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.
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.
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…)
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!(more…)
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.
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.
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…)
Hello, dolls! Happy Friday! This week has been going pretty well for me. I am happy that I got to accomplish a lot of things this week, despite of my head being a massive riot because of the million things I am thinking about. I feel ashamed because I have TONS of personal messages, comments here on WordPress, and e-mails that I STILL have to attend to. It’s crazy!!! I feel like every time I respond to one, I receive 5 more in return. So I would like to apologize to the dolls that gave me some lovin’ for the past few weeks.
Tonight, I am going to share the first part of our second day in Bangkok. With all the things that I have in my head right now, traveling is still something that never leaves my mind. If I could freeze time and just take a short leave from the planning,work,and normalcy, I would like to travel…go somewhere with A and our families, and not think about anything. (though…duhhh. it’s going to happen next month! haha)
Before I move on, read about our first day in Bangkok here:
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. (more…)
Hello,sweets! 🙂 Happy (almost) weekend!! For the past few weeks, I’ve realized that my life is in complete procrastination mode. I don’t know what hit me but balancing life,work,and the wedding seems to be the hardest thing to do! I did so well the first few months, but now, everything around me seems very demanding and causes me to be busy. I wish I could just take a solid break and work on things one by one without losing my sanity, but I have to remind myself that this situation that I have now is another huge blessing…it all leads to the beautiful amazing things in life.
All the craziness that I experienced before lead me to my soulmate, A. I have uncountable reasons why I know he is my soulmate,but today I am going to share with you 21 reasons.
I don’t do hugs and I am not big on cuddling. I can honestly say that up until now I still sometimes have this blank look on my face when A tries to give me a cheesy hug (emphasis on the sometimes!). I don’t know why but I was never good at showing my affection by touch. I told A about my condition (haha) during our first month of dating and he just quickly laughed at me.
I guess, when you meet the right person, some things change for the best. Looking at A makes me want to hug him, even if he is just sitting on the couch or doing the something simple, I want to hug him! I like how he gives me this soft smile when I hug him (unlike the annoying blank face that I give him) cause I know I have the world wrapped in my arms 🙂
2. He lets me sparkle
The first time I stared at my engagement ring, I can’t help but feel like the grandest and luckiest woman in the world! I kept on asking him over and over again why he chose the ring that he gave me. It’s so beautiful and it just shows how much A loves me. Every time someone sees my ring I always get the “your ring is so beautiful! your man must really love you”. I get this big spark in my heart everytime I hear that, because A does not only let me sparkle through my ring, he lets me sparkle in so many ways.
Like the way he compliments me when I do something beautiful in the kitchen. How I keep the apartment clean. The way I dress up, and the way I do my make-up and hair.I know I sparkle in his eyes.
He calls me maarte when I am being extra naughty, but he will also take me out on dates just so I can feel pretty by dressing up. (more…)
Hello,sweets! Hello, birthday month!!!! Aaaah I can’t believe it’s November already. My sweet fiance sent me a sweet message today telling me it’s already my birthday month.That started my day right because I love it when A remembers little details that make me happy. Anyway, the month of November makes me miss home more. My birthday is less than a month away from Christmas (and my brother’s birthday) so I always get pretty sentimental. This year, I will be missing holidays at home…again. Good thing, I have memories from last year’s festivities with me to help me get through this year with a big smile on my face.
Yes….my life mantra.
And it’s a real thing because I really do eat cake for breakfast once in while. Haha
Today I will share with you some of the things that I did when I was still in the Philippines. I don’t think there is no better way to celebrate this day but to reminisce of all the good things that I shared with my family over food.
Hello, sweets!!! 🙂 Today I am going to write about the continuation of our engagement shoot. Unlike my previous post, this won’t be extra cheesy and it will mostly cover food. It’s hard for A and I to go out on a date and not make food the highlight.Planning the engagement shoot was very exciting for us, so I will also add a little extra to this post and show you snippets of the things that we did prior to the event. I don’t know if I can ever top my New York Engagement Shoot post, I mean WOW! The traffic that I got and overwhelming messages from everyone made my heart melt. And I guess it’s safe to say…… donnnnn’t goooo! Hahaha!
New York is not only about the fast phased lifestyle and glamorous outfits. It’s the concrete jungle, and one must be an animal to fully see what New York is all about.
Don’t just go to 5th Ave or Times Square. Do get lost,ask New Yorkers, and don’t be afraid! Try the food carts parked on the streets and go to a beautiful restaurant with an amazing view. Stare at the subway map. Ladies, look at the shoes that New Yorkers wear.
Don’t be a tourist, be a traveler.
A gets excited when he sees the word “noodles”. He saw the logo of this restaurant and asked Pat if he can take pictures outside this restaurant.
