Jul 24, 2020

I Have a Vlogger Daughter! =)

Yes, you've read that right! My 6-year old daughter is a vlogger! Haha. Kabog ang Mommy!

Well actually, she asked me to create a Youtube channel for her last year however, after her intro clip, we never got the chance to create more videos because J and I both work full-time and we have never gotten around exploring video editing. But since Maddie's been stuck with my sisters in the Philippines and they are running out of things to do at home, they thought of creating a new vlog!

So, here it is, friends! Self-confessed stage Mommy here so please watch, like and subscribe!


Amazing because she used to be very shy in her first video but looking at this one, she's now more comfortable to talk to the camera! What's even more making me happy is that she's very much into it that she has come up with a list of ideas on future content. These things make me forget she's 6! Slow down, darling! We are missing too much already! =(

Anyway, I am getting sleepy and gotta work-in-office pa tomorrow so good night, guys!

Don't forget to watch my little girl's vlog ha?
Seeing her views and subscribers going up really makes her smile 😊

Thanks in advance and have an awesome weekend ahead!


Jul 5, 2020

What's in my Bag - COVID19 Edition ;)

After three months of working from home, I am going back to office tomorrow. Of course I'm not too excited about it. Aside from the fact that I have already gotten used to staying in and being in my glorious pambahay all day, I still doubt the safety of being out there 9-5 (uh, maybe 7?) Then again, it's company policy so we don't have much choice. So to fight the Monday blues, I thought I could use the new wallet J bought me last weekend along with a color-coordinated bag. Y'know, we girls just need a little push sometimes! :)

As I fixed my stuff this afternoon, I figured I can do a quick What's In my Bag post, this time it's COVID-19 edition! Hahaha!

Burgundy is ❤️❤️❤️

Why COVID edition, you say? Well, I'm sure that big bottle of alcohol and the pack of spare masks are hard to miss! :D Normally I just bring a small sanitizer but I am scared that I'd be exposed for a longer period of time and my handy-dandy one won't be enough!

Looking at the photo now, I realized I am too basic for a working woman. I don't even bring cosmetics because I don't wear make-up to work. In fact, I remember doing a post like this some 9 years ago and I have more things back then! Haha. I tried to compare and really, haven't changed a lot in terms of everyday essentials. I still have a pink notebook (a planner, this time), some pens and the ever trusty Giggles wipes. The rest -- wallet, keys, tissue, my corporate badge -- they're all the same! The only things I've added are (1) my EZ-Link card which is an SG must-have if you commute (2) a hand cream and (3) my face moisturizer coz you know, we're not getting any younger! 😅

Oh well, it's getting late and I need to doze off because tomorrow I will no longer have the luxury of waking up at 9 and starting work at 9:10. LOL. Wish me luck!

And as always, take care especially if you're going back to office like moi!

Laters,

[Maude's Quarantine Kitchen] Baking Bread

So it's July! Just like that, half of the year's gone and our lives are still pretty much at a standstill. My mood swings are bad these days, especially now being away from Maddie. But wait, don't worry, this is not another emotional post. I just wanted to say that what instantly turns my mood around is baking! I did a baking marathon yesterday and I'm feeling so tired yet so accomplished so I'm gonna write it down just to record my mini achievement.

I have always wanted to bake bread. I started with Cinnamon Rolls last month. The first time wasn't so good. I burnt the top and the bread was overall tough. Good thing hubby eats everything I make, so it's okay. We live, we learn. I learnt that the yeast that I used was supposed to be for crusty breads. Eureka moment. LOL! So the next try was a big hit. Okay, I used a different recipe, too. But I really feel it's the yeast that made the difference.

Here is my 2nd attempt at Cinnamon Rolls.

Does it look enticing? :)

And then yesterday, I thought that if I'm gonna bring out my huge kneading board again, I better make the most of it. Hence, I made Pan de Sal, Cheese Rolls a la Mary Grace and Ensaymada all at once! Nakakapagod, mga teh! But when I took that first bite of the cheese roll, gosh, the effort was all worth it!

Here, let me show you.

Perfect with butter, coco jam or dipped in condensed milk!
How do you like yours? :)

The pandesal was so-so. It's okay to satisfy the Sunday morning Pinas breakfast feel that we always miss here, but honestly, the texture was more dinner rolls than pandesal. I will try Erwan Heusaff's recipe next time so I can compare.

