Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 Year In Review

It's a quiet afternoon, Boone is sleeping on the floor, Kristen is playing our new PS3 downstairs, I'm enjoying a cup of coffee and thinking....
Thinking about 2008 and my year in review post.
I love my year in review post, I love taking the time to reflect and acknowledge the highs and lows of the past 12 months. I'm a thinker, it's what I do :)
I started January off with my new years resolution to Be Quiet. Overall I succeeded, there's so much I finally accepted and learned about myself.
I've acknowledged that I LOVE photography.
 I always new this but I really took it to a whole new level this year. And it's only the beginning, no I'm not going into business even though in the back of my head there for a while I thought I would. But no....not yet. In time, right now I have a LOT to learn and experience to gain before taking on something like that. Maybe I can make that a 5 year goal :) We'll see....
I've learned I'm not the person I thought I was. I'll get back to this section when I tell you 2009's New Years resolution.
I love and miss Newfoundland more than I thought I really do. More because of my family and friends that are there, but also because of the scenery and lifestyle. I miss waking up and looking at majestic mountains and smelling the salty water. With Mom & Dad being here for Christmas it's more real than ever, I'm dreading saying goodbye to them at the airport tomorrow.
In 2008 there have also been milestones
It's been a year since my Grandfather Ball passed away.
I went to the Dominican Republic
We bought our first new car.
We had an addition to our family....Boone. Who has went from this to....
this....he, he, he  :)
And has filled our home with more laughter and fun,....and some frustration too. Kristen & I were even saying one day we can't imagine life going forward without him. It's been a huge adjustment for me, never having had a dog before, but I'm so grateful for him. Yes there are days I want to pull out my hair, but no regrets he's worth it. I almost understand how parents feel about their children...I know not exactly the same but close enough :)
I got a promotion at work, I'm now in a National position (yes for all of Canada) rather than regional. It's nice to be acknowledged and rewarded for doing a good job.
I took on Algonquin
Watched a best friend get married (and in 2009 watch her have her baby)
And shared so many wonderful moments with friends & family
And celebrated my 1 year wedding anniversary and 10 great years with Kristen
There have been up's and down's for sure, but overall I have no complaints. I'm truly blessed.
Now on to 2009's resolution...
I mentioned that I realized I'm not the person I thought was. There are things about me that I'm just not proud of, so this years goal is simple. To Be a Good Person.....
I haven't narrowed down the details of how I'm going to do this exactly but that's it. That's my goal. I just want to be a good person. Live by the Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"
Also for 2009 I've decided that Friday's on this blog it will be Food Fridays. I fear I may have bitten off more than I can chew so the focus will be on food, from nutritional information, to new recipes, and to of course meal plans! Hope that's okay.
My photography blog will continue on....whatever happens there, happens. Just going with the flow.
And I think that's it for today....hoping to have a food post up on Friday and then next week will get back on track with regular posts and all the Christmas & New Year's photos and updates.
Today's Quote:
"A man's fortune must first be changed from within"  ~Chinese Proverb

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Weekend In Review

Happy Monday my friends. How was your weekend?
My weekend was good, interesting, fun.
Friday I was allowed to leave work early because of the CRAZY snowstorm that hit us. Which also meant Friday night was spent inside, at home. A blessing in disguise cause I was able to get some overdue cleaning done.
Saturday I went shopping with Kristen, Mom, Dad and the bro. Then went to some friends house for an early "Tip's Eve" party. It was nice except for the white out conditions we had while driving home.
Sunday did MORE cleaning, will it ever be done?!?!?! Then headed out to the arena to watch Kristen's hockey game.
Only 3 more sleeps and it's Christmas!!
Are you ready for it? I'm not....honest I don't even have a tree yet :(
It'll all work out though....always does :)
Today's Quote:
I must begin again, and again I / must begin. Every time I lose, / I win and must begin again. ~Joyce Sutpen

Friday, December 19, 2008

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow....

