Worth Every Penny

After my husband and I got married, I moved in with him in his place on a high rise here in the Big Apple. I must say, I had a seamless move (from Long Island to NYC) and it was relatively easy because I didn’t have to haul any furniture with me other than my almost new king size mattress. We ditched his old mattress and kept his frame and headboard. We decided however to hire a professional mover because I wanted to ensure that all of my personal stuff were handled properly.

It’s been almost 16 years since we got married. So many things have transpired, we have moved and tackled a complicated renovation (gutted the whole place) once, we’ve gained and lost weight (lol), we’ve traveled far and wide and been to countries that many consider as must-see destinations, we’ve gained new friends, we’ve also lost friends permanently courtesy of that thing called ‘death’ as well as that thing – ‘we simply didn’t click and drifted apart’, we’ve lost family both from again that thing called ‘death’ and simply because the separation is inevitable due to deep seated issues. If you think that it’s unfathomable that this can happen, think again. I’m now a witness of it and it’s so beyond me. People around us privy to what’s going on labled it as a tragedy.

Of all those changes, there’s one thing that stood out to be the most pleasant, and both me and my husband regret that we have not done it a lot sooner. That’s none other than ditching my mattress and switched to a Tempur-Pedic.

My mattress that I brought in with me when I moved in with my husband was relatively new. I had a Beautyrest Plush Pillowtop, and while it was a great mattress, we both felt it was time to replace it. It is recommended to replace mattress every 10 years (though I don’t know if people really do that) but we didn’t do it. I spent a substantial amount of money on it and 10 years was just too soon to let go of it. So on it’s 15th year (last year), we replaced our Beautyrest and invested on a bed that’s not only luxurious, but now I can attest it does really promote better sleep. It’s cost prohibitive but it’s all worth it. Not feeling when my husband tosses and turns a hundred times – that alone is awesome, plus the support is just prime.

At the time of purchase they threw in 2 free pillows. It was a nice freebie I must say. Why it had to be 1 king and 1 queen sized pillow instead of 2 king is beyond me. But hey it was free. So, I kept my mouth shut and walked away with the great deal that we got.

tempur cloud

tempu-pedic

Rewind: V Day And My Birthday

Wheeewww!!! Pardon the dust over here. It’s been eons since my last update. And, in as much as I had the desire all these time to blog away, time has been rather limited. If I only have better discipline maybe I could have updated sooner.

So let me try to pick up where I left off. Two days in February were special days that I think are worth writing about. Of course, Valentine’s Day came and I had God’s blessing and celebrated my birthday. Not that there was a big celebration or what not, but I consider every birthday a big milestone. I can not thank God enough for allowing me to continue my journey on earth. It’s been pure joy to continue this beautiful journey in spite of the many upheavals.

Before I get misty eyed, I have to mention that no matter how February is normally dreary in our side of the woods, my husband didn’t fail to cheer me up. Since my birthday is just  two days after Velentine’s Day, I got a two in one present. Needless to say, both came on Valentine’s Day and I’m not complaining because I have gotten so used to it already.

I’m a self-confessed L’Occitane junkie and my husband deemed it ‘safe’ to shower me with my staples and of course my one and only perfume, I call it my signature scent for ages – Frederic Malle’s Portrait Of A Lady. I can never have enough of this bottle. Let’s just say, you’ll find my inventory in the fridge (lol).

Till next V day and my birthday. Before I know it, winter is here again. But I don’t even want to think about that at this point because New York has been struggling to get into the real Spring-time temps.

bday 2016

bday 2016

bday 2016

vday 2016

vday 2016

vday 2016

Saturday Jaunt

I’m updating once again with another flashback. Don’t worry, this post is one of the last few that will take you back into summer 2015.

Twas the weekend of Pope Francis’s visit to New York. It was one windy day, a bit cold but pleasant, with the sun shining brightly. We went about with our usual Saturday routine which means, we attended the anticipated Mass too. With temps a bit balmy, I had the perfect idea of donning my denim duster coat.

See my hair going in different directions? That was the wind blowing.

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9-26-2015

9-26-2015

At the lobby of the church, there was the life-size replica of Pope Francis. The ushers in church coaxed us to pose right beside the replica which we gamely did.
9-26-2015

Dinner was at Fuciaana. It was one of the few occasions that I had a head shot taken. I normally just take snaps of the food. I don’t know what got to me but it was what it was.

fuciaana

This is actually the last of the SJ series for summer of 2015. So I’m sure you will not see me much in my succeeding posts. Till next summer 🙂

Another Birthday, Another Milestone

I thought I was going to post this update right within his (our, rather) birthday month but I proved myself wrong once again. Where did February go? But I should not really question how fast time flies as February is a short month anyway.

