4.26.2011

A Weekend Treat from your Mercato Favorites

Living in the outskirts of Global City has its perks, and one of them is being a jeepney ride away from the Mercato Centrale! I was so excited when this weekend market opened late last year. Our weekends were always jampacked with activities then that I had to content myself at first with reading (and salivating!) other bloggers' posts about the foodie finds in Mercato. February came and we finally had the time to visit!

Hubby and I had a difficult time restraining ourselves from buying every delectable thing that we saw. We told ourselves that we can come again some other time, thus our loot was composed of a few fundamentals: Bale Dutung's Pan de Bagnet, Cello's Doughnuts, Chefs on Sundays' The Perfect Steak, Merry Moo's Aztec Choco and Sea Salt Caramel, Manang's Chicken and French macarons from I-forgot-what-store-we-bought-it-from. (Photos from Anton Diaz's Our Awesome Planet)







 
   

That's almost a picnic basket right? But there's still a lot more that we haven't tasted. We haven't returned in a while, what with the summer plans and all. However, we have a perfect reason to go back this Saturday AND Sunday -- Mercato Favorites Weekend Treat.



From the merchants listed above, we've so far tried three, so that means we have a dozen stores to visit and discounts to avail of! So go ahead, visit the Mercato Centrale this weekend. I'll see you there!

4.24.2011

Our Holy Week(end)

The Lenten season is over and the Christ has risen again. I was on a writing hiatus, partly because it is my "sacrifice" that I offered during the period of penance. Actually, I should have resolved to abstaining from using the internet entirely to make it a more worthwhile sacrifice. That and eating and any form of merriment. Hmm. Quite a difficult thing to pull off, given my family's love for celebrations and eating out. I've mentioned that my uncle and his family is home for three weeks right? Well, their stay is almost over. They are home-bound this coming Tuesday. So that means the remaining days are precious and are spent with family gatherings, Holy Week notwithstanding.


Good Friday was spent travelling to Luisiana where my paternal grandparents are from. The family yearly participates in the procession, given that our wood carving of the dead Jesus Christ is the highlight of the Good Friday procession. It is a version of the famed Santo Entierro or "Holy Burial". It has been with the family for decades, a heritage passed onto us by my great grandmother. After the procession, a "pakain" or feast is given, something similar to the custom of serving food after a burial.

 The Family's Santo Entierro

Black Saturday in our quaint hometown is quite festive, marked with reunions left and right. So ours was spent pretty much the same way, this year being a family reunion of sorts. We went to a nearby house of a distant relative and ate lunch there. In what way that relative is connected to me, I have no idea; just this bit of info that he/they are from my paternal grandmother's side. Later that day, we traveled to another part of Laguna, this being Los Banos -- the home of hot springs resort, buko pie and Mt. Makiling.

What a tough ride it was. My MIL's Innova which we borrowed broke down on us again. Good thing the whole family was in a convoy so help was readily available. However, the car's problem is not something that can be readily fixed, so we were left with no choice but to hitch a ride to my other uncles' cars and leave the Innova somewhere safe. Another bump in the ride, the traffic that lengthened our travel time. Traffic that was due to the scores of people going back to Manila and due to those people, like us, who are making their way to resorts and private pools.

Famished, we arrived 830 PM with no dinner yet. Spaghetti was the saving grace (which was gone in minutes by the way) but it was barely enough to satisfy the hunger of everyone. An impromptu debut was planned for my balikbayan cousin so while waiting for food to be cooked, we proceeded with the program. It was a Luau-themed party. Present were only us, immediate family, so the should-be 18 roses, candles and gifts were trimmed down to how many of each was there in us, though the roses were almost completed, given that the boys in our family outnumber the girls. Everyone had a part, even the kids, and I was glad that everybody gamely participated. Dinner commenced afterward, and when they had their fill, each headed off to either swim in the pool, drink and get drunk, sing in the videoke or just sleep. Hubby and Sophie was tired already, so off to sleep we went.

Our floral family

Finally, it's Easter Sunday. Happy Easter everyone! We're done with the Easter egg hunt an hour ago. Everyone went swimming too, and eating is being done, well at your own accord. Our reservation in this place is until 6 PM but we'll probably bail out early, not wanting to join in the traffic that we've had a taste of last night. Hubby and I will still go to Sta. Cruz to get the Innova and meet up with the tow truck.

Water-loving Sophie with her uncle (my brother)

I'm hoping against hope that the traffic will not be as heavy when we make our trip later. Or else, this will be an extension of calvary, a prolonged penance...

