Sugar, spice, and a pinch of GLAM

Hello, Alexander

‘06.27.16: The New Meaning of Life.

Hello, dolls! Hello, Mommas!! HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!! ❤ It’s my first Mother’s Day and aaaah I have so much love in my heart right now! I am so excited to share my birthing story with you guys again. I know I posted a brief story about it on Facebook almost a year ago, but writing about it on my blog feels more special because I know I could really pour my heart out.

If you were to ask me last year if I am ready to be a Mom, I would probably give you a hard no. I am a very career driven person, and I have a long list of goals that I am still trying to achieve. There are a few things that would always cross my mind whenever I get asked when A and I are having a baby — traveling, family, and work. I am the kind of person who likes to plan everything. I live by my lists/notes. By now, A is already used to seeing a million post its in our bedroom and a gazillion notebooks in my drawer.

“Baby?Being a Mom?NOT YET!”I can’t not travel for more than a year, I have to be somewhere — always! I still have things that I want to do for and with my family, I love giving back to Daddy and Mama! And how about work? I love working, I love the adrenaline, I love being in the kitchen. These are the things that I always think of whenever the baby topic comes up. Mentally, I wasn’t ready to be a Mom.

As I mentioned before, I am a planner. I like to plan things. So was baby A planned? Did A and I talk about it? It’s 50-50 I would say. I always tease A about his age. He is not that old but I just like to tease him about how he is “almost 30”.  In 2015 he turned 28, the conversation about him not wanting to have his first child at or after 30. So yeah, that’s how it started.We were not actively trying for a baby, and it’s not like we planned when to get pregnant. We talked about it and we were okay with me getting pregnant if ever. So yeah, it was 50-50.

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Hello, Alexander Constantine Stavrides.

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My due date was June 27,2016. 2 weeks before that everyone was already telling me that I could give birth any minute. Every time someone would tell me that I get a little nervous. Am I really ready to be a Mom? Will my body handle it?

I stopped working 5 days before I gave birth (told you! I am that committed to working lol). I remember feeling exhausted all day when I finally told myself “okay, it’s time to focus on the baby”. Everyone was telling me to stop working and relax, but my body was justI was kind of rushing to get his nursery organized. I only had 1 week to get it together!

It was around at 7:15 AM on June 27,2016 when my water broke — a Monday. We always go on adventures every Monday but I did not know that it would be that kind of adventure.  My initial reaction was — “wow this baby is on point, he wants to come out on his due date!” — NOT! ha read below to know how long we had to wait to finally meet him! lol

Anyway, I was able to take a bath, do my make up (like kilay is life guys!), and check our hospital bag again to see if we missed anything. A, however, was in shock — composed but I’ve never seen him run around the house like that.

Read the rest of this entry »

Almost 5

OF “DATES”

Hello, dolls! Hello, April! Hello, anniversary month!! It has been 6 weeks since I started my new job. I consider it the “best change” in my life, so far, this year. My new schedule allows me to spend more time with baby A. From working 12 hour shifts that would make me miss spending time with him throughout the day.I get to be a full time Mommy in the afternoon, have the entire weekend with him every week, and I still get to be who I want — a Chef.

If you’ve read my “About Me” (Hello, Stranger— I updated my age and contact e-mail btw! 😉 I mentioned there that I want to be a Chef. A hates it when I sell myself short. It has been 3 years since I became a Chef. Managing a kitchen of my own was something that happened unexpectedly. I remember wondering what I did to deserve such great reward! I thought it would take me at least 10 years to get to where I am now. I sometimes think that maybe I just got lucky, but whenever I look back to the years that I worked all day/night and how I sacrificed not only my personal time, but also being with my family, I realize that I deserve every bit of what I have now. Is it weird that I sometimes ponder if people take me seriously, like you know? People that knew me before… and then I am reminded of my co-workers, my bosses, and the people that compliment the food that I make. I still get kilig when people buy my specials. To be 27 now and have a fulfilling career is by far one of my greatest achievements, definitely!

So yeah, just a little something about work because I know I never really talked about it other than mentioning my schedule.  ; )

As soon as the month of April rolls in, I get reminded of all the adventures that A and I have been on the past x years. This year we are celebrating our 5th anniversary!!

To commemorate our anniversary month (and since I’ve been thinking about our travels lately) here’s a post about our last dinner and brunch in Baltimore before we left for the Philippines to get married.

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There are so many restaurants that we want to go to. Our list keeps on growing every year so it’s kind of hard to keep up.

There were years when we would eat out at least 3x in one week. There were also years that we just wanted to explore in our kitchen. Last year, we spent more time in our kitchen, so I feel like I will be able to keep up with my posts sometime this year. *ugh crossing my fingers again lol*

I’ve always wanted to go to Pazo ever since I saw A’s pictures with the BCC kitchen team a year before I became an intern.

