August 25, 2020

My Quarantined Birthday Celebration

If you knew me, I love spending my birthday outside simply because ayaw ko magluto ng sarili ko handa, I rather go out and try a new restaurant. But because of the community quarantine, we cannot celebrate my birthday outside so I decided na maggrill na lang ulit kami ng food. I already blogged about our DIY Samgyeopsal at Home and for a change, seafood grill naman.

My husband bought Kimchi at Romantic Baboy P170 (500g). He also bought salmon, tanigue, shrimp and lettuce (P50) in the wet market for our seafood grill but I was craving for scallops. Namimiss ko yung Yurakuen Teppanyaki experience ko last year. While browsing my Instagram feed, I saw baked scallops so I checked the store and for the very first time, nag-order ako ng food online. I don’t even have a Grab or Lalamove app, so I’m thankful sa seller na nagbook sa akin ng delivery.

I was hesitant at first because we live outside Metro Manila so baka mas mahal pa delivery fee sa order ko. Pero dahil birthday ko naman, I have an excuse to splurge. I ordered the following from @ninjas.pantry. It only took me 3 hours to order, pay and receive my order, ganun kabilis lang.

Saikoro Wagyu Cubes (1kg) P1,250
Japanese Sausages (500g) 600
Japan Jumbo Scallops (1kg) 800 (9pcs only)
Chicken Karaage Set (300g) 350
Yakinuku Sauce 200
Grab Delivery 540
Total: P3740

As expected, we are not big eaters so I only took a portion of the Saikoro Wagyu Cubes, I divided the scallops into two portions. I grilled 5 scallops in the oven and grilled the remaining 4 scallops without shells using the electric grill. For the baked scallops, I just mixed minced garlic, lemon juice, melted butter, salt and pepper. Pour the mixture on top of the scallops and put some sliced mozzarella. Grilled it for 15 minutes.

Hindi ko na nilabas yung shrimp kasi tamad na ko magbalat. Hehehe! So I only prepared wagyu cubes, scallops, salmon, kimchi and lettuce. In fairness, kahit mahal yung wagyu cubes, masarap naman. I will order again for my son’s birthday naman kasi baka hindi na umabot yung stock namin, for sure may repeat ulit yung paggrill namin. Hehehe!

My husband bought Tiramisu cake at Cafe Mary Grace P1125 and nagcram ako na gumawa ng DIY cake topper. My husband gifted me a Cricut Maker, two months ago but I haven’t used it yet because I don’t have the Cricut tools. Two months of waiting din bago magkastock so last weekend was my first time to use it after my set-up. My first project was my DIY Cake Topper for my birthday cake, kaso masyado malaki pala yung cake topper ko so I guess I will make another version for my son’s birthday.

Watch the video here

So that was my simple quarantined birthday celebration. As I turned another year older, this year 2020, allows me to rediscover myself, reevaluate my priorities, and appreciates what matters most. My realizations are...

1. Life is short so learn to appreciate the people in your life now because we don’t know how long they’ll be here.
2. I used to be a planner and I always have long and short-term goals but this year 2020 makes me changed my perspective to keep my sanity. Take my life day by day and don’t be stressed about the things you can no longer change or control.
3. Life isn’t always good but have faith and trust God, even when it hurts, even when it seems unfair and even through raindrops and tears.
4. You are never too old and never too late to set another goal and dream.
5. The best project that you will ever work on is you. Personal growth and self-development are always a choice.
6. Don’t let others tell you how to live your life. Do what makes you happy and feel alive.
7.“Even when you fall, even when nothing goes as you expected, even then, be proud of yourself. You tried and there is nothing more courageous than trying - F.E.Marie”
8. Surround yourself with people who believe in you, who support and encourage your ideas, dreams, and ambitions, and who push you to bring out the best in you.
9. It’s okay not to be okay. :)
10. Don’t wait for everything to be perfect before you decide to enjoy life. - Joyce Meyer

Baked or Grilled Scallops Recipe

9 pcs of Jumbo Scallops
1/4 cup of butter (melt)
1 lemon juice
3 cloves of garlic minced
salt and pepper to taste
Sliced mozzarella cheese


1. Mixed minced garlic, lemon juice, melted butter, salt, and pepper to taste.
2. Pour it on top of the cleaned scallops.
3. Put mozzarella cheese.
4. Grilled in the oven for 15 minutes or baked it at 350F for 15 minutes.

