Hello, dolls! Hello, October!!! Vacation month, finally! <3 This felt like the longest week ever!! From a long-awaited answer, two weeks that I can look forward to, and a reminder to make an effort for the people we love every day. A and I went on a date night to celebrate his birthday and I can’t wait to share about our memorable evening soon here!
On an unrelated note, my family is starting to plan their “Christmas break” here. This is the third time that we will all be complete in the United States, it’s definitely one of the biggest things I look forward to every year! I was lucky to be on my maternity leave the first time they all came to visit. We were able to go on adventures every day. It’s not easy to plan a vacation for a family of 7 (and a newborn) because I had to think about baby A. Lucky for me, my siblings are very laid back! They just want to eat and shop 😛
Here are a couple of things you can do when your family is visiting the US.
Once upon a time, I joined Wasabi’s online photo contest and won a $100 gift card. I kept it for 4 years because I prayed that one day, I can use it with my family — and so we did. Continue reading “WASABI at TYSONS CORNER”
Hello, dolls! Hello, Sunday! <3 It’s been a pretty slow week for me. The weather has been so lovely and it makes me want to stay in bed all day. I am ending September feeling so unproductive because of how I chose to “relax” this past week. I should really shake this feeling off and look back to all of the awesome opportunities I was able to be part of this month. I mean really! Going to NYC with my BFF, 3 confirmed collaborations for next month, and I started packing for our trip! Yes — cause I have to pack for us 3 and I don’t want to get super stressed about it the week before our departure so I am starting early! So yeah, I guess this slowness will die down as I fully transition to this new season 😛
It is very uncommon to take your newborn out until h/she is (n) weeks old — I honestly don’t know what’s the “standard age” now because I did not want to stress myself out by being too careful and forget to enjoy the journey of being a new Mom. Anyway, would you Mom shame me if I tell you I took baby A to the mall before he was a week old? We spent merely 2 hours there because I had to feed him — I just need to get out of the house.
He was about 2 weeks old when we took him on his first real adventure. My brothers just arrived from the Philippines, I was on my maternity leave, and A was off. I couldn’t let a good day get wasted! Our first blueberry experience was so fun that my sister and I agreed to take our family to Shaw Orchards when they visit. Continue reading “Blueberry Picking at Shaw Orchards”
Hello, dolls!! Hello, weekend!! <3 I am going to take a little break from Chicago posts and share with you something that filled my heart and tummy with so much joy this past Friday. I mostly share my food adventures here on my blog. Though I really intend for this to be a lifestyle blog it’s really hard to separate myself from food because it’s the core of my being. So if you can notice, whenever I post an entry, there’s always food involved. I’ve been going through my previous posts (like from 7 years ago) and it makes me laugh how brutally honest I was. I was a single girl who will not take anything less than what I paid for. Then A came along, we went to the best restaurants so my food posts became more positive. — still honest, but much lighter since I was writing about better restaurants 😛 Just like Urban Plates
A and I are always on the hunt for restaurants that we can take our family to when visiting us. The downside of taking my entire family to a restaurant is having to deal with 7 people trying to figure out what they want. I get stressed out whenever it’s time for us to order because I feel like half of us are always struggling to decide what to eat. When I learned about the concept of Urban Plates I knew it was going to be perfect not only for my tiny tribe but also to the rest of our family when we are complete in December.
I am so excited to share an experience that only happened 2 days ago! I am still trying to keep up with my adventures from 2 years ago so taking a break and sharing something current is like a dream to me! lol
Continue reading “Urban Plates, Columbia MD”
Hello, dolls!!! 🙂 Aaaah finally!!! I am sorry for being MIA for a week. Being in Manila means dealing with poor service. For the past 2 weeks A and I have had our fair share of annoying stories about being taken advantage of government officials/ traffic enforcers and having no internet for a week (just because PLDT decided to do maintenance i the area FOR A WEEK!). So it has been a busy 2 weeks, I’ve always dreamed of being a hands on bride, but gaaah I never thought it would be this challenging (not that I am complaining). I am kind of getting frustrated about not documenting most of the things that has been happening since I’ve been home. I don’t know why but maybe it’s the fact that I have been so worried about being so bloated/swollen because of the sudden change of weather (from 18 degrees to 97!). My ring finger is having an allergic reaction to the hot weather that I am so afraid my rings won’t fit next week! #StoryOfMyLife. Nonetheless, I feel like we are pretty much ready to say I do…suppliers are picked out and all I need is for my guests to RSVP! Haha So as I mentioned above, I failed to document everything, so let me share some throwbacks for you that shows how my life has been like for the past 2 weeks.
