Tuesday, September 18, 2018

a sick day thing post

I am off work sick today. My throat & ears hurt and I am congested. On top of that, I am just plain ol' tired & slept for over 12 hours last night. I think being 37 weeks pregnant is to thank for that last one, but also just a busy schedule and not taking a lot of time to rest has contributed. I am hoping a day of rest today makes my throat & ears stop hurting!!

So, as I browse the good ol' internet, here are some fun things you might be interested in reading, as I was!

What Frasier's apartment would look like in 2018 (via Cup of Jo)

Chrissy Teigen's new cookbook is out today and she is making avo toast cool again

What kind of cheese are you based on your personality? Find out here! (I'm mozzarella)  (via Dinner: A Love Story)

The first McDonald's in Moscow opened in 1990 - -photos and its story are really interesting!

As seen on Erin Ireland's Instagram - Korean vegan beef. I've made this twice now - so good! (with real beef for Edwin though)

How to feel better in 5 minutes - love this!

Next up for the day is a nap! I also need to bake at some point this week with the giant bucket of apples my dad picked from his yard for me. Any amazing apple ideas to make??

Friday, September 14, 2018

a zucchini post

A few months ago, in late spring, I went to the flea market with my dad - a classic Murray thing he loves that I also quite enjoy! I bought two random little zucchini plants to plant in our backyard, which I did. Fast forward a few months, and we had a bunch of HUGE zucchinis ready to go! Some of them I picked and used for stir frys and other dinners, but a few remained that were way too huge. I decided to do some baking with them! Is this nesting?!

This is one of the larger zucchinis: note my hand for reference! (also - I am not sure why it is yellow. All other zukes I picked from these plants were green! Go figure.)

We figured the zucchini was a close reference to newborn size so we gave it a swaddle and tested out our stroller ;)

 Here is what I baked with my zucchinis:

1. My moms classic cocoa zucchini cake. Am I allowed to share the recipe mom or is it top secret?! It is so yummy! There is also a recipe for cream cheese icing to go on top, which is delicious as well, but I enjoy them just like this too. Oh and they are upside down as they were still warm when I took them out of the muffin tin and I find when they go right side up on the cooling sheets, they get big lines in the bottom. (I should probably just leave them to cool in the muffin tin... but I only have one and needed to continue on with the other batches!)

2. Zucchini breakfast cookies

I just started googling healthy recipes to bake that include zucchini. These are quite healthy as they have nuts, wheat flour, oats, and minimal sugar. I also added some protein powder and coconut to them! They are not super sweet, but I think they will make good relatively healthy snacks when I am up at all hours feeding the baby :)

3. Chocolate chip zucchini bars 

These ones don't have a lot of sugar in them. Plus, I needed recipes that didn't include eggs or butter as I had run out! I subbed almond butter for peanut butter as that's what I had handy. I liked the idea of making one big sheet pan and then cutting them into squares. You can see I tried a little bit out of the corner and the taste is great! However, they are really moist and so far don't hold up as a square. I am not sure what to do at this point so I am leaving them to cool even more than recommended and hoping that helps! I hope I can at least get them into a square shape to freeze and then eat them semi-frozen when needed.

I really appreciate the internet for ideas & recipes like this - there is so much variety out there! However, I must admit that I get a bit annoyed when I have to scroll through 34 photos of the baking process and tons of text before I get to the actual recipe. I guess this is the world we live in - blogs & online writing are where things are at these days! (as I type on my blog, ha!)

I am not off to figure out how to store all of this in the house - hoping the freezer has lots of space at the moment! Happy weekend :)

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Maternity photos

Baby Obando is 35 weeks along as of today! Crazy. We were not planning on getting maternity photos done, and only booked some newborn photos for us to do a few weeks after baby is born. However, in our neighbourhood Facebook group, there was a post of an aspiring photographer offering her services at a great price. We decided to give it a shot! (ha, pun intended!)

