Tuesday, December 23, 2014

our out of town guest

Our dearest little sister is in town for Christmas! She came in on Sunday morning, and leaves bright and early on Christmas day. Originally, she was only coming here on the 23rd and leaving on the 25th, however her work partner graciously offered to work a few of her shifts for her. That was super duper nice of her, otherwise she would have only been home for about 48 hours!

My mom and her girls
On Sunday, we promptly went to the family favorite Ricky's for breakfast, followed by a visit to see Odie at my parents house. Then, my family came over for dinner at our house and I made my sisters dinner request: pasta with pesto sauce, chicken, veggies, salad, and bread. (oh and apple crisp for dessert - I make it all the time though so it's not too exciting!) We then went to The Taphouse for a drink. (aka the new Mirage!)

Odie the Christmas puppy - this is his first Christmas with us!

The appetizer I made for dinner on Sunday! I saw this idea randomly on Facebook (I think) but didn't actually click on it so I have no idea where it came from. Isn't it adorable?! It's just cheddar & mozzarella cheeses, tomatoes, pepperoni, and rosemary as the "tree branches."

Yesterday, I worked during the day and had a girly evening with Amanda. We went for sushi at a place we'd never been to in New West called Okonomi Sushi where they serve only pink sushi rice. How cool is that?! It is patent pending and apparently it's quite nutritious for you. We then painted our nails gold. (we know, we are pretty fancy! hehehe)

Today, my mom, sister & I went out for lunch with my Aunty Catherine and cousin Kristin to Cactus Club. Keep in mind there are like 6 restaurants in Smithers...that's about it! I think little sister enjoys eating out when she is here!! I then came home and wrapped presents while my brother and sister went to the mall with out me. Apparently they were buying a "Shedwin" gift and I wasn't allowed to go. I still have a few left to wrap, but those gifts aren't home yet! (they are coming home from work with Edwin today...)

I spy some presents that are possibly for Edwin under our tree!
Tomorrow, we are doing all of our Christmas activities. My Grandma and Grandpa are coming over for turkey dinner (which my dad was working on brining today) and we will do presents tomorrow night as Jen's flight leaves at 7 am on Christmas day. Although that's a tad early for me (and likely everyone else in our family), I am so so glad she was able to come home for Christmas!!! It would have been super weird for her not to be here, especially since it is her first Christmas living in good ol' Smithers.

In other festive news around here, Edwin & I went to The Nutcracker  by the Goh Ballet on Saturday night. It was amazing!! I'd never been to a ballet before, but this was so entertaining. Plus, I didn't realize that I surprisingly knew quite a few of the songs from the ballet. (you would recognize them too!) The dancers are incredible, and the music is really enjoyable. It was a great date night - I even wore high heels!

I know these are really not the greatest photos, but this was some ballroom dancing happening!

Classic ballerinas.

The curtain closing.

We had a Spier family Christmas brunch last weekend, with the whole gang minus Jen, Meryl, and Meryl's fiancee Evan.

Lastly, we have what I call Christmas tulips these days. Aren't they fun?! I like them because they are unique & not your typical tulips.


Monday, December 15, 2014

a food thing post

A few things around the web food-related:

Pizza waffles. Who would have thought?!

Food photography tips.  (I guess my first tip would be to acquire a great camera...)

I need these tips: 5 unexpected ways to use wonton wrappers (I still have some left from the raviloi adventures!) 

Baked broccoli nuggets. After beet fritters, I'm not sure I could convince Edwin of these...haha

I NEED these tea spoons

10  best ways to use cream cheese for the holidays. (isn't cream cheese good with ANYTHING?!)

This article cracked me up: "All the Comments on Every Recipe Blog"

Quinoa sushi. Amanda is allergic to rice, so we are going to give this a try! I'm intrigued.

Samosa stir fry. All the flavors of a samosa, just not deep fried! Must try.

Another must try: pizza with egg on it!

Last but not least, I'll leave you with a fun picture of pears, just because they are a fun color!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

thankful sunday

I'm thankful for so, so much these days!! What are you thankful for??

1. We got our Christmas tree yesterday! I don't know why I was insanely excited, but I was. I must have told Edwin about 80 times during the day how excited I was. It's our first Christmas in this house, so I think just overall that concept to me is very exciting.

We went with my dad to Rona as he was getting a tree too, and that way we could put it on his roof rack. He is also a Christmas tree pro, so that was helpful! Thanks daddio!

