31 March 2011

[talk: You're Beautiful.]

I had a photoshoot downtown yesterday.

I never go downtown during the day ... my day is scheduled for the most part with some kind of exercise regime, taking kids here or there, picking them up from here or there, meal planning, grocery shopping - I mean, you know how it goes.  Time is a sacred thing to us moms ... so driving downtown?  Doesn't happen.

But yesterday I had a client request a "cityscape" for her photos, so down I went.  And it was a strange thing, walking those streets during the day.  Everywhere - I mean EVERYwhere - there were beautiful people.  Dressed up people, well put-together people ... I actually didn't get the memo on that *grin*.  So I was there in my photo-garb, dressed for rain and mud puddles.  Skinny jeans and Hunter gum boots ... a little underdressed to everyone else ... 

As I was driving home, I was thinking about things that are really important.  Like - what people will remember of me.  I think, when it all comes down to it, we all want to be remembered ... we don't want to be forgotten.  We want to be remembered for good things ... even if you recently met someone who you may never see again, most people would like to think they made a good impression.  Like, if that person bumped into one of your friends, they'd say, "oh - I met so-and-so ... wow.  They're super nice," or a super mom, or super friendly, super smart, super funny ... you get the idea.  I mean - people don't care what EVERY one thinks, but it's nice to be thought of in a good way, no?

And if you asked someone what was MOST important to them to be remembered by, one may answer about their spirituality, their strong marriage or fantastic parenting ... maybe their work ethic or kindness.

Where am I going with all of this?

Well ... where does beauty come into it?

People want to be beautiful - but really, when it comes down to it, people don't really care about it in the end.  The older you get, the more obvious it is that beauty really IS fleeting and the definition of beauty actually changes.  People become more beautiful when you know who they are, what they stand for, what their heart is. 

I think that my friends are far more beautiful now, compared to 10 years ago.  I have a lovely aunt who often tells me that women are far more beautiful in their mid 30s than they ever were in their 20s.  What a great aunt she is to say such a thing *grin*.

So - if it really doesn't matter, is it just society that spurns us to try and reach unobtainable beauty?

I don't think so ... 

There's a book out there called "Captivating".  I love this book.  It talks about how after creating man, creation was pretty much completed - but something was missing, God's piece-de-resistance, so to speak.  Then God created woman, the most incredible, beautiful creation of all (how's THAT for a pick-me-up?).  The book talks about how the creation of woman completed God's own character in His creation; how God desires to be seen as lovely, as beautiful, as cherished.

We sing it in church all the time ... "Lord, You're beautiful", "beautiful One I love, beautiful One I adore ..." .  God sees value in beauty - but how HE sees beauty is not a superficial, outward kind of beauty.  But it's beauty all the same.  If God desires to be beautiful, and he created us in His image - than I would say our desire to be beautiful is a God inspired, God planned thing.

So after walking the streets of downtown, bumping into all sorts of beautiful people, I met up with my clients and took some of my most favourite photographs to date.  It was a photoshoot of a granddaughter and her 90 year old grandmother.  

And I don't know about you - but I see nothing but beauty in her face.  There's wisdom, there's joy, there's experience and heartache ... there's life.  And I think that living a life worth living is really, true beauty.

So why do women want to be outwardly beautiful as well as inwardly?  Because that's how God made us, pure and simple.  Just ask my 1yr old little girl who beams when you tell her she's lovely, or sticks her newly painted toes in your face to get a compliment ... beauty is a God breathed characteristic.

I hope today, that someone tells you that you're beautiful.  Because you are.  And I'm not just saying that ... I'm not just being whatever about it ... you are.  I am.

Now go live the best life you can today :-).

Have a great one!

(oh ... and I've failed to mention that there are a few new blogposts at my RedHanded Photography blog.  One was a baby photoshoot, one was a store photoshoot and one was my sis-in-law's bday party.  Would love you to check 'em out *smile*.  And I'll let you know when grandma and granddaughter's pics are up!!)

29 March 2011

[make: Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream. And A Rant.]

So.  I wrote some of this last night, and now I'm editing this morning ... I'm sitting in a quiet house for the first time in three weeks.  The boys are off to school and Katia is singing to her "baby" ... I'm in my workout gear (Jillian, you have permission to beat me into submission in a few ...) and I'm having my morning shake.  It's a meal replacement shake that I've added frozen strawberries, pineapple and peaches too.  Then I've added 2tbsp of ground flaxseed and 2tsp of 3-6-9 oil blend.  I been having these shakes for the last 3 weeks or so and I love them. 
Plus, I've been running.  Yesterday's 5km was done without 10/1's (I ran straight, with no breaks) and I did it in under 33min.  Barely.  But I'm proud of that ... I'm not just a wanna-be runner anymore.  I am a runner.  I love it.

And yet ... the scale was up this morning.  133.4lbs.  UP, I said.   Ughhhhh.