But this. This is the star of the night! 😍

Tastes as good as it looks 💖

To be honest, I didn't expect much while baking the cheese rolls. First and foremost, I knead manually. I have always lusted over a pink Kitchenaid but last February I passed on a $488 Raspberry Ice Kitchenaid on sale and it haunts me to this day. I don't wanna buy a regular-priced one so I have to wait for now. I have to work these flabby arms out anyway, so manual kneading it is :)

Secondly, my first-time baked goodies usually fail so I said if this one fails too, I'm very much okay and I will try better next time. But lo and behold, na-achieve ang Mary Grace peg! It was so soft and had just the right sweetness! It looks perfect too! Sometimes I bake and even if it tastes good, I fail on the aesthetics. But this one is a real feat. Please indulge me for a bit here because I was so happy with it ;)

But like any other kitchen adventure, there's an improvement point too. I used Eden cheese because natural cheeses daw melts into the bread but half of what I put still melted. 

I need to put bigger cheese slices next time.

Oh by the way, all the credit goes to Chef Jackie Ang Po's recipe. She posted it in her Facebook page. You might wanna check it out and give it a try too.

And then lastly, I also made Ensaymada, because it's just made of the same sweet dough as the rolls. The only difference is that it has no filling, you need to roll it longer and twirl it into the mold, and then top with cheese. This time I used Gouda and it just worked. This, friends, is obviously beginner's luck :D

The saltiness of Gouda balanced the sweetness so it's 👌

Now excuse me while I reheat my breads and make a cup of my favorite Old Town Hazelnut coffee (that alone is 26g of carbs but what the heck, haha!)

Happy Sunday, dears!
Hope you are having a lovely weekend too :)


Jun 20, 2020

Turning 32!

I celebrated my birthday last Sunday. Just like that, my age is off the calendar! In the midst of a global pandemic, we all still try to live normal lives so I got a Zoom session planned on the eve of my birthday with my bestest friends in the world. We had our charcuterie board ready and we ate and drank the night away. At the stroke of midnight, there were non-stop laughters, endless clinking of wine glasses and random stories and side comments about our lives. Heck, there was even someone falling off a chair which was easily one of the highlights of birthday this year. Our call lasted close to 5 hours and when it was time to hang up, I just told myself that my 32nd year on earth was off to a good start.



Thank you, loves, for your time last week! :)


We slept a few hours and I woke up at noon to a pretty bunch of flowers and a special brunch courtesy of my husband. We spent the entire day at home (as expected, thanks to COVID19) but at the same time enjoyed my immunity — a license to be lazy just twice a year: (1) on our birthdays (2) on Mother’s/Father’s Day. On these two days, we give each other a break from doing house chores, get served breakfast in bed, eat all day and not have to wash dishes, you know the drill.


I'm not very hard to please. Longsilog does the trick everytime!


Just 3 hours after brunch, we were off to early dinner. And because I am also excused from my kitchen duties, J cooked his special roast pork belly (recipe courtesy of Marion's Kitchen, google it, it's legit crispy!) then we ordered Filipino comfort food from Max’s. He got me my favorite red velvet cake, too. My workmates sent 2 more cakes that were both too pretty to eat and another friend sent us 2 grande cups of Java Chip and honestly, to say that our bellies are exploding by day-end is still an understatement.



Since there were also too much food and too small a fridge to keep them all, I decided to send a few friends some Baked Pasta and Pastries via Grab. Sharing is caring, right? And as they received the food at their doorstep, I also received many happy emojis and quite effortlessly, I was able to spread joy with such a small gesture. It was heartwarming that I thought maybe I’d do it again next year :)




I got a few presents as well. Our 2 housemates gifted me with a Coach wristlet and J gifted me with an Ikea shopping spree 2 weeks ahead. My sisters got me a pink travel case for my Mac, too (which in fact made me tear up a bit coz dang, they can already afford to buy me a present! LOL.) Needless to say, I felt really special and I wanna thank my family and friends for all the love sent my way despite the corona virus hullaballoo.


Merci beaucoup!

But then again, there have been moments (yep, with an s) when I silently cried because even though we had scrumptious food at the table, surprise deliveries and unexpected presents, we were missing someone on my birthday: Maddie. We were on Facetime, singing an almost-synchronised Happy Birthday and blowing candles atop the cake but it was nothing compared to real the real thing. Nothing compared to warm hugs, kisses and live birthday song on repeat had our unica hija been here. It was so difficult to fill the void, the silence, brought about by a loved one’s absence, especially on days when you want them most to be around. I had to make-do with screenshots as she whispered her greetings and then went off swiftly to eat the Roasted Chicken and Spaghetti she requested a day before.


Maddie's growing up so fast and it kills me that she's away :(


Came evening, while hearing mass on the Feast of Corpus Christi and the Blessed Sacrament was being exposed, I wasn’t able to control my sobs again as I prayed to Jesus for healing so that we can all reunite with our nearest and dearest and move on with our lives. 



