Cebu Food Trip: American Diner Feels at Luncheonette

It was one of those (many) moments when I’d crave for good bacon.

I begged my husband to take me anywhere just as long as I get to devour crisp, juicy strips of the sinful meat. Lucky for me, he never complains whenever I have this specific yet vague food requests. He actually enjoys the challenge.

We ended up at Luncheonette. We were on or way home from work so it was just accessible, being located at Robinsons Cybergate. We always had it in our list of places to try and my craving was a sound excuse to finally tick it off the list.

Luncheonette is part of the trusted Abaca Group, alongside Maya, Tavolata and others, so we knew right then that we were in good hands.

The first thing that I noticed was the Continue reading

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Carcar Food Destination: A Taste of Heritage at 1878 Restaurant

Turning old, private homes into restos has been a welcoming treat for food enthusiasts in Cebu. We’ve seen a lot of this in the city and a quick trip to the outskirts will tell us that this trend is spreading like wildfire altogether—much to our delight of course!

We occasionally head to DM’s hometown, Carcar, on weekends. Some few weekends ago, we stopped by the new “must-visit” spot in town, the 1878 Restaurant. We’ve been seeing it in our news feed so we thought of checking it out since we were already there and it was just walking distance from his aunt’s home.

My lovely mom, charmed by the quaint facade.

It’s not at all a surprise to see old houses in this town. In fact, DM’s family lineage has a couple of century-old houses still standing to this day, one of which has been declared a national heritage. Structures like this has always been part of Carcar’s charm.

1878 is an ancestral home of the Sato family and as you guessed it, the house was built in 1878. You’re welcomed into the secret garden-ish door and right away you’ll notice the stoned walls, heavy wooden furniture, and hanging plants and bulbs everywhere.

Notice the upcycled tires.

Continue reading

Mood Board: Living The Dream Living Room

I have always enjoyed visualizing my dream house. As a little girl I made my own doll house out of used boxes and old magazines. I’d cut out pictures of beds, sofas, and others and stick them on a cardboard so they would be sturdy enough for my dolls. Then one day my brother introduced me to The Sims and life became even more wonderful! It was quite a personal accomplishment to come up with furniture pieces and wallpapers that bring life not only to the rooms but to the people who dwell in it as well. Literally, because good home items boost your Sims’ moods. *wink

My dream living room has got to have a fantastic view, like this favorite nook of mine in my brother’s home in London.

For a long time I’ve had these themes and palettes in mind that speak of my personality and carefree lifestyle. But ever since I became a wife and mother, details of my dream home also  evolved. I often look around our house and think of the many ways it can be improved. And because dreaming is, as you know, free, I revel in making my dream home immaculate, most especially the living room! After all, the living room is where you can bond with the whole family on weeknights and entertain your guests on weekends.

A must-have for me is a huge but cozy couch where my husband and I could cuddle with our two-year-old son. Ideally low and cushioned on all sides for our little one to safely use, and big enough for a few guests.

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The couch has to be white so it’ll always look clean and tidy. Photo from arhaus.com.

Pop of colors! I’m crazy about throw pillows and these patterned ones will look perfect against the white sofa. The elephant is for my son who loves pointing at pictures of elephants. Photo from arhaus.com.

My family will be watching some Disney or Marvel movie on a simple yet functional media stand that matches the color of the couch, like this one from Scandinavian Designs.

Must look great even without the entertainment itself.

A round coffee table will take center stage between the couch and media stand. I especially like this one from Arhaus because Continue reading

The Thrifty Bride: 8 Ways to Save on Your Wedding Expenses

It’s just the third month into the new year but I already know at least seven couples who have been engaged! With my own wedding just less than a year ago, it’s a welcome treat that friends come to me for queries on processes, supplier referrals, and even tips. It makes me feel useful as I know how confusing planning a wedding can be.

Throughout the process of sharing Pinterest boards, Google spreadsheets, article links, and retelling the good, the bad, and the ugly sides of wedding planning, I came up with a list of the different ways you can cut your wedding cost. I had to be un-influenced so I made sure not to search online for other tips and to only rely on my experience. This way, it’s honest and more relatable to brides-to-be, especially in Cebu.

So here goes:

Look for a White Dress, Not a Wedding Dress
This was one of the things I was really overwhelmed with. When you start looking for a wedding dress, you’ll realize the huge discrepancy of bridal dresses vs. regular bridesmaid dresses or any dress for that matter. I actually tried an experiment wherein I asked for a quote for a white party dress and then later asked for a quote for a bridal gown. Aesthetically they didn’t differ much but labeling it as a bridal dress really made a big difference. If you find a regular dress that you feel like walking down the aisle in, grab it! Remember Kitchie Nadal’s 800-peso wedding dress? It’s all about feeling confident in it.  Another trick you can try is to purchase your own fabric and then have your dress sewn by an expert seamstress. Nothing says personalized more than that!

