28 July 2011

[talk: Two Birthdays.]

Mattias and Katia's birthdays are only a few weeks apart - so we decided to have a "joint" family celebration at our home.  Like I mentioned before, both birthdays are in August (and I am clinging to Katia being 1 for another 3 weeks), but we chose to have a family party a little early.

Katia will be two.  And I intend on getting all three kids out for a photoshoot sometime before school starts again ... but I needed a few of her to mark this day, so into our backyard swing she went ...

And Mattias is turning 7 ... yikes.  His feet are almost bigger than mine.  But that's not really saying much ... 

It was a really great night of being with family ... it was just our "immediate" family - but there are a lot of us.  Over 20.  Oh - except our honorary "immediate" Kiwi family *grin* ... we were so happy to have them with us as well ... 

We served BBQ chicken, sausages, pasta salad, quinoa salad, honeyed yams & potatoes, green salad ... 

The kids opened their presents ... and poor Josiah didn't understand why Katia and Tias got presents and he didn't.  Ah well, little guy ... life isn't fair *grin*.

Katia got a swimsuit, and she wanted to "go swimming. pool. now."

And after the fruit, there was birthday cake.  Two DQ ice-cream cakes ... one of which, in part, is sitting in my freezer as I type this.  My mouth just started to water *ugh*.

SO.  That was a couple of nights ago ... pretty happy that I got this post up for my overseas family to see, in record time *smile*!!  

Ok ... off to the park for a little lunch picnic ... the sun is shining, and it is GLORIOUS out there.

Have a great one!!

27 July 2011

[redhandedphotography: Warren, Melissa & Family.]

Trying to keep up ... and a little bit happy that my hubby is playing hockey tonight and I'll be able to finish up three photo projects while watching "PS I Love You".  That's not bad, right?  Nope.  FInishing work up ... that's good.

So.  Last night was the "family" birthday party for Mattias and Katia ... even though both of their birthdays are in August.  It was a great night, with 20+ people for dinner and a lot of celebrating.  It was great to see so much family, and while I was talking to my kiwicdn cousin, she asked "so what's happening with you?"

My head hurt for a moment ... and then I put my "me" priorities in a line (which are totally different from the "wife/mom/homemaker" priorities).  1.  getting ready for the 1/2 marathon in September.  2. RedHanded Photography 3. music (worship/songwriting/more stuff).  I told her that I feel very "alive" and am enjoying so much of life's experiences as of late ...  friends, church, work, church, traveling ... Things are good around here.

I'll post more on the party tomorrow - if I get to those images tonight.  Honestly?  So much happens around here that by the time I get to editing the pics, something else has already happened to report on.  Ah well.  That's what digiscrapping is for, right *grin*?

*fallen face*

Oh.  Wait.  I need to get onto that too.

Ah well ... maybe tomorrow night.

For now ... another blogpost on my RedHanded Photography blog, on another great family.  "Warren, Melissa & Family" can be found HERE.  A preview ... 

If you stop by, I'd love to know you did ... leave a comment, say "hi" or even your bloglink.  Would love to meet you *smile* ... 

Have a great one!!

25 July 2011

[redhandedphotography: Jere, Shari & More.]

So - I had a wicked flu bug last week (that thankfully only lasted about 48 hours) ... which forced me to cancel two photoshoots and put me behind in my editing and finalizing work.


BUT.  Then the sun came out on Saturday ... and we ended up having a crazy fun BBQ on our newly painted-and-lit-up-deck.  Big highlight *grin*.  Seriously.  Sun.  And the deck?  And no more flu? *insert dancing a jig here ...*

So, I have three photoshoots this week now, and we're also having both sides of the family over for Mattias and Katia's birthdays ... which both aren't until August, but with everyone's schedules as messed up as they are - this is the week it has to be.  So - that's going to be crazy busy ... but at least it's not the "kiddie" birthday yet!

Some other stuff going on, as always.  Being stretched, being taught, being validated ... having some brilliant conversations with dear girlfriends who are so wise and wonderful ... helping me organize my priorities (eek ... aren't they ALL a priority??) ... sometimes other's perspectives really help with all of that ... I'm feeling really grateful for the people who are in our lives.

AND *drumroll* ... yesterday I registered for my first 1/2 marathon, scheduled for the end of September.  More on that another time ... but honestly?  I think I'm out of my crazy-mind ... really.  20km or 21km, whatever it is.  EEK.   But I figure I won't die.  Or if I do, it'll be a grand way to go *ha!*.

Enough ... I'm all over the place (can you tell it's almost midnight on Sunday night and I've been editing and blogging pics for hours now? *grin*) ....

