Monday, November 07, 2011

Day 5, Day 6, and Day 7

Slammin these all into one post - yesterday was a perfect day for pulling out the camera and I thought (for about a millisecond) that it was the perfect opportunity to get some family shots, however I was in no mood to make myself look presentable.  Of course with today's rain and leaves falling off the trees I am kicking myself.

Day 5 - Windows/Doors
This photo is a bit of a cop out, I must admit.  I didn't really see anything that caught my eye and so I took this shot.  It's not bad, but I could have done so much better.

Day 6 - Three's
There are two sets of threes here - one are my rings, and the other is a very old china set that has been handed down through the family.  I keep the china on my window ledge because it is pretty, and it is a convenient spot to put my rings when I am baking and I have to get my hands dirty.  There are three rings, my engagement ring, my wedding band, and a ring that I picked up for $50 from Wal Mart.  When i was pregnant with Nick, my wedding band slipped off my finger and fell into the couch.  I couldn't find it for TWO YEARS.  Since my engagement ring didn't fit, I wanted to have some sort of band, so I bought one for myself.  My wedding band finally turned up one day when I lifted up one end of the couch to clean under it and I dropped it - the ring bounced out.  At that point I had been wearing the Wal Mart special for almost two years, so I just put it with the other two rings.  Since my fingers are quite long, the set actually looks pretty good together.

Day 7 - Mess
This isn't really a "mess" per se, but it is as close to one as Renee will ever get.  My little helper wanted to bake today, so we made banana bread.  The house smells like heaven!

Friday, November 04, 2011

Day 4 - Architecture

ar·chi·tec·ture noun \ˈär-kə-ˌtek-chər\

Definition of ARCHITECTURE

1: the art or science of building; specifically : the art or practice of designing and building structures and especially habitable ones

When I first went out today (minus my camera) I noticed many many beautiful things and places that I wanted to capture.  So I went home, got my camera and returned.  Unfortunately the light was different, but still there were some good shots. 

Today's challenge is architecture.  I initially thought that I wanted to get a shot of a building, but none really caught my eye.  And then I noticed all the colours of the trees around the lake.  Beautiful.  And then I had a thought.  The lake, which is one of many in our community, is man-made.  So I guess that could count as architecture, no?

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Day 3 - Shadows

Funny thing is, when you are photographing shadows, you typically need some sun.  I am horrible at photographing with artificial light, I really like natural light - and as luck would have it, it was gross and overcast today.  I usually love taking pictures on overcast days (clouds are like a giant soft-box), but having a touch of sun would have made this assignment much easier.

So I took my camera with me to Nick's soccer practice tonight.  It was freezing cold, but thankfully it was dry.  And then I had a thought.  What if I take a photo of something in the light of the moon?  Not quite a shadow, but it turned out pretty cool.  Glad I had my tripod with me!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Day 2 - letters/numbers

I had a good idea of what I wanted to shoot today, so I remembered to take my camera when I took the puppy out for a walk.  I didn't remember to put in a memory card though....

Take two - Renee and I went to pick up the kids from school early and we looked for photo ideas.  Here are three that we wound up with.

#1 - her shoes.  I love her shoes, and they are just starting to get to a point where she can't wear them anymore (sigh).  These shoes truly are all star.

#2 - my lens cap - I took this photo with coffee in one hand, camera in the other.  I would love this photo so much more if it were not a bit fuzzy.

#3 - A busy Grade 2 Classroom - Nick's english teacher is so organized, and her class set up is spectacular.  Such a nice, inviting place (especially on a cold day like today!)

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

here we go again...

I've been invited to do another photo challenge, and since my camera has accumulated a fine layer of dust, I figured I had better get off my ass and take some photos.  First up my favourite....self portrait (UGH).  Out came the trusty tripod, and I invited a friend to join in on the fun so that the focus could be off of me.  Best part was my face was totally covered (and that was a fluke).  Stay tuned for tomorrow!

Monday, September 26, 2011

My go to in a pinch - quiche.

This is by far Ethan's favourite - the other two, not so much.  We are working on it.  The great thing about quiche is that your few key ingredients (pastry, milk, flour, eggs, cheese) you will usually have on hand, and then you can add whatever to suit your needs or taste.  This particular batch has onions and tomatoes (fresh from the farmer's market), and a bit of bacon.  Sometimes I put spinach in as well.  If you want to make it vegetarian, just take the meat out. 

