28 October 2011

[make: Pumpkin Spice Muffins]

These are baking as I type this.  My little girl and I had a morning of spilling flour and egg whites on the counter.  I try and be patient *grin* ... she is, after all, only two.  And old enough to help stir and pour ... I want her to have a love of cooking and helping - so I guess it starts now *grin*.

This recipe is out of a Canadian Living Magazine from 2008.  Yup.  I still had it ... and this morning I noticed a dog-eared page - and voila.  Pumpkin Spice Muffins.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins (yields 12 muffins)

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cloves

2 eggs
3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla


1.  Line or grease muffin tin.
2. mix dry ingredients in a bowl
3. in a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients.
4. add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just mixed.
5. scoop in to prepared muffin tin
6. bake at 375F for 20-25min

So ... I haven't tasted them - but my house smells incredible, and Katia keeps going to the oven and turning the light on and off, on and off.

Six more minutes ... mmmmmm.

Have a great one!

26 October 2011

[fave things: Things I'm Lovin']

I love seeing new things online, so every now and then I post a few of the things that I'm loving as well.

So - here again are a few things that I'm enjoying right now.  In fact - there are more *grin* - but I whittled it down to five items.  Gotta keep something under my sleeves, no? *grin*

1. Voluminous "False Lashes".  Ok ... I'm always on the hunt for a good mascara.  I like to be bold with my eye makeup - and am not afraid of colour.  But a good mascara is hard to find.  I hate the way there are seven million choices, and I can't tell which one is the best.  So when I headed into Shoppers Drug Mart to replace my old tube, the lady at the counter knew exactly what to show me.  "Don't you hate having to choose between "thickness" or "length"?  Now you don't have to ... "  And she was SO right.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this mascara.  I just wish it came in purple too *grin* ... And I actually bought two ... one for my bathroom drawer, one for my purse.  Just in case *wink*.

** please note that in CANADA, this mascara is called "Voluminous: False Lashes", not "False Fiber Lashes".

2. "Bakestone Brothers Thin Buns".  These 100 calorie buns are PERFECT.  They let me have a tuna sandwich without the heaviness of a starchy bread.  I get mine at Costco.  Fantastic.

3.  Hello Sugar! By La Senza.  Now.  I am assuming that I have no male readers ... I mean, my own hubby doesn't read this - so yours probably doesn't either *grin*.  So ... let me just say, without saying too much, that the childbearing years have not been so kind to my poor body.  But now I've found Hello Sugar - and I am telling you ... in.cred.ible.  I mean, it fits perfectly - no "gapes" (eek), and adds curves without looking ... fake.  I want one in every colour ... sorry I couldn't find a clearer image of it ... bleh.

4. FanFare - Best of Bridge Cookbook.  Yup ... it's out.  Another crazy-fantastic cookbook by the ladies of Best of Bridge.  With 200 new yummy recipes like Ginger Peach Pork Tenderloin and Stovetop Chicken Pot Pie .... and Mediterranean Couscous Salad and Szechuan Green beans ... White Chocolate Fig Squares and Coconut Lime Cheesecake.  Yum.  ... I got my copy at Costco.

5. "Cheer" by Escents Aromatherapy.  I have a fancy little diffuser that I bought a long time ago ... and I love it.  And I love having different scents in the home too.  Especially once the kids are asleep ... I find it "cleans" the air.  Literally.  This diffuser works up to 1000sq ft.  And my new favourite scent is "cheer" - a mix of benzoin and orange.  It has anti-fungal properties because of the cinnamon, and the citrus smells crisp.  It's very holiday-smelling without it being perfume-my.  Love it.

There you have it.  A couple of things that you just may want to check out ...

Have a great one!

21 October 2011

[redhandedphotography: Teaser Post.]

... time is scarce - but I really wanted to show you some stuff that I'm working on for my RHP clients ... 

I love this couple ... I love these images.  Here's a sample - but head over to my RedHanded Photography site HERE for the full teaser ... 

Have a great one!

19 October 2011

[talk: Mama's Day.]

I got an email from a friend ... actually, it was a FB message to a group of girls - wanting to know who was interested in having a "regroup" day ... a "Mama's Day."

I believe that's when I stood up and did the "pick me, pick me!!" hand-raised thingy.  It was decided on an afternoon and evening downtown - shopping, Starbucks, dinner ... time away without actually being "away".  

A couple of weeks later, the day arrived ... and half the girls met at my place to head downtown.  And it was sunnnnny, clear, happy - sheer perfection.

But we knew there was a global protest that some Vancouverites were planning to be a part of.  And as we arrived, we parked the car and headed to the streets - and found the "Occupy Vancouver" protest happening ... literally right before our eyes.

A couple of my friend's hubbys are policemen ... and we even saw one girl's brother in full gear working the streets (I actually can't believe how many cops I know).  