It's so freakin' discouraging.  Will I ever be 124lb again?  Heck - will I ever be IN the 120's??  I'm guessing I'm getting stronger, my clothes are fitting well - so that's a sign that things are getting tighter.  But still.  

It's funny - because friends have been noticing a physical change ... I had a friend comment this past Sunday morning.  She hadn't seen me in a while and gave me a lovely compliment - and asked how much weight I'd lost.  And I knew that I had actually gained a bit over the last 2 weeks ... and if I look back at my posts here - the difference since Sept 2010 is only a couple of pounds.  That's it.  In fact - it's been less than 10lbs in a whole YEAR, if I check a post I wrote in March of 2010.

So.  I get frustrated when people say, "You've had four babies," or "You're body's not the same as when you were in your 20's," or whatever.  I feel like NOW is the time.  This is it.  If I don't get myself to where I want to be, it'll never happen.  I'm going to be thirty-shhmmmsffff (hand covering mouth) in a few weeks.  I want to be the strongest, the healthiest, the loveliest that I can be.  I don't want excuses.  

I get frustrated when people have reached their goal and I'm feeling like I'm standing still.

My biggest source of contention is the tire that sits on my waist.  I have NEVER, in my life, had a flat tummy.  It's where I've always carried my weight.  Oh.  That and my arms.  I can never wear shirts that are made for skinny-armed people.  Mine are ... guns *grin*.  Minus the rips.  

I remember seeing girls with tiny waists when I was a teenager and in my early twenties.  Girls in bikinis with hips and a bellyring.  Ok.  And they had long legs too *grin*.  That was NOT me.  I had to try and find my waist *grin*.  Bikinis are a curse ... and I actually own a few.  But ... ugh.  Whatever.  And now - a bunch of pregnancies later, that stretched skin with the added "padding" just won't go away.  Or should I say - it hasn't as of yet.

I'm all for my medals ... the odd stretch mark (I was really blessed to not have any with my pregnancies) ... but this tummy just HAS to go.  I'm guess that cardio and time will do it?  I mean, if I'm working at it - it can't stay forever.  Can it??  I know that I know that I know I have at least 7-10lbs to lose.  Heck, according to the doctor's "height/weight" chart I'm supposed to be between 105-118lbs.  Good-freakin-grief.  That's more than 20lbs??  I haven't weighed 105lb's since elementary school.  So, I'm hoping that if I can lose that 7-10lbs that I know I should, at least 4 or 5lbs of it will be from my gut.  Please and thank you.


Thank you for letting me rant. The tire's still there, but I WILL do my Jillian DVD right after I finish this ... 

Ok ... the next part of this post was written last night *grin*.  Ice cream.  Ok Ok Ok ... I know.  Ice cream and weight loss don't go together ... I hear you.

But I just had to post on this.  It seems as though my home-made-ice-creaming-blogs have changed a few homes from processed, expensive,  store-bought ice cream to make-their-own ... I LOVE that.  And now here's another ice cream addition for your repertoire ... 

* * * * * 

If you know anything about ice cream - you can make it with or without eggs.  With eggs - it's got a much better texture and custard-like smoothness.  It has a richer, fuller, thicker taste.  Oh boy.  Doesn't that sound good??

I rarely make it with eggs, though.  First off - time.  Making ice cream with eggs requires time, and more than just that, it requires me KNOWING that I'm going to be making ice cream.  See, with eggs, you've gotta create a warm milk base to cook the eggs in ... blah blah blah.  Then it has to cool down before placing it in the machine ... you get the idea.  Yummy - yes.  Time consuming - yes.

The other thing about eggs in ice cream is the extra calories and cholesterol.   Boo on that.  So - when I make ice cream after dinner, it's usually just milk/sugar/vanilla.  That's it.  Not as rich, but still satisfying. 

Why the speech on eggs?  Well.  As you have just read, they need to be cooked before consumed.  So - when coming up with a Cookie Dough Ice Cream recipe (Tias LOVES cookie dough ice cream at ColdStone and I wanted to surprise him one night with my own version) - I wasn't sure how to do that??  I mean - cookie dough has EGGS in it.

Or does it?? *wink*.

Lookie what I found ... an eggless cookie dough recipe that you FREEZE in little balls or whatever, ready for your ice cream maker when you're ready to make it!!  That is, if you don't eat it all first ... 

Are you as excited about this as I am?


Didn't see any jumping up and down.  I'm sorely disappointed.


Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough for Ice Cream
5tbsp brown sugar 
6tbsp sugar
4tbsp butter, softened
1tsp vanilla
3tbsp whole milk
1 cup flour 
1/2tsp salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

This is enough to make 24 small melon ball size of chunks that can be put in the freezer. When ready to add to icecream, you can cut each ball into quarters.

I made this - and can attest to how FANTASTIC it is.  I currently have a little tupperware container with dough-balls in it for the next time I make icecream.  Tias is gonna DIE.  I'll be his favourite mommy forever *grin*.  

