Sunday, December 12, 2010

Feature on Rated K

Our friends have been pinging/texting/emailing/FB-ing us when they saw us featured on Rated K last night. We actually didn't get to watch the show since we were at the Philippine Blog Awards.

Here's the feature (start at 4:00) -

Sweetie was really apprehensive about doing this feature since we weren't over yet the experience of being featured on another show (it's a long tedious, kulitan process and it takes a lot of time). I bugged Sweetie though about having the proposal and wedding featured since I told him we've gotten so many invites already and di kami tatantanan ng media until we do one.

So after so many follow-ups from the Rated K staff we agreed to do it. We didn't expect though that Korina Sanchez would do the interview herself. The staff of Rated K were very nice and patient, but let's just say that I don't think the hubby will agree to do any other media interview ever again. The Rated K staff wanted to visit us at home to make the feature longer, but I just got so busy with work and it was hard to find a convenient time.

Many thanks to the staff of Rated K... we still haven't figured out what we're going to do on our first year anniversary.

And to our friends... suggestions on how to celebrate are welcome!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Our Very First Christmas Tree

This Christmas would be our first Christmas together as a married couple. We got married last year a day after Christmas, on boxing day, so our first home was empty when we moved in. We just enjoyed our neighbor's colorful, dancing Christmas lights in the evenings.

We thought we were going to spend Christmas at our first home, but things changed and we moved last month! After settling in our new home I started scouting for a Christmas tree.

I fell in love with a 7-foot tree at National Bookstore. It was big and fat, but EXPENSIVE! I was not keen on spending so much on Christmas decors. So I put my shopping skills to work and eventually found a similar tree, less 70% of the cost at Uniwide in Sucat.

I wasn't able to save any of my Christmas decors (they perished during typhoon Ondoy), so I just got stuff from Divisoria, Dapitan Arcade, SM Department Store, Uniwide and to make it personalized I made Christmas frames and placed our photos in it (I'll blog about it soon). I got the tree skirt at Uniwide at PhP200. We spent a small fortune on the lights though since we got it at Ace Hardware.

Total cost for the tree and trimmings is less than PhP3,500. I decided not to place the silver boa thingy anymore (what do you call those things anyway?).

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Shopping: the Pergola Mall and Robinson's Supermarket

A few weeks ago we were invited to check out what Robinson's had in store at the Pergola Mall in BF Homes, Paranaque.

We've only been to the Pergola Mall a few times and we usually go there just to get some take out from Kopi Roti, so spending some time in the mall was a treat. The shops at the ground level of the mall consisted of restaurants/coffee shops, pasalubong/dessert carts, a pet shop, book shop, CDR King and, of course, Robinson's Supermarket.

It was our first time to go around the second level of the Pergola Mall. We found a smattering of food carts and a huge dining area where you can hang out and use their free wifi.  

I'm pretty sure my friend Juned would light up when he sees that there is a lechon place!

The Robinson's outlet store -- they change inventory every month -- was awesome! When we went there last month they were selling toys at discounted prices. We ended up doing some early Christmas shopping. Around the corner there's also an area where they sell bags at really cheap prices. Last weekend the inventory at the outlet store were mostly Christmas decors and home stuff.

If you have kids, you can leave them at the play area so you can shop in peace.

Around the corner is Handy Man -- they sure have the store packed with all sorts of stuff you need for your home. 

We've gone back several times since our first visit and we always end up buying stuff for our home. 

Pergola Mall (map)
BF Homes, Paranaque

*Photos by Jay

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Best Roach Killer

I am very allergic to cock roaches. Just a whiff of it can bring me down with an asthma attack. Our first home had a lot of roaches when we moved in and we tried to get rid of them by spraying every night. Problem was, I was allergic to the spray as well (even water based ones).

I discovered Baygon's 24-hour tablet roach killer at SM Hypermarket. It's a bit pricey at PhP159, but I got one box in the hopes of getting rid of the roaches at home and to save me the pain from having asthma attacks. 

I'm glad I made the investment since all the roaches were gone in two weeks and we were roach free for a whole quarter. That's just about PhP50+ per month. We replaced the tablets a week before it would reach 90 days.

Based on the product description what it does is attract roaches to the tablet. Once inside the poison sticks on their body and they bring this back to their colony, thereby killing all roaches in the vicinity of your home. And it works! Aside from homes I strongly suggest public places like offices, restos and stores to place this tablet around because it would definitely get rid of those roaches.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Baking Meat and Fish

When we moved to a new home I was happy to find out that my new electric over had a proper place. I wasn't able to bake that much in our old home because I was afraid that something bad might happen since the oven was set on top of a wooden buffet table. The table would feel really warm whenever I baked and I couldn't find any heat resistant pads anywhere.

I lost no time and tried to impress the boys by baking dinner two nights in a row. The first night I tried my hand at baking some porkchop. I was quite confident since I had on hand "Hunt's Hickory and Honey Barbecue Sauce". It turned out pretty okay, but I forgot to place salt and pepper! Haha.

I actually wanted to grill the tuna belly, but Sweetie refused to bring out the grill (coz he has to clean it up after I cook), so I ended up baking the tuna belly. It was online cooking mentors from Plurk who taught me what to mix as marinade - soy sauce, garlic, calamansi, salt and pepper and I added some kecap manis to sweeten it up a bit.

Here's how it looked after we baked it. It was gone in a jiffy after I served it! Haha.

Second attempt on baking porkchop tonight. Already placed salt and pepper on the meat and will add the sauce before I bake it.

Making this post made me hungry!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ten Months!

We're celebrating our tenth monthsary today! Okay, before you get any ideas, we don't really celebrate our monthsary but we usually greet each other (when we remember!), but this month is different since we just moved to a new home.

We've been crazy busy the past ten months and here's some of the fun stuff:

January - this was the month a wanna-be domestic goddess was born. We tried to survive on left-overs and fast-food, but we longed for home-cooked meals. We thought we'd burn down the house with our first cooking attempt. The smokin' stove though was overshadowed by our rocker-washing-machine. We took some time off though by going to Singapore for our honeymoon.

February - our second month was a barrel of laughs when I our sink started spewing out smoke. This was the month that I took my ambition to be a domestic goddess into the next level. Conquered the stove and washing machine!

