Monday, August 30, 2010

Coffee & Chips Ahoy - you're the "culprit!"

I am wondering why at this time I am still wide awake and doesn't feel sleepy at all when I woke up early the day before. I have an early shift today and I am already three hours short of my regular sleeping hours.  :(

Until I realized the reason for this!  I drank two strong cups of two different flavors of coffee (cappuccino and mocha)  from our canteen's coffee machine.  Whew!

It was late afternoon of yesterday when I was feeling cold in the office and I wasn't bringing a jacket nor a Pashmina.  With such state,  coffee and Chips Ahoy popped into my mind as a snack amid my piled-up work.  Yes, those two are tandem.

Nabisco American Chips Ahoy Cookies, 340g

You can say, I am not a coffee-drinker, though once in my life I became addicted with coffee which I was able to overcome and never did try it again until recently when I discovered coffee goes well with sweets,  a combination introduced by a close friend of mine.  With that, I started pairing it with some of my baked goodies but only one stood out - my Food for the gods.

Without Food for the gods available, as this sweet is only baked when I am in the mood, Chips Ahoy is the answer.  I salivate just thinking of those two pairs.  It took me almost a month to get tired of Chips Ahoy and coffee.  LOL.  The calories have piled up!  No wonder, one pair of  jeans I was supposed to wear yesterday didn't fit me!

Looking at the picture of coffee above makes me want be a barista now.  Haha! I always want to be someone. Huhu. By the way, those pictures are not mine.  I got the picture of the coffee from this site which will show you more pictures of interesting coffee art so do check them.

It's funny that I chanced upon this site where I got the picture of Chips Ahoy. There's a description of this famous cookie that says "Made in America, (Not the Spanish version!), delicious 340g,(12oz),  bags of the delicious Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Cookies." It makes me curious now on how the Spanish version tastes like.  Hmm, I should request for that as Pasalubong on my sister's next trip to Spain. :D

Gosh! I really have to sleep now or else I can't report to work later.  I am still not sleepy as of this writing and you, coffee and Chips Ahoy are the "culprit" but not for long!

Nite/Mawnin! :D

SM Little Star Regional Finals

Okay, this is a loooong overdue post.  This is, however my last post of the almost 2 week activities of my niece who stayed with us in Pampanga and who gave me the experience of being a stage mom (I was on backstage during this event accompanying her).  Haha!

She was lucky to be included in this contest as this was her first and was an unexpected representative of it.  If you read my previous post  here , it will tell you why.

Unfortunately, she didn't get the title.  But being part of the SM Little Star regional finals where she competed with the winners of SM Marilao in Bulacan, SM Baguio, and SM Rosales in Pangasinan was already something we are proud of.  For us, she's the winner as she faced the audience and her competitors with great singing voice and answered the questions as smartly as she could.  To add to that, she bravely accepted the defeat.  I just can't imagine how this frustration would add up to her personality when she wanted the title so badly.  I know there were unshed tears that she carefully kept from us.  Two candidates  (a boy and a girl) even cried and  it broke my heart seeing them in that state of emotion.  If I had my way, I would want to give each of them a prize to appease the feeling they had at that time.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the pictures as well as my niece's video.  This phase of her life will always be something we will treasure forever.

The candidates - not being biased, but I have to admit she's the most photogenic among the four candidates.  Hehe!

The opening number - dancing a "Glee" song if I am not mistaken.

The presentation of candidates - Cheska introducing herself as the representative of SM Pampanga.

Cheska's talent - a 2-minute rendition of Christina Aguilera's Reflection.  Question and answer followed.

The four girl candidates in their last posing before the winners were announced.  L-R -  SM Rosales, SM Marilao, SM Pampanga and SM Baguio.   SM Baguio got the title.

PS : Cheska - even if your first wish to win the contest didn't happen, your other two wishes are taking place.  You are now popular in your own circle and I know this will become a bigger circle as you are  great "singing" artist where you are always asked to perform as a guest on numerous events.  I love you, sweetie!  Mwah!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Kids Shine At SM

At SM, there are a number of activities that you can enlist your kids to join  to.  Last July, my niece, Cheska was able to join a fashion show for kids.  It was nice to see kids ages 3 to 7  ramp on stage.  It was interesting to know too that even at a young age, you would be able to see the differences of kids - from being shy, smart and even bitchy! LOL.

the practice


the fashion show - Cheska and Kenet as well as the other winners in in SM Little Stars Northern Luzon area were presented in the fashion show.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

I wanted to travel...

I was surfing some places a while ago and thought I would blog this.

