Be Happy

By She Said

Sometimes, we go to great lengths just to find happiness. But all it takes to be happy is gratitude.

New Adventures

By She Said, she said

We're so thrilled to share with all of you, the exciting things happening on She Said, she said! We are celebrating our blog's first year this January 2014 and we decided it was the perfect time to spruce things up on the site.

We've been having so much fun on this online journal of ours. It's such a wonderful, creative outlet and it has truly served its purpose as a gratitude journal as well as a happiness project for both of us this 2013. We have discovered that there's just so much we can do as long as we put our hearts to it.

We have no one else to thank but, you, our loving community of readers and followers who continue to encourage us by all your lovely comments, your support, and by just simply dropping by and reading our posts. We love each and every one of you!

In our commitment to make this blog better this coming new year, we've enlisted the help of some very talented individuals who we are blessed to have met this year!

 Meeting up with Martine De Luna of to discuss our blog's branding and purpose. She has taught us valuable lessons on how to keep our blog on the right track by having an editorial plan, and so much more. Thanks, Martine!

 We're giving the blog a make-over! Had so much fun creating this Brand Board to guide us with the new design and look we are going for.

Nikki Valenzuela is a freelance visual artist and illustrator. We love the logo she is creating for us and we are super excited for our upcoming creative collaborations with her. Check out her artwork here.

Watch out for the big reveal. Coming soon!

Holiday Table Settings

By She Said

I love pretty table settings and I'm excited to dress up our table at home in time for all the festivities this Christmas.

Early attempts at table setting for my sister's birthday dinner. I love using fresh flowers, fruits and sprigs. It makes everything look fresh and inviting.

There's a wealth of inspiration available online and I always take note if I come across something I like. Here are some of my favorites.

 Christmas settings don't always have to be predominantly red. The splash of blue on the set up (left photo) makes it light and fresh. I'm loving those salt & pepper servers too!

Simple wreath place setting using whatever plants you have in your garden and some floral wire.

Pretty in pink holiday setting.

A well thought of table setting makes guests feel special, puts everyone in a festive mood, and makes the food taste better!

Hope you are all enjoying the holidays with your family and loved ones. Just 14 more days and it's Christmas!

Favorite Christmas Treat

By She Said

One of things we look forward to during Christmas is having our fill of Elisen Gingerbread from Santis Delicatessen. It's available only during the holidays, so we make sure to buy some as soon as it's available beginning the middle of November. 

These traditional German gingerbread treats made with candied orange peel, coriander, allspice, cloves, cardamom, honey and almonds are spicy-sweet and delicious, perfect with tea.

There are many kinds of food that we associate with Christmas and these cake like cookies are one of our favorites. My late mom, Bianca's grandma, was the one who introduced us to these treats and it's become a tradition for us to make this part of our holiday eating. It's our way of holding on to memories of holidays spent with her. 

Every year, we buy ourselves a small pack thinking that would be enough to satisfy us because of all the other sweets we manage to stuff ourselves with during the season. But, we always find our way back to Santis a week or two after to buy more. We never learn : )

What have you all been eating this December? We'd love for you to share your stories with us!

Nurnberger Mini Elisen
available at Santis Delicatessen

Gifts Ideas For Book Lovers & Creatives

By She Said

My friend, Lyn, shared this link with me from I Love Gifting- a great site where you can find creative gift ideas as well as gifting tips which we can all use this Christmas season.

Here are some of my favorite gift ideas from the several gift guides on the site. Just click on the title image to view the complete list.

For your book worm friends.

Fairy Tale Bookends

Oscar Wilde Pocket Mirror

Gift ideas for your friends who are crafters, artists, photographers, and even bakers!

DIY Screen Printing Kit

Personalized Rubber Stamps

 Cake Decorating Machine

Letter Pressed Cookie Cutters

I'm sure all of us, if not many, have at some point received a gift that we cannot use or don't like. Here are some tips and things to consider on when and why it's okay to regift.

 Holiday Regifting: What's the Ethical Thing To Do?

I always have a fun time shopping for gifts for loved ones because I get an excuse to shop for myself too! Happy Holiday Shopping to all of you!

Inspiration Board: Holiday

by she said

Thanks to mom for putting up our Christmas tree and slowly making everything in the house look festive, I'm starting to get more and more into the holiday spirit! I can't wait to put my Christmas playlist on, go shopping for presents, and eat lots and lots of sweets : )

I made this inspiration board with cheery get-togethers with family and friends in mind. One of the best parts of Christmas is having a whole bunch of people you love in the same room with you!

