Monday, August 26, 2013

where to start?!

The grass is always greener on the other side hey?

On one hand, I feel like when I don't blog for a while it's fun because I have substantial things to talk about. On the other hand, it almost feels like too much and then certain things don't get the proper credit they should!

Remember my bucket list?  I think the next thing off there that I'd like to do sooner than later is acquire a nice camera and learn to take decent photos. (Maybe this lovely lady can help me...) I feel like I take a lot of photos and end up putting them here, on Instragram, Facebook, and wherever else, and they are fine, but not amazing. I mean, I don't know how realistic it is that I will end up keeping said decent camera with me at all times to use to its full potential, but it would be nice to have the option I think.

Below is Emma in our backyard. We apparently have moles, and this silly girl has taken it upon herself to stick her head in the holes and growl. She ends up with dirt ALL over her face and in turn, it ends up all over the house. A Spier household disaster. My dad has had to do some "fancy" covering up of the holes.

I don't even know if I mentioned that my little sister bought a new car? It was about a month ago - I apologize that I didn't blog about it sooner!! She had her beloved green machine until, um, a slight boo-boo earlier this year. RIP green machine. This is her Volkswagen City Golf! We all know I have a soft spot for VW's...remember my GTI? My favorite thing about little sisters car is that is has SEAT WARMERS! HOORAY FOR WINTER!

Last Sunday, we went to a family dinner at the Vancouver Golf Club with my momma's side of the family since we had some extended family in from England. My grandpa's cousin's son (Phillip), his wife, and their three children were visiting from there. I apparently met Phillip when I was three, the last time he was here, and he told me I looked much different since then. It was really cool to meet family that I have never met! Little sister and I now want to go on a vacay to England. How fun would that be?! We took a large family photo on my uncle's camera which would have been much better to post, but once I have that I will upload it here. For now, my siblings and I will have to do.

It happened to be a certain brother of mine's birthday the same day we went for dinner above. We joked that we planned it for him...but we definitely didn't! Lucky kid got an amazing, fancy, buffet dinner!! I love eating at the golf club. We always have family dinners there with my grandparents and it's always good. This time, there was also sushi!! I was in heaven. And, it was really yummy sushi to boot. I wanted to take photos of my dinner so badly but figured it wasn't really the most appropriate setting. Sorry!!

After dinner, we went to Browns for some drinks with a bunch of friends to celebrate Pant's birthday. He is 24! Wild hey. It makes me feel so old every time my baby siblings age another year. Below is the cake Jessica made for him, an adorable turtle. (some sort of inside joke...) Bonus: it tasted amazing too. It was mint. Good job Jessica!

In typical Indian style, she fed him the first bite of cake.

Last week, my friend Christy-Dawn and her husband Jesse bought a HOUSE! I am very, very excited for them. Plus, this means they have more bedrooms to fill now!! Yay! They had me over for dinner on Thursday. Jesse is quite the cook I must say. This was their first time eating at their dining room table. I felt so special!

Jesse made yellow shrimp thai curry that was to die for. It was accompanied with basil rice and a yummy chopped salad that Christy-Dawn made. It was a really fun evening! Their house is really, really great. It has nice big windows, a ground level entry AND a lower level entry, and a fantastic master bathroom.

I loved these two cookbooks at their house. I think the color alone of the Spain cookbook is fantastic, and well, I am in love with cookbooks and cooking.

I went to Bard on the Beach on Saturday night and saw Hamlet. Guess what? Going to Bard on the Beach was on my bucket list! I love being able to cross things off that list. The play was really entertaining. I was slightly disappointed since it said it was set in the 21st century, so I wrongly assumed it would not be in Shakespearean old English. It was. It was fine, but it just makes it a little challenging to fully comprehend what is happening. I really enjoyed doing something different though, as opposed to seeing a movie on a Saturday night. It was a fun date night :)

My sister sent me the below funny e-card. Here is to my fellow clean freaks! True Spiers, I know you all understand this...

Last but not least, this lovely thing was my best friend last week. (hint: it's my headset at work) There was a typhoon in Manila and a lot of people weren't able to get to work, which meant there was lots of overtime to be worked. I worked ten hour days pretty much all week. It was busy and I was tired, but I made some extra monies which I was definitely okay with. Oh, and my trail mix snack made it into the photo.

What does everyone have planned for this week? What about the long weekend? Happy Monday!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Taste of Africa

Since my friend Amanda has been home from Africa, she has been craving a dish called banku. Lo and behold, there is an African restaurant in our own Surrey! Who knew. It's actually in Whalley; and not really in a great area, but we went for a little adventure to go try it this evening. It's called A Taste of Africa and it's just a small, not super pretty inside, interesting smelling place. I was a little apprehensive at first, but I am always up for trying new things.