Ever since I became interested in maps which was during my high school years, I told myself, I will travel the Philippines and the world.  A dreamer! Hahaha!

I became more interested in geography that I would always check each country's information and calculate the distances from each other.   Well, not all countries though.   I was more interested  with the countries in Western Europe. I want to go there not just to meet the people and to check places but to sample  authentic food as well.  I want to go to Italy for its pasta, pizza and gelato, Switzerland for its chocolates, Spain for its paella and tapas and France for its foie gras, crepes and macarons to name a few.

Recently, there's one country I have been dreaming to see.  Well, I haven't tasted any of its food yet but this picture is enough for me to visit it.    Guess, where it is.  :)

(Photo from


Calling my friend, Jay!  Please bring me here.  Hehehe!!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Cheska and SM Little Star Audition 2010 @ SM Pampanga

Women at my age have a number of kids already.  However, I am a single lady with no kid so you can see me as a proud aunt and not a mom.

If you are a follower of this blog, you would notice that I blog often about my niece, Cheska.  She's the only baby in the family and thus, pampered by all of us.

Today, I'll share with you the audition she had last July 25.  On July 22, my sister sent me a text - a forwarded one  she received from an anonymous number advising to pass the message to anyone who may have a kid and who's interested in joining the kiddie contest - SM Little Star which is to be held at SM Pampanga.  I replied to my sister on why not have her kid join it.  But before she sign up for that, I asked her to ask Cheska if she's interested and her husband if he would agree.  I also told her to take the opportunity as Cheska is already 7 and that age is the last year they regard kids as "kids" for it is the oldest on the age range for most competitions for kids.  It's a good thing all agreed to travel all the way from Isabela to Pampanga on a weekend to sign-up for the audition as Cheska got in for the audition and was the representative  for girls of SM Pampanga  on the Regional Finals.

Before the audition.

The audition - pictorial, talent (she sang Christina Aguilera's version of Reflection) and Q&A.

While waiting for the announcement of the winners which took a lot of time,  I took the opportunity to take pictures of my niece on stage.  I was then approached by one of the photographers who covered the event and didn't notice he was giving me a cue that Cheska won. Heheh!

Cheska's name was included in the top 4 girls out of 68 girls who joined the contest!

And the winners are Kenet Africano and Monica Francesca Cortes!  They will represent SM Pampanga on the Regional Finals!  CONGRATS!!! :D

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Despidida @ C' Italian

I work in a BPO industry and we're changing teams/shifts next week.  This calls for different people to work with as others are moving to different teams.

To celebrate the good times we had in the team, my team asked me to join them in a "food trip", a long overdue plan at C' Italian in Friendship Avenue in Angeles City.  I have been in this restaurant a couple of times with different set of friends and family.  I even had a double date in its garden while a band was playing and stars are glowing. Romantic, huh? LOL.

Pictures are essential while dining out nowadays.  Especially for me who wouldn't  want to miss moments and pictures of good food.   So, while ordering and waiting for JB and Jlyn and the food we ordered, I took time to take pictures.  Forgive me for the low resolution of the pictures. I was experimenting on my camera and used the 3200 ISO. LOL.

Our first set of orders -  Panizza Kristina @ P655 on the lower right side and  Panizza Millionario @ P695  on lower left side.   The usual bread and pesto dip was served just like any other Italian restaurants here.  Extra order of Alfafa and Arugula is P99.  You may be wondering what's on the upper right side of this picture. Well, wonder no more, as that is just my panizza strip filled with alfalfa and arugula, rolled and bitten.  LOL

Spaghetti Con Fruitti de Mare (Fruit of the Sea) @ P590 and  Gnocchi Bolognia @ 750.   It was my first time to try gnocchi so I wondered how it tasted.  I loved it! I want anything starchy and soft and "tomatoey".  LOL.  Wikipedia says " Gnocchi (English pronunciation: /ˈnɒki, ˈnjɒki/; Italian: [ˈɲɔkːi]; N'YO-kee; singular gnocco) are various thick, soft dumplings. They may be made from semolina, ordinary wheat flour, potato, bread crumbs, or similar ingredients. The smaller forms are called gnocchetti."

Risotto Kristina @ P720.  If there's one dish that I love to eat in Italian restaurants, it's risotto.  Told ya, I like anything starchy. My mind is whispering and telling me it's actually anything carbo. Hahah!  On the right side of the picture are strips of the two panizzas.

Pictures of us.  This is another wonderful experience at C' Italian. Again, I wasn't disappointed so are the first-timers here.  :D

Tong Yang Shabu-Shabu

Though I have heard good reviews from my family,  I only recently discovered Tong Yang when my brother-in-law, Mon brought us to its branch in Mega Mall last month.

