My Life This Week #3

More like, My Life Last Week!

One of my sister’s many bridal showers – a cookbook shower! Awesome idea.


Bubble fun!


Attended the last of several real estate seminars I signed up for.


Went grocery shopping with the little one, who didn’t take her afternoon nap.


Rainy Saturday dinner with my in-laws (and my nephew’s Thomas the Train collection).


French toast with a strawberry-mascarpone topping for a lazy Sunday breakfast.


Visited one of my  friends and her newborn daughter. So precious!


An afternoon blogpost writing (and gossip) date with my two best friends. Coffee and cake. What can beat that?


My parents hosted a despedida de soltera for my sister – a farewell-to-singlehood party traditionally thrown by the bride-to-be’s family. That’s my husband, Julio, grinning at the camera.


Stay tuned for the next installment in this series!


Mommy Confession

Motherhood has been pretty gratifying for me. I guess it helped that Bea was such an easy baby – hardly ever fussy and we could bring her everywhere. If there were any sleepless nights during her infancy, there weren’t enough for me to remember. When she was younger, she was not at all a picky eater. Julio and I took her with us on our Southeast Asia tour and I was quite surprised at how easy it was to travel with her. She ate whatever we ate, slept wherever we slept and hardly complained. My daughter will be two years old next Saturday, and I often find myself wondering where the time has gone. Bea is, of course, still my baby but in some ways she isn’t anymore. She’s starting to test her independence and sometimes it makes me a little sad when she won’t let me brush her teeth because she wants to do it on her own, or wants to use her utensils by herself. I’m still who she looks for when she wakes up in the morning, and she’s very attached to me. I suppose it’s because she and I are almost always together.

I work full-time for my dad and our office is in his house, so I bring Bea with me to work every day. Now that she’s older, she’s more mobile and more vocal.  Many times she comes to me while I’m working, saying “Play, Mama!” or “Mama, carry!” Sometimes I’ll stop what I’m doing and play with her for a few minutes, but there are times I’m working on something that can’t wait. I tell her Mama is working and, more often than not, she’ll throw a fit.

Who else whips out their iPad or throws in the TV card when this happens? Anybody? Is it just me?

That’s where the guilty feelings come to play. I tell her that Manang Angie (our helper) will play with her, or tell her to go watch Baby TV, or give her the iPad. And I know I shouldn’t, that I should be taking the time out to play with her. I tell myself I’ll play with her when we get home. But when we get home, I have to prepare dinner and she hangs out at my in-laws’ house until it’s time for bed. There are also times I’m not doing anything important, just surfing the net or checking Twitter (fine, and Facebook) and Bea will come to me, asking me to carry her or play. Most of the time I’ll do it but there are days when I just don’t want to be bothered, and I’ll turn on the TV and plop her down in front of it or hand her the iPad.

At the rate she’s growing, the day is going to come when Bea won’t want to play with me anymore and I’ll end up being the one imploring her to spend more time with me. So I guess work can wait even 10 minutes while I go cuddle and play with my little girl when she asks me to.


My Life This Week #2

Another week gone by. Same old, except that I turned 33.

Here’s how last week went:

An attempt at eating healthy.

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A birthday gift from my husband – a not-so-subtle way of telling me I need to start exercising?

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Lunch with my parents and sister – but honestly, I chose the restaurant for its tomato-cheese fondue and to-die-for coffee pie!

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Birthday dinner with Julio. I love sashimi and uni. Except maybe I had a bit too much. Enough to make me not want to look at it again. Or, at least, not until next year.

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Merienda with two of my best friends at The Royal Picadilly, our newest go-to restaurant. And cocktails at 3:00 in the afternoon? Why not!

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A rainy but lovely Sunday morning spent with the little one at a cafe then a bookstore.

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Stay tuned for next week’s installment of My Life This Week!


The Scent of a Memory

Does this ever happen to you?

You catch a whiff of something and all of a sudden you remember a person, a place, an event.

Like the way a certain spice reminds me a grocery in Jakarta, Indonesia. I don’t remember much about Jakarta, as we lived there for only a year when I was six years old. I can’t explain it – I don’t think it’s one specific spice but a mixture of several – but it takes me back to walking through the aisles of Hero with my younger brother and his nanny, under the bright fluorescent lights, on our way to the exit. Is that weird?

I made strawberry shortcake pancakes (recipe from Crumb here) for breakfast a few weeks ago. Previously, I used regular unsweetened yogurt but this time I followed the recipe and used greek yogurt. They turned out really good. Fluffy and light, with just a touch of sweetness from the strawberries and maple syrup. Halfway through eating a stack, as I was about to put a forkful in my mouth, I inhaled. And suddenly I remembered the Jelita Cold Storage in Singapore (funny that I only remember groceries!). My aunt lived in Singapore for many years, and we would visit often. In the recent trips there, I would walk from her house in Bukit Sedap to Jelita Cold Storage. to buy food to take back with me to Manila. There’s a bakery right at the entrance, and maybe the combination of vanilla and strawberry in the pancakes reminded me of how the store smelled whenever I would enter the grocery.

That exact moment was what inspired this blog entry. I had to wait a while to make those pancakes again though, because I had already devoured the entire stack and wanted to include a photo in the post! Yesterday, I went to S&R specifically for greek yogurt and strawberries. I couldn’t find any strawberries so I bought a punnet of blackberries instead. So today I made the pancakes but changed it up a bit, and substituted the almond extract (which I hadn’t used the last time) for lemon extract and strawberries for blackberries, then topped it with whipped cream.  I also used up the whole container of greek yogurt, as there was a tablespoon or two left and I didn’t want to waste it, and it definitely made the pancake softer. My husband liked it, asking if I did anything different. I liked the addition of the whipped cream, and also poured maple syrup over it, but I’m certain it added way more calories than necessary!

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Make these pancakes for breakfast – or dinner if that’s your thing! I promise you won’t regret it. And who knows? It just might conjure up a memory of your own.


My Life This Week #1

I know, I know. I’ve been off the blogging grid for a while. I haven’t had any new woodworking projects because I’m waiting for the Kreg Jig I ordered from Amazon to arrive – can’t wait! I could’ve written several posts on what I’ve cooked but honestly,  I’m always in such a rush to finish cooking that I haven’t had the time to stop to take photos!

Sooo, I’ve decided to come up with a series that will kind of force me into posting more often.  Introducing: My Life This Week. It’s probably going to be more like a photo journal, although the pictures won’t be anything great because I have no talent in photography whatsoever.

Let’s get started, shall we?

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Buying dinner at Mr. Kebab

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Passing the time in Toys “R” Us

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Ramen and an iced orange mocha for dinner

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The little one enjoying her cupcake at The Royal Picadilly

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Slow cooker oatmeal with cinnamon-maple mascarpone for breakfast. Recipe from Bakeaholic Mama.

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My loves playing

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Watching people wall climb inside ROX

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Waking up to Bea reading a book

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What I like best about biking in UP

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A very close game that we unfortunately lost – and Bea’s first basketball game!