I LOVE snow and a white Christmas. And today we are getting bombarded with a snow storm. Then another one on Sunday and possibly another one on Christmas Eve. A white Christmas this year fo' sho!!! he he he.
I don't like driving in the snow and I don't like being cold, and yet I LOVE snow! I really do. Storms are awesome when you're snuggled up at home watching it from your living room window :) Today I'll have to drive in it but that's okay, I have snow tires and I'll just take my time.
Remember: Snow means Slow!!   lol :)
Anyway have a wonderful weekend! And if you're in the GTA drive safely.
Today's Quote:
"You can only work on yourself. Start there"  ~Alice O. Howell

Thursday, December 18, 2008


So I'm a big fan of Pink's new song called Sober. I even received her new CD as my gift for the Kris Kringle ....there's a line in the song that I love!

"I don't wanna be the girl that has to fill the silence..
The quiet scares me 'cause it screams the truth"
I love that part sooooooo much. Mainly because that was my goal this year, to listen to myself and not drown myself out when something tugs at me. Something that I might not necessarily like but it's reality and its MY truth.
Overall my year to be quiet was a successful one, I've learned an enormous amount of information about myself, all of which I'm working on (maybe a new goal for 2009? I haven't decided yet). That being said a lot of 'talking' was done this year as well, lots of noise interfered in that goal for SURE! But I've acknowledge it and I have taken steps to distance myself from those triggers, influences and so on.
Cause the one thing I've found is the "noise" has done nothing but cause negative for me. It distracted me, kept me from going down the path I was trying to follow.
The song Sober and acknowledging my own flaws (trust me there's lots and some I'm pretty sure I'm still in denial made me think of people in general. It made me think of those people who refuse themselves ANY quiet time because they already know what they'll hear.
You know them, the people who ALWAYS have to have the tv on, or music playing or have to gossip/talk about other people, or people who want to drink maybe a little more than others. All in an effort to take any thoughts off of themselves. Cause if they don't they have to acknowledge their own flaws or things that might not be what they wanted for their lives.
Then they might actually have to DO something about it!
Now I realize a lot of my friends read this blog and I will say right now "no" I'm not talking about anyone in particular, I'm talking about people in general and in general we all know people who fall into that category of refusing to listen to their TRUE HEARTS DESIRE. That's all I'm saying...whatever their distraction might be, it's still a distraction from the truth.
Take a quiet moment today, what's MOST important to you. If you could do anything you wanted today and only today, what would it be? Now that you've decided what that is, are you living your life that way? If you are, awesome! If not, why not? What's your excuse? What do you have to lose to be happy? Not trying to depress you, I'm really not, especially this close to Christmas....but maybe now's the time to know what you want so when 2009 arrives (not that far away) you'll be pumped to take it head on and make it the most amazing year ever! Don't worry, I'm right here with you :)
Today's Quote
"Change and growth take place when a person has risked himself and dares to become involved with experimenting with his own life"  ~Herbert Otto

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Travel Deals

I've signed up to Travel and Travel
And every Wednesday I receive emails listing the top deals for the week. Travel Alerts you pick your "area" so for me all the notifications are for out of Toronto. Travel Zoo I think is out of Canada in general (if I remember correctly)
The deals vary from flights, to all inclusive vacations, car rentals, shows, and so on. You get the idea.
No harm in signing up, you never know what deal you might get :)
Happy Wednesday everyone!!!
Today's Quote
“Surprise is the greatest gift which life can grant us.”  ~Boris Pasternak

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Recipe Review: Fresh Corn with Wild Rice

This past weekend I made THIS RECIPE
Overall I would say it was okay.
Cons of this recipe:
It's kind of plain, next time I would add either more chili powder or "something" to give it a wee bit more flavour
Goes well with another dish that might have more overpowering tastes, it would compliment or tone it down.
Wouldn't recommend pairing with another plain dish.
Takes a while to bake
Pros of this recipe:
It's plain so PERFECT for picky eaters
Easy to make, mix it up pop it in the oven
Excellent as an additional sidedish
Would I make it again? Absolutely!!! I love that it's something different and combines rice and corn, both of which I love. I made this with very strong bbq sauce (smokey whisky flavour) covered chicken and I think it went well together, like I said would probably just add more chili powder. Give it a try and let me know what you think?
Today's Quote:
"Everything in life has meaning. The bigger the fall, the greater the lesson."  ~Oprah

