11.29.2014: 24 is awesome
Hello, sweets! Ahhh…the past few days has been crazy stressful for me. I am blessed with a challenging situation that I know will make me a better worker. Times like this I am happy that I have this blog to let my feelings out — to unwind, to remember all the great things that happened in my life, and forget about all my miseries.
I do not have a lot of birthday posts like previous years. In fact, I only have 3 this year. My birthday was eventful and I can honestly say that 2014 has brought me a lot of highs and one major sad event that will never make me forget this year.
A knew that I will not feel a 100% complete on my birthday because I am away from my family. But despite of that, he still made me the happiest birthday girl!
The thing about A, since he knows I don’t have everyone that I grew up with and need here by my side, he tries his best to be all that.He is super amazing!
A knows I NEED to have a delicious slice (or more) of cake for my birthday. So the perfect fiance went to one of the best pastry shops here in Baltimore and surprised me on my birthday with a DELICIOUS mango and chocolate mousse cake.
I love it when A goes behind my back to surprise me! haha Continue reading “BEST BIRTHDAY GIFTS WHEN I TURNED 24”
Hello, sweets!!! 🙂 November is almost over, I can’t believe it!!! I also can’t believe that I have not mentioned my birthday 1 million times just like how I do every year.As I get closer to turning 24, I am starting to get sentimental about being away from my family. I feel bad for A because he is doing EVERYTHING to make my birthday month amazing and sometimes I feel like I don’t show how happy I am enough because of all the craziness that we have to deal with.
I can see my Dad knocking on my door with a bouquet of flowers for me….my Mom in the kitchen cooking something delicious for my birthday lunch…my sister on the floor making a birthday banner for me… my brother Remo fighting everyone to hug me first…and jejekid, in our room to steal all of my chocolate stash while trying to come up with the perfect caption for his Instagram post dedicated to me.
I wish my family could be here…or I could be there…I wish we could all be together for my birthday again. Like last year.
This is the second birthday that I am going to celebrate away from my family, but I feel like it’s the first.
Here’s a #tbt worthy photo of us during my 10th birthday!
I do not have a lot of posts left from last year and I am happy because I am getting closer and closer to my target of starting to work on our trip to Asia by the end of the year -or- by January.
When I think of home, I remember all the times I made my family happy through food. I wish I could cook for them and spend the afternoon in our rooftop….to me that would be the perfect way to spend the afternoon of my birthday. Continue reading “Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter Cupcakes”
Cause I love anything Greek way too much
Hello, sweets!! Guess what?? We had the Friday night off again!! I can’t help but find it funny because a couple of days ago I was just gushing about our Friday date night back in Summer…and now we were able to do it again this Fall. YAY! Last night was ahmaaahzing! It was not like our Woodberry date night but A gave me new memories to cherish. what we did is somewhat related to what I will be talking about in a while…GREEK! I am so happy that I am here for the Greek Festival this year,and that we were able to go and eat delicious Greek food…..and have fun with our friends after! I couldn’t think of any other way to celebrate our Fall Friday Date Night than how we spent it last night.
I compiled all the Greek related photos that I have on my computer to make a decent Greek related post. A couple of days ago, I told A and his Mom that I am happy that they celebrate a lot of traditions. That we always have something to look forward to and feel grateful for each day.
The Greek Life is more than just lemons, feta cheese, and olive oil. I think one of the reasons why I am very excited to marry A is because his values are the same as mine.
To start this entry…. I will talk about me! HAHA
So I finally got a haircut after 4 months of being back here in Baltimore. I am always afraid to go for a trim (even though mah girl LC says that we should !) I’ve had my fair share of annoying “my hair is way tooo short moments” so yeaaap, it usally takes me a while to go back. haha
Anyway, so I went to the salon a couple of hours before our drive to New Jersey, and after an hour of hair treatment and a long chat with the hairdresser, I did not notice time and I was already outside the salon so no blow dry for me!! Haha The lady did not want to let me leave with wet hair so she did this for me! #LoveIt Continue reading “The Greek Life”
10:06:13: Of Traveling Together
Hello, sweets! Another week is coming to an end, Monday is fast approaching, and I can’t wait for my weekend to start!!! This year, A and I promised each other that we will make this year better than the first 2 years we’ve been together. 2012, we were too busy at work that we missed spending some celebrations together (I remember working for his birthday all night). 2013, I spent 8 months in Manila, 8 months away from him. We engaged ourselves in a long distance relationship, and happily made it through after almost 11 months. Which I am very grateful for because A did everything to make me feel like he is not too away from me. Up to the point that he traveled to Asia and spent 3 weeks with me and my family. This year, we want to make the most of our time and experience new things together before we get married.
