Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Waving Goodbye to 2014! Saying Hello to 2015!

Happy NewYear everyone!

2015 is just two hours away and I am excited. 2014 has been an exciting year and I couldn't thank the Lord enough for the many blessings He has given us... for one, we have survived our first year of marriage: the adjustment phase in a new house with just the two of us.  We haven't killed each other yet!  We survived because we learned to compromise with each other, aside from the rock-paper-scissors game that we have to do to see who does the cooking and the dishes.

The business is a strong as ever but this time around, it was just the two of us making big decisions. We have to throw in new ideas to evolve our products at the same time retain its uniqueness and its original state which captured our loyal customers...We are pushing for expansion, hopefully 2015 would give us the edge.

2014 also gained us a lot of pounds to be shed off next year...Hahaha!! But seriously, doctor's orders, we have to gain our old weights back. But I'm thankful that there was no serious problem in health this year.  No confinement in the hospital and no health bills to pay, which I thank the Lord for.

We were able to finish two of our projects this year. We finish off paying our lot for our house at the same time acquired a new property that we intend to rent out in 2015.  We even minimize our interest and gained more on the rebates that the bank returned to us for paying more than the monthly required amount.  It cut a lot in our leisure and travel fund but it gave us some maturity to learn to sacrifice and the humility to take on the responsibility of our commitments.  I'm excited to invest more in 2015 or maybe start building that dreamhouse. =)

So there goes my 2014... not as travel filled as my single years but just them same, 2014 is awesome.  I can't wait for 2015....and oh please come with good surprises!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Carnivore Heaven at Anak Ng Baka

After a good feedback from one of our journalist abyans (SILAK brod), Nonoy Espina, Ron treated me, mom and Mamita for dinner at Anak ng Baka (ANB). ANB is located at the Ground Level of Avenue Suites along Lacson St.in Bacolod City.

After asking the waiter of their house specialties, we decided to feast on St. Louise Baby Back Ribs (2 slabs) shared among us four and we ordered one steak for each of us.  Hahaha! We are not really that hungry but better to taste their steaks!

Mom and I got an order of Certified Angus Chuck Steak.  It goes with a serving of garden salad and a choice of soup.  I got onion soup while mom got clam chowder.  The other option was the soup of the day: Pumpkin Soup. It also goes with a gravy to top your steak.
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Certified Angus Chuck Steak

On the otherhand, Mamita got peppered steak while Ron ordered Angus Butcher Steak. Both steak were served with rice.

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Pepper Steak

All steak were cooked medium rare because it won't be as juicy and tender if it is well done.  Also, meat would tend to be chewy if well cooked.  I love my Angus Chuck Steak.  The rich flavor of the herbs and spices were there and the meat was so tender.  Mamita's Pepper steak was a hands down.  If pepper explosion happens, it did in my mouth after I had a slice of the meat covered in ground black pepper.  Ron's Butcher Steak is a so-so.

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Butcher Steak

The Back Ribs is one of the best I have tasted so far in terms of this dish.  The taste is similar to that of Racks but definitely at a less expensive rate.  The barbeque sauce for the ribs is a correct mix of sweet and spicy. The pork is so tender it easy falls off the ribs. The dish is served with Laing (camote leaves cooked in coconut milk), buttered mixed vegetables and potato salad.

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St. Louise 2-Slab Back Ribs

I enjoyed my experience at ANB.  The food tastes delectable.  The serving is in good proportion. You won't regret paying for the food they will serve.

I believe everyone deserves a steak and you better get yours at Anak ng Baka.

-o0o-
Anak ng Baka
Door #1 Avenue Suites,
12th St. cor Lacson St.,
Bacolod City
(034) 4320180

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Monday, November 24, 2014

TCC woes

How will you answer the question, "When are you having a baby?" or the worse and boggling question "Why we are still not having a baby?"

If only you would know when you will have one or why you don't have one, but those questions rests to the Creator and the future to be answered.

All we could do is wait, do all we can and all that we know of to get pregnant.

For a year now, Ron and I have been trying to conceive. There were months when I get delayed and we get excited, getting our hopes up only to be crushed again and again. There are times that my disapointment is too much, I get depressed the day I get my late period. And more depression comes from the envy boiling inside knowing that your contemporaries became pregnant, or those who just got married are now counting weeks at their pregnancy.