Quickly, it was time for bed. I scrolled through all the greetings in Facebook and Instagram and liked/loved each one of them. J gave me a tight hug, kissed me goodnight and even told me again how beautiful I was that day. I don’t know if it’s true, maybe it was just his way of helping me end the day on a good note. Despite the missing piece, I still thank the Lord for the gift of life. As cliché as it may sound, I am still lucky to be able to celebrate my birthday in good health and surrounded by loved ones, albeit mostly virtually.


So as I closed my eyes, I quietly talked to a photo of my Dad to visit me in my dreams and finally, I prayed again to God to bless me with many more years not just for myself but for J, my family, and most importantly, for Maddie who I want to embrace again when this is all over.


Last year, we blew the candles together.
Oh how I love that look on her face!


Emo Mommy forevs,

Jun 13, 2020

Fine Dining in the Time of COVID-19

It’s been a week since our Anniversary and I thought I wanna share with you how our lunch date at home went. First, my Ikea online haul — which contained most of my table setting stuff — didn’t arrive on time. In fact, it hasn’t arrived till now, and I’ve no idea where it is already. Boo Ikea! So, the eve of our Anniversary, I rummaged through all my cupboards to see if I have decent dinnerware, then whatever we lacked, we shopped for at our local hypermarket. Luckily, we still managed to complete our to-buy list and quite frankly, it made me realize that I don’t really need more than half of the things I bought at Ikea that night! Talk about impulse-shopping! LOL.

In the morning, I requested hubby to set up a table in the middle of our living area but because he’s the best, he voluntarily googled “proper table setting” and worked his way to this:

The only items we had to buy are the cutleries (just because I want them new and shiny),
soup bowl, placemats and table cloth. The rest are already "on hand" ;P

Come lunch time, I ordered our ribeye steak via GrabFood (thank God for technology!), added pasta, some sides and of course, soup. I brought out the traditional Tiramisu that I prepared the night before, popped a bottle of our favorite Moscato Rosé and we’re ready to dig in!

Doesn't it look so well put-together?
And oh, I made an effort to stencil our initials into the Tiramisu! 

'Corz there has to be some solo shots!

J even played some romantic instrumentals to complete the feel. It was perfect!


You see, COVID-19 may have ruined our plans for an out-of-the-country getaway, closed all our favorite restos for dining in, and limited our movements to only the essentials but it can’t stop us from celebrating a decade and a half of love in our own special way!

Cheers!


Jun 7, 2020

Day 91 to 100 - I Made It!

Congratulations are in order! After 8 years, 9 months and 27 days, I am completing the 100-day photo challenge with these last 10 photos!

Day 91 - A picture of you and your friends playing a game

August 2019 | Playing Toy Story Monopoly with Maddie, J, Mom
and our housemates while on staycation in Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Day 92 - A picture of your school

Photo Credit | PLM Graduate here, batch 2009! :)

Day 93 - A picture of your favorite board game

We used to play this in college! I wanna be able to play it again
but nobody wants to play it with me here! :(
Isda girlfriends, let's play on our next getaway, please?
*whenever that may be*

Day 94 - A picture of you and your friends eating

December 2019 | Get-together with my first set of friends in Singapore at Yabu, Ayala Malls Feliz

Day 95 - A picture of you on a plane

April 2018 | It was my first time to fly Business Class going to India for work! Oh gosh, Singapore Airlines' Business Class cabin is sooooo good! I hope to do this again, but it's crazy expensive if it's gonna be personal expense!

Day 96 - A picture of your favorite movie

Photo credit | I'm not very much into movies so I'm just
gonna put here the last one I saw in the cinema! Haha!
When you're a mom, you cannot not watch this 10 times! ;-P
The storyline and the songs are good though, so maybe it can really
among my top 10 :)

Day 97 - A picture of somethingone you no longer have

March 2012 | I lost my Dad 8 years ago (I wrote about it here).
This photo was taken a day before he fell into coma.
I still miss him till now, still wishing he didn't have to go too soon :(

Day 98 - A picture of you and your friends out somewhere

November 2019 | So ecstatic that my besties visited us here in SG!
Of course, there has to be a shot with Merlion :D 

Day 99 - A picture that was first on your Facebook

November 2007 | Yep, I've been in Facebook since then!
Look at that! Ampayat ko paaaaa T_T

Day 100 - A picture of you smiling

February 2020 | Bridesmaid duties for one of my girlfiends.
Alam nyo na, pag may brick wall, kailangan may picture! :D


And that's a wrap! Good job, self. Good job.

