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 ...