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Rockstars for a Night!

It was a night of many ‘firsts’ and it all happened in an awesome kitchen + bar located in Filinvest City Alabang.

First time to see one of my cousins sing his heart out in front of a crowd. First time to hear my Tita sing, first time to discover that she can really carry a tune! As for me, it’s my first time to sing with a live band. To sum it up:  it was our first rockstar experience! 😋

We were there to celebrate my cousin and Tita’s bday. It’s a simple celebration with booze and yummy food. Gaaaahd! Try their Truffle Fries! Buffalo wings! heavenly awesome! Shanghai rolls too!

   
 
For starters, The Johnny’s invited my cousin (the birthday celebrant) to sing with the band. They have countless selection of songs, surprisingly!

  
That’s Megan the birthday celebrant with her supporter, also my cousin, Mik. 

  
That’s Mico. I discovered that night that he can sing! Achievement unlocked!

  
One of the countless surprises! My Tita sang 2 songs, unexpectedly!

  
The proud parents of Megan serenaded each other that night as well!!!

It was an extraordinary night for the whole family! Everyone was game! I think it’s also because The Johnny’s and one of the owners entertained the crowd very well. Walang hiya-hiya that night!!!

Thank you Red Kitchen and Bar! Thank you also to The Johnny’s who made us real rockstars for one night! 

And of course, this wouldn’t be possible without Meg, Tita Baby and Tito Eric! Happy happy birthday!!!

Red Kitchen + Bar

Rockeoke nights every Friday with The Johnny’s. 
Cheers!

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Mesa Experience

Crispchon lives up to its promise. Crispiness!

We went to Mesa (SM Aura Branch) last weekend for a sumptuous lunch with our dear friend and balikbayan Nichole. She missed Pinoy Foods so we headed to Mesa for the ultimate experience.

It wasn’t my first time there. We already tried several of their dishes and it’s downright good! The place also exudes the vibe of a Pinoy home where you can see rattan and other Pinoy handmade thingy.

One thing that caught our balikbayan’s eyes is the CRISPCHON. It’s an expensive dish but the lechon and pandan crepe wrap were very intriguing so we gave it a try…


It comes with 3 different sauces of your choice. 1/4 costs around P1,600. Your call if you want it all wrapped in Pandan Crepe but in our case, we requested the waiter to have it cooked with their known garlic and spicy flavor. Ahhhhh so yummy!


This is Tinapa rice. Another great choice!


I also ordered for Sisig Rice.

We all had happy tummies!!! We also had Scallops, Pork Sinigang and Laing. Not in photos though.


…and that’s our group. 😊

Nichole, thank you very much for the treat and we hope to see you again.. In San Diego or here in PH. 😘


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My 1st Birkam Yoga Journey

I started practicing Bikram Yoga two years ago.

I was encouraged by my friends to try it because they benefited so much from it. And by ‘much’ I mean tons of sweat, peace of mind and happy disposition in life. At first, I was VERY hesitant. First thing I thought of was “Ang taba ko, baka matumba tumba ako pag-balance!”. The answer I got from them was, “You’ll improve there.”

I did some research before I enrolled myself to a 1-week practice. I practiced each pose at home and tried my best to bend and bend and bend… Damn right after 2 poses, my shirt (and bottoms) were soaking wet! I’ve never felt so satisfied with sweat before until Bikram Yoga practice.

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DAY 1.

I went to the Bikram Yoga Manila – QC studio all by myself. I stayed quiet the whole time and just observed the people coming in and out of the studio. They were all dripping wet in sweat and that kind of made me more excited to go inside the studio. On my first day, the yoga instructor said that my first goal is to stay in the hot room. Never mind if I cannot do all the poses, what’s important is I stay in the hot room and finish the class.

I DID IT! That was excruciating but most fulfilling 90 minutes of my life!

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After a week of practicing Bikram Yoga, I enrolled again for 1 month unlimited class. I have a bad habit of starting an exercise and not sustaining it so to make this new addiction work, I challenged myself and signed up for the 30-day challenge.