Now on to a different challenge. Any suggestions? :)

Jun 6, 2020

A Letter to my J on our Anniversary

My Love,

The midnight of our anniversary, I planned on making a photo montage of the last 15 years but at 3am I decided to scrap the idea because I’m a noob at Mac and iMovie isn’t very kind to a first-timer like me. So now, just like the Ikea delivery that didn’t arrive, I am switching to plan B :) I will have to do with what I think I’m best at… WORDS :)



I will always start our story with that fateful SMS I still so clearly remember. Who would have thought that a simple “H0n?” will lead to my happily ever after? Thanks, babe, for taking a chance to send that message. I knew at the time that it wasn’t only meant for me, but who cares, really? What matters now is that you and I were meant to be and we’ve had the past 15 years of our lives to prove that.



They say falling in love is easy, staying in love is the hard part. But they’re wrong, even staying in love with you is a walk in the park. It's almost effortless because every day you give me reasons to love you more and more. In fact, I could think of a hundred of them, but to celebrate our 15th year, here’s the top 15 :)
  1. You always smell good. I thought, maybe I’ll start with the little things. Do you know that my first impression of you was “Oooohhh, ambango nya!” and that first impression indeed lasted! Until now, whenever you hold me close to you, I feel like the 17-year old Em all over again. I mean, who doesn’t want a great smelling hubby to hug them every night? You always make me want to sniff you all over! ;P
  1. You have an awesome taste in music. We had a videoke sesh with my friends one night in 2012 and that was the first time you sang “Wherever You Will Go” for me. It was only then that I realized how perfect it was for you, for us. Indeed, you dropped everything you had in the Philippines to start a life with me here. I still get kilig whenever you sing that! You are also my source for the best Spotify playlists! The songs you play either make me dance, keep me awake or make me think about us and fall for you even more.



  1. You are my Mr. Fix-It. Be it broken gadgets, kitchen tools, Maddie’s toys, DIY furniture — you always have a way to fix things. You even fixed my broken heart, Charrrr!!! But kidding aside, thank you for always making things alright. 



  1. You are my very own Uber driver. Whenever we are in PH, you always drive me around. Well, you don’t have much choice, really :D Do you remember last Feb when we had to drive some 11kms in the wee hours of the night just so I can buy flour for Maddie’s birthday cupcakes the next day? You were sleepy and tired, but you drove me anyway. Traffic in Manila is hell but you don’t mind as long as you are sure that we get to our destination safe and in one piece. 



  1. You are full of surprises. They say that when you’ve been together too long, you become too comfortable in each other and you stop putting in extra effort. This isn’t true for you. Even after 15 years, you still surprise me a lot! Last week, you let me “Add to Cart” away at the Ikea site, all on you! For our Anniversary, I thought you’ll pass on the bouquet but alas, you came out of the room holding a pretty bunch of 15 tulips (my favorite), one for each year together. Just yesterday, you came home with French Fries and Mocha Frappe from McDonalds which were perfect right after a nerve wracking meeting at work. It’s these things, babe, that make me realize true love doesn’t grow old. It only gets better :)



  1. You share the load. Let’s face it, I’m not the most domesticated wife there is and maybe God knows that so he gave me you! Haha! You are one in a million, hon, because you don’t mind helping out with chores. In fact you mostly do all of them! Thank you for cooking my favorite Sinigang and Daing na Bangus even though you’re tired from work, for washing a mountain of dishes right after I bake, for making sure the house is spic and span for me and Maddie, for emptying the laundry hamper week after week, for ironing your clothes because it’s my least favorite thing to do. I could go on and on babe, but the bottom line is I am blessed to be sharing this life with you because you happily do your part around the house.



  1. You work hard. I will always remember the day your very first SPass got approved. It was in 2014. I lost my job and effectively you also lost your Dependant Pass. So your company got you your own work pass. That Saturday, we were both lying in bed waiting for the result, praying for the best while also expecting the worst. You quietly checked the MOM site and much to our surprise, they granted you the pass. I cried tears of joy and then we hugged so tight and thanked God for the opportunity to stay here and work for our dreams. You’ve come a long way from the humble logistics officer that you were, to the purchasing manager that you are now. Everybody trusts your work and know that even if I always raise my brows whenever you check mails after office hours, I am so proud of you love and everything that you do.



  1. You support me in my passions. You always tag along when I go to the baking store and you eat everything that comes out of my oven (even though they’re burnt sometimes!) You have been and will always be the number one fan of my blog. Even though I only have like 10 readers, you still push me to write because you know that it makes me happy and I so genuinely love you for that.



