We've Been Living our Happily Ever After for

Saturday, December 8, 2012

BARRIO FIESTA SM NORTH= TERRIBLE EXPERIENCE

My mom had an unused voucher for Barrio Fiesta and since the sissies and I went xmas clothes shopping in Trinoma, Mom gave it to us so we don't need to shell out for dinner... The whole experience was terrible!!!! Where do I even begin???? Lemme see...

To be fair, there were a few good points:

1. The chicken was well done. 
Hubby kept commenting that the chicken in Savory was much better(he's such a savory fan) but for me, they weren't comparable since the taste was different. I liked that it was cooked well but not dry and the skin was so crispy.. We're suckers for crispy chicken and though Mom can cook chicken ala-Max's, this was still good.

2. The lumpia wasn't drowning in sauce and the ubod was cooked thoroughly.
Some lumpiang ubod (fresh spring roll) in other restos or most especially in fast food chains are drowning in sauce as if to make the sauce comprise half of the taste test. This, however, just had the right amount of sauce and some might not like it that way (since they're looking for the crunchy feel), but I did enjoy that the ubod was thoroughly cooked.

3. The seafood toppings rice este Paella rice had a lot of sea food.
Some establishments put 2 kinds of seafood and call it seafood ____(seafood chowder, seafood rice, seafood kare-kare-kare), but this was really seafood galore. There was a crab, two big shrimps, squid and a good number of mussels.

3. They were prompt with the bill
Not much explaining left ^_^

As for the bad points, ugh...

1. It took them forever to bring out our order. OUR ORDER SPECIFICALLY.
Why ours specifically? Because the food at the table next to ours came 15 minutes earlier. It would have been okay if I knew that they came before us or that our food was much longer to prepare but for some reason, we had to follow up twice before our order was out. Mind you, we only had Paella rice(more on this later) and Chicken while they had Patatim, Kare-kare, and pancit bihon. Was it the fact that we had a voucher??

2. The Paella rice wasn't Paella rice, it was "not mixed-well-Java rice with seafood toppings."
This was a major major fail on many levels. First, for crying out loud, don't call something as Paella rice if it was something else! For starters, Paella rice should have the nice reddish color because of the tomato sauce and not the plainly yellow color from margarine. Second, the seafood should actually be sauteed with the rice or at least give the impression that they had the same base ingredients and not merely placed on top after being blanched and salted. Third, have the decency to mix the rice well if it's going to be called _____ rice because it's not plain rice. This last thing really, really pissed me off. As we chowed the rice, the bottom layer had chunks as big as a macaroon of white, unmixed, slightly hard rice. I do understand that the rice might not be evenly mixed and that the rice might be harder than plain rice(since it has to be cool for them to mix it well) but seriously, have the decency to at least crush or break out the bigger chunks. It was supposed to be Paella rice in the first place and the least you can do was to mix the rice well.

3. Have the decency to tell us early if our order was out of stock.
We ordered halo-halo and I thought they didn't serve it immediately because it was dessert. So when we were about to finish with the main meal, I asked a waiter to serve it. She nodded but after ten minutes, the halo-halo never came. Surprise, surprise, we had to follow up a second time and this time, the 2nd waiter came back after 5 minutes to tell us that it wasn't available. Wow. I was okay with the fact that it wasn't  available but what really ticked me off was that the waiter who was asked to follow up our halo-halo never came back to tell us it was out. This is dessert and if we didn't wait a total of an extra 15 freakin' minutes to know it was unavailable, we could have left earlier.

The final verdict: I dunno if it was just a series of unfortunate events but I'm guessing this had something to do with our voucher. If it did, then don't freakin participate in discounted deals! The main point of offering vouchers is to attract people towards your establishment or encourage them to try out less popular products and this experience made me think of the opposite! I only had two prior Barrio Fiesta experiences before this because both were terrible and after this, I am never, ever coming back if I can help it.

If it didn't have anything to do with our discounted voucher, then make sure your service and products are consistent.
I indulge in food and I would have been willing to pay the full amount for them to make our food okay. Sana siningil na lang kami ng original price kung ganyan rin lang na hindi aayusin. It was so disappointing since eating out is supposed to be a pleasurable experience but the bad points of this visit outweighed the good ones.


Disclaimer: Again, I repeat that this was in SM North Branch..It might not be the same in all branches.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

The things they didnt tell you about pregnancy

They say that every pregnancy is different and so what I'm about to say might not be relevant to mothers out there. However, just the same, as this is the most important thing in my life, I'd like to share what I went through and am going through in my first three months of pregnancy.

1. Those two lines on your home pregnancy test doesnt equate to Happy ever after.

Three days after my missed period(my cycle is about 36 days), I bought a home pregnancy test and it was positive! I couldnt contain myself and woke up my husband at 3am, took a photo and posted it on Facebook, and had a hundred likes in less than 2 days. Only the next morning did I realize my mistake in posting it too early. A few google searches was enough to build paranoia because of the countless things that could go wrong.

A. I could have a chemical pregnancy
- A chemical pregnancy is a situation wherein an egg was fertilized but because it wasnt strong enough, the embryo is expelled by the body even before you hit eight weeks or two months.Hence, you would have tested positive but after a few days, you'll experience an early miscarriage without much ado because it'll be just like your normal period.

B. You could have a blighted ovum
A blighted ovum is a chemical pregnancy but much worse and in my opinion, more painful emotionally... because you lose the baby early on but you're body wasn't able to detect the miscarriage and so you continue to have pregnancy related symptoms..only to find out on your first ultrasound that your sac is empty.


C. Your baby doesnt have a heartbeat
This is similar to the first two in the sense that the embryo wasnt viable enough to make it through nine months of pregnancy and in this case, your baby's heart didnt form as it was supposed to and hence, it didnt have a heartbeat.

