Sunday, 30 March 2014

Must TRY Dutch Food

I'm Filipino and while I loooveee Filipino food to bits, I also appreciate the food of other countries.

Dutch food is something close to my heart for 3 reasons:

1. I love cheese
2. I love potatoes
3. I love drinking beer 

Ahhh yes...the trifecta of simple pleasures. And to me, Dutch cuisine is exactly like that...Simple pleasures. No pretentions. Very Approachable. Easy to Enjoy.

Speaking of easy, it's very easy to order food too. Everyone speaks English and everyone is friendly!

Here are the food I managed to stuff myself with while I was in the Amsterdam.

To my dear friends planning to go to the Netherlands this June, don't leave without eating the food in this list. 


1. Stroopwaffle. 

No picture. Boooohooooo!!! 
I ate it right away. Low EQ.
It's amazing when it's fresh and hot!! Peeeerrrrfect with a cup of brewed coffee.
I think, the crispy waffle uses similar spices as those being used in making spekulaas. I'm not too sure.

2. Koffie Verkeerd 

The Dutch Version of a Caffe Latte
Mine was served w a spekulaas cookie. 






3. Stamppot

The epitome of Dutch Cuisine: hearty, simple and filling. 
I will definitely include this in my cooking repertoire. I'm sure this will be pretty easy thanks to the new Knorr Mashed Potato.



4. Patat

The Dutch version of french fries. 
It's a meal in itself. 
When you're freezing and your tummy aching from hunger...an order of Patat with cola will taste like ambrosia.






5. Kaas broodjes

Like tuna turnover but with cheese.
And I mean... AMAZINGGGGGGG CHEESE!
When it's hot, the cheese inside melts while the cheese on top become even crispier.





6. Bitterballen

And my favorite!!!!
Beer food! The epic beer food!
Best enjoyed with Heineken. OFCOURSE!





7. Kroket

"Where is FEBO?"
"Are we near FEBO??!!!"
"Check your google maps for any nearby FEBO"
I'm sure S wanted to kill me for saying FEBO every minute.
I just couldn't get enough of their KROKETS!
I was so sad that when we got to the Schipol, I couldn't find any FEBO dispenser.




8. Poffertjes

Small pancakes best enjoyed during winter



9. Drops

We didn't like this. It was a big strange for me.
But you must try!
 Let me know what you think.


10. Gouda and other KAAS

If you know me in person, you'll know that I love cheese.
I particularly love hard and mature cheeses ;) 
Needless to say, Amsterdam was heaven for me because the entire country is famous for their dairy products.
Unfortunately, we didn't get to bring anything back because we had to fly Spain and then to Paris and we didn't want to lug them around. 
So if any Dutch gets to read this post and plans to go to Makati, I'll gladly buy you a beer in exchange for cheese.





11. Hagelstag.

Also eaten in Indonesia. This is usually eaten during breakfast.  Spread margarine on bread and sprinkle generously.

NOTE: use flora proactive.



12. Lots of Apple pastries 

This one was my favorite. Best served warm and with coffee. Perfect for winter afternoon tea.



And ofcourse... Don't go home without eating a slice of apple pie.





Food I never got to eat but you should try:

1. Snert
2. Kibble 
3. Haring


For pasalubong, buy the following

1. Short bread cookies, particularly this brand. They've been making this for ages!





2. Anything Spekulaas






3. Stroopwaffles

4. Cheese


Bye. I got hungry from writing this post.



Still on Pause,

L



Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Day 40: The Wedding Cake


I had this brilliant idea to walk all the way to the Peninsula Hotel. I almost fainted because of the heat.

Yes! Summer has officially started and I didn't even realize because I'm just so out of it these days. My brain is making me pay for the 10 years I made it work overtime.

At the Pen, I met up with a famous pastry chef, PENK CHING, for my wedding cake. Chef Penk made the inauguration cake of the Philippine President and the wedding cakes of other presidential kids.

I'm very honored that she agreed to do my cake. My brother personally knows her because they have joined several competitions in the  past.

I may not have a dream bouquet or a dream wedding dress like most brides....but I have always wanted famous pastry chefs to make my cakes for whatever special occasion.

Which is why, I asked Chef Peachy Juban do to my tinghun "pollination" cake. My despedida cake was also done by Chef Peachy, thankkkksss to Chef Joanne Limoanco!