I almost died laughing, but let’s be honest I found it cute that he spoke up. The engagement shoot is more of a woman’s thing and the fact that he cooperated and wanted something for the two of us made me so happy.
Anyway, we can’t have a picture outside this restaurant and not eat here.
Hello, sweets!! 🙂 Happy hump day!!! I’ve noticed that I haven’t posted anything about my wedding and the joys of planning it since the proposal entry. I love planning events! I think if I am not a Chef right now I would be an Event planner, slaving my way to every joyous moment. I can’t believe that A and I are getting closer and closer to our BIG DAY!!!! And everyday I feel like I still have a million things to do. It’s extra challenging to plan our wedding because we are miles and miles away from the Philippines. Yes! The wedding is going to be in the Philippines, so we are going back to my home country in a couple of months and we can’t wait!! My only wish during this process is to not be a bridezilla, I do not want to put the people that I love through a frightening roller coaster ride. I want it to be memorable for all of us, that’s why I want my personal touch in everything and everyone’s opinion. So far, no one has opposed to anything yet, I don’t know if they are just being nice or what but knowing that everyone is on the same page when it comes to the wedding makes things a lot easier.
Today, I will share with you one of the most exciting happenings in my life,and probably one of the best parts of being engaged —- the engagement shoot! A lot of couples are doing it now, and since I got engaged, whenever A and I does something related to the wedding I couldn’t help but be grateful for all the fun things that we get to experience. Getting married now is now an extra memorable milestone for the couple,all the perks and celebrations are just some of the things that makes me want to not let this pre-wedding stuff to end. I also know that there are still a number of engaged couples out there who are not too thrilled about doing an engagement shoot, and it could be because of many reasons,doing an engagement shoot is not cheap,and it will take up your day just for the shoot alone —- unless you want to keep it low-key and hire a friend photographer, you’ll be fine.
Anyway, these are not the official photos from our photographer. I will be selfish for a little bit and take my time before I share them here! HAHA. And before you move on to the rest of my entry, read about my engagement here http://riannagalvez.wordpress.com/2014/07/20/yes/
My main reason why I started this blog 3 years ago is to inspire people, and though sometimes I feel like I fall short in doing that. Today, I will do my very best to tell you a few tips about having an engagement shoot 🙂
New York, New York!
Here we are at the Brooklyn Bridge being directed by my favorite photographer 🙂 (more…)
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.
Hello, dolls!! 🙂 Hello Baltimore! I am back!!! I am back to reality…. which came too soon for A and I cause in less than 24 hours we both went back to work and endured a day in the kitchen, on our feet! Anyway, the cold season has started to make its way back and I am not too excited about it. It seems like it was only last month when I finally enjoyed the weather here. I do not like winter, and the only good thing that makes me feel good about it is that fact that I can play with layers of clothing…other than that, NO THANKS!
Fall is fast approaching and I don’t think I am ready for it yet. I just brought back summer clothes enough to get me through the entire season from my trip in Bangkok and I can’t probably use them until April! BIG YIKES! I was so used to the climate in Manila that I forgot that here, I have to deal with 4 different seasons.
Thinking about fall almost brings me back to April, when we went to Emporiyum.
It was a pretty cold day, but not cold enough to make me wear 3 layers of clothes, but warm enough to make me take off my jacket once in a while.
One of my presents for our anniversary: 2 tickets to Emporiyum.
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….
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.
Before you move on, please answer the poll above 🙂
10.02.2013: Hop on Hop Off
Hello, dolls!! 🙂 Here is the last part of our second day in Hong Kong. This entry is perfect for foodies like A and I. We had a long list of restaurants that we wanted to visit prior to our Hong Kong trip so we made sure that we would try and visit at least 2 each day. A and I have traveled to different places during our first year together, though this was the first time we went to another country, we’ve made sure that our strategy will stay the same — keep our eyes open for beautiful things that we might see while on our way to the restaurant that we want to go to.
In case you haven’t read these yet, click now before you move forward 😉
We couldn’t wait to see what awaits us at the other side!! 🙂
Big Bus Tours played a huge part during our trip. I don;t think we would be able to go to all the places we’ve been to during the day without BBB. The first time we went on a tour with Big Bus Tours was in Philadelphia with my teacher. I remember reading on their brochure that they operate in different countries as well so I Googled it and voila…. they have BBB in Hong Kong! 🙂 Yay (more…)
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.
Hello, dolls!!! 🙂 Today, I will love myself more. I mean not that I don’t…In fact, sometimes I think I love myself waaay too much haha. But you see, I had a pretty rough week. I don’t know what hit me but I overthink everything or anything that comes my way. I get in this weird zone at least once in a year, not more than thrice if I may say, but yeah. I am just fortunate that I have A who is very patient who tells me the nicest things, hugs me tighter,and keeps emotional eating away from me.