Anyway, this is my last post about our memorable trip in Hong Kong. Writing about this makes me pumped up about writing more each week so I can start our Bangkok Diary soon! Also, it excites me for our next trip together!!!! Traveling brought A and I closer and I think it is one of the reasons why I said YES to him. We got lost together, walked for an hour, survived a place we’ve never been before, spoke to people we couldn’t understand, and learned things about each other.
Make sure you’ve read my previous posts about our Hong Kong trip before you move on!! 🙂
Our first day – http://riannagalvez.com/2014/07/29/hong-kong-and-us/
Island and Us – http://riannagalvez.com/2014/08/09/hong-kong-diary-island-food-adventures/
Repulse Bay – http://riannagalvez.com/2014/08/21/hong-kong-diary-repulse-bay/
Hong Kong Eats – http://riannagalvez.com/2014/08/25/hong-kong-diary-pigeon-mantis-shrimp-and-some-afternoon-sun/
Street Food Diet – http://riannagalvez.com/2014/09/12/hong-kong-diary-street-food-diet/
HBD, A – http://riannagalvez.com/2014/10/06/hong-kong-diary-happy-birthday-a/
A’s Bday Dinner – http://riannagalvez.com/2014/10/08/hong-kong-diary-as-birthday-dinner/
The hotel sent us a fruit platter for A’s birthday before we checked out! Perfect for me because I love fruits!! YUMMMS
‘Our flight was in the afternoon, so we had the morning to do last minute shopping. The only thing on my list was to go the closest Tai Cheong that opens before 9AM.
Surprised A by wearing this Van Halen sweater for our last day! He likes it when I wear shirts of the bands that he listens to (hahahah it’s the least thing that I can do since I’ can’t stand 15 minutes listening to his music. LOL
While waiting for the train going to Tseung Kwan O.
Continue reading “Hong Kong Diaries: Hongkong to Manila Flight”
05.12.14: Mother’s Day x Day of A Mother
Hello, sweets! 🙂 Hello, NJ! I have an extended “weekend” this week and I couldn’t be any happier that I spent it with great friends and my family here in Baltimore. I am blogging from New Jersey again YAY! I think it’s perfect that I write something about New Jersey and how we usually spend our “weekends” here. I am blessed that A’s family never made me feel like I am an outsider, they’ve welcomed me with love and opened their 2 homes to me when A and I started dating. I still remember the first time we took a trip to New Jersey, I did not want to go back to Baltimore. Going to New Jersey is our little piece of vacation in the middle of our crazy work life.
I love how the house in NJ makes me feel like I am not too away from home.
Anyway, I will be sharing one of the celebrations that we looked forward to this year
I enjoy baking, it’s my little break from what I normally do.I graduated with a degree in Culinary, so I have no formal training when it comes to baking though our patisserie and bread baking class helped me understand it. And at work, I am assigned on the hot station. That’s why baking excites me, especially that I am a big lover of desserts.
When I got back from my home country a couple of months ago, one of A’s surprises for me is Momofuku Milk Bar’s Cookbook! It made me so happy because now I can make some of their cookies at home.
Continue reading “The NJ Life”
Hello, sweets!! 🙂 Another week is about to come to an end again and here I am working on my third blog!! YAY! I know it seems like a long time from now but I plan to post entries from my recent trip back home before April 2015 (trust me, in my book this is like a month away). Anyway, today I am writing an entry for my Mom, who just celebrated her birthday a couple of days ago. As you all know, I really hate missing special occasions with my family,and sometimes I feel like I’ve been unfair to my Mom cause I’ve missed a couple of her birthdays, and have been away for Mother’s Day for a number of times already.
