Korean Spa and Everything In Between

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

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 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.

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An exceptional day is when you cross off 3 books from our wishlist.

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…and celebrate with Asian food! 🙂 Continue reading “Korean Spa and Everything In Between”

Valentine’s Date Ideas For Engaged Couples

Hello, sweets! 🙂 Happy Valentine’s Day <3 What a cold snowy Valentine’s day it is! Whenever people ask me what I am doing for Valentine’s day and I would abruptly say “work” and “I don’t do Valentine’s…it’s a Dad thing for me”. Then I go on and on how my Dad never fails to buy flowers for me, most of the time with balloons, and a cute Valentine’s card. He still does that even when I am far from home. This year, it kind of made me wonder if “Valentine’s is really not my thing”. I mean I have A now….but it feels weird you know? Because I know A and I will be working all day on Valentine’s day for the next (n) years so it never really occurred to me that my Valentine’s Day is going to be extraordinary. If anything, I am just glad that I have someone to come home to and call my Valentine.

A gave Valentine’s a new meaning for me. Although we don’t get to do anything special on the day itself, we see to it that we spend time together before or after the day of hearts to celebrate our love for each other. And let’s face it, it’s also a reason for us to eat out 😉 

So let me share with you some of the 3 things that made me change my mind and think about Valentine’s as a romantic day for lovers.

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1. It can be anything

A and I like to give each other presents. We gave each other significant gifts that can remind us of every special occasion from last year. We also have our wedding coming up in less than 3 months. Meaning, more surprises for the two of us. So for Valentine’s this year, I thought….why not keep it simple? We decided on making it fun by doing a theme, and it revolved around a book that we want to give each other (we have a never-ending list of books that we want to get so yeaaap). I find it really amusing to find things that will match the book that I got him. Instead of giving each other one big gift, we received small trinkets.

I am not a big fan of flowers (geeez how many times do I have to say this? lol) so flowers are out of the question. A week ago I already told A not give me balloons because I’ve had enough balloons to make me happy until the end of the year from my 24th birthday and bridal shower. I guess, my point is…..it can be anything, or it could be nothing cause the best present of all is having someone to spend Valentine’s with.

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2. Valentine Date

Let’s face it, one of the joys of having a boyfriend/fiance/husband for Valentine’s day is the fact that I know I won’t be joining the “I am single for Valentine’s slash I wish I have a boyfriend” Facebook status club. I know in the end, whether we give each other presents or not, or if we go out or stay in, I’ll have A.

 A showed me that he is more than just a date. I am not the most romantic showy person ever! Most of the time I feel guilty for not being affectionate. Anyway, A is more than just a date because he does not make me look forward to Valentine’s, he makes me excited about the things that are yet to happen after that. He is the perfect Valentine every day. Continue reading “Valentine’s Date Ideas For Engaged Couples”

Of Wine and Friendship

09.04.14: Girl friends are forever

Hello, dolls! Happy #ThrowbackThursday 😉 Whew! I just got home from a challenging shift. One of the things that I truly appreciate about my job is how we can create beautiful things in just 5 minutes…amazing if you make it 10.. and breathtaking if you give us at least an hour. The nature of my job is stressful, we are always under pressure and for the past few years I have managed to not lose my temper (although this year I had a minor hiccup when my sanity gave in to the cliche and yelled at someone —- which made me feel horrible for 3 days!). Tonight I had the opportunity to work alongside my Chef, for a 7 course tasting for 5. It was very last minute! I swear it was a roller coaster ride that I am happy to be part of. If I can have more days like this, wherein I was able to exercise my creativity and be respected for the my craft… I can definitely stay away from the negative thoughts that I’ve been having lately.

So yup..just thought I’d share how my day went.

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A few days ago I expressed how I feel about distance interfering with the growth of my relationship with other people.

As disappointing as it can be sometimes, I am grateful that I have these girls beside me.

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A trip back home is never complete without seeing my girls. Since I only had 3 weeks in Manila to see friends, I made sure that I’ll put my girls on top of my list.

