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Sugar, spice, and a pinch of GLAM

Archive for February, 2018

WORKversary!

2016

Hello, dolls! Hello, March!! <3 Today marks my first year at my current job. When I look back to the past year, the first thing that comes to mind is how I have learned to be patient…like really really patient. I decided to make a change because I want a better schedule. I am tired of leaving baby A before he is even awake and coming home to him with only an hour to bond. I wasn’t sure if I could get a job that has a different schedule but the same position (and let’s be honest, no pay cut!). With lots of prayer and faith that things will get better, a job that was unexpected came up…so here I am, enjoying every night and weekends with my baby A.

I mentioned that I learned to be patient, and I think it’s because of all the times that I wanted to give up, I would just think of the things that I had to sacrifice to get where I am. I am NOT a morning person, so when I was told that I have to be in the kitchen by 5AM, I thought I wouldn’t last. I had to wake up at 3AM to pump milk for baby A and leave before 4:4AM0 to get to work a little before 5AM — I really thought I wouldn’t make it after 3 months LOL! But here I am, on my first year surviving each day with a smile. I think the biggest test of my patience is the fact that I am used to running a kitchen a certain way and I feel like I have to approach things in a different way…somehow pushing me to forget the majority of the things that I learned from my previous jobs.But hey! I have never been happier and more satisfied…especially with how things are going with our family <3

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To commemorate my workversary I would like to share a glimpse of what I do at work.

Here are the specials that I made during my first year as an Executive Chef <3

You will see that I used beets and heirloom tomatoes like crazy. Since they were in season, I used them graciously for over 3 months.IMG_2926A

Seared Rockfish with Red Beet Gnocchi and Buerre Blanc (more…)

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New Jersey Diaries: Summer 2015

07.2015 : Summer Before A

Hello, dolls! Hello, Sunday!! <3 Spring is fast approaching so here I am dreaming about all the activities that we will do as a family. The weekend that I am looking forward the most to in spring is our anniversary! I am excited because it is going to be our first big trip as a family this year. I am already getting comments from friends asking me why we are bringing baby A to our trip… since it’s our “anniversary”. Truthfully, it’s because I already know we have 2 trips lined up this year without him — I kind of feel like that’s enough for a year to go on a great adventure just the 2 of us (for now at least lol). Also, I do not want to wait until summer to go on a big adventure with my A boys! Besides, we have a bigger one planned after baby A’s birthday <3

Anyway, it’s amazing to see what we did a year before A was born. How we had no clue we are going to be parents sooner than we thought. Weekend trips were pretty easy before, we could be out the door in 10 minutes or less. Now, we are lucky if we could pack the car in 20 minutes and not rush back to the house again after locking all the doors because we forgot something! lol

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Long Beach Island, New Jersey

If you want to enjoy the beach with your family, this is the perfect spot. No bars steps away from the sand = no rowdy drunk people!

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Quick trip to the beach with my man and sissy <3 (more…)

Baltimore Eats 2015

Spring 2015: Life before baby A

Hello,dolls! Hello, 5th entry this month (yay!). I have important weekends coming up in the next 4 months. They are still a jumble in my head so here I am trying to declutter and get organized. There’s a part of me that is afraid to flip through my planner because that will remind me how fast time is running and get realize that life is indeed too short. I get emotional like that when I start to overthink things. I mean, is it just me? I guess when you live your life away from your family for quite some time, you start to value time even more. Much more when you have a beautiful 20-month-old who makes you wish that time would just stop e v e r y d a y.

Today, I was thinking a lot about my future. What I want to do and accomplish in the next 5 years and how I can make it all happen. You see, I am the kind of person who loves to look forward to “something” whether it’s a weekend getaway, a shopping trip, or investing in something big. There are times when I am okay with time going by fast, especially when I am excited about something.

My goals were very different 5 years ago. I remember telling myself to keep on pushing to work 60-70 hours a week so I can be recognized by my superiors. Now, I want to spend most of my time with baby A. I made changes in my career to have more time outside work without jeopardizing my position. Needless to say, I am just as happy as I was 5 years ago — maybe even more.

Before baby A, my “weekends” would involve binge watching my shows,going out with A for the entire day, and staying up late that we would often fall asleep on the couch. Now, I have to say that my weekends are more fruitful — I am more productive, going out with baby A is always an adventure for me, and discovering restaurants as a family has become one of the things I look forward to when I am off.

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A and I went to A LOT of restaurants before baby A. It felt like a reward after being on our feet for n hours every week.

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One of my all time favorite restaurants in Baltimore is The Food Market. It was an abrupt decision to go to Hampden that night. I was supposed to go to Hershey Park to see Van Halen with A, Ali, and Peter. Unfortunately, the concert got canceled the last minute!!! I felt bad for A and P but it was for the best……..for me hahahahaha

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MNL Diaries: See you again, MNL (2015)

Hello, dolls!! Hello, weekend!!! <3 This weekend went by so fast — and I love it!! I am finally enjoying my weekend with #MyABoys!! So if you have noticed, my blog is starting to be active again. This year, I am committing to a lot of things this year, one of which is to post more! So far, with my 4th entry this month, I think I am doing pretty well 😛

A and I are starting to seriously plan our trips this year. We are only 2 months away from our anniversary so I know reservations have to made soon because with all of the events and gatherings we have for some of the weekends in between, we pretty much only have a month left to get this trip planned!