I know I am a self confessed Daddy’s Girl but I feel like deep down, I am also a Mama’s Girl — we all are,actually. As soon soon as we grow inside our Mom’s body, there is this special bond that we can share to anyone else but her. When I was a kid, I’ve always looked up to my Dad for doing everything for us. But as I grew older, I have also realized that my Mom has managed to do everything for my Dad, my siblings, and I. And if I can be half of the woman that she is now when I have my own family, I would be the happiest.
I do not want to end the year without posting anything for my Mom’s birthday so I’ve decided to post a little throwback of the afternoons that we’ve spent together when I was home.
Below are some of the dishes that I made this past February.
I hope you still remember my 2 blogs about me cooking something everyday until my first departure to the US this year..
if not, go to these links http://riannagalvez.com/2014/09/18/one-plane-ride-away/ and http://riannagalvez.com/2014/08/16/food-for-the-parents/ )
Continue reading “Quick Recipes for Mother’s Day”
09.14.14: Only beautiful memories
Psalm 30:5 “For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”. When I was a kid I used to think that once I am in my 20s I would be strong enough to handle losing a loved one. I was so scared to experience loss that I even said “just let me be 20 first before it happens”. Who was I kidding? I don’t think anyone can be strong enough to lose someone.
It’s the worst kind of pain. For the past few days, I’ve mustered up the “art of drifting away”. I drift away from the sad side of my situation now and shift to the brighter side of life —- I move on every time pain pulls me back.It’s hard…. It’s hard to be away from my family during this time. All I can think about is how I wish I stayed longer, or I was ever a good granddaughter, did I ever tell him he is one of the reasons why I love to cook?
This is the most recent that I can get…as of now.
Our last Sunday back in MNL —- the best Sunday of the year.
We took Lolo and my family to M Cafe for Sunday brunch. I do not want this to be a doleful entry, and I want to remember Lolo with only happy memories and what better way to do it but to talk about food.
Continue reading “Best Sunday of the Year”
Hello dolls! Hello Los Angeles!! 🙂 I can’t believe it’s only been 19 hours since the last time I hugged my family 🙁 Fast forward to 2015, please? So A and I are waiting for our next flight, which is tomorrow at 6:50AM! It’s my first time to have a looooong layover and when I say long, I mean HALF A DAY….12 HOURS!!!! At first when we booked our tickets I was pretty excited about it, cause I was thinking maybe we can do something. But unfortunately,we are here in Starbucks waiting for time to pass.There aren’t a lot of restaurants before the security line and most of them are just too…blah.We were told that In-N-Out is a 15 minute walk away from our terminal,but I had to tell A to save it for next time (and before you hate me for declining……) I am still pretty sentimental about being away from my family again, and I never thought I would cry again after going here for the third time ( I should probably get used to our airport scenes but it’s sooooo haaaard ) Going to In-N-Out will just remind me of our family burger night at home,and I think it’s a pretty good reason to pass on In-N-Out for now and put it on my list of things to do with my piggies 😉
In the perfect world, the Universe will let me hop on the next flight home. Knowing that there’s a plane leaving for MNL is torture…. Take me to Baltimore or take me home.
Our little rooftop garden at home, wish I can be here now….
Continue reading “One Plane Ride Away”
Hello, dolls!!:) I can’t believe that I am back in MNL!! Aaaah it still feels surreal that I am in my pink room now blogging!! 🙂 The past 2 days has been lovely and I am so grateful for warmth welcome that I received from everyone especially my family. It is so nice to wake up in the morning and have breakfast with my parents again, have my sister as a roommate, and just be in the presence of my family — it almost feels like I never left.
It’s a blessing to have 2 places that I can call home. Last year, I thought I couldn’t let go of the idea of not calling Manila my only home, I felt like if I do so I will spend my life fighting time just to be with my family or it will make my chances of going home slim — and yes, I do not take family matters lightly. But with the help of A, his family, and our friends, I realized that I do not have to let go of MNL just so I can call Baltimore my home too. Some people, like me, are just fortunate to be blessed with an amazing life at the other side of the world, miles and miles away from home..
I know I have not posted enough “B-more updates” since February. Not enough cause there is a handful of amazing things that happened since I returned to my second home. So here is one,some of the things that helped/helps me love Baltimore everyday.
What I have on my vanity.
