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Sugar, spice, and a pinch of GLAM

Posts tagged ‘Family’

Bangkok Diaries: Amphawa

09.06.14: อัมพวา

Hello, dolls! Happy Tuesday 🙂 I can’t believe that our trip to Manila is just right around the corner. I feel like we just booked our flights yesterday. Time really knows how to play with our emotions sometimes. I am starting to get anxious about my wedding, feel sad because I know I will only get to be a full time bride-to-be for less than 21 days, and happy because after 7 months I can finally be with my family again…and even more excited because it is a dream come true to have both of my families together!!!! My head is a riot so I don’t know if I even made sense. haha

I can consider my year a successful one when I get to travel. I have never missed a year to go someplace I have never been to before since I was 14, and to me that is one of the best blessings ever! To be able to find time,go somewhere,see new things,and feel free.

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So today, let me share with you the continuation of our Bangkok trip

Read my previous posts about our trip here https://riannagalvez.wordpress.com/category/thailand-2/

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As you all know, A and I are big fans of Anthony Bourdain. We use his show as our guide when we visit another city. We accomplished a lot of the restaurants that he recommended in Hong Kong, some in New York, a couple in New Jersey, and of course, we took the opportunity to go to the places he went to in Thailand. (more…)

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(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. (more…)

Hello, Bangkok II

09.05.2014: First Day High

Hello, dolls! 🙂 Happy Friday!! Aaah only 3 more (or maybe 4) Fridays like this and I will be embracing the joys of being a full time bride-to- be!!! For my last post for February, I am going to share with you the second installment of our Bangkok trip.

One of my goals for my second time in Bangkok was to “go hard”. A and I were teasing my sister about all the food that she has to try, being a picky eater, she would always give us this weird gross look whenever we mention a kind of street food and how spicy and funky smelling it could be. Go big or go home, became our official motto lol. Every time we are in doubt of something, even when it’s not extreme such as buying a skirt,we would say “go big or go home” haha

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So anyway, it has been about 4 years since my last trip to Thailand. 4 years is a long time, but I was surprised that mostly everything that I saw during my first trip remained the same.

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We stayed at the same hotel, so it was easier for me to remember most of the things that I did and saw before, especially how to get around.

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The location of our hotel is really convenient for all shopaholics like us. We are right in front of Central Mall, they set up night markets  outside the hotel and the mall, food carts are always there early in the morning until late night. (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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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! 🙂 (more…)

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…)

Engagement Dinner

07.20.14: With My Italian Family

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

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

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

2015 will be, I DO.

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

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

Adorable gift bag from the Buscemi’s. (more…)

Thanksgiving 2014

11.27.14: Turkey Day

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

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

But I’ll get back to this later haha

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 Our beautiful table on Thanksgiving.

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

So we had dinner later than everyone else in the East Coast…it’s funny cause as I was browsing my Instagram feed I saw a bunch of Thanksgiving dinner posts while we were just having our appetizer. haha (more…)

Hello, 2015

Hello, dolls! 🙂 3 days has passed since we welcome the new year, how was your 2015 so far? I honestly don’t feel like it’s already 2015, maybe because I am drowning with all the responsibilities that I have to do before this month ends (God I really need to get it together) or maybe because I still can’t believe that I will get married, see my family, and turn 25 THIS YEAR! It’s crazy how life scares us with time sometimes, I feel like I can never have enough days in a year — especially starting 2012, cause since then life has been amazing and I always get this feeling that I do not want that year to end.

Anyway, I stopped doing resolutions when I turned 15, cause after 10 days I forget about all the things that I want to change about myself and end up with a piece of paper that didn’t make sense at all by June. I feel like goals work for me better cause I like to make things happen.

So now, let me officially welcome 2015 by giving you 15 of my goals this year — for my family, love, and myself.

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Family

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1. Holidays

As we close out the holiday season, I am putting this one first. This is the second time that I celebrated Christmas and New Year away from my family and just like everyone else who has the same situation as mine, I do not like it —- it’s hard. So this year, my goal is to not make 2015 the third time that I will spend the holidays away from my family.

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2. Embrace them as many times as possible

Cause no matter what happens, I will always always go back home to see my family. I can’t wait to be back in Manila in April and sleep in my room, wake up and hear my Dad’s voice, try Mama’s new recipes, and be silly with my siblings. So when I come home this year, I want to be a better hugger, and hug them just like how my Dad hugs us. (more…)

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…)

NJ Diaries: Spring

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

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

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

Since I am still behind my posts, I am going to share something that happened not too long ago in New Jersey. (more…)

24: Happy Birthday Girl

11.29.2014: 24 is awesome

Hello, sweets! Ahhh…the past few days has been crazy stressful for me. I am blessed with a challenging situation that I know will make me a better worker. Times like this I am happy that I have this blog to let my feelings out — to unwind, to remember all the great things that happened in my life, and forget about all my miseries.

