Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Be Encouraged

Received an email today titled "Balloons"

Which said this:
Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right. Forget about the ones who don't. Believe everything happens for a reason.. If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.
Hopefully this encourages you today, Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Day the World Came to Town

This weekend I finished reading this book called "The Day the World Came to Town" It's a true story about the planes that were grounded in Gander, Nfld on 9/11
I would STRONGLY recommend everyone to read this book, but especially if you're a Newfoundlander. Not only does it renew your faith in people but makes you proud to me from such a great Island that still thrives on being generous, friendly, helping fellow man, and the list goes on.

Amazon describes the book as this, to further my argument:
Product Description-From
The events of September 11 have seemingly been covered, analyzed, and discussed from every angle imaginable. So the subject matter alone of Jim DeFede's The Day the World Came to Town makes it noteworthy. In the immediate aftermath of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, 38 commercial airliners carrying over 6,000 passengers were forced, as a precautionary measure, to land in Gander, Newfoundland, Canada. Due to the ongoing closure of U.S. airspace, the passengers spent four days in this isolated town of 10,000 before being allowed to continue on their way. In that time, Gander's residents rallied together to extend a kind of hospitality that seems too expansive for the word hospitality. Townspeople not only opened schools and legion halls for use as emergency shelters, they invited the passengers into their homes for showers, meals, and warm beds while local businesses simply gave toiletries and clothing to passengers stuck without luggage. Despite the grim consequences that led to the situation, DeFede finds humor: two flight attendants are offered a car for sightseeing by a local woman who happened to be driving by; the stranded chairman of Hugo Boss finds himself shopping for men's underwear at the local Wal-Mart. But the real message of the book is how, even in times of great turmoil and conflict, people can and must look to one another for comfort, help, and hope. --John Moe

Monday, April 28, 2008

Tale of the Japanese Maple

Since Kristen & I have been together he's talked about how much he loves Japanese Maples
It looks like a dark red maple tree but with one major difference. The leaves look like this:

What does that resemble??

In comparison to other trees you might purchase from a garden centre, these trees can be quite expensive. The cheapest we found was a very small sized one for $100

Yesterday Kristen asked if I wanted to go to the Walmart garden centre "for a look" which usually means there's something he has on his mind that he wants to price out. By the way, we've already started our backyard gardening/landscaping for this year.

So we go...and we see this last Japenese Maple. All the other trees are priced between $40-$100 but we can't find a price tag on this anywhere. I go to find help, Kristen stays with the tree....then a stranger comes along inquiring about the tree. Kristen tells him that his wife is actually gone to find out the price of it. As I'm walking back the stranger shows up with a large cart and goes oh I thought you guys might have needed this....all the while I'm telling Kristen, that the girl has to come back to scan the tag. Kristen thinks the stranger was coming to take the tree but Kristen was "on guard"

The tag has no barcode we notice, so Kristen takes it off the tree and I go to the front to ask the girl to look it up by item number. She can't find it. Oh and the stranger has followed me too cause he's "curious about the price" and "if it's a good price I'll see if they have any at another walmart" so I'm waiting...the stranger is lurking....

And she finally finds something on her book that must resemble the item number, and she says "it's $59.97" I immediately go, I'll take it. I give Kristen the thumbs up to bring us the tree, she scans me in and the stranger has walked out of the garden centre so fast that, as we're going to our car he's speeding out of the parking lot :) He knows he just missed out on an awesome deal.

To be truthful, I think she made a mistake. Unless Walmart really does have the lowest prices on everything. Either way, we got a great deal and our backyard finally has Kristen's favourite tree. On the drive home, I was totally cracking up laughing at the Japenese Maple fiasco and how if we weren't a two-man team the lurking stranger definitely would have taken "our tree!!" All's fair in shopping wars :) Once Kristen has it all planted up I'll post pics. Happy Monday!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

TV night....YAY!!!

