Happy Fathers Day!

Joey made a card for daddy at school and surprise daddy in bed! Yey!

I am not fond of celebrating events, not even my own birthday, but where the big daddy and the kid are concerned, I am all for it. Anyway, since it was raining and we got stuck at Megamall, we just went to Joey’s undisputed favorite resto – Mesa. They serve the best sinigang in town and trust Joey to distinguish it from the others. 😛

Happy Father’s Day daddy!

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Bonding Weekend

Hubby and I had are now enjoying rare weekends when we are both stuck at home with no work to bother us (well, I don’t have access to work from home yet) – we are so not used to it, especially him, since for ten years his Sundays had been devoted to newspaper work. So starting last week, we’ve been rattling our brains to figure out what to do – no out of town trips yet since I haven’t earned any leave credits (a minor bummer).
 
With his newfound free time, hubby proved that while he may not be the sweetest guy on earth, he knows (most of the time anyway) when I need to be taken cared of  –  he took charge of booking me for a spa session last weekend. (Although this came about after I hinted rather strongly that something is really wrong when he’s been to the spa three times in less than two weeks while I haven’t been anywhere near one in two months, hehe).
What a relief though! I’ve been neck-deep in work the past few weeks and I knew I needed it.

We also managed to go to my in-laws and pick up Joey – he stayed there for a week since he’d been begging to go on a vacation – and visit my sis/bro-in-law’s new house. I think the kid enjoyed it a lot as he was able to play with his cousin, a boy like him, instead of all our girl neighbors.

I often feel sad whenever he asks me to find little boys to play with or when he comes home crying because all the girls in our condo like to play with dolls or play house and all he wants is to play with cars. Once, he even asked me to host a party for little boys because his next-door playmate threw a pool party for her playmates (all girls). Too bad that all the boys in our condo seem to be much older than him. And since we can’t exactly have a pool party for little boys with just one little boy, we just took Joey for a little swim:

look at his big smile!

Sunday was spent going to our friend Dex’s photo studio opening – and I ended up cheating on my supposed diet again as I was confronted by a neat table loaded with food. Arrgh. We couldn’t get Joey to try on the props and pose for the camera at first but when he finally warmed up to the idea, we couldn’t get him to stop! Well, if anything, Dex already has a loyal client in Joey. 😛

pretending to be an angel

Joey asking his dad to help him fly

The last weekend was a good one – catching up with family and friends. And I can’t wait for next week. Hint:

Virgin Island, from my last visit in 2009

Domestic Diva: Cookies!

Since I switched companies a few months back, I’ve recently found some time to explore my domestic side and re-discovered how much I love cooking. It has always been there, I know, and even when I was busy with work, I’d find time to whip up something for the family on weekends or every morning if I get to wake up early enough. 
I’m not a good cook, mind you. My maternal grandparents were both wonderful cooks, I have an aunt who prepares to-fie-for feasts on holidays and my parents both prepare good food (well, my mama does if she forgets her being health-conscious and doesn’t skip on all the seasoning). But somehow, those genes got lost – or maybe I got replaced in the nursery? 😛
Anyway, I’ve been cutting up recipes from magazines for so long and I figured It’s about time I put our oven to good use. I was beginning to think it would rust away as it had never been used in the five years we’ve had it. Plus, I wanted to make sure Joey eats healthy snacks while I’m away. But of course, just baby steps so I settled on making good old oatmeal cookies for my first foray into baking.
Ingredients: 
3/4 c quick cooking oats
3/4 c all purpose flour
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 cup nuts, chopped
1/4 c butter
1/4 c sugar
1 egg
1/4 tsp iodized salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla
1) Preheat oven to 375 F (191 C – good to find out I still remember some of my conversion skills, ha!).
2) Beat all ingredients. I didn’t have a beater so I just mashed everything with a trusty big metal spoon, and finally doing it by hand to make sure everything is mixed well.
3) Grease cookie sheets and drop the mixture on the cookie sheet 1 inch apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until slightly brown.
I did little improvisations with the recipe, using Nesvita instant oatmeal, Queen all purpose flour, anchor unsalted butter and almonds instead of raisins and walnuts as the original recipe called for. And I added a dash of cinnamon to the batter. 
Well, what do you know? Hubby and the kid loved it so much and so did my kiddo’s friend from next door. So much that they ate up a lot and just left me with one piece. 🙂
That inspired me to move on to another recipe – chocolate chip cookies. 
Ingredients:
2 c all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c butter
1 c brown sugar
1/2 c white sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 c chocolate chps
This time, I used Pillsbury flour , magnolia butter, and Ghirardelli chocolate chips. And I suggest cutting down on the brown sugar by half – get just 1/2 c instead of 1 whole cup. Got myself new measuring cups and a manual mixer (I’ll get the electric one next time – figured it’s exercise anyway).
Procedure’s pretty much a breeze. Just preheat the oven to 165 C, sift flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Then in a another bowl, cream together butter, white and brown sugar, add in vanilla and the eggs then mix in with the sifted ingredients (flour, etc). After everything’s mixed well, stir in the chocolate chips. Then put them in greased cookie sheets and bake for 15 minutes or until lightly brown.
So, two straight weekends of ruling the kitchen! I’m thinking of doing this again next weekend – it takes about 20 minutes  for the oatmeal cookies and 30 minutes for the choco chip ones, including prep time so I really don’t have an excuse not to, especially when I still have all the ingredients.
This summer, I’m thinking of being more ambitious – I want to make carrot cake with fondant icing. Something which I’ve been wanting to do since forever. I’m still searching for some good recipes online though. Wish me luck!

