Thursday, February 28, 2013

Cafe Publico

I met up with some friends recently and they treated me at this place in Promenade, Greenhills (2nd floor, beside Gerry's Grill). It was my first time and I didn't know what to expect. Normally, I'd Google about a place before going, but on that day, Anissa went to the LSGH Junior Prom and the stage Nanay was busy busy busy. We were there for dessert and/or coffee. I was told that the gelato is a must-try.

I have to admit ... it took a while for me to decide what to get. The flavors all sounded so intriguing. The Gelato Pies (ice cream on top of small cakes) are really worth it. 

Peach-a-Pie Golly Wow (vanilla gelato, peach slices, raspberry sauce and walnuts)
Grasshopper Pie (dirty mint gelato on Oreo cookie crust)
The Italian Job (Ferrero gelato with nutella fudge)
When In Rome (Sophia Loren gelato w/ pistachio and raspberry sauce)
Oreo Cookie Pie (Brownies 'n cream gelato on Oreo Cookie crust)

The average cost of the Gelato Pie is around Php 200. Can you guess which one I went for? 

This, my dear readers, is The Italian Job. And the job of gobbling it all up took no more than 20 minutes, I think. HAHAHAHA. Ang sarap eh!!! 

They have Sundaes and Gelato Frappes which I would love to try next time. They have full meals, too. Check out there menu HERE

2/F Greenhills Shopping Center Promenade, Greenhills
(02) 919 0519

The Battle of the Chicken Chops : Serenitea vs Cha Time

When the whole bubble/milk tea brouhaha started, I immediately found myself drawn to the Serenitea brand. Then came Cha Time, Happy Lemon (my least favorite of them all), Cha Dao and what have you.  Today, Serenitea remains to be my top choice for milk tea. Other than my usual Hokkaido with pearls and 50% sugar, I sometimes also order their snacks.

Their Chicken Chops is TO DIE FOR. I’ve always had to have more than just one order of it. N doesn’t really fancy it so … yay! More for me! Sabine thinks it’s a bit peppery for her taste and Anissa, well … she doesn’t really care much hahaha. So yeah, I’m the only addict in the house.

Yesterday, I was craving for some milk tea. I don’t have it as often as I used to which was WEEKLY. In fact, it’s been probably over a month since I had a glass. But the driver was going to get Sabine from school and the only convenient place on the way home was Cha Time in Pioneer Centre. Not really a bad choice because I like their Cha Time Roasted Milk Tea too. But I also wanted something to eat for merienda, so I asked the driver to get me 2 orders of their version of the Chicken Chops. I’ve never tried them before despite their offers so this was my chance.

Flavor-wise? The taste is very similar. I guess that was really the objective on Cha Time’s part ya? To compete directly with Serenitea’s chicken. Texture-wise? Serenitea’s is crunchier, it has more breading. In terms of serving though, I would have to say that Cha Time wins. The serving is slightly more generous, it’s like a whole chicken breast fillet in there. Their prices are in tune with each other so that’s really not an issue.

So who wins this contest? (a contest I created in my bored mind hahaha) It’s Serenitea of course. Why? Here’s why…

See all that white meat? I loathe white meat. I’m not exaggerating. This is one of the few things N and I agree on nyahaha. Seriously! We will not touch white meat with a ten-foot pole, it’s just too boring and bland. The Cha Time chicken had too much white meat, I ended up not finishing what I bought, ergo, I really just wasted my money. Sabine kinda liked it, because she was dipping the pieces in ketchup, but I don’t eat ketchup --- another story.

This was a lesson learned. Serenitea is still it when it comes to Chicken Chops ... and Peppered Corn ... and Peppered Fries. Their friggin' pepper is the secret!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Shakey's : An Old Reliable

Having Shakey's pizza always takes me down memory lane, no fail. I spent so many Saturday and Sunday afternoons at the old Shakey's branch in Greenbelt (yup that's how old I am haha!). The parentals have always considered Sundays to be sacred and it's been that way for the longest time. It was mass at noon then lunch, then a movie in Quad (now Glorietta) or grocery shopping in Rustan's. Somewhere in between, the kids would get hungry, of course.

