Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Market Cafe at the AG New World Manila Bay Hotel

I can't believe I've never written about Market Cafe. Being a huge fan of what was then the Hyatt Hotel in Manila where Paul and I would frequent Lili and The Fireplace, I can't believe that I never got around to writing my experiences at their all-day buffet restaurant, Market Cafe.

The hotel is now under a new management and is now known as AG New World Manila Bay Hotel. Despite the name change, the enticing and very welcoming look of Market Cafe stayed the same. One thing that I remember about dining here is that even their drinks are part of the buffet. This is just a minor add-on but it's really the little details that make the difference, right?

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The selection is not as wide as perhaps its hotel buffet counterparts but rest assured that it's well curated and the quality is top notch. Start your meal by visiting the Cheese and Cold Cuts station. I really like starting with small bite-sized portions of these appetizers every time I dine at a buffet. Either this or a plate of hand-rolled sushi. I was with my twins and L, in particular, loved the hard cheeses! My little girl is truly a gourmet in the making. I'm one proud momma. They also have a good selection of freshly baked breads which my twins enjoyed as well.

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Moving on, there's the Japanese station which is divided into several parts. First, the sushi/sashimi station which has quite an impressive spread. I love the fresh sashimi and pair this with some Japanese pickles and dip it into your DIY soy-wasabi dip.

There's also the teppanyaki selection which was quite good but one thing you can't miss is the ebi tempura. This is one of the buffet's most popular choice that you can expect to wait for a few minutes for this to be available. The Chef would be seen deep-frying non-stop but the moment a new batch gets served on the buffet line, it gets snapped up so quickly by the dining patrons so there's hardly any chance that you'd get your ebi tempura right away. Patience is, after all, a virtue. I promise you though that it's worth the wait.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Shawa Wama invades 8Cuts Burger #i8Shawa

Love burgers? Love shawarma? Well in an ordinarily normal world, these two types of food items will never ever mix. You can only have one or the other. But who ever said life is ever ordinary? The metro's well-loved shawarma joint, Shawa Wama, recently invaded the space of its sister restaurant - 8Cuts and I personally couldn't be happier.

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You see, Shawa Wama opened their first branch at the Powerplant Mall and for somebody who rarely gets out of San Juan City, this has been on my to-try list for the longest time. Thankfully, I got wind that Shawa Wama will be at 8Cuts until November 11, 2018 so I made the most of this opportunity and dragged Paul out for an impromptu shawarma date at our neighborhood 8Cuts outlet for lunch one day.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Lamian Nga! : Rico's Lechon opens in Tiendesitas

It's no secret how much I love Cebuano lechon. Apart from my all-time fave, very sosyal Truffled Stuffed Lechon, I love the saltiness of the Cebunao lechon and the fact that minimal dipping is required. Apart from this, I love Cebu. The Queen City of the South where you can get the yummiest finds. It's here where I load up on roasted meats, dried danggit (fish) and my ever favorite -- dried mangoes with chocolate.

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So, when word went around that Rico's Lechon from Cebu will open their first store here in Manila sometime back in August, I was really excited to give it a try. Unfortunately, being full time Mommy to my twins doesn't really make me as mobile as I used to be so even a short trip to the Bonifacio Global City entails a whole lot of coordination, planning and logistical arrangements. You see, every time I visit Cebu, I make it a point to have lechon. I have my go-to Cebu Lechon spot which I would frequent every time I'm in the city. Somehow, I know of Rico's Lechon and their famous Spicy Lechon but I never really got around to trying it.

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Now is finally my chance! I'd say, the stars have aligned now that Rico's Lechon is finally in Manila and not only that, they just opened a new branch closer to me as they recently opened their doors at Tiendesitas in Pasig. This new branch is HUGE. A 300 seater restaurant with several function rooms allowing you to host your private lechon parties with your friends and family.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Baby & Kids Fest at The SM Store

I've never been a big shopper all my life. In fact, I like keeping the number of clothes on my closet and shoes on my rack at a very minimal number. Paul would often tease me that he actually has more clothes and shoes than I do. That's just me. I never liked shopping and I only do so if I need to. However, things have changed since I had my twins. I've lost count on the number of times I went to the mall and every single visit, I always end up with a bag or several bags of clothes, bottles, toys for them. In fact, I do enjoy shopping for my babies more so when I get to avail of a good deal.

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So, when SM Store launched their October Baby & Kids Fest, I dragged Paul all the way to SM Aura to do a little shopping. It was also perfect timing as we really do had to prepare for our upcoming family trip so I stocked up on diapers, travel essentials and even more eating utensils.

We got a box of Pigeon Magmag set which I thought was a good find as L is starting to learn how to use the straw cup while J has graduated from the bottle to a sippy cup. Yay! We also got a small basin, a toilet potty seat, bags of diapers and a new set of wash clothes as the old one that they use looks so worn out already.

Check out this short video on what you can expect at the sale:

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Franny Mommy : Happy Birthday J & L!

My dearest J & L,

You're both a year old today!


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Wow, I can't believe it has been a year since you both came out from Mommy's tummy and that officially was the start of a brand new (and exciting) chapter in my life. It still feels like yesterday when I was wheeled into the delivery room with my blood pressure going haywire and at exactly 6:36AM, I first heard the best sound in the world -- my little J's first cry. This was followed a minute after with L's slightly delayed but equally powerful cry. Since then, we've been celebrating a lot of firsts. Your first smile, your first babble, your first clap, your first solids, the first time you clearly said "Mama" then "Papa" and a lot more words following that.

Perhaps right now, you're still fully dependent on Mommy and Daddy but let me tell you one thing. I am really grateful to be your Mommy. Looking back at the past 12 months, you have thought me a lot of things and I'd like to share some of them with you.