March - we finally got our groove at home and took our first out of town trip with Miguel and friends. Things were going on smoothly and we had a gardening 101 session with Mom. This was the month that our septic tank gave us nightmares.

April - the summer heat was so bad we dreaded our Meralco bill. With the septic tank problem solved we managed to have some summer fun by attending events here and there. We were plagued though with ants! They were everywhere and attacked our gadgets. Thank God for ant chalk, they soon dreaded setting foot in our house.

May - this is the month we had our first family vacation. Went to Cebu and Bohol. We got so busy that month we weren't able to make any blog posts. This was the month that SM Supermarket included me as one of their 25 Food Council members.

June - the start of school proved to be difficult since Miguel got sick. We were relieved though that the multiple sickness that plagued him was resolved with meds. Our sixth month though was no less happy.

July - this was the month I started to get pats on my back for learning domestic chores really fast -- especially cooking and doing the laundry. I also learned to cook more dishes with the help of the internet and online cooking mentors. We were also quite busy working on Miguel's college entrance applications. Jay also started working for an embassy and so I had to get used to being home alone all day.

August - during this month we started to discuss moving to a new home. It was reinforced by the fact that our neighbors weren't friendly and the bathroom started bubbling up waste again. We began house hunting. Miguel also took his UPCAT and Mapua entrance exam.

September - there's just something about that sink. I was found unconscious by Miguel when he got home. Our all-around helper, Mang Jose, sprayed a little insecticide under the sink because we suspected it to be infested with termites. It took three days before we could eat at the dining table again. We almost bought a house, but eventually decided to move closer to my parents.

October - moved! We love our new home and hope to build more happy memories here sans house problems. Our wedding feature on is also now available!

How time flies! We've had a lot of fun and have learned a lot of stuff in the past ten months we've been together. Hopefully with our new groove in our new home we'd be able to do other stuff and be of service in our community.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

The House Hunting Mishap: a PhP10,000 Lesson

We went house hunting in the past two months thinking that we could already afford it. Haha. We were in for a suprise since we didn't know that you need to pay up at least 20% cash for equity before you could get a bank loan. Realizing that we found a nice little house with affordable downpayment and monthly amortization. We immediately latched on the idea of getting the house, but wanted more time to think about it. We unfortunately fell for the real estate agent's spiel that we should immediately pay for the reservation fee. So we did.

After paying for the reservation fee I started having doubts. Big doubts that I was unable to sleep for a few nights. I always take time to make big purchases. It takes me about a year before I actually purchase a PC. So you can just imagine my anxiety at purchasing a house. Sweetie and I talked about it and did additional computations and research. We then decided to forgo buying a house so we could save up for more equity.

The next day I went to see the property developer to tell them that we were letting the house go. She said that she could only return 80% of our reservation fee because the real estate agent already got her agent's fee. The property developer explained that this was common practice for them and even showed me the signed voucher. I was surprised that they released the fee even though the sale was unconsumated.

So it was a badly rushed decision for us. What was painful though was how the real estate agent rushed us to put in some money even though I said that I wanted to forego it for more thinking time. I had thought that I could trust the real estate agent to put our needs foremost before anything else since I had known her since I was a kid. We had heard a lot of complaints about her prior to engaging her services, but we let it go as hearsay since we had known her for decades.

We did not try to get the money anymore and just let it be a hard earned lesson about saying no.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Santol Juice

Towards the end of July the boys started to get cough and colds because of the onset of rains. When I was a kid my Dad told me that fruits change depending on the season. During dry months (summer) you'd usually find more fruits that help hydrate your body, i.e. watermelon and singkamas. And during the wet months you'd find more citrus fruits like santol and dalandan. Banana though is available all-year round because it keeps pimples away (my Dad's explanation, "Have you seen a monkey with pimples?" - he's funny that way).

We used to have a santol tree in front of our house. It bore a lot of fruit! Aside from munching on the fruit my Dad would usually prepare santol juice. Unfortunately though the santol tree died a few years ago. Pinaglihian raw like our old guava tree.

Here's how you can make santol juice:

4-5 pcs. santol
2 liters water
brown sugar (to taste)

1. Peel the santol. Scoop out the seeds and put in water.
2. Chop the soft inner flesh into tiny cubes, add in the water.
3. Add sugar to taste. Mix.
4. Allow the santol to soak for a few hours (or overnight) in the ref.

*You can add water about 2 more times or until it just tastes like santol-flavored water.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Another Insecticide Fiasco

After the washing machinesmokin' sink and septic tank fiasco I thought we got things down pat already. I've been focusing on learning more new dishes to cook and have become an expert in doing the laundry. Some chores have been delegated to a cleaning lady who comes in once a week.

The other day I asked our cleaning lady to open the sink cabinets and sweep it. We rarely open those cabinets since I decided not to place anything there. I noticed that there was quite a lot of "powdered wood" when she opened it and I immediately called my Mom to see if we can have it checked by Manong Jose (our trusty carpenter/electrician/all-around guy).

Manong Jose swung by late yesterday afternoon and checked the sink. He said he didn't see any termites and said that he didn't see any, but would place a little termite insecticide anyway. I was working in the dining area when he was doing this. After placing some insecticide he left and I continued to work on the dining table.

A few minutes later I felt my eyes getting teary eyed and I started to smell the insecticide fumes. I then packed up and went upstairs to continue working. I still managed to do some work but started to feel dizzy. I then SMSd Jay and told him that I wasn't feeling well. He told me to get some rest. I moved to our room and kept my laptop open and did a Google search on poisoning. I wanted to stay awake until one of the boys arrived, but after a few minutes I just blacked out.

Miguel arrived an hour later and found me asleep. I managed to tell him what happened and told him to stay with me first. Jay arrived soon after and took care of dinner. It took about 16 hours before I felt fine.

So cooking has been suspended until the kitchen is pesticide fume-free. Another hard lesson learned. I'm just glad they didn't have to rush me to the hospital.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Cheesy Adobo

I've taken a liking to cooking adobo. Cheesy adobo is now my third adobo recipe. My first attempt came out too cheesy because I ended up placing three times more cheese than I should. My second attempt today went quite well and Miguel said that he liked it better.