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30 days of practicing Bikram Yoga. Others doubted that I will finish it and that made me doubt myself also. There were days when I just want to lie down on my bed but then I realized, I spent a lot of money for that class… I want to change my habits… “I should go to class today.”

Luckily, I finished the 30-day challenge! It was an achievement! (hooray!)

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It gave me a whole new perspective about life, actually. I became more patient, more relaxed and it gave me peace of mind. I practiced Bikram Yoga before mainly because I wanted to lose weight but surprisingly, upon finishing my 30-day challenge, it gave me so much more!!!

I wanted to practice it again that time but after I find a job nalang (yes, I just resigned from work when I practiced Yoga before haha). It took me a month to rest and just when I was planning to enroll again I knew that I was pregnant.

After 2 years (and 17.4 kilos) here I am again, trying to get back on the mat.

Thankfully, my sister-in-law gave me a ‘gift of health’ for my birthday – 1 week Unli Bikram Yoga and Zumba at Bikram Yoga Makati! Let’s see how this will unfold another healthy me.

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Adriele’s 1st birthday

After months of planning and preparations, the day has finally come.

It is a special day not only for me and Axle but as well as to our whole family. Adriele is turning one, what else can be more important than that?

Theme. 

We were pretty sure our family and friends kinda expect that Adriele’s first birthday will be Minnie Mouse themed party. Haha so we thought of another theme.

Adriele loves colorful balloons so we came up with Hot Air Balloon theme.

The Venue

We booked the function hall of Rosewood Pointe Residences, Acacia Estates, Taguig. Reasons why we chose it:

  1. It’s near our place. Less travel time for Adriele.
  2. Very homey ambiance.
  3. Awesome surroundings, especially the sight of its blue pool.

For the food, we had Villa Salud Catering. We first had them at my nephew’s first birthday party and I must say they really have the most yummy roast beef!

What’s also amazing is that they also organize parties. They have wide array of add-ons that you can include on your party details. Here’s what they did to the venue…

 This photo right here was taken when we were doing our ocular. A party just finished when we got inside the hall.

And this is the Villa Salud magic!

They’re the ones who did the venue set-up. Truth be told, I was close to crying when I saw this. The plans, all the notes I gave them, were accomplished!

The Cake. 

Our good friend Jana, the owner of Iñigo’s by Fat Chef Manila, was the one who baked our baby’s cake.

A week before the party, I sent her several pegs from Pinterest. And this is what I really liked. I can’t believe she was able to pull it off! And not only that… The cake is sooooo delicious! Heavenly! Her best-seller!

Celebration. 

We had a clown, from Villa Salud, who had contributed much to the success of the program. Axle and I, together with his sister Beatrix, prepared a program but the clown had made it much easier and livelier for us. Hooray!

As for the photobooth, it was a gift from my husband’s high school barkada. Smiles to Go Photobooth made our celebration more special because of photos that our guests could keep.

I am very thankful because our parents, relatives and friends supported and helped us all the way. This wouldn’t be possible without them.

Adriele is just so happy with the colorful venue, people and gifts of course!

Photos taken by Kevin Gepaya.

The party is over but I’m sure our family, especially Adriele, will forever treasure this memorable event.

Group huuuuug!

Mama Jonah

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Adriele’s DIY Photoshoot

March 8, 2015.

We all know that hiring a pro photographer is pricey nowadays. Even the studios that specializes on Baby Photography. So since we have enough materials (and patience), me and my husband decided to do it ourselves.

Why not a cake smash? Haha!

Preparations

It was a sunny Sunday afternoon and Adriele got her required afternoon nap. Perfect! For the cake, we ordered a small one from Shoppersville Bakeshop in Katipunan. We have been ordering cakes from this bakeshop for a very loooong time! Reason? Cheap and yummy! (P110)

Adriele will be having a hot air balloon theme party for her 1st birthday. For the basket, we got it from Echague Quiapo (P200). We also got her some DIY tassles from Divisoria (P70 each color x 2)

For the balloons, Plan A was helium but we ended up buying the cheaper one because helium balloons are priced at P90 each! Ugh.

Now here’s what she wore. All from Gingersnaps.