My favorite flavour of all time? Garlic and Cheese. They recently changed it to Ultimate Garlic and Cheese. I sometimes get the feeling it doesn't taste exactly the same as the old version I've gotten so used to. But I love it anyway, more than all the other new flavors they've introduced. I don't really give a crap about the others. For me, Shakey's is synonymous to Garlic and Cheese and vice versa. I'll never have this flavor elsewhere.

It's so cool that my kids know what Shakey's is. That's how long they've been around. It's even cooler that the 6-year old's favorite is also Garlic and Cheese!

Just look at her taking the first dive. After dinner, half of this pizza was still good for taking home and she said, "This is mine okay? I'm taking it all home with me." 

Yup, we'll always be Shakey's fans. We have the Shakey's Supercard which allows us to do a BOGO (buy one, get one) each time we call for delivery and we're on our 3rd card :) 

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Face Shop Face It Designing Cake Eyebrow

Such a kilometric name for a tiny set

This is shade No. 1 Beige Brown and is so cost friendly at less than P500 (sorry, can't remember the exact price of this one). I got mine more than a year ago and it's just now that I'm kinda needing to buy a new one. Take note, I use this every single day EVEN WHEN I'M AT HOME. Actually, I may still have a couple of months to go with the one I have but I just want a back-up that I can use anytime. I don't have to blend the two shades. The one on the right is enough for me, when applied with a slightly wet eyebrow brush. Sayang? Maybe I should use them in tandem so it's not like I'm throwing half of it away. Will definitely explore when I get my new set. 

While it's nice that it already comes with tools, the handles are too short. I prefer this :

It's the Charm Eyebrow Brush Duo which I totally love! 
Photo source :

I've always been so obsessed with getting my eyebrows right. After many, many years of practice I think I've finally mastered the art of drawing my brows. I can do it even when I'm already in the car and on the move. I know this because my Mom, who has the same obsession (yes, the sparse eyebrows run on her side of the family), asked me recently what I use and how I apply it because she loves the way my eyebrows are done. Mother knows best! 

What do you all think? :) 

Electrolux HUSH Happier at Home

Thank God, it's Friday!

I know it sounds strange, coming from a stay at home Mom of 2 1/2 years. But I do look forward to the weekends still. When the kids are in school the whole day, I miss having them around the house. Weekends mean we're complete and the house is alive! I don't mind the noise and the occasional chaos (aka arguing and fighting), as long as I know the kids are home. 

This is really my idea of quiet and relaxing. Another strange thing to say? How can it be quiet and relaxing when the kids are around? To me, simply knowing that my kids are within hearing distance, may not exactly be quiet but it's definitely relaxing. More relaxing than knowing they're out there and I can't be with them when they need me. Obsessed, hahaha. I sound like an obsessed, clingy, overprotective, psychotic Mom! 

And speaking of obsessions, I've been really into environmentally-friendly stuff. Even before my breast cancer diagnosis, I already developed that conscious effort to do my share and show some love to Mother Earth. Especially with two growing kids, I'm totally into doing what I can to try and make the world a safer place for them. The breast cancer diagnosis intensified this obsession even more. I'm in recovery and therefore, a lifestyle change is a MUST. Apart from looking into my diet, I also have to make sure my surroundings are clean all the time. I've noticed how through the years, my daughters' allergic rhinitis have gotten worse. It's really the current state of the environment that's to blame for this. As such, I have looked into many things other than the usual medications to address this issue. It is so important to me that our home is as clean as can be all the time (errrr, Lysol is my BFF of all time). I've really been considering hiring a team of cleaning people to do the job regularly, especially on our mattresses and couches. But on second thought, I also don't feel so comfortable about allowing people I don't know into the house. N and I have had a vacuum cleaner for sometime now but it really is such a pain to use --- to the ears. In fact, you can hardly get anything else done when the helpers are using it. Can't watch TV, can't talk on the phone. Heck, we can't even talk to each other! 

I truly appreciate companies and commercial brands who give so much value to saving the environment, by coming up with products that are eco-friendly. Like Electrolux. Take a look at these.

Between these two though, and based on what I've said so far, you can already guess which product I want more. The vacuum cleaner's overall look is also so aesthetically-pleasing. Black and green are two of my favorite colors hee hee! I can really picture having this around the house.

