Isa Pa

Wednesday 29 February 2012

This is titled Isa Pa coz this is another pasalubong from a friend. My post yesterday was about pasalubong from friends who came back from the US, this time its from Pinas. 

Our friend Celine goes home every Christmas ( inggetz huhuhu)   and she never fails to give us pasalubong, and it's different every time. 
The last time I saw her was in December when we had our Christmas party and I haven't seen her since. These were just handed to us by our other friends, we keep missing each other!

I'm excited coz I love Otap =) Yemma,  I've not had this for ages. And I don't know if Chiz Bread Stix is new or slow lang ako coz this is the first time I've seen it. Ayan na, I am officially home sick =(  

Tita Celine, thanks for the pasalubong. You're so thoughful, thanks for bringing a piece of home to us =) Hope to see you soon xoxo

Pasalubong Galore

Tuesday 28 February 2012

February must truly be a month for gift giving =) Our friends recently went to Florida and these are their pasalubong for us.

The photo does not give the 2012 Disney t-shirt justice. It is coloured blue and the Disney characters are so vibrant it can easily make anyone smile. Poj absolutely loves it. 
There's also an Aveeno Baby lotion for Poj, this is the only moisturizer that can put his eczema at bay. And there's a Burt's Bees lip balm for me. I tried this before and loved it, but never bought another one when I lost it. 
There are also Hershey's Special Dark miniatures and Reese's peanut butter cups as well as chocolate biscuits in the goody bag. And lastly there's a Mickey Mouse - Florida fridge magnet that stays longer in Poj's hand than on the fridge's door, lol =)

Thanks Tito Tantan, Tita Cheche, Kuya Cayden and Baby Kian for our pasalubong =)

Late Christmas Gift

Monday 27 February 2012

I blogged about our friend's birthday party yesterday. And it's amazing that we came bearing one gift for the celebrant and went home carrying gifts from our other friends. And one of those gifts is this beauty. (took the pic while it's still in it's wrapper, excited much =)

Our friend Mercy said this was her late Christmas gift to us coz she was unable to make it to our Christmas party. She is so sweet, don't you think?

I love orchids coz it reminds me of home and my parents. We sell orchids for our business. So you can imagine our house being surrounded by Phalaenopsis similar to this. Although I have to say I am not gifted with a green thumb like my parents so a whole lot of effort is needed to ensure my orchid is kept healthy and alive - wish me luck!

Thanks Mercy for our beautiful gift =)

Birthday Boy

Sunday 26 February 2012

We went to High Barnet, Hertfordshire today to celebrate George's birthday. It is always great to see everyone and to meet new people as well.  It was a fun day filled with laughters, catch up stories, picture taking & of course lots of food. 

There were 6 kids today and all were busy playing. But as soon as the cake was brought out, the birthday song was sang and the candles were lit, they all gathered around the table and joined George at blowing the candles. 
This is one of my fave shots of the day, don't you just wonder how kids find it so easy to play and interact with each other? And they all seem to love chocolate cakes too! lol  

Loud by Tommy Hilfiger

Saturday 25 February 2012

We have been invited by a friend his birthday party for tomorrow. It was a short notice party invite but luckily we're free so we can go. We already missed another friend's invite last weekend coz I already had a previous commitment. 

This is what we'll be giving our friend George for his birthday tomorrow. I really like it's smell, though I personally don't think the name is appropriate coz I'd describe it as a bit subtle, nice and clean - definitely not Loud. 

Many happy returns of the day, George.  And hope you like our gift =)

Baked Raspberry Cheesecake Recipe

Friday 24 February 2012

This is my first go at making a baked cheesecake. The ingredients are easy to find if not already available in the cupboard. And the best part?  It is simple to make but tastes much more complicated than it is - a great way to impress!

And since this was a success, I plan to make another one soon and bring it to the work. Almost everyone on our team bakes so the standard is high. I just hope they like it =)

Kayo? Have you tried a baked cheesecake? If not, you may want to give this a try...


