Archive | February, 2012

Japanese + Filipino = Manila Maki

27 Feb

One of my bestfriends, Dominique, is now based in China with her husband, Marc.  Before she left for China, we had one last lunch together, Dominique, Isabel and I 🙂  Isabel, who is familiar with the Salcedo Village, Makati area suggested that we try out this new place called Manila Maki 🙂

When Isabel told me about this place, I was very excited to try it out.  Two of my favorite cuisines merged into one.  Interesting! 🙂

I love their wallpaper! What a great idea!

It was just their soft opening at that time 🙂

Iced tea for everyone 🙂

Gyoza with longganiza 🙂

I wasn’t so adventurous with my orders so I stuck with the ones that sounded more Japanese than Filipino only because I craved more for Japanese food that day.

Chicken Teriyaki

Japanese Fried Rice

Here are Isabel and Dom, two of my bestfriends since High School.  Missing you a lot, Dom!!! I miss having meals with you because together we can eat anything and everything! LOL! Know more about Dom’s adventures in Hefei, Anhui, China.  You can read about her and China in her blog 🙂

We all had a great meal! Definitely a nice mix of Filipino and Japanese Cuisine.  The combination was just right.  Nothing too weird 🙂

Manila Maki is located at the G/F of Elizabeth Place Condominium, 332 HV Dela Costa St, Salcedo Village, Makati City 🙂


Another Dream Job Fulfilled: Barista

22 Feb

I’ve always wanted to be a Barista 🙂  First of all, I love coffee, the smell and taste of a good cup.  Secondly, it’s also a way for me to “kidnap” my husband or friends for about an hour or so to just catch up.  I’ve had some of the best conversations over a cup of coffee.

Our very own Saeco coffee machine! (Well, it's on loan...)

When I am not busy with makeup gigs or mommy duties, I am usually at my office. hehe Belle & Cat Nail and Wax Studio has become a second home to me and I am here almost everyday.  It’s always nice seeing our regular clients and meeting new ones 🙂 When I am craving for a cup of coffee, I would walk to either Blenz or Starbucks.  But not anymore… 🙂

Coffee in minutes! 🙂

Recently, I met with Jason, the brother of a good friend of mine, Tessa 🙂 I recently did her makeup for her wedding.  hehe Anyway, going back to the coffee.  Jason is from this company called Best Brew Coffee Solutions, Inc.  They provide “coffee solutions” for your office or shop or salon! 🙂 For me, coffee is the solution to everything! And yoga.  Jason provided us with everything that we needed to be able to give our clients a great cup of coffee while getting their nails done 🙂  You don’t get that in Starbucks! haha!

Love the smell of these local coffee beans. They're called Rocky Mountain Cafe Organic Mountain Blend Coffee.

Okay, so this is where my Barista skills come in.  First I choose the coffee that I am making 🙂 Made this cup for my friend, Angela, after she got her eyelashes permed.  She wanted a latte.  For a cup of latte, I just need a shot of espresso.

So below is the cup with a shot of espresso.

I then prepare the milk.  I place the milk in another cup.

I place the tube in the cup with the milk and with just one press of a button, there is my latte!

Since my friend, Angela, was watching me show off my Barista skills, I got too excited and pressed the button a second too late. Haha! OOOOPS…. too much milk! Sorry!!! 🙂 FAIL.

Angela's Latte 🙂 Almost perfect.

Okay, let me try this again.  Angela suggested to put the milk first then the shot of espresso… Could be. Could be 🙂

Best Brew Coffee Solutions, Inc, also provides the sugar and the creamer 🙂

Ever since we got this coffee machine,  B&C became an even happier place to be in 🙂  So to my dear friends, anytime you need a pick-me-up, you know where to go! Let’s catch up! 🙂

Thanks, Jason!

If you’re interested to provide excellent coffee in your office or shop, you may call 0917-846-BREW 🙂

A Pair A Year

21 Feb

Damien Crow is very picky with his shoes.  I think he gets this from his Paps.  Nowadays, shoes for kids cost as much as shoes for adults.  So we have limited his shoe collection to just one pair a year! hehe

This was his first pair of shoes.  This was a gift from his godfather, Gian.  Thanks so much for this pair, Gian! He loved these shoes so much and used it ’til it died a natural death.

Damien’s shoes at six months to a year old.

Then we moved on to a pair of Adidas Toy Story shoes.  We found this in HK 🙂 My only concern with this pair were the laces. He kept tripping in them.

Damien’s shoes at one to two years old.

We couldn’t resist buying him a pair of these limited edition Adidas Storm Trooper shoes.  So we bought a size slightly bigger to use for the next year.  The moment he started wearing these, he immediately said goodbye to Buzz even if the Buzz Lightyear shoes still fit.  He wore these Storm Trooper shoes until he couldn’t walk properly anymore because it was too tight.

Damien’s shoes at two to three years old.

It was so difficult to buy him the next pair for his third year.  Every pair we would show him at the store, he would always say, “No. Star Wars shoes only, please.”  We convinced him that these black Vans were the Darth Vader shoes.  One look at these shoes and he was singing the Darth Vader song.  Yes! We found the next pair! 🙂

Damien’s shoes at three years old.