D. Your pregnancy could be ectopic.
The least graphic yet most accurate one I can find

An ectopic pregnancy means that you're baby didnt successfully attach to the lining of ur uterus..which means that it is somewhere else..more often than not, on ur fallopian tube or worse inside your ovaries or sumwer smaller. According to wikepedia, some very isolated cases of ectopic pregnancy do end up in successful deliveries but more than 90% of the time, expulsion from  the body is the only solution or else.. the embryo would continue to grow and cause that particular part to explode.

2. Your food preference and appetite will drive you crazy
We've all read and heard about women who crave for bizarre items while they were pregnant. So far, I havent craved for something crazy(well at least not in my opinion) but I have grouped my cravings and aversions into four

1. Food that I've always loved which I love more!
choco..love love love(though I try to control it cause of the caffeine)
juices..

2. Food that I've never liked which I hate even more
-bagoong
-spices with strong odors- cinnamon, curry..the likes

3. Food that I didnt prefer before but I prefer now
-fish
-citrus fruits- kiatkiat, kalamansi...ooooh.love!
-pansit bihon

4. Food that I liked before but hate now
-squid, hipon. dory
-particular processed food such as ham, squid balls, particular hotdogs

3. It's caffeine you should be avoiding and not just coffee.
Before pregnancy, it didnt sink in just how many products contain caffeine and you'd be surprised, especially if you start paying attention to food labels. I always thought that only dark colored beverages have caffeine but boy, was I surprised or more like reminded that it aint about the color!
General Tip: They do declare caffeine straightforward and not as chemical sounding thingie so you'd know right away
1. Softdrinks
- Like I said, I thought that only dark colored beverages have caffeine but nuh-ah. Of course, it's best that you avoid soft drinks all together but if you cant(just like me), here are a few tips:
-Sprite and 7-up are your best bets
-Even Diet Pepsi, Coke Light and Coke Zero have caffeine
-Some Citrus flavored soft drinks have caffeine

2. Iced Tea and Chocolate
-People do know already that these have caffeine from the main ingredients cocoa and tea leaves so the best tip I can give is that the purer it is( hot tea and dark unsweetened choco), the more caffeine it has

3. Energy Drinks
-Who'd have thought? not all though, but your favorite energy drink might have caffeine so always check the label- especially the products that have sprout in the market that promise to keep you going. As another blogger puts it-where do you think all that energy is coming from?

4. Your sense of smell is heightened and it doesnt spare your own body.
I always thought that when they say pregnant women have a greater sense of smell, they meant only the terrible fishy-garbage-let's-get-out-of-here smells, but no-oh, it's EVERYTHING. I pout when I smell my sister's perfume or my brother's deodorant cause they're too strong for me. I vomit every time I go to the bathroom and do the number 2.At times, I feel like a stray dog looking for food because I  can smell the food of the people 2 tables away.
Am I cute or whhhhhut?

5. People will want to touch your belly more than you think
Prior to my own pregnancy, I've always had a fascination with preggy womens' bellies but I did ask courteously before touching theirs. Nowadays, it's my turn to have my belly touched. Dont get me wrong, I dont mind one bit, I just didnt think that many people would touch it. I guess part of the reason is because I've always had a belly and now that I'm pregnant, my 13 week tummy looks more like 20 ^_^. So to those who do mind, it wont hurt to let them know :)

My belly at 3 months..more like 5 :P


In the end, you just have to think that things will turn for the better and know that'll be all worth it when u see ur angel.

till the next thought bubble!


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Restaurant Review: Big Bad Wolf

There's still a TON of wedding related stuff that I can talk about..but now that a baby's on the way, I thought that

1. I am more interested to write about my journey to motherhood but I have to collect my thoughts first and
2. I have covered most of the important details about our big day and maybe the minor stuff can wait a bit.

So for, I'll shift to food blogging: all new experiences that hubby and I have had

At the top of the list is: Big Bad Wolf in BGC. It's at the back of Fairways Tower, we had the opportunity to eat there because I won free credits from Groupon/Beeconomic(yey!) worth 250. I used it for the big bad wolf voucher which allowed us to buy 500 worth of food. So what food did we buy

Now, truth be told, I had to do a lot of research about this. Hubby and I are not that well-off and so food tripping such as this one must be carefully planned. We once ate in an American restaurant chain that was so popular but we didnt feel full at the end of the meal so the last thing I wanted was for that to happen again. So I checked the net and based on what I found, here's what we had:

Potato Skins- 175?(I'll check the receipt later)

This appetizer was really good- Just enough to tease your appetite but still filling you up a bit. I read a review that complained a lot about the skins bein' too thick but ours were just right and the dip was really good with the skins- too bad they didnt serve the dip in that cute little jarsie thing I saw in reviews and blogs.

Next, we had our main course. Mine was Grainated Pork Tenderloin while hubby had the Santol Smoked Pork Belly. Let's talk about mine first: It was awesome!!!!! I am not a big fan of gourmet food because sometimes, the combination of flavors is so intricate that somehow, things get lost. However, this was one very good exception!!! The dish was made of strips of pork tenderloin cooked with mozzarella, shitake mushrooms and spinach. The cheese was quite understandable but the combination of mushrooms and spinach was what caught me by surprise and it was awesome!! Admittedly though, I thought it had a tad too much spinach and I felt like a little kid as hubby tried tried to finish off the rest of the spinach on the side of my plate. (sheepish grin)
At first, I was disappointed that it didnt come with rice but surprisingly, I felt very full after eating it(sans rice)

Now, lez talk about hubby's meal: Santol Smoked Pork Belly. Truth be told, I was disappointed with this one. Don't get me wrong, it was delicious but I had very high expectations on this dish given that 1: it was one of the more popular dishes and 2) it was kinda their best seller (or both). Like I said, it did taste good but it was very reminiscent of Christmas ham (the pork belly, only crunchier) plus ham sauce (the santol sauce). All the same, hubby finished it in a flash ^_^

  
Hubby only had water though I did mention that their coffee was good(according to reviews) while I had pink lemonade. It wasn't so pink(i was expecting it to be flamingo colored) and it wasn't so sweet nor too sour either- In short, the taste wasn't overpowering, which I liked. 