So in true "girls-day-out" spirit ... we documented the whole thing.

We'll come back to the protest later ... but first - back to what the day was really about for us:  a bunch of moms going shopping, drinking Starbucks and really - just having free time.  Our group of five met up with the other group of four ... each of these girls are so, so great ... 

Shawna and I.  Do you follow her blog?  Yeah ... who doesn't? *grin*

... my favourite 'Bucks:  non-fat, half-sweet, sugar-free vanilla, rooibos-tea latte.  Mmmmm.

 ... We all headed out and about.  We shopped and swapped walking "partners" *grin*.  It was pure luxury ... 

... I actually made it into a couple of pics (thanks Shawna *grin*).

Then, I dared my friend Rach - to sing "His Eye on the Sparrow" on Granville Street for ten bucks.  Should've known she'd do it ... *grin*.  I was out ten, but got it on video ... 

This next photo?  The guy who handed her $1.25 after she sung *grin*.  And the photo after that?  The BEST Earls salad ... avocado, dates, grilled chicken, peanut-lime-cilantro dressing.  And I checked.  Over 40grams of fat.  My oh my ... sometimes steak is the better choice *grin* ... 

Ok.  There were more photos taken ... but I'm pleading the fifth *laughing*.  At least I know that I was the one taking them, so I'm not actually IN any of them ... 

Oh wait.

There was one more thing.   I was kinda in a video.

Remember that protest?  Yeah ... well - as we were walking back to our car at 11pm, we stopped in front of the Art Museum where the protest was continuing.  There was a tent-city set up, a definite police presence, and the most painfully painful music I've heard in a long time.  

It was obvious that not one "musician" playing actually knew HOW to play the congos, or a guitar, or a keyboard for that matter.  I looked at my friend, Rach, and said - "We could totally kill it up there."  She laughed, "... can you imagine??"

Then the cop beside us folded his arms and looked at me.  He smiled, "... you're all talk.  You won't do it."


So up I walked to the stage, and I asked the guy playing the keyboard - who wreaked of pot  I might add - how he'd feel if my friend and I sang the national anthem?  Now - keep in mind, that this protest was pretty much against the government and how it handles money and social issues.  And here I was, after shopping with friends, quite dressed up - asking to sing the national anthem.

"Dude," he said shaking his head, closing his eyes.  "I don't feel good about that."

So ... it took me a couple of minutes to smile and convince him.   And after I played the "love for Canada-unity-harmony" card, he smiled as his musician friends encouraged him. And he agreed.  I looked at Rach,  who was at the foot of the stage - " ... get up here.  You're going to sing."

I played the first chord (it was on an organ setting) and it boomed through the system.  The keyboard guy looked at me and muttered the "f" word.  ".... that's awesome!!" he said.

And all I had played was a C-chord *smile*.

Well ... Rach sung, I played and by the end we had the loudest applause of the night.  People had sung in union along with us .. but there were also some very unhappy protesters who used their megaphones to rebuke us, " ... this is a protest, not a nationalist gathering!!"  


Rach and I quickly got off stage and made it back to our friends - and we were all dying laughing.  Not because we were trying to be disrespectful - not at ALL.  We had thought it would be a GOOD thing.   But we couldn't believe that just happened.  I was shaking ... and nervous. We could see the headlines in our minds, "Peaceful Protest Turned to Riot After National Anthem Sung".  

What were we THINKING???


Well ... we laughed all the way home.  Literally ... 

And it was the best day in a long time.

Have a great one!

18 October 2011

[redhandedphotography: A Couple of Things.]

Hey! ...

Ok ... I have SO much to post about - bike parks, girls night out (myohmy), boxes of love - but I only have a couple of minutes here.  My photography business is stupid-crazy-busy right now, taking up every free moment and then some ... the sun is shining, and I'm doing my very best to take advantage of it.  Three shoots in three days is a bit insane for me ... but the rain's a-comin' so I know it'll slow down soon enough ... right?  *grin*

So ... a couple of things are on my RHP site today ... 

First - another "I Heart Faces" contest entry ... the theme was "Tickled Pink".  You can see my entry HERE.

Second - I had a fran-freakin-tastic time capturing Miss. Cheyenne and her guitar with my lens. She's ended up with 140+ images, but if you check out my RedHanded Photography blog HERE, you can see my faves.  It was kinda hard to choose.

Here's a preview ...

Have a great one!!

13 October 2011

[talk: Thanksgiving.]

I love Thanksgiving.  First off, fall is my absolute favourite time of year - as it is to most people I know.  The leaves changing colour, the crisp mornings, the pumpkins, jeans and hoodies, chai tea lattes ... I love it all.

We had Canadian Thanksgiving this past weekend ... and My bro-in-law and his lovely fiance hosted the whole Italian family over.  It was scrumptious ... 

