Tuesday, April 26, 2011

for the love of food

I have gained almost15kg since my pregnancy!
So, I seriously have to cut my carbs and fat to the minimum which is tough for me.
For the first time, I had trouble with weight and I never once expected that I would have this much difficulty... especially not on my pregnancy where I thought I could go about eating everything there is for as long as it's safe.

For the first times, I felt the depression of dieting.
It doesn't feel good at all. Or maybe the hormones of my pregnancy makes it worse.
But anyway, found the ultimate prize for me and my hubby as we go into this dieting together... an eat-all-you-can blow-out for our monthsaries!

Looking forward to it already. And we got this 10 reastaurants to start with!
Unfortunately, I don't think that we could start it this May since we've got visitors coming plus my birthday... which means that we could be eating a lot more than we should for several days.

Reposting the Ten Best Value Buffets here. 

10 Best Value-for-Money Buffets in Manila 

Published: 2010-07-09 10:24:00 @ www.spot.ph

Manila is no stranger to good buffets--overflowing, satisfying food that can fill platefuls to satisfy all kinds of cravings. Whether you're on the lookout for variety, value-for-money price tag or novelty, we give you a list of the best buffets you can find in the city (listed in no particular order) without paying five-star-hotel prices: 

1. Yakimix
Address: 2/F Forum Bldg. 270 Tomas Morato, Quezon City (385-7500, 332-8073); Hobbies of Asia, Macapagal Boulevard, Pasay City (387-8120, 387-8112); G/F SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City (385-7500)

How much to shell out: P580 eat-all-you can on Saturdays and Sundays and P499 lunch-all-you-can from Mondays to Fridays; add P55 for drinks; children below 4 feet will be charged P380 only.
A new player in the buffet business, Yakimix, which opened in 2009, gets a nod for its spacious dining area and their variety of Chinese and Japanese dishes on the buffet spread. The place gets extra points for the grilled meat choices and sushi selection, plus smokeless table grills that lets you dine happily without smelling like food.

2. KingOne Rotary Hotpot
Address: M2-A Lower Hobbies of Asia, #8 Macapagal Ave., Pasay City (556-1370)

How much to shell out: P479 for an eat-all-you-can and drink-all-you-can from Monday to Saturday; P529 for dinners, Sundays and holidays (without drinks), upgrade to drink-all-you-can for an additional P65
The appeal of KingOne Rotary Hotpot lies in the hotpot ingredients that roll by on a conveyor belt right beside your table. With over 90 ingredients to choose from, and six soup bases available (Satay Soup, Century Egg Wansoy Soup, Spicy Szechuan Soup, Plain Soup, Hong Kong Curry Soup, and Korean Kimchi Soup), hotpot fans will also get a free dish for every two eat-all-you-can meals availed. Choose from their Spare Ribs Salt and Pepper, Yang Chow Fried Rice, and the Oyster Cake to go with your hotpot meal.
Remember: no sharing and no doggie bags, they charge P100 for leftovers.

3. Kamay Kainan
Address: West Avenue, Quezon City (371-4659) ; Kalayaan Avenue corner Malamig Street, Quezon City (921-5904 ); Market! Market!, Taguig (889-9883); TriNoma Mall (435-0061, 916-7178)

How much to shell out: P248 per person without drinks/ P295 per person with bottomless iced tea daily
If an all-Pinoy buffet spread is on the agenda, you can't go wrong with the reasonably priced buffet at Kamay Kainan. Their 2-hour maximum stay rule may sway those who like to have leisurely meals, but the place still attracts those who love Filipino food classics: Lechon paksiw, fried bangus, fried tilapia, binagoongang baboy, papaitan, caldereta, menudo, beef steak, kare-kare, pork sinigang, beef nilaga, adobong pusit, inihaw na liempo, and steamed oysters