In retrospect, I am really glad we did them to capture this time in our lives. I am looking forward to printing some of the newborn family ones for the baby room, and not sure if we will print/do anything with these maternity photos, but again - I think the memory of having them is worth it! I am excited to look back at these photos in years to come.

Here are some that I love! These were taken at Aldergrove Regional Park, in our hood :)

(I didn't love the sitting photos as I don't find them super flattering but I like Edwin's hand on my belly here!)

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

a thing post

Amanda & I love going to the Make It Fair twice per year - they are adding another one this year in honour of their 10 year anniversary! Tons of handmade, local items here. Worth checking out!! (think: glorified craft fair)

This past Monday, Boston Pizza had $5 individual pizzas for their High Five Day! They do this every year. I'll try to let you know in advance next year! We met my fam there for some pizzas and it was delish.

How does one steal an airplane from the airport?!

Love It or List It is back soon! Yay!

A focaccia bread recipe I would like to try

A Michelin star street food restaurant in Thailand - bucket list!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Canada Day 2018

I am a bit behind on blogging but trying to blog about all the important and major events at least, even if it does happen with a bit of delay... :) (and if I missed an event, please let me know!!)

Edwin applied for Canadian citizenship some time ago, and finally got the invite to do the next steps (test & ceremony). The ceremony happened to fall on Canada Day which meant he got to be in a "special" ceremony in Fort Langley. It was actually on the news & is online here!  The ceremony had 50 new citizens from 40 different countries which was pretty cool. I am sure Edwin was the only one from Guatemala!

Starting the day the Canadian way - Tim Hortons for breakfast & coffee!

Singing the Canadian anthem. Edwin is in the white shirt in front of the man in the grey shirt - hard to see, it was packed in there! We even got there quite early to get spots - we ended up standing in the back.

Getting his official citizenship papers - we had photos of all angles thanks to my sister, dad, & Nenad! I was on the phone Skyping with Edwin's parents at this time.

The whole fam! Grandpa, Pants, mom, dad, me, Edwin, Jen, Nenad

This building had a huge flag on it and it was a really cool photo opp. The only issue is that there were so many people coming in & out of this building!! (to the right on this photo)

My family was adorable and threw Edwin a Canadian themed party. We had lunch, dinner, gifts, matching shirts - you name it!

Edwin opening some of his gifts - this one was my fave! A baby outfit for Baby Obando for next Canada day. Also, Chucho in his bandana was too cute. All the doggies had them!

My dad got this Molson Canadian sign for Edwin for his man cave in the basement. (its just a TV room but we'll let him call it whatever he wants for now...)

Photo shoot time in my parents backyard! Nenad & Pants with Mojo & Chucho

I took this photo and it was after Pants had left, hence him & I are not in it. But it's a good one of the rest of the fam & doggies! (always in family photos)

I have to admit that I had no idea about the whole immigration process - this was all new to my family & I. It was cool to learn more about it through Edwin's process as well as hear people speak about how diverse Canada is during the ceremony. I am very thankful that we live in such a beautiful, diverse and welcoming country.

Now, Edwin needs to apply for his Canadian passport. I hope that him, Baby Obando, & I can put that passport to good use and do some fun travels in our future. We will only be limited by that lovely reduction in salary due to maternity leave pay...so... maybe only Lower Mainland travels are only in our near future ;)

Friday, July 13, 2018

Portland, Oregon

I was in Portland last weekend for Amanda's stagette - her wedding is coming up on August 18th! We left bright & early Friday morning and came home Sunday night. In addition to having tons of fun, there are some super cool things in Portland that we did that I wanted to share. (spoiler alert: a few restaurants make the cut!)

Our lovely group of gals: me, Kristy, Lindsay, Amanda, Eliza, Savannah, Keri & Loryn (the theme was that Amanda wore white and we all wore black - floral on black was the best I could do with fancy things that fit these days!)

