Friday, August 30, 2019

hello again

Wow, this is my second blog post within the same week! Pretty wild. I came up with a few more random things to put into a "list of things" for you.

- A quiz (I did quite poorly - it's hard!)
- Edwin is booked to donate blood this Tuesday - have you donated recently? (I am not eligible to donate for another 5 years)
- Had lunch at Cosmos Greek restaurant in White Rock yesterday. SO GOOD. Garlicky tsatsiki of my dreams.
- Went to an adorable home goods store in White Rock as well, the Handpicked Home. They also sell some baby things and I bought Gabby some Minimocs. I love buying products made in Canada and from a local store.
- Currently reading: Bringing Up Bebe (only a few chapters in, but like it so far!)
- Are you watching the Amazing Race? We were sad that this couple was eliminated recently! 

Need to go get the baby who just woke up from her nap now :)

Happy long weekend!

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

two months

It has been just over two months since I dropped by to say hello. Here I am, dropping by again to say hola! Maybe after I have surgery I will blog more as I will be stuck in bed for a bit? We'll see! I think most are aware, but for those who aren't, I have a double mastectomy scheduled for September 18 after a stint with breast cancer. Still a few more steps after that, but glad that things are truckin' along towards the finish line. I debated blogging about the whole thing but I feel like it would be a long post/lot of into/if I really want to remember the not-so-nice things about it all...I'll continue to ponder. Anyways, Edwin & I made a to-do list for the next few weeks pre-surgery to do as a family while I am feeling okay. Pending I continue to feel okay, we will get a few fun family things in before the 18th. Fingers crossed!

If you are reading this, thanks for still reading! Here are a few things I like these days, maybe you will too?!

- What I want to get Gabby for her birthday (can you believe she will be 1 in September??)
- Gabby's fave book right now
- I haven't actually bought any clothing from here, but I love this shirt and may buy it!
- My fave new waffle recipe these days

Thought I had more things to share... but... can't find them! Anywho, hope you have a lovely rest of your August!

Saturday, June 22, 2019


Just dropping by to say hello to any readers who are still around by chance! I haven't decided to officially retire this good ol' blog, but as you know, I don't blog much anymore. Partially because life is a bit hectic these days, and partially because I don't know what to blog about. (also - I think I only have like 6 readers! hahaha)

I hope you are all doing well!

Monday, February 25, 2019


I have always loved reading, but haven't been doing too much of it in the last few years for whatever reason. Maternity leave is a weird thing: on one hand, I am incredibly busy and days go by so quickly yet I couldn't even tell you what Gabby & I did. On the other hand, I have a bit more time on my hands for things like reading while she sleeps on me. The other reason that I got back into reading is due to the ease of doing it from my iPad. I can download any book I want within seconds and begin reading it right away. So so so convenient. Plus, while Edwin & Gabby are already asleep, I can still read as I don't need lights on. (she is still sleeping in our room)

Here are some of my favorite books I've read so far this year and my thoughts on them:

1. Little Black Stretchy Pants by Chip Wilson - I loved this book; partially because I feel a bit of a 'connection' to lululemon being that it's local, I love the clothing, and Edwin worked there. I love biographies, and this wasn't necessarily a biography, but it was close. Chip Wilson really did take a lot of risks in his business strategies which is how he was so successful and that was interesting to read about. He is definitely a unique person!

2. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (I am 1/4 through the second book in the trilogy, China Rich Girlfriend) - "Oh how I wish I had billions of dollars like these people!" (my brain, while reading this book)

3. The Girl in the Ice & The Night Stalker (2 of 6 books in the Detective Erika Foster series by Robert Bryndza) - an English detective solving one mystery at a time. Nothing wildly unique about these, but I do like a good mystery book!

4. Rain by Tim Antonides - a story of a couples struggle with infertility. This was written by one of my elementary school teachers! It was very well written and I enjoyed the characters in the book.

5. It's Okay to Miss the Bed on the First  (and other life lessons I learned by my dog) by John O'Hurley - this was an adorable & funny book about how dogs can teach us so much in life about how to life our best lives. Plus, you definitely know the author - google him!

