28 June 2011

[product review: Cars 2 - The Movie.]

Our boys had been counting down the days until Cars 2.  Seriously.  For, like, a year.  When we were down to the last few "sleeps", I thought Josiah was going to lose his mind ... he was so excited.

We were pretty excited too.

We had ADORED the first Cars movie.  It was such a sweet story, with no "evil" or scary parts ... well ... maybe the "car tipping" part.  But that was it ... 

We arrived at the theatre an hour early - anticipating crowds ... but the theatre had done a great job of having a bunch of screening rooms assigned to "Cars 2".  There were only a handful of us in the theatre.

The movie started and we were whispering back and forth about how excited we were.  And then ... within just a few minutes, I realized this was going to be a VERY different experience.  

** do not read on if you don't want to know details about this movie **

The idea is simple enough .., Cars 2 is a spy movie.  And that's an attractive genre, but we were not anticipating the guns, bombs, and the words "death" and "kill".  Cars were being blown up ... tortured for information ... hunted.

My boys were VERY bothered by this ... but I should also say they ARE sensitive to these kinds of visual things.  We have to be very careful of what they watch - Mattias is 6, and Josiah is 4.  And some things that don't bother others, cause our boys to have nightmares.

Josiah hid his eyes behind his Light'ning for parts of the movie ...   Now - this movie is rated "G".  And we never felt strong enough to actually LEAVE the movie, but we definitely were hoping that it would get lighter as it went along ... 

This was my feeling ... I felt like this movie was made for those little boys who were 5 when the first Cars movie came out, and were now 9 or 10.  The storyline was complicated - far to complex for my boys, especially Josiah.  And we were sad to not see many of the old characters, except for Mater.  Sally, Red, Flo, Luigi, Sarge ...  they were in just a few short scenes.

The other thing that was frustrating was most of the characters had accents.  And yes, Luigi and Guido did in the first movie, along with southern accents of Mater and Chick Hicks ... but this was different.  The spies had english accents, and the main race car had and Italian accent.  I could tell that Josiah was lost at times, and didn't always understand what was being said.  

So.  All in all - It was disappointing ... mainly because Toy Story seemed to just get better with each sequel.  And Cars 2 seemed to just ... not.  When we left the theatre, Josiah looked at me and said, "Mummy - I don't think we should get that DVD."  


So disappointing for us - but I hope that if you got a chance to see it, that you and your family had a fantastic time ... I know that so many will love the "smart"ness of the story and it will definitely appeal to the vast majority.  And I do think that we will get the DVD one day *smile*. I think that the parts that were scarier, won't be on a tv screen - rather than a movie screen with dolby sound *grin*.

But for us is was a 4/10

If you saw it, what did you think??

23 June 2011

[talk: Words of Life.]

If asked, I'm sure that you would be able to come up with a handful of people who breathe life into you.    This has been something that I've been meditating on for that last couple of weeks.  It all began with a brilliant sermon by our Pastor two Sundays ago.  I love our church ... and I've been finding myself challenged over and over again by the team there.  Whether it's Sunday morning, the Recovery Service ... whether it's just conversations with other church friends or even in my own "quiet time" ...

But Pastor Brent's sermon deserved a standing ovation.  He spoke on "Words of Life", and so so much of what he said hit home to me.  I'd like to share a few of those ideas that really impacted my own life, my own thought process.

Verbal Tone:

One thing he asked was, "what is the verbal tone in your home?".  And I felt an "oh boy" rise in my spirit.  Oh sure, there are good days and bad days - but what is the overall TONE?  What will my kids remember?  Will it be nit-picking?  Will it be exasperated responses to the millionth question of the day?  Will it be a sense of "irk" when my hubby's late, or has decided to do something before completing a task that I've hounded him for?  Will it be that I was always saying "just gimme a sec" while I tried to finish something up?

I hope I'm not alone here *blush*.

I thought "tone" was such a good word.  It's not a condemning word, it's not a judgemental word.  It doesn't mean it's all bad and that there's chaos and anger everywhere ... "tone".  A good word to use ...


