Birthday Food

I love that my birthday is in January. It's the perfect excuse for me to extend my holiday eating way after Christmas and New Year. 

I made a list of all the food I wanted to cook and eat a few weeks before my birthday and I'm so happy I was able satisfy my cravings with these dishes.

Homemade Ginataang Halo Halo

No. 1 on my list was Ginataang Halo Halo. Sweet, warm, coconut cream soup with lots glutinous rice balls, tapioca pearls, sweet potato, and plantain bananas. This is comfort in a bowl. So good! I made a big pot of this. Yummy!

 Pancit Chow Mein

No birthday is complete without Pancit Chow Mein from Panciteria de San Jacinto (now known as Comida China). Perfectly springy egg noodles are hiding underneath all those fresh, crisp veggies. This is a family favorite!

 Mocha Chiffon Cake from Goldilocks.

I thought about going old school with my birthday cake. I was tempted to get myself one of the more trendy cakes from the newer cake shops, but since I was already feeling emotional and nostalgic, I decided to go with a childhood classic. I'm sure people my age can relate when I say that the most popular birthday cake in the 1970's (and until now) were from Goldilocks Bakeshop. I remember always having either a Mocha Chiffon or Sans Rival.

I still have a few dishes I'm craving for that I didn't get a chance to eat this month, and since January is ending soon, I think I'll just have to make Valentine's Day an excuse to extend my binge eating. Oh well : )

Comida China
FRDC Building
106, E. Rodriguez Avenue,
Pasig City

Goldilocks Bakeshop
Several branches nationwide

Jumping High

Today, I turn 45. And as with every birthday that I celebrate, I allow myself to be a bit emotional (okay, maybe a lot). 

I guess this comes from the fact that I am really getting older. More so, because I am getting closer to that ripe golden age of 50 and I'm in a mad dash to accomplish so much on my bucket list.

Being diagnosed in 2007 with Young Onset of Parkinson's Disease, a degenerative disorder that affects motor skills, all the more cemented the deal for me not to waste any more time in ticking off my must do's and must have's. Characterized by tremors of the hands and limbs, PD can be quite disabling. Simple, everyday tasks that most take for granted such as walking, cooking, hand writing, and typing require a lot of effort from me. 

My medication helps to give me a couple of hours a day to be productive, but it's never enough. I'm sure you'll agree with me when I say that a day is never enough even for the best of us, what more a couple of hours, so you understand my dilemma. My daily activities, most especially those that require me to step out of the house are always planned in time with the effectivity of my medication. And because, I can hardly be spontaneous, I have learned to value time- every second and every minute counts.

One of the reasons I got Bianca to start this blog with me is because I wanted both of us to have a happy place. A place where we could record beautiful memories together. She sees me struggling with the disease every day and this blog is proof that despite challenges, disabilities and ill health anyone can live a life full of love and laughter. And this is exactly my goal. To live the life I deserve, with grace and with dignity.

I started dabbling in writing as a therapeutic as well as creative outlet a couple of years back. Sharing with you excerpts from a personal article I wrote sometime in 2011.

My 12 year old daughter and I have this bedtime ritual where we update each other on our respective days. This usually ends in fits of laughter as we tell each other funny stories and jokes. In one of these occasions, she blurts out quite honestly, "Mom, how can you  laugh the way that you do? If I were as sick as you are, I don't know how I could ever be happy".
There are so many things I am thankful for. I am blessed with the boundless love of family and friends. The kind of love I would have never known had I not been in this situation. I have met some truly amazing and inspiring people along the way. I have dreams and aspirations. I have goals to fulfill. And I have my faith to hold on to. All these things, Parkinson's Disease can never take away from me. And that is more than enough to keep me smiling and to keep the laughter coming.

This photo was taken last weekend after Sunday mass. Bianca found it weird that I wanted to have a jumping shot. "Why not? No one's ever too old to have a jumping shot, right?"  :)

Thank you for taking the time to read this birthday post of mine. Let's all seize the day and make every moment count.

Inspiration Board: Sweater Weather

This January has been a pretty chilly one. This gives me an excuse to bust out all my sweaters, scarves, and comfy clothes that aren't appropriate for the tropical weather we're used to. I made this inspiration board thinking of a relaxing weekend at home...too bad the week has only just begun!

Banjul Cashmere Cable Pullover, H&M Sweatpants, It by Alexa Chung, zeroUV Classic Vintage Era Glasses, Philosophy Purity Facial Cleansing Cloths, Ikea SMYCKA Artificial Flowers, Givenchy Pandora Mini Bag, Maybelline Baby Lips, Lomography Diana F+ With Flash

Mom and I were snacking on pastries and sipping rooibos tea yesterday, which both made us really happy and zen after a busy afternoon. I hope the cold lasts for a bit longer : )

Kitchen Stories- Baked Ensaymada French Toast

I've been staying home from school this past week - I have a bad case of bronchial asthma. I don't usually get so sick, but I started a cough last Monday and it never went away. : ( 

I generally have to stay away from sweets so as not to aggravate the cough, but I was in dire need of a pick me up, so mom and I made these!

