Monday, August 31, 2009

What's with the SPOON?

As I was packing my husband's lunch, I just remembered the dental hygienist in my workplace. Every freaking lunchtime she would notice and throw some comments on why am I using a spoon to eat. I would always politely say: "because I want to". One day, that was actually thursday of last week, I took out my lunch, I had pork barbecue that time, and her eyes started to roll. Then I took out my spoon and fork and began to eat. Then she goes, "Okay, this is called a knife, and you can use that to cut your pork". Then I laughed and turned to her, I said: "look, mind your own business, if you can't stand me eating with the spoon, fine, look somewhere else." She's a nice Portuguese girl and we're very close, it's just that her sideway comments annoys me to death. Makes me remind of this news, the little boy is actually one of our patients. It's sad that some people are not very open to other cultures, but hey, it's their problem not ours.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Carrot Cake

This is a carrot cake recipe that was lovingly shared to us by a family friend. It's actually very easy to make. When I do this, I make my own variations, sometimes I'll toss some almonds, some raisins, some chocolate chips, some M&Ms, or if I want it to look fun for my son, I'll transform it into muffins. Enjoy!


4 eggs

2 cups sugar (preferably brown)

1 cup oil or apple sauce

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

2 cups flour

4 cups grated carrots

Gradually add sugar to oil. Beat well after each addition. In a separate bowl, beat eggs then add to oil mixture. Sift dry ingredients together. Gradually add dry mixture to the liquid mixture, Beating well at each addition. Add the carrots and raisin. Bake at 325C for 45 mins to 60 mins.


Saturdays and Sundays are utterly the worst days of my week. Why? Because those were the days that I will and should be a mom, a wife, a cleaning lady, a cook and a maid rolled into one, oh, not to mention being a gardener too (sometimes).

My to- do list for this week:

1. Laundry which includes washing and folding, which I totally hate. I find folding as one of the most boring activities that you could ever do.

2. Iron some clothes

3. Cook some meals

4. Dusting

5. Vacuum the living room, bedrooms and hallway

6. Clean the bathroom and powder room

7. Sweep and Mop the kitchen floors

8. Change the linen covers

9. Write post dated checks for the daycare. The daycare's fiscal year is starting on September 1st so I really have to finish it, big time. I usually write 12 postdated checks, that'll be for the whole year.

Then last friday my son got invited for a birthday party to be held in Angrignon Park. It's my husband's co worker's son, his name is Adryan, and he's turning 5. Now back to my list...

10. Buy a present for Adryan, which I already did when we went to Sears this morning, I bought a Nike ensemble (sweater and jogging pants) and a Transformer Robot. The Nike ensemble was priced for $47.99 but there was a 40% discount, so I got it for $28.79, yey! I love discounts! then the Transformer Robot was priced $29.99 but if you use your Sears card they will scrape off 10% on the toy's original price. I took it and another $2.99 stripped off from the bill, so 2 nice gifts for less than $60. thank God for discounts and thank God for my sears mastercard! hahaha.

Transformers robot

Nike Sweater and Jogging pants ensemble

On top of this list, we still have to go out, eat out, go to my in-laws house, go to mass, play with our son, etc. Life could be hectic sometimes. The only consolation that I could ever think of, is that, at the end of the day, I know that I'm happy, my house is clean, my boys are happy, I'm tired but I'm happy.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Bonjour Montreal!

Two days ago I received an email from my brother, he told me that my parents finally received their canadian tourist visa. It took them less than two weeks of processing, and they were eventually granted even without an interview. Isn't that amazing? My parents are coming!! I'm so excited. Since then, I made a list of places that I'm sure they'd love to see:

1. Notre Dame Basilica - There's an admission fee of $5 for adults, $4 for aged 7 to 17, and free for aged 6 and under


This was a picture taken by our own camera, isn't it a beauty? When I saw this church, for me it's more of like a combination of our very own San Agustin Church and San Sebastian Church but bigger.

Okay moving on...

2. St. Joseph's Oratory of Mount-Royal if in Notre Dame there's a fee for you to have a tour, here, it's free.

It was winter when we took this picture. There's nothing really special about this church except that it's big like HUGE, if I'm not mistaken, it's made up of 4 to 5 chapels inside.

That's my sister lighting a candle.

3. Montreal Biodome, Insectarium, Botanical Garden and Olympic Tower
to come on these places, of course there'll be a fee per person.

I went to Biodome probably thrice already.

In insectarium probably once, well what else can you see there? insects? sorry, I'm not fascinated with insects.

