Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My Dream Vacations

Today at work wasn't as hectic as the previous days. We rendered overtime two days in a row so we could catch up with the volume of work before the long weekend begins. I finished my tasks earlier than usual and that gave me time to daydream. Hehehe.

I really, really wanted to visit these places but I think that'll only happen when pigs fly. Lol! Why? Because we're not ultra, ultra rich so it's really impossible for me to afford to travel. So these places might only be just in my dreams but then, who knows?

Santorini, Greece  (source)

Santorini, Greece is my ultimate dream. I am just so awestruck by how beautiful this island is - the pristine white structures, their blue roofs, the expanse sea surrounding the island.

a gondola, pretty girl and Venice buildings, Italy
Venice, Italy  (source)

I want to experience riding a gondola in Venice and listen to the gondoliers sing.

Paris, France  (source)

The romantic city, surely will not be out of my list. 

Niagara Falls  (source)

The hugeness of the Niagara Falls is pretty scary but I still want to see it, nevertheless.

Big Ben, London  (source)

I want to see Big Ben on New Year's Eve just before the clock strikes twelve. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My Dream Garden

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Miracle-Gro for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
I have always been interested on how to grow my own herb garden. I even tried to plant Rosemary when I was younger but it was not successful, the plant just withered and died before my eyes. Probably because I was too young to know what the plant needed then.

(1) Miracle-Gro

This is why I am more than happy to learn about Gardenieres. The website offers a lot of tutorial videos that are really helpful to people who wanted to grow their own gardens and Find beauty in the Fall. There are a variety of different projects to choose from but I particularly like to try the "Creating a Potted Herb Garden."

Now, this is really interesting. Imagine how nice it would be to be able to just pick fresh herbs for that casserole that I've been planning to cook for my family. I don't even have to run to the store to buy herbs, it'll be easily accessible right at my own backyard.

I know that growing my own herb garden would mean a lot of hard work. Herb gardens just don't grow overnight and I have to exert just a tiny bit of an effort before I can see the fruits of my labor. I know I'm going to need a lot of help and it's nice that there's Miracle-Gro's potting mix to make things a whole lot easier for me. I don't have to worry if I'm overwatering my plants or underwatering them because this potting mix is so wisely manufactured to absorb 33% more water than ordinary soil and it protects the plants from overwatering or underwatering. How cool is that?


Miracle-Gro offers a wide variety of products for all your gardening needs - from soils to garden kits. You name it, Miracle-Gro got it. Why not like Miracle-Gro Facebook page to learn more about their products? I am sure you'll find a few things that'll help you grow your dream garden. I did.

Visit Sponsor's Site

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Food Trip - Pancake House

Today was a holiday and we, at the office, all thought we were not part of the lucky people who get to celebrate a long weekend with their families. Well, not until we arrived at the office and the management suddenly decided to cancel work for the day. So, we get to celebrate the long weekend after all!

Since it's only eight in the morning and there's no van yet at the terminal for my ride home, my officemates and I decided to go ahead with our Friday Food Trip since the Pancake House at Molito is already open and serving breakfast.

Mashed Potato - Php 71.00

My friend Ghia had breakfast at home so she wanted to eat something light. She ordered the Mashed Potato which looks really yummy with plenty of gravy on top.

Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich - Php 191.00

TJ said he couldn't eat anything heavy since he'll be going to the gym right after we ate so he ordered the BLT. I, honestly, don't find it enticing at all. It looks all full of lettuce and I can only see a small portion of Bacon inside. I might be wrong, anyway, this sandwich does look "healthy" which TJ loves.

Spanish Omelette - Php 147

If we went to Pancake House after office hours, I would have ordered the Roast Beef Special but since it's very early in the morning and having Roast Beef for breakfast just doesn't sound right (and my tummy probably won't take it either), I ordered the Spanish Omelette instead. The eggs were cooked to perfection - very, very creamy and the tomatoes and peppers seem fresh. The toasts are just okay but tasted better after I slathered butter on them.

Now, I wonder why we didn't order what Pancake House is known for, pancakes. Well, there's always a next time and when it happens, I'll definitely order the Blueberry Pancakes!
Total Costs:
Php 191.00 - BLT Sandwich
Php 147.00 - Spanish Omelette
Php 165.00 - 3 House Iced Tea
Php   71.00 - Mashed Potato
Php   45.00 - Service Charge
Php 619.00

More than just Pancakes!

