Thursday, November 15, 2012


Mike and I have been reading "The Wealthy Barber Returns" By David Chilton together over the past few weeks. We both have been enjoying the book and I love the discussion that follows as we share our thought on what we have just read.

Recently we read the chapter call "The Power of Perspective". For me, this chapter has had the most impact so far.

The following quote is from the chapter,

"Bluntly, too often we treat the non-possession of what most of the world, would consider an extreme-luxury item as an unjust deprivation.

Is it really that big a deal that your friend at work has a 32-jet, six person hot tub and you don't? Nine hundred million people across the globe don't have ongoing access to safe drinking water.

Frustrated that you can't locate a high-speed wireless connection? Remind yourself that more then a billion people don't have electricity.

Annoyed that you don't have stainless-steel appliances? Keep in mind that one in six people in the world goes to bed hungry every night.

Our pets live more comfortably than half the Earth's population, for heaven's sake.

We obsess so much about what we don't have that it affects our ability to enjoy what we do have."

The above statement called me to reflect on my own thoughts and actions regarding material possessions. Do I have a balanced perspective on this subject? Truth be told I shamefully admit that I tend towards the always wanting more. Especially when it comes to anything to do with photography. There is always another lens, lighting set up, or editing program that I drool over.

camera source
I need to remember that I'm truly abundantly blessed with much more then I need.

I have no problem getting food everyday, and yet I complain that I have to drive to more then one store to get exactly what I want.

I have a closest full of nice clothes and every morning "I have nothing to wear!"

I have a television, internet, a smartphone and a million books yet I will complain of being bored.

Sadly I'm very guilty of having an unrealistic perspective and forgetting what truly is important in life.

I have a most beloved husband and family that are always there for me.
I have some beautiful friendships with people who are more dear to me then all the precious stones.
I have the two cutest dogs, who each hold some magic power to always be able to put a smile on my face no matter how I'm feeling.

I'm so blessed to have every single basic need of life met; food, clothes, shelter and water.  I never worry or wonder how I get those items. To be honest I don't even think about them. They are so easily available to me.  Moreover I have so many of my wants fulfilled. 

I find it necessary to change my thought process, I need to continually be aware of how blessed I truly am. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Weekend from the IPhone

Mike and I had a wonderful long weekend together. 
We did nothing overly spectacular. 
For me, what made it truly wonderful is that it didn't involved  the big black box on the wall.

Then I took today off and gave myself an extra long weekend. 
Which I spoiled myself  a little and sprinkled in some responsibility. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Personal Profile

At work they about a month or so ago they had a us take a personalty test by Insights. Then on Tuesday we had a day retreat where we spent the day going over the results, and seeing how it was a work retreat we discussed how the results can relate to our patients and co-workers.

 At the retreat they said that this personal profile "Describes You NOT Defines You".
They didn't want us to feel that we were being out into a box.
Yet when I read over mine, it was unreal how right on it was.
To much of my surprise I was really over come with emotion and had to fight back the tear that were filling my eyes, as to not embarrass myself in front of my co-workers.
It was really quite unnerving.
Nothing was said that I didn't agree with, even when I wished that it wasn't true.
I'm also very grateful and humbled that they did such a
good job at putting a very positive spin on all my short comes.
The opportunity for real true self-reflection over the next days and weeks is truly a blessing. 

I thought it would be interesting to share it with all of you.
Maybe you will disagree with it or maybe you like my dear husband, will laugh and tease me on how many times they brought up my stubbornness.
The thing I try and hide so well obviously I don't do as good of a job as I thought.

I typed it just as it was given to me.

Personal Style

Traditions are important to Elva and are carefully remembered and observed. She may underestimate herself and either takes anything she does well for granted, or regards it as no great achievement at all. Elva is a steady individual who leads a quiet stability to everything. Due to her sociable, friendly and warm-hearted demeanor  she is best employed in providing practical service to others. She can adapt herself to a wide variety of tasks, but prefers the familiar.

