up in the clouds…

BLACKCOMB

Blackcomb Panorama

Project 365 Photos: #31

What a treat! My daughter is still willing to be seen in public with me (sort of), so we decided to spend a couple of days skiing together in Whistler. This is the top of Blackcomb Mountain looking west over the Coastal Mountain range. Little did I know that we would have to feel our way down the mountain through that bank of fog when we were finished at the top for the day.

candle in the window…

CANDLE IN WINDOW

candle burning

Project Photo 365: photo #353

My daughter and I have a little tradition. We like to grab cups of coffee/hot chocolate and take long drives around the neighbourhood listening to music. We’re usually trying to see who can sing hip hop songs in the best “church lady” voice.

The other day, I pulled over and snapped a quick shot of Jane’s favourite house. She has loved this home since she was just a wee toddler sitting in her car seat. It’s very unique for our neighbourhood. It looks like a home that has been plucked off the east coast and set down amongst the cedar trees on the west coast. It couldn’t be more perfect with the little candles burning in the windows.

Photo 354…

STORM CLOUDS

Passing Storm

Project: Photo 365

This shot was taken overlooking the Gulf Islands at about 4 p.m. today. All day it has been dull and dark grey, but I lucked out at just the right time at the end of the cloud bank. I’m lucky to live where such spectacular beauty is only a 2 minute drive away. The wind was blowing and eagles and sea gulls were soaring in the sky above huge fir trees that swayed back and forth on the edge of the cliff.

Liebster Blog Award…

I’m giddy! I was nominated for my first blogging award–the Liebster Blog Award!!! I know, right?!

I was nominated by my good buddy Whiskey Tango Foxtrot 4 (that’s right…WTF 4). She’s a brilliant photographer and raconteur! She gave me a list of five questions I have to answer, and then I get to add five random facts about myself and nominate five more blogs with fewer than 200 followers. So now it’s my turn to spread the love…

1. Who/what do you want to be “when you grow up”?
I want to be a world traveler, a famous actress, a photographer, an artist, a race car driver, a homicide investigater (I watch a lot of First48), and an awesome grandma.

2. What one thing would make your life better?
Money. A whoooole lotta money.

3. What one quote best resonates with you?
“Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames” ―Rumi

4. What one living person – that you don’t know personally – inspires you?
Tina Fey…she’s incredibly funny and smart. In a “man’s world” of comedy, she smashed through all the barriers. I have dreams of her and I just hanging out being hilarious together!!!

5. If you could spend one entire day how you wanted, what would you do?
I would ski all day at Sun Peaks with my family and a bunch of close friends. Afterwards, we’d all soak in a gigantic hot tub with a glass of wine while the snow falls around us. Then we’d all sit around a huge harvest table eating fondue and drinking wine! We’d laugh into the night, and somebody would push back the furniture so we could dance to 70’s music!!!!!

Random things about me…

1.  I am obsessed with the Twilight movie series. I’ve probably watched Twilight at least 100 times.

2.  My grandma was the first woman in North America to fly a glider airplane. She was an artist and a poet. Her poem “Cherry Snow” was published in the New Yorker magazine.

3.  Elton John stood beside me and smiled at me when I was 11 years old. I was in Disneyland with my family, and we were standing on a mezzanine in a hotel. Nobody else was around and he walked up to me and we both stood there looking at a bulletin board together. I turned to look at him, and he smiled back, he kept watching me (creeper) and I took a couple of glances at his cool glasses before the nickel dropped and I realized who he was.

4.  I hate going under bridges in boats. Anything that disappears into deep water scares me, like the fallen trees that sink into the blackness of Lightening Lake.

5.  I was one of the “Smile of the Day” girls in The Province newspaper when I worked at Expo86 as a guest relations babe!

6. One of my favourite and most vivid childhood memories is the time my mom whisked me away from elementary school to go watch the huge storm waves at White Rock Beach. Some things are just way more important than learning your times table.

7.  The car I was riding in was struck by lightening on the way to a Gino Vanelli concert in Vancouver when I was about 15 years old. I like to believe it was a sign that Gino, and his long glistening black curly hair, was meant to be mine!

I was going to nominate five other bloggers, but I’m so technically challenged that I can’t, for the life of me, figure out how many followers they have, and I don’t want anybody’s nose to be out of joint if I get it wrong.  I will however list eight of my favourite blogs….they are definitely worthy of a visit!!! I have left off so many blogs that I regularly follow. I am giving you a cross-sectiong of my interests here.

1.  Colored Brush…my dear friend, Patty Ripley, is a gifted artist and she shared her inspiration, process and paintings on this lovely blog.

