Showing posts with label Food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Food. Show all posts

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Baby Shower for Khaleid

"Surrounded by friends who are more like family, I can see that you are already well-loved.." 

That's lifted from one of the messages of our friends to our second son Khaleid on the occasion of the baby shower they threw for us last Saturday. The message struck a chord - I was deeply touched by their gesture, and also very overwhelmed with the thought that my friends love my family like theirs.

Truth be told, I knew my friends were planning a baby shower for our second baby. It had been a sort of tradition amongst us, despite what I read somewhere that there should only be one baby shower in a mom's life. (Check out my post about the baby shower they threw when I was pregnant with Zohan - here and here - and when Boinks was pregnant with Kloud - here.) But despite the knowledge that they were brewing something for the Cristobals for the second time, I was still in awe because they never seem to run out of amazing party ideas.

The baby shower was held last Saturday at Sophie's Mom. (Our first time at Sophie's Mom here.) We were joined by our friends from lawschool and my good friends from my last lawfirm. 

Our first activity was to eat - haha! We were served with pasta and quiche (I had to google that!). 

My friends said the food was good but I wasn't really hungry at that time. Plus, I was excited for the rest of the activities, so I wasn't really paying attention to my food.

Then the girls played a game of drawing the most pretty buntis. The one drawing was blindfolded while the other team member did the coaching. Vanec and Kat emerged as winners. (Both got engaged recently, so congratulations!)

And my favorite - the gift giving part! You know what touched me the most? They knew it could be difficult to introduce a new baby to Kuya Zohan, so they also bought a little something for our panganay. Zohan was happy, of course! I guess he wasn't expecting it because the night before, I thoroughly explained to him that the gifts we would be receiving at the party would be for his baby brother. (Oo, assuming talaga ako na may gifts!) So the entire time, he happily played with his own gifts!
See? He couldn't be bothered!

Anyway, here are the photos of the gifts for baby Khaleid. 

Photo taken from my iphone. Not part of the official photos.
Thank you guys!!!! I loved them all and I'm sure Khaleid will love them, too. I will make sure all these items will be put to good use.

After the gift-giving, we were served with coffee and cupcakes. I particularly loved the red velvet cupcake; it goes very well with dark coffee. You should try it! 

Photo taken from my iphone. Not part of the official photos.

Then we had the final game - which was to write the most number of items in a given category. (For instance, name the items that could be found in mommy's hospital bag, or name the vaccines for babies.) Since most of my friends are still single, each group had a "mommy" to act as the leader. 

They also wrote a little note for Khaleid about what's in and what's happening around us at the moment he's about to be born. (i.e, Vhong Navarro was beaten up, Kat Rances got engaged, the weather was unusually cold, etc.) It would be an interesting read when he grows old.

They also prepared a little give-away which was themed "old candies". Remember Haw-haw? Ahh, the memories. (Zohan and I had been munching on them for several days after the party.)

Photo taken from my iphone. Not part of the official photos.
We then wrapped things up with a little speech from me and my husband. And of course, a good photo, as souvenir. 

My son - in full character!!

I am really grateful for having these crazy bunch as my friends. We've been friends for almost ten years now and I know my family can count on them for anything. They were there when Kristan and I became an item (much to their surprise!). They were there when we broke up; reconciled; gotten married; and had our first born. They're here now as we welcome a new addition to the family. Thank you for everything, dear friends. Sabi nga ni Kristan, "Sana wag kayong magsawa, kasi wala pa kaming anak na babae." #pataytayojan

*Sophie's Mom is located at Corner Santol and Aranga Streets in San Antonio Village, Makati City. It's a good place to host small and intimate affairs. You may contact the owner through their Facebook Page here.

*Our official photographer is Charades and Parades. They are very competent and affordable! Visit their Facebook Page here for details.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

I turned thirty!

So many things to document, so little time! Blame it on the Holiday season, the never-ending list of things to accomplish at the office, the preparation (the lack thereof is more apt!) for my delivery, and my half-month stint as a stay-at-home mom (with no help!), that I never had the time to sit down and blog. 

