Category: Food

Loving Long Weekends

Since we had the new president, long weekends have become scarce. For working peeps, that’s disheartening. I have nothing for and against the previous and new presidents, but if there is one thing I loved about GMA’s administration, it must be her economic policy on long weekends. But for reasons only he knows, PNoy chose to deviate from that policy. Luckily, we had two consecutive long weekends which made me think that working four days a week isn’t so bad after all. Hubby said if he becomes president of the Philippines, that’s the first order he will draw up. I couldn’t stop laughing with that silly dream. Not a bad idea, huh?

Because this weekend is a long one, hubby and I met up with good friends Ino and Sheba. We had fun at dinner just talking about anything we missed about each other for the past couple of months. It always feels good to be in their company. We met up at Greenbelt and spent almost an hour just looking for a place to eat. Can you believe that? Restaurants and bars were packed because of this long weekend fever. Good thing we found good seats at Fish & Co. We ate to our hearts content, although missed out on desserts.

The waiter nicely offered hubby a privilege card which entitles us to 20% discounts in any of Bistro restaurants, including our favorite Friday’s. The card seemed pricey at first but getting it gave us a consumable coupon which we can use on our next visit. Hearing that, I chose not to oppose hubby’s decision to get the card. Its like we will just have no choice but to eat out again next week. 🙂

I suddenly remembered all the coupons that my boss gave me months back, giving discounts and freebies. I am such a rat pack that I tend to forget where I placed all these little papers. Some of them probably expired without having been used. What a waste, huh? If these Coupons she gave me can be found online, I would have found them easily. 😉 I would have bookmarked them right away.

So now, even if tomorrow feels like Sunday already, hubby and I will probably watch a movie, eat out and play around with Ira. And on the real Sunday, we will slack off the whole day and have DVD marathons. Oh I really wish we could have more of these long weekends more often. Less stress and less headaches for everyone. Philippines would probably be a better place. Hahaha. 🙂

In my previous post, I have mentioned about what keeps me (and my mind!) busy right now. Ira will be turning one year old in 4 months and we are thinking of the party we can possibly have for her.

So far, I already received around 12 proposals from different restaurants. I have underscored one or two that stands out but nothing final as of yet. I am looking for some more, I want something that offers more food, and which is more lenient with the decorations and doesn’t charge corkage for the extra food that we may bring in.

Today though, we are celebrating her 8th month birthday. As a monthly tradition, we have dinner at home every 15th of the month with family and a few friends (if some luckily passes by). Nothing fancy. Just pansit and a few viands and cake and/or ice cream. If it falls on a weekend, I make a dessert or a salad (which is often a try-out for me).

But since I have work today (whew!), I will just cook when I get home. But I already instructed Ate Kriselle to prepare everything so that I will just focus on the cooking part later. Tonight, we will be having the undying pansit bihon, stuffed bangus, bulalo, and lechon kawali. Mama Tess (MIL) will bring Ira’s cake and we will buy Ice Cream later. Oh, and I will be making cheese sticks too. We have to make use of all that cheese after Christmas. So pardon the menu, but they will be quite an unhealthy pack. I am still at the point of giving guilty food to the family.

Before I started with my post, I called up Ira and asked how she is doing. Ate said she was just munching on the phone’s cord. Haha. I talked to her and greeted her. Ate said she was just smiling. My baby is just completely adorable.

Yesterday, when her daddy was about to kiss her goodbye before we left for work, she held on to daddy’s clothes and stood up. She clung on to him that hubby was left with no choice but to carry her. We took her outside the gate until we left, and as we bade goodbye, she was just intently looking at us. Our hearts broke into tiny crumbs.

My dear Ira, continue to be the good girl that you are. Mommy and Daddy are doing everything for you. My heart is promising you that this will just be a temporary set-up. Someday, Mom and Dad can stay with you longer and we’ll have lots of time to giggle and roll on the floor. I miss you for every minute that I am not with you. I never knew happiness could be this real, until I had you. I always thought motherhood was overrated. But now I know that no words can express how special mothers and children are to each other. You made me realize that. You make me a better person everyday with my little blunders and with each lesson I learn from taking care of you. I know you will learn more, and I know you will be better than I ever was. And you will make Mommy proud, just by being who you are.

Thank you for making my each and everyday a lot happier, just by being my baby.