4. Cabalen
Address: 67 West Avenue, Quezon City (372-3515); 3/L, Bridge way SM Megamall (633-1761); G/L Robinsons Place Manila (536-7987); 3/L Festival Mall, Muntinlupa   (809-6698); 2/L TriNoma Mall, Quezon City (901-3602); G/L, Glorietta 3, Makati City (893-9884); G/L SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City (556-4874)

How much to shell out: P298 per person for lunch and dinner; P392 per person at the Glorietta, TriNoma Mall and SM Mall of Asia branches (for its Filipino, Chinese, and Japanese buffet)
Appetizing Kapampangan food gets supersized with the daily buffet spread which includes sisig, biringhe (subject to availability), lechong paksiw, bopis, adobo, pancit bihon, grilled catfish and the spicy kind of dinuguan. 

5. Brazil! Brazil!
Address: Metrowalk, Meralco Avenue, Pasig City (638-6318), 1st level Power Plant Mall, Rockwell Drive cor. Estrella St., Makati City (899-0957); Serendra, Fort Bonifacio Global City, Taguig (856-0671)

How much to shell out: P628 per person from Monday to Thursday; P777 per person from Fridays- Sundays.
Enjoy a Brazilian meat-all-you can party at Brazil! Brazil! where, oddly, the only thing Brazilian is the barbeque or the churrasco. The slightly pricey buffet charge gets you endless skewers of barbeque which the servers bring to your table until you turn up the red side of the yoyo on your table which indicates "stop." 
If you've had enough of the pork belly and tenderloin cuts, head to the central buffet area with appetizers, pasta, rice, and desserts. 

6. Cafe Sweet Inspirations
Address: 311 Katipunan Ave. Loyola Heights, Quezon City (433-4200)

How much to shell out: P295 per person (available from 10 a.m.-10:45 p.m. daily)
Known more for their pastries, this Katipunan Avenue spot also serves one of the best Mongolian buffets around. The all-day, eat-all-you-can spread indulges those who love to create their own stir-fry bowls. Expect the sauce at Cafe Sweet Inspirations, mixed in with your own concoction of meats, seafood and vegetables, to turn an ordinary hodgepodge of ingredients into a satisfying meal.

7. Dads/ Saisaki/ Kamayan
Address: EDSA, San Juan; 2/F Glorietta 3, Ayala Center (892-8908); 4th level SM Megamall, EDSA cor. Julia Vargas Ave., Mandaluyong City (636-3785)

How much to shell out: P520 per person from Mondays to Thursdays for the lunch Crossover buffet (Dads, Saisaki and Kamayan) and P620 from Friday to Sunday; P620 per person for dinner; Saisaki lunch is at P480 from Mondays to Thursdays and P580 from Fridays to Sunday; Kamayan lunch and dinner is P350.
For the selection and variety, the "ultimate buffet" by the Triple V group still remains a reliable buffet choice. With over 200 choices with Continental picks (Dads), Japanese food (Saisaki) and Filipino favorites (Kamayan), the place enjoys a steady stream of buffet eaters who love an all-out foodfest.

8. Tramway Tea House
Address: 76 Sct. Alcaraz Street corner Banawe Street Quezon City (411-1565); Timog Avenue, Quezon City

How much to shell out: P160 person on weekdays; P195 per person on weekends; P332 per person for Sunday lunch
The bargain buffet destination when it comes to Chinese food, the P160 price tag is relatively cheap for endless trips to the stations which include the staples: dimsum, dumplings, fried chicken, sweet and sour pork and vegetable dishes. The buffet gets an upgrade during Sunday lunch with Peking Duck, shrimp and roasted pork.

9. Somethin' Fishy
Address: Eastwood City, Libis, Quezon City (421-6412, 421-4757)

How much to shell out: P129 per person for breakfast (12 midnight to 10 a.m. daily); P325 per person for lunch (11 a.m.- 2:30 p.m.); P395 for dinner (5:30 p.m. —" 11 p.m.)
Their popular breakfast buffet had many call center employees, late-night owls and early risers lining up for their spread of typical breakfast fare. Now, they've extended their buffet time to lunch and dinner for the insatiable eat-all-you-can crowd. 