Anyhu, My brother suggested we go for a "satellite" execution instead of tiers.


This means 8-10 cakes with individual designs!


The table will also be decorated with candles and flowers.



I'm very excited! 

After the wonderful chitchat with Chef Penk, I  walked back to greenbelt  and had a cold sangria because I deserve one!


Still on Pause,

L

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Day 36: The S word

In the beginning there was word
And the word was with God
And the word was God

John 1:1

Tony once told me that we give the name power everytime we say it. Which is why he avoided giving a name to his disease, cancer. He didn't talk much about it. This is probably why he lived longer than expected.

Recently, S has been saying that he is STRESSED. The frequency has increased significantly to the point that it's really getting on my nerves because I'm a generally positive person.

But S pointed out that on my not-so-positive days I complain about the same thing.

Point Taken! 

So we have a new game, we will pay 20 bux everytime we say the word STRESS.  I geniunely believe the more we say it, the more we will feel it.

And guess what, after shelling out 120 bux, we have reduced the number of times we complain.





And yes, we feel calmer.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Day 35: Of Love and Respect

A couple of nights ago, we celebrated the birthday of my good friend who survived cancer.  Last year, he was still in the US battling the disease and the year before that, he just found out he had it.

Needless to say, we were all all very happy.

We were seated beside a lovely couple and we eventually fell into a conversation. The husband shared that their marriage was really rocky and they were already at that point wherein they were cursing each other. He encouraged us to make God the center of our lives even before we get married. 

What a blessing to hear those words! God really works in mysterious ways. He reminded us through new friends!

The husband continued how crucial it is to give your husband RESPECT. My dad tells me the same thing. And respect means that, the wife must allow him to make the last decision. She can suggest but she must allow him to lead. 

I was so happy to be reminded. Reason is my North Star. There is no man or woman, no leader or follower. For me, everything is governed by rational logic. Which is why, I love it when people challenge me. Infact I really encourage debate.

The husband explained to me that it shouldn't always be the case  because marriage is not corporate. He said that if we plan to work together, I can't separate work and home. 

I must be a wife even at work. I will have to expect that things will get personal. I can't just show respect at home and be bullish and impersonal  in the office.

There is so much that I have to unlearn. I am very professional. I can have a row with someone at work and grab a drink with him after office hours. For 10 years I was taught that those who take it personally are not fit to stay in corporate.

Many women may disagree with me but I was brought up by my parents to make my husband lead. The wife shouldn't  always fix the problem. And it's even worst if the wife involves her parents to come to the rescue. 

When I was leading my team, I stopped myself from solving their problems because I know that they'll be proud of themselves if they resolve those on their own. Solving their problems make them more confident and empowered.


However, outside of work, I tend to be more impatient. 

I am my father's daughter and I take so much after him. I think like a man and act like one too. It's a struggle to be like SARAH, Abraham's wife. 

I know that if I am to empower my husband to be a leader, I must first ALLOW him to lead our family. I must learn to RESPECT his decisions and not blame him if they turn out to be wrong. I must be patient and give him time to process, understand, make mistakes and grow.

My husband can't be powerful if I'm the one with the last word. My husband can't lead if I have my own strategy. 

Mico, my GBF, is right. I must be my husband's cheerleader. He said that being a muse is a full time job.

During the last few weeks of my sabbatical, I can see my future-husband blossom into a more mature and driven businessman. He already was before we met but now he is thinking bigger.

Putting my life in his hands, gave him a bigger purpose. 

Now...I have to learn how to be patient and and to allow him to make decisions and make mistakes along the way.

Respect, afterall is not just about being polite. It's about not challenging one's decision and ultimately, one's position.

Trust me when I say that it is very hard not to challenge and debate. Listening and supporting take so much times and maturity.


Still on Pause,

L



Thursday, 20 March 2014

Day 33: Disgusting Spinach Juice

All I can say is...


"What the f#%^ what was I thinking"

This time I made poison not potion.

Crazy Popeye

Spinach
Apple 
Honey 
Water


It has been 4 hrs now and I still feel like puking.

I don't know how I managed to finish the entire glass.

Excuse me while I go barf now.


