Wednesday, January 27, 2016

All-out, All-in

At 31, I don't have everything figured out. Quite frankly, where I am now is in a much different place than I have planned to be when I was younger (emotionally, physically, professionally, etc.). There was a time in my 20's when I envisioned myself living and working in a foreign country. There was a time when I'd be all for joining marathons and all the training that comes with it. Basically, there was a time when I thought I'd be everything I want to be and have everything I want to have by 30. 

Such a lofty and arduous ambition, right? At some point during the last couple of years, I was not okay with most everything that's happening..or not happening. I felt like there was a barrier, a road block to those aspirations. The struggle is REAL, so to speak. 

There were also times I'd question myself if I've made the right decisions, at the right time. Was this xx too soon? Is this xx too late? Should I have done this xx instead?? During my lowest points (okay, I'm not even going to blame hormones on this) I'd read, cry and sulk (all the feels!!!!) while my family's asleep. Sometimes Daddy A would wake and see me crying and comfort me, and sometimes he's just asleep! Hahaha.. Real talk? 2014 was especially challenging when we became parents for the first time. Changes here and there, pressure points everywhere.

I can't say I've gotten over all these..but what I can say is that I'm coming to terms with most of them. What helped me most was my husband's love and patience, rediscovering Mama Mary's help through the Rosary and of course, reading God's Word through some helpful books I've stumbled on in those dark times. 

One story that knocked some sense in me was the journey out of Egypt and in the desert for 40 years. Imagine that! Long story short, I truly could relate that right now in my life, I'm in the desert. This does not pertain to where I'm living but rather, what I feel within. But my hope is in God that by leaning in, praying, trusting Him and His plans and working for His glory, He will one day lead us out of the desert season of our life. 

I may be afraid but I will not let it paralyze me. I know now that at 31, life is just beginning for me and my family. And it's okay to not have everything figured out by now. A huge part of our success or failure lies in how we take action. I am God's work in progress. Sure there'll be mistakes, but I'll learn from them. Starting today, I'm going all-out and all-in!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

THE Tagaytay trip with the Girlies

So this just happened!!! :)  The Tagaytay trip we almost weren't able to go to. Sooo sooo soo much fun! Thank you so much for hosting, Ayee :)

Wish you were here Ina, Grace & Kathy :)

Tagaytay, let's Marvin Gaye and get it on! from Andrew Lim on Vimeo.
Blogged here ==>
Music: Charlie Puth - Marvin Gaye ft. Meghan Trainor

Zara's Second Birthday at Guevarra's by Chef Laudico

Last week we celebrated an important milestone in our family's life - our daughter's second birthday!!! :) That's two years worth of diaper changes, mommy-baby tactical negotiations, working part-time / full-time parenting, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, sneaking in sexy times (hahaha) and everything in between. As I always say, it's not always easy but it's definitely worth it. 

What can I say, we may be far from being a perfect family but my two fellas right here make it bearable and a really enjoyable everyday living. 

Of course you could obviously see more than 1 cake in our pictures and that's part of the reason we decided to celebrate in a restaurant to accommodate our guests. It was a 3-in-1 celebration for our not-so-little Z, Daddy A's upcoming birthday and my parents' wedding anniversary. So that's really a "happy we"! Am I making sense here?? Hahahaha :D

All these lovely and yummy cakes were Pinterest-inspired and tweaked a bit by our supplier, Sweet Home Bakeshop.

What started as a 30-person party quickly turned to 50-ish as we wanted to spend time with our nearest and dearest families and Z's godparents. This is, in comparison with Z's 1st birthday bash, a pretty much unplanned event, giving us 2 weeks give or take to book the restaurant and invite our guests. Really so glad that they were able to join us despite having it on an odd schedule - yup, a Monday dinner party hehehe :)

It was good that Guevarra's restaurant is located in San Juan (387 P. Guevarra cor. Argonne St., San Juan City) and it's like in the center too of Metro Manila so makes it a bit easier for our guests to locate and to come on time. Parking is very convenient too.