1. The Melting Pot - this is a fondue and if you love cheese, you need to try it all! We did the 3 course dinner in a group, which was 2 types of cheese fondue as appetizers, 3 - 4 choices of protein for the entree, and 2 types of chocolate for dessert. They give you tons of food, and the thing we did not realize is that you need to plan to spend 2 - 3 solid hours there! (we did not and were almost late to the evening entertainment....)

They took a group shot of us and gave Amanda a rose (the rest of the group came a bit later on this day)

The fiesta cheese fondue served with bread, veggies & apples to dip (the other cheese we had that is not pictured was the spinach and artichoke - fiesta was my fave!)

Entrees! The fondue here is broth that you cook your protein in. My proteins were mushroom ravioli, salmon, tofu, and cajun shrimp. Served with tons of dipping sauces, and veggies & potatoes to cook as well.

2. VooDoo Doughnuts - a Portland classic where there is always a long line. However, we found a non-line up time around 1 am one night when a few of us left early from the club and capitalized on that. I had a jelly filled donought and it was delicious! Keri had an apple fritter that was amazing - it tasted like it had been deep fried multiple times and had a great crunch on the outside. It was a great almost-midnight snack.

3. Saturday Market - fun fact, the market is on Saturday AND Sunday! This is kind of like the Richmond Night Market and has lots of cool food, clothing, & trinket vendors. It's also right along the water so it has a pretty view.

All the girls and the pretty view from the Saturday Market

Trying to get a shot of all of us wearing our "bride squad" sunglasses - harder than it sounds!!

Attempting a candid photo of Amanda & I....

Attempting a photo of the two pregnant ladies (due 1 day apart!) is also harder than it sounds! (Where do you put your hands?!)

4. BrewCycle - a bike & brewery tour. Super fun, and probably even more fun when you can actually drink the beer at the stops! (next time...) The pictures will explain what the contraption looks like that we rode, and we stopped at 3 breweries around downtown Portland. A blast in a large group with a fun tour guide!

This whole thing is powered by all of us biking - the "driver" only brakes when needed & does all the steering/directions. Oh and takes song requests ;)

Our group of 8 on the right with the other group who was on our ride. So much fun! (plus the guy on the left was super helpful with helping this big-bellied lady on and off the bikes - thanks guy!!)

Next up on the Amanda wedding plans: her shower is next weekend, I need to get my dress altered (good thing I knew I was pregnant and bought a size up in a stretchy fabric!!), and work on a speech. Weddings are so fun!! Are wedding events up your alley?

Friday, June 15, 2018


Well, here we are at the last day of our babymoon sadly. It has been a lovely week full of sun, swimming, food, napping and sleeping in. What more could we ask for?!

Baby Obando is now 23 weeks and 1 day and I hope that baby will love the water just like his/her mom. I think my belly gets even larger in the heat! As of week 23, Baby Obando is the size of a Barbie doll, or a bunch of grapes, and weighs about 1.25 pounds.

Here are some highlights of our lovely trip:

1. Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay

We saw this bay during the Circle Tour we did earlier in the trip, and had multiple recommendations from people to go snorkeling here. Not only is this place beautiful from above, but it has an amazing amount of beautiful, colourful fish in it to see right away! You literally put your head in the water and start seeing fish right away. We regretted not borrowing my dads underwater GoPro to take photos - next time!

I did some preliminary exploration and Edwin joined me shortly after

2. Dinner at Buho Cocina y Cantina

This was a random restaurant Edwin found and it turned out to be really great - its a funky Mexican rooftop restaurant.

This is my kale wrapped burrito that was delicious! It had rice, beans, mango salsa, guacamole and came with a side of beans. Loved it!

I had a churro for dessert (not pictured) and Edwin had an ice cream burrito. Both were so tasty!! This is Kona coffee flavored ice cream wrapped in a house made flour tortilla.