I discovered the recipe for "Cheesy Chicken and Pork Adobo" during the Google Technology Users Group meet-up last month at Kraft's Cafe 5845 at the SM Mall of Asia.

The Ingredients

1/2 kg. chicken, cut into parts
1/2 kg. pork cubes
1/2 c soy sauce
3/4 c vinegar
2 pcs. laurel leaf
1/4 tsp. peppercorn
5 cloves garlic, crushed
2 c water
salt and pepper to taste (I didn't add anymore)
sugar to taste (I usually place 2 Tbsp for every half kilo of meat)
2 packs Eden Cheese Sulit Pack 35g, cubed (roughly about half an inch per 35g if you're slicing it from a regular box)

How to Cook
1. Mix all ingredients except the cheese, sugar and water. Marinate at least an hour (I usually marinate it overnight).
2. After marinating, let it boil for 30 minutes. Add sugar to taste. Add water.
3. Add Eden cheese and let simmer for 10 to 15 more minutes.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Opposites Attract

Sweetie and I have been married for almost 8 months now and things have changed quite a bit in the past month since he started working full time. The time spent together has drastically been reduced since we used to both work at home.

Before Sweetie and I got married I knew that we were opposite in so many ways. Juris' song "Opposites Attract" describe us a bit.

And things aren't only about who the morning person is. Who's more detailed. Who's more spic and span. But we also usually choose opposing brands! I like Colgate. He prefers Pepsodent. I use a Nokia phone. He uses a Sony Ericsson phone. He likes imported corned beef. I'm fine with Purefoods. I love ketchup. He wrinkles his nose when I request for more.  I hate folding newly laundered clothes. He does it like a pro. He doesn't eat fat. I do.

It's crazy but being opposites have helped us both grow. I guess we're just both relieved that we like different things (especially in household chores!) because we complement each other in a lot of ways and "Look Ma! The laundry bin is always empty haha!"

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Spanish Adobo

I got this recipe for "Spanish Adobo" while watching "Simply KC". Good thing I managed to note down the ingredients. I was pretty excited to try it out since the chef in the show said that this adobo is a return to our Spanish roots.


1/2 kg. chicken or pork
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup toyo
bay leaf (a lot)
2 Tbsp. sili
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. pepper
a little dalandan zest (just grate a little)
1 dalandan (squeezed)
2 Tbsp. sugar

How to prepare:
1. Mix all the ingredients.
2. Marinate for at least 3 hours (or overnight).
3. Simmer for 30 minutes.

*My Tita though suggested that I saute the meat first  (until it browns) before I add the marinade so that I'll have more sauce (my boys like their adobo soup-y).

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

How to Get Rid of Ants

Last summer ants started trooping in our house and took over our phone (landline) and Sweetie's keyboard. Immediately after shaking them out of both gadgets they started to take over my laptop. I started panicking then since I was afraid that my laptop might become unusable like our phone and Sweetie's keyboard.

Spraying Baygon proved to be just a temporary relief and hazardous to my health (even the water based one would trigger my asthma), so we scouted for better remedies online. We had to find one that would keep the ants out permanently and a solution that would not trigger my asthma.

We immediately stopped using Baygon and read from online sources that placing coffee in corners would keep ants out. Apparently ants hate the smell. It worked a bit, but they still found ways to get in the house, plus shoving it into holes was messy.

We tried to look for a glue insecticide but it wasn't available locally. Then we started looking for the "ant chalk". It was Sweetie's Mom who found some for us at a market in Marikina. She got us about 10 boxes. After getting it we then drew around holes and ant paths and walls.

Our anti-ant superhero.

The effect was amazing. Ants were immediately paralyzed when they went near the chalk line. Some dove to their death from the wall. It was a weird sight. Eventually the ants just avoided our place.

The ant chalk is quite easy to find in wet markets (at PhP10 per pack of 2), but it's also available in SM Hypermarket/Supermarket now (branded though).

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Beef Teriyaki

Beef teriyaki is another dish I've wanted to try out cooking. I found a couple of recipes that had wine in it. My boys aren't really fond of dishes with wine so I looked for an alternative recipe. Found one online and revised it to taste. Definitely easy to cook.


1/2 kg. beef
1 small can pineapple chunks
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. ginger

How to cook:

1. Mix all ingredients.
2. Marinate for 3 hours in refrigerator.
3. Stir fry the beef until it's brown.
4. Add marinade and let boil until beef is tender.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Slow Cooked Korean Beef Stew

I've been wanting to cook Korean beef stew but I had a hard time finding a bottle of mirin. I finally found a bottle at my (now) favorite SM Hypermarket branch - Buendia (will tell you why in another post). I find cooking beef dishes easier to prepare than pork ones (I'm allergic to chicken so I rarely make chicken dishes) and this dish was definitely easy to cook!

The ingredients:

1/2 kilo beef (should be rib type but I only had sirloin)
1/4 cup sugar (I used brown)
2 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. mirin
sesame oil
sesame seeds
2 beef cubes
2 slivers of ginger

How to cook:

1. In a pot boil the beef until tender. Add 2 beef cubes when it's boiling already.
2. Add soy sauce, sugar and ginger. Let it simmer.
3. When the water is almost half of what it was originally add the mirin and let simmer for about 5 minutes.
4. Add some sesame oil just before you turn off the stove. Transfer to a serving bowl.
5. Add a dash of sesame seeds.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Six Months After

It's really unbelievable how time flies in breakneck speed especially when you get so swamped with work. We've been unable to update this blog in the past couple of months. It's not really because of work, but chores! Yup, chores.

Anyway, we've been having a blast the past few months. We only realized that we've been married for six months already late in the evening of June 29th. When we remembered Sweetie and I just gave each other a hug and promptly fell asleep (haha!).

The past few months have been a flurry of activity. The boys helped me a lot in some of my major projects and we had our first family vacation in Bohol and another out of town trip with my high school buddies. Things have been working smoothly but I think our marriage won't be as happy without the mishaps that befall us every once in a while.

Here are ten things that we learned in the past three months:

1. Be OC about your travel plans. Our ferry to Bohol bogged down somewhere between Bohol and Cebu so we had to take another ferry. Instead of arriving in Tagbilaran by 2, we only managed to check-in the resort by six in the evening! It was a good thing though that we decided to get a packaged tour with accommodation. We would've been in big trouble if we just winged it because all the resorts were already fully booked!

