Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My 2013 #FOODstagram

At the onset of this year, one in my 2013's list of things-to-accomplish was to learn to cook at least 10 dishes. Remember that when we got married in Nov 2012, I had zero knowledge in the kitchen and I thought Jan 2013 was a good month to start (yes, I chose to wait for 2 months post-wedding before I realized I should learn, lest we'd die in hunger, hehe).  

Now 12 months has already passed, and last night, I counted the new dishes I now know how to cook, at least the ones which I captured and posted on Instagram.  I did twelve!  Yippee! :)
Clockwise from left:  Nilagang spareribs, Sinampalukan, Spaghetti, Pork Sinigang, Adobo, and Tinola.
Clockwise from left:  Chopsuey, Lechon Paksiw, Fried Tilapia, Tuna Pesto Fetucinni, Ginataang Kalabasa at Sitaw

Not all of these were a success though.  Just look at that massacred tilapia and the super masabaw pork adobo.  But as they say, practice makes perfect, and try and try until you die/succeed (hahahahahahaha)! =D  I know there'll come a time when I'll be able to serve that perfectly fried fish on our dinner table. =P

My #FOODstagram target for 2014?  Dishes like menudo, caldereta, afritada, and the like.  I don't know how you call these, but I prefer calling them mga masarsang ulam vs. the mga masabaw (i.e. sinigang, nilaga, etc.).  Hehe.

Oops, speaking of food, it's time to eat now!  Bye bye! :)


Monday, December 30, 2013

Our Second Merry Little Christmas

Ho ho ho!
Happy holidays, everyone! :)

It's our second Christmas together, yippeee! :)  And if last year we were in sunny yellow, this year our matchy-matchy shirts are obviously deep blue with Christmas-red collars.  Hehe.  Gotta find rainbow-colored terno shirts naman for next year! :)


Monday, December 9, 2013

Banana Caramel Craze

It was afternoon of November 27, Wednesday.  My invisible bell was about to ring signaling my time to leave the office after a long, tiring day.   I knew my plan come four o’clock.  Get my things, log out, drive to the salon at Dusit to get a haircut and unwind.  However, things suddenly came running through my head.  FLOUR. SUGAR. EGGS. BUTTER… FLOUR. SUGAR. EGGS. BUTTER… FLOUR. SUGAR. EGGS. BUTTER… Oh man… I couldn’t ignore this inexplicable urge to bake!  I got my things, logged out, and drove… not to the salon but to our house instead.  This was the perfect way for me to relax --- convert STRESSED to DESSERTS!

That afternoon, my pink whisk felt like it wanted to whip up some banana cupcakes, and I found myself giving in. Here's the recipe that I used:


1 & 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp softened butter
1 cup sugar
4 pcs overripe bananas
1 medium egg
2 tbsp sour cream or milk 
3-4 tbsp nuts


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Combine the flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl and set aside.
2.  Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add egg, mashed banana, and sour cream or milk.  (In the case of this unplanned baking session, I used milk.)
3.  Slowly add in the flour mixture.  The batter will be thick and sticky.
4.  Line a 12-piece cupcake tray with 3oz. liners and fill each up with batter 2/3 full.  Top each with your favorite nuts.
Because the batter is thick, it's easier to fill the cups using an ice cream scoop. :)
5.  Bake for 18 minutes (yes, just 18, not 20) or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
See why you hafta put these in the oven for only 18 minutes?  They easily get baked...
and burnt (!!!) if you're not alert enough to 'rescue' them as soon as the 18-min alarm rings.

Now let's talk about what I "clothed" these naked banana cuppies with --- salted caramel frosting!  Making this may not be very challenging especially to expert bakers out there, but I found it less easy than all the icings I've made in the past.  One reason is the fact that you need to make caramel sauce first before you can start with the creaming and mixing and whipping!  If you know how to make caramel sauce, then good for you.  If not, I'll share with you how.


1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into pieces
1/4 cup heavy cream or milk
1/4 tbsp salt


1.  Add the sugar in an even layer over the bottom of a heavy saucepan.
2.  Heat the sugar over medium-high heat, whisking it as it begins to melt.
3.  Stop whisking once all of the sugar has melted, and swirl the pan occasionally while the sugar cooks.
4.  Continue cooking until the sugar has reached a deep amber color.  It would look almost reddish-brown with a slight toasted aroma.  If you have an instant-read thermometer, cook until the sugar reaches 350 degrees F.
5.  Add the butter all at once.  Whisk until it is completely melted.
6.  Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour the cream into the caramel.  Whisk until the sauce becomes smooth.  Add the salt and whisk to incorporate.
7.  And you're done!  Set the sauce aside and let cool before using. :)  

After the sauce has cooled down, you're now ready to make the frosting! :)  Ugh, too many steps right?  I told you this is relatively tedious.