Now I'm going through Electrolux's website to see what else they have! The brand has been around for years so I know I can trust them with my needs.

Those of you who are on Twitter can also follow Electrolux Philippines

Thank you, Electrolux, for being a fan of environmental protection! You rock! 

P.S. This is actually a contest. If you're a Nuffnanger like me, you can join it too and win one of the really cool prizes at stake! 

Check out the mechanics HERE

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Pre-Graduation Day Thoughts (plus today's)

I wrote and posted this entry yesterday in my 2nd blog (the one that details my breast cancer journey) Grace Anatomy

I was at my Onco's clinic yesterday for the routine check prior to a chemo cycle. The envelope containing my blood test results in my purse, I prayed for everything to turn out well and to be told that chemo was going to push through as planned, and not delayed. To cut a long story short, she saw no reason to delay my FINAL chemo cycle. It's happening tomorrow.

In the car on the way home, my mind went into overdrive. 

Last chemo cycle? Really? I remember what it was like for me on that very first day, October 23rd last year, to be exact. I prayed hard for peace and a total feeling of calmness. I was anxious but I didn't make it seem obvious. In fact, I had a mini panic attack without anyone knowing it, not even N. I was to find out later on that this is such a common reaction amongst chemo patients. 

I also started to think about the women I've met so far along the way ... those who graduated ahead of me, those who are a few steps behind me and those who are just about to embark on the same journey. I want to go to each of them to tell them to be patient because they WILL get to the finish line. I know what it feels like to be in their shoes, I totally understand. 

I told N that I want to bring food for the nurses on duty when I go for my last dose. This is going to be our way of thanking them for the work and to say goodbye. They've already told me before and I guess this is what they always tell their chemo patients : they pray they won't see me ever again in the chemo unit. God knows this will be one of my most fervent prayers from now on. 

I'm getting teary-eyed as I conclude this entry. 

To the person who is reading this and who has read every single entry in this blog so far, I thank you for joining me on this leg. I hope you will continue to accompany me as I try my best to live healthy keep the f*cker out of my life. 

And today?

Graduation Day. I can't believe I'm saying that. I'm digressing a bit from my usual topics so I hope you can indulge me. This is a really huge thing for me and for my family. The past 4 months (chemo officially started on October 23rd last year), have been extremely challenging and rewarding at the same time. It's very difficult to put into words exactly what it was like for me, for all of us. There was one time when I thought I wanted to stop. Chemo is NOT fun. It can take the wind out of your sails if you allow it. You have to constantly work on being positive and when you're physically affected by something like chemo, it becomes a real struggle to do that. I have so many people to thank because my positivity never ran out. Their prayers have kept me going all throughout this chapter of my breast cancer journey. 

My last chemo cycle takes place at 1pm today. I've been feeling emotional about this day for a while now. Just thinking about graduating tears me up. I can't believe I'm actually going to do it. But I really couldn't have done it by myself. That part though, deserves a separate blog entry. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Prom!!!

Ever since I got involved in Prom preps as a member of the Parent-Homeroom Collaboration Team in Anissa's school, people have asked me if I'm more excited than my daughter. A parent's excitement is totally different. But yes, I really was. In fact, today, days after the actual Prom, I have a hangover of sorts. I'm sure Anissa and her friends do, too.

Despite having slept soundly after, I still feel exhausted. The days leading to the event were particularly stressful. On the day itself (last Saturday), I didn't have a driver for the most part. Anissa still had dance training in school from 9am-12nn. In between that, Sabine and I went to Megamall to buy the bouttonieres for her date and her BFF's date.

On the night itself, I had to be there of course, as a Prom Committee parent. We all had to work! By the time I got home, I was exhausted beyond words. But it was all worth it. Not all mothers are given the chance to really be part of their daughter's Junior Prom. I was there and I witnessed it first-hand, that's why I feel truly blessed.

I was both kilig and sentimental. Let me share with you a moment from that night, when the Event Organizer asked me over dinner, "Is it really such an emotional time for you Moms? Nakaka-iyak ba talaga?" Here was my response ...

