Tuesday, April 28, 2015

thankful tuesday

I always have lots to be thankful for in this life of mine. It is nice to stop and actually think about these things once in while! I wish I could do these posts regularly, but as you know, my blogging frequency has decreased lately. (I apologize...)

Since I haven't done a thankfulness post lately, I think I have lots of "bigger" things to be thankful for! I feel like I could probably list tons right now, but I'll stick with the most interesting ones to keep my faithful blog readers interested.

I am thankful for this guy who took transit to work in Kits for 3 years. His most recent commute just to GET to work was a bus, skytrain, and another bus. It took at around 1.5 - 2 hours each way to & from work. Surprisingly, he didn't really complain about it too much! I am thankful that he is such a hard worker. We just got a second car last weekend and now he drives to work! The commute is 50 - 60 minutes each way now! It is a cute, little Chevy Sonic and will be a great commuter car for Edwin.

This was our meal out post-car buying. I am thankful for A&W every now and then, specifically onion rings! I haven't had A&W in a very long time, and this was so worth every bite. Our eating out, due to budget constraints pre-wedding, has been extremely limited so this was $20 very happily spent.

Thankful for friends with great kids! This is Kalan. He left the room for a second and came back wearing Edwin's slippers. This kid is hilarious. I love friend get-togethers & am very thankful for these friends and their kids.

I am thankful for these girls! These are my "book club" girls. Although we haven't read in a book in about...5 years... we still call ourselves that! We all have so much fun together. Now, our latest thing is doing themed dinner nights. This night at our house was Greek night. We've done Mexican, Indian, Japanese (sushi!), German, and now Greek. The next theme dinner is fondue. We are going to have to start getting creative after this....!! (any ideas?! Thai? French?)

Who am I kidding, I'm thankful for food & thankful that I enjoy cooking dinner every night. (my mom always says: "Wait until you've been doing it for 25 years! Then let me know how you like it." This is eggplant parmesean, with basil spaghetti., and chicken parmesean for Edwin.

Do you remember Sharon, Lois, & Bram? Lois died! I'm thankful for this children's show that was very entertaining, and that I still remember the words & actions to Skinnimarink!

I'm thankful that my Spanish classes are really great! I'm feeling that I'm learning a lot from them, and look forward to class each week so far. It is 8 weeks long, 1.5 hours in duration and it was only $50! It is through the City of Surrey and I'm hoping to take the next two levels as well. (assuming I do okay with this one!! haha)

I'm thankful for this little ring bearer of ours, Jack. He came for a sleepover on Friday night!! He went to sleep amazingly, and ate lots of pancakes in the morning. This was on our walk home from the park where we found lots of rocks, teeter tottered, and swung. I think I accidentally taught him a new phrase: "That would be silly!" I guess I say it a lot, and he said it to me about something after our park adventure...too funny.  Kids are such sponges at this age!!

I'm thankful for this mini whisk I bought at Bed, Bath & Beyond for $2. It was the best $2 I've spent in a long time!! I was in need of one for a while, and it has served me very well so far. When making salad dressings in small containers, or mixing flour & water to thicken a sauce, a spoon just does not cut it. I love this mini whisk. Oh, and it's yellow so it matches my kitchen. Bonus!

I'm thankful for this wedding of ours coming up in 5 months!!! We got our invitations two weeks ago, and I started assembling them today. I gave out our first invite today to my parents!! So exciting. (I know, we are a little early on the invite front...oh well!)

I'm thankful for Baby Sales that is on its way & due in June! This was at their baby shower yesterday. I love when my friends have babies!!! This baby boy is going to be majorly adorable. I just know it.

What are you thankful for?

Sunday, April 26, 2015

unique diets

Interestingly enough, I came across two articles this week about two very unique types of diets. I know I wanted to blog about the first one since it involves vegetarianism, but when I found the second one, I was fascinated.

Flextarianism: someone who "consciously reduce their meat consumption without cutting it out entirely." While this type of eating lifestyle is being explained, something struck a chord illustrating the reason why you'd become a flexatarian: "Eat healthier, prevent animal suffering and fight climate change without the awkwardness of requesting alternative dishes at social events or sacrificing the occasional bacon cheeseburger." Preventing animal suffering was not necessarily why I became a vegetarian, but not supporting animal suffering was definitely a main driver.

Flexatarianism is not the same as vegetarianism, but it is similar. I've always felt very guilty being a vegetarian and going to peoples houses for dinners. If they don't know ahead of time, do you you tell them? Or awkwardly decline the meat they've cooked? Either option is uncomfortable in my opinion. If I tell them ahead of time, it feels like I'm saying "please cook something special that I will like for dinner that you weren't intending on making." But if I don't tell them, I have to explain on the day of and then THEY feel bad! ...which is why I've eaten meat a few times. For example, I went to an Indian cooking class at a co-workers house one time, and we made vegetarian items, which was great! Then, at the very end of the class, she told us to just quickly try the lamb curry she had made for her family for dinner. (lamb, of all the meats!!) I tried to politely decline saying I was full, but when a spoon is put in front of your face, it's hard to start saying no because of vegetarianism! Therefore, a little bit of lamb I did eat. I really, really don't want to offend anyone, so I'd rather sacrifice my own principles than offend them. Am I a bad vegetarian? Probably. But I'd rather it this way!