Another thing Pastor Brent touched on was "withholding encouraging words".  Now, there are people in this world who are just NATURAL encouragers.  You know them, the ones who are quick to compliment and uplift.  And the older I get, the more I realize that really anyone can be like that - if they choose.    He talked of the damage of "withholding" encouraging words, as a family member, friend, parent.  And he was SO bang on.  What is it that sometimes makes us say, "I'm not going to compliment that ... " or "... they already know they've done that well " and we don't say anything.  I don't say anything.

Maybe it comes from envy ... if you're wanting to lose weight, it can be hard to compliment someone who is without sounding a little bitter, " ... oh? really?  you're down 3lbs?  oh ... that's great *insert smile*."   Or someone got a job promotion and it just irks you a little because you don't really think they're qualified, or you think it's selfish and they're going to be more away from their family or whatever.  Or maybe you find it so difficult to say that someone else did something well, because you feel that their motives are wrong - that they are arrogant, that they are striving for attention ... Maybe you withhold encouragement, because someone else's accomplishments somehow feels like a spotlight on your own shortcomings.  Maybe you think your words don't matter ... who would even notice if they were missing?

We've all felt it.  No?  I know I have.

But Pastor Brent was so right when he said that withholding encouragement, simply put, is selfish.  And as I listened, I saw such truth in that.  He talked about how some feel like they're preventing "a big head" from someone by withholding encouragement, or that the person really "doesn't need to hear" their words.  And that's a lie ... no one - NO one - can ever have to much encouragement, enough cheering on.  And not, like, in a narcissistic way ... and he wasn't talking about receiving these words, he was talking about GIVING them. Holding back from saying Words of Life, is lonely.  I mean, who wants to be around someone who doesn't breathe life into them?  Not many of us, I'm sure.

Who Do You Know?:

I often talk about exercising the "muscle" of whatever.  Like, hosting.  I tell friends who are nervous about having anyone over, that it's a muscle that gets stronger the more you do it.  Start small, but don't give up.  You don't have to be Martha ... you can order pizza and sit on the couch with your company. 

In the same way, I'm learning that being an "encourager" is also a muscle that some need to exercise more than others ... like me.  It's not a great characteristic to admit to, but I'm working on it :-).   I'm taking time to stop and be purposeful in encouraging one person a day ... and as that gets more and more common for me, it's going to be more natural for me to do that to more people, daily.  That's the plan *grin*.

And that leads to one of the final points that hit home for me from Pastor Brent: "who do you know that you could breathe life into??"  He asked us to think about it, to make a point of it this summer.  To be known as an encourager, to breathe life.

So ... this is something that I thought was perfect timing for me.  Really.  And I can truthfully say that it was like a spring cleaning of my heart.  I want to be an encourager, I want to be known as someone who cheers others on - not to just be the "reality check" every time (which, let's face it, is a lot of who I am ...).

And God made me logical and not super ooey-gooey ... and I think that's ok.   I don't have to be sappy to encourage ... I just have to lay down my own insecurities and my own "black and white" list ...

And exercise the right muscle.

I hope that you are encouraged by this ... and I truly hope, that you have a great one!

** if you are interested in hearing Pastor Brent's sermon in full (which is about 25minutes long and worth listening to over and over again!) ... please go to our church's website at www.clachurch.com.  Then, click "get a sermon" on the left hand side; then choose "JUNE 12: Words of Life."  I HIGHLY recommend it ... and I would love to know if you did, and to hear your thoughts on it ...! **

22 June 2011

[photos: Street Hockey.]

When the sun comes out long enough to dry up the wetness, the boys start begging to play street hockey ... usually from the moment my hubby comes home.

And I love it.

We open our garage door, and the door of our mudroom which connects to our kitchen, and I can hear the hoots and hollers while I finish getting dinner ready.  Katia usually runs in and out ... asking for juice, asking for snacks, and then she puts her shoes on.  Then takes them off.  Then puts them back on again ... *grin*.

It's times like this that I make myself stop and remind myself that THIS is really what is important.  THIS is what our kids are going to remember.  THIS is the feel we want our home to have.  THIS is why the sun needs to stay out longer *grin*.

And this is why my camera sits on our counter for easy access *wink* ... 

So, Mattias is finishing up grade one this week, Josiah has finished his 3-year-old preschool class, and Katia ... well, she gave me a "heads up" yesterday when she was about to dirty her diaper ... a good year and a half earlier then either of our boys did ... she'll be 2 at the end of August.