8 Digestive biscuits
50g melted butter
600g cream cheese
2 tbsp plain flour
175g caster sugar
vanilla extract
2 eggs, plus 1 yolk
142ml pot soured cream
300g raspberries (you can also use strawberries)
icing sugar


Heat the oven to 180℃. Crush 8 digestive biscuits in a food processor (or put in a plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin). Mix with 50g melted butter. Press into a 20cm springform tin and bake for 5 minutes, then cool.

Beat 600g cream cheese with 2 tbsp flour, 175g caster sugar, a few drops of vanilla extract, 2 eggs, 1 yolk, and 142ml pot of soured cream until light and fluffy. Stir in 150g raspberries and pour into the tin. Bake for 40 minutes and then check, it should be set but slightly wobbly in the centre. Leave in the tin to cool.

Using the remaining 150g raspberries, keep a few for the top and put the rest in a pan with 1 tbsp icing sugar. Heat until juicy and then squash with a fork. Push through a sieve. Serve the cheesecake with the raspberry sauce and raspberries. 

Recipe from BBC GoodFood


Thursday 23 February 2012

Papa E and myself work in two different hospitals here in Southampton. He would usually park here at the Royal South Hants hospital and I would catch the staff bus to my hospital. 
I was a little late today coz of the traffic so Papa E and Poj were already waiting when our bus arrived. It's a good thing that Poj is in a good mood coz he has finally settled in his Preschool, yay! Plus he got distracted when he saw this toy at the hospital's waiting area. It never seizes to entertain our little man even though he's played with it many times already.
We're happy that it only took two weeks for Poj to settle in Preschool.  
And I'm also grateful for the free staff bus which makes it a lot easy for me to get to work! Kilala na nga nya yung bus, whenever he sees it he'll say "here's Ina!" Bless him =)

Unexpected Letter

22 February 2012

We got home a little late than usual today. We picked up some meds from the chemist and grabbed dinner on our way home. I wasn't expecting any letters so was surprised when a letter was addressed to me. 

The letter was from the House of Commons. The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the UK. It is a democratic body consisting of 650 members who are known as MPs or Members of Parliament (similar to our Congressmen at home). 

No, I was not in trouble or anything - though that could be ones first thought when you receive a letter from the government, haha! - Not that you've done something wrong, tamang duda lang coz we don't get these kinds of letters back home! 
Our MP for Southampton holds advice surgeries every month. I thought it is usually by appointment, what I didn't realize is that they also send out random invites like this where you could bring someone and drop in on the said time and date with any query or issue you may have with his work or about your area. 

I have not decided if I would go or what I would ask if I do decide to. I'm not really very interested in politics but I guess it's great that they have sessions like these where you raise your concerns. 

Pancake Day

Pancake with banana, ice cream & chocolate sauce

Tuesday 21 February 2012

Happy Pancake Day everyone! 

It's pancake overload in our household today. We had pancakes for breakfast and had the left over as dessert. The last pancake was massive so I only made one and Poj & I shared it. 

Here's the recipe for those who want to give it a go:


1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg
3 tablespoon of melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into a large bowl. Then make a well in the centre and pour in the milk, egg, butter and vanilla. Mix until smooth.

Heat a griddle or a lightly oiled pan stick over medium heat. Scoop 1/4 batter onto the pan. Brown on both sides and serve and enjoy =)

Isa Ka Nang Model!

