Sunday, April 28, 2013

teensy, tiny hotel rooms

I have previously blogged about tiny living spaces, including the inception of micro-suites for purchase in Surrey, illegal micro-apartments in Hong Kong and America's smallest apartment.

Now, I have come across an article on the world's smallest hotel rooms. Known as capsule hotels, these spaces are literally an enclosed bed that your body fits into. They almost look like a bunch of  enclosed bunk beds in some images! Where some are in airports and meant for business travels, other are simply being used as a cheap alternative for sleeping accommodations for travelers. The article is super interesting (and has lots of photos!) as prices vary insanely from location to location. Some include TV's and wifi, others are simply a bed.

I really don't think I could stay in this for more than a few hour nap, if that. MAYBE I would be convinced if it was under $10 and I was between flights and really in need of a snooze, but I could definitely not call this home for any period of time longer than that.

Would you stay in a sleep capsule?

The things we come up with nowadays for convenience and affordability are insane!!!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

another fave commercial

In lieu of not being able to find the Kool Aid commercial, I thought I would share my other favorite commercial right now! Again, I laughed so hard out loud at this one...

taking back saturdays

Yay, little sister is out of the hospital! She came home Thursday afternoon, and just has to go to the Jim Pattison outpatient clinic for a few days to get her antibiotics via IV. She sees a doctor on Monday when she goes and he will update her on her status regarding if she needs more antibiotics or what the plan is from there. She definitely seems better; more energy and a bit more color back in her face, but she's definitely not 100% yet. She is in her friends wedding party next Friday as well as has to write all her finals this week (that she missed) so hopefully she continues to improve!!! She has been quite a trooper with the amount of needles, IV's and medications she has been on...

She will probably kill me for putting this photo on, but this was her for the past week in the hospital...she barely spoke the entire time we were all there!

Her personal drug counter

I took her on a quick venture into the world on Thursday night! We went to the mall for about 20 minutes.
Today is Saturday and I am not working. That is the wildest thing in the entire world!! I have worked Tuesday to Saturday for probably the past six years; and am now working Monday to Friday at my new job. I really didn't mind my Tuesday to Saturday schedule, because I enjoyed being off on Mondays when everyone else was going back to work, but I am kinda liking being off work when the rest of the world is off work!! My schedule at the Y was always such a gong show; so I am excited to have a "regular" schedule now. Yay for taking back Saturdays!!

Since my week has consisted of working until 5, going straight to the hospital, then going home to bed around 11/12, I haven't had much time to read my usual blogs, newspapers, websites and such...but that's what I've been up to this morning! I have some lovely fun things from around the web for you below. Happy reading and happy weekend!!

Saw this job posting...a new Browns location!! Yay! 

A mac-n-cheese recipe with potato chips; a grandma's macaroni imposter!

Ramp pizza (ramps are wild leeks - who knew!)

Hahaha, a funny article on JCPenny's CEO severance package (via the Onion of course)

Anatomy of a cheese plate (Lindsay sent this to me a few weeks back! We've upped our nacho night to cheese platters lately...fancy hey?)

One man's story about quitting his Wall Street job to work at a restaurant...

The McDonalds menu is getting 3 new items in hopes of getting sales up (they were down 1.2% this year)

The sarcastic answers Siri was programmed with

A video: what $5 gets you in food around the world

Defining your personal core values

Facebook headquarters new park on its roof (coming soon!)

Have you guys seen the new Kool Aid commercial?! I laughed SO hard!! Sadly I can't find it online...but I will keep looking! Read about it here for now :)

Some weekend inspiration:

Thursday, April 25, 2013

some updates

It makes me sad when I can't blog for a few days!! I mean, I don't have thaaaat much to say, but I kinda of feel the way about blogging as one would about a diary: it's a bit of an outlet and means of expression. I feel like I am heard, even if no one reads this!! (ironic perhaps?)