Warm, gooey and oh so good. I'm feeling much better already, and I'm hoping to go back to school next week!

Recipe from Dessert Comes First:

Baked Ensaymada French Toast

Yield: 4-5 generous servings

1/4 cup / 2 ozs unsalted butter
½ cup / 4 ozs light or dark brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons corn syrup (light or dark); or honey if you prefer
4-5 large ensaymadas (Just enough to fill the baking pan).
3 large eggs
½ cup whole milk
¼ cup heavy cream
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt

In a small saucepan set over medium-low heat, melt butter, brown sugar and corn syrup. Stir continuously until mixture is smooth and starts to simmer. Pour mixture into an 8×8 Pyrex glass baking dish or similar receptacle with an 8-cup capacity. Set aside.

Cut each ensaymada lengthwise into strips, no need to be exacting about it. Arrange ensaymadas in baking dish, squeezing to fit as necessary.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk eggs, milk, cream, vanilla, and salt until incorporated. Pour mixture over ensaymadas, making sure to cover entire surface and pressing down on ensaymadas as necessary so it will soak up liquid. Set aside.

If you’d like to eat this on the day it’s baked, preheat oven oven to 350°F. Set aside a baking sheet.

Dish can also be refrigerated to bake and eat the next day. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until you’re ready to bake it. Do not let ensaymada soak for more than 24 hours. When you’re ready to bake it, remove it from the chiller while preheating oven to specified temperature.

Put dish on baking sheet and bake ensaymada mixture until the edges are set and surface is golden and slightly toasty, about 25-30 minutes.Serve immediately.

*Note: We used petite pie dishes (5in. diameter) instead of a large baking dish and divided the butter sugar mixture and milk mixture into five pie dishes. One cut up ensaymada per dish. We also drizzled caramel on top before serving for some extra sweetness.


I wrote about Prom dresses a couple of months ago here. It's still Prom season at my school, and along with the excitement that Prom brings, comes a bit (or a lot) of nervousness.

I guess this stems from the pressure to actually get asked to Prom. I don't know why asking a girl has become such an event at my school - the amount of effort that a guy can put into a Promposal is crazy.

I mean, I know it should be a memorable night. I'm counting on it to be. But it just confuses me that hanging out with your best friends and having a great time isn't everyone's top priorty.

To lessen my anxiousness about getting asked to Prom, one chilly Saturday afternoon, my super cute cousin Adi and I staged our very own Promposal.

According to, a promposal is:
(n.) The act of contriving an elaborate plan to increase your chances of getting at prom, that may

1. end in utter, humilating failure, because high school relationships totally matter; or

2. result in a pseudomarriage that comes with an order of epicburger with fries on the side.

I wish I could take Adi to Prom, but bringing a date from outside my school isn't allowed. : P Whatever happens, and whether or not I get asked to Prom, I plan to have a good time. It's my second to the last year in high school, and though it's pretty sad to say my high school life is almost over, it makes me all the more enthusiastic to make every moment count.

 ***Thank you to super cool cousins, Jeremy Vidal and Bong & Chely Esguerra for all the love  ♥ ♥ ♥

Solaire Resort Part 2

We were fortunate to have had the chance to tour Solaire Resort's guest rooms courtesy of my cousin who happens to work at the hotel.

Chairman's Villa

Solaire Resort offers exclusive, luxurious Bayside Villas with a view of Manila Bay. The accomodations include 24-hour butler and chef services. The Chairman's Villa has two bedrooms, separate dining and living areas, a conference room, and a private office among other top amenities.

 Luxury Suites 

The suites' floor area range from 90 - 151 square meters with a bar area, entertainment area, and a king sized bed. Suite occupants also have access to the Executive Lounge that offers all-day beverages and snacks.

Here's us all giddy and excited over all these luxurious and lavish surroundings which we are not used to. LOL.
Many thanks to Don Flores, Duty Manager at Solaire Resort, for giving us an inside look. We asked him if he could give us the red carpet treatment, so he brought us here...

Nice try! Haha : D

Solaire Resort & Casino
1 Asean Avenue
Entertainment City, Paranaque
Metro Manila

The Way We Ate- Red Lantern at Solaire Resort

We recently spent a fun afternoon with some of our cousins at Solaire Resort. A 120-hectare development which recently opened in March 2013, Solaire is currently the tallest hotel at the Entertainment City complex in the Manila Bay area.

First stop was lunch at Red Lantern where we had unlimited dim sum.  

