Easter Bunnies

by she said

After mom and I made our fun Easter Centerpiece, we started on making Easter Bunny Cupcake toppers. We got the instructions from this post.

Materials we used:
white  & pink vellum board paper for the bunny ears
blue & yellow construction paper for the bowties

Mom had already bought the mini pompoms in National Bookstore beforehand, so when we were in the mall we just made a quick stop to get toothpicks. We already had construction paper and glue at home. That was basically all we needed.

We were super excited to start on the bunnies because they are just so adorable! Making them is a fun Easter project, and they're useful too.

First we inserted the toothpicks in to the pompoms with a little dab of glue.

Next, we used different colors of construction paper to cut out little bunny ears and bowties to attach to the topper. It may look super easy, but it actually requires a lot of patience and precision in cutting the tiny shapes and also lots of willingness to get glue on your hands.

We glued the bunny ears to the top of the pompoms and attached the bowties to the toothpicks. This was the easy part :)

They ended up looking great, and I'm excited to put them on the cupcakes we hopefully end up buying on Easter Sunday! Let us know if you try this out! :)

Easter Memories & A DIY Easter Centerpiece

By She Said

Easter morning always brings back memories of my childhood, living in the province. I grew up in a small residential compound near the beach and every Easter morning an egg hunt was prepared for the me and my siblings and the other kids in our neighborhood. Prettily painted hard boiled eggs were hidden in the playground in front of our house where we literally had do a little digging to find them. I wasn't really too keen on finding those cute pink, yellow, and blue eggs because, a little girl can only eat so much hard boiled eggs in one day. I'd much rather have candy.

What the other kids and I were on a mission to find was the much coveted golden egg. A singular egg wrapped in gold foil, well hidden and not in plain sight. The lucky finder gets the best prize of all. A real, live, Easter bunny! I remember waking up at the crack of dawn to peek out of our living room window just so I could get a glimpse of where the eggs were hidden. I never woke up early enough to catch the gardeners planting the eggs in the ground, though. But I did find the golden egg once, and brought home the bunny rabbit to the envy of everyone :)

When I became a mom, I wanted to recreate the same experience for my daughter. This time without the hard boiled eggs, but with the now more popular, different colored plastic eggs filled with either candies or small toys.

My daughter at two years old, egg hunting in our front yard. I think she did this until she was eleven years old, and then the novelty just seemed to fade away.

My little bunny, four years old. Easter 2002.

Here she is, eleven years old, at one of her last Easter egg hunts in 2010 with neighbors at the park. She's the girl holding up her bag to catch the candies:) She's turning fifteen in a few months. Where did time go?

We were doing some spring cleaning earlier this month and guess what we found in the storage room? All the plastic eggs she's accumulated through the years! Those cute pink and yellow baskets were a gift from her Ninang Les.They're more than ten years old and still in good condition.

 Maybe we'll put these eggs to good use this coming Easter and prepare an egg hunt for my ten month old nephew.  He can't walk yet, but he sure can crawl! haha! We'll see about that :)

 We also found an old box of craft foam in the storage so, we got a little crafty today.

 Pre-Cut foam pieces...

 that you glue together...

 to make cute little creatures...

 and pretty flower shapes :)

We attached the shapes on to paper straws...

Inserted bamboo sticks in a styrofoam ball.

Our Easter Centerpiece!

We used paper confetti that came with gifts we received last Christmas plus some green Japanese paper passed through a paper shredder. I got the paper straws from Metro Supermarket in Alabang, about P50 per pack. They're not good quality drinking straws but they are good to use  for arts & crafts. The terracotta pots are from an old Bake In A Flower Pot Set. I'm glad I kept them, they sure came in handy :)

3/23 La Petite Camille

By She Said

The Manila restaurant scene is definitely getting bigger, busier and more exciting by the minute. And because of this, I feel that I have to rush to complete my summer restaurant list at the soonest possible time. So many new restaurants are cropping up, all vying for my undivided attention. But I keep telling myself to take it slow and enjoy the moment. So, to all the new restaurants out there: Please wait for me. I'll get to you, all in good time! ;)

The summer heat is beginning to get unbearable and I just couldn't imagine spending this day outdoors. So, being the mall rats that we are, my daughter and I found ourselves in Greenbelt 5 this Sunday.

