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Showing posts from 2022

Thai SELECT : Mango Tree Manila in Bonifacio Global City

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During my early days of blogging, I used to keep a running list of restaurants that I wanted to try. In fact, it was a dream of mine to dine in all of the new restaurants in town. It sounded possible then albeit rather idealistic but I kept that list for more than decade or so. I even have a Singapore version of the same list when we relocated to the Lion City almost 10 years ago. Was I able to cross off all the restaurants in my list? Almost. It was an expensive activity but Paul and I had fun discovering new restaurants and treating our taste buds to a wide variety of flavors. Majority of these restaurants you can read about in this blog.  Now that I'm now a mom though, not only am I not able to go out as much anymore, my priorities have began to shift. Our family's budget focuses more on our needs vs. our wants and the things that would be for the kids vs. ours. Dining out or ordering food is still something that we love to do but we would focus more on family-friendly estab

Authentically Filipino at Tatatito in Legazpi Village, Makati

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With a number of restaurants offering fusion cuisine or those that aims to inject more creativity into their dishes, rarely do we get to find one nowadays that offers dishes that stay as true and authentic as possible to the original version. After a tearful check out from  Somerset Millennium Makati , we decided to still stay in the area for lunch and that's how we got to discover  Tatatito.   You may wonder why were there tears upon checking out. Well, the twins enjoyed their overnight staycation at  Somerset Millennium Makati   so much that they refused to check out and bid the hotel goodbye. We then had to lure them that we're not heading home yet and we will be checking a new restaurant out in the area instead. That somehow stopped the tears from falling. Oh my staycation-loving babies.  Tatatito was just located a stone's throw away from the hotel. Since we went to dine on a Monday, parking was a bit challenging since the streets were all lined with cars parked by t

Abuela's in Somerset Millennium Makati

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We have this habit of making the most out of our staycation so instead of dining out while having our staycation at a hotel, we normally try to check out the restaurants inside the hotel. This is staycation tip #1 when travelling with toddlers. We just wanted to do away from any logistical nightmare of having to travel far, waiting in line and ending up with two restless and super hangry kids. The best way is to make a reservation at any of the hotel's food establishments and you can just go down just in time for your meal. Our recent stay at Somerset Millennium Makati  was no different. We had our dinner at Abuela's  the only restaurant establishment available in the hotel but while it may be the only in-house dining option, we had no idea that we were in for a delightful FEAST!  Come to think of it, there's a bar available in the hotel but for families like us, you will most likely focus more on Abuela's . Don't be fooled by the name. I initially thought it was

The Suite Life of the #AngTwins : Somerset Millennium Makati

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 "When are we going to the hotel?" This is a common statement heard from our two little kulits here at home. At such a young age, they sure love going on staycations and well I don't blame them. A quick weekend R&R is one that we all need once in a while, right? A month ago, we celebrated Labor Day at Somerset Millennium Makati . It was perfect that we decided to check in on a Sunday so we were able to check out the Legazpi Sunday Market  and were reunited with some of our favorite market finds.  The hotel is located along Aguirre street which is part of Makati's busy business district during weekdays. Weekends, you get a different way chill vibe that I love. I grew up walking around this area as my parents' office was just around the corner and a lot of things have changed since then. I love that some restaurants allow al fresco dining during the weekends making it the perfect place to hang out, having a drink or two and enjoy a good catch up with friends an

Birthday Post: Turning 40 and a look back at my 30s #frannyat40

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Today I celebrate a milestone. Turning 40.  It seems like my 30s was so eventful and packed with so much changes and adventures that somehow it flew by so fast. I still remember celebrating my 30th birthday with family and my bestest friends . It was at a nice cozy restaurant in Quezon City and I even had lechon flown in from Davao! How cool was that?! Who would have thought that months after that, Paul and I would be packing our bags and bidding our lives in Manila temporarily goodbye as we relocated to Singapore . We spent the next 4 years of our 30s living abroad and would just fly in and out of Manila for quick weekend trips to see the family. My 30s was also when I have experienced my two biggest heartbreaks -- the death of my Ama and Kongkong who both have played very important roles in my life. Somehow, not having them around feels like missing two very important puzzle pieces that I'll never ever be able to have back.  As they say though, at the end of a thunderstorm or r

Authentic Fujian Cuisine at Putien, The Podium Mall

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Trivia Time!  Did you know that majority of the Filipino-Chinese in the Philippines all came from just one province in China called Fujian. This is found at the southern part of China that's closest to Taiwan and since it is located near a big body of water, a lot of traders lived here. Eventually, people in Fujian migrated to neighboring countries such as Taiwan, the Philippines and Singapore to name a few. Interesting though that Hokkien, the dialect spoken in Fujian, has several versions/intonations depending on the person's current location. Case in point, I have a very different sounding Hokkien accent vs. my cousin who has a similar Hokkien lineage residing in Taiwan.  Anyway, let's talk about Hokkien/Fujian cuisine! Since Fujian is near the water, majority of the famous Hokkien food consists of seafood. One of the most popular Fujian specialties is the soup called Buddha Jumps Over the Wall ( putiaojiu ), it's a very premium soup that's filled with all of the