2. Heidi & her adorable kiddos. On Thursday, it was Heidi's birthday. Did you know that we've been friends for 25 years?! We met in kindergarten, and on the first day, I went home and told my mom: "I have a new best friend, her name is Heidi, and she has long yellow hair." I'm sure you've heard that store before, but it just still amazes me that it's been so long! Yesterday morning, Lindsay & I babysat our favorite trio of kiddies while Heidi & Tim went for breakfast and to do some Christmas shopping. They are seriously extra adorable. Love you guys!!!

Jack was reading to Harrison.

Julia was all smiles after gulping down her bottle!

Somehow, we managed to get a photo with all 5 of us looking at the camera! A 5-some selfie is pretty impressive, I think.
Happy birthday Heidi! Let's bring back the Barbie birthdays & fancy party dresses...maybe next year?? xoxo
3. A fun place to work. I think I forgot to tell you about this, but I went on a team outing with my work colleagues a few weeks ago. We went to an indoor trampoline park in Langley and actually had tons of fun! I hadn't been on a trampoline since I was maybe 15, so I thought maybe I wouldn't remember my super-duper jumping skills, but it was pretty easy! We were there for an hour, and I probably would have been okay with just half an hour. Boy, is trampolining quite the work out! I was pretty sweaty after a while. Apparenty they have workout classes there too that would be fun to try!

This is us!

A trampoline selfie. Note: that is the foam pit behind me. Only jump into this if you want to spend quite some time attempting to get out of it. I had to have some help...

This was a fun photo shoot! (also a bit sweaty...)

4. Work Christmas parties. Mine was last Friday at Eagelquest Golf Club, and Edwin's is this Wednesday at Dockside Restaurant. (I'm excited for some good seafood at that one!) 

 5. Power outages. Okay, so I know they aren't great, but we try to make the best of it because, well, what else can you do?! We've actually had a few lately. A few were quite brief, but there was a car accident not far from out house two weeks ago and it was out overnight. We put some sweaters on, snuggled, and lit some candles!

 6. Food. In general. I made french onion soup a few weeks ago and remembered how much I love it! Highly recommended for this winter season.We are really trying to not eat out as much these days to assist the wedding budget project, so making new things at home is always fun! (my beloved soup was also in the Province Gastropost last weekend - can you spot it?!)

 7. My "book club." Remember when we actually used to read books!? Now, we primarily just get together to hang out and have girls nights. We also have 2 relocated members, so its a bit different now! Min lives in Victoria & Kristina lives in Toronto, but we all still keep in touch. We ordered Indian food, and our new plan is every time we hang out, we are going to do a different ethnicity/type of night! There are talks of fondue, Greek, Japanese and much more!

Left to right: Lisa, Eliza, Keri, me, Amanda

8. Our family Whatsapp group. I think I've talked about this before, but it's so nice that even though my sister & I don't live at home anymore, we all still talk ALL the time. Probably too much, some could argue! My sister sent this to us a few days ago and I laughed a lot:

9. My friend Christina Wagner. I met her at Kwantlen, and then we actually ended up working together upon graduation. We sat directly beside each other and ate lunch together every day. In October last year, she was diagnosed with lymphoma. She went into the hospital early this year for cancer treatments, and was unfortunately subject to every single complication and side effect one could incur. She passed away last Saturday after a lung surgery complication, at the young age of 26. She will be missed very much!! I'm thankful I got to know her, even for a short time in our lives.

10. Getting to see JC while she was home! She just came back from a 6 month cruise stint, and was only home for 5 days before heading to Arizona for Christmas with her dad. Then, she's off on another 6 month adventure. She will be back in time for our wedding next September though, yay! It's always fun to see her and also hear about her adventures. We made some yellow daal for dinner, in true JC & Shannon fashion!

Monday, December 8, 2014

a birthday post

Today is my little sisters 23rd birthday - can you believe it?? I remember when she was born!! My mom let me have somewhat of a say in what we were going to name her. I showed my strong & honest dislike to quite a few names at the ripe age of 7, and ended up liking the name Jennifer. Matt used to call her "Jeffiner" because he couldn't say her name properly. How did this little Jeffiner grow up, become a policeman, and move to Smithers all of a sudden?! Time flies when you love your fam!

Fun fact about my sis: my mom still calls her Jeffiner to this day sometimes.

Bonus fun fact about my sis: my dad calls her Barney or Barney-oh to this day because of her strong, STRONG love for Barney. (we don't let things go around our house, trust me!)

Extra bonus nickname fact about my sis: we all currently call her Ben, Benny, Benners, or Ferf a lot too. Poor kid - we don't really call her Jen. Maybe when you're the youngest you get the most nicknames - is there research on that?!

Love you Ferf! 

I used to have this super cool app on my phone that did photos like this - I miss it! I used to make my family do this with me ALL the time. This is about 6 years ago. Oh the things my sister has put up with over the years with me!