Greek Easter: Greek Easter was this past Sunday. We missed it this year and aaah I was dreaming about Greek food all day!
Thinking about Greek Easter reminded me of the Greek Festival last year.
it was a Friday and luckily both A and I got the night off. So we invited this little egg tart to join us
Continue reading “Almost..I do.”
10.07.14: Happy Birthday, Love!
Hello, dolls! 🙂 Happy #ThrowbackThursday. One shift left and we will be on vacation mode…or should I say wedding mode! haha. It’s funny how I find it a bit sad that we are going to be away from Baltimore for more than a month, I mean isn’t that weird? I’ve always loved the thought that I get to be home every year. Being here for 3 years, I still managed to never miss a year in the Philippines, for some reason I get blessed with opportunities to come home. For 3 years, I have learned to love this place and call it my home. So I guess #SepAnx is slowly kicking in..
So before we leave for the Philippines,and start get extremely busy for the wedding, let me share with you how we celebrated A’s birthday last year.
A’s birthday fell on a beautiful Sunday. Unfortunately, he had to work all day, but was able to convince him to let him come in at noon so we can have brunch together.
Surprising each other is challenging for A and I. How do you surprise someone that you are with everyday? Continue reading “Happy 27th, A!”
Hello, dolls!!! 🙂 Happy Saturday!!! We just welcomed spring yesterday and aaah I am so happy.It was a snowy first day of spring but whatevs, I know my beloved warmer days are here. Only a month left until I say I do and gahd I don’t think I can hide my excitement anymore!!! Today is the last Satruday that I will be stressing about working a double (not that I am complaining). I am looking forward to my weekend with A next week! It’s been almost 8 months since we had a full weekend together with nothing to worry about. For all the important things that we have to deal with for our careers, needless to say 2 weeks before our flight to Manila, I think we really deserve a weekend with just the two of us.
Only one week left…and I can embrace freedooooom!
The past 2 weeks has been really challenging for A and I. I think I am now at the point where in I feel like I have exceeded my limit when it comes to decision making…like I do not know if I have something hiding inside my head that can help alleviate the situation. Aaaaah… grown up problems are hard! haha
So now, let me share with you something that made me love being a bride-to-be more — the wedding registry! Continue reading “Wedding Diaries: Bridal Registry I”
08.24-25.14: Of weekend getaways
Hello, dolls! 🙂 Happy hump day! Aaaah what a beautiful “weekend” it has been. Usually, I would be bummed that our almost 3 day weekend is now over. But since I know that we only have 9 days left until we begin our journey to forever, I don’t think there is room for me to complain. We are getting close!!! We will be home in less than 2 weeks! Which reminds me of the time I went home for my Dad’s 50th birthday, back when it would take me more than a day to travel to the Philippines. The flight alone is already exhausting, the layover and waiting makes it even more draining so I like to have at least a whole day where in I do not have to worry about anything including packing before my loooong flight — that’s why A and I likes to schedule our trips from Baltimore after on or after Monday.
A and I 12 hours before my flight to Manila last year..brought back a lot of memories when I left Baltimore 2 years ago to go home.
Love waking up to this!!! Continue reading “Almost There”
Hello, dolls!!! 🙂 Happy Sunday!!! Aaaah what a great Sunday. So how do I begin about my amazing day? Daylight savings — it means two things for me, first – it won’t be dark at 5PM anymore, second – my parents will not be confused about calculating the time difference anymore. I woke up today feeling like a I ran a marathon for 12 hours yesterday, I was crazy exhausted! Saturdays at work now is the busiest.I got out of bed pretty late, I was exhausted and instead of hating myself for it I talked to my sister, cause who else could make me feel better about feeling a little irresponsible? haha. One of the things that I looked forward to today is my date with Lovely, which was of course, amazing.
** So obviously, I was not able to publish this on Sunday so maybe today we can pretend that it’s still Sunday haha
In the perfect world,my Sundays will be welcomed with a delicious brunch after mass with family. A little quality time with friends in between dinner and having deep conversations with the people I love.
aaah, brunch. I love brunch way too much.
A and I fell in love with the orange limeade that we had at the Farmer’s Market.