Still on Pause,
L

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Day 31

Those who have plenty worry more.
They worry about losing what they have.

Those who have nothing are more hopeful.
For hope is all you have when you have nothing.

Life is simple...wants create worries.


Still on Pause,

L

Monday, 17 March 2014

Potion: The Mangoranda


My Healthy Potion for today is inspired by Boracay.


Mangoranda Recipe

1 mango
20 mint leaves
1/4 cup water
2 table spoon of honey


Enjoy


Still on Pause,

L




Sunday, 16 March 2014

Day 30: The Power of Time Off

I copied with pride the title of this post from Stefan Sagmeister's TED Talk

It was just so timely that I joined S' dinner with Martha. This lady is just so smart. She's like Yoda!

So, we were talking about how  my mind was like a sponge during this trip. Unlike other trips wherein I just wanted to turn off my brain.

I shared that when I was in Santorini, I spent 4 days just staring at Skaros where a castle perched on top of the mountain. For 4 days I thought about how easy it must be to climb the freaking lump of a rock. Then on the 5th day, I realized it was such a stupid idea to climb it.


Anyway, Martha shared that she watched a talk in youtube wherein this designer would close this company for 1 year every 7 years and he would go on a sabbatical.

His logic is...

We spend 

---> 25 years learning
---> 40 years working
---> 15 years in retirement

Why then not get 5 years out of retirement and distribute those years in between the 40 working years.

He found that he would get bored and run out of ideas after a prolonged amount of time at work. These sabbaticals would give him  fresher views on things and ultimately make him more creative.

This in turn made his the sabbaticals beneficial from emotional to financial context.

I'm so happy that I figured all these out myself! Although mine took longer than 7 years. My decision to hit 10 years is intentional. 10 is such a good number! 10 is perfect!

One thing I did learn from the talk is that I have to list the things I wish to learn or achieve during my sabbatical. I must then plot these in a schedule format. Otherwise, the whole break will not yield anything.

Thank God I heard this talk 30 days into my sabbatical!

So yes, Marriage would be #1 as that is in 4 months time. Then ofcourse planning for the day itself is #1.1.  Ensuring our house is liveable is #2.

I started jotting down the rest so that I make sure my sabbatical is so productive. Who knows,  I may even get to do a Ted Talk if something good comes out of this Period of Nothingness. 

I know what you're thinking!!!

Yes! I KNOW MARRIAGE IS GONNA BE THAT SOMETHING GOOD! GEEZ.  
Seriously though,  S and I have been talking about how there's more to life other than the wedding day.  There's...ummm...LIFE ITSELF..doh.

Going back to my endless epiphanies...

#3 Definitely take Fookien Classes. My new family has emphasized how important this is.
#4 Take Spanish Classes, My new Inner Diva has emphasized the sexiness of this. 
     Una Copa de Vino, por favor! 
#5  Learn Basic Make Up in preparation for looking decent. 
      I must stop abusing my face in Perfect 365.
 #6 Work as S' secretary, fulfilling one of my dreams!
#7 Go home to my "provance" and start learning our trade

I need to start as early as next month for atleast one of the things on my list!  Inquiries have been sent and crossing my fingers for an immediate response.

Watch the entire talk and be inspired! YOU MUST WATCH THIS! It could change your life too!












Brought to you by the awesome people at TED.







Still on Pause,

L

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Potions: Confession

After eating 2 cups of rice and a bowl of patatim, I need to ingest fiber to cleanse my guilt and my guts

Today's concoctions is called "Confession"



Confession Recipe

1 apple
2 slices of pineapple
1/2 carrot 
2 tbsp honey 
1/4 cup water 


Still on Pause,

L

Friday, 14 March 2014

Day 29: Clean Start

 I'm back!!! 

And to commentate my new life and to detox from all the wine I've been drinking in Europe,I got me a new blender!!!


My new blender comes with 

.Detachable blade unit for easy cleaning
.2 beakers with lid
.1 juice container
.Recipe book 





I got so excited that I went shopping for fruits right away! 




And I've been blending all sort of concoctions.

RECIPE 1: Good Morning Sunshine

1/4 cup YOUGURT
1 Banana
1/2 carrot
1 teaspoon honey


Yum!!!

Still on Pause,

L




Day 28: The Expat's Wife

I've always wondered what it's like to be an expat's wife.

