Thursday, December 28, 2017

What's Inside : Starbucks Planner 2018

Well, hello there! Missed me?

This was definitely the longest break that I've took since this blog was created 10 years ago. Well, I got a good excuse reason. The day after my previous blog entry was posted, I gave birth to my adorable twins J and L. What happened after that were days filled with non-stop feeding, burping, diaper changes, sleepless nights, random playtime and more. It has been 60+ days since and I'd say, we've pretty much mastered the art of not-sleeping-at-night-or-ever. Haha! Kidding aside, I'm so in love with my twins and while never in my wildest dreams would I thought that I can change diapers in 3 minutes or less as well as turn into a human milking cow, my dream of being a Mommy has finally became a reality and I'm just so so so happy.

I have yet to share with you the highlights of my year but I guess you all know what will sit on top of my list. 2018 is looking very bright for our family and I really can't wait to see what's in store for us. I do wish the same for all of you.

starbucks planner 1
Having twins is no easy walk in the park. Just imagine the challenges of parenthood and multiply that by two. That's double the feeding, double the cries, double of everything. I think one thing that Paul and I realized is that being organized helps keep things manageable. Sure, there are still days when I'd find myself still in my pajamas at 5pm in the afternoon as I was just so busy caring for my babies but there are better days where we just wanted to give each other high fives for pulling our plans through. Speaking of being organized, of course each year brings a brand new Starbucks Coffee planner which we all love.

I'm pretty sure you're all curious to see what this year's planner look like especially inside. Here you go!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Souv! by Cyma at Net Park, Bonifacio Global City


There are a number of restaurants in Manila that I love for their consistent quality in taste and service. Cibo of Chef Margarita Fores is one and the other is definitely Chef Robby Goco's Cyma. In fact, I wouldn't limit this to only these two restaurants but will consider all the chain of restaurants under their hats. Somehow, both chefs never fail to come out with impressive restaurants that has been making us go back to over and over again. I think one factor is how hands-on they've been on their businesses. Take Chef Robby Goco for example, I've seen him countless of times in Cyma, Green  Pastures, Charlie's Burger, even his Mexican restaurant a couple of years back called Ristras and just recently, we met again at Souv! -- his newest business venture.

souv 3
While Cyma is clearly a household name here in the Philippines as it is probably the first restaurant to introduce Greek cuisine to the local market, Souv! is it's hip, younger brother that presents a more modern take in the classic Greek cuisine. It's Chef Robby's answer to how times have changed even in Greece and the dishes in Souv! showcase the demands of today's customers as well. Serving fast, healthy and clean dishes which allows most especially it's lunch clientele to enjoy a good, healthy meal in less than an hour.

Paul and I got to try a number of Souv's specialties so allow me to share them with you too:


souv 5
Cheese Saganaki (Php. 480)
How can you say no to a piping hot pan of melted fried Kefalotiri cheese drizzled with peppered fig jam, honey sesame and served with freshly baked bread. It was so yummy! I love the sweet-salty marriage of the cheese, jam and honey.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Franny Mommy : My First Letter to My Twins

Dearest L and J, 

In exactly a week's time, we will finally meet for the first time. That said, I thought of writing you both the first of the many letters that you will be receiving from me. Our journey together started around early March and it has been filled with a lot of excitement with a mix of paranoia as I simply just wanted to do everything right for the two of you. Your Dad is a tougher cookie but I know how paranoid he gets too as he would check on your heartbeats and patiently monitors your kicks every single night. 

Often times, I try to imagine what will be the feeling of seeing you both for the first time. Will I cry? Will I laugh? I'm not really sure as I'll partially be drugged with anesthesia too but one thing is for sure -- my heart is  filled with so much gratitude. It's exactly the feeling of finally getting that one thing that you've been wishing, hoping and praying for the longest time. 

We have grown to be so close through all these months. I will miss our poking games, how you'd keep me up with your fishy-like movements, how I would try to see which one of you would react first when I play a lullaby, which one would react to my voice. My favorite one is when you both would try to follow Daddy's voice turning my belly into a very funny-looking, irregularly-shaped ball. With all the fun that we've been having with the both of you inside me, I'm sure we'll have more fun when you're both finally out and we'll all be together as a family. 

You both have been so good to me that I've had the easiest and smooth-sailing first two trimesters. I know the past few weeks has been challenging for the three of us. I'm sorry that I had to take all those medicines and know that even if needles, blood and the thought of undergoing a c-section scares me, for the two of you I'll bravely face them over and over again. 

ang twins baby shower

The world is waiting for you, L and J. We're finally at our last stretch and in 7 days, I will have you both in my arms. 