Family picture, a photo of my Dad and I when I was only n months old, cute little bear from my jeje-brother, the heart pen that my sister gave me…
…personalized key chain from my brother Remo,and an Eiffel tower stand up pin from my sissy. <3
Having these on my vanity makes me feel like they are not too far away from me. It reminds me of how blessed I am to have a family that is so understanding and supportive.
Continue reading “Life in Baltimore”
February 2014: Of cooking for the family
Hello, dolls!! 🙂 I can’t believe that I will be home in less than 2 weeks!!! Before I left to go back here in Baltimore, I had decided that I will try to cook everyday. I know there will be some factors that will hinder me from doing this, so I added the word “try” — I have a tendency of over beating myself when it comes to cooking so I had to play it a bit safe for my sanity. So I DID, I did cook everyday for the month of February, I DID IT!
One of the things that I always do before cooking something at home is to check what we have available.
It’s always fun exciting for me to come up with something on the spot and I often see it as a “fun self challenge”.
My Dad and I were hanging out on our rooftop one day, and I decided to whip up something quick for him for his afternoon snack — Filipinos eat 5 meals a day so yeaaap.
All of these ingredients that I have on my board are in our fridge.I love impressing my Dad with delish left over meals.
Continue reading “Easy Dinner Date Recipes”
04.21.2014: Will you marry me?
Hello, dolls!! 🙂 Today, I will be sharing something very special and personal. I’ve always had trouble opening up,and this blog has been my outlet for years now. I may not dig deep when I share something, but knowing that there is a place where I can pour my heart out is comforting for me. Before, this was just a place for me to vent and put my sadness into words. Now, as years went by, I’ve seen the beauty in life and I promised myself that I will try to inspire people through this blog by talking about all the amazing things that comes my way.
Who would have thought that I would be writing about something that every girl dreams of now? I must confess, I’ve always wanted to find my one true love before I turn 25. There’s something about growing old together and celebrating years and years and yeaaaars of love with the person you love, you know? Something that made me believe in young love (without being a hopeless romantic) and taking risks. I still can’t believe that IT HAPPENED! I met the love of my life and he is beyond AMAZING! Three years ago I was hopeless and broken, and I ran away….I decided to clean my life and do something that I wouldn’t do in a million years, leave home.
I flew 8,539 miles, with half my heart left in MNL. 8,539 miles to find myself again and create a better version of me. Until someone, unexpectedly came my way.YES… the time that I wasn’t even trying to find someone and the only time that I told myself that I am not ready. It’s crazy you know? How A found me, how he saw me at my ugliest and still looked at me. How I was so broken for being away from my family, and without even trying he fixed me. And how it just all happened, without me even knowing. It’s crazy…. crazy love.
It happened. It’s official.
GORGEOUS! A knows how to make me feel special…in every possible way.
Me: Why did you get this ring?
Him: When I saw it I just said “thats’ her”. It was the most beautiful ring in the case.
There is something about a man who knows what to give his lady without even asking her.
Continue reading “YES”
Hello, dolls!! 🙂 We are here in New Jersey now and I can’t believe that we are going home tonight….already!!! We spent 3 days here and it was ahmahhhzing!A short day trip to Philadelphia yesterday and a lot of eating since Sunday…aaah I am so happy <3 Anyway, I am not going to let this week pass without thanking my first love, my Dad. I’ve already caught up with my family posts (I never thought this day would come haha jk) so I am sharing something extra personal today.
I will show you a glimpse of the amazing room that my Dad built for my sister and I <3
Last year, I came home with soooooo much excitement. Aside from happiness that I felt when I saw my family at the airport,the anticipation of going back to a more beautiful home made me want to leave the airport right away.
Warning: Extreme pink lovin’ ahead
Continue reading “Room Tour: MNL”
02.14.14: Home Is Where The Heart Is
Hello, dolls!! 🙂 Today is Sunday, so it’s family time. Though I am gazillion miles away from my family, I try to do little things that would remind me of our awesome family days together, one of which is to share them through this blog.
