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Sugar, spice, and a pinch of GLAM

Archive for the ‘MANILA’ Category

Almost..I do.

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. DSC_0898A

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.

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it was a Friday and luckily both A and I got the night off. So we invited this little egg tart to join us

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Manila Diaries: XLB and Noodles

September 2014: Hello again, Manila!

Hello dolls!!! 🙂 Aaaah, Manila! It’s almost a week since we’ve been home and about 2 weeks left until our big day! If there’s a chance for me to stop or slow down time, now would be the perfect time to do so. A and I have been taking afternoon naps because of jet lag, not that it is important, but it’s something that we have not done before! RELAX and not worry about work the next day. Although I must admit, my decision is kind of making me nervous about the first 3 months of my return to Baltimore. Ugggh. Why do I have to overthink everything?

Manila means food tripping everyday for A and I. Whether it be home or somewhere A would get stared at haha. I am only have a few posts left from our trip here in Manila last year, and I hope I could finish all of it before I say I do.

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Before A and I would go on a trip, we would make a list of ALL the things/places that we want to do/go to.

Being a person who makes lists on almost everything, this has been really effective for us. The deal is to go out for lunch and check one thing off our list, then come home for dinner with family. Easy.

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One of the places that A wanted to go to last year was Lugang Cafe.

It’s a restaurant by Bellagio Group based out of Shanghai and Beijing. Lugang Cafe specializes in authentic Chinese cuisine.  (more…)

Sirius Espresso

09.12.14: Great food makes a trip

Hello,dolls!!! Happy hump day 😉 Aaah I can’t believe we only have less than 3 weeks left until we officially start our wedding journey. 2 Mondays left to accomplish everything that we need to do before our departure…oh the excitement of knowing that I will have a month filled with adventures and LOVE!!! <3

Looking at photos from our trip in Asia 6 months ago pumps me up more. I can’t wait to be with my family again and eat delicious food with A!!! One of our food adventures in Manila last year, and definitely one of my favorites is our trip to Bulacan to finally try my friend Karen’s baby… Sirius Espresso.

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I am always happy to see my friends become successful. As soon as I found out that Karen opened a cafe, I wanted to hop on the next flight back home and try all the delicious things that she is whipping up.

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I do not mind driving all the way to Bulacan just to try her food! Anyway, Bulacan is not that far from us. It only took us less than minutes to get to her restaurant without traffic…awesome! (more…)

It’s a Kate Spade thing

Hello, dolls!!! 🙂 It’s the third day of March,how has it been for you so far? For me, I am literally counting the days until winter is over (YESSS!!!) and our trip to Manila! I can’t believe that I can now say “we will be home in 27 days”. I feel like it was only yesterday when we booked our flights..and now I have to worry about packing SOON! Last month, I mentioned that my head’s a riot…well multiply that to 2 this month (and the month just started…yes!) I feel like I am still planning things even in my sleep which is crazy…beautiful. haha. There is no escaping….the wedding shenanigans and stress is crawling up to my sanity slowly.

So tonight I want keep it light…post something simple but worthy. Cause seriously, I feel like I’ve been thinking way toooo much that it’s almost like my head is going to explode any minute.

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I am going to start this entry by saying “happy almost 1st birthday, love!”

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When I say that A is the perfect man for me, I mean it. I sometimes think that he is a pdychic or something because he has never failed to give me the perfect present. (Or maybe I am just that easy to please….which is actually a fact)

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I noticed that every year I have a brand that I go crazy about. Like unconsciously or without even trying so hard, I tend to consider that brand when buying stuff. I am so into it.

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Hello, Bangkok!

BANGKOK DIARIES

09.05.2014: S̄wạs̄dī

Hello, dolls!!!! 🙂 I am very very excited to share with you our trip to Thailand. I can’t believe that it has been 5 months already…and boy do I miss it! Last year, A and I were introduced to “family trips”. After our trip to Bangkok, I don’t think I can no longer say “my family and I with A” because A is now part of the family,and vice versa. Whether it be it with our family in the Philippines, or here in the US, we are all considered as one family now. So anyway, I am very happy that I am now sharing my first Bangkok post 🙂

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To be in another country with A and our family is probably one of the best blessings that I received last year

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One of the best trips ever!!! Especially because it was for the best Dad who turned 50 last year! 🙂

We had an early flight to Bangkok. Getting 8 people to wake up early and be ready before 7Am is not easy. So after dressing up, we went straight to the airport.

No breakfast for us!!! Everyone was excited and in a hurry because we did not want to miss our flight. We were so ready to have our first meal of the day after checking in our luggage. (more…)

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Hello, sweets! 🙂 Happy Valentine’s Day <3 What a cold snowy Valentine’s day it is! It’s so funny whenever people asked 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 Vday 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 Vday 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 received a lot of presents last year. 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 to 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” FB 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.

But A showed me that he is more than just a date. I am not the most romantic showy person ever! And most of the time I feel guilty for not being affectionate more. 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. (more…)

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!

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Manila Eats: September 2014

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. (more…)

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.

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Home Run for The New Year

 

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.. (more…)

November Girls

It’s never too late to have a new BFF!

Hello, sweets!!! 🙂 I can’t believe we are almost halfway through my birthday month!(time, you need to slowdown!!!). November is always sweet to me, even though I do not try to make it extra amazing, blessings come pouring to remind me of how beautiful life is (and that turning a year old is not too bad!).I am not the only one who looks forward to November (well….duhh) what makes it even more special now is that one of my best friends birthday is also in November!