Monday, December 15, 2008

Girls Annual Cookie Bake 2008

This past weekend I headed Vicki's house for the annual girls cookie bake, this is quite a few years running now and I LOVE it. Not only do I have awesome girl time, I get all of my Christmas cookies made :) How great is that??
First we started out with these cranberry juice, raspberry sour puss concoctions....yum
Then down to the dirty work....
Vicki made Five Star & Hey Dollies...see Hey Dollies below
Then Steph who makes Short Bread cookies
and Black Bottom Cupcakes in "mini" version...which to quote Rachael Ray are YUM-O! Its the middle ones in case you're not sure
My Martha Stewart pose...these are my Chocolate Mice
My famous Snowballs (well it's my mom's famous snowballs)
The whole spread
And last but not least, the group photo
Can't wait to eat everything :)
Today's Quote
The only gift is a portion of thyself.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Recipe: Caramel Cheesecake

This recipe comes from my friend Jen (not sure who shared it with her)
It's a yummy cheesecake recipe just in time for the holidays that DOESN'T take 4 packages of cream cheese. Have you ever noticed cheesecake recipes require ridiculous amounts of the stuff?
Anyway this cheesecake is delicious, simple to make and perfect for entertaining. It comes with a warning however, KEEP FROZEN until ready to serve. It melts quickly and can get messy. Now on to the good stuff .....

Caramel Cheesecake

1 ½ - 2 cups Graham crumbs
½ cup melted butter
1 - 8oz pkg. of cream cheese
2 tbsp of white sugar
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 large container of cool whip
1-2 tbsp coconut
1-2 tbsp slivered almonds
Caramel syrup

Mix together graham crumbs & butter. Bake for about 5-7 minutes, let cool
Cream together cream cheese, sugar, condensed milk. Then add cool whip, cream together again.
In a heated frying pan lightly toast coconut & slivered almonds. Sprinkle on top of filling and drizzle caramel syrup

Freeze Overnight!

Today's Quote:
"If you have much, give of your wealth. If you have little, give of your heart"  ~Arab proverb

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Free Book

I visit the Smart Canucks website very regularly cause there's always great deals, discounts, freebies & coupons.

A while back they had THIS post about getting a free book from Random house through Chatelaine.
Yesterday I got my free book!! Yay......
I'm currently in the middle of another book but this one is next on my list. Check out Smart Canucks, you never know what deal you might get :)
Today's Quote:
"Anything that is of value in life only multiplies when it is given"  ~Deepak Chopra

Friday, December 5, 2008

Coalition Government

****note**** after I did this post today I caught up on the comments on yesterdays post....and wow!!!! Angie thanks for all your comments you've made VERY valid points. See below to have at least a bit of a say.
AND...the truly exciting part, Jasmine Star left a comment on my blog...woo-freakin'-hoo!!!! In my head she's a celebrity so this is huge for me....LOL. Now how to convince her to move me to Orange County and take me under her wing....oh dare to dream..... you can go ahead and read my regular post for today...he he :)

I received this email today, even though Prime Minister Harper has suspended Parliment and the Coalition has been put on hold, for now. Take time to at least look at the petition and decide if it's something you would like to do. I'm not encouraging you either way, just educate yourself, exercise democracy....that's all.

Petition regarding the newly-formed Coalition

Please take a moment to express your thoughts about our current political situation! PLEASE FORWARD to as many CANADIANS as possible.

No – this isn’t a chain letter. No, you won’t have good luck or win the lottery, but you may just get the opportunity to exercise your right to vote, instead of having your vote erased by those that claim to “know better” than we as the Canadian electorate.

Signing takes only a minute, forwarding just a second – the results can last a lifetime!