Pancake House
Ground Level, El Molito Bldg.
Madrigal Ave., Alabang
Muntinlupa, Metro Manila, Philippines

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thankful Thursday - Family

My MIL who is the one taking care of Johan had to go somewhere yesterday and won't be back until Sunday. I am thankful to hubby for filing for a two-day vacation leave (instead of me, because I've no VLs yet at work) to take care of Johan. 

Johan finally completed the Angel of God prayer that I've been teaching him every night. Well, he's not memorized it yet but he completed saying the prayer after me. The first few nights that I taught him the prayer, it's either he got distracted by toys or he fell asleep. 

This has been a very, very busy week at work and at home. Last Tuesday, my in-laws had to attend a dancing competition of hubby's niece. I am very thankful to hubby's brother in law for being patient in looking after Johan as he roamed across the school grounds.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Smile, Be Happy!

Forgive me for not posting something sensible tonight. I am just so tired and so sick and so impatient for the weekend to come. 

Let me just make it up by posting one wacky photo of Johan that never fails to make me smile.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sick Mommy

I have a bad case of colds since Monday, I even thought I won't be able to go to work today but, I've been dragging myself out of bed everyday thinking that soon it'll be the weekend and I will finally have the time to rest.

Ironically, this has also been my busiest week so far - with changes at work, meeting and webinar schedules piling on top of each other - I found myself rushing today from a team meeting to a webinar that I totally forgot I was scheduled to take.

Ahh, I really can't wait for the weekend. Another thing that I feel bad about is this:

Hubby's niece had a school competition and since nobody will be left at home to care for Johan, my in-laws brought him to the school as well. I heard he's had lots of fun running around the place, looking at the dinosaur statues, playing with the other kids and dancing along with the cheer dancers. Too bad I wasn't there to see my son's amazed look when he saw the dinosaurs or heard him laugh while dancing.

I should have been there. :(

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sunday Dinner - Hap Chan

We were having such a quiet weekend at home, we didn't go out last Saturday and stayed home to play with Johan. We did the same on Sunday, we went to mass at 5:30 in the morning and just laid back the whole day playing and watching TV.

Well, that's until about four in the afternoon when the husband probably got bored and suddenly announced we're going out. We went to Walter Mart to do our grocery shopping which is a week earlier than usual then we went to nearby Hap Chan to have dinner.

I have been craving for Hap Chan's Chicken Feet the entire week and I already told hubby this but I thought we'll wait until next weekend.

The Hap Chan branch in Pala-Pala, Dasmarinas Cavite is huge. They also have a separate area for events which can seat 40-60 pax but I was told that it is expandable up to a hundred. The crew and the store manager are very attentive to our needs, we didn't have to ask for a high chair because as soon as I was about to, the manager was already carrying one our way. I asked for an unbreakable plate for Johan to eat on, unfortunately they only have porcelain ones but the manager was kind enough to provide Johan with a styrofoam take out container and even put foil inside.

Hap Chan menu - sorry for those little hands who can't wait any longer

Johan pointing to what he'd like to order

Hap Chan's Interiors

Our Dinner

At first, hubby wanted to order our usual - Spicy Spareribs and Beef Broccoli. But, I told him we've been ordering the same dishes for years, it's about time we try the others on the menu. I'm so glad he agreed and we ordered the new dishes that Hap Chan is offering.

Sliced Beef with Mango - Php 250.00

This is very, very good. The beef is so tender and the ripe mangoes just added the right amount of sourness and sweetness. As with the other items on the menu, the Sliced Beef with Mango is good for one to two persons. But, in hubby and mine's case, we have leftovers that we were able to bring home.

Roasted Pork Asado - Php 170.00

The Pork Asado is just as good as the Sliced Beef. The sweetness is not too much for it to become overwhelming to the taste buds. Whenever I eat Pork Asado from other restaurants, I tend to make sawa agad because the dish is too sweet. But, with Hap Chan's version of the Pork Asado, I could definitely finish this serving even without hubby's help.