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We went on a Saturday night so the restaurant was pretty packed. We had to wait for our table to be ready despite having a reservation.  Read the rest of this entry »

Before Take Off

03.2015: Oh, hon!

Hello, dolls! Hello, March! I welcomed March 2017 with an open mind. The 3 weeks was all about doing things I thought I would never do. Mainly, like have a morning job that makes me get up at 4 in the morning. I never thought I would get my weekends back working as a Chef. I am spending more time with baby A now and we are both really really happy about it.

Exactly 2 years ago, things were different for A and I. 2 years ago,we were busy preparing for our wedding and our big adventure to the Philippines. This year, we spent the first week of March adjusting to my new schedule. I am able to do a lot of “normal” stuff now with my new schedule. Like, go to the grocery after work — in the afternoon, not rushing because the store is going to close in half an hour. Brave the crowd on weekends at the mall or Costco (lol)…and worry about dinner every night! I LOVE it! I love how I have more time and I can actually plan things ahead of time.

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A x Charm City ❤

A month from now A and I are going to celebrate our 5th year together. Meaning, adventure time! 

Let me look back to our food adventures 2 years ago *yikes!* We are starting to go back to our “groove” again when it comes to eating out so we are really happy about that! Baby A has been enjoying some of our food now so eating out is extra fun this time 🙂

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#BaltimoreEats

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Hole in the wall Shawarma place at Fell’s Point. Unfortunately they closed not long after we went there to eat.

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My chicken shawermarz. Delicious platter of tender chicken shawarma! #Yum!

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A’s beef shawarma.

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Charm City

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We stayed in New jersey a couple of days before our trip to the Philippines. Since we had a couple of days meant for adventure, we decided to go to New York.

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Our main objective whenever we go to New York is to EAT!

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Our first time at Shake Shack

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I ordered the mushroom burger because back then I was very maarte about what I eat. I opted for food that has lesser calories (lol). Now that I am nursing, I have given myself room to eat more so I can produce milk for baby A.

So anyway, I could honestly say that the mushroom burger was not that notable for me. I felt like it was too oily. The mushroom absorbed too much oil that every bite felt like I was eating a spoonful of oil. Must be technique or the way they cooked it at that location.

I gave it another try last year and it’s so much better with the burger patty! The way the cheese melts in your mouth with the mushroom and the burger is sooo good!

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Mmmm #YaaaasQueen

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Hungry yet?

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My lucky day! Shake Shack had a special flavor that week featuring Mast Brother’s chocolate! #YummyInMyTummy

Love Mast Brother’s so much!!

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CBTL!!! Wish we have more CBTLs here in Baltimore

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The best way to end our NYC trip, at least for A, is to go to Chinatown.

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Finally tried this!

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Wonton noodle soup, anyone?

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Ginger scallion is life lol

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Roast Duck with E-fu Noodles

aka heaven #1

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Ginger Scallion Noodles

aka “Where David Chang got his inspiration from”.

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Soy Chicken

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I could eat this everyday

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Chicken and Pork Pan Fried Noodles

aka heaven #2

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Food for 4 hungry shoppers

Shopping time in New York

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Breakfast in New Jersey ❤

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Went to a Mexican restaurant for lunch before we left New Jersey

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#bomb

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❤ ❤ ❤

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What happens when we go to NJ and NYC lol

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Korean food for lunch the day before we left Baltimore to drive to JFK

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A’s short ribs

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Sushi for meeeee ❤

xx

R

Saint Elmo Court

Winter 2015

Hello,dolls! Hello, 2017!!!! How’s 2017 for you so far? Mine’s been pretty exciting! A couple of changes here and there and tons of planning for our upcoming trip!! Aaah I am really excited to be with my family again. Year 2017 is all about “getting ready, planning, and making things happen” for me.

Getting ready to start something new. Do something more and get out there.It sounds vague right now but soon it will be out there for everyone to know…and taste 😉 Getting ready to become a part of something big aka the big move — which will also help me make things happen. Getting ready for Christmas this year because it is going to be SUPER AWESOME to have everyone here! 🙂 I AM SO EXCITED!

Planning… I am the Queen of plans! I can never go a day without planning anything. Whether it be the clothes that I wear, how I schedule my time at home and work, or anything that could possibly help me go on life without strangling anyone! lol

———- I wrote the first part of my entry before we went to the Philippines. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to finish it #FacePalm.

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I think I am just going to “officially” start my entry by saying.. I AM REALLY EXCITED to have dinner with my family every night again. I am still a working Momma, just with better hours! I am really happy about it because I can spend more time with baby A and still be able to do what I love to do!

I look forward to eating more pasta this year! Just like this delicious plate of spaghetti with clams.

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Before Alexander, A and I were “okay” with our set up. Dinner together once or twice a week. It sounds pretty sad but we made it work.