I guess this is part of the "letting go" process, seeing them so grown-up and interacting with boys like it's almost 2nd nature, realizing that this signals the start of many more similar moments until the process is complete and they're on their own. (Sabay kuha ng tissue sa purse hahaha. Hay! Ang hirap maging magulang!) I'm just so lucky to have been part of the Committee, given access to this milestone, while reminding myself not to act like a stalker.

The journey has just begun. I'm sure there will be more blog entries about my adventures (and misadventures) as Mom to a teenager and soon-to-be adult. Abangan!

I hope you had an awesome time, my big baby girl, enough to say that your Prom was a total blast and is something you'll remember for a very very long time.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Cheap Find(s) : SM Kids Fashion

My Sabine is totally addicted to anything fashion-related. At 6 years old, she chooses her own outfits (sometimes I get the urge to control her colour choices) and will tell me outright, "I don't want that, I have something else in mind." I don't remember Anissa being so independent and headstrong at this age. 

So on the night we were looking for Prom shoes for Anissa, Sabine had an entirely different agenda. I had SM Kids gift certificates with me and told her she could shop using them. Boy, did she shop!

Even if I'm not a frequent SM Department Store goer, I know that there's so much potential as far as merchandise is concerned --- so much more than a few years ago. 

The main brands that Sabine bought from are Modern Princess and Little Miss. 
I'm really impressed!

Take note ... she was the one who matched the first two ensembles. They're actually 4 pieces sold separately. Not bad, huh? 

I personally chose this dress because of the detail on the top part, never mind if the skirt looks like the one in the first ensemble.

This poncho-looking top is again, Sabine's choice. She likes the tulle ribbon. It just looks like a poncho but there are arm holes so it's really a top. How cute! 

All together now! For a little less than Php 2,000!

She didn't explore other colors haha. That's cause she really loves anything pink. 
Truly a girly girl. 

Note to Dada : Save up for this little girl's shopping trips, please? 

V-Day Highlight

Yes, I'm not big on Valentine's Day. The thought of it approaching doesn't excite me. Last night, walking through the mall before going home (had dinner with Mama), I spotted the lone flower shop in Eastwood Mall and how unbelievably busy it was. People lined up to have last-minute bouquets arranged. The place looked like Divisoria, no joke. I hold on to my opinion that this day is terribly, terribly overrated, just like Wee Nam Kee and J.Co Donuts. 

But because my 6-year old has no idea that Mommy is not a huge Valentine fan, every year she gives me/us something, and regardless of how I feel about this occasion, she never fails to melt my heart.

Mama (Momsie to my kids), gave them art supplies for Valentine's Day and this is what Sabine decided to do with hers. Awwwwwww! It now proudly stands on top of my shoe cabinet inside our room -- haha, until I find a more appropriate place for it! 

And because we had a mass in the morning before moving Daddy's ashes into the crypt, she decided that she wanted to wear this outfit. "Mommy, it's Valentine's Day that's why!"

Whether you celebrated it outdoors, at home or in places I can't mention (hee hee!!!), I hope you all got a kick out of yesterday and maybe even a kilig moment or two! 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Prom Update : The Shoes

We finally got started on the hunt for the ultimate prom shoes! I didn't want to do this until Anissa got to fit her dress, which she did last Saturday morning. 

So Monday evening, after school and training, we all trooped to SM Megamall, the most practical choice considering the options available. 

Anissa and I agreed on one thing : the priority was FLATS but she was willing to consider a heeled pair if they were not too high. Not a bad deal. We checked every single brand inside the SM Department Store and even a couple of stores in the mall itself. About an hour and extremely tired Mommy feet later, she finally decided on this pair

They're from local brand, Janilyn. I sincerely hope these shoes don't fail her on Prom Night. As a precaution, I'll be rubbing certain areas with candle wax so the shoes don't "kill" her on Saturday. 

I'm so happy we were able to reach a compromise. I've always believed that only kids, pregnant women and senior citizens can wear flats to formal events. But my 16-year old isn't a fan of heels unlike her friends and other girls her age. 

My Cinderelly has found her glass slippers so we can rest the entire week yay!