4.19.2011

Success!

Hubby and office mates' outing was a success! I managed to shop, prepare and cook food for the eight of us. Our menu consisted of the following:
  • Beef salpicao
  • Sisig
  • Inihaw na liempo
  • Chicken barbecue
  • Ensaladang mangga (green mangoes + tomatoes + onions + bagoong)
We had ripe mangoes for dessert and grilled hotdogs for merienda. Hubby praised me endlessly that everything turned out perfect. He was so proud of me that he keep on telling his office mates that that was my dream -- to become a housewife. ;) It was tiring, but I was pleased that I had fed everyone and that the food was more than enough for us. I was afraid that my estimation might be incorrect, thus resulting in a shortage of food. But thank God, we still have leftovers after.

I was able to get along well with Hubby's office mates. They are easy to be with anyway. I felt at ease even when we were still on our way to Cavite. I missed meeting Chan, she had a family emergency so I wasn't able to meet her. I loved Kim -- Hubby's openly gay office mate! He sure has a knack for delivering lines and making us laugh 'till our sides ache. They were mostly younger than us by a few years so hubby and I were really on our toes then, making sure everybody was okay and enjoying themselves.

Sunblock-covered Sophie

Mandatory group pic before going home

That's it! Hope there are more of this in the near future. I don't think I'll get tired of doing this for them. ;)

4.16.2011

Summer getaway

I feel left out. My cousins, aunts and uncles, as well as my grandparents on Papa's side are all in Subic. As I speak (er... write?), they are splashing on the cool waters, enjoying the sun and pigging out on the sumptuous food Mama has prepared. My uncle and his family who are based in Nevada are in the country for a three-week vacation. They have been here since last week, in time for our lolo's 80th birthday celebration. Now they are there spending a weekend in our house and currently, they are at the beach.

I wanted to come. But Papa told me not to. He said that they needed the extra room (my room) for the fifteen or so guests. He even mentioned that when we are there, Mama will just have her hands full even more with Sophie. You see, when Sophie is around, Mama cares less about everything else (promise!). Her eyes are only for Sophie, heck, her world revolves around Sophie! That's how sabik she is with her first apo.

So okay, I understand. Me not welcome in my own house. Bummer. Good thing Hubby has plans for tomorrow that includes me (and Sophie). He and his office mates planned to go outing too. I'm excited and a bit shy at the prospect. It will be my first time to go to Ternate, Cavite and it's also my first time to spend, not just an hour or two, but a whole day with his office mates. I've met some of them before, a few I am even Facebook friends with. I guess I need to brush up on my social skills then. Being a SAHM can make those skills rusty. Sure I get to interact with friends and acquaintances, but mostly it is through social networking sites. (Loser much? LOL.)

Oh, and I get to prepare the food for tomorrow. Guess who volunteered me? Hubby, who has been my no. 1 fan, and avid devourer (is there such a word?) of the finished products of my cooking, of course! The menu is simple as he put it; just barbecue and two more dishes. But it's for 10 people. I have no trouble cooking for any number of people. I have problems estimating the quantity I should prepare for each dish though. Thank God, Mama is around to help me do just that.

Hubby and I will buy the things that I need later. Wish me luck. This is my time to shine! Haha. Nah, should everything turn out right, it will just give me some semblance of affirmation that I can REALLY cook.

I'll update you soon!

4.14.2011

Sometimes, we forget to do this...

HONEY, I'M SORRY:
For not always being the kind of husband I should be to you.
For not giving you the attention you deserve.
For being too caught up in my own world instead of “our” world.
For demanding too much and not giving enough.
For not loving you like I should.
Please forgive me.
With your love, your support, your patience and your prayers,
I will strive to be the kind of HUSBAND
God expects me to be.

HONEY, I'M SORRY:
For not always being the kind of wife I should be to you.
For not always appreciating all that you do.
For not always being the lover I know you need.
For not always believing in your hopes and dreams.
For not loving you like I should.
Please forgive me.
With your love, your support, your patience and your prayers,
I will strive to be the kind of WIFE
God expects me to be.

From: http://www.laughyourway.com/resources/honey-im-sorry/

Aches

My body is aching all over. Both my arms, my thighs and legs, and my tummy as well. And it is all because of David. No, he isn't my husband. Err... I am not having an extramarital affair either. Before you go on with your other theories, hear me out first. Okay?

