31 January 2009

[talk: Business Launch]

WELL – the secret is OUT. After much preparation, my new business, “redhanded photography” has been launched. Please consider this your personal invitation to come visit my new website: www.redhandedphotography.com

Over the last few years, my passion for photography and the capturing of candid moments was something that I thought could only be for me and my family. But after taking photos of other events and having requests from those who have seen my images, I have decided to walk through the door of opportunity and make my services available.

The idea of “redhanded” came from the image I had of capturing missed moments – and being “caught redhanded” in those moments J. My desire is to continue to learn and expand, focusing on events that the images tell the story (such as a birthday party, reunion, baby shower etc ...). I will also be offering my services for weddings and candid-style portraits.

So – if something is coming up and you think “hey – it would be nice to have someone else concentrating on the photo taking” or think that offering my services as a present (for a baby shower, bridal shower, child’s first birthday, soccer championships ... the possibilities are endless) would be a special gift, please feel free to contact myself.

All contact can be done through the website under “contact”.

(Man, why am I sweating as I post this????)

29 January 2009

[talk: A Wee Bit of Ranting ...]

Ok. So - I've come home from a meant-to-be-a-nice-dinner-out-with-the-family and am still a bit peeved about the way the restaurant managed themselves.

We got there, along with my parents, at 5:20pm. Multiple, and I mean at LEAST a dozen other GROUPS came in after us, and were seated before us. Now, of course I can do the math. Not enough seats for six bums, and enough seats for four. But they actually sat a party of TWO at a booth for six ... that's just poor business sense during the dinner hour. And we were left waiting with a 4 and 2 year old who were grumpy and hungry.

We could've left ... but were never given a definite time on how long the wait would be. So we just stuck it out.

So, we were seated at 5:55pm. Our two boys were already restless, and as we already knew what we wanted, we ordered immediately - with a rush on the boy's food. Their food came within about 15 minutes. Not bad - I guess. Not really a rush, but no complaint as they were busy.

Our food? Another 30 minutes AFTER the boys got their food. We had been in the restaurant for 90 minutes and still hadn't eaten anything. Our waitress, bless her heart, got some of our orders wrong - so even when the food came (and most of it was cold, of course) we had to send stuff BACK to get it right. Then she told my mom that she was waiting on my mom's salad. SALAD. Like our 45 minute wait was due to lettuce. *grin*.

We got the manager to come over, and said, "Hey, just to let you know - this has been a less than satisfying experience tonight and we've seen how all the other tables have been served in due time. We're not happy." And she turned and said, "Well, all I can do is apologise." And walked away. No, "the beverages are on us" (which was one glass of milk and a lemonade). No, "perhaps a dessert would help?". Not a "here's a coupon for a complimentary appi the next time you come in." Nothing.

My dad graciously paid for the meal, and if ANY of you know him - he is a grand tipper. Always upwards of 20%. Not tonight. For the first time, because he felt it was the only way to express his disappointment, he didn't.

I have had friends in the food-industry explain to me about "tipping out". That the waitress has to share her tips with those behind the scenes and if the customer doesn't tip well, it can come out of her own pocket. Obviously, this is far from fair. But tonight the whole lot of them weren't up-to-par.

So, I'm curious - what would you have done?

28 January 2009

[organize: Gotta Plan to Make It Work]


I'm here? Are you? So sorry that I haven't been posting anything as of late ... and would you believe that I've been on the computer MORE in the last 2 weeks than ever before?? "Project 101" is almost done ... can't WAIT to share it with you. But, alas, you'll have to wait until it's completed ... although, I AM tempted ...

So, I was sitting here eating leftover Chicken & Vegetable soup and a glass of yummy cranberry (and half water *grin*) juice and I thought, "HEY! I haven't posted a menu plan!" And maybe it's not overly helpful for you, but it sure helps ME a lot. Is that selfish??

MONDAY: at in-laws
TUESDAY: Chicken & Vegetable soup, garlic bread (courtesy of my hubby)
WEDNESDAY: Marinated Flank Steak, scalloped potatoes, green beans
THURSDAY: Whole Wheat Fettuccine with Rosa Sauce, salad
FRIDAY: hoping to go out ...

Why am I hoping to go out on Friday? Because my hubby is leaving Saturday morning to Phoenix with 4 of his friends for four nights. They're off on a "Golf/Sporting Events" weekend ... it's out-of-control. Every day/night there's either a golf game, hockey game, basketball game ... or how 'bout this? The SUPERBOWL is happening that weekend IN Phoenix!

I'm glad to stay at home and have the remote to myself *grin* and I'm wondering how tired he'll be when he returns ...

21 January 2009

[digiscrap & talk: Just Twiddlin' My Thumbs.]

HA! As if!! I may not have been blogging, but I have been out-of-control busy and feeling good about it. As long as I have an hour or two at SOME point in the day to have some silence - it's all good.

