February 23, 2023

12th Blogversary and Why Do I Still Blog?

I was busy celebrating our couple's anniversary and wedding anniversary and I forgot that last week was also my 12th blogversary. Time is ticking so fast and I did not imagine that I will be blogging this long. Nowadays, people prefer watching videos so the majority of the content creators are now on YouTube, Tiktok, and Instagram Reels so why do I still blog? 

Well, we are all unique and we have our own talents, skills, gifts, and even personalities. I don’t see myself in front of the camera because I am an introvert. I prefer reading to watching. I prefer writing or blogging so I have something to look back on when I want to reminisce or I need some details and information. From time to time, I post videos too as an extension of my blog posts. 

Looking back, I started this blog just to keep myself sane and I wanted to document my son’s milestones. Now, this blog still keeps me sane but it evolves because I change. As time flies my likes, preferences, and interests change too. But one thing that never changes is, this blog still sparks joy and fits the life that I want to live in. 

The online world is overwhelming but I can step away from it so there are months that I have few blog posts or social media posts because I am busy with my offline life. And my offline life is my real world/real life and I am happy to spend more time with my family, friends, and hobbies. 

“Do more of what makes you happy” 

Blogging success is not only determined by how many followers and views you have because you can define your own success or achievement. For me, it is already an achievement to reach 12 years and counting… I feel blessed to do the things that I love with my own time and the most important thing is no pressure.

February 22, 2023

Anniversary Celebration

It’s been years since the last time we traveled for our anniversary so when 2023 came, we are planning our anniversary getaway. We were supposed to visit the travel expo but I changed my mind, nagdadalawang-isip ako gumastos. Hehehe! We need funds kasi for our “home project” so need magtipid.

But of course, it is a milestone for us so we need to celebrate. This year, we are celebrating our 20 years as a couple and our 17th wedding anniversary. Wow, I can’t imagine na ganoon katagal na pala kami. Since same month ang aming anniversaries, most of the time isahang celebration na lang but since two decades is something special, nagdalawang celebration kami. So how did we celebrate our anniversary?

Lunch Buffet at Fresh International Buffet - Solaire Resort & Casino Manila 

A few years ago, we had an anniversary celebration at Cafe Ilang Ilang of The Manila Hotel so for our 20th-year couple anniversary, we decided to try a new buffet restaurant. I was searching for hotel promos but couldn’t find anything so I just looked for a budget-friendly buffet. We ended up at Fresh in Solaire, the rate is still expensive but cheaper compared to other hotels that I’ve checked. I will share our buffet experience in a separate post

Anniversary Staycation at La Chevrerie Resort 

Last year, we celebrated our anniversary at Chateau Hestia so for a change, we decided to have a beach trip in Anilao, Batangas. We only had an overnight stay because this resort is not cheap, parang lahat may bayad compared sa 3 resorts na natry namin in Anilao. Anyway, despite that we still enjoyed our short trip kasi konti lang guests. This deserves a blog post so wait for my review. 

Anniversary Card 

I’m an occasional crafter so I only craft when there is an occasion so this month I made an anniversary card. This is a simple Print and Die-Cut project, for the graphics, I used Romantic Couple Watercolor Collection by Stella Art. I created two cards, para sure na may anniversary card na si hubby for me. Hehehe! “Today we celebrate the best decision you ever made”

Anniversary Cake Topper

We gained a lot of weight last year so I’m trying my best to lose weight by reducing my sweet intake. Knowing me, I love sweets so it is really a struggle. I did not make a big cake topper because I don’t have a plan to buy cake so I just made a small cake topper for cupcakes or bread. Again, it is a Print and Die-Cut project. 

I asked my husband to buy ensaymada na lang for our anniversary. He bought ube and leche flan ensaymada at The Bellevue Hotel. That’s it!

February 16, 2023

International Dinner Buffet at Table 88 - Sheraton Da Nang

We seldom eat buffet meals whenever we travel abroad because it is costly but sometimes it is okay to splurge for the experience. Our Da Nang, Vietnam trip is one for the books because we experienced eating buffet breakfast, lunch, and dinner so it is a struggle to lose weight after our experience. 

Sheraton Grand Da Nang has six restaurants and bars so there is no reason to go hungry or thirsty. They have La Plage, Table 88, Poolside Bar, Tea Lounge, Mix Bar, and The Grill. And during our stay, we tried La Plage and Table 88. 

Our room package includes a buffet breakfast at Table 88 and I am always satisfied with the buffet breakfast so I was really looking forward to our International Buffet Dinner at Table 88. So after our Ba Nang Hills Tour, we did not waste our time and we immediately prepare for buffet dinner. The dinner starts at 6PM and we were there at 6:30PM, one of the early birds. 

Since we were early, we were able to choose our table and I was able to take pictures of the buffet spread. When we arrived at the table, we noticed the small bowl and the staff immediately told us “it is not for drinking, it is for washing hands”. Most of the food is seafood so this is very useful. 

So far, among the dinner buffet that I’ve tried this is my favorite because aside from the buffet spread, we have free-flowing soda, wine, and even alcoholic drinks, and one serving of lobster, you can choose grill or steam. I thought it is only one serving per table but the staff said, one serving per guest so even though my son doesn’t eat lobster, I ordered one for him. 