Get an On-the-Day Coordinator Instead of a Full Planner
First of all, don’t get me wrong, you can very well ask assistance from your most reliable girl friends or family members. I did and it went well. But as many a movies have taught us, it’s not always ideal to have a friend do the entire wedding planning for you, unless if that friend does events planning professionally. Aside from the fact that it will only create superfluous drama between the two of you, individuals who are not used to this kind of responsibility can get lost in all the commotion and may not be as comfortable with dealing with the suppliers as a professional coordinator would. I have truly learned that the best gift you can give to yourself on your wedding day is a coordinator. Like really! I heard of brides who had to deal with last-minute calls from caterers or other vendors while in the middle of being made up because some things did not go as planned. Now you wouldn’t want that, do you? No BS but I honestly did not feel any disarray on my wedding day because I had a coordinator who dealt with them. To save cost, hire an on-the-day coordinator to oversee the flow of the entire day instead of getting a full planner. Your on-the-day coordinator will most likely be hands-on even days before the actual day. You won’t really be needing any professional help with bookings or meetings months before the wedding. You only need one day to be a stress-free bride.  

DIY Whatever You Can
Do-it-yourself weddings have become a trend not only because it’s a great way to express your creativity but also because it’s an excellent means to save cash. I applied as much DIY as my prowess and time would allow me on my wedding and it remains to be one of the smartest things I’ve done in my life! There are lot of items that you can DIY. Buy some Continue reading

Loving Lately: Monty and Jimmy Jones’ Imaginative Adventures in Kazoops

He’s a boy with a big imagination. Meet the pig who’s truly a sensation!

This first line of the opening song always delights me! Ever since my LO has gone past the “baby stage,” I have been on the lookout for toddler-friendly shows. We’re trying to limit his time being exposed to any sort of gadget, so whenever we grant him his TV time, we wanted to make sure it’s something worthwhile for him. By worthwhile, I mean packed with values and ignites his interests.

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The Kazoops family just returned to Netflix for season 2 early this year!

And then we found Kazoops! This animated series from Netflix follows the adventures of Monty, a curious boy and his smart pig friend, Jimmy Jones. Our own inquisitive little boy instantly liked the show perhaps because of it’s vibrant colors. The artwork was simply unique, we noticed. When you look closely, the characters looked like they were shaped from clay and you could even see some fingerprints on them at times. Our attention was later caught by Continue reading

The Ultimate Bride Gift: The Day He Decided to Tell the World About Us

Something amazing happened today!

My husband surprised me this morning with a Facebook post on my wall, sharing a link to something I have not expected: a blog post of our wedding story in the Australian wedding blog, Modern Wedding.

I cannot say I did not have any idea about it at all. I like to claim that I kinda did. I knew he had something up his sleeve when he asked me or literally had me answer questions about our wedding randomly for 2 days. It felt like a joke but I honestly thought he was planning to make a scrap book or something, so as to impress me with his crafting.

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Instead, he got me this! The gesture was one thing, but reading his thoughts in print was another. It’s surreal, it’s sublime. It’s something only he can pull off!

So here it is, a glimpse at how my DIY preparation went and a look at the the day  I will forever treasure—the day I married the man who makes my dreams come true.

WEDDING YOUR WAY: QUEENIE AND MICHAEL’S CUTE DIY DAY
http://www.modernwedding.com.au/wedding-your-way-queenie-and-michaels-cute-diy-day/

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Also putting here our official SDE video by Glen Ducante!  ♥

 

Post Valentine’s Day Thoughts: The 3 Types of Girls On 214

I woke up this morning and did my usual routine of getting ready for work and taking care of our toddler on the side. It’s a normal day. For some girls, however, waking up this morning may have been all smiles and breaking into songs after reminiscing on the day that was.

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day and while I’m not wishing to be one of those girls singing happily today, because I did get my fair share of edible gifts yesterday, I have now finally come to terms with recognizing that there just are different ways a girl would treat this once-a-year non-public, but still, holiday.

Let’s put the spotlight first on the men who, between the pressure of social media and what’s now the norm, are urged to debate upon themselves on whether or not they should give something special to their woman on Valentine’s day. With all honesty,  I say, being a single guy on February 14th really is a lot easier.

Perhaps before deciding on how to approach the celebration that seem to put men in a trap, dissecting the kind of woman they are dating or pursuing is essential.

I have a lot  of girl friends and way enough female Facebook friends to help me narrow down what I think are the 3 types of girls on the big (or not) day of Cupid.

The Hopeless Romantic. We all know at least one girl who gets giddy on V-Day. This is the girl who may not only hope but would really expect something of a production number sort of gift on Valentine’s. Whether it’s the cliche combo of flowers, teddy, and chocolates, or a dinner at a fancy restaurant, this girl’s got her eyes on the prize. Not all romantics can admit to being one too. So if you’re  a guy who thinks your girl just couldn’t care less about Valentine’s, think again. Think incessantly and backtrack to your conversations. There must be a hint there somewhere about how much she appreciates a man, even a fictional character, to be all chivalrous and thoughtful. They believe in love and how it should be celebrated. And that’s nice because not a lot of people do that anymore.

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The Annoyed. Becoming the Valentine’s version of a Christmas Grinch can be a process, but for some, it simply is the way it is. These are the women who not only say but who truly believe that Valentine’s is nothing but a scam put up by capitalists and everything is just the result of commercialism. This, I can’t help but Continue reading