Thanks to my amazing Mom-in-Law, she bought us a citrus juicer so we can make our orange limeade anytime 😉
Read about my first orange limeade experience here https://riannagalvez.wordpress.com/2015/01/07/summer-14-farmers-market/ Continue reading “Mimosa and Orange Limeade”
08.11.2014: Welcoming Change
Hello, dolls!!! 🙂 Happy hump day! I woke up today with a weird feeling about today. I’ve been telling A how we have to embrace change if we want to grow. Although it hurts to move on from some of the things that we learned to appreciate, we have to leave room for better and bigger things. So I told myself that I can’t have a weird mood all day, so I claimed that we will receive good news before the day ends, and we did!!! A and I just looked at each other with utter amazement after that phone call that we received 5 min before we left our apartment. It’s a blessing right in front of our face, and all I can say is…great things happen those who believe in Him 🙂
I love how this week started, each of us received good news and boy are we excited!!! So anyway, here’s a post that will surely help me stay warm tonight. Cause you know….thinking about summer helps me forget about the cold weather…even for just a while 😉
aside from wearing light clothes….
I also miss the abundance of fresh produce during summer. Continue reading “Summer Never Ends”
08.06.14: Annapolis Run
Hello, dolls!!! Happy #ThrowbackThursday —- the day when it’s (quite) acceptable for me to post my overdue entries.
We are at the hype of winter. It has been snowing every other day and so far I’ve been going out with at least 4 layers of clothing. I have a love-hate relationship with March. I want it to end soon because of the cold weather, but on the other hand I kind of want it to slow down because I NEED to accomplish a lot of things this month. I feel bad for A because I am a riot right now, I find myself talking about different topics at once, and doing numerous things everyday that we can’t keep to each other anymore — or at least that’s how I feel.
Oh time…please be good to me.
With all the craziness that’s been happening in our lives now. A and I would see to it that we make time to just sit down,eat, and not worry about anything. We also make sure that we see friends once in a while.
Our hungry stomachs brought us to Annapolis, since we were already going to be at the area we called Frances so we can all have lunch together with out little egg tart. Continue reading “49 West”
Hello, sweets! Whew what a cold snowy week this is! It’s one snow day to another, I guess I will be waking up to the sight of snow on our porch until the end of the week 😐 Uhhh we are just so over with winter…I am seriously counting the days until it’s spring again. This cold weather (and crazy schedule) is making me eat every chocolate that I see, being surrounded with tons of chocolate here at home and at work is not helping my “bride” diet!!! (although let’s face, I have not really payed attention to my diet since December) — I just like to say it para I’ll sound like a legit bride-to-be hahaha
One of the best things about my relationship with A is our cookbook collection.
We both had a good number of books before we met each other, and our collection started growing in 2012 because we would often give each other books on special occasions. Now that we are engaged, we now call all of our books “ours”, which makes me so happy because it has always been a dream of mine to own all the great cookbooks out there.
An exceptional day is when you cross off 3 books from our wishlist.
…and celebrate with Asian food! 🙂 Continue reading “Korean Spa and Everything In Between”
July 2014: Introduction to Thai
Hello, sweets! Hello, Tuesday. I am sooo excited to share our Bangkok trip and I am happy that I will get to do that this month!!! So I guess this new social media routine worked out pretty well, though I know I still have to work on responding to e-mails quickly. The cold weather is giving me mixed emotions about February, part of me wants it to fly by so we can all enjoy March’s gift — spring. The other half of me is scared because February is the month that I want results, this is the time that I want to do big things and have a clearer vision about the future — it’s about yes or no.
“Let your faith be bigger than your fear”
Before I move on to our Bangkok trip, let me do an introduction by sharing the time A and I devoted our day off to Thai Cuisine. Continue reading “Thai Cooking”
Hello, dolls!!! Happy hump day! 🙂 And happy birthday to my sister! I have an entry dedicated for her birthday but I do not want to make it all sappy so I’ll wait until her beee-day is over. Weather wise, I am not a big fan of winter. I am still trying my best to get used to it and though I like the idea of wearing a nice coat and layers of clothing, the torment that it gives me when I walk out of my apartment is unjustifiable! So the good side of it is that A and I gets more time with each other. After the busy holiday season, we can now spend more time in the morning together. We get to eat lunch together 4-5 days a week which is AWESOME!
That’s whyyyyy.. I’ve decided to share with you some of the dishes that we cooked for lunch over the summer.and a little extra to end this post.
A LOVES curry! It’s funny because I can be easily put off by the strong smell of curry. I have certain specifications when it comes to the curry that I will devour and I guess it’s safe to say that I would prefer home cooked curry.