Cheap Find : Studded Duffle Bag from SM

The search for the ultimate prom shoes and purse took Anissa and I (and Sabine and N) to SM Department Store in Megamall last Monday after school and her training. While these were the priority, we couldn't help but look at other stuff on display and just as we were ready to leave after paying for our prom-related purchases, we spotted these

Even from afar, they're quite eye-catching because of the studs. The price tag convinced Anissa even more that she wanted one. I did, too, but sigh ... #buhaynanay ... the kids always come first. 

Then it was a toss up ... did we, errr, she want the black or the blue/violet? The beige one wasn't too inviting, mainly because it will obviously be a challenge to maintain. 

Eeenie meenie miney moe ...

This is what she ended up with after a few minutes of indecision

While Mommy would've automatically chosen the black (because wala lang, I'm really safe that way), but this blue one ain't so bad. In fact, the longer I stare at it, the prettier it gets. I'm not too big on the color blue haha. 

The damage? Less than a thousand, just P999 to be exact. Warrants a happy dance, right? A note though ... this can't be a handbag, it's more like an overnighter. Really just the right size for spending a night away from home. 

Patting myself on the back for this awesome find :) 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Spotted : Chloe-looking Sandals

I spied this sandal inside the SM Department Store last night, while Anissa was going around and looking for the ultimate Prom shoes and purse. 

I walked past it at first, did a double take and went back. This is what always happens when I see a shoe I like. I scrutinize every bit of it, from the stitching to the material, to the heel. If I see anything wrong, it's not a go. But this particular sandal passed my test. In the past, I'd be first to shun local brands, saying that they never last long and don't give you value for your money --- sorry, but I admit talaga. With local brands, it was always "you get what you pay for". That is no longer true today. With brands like this levelling up and really improving on their styles and quality, I've given more attention to them than my foreign favorites.

Unfortunately, they didn't have this in my size plus the priority last night was not shoe addict Mommy, but Prom Girl Anissa. At P1,800 a pair, however, I doubt if I can still snag this next time. Very reasonably-priced considering the workmanship. It's really a style that Chloe made popular. See?

I obviously have a thing for neutral-colored shoes (and black and gold). Hee!

Weekend Pampering

Since I discovered the neighbourhood salon a couple of weeks ago, I had been wanting to go back with the girls. Anissa needed to have stuff done in preparation for prom and Sabine's bangs have been desperate for a trim. Last Sunday was the perfect time, plus Mama was in our house the whole day. 

I made an appointment for all of us and at 4pm we showed up and they got busy. I swear, this salon is a heavenly convenience for me. I can't believe it's taken me all this time to discover it, when it's a mere 10 minutes from where I've lived the past 17 years. 

This time, however, I opted to bring one of my own bottles of nail polish. From OPI's South Beach Collection, this is On Collins Avenue

It's a really bright orange-red shade, but more orange than red. I like it because it stands out without necessarily calling too much attention to my nails. I'm so glad I bought my own bottle. 

And that's how we girls spent our lazy Sunday afternoon without breaking the bank. 

I miss having work done on my hair. I know, I know. Soon.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Valentine's Day? Bite Me.

Could it be the age? I don't think so. I know of couples much older than me who still celebrate on Valentine's Day. I don't know why I was never big on Valentines. To me, it's one of the most overrated occasions. 

But wait ... if you're about 18-25 years old (okay pwede na rin up to 30), you're excused. You have every right to expect to be wined and dined on February 14th every year. You have a right to expect flowers or a teddy bear (eeewww) or whatever plush toy your boyfriend thinks you'll like. If you're married and you're in the first 5 years of marriage, I'll excuse you as well. This is still well within the honeymoon phase where flowers are a MUST. If you don't get any, stomp your feet, throw a tantrum, walk out of the house.

Could it be bitterness? This is the first Valentine's Day that I won't be getting anything from my Dad. Every year for as long as I can remember ... even when a boyfriend or my ex-husband or N would forget to give me something, anything ... my Dad would always have something for Mama and myself. When Anissa came, she got something from him every year, and so did Sabine. He gave the girls gifts on Valentine's Day like it was some sort of gentlemanly tradition. My poor brother and N had to sit there and stare while all of us opened our gifts excitedly in front of Daddy. This was about the only reason I looked forward to Valentine's Day. And now?