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We decided to do “wine night”…you know, no more sparkling welch grape juice for us… we drink wine now. haha

Our sausage and cheese board

Continue reading “Of Wine and Friendship”

Thai Cooking

 

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. 

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“Let your faith be bigger than your fear”

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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”

New York Eats: Jollibee

07.21.14: Bida ang sarap!

Hello, dolls!! Happy Sunday!!! Our third pre-cana class just ended and ahhhh I can’t believe that we are almost at the end of this beautiful journey. We had an amazing day today! Although I must say, I overslept a little haha (but hey! I deserve it after working almost 13 hours yesterday!) So we went to church and had brunch at one of the best brunch places here in Baltimore, then had a good afternoon in class. How I love Sundays like this! Earlier, I prayed for more meaningful Sundays like today this year. My heart breaks just thinking about February ending so soon…and how after the wedding our work schedule will most likely get in the way.

So we are just 6 days away from Valentine’s….meaning 6 days until my father-in-law turns 60! What’s exciting about it is that we will be in New Jersey the day after so I am pretty hyped up about that. A short vacation is much needed for A and I!

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I have 6 days to dream about our upcoming getaway. For now, I’ll blog about our New York side trip that happened over the summer.

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A would often say that he wishes we have Jollibee close to us. When we are in New Jersey, he would drop hints saying we should go to Jollibee for lunch.

So when we were in New York with his family we decided to have lunch there so they can try the best-fried chicken..ever! 😛

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2 buckets of fried chicken, rice, 4 large fries, 4 sundaes, yumburger, and my avocado pearl shake…. YES! When in Jollibee….YOU GO BIG! 😉 Continue reading “New York Eats: Jollibee”

Daddy’s 50th

 

09.03.2014: Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Hello, dolls!! Happy almost weekend 😉 7 weeks — that’s what I have been telling myself all day. I need redemption, I need something that will make me feel stronger to where I am at now…something that will deviate the thought of change. As much as I want for time to freeze, I can’t wait to be home and get married to the love of my life!!! During the last week of January, I had this feeling that February is going to be a scary month to deal with – big opportunities and decisions are in order and sometimes I wish “yes” is not a factor for my family and I to be together.

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The main reason why I went home in September last year was my Dad’s birthday. I’ve missed missed a good number of special moments with my family already, but I can’t go on life knowing that I missed my Dad’s birthday, so I did everything to make it happen.

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We went to Spiral at Sofitel Philippine Plaza for Daddy’s birthday. It was the perfect place to celebrate is birthday, and give A the freedom to eat whatever wants. haha

His first stop? The Asian station.

Spiral is huge! I wish I was able to take more photos but A, jejekid,and I had a game plan — and that is to try everything!

Continue reading “Daddy’s 50th”

Christmas 2014

12.25.14: Merry Chirstmas

Hello, dolls! Hello, Tuesday. 3 days has passed since we welcomed February and I can already see a million posts on Facebook and Instagram about Valentine’s day (most of them are the usual highschool-ish posts about being single on Vday #ugh). So anyway, Valentine’s is something I do not really forward to every year. After being disappointed when I was still in high school…cause you know?HS Valentine’s is all about flowers and chocolates — and I am not big on receiving flowers if it’s not from my Dad so yeaaap — and oh no good Vday dates until A came in my life so yeah…Valentine’s was not in my zone for a long time. As far as I’m concerned, Valtnine’s is for my Dad and I.

So I am ALMOST done with my Holiday diary. I am pretty happy with my blogging last month because I was able to accomplish 90% of the posts that I wanted to share. This month I can finally write about our Bangkok trip which I am really excited about! 🙂

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What a beautiful sight to wake up to on Christmas morning! 🙂

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One of the 3 Christmas trees in the house. Really gorgeous and perfect because of the beach themed colors and ornaments!

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Before I officially wrap up my Christmas posts, let me share with you our lovely Christmas dinner! 🙂 Continue reading “Christmas 2014”

Kitchen Diaries: Curry

Summer 2014

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.

