Home 2.0

Hello, dolls!!:) I can’t believe that I am back in MNL!! Aaaah it still feels surreal that I am in my pink room now blogging!! 🙂 The past 2 days has been lovely and I am so grateful for warmth welcome that I received from everyone especially my family. It is so nice to wake up in the morning and have breakfast with my parents again, have my sister as a roommate, and just be in the presence of my family — it almost feels like I never left.

It’s a blessing to have 2 places that I can call home. Last year, I thought I couldn’t let go of the idea of not calling Manila my only home, I felt like if I do so I will spend my life fighting time just to be with my family or it will make my chances of going home slim — and yes, I do not take family matters lightly. But with the help of A, his family, and our friends, I realized that I do not have to let go of MNL just so I can call Baltimore my home too. Some people, like me, are just fortunate to be blessed with an amazing life at the other side of the world, miles and miles away from home..

I know I have not posted enough “B-more updates” since February. Not enough cause there is a handful of amazing things that happened since I returned to my second home. So here is one,some of the things that helped/helps me love Baltimore everyday.

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What I have on my vanity.

Family picture, a photo of my Dad and I when I was only n months old, cute little bear from my jeje-brother, the heart pen that my sister gave me…

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…personalized key chain from my brother Remo,and an Eiffel tower stand up pin from my sissy. <3

Having these on my vanity makes me feel like they are not too far away from me. It reminds me of how blessed I am to have a family that is so understanding and supportive.

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Food For The Parents

February 2014: Of cooking for the family

Hello, dolls!! 🙂 I can’t believe that I will be home in less than 2 weeks!!! Before I left to go back here in Baltimore, I had decided that I will try to cook everyday. I know there will be some factors that will hinder me from doing this, so I added the word “try” — I have a tendency of over beating myself when it comes to cooking so I had to play it a bit safe for my sanity. So I DID, I did cook everyday for the month of February, I DID IT!

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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”.

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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.

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Japanese Night

02.08.14: Moshi Moshi!

Hello, dolls!! 🙂 Happy Sunday!! It has been another exhausting work weekend and I am so glad I will be embracing Monday in less than 12 hours!!!! So my mind is preoccupied with anything relating to the big W next year…and I am guessing it is going to be like this for the next 9 months (AAAAH save me). I promised myself not to be the capricious about the entire thing, but I guess it is common nature you know? To sleep with one thought in the head and wake up with a brand new one the next day. So maybe, it is safe to say that I am driving myself…nuts. Haha

Anyway, so I was able to cross off something on my list and that is to let my favorite girls know about their importance throughout the entire process, and their participation. I wish I could have asked them personally, but yeah…my life is so awesome right now, God reserved something exciting for me instead. Since today is family day, let me share with you a post about the girls that I consider family.

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I hosted a pre-Valentine’s day dinner for the girls. And as usual, we can’t not have a theme. I chose Japanese cuisine so I can practice on my sushi skillZ (yes with a Z haha) AND so we can play around with fun outfits..

We’ve decided to go for “Japanese Street Style” as our peg for the night, you will see our outfits later on but yeah…it was so much fun to be extra weird with my favorite girls! <3

Continue reading “Japanese Night”

KITCHEN DIARIES: APARTMENT COOKING II

 

Hello dolls!! This week,I am EXTRA happy. A and I have a pretty decent work schedule for the next 9 days,and we are embracing each day with soooo much food! We both love pasta, I mean who doesn’t?? Pasta is one of our “to go” foods, and I love how we can make the simplest pasta dish in 15 minutes, or an amazing homemade pasta and sauce in 45 minutes. When the year 2014 started, I told A that when I get back I would like to try and do everything from scratch ; emphasis on the word try cause some foods need extra resources to be made.  Anyway, one of the things that we enjoy doing in the kitchen is making fresh pasta.

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We usually call Monday “Pasta Monday” or “Meatless Monday”.

But recently it has been “Asian Monday” cause for 2 weeks now I’ve cooked Asian food! haha

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This happened almost 3 months ago, our very first fresh pasta in the apartment.

We decided to make ravioli with it. I remember it was the day after our housewarming party, and I told A I want ravioli, next thing I know we were  in the kitchen gathering all the ingredients for our delicious dinner.

