Monday, January 30, 2006

A favorite recipe

I took this photo for a circle journal group that I'm in and love how it turned out. The title and border were done in Photoshop.

Here's the recipe:
Sweet & Spicy Lentil Chili
2 tbsp. butter
1 stalk (1/2 cup) celery, chopped
1 small (1/3 cup) onion, chopped
1 small (1/2 cup) green pepper, chopped
2 tsp. chopped garlic
1 cup dried lentils
1 cup water
1-28oz. can beef broth
1-28oz. can diced tomatoes with jalapenos
1 small winer squash, peeled, cut into 1-in. pieces
1 small (2 cups) sweet potato, peeled, cut into 1-in. pieces
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
Sour Cream

Melt butter in saucepan, until sizzling. Add celery, onion, green pepper and garlic. Cook over medium-high heath until onion is softened (3-4 minutes). Add all remaining ingredients (except sour cream and cilantro). Continue cooking until mixture comes to a boil (7-10 minutes). Reduce heat to low. Cover. Cook until lentils are tender, about 1 hour. Serve with sour cream and cilantro.

I often add carrot to the recipe as well. And I've never been able to find diced tomatoes with jalapenos so I just add the jalapenos separately. This recipe is SOOOOO delicious! I've served it many times and always had compliments on it!

I made it last night and am now enjoying some for my lunch so thought I would share with my blog readers!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

I'm finished!!!!!!!!

My HOF entry is FINALLY DONE!!!!! It feels so good to be done those layouts! WHEW! Right now, I'm scanning, stitching, writing and printing! I *hope* I can put this entry in the mail on Monday! WOOHOO!!!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

update on the class

It went very well, I think! There were only 3 people (2 cancelled last minute) but it was kinda nice. I could answer more questions, give them more one-on-one help, chat with them more, etc. All of the projects turned out really nice and we had fun! I've also got my February, March and April classes booked now! I'm very excited about those!
And I decided to change my banner for something fun! If anyone knows how to get rid of the white line box thingy, please let me know!! I can't figure it out!
Tonight I'm off to a Flamenco concert with a friend of mine at a jazz club here in town. I'm very excited!
And I wanted to say a HUGE thank you to all my blog readers! You guys are the best! I love all your support, encouragement, and praise! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Tomorrow's Class

And here is the layout I'm going to be teaching tomorrow night at my LSS. I'm looking forward to it, now that most of my prep work is done. I'm not totally thrilled with this layout BUT that's okay. I've realized something about teaching recently. I have to create layouts/projects that the average scrapbooker can do. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE enlargements on my layouts. However, most people who are taking classes at our LSS, are probably not going to create many layouts with enlargements on them. And that is totally OKAY! It's different from what I like to do but that is okay and I'm learning that the class is not for me, it's for the students so I have to do/create things that work for them. And most of them want to bring their photos to the class and go home with a completed project OR go home and glue on their photos as soon as they get home so that their layout is completed. Anyway, that was like one of those 'a-ha!' moments for me! So that's why this layout has 5-4x6's photos on it. Now I must add that I really don't care much (okay, I strongly dislike) that photo of me and it wasn't supposed to be a part of this layout BUT last night I wanted to fix something and I TOTALLY ripped the photo of my dad that was there. (Sorry, dad, I didn't mean to rip your head off!) And I figured since I already had this one of me printed I would use it instead. DOH! Oh and it's hard to tell in the scan but I glued patterned paper to the back of the ornaments so it would show through (thanks to Mary for the idea)! And as an added bonus, there's a card using the scraps to go with the layout! So it's kinda two-projects-in-one (thanks again Mary for that idea!). Really, I do come up with ideas on my own, I promise!!!!!

The people in the photos are, L to R: me, my mom, my BIL Jerry (the soon-to-be-dad), Jonathan, and my brother, Darrin and his GF, Kelsey

So let me know what you think, okay? And for those of you out there that are teachers, feel free to pass along any tips, hints, ideas about teaching that might help me. This is a big change for me - I'm not a 'teacher' type. I wish I had inherited that from my mom though!

Oh and one more thing, I have 8 of the 10 HOF layouts done. I thought I had 9 done but have decided to make a few changes to one of them. The 10th layout is yet to be created. I'm feeling a bit stumped/stuck on it. EEKS!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Another game of tag!

Another fun game of tag going around! Here are my answers!

What were you doing 10 years ago?

I would have been writing my Grade 12 departmental exams with one semester of high school left and looking forward to being done school!

What were you doing 1 year ago?

