Friday, May 30, 2008

Herbs & Hostas

Happy Friday
Just a couple of shots of some of our herbs we're growing in the backyard

And a shot of the hosta's Kristen planted up this year. Courtesy of Myrna & Jamie

I have a shoot this weekend so a 'sneak peek' will be up soon on my photo blog.

Have a great weekend :)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

French Vanilla Coffemate

I LOVE this stuff...makes the start to my day sweet & yummy!
I add it to my freshly brewed coffee...I love a creamy coffee and with the sugar already included I don't even add sugar to my coffee anymore. Unless of course it's plain 'ol regular creamer. Then we'll take a double double please :)
I wasn't always a coffee drinker. I think I graduated to an actual one when I discovered the creamer. I was more of a flavoured cappucino type girl.
And my mug....Nan & Pop Bishop gave these to us the Christmas we moved into the house. Technically she gave us the money and said buy something for the house as your Christmas gift, this is what Kristen & I picked.
Classic white :)
How do you like your coffee? Or tea maybe?
Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Recipe - Tunacakes

It's been quite a while since I posted a recipe.
Kristen was away last weekend meaning I was able to make something that I LOVE and something that he's not a huge fan of.
It's basically a Kraft Canada recipe that I tweaked to my liking.
Here's the jest of it....
Take a box of Stove Top (or any brand of boxed stuffing)
Add two cans of flaked tuna in water (water & tuna)
Then add some "sauce" I added a couple teaspoons of tarter sauce and about 4 teaspoons for miracle whip (mayo if you're not a fan of miracle whip)
After this step you should add some chopped green peppers and onions but I was lazy and not feeling very nutritious the day I made this.....

Mix well and form into "fishcakes"

Add to a pre-heated pan of olive oil


And serve :)

You can have them alone or with a side of mashed potatoes (this is actually quite good) or whatever you prefer. On this day I had 'just' the tunacakes....good source of protein and a great way to get tuna into your diet if you're not a big fan of it. of my FAVOURITE things :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Being Green

Our latest contribution to Mother Earth
Yep, it's a clothesline.
I remember as a teenager helping mom with laundry. I wasn't a big fan "taking in the clothes" cause it usually meant there were spiders or bees lurking. But shaking the clothes before throwing it in the basket is now one of my talents :)
It used to be a by-law that it was un-appealing to have a clothesline. This spring however, Ontario had outlawed the by-law meaning Ontario residents are now permitted to have one to be more environmentally friendly.
I must say I really like ours. The clothes dried just as fast or faster than using the dryer and had that "fresh air" smell...Mmm!
We're taking baby steps but we're getting there.
Happy Tuesday!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Monday Quote

Reminding myself today, that I always hold the power to break free of that which keeps me from soaring. It seems I keep forgetting. ~Cynthia Graham

Friday, May 23, 2008

We're Expecting.....

yep you heard me right. We're expecting, soon we'll have a little bundle of joy joining our family.
We're getting a PUPPY!!!!
This has been something Kristen & I have literally talked about for years....but it just wasn't the right timing. Either financially, or we were living in apt building, or we were in the house but no fence in the backyard and so on.
So I was holding off telling you because we were waiting to find out if the dog was pregnant. But it ended up not being as simple as that.
Let me tell you the story.
Back in April we went to a breeder, put down our deposit on a Golden Retreiver. Mid May we sent her an email to see if the dog was pregnant cause we hadn't heard from the breeder which we thought was unusual to find out not only was the dog not pregnant, she developed a rare disease that can occur in female dogs when they go in heat, something to do with the hormones, but to find out she had to have emergency surgery to have her uterus removed before it ruptured and killed her. It was very sad for everyone. Upon this news we decided to have our deposit returned and check out a different breeder.
We went last Saturday to Arcane, another Golden Retreiver breeder. We found out this week she's indeed expecting (or we hope so) and if all continues to go well we will be the proud parents of a golden retreiver puppy by early August. We're discussing a few names, right now we've requested a female but will take whatever we can from the litter (since there's a waiting list for females)
Last Saturday before our bbq that was the appt we had to go to in Napanee, just over a 2 hour drive. Since we were babysitting Tristan we picked him up at 6am and off we went.
This is Tristan in the car on the way there. The sun was in his eyes (since it was rising) so I gave him this old pair I had. Funny thing is he didn't want to take them off. I think he actually liked them.
This shot is of Tristan & Kristen watching Boston (the dad of our litter) playing with one of the 6 month old puppies, Demmi (if I remember correctly)