Read: Quarantined Birthday Cards

August 20, 2020

DIY Korean Barbecue or Samgyeopsal at Home

It is not a secret here that I love watching Korean Drama series and of course I love Korean BBQ. It is one of the things that I really miss now, wala na kasi food trip. Ang tagal naman kasi ng community quarantine, hindi na tayo makapagmove-on. Since March, we haven’t experienced dining in the fastfoods or restaurants. I did not imagine that it will happen but it happened and we still don’t know when this COVID pandemic will end.

Read: List of Buffet Restaurant in the Philippines

I really miss the old times but as of now, we have no choice but to accept the present, live, and adapt to this new normal. Since I’ve been craving for Korean Barbeque or Samgyeopsal, I told my husband to buy our own grill so we can have DIY Samgyeopsal at Home. I chose grill because we already have a small induction cooker with a free pot if we want to have shabu-shabu.

I searched for an electric grill and I found this Imarflex Health Grill. This is the cheapest among the choices na nakita ko. Yung iba 7K+ pa, Waah! My husband bought this at Abenson for PHP2198 pero mas mura yata sa online (ibang brand), I just have no idea kung free shipping na yun. With this Health Grill, you can cook pizza, roast, stir-fry, saute, BBQ, steam, and you can also use this as a buffet server. It has a non-toxic ceramic coating and a non-toxic ceramic plate. It is so easy to operate and clean.

Another option is Imarflex Teppanyaki Griddle. It is also multi-purpose, you can use it for stir-fry, pizza, pan fry, steam, teppanyaki, barbecue, roast, and buffet serve. 

Almost two weeks ago, my husband dropped by at Romantic Baboy restaurant, he bought some ingredients for our homemade grill for a total of P1,145.

2 (100g) Lettuce P160
1 (500g) Woosamgyup P337
1 (500g) Samgyupsal P299
1 (500g) Daepae P299
1 (100g) Kimchi P50

They also gave free red sauce, I don’t know what is the name. Hehehe! We have a box of Melona ice cream from Landers, bought it at P219.75. Parang All 4 U lang, may ice cream after the buffet. I also prepared some butter, garlic, onion, and mushroom, kasi ito yung favorite ko sa Tong Yang, yung beef + butter + garlic. Good thing that my husband remembered that we have sesame oil sa bahay, muntikan na rin siya bumili sa Romantic Baboy.

For a family of three, I know that we cannot finish the meat so I divide it into two. Surprisingly, hindi pa rin namin naubos itong serving na ito but we still cooked everything para lunch namin kinabukasan. After one week, dahil wala ko oras magluto, nilabas ko yung natitira namin na meat, wala na nga lang kami lettuce at kimchi. And again, hindi ulit namin naubos so I guess dahil sa community quarantine, humina na kami kumain. Mas lugi na kami sa buffet.

But I’m glad that we invested on our own grill, we grill anythime we want. Mas tipid pa lalo na ngayon na adult rate na rin ang anak ko pero parang baby lang sa konti kumain. Next time, I will try seafood grill naman. Hindi ko lang alam, saan bibili ng scallops.

Watch the video here  

August 11, 2020

Favorite Lines from It’s Okay Not to Be Okay Korean Drama Series

I don’t normally review the Korean Drama series that I have seen but after watching “It’s Okay Not to Be Okay”, I guess it deserves a post. I stopped watching Korean Drama for a while, the last Korean drama that I watched was “When Camellia Blooms”. Inaantok ako sa story, I tried to watch it pa until epi 9 kasi baka nga gumanda pa but I gave up.