Yang Chow Fried Rice - Php 230.00

One can never go wrong with Hap Chan's Yang Chow Fried Rice. This is one of their signature dishes that hubby and I will never tire of eating. As the Filipino phrase goes, "Kanin pa lang, ulam na!"

Chicken Feet - Php 85.00

Now, here's my favorite Chicken Feet. It's my favorite because I don't eat this delicacy anywhere else but Hap Chan. I have no idea how they cook this but the chicken flesh is literally coming off the bones. This dish is a great appetizer.

Hongkong Iced Lemon Tea - Php 70.00

Whenever we eat at Hap Chan, I usually order their in-house blend of Hongkong Iced Lemon Tea. I just love how refreshing it is.

Hongkong Iced Milk Tea - Php 60.00

Hubby ordered the Iced Milk Tea. I only had a tiny sip because hubby and the little boy are shooting dagger looks towards my way but it tastes good and not too sweet, so I allowed Johan to take a sip as well.

It was a very, very relaxing evening and I am so glad that hubby took us out of the house to have a sumptuous dinner with just the three of us. What a way to end the weekend!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Trick or Treat DIY Project

Photo: Can I DIY a Russell costume for Johan?

I loved the movie Up and like most people, I find Russell super cute. Now, that Halloween is almost here and there are lots of Trick or Treating going on in the malls, I am inspired to create a Russell costume for Johan. My sister invited my son to their company's Trick or Treat on November 3rd and that'll be the first time that Johan will participate in one. I guess, I am more excited than my son!

Russell's costume is too easy - all it takes is just a yellow polo shirt, dark brown or khaki pair of shorts, an orange bandana, a yellow cap and an orange flag. The most challenging of this costume would have to be recreating all of Russell's pins. My cousin suggested I get the small ones that can be bought which are priced at merely Php 5.00 each but my problem is I don't see such pins being sold near us. I'm going to try the malls if I can find some pins there.

But, if I find none, my last resort is to print out the pin designs and attach it to a brown cloth or something. I already downloaded this template, just in case.

I am so excited!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday Food Trip - Banapple

I love Fridays! Especially today because aside from the free lunch that we had, which is a monthly thing, we got off work at 3pm! Our scheduled webinar was postponed until Monday and since our work volume is not that high, management has decided to send us home earlier.

So, me and troops went to our favorite place, Alabang Town Center. Favorite because, hello, it's just a short distance from the office and very accessible to everyone. As planned, we went straight to Banapple to try out their pasta. By the way, here's a bit of trivia, at first I thought the name Banapple came from the combination of Banana and Apple, it turns out that it came from their best sellers - Banoffee Pie and Apple Caramel Crumble. I should have given those two a try.

Anyway, Banapple at the ATC is quite tiny. It's no surprise that we were put on the waiting list because no table was available when we arrived. Good thing though, we didn't have to wait long, we were seated just after 10 minutes.

They have an assortment of cakes and pies to choose from. I would have tried one but I didn't feel I could finish a slice on top of the pasta dish that I will be having so the pies would have to wait until next time.

Penne Bolognese

I ordered Penne Bolognese - an aromatic meat sauce, blended with Italian herbs and spices, drizzled with luscious olive oil. This dish is delicious! Even the toasted pandesal on the side tasted so good, my friend even ordered two more pandesals because they are really tasty. However, if you are not a big eater like me, you might have left overs to take home because the servings of pasta can serve up to two persons. 

Penne Verde

My friend Grace ordered the Pasta Verde - a rich blend of chopped basil, olive oil, and pecans, served with al dente penne pasta. It is as good as the Penne Bolognese and the serving can also serve up to two persons. Grace had her leftovers wrapped and brought it home for her husband.

Lasagna Roll-Ups

TJ, my beki friend, ordered the Lasagna Roll-ups - herbed cream and Parmesan cheeses fill al dente lasagna wide strips, are rolled up, and smothered with their classic tomato meat sauce and mozzarella cheese. The photo above didn't do it justice but it does look good in actual and tasted even better! TJ finished the dish in just 10 minutes!