Daddy A's Badminton Cake

My parents' anniversary cake
What made us decide to hold our event here at Guevarra's is primarily their superb buffet offering - tasty Filipino dishes that are reasonably priced. With drinks na yan ah! Of course the ambience is so nice too! Feels like I'm transported back in time to the 20's or 30's in a hacienda having a feast after attending to town concerns. Hahaha #feels ba? [P.S. Thanks so much to Ina & Reggie for inviting us here for A's homecoming, such a great recommendation]

But I tell you, for us it is sulit na :) Dinner from 5-8 pm with the spread that they have....ahhhh, I just want to come back and feast on their buffet again!

Daddy A and his architect friends also appreciate the fact that this is an old house from that period that was preserved and repurposed for many things - Guevarra's restaurant is just the latest incarnation. 

It helps too that the place and the over-all design was just pure understated elegance. Nothing over the top and not too zen minimalist. That's why even if we were not able to finish our DIY mylar balloons, carry na rin! 

I was only able to take photos of some dessert spread. At this point there were may people lining at the buffet and dyahe na ako to take pics. Baka gutom na rin sila :p

What I was telling you earlier. These aren't all our guests, ah. They have several function rooms that can accommodate from just a table to 50 pax. The buffet spread is shared amongst all diners. No worries since they replenish almost immediately and the hallways area large and spacious so the buffet station is really still just a few steps away from wherever you may be seated. 

I really like their angus beef tapa, lechon, kare-kare with bagoong and dessert. Almost everything, actually! 

Yep, you definitely are in Mommy Meowmeow's blog! Hahahaha...obvious much? Hihi :)

Again these are Pinterest-finds that my hubby kindly (out of mercy sa kawawang DIY-er?!) reproduced for me. Thank you so much! 

My grandma who travelled all the way from Quezon just to get here :)

Mommy and Baby Meowmeows! :)

My mother-in-law who helped me source balloons and lootbag contents in Divi-landia. Thank you so much po! :)

The kids ARE alright! Maybe a bit drunk looking here??

Guevarra's Mabini Function Room - can hold up to 50 persons, has male/female comfort rooms which are shared with the rest of the restaurant diners. If ultimate privacy and exclusivity is what you want, that might be a deal-breaker.

Mabini function room

Rivera - Lim - Ang families

With Z's godparents

My uncle and my (pretending to be) drunk dad hehehe :)

Girlies represent! My friends from high school, Z and Ate J

Me with the birthday girl, in her party hat....which I totally forgot about until we were about to hand out the lootbags!! Aaaackkkk...hahahaha :D

The singing waiters.

Time for you two to make a wish! [Cause I already made a wish and you both came true! Naks!!]

The front porch is just as picturesque as the inside. I really wanted us to have a class-picture-style photo taken here with all our guests but, it's a logistical challenge.

I felt Mondays would be more relaxed with less people but look, not only did they have a wedding reception, they were also celebrating Guevarra's staff Christmas party right smack in January :)

This is a photo of the function room that's good for at least 10 pax, I think..

Good night! Sweet hugs and kisses to my two loves..I love you both so so so very much :)

Food & Venue: Chef Laudico Guevarra's
Cakes by: Sweet Home Bakeshop
Photo / Video: Mommy Meowmeow; also great shots by my bro Arvin in his album; as well as my in-laws Gen & Athan :)
Hello Kitty Photobooth prop: Daddy Meowmeow (Andrew Lim)
Lootbags: Super thanks to my mother-in-law mama Medy & my mommy Madeleine for taking care of this :)
Godparents' caramel apple: The Bad Apple

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Bag of Beans in Tagaytay

Hello 2016 and wishing you all a Happy New Year! :) So today I get to blog for a while about our post-Christmas and pre-NY Tagaytay outing. It was just an overnight trip but well worth it since I got to go to new places and try new dishes...yan tayo eh! :p

One of the reasons I blog is to share with you dear readers great finds so you'll be able to try it out too! I can't believe that after all these years and my nth Tagaytay trip, I finally set foot in a Bag of Beans branch. 