She is more comfortable with people who are prepared to take the time to get to know her and understand her inner drives. Her work has to contribute to things that matter to her and she tends towards perfectionism only when she cares deeply enough. She may have difficulty asserting herself and in saying "No". She likes system, order and few surprises and to work in an environment which she feels is secure. She tends to take the things she does well for granted and usually underrates and understates herself.

She tends to be there when she is needed, offering low-key stability and strength to people and situations in need  It is when she is committed to an objective or an ideal that may be undergoing change that her stubbornness emerges and she can become rigid and much more demanding of self and others. She can complete practical tasks and do repetitive work effectively. Elva is sympathetic, emphatic and affable. She is easy-going and low key and may be prone to doubting her own ability. 

Elva is seen by others as open, mild, modest and rather self-effacing. In everyday activities, Elva it tolerant, open-minded, flexible and adaptable, enjoying the present moment. Elva tends to be at her most flexible, adaptable and easy-going in everyday living, preferring to fit in harmoniously with those around her. She gravitates to other people and is highly skilled at understanding others' needs and motivations, usually appearing friendly, tactful and sympathetic. Finding it hard to understand why some others try to impose limits, order and structure upon others', she avoids attempting to change or control people. 

She is seen by some as a dreamer whose genius, caring and concern can be manipulated. She is gently forceful in having her ideas applied where it matters to her. She is loyal, supportive, idealistic and creative. Although she has a tendency to undertake too much, somehow everything gets done in its own time. Elva knows what is important to her and protect it at all costs. Tenacious persistence and dedication to a cause are her character hallmarks. She may not readily talk of her need to move continually to become who she really wants to be.

Interacting with Others

Elva values harmony. She is essentially a peace keeper and is very sensitive to others' needs.She has a great deal of personal warmth but may not show it until she knows a person well. She often thinks she could have done better in an encounter or relationship. She can be unbelieving of, and devastated by, too much personal criticism. Unpleasant working relationships can lead her to confidence and motivation. She tends to value others but may adopt a romantic, idealized version of people and their potential.

Elva is alert to other peoples' emotions and interests and can deal well with complex or complicated people. She tends to avoid conflict rather than engage it with creative solutions. Compassion, caring, warmth and contented relationships are important to her. Situations that find her in charge as autocratic leader do not usually suit her as she prefers to be more supportive than directive. She has a natural ability to switch her behavior between feelings that are shared and those that are private in an effort to relate.

If she feels she is being put under too much pressure, she may dig her heels in and become stubborn. She is seen by most people as kind and sympathetic. She abhors a lack of caring in others, and working with people who lack a desire to support and assist others can cause her concern. Sincere feedback from others is required to help her maintain motivation and her level of service. When her loyalties and values are threatened, she can become very stubborn, rigid and demanding.

Decision Making

Open-minded, curious and insightful, Elva has excellent long-range vision and sensitivity. She may choose to change her decisions if it turns out that someone may be adversely affected by them. She may worry too much, and on significant long term issues may exhibit indecision. Work, for her is the process of striving towards something that matters deeply to her and is consistent with her values. She has little desire to impress, control or dominate others, apart from maintaining a commitment to her values and her work.

She can be self-effacing and accommodating and is usually content to support others emotionally without expecting to much in return. She takes a personal approach to living, assessing events through the personal values and ideals which govern her life. She is not usually prepared to commit to high risk decisions. She will tend to be concerned with the effect that the decision making process and its result, will have on others. Elva will usually encourage democratic or even consensus decisions, as opposed to having them imposed autocratically. 

She tends to make choices around her own personal feelings which may be as important to her as more objective data. She may prefer at times to communicate her feelings about others in writing, rather than verbally. Elva creates a pleasant, flexible and accepting environment and will regard an emergency situation as an opportunity to display her helping gifts. Elva is good at easing tense situations, enabling competing or conflicting groups to unite. Her natural leadership style is to resist change for change's sake and to slow down impulsive decision making. 

