Yummy treats at YUMMY Eats

I love food. Everything that has to do with it: finding the ingredients, that tedious process of preparing each and every item, cooking and of course, eating. Being around food is second nature to me, growing up with a mother who spends hours in the kitchen to whip up something delicious brought that about me. I'd like to try out new dishes once in a while and my favorite go-to for fresh concoctions? YUMMY -- both the magazine and the web portal.

So excited was I when I found out that they'd be holding a cooking, eating and food fair, the YUMMY Eats: Cooking and Eating Fair. I badly wanted to attend a foodie event of this kind, so I exhausted all means by which I can score a ticket to the event. Boy, I didn't win one but TWO tickets! Thanks to the contests done by The Food Alphabet and YUMMY Magazine's FB Page. With Sophie in tow, Hubby and I went to NBC Tent last Saturday (May 22) to experience our very first foodie event.

This way to the sweet street!

We feasted off on the samples given by more than thirty concessionaires. We went there on an empty stomach but two-thirds into the number of booths, Hubby begged off from all the eating (Haha. Now that's a first!).

I only got a few photos because, as I've already said, we're busy eating (Sophie included!). Anyway, we loved Risa's Chocolates. The truffles are divine! We wanted to take home some but given the short time that it stays solid (just ONE hour!), we opted to take home just the Cuadro, their version of chocolate square-shaped bars. Big Daddy's Chicken is another new find, the crispiness of the chicken is such a treat that you won't stop wanting for more (so much so that we bought some to take home for dinner). Mochiko's ice cream-filled mochis reminded us of the mochi we had in Hong Kong. Simply Pie! packed a lot in that small pie of theirs. Little Miss OC's Kitchen showcased creations that I really want to take home! Haha. Remember the cute minions in the movie Despicable Me? They have those in their cupcake designs! Really cute.

Simply Pie
Little Miss OC's Kitchen
Risa's Chocolates
Big Daddy's Chicken

Classic Confections

YUMMY message board

Overall, it was a pleasant experience for us newbie-foodies. It left us wanting for more of these events. Hope to attend another YUMMY event in the future!

Photobooth courtesy of Baicapture


Celebrating Mama's Birthday with a Big Bang!

My mother's birthday falls on May and sometimes, it even coincides with Mother's Day. It has been my birthday gift to my parents that during their birthdays, we go home and spend two weeks with them, letting them enjoy their granddaughter as much as they can. This year, however, we weren't able to do that. Sophie and I missed spending Mother's Day too in the company of my Mama. My brother and I thought of ways on how we could make it up to her when I found this ad:

Of course, being the practical person that I am, I immediately reserved a slot with Big Bang Studio. We managed to secure one which is before lunch time; wonderful timing since we had reservations in Berjaya in Makati for a birthday lunch. Wanting everything to be perfect, I searched online for classy yet modern take on family portraits. I conferred with my brother and we both agreed that we should at least come in matching colors. We settled for white polo sleeves for the guys and white blouses (or dress, in Sophie's case) for us women.

Mama's birthday soon came and we excitedly headed in search of Big Bang Studio's place. Good thing that my grandparents' house (where my parents stay in while they are here in Manila) is also in Mandaluyong. We found the place easily, and when I texted both Pearl and Madel (co-owners of Big Bang), they greeted us warmly upon arriving.

By the door, there's a "Shoes Not Allowed Inside" sign so we left our shoes outside and used the comfy slippers they provided. The studio feels homey, like the tambayan that you and your barkadas would surely love to while away a lazy afternoon. Soft music played in the background and as I scan the studio, a few interesting pieces adorn the place. We were ushered inside a room where they store most of their costumes and props to change in our all-white regalia. After which, the photo shoot began.

Madel shot our photos and instructed us on what to do, while Pearl tried her best to make Sophie smile. My apologies, Pearl... Sophie isn't really a giggly baby! At least Sophie has her eyes on the camera's direction. Hehe. After our "formal" pic, they suggested that we do a wacky pose. We donned whimsical and colorful hats, except for Sophie because she kept on tugging at whatever we put on her head. Two more poses were done, but this time around, it's only Sophie and her grandparents then Sophie and her lola.

Everything was finished in just less than half an hour. We changed back to our clothes and were invited to view the pictures. We were also asked what outputs we would like to avail. My brother opted to get a CD containing 10 hi-res edited shots. We chose the ten shots that we love (it was difficult to choose, mind you!) and we were told to come back after one week to get the pictures.

My brother dropped by their studio last Saturday, exactly one week after our family's photo shoot. Here are some of the finished products:

Formal shot
Wacky pose
Smiling Sophie with her grandparents
The birthday celebrant with her beloved apo :)

I loved all the pics! My parents had gone back to Bataan the day after this was taken, but my brother will be going home there this weekend. I'm sure when our parents see these pics, they'll love it too. Mama, especially. I can imagine her staring at this family portrait several times during the day. And she'll remember that this year, her birthday was celebrated with a Big Bang!

Big Bang Studio
836 Cristobal St., Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City 
E-mail: bigbangphoto@gmail.com
Tel: (02) 546-4414 and (02) 964-5339
Mobile: +63927-501-5382 (Pearl)
+63917-811-6239 (Madel)
Website: http://bigbangstudio.wordpress.com/
Gtalk: bigbangphoto
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bigbangstudio.ph


Please Help Find Jessica Rasalan

I don't know this kid personally, nor any of her family members. I don't know too what I would do if this happens to me. What I do know is that I am a MOTHER, and that I want to help, in the only way that I can.