 I wonder what he would be wearing next year…

Today is January 15, 2013.

I knew the time had come when he would have to give up his Vans.  Two days ago, when I picked up Damien from school, he was just wearing his socks.  LOL!  His Vans were just too tight already.  So I rushed to get him a pair.

Classic white Chucks.  He loves them 🙂  What’s in store for us next year? 🙂


Damien’s shoes at four years old.

I know it hasn’t been a year yet but we just had to get Damien another pair of Vans! hehe It was on sale in SM last week. And it’s easier to wear because it has no laces 🙂




Damien’s shoes at four years and nine months old.

These Vans really lasted so long.  Damien still wears them up to now 🙂  But just in case it gives up soon, we have our back up pair.  These Pumas are a winner.  We got them at almost half the original price in Hongkong.  Damien calls them his tiger shoes 🙂



Damien’s shoes at six years old.

 The new school year is about to start and Damien is now Grade One 🙂  These PE shoes from CSA are a requirement.  They actually look really cool and comfortable.  I also like the idea of the kids having uniform shoes as well 🙂  You’re a grade schooler now, buddy!!!


Damien’s PE shoes at six years and seven months 🙂

I don’t know when exactly this obsession began.  The Back To The Future obsession.  Maybe late last year.  But ever since Damien watched the trilogy, there is no one he’d rather be now but Marty McFly.  He chose this pair for 2016 because he said Marty used these shoes for skateboarding when he went back to 1955 🙂


Damien’s shoes at seven years old.

Ok, I know we’ve strictly followed this rule for the past six years.  But this 2016, we’ve already bought his second pair of shoes.  OH NO.  Damien is starting to appreciate shopping and shoes now.  LOL! All because of Marty McFly!!!  When we saw this pair in H&M, he told us it’s exactly like what Marty wore when he went to the “future”, AKA 2015.  Fine.  One more pair for 2016.  One for “past Marty” and one for “future Marty”.  No more shoes til the end of 2016.


Damien’s second pair at seven years old.

Damien requested for another pair of shoes this year… but NO.  We need to put our foot down.  LOL.  He wanted Marty’s Nike shoes, the one he was wearing at 1985.  Dante had a brilliant idea of spray painting his old white PE shoes… Voila.  Instant Nikes.  Hahaha!!! Thank you, True Value.  And thank you, Dants! 🙂 It’s just like the real thing! 🙂


Damien’s Marty McFly 1985 Nike inspired shoes at seven years old.

And just like that, it’s 2017.  Damien’s first pair of Nike shoes.  The real Nike. Haha! Happy New Year, buddy! We know you’ve always wanted these.  And no, you can’t use them for your boxing sessions, please.


Damien’s shoes at eight years old.


Mama Uchie’s Way

20 Feb

Dinner at Mama Uchie’s house is something we always look forward to! 🙂  Mama Uchie, by the way, is my mother-in-law 🙂 Everyone in the family calls her “Mama Uchie”.

Welcome to Mama Uchie and Papa Dante’s lovely home 🙂  It actually reminds me of being in those cozy and quirky restaurants like Cafe Juanita or Fat Mike’s.  (I haven’t been to Fat Mike’s in a while.  Are they still open?  Miss eating there.)  Mama Uchie loves to decorate her home with little tea sets, figurines, wooden chests and breakable decorative items.  That’s why we keep a watchful eye on these two boys.  So sorry again for the white swan that Damien broke before, Mama Uchie! 😦 EEEK!

There's Papa Dante and Dante 🙂 Making sure the boys are well-behaved.

Family Photos 🙂 I was so happy to see my black and white photos I shot of Ate Grace, Sam and Caleb again 🙂 Seems like a long time ago!

I also photographed this set of photos with Damien and his grandparents 🙂

Dinner is served!!! Wow.  Fely J and Lorenzo, stand back! 🙂

Bon Apetit!!!

Some fish dish. I'll have to clarify what it's called 🙂 It's awesome. Ok, it's called Escabeche! Thanks, Ate Grace!


Pork Steak.

Filipino dessert.

Huge, juicy mangoes. So good.

Damien only wanted this for dinner.

Yey! It's been a while since I last ate See's Candies! 🙂

I always end up eating so much whenever we are at Mama Uchie’s! It’s always a feast whether it’s Christmas Eve or just a regular Sunday evening.  I love her lengua and pork binagoongan as well 🙂 Nothing beats eating at Mama Uchie’s!  So sorry guys, I can’t give you an address or a number to call to make reservations to try Mama Uchie’s cooking 😦 Unless you’re a relative 🙂 hehe

Have a great week, guys!

A good meal shared with family is priceless.  Make time for dinner with your family today! Happy I just did 🙂

The Cake Club

19 Feb

One Saturday evening after dinner, Dante and I decided to explore the new wing of Bonifacio High Street.  We were looking for a good place to have our after dinner cup of coffee 🙂

Then we came across this place called The Cake Club which is apparently by Diamond Hotel.  When we found that out, it was automatically the chosen place for the evening 🙂 We love the coffee at Diamond Hotel and we would sometimes drive all the way there from Makati just to enjoy a cup.  So happy they have opened this little version at Bonifacio High Street.