Elva's Key Strengths

  • Modest and friendly with those she knows.
  • Makes time for people and their problems
  • Can facilitate resolution of interpersonal conflict between others
  • Highly effective where consistent performance is required
  • Open-minded and tolerant of others
  • Likes to work for the common good
  • Solid organisational abilities
  • Sensitive to the needs of others
  • Happy to serve and help others
  • Understanding, friendly and warm hearted.
Elva's Possible Weaknesses

  • Preserves relationships - can interfere with task completion
  • May avoid resolving tough issues
  • A lack of confidence in her own judgement, although that judgement is often correct
  • May unwillingly sacrifice her own needs for others
  • Ignores objective, evidence which does not support her original perception
  • May feel deflated if her efforts are not recognized
  • Was once indecisive, but she is not so sure now!
  • A tendency to give up easily when she feels isolated
  • May find it difficult to suggest more effective systems and procedures to others
  • Seems to lack drive or initiative when pressured
If you made it this far, Thank you! 
I must say that when I read over this it feels a little bit creep. 
It's like instead of just taking a test, they sent spies out to find out all my secrets.    
And now you know my secrets as well. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

From my family to yours 
we hope you have a very

Spooky Halloween

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Dog Agility

In our house we have two ridiculous little dogs although 
they are very cute and truth be told that's why we keep them around.  

Our first, Beast is the perfect lap dog. She would cuddle with you for hours if you would let her. My favorite part is that if you are willing she give you  the best foot messages by licking your toes all day long. Trust me it really is a little piece of heaven.
She is unbelievably sweet and cute. 
Those facts make up for her low IQ and random midnight barking at nothing.

Just look at that face, how can you not love her, she is our little cuddle bug. 
I couldn't image life without her. 

Then we have Little Yorkie, who is so smart and so full of life. She is always wanting to play with you and please you. She does such a brilliant job of living up to her Yorkshire Terrier heritage with all her underwear stealing, squirrel barking, bunny catching, garbage sniffing, and tremendous chewing. Yet when I look at her big pointy ears, her handsome brown eyes and that sweet little nose, my heart melts and I just can't help but love her more. 

Beside I didn't really need that pen, pencil  book, USB cord or pair of glasses that bad. 

In hopes of somewhat helping Yorkie expel some of that energy we signed her up for agility classes with Hyper Hounds.  Yorkie just loves going to class and she does such a great job at going through the course although she was a little slow at learning the tunnels. So much so that she almost didn't pass level one but on the last class she gathered all her courage and ran through those tunnels like nothing else mattered. made me so proud.

We start level two this Thursday and can't be more excited.

Maybe one Yorkie will be as good as this.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Time Marches On

The quote from Ernest Meyers " Don't just count your years make your years count" is now going to be my life's theme seeming how I have just entered my third decade. 

Normally I get pretty excited for my birthday, it is always fun to have a special reason to get together with friends and family.  Mike always does a great job and making my birthday special and  spoiling me rotten. 

Yet this year it was a little more difficult to accept that the wheels of time have continued to turn and I now must kiss good bye my glamorous twenty.

I have yet to fully embrace the fact that I now am a thirty year old lady. I spent this weekend doing a lot of emotional eating to suppress all those dark feelings.

Luckily I have the best husband in the world who did a wonderful job of making me feel extra special. He treated me to a lovely meal and then took me out to see Pride and Prejudice the play. Which was amazing, I enjoyed it so much. I just love Jane Austen. 

 I really did have a terrific day, and now I just need  to follow Mark Twain's advises 

"Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter." 
Sunday, September 16, 2012

Change in the Winds

There is no more denying it, fall is upon us. You can feel it in the wind, it is now a little bit colder. The fantastic thing about this time of year is the gorgeous colours. I feel so luckily to live somewhere can I see the changing of the seasons. To embrace this new season I made a new wreath for the season. 

Nothing too glamours or hard to put together mostly just used my loyal glue gun and I made some more of the felt flowers that I made for my spring wreath. Go here to see. 