I've mentioned that my sister has been sick lately & on Monday, after a 4th visit to the emergency room, she was admitted to Surrey Memorial. She was (and still is!) a bit of a medical mystery since she has a wide variety of symptoms and test results. The most likely diagnosis is mono, and then from that she got a whole slew of infections and issues from it - strep throat, bladder infection, lymph node infections, and an inflamed spleen and liver. She's on morphine, antibiotics and steroids currently via IV and has been getting a bit better...slowly. She was very out of it Monday & yesterday; and today finally had a bit of color in the face, a teensy bit more energy and sounded a little less like Kermit the Frog. She has been in the hospital for 3 nights now, and we are hoping she can come home tomorrow if she improves a bit more overnight. She still won't be 100%, but she will hopefully be on the mend and at least able to be at home. Nurse Mom has the "day shift" and hangs out with little sister from 9 am until 6 or 7 pm; then Nurse Shannon has the evening shift and goes after work around 5:30/6 and stays until she falls asleep around 11 pm. Dad & Pants come usually at some point in there; and today she had lots of visitors which was exciting! Thanks to everyone who came to visit & keep us company.  Love ya lil' sis!! Hopefully you will be back to normal in no time now - I don't know how many more crazy next-door-neighbors we can handle in this unit!! haha ;)

In other news, I have started a new job!! I told myself originally I didn't really want to blog about work, just because I wanted to keep this fun and personal, but I think I did end up talking about work a bit over the years... I just thought I would tell y'all about my NEW and exciting job since it's just a little factoid of my life; but I will elaborate on this when it's not almost one a.m. and I am exhausted after working and then doing my "nurse" shift! (hehehe) More on the job front at a later date...

Some midweek inspiration from my friend Brenden

Sunday, April 21, 2013

I went to visit baby Kalan & his parents on Friday. He is growing so much and is way too adorable for his own good right now!! We snuggled lots and it was lovely. Baby snuggles seriously make the world go 'round. Sigh. Love him!


Momma 'Liza

Kalan & I

Lindsay & I went to a Zumba class on Friday night as our friend recently started teaching them. Have you ever done Zumba?! It is one of the most fun workouts I have ever done!! (not that I am a workout pro, but ya know, I've tried 'em all!) I've done Zumba a handful of times at the Y over the years and would love to start going to them more regularly. You seriously don't even feel like you are exercising; you just feel like you are having a sweaty, loud, fun dance party! We really, really enjoyed ourselves and our friend, Stephanie, was a great instructor. Lindsay & I then went to Mongolie Grill for dinner as a healthy, vegetable-intensive alternative to our usual Red Robin burger & fries :)

Ain't this the truth!!
Little sister was back in the hospital yesterday. She seriously has been through the ringer in this odd sickness she has! They did a fourth test for mono yesterday and it was positive after three negative tests, so I guess that is the diagnosis now. She seems to be a teensy bit perkier which is good! She looks slightly like a drug addict currently because of all the IV insertion marks in her arms! The nurses can never find her veins so that's a challenge, plus she has gotten blood taken or had IV's in about 10 times in the past two weeks. Poor kiddo!

I went to the Vaisakhi parade yesterday with Jessica & her mom. It's always so fascinating to me as there are so many people (Surrey's is typically the largest parade in the world outside of India!) and there are dancers, singers, the parade with floats and the best part: more Indian food than you could ever imagine. I ate: saag (my absolute favorite), chana masala, pakoras, samosas, aloo tikkis, paneer pakoras, and a few sweets. The sweets are a little TOO sweet for me though so I didn't have many - I do really like gajarala though! It does get insanely packed with people who start getting a little pushy & shove-y which is frustrating; but inevitable I guess with the sheer volume of people there. Always a fun cultural experience!!!

Just one of my many plates of food...

Jessica & I
JC comes home from another cruise stint today - yay! She was only gone for a month this time but regardless, it's always fun when she is back in town.  I get to see her tonight, hooray!