I was living in Calgary with friends and Jonathan was in Ontario finishing up his Masters. Was that really only a year ago?!?!

Five snacks you enjoy (in no particular order, as all snacks are created equal):

1. crunchy baby dill pickles with garlic
2. an apple with lite cream cheese and pecans
3. cottage cheese with avocado and tomato (or cucumbers and tomatoes)
4. fresh raspberries with cream
5. cheese, especially old cheddar

Five songs to which you KNOW all the lyrics:

1. Peel Me a Grape by Diana Krall
2. Taylor by Jack Johnson
3. The Race is On by Sawyer Brown (that would be from my high school days! HA!)
4. Cry Out to Jesus by Third Day (this song makes me bawl!)
5. Beautiful by Bethany Dillan

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:

1. Buy a house!
2. Pay off our student loans.
3. Go on a BIG vacation for an extended period of time!
4. Donate a whole bunch of it.
5. Buy a whole schwack of stuff for my camera - lenses, flash, filters, etc.

Five bad habits:

1. I worry too much.
2. I waste time.
3. I hate talking on the phone so I rarely phone people.
4. I spend too much time on the internet.
5. I am too impatient.

Five things you like doing:

1. scrapbooking, of course
2. running
3. hiking
4. going out for coffee
5. taking photos

Five things you would never wear, buy, or get again:

1. anything but Heinz Ketchup
2. toe socks - okay at the time they looked cool but they hurt my toes and were not warm!
3. clothes from Le Chateau - cheap price but cheaply made! And really not my style.
4. transparencies for a laser printer, unless we get a laser printer - that was a waste of money!
5. ponytail holders with the metal clip - they tear out so much hair!

Five favorite toys:

1. my iPod
2. Photoshop
3. my camera - Digital Rebel XT
4. my eMac
5. my Garmin Forerunner

Well, that was fun!!! And I'm tagging anyone who is reading and wants to play!

Friday, January 20, 2006

How my brain works...

or maybe I should say, doesn't work! Before I started this blog, I had hoards and hoards of ideas about what I would write about, how I would inspire my blog readers, how it would be deep and meaningful yet still funny and enjoyable, how others would look to me for my wisdom and encouragement. HA! Ya right! LOL! Seriously, I can be a bit of a dreamer. I have plans, ideas, thoughts, dreams and then there's reality. And so of course, as soon as I start my blog, I can't think of anything to write or am plagued with these thoughts, "no that sounds stupid, that's weird, people will think you're annoying with that, who writes about that?!, that could come across the wrong way," etc. etc. and so my blog sometimes remains inactive. And so does my brain. It's like freezing on this big test you're about to write. (Okay, so that might be a bit of a stretch, comparing my blog to an exam.) But that's just how my brain seems to work, or not work, sometimes.
Oh and another thing, I had all these amazing ideas of things that make me happy but when I went to write them out (see previous post), I couldn't think of them all. I got stuck. I felt like a deer caught in the headlights - well, that may be an exaggeration (which I might add, is a rarity for me - HA! Right, just ask my husband about that one. LOL!). But I couldn't remember them all. So I finished it up and wouldn't ya know it, the next day, I remembered the rest of them.
Hey, maybe I should start writing stuff down - making lists. Goodness knows, I have enough notebooks/journals lying around here (it's just a mild obsession of mine)!
So there you have it, a peek into my brain.
I hope you all have a fantastic weekend. I plan on finishing up my HOF entry (there, I said it, I'm entering! Why? One may never know but it's all part of those stinkin' new years goals I made - is it too late to change them?). Wish me luck! I think I need it!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Some things that make me happy...

Okay, (geez, I think almost all of my blog posts start with that word) so I'm totally stealing this idea but I've seen several other bloggers post lists of their favorite things, things that make them happy, etc. and I thought it would be cool to do the same. So here's my list, right now:

Satsuma Body Wash from The Body Shop - this stuff smells so good, I want to eat it! I feel like I'm in a tropical location every morning (which could also be partly due to the fact that I'm still half asleep and dreaming). Although I must admit, upon typing the above statement, that I've never been to a tropical location so I have no idea if it smells like oranges or not but anyway...

CKUA A listener supported radio station that plays amazing, cool, different music. It's not your mainstream, 5 songs a day station. I love it!

A half-sweet hazelnut latte from the Bean Scene - a local coffee shop that uses Fratello Coffee, a local Calgary roasterie! Good stuff!

Scrapbooker's Bliss - my local scrapbook store and the store where I teach classes. The owners, Rose and Theresa, are AMAZING ladies! It is such a joy to walk into the store!