Things have been "hec-tic!!" Last night we finished our volleyball season and won! Meaning we get prizes....yay. The banquet is this Saturday of which, myself and the girls will be attending. I've been working diligently on the proofs from my last shoot. I've been trying to enjoy some of this nice weather, and somehow try to keep my house in order (hasn't been going too well) And then's there tonight....the kick off to Kristen's ball hockey season but I won't be going, because......
Grey's Anatomy & Ugly Betty are BACK ON THE AIR!! Woo-hoo!!!! :)
TV night has I excited? Absolutely! I hear they're giving away free McSteamy and McDreamy t-shirts downtown Toronto this morning....wish I were closer :( I'd definitely want a McSteamy one (even though the radio announcers were saying everyone wants McDreamy...oh well, more for me)
Also, a bit of a teaser for you...I might have some news in May but we're still waiting on a few things before it's confirmed. Like I said, a lot going on. Anyway....have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sneak Peek is up.....

New photo's up on from my last photo shoot. Head on over and take a look.
The other day on the Blog for Photogs they featured Jodi Getz, who might be my new favourite photographer. Check out her work:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” - Aristotle

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day & Birthday

Happy April 22nd....which is Earth Day I hope you're taking extra steps to be GREEN today.
Also a very Happy Golden Birthday to the Bro in Law....Brian. I apologize for the poor picture but it's the only "recent" one I have (noticed I cropped a blushing bride out to the left...LOL)
Happy Tuesday!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Happiness Tips from 1820

Read this article last week and thought I'd share....I don't think they all apply but definitely something to think about:
In 1820, English writer Sydney Smith wrote a letter to his unhappy friend, Lady Morpeth. He offered his tips for how to be happy – and his suggestions are as sound now as they were practically 200 years ago.

1st. Live as well as you dare.
2nd. Go into the shower-bath with a small quantity of water at a temperature low enough to give you a slight sensation of cold, 75 or 80 degrees.
3rd. Amusing books.
4th. Short views of human life - not further than dinner or tea. 5th. Be as busy as you can.
6th. See as much as you can of those friends who respect and like you.
7th. And of those acquaintances who amuse you.
8th. Make no secret of low spirits to your friends, but talk of them freely - they are always worse for dignified concealment.
9th. Attend to the effects tea and coffee produce upon you.
10th. Compare your lot with that of other people.
11th. Don’t expect too much from human life - a sorry business at the best.
12th. Avoid poetry, dramatic representations (except comedy), music, serious novels, melancholy, sentimental people, and everything likely to excite feeling or emotion, not ending in active benevolence.
13th. Do good, and endeavour to please everybody of every degree.
14th Be as much as you can in the open air without fatigue.
15th. Make the room where you commonly sit gay and pleasant.
16th. Struggle by little and little against idleness.
17th. Don’t be too severe upon yourself, or underrate yourself, but do yourself justice.
18th. Keep good blazing fires.
19th. Be firm and constant in the exercise of rational religion.
20th. Believe me, dear Lady Georgiana.
Happy Monday!!!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Good Things

It's a beautiful Friday-sunny and warm. Things are busy but well.
Have a busy weekend ahead of us, tonight dinner out with friends, Saturday I have a photo shoot which I am totally psyched about, and Sunday Kristen & I have an appt that's a long drive to and from...meaning our day will be spent doing mostly driving.
Back to the business of the photo shoot, did I mention I'm excited? I am for a number of reasons, first because I love doing maternity/pregnancy shoots. Second, because the woman I'm photgraphing is just too cute and sweet. Third, this booking was all on my own, the past shoots have been for a friend, through a friend, sort of deal. She saw my work, liked my work, hired me :) Fourth, since I'm just starting out it's easy to have doubt, which I've had lately, so this has given me confidence back into my work, my passion, and why I do it. Fifth, in this field there is ALWAYS something new to learn, so I am looking forward to trying out some new techniques, poses, editing (which I'm still relunctant to change the original picture "too" much), and you get the idea.
Sorry if I'm boring you.....
Anyway, as soon as I have the "sneak peek" ready on my photo blog I'll let you know so you can take a look and maybe give me some constructive criticism or kudo's for a job well done :)
I finish today's post with a thought for the day:
"I believe the only reason we're here is to find out what we love…and get about the business of living it."—Oprah

