  I don't think a fruit or a vegetable touched my lips the entire day.  Not even a protein.  Or a starch.  Just - candy.

Then - as if I couldn't have just written off that day and started over on Saturday - I did it all over again.  Sugar.  That's all I ate.  For two straight days.

So today I was scared to get on the scale.  Scared that I wasted a week and honestly, feel like "whoooo cares???".  I should just buy my fat pants - or better yet - keep my maternity pants out.


Today's weight:   146.6lbs           waist: 34inches               hips: 38inches

Which means I'm still down from last week's 148.4 ... almost 2lbs.  But it's frustrating that I weigh more today than Friday ... and nothing has moved in the "inches" department.

Well, ok - so I'll be happy with that.  At least the numbers have gone down, despite my sudden need for chocolate.  This week I will do better ...

Next week's goal?  145lb baby.

How'd you do this week??

13 November 2009

[redhandedphotography: Family Photoshoot]

Last week I had two photoshoots on the same day. But the "bug" bit me and I was SICK SICK SICK. I tried to be brave with the first shoot, but ended up cancelling the second - which was a huge disappointment for me ...

Wanna see the pics from the first photoshoot? Check them out here ...

And as for the family that I had to cancel? Well - I was able to have a session with them yesterday - so I'm onto editing those photos this weekend. God was SURE on their side yesteday - the weather was just beautiful. Today? Not so much ...

What else? Well, for all of you who entered my blog contest and submitted your photos by the deadline, almost ALL of you should have your completed Christmas card in your email box. I have ONE more to do (yes, you RB!!) then I'm done! I hope you all liked what I did ... and I'll be posting the cards next week on my blog so you can all see what I've been working on this week ...

Must run ... off to Boot Camp. That's right - BOOT CAMP. Hmmm ... am I insane? Nope. Just serious about fitting into my pants by Christmas!!

Have a great one!

10 November 2009

[shalom: A Little Visit. Not So Much.]

This past Friday, my parents had our boys over for a sleepover. Our boys love both sets of their grandparents - and each family has special things they do with the boys. It's a really beautiful thing.

And for us, it meant a night out. We decided to get our Christmas shopping done - and headed into the city with Katia and our credit cards *grin*.

On the way, I suddenly had the urge to go to Shalom's grave site. We hadn't been there in almost 2 years. I had thought we'd go on her "due date - birthday", but it's never been appropriate and natural. So we never did. But for some reason, right then - I really needed to be there.

My hubby looked at me and said, "sure. Let's go."

I found myself super emotional. Having Katia safe and asleep in her carseat, and driving in the cold and the rain to visit the grave of our other daughter. It was really, really strange.

We got to her site, and my hubby told me to go on ahead. He'd stay with Katia until I returned - then he would go.

So I went ... right to her little spot. And I couldn't find her. She had had a temporary marker, and somehow - it was gone. But then again, I wasn't sure if I just couldn't find her.

Up and down the rows, I walked. My hubby finally honked the horn and made me get out of the rain ...

I got into the van and cried. What kind of mother doesn't know where her child is buried???

We went to the Funeral Home and a very kind lady assured me that Shalom was there. She got a map out, and joined me in the rain - walking to the exact spot I had thought Shalom was. Except, there was no marker.

The lady was horrified, to say the least - but again, assured me that she was there and that the temporary marker is really only for the first year ...

I walked back to the van, got in, smacked the rain off of me ... and my hubby turned to me, "I think we need to buy a headstone." Um. Yah. I think so ... I never want to go back there without her being properly marked.

So - this week, that is what we're doing. Buying a permanent marker for our little girl. That's not a fun thing, I assure you ... but I think we're ready. It'll be 4 years this December 17th since we lost her.

I think it's time.

09 November 2009

[biggest loser: Wow. Monday. Again??]

Heeeeeelllllloooooo ttttthhhhheeeerrrrreeeee. (I'm imitating Dora from Finding Nemo. Did I do ok??)

I've been away from Homemakin' Girl for a bit ... had a bad bug for a few days - left me in bed, wishing I could take cold & flu medicine (I can't because of Katia ...). Then, I started panicking, thinking that I hadn't put up a post .... I hadn't gotten a chance to pre-post earlier that week.

I realized that this blog has started to become more about my readers, than me. That's not a bad thing ... I have many friends and family who stop by - and new "blog friends" - and that's totally cool. But I have literally worried about not having posts up - not caring WHAT I posted ... So, I'm going to try and not be a slave to my blog. We'll see if it works *grin*.