2. Vulcaseal. Always have a can of Vulcaseal on hand. I was pee-ing when water from the ceiling started dripping on my head and the water was dripping from the ceiling light! Scary!

3. Sinampay and the Rain. If the sky is dark always assume that it will rain. We were less than a kilometer away from home when the skies opened and rained. It was a mistake that we definitely learned from. It took two days for the clothes to dry out completely.

4. Extra Curtains. So we're still trying to figure out what set of curtains we're going to use since we don't want to use the curtains with metal rings in it. I guess we'll have to buy.

5. Pests. Deal with them immediately. Ants started showing up when summer came around and they were looking for places to stay. We had to replace our phone handset and Sweetie's keyboard because they decided to make it their home.

6. Plants and Zombies. There is definitely a connection between plants and zombies. Don't be a zombie, always water your plant. R.I.P. Basil the basil plant from Tagaytay.

7. There's hope in cherry tomatoes. A week after Basil the basil plant died we decided to try out planting something so we got a packet of cherry tomato seeds at the supermarket. Tip: don't dump all the seeds in one pot! I had to ask my Mom to re-pot them.

8. Always update Mang Jose's number. For some strange reason my Mom's all around carpenter/electrician/gardener/painter/plumber keeps changing his number. We've been calling him monthly for emergencies. Good thing my Mom is always in touch with him.

9. Call your parents daily. We're just about 7 streets away from my parents, but I don't get to visit them as often as I want to so I try to call my Mom every day. A five minute chat daily goes a long way.

10. Spend time making uzi kitchen gadgets at the department store. You just might find something that would save at least 5 minutes of your time. Our newest gadget adds: vegetable mincer (no more tears from onions!) and a kettle (it's such a pain heating water using a pot, we should seriously have our heater installed!). But check your wedding gifts before buying anything. We stored some of our gifts since we didn't need them yet, but we checked them out again and found a couple of things to use.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Dreaded Meralco Bill

We weren't looking forward to receiving our Meralco bill this month. A good number of our online friends have been ranting about how their electricity bill have skyrocketed. Some said their bill increased by at least 30% and a couple said that their bill more than doubled.

At home we always expected our electricity bill to go up by at least 20-30% during Christmas and summer. It's been unusually hot this summer and one cannot help but use airconditioning (lest you want to faint from heat exhaustion).

I was unfortunately the one who found our Meralco bill in our mail box. I was hoping that our bill would've just increased by about 30% but it increased by 50% despite the fact that we've only used the aircon once! A neighbor of mine said that he was really surprised with the extra charges in the bill and a note explained that these were fees being passed on to consumers because they were charges done by Meralco suppliers. And (I dunno) to add insult to injury Meralco included a flyer promoting "energy saving appliances". Goodness gracious!

Oh well, I guess this means that we will NEVER experience again the all-time low of PhP5.55.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Oyster Mushroom Atsara

This uber yummy recipe was concocted by my Dad. I've been trying to learn how to do it for a couple of years now, but my Dad never measures anything whenever he cooks! Good thing I can now more or less gauge how much stuff he put in, hopefully I'd manage when I try making it.


1 tray oyster mushroom
3 Tbsp toyo
3 Tbsp vinegar
1 Tbsp patis
1/2 Tsp pepper
2-4 Tbsp sugar
6 pcs. calamansi (juice)

Put mushroom in boiling water until it cooks a bit. Drain. Mix the rest of the ingredients

Friday, April 9, 2010

Top Ten Things We Learned in Our First 100 Days

We celebrated our first 100 days by going to Enchanted Kingdom as a family. It was a good day to take a break. And here are top ten things we learned in our first 100 days together:

1. Chores are BOTTOMLESS.

2. Cooking can be learned, so do not fear!

3. The best way to kill pests and insects is to kill the source by sending back infected (with insecticide) insects.

4. Always have canned goods and food delivery flyers on hand. (For the days you are too lazy to cook and have no leftovers).

5. You will discover a lot of things about the previous tenant, so be a good one!

6. Before moving in a new home check every nook and cranny. The repairs we had to do cost about PhP15K. Good thing our landlady reimbursed everything. It was hard to know about the status of the septic tank though.

7. You don't need to have everything all at once. You can always just borrow a mattress first and sleep on the floor.

8. Staying home for 3 straight days might drive you crazy. Take a walk. There's always a Mini-Stop or 7-Eleven around the corner.

9. When in doubt, call Mom. (Or we ask via Plurk). This is in reference to our first cooking attempt and our dancing washing machine.

10. At the end of the day, don't worry you are married and that means you have a partner for life!

More about our 100 days on An Apple a Day (part 1 and part 2).

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Cream Dory Fillet

The Lenten Season was a test on my noob cooking skills. We decided to abstain on meat every Friday and that meant learning how to cook some seafood dishes or dine on sardines week in, week out. The first few Fridays of Lent I was either out of town or out for meetings so Sweetie ended up preparing fried tuna steak for those Fridays. We ran out of tuna steak (got it in Davao during an out of town speaking engagement) and luckily passed by Citra Mina after a trip to the Paranaque Central Post Office. We got several types of fish to experiment on.

One of Miguel's favorite food is fish fillet. He was really pleased that I got some cream dory (he discovered it in Davao), so one Friday I decided to make some cream dory fillet. I just adapted the recipe from the cheese stuffed pork roll. Here's how I made it.

Slice the fish into 1.5"x 1.5" cubes (or however you want it sliced). Pat it with salt and pepper and let stand for about 15 minutes.

Combine 1/2 cup flour with 1/2 teaspoon of thyme (this is the secret oomph to the fillet).

In a separate bowl beat 2 eggs. Prepare 1/2 cup of bread crumbs (you'll need more actually).

Dredge the sliced fish in the flour mixture. Dip in eggs and completely cover with bread crumbs. This is how it'll look after you do that.

Deep fry until it's golden brown. Drain oil by placing it on a paper towel.

The finished product.

Serve with tartar sauce (we just bought a bottle of it) or mayonnaise. I'd like to eventually learn how to make honey mustard sauce though. I also tried the same recipe using mahi-mahi. I personally like mahi-mahi better than cream dory. You can also use tuna :)

Cost: approximately PhP170.00 (the cream dory is about PhP150).