Sometimes I wonder if I do not want it as badly, as the Lord sees that this is not my heart's desire. That maybe I wanted it only because I get so many pressures from family, friends and colleagues. Maybe because I am afraid of the words "abnormal or with defect" associated with not able to conceive, that I wanted a baby to prove them all wrong. Because maybe, just maybe, I want to conform of the norm: get married and HAVE kids.

So the next time, please ask no longer of the many reasons why we are still without a child. I still don't know why and I could not answer the when too. Only God knows.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Look Good, Feel Good

Nowadays, though I may take full control of my time, I have been very busy to the point that I neglect myself.  My routine everyday is take a bath, get dressed, brush teeth and then grab my bags and dash to the car for the morning rush. Nothing quite unusual but the little extra I put into myself eons ago seem to be thrown out of nowhere.  I only get to comb my hair at the car.  I sometimes miss putting on body lotion or a moisturizer.  I haven't worn makeup since I can't remember.

I lack exercise, I eat too much.  I keep on procastinating on the former. I have many excuses left and right. It is no wonder that I am gaining weight very fast.  I am at my heaviest to date.  I have bought work out clothes 2-3 months ago to inspire me to get my ass moving, yet, I have not gone to the gym nor opened my laptop to follow a 15 minute workout.

Everytime I  look at myself in the mirror, and compare it to my old pictures of 3 years ago, I feel that I am the dull version of myself.  Because I don't feel good of what I see, insecurities creep in.

I have been so busy, I neglected my responsibility to myself: To Look Good and to Feel Good.  I know it is not obligatory but sometimes putting on a red lipstick boost your confidence or wearing a 3-inch heeled shoes makes you feel empowered.  I would like to open my closet and won't get limited because I could fit into all my clothes instead of me squeezing into my jeans which I could no longer button.  I would like to have curves unlike my surfboard of a body.

So yeah, I know I should have started exercising or pick up the make - up kit than blogging my woes and ranting on my shitty self.  I guess, I have to put it in writing, some sort of a promise to taking care of myself, to a healthier, fitter version of me.

P.S.
I started my 15 minute zumba workout and extra 30 jump ropes in my new sports bra and nike kicks.... Im far from having flat abs but I'm getting there.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

I'm Too Blessed to Complain

Today, we arrived at the store with one of our staff saying, "Manang, may sala gid ko sa imo" (Sister, I did something wrong).  I kept on guessing her fault with no avail until she confessed that she left the gas range open with the stove still on, overnight.  I have a section at the store that sells burgers, fishballs, french fries and the like.  And she was assigned in that section the other day.  When the whole First Shift Team opened Raji Mart yesterday, the store was full of smoke because the burner was on all night.  We were too blessed the store didn't burn in flames, else, I am now a pauper, stressed on how to pay the goods as half of the items at the store are still on loan with the suppliers.  Also, we are only renting, we may get sued for negligence or if there would be injuries, we will be required to take care of all of it.  So, yeah, I am so blessed and grateful that amidst all that was, Raji Mart is still running.

I didn't get angry nor give a reprimand for the negligence of my staff.  I was too overwhelmed with the blessing.  Ron gave her a 3-day suspension as penalty and to teach her a lesson she'll never forget. She agreed right away as she knew it was her fault in the first place.  No bad words said, unlike the movies.

As for my team, it was a lesson to be careful all the more.  Negligence is a no - no if we still want Raji Mart operational and them having work to feed mouths. As for me, I still have to save up for an insurance for the store for unforeseen like this.  But for now, I only have You, Lord, to save me and the store from all the troubles.  Thank you po!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Microwave Mac amd Cheese

This quick and easy recipe is a sure hit for the busy moms who does't have that much time to cook.

All it takes is less than 10 minutes and you will have a delectable meal for the family



Ingredients:

1/2 lb pasta (cooked, we used small Macaroni)
1 cup whole Milk
2 cups shredded cheddar Cheese
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Basil (Optional)

Preparation:
1. Place all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Stir.
2. Place in microwave for 5 minutes in Medium High setting.
3. Stir again.
4. Microwave for another 2 minutes.
5. Stir until smooth amd creamy.