We stumbled upon their branch near the rotunda but I heard they have 3 branches in total. This is a quaint cafe that serves not only coffee and bread but some more food fares like pasta, appetizers and rice dishes. If you're in a hurry, you can still buy pasalubong from them like bread, ground coffee and other baked treats. But I definitely suggest you eat here too! Hahaha..

Over-all I like the food, serving size was okay, staff service very good and the ambience plus decors are totally on point for the season. We will definitely be back! So enjoy the photos and let me know when you've tried them out. Cheers to the new year! :)

In full bloom..

Their pasalubong corner

Here's Baby Z busy drawing something..

Of course, my Alice in Wonderland Vans kicks in action

Cute mosaic-like birdhouse display. Did you see the butterfly?

More seats available upstairs

Lakas maka Western-cottage vibe..let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Lovely to have a cup of hot chocolate and ensaymada in this corner. Wait, do they have ensaymada?? Hehehe :)

A view of the Taal Lake...

As you can see there are also seats available in the veranda area

My little-future-architect?

Banana chocolate milkshake - one of their best sellers so I've been told

Loving the shabby-chic vibe with these mismatched seats :)

So here are the bag of beans :)

Yummy nachos! :) Just took a second to take a shot, and a few more to devour it bwahahahaha :)

Roast beef with mashed potato and vegetables

"Waiter, can you take my order please?"

with the Lim family

Fish and chips?

Grilled fish with mashed potato and salsa

Yum yum yum! One of my fave breakfast dishes


Things I blog about..