Monday 20 February 2012

The Audiology Department of Royal South Hants Hospital asked Papa E if Poj could come in to be one of their pretend patient for a photo shoot. The photos would be used for the department's new leaflet. We thought about it and said yes - our good deed for the day =)

We arrived early to make sure he's not rushed or flustered when we get there. He was in a good mood which was a good start. There were three members of staff in the room plus the photographer. He was meant to be there for the play audiometry only. They have a wooden toy boat on top of a table where he would play with the boat men and they would emit sounds from different parts of the room and the audiologist would observe the child if he would respond to the sound and look at the direction of where it came from. (only there was no sound stimulus coz it's only pretend). But since Poj did really well and was not fussed with the photographer taking pics that they took out 2 more wooden toys. They also looked into his ears using the autoscope and lastly they did a tympanometry test where they inserted this machine in his outer ear for a for a few seconds - this is used to check the child's ear drum. Poj was happy to cooperate with all the tests bar from one, he refused to wear the head phones. They did say it is usually used for bigger kids and I said he has not worn headphones before so he was overwhelmed with that. They said they didn't think he'll want to wear it and they have a bigger kid coming for that test. All in all everyone was happy and the photographer got the shots she needed. We were not there for very long and Poj didn't know he was a pretend patient. Bless him, he thought he was just visiting Ama's office and playing with some toys =)

When we finished they gave me a box of chocolates which was very sweet. And they gave Poj a Playmobil toy truck. He was so chuffed that he asked to carry it himself as we were walking out of the department.

'Twas a great day for Poj! He always wanted to go to work with his Ama and was able to do it plus help them out with the leaflet. We're so proud of our little helper =)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Manggang Hilaw

Sunday 19 February 2012

I grew up in Pangasinan and my Dad worked in a company that processed fruits so we always have fruits in the house. And during the mango season he would all  always bring big baskets or kaing of green mangoes and ripe ones as well. 

That's why I love this fruit and I'm so glad that we could get good ones here too. And when Papa E was in the Asian store he remembered to buy me some bagoong to go with it. Hmmm, hilaw na mangga at bagoong, perfect combination =)

Sweet Little Cupcake

Saturday 18 February 2012

The lady on the right of the picture from my previous post is one of my work colleagues who usually bakes beautiful and tasty cupcakes as her sideline. She inspires me to bake cupcakes coz I usually struggle to make them look as beautiful. She has very kindly baked one for each of us yesterday.

I am surprised that I was able to take a photo before I ate the whole thing! I had a busy day so I took mine home and enjoyed it with a lovely cup of coffee. Seriously it was like a little piece of heaven =)

Thanks Ms ELH

Night Out With The Girls

 Friday 17 February 2012

One of our colleagues is moving to another department and we all went out for a meal to say goodbye and to wish her good luck with her new job. We went to a Chinese restaurant named Kachina and had the "order all you can Chinese." We all enjoyed the starter which we ordered two rounds of as well as the duck. But after these we were too full that we were ready for our dessert.
No one took pics and everybody was much too hungry that we all just tucked in. We had a lot of laughs and stories and it felt that we were there for ages.

The pic above is just a quarter of us that's there tonight, I wish they've put us in one table so that I could squeeze them all in one shot.

We had a lovely night though - a great way to end a long week!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Poj & Basil

Thursday 16 February 2012

 Poj's nursery Carers asked us if we are happy to take Basil, the cute soft toy in the picture, home for a week so that Poj can look after him. 

Poj was really excited and was really proud at wheeling the suitcase filled with all his clothes to the car. When we got home, Poj wanted to play with his toy kitchen. He then asked me to put on Basil's bib so that he could eat the food he has prepared him, ang sweet, lol.

The plan was to take him grocery shopping with us for the weekend and to play with him and his train, scooter and to read books together. He went to bed with his Teddy and Basil next to him =)

I love the little things that they do at nursery such as this one coz it teaches them how to be responsible and caring. And for next month, they told us that they will be incubating some chicks until they hatch and they will look after the chicks, which I think can be pretty exciting for the little ones.


Wednesday 15 February 2012

I took 2 days off a couple of weeks ago when little Poj was unwell. The first day was granted as carer's leave and the second day was meant to be taken out from my annual leave. But since I only had 4 hours of annual leave left I have to pay back the 3.5 hours that I owe. 