Have a good week everyone!!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

to-do lists

I have a bunch of lists in the notepad on my phone entitled "to do", "to buy", "to make" etc. These are just 3 of the million notes I have; sometimes I just need to write down random things or keep track of certain things. For this, phones are super convenient and I would be lost without my lists. For the record, I am totally a list person. I make lists at work, at home and for anything possible. I absolutely love the feeling of being able to cross something off a list. It makes me feel so productive!

I have had this "to do" list for a long time, and I FINALLY got some items crossed off of it this week! They were bigger things that were time consuming, hence why I kept putting them off...  Yesterday, I brought my car in to get the brakes checked (they sounded like you were on a jet engine when braking downhill...) and got them replaced. The day before that, I got a spare car key made, a task that had been on the list since I bought my car over a year ago. It didn't come with a spare key for whatever reason, and I figured it's a good thing to have just to be on the safe side! I was extra productive when I got this done because I dropped off my car & key at the Honda dealership and walked to get my eyebrows threaded while I waited. Two birds with one stone right there - TWO things off the list! Did you know a spare keyless entry key is $200?! I just about had a heart attack when I heard that...but it's kinda necessary in the event I lose my one and only key I have! I renewed my car insurance this week, paid a bill I kept forgetting to pay, mailed something I kept forgetting to mail...and voila! My "to do" list got whittled down to just a few small things that don't have a time frame on them. YAY! Do you make to do lists?? Are they ongoing or do you make them and accomplish them all right away?

I made pizza for dinner on Monday and even made my own pizza dough! I'm not much of a baker, as I have mentioned before, because I scared of things with exact measurements. Bread, pizza dough, dough in general is daunting to me for fear that it won't work and I will wind up back at square one of the dinner conundrum. Alas, my pizza dough turned out quite well as it was fresh & light. I used a Bobby Flay recipe and it was pretty simple which was nice. Since I had the time, I made 5 separate pizzas and each member of my family got to choose their toppings. I am far too good to them hey?!

Dough pre-toppings & being cooked (I wasn't too concerned about the shape of them!)

My pizza with my toppings of choice: onions, mushrooms, red peppers, corn, broccoli, basil & artichokes.

4/5 pizzas...

...and the last pizza! My brothers, of course, with all the cheese...

Have you heard about the new super small condos in Surrey? I can't decide on how I feel about them. On one hand, I feel like they are super practical for someone who doesn't make a lot of money and also doesn't spend a lot of time at home. However, if you plan to have people over a lot and spend quality time in your home, you may drive yourself crazy in 297 square feet...thoughts??

And a few more interesting things for you, my friends...

Babies who will rule the world one day

A funny male parody of the newest Dove campaign video!

The rise & fall of the gourmet cupcake business

Is Ross Gellar the worst F.R.I.E.N.D?!

The 27 most impressive Harvard business school students (I seriously don't even understand what some of these people do it's so complicated & 'big picture'!!)

We'd love for you to come to the Run, Walk & Roll on Sunday, June 2!  (a major fundraiser for the Center for Child Development that I am on the committee for)

Monday, April 15, 2013

another thing post

If the world was a transit map...

Did you know April 12 was National Grilled Cheese day? Check out some wine pairings for grilled cheese

Vaisakhi is in Surrey this Saturday! Who is coming with me? (I went last year & it was a really good experience!)

Todays 'awesome thing' (I do this when I eat at Subway ALL the time)

Get to know chef Curtis Stone

Super cute idea for the groom & his men in lieu of boutonnieres 

Where do YOU rank on the list of the worldest richest people

PS - did you read about my speed dating experience yet?! It still makes me giggle a bit!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

a classic: grandma's macaroni

My poor little sister has still not been feeling great at all! In the past week, she has seen 5 different doctors, been to hospital twice, had blood taken 4 times, had a lumbar tap done, had a CT scan done, had IV antibiotics administered for a few days and taken umpteen varieties of medication from home. And they still aren't totally sure what's wrong with her!! The most likely diagnosis is cervical adenitis, which is infection of the lymph nodes. She seems to be getting maybe a teensy bit better as of today, but it's a slow process! She's been quite a tough cookie though and will definitely pull through ;)

...yes, I am the mean sister who takes photos of her in her misery! It's fun to look back on right?!