Crunchy Chicken Fillet and Bell Pepper Sandwich

Fem ordered Crunchy Chicken Fillet and Bell Pepper Sandwich - crisp and juicy chicken breast fillet, paired with pan-fried bell peppers and sliced onions, layered on crisp lettuce and melted cheese, drizzled with garlic herb mayo. The sandwich really looks yummy and very filling, though, I have no idea how it tasted because Fem ordered it after everyone was finished with their pasta and she was left at Banapple to wait for her husband so they can share the sandwich.

Banapple proved to be a great place with really, really good food. The service is quick, you don't have to ask for water to be served because we were served a glass each as soon as we sat down, the crew was courteous and did I say that the food is really, really good?

You should give Banapple a try, it's definitely worth a visit, believe me. 
Total Costs:
Php 170.00 - Penne Bolognese
Php 170.00 - Pasta Verde
Php 180.00 - Lasagna Roll-Ups
Php 140.00 - Crunchy Chicken Fillet and Bell Pepper Sandwich
Php 660.00

All made with Love!

New Wing, Alabang Town Center
Alabang-Zapote Road, Alabang

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thankful Thursday - At Work

  • I am grateful for the support of my office mates in one of the most stressful days I had at work. I swear I was close to filing for a half day yesterday out of frustration but it's great that I have good friends at the office to back me up.
  • Tuesday was a good day because we had Serenitea delivered to the office. Yipee! 
  • Tomorrow's going to be a better Friday because we have a webinar scheduled from 3pm-5pm, so that means 2 hours of petiks mode!
  • We might go watch the movie This Guy's In Love with You, Mare of Vice Ganda. Well, it depends on the screening sched at the ATC. 
  • It'll be Banapple Friday tomorrow with my friends at work. I can't wait!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Super Nanay Update

I am Super Nanay

I just want to say that, finally, I resurrected the I am Super Nanay blog. I already made a few posts there and I am seriously considering getting my own domain for that blog so I'd be more inspired and yes, obligated to post daily. I am currently searching for the cheapest domain and possibly make a blog make-over soon.

So, I am asking those few who follow this blog to please support I am Super Nanay too. I will try really, really hard to live up to my blog's name and I would really, really appreciate it if you do visit more often.

New posts at the I am Super Nanay blog:
Getting Informed on the K-12
Kids and Escalators

Thank you.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Within Range

I got my FBS result already and I am so relieved to see that my Glucose is within normal limits. According to the laboratory record my Glucose is at 4.73 mmol/L and the normal range is 3.89-5.50 mmol/L. I can finally breathe!

This diabetes scare made me realize how important it is to take care of myself. I am not getting any younger and if I want to see my son marry the girl of his dreams, then I better start eating healthy.

It's hard to say no to sweets which makes any day better and to ever reliable Coke to quench my thirst, but inch by inch I know I'll get there. I have to, not just for myself but for my family as well.

So, Diabetes, I'm sorry but the answer is no, not now, not ever (I hope).

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Staying Healthy

My mother has diabetes so there is a huge chance that I'll acquire the disease. When I was pregnant with Johan, I kept that in mind and took the carbohydrates to a minimum. I restrained myself from eating too much sweets, too much carbonated drinks and too much rice. I know I could have gestational diabetes so I took really good care of myself when I was pregnant.

Lately, I was feeling really tired, extremely thirsty and I found myself making frequent trips to the bathroom to pee. My mom is concerned because these are the early signs of diabetes and she's been bugging me to have myself checked by a specialist but I've been putting it off for three weeks now due to so many reasons.

So, yesterday morning, I finally found the time to go see a doctor.

Unfortunately though, the diabetes specialist accredited by my HMO was out of town yesterday, so I only saw an Internal Medicine specialist. I waited for two hours in line just to get a Fasting Blood Sugar (FBS) test request and I can't have the test without fasting for 8 hours. So, I went home yesterday, took my last meal at 7 pm and went back to the hospital for the test this morning.

It's funny that I'm still afraid of needles even after having delivered via Caesarian Section, but it's true, I found my knees shaking just before the nurse took my blood sample. Hehe!

Seriously, I'm scared of the test result and I'm praying for a negative one. I know diabetes is a chronic disease and I can see how my mom is struggling because of it. I cannot have it, at least not this early. Now, I am thinking, I should have taken better care of myself and have been more conscious of everything I eat.

The test result won't come out until this afternoon so until then I am still hoping for the best.

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