Whatever the case, TODAY's post is "The Biggest Loser" post. It's Monday ... and that's what happens around here. How long will I be doing the "Biggest Loser"?? Until I reach my goal of 124lbs. My wedding weight.

I may be doing this until 2012. HA!

Today's weight??? Drumroll please .... 148.4lbs!!! WHOOO HOOO ... that flu was really helpful *grin*. Waist: 34inches Hips: 38inches. So, I'm down 2.4lbs, no inches of my waist, and half an inch off my hips. And that means I have 24.4lbs to go ?? Ugh. But I am down 9.6lbs since starting this on Sept 22 .

This is all great - but my pants still don't fit (maybe because they're 29inch waist pants???). SO a mom in the nursery gave me a GREAT idea ... she wears her "normal" pants because her legs and all fit fine - just her tummy is still loose ... So, she wears the "belly bands" (look here for a whole STACK of them on Etsy). She doesn't do up the button and has these to cover it. What a GREAT idea!!

Now. Not sure whether I will do this ... as you'll all know that my pants are undone *grin*. But hey - you never know!

Would love to hear how you're doing in TBL ... JC, PC, LR .... I know there are more of you out there *grin* ...

Have a good one!!

03 November 2009

[redhandedphotography: Trashing the Dress]

I love looking at other photographer's work. There are some brilliant artists out there - who capture the most stunning images ...

I tend to look at sites that have a creative edge to them - with a new way of looking at the same ol' thing. It's one of the trickiest thing about taking photos - coming up with something fresh and new. Something that makes the client proud and say, "Hey - look how cool we look". *grin*
Upon my hunting one night, I came across this site. It's dedicated to "trashing the dress". Have you noticed this trend? Brides gallivanting in the ocean, jumping into swimming pools, lying in the hay in a barn???

I think it's pretty cool - but really - would YOU trash your wedding dress at the end of a photoshoot, just to capture a few trendy images??

Hmmm ... mine's in a box in the basement ...

02 November 2009

[biggest loser: It's Monday Again ...]

Well - first off - I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. We had a fantastic time trick-or-treating with our kids ... and whether you choose to be involved in Halloween or not, I hope that you made some wonderful memories with those you love.

I'll post more on that later this week ...

Secondly, yesterday was my first time leading worship at my home church since having Katia. I've been on "mat leave" (ha! is there such a thing for volunteers???), and found myself super nervous yesterday. Part of it, is that I usually have plenty of time to prepare for the service. And with a newborn who needs me RIGHT when I'm trying to get things done, made preparing sooo difficult. ANYway - before the service I asked God to not let my human-ess get in the way - to do what He wanted, despite all the things that I didn't do to prepare. And things went well. He's good that way *smile* ...

OK - now for the Biggest Loser weigh in. Are you all still there??? Are you making giant leaps, or baby steps?? I love it when you choose to leave comments - then I don't feel so "putting myself out there" and on my own *grin*!!

I had so hoped to wear "normal" pants, the first time I lead worship. Well. No. Didn't happen. I had on those stupid maternity pants ... BUT I was able to squeeze myself into my size6 petite pants in the morning ... I just couldn't sit in them *laughing* - so out came the maternity pants. Next time, right? ... I can see the light at the end of the tunnel ... I had also hoped to be in the 140's by the time I lead worship again ... nope.

Today's weigh in: 150.8lbs waist: 34inches hips: 38.5inches.

So - I'm down 2.4lbs and half an inch on my waist and hips from last week. Slowly, but surely ... right?? If I think about being happy to be 150lbs, it kinda makes me a bit ill ... I have such a long way to go ... another 25lbs seems a lifetime away. How I wish I was 125lbs with a 29inch waist. But I need to just remember "baby steps"...

My goal for next week? 148lbs, 33.5 inch waist and 37.5 inch hips. Oh - and to wear NORMAL pants for the Christmas production in December. I can lose 10 pounds by December, right???

How did you do this week??

30 October 2009

[redhandedphotography: New Blog Post]

Helllllooo there.

Well - not much goin' on 'round here. I'm off to do a bit of Christmas shopping, but wanted to share what I've posted on my redhanded photography blog today.

They're a few photos from the the "two month" collection I'm working on for Katia.

Check it out here.


29 October 2009

[redhandedphotography: PHEWF!!!]

