Sunday, March 27, 2016

birthday weekend

31, here I am. It's super convenient to have your birthday fall on a long weekend because an extra day off surrounding your birthday is always fun! I was spoiled by lots of fun outings with friends, family, and Edwin. Before you say it for me, I am fully aware that really all I did was eat this weekend. Go figure! Here is what I got up to.

On Thursday, I went with some girlfriends & my sister out for dinner to My Shanti in South Surrey. My sister was in town for the week for some medical appointments, and although she was not feeling well the whole time, it was still nice to see her. I was so excited to try this restaurant as it was created by Vikram Vij, and lo and behold, he was there chatting with all the guests at the restaurant!

Jen, me, and Eliza. The restaurant is hard to miss if you drive by it: it has a giant sparkly sequin-like wall!

Fish pakora. All the food we had was so delicious! We got a bunch of appetizers to share, and then some main dishes to share, which was awesome so we could all try lots of things.

This is the channa masala. The big puffy bread things are called bhatura, and are like a thin naan with steam in the middle until you break it open. So fun!

Jen, Keri, Amanda, Vikram Vij, me, and Eliza. He was so nice and personable! A fun book club adventure!!

On Friday morning, Edwin & I went for dinner with my family (including my sissy) to the Roadhouse in South Surrey. I had my favorite breakfast burrito, and did not take any photos. Jen headed home back to Smithers after breakfast.

Later on Friday, Aunty Daphne invited the family over to celebrate March birthdays, Easter, and my cousin going away to Germany soon. It was fun, with lots of good food.

This photo was taken on my aunts dock. They have a beautiful view over in Port Moody!
On Saturday, Edwin brought me breakfast in bed, accompanied by a vase of tulips. (my fave) Breakfast was a Tim Hortons breakfast sandwich, hashbrown, and coffee. (Also, Tim's has a new eggs benedict breakfast sandwich! It was okay, but needed more of the sauce.)

Later on Saturday, we went for massages and then did a few errands. That evening, we went to the Boathouse for dinner. We chose to go to the one at Kits beach and wow, was that dinner view ever spectacular!

My drink is the Canadian caeser. A caeser with a prawn and pickles. Delish! Edwin had red wine to accompany his steak. (I had crab stuffed prawns: SO GOOD)
Today, Sunday, Edwin took me for breakfast to Cafe Deux Soleils on Commercial Drive. It is allvegetarian, and totally a hippie restaurant. The food is so good!! I love going there because its so different. Edwin isn't in love with it, for the obvious reason that there is no meat, but he tolerates it once per year for my birthday. (we went last year too)

This evening, we had Easter dinner at my parents house.

This is not the best photo taken on my moms phone, but it is Grandpa, Grandma, Pants, me, Edwin and my dad. We had turkey, potatoes, stuffing; the whole shebang!

Dessert was ice cream birthday cake - my fave!
My parents & brother gave me a spiralizer for my birthday. I've been wanting one for a while but was having trouble finding one! I am mostly excited to make zoodles: noodles made out of zucchini. Tonight, I did a quick test run with a potato.

It works wonderfully! Ribbons on the left, and then small & bigger spirals.
Now, Edwin & I are home trying to catch up on laundry and a few other things around the house. (he just vacuumed - bless his soul. My least favorite household chore.)

On the go this week, I am seeing Heidi & Lindsay on Tuesday, which is always fun. I'm also having sushi with Amanda on Thursday - also always fun! I also see a meal made with zoodles on the horizon this week, and maybe going to the mall with a birthday gift card. What do you have on the go this week?! I hope whatever it is, it is great! Have a great week!

PS - my birthday last year, in 2014, and 2013.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

a thing post

I know you've all been waiting for another food thing post, so here it is! Happy reading!

I recently read a Latin recipe that called for achiote, so I found a Latin food store and bought some. Now, I can't remember/find which recipe I wanted to make for the life of me!

Edwin & I recently were discussing the idea of growing our own food. (down the road, some garden veggies mostly perhaps!) We found this article: Is it cheaper to grow your own food? (spoiler alert: not really!)

An article about Latin food in Vancouver. Sadly, there are not any Guatemalan-specific restaurants!

Tourism Surrey has a new hashtag project for food! (#TrueSurrey) My Saturday night pizza was posted on their website recently. (have you guys had crazy bread lately? OMG - to die for.)

"Italian Cuisine Worth Going to Jail For" - I want to go!!

Last weeks dinner menu at our house was a bit ethnic:

Rice and beans, like we had in New Orleans. I think this is an easier said than done recipe.... my beans were fine; they had lots of flavor. But they weren't QUITE New Orleans style. I losely used this recipe. (Guess I'll have to go back to New Orleans to eat them again!)