La Petite Camille is a Vietnamese restaurant located at the second level of Greenbelt 5, on the space formerly occupied by Travel Cafe. Originating from San Francisco, California, this restaurant was brought to Manila by the same group behind the popular Super Bowl of China and Nanbantei.

My daughter was a little worried that she wouldn't enjoy the food. She's not much into soups and vegetables, which I'm forever trying to change. I wasn't surprised when she immediately zeroed in on the first fried dish she saw on the menu.

Imperial Rolls- deep fried rolls stuffed with minced pork, taro, black fungus, mixed vegetables and crushed peanuts served with lettuce, vermicelli, pickled carrots & radish, fish sauce.

This is eaten by wrapping a spring roll in lettuce with some vermicelli and pickled vegetables. Vietnamese dishes have a perfect balance of fresh vegetables, herbs, meat and spices that makes it one of the healthiest cuisines in the world.

Pomelo Salad- this was my favorite! Sweet and refreshing, perfect for summer.

Vietnamese BBQ Pork

Beef Look Luck- beef tenderloin sauteed with white onions, minced garlic and special sauce served on a bed of lettuce. This was yummy, best eaten with lots of rice:)

Chicken Fried Rice

Vietnamese Jello- pandan and coffee flavored jelly. We have a sweet tooth when it comes to desserts. This dessert just had a slight hint of sugar and coffee and didn't  really satisfy our sweet cravings.

Three down, Twenty restaurants to go! Where do you want us to eat next?

Related Posts: 1 & 2/23 Maple and Bono Artisanal Gelato
                     One Summer, Twenty Three Restaurants

1 & 2/23 Maple and Bono Artisanal Gelato

by she said

Related Post: One Summer, Twenty Three Restaurants

I'm not supposed to be on summer vacation yet. But I got lucky, and got off school a week early. YAY!

My mom and I are celebrating by starting to check out some places from our Twenty Three Restaurant List for the summer. But before we did that, we took a trip to the nail spa and salon. I've been so busy with school, I think my last haircut was 5 months ago - that's a pretty long time! My hair was starting to feel like a curtain.

Thanks to my Tita D for the Nailtropics gift certificates! :)

We decided to try out two places today. There is no order to the way we're getting through the list, so we look at our choices and pick the one that satisfies a craving or seems the most interesting on a certain day.

1/23: Maple

We decided to try out Maple for brunch today. We ordered a big breakfast to see how we'd like it and decide later if we would still have room in out tummies for more.

Maple is part of the Pancake House Group so there were some similarities to the menu with the addition of some other dishes such as the Prime Rib Angus Tapa and Spaetzle Jambalaya.

The Big Maple Breakfast includes a choice of three buttermilk pancakes or a giant Belgian waffle served with two eggs, maple bacon, country fries and breakfast sausages.

My mom and I eat with our eyes. We weren't too happy with the way this dish was plated. It looks pretty sad, don't you think?

Whenever I order Belgian waffles, what always comes to mind is the Starbucks version- a crisp and sugary sweet crust topped with heaps of whipped cream. Maple's version is a plain waffle, crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside, topped with whipped butter and syrup on the side. The breakfast sausages tasted exactly like the ones in Pancake House, except they were bigger. We wish that the bacon was crispier, though.

We wanted to try other dishes but this plate left us feeling full. I think we have to go back one more time!

 The view from Maple- Santuario De San Antonio in Forbes Park, Makati

2/23: BONO artisanal gelato

BONO artisanal gelato is in SM Makati, a short walk away from the branch of Forever 21 on the ground floor. After spending about two hours flipping through racks of clothes, we found ourselves trekking to the corner of the second floor where it's located, shopping bag (and camera) in tow.

