Sep 30, 2013

Cousins Who Love Sweets

at Gusto for dessert and tea
http://instagram.com/p/e4C78Emscn/

It's been a while since the three of us (cousins and I) got together for lunch or dinner.  We bump into each other every so often (because Cebu City is that small), but usually with one of us hurrying to school to pick up the kid/s, or in the middle of an errand.  Earlier today was one rare occasion when all three of us got to sit down for a leisurely meal and chika.  We then drove to another place just for dessert and tea.  Time and traffic seemed to cooperate, just lovely...

On another note...

I have no intention to turn this site into a food blog but one might get that impression since my previous posts were about restos I've been to or food I've tried.  It's just that recent lunch invitations from close friends and cousins were timed a few days apart, hence the seemingly endless pics of food and such. Of course there are "dry spells" too when days or even weeks pass without me venturing out of the house except for my daily school runs or intermittent yoga sessions.  That's pretty much how my sabbatical midlife goes.  Perhaps it will be so, until the youngest son could get by on his own or until I decide to join the corporate world again, whichever comes first.

Light Lunch At Little Saigon Big Bangkok


http://instagram.com/p/e38gdVGsY0/

Sep 27, 2013

Junk Food Friday


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We are not big fans of fastfood chains like McDonald's, Jollibee, KFC, and such.  Even our youngest boy is more interested in the toys that come with McDonald's happy meal than the food itself. And with the trans fats and other unhealthy ingredients that go with the food, I say, good for him that he doesn't crave for it at all!  

This afternoon was different.  We noticed the newly opened McDonald's branch at Aegis' building.  It looked very much unlike the other outlets, so we got curious enough to check out the place.  It was spacious.  People from nearby offices came and went the whole time we were there.  Looks like business is good despite the fact that they are new and that there is another McDonald's outlet within half a kilometer away.

We had spaghetti (for the free toy), fries, coke float, coffee float and blueberry sundae. I couldn't say much about the food as they were just consistent with the other branches...   However, I have a thing or two to say about  the overall look of the place.  I like how the owners made use of dark red and brown for its interiors as opposed to the usual bright red and white.  Lighting was subdued instead of the usual harsh white, thus, giving it that coffeeshop appeal.  If not for the posters and visible logo lining its glass walls, we wouldn't have known it was a McDonald's outlet.  

As I sipped my coffee with vanilla ice cream, my gaze rested on the empty wide space right outside.  There were no smokers around, thank goodness.  I hope it stays that way.  I didn't hear honking cars or passing jeepneys. It was a pleasant visit, actually... not harried. Who would have thought I'd say that about a McDonald's fastfood chain branch, right?  But yeah, we didn't feel the need to rush, a perfect start to our weekend.

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the interiors don't look like your typical mostly red and white fastfood chain
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brown accent by the counter and their multi-colored chairs
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the open space 

Friday School Run


http://instagram.com/p/ewVsfuGsY6/

Sep 26, 2013

Thirty Minutes Early For Lunch With Girlfriends

When I learned that lunch was at Tavolata along A. S. Fortuna St., I immediately planned to leave Lahug an hour before our 12 noon appointed time.  Unpredictable traffic on Gorordo Ave., Salinas Drive, Banilad and Mandaue areas can make me paranoid like that.  Factor in the rains, a sure recipe for a jam and that would just be horrendous.  It turned out to be one smooth quick drive, thankyouverymuch, and I got to the place a good thirty minutes early.  Ha!

Tavolata offers mostly salad, pasta, and pizza.  They have main courses too.  Prices are on the high range, but they have a set lunch for P450 which includes soup, salad, main course and tea or coffee.  Being a first-timer there, that's what I ended up having.  I figured that should give me a taste of several items on their menu.  And incidentally, these turned out to be good, at least for my taste.  