Sharing with you the buffet spread. This is not complete because I was not able to take photos of the food with a stainless cover. :) My favorites are grilled clams, shrimp, squid, and fish (no pictures, only video).  

Table 88 
Sheraton Grand Danang Resort
35 Truong Sa Street, Hoa Hai Ward, 
Ngu Hanh Son District, 
Da Nang, 55000, Vietnam

February 15, 2023

Wedding Anniversary at Chateau Hestia

Valentine’s Day is already over but in our house, love is still in the air because February is our anniversary month so we have so many events to celebrate such as couple anniversaries and wedding anniversaries. And this reminded me that I haven’t posted our anniversary celebration last year so let’s do a throwback post. 

This is indeed a memory to remember because when I checked Chateau Hestia's Facebook Page, I was shocked that they are already closed. “Dear valued Chateau Hestia clients, We are sad to announce our official closure this October 24, 2022. We are thankful to have been able to form friendships and unforgettable memories with you. We are grateful to have been of service to you.” 

It is sad to know that they are closed because we enjoyed our food trip here, in fact, my husband and in-laws went back here for Mother’s Day celebration. Chateau Hestia opened its door way back 2007 so buti na lang bago nagsara, nakabisita pa kami. 

Anyway, a year ago, after our Acuaverde Beach Getaway, my husband wanted to spend our 16th wedding anniversary at the beach, unfortunately, it is hard to book a resort so I suggested a food trip at Chateau Hestia but the same fate again, fully booked na rin but we still pursued our trip kahit delayed celebration na lang. 

Chateau Hestia was a garden restaurant, bed and breakfast and events place too. They offer different accommodations and my husband chose Capiz Casita. In order to confirm the reservation, we need to deposit PHP1500 via Gcash. My husband booked the place without knowing na hindi pala siya aircon, ako pa nag-inform sa kanya. I told him na kaya mura kasi wala aircon. 

On the day of our trip, we arrived before 2PM and the staff gave us a Client Information Sheet to fill out. We waited more or less 30 minutes before someone assisted us to our room. Yung staff sa restaurant kasi, yun din pala ang maghahatid sa amin sa room. 

Capiz Casita 

This is our accommodation, it looks like a bahay kubo with bed, day bed, and bathroom. No TV and no wifi. It looks old but it looks clean naman. What I don’t like is the bathroom, there was no curtain so open talaga, may door pero glass naman ang kalahati. I don’t know kung trend na ba ito because that was also my problem when we stayed at Narra Villa of The Farm and San Benito

Capiz Casita PHP4758
Extra Person PHP1495

Dinner at Chateau Hestia 

We had an early dinner and we ordered Hestia Salad PHP440, Hestia Burger PHP660, Osso Bucco & Rissotto PHP825, Kummelbraten PHP750 and Coke PHP90 + Service Charge. The price is expensive and they only accept cash or Gcash payment. Buti na lang may cash kami na dala. Hehehe!

While waiting they served complimentary bread. When the salad was served, we were shocked ang dami pala nung regular size, si hubby lang naman kumakain ng salad. 

The food serving is big for us so we had a hard time finishing our meal but we need to, sayang ang bayad. Good thing that we did not order dessert. 

Breakfast at Chateau Hestia 

We woke up early because we wanted to eat outside the restaurant, so kahit closed pa yung restaurant, umupo na kami dito para reserved na yung spot. :) 

Our room package includes complimentary breakfast, I forgot the choices but we ordered sausage with rice, sausage with bread, and American Breakfast. This includes coffee but they gave juice to my son.

We took our time in eating our breakfast because we know that we had nothing to do. We enjoyed our breakfast here and nasa isip namin, sana dito na lang kami nagbreakfast dati kaysa sa Napa at Crosswinds. Mas mura pa. 

We also ordered dessert which A Love Triangle PHP540, a plate of blueberry cheesecake, mango napoleon, and panna cotta. 

After breakfast, we just packed our stuff and checked out. It was a short stay but we were already happy kasi nakalabas ulit kami ng bahay ng hindi na kelangan ng Antigen Test. 

Chateau Hestia 
J.Hernandez St., Purok 5, 
Bgy. Bukal, Silang, Cavite, 
Philippines 4118

February 13, 2023

Styled Stock Society $100 off Annual Membership

Styled Stock Society has something exciting to share this week! From February 13 until February 17th at 11:59 pm ET, you can get $100 off on your annual membership. 

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All the marketing resources you could need are all right there in one place for just $260/year (that’s less than $1/day). Just use the code SAVE100 at checkout to get $100 off your annual membership this week! Check it here.

February 09, 2023

Inspiring Quotes from Rudy Movie

"Rudy" is considered one of the best sports movies and one of the most inspiring films of all time. It is a true-to-life story of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger who never gives up on chasing his dreams despite doubts and obstacles. He has dyslexia and he has no money, so getting into Notre Dame is not an easy journey. But because of his heart, determination, and commitment, he was able to achieve his dream. 