Mike had mixed feelings about this project, first he accused me of trying to murder him seeing how I brought wheat (he's allergic) in to the house and then the day I hung it on the door he only noticed  that the outside light on not my beautiful wreath. 

All I could do is laugh! 

He really is the most marvelous husband and I love him dearly 
he just misses a few things from time to time. 

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower."
Albert Camus

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Through His Eyes

I thought that today I would share how Mike has viewed the world via his phone camera.  Some pictures are recent, others are not, but all are taken by Mike and things he thought were worthy of a photo.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Make up Please!

I have been meaning to write this blog for a while, it just never quite made it to the top of my to do list.

So a while ago a co-worker and I got to talking one day about this and that and we discover with each of our hobbies we could help each other out. She is really into make up and was looking to crate a profile and I was always looking a good opportunity to practice taking portraits. A win-win situation.

The first shoot I did with her I was extremely nervous, this was the first time I was taking pictures for someone else. You see up to that point I had always ask people if I could take pictures of them this was the first time that someone asked me to take pictures for them. So I was very worried about how they would turn out and if she would like them. 

Model: Gagan Sansoha
Make up: Rittu Berman

I took so many pictures because I was so nervous that they won't turn out so I thought, "Surely if I take a million pictures at least one of them will tun out good". In the end I really didn't need to be  so nervous Rittu really liked them and was so happy. In fact she liked them so much that she asked me to do another photo session for her. 

For our second photo shoot I was a lot more relaxed and really just enjoyed myself. 

Model: Minusha Geekiyanage
Make up: Rittu Berman

This ice horse picture is my favorite. Yes, it is a little silly but I just love her expression and I thought the ice statues were just gorgeous.

The third make up shoot we did was really last minute, she was already doing make up for a wedding and I thought I would just show up and take a few pictures of the fabulous  make up she did.   I think she really out did herself and sadly I don't think my pictures really do her skill justice. 

 Models: 4 Beautiful Ladies
Make up: Rittu Berman


I'm really looking forward to when we can do another make up shot together. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Be Prepared

I was raised with the belief that one should always be prepared wither that means having a 72 hours kit or bringing enough rain gear when going camping. Recently I have come to realize that there is one major area where I'm totally not prepared. A Zombie Apocalypse.

Zombies, UFOs, witches ... they've seen them all in Wales
I realized this because Mike and I have started watch a TV show called "The Walking Dead", a great show, but one that has now filled me with a burning desire to have a Zombie plan.

Ordinarily the idea of zombies comes from voodoo tradition were a person under goes zombification by a spell or potion and then would be a a slave to their zombie master. 


So I think the first thing on my "zombie preparation list" would be don't piss off any voodoo priest or priestess. If anything I need to make sure I am on their good side. 

Now if Hollywood is right and it is some sort of outbreak, my big concern is that I work in a hospital probably the worst place to be in an zombie outbreak. 

I brought up this fact up with my fellow co-workers in the hopes of coming up with some sort of group escape plan. 

A few things were decided in this discussion: one that if you get bitten you have to tell the group, hiding it would just be so wrong. Going along with that most people stated that if they did get bitten they would rather the group off them right away then turn in to a zombie UNLESS being a zombie wasn't that bad aka you could fall in love and make baby zombies.   

In the middle of discussing what items we could use as weapons and what supplies we would raid from the hospital, someone arrived at conclusion that I would be the first to get bitten because I expressed how guilt ridden I would feel about leaving the patients in such a predicament. She must have envisioned me going around to all the patients explaining why I had to leave them and then one of them shown me their gratitude by biting me. Not the escape plan I was hoping for.

So I guess in conclusion I really don't need to have a plan to survive the zombies but rather a plan not to get killed by humans. 

On a more pleasant note here is a short video of how wonderful being an zombie could be.

The Happy Dead from David Hiatt on Vimeo.
Wednesday, August 1, 2012

One with Nature

Camping: A place where an army or other group of persons or an individual is lodged in a tent or tents or other temporary means of shelter.