1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup cream cheese
1/4 cup salted caramel sauce
1/2 cups powdered sugar


1.  Beat together the butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed for 5 minutes.
2.  Pour in the salted caramel and beat until combined.
3.  Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the powdered sugar a little at a time, until all has been incorporated.
4.  Increase the speed to medium-high and beat some more, until light and fluffy.
5.  Pipe the frosting onto each cupcake and drizzle with some additional salted caramel sauce.

Presenting the now dolled up banana cupcakes! :)

Banana beauties! :)

Happy happy happy! :)  These bananas didn't die in vain after all, 
for they served a yummy purpose. ;)



Sunday, November 24, 2013

One Year Down!

"There is no more lovely, friendly, and charming relationship, communion, or company 
than a good marriage."
~ Martin Luther

The statement is nothing short of true.  And this month, Rolly and I are celebrating the very first year of one good marriage.  Woohoo! Happy anniversary, my love!

In celebration of Year One, my husband and I thought of reliving a few milestones...

Stop 1:  UP Diliman, where Rolly and I first met.

our Alma Mater
It was one fine day in May at the FC Steps.  This chinito guy shook my hand and said, "It's nice to finally meet you." Hihi.  I still find myself giddy even after half a decade, geez!  Just a brief background: Rolly was an officemate of my UP blockmate Precious.  The latter hooked us up at that time when both Rolly ad I were partner-less.  She's in the States now so I couldn't personally hug her to say thank you all over again. 

We didn't eat at Rodic's on our first date, but we stopped by because we missed its famous tapsilog! =D

Stop 2:  Eastwood Richmonde Hotel, where we spent the night before and on the wedding day.

This time, we didn't book an expensive suite. =D
This place will always be memorable.  Obviously, it will forever appear on our wedding preps photos like these below! :)
Rolly and I with our courts at the hotel before going to church :)

Since we weren't able to book a trip for our anniversary, we just stayed overnight at the hotel for some R&R.
Oh yes, R&R included a visit to the hotel's gym. *frowns*
It was a good thing there's TV, I got to catch The Buzz while Rolly worked on the muscle machine. =D

Stop 3:  Christ the King Parish, Greenmeadows, where we exchanged vows.

CTK's altar is one of the most photogenic in the country! :)
We attended mass at the chapel of Padre Pio near Eastwood, but of course we wouldn't let the weekend pass without dropping by the church closest to our hearts.  Christ the King was a witness to our big day - the flood of emotions, the overflowing love and happiness that the two of us felt, the tears of joy that were shed. We love this place!  Though Greenmeadows is far from where we live, we know we will definitely keep coming back. Who knows, we might be renewing our vows here two or three decades from now! ;)


And that wraps up our very simple anniversary weekend.  But more than the quality time spent, I guess our most important takeaway from the celebration is our "SWOT" talk.  It wasn't really a convo about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (hehe); it was more of an assessment of our first year of being married.  We told each other our feelings, the good things and the bad, things we could improve on in our daily lives, our dreams, et cetera.  Rolly and I believe that marriage is hard work, that's why we feel that discussing things like these and working on stuff which need to be worked on are essential.  We plan to make this discussion a regular part of our annual wedding celebration. Kung may "BR" as in business review, meron ding "MR" as in marriage review. ;)


PAHABOL: This was taken on our actual anniversary night, November 8 Friday, at Yabu. :)



Friday, November 1, 2013

Oreos and Cream Cupcakes

Yesterday was October 31st, one day before All Saints' Day... Undas as we call it here in the Philippines.  I took the day off in anticipation of the heavy traffic I wasn't brave enough to endure, so I had the entire day all to myself (hubby still went to the office because he's got no more VLs left)!  And what do I usually do in my free time?  BAAAAAKE! =)  This time, the superstar of my cupcake wasn't blueberries or yellow yema filling.  This time, the center stage belonged to the world's favorite cookie.  OREO.


