The Places You'll Go

I am sure all parents feel an overwhelming sense of pride for every accomplishment and milestone our children go through. When I became a mom, I wholeheartedly embraced the joy and the responsibility of raising my daughter whose life I was entrusted with. I changed from dreaming for myself to dreaming for us both and visualizing a happy, fulfilled life for my daughter and myself.

Bianca recently graduated from high school, and in the morning of her graduation day I gifted her with this Dr. Seuss book which I bought way back in 2008. I meant to give it to her when she graduated from college, but I know in my heart that she is already going places and the timing couldn't be more perfect.

When I saw her go up on stage to receive her diploma, I was bursting with so much pride and joy. She's always been self motivated and responsible and never once gave me any reason to doubt that she can accomplish all that she is set out to achieve.

My Dearest Bianca,

Congratulations! I am so proud of you. My only wish for you is to be happy. Continue to dream big. Do not fear the future, because I always have your back. I am your biggest fan and supporter and I am with you through thick and thin.

So, go out and see the world as you have planned, and whenever possible, take me along with you?  :)

Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!"
- Dr. Seuss

I had actually forgotten about buying this book. I wanted to give Bianca a meaningful graduation gift, and suddenly remembered that I had kept this book at the back of my closet all this time. I have always taught her to live with purpose and with intention, and this book perfectly sums up my hopes and dreams for her. ❤

Inspiration Board: Jetsetter

With traveling comes the challenge of packing your stuff. I hate feeling like I forgot something, so I tend to over-pack. I've learned the hard way that bringing way too much stuff is never a good thing. The best choice is to bring a lot of versatile pieces that can take you from day to night - I especially love this striped dress which I think can be dressy or casual. Plus, it's easy to layer on a coat or a pair of tights (or both!) if it gets chilly.

Being away from home means your skin gets really confused and can break out or get super dry. Mom has been a loyal Clinique user ever since she was a teen and she passed on the good stuff to me. We both have sensitive skin and this brand is honestly the only thing that works for us! 

I am also obsessed with this suitcase that's got a punchy floral design. It will surely stand out from all the others on the baggage carousel! : )

Traveling is one of our goals for the summer. We're keeping positive and we're hoping to experience new things and see lots of new places!

Ted Baker London Opulent Bloom Hard Shell Suitcase, Passport Holder & Luggage Tag, Zoe Karssen Day Dream Sweatshirt, One Kings Lane Linen Scarf, Illesteva Leonard II Sunglasses, Clinique 3-Step Skincare, Warehouse Stripe Dress, Michael Kors Stainless Steel Watch, Warehouse Swing Coat, Caudalie Beauty Elixir, Chiara Ferragni Hot Dog & Soda Slip-Ons, American Eagle Outfitters Crop Jeans

Kitchen Stories- Calamansi Muffins

She Said: Calamansi or Philippine lime can be used in a variety of dishes, both savory and sweet. I like using it in marinades for meat or as a dipping sauce for grilled fish. It's actually my first time to use calamansi juice in baking. These sweet and tart muffins turned out delicious, I'm already looking up other calamansi dessert recipes to try out!

she said: I've been taking advantage of my summer vacation to catch up on some sleep. On most mornings, I'm up late so I generally miss breakfast time. Good thing the English invented brunch! I love "brunching" with mom. These buttery muffins are just perfect when they're hot from the oven. Now I'm ready for some bacon and eggs. Yum!

Calamansi Muffins
(adapted from

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature, plus more for muffin tin
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup calamansi juice

Preheat oven to 350F. Using a pastry brush, coat muffin pan with butter. This recipe makes 8 to 10 muffins depending on the size of your pan.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and creamy. Add in the sugar and continue to mix. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Combine calamansi juice and the milk- it will look curdled, but rest assured that it's alright.

With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of the calamansi mixture.

Spoon the batter into prepared muffin pan, filling each cup about 3/4 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm.

This article also appears on

Kitchen Stories- Ricotta & Spinach Pasta with Grilled Chicken

Cooking during the summer can be a bit of a challenge. With the rising temperatures and the sweltering heat that is upon us right now, we all want to spend less time in the kitchen and get dinner to the table as quickly as possible.

Summertime meal preparation is all about fast, easy methods and with a little bit of planning, you can serve up an uncomplicated meal that's both satisfying and delicious. This recipe calls for grilled chicken which you can prepare and cook in advance.

She Said: One of our favorite things to make at home is grilled chicken fillets. We often cook more than what a recipe calls for and keep the rest for future meals. They keep well in the freezer! Just thaw and reheat to mix with salads, pasta dishes and as filling for sandwiches.

she said: To prepare the chicken, simply brush with a little olive oil, season with salt, pepper and  garlic powder. Cook over a charcoal grill or grill pan, about 5 minutes per side. We hope you get to try this creamy, cheesy pasta recipe with a zesty lemon flavor!

Ricotta & Spinach Pasta with Grilled Chicken
(adapted from

4 large chicken breast fillets, grilled and sliced into strips
500 grams spaghetti or fettucine
1 bag fresh baby spinach, steamed until just wilted
1 cup reserved pasta water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan
zest and juice of 1 lemon
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


1. Cut off the thick stems of the spinach and discard. Clean by filling a large bowl with water and soaking the spinach to loosen any dirt or sand. Drain the water and rinse the leaves, then repeat soaking and draining process once more. Set aside.

2. Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions, reserve 1 cup pasta water before draining. Place washed spinach in the bottom of a colander then pour out the pasta to drain. The boiling hot pasta water will cook the spinach until just wilted.

3. Return pasta and spinach into pot and set over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup pasta water, olive oil, ricotta, parmesan, lemon zest, lemon juice and toss to coat until ricotta is heated through. Add in more pasta water if needed, season with salt and pepper. Add in sliced chicken. Serve warm topped with more parmesan if desired.

This article also appears on

Goodbye, High School

I don't think I ever expected my graduation day to come so quickly. The thing about high school is everything happens in a little bubble. You've got permanent classmates, a set schedule, rules to follow - and you get used to the routine, to seeing the same faces every day, and you start figuring out the campus until you know it like the back of your hand. And then it's time to go, and it feels really weird because you're not going to see the same faces anymore. Everything is changing, and suddenly everyone expects you to be very responsible and grown-up because you're going to college. It's really overwhelming. A lot happened in the past four years, and I feel like Freshman Bianca and Graduate Bianca are two very similar yet very different people. #growingpains 

I'm definitely gonna miss the spots my friends and I used to hang out in, and how going to school every day had a certain familiarity to it. And I'm really going to miss having hot lunch sent to me every day. Shoutout to you, mom: You the best! Here's what my last lunch looked like - my favorite grilled chicken, roast potatoes, carrots and apples. My mom always cuts up my food (because in my mom's eyes, I'll always be her baby) and makes sure I have fresh fruit to munch on, too.

I will always be grateful for the friends I made and for the support system I had. There were days where I had work piled up in front of me and I just wasn't feeling up to it, and days where I accomplished a lot and felt really good about myself. Then there were those days when I couldn't stop crying, but there were also lots of days where I couldn't stop laughing.

Through all these moments, I will always remember how my friends and family stood by me and taught me what it really means to be there for someone. 

I'm not as sentimental or nostalgic as I thought I'd be. I'm happy because despite the ups and downs, I can say I've had an amazing four years. I'm positive that it gets better from here! Happy Easter everyone : )