#CaptureTheRealYou #OPPOF5 100 day wedding 168 18th month 1st birthday 2nd birthday 3rd month 50th birthday 6 months 7th month 8 millennium development goals 8th month a day in the life absolute accessories accessory activity books afritada aggy's Agico alex franco cake algo all of me almost gourmet alphabet altrenergy Alveo amazon amazon kindle anniversary anthem Anthony bourdain apatite appliques araneta aromatherapy art deco asking a godparent AVIDA ayala baby baby back ribs baby food baby gatsby baby gatsby party baby girl baby k'tan baby meal baby ootd baby routine baby shower baby shower games baby wearing BabyComfyNose babywearing babywearing week 2014 back to work bad bird bag bag of beans baked dory baking ballerina ballet ballet kids Bananagrams Banco De Oro band Banking On Your Future baon baptism baptism candles baptism dinner baptism reception baptism seminar barbecue barbeque bargain finds barong batangas bayleaf hotel bazi BDO beach bed sharing beef beef kabsa before five in a row belgian chocolate cake BF1st1000days BFIAR BGC big bad wolf bike billingham digital hadley binder binondo binondo tour binyag birthday birthday mtv birthday party birthing class BKS black and white blender body boss Boni boo book book club book fair book review books boppy pillow boutonniere Boy Kastner Santos boyce avenue BOYF bracelet brazil brazil breakfast breast cancer breastfeeding breastfeeding in church breastfeeding pinays bridal shower bringing baby to church broker brownie BSP budget buffet buhawi bukas palad song burgos circle buwan ng wika buzzfeed tasty cake caldecott caleruega cambridge satchel camcorder camera camera for baby camera for new moms can't breastfeed cannondale canon canon d10 canon d20 canon d30 canon sx50 canva career caren resurreccion carlos celdran cash benefit casserole cast iron cast iron skillet caterer catholic Celadon century city mall century mall cesarean section cfa champorado changi airport chapel on the hill charaptor charcoal berry charlie puth charms chayno cheese steak shop chef laudico chicken chicken rice chiffon childbirth children's book chinatown chinese books chinese fables chinese food chinese new year chinese nursery rhymes chinito Chinkee tan chinky christening christmas christmas party christmas spirit chunky chewelry church cisco clara ole cleaning co sleeping Colgate colors conch shell congee Conti's cookbook cooking cooking time cooking tips cordfree cordless corduroy corporate girl costume couch crib crystal healing crystals CS csb hotel cubao cupcake cwc cyclone dance dawani de-cluttering dear future husband denise laurel design destination wedding devotional diagnosis benefit dice game dictionary diffuser dining dinner disinfection distributor divisoria divisoria mall DIY diy candles dlsu Dr. Seuss dry erase dslr dust proof dutch oven Dyson dyson cyclone v10 absolute Dyson v10 dzi beads e-books early bird breakfast club early pregnancy earrings easter eat all you can eating out ebook ecopark educator elena ferrante eleventh month Elin engagement engagement dinner escolta essential oil essential oils essential rewards essentially prudent estrel's estrels etc handmade etc handmade goodness Eucharist everio exercise exercise while breastfeeding expo markers extravagances fabric family fashion fat tuesday father's day feature feng shui feng shui sunrise fernwood gardens fifth month filipiniana filipino food finance financial advisor financial planning financial wellness fine jewelry first birthday first birthday party first day first month fitness flashback fridays flu buster fo GUANG shan fontana food food tasting food trip foodie forbeswood formula 1 fortress fourth month free to grow freeze proof friends friendship fruits fuji fuji x100s fuji x20 fujifilm fully booked furniture gatsby gatsby first birthday gatsby theme gemstone gifts girl bonding glorietta 4 God good night good reads Goya Chocnut ganache pancake grandparents day greens grilling grolier guevarra's gumbo gymboree gymboree philippines habagat Hai Shin Lou halloween Hampton Inn & Suites handheld happy folks Happy Folks Studio haunted history tours hd videocam headpiece health healthy heart rate monitor hearts of jesus & mary heirloom hello kitty hiit hole in the wall homecooking homemaking homeopathic homeschool homeschool life homeschooling honey glaze cakes hong kong hospital bag hospital kit hotel hotel intercon hotpot how not to die how to hurom hurricane hwayugi i will take you forever ikea induction cooker infanta instant pot instruments insurance insuravest intramuros investment ipo ipo jac Jamie Oliver japanese jesse bear Jesus Jesus blesses the children Jo-Anne Wong joe cross john legend johnny air cargo johnson chua jolly phonics jolly songs joy JSC juice diet jujube jumbo jumbo Bananagrams Junior Savers jvc jvc camcorder jvc everio kamagong Kanto freestyle KAP kaya toast kiam peng Kiddie Account Program kiddie party kids kidzoona kidztown ph killiney kindle korean kris lawrence kyowa la cocina de tita moning la mesa dam la sallian lab set labor kit lace lactation brownie lactation room laguna lamco landers otis lcm le bayou legarda house let's eat pare letter of the week library life insurance lifestyle treats lillebaby lillebaby