Continue reading “KITCHEN DIARIES: APARTMENT COOKING II”

Valentines 2014 <3

02.14.14: Home Is Where The Heart Is

Hello, dolls!! 🙂 Today is Sunday, so it’s family time. Though I am gazillion miles away from my family, I try to do little things that would remind me of our awesome family days together, one of which is to share them through this blog.

Valentine’s day has always been a family thing for me, I’ve never really enjoyed it with another person until A came into my life. For the past few years, my Dad would always make it special for my sister, my Mom and I — balloons and bouquets of flowers are always present in our home during Valentine’s day. So just imagine, how happy I was to be able to wake up in Manila for Valentine’s Day this year. I know it’s crazy that I am only posting this now, but whatevs…you know how this blog and normalcy rolls, they just couldn’t meet together. HA

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This year was slightly different,

3 red roses and red balloons from my Dad and brothers AAAAAND a sweet handwritten letter all the way from Baltimore from my love <3

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Valentine’s Day dinner table

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And Valentine’s Day outfit…

all after the jump 😉

 

Continue reading “Valentines 2014 <3”

Frances’ Bachelorette Party

 

03.27.2014: G.I.R.L.S

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

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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.

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 Gotta let them know!

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Housewarming Party

03.23.2014: Welcome to our apartment!

Hello dolls!! 🙂 How have you been? Another busy weekend has come to an end (and when I say weekend, I mean Sunday-Tuesday). It’s been a while since my last update about my life here in Baltimore. Can you believe that tomorrow, it will be my 3rd month here?? Time flies so fast, and this entry is 2 months late! HA HA

One of the things that I am loving here is…our apartment!! It’s spacious, modern, and just simply amazing. This is not an apartment tour but it could be the start of more apartment posts in the future, maybe some DIYs or housekeeping tips from a newbie like me! 😛

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Independent living is not new to me, but if I could rate my first year of being independent, I would say that I was like a student learning the ins and outs of having to deal with chores on a day to day basis. Coming from a home wherein I would only have to worry about waking up and doing the things that I love to do without worrying about house chores made me appreciate the beauty of being a responsible adult.

Anyway, let me share with you our amazing experience during our housewarming week.

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Here’s how we spent our “last” monthsary. A and I decided that we will stop celebrating our monthsary after our second since we now know that we have years and years ahead of us! 🙂

Late night sausage making, and to make our Friday night even better…we had wine!

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Afternoon Tea with The Girls

 

02.02.14: Half of my beautiful m’s

Hello dolls!! 🙂 I can’t believe how EXHAUSTED I am right now.  My arms feel like they are going to fall off and uhh I slept an hour longer, I am pretty displeased about that cause to me oversleeping is me wasting time. I do not want to be hard on myself today, so I am going to stop myself now… I deserved that 1 hour extra,after all tonight is another crazy busy night at work!

Anyway, so today, I am going to share with you one of my favorite afternoons this year. Before I left, my girls and I decided to do a weekly themed gathering. For the first week of February, I hosted an afternoon tea party. Jho and I decided on this after our weekday afternoon tea date.

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After some research and conceptualizing, I am happy that I was able to pull this off.

It was the first real afternoon tea party that I hosted! I was excited and nervous.

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Channeling my inner Martha Stewart<3

Will start this post with food, add a little bit of friendship, and finish off with fashion <3 “F” that!

Continue reading “Afternoon Tea with The Girls”

KITCHEN DIARIES: Apartment Cooking

Hello, dolls! 🙂 How was your Mother’s Day weekend? Mine was ahh-mah-zing! I was able to talk to my Mom which was very important. I spent the weekend with my family here, away from reality. I would love to talk about our awesome weekend in New Jersey, but this post is going to be all about the foods that we made in the apartment. I noticed that it’s been a while since I posted something that I did in our kitchen — here on my blog, Instagram and Facebook. So here I am, sharing. 😉

Great food is meant to be shared, and  I wish I can send you all a bite of the things that I make but I guess posting entries will suffice for now. So here are a couple of things that we did 2 months ago, yes 2 months ago! I have TONS of pictures to sort and post and I wish I can just keep the rhythm on this blog.