Now, that was very unfortunate because I turned thirty last December 22!!!! 

I wanted to have something to look back to many years from now that would remind me how our little family celebrated it, so I tried to squeeze this post in.

It was a very simple celebration - but it was the happiest! My husband booked an overnight stay for us at Taal Vista many months ago because he knew I just wanted to be with him and Zohan on my special day. 

We left Manila on the 21st, at around lunch time. After the smooth drive to the South, we made a quick stop at Gerry's in Tagaytay for a late lunch. 

Then off we went to Taal Vista! It was our first time there and I couldn't be more thrilled. I remembered passing by Taal Vista whenever I would go home to the province, and I would always glance at it dreamily, with the thought bubble, "One day.." Well, that day happened when I turned thirty - with no less than two of the most important persons in my life!

Upon arriving in our hotel room, we rested for a while and I basked in the happiness of it all. (Pardon the frivolity, I'm appreciative like that!)

I know! I looked like a whale here, in all my pregnant glory. But my husband - you could not trust him to take flattering photos. 

Look who was getting all comfortable!
Then I dragged my husband outside to take some photos, for posterity's sake.

We decided to celebrate on that day (the 21st), so we went to Bag of Beans for an early dinner. We've never been to that restaurant before. The place was surprisingly spacious and cozy on the inside. My food was great; I had their breakfast sampler which I shared with Zohan.The litte bugoy loved the pancakes. 

And as you could depict from the face of my poor husband, he wasn't satisfied with his food. Haha.

After dinner, we brought Zohan to Sky Ranch. I was ecstatic when I saw Thomas the Train, one of Zohan's favorite cartoons. Unfortunately, that wasn't enough to made him try it. He was also fascinated with the horses, but he said he would just observe them because he was afraid to take a ride. 

We then went back to our room and relaxed the entire night. I had a loooong, warm, and uninterrupted bath while Zohan was busy watching TV, so there was no one banging my door every few minutes. (Try having  just one kid and you'd put uninterrupted bath on the top of the list entitled luxury.)

We woke up late the following day. I had a very stressful and busy week at work the days before my birthday; so that was a much deserved oversleep.

Then we had buffet breakfast (in our pantulog clothes, no less!). We took some photos again while Zohan played at the vast surrounding. 

AGAIN - not a very flattering photo of the buntis celebrant on the day of her 30th Birthday! But what the heck -- I was VERY HAPPY!!!!!
So, how did turning thirty make me feel? Genuinely happy. I had always considered thirty to be a great year - like life has begun for you but there's still so much marvelous things that have yet to unfold? That's exactly how I felt.

I had met the love of my life, married him, and now we're about to have two kids. I always knew I'd be married by thirty; I wanted to start my family life early because I wanted happiness to begin early.

My dream of becoming a lawyer came true before I turned thirty. And now, I'm trying to establish a career as an in-house lawyer in one of the biggest banking institutions in the country. That may come off a little surprising because I always sucked at math - but I do litigation anyway, and appearing in courts was what I always wanted. 

I had been teaching law students for more than four years now, which was never my dream but it was a very welcome achievement.

At thirty, I am heavily mortgaged but happily so. There is a silver lining at the end of the tunnel that we live in a place we can one day call our own. 

But of course, there are still things that I wasn't able to accomplish - like buy and drive my own car before turning thirty. (I always get pregnant whenever I plan to enroll in a driving school, what can I do?!) I also wasn't able make my mom stay in the Philippines for good, give her a new house or renovate the old one. And there were sad things that happened, too - like I lost my lolo, my lola got Alzheimer's and became bedridden. But who has the perfect life anyway? I am grateful to take the good with the bad and look at the glass half-full than half-empty.

Thirty is a good year. I feel so glad to be thirty - I'm more mature, more confident, and definitely happier than the younger version of myself. Maybe with more flabs, but flabs is good. It signifies that life has been awesome but there's still a lot to work out on. 

