Auntie Cata's Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Monday, July 28, 2014

Auntie Cata is one of my mom's BFFs and she cooks very well.  I still super remember her Java rice and her salmon dish as if I just ate it yesterday,even if it was years ago that I had them! I confess that there were a few instances that I instigated an invitation to have lunch with them (at their home) because I really loved her cooking.  (I don't think she will remember this!  Hahaha!)

Through the years, she would send us food which we welcomed with open arms.  Who would say no to good food right?  Then last week, when I came back from my Hong Kong trip - a pack of frozen Vietnamese Spring Rolls welcomed me!

My mom volunteered to cook it for us one lunch.  I knew it was going to be good since it came from Auntie Cata!  Auntie Cata is one who wouldn't scrimp on ingredients.  That is her trademark actually - that she will use only the finest ingredients to everything that she will make.  That's what I like about her cooking to be honest, because I know that what I will eat is of good quality and not one that has a lot of substitute.

The first thing that I noticed was the wrapping.  I know, but I'm sorry - it's OC in me that noticed that it was wrapped so beautifully and tightly.  Every piece is consistently neatly wrapped.  Wrapping is important for spring rolls because if you wrap it too loosely, well - the filling would come out while cooking!

Now, do you agree with me that the rolls are so very neatly wrapped?

There was a firm bite to the spring rolls.  It tells you one thing - that the spring roll is packed!  Dip it into the homemade sauce and it will make the spring roll more flavorful!  Its good as it is but the super sauce makes it more yummy!  Trust me!!  I also like the size of the spring rolls, its bite size perfect!

One pack has 21 pieces of Vietnamese Spring Rolls and they cost P250.00 a pack.  Not bad right?

For orders you may text or call the following numbers:

Auntie Cata can deliver orders of 2 packs or more to some areas in QC and Greenhills.  You may text her to inquire if you live in other areas.

Try it!

Disney's Frozen Plush Elsa & Anna dolls!!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

We are definitely late bloomers.  I have to confess, when I saw that people were going gaga over Frozen.  I didn't want anything to do with it.  I thought that it was just another 'fairy tale' movie.  And I wanted my daughter not to have the damsel in distress attitude and so I skipped the whole Frozen craze.  But then one night (I think it was February), my Panget suddenly announced what we were to watch that night on TV.  He said we were going to watch 'Frozen'.  Darnit!  I told my Panget that I didn't want the 'princess' thing!  But we had no choice - the kids were glued on the TV.

After watching 'Frozen' I realized that I assumed wrong on the princess thing.  Disney was able to move past the damsel in 'distress I need a prince' thing and was able to make a wonderful story about sisters and their love for each other.  I now know why it was such a phenomenon!  

For the weeks and months that passed - it was a Frozen Fever for Kailee.  She wanted to watch the movie over and over again.  She wanted things that had Elsa & Anna on them.  One weekend, we went to a mall to buy Kailee a Frozen toy.  We went to all the toy stores and there was none!  There was no Frozen merchandise anywhere!  It was so weird!

While in Osaka we were also looking for Frozen stuff - and would you believe there was none?  Even in the Disney store in Shinsaibashi?  There was nothing with Frozen - as in nothing!  No Frozen merchandise.  So that trip, my Panget ended up in buying an Ariel doll for Kailee.

Last week, while in Hong Kong we were also looking for Frozen stuffs.  We saw a few but they were very expensive.  I saw this Elsa wig:

This Anna wig costs HKD199.00 !!  
Whoa?! Right?  But this was the last box on the shelf!  
As you can see the Dancing Olaf is priced at HKD279.90!  Expensive right?  

Starbucks Card Anniversary Treat on August 7

Friday, July 25, 2014

Happy Anniversary to the Starbucks Card Philippines!

Can you believe that its been almost a year already?

As a treat to all of us Starbucks fanatics:

Here's all of the Starbucks Cards that was launched in the country.  Do you have all of them???

Travel Diaries: Lost Hand Carry in Osaka & Lost Stroller in Hong Kong

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Japan is truly an amazing place.

I am constantly in awe of their country, the sights, the cleanliness, the helpfulness and everything Japanese.

A few months ago, we went to Osaka.  As with every trip, I bring a trolley type hand carry for Kailee's things.  In it were jackets (since it was still cool during April-May) water, milk bottle, snacks, books, medicines and extra clothes.