Camper: A person who camps out for recreation, especially in the wilderness.

The above definitions I found here but I would propose that the definition of camper should really  should have a few more things added.

This is what I came up with.

Camper: A person, who enjoys being a bitten by a variety of bugs, especially mosquitoes. A person, who loves  camping "perfume" which can include but is not limited to, soot, ash, bug spray, sun screen, dirt and pine needles. A person who has a secret observation with fire and at all times needs to have a blazing one going to fulfill their deep inner caveman. A person who when a piece of food or plate or utensil or any thing else falls on the ground does not look at it as a negative thing but as add extra protein. A person who is in awe of the wonders of nature and loves the lullabies song by the night creatures.  

We went camping with a group of friends out in Kananaskis country. I love camping in  Kananaskis, it so pretty close to home and unbelievably beautiful. I think that people who always drive out to Banff really have no idea what they are missing. 

Mike setting things up
Don't we look like "real" Campers
Beast on her dog run
New favorite hot chocolate cups
Enjoying his favorite past time
She is ready for a swim

"How is it that one match can start a forest fire,
 but it takes a whole box of matches to start a campfire?" 
Christy Whitehead

Monday, July 23, 2012

Pinterest Recipe Review Slow Cooker Edition

Like I promised here are my reviews for the slow cooker recipes found off of Pinterest

Slow Cooker BBQ Sliders
Found HERE
I made this dish for a potluck at work and I didn't bring a drop home, so you you it was good. The aroma this gave off was so enticing. I'm sure this would be a hit at any potluck. 

I give this recipe 4 out of 5 pins

Slow Cooker Coconut Ginger Chicken 
Found HERE
To quote Mike "It tasted very healthy" aka it was a little bit bland, I think that was due to all the coconut milk it calls for. I will defiantly make this again but next time I will play around with it. I think I will add less coconut milk and more of the ginger and spices it calls for.

I give this recipe 3 of out 5 pins

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken
Found HERE
This one was a major success. This is meal where you really want to savor every bite because it is just so delicious. The honey was not over powering but gave it just a gentle touch of sweetness. Mike went on and on about how much he loved it. He even showed his love by eating two huge plate fulls. Personally I think this is one of the best slow cooker meals I have made.

I give this recipe 5 out of 5 pins

Slow Cooker Santa fe Chicken
Found HERE
This recipe is a nice way to spicy things up in the chicken dinner department. It is a really simple recipe, in which you have the freedom to adjust the seasoning to your own taste. I added a bunch of different veggies then it calls for but I'm always trying to "trick" Mike into eating more veggies then he normally would. This really is a delightful healthy and tasty meal for anyone.

I give this recipe 4 out of 5 pins

Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken
Found HERE
Crock Pot Thai Peanut Chicken

Sadly this recipe did not go over as well as I thought it would. When I combined the soy sauce and peanut butter the smell seem to bother me and I just could not get past it. The texture also didn't go over to well. I feel kind of bad for not liking it because when I read over the comments of other people who made it, they seem to rave about how good it was. If you have made this or something similar and enjoyed it, I would love to hear how you made it.

I give this recipe 1 out of 5 pins

Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce
Found HERE
First off I would like to state that this is not as good as my Mother-in-Law's bolognese sauce but pretty darn close. This recipe make your taste buds dance. Now I get a little depressed when I make pasta and due to time/laziness use sauce from a jar and it just is never as good. There were only two things were I didn't follow the recipe. First I used white grape juice instead of white wine and a didn't use nutmeg just because I didn't have any.

I give this recipe 4 1/2 out of 5 pins, just because like I said its not as good as my Mother-in-Law's.

I hope you have found this somewhat helpful. I would like to hear of you wonderful Pinterest finds. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Another Pinterest Recipe Reveiw

It has been a while since my last Pinterest Recipe Review, so I thought it was about time that I did another one. I'm going to divided the recipes into two blogs this one and then one with just the slow cooker recipes.