Today's Quote
"In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can't build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery and death." ~ Anne Frank

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thursday Hodge Podge

Hello friends......
How are we today?
I have a few things on my mind today....wanna listen read?
If you're still here, then I guess so eh?   :)
* I like my outfit today,......hubby dearest questioned my outfit today.......It's a pink collared blouse beneath a dark purple sweater with grey pinstripe dress pants. Hubby thinks the colours don't go together. I think it's "colourful" and "fun" and very "me" it's even office appropriate :) I tried taking a self portrait to show you but it didn't work out as I had hoped.
* The Canadian governement....ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!!? I'm so stunned and opposed to what's going on. If voters had voted this year, instead of it being the lowest turn out ever I have a feeling this wouldn't even be going on. If you didn't vote you should be ashamed, this is WHY you vote so there's no minority government and a CLEAR majority. I'm not saying I'm 100% supportive of Prime Minister Harper, but I am saying he is Prime Minister, so let him be one.
* You MUST read Jasmine Star's blog today. She's a photographer that I follow quite loyally and I'm thoroughly inspired by her and her drive to suceed. Her post called Letter to a Professor you MUST read. It's so real and full of raw emotion. Makes you think about life and what you really want.
Today's Quote:
"The key to realizing a dream is to focus not on success but significance—and then even the small steps and little victories along your path will take on greater meaning"  ~ Oprah

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


My hair drives me crazy....seriously. I can't style hair very well so I try to maintain a simple yet somewhat stylish cut. Over the years my hair has been straight, strawberry blonde and plain.
The last couple of years and 2008 more specifically things have gone overboard. With the exception of a BAD perm in 1992 where everyone called me poodle my hair has been pretty much the same.
I always had bangs, then in my early 20's I grew them out, I've come to accept that I prefer myself with bangs.
I've always had strawberry blonde hair, in my early 20's I'm experimented with blonde hi-lights and that's it.
Then last summer when Kristen and I got married I went super blonde, not intentionally I had a bit of a blonde in a box mishap where I was as white as Gwen Stefani, true story. So we fixed what we could, then in the Fall I decided I needed to add some brown. Which gave me this....
And I loved this style when I had it. But then I decided let's go "dark" beneath the top layer since it was in style and gimme s'more bangs! Yeah! I ended up with this.....
Again, loved it at the time. Then I decided no let's go way darker and go back to my side bangs, I love my stylist by the way....and ended up with this....
I know call the above my "skunk" hair-do cause after I found it a bit "too" extreme.
Then a friend of mine recommended a stylist closer to home so I thought sure, I'll give her a try. The first week I really liked my hair, now I don't. The dye didn't take or has faded and my bangs are a mess. I won't be going back to say the least (see photo with Reed, you can see my roots!....honest you can, my bangs look two-toned....look closely). So now I'm left with going back to my regular stylist but not until the new year cause I just paid a fortune in Oct on the new girl and can't afford to go back until at least after Christmas. I've been managing in the meantime, I guess.
All of that being said, one of my favourite styles ever, was when my hair was just left it's natural colour (it might have had some blonde hi-lights but I honestly don't think very many. And I had side bangs, which as said before I really do like on myself. Here's a sample of it:
I thinking I need to go back to my strawberry blonde colour in the new year (or colour matched as best as possible and forget all this dye, hi-lights, low lights, etc. Causes too much stress :(
What do you think?
Today's Quote:
"The words from your heart mean more to people than anything you can buy" ~ Oprah

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Weekend in Review

I had a productive weekend, ticked quite a few things off of my to-do list.
On Saturday we even included taking some time off to attend Reed's 1st Birthday party.
These photos are courtesy of my friend Marianne
Happy Birthday Reed!! You're so cute :)
Here we are later in the evening, just chillin, after most of the guests had left.
Sunday I ticked more stuff off of my to-do list, cooked dinner, and was actually able to have a bath and read my book for a bit before bedtime. I'm trying to maintain a balance between work and play :) I think I succeeded.
Head on over to my photo blog to enter the Christmas contest!
Today's Quote:
"Have you still got your space? Your soul, your own and necessary place where your own voices may speak to you, you alone, where you may dream. Oh, hold onto it, don't let it go" ~Doris Lessing

Monday, December 1, 2008

Happy Monday

Tomorrow I'll try to have some photos for my weekend in reveiw post.
Today I'm telling you to check out this post on the Zen Habits website. Something to think about for sure. It's about doing less and and thinking more. It's about buying QUALITY rather than quantity, all with an intent to help save the planet.
Check it out!
Today's Quote:
"The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude." ~Oprah