Sunday, February 19, 2017

Things Lately

Hola blog-world! Here are some things we have been up to lately in photos. What have YOU been up to? Do share!

(I apologize in advance that the majority are dog photos...)

We are crazy dog parents and got a dog-cam. The app sends up images when there is movement; this one is by FAR the best image I have seen on it. Chucho might be on to us...

His first bath.

I am not a morning person, but I have been semi-enjoying the sunrises while taking Chucho out before I go to work. My step count has majorly increased since getting him!

Heart shaped pizza from Boston Pizza for Valentines Day. The best tradition. We actually ordered it as take out from the BP near our house and walked (with Chucho!) to pick it up. Then we ate it on the couch in our pj's. It was a great evening!

One of our better selfies

A family selfie in our new spot on the floor. Who needs a couch when you sit on the ground with the dog to watch tv?!

I attended a bridal shower for my coworker, Nazia. Her wedding is in March at the UBC Boathouse - which was a close contender for our wedding! Can't wait!

My sister & Nenad were in town for about 8 hours on Friday evening (overnight!) but we managed to get together for some appy's before they flew home. Edwin & I also had some family over on Saturday night and I made this spinach dip for both evenings. It's so easy and so delicious! Just sour cream, mayo, spinach, and soup mix. Easy peasy.

I haven't been drinking coffee lately (not often, anyways!) but I do love Roll up the Rim season at Timmy's. I won a donut on Friday!

Odie came for a visit to our house recently. The dogs get along well which is great! 

This was our blood donation crew on Friday evening. Unfortunately, my iron was too low to donate, so hopefully I will have better luck next time...

Edwin & I attended a cooking class at Well Seasoned in Langley. It was a pizza demonstration with chef Carl Sawatsky, whom I went to high school with! (I knew this when signing up for the class) He is super talented in his cooking skills, and his pizza dough was amazing. He showed us how to make 2 doughs, 4 pizza sauces, 3 types of pizza, and some focaccia bread with the leftover dough. I am excited to try making the dough with the recipe we got! In this picture, he is throwing the pizza dough up in the air! (look carefully - you can see the dough just barely!)

The margherita pizza. One of my faves, a classic.

Edwin & I with Carl. He is currently the chef at Beatniks Bistro in Fort Langley; we will have to go check it out!

Chucho getting way too much attention from my mom & aunty Coralee :)

We did the 4k loop at Tynehead today! Next weekend we may try the off leash dog park.... it makes me a bit nervous but I really do think Chucho will be fine. (I just worry about him running off or losing him!)

Lastly, a dog funny! I thought this was quite cute ;) 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Chucho

As you may know by now, we got a dog! We've named him Chucho and he is an awesome dog so far. Here is some quick history on him and lots of photos:

We have been talking about getting a dog for a while, but just in the new year decided to start actively looking for one from a rescue company. It turns out that the rescue companies are all very hard to get a hold of! I get that they are all run by volunteers and don't have a lot of resources, but we sent (long!) applications to multiple places and didn't get much back from them. It was a bit discouraging! Then, we went in person to the SPCA. Did you know that the one in Surrey doesn't actually have dogs there?! Nor did we! They sent us to the Surrey Animal Resource Centre, where we ended up meeting Mr. Chucho there.

Now, we had thought we wanted a small to medium size dog that shed minimally. We basically figured an Odie look alike would be perfect!

Odie - from the photos taken by my cousin Gina to put into a book for my mom for Christmas. They are awesome pictures!! (and Odie is pretty darn cute)
Then, we walked into the dog part of the shelter and there was only one dog up for adoption, "Charming" was his name. There were other dogs there but they were not up for adoption yet; they  were waiting their allotted time after being picked up to hopefully be reunited with their owners.

Charming came right up to the door of his kennel and shoved his whole body as much as he could against it so we could pet him. Then he'd switch sides. This went on for quite some time; he clearly was so lovely and just wanted to be petted!!