Katia has JUST started letting me put her hair in a ponytail.  Now, of course, it's all she wants.  That and her sparkly converse shoes ... I'm tempted to get a pair myself *wink* ... 

I am so thankful for my hubby's family.  I know that there are so many who have strained relationships with their in-laws perhaps due to divorces, deaths or just because they do things differently.  But I have grown to love this family so much ... after all, it's been 13years, so that's a good thing *grin*.

Suzanne made a fantastic meal ... poor girl started preparing the day before - but it was so worth it.  She made a couple of YUMMY salads, a brocolli casserole, mashed potatoes, garlic bread ... and the turkey?  Wrapped in bacon, cooked in Sage wine and delicious!!

 ... a self portrait and you can see that I am desperate for a haircut.  My hair grows waaaaay too fast.

 We laughed and chatted ... it was a perfect way to just be together .. 

 And at the end of the evening, Mattias asked if he could tell us all what he was thankful for.  "I'm thankful for everything ... but nothing bad,"  he said.  Where does he come up with this stuff??

Another wonderful evening spent with my hubby's family ... My folks are in Europe right now, so we will be celebrating all together when they get back.  It actually makes things really simple when you're not having to pick and choose who you're going to be with on which day.  And I can't wait ... 

More turkey *grin*.

Have a great one!

11 October 2011

[redhandedphotography: Jesse, Alida & kiddies]

Well ... like most Octobers, this month has been - and will be - full of taking other people's photos.  Everyone gets anxious - they start thinking about Christmas cards, they dream of family pics under the changing leaves ... my inbox gets full of requests.

But here, it rains.  A LOT.

That means a lot of rescheduling, and over-all frustration on my part because when I lose a day, it crams up everything later.  But it is what it is.  You can't have sunny, happy photos when it rains *grin*.

Anyways ... I say all of that, because clients come first - so all of my personal photos and updates are getting behind.  But that's ok.  It's only for a few more weeks, and then RedHanded Photography enjoys the winter break with the odd photoshoot here and there.  No more weddings until 2012 - which is something I'll be looking forward to when it comes around ... 

I've posted a new session that I had with Jesse and Alida a couple of weeks back.  Oh how the weather has changed since then ... Click HERE to see some of my favourite family- "sunny" images yet ...

A preview:

Have a great one ... and here's to hoping that the sun will show its face before the New Year *grin*!

06 October 2011

[invisaline: Are. You. Kidding. Me.]

I was a praiser of Invisaline ... but now, honestly?  I'm frustrated.

I've been doing Invisaline for 3.5 years.  If I would've done the tracks, I would've been done long ago.  And Invisaline has apparently been giving me the run-around ... without me knowing it.

I've been waiting for my final set of refinement trays.   I say final set loosely - as this is, like, the 5th time I've had my "final set".  Anyway - I got my moulds done back in August, and they hadn't come in when I finally called their offices last week.

Today I found out why.

I was on my way to Superstore with the kiddies ... we were going to get all the supplies for the "Boxes of Love" that we do every year with our church.  I got a phone call, asking if I could come in right away ... the trays were in.


I turned around and drove to the orthodontist's office ... the kids were fine there, it's loaded with video games and toys.  For twenty minutes I sat in the chair while the orthodontist put a new button on my eye-tooth (yay).  And this is what he told me ...

Apparently the delay was due to Invisaline saying my file was CLOSED because it had taken too much time to get my teeth "perfect".   Um.  What??  Isn't that what I paid for?  Sure ... everything has been paid for, for over 2 years now, so they're not making any new money off of me ... but that's really not my problem how they've chosen to do their accounting. 

There is no time-limit.  Besides ... when you pay for a service with specific results ... if those results are not met by the orthodontist, then it's the supplier's job to finish the job right, no?

Anyway, the orthodontist gave them what-for and I got my trays.  My FINAL set - he promised.  In fact, if he's not happy after this set, he's just going to put six clear tracks on my top teeth and be done with it ...  Ugh.

So.  How many trays to I have?


Seriously.  I couldn't believe it.  That's, like, another 6months.  But ... really.  They're not such a pain to have ... it's just so silly that it's not done.

But it will be.  SOON.

Ok ... enough of that.

Lots of things are happening with RedHanded Photography right now.  It seems as if EVERYONE wants their photos taken now that it's fall.  And the problem is, is that I've been booking for fall since spring.  Right now, I have 8 bookings, including a wedding - and if the rain comes, my life is going to be INSANE.  But after this Saturday's wedding, I'm off until the New Year for weddings - and honestly, that's where all the really long hours come into play.  Family shoots, engagement shoots, maternity shoots ... they're much calmer for me.  

So here's a little hint of what's going on over at my RedHanded Photography site today.  Click HERE to see more ... 

Have a great one!