Another thing I add is mixed herbs.  This too can vary depending on what you have in your pantry (or garden).  I usually use Greggs, and unless you are in New Zealand, you'll have a tough time finding it.  It is basically a mix of dried thyme and sage, with a small amount of marjoram.  It is one of the things that any relative from NZ must bring me when they come here (and a bag of Pineapple Lumps thank you very much).

So here is what you will need for this recipe:

Mix the milk, flour and eggs and spices and whisk until combined.  Set aside.  The reason that these eggs look so yellow is that they are Omega 3 eggs - I forget how pale regular egg yolks can look!

Since I made this quiche for a potluck, I chose to use mini-tartlets.  These are handy for lunches for the kids as well.  Sometimes I'll make my own pastry, but often I just use pre-made. 

Then I just fill them up with the ingredients.  I usually put in onion, bacon, tomato, cheese and then pour in the liquid mixture.  Some like to mix everything together and then pour it in - I haven't tried it but my guess is that it would work just as well.

I try to find "pockets" in the tartlet and fill very carefully.  If I rush it the liquid goes on top of the cheese and spills over.  I find that if I fill them from the side it works well.  As the quiche cooks it will rise up, but after you take it out of the oven and let it sit I find that it does sink a bit. 

Pop the tray in the oven and cook for about 30-40 minutes.  Time will vary depending on what you use - a full pie shell (it will take longer, sometimes up to 50 minutes).  Keep an eye on them and take them out when they have browned nicely.  Admittedly, these ones were probably cooked a bit long, but they still tasted great.  Of course, time does tend to go by slowly when you are waiting for them to come out....

Let the quiche sit for a bit to let them cool before eating.  They can be enjoyed warm and heated up the next day for breakfast.  Enjoy!

1 cup of milk
3 eggs
2-3 Tbsp of whole wheat flour
1 onion, chopped.
6 slices of bacon
1 tomato
1.5-2 cups of grated cheese
1 frozen, prepared pie crust (9 inch, can be deep dish or not) or approximately 20 tartlet shells.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Saute chopped onion for a couple of minutes and remove from skillet. Chop bacon and cook in a skillet.  Remove bacon from skillet and let rest on a paper towel. 
Beat eggs, flour and milk in medium bowl with whisk until well blended. Stir in spice.  
Place frozen tartlet shells on a baking sheet and fill with prepared ingredients (onion, tomato, bacon and cheese).  Slowly pour liquid mixture in each shell, being careful not to over-fill.

Put baking sheet in the oven and lower temperature to 350 degrees after 10 minutes.  Continue to cook quiche for approximately 20-30 more minutes (may be longer if you use a full pie shell).  Quiche is done when the centre is set and top is golden brown. Let stand 10 min. before cutting to serve.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

mmmm apple pie!

Yesterday was the first official day of fall.  In these parts it is like someone flipped a switch, and all of a sudden the smells and coolness of the season was upon us.  One of my neighbours came by with an armload of apples from her tree (the ones that the bears didn't manage to eat).  I decided that we would make pie - all from scratch. 

I used to do this years ago, I always made my own crusts and used local apples.  They are the best this time of year, and if you know someone with a tree, even better.  Even the dented, bruised or partially worm (or bear) eaten apples can still be used.  Not that I have ever used a bear eaten apple...

As I was cruising the Pioneer Woman's website awhile ago I bookmarked a pie tutorial that Pam did.  This was a great step by step on how to make the perfect crust.  There were some great tips that I had never tried before, and this pie was one of the best I have made. 

Next up was the filling, so I peeled and sliced some apples, and made a cinnamon/sugar mix to go with it (recipe at the end of the post). 

I followed the directions for the crust and baking the pie from the tutorial above.  The tip about covering the whole pie in foil after it had browned was a great one, it worked beautifully. 

I would suggest you follow the tutorial, and then when it comes time to do the filling, use the following recipe.  It did turn out a bit sweet for me, but you could always alter the sugar.  Another great tip from Pam was to add a couple of tablespoons of butter to the top of the filling before you put the top pie crust on.  Not so great for the hips, but ohhhhh it tasted amazing.

Apple Pie Filling:

2 lbs of peeled and sliced apples (6-10 apples depending on size)

Sugar Mixture
1/4 cup of packed, light brown sugar
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
1 Tbsp flour
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1/4 tsp each cinnamon and nutmeg

Add the sugar mixture to the apples and stir until coated.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Another lag between posts....