Ok ... so I've been trying to "clean house" and make things a little more efficient around here. I'm trying to figure out the best way to showcase my photoshoots, and decided that the best thing to do was to update my redhanded photography blog.

See, I have my personal Facebook account, my redhandedphotography Facebook account, this "homemakin'girl" site, my redhanded photography site and my redhandedphotography BLOG site. I'm winded just typing it all ...

SO - it gets a bit overwhelming to have to update ALL of them with the SAME stuff. But, I want to make sure that friends and family have a chance to see what I'm up to, as well as clients. What I've decided to do, is that when I have a photoshoot to share, I'll simply post a link about it here that will lead you to my redhanded BLOG site.

Or you can always go to my redhandedphotography.com site (there's a link on the right hand side of this page...) and once you're there, you can click "BLOG" at the top.

This is a bit of a work in progress ... I'm trying to figure out if I'm supposed to be updating the photos on my actual website, as WELL as the blog ...

*GRIN*. Ah well, I'll figure it out ...

So - for today, I'm sending you to my "updated" redhanded photography BLOG. It's a small post - but still ... at least I'm trying, right??

And hey - if you like what you see, don't be afraid to let me know (*hi RB ... I know you're reading - and blushing as I type this *WINK*). There's a comments link for my redhanded blog as well ...

Have a GREAT one!!

28 October 2009

[tias: Field Trip to the Market]

Gotta say that I'm a little over-the-top when it comes to photos. I had a few moms smile at me, while I tried to document Tias' field trip ... I could hear them, without them saying it ... "rookie". *GRIN*
I'm actually going through a bit of a withdrawal from photography. The weather is getting YUCKY - which makes me hyperventilate a bit because the leaves are STILL so lovely (the ones still on the trees) ... but now, they're turning to mush.

That means, I'll be taking more "event" photos than "portrait-style". With Hallowe'en, Christmas, birthdays ... there'll be a LOT of opportunities to get my fix on pushing that camera button.
Here are some pics from the fieldtrip ... and I LOVE the market in the Autumn. Pumpkins, apples, corn ... so many colours - so many reminders of how blessed we are where we live. The children had to find different fruits and vegetables, and then got to have some hot chocolate to warm their tummies up.

I am so blessed to be able to share this special time with my kids. I do not take it for granted, and try to be at all the activities that I'm invited to ... and I wish YOU a blessed day too - full of all the things and people that you love ... have a good one!

27 October 2009

[cool products: Oh No. A New Addiction.]


SL, you need to be HUNG for telling me about this new fantastic site, etsy. Seriously - ever since you told me - I've been SHOPPING. Well. Window shopping - plus a liiiiiiittle bit of real shopping *wink*.

Imagine my GLEE when I saw this:
A POD for photography. A highschool friend of mine, who is a photographer in the States, has been using one of these for her GORGEOUS newborn pics. You can see her site here (all of you in Seattle should REALLY check her out!!). I am sooooo sad that Katia is too big for this - how did I miss it???? BUT - I'm doing a newborn shoot in December, so I figured it'b be worth the investment. Plus - I might just shoehorn Katia in it *grin*.

So - I splurged and got the pod ... oh - and this little hat ...

Isn't it the CUTEST??? Interchangeable flowers ... and it's size 0-6months. Honestly - if you have a chance, pour yourself a hot drink and have a looksie on the site. There are SO many things there ...

I also picked up a set of tutus with matching headbands, ...

And finally - an "angel" set ... Whaaaat? *sly grin* ... I'm INVESTING in my company ... it's tax-deductible. *GRIN*.

For me, I found this, and maybe will be putting it on my "Christmas" wish list ... It's a super cool camera bag ...

And - I'm considering putting my own talents on there ... designing Christmas and Thank You cards ... we'll see. I think I have enough on my plate for today...

Or not.

Have a good one!

26 October 2009

[biggest loser: My Hubby's Plan ...]

So - before my own weigh in, I thought I'd tell you what my hubby has been up to. A few of you have asked what he's been doing and wondered how did he's been able to lose weight so quickly.

My hubby had gained a bunch of weight after his leg injury, and was frustrated because he couldn't exercise to get it off. We have seen a number of different friends try a program, with amazing results. He decided to try it himself. He joined Sure Slim.