Aunt Melda would treat us for dinner. We came from Banawe, QC and fetched my cousin in Sampaloc and finally arrived at Mega Mall at around 8:30 PM.  It's near their closing time but didn't think twice of looking for a different restaurant.  I was glad that was the case for I wasn't disappointed even if time was rushed for us to finish our food.

Everything is delicious - from soup to dessert.  Hence, we decided to have a second round on its main branch a few days after i.e. before we went home from St. Luke's after my mother's operation.  My sister's boyfriend, Azha gave us a birthday/lunch treat.

Tong Yang's signage @ Quezon Avenue

Our choices of food at Megamall's branch.  Just looking at them now makes me want to travel to Manila.

An array of  options on its main branch in Quezon Avenue.  I love that I can eat most of my favorite foods here namely chicken liver, intestines of different sizes (LOL), different types of fish, seafood and shellfish where some names I haven't heard of, roasted duck (you really should try it!), frog legs and cold cuts.  I like how their sour soup tasted as well no matter what ingredients you put to it. :D

A wonderful dining experience with my family at SM Mega Atrium.

Aunt Melda who gave us the dinner treat and Art, the lunch treat.

Tong Yang Shabu-Shabu

SM Mega Atrium, Mandaluyong City

631-3637 or 470-3638

1498 Quezon Ave., Quezon City

373-3860 to 61

Price: 500+


Today, I snacked on food I don't usually eat.

I was supposed to just have Green Tea Ice cream but I saw some leftover bread - pan de sal and paired it with it.  I love how the blandness of the bread complements the sweetness of the ice cream.  If you're familiar with dirty ice cream, bread and ice cream is part of the offer of our "mamang sorbetero" (ice cream vendor in the streets).

I also had binatog (boiled mature white corn kernels, topped with grated coconut and salt) which I bought from a vendor a few hours after eating the ice cream.  Corn is one of my comfort foods and this snack puts me to a state of contentment. This is how food affects my mood.  Hahah!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Blogging before 12 AM

If you follow my blog, you may have noticed that I have some short, random posts and that I often mention I want to have one daily.

I laugh at this for it makes me I compete with time just to make a post everyday.  Sounds weird? It's indeed weird. Hahah!  Just sharing this now, makes me smile about it.

Okay, enough of babbling. Let me tell you why.

I often work in a late afternoon shift and arrive home at around 11 PM.  So that makes me rush and go online immediately to be able to have a post for the day before the clock ticks at 12 AM.

Tonight is no exemption.  I am about to post a different topic but when I saw the time, I know I can't make it before 12 AM  and uploading pictures may take so much time.  So here I am just sharing my thoughts.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mom's birthday

Today, mom turned 58 years old.  My sister, Mylene and I prepared food that was shared with my sister's boyfriend, friend, aunts and cousins.  We missed our 3 other sisters, 2 brothers-in-law and niece for this event though.

Actually, it was only Mylene who prepared all of  the food except for the pasta - Linguine in Seafood Marinara which I cooked.  You will see in the picture that we mostly had pizza.   This is because she put different variations of toppings on them.  It's Mye's favorite food to prepare during celebrations. Hehe!  When there's pizza, calzone (A calzone (Italian "stocking" or "trouser" or "drooping sack" or "hanging fold"[1]) is a turnover that originates from Italy. It is made of ingredients similar to pizza,[2] folded over and shaped like a crescent before being cooked.[3] The typical calzone is stuffed with tomato and mozzarella, and may include other ingredients usually associated with pizza toppings. - Wikipedia) is also included in the dishes she prepares.

We had two meat dishes - Crispy Pata and Fried Chicken (uncooked chicken brought by our friend, Tin)  to pair up with rice for we  know our father wouldn't be satisfied without eating rice for his dinner.  The rice  and Crispy Pata you see on the table was devoured by my father and my other sister, Manel.  LOL.  It's a good thing , I was not up for rice, otherwise I would have joined them in voraciously finishing the meat. Haha!

This time, it's Mye who baked the cake, a Black Forest.  She has been my apprentice at home for so long since I started baking.  Now, she can whip any cake, I guess, as she's getting more and more experienced with her current job in the Pastry Kitchen of Hotel Vida in Clark.

Lucky, Mye's boyfriend brought one of my favorite flavors of ice cream- Green Tea to add to our desserts.   Wine and Tequila were also served but no one asked for a shot or serving.  Some opted for the Absolut Vodka which wasn't served and got it from my collection of alcohol for my baking needs.

