Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Hello Lovelies!

A quick update from my mini hiatus: I got sick twice this month. The first one was a day before Christmas Eve and the second one was two days ago. Boo!

I've spent Christmas this year at my sister's new condo which explains the sleek but 7-foot tall fake Christmas tree (yes, we rarely use real Christmas trees here in the Philippines). =)

Sleek Christmas Trees are popular to condo city-dwellers
Christmas Eve in the streets of Makati City
Yep, there's no snow here. We don't have winter in Manila.
Then I flew to Davao City on Boxing Day to attend a dear cousin's 100% Filipino-themed wedding. The wedding invites were written in Tagalog, the bride and the whole entourage were wearing traditional Filipino formal wear and the food served at the reception were purely Filipino. It was a beautiful and intimate wedding!

My cousin Therese wore a Maria Clara wedding gown. 

My beautiful cousin Therese on her wedding day
I love the vintage bridal car used here. It fits the wedding theme well.
Anyway, I'll be spending New Year's Eve with my side of the family tonight. 

Thank you so much for your support this year! 2012 was a year of big changes for me and it's also been one of the best years of my life. I'm happy and blessed to be able to share it with you. 

See you all in 2013!!! 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Pineapple Pork Chops

I provide a carefully-prepared packed food for Mike to bring to work on a daily basis. It's a smart, practical and healthier alternative than buying lunch at fast food chains or procuring gourmet meals at expensive cafes. I recently made him Pineapple Pork Chops for lunch.

I've been planning his breakfast and lunch menu for quite a while now. I'm really proud to say that I have been consistent so far and not a single drop of ingredient goes to waste.

Here's another recipe to share:

- 3 to 4 pork chops
- salt
- pepper
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 2 cans pineapple chunks or tidbits
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/8 cup white vinegar
- 2 tbsps brown sugar
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce


Sprinkle salt and pepper on pork chops then coat them in cornstarcg (be sure to coat them well). In a large skillet, heat oil at medium-high heat. Add pork chops and brown for about 4 minutes (flip them one time).
- Once the pork chops are browned, add the pineapples
- Mix the remaining ingredients together then pour the mixture over the pork chops. 
- Cover and cook at low heat 8 to 10 minutes or until pork chops are slightly pink inside.

 It is an easy and tasty dish and Mike liked it so much!

{Note: I have based my variation of Pineapple Pork Chops from this recipe}

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

On the Significance of Good Thoughts

Despite the little things that irks me, I choose (or at least try my very best) to see the good in people, places, things and events that are not too friendly. But it doesn't mean that we should ignore life's less pleasant situations. It's the way we approach the unpleasantness in a positive and more productive way.

I believe that positivity has great power to change our lives.

Have you ever tried reading a book containing good thoughts or simply pinning quotes on Pinterest? Feels inspiring right? Whenever I feel blue, I make a cup of tea and start reading beautiful quotes and anecdotes.

My former boss told me that I have a certain amount of pleasantness that comes out naturally. Well, he's actually the eighth person who has expressed this observation. Well, I'm flattered and hopefully I can maintain. =)

A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes. - Mahatma Gandhi

Happy Tuesday!

{Image from QuotesWave}

Monday, December 17, 2012

Our Second Wedding Anniversary

Last week, Mike and I had dinner at Stella to celebrate our second year of marriage.

It's a wood-fired bistro that offers light and fresh cuisine. I like its homey and laid back vibe. And the name Stella really appeals to me. Stella means star which is probably why it is expected to be the STAR among all the Bonifacio High Street Central restaurants.

Here's what we had for dinner:

The bread and the tomato,herb, olive oil dip are complimentary.

There are a few selections of bread to choose from
This dip is sooo good and healthy too!
The Stella Salad consists of butter lettuce, crispy bacon strips, sun-dried tomatoes, candied rosemary pistachios, buttermilk chive-ranch dressing, Malagos pecorino.

I love Bacon!!!
Stella's Porchetta: A pork belly stuffed with double-smoked bacon, fennel, herbs served with warm rosemary and sultana sauce. 
This is so yummy! I can't wait to have it again soon. *drools*
Spanish Chorizo and Garlic Fried Rice

The food is very delicious, we'll be definitely going back and try their other dishes. I'm looking forward to tasting their Salt Baked Gindara Fillet and the food under wood fired small plates and snacks.