Friday, April 2, 2010

Our Third Month Top Ten

So we thought by the third month things would've settled. We weren't going to smoke up anything and we were going to live happily ever after.

We were wrong. Here are ten things we learned during our first 90 days.

1. Kill those roaches! We used up 3-4 tall bottles of Baygon to kill roaches in just 6 weeks. I'm allergic to it and even tiny roaches give me an asthma attack so we had get rid of them fast. Baygon's roach bait nailed them all. We barely see any anymore. It's a bit expensive though at PhP250 for a pack of 6, but it's very effective.

2. Oregano overgrowth! For some strange reason the tiny oregano plant my Mom planted in our small plant box grew by leaps and bounds (can I say mutated?). We thought they were just going to stay small. Mom had to come over and fix up our plants. Trimming your plants isn't a bad thing and you can always re-plant the cuttings. This also holds true for dying bougainvillas.

3. Your septic tank. Dun-dun-dun. We thought we were doing the intelligent thing by not throwing any trash in the toilet. Unfortunately the previous tenant un-intelligently flushed down non-biodegradable stuff in the toilet. The result? Too traumatic to recount here. Read our previous post. When in doubt, call your landlady.

4. Trash. There was a week when the basura boys didn't get our trash. Now we have to make sure that at least one of us is home on Wednesdays to make sure they pick it up.

5. Curtains. It's hard to wash curtains that have steel rings. Instructions said to wash it by hand so we were hesitant to throw it in the washing machine. Good thing my Mom's cleaning lady washed it one Monday morning.

6. Grocery shopping. Always make a list. Always.

7. Veggies. We always end up with rotten vegetables. Not because we buy too many, but we oftentimes end up with a lot because either of our parents would surprise us with stock. Will take time probably. One veggie saver we discovered especially when you have cabbage and carrots? Coleslaw. Shred the veggies, add mayo, a dash of vinegar plus sugar and you have instant salad!

8. Always keep lids tightly closed. Loose lids = ant invasion invitation.

9. Take a break. Go on a roadtrip once in awhile, you both deserve a break from doing so many household chores! The three of us also got addicted to Plants vs. Zombies and it's been a great bonding experience!

10. Always close the curtains at night. Our neighbor's maid always water their plants at around 9:30 p.m. everyday and she never fails to watch us like a hawk. Uzi!!!

More about our third month here.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lord of The Rings

On wedding day, it is traditional for a couple to exchange wedding rings after they say their vows. The rings are a symbol of the marriage and is the one most physically visible things to remind yourself and everyone else of your commitment, more so your status.

Certainly, the circle of a ring represents undying love and the continually renewed vows of the married couple. And as the newlyweds proudly wear their new rings and enjoying their new status in life, chances are neither have discussed anything else about it other than how gorgeous they may be and how happy they are to wear them.

But rings, even as small as they are, come with mechanics for the couple that they should formulate and agree upon. This is more for the obsessive-compulsive. But then again, it's something to think about.

I never wore a ring or any finger jewelry in my life and so I had to adjust to the fact that now, I wear a ring. But I remember having lots of trivial questions that may be petty, but since I deemed myself a newbie in wearing a ring, I had to ask my wife. Questions like, when do we take it off and when do we wear it along with several possible scenarios and variations came into play.
These are some questions you may ponder on.

Do you decide to wear it 24/7 ? Will you wear it anywhere and everywhere you go ? Does that include when washing your hands, taking a shower, going for a swim, handling non-hygenic items ? What to do when it causes pain ?
As for us, we don't wear our rings at home. We only wear our rings when when we go out. It also gives our ring finger a rest. I guess it's also the fact that we'd be using our hands more at home like when we clean the house, wash the dishes, or other chores where the rings may pose wear and tear or much worse get lost.

I personally also take the ring off whenever I wash my hands whether at home or in public. I can't seem to wash my hands thoroughly with the ring on, and I don't want the ring to get wet either, so I take it off and place it in my pocket while I wash my hands. I put it back immediately after drying my hands. So basically, my rule of thumb is that if my hands are going to get wet, I remove the ring for the time being.

One problem I had with wearing the ring for the 1st month was remembering to wear it before leaving the house. It's a new habit that needs to be formed and hopefully you'll get accustomed to it no matter how busy or in a rush you may be in. One technique I formed was to place the ring in a hook in front of my keys. Since I always bring my house keys when I leave the house, it makes remembering my ring a whole lot easier since it's blocking my keys.

One thing I also noticed about wearing a ring is that there are certain hand gestures that you need to modify to avoid getting injured. I'm not talking about punching someone in the face. I'm talking about applauding or shaking hands. I discovered the clapping part during one Sunday mass. When everybody applauded, I found it weird that my hands were hurting a bit while clapping. I realized it was the ring was like a sharp object poking at my skin every clap. I found out that the best and perhaps correct way to avoid this is to clap with hands perpendicular to each other as opposed to smacking your hands together in a mirror image. Another situation is when you shake hands. I'm right handed so I shake with my right hand. That didn't pose any problem since the wedding ring is on the left hand. However, for some strange reason, someone shook my left hand with a firm grip. I found my fingers squished and more importantly, the ring being pressed onto my other fingers. It felt like a construction roller compacting asphalt on a road ( ok, I dunno that actual feeling but it looks like it). I haven't found the proper way of shaking hands with a ring yet. I'm just hoping no one shakes my left hand that hard again.

Also try to protect your ring from anything that may cause it to wear and tear. It's also best to keep it in a safe container when not in use. You wouldn't want to lose your ring to a stupid cat or rat mistaking your ring for yummy cereal.
Remember, you are the Lord of your ring. As you vowed for a lifetime's worth of dedication to your partner, make the ring last too.

Gardening 101

When we moved the only plants in our place were 2 bougainvillas and a couple of weeds. We were so busy fixing our new home we didn't have any time to buy some plants for the tiny ledge and garden.

We were surprised though by my Mom. She left 5 beautiful angel flower plants on the ledge just in time for our house blessing. Eventually she also planted some oregano in between the angel plants and they grew really fast. We've been diligently watering our plants, but had to re-pot them with my Mom's help (she volunteered because she had a bad feeling we might kill the plants!).