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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.DSC_0297A

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”

Manila Eats: Anghelica’s (Ube Leche Flan and more)

09.02.14: Anghelica’s, Borough, Black Chicken, and Mama’s Hainanese Chicken

Hello, dolls! Happy snowy Monday 😉 I can’t believe that my “weekend” is almost over again…and that in 8 and half weeks I will be home again!!! I don’t think I can hide the fact that I am pretty scared about February coming so soon. I feel like I still have tons to do… for the wedding, our life after the wedding, my sister’s future, my family taking a big step for togetherness..and you know? THE WEDDING! The past weekend was nothing but a riot and aaaah…I am just happy to finally let my thoughts out and clear my mind…even for just a little while 🙂

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When I think of home, one of the things that come to mind is Anghelica’s.

Chef Anne’s brainchild. (which makes me realize! I need to place my orders soon!)

DSC_0348AWhen A and I came home in September, I told Chef Anne I want to try all of her new creations. Having her ube leche flan cake with the family is one of the reasons why I would always come home.

Anghelica’s promote desserts with Filipino favorite ingredients and flavors or as she puts it — Anghelica’s is a tribute to Philippine sweets.

The ube leche flan cake is the killer, but there is so much more in Anghelica’s that you have to try. Continue reading “Manila Eats: Anghelica’s (Ube Leche Flan and more)”

CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE FOR ENGAGED COUPLES

12.25.14: Merry Christmas!

Hello, dolls! 🙂 Happy Friday!! Aaaaah it has been a very long day and I am just so happy to be sitting on the couch, catching up on my show,blogging while looking at wedding stuff, and eating a hot delicious bowl of chicken noodle soup cooked by A. (so yeaaap I like to multitask!) Anyway, tonight I will clear my mind by sharing what our Christmas morning looked like this December.

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I was super excited to wake up on Christmas morning.

I was motivated to wake up early that day.First because of my family that I was able to talk to, and second…the presents!!!

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presents, presents, presents!

..and there were still a lot hidden behind the chairs.

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Can’t call it Christmas morning without our Christmas jammies <3DSC_0759A

It was love at first sight when I saw these PJs. I feel like it was made for me! Eiffel tower?? Yes please!

Super perfect for Christmas! I am seriously convinced that I am going to wear this again for Christmas Eve this year… unless I find something just as adorbs. Continue reading “CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE FOR ENGAGED COUPLES”

Things To Do in Long Beach Island, New Jersey

07.28.14: Long Beach Island

Hello, dolls!!! 🙂 Today is another snowy winter day and to warm me up, I am going to talk about summer. Summer as you all know, is the busiest season of the year. It is close to impossible to get a decent off from work. It makes me miss school and how I know I can get the whole summer off to spend with family and look forward to all our travels/getaways. A and I won’t let our summer to be just spent for work, we planned to go to the beach (even if its just once) and it happened! We were so happy that we were able to go to the beach with our family here.

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New Jersey and New York comes to mind when I think about summer here in the US.

New Jersey for food and family, New York for food.

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birds…obvs.

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Don’t you feel like January is just flying by? Usually I will be having this feeling like I do not want it to end yet, but honestly as of now I am a bit excited because I know I am just one snow day away from the warmth of spring!! (and ugh my wedding!) Continue reading “Things To Do in Long Beach Island, New Jersey”

Nomama Artisnal Ramen

09.01.14: My Asian Guy

Hello, dolls!!! 🙂 Happy Monday!! The past week was very rewarding and blessed for the Filipinos due to the Papal Visit. Hearing stories from my family who went to see him 4 days in a row just gave me so much happiness. I feel like it was a very fruitful 4 days and I wish I could have went with them. It’s been 4 months since I’ve been home and I miss it terribly. Lucky for me, I have this blog and a gazillion photos to share so I get to reminisce about moments during my homecoming and feel like it wasn’t very long ago.

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I was very happy to welcome September 2014 in Manila. Apart from the happiness that I was feeling for being home, A arrived at 3AM in the morning, making September 1st one of the best day last year.

So what do we on A’s first day back in the Philippines? Try to fight jet lag until 7AM, take a nap, then leave for lunch. Probably not the most ideal time frame but it worked for us a couple of times. haha

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So what did we do to make a feel at home in the Philippines??5 letters—- RAMEN!