It's a true treat ... and hey - if you just like to EAT cookie dough, this is a safe version.  Although - flour, sugar, butter ... you may need to up your cardio *wink*.  I know that I won't be able to have this in my freezer without a nibble here and there.  So treat it as a special treat ... if you want.

Enjoy - and let me know if you give this a try :-).

Have a great one!!

24 March 2011

[talk: My Name.]

I love nicknames ... our home is full of them.

All of us have 3 syllable first names (yup - that was planned ...).  So those names can all be shortened:  Mattias is Tias, Josiah is Siah, Katia is Taya or Kat (thanks hubby - you promised that wouldn't happen *wink*).  We also call Tias "monkey",  Siah "silly boy" and Taya "Boo-bear".

I love nicknames.  I think they show love and friendship  ... as long as they're kind ones.  They're a term of endearment.  They're special.  They show relationship.

I had a bunch of nicknames as I was growing up ... My dad called me "Mrs. Jones" ever since I can remember - which was really funny when I dated a guy for a few weeks with that same last name *grin*.   My brother was "little green truck" ... Tias became "toad", Siah "goofas" and Katia "angel face".  My  dad loves nicknames too.

In elementary school, I actually told people my name was Tanya ... I hated my own 3syllable "Tawn-ee-yah" name.  No one could pronounce it.  So - I was Tanya to a lot of people for a while ... 

Then jr high came ... and along with it came the need to have a unique name.  So I instantly became a member of the Name Police and would fine anyone who said my name wrong.  It was annoying for me, annoying for my friends.  Having a name that no one could remember to pronounce correctly was frustrating.

So, my friends in high-school started giving me nicknames - probably because they were afraid I would ticket them for saying my real name incorrectly *grin* (that's a joke.).  I was called by my last name a lot (my maiden name, that is) ... in all sorts of bizarre combos.  I was called Spunky.  I was called Pebbles (because I used to twirl a pencil in my hair like the bone that Pebbles on Flintstones did ... ) ... I was called Shorty, Stumpy, Little One ... My boyfriend in high-school ... he always, always called me Tania - the right way.

Friends started calling me Tawn around then too.  In fact, when I introduced myself I often said, "Hi - I'm Tania (Taw-nee-yah), but you can call me Tawn."  And that spelling?  It just happened once I got online.  "Tan" doesn't work - it's the wrong pronunciation.    "Ton" looks weird.   So Tawn it became.

In my early 20's my boyfriend at the time gave me another nickname, and all my friends in that group adopted it - so I was called Tawny.  I had an uncle who called me that too ... he was the only adult who ever did.   I don't know where he came up with it - but when he called me Tawny, I loved it.   He passed away a few years ago - and I miss being called that by him.  No one calls me that anymore.

Now - I get called a bunch of things.  My brother always, always calls me "T".  "Hey T," he'll say.  I like that.  I'm not sure when it started, but it's special to me.  And my hubby has a couple of good friends that call me TDot.  Strange.  Maybe.  But I like it ... I feel like their little sister.  Or should I say, smaller sister :-).  Some of my friends that are a part of the worship team at my church call me T-Dawg.  **shaking head**.  REALLY don't know where that came from ... but I like it just the same.

I once read that a girl's favourite word to hear, is her name.  I totally think so ... maybe - for me - it's because only a few people in this world say it right.  So when I hear it said correctly - it melts me.  Strange.   And it's not just that - there are people who try to say it properly, but it sounds ... strained?  I can have my back to someone, and have them say my name perfectly - and I know that I've known them forever.  I feel like they know me.  It's a strange thing ...

My hubby?  He calls me Tawn.  I've given him a million lessons on how to say my name and he THINKS he says it properly.  After almost 14 years together - it's still not right.  Ahhh well.  Tawn is just fine.

So.  That's my post on nicknames.  

What do you like to be called?  Do you have nicknames for you kids?  Or are you a "I named my child Maria, and Maria she shall be called ..." kind of a person?

Have a great one :-).  

23 March 2011

[katia: A Father's Love.]

My hubby loves his kids, and he is a wonderful father.  He drives the boys to school most days, he's home for almost every dinner ... he plays with them, helps tuck them into bed, prays with them.  He takes them to their sporting activities and Sunday school.  He's a gift giver - and never wants his kids to be without (even if it's good for them ...).  He loves his kids.

And having two boys first was perfect for us - but watching him with his little girl has been so so lovely.  Katia has his heart - and I teasingly remind him that she will  one day be a teenager and he'll have to have made sure he's said, "NO" to her a long time before then *wink*.

Fathers and daughters.

I love how God made us all.

And - I wanted to say THANK YOU to all of you for your comments (mainly on FB) and encouragement to my mom.  She was overwhelmed with good wishes.  I had my parents over for dinner last night, and we went through the whole story over and over ... it really, really is incredible.  She's completely fine ... you'd never know she'd fallen through the ceiling just 24hours before *shaking my head in amazement*.