Basically, they analyse your blood and let you know how your system works and how it digests and uses food. Then, they give you a list of what you can eat - how much, when you can eat it, and what you can eat it with. It's fairly complicated, and not for the undisciplined.

Truth is, is that he's worked super hard and is being fully diligent on the program. He's sacrificed a lot for it - and although it's been quick, he is re-booting his metabolism and having to relearn his relationship with food. He spends a lot of time buying and preparing his food ... he's packing lunches and storing fresh cut veggies in the fridge. Um ... where IS the husband that I knew???

I'm super proud of him ... and wish that I could have the same results - 20lbs in 4 weeks so far for him ... Although, last night he told me that he simply loves food. And that he can't do this plan forever ... to which I replied, "So - you're going to gain it all back???" Of course not - but he's not going to live the "plan" for the rest of his life. At least now he knows how to get it off quickly, if too much comes back on.

BUT today is MY weigh in ... and here are my results this week: weight: 153.2lbs waist:34.5inches hips:39 inches. I'm down almost THREE pounds from last week!!! WHOO HOO! And half and inch off of my waist. SO pumped ... I'm on a roll now - and nothin's gonna stop me now (... can you hear Starship in the background? "Noooothin's gonna stop us nooooow ...")

In my mind, I had a goal to be a "certain" weight by the time I lead worship again at my church. You know, to wear NORMAL pants - not maternity ones. BUT, they put me on to lead THIS Sunday - which isn't enough time ... BUT, if I could be in the 140's by then??? I'd be sooo happy. Is it possible to lose 3.3pounds in one week? Hmmmm ... don't think so.

I am so excited to get back into the Music Department at the church. It's my "small" church in a "big" church. Leading worship is the most wonderful thing for me. I have truly missed it over these past few months. I'm a little nervous, though ... it's been a while.

PLUS, I'm going to be singing in the Christmas Production this year!! I haven't been involved in our church's productions since we lost Shalom in Dec.06 - so I am really excited about being a part of it again. I LOVE Christmas Productions!

On another note, a BIG THANKS to all who participated in my CONTEST. If you were one of the winners and haven't yet supplied me with the required info and photo(s) - don't forget!! There IS a deadline!

Have a good one - and remember, that if this WASN'T a good week for you - this upcoming one WILL be. Baby steps ... that's what I'm trying to do!

23 October 2009

[contest: The RESULTS!!!]

Hello hello ... (this is my last year's Christmas card ... just an example of what I can do ...)

WELLL - the first official "Homemakin' Girl" contest is over ... and I wonder where all of you went to *grin*?? I only had a few responses in my email box - maybe because some of you felt you were late getting your answers in?

Whatever the case ... here are the answers:
1. The name of the cruise ship? The Liberty Of the Seas
2. The NZ treats? ANZAC cookies
3. The treats that Winnie the Pooh's friend would like? Tiger Butter (Tigger is a tiger, no?)
4. The countries my dad was visiting? Russia & Poland
5. The famous person I saw in Aldo? Tori Spelling

And did you notice I put up a "search" link on my site to help you?? I was trying to make the last question super hard ... then thought, it would be too hard to find. But if you had searched "famous" - the answer was right there. I wonder how many of you used that *grin*?

So - you wanna know the winner?? *drumroll*

I put the post up at 9:48AM ... all five correct answers came into my mailbox at 9:54am. SOMEONE was with it this morning *grin* ... Mr. Jason P. You are the winner. Your wife will be happy ... she submitted her answers at 10:12am - and they were all correct too!

But here's the REAL surprise. I'm going to extend my "gift" to all those who took the time to send me their answers *GRIN* ... ("YOU get a card, YOU get a card ... YOOOOU GET A CARD!!" - I'm having an Oprah moment *laughing*)
Here's the list:
Jason & Kristin P.
Mary K.
Steve P.
Rosalia C.
Oxana K.
Vanessa L.
Rosalee B.
Shelley M.

Here's what to do to "claim" your prize. Send me up to 3 photos (via tawnsblog@hotmail.com), your colour preference, greeting (merry christmas, joy to the world .. whatever you'd like ...), the closing "with love, the whoevers..." and whether you'd like it contemporary or more "scrapbook" like (traditional). Also - I am able to black-n-white photos if desired. Be sure to let me know ....

That's it!!
The sooner you have them in, the sooner I can do it :-). If you do NOT submit your information by November 5, you will NOT receive your free card.