We went to Nomama Artisnal Ramen because I am on a mission…and that is to take A to all of the great ramen places in the Philippines. I did not want to exhaust A so I’ve decided to go somewhere close to us. Nomama, which is 15 minutes away from us, came to mind so we went there.

Continue reading “Nomama Artisnal Ramen”

Christmas Eve Menu Ideas: Seafood and Italian Food

12.24.14: WISH

Hello, dolls! 🙂 Happy Weekend!! We are now on day 17 of 2015, how has your year been so far? I wonder if I can ever feel that time is moving normally, like I am not chasing after it. For the past year, a lot of great things happened that kind of wish that 2014 could be longer…you know? Like…it’s too good to end.

I like how the holidays are at the end of the year. I feel like we are being rewarded for all the hard work that we did, love and kindness that we gave, and sacrifices that we made. And at the same time, be blessed with His presence and the realization that He is with us throughout the year. Cause honestly, nothing can make us feel better than the faith that we have for Him within us.

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My Christmas Eve was beautiful. We woke up in New York, talked to my family in MNL during the day, and spent the holiday with our family here in New Jersey.

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This was the second time I’ve spent Christmas away from my family. But you know what’s amazing? God blessed me with another family that I can be with..without even asking for it, He gave me A and his family. Continue reading “Christmas Eve Menu Ideas: Seafood and Italian Food”

Engagement Dinner

07.20.14: With My Italian Family

Hello, dolls!!!! Happy Friday — well it’s not officially Friday yet but ahhh I am just excited to wake up in the morning later and have lunch with the fiance cause it won’t be for another 2 and a half days until I get to spend more than an hour with him during the day. Anyway, one of my goals for my blog is to post at least 2 entries about our upcoming big day (3 months left!), finish all my holiday posts, and start February with a Bangkok post. I know I can do all these as long as I stick to blogging 3 times a week.

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I can’t believe that my year of being a fiancee is already over and that in a few months I will embrace a new role.

If there is a perfect word for 2014 for me, it would be YES.

2015 will be, I DO.

After I got engaged to A, I realized that we are not only engaged to each other, we are also engaged to our families. Last year, I really felt how blessed I am to be a part of A’s family. They give me sooo much love and happiness like we have known each other for years!

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Over the summer, A’s parents threw us an engagement dinner. Since A’s family live in New York, we did the party there.

Adorable gift bag from the Buscemi’s. Continue reading “Engagement Dinner”

Thanksgiving Menu: Asian Appetizer Ideas

11.27.14: Turkey Day

Hello, dolls!!! So something hit me last night… I realized that I should work on my Holiday posts before it gets really old. The last 2 months of the year is probably the busiest for most of us. We celebrate 5 holidays…meaning 5 days to look forward to with family (and over eating!). Thanksgiving is right around my birthday, and though I’ve only celebrated it twice, I appreciate how I know I’ll have family to celebrate my birthday with.

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Speaking of family….. it will only be less than 3 months until I get to be home again!!!!

But I’ll get back to this later haha

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 Our beautiful table on Thanksgiving.

I spent the day with my family here in Baltimore. A had to work until 8PM which made me feel bad for him because I know how much he wanted to be with his family.

So we had dinner later than everyone else in the East Coast…it’s funny cause as I was browsing my Instagram feed I saw a bunch of Thanksgiving dinner posts while we were just having our appetizer. haha Continue reading “Thanksgiving Menu: Asian Appetizer Ideas”

NYC: The Girl and Her Macarons

07.20.14: Summer’s yummy colors

Hello, dolls!!! Happy Sunday! 🙂 Today has been lovely — A and I were able to go to church early in the morning, have a sumptuous lunch together, and I was able to spend the afternoon with a friend. It’s days like this when I appreciate the time that I get for myself, with all the crazy things that I have to do, it feels like a reward lately. So A and I were sick for the past week, I guess I have to get used to being sick during the first week of January now because I can see that my body hates the cold weather that even 3 layers of clothing won’t suffice.