Zero-carb diet of ALL steak: literally this diet is 100% rib-eye steak, once per day at dinner. (this article was seen on A Cup of Jo) I was enthralled reading this article at so many points. For one, they only eat once per day. As an adult, sure, maybe, if I wanted to try this I could see it. But they have two children, ages 8 and 10, who are also on this diet. I can't imagine how this is good for children! The interesting part, which you will see if you read this article, is that the children don't go to typical schools. It didn't even specify that they are home-schooled! I have a feeling this family lives a bit of an 'alternative lifestyle,' if you will...

Also, how boring would it be to eat the SAME thing for dinner every, single night?? I mean, I hear meat lovers do love a good steak, but it will surely lose its luster after 4 weeks of steak dinners!! They said they don't even season the steak!! Imagine what their fridge looks like...

Do you identify with any of these diets? Would either of them interest you to try?!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

around the web & things these days

I haven't done one of these posts in a while, but below are some fun/interesting/not-so-interesting reads for you if you want to peruse the world wide web. Also, some updates on life these days are included for fun. Happy surfing!

Wedding things

Did I tell you we registered for wedding gifts?! That was SO fun!

We ordered wedding invitations from Minted.com - in the proofing stage currently! I've been really happy with this site & their process. Plus, there is usually a 15% off code on the site.

Life things 

Edwin & I are going on a May long weekend mini-getaway to Osoyoos! We found a good deal here. My family used to go to Osoyoos all the time growing up and I haven't been back in at least 10 years. I'm excited!

We also want to go see this at the Vancouver Opera. It's not my usual style, but it should be fun!

Food things

How much of a picky eater are you? Besides meat, and a few other things, I am pretty non-picky!

67 short pieces of advice you didn't ask for. Worth a quick read through!!

Milestones has my all-time favorite spinach & artichoke dip. I want to recreate it!

How to throw an inexpensive dinner party. This made me laugh because fajitas/tacos are always a go to of mine - not for cost but because everyone always likes them!! 

Um, a grilled cheese bar?! YES PLEASE!

Other (fun!) things

A fellow blogger friend WON a trip for her family to Disneyworld through Breakfast Television!! How cool would that be?? So excited for them! (They are also our wedding photographers)

We played this board game over the weekend with friends. Have you played it? Do you like it? So far I like it - but I think I still have a lot to learn!

Would you buy a McDonald's franchise? Here's the cost if you wanted to.

Tomorrow is hump day - happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

happy birthday to me

As you likely know, I turned 30 last week! Hooray - I survived it! Of course, I couldn't have survived it without the fantastic people in my life. I had seriously the best birthday ever. Thank you to everyone who called, texted, Facebook-posted, came to hang out with me, and spent time with me on or around my birthday! I appreciate having such amazing people in my life to ring in my 30's with me. And, I'm happy to report that so far, the 30's are great! 

My lovely fiancee sent me a gorgeous, giant bouquet of tulips & hydrangeas at work on Thursday. So fun to get flowers delivered at work!

My Grandma & Grandpa took us out for dinner the golf club on Thursday night. (more to come on the food & dinner!) Lo & behold, little sister came home from Smithers to surprise me!! I honestly had no idea - so that was exciting. Thank you so much for dinner Grandma & Grandpa!!

Thursdays are pasta night at the golf club. It's essentially a pasta buffet: you pick your toppings, pasta, and sauce, and a chef sautees it up right in front of you. There are tons of veggies, meat & seafood for options to put in your pasta. I choose a bunch of veggies, salmon, shrimp, and had alfredo sauce on it. It's so delicious and fun to custom make it. (this picture is before pasta - salads!)

Pasta! Of course, served with a little wine, and bread with olive oil & balsamic vinegar. True Italian night!

Did you know that Odie & I share a birthday? We do! My parents got him on my birthday last year, and since he is a rescue dog and we don't know his actual birthday, we've decided March 26th it is.

It's things like this that sometimes I miss about living at home - lounging on the couch with the fam. Jen was playing with Odie & his new birthday toy here.

On Friday, Edwin planned a surprise birthday dinner with tons of friends & family! I had no idea about that either - so many surprises happened for my birthday!!! This was right when Edwin & I got there. It was at Ebisu on Robson, and I really enjoyed the food a lot!! I definitely recommend it.

My book club girls! Keri, me, Eliza, Amanda, & Lisa.

My lil' sis - love her.

Christina, Heidi & Lindsay. My high school girls. We go wayyyyy back and have all turned 30 in the past 3 months! And are looking fabulous, I might add...

My man & I - I'm the birthday princess! (see below

I saw this cake at Price Smart (the new one in Fleetwood!) and loved it. I told Edwin he should get it for my birthday (semi-joking) and voila! Princess cake. I obviously wore the tiara for a while that night.

Amanda helped plan the party on Friday night, and I appreciate that so much!

She also took me for manicures & pedicures on Saturday. Lisa & her daughter Janessa came as well. It was oh so relaxing and girly!! Thanks girls :)

On Sunday, Edwin took me for brunch to Cafe Deux Soleils on Commercial Drive. I went there once in high school like 13 years ago, and loved the food. It's all vegetarian!! It's heaven for me! Edwin even liked the breakfast - even though it didn't have meat. After that, we went to the auto show. This is now the vehicle I'd like!

Thank you SO much for all the birthday love!!!! I look forward to my 30th year very much.