The lady who was there clearly owned the restaurant, and she was very welcoming and her and Amanda ended up talking about Africa. Amanda was in Ghana and Morocco, and the lady was from Ghana! So they chatted for a bit and this lady was so excited that we wanted to eat her food. Amanda ordered her beloved banku, an okra stew served with a bread/dough ball, and I ordered tilapia with rice and plantains. Oh my gosh. I cannot even express how much I love plantains. I should have ordered a to-go order. I could eat them all day. We ate them in the Caribbean last year and I've also had them in Toronto; but have never ordered them in my own city. Delicious. Have you ever eaten them?

Amanda's banku was pretty tasty! You dip the bread into the stew and eat it that way. My fish was actually quite flavorful and yummy! The only thing I was not prepared for was that it came on my plate as the WHOLE fish. I am not used to that at all and was a little weirded out. It came with jollof rice with a hot tomato sauce on it that was amazing, as well as some coleslaw and a few veggies.

I am not sure I would rush back for the food; but if I find myself there again, I would definitely order something different just to try it. There was a spinach stew I was debating between. I was glad that it made Amanda happy to be there and reminesce about her recent trip. Plus, I do enjoy supporting small businesses like that. You could tell that this restaurant is this lady's pride and joy, and she was really sweet. On our way out, I noticed an award on the wall for "African entrepreneur of the year" so that made me feel happy for her. She said she is going to Ghana next summer to visit her family, but will have to shut down the restaurant for the two weeks she is away. I can imagine that would be stressful; having a job that if you aren't there, it simply doesn't function. At all. Anywho, props to her!!

My tilapia dinner

Amanda's banku

Monday, August 12, 2013

things things things

Since I know you have all oh-so-dearly missed my 'thing posts', here is a doozy for you! (Is that work even in the dictionary? Is that how it's spelled?!)

'How Blackberry Fell' (you know my opinions on's been falling for a loooong time!) (Also, a more analytical, financial, and realistic article here. Could IBM be a buyer?!)

A concise, mathematically formulated method to know how much alcohol you need at your wedding (married people - how accurate is this?!)

How happiness is defined by some well known women (I can't pick just one I agree with!)

All we know about the Royal Baby's nursery (and some suggestions for them!)

Carmelized onion, gruyere, and bacon pizza whole wheat crust. YUM. (sans bacon pour moi...)

I am going to see Hamlet this Friday at Bard on the Beach - SO SO SO excited! Have you been?

Have you heard of Joe's Table Cafe in Burnaby? I want to go! Such a positive, great, idea!

I went for a drive to Burnaby Mountain on Thursday - it seriously has the most gorgeous view of the water AND the city.

Jack & I at our makeshift "high school reunion"!

I love the corner store in Kits with all the gorgeous fresh flowers. I don't even know what the corner store is called?! We walked to get sushi for lunch and I was tempted to buy some random flowers for myself. I am such a girl - I adore flowers.

Sunset at Kits beach

The whole 6% of our graduating class...long story. The reunion was cancelled. I don't want to talk about it!! (haha)


Have a great week everyone :)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

hello world...'s me, Shannon! Missed me?!

Yay for long weekends! I love the feeling of having SO much time to do whatever you want and actually feel relaxed. I did lots this week! I finished house/dog sitting my buddies Buster & Benji, I saw the fireworks on Saturday, and I went to the Mariners vs. Blue Jays game on Sunday in Seattle with my fam. Twas super fun! The garlic fries are a big selling point of bringing me to a baseball game...
My little sister is off to Vegas tomorrow morning. It's kinda weird; she's never really been on a trip without any of us family members! (let alone to Vegas...) She is a smart cookie so she will be ok. (hopefully...) My brother is also away this weekend in Calgary to play in a baseball tournament. So, looks like it's just the roommates & I around here this weekend!! (read: parents)

My bestie Binzy is getting surgery tomorrow - GOOD LUCK BUDDY!!!!! We will be having some major hospital/house parties if anyone is interested in joining. I'll update with a hospital room number tomorrow morning. (kidding!) xoxo

This is a super cute article entitled "How Do You Decide Who To Marry" according to children - so funny! My sister thought Amanda & I would get a kick out of it. Speaking of Amanda, she just got back from a major adventure to Spain, Morocco, & Ghana! Pretty fun hearing about her adventures. I am stealing a photo from her Facebook album to put here! This is in Morocco at a mosque - the third largest in the world!!

Happy short work week everyone!!