When we arrived in Osaka - we decided immediately to visit Rinku Premium Outlets.  We decided on this because the area was nearest to the airport.  We didn't want to go back and forth - we felt that it was a waste of time.  So to kill the curiosity of the outlet - we hit it right after we landed.  The Japanese made everything convenient.  They had a shuttle bus that travelled to and from the Airport to Rinku Outlets.  Since my Panget, Kailee and I had 2 bags between us - I was in charge of Kailee's stroller (which she uses) and the hand carry.  Within 15 minutes we were at the Rinku Outlets.  So we dropped our luggages off at the lockers area and walked around to see what was available.

There were a LOT of shops actually - there was a Gap, Coach, New Balance, Nike, Adidas, a Lego store and more.  Click here for the complete listing of the brands available.  After an hour or so, we decided to go back to the hotel since it was getting late.  We didn't want to wait for it to get dark before heading to the hotel.  Since it was a foreign land - sunlight is our friend.  And so we walked - about 10 minutes to reach the train station.

Their train station is very organized - there were timetables to somehow know how long it will take for you to reach your intended destination.  I was told by friends that there were 2 trains to take to Namba - one is the Rapi:t and the Rapi:t Limited Express.  So I parked the stroller and my hand carry infront of the counter, told my Panget and my friend Selene to just stay there while I talk and ask which train to take.  So I asked the attendant which was the fastest way - and he mentioned the Limited Express but,  we had to wait for another 20 minutes for that particular train to arrive.  He suggested that we take the next available train - I forgot what kind of train it was, but it had more stops.  It would reach the same destination at almost the same time.  I asked my Panget and he said that he wanted to leae NOW - so I bought tickets to the train that was leaving soon.  That soon was in less than 5 minutes.  The attendant called my attention and told me to hurry along as we might be left by the train.  You know if Japan, time is very important.  So I hurried along, got the stroller and pushed it towards the turn style.  WE had to ride the elevator up because we were with our luggages.  We were right in the nick of time.  We found seats and sat on them, waited and relaxed for a bit.  There were no luggage racks so we had to man our luggages.  It was not until the 3rd or 4th stop that I realized that my hand carry was missing!  Dammit!

I realized too late.  What ran through my head was the lost Avent Tempo bottle that Badet traded off with me.  It was so useful for traveling.  All the rest of the items in the bag were replaceable.  I was sad - but it was my fault.  I forgot it!  I guess, I was too excited.  So when we reached the Namba Station - I tried my luck - I knew that the Japanese had a hard time speaking in English, but still I tried.  I went to an attendant and he lead me to a counter.  There I was able to converse with an English speaking attendant, I told him my concern - that I left my luggage at the Rinku Station I gave the description and the contents.  He told me to wait as he called the Rinku Station office.  And I think after 5-10 minutes of waiting (that seemed like an hour!) they found my bag!!  I was told that they could pick it up, but then I pushed the envelope - I asked them if they could bring it to Namba Station - to where I was staying.  After a few minutes, I was given the thumbs up sign - it meant that they will bring the hand carry to Namba Station - I was told to go back at 8-9 in the evening.  I sighed with relief!!

So there - I got my hand carry back.  Thanks to the wonderful honest Japanese people and their hospitality.  I was so thankful and grateful!  I was in disbelief!  Imagine if that happened here in Manila - it would have been really lost or stolen.

This act of kindness - really made me love Japan even more!  This made me realize that there are still GOOD and HONEST people in the world.  Unfortunately, they don't live in the Philippines.  Sad.

So there - if you leave or lose something in Japan.  Know that you can still find it and you can still have it back!

Love love love Japan!!

This brings me to another thing that I almost lost.  I blame my brain - my early morning brain to be exact.  So last week, when we got to Hong Kong - we were waiting to board the Airport Express.  I was with Kailee - since I nearly lost our hand carry the previous trip, I made sure to remember to bring it along.  I was taking a mental note 'Do NOT forget the hand carry.  DO NOT lose it again!'  So I set it down near my feet with the stroller.  After settling down a bit - I was attending to Kailee's needs when I heard my Panget calling us - the train has arrived and we needed to board it.  So I was hurrying along and collected my things and Kailee - and headed on to board the train.  I put the hand carry by my side and waited till we reached Kowloon Station.  There, I led the way to the are where there was a FREE shuttle that would bring us to our hotel.  While waiting - I then remembered - THE STROLLER!  I looked for it and saw it nowhere.  Dammit!  I forgot something AGAIN!