Wanna know how I baked my new Oreos and Cream cuppies?  If you're interested, read on. :)

For the cupcakes, it's very simple.  Just follow my Moist Chocolate Cupcake recipe here and you're good to go.  However, do not miss this very important step after you're done preparing the batter:  Put one oreo cookie into each baking cup as shown in the photo above. You'll be burying it under the chocolate batter you just made. Yes, we are going to hide the sandwich cookies! The twist, lick, and dunk Oreo way won't do here. :)

After you've covered the cookies, be ready to get them into the oven pre-heated at 350 degrees F.  Bake for approximately 18 to 22 minutes.

Now we're ready to make the cookies and cream frosting.


1 cup butter or shortening
1 & 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3-6 tbsp milk
2 cookies crushed into crumbs (you can use a food processor, but I crushed mine only manually)


1.  Beat the butter or shortening in a mixer until smooth.
2.  Add vanilla and mix until combined.
3.  Add the powdered sugar in 3 batches, scraping down the sides after each addition.
4.  Add a tablespoon of milk at a time and mix together until you achieve the consistency you like.  As for me, 3 tablespoons was perfect.
5.  Add the cookie crumbs.  Since I crushed the cookies manually, I sifted the crumbs to make sure they're really fine and won't form lumps in the frosting.  You can do the same if you want. :)
6.  Place frosting in a decorator bag and swirl any way you want. I always use Wilton's disposable piping bags so I never have to deal with washing anything anymore. =P
7.  Do not forget to put the star of the show on display.  Insert the Oreo cookie on top of each cupcake.

Oh well, you can still twist, lick, and dunk the Oreo on top if you want to.  But instead of dunking it into milk, do so into the frosting.  It's way cooler, not to mention, much more delicious. ;)


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Odd = Bad? I Don't Think So.

Every person is unique.  Many may have similarities, but it's impossible for two people to be exactly alike. Heck, even identical twins have differences, and that is God's design. :)  All of us are aware of that, aren't we? However, why do we tend to dislike someone who is totally different from the way we are?  "Dislike" may not even be the right word for some, it could go as far as "hate."  And this is sad.  Very sad.

I myself am guilty of this sometimes. I may not be among the ones who hate, but there are moments when I feel aversion and disapproval towards something someone does.  I am very sure that I do not detest the person, but I am not a fan of his/her odd ways either.  To a certain degree, I could understand why others have a strong dislike towards him/her.  Sigh.  Most times, I am caught in the middle.  Who do I choose? The people who are similar to me or the person who's alone and peculiar?  Tough.

During my personal quiet moments like right now, I stop and think and imagine what Jesus would do.  I am not trying to sound righteous here, okay?  What I am making an attempt at is in eliminating all my biases and judgment.  The person I am talking about is different from most of us, that's a fact.  But it's also true that s/he is a good person deep inside, and I myself can attest to this.  S/he does things without malice, without the desire to hurt.  People may not understand his/her manners, but that's the the way s/he is, that's they way s/he was brought up, that's the way God wired him/her to be.  Perhaps I should always put this in my head whenever I'd start feeling all negative. And I think it's about time to stop thinking that s/he's different in a bad way.  S/he's different, period. Like I said, every person is unique anyway.  I myself am different, and it ends there. Perhaps we can start throwing the person a positive light from now on?  Stop anticipating all the displeasing antics.  Let's expect him/her to do good, and for sure, s/he will. :)


Monday, October 14, 2013


“My husband is one of my greatest blessings from God. His love is a gift that I open every day.” 

I've said this time and again and I will never get tired of repeating it over and over: I am extremely blessed to have found a husband as amazing as mine. And this month, he just celebrated his 31st, his very last year on the calendar, woohoo! =D It’s the first time we’re celebrating it together as husband and wife, and like we agreed, he took charge and planned the things he wanted us to do.