Well, it has been a very lovely evening, thank you! We capped the night off by having ice-blendeds from The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

A photo of our first dance from our wedding two years ago...
All I can say is that time has gone by so fast which included 4 overseas trips, a career shift for both of us, yoga, photography, renovations, launching a blog, being always there for two senior citizens (+ the baggage that comes with it LOL) and other life-changing decisions and scenarios that can be fully experienced when living in the third world.

In other words; It has been a most-of-the-time happy, sometimes challenging but very fulfilling two years. 

Cheers to us!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Warm Wedding Wishes

We had a wish tree with crystals and votive candles setup instead of a wishing well for our wedding. Our theme was winter in New York City and I personally don't think that a wishing well would be appropriate. Beside our wish tree was a wish box for our guests who opted to give us monetary presents.

Wish Tree was provided by our caterer K by Cunanan Catering
Wish Box was a gift from my cousin Mary Jo
Note cards for the wish tree printed with same design we had for our invites
A very dear cousin hanging her wishes for us 

Every time I get to have the opportunity to read these warm wishes written for us, my heart is filled with love and joy.

I can't wait for our 2nd wedding anniversary!

Happy Friday!

{Images 1,2 and 3 from our wedding photographer Mimi and Karl, Image 4 is from my good friend Phoebe}  

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Our M&Ms Wedding Favors

Mike and I decided to have M&Ms chocolate candies as wedding favors. It's a universal favorite and we thought that instead of giving our guests trinkets that would just accumulate dust in their homes, it is better to give them something edible. Plus we can personalize them or choose specific colors that would complement our motif perfectly.

Mike's aunt and cousin bought these M&Ms for us as a wedding present. I chose the color purple, lavender, blush pink and platinum shimmer. These colors go well with our purple and gray motif.

The favor boxes were my DIY project for our wedding. I ordered the gray boxes and spools of purple grosgrain ribbon with white stitches online. I designed the stickers and placed two silver dots to add a little sparkle.

These little details are the best way to show off your personal style and take your wedding theme to the next level.

How about you, what wedding favor would like to give your guests?

{Images 1 and 2 from Mimi and Karl}

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Amnesia Roses

My wedding bouquet is a bunch of Amnesia Roses. Until now, I couldn't get over this tea-stained, antique, dusty lilac rose. It is such a marvel to look at most especially when tied together. I'm so happy that a local florist was able to provide these roses. There's something about these roses that's enchanting and at the same time, mystifying.

Yep that's me!

Again, many many thanks to our florist Tropical Blooms

{Images from our wedding photographer Mimi and Karl}

Monday, December 3, 2012

Our Wedding Invite

It's December once again and the start of wedding season in the country. It is also our wedding anniversary month. ;) A few days from now the hubby and me will be celebrating our second wedding anniversary. Woohoo! So expect the next few blog posts to be wedding-related.

Today, I'm sharing photos of our beautiful letterpress wedding invites. We really wanted to have everything in letterpress. Letterpress-printed invites are so elegant, classy and timeless. At that time (about two years ago), no other invitation company in the country was able to provide letterpress invites printed on 100% cotton paper except for our supplier: Twenty-O-Four Letterpress Company

At first, we thought that this type of invite can only be ordered abroad and of course at a really expensive price but after months of researching which included checking every invitation maker stall in Recto, we were able to find what we were looking for. Many famous invitation makers here in Manila told me that what we were looking for is not yet available because there is no current supplier of 100% cotton paper locally. But I never stopped searching until we hired the services of Twenty-O-Four, our invitation heaven!

Ever wondered why I stood firm about printing our invites on 100% Cotton Paper?

It is eco-friendly. It is made without any tree products. It is milled from waste produced during the cotton ginning process. Ordinarily this cotton lint is thrown away as waste, but because it is made of the same stuff as paper (cellulose) it is possible to convert cotton into a top quality, professional and beautiful sheet of paper.

It's about time we should think about our environment and consider alternative products that are eco-friendly.  

{Images from our wedding photographer Mimi and Karl}
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