We also had mochi which was okay but for 90, I wouldnt recommend it since it's just the same mochi you'll get in stores


Verdict: We would definitely come back and we definitely recommend Big Bad Wolf considering the value for money, location, ambiance and service.

Points for Improvement: Better line up of desserts

Til Next time!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A personal account on airbrush make-up + Supplier's Rating: Colorplay by Malou Hibaler

Peso Power: 10,000 (2011 Bridal Fair Rate)
Airbrush Make up + Hair styling for the Bride
Traditional Hair and Make up for 3 heads
Grooming for the Groom 
Rating: 4/5 

Kwento: As early as 2010, I've been reading articles on airbrush make-up and I thought that I wanted it for myself on my wedding day. However, the quotations I've been seeing were skyhigh- I had a highschool classmate who got married and the rate she got was 15k- considering that she got married in 2011. I had to use extra special googling powers- that involved a lot of patience, clicking, reading and note taking. Finally, I came upon Ms. Malou's multiply site and I liked her for a few reasons:
1. She gives free trial make-up on bridal fairs
2. I had an idea about her rates from her site
3. She posted pictures of "real brides"- brides with skin problems, brides whose wait is not as ideal as it should be. This was a deciding factor for me- I am not so pretty myself and I was hoping she can help me become radiant on my wedding day.

Prior to that, I added her on facebook and based on common friends, she found out that I was related to one of her former colleagues. Nice! It doesnt hurt to have this connection other than our business link. So come August, I sought her out at a bridal fair in Megamall and I had a trial make-up session. It was quite lucky that it was also mine and then boyfriend's 6th anniversary- So I looked great for our big celebration. The deal was closed, I paid the dp and we were all set.

Pros: Ms. Malou and Ms. Menchie came in on time with everything on hand.I was also amazed with the products she used- they were all top of the line. They were also very prompt in making sure that I looked polished all the time. The minute the bridal car arrived in church, Ms. Malou went inside the car to do retouches and make sure that I looked good for my bridal walk. Before the picture taking, both Ms. Malou and Ms. Menchie immediately went to the church's platform and did retouches simultaneously. My cousins, noticed of course and made jokes about it- Taray ni Ypeh(ipe), dala-dalawa ang taga ayos!
It was even funny because prior to the reception, they did my second look and I was like a kid sitting on a porcupine- I couldnt sit still cause I wanted to go out. The post-ceremony photoshoot took longer than expected so I was apprehensive that guests were hungry and impatient so I wanted to start with the program as soon as possible. Ms. Malou and Menchie were patient enough and told me not to hurry too much lest my look would be terrible.

a snapshot of products that they use

Cons: Of course, the rate is much higher than your neighborhood parlorista, even for the traditional hair and make-up. This might be a big deal breaker for you especially if you plan to allocate your budget to other things that you deem more important.Also, my mother, maid of honor, bridesmaid and mother in-law were the three heads who had traditional make-up. They looked good but it was nothing out of the ordinary.

The final verdict on Colorplay:The airbrush make-up was really worth it, especially if you compare it to the rate of other artists. However, the traditional make-up was average. Nonetheless, I say get their bride and groom + 3 heads package- if you compute it, it'll just be the same as getting their bride and groom package only + rate of 3 heads from your neighborhood salon sans the hassle of having more people in your bridal suite.


a picture of our family...my mom and 2 sisters who had their h&m done by ms malou and ms menchie

The final say on getting airbrush make-up
People always say that crap about " You're only gonna get married once" and I never followed this with everything else- except for the hair and make-up. I have very oily skin and I sweat a lot and I'm not exaggerating. I have one too many pictures as a bridesmaid that I threw away because the photos were not worth keeping-it was evident that the powder was uneven or my eyebags were still visible- you get the picture. I believe that I would be radiant in my wedding gown even if it was just very simple but I didnt want crappy pictures of our wedding day especially if it's due to the fact that I scrimped out on a good make-up artist. No regrets- my make-up artist lived up to her promise that airbrush makeup would be worth it. She only did minor retouches after the initial application, and I looked polished until the end of the reception. I was so happy that I was able to get my dream- good pictures whether taken by our official photog or our guests' point and shoot and/or cellphone camera, to think that our wedding day must have been the summer solstice- freakin' 35 degrees! To future brides, especially to those with skin concerns, believe me and please get airbrush packages, at least for yourself.

Happy viewing(Hope I'll be able to convince you!)

 model ng pili ^_^

moolah..more moolah! haha.. a picture with my in-laws(2 hours after my last retouch)
photo taken by our official photog
just to show that even with minimal lighting + unnerving heat, i still looked good when we had our photobooth moment!
Photo taken by a friend's point and shoot camera(final moments at the reception)

Tah-Tuh!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Supplier Rating: Junnel Maranan Videography( Onsite Video Rating Only)

This is a long overdue post since our wedding happened 2 months ago(oh gosh, how time flies!) but it was kinda hard to bug hubby to help me in including the link in this post. Here goes:
Rating: 5/5(My first 5/5 rating!)
Peso Power: 33,000 (2011 rate)
 including
same day edit video
wedding highlights: 2  20-30 minute dvds of wedding highlights
2 videographers
1 editor
3 assistants

 The kwento: Sir Junnel was our second best option(financially speaking) and we met him july 2011 for the initial meeting. He was very easy to deal with and that time, we were undecided on which package to get (budget constraints) so we said that we'll just finalize everything a few months before the wedding. He was trying to convince us to get the package including the pre-nup video but we couldnt afford it so we just decided to get the package indicated above.

Pros:

They were right on schedule about everything! They arrived at about 9:45 when in fact, the call time was 10:30. Call me weird but I was dismayed that they had to come so early- I knew it would be harder to move around with cameras everywhere and I was right, I felt very conscious with all the cameras around. But, they were very discreet and it was still okay to move around despite their presence.

In showing the sde, they were also right on time. We told them that they'd show the clip after the dinner and they were able to deliver right on time. We're due to receive the wedding clips this july and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they'd be able to deliver just as well as the wedding day.