3. Dinner at Duke's Waikiki

We ate at quite a few well-known chain restaurants (P.F. Changs, Cheesecake Factory), which were delicious of course, but there is something I love about going to a non-well-known restaurant. Duke's turned out to be a chain, but there is not a lot of them and they are mostly in Hawaii and California.  Edwin had a steak and I had an alfredo pasta with shrimp, and they had a salad bar you could add onto your meal for $4. Who even has a salad bar anymore?! Why did these ever leave us? I ate far more than my far share of salad and Edwin helped me finish my pasta. Plus, this restaurant had live music and was right on the beach.

4. Laying on the beach

Need I say more? So relaxing and beautiful! 

Edwin venturing out to cool off (the temperature was around 30 - 35 every day, "feeling like" closer to 40 according to the Weather Network)

5. Iolani Palace

This was cool to learn about some history of Hawaii and see the former royal palace. So beautiful!!

6. Shopping/wandering downtown Waikiki

There is SO much to explore around here. I was absolutely amazed at just how many people (aka tourists) there are around here though. Some evenings were packed walking the main drag! You can definitely tell that downtown Waikiki caters to a very specific demographic though. We did not go into the majority of the stores on the strip as they were the veryyyy expensive ones: Prada, Gucci, Tiffany's, Rolex, etc.

The best store ever - the flip flop store!
7. Knowing my Chucho was with his grandparents having a great ol' time! 

So smiley & happy!
 8. Touring the USS Missouri Battleship

We visited Pearl Harbour and it was very cool to see & learn a bit more about the history (from the non-movie version)! The one in depth tour that we paid to see was the USS Missouri Battleship, which wasn't actually part of Pearl Harbour, but was put into working order a few days later. It was HUGE!

Where the table was placed where papers were signed between Japan & USA to end World War 2

I was having quite the special hair day this day....

We are back to reality as of Monday. Such is life! I am glad that we come home on a weekend and have a few days to catch up on laundry, groceries, etc. before usual work/life happenings again. I am also so glad that Edwin & I had some relaxing time before a busy summer, and before Baby Obando makes their appearance! Happy weekend :) 

Monday, June 4, 2018

Baby Obando

As you may know by now, Edwin, Chucho, & I are expecting a new family member in early October! We are beyond excited about this new addition (well, for sure 2/3 of us are!) and I can't believe I haven't even blogged about it....

Here he/she is! A little gymnast with feet in its face.
Baby Obando is 21 weeks and 4 days at this point. Baby is very healthy as per the recent ultrasound that my mom accompanied me to. I think she is a bit more excited that Edwin & I sometimes - she has bought SO many outfits for the baby, I think it has a full wardrobe already! She will be an excellent grandma, no doubt about it.

The adorable basket Amanda gave me that is full of baby clothes, blankets and toys already. (there have been more added since this photo!)
We are not going to find out the gender, much to a lot of peoples dismay. We just want that amazing surprise when it is born! And if its a boy and wears pink for a few weeks, I am not too concerned. (and vice versa) We will be thrilled regardless of what gender it is, and don't have any plans to paint the baby room any particular color.

So far, we have a crib (pictured above) but need to get sheets for it still. We also have a rocking chair that Heidi gave us. Next up is a dresser to purchase, as well as stroller and carseat. As well as decor for the room! 

There are just SO many cute baby things out there, I have to hold back on buying them all. This has been my favourite so far, but I could not bring myself to spend $80 on it:

How cute would it be as a toy bin, or laundry basket?! (its pretty large)
In terms of pregnancy, I've been feeling pretty good the whole time! I had one solid week of nausea, which was not particularly fun, but I cannot complain compared to others who have nausea throughout the whole pregnancy... I am just tired and some random aches and pains. I've also had to wear maternity pants recently to accommodate this baby bump!

I am sure there will be more updates to come on this little guy/gal of ours, not to worry!