ZIG in Greenhills Promenade, San Juan City

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This is the story of when healthy food can be happy food too! It's been a while since we're visited the Greenhills Shopping Center . Yes, despite it's proximity to home, we rarely get to go out during the pandemic so after two years, while I took the chance to run some errands at Greenhills, I was so surprise to see that what used to be just a steel parking building now has F&B outlets at the ground floor already. Cool!  The first store that caught my eye was Koomi . I was so happy I've been wanting to try Koomi after hearing raves from friends that it's the best yogurt drink in town. Beside Koomi are two very new names that I'm not familiar with -- ZIG and Oh My Greek . These are all from the same company so today, let me tell you more about ZIG.  The concept of ZIG is simple -- they specialize in healthy dishes using the freshest ingredients. This is perfect for those who are watching their weight, their health and basically their food intake. Gone are t

Celebrating Mother's Day to the Max : Max's Restaurant

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I often joke that the most used word in the house is "Mommy." I tell you, whenever I'm home and within sight, my twins would be calling out for me at 10 to 15 minutes interval. "Mommy, I'm hungry", "Mommy I need to go potty", "Mommy where's my (fill in with missing toy)", "Mommy?? Mommy??? Mommy!!!"  Don't get me wrong though, I treasure moments like this because I know that in a few years, these calls for Mommy won't be as often and random anymore. If only time can slow down a bit in order for me to savor each moment with them.  I'm also lucky because we live with my parents and that means being able to see Mommy and Papa on a daily basis. Just as how my twins would call for me, I am thankful that I can easily go to my Mom for anything. She's here to always give me the best advice whenever I need to make an important decision. She is also one of the first to know about our family's milestones and achiev

Jones All Day at Serendra, Bonifacio Global City

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With restrictions easing up and cases staying steadily low, we're starting to gain more confidence to go out and relive our lives once again. So what was my life before the pandemic? It was a mix of work during the weekdays, giving my undivided attention to my kids and family during the weekends and meeting up with friends somewhere in between. We sure have spent a lot of time dining out and that's one of the things that I missed the most for the past two years. Luckily, we were able to discover a number of home businesses that quickly became our favorites and we have also rekindled our love for cooking too.  As soon as our government lowered the restrictions, Paul and I met up with his cousin and later with some of my high school friends at Jones All Day . This is one of the newest restaurants by the Raintree Hospitality Group  and if you're wondering how come the name sounds so familiar, they're the management team behind some of the biggest names in the F&B indus

Misto at Seda Vertis North

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Happy Friday!  I'm not going to lie, Friday is one of my favorite days because it means, we're just a day away from the weekend! Who doesn't love the weekend, right? This is the day when I give my twins my uninterrupted attention. We would start the day with any breakfast of their choice (normally waffles for J, pancakes or peanut butter sandwich for L) followed by an hour of doing their homework and in the afternoon, we head out for their swim class! Sunday is more laid back as we would stay home and just laze around the house otherwise, we would go and visit my in laws and spend the day there.  Speaking of the weekend, I suddenly remembered one of the best weekends that we've had this year so far. This was when we had our staycation at Seda Vertis North  and the twins truly enjoyed every minute of it. Of course, they love our comfy and very spacious Corner Suite with an adjacent Deluxe Room as well as checking out the hotel's amenities and the Vertis North mall

The Suite Life of the #AngTwins : Staycation at Seda Vertis North

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Move aside Zack and Cody! There's a new pair of twins in town who just loveeeeee having hotel staycations. Meet the #AngTwins, J & L!  My two very opinionated twins who would bug us on a weekly basis if they can go to the hotel. They just love the comfy and spacious bed, being able to swim to their hearts content, lazing at the bath tub and acting like fishies while their Daddy feeds them some snacks and just enjoying the outside world after being stuck at home for two long years.  Recently, we checked out Seda Vertis North  as they have a new Staycation Package that's perfect for the family! This was not our first stay at Seda though, the twins have been to this hotel back in 2019 and that was probably the staycation that made them fall in love with hotels. At age 2 then, they swam, enjoyed the delicious buffet spread at Misto and gleefully checked out the Vertis North mall next door. We stayed at the Premier Room then, so we got access to their Club Lounge as well.  Th

Sound the Octo-Alert! The #AngTwins' FUNtastic Four Birthday Party (Octonauts themed)

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This is a very delayed blog post as my twins celebrated their 4th birthday last October which means, we have 6 more months to go before I put on my DIY Mommy cap and plan for their 5th..OMG..FIFTH (!!!) Birthday Party.  I can still remember the day they were born and I can't believe that they've grown so much since then! If you ask me, 4 years old is the best age so far as they're at this stage wherein they can converse with you properly, they can understand what you're telling them and the world around them, they have better memory which means it's time to start filling their memory banks with trips, family bonding sessions and more. Furthermore, they're learning so much and so fast that I am still at awe that my twins can now do basic math, they know the 8 planets and can read basic words too. There are times though that I wish I can just press the PAUSE button to be able to savor more time with them.  Anyway, let me tell you about their 4th birthday party. I