Well, I am happy to report that my black hair is much lighter, not the best choice I have made with regard to hair colour.  Especially since my lovely white hair underneath began to grow in within a couple of weeks.  So we (my hairdresser and I) have decided that my lid would benefit from some highlights, so we are back to dark and red.  Oh the drama....

I was thinking about this blog the other day, and I don't think I have formally introduced the newest addition to our family to my readership (yeah, that's right - my massive readership.  All five of you). 

Awhile ago Ken and I decided that having a dog would be good for the family.  I don't go back to my job for awhile yet (I took a leave of absence shortly after Renee was born, and I'll get back to work once she is in school), so by the time I do go back we figured the puppy would be well trained.  We spent a bit of time looking online and at rescue agencies, and finally found some puppies that we were interested in.  We filled out the application, and waited.  And waited.  Finally someone got back to us via e-mail and told us that because we were a young family, they wouldn't give us a dog.  Never mind that we have a fully fenced yard, and that I would be home full time.  Apparently (according to them) I don't know how much work having a dog is.  Needless to say I wasn't impressed.  YES I do know how much work a dog is, and I would make sure that he would be properly trained.  So basically I told them the kiss MY ass.

We then found an interesting litter through another rescue.  Eight puppies who looked like they each had a different dad.  There were dogs that looked like shepards, some that looked like golden labs, and some that had rottie colouring.  So again, we applied, and waited.  The rescue got back to us and told us that they wanted to meet us at our house for an "inspection".  Honestly, having kids was much easier than all this!

So two lovely ladies (and one lovely very large dog) came to our house.  Everything went really well.  The kids loved the big dog, and they all loved our yard.  We were approved!  They even had one of the dogs picked for us.  When they told us that he was essentially a big dumb dog with not as much energy as the rest of the litter we were sold.  They told us that he had a lovely personality and liked to sleep in his dog dish.  Even better.

The next week we got our puppy.  All 20 lbs of fuzz.  The kids were in love. 

The name he was given by the foster mom was "Bentley", and we decided to keep that name.  Totally suits him.  Overall, he has been a very easy dog.  Nowhere near as hard as the kids. 

He does have an easygoing personality, and loves almost everyone, except the mean old Russian lady who lives behind us - every time he hears her voice he runs to the fence and barks.  He doesn't do that with her husband or her grown kids, just her.  Weird. 

Check out his paws. Like I said, he is now 90 lbs and just growing into them. In this photo he was still a mere 30ish lbs or so...

Bentley is very protective of Renee - I guess because he has spent so much time with her, as she is attached to me 24/7.  It is a great relationship though, and Renee loves him to bits.  And no, he hasn't finished growing....

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Day 30 - black hair, OY.

Day 30 - black hair, OY., originally uploaded by sassyanna.

today I went to the hairdresser. Brown is what I asked for. Black is what I got. Ken said it looked....well....nice. He thinks. Gonna take alot of getting used to.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Day 29 - Black and White

Day 29 - Black and White, originally uploaded by sassyanna.

Today is the last day of school, and I hope that we have many more days like these over the summer - just relaxing and hanging out as a family. Too bad that I had to wear boots to school today to pick up the kids. It is still raining here, feels like early spring!

Day 28 - Flowers

Day 28 - Flowers, originally uploaded by sassyanna.

an extreme close up for this one, almost done the challenge!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Day 27 - from a distance

Day 27 - from a distance, originally uploaded by sassyanna.

Every year we go to Parksville on Vancouver Island. The kids love it there, and the best times are on the beach when the water is way out, and there are all kinds of interesting things left behind. Shells, jellyfish, much to discover.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Day 26 - close up

Day 26 - close up, originally uploaded by sassyanna.

This is Renee's headband, and it is also her favourite colour. She insisted that I take a photo because the sun is shining today and her hair "sparkles". Too cute.

Day 25 - Pink

Day 25 - Pink, originally uploaded by sassyanna.