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One morning, I woke up and said ” I want apple bars”. Lucky for me, I have a fiance who is willing to wake up early and go to the grocery to buy my ingredients.

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I love using Granny Smith on desserts! And I LOVE Granny Smith with sugar and cinnamon…I mean, don’t we all do?

Continue reading “KITCHEN DIARIES: Apartment Cooking”

Oyster Bay

03.27.14:  Greek Week

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 

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with my Greek <3

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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!

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Family Night Times Four

Hello, dolls!! 🙂 How was your cinco de mayo?  I hope it wasn’t just another lazy Monday, cause mine was AWESOME. I know the Philippines is not big on cinco de mayo, but America is, and I am so glad that I can celebrate and not look weird for being too excited about it. The night before cinco de mayo, something hit me, I saw the scarf that my brother #jejekid gave me 2 years ago. I thought that it was really perfect for the day — the festive colors representing cinco de mayo and the soft texture fit for spring. I pulled it out of my closet and as a habit, I smelled it (yes, I smell my clothes haha) but that’s not what’s important — it smelled like home. The mixed feelings that I got when I smelled the scarf brought me to tears and gave me this certain excitement. I can’t wait to go home and be with my piggies again, I can’t wait to cook for my family again and see my Dad happy, I can’t wait for our travel plans to happen — I CAN’T WAIT!

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Cinco de Mayo and my yearning for my family? This is the perfect post for today.

I love themed dinners and love menu planning. I am very OC when it comes to the dishes complimenting each other — flavor, cuisine, texture, color.

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Rooftop Afternoons

 

Hello, dolls!! 🙂 It’s officially spring, my favorite season!! It’s crazy how the nicer weather comes with spring flu virus. Yup, I caught it! I’ve been sneezing and sniffing since yesterday and boy is it hard to be sick when you are alone. All I really want to do now is to cuddle with my Mom.I always find myself wanting to be snuggled up in bed with her when I’m sick. She is soooo soft and her arms and legs are “pillow like” lol.

So today I am going to make you hungry. My afternoons here in Baltimore are different — no rooftop, no afternoon cooking for the family, just me time usually. In the midst of my crazy fast paced life, I can’t help but be excited for my Dad’s 50th birthday!!! I can already smell home and feel the warmth of being surrounded by my family. Don’t get me wrong, I love it here! I am loving every minute of it and I wouldn’t have my life any other way BUT home is home.

Let me share with you some of the things that I cooked for my family, especially my parents, before I left MNL 🙂

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Milk Shake x Grilled Cheese Afternoon

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Aside from me missing home, today is “National Siblings Day” so it is just perfect to write something about the awesome moments that we’ve had with the food that I made form our kitchen 🙂

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Come tooooo Mommmah

BACON x tomato x cheddar cheese

Hungry yet? I HAVE MORE!

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Kitchen Diaries: You, Me, and the Kitchen

 

Hello dolls!! 🙂 Wow! I can’t believe it’s Sunday already!! Each week just keeps on getting better and I am looking at more Saturday night outs in the coming month. I am so excited for April mainly because of our anniversary!!! A and I are going to celebrate our second year together soon… yay!! 2 years with the person who I can share and do everything that I love with. Especially COOKING! Our week is not complete without us cooking together and I love how we always find time to try different things each week.

Here are the things that we made in the kitchen during my 2 weeks back in Baltimore.

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Jet lag and sudden cravings lead to this.

Continue reading “Kitchen Diaries: You, Me, and the Kitchen”

The Collaboration

 

 

02.05.14: Kitchen Hours

Hello, dolls!!! 🙂 I can’t believe that the first half of March just flew by…you know, just like that. I feel like I just got here and every week is another chapter to share. I wish life can slow down for a little bit cause there are things that I need to accomplish before we bid goodbye to March. So yeah, it’s been pretty hectic and partly boring cause I am still…waiting. 

Waiting for school to start!!! Aaaaaah!! I can’t wait to be a better student this time. My confidence level when I was in Culinary school was close to none, don’t ask me why but I’ve always had this big empty room in me where I feel like I just want to fulfill it with all the things that I will learn and just absorb them and be this shy little culinarian who loves to observe. My lack of confidence didn’t stop me from engaging myself to the beauty of Culinary school and be part of some of the great things that happened during my 2 years in CCA. Part of that greatness was meeting exceptional people, I don’t have a lot, but if I can give you a quick rundown I would probably say Joyce first.