It was the start of this year then when I saw this group-buying site that offered a deal about Fitness First. The deal includes: 1-month Home Membership with unlimited use of Gym facilities, access to all Group Classes and 3 Personal Training Sessions worth Php 1,000 per session, with BODYFIRST® Kit (3 informative and practical books that will boost your knowledge about your body, fitness, resistance training, gym lingo, nutritional guide and much more), Duffle Bag, Water Bottle, Headphones and Hand Towel. And it's all for Php1950 only.


I bought the deal without hubby's knowledge and using my brother's credit card. Hubby soon found out about it because I have to pay my brother in time for the credit card's billing due and my savings weren't enough to cover the amount. Hubby did not get mad or anything, in fact, he was very supportive. He kept asking me when do I start the program. I kept on moving it, telling him "Tsaka na lang..." until the period for redemption is almost here (April 4). I have no choice but to finally do it.


I kept on postponing going to the gym because I was kind of shy. Hehe. I was afraid also of looking like a fool there, not knowing what to do or where to start. I was afraid too of what my family will say, "Pumupunta ka pa sa gym, wala ka namang pinagbabago". Eventually, I mustered enough courage to tell myself that that is exactly why I would be going to the gym for in the first place: to see some changes, either in my physical strength or even a little, in my physique


It was a big help that there's a 3 personal training session included in the package. At least someone is there to help me jumpstart this new endeavor that I am getting myself into. Remember David? He is my fitness trainer for 3 sessions. (Now you know!) He helped me set some goals and also be realistic on the results that I should expect. He had somehow given me perspective as to where I am at the beginning and where I could be after the month ends.


I am now on my second week in the gym. I initially planned to be there five times a week. But being a mommy and a wifey, I had managed to go there every other day. I had even skipped four gym days because I have to attend to some stuff here at home. My sessions with David was done already, and I have no choice but to let him go; I could not afford the hefty price of a trainer. But I am trying to do my best to remember everything he taught me in those trainings that I had. Now I am just having fun (and pain!) experiencing the various group classes that they have to offer.


Oops, it's past 10AM already. Gotta go and prepare myself for an 11:15AM group class! Will get back to you soon.

Bye! ;)

4.11.2011

Of toddlers and colds

Sophie has been with colds since last Friday. I don't know where she got it. Maybe it's just the extremes in the weather (and the air-conditioning as well!). It's officially summer, for the warm and humid days are here again. Instant solution for an irritated and hot baby? Turn the air-conditioning on. However, our air-con has its quirks. Sometimes, the thermostat doesn't seem to respond well and we're left shivering. I am left with no choice but to manually adjust the settings. My mother's advice is to keep Sophie's body at an even temperature. Uhm... how do you do that? Anyway, I guess I failed. She's got the sniffles after all.

So for the past few days, Sophie had been having trouble sleeping; perhaps due to her stuffed nose and caked mucus. I tried cleaning her nostrils but all we end up in is fighting! She's screaming and flailing her arms at me while I, the ever villainous mommy, had to hold her still while I clean her nostrils with cotton buds and an aspirator. Seriously, how do you teach a child how to blow her nose?

Sigh. And there's the drinking-of-the-medicine part. Sophie apparently has inherited my stubbornness. You can't make her do something she doesn't want. Ever. So making her drink medicine is another drama in itself. Aside from the screaming and flailing of arms, there's the additional vomiting or trying to vomit stage. That is IF I had been successful in putting the medicine dropper in her mouth. Because the medicine dropper could fly off somewhere (she had swiped my hand in one blow) or she had managed to toss her head (and her body as well) in every direction possible.

I hope she gets well very soon. And I better stock up on citrusy fruits to feed her after this. I have had enough "sticky" drama to last me an entire month.

A new baby

I have always been fond of browsing the web and reading the posts that fellow mommies have written in their blogs. I would love to make one but I thought I don't have the patience to keep a blog up. I feel that I don't have a clear reason as to what should I blog about...

Now I think I may have defined my purpose for blogging. It's simply, not having any direction at all. (Confusing right?) I mean, it's my blog so it's my call. Haha. But basically, I will make this an outlet. For the pent-up frustrations of not being able to communicate with a child who simply can't talk yet. For the mixed emotions I have experienced, experiencing or will experience in the future. Or maybe, just a venue for me to say the things that I do not have the courage to speak out loud. Here, I will try to tell them anyway.

So here it is. My online diary, my new baby: Vanenie's Musings.