In other news, on top of being Nurse Shannon, I've been cooking & baking lots! It's a good occupier of my spare time right now; and I think my family appreciates it.

Enchiladas (this picture does not do them justice, as my sister said...)

Banana & Blueberry muffins

I learned the family secret recipe to make Grandma's Macaroni today! (well, it might not be secret but I just didn't know it...) This is a huge hit in our house. My grandma used to make it for my mom & her siblings growing up (hence where the name came from in our family!) and now my mom makes it for us quite frequently. We all really love it and it truly is a great comfort food. It's cheesy, pasta-y and has ripple chips crumbled on top. What more could you ask for?!

I bought a pair of earrings from my friend Christina's online store Citizen Grace. They came so fast in the mail (like three days fast!) and I am wearing them today. I really love them! They're a great fashionable day-to-day earring.
I've been painting my nails fun colors lately but am having serious troubles with not wrecking it two hours after I paint them. It seems that no matter how much time you sit around and let them dry, they always smudge a little!! It's so frustrating. Also, they chip within a few days which means I have to take the nail polish off and/or re-do them. Any advice?!

I had lunch with Christy-Dawn today (sushi - yum!) and she gave me a birthday gift. On top of the super cool license plate cover that says "Honda Maui", she also got me birthday cake Oreos. They are insanely delicious and totally taste like birthday cake!!! The entire box will definitely be gone very soon at this rate... I forgot to take a photo of the license plate cover as I was too enthralled with these darn cookies!!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

what 2000 calories looks like

As seen on A Cup of Jo, a cute/interesting graphic video on what 2,000 calories looks like in food we eat quite frequently. Yikes!

my speed dating experience

I told you a little while ago that my friend Amanda & I bought Groupon's for speed dating through FastLife; we went last night so I can share my official experience with y'all!

So, we pictured this to be exactly like what you see in the movies and figured therefore it would likely be different than that because nothing in life is ever like the movies. Wrong! It was exactly like something out of a movie! See picture below: this is just a Google image but this is exactly what it was like. (don't worry, I wasn't snapping away photos all night! I thought about it though...) All the girls sat at numbered tables and that was our permanent spot for the evening; the boys moved every 7 minutes when the host rang the bell. (seriously, straight from a movie scene!!)

It was held at The Edge Social Grill & Bar which is right on Granville street. I'd never been there but it was actually quite nice inside! We had some white wine sangria prior to beginning the evening and it was delicious. I'd go back there just for some drinks for sure! The event was held in a separate room they had that I guess they rent out for things like this or separate parties or whatnot.

Prior to going, I had googled some questions to ask during speed dating, just out of curiosity to be prepared! (read them, some are pretty funny/random/definitely wouldn't ask!) But, as things like this go, it's waaaay easier to make conversation on the fly rather than ask a series of questions like a job interview. I definitely wasn't nervous because I think I am a pretty decent conversationalist, but I was just curious as to what kind of things to talk about without repeating myself and asking the exact same questions to every single guy! I tried to be creative but who knows, maybe it worked maybe it didn't!

So, the way the whole thing works in terms of "matches" is that you get a card at the beginning where you write your own name on the top and then each of your "dates" names in an ordered list. Then, there is a box to tick either "yes" or "no" meaning you either want to see/contact this person after the evening or you do not. You then hand this card in to the host who then will email everyone saying who our "matches" were; meaning we both checked the "yes" column and will be given each others email address. 

Amanda & I made sure we didn't sit too close to each other so that we couldn't make eye contact, nudge each other and giggle the whole time. So, we both went on 16 "mini-dates" and they were each 7 minutes long. There were definitely some cool people there & I would say overall that it was a really great experience!! The host reiterates at the beginning that you don't necessarily have to be in love with these people, but it's just a good chance to meet new people and even just make new friends. That was a nice reassurance before it all started.