10. Alba Restaurant
Address: Tomas Morato cor. Sct. Lozano, Quezon City (925-1912, 411-7052); 38 Polaris St. Bel Air, Makati City (896-6951)

How much to shell out: P595 per person for lunch and P650 person for dinner.
The Jupiter and Westgate branch only offers the lunch buffet.

Even just for the moist, saffron-perfumed paella, the buffet Alba should be on every foodie's list. Serving an assortment of Spanish dishes which include callos, chorizo, paella plus appetizers, salad and dessert, this Spanish joint makes it easy to get stuffed with savory Spanish treats. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

photobook: visita iglesia on a Good Friday

1st real visita iglesia with Dennies & my sis-in-law, Abbi.
A result of boredom... nagkayayaan lang...

But a good time to see our culture & architecture.

& the BEST time TO PRAY for all of us to have more than just an appreciation of the works of man(the building & statues) but more on the AWEsome wonder of our great GOD who created us all...
& to a deep PERSONAL relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ...
to Christianity that's more than a part of culture and tradition...
To a church unlimited by walls...
to a FAITH that's UNDISPLACED...
To a DEVOTION that's REAL and TRUE and RIGHT...

May God bless us all.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

mother's day card for Mama

Now that I am pregnant, I love my Mama more than ever knowing how she bore us through nine months... it is not easy.

Before, I remember resenting her for being a "mother". When Jobbie came, I begin to realize just what she did for us and how strong she had been for her children.

I am bound to love her even more as I'd become a mother myself.

Thanking God for my dearest mother!

Monday, April 18, 2011

photobook: our first road trip

These pictures are from our first road trip last September.

We took a trip around Laguna, the province where we're in. I hope I have a picture of the province's map here but I don't. There's a lot of it at Google though. ^^<

That was a Saturday... we started left Binan at 7am right after breakfast which we learnt later that we should have left earlier because the toll gate had about 500m of traffic with the Pansol tourists (Pansol, barangay in Calamba, is a popular destination among NCR pips for their private hot spring pools).
We drove through Los Banos, Bae, Victoria, Pagsanjan, Cavinti and Lumban.
We decided to head back home at around 3pm because the sky was threatening a heavy rain and we are still 3 hours away from home.
No. we weren't able to look up all the places that we would have wanted to go to but there would be plenty of time indeed to catch up when we'd be having visitors.

This May, we are expecting Ate Rieza and her family, and Jon (my real big brother) and Tintin (his gf).
With Ate Rieza, we would probably be going on a visita de Iglesia here in Laguna where there's plenty of old Catholic churches.
While with Jon, we're going to go to Pagsanjan to shoot the rapids in the renowned falls (but I couldn't do this because of my pregnancy although I could really go with them for the drive) and maybe to Paete and Antipolo for some exotic dish (frogs, lizards and snakes)! I'd go for simple fish or pork... a pregnant tummy is not a good time to experiment on weird food.

Since, I am so inspired in making photobooks which I probably couldn't print. So, I'm posting them here instead.

I'm looking at printing all of these photobooks in one thick one which will be BOOK 1 of the DENNIES & JOY. (dating from Januray 2010 to August 2011)

It is a blessing to be in love to my big love, my best friend and big brother especially since I don't think I deserve this much!
Thank you, Lord! 

photobook: pregnancy journal: attempt #1 (unfinished)

I have yet to download my preg strip results from my camera... meanwhile, these images are from google (just so this page won't look empty & anyway, mine look just about like those two)
I would have wanted to put in more texts... & edit the 8 weeks to 9 weeks at right but I seem to be having problem on typing down at mixbook... (same prob with the rest of the pages starting here)
this is my second ultrasound! IT'S A BOY!
MORE PICTURES COMING SOON! still to download from cam...