Preparation

#OOTDs

READY! Parents’ level of Patience: 101%

Here’s what happened when we set-foot on the lush greens of UP Diliman…

Hmm balloon!

Hmm balloon!

She was scared of the balloons at first but after less than an hour, she held it and played with it. Way to go! Haha

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She got inside the basket! Yay! But it only lasted for 3 minutes, I guess. She wanted to go outside. A bit irritated, I must say.

Parents’ level of Patience: Down to 98%

We tried to put her beside the basket instead so she wouldn’t get scared…

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And then she started to cry!

Parents’ level of Patience: Down to 95%

She didn’t like the grass, well then… We decided to jump to our second set! Now with banig so she’ll feel comfortable.

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Well, she played around but never looked at the camera. Pfft.

She even got hungry haha! Dede Break!

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Parents’ patience level: Down to 80%!

We didn’t get lots of great shots because Adriele just kept on looking at the mat, the grass, and touch the tassle, etc! So we decided to jump to our 3rd and final set… THE CAKE SMASH!

Cake smash photography is the main hit nowadays and I’ve always wanted to see Adriele smash and taste a cake for the first time.

Excitement level: 200%

It's pretty (yucky), Mama!

It’s pretty (yucky), Mama!

So there, she didn’t bother to touch the cake and ended up crying whenever she gets near it. 😦

I don't wanna smash the cake!

I don’t wanna smash the cake! Zoom in the face? Wait.

Look closely!

Look closely!

Look at that face! Haha! Patience level: 50%… Time to wrap-up!

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Okaaaay, pack-up! It was very tiring! I wonder how photographers from Baby Shower Studio or The Picture Company do it! Requires lots of patience and drive because kids can get really cranky and grumpy and shy and annoying. LOL!

Will try the cake smash next time 🙂

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Adriele’s Baptism

August 30, 2014. Adriele was 5 months-old. We had her baptism at Sta. Rita de Cascia Parish, Philam Homes QC.

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She wore a simple long gown from SM Baby Company. It was kind of frustrating because we wanted a different gown for Adriele but no size available for her. Moving on, I think this simple cotton gown made our baby very comfortable during the ceremony.

The chapel was very solemn. It was filled by our families and friends. The reception followed at Shangrila Finest Chinese Cuisine in West Ave. It is also where he had our civil wedding reception as well so we know how great the food is!

Dada and Adriele

Dada and Adriele

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For some DIY, we had a thumb marking session for the ninongs and ninangs.

Ninongs and Ninangs

Ninongs and Ninangs

Adriele will surely be reminded of your presence during that very special day, thank you!

Godfathers

Godfathers

Godmothers

Godmothers

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Play & Learn Class at Gymboree

Playground is always fun for children. It is where they can interact with other children and adults too!

Adriele's first time on a parachute!

Adriele’s first time on a parachute!

When we learned about Gymboree’s class offerings, we got a little too excited. Adriele was just 10-months old when we first brought her to Gymboree. We weren’t hesitant to expose her to other babies because she actually developed some kind of ‘stranger anxiety’ since she was 4 months old. When she sees an unfamiliar face trying to befriend her or carry her, she’ll hold on us very tight and begin to cry. ‘Nangingilala’ others would tell me but to be honest, we think it is more than that.

We noticed that our kid is very observant. She stares at new faces and observe their gestures and of course, their looks. Maybe she was like that because she only sees the nanny, me, my mom (Grandma) and my husband. Di na sumasama sa iba, samin lang.

That’s one of the reasons why we really wanted her to be in Gymboree.

On her first day, she was amazed with all the toys, colors, and fluffy mats but still, she didn’t want to leave my side. She always holds my hand, my shirt, my pants… Every thing I have that she could hold on to. But even so, I tried putting her on the mat and be close enough to other babies so she could participate in the activity.

With the other kids

With the other kids

First they had a song. It’s a cue for walking, tapping, pushing, etc. It is very easy to understand and copy of course. Adriele became familiar with the song. She responds well and even smiles when she hears it!