To start off your garden you can choose a couple of low-maintenance plants from a nearby gardening store.

We so far have an angel plant, a couple of cactus', oregano and the 2 bougainvillas. We also got some mint and basil during our trip to Tagaytay.

It would also help if you re-pot them. Clay pots are less expensive than plastic pots from department stores/handyman shops. The small and medium standard pots are just about PhP10-20 each. A sack of mixed soil is PhP50.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Cheese Stuffed Pork Roll

The first few weeks I was learning how to cook I asked Miguel to choose a dish he wanted me to cook. I told myself that I should just go ahead and try cooking different dishes to build confidence. My brother-in-law's comment in Facebook definitely gave me the boost I needed. He said, "You're an Apolo, I am confident that you have it in you too."

So Miguel chose "Cheese Stuffed Pork Roll". We were already in the supermarket when I had him choose a recipe so we managed to get most of the ingredients right. (Pork chops aren't the best type of meat to use for this recipe).

So here's how I cooked it -

Place a slice of cheese in the middle of the pork slice. Roll it and secure with a toothpick.

Dredge in flour mixture (flour and thyme).

Dip in egg and then coat with bread crumbs.

Deep fry.

Here's the finished product.

As an alternative you can also use ready made pork or chicken tonkatsu (available at SM Hypermarket), the flour mixture though is more yummy, but this is a great shortcut and will save you a lot of time. You can also add sweet ham in the roll.

Pair this up with sinangag and a salad and you got yourself a fabulous lunch or dinner.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Your Septic Tank

I don't know much about septic tanks. I only know that: (1) it's where all your human deposits go to; and (2) it should be cleaned every few years.

Two weeks ago the Maynilad crew knocked on our door and asked if we wanted to have our septic tank cleaned out. We felt we didn't have any authority over it so we said that we'll ask our landlady to coordinate with them. The Maynilad guy said, "Sige bahala kayo, kayo rin..." I felt it was a warning.

And it was a well placed warning because days after some human waste bubbled up the shower drain in our first floor bathroom. I wasn't able to see it since I was sick and Miguel cleaned it up. We thought that it was the small dead rat that brought it up. Also found out that the drain cover wasn't screwed. We brushed it off as a one time incident.

A week later it happened again. Cleaned it up and hoped that it wouldn't happen again. Two days later it occurred again thrice in one day, the last one shored up 2 inches of human waste. It was really disgusting and smelly so we called up our landlady several times that day. We also checked if the other tenants were experiencing the same problem. They weren't.

I heard of stories about septic tanks blowing up (trying to find some evidence about that on Google) and what was happening to our home worried me a lot. I kept bugging our landlady and good thing Maynilad showed up the day after she followed-up with them. It was only then that I realized that your septic tank can reveal your best kept secrets. And it ain't funny because Maynilad found a good amount of non-biodegradable stuff in our septic tank (shared with door B). To put it straight, Maynilad found a lot of condoms in the septic tank and this prevented the water waste from being drained out.

And that's just one of the horrifying stories about the past tenant who stayed in our current home. More about it here.

Lesson learned: Best kept secrets can never be kept. Be a good tenant.

*Maynilad is currently offering free clean-up of septic tanks to Caloocan, Manila and Paranaque residents. Just call 981-3401 or 981-3402 for more information.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Learning How to Iron

I learned how to iron the hard way. I just did it maskipaps. Meaning, I just ironed and ironed wherever and whatever part of the shirt that fancied me. Eventually though I realized that there is a science to ironing so I researched on Youtube and found these really helpful videos.

I followed the tutorial and ironing the right way decreased the time I spend on ironing. Hooray!

Monday, March 8, 2010


I never thought I’d start writing about cooking but things have changed drastically in the past two months and I can proudly say that I have learned how to cook! I’m no wido when it comes to cooking since I can only get by if I have a cook book in front of me. There’s one dish though that I have learned to cook by intuition.


I’d say though that I learned how to cook sinangag from my Dad. His rule is, “Use leftovers!” My first cooking attempt was supposed to produce sinangag. Unfortunately our electric stove scared us so we ended microwaving the ingredients. It turned out okay but it was fake sinangag. Eventually we got our electric stove working and I finally got to experiment on my very own sinangag. Here's my favorite home-made recipe:

left-over rice
egg (2 if there's a lot of leftover)
mixed peas/carrots/corn (a small frozen pack will get you through 2-3 cookings)
Knorr Magic Sarap (just half a pack)
minced garlic
olive oil (or butter)

How I Cook It:
Saute garlic in olive oil and then add the mixed peas/carrots/corn. Add the rice and then mix in the Knorr Magic Sarap and egg. Saute everything together.

It's so easy to make! Miguel thought the sinangag I made was something I brought home as leftover from North Park! Teehee!

I've also used leftovers to make sinangag. Here are some variations I've done:
1. Adobo sinangag (my boys like soup-y adobo so we always have leftover adobo sauce)
2. Afritada sinangag
3. Ham or Maling sinangag (plus egg)

If you don't really know how to cook (like me!), sinangag is definitely something you can experiment on =)

Friday, March 5, 2010


After getting married and settling into a new home (assuming you've made the choice to live independently from any relative or family side), the newlyweds would find themselves in a totally new scenario, living together.

During the boyfriend/girlfriend and engagement phase, you'd probably be together only during dates, social events, parties and out of town. Other than that, you'll go to your respective homes once the day has ended. This time it's different. Ideally, this is going to be the first time both of you would be together for practically the longest time. After all, you just vowed to each other to be together for a lifetime.

And so whatever you were used to when you lived separately will have to be tested whether it would work or not. If you were accustomed to preparing the dinner table and only that, you'll have to rethink your entire habit especially if no ones gonna wash the dishes. Did you used to clean your room only once a week ? Well remember that now it's not just you living alone. So may be you'll have to clean up more frequently.

Pamamahay is the term one writer mentioned to us during a cooking demo. It's basically the couple getting a feel of their new home, new living conditions and new lifestyle and staying home to adapt to the new life together.

