Tuesday, September 06, 2016

REVIEW: BUTTERFLY ON MORRISON

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I am really terrible with this blogging thing! I've been busy (as always) and quite uninspired lately to write any decent post. I still owe myself a lot of blogging thoughts and reviews from our wedding. We've been married 8 months already and I only did a couple of posts about it. 

Now on to the honeymoon! Instead of having a one-time-big-time honeymoon, Witt & I decided to have small trips and staycations throughout the year. We already had a mini-vacay last May in Hong Kong and we are planning to go to Boracay and Japan later this year. 

One of the things I loved in our Hong Kong trip was the boutique hotel we stayed in: the Butterfly on Morrison. I now prefer modern boutique hotels or AirBNBs as opposed to big grand old hotels of the past. We were able to book the hotel via Agoda and the transaction was quick, easy, and they even threw in some promotional discounts. 


Butterfly on Morrison


Butterfly on Morrison is a very nice boutique hotel. We've been to Hong Kong a lot of times but this is the first time we stayed in the Hong Kong Island part. We usually stay in Kowloon (TST, Jordan, etc.). The hotel is located at Morrison Hill Road in Wanchai but it's very close to the boundary and happenings of Causeway Bay. 


Butterfly on Morrison


The hotel is very modern with only four (4) rooms per floor. We booked the Deluxe City View room but got upgraded to the Business Class Room (it pays to be honeymooners). The room is a corner room so we got to enjoy two (2) floor-to-ceiling glass window with a nice view of the Happy Valley Racecourse, Central's high-rise buildings, and Wanchai's residential mountain lane. The room is not very big but it's pretty okay for Hong Kong standards.

Saturday, September 03, 2016

KITCHEN EXPERIMENT: TUNA PESTO PASTA WITH MUSHROOMS

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I was about to cook some Batangas Longganisa earlier when I chanced upon some ingredients in our pantry which I can "innovate" for a healthier pasta meal. Witt skipped dinner so it was just me this evening. I haven't been cooking lately so it's a good time to go back and get my groove back.


Pesto Tuna Pasta with Mushroom


I used to cook Cheesy Tuna Pesto a lot but I lacked the ingredients for it tonight so I got creative with what we have in our kitchen and was able to came up with a new pasta recipe.

Here are the main ingredients I used:

Ingridients
I actually used Dona Elena's Spaghetti but I was already cooking the noodles when I took this photo.

200 grams Dona Elena Spaghetti (or Fettuccine)
2 tablespoon Dona Elena Olive Oil
2 tablespoon sliced garlic
1 can Century Tuna Flakes in Brine
1 can (248 grams) Jolly Mushrooms Pieces & Stems
1 Clara Ole Cheesy Pesto Pasta Sauce
Salt & Pepper

How To Cook

It's very easy to cook this recipe. It would only take less than 30 minutes to prepare and cook everything. This is ideal for those busy weekday nights when you just have to prepare something quick yet filling.

Instructions:

1. Cook the pasta based on package instructions. I boil them for 13 mins. using induction stove. Set aside the pasta after cooking.

2. Saute garlic in Dona Elena Olive Oil then add the tuna. I included the tuna oil as well for added flavor.

3. Add Jolly Mushrooms and cook and saute for a few minutes. Add salt and pepper.

4. Toss the cooked pasta in the pan and add the pesto pasta sauce. Blend all ingredients together. Make sure that you put just the right amount of pasta based on the quantity of your ingredients.

Serves 4-5

I am not so sure about the cost of the meal since I got all my ingredients in our cupboard. Php 200 is my guesstimate. This recipe is good for busy wives like me or moms who need to whip instant meals for their kiddos.

Hope this helps in your cooking adventures! :)


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

BINIBINING PILIPINAS 2016 QUEENS

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Philippines is now a legitimate pageant power house so the national Binibining Pilipinas pageant is a huge deal to a lot of people. We were all interested (and we all have a say) on who should be the successor of the reigning Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach. 

We were very fortunate to watch live and seated at the 3rd row of the live event. We were able to see up close the binibinis and even had a photo of Miss USA Olivia Jordan! She is very nice. I asked for her photo and insisted on a selfie! I love her!

Miss USA Olivia Jordan
Hello, Olivia!

We now have 6 new queens who are set to conquer the Universe, International, the Intercontinental, the Supranational, the Grand International, and the Globe! This is such a good batch of binibinis and I must say that I wish to see some of the girls go back next year.


IMG_5980.jpg

Congratulations, girls!