They also had an activity wherein the children could do some exercise and physical development like crawling, walking, getting through an obstacle, climbing, rolling the balls, etc.

Climbing

Climbing

Our friend Mommy Nica and Baby Javielle also joined us

Our friend Mommy Nica and Baby Javielle also joined us

Playtime! They teach the kids how to say 'Please' and how to pack away the toys

Playtime! They teach the kids how to say ‘Please’ and how to pack away the toys

Our little Adriele improved a lot! On her 2nd day at Gymboree, she entered the play tunnel with excitement and interacts with the other kids in the class as well. She knew how to get toys in the busy box when it’s playtime and last but not the least, she was not scared to sit along with the other kids on the parachute.

She loves climbing!

She loves climbing!

It’s heartwarming to see our little Adriele improve her social skills (yes, even at 10 months!). She can now also walk unsupported! As of this writing, she goes on the playmat all by herself and pops the bubbles, walk with the other kids, crawl inside tunnels and roll the balls.

She loves Gymbo!

She loves Gymbo!

Gymboree made a huge difference and every time Adriele attends her class, we see her improve in so many ways! We are so glad we did not hesitate to let her join the class. Thank you so much for this, Teacher Ix!

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Birth of Adriele

Let's get it on!

Let’s get it on!

Morning of March 18, 7:30am to be exact, I felt some contractions already. I paused and tried to analyze the contractions I was feeling. That was only my 37th week. When I got back on our bed, I told my husband that my contractions are very unusual. Though tolerable, I asked him to stay with me instead of going to the office. He did.

Each contraction is only 30-min apart. I called my Dad and asked him to bring us to the hospital. My Dad, fresh from his jogging routine, excitedly asked, “Manganganak ka na ba?” And I just said, “Hmm.. Siguro? Masakit na po ang tiyan ko.”

10:00am. Excited Lolo-to-be brought us to St. Luke’s hospital QC where my doctor is. We had to wait until 12nn for my doctor because she was in a seminar. They just advised me to be calm and walk around the hospital so I can bear the pain. The contractions got harder and longer. I usually pause and breathe deeper whenever I feel one or hold the hand of my husband, the steel of the chair, the water bottle I have, my bag, or anything I could hold on to.

12:00nn. My doctor checked my situation. She said, “Malayo pa si Baby! Kain muna kayo, then balik kayo mga 3pm for me to check the baby again.” And so we did. Even if we live 10-mins away from St. Luke’s, we did not go home. My Dad wanted to make sure of everything. Pag sumakit, at least within the vicinity lang kami ng hospital. During lunch, I really felt that the contractions became harder. The time difference also got shorter. I knew it, sabi ko nalang, “Today na talaga ako manganganak.”

3:00pm. Time for another IE. Doctor advised us that we could still go home, baka daw mainip pa ako sa hospital kakaantay bumaba yung bata. Truth be told, medyo naurong ang excitement naming tatlo but we followed the orders of the doctor.

Going home, Dad and Axle planned on dropping by at a nearby grocery. Namasyal pa. But during the time we were there, I felt the kind of contractions most mothers describe… Yung parang mababali na ang likod mo at balakang. Masakit, pero hinga lang ako ng malalim at hindi ako dumadaldal.

Back at the house. Axle timed each contraction again. We were advised na kapag sobrang lapit na, like 5mins or less ang time difference, we could go to the Delivery Room. My Mom arrived fresh from work. She didn’t know anything about our trip to the hospital nung morning and so she was a bit surprise to see me breathing heavily on bed. We told her that I’m feeling progressive contractions and she panicked a bit. She asked bakit pa kami umuwi, ready na ba lahat ng gamit, etc. etc. But what touched me most is despite the noise she contributes to the supposed-to-be-calm room of ours, she silently lit a candle for me at the altar. She prayed for my safety, and of course, for her first apo’s safety.

That's me having contractions

That’s me having contractions haha

When Mama went back to our room, hinahaplos niya lang yung likod ko whenever I feel pain. I hold her hand, and I feel a bit relieved whenever she touches my back.