To be honest - I knew that it was a long shot to find my stroller again.  I was in Hong KOng and not in Japan.  I knew that my chances were slim compared to my chances in Japan.  But still, I took a chance.  So I hurriedly went to the attendant's station to inform them that I left my stroller.  There was a language barrier of course, but I was expecting that in Hong Kong it would be easier - but it wasn't.  I had to use all the synonyms that I knew of a stroller!  I used the words 'pram' 'push chair' 'stroller' but they couldn't understand me.  I had to point to Kailee before they realized what I was talking about!  In Hong Kong the term was 'Child's Carriage' Haha!

But I was unsure if it was left on the train or on the platform!  So, I just asked them to look.  They called the airport station office and the train - to try and look for the stroller.  The attendant told me to sit and wait - and wait I did!  I think it was one of the longest 15minutes of my life.  Hahaha!!  I was then told that they found the stroller and that it was left on the platform of the airport express at the airport.  I asked them if they would be able to bring it to Kowloon Station - after a few minutes, they told me that it would take a longer time to bring it there - that I would need to pick it up myself. My first concern was that I needed to pay for the fare again - but they graciously told me 'No Pay!'  So I immediately took their offer to go back to the airport to retrieve the stroller.  I then instructed my Panget (who initially told me to leave the stroller behind- I refused because I'm sure we'd have a hard time when Kailee naps!) to go on ahead to the hotel and check in.  He was with two luggages and Kailee - I asked if he could manage and he gave me this sarcastic look.  Whatever!  So there, I was lead by the MTR personnel back to the platform going back to the airport.  It took 24 minutes to get back to the airport - and another 10minutes to retrieve my lost stroller.  So I again had to board the train to go back to Kowloon Station.  When I got there, I saw the people who helped me and I was so happy that I showed them the stroller!  I am in awe on their efficiency because again, if it happened here in the Philippines - it would have surely been lost, nor would anyone want to help me.  I was shocked to be honest - that in a place where rude people is a norm - I was able to find helpful people.  I was really lucky.

Yeah, I wasted an hour - but you see, my Panget was told to go back at 3PM to have our rooms.  So he just went around the mall with Kailee and Kailee dozed off in his arms.  At least he was smart enough to look for a place to sit!  When I got to them, Kailee was already asleep - we just had to transfer her onto the stroller - but within minutes, she was awake.

The stroller proved to be very helpful this trip and the last trip.  It was a life saver since all we needed to do was push it around while Kailee napped.

I need some work on my brain - to help me remember things.  Is this the effect of the anesthesia or is it part of the ageing process?  Hahahaha!!

I am so thankful to my guardian angels that the things I 'lost' during my travels - have come back to me.  Thank you Lord!

1st Edition PHILIPPINE Starbucks Card

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Our very OWN Philippine Starbucks card!  I was so excited when I learned that Starbucks Philippines would be launching the FIRST edition Philippine Starbucks card!  Yahooo!  Something that we can call our very own.  And here's a sneak peak on what it looks like:

Nice right?  I agree 100% with Starbucks that they chose this particular design.  The Philippine Eagle symbolizes so much of our culture and I am so proud to have been witness to this launching.

Starting July 29, 2014 - the First Edition Philippine Starbucks Card will be available in stores!  For the first three days of the launch (July 29 to July 31, 2014) for very P1,500.00 activation on the Philippine Starbucks Card - you will receive an additional P300.00 load to your card!  Sweet, right??

And as a tribute to the First Edition Philippine Starbucks Card - there is the Philippine Starbucks Card Tumbler that sports the same design.  From July 29 to August 31 - for every purchase of the Philippine Starbucks Card Tumbler using your Philippine Starbucks Card - you will be treated to ONE FREE Tall handcrafted beverage.  Remember - you need to use your new Philippine Starbucks card to purchase the Philippine Starbucks Card tumbler to enjoy this treat!!

There you have it!!

So head on to any Starbucks branch on July 29 - to get yourself the First Edition Philippine Starbucks Card and enjoy its treat!  Collectors, be sure to hurry because the tumblers are sold in limited numbers per store!!

