Friday, November 30, 2012


A long weekend is the perfect time to head to Tagaytay and have a taste of the heaven that is Antonio's.

I LOVE the whole look and ambience of this place.It's like your old, vast, beloved home in the province welcoming you back after a long separation with home-cooked goodness.

I especially like the vintage floor tiles, and the wide wooden windows. The wonderful sunlight streaming thru those intricate window carvings just takes me back to all my glorious vacations in Pangasinan.

There were also all these huge, vivid artwork on the walls. Some were disturbingly Kama Sutra-ish (as Ches pointed out), but nothing lewd, all tasteful.

I love the ubiquitous white chandeliers, too. They were all over, including on the trees in the big yard.

And the food. Omg, the food. Ches had the burger (his staple), the boys shared a carbonara and parma ham pizza and also ordered milkshakes (Oreo for Yoshi and strawberry for Boots), and I chose the fried cheese sandwich. Yoshi our little foodie put it best when he said: 'This food is so worth the trip, Mom. I love it. It's gotta be the best carbonara in the whole world'.

I also claim the same thing about my sandwich. I'm not even a sandwich person the way my husband is (I prefer my good, old Pinoy rice, thank you) - but omg, the Antonio's fried cheese sandwich is The Best Sandwich I Have Ever Had In My Whole Life, bar none.

Ches my favorite husband was going to take us to Pila after, bcoz an office friend (who knows I'm into these things) had told me it is Laguna's heritage town. We ran out of time for it, tho - we woke up late (as usual), there was heavy traffic to Tagaytay, there was a mighty long wait at the resto, blah blah. So we decided to just save that trip for another day, and just play on the grounds instead.

The boys found two pomelos that fell from the many trees in the yard and which they used as balls to play tag, bowling, pass-the-ball. They ended up having more fun than if we had gone and looked at ancient buildings (hahaha).

I love that my boys are so low-maintenance like this. If things don't go according to plan or we have to wait a long time to be seated at a resto or something, it's fine by them, they don't suddenly start throwing psychotic tantrums. I sometimes feel compelled to tell them: Guys, we're all being so easy to please here. We need to up our standards and be a little more dissatisfied with things. Hahaha.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Sometimes our weekends are more toxic than our week days. It's the fun kind of toxic, tho, not the tiresome work kind.

We were off early for Yoshi's parent-teacher conference. Ches and I feel blessed that our boys do not give us any problems at all in school. And they are happy there, too.

We also visited Yoshi's classroom, where they had a tree on the wall, made up of their artwork. They were supposed to write down their wishes on the ornaments. A lot of them asked for gadgets and baby siblings. Yoshi's wish: one million pesos. He's well-trained, huh. Haha.

This wish made me sad, tho. I know this little girl, too. She's been Yoshi's classmate from way back. Sob.

Bcoz Yoshi did well, we took him to House of Lasagna, which serves the best meat lasagna according to Lasagna is one of Yoshi's favorite food. And this resto's version is well worth the acclaim. The boys enjoyed the bubble iced tea, too.

There was another playground nearby, so of course the boys wanted to stay for a bit again. We all missed Darling Harbor and its vast playground.

Ches also planned to take the kids bowling. I absolutely hate going to the mall on weekends, but I know the boys need their sports, so off we go.

They have fun trying it for the first time. Yoshi even gets a strike! Boots doesn't, but he also jumps around just for the heck of it. Boots is so me. Haha.

Since the only sport I engage in is backstabbing (haha), I mostly just snoozed on the couch and pigged out on popcorn. One other good thing about being married to Ches is, he's active and athletic. If I were a single parent, the kids will never get off their butts - all we'll ever do is sleep and eat. Groan.

The boys also got massages from this cushy chair. We all remembered Tita Jenny's La-Z-Boy in her den. That is The Life.

Sunday was Lolo's 70th birthday. Cool, huh. We had lunch at Jay-J's in the neighborhood. You know it's a Pinoy resto bcoz the WiFi password is: kare2. Hahaha.

Lolo gamely posed for 60 million pictures bcoz he's quite active on FB, you know. Hahaha. I love my in-laws.

