January 28, 2022

DIY Seafood Hotpot

We’re almost at the end of January 2022 but I am still trying to finish my December backlogs. In my previous post, I shared about our love for samgyeopsal so we bought an electric grill so even we are stuck at home, we can still satisfy our Korean BBQ cravings. But aside from that we also enjoy shabu-shabu or hotpot. 

Hotpot is also known as steamboat or soup-food, it is a type of cooking method that is originated in China. Sometimes we called it shabu-shabu, a Japanese term for hotpot. Our first hotpot experience was twelve years ago and since then, we already tried a few shabu-shabu restaurants both domestic and international.

Unfortunately, because of the pandemic restrictions, it is not easy to do some food trips so we do our own food trip at home na lang. Two years ago we prepared ingredients for hotpot and samgyeopsal for my mother-in-law’s birthday. We enjoyed our hotpot experience pero ewan ko ba bakit natagalan yung next hotpot namin. 

After one year, we had our first DIY Hotpot at home. For the hotpot, you need broth and raw ingredients that are easy to cook. You can prepare thinly sliced meat, dumplings, vegetables, vermicelli, seafood, and other foods that you like. 

For our soup base, I bought different flavors from Lee Kum Kee online, I purchased Pork Bone, Chicken, and Seafood. I also bought Bibigo Mandu PHP240 and Assorted Hotpot Balls 250g PHP165 at the Korean store. My husband bought our seafood at the wet market, for our family of three, nahirapan pa kami ubusin ito. We had clams, mussels, salmon, and tiger prawns. I added vermicelli and green vegetables kung anong meron sa fridge. 

We enjoyed our shabu-shabu at home so after a month, we had seafood hotpot again but this time, we only have a few ingredients (prawn head, scallops, vermicelli, and dried wakame. It just so happened that someone gave us seafood so we had crabs, prawns, and scallops. We already cooked the crabs and prawns but I don’t know what to do with the scallops so para madali, hotpot na lang. Good thing, I saved the prawn heads para malasa yung broth namin. I don’t have veggies at home so I used dried wakame na lang. 

P.S. Matagal pa yung paglilinis ko ng scallops kaysa sa pagkain namin. Waah!

January 27, 2022

Lunch at Samgyupsalan Unlimited Korean BBQ

If I remember it right, my first Korean barbecue experience was at Bulgogi Brothers but we did not cook our own food there. We like to experience grilling our own meat so we searched for a Korean restaurant and we discovered Baek Yuen at Silang, Cavite. After few years, unlimited Korean BBQ restaurants started to sprout and we really have so many options. It will just boil down to your preference and budget. 

We already tried several Korean BBQ restaurants like All 4 U Unlimited Korean Restaurant, Su Won Korean Garden Korean Restaurant, Siram Gyupsal Unlimited Korean BBQ House, Wow Samgyup Unlimited Korean Grill, Romantic Baboy, and just last month we tried Samgyupsalan Unlimited Korean BBQ

We visited my late sister’s family in Valenzuela and before we went home, magdrive through sana kami sa fastfood ng lunch but on our way to the restaurant, I saw the “Samgyupsalan” and I asked my nephew and niece if they’ve tried Korean BBQ and hindi pa daw. I asked them if they love to try it and they both said yes so yung take out namin, naging samgyeopsal. Hehehe! 

It was a weekday so the restaurant was not full. Samgyupsalan offers unlimited meat, rice, side dish, soup, iced tea, lettuce, and sauces. It is unlimited for one hour and forty-five minutes and PHP200 leftover fee per plate. You can choose from their 3 UNLIMITED SETS

Set A PHP319 - Unlimited pork and chicken 
Set B PHP399 - Unlimited pork, chicken, and beef with free one serving of steamed eff. 
Set C PHP449 - Unli all meat with enoki beef and steamed egg. 

Add ons: 
Unli Cheese PHP40 per head 
Soju PHP179 
Softdrinks PHP55 
Steamed Egg PHP50 

They also offer SET MENU from 1 to 5. 

Set 1 Pork - Good for 2-3 persons PHP599 450g of pork with 4 side dishes, 150g of lettuce, and 50g of ssamjang paste or garlic sauce. 
Set 2 Beef - Good for 2-3 persons PHP699 450g of beef with 4 side dishes, 150g of lettuce, and 50g of ssamjang paste or garlic sauce. 
Set 3 Pork and Chicken - Good for 3-4 persons PHP799 450g of pork and chicken (each) with 4 side dishes, 150g of lettuce, and 50g of ssamjang paste or garlic sauce. 
Set 4 Pork and Beef - Good for 3-4 persons PHP899 450g of pork and beef (each) with 4 side dishes, 150g of lettuce, and 50g of ssamjang paste or garlic sauce. 
Set 5 Pork and Beef - Good for 4-6 person PHP1599 900g of pork and beef (each) with 4 side dishes, 300g of lettuce, and 100g of ssamjang paste or garlic sauce. 