And I had almost 200 hits on this site yesterday.  For me - that's a LOT.  OH!!  And did you notice??  Probably not ... but this site has officially had over 70,000 hits now.  THAT is crazy.

Ok.  Must run ... the kids are acting like hooligans *grin*.   Screaming, wrestling, laughing ... better go before it ends in tears *wink* ... 

Have a great one :-).

22 March 2011

[talk: She Fell Through the Ceiling]

My parents are renovating their place.  After months of looking at different properties, they decided to update the home they were in because of it's incredible property and location. 

They started the process a couple of weeks ago ... gutted and extended the kitchen, raised the sunken family room, took up all the flooring on the mainfloor ... they're changing their banisters, their front door, all the windows in the entire house, their garage doors, the retaining wall ... it's a MASSIVE undertaking.  So - with the floors up and the under beams exposed - it's a bit of a dangerous place.  

Especially yesterday.

For some reason, my mom came through the front door when she arrived home yesterday afternoon from  being out.  She would normally go through the garage entrance - and if she had, none of what happened would've happened.

She opened the front door and saw the exposed flooring.  Unaware that she was actually looking at the ceiling tiles under the joices - she decided, in her lovely black healed boots - that she would try and walk along the joices ... and if she needed to balance, she's simply put her foot on the "floor".  

What happened next was simply crazy.

She applied a little weight at first, then placed both feet on the exposed ceiling drywall and BAM.  Down she went ... 10ft.  Well.  ALMOST 10ft.  She landed on the pinball machine below.

The workers heard the crash, and as God would have it, one guy was actually walking out of the bathroom and passed my mom right as she rolled off of the pinball machine.  He said, "I was shaking, it was crazy - I tried to get her to the nearest chair."

We think she was knocked out for a moment ... she apparently wasn't making sense at first, wasn't talking.  Her legs immediately swelled up and turned black and blue.  One of the guys applied ice and he did such a great job at controlling the swelling ... 

Now.  If you know my mom ... she's a tough lady.  TOUGH.  

There were no tears, she refused the ambulance ... and insisted that she hold the appointment with the decorator (LM) for wallpaper ideas.  She wasn't going to let a little thing like falling through the ceiling stop her.  Oh. My. Word. 

Although it was a few hours later, she finally agreed to get checked out at the hospital.  They did all the necessary tests to make sure that there was no internal bleeding, no sprains or broken bones.  And would you believe ... nothing.  She was totally, utterly, fine - other than some obvious soreness and bruising.

This is a freakin' miracle.  If that pinball machine hadn't had been there, she would've broken her legs, or her feet at the the very least.  If the pinball machine hadn't been on a slope, it would've shattered - and the damage that glass would've done is unthinkable.  If she had fallen only a couple of inches to the left or right ... she would've landed on the cutlery with forks and knives sticking out of it (they have a little make shift kitchen in the basement while their main kitchen gets remodeled).  Or her head would've hit the shelf that's along the wall ... 

It's CRAZY. 

So .., this morning I took the kids to go visit and the trauma of it all has hit her.  She was emotional as she shared the horrifying experience - and said that she kept reliving it over and over in her mind ... the sensation of falling and hitting ... it will take some time for her to get over this, for sure.

I mean ... she's in her 60's.  Fell through a ceiling.  Got knocked out.  And walked away from it.  Here are a few pics, that I took with my IPhone ... just to give you an idea - the man in the hat is 6ft tall ... 

I always knew she was a tough lady ... but SERIOUSLY.  

Love you so much mom, and do us all a favour ... please walk on the plywood from now on!! Xx.

Have a great one :-)!!

21 March 2011

[cool products: Attain Health Today Dot Com Part 2]


I just got an email from NR - the girl who's products I bragged on in the last post.  She's frustrated because her site is acting up ... she asked me to direct you HERE.  Sorry about any confusion with that ... 

And now that I'm here - do I have anything to say??

Not really any new revelations ... I am trying to be brave and am hoping to check out that studio I was talking about a few days ago ... and I haven't run since I got home.  Shin splints.  They are evil.  And they make me feel old and lame.  So I'm giving them a needed rest to make sure that I don't damage my little limbs and have them take me out entirely.

What else.  Oh - I did SO much digiscrapping while we were gone.  Over 50+ pages.  Twenty-eight of them were days one through eight of the Di Schmoodynoovan's cruise.    My mom will be happy to read that.  I've got about another 20 pages to go, I think.  At least.

That's all I got for now ... 

The rain sucks.

I'm going to read my last post and imagine running up that mountain in the heat ... seems like a lifetime ago already.  Boo.

Have a good one :-).

(what a lame post that was.  sorry. *grin*)

19 March 2011

[cool products: Attain Health Today Dot Com]

I'm back.