They really know their craft. There were times when I was starting to get annoyed because I didnt feel like they were shooting anything during the preps but I WAS SO WRONG. I saw a lot of clips from the preps on the onsite video meaning they were just very discreet. Our guests were also amazed by Sir Junnel's efficiency- sabi nila, he was working relentlessly sa church and sa reception and he knew exactly the clips that he wanted to include in our video. I also commend the other videographer in the team. Kuya kept throwing jokes to lighten the mood but I found him really cheesy, but when the video came out, most of the shots that I remember were from him and I really liked how he did them.


Cons:

The only con I can think of is budget. Some teams offer as low as 15k for photo and video packages, including the albums, pre-nup pictorial and wedding coverage. However, I believe what one photographer said in his website: photography and videography, no matter how similar they may be, are two crafts that are quite different. Therefore, a good photographer may not necessarily be a good videographer and vice versa. Thus, I believe that even if sir Junnel's rate is higher since it is not bundled with a photography package, it is worth every penny.

Trivia: There's a woman whom I cannot necessarily call as a "third party" in the relationship. All the same, she caused turmoil in our life a few months before the wedding. it is through her that I first learned of our sde song. So there's some kinda sense in the saying that there's a silver lining to these things after all.

Happy viewing and hope ya like it! (I still watch this from time to time and it makes me all mushy and floaty again :D)
Arnold and April Same Day Edit from Junnel Maranan on Vimeo.


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Supplier's Review: Sta Clara De Montefalco Pasig

I know this is called supplier's rating but I wouldn't give stars to them. I believe that the church is a non-negotiable supplier in the wedding and no matter how much we like or dislike them, at the end of the day, we still need to get married in a church. Unlike other suppliers, you have to bear with them more. So here goes:

The pros:
Sobrang mura! Their all in rate is only 10k!
To get married in the church in our village, the all in package is 8,500 and that's considering that the aisle is about 3 meters long.Wala pong nawawalang zero dyan, the church is hexagonal in shape so the aisle is very short(hence fewer flower arrangements). For Sta Clara, the aisle is much longer pero un nga, 10k lang

It remains as the tallest church in the Philippines.
I imagine sharing this with our offspring, na kinasal kami sa pinakamataas na simbahan sa Pilipinas. Not to mention that it is extremely beautiful, which makes it as the perfect backdrop to your special day. They also have a lot of parking space so it wouldnt be a problem.

They really put a lot of thought into their pre-cana seminar. 

It was a two day affair and I must say that my fiance and I really learned a lot. Their marriage "inventory" activity was exceptionally helpful

The cons


They wont accept your reservation until you have passed the canonical interview.
This caused a lot of stress on my part since I wanted to finalize things as early as possible and imagine the looming horror that they might not accept us in the end.


They also put a lot of emphasis on the orientation for the photographers. This was one of the reasons why we switched suppliers a month before the wedding- our original contact wanted to charge us their full rate for attending the orientation.

The sermon wasnt so good either. 
The priest didnt give any advice whatsoever, minadali talaga ung kasal namin. I was upset on this part a lot. The greater half of our entourage wasnt able to walk kasi we followed their rule- dapat 5 minutes before the set time naglalakad na para makarating sa altar at exactly 4pm kasi sabi nila the priest would cut the sermon if we're late. But the sermon was very short nonetheless- in the vernacular-masabi lang.

Final Say: It feels good to say that we got married in the tallest church in the Philippines. Our pictures also turned out fine but if you want a heartfelt ceremony in a church that wont give u that much trouble, I guess your neighborhood parish is still better :(

Pictures for your appreciation. Tah-Tuh!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Supplier's Rating: Quidos Grill

Rating: 4.5/5
Peso Power: 45,000 for first 120 pax
+ 10% service charge + delivery charge for tiffany chairs
inclusive of free fondue sampler + cake or backdrop
+ 380 for every additional guest

Kwento: I really, really, really wanted tiffany chairs. We found other suppliers who are cheaper than Quidos but since they were the cheapest among those who offer tiffany chairs, we decided to get them. We had our food tasting in Tribeca sa may Paranaque and their event that time was an office party kaya mejo iba ang setup, but we were impressed so we still decided to book them.

Pros:
1. For the food, what you see is what you get. Ms Gina and Sir Jimmy do their food tastings on their events, so you're sure that the taste would be consistent and it was! Our guests kept complimenting us that the food was delicious. My siblings are very picky with food but when we got home, each one of them ate all their favorite- inubos ng brother ko ang fish fillet, my 2nd sister ate the roast beef and our youngest ate the chicken barbeque. We really owe this to Quidos, because guests remember your food forever and we can proudly say na hindi kami napahiya. I even have a friend who admitted that he got 4 servings of leche flan- para daw isang llanera. hahahaha.
The infamous flan ^_^

2. Though they charge for the tiffany chairs, it is still very minimal compared to others. they charge 3500 and you can have a max of 150 chairs so 3500/150=23 pesos! That's a far cry from the 80-120 pesos that other caterers charge for every tiffany chair rental.

3. They are very understanding with money matters. Our funds got delayed so we were late in the payment schemes- we werent able to meet th 50% dp on the set date and we only paid the balance 1 week before the wedding(the contract says we have to pay 2 weeks prior), but Ms Gina never complained and we really appreciated that.

4. Some things exceeded our expectation. The backdrop was really nice and we didnt expect that many flowers sa pillars kasi 3k lang naman ang fee. They added a few details as well na wala naman sa deal- like the japanese lanterns and the cocktail tables which came in handy during the dance. Also, we already knew that lights and the bubble machine would be a bonus in the sound system pero it was still nice to see and have 'em in person.
Sorry friends and family for your exposure.. Just wanted to expose a shot of the setup
I was really pleased that there were three pillars with flowers. I was only expecting 2 pillars without flowers.(Our friend Mike on the side while giving his speech)

I loved the lanterns! They minimized the awkwardness of the stairs :)


5. Their waters are really nice. They are very observant and honest. We moved to a lower spot(than the couple's table) when we watched our SDE and the moment I stood up, they got chairs for us. My sister forgot my hard disk enclosure(it was 1 terrabyte, mind you, and it costs 5k at the time that I acquired it) and they took the initiative to give it to my Mom. I was so tired and bangenge already that we were about to leave- and leave behind the cake and our gifts! They approached us and packed the cake and brought the gifts to our car.