Valentine’s day has always been a family thing for me, I’ve never really enjoyed it with another person until A came into my life. For the past few years, my Dad would always make it special for my sister, my Mom and I — balloons and bouquets of flowers are always present in our home during Valentine’s day. So just imagine, how happy I was to be able to wake up in Manila for Valentine’s Day this year. I know it’s crazy that I am only posting this now, but whatevs…you know how this blog and normalcy rolls, they just couldn’t meet together. HA
This year was slightly different,
3 red roses and red balloons from my Dad and brothers AAAAAND a sweet handwritten letter all the way from Baltimore from my love <3
Valentine’s Day dinner table
And Valentine’s Day outfit…
all after the jump 😉
Continue reading “Valentines 2014 <3”
02.23.14: Missing them everyday
Hello dolls!! 🙂 Today, A and I are officially welcoming our “Memorial Weekend”. Most of the people here started their long weekend just like normal people. But for those who are in the hospitality business like us, holiday/long weekends are nothing but a dream. So I am very excited for the next 2 weeks…and the next 2 months…and the days after that! LIFE EXCITES ME!
For the next 2 weeks, I am going to be busy juggling work, life and amazing stuff for next year. In less than 3 months, I WILL BE HOME!!! Aaaah. I can’t believe that I haven’t cried in a long tiiiiime (thanks to my awesome job for keeping my thoughts away from loneliness) like I know there is a huge part missing in my life right now cause I am 10 million miles away from my family, but knowing that soon I will be home being the crazy daughter-sister in the pink room again makes everyday bearable (and of course having A in my life is a huge factor as well!)
Hours before my departure to Baltimore, my family and I went to Dusit Thani for lunch.
I will be giving you 3 Fs today — food,fashion, and family.
Had to stop and take a picture with one of my favorite brands of tea… TWG!
Continue reading “Dusit Thani”
Hello, dolls!! 🙂 How was your cinco de mayo? I hope it wasn’t just another lazy Monday, cause mine was AWESOME. I know the Philippines is not big on cinco de mayo, but America is, and I am so glad that I can celebrate and not look weird for being too excited about it. The night before cinco de mayo, something hit me, I saw the scarf that my brother #jejekid gave me 2 years ago. I thought that it was really perfect for the day — the festive colors representing cinco de mayo and the soft texture fit for spring. I pulled it out of my closet and as a habit, I smelled it (yes, I smell my clothes haha) but that’s not what’s important — it smelled like home. The mixed feelings that I got when I smelled the scarf brought me to tears and gave me this certain excitement. I can’t wait to go home and be with my piggies again, I can’t wait to cook for my family again and see my Dad happy, I can’t wait for our travel plans to happen — I CAN’T WAIT!
Cinco de Mayo and my yearning for my family? This is the perfect post for today.
I love themed dinners and love menu planning. I am very OC when it comes to the dishes complimenting each other — flavor, cuisine, texture, color.
Continue reading “Kitchen Diaries: Steak Quesadilla”
01.26.2014: 4 months
Hello, dolls!! 🙂 Before I talk about my entry, can I just say that I had the most amazing Easter/Anniversary weekend! I still can’t get over how beautiful each day was and how I wish it never had to end. I can’t wait to share them with you all and talk about the awesomeness of this past weekend— no rush though, cause Instagram and Facebook did their part already. Anyway, it’s been 3 years already since I last spent holy week with my family. I always look forward to Thursday/Friday because of Visita Iglesia, and Sunday for our Easter lunch. We do not follow a lot of traditions for Easter, but one thing that we do not miss is going to church as a family, and I am so sad that I have not done that in a veeeery long time (next year, I promise!!!).
April is one of my favorite months we get “showers of blessing” almost all throughout the month.
It’s the official start of summer and we celebrate a lot of things — anniversary of our parents, Lola’s Birthday, Holy Week, Easter, and our anniversary!
I like how April starts and ends with LOVE <3
We all woke up early that day cause we anticipated that traffic will be horrible going to Tagaytay, and it was. We were so hungry that we couldn’t wait to get to Tagaytay to have lunch so we stopped at Sta. Rosa, Laguna (a few minutes away from Tagaytay).
I can’t believe how beautiful it got there in a short amount of time — I mean I was gone for more than a year and seeing that they now have more restaurants and shops made me want to visit Sta. Rosa more! 🙂
Anyway, we went to Chubby’s Rib Shack for lunch cause my siblings are crazy about American food.
Chili Nachos with Cheese — Can I just say….yummms??