My unconventional husband had only one birthday wish – good health.

True to what he wanted, there was no fanfare. All he wanted was for me to make his one and only request for his birthday dinner at home – that is no other than pancit canton. However, I managed to surprise him with a gift and although he was not too thrilled that I had to spend his money on him (lol), he was delighted as I got him his favorite sneakers brand – Jordan.

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So on the day of his birthday, I slaved myself in the kitchen while he was at work, to put together his beloved pancit canton. I make this occasionally, so whenever I make it, it’s always a treat for him. Preparation is quite tedious because of the different veggies that needs prepping. Otherwise, cooking it is a breeze. To round up the dinner at home, I made broccoli slaw, steamed vegetable gyoza and his feather light fruity birthday cake from one of my fave bakeshops in town.

For his celebratory birthday dinner, we headed to dinner at a restaurant of his choice the weekend following his actual birthday.  Much to my surprise, he chose a chain restaurant (which is so unlikely of him) – Bonefish Grill. With a few family members (from my side), the dinner was fun and everyone had a great time.

bonefish grill

f bday 2016

f bday 2016

f bday 2016

f bday 2016
f bday 2016

Saturday Jaunt

It was one of those days when going bare face was the order of the day. So off we headed out, and went about with our errands. We attended the anticipated mass as usual. If not for the plan on going to this Japanese restaurant for the first time, I was not really up to going out and about. But as you know, an invite to go to a Japanese resto never fails to change my mood.

Photos taken in a municipal parking lot? Yes, it’s doable! I had to force my ‘photographer’ to snap these photos.

9-19-2015

9-19-2015

9-19-2015

We were seated pretty quick. Mitoushi has its own regular patrons as indicated by the crowd who came to dine that night. I was not actually totally impressed with the food. It was not awful, but it can be better. We have not gone back. So if that is any indication of our dining experience then let’s leave it at that.

mitoushi

mitoushi

mitoushi

A Baby Shower Like No Other

Last summer, we were invited to a baby shower somewhere in Queens. It was for the baby boy of a family friend who waited for quite a few years for the stork visit. Shall I say, the baby was a miracle baby as it was a high risk pregnancy, with the mother who went through a lot to carry him to full term.

A highly unlikely component of a baby shower is a celebratory and thanksgiving Mass. Yes, prior to the festivities, a mass celebrated by a priest took place in a makeshift altar. Rain or shine there was no way it was not going to push through. There was intermittent heavy downpour, but it did not dampen the spirits of the invited guests, including us of course, which according from my estimate was close to a 100. There were tents to shelter us from the rain. The whole home and backyard was loaded with people. The buffet spread of Filipino, Italian and Japanese cuisine was impressive.

baby shower

baby shower

baby shower

Parlor games for kids and adults took place. We had so much fun, and we enjoyed the company of friends that we haven’t seen in ages.
baby shower

baby shower

baby shower

The photo booth sent everyone going gaga, and everyone kept going back to pose in front of the camera just for fun.

baby shower

The baby is now a few months old and we’re all patiently waiting for his Christening. I’m sure it will be another spectacular get together because his parents are fond of throwing big parties.

Saturday Jaunt

While it’s freezing here in the Big Apple, I’m here continuing to document what happened last summer. Yes, I have been that neglectful in updating this blog, but I’m trying my best to ‘catch up’. In the meantime, please bear with my stale posts (this and many more to come).

It was one of those Saturdays when I was kind of lazy to put together a decent outfit. I saw this denim top, and as though it was a no brainer, I went for one of my denim skirts. Denim on denim? (fashion police, please don’t shoot me lol). I must have written it here before that I’ve learned from fashion experts that denim on denim is good as long as there’s variation in color (dark and light). In my attempt to pull off a well put-together outfit, my Brooks Brothers espadrilles and tote bag completed my get-up.

9-5-2015

9-5-2015

After attending the anticipated mass, we went to dinner at Pho Hoai. We skipped dessert. There was no more space in our bellies.

Our First At Inatome

As it has always been in the almost sixteen years that we’ve been married, new year’s eve was spent at home. Knowing how so many parties happen during the eve of the new year (you know how parties and alcohol mix all the time), we always stay away from the road.

