Saturday, October 23, 2010

Coke is still it!

I have a funny story to tell you, yes a funny, true-to-life story that has been passed on for generations, well, at least in our family. The story is this -- One afternoon, a certain homemaker who loves to bake cookies and other sweet treats asked her maid to get a COOKIE SHEET from their cabinet. Upon returning to the kitchen, the maid proudly handed to her "amo" a bottle of Coke. Surprised and puzzled, the "amo" asked her trusted maid why she was giving her a bottle of Coke, to which the maid answered, "Mam, diba sabi ninyo dalhin ko sa inyo 'yung kukisit??? Eto po."

Coke is it!
Remember the commercial?
Oh well, I remember laughing out loud every time I would hear that story. Until now, that story never fails to elicit laughter from my audience (may it be one or many) every time I would narrate that.

For us who grew up with Coke, this drink has become so much a part of our daily lives. It's not just a global brand or a product but it's now like a part of our family, something very close to home.

I'm a certified witness to how Coke evolved during the years. The look and feel of its packaging may have gone through several transformations but one thing remains the same- that Coke spirit! Yes, nothing comes close to its taste which is almost addicting and seriously satisfying.

If only cameras and blogging were already this popular way back in the 70's or 80's or even 90's, my family would certainly have lots of pictures with Coke in them.

In all our family celebrations, occasions, gatherings and outings, Coke is the one thing that surely has a place on the table. It's almost impossible not to have Coke during special occasions, right? But what about during everyday meal time? In our home, you could almost always see at least one bottle of Coke tucked somewhere inside our ref. Oh yeah, Coke is still it!

It's a fact that our small family of five (consisting of “tatay, nanay -that’s me, ate, smaller ate and bunso”) loves to eat. It is during mealtimes when we would sit down around our small dining table, more like a coffee table nook, at our kitchen. That table could not even fit four normal-size round plates. But you see, although we have a six-seater dining table in our dining room, we enjoy taking our family meals in that cramp table of ours. We really don’t mind bumping our chairs and yes, even each others' knees when sharing our meals there. The “crampness”, we believe, creates a more intimate setting for us.

When it comes to everyday kainan happiness, my hubby and l look forward to going home from work and have dinner with our daughters. Weekends are most special. We all sit down together (around that cramp table of ours) and enjoy having our usual Saturday lunch meal time at the comforts of our home. Our usual Saturday lunch fare consists of what my hubby and my kids love to eat. It can be a combination of: inihaw na liempo (just massaged with a little rock salt) and pakbet or vigan longganisa and chopsuey or lechon kawali (turboed) and ginisang repolyo. For our dessert, we would usually have fresh fruits such as mangoes or melon (whatever fruits are in season). Not to be missed is the 1.5 liter of Coca-Cola poured over some ice cubes into a clear glass for me and my hubby and plastic tumblers for my daughters. It’s like a mini picnic on our table. The refreshing Coke definitely completes our meal and never fails to make every meal in our household much more enjoyable. Not to mention, it gives us all a satisfying “burp”. :-) Oh, we just love that feeling!

Our Everyday Kainan Happiness with Coca-Cola

one weekend dinner time:

one weekend lunch time:

one weekday dinner time:

all alone one weekday dinner time:
(ordered take-out from a nearby Chinese resto)


When it comes to family get-togethers and outings, there's again that oh-so familiar bottle with that oh-so familiar red and white logo with that oh-so familiar lettering on sight. Paired with whatever food is available - healthy, junk, considered junk, considered healthy, Coke is sure to be its best partner.

family outing dinner time, one long weekend:

So, you see, any day of the week, anytime of the day, rain or shine, Coke is still it and is always sure to be a hit! Rhyming pa, diba?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

What 10-10-10 taught me

Hello, is someone out there reading this?

They say 10-10-10 is a lucky day. I don't believe in numerology or feng shui or anything like that. I didn't even realize that it was suppose to be a "big deal of a day" until today, 10-11-10. Oh well, I really didn't want to write about yesterday because of the unpleasant things that happened. But, I'll write about it, anyway, without the details but more on the lessons I learned.

