Sugar, spice, and a pinch of GLAM

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!ūüôā


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!


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 »

Winter 2015

Hello, dolls! Hello, work! sigh x100 This month was a whirlwind of emotions. We started September with gratitude and happiness as we celebrated Daddy’s birthday and baby A’s baptism. Going back to work full time was pretty overwhelming for me as a new Mom, I have to take a “break” for¬†milk time¬†very 2 hours — if I am lucky because duuh who am I kidding? Working in the kitchen is pretty demanding which ends up to me postponing¬†milk time¬†to another hour or two (which I really hate!). Anyway, Daddy is now back in the Philippines and my sister is leaving in less than 2 weeks —¬†I AM SO NOT EXCITED ABOUT THIS.¬†The energy here at home is not going to be the same when everyone is back home again.

September is going to end with lots and lots of rain…which makes me want to stay home and cuddle with my boy…baby A. Did I mention it’s Fall already? second favorite season is finally here!!! I sometimes think about how life was when it was just A and I. I always end up looking at our “date night photos” and reminisce about the good food and awesome Mondays that we’ve had.

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Date night at¬†Maggie’s Farm.


…and yeap, this happened almost 2 years ago!¬† Read the rest of this entry »

Winter is Coming 2016

February to March 2015

Hello, dolls! Hello, September! So I want to something new, nothing big, I don’t think it’s even that important that I am now questioning myself why I am spending n minutes typing about it HA. Anyway, every year my first entry for the month of September will be titled “Winter is Coming”. #YunLang lol

Obviously the reference is from Game of Thrones (I can’t believe we have to wait until next summer for season 7!!! It eels like a gazillion years!).¬†Anyway, September first marks the “first day” of the Christmas season in the Philippines. I can’t really say that here in the US because we celebrate Halloween and Thanksgiving before Christmas and the end of September is all about fall so yeah. I kind of miss being excited about Christmas once September rolls in.


The other day, A made a comment about how¬†horrible¬†this¬†summer has been (because it was tooo hot everyday) and how he wishes it’s already winter.

I told him I want to¬†try¬†not to say “I can’t wait for winter” during summer, and “I can’t wait for summer” during winter. We sound like a broken record every year, and honestly I feel like we will always complain about the temperature towards the end of each season.


Good thing there’s food for us to enjoy every time we get too whiny about the weather!

Here are a couple of our food adventures during winter last year.¬† Read the rest of this entry »

April 2015: Before “I do” is “let’s do”

Hello dolls!! Only 5 days left until we kiss August goodbye, how are you going to spend it? It’s another bittersweet month for me. I honestly don’t know how I feel about September yet. August is my last full month with baby A before I go back to work — hello loooong hours at work again. After spending 3 months here, Daddy is going back to the Philippines. So yeah, I am not sure if I want August to end yet. sigh.I am happy that A is off for the next 2 weeks so there will be plenty of adventures before we go back to¬†reality.

Speaking of adventures and reality. Last year was filled with love for A and I. We stayed in the Philippines for a month and got married. It was an amazing journey showing A the things and places that I grew up loving. We’ve been reminiscing about our “life in Manila”¬†lately and how he wants baby A to try all the Asian dishes that he ate when he was there.¬†Haaay… I can’t wait to go back to the Philippines with #MyABoysūüėČ


Before “I do” is “Let’s Do”

Having a¬†destination¬†wedding is not easy. There were a lot of things that I had to consider — like, I really wanted to do a lot of DIY stuff for my wedding but travelling or shipping a lot of stuff from the US to the Philippines is another challenge that I will have to deal with, so I minimized the DIYs that I had to do here. Every time I have to make a decision I would always remind myself to be smart about it.

Prior to our wedding day, A and I would go on “lunch meetings” to talk about our big day. No distractions, just the two of us making decisions —it’s really helpful to have alone time with your fiance when finalizing details. Instead of pressuring A, I get his full attention with a one on one date and food.¬†


Love At First Sight

Mara Chua x Jimmy Choo


One rule I had for myself as a bride-to-be: only hire the best

Best caterer (K by Cunanan), best photographer (Pat Dy), best videographer (Jason Magbanua), best wedding coordinator (Monina E), and best fashion designer (Mara Chua)

These people made my life easier. All I had to do was to trust them.


I was speechless when I saw my dress!!!


I told Mara I am not traditional. I do not want white. No lace either. I let her design a dress for me. She did not really have to draw anything in front of me when I first met her, cause in my head it was already a YES. I did not really have a clear vision of what I want my wedding gown to be, just 4 things that I want to see — not white, no lace,long trail, and off shoulder ( I love off shoulder too much!)


Mara definitely made me the happiest bride by making me something so beautiful and unique! Every part of my dress was well crafted.. Look at all the beads on my dress, it was sewn one by one!


The trail was one of a kind. Not your typical plain jane. Look at that beautiful accent that more than 3 people had to work on. I remember going to her office several times and seeing her employees working on my dress for days. My dress was full of character and made with love, which I felt as soon as I tried it on.