Yup.  *sigh*

It's good to stop and enjoy the moments when you can ... it all goes just way too fast.

So tomorrow is the last day of school, and then it's SUMMER!!  We have a couple of little family get-aways planned to the Okanagan and Keats Island ... but unlike last summer, we will be spending most of our summer at home - and we're really looking forward to that.  We want to plan for ice cream in the evening at Crescent Beach, KFC picnics at the park and we're hoping to get to the Cultus Lake Water Slides one day this summer too.  More than anything, it's going to be a time to be with family and friends - to have potluck BBQs and let the kids make the life-long memories with their little friends too... which, really, is the best part of summer.

I can't wait to get it started!!  I just hope the sunshine stays *grin* ...

And I have a post up on my RedHanded Photography blog HERE.  This is little Natalia's third photoshoot with me ... it's been so fun documenting her little life so far ...  For some reason, I can't post a pic on here (hmmm????).  My blog isn't letting me ... so just click that "here" link and you can see Natalia's session ...


Have a great one!!

20 June 2011

[cool products: Some More Faves.]


If I'm going to be comPLETEly honest, this post is not what I've been working on for this blog.  I have a post ... one that I'm writing; walking away from; re-reading; walking away from; deleting; rewriting; walking away from  ... you get the idea :-).   

It's about our words ... what we say, what we hear, what we interpret, what we are offended by ...   A lot of it was sparked by a recent sermon at our church where our pastor asked "what's the verbal tone of your home?", part of it sparked by the media regarding the Vancouver riots, and some just from day to day stuff that happens to me.   It's not a heavy post *smile*.  But because I want it to be said correctly, it takes me a while to really make that happen ... so - it may just sit in my "edit" box for a while ... 

SO ... instead I thought I'd share a few of my new fave things ... and maybe you'll find something that you'll think is worth trying *smile* ...  

I LOVE tea.  And Lipton has a new herbal "line" that looked too yummy to pass up.  I bought the blackberry vanilla and served it when my folks and in-laws came for Father's Day dinner.  My mom and I finished two pots.  YUM.

When I say, "... gotta do my Jillian ... " what do I mean?  THIS. "No More Trouble Zones" makes me sweat like an animal every stinkin' time.  She says it's 40minutes, but that doesn't include the 5 minute warm up or 5 minute stretch.  It's circuit training and targets the backs of your arms, shoulders, abs and "saddlebags".  It's done with weights and I  LOVE it.

I actually just bought two more DVDS from ITunes (suggested by a friend... ).  So I can take my computer anywhere, and I've got my workout too. I can also connect it to my Apple TV.  Brilliant!!   I'll let you know what I think of those ones ... 

Now THIS might seem strange.  But a couple of years back, I planted a raspberry bush.  I've blogged about it a couple of times ... and this year, it has gone baaaazerk.  Last year I probably harvested only a couple dozen raspberries ... this year?  I have no clue how many we're going to get - maybe a few hundred??  It's definitely one of our family's favourite things.  Almost every day (unless it's pouring out), we check it and see what it's doing ... I highly recommend planting a fruit plant.  It's free-ish food and kids LOVE it.  
And finally ... my Sanuk yoga-mat flip flops.  Now ... we have hardwood floors in the majority of our mainfloor and my legs can THROB at the end of the day.  I started wearing flip flops in the house to try and help my aches, but the Roxy ones (about $15 or so) are just too thin and don't do anything.  My friend told me about Sanuk yog-mat flip flops and I thought I'd give them a try.  They were more expensive (about $35.00 a pair) ... but when I put them on they were SO cushiony.  And now I wear them all the time when I'm in my house.   I am actually wearing them as I type this. True.   And you'll find them either at the base of our staircase where the carpet starts, or at the garage door (if I've changed into something else for outside).  I could TOTALLY wear them outside, but I'm keeping them as inside-shoes.  In all 100% honesty, I have noticed SUCH a difference in how my body feels at the end of the day.  I HIGHLY recommend these!!

And yes.  Mine are turquoise *grin*.

So ... those are a few things that I like.  Maybe you'll like them too ... maybe not.  But maybe instead, you'd like to check my RedHanded Photography blogpost HERE on this couple, Garrett and Kara ...