Continue reading “April Showers”
Hello, dolls!! 🙂 It’s officially spring, my favorite season!! It’s crazy how the nicer weather comes with spring flu virus. Yup, I caught it! I’ve been sneezing and sniffing since yesterday and boy is it hard to be sick when you are alone. All I really want to do now is to cuddle with my Mom.I always find myself wanting to be snuggled up in bed with her when I’m sick. She is soooo soft and her arms and legs are “pillow like” lol.
So today I am going to make you hungry. My afternoons here in Baltimore are different — no rooftop, no afternoon cooking for the family, just me time usually. In the midst of my crazy fast paced life, I can’t help but be excited for my Dad’s 50th birthday!!! I can already smell home and feel the warmth of being surrounded by my family. Don’t get me wrong, I love it here! I am loving every minute of it and I wouldn’t have my life any other way BUT home is home.
Let me share with you some of the things that I cooked for my family, especially my parents, before I left MNL 🙂
Milk Shake x Grilled Cheese Afternoon
Aside from me missing home, today is “National Siblings Day” so it is just perfect to write something about the awesome moments that we’ve had with the food that I made form our kitchen 🙂
Come tooooo Mommmah
BACON x tomato x cheddar cheese
Hungry yet? I HAVE MORE!
Continue reading “Rooftop Afternoons”
01.29.2014: Happy Birthday, Boobie!
Hello, dolls! 🙂 It is now March 27 in Manila. Meaning, my sister is going to make my parents proud in a few hours from now!! 🙂 I am dedicating this post to her,cause this is the least thing that I can do and I’ve been feeling sad all day cause I really wish I could be there with them to celebrate 🙁 I could just imagine the sumptuous feast that they will be having after the ceremony. I am so proud of my sister cause she made it through college with flying colors. But most of all, I am very happy for my parents!! All the hard work that they’ve done for us and the support that they’ve been giving us since day 1. I wish I could see the look on my Dad’s face when my sister goes up that stage, but I know our hearts are connected and I will be feeling the same joy that they will feel right at that moment. So before I start bawling here, I will end this introduction now and move on to the rest of my entry.
20 pink balloons for her 20th year on earth!!
Surprised her with this afternoon set up on our rooftop! 🙂
Oreo Milk Shake with Whipped Cream for the birthday celebrant
Pastries and Vietnamese Spring Rolls for everyone to share <3
Continue reading “Of Love and Sisterhood”
Hello dolls!! 🙂 Today marks my first month here in Baltimore, and I can’t believe that it has already been a month!!! It definitely feels longer than that cause I have been productive everyday (or at least I try lol) I couldn’t think of anything better to write about than the beautiful memories that I have with my family before I left. As you all know I suck at keeping up with my time when it comes to updating this blog, cause mainly I like to appreciate every moment, take all the feelings, and find the right time before I post them here (cause I am just this sentimental). So anyway, my first month here has been nothing but AHHMAHHZING! I wouldn’t have it any other way, the love that my family here shows me and the people I am surrounded with that makes each day bearable are just some of the few reasons why I can still update this blog.
It is happening NOW.
Though we are miles and miles away from each other, my family is still my source of strength and the greatest motivation I have in being better and stronger. I can’t wait to be with them again and show how much I’ve grown since I left!!!
Continue reading “Our affair with Banana Leaf”
Random heaps with the fambam
Hello, dolls!! 🙂 It feels so weird to be home on a Friday night. Usually by this time, my family and I are on our way to Quiapo church for our Friday tradition. It feels different, to be here in my apartment waiting for 10pm to come.But,I know it will feel a lot more different when I have to spend my Friday nights in the kitchen again in a few weeks. So this is me… missing home.
Being away is never going to be easy but I guess it’s just a matter of getting used to and embracing the beauty of my new life. Everyday I wake up and think how blessed I am to be here and how I should be strong and not let my emotions get in the way. So this is me…giving myself a pep talk HAHA
One of the things that I ultimately miss about home is having dinner with my family.
I like Korean food! I remember going to a couple of good Korean restaurants with my friends. Back then my family was still adamant about it. I am so glad that they finally gave it a try and LOVED IT!
Thank you, Sariwon!
One of the reasons why I love going to Korean restaurants!
Overflowing healthy appetizers!! <3
Continue reading “Is it September yet?”