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!

Sunday, September 18, 2016


Edwin & I went to Oregon on the long weekend as a semi one-year anniversary trip and just for something fun to do! Our actual anniversary is tomorrow, September 19th, and we will be going out for dinner.

We left bright & early Saturday morning (6 am!!) and used our new Nexus cards to cross the border SO fast. It was their inaugural use, and we have quickly learned that they are very worth it! We had absolutely no wait on the way down, and literally NO questions were asked of us. He literally said  "have a good day." And we continued on. I know not every time will be like this, but hooray for less border waits! (and to be able to use the special line at the airport)

We drove to Cannon Beach that day, ordered lunch (fish & chips) and sat on the beautiful beach to eat. We walked down to the iconic Haystack Rock and then wandered around the city part and went into some stores.

(impossible to get a picture of us with the rock without other people....)

After Cannon Beach, we drove into Portland, where we were staying. We ended up going out for Mexican dinner that evening and wandering around downtown Portland.

On Sunday, we also wandered around downtown Portland and went to a brewery. I had no idea Portland had so many! We then went to a Guatemalan restaurant for a late lunch/early dinner. This has been the only Guatemalan restaurant we've come found in the West Coast! It was super fun to go and have authentic food and also buy things from their market & bakery. We even bought some Guatemalan beer! (called Gallo in Guatemala, but Famoso in the states - some sort of licensing issue with the name apparently)

Beer testing

The best pretzel in the world

At Los Chapines in a suburb of Portland

Our food. Edwin had a beef dish of some sort that I cannot recall the name of, and then we shared plantains (that always come with sour cream & refried black beans) In the bowl with the blue cloth is tortillas!

My dish was called jocan. It does have chicken in it, but I just took the chicken out and gave it to Edwin. A lot of true Guatemalan dishes have meat in them, and I wanted to get something authentic. This was almost like a soup/stew that was spicy with beans and güisquil. It was really yummy!!

On Monday, the labour day holiday, we went to an outlet mall. We did buy a few things, but with the dollar not being so great, you really have to do the math to see if you are getting a good deal. After shopping and some lunch, we headed home and arrived around 9 pm.

It was really fun to have a mini getaway. I always love a good road trip!! 5.5 hours to Oregon is really not too bad. (it's nothing compared to Smithers - haha!)

We don't have any concrete plans for an upcoming vacation, but Edwin's 16 year old niece, Stephanie, will be coming to visit us for the month of December.  We are hoping to do at least one trip to a colder place in the mountains, where she can see tons of snow. I am really excited for her to have this experience!!

Happy Sunday evening - have a great weekend!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

a Vancouver day & a few other things

Today, Edwin & I went on a Vancouver adventure. This weekend was the Vancouver Latin American Film Festival, and we have been a few times in the past for Guatemalan movies. This year, we saw "The Greatest House in the World" or, "La Casa más Grande Del Mundo." Nicely put, the movie was much more simple than we anticipated, and only one hour in length. It was about a girl who had to herd sheep by herself for the day as her mother was busy having a baby. She looses the sheep, and then finds them. The end! It was in Spanish with English subtitles, and some parts were in Quiche (said like key-chay - there is supposed to be an accent on the e but I don't know how to make it on my keyboard!), a native Guatemalan language, with English subtitles. However, I do like supporting the VLAFF and doing things where I can see Latin cultures. 

Since we were in Vancouver, we decided to go to the pop up zero-waste shop on West 4th. Ever since attending a movie on zero waste a few months ago, I've been trying to be more conscious of how much waste I contribute. This pop up shop is basically a place where they sell local and organic food, and you bring your own containers to bring it home in. (love this) They had sugar, flour, dried fruit, some vegetables, bread, and also things like natural deodorant etc. We just bought some of the bread they were selling, made with all local and organic ingredients and no yeast. ($6) I was more interested in seeing what kind of things they had, but had brought a few jars and containers just in case! The thing I always struggle with is the challenge between being health conscious, not spending a million dollars on groceries, eating local/organic, and not being wasteful. How is one supposed to do all of those things?! Ideas are welcome! 

Speaking of, where do you do all of your regular grocery shopping? We are doing a test this month and shopping at Superstore for the month. We normally go to Save on Foods, but have heard Superstore is less expensive for the same things... so, we shall see how this experiment goes! 

In other news, here are some fun things from around the web: 

This is our current Netflix series we are watching - it makes me want to go traveling!

Will & Kate are coming to Vancouver soon!! I want to see them. And the kiddos.

The city of Surrey is having more pop-up junk drops coming up - get rid of all your old stuff for FREE! 

I made falafel recently and it was so yummy! I like a good protein alternative once in a while.

The falafel is hard to see (hence why I didnt instagram this picture!) but I made donairs essentially, with tsatsiki, lettuce, cucumber and onions. Greek salad on the side. (Edwin got chicken - falafel isn't his thing)

Yesterday, I had brunch with my book club girlfriends, including one husband and a few children. We went to the Roadhouse Grille in South Surrey. Our friend Kristina's daughter Alicia is visiting from Toronto, so it was really fun to see her after so long. Kristina and her family moved away about 8 years ago, and I've only seen the a handful of times since then.

Well, we are off to my parents for dinner this evening, our usual Sunday evening activity! Have a great week ahead :)

Sunday, August 7, 2016

a thing post

Some things I found around the web recently... enjoy :) 

I loooove these Kate Spade earrings (they were on sale last week, should have bought them then!)

My beer picture was in the newspaper last week!