Thursday, April 17, 2008

College Roommate

As I was checking my emails this morning, I had a notification that my college roommate had written on my wall....."Good Morning Beautiful Friend! Just wanted to say HI!Im off to work...Have a great day!"
So today I'm going to tell you about her since it was just awesome to have that message there and honestly it will probably be the hi-light of my day (I'm big on the small things)
We met via telephone, she called me up one day, the summer before we left for college, we had mutual friends (she's from the same town as a childhood friend of mine) but hadn't really met per se, and asks if I'd be her roommate for college. You have no idea how big a relief this was for me. This was something I was really worried about since I was moving out of province, away from home for the first time, and so on.
My roommate was actually kind of famous in Nfld in the Christian world. She's a singer, a GREAT singer, no let me correct myself, she's an AMAZING singer. Seriously, she's one of those few people that can hit those high notes and was in a group that became pretty well known for a short period of time (that's another story) Then after college she went on to become a member of a group called P3 that was the new up and coming Christian group until tragedy (again another story) all of which has made her who she is today. She's loving and gorgeous! She has a very outgoing personality (definitely not a shy bone in her body), loves to laugh, have fun, eat and sleep :) Well she did when we were in college.
We have stayed in touch since college, not to the point where we're best friends or chat all the time. But there were always random emails, chats on MSN, always a Christmas card, you get the idea. Facebook has been wonderful because I'm more in touch with her now than ever. That being said, she was always someone I thought about. If you don't know that I'm a "thinker" by now then I digress, but I am and I often think about people. She's one of the people that's on my mind.
I'm not sure why, it could be that she has such a charismatic personality that I'm just completely drawn to her probably like every other person that has met her. It could be that she's one of the very few college friends that I had that hasn't completely abandoned or judged me because of my lack of going to church. And yes there have been some. And yes there have been some who are still my friends and treat me the same. But that's another post for another day...simply said....just because I don't "practice" doesn't mean I no longer believe.
Anyway.....she's just awesome. She has so much talent, not just singing but photography as well. And I wanted to share how wonderful she is, just because she made my day and someone who does random acts of kindness like that, deserves good things to be noted and said about them.
To my college roommate....Thanks :)
To those of you who prayed for my Uncle yesterday, thank you...he's not out of the woods but doing much better.
Your challenge random act of kindness. You have no idea how much it might mean to that person. Good Karma & Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Special Request

Today I'm not posting much except a pray, think, meditate or whatever it is you may do for my Dad and his family.
His brother is very sick, he's suffered from heart disease for 17 years and today his heart has decided it's had enough and stopped 3 times. Right now he's still alive and doing better than earlier today but really it's a matter of time.
I'm really worried about my Grandmother since she just buried her husband (my grandfather) only a few short months ago...losing her eldest son is hardly something she needs to be dealing with right now. This is on my mind about my Dad too since he seems closest to this brother (not saying he is but it's my own personal opinion). Losing a Dad and a brother in a matter of months....if that happens to be the case.
So hope/pray for a miracle or pray that if he should pass that comfort be upon them all.
Thanks....til tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Puerto Plata & Sosua Tour

This will be my last post about our trip as it's been a couple of weeks now and time to move on to other things.
This is the amber museum we visited
Moi at Sosua Beach
Kristen at Sosua Beach....his Mom commented on how tanned he looks :)
This little boy gave me a flower when I was coming out of one of the stores on our tour. I still have them (pressed & dried)
Rum at the Brugal Rum Factory
And that's the jest of our trip
New topics tomorrow :)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Fort St. Felipe

These are photo's of Fort St Felipe that we visited during our Puerto Plata/Sosua tour....the info Puerto Plata website gives this history of it......
Fort "San Felipe" is the principal colonial monument of the city of Puerto Plata. It has a great similarity with the architecture of the San Augustin Fort in Florida. It is said that the same plans and people were used to build it.The corsairs and pirates were constantly invading the city and rob its citizens, so in 1569 started its construction and was terminated in 1577. In 1605 the fort was dismantled and rebuilt in 1739 and equipped with military personnel to guarantee the safeguard of the city.Since 1974 the Cultural in heritage Office has converted the Saint Felipe in a Colonial Museum.