Serves 4

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Motherhood

It is cliche-ic to write about motherhood on Mother's day. And I still don't have the right to write on the topic because I don't have a child, nor am I bearing one as to date. This is no greeting nor sharing of experience of someone.

Today, I write on motherhood because I think I am not ready to be one. I am scared of the responsibility.  I'm scared that I could not live up to expectation of being a good mother.  It is too much that someone's needs is dependent on you.  

Somehow, I still don't feel the attraction for children. I have a complicated time understanding them. I have a nephew who, one day wants all your attention, giving you hugs and entertaining you with all of his skills yet also knows how to say no whenever he doesn't feel like it.  He is only 4 but he oftentimes outwit me with his demands and I don't like a bit of it. Ron's niece came to Negros for a month's vacation and instantly I dislike her.  She's 7, plays dolls, orders her Mamita (lola) around, doens't share her food which my husband bought and she gets a hold of the family's laptop amidst her owning a tablet. I don't entirely get allergic reactions with kids. I enjoy their company but once the crying starts or they get bitchy, they no longer interest me.

I see how tiring but selfless  it is to care for a child.  Looking after their welfare, tidying their poops, tending to their bruises,  is entirely intricate. I am scared with all of it.  I don't know if I could handle.

Every night I pray that the Lord God will bless our marriage with a child. We are already in our thirties and I want to spend as much time as we could with our children in the future.  I believe that the early we start, the earlier we would be finished rearing our children, and so we could move on to retiring stress free.  Now, on our 6th month of marriage, we are continuously trying to have a baby.  While others are saying that we should enjoy our marriage as husband and wife, our folks, uncles and aunts are asking of an apo.  But I believe, the Lord will bless us with a baby once we are ready.  Children are blessings and given only to those who deserve them. Maybe the Lord delays his gift because He understands the desires of our hearts more than we do. He is above the norm of the society and what ot dictates. Maybe we are not yet ready.  Maybe His time for us to be parents is not yet now.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Staycation at Business Inn

Today my husband and I are celebrating our 6th month of marriage.  No vacations planned, no movie date, nor a candle lit dinner for two.  We decided to treat ourselves to a night at a hotel.  Staycation it is at the Business Inn.

While waiting for the rest our work to be done, we booked a room at the hotel and availed of their Cool Room Rates Promo, giving us a 30% discount.  We went home grabbed some overnighters, had our simple dinner and then off we went to our humble abode for the night.
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It is a way of beating the summer heat and spend a night in an air conditioned room.

-o0o-

The Amenities
We got a room at the 2nd floor which was good because Business Inn doesn't have an elevator.  The Regular Room is very basic, good for 2 people but could accommodate 4 pax.  It was equipped with 2 Twin Beds.  I should have requested for a Double/Matrimonial bed but nonetheless, the beds were comfy and soft.

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An old TV with cable is also in the room.  A study table for your laptop is available.  A closet is provided for clothes or to store luggage.  The room has minimal electrical sockets.  I have to charge my phone at the CR.
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Drinking Water is available upon request from the Room Service.

The toilet and bath is clean.  The hotel provides 2 sets of towel, shampoo and soap.   Shower is available but there is no hot water.
 photo BusinessInn-2.jpgBusiness Inn - Bathroom photo BusinessInn-4.jpg

-o0o-
Room Prices at 30% Discount

Delux Rooms
Regular                             Php       840
Junior Executive              Php        945
Senior Executive              Php       1085
Corporate                        Php       1365

Superior Rooms
AVP                                 Php       1113
CEO                                 Php       1183
Presidential's Suite            Php       1995
Director's Suite                 Php       2660
Chairman's Suite               Php       3150

Terms and Condition of the Cool Room Rates

  • Effective date is April 1, 2014 until May 20, 2014
  • Offer is subject to availability, is not applicable for groups 
  • Cannot be combined with any other offers (i.e. Senior discounts)
  • No charge for bookings cancelled more than 24 hrs prior to arrival for deluxe rooms or 72 hrs for suites.
  • In case of no show or late cancellation, a one night's room charge will be charged to credit card provided
  • A credit card is required at time of booking ut no charges will be made until check out.
  • Chein in is 2:00pm and check out is 12:00 nn

