The Happiness Project

I follow a lot of blogs…photographers and non-photographers. Over breakfast and morning tea, while Luca explores his toys, I read blogs. I have been admiring a few blogs that have projects. Like 101 in 1001. (which is to accomplish 101 goals in 1001 days), or 250 books in one year, or the 365 photo project (where you take and post a photo everyday for one year). There are so many of these kinds of projects and I was inspired. I wanted to do one. But I wanted to do one that worked for me. One that I loved. One that I was more likely to follow.

Last week while grocery shopping, I stumbled across the book “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin, and in the spur of the moment bought it. I am SO glad I did. This book is literally changing my life without changing it. It is so full of amazing ideas, that I read most of the chapters twice! I have found my project! Here is the “back cover commercial” that hooked me in the store!

Gretchen had a good marriage, two healthy daughers, and work she loved-but one day stuck on a city bus, she realized that time was flashing by, and she wasn’t thinking enough about the things that really mattered. “I should have a happiness project” she decided. She spent the next year test driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific studies, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier.

Each month, she pursued a different set of resolutions: go to sleep earlier, quit nagging, forget the results, or take time to be silly. Bit by bit, she began to appreciate and amplify the happiness that already existed in her life.

So starting May 1, I am beginning my Happiness Project. The book clearly says that not everyones happiness project will look the same, or take the same route. If you are interested in starting one along with me, check out her blog where she has tools and ideas for starting your own!

 I can’t wait to see where mine takes me!


Dance lessons

In my head I am a fantastic dancer….like “Step Up” good. In my head I look great…I nail every move….I am completely in time with the music.

I am also not delusional enough to believe this to be true. I can see the look on Marco’s face everytime I dance. I have heard the laughs of my sisters as I used to dance in the kitchen while washing the dishes. And today, when dancing to Adele with my son he laughed at me. My 18 month old, sweet, and adorable little son laughed at me! It was too funny to not laugh back. So yes I am very aware of my HUGE lack of dancing skills. I am a 6 foot 1 Volleyball player…what do you expect?!

For my birthday Marco’s parents got me dancing lessons. (Lucky Marco he gets to come with me!) This Monday we learnt to Salsa. Once again in my head I was wearing this super flowy sequined bright pink dress and high heels.

 I was awe-some!

In reality I was wearing LuLu’s and a gray t-shirt, and at one point the instructor told us to “put some life into it”. I caught Marco laughing at me, and he said I had the deepest look of concentration as I counted the steps….one, two, three pause…five, six, seven, pause…over and over and over again. It’s a lot harder than it sounds. But after a few practices we nailed the steps with two turns, and a New Yorker! (and just like that I was ready to sign us up for a competition!)

So my moral of the story is… who cares what you look like on the outside…I think it’s all about how you think you look in your head! :)

A walk with Gramma and Papa

Yesterday we drove down to Abbotsford to visit my family, and for some work this weekend. It was so nice to see my family! For some reason the break between these past two visits has seemed SO so SO long!

This afternoon we took Luca for a walk. Growing up my Dad was all about the walks…every Sunday after church we would head to a local trail and go for a walk. As a child I greatly disliked this, but now that I am older I so appreciate that time we spent together. So today we took Luca for a walk! He LOVED it!

Luca just loves my Dad (Papa)! He follows him around everywhere yelling “Pa-PA!, PA-PA” and gets to excited everytime he sees him. No one, other than Marco, can get Luca laughing like my Dad does! So for about an hour Luca chased after my Dad!

I was so excited to see before we went for a walk some of my Dad’s flowers up :) Spring is really here!

Luca smelled the pinecone!

Luca of course had to stop and pick up everything that looked interesting!

Helping Gramma push the stroller!

The big open field was his favourite! So much to see :)

My Mom yelled “Freedom” when she took him out of the stroller, so he threw his hands up in the air and was so excited! haha it was perfect!

He carried that rock around for atleast half an hour! Such a boy!

Mmmmm tasty rock!

Showing Papa his rock :)

not so tasty dirt!

YAY Spring!

Papa tickling his nose with flowers!

Best seat on the way home!

Happy Birthday Marco!

This weekend we are away with the group of volleyball players we had our first years with at college. I can’t wait to see everyone! So I figured I would write Marco’s birthday post early.

Marco is especially excited to see everyone cause he turns 25 on Sunday! (Yes for those of you counting I am 13 months older…I always tell Marco is is so lucky to have married an older woman :)

Now between me and Marco there is this ongoing joke that I don’t really know a whole lot about him. He tells me things…and I think I just forget :S  For example last year for Valentine’s Day I bought him a HUGE bag of cinnamon hearts because they are his favourite. Apparently not! Infact he doesn’t like them at all! A similiar scenario has happened SO often that it is now a joke between us. So when getting ready to make his birthday cake this year I wanted to make sure I was ACTUALLY making his favourite….

I knew chocolate was out the window….same with anything cinnamon heart related. Finally I came across a “Cookies and Cream Cake” which is his favourite chocolate bar…or so I thought. I had to phone him at work to make sure he ACTUALLY liked Cookies and Cream. Well he did! So all afternoon Luca and I worked on making his cake to take with us this weekend!

It is So so so SO hard to not sneak a piece of this cake!! It even smells amazing!

The most important ingredient is of course Oreos….man it was hard to not eat my way through the bag as I was baking!

I even had to sample the cake batter….it tasted AMAZING!!!