For our anniversary this year, A and I went to New York. We are planning to celebrate our anniversary in different cities (last year we were in New Jersey). I’ve always wanted to go to Momofuku, ever since I read about it almost 4 years ago. It took me a while to get there, but trust me, A and I tried to go 2 years ago but something as exciting as going to Momofuku always comes up, that we’ve decided put it on hold until April 21st. It was more meaningful for us anyway because we went on our Anniversary day! 😉
Hello, dolls!! 🙂 Is it weird that I am not completely happy about being back in Baltimore? I just had one of the best 3 days of my life this past “weekend”!! To round it all up, I spent an amazing day in New York ,and was able to cross off 2 things from my bucket list. Theeeen we had the loveliest 2 days in New Jersey, just like always! I wish it never had to end, but chores and work are waiting for us here in the big B so yeaaaah. For those of you who follows me on Instagram, you would have an idea of what is coming up…and AAAAH I can’t wait!!!!
My favorite season is spring. The weather is perfect — not too cold like winter and not too like summer. I also love it because everything is prettier, flowers start to bloom and trees are green and not scary looking anymore.
One of the things that people here in the US look forward to during spring is the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC. Lucky for me, we are only less than an hour away so yeaaaap…cherry blossoms every spring is such a sight to see!
This is going to be another lengthy post. Lately, I’ve been only posting one entry per week, so to make up to you dear readers, I will add a little extra to each post 🙂
Hello dolls!! 🙂 Happy Friday! The past week has been pretty stressful, the (hashtag) BTB problems has finally kicked in. How did I go from more than a year to less than 11 months? Anyway, today I will be sharing with you another party that I hosted, this time in our apartment. I’ve learned to love hosting parties after my Dad’s great decision of building a rooftop for us. Though I have not hosted any gatherings for the past month because of work, I am looking forward to the next one that will come my way (and I am sensing that it will be in Manila! yay). So just imagine my delight when one of my good friends, Frances, came up to me and asked if I can host her Bachelorette party? I was so excited that I was able to finalize the menu in less than 24 hours haha. I only had less than 3 weeks to get the party together and I am glad that it was a success.
We had so much fun that uhh…I am sharing 50+ photos!! Yupppp.. I got a little crazy haha
So once again, I tried to be Martha Stewart and made most of the decorations and all of the food
the other bridesmaids and I decided on the theme “welcome spring” (cause we were all just yearning for it) and I was supposed to do the party at our backyard but UHHHH it rained! It was pouring so I had to bring the party inside.
Hello, dolls!! 🙂 It’s almost Mother’s Day in the Philippines and I am so heartbroken that I am going to miss another one, to date I think I’ve already spent 4 Mother’s Day away from my Mom. Each weekend has been crazy busy and very exciting! I never thought I would look forward to Mondays this MUCH. I celebrated my first 7 Mondays here with a cocktail in one hand, laughing when I hear the #selfie song and hoping that I won’t scream #yolo by the end of the night. Now, reality came my way and now I am enjoying my weekends doing what I love to do — #kitchenlife.
P.S. I get a little too crazy with hashtags — #AsYouCanSee x #DontEvenGetMeStarted
with my Greek <3
For this year’s Greek Week, A and I were not able to go to more than one Greek restaurant because of his schedule. I was looking forward to going to at least one with him but #kitchenlife comes first in times like this. Luckily, I was able to go to Yasou with Lovely a few days before this so it was a good Greek week for me still 🙂
I am so happy that we were finally able to go to Oyster Bay Grille! I remember being too excited about that night because of 2 reasons — first, their Greek Week menu,and second, I get to see one of the best mentors I’ve had!
Hello dolls!! 🙂 It’s almost cinco de mayo,one of my favorite cultural celebrations here in America. For the most part, I love it because of Mexican food and uhh who doesn’t love colorful and festive days like cinco de mayo? (I can also squeeze in tequilla here but I am not a tequilla drinker soooo yeah). I am extra excited about cinco de mayo this year because it’s on a Monday!!!! A and I are not going to be crazy drunk like the other amigos/amigas here in Baltimore BUT we are planning to have DELICIOUS Mexican food all day (and maybe a margarita for me in between).
I love Mexican food and I fell in love with Chipotle 2 years ago when A brought me there for one of our “secret lunch dates” before work.
I don’t think we’ve been to a lot of Mexican restaurants here in Baltimore because of Chipotle. It’s our to-go slash Mexican fix place!
So yeah this year we are going to get out there and try more Mexican restaurants and I know we will find some good ones like Taco Love Grill because we have a good number of Hispanics here in Maryland! 🙂
I was very excited to go to Taco Love Grill, it was my reward after getting things done at the MVA.