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First of all, you both made me realize that my heart is big enough to love more than I thought I could. For the past years, I thought I have this little circle of trust which only consists of your Dad, Kongkong, Gwammy, Diyi and Diyitiu. When you were born, I stopped measuring and just gave all the love that I realized I have to the two of you. Every single day, no matter how sleepy I was, I still look forward to seeing your sweet smiles and receiving unlimited hugs and kisses from you. It can be tiring knowing that you're both very clingy to Mommy but I am secretly also very proud of that too. I know that someday, you will be grown up and you won't be as clingy but at least, I can say, that sometime in our lives, you both clinged on to me like Super Glue.

Secondly, you made me more selfless. I guess, that's what motherhood is all about. Finally, after 30+ years, life is no longer just about me or about Daddy but it's all about the two of you already. We continue to work hard and do our best to give you both the best lives possible. With every move I make, having you around makes me prioritize you and what's best for the both of you before anything else.


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Lastly, you both made my dreams come true. Know that Daddy and I prayed really really really hard for the both of you and we will continue to in hopes that you will both grow up to be really good children.

It's been a joyful ride, my dear L and J. Thank you for making me your Mommy. Here's to celebrating more birthdays and happy family memories today. Now it's time to blow your candle!

Love ♥,
Mommy

Related post: My first letter to my Twins

photos by: Rheia Ramos Yeo for Orange and Peach

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Franny Mommy Favorites : Orange and Peach Philippines

When I got married 8 years ago, I was one of the lucky few who didn't had to worry much about running my own household. It's because I was first asked to move in with my in laws for the first 5 months of our married life and there it was easy breezy for me. I literally would wake up in the morning with a wide breakfast spread lovingly made by Manang on the table, I'd go to work while being driven by Kuya M and after a long busy day at work, I'd go back to my in laws' house with dinner waiting for me. The only thing that Paul and I had to worry then were our basic toiletries. After 5 months, we gave in to my mom's request and moved in to my family. It was even much more easier for me as I didn't had to adjust at all. It was simply going back to the house where I grew up in before I became Mrs. Ang. Likewise, Mommy and Papa had everything ready where we had our reliable helpers to do our laundry, cook our meals and so on.

The harsh realities of being married and having to be independent set in when we moved abroad. I'd say, Paul is truly an amazing husband as he helped me with the household chores but I guess it was then that I was forced to make big decisions on my own. Decisions like what type of rice to buy, how often should we stock up on our frozen meats and seafood, what are the necessary cleaning products. We weren't prepared for those and we pretty much learned as we went along. I realized that when it comes to shopping for household items, I would go for the brands that I am familiar with. These are pretty much the ones that Mommy would buy so it was a no-brainer for me that those are the good ones or at least the one that were tried and tested already. Later on, I'd learn to try other brands and would discover one or two that I like over the one that Mom would normally buy here in Manila.

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Things changed when I became a Mom. Somehow, I started to become more picky and careful when choosing the things that will be used by my twins. Clothes, perhaps I am still more lenient but when it comes to their personal care then I would really take the time out to do my research, ask fellow moms or follow my gut feel. Luckily, the choices are limitless and there are a lot of information out there to guide new moms like me.

A few months ago, I received a packaged from a local brand called Orange and Peach. They started out with breastmilk bags (and are quite known locally as well for it) and later expanded their portfolio to giant cotton balls, milk saver pumps and nasal cleaner. The reason why it took me this long to talk about them is because I really tried and used all the products sent to me and being quite meticulous over items for my baby, only a handful of brands really made the cut thus you're seeing it here on my blog.

I would say, it was love at first try with Orange and Peach. The first product that I use were their Giant Cotton Balls. The truth is, I got twins and just like all moms out there, I only have 24 hours in a day. That said, efficiency is very important to me. Back when my twins were smaller, they would poop and peep round the clock at an average of perhaps 6-7 times a day. If you break it down in a day, that's means I'd spent half of my entire day just changing diapers for the two of them. Pee is fine but I get a bit stressed out when it comes to poop. I really have to clean them thoroughly but I have to do it quick. Often times, I'd end up with a really fussy, crying baby if I take my sweet time in wiping their bottoms just to ensure that I've covered everything. When I tried Orange and Peach's Giant Cotton Balls, I was so happy! I covered a bit "surface area" with just one swipe. Not only is it more cost efficient as I didn't had to use up a lot per change, it gets the job done faster too.

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The next product that I tested was the Milk Saver Pump. Breastfeeding for two can really drive you nuts and every drop of milk is really precious. So, one day, while I was nursing L and J was fast asleep, I tried the Milk Saver Pump on the other side and I was so surprised at the amount of milk it managed to "catch" in just 15 minutes. I was so shocked as I didn't even had to lift a finger to let the milk flow out. Amazing.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Shopping made easy with Honestbee Philippines

I never knew that the time could come that I'd actually find online shopping to not only be therapeutic but totally convenient too. Back then, people who online shop would just end up with clothes, shoes, accessories and baked goodies. Today, you can shop for anything and almost everything with just a few clicks here and there. Now I get why first time or new moms like me totally adore online shopping. With a little baby (or babies, in my case) in the house, it's pretty impossible to go out and do your errands but life at home goes on so we need to eat and restock our pantry no matter what.

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Luckily, I learned about Honestbee Philippines. I first heard about this when I was residing in the Lion City as I had colleagues who would buy their monthly snack stash using Honestbee's delivery service. As for me, our condo unit then was located just 2 blocks away from two major supermarkets and my office was sandwiched between 3 groceries so I never really found the need to do online shopping then. After all, a little walking exercise is always a good thing.

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