Sunday, May 4, 2014

35th Pasalamat Festival

We came home to La Carlota City for the highlight Street Dancing and Float parade of the 35th Pasalamat Festival today.   Pasalamat is a Hiligaynon (the dialect of Ilonggos) term for thanksgiving.  It's a celebration of gratitude to the Almighty for the bountiful harvests and life's blessings.  It also highlights how the city and its people thrive though hard times.  The festival is from an old age practice of offering thanksgiving to the god of agriculture residing inside the Kanlaon Volcano.
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Started April 28 until May 4, the weeklong celebration ended with a parade of merrymakers in colorful costumes made of indigenous costumes. What makes the parade special and unique is the beat the parade participants dance to.  The beat is an original, named Sambita beat, composed by the former Mayor Luis Jalandoni Jr., a bongo player himself.  The Sambita is played by drum beaters using percussion instruments.

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The Pasalamat Festival is one of the most colorful and festive in whole province of Negros.  I hope the photos below will encourage you to visit La Carlota for the 36th next year.
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-o0o-
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Pasalamat Festival
La Carlota City

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Cream Cheese Brownies


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Last New Year's Eve, when we went home to my husband's hometown, I met his cousins from Manila.  I instantly love them because they all love food and they all love making good food.  His cousin Tin, brought home some baked goodies, a delectable brownies topped with cream cheese.  It was so awesome, I think I have 5-6 of those small squares while my husband had about the same.

Last night boredom hit me once more.  And what else to do but to do some kitchen fix and have the oven running.  I remembered how much husband and I loved the taste of Cream Cheese Brownies and I thought why not try making one since we have a big slab of Chocolate untouched for about 4 months now.

What I love about this brownies is the complementing taste of the dense fudge-like chocolate brown with the cream cheese.  The tanginess of the cream cheese tempers the rich chocolate taste. I definitely enjoy eating two of my favorites, chocolate and cheesecake in one bite.

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I would like to share this wonderful treat with the recipe below:


Ingredients

Brownie Layer:
110 grams unsalted butter
115 grams sweetened chocolate
200 grams sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
65 grams all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cream Cheese Layer:
225 grams full fat cream cheese
65 grams granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg

Instructions:

1)  Preheat oven to 325 F or 160 C.

2)  Ready a 9 inch pan lined with aluminum foil.

3)  In a bowl, mix butter and chocolate.  Place in a pan of simmering water to melt mixture.

4)  Remove bowl from hit and whisk in sugar, vanilla extract all purpose flour, salt.  Add in eggs one at a time.  Mix together.

5)  The secret to a fudge-like dense brownie is less flour, no leavening and an addition of air into the mixture.  So whip mixture vigorously to add air and to have a homogenous mixture.

6)  Remove a 1/2 cup of the chocolate batter to be used later.  Pour the remaining mixture into the 9 inch square pan.

7)  In a food processor, place cream cheese, egg, and sugar.  Mix until smooth and have no lumps.

8)  Spread mixture on top of the brownie batter.

9)  Spoon 16 dallops of brownie batter evenly on top of the cream cheese mixture.

10) Run a knife back and forth through the two batters until you have a marble effect.

11) Bake for 30 minutes or when the toothpick comes out with a few crumbsafter inserting it into the brownies.

12) Cool down or refrigerate before serving.


Fresh from the oven!
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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Some Things I get for Free

Who says things shouldn't come for free?  Who says every thing should have a price tag?

I love freebies. I love free tasting. I love going to trade fairs for free samples.  During college, we often wait for free admission movies at the UP Film Center. And even if I have no one to drag for some good Eigasai films, I still take the chance to watch. I love watching plays too. Free plays the most. Ron and I were able to snag 20 minutes of our time to wacth Serbis the other week beacause it was free. Free starbucks from the Brit bosses or the free meriendas during work huddles was a delight.

Ever since I came home, the freebies became different. It was purely related to the outcome of our business. I now enjoy gadgets wheneer we hit yearly targets. I got a laptop and a phone frome suppliers. I get gift certificates, perks of our purhases. I also get free BPI treats with the consistent use. And soon enough I could get a new gadget with the reward points I earn.