Well ... whatever the case  I'm heading to bed *grin* (it's 10:30pm on Sunday night as I'm writing this ... ) and getting ready for this week which is the last week of school with all of it's class parties, the arrival of out-of-town-family, a wedding photoshoot on Saturday and leading worship on Sunday ... and hopefully some sunshine *grin*!!!

So I wish you a great one, and no matter your week looks like ... may you at least have the warmth of the sun *oh, I hope!!*.

16 June 2011

[talk: Vancouver Game Seven.]

I grew up in a "hockey" home.  What I mean by that, is that our little family loved watching games together ... not that anyone in our home actually played the sport *smile*.

My hubby is a hockey fan as well, and over these past couple of months, we have hosted many gatherings in our home to celebrate our city's team.  My hubby also is a partner in a company that has seasons tickets, so he has been able to attend most of the games - and even brought me to a few.

I was at the game when the Vancouver Canucks won the President's Cup.  I was at last Friday night's game when we brought the series to a 3-2 lead.

And I was at Game Seven last night.

We were nervous, right from the get-go.  From the moment I woke up, I had butterflies.  For the game, yes - but also because I knew that there was a possibility of history repeating itself.  The riots of '94 were traumatizing for the city.

So, we headed down ... and I, of course, brought my point-and-shoot to document what we had hoped would be a victory.

It started exciting enough ... including seeing the Boston Bruins team playing hackysack with a soccer ball as we drove in to the underground parking at Rogers Arena.

We were so excited ... the energy in the arena was full of high spirits.  People walked in through the doors and hugged each other ... men were high fiving, and the few women that were there *smile* were obvious fans.

We believed.

The game began with the national anthems of both the USA and Canada ... and the obvious pride of the fans was thrilling.   People were composed, nervous, looking to each other for some added confidence in a "we're gonna win this one ... " look.

The game was fair.  I've attended many games where fans booed and hissed about reffing and such.  The reality was ... the Bruins simply played better.  They deserved to win ... and although it was deflating and very sad, there was no one out of control that I saw inside the arena.   We all knew that this just wasn't going to end the way we had hoped. 

The Bruin's goalie, Tim Thomas, was incredible.  We joked that there was a magnet in the puck - and he was wearing a suit of armour.

We outshot them 37 - 21 ... so our goaltending is what really made the whole game.  It was Thomas vs Luongo.  And Thomas kicked it.

I felt so sad for our guys ... You can say what you want, but no guy gets to Game Seven of the Stanley Cup final and doesn't give it his all.  So much work, so much effort ... and it just wasn't enough this time.

As the crowd cheered, "go Canucks go" - long after the game was over - the players came out and "thanked" the crowd.  It was so emotional.  These were our guys, our team.  I wanted to tell them what a great job they did.  They may not have won Stanley - but being the second place team, losing in game seven, winning the Presidents Cup and the Western Conference ... it was an incredible year.

And honestly?  I was sad that the Bruins didn't win it on their home ice.  The Canucks fans were gracious, and clapped, but it just wasn't the same of course.

We stuck around to see the Stanley Cup.  And this was the only time in the entire game where the fans booed like I've never heard before.  Not because of the Bruins winning, but because of the NHL Commissioner ... not a popular guy.

The crowd that stayed, really showed true fan-manship.  They clapped for each player - giving large cheers to Tim Thomas (who so deserved this ...), and local Canadian boys who got to win the cup in their country ... 

It was sad, yes, but nothing could prepare us for what was happening outside of the arena - that none of us knew about.

I did not take any photos.

My hubby and I walked out, and headed to our car about six blocks from the arena.  We could see the crowds, and the cops in their riot gear.  We could see billows of smoke coming up from what looked like to be in front of the post office.  We could see groups of thugs, stupid, idiotic thugs, looking for fights.  We witnessed the foulest of language by drunk 20ish men ... just plain angry.  

These were NOT fans.

And when we got home and watched the news, I was just sickened.  How could these people do this??  How could we, as true Canucks fans, be thrown into a category with such inhumane people with no moral compass?