The guy in the blue baseball hat and white shirt was "Archie" who was our tour guide for the day. Archie isn't his real name because his spanish name is too hard to say in english :)
Great view
Probably my FAV Dominican "scenery" pictureAnd this is the old man who was telling us some of the history of the building. There were these small doors you could walk through, but back in the day it was how they would "be-head" the enemy. I think he said he was 92 or 96 or something like that. All tips given were going to his eye surgery to restore his eyesight. He spoke 5 languages and was very charismatic. I think he was both mine and Kristen's favourite person that we "met" in Puerto Plata.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Kristen's Dominican Photo Shoot

Then it was my turn to take photo's of Kristen
First the "sideview" shot of him at the fountain in the pool
Then facing me
Of course, time to play :)
Time to relax
One of my favourite "close up" shots
Kristen at Sosua beach...he kind of has a model look going on here doesn't he? Hand in the pocket, blue ocean, blue skies, tanned get the point.
Peek a boo!
I call this one "bringing down the house" I can't remember what he was doing or not doing but I know I love this photo :) My FAV close up of him :) Just yummy!
And...last but not least my attempt at the palm tree, random angle shot...obviously not as good as Kristen's but I still love it anyway :)

Have a great weekend & Happy Friday

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Kristen's Photography

In trying to keep in theme with yesterday I'll post some of Kristen's pictures that he took of me while on vacation. These are obviously my own personal favourites. He likes some of me where I'm cracking up laughing but I don't because (a) I have major laugh lines (b) most of them I'm not wearing make up (and that's a whole other issue for another post another day....LOL) and (c) we just have a difference in taste sometimes.
For example....this make up and laughing. Thus changing it to black and white and putting the focus on my juice :)
This one I LOVE the palm trees, not really loving my arms, BUT today I will not be critcizing myself.

Love the lighting on this one
I call this the trip is almost over and soon time to go home. These were all taken on our last day there.
And last but certainly not fav of all, which you might have noticed is also my current profile picture. He just did this random angle and it totally worked. So much so, that I took the same shot of him (not quite as good) I'll post my shots of him tomorrow.

Happy Thursday!'s Thursday already?!!?!?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Night Shots

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before but today feels like an appropriate time in light of the photos I'm posting.
Kristen is a photographer too.
As a child I've loved photos, always enjoyed taking pictures but mostly of people. My first camera was a 35mm that my parents gave to me for Christmas when I was in Grade 4 or 5 (1989-1990). I used that camera until I got with Kristen in that makes me feel old.
Because....when I got with Kristen....he had a Nikon FG-20 and it took AWESOME flim pictures. I had no idea the difference a SLR lense makes to a photo.
He's inspired me the most when it comes to photography. And is the most supportive when I'm pursuing this new business of doing photo shoots.
He's also the one who debates with me who should get the camera, who actually "own's" the camera, who should take the photo....I think you get the idea.....
And much to my dismay...he reads something about photography and understands it much quicker than I do. I actually have to study and think about what I'm learning. Kristen just "get's it" So while in the Dominican he decides he's going to try some night shots by the fountain using a technique he read about months ago and probably only read it once. I LOVE how they turned out.
My attempt at it.....
This is just a regular night shot using the effects hereOh and forgot to mention that Maggie (our cat) did not take kindly to us being gone for a week. When I got home she had ALL of my socks dug out of my sock drawer. She has a new habit of getting in the drawer, so my theory is she was trying to get in because it has my scent (stinky feet and all) since she missed me. Really who knows why but I like this theory best :)
Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Resort - Grand Oasis Marien

I'm not really sure how to organize my photo's so I'm just going to wing it....
Today I'll begin with the resort since that's probably the most "boring" part of my photos (if you click on the title of this post it'll bring you to their website)
After walking through the lobby you walk out onto the resort and see this fountain. Much prettier at night....those photos tomorrow.

In the distance in the above picture you can see the pool bar & on top the Italian a la carte.
This is it up close. The Italian a la carte was very good. But for that matter all the food at the resort was good.
Sitting from the same have just seen the pool bar to the left. To my right, this shot get's taken. The loungers and another side of the resort. If you went back a bit more right you'd see the lobby again.
This is the beach up from the resort. About a 10min walk. It's grass that you see on the beach that washes in from the ocean. The workers at our resort made sure this was cleaned up quite frequently.
View from our room. We were originally placed next to the construction but our Air Transat rep said "none of that" they hold a major contract and had us moved in a couple of hours no questions asked.