After almost a month of not watching Korean Drama, nagbalik loob ako. I always see “It’s Okay Not to Be Okay’ on the Top 10 list of Netflix, I got curious so I checked the available episodes. There were already 12 episodes so, in my mind, I can start watching it because 4 episodes na lang naman ang kulang. I usually watch 1 to 2 episodes or 1 movie before sleeping.

"It’s OKay Not to Be Okay is a story about two brothers who lost their mom when they were still young. Gang Tae has no choice but to take care of his older brother Sang Tae who has autism. They keep on running away and relocating because of a traumatic experience until they meet Ko Moon-Young. She is a successful fairy tale writer who suffers from an antisocial personality disorder."

I thought I will only watch 1 or 2 episodes but I got hooked and I finished the 12 episodes in two days and nabitin pa ko. I’ve waited two more weeks for the 4 remaining episodes and finally, yesterday, I watched the last episode and ang hirap magmove-on, ang ganda lang ng ending.

I like “It’s Okay Not to Be Okay” because this series is so relatable, Growing up without parents is not easy, I am fortunate that I have my grandmother when my parents are not around pero si Gang Tae, Sang Tae, and Moon-Young, wala man lang relatives. They were struggling to live a normal life because of the challenges and traumatic experiences.

Thank God for kind people who help and treat them as a family. Grabe lang yung loyalty ni Jae-Soo kay Gang Tae and Sang Tae na hindi napapagod sa pagsunod sa dalawang magkapatid. Sobrang loyal din ni Sang-in kay Moon-Young na kahit may mood swings, he stayed. The mother and daughter Soon-Deok and Nam-Juri who welcomed Gang Tae and Sang Tae, na kahit iba ang gusto ni Gang Tae, accepted pa rin sila and they got an instant mother (to my fake, real mother.).

When you watch this Korean Drama, ang dami emotions na mailalabas, maiiyak ka, matatawa at kikiligin. There are so many lessons and realizations like, people who have autism are really special, you just have to accept, understand, and love their weaknesses. You have to believe in their talents or skills and kahit may autism sila, mayroon silang dreams and may mararating.

Hindi mo kelangan ng kadugo para magkaroon ng pamilya na magcare at magmahal sayo. A family picture will do, hehehe!. Ko Moon-Young is proof that the right man will accept and love your true personality kahit minsan mahirap ka sakyan. Learn to love yourself, hindi lang puro ibang tao ang nasa isip mo. If you want to move on, find your exit door. And of course, we don’t need to be always strong, it is okay to cry, it is okay to pause and it’s okay not to be okay.

Mamimiss ko yung friendship ni Gang Tae, Sang Tae and Jae-Soo, friendship ni Sang Tae and Moon-Young, the love story of Gang Tae and Moon-Young and the troublemaker trio. I love all the lead and supporting casts here, walang tapon at ang galing lang umarte ng lahat. I want to end this post by sharing the list of my favorite lines or quotes from the series.

1. Hurtful, painful memories. Memories of deep regrets. Memories of hurting others and being hurt. Memories of being abandoned. Only those with such memories buried in their hearts can become stronger, more passionate, and emotionally flexible. And only those can attain happiness.

2. Remember it all (the painful memories) and overcome it. If you don’t overcome it, you’ll always be a kid whose soul never grows.

3. One must face one’s trauma to overcome it.

4. Only those who have suffered truly understand suffering.

5. Do you believe in destiny? Who cares about destiny? If someone shows up when you need them, you call that destiny.

6. I thought I was on the run because of my brother, the butterflies and all. I thought we were being chased by something that doesn’t exist all because of Sang Tae. But today, for the first time, I thought maybe I was just running away because I wanted to. You see, when life is unbearably hard, the easiest way out is to run.