There are times where I feel like I am not being a good friend. Times that make me realize that being away could be challenging in every way. Recently it would take me up to more than a day to get back to messages from my friends, and it makes me feel horrible (of course!) because it shouldn’t be that way. Last night I felt overwhelmed about everything that I NEED to do in the next couple of months, all I wish right now is to have TIME to make them all happen.

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Days like this makes me miss having my girlfriends close to me. I wish I could just give them a call right now and meet up an hour after.

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I miss having lunch dates with Alyza, I wish I was home for her birthday to celebrate our birthday month together, just like last year! But the least thing that I can do for the person who made being in a LDR relationship bearable for me for 10 months is to write an entry here on my blog. (more…)

Halloween Hits

“The Gift of Friendship”

Hello, sweets!! Happy Sunday!!! Sundays remind me of home..my family..my friends..my closet..everyone and everything! Halloween is fast approaching and I am still not sure if I will be able to dress up and party it up with my friends here (cause I have to work  late every weekend!!!!) Luckily I brought good memories with me to write about, so my Halloween is not going to be as lame as I think it would be. I am not big on scary stuff, and candies come first to mind when I think of Halloween. I don’t know if I will be able to give out candies this year but I know someday soon I can get crazy and make trick or treaters happy. Last year, I spent Halloween with my friends and I deliberately waited until this month to write about the good times that we shared together when I was home.

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 The reason why I am also writing about this a few weeks early is because I  recently saw these kitchen babies that my good friend Cams gave me during my going away party this year.

They brings me back to our “panic spatula” slash Culinary school days. I love how my friends know me, and how they give me the perfect presents! Just like the tea infuser cause I am a tea lover <3

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A few weeks before I left this February I had dinner with PPG at Mad for Garlic,The Fort.

We all do the same thing, we cook. Setting a date for dinner with all of us is always a challenge so I was very happy that we got to see each other before I left.

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Hong Kong Diary: See you again, Hong Kong!

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.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/hong-kong-and-us/

Island and Us –  http://riannagalvez.wordpress.com/2014/08/09/hong-kong-diary-island-food-adventures/

Repulse Bay –  http://riannagalvez.wordpress.com/2014/08/21/hong-kong-diary-repulse-bay/

Hong Kong Eats – http://riannagalvez.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/hong-kong-diary-pigeon-mantis-shrimp-and-some-afternoon-sun/

Street Food Diet – http://riannagalvez.wordpress.com/2014/09/12/hong-kong-diary-street-food-diet/

HBD, A – http://riannagalvez.wordpress.com/2014/10/06/hong-kong-diary-happy-birthday-a/

A’s Bday Dinner – http://riannagalvez.wordpress.com/2014/10/08/hong-kong-diary-as-birthday-dinner/

 

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The hotel sent us a fruit platter for A’s birthday before we checked out! Perfect for me because I love fruits!! YUMMMS

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‘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.

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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.

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Best Sunday of the Year

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.

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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.

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Room Tour: MNL

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.

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 I will show you a glimpse of the amazing room that my Dad built for my sister and I <3

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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

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Dusit Thani

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!)

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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.

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Had to stop and take a picture with one of my favorite brands of tea… TWG!

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Of Befores

Hello,dolls!! 🙂 I can’t believe that April is almost coming to an end!!! It has been an amazing month and I am looking forward to the amazing things that we have planned for May 2014. Though I hate to see the loveliest month of the year leave, I am excited that in 4 months I will be with my family again!!! We have planned so much for my return and aaaaaah I can’t wait to travel and be with my favorite piggies again!!

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So this the continuation  (sort of) of my major throwback post 3 days ago.

Maxi skirts/dresses makes me feel pretty without being too girly.

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I hate”d” wearing pants. I used to wear them a lot when I was younger but everyone thought I was a tomboy or something so I had to do some MAJOR makeover and yeaaap a few years after here I am now, posting a fashion entry on my blog.

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Anghelica’s

 

Hello dolls and hello APRIL!!! It’s official, A and I are only days away from celebrating our second anniversary. The weather is getting nicer now and I am just hoping that our anniversary weekend will be as good as last year’s. Anyway, one of the things that I am missing terribly is authentic Filipino food. It’s so weird cause I am not really the kind of Filipino who requests for Pinoy food every week, when I was still home I would often suggest Japanese,Chinese, Thai, Mediterranean, European or Italian food when we go out. BUT one thing that I could not resist are Filipino Desserts! I cannot go a week without having my kakanin or ube fix. And I must say, I go gaga over ube.

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Best ube dessert I had!!!

Uhhhh why can’t I just have this now??? Whyyyy!!?!?

 

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The person behind this amazing ube leche flan cake is probably the nicest and coolest Chef that I know. And I am not only saying this cause she understands my kaartehan BUT because she really is amazing like that.

Two of the best Filipino desserts in one?? YES PLEASE!

I wish I have a better photo of this heavenly delight when I ordered the first time, but my family just massacred this thing  after I opened the box. It was toooo good!!!

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I am such a fan. I can’t sit and  just look at her posts on Facebook when she launched her “Dulce Queso Mamon and Smore’s”.

It’s such a shame cause Chef Ann just came up with another dessert and I am like 1 million miles away from the Philippines!! 😐 I swear when I get back I am going to order the biggest ube leche flan cake and the new baby!! 🙂

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Our affair with Banana Leaf

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.

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It is happening NOW.

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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!!!

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Is it September yet?

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

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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!

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One of the reasons why I love going to Korean restaurants!

Overflowing healthy appetizers!! <3

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