carryon airflow lilleletsme little note lodge lolong lotw luck chinatown mall lucky chinatown mall lugaw lzm restaurant madison events madre de dios chapel magallanes church makati malacanang mall of asia Mama Mary mamaway bamboo charcoal belly band mambo no 5 mandaluyong Mandarin Chinese Mango Bravo manila manila doctors manila hotel manila international book fair manila ocean park manipulatives mardi gras Marina Bay Sands marriage mary grace cafe mass maternity bag mayon volcano medela medela freestyle medela house medela moms mega prime meghan trainor men's wear messenger bag metromix mexico ferry mibf michael greger microinsurance midnight snack milestone cards milk mama milk mama diaries carnival mirrorless camera miss universe MoA mobler moira mom and tina's mommymeowmeow cooks mommymeowmeow finds momzilla fair money kit monkey king mosso mother nurture motherhood mozzarella-stuffed meatballs mushroom music video my good room my loves my loves babywearing My Sunday narra hill Nasal Aspirator nasugbu national museum of natural history neapolitan novels nesting new orleans New Zealand tapa nicholas sparks nikon nikon l820 ninang ninong ninth month niu noir et blanc non-traditional party nosefrida novotel nursing station Nursing Wear nutrition nuvali oakley oily mama oilymama omelette ongpin Online Shopping ootd orb diffuser outback steakhouse outing paht chee pandemic parenting parenting emporium paris partner appreiation night party party doll manila party planning party suppliers party tray party video passion cooks personal finance philippine homeschool conference philippines phonics photography picture books Pigeon Pigeon Baby Cotton Swab pilillia pinkerton pinoy food planning a first birthday plant based playground pluviophile po gelai podcast polar polar hrm polarized polka dots pop post partum post pregnancy clothes post pregnancy exercise post-partum postpartum powerplant powerplant mall prayers pre-nup precious medina precious stone preggy diaries pregnancy pregnancy symptoms preparations prepared childbirth class preschool preschool homeschool press con pressure cooking pretend play preview prewriting Primary science kit prime pinasarap moments procrastination product review productivity professor property review proposal protection pru life uk Pru Life with Madz Lim pua tiong chiu public service advisory pulse app pumping at work pumping station quadproof quezon quezon city rack's magallanes racks magallanes racks packages rain ramen ready for the world real real star beach resort reality box recipe reflections resort restaurant retail lab review rice rice cooker ring rizal roadtrip rockwell rome kanapi rosary run sabrina carpenter sale sampaloc san juan restaurant san miguel san pablo sandbox party sandstone sandwich saturdate savings saya carrier second birthday sentosa sentosa resort & spa serendra serge igonia sewing machine shabby chic shabu shabu shangrila hotel share the adventure shimano shock proof shoe cabinet shopper's mart shopping shutter count works shuttercount shutterfly sick sick baby signity stone silla sincerity singapore singapore grand prix singer sixth month sleep through the night slow cooker meals sm aura small party smeg smoothie smoothie lover snacks snow globe snowflakes obsidian snug a hug pillow soakswimwear sofa sofabed soft structured carrier softshells Solenad solenn sonlight sophia the first sophie's mom spicy spiralizer ssc st. alphonsus st. alphonsus mary de liguori sta. rosa Stacy's stand out stc steam mop sterilize stick stickers storm strawberry shortcake street photography stroganoff stroller struggles sugar and sunbeams sugarplum suite blanco summer lookbook sunday reflections super mama surco surgical benefit swagger sweet home bakeshop sweet services swimming taal vista tabora taft tagaytay tagaytay children's choir tagaytay highlands talking english tamang kain tapsilog tbt teaching teething teething baby tenth month thankless the boutique bed and breakfast the creamery the happyness project the longest ride the north face the phonics handbook themed party thirty throwback Timberdoodle Timbuk2 time tips on choosing wedding photos tips on making wedding album toddler toddler life tokidoki tomas morato tornado tour toys tracing traditional weaning trails trajecito de bebe transportation travel treveia trones trumpette tula tula baby carrier tula manila tula philippines tula toddler carrier tuna melt tuttle tutu toddler twelfth month twin hearts twisty dropper ulam unboxing universal studios university life uno restaurant Usborne V10 vacation vacuum Valentine's vans vatel manila VBAC vegetables verleo catering video video coverage videocam vikings vintage restoration vitamix vivo city vizco's vlog vlogging wahm wai ying wakepark wallpaper wangfu watami waterproof wayback wednesday weaning weather wedding wedding anniversary wedding photo wedding photography wedding supplier wedgits wei wei Weleda wellness wfpb whole food plant based wii wilbros will you be windmills wipe erase wooden toys work work at home mom workout world breastfeeding week world teacher's day wrong ramen wyb x20 yaya seminar manila yaya training yellow cab yeng constantino yleo ymca binondo young living youtube zojirushi zucchini zumba