There is a PIZZA ATM now - so jealous of this school.

How cute is this story about the Prime Minister of Singapore's wifes purse? Made me a bit teary eyed!

... this one also made me teary eyed about a wedding.

Enter to win a White Spot gift card from Miss 604! (you have until August 9)

I HAVE to see this movie. It looks hilarious!! Coming Christmas this year.

Are you a BCAA member? Check out the restaurant deals you can get with it!! (I had no idea!) 

Edwin & I are thinking of going to Picnic en Rouge at Holland Park on August 11. Cool idea!

... we are also going to Boston Pizza tomorrow night for Fan Appreciation day. $5 pizzas!!

Lastly, I think this is just great: the First Lady & James Corden carpool karaoke.

Have a great week ahead!!!

Monday, August 1, 2016

hello, august + long weekend

Edwin & I actually didn't have any plans for this long weekend. I was okay with that, as a little relaxing is up my alley. We ended up doing quite a bit though, and still got some good relaxing time in. Here's some deets on what we got up to this weekend!

Friday: Edwin & I went to the Surrey Night Market. We went two summers ago as well, when the night market was first debuting. It was not great, but we figured it was because it was just getting started. Upon going two years later, we've learned it hasn't changed at all. This is unfortunate, because we like to support local city events and vendors, and its so close for us compared to the Richmond night market! We did, however, enjoy the food we had  and there were quite a few options. We had shahi paneer, donairs, poutine, and a bubble waffle ice cream thing. We watched some of the stage entertainment and walked through the vendors. (which doesn't take long - we didn't buy anything) We were there for about 1.5 hours in total, and unless it gets a little larger, I'm not sure I'll return. It was not busy at all when we were there, either. The food was great, and we didn't have a bad experience. It just is a struggle to call it a night market when you have the real deal in a neighboring city.... maybe it gets busy on non-long weekends? Maybe it's better for kids? I don't know...

Shahi paneer from Gateway Pizza

Bubble waffle with ice cream & oreos

Mushroom poutine
Saturday: We did our usual grocery shopping during the day as well as some errands. Saturday night we went to our friends Rob & Amandas as they were having some people over. They just moved into a new townhouse in Langley and there is a super cool feature: a rooftop patio!!! We had some drinks, some appys, and played Cards Against Humanity for a while up there.

Sunday: We met up with Amanda & Rob in Stanley Park, rented bikes, and biked the seawall! It was SO FUN! I really enjoy leisurely bike rides in the sun, and with a view like Stanley Park and Vancouver, you can't go wrong. We also saw the tail end of the Pride Parade - we were hoping to see Justin Trudeau but no dice.

Then, we went to my parents for dinner with my grandparents as well. Pants is gallivanting in Europe, so he was not there. (he comes home tomorrow - I'm excited to head about his travels!) My mom made yummy lasanga (a meat one and a veggie one, thanks mom!) and it was delicious. I love our Sunday dinners at my parents!! (yay for no cooking on Sunday nights) (sorry, I didn't take any pictures - next time!)

Monday: Edwin & I went for a picnic and some sun bathing at Centennial Beach in Tsawassen. (for something different!) We ate tuna sandwiches and soaked up some sun near the ocean for a few hours. It was lovely.

Now, we are just going our usual back-to-work things: I made lunches & ironed some of Edwin's shirts and he is doing his accounting duties, as we lovingly call them. (paying bills, etc...) Any tips on good ironing?! I am new to this...

Have a lovely (short) week everyone!!! Enjoy the sunshine :)

Sunday, July 17, 2016

happy 60th birthday dad!

My dad turned 60 this past Saturday - can you believe it?! We thought doing something a bit more special was warranted for this, hence we did a little family trip to Osoyoos. My dad is a big fan of the water, warm temperatures, and beer. This combined all of those things together easily!

Growing up, our family used to go to Osoyoos every summer with our whole extended family on my moms side. My mom even went here as a kid before she started taking her own family. Therefore, it has a bit of nostalgia associated with going there! 

All in all, we had tons of fun and I think everyone got to relax too, even with 7 adults sharing a townhouse! We had some other family members whose stays in Osoyoos overlapped with ours a bit. We got to see Aunty Lydia, Uncle Ken, Aunty Catherine, Uncle Bruce, and my cousin Kristin! My parents also brought Odie so that always kept things interesting.
Heading to go float in the lake. Oh how I love floating! (Edwin opted out of the lake floating - he is more of a heated pool kinda guy)

My cute parents.

Sister selfie.

Pants mini golfing at Rattlesnake Canyon. Classic thing to do in Osoyoos!

Headed to wineries, cutest sign ever.

At Church and State winery - the one with the fun/sassy wine labels. A must if you visit Osoyoos wineries!!

Another must-see winery in Osoyoos: Platinum Bench. Not only do they have good wine, but they have a winery dog (Wally) and they make homemade fancy sourdough breads. Delicious!! (not cheap, but delicious!)

I  love this one - the whole gang! (at Platinum Bench)

Odie was particularly cuddley this day.
A classic Spier past time.

Another classic Spier past time - hahaha! We got the birthday boy a shot for his birthday when we had dinner at the Sage Pub.
Alas, we must return to reality and head back to work tomorrow. I am also only a TINY bit envious of my little brother who is headed to Europe on Tuesday...Him and 5 friends will go to London, Amsterdam, Paris, and Dublin. Only a little jealous... !!!

What are your summer plans? Are you going anywhere? Happy mid-July!