Hence, our new year’s eve celebration was new year’s day itself. But before we headed out, I asked my ‘photographer’ to snap a picture. I knew that was going to be the last photograph with our Christmas tree in the background.. Truth be told, we dismantled and put away every piece of Christmas decor the following day.

new year 2016

We were with family and friends, and dined out at Inatome Japanese Hibachi Steak House and Sushi located in Long Island. It was our (husband and I) first, but the rest of the group have dined there gazillion times. We learned that it is family owned and operated. It’s like a hidden gem  at this part of Long Island.

new year 2016 inatome

new year 2016 inatome

new year 2016 inatome

That was our Hibachi Chef showing off his antics.
new year 2016 inatome

new year 2016 inatome

We had a great time. As always, being with family and friends over good food is the essence of every celebration.

Annual Tradition

Snow in the morning, sunshine at noon. How fickle is the weather here in the Big Apple. We were blessed with 4.5 inches of snow earlier today. I was quite surprised of the accumulation, but I was more surprised when it brightened up and mr. sun showed up in full glory.

That was today, and in spite of the cold temps I’m so looking forward to the warmer temps.

Forgive the slack, I was not able to document our once a year trek to Coney Island and Luna Park sooner. Not that life was really hectic, but I just didn’t have the mojo to write. As you can see, this was in the summer. Oh how I miss the abundant sunshine!

coney island

coney island

coney island

coney island

coney island

coney island

coney island

Of course, my husband had to play  Pac-man. This never fails to bring back childhood memories.
coney island

coney island

coney island

coney island

Nathan’s is always a must while visiting Coney Island. No, we didn’t have the famous Nathan’s dogs. How boring! But to each his own 🙂
coney island

coney island

After walking a couple of miles, I finally admitted to my husband that my big feet was beaten up; I picked the wrong pair of shoes. It was not enough that they’re a pair of flats, they’re simply not made for walking miles. I couldn’t wait to sit down to ease the pain. What a lesson learned! In a few months, summer will once again roll around. And when that annual trek happens, I will make sure my big feet are ready to take it on.
coney island

Christmas Eve 2015

The past two Christmas eves, my husband and I opted to stay home and turned down invites from family and friends. We wanted to experience it on our own by dining out and going to midnight mass. All of the years that we’ve been married, we’ve always celebrated the eve of Christmas with friends and family. The past two years gave us the chance to do it our way, and while it was great and we were happy just the same, last Christmas, we figured it was time to go back to tradition and spend the eve with family and friends.

Instead of the usual midnight mass, we attended the live nativity mass at 5:00 pm. We thought of leaving the party midway to go to midnight mass, but we decided to just go to the earlier mass so we  didn’t leave the party midway. The church was decked beautifully inside and out. I snapped several photos. The live nativity was compelling but for someone like me who is used to seeing live nativities growing up, the ones we witnessed paled in comparison to the grand and well rehearsed ones in my hometown back in the Philippines.

As you can see in the pics below, we had a lot of fun. It was one long night, and it was one warm Christmas eve it felt like Spring. We wound up hitting the road to go home by 2:00 am. The one good thing about traveling at that time was we were home in no time because there was no congestion on the parkway.

xmas 2015

xmas 2015

xmas 2015

xmas 2015

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xmas 2015

xmas 2015

xmas 2015

xmas 2015

xmas 2015

xmas 2015

Thanksgiving Day 2015

*backtracking continues. please bear with this no-superwoman housewife

Thanksgiving this year was spent with family and friends on Long Island. As usual we had to go through gargantuan traffic both ways, but it was all worth it. Since my husband had to go to work the following day, we left Long Island a bit earlier than  we’re used to.

thanksgiving 2015

Turkey seasoned differently, anyone? Yes, it was not the usual turkey fare, as it was prepared using South American seasonings. I have to admit that I had a taste of it and it did agree with my palate just like the other guests. The roast pig however, I had to say no to. I’m sure you can imagine what I ate that night, being a self confessed pescetarian for years.

thanksgiving 2015

thanksgiving 2015

thanksgiving 2015

thanksgiving 2015

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thanksgiving 2015

thanksgiving 2015

thanksgiving 2015

It was fun being around people who matters the most.

Merry Christmas From Our Home To Yours

(front)
xmas 2015

(inside)
xmas 2015

(back)

xmas 2015

(front)

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This year, it’s the first time ever that I opted to have two personalized Christmas cards printed.