My hubby and I had a terrible fight yesterday inside our car with all our kids and yaya, on our way to Sunday worship. I totally blew my top and wanted to get out of the car. Well, I almost did. I already unlocked and opened the door, about to jump out of the car when my husband pulled me back. I heard my kids crying already and my eldest saying, "Mama, please don't!" I cried, too. I didn't wanna go to worship anymore...but I also wanted to go. Confused much? Yes. But, God still prevailed and I guess, whispered something both to us.

After a quiet break from what just transpired, still on our way to worship service, we were stopped by a policeman/traffic control officer and told us that we violated a law. I thought to myself how amazing that the traffic officer knew about what happened inside our car, that we were fighting. Duh? The traffic officer was actually talking about a traffic violation we committed, which was, "Cars in the inner lane must turn left." My husband and I both didn't notice the sign. This incident made my husband sigh in disbelief and remarked something like, "Malas naman talaga itong araw na ito."

Anyway, before the worship my husband made peace with me and said a sincere sorry. I was still hurt and told him that I wasn't yet okay. But, still we sat beside each other in the worship service hall, sang the worship songs and listened intently to the message. Our kids were happy seeing us together, of course. We even went to a baptism party afterwards and by then, I think I was already okay with my hurt.

When we got home, I hugged my husband and told him I was sorry, too, in front of our two daughters. He also said sorry to our daughters for making them feel what they felt when we were fighting.

You know, prior to my outburst yesterday, I couldn't remember the last time my husband and I fought. I swear it had been a long time since we had a misunderstanding. Maybe more than 6 months or 7 or 8 months. I really couldn't remember anymore.

What is funny is that we had a really fun time the day before yesterday, Saturday. Just us and the kids with no yaya in tow, we went to Bonifacio High Street and spent some good 1 hour playing with our kids at Gymboree; went to Fullybooked where the kids had fun reading at the kids' section; had dinner at our kids' favorite restaurant, TGIFriday's; had dessert at Krispy Kreme; and strolled around the park. It was a whole day of fun and bonding moment. And then, Sunday came and it was a different story altogether.

A great lesson I learned is this - Whether we like it or not and realize it or not, our children will always be greatly affected by what we say or do. That night, our 4-year old daughter narrated to us that unpleasant incident in detail, what she saw and heard when my husband and I were fighting. It made me realize how good a story-teller she is. But most importantly, it made me realize the impact of my actions.

What happened yesterday made me and my husband realize our mistakes and forgive and forget the hurt we caused each other and our children. I thank God for directing us to where we were supposed to be yesterday, with Him, despite our hurt.

Well, 10-10-10 turned out to be a "big deal of a day," after all.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What's for lunch?

There are days that I bring "baon" to work. It saves me money and I know it's healthier because they are home-cooked meals. But there are days that I do not know what to have for lunch. I bet you have those days, too. And when I'm experiencing those days, I often settle for just a drink and a piece of something like, bread or pastry or cookie or cake or donut or whatever. I call them my lethal combination because I'm quite certain my combo meals ain't healthy, except for some, maybe. Here, I've taken photos of them.

Starbucks green tea frap & butter croissant
CBTL's roast chicken & mushroom fusili pasta & iced tea
Wendy's side salad & KK's orange you glad
Seattle's Best ham & cheese croissant & mocha cupcake javakula
KK's mango cake & a Starbucks frapMachiavelli chocolate & Starbucks' raspberry drink
An empanada from a Marikina vendor & a Starbucks' frap
Seattle's best banana cake & a frapSeattle's Best ham & cheese croissant & ice-blended coffee
CBTL's lasagna & iced-tea
Salad Days' Caesar Salad & Delirance's Chicken Bourbon (sampler size)

Most, if not all, of those Starbucks drinks were courtesy of HSBC's promo. Those CBTL's meals, on the other hand, were mostly discount or meal combination coupons from my Belle De Jouer planner. While, the Seattle's Best meals were 10% discounted because I'm a VIP card holder. Yes, I'm such a "mom"! I love bargains and I use all those discount coupons you can find anywhere. Too bad, HSBC's Starbucks On Us promo ended already. I hope they bring it back soon.