And that's the BIG announcement, we're VERY excited :) Obviously will have LOTS of pics to post once we get her. Can't wait! Happy Friday & Have a great weekend.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Backyard BBQ Photos

Blogger is cooperating with me today, so I can post pics of our 1st Annual Backyard BBQ
I've been asked by SO many people why we didn't go camping to your usual spot. Well let me answer you. It was for a couple of reasons....first being the usual people who go all decided they weren't going this year (various reasons, such as too cold for children, going away for the weekend, etc) secondly it's always freezing and it always rains. This year ended up being exactly the same so truthfully I'm happy we didn't go. It's so hard to enjoy camping when it's in those weather conditions. After the bbq was booked though some people who said they couldn't go camping with us then came back and asked if we were going. Well, it was too late then we already made alternative plans.
First we have Tonya (who's expecting...yay) & Amanda
Tristan...who we babysat for the day/night eating cheesies. I'm such a good babysitter, just fill 'em up on junk
Vicky putting Reed to sleep
Mia & Bobbi
Reed :)
Shannon, shy isn't she?? She's very photogenic ;)
Amanda's dog Taffy
Blaine, eating of course. Love ya Bro!
Cliff playing guitar, he was singing too but those pics made him look funny. He's really good too.
Corey outside, I think you can see a small glimpse of Jamie there too. Kristen took this shot from inside the house.'s not the greatest photo of him but for some reason I love it.
And that's all.....til next year's bbq :)
Tomorrow....our announcement!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Backyard BBQ

Will post pics tomorrow since Blogger isn't cooperating with me today :(
Today I'll post this quote in lieu of the lack of photos.

...we spend far too much time and energy contemplating our inadequacies. We forget that we are all perfect in our imperfection.—Kate Dillon

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Movie Reviews

This long weekend was a great combination of busy and relaxing.
Friday and Saturday we're super busy with preparations for the bbq, an appt that Kristen & I had early Saturday morning, babysitting Tristan for the night and then the actual bbq. I'll post pics of the bbq tomorrow and finally the annoucement I've been teasing you about on Thursday.
Sunday night we watched "Dan in Real Life"
I personally liked this movie, Kristen gave it thumbs down when the credits started to roll. A friend of mine said she didn't like it either, she found it boring. But hey, guess that's why I'm quirky cause I did enjoy it. Not to mention I LOVED the soundtrack which I think I'll work on obtaining this week :)
Then yesterday morning while Kristen was hunting I started watching P.S. I Love You
I had already been warned that it was good and that it was a tear-jerker. All I'm going to say is this:
1) I absolutely LOVED this movie
2) I pretty much bawled from start to finish
I would recommend this one for sure to the ladies :)
And that's my post for today....Happy Monday!

Friday, May 16, 2008

It's a boy!

Congratulations to Jimmy & Natasha on the birth of their baby boy, Nicholas
Weighing in at 7lbs 15oz at 7:30am
And to the rest of you, Happy May Long Weekend!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Quote for the Day

I do not serve myself or the rest of the world by allowing someone else's stamp of validation to determine whether or not I am living a positive, inspiring, meaningful life.

~Swirly Girl as posted on Blogtations

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Be Still

Not sure if you recall my New Years resolution to be Quiet, to listen, be get the idea. I would like to give you an update. I honestly feel I've done a great job of it. I haven't necessarily sat down to become a regular meditator per se....but I've certainly started listening to my inner voice, following my passions, and acting on it.
Today there are a couple of things I'd like to share.
First: the photography, it's been listening to my heart when it prompts me to follow that I honestly believe I am where I am today. I never thought at the beginning of 2008 that I would be doing semi-regular photo shoots, learning so much about photography itself, editing and the equipment, I never thought I'd be putting my photography on display for the purpose of selling. And yet, here I am. I truly believe God gives us passions & desires because that's what we're meant to do, it's our purpose. Then it's up to us to decide what to do with it. We can pursue it as a career, keep it as a hobby, or simply talk about the 'idea' of it and do nothing.
Second: I feel I know what I want from life more now than I ever have before. I know I don't know exactly who I am and what I want but I feel like I have a much better grasp now than I ever have in my 28 years of life.
So both of the above things are prompting me to read the book "The Secret" there's a lot of propaganda surrounding this right now because of Oprah, but the jest of it is a think therefore I am theory. If you want something, you think it and it happens. I'm going to read it, I'm going to envision my life, future, etc and watch it all play out. I know it's kind of 'new-agey' but that's not why I'm reading it, I'm reading it to further my decision to think postively & believe :) Have some faith people!
Today I finish up with these quotes about happiness & spituality
"Allowing the truth of who you are—your spiritual self—to rule your life means you stop the struggle and learn to move with the flow of your life."—Oprah
By and large, money buys happiness only for those who lack the basic needs. Once you pass an income of $50,000, more money doesn’t buy much more happiness, [according to a happiness studies].
There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations. Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled. If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can't buy.
'Today is a gift, that is why it is called The Present.'