Amanda & I were discussing it after and we were proud of ourselves for trying something new. I like to think that I am open to trying new things and will try most things once; just to at least say I have experienced them. I think that's important in life to do things that you wouldn't normally do & expand your comfort zone. If you don't try new things, how do you learn & grow into the person that you can be?!

Lastly, we paid $24 for this with the Groupon that was regularly $70 but I don't think I'd pay that much for it in the future. Maybe if it included dinner or a drink or something, sure, but the payment is simply for the event which I don't necessarily think any more than $24 is worth it. But I guess the flip side of that is that there would likely be people signing up for the events that aren't super gung ho about it which would defeat the whole purpose of having them!

Anywho, that's my debrief on the evening for my dear blog readers :) I will gladly answer any questions if you are curious!! haha! (I was SO curious of how it all worked prior to going!)

how animals eat their food...

...this might be the funniest YouTube video I have seen in a LONG time!! My sis sent me this and I was literally laughing out loud the entire time. My favorite is the lizard or the the video & tell me your favorite one!!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

your daily readings...

The 3 things you probably didn't know about social media... (I didn't know any of them & I thought I was quite up to speed on my social media knowledge!!)

The 10 richest sporting events in the world (I was shocked that soccer is 4 of the 10! Who knew!)

Oh my gosh - I thought this article & its concept was so fascinating. Should we start charging people to send us emails? I really don't know how realistic this whole thing is, but I 100% understand the notion behind it. It is so challenging to do everything that is on a regular to-do list at work let alone deal with the millions of emails that are constantly coming to your attention & require an action. Even if it's just a reply with your opinion or thoughts, it is still time consuming, but is it likely still necessary for your job or for the company? Definitely not always! If you read the article, let me know yours thoughts. I am so intrigued by this whole thing.

A beautiful article (warning: slightly long!) with an interesting perspective on the world of spices.  (seen in this blog post!)

Check out the new HootSuite office! Fancy!

Motorhomes in this day & age: this one is $1.9  million...what the heck!! Seen via the article on the Globe & Mail entitled "How to vacation like the Queen" (which I naturally was drawn to...)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

just little things

I re-found this blog I used to read & thought I'd share it! It's not necessarily a sit down and read blog, but it just shares a "little thing" each day that is really great that we don't always think about. In times where we all too often take far too much for granted, it is nice to think of the little things that are really, really awesome in life; even if they are small!

Here are some recent favorites...

PS - I want this job but am not American! Darn.

PPS - A cool account on Twitter writes quick thank you notes daily.

PPPS - Another way to appreciate the little things: 1000 awesome thing

PPPS - All of Phoebe's songs from Friends...  so funny. I remember the majority of these episodes!! I think my favorite has to be the classic Smelly Cat though...

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

My poor little sister has been super sick lately with an unknown disease...she potentially has strep throat, mono or some other neck infection that her & my mom couldn't remember the name of. She has been home from school lately so we have been watching episodes of New Girl season 1. Have you seen it? It is a hilarious TV show & makes me actually laugh out loud for almost the entire 30 minutes. Literally. The main character (Jess) is so quirky & amusing, and it's just a fun, light-hearted show all around. Watch it!!

I got my hair cut last week. It's significantly shorter than it was; and considering I hadn't gotten it cut in a loooong time, it was quite a shock as to how short it went! I am never super picky about my hair length and color (within reason, obviously) because hair always grows out and it's always changeable. So, I just figured I may as well have a bit of a change and see how I like it. It barely fits into a ponytail though - which is tricky for any girl!! I haven't dyed it in about 6 months so my hair is, for the most part, it's natural color right now. I might just leave it for a while and not dye it; let it be au naturel for a bit. However, as I age, those darn grey hairs become more and more prominent...there's too many to pluck nowadays...