The moving-in is the first step, with both bride and groom bringing in their own sets of stuff. The more stuff you have, the more unpacking, organizing and arranging needs to be done. From there, you have to figure out what you don't have and need for the house. You're likely to realize this as the days go by and you suddenly find out that something that was conveniently available, isn't now. In my old house, we had 5 can openers. I was used to opening cans with any of them. It slipped my mind one day when we were going to open a can of pork and beans for lunch that we didn't own any can opener at all. What we thought we had based from our separate old houses was something we needed immediately. Good thing some other cans conveniently have a built-in latch for an easy pull-to-open mechanism.

Is it best to throw out the garbage every night or wait for it to be filled ? Do you keep the frontyard lights on or off during the night ? Do you hang your clothes or fold them ? Would you both like to have a pet or not ? Which brand of soap or detergent would both of you agree on using ? As the weeks go by, things will just fall into place. You would have decided which works best for you.

Both of you will get a hang of things and will do things more efficiently, may it be as big a task as doing the laundry and cleaning the house or as simple as slicing an onion and fixing your bed. Whether you discuss your roles in maintaining your household or just simply do what you do best and help out in the other chores, this will be mastered within months and soon enough, what seemed be impossible and take forever to accomplish may be a like breeze in the park after your pamamahay stage.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Our Two-Month Top Ten

Last week we celebrated our second month of marriage by having dinner somewhere in Alabang. We were supposed to watch a movie but the show was SRO so we decided to hang out at Bona Coffee Westgate.

The past two months have been fun-filled and filled with adventures and learnings. Here's ten things we won't forget about our first two months:

1. A brand new electric stove will emit smoke the first time you plug it in, so don't panic.

2. Sinangag cooked via microwave is fake sinangag.

3. Ask the delivery guy to remove the travel locks of your brand new washing machine. When in doubt call tech support.

4. Basil plants are quite sensitive to the sun. It prefers afternoon sun too. Oregano, on the other hand, loves the sun and would grow by leaps and bounds when it is happy. Do not touch it since the smell would stick for several hours.

5. It is not a good idea to watch over someone else's kid. And even though you don't have a choice, choose not to do it.

6. When water is scarce use paper plates, plastic spoon and forks and plastic cups. Also gives you the excuse to dine out.

7. Leftovers put together can be a full meal too.

8. Sharp knives are safer than dull ones.

9. Always have the following on hand: onion, garlic, calamansi, tomato since it's the basic ingredient/s of most dishes.

10. The smokin' sink. Bow.

More about our two months here.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Smokin' Sink!

Today my kitchen sink billowed out white smoke!

I always wondered why a popular cleaning solution for unclogging kitchen sinks isn't available anymore in supermarkets. The cleaning solution was very popular back in the 90s and even had TV ads. My only chore at home when I was single was washing dishes and I really hated it when the sink didn't drain well so I'd usually buy this cleaning solution to clear up the pipe. It worked really well.

To keep the kitchen sink clear from clogs I always have Miguel lino (clear out) dishes before I wash them. Of course sometimes there would still be small bits and pieces that fall into the drain. To keep it clear I usually pour in 2 cups of hot water in the drain to make sure that the pipe doesn't clog up.

Earlier today we went to the nearby convenience store after hearing mass. Saw that the cleaning solution in one of the shelves and bought one. I was in a cleaning mode the whole day so I thought I'd use the cleaning solution after washing dishes after dinner. The bottle said to pour in about 100 ml (for maintenance) and leave it in for about 15 minutes.

A few minutes later I was wiping utensils when I smelled something acrid. I thought it came from outside so I continued wiping utensils, but the smell was really awful so I turned away from the window. That's when I saw that the sink was billowing out white smoke! Good thing I kept calm and remembered the instruction to pour in cold water into the drain after 15 minutes. I immediately tuned on the faucet and let water flow in the drain. Eventually the smell went away, but I poured in about 5 liters more of water just to make sure that the whole thing got drained out.


After making sure that the sink was okay I re-read the bottle label and it said that the product wasn't to be used in several types of pipes. Funny but I don't remember seeing that warning during my previous use (and I've used it quite a lot). Now I know why this product isn't offered in supermarkets anymore... it's dangerous!

Found this great article on homemade solutions. Next time I clear up my kitchen sink I'll try using 1/2 cup of baking soda with 1/2 cup of vinegar. Definitely safer.

*P.S. The hubby was resting in the sala when this happened. The mishap wasn't as bad as our dancing washing machine, so I didn't wake him up.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The First Month

You must be wondering what happened to the new mister and missus after our last post. We left for Singapore our mini-honeymoon (just a mini one since I spent half of the time at work). That one week was a welcome respite from the daily misadventures (a.k.a. chores) we had been experiencing.

After we came back we had to deal with all the chores that we left undone and work on my Mom's bilins since she and my Dad were leaving for a very long vacation. So we're currently managing TWO households. Yikes.

We'll be posting our other (mis) adventures and achievements as we go along. The first month wasn't so bad since we kinda cheated a lot - had lots of leftovers from family gatherings and the laundry and ironing was done by my Mom's helper at her house since the washing machine had to be repaired (great excuse huh).

And I dedicate this song for our first month together:

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Who Gave What ?

After weeks and months of delicate and exact planning of your wedding and reception up to the last minute detail, there is one thing about weddings that will be kept as a surprise until it's over: the wedding gifts !

Now it's all done. You're officially married and everybody goes home happy and full from your reception. You're now left hopefully with a table overflowing with gifts from all your friends and families. You've probably anticipated that you need help to transport all these gifts which should be included in your planning. Open one or two for photography sake during the reception but leave the rest for opening when both bride and groom are well rested.

It's a joy to open wedding gifts. I bet you've never received so many gifts at one time in your life. That's because now, there are two of you and with all your friends and families wishing you a new life together, chances are that will be giving you a gift which you can use for your home.

When we moved in to our newly rented house, we didn't have much stuff. Okey, we had lots of stuff of our own but no important home stuff like kitchen and dining room essentials. It was when we knew we needed to eat in a few hours and needed a microwave oven to preheat some left-over food from our reception that we looked at all the gifts and chose the gift that was shaped like a microwave oven. And true enough, we teared the gift wrapper to unveil a brand new microwave oven. Yes ! We can eat ! Next up were plates, glasses and silverware so we wouldn't be eating on a paper plate with plastic forks and spoons and drink off a styrofoam cup. We chose the heavy gifts that looked similar to a plate's dimensions. Jackpot ! We got plates and even some cute and durable Japanese serving dishes which we now use for all our viands even if it was meant for sushi.

