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The “Ate” Diaries

06.06.2015: Dream Come True

Hello, dolls!!! Hello, summer!! ❤ “Ate” in Tagalog means big sister”. Before I became baby A’s Mommy, I was a super Ate first to my sister Chella. Two years ago we were able to cross off a big goal from our list — for my sister to come here in the US. It wasn’t an easy process, but with lots and lots of prayers and guidance from above, our dream became a reality.

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I remember being SUPER excited to see her. I had a long list of places to go and things for us to do while she was here. I was excited to show her how life is here, most importantly to see her grow and learn how to live life away from our parents.

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I remember telling her, “okay here, you have to do your own laundry. If you are hungry you can’t just open the fridge and look for something to eat, the first thing to do is to make a list and go to the grocery and then plan your food for the week (or order take out but that will cost more)”. Living on your own is not easy…period. (more…)

Mommy Diaries: We Are Home

06.29.16: Cider Mill, meet Alexander.

Hello, dolls!!!Happy Birthday my baby A ❤ What a year it has been!! I still can’t believe that my baby A is now 1 year old!! I can only look back to the past year with lots and lots of smiles. Baby A brought a lot of happiness to our lives that I can’t think of a day that made me wish things were different. Everything that happened last year lead us to being happier and better.

I could go on and on talking about him all day, and I would still find myself saying “geez, I can’t find the right words to describe how much I love my boy!”.

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It feels like it was only yesterday when we brought baby A home from the hospital. I remember feeling scared and unprepared. Scared because I knew that as soon as we walk out of the hospital, our new beautiful reality is going to start. I don’t know why I felt unprepared. I had all of the support that I need, diapers and wipes enough to last for more than a year, and a loving home to welcome baby A. I guess it’s normal for a first time Mom to feel like that.

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It took us 15 min. to get home, the sun was shining bright I remember — a beautiful day to remember. The first 5 minutes in the car was calm, we were enjoying the nice breeze of air from outside. As soon as baby A realized he was in a different environment, he started crying. It was the first time we had a baby crying in the car with us so A and I got a little bit scared lol. (more…)

Newlyweds in Charm City

05.2015 – The real adventure begins

Hello, dolls! Hello weeeekend! ❤ June is such a special month for us now. Before June would just come and go, we do not plan anything big — just occasional weekends out of Baltimore and lots of eating out. June is sweeter and brighter now because of baby A. June is birthday month and I can’t wait to make it special for him every year! ❤

There has a been a lot of good changes in our lives since A and I got married. I remember before, we settled for “dinners at home” once a week. We would eat out at least 3 times in a week. We spent more time at work and we were okay with it. We wanted to save money to buy a house, we achieved that in less than 10 months! After we bought our house, we welcomed baby A. In just a year and a half our lives became even better and our goals changed — for the best. Embracing dinners at home every night (well almost because we enjoy our weekends by eating out) almost 3 months ago was a change that we’ve been yearning for since baby A was born. I’ve been telling my Mom that it feels weird to think about dinner this much. Thank God she is here to help around the house, otherwise, I would lose my sanity.

Looking back to our first year as a married couple, I am happy with every choice that we’ve made.


Our first week back in Baltimore was pleasant. A and I did not have to deal with a lot of adjustments because we were going back to our “normal life” with rings on our fingers. So let me look back to a couple of fun memories from our first week as newlyweds in Baltimore.

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We were still feeling a little adventurous since we just came back from the Philippines. We wanted to do something that would remind us of our trip so we went to Lexington Market — cheap simple food with a touch of adventure.

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This..right here is what we call an “adventure”. Things that we don’t normally see at restaurants or groceries.

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Short ribs… YAS!

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Walking around Lexington Market was a bit overwhelming to me at first. Not because I am not used to the environment. There were so many good choices and I wanted to try them all.

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Weakness.

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Good food for cheap!

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The main reason why we went to Lexington Market.

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His agenda: tongue and chopped liver sammmich!

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Yes please!

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I love how most places sell smoothies!!

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Wall Street Turkey

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A definite must try, fried chicken! ❤

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Perfect place to go to when sick. Pho date with my man!! ❤

 

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Before baby A, I used to take gazillion pictures of A. Now, I hardly have any solo pictures of him on my phone! lol

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One of my favorite things to do with him — grocery shopping! 🙂

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Fun dinner with great friends!!! ❤

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After church brunch. Perfect food to eat after hearing mass? Spanakopita!

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…and of course, I dragged him to the mall after brunch!lol

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Memorial Day weekend in New Jersey ❤

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My first time to play mini golf!

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Random Eats

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Crepe for breakfast is always a good idea 😛

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…and tacos for lunch? an even better idea! 😉

 

Can’t wait for our adventure this weekend!

 

R

Wedding Diaries: Rehearsal Dinner.

04.19.15: Almost Time | Finestra @ Solaire

Hello, dolls! Haaaay what a month!! May has been an eventful month, mostly negatives but we are trying to not focus on the bad side of this month. I am open about my obstacles because truthfully nothing  really upset me that made me say “why?”. Whenever something unlikely happened, I would just think about the “great reward” that is yet to come. I’ve been telling A that this is the reality of life, pain and happiness goes hand in hand.

I’ve been trying to think of a perfect way to kiss this month goodbye. Luckily, I get to have a nice “long” weekend with #MyABoys — definitely the best way to end May! So as I wait for A to finish his game, I am going to blog and reminisce about our rehearsal dinner in the Philippines. (was supposed to post this on Friday 05/26 yikes)

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Fiancé

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We had our rehearsal dinner at Finestra. We couldn’t decide where to do it because truthfully, I did not have enough time to plan it. I asked A what he thinks would be the best since his family is also in the Philippines for the first time.

He told me he wanted to go to a nice Italian restaurant. Since I haven’t been to the Philippines for a while, I couldn’t give him a lot of suggestions. We researched and came across Solaire. We thought it would be perfect since it’s newly built, everyone could see how gorgeous it is!  (more…)

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.

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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.  (more…)

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

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