Almost 3 years ago, Noi showed me how to make curry chicken using green curry paste. She pulled out this brand of curry paste from her pantry cabinet and as I watch her cook the curry, it reminded me of my first trip to Bangkok that involved cooking classes at Blue Elephant. The curry paste smelled the same as the one that we made in Thailand so I was pretty excited to try it. Continue reading “Kitchen Diaries: Curry”
Hello, dolls! 🙂 Today, we had the first snowfall of the year.I must be dreaming about summer way too much because it did not end too well for me —- I slipped and fell on my knees and hurt myself.Ughh. A nice cup of tea, A’s sweater, and pictures from this past summer season will surely help me stay warm during my alone time. I know it’s pretty ironic that I am blogging about summer when it’s snowing outside….which made me realize that a lot of great things happened in 2013 and 2014 that I spent the whole year trying to catch up and keep this blog updated.
This year, I look forward to having more opportunities to go to the Farmer’s Market. It was pretty hard for A and I to go to Farmers Markets because they are usually open during the weekends (which we all know is something hard for A and I to have together).
Thank God there are some during the weekdays, not a lot and none close to us during Monday, but still..
I get really excited when we plan things like going to the Farmer’s Market. We make sure that we try everything that we want. Continue reading “Summer ’14: Farmer’s Market”
Hello, dolls! 🙂 3 days has passed since we welcome the new year, how was your 2015 so far? I honestly don’t feel like it’s already 2015, maybe because I am drowning with all the responsibilities that I have to do before this month ends (God I really need to get it together) or maybe because I still can’t believe that I will get married, see my family, and turn 25 THIS YEAR! It’s crazy how life scares us with time sometimes, I feel like I can never have enough days in a year — especially starting 2012, cause since then life has been amazing and I always get this feeling that I do not want that year to end.
Anyway, I stopped doing resolutions when I turned 15, cause after 10 days I forget about all the things that I want to change about myself and end up with a piece of paper that didn’t make sense at all by June. I feel like goals work for me better cause I like to make things happen.
So now, let me officially welcome 2015 by giving you 15 of my goals this year — for my family, love, and myself.
As we close out the holiday season, I am putting this one first. This is the second time that I celebrated Christmas and New Year away from my family and just like everyone else who has the same situation as mine, I do not like it —- it’s hard. So this year, my goal is to not make 2015 the third time that I will spend the holidays away from my family.
2. Embrace them as many times as possible
Cause no matter what happens, I will always always go back home to see my family. I can’t wait to be back in Manila in April and sleep in my room, wake up and hear my Dad’s voice, try Mama’s new recipes, and be silly with my siblings. So when I come home this year, I want to be a better hugger, and hug them just like how my Dad hugs us. Continue reading “Hello, 2015”
12.01.14: Il Mio Amore
Hello,sweets!!!! 🙂 Merry Christmas!!!!! I am a bit late but I know that the spirit of Christmas is still alive in every part of us. We are only a few days away from welcoming 2015
(whuuuuut!?!?!? already?!) and as my way of thanking you all my dear readers, I will post 2 special entries before the end of the year.
The past 2 months has been very eventful, and I can only thank the my big guy up there for all the blessings that I have received. I may be away from my family for all the joyous moments that happened in my life, but He never failed to make me feel their presence in all different ways. One of the biggest blessings that he gave me is A —- my constant source of happiness.
Before we move on…read about my previous posts about my 24th birthday
Since our November and December are already planned out for work and special events, we couldn’t really go somewhere out of Baltimore for my birthday. Despite of that, A still managed to make me feel like we are away by taking me to a place that he knows I love.
It was love at first sight I must say, when A took me to Charles Street for lunch. I told him that the area is unique and that it makes me feel like I am away from Baltimore.
It must be the hill like road…or the beautiful buildings and unique looking stores.
I really appreciate it when A plans our date. He is really great in choosing the perfect place to take me to.
For my birthday, he chose this 20 year old Italian Restaurant. Sotto Sopra
It was one of our best dinners to date! Continue reading “24: Birthday Dinner”
Hello, sweets!!! 🙂 5 days until Christmas….are you all ready?? 🙂 Aaaah I can’t wait for my super long weekend (literally!) A much deserved break. I wish my family is here cause I know it would be perfect to spend my free time with them. A lot of things can remind us about Christmas, for me I can think of 5 right off the top of my head. One of which is food,and I swear, as we draw closer to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day I am already starting to get worried about my game plan because I know it will be non-stop eating for me!!!!
Summer is the perfect time for my smoothies. Everyone who is close to me knows that I could drink a 12oz smoothie in just seconds!