If you've seen this little girl or know any info regarding her whereabouts, kindly contact the numbers posted in the photo. Thanks so much.
For more info, click on the photo. It will direct you to the Facebook page created by the child's family in search for her.


My Stint at Being a Fashionista

I am your girl-next-door type of person. My knowledge about fashion is limited to scanning glossy magazines and observing what the celebs wore on TV. Dressing up once in a while, I don't mind. But trying to make it an everyday thing is just too tedious for me... Maybe because I'm a mom already that I don't pay that much attention to myself and would rather lavish it on my daughter, I don't know. So imagine my surprise when my virtual friend*** invited me to watch Philippine Fashion Week Holiday 2011 last May 13.

I was at a lost on what to wear and whom I'll be going with. Hubby still has work and that being a Friday, mom-in-law's car can't be used because of number coding. I was hesitant to go, but Hubby urged me to -- "Sayang yung opportunity". So I plucked something out of my closet that what I think is something appropriate to wear and had my sister-in-law tag along.

I was instructed to arrive early in SMX, perhaps to have some time to queue up for registration. Word of the day? GORGEOUS. Everyone was all dolled up, and all suited up. Our eyes feasted on the beautiful people around us. Before we knew it, it's almost show time.

Did I say GORGEOUS already? The dressed up crowd awaited excitedly as every model stepped into the runway, wearing the GORGEOUS creations of our very own designers. I was so honored to have had the opportunity to witness firsthand the unveiling of their months' worth of works. Hope I get to watch another fashion show in the near future! ;)

It's me! All glammed up ;)
My sister-in-law, a budding fashionista :)


My friend's collection named "Querida"

***I call him "my virtual friend" because he's someone I still haven't met in person. I've "seen" him one too many times, and because of my boldness (and with the help of social networking), I became his friend. HE is none other than Santi Obcena. THE Santi Obcena. I became a fan of his when he impressed me with his designs and craftsmanship from way back, during his Project Runway Season 2 days. Having the tool called Facebook at my fingertips, I gingerly looked him up and dropped him a message, telling him that I was rooting for him to win. I told him I'm a fan, but he referred to me as a friend. Thus our so-called friendship began.


“What gift would you like for Mother’s Day?”

It was Tuesday last week when I received an email from fellow SP (that's Smart Parenting for you) mom asking the question above. Apparently she needs to write a feature about the said topic for the array of articles to be featured in Smart Parenting's website in time for Mother's Day. I replied immediately, convinced by the email sender's note that the gift I like MIGHT be given to me.

Visiting the website last Monday, I found myself a pleasant surprise:

"Mommy Vanenie says she has always loved food and anything that has to do with it -- cooking, baking and eating. She saw this book from the movie Julie & Julia in 2009 and was enthralled. Though she has no formal culinary training, she wants to try the recipes featured in the book. The author Julia Child had made it seem simple and she wants to experience authentic French cooking without having to spend a fortune.

I haven't received anything yet. I guess I misunderstood the email and there's really nothing to expect. It's okay, at least I have this. :)



The fire? No. Yes. Maybe. No, it isn't with an old flame (person), but it is an old love (FYI: books!). Maybe, because I use "kindling" here as a verb in another form, something that only our tech-savvy generation would understand. Okay, enough of the guesswork. I'm talking about renewing my love for reading books but this time, in a different medium: using a Kindle.

Hubby's maternal aunt and her husband had gifted hubby with a spanking new Kindle. Hubby had requested it because he`d like to have a nifty gadget that he can download into, read from, and store the tons of cases which are required readings in law school. Ever the supportive and generous relatives that they are, they shipped this spanking new Kindle after a few months. Hubby only requested the most affordable version but he got himself this Kindle with 3G and Wi-fi, and an authentic Kindle leather cover with light!

Kindling at night

Summer is still here so there are no classes yet; I get to experience the Kindle. It's handy and really lightweight. The screen provides no glare at all, making it suitable for endless hours of reading without getting that migraine. What I love most about it is that it can store thousands of books, and with the internet, I can download any title I'd like to read for free! A dream gadget for a bookworm like me, except that it's not mine! Haha. I had taken the liberty to download books that I've been meaning to buy (but do not have the money to spend) for the longest time. Now I have these e-books lined up for me to read:
  • A Child Called 'It' and The Lost Boy by David Pelzer
  • Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
  • 1984 and Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • Tha Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  • Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  • Of Love and Other Demons and One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
  • Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen
  • Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder
  • Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom
  • Keeping the Faith and Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult
  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  • East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  • The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
My to-read list is quite all over the place. Some are classics while others are fairly contemporary. I was influenced by TIME Magazine's ALL TIME 100 Novels which was said to contain the "100 best English-Language novels from 1923 to the present"; for the fairly new titles, I have my friends to thank for recommending them.

So far, from the list, I have read both books by David Pelzer. I have started with Eat, Pray, Love and I'm almost midway into it. I hope I finish everything before school starts (I wish!) and before Hubby hogs the Kindle!

Sophie exploring the Kindle