Head on over to my RedHanded Photography blog HERE to see the shoot from a couple weeks back ... here's a taste:

Here's to the Vancouver sun, and hey - have a great one!

20 July 2011

[cool products: What I Like Today ...]

I know what I like, and I know what I don't  ... I don't like lace.  I don't like skull patterns.  I don't like jeans with whiskering (you know, the faded lines where the creases are?).  I don't like angry music.  I don't like an unmade bed.  I don't like icecream that has melted too much ... 

But what do I like?

I like intelligence in a craft.  I like originality.  I like the sound of a girl who kicks it when she sings.  I like steak with peppercorn sauce, and food that has colour.  I like the "ou" in the Canadian word, "colour" *grin*.  

... but I've been thinking lately - that maybe what I like isn't necessarily who I am?  You know what I mean?  I mean, I can have an appreciation for all of these things and more - but it doesn't put me in a box.  I could like an indie band, but that sure doesn't make me indie.  Or I could like pale yellow on the walls, but that doesn't make me country.

A lot of people I know have a definite "thing" that they are.  I think it's cool.  They're consistent.  They're urban.  They're hippies.  They're hard core artists.  They're "whatever". 

Nope.  No box for me - although some of those boxes look pretty cool.  But I'm pretty sure that I just like what I do, and don't like what I don't.  I like all kinds of things.  What I like just makes me, me.

Here are some of my faves right now ...

Ok ... I just bought this because I LOVE it.  It's a "shoulder necklace" and I have a number of strapless tops/dresses that this would look so cool with.  Plus - it could be worn over a t-shirt, or under a vest or open sweater ... I think it's the coolest.

I posted about this on my personal FB page a week or so ago.  How cool is this?? An attachment for your Iphone that turns it into an SLR camera.  Or sorta.  But pretty cool, no?  More info on that HERE.

I've discovered a yummy chicken recipe that includes thai chili sauce.  You toss cubed chicken in a light batter, brown in a little oil, crisp up some halved wontons (set aside) and then toss chicken in the sauce.  Serve with jasmine rice and steamed veggies.  Oh my WORD.  Hmmm.  Gonna make that tonight I think (**pause as I type items onto my IPhone grocery app**).  It's a good thing that I run every now and then ... 

I added another lens to my collection ... this time a 35mm 1.8 from Nikon.  It was under $300.00; far cheaper than the $1500+ 1.4 lens.  But I've tried it out and I LOVE it.  Prime lenses (ones that don't zoom in or out) are the way to go for sure ... 
Ok ... really horrible pic - should've just taken one of my own deck - but whatever the case, I LOVE these deck-rail planters.  Ours are in black ... they look super sharp.  I have 6 of them ... and one contains my herbs this summer (basil, thyme, dill and parsley).  Love them ... they allow for greenery without taking up space.  (**we actually don't have any flowering plants on the deck, b/c my hubby hates wayward bees).  Wish I would've invented them *grin* ... 

And finally, the music that I've been so loving as of late, "The Civil Wars".  This duo are so incredibly great ... Joy is a former Christian artist who has a voice that could melt butter - and no.  They aren't married to each other ... but they are to other people *grin*.  Their hit song "Poison and Wine" is HERE ... you may have heard it.  It was featured on an episode of "Greys Anatomy" last season ... 

Well ... 

That's about it for now ... I've decided to embrace the ridiculously-fall-like weather today,  and hope you have a good one *grin*.

18 July 2011

[talk: Grey.]

Well.  WIth the risk of sounding like a broken record ... this weather bites.  If you read anyone's blog from the West Coast, I'm sure they're saying the same thing.   It seems we've declared summer to officially start in August.  I sure hope so ... 

With three kids in the house, when all they want to do is run and play outside - it's a tad frustrating.  There is only so much playdough, puzzles, movie watching, fort building, cookie making that you can do.  Play-dates are good - but I think most moms are feeling the same "cooped up" syndrome and are too suffocated to add more children to the mix *grin*.

We are heading to Phoenix at the end of August ... so at least I know there will be sunshine in our future.  And right now, it's in the low 40Cs there.  Ooooh ... to have the heat on my skin (excuse me while I drift off for a moment ...).


The truth and reality is that I need to get back on track.  This weather has actually made me pull out my fall clothes, and I think I've completely forgotten that it IS actually summer ... but there's no pressure to wear cute summer clothes in this weather - which is actually a bit of a problem.