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xmas 2015

(back)
xmas 2015

It’s A Red Kind Of Christmas

Christmas has taken a new meaning this year as my husband is now a full pledged Catholic. You can just imagine how he was so excited to help me put up the tree and decorate for the holiday.

Our Balsam Hill tree was up as early as November 15. It was not done in one go however. After he put up the tree I went to work with the ornaments. This year I decided to adorn our tree with red ornaments to add to my growing collection of Wedgwood and Royal Albert.

I’m more than glad that our pockets were not as drained this year, as I only have to buy a few to add  to the Wedgwood and Royal Albert ornaments that I already have. I didn’t even purchase the Wedgwood bless this home ornament, thanks to a dear friend who gifted it to me on my birthday this year.  I bought the Wedgwood red snowflake teardrop (6 pcs) and figural cross (3 pcs), Royal Albert cream jug (6 pcs) and bauble ornament (6 pcs). Add to that a couple of dozens of wood poinsettia, 2 dozens of the red figs and 110 pcs of shatterproof red balls plus of course the red tree skirt.

I wanted to make things simple so I made use of three dozens of live potted 6 inch poinsettia to adorn our home. As you may have guess it already, it’s been a nightmare trying to maintain them (lol pagod na ako sa kakadilig) but I’m trying my best to keep them alive and kicking. Two hanging stars made of red and white yarns (I think), a Kate Spade bright red table cloth and an embroidered table runner round up my indoor decor for this year.

Outside, nothing can be as simple as the red laser lights. It’s a plug and go kind of thing so it was a wise choice.

I hope you had fun decorating your home just as we did.

xmas 2015

xmas 2015

xmas 2015

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xmas 2015

A Night Of Hope

In 2014, my husband and I planned on going to Joel Osteen’s A Night Of Hope at the Yankee Stadium. We were not able to attend. Tickets available at the time when I was trying to procure them were not desirable. This year however, was a different story. I went but my husband did not. I went with our church friend. While our husbands were busy at work, we took the chance to be with the thousands of Joel Osteen followers.

night of hope

night of hope

Getting into the Barclay’s Center was a breeze via subway. I met up with my friend at the gate. Entry to the arena was a breeze as it was handled in a very orderly manner. Not for long, the festivities started.

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It was an afternoon (it was a matinee show that was added to accommodate everyone because the evening show was sold out) of music (with a live band), ministry and inspiration. Joel Osteen, his wife Victoria and their two children as well as Joel Osteen’s mom (who gave a very inspiring message) were all there. It was a revelation seeing the children singing with the band. Apparently, it’s been a family tradition that the children join them when they bring Night Of Hope in the different states.

This is what I needed. My friend and I came out of the arena renewed and feeling inspired. Osteen is a compelling speaker. He actually broke down at least three times. Though it was one of those frigid nights (which was unusual for Fall) and I actually caught a cold ( which quickly went away) probably due to the air-conditioning in the arena, I will most likely find myself again wherever the venue may be when Joel Osteen brings A Night Of Hope here in the Big Apple.

night of hope

night of hope

night of hope

night of hope

night of hope

night of hope

night of hope

night of hope

night of hope

Saturday Jaunt

After a few weeks of getting acquainted with ‘Trixie’, my husband and I decided that it was really imperative to go for the BMW Encore Program and have a one on one session with a BMW Genius. I secured an appointment in August, and although we went out of our norm and had to start our Saturday earlier than usual it was a very productive day.

After the one hour session, my husband and I came out more confident and better equipped to ‘play around’ with ‘Trixie’. Oh and not to forget and we were pleasantly surprised to find out  after the session that the dealership will top off the car’s gas tank (throughout the one hour session by the way, the engine of the car was on). It worked out real good for us, as we didn’t go with a full tank. In fact, we only had a fourth of the tank so we definitely did good. Hey this freebie was nothing to sneeze at. After all, Trixie needs premium gas and as recommended we only fill with BP Gas.

bmw encore

bmw encore

Since we were around the perimeter of  Riesterer’s, we agreed to drop by the bakeshop. It’s been ages since our last visit. We sat down for quick, light snacks, grabbed some pastries to bring to my sister’s (we had dinner at their house that night) and we brought home four decadent double dipped chocolate donuts for the following day. I must say, these donuts really tasted so good after many months of not indulging on them.

riesterer's

riesterer's

riesterer's

riesterer'sriesterer's

We attended the anticipated Mass at Blessed Sacrament. That church is my all time favorite place of worship. There’s something about it that I can’t explain.