In addition, just like Romantic Baboy, you can also order frozen meat and side dishes per tub (450g) for take-out if you want to have your own Samgyeopsal at home. 

We chose the Unlimited Set C. For the meat, you can choose plain, bulgogi, spicy, or curry flavor. But some flavors are not available so we only tried plain pork, plain beef, bulgogi beef, and spicy chicken. I can’t remember if the steamed egg and enoki beef are also unlimited but they served 2 steamed eggs and 2 plates of enoki beef. 

Staffs are approachable and efficient so walang matagal na waiting time kapag nagparefill kami ng drink, sauce or meat. Overall, my nephew and niece enjoyed their first samgyeopsal experience. Nakakapanibago lang kasi wala na yung sister ko na lagi namin kasama sa foodtrip din. 

28 Days of Love

The 12 Days of Christmas promo was a huge success. Due to popular demand, Creative Fabrica will be sharing even more amazing freebies in the upcoming 28 Days of Love promotion. 

It's the season of love so for the entire month of February, Creative Fabrica will be launching a free bundle each day, in combination with amazing deals and offerings! The link to the free bundle of the day will be posted every day so mark your calendar, and get ready for amazing freebies. 

* A new free bundle every single day - a total of 28 FREE Bundles. 
* A sitewide 90% sale on over 1 million fonts and designs.

90% Off Mega Sale

This is the moment to get your favorite fonts and designs for a great price! Stock up on high-quality fonts, graphics, and embroidery designs for your upcoming crafting and design projects.

28 Days of Love Giveaway 

Not only that, Creative Fabrica is spreading the love even further by hosting 28 Days of Love Giveaways! Every single day throughout the month of February, one lucky winner gets the chance to win awesome crafting goodies! The first prize out is the chance to win the Cricut Marker 3 + Everything Materials Bundle. Join the giveaway here.

Discover below the incredible prizes you can win:

February 1 – Cricut Maker® 3 + Everything Materials Bundle 
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February 3– Cricut Mug Press™ + Everything Materials Bundle 
February 4– Ricoma iKonix Flat 15″ x 15″ Heat Press 
February 5 – Brother LB5000 Sewing & Embroidery Machine 
February 6 – $500 Creative Fabrica Store Credit 
February 7 – Silhouette Portrait 3 
February 8 – Silhouette Mint 
February 9 – Cricut EasyPress™ 2 + Essentials Iron-On Bundle 
February 10 – Silhouette Alta 
February 11 – Rice Jumper – Knitting kit 
February 12 – $500 Creative Fabrica Store Credit 
February 13 – Simon Hurley Create. Full Ink Pad Bundle 
February 14 – Speedball Diazo Ultimate Screen Printing Kit 
February 15 – Cricut BrightPad Go™ 
February 16 – Silhouette Cameo Pro 24″ 
February 17 – Cricut Maker® 3 + Everything Materials Bundle 
February 18 – $500 Creative Fabrica Store Credit 
February 19 – Crafter’s Companion – Gemini Jr. – Die Cutting and Embossing Machine 
February 20 – Beadalon® Table Top Work Bench 
February 21 – Cricut Mug Press™ + Everything Materials Bundle 
February 22 - Sizzix – Big Shot Pro Machine 
February 23 – Prismacolor® Premier® Brush/Fine Art Marker Set 
February 24 – $1000 Creative Fabrica Store Credit 
February 25 – Cricut Mug Press™ + Everything Materials Bundle 
February 26 – Silhouette Cameo Pro 24″ 
February 27 – Brother LB5000 Sewing & Embroidery Machine 
February 28 – Cricut Maker® 3 + Everything Materials Bundle