 Me: Fornash Over-Sized Gold Twist Earrings, Mauro Grifoni Medium Fabric Bag, Eruca Mary Janes, Alice + Olivia Winnie Sequined Silk Top, Sheinside Pink Asymmetrical Shorts. 
Mom: J.Crew White Bubble Necklace and Lightweight Striped Terry Tee, Cynthia Rowley Bonded Legging, Isabel Marant Lara Ballet Flats, Julie Vos Milano Ring

I'm glad that mom and I can share clothes and shoes now since we're pretty much the same size. I can't wait to go on our annual Christmas date!


Paper Straw Wreath

by She Said

We usually start putting up our Christmas tree and other holiday decorations by the middle of November. We're running late this year, with not a single ornament in sight. And it's not because I don't have the time to do it, but more really because I haven't been in the mood to do it.

The recent disaster brought about by Typhoon Yolanda has certainly put a damper on my Christmas spirit. So, I got Bianca to get crafty with me this weekend to make these simple wreaths made out of paper straws and we put them up today. It certainly brightened things up for me and I'm hoping I get to put up the tree tomorrow.

Christmas is all about hope and love and what's in your heart, but a few trimmings around the house would certainly help warm me up for the holidays : )

6 inch cardboard ring
red and green art paper
36 paper straws- we used red and green striped straws
satin ribbons
hot glue gun
all purpose glue

1. Cut out a 6 inch diameter ring from cardboard to resemble a wreath form and cover with art paper.
2. Cut off 1-2 inches from 18 pieces of straw, leaving the rest at their full length.
3. Apply a dab of glue near the center of the wreath form and adhere a full length straw. Alternate with short and long straws until the wreath is completely covered. Let dry at least 3 hours or more.
4.Tie a bow using your satin ribbon and attach onto the wreath using a hot glue gun.

A Warm Hug

By She Said, she said

We've just reached an important milestone. This is our 100th post. Yay!!! 

It might not seem that much of an accomplishment, but for beginning bloggers like us, it's really a big feat. To find the time, the discipline and the words to write on a regular basis was quite a challenge for us, and we are happy to be able to get this far.

To celebrate this milestone, we originally wanted this post to be about a fancy hotel restaurant we have been meaning to try. We still owe you two more restaurants from our 23 Restaurants list, but something always comes up every time we plan to go. 

We were all set to try the lunch buffet at the Spectrum, Fairmont Hotel in Makati but had to cancel our reservation at the last minute. 

So, seeing that we had a free day, we decided instead to do what we love doing most. Spending some time with kids for our acts of kindness project.

We love interacting with children. We're always surprised and sometimes amused by their reactions whenever we sing for them and read them stories. One little boy had his ears covered the whole time during the song number. I guess the noise we were making proved to be too unbearable for him. Heehee.

 During the storytelling part of our program, we passed around a stuffed toy and likened doing an act of kindness to giving someone a great big hug.
Andres, 4 years old, after hugging the bunny- "My heart feels so warm."

His remark  touched our hearts as well, and gave us more reason to keep doing what we're doing.

Celebrating our 100th post with Dilly Bars. Simple joys : )

Thank you to our dear readers and friends who continue to inspire us to write our stories. Our little blog is turning a year old in a few months and we can't wait to share with you all the exciting plans we have in store. Here's to the next 100 and one thousand more!

Kitchen Stories- One Pot Pasta

By She Said

We love spending lazy Sundays at home. Bianca and I were eager to spend the day just relaxing and catching up on the week that just passed so I wanted to prepare a meal that wouldn't require me to slave over the stove then spend more time cleaning up the kitchen after. 

If there's a meal I can cook that's simple, easy and delicious, then I'm all for it!

I found this recipe online, and this is going to be a keeper in our kitchen, that's for sure. No complicated ingredients or preparation needed. just throw everything in one pot.

You'll need:

500 grams linguine or fettucine
40 grams cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
fresh sprigs of basil, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
4.5 cups water
grated Parmesan cheese

Combine pasta, tomatoes, onion,garlic, basil, oil, salt, pepper and water in a large pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring and turning pasta frequently with tongs. Cook until pasta is al dente and water has nearly evaporated, about 10 minutes.