I am very particular with the smoothies that I drink. I only like fresh fruits and natural sweetener.
This summer, I was able to experiment with some of my favorite fruits and beat the heart with a nice homemade healthy cold smoothie!
And of course, my trusty pink blender was there to help!
Continue reading “Summer’s Produce”
Hello, sweets!! It’s December again, the most wonderful time of the year for everyone, but for A and I… it’s the most exhausting time of the year! I am starting to feel the sappy aura of Christmas here again and the huge difference between December here and in Manila. December here does not feel like December.Everyone wishes for a white Christmas, but with Christmas comes COLD. Cold weather for everyone and the cold lonely feeling for those who are away from their families…like me.
At home, I always look forward to my birthday because I know after that everyone will make it a point that we will be complete for dinner every night for the month of December. December is the ultimate family month for us, but now…. as much as I want to, I would rather cross out dinner on my daily routine. The first week of December was pretty nice because A’s parents were here, I wish they could stay longer. My motivation for the coming days is Christmas Eve and Christmas Day! I can’t wait to go to New Jersey and spend time with the family!
I am starting to miss A…and how we could have lunch together at least 3 times a week. Lately, I am lucky if I get to see him in the morning.
So tonight, I want to remember all the sweet apartment lunch dates that we had during spring.
When life was still warm and lovely.
Back when I had extra time to go through our cookbooks and try at least one recipe every week. I, of course did something from the Milk Bar cookbook. Continue reading “Day Time Spring Cooking”
11.29.2014: Hello, I am 24!
Hello dolls!!!! 🙂 As promised, here’s an entry about my 24th birthday. Life got extra exciting after I turned 24. How I wish I could have more hours in a day so I can finish everything that I have to do. The OCD in me is telling me that I should just keep on going…no stopping! But my fun-loving self is telling me to give my body a little break cause it is starting to get exhausted. Aaah how I wish time could freeze…even for just a day.
So I started the first page of the new chapter of my life with so much life. I think it is safe to say that we get rewarded equally by the amount of responsibilities that we face. That’s why I keep on reminding myself that I should embrace everything that comes my way, not complain. 353 days until I turn 25 but there are days wherein I feel like quarter life crisis is knocking on my door early. Haha Oh well, I have 353 days to make each day of my 24th year on earth memorable 😉
The eve of my birthday I can honestly say that I was not 101% excited about my birthday. I knew both A and I had to work all night so my excitement level was only 100….annnd I am away from my family so it was hard to be ALLLLL the way happy.
But waking up to a beautiful morning made me realize how God can bless us with the happiness that we deserve in different ways.
I know how blessed I am because of A and our family here. I was greeted by A as soon as I woke up and a table filled with presents and one of my favorite things to receive on special occasions…balloons!
It must be a challenge for A to pull off his surprise because I can be pretty nosy when it comes to my birthday and our anniversary (include Christmas as well! haha). I am very blessed to have a man who would wake up early to surprise me.
Since we only had the morning to celebrate, we decided to go out for brunch.
Not a lot of restaurants close to where we live serve brunch on Saturday so I asked A to choose where to go.
I have to commend him for always knowing where to take me. This is one of the best restaurants I’ve been!!! And I’m sorry if I have to keep it a secret for a little while 🙂 Continue reading “24: Birthday Brunch”
Hello, dolls! Hello, December!!! <3 Aaah, can you believe it?? It’s the last month of the year!!! So I had a very lovely birthday weekend, thanks to A and our families for giving me a memorable 24th birthday! 🙂 This weekend has reminded me of how blessed I am and how beautiful life is. It’s no different from how I feel everyday, but this weekend was major! I can’t stop thanking Him for everything, because I know I wouldn’t get to this point in my life without Him.
Anyway, so I still have a gazillion things to post before my awesome birthday weekend. So I will work on my throwbacks and squeeze in my birthday posts once in a while ( I mean you know the drill,right? haha). Since I am still gushing about my birthday dinner with A, I thought of working on an entry that is quite similar to that — date night with A!
“One must maintain a little bit of summer, even in the middle of winter” – Henry David Thoreau
I am very fortunate that I have a man who would take me out on special dates even though we are not celebrating anything in particular.
We are celebrating life as we like to put it.
The Milton Inn is a well known restaurant here in Baltimore. It is a 274 year old fieldstone building, so imagine my face when A and I walked in. It was gorgeous and everything reminded us of BCC. From the food to the service and the decors. Continue reading “The Milton Inn”