I don't know about you - but when I'm feeling grey, I cook - I eat.  And I still workout, but not as much as I should.  And so, the pounds start creeping up again.  I'm up.  Like, 5lbs up.  BOO.  But it's another day, another week, another chance to make better choices instead of stuffing my face with sugar hoping it'll make me feel better *grin*.

This week I also get the "bumps" taken off of my teeth!!  I've completed my Invisiline, for like, the third time - but I'm hoping that I'm REALLY done this time.  Knowing my orthodontist, I will probably have another set to go ... more moulds, more trays, more time.  We'll see.  I'm hoping that I'll just get my final "retainer" tray and be done with it.  I've had notches on my teeth for almost 3 years now ... 

The kids start swimming lessons this week.  Outside.  In the rain ... ok.  Next topic *grin*...   I've been songwriting ... maybe I'll be brave and post a clip or something ... 

Well ... I have a newborn post up at my RHP site HERE.  Here's a preview ... 

Please feel free to stop by, and drop off a comment if you like.  

Ok.  Have a great one, wherever you are, whatever you're doing, whatever you're planning on doing ...  for me?  When Katia goes down for her nap, I'll be doing the 50min Jillian workout and then ... cleaning out the fridge/freezer and pantry.  If I'm going to be inside, I might as well make it worth it ...

Have a great one!

14 July 2011

[make: The Perfect Playdough.]

So.  It's raining (boo), and Katia's sleeping ... so what to do with the boys?  

Well, we thought making playdough would be fun ... and it was ... except I now LITERALLY look like "RedHanded Photography" *grin*.   I found the recipe online ... and it was super easy and took less than 10min total. I highly recommend it!!

Playdough Recipe

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tbsp cream of tartar
1 tbsp oil
1 cup water
food colouring

Mix first 4 ingredients in a pan. Add water and mix well. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 3 – 5 minutes. Dough will become difficult to stir and form a “clump”.  Remove from stove and knead for 5 minutes–add food coloring during kneading process. Play dough will keep for a long time stored in a covered plastic container or plastic sandwich bag.
It made the perfect amount for the boys and neighbour friend.  Siah chose red *duh*, Tias chose yellow and the neighbour friend also chose red.
What else?  Well, I have a lot on my mind ... and with the boys heading to their grandparents for a sleepover, and Katia having a fairly early bedtime - tonight I intend on sitting in my music studio with my piano, my guitar, a pot of tea, a pad of paper and a purple sharpie.  Tonight - I write.  
It's hard to enjoy so many things, like photography, like digiscrapping, like hosting, like cooking, like writing music, like going out with friends, like preparing for a 1/2 marathon (oh.boy.) ... there's never enough time to do it all once the kiddies are asleep ... so.  Today, I just decided WHAT I was going to do tonight ... and writing is what  it's going to be; after my hubby leaves for hockey, I should say *grin*.
Not sure if it's going to be "worship" or just "life" music ... time spent at the piano is something that I've shared with you all before (click "worship" on the right under "filing drawer") ... It calms me and energizes me all at the same time *grin*.
Ok ... well ... as usual, I'm writing more than I have time for.  This was a playdough post, not a "sorting-out-my-schedule" post.  
I hope you have a great one, wherever you are, whatever you're doing ... do it to the best that you can today.  Even if it's "just" laundry and playdough making *grin*.  Because if you love what you're doing, it's NEVER "just".
Have a great one!

12 July 2011

[digiscrap: Still Scrappin'.]

It's been a while since I've posted some digiscrap pages ... Truthfully?  I get overwhelmed with all the images I take ... but when I'm able to edit, burn, scrap, delete ... feels like spring cleaning to me *grin*.

I need to do more ... But here are a few pages I've done in the recent weeks.

double click images to enlarge ...

There's a "Weddings: Sam and Lana Part III" on my RHP blog HERE as well ... if you like looking a pics *grin* ... And you can join that blog by simply clicking the link on the right-hand side of the page there ... And here too *grin*.  If you want ... *wink* ... 

Oh right.  The pics.  Ok.  I mean ... how many brides do you know that have a t-shirt bazooka excessable to them??

What else?  Well ... our deck is almost finished.  That's exciting.  Although with this depressing weather, it may have been a waste.  I'm actually regretting taking out my kid's summer clothes out.  I'm regretting BUYING summer clothes, for that matter.  It really is ridiculous.

And I guess, aside from planning a challenging, long run tomorrow *eek* ... leading worship this past Sunday was a highlight for me.  "... My favourite day of the month," is what I always say.  Love God.  Love the people I am so privileged to play with.  Love the music we create.  It's such a life-breathing thing to be a part of.  Now, I just have to wait until next month before I get to be a part of it all over again *smile* ... 