Once it's complete - I'll email it to you and you can upload it. PLEASE NOTE: There will be NO CHANGES made once I have completed and delivered the created card as I'm already going to have my hands full by doing so many *grin* - so be specific in your instructions.

Hope this put a smile on some of your faces!!

Have a good one!

[digiscrap: ON a ROOLLLL & Final Contest Clue]

I have been on a ROLLLLL with my digiscrapping!! Maybe that's because Katia doesn't go to sleep until midnight ... so I have a good few hours in the evening to get some stuff done.

I'm desperately trying to catch up with the "small" pages ... putting the photos on disk, doing the pages, printing them, removing them from my harddrive. I have a couple of BIG projects that I really want to get on to ... one being my NZ / Auz trip. I haven't even STARTED editing those pics. I guess it seems too daunting ... takes too long to feel like I've "done' something. That's why I'm doing so many little pages ...

But once I get going on it, it shouldn't take me too terribly long. I know my Mom is anxious to have it done - as I'm giving a copy to her and my dad as a "thank you". *hi mom!!* ... she reads these posts *grin*.

I've had some inquiries about the food plan my hubby's been doing ... he's lost over 20lbs in 4 weeks. I'll post that on Monday ...

So here are my new pages ... scroll down for the FINAL CLUE ...

double click images to enlarge

"Name the famous person I saw in the downtown Aldo store."
NOW ... quick - send your FIVE answers to tawnsblog@hotmail.com . First one with ALL FIVE correct answers, wins!! GOOD LUCK!!

22 October 2009

[lunchbox: Ideas #2 - Trail Mix Bars & Contest Clue #4]

I'm still pretty new at this - and having my son in kindergarten two days a week, REALLY isn't that difficult for lunches. But still ... it is.

Our school is a "nut free" school, which makes things a little more tricky. Actually - what it REALLY means, is that most things are homemade that go in his lunchbox - just to make sure. It's surprising how many pre-packaged food items say, "may contain traces of nuts".

Well - because there's recess and lunch, I try and give Tias good choices for both. Although, his recess snack has to be quick and simple. Here's something that I've just tried ... maybe you'll like to as well.

Trail Mix Bars

4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3 tbsp honey
1 1/3 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup cheerios
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 325F. Line an 8 inch square pan with parchment paper. Lightly grease.
Put butter and honey in a small saucepan. Heat gently until butter is melted. Set aside to cool.

Place remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Stir to combine. And the cooled butter mixture and mix well. Transfer to the prepared pan and press down firmly with a potato masher. Bake for 30 minutes or until the center is just firm to the touch.

Allow to cool for 15 minutes, then mark into eight bars using a sharp knife. Allow to cool completely before lifting from the pan. Store in an airtight container.
Now ... for today's question ... "My dad was on a missions trip when Katia was born. Name the two countries he visited." If you've missed the previous questions, or contest information, click "contest" on the sidebar and read up on what's going on 'round here.

Have a good one!

21 October 2009

[be challenged: This Is Gonna Hurt & Contest Clue #3]

About 3 years ago, new neighbours moved in across the street. I brought them a loaf of "welcome-to-the-neighbourhood-banana-bread" and we've been friends ever since. And they're good friends to have ... both husband and wife are RCMP officers.

We have a few "couple" RCMP officers in the neighbourhood ... a good thing for certain.

ANYway - I'll call her "Jill" - she's my Ninja neighbour. She's worked on helicopters, catching bad-guys. She and her hubby came to one of my HH12 Groups and taught "self defence". Super cool ... and she had her baby 3 weeks after Katia was born.

She showed up at my door, with her adorable wee one in a snuggly, and asked if I was interested in a "Mom & Tot Bootcamp".

UM. YESSSSS?? (Is that the right answer??)

So, it starts the first week of November, and runs for 8 classes. I'm a weeeeee bit nervous. Carrying 30lbs, not enough sleep ... I'm expecting to vomit the first class *grin*. But - I'm thankful that she asked, and it'll be great to have someone to do it with. It'll make my Wii workout seem a little lame ... which in itself is a scary thing. I'm still sore from Sunday's 20min workout *blush*.

I SHALL BE FIT. I SHALL. (Can you see my victorious hand in the air????) You with me?? One pound at a time, one inch at a time ... I shall fit into those pants by ... um, 2010??

Ok. ENOUGH already. Want the question for today? Here it is: "Winnie the Pooh's friend might like these treats."

Good luck ... only a couple more to go!!