Stop #1: Ringside Boxing Club

Rolly may not be a huge guy with monster biceps and a shredded six-pack, but he is a fitness buff.  There’s never a day that he doesn't exercise. He runs and does marathons, and his most recent ‘thing’ is boxing. I even gave him a new pair of Twins gloves and hand wraps as a birthday present! :) I didn't expect he’d include his boxing gym in our day’s itinerary because he knows I hate any activity that'd make my fats cry, but he did, much to my dismay surprise. Haha. Oh well, it’s his birthday. What the birthday boy wants, the birthday boy gets. And so he got me to join him. Hmp.
Hubby doing his thing while I was 'busy' taking pictures. =P

Stop #2: John and Yoko

The birthday boy knew I wasn't very happy with the boxing thing (hehe), so the next stop in his IT was something he was sure would please me. FOOOOOD! Both of us wanted to eat tempura and ramen, so our next stop was John and Yoko in Alabang Town Center. We stuffed our faces full with maki salad, shrimp and enoki pizza, California roll, ebi tempura, and tonkotsu tempura ramen. I think the food was good for about 4 people, but we gorged everything down!  See? That’s what exercising does to people! At least that was what it did to me; the energy I spent from all the jabbing (and picture taking =P) turned me into a hungry, grizzly bear. Hehe. =D

Barioishii! (Japanese for "very delicious")

Stop #3: Vanilla Cupcake Bakery

Cupcaaaaaaakes! It’s obvious that it was me who wanted this stop. How can you not crave for these super lovely sugary creations, right? Add to that the fact that Vanilla Cupcake Bakery is full of all things pretty! The couches, the saucers and forks with beautiful floral designs, the walls, the lamps, the cute teacups, and everything else are to die for! Aaaaah, I couldn’t get enough of this place!!! Thank heavens we were fortunate to find vacant seats outside the café unlike all those other times when it was full of people. Birthday luck, perhaps? :) Of all the exquisite cuppies on display, Rolly picked the Strawberry Shortcake while I had Cotton Candy. Sugar rush! :)

I belong here! :)

Stop #4: The Spa

Because the birthday boy is a sucker for spa and massage treatments, it was not a surprise that he chose this final stop. As usual, we had it done together in a couple’s room. I had Swedish while he had Deep Tissue (which I will never want for myself because it’s painful!). But more than the massage, what I enjoyed was their signature ginger tea.  In fact, every time Rolly sets an appointment for us at The Spa, it's the tea I get excited about! :)

Heaven on Earth! :)

And that's the roundup of hubby's 31st! :) Nothing grand, just pure quality time, just the way we always like things to be.  Cheers to another amazing year, Mahal! :)

A happy wifey,

Sunday, September 29, 2013

My Brazo de Mercedes Challenge

Back when I still lived with my mom and she was out, she'd always ask me what I wanted her to take home.  4 out of 5 of the time, I would tell her to bring me something saccharine for my sweet tooth.  And 3 out of that 4, it would be an image of a cake in my mind's eye.  Not just any cake, mind you. It was always specific. Nooo, it's not chocolate cake.  It's Brazo de Mercedes, my super duper ultimate favorite!

This afternoon, I challenged myself to bake one, but not in its usual rolled form.  Since I'm into cupcakes, why not make a cupcake version of this dessert of soft meringue with custard filling? You'd think it would be easy since I already had a recipe to follow (thanks to Rolly's officemate, Mira, who gave me the link to the recipe).  To me, however, it was a relatively tall task since I know that I am no good at anything involving egg whites. But what the heck.  There's no harm in trying (except for the ingredients which would go to waste, just in case). Hehe.  Oh well, I'm glad I did it because otherwise, I wouldn't have created these drop-dead dainty cuppies! :)

Here's the recipe I got from bakehappy.net, just in case you want to bake Brazo de Mercedes, too.


8 egg yolks, lightly beaten

1/4 cup cornstarch
300ml condensed milk
300ml water

8 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla


1. Pour condensed milk in a pan.
2. In a bowl, mix water and cornstarch.  Add the mixture to the condensed milk and start heating up the pan.
3. Whisk in the egg yolks gradually while the pan is still not too hot. 
4. Whisk continuously until very thick.  The texture should be of piping consistency before you turn the burner off.
5. Set aside to cool down.

1. Beat the egg whites until foamy, then add the vanilla and cream of tartar.
2. Gradually add the sugar while beating the egg whites.  Mix until stiff peaks form.
3. Pipe to prepared baking cups.  Leave a hole at the center of each cup for the custard filling/topping (but don't pipe in the custard yet!).
4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 7 minutes, or until the top of the meringue turns slightly brown.  After baking, set aside for a few minutes to let it cool.
5. Finally, pipe the custard into the center and on top of each meringue cuppy.  You may dust the cupcakes with powdered sugar if you want to. :)

And there you have it - your Brazo cuppies! :)  If you're not as bad as I am with egg whites, I bet this recipe will be easier for you. ;)  Good luck!