Now choosing what would go well with our coffee 🙂

And the chosen one was Cecilia… the Coconut Creme Pie 🙂

Since it was about 10PM already, I ordered the mildest coffee they had 🙂  Still refused decaf. hehe

Hediard Tea available for sale

They also have a wide selection of Royce Chocolates 🙂

My personal favorite… the Potato Chip Chocolate! But no, not tonight. hehe

Eating here would not be complete without some Diamond Hotel Ube Ensaymada!  After 9PM, if you’re going to take out some Ensaymada or pastries, it’s already 50% off.  To give room for freshly made pastries the next day 🙂

This was going to be my breakfast the next day 🙂 Tastes great if you put it in the microwave for a few seconds right before eating 🙂 hehe

Maybe the next time we drop by The Cake Club, it’ll be for lunch or dinner.  Excited to try their Truffle Fries! 🙂 That was good way to end the evening! 🙂

An Afternoon with Maite

17 Feb

Last February 11, 2012, Saturday, I spent the afternoon in one of my favorite hotels in Manila 🙂

Maite was getting married later that day 🙂

Meet Maite 🙂

Posing with her lovely gown that she co-designed! 🙂

Almost time to leave for the Church. Where did the time go???

Maite and her beautiful mom! 🙂

Here’s Maite being photographed by Redscale Photography.

Happy and excited Maite! Surrounded by family and her closest friends. So much good vibes in this room today! Felt the love 🙂

Congratulations, dearest Maite and Drach! I wish I were able to see you walk down that aisle!  I am so sure you rocked it with our Adele-inspired look! hehe  Thank you so much for allowing me to be part of this wonderful day!  You looked fabulous! 🙂

A Valentine’s Date to Remember

15 Feb

Yesterday, it was Damien’s second field trip 🙂 It was also like a Valentine’s Day Date for the kids and parents.  The moment I got the letter from the teachers regarding this field trip, Dante and I immediately blocked off the morning of February 14 so we could be with Damien.  This was the first time we celebrated Valentine’s Day as a family 🙂

I came prepared with our Valentine's Day snacks.

Meeting time at The Learning Jungle was at 8am. Kids were all given their ID's.

Teacher Kit and Teacher Bianca quickly discussing the guidelines for our field trip.

Damien still sleepy.

Pre-Nursery Class is at Bus #1.

Excited to ride the bus!

One of the reasons why we were so excited for this field trip was because we were going to Museo Pambata, a Children’s Museum along Roxas Boulevard, Manila.

So happy that Dante was able to join us, too! 🙂

Waiting in line for our tour to begin.

First leg of the tour.

This was the entrance to the first section of our tour.  Damien got so freaked out with this huge head and refused to enter through its mouth or even go near it 😦  Museo Pambata staff said they will be changing this entrance soon because a lot of kids get scared. Haha! 🙂  It is kinda freaky.  The lipstick actually looks like blood. Haha!

Damien was so stressed out, he only wanted to sit with Papa on the floor.

I thought, oh no, he is not going to enjoy it here.  So I looked around and spotted this other room.  Looks like a happier place to be in.  So I tried to tell Damien that there was a really cool room in the other side.

Thankfully, he agreed to go with us to this empty play room 🙂

Damien playing with the plastic food toys 🙂 Whew! Now, he's enjoying 🙂

What Damien had for breakfast.

There are so many things that the kids can play with.  I love the fact that this Museum is so interactive.  Kids can touch and play with everything! 🙂

Damien playing with a plastic brain 🙂 He thinks these are spaceships. Haha!

I hear the other kids....

Miniature Bahay Kubo

This museum is so great to teach the children about Pinoy culture.

Entering the miniature market place 🙂

One order of ketchup, please?

Finally, we’re back with the rest of the group 🙂

Damien loving the miniature Church. Time to hear mass 🙂

Those are chopsticks, not lightsabers, Damien!

Damien wanted to have his picture taken with the Jeepney.

Map of Manila. Love Manila.

Old school computers

The kids got the chance to play with Filipino instruments.

Made me want to start crocheting again 🙂

My choice of rice 🙂

Someone enjoyed being an octopus! 🙂

Happy to be with Papa.

What an action-packed morning for the boys!

Waiting for Bus #1.

Was so tempted to take some green mangoes home! 🙂

To all my fellow parents, Museo Pambata is such a great place to take your kids.  It was so clean.  The kids are allowed to run around freely and they are able to learn more about Filipino culture and history.  What a great field trip! Thanks so much to The Learning Jungle teachers for taking us here to bond with our kids 🙂  And thank you also to our dearest Damien Crow for giving us this wonderful present for Valentine’s Day… Cereal pops! 🙂

Happy Valentine’s Day to you all! Hope you all had a great time with your loved ones! 🙂