I get too gaga over baking, maybe because there’s this sense of me wanting to know more about it since I took up Culinary & Technology Management. People who can make extraordinary food and desserts (Instagram- slash- food- magazine- worthy- type- of- thing) inspire me. So just imagine the happiness that I felt when Joycmessaged me on Facebook, almost a month before my departure, asking me to collaborate with her.

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Obligatory MEP shot.

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What we dealt with.

5 dishes. 3 cooks. 8 hours together.

Continue reading “The Collaboration”

The Second Chapter

 

 

 

02.24.14 – 03.01.14 – Baltimore all over again

Hello, dolls!! 🙂 I just started a new week here…and boy I feel like this “welcome back vibe” is not going to end for another month. Time is moving too fast but my tasks and responsibilities are never ending — not that I’m complaining. I like this…I love this! I love looking forward to the things ahead of me and get them done one by one — just like how I, and everyone else that I love, made my return to Baltimore possible.

Exactly 12 days from today I will mark my first month here for the second time. A little over 2 weeks and I feel like there’s this side in Baltimore that I just don’t want to go to, and it’s crazy cause it’s not even a place. Vague and silly as it may sound but yeah trying to stay away from everyone else’s drama is pretty hard when you have no one with you most of the day.

Anyway, here’s a rundown of what transpired during my first 5 days back here. These are just highlights of each day so yeaaaap.

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A and his parents picked me up from the airport — yup I am blessed like that.

I didn’t really feel hungry when I hopped off the plane, and after finding out that Delta left my other luggage in LAX!

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We went to the last restaurant I went to last year, before I went back to the Philippines. It’s so nice to be at the last place I’ve been to for my first hour back.

And yes, I like diners here cause they serve omelettes and I LOVE EGGS!

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A’s scrapple and my garden omelette.

This breakfast definitely made me feel that I am back in the US! I am not an omelette person in the Philippines, but here… I AM!

Continue reading “The Second Chapter”

Kitchen Diaries: Chicken Lasagna x Beer Battered Fish

11.16.13: What Saturday looks like

Hello, dolls!! 🙂 It’s the second Sunday of the month, and I can just feel how close I am to flying again when I stretch my arms. The excitement has kicked in already and I plan to keep it that way! Only good vibes and no loneliness, that’s what I am aiming for! I could be a long shot but what the heck? I made it possible this past October and I know I can do it again.

#throwback: Speaking of excitement, I can’t help but reminisce about all the wonderful dinners A and I had in Baltimore. We already have a list of the restaurants that we will visit when I get back and I can’t waaaaaait!

Woodberry – http://riannagalvez.com/2012/06/29/woodberry/

Clementine – http://riannagalvez.com/2012/06/04/clementine-and-the-babies/

Ten Ten – http://riannagalvez.com/2012/07/22/ten-ten/

Pasta Plus – http://riannagalvez.com/2012/08/07/pasta-plus-and-plusand-plus/

Cause we love BRUNCH! – http://riannagalvez.com/2012/09/01/brunches-and-munches/

Anyway, since I had an amazing day in our kitchen yesterday resulting to a very successful Japanese themed dinner, I am going to give you a glimpse of how I spend my Saturdays.

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Continue reading “Kitchen Diaries: Chicken Lasagna x Beer Battered Fish”

KitchenDiaries: Chocolate Almond Fudge

“The ability to make people think is a wonderful gift”

I often question myself why I blog and not call myself a…blogger. I don’t know about you, but I respect every title there is in this world. Like how I take the word “Chef” seriously, and work hard to be deserving to be called one.I still feel shy when someone calls me a blogger, I feel like I am trespassing the zone of the people who actually works hard for it, like those who actually do it for a living. I think that I exist on WordPress as a person who likes to talk about life and share wonderful photos.Inspire readers through my passion for cooking, love for fashion, and the beauty of being a daughter/sister/lover.