So now, let me look back to our awesome dinners (and some random heaps) when we were still living at our first apartment. Pretty soon we will be using this entry as a reference lol

Read the rest of this entry »

Wedding Diaries: Bachelorette

04.18.15:  Last Fling before the Ring!

Hello, dolls! Hello— Good bye, December! Ahhhh what a month! Before I shamelessly apologize for not updating my blog (again for the nth time) let me just say that the past 2 months has been crazy hectic for me. I can’t even believe that I am finally able to do this now….blog.

I missed my birthday thank you blog, Christmas post, and the “this-is-what’s-up” entry. I honestly feel weird working on this post right now because I feel like I should be talking about how amazing my birthday with Mama was, and how we celebrated our Thanksgiving at our new house, and of course how memorable our first Christmas with baby A was. But aaaah, I guess I will just talk about it next year SMH because I am really really so behind now.

ANYWAY, can you believe we are only 2 days away from 2017?? It’s still surreal to me! 2016 is such an amazing year in so many ways (eventually I will be able to share my adventures here). The best part about this year,of course, is baby A! Aaah my sweet sweet boy ❤ I am looking forward to a lot of things next year. One of which, is to see my best friends again!!!

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You know you have the best girl friends when they surprise you with a bachelorette party! 🙂

Look at this lovely invitation that one of my bridesmaids/best friend designed for the party! I love it so much!!! ❤

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Happy bride-to-be ❤ Read the rest of this entry »

DC Diaries: “Our Spot”

03.9.15: DC before I do

Hello, dolls! Hello, Halloween!!! Growing up, Halloween is something I did not look forward to. Trick or treating is not a thing in the Philippines and I’ve always envied kids here in the US because they get to do that. Like how awesome is it for a child to come home with a bucket of candies? When I was 18, my best friends and I threw a Halloween party, we decorated an empty house and turned it into a Horror House! It was one of the best parties hat we organized!Every year after that we would all see each other on Halloween,dressed up as “someone” with clothes from our closets.

Last year was special. I can narrate everything that happened on that 24 hour period…but of course I am not going to do that because it might just bore you haha. So anyway, we went to Peter and Ali’s house party. I was so busy from work that I just decided to be “North West” (lol). Dressed in ALL black, leather jacket, and a tutu looking skirt. Anyway, what makes our Halloween special was my announcement to Gerry. I don’t know what hit me that morning but I remember walking to the Rite Aid close to my workplace. I bought a pack of pregnancy test, went back to work, and without hesitations I did the test. I remember being so antsy that night. I was thinking of a way to tell A, I was so excited to see his reaction! I took an uber to his workplace because I really couldn’t wait any longer. I remember thinking I couldn’t just show him the stick, I want to add a little arte to my announcement. So I bought a bunch of candy bars and put everything in a brown bag with the PT (I cleaned it first of course haha). I can’t believe it was a year ago already!!! We celebrated the great news in DC and had dinner at Momofuku…which I will be blogging about soon, hopefully.

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Hello, DC ❤

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We love trying new restaurants whenever we are in DC. For spontaneous date trips like this, we like to be extra adventurous by trying something new. We passed by Chicken Rico on our way to our favorite museum. I was super hungry so I told A it would be nice to try Chicken Rico because I know food will be served right away.  Read the rest of this entry »

Manila Diaries: Almost I Do

April 2015

Hello, dolls! Hello, October!! What an eventful first week of October. We are celebrating 3 birthdays this week — Gerry, Peter, and Mama’s. I am so happy I get to celebrate Mama’s birthday with her this year, last time I was home for her birthday was 2013. Hopefully starting this year I won’t miss any birthdays again!So Alexander is 14 weeks old now…wow how time flies! It really is amazing to see him grow. Every milestone in his life is joy to all of us. Can you believe he prefers to stand during playtime and talks A LOT now. Aaaah my cute boy! ❤

Anyway, Only 2 months left until we kiss 2016 goodbye. As much as I hate to see another awesome year go, I am (once again) excited for January to come. There will be lots of adventure for us! 🙂

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I love 2016 because I did not feel like I was away from my family at all. My sister was here to welcome 2016 with me, my parents arrived in the US and June and Mama is staying until December so yeah.. I love 2016.

Although I have to say, even if my family could stay here for n months, I still miss the Philippines — I miss my Lola most especially. So yeah, 2017 you are going to be even better!

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Now that we have baby A, every adventure is extra exciting, extra memorable, and filled with extra extra extra love.

I used to wonder how it would be when my family and A’s family are together. It happened a year and a half ago when A’s family (now my family too!) went to the Philippines for our wedding.

They were only there for a couple of weeks and most days we had to devote for the wedding/wedding prep. Here’s one of the awesome adventures that we had during their first week in Manila. Read the rest of this entry »

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