Cons:
I would have given them a perfect score if not for small details. Small details lang naman :)
Try to take note of the things that Ms Gina tells you. May small inconsistencies kasi sa mga agreements.

1. Initially, she mentioned that 175 lang ang suppliers' meal and buffet na yun pero yung 175 pala is packed, 250 ang buffet suppliers' meal.

2. Yung sa sound system, I asked her if san ko isasave yung songs to be played during the reception and she said that I can save it in either a cd, or usb, okay lang daw. On the day of the wedding, the technician said they dont have a laptop for the hard disk enclosure so the songs that we picked for the dinner were not played, good thing they have their own songs and our pick for the entrance song and first dance were available.

3. I forgot to mention it during our final meet up but I did tell her via text na wala kaming dove (ayaw ni hubby kasi kawawa lang daw ang mga kalapati) but there were still doves on the wedding day.
So, if you're very particular, do clarify small details na baka naoverlook or inconsistent with what you originally discussed.

Final Say:
The good points of getting them far outweigh the cons so I would still recommend Quidos Grill to future brides. I have scouted around for other caterers and their rates are very affordable considering that they are able to deliver elegant setup and yummy food. My sister is only 15 but we are already thinkin' about getting them for her debut. NO HORROR STORIES. Thanks Quidos! We hope we'll get your services again!


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Supplier's Rating: Candy Rose Pastillas

Rating: 5/5 (1 as the lowest)
Peso power: 200php/basket of flower pastillas, 3php/stick(pack of 100 pieces)


Kwento: This should have been the first rating since she was the first to deliver but anyway, here goes:
I used to follow the blog of a newly wed who bought pastillas for her wedding instead of flowers for the flower girls and I liked the idea. However, I am familiar with the products that she bought and I wanted to find something cheaper and voila! I came across Candy Rose Pastillas on the net. I checked her products and I was very interested so I texted her and we did a meet up.


Pros:
Chai, the lady who makes the pastillas can meet you up and give you around 10pieces of samples based on what you asked for. She uses coloring for the products so if you have a specific color in mind, she can adjust it for you. Likewise, the pastillas can be flavored- I was able to try the plain one and the strawberry ones and though I liked the strawberry ones, I thought that not all kids would like them so I ordered for a combo of both. The basket was much fuller than I expected (my sisters and I "stole" a few roses from the baskets.haha) and the ordered roses on sticks were actually bigger than the samples she gave me. Also, Chai was very honest about the products and didnt want me to get them too early since they might get ruined because of weather conditions.

Cons:
Chai manages a smaller enterprise so she's kinda limited to the metro. When I say limited, what I mean is that if you wanna check out her products in a store or something or maybe meet up somewhere farther north or south, it'll be more complicated. Other than that, dealing with her was easy breezy- she promptly replies to text messages, her delivery fee is very minimal and on both occasions that I met her, she was right on schedule.

Anyway, enough with the blah and on with the munching. Kids and adults alike loved them! I was told that adults were asking if there were spares and I was witness to our kiddie guests( as a former teacher, kids were rampant in our guest list; none of that crap about not having kids) eating their hearts away. Here are some pictures to give you an idea:

See the hands touchin' em? Go and eat them girls!
Who'd say no to these? yummy!


My inaanak munching away :)

So, if you wanna avail of Chai's products(I see that she has expanded to cake polvorons and what have you), just look for her site on FB and ask her about the details. See yah soon!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Suppliers' rating: The legend villas


Rating: 4/5
Details: 4200/family room good for four, with complimentary access and usage of facilities, + buffet breakfast
Kwento on why we booked this hotel :
Prior to our wedding, we ate at the legend villas for the buffet breakfast and we loved it so we decided to book  rooms here for the wedding. I booked 1 room for 2 nights and another for 1 night(meiokoi's family). We booked their family rooms coz when we did the ocular:
The villa suite was not worth it for a number of reasons. The sleeping area was basically the same as their superior room, the only difference was the receiving area, which was too plain in my opinion. It was not worth the extra 2+++ for a receiving area that would only be used for a few hours. Second, The Legend Villas put similar rooms in the same corner and if I get different room types for hubby and I, we would be on different ends, hence, we just decided to get he family rooms for both of us.

During the stay:
Good points: The breakfast was great! I love omelet stations in buffets and theirs is no exception. I also loved the champorado, the croissants, the bistek tagalog and their palabok. The other choices were okay as well, but these were the ones that stuck to me the most.

The internet was quite fast and it was a good plus for my sisters who were staying with me.
The pool was decent enough and my cousins had quite a go and enjoyed taking advantage of it.
They have parking spaces that are very adjacent to the rooms. This was a big factor since we had to go back and forth the vehicles to load and unload stuff so it was quite good that it was very convenient for us.


Bad points:
There was "something" with the bathroom. I guess it was the fact that it didnt have an exhaust, but even on the first night when there were only 4 of us, it already had a pungent smell. I used the cr in the other room as well(which was hardly used since my in-laws) but it was the same.
The pool was sooooooo far away. I guess this would be a plus for people who really want r &r in the pool area but it was quite inconvenient for us, especially since we had to go back and forth during the pictorial.

Points for improvement:
Decor! We would have loved to book the villa rooms if we felt that they would add up to the "feel" in photos but they were way too bare. Good thing that our p/v team was very creative and found nooks and crannies that would serve as good backdrops to the frames.