Friday, April 15, 2011

photo book pictures...

I was not satisfied of the coffee table photo book that my wedding photographers had made.

So, this is just some of what I did last night.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

sharing pregnancy stories

Every time a mother gets to see me pregnant, they surely end up sharing their own pregnancy stories as well.
It's a comfort hearing their stories though... because some have worse morning sickness than I have ;) ... but seriously, it's a comfort knowing that they've lived to see their little bundle of joys.

Indeed, some women have had pregnancy, labor and delivery easier than others. Some bore their children even without medical help! Others had their baby delivered in one thrust!
I pray to God that I could be one of them... or close to their labor and delivery experience.

I do get the chance to talk to mothers who weren't as "lucky" as we might say.

But then again, being pregnant in itself is a blessing.
We're praying that my delivery would be easy but it still is up to God and we commit everything to Him.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

normal delivery vs. cesarean section (my opinion)

My opinion (another article would be written on the real pros & cons)

As a nursing student years ago, I had seen both normal delivery and the cesarean section performed at the hospital.

I have first witnessed a normal spontaneous delivery. It was really painful. It felt like the pelvis would snap or that the mother's entire vulva would shatter.
It made me think then, that if I were to be pregnant... I would choose a C-section.

It wasn't long after that when I had my duty at the operating room where the doctors need to do a C-section on a mother whose babies (she carried twins) were in distress for such a long unsuccessful labor.
I saw the doctor sliced through the the woman's tummy in a flash... they do have to do it in a hurry if they want to save the baby.
But to me, it looked like butchering.
Then, it made me think that a normal spontaneous vaginal delivery (NSVD) would be a better option.

A year after, I got the chance to witness a scheduled C-section. There was no fetal distress at this time so the client's OB was not in such a hurry. She got her a "bikini cut" incision. And it was done with such grace and gentleness.
This made me think, that maybe, I'd want a C-section after all.

Anyway, more than that, I did read on articles comparing the two methods of delivery which I will be sharing on a different entry.

It is also interesting to note, that a lot of celebrities do go for a normal spontaneous delivery even when they have all the money to pay for a CS.

Right now, the cost alone of a normal delivery over a CS is enough for me to go for the first. Since the latter is more than twice the amount of an NSVD package.

We're praying that all will go well with our pregnancy and to a normal delivery.

In fact, I would want to strengthen my chances of a normal delivery which I would be writing about in another entry as well. Right now, since I have yet to read much, I can only point out diet and exercise... plus lots of prayer.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

crib designs that I like

 I was thinking of incorporating drawers to the crib just like this one with a size that can be used as a toddler bed as well. 

got them from google...
i forgot from which website i got each of those pictures

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

on a budget

About two years ago, when my best friend and I were window shopping for her nursery, we saw a crib to toddler bed which we both loved!
It was on sale at eight thousand pesos from around 14.
Unfortunately, she wasn't able to get one of those since someone in the family had given her a crib (the one that you won't get to use when the baby grows).

This time, I want that convertible crib made.
When Dennies and I were looking around the local furniture shops in town, we got to see one which they sell at 2,500php, which sells around 12-14 thousand at the mall.
That's the shop where we got our buffet table done as well, of solid wood yet about the same price as the fabricated pr laminated woods you see at furniture stores.

So, now, the plan is to get a crib made there that would soon be our baby's toddler bed as well.

While I was searching online for a design though, there are these convertible cribs that would go not only to toddler beds but to full size double bed!
That is really interesting.
So, I'd be doing some more research on google and youtube... draw the parts and have the local furniture carpenter make it for us!
I am excited... as always.

Last Sunday, Dennies and I had already bought a mattress for the crib. We bought a tri-fold double foam mattress which we got at 20% off.
Once folded, it is a 6 in x 54 in x 25 in foam. And when unfolded, it would comfortably fit two adults at 2 in x 54 in x 75 in!
This would be used when my brother and his girlfriend would be coming over by end of May.