Signing off for the first time as... 
your Mommy

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Annyeonghaseyo! Sibyullee at Ayala Malls The 30th

Next to Chinese and Japanese cuisines, my family also has a growing fondness for Korean food. For instance, we all love adding kimchi to our barbecued meats, the wide array of banchan never fails to excite us and pajeon, bibimbap and galbi jim will always be part of our order line-up.

sibyullee ph 2
So, when I heard that a new Korean restaurant named Sibyullee recently opened at the relatively new Ayala Malls The 30th in Pasig, I took the opportunity to invite my parents out for lunch one day. It was all our first time to check out the mall and I got to say that I love the very relaxed, neighborhood vibe that it gives. The selection of restaurants and retail shops were quite impressive too not to mention that they even have a Rustans Supermarket available at the Ground Floor and a row of cinema at the top floor to complete the mix.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Franny Mommy : Guiltless Pleasures with Mustela

Today's mood meter reading is screaming : HAPPY! Wanna know why? It's because my twins and I have finally reached our 35th week mark and believe me, it was quite a challenge to get this far. With that, I believe I deserve a platter of sushi right after my delivery in two weeks. (Paul, hope you're reading this!)

Kidding aside, it has truly been a tough last trimester for me which also explains my frequent absence here on the blog and on social media too. As easy and smooth sailing my first two trimesters were, the 3rd trimester began with two hospital confinements, more medications, random hyperacidity attacks, a bad flu and recently, another hospital scare which could have led to the possibility of the twins arriving earlier than scheduled. Thankfully and I would like to think that we're all past those and I am hoping that I can enjoy the last two weeks of my pregnancy with less stress and with greater anticipation. Truly, this could have been my body's way of reminding me that I have to take extra care during this pregnancy.

mustela 2
On a happier note, one thing that I am truly happy about is being able to connect with fellow mommies who have been really helpful in giving me tips about my pregnancy and in taking care of newborns. Recently, I was invited by pretty mommies Mish and Sab of Mothers Who Brunch for a nice afternoon session with Mustela. I was so excited for this particular event for several reasons. First, I couldn't wait to meet Mish and Sab personally. Secondly, Mustela has been my newest favorite skincare brand since I found out that I'm pregnant. Lastly, we had it at Mulberry Door -- a restaurant that I've been wanting to check out since I got back. That said, I know I shouldn't miss this as it will surely be a fun afternoon for me.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Shiok Shiok Singapore Food at N. Roxas, Quezon City

shiok [adj.] : Singlish word used to describe a dish that's satisfying, good or delicious.

While the Philippines is literally a foodie melting pot with a wide array of restaurants specializing in all sorts of cuisines from all over the world, Paul and I can't help but notice that there seems to be a shortage of Singaporean/Malaysian restaurants around. It's quite mind boggling though given the number of locals who travel to these two countries on a regular basis plus the huge population of Filipinos residing there too. If you ask me, Singaporean/Malaysian cuisine has a very close taste profile as our local Filipino cuisine perhaps with just more heat and the use of a lot more spices. So imagine how happy I was when we recently discovered Shiok Shiok Singapore Food along Nicanor Roxas street in Quezon City.

shiok shiok 5
Coincidentally, we dined there on the 9th of August, Singapore's National Day. What a great way to celebrate our second home's special day. Together with Mommy and Kongkong, we went there for lunch and were so surprised that the restaurant was jam-packed! So packed that we're so lucky to get the last available table in the house.

shiok shiok 3
A quick scan on the menu and we were all so impressed that the dishes were priced so reasonably. Of course, we were somehow worried that it may be priced low because the size may be small but looking at our neighboring tables, that doesn't seem to be the case. We started our meal with a piping pot of Katong Laksa (Php. 235). Normally served on individual-sized bowls, this one came in a huge boiling pot that sits on a mini burner. Serving was big that it was enough for all 6 of us. I got to say that the spice level was spot on but if you want it milder, you can simply request for that too. I was really craving for Laksa since we left Singapore and this one surely hits the spot.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

#FrannyCooks : Shrimp Fettuccine Puttanesca with Doña Elena Pasta #LovePasta

There's nothing that excites me more than a challenge... a foodie challenge, that is. When the folks over at Doña Elena asked me if I'm game to prepare a special pasta dish using their products, this got me so excited that I said yes. Luckily, the package came ahead of my twins' grand debut so I still have time to work in the kitchen before I start dealing with milk and dirty diapers.

frannycooks dona elena 4
I'm quite familiar with Doña Elena's product line-up as I used to buy their Spanish sardines, pasta noodles and olive oil among many others. I didn't know that they actually have their own pesto sauce and whole tomatoes too. Looking at my Doña Elena's loot, I was inspired to take the tomato-based route and prepare my version of Shrimp Fettuccine Puttanesca.

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