Sunday, December 30, 2012

A New Year is Coming...

I read my friend Deb's post this evening and it compelled me to sit down and write this because she said some things I can relate to. These past few weeks I have been taking it easy on the computer and as this year is drawing to an end I have been thinking lots lately about blogging or lack thereof and it has forced me to look at the things I want to accomplish this year and a couple changes you will notice. 

You may have already noticed but I made the decision to no longer share my Project Life pages. There are a few reasons for this, but mostly I feel that was all I posted last year. My Project Life album is a form of recording my life and I don't really feel it is necessary to record it twice (blog + album). So perhaps I will share snippets from my album or something new I have discovered rather than weekly spreads. I may however share them on my Instagram feed with other poject lifers on the #pojectlife feed.

A big change that happened this year was reading! Lordy, have I missed reading. In 2011, I read two books, "Pillars of the Earth" - which I loved and "the Poisonwood Bible" which I did not like so much. In January this year I promised myself I would become a better reader and without looking back, I believe I had a goal of 10 books (either 10 or 12). I have just finished reading my 16th book and fear I won't finish the one I am currently reading in time for Januay 1st, because our plans have changed for the New Year! No matter though. I have already got my list of books for 2013 and I want to exceed 16 and try for 25! So for now, you may hear me mention the books I am reading. I wanted to do a post of all the books I read this past year, but I might do a layout instead.

Photos. I hate to admit this but I have pulled out my Canon once in the past month. Yikes. Mysteriously, though I have added 1000 photos to my November & December folders. Yes, in 6 weeks I have taken 1000 photos with my iPhone. I will continue to share photos and you will have already noticed a change to my blog header. I will switch them out to give more visual interest.

I have a few other things I want to focus on personally this year and that is exercise and nutrition. I plan to sign up for Cathy's Move More Eat Well class over at Big Picture Classes and take the time to be a part of the community. I am also looking into Yoga and making a stronger commitment to going to the gym.

Other interests you may see are drawing, photography and painting.

So after saying all that, I am uncertain of the frequency of my posts at this time because I have lots of things I want to "accomplish". I will find a rhythm though, this I am certain of.

I want to take the time to thank each and every one of you for stopping by and visiting my little world and I look forward to seeing you in the New Year!

Happy New Year bloggers! And to friends and family too!

Friday, December 21, 2012

So Far... this is December

Hello friends, I can't believe it's almost two weeks since my last post, but I have been busy like most of you preparing for the Christmas season. I'm off work now for a bit and hope to have more time to see what all of you are up to.

In the meantime, I am in love with Instagram and find it so easy to use as a means of documenting and sharing, plus it's just plain fun.

Here are a few of the photos I  have taken in the last few weeks.

I enjoyed watching "Miracle on 34 Street" and hope to watch a couple more Christmas movies over the next couple days. That is the most recent book I finished and adding to my surpassed goal of 12 books this year. If you haven't read "the Art of Racing in the Rain" I highly suggest it.

I decided at the very last minute to organize a 12 Days of Beer for Marvin. I selected 12 different beer from one of our local liquor stores. I was laughing at myself because I was drawn to the pretty labels. I don't know much about beer, but so far Marvin has only mentioned not liking one of them. The second photo is a new recipe I tried and I was told it was a keeper. The recipe came from pinterest and you can find it here . I added diced chicken by sauteing and seasoning with curry. It is delicious.

I am slowly but surely completing the pages to my JYC 2012 album/December Daily. I started a new job and have since returned to the office building I left 3 months ago.  I missed Henry's so much I made an extra special point of taking as many photos as I could. If you are looking for a gift or something for your home, they offer beautiful treasures. You will not be disappointed.

More trinkets from Henry's. This photo of the wreath does not indicate the scope in size. It is hanging on the wall of a very tall building downtown and when we walked by it the other evening it caught my attention.

Dinner out and then "a Christmas Carol" at the Citadel. There were strict instructions to shut off all phones and pictures were prohibited... I snuck this shot at the end with no actors on the stage, so shhh don't tell anyone!

Ahhh Winter... yes it is the Winter Solstice, although there are times when I really don't mind our Winter weather, it's more the lack of daylight hours that gets me(7 hours 27 minutes). Tomorrow we gain a minute of daylight! This is what I look forward to. That last photo is the cheese ball I made as requested by my sister in law for the family gathering tomorrow!