One day, I am going to wear it again! A gave me an idea of doing a photoshoot like our pre-nup in New York. So leeeet’s seeūüėČ


Maid of honor, bridesmaid, Mother of the Bride, Bride-to-be.

This post is not going to be complete without me talking about food!ūüėČ


My family and I love Singapore! We adore their food so much!! Bugis is now one of my favorite restaurants in Manila. Their laksa is soooo good I could literally buy a plane ticket now just to have a bowl of it.


Other dishes that we tried. I wasn’t really able to try most of it because I was enjoying the laksa too much.


Hainanese Chicken to make our Singaporean dinner complete!ūüôā

One of my favorite moments in the Philippines. When Daddy and A went on a lunch date before our weddingūüôā


…so of course they went to Le Ching for dim sum! ha

A lot of bride-to-bes go on a strict diet and workout routine before the wedding. I wasn’t able to do that because I was already on my feet at least 50 hours every week, work became my workout.


Since I love boxing, I told A that I do not want to go back to the US without us boxing together. So we did it a couple of days before the wedding. It became more of a laughing experience with him!

2 days before the wedding!!



Kitchen Diaries: Winter

Winter 2015

Hello, dolls!! Hello, August!! It feels a little weird to blog about winter when it’s super hot right now. The¬†best month¬†for our family this year has come to and end and I really wish it did not have to. My camera is full of beautiful pictures, and my hearts is filled with beautiful memories from the past month. I honestly couldn’t wait to share it here —¬†which we all know is going to be next year because I am¬†still¬†working on entries from last year HA


The brutal weather right now is making me miss fall and spring, when the weather is just right. Winter is my least favorite but I have to say, I am pretty excited to dress up my baby A in winter clothes this year.


I sometimes feel guilty that I don’t get to cook for my family that much. One of the perks of living with parents is having food on the table¬†all the time. Before I could think about what to cook for them, Mama or Daddy has a pot of¬†sinigang or adobo¬†already waiting for us.¬† Read the rest of this entry »

Winter 2015

Hello, dolls!! How’s your July so far? Mine’s been surreal. I can’t believe that after 14 months, our family is complete again. I’ve always imagined what it would be like to live with my family here in the US, and now it’s finally happening —¬†we are living the dream.¬†Having my family here means being surrounded with food all.the.time. The best part of being with them here is eating together. Geez how I missed that! I wake up with the smell of Mama’s garlic fried rice, and then we all gather at the dining table to talk about what we will eat for lunch, plan our day and go on an adventure, then we all sit down again to have dinner (if we’re lucky, we get to have dessert before we go to bed).


I would sometimes think about how life was for A and I before. We spent most of our time at work, go on adventures during our days off, and make sure we get to cook together at home.


One of my favorite dishes that we cooked at home.

Seared Sesame Crusted Tuna with Bok Choy, Chinese Noodles, and Soy-Ginger Sauce Read the rest of this entry »

Lola’s 75th

04.13.2015:My #1

Hello, dolls!!ūüôā What a month! I can’t believe that our baby A is 13 days old now — did I really give birth 2 weeks ago?¬†My family keeps on telling me it seems like I did not give birth at all because I am back to my normal groove (keeping myself busy with stuff!).Only difference is I have the cutest little boy in my arms!I love devoting my time for his feeding , changing his diaper doesn’t bother me (cause it doesn’t smell yet!haha), and I also like seeing our family hold him. I know some people can get overprotective with their newborn, not me when it comes to family! He is loved by many and I want him to know and feel that.

Anyway, I bet my family felt the same way when I was born. Especially my Lola,just like how my Mom and Mom-In-Law are with baby A! They always say it’s different with the first grandchild, and I can see why. The anticipation, the feeling of having a new role in someone’s life, and the love. I am my Lola’s first, and I remember growing up and seeing her every week! Growing up, every Sunday I cried because that’s the day that she would go home. I remember her taking me to Quiapo to watch a movie and it’s still by far the best movie date ever. My Lola is my #1, so what are the odds of her turning 75 the same year we are home for our wedding? We all know it’s not easy to go home when you live abroad, but aaah God is just really good to us!


My Lola is the simplest person that I know. She is not hard to please. I remember every Saturday my siblings and I would make sure we order pizza for merienda (afternoon snack) because that is her favorite. I would get really emotional when she goes to our house and she has pizza for us. I feel like we should be the one treating her! Not the other way around.

She is not a shopaholic and¬†maarte¬†like me. She will only buy something if she really needs it, like when something breaks and she has to replace it. Her happiness is us, her family. She doesn’t like the thought of spending too much .She is the most selfless person that I know.So for her birthday, Mama planned a simple celebration with the entire family — Lola’s siblings, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, and us!


We went to¬†The Food Club.¬†A new buffet restaurant in Manila.¬† Read the rest of this entry »

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