So... after checking out the menu, what is there left to do, right?  Sitting solo in a classy place like this one prompted me to take photos while waiting for my ladies to arrive. 


http://instagram.com/p/etw0qNmseh/

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tomato soup

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salad and salumi fritata

Last Year When Ma Was 74


http://instagram.com/p/es6MsEGsTR/

A not so old photo for Throwback Thursday... Ma turned 75 years old last Sept. 22... :)

Sep 23, 2013

Afternoon Sweets At Cafe Caw


http://instagram.com/p/emE9LDmsWV/

After our xiao long bao and noodles lunch at Fung's, we walked to the new Cafe Caw next door.  Because I saw a post from hubby's niece, J, about this new place for desserts, coffee or tea, it was out of curiosity that we chose this over the more familiar Dessert Factory nearby.  

Maybe because they were still on soft-launch, I found their selection of food and drinks quite limited.  That didn't stop us though.  We got a red velvet cupcake for M and a cup of brownie ala mode for me.  Being fond of sweets, I liked how our orders tasted, even if I thought they were a smidgen sweeter for me.  

What I loved about the place, which I'm sure M would agree with, was the overall appeal of the quirky pastel colored tables, wooden chairs, long couches, loveseats and armchairs.  There were birdcage stickers,  framed mirrors and pendant lights too that were colorful.  We were amused at the fancy things we saw.  Even my teeny tiny ala mode spoon had a smiley face for its handle.  It was whimsical.  

They may not have the best tasting desserts in town, but the little details which made me coo are enough to make me go back.


Cafe Caw is located in the commercial area along Salinas Drive across JY Square.

Lunch At Fung's


http://instagram.com/p/emCxb2GsUu/

When M texted to ask if I was free for lunch, I confirmed my availability and immediately thought of where to go.  Then I remembered hubby being curious about this new noodle house along Salinas Drive.  Each time we passed by, we would see the parking area full and we would wonder where these people were going.  Apparently, people were there for Fung's.  I thought M and I should give this a try for our lunch date.

At 1145am, the place wasn't crowded yet.  M and I were ushered to the 2nd level where they had their dining area.  It was a small place with just enough tables and chairs for not too big groups.  Soon, the lunch crowd started trickling in.

After checking out the menu, we decided on their xiao long bao and specialty noodles.  We also ordered pork (I forgot what it was called) and shared a cup of rice.  Except for the pork which we found so-so and a bit on the fatty side, we loved their xiao long bao and noodles.  For what we had, we paid a total of about P350.  Pretty affordable actually...  We'll give this another go soon to try the other items on the menu.  However next time, we'd take our hubbies along. 

Sep 22, 2013

Ma's 75th Birthday


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We celebrated Ma's diamond year today at Big Mao... 

Praying the Lord may bless Ma with all the best and with more special occasions to celebrate with the family.

Copy That!


http://instagram.com/p/ejngmDGsQ4/

A new #linnorstoleherlook entry...

Harvest Moon Fest


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At my MIL's place, we played another round of the dice game today, but unlike last week, this time we had all hopia as prizes.  My MIL won the top prize, thus she got the biggest hopia in the bunch.  Lucky lucky! :)

Hopia Like It


http://instagram.com/p/ejKJhFmsQQ/

At the Jesuit church this morning, the priest announced that hopia will be distributed to everyone right before the final blessing.  This is to celebrate the harvest moon or more popularly known as the moon cake festival.  

With us in the pic are my Ma and Pa.  We were in red because Ma also celebrated her 75th birthday today.

Sep 21, 2013

Food Trip Saturday: Canvas Bistro


http://instagram.com/p/ehd5oZGsVT/

Couscous, chicken with rosemary, adobo baby back ribs, salmon with dill, not in pic- rose wine, platter of pork skewer, meat pie, etc and desserts for SIL's birthday... Cost - free!!! 