We had a baby shower for Eliza, Justin & baby Kalan this weekend! Isn't he just adorable? Look at those cheeks!! I didn't take too many photos but I will find some and share them at a later time.

I was driving into Burnaby recently and the sky was insanely gorgeous.

Yesterday, Amanda took me for facials & out for dinner for my birthday. We got facials at Mint and they were done entirely with all natural Eminence products. Facials are so relaxing and my skin now feels like a million bucks. Then, we went to Osaka for dinner which is up there with some of my favorite restaurants EVER because it's so delicious and quite entertaining.If you are a teriyaki sauce fan, they have the best one there.

Heidi took me to a bistro in Maple Ridge for breakfast called Big Feast. It's seriously the cutest little place ever. Their food is very original (I had the crab benny - this is mine above) and Heidi had the 'big feast' omelette pictured below. They are really friendly there, and make pretty much everything from scratch with organic, sustainable ingredients. All the 'things' in their restaurant were previously loved by other locations so it's got a very home-y feeling to it yet it's still definitely trendy. I would definitely recommend it!! I love trying new places & supporting local businesses.

And last but not least, gotta love coffee....! #AMEN

Friday, April 5, 2013

right now...

I am hungry for...
...spaetzle! (soooo delicious...I've had it at my friend Amanda's Oma's house a few times!)
...baked ricotta dip
...tempah sandwiches (apparently tempah is a fantastic meat alternative - I am going to have to try!!)
...quinoa stuffed peppers (minus the turkey)

I am reading...
...about this trip to Cracker Barrel Cheese (mmm....who doesn't love cheese??)
..."Stop Instagramming Your Perfect Life" (courtesy of this lovely ladies blog!)
...100 Rules of Dinner (seriously, these are great & funny! #14 intrigued me - cinnamon in chili?!)

I am thinking about...
...bedrooms with lots of yellow to be happier (because everyone could probably use some more happiness!) (this article is specific to work, but I have just applied it to every day life in my head...all still very true!!) pretty flowers are!

And now...anyone up for some dancing this evening!?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Happy Thursday! Did you know our family are huge Scrabble fanatics? Huge may actually be an understatement. We recently played on Sunday, my siblings and I, and I think it goes without saying who won... obviously the smartest sibling. (that'd be me)

It was gorgeous at the beach this weekend! White Rock was super duper busy but pretty nonetheless.

...when the sun is shining it's perfect weather to sit on the patio and have a Corona and sushi with a friend! ( spicy tuna rolls!)
The pier is under some construction and was closed for a while, but it was back open this past weekend. You can see in the far distance there is a crane still though.

I made spaghetti & meatballs for dinner last night, accompanied with caeser salad. I made real meatballs for the meat-eaters and fake meatballs for the non-meat-eaters! (me) I didn't make dinner tonight because I made turkey soup on Tuesday and there is still leftovers from that PLUS spaghetti leftovers!!

In other news... 

On one of my favorite blogs, she recently posted about this graphic novel for foodies! Looks like it would be a cool read. On the same blog, she also recently posted about making your own salad dressing.  I'd be intrigued to know how to make my own caeser dressing actually. Any ideas or tips?! I don't even know where I'd is a recipe from the Food Network; it looks easy enough but who knows... recipes can be decieving!

Did you know Diet Pepsi is specifically for women?! But it's ok, women make better decisions than men according to this. (maybe all that Diet Pepsi is going to their heads in a good way?!)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

fun thingys

Is this the Facebook phone?!
A SlideShare on 26 great time management skills - I need to learn to prioritize my "to-do" lists better. I love making lists but sometimes get a little caught up in simply crossing things off it...

Coming November 2015!!
Minimal movie posters are super cool - seen via Pinterest
I'm in love. Seen via Pinterest...
Another fave song to blare in the car
Love these custom popcorn bags for a wedding after party! (I would TOTALLY have a wedding after party - cool idea!)  (PS - do you like orange & gray as wedding colors? Very original!)