The first one up is a lovely summer drink, Homemade Strawberry Lemonade.
Found Here
I loved this drink it is wonderful on a hot summer day, even on a rainy summer day it would be lovely. It's light and refreshing and I loved the fact that you get to blend the whole lemon. The only down side is that you really have to strain it a lot. Also I added a lot more water then it calls for, but I don't think it takes away anything from the taste. I would defiantly recommend that everyone should make this delightful drink, anytime of the year.

Let's move on to the casserole meals, I make a lot of casseroles so the list is long.

Sour cream Rice Bake. 
Found HERE
I have nothing but good things to say about this casserole. I thought it was so yummy and very filling, it definitely falls into the comfort food category. This one also got Mike's approval so you know it  isn't that bad.

I think casseroles and comfort food really go hand and hand. 
This Cheese Potato and Smoked Sausage fully lives up to that statement. 

Find the recipe HERE
Jolean's Cheese Potato & Smoked Sausage Casserole. Photo by rickoholic83

The night I made this Mike walked into the house and loudly proclaimed "Yes!" He went on to say that he could smell the sausage when he was walking to the house and he thought to himself "That better be my dinner!" And it did not disappoint,  maybe because it had two of the things that I love most in it sausages and cheese. This will be made again.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casseroles 
Found HERE
This was a enjoyable twist on the regular old chicken casserole. The best part is it tasted like chicken cordon bleu but was way easier to make. 

Let's move on to salads;

First up the Chicken BLT Taco Salad.
Found HERE
Chicken BLT Taco Salad
 I made this just the other night and I thought it was a big hit. I didn't add the avocado or the taco chips other then that I followed the recipe pretty closely. The thing that I thought made it different from a plain old salad was the dressing, mixing salsa and french dressing was really good. I did have my doubts, but I loved it. I would have never thought of mixing those two things together but it was amazing. Worth a try for everyone. 

Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad 
Recipe HERE

 This was another wonderful summer salad that I enjoyed very much. The chipotle gives it a nice little kick to it. The only thing with this salad is that it does not keep well. So keep that in mind for how much you make. 

I tired making another vegetarian meal but this time I did not tell Mike that it had no meat, and I think that was a better way then just telling him out right. It was a vegetation quinoa chill.
 Found HERE
You will have a lot of leftovers from this recipe which is great because it taste better day after day. 
I ate this for lunch for just about a week and loved it. With the spices that it calls for the chill has a very full flavour. The nice thing about any chill you can always play with the spices to fancy your own taste buds. The only thing I would do different next time is add more quinoa. 

Creamy Bacon Carbon
Found HERE
Bacon & Chicken Alfredo Pasta. My favorite meal!
I love this meal. I have made it a few times now and Mike and I seem to enjoy it more and more each time. The bacon gives everything a most delightful flavour. It has such a heavenly creamy texture, it is just a dream. Like she says in the recipe don't cook the sauce on high heat or you will have scramble eggs, I may or may not be speaking from experience

Beef Cheesy Stuffed Bake Potatoes
Found HERE
This has quickly become a favorite meal for Mike and I. Thanks to the cheese and sour cream the potatoes have a very creamy and fluffy texture. I found a little trick that makes this meal even easier to make, and that is by cooking the bake potatoes in the slow cooker, that way by the time I get home from work they are all ready to go. 

Meatloaf in a Muffin Pan
Found HERE
Make meatloaf in a muffin pan- it cooks in 15 minutes! (Thank you Rachel Ray).  Then top with mashed potatoes

I have to thank Rachael Ray for this great meatloaf recipe.  Sadly I added a few too many veggies which made it a little more mushy then I would have liked but that was my mistake not the recipe. 

Egg Muffins
Egg Muffins
I made these this morning for breakfast, it was so quick and easy which is always great when it comes to making breakfast. I found these quite delicious and I'm so excited that I have leftover for tomorrow morning

I hope you found that helpful, if you have any wonderful recipes that you found on pinterest or any where else I would love to hear about them. 

Stay tuned for the slow cooker recipes review.