Thank you Starbucks Philippines!!

Hong Kong Diaries: Tim Ho Wan in Central

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The first time I tried Tim Ho Wan was in North Point last year.  We were brought there by my Panget's cousin and I think I was the happiest chowing down so many barbecued pork buns!  Since his cousin was under the weather last week, we decided to have 'merienda' by ourselves.  And since we were in Central, I suggested that we walk to IFC.  Central has this massive covered walkways - so we walked on it towards IFC.  It was a relaxing walk - it wasn't crowded when we were there (it was about 2-3pm) when we reached IFC I asked the friendly attendant where Tim Ho Wan was - we were told to go down one level and then another level - and that it was on the MTR building.   So I followed his instructions.

Gosh, this was the tricky part because - well, there were so many escalators going on different directions that I didn't know which to take!  We were going around the IFC Mall and getting lost for about 15 minutes, when finally - we were led to the right path given the right directions.  We were honestly very reluctant as we were tired from all the non-sense 'lost' walking - but then, tada!  We found it!  It was just below the Check-In counters of the Central Station!  Argh....

When we got there, the place was already full.  I saw that people were falling in line and then I just followed.  But then I remembered, I knew that they had a queueing system.  So I asked the foreigners in front of me and they were just as confused as me and were lining up.  Good thing that the people around us knew how to speak in English and told us to wave to a waiter so that he can issue us a paper with a number on it!  And so we did.  Hahaha!!  In less than 5 minutes, we were seated in a common table. 

The food was as usual very good.  I mean for the price that you're paying - they're very much worth it.  I was disappointed though that I didn't get to order the lotus leaf glutinous rice.  It was crossed out in our menu, so I thought it wasn't available.  Turns out - it was available!  But we were too full already.

The price point is really good if you ask me (HKD28.00 up) because most of the dimsum places that I go to (in HK) costs about HKD40.00 and up for an order.  So in Tim Ho Wan, the value for money is really well spent!  Thing is, during peak hours - you'd really need to fall in line and wait for a long time.

Tim Ho Wan
IFC Central Station
MTR Buidling L1
(it's just below the City Check-In counters)

i-Shine Talent Camp 3 Mentor: Zsa Zsa Padilla

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Zsa Zsa Padilla shares her past experiences to talented kids of the present for an exceptional future

Zsa Zsa Padilla is a veteran actress, TV host, singer, and a true Philippine icon with more than 30 years of experience, but she has a new title to add under her belt –Singing mentor for Promil Pre-School i-Shine Talent Camp 3. The divine diva, who was recently unveiled as one of the top caliber mentors of the show, will be taking on the responsibility of mentoring this year’s batch of talented preschoolers. Together with a panel of esteemed mentors: choreographer and G-Force director, Georcelle Dapat-Sy, and world-class television and film actress, Angel Locsin, Zsa Zsa will be guiding chosen preschoolers through singing workshops.

For 25 years, Promil Pre-School has been well known for talent development, raising awareness for parental participation, proper guidance and good nutrition as factors that play major roles in bringing preschoolers to their full potential. The Promil Pre-School i-Shine Talent Camp is one of Promil Pre-school’s advocacies, in which the talents of Filipino children nationwide are engaged. “It’s exciting to be part of something that recognizes and appreciates talent at a young age.” Zsa Zsa shares that the show is something that brings back memories of how she started as an artist.

Nurturing talent in your formative years
The divine diva today can automatically command the attention of any room she enters, but the singer reveals that it wasn’t always like that. She started out as a shy child who only got to sing in front of her family. “I grew up in a compound where we all lived close to each other,” she recalls. “When my uncles would get together in the late afternoons, they’d get the guitar and they’d ask me to sing.”

Zsa Zsa, together with her cousin whom she grew up with, Gino Padilla, learned to harness their skills while doing duets to entertain their uncles. “I always knew that I love singing. Even as a child, when I’d hear a song on the radio, I would sing it immediately. I had fast recall and my family noticed that about me,” she says. “They would ask me to learn a piece, and then I’d perform it for them. I was the entertainment. Ganun ako nahasa (That’s how I was trained).”

While she knew she had the talent, it was her family that allowed her to gain her confidence in front of a crowd. “Singing for my uncles, that’s really my first memory of my musical background. Allowing me to sing for them was their way of nurturing my talent.”   