I do not have a lot of birthday posts like the previous years. In fact, I only have 3 this year. My birthday was eventful and I can honestly say that 2014 has brought me a lot of highs and one major sad event that will never make me forget this year.

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A knew that I will not feel a 100% complete on my birthday because I am away from my family. But despite of that, he still made me the happiest birthday girl!

The thing about A, since he knows I don’t have everyone that I grew up with and need here by my side, he tries his best to be all that.He is super amazing!

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A knows I NEED to have a delicious slice (or more) of cake for my birthday. So the perfect fiance went to one of the best pastry shops here in Baltimore and surprised me on my birthday with a DELICIOUS mango and chocolate mousse cake.

 I love it when A goes behind my back to surprise me! haha (more…)

Almost 24

Hello, sweets!!! 🙂 November is almost over, I can’t believe it!!! I also can’t believe that I have not mentioned my birthday 1 million times just like how I do every year.As I get closer to turning 24, I am starting to get sentimental about being away from my family. I feel bad for A because he is doing EVERYTHING to make my birthday month amazing and sometimes I feel like I don’t show how happy I am enough because of all the craziness that we have to deal with.

I can see my Dad knocking on my door with a bouquet of flowers for me….my Mom in the kitchen cooking something delicious for my birthday lunch…my sister on the floor making a birthday banner for me… my brother Remo fighting everyone to hug me first…and jejekid, in our room to steal all of my chocolate stash while trying to come up with the perfect caption for his Instagram post dedicated to me.

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I wish my family could be here…or I could be there…I wish we could all be together for my birthday again. Like last year.

This is the second birthday that I am going to celebrate away from my family, but I feel like it’s the first.

Here’s a #tbt worthy photo of us during my 10th birthday!

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I do not have a lot of posts left from last year and I am happy because I am getting closer and closer to my target of starting to work on our trip to Asia by the end of the year -or- by January.

When I think of home, I remember all the times I made my family happy through food. I wish I could cook for them and spend the afternoon in our rooftop….to me that would be the perfect way to spend the afternoon of my birthday. (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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The NJ Life

05.12.14: Mother’s Day x Day of A Mother

Hello, sweets! 🙂 Hello, NJ! I have an extended “weekend” this week and I couldn’t be any happier that I spent it with great friends and my family here in Baltimore. I am blogging from New Jersey again YAY! I think it’s perfect that I write something about New Jersey and how we usually spend our “weekends” here. I am blessed that A’s family never made me feel like I am an outsider, they’ve welcomed me with love and opened their 2 homes to me when A and I started dating. I still remember the first time we took a trip to New Jersey, I did not want to go back to Baltimore. Going to New Jersey is our little piece of vacation in the middle of our crazy work life.

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I love how  the house in NJ makes me feel like I am not too away from home.

Anyway, I will be sharing one of the celebrations that we looked forward to this year

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I enjoy baking, it’s my little break from what I normally do.I graduated with a degree in Culinary, so I have no formal training when it comes to baking though our patisserie and bread baking class helped me understand it. And at work, I am assigned on the hot station. That’s why baking excites me, especially that I am a big lover of desserts.

When I got back from my home country a couple of months ago, one of A’s surprises for me is Momofuku Milk Bar’s Cookbook! It made me so happy because now I can make some of their cookies at home.

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Afternoons with Mama

Hello, sweets!! 🙂 Another week is about to come to an end again and here I am working on my third blog!! YAY! I know it seems like a long time from now but I plan to post entries from my recent trip back home before April 2015 (trust me, in my book this is like a month away).  Anyway, today I am writing an entry for my Mom, who just celebrated her birthday a couple of days ago. As you all know, I really hate missing special occasions with my family,and sometimes I feel like I’ve been unfair to my Mom cause I’ve missed a couple of her birthdays, and have been away for Mother’s Day for a number of times already.

I know I am a self confessed Daddy’s Girl but I feel like deep down, I am also a Mama’s Girl — we all are,actually. As soon soon as we grow inside our Mom’s body, there is this special bond that we can share to anyone else but her. When I was a kid, I’ve always looked up to my Dad for doing everything for us. But as I grew older, I have also realized that my Mom has managed to do everything for my Dad, my siblings, and I. And if I can be half of the woman that she is now when I have my own family, I would be the happiest.

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I do not want to end the year without posting anything for my Mom’s birthday so I’ve decided to post a little throwback of the afternoons that we’ve spent together when I was home.

Below are some of the dishes that I made this past February.

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I hope you still remember my 2 blogs about me cooking something everyday until my first departure to the US this year..

if not, go to these links http://riannagalvez.wordpress.com/2014/09/18/one-plane-ride-away/      and    http://riannagalvez.wordpress.com/2014/08/16/food-for-the-parents/   )

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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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One Plane Ride Away

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 😉

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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.

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Our little rooftop garden at home, wish I can be here now….

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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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