Where I used to live, River Valley, has a huge expat community. I would always see the Expats' Wives in their gym clothes every morning. I would see them at the gym by 9 am; At Toast Box or Starbucks having coffee with friends by 10 am and at Cold Storage by 11 am. I would see a number of them having afternoon tea by 3 pm.

I used to envy that life. I had to work so hard to bring my ass to Singapore and to get a nice house in that area. And yet I could only enjoy what they enjoy once or thrice a year, mostly on my birthdays or long weekends (which are ever so rare in Singapore).

On my last day, I went to go for a walk by the river and check out the vibe.  Sure enough there were expats' wives having coffee with their friends and yes, in gym clothes.



Speaking of the river, this is my favorite spot! I used to walk from my house just to grab a coffee at Kith. 



Anyway, I'm sure its tough to be an expat's wife. I know that their husbands are traveling or working late a lot and they're left alone to deal with the important family matters. 

It's also tough to be alone in a new country. It's even tougher when your husband divorces you! I heard many stories especially from expats in Thailand.

But for what it's worth, I still think it's a wonderful experience, being an expat's wife! not being divorced!

If I get to be an expat's wife what will I do?

hmmm....

I haven't thought about it actually.

But the opportunities are endless!!!

1. I can start a Juice Detoxing business and sell to my new community!
2.  A wine tasting club and sell wines?
3.  Study a foreign language and hang out with whoever actually speaks the language? Spanish perhaps?
4. Make friends with a local and be invited to all their holidays!
5. Host dinner parties
6. Explore the new country
7. Be active in the gym!
8. Host play dates

It's always easier to do these things in other countries where other people are also hungry for companionship. In your home country, everyone is so busy with their own lives.

I have learned that when you are not in your comfort zone, you are willing to learn new things and meet new friends.

Ahhh the dreams and delusions!


Still on Pause,

L











Thursday, 13 March 2014

Day 27: Hi and Bye Singapore

My flight was delayed by a whopping 4 hrs. 

The pilot announced that there was a leak in the fuel tank. I wanted them to just cancel the flight! After the Malaysia Airlines incident, I really didn't feel like rushing.

But ofcourse, Singapore Airlines has an amazing crew and they did fix it. The whole time we were waiting, I watched Frozen and I tell you it's so hard to laugh when you are nervous at the same time.

Finally I arrived in Singapore where I stayed with my GBF. This was also the same place I stayed it when I was sad, ages ago. 



The first thing I do to reminisce the good days was to clean the house and do a bit of ironing. That was my life in Singapore, work, go to the gym, eat and do chores. And I do enjoy it as mentally sick as it may sound. 

I met up with friends




Ate my favorite foods






Shopped for my coffee, noodles and shoes..





I think I'm ready to go home in a few. 


The best feeling is knowing that my vacation is not exactly over and I have plenty of time to deal with jet lag. No rush.




Still on Pause,

L

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Day 26: The Most Romantic City In The World

Whoever thought of making Paris as the romance capital of the world is one hell of a marketer ( if kunwari cool ka  say, HELLUVA).

When I was in Spain, I felt so...sociable. I went to tapas bars and greeted just about everyone, "hola". I felt sleepy roundabout 2 pm because it was siesta time.

Then when we went to Paris and all of a sudden I felt the urge to hug S and hum "La Vie en Rose".

How was Paris able to build this identity through time? Well,  experience tells me that it was built through literature and cinema.

"We'll always have Paris", famous line's from the classic, Love Affair.


When we saw the Louvre at night ( and this happened a couple of times because we would get lost and end up in Tuileries), we couldn't help but stare and admire it.



Paris gives you that funny feeling.




Unfortunately, it's expensive so you snap out of it quite fast the moment you see the menu prices. 

Since it's our last night, we went to the bridge, OUR BRIDGE. We just bought a 2.50 euro Nutella crepe for dinner.

S told me the first time we went that we must choose a bridge and visit it everytime we go back.  

Our bridge has a beautiful view of the Sienne and the first time we were there, we were blessed with a beautiful full moon and we also had the same crepe. YES! Creatures of Habit!



This same  full moon hypnotized me and turned me into a sap.