The film is already 3 decades old but it is worth watching, I’m sharing my favorite lines from the movie, this might help us in case we are about to lose hope or give up our dreams.

“When people say dreams don’t come true, tell them about Rudy” 

“My whole life, people have been telling me what I could do and couldn’t do. I’ve always listened to them, and believed in what they said. I don’t wanna do that anymore.” – Rudy Ruettiger 

“Well, you know what my dad always said, ‘Having dreams is what makes life tolerable.” – Pete

“Sometimes, a winner is a dreamer who just won’t quit.” - Rudy Ruettiger 

“In this lifetime, you don’t have to prove nothing to nobody except yourself.” – Fortune 

“Praying is something we do in our time. The answers come in God’s time.” – Father Cavanaugh

February 06, 2023

Pasalubong from Singapore

A few years ago, whenever my husband goes to Singapore, I always asked him to go to IKEA Alexandra but now that we have IKEA Philippines, it is no longer part of his itinerary. Hehehe! When we say Singapore, the most popular pasalubong are Kaya Spread and Irvin’s Salted Egg Chips but our country has its own version of coconut jam, and Irvin’s products are also available here. In addition, I don’t crave these foods so my husband no longer buys these for pasalubong.  

It was year 2020, when I discovered Prima Taste Meal Sauce Kits and New Moon Bak Kut Teh. It just so happened that my husband won a voucher from their Chinese New Year event so he bought pasalubong. Unfortunately, konti lang binili niya kasi hindi daw kakasya sa luggage niya. If he only knew that COVID19 will pause our life, sana ginastos na niya lahat ng voucher niya and bumili ng shopping bag. Naexpired lang kasi yung voucher and hindi na siya nakabalik ng Singapore because of the global pandemic. 

Anyway, he recently came back from Singapore so I told him to buy the meal sauce and soup kits. Some of the meal sauce kits are available in the Philippines pero baka mas mura kasi sa Singapore. Pinabaunan ko na rin siya ng extra bag so he has no reason na hindi kasya sa luggage. Hehehe! 

During his trip, my husband started sending me photos of the meal sauce kit and I was shocked because ang mahal na ng Prima Taste Products, hindi nalalayo ang price sa Philippines. I don’t know kung mahal lang talaga sa pinagbilhan niya. We both agreed, to try new brands na lang so he bought the following meal sauce and soup kits at IMM Outlet Mall. 

HAI’s Brand Singapore Chicken Rice SGD6.15 
New Moon Bak Kut Teh Spices SGD3.50 
New Moon Hainanese Chicken Rice Paste 
Singlong Soto Ayam SGD1.60 
Singlong Black Pepper Sauce SGD1.95 
Singlong Chili Crab Sauce SG1.80 

Update: February 2024

My husband went to Batam Indonesia last December so as usual, nagpabili ulit ako ng pasalubong. He has no time to go to the supermarket but fortunately, there is FairPrice Finest at Changi Airport. It is a supermarket and convenience store located in Terminal 3, open from 7AM to 10PM. 

He sent me photos so I could choose, we tried different brands before but now I prefer the Prima Taste brand. Their price is a little bit expensive but when you check the inclusion naman, mas marami, especially sa Hainanese Sauce Kit. 

Cravins Black Pepper Sauce SGD2.25 
New Moon Bak Kut Teh SGD3.43 
Prima Taste Hainanese Chicken Rice SGD8.02 
Prima Taste Singapore Chili Crab SGD8.02 
Prima Taste Meat Bone Soup SGD8.02

Care to share your must-buy items in Singapore?

February 02, 2023

Korean Soy Garlic Fried Chicken

 As of this writing, I already watched 174 Korean dramas and one thing I noticed is, Koreans love to eat fried chicken and they usually pair it with beer. I’ve learned that fried chicken became popular because, during the financial crisis, many people lost their jobs so they started to open fried chicken restaurants in order to provide for their families. 

There are thousands of chicken restaurants in Korea and some of these restaurants expanded to Southeast Asia, China, Canada and the USA. I’ve never been to South Korea and the only Korean fried chicken that I’ve tasted is from Bonchon. 

But I rarely eat chicken at Bonchon because if I’m craving chicken, I usually buy from Jollibee or Yellow Cab. #loveyourown Our family’s favorite is the soy garlic chicken of Yellow Cab, ang sarap nitong papakin. 

Last year, I saw the Korean Soy Garlic Batter Mix in the grocery and I immediately bought it so I can try. My son loves fried chicken so I am trying different recipes or food products na pang fried chicken. 

The pack includes the batter mix, sauce, and instructions on how to use it. 

1. Open pack 1. Dilute batter mix in 1/4 cup (60ml) water. 
2. Coat 1/2 kg of chicken and deep fry. 
3. Place newly fried chicken in a container. Open pack 2. Pour sauce directly. 
4. Seal the lid and shake.

All you need to do is add water, coat the chicken, fry, and pour the sauce. But I did not pour over the sauce, I just put it in a separate bowl. If you just eat the chicken without the sauce, parang bland yung lasa niya so yung sauce ang importante talaga. I still buy this mix from time to time while I am still searching for yummy soy garlic sauce.