Botanical Garden, maybe twice. Botanical Garden is really gorgeous inside. It showcases different plants from all over the world. It has a japanese garden, a trekking park, a chinese garden and a butterfly pavillion.

Part of the chinese garden

I haven't been inside the Olympic Stadium, but I'll bring my father there, that's for sure.

4. Old port of Montreal In old port, you'll be amazed with the architectural details of all the establishments. It's more like you're in the movies, or you're walking in Paris, aside from the fact that 85% of the people are french speaking, the architectures will really bring you somewhere else.

Friday, August 28, 2009


Yes folks, I make my own pandesal!

A little intro:

Pandesal (Spanish: pan de sal, literally "salt bread") is a rounded bread usually eaten by Filipinos.[1] It is a bread made of flour, eggs, lard, yeast, sugar, and salt.
Source: Wikipedia

It's definitely not good for the waistlines but you can also make it using wheat flour to make it healthier. I would like to share you the recipe that my friend gave me. It's definitely a keeper...

1 cube butter (equivalent to 1/2 cup of butter)

2 eggs

2 packages of yeast

1 tsp salt

3/4 cup sugar

1 Tbsp oil

1 cup milk

3/4 cup lukewarm water for yeast

6 cups flour

Mix flour, sugar and salt. Melt yeast in 3/4 cup lukewarm water and add 1/2 tsp sugar. Beat eggs and pour over flour mixture and mix well. Then pour yeast over flour mixture and mix thoroughly. Then pour the melted butter with milk over flour mixture. Mix thoroughly and add oil. Knead well. Let it rise for 2 hours then punch once. Knead a little bit and let it rise again for 1 hour. Punch it again, cut into sizes and let it rise again to double the size in room temperature. Then bake it at 325 C/ or 350 C.

My kitchen layout

The kitchen that I want should look like this. Bottom cabinets plus the pantry will be in nexus black brown, they will have a stainless steel plinth, then the top cabinets will be in abstrakt white. I'm thinking of getting Lansa handles which are also available in Ikea. I don't know when are we ordering the kitchen cabinets,could be this year or next year, most probably the early spring of 2010.My design has been approved by an Ikea person already, and the kitchen planner gave me a price quote on how much will be the cost. So we're all set, we just have to fit it in our busy schedules. During the waiting time, things might change but there is one thing that I told my husband that will never ever change, I have to have a dishwasher. I don't have a dishwasher right now, and I'm dying to have one! For me, it's the best invention man could ever made. In my mind, I know that my life would be much easier if I have one. I can't wait!

With the appliances, I'm leaning more on stainless steel. I just bought my new fridge, it's the Frigidaire's professional series stainless freezerless. I don't need a freezer because I have a huge freezer in my basement, and that's where I put all my meat and frozen foods. I love it! Next on my "to buy" list will be an oven and an exhaust fan.

Back from electrolysis

I'm back from my electrolysis rendezvous! I thought my appointment was at 11:00am, but Shahla, the aesthetician, said it was confirmed for 11:30, okay fine. Since I'm half an hour early, she asked me to put some topical anesthetics, the brand name was Amla. I checked the pharmacy, and they sell it for $42 CAD + tax per tube. I work in the same building so I spent my time chitchatting with my colleagues while waiting for my turn. I came in around 11:35ish, and then the treatment has started. When she was doing it, you could still feel it even though I was numb by the anesthetics, but it's not that bad. She spent 10 minutes poking(for lack of a better word) the hair in my upper lip. Then she put some aloe vera to make my skin relax a bit. After, she told me to expect a little sensitivity and redness on my skin. I was thinking of going shopping after the treatment, but when I looked at my face, I don't think I can go anywhere, it's so red!! To think that she only did the thicker ones. Electrolysis is permanent, but the downside is that it takes several visits to make it successful. I scheduled my next appointment in the next 3 weeks. Oh the price that she gave me was $20 for 10 minutes, not bad eh?


I have an appointment with my aesthetician today at 11am. It's for my electrolysis on my upper lip. You know, I'm one of those unlucky girls who has a mustache. I used to wax it but they started growing unevenly so I've decided to do something else. I asked the aesthetician about laser, but she said with the type of hair that I have and my skin type, it's not going to be very successful. So she advised me to do electrolysis instead. I'm a little bit anxious because I don't know what to expect. Is it going to be painful? Is she going to put some topical anesthetics? I have no idea.

But what in the world is electrolysis?

Electrolysis is a more guaranteed form of hair removal and works on dark AND light hair.

How it works The aesthetician inserts a sterile needle into every hair follicle. A low-level electrical current kills the follicle. Because electrolysis focuses on one hair at a time, it can be a tedious process, which makes it ideal for small areas like the brows, upper lip and chin.