There is no pressure to pay back the said hours straight away but I just wanted to get it over with. I usually work 7.5 hours a day but today I worked for 9 hours! We were up early coz I have to prepare our breakfast and baon plus get ourselves ready for work & Poj for nursery, malayo din kasi ang house namin sa hospital. (Reminder to self - I have to do this all again tomorrow!)

So it was a very loooong and tiring day for all of us. My boys are now in bed but yours truly is still waiting for Mr Sleep to come pay me a visit. 

Hayz, I must be getting old! I used to work 16hours straight during my UST days but now I feel shattered only after working 9! At ang pinagbuntunan ng pagod? Ang box of chocolate na bigay ni Papa E! haha =)

My Valentine

Tuesday 14 February 2012

Happy Valentine's day everyone =)

Papa E is not the most romantic guy there is. He is thoughtful and caring - but not romantic. He would buy me gifts that I like, want or need and would usually give these in between occasions. But we've been together long enough to know not to expect anything on Valentine's day.

But he stepped up this year by giving me a box of my favourite chocolate. We also had a candlelit dinner at home which was really lovely and, yes - romantic. We know we can't go out on a date because we don't have any relatives that could look after Poj. But nevertheless, it was still nice to have a grown up dinner and have a grown up conversation.  We miss moments like this and we will try to do it more often...

Thanks Papa E ♡♥♡♥♡♥

Little Poj is Poorly

Monday 13 February 2012

Even when poorly my little one still manages a smile for the camera, lol.

I was viewing the photos saved on my camera and was not planning of taking his picture, but he smiled so I took the shot. 

He has a raised temperature and has cough and cold. Last night his temp reached 39.7℃ which so you can imagine that we were unable to get much sleep. He was a bit better today but was still very clingy and lacks appetite. 

I just hope that he would be better tomorrow...

Lovely Cup of Tea

Sunday 12 February 2012

It was another chilled out Sunday (literally, hehe). 

We went to church in the morning. It is now part of Poj's routine that he already knows where we are going every Sunday. He even knows the way that as soon as he sees familiar buildings he'll say we're going to church Ina =)

We were suppose to go to town to buy a gift for our Godson's 1st birthday. We wanted to take advantage of ELC's half term toy sale (ELC stands for Early Learning Centre, they are popular for their educational toys and books).  But being a Sunday, all shops open for business no earlier than 11am. And even when the shops are closed, you still have to pay parking fees if you stay there to wait for the shops to open - otherwise you get fined £30 when caught! Mean, I know.

So home we went. But not until after grabbing what we need for our Valentine's dinner from M&S Food. We then had a nice cup of tea from Marks & Spencer café. Hmmm, I love weekend =)

Bagong Tasa

Saturday 11 February 2012

Poj has been due his haircut in weeks. But it has been too cold and we've been really lazy that we've put it off. But his fringe was getting longer and was starting to poke his eyes. It was definitely time for a visit to His & Kids hair shop.

We told him why we are there and he sat on the chair without making a fuzz. The nice lady cracked on with the task at hand. She was surprised at how well behaved and cooperative Poj was. Little Poj was as good as gold and was done in no time. 

He again loved the well done sticker that was given to him after his haircut & she also gave him a lolly before we left. Well done, Poj! 

 A photo after his haircut is here =)

Do You Drink?

Friday 10 February 2012

I don't drink much, I usually just have a glass of wine when we go out for a meal with friends or a couple of cocktails when we go out for drinks - which is not very often. 

But today while food shopping, I saw this Sidekick vodka mix drink with toffee flavour. I couldn't help but smile coz I remembered some of my friends in the Philippines (a million years ago) when they went gaga over the flavoured lambanog. Meron pa ba nun ngayon? 
Anyway, I thought I could bring this to my friend's house the next time we get together. Apparently it comes in 10 flavours (Choco orange, Cookies & cream, Strawberries & cream to name a few).  I'm not even sure if I'm going to like it coz I'm not a big fan of Baileys. I've read good reviews though, which said it was sweet and tasty but can be too sweet that you could end up drinking more than you planned to.