Food Trip Saturday: Harbour City


http://instagram.com/p/ehcbS8msTU/ 

Late lunch for 3... steamed fried rice, quail egg siomai, yang chow rice, stewed pork rice, beef spring rolls, not in pic - tea, buchi and siopao asado... cost php440. :)

Sep 18, 2013

Mooncake Shopping At Manila's Chinatown


http://instagram.com/p/eXwnkHmsWz/

This is one of the many reminders that my sons are half Chinese and half Filipino with a trace of Spanish... :)

Sep 17, 2013

Because They're Now Back In School


http://instagram.com/p/eV-HTNmsc6/

When I started doing yoga last October as my health regimen, the men in my family were not interested.  They stuck to their choice, working out in the gym.  The sons were under a trainor for a while.  That was during one summer which of course stopped when school started.  Then track and basketball in school became their form of exercise.  

I guess they thought yoga was only for women.  I don't blame them.  More than half of the studio attendees were women.  Perhaps that reinforced their aversion for it.  

Long story short, I dared the middle son to join me one day.  It wasn't instantaneous.  It took some convincing.  When he finally did, he sweated buckets but liked it.  The firstborn followed during his term break.  With the two sons being open to yoga, it wasn't long before the hubby joined.

Now, hubby and I do yoga 2-3 times a week.  And whenever the sons are in town from university, they set time to join us as well. Yoga has become an interest we all share. 

Sep 14, 2013

We Just Stumbled Upon Something


http://instagram.com/p/ePEVesGsU7/

... at True Value, and found the perfect reason for selfies. :P

Post-Intrams Lunch


http://instagram.com/p/eOqxuEGseK/

My sis-in-law's resto, Canvas, is running a promo right now and what perfect timing for us to try it out earlier today after the opening of the son's school intrams. We ordered corned beef, pork medallion, herb battered fish, and burger. And one of the dishes was free as part of their promo. Sweet! It was a good deal for us plus, sil also gave us 3 yummy desserts for free! 

 Two thumbs up!

Full Force At The Grade School Intrams


http://instagram.com/p/eOLUeFmsfp/

Thank God for hubby's flight from Manila that got to Cebu on time.  He was able to be at school before the presentation started.  He also saw Jake march as class captain and escort to their class' muse. The family proudly watched him together with his class as they danced onstage.  

By 12noon, Jake's class was judged as the most colorful team. :)

Sep 13, 2013

Blaming The Kardashians


http://instagram.com/p/eMidLomse-/

After watching on tv the Kardashians' lovely Greek vacay at Mykonos and Santorini, we suddenly had the craving for Greek food.  

So by lunch time, the sons and I were at Cyma and were ordering our lamb and chicken gyros.

Yeah, we'll take any excuse  just to eat out... 

Sep 12, 2013

Trying To Rock 'Em Shades


http://instagram.com/p/eJ-5gyGsSr/

I bought this pair online for about 4 USD...  I thought it's cool that it's inexpensive plus this wraps around my existing prescription glasses.

So, how do i look?  Hehe

Nah, don't answer that. LOL

Cheap Thrill


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The college boys from the green university visited their blue high school alma mater today to join us in getting Jake.  

As we were having our snacks in the cafeteria, one of the sons commented how much more his existing allowance could buy here in Cebu versus what he could buy in Manila.  I just snickered and thought:  Ha-ha! Well that's Manila for you... 

Sep 11, 2013

Early For Vinyasa


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Trust me, they really are more energetic than that. ;)

Sep 10, 2013

Like A Tree


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I Did It!


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It didn't happen as fast as I wanted it to even if I was taught the (headstand) pose the first few days of my yoga practice last year in October. As in most things, it took me a while and a lot of practice. K, our Ashtanga instructress, has always been encouraging in all of the sessions I attended with her. J, the lead yoga instructress, once said that with constant practice, it will just happen.

I have made many attempts with help from my son, my hubby or the wall.  I finally dared to do it without the security of the wall behind me... just the watchful eye of hubby and his ready helping hand to straighten me when I start to lean more on my right. So 11 months after my first, though only for a few breaths long, it actually happened.  I proudly held my own.