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Myrna's Cafe

As I've mentioned before my friend Myrna up and left the mainland to move back to Newfoundland. Not only to live the "newfie lifestyle" but to run her own business. She took over a local convenience store (even though it's much more than that) with the intentions of renovating the upstairs into a bakery/cafe.
She has great ideas, and as I've said before (if not on this blog to my friends at least) if anyone was going to take on such an endeavour as this & succeed it would be Myrna. It's just who she is :)
She has a lot of great ideas for the cafe. She's having all Fair Trade coffee/tea. Wikipedia explains Fair trade as an organized social movement and market-based approach to alleviating global poverty and promoting sustainability. Go to the website for further explanation. She's also having Organic smoothies Yum!! Not to mention all baked goods will be homemade and not full of preservatives. I'm so impressed with her plans & ideas.
Sunday night she gave me a call, telling me about how she's going to put art/photography of local artists on the walls of her cafe. BUT it will be for sale. Which I think is a great she's telling me of the locals that she's asking if they want to put their products there, an then she asks me if I want to put some of my Nfld photography there since I am a local per se...I just haven't been a resident for a
I couldn't believe she asked me but told her a definite yes and that I'd have a package together for her in 2 weeks. I'm so flattered and excited at the same time.
This week has been an extremely encouraging week for me in the photography world. I often doubt myself since I'm very much an amateur.....but another friend of mine picked up on this and gave me a note with some of the sweetest words of encouragement that basically said I'm rootin' for you to succeed. I know it doesn't seem like much but it was EXACTLY what I needed to hear & meant so much to me.
Anyway....if you want to check out my 2008 "display" for Myrna's cafe...head on over to my photo blog.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Missions Trip

My brother just returned from a missions trip to Sosua, Dominican Republic. Where they helped build a church amongst many other things. Before he went an email had been sent out with a list of items they were in need of. A few of my friends/family definitely stepped up to the plate and gave great donations. These empty shelves at the medical centre is where all of these items will be going.
And here's a few shots of my brother with some of the kids. They're from the school the visited, the church and other local areas. He told me as soon as this little boy saw him he came running to him asking for a piggy back ride. I told my brother that was because he's over 6 feet tall and was the best seat in the house :)
This little girl, Julianne had a spot for my brother. Apparently another group of missionaries go to this same area and there's another gentleman who looks similar to my brother and she always wants to be up with him as well.
This is a photo taken on a camera phone of the whole group, part of the group is from Brampton and the other part from Cape Breton.
And I'll finish off with this shot of my bro with these "just too cute" little boys :)
He had a great trip and thanks again to everyone who donated. You see right here where those donations went.
Happy Monday!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

High Hopes

I'm excited about this summer, I hold high hopes for this summer, and even though "technically" summer isn't until June, for most of us it begins with the May long weekend. This year's May long weekend will not be marked with the annual camping trip which usually results in rain or snow, being frozen or soaked. This year, instead, we are hosting a backyard bbq.
Not many plans for June yet (but we might have an announcement as mentioned in a previous post)
July we're going to a friends cottage for a weekend, one of my best friends is getting married.
And in August Kristen & I will be taking on a new adventure (that I will share closer to August) plus my first wedding that I'll be the photographer and the annual girls weekend.
I'm happy & excited that I have plans, I'm also happy that I don't have every weekend booked.
Like my title says I really do have high hopes for this summer. For no particular reason, I just have a good feeling, a vibe if you will. Maybe I'm hoping that if I have positive thoughts I'm "willing" a good summer to happen.
Today I finish my post with this quote:
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” -Albert Einstein

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

24 Tips for a Better Life

I received this email today & thought it was a great list to help us live our best life.

