Friday, December 20, 2013

Celebrating My 25th

I almost wanted to omit my age as it is typical for women to hide their age as it increases in number, but then I know there are people who didn't get to live longer than I did, so it has to be something I should be proud of. I turned 25 a few days ago, and although I didn't get to spend the entire day with my mom and sister, we still got to celebrate it.
Last Sunday, we went to check out the tiangge - what's it called in English? Flea Market? It's a big marketplace located at the grounds of Robinson's Place Novaliches, where people can buy clothes, footwear, and so many gift items for less the price compared to the malls.

There were a lot of people shopping, so we decided to just enter Robinson's Place Novaliches because we thought SM Fairview had more shoppers, considering it was the last weekend day before most Christmas parties will be held.

For dinner, we ate at Pizza Hut, as this mall had very few restaurants and we didn't dare enter the two well known fast food chains as for sure it would be jampacked with diners. For this dinner, we shared a pizza, and we chose our own food. I went for the penne pasta, mom chose the lasagna, and my sister ordered chicken wings and this food called cheesy thins, just for us to try it out.

Mom decided to go home after eating dinner, while sister and I stayed and walked our way to SM Fairview (the mall fronting Robinson's) to look for more gift ideas.

That day's happies:
  • We were lucky to occupy the last vacant table in the restaurant.
  • Sister was able to buy books at cheap prizes.
  • Spending good, quality time with the girls.
  • Walking most of the time - from 3pm til 9pm, only sat down when we ate dinner.
  • Mom gave me 1000 pesos as birthday present.
That day's crappies:
  • The tiangge was filled with so many fake goods! It was so disappointing to see all sorts of brands in many products! 
  • Mom told me I could buy whatever I want to buy with the money she gave me, but when I saw a pair of flat shoes I liked, she was quick to say I own a lot of shoes already.
  • The penne pasta served to me was way too salty. I asked them to replace it, and at first one of the managers told me that if I preferred less salty food, I should have told the serve staff before hand. Well, I usually just go for what food served to me - I rarely make requests whenever I dine in.. but the pasta was just way too salty! And.. this pasta was my usual choice whenever we dine at Pizza Hut and this was the first time I encountered something like this! Well of course, they did replace it and the new plate of food tasted much better, thank heavens!
  • My sister wanted to buy this mason drinking jar with handle, but the shop already ran out of stocks. Bummer.
  • SM Fairview, contrary to what we thought of, had less shoppers. Had we known, we should've just went there.
Happy Birthday, Sister! Nutella Cupcakes

My shift at work this week was 4pm to 1am. Very difficult to adjust because I get home around 2:30 to 3:00 am everyday, so I spent the first few hours of my birthday at work and traveling home. My mom prepared our brunch that day while my sister baked me some cupcakes. It was very touching because she considered a food I like - Nutella! It was so good... and I think my sister has already mastered the art of baking cupcakes using the Oven Toaster.

I went to work with a warm feeling because I felt my mom and my sister's love for me. Work was okay, then after our shift, I treated my team to a nearby fast food. It was already nearly 5am when I got home, but it was just fine.

My last day at work will be tomorrow, as I already filed a leave of absence starting Sunday until the end of the year. I look forward to spending more time with my mom and sis, then after Christmas, we will be traveling for brother's wedding.

* Jesz *

Friday Photo Journal 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas Party with a Purpose


I am quite the lazy blogger (ahem), but special events I try to attend, like this one - the (now) yearly Bloggers Christmas Party at Max's Restaurant. I really asked for a different work shift for this day, because I consider this event as a family reunion that I don't want to miss.

As soon as the place filled up, the party started with a gift exchange. This was such a unique activity, because instead of bringing our own gifts, Max's Corner Bakery provided the gifts - a box filled with assorted pastries. Now, they could just give it to us - as part of their gift, but because not all of us know each other, this activity allowed us to get to know a little of our fellow bloggers, and aside from exchanging the pastry box, we also exchanged our hopes and wishes to the person whose name was written on the box. Marjorie (of Living Marjorney) - a second degree cousin - picked me and I got to pick Janese (of Lakwatsera Mom).

A party is never complete without food, and for this event, we got to share the Max's Holiday Pack (good for 10-12 persons), which comprises of:


Max's Fried Chicken


Lumpiang Shanghai (with sweet and sour sauce)


and Pancit Canton.