What have I been doing?? Well - the BIGGEST thing is still yet to come. I've been working on a new project-of-sorts. And it's been a time consuming venture and, although a creative outlet, a bit mind boggling at the same time. I'll be happy when it's finished ... because then, it can start! And then I can share it with you.

What else? Well, I've been preparing for the Women's Encounter that I'm leading worship for this weekend. I'm not staying the entire weekend, but coming home after the evening service on the Saturday night. This will be my 4th Encounter, and each time I look more and more forward to it. It's a chance to regroup, connect with others and just BE. It's out in the boonies *grin* - on a lake and is QUIET. I'm looking forward to that!

On Monday night, I felt a massive push to write ... and I haven't written any music since our church did an all-originals CD back in 2006. Sure, I've tried - but nothing's come. Just a bunch of little diddies that have no "omph" to them - and nothing ever finished. But Monday night, this song came to me and was written in less than an hour. That hasn't happened since "Just As I Am" ... and I felt such gratitude that I could still create something for Him. So grateful!

SO - I think I'm going to try it up at Encounter and see how it goes. Maybe I'll post it on here too ... just have to finish the legalities of it first.

So, see? Just twiddlin' my thumbs ... *grin*.

"NOW". It's working! ... oh. And here are a few pages I've done in those quiet moments *grin*.

15 January 2009

[talk: The Time is NOW]

A friend of mine had a great challenge ... to find a WORD to describe what you want out of 2009. At least, that's how I interpreted it *smile*.

The word came instantly: NOW. The concept being that tomorrow is too late.

Too many times I say, "tomorrow". And I'm someone who isn't really known for not getting things done - but due to the massive list of things I WANT to do, something always seem to have to wait until tomorrow.

But "NOW" doesn't mean feeling guilty tomorrow for what I didn't do today. No, NOW means using NOW the best that I can. Maybe it means staying up late and completing a song that I've been working on, or maybe it means going to bed early just to make sure that I get the necessary sleep I need to be a good mom the next day. NOW means not making excuses for things I'm afraid to start. Or finish. NOW means that I don't have regrets about wasting the time that God gave me NOW to use. And if it's used to host, clean, sing, play, go out, work out, read, meet new people ... it doesn't matter. As long as the NOW counted.

So - this word has lit a fire under me. There are so many, many things that I'm going to be doing this year that are because of NOW. And I'll get into that in another post ... But because I've named it and called it what it is - it makes me more aware of it.

NOW. And today - was good *smile*.

How 'bout you? Does this ring a bell for you too?

13 January 2009

[organize & make: Meal Planning & Teriyaki Chicken]

Ok ... so - it's back to normal around here ... except that nothing is EVER normal. If we had a week that every single day was reliable, I would die of a coronary. Seriously.

We always go to my in-laws on Monday nights ... but that didn't happen and I didn't find out until late morning - which meant I didn't have time to grocery shop and plan. UGH. So it was pizza last night - and my 2 year old sobbed and sobbed ... all he wanted was grapes. Oh brother.

And on Thursday my hubby gets his wisdom teeth taken out, so today I purchased pudding and jello mixes, sorbet, vanilla ice cream and Popsicles. I'm a tad worried about Friday. He's a man ... he could become pathetic *grin*. He said to me last night, "Imagine knowing that in a few days you're going to be in pain." Um. Dude. I've given birth ... YOU imagine being a ticking time bomb waiting for the most unbearable pain you could ever imagine. Don't mess with me *wink*.

But I got it together and dinner is in the oven on low heat, cooking for 2.5 hours ... smells YUMMY already.

That leads me to this week's menu plan. A WEIRD menu plan.

Monday - not even worth mentioning.
Tuesday - roast beef, oven roasted yams, potatoes, red peppers, carrots & onions. Multigrain baguette & salad with tomatoes.
Wednesday - Whole grain fresh fettuccine, red tomato sauce, veggies & dip.
Thursday - Teriyaki Chicken (recipe to follow), brown rice, steamed broccoli.
Friday - Chicken & Spinach lasagna (pre-bought), salad.
Saturday - Ham & Pineapple pizza ... if we're home.

Hope this post finds you and your home in peace.

OH! And the recipe ... I'm not sure where I got this from but I usually use it when I make fried rice with egg and such, so I dice the chicken rather than use the breasts ... it's super yummy - and EXTREMELY hot (heat hot, not spicy hot). So be careful ... and enjoy!

Teriyaki Chicken (for 2 chicken breasts)

2 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp ginger (fresh - I keep mine frozen in a ziplock for easy use)
5 tsp honey
1 tbsp cooking sherry (or the real stuff *wink*)
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced (or pressed ... )


- mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside.
- in a non-stick frying pan, cook chicken (diced or breasts) until half cooked.
- pour half of the mixture over chicken and continue cooking. Keep adding sauce until all the sauce is used and becomes evaporated and sticky. Or, if you prefer, reserve some sauce to pour over - but I find that the chicken is adequately coated and extra sauce isn't necessary.