Back to a car battery that failed to start when we arrived at the airport.  Back to a home without heat because the furnace decided to take a holiday too, I guess.  Back to rain and wind and cold.  

So ... I did what I do best:  I organized.

I started with the fridge, then the side-by-side freezer, the stand up freezer, the garage fridge, the pantry, all three kids drawers - swapping the new stuff bought with the old-stuff-that-has-holes-in-it, my own closet - when I buy something new I ALWAYS toss something old out to make room - , and my bathroom drawers.

And that was the day we arrived home - and it felt good.

Some of life's "normals" of the last 10 days haven't happened.  I haven't run (it's Saturday as I type this ... I came home yesterday) ... my ankle is still bothering me.  I think the cold is making it ache *wink*.  And I don't know if I'm going to head to church tomorrow b/c Mattias is in a hockey tourny with my hubby helping out and Katia doesn't stay in the nursery ... so why bother?  I'm leading at the Recovery Service at night ... so looking forward to that.  Oops.  Thinking outloud there ...


What is "Attain Health Today Dot Com"?

Well ... while I was away, I tried some new herbal products.  I don't have a gallbladder - was taken out a few years ago - so my digestion is always an issue.  And I thought I'd give this a try.

I had a shake in the morning - with a powder-shake mix, some water (you could use milk or almond milk), some frozen blueberries, half a banana and aloe powder and whatever fruit/veggie I could find -  ... then I had one in the afternoon, and then a meal at night. Who are we kidding, I had dinner and dessert - usually Cold Stone *grin*.

And I lost close to 1.5 inches in 10days.

I've come home and one of the first things I did, was order more of this stuff ... full of healthy, yummy goodness.  And my hubby likes them too (bonus) ... 

My friend has a site ... and even if you have a question about a product, or you just want to snoop around, you should go.   The site is called Attain Health Today.

I actually bought a pair of Size2 jeans while I was gone *grin*!  Ok ... so they're a little snug at the top ... but still ...

Have a good one!!

16 March 2011

[running: Trail Blazing.]

So .., I'm still away.  The sun is glorious, the family time has been incredible - the shopping not half bad either *wink* - and running ... well - I've run close to every day since I've been here.

That's kind of a strange thing ... but with such incredible weather, it's all I want to do first thing in the morning.  When I'm at home, the rain and cold can defeat me.  Here ... outside beckons me.

I've been running 5km mostly ... so no really looong runs.  And I've been switching runners with my new Nike Airs - and doing what they recommend ... short runs in those for now.  But today ... today was different.

We're here with some friends ... and it's almost comical how much my hubby is like my friend, and how much her hubby is like me.  NR's hubby is a runner too ... and he's 6.2" tall with long legs.   I'm not 6.2". Close, but not quite *wink*.   I've never run with him.  He could jog to my sprint, probably ... I haven't tried.  

ANYways, JR wanted to check out some of the terrain around where we're staying.  "Sure," I said.  And we headed out this morning and found the perfect spot.  I brought my IPhone to document the time/distance ... and to take pics *grin*.

Oh, come on ... you KNEW I would!

The trial started out going up.  My calves were burning within minutes.  Then, we had to climb over shale rock.  

"Um.  JR,"  I said.  "This isn't a run.  This is a hike ... "

"I know!!! Isn't it GREAT???"  he smiled.


We could see the church below ... we had parked in the parking lot.  A pretty famous church.  Ever heard of Tommy Barnett?   Yeah.  His church ... seats 4500.  But I'll get to that later ... 

When we got to the first peak - it was incredible.  But we were far from done.  "Let's head over there," he said.

Um.  OK ... gimme a sec.  I'm taking a pic ... 

I've never done trail running.  And again - it really wasn't RUNNING.  My heart was pounding, though.  My legs were burning ... all while holding my IPhone.

So silly. 

I will say, that part of the reason I was behind JR was because I really was busy snapping pics *grin*.  How could I not?  ... and I think that I caught a pretty cool shot of him at the other peak ... 

And then he snapped a few of me ...


So.  That was our warm up.  The next plan was to head down - without spraining an ankle or sliding down on my butt - and then take some trails around ...

So this is where the running happened.  And it was really, really awesome.  I loved it ... no music playing, just being aware of the outdoors, enjoying the heat, concentrating on my footing ... exploring a place I'd never been before.

Without sounding hyper-dramatic, it truly felt great to be alive. 

And we headed back to the church to the parking lot ... we sprinted - full tilt - to the front of the church, stretched and I checked our stats on my running app.  We had gone 2.56km and over 150meters in elevation.  Our time was weak - a lot of chatting and pic taking - so it was about 35minutes.

After we cooled down a bit, we headed into the church.  And we happened to get let in by a nice lady who had seen us sprint in the parking lot - and as we entered, we realized we were on the stage.  4500 seats, three levels and balconies ... and the lady said, "would you like me to turn on a few lights?"

Um.  Yes??