28 Days of Love Free Bundle

February 1 - Beautiful Font Bundle
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February 3 - Huge Font Bundle
February 4 - Easter Crafts Bundle
February 5 - Happy Easter Bundle
February 6 - Crafting Handwritten Font
February 7 - Playful and Crafty Bundle
February 8 - Script Fonts Bundle
February 9 - The Free Spring Crafts Bundle
February 10 - Free Embroidery Bundle
February 11 - Free Ultimate Quotes Bundle
February 12 - The Free Fonts and Crafts Bundle
February 13 - Best Calligraphy Font Bundle
February 14 - The Free Designs for Pet Bundle
February 15 - The Ultimate Spring Summer Blossom
February 16 - The Special Swashes Font Bundle
February 17 - St. Patrick's Day Bundle
February 18 - Crafty Sweet Font Bundle
February 19 - The Crafty Free Fonts and Designs Bundle
February 20 - Super Collection Font Bundle
February 21 - Easter Sublimation Bundle
February 22 - Beautiful Font Bundle
February 23 - Watercolor Bundle
February 24 - Monogram Fonts Big Bundle
February 25 - Stunning Font Bundle
February 26 - The Free Mega Popular Crafts Bundle
February 27 - The Free Spring Graphics Bundle
February 28 - All The Fonts That You Need Bundle

* This post contains affiliate links.

January 26, 2022

Breakfast at Napa at Crosswinds

“For Christmas is tradition time - traditions that recall the precious memories down the years, the sameness of them all.” Helen Lowrie Marshall 

It’s been seven consecutive years that we’ve going to Tagaytay every Christmas Day. It was one of our holiday traditions that we try to keep so I’m thankful that despite the global pandemic, we were able to go out during Christmas Day. Here are the restaurants that we have tried for the past several years.

Among the five restaurants, we frequent Verbena Restaurant because of the less crowd, yummy food, and good customer service. Good thing that we planned to eat at Napa at Crosswinds because we have no idea that Discovery Country Suites is already closed, I’m not sure kung under renovation lang pero sira na siya nung dumaan kami. 

Anyway let us go back to our topic, we first visited Crosswinds “Swiss Luxury Resort way back in 2012 and since then we have also frequented this place for a staycation or food trip. In a span of one decade, they already built few cafes and restaurants like Coffee Project Crosswinds, Cafe Voi La Crosswinds, Ruined Project, Napa at Crosswinds, Windmill Lausanne, and Yama Crosswinds.

We only tried Cafe Voi La so last Christmas we decided to visit Napa at Crosswinds. Napa is inspired by the popular place in California which is Napa Valley. You will easily notice the cabin-themed and rustic interiors of the cafe. You can see wooden benches, tables and floors, and wine barrels. And of course, Crosswinds is known for the Swiss-inspired themes so this cafe has a relaxing ambiance. You can choose indoors or al fresco dining.

We left the house before 5:30AM and we arrived at the cafe after one hour of traveling. The parking is limited so we are thankful na nakapagpark pa near the cafe or else, malayong lakaran. Marami na rin tao and yung iba hindi na nakapaghintay so umalis na and because of that, lumapit na ang pila namin.

Opening time is 7AM but unfortunately, hindi on-time yung pag-open. The staff ushered the guest one group at a time. As I’ve said before, you can choose indoor or outdoor but we prefer indoor (with a good view) because it is cold and windy. We prefer the second floor but the staff said, hindi pa daw pwede so we settled for this spot na lang. So kahit mauna ka pala, hindi ka naman makapili ng gusto mong place. 

We were waiting at the table for several minutes already pero walang lumalapit na staff to get our order so kung hindi pa kami tumayo at nag-ikot sa cafe, hindi namin malalaman na self-service pala so we fell in line na and I noticed that the second floor is already occupied so mas okay pala mahuli? #bitter 

Since it was our first time, we were having a hard time choosing from their menu so we ended up ordering kung ano yung nasa picture. hehehe! We ordered Long Drive Breakfast PHP525, Pancetta and Eggs PHP535, Grilled 4 Cheese Sandwich PHP305, Capuccino PHP245, Premium Chocolate PHP280, Vietnamese Latte PHP270, and Basque Cheesecake PHP245. Take note Cash Payment Only.

I was surprised that after six minutes, our order is ready for pick-up, which was so fast. But we were disappointed because the food is cold. Kaya pala mabilis lang, I assumed precooked na mga foods and nagplating na lang. Yung fries na lang ang lamig, sino ba gusto kumain ng malamig na fries? 

Ang ganda pa naman nung nakapost sa restaurant nila. “Napa is a place where you can have breakfast at any time of the day with a view to match every soul’s troubles” Kaso kung malamig ang food hindi nakakacomfort ng soul. 

The cafe is located in the cold place of Tagaytay, we ordered breakfast meal and the price is not cheap so we were expecting warm foods. Buti na lang yung drinks, hot talaga. Mas masarap siguro yung Pancetta and Eggs kung mainit. We like cheesecake but we don’t like the taste of their Basque Cheesecake. Despite my disappointments, I’m still happy that I was able to visit this place, at least nag-iba ng ambiance. Charged to experience na lang.