  1. You are generous to the core. You always try to give me everything to the point that sometimes you don’t leave some for yourself. Just recently, you received an (unexpected) incentive at work but the first thing you did was to ask me what I want even though you just got me an expensive anniversary gift. You know babe, I appreciate the gesture, I really do. But the truth is, I don’t need a lot of gifts. Having you and Maddie in my life is more than enough.



  1. Your love for me is bigger than your ego. You always say sorry after a fight, even though it’s my fault sometimes. For you, it doesn’t matter who’s wrong or right, you just know that what we have is more important than that.



  1. You are faithful. To me and to The One who gave you to me. Nuff said.



  1. You love my family. I will always consider myself lucky because I found a man who loves and cares for my family as much as I do. Thank you babe, my family isn’t perfect but you have embraced them and treated them as your own. I know Dad is happy in heaven because her ladies got you. 



  1. You know me so well. I will never forget the day we were contemplating on buying my Mac and I kept saying no even though deep down, I want it so badly (dang, I’ve been eyeing it for 8 years!) You looked me in the eye and told me “Babe, 15 years. Kilala kita. Mas kilala pa nga kita kesa sa sarili mo eh” and that brought me to tears. It’s an overwhelming feeling to have someone who sees right through you. Someone who knows what you think and how you feel without you having to say a word.



  1. You are the perfect Daddy to our Maddie. Everytime I see you and Maddie together, my heart just melts. When I met you 15 years back I never have imagined you will make a good father but the very first day we had her, you’ve already proven me wrong. You are a natural. Maddie is at her happiest with you and even if I get jealous sometimes, I will always be grateful that you are the man I chose to be the father of my child.  



  1. You love me for me. You love the stubborn, lazy, hard-headed me. You have seen the bossy, impatient, fault-finding me. You love the 200-pound me and still calls me sexy. You have seen me bite my nails when I’m stressed, drool in my sleep, sweat like crazy, fart like I haven’t pooped in days. You have seen the worst of me and you love me anyway. With you I don’t have to hide or pretend to be someone else because you embrace me and all my imperfections. You loved me unconditionally, every day of the last 15 years and I know that no one else will love me more than you do. So, thank you, honey. I may not be able to top that, but I will spend every waking moment trying to come close.



I love you and Maddie with all that I am.

Happy 7th and 15th Anniversary, my love. Praying for many, many years more.

Always,
M


May 31, 2020

My Birthday Came Two Weeks Early

Happy Sunday, my few dear readers! :D

It's gonna be June tomorrow and just like that we are already halfway through 2020. June is my birthday month and also our anniversary month so it's easily my favorite time of the year. In 2 weeks I am turning 32 and dang, my age is gonna be off the calendar! >_< More on birthday musings in the next few days but for now, I'm gonna share my happiness because I got an early birthday present from my husband!

You see, since we still cannot dine out due to COVID19, I've been planning a DIY romantic lunch for our anniversary (which is 4 days from now *panic mode*). Why not dinner, you say? Well, we will celebrate with our housemates over kBBQ for dinner so we thought we'll do a more intimate one mid-day. We're just thinking of ordering steak via GrabFood but to make it a little more special, I need a pretty table setting. And where to get all the paraphernalia but my [pre-circuit breaker] favorite place to be, Ikea! I also learned from one of my former colleagues that Ikea delivers small parcels in 2 days so I immediately went to their website to do dinnerware-shopping!

I was vigorously scrolling up and down my phone when hubby saw me and asked what's keeping me busy. Nonchalantly, I told him "Online shopping" and without expecting much, I followed it up with a "Will you pay for it, please?" I almost jumped out of bed when he said he's gonna pay whatever I will add to my shopping cart! Like, seriously? I kept asking him if it's for real and he gave me that straight look and I knew right there that he's not kidding! Who am I to say no, right??? :D

photo credit

Sooooo, like a kid wandering in a candy store, I happily navigated the Ikea site while mentally crossing out all the items in my table setting list. I was palpitating, I tell you! I think it's the first time I'm shopping without worrying about the total bill, LOL! Now enough blabber and on to my loot! Do you wanna see it? Here you go!

I got carried away so the damage was a little bit over $200 >_<
Thanks, babe! Love you forevs! :-*
Note: Click the image for high-res version

I told you, most of the stuff that I bought is for table setting except for our candles, my chopping board and our wooden tray for breakfasts in bed. But, my favorite's got to be this 18-pc service because it's so simple yet so classy! I've always had a thing for square plates! :)


Now I just need to pray that the delivery is indeed 2 days to make it to our Anniv celeb. Otherwise, boo!

I'm excited! If my plan works out well, I'm gonna show you how the lunch date went.

Till then!

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