Pad thai. I didn't really use a recipe for this one, since I semi-cheated and just bought premade pad thai sauce from Save On Foods. I did flip through a few recipes to see what was good in the dish, and therefore added scrambled egg, cilantro, jalepeno, limes, and chopped peanuts. This dish is definitely a make again! (and so easy if you just buy the pre made sauce!!
Do you have any good recipes that you love? Any staples I can introduce in our household? Our staples that we eat at least once every 1 - 2 weeks are fajitas (had them tonight!), pasta, and soup & sandwiches. When I asked Edwin what meal he thought was a regular for us, he said quinoa and vegetables. (don't believe him - he just doesn't like those things and therefore  thinks they are "all" the time. But we DO eat a lot of vegetables compared to his bachelor days, that is for sure. I can't even remember the last time I made quinoa!)

I always keep a running list in my phone called "To Make." I think I've mentioned this before? That way, when I am pondering what to make in the upcoming week, I can browse the list and come up with a new recipe or two I want to try out. Some of next weeks contenders are cabbage rolls and/or polenta. Have you ever made either of those? Any cool suggestions for me to add to my list? I love new recipes!!

Happy cooking & eating!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


We recently received some photos from Edwin's parents from the wedding reception they threw for us in Guatemala at the Crowne Plaza. They had received the photos after we left Guatemala and weren't sure how to send them to us once they got them back. Edwin's dad ended up emailing them to him in many, many emails - it must have taken him a long time! It was exciting to see them since this was 4 months ago.

Side note before you see them: we didn't think this was a very fancy party originally. We thought it was more of just a get together lunch, and didn't even know the location. Turns out it was at a very nice hotel and quite fancy! I wore my best sandals and we went out to buy Edwin a polo. Voila - fancy! Haha!)

This is when we entered the reception. The tradition in Guatemalan weddings is to have something that spills beans & rice over the newlyweds, symbolizing "may rice & beans be abundant in your marriage & family." Cute hey? (this picture was RIGHT before the rice & beans fell)

This was one of the best cheese platter appetizers I've ever had. I don't even know what the cheese in the middle was, but it had a little pesto on top and it was seriously delicious. Surrounded with caramelized onions, grapes, nuts, and fruit, I was in heaven.

You  betcha, we marimba'd again!

Left to right: Edwin's dad, Edwin's mom, Tio David (Edwin's moms brother), me, Edwin, Edwin's cousin Claudia (Tio David's daughter), and her boyfriend Josh.

We did a little photo shoot by the pool area, which was directly next to the reception/patio area. The photographer suggested fun drinks for some photos, which I think was a good idea!
Can someone take me back to our honeymoon? Or, if there are no good time travelers out there, can you send me to Central America again soon?! :)

Sunday, March 6, 2016

first aid

I am happy to report that I am officially certified in Occupational First Aid Level 2. Let me tell you about it!

Every workplace with x amount of people, x distance from a hospital, and with low/moderate/high risk workplaces is required to have certified people who can provide first aid to coworkers. I applied to be one of ours, as well as join the OHS committee. As you know, first aid is something I enjoy & have done lots of in my life, so I was excited that I was chosen for this role. (it is just supplementary/in addition to my regular full time position) Basically, I will attend to any first aid necessities while I am at work. (now that I am certified)

The course is a 40 hour course with an exam that is not included within that week-long course. I was excited for a change of scenery from work, and to brush up on my first aid skills. As it turned out, this course was actually quite intense! There were quite a few things that were new to me (standards for CPR have changed recently) and a lot of things that I just needed to review. (ie: the 'official' steps in which to approach a scene & deal with a person - there are far more than you would think!!!)

On top of the course itself, there was reading & homework each evening. I felt like I ate, slept, and breathed first aid/CPR last week. As I mentioned, on top of the course & the homework, there was a 6 hour exam on Saturday at 8 am. The majority of it was a practical exam, where you demonstrate the skills we'd learned in 4 scenarios. Then there was a written test as well. I was more nervous about the practical exam, because it is so nerve racking when someone is staring at you to do something and has a clipboard in hand!

This was me for a good chunk of the week. I have a bit of a sore back & knees now.... I'm getting old!

I was so nervous and might have had a bit of a melt down Friday evening. Then, I roped Edwin into being my patient and he studied/practiced with me for a few hours. Luckily, both the practical & the written exam went really well. I definitely over stressed, however it WAS a very intense course so my stressing felt justified. For the record, I got 100% on the practical portion of the exam! (I unfortunately never saw my written exam mark - she handed me my certificate, I knew I passed, and I was outta there!)

Now, HOPEFULLY none of the wild scenarios we had in the course actually happen at work. Nonetheless, being prepared as a workplace is the best idea to be on the safe side. I truly do think being prepared safety wise is great for everyone.

Have a great week everyone!