But above the free material stuff that I get, I am happy with the constant hugs and kisses given to me by my husband. The giggles of my nephew or his inquisitive look are priceless as well. The bonding moments I have with my brothers over food or volleyball is awesome. I wouldn't experience this now if I didn't choose to go home. So I may have sacrificed some freebies but I gained more than I could ask for.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Best Chicken Inasal at Aida's

Chicken inasal is a staple in Bacolod. It is like sugarcane, it is found anywhere.  But to appreciate Bacolod Chicken Inasal, my family and I always find ourselves at Aida's, in Manokan Country just beside SM.

So today, after months of denying ourselves from fatty foods (I'm helping my husband with his weight control regimen), we treated ourselves and gave in to the craving as we smell the aroma of grilled inasal when we passed by Manokan Country. Who could resist such comforting smell of good food?

Aida's welcome you with its festive vibe, eminating Bacolod's famous Masskara Festival all year round with its masks decors. The place is well lighted but the tables are a bit cramped and it gets overcrowded as customers pour in to dine.

Hubby ordered pecho (breast) while I got paa (legs and thigh) and two servings of rice.  I love Aida's inasal, it is flavorful, juicy and most of all fresh.They only grill the chicken upon order. Happy tummy indeed!

I used to put Chicken oil in my rice as it ads a little flavor. But had to stop myself from doing so because I need not tempt my husband from following. I love it best to eat my inasal with bare hands which is possible because Aida's provide lavatory for you to wash your hands before and after your meal.

What I like about eating inasal at Bacolod, besides its authenticity and freshness, is its price.  We only paid 187 for the whole meal.

-o0o-
Aida's
Manokan Country
Fr. M. Ferrero St. cor. Rizal St
Bacolod City, Negros Occidental

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Unemployed Entrepreneur

I am unemployed. My husband is unemployed.  And we enjoy the unemployed life.

We are NOT trying to look for a good paying job.  It was a decision we both made to stay unemployed, a couple of months before we tied the knot.  Ron has been grueling night hours at the BPO industry taking calls shift after shift.  After two visits to the hospital, I knew for a fact that life at the call center will take a toll on him. As for me, I came in terms with myself, accepting that I may be an Engineer, licensed at that, but I am not going to employ forever.  The corporate life offer fame, awards and opportunities in exchange for stress and poor health. So I finally took my retirement at age 29. I'd rather use my time and energy in more important things: my family and my future.

So how do we get by?

RAJI MART STORY
After I said goodbye to my career in Manila Water, I have built my first business venture.  This was not at all part of MY plan.  But it was God's way of laying his plans for me.  At the time when I was looking for work at my hometown, opportunity struck my family.  A big grocery is about to close and it was offered to my mother.  She is interested but she does not have the time.  I was the only bum kid at the household, so who else is given the responsibility but me.  Without any knowledge in business, I took the challenge. What I learned in my corporate life, I taught to my people.  We opened the grocery with it half full.  Money was scarce, as I was given a very limited budget.  But I told myself, one day, I will have my grocery full and I could leave it running with little supervision. Months later,  Raji Mart is one big key market player.

JCE STORY
Stabilizing Raji Mart, I entered Coke.  Half a year later, I hang up the red shirt. Leaving Coke was a decision, so easy for me to make.  I think, the Lord allowed the opportunity for me to realize that being in the manufacturing setting, or being employed for that matter is not His plan.  I was always tired.  I haven't gone to vacations.  I work 6 days a week.  I spend less time with my family.  Life sucks then.

After I left, I was bumming again.  Raji Mart became a routine. Looking for another venture and joining the Japanese Cake craze was the answer.   It was intended to help with Raji Mart's rent but it became full blast as we took advantage of the public's positive reception and put them in key locations. I thought, why not give the sole Jap Cake distributor some competition.  We made a hit.  Now we operate in 8 locations in Bacolod and Talisay and 3 more locations in Iloilo.  And we are not stopping from expanding.

-o0o-
Opportunities are many.  It is up to us to put our fingers into them and get a hold of them.  Struggles will be everywhere and it will hit you anytime.  But it is up to us if we want to saddle up and hold them with a tight rope.  Fear of failure will never go away.  But with the Lord's grace, a little risk, a prayer and loads of perseverance, we will reach our gold mine.

Being an Entrepreneur is more than a plan, or a choice.  IT is about letting God be your employer, because only He can make you one.
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