After doing this for a while, we were sold! We took him out to the yard for a bit, played, and the girls told us more about him. We then filled out a form and were approved to adopt "Charming!" (the shelter had named him) He had been picked up in South Surrey about two weeks ago wandering the streets. They think he is about 2 or 3 years old, and is a cattle breed cross with maybe some German shepherd. They scheduled an appointment for him to get neutered the next day, and then we could pick him up the following Wednesday! (which we did, and we also went to visit him on Tuesday night at the shelter)

In the car right before leaving the shelter to go home
We renamed him Chucho, which is a Guatemalan/Spanish slang word for dog. He has been insanely good since we brought him home. He is clearly house trained and has not had any accidents inside. He knows how to sit, lay down, shake a paw, and go to his bed. And the best part is that he is just so loving! He always wants to be petted, loves to get his belly rubbed, and gives us kissed on the face all the time. He has gotten along with everyone we met at our house and during our walks, and so far seems fine with other dogs.

Chucho with his "grandma & grandpa" - hahaha :)

Chucho & Uncle Pants (Pants is getting some kisses here)

It is amazing how easily it is to fall in love with a dog once you meet it in person. This is how we ended up with a 55 pound shedding dog! (definitely not an Odie duplicate)

This is where he sleeps at night. We clearly underestimated his size and need to get him a bigger bed!!



Neighbourhood watch. Although, we have only heard him bark a handful of times.
I'm sure you will be seeing many more Chucho pictures in the near future ;) Also, if you are interested in adopting a pet, the shelter has many types of animals: cats, bunnies, guinea pigs, etc. You should check them out!!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Jasper

As we were having our out of town visitor here for the month of December, we thought it would be awesome for her to have a truly snowy experience. So we booked a train trip to Jasper for a few days & had plans to do lots of snowy things. As it turns out, we did not need a trip to Jasper to experience the extreme snow!! However, it did end up being a super cool experience taking the train and seeing & exploring a new place. Here are some details of our trip!

I've never been on a train before - have you? I had no idea what to expect! Our train left Friday evening and we were to arrive in Jasper on Saturday afternoon.

The dome car where you can sit higher up and see tons of scenery through the glass top


Here are the pros of train travel in my opinion:
- TONS of leg room
- seats recline a lot and have a leg rest
- power outlets in every row so you can charge devices 
- the bathrooms are twice as big as airplane bathrooms
- you can walk around & hang out in other areas of the train anytime you want
- beautiful scenery along the way

Here are my thoughts on the cons:
- the TIME: it took ~22 hours to get from Vancouver to Jasper)
- the stops: passenger trains are low on the totem pole in the train world, so sometimes they just stop in the middle of nowhere to let cargo trains through
- the delays: we were 3 hours delayed in getting to Jasper. On the way home, our train was supposed to pick us up in Jasper at 2 pm. It didn't come until 11 pm. Plus, we were 3 hours delayed again. Not fun, plus my poor mom waited in the train station in Vancouver for over 3 hours for us! (her cell phone had died so we couldn't reach her)

I do think it was a really neat experience but I'm not sure it would do it again, unless I have all the time in the world....


I took a knitting class a few weeks ago so thought the train would be a perfect place to finish my scarf. I did about 5 rows and it is definitely not done, FYI. Not sure knitting is my favorite thing to do at all...

The train station in Jasper

Our hotel in Jasper was directly across the street from the train station which was really convenient. We thought that winter was busy time in Jasper, but we were wrong! Apparently summer is their super busy time of year. Go figure.

One day we had planned to go snow shoeing. However, the lady at the rental shop told us there wasn't enough snow to snowshoe and that we could easily just walk all the trails instead. That was nice of her to be honest with us and not just rent us the gear! We took a cab up to Pyramid Bench and did a long walk in the snow. The return trip was all on the frozen lake. Then, we learned that the walk back to town (downhill) was only about an hour, so we walked back! (it ended up taking about 2 hours, for the record) We walked just over 15 kilometers that day. I was impressed. The whole thing was so beautiful!