There is no shortage of pink in this house, and yet I found this one a hard one. Not too much motivation right now to pull out the camera, but I did think this wrapping paper was cute, and what do you!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Day 24 - animal

Day 24 - animal, originally uploaded by sassyanna.

so I must admit, today's capture is one from the archives. My silly camera conked out, and the couple of shots I managed to get won't convert to jpeg files for some reason. I got a great shot of Bentley today too. Oh well. Just for the record, the Bernese in this photo is not ours, but they are pretty much my favourite breed. Bentley and his friend had a great time together when they met.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Day 23 - Sunflare...

Day 22 - Sunflare..., originally uploaded by sassyanna.
I don't think we have really had a spring here, and now that it is officially summer, it would be nice to put my rain boots away for a few months and bring out the flip-flops. Today was especially wet and cold, except at about 2pm when the sun peeked out for a bit. Thank goodness it did, I don't know how I would have got today's shot otherwise!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Day 22 - Hands

trying to get in the car..., originally uploaded by sassyanna.
Ahhh....they try to escape, but in this case it was futile. The car was locked. It is like those pedestrian "walk" buttons though, you keep pressing and pressing hoping it changes the light. They keep pulling and pulling on the handles hoping the door will unlock.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Day 21 - faceless self portrait.

Tonight I was whipping up a semi stir fry - prawns and string beans with a peanut satay sauce. Simply divine. Too bad I didn't make enough....

Monday, June 20, 2011

Day 20 - Bokeh

Day 20 - Bokeh, originally uploaded by sassyanna.

This was a tough one. When I think of Bokeh, I think of lots of little lights - none of which were to be found today. I was out in the garden and had a great day overall though. Even found a small bird's nest with eggs in one of our hanging baskets. That will be another post for another day!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Day 19 - Something Orange

Father's day here consisted of just me and Renee.  The boys were at their grandparents, and Ken was in Hong Kong paddling.  We had a great day, except for the fact it was raining.  We needed to get the dog out for a walk, and decided to go to the local waterpark.  It was working, which is quite ironic as it was cold and raining.  There were lots of bright colours though, and I just hope that the kids get a chance to run around in it when it is hot!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Day 18 - Your shoes

Day 18 - Your shoes, originally uploaded by sassyanna.

These are my favourite shoes. And newly cleaned because my daughter hasn't quite mastered the whole "vomiting in the toilet" thing yet. She missed, and hit my chucks. The other feet in the photo belong to our five month old puppy Bentley. He hasn't quite grown into his paws yet.

Day 17 - technology

Day 17 - technology, originally uploaded by sassyanna.

This is Ethan playing his DS. I really struggled with him getting one, and in the end, I told him if he wanted one he had to pay for it himself. So he saved for the better part of two years, and he did it. He doesn't play it that often (thank you swim club!), but he does enjoy some tech time now and then.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Day 16 - long exposure

Day 16 - long exposure, originally uploaded by sassyanna.

What I would have loved to do for this one is go to a bridge, at night and do tail lights and headlights of cars. Alas, it wasn't to be. So the kids were my subject tonight. Kinda fun!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Day 15 - Silhouette

Day 15 - Silhouette, originally uploaded by sassyanna.

Ok, I cheated a bit on this one....Stanley cup finals are on (Go Canucks Go!). This shot was taken on Lake Cowichan on Vancouver Island. My kids had the BEST time. This freaked me out to watch, but the boys were amazing.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day 14 - Eyes

Day 14 - Eyes, originally uploaded by sassyanna.

So no camera time today, until the kids were all in bed. Last week I cleaned out the art cupboard so I knew we had lots of spare "eyes" on hand. Even found the coloured felts too. This is about the full extent of my artistic ability. I think my kids could do better!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Day 13 - Yourself with 13 things

mmmmm.....banana bread. Here I am (late at night I might add) making a special treat for my kids. My aunt thought I was crazy breaking out the camera to capture this, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do to keep up with the photo challenge.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Day 11 - Sunset

Day 11 - Sunset, originally uploaded by sassyanna.

I suspected that today's photo challenge would be a heck of a challenge. Right now I have a cloudy day to contend with, and a sick child (who thinks my shoes are the perfect place to vomit). So here you do - a beautiful sunset on Bowen Island, taken awhile ago (translation - not today!).

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Day 11 - something blue - my flight suit!

mom and I went to the flyzone today ( It was my mom's birthday present from my dad, and I was a somewhat reluctant participant. It was fun though, and it gives you the feeling of what it would be like skydiving, except that it is alot less freaky.

Friday, June 10, 2011

day ten - childhood memory

day ten - childhood memory, originally uploaded by sassyanna.