And I guess, this mattress would serve the same purpose every time we'd have a couple or more coming over to visit us.
After all, we do need convertible and multipurpose furnitures, etc to keep up with the little space that we have in the house.


Monday, April 4, 2011

going for 9 months of marriage

I'd be 9 months of Mrs. Espina by the 9th.

It was only last Saturday, when my husband & I saw our wedding video.
The editing was good enough but it wasn't flawless... but I am good with it.
Unfortunately, they have it in one full length, so, I couldn't upload it just yet. I have to ask my providers to furnish me with another copy in a different format since that was what i agreed to pay for.

I am not expecting it anytime soon though, since I have long since paid them in full. But I do hope that they'd find the time to edit it as I have bargained for.

Hopefully, I would get to post it by our 1st year anniversary on August 9!

Then, maybe we'd have our bundle of joy in our arms too!

Everyday, I still thank God for the love that He has given to Dennies & me. We are soooooo grateful!
Thank You, Lord.

Friday, April 1, 2011

basic newborn apparel checklist

 I got to this article while searching for a more comprehensive and budget friendly checklist.
With the gifts that I got from my parents and gfs, I think I can start on checking off some of these in the list. :)


Newborn (birth to six months) clothing checklist

This article provides a list of clothing your newborn will need to keep him/her happy and comfortable!

By the YeahBaby.com editorial staff
Newborn (birth to six months) clothing checklist
Before you go out and spend a truckload on clothes for your newborn, consider that clothing is a common gift at baby showers or to celebrate the birth of your child. You may also be blessed with hand-me-downs from older siblings, friends, or family. While you want the best for your child, they could care less if they are wearing Baby Polo or their cousin's clothes that don't fit anymore. Your baby will grow fast, and may only get to wear an outfit once or twice before they outgrow it or seasons change.
This list will provide you with a good start for what your newborn (birth to six months) will require for clothing.

  • Onesies (4 to 6)  :) Macel had given me 4 sleeveless rompers for baby already. Rompers, she deemed, looked so cute on babies that she wants our baby to have them as well. It is also efficient to use when you are to use disposable diapers.

  • Pants (2-3 pairs)  :) 

  • Pajamas and/or body bags (4 to 6)  :) Mama had bought me 6 pairs of pajama bottoms and tops (3 are short sleeves & 3 are with long sleeves)

  • Short-sleeve bodysuits with snaps at the crotch (4 to 6)   :) still need to buy some of these though... although with i think that it would be not necessary anymore since there are other baby clothes that they bought me that are not in this list that could very well take the place of body suits. 

  • Sweaters (1-2) :) since we are in the Philippines, those long sleeved shirts would work just fine. If it gets really cold, then, wrapping him in a blanket would do.

  • Winter coat and/or Snowsuit (during winter months) :) no winters in the Philippines!

  • Mittens (2 pairs during winter months) :) even though there's no winter, it has been customary in the Philippines that baby's nails are not to be cut until a month old which explains the need for mittens or gloves but the thin cotton ones would do and they have already given me a total of 5 pairs already.

  • Booties or socks (4 to 6 pairs) :) I already have 7 pairs of booties and 1 pair of socks which they gave me. 

  • Hats (2 to 3) --  :) I thought I already have 3... turns out, I only have a pair. So, I need to get at least 1 more.

  • Receiving blankets (3 to 5) :) they gave me 3 already.

  • Crib blankets (2) :) Yes, Mama bought me 2 already.

  • Stroller or car seat blanket --  :) Mommy (my mother-in-law) said that Dennies' cousin have a stroller to pass on to us. I wouldn't be crossing this out just yet though since it's not in our hands yet.

  • Diapers (10-12 per day for newborns) --  :) I have 3 cloth diapers right now and 6 little briefs (my favorite) which he can wear after the cord falls off, and 1 waterproof diaper. We'd buy more diapers soon since I won't be using disposable ones all day. We plan to use disposable diapers at night and when travelling though. So, disposable diapers are entirely not out of the list.