We also visited Lola Thelma's condo unit bcoz the grandparents were in the UK during Project Mike and have never been to Grass. It was actually Ches' and my first time, too, to see the fruits of Melody's and Randy's hard work. Impressive. The quality of Melody's work and Randy's hand in choosing the snooty furniture are evident. I especially love the complicated ceiling feature. Randy designed it, and Melody executed it. The moral of Project Mike is: you could turn any property into something classy if you pour money into it. Yes, even if it happens to be an SM property. Hahaha. I have so much love, I know.

And that is how we recharge for another week at work and in school.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cake Nights

Before everything got too crazy with the holidays and all, Randy and I met up in what will probably be Our Last Cake Night of 2012. Haha. We chose Secret Recipe this time.

We always choose our resto on the basis of the desserts they offer. And Secret Recipe has a lot of good cakes. They also have the award-winning tom yum, altho I actually preferred Ches' order of laksa. (We like to tag Ches along to our dinners mainly so he can be our photographer. Haha. For his part, he basically just sits and eats there and plays on his tablet thing while Randy and I giggle away. I let him be quiet and he lets me be crazy - this is the secret to our wedded bliss. Haha.)

We also clown around in Rustan's bcoz the Christmas decor is too snooty to miss. Randy knows all of the fabulous designers who work there. I think he used to do rackets for them, too. We both agreed, tho: the decor may be elegant and immaculate - but they look cold. And I think Christmas should evoke a feeling of warmth most of all. Hence, my country Christmases. Haha.

I was expected to be at a formal party that night, but one of the things I've learned after 37 years is: life is too short to go to events you don't really feel like going to. I don't see the point in getting all dressed up and sitting thru all that traffic just to make an appearance when I'd really rather be anywhere else.

Somewhere giggling over cakes with Randy, for example.

Our next stop: Les Miz in 2013.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Country Christmas 2012

So I was still reeling from The Whirlwind That Was Sydney. But when we got back Christmas was already all around, and I didn't want to be left behind, so we set out to decorate the house as early as the second week of November. What's the point of waiting it out to do something pretty when you can already do it, right?

Our Christmas theme this year is: same same. Haha. I mostly used the same stuff and put them up in mostly the same places, with just a little bit of tweaking here and there.

The nutcracker guards Swordy and Drummer watch over my little Hello Kitty Christmas tree. They are joined in by four of my favorite bears: my red jointed (asthma-free bcoz not furry) bear from Lola Thelma, my Americana bear from Bryan, Liberty bear (a. k. a. Lady Guard) from Randy, and the Vatican guard (a. k. a. Manong Guard) from Chuchi. It's so nice when you can describe objects on the basis of which dear friends gave them to you. It's infinitely better than saying, 'oh, I bought this bear from SM'. Hahaha.

My triple wooden Santa stands below the console.

This is one of my new ideas this year. Randy CANNOT STAND plastic flowers, but I never had the heart to throw these poinsettias out bcoz they are so pink, and also, so pink. Haha. I was so happy to have come up with this idea of putting them in our Christmas mugs (from Randy and a boss). I blind myself with my own brilliance sometimes. Haha.

Our Christmas tree is part of the same same. Haha. When it comes to Christmas trees, I follow the same rule that I have for friends: keep if still useful. Hahaha. Just kidding. The only difference this time is that it's dressed up all over and not balding at the back (isn't it hilarious that so many Christmas trees suffer this fate?) bcoz I let Ann and the kids decorate it with all the trinkets we have - from our country angel ones, to the Disney and Looney Tunes ones, even all the Happy Meal toys that came with their own strings.

At the center of our credenza is our wooden belen, of course.

Off to one side are my fat, happy snowmen.

And on the other side are my truly country Christmas finds.

Our credenza also contains my mini Christmas trees, James Haddon wooden Santas, reindeers, and the wreaths with shells. I think it just about epitomizes all that is bright and noble about Christmas.

As usual, Chestnut's role is to put up the lights and our parol outside.

The best part is having everyone join in and have a good time while we dress up our home for the holidays. Ann took charge of the tree, Yoshi couldn't keep his hands off the nutcracker guards, and Boots went around singing Spongebob's Musical Doodles the whole morning. (I have last song syndrome till now. Groan.)

Merry Christmas already!