1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.
2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Buy a lock if you have to.
3. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, 'My purpose is to __________ today.'
4. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
5. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli, almonds & walnuts.
6. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
7. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
8. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.
9. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
10. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
11. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
12. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
13. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
14. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
15. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
16. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years, will this matter?'
17. Forgive everyone for everything.
18. What other people think of you is none of your business.
19. GOD heals EVERYTHING, in HIS time.
20. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
21. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
22. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
23. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements: I am thankful for __________. Today I accomplished _________.
24. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Maggie our cat...our Mag-mag as I call her most times.
I was at the Digital Photography show this past weekend, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Took in a few free seminars and learned a tonne of stuff. Not to mention got a chance to take a look at some new technology that is not only awesome and would make my life so much easier but is way out of my price range too.
However, it did confirm a couple of things
1) I still have a LOT to learn (this I know & accepted a long time ago)
2) I love photography more than ever
So on Sunday I decided to take a few snaps of our little one...and here's my favourites.
First...chillin' on the floor. Normally she's lying in the spot of where the sun is shining in.
This is her lying in her "cat bed" she seriously needs a new one. Her's is very worn out.
And last but not least my favourite of all. She was looking out the back door (probably at some birds flying over) but I had a flower there trying to give it some sunshine since it got cold the other day and almost died. She squeezed in between the door and the flower, here's the shot I got :)

Happy Tuesday!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Jiggs Dinner

Newfoundlanders have traditional food like any culture. The most infamous is the Jiggs Dinner. I found the recipe on a Gros Morne website today (click the title of today's post if you want to take a look). Not that I need a recipe! But! I thought it would be interesting to share. any recipe and any culture every newfie has their own 'variation' on this recipe.
For example, some say a "true" jiggs dinner doesn't have a roast or chicken with it. ONLY the salt beef. The argument being if there's the additional meat then it would be called "Sunday's dinner" because Jiggs dinner is usually cooked on Sunday. Some also argue it's the best hangover food, I think there's even a group on Facebook.
My personal variation usually includes homemade stuffing (which newfies call dressing, or Stove Top if I'm lazy that day), usually some pastry pudding, and sometimes greens cooked in with the veggies/beef for the last couple of minutes. I never make peas pudding but my brother loves the stuff and begs my Grandmother Ball to make it whenever we visit her. I don't soak the beef because I like the salty taste it puts on the vegetables. I also don't use a full head of cabbage and cook it BEFORE all the other veggies instead of after. Again, it's my version :)
Also note that most Jiggs dinners are accompanied with side condiments of bottled beets and mustard pickles.
And now without further ado, the recipe:

Jiggs Dinner
Preparation time: 30 mins
Total time: 3 - 3 1/2 hours
Serves: 4-6
2 pounds corned beef(salt beef) or salt spareribs
1 cup yellow split peas
6 - 8 medium potatoes
6 carrots
1 medium turnip, peeled and cut in chunks
1 medium cabbage, cut in wedges
2 tablespoons butter pepper to taste

Step 1: Soak meat in cold water overnight (6 - 8 hours). Drain meat and place in large pot.
Step 2: Tie peas in cloth bag, leaving room for expansion, and put bag in pot with beef. Cover beef and peas with water. Heat to boiling; cover and simmer for 2 hours.
Step 3: Prepare vegetables. Small carrots and potatoes may be left whole, larger ones cut in half. Slice turnip and cut cabbage into wedges.
Step 4: After meat and peas have cooked for 2 hours add vegetables and cook until tender, adding cabbage last.
Step 5: Remove peas from bag, place in bowl and mash with butter and pepper to form 'peas pudding'. Remove meat and cut into serving-size pieces.
Step 6: Arrange meat and vegetables on platter. Serve the 'peas pudding' in a separate bowl.
The pot stock (liquor) is usually thickened for gravy to accompany the roast (moose, beef, or chicken) that is also served at a true newfoundland scoff.
In fact, I'll be making my own scoff this Sunday. It's been too long since I've had a good 'ol Newfie Jiggs dinner.
Happy Friday & Have a GREAT Weekend!