There have a been a few others I've read but these are my favorites so far. I hope to continue reading lots and have downloaded more that I am looking forward to: Becoming (Michelle Obama), The Tattooist of Auschwitz, and the rest of the two series above. If you have any suggestions for me, please let me know! 

Happy almost-March!

A picture of my adorable little girl to end this post :) (since I don't post very often!)

Friday, December 7, 2018

a holiday thing post

Did you know that lots of people are doing holiday giveaways currently?! Here are a few of my favorite "12 days of Christmas" that I have been entering:

Since I am home lots these days, I have been catching up on my Netflix-ing! Here are some fun shows I've watched lately. Do you have any recommendations for me?! (series or movies)
  • The Princess Switch (an adorable and predictable chick flick)
  • Kim's Convenience (a funny, easy-to-watch comedy series)
  • Life in Pieces (another funny, easy-to-watch comedy series that is so relatable to family life)
  • I Feel Pretty (I didn't looove this movie with Amy Schumer, but it was entertaining nonetheless)
  • Grace & Frankie (a heart warming comedy series about two friends) 
Do you have any cool contests I should be entering in my spare time or shows I should be watching?! :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Happy December!

Everyone told me time would fly with a baby, and wow, is that an understatement! How is my baby girl 9.5 weeks old already?! (I told myself I'd tell people "2 months" when they ask in person but I like to keep track of the exact time here!)

She had her two month shots yesterday and that was definitely tough on me, emotionally. It was over so quick for her so I don't think it traumatized her too much physically!

I am looking forward to Christmas with her and having lots of family time. We have a Spier family dinner this coming Sunday already!

Here are a few photos of her recently. I know I am bias, but cute is she?!

She smiles lots lately! It's pretty fun!

She loves this swing. Thanks Grandma!!

This is what a lot of our mornings look like :)

Allllll the layers to go on a walk - I am trying to go on days when I am mostly home for some entertainment for myself, some fresh air, and it makes the dog very happy!

On her play mat where we do tummy time as well sometimes. Someone isnt a huge fan of tummy time though...

We got some lights on the front of our house and a few other decorations up so far. We are hoping to get a tree soon when my parents are back from their vacation as we usually go with my dad to get one. Gabby is going to get her picture taken with Santa on Friday which I am looking forward to. (well, mostly just her in her adorable little red dress & headband!)

I hope your December is going well!

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Gabriela Cathleen

Our baby girl arrived on Sunday, September 30th, 2018. We were so in love with her immediately!

I typed out her birth story in a Word document, but I will spare you the 6 pages of reading that :) I am excited that all those details are written down though and we can look back on them for years to come.

September 29, the day before Gabby was born. Such a big belly!
In a nutshell, my water broke Saturday night and we went to the hospital. Edwin, my mom & my sister were at the hospital overnight and my dad, brother & Nenad came during the day on Sunday in anticipation. As contractions were ridiculously painful, I opted for an epidural. That made the day SO much more relaxing and enjoyable and I was able to rest for a bit.

The doctor came in at 7 pm and I was 6 centimeters dilated. He said he would come back in 3 hours to check on me. Shortly after he left, I started feeling a ton of pain and pressure; far more than the contractions from overnight. Nothing was helping after some time so the nurse checked me: I was 10 centimeters dilated at 7:45pm and Gabby was born at 8:55 pm!

My mom, sister & Edwin were all in the room when Gabby was born. I loved having all of their support & my sister took a few photos! I think someone was nervous...

We loved the name Gabriela (and Gabby for short) and Cathleen is my sister's middle name. We were sent home from the hospital Monday night at 11 pm (such a weird time to drive your newborn home at!) and the next few days were quite a blur! (a great blur, but a blur nonetheless)

Here are some of the photos we got taken at home when she was 1.5 weeks old by Amanda Coldicutt Photography.

We were not expecting SO much hair! It's so dark & adorable. Definitely got that from her father!

Brother & sister ;)

 We love you so much, Gabby baby!

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!)