Max's Holiday Party Package is just perfect for big groups. For only 2,199 pesos, 10 to 12 people can get to share and enjoy - 2 whole servings of Fried Chicken, Lumpiang Shanghai Cater Tray, a choice between Pancit Luglug or Pancit Canton Cater Tray, and 12 pieces of Max's Corner Bakery Ensaimada. This party package is now available for take out or delivery at any Max's Restaurant branch (also available for orders made online) until the 5th of January 2014.


Our table was served the Pancit Canton, and the table next to us was served this - the Pancit Luglug. Because each cater tray had a lot of food, both tables shared and ended up enjoying the best of both noodle worlds. :)


The Max's Holiday Party Package included Ensaimada as the "dessert," but for this event, we were served the Max's Corner Bakery Holiday Chocolate Cakes - Toffee Torte,  Choco Merengue Delight, Triple Treat, Salted Caramel Tableya, and Choco Moist. A taste of each cake was enough to satisfy a hearty meal, and among the five cakes, I loved the Salted Caramel Tableya the most. These cakes are also now available at any Max's Corner Bakery.

For small groups or small family (like ours), the Max's Holiday Meal is a very good option. Instead of spending a lot of time in the kitchen, it is quite practical to just buy (something we were thinking of doing) cooked, delicious food. For the Christmas season, the 4-Sharing Holiday Meal features one Crispy Pata paired with either Chopseuy or Sizzling Tofu as well as Rice and any Pepsi product. The 4 Sharing meal costs 799 pesos, but should you want to just go for the Crispy Pata, Max's Restaurant is offering this for only 399 pesos.


The very first image of this post is of me wearing a HOPE T-Shirt. That was the official shirt released by the Max's Group of Companies here in the Philippines (Max's Restaurant, Jamba Juice, and Krispy Kreme) in relation to the recent devastation brought by Typhoon Haiyan (or Typhoon Yolanda). These shirts aren't for sale - this was Max's Restaurant's gift to us this Christmas, a symbol of hope, as well as an encouragement for people to donate through the Philippine Red Cross (as they have the capacity to collect and distribute). Actually, Max's Restaurant isn't collecting any donations and they also didn't release a special food item where a portion of the sale would be given as donation for the survivors of the typhoon. Max's Restaurant donated through their own efforts, and the highlight of this party was donating an amount to the Philippine Red Cross in behalf of the bloggers.

You see, for the past two Christmas seasons, Max's Restaurant would host a dinner and a karaoke party, as well as giving cash and raffle prizes (last year I got to win a GC for a facial while my siblings both won a DVD Player and my sister won 3rd place in their karaoke contest). This year, instead of going for this tradition, Max's Restaurant decided to use the amount intended for the prizes as donation to help rebuild the lives of the people affected by the typhoon. It wasn't an "oh em gee" big of a prize, but there really is no small or big amount if you want to help. Each peso, each drop of sweat, each minute given is something very important and appreciated.

It was a very memorable event. We got to share time with our friends, we got to help, and we got to take home gifts, too. Well, aside from the pastry box and the shirt, we were also given a 2014 calendar (with discount coupons redeemable monthly) and a GC for one whole fried chicken, which we will claim on Christmas Day.

* Jesz *

Monday, December 16, 2013

Franken Nail Polish | Blurred Lights

December truly is one busy month for all of us, but because the family is set to travel to Cagayan de Oro after Christmas and might not be able to update any of the blogs for one week (as gadgets will be WiFi dependent and we are not sure if there will be free WiFi to grasp), my sister Jessie and I will make sure all blogs will be update this week, so the gaps between posts won't be that big if ever we won't be able to blog once we fly to Cagayan de Oro.

Okay, today is Monday, time for a manicure post. My last mani post was the first part of the Glitter Collection by Bobbie Nail Creme, but I had to put it on hold because it's less than 10 days 'til Christmas and I just felt the need to do Christmas nail art and share them before the occasion comes. There will be three Christmas related manicure, starting with this one.