I could type forever.  Well ... not really ... time to pack up the kiddies and head to the market.  I'm making a Mexican feast for out-of-town friends tomorrow night ... blackened chicken fajitas, black bean and corn salsa, spanish rice, guacamole, fresh salsa, lime margaritas ... gotta pick up some fresh fixin's for that ...

Have a great one *smile*!

11 July 2011

[make: Old Fashioned Pancakes.]

I am a little embarrassed to say it - but I hadn't ever made pancakes from scratch.  I mean, why would I?  Costco always has a bag of some sort of pancake mix for sale ... add water and poof: pancakes.   The spelt flour brand was our family staple.

But they stopped selling our favourite mix ... and instead, a multigrain one replaced it.  It was full of flaxseeds and whole grains.  I bought it ... and the kids HATED it.  


So ... this morning I googled "pancake recipe" and found this.  It had rave reviews and I AGREE.  My kids LOVED them ... and it actually made its way into my recipe box (where only my tried and true recipes live).

Here's the recipe ... go grab some paper *grin*.

Old Fashioned Pancakes

1 1/2 cups flour
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg
3 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp vanilla (my contribution to the recipe)


In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients.  Make a well.  Add wet ingredients; mix well.  Lightly grease  griddle on medium heat ... scoop approx 1/4 cup of mixture onto griddle.  Flip.  Eat.  Be happy.

I'm going to try it with the spelt flour I have ... if the recipe needs to be adjusted, I'll let you know *grin*.  

But these ones?  They were fluffy and most of all ... completely devoured.


"Weddings: Sam and Lana Part II" is up ... check out my RedHanded Photography blog HERE ...  here's a teaser *grin* ...

Ok ... SO.  I'm in Starbucks as I type this ... waiting for a bride for a 2012 wedding consult ... can't wait to hear what the plans are *smile*!  And then?  Off to a photoshoot downtown at Kits ... eek.  Honestly?  Today is INSANE ... soccer camps, photoshoots, ... I even set the alarm and ran this morning.  Feel good about that ...


Another photoshoot at Campbell Valley Park and ... everything else that needs to be done.  Except dinner ... going to my in-laws for some incredible Italian food.  Hmmm.  Better run tomorrow too.

OK.  The bride should be here any minute :-) ...

Have a great one!!

08 July 2011

[redhandedphotography: Sam & Lana.]

Summer has been stupid BUSY already ... but I wanted to send you a link to my RedHanded Photography blog HERE because of a post I put up today of Sam and Lana's wedding ... 

It was such a fun wedding ... there'll be three posts in total by the time I'm finished.

And what else?  Oh, the usual ... busy with family, hosting, renovating (well - our backyard is getting a bit of a facelift ...).  The kids are anxious to get to their summer camps next week, then it's swimming lessons and the likes.  I'm leading worship on Sunday morning - very, very excited about that.  Worship grounds me, and having been away last week I literally feel like I'm drowning, trying to catch up on everything with work and household projects.  Sometimes being away means twice as much to do when you get back *grin* ...

But hey - at least I'm not bored *grin*.  And the family time we were able to have last week was really wonderful.  I'll post more on that ... later?  *eek*.  There's never enough time!!  *GRIN*

So ... if YOU have a sec, head over to my RHP blog HERE and leave a comment.  Would love to know you stopped by!  

Have a great one!

04 July 2011

[redhandedphotography: Dave, Ann and the Gang.]

We are enjoying a few family-days away together in the Okanagan heat ... It's lovely to wake up knowing that the sun will be shining - although I hear that our friends and family are enjoying some much deserved sunshine back at home too!  I hope it sticks around ... say, until October??  

The boys are avid swimmers - but this is the first summer that Katia is able to ... walk?? *grin*. Yup ... she's enjoying the kiddie pool and her pink tutu swimsuit.  

But  being away doesn't mean I don't have work to do *smile*.   It's all good ... after a day of swimming and sunning and playing and eating ... the kids are wiped and by 9pm I'm able to get in an hour or so of work.

There's a new post on my RedHanded Photography blog.  Do you know Dave and Ann?  Oh, you probably do *grin* ...  here's a preview - 

But why not just head to the blog HERE and take a looksie. It was a lot-of-people-rain-drenched-children-teary-eyed-shoot ... a bit of a challenge, but to see the joy on Dave and Ann's faces ... so great.

Ok ... kids are up now - time to lather on the sunscreen.  Hope you have a fantastic day, and that the sun is shining wherever you are!!

Have a great one!