Through Promil Pre-School i-Shine Talent Camp, Zsa Zsa hopes to develop the raw talent of the chosen preschoolers. “These kids are curious and eager to learn, but you need to guide them while they’re still young and sensitive to change. You need to show them that they’re capable, because they’ll really take that with them as they grow up and develop their talents.”

It’s not always in the genes, but also in the environment
Though Zsa Zsa’s parents weren’t musical people, she was able to master her craft because of her exposure to music through her family. While both her daughters, Karylle and Zia, are musically inclined, she credits not just the genes, but also their environment growing up. “Karylle was exposed to the entertainment industry at a young age. During that time, she was much more interested in ballet, but she’d see me host for a popular show and she’d just take it all in. We knew she could sing, and eventually because of all the exposure to it, singing just became second nature for her.”

This is why Zsa Zsa believes that getting kids on shows like the Promil Pre-School i-Shine Camp will give them the right exposure so they can dream big early, and learn how to pursue these dreams early. “These kids are lucky because there’s a program available like the i-Shine Talent Camp. At a young age, they’ll already be exposed to the music industry, which will really help them develop to be artists,” she shares. “Promil Pre-School has provided a venue for kids that love singing, dancing, and acting to really work at their craft.”

Proper motivation to reach their full potential
Having Zsa Zsa on board is going to be a treat for the Promil Preschool i-Shine finalists, because this means they are going to be the first who will get valuable training and mentoring from a pillar in the country’s musical industry.

It will be a personal challenge for the Zsa Zsa to be firm and honest, but still encouraging with the way she guides the preschoolers. “They're very young and sensitive. They would take everything you say to heart,” she says. The first-time singing mentor plans to add a mother’s touch to her mentoring style. “It’s important to boost their confidence, but still making sure that they properly learn the craft,” she adds.

Despite the success she’s earned with the music world, Zsa Zsa also wants to share her hardships with her mentees. “These kids really come from all types of backgrounds. I also want them to learn that getting to your dreams entails battling the odds and persistence through hardship,” she says. “The kids are eager to learn about the industry, and it will be my responsibility to show them the ropes, to share with them as much as I know, including the challenges that come with it.” While the competition might be tough, Zsa Zsa is confident that with proper guidance and nutrition, the newest batch of i-Shiners will all prove to be stars.

Catch Zsa Zsa and the rest of the Promil Pre-School i-Shine Talent Camp 3 mentors, Georcelle Dapat-Sy and Angel Locsin, on ABS-CBN. Hosted by Dimples Romana, Matteo Guidicelli, and Xian Lim, the Promil Pre-School i-Shine Talent Camp 3 is giving away over Php 1 million worth of prizes and a contract form ABS-CBN and Promil Pre-School to the grand winner.

Hong Kong Diaries: Fu Sing Sharks Fin Restaurant

Monday, July 21, 2014

When I hear Hong Kong, the first thing that comes to mind is FOOD!  Yes, I think since I was little, I was led to believe that Chinese food in Hong Kong is the best - until now, I still believe this to be true.  So whenever I go to Hong Kong, I am sure to eat my fill of Chinese food.

For the past few years, I have staple restaurants that I go to.  This year, with Kailee and my Panget - we decided in places that we haven't eaten before.  On top of the list is Fu Sing Seafood Restaurant.  I read about it online and was so sure where it was located.  I was convinced that it was located at the back of Din Tai Fung in Causeway Bay but then was confused.  I then asked a friend and was told that it was on the same building as DTF.  Ohhhhkay!  So THIS was the restaurant on the second floor - where we go up when we need to go to the toilet!  Argh..  I didn't know!

So on our second day, after a tiring but fruitful trip to Ikea - I told my Panget that I wanted to try out this restaurant.  And we did, I was so happy and excited!  I was too excited actually, because I didn't get to take pictures!  I think we were very hungry and excited that we chowed them all down.

I ordered Dim Sum of course - the Baked Barbecued Pork Bun, the usual fare, Siu Mai, Hakaw, fried Turnip Cake, fried Tofu, Steamed Pork Dumpling with Chili Sauce, we ordered a noodle dish that was recommended by the waitress and my Panget ordered this Salted Egg Yolk Custard bun, he said that he wanted to order this because it looked and sounded odd.