This is not a run-of-the-mill gelato place. The flavors are different, interesting, and exciting. Although, some are not everyone's cup of tea - the Lavande flavor, infused with lavender flowers which my mom found quite good was not exactly my type. But there's definitely something you will enjoy on their menu.

Gelato Lab- serious gelato making going on in here.

After spending some time talking to the staff and being handed around three or four spoons with different flavors of gelato to taste, we decided to both get double scoops of different flavors. I got the Speculoos and Cereal & Milk flavors, while mom got the Fragola and Pistacchio flavors. They did not dissapoint!

The first thing I noticed about my gelato was every bite had a little morsel of whatever the flavor description included - no empty bites of plain vanilla! (This is EXTREMELY important for me.) Cereal & Milk, a concoction of cornflakes and the taste of sweetened milk, though interesting, was not my favorite. The Speculoos flavor was the best for me. Cookie Butter and I are pretty good friends. The gelato had lots of cookie bits!

Nice & thick and super creamy!

Mom's orders were equally yummy. The Fragola flavor, made with strawberries, was super refreshing. I don't normally like Pistacchio flavored ice cream, but BONO's gelato version was nutty, crunchy and captured the taste of the nut perfectly.

BONO is perfect for ending a tiring shopping excursion, satisfying your sweet craving, or just for hanging out with a bunch of friends. We hope that a proper branch can open up in a less busy atmosphere!

Another mother & daughter adventure I enjoyed - and I definitely have a very full tummy :)

Real People - Dennis & Sarah Decena

By She Said

On the 20th of November 1996, Mr. & Mrs. Dennis and Sarah Decena received heartbreaking news any parent would never want to receive. Their daughter, Debbie, then a fourth grade student at the De La Salle Santiago Zobel School in Muntinlupa was involved in an accident while on an amusement park ride during the School Fair. Debbie did not survive the accident. She was only nine years old.

One cannot begin to imagine the pain and the agony of losing a child, especially one so young.  Mrs. Decena recounts how she struggled with the loss of her daughter and the unspeakable pain-  "After Debbie was laid to rest, everyone was back to school and work. I remember the deafening silence and loneliness I felt while I was left alone at home. I would burst into tears. I wanted to skip all the holidays and birthdays." 

But God always has a way of turning things around, transforming their grief and sorrow into something beautiful. In 2002, Mr. & Mrs. Decena, in a admirable act of forgiveness and acceptance, formed the Debbie Decena Memorial Scholarship Foundation in cooperation with De La Salle Zobel.

The Debbie Decena Memorial Foundation grants full scholarships to deserving incoming and current high school students of DLSZ in need of financial assistance. They have since granted over 20 scholarships and have also grown to provide college scholarships in STI Colleges in Muntinlupa and Las Pinas.

 Auditorium at the De La Salle Santiago Zobel dedicated in honor of Debbie Decena

The Debbie Decena Memorial Foundation is a family initiative, with Mr. Decena as the President and ably supported by his wife and children Kate, Denise & Kim.  They are all closely involved in the screening and selection process of applicants.

Mr. Decena, an accomplished business executive, has held notable positions in companies such as Urban Bank, Roxaco Land, and New San Jose Builders. He currently serves as an Independent Director for several companies. Together with  Mrs. Decena, he is involved in various civic organizations. Mrs. Decena has actively participated in feeding programs and conducted values formation seminars for the Rotary Club of Makati West.

Not new to scholarships, he himself being the recipient of academic scholarships all throughout his high school and college education at the Ateneo de Manila University and extending even to his masters degree at the University of the Philippines, Mr. Decena is a firm believer in paying it forward. He continues to inspire his wife and daughters to spread love and kindness despite their tragic experience.

{I would like to express my gratitude to Mr. & Mrs. Decena for trusting me enough to share their story. My daughter is a proud recipient of the Debbie Decena Scholarship and we are forever indebted to their generosity and kindness and grateful for all the lessons learned.}

100 Acts of Kindness

By She Said

When my daughter and I were conceptualizing our mother & daughter blog, it was our intention to chronicle events and situations of our everyday life that we are thankful for. We wanted the blog to be a celebration of our life and our special relationship.