Napa at Crosswinds 
Open daily from 7 AM to 9 PM 
Crosswinds, Tagaytay, 4120 Cavite 

January 24, 2022

Lunch at Lipa Grill Restaurant

We had our quick getaway at The Farm at San Benito last month and after our check-out, off we went to Lipa Grill Restaurant for our late lunch. Ang hirap naman kasi mag food trip sa The Farm at San Benito because the food choices are limited to vegetarian, vegan, and pescetarian so finally, diet is over. 

This is a company lunch so I will not order any dishes but out of curiosity, I searched for their menu so this restaurant offers Filipino delicacies and grilled dishes. Upon arrival, I was surprised because the restaurant is huge pala, akala ko yung building lang, meron pala sila na al fresco “kubo style”. 

Our reserved tables are inside the building where you can also buy pasalubong. I browsed their menu and halos same lang ang presyo kapag kumain ka sa Metro Manila. They have a la carte, set menus (Set A to Set J) and party trays for your home celebrations. The set menu is good for 10 persons and the price range is PHP4,000+ to PHP6,600 + 

The food looks appetizing on their menu so I was surprised when they served the food. Kulang sa presentation and wala man lang vegetables ang kanilang Bulalo. We had Kare-Kare, Bulalo, and Crispy Pata. All tables have the same dishes and we are just a family of three so hindi namin kaya ubusin yung food. Anyway, we are satisfied naman with what we ate and this is all free. 

Lipa Grill 
Antipolo del Norte, Lipa City

January 22, 2022

Highlights of Year 2021

We are already 22 days into the brand new year 2022 and here I am still trying to reflect on my past 12 months. It used to be my goal to post this before the year ends but the thought of sitting down and just reflecting during the holiday doesn’t feel good to me. I prefer to do something else since that is one of the few times my husband and son are on vacation. 

Time is flying by so fast and it’s just so sad to think that two years had already passed since this COVID19 virus happened and it seems that year 2021 is pretty much the same. The year 2021 seems like an extension of the year 2020 because when we are still not yet over with our pain; we lost again two immediate family members. It’s been four consecutive years of losing the people we love.

I know that we all have different journeys but as far as I can see, grief will never end. This post of @glitterandgrief explained that we all grieve differently. "It’s universal, an experience we all go through. Yet, it’s so unique. We all grieve differently. You can lose the same person but still grieve differently. You can go through the same type of grief but still grieve differently. You can experience multiple losses, but each loss will be different grief. Each experience will be unique because each relationship is unique. We cope differently. We grieve differently. And the takeaway here is that it is normal and no judge. What worked for someone else might now work for you. What worked in the past, might not work now. Grief is an experience we handle one day at a time.”

And because of what happened these past few years, the year 2021 taught me to be grateful, slow down and enjoy life. 

Be Grateful 

I’m grateful because, for the past two years, my family of three is safe from the COVID19 virus. I’m grateful that we are still alive and can still do the things that we wanted to do even the majority of the year we are confined at home. I’m grateful that my husband can work from home, though there are times that my husband needs to go out for work but at least, it is not every day. Lastly, I’m grateful for God’s provision when we needed to help our family and relatives in paying funeral and hospital expenses. 

“Life is hard but God provides. 
Life is unpredictable but God guides. 
Life is unfair but God cares. 
Life is always a challenge but God sustains.” 

Slow Down 

In the year 2020, I fear boredom because I don’t want the pain to fill my thoughts. I wanted to be busy so I have no time to feel the hurt of losing someone. It was the time when I was so preoccupied with designing graphics for clients but in the year 2021, I already slowed down. It is nice to work and earn money but I missed my old life where I can relax during the weekends and I don’t have to adjust to my client’s time. 

Although I’m still hurting, it is time to move on and live again. So I need to slow down because stress is not good for my health. I want a life where I feel good about my work without feeling burned out so, in the year 2021, I only designed graphics for my repeat clients. 

Enjoy Life 

I love to create a balanced life to have more free time to do the things that I love such as blogging, designing for myself, reading books, crafting, and even just watching drama series or movies. 

As cliche as it may sound, it is true that “Life is short” so I want to enjoy my life while I still have the energy to do the things that I wanted to do, while I still can walk, run and travel different places, while I still can eat different foods without doctor’s restrictions, while I can still read books and watch movies or series and lastly while I still have time.

“If it makes you happy it doesn’t have to make sense to others.” 