Even without planning as I only received a text this morning where Mye asked me to buy ingredients for the pizza she will make and me deciding what pasta to prepare, it turned out to be one of the happiest celebrations as all enjoyed the company and food.

After blowing of the candle.  It's  a funny picture of my mother and father.  Hehe!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MA!!!  May you have more birthdays to come.  We love you!  Mwah!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Today is a GREAT day!

I woke up just in time to prepare for work,  had a GREAT lunch with my friend, Honeylette  who shared  GREAT chikas and had a GREAT dinner with my team at C' Italian with lotsa GREAT food. Hehehe!

Added to that is a GREAT work that's stress-free, all just for today.

No wonder I have a GREAT smile on this picture with Abbey taken about 2 hours ago after our dinner.

Thank you, Lord for this GREAT day!  :D

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Tony & Jackey for kids

About more than a week ago, my niece, Cheska had to attend a fashion show in SM Pampanga.  Her mom wanted to have hair cut specifically her bangs.  I recommended that she have it at Tony and Jackey at Marquee Mall since I was pleased with their service. She agreed and went there before the fashion show.

Cheska was so excited as this is a different salon from what she's used to in Isabela.  She was really happy with the outcome.

Before her haircut in wearing a yellow, venus cut, eyelet dress.

Having her hair shampooed in the ergonomically-friendly chair.

Trimming her hair by a Korean stylist.  The guy who trimmed mine in this post is her senior stylist.

The outcome!  Cheska loved it so much and kept repeating "I love this salon so much!" Isn't she cute?

I thought having a close-up picture of her is enough to capture her new hairstyle.  I was wrong!  She asked me to have a picture taken with Tony & Jackey's logo.  LOL.  A kid who's indeed an OC and very particular with details.

Their haircut is now 300 pesos only as compared to the 500 pesos I had the last time I visited them.  The fee is worth it, be it for a kid or an adult.  :)


I am looking for a wonderful week ahead.  Sunday is the first day of my week and I wish to start it right by attending an early Mass tomorrow.  So, good night for now. :)

PS. More posts this week as I am optimistic of all things. :)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

One rainy day...

I was cleaning my pictures from my camera and saw these.  It was a month ago when I went to for a check-up at St. Catherine and rain was pouring hard when I left the hospital so I decided to stop at a nearby mall, Nepo mall.  It was already past 2 PM and I hadn't had  lunch anyway. So I decided to have it at Pizza Hut and ordered the following.

Cream of chicken soup (it's a creamy soup that's loaded with chicken and topped with pesto). I love it for I like anything with cream and pesto.  For my beverage I ordered a soda with cherry and kiwi flavor.

While waiting for my main dish, a power interruption happened. This is maybe due to the heavy rain.  I took this opportunity to take pictures for it's seldom that you experience a "no generator" in an international chain of restaurant.  The customers were given 2 candles per table to give light to the dim dining area.  I would have appreciated this more if there was someone with me (a date, maybe...LOL), but I was all alone in a gloomy weather and somewhat "romantic" setting.  Hahaha!  Nonetheless, I love how I captured this picture.

My soup and drink  with the candles

Because of the power interruption, I wasn't able to take a picture of my main dish - Fettuccine Alfredo. I am not fond of creamy pasta so I would not rave about this dish.

For dessert, I had  Mango Panna Cotta. I was supposed to try their Choco Lava but their chef  told the service crew it's not available.  Actually, when I was asking for desserts, they  informed me there was none available.  It was only their manager that asked the chef to check on the Panna Cotta.  It's a good thing I wasn't in the mood to complain for I can't understand why a power interruption could stop them from serving desserts when all they have to do is get them from their chillers.  DUH!

So this is a one rainy day of the more rainy days to come that I will forever remember with Pizza Hut.  ;-)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Of feelings and weather

You ask me what part of the day I like and I'll tell it's dusk.  I am a person who don't get up early so, dusk must be it.   That's just the reason. Hehe!  Kidding aside, I like dawn as well.  I have worked in the graveyard shift for a long time and traveling from work to our house after my shift makes me awake just seeing the beauty of nature and the coolness of the air at dawn.

Call me weird but I like a gloomy atmosphere too.  There's a kind of feeling that you wanted to cry and feel depressed but on the other hand, another feeling that makes you happy for reasons I can't explain in words.  LOL.

Here's a picture after my shift from a graveyard that I took about 2 weeks ago and made me sad and happy at the same time.  WEIRD, huh?  The dark clouds were threatening a heavy rain that didn't happen though. This is the same busy street that I posted here.  I am glad that it was now finished and widened.