Hindi ko na kinaya. After series of painful contractions, I asked Axle and Mama to call Papa (who is just downstairs) to bring me to the hospital. I slowly got up and managed to walk to the bathroom because I felt like peeing.

6:45pm. Instead of pee, my water broke and blood followed. I did not shout. Instead, I told my mom about it, “Ma, may tubig na tsaka dugo.” Sila yung nagpanic. Ako kalma lang.

In the Hospital

Doctors and Nurses kept on asking me the same things and I got masungit. The pain got stronger and I really couldn’t stand it. The only thing that could keep me calm is holding the hand of my husband inside the admission’s.

Fortunately, the resident doctor shouted, “8cm to 9cm, stretcher please!”

It was music to my ears. Finally, matatapos na! Ganon pala, when you’re just in that situation, you wanted to get over it immediately… not because you want to get rid of the pain but because you want to see your baby.

1, 2, 3… Puuuuuush!

My doctor Marietta Sapaula of SLMC Qc

My doctor Marietta Sapaula of SLMC-Qc

 11:00pm when I got inside the operating room. 11:25pm when I finally got hold of Adriele. 25 minutes of pushing and we were able to see Adriele. I am very thankful to God for giving me a very awesome team, headed of course by my Ob-gyne Dr. Marietta S. Sapaula.

Axle was able to cut the cord

Axle was able to cut the cord

He’s now officially a Dad! Axle was so happy and he got so amazed. He was there the whole time and he gave me support… all-out! Stunned how I magically gave birth to our first bundle of joy. Thank you very much, Love. You were also awesome!

Breastfeeding time

Breastfeeding time

Attempting to be a drama queen already

Attempting to be a drama queen already

And she's out!

And she’s out!

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Papa, Mama, my doctors, Axle, Adriele and Me

The teary-eyed, first-time grandparents welcomed us in the hallway. I have never seen my parents that happy before. Not when I graduated from High School, from College, not when I treated them during my first sweldo, never. They really looked extremely happy. So happy that they handed their iPad to one of the doctors and asked him to take our photo.

I wouldn’t forget that day! It was a day filled with blessings and strength. God has given us a miracle; God has given us a wonderful gift.

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Gender Reveal Baby Shower

The gang

The gang

It was a hot evening of March 8, 2014 when we had our baby shower.

We planned on having a Gender Reveal baby shower. Wanna know the story behind it?

Every time we have our ultrasound, the baby doesn’t show his/her (at that time) gender. The consultants always end up with the statement, “Next time siguro, Ma’m… Baka magpakita na siya.” Always prolonging the excitement! We were very eager to know the gender!!! Our family and friends kept asking us about the gender but we didn’t have any answer.

That’s the time my mom told me how she knew my gender back then. Guess how! Answer: When she gave birth.

Her pregnancy was so crucial. She was advised by her doctor to just have bed rest. My mom did not hesitate. She left her work and just stayed at home. No check-ups, only phone calls. No excessive walking around the house, just the bathroom, and back to the bed. My mom followed it all because they really wanted to keep me; they wanted a family.

No back to our ultrasound story. The head consultant finally came in to see me. The other doctors had a hard time to check my baby’s gender because she keeps on hiding. The consultant finally saw my baby’s gender! Yay! No, okay, we were expecting, no, we were praying for a boy but I think now is not the right time.

Gender

Gender (Isn’t it a coincidence? I’m posting this photo exactly after 1 year!) #timehop

Bet On Our Baby!

At the party, we asked our guests to take a wild guess. We asked them to put all their bets inside the designated pail. Baby Boy votes were quite a number.

Is it a Mickey or a Minnie?

Is it a Mickey or a Minnie?

Wondering how we revealed the gender? In other gender reveal baby showers, they cut the cake and guests will see the color of the sponge. Boy  if it’s blue, girl if it’s pink. Well, we tweaked it. Lol!

The cake is the revelation. After counting all the bets (in peso haha) we put the cake on the table and asked our guests to count 1 to 3 et voila!

It's a Girl!

It’s a Girl!

The lucky winner of the pot money is actually our daughter’s Ninong. He won P600+ hahaha! Nice!