Chances are you'll get most of the appliances you'll be needing: plates, glasses, pitchers, airpots, toasters, ovens, rice cookers and the like. Trust me when I say that this is a lifesaver when you're starting from scratch. No need to dash to the nearest department store to scurry for items you need immediately. If you're lucky, you'll get one of each. And in some cases, you may end up getting different brands of the same item.

Receiving plates, glasses and utensils are okey cause it can be put into good use. We got 2 rice cookers. But that's okey. We can save the other as a spare or when we need to cook more rice for a special occasion. We got 5 flat irons of different brands. I don't think we'll be needing all five at the same time especially when we don't have an ironing board yet. One is enough and we'll store the others for safekeeping.

Now with all your gifts unwrapped, make sure you note who gave what. The greeting cards that usually come with the gifts and a personal note signed by the giver is a great way of tracking what that person gave. Write the item down on the card or tag and in the case of multiple gifts of the same item (like the iron example above), make sure to include the brand and model of the item so you know who gave the iron you're using. It would be embarrassing to bump into one of your friends and tell them that you love the black & decker iron they gave and it's very handy, when they know they gave you a Hanabishi iron. So keeping track of who gave what is a big saver.

And when you have your house arranged and you've settled in comfortably, try to remember who gave which appliances and utensils you're using. When we had our house blessing, we were happy to tell one of our guests that we loved their gift and actually showed it to them displayed in our kitchen. The thought goes a long way and instantly shows your gratitude to the person who gave you the gift. The best way to show appreciation for a gift is a gift that's being used.

Happy gift opening newlyweds !

Cooking Adobo

We've been surviving on leftovers and canned goods the past two weeks and I knew that the day I had to cook for real  would come this week. The only thing I know how to cook is spaghetti so I did some research online about how to cook adobo. I kicked things off by watching Komikero's video on how to cook adobo. 

For measurements I followed the adobo recipe on Nora Daza's book. I marinated the meat overnight.

Dumped the marinate in the pot and left it to simmer. I only mixed it when it started boiling. My Dad said that vinegar turns bitter when it's mixed prematurely (that got me scared). Also added some sugar. Don't forget to add water, about a cup for every 500 grams of meat.

And here's the finished product. My very first adobo!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The First Laundry Day

We purchased our washing machine and refrigerator a week before the wedding since we were scared that delivery might take more than a week because of the holidays. Both appliances were delivered a day after the scheduled date because Abenson said that the truck had to be repaired.

Installed the washing machine with the help of Mom's all around helper Rommel. We also had him make a stand for us so that the bottom of the machine won't get wet when the water goes out. It took us more than a week to get to our laundry because we were out most of the time due to family activities and the holidays (yup we haven't had our honeymoon yet).

Got up early this morning and set my sight on the huge mountain of laundry that had gathered outside of the bathroom. After a hearty breakfast I set the motion of setting up the washing machine by connecting the hose to the faucet and Sweetie did the honors of plugging in the appliance.

My Mom and Aunt arrived and supervised a bit when I put in the detergent, Del and some clothes. Filled up the tub with about a third of clothes - 2 pairs of jeans, a couple of shirts, house clothes and a bag of underwear. Choose the fuzzy program (washing machine AI) and ceremoniously pressed on the start button. Watched the water come in a bit and then went back inside, Sweetie went upstairs because the phone was ringing.

And then I heard a loud noise coming from the washing machine. It was going wild! It looked like it wanted to jump out of the stand, roll over and die. The noise and vibration was so loud I shouted out to Sweetie to come down and check out what was happening. He held on to the washing machine so it wouldn't shake so bad while I contacted Samsung's customer support.

Samsung's customer support passed me on to their technical support and they asked just two questions: (1) whether the washing machine was on even ground; and (2) about the load. I told him that the washing machine was on an 8 inch stand which we had customized and that I filled up the tub just about a third-full. Customer service also mentioned that the load may not have been balanced. During that time I heard that the washing machine was spinning again and making loud clanky noises.

I ran back downstairs and paused the cycle and looked in to check the load. Since it was already rinsed and almost dry I cancelled the rest of the cycle and turned off the appliance. And then Sweetie and I hung up the clothes.

Lesson learned: do not overload your washing machine. You should consider that the clothes you put in should weigh at the capacity of the machine when wet. 

I hope when I get enough courage to do the laundry again things will work out fine.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

First Cooking Attempt

I used to bake a lot but I can count with my fingers the number of times I've actually cooked (just spaghetti and bacon). It's not because I don't want to cook, I'm just insanely scared of fire/flames, oil wisik and I've developed an allergy to LPG.

We received an electric stove as one of our wedding gifts so we were quite excited to try it out. We planned to cook sinangag and hotdog for breakfast.

Up early the day after we went to the grocery I prepared the rice, garlic, egg and sliced some cold cuts for the sinangag. Cleaned up the pan and readied the cooking oil while Sweetie was preparing the electric stove. It was both our first time so we opened up the manual, but it was practically useless since it didn't even show which of the scribbles on the knob meant "off".

Went ahead and turn on the electric stove, placed the pan on one of the pads and placed in some cooking oil. Waited for the oil to heat up a bit when suddenly the electric stove churned out some white smoke from its bottom. Tried to check the manual again but it didn't say anything about it so Sweetie immediately unplugged it and brought it out to the dirty kitchen since it was quite smelly.

We ended up placing all the ingredients in a bowl and cooked it via the microwave. The sinangag didn't turn out the way I envisioned it, but it was still edible. Sweetie also cooked the hotdog through the microwave. We later on had the stove checked by my Mom's trusty all-around worker and he was smiling when he told us that what happened was normal since the stove was new. He said that the coils were heating up for the first time and that's the reason why there was smoke (and one of our Plurk friends confirmed this).

Our first cooking attempt was a huge failure, but we still had a hearty breakfast.  Don't know yet when we'll cook again... we're planning to collect some food from all the parties we'll be going to in the next few days.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year, New Adventure

Happy new year everyone!

This is definitely going to be a memorable year for the two of us since we are starting a new chapter of our lives and our love.

Cheers to new beginnings and happy endings!

God bless you all!