  • Burp cloths (2-3)  :) they gave me bibs already which could double as burp cloths already.Shoes are cute as an ornament or decoration, but aren't necessary until the baby is close to walking age.
    If you ''inherit'' hand-me-down clothing, make sure you are clear with the donor whether they want the clothing back when your baby is done with it. If they would like it back, it is easy to create a spreadsheet on the computer containing an inventory of where clothing is to be returned when it is outgrown.

     :) It turns out that I have most of my newborn apparels at hand. Although if I were to be more comfortable with washing or laundry schedule, then, I should have more... but indeed, for someone on a budget, it doesn't hurt to have more laundry schedules for our little one for few months. We do hope he'd grow out of this clothes soon enough.
  • back in Biñan

    Got back last night from a 6-day trip to Davao...
    no, we didn't do any more sight-seeing since that's my hometown... I was there to meet as much of my family & friends as I could possibly can.

    & I was to visit my dentist -- which I had to cancel due to a busy sked.

    I was happy to have been with my family. I do miss them a lot.

    I got to see my Lola again for her birthday celebration last Saturday which was joined with my cousins' graduation party. 
    I got my fill of the lechon! yumyum!

    Sunday, we went to our church in Digos for worship where we got to meet long lost family, friends and acquaintances. And, yes, I love displaying my baby bump.
    We slept over at Barayong after a Dinner that Uncle Arthur prepared for the family. Inna (my cousin & his 2nd child) graduated as the class valedictorian, Saturday.

    We also prepared for Jobbie's 10th birthday last March 29 which he celebrated with his friends at a village pool near our home in Davao. Most were my Mama's cooking... I only got to cook carbonara by my bro's request.

    We were able to eat at PICOBELLO which is the family's favorite Italian restaurant in the city. I was there with my big brother Jon, his gf Tin and Jobbie last Monday.
    We down in 4 pizzas since they still have their buy one take one offer between 2-5pm, and having 2 wouldn't have been enough for the four of us.

    Monday night, we ate at a beach side 'restaurant'... kind of like the Dampa.. where they cook fresh seafoods the way you like it.
    We were there with Uncle Gen & his family and our Lola. It was our parents' treat.

    Indeed, my tummy was a lot bigger that Monday!

    Tuesday, Jobbie's birthday, was spent at home... cooking for him and his friends who were at the pool about 3 blocks away from our home. It was fun but tiring..but definitely a time to appreciate my Mama for the effort she gives on preparing for my lil bro's birthday!
    It brings back memories of how my Mama affectionately prepares for our birthday each year as well... it might not be filled with balloons and poppers but definitely with lots of LOVE!
    I am indeed loving my Mama more these days.

    Wednesday, I got to rest the morning off. And the afternoon, I got my hair cut at Ate Ailyn's salon then proceeded to go shopping with Mama for baby stuff which I will blog about in another entry.
    That dinner, I spent it with my Ninangs from the wedding where I got sultry and funny marriage love stories which I won't blog about.   ;)

    Thursday, I realized that I only have 5kg of baggage left for pasalubong... which my Papa filled in with tuna for my in-laws. ^^<
    Thanks, Papa.

    I had lunch at Mandarin, my favorite Dimsum restaurant in Davao, with my gfs Aimee and Macel who brought Khaiah, 2yo, my only girl 'inaanak' (godchild).
    I ordered my favorites of course!
    And Macel had bought me more baby stuffs which i'd include in the other entry.
    And Khaiah is still so cute and pretty, she's talkative & sings "Sanay __ibig na lang ang isipin" from Mutya.

    After that, I got a chance to visit Jobbie's school again for his report card. He didn't make it to the honors this year :(
    And I kind of blamed myself for it. But committing everything to God for he knows best.

    I feel so blessed indeed for my family and friends!

    Thank You, Lord!
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