We have been constantly on the receiving end of countless blessings, favors and kindness from friends, family and even strangers, when we needed it most. And in the face of adversity, all these acts of kindness that were incessantly coming our way was what kept us going. It gave us hope and made us positive that despite all odds, the best is yet to come.

Although we have expressed our gratitude one way or another, I have always wanted to do something on a grander scale. But I kept postponing it, telling myself I would send a big thank you gift when I had saved up enough money or I would donate to a worthy cause when I won the lotto (which I think is no where near from ever happening,  lol!).

I read this story about a young girl who is performing 89 Acts of Kindness in memory of her great grandmother and how her simple, honest gestures have touched others' lives. This inspired me to perform my own random acts of kindness too.

My daughter and I are pledging 100 Acts of Kindness, in honor of the countless persons who have shown us kindness and generosity, and in memory of my mom, whose selflessness and big heart I will always remember.

 It is our hope that you too will be inspired to start your own and begin a never ending cycle of good! It can be as simple as offering to carry someone's heavy bag, letting someone go ahead of you when you're lining up at the supermarket cashier, or if you're feeling extra generous, maybe paying for someone's meal when you are eating out at one of the fast food chains. It doesn't have to be fancy. As long as what you do comes from the heart, it's all that matters.

I'm already foreseeing that this is going to be one awesome, unforgettable summer with all our little projects and plans! We will be documenting our 100 Acts of Kindness on our Facebook page, so if you're interested to know how we're progressing or would want to give us some encouragement (we'll be needing that for sure) please go ahead and visit our page!


The Way We Ate - CIBO

By She Said

Meals are so central and important to our everyday lives. It is the time we come together not just to share food but also to share ourselves with those we have our meals with.

I love trying out new restaurants, but there are days when all I’m craving for are the tried and tested, familiar favorites on my list. 

CIBO holds a special place in my heart. I’ve had many memorable meals here. Family celebrations, lunches with good friends, and lots of heart to heart talks with my daughter over bowls of steaming pasta and the customary Tiramisu and Panna Cotta. Their branch at the Corte de Las Palmas at Alabang Town Center has been around since 2000. And since it’s conveniently located close to where I live, it’s always our default place to go to whenever we're craving comfort food.

Richard Dela Victoria, ATC Branch Manager, has been with CIBO for 14 years now. He’s one of the reasons we keep coming back. Warm and friendly service, we always feel pampered and at home. On a side note, Richard’s son whom I’ve had the pleasure to meet on one occasion is a dead ringer for Kris Aquino’s youngest son, Baby James, haha :)

 Ferdie. Chef Gemron. Jose. Roger- No matter how far apart our visits are, happy, smiling faces always greet us whenever we drop by. Evident of service with a heart.

 Tegamino Mozarella- grilled cheese, tomatoes, anchovies, basil, served with thin Sardinian flat bread.

Penne Al Telefono- stewed tomatoes, mozarella, white cheese, basil, cream. I've tried to recreate this several times at home, but no one does it better like Cibo.

Insalata Di Mare- shrimp, squid, crab, greens, basil pesto, alfalfa, lemon vinaigrette. Good to know that 75% of Cibo's fresh produce is organic & naturally grown.

Pizza Fiori Di Zucca- mozarella, squash flowers, extra virgin olive oil.

Linguini All'Alfonso- shrimps, chives, tomato, cream, chili peppers.

Tagliata Di Manzo- beef tenderloin roast topped with fontina & tomatoes.

Gelato Tiramisu- we just discovered this, yummy!

Mango Panna Cotta- perfect sweet ending to our meal.
I don’t claim to be a food expert, I’m just a food enthusiast, really. But what makes every meal special is good food coupled with excellent service, and CIBO consistently delivers each and every time.

Upper Ground Level, Corte de las Palmas,
Alabang Town Center
Muntinlupa City

*several branches in Metro Manila
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