Monday, July 25, 2011

My 24th Birthday Part 2

The day after my birthday, I met with some of my closest friends from college and heard the most fantabulous news ever! My friend, Rex is planning to propose to his girlfriend, Jacqui on their 4th anniversary! (Of course I had to wait for the proposal to happen before I post this, so they are already engaged as I write!)

The lovely couple. Jacqui is glowing! 
Rex found the perfect opportunity to tell us all about his plan when Jacqui left for the loo. When she came back to join us, she asked me why I had a weird smile on my face. Well, I was just so giddy and happy! Sorry if I scared you, Rex! I really suck at hiding my feelings!

Now, these two are like brother and sister to me. And yes, they are the first to get engaged among my set of friends. So please pardon the exclamation points! I'm quite understandably excited!

The ring!
My, my, I feel kinda old! A year from now, I will be in my mid-twenties. A couple of years from now, well, I might be even sporting a ring myself! Considering how time flies, that isn't really too far off. That is another story for another day, though.

Now, back to my birthday! Here are some photos of my birthday food from Recipes Modern Asian Bistro (Sorry for the low quality photos. In exciting times like this, even food has to take a backseat!):

Spicy Squid
For starters, we had Spicy Squid, which was basically just fried squid drizzled with a mildy spicy and sweet sauce. The batter was moderately crispy, while the squid meat was delightfully tender.

General's Tofu
One of my favorites at Recipes is the General's Tofu, which is tofu drenched in sweet-tasting sauce. The tofu was melt-in-your-mouth tender and the sauce had a very characteristic Chinese flavor to it. Growing up in  a household where Chinese food is served on a regular basis, my taste buds felt at home with this dish. 

I'm mostly a carnivore, so vegetables do not really appeal to me unless we are talking about a crisp salad with some very fattening dressing. This dish, however, proved to be surprisingly good! Bathed in coconut milk, the chopped beans were a bit crispy and moderately spicy. With hints of meat here and there, you really can't go wrong with this dish.

Crispy Tilapia
The Crispy Tilapia, as the name implies, is basically just fried fish served with some dipping sauce made of soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, pepper and onions. This was really nothing special, something that you can easily prepare at home.

Well, I got the food and the planned propsal covered. Now, let's move on to presents! Jacqui was also sweet enough to gift me books. I love books! I believe that I have spent quite a fortune on them already. So if ever anyone of you decides to give me a present, please do get me some good books (or plane tickets because I love traveling too!).

So, that was how PART II of my birthday went! 

Good news, good friends and good food! I had a blast turning 24!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My 24th Birthday Part 1

To everyone who kept their fingers crossed for my Boracay birthday bash, thank you. Unfortunately, my requested leave was not approved, so that trip didn't happen. That's okay, though, because I got to spend my birthday with my family and the boyfriend instead.

Meet my quirky family!

My vain brother just had to have his hair cut and styled at Bench Fix before we had our family picture taken at a studio. While waiting for him, we snacked on fries, donuts and coke float.

Cheese and Sour Cream for the win!

Krispy Kreme donuts

McDo Management, bring back the Sarsi Float!

My family has this weird reflex: an overwhelming desire to eat whenever we step inside any mall. Seriously, all we do as a family is eat, eat and eat! We rarely shop unless we need to buy groceries, and even then, we still buy food!

The truth is,  around 75% of my paycheck goes to food.  I eat out at least once a week on the average and that's a bad habit I really am working hard to break. Birthdays are exceptions though, so I treated my family and the boyfriend to a simple dinner at Friday's.

Thank God it's my Birthday!
I know Friday's is so mainstream, but I can't try anything adventurous when my little sister is in tow. She is such a picky eater!

Who hasn't eaten at Friday's these days?
Now, some pictures of the food we ordered!

Jack Daniel's Ribs

I always order this whenever I'm at Friday's. I just love how fall-off-the-bone tender and juicy the meat is.

Chicken Fingers
I've tasted better versions, but because my sister is such a picky eater, I had to make sure she has something to eat should she dislike the other entrees we ordered. This dish was a sad choice though, because the chicken was so bland! I've ordered this many times before, and it used to be juicier and tastier if I remember correctly.

Chicken, Mushroom and Chicken
This looked so good on the menu, so I was quite disappointed after the first bite. Again, the chicken was quite bland and I couldn't taste the gooey goodness of mozzarella cheese that I have come to expect upon reading the description on the menu. The portioning was also quite surprising. This was more or less only 100 bucks cheaper than the ribs, but less filling and less sumptuous by miles!

Bacon Cheeseburger
This was a sure hit with my sibs who both love anything beefy and juicy that can be found between a bun. My brother loved the burger so much that he now claims McDonald's Quarter Pounder tastes like Burger McDo in comparison. Well, I kinda agree, because even a Johnny Rockets burger or a Charlie's Angus Beef burger isn't as juicy or tasty! 

Brownie Obsession

True to it's name, this dessert is truly obsession-inducing! The brownie was warm,  kind of tough on the outside, but chewy and fudgy inside. It somehow reminded me of the lava cake from Cyma, which I got addicted to for a time. I wish I can eat more, but alas, I'm sort of on a calorie watch! (Or so I would like to believe. Haha.)

Now, a picture of my vain brother who was also celebrating his birthday that day!

That's the hairstyle we waited around so patiently for!

And a picture of the silliest couple on the planet!

We met in High School, then grew up together thereafter.
I know my birthday did not turn out as I planned, but looking back, I realized that it was just how I really wanted it to be: a table filled with sincere laughter, good food and people I love! 

The stuff that perfect birthdays are made of! <3

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Fun at Terazzas de Punta Fuego!

I've never been a fan of summer, but having just one summer getaway is quite inexcusable even for me! I know I went to Singapore last March, but with no sand and no beach, that was hardly a summer excursion.

This year, the only beach I've been to was the one at Terazzas de Punta Fuego in Nasugbu, Batangas. Since Club Punta Fuego is an exclusive resort and we went on a Monday, we almost had the entire place all to ourselves!
Karlo, our designated photographer
Clear, blue waters
It was so much fun spending time with my colleagues without all the hassles of the job. We frolicked at the beach, took the obligatory jump shots, played games in the pool, stuffed ourselves with more food than our stomachs can handle and lounged in the cabanas with a magazine on one hand and a glass of fresh fruit shake on the other. I absolutely love lazy days like that - lying on my back with the wind blowing on my face as I listen to the sound of raging waves. 

The obligatory beach jump shot!
This is how the pool looks like from a distance.
Goofing around in the pool.
We are such a crazy bunch!
The beach at Laiya is better, but Nasugbu's isn't too far behind. As a matter of fact, I would gladly choose the latter to avoid the summer crowd. 
We had the beach all to ourselves! Well, not really, but almost!

Come late afternoon, we took a boat to go island hopping. It was mighty fun jumping into the water, but I didn't dare take off my life vest because I'm not that good a swimmer. 

Frolicking in saltwater.
That day at Punta Fuego was such a welcome break from the monotony of work-home-mall days. I would have loved to stay there for the night, but I was on morning shift the next day. Don't ask me how I did it, but I got back to Manila at around 11PM and by 4AM, I was up on my toes, preparing to go to work! To be honest, that was bloody tiring, but I would gladly do it again just to get away from work-related stress!

This July, I have plane tickets for Boracay. I know it's not the best month for sun and sand, but please keep your fingers crossed for me and my friends. I'm really hoping and praying that our requested VLs will be granted because I badly need the time off. I've been venting in twitter a lot these days. Super negative vibes, I know, but I just can't help it. I'm exhausted!

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