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!)


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?