A Happy Ending...Recovery in Progress

I needed a break. And so....God gave me not just one but a series of breaks.

It was last month when I had been mentioning to my husband about my unused sick leaves. I was bragging a bit about the fact that I still had eight unused sick leaves with just 3 months to go before the year ends. You see, in our company, unused sick leave credits can no longer be carried over to the next year. So, I was happy at the same time smug about the whole thing. Well, guess what? Just as I was certain that I wouldn't be able to use them, God had other plans.

I don't get sick as often as other people do. I may be small but I feel I have a strong immune system. Despite waiting for my hubby (we go to work & home together) to finish his overtime work which often lasts until around 7:30 pm every night for almost two months now, I still feel strong.

It was a Wednesday morning when I woke up feeling a little pain on my upper left jaw. I thought it was just a simple stiff neck or sore throat but I couldn't turn my head to the left. Then, I felt a small lump on my upper jaw and suspected it to be mumps. That morning, I called in sick. I dedicated my whole afternoon researching about mumps in the internet and found out that mumps cannot be treated. There are only supportive treatments, like rest, drinking plenty of water, refraining from eating too much sweets, or taking paracetamol if you develop a fever already, etc.

The following day, I woke up feeling pain on my upper right jaw, too. Oh no! The mumps were now two! This time, I really couldn't move my head. I had to turn my whole body every time my kids would call me or wanted me to see what they were doing. I moved like a robot. The mumps gave me a break from eating too much sweets, perhaps.

The Monday after, I woke up feeling a stinging, itching sensation on my forehead and saw a rather unusual red bump that appeared from nowhere. I dismissed it as just an insect bite. Nevertheless, I went back to work feeling recharged. The following day, three blisters erupted on the red bump and they were freaking itchy. Friday morning, I decided to have my forehead checked by our company nurse. She cleaned the wound and put a gauze on my forehead.

Thank God it's Friday -- That evening as I left my office desk, a friend texted and said that she had 2 tickets for me for the John Mayer concert that same night at SM MOA's open grounds. I immediately called my hubby and told him that our dinner date wouldn't push through anymore because of the concert. We had never watched a concert before in an open space, with no roof and walls. So, we didn't know what to expect. The heavy downpour, all the more, got us more anxious than we already were. But, the tickets were free (P8K each) so, there was really nothing to complain about, right? My hubby found it funny when he noticed that I was even wearing white pants and white sandals. Wow, what a timing!

A break from our usual Friday night date -
watching John Mayer concert at SM MOA

Just after the rain stopped pouring. Can you see John Mayer on stage???
My injury is far more visible or more evident than John Mayer, tsk, tsk.

We enjoyed the concert despite the rains. And yes, we still pushed through with our dinner date on our way home -- at Tapsi ni Vivian in Marikina. It was a nice experience after all and a nice break from our usual Friday night date routine.

Then, Monday came and I woke up this time with a throbbing forehead like it had a mind of its own. I felt my head exploding. I had to go on sick leave again since my forehead was all swollen. I learned later on that I was hit by a viral nerve infection called Shingles (remember those red bump with blisters on my forehead???). It's also related to my having mumps earlier on.

So, for a couple of days, I had been suffering from "stabs of agonizing pain" coming from my facial and cranial nerves and swollen face that made me look like Neytiri, the blue girl from Avatar. It was a painful and amusing break from my usual look.

See the similarity between me and Neytiri. Who's prettier??

I've been resting here at home for the past five days. Having been stricken by shingles has proven to be a nice break for me from doing office work and has allowed me to see the daily routine of my daughters.