Franken Nail Polish | Blurred Lights

I forgot the brand of this certain nail polish, but ever since I saw this specific glitter nail polish called "Salt and Pepper" online (UK online shop), I have always wanted to own the same kind of nail polish. I even bought a tube of glitter at a craft store to try if I can create one like it, but I realized there are glitters that melt with the nail polish and it was such a disaster.

When Paula of Wow Nails! shared a franken nail polish with white base with multi-colored glitters, it rekindled my interest and I started playing with my bottles of nail polish .

To create this, I used five different kinds of nail polish:

  1. Snow White by Sweet Cherry
  2. Marquise by Caronia
  3. Shaker #3 by Bobbie Gradation Nail Polish
  4. Christmas Polka by Caress Nail Polish
  5. The Big Bang by Bobbie Premium Nail Creme
I started with the base nail polish - Snow White, as the bottle only had about 1/3 of nail polish left. Then, I poured the entire contents of Shaker #3, as the bottle was so small and the pinkish clear nail polish holding the silver hex glitters was starting to thicken. I realized, going for silver glitter didn't look good with white nail polish as it didn't create the kind of look I wanted. Because of this, I poured little of Christmas Polka and The Big Bang just to create a little dimension with the colors. Finally, I added a few drops of Marquise to add more fine glitter dust.

Franken Nail Polish | Blurred Lights

I called this creation "Blurred Lights" as it resembled the look I get when I aim to go take bokeh shots of our Christmas lights. It's packed with glitters, but it dried flat - as if I created a glitter sandwich, and it looked very subtle that I was actually very pleased with it.

* Jenn *

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Hectic Weekend With Mom and Sis

When my mom filed for retirement, one of the biggest concerns she had was her social life. Seeing how my late father struggled with adjusting to life at home, my mom first thought that as soon as she stopped working, her social life will also stop. Well, for the first few months was quiet - she would just stay inside her room and watch TV, but for the past two months, things had been going better for her. She would spend early mornings with some neighbors walking around the plaza, or she would attend several meetings and events.

Shakey's Hero Sandwich

Our weekend started last Friday. Mom received a message from the bank about her newly opened account (where her monthly pension would be deposited). It made her a little worried, so she asked me to come with her. The bank was full house when we got there and even if she was the fifth person on line for the customer service, the line just wasn't moving! It was way past lunch time when we finished with the inquiries, so for lunch mom decided to treat me to some good lunch, and instead of eating at a fast food, we went to eat at Shakey's, her choice of restaurant. It was my first time to eat their Hero Sandwich and even if it was packed with cold cuts, it was very delicious!

Chocolate Bacon Maple Cupcakes Bibingka Chicken Intestines BBQ

Saturday was a food day for us - I experimented with another cupcake recipe, then after attending some festivities, mom came home with a Bibingka for us to share, and for dinner sister and I had something exotic for dinner - barbecued chicken intestines. Dipped in spicy vinegar, it was awesome!

Mom with Jollibee and Regine Tolentino with Regine Tolentino and her Daughters

Sunday was a long day for mom and I, we started it with an event for a Christmas Party organized by Jollibee, where we shared a hearty meal with other bloggers and their families.

Food Tasting

As soon as the event ended, we quickly hailed a taxi going to a food tasting event. My mom's friend is opening a restaurant and they are in the process of gathering information about their dishes, and because mom's friend knows I am a food blogger, they want to know my thoughts about the foods they plan to serve once the restaurant opens.

Of course, I didn't photograph any of the dishes as it was confidential, but based on what I tasted, I think their dishes would do good.

Ayala Triangle, Makati City Ayala Triangle, Makati City
Mom and I Mom and Sis

We then met up with sister after her work and we walked to the mall to check some stuff then walked to Ayala Triangle to see the dancing Christmas lights. It was a long walk from the mall, but totally worth it. After eating dinner, we decided it was time to go home, and although it took us more than hour to wait for the bus to arrive, it had been a smooth ride 'til we got home.

My mom's schedule is filled for this week. Last Monday, she went to the Baranggay Hall to process some documents, then today she attended a friend's birthday. Tomorrow, she and I are going to watch the Barbie Musical (thanks to a blogger friend who gave us tickets for the show), and we still plan to go to Aunt Mary's house so I could return the books I borrowed and take home new books. December is certainly a busy month for everybody, but I am just so happy that my mom's social life is slowly getting better and better.

* Jenn *