I came onto Facebook and read such sad, sad status'.  Even one friend of mine saying, "... this is why I HATE Canucks fans ... ".  And of course, I felt so defensive.  They are not me ... it was not Burrows' or Kesler's character out there ... it was people who came out for ONE reason.  To destroy.

To say that these people represent us, is to say that all Muslims are suicide bombers, or all anti-abortionists think killing those who perform abortions is right.  It's like saying all Caucasians are white supremacists and that women are all feminists. 

It's just not fair - and I found it so difficult to turn my brain off and sleep last night.

I feel sad for our team, who only wanted to give us their best.  I pray that they do not feel any responsibility for what happened in our city.  I hope they can forgive, and that we can have a clean slate for next season.

I also hope that Vancouver can learn from this.  Inviting 100,000 people, some who had been drinking since noon, to watch the game on a street in downtown is just plain foolish.  Sure, if you could control who attended - it'd be great.  But I think that regardless of the outcome of the game, the same thing would've happened.  I have heard that Boston didn't even open their arena for fans, for fear of what a mass mob could do.

So.  If you're from Vancouver, I know you feel the sadness that I feel.  If you are not, please know that THIS Canucks fan is a TRUE Canucks fan.  I will cheer them on next year and the year after that.    This is my city, these are my Canucks, and I am so proud to be apart this incredible season.  

Shame on you rioters who  tried to take that away.

14 June 2011

[redhandedphotography: A Contest.]

Ok ...

I'm not sure how many people read this ... I have no idea if people come here to be entertained, to be educated on some whacky idea I have, to see my images or updates on my family ... I have no idea if you are friends or stalkers *grin* ... 

But if you read this blog, I want to petition you to do something REALLY great for a REALLY great kid.

You may remember this family ... a couple of weeks ago I did a photoshoot of Jon, Patti and their five kids.  Their eldest daughter, Angelica, has been battling leukaemia for the last year.  Their youngest son, Judah, was born just after Angelica was diagnosed.  They have had a very difficult year, full of many trials - and many triumphs as well.

 Angelica is strong and brave, and has a most incredible opportunity to go to New York City through the BC Children's hospital.  But there are funds that she needs to raise for her spending money, and with her brilliant, artistic spirit, she has designed t-shirts to sell.

I just bought mine.  White with black lettering.

If you're a reader of mine, I would so so so so love for you to consider purchasing one of her t-shirts.  Her family has not asked me to do this ... they have no clue that I'm even writing about this ... but YOU could BLESS them so so much.

If you go to Patti's blog HERE, there is information on the t-shirts - different styles and colours. You can purchase straight from her site.

Of course ... as I write this - I am nervous that no one will respond.   Relieve me from my nerves (I've got enough of them with Game 7 tomorrow night *grin*), and show this family that people care and support them ... 

And when you receive your shirt, would you take a pic and send it to me??  tawnsblog@hotmail.com ... I would love for Angelica to see YOU wearing her t-shirt in support of her healthy future.

As a bonus (even though I know that my readers don't need bribing, but hey - a contest is allllllways fun) - one lucky "reader-in-an-Angelica-t-shirt" will win a 50% discount on one family portrait session with RedHanded Photography (session to be completed in 2011).


Whatcha waiting for??

Head over to Patti's BLOG and order your new summer "t"!!

And hey ... have a great one *wink*!   

13 June 2011

[redhandedphotography: A Couple of Posts, Actually.]


I've been busy ... everyone seems to want their photos done - despite this yucky weather.  Lucky for me, I am loving every moment - even the overwhelming feeling of editing photos into the wee hours of the morning *grin* ... 

I have a couple of photoshoots on my RedHanded Photography blog HERE.  One's a maternity shoot of a couple that I actually was the wedding photographer for (LOVE that!!) ... and the other was a photoshoot of a family celebrating one of their own, graduating from medical school.

I love photoshoots that have a story behind them ... 

If you're interested ... I'd love you to "follow" my RHP blog.  Just head to the site and click "follow" on the right margin.  I'm thinking of having another contest, but for blog followers only ... but I'll have to have a few more before I can do that *grin* ... 

What else? 

I'm working on a post that was inspired by our pastor's sermon yesterday.  He spoke on our "words".  It was brilliant ... a few of the things that really hit me were, "... do you withhold words of encouragement?  if so, you're just being selfish."   I think this is so, so true ... and am going to write about what I've learned about this one point in particular ... 