2. Hazy Shades of Me…a dear friend, Alana Agerbo, with a penchant for writing fiction. I’m stunned by how well she writes. It’s time the girl had a book deal!!!!

3.  Diary of a House Elf…a hilarious collection of musings from my dear friend (they’re all so dear to me), Sarah Johnson. It’s insightful, funny and honest, and I love it.

4.  Geninne’s Art Blog…a gorgeous collection of arts and crafts. It makes me want to get out my pencil crayons and paper!

5.  Click It Up A Notch…an awesome photography blog where I get loads of tips and inspiration for my photography.

6.  Birch & Bird…a wonderland of vintagey wonderfulness.

7.  Tracey Ayton Photography…Tracey is a gifted photographer and I love the photos she shares on her blog. She inspires me to keep learning about the craft of photography.

8.  The Design Pages…another amazing friend, Carol Smyth, writes this wonderful blog full of interior design DIY and advice. She’s a powerhouse of ideas!!!!

stuff a cookie in it…

You know how sometimes you’re giving a presentation on the joys of blogging, and you say something flippant, like…oh…I don’t know…maybe, “If you ever see me blogging about food and recipes, you’ll know I have writer’s block!!”?

And then you go home and think about it for a while, and you realize that you probably just insulted half of the attendees in the room and flipped the bird at one of the things that gives you great pleasure?

Was I drunk?

Do you want to know what the kicker is? I used to have a baking business called Sugar Drops, and I loved baking! Duh.

So, as a peace offering to all the food bloggers out there (and there are a frighteningly high number of you), here is my highly-coveted SUGARDROP’S CHARLIE BROWN COOKIES recipe. Ta Da (said in a pathetic eating-crow kinda voice). They’re Charlie Browns ’cause there are peanuts and chocolate in them…get it? I know. Brilliant, right?

Makes about 40 absolutely amazingly delicious peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies, if you like that sort of thing. They’re perfectly crunchy and chewy at the same time.

1 cup unsalted butter (if you even think about using margarine, I’m gonna come over there and smack you with my spatula) room temp

1 cup peanut butter chunky or smooth (I use KRAFT unsweetened unsalted ’cause it actually tastes like peanuts)

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar (packed)

2 eggs

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1 cup unsalted roasted peanuts (shelled…duh)

5 ounces or more Bernard Callebaut milk chocolate (I use Callebaut ’cause it’s AWESOME. If you love something else, use it.) chopped into 1/2-inch chunks.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper (You can use an ungreased pan if you don’t have parchment. For the love-of-Pete, go buy some parchment!).

In a mixer, cream together butter and peanut butter. Add sugars and mix well. Mix in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla and mix.

Sift dry ingredients together and then add them to the butter and mix well. Fold in peanuts and chocolate by hand so they don’t get crushed.

Drop by spoonfuls onto pan about 2″ apart (they spread out), and pat down with a fork dipped in flour. Bake on the middle rack for approximately 15 minutes. Leave on the pan for a couple of minutes on top of the oven before removing to cool.

Bon Appetit!!!!

women in business…

My dear friend, DeAnn Bremner of Empower By Design invited me to talk at her meet-up about how social media has become a huge part of my brand development.  I’m really looking forward to connecting with other entrepreneurial women and sharing what I know about the world of Twitter, Facebook and Blogging.

Once you get me started talking, it’s hard to shut up me up, but I’ll need an audience (who am I kidding…I could talk to myself for hours…and do regularly when I’m grocery shopping), so if you’re interested, I’d love to see you there.

empower by design

invisible friends…

I had the most delightful encounter with a fan the other day. Here’s a shout out to Nancy, who stopped me on my way in to a cafe to tell me how much she liked my blog. I can’t tell you how exciting that was for me! If you are a blogger, then you know what I mean when I say it can be a lonely exercise sometimes, particularly when you’re just starting out. It seems like you’re writing to yourself A LOT, until people begin leaving comments. It’s just so thrilling when you discover that people actually like what you write.

We bloggers tend to forget that there are a lot of silent followers, who faithfully visit our blogs, but don’t feel comfortable leaving comments. So this post is dedicated to all the invisible friends who visit my little blog. If you ever feel like commenting, I promise I won’t make you stand up in front of the class and say your name! If you ever want a private word with me,  just send me an email to info@nicolejane.com.

See if you can figure my theme in these photos….it’s super sophisticated and highly clever!!!!

courtesy Hardrock Construction via Houzz

photo by Chad Jackson via Houzz

photo by Abbe Fenimore via Houzz

photo by Lola B's via Houzz

photo by Abbe Fenimore via Houzz

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