8-22-2015

8-22-2015

8-22-2015

8-22-2015

It was a late night. We were at my sister’s house for several hours. It was good in a way as traffic was moving well when we finally took the parkway.

2015 Backyard Barbecue

After turning down invites for backyard barbecues the past couple of years, we finally gave in last summer. We made sure we attended only one though, and it was good enough.

For someone like me who has turned pescetarian, do you think there was something for me at the barbecue? Yes! And I’m so glad the host/hostess thought of my dietary restriction. After many years of not eating anything in the form of meat, just the thought of indulging makes my stomach queasy.

Call time was early afternoon. There was congestion on the parkway but we took an alternate route and we were in Long Island in no time.

mellow yellow

mellow yellow

Pictures were intentionally pixelated for their privacy. I didn’t want my attention getting called again when these friends drop by my blog and they see their faces here.

2015 bbq

2015 bbq

2015 bbq

2015 bbq

There were children in the party. This was meant for them to enjoy and they really did. Too bad I didn’t capture pics of them (except this cute boy) roasting his marshmallows.

2015 bbq

2015 bbq

I tried so hard to stay away from sweets but there were just too much temptation that I had to give in. There were at least three cakes, and tons of these treats that were all chocolate.

2015 bbq

2015 bbq

Till next summer barbecue 🙂

Saturday Jaunt

Animal print… Zebra no less. I was in the mood for it. I actually got up on the right side of bed so it was apparent. I was lazy to put on makeup however, so please don’t mind the bare face. A bright lip tint, hair tied up and I was ready. Surprisingly enough, a few people in church commented I looked radiant. It must have been the inner glow because I felt great and happy.

So they say, no makeup can mask a rotten feeling. I should know it happens a lot.

Dinner was at Pho Hoai, and the usual Starbucks treat.

8-15-2015

8-15-2015

8-15-2015

pho hoai

Juicing Has Taken A Bit Of A Backseat

I just went through my files and came across these photos. Boy, I’m guilty that I haven’t used my Hurom juicer in a long time. Not that I stopped my morning ritual at all. I just shifted to using my Vitamix more often, and instead of making juices, I’m making smoothies cum juices.

I have to admit that using the Vitamix is a lot easier. The prep work is essentially the same, but the clean up is significantly easier and less time consuming with the Hurom. And of course, we get to enjoy the fiber as well instead of just the juice.

Yes, we. Because my husband gets his daily dose too. I make sure that his dose is prepared the night before, stored in one of my mason jars and ready to go with him when he heads out the door for work. I prefer vegetable and fruit with 80/20 combination; 80% veggies and 20% fruits with my permanent ingredient – ginger root.

beet juice

beet juice

pineapple juice

beet juice

watermelon juice

green juice

cantaloupe, mango, orange

wheatgrass juice

Wheat grass juice is the hardest to make. It requires some kind of technique to make the most out of the grass. To date, I’ve only made wheat grass juice once. I hope one day I will have more patience to deal with it.

wheatgrass juice

wheatgrass juice

Saturday Jaunt

What’s the best way to kick the blues? Wear something vibrant! Yes, it was one of those days when I simply was not ‘all there’. I’m sure that I’m not the only one who goes through those days. Pulling off an ensemble like the one I was wearing in these photos did the trick.

8-8-2015<

8-8-2015

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And just like that… I was able to normally function and ended the day right. We later headed to Fuciaana for dinner and scooted over to Starbucks for my husband’s weekly espresso fix.

Laughing Out Loud

Over the years, I have amassed a good number of Pidro shirts for my husband. All of them were purchased during our vacations in the Philippines. For those who do not know what these shirts are, Pidro is a brand with designs incorporating Pinoy humor.

On weekends, we tend to rush through and do our errands. There’s not much time to accomplish every single task so my husband and I tend to feel somewhat harassed.

One time, as we were about to head out, I noticed something rather unusual when my husband alighted from the bedroom. I was quick to snap a photo of  him using my cell phone. It was not that long until I burst into laughter. He was wearing his shirt – front in the back. How he did not feel the odd feeling (as a result of the shirt worn the wrong way) on his body was a big question mark.

pinoy ka

pinoy ka

We had a good laugh. Of course he did not head out clad in this shirt worn the wrong way. I could imagine the looks that would have been thrown at him if he did.