Luca was being so good watching me in his highchair, so I let him try his first ever Oreo….I guess he’s a fan :)

The finished product! :)

It’s drizzled with white chocolate (don’t worry he does like white chocolate…just not regular chocolate…I checked! :) And the grey-ish icing in the middle is vanilla butter icing with crushed up Oreo cookies mixed in…mmmmmmmmmmmmm.  oh and I sampled the icing too :)

Now I just have to figure out how to get it to Sunpeaks!

Happy Birthday Marco! I hope you like your cake! I hope you have a fantastic weekend with all your closest friends. Me and Luca love you so so so SO much and can’t imagine our lives without you. You are the best person in our lives, and I would be lost without you. Thank you, THANK YOU, Thank you for just being you and for loving me.


** A few people ask that I add the recipe to Marcos delicious birthday cake! Here it is!

Cookies and Cream Cake

Cake Ingredients

1 package white cake mix without pudding in the mix

1 package white chocolate flavour instant pudding mix

1 cup vegetable oil

4 egg whites

1/2 cup milk

20 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped

icing ingredients

2tbsp butter

1 cup icing sugar

1/4 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 tbsp milk

10-12 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped

Cake Topping ingredients

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

1 tsp shortening

8 Oreo Cookies for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line the bottom of two 9inch round pans with parchment paper.

2. Beat egg mix, pudding mix, oil, egg whites, and milk in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed, until well blended. Stir in chopped Oreo’s and divide batter equally between two prepared pans.

3. Bake 28-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool completley before removing.

4. Icing – mix butter, icing sugar, vanilla and milk together. Beat with electric mixer until smooth. Stir in cookie chunks until well blended. Place one cooled cake on cake plate. Spread entire batch of icing on top of cake. Place 2nd cooled cake ontop.

5. Topping – melt chocolate chips and shortening together in glass dish in microwave for 30-40 seconds. Stir to combine. Drizzle over top of cake, and top with Oreo chunks to garnish.

ENJOY! It was delish! :)


I have a pretty amazing support network. On days like today where I am feeling discouraged I have a whole wack load of amazing friends and family I can rely on to encourage me.

Marco is my number 1 supporter! He is always there to motivate me, tell me I am doing a great job, leave me notes in my oatmeal pot so when I go to make breakfast I see it. I could not be doing this without him. I don’t think I would have taken this leap into photography and starting my own business without him.

My Mom and sisters are right there with Marco. My Mom reads and comments on every blog, my sisters are helping me coordinate a creative shoot this Spring. My sister Chantale is a wedding designer, and my other sister Monique is an amazing hair stylist. Both are so talented and have such amazing ideas :) Monique and Chantale were also models for me when I first started so I could practice as much as I could.

I do feel there is one hole in my support network that I would love to fill. Other photographers! I met and got to know some amazing photographers in WPPI and I have kept in close touch with one of them! We have sent emails back and forth almost daily talking about our work, our lives, and photographer in general. It has been amazing having another photographer to talk to!

I would love to form more relationships like this! When I am discouraged about business, or photography, or a lighting/camera issue I would love to have close photographer friends that I can network with. I would love to have coffee dates/meetings with other photographers both in the Okanagan and the Lower Mainland. I have been discouraged with this lately…I have sent out a few emails inviting other photographers out for coffee and sadly most of the time am getting no response. It is very discouraging. I am new at this career and am so wanting to learn, and network and join the community of photographers 100%! It made me wonder this morning if maybe it is because I am so new at this…I am not sure. I have so many questions and ideas for this career and I would love to have a network of photographers to bounce these ideas off of….to gain feedback on how I am doing. Feedback is the one thing I would love the most.

Since I got my first job I have been surrounded by people. I was drawn to jobs with positive atmospheres and that involved talking and working closely with groups of people on a day to day basis. I knew that photography would be hard. Other than my photoshoots it is mostly spent alone, editing, blogging, responding to emails, upgrading my website, working on marketing material, etc. I miss the day to day busy-ness of an office. I miss having co-workers. I miss working daily with other people!

So I thought I would put myself out there….see if any other photographers are feeling the same. I would love to meet for coffee or tea! :)

I am ready for Spring!

I am so over Winter. I am done with snow! Rain can go away! I am ready for sunshine, and spring flowers, and Easter! (and all the chocolate that comes with Easter :)

I was going through some of my photos from last year and I came across these ones I took in my parents back yard! They made me want Spring to be here today! My Dad is an amazing gardner, and his front and backyard always look amazing at anytime of year! Every season there is something different flowering and blooming. Every year is vegetable garden is spectacular…from potatoes, garlic and tomatoes to lettuce, blueberries and raspberries! His flower garden is overflowing with lilac, broken hearts, crocuses, tulips, daffodils (my favourite!), and many many many others I don’t know the name of!

Here are a few of my favourites!

This last one is my favourite!

My Kelly Moore camera bag!

Yesterday when I came home from taking Luca to his gym class there it was! A post office alert that I had a parcel waiting for me at the post office!

Luca and I drove out this morning to get it! YAY! I was so excited it is finally here! 

While at the WPPI I bought a new camera bag! And not just any camera bag…A Kelly Moore camera bag! They are the most amazing camera bags in the world! I am on my 2nd camera bag and am so not happy with it, so at the WPPI I was on the market for some good deals! I fell in love with this bag! First it’s purple….and it has pockets for keys, memory cards, lip gloss, business cards, and dividers on the inside for lenses, my camera body and my flash! It is exactly what I was looking for and I am so so SO glad I invested in one!  Can’t wait for my next shoot! :)

YAY it’s finally here!

That is all for  now…I am off to transfer everything over from my old camera bag!! :)