Kayo, do you drink?

Boring Shoes

Thursday 9 February 2012

This is by far the most boring shoes I've ever bought. 

I am part of a panel who would be interviewing for 3 posts for our department. So it means I have to look a bit smart, para naman kagalang-galang ang lola, lol.  When I went to look for a pair of shoes that would match my black dress for the big day, I realized that I don't own one that would do. The shoes I've got at home are much too high(Example here).  And since I have to go back to my ward after the interview (booo I know) I have to wear something that's a tad more sensible. 

Thank goodness for Marks and Spencer that's just 3 miles away from home. They have a huge selection of shoes, and I found this pair which is a bit "Manang" to be honest, but are perfect for tomorrow. They are also very comfy and reasonably priced. 

I have never interviewed anyone before so am nervous.  Although I'm sure the candidates are more nervous than I am. Haha, wish me luck!

The View

Wednesday 8 February 2012

This is just one of the things you'll see when you go up the elegant viewing tower, the Spinnaker Tower. The building is situated on the waterfront at Gunwharf Quays.

So thank God for weekends and days off. Without them we would not have the chance to see such views. Although it was cold and grey, it was a good thing we were able to take some photos to share.

At dahil libreng mangarap, we left imagining that one of those boats there are ours, hehehe =)

What Time is It?

Tuesday 7 February 2012

We have been teaching Poj how to tell the time using our wall clock in the lounge or his Thomas the Tank Engine wall clock in his room. So we were not planning of buying him a toy clock until we found this at half price. It was originally priced at £2.99 (₱201.83) but reduced to just £1.49 (₱100.59). One can't go wrong with that price, right?

It was a simple toy that serves it's purpose. It does not come with lights and push buttons that emit sounds - which is a plus. He's already got a lot of toys that talks, plays music, animal sounds etc. Another plus is that each number comes in a different shape, and his enjoying learning about shapes as well. 

You know I'm a sucker for good bargains, and I'm so glad we found this. What's his favourite time? It's 8 o'clock. That's the time he starts nursery in the morning and that's his bedtime as well. =)

Arroz caldo Ala Papa E

Monday 6 February 2012

One of the things I'm thankful for is that I have a loving husband who loves to cook.  His food makes me less homesick because he tries his best to prepare us good Filipino dishes.  He loves reading blog posts especially foodblogs and would usually give them a go.   And he also takes requests coz he complains that he's running out of ideas. 

And because the temp has plummeted here in the UK, I wanted to eat something simple but warm. So I requested Arroz caldo (Filipino congee).  His version this time has chicken, egg and Chinese fish balls, garnished with spring onion, roasted garlic and a splash of lemon. Y.U.M.M.Y!

Normally when he cooks this, he would also prepare fried tofu and/or spring rolls o lumpiang togue. Yung parang complete order na sa karinderia ni Manang. But on this occasion we didn't, we were worried that it'll be stone cold when it reach the dining table - sayang lang. 

Kayo, what do you love to eat during the cold season?

Improvised Cupcake

Sunday 5 February 2012

A friend (the same one who gave me my new Cath apron) gave me a silicon piping set last Christmas. I've not used it yet coz I don't make cupcakes very often.

But I wanted to try the new piping set - coz if it's successful, I would bring them some on our next get together. So after making the cake which was very tasty, bias? lol. (Click here for the recipe). That was enough to encourage me to make the icing. And just as I twisted one end to ensure there's no air - i tore a whole on one side with my thumb! Grrr. I don't know what I did, but hey ho, the bag is now useless so it went straight to the bin. 

I had to improvise in the end coz I don't want the icing to go to waste. It came out alright, not how I imagined it - but my boys said it's ok. I used coloured sprinkles and smarties chocolates as decorations. Still not convince & would try again when I get my new piping bag. What do you think?