Loggia at Palacio de Memoria, Parañaque City

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 43 years of love.  That's exactly what my parents have for each other for more than 4 decades. As with any love story, it wasn't purely a sweet walk in the park. There were sacrifices that had to be made, there were triumphs and celebrations, there were tears shed. Despite it all, my parents showed me that while they may not be the most cheezy, visibly lovey-dovey couple in this part of the world, they made that choice to stay together and be there for one another through sickness and health, for richer or poor and for the rest of their lives. That, I believe, beats any romantic novel that has ever been written.  To celebrate their wedding anniversary last December, I made an impulsive decision to book a table at Loggia at Palacio de Memoria in Parañaque City. I discovered this place via Instagram and I got so excited upon seeing that there is a real life plane inside the compound. How awesome is that! I know for a fact that J would love to see this and since my parent's

Bag of Beans (Charito) in Tagaytay

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I can't believe that we have been frequenting Tagaytay for more than a decade now and not once have I written about Bag of Beans ! I tried searching all over this blog and I found..nothing. To think that not a single trip to Tagaytay, back then, would ever be complete without stopping by Bag of Beans for lunch or merienda. I must have been to engrossed with their coffee and bread that I wasn't able to take photos of the place and their food thus no blog entry. They, after all, have one of the best brewed coffee in Tagaytay and the yummiest bread to go with it too. Bag of Beans has been an institution in Tagaytay. Just like us, other tourists and visitors would make sure to drop by in order to grab a bite or to take home some of their homemade goodies every time they find themselves in Tagaytay. Bag of Beans started with one branch along the Tagaytay-Nasugbu Main Road across Residence Inn Zoo and it wasn't even overlooking the Taal. While they may lack in having a scenic

Franny Mommy Finds : Happy Noz Sticker Patch

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As a parent, I have one thing that I dread the most and that's when any of my kids fall sick. From the moment we detect the faintest sniffle followed by sneezes and runny nose, we know one thing is for sure -- we will be having a couple of sleepless nights. For twins, it is very common that when one falls sick, expect the other one to follow suit in just a matter of days, sometimes within hours even.  A few years ago, my twins would catch a cold and we really would struggle because they'd become very fussy and cranky at night. They're sleepy and tired from the cold but with a clogged nose, they can't really have a restful night and this means, either one of us will have to sit up and carry them all throughout the night. It came to a point wherein both kids were sick and Paul and I eventually caught the bug too. It was just so hard to care for the kids while you're not in the best condition as well. This got me researching on remedies on how we can have a good night

Staycation Files : Quest Hotel Tagaytay

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 "Mommy, Daddy can we go (to the) hotel?" Since the start of the year, this has been the favorite statement of the twins and they would really make it a point to bring it up every so often. Well, what can I say? They love going on staycations and staying at hotels just as much as Paul and I do. As they say, the apple does not fall far from the tree .  One of the reasons why they have also been asking was because they had such a fun time during our recent hotel stay last December at Quest Hotel  in Tagaytay . This was after a day trip to cousin M's farm in Batangas and since we didn't want to tire ourselves out with the long drive, we decided to stay the night in Tagaytay which is a halfway mark from Batangas to Manila (well..kind of). It was during the holiday rush so we couldn't go around that much as it seems like everyone decided to head to Tagaytay as well and the main roads were so packed with cars so we decided to stay and enjoy the hotel to the fullest. Th

I'm Back.

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 ...well I think I am.  I really miss writing, sharing my food and travel experiences. I'm actually not sure if there's anyone still reading my blog but if you're out there. Thank you!  This year, I hope I'll be able to write more. To share how my life has been with all of you and I hope to somehow make this -- a space for you to be reassured that I'm here. I'm ready to talk to you and you're never alone.  We've been in lockdown for more than 2 years and while I do want to thank my kids, Paul and my parents for keeping my sanity in check, I'm starting to realized that I have had enough. Enough of staying home, enough of putting our lives on hold, enough of watching my kids losing their childhood. I hope, as we continue to get vaccinated and build our immunity, we can face normalcy once again.  Well, I've been eating a LOT for the past two years so I got a lot of stories and food finds to share. Till then, please stay safe. xoxo 

#FrannyCooks : Shepherd’s Pie with U.S. Dehydrated Potatoes (the easy way!)

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It’s been a week after the long holiday season and after all the fun, the anticipation, the gift-giving, merry-making and non-stop eating, I bet we all have one big dilemma, we got lots of leftovers in the fridge! To be honest, I really do not like seeing our fridge packed with tiny plastic containers which are filled with all sorts of food items -- that last piece of corndog, half a bowl of pasta, a few more slices of cake and chopped veggies and pang-gisa that were excess from our holiday cooking, all these and more. This is why I also find it exciting to clear out our fridge by coming up with dishes that can be created using our holiday leftovers.    Scanning around, I spotted a pack of ground beef that was an excess purchase from what was supposed to be our Christmas spaghetti. I also saw some leftover peas, carrots and onions stored in tiny round containers which are taking up unnecessary fridge space. Seeing all these ingredients, I immediately thought of one particular dish and