The work that the Servants Anonymous Foundation is doing. It is absolutely incredible - a very worthwhile cause to support. I bought an awesome toque and purse from them, made by some of the women in Nepal (part of the Serve Nepal project). It just blows my mind what these women have gone through and I'm so glad there are organizations like this one working to help them.

My husband's employer Samaritan's Purse - such an incredible organization. They are doing amazing work, touching so many lives and bringing hope to so many people. It is truly a blessing for both of us, to be affiliated with this organization.

And I think I'll leave it at that for now! What makes you happy?

Friday, January 13, 2006

YAY! My very first tag!

Thanks to Melissa I've been tagged for the very first time! YAY!

Four jobs you have had in your life

EEK! I've had SOOOOO many jobs, where do I start?

picking eggs on a chicken farm - 8000 eggs per day by hand with one other person
a nursing assistant in an extended care facility
working for an insurance company in their health and dental claims department
office administrator for an outdoor adventure company (my current job)

Four movies you would watch over and over

Return to Me
Much Ado About Nothing
Rat Race
Bruce Almighty

Four places you have lived

Victoria, BC
Munich, Germany
Hamilton, ON
Calgary, AB

Four TV shows you love to watch

I actually never watch TV!

Four places you have been on vacation

various destinations in Europe
Nova Scotia

Four of my favorite foods

anything Thai
pistachio almond ice cream
my MIL's amazing cheeseball

Four websites I visit daily

and of course, WAY too many blogs!

Four places I would rather be right now

Taking a nap
visiting my sister in Taiwan
hanging out with my friend, Mary
somewhere warm, like Mexico!

Four bloggers I am tagging
Jenn D

Well, that was too much fun! Thanks Melissa!!! Smoochies!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Auntie Heather

That's right, I'm going to be an auntie!!!!!!!!! My sister, Naomi and her husband, Jerry are expecting a little one in July. The due date is July 11th but my birthday is July 2nd so maybe it will be a little early?!?!?! We found out at Christmas time but I wanted to wait until she and my mom had shared before posting. I am SOOOOOOOOOO excited! I am so happy for them - my sis has been wanting a little one for quite some time. This is the first 'baby' in the family so that means mom and dad are becoming grandparents!

Last night I popped into Superstore to pick up a few things and found the CUTEST little Edmonton Oilers baby bib and HAD to get it for them as they are HUGE Oilers fans! And I knew that whether it's a boy or girl, this little one is going to be an Oilers fan from the get-go!

I wish we lived closer (right now it's a 3 hour drive) so that I could spend more time with my sister now and also when the baby comes. It's definitely times like this that make me wonder why we live this far away. I know it's not THAT far but it's still too far to go for a day trip or even just to pop over in the evening.

Anyway, I wanted to share a picture of my sister and her husband but I realized that I only have 1 photo of the two of them together and it's a BAD photo! So the next time I'm there, I'm totally taking pictures, whether or not my BIL likes it! HA!

So I guess this post is also a post to say, beware, there's gonna be lots of baby talk and photos to come!

Enjoy your day, friends!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Monday, Monday...

Well, after 3 weeks off, I'm back at work! Man, was it ever hard to get up this morning?!?!?! I was so spoiled having that time off and I ENJOYED it so much!

I also realized last night that I never shared what I received for Christmas this year. I was totally spoiled this year! I must have been good... (I'll let you all make up your minds on that one). My absolute FAVORITE gift this year was this:

The Garmin Forerunner 201.This thing is the BOMB! I can not believe my parents bought me one - it is SOOOOOOO COOL! It's a GPS for running. It tells distance, time and pace. You can plug it into your computer and download your runs. It's such an awesome training tool. I LOVE it. It's so cool to know how far I've actually gone now. I can usually guess how far I've gone by how long it takes me but was never totally sure. Now I can be exact! It's gonna be so awesome training for my half marathon this year.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Freedom 55

Happy Birthday to my dad!!!!!! We were able to celebrate a few days early (Thursday) with them in Banff! I took this photo - love it! It makes me smile! I love that my dad is holding the cake right up to his mouth so he could blow out the candles. I love all the smoke from him blowing so hard! I love that it's my dad and we were able to celebrate with him!

Thank you, Dad, for your constant love and support. Thank you for being there for me. Thank you for providing for us and working hard. I love you and wish you a year filled with warm memories, lots of laughter and freedom, after all you are 55 now!!