Miss Universe Philippines 2016 - Maxine Medina
Binibining Pilipinas International 2016 - Kylie Verzosa
Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental 2016 - Jennifer Hammond
Binibining Pilipinas Supranational 2016 - Joanna Eden
Binibining Pilipinas Grand International 2016 - Nicole Cordoves
Binibining Pilipinas Globe 2016 - Nichole Manalo

Miss Philippines Universe Maxine Medina
Miss Universe Philippines Maxine Medina


I actually predicted that Maxine will win Miss Universe Philippines. Maxine is very beautiful, sexy, and has a very sweet demeanor. She has one of the best faces in the pageant and she looks very regal and winnable. Maxine came prepared come pageant night. I love her in the opening number and in the swimsuit competition. I also liked that she decided to put her hair down in the finals. She is not the best girl compared to other standouts and I was actually a bit worried when she was not called & crowned earlier. I am okay that she is our Miss Universe Philippines but I also believed that she was not the best at the Finals. Her evening gown was not nice; I personally don't like the ribbon and the color. She also bombed the all-important Q&A. BPCI had their reason for choosing Maxine and I am hoping that Aces & Queens will polish and help her in time for Miss Universe.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

FINAL PICKS FOR BINIBINING PILIPINAS 2016

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We will be crowning our new Binibining Pilipinas 2016 Queens in less than 24 hours! I am very excited for this because my friends and I will be watching the Grand Coronation live at Smart Araneta Coliseum (yay!). I will try my best to tweet and spoil the results so please mute me on Twitter if you don't want spoilers. The telecast on ABS-CBN will probably be delayed by at least an hour.

Here are my final picks this year. I hope that I can get most of it right. I was also an armchair judge last year and I only got 10 out of the 15 semi-finalists but was right with the wins of Pia, Christy, and Ann. Rogelie Catacutan was the only 'dark horse' in last year's bout. 

Top 15
I had an easy time predicting this year's queens but had a harder time in finalizing the line-up of the Top 15. There's a small group of frontrunners and consistent performers this year so it's easier to predict the winers than their courts. I ended with a top 15 with 3 alternates. 

Binibining Pilipinas 2016 Glam Shots
Row 1 - #3 Angela Fernando, #4 Kim Penchon, #7 Angelique De Leon
Row 2 -  #11 Nicole Cordoves, #13 Joana Eden, #14 Paula Rich Bartolome


Binibining Pilipinas 2016 Glam Shots
Row 1 - #Maria Lina Prongoso, #21 Jessica Gonzales, #22 Aprile Smith
Row 2 - #25 Anjelica Lopez, 26# Jennifer Hammond, #27 Dindi Pajares

Sunday, April 10, 2016

THIS YEAR'S NATIONAL COSTUMES

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It's my first time to blog since January! Wow! I know that I've been neglecting this little space of mine in the Internet and it's not for the lack of trying. I've been meaning to post stuff about our new life, our wedding, and exciting things at work. I really really hope that I will have time to write more in the next weeks. 

I'm back to blogging to post about my yearly National Costume favorites in Binibining Pilipinas. I wasn't able to focus too much on this year's nationals because I lost interest after Kim Ross Delos Santos' disqualification weeks ago. Kim is one of the early frontrunners and it was really a letdown that she was not allowed to join because of some "racy" photos that were leaked. She might try in Miss World perhaps?

The National Costume Show this year coincided again with the JAG Fashion Show last Wednesday, April 6. Forty (40) binibinis showcased the creations of Filipino designers and their interpretations of the Philippine National Costume. We had a very good batch this year. I saw a lot of creative pieces that are truly world-class. 

Here are my favorites:

Binibini #37 Jehza Mae Huelar in Patrick Isonera & Xioti Chiu
Binibini #37 Jehza Mae Huelar in Patrick Isonera & Xioti Chiu
I love the uniqueness and the bold color of this gown that took inspiration from the Iranun tribe in Mindanao. This is a breath of fresh air from the ternos and Maria Claras that are often featured.


Binibini #36 Maria Gigante in Philipp Tampus
Binibini #36 Maria Gigante in Philipp Tampus
I like the simple nude silhouette and the tiara in Maria. She truly radiates on this Filipiana. She became one of my top bets upon seeing this. It was surprising that this was not chosen in the Top 6.


#3 Angela Fernando | Frederck Peralta
Binibini #3 Angela Fernando in Frederick Peralta
I like the modern take on this classic terno. The headdress is also a plus.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

OUR WEDDING HIGHLIGHTS

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It's my first day back at work as a new missus. I missed my wifely duties and housewife routine of the last two weeks while I was at work earlier. I am still on our wedding bubble and I want to extend for one more week our vacation BUT sadly off to work we go. Gotta save for that honeymoon trips!

One of the things that made me happy last night was our on-site photo slideshow by Nicolai Melicor. It was the same day edit of our photos that was featured in our wedding reception. We finally got our copy yesterday.

Witt & Abbie

Nicolai Melicor is the best! She's one of the first suppliers we booked and met back in January 2015. There are so many good wedding photographers in the Philippines today but we chose Nicolai for her colorful and vivid style. We love the brightness and lifelike style of her photos and her team's. We are not really the dramatic, slow-shutter-low exposure, play of lights kind of couple so we opted for Nicolai and her playful saturation and natural light type of photography. More review on this soon!

For the meantime - here's our on-site wedding slideshow...


Music: Run Run by The Rival

We are very very happy how this turned-out. Nicolai and her team beautifully captured the happy, emotional, and candid moments that we had in our wedding. Wagas ang kaligayahan ko, diba? 

Also - here is the list of awesome our suppliers whose works were featured in the video. I am hoping to write a review about each of them very soon. I just really need to sit down and find time to do it.