I love this picture of Edwin & I - it was so beautiful there - I felt like we were somewhere super exotic! (and cold)

This was on the frozen lake walking back; it got really windy and extra cold!

Stephanie made snow angels for the first time

The next day, we went ice skating on a frozen lake at the Fairmont Jasper. (beautiful hotel, by the way) This was super fun as Stephanie nor Edwin had ice skated before! I hadn't ice skated in a long time, but was able to do a few loops and help them. My ankles were so sore after taking off the skates!




Other than that, we relaxed in our hotel room and watched some movies. Our hotel also had a rooftop hot tub so Edwin & I did a soak in there one night. It was so nice!

I wish I had some really amazing food stories to tell about Jasper, but nothing stood out hugely. We ate at some local pizza places, Smittys for breakfast a few times, and Earls for dinner once. (they did have really good fish tacos on their happy hour menu for a great price!!) I must say, the Tim Hortons there was super adorable! (Stephanie also LOVED Timbits!)


We did some shopping too and picked up a few fun souveniers. Oh and we saw some wildlife! Mostly elk & deer. We were hoping for moose, but no dice.

These elk were just hanging out at the train station!
We thought it would be colder there than it was. We were prepared for -20 kind of thing, but the coldest it got to was about -10 at some points. It really wasn't much different than Vancouver in all honesty! Overall, it was a really fun trip and felt like an adventure going somewhere cold & snowy. (usually vacations are to warm places!)

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to all of you!

Monday, December 5, 2016

December!

We have Edwin's 16 year-old niece here from Guatemala for the month of December. She just arrived on Thursday, and is in English classes for two weeks. Then, we have some Christmas/winter-y things planned after that. I think she is finding it VERY cold here, but is having fun!

As I'm sure everyone saw, there was so much snow today!! When she gets home from school, we are going to build a little snowman in the front yard. This is her first time experiencing snow!

We took Odie on a long walk to Tynehead over the weekend. Stephanie loves dogs so this was fun!

She is having some majorly Canadian experiences - Tim Hortons, ice hockey game (Pant's hockey game), and today snow!

The trees look so pretty outside. We put up our Christmas tree yesterday - its a huge one!
I hope everyone has a safe snow season :)

Saturday, November 26, 2016

food things

Hello blog world! I am sorry that I have not blogged lately, life has just been busy and I also just haven't been very into blogging as much these days. (not sure why!)

However, I do still like to read others blogs. Here are some I enjoy that you can check out if you are annoyed of seeing mine never updated! Warning: they are mostly food blogs....(shocking, I know)

1. Dinner: A Love Story
2. To Die For (a local gal!)
3. Smitten Kitchen
4. Food 52
5. Fifteen Spatulas 

Happy reading! :) 

Sunday, October 9, 2016

happy thanksgiving!

This Thanksgiving, there are so many things to be thankful for. There are lots of things to be thankful for on a regular basis - I need to try to post more of these kind of things. Here are just a few things I am thankful for these days.

1. Family to celebrate & be thankful with. Tonight Edwin & I are going to my parents with my grandparents and aunt, uncle and 2 cousins. Tomorrow, we are going to my cousins with a bunch of aunts, uncles cousins, and dogs. (I'll try to take some photos to put on here later this week!) 

2. A dog that is like ours when we want to pretend we have one. My parents dog (Odie) is always available to take for walks. I am thankful that we don't live very far from my parents and can just go get him as needed! He is our dog-on-demand. We love him!

This is him after one of our walks recently. Hopefully he was tired and calm that night!

3. Best friends who have adorable babies. Lindsay & Andrew had Olivia on Monday, October 3. She is just way too precious!! I could snuggle her all day!

