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

Continue reading “Almost..I do.”

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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.  Continue reading “Manila Diaries: XLB and Noodles”

New York Diaries: Ivan Ramen

10.06.14: Of ramen and tea

Hello, dolls!!! 🙂 Hello, Vancouver!! Aaah I can’t believe that this is really happening!! After having an amazing and busy weekend with A,we are now on our way to Manila. As what A said “it is our most memorable trip to Manila”. It is definitely a trip of a lifetime because it will be the first time that our families will be together. Anyway, we have less than an hour left here in Vancouver until our plane leaves for Manila, hopefully that will be enough time for me to publish this one before all the craziness begin when we arrive home.

Today, we experienced a couple of firsts together. It’s our first time to travel to Manila together (this is A’s third time in MNL). Also, our first time to fly out of JFK. Thank God that our flag carried, Philippine Airlines, started flying to Manila from New York 2 weeks ago! We were very excited about this when they broke the news last year, no more loooong layovers, exhausting connecting flights,and worrying about our baggage!

Oh,we have so much love for New York! So let me share with you A’s birthday celebration in New York last year 🙂

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One of the things that I love about A is how it’s not very hard to put a smile on his face.

He appreciates everything even the simplest form of gesture.

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So what better way to make my birthday boy happy? A trip to New York to eat ramen 🙂 Continue reading “New York Diaries: Ivan Ramen”

Happy 27th, A!

10.07.14: Happy Birthday, Love! 

Hello, dolls! 🙂 Happy #ThrowbackThursday. One shift left and we will be on vacation mode…or should I say wedding mode! haha. It’s funny how I find it a bit sad that we are going to be away from Baltimore for more than a month, I mean isn’t that weird? I’ve always loved the thought that I get to be home every year. Being here for 3 years, I still managed to never miss a year in the Philippines, for some reason I get blessed with opportunities to come home. For 3 years, I have learned to love this place and call it my home. So I guess #SepAnx is slowly kicking in..

So before we leave for the Philippines,and start get extremely busy for the wedding, let me share with you how we celebrated A’s birthday last year.

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A’s birthday fell on a beautiful Sunday. Unfortunately, he had to work all day, but was able to convince him to let him come in at noon so we can have brunch together.

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Surprising each other is challenging for A and I. How do you surprise someone that you are with everyday? Continue reading “Happy 27th, A!”

Wedding Diaries: Bridal Registry I

10.2014: beep-beep-beep-bop…scanned!

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.

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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 DSC_0318A

So now, let me share with you something that made me love being a bride-to-be more — the wedding registry! Continue reading “Wedding Diaries: Bridal Registry I”

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! Continue reading “Sirius Espresso”

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.

Continue reading “It’s a Kate Spade thing”

(Hello,2015) Hello, March!

12.31.14: HAPPY NEW YEAAAAR!

Hello, sweets! Hello, MARCH! Whew! Just like that….and February is over. I asked myself today if I am happy about my accomplishments for the past month, if I have done enough, learned new things, and spent each day wisely. I did, I am so happy that I was able to make the most out of February. So I spent the first hour of my day laying in bed thinking about how exhausting my Saturday shift was. I literally can’t get myself out of bed this morning, it’s as if I ran a marathon last night.

Speaking of first day, for my first blog for the month, I will share with you how we welcomed the New Year (the first day of the year).

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A and I had to work that day. But lucky for me, I was able to leave 2 hours early from work. I was stressed out about our food all day. We finalized the menu the day before New Year’s Eve.

Our menu is simple and “time friendly”. I only had an hour to spare for cooking.I wanted to be on full party mode once our guests arrive so yeah, for a last minute party menu, I must say that we had a decent NYE party food.

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Cause what’s a party without dessert?

So I can’t not throw a party without baking something. I had to use whatever we had here. Lucky for me, I bought strawberries earlier that week. So I decided to make strawberry swirl cupcakes with strawberry and cream cheese frosting. Continue reading “(Hello,2015) Hello, March!”

Hershey Park 2014

08.18.2014: Forever Young

Hello, sweets!! 🙂 Happy Monday <3 We  are now at the last stretch of February and ahh  I feel like I still have a lot of things to do, even though A already told me that I knocked off a lot of things on my list for this month. I just feel weird accomplishing things on my computer..you know? Like most of my meetings, transactions, and “canvassing” are done through the internet. Maybe I am yearning for that “hands on” feeling…like how I used to do whenever I am organizing some event or dinner. Being far away and planning a wedding at the other side of the world is challenging! I often second guess my decisions or put them on hold until April. It’s crazy but yeah…I can’t complain though because I am loving every minute of being busy.

Lucky for me, I have a fiance who knows what to do to keep my sanity intact. He knows exactly what to do..and that is to take me on an adventure. Our adventures are mostly for food. It also doesn’t have to be extreme,extravagant, or extraordinary.. every new thing that comes our way is an adventure for us.

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So about a week before I left for the Philippines last year, A and I had the opportunity to go to Hershey Park.

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It was my second time at Hershey Park,my first with A, and our first time to go to a theme park together so I was very excited that day.

Check my photodiary about my first trip to Hershey Park here https://riannagalvez.wordpress.com/2012/06/17/hershey-park-2012/

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The beginning of our Hershey Park adventure. Continue reading “Hershey Park 2014”

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. Continue reading “Hello, Bangkok!”

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”

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. Continue reading “Happy Valentine’s Day!”

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: 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 schedules will most likely get in the way. Thank God for our pre-cana because we get to be on the same page about our relationship and important things without getting into an argument or trying too hard.

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 we decided to take the girls cause they’ve never tried Jollibee.

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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: Jollibee”

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: 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. Continue reading “Manila Eats: September 2014”

Christmas Morning

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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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 Morning”

NJ Diaries: Summer 2014

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 “NJ Diaries: Summer 2014”

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”