Dim Sum Lunch (Unlimited Dimsum)
available 1130am to 300pm weekdays / 1030am to 400pm weekends

 Crispy Noodles with Chicken in Brown Sauce

 Szechuan Soup with Seafood

Crispy Shrimp Dumplings

Glazed Barbecued Pork Buns
Steamed Pork Dumplings

Fried Rice
Vegetable Spring Rolls

Steamed Pork Ribs with Black Beans
Deep Fried Cuttlefish with Almond Flakes

House Tea
Golden Barbecued Pork Pastries with Walnuts

Premium Tea Selection.

 Chilled Osmanthus Flower and Wolfberry with Aloe Vera.

Sesame Balls with Lotus Paste.

Red Lantern's Eat All You Can Dim Sum was the perfect choice for our group of 15. We got to try almost everything on the menu and just ordered more of the ones we liked the best. So, when you do decide to get to try Red Lantern, we suggest you go in a big group! 

After our sumptuous lunch, we went on to tour the hotel's amenities. Click here for photos of Solaire's grand Bay Suites and Chairman's Villa.

Solaire Resort & Casino
1 Asean Avenue
Entertainment City, Paranaque
Metro Manila

Kindness is Cooler

We're starting the year right by keeping up and continuing with our acts of kindness project. Bianca and I have been looking forward to visiting our family friends, the Peña cousins, for our storytelling and art activity for this month. We're glad we got a chance to meet with them just right before they go back to school this month from their Christmas break.

The Peña cousins.

100 Acts of Kindness checklist.

For this particular activity, we put together a checklist of possible acts of kindness that the kids can perform. We thought it would be more fun to do this project with more kids as well as enlisting the help of their parents too! They wrote down their names on the booklet we prepared for them and the date they started with their own kindness project. We promised to treat them to ice cream once they're done with the checklist and made the eldest cousin in charge of the little ones to make sure they follow through.

These kids are amazing! They hopped to it and got started right away, washing dishes, singing for us, one of them even cleaned up the floor. 

Thank you so much, Enzo, Justin, CJ, Andie, Jax, Allie, Jof, Yzzy and Yanna! We'll have the mudslide, vanilla and chocolate flavored ice cream you requested, ready and waiting. We can't wait to see you again ; )

*A very special thank you to Tita Pich & family for organizing and for having us over. ♥

The Way We Ate- Hatch 22 Cafe & Bakery

Hooray! Our first restaurant for 2014! We were on our way home from a sleepover at my lola's place where we spent New Year's Eve, and knowing that there wouldn't be any food in the house and we were too tired to even think of preparing dinner, we decided to try out Hatch 22 in Power Plant Mall, Rockwell. This restaurant has been on my list ever since it opened in November 2013 because of all the drool-worthy food photos that have been posted on the blogs I follow.

Here's what we had for our early dinner on January 1, 2014. Wishing all of you lots of wonderful eats with lots of laughter with people you love.

McHatch- Breakfast sausage patties, fried egg, strawberry jam, cheddar cheese, rustic muffins, potato hash. Served with hot chocolate.

 Crispy Corned Beef- Spiced up crispy Delimondo corned beef with extreme garlic rice, crunchy egg, seared tomatoes.

Grilled Lemonade

 Tapsi 2.0- Marinated beef sirloin, garlic tapa rice, crunchy egg, seared tomatoes, pickled vegetables.

Bread Basket- Pandesal Epi, Pan de month, Spanish Bread, Chicken Empanada, Ensaymada, Queso de Bola Butter, Hot Tsokolate Dip.

Hatch 22 Cafe & Bakery
Power Plant Mall
Rockwell, Makati City
Facebook page

Celebrate 2014

by She Said, she said

Happy 2014 everyone and welcome to our new site! We're sorry to have been so quiet these past weeks. December passed by like a blur for both of us, but everything is slowly settling down and we promise to make it up to all of you!

Today, we celebrate a special milestone- our blog's First Anniversary. And as we look back on our first post and the year that was, our hearts are filled with so much gratitude and joy.

Our 2013 Thanksgiving Jar filled with memories of all we are thankful for.

We had lots of laughs and a few tears as we read through each of our jars contents. It was fulfilling to know that joy and gratitude really comes from the simplest of things. We are definitely doing this again this year.

The year 2013 was filled with new friendships, unexpected blessings, valuable life lessons and great opportunities. It has definitely been one awesome, wonderful ride. We couldn't have asked for more.

We can't wait to see what's in store for us this new year and we are looking forward to God's bountiful blessings for our family and loved ones.

Our lovely new logo was specially designed for us by talented graphic artist, Nikki Valenzuela who we'll be writing about in another post soon.

We will be putting the final touches on the blog's design in the coming days and weeks and we'd really appreciate if you could drop us a line to let us know how we're doing. 

We hope you all join us again for another beautiful journey. We'd love to get to know all of you better this time around. Sending you all warm hugs and prayers for a blessed year ahead.