#throwback

Before I learned about angles and lighting – http://riannagalvez.com/2012/01/12/pmbccc/

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Anyway, since I’ve been spending a glorious amount of time in our kitchen I will talk about food.

Also, I have been very diligent in taking food photos that are Instagram/Wordpress worthy. So I have to keep this moving, along  all the other backlogs that I have piled up on my desktop. #SMH

Continue reading “KitchenDiaries: Chocolate Almond Fudge”

Forever21plus2: My Kind of Party

11.30.2013: 22 days

Hello dolls! 🙂 It’s the first day of the month and I feel ambivalent about it.For the past few days, I’ve made things happen and did everything that I want to do, and I plant to keep it like that. I always get into this juncture when I am about to leave, like I try my best not to go that depressing sappy lane of “separation anxiety” or “SEPANX” as they call it now lol. I think I still have to muster up the art of putting a brave face for that “airport moment”, A and I did a great job this past October, and I want that to happen as well a few weeks from now. “It’s not going to be for too long, so there’s no reason to be sad”.

Anyway,this a “drama free” blog now, I am going to stop from there and go on with my last entry about my 23rd birthday! 🙂 BUUUUT before I do so let me share with you my #throwback for this weekend! 🙂

Since it now the first day of February, or the “love month” as hopeless romantics puts it, here are a couple of my favorite entries

With my favorite Valentine’s dates –  http://riannagalvez.com/2012/02/24/100th-post-valentines-lunch-date-in-villa-cafe/

Just like Anthony Bourdain –  http://riannagalvez.com/2012/02/21/aling-lucing/

Hot Air Balloon Experience –  http://riannagalvez.com/2012/02/18/first-timers/

Hot Air Ballon Experience II – http://riannagalvez.com/2012/02/18/17th-hot-air-balloon-fiesta/

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birthday dinner with girlfriends at my favorite place to celebrate, our rooftop! 🙂

Continue reading “Forever21plus2: My Kind of Party”

Melbourne Prime: Test Kitchen

Cause life couldn’t be better <3

Hi dolls! 🙂 So remember the girl who almost talked about the darkness of life? She’s gone…and let’s hope that she’s not going to be back until (never).

Disclaimer: this is a series of the beauty of life.

Just like most of my posts, I will yet again, talk about LIFE. A few weeks ago, I’ve been wallowing in complexity, We all have those moments in life, wherein we feel like we are stuck inside a hole that we can’t seem to find a way out of. That the moment you realize that you are your own enemy, it makes you feel more trapped. Have you heard of the phrase “God can turn mistakes into miracles”? Well it’s true..and it has been proven to me for a billion times already, just like today.

I’ve been feeling restless for the past few days, and I all I wanted to do earlier was to hit that 8 hour mark of sleep. But, there are things that I am willing to sacrifice my sleep for, and that is….that piece of paper that we got in the mail today. I still can’t believe that we are step closer, which is ironic cause all this time all that we have been doing is to BELIEVE in the power of His love for us. We stood by our faith and we got rewarded by an amazing early birthday present.

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I know I do not post that much about what I do,but here’s a glimpse of me…doing what I am passionate about.

The second thing that I am celebrating today, is the gratification of being appreciated. I will never ever forget that time I prayed to Him and said “I want to be great at something”. And though I know I have so much to learn (and I am so excited about it), I am deeply overwhelmed with the people who notices my talent, those who appreciates the things that I can do…and those who believes in me.

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Anyway, before I turn this blog into a reflection paper, let’s move on to….FOOD.

He are some of the things that we did at work. I work at a company that imports meat from Australia, so as much as we want to try all of the recipes that we have on hand, we had to focus on the main star — the meat.

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Cause I enjoy trussing beef. I hope that one day, when my Chef from our Butchery class sees this she will be proud….hahahaha

But yeaaaap, it may seem unlikely but trussing beef is one of my favorite things to do in the kitchen! 🙂

 

 

 

 

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I am back in the land where “parsley” is the favorite garnish.

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Tried two recipes for our meatloaf test day…

 

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We thank Paula Deen for making our day easy.

 

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Rochelle’s take on Crispy Tapa

 

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My Chicken Fried Steak with Gravy

Will fly again soon,

R<3 xx