Lights came on.  We stood there, sweaty and gross ... on Tommy Barrnett's stage.

How awesome is that? *GRIN*

So ... that's my story of my first trail run.  And I really, really liked it.  I'm sore now, but want to do it again tomorrow ... we're heading home on Friday.  Not much time left, and I'm a little sad that we didn't do this earlier ... 

Now ... to find a friend to trail run with back at home?  

Have a great one :-)!!!

14 March 2011

[digiscrap: Keep 'Em Comin'.]

In the last 5 days, I have done 28pages of scrapbooking.  All while the kids were in bed - all on my MAC laptop, all while enjoying the company of others.

Man.  I love digiscrapping.

These pages I'm showing were done before I even left ... I am actually running out of 2010 images to do!!  WOW.  And I've finished all the "Renovations 2009" pages (I'll post those soon) and - drumroll please - I started the "DiSchmoodynoovan Disneyworld/Cruise 2010" pages.  Six pages done, and about 80 more to go.

I know my mom will be happy to read that *grin*.

What else?  So much - but not enough time to type it all ... getting the marinated chicken ready for the BBQ, the potatoes/onions/carrots baking in a hot oven ... salad tossed, lemonade stirred.  It's a lovely evening for an outside dinner in the sunshine here ... 

Obviously - I'm not at home *wink*.

Have a great one!!

11 March 2011

[cool products: Nike Free]

Guess what I got??

Can't guess?  Really?  Gotchu stumped??  *grin*

Yup ... I got myself a pair of Nike Free runners while I've been down here in the US.  Such a great price - and I was so excited to give them a try this morning.  The aren't exactly like this pic ... mine have orange laces and swoosh ... and mine are more light grey than dark ... but you get the idea.

See - these are supposed to mimic running barefoot ... why?  Because the fastest athletes all run barefoot in the beginning, apparently.  I didn't know that ... but hey - I'm not a running genius or anything.

The Nike-guy made sure they fit  - and they actually feel a little like socks.  Strange.  There is no "tongue", it's all one piece ... and the laces simply secure the foot in more.

I gave it a try on the Nike treadmill ... in a skirt.  It wasn't pretty - but I couldn't believe how light my feet felt.  They are aptly named at "free".

I was told that I needed to be careful on my first series of runs in the Frees.  Apparently, you're supposed to switch between the Frees, and your other running shoes.  The idea is that you are strengthening different muscles in your legs and rear ... muscles that aren't used in regular running shoes.

At least, that's what he told me.

So this morning, I got all ready for my run.  I stretched, and planned on running only 2km ... it wasn't a "run day" today - so even though I haven't run less than 5km in months and months, I gave myself a break.  It was better than not running, right?  And I didn't want to be sore for my regular run tomorrow.

I ran.

And it .was. crazy.

I ran 6.07/km ... not sure if the speed was due to the shoes, or to the fact that I knew I wasn't going to be running far.  My entire run was under 13minutes *laughing*.  Kinda silly.

How do I feel now, hours later?  Totally fine.  I wonder if I'll be sore tomorrow??  Maybe.  I am CERTAIN that I was forced to use different muscles ... I can feel that.  But I'm kinda excited about maybe increasing my endurance by switching it up ... 

SO.   That's it.  New runners ... maybe making me a better runner.  And I really like the thought of that.

Tonight ... we're off for a grown-up evening to a Japanese Steakhouse.  I bought a short, navy strapless dress - and am excited to get all pretty-ed up for the night ... a bit of sun on my skin has made me feel ... better. *smile*.

I hope - wherever you are - that your night is full of new memories and laughter.  And - I do want to add - that I don't understand why life can feel lovely at times for some, while others are losing their loved ones in earthquakes and tsunamis.  It doesn't seem fair ... it isn't fair.  

So to all of you  - I wish you a really wonderful day ... have a great one. Xx.

10 March 2011

[digiscrap: Lotsa Pages ... and Some Venting.]

Last night I headed to HandM with my friend.  

We're away right now, in sunny Phoenix, and I had a goal to be a certain "number" by the time I was down here.  I hate it when I think I'm slimmer than I am, go and pick out some cute things to try on, only to be completed gutted that nothing does up.  Seriously ... and don't just say, "get a bigger size" because that, in itself, is enough to make a grown woman cry.  Can I hear an "amen"??

So - this morning I ran my 5km, had a shake for breakfast and now intend on swimming and sunning the day away with my kiddies while snacking on almonds and blueberries.   If I don't get my body back soon, I just may eat my way to happiness.  Which will make me very unhappy.  You know how it goes ... 

And I'm trying to decide WHY one day I can feel super lovely, and then next - like a heifer.  Who decides this??  The mirror?  The scale?  My clothes??  I hate it ... in heaven my image of myself will be healthy and I will be happy.  

Enough of that.