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Blueberry Frenzy

To our close friends, Rolly and I are probably the epitome of cheesiness. *GRIN*  But he's the cheesier one.  And he likes blue.  And strawberries.  That's why I baked blue-berry-cheese cakes! 

Huh? (?!$#@?>%&!!)

Hehe.  I'm pretty sure I didn't make any sense in that intro paragraph.  But really, all I wanted to say is... 

I baked blueberry cheesecake cuppies and they were a hit! Yipppeeee! :)

It was Sunday last week.  Rolly had been asking me to learn how to bake a blueberry cheesecake, so being the good wife that he thinks I am (haha), I researched for a newbie-friendly recipe that I could follow.  I found one from talentadongchef.wordpress.com but adjusted it a little bit.  And the result?

Ta daaaaah!

They looked pretty, but I wasn't very sure how they would taste.  It's the first time I baked cupcakes without flour; everything just depended on the 'glory' of cream cheese (and a bit of crushed graham).  I even thought, sayang naman if these would fail, ang mahal kaya ng cream cheese!  But you know what my family and friends said?  "MASARAAAAP!"  Yaaaaaay!  The comments made me soooo kilig! :)   

The blueberry frenzy didn't end here. 

After my boss tried my cheesecake come Monday, she asked me to bake some for her daughter (who's very kagigil adorable by the way) who's celebrating her birthday the same week.  I felt extremely giddy because that only meant my cheesecakes were really good diba.  Hehe.  (Sorry I really had to say that =P). So I said yes without batting an eyelash!  And then she said she needed 48 pieces.  Waaah!  Haha.  That's too many and I felt scared and pressured, but there was no turning back.  And it was for baby Anika anyway who's very close to my heart.  Eventually, I willingly and happily took on the challenge.

I realized the task was not at all easy as pie, especially since this was the first time I would be selling my cupcakes. Meaning, the "consumers" weren't my friends and family.  In fact, these would be people who do not know me at all (baby Anika's party guests).  There was pressure, yes, for the cupcakes to really taste good! Ang dami daming pumapasok sa isip ko as I was baking. =|  But in the end, everything paid off. :)  I even got a text from my boss after the party saying that no less than her daughter's school directress loved the cupcakes!  She said they were tastefully done, literally and figuratively.  Wooooow!  I flew to seventh heaven!  

Grabbed from my boss' instagram. :)
It was her who packaged the cuppies like this.  Lovely! :)

This was a first.  And it was a superb first.  Saying that I was overjoyed is an understatement. :)  


Saturday, September 14, 2013

A Husband That Prays

When praying to God for a partner, what qualities do you wish the person has? For many girls perhaps, myself included, a guy is considered “desirable” if:
  1. he’s physically attractive (Admit this, girls! :) But of course this is subjective);
  2. he’s got something good in between his ears, in other words, he's smart;
  3. he’s nice and sweet and can make the butterflies in your stomach flutter (hmm, not sure if this applies to all or if it’s just me =P); and
  4. he’s responsible and can be a good provider just in case you end up at the altar.  

Luckily for me, I've found someone with these qualities (and more!) in the man I've decided to spend forever with. However, it’s only after we got married and lived under one roof and really got to know each other in a deeper level that other traits or habits have appeared to be very important too. Luckily for me again, though my husband is far from being perfect, he's got the things I've discovered are essential in a marriage. To mention one, 
my husband is one who prays.  

Like what I wrote in a previous entry, Rolly and I pray together at night before we catch our Z's.  And in these prayers, he's the one who leads.  There are times when I would forget and I'd already go under my blanket, but my husband never does.  He would tell me, "Hal, we still haven't prayed." He'd scoop me up to sit and then we would start.  Our prayers are never "formal" though.  It's always as if we're only talking to my dad or his dad, saying our Thank You's and petitions aloud, so that I could hear his prayer and he could hear mine.

Perhaps you might be thinking, why make a big fuss out of praying? What's important is that the person believes in God and he does what's right.  True, but it is more than that to me.  You see, my husband doesn't only pray.  He prays with me.  And when we do, it's more than just simply sitting beside each other and saying words together. When he prays with me, he gives me an intimate glimpse into his heart, into his soul.  He allows me to hear the things he is most thankful for and he ushers me to learn about the deepest desires of his heart.  And this is vice versa.  To me, there's a certain level of intimacy that is achieved when praying as a couple.  It's different.  I feel like we are closer, we are more honest to each other, and we are one.  The bond is stronger, because God's hand holds it.