This will be my daughter's childhood memory for sure - every time we pass a swing set, she HAS to go on. She would swing all day if I let her. The only thing stopping us is how tired I get giving her under-ducks. This little girl has got to learn to pump her legs!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Day 9 - something you love

Day 8 - something you love, originally uploaded by sassyanna.
I LOVE the relationship that my daughter (on the right) has with her cousin. I hope it lasts a lifetime, and it will be even more special as Renee's cousin is like the sister she isn't going to have.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

30 day photo challenge - Day 8 - a BAD habit

I knew a bad habit would relate to chocolate somehow, but man these girl guide cookies are like crack to me. I just can't stop eating them. I have the box buried in the deep freeze so it is quite a challenge to get to them. It was far too much effort to put these ones back though, so I just had to eat them. I just hope the rest of the box stays intact.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Day 7 - Fruit!

Well it has been a week and I am still with the 30 day photo challenge.  Today's item du jour was fruit.  I suppose I could have used yesterday's photo, but the whole point of this challenge is to pull out the camera and use it daily.  So I figured I'd do a before and after of a mango salsa that I LOVE.  This recipe was given to me by my sister-in-law when I practically beat it out of her after the first time I tasted it (she gave it willingly of course, but I hounded her to death because I wanted it right there and then). 

It is oh so easy, and oh so tasty!  This is what you need (and you can alter it to taste - I used orange peppers in this one, but red looks SO much better).

  • Three mangos
  • One red pepper
  • 1/2 red onion
(chop all these up and put them in a bowl)
  • Juice from a lime (or two)
  • Cilantro (as much or as little as you want)
  • Hot sauce (again, as much or as little as you want)
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

This is a great summertime treat, and good for you to eat a bowl (or three).

Monday, June 06, 2011

Day Six - From a low angle

Wow!  SUN in these parts.  What a treat.  Strawberries (well, all two of them) are loving it.  This year a put a couple of plants in a hanging basket, so I took the photo looking up from the bottom of the basket.  Not too sure how long that red, almost ripe strawberry will last though.  I think that I am entitled to the first one, no?

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Day Five - from a high angle.

Ok, so this isn't very high (3 stacked patio chairs high to be exact), but it will do in a pinch!  Bentley now weighs twice as much as Renee, and is just about as tall when he is sitting.  Oh, have I not mentioned Bentley before?  That is the reason the blog was neglected for a couple of months.  More on him later....

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Day 4 - GREEN

Day four of the photo challenge over at White Peach photography, and for those who are wild with anticipation of what is to come, the list is here

So today has been a busy one, Ethan's birthday, family gathering and Canucks game.  We managed to squeeze dinner in after the first period and dessert after the second period.  I quickly took this shot while I was getting dinner ready.  We are all watching the third period hoping for a Canucks victory...

Friday, June 03, 2011

Day 3 - Clouds

Well, day 3 of the photo challenge just about did me in.  Just posting under the wire.  It has been a hectic day, and middle child threw a monkey wrench in the works by getting sick.  You'd think they sit around feeling perfectly fine until the most jam packed stressful day arrived and BAM sickness hits.  Thankfully he is doing better tonight.

The cloud challenge is a no brainer if you live in BC.  The nice thing about today is that there was some sunshine (!!!!!), so it at least provided a contrast to the white fluffy things.  I thought taking a photo in a puddle would give an interesting twist.  So here you go - day three DONE.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Day Two - What I wore today...

Only onto the second day of this challenge, and I must admit, the first two days haven't been my idea of a whole lotta fun because I had to be a part of the two photos.  Mind you, if I just thought outside of the box once in awhile I am sure I would have figured out how to do the shots without actually being in them.  June is a crazy busy month at our place, so it has been more of the "going through the motions" rather than thinking of new and fantastic ways to do things.

So day two of the 30 day photo challenge over at White Peach Photography has us taking photos of what we wore today.  Well, today on the Wet Coast it is raining, so much so in fact that I had to pull out the rain boots.  How depressing.  No photos of that thank you very much.  So I took a shot of my workout gear (on me just before I left for spin class at 5:30 am).  I love my lululemon top, and the shorts were a find (on sale - yea!!!). 

Ironically tomorrow's shot is of clouds, and according to the forecast, there aren't supposed to be any in these parts.  I'll really have to do some thinking then!