The pain factor The pain from electrolysis is greater than laser and it may feel like 20 pricks to your one for laser hair removal. Cost is about $60 for a typical 30-minute session, but the con is you need about 15-30 visits to see the best results (ouch!)

Are results guaranteed? Yes. Unlike laser and pulsed lights, electrolysis kills every follicle the aesthetician treats.

I hope everything works out well. *fingers crossed*


When I'm bored, I'm either out shopping, on the net, or cooking. My son is crazy about pasta, really "canadianized", as per my boss. So in my full motherhood, I have to learn how to cook pasta recipes. My specialty is Lasagna with bechamel sauce. I've received great feedbacks from it. I do this in big batches. We eat some and freeze some, so we still have something for the next few weeks. Saves me time to cook whenever I do overtimes at work, I usually work 12 hours a day, sometimes more. So here's my recipe, try it!


1/4 kilo ground beef
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic
italian seasoning
little bit of soy sauce
1 jar of tomato sauce
1 beef bouillon cube

1 liter of milk
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup flour
dehydrated parsley

500 g Ricotta cheese or Cottage cheese
dehydrated parsley
1 egg


Cook Lasagna noodles as per box direction

To make the red sauce:

Saute garlic and onion until golden brown, add ground beef. Add a little bit of soy sauce to taste, then simmer for about 25 minutes. Add tomato sauce, add bouillon cube, bring to a boil. Put 2 tbsp of italian seasoning. Simmer for 15 minutes.

To make the bechamel sauce: Boil milk in a sauce pan, add a little bit of salt and 1 tbsp of dehydrated parsley. Melt butter in a non stick frying pan, add flour mix until they blend well. Add the butter/flour mixture into the milk then mix, bring to a boil, simmer for 2 minutes.

To make the cheese layer: Mix Ricotta/cottage cheese, 2 tbsp of parsley, 1 egg and a little bit of mozza cheddar cheese (depends on how you like it)

Arranging the pasta in a 13 x 9 baking pan:
put red sauce in the bottom, layer 3 cooked noodles, put about 1/4 of bechamel sauce on top, layer 3 noodles, red sauce again, layer 3 noodles, cheese layer, layer 3 noodles, red sauce again, layer 3 noodles, then bechamel sauce then top it with lots of mozza cheddar grated cheese. The last layer should always be the bechamel sauce then mozza cheddar cheese. Cover it with a non stick aluminum foil with the shiny side on top. Meaning the pale color side should touch the lasagna. Bake for 30 minutes. Then voila! Bon appetit!

My Floors and My walls

In my previous post, I said that we're renovating our kitchen. But I think I never mentioned that the project will be done by me and my husband, and just the two of us alone. We started with painting the walls. We were thinking of getting white again since I'm going for a "black and white contemporary kitchen", but we thought why not extend the color of the wall paint in our living room to the kitchen so the house will look spacious and airy. Our living room was painted with Glidden's European White. It's more like a beige with a moss green undertone. Then, off we went to the Peintures-Glidden in Boulevard Des Sources. We went there and I asked for a European White, then the guy started asking me about finishes, latex, blah blah blah. Then I just responded "I don't know", then they laughed. I've never painted anything in my whole life, how would I know? So after humiliating myself lol, I found my composure again. I said "we're painting the kitchen" so they gave me the semi-gloss acrylic. Anyway, we went home, pack everything in the kitchen, take out the trims and 'lo and behold the floors went off. The old floors were made of linoleum, and geez I was not thinking of changing the floors until 2010. Okay, so change plans, after painting we have to do the floors. We finished painting in 5 hours for my 14.7 x 11 kitchen. Then the next day we went to Home Depot to look for floors. I was thinking of getting Tarkett fiber floors or maybe just a vinyl. Hardwood floors and ceramic stones are definitely out of the question since they tend to be too cold during wintertime. So either Tarkett or Vinyl. Home Depot has a lot of choices, and it includes the TrafficMaster Allure Cyprus Resilient Tile.