I love you so much Ira. Happy 8th months! Please don’t grow up so fast though, I am trying to savor each month. 🙂

my little one

7 months old ira with mommy, december 13, 2009

Party Planning

Ira will turn 8-months old on Friday, January 15. Few months away she will be one year old already. I feel like I was just in the delivery room last month, now she is pulling things her hands can get a grip on and just endlessly blabbering.

Since Monday, I have been trying to search party planners, magicians, venues and what have you. I only tried to call today and believe it or not, even though Ira’s birthday is still four months away, most venues are already booked. I have checked forums and blogs on ideas on the venue but I did not realize that I would already be having a hard time.

Hubby and I were thinking that since Ira’s birthday falls on summer, maybe it will be good to have a pool party or something in an open place like a clubhouse. To my surprise, not only are the prices quite steep (considering you’d have to pay for a caterer and party decorator separately), most of them are booked.

I called up first Palladium in Shaw Blvd., Mandaluyong. It is near our place and it would be very easy for guests to locate it since it lies along Shaw Blvd. But whad’ya know?! “Sorry Ma’am, we’re already booked on that date” was the answer of the woman on the other line. Pfft. Whatever. This made my venue-hunting frustrating. First option is already out.

And all other clubhouses I called are also booked on Ira’s day. Talk about dilemma, huh?

I am currently exchanging emails with Active Fun and with Kiko’s Balloons and Events Services (the latter claims to work under the budget you give them). I want to see their rates and I am hoping I can work out a deal with any of these suppliers soon.

I want to start with the planning while I still have more time. I don’t want to procrastinate (just like in my wedding and Ira’s baptism). I want to make Ira’s 1st birthday extra special. I don’t intend to be so ostentatious with the party. I just want to make it something people will remember Ira by and something that my baby will be proud of when she grows up.

I have to start working now. Gotta go. I will update you once I have concrete details already. 🙂

My family and I are frequenters of the Powerplant Mall in Rockwell, Makati, not because of any vain reason, but because it is the nearest mall to our place. It takes us less than 10 minutes to get there on a Sunday and probably 20 minutes on an ordinary traffic day. When the bridge from our street which connects Mandaluyong directly to Rockwell (yes, directly from the street where we live!) is completed, then it would probably take us just about 5 minutes to get there. Neat, huh?

We go to church there every Sunday, straight to the supermarket for our weekly supplies. Naturally, we try different restaurants whenever we could.

One restaurant that we really like(d) is C2 Classic Cuisine. I like its quaintness and the homey feeling that comes with it. I like the design and the utensils used, even the condiments holder. I like the fact that the kitchen is just separated by a glass whereby customers can see what the chefs are doing. For me, that promotes transparency. So whenever there is nowhere else to eat, we go for C2.

My co-lawyers and I usually choose this whenever we have lunch-outs (this is after we got tired of Via Mare in Landmark). One of the main reasons why we go there is the price. For some, it may be a bit pricey, but if you learn to order just the right dish for you, then the price will be alright. This I have learned after several times of eating there. We have especially liked Crispy Kare-kare, Dory Escabeche, Ginataang Puso ng Saging (which is extra spicy! yum!), Sisig Express and their oh-so-yummy Bibingka Souffle. During peak hours, you have to wait to be seated because the customers pile in like crazy, even on weekdays.

The creamy and yummy Bibingka Souffle. Ask the Waiter to serve "for later". Watch out though, because the inside is sometimes scorching hot. May burn your tongues!

So last December 26, 2009, after arriving from Pampanga (and opening Ira’s gifts), we went straight to Rockwell to meet BIL Patrick and some. Hubby and I decided to eat at C2 since for us, we have time tested it.

I was surprised to see that they had a new menu. The fonts were embossed (does that matter?) and some dishes have been scrapped away and there were new items too. But what struck me the most is the change in price. I instantly told hubby about it and our eyebrows raised involuntarily. We went ahead with the ordering, and after some discussions, we chose Ensaladang Mangga, Crispy Ribs Sinigang, Pork and Chicken Barbeque and Sisig Express. I wanted some veggie dish but reluctantly stopped with the ordering.

Crispy Ribs Sinigang. The soup is served separately. But not much different with the ordinary sinigang. I prefer the Crispy Kare-Kare.