All the planning and researching are making me think about Manila a lot. So for my entry this weekend, I would like to share with you our last few days in MNL which will conclude our MNL trip in 2015. And a little bit of our first month as a married couple in Baltimore.

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Coming back to Baltimore as husband and wife <3

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I married someone that I want to travel the world with! Can’t think of anyone else <3 (more…)

MNL Diaries: Hole In The Wall

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Hello, dolls!! Hello, Valentine’s Day! <3 I have mixed emotions about Valentine’s Day. In my previous posts about February 14, I would always mention how I see it as a family occasion. If you haven’t read any of my VDay posts yet, here are the links:

Valentine’s Day 2012

Valentine’s Day 2012 pt. 2

Valentine’s Lunch Date 2012

Valentine’s Day 2013

Valentine’s Day 2013 Pt. 2

Valentine’s Day 2014

Valentine’s Day 2015

Valentine’s Date 2015

Okaaaay. So now that my long list is done,  maybe now you fully understand how I feel towards Valentine’s Day. We are keeping it simple this year,A planned a really good menu for my parents and us — double date vibes at home! He asked me if I want to go out just the two of us, I happily declined and said it would be nice to spend the weekend with our family in NJ instead. I would normally say yes and start planning my outfit, but with a couple of trips coming up before baby A’s birthday, there will be a lot of solo time for us…so yeah 😉

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If you are Manila and still wondering where to go for Valentine’s, Hole In The Wall is a great place to go to. Especially for couples who are adventurous.

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It was our last day in Manila, so we wanted to go to a place that hasn’t been around since I lived in Manila to make things extra exciting for us.  (more…)

Farm Girls

07.06.15: 

Hello,dolls!! Hello, February! <3 Before I start my entry…let me just say how This Is Us (a remarkable US TV show) has been crushing my soul with every episode. I spent the day after the “Superbowl” episode looking at IG stories so I could spoil it for myself. YUP! I know I wouldn’t be able to handle it so I wanted to prepare myself. But just like everyone else that bawled their eyes out, Jack Pearson stole my heart and left it bleeding!! I have yet to watch the episode last night, and I am not sure if I am ready for another heavy episode! Lucky for me, I was able to convince A to hold my hand as I watch Jack be the best husband and Dad that he is when I watched episode 14 of season 2 aka Superbowl (AKA THE SADDEST EPISODE ON TV EVER!!! next to McDreamy’s of course).

Okay..so now that my “This Is Us” thoughts are out, let me move on to my real topic. I know we are still a couple of months away from summer, but it’s never too early to plan for it. One of the things that I love to do is blueberry picking.

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When my sister lived here for over a year, I made sure that our Mondays will be filled with adventures. One of my favorite trips with her was when we went blueberry and cherry picking.

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My friends know that anything that involves stepping on grass is something that I am not fond of. BUT if it’s food related, I would definitely give it a go! Like fruit picking or winery tours! lol (more…)

Cunningham’s x Warby Parker

06.19.16: Current Reality

Hello, dolls! How’s your 2018 so far? Can you believe we are already halfway through the first month of the new year? The past 5 weeks seems like a dream to me. To come home from work and have my entire family waiting for me. To wake up and know that I can physically be with my siblings for the rest of the day. To be taken care of and feel like a kid because my parents are here to help me with e v e r y t h i n g. I talked about perfection in my last post. (Read about it here. ) My perfect family moment is about to end. I hate send-offs, it leaves a hole in my heart.

My family and I have to do this several times in a year. After weeks and weeks of being surrounded by so much love and laughter, we have to go back to our “current reality”… talking on Viber and posting on social media to update each other. This is my family’s second trip to the US, this time it’s extra memorable because aside from finally spending Christmas together again, we were able to express what we want to happen in the future. Before, we would leave our sentences with “let’s see what happens next year”. Now, we are saying “we are going to make it happen”. It’s a great plan to hold on to, a scary one, but to know that we are all on the same page about being together is a big thing for all of us.

So as we set the table with one less plate tonight, I will keep on praying that there will be less sends off in the coming years (which by the way started last year! Thank you, Lord!!). When my life here in the US started, I was only setting the table for myself. I remember not wanting to eat or cook at my apartment because it would only bring me sadness since I had to eat alone. Then came A…. I found someone that took me away from that lonely situation, and made me realize that life here is not so bad after all because I have him to share the table with <3

P.S. I wrote this intro 3 weeks ago. #SMH

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Since Valentine’s is right around the corner, let me share with you one of my favorite date nights from 2016 and show you a simple way to celebrate LOVE <3 

It was rare for A and I to have weekends off. For all the years that we both worked in the kitchen, I would say we probably only got 10 weekends — this is me exaggerating btw! So whenever we do, we make sure that we do something really awesome. Our favorite? Eat GREAT food!

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The entrance is hallway #goals!!

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