Final Say:
I would recommend The Legend Villas for people who are looking for great value for money, especially guests who are merely looking for budget-friendly accommodation in a very good location. Compared to other hotels, this hotel is very lenient and you can bring in cooked food, accommodate as many guests as possible(such a pro if the room will be used for wedding preps/intimate parties). However, if you are looking for a more poshed and well-appointed accommodation, I guess you have better options in the Ortigas area.

Photo from our official photog:

This is way disappointing but I cannot, for the life of me, find our shots at the hotel :(. Sorry for a non-visual review. Tah-tuh!


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

After 4 days of Partying and sleepless nights :)

After almost a year.. we are finally married! It feels so good to start off a new month with this change.. I feel like we are experiencing many firsts and I am basking in the glory of love, takin' in everything and enjoyin' it.. Of course, I know that I would have to write suppliers' ratings at some point, but that would have to wait as I try to be more objective about how things went and not just on an emotion attached to a supplier. Cheers to us, to our families, the suppliers and everybody else who made this possible! Here are some sneak peeks into what happened:




I'm still asking for my husband's help regarding the link to the video.. I want it to play directly on this page but he's kinda busy with other stuff so it might have to wait for another post.. I'll upload more pictures as soon as we get them.. Cheers again and God Bless us all!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My mountaineering retirement and its indefinite date

I once mentioned that after our wedding, I will convert this blog into a travel blog, which for the most part, would include more posts on mountains that we've climbed. No, this will not be an attempt to follow the steps of Gideon Lasco. Rather, this blog will be more of on the kwento side- for those who are just about to get into the sport and needs a little cajoling to be convinced; and 2, for those who cannot do it for some reason and wish to be a mountaineer even just in spirit.

I have been deprived of mountaineering for 2 months. Though I barely had a facial and a few treatments as feeble attempts to look better on my special day, I dont want to jeopardize my current skin tone by hiking. That is why, this pent up energy of not being able to hike will most likely explode after the wedding, and as a prelude to what this blog would become in the future, I decided to collate information on mountains that I wish to climb before I "retire" from mountaineering. There was a time that I limited it to 5- Pinatubo, Mt. Apo, Kota Kinabalu, Mt. Asog, and Pulag via Akiki(I have done Ambangeg). Now, the list is becoming longer again, thus the title " my mountaineering retirement and its indefinite date".

1. Kibungan Circuit
In one way or another, I consider myself as one of the most prima donna mountaineers- I literally cross a mountain off my list if it is in Luzon and bringing private transpo is not an option. why? having a car eliminates a lot of hassle in logistics and if a vehicle's seating capacity is maximized, the transpo expenses is relatively the same. I havent included this mountain in my list because the old IT was only a traverse but with the new possibility of a back track, we will definitely schedule a Kibungan climb in the near future via Mt. Tagpaya.

(credits to promdicitygirl.blogspot.com)

2. Balingkilat
Mt. Pundaquit was the first and last mountain that I've climbed in Zambales because the scorching heat in Anawangin(which was contrast to the high waters we prepared for) was something I never wish to experience again. However, I'd like to change the statistics by adding Balingkilat to my list. Balingkilat is very much exposed just like Pundaquit but with God's grace, it can be a bearable trek in the last quarter.
(credits to http://zharnec.multiply.com)

3. Asog/Iriga
My husband is 100% Bicolano and climbing a mountain rooted in his heritage would be a great tribute. I would have loved to write and include Isarog but it takes so much to climb it- time(most of all), effort and money. Therefore, I prefer to put Isarog in this list since it is most realistic and includes a well-rounded schedule.
(meiokoi's shot when he was still staying in the ricefields)

4. Malasimbo

Malasimbo serves as a perfect backdrop to Puerto Galera and it would be nice to climb it vis-a-vis a trip to the beach. Before I became a mountaineer, I have always considered myself a beach bum and therefore such destinations are always high on my list.

(credits to mam joie)

5. Kota Kinabalu
It is a bit redundant to include this given that our honeymoon will be in KK. However, we booked their "extreme" package, which means that we have to be able to climb the mountain in a day. Therefore, there's always the chance that we will not reach the top,and hence I am keeping all fingers (toes even!) that we will reach the top successfully, despite the time constraints.


Low's Peak, the highlight of climbing Mt. Kinabalu

I would have loved to rave on about Apo, Pulag via Akiki and Pinatubo but mountaineering enthusiasts would know that the dream of climbing these three are self explanatory. I am excited about the future posts and am hoping that posts like this can help others in simple ways.

Till Next time!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

wake me up when this is all over: the wedding preps fighting sequel

Today, I did turn over everything to Meio. The church offerings, the wedding rings, the arrhae, the rsvp call-out list, the suppliers' receipts, the task list. EVERYTHING. He was so angry because he couldn't understand all the fuss. He went down the car. As soon as he stepped out, I wept my heart out. After a few minutes of blurred vision, he came back and went back inside. "Hindi naman kita kayang tiisin. Uuwi nga ako, mag-iisip naman ako. Mag-usap na tayo kung bakit ka nagagalit skin"
And so we talked, and talked, and talked. Amidst the rain, the honking and that froglet girl who I knew waited much longer than necessary just to uzi about our love quarrel. And we became okay.

Some of the things I'm about to share, I realized them a long time ago...Some, I needed a wake up call to realize. Either way, these are for future brides and/or grooms- whether you are in the process of planning your own or a marriage is still in your distant future.

1. Your husband-to-be doesn't come from a mass-produced tin can.
There were instances when I kept wishing that I could switch husbands with some girls that I know for the sake of getting the results that I was aiming for. But boys will be boys. My fiance's cousin was so hands-on with the preps, he knew the differences in floral quotations for a December wedding(much pricier). A college friend practiced answers with his wife before doing their canonical interview.my uncle smoked like hell minutes before his wedding. My father gave tons of money to my mother so she had liberty to buy what she wanted for the wedding.
Many times, I kept wishing he would be perfect, even just for that split second that I needed his cooperation. But my fiance, just like me, is an individual with strengths and weaknesses and it just so happened that in instances when I needed him most, his weaknesses prevailed.. Hence I had to try harder to remember #2

2. Work on his strengths
He may not be the best shopping buddy but he can sure as hell budget everything very well. He doesnt like coming to food tastings but he knows the nooks and crannies of the metro where you can find cheap stuff. Use this to your advantage and assign tasks that he can ace. I banked on this and we did get amazing results- our invites and save the dates got tons of compliments, he didnt mind going to the church and talking to the staff, he aced our canonical interview because of his respectful ways.There were some things that I knew I could never ask him to do, but there were things as well that I couldnt have done as well as he did.