I started the year 2021 without a definite plan, it seems that my life is still on pause and I am just on a wait-and-see mode. Since I can’t travel yet, I just shifted my focus to online shopping, I tried to avoid online shopping before but now I’m thankful to Shopee, Lazada, and Amazon because I can shop in the comfort of my home. “Happiness is retail therapy” 

I also took advantage of Photobook promos so I ordered Photo Tiles, Canvas Air, Insta Prints 5x5, and Softcover and Hardcover Photobook. 

“If you don’t think photos are important, wait until they are all you have left.” 


And because, I slowed down in designing graphics, now, I have more time to do my personal projects so I started buying craft materials, home stuff, and garden stuff. I also decluttered and organized our home. 

We’re missing the beach so my husband booked a trip for our wedding anniversary but unfortunately, it was canceled so we just stuffed ourselves with good foods from Alba Restaurante Espanol and Chef RV Manabat Cafe to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary.

And last February, I just hit my tenth year in the blogging world.


It is my goal to explore my Cricut Maker so every month, I’ve been creating projects so for the month of March, I’ve made cards and envelopes for my friend who will migrate and a cake topper for my father-in-law’s birthday


Two years ago, I’ve never guessed that my life would be the way it is now. We’re supposed to go back to Norway but unfortunately, leisure travel is far from reality. So I started ordering foods online, foods that I usually buy for pasalubong if ever we are traveling.

One year had passed since my sister left and I made this pillowcase for her. 


Since I find comfort in online shopping, I finally took a risk and ordered at Amazon USA. Going international na tayo. Hehehe! 

Another Quarantined Mother’s Day celebration, I did not order food but I prepared steak and mashed potato. 


A graduation is a once-in-a-lifetime event so I was a little bit disappointed because we only had virtual graduation and my son doesn’t even have a graduation picture. I envy those schools na nag-effort na magkaroon pa rin ng graduation picture. Ayaw ko naman magpunta ng mall para lang magpapicture. But we still celebrated my son’s graduation at home. He graduated with Gold Eagle Certificate. 

We also celebrated my husband’s birthday and father’s day at home.  

After staying at home for more than a year, we finally had a chance to travel and it was indeed a breath of fresh air. We stayed at Gina’s Garden which is located in Quezon. 

It was school vacation so puro gadget na naman ang anak ko so before June ends, we enrolled my son in different online classes like 

Web Development Foundations Python 1 & 2 
Drawing and Sketching 
Creative Illustration 


The first week of July, my uncle-in-law passed away and since this is not a COVID19 case, we were able to attend wake and interment. 

When we learned that kids can go out na, we went to Surugin Ramen House for a food trip, unfortunately, bawal pa kids mag dine-in sa restaurant. We also dropped by at Sonya’s Panederia before we went home.


After one month, my aunt-in-law passed away, I can’t imagine the pain of my cousins-in-law na in a span of one month nawala parents nila. She was fighting breast cancer since 2018 but unfortunately, she lost her battle. 

At last, my husband and I got our first jab of the COVID19 vaccines

It was another lockdown birthday, I did not want to cook so we just order food at Illo’s Party Trays


We had our second dose of COVID19 vaccines. 


My son is officially a QUARANTEEN so I’ve prepared a simple Gamer Birthday Party.  

After two years, my dentist removed my braces already. I am wearing retainers so no more monthly visits to the dentist. 

We are fully vaccinated already but my son doesn’t have COVID vaccine so I scheduled a Pneumonococcal Vaccine for us. And after that, we finally had an eye check-up.  


My son finally had his COVID19 vaccine too. 

My mother-in-law celebrated her 62nd birthday so I’ve made a cake topper and ordered food at Illo’s Party Tray again. After the party, we went straight to Mandaue Foam Sta Rosa.  


As always, December is a busy month so I was preoccupied with my holiday preparations, my son’s Confirmation, and end-of-the-year errands. 

And because of the unexpected hospital expenses last October, I already expected that our budget will be tight so a travel trip is a punch to the moon. But God moves in mysterious ways, for the first time in history, my husband’s company had a team celebration with family. Yehey, we were blessed to revisit The Farm at San Benito and we stayed at The Narra Villa. I will share more about this in a separate post. 

Despite the pandemic, we were able to continue our Christmas tradition so we’re back to Tagaytay and ate our breakfast at Napa at Crosswinds.

I am glad that my year 2021 is not just another year of staying at home. I am delighted that I’m back to blogging, reading, and crafting. This year, we had our chance to accomplish some errands that we are delaying because we’re afraid to go out. And lastly, we were able to eat out and travel again.

Sometimes you have to let go of the picture of what you thought life would be like and learn to find joy in the story you are actually living. - Rachel Marie Martin