Sorry, I just took a photo of the menu!  We were so hungry that I didn't get to take a picture of the actual food!  But mind you - their baked BBQ pork buns are really good too - but comparing it with the pricing of Tim Ho Wan, this is much more expensive.  If I am correct the price I think is around HKD40.00+ per order of 3 pieces.  BUt it was nevertheless, good!!  The steamed dumplings were good too!  The spicy sauce is one that you will call 'traydor' because when you first taste it, its harmless - but as you bite on and enjoy the flavors - it is then and only then that the spicy-ness will come out!

I really like tofu and when I saw a picture of this, I just had to point to it and order!
I remember that Boon Tong Kee has this same dish.  The simplicity of the dish is what draws me to order it EVERYTIME!  I like the softy silky-ness of the tofu inside the crispy outer layer!! 

My Panget really liked this noodle dish - mainly because it had wansoy in it.  Keyword is wansoy - thus, I didn't like it so much.  Hahaha!  My Panget said that it was the wansoy that made all the difference in the taste.  It was the kick that he had been looking for and the scent!
I totally don't understand it because the smell and taste of the wansoy - well, it repels me.  Hahaha!! 

This turnip cake was something different.  I initially thought that it was a radish cake, but I was wrong!  The texture of how they made it into a cake is entirely different from the one that I am used to in Manila.  This one was smoother but with a crispy bite to it.  It was really good too!

My Panget declared that this was the best dish in the restaurant.  He told me to try it immediately, and so I did!  I was honestly hesitant because I didn't know what to expect!  But when I bit into the soft yellow bun - the salty-ness of the the salted egg and the sweetness of something and the creaminess of the filling - wow, it was really really really good!  It was such a contrast of taste that was so very beautifully combined.  It was indeed love at first bite.

Look closely at that goo!!
It made all the difference, I swear!!!

 Make sure to order this when you visit Fu Sing Sharks Fin Restaurant!

I just had to take a picture of this because just a few minutes before, she was eating and eating.  Then suddenly she declares that she's sleepy.  I told her to sit in her stroller and that I would be reclining it so she can sleep, and within minutes, she fell asleep - leaving me and Panget to eat our fill.  Hahaha!!

I am so happy that I read about this restaurant.  For one - I have a new place to go to when we're in the area!  Plus - new dishes to try!  Especially the Salted Egg Yolk Custard Bun!  I can't for family and friends to try this place even if its not new anymore!!

Fu Sing Sharks Fin Restuarant
Yee Woo Street, Causeway Bay
(just look for Regal Hong Kong Hotel - it's on the the same building.  Fu Sing is just above Din Tai Fung in Causeway Bay)

QCSC: Pumpkin Seafood Surprise!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

QCSC aka Quezon City Sports Club is our go to place when we don't have a cook.  Here, we get to just order the food and either bring it home or eat it there.  Plus there's a playground (not the cleanest, but it'll do - just to keep the kids entertained)  If you ask me, the quality of the food is just alright.  It's not the best and its not very bad - I think it falls in the middle category of the 'pwede na' but it's convenient since its nearby and familiar.

One lazy Saturday afternoon, we decided to go to lunch at QCSC and it was suggested by our resident waiter to order the Pumpkin Seafood Pot.  Wow!  I thought it was new!  Cool, right?  I didn't know what to expect but, lo and behold - this was served to us:

Surprise!  Surprise!

It was good!  I think I will want to order this the next time we visit!  Hehehe.. New (late) discovery for me and my Panget!!

Gino's Brick Oven Pizza - Revisited

Monday, July 14, 2014

I know it's too early to make another post, but I can't help it.  I really love pizza and I think Gino's Brick Oven Pizza deserves another entry here!

So I have been craving for pizza and decided that I wanted to eat at Gino's.  I can't stop thinking about the burrata and the pizzas!

I ordered only one pizza because it was just 4 adults, plus we got 3 pastas!  My Panget said that he didn't like the feeling of a 'carbo' load.  I on the other hand, welcome it!  Hahaha..

These are what we got:

Summer Salad with Burrata

I'm sorry but this what was left.  I was too excited to eat it and when I remembered to take a picture, this was what was left.  I'm sorry.  But this was good!  Although, I still prefer just the burrata.  My Panget was the one who insisted the salad part.  But it's good rin naman

 Classic Carbonarra

Who doesn't love Carbonarra?  I personally love it!  It's a comfort food for me.  My kids loved it so much - especially the bacon!  They went crazy for it!  Hahaha..