Sep 9, 2013

Don't Try This At Home!


http://instagram.com/p/eCHxoxGsYM/

Somebody's having too much fun!!! 🍻😆

Following The Scent Of The Sea


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Due to tight schedules, we were not able to avail of our complimentary accommodation at Maribago during summer.  Last Saturday, the college sons just got back in town from Manila for their trimestral break, just in time for the long weekend in Cebu (Osmena Day, 9/9).  I saw the opening, made arrangements and luckily got our preferred date. Yes!  So now we're still here as of this writing.

We like it that there are beaches in Cebu that are just a short drive.  Maribago is one of them.  Today is not scorching hot and not rainy either.  Everybody is having fun and enjoying the remainder of the Monday holiday at the beach.  Thank God for family, for the accessible beach, for the perfect timing and so far, for the perfect weather too.

Because It's A Holiday Monday In Cebu


http://instagram.com/p/eBHkn2msb1/

Twosome


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Resort-hopped last night (Sun) with the Khos for extended bonding and photo op.

Sep 6, 2013

Staking A Claim?


http://instagram.com/p/d6iHofmsSu/


I'm not really sure if hubby was unaware of the "thought bubble" prank going on behind his back. He said this was taken during one of their team's Christmas parties in SGV Consulting (Makati) in 1989, one month after I joined the company. Yup, I was fairly new then that they weren't even sure of how to spell my name.

Here's a side story to that... When we became friends, not yet a pair, he would get flustered when I was anywhere near his desk where his stash of office pics was kept. This pic* was his little secret (pala). LOL

*from hubby's old files and posted with his permission (haha!) for Flashback Friday

Sep 5, 2013

Not The Butter :)


http://instagram.com/p/d361TeGsS5/

Hubby brought this home today - a box of Speculoos Cookies, yummy pasalubong from a colleague.  ❤

Sep 4, 2013

He Didn't Take After Me

Regular dismissal today was at 246pm. However, due to the upcoming intramurals, son's class wouldn't be let off until 4pm to allow them some time to practice. So I waited, watched some students in the lower levels while they played "dampa" with popsicle sticks, cops and robbers, hide and seek or some other active game. It was definitely ruckus and mayhem at the Grand Lobby. And as I sat there, a young girl almost tripped over my foot. 

As far as I could recall, my grade school years were not as rowdy. Don't get me wrong. I'm saying this with amusement. I marvel at the stamina of youngsters these days. I guess, the only time they are physically active is when they are in school. Right? At home or anywhere else, it's computer, internet or gadget gaming, or tv time. So I try to give our son extra time to play after classes just to partly expend energy. 

Thirty minutes before 4pm, my thoughts took me back to the 70s during my early grade school years. Please indulge me in my reminiscences if you're up to it. 

Truth be told, I dreaded school when I was in Grade 1 up to Grade 4. Back in the day, when Pa dropped me off at the campus gate every morning, my tummy would ache, like clockwork. Child stress? Probably... And I looked forward to school dismissal so I could go home right away. If Pa would be late in picking me up, I would kill time in the study hall just doodling. I was so timid I didn't mingle with classmates during free time. Because I was painfully shy, I didn't participate in class too. That was the time I was in an exclusive-for-girls school in Mendiola. I guess I was, to some extent still am, wired like that. 

Things changed when the brother and I were sent to a co-ed school in Alabang. And that would be a different story altogether... 

It was dismissal time. Jake was flushed and sweaty. "Ma, I'm so lucky today, I won more popsicle sticks!", Jake proudly announced like it was big news. Indeed, he was clutching a bunch of wooden sticks while he walked in my direction. I smiled as his playmates waved at him and said bye. 

I realized a long time ago that our grader enjoys being in school. That is a good thing. However, sometimes I worry that he likes being in school more because of play than because of studies, but that is getting ahead of myself. He easily makes friends and plays with everyone, boys and girls alike, as if they are all long-time buddies. Perhaps the son, like his elder brothers, has them (social skills, EQ or whatever else you call them) more and better than I did when I was his age. 

Thankfully, the son didn't take after me.


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Jake, in his undershirt and in his Scout uniform, with friends