Monday, January 31, 2011

perogie extravaganza

We had a Van Den Berg family get together on Sunday, January 30th at Cory and Stacey's for mine and Curtis' birthdays. It was an amazing afternoon filled with perogie making, perogie eating and Elaine's AMAZING blueberry flan for dessert. Janice was here for a visit from California so she got to share in the fun!

just finished reading ...

I find that a lot of biographies are poorly written and there were spots of that throughout this book. Although a lot of the scenes seemed to repeat themselves throughout the chapters, I found Portia's story to be an amazing one filled with truth and triumph. A must read for anyone who feels that the size of their body outweighs the size of their soul ... I think we all eventually figure out what matters even if it is too late for some of us. Thankfully Portia figured it out just in time!

she continues to make me smile

Thursday, January 27, 2011

charles tries rice cereal for the first time

And the verdict is? ... I think the verdict is still out on this one!

back on the bandwagon

photo courtesy of ... best yoga dvd today

wish list addition

just finished listening to ...

In this powerful fiction debut, Therese Fowler combines the emotional resonance of Nicholas Sparks with the intense, true-to-life richness of Jodi Picoult to create a stunning and dramatic novel all her own.

Meg Powell and Carson McKay grew were raised side by side on their families’ farms, bonded by a love that only deepened. Everyone in their small rural community in northern Florida thought that Meg and Carson would always be together. But at twenty-one, Meg was presented with a marriage proposal she could not refuse, forever changing the course of her life.

Seventeen years later, Meg’s marriage has become routine, and she spends her time juggling the demands of her medical practice, the needs of her widowed father, and the whims of her rebellious teenage daughter, Savannah, who is confronting her burgeoning sexuality in a dangerous manner, and pushing her mother away just when she needs her most. Then, after a long absence, Carson returns home to prepare for his wedding to a younger woman. As Carson struggles to determine where his heart and future lie, Meg makes a shocking discovery that will upset the balance of everyone around her.

Unfolding with warmth and passion, Therese Fowler’s vibrant and moving debut illuminates the possibility of second chances, the na├»ve choices of youth, the tensions within families, and the wondrous designs of fate. A searing yet redemptive novel, Souvenir is an unforgettable tale about the transforming power of love.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

just found today's inspiration ...

In who else but Ms. Oprah herself! courtesy of ...

The Top 20 Things Oprah Knows for Sure
Since the day the late Gene Siskel asked me, "What do you know for sure?" and I got all flustered and started stuttering and couldn't come up with an answer, I've never stopped asking myself that question. And every month I must find yet another answer. Some months I feel I hardly know a thing, and I'm always pressed to make the deadline for this column. This time around, in honor of our tribute to the subject, I looked back and came up with my all-time top 20:
1. What you put out comes back all the time, no matter what. (This is my creed.)
2. You define your own life. Don't let other people write your script.
3. Whatever someone did to you in the past has no power over the present. Only you give it power.
4. When people show you who they are, believe them the first time. (A lesson from Maya Angelou.)
5. Worrying is wasted time. Use the same energy for doing something about whatever worries you.
6. What you believe has more power than what you dream or wish or hope for. You become what you believe.
7. If the only prayer you ever say is thank you, that will be enough. (From the German theologian and humanist Meister Eckhart.)
8. The happiness you feel is in direct proportion to the love you give.
9. Failure is a signpost to turn you in another direction.
10. If you make a choice that goes against what everyone else thinks, the world will not fall apart.
11. Trust your instincts. Intuition doesn't lie.
12. Love yourself and then learn to extend that love to others in every encounter.
13. Let passion drive your profession.
14. Find a way to get paid for doing what you love. Then every paycheck will be a bonus.
15. Love doesn't hurt. It feels really good.
16. Every day brings a chance to start over.
17. Being a mother is the hardest job on earth. Women everywhere must declare it so.
18. Doubt means don't. Don't move. Don't answer. Don't rush forward.
19. When you don't know what to do, get still. The answer will come.
20. "Trouble don't last always." (A line from a Negro spiritual, which calls to mind another favorite: This, too, shall pass.)

this makes me INCREDIBLY happy

photo courtesy of ... apartment therapy

last night

i made something similar to this for dinner on white rice ...

and watched this with chad and lexxus ...

photo courtesy of ...

monday nights like this make me happy.

some memories from a fun family visit

Monday, January 24, 2011

some more favourite things to start off my week

Photo courtesy of ...

Photo courtesy of ...

monday morning update

Friday ... Had to pick Chad up in Abbotsford because he had to drop his truck off to get fixed and then wanted to go to White Spot for dinner (had a craving) but it was super full (tournament or something in the area) so we drove through Aldergrove and came upon a hole-in-the-wall Fish and Chips place --- it was AMAZING! A bit on the pricey side but so fresh and yum! Highly recommend. Then home to veg and go to bed early.

Saturday ... Off to the States to buy some cheese and then to pick up a part that Chad ordered for his truck. Home to pick up his truck from the dealership and then off to my parent's house. My parent's and us drove out to my Grandma's place for a belated birthday visit and then all of us and Janice, Danielle and Charles went to the Keg for dinner. It was an amazing meal and visit except I was up all night sick --- I guess the red-meat-is-bad-for-jay theory is back in effect!

Sunday ... Soccer game in Surrey. We lost 3-0 but it was a pretty good game. A bit cold but not too bad and all three of their goals were pretty incredible so I will let that one slide :) Then home for a bath and book and off to Chad's parent's place to relax, finish my book (due today and I cannot have overdue library books - just not something I can do - ha ha) while the boys watched football and I hung out with Curtis. Played this new game - Nab It - that Curtis got for his birthday. SO FUN (not to mention I won both rounds - tee hee). Then Chili for dinner and home for an episode of "Burn Notice" and in bed early to start the week. I am sore today - what a Monday!

just finished in the nick of time ...

Twenty years ago, when they were teenagers, Holly and Nicola were the outsiders at summer camp. Holly was the plump one, a dreamer who longed to be an artist. Nicola was the shy, plain one who wanted nothing more than to be beautiful. Their cabin nemesis was Lexi. Rich, spoiled, evil Lexi. One night, Holly and Nicola team up to pull one, daring act of vengeance. But they never dream that this one act will have repercussions that will reach into the future, even twenty years later. And they never realize the secret pain that Lexi holds very close, and how their need for revenge costs Lexi a great deal. 

Today, Holly is a successful gallery owner, who has put her own artistic dreams on hold. She struggles with her weight and for approval from her constantly-criticizing boyfriend. Nicola, is an almost-famous actress who believes that one little plastic surgery fix is just what she needs to put her over the edge into fame. And Lexi…Lexi is down on her luck and totally broke.

Holly will do anything to be thin. Lexi will do anything to be rich. And Nicola will do anything to be pretty. Thin, Rich, Pretty is the story of three women who believe that happiness is the next dress size down, the next dollar figure up, or the next appreciative glance from a stranger. But mostly it’s the story of how three women save each other, and show each other the path to true contentment. Told with Beth Harbison’s knack for thirty and fortysomething nostalgia, and heartwarming humor, Thin, Rich, Pretty will strike a chord with any woman who has ever got on the scale, looked in the mirror, or the bank, and said, “if only…”

what would heart do with dean?

It is like me without my Travo!