Divide into pasta bowls and garnish with basil. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

Serves 4-5

You can also use chicken stock or some white wine and water. I think ricotta cheese would be good with this pasta dish too!

If you have any recipes that are simple and delicious, please share them with us : )

Inspiration Board: Getaway

by she said

We don't go to the beach often, which is quite ironic because my mom grew up right next to the sea. She often reminisces how she would wear her bathing suit under her school uniform so all she had to do was take it off and jump right into the warm blue waters as soon as she got home. I heard stories from my classmates and teachers who were able to enjoy the sun, sand and surf over the term break, and it occurred to me that I'd like to have my very own beach getaway (hopefully soon!). 

Here's an inspiration board I made that includes visuals of how I imagine to spend a day on the beach- sunglasses for enjoying the sunshine, an Instax for taking polaroid photos, and a mixtape of my favorite songs, among other stuff. : )

 American Apparel Sunglasses, Tibi Color Block Silk Cami, Calypso St. Barth Paisley Printed Short, Samudra Tulum Wave Pouch, Burt's Bee's Peppermint Lip Balm, Zara Metallic Block Wedge, Miss Selfridge Gold Digi Watch, Mauro Grifoni Fabric Bag, Monki Frida Sweatshirt, Fujifilm Instax Mini 7S 

Fully Booked Day

By She Said

One of the most fulfilling parts of our acts of kindness project is being able to reach out to children. Their receptiveness, and most especially their sweet, smiling faces gives us such a warm and happy feeling inside that can't be beat.

We are so grateful to Fully Booked for giving us the opportunity to share our project with more children. Our activity was scheduled the day after Typhoon Yolanda and we were worried that the kids couldn't make it. And although the typhoon left so many of our countrymen in the south devastated just the day before, the sun was curiously shining in Metro Manila on Saturday, November 9th, the day of our event.

We took this as a sign that this day was meant to be. We sang for the kids, read them a book about how to be kind and led them in an art activity- origami hearts that we stringed together to symbolize kindness for one another.


 Our special guests from SOS Children's Village Manila.

Some dads enjoyed our origami activity more than the other kids. Haha! Thank you for coming ; )

Thank you so much for spending the afternoon with us! 

Let's all be kind and generous. It's what our country needs most right now.

*Please visit our Facebook Page for more photos!

Let's Do Our Part

By She Said

By now, I'm sure many of you have already responded and sent help to the victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda through the numerous charities and organizations providing relief operations to our brothers and sisters in the Visayas and Mindanao.

For those who wish to help some more, we would like to make an appeal in behalf of SOS Children's Village in Tacloban, Leyte. Let's all join hands to rescue and relocate the children as well as to send assistance to help them rebuild their homes.

The following article is from their website:

SOS Children's Village Tacloban suffers damage in typhoon

Nov 09, 2013 07:35 PM


Following an update from our office in the Philippines, we can report that our Children's Village in Tacloban, on the badly affected island of Leyte, has suffered damage in Typhoon Haiyan. All SOS families and Village staff are safe.

Tacloban is located on the island of Leyte, which is currently cut off in the wake of Friday's storm. Despite poor communications, our Children's Village in Tacloban was able to establish contact with our head office in the capital Manila.

We are pleased to report that all SOS families and staff remain unharmed. However, the Children's Village was damaged in the typhoon. Due to the poor communications, we have scant information on the scale of the damage.


Help on its way from other Children's Villages

In spite of the severity of Typhoon Haiyan, all other Children's Villages in the affected region emerged from the storm unscathed. All children and mothers from our locations in Calbayog, Cebu and Iloilo are all safe inside the Villages.

Staff from our Children's Village in Calbayog are currently making the four-hour journey to Tacloban to provide support in Tacloban, as are staff from our Village in Cebu. Tacloban remains largely inaccessible, and all flights between Tacloban and the capital have been cancelled. However, our head office is planning relief so that help can be provided as soon as access is restored.

You can send your donations, monetary and in-kind, to:

SOS Children's Village National Office 
Mindanao Drive, 
Ayala Alabang Village, 
Muntinlupa City, M.M.

You may also deposit your monetary donations to any Bank of the Philippine Islands branch.  

Account Number: 8293-0178-41 (Savings)

Please do not forget to send a copy of the deposit slip through fax number 850-9654 for proper acknowledgment.

For more inquiries, please contact:
MS. ALEAH B. ORTIZ at 807-0764, 799-3475, 0917-8520189 
email: or