Also - our pastor asked, "... what is the verbal tone in your home?  how do you speak to your kids, your spouse?"   He didn't ask if they deserved it *grin* ...  And he asked, " ... who do you know that YOU could bring WORDS OF LIFE to?"  ... again.  So powerful.

But more on that another time ... 

For today, I'm going down my "to-do" list already.   It's a BIG day around here.  Game SIX for the Canucks in Boston ... and a possible Stanley Cup WIN tonight!!!  OR ... if not ... Game SEVEN in Vancouver on Wednesday.  My hubby has tickets to that game ... and there's one extra ticket from his company.  I am PRAYING that I can get it ... but I went to Game 5 on Friday night - so I might not be the one who gets to go.  I just might cry *sniff*.  I mean, I want to go SOOO bad!!!  But ... if I'm not the one who gets to go, I'll cheer on my hubby and know that THIS is his dream!!  GO CANUCKS GO!!

So ... hope your day is good to you, please go check out my RHP blog and "follow" (I also tweet under "redhandedphotog" and "homemakingirl"), and hey ... 

Have a GREAT one!! 

10 June 2011

[make: Kale Chips.]

I had heard about Kale Chips ... they're supposed to be killer great, packed with an amazing amount of nutrients.  I thought I'd give them a try ... 

I read a few recipes online, and came up with something on my own.  All the recipes were pretty basic ... 

Kale Chips:

I started with some kale.  Duh.  

... washed it, broke it into bite sized pieces - removing the stems.

... placed the pieces onto a baking sheet, covered with parchment paper.

... I poured 1 tbsp of olive oil in a measuring cup, and tossed in a tsp or so of some cajun spices I found.   Sure Slim ... ha!!  

... I painted the leaves with my mixture ...

... and baked them at 375F for about 13minutes ... 

Were they good?  Hmmm ... well - they were far from being a chocolate-fudge sundae.  But they weren't awful. They are very, very thin ... and the initial bite almost has the texture of perfectly baked phyllo  pastry.  I liked that ... but what I didn't like, was the veins of the leaf after the crispiness was gone ...  Maybe I didn't bake them long enough?  And because they're so thin, they were un"dip-able".  Originally, I had thought I would use them with guacamole ... but there is no way they could scoop anything.  They were far too fragile.

But I'm willing to try again ... 

And next time I'm going to increase the spices too.   I'm also thinking that maybe a mixture of honey and garlic would be good to paint on the leaves too.  Plain salt wouldn't be enough for me ... kale is a little bit too "green" tasting for my liking *grin*.

So ... what do you think?  Is this something you'd be willing to try??  Would your kids eat it?  Not sure if mine will ... maybe.

Ok.  That's it for this post ... well ... 

I'm CRAZY excited for the Canucks game tonight.  It's Game 5, and my hubby and I are heading into Vancouver for the game.  It's my final game of the season ... my hubby has a ticket for Game 7 - if it ends up happening.  Awe man ... we are SO close.  Anything less than a win tonight is going to be disappointing ... 


And hey - have a great one!!

09 June 2011

[running: Five Things Running Has Taught Me]

It was about this time last year when I decided that I would lace up my running shoes and give running a try.  I remember the first run I ever did ... and how I literally ran a block and a half and had to stop ... running 1.5km was the limit for me.

Then - I started doing 3 and 1s (run 3minutes, walk 1minute), to 5 and 1s to 10 and 1s.  I went from 1.5km to 3km to 5km.  I dreamed of doing 10km as my long run ... and now, I just run; ... although I was talking to a runner friend last night and she advised that after 12km to do the 10 and 1s to give my body the necessary recovery time.  I told her, " ... but when cars drive by I'll want to yell, 'I've already gone 12km - I'm not walking, I'm pushing myself,'"   I'm such a competitive freak *grin*.

So ... what have I learned in the last year of running?

1.  Being accountable makes all the difference for me.  Not everyone works this way, but posting my runs/times/distances/goals on FB and on my blog have really helped me.  People are watching ... some are maybe even seeing if I'll fail.  This motivates me ... again ... I'm a competitive freak *grin*.

