Monday, December 2, 2013

Lessons from my Father

Today is my father's birthday and my brothers and sister planned a whole day of activities for both him and my mom. I am taking this moment before my day starts to tell you a bit about my father.

Decoroso "Dick" Balmes

He was born the eldest of their family, hard working, loyal to my mom and very family oriented.

Growing up we were never really close, not as close as a father to a son would be but it was more about me than him. I always hated the times where he would tell me to do the dishes, change the light bulbs, clean the car, give the dogs a bath, and a whole lot of things. I disliked how he took me with him when he visited his side of the family because I hated traveling by land. Selfish right? I wont deny it. At the end of the day the reason why our relationship is that way is still because me and what I am. I'll save that for another day. :)

Despite everything I actually learned a lot and i will always be thankful. Let me tell you how my father shaped me to be the person I am today. I will list down a few things my father taught me both directly and indirectly.

  • The kitchen should always be clean. If i can remember it correctly, my cousin Twinkle taught my how to wash dishes but my father taught me that before I go to bed every night I should was the dishes or clean up after my self
  • How to change a light bulb. A bonding moment we shared hahaha. I know all it needs is common sense when changing a light bulb but to tell you honestly, a lot of people doesn't know how to change a light bulb 
  • Delivering puppies. My dad showed me how to assist a pregnant dog during delivery and I've done it several times now on my own
  • Compassion towards animals. My dad is a Veterinarian so it gave me access to animals growing up 
  • Respect towards Family
  • How not fighting back is the bravest thing you can sometimes do
  • Balancing and being equal to both sides of the family is more important than taking sides
  • Traditions should always be honored
  • Quit Smoking
  • How loving something you hate because the people you treasure most loves them is more important that hating them at all
  • Letting go of negativity is helpful
  • Always following your dreams
  • Always support your kids no matter what they choose to be
  • Never let go of the "kid" in you
and a whole lot more. I am who I am because they trusted my decision of who i wanted to become. We may not be the typical family who talks about sex openly, or continues to go to church religiously or the type of family that says i love you or sorry all the time but our family dynamics work for us. And it'll mature more in the coming years. I strongly believe that both my father and mother played a strong role in that. 

To my father, who have always been there for me and the family. I  salute, respect and love you, you and mom. Always. I know I will make a great father one day because I have you as role model.

Have a great day today and the coming years. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Italian Night - Table for Four

Last Sunday I got a call from Jovan asking if I was going to his place to visit him. He and Makoy went to the dentist that day to have their teeth pulled out (lol i think they went for a cleaning session or something) and decided to head over Jovan's place for lunch. If i remembered it correctly, we actually planned this Friday last week but I thought it was a no go. When I got there we eventually decided to plan what we wanted to eat for dinner and it was awesome.

Italian Dinner - Boun Appetito


When I got to Jovan's place Makoy and Devine were already there. Hahaha I dont have a picture of Makoy at the Dinner Table.

The Menu


Makoy's One Pot Pasta. We would like to thank The Londoner for the Inspiration.

We also have Jovan's