Bacon Sausage Pasta

I was too excited to think straight, so I ordered all pastas with cream sauces.  Hahaha!!  
But we weren't disappointed, in fact we were all very happy with the pastas since we shared them all!
The yayas were all happy to taste each of the pasta that we ordered, they liked the carbonara the best though!  Hihi..

Panna Sausage Pizza

 I was in a parmessan and sausage kind of mood and so I order this pizza and it didn't disappoint!  My Connor loved the crust so much that he and Kailee were fighting for it!  I had to cut all the crust out so they can munch on it, and true enough - the finished it off!

Dinner here at Gino's is made more wonderful because the staff is very good.  They are fast and efficient, they smile a lot and know how to engage customers.  They are also very helpful in suggesting which food to order and they are accommodating to your every request.

Let's not forget about the Chili Honey - my, this concoction definitely made my eating experience more enjoyable!!  I think I was hoard the bottle because my Panget kept asking it from me.  Hahaha!!

Gino's Brick Oven Pizza
Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City
(on top of Mercury Drugstore)

Papa John's The Secret Behind Better Ingredients, Better Pizza!!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Secret Behind Better Ingredients, Better Pizza

Papa John’s offers sumptuous pizzas that will definitely score a high five. Do you ever wonder why  Papa John’s is one of the best Pizza Restaurants?

Here are at least five reasons why:

1) The Dough 
When was the last time you ordered pizza, which came  with real dough (and not biscuit)? Or when was the last time you  ordered pizza that wasn't oily? Minus good dough pizza isn't a pizza.
Papa John's dough is baked fresh. It's hot, it's soft, and it's chewy - nice!

2) Ingredients
Pizzas are topped with generous servings, while pastas and sides ooze with flavor - the merry mix of ingredients feel like they dance on your palate.

 They say they are "Better Pizza. Better Ingredients". Must be. It really does make a difference when ingredients are fresh. You'd see and taste it.

3) Pizza Variety 
"Super Papa" is Papa John's top of the line with the combination of pepperoni, Italian sausage, ham, sliced mushrooms, onions, green peppers, and black olives. This one's "all-in" so it's the first one you must try.
However, you wouldn’t afford to miss Papa John’s other pizza flavors since it’s different from what other brands offer. There's Spicy Italian Meatballs, Texas Heat, Chicken BBQ, and Chicken Bacon
Ranch. It would be wise to try each one of them and decide what your favorite is later.

4) Pastas & Sides 
No pizza is an island. It would be "corny" to just order pizza and not have pasta or sides with it.

Go for a little adventure and order the not-so-typical flavors like Shrimp Oriental Pasta and Mediterranean Seafood Linguine. If you want to stay safe though, there's Carbonara or Meatball Bolognese. (Tip:  Try the Carbonara, it's my favorite!)

Must try are Drummettes and Wingettes. The flavor isn't too tangy and it's not salty. It's okay to get all your fingers rolled and wrapped on its taste - just lick it after!
Go mix and match your choice with the various pizza flavors on the menu!

5) Promos! 
Visiting Papa John's on Tuesdays mean you can actually you order a 12" Family Classic Pizzas for Php199 only! The promo is good for dine-in, delivery and take out.

 On weekends they also have "Weekends One, Two, FREE" where you get 2 Sides Free (from Friday to Sunday) when you buy One Family Pizza.

Papa John's also gives discounts on their meal packages - choose from many of their offers and get huge savings.

Find more reasons to enjoy Papa John's. Visit them or call 887-7272 for delivery. Log on to

*Sponsored Press Release Post

Miracle Products: Grandma El's Diaper Rash Remedy & Vapor Soove

Friday, July 11, 2014

When I get sick.  I just let the virus take its course.  I usually am better within a few days.  But ever since I gave birth - well, the incubation time is longer than I what I was used to.  It takes a week or two for me to get better.

Case in point - my current cough and colds.

I had this really bad allergies ever since the start of the raining season.  I was able to contain it by taking allergy medicines - and also with the help of my newly discovered NetiPot.  But after a week - I realized that it wasn't allergies anymore.  It was a full blown colds.