2.  My body is a machine.  And I can't believe how it can do so much with some effort - and by the same token, how much it can disappoint me when I don't put in the effort.  I only cheat myself when I don't give it my all ... 

3.  Good shoes.  Yeah, I love my bright orange runners ... but more than how they look, I LOVE how they have prevented me from injuries.  I want to be super careful ... an injury can really knock a runner right out of the game ...  So - I don't pay monthly gym memberships, BUT I do buy runners fairly often - like every 5 or 6 months ... it's worked for me.

4.  Calibrating ... didn't even know what this word MEANT until I ran (what I thought) was 17km, and soon realized it wasn't.  The chip in my runner had to be calibrated - that is - I needed to run a distance that I KNEW what it was exactly, and tell the chip THAT distance.  Once I did that - my runs have all been very accurate.  And I check them now too ... I don't just assume the numbers are correct.  Satellite transmission can cut in an out - and make for wonky times and distances.

5. Changing it up ... running a 5km as a speed run, and then a 10km seawall run, and a 12km hill run ... doing Jillian DVDs for strength training in between, making sure that I have 15minutes of stretching at the end of the day ... it's all helped.  My body is NOT where I want it to be, mainly because of my crazy love for sugar (it is my worst enemy) ... 

I look back over the last year, and am happy with how far I've come.  I've lost inches ... and although I still have a "baby-tire" around my waist, my legs and butt are strong.  My cardio is crazy ... I don't get tired (unless it's 30min on the tramp ... THAT still kills me).  All in all - I think I've done well.

So ... that's what I've learned.


So will I run today?  Honestly?  Probably not ... even after writing this, I feel completely unmotivated *grin*.  How's THAT for honesty??  Truth is - the weather takes a beating on me ... I opened my eyes this morning, and my muscles ached and my head was pounding.  I knew the weather had changed suddenly ... my body is a barometer.  I ran over 8km yesterday in the glorious sun ... and having to run in the grey misery of today ... boo.  I'd rather have Jillian yell at me.

Hopefully I'll snap out of it ... and maybe this weather will burn off.  I have an engagement shoot tonight to look forward to, and ... there's Jon and Patti's Part III on my RedHanded Photography blog HERE.

Have a great one!!  

08 June 2011

[redhandedphotography: Jon and Patti.]

Today's a BIG day ...

I have my day planned to the minute, starting with a run, then taking the kids on Mattias' "butterfly release" fieldtrip at his school, having lunch at the park with his class, heading to a newborn photoshoot before I pick up Mattias at the end of school, making dinner, taking Mattias to baseball after supper ... then hopefully getting to watch the PVR'd Canucks game without knowing what the score is prior to ... wishful thinking, I'm guessing.  Then finish editing two photoshoots from last week.


SO - it's early as I write this, and I'll post this at a descent time for you all *grin* ... 

I just wanted to share with you a family that I know well.  Their eldest daughter is undergoing treatment for leukaemia ... and I had the privilege of taking their family-of-seven photos before her final round of chemo.

And still ... there is so much joy in this family.  They truly are incredible.

You can view Part I and Part II of Jon and Patti's photoshoot HERE.

07 June 2011

[product review: Canon G12.]

I done got me a new camera.

Now, now ... before the "Canon" vs "Nikon" argument begins, I must say that I am a Nikon girl.  I love Nikon ... BUT when it came to finding a "point-and-shoot" camera, I decided to go with the masses and check out the Canon.

I also looked at Olympus and Sony.

And Nikon.

But I left with the G12 - an investment for sure, and after not owning a point-and-shoot for the last few years, it seemed worth it.

My hubby and I were out of town for a few days (more on that later ...), and I reallllly didn't want to lug around my D300S and all of its lenses.  It's a pain, to say the least.  Especially since most of our vacation was going to be enjoyed at different amusement parks - not the best place for an SLR to hang when its owner is rippin' it on a coaster.

The last point-and-shoot I owned was bought when Mattias was born - almost 7 years ago.  And then, after investing in SLR cameras, a point-and-shoot seemed like a backwards move.  And - it really is.  But, still so necessary I think.

What I liked about my G12?  Welllll ... so many things.  First off - it's so much smaller than my SLR *grin*.  I mean ... the freedom that came from having a small camera hang around my neck and still be out of the way?  It was CRAZY *grin*!  I loved the movable screen - it tilts and allows you to take photos/video of yourself while viewing it.  Loved that.  