Happy Birthday to me! Thank you Mahal for a wonderful celebration. Thank you Zohan for making me smile. Thank you Lord for a wonderful life.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Where to Eat in San Fernando, Pampanga

I had a hearing last Friday in San Fernando, Pampanga; and since I still didn't know how to drive (2014 resolution!), I had to request my husband to drive for me. He'd be leaving for the States the following Sunday, so it really seemed like the perfect time to consider that day our little date.  

A few years back, my former officemates and I went out on a food trip to Pampanga. It was my first time there and we really had a grand time, but unfortunately, I wasn't able to blog about it. (Just in case you want to venture on a food trip, try VFW Canteen, Everybody's Cafe, Bretto's and Nathaniel's, of course!)

Remembering my favorites from that food trip, I planned on bringing my husband to VFW Canteen in Angeles. But when he learned that we'd travel far only for the eggs benedict, he gave me "the stare" haha. And besides, the hearing took long and we were both famished, so we decided to take our late lunch at a good place nearby.

We voted on A La Creme, a restaurant famous for their steaks and cakes. 

It was conveniently located along McArthur Highway, just a few blocks away from the court. 

Here's what we had:

The chicken quesadilla was my favorite. It was gooey and cheesy, and plenty enough to be a meal on its own (although it was actually just an appetizer).

The pasta was my order. It didn't say in the menu description, but this was a bit spicy. Just add a little bit of olive oil and perfect na!

The steak was for the husband. He said the meat was good, and I agreed. (But then, we don't have steaks very often, so we're not your most reliable source of food review. Haha.)

Of course, we had to try their desserts. We were told these two cakes were their bestsellers.


I was not a fan of ube macapuno cake, but I thought this was okay for the price.

The sinful chocolate cake was really sinful because it was too sweet! (Poco Deli at Mary Grace chocolate cake pa rin!)

Our verdict: The main course were all good, specially the chicken quesadilla. The desserts were just okay. 

And just because it was a rarity that we were out for a long time, just the two of us, that made me one happy pregnant woman. 

31 weeks in this photo.

'Til next food trip!

There are several branches of A la Creme all over Pampanga. But we visited the one located in CTH Building, McArthur Highway, Dolores, San Fernando, Pampanga.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Sausage Penne Pasta

Last weekend, I treated my husband to a home-cooked sausage penne pasta. He arrived from a weeklong seminar in Hong Kong, so Zohan and I greeted him with our pasta recipe made with lotsa lovin! ;)

Here's the little boy trying to help me out. I allowed him to peel off the dry portion of the onions. 

I got the recipe from Real Mom Kitchen  but as usual, I tweaked it again to suit our Pinoy taste. I used Delimondo's Schublig with cheese sausage, which was my husband's favorite. I also added canned mushrooms.

Here's my version:

Delimondo Sausage Penne Pasta

  • 500 grams uncooked penne pasta 
  • 4 pcs. Delimondo's Schublig with cheese sausage
  • 1 small onion, halved and sliced
  • 1/2 medium green pepper, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomato (I couldn't find a can with garlic so I roasted lots of garlic first and mixed it in.)
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 small can of diced mushrooms
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the sausage, mushrooms, onion and green pepper in oil over medium heat until sausage is no longer pink and vegetables are tender.
  3. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce and seasonings; heat through.
  4. Drain pasta; toss with tomato mixture. Sprinkle with cheese.

The picture didn't look appetizing at all because I used the wrong photo effect! But the husband said this was the best pasta I've ever served him (and I've served him a lot since we started dating!) so that should make you believe me. Haha. Even Zohan said it was good; I paired it with banana grapes smoothie.

See the look of satisfaction in his face?

I might cook it for our Noche Buena. Go try it at home and let me know how it goes :)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Bread Pudding Success

After my failed baking story here, I had tried my luck in cookies and other cupcakes. They all turned out okay, but the most successful of all, at least for me, was this bread pudding.

Remember my breakfast with my lawschool friends which I had written here? There were a lot of leftover foods (pan de sal included) since we were mostly talking and laughing than eating. So I thought of turning them into a bread pudding the following day.