Unfortunately, it was freezing this time. Nevertheless, we sat, held each other's hands and I'm glad to have validated that Paris still has the same effect on us. 


Still on Pause,

L

Day 25: My Favorite Things

Unlike most girls, I really don't enjoy shopping. In fact it stresses me out.

Knowing fully well the amount of thinking that goes behind each product, it breaks my heart if (and when) I succumb to the powers of the brands.

I firmly believe that it is people who leave brands. Brands never leave people.
A good brand stays true to its core.

 A strong brand reinvents itself to stay relevant but it never deviates from its real identity. I can talk endlessly about this.

It all boils down to the moment of truth. It is that moment that you decide to make a product or a brand part of your life.

There are also brands that I like but I am still not ready to welcome into my life. I feel I am not yet financially ready or worthy to have them.

I had 2 moments of truth here in Paris.


Do you know what happens if you recruit a brand that you are not yet ready to have? You could end up getting it on loan, which is not the best feeling or people could think it's fake.

For instance, if I get an Hermes Birkin now, I would really feel guilty spending a huge chunk of my savings. Buying a bag should not create any dent in one's budget. If it does, you are spending above your means. And yes, it would look fake on me

Now now! I'm not a fashion savvy person but there are just specific branded products that I have affinity with. Most of them I don't have yet because I don't have a sh*tloads of dwad. 

Life is more interesting if there is something to aspire for, right?

Here are a "few of my favorite things" in random order. I don't have most of them yet. I like dreaming :) Dreaming is free.


1. Ferragamo Pumps

This is so "Charlotte". I love its classific femininity.



2. Louis Vuitton Alma in Red Epi Leather
To me this bag shouts power. It's structured and stiff with some curves to soften the overall look.
I feel this bag reflects my former corporate personality.
I believe that this is a bag that a corporate girl should buy for herself. It shouldn't be given to her by anyone.






3. Prada Saffiano
I only like this Pinkish Saffiano.
The bag spoke to me in a different way. To me this bag is for the "woman who lunch" or that lady who has afternoon tea at the Ritz. I can't tell you why exactly. 
Notice that I always say "I feel", " I believe". 
 Branding is like that. You mostly feel it. It goes beyond reason



4. Black Louboutin Pigalle
I associate this with MIRANDA PRIESTLY, the evil boss in the "The Devil wears Prada"
Visually, this specific type of shoes with red soles means power and style.
If you have this, by all means Be A Bitch.




5. Nude Louboutin Fifi
This type of Louboutins looks so feminine and dainty.
This is the perfect match with the saffiano.
My dream wedding shoes. Goes well with tulle, right?




6. Louis Vuitton Oh Really! Pump
Yes it's really called Oh Really!
For real!
I love love love love the lock.
The peep toe style  signifies, "I'm serious but I could be a flirt if I want to be".




7.  Dwellstudio Peacock Citrine Bed linens
If you reached the point when you care about the design and quality of something not many people will get to see...you're in a good place. 
Not unless people actually frequent your room...then it's a different story.
This is the perfect product for people who are so busy that they want to pamper and please themselves.



8.  Hermes Birkin
Ofcourse...



9. Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1982
The year of my birth and one of the greatest vintages...
I'm thirsty.






10.  Bvulgari B.Zero Ring 
Zero is the amount  that will be left in my pot if I buy this.
I've tried this on sooooo many times...






11. Furla Practica and other Furla bags
 I love Furla . This is the first branded bag I fell inlove with.
 Back then I couldn't afford it.
When I did have money to buy one, the pastel was gone. 
Sigh...




12.  Tori Burch Primary Reva Ballerina Flats
It's girly, fun, colorful. The gold bling creates a contrast yet compliments the simplicity of the design.




14.  Kate Spade Bags
To me Kate Spade equals  fun, girly and dainty. 
I also love that they have outlet stores so they are affordable.
Note:  I hate coach for the very same reason that they are in outlet stores.




15. Celine Boston Tote
A classic born in 2009.
Perhaps a 5th years anniversary gift, S?
Maybe if I'm good or if I cook well?
Or if I don't lose anything in like 5 years?




got 2 from this trip and 1 was courtesy of S. This means no birthday gift this year.

Anyway...I'm patient.

I have the rest of my life to finish my scavenger hunt. 
    

Still on Pause,


L