I have a lot to learn about it - but keeping things simple and on "auto" - worked pretty well.  I turned the auto flash off ... hate flashes.   And I wasssss frustrated with the slow shutter speed - especially when we were on a tour bus and things were flying by and I missed the shot over and over again ... 

I'm spoilt with my 6-frames-a-second-SLR.

When I uploaded the pics, they were really vibrant and clear.  Again, not as great as my SLR by any means - I'm also used to shooting in RAW rather than jpeg - but all in all ... it was a great little camera.

It's not cheap ... and we chose to spend a little more because of it's video capabilities.  We actually don't have a video that uses cards, so it was worth it to get an "all in one" for us.

So.  I just got back - no real photos to share yet ... I was still shutter-happy with this camera and took over 400+ photos for the 4 days we were away.  We had a great time with our friends and it was a spontaneous few days away.  I can't wait to share the stories and pics with you ... but I'm behind on some RHP work, so those images have to come first.

Clients before personal, right?  *grin*.

Ok ... Well.  Maybe just a couple ... this is while we were waiting for our car ...

... this was on Rodeo Drive ... 

... this was Disneyland ... without kids.  I know.  Such a sin.

... and a kiss off of the Santa Monica pier ... 

Not a bad little camera, eh?  Totally edited - yes.  But still ... 

OK ... what else?  Well ... I've discovered a love for the elliptical machine ...  I worked out at the hotel's gym every morning, even though we spent our entire day walking.  And I came home without gaining, despite my love for authentic Mexican cuisine *grin* (we weren't in Mexico ...).  I'm planning a long run for tomorrow ... maybe.  

Tonight ... Jillian.


Gotta go!!  

Have a great one!

01 June 2011

[cool products: Strobe Light ... Twinkle Toes.]

Is anyone else finding that finding something new and original is almost impossible?  I mean, unless you're Lady Gaga and have some sort of creative genius that pretty much crosses the "normal" line into insanity?  It seems like it's all been done ... and it pretty much has.  No?

I love finding unique things ... but I'm not a big "vintage" girl, and I also don't want to look like a walking-mid-life-crisis either.  So, I try and find one thing to add to what I'm wearing that's ... different.

Like ... I have a pair of apple-green flats - but they're not "plain".  They have cool gathering and stitching, and I love them ... they add whimsy to the blah and mundane.  And I bought a couple of pairs of feather earrings from Etsy a while back.  I LOVE them ... but they don't go with everything.  I love Etsy for finding small, original pieces ...  and I love MAC for bold eye colours too ... but that's a different post *grin*.

Ok.  I've gotten a bit side-tracked here ( ... it's been a while since I did a fun post) - and what I really wanted to show you my latest love.  It's called "Strobe Light" and it's by Sally Hansen.  Here are some other reviews of it (apparently it's like "teenage dream" from OPI.  Uh oh.  There goes the not-looking-like-a-walking-mid-life-crisis ... *grin*).

You're thinking ... "... it's sparkly nail polish.  Whoop-ti-do."

Well ... I've discovered that if I apply a good 8-10 coats, my toes have a wicked depth of sparkle and pigment, and totally catch the light.  Every time I notice them, I bend my toes a few times to let the light dance.  Oh, come on ... I'm a GIRL *girl*.  

And "Strobe Light" is a pale peachy colour ... super summery, super "beach-y", super pretty, super girly.


So ... this is my new thing.  I'm retiring the dark brown and the hot pink ( ... well.  I still love my hot pink ...) ... and I'm going to sport sparkles this summer.

Do you have a new favourite summer-y trend??  Would love to hear about it ... 

AND ... of course ... head to my RedHanded Photography blog HERE to check out "Mark and Cindy's Wedding: Part I".   Yup.  There's a Part II.  And Part III *grin*.

For now - I'm off to do my first run since last Thursday (although I let Jillian work me over last night for an hour - so great!!), I'm taking the kiddies to a birthday party, making some caramel popcorn for tonight's MASSIVE Game One (go Canucks!!!!), and finishing packing.  But I'll tell more about that another time *grin* ... 

Have a GREAT one!!