That is all for now. Thanks for stopping by and I wish you all a wonderful weekend and ease of preparation for the days to come!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A Weekend in Review

I just checked my countdown app and we are at 15 days, 8 hours and 53 minutes til Christmas Day. I do have a list of things to complete still, all of which will I'm sure will be completed in time for the big day!

In the meantime I thought I would share a few photos of what I was up to this weekend.
That top photo is the view outside our front window this morning. Yes, it will be a very white Christmas this year as opposed to last year. That gingerbread man is the first I had ever decorated and let me tell you he was very tasty!! I managed to get mostly caught up with my Christmas album as we were at an all day crop yesterday. That last photo was us being silly. Treasured Memories had an all weekend crop and Friday night they always have photo props - we were not there for said photo props,  but took the opportunity to have some fun last night!

There it is, I hope your weekend was full of Christmas mischief! Or at the very least, some season cheer!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

December Daily/JYC 2012 | December 1

I have just started to work on my album this evening. I did make the base of the album at a class taught by Nadine at Treasured Memories and I love it. Now comes the fun part for me, I get to plan how to put it all together!

I have been using Instagram to capture my memories/photos of the day and so far it's working well.

Here are a couple pictures to show you how it is coming along.

I took a screen shot of my countdown app on Saturday morning and made that the first page to Day 1.

I want to keep this a bit more simple this year. Last year I typed all my journaling and found it time consuming (although I really liked how it looked in my album). This year I downloaded Ali's 3x4 journaling cards, so everything will be written out. Also, I will be uploading my photos daily so I can print them, likely in a square format as shown here.

What about you? How is your December album coming along? Are you doing photos only?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Storytelling Sunday | December Edition

Sian, over at From High in the Sky hosts the infamous Storytelling Sunday on the first Sunday of the month. A time and place where bloggers from around the world share their stories.

For this edition, Sian has suggested a "coming home" theme. It made me think of a story I shared a couple years ago in my "Journal Your Christmas" album and it seemed fitting for this theme. I have adjusted it from the original post to tell a bit more of the story. You can see the original one here.

I live here with my two sisters and while the rest of our immediate family live some 7oo km away. For more than 20+ years, many of my memories of Christmas are related to the excitement of traveling home to visit family along with all the preparation and planning that encompasses such treks. I remember vividly the last time we attempted the trip home for Christmas and there seemed to be a force greater than anything I experienced before, preventing this event from happening! 

The weather that week was bone chilling (-35C) - a cold snap from the arctic had transferred itself across the prairie. We were not planning to drive my vehicle, so the malfuntions I experienced earlier in the week had seemed irrelevant until the furnace broke down two days before we were to load up the SUV. Luckily, we have a split level house which means we have two furnaces. Albeit, is preferential to have both working in this kind of environment, we were at least not in an emergent situation as was mentioned by the furnace company (at 1 AM when we noticed said problem). They would come in the morning, which they did and all was well. At this point I mentioned to Marvin my concerns with traveling the distance and asked if he thought perhaps we should stay home. Nonsense! We are going to see your family!

We woke up early the next day so we would miss the morning rush hour traffic. We both knew immediately the furnace wasn't working again! After much debate we decided to continue with our journey home even though I did not have a good feeling. Marvin is not a risk taker and so I trusted him that all would be okay. We would make arrangements to have a friend come and check the cats and house daily to ensure all was well and that the second furnace was functioning. 

During the 2.5 hour drive to Lloydminster (always the first stop on the trip home), I was excited. I knew my mom was at home cooking us some chicken noodle soup which led me to think of all the other family favourites we would be tasting over the holidays. It was at that point we had stopped to get a cup of coffee and as soon as we turned the ignition off we both smelled it.  The scent of oil. Not a good sign. Here we were with another 4.5 hours to drive. The disappointment washed over me as I knew we would be turning around and heading back to Edmonton, the risk too great in these temperatures.

We arrived at our home and even though there were no Christmas decorations of any sort we made the best of the situation. We had our first "alone" Christmas Eve by making some of our favourites such as pancakes for breakfast, a tasty chicken Caesar salad for dinner, and for snacks we baked Marvin’s mom’s famous Nuts and Bolts recipe. On Christmas Day we drove to Barrhead and shared the afternoon with his family.

Since this little experience, our Christmas traditions have changed. Rather than worrying about the weather on long journeys, we now stay home, here in Edmonton and chose to visit with family in the warmer months!

Thanks for stopping by! Now head on over to Sian's, for more Storytelling Sunday!

UPDATED FOR MRS WOOKIE! I happened to have a photo of the recipe!!