My body is now busy recovering and my face is slowly getting back to its original form. It's been an adventure, really!

As I recuperate, I couldn't think of a better way to take a break from all these breaks which I've recently experienced than to watch a marathon of DVDs while lazing on my hubby's favorite and comfy sofa and savoring something luxurious, my Caramel Biscuit & Cream ice cream by Haagen Dazs. It's perfect for my "me" time when the kids are still in school and my toddler is having her afternoon nap. No disturbance, whatsoever, even from my hubby who is out there working. Ahh, life is, indeed, a bliss... especially with Haagen Dazs Caramel Biscuit & Cream.

Excited for my afternoon "me" time.
I have something in store for myself. Yes, stored in our freezer.
Can you see?

Let's take a closer look, shall we?
I'll prepare my teaspoon.
I couldn't wait to have a spoonful of it.
Here's where I would have to savor the pleasure.
This was "me" time. So, it was just me and nobody else. Even the picture-taking -- I had to take a shot of myself.
Perfect! both my shot and of course, my Haagen Dazs.

Don't you know that I'd die for caramels???? Oh, you don't know that? Well, now you know.

Haagen Dazs Caramel Biscuit & Cream is an elegant blend of caramel ice cream and real crunchy caramel biscuits. It's certainly richer and denser than other ice creams as it contains less air contributing to its signature slow melting creaminess. I just love it! It's very decadent and luxuriously creamy.

Having this ice cream almost automatically puts me into a state of nirvana. It's like my soul is being transported to another dimension, another world that is full of happiness and bliss...sort of a dreamland! It makes me forget that I still look like an alien.

These were the results of my futile attempts to have some perfect shots of me while savoring my Haagen Dazs.

Well, who knows, eating this ice cream might even melt away my Shingles scabs and wounds just like in fairy tales when all is pretty, well and sweet.

When I get back to work next week, all my sick leaves would have been consumed by then. But, that's okay. As I've said, I needed a break...and God gave me these breaks, unexpected breaks. Yet, I'm thankful for them, especially for this happy ending.

Having a Haagen Dazs Caramel Biscuit & Cream is my happy ending.

Full recovery in progress

Do not disturb. Slow melting in progress.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Coffee trips with my girls

There's something about coffee shops that makes it so enticing and inviting. Yes, even to someone who's not really a heavy coffee-drinker, like me. I dunno, maybe it's the smell of roasted coffee or the ambiance or maybe the relaxing seats. I think I kinda influenced my daughters to love making "tambay" in coffee shops and just chill out. I actually look forward to having coffee and non-caffeine drinks with my daughters. We often do this when my hubby has some things to do or buy inside a mall that does not necessarily need my approval. Instead of window-shopping, I and my daughters will just head to a coffee shop and wait for my hubby there.

Here are some photos of our trips to our favorite coffee shops. Most of our Starbucks trips were courtesy of HSBC's Starbucks promo that ended last September 31. I still have 3 transaction receipts waiting to be redeemed. Maybe next week, when I no longer look like an avatar (see previous post)... or maybe, who knows, even if I look like one.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in SM Megamall
(while hubby was having a hair cut)

Starbucks Legaspi Vill.
(after Noelle's VTR and while hubby was having an O.T.)

Starbucks Megamall Strip A
(while waiting for the heavy rain to stop; we couldn't go to our car since it was parked at the open parking lot)

One Saturday afternoon at Starbucks Glorietta

Starbucks in Megamall Mega Atrium
(while waiting for hubby who was doing some shopping)

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in Megamall
(waiting for hubby who was having a hair cut and after that, went shopping for a printer)

I would always buy a milk-based frap drink for my tot and one coffee or chocolate frap drink for my tweener. While me, I'm happy just taking a sip of whatever they're having, but I always make sure I have my slice of cake or any kind of pastry.

Well, I usually end up spending so much even if the drinks are free (like the HSBC promo or using coupons), but you know, it's worth it -- to be with my daughters and enjoying their company.