The traffic ... the thick crowds everywhere ... all the elbowing and the frustration just to get to where you're going? It's just not worth it. I'd rather be at home watching my favorite TV series with N and munching on Ferrero Rocher or Lindt Truffles, or a bag of Doritos and a bowl of salsa.

So yeah ... I'm also majorly bummed that it's going to be Valentine's Day soon and I won't get a gift from Daddy. In fact, I'll never ever get a Valentine gift from him ever again. 


We're interring his ashes on Valentine's Day. No significance. We wanted it on a weekday and that's the only day Mama was able to get the priest she wanted to say mass for him. 


To all Valentine's Day lovers out there, your choice. Good luck.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Year of the Snake

My Dad is was probably the only person in my family who believed in celebrating the Chinese New Year. He had a lot of Chinese friends in his network --- a lot! That's really where the influence came from. He also believed in ushering in the new year with all sorts of good luck charms and things like that. His condo was filled (still is) with Chinese-inspired decor. 

I, on the other hand, am not a staunch believer. It's really a personal thing, and I respect the many Chinese friends I also have. But if you ask me, I only need a strong spiritual foundation to get me through life. It's not always easy, especially after everything that happened last year. But you trip, you fall, you get up and you learn. So far, so good. 

I believe that it doesn't matter if you're a rooster, dog, rat or monkey (that's me). If you're armed with a strong faith, kindness to others and a heart that always wants to give without expecting anything in return, you can always be as successful and as happy as you want! 

To all my Chinese friends ... 
may the Year of the Snake bring you whatever it is your hearts are asking for ... and more!

If Dad were here, we'd probably be eating like pigs tonight (what's new?) at Choi Palace. Dimsum all we can and Roast Duck! Aahhhhhhh I miss him! 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Project Photo Wall

I've been wanting to do this for a while now, but as usual, it's still on my "to do" list. Maybe I should actually have a list entitled "I hope to do these one day". I can be a real procrastinator sometimes. I know what I want to do and how to start but I never get around to doing it right away. 

I guess the very first thing I need to do is to choose the lay out I want. There are lots to consider on Pinterest so that's not an issue. I'm more concerned about how much I'm going to spend on the frames. I want really nice ones and those can cost a lot. There are two walls at home that I want to convert into photo walls so yeah, this project has Peso signs written all over it! 

Maybe this should be my first home project after my chemo treatments end? 

We'll see!

Photo source : Google Images 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Bistro Mateo in Tiendesitas

The last time I dined in this area, Mario's Kitchen was still here. It's been replaced by Bistro Mateo, which serves typically the same type of food as Mario's. 

After a really long morning in school with co-Junior parents from the PHCT (Parent-Homeroom Collaboration Team), some of us had an early lunch and mini chika session here. 

I initially wanted to try their Lucban Longganisa meal, especially after the server confirmed that their longganisa is made without preservatives. But the Salpicao was a bit of a distraction while going through the menu. Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself!

The drink ... need I say more? This is a no-brainer every time I'm in a Filipino-themed resto. It was just a little too sweet for me, so I added a bit of water to it. Other than that, two thumbs up!

I'm also very much a soup person. If a restaurant serves good soup, you can be sure I'll go back for it. I tried their Clam Chowder but I shared this with my PPIC (Parent Partner In Crime) because I still had my main course to take care of. 

Both the soup and the bread didn't disappoint! When I was done with the soup, I had to stop myself from asking for butter so I could finish the entire bread bowl.

Now going back to the Salpicao ... 

Will you look at all that rice? I got dizzy the minute the server put the dish in front of me. I'm not a big rice eater but I can finish ulam like there's no tomorrow. I ate only the rice that had sauce hihihi. I recommend this dish, too. Beef was tender and rice was cooked to my standards. 

You would think that I said NO when I was offered dessert. Right? Wrong.

Anything Sansrival deserves a YES. This is their Toffee Sansrival. But again, I shared this with someone (just so you won't see pig every time you think of me). One word - HEAVEN.

You'll notice that I didn't share the prices of my orders. That's 'cause this lunch was a treat! (thanks to our wonderful sponsor, you know who you are)

This is one place that serves good comfort food. I would go back if I were in that neck of the woods.

BISTRO MATEO is in Tiendesitas, fronting the SM Hypermarket Pasig side.