Last week, my Panget said he has cough - and pointed to me as Patient Zero.  Hello?!  I wasn't coughing, kaya!  But then after a day or two - I had cough.  It was manageable - I wasn't coughing so bad.  But, I was blowing my nose left and right.  I think I spent so much on tissues already!  And since I was blowing my nose like crazy - it was drying up and was starting to get sore.  I usually put petroleum jelly on it - but this time, I wanted to experitment - I tried Grandma El's Diaper Rash Remedy + Prevention - and after a day of applying it - it was cured!  Miracle right?  Since I was convinced of its super powers, I kept it in my room!  Don't be shocked but I now use it as a lipbalm.  Its really a very good and versatile product!  I think it's an all around product - something like VMV's Booboo cream (or ointment)?  Promise, you can use this on scrapes and small scars!  Miracle talaga, promise!!

When Connor was a baby, he used to contract whatever virus that Kailee had - and whenever he had colds, he had a hard time sleeping.  Elders suggested that I use Vick Vapor Rub - but I read somewhere that it wasn't recommended.  I then searched online and found articles by the #SoMoms on Vapor Soove.  I headed out to Trinoma one day and bought myself a bottle to test.  And it worked miraculously on Connor.  Putting it on his chest and back helped him sleep better and help calm him down.  So ever since then, I would keep a bottle or two at home just in case.  Glad that #SoMom Tin - of MFO is distributing this product!!

This time, I was having a hard time sleeping and then a light bulb moment - I had this brilliant idea to put some on my chest, and throat!  It smelled wonderful - and I think I slept so comfortably that night because of the soothing scent.

So there - I am an adult, using kids stuff to get better.  Funny right?  But you see, I personally use these items too on myself.  Just to prove to you that they really work!  One may say that it's all just an observation and all - so here I am writing about my own experiences on these baby products.

Bottomline is - they're gentle and that really work!

Information on where to buy:
Vapor Soove
Grandma El's Products - Rustan's & Babyland Stores

Globe Telecom's SPAM & SCAM texters

Thursday, July 10, 2014

I'm sure everyone has been a victim of a spam text or a scammer.  This is not just experienced by a single telecoms company - this happens in ALL of the telecoms company in the country.  There is no one telecom that is spared.  It has become a nuisance for the past few years, and no one is doing anything about it.  I'm sure there are a lot of complaints but they fell on deaf ears.  Finally, this year - Globe Telecom has stepped up and banned two companies who use their prepaid numbers in sending spam text messages.  I applaud that move but why just now, when it has been happening for more than a decade already?  I have continuously received a scam text message about a change in the roaming number - I have reported this for years, but have been ignored.  Why?

This morning, I reported a prepaid number that I received a scam text from.  I took a screen capture and tweeted it to @talk2globe and then @MariaofGlobe tweeted back and this was our conversation:

The question is - Does Globe really send a text message warning to all the spammers/scammers?  They can claim they do, but in all honesty - they can just ignore and tell us otherwise.  What I cannot fathom is why wait for three (3) complaints to disable the number?  It's obviously a scam/spam message right?  Why is there a need to wait for the complaints to surface?  Isn't it very obvious?  You already have a picture as proof that, that particular number is scamming/spamming?!  What other proof do you need?

I have time and again said that the Customer Service in this country suck big time and Globe Telecom is high in the ranks!  I have had this love-hate relationship with that telecoms company.  I have been a loyal subscriber since 1996!  And what I get is crappy service and a slim to none & insulting Loyalty Program - YET, they have the gall to receive awards in the Best In Customer Service award.  Who is this award giving body anyway?  Tell me - give me just one (1) subscriber who is all praise for Globe Telecom - just one subscriber that will tell me with a conviction that Globe is the BEST telecom provider that we have in the country.  There and only then will I believe that Globe is really the BEST in customer service.  So until then - Globe Telecom, shape up!!

I really hate you Globe Telecom!

I'm sure you'd say why don't I switch?  One simple reason - all of my contact are from the same telecom company.  Switching means that I will need to pay for every call that I make to the rival company.  It doesn't make sense at all.  So I AM STUCK.

Here's an update, I think they want me to 'feel' better but sorry - I will not.  This tweet came in this morning:

We are the customers YET, she should do the monitoring and reporting.