So.  I am trying REALLY hard to get all the pics from 2009/2010 off of my computer.  They're all backed up - I just need to digiscrap them.  Last night, 6pages done.  I have about a million to go - BUT I can actually see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Deleting files of images makes me so happy.  It's like purging for the computer *grin* .... 

Double click the images to enlarge.

And you know the routine ... have a great one!!

09 March 2011

[big dreams: Am I on Candid Camera?]

Have you ever seen that show, "Candid Camera"?  It's that show where people are put into ridiculous circumstances, only to be told that they're being filmed and the situation is a big hoax.

Well - I don't really feel like my life is an episode of Candid Camera, but I'm still spinning from the events of this last weekend.  And I thought I'd give you a little update on what's been going on since then ... 

So - Sunday was a normal Sunday.  Church in the morning, family over for lunch, and a great time at the Recovery Service in the evening.  Monday - was a full day ... but once the kiddies were in bed, and my hubby was off to his hockey game, I headed downstairs with my laptop and stared at the piano.

"Where do I start?" I thought.

I have a few ideas about different songs that I feel are living inside of me.  They're all God-songs ... but I have a couple of "themes" that I feel my songs should be about.

I put my hands on the piano, took a deep breath, and ... just started playing.

After about an hour, I had a good start on a song - well - musically.  No melody or lyrics yet.  I turned on my laptop, recorded what I created (if I walk away for a few minutes, I always fear everything I created will vanish) - and it felt ... good.

It's a little bit sad because I'm away from my piano for a bit - but I have the recording ... so while I can't actually perfect it musically, I'm going to try and set some time aside to figure out what the song is about, working on lyrics and a melody.

I'm excited.

So why the title, "Am I on Candid Camera?"

Well ... after I worked on my songwriting, I came upstairs, my hubby came home - and I got a FB message from the guy at the show.  The one who asked me how my music was coming along.  He wrote me.  Me.  He said he wants to hear what I'm working on ... I was giddy.

And then, literally minutes later, I got a twitter from another wonderful worship-leader friend - and he wrote, "hey - we should get together and do songs.  it would be gold."  Or something like that.  

Two songwriters, connecting with me.  ME.

Where's the camera???  ** looking over my shoulder **

Have a great one!

07 March 2011

[big dreams: Spinning Head.]

I don't know what to really post about this ... but my head is spinning "right 'round, baby, right 'round ..."

This past weekend I went with my hubby to a "concert" of sorts ... full of local musicians; some people that I've known about for a long time, some people that I've heard about and couldn't wait to hear in person.  It was a casual setting, with guests standing, sitting, chatting, dancing ... I saw a lot of faces from a lifetime ago - and it makes these things even more fun to go to ... 

At the back of the room during one of the sets, I found myself chatting with an old acquaintance who is pretty much a full-on genius when it comes to producing amazing music ... And after a few minutes of playing catchup, he looked and me and asked, "So, Tawn.  What are you doing with your music?"

Um.  **insert cricket chirps here ... **

See ... the very first time I met him, he actually came to an event that I lead worship for.  Or something like that - kinda more like a worship special event. A bunch of us were thrown together and formed this  worship band.  We were doing local gigs (can you call worship nights gigs??) and we had all these dreams of God and music and creating and traveling and and and and.

But - that dream never happened. 

And that's been totally fine.  It hasn't been a disappointment, although I've sometimes wondered what would've happened if our group had been able to stick it out and have it as a priority. See my "sliding doors" post for more on that ... but, I've had an amazing time leading worship at different churches -  especially at my home church ( you can check out "worship" in my filing drawer of this blog ... ) and as you may or may not know, I have dreams of heading back east to Virginia and DC at some point ... (still not sure what that looks like).  So, it's not at all like my music dream is dead or even in a coma *grin*.  I'm trying to walk in it ... trying.

But, writing/recording/producing.  That's different.

Truth is - over the years I've had a lot of people pass comments like, "... been writing lately?" or " ... would you ever do a CD?" or whatever.  And for me -  I just don't want to write anything that wouldn't be full-on-God-breathed.  I'm actually terrified of writing junk.  And I'm not a soloist ... I'm a worship leader.  Those are two totally different things.  So - I've never desired to put out an album that I would need to promote (just writing that sounds a bit ridiculous to me ...).  An album of just me?  What would the point of that be?  To hand them out as door prizes at my hubby's company Christmas dinner?  Oh brother.

But - on Saturday night as I chatted with him, he invited me to come and check out his studio ... to see how he did things.  And he said, "... bring something you're working on."  And I started to sweat.  Literally.

I'm pretty sure that I could never create something that he would appreciate musically.

But I haven't stopped thinking about it since Saturday night ... maybe the whole thing with me going to the event was just for that?  Maybe the convo I had with another band-dude about it, was encouraging enough to give me the guts to try?  Maybe it was just to remind me of writing?  Maybe it's just something that I could do for me - and not worry and feel pressure about even having another soul listen to it?  Maybe I could write something that would touch our home church - or even elsewhere?