Enjoy! Let me know if you tried it ... would love to hear from you!

08 January 2009

[digiscrap: 2009 is Shaping Up Nicely!!]

OHHHHH - sooo much to tell - so much happening in 2009!!

But first, can I tell you how giddy I am about tonight? What am I doing? Oh - well - I'm home ALONE tonight *grin*. Is that mean? Selfish? Honestly - I don't care *grin*. It's been 17 days IN A ROW that we've had something on. This is my night to get in my jammies and digiscrap my brains out ... My hubby is playing two hockey games tonight. He asked, "Is that ok?" OK??? GO for it *grin*!!

I think I'll have a chai tea too. OH! And maybe give myself a pedicure. OOOOOh - how EXCITING!!

On a different note, I'm INSANELY PUMPED about the fact that I'm going to (drum roll please) AUSTRALIA and NEW ZEALAND in May!! WHOO HOO!! How did I pull that one off? My folks are going and invited me to come along. I'll have a week in Sydney and a week in Auckland with my family. My hubby and boys are staying home ... fifteen days I'll have on my own. Not sure how pumped I'll be by day 5 - BUT - it's a chance of a lifetime and I'm soooo excited to go!

AND my hubby was asked to be a groomsman at our friend's wedding in LONDON in September!! September is a busy month for my hubby at work, but we think we can go for 4 or 5 days. Maybe even catch a flight to Paris for the night ... our friend told us we could get one for maybe $40CDN. CRAZY. I can't even imagine!!

So - this year is looking good so far. I love having things to look forward to ... and I love to document them once they've happened. I'm actually on digipage number 28 of our cruise right now ... I'll post them when I'm totally done. Maybe I'll finish them tonight *fingers crossed*!

Ok - enough about me ... how are YOU?? Seems to be a bit silent out there *grin* ... are you all vacationing without a PC? *shudder*. Would love to know if 2009 is shapin' up nicely for you too. If you stop by, drop me a note ... maybe let me know if there's something in particular you're looking for in my posts? Recipes? Digiscrap? Random banter *grin*?

Whatever the case, I wish you a glorious day and hope that you're taking a moment for yourself today. And for now, here are some of my recent digipages ... enjoy.
click images to enlarge

06 January 2009

[vacation: Mattias Tries Skiing

Well, today I opted to not ski and stay indoors with Josiah. Everyone else in the clan has gone to watch Mattias at his final ski lesson. He was SO cute yesterday, and actually went from the t-bar "bunny" run to the top of the mountain.

He wanted to go up the "big" chair lift - and so we did. We went "up into the clouds" and once we were at the top, Mattias wasn't so sure about coming down. But he did really well - and the mountain was pretty empty which was good.

Half way down, though, Tias had had enough. He was tired, and really, we should've known better than to take him on a 45min run on his 2nd day of skiing. He survived, but there were a lot of tears near the end, and my poor husband had to ski-for-two.

Here are some pics from the last couple of days...

04 January 2009

[talk: Bye Bye 2008]

I'm away with my family and finally got the Internet running. Is there anything more calming than big windows overlooking the ski hills and the fireplace roaring ... and the sheer quiet of it all? My hubby's outside skiing with Mattias while my parents spectate ... and I'm all cozied up while Josiah has his nap.

I'm finding myself SO behind with all that's been happening around here. There is so much to tell - but I think I'll go in order ...

First: New Years Eve.

Oh my WORD. How much FUN did we have??? Nineteen people bustling about, preparing their contributions for the fondue. We had the BIGGEST table ever - and eight fondue pots. There was steak, chicken, prawns, meatballs ... and there was beer batter for zucchini, onion rings, mushrooms and cheese. I made a bunch of dipping sauces including chipotle (you know, the kind you get with yam fries), honey mustard, Japanese steak sauce, plum and teriyaki. SO yummy. And it only took a day to fumigate the stench out of our home *grin*.

The most entertaining thing that happened? Well, that would be the annual hockey game with "mini" sticks. There was far too much testosterone in our basement, and simply too many people ... so it was inevitable that this would happen.

I was upstairs putting our boys to bed when I heard yet another rip-roaring rendition of "Praise God To Whom All Blessings Flow." I KNEW something had happened, and quickly ran downstairs. The guys were trying to keep me from seeing the damage ... and when I finally did, I just looked around the room as they all stared at me, and walked back upstairs.

Ah well, it's totally fixable. And these guys are good for it. But they had to think I was a BIT upset, otherwise they would've just kept going ... soooo - it made for a monumental moment at our New Years party ... ha!

Then, it was Josiah's birthday on New Years Day ... and now we're away. So, many more pics to post later.

Hope you were able to ring in the New Year with those you love. I know, for us, it was simply fantastic.