Olivia is 1 day old here in the hospital.
4. Fun outings on weekends with the fam. My dad, bro, Edwin & I went to the Mariners game last weekend in Seattle for a day trip. We went to a pub for dinner first, and then watched the game. (the Mariners lost sadly) I am not a huge baseball fan but I AM a fan of adventures, road trips, fun food, and my family.



Seats in the nose bleeds
 5. My mom who had a birthday recently. Happy birthday momma!! We celebrated with dinner at our house. I made her favorite soup - French onion - which I happen to love as well. (like mother like daughter....) We had pasta for dinner followed by apple pie as a birthday cake. Sadly I didn't take any pictures!! (I wasn't feeling so hot this past week with a cold, my mind must have been a bit foggy)

6. An extra day off work.Who isn't thankful for an extra day to sleep in and rest?!



7.  My sister coming home soon. Yay! Albeit only for a very short time for a medical appointment, but nonetheless, if we can at least have dinner as a family one night, I'll be happy!

A selfie of us at my bachelorette party :)
I hope everyone has a great long weekend full of friends, family, and food! Bring on the STUFFING! (I don't eat turkey, but I looooove stuffing. My mom makes some outside of the bird for me. Best mom ever!)

Sunday, September 25, 2016

a September post

September 19th marked the one year anniversary of the day Edwin & I got married. It really does not feel like one year; this year has flown by. People always ask "how is married life?" and depending on who it is, I will go into more or less detail. However, the answer is always that it is great. How bad can life be when you live with your best friend and love spending time together?! It truly has been the best year of my life and I couldn't imagine it any other way. (cheesy, I know, but 100% true!!)




To celebrate, we went to Oregon on the September long weekend. On the actual day of our anniversary, Edwin gave me a giant bouquet of roses & lilies, and we went for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. With his new job, and not working insane hours, we were able to go into Vancouver for dinner and still be home by 8:30 and relax on the couch for a bit. It's so great!!


Here are some other things we've been up to this month:

Lindsay's baby shower. She is due in 2 weeks - can't wait for baby snuggles!!

The cake I made. It turned out okay from the front, but gosh, I didn't realize icing could be so challenging...

It was my Grandpa's 92nd birthday recently. We had a dinner at the golf club, and it was insanely good. (same golf club from our wedding!) This buffet even had sushi and the most amazing smoked salmon. The sushi honestly tasted like I had ordered it from a sushi restaurant. I was so impressed! This was my first plate filled with some sushi and random salads :) The food at the golf club is always so good!

Grandpa giving a birthday speech, before the pianist entertainer came out to perform.

Grandpa & Jen. Oh and it was also my grandparents 69th wedding anniversary the day after his birthday. Some pretty big milestones for them!

Edwin & I hung out with Kalan one night as his dad was out of town and his mom, Eliza, needed to go to an appointment and do some errands before their trip to Greece. (I am so jealous!!) We played cars, built some Lego, and read some books.

I decided to rearrange my spice cupboard. Wild, I know. However, I had recently bought some Epicure spices from my cousin Julia, and didn't have room in my usual cupboard. I used to keep the spices to the right of the microwave, but have since switched them to the cupboard on the left, which is several inches wider. Then, Pants built me some little wooden shelves for them so they are in three elevated rows. I can see them all now!! This is SO much easier than having to shuffle around a million spices just to get to the ones in the back.

Today, we went to the 1st birthday party of my cousins daughter, Eleanor. This is the birthday girl with my mom.

Adorable pink cookies.

Lastly, at this time last year, Edwin and I were on an insanely fun honeymoon in Central America. We were in Panajachel, Guatemala on this day last year. (here is my blog post from this part of our trip if you want to see more pictures!)

At the Sunday market

(the stairs we were standing on in the picture above, leading into a church)
Sidenote, if anyone is interested in going to Guatemala in the next 6 months or so, there are some super great flight prices out there right now. (~$400 round trip including taxes!) Thanks to my cousin Adrien for sending me the email with the info! 

Have a great week!