3. Go back to basics.

Remember the reason why you are doing all these in the first place: You will be marrying the love of your life. Remember that you want to spend the rest of your life loving this person, thus you want to remember the day that binds you together. With this in mind, isn't it right that you will remember it for the right reasons? For the joy, the beauty and not for the stress that it caused you? Enjoy the preps, ease a little, forgive yourself for the mistakes, and if it's not too much to ask(or if it didnt cost that much), forgive others as well, like the suppliers or an antribida relative ^_^.

He gave my ring on April 9 2011 and in a few days, it'll be year. Ambilis! I am more excited than ever about the big day..

our picture hours before he gave the ring in Mt. Timbak, Benguet


see you soon!

Friday, March 23, 2012

wake me up when this is all over

I am sad and very upset that it has come to this. Tomorrow, I will turn over all wedding preparation details to my fiance.

For the past couple of months, I have been upset with him over wedding preps. There were some things that I told him to attend to much earlier but lo and behold, he simply ignored and did only when he felt like doing them. I know it is against the nature of men to plan, execute and scrutinize wedding details so I assigned tasks which I felt were in his alley. A few tasks that I cannot do, and yet, he would cram and do them at the last minute.

Yesterday, something to this effect happened again, and today, I snapped. Somehow, I cannot bear another crying session by myself. Another moment of getting really annoyed over something that should have been attended to, or done a few months ago at the very least.

Today will be our canonical interview. For information purposes, it's the interview you do with the priest before you get married. It is a must in all Catholic churches. In the church where we want to wed, they refuse to accept our reservation until we have passed (I repeat pass) the interview.

I snapped because I brought up the idea of practicing our answers, just to make sure that we are on the same page. That we are not caught off guard by questions that we did not prepare for. However, he asked me, in that same nonchalant tone that I have grown to resent " Na-aano kaba sa interview?" Simply put, he couldnt believe that I was worrying too much about it.

He texted me today and he explained his side. But it was just another of one too many incidents. Of nonchalant tones. Of things not attended. Of deadlines moved. Of things when my veins are throbbing and yet, the only answer I can get comes in a nonchalant tone.

Money does not grow on trees and I have long accepted that there are some things that we cant have on our wedding due to money constraints. Like preps in a five star hotel suite. a limo bridal car and so on. That's why I have worked very hard to make small details count. To make things as perfect as they can be despite our budget limitations.

But today, I've had enough. I did not listen to reason. I cannot accept excuses and explanations.

I will turn over almost all preparations to him. Tasks that need to be done. Payment schedules that need to be fulfilled. I might regret it in the end, but I am in a masochist mode and I am almost hoping for everything to fail so that finally, I can say, "I told you so.
"
sigh**

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

the wedding aftermath

It is approximately 2 months before our big day and more than ever, it is starting to get very real. For the past couple of weeks, I have been more intense about preparations and the next few weeks will get more intense so I want to take a mental break from the preps and think about the aftermath. The wedding is just a one day affair, and I am excited about what lies ahead. I dont want to feel apprehensive and overwhelmed when the time comes, so I am starting to think about the future that lies ahead and here are some questions that are brewing in my head

1.What will I do with this blog?
our title reads: we've known for years that we'll grow old together. It's time to let you know too. It's catchy for a wedding preps blog, but what happens when the preps are over? I decided that since hubby and I are mountaineers and we've been to a few tourist spots, I'll convert this into a travel blog. I'll blog about mountains and tourist spots we've visited, for information purposes.

2. How will I make room in MY ROOM for my husband?
After the wedding, hubby and I plan to live here in my parents' house, at least until the time that we are ready to move to a house that we plan to build.However, I probably have one of the most cluttered bedrooms on earth. I do tend to keep a lot of things and I've never denied the fact that I dislike cleaning and organizing things, hence I have a plethora of items that take up too much space. Therefore, I have started up cleaning or at the very least, I made feeble attempts, so that my room, which will be our haven in the next few months, can accommodate an extra person, an lcd tv(which we plan to buy soon), a sofa(so that we dont stay all day in bed) and hubby's other thingies.

3. How does mountaineering fit in in a newly wed pregnant woman's life?
I have thought about this a gazillion times and I dunno what will happen. So far, I know 2 women who are mountaineers and have had babies and truth be told, I'd love to have an opportunity to have a conversation with them, one at a time, talk show style, to ask questions on how they are able to climb mountains given the fact that they have babies. We lift it up to God as to when we will have our blessing, but the idea of not being able to climb mountains for about 11 months(9 mos pregnancy +recovery period) or maybe longer is making me sad VERY VERY VERY VERY SAD. Hence, I would like to work around this concern by:

suggesting more day hikes(or trips that would only take a day)
suggesting mountains where I can wait at a specific point while they hike(like Manalmon and Batulao)
suggesting mountains where I can stay at a tourist spot while they hike(like malasimbo, close to puerto galera and benguet mountains close to baguio)

4. And another looming follow up question: what if we cant get pregnant?

The writer of one of the sites I follow wrote(in essence) that she was ramping up herself to be a mother that she never thought of what she would do if there was no baby.. The reason being she lost her baby a few months ago. I'm not being nega and all..I definitely dont want to lose a baby and I definitely want to be a mother. I just want to be realistic and all..that it's possible that we might not have a baby immediately or for real..so I wanna be ready for that too..just in case. :)


Obviously, question number 3 bothers me the most so I should have put it first. Haha. Anyways, we'll find ways with God's grace.
tah-tuh!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

my most ambitious wedding project by far: diy entourage flowers

As mentioned in a previous post, I've decided to have our flowers diy. It might seem to you like I don't think the flowers are that big of a deal so just risk it....... but I do! That's why today, I went to Dangwa to buy flowers. I wanted to practice making a bouquet or two, plus my mom loooooooves flowers and it's a perfect excuse to make her happy.