Friday, January 06, 2006

thank you

to all my wonderful blog readers for being so wonderful and encouraging. I'm doing better today. Doesn't it just suck being an emotional woman sometimes?!?! Last night we headed out to Banff to hang out with my parents, my sister and her husband, and my brother and his girlfriend. It was really good to be with my family again. It felt so short at Christmas this year. The hotel they were staying at had a hot tub and pool with waterslides. It has been YEARS since I was on a waterslide - they are FUN! And my mom even went down them both too!!!! It was a hoot! Definitely helped put me in a much better mood!

Today I'm off to the LSS to do a make 'n' take with UTEE. I love UTEE so it should be fun!

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

hello, my name is Heather...

and I'm a yoyo! My emotions can bounce from one extreme to the next in a matter of minutes. Today has not been a good day. I'm not very happy with who I am right now. I'm really struggling with that whole new years resolution of mine. I just needed to tell someone. Is anyone there?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

art journal

Back in November, I signed up for Shimelle's Art Journal Class and we got our first email yesterday. So I thought I would share my art journal cover and first page. The first page is more of an intro page. I haven't had a chance to work on the week one 'project' yet.
The quote at the bottom of the first page is a KI Memories sticker and it reads: "We are not powerless specks of dust drifting around in the wind, blown by random destiny. We are, each of us, like beautiful snowflakes - unique, and born for a specific reason and purpose" -Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

KI Memories and Scenic Route Patterned papers
Nunn Designs Metal Flowers
7Gypsies Elastic
MM Definition
Heidi Swapp Rub-on
Scenic Route Sticker (H)
Creative Imaginations Tab
MM Sheer Frame
American Crafts Letter Stickers


Monday, January 02, 2006

opening the gift

As some of you know I created 2 albums for my mother-in-law this Christmas. Actually, one was a gift for her 50th birthday back in May, but I never got the photos until August and some of the other additions until October so my goal was to have it ready for her by Christmas time, even though it was a birthday gift. The other album was the wine and dine journal which I posted photos of earlier on my blog.

She loved both of them. We didn't get photos of her opening the wine journal unfortunately. But we did get photos of her opening the other album. Her reaction to the 50th birthday album was incredible. I think it had a lot to do with the photos, which were from her birth until her 50th birthday. I have NEVER seen my MIL cry like she did when she opened it and she just kept on crying and laughing and crying some more. It was really, really cool to see. It definitely made this 'labor of love' worth doing!

a new year

Well, I've spent the last couple days doing a lot of thinking about stuff. I suppose the new year is a time to ponder. I want to set goals for this year so I have something to work towards, things to motivate me, reasons to grow and change and become a better person. However, I'm scared to do so. I am scared that I won't reach my goals, that I'll become disappointed, that I will never be a better person. I talked (and cried) with Jonathan about this very thing last night. Will I ever change? Will I ever be a better person? Is this it for me? Am I destined to be all the things I don't want to be? I hope not. But I guess I also have to accept the fact that I will never be perfect, at least not here on this earth. And that's OKAY. I'm gonna fail. I'm probably going to always stuggle with some of the very things I struggle with today. And that's OKAY. Life's not about obtaining perfection. It's about living and enjoying and being. It's about accepting and trying and hoping. It's about loving and giving and receiving. It's about learning and changing and becoming. It's also about laughter and joy and tears and pain.
So that's one of my goals this year - just BEING me, loving myself, accepting who I am and being OKAY with me. Gosh, that sounds like a tall order right now. YIKES! But I wanted to put it out there, write it down, get it out and still have hope - hope that I am okay with me today and hope that I might be better tomorrow.

And of course, I have more goals on my list too.
Be more organized. Stop procrastinating and wasting time. DO!
Run another half marathon.
Take more time for my friends and family.
Get some more layouts published.
Enjoy creating.
Learn more about my camera and take better photos - maybe even a photography class.
Buy our own place.
Start trying for a family.

Here's to a new year, a fresh start, a little bit of adventure.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Finally, I'm back!

YAY! We arrived home yesterday afternoon after a week of traveling and Christmas celebrations. We spent time with my family and my in-laws and also were able to take some time away just the two of us in Jasper! It went really well. I had a much better time than I expected I would. YAY! Thanks for all your kind words, thoughts and prayers.

I am feeling a bit overwhelmed with all I have to do to get caught up now though. I have lots of laundry to do, groceries to buy, emails to reply to, and friends to see. Not only that but I have lots of great new presents to enjoy, books to read, photos to order and scrapbooking to do! :) I was thoroughly spoiled this Christmas. We got almost more than we could bring back in our car! More to come on that subject!

But for now, I want to wish you a very HAPPY NEW YEAR and share a little collage of a few of my favorite photos from our Christmas.