Oh.  I don't know.  It feels too big, and I feel far too little to even dream like that - that something I could create would be worth enough to have others listen to.  I mean, this wouldn't be, like, a church project.  It would just be me.


So .., I guess the next step is to at least get going on some of those musical ideas I've had? ... who knows where they'll take me.  Maybe nothing.  Maybe something.  Maybe.

"You spin me right 'round baby, right 'round ... "

Have a great one!

05 March 2011

[make: WHY I Make Ice Cream & Coconut Ice Cream made with Almond Milk]

We make a lot of ice cream around here.  Well - let's change that.  I make a lot of ice cream around here.  For me, you just can't compare it to store bought.  

Here's why I chose to invest in a machine ( ... it runs about $99.00CDN at Sears.  I have the Cuisine Art one.  It's stainless steel and sharp lookin'.):

1.  I know what's in it, plain and simple.  
2.  I can control the sugar and fat content.
3.  It allows me to be creative - experimenting with flavour combinations and sugar products (cane sugar, agave nectar, splenda, honey ...).
4.  There are never any left overs - I make enough for 1 serving each for our family ... and then it's gone.  There's no waste, no throwing money down the drain.
5.  I don't snack on it ... because there are no left overs, I'm not tempted to scarf down spoonfuls during the day.
6.  Store bought icecream is expensive ... I can make homemade for less than half the cost, depending on the ingredients.


There you have it ... 

Now - last night we had company over (big surprise *grin*), and they both had sensitivities to dairy.  Hmmm.  So - my hubby booted up to the grocery store and bought a 2litre Almond Milk (for about $4.00CDN).  I know that dairy-free ice cream is really expensive - so this is a steal.

I decided to try something else that I've done before ... coconut milk.  I had a tin of it ... and here's how I made my first "Coconut Ice Cream with Almond Milk".

Coconut Ice Cream with Almond Milk

1 tin of coconut milk
3 cups of almond milk
1/4 cup cane sugar
1 tbsp vanilla


Place all ingredients in a blender ... blend.  Then pour into the ice cream maker and follow ice cream maker instructions.

THAT'S it.  And in about 30minutes, fresh ice cream.

Was it good?  My hubby LOVED it ... it had a great consistency because of the coconut milk.  It wasn't super sweet, so I could up the sugar next time if I wanted.  I also like smooth ice cream, but you could easily toast some coconut in a small frying pan and dump that in during the ice cream churning process.  Also - eggs can really make ice cream rich and custard-like.  BUT that would've ruined the whole "non dairy" thing ... and you must cook the mixture first if you have eggs in it.  So it's more time consuming. 

So ... it was all eaten, all gone, no leftovers.  

I'd say it was a hit.

Have a great one!!  

03 March 2011

[invisaline: The Bottomless Pit]

I like having a purpose in my day ... crossing things off of my list, being productive, feeling like I haven't wasted time.  Oh, don't get me wrong - I can be a the champion procrastinator too ... just because I cross things off of my list, doesn't mean that the things I SHOULD be doing even made the list *grin*.

My boys are at school, Katia is napping ... and now I have some time.  What do I like doing so so much?  Writing on my blog ... so, here I am.  And the list stays uncrossed-off right beside me *grin* ... 

I had an ortho appointment this morning.  And gotta say - a wee bit frustrated.  If you know anything about invisaline, you get a set of trays, you were them for 2 weeks, then you move to the next set of trays ... and so on and so on.  

I've been doing this for 2 years now,  no - wait, longer than that .., and I am supposed to be doing my "refinements".  For me, this translated to : almost done.

My last set of trays were a series of 9 (which equals 18weeks).  I finished those around New Years, and I thought that when I went today, the ortho-dude would say, " ... we have 3 more trays in your final set. It's the home-stretch!!"  

But no.



Twenty-six more weeks of bumps on my teeth and all the stuff that I really want to be over with.  THEN - get this - he breaks out his little filing machine and says he needs to create spacing (millimetre spacing, but STILL) ... and off he goes, filing spacing so that my teeth have room to go where he's like them to.

So.  Now ... I have a couple of strange "spaces" (hairline, but STILL) that probably won't be unnoticeable until tray number 12. 

See ... originally, the ortho-dude wanted to break my jaw, wire it shut for 2 weeks, and then line up my top and bottom.  I said no chance on that ... they don't have to be perfectly-perfect.  There is no modeling career happening *laughing* ... So, now that I didn't do that, he's moving them over with more and more trays.  He's a bit of a perfectionist, it seems.

ANYway - I guess that I'll be happy with the end result.  I was always so self conscious of my smile - my teeth - so once these bumps are removed (the bumps are there to hold the trays in place), I can't wait to smile, smile, smile.

Twenty-six weeks ... ugh.

I feel like I'm 17, hoping to have my braces off for prom.

There is no prom.

Just clarifying on that  ... *grin*

Have a great one!