It's more of a vinyl type but harder or should I say more resilient. It was sold by the box and covers 24 Square feet. They said that we don't need to use adhesive and they claim that it's super durable and completely waterproof. It was priced $54.96 + tax per box and it comes 8 tiles per box. Not bad. It was pretty easy to install, because 1. you don't need any special tool to install it, a ruler and a cutter are enough, 2. they don't bend, 3. the adhesive that it has is so strong, they really lock together. I highly recommend that to anybody. So here's my kitchen floors before the remodelling:

And my after:

I still can't get over it, I love my new floors! But you know, what made it more special is that we installed it ourselves.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Renovating my kitchen

I've been planning to renovate my kitchen ever since we moved in this house. When we bought the house, the kitchen was painted all white, even the kitchen cabinets are white. It has a white, old laminate countertop with black specks to, i guess, to have a stone effect on it. It looks very cottage and old. In other words, it's U-G-L-Y. So this year, I told my husband we have to start planning on renovating this kitchen. I started searching for "the look" that I want in my kitchen, do I want to have a contemporary kitchen? do I want to go victorian? or should I stay on a cottage style? but to be honest with you, just the thought of cottage makes me puke. Not that I don't like the cottage style kitchen, It's just that I'm afraid that in the end I will just be reproducing an exact replica of what I have now. I've shopped around to have at least an idea of how much everything would cost. In my mind, I know that I'm getting all the kitchen cabinets, fixtures and some appliances in Ikea. One reason is because of the reasonable price that they're offering. Home Depot, Rona L'entrepot and Rona Depot have various collections of cabinets to choose from but with the budget that I'm going for, theirs look more plastic and cheap. So I'm sticking with Ikea. Anyway, I am not an interior designer, but I've always been fascinated with house decorations, furnitures, spicing the room with colors and the likes. I've downloaded the Ikea Decorator, I've done my searches, I even registered myself in ikeafans, I guess I am all set.

I know in my heart that I want a modern contemporary kitchen. So to start with, I looked for a kitchen inspiration. As I was browsing, I saw this..

Perfect, I want to have that kitchen! Then I went to Ikea to find cabinet doorstyles that would look like this. I fell in love with Abstrakt white, it's their white ultra glossy cabinet doors.

Then for the bottom cabinets, I would want to have Nexus Brown Black doors.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Leche Flan

To give you a little introduction, cream caramel, flan, or caramel custard is a rich custard dessert with a layer of soft caramel on top, as opposed to crème brûlée, which is custard with a hard caramel top.

The dish has spread across Europe and the world. Both 'crème caramel' and 'flan' (from Old German flado 'cake') are French names, but have come to have different meanings in different regions. In Spanish-speaking countries and in North America, flan refers to cream; this was originally a Spanish usage, but the dish is now best-known in the United States in a Latin American context and also in the Philippines, where it is known more as leche flan. Elsewhere, including in France, 'flan' usually means a custard tart, often with a fruit topping. In Europe and many Commonwealth countries, the dish is generally known as cream caramel. Source: Wikipedia

I would like to share you the leche flan recipe that I've been using since I was 16. Beware it's highly addictive! Enjoy!


12 egg yolks
2 cans of condensed milk
1 can of evaporated milk
brown sugar
2 tablespoons of vanilla extract (optional)


To caramelize the sugar: mix sugar and a little water, remember the ratio of sugar to water should be 2:1, bring to a boil. Pour the caramel to your porcelain baking dish or aluminum baking pan or in the Philippines there's a pan that we call lyanera . Mix all the ingredients together. Strain the mixture with a cheesecloth or katsa. Pour into your preferred container. Then steam for 30 minutes or until the flan was done. To check its doneness, pass a toothpick at the center of the flan, if it comes out clean, it's all set! enjoy!

Introducing - KABAYAN COFFEE

Imagine this.. waking up in the morning with the smooth aroma of a brewing coffee.

Hmm.... a perfect day is coming your way, keep your fingers crossed too and toss some wishes here and there to make it a reality haha.

Anyway, yesterday I went to Metro, it’s a local supermarket here in Montreal, to grab some groceries. Then, I went to the coffee section to get some Tim Hortons coffee, I usually get the biggest one, that’ll be our month supply. I love Timmy's! As I was browsing all the coffee in that section, because you know sometimes there are specials that I don’t want to miss, then one coffee captured my eyes. The brand name was “Kabayan”. I was amazed that there was a coffee that sounded so Filipino, I was not even inside a Filipino store, so that was pretty suprising. I took it, and I saw that it was identified as Barako Espresso. At the back of the coffee bean bag, the first sentence says “While the Barako has become a generic name for all coffee from Batangas, real Barako refers to Philippine Liberica or Excelsa.” So there, proudly Philippine made. I bought one, hopefully most Filipinos in Montreal would dare to try this one too. Tangkilikin ang sariling Atin!

Monday, August 24, 2009

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

My first post

My first blog, my first post. Sounds fun. I've always wanted to blog, but don't know where to start. So last night I've decided to make one, just have a little place where I could express myself and have fun. Till next!