If you are married and you wish to grow closer to your spouse, I hope you try doing this, too. Rolly and I are far from being religious and it's not like our prayers are long and tedious.  It only takes about five minutes for us, as a matter of fact.  But these few minutes are worth it.  You'll see. ;)


"A man who is intimate with God 
will never be intimidated by men." 
~ Leonard Ravenhill


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Dream Number 1

"Making a decision to have a child - it's momentous.  
It is to decide forever to have your heart go outside your body."
~ Elizabeth Stone

For two of my female officemates, this week has been a pretty momentous one that will go down in the history books of their lives.  This week, they found out that there's a bun in their oven! :)

When I heard the news, I felt happy.  Overjoyed, even.  Especially for one of them who has been patiently waiting for the lil pea to come for two years now.  I felt how she must be feeling, the excitement of a would-be mommy.  I went to her and hugged her tight.  Her eyes spoke of an unmistakable elation, bliss which could never be expressed with words alone.

Rolly and I have been married for 10 months tomorrow, and we have been actively trying for me to conceive for 7 months already.  When there was no sign of a baby the month after we started trying, I felt very concerned.  We went to a doctor to get our reproductive functions tested, but the OB told us that it's way too early to be worried. Several months passed and much to my frustration, Aunt Flo (a.k.a. my monthly period) still hasn't missed a visit. We went to another OB and we were told exactly the same thing.  The doctor also explained that even under the most perfect conditions, only 1 out of 4 women conceive during the first 3 months of actively trying, 2 out of 4 within the succeeding 3 months, and so on.  Thus, it takes one full year or 12 months of "baby-dancing" to reach the 4 out of 4 possibility of conception for perfectly healthy couples.  After a year and Aunt Flo is still a guest (an unwelcome guest in my case), that's the time when the couple can get their reproductive system checked up.  This means 5 more months of trying and waiting for Rolly and me! :)

At times, I get paranoid.  

What if I will never bear a child?  What will happen to my motherhood dreams?  My life will be worthless and I will forever be unhappy.  

Thoughts like these run through my head.  Ever since I can remember, I have always known that I want to become a mommy someday. Perhaps because I am very fond of kids. As a matter of fact, I used to write that in my "what-do-you-want-to-be-when-you-grow-up articles in gradeschool.  This has always been my number one dream.  Not wealth, not a booming career.  But a family.  A happy family with a loving husband and wonderful kids.

You know what gives me peace in times like this when my head starts to go crazy?

It's my FAITH.  God knows more than I do how much I want to become a parent.  And He is not a selfish God.  He is a very generous God.  No father wants the heart of his child to be broken.  And Jesus knows He will break my heart if this dream of ours doesn't come true (what a brat, I knooow). That's why I am very certain that He will bless Rolly and me with children. That's what He promises me everyday whenever we pray.  When?  We don't know.  But our faith in Him includes faith in His timing.  When our little munchkin (this is how we call our unborn child) arrives, we know that the time can never be more perfect. :) We may not understand why, but the Lord always has His purpose. :) For now, we will just keep on trying, and we will never stop praying. :)

P.S.  I have a feeling that the Lord is sending the Little Munchkin to my womb this year. ;)  That's our makulet prayer every night.  I wish God will get exhausted from all our pangungulit and finally give in! Haha. :)  

Excited about God's promise, 

Friday, August 30, 2013

5 Things To Do in the First 5 Years of Marriage

Nov. Dec. Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May. Jun. Jul. Aug. 

Nine months. That’s how long Rolly and I have been happily married, in fact, we’re turning 10 months in a week’s time. :) We are very new in this husband-and-wife thing, so it’s nice to find helpful articles that give pieces of advice to newlyweds like us. Let me share with you one that I found on http://davewillis.org. The pink text below was copied from the site verbatim.