Joey’s 4th Birthday

February is birthday month for my side of the family: Joey and my uncle share the same b-day, and my mama and lola share the same b-day the day after (yeah, great coincidence right?). Naturally, I can’t drag both sides of the family to our teeny tiny condo so we had two separate affairs. The original plan was to have them together, but hubby didn’t include me in his plans so I ended up planning a date, and he, well, planned for another. The cake ended up arriving in between the two dates. 
For the pre-birthday with my in-laws, I managed to whip up home-made pizza, and chicken, garlic shrimp and mango cake. For 15 people (including me and hubby and nanny) .All done in less than three hours with just me manning the kitchen! Bone-tired after. Haha.
For the joint celeb with my lola and mama, decided to just contribute the cake. Mama promised to bring the food but proved once again how good she is at disappearing acts. she did manage to arrive 6 hours after the agreed time, sans food. Good thing my tita came to the rescue (my tita inherited my lola’s culinary skills; their house is my favorite destination during the Christmas season, when all diets are forgotten). 😀
Happy 4th birthday to my little angel, Joey! Happy 78th birthday to my lola and happy 52nd birthday to my mama! (Of course, my mama insists she’s only 50 – good thing she doesn’t read my blog, hehehe).
PS: Funny, I have some dim recollection that Joey’s cake this year is somewhat similar to last year’s. Only now did I realize they were indeed the same design! Hahaha!

Oldies

Found some old photos at my lola’s place a few months back; since I couldn’t sneak them out, I decided to just take photos of them using my old cellphone. One of these days, I’ll ask my lola if I can take them to a photo studio to get them restored.
Me, with my papa, mama, and my lola. Don’t know where this was taken as it wasn’t at any of the houses I know:
At around three or four, with papa, and with my cousin Grail:
Back when all we had was each other to play with:
Notice how even then, I had hair problems. Hahaha. And Ate Grail had always been the polished and perfectly groomed one.
With my baby sister Joan t my lola’s house, around 1989 (coz I remember having that shirt when I was in 2nd grade):
Ate Grail and our second cousin Tonton, with Bochok, my tita’s huge bear which she brought home all the way from Japan. Cousins, do you still remember him? Where is he?
Of course, this being my lola’s baul, I found some photos of my mama at their backyard:
And our great-grandmother Lola Dada (Consolacion is her real name).  She used to live with us at my parents’ house (mama was her favorite grandchild) until she moved back with Lola Lita. She died in the 1990s at 87:
My lola, at around 40. I can’t find her other photo, when she was very young and used to be part of Sampaguita’s budding actresses in the 50’s.
Left: my mama and her youngest brother. Right: My grandparents.
I remember having made a family tree all the way up to the early 20th century with my lola’s help but can’t recall where it is now. I’ll just make one and put it here. 🙂