Chapel: Our Lady of Guadalupe, Montecito Nuvali
Reception: Pasa Tiempo, Montecito Nuvali
Wedding Preps: Seda Nuvali
Gown: Gretchen Pichay
Entourage's Gown: Paolo Blanco
Entourage's Suits: Gardini
Hair & Make-up: Eds Go
Flowers: Joel Faller
Pre-nup Photography: Caliber King, Team Pat Dy
Invitation Design: Ink Scribbler
Missalette Design & Other Prints: Blissful by MarKat
Wedding Coordinator: Events By Marge

Our wedding was truly a joyous and love-filled occasion for us and our families. A big thanks and shout-out to our family, relatives, friends, and colleagues who celebrated with us!

Friday, January 01, 2016

KITCHEN EXPERIMENT: CHICKEN SOPAS

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We've been married for two weeks now and living a very domesticated life. There are adjustments here and there but the biggest discovery I had is my hubby's hearty appetite. He has a very strict rule of eating 3x a day (on time and on the dot at that) whereas I only eat when I am hungry. This was initially a problem because I am not exactly Martha Stewart. I cook from time to time but I am not really the Filipina 'housewife cooking type'. 

BUT I'm a very competitive person and I always aim to please thus I was able to cook a total of 4 lunch/dinner dishes (Sinigang, Afritada, Fried Chicken, Sopas), successfully marinated some chicken thighs and drumsticks, perfected an over easy egg, and mastered breakfast cooking in my 14 days as a married woman. Mean feat for someone who used to be clueless on the amount of cooking oil when stir-frying. 

Last night, New Year's Eve, I decided to try one of my favorite dishes: Chicken Sopas. I got the recipe from Manila Spoon but I modified it a bit according to our preference, brands of the ingredients, and serving size. The hubby approved this but he wants it more 'salty'. You guys can also adjust the salt level through fish sauce or salt. Sharing the recipe below.

CHICKEN SOPAS

Ingredients
1 boneless chicken breasts, cooked then shredded
200 grams Del Monte Elbow Macaroni
3 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Knorr Chicken Broth Cubes
1 medium yellow or white onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 medium carrots, cubes
3 celery stalks, sliced diagonally
8-10 cups chicken broth (I used the water where I boiled the chicken)
Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper, to taste
Fish Sauce, 2-3 tablespoon or to taste (you can opt with 1 tablespoon depending on your preference)
1 can Carnation Evaporated Milk


Kitchen Experiment #5 - Chicken Sopas


Steps in Cooking

1. Boil the chicken breasts until tender and cooked. Shred it with a fork or just with your hands after it cooled down.

2. Set aside the water where you boiled your chicken breast. You will use this after for the broth.

3. Cook the Del Monte Elbow Macaroni al dente. I used an induction stove and boiled and timed it for 14 mins. Set aside after cooking. Prepare the vegetables while boiling the macaroni.

4. In a large pan, heat the oil. Saute the onions, garlic, celery, and carrots until the onions become translucent and the vegetables are tender for about 5 minutes. Add a little salt and pepper.

5. Add the shredded chicken. Add the boiled chicken water, add the Knorr Chicken Broth cubes, season with some fish sauce, salt, and pepper. Add fish sauce or salt to taste or depending on your preference. Bring to a boil.

6. Add the cooked Del Monte Elbow Macaroni and Carnation Evaporated Milk and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Adjust seasoning if needed.

Serves 9 - 10
Cost: Php 250.00 (most of the ingredients are in the pantry so this could be lower)

Hope this helps! Enjoy!

HAPPY 2016!

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2015 was both an amazing and challenging year for me.
But the photo below sums up the great happiness it brought!

Looking forward to a marvelous 2016!

My 2015 can be summed up with this one photo. Thanks for being amazing, 2015! Bring it, 2016!

Happy New Year    |    Feliz Ano Nuevo   |     新年快乐

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

OUR WEDDING MISSALETTE

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We got married in Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel in Montecito Nuvali in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. It's a nice chapel that very few heard about. It was the perfect chapel choice for us and I am still giddy whenever I think about it. I've been getting a lot of inquiries about it via e-mail and I promise that I will post about it soon.

Our Lady of Guadalupe

The chapel is owned by Montecito but the servicing is administrated by St. John Bosco Parish in Laguna Technopark. St. John Bosco will provide an officiating priest if requested. For our wedding, we asked our family friend, Rev. Fr. Renie Oliver, of St. Polycarp Parish in Cabuyao to celebrate our nuptial mass.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel doesn't have any strict rules in the wedding mass and ceremony BUT we still cleared everything with Fr. Renie including the missalette, hymns, and my bridal march song. He also allowed us to recite our personal vows.

#WittAbbie Wedding Misalette


One of the most tedious and time-consuming tasks that I did 2 weeks before the wedding was our missalette. I had to type everything since the template that was given to me was not complete. I laboriously typed the entire missalette based on a Marriage/Nuptial booklet published by St. Paul's Publishing. The missalette was used and approved by Fr. Renie.

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