When asked for the drinks, hubby suggested Calamansi juice coz I prefer this often and because my colds just started during that time. However, I saw that they have Moringa Tea. Being a breastfeeding mom, I knew that this had malunggay as its main ingredient. I was interested and I asked about how it tastes — the waiter offered to give me a free taste. After checking with the kitchen, he said they do not have moringa anymore. ^Sigh. Too bad for Ira.

So I was back to the calamansi again. The waiter asked if I want it hot or cold. I looked at the price and was surprised to see that hot calamansi was only Php45.00! Hubby asked how much the cold one is, and the waiter replied, “pareho lang po ng hot” .

All of us, except for one, ordered the said juice.

When our food arrived, we munched away. I liked the juice, and compared it to other restaurant’s. I found it okay and noticed that the food serving have been considerably reduced. Anyhoo, we tried to enjoy whatever food we had.

When hubby asked for the bill, he instantly gave me a nudge to show me how much the bill was. For three dishes and one appetizer, we had more than Php2000 for the bill! Goodness gracious! We did not even order anything beyond Php500, I whispered.  I then thoroughly inspected the bill. I saw that for the juice alone, the charge was almost Php600! I checked and saw that they charged Php135 for each friggin’ calamansi juice.

Of course I called the attention of the person who handed the bill to us. I told her that we were told that the juice was just 45 pesos. And that I will not pay for 135pesos for one calamansi juice. She said its for 135 because it falls under “fresh fruit juice”. Oh yeah? I asked. Why didn’t the waiter tell me then? Had we been told that the calamansi juice  was 135, we would not have ordered it. We would have ordered fruits which are more costly for that matter.

The lawyer in me insisted that I will not pay 135 for each juice. I will only pay 45 and that’s it. No further statements. The lady then called the manager (who was young to be one). He talked to me and I said my piece. My last statement was “I will not pay 135 for each juice, wherever this matter may bring us. Period” So the discreetly arrogant Manager went away. The revised bill was returned to us, showing that we ordered Hot Calamansi instead and we were charged Php45 for each juice. I think about 1/4 of our bill was slashed.

I was kinda bothered if I acted just right or if I went beyond the borders. But I knew that I was just acting within my rights’ limits as a mom, as a person and as a lawyer. I just asserted what was rightful. Maybe the waiter who took our orders was admonished, but I know that a calamansi juice, however pricey it may be in the market, will not cost Php135. The cold and hot one do not have much difference other than the temperature, so why will the price be so considerably different from one another? In some restaurants, the price of a cold calamansi ranges from Php60-80. It is usually the cheapest fruit juice.

Maybe C2 needs to rethink this area of their business. When I even told the Manager about the changes in the Menu, he snootily told me that the price of their supplies went up. Well Mr. Manager, you could have said it nicely since you caused us inconvenience and stress with that juice thingy! I did not even get an apology from you! Hmp! And the next time we get confused with where to eat, your restaurant is scrapped from my list. I have had enough of you and your discreet arrogance.

(Note: I even googled if calamansi was indeed a fruit. Turned out yes. Hehehe. ;))

hard at that :)

ira has recently started on solid foods…she has been eating mashed potato for more than a month now, albeit not everyday. but gladly, there seems to be no problem with her potato diet. i have been putting cookies and small amounts of bread into her mouth and there seems to be no problem too. until last saturday…

i cooked carrots and mashed it and gave her some. she actually liked it better than potato and has been munching on it easily. whenever she would poop, she would start howling like crazy and she would then cry incessantly. she will only stop after i pacify her with some dancing and some tummy massage.

yesterday, she had worst. she was really crying so hard whenever she tries to poop. and all this time, she would be perspiring so much even when its so cold. when i would check her poop, there’s almost just a smear in her nappy. i really felt sorry for her and blamed the darn carrots.

i talked to ate cathy, the family friend who happens to be a good pediatrician, and she said its not the carrots. it might be due to the change in the formula milk of ira. when i read the package of ira’s milk, apparently, we are giving her too much amount of milk vis-a-vis the water. so there, lesson learned. read the package first before giving her anything.

but she is better now. i gave her super mashed papaya yesterday and even while crying, she ate some and felt better already just by eating!

i instructed ate freli to give her more papaya today since its a laxative. so far, no news of the “hard time” for ira from the last time i called. i hope her bowel movement becomes normal again. its just too much pain to see her suffer although she is so cute when she is howling that i couldn’t help but laugh. bad mommy!