7. Why live a boring life? You’ll get sick if you suppress yourself like that. If you want to have fun, then have fun.

8. The first step is always the hardest. But once you take your first step, things will get easier from then on.

9. I belong to myself! Moon Sang Tae belongs to Moon Sang Tae! I’m not yours! I belong to myself, you don’t own me.

10. Is being different something to be afraid of?

11. It’s okay to be different.

12. Your body is honest. When you’re in physical pain, you cry. But the heart is a liar. It stays quiet even when it’s hurting. Then when you’re asleep, you finally weep and whimper like a dog.

13. Don’t make the same mistake I did and try to run when you can’t even walk. When you’re tired, get some rest. When you’re sad, go ahead and cry. It’s okay to take a break. Then one day, there will surely come a day when you’ll be able to run again.

14. I think that’s why we’re meant to be. You’re patient and I’m volatile. Like a bomb and a safety pin. We go hand in hand. We’re meant to be together.

15. I don’t want to look normal, because it’s normal.

16. If you want to make the people around you happy, you must find your own happiness first. Being selfish isn’t always a bad thing. Try to only think about your happiness when things are too stressful. It’s okay to do that.

17. When you can’t control yourself, count to three.

18. A promise isn’t something you can take lightly. You need to keep your promise. That’s the only right thing to do.

19. Don’t let the past trap you. You can’t get out once you’re trapped in the past.

20. Don’t be stubborn when things don’t work. You need to learn to try other methods.

21. A kiss is better than a fight.

22. A happy ending is what matters most.

Read: My Korean Drama Series List

August 04, 2020

Day 1 in Oslo Norway

Oslo is the capital and the most populous city in Norway. This city is one of the most expensive cities in the world and I agree with that because everything is expensive. I’m sure other tourists who have visited Norway, would also agree. Although it is expensive, our Scandinavian trip is not complete without visiting Oslo.

Every time we visit my mom, we always have a layover in Oslo Gardermoen but since we only have few hours layover, we never tried exploring the city so I was happy that I finally, ticked it off on my bucket list. After two plane rides, we arrived at Oslo Airport but we immediately traveled by train to Elverum. We stayed in Elverum for few days and we went back to the capital city for our Cruise to Copenhagen. After 9 days of exploring Copenhagen and Stockholm, we’re finally back to Oslo, Norway. Whew!

Read: Glimpse of Oslo Gardermoen Aiport
Oslo Airport to Elverum Train Station
Day Trip in Elverum Norway
Qatar Airway Flight Experience
Biyaheng Europe: Manila Philippines to Elverum Norway

Six hours of train ride from Stockholm Central Station to Oslo Central Station and from there we took a taxi to Cochs Pensjonat. This guesthouse was our home for 4 days and 3 nights, if I will convert the rate to Philippine peso, the rate is already expensive because this is only a guesthouse and with its price, I can already stay in a luxury hotel in Asia. But like I said, the Nordic trip is not cheap so I consider this a budget-friendly accommodation already. We also booked a hotel for our last night in Norway so I can tell the price difference. We stayed in Radisson Blu Oslo Airport before our flight back to the Philippines

Read: Traveling from Stockholm Central Station to Oslo Central Station
Radisson Blu Oslo Airport Hotel Review

Anyway, I like Cochs Pensjonat because of the strategic location, it is near the tourist spots, supermarket, convenience store, restaurant, subway, and train station. We have our own kitchenette and mini-fridge in our room so we can store and cook our own meals. It is a big saving in our pocket.

Read: Cochs Pensjonat Review

After our checked-in, we rushed to the supermarket because we need to buy food and drinks for the next 3 days of stay. The supermarket will be closed during the Holy Week so we need to buy everything that we need. My husband bought some chocolates too, sayang lang because there was no sale. And because we have a fridge in the hotel, we bought ice cream, “Royal” is my favorite brand of ice cream in Norway.

Read: Ice Cream in Norway 

And just like our Day 1 in Stockholm, we did not visit any tourist spot, we just took a rest. We need to recharge because for the next few days, we will just do our own Oslo Walking Tour.