So I went there and there were a lot too many men who would follow you for a bit and see if you might be interested in their packages. I just smiled and didnt ask too much. After all, the reason why we decided on diy was budget so I was intent on saving as much money as possible. Plus, they made me feel like they were selling kidneys or something else that is kontrabando. haha

I bought my flowers from the big complex that used to house the old stalls that I saw a few years back. I went home very happy and after making everything, I was even happier with things that I created.

I didnt have enough flowers to make a miniature of my bouquet so I just worked on the bouquet for the mothers and our female siblings(identical) and for the other female entourage

I followed some tutorials online and here's a step by step pictorial of how I came up with the final bouquet. I'm having trouble with my editing program so for some reason, the final product comes first even though I want the pictures to be in a clockwise sequence. Anyway, here it is:

(

To elaborate, I started on the two roses and wrapped the stems in floral tape. Then, I put carnations in a circular motion and after that, pink roses. I rounded it off with leaves (that I stole from my mom's garden)

Then, I worked on the bouquet for the secondary sponsors. I originally wanted corsages for them but I just dont seem to get what they're getting at, so I just decided to make bouquets as well. At this point, I was feeling lazy to take step by step pictures so I just took different angles of the finished product.

some of you might remember that our motif is actually aqua blue and choco brown and we decided on pink flowers due to the limited aqua blue flowers available. However, I still want to remain faithful to our motif by using blue ribbon

I still had a few flowers left so I tried making simple boutonnieres as well. I made one using a carnation and another using a rose with leaves. I even put it on top of my mom's ninang attire to see how it would contrast.


My sister said she preferred the carnation and I do too since it looks much fresher. She said that the rose looked like it was so yesterday, like from a wedding from the 1950s. haha

Anyway, the whole point of this was to save money so to give you an idea, here are the comparisons:

A florist quoted me
950 for a bouquet using carnations and 650 using local roses,
75 for boutonnieres using local roses

For this , I spent:
200 for 2 dozens of 2nd class roses(best quality costs 250-300, lesser quality costs 180-200)
180 for a dozen carnations
35 floral tape(still have a lot)
50 baby's breath

If you really want to be technical, here's what I used for each piece:

Mothers' bouquet
11 roses( 200/24=8.3 *11=83)
5 carnations(180/12=15*5=60)
floral tape(approx=5 pesos)
ribbon(approximately=5 pesos)
83+60+10=153

Secondary sponsors' bouquet
3 carnations(15*3=45)
7 roses(8.33*7=58.31)
baby's breath(approximately 20 pesos)
Floral tape + ribbon=10 pesos
45+58.31+20+10=133

My works are not perfect but given the savings, I am very much willing to push through with this project. It's so much fun! I loved doing them and makes another thing in our wedding more special because they are made with love.

Till Next time!



Thursday, February 2, 2012

Wedding idea: A twist to table numbers

This might not be a very unique idea as I am sure that a number of couples before us have thought of it. In fact, I didnt try googling it for fear of disappointment that a gazillion matches would appear.

We originally wanted to name our table numbers after mountains that we've climbed. However, we realzed that
1) we've incorporated too many mountain stuff already. engagement was in a mountain.engagement shoot was in a mountain. honeymoon will be a mountain hike. initial present for principal sponsors are plants. get the point?????
2) some people might not get it or raise eye brows. basically, i just dont want to hear negative comments
3) many people might not be familiar with the names, and it can create a lot of confusion with the pronunciations and stuff.

In light of this, I kept racking my brains on what we could possibly use and today, I finally gave in to the idea of still using numbers..but not ordinal numbers. we would use numbers that are significant for us, and provide a short trivia on the meaning and/or significance of the digit(s).

Right now, here are a few of the numbers we intend to use:

of course, i wouldn't say just yet the significance of these numbers so as not to spoil the fun ^_^

till next time!

Monday, January 30, 2012

another diy: flowers for the entourage

It is both a blessing and a curse that we had a year to plan and prepare for our wedding. Blessing because we are able to choose the suppliers that are the best in our price range and we are also able to scout a lot. On days like today, it is a curse because I am starting to turn into a new version of bridezilla- one who wishes to do everything herself as much as she can- either to save money or because I'm becoming overly OC about that particular thing and wouldn't want to entrust it to anybody else or both

geez.....

A college friend of mine is getting married this February and we've been exchanging messages online(she's based in Canada) about everything under the sun about weddings. Of course, we'd share notes on suppliers and since I do not have a florist yet, I asked for hers and the quote that they gave her. I added the account on facebook and asked for a quotation for the flowers that I want.

I believe that the quotation they gave me is fairly reasonable and competitive, it's just that..I dont want to spend that much on flowers It is their in their nature to wilt, and no matter how lovely they are, they would only be appreciated for a few hours. Hence, I became gaga with the whole "diy flower arrangements" idea and started searching different key words online.

In all fairness, I am courageous and optimistic at the moment because of hand tied bouquets. It's because this type of arrangement is self explanatory, it's really a bunch of flowers tied together. There are variations, of course, but with plenty of tutorials online, I'm hoping I'd be able to make these:

the EXACT bouquet that I want for myself




a variation of this for the mothers and maid of honor




this for the secondary sponsors and bridesmaids(i originally wanted corsages but the tutorials were giving me a headache. this looks much easier to do)
and.....



boutonnieres for the men.

I'd go with my mom to a big flower shop in qc this Wednesday to buy some flowers for my initial attempts. Why the trouble? Because a dozen of pink roses(which I intend to use for majority of these arrangements) can go as low as 40 pesos. That, I believe, should be enough to give you an idea of how much we'd save.

Till Next time!


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