1. Find some good “Couple Friends”

"If you only have “his” and “her” friends and you spend social time apart from each other and always hanging with the girls or the guys, you’re missing a great opportunity to grow in your relationship with your spouse while also growing in friendships with other couples."

grabbed from Google Images

Hmm. Do Rolly and I have couple friends? Yes. But we rarely hang out, and majority of our friends are still single. However, we make it a point that my friends also become his friends and vice versa. We would always include each other in the other’s circles. Perhaps when these single friends tie the knot, then we’ll have lots of couple friends already. :)

2. Make your health a priority

"When I got married, I got kind of fat. I temporarily lost all motivation to eat right or to exercise and I dug a hole for myself that I had to work hard to correct. I’ve seen a lot of folks abandon their health early in their marriage and it can create a lot of negative effects on all aspects of your life and your marriage down the road. Find a physical activity that you enjoy doing together and then you’ll get exercise and quality time all at once."

grabbed from Google Images

Oh no. This is something we have to work on! I am the I’d-rather-starve-myself-than-exercise type when it comes to losing weight. I don’t like to walk, I don’t like getting sweaty and malagkit! But hubby is my complete opposite. He does push-ups and crunches every morning. He loves running and boxing. He even has this device that measures his footsteps everyday! After I sent him the link to the article on davewillis.org, this is the one item that he brought up to me. We gotta exercise together! Hahaha. Okaaaay. We agreed to play badminton the week after next and we’ll make it a regular thing. :)

3. Develop a financial plan

"We started off flat broke so we figured we didn’t really have a need to budget, but our neglect of financial planning early on led to a lot of debt and the debt created stress and that stress put an unnecessary strain on our marriage. We’ve worked hard to get out of debt and it’s been one of the best things we’ve ever done for our relationship, but it would have been even better to not make those financial mistakes in the first place!"

grabbed from Google Images

I’m pleased to say that we may not have a lot of money in the bank, but at least we are not flat broke. Between the two of us, it’s me who takes care of all the budgeting and financial planning, and I think I’m doing a good job so far. :) Rolly gives me all his earnings every month, and together with my income, I carefully plan our expenses and savings using my trusty excel template. So far, we’re doing okay in this aspect. :)

4. Find a good church

"Faith is the foundation that sustains a lifelong marriage. Ashley and I made a commitment to get connected into a church right away and it’s probably the single best decision we made. We volunteered together in a youth ministry, made some wonderful friends and grew in our understanding of how beautiful marriage and life can be when you do it God’s way."

grabbed from Google Images

Fortunately, I’ve been blessed with a God-fearing man who shares the same religious beliefs and values as mine. Together, we go to church every Sunday and if there’s time, we attend The Feast in Alabang on Saturdays. Every night before we close our eyes, we pray together (and aloud). Rolly always leads the prayer. There are times when I would forget, but Rolly never fails to remember. :) 

5. Keep dating each other

"Never stop dating just because you’re married! Continue to create new memories and adventures together. Keep discovering new things about each other. Having a consistent “Date Night” is one of the biggest reasons our marriage is so strong today."

grabbed from Google Images
This is pretty easy! :) Our dates now that we’re married may not be as expensive as our boyfriend-girlfriend dates, but at least we still find time to just enjoy one another. 


We have heard time and again that being married takes a lot of hard work. You don’t just fall in love and get married and live happily ever after. There is no such thing in the real world. There’ll be bumps along the way, rough roads and whatnots. But what’s important is that the two of you, husband and wife, together, are committed to making the sparks last. For newlyweds like us, for sure, the embers of love are still huge and burning. Let’s challenge ourselves to keep it this way, shall we?   And for starters, why don’t we try to observe the tips above? Game face on! :)


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Red Velvet Goodness

Emma Stone

Emma Stone's statement is no surprise.  Life is too short to pass up on that red velvet goodness waiting to be devoured. That delicious and distinctive flavor that is not quite chocolate and not quite plain vanilla is unquestionably irresistible!

This afternoon, I finally gave in and  made my dreams come true (I mean this literally, for I've been dreaming about red velvet the past week)! :)

Deep red! :)  I used food coloring by McCormick.
The batter looked like a mess on the liners, I knooow.  It's very thick and transferring it to the pan was a challenge.  Because I do not have a scooper yet, I just made use of a couple of spoons!  It took me quite some time to finish and my back ached. =P

Straight from the oven!  They domed but cracked. =P
Cooling 'em up! :)

And what's the perfect topping for a red velvet?

Finished goodies! :)

I am very proud of my first ever red velvet cuppies, especially since the cream cheese turned out to be really good this time.  I tried making that once before but it was too runny, but now I found a recipe that can finally hold shape!  Cream cheese goodness at its best. #LoveYourOwn! ;)

I wonder what cupcake flavor I'll try next time. Any ideas? :)

A happy baker,

The Joys of Instagram! :)

© Mommy Joys | Marriage, Motherhood, Life.. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.