Joyce shared with me a bread pudding recipe which she got here. I just had to tweak it a bit to fit what was available in our pantry. (Naks, kung maka tweak!)


13 pieces leftover pandesal 
2 Tbsp butter, melted
2 1/2 cups milk (non-fat)
1 tetra pack all purpose cream
1/2 c raisins (optional) 
5 eggs
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 c brown sugar 


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Break bread into small pieces into an 8 inch square baking pan. Drizzle melted butter or margarine over bread. If desired, sprinkle with raisins.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, all purpose cream, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Beat until well mixed. Pour over bread, and lightly push down with a fork until bread is covered and soaking up the egg mixture.
4. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly tapped.

I liked it better when served after being stored from the refrigerator. 


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

How has your life changed?

Last weekend, my lawschool friends went over to our house for some "girl bonding".   Amidst our laughters over our usual "kagagahan", a thought suddenly hit me:  motherhood had transformed me and my mommy friend - Boinks. 

Unfortunately for our single friends Joyce and Fila, they had no choice but to be dragged along.

For one, we met at our condo at freakin' 7 o'clock in the morning! Boinks wanted some sunshine for her 5-month old baby Kloud, but knowing how talkative we could all get, we finished breakfast at way past the time for a healthy sunlight.

Over breakfast, I was imagining our lives not too long ago - drinking and singing at videoke bars until wee hours of the morning, long dinners, chitchat at coffeeshops, and occasional sleepovers. Contrastingly, at our place that morning, we were acting like some domestic diva wannabes - meeting for breakfast, gushing over a really good Vietnamese coffee paired with sinangag and tinapang salinas with kamatis, and talking about weekly  household budgets!

Likewise, instead of picking a crowded mall for our next agenda, we voted on scouring the good old Makati Cinema Square for thrifted clothes. I had been a fan of thrifted clothes since I became a mother. Being a big convert, I thought that the good money I'd spend on brand new clothes should rather be spent for other essential  things for my family. (Shopping when extremely emotional not included, of course!) My ultimate favorites were Surplus Shop where I'd get coats for my hearings, ukay shop near Makati Med for non-office clothes, and a "secret store" near Cash and Carry for branded dresses and other office attires. (I hope to muster enough courage to showcase some of them here soon.)

After our cheap thrill, we had lunch at Aida's at the basement of Makati Cinema Square which, to my mind, served the best chicken inasal in the metro. Then we had dessert at this dainty little place called Sophie's Mom, located at the corner of Santol and Aranga streets in San Antonio Village which served really good red velvet cupcakes.

After dessert, my little family had to go home because I had a scheduled check up with my OB late in the afternoon. Boinks had to go too, because she left Kloud at home with the yaya after breakfast, and she needed to express milk.

I couldn't help but think of the old times. Kristan and I were used to spending the whole day (and night!) with this group and yet, we couldn't seem to get enough of each other. But last Saturday, it was just a little past lunchtime and we were already done for the day! Times were really changing, and we were getting more mature by the day.

On a lighter note, it was the first time we brought Zohan along with us at an adult's affair. And I was so proud of that little guy for not giving Nanay and Tatay a hard time - except that his Tatay always had to carry him because he wouldn't walk. Tamad! He was a constant source of laughter for his Ninangs. (Now I know how fun it is to have a child who can respond to questions without being coached. A few more months and I really have to censor what we talk about in his presence.)

Before we retired that night, Boinks told us through iMessage how much she enjoyed our short get together. It was her first time to go out without the baby after returning back to work. And I could totally get her when she said how much she enjoyed the day, but she just had to go home to Kloud immediately.

That's what I felt too everytime I went out with my friends. I was all for the "giving yourself a break every once in a while." Taking care of a family, with a full-time work to boot, could feel so exhausting that I could really use a breath of fresh air. But after a few hours with friends, all I could think of was Zohan - what could he be doing, was he looking for me, did he eat enough for dinner - which would prompt me to head home.