So anyway, here’s the continuation of my blog post about our NYC trip over the summer. http://riannagalvez.com/2015/01/10/nyc-jeepney/

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Growing up, I never thought I will love wearing skirts. My family can attest that I used to be a jeans and sneakers kind of girl —- cause I used to be really concious about my legs. Now, I dislike wearing jeans. And even when it’s really cold out, I would prefer to wear a skirt with tights underneath. #TiisGanda as we say it in the Philippines!

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Let me start my post with some yummy macarons. My ultimate favorite treat!

Give mmacarons and I’ll love you forever. Continue reading “NYC: The Girl and Her Macarons”

New York Eats: Jeepney (Filipino Restaurant)

07.20.14: Summer Adventures

Hello,dolls! I was supposed to post this last night, but I felt really sick. ughh We had our first snowfall 3 days ago, so I guess this is how my body is adjusting. Coming from a tropical country, wherein you can only distinguish the weather as hot or hotter (lol), my body is really not used to winter. I am not a fan of winter, in fact I am already counting the days until it’s over. If it weren’t for the outfits that I can wear, I would probably abhor it. Since I am in dire need of anything that will keep me warm throughout the day, I am going to share with you our NYC food adventure this past summer. Talking about summer and a Filipino restaurant (cause it’s always warm in the Philippines) will surely help me stay cozy.

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A wawa stop is always part of our schedule when we go to NJ or NY. And of course, I do not leave without a nice cold peach yogurt smoothie to keep me energized. haha

I like how Wawa has healthy food and drink choices!

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A and I has a long list of places that we want to go to — overseas, here in Baltimore, other big states, and of course..New York.

I am very happy to say that we crossed off a lot of restaurants on our list last year. Including restaurants that are not very close to us… yay!

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Filipino cuisine is still trying to make its way to be known and loved globally. It’s only now that a number of Filipino restaurants here in Baltimore opened up (3 years ago I only knew about 2, this year… we have 2 more Filipino restaurants close to us now yay!). So imagine our excitement when we found out about Jeepney, 1 of the 12 restaurants in New York that we know of.  Continue reading “New York Eats: Jeepney (Filipino Restaurant)”

Baltimore Eats: Farmer’s Market @ John’s Hopkins

 

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.

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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..

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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 “Baltimore Eats: Farmer’s Market @ John’s Hopkins”

Baltimore to Manila Flight: Tips and Places To Go

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR, DOLLS!!! 🙂 I know I promised that I will post an entry yesterday, but aaah the last day of 2014 was a crazy roller coaster ride that ended with so much excitement! Anyway, looking back I realized that posting an entry on the first day of the year is probably a good way to start a progressive blogging year 😉 Only 3 months until I get to be in the arms of my family again,and aaaah I can’t wait! So today, as my first blog of the year, I will look back to my memorable trip back home.

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I don’t think I can ever get used to not being with my family, especially during the holidays. A lot of people tell me that it seems like I have adjusted to my new life here already. but honestly, I still yearn for my family’s presence…every waking day.

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I left a week before A. We all know how hard it could be to ask time off from work. I am blessed that I work with people who understands my situation so they allowed me to get a month off.

It was a bittersweet departure for me. It’s always hard to leave Baltimore alone.. Continue reading “Baltimore to Manila Flight: Tips and Places To Go”

New Jersey Eats: Best Italian Restaurants

Hello, sweets!!! Happy (almost) New Year!! Only two and a half days left to make 2014 memorable, are you ready for 2015? I can’t believe that the new year is literally right around the corner. I feel like I still have tons of things to do before I kiss 2014 goodbye. This holiday week has been really beautiful, I can only thank God for blessing us with time to see family and friends during this wonderful season. It’s been really hectic and crazy for A and I since thanksgiving, and I remember looking forward to to this week when he was at the peak of his 70hr schedule.

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We spent the past week away from Baltimore — a much needed vacation for the both of us.

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We spent 2 days in New York and a couple of days in New Jersey, it was the perfect way to celebrate this holiday season.

Since I am still behind my posts, I am going to share something that happened not too long ago in New Jersey. Continue reading “New Jersey Eats: Best Italian Restaurants”