Stairwell going up to our room. Tried to get Kristen but he was running thus the "blurred" Kristen :)
The entertainers dancing at the disco
Another disco shot :)

More photos tomorrow :)

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Great Sunflower Project

Apparently I signed up for The Great Sunflower Project today.
That's what I get for trying to get free sunflower seeds to plant in our backyard.
Now I have to enter data and watch for bee's at a certain time for an actual scientific study.
Here's the funny part, I'm looking forward to it. The funnier part, I've been stung twice by bee's and I'm quite scared of them.
I'll let you know when I receive my seeds in the mail. Why don't you check it out?
And as promised....I have trip photos ready to's a sneak peek. The rest will start tomorrow.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Quote of the day

Most of us go to our grave, with our music still inside of us.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


I just finished reading today's post on the blog Zen Habits about contentment & happiness. I strongly encourage all of you to go read it.
Here's a few of the points that really stuck out with me:
"...contentment isn’t a matter with being content with your situation in life and never trying to improve it. It’s a matter of being content with what you have — but realizing that as humans, we will always try to improve, no matter how happy we are. If we don’t, we have given up on life"
I especially relate to this because I strongly believe there's always room for improvement but it doesn't mean that I'm not happy with who I am & my current circumstances.
Stop, and consider why you want something. When you feel the urge to buy something, think about whether it’s a need or a want. If it’s a want, take a pause. It’s good to wait 30 days — keep a 30-day list … when you want something, put it on the list with the date, and if you still want it in 30 days, you can buy it). Consider why you want something. Are you not content with what you already have? Why not?
I like this comment because I always have a "wish list" but rarely buy the items on it. The items I do usually end up buying are months down the road and in my opinion are more need than want most of the time. With the execption of a treat to myself every now and then.
Learn to enjoy the simple things. Instead of wanting to buy expensive things, and spend money on doing things like eating out or entertainment, learn to enjoy stuff that’s free. Conversations and walks with other people. Spending time outdoors. Watching a DVD or playing board games. Going to the beach. Playing sports. Running. These things don’t cost much, and they are awesome.
This is the last comment I wanted to point out because we're are such a material world and so caught up in having, owning, comparing to what others have (competing with the Jone's if you will) and really there's so much to life that's free that creates a better quality of life than the things you put in it. Some days I feel at my best after a walk on a warm summer's evening.
Again I want to say that I loved the WHOLE article but these are 3 points that stood out to me. It was such a refreshing article about how good we really do have it.
"God’s gifts put man’s best dreams to shame.” - Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


I am back in the country, a bit of a tan (it's that or lobster red), well rested and back to work.
No pictures uploaded yet but hopefully next week I'll start posting photos with explanations, that gives me this weekend to get all caught up and organized.
There's definitely pro's and con's to the Dominican Republic which you'll get no matter where you travel because of our human nature we can't help but "compare" to home, to other places we travelled, etc. We had a great time and I'll try to sum our trip based on categories.
Resort: Amazing....absolutely beautiful with a huge pool. Kristen & I are not "pool" people when we travel down south but this one was worth taking a dip in
Beach: Not as nice as Cuba but we knew this before we went. Still nice and nothing better than relaxing while listening to the ocean.
Snorkelling: Not good, HUGE disappointed for Kristen on this trip. There's coral off from the resort but you're not allowed to swim there. You could go up the beach and pay someone to take you there, I think they're just exploiting the tourists to grab a buck wherever they can for this situation.
Food: Delicious....I think I gained weight
People: Friendly overall, staff at resort very professional
Air Transat/Nolitours: Who we booked our trip through we're GREAT. Air Transat included our exit fee in our price meaning we had an extra $50 to spend while there and also changed our room with no questions asked when we were put by the construction. Said Air transat holds a major contract with the resort where we stayed so everything was taken care of.
Country/scenery: BEAUTIFUL! Everything was lush and green, with bright blue skies. Loved that there were hills and not all flat. Must say I prefer the scenery in Dominican over Cuba.
Souvenirs: Expensive....all US funds and they're going to charge whatever they want in hopes some sucker of a tourist will over pay. I spent less money on souvenirs this trip than any before. Not sure if they realize if they lowered the prices we'd spend more $$ hmmm...?
And that's the jest of it......might not go back to Puerto Plata again but would like to go to the other side to Punta Cana to see what that side is like (I hear the beaches are white there like Cuba) So we'll see where our next travel adventure takes us.