I remembered a line from What to Expect When Expecting when I was re-reading it for my second pregnancy. It said that an expectant mother should spoil herself, because if she was a first time mother, it would probably be the last time for a long while that she could take care of herself without feeling guilty. 

I could relate very well with the book's idea. My life was never the same, postbaby. It was as if I had been taken over by this new creature that all my decisions and actions had to revolve around him. I felt vulnerable and empowered at the same time. Of course, there were bad, tiring days. But at the end of each day, when it was time to kiss my child goodnight, I always knew for certain that my son was worth all the changes.

What about you? How has your life changed?

(By the way, check out the short vid made by Joyce to chronicle our shenanigan last Saturday. You can make a video, too. Just download the app for free!)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Zohan is two!

Last Sunday, August 18, 2013, we celebrated Zohan's second birthday. And I was so excited because finally, I only had to think of what would really make him happy on his special day. (Admit it mommies, first birthdays left babies cranky with the crowd, while the adults were the ones having fun!) And to be honest, his second birthday was really my kind of celebration - I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

The night before his birthday, I waited for the boy to fell asleep before I sneaked out of the room to decorate our little sala. I initially wanted to cut out his birthday banner, care of the free printables from this site. But it would require four pages of photo paper print-out, and a lot of effort to cut out every letter and artistically hang it from a thread. It was a good thing I came across a complete banner from National Bookstore, which only cost me P40. I settled on the ready-made since to do-it-myself wasn't exactly the practical option. 

We also got him balloons (he loves them!) from National Bookstore. And, the pompoms were made by yours truly. Ninang Joyce gave me this site which served as my guide. Here are the finished products:

When the boy woke up on his birthday, Tatay and Nanay showered him with hugs and kisses and birthday greetings. We stepped out of our bedroom and he saw what I did with our sala. He kept saying "Wow! Bauns!" (He couldn't say balloons just yet.) I only needed to see that joy to make up for forcing my gut out trying to be crafty.

We lead him to the other room where our gift was waiting. 

We gave him a bike because he was so obsessed with it! He'd always borrow his playmate's bike, and oftentimes, he'd sit on his Tatay's thigh and pretend he's pedalling away. When he saw our gift, he didn't say anything but, he almost jumped in to drive it.

We took the bike for a spin at the playground while our companions were busy preparing breakfast for our guests. We invited his playmates for breakfast but unfortunately, his two closest friends, Migs and Charles, couldn't make it that day. We had champorado, hot pandesal with eggs and hotdogs, cake, pichi pichi and his ultimate favorite, spaghetti.

Books as gifts! He loved them!

After entertaining his guests, our celebrant grew tired and slept for a while. Then we prepared to leave for Ark Avilon Zoo. 

While waiting for everyone to get dressed.
He was so fascinated with animals whenever we would read books to him or let him watch Barney or Baby Einstein. He could identify his animals more than his numbers or alphabets, so we unanimously voted on bringing him to the zoo for his birthday.

We had lunch first at the restaurant in front of Fun Ranch - which name now escaped me.

Couldn't make him look at the camera, he was excited to look at the birds

Yes, that's a real snake.

I'm fourteen weeks pregnant and I just couldn't decline his pleas to carry him :(

I think he was saying "fish" in this photo

He wanted to touch the fishes!

When we arrived home, he told everyone what animals he saw that day. He was trying to mimic the "tuger" by widely opening his mouth and letting out a supposedly scary cry. He was so cute! (My son, not the tiger.)

Add caption
I'd like to think he really enjoyed his birthday because that was really what my husband and I wanted.

Actually, I couldn't sleep the night before his birthday, perhaps due to anxiety and excitement. But I remembered ending the night with a silent prayer. 

I prayed only for two things for him - that he would always be safe from all harm and that he'd grow up to be a good man. And I also prayed for something for me as a parent - that I would always manage to let him go. Because frankly, I love him too much now that I would oftentimes be blinded to think that I own him. I prayed to God to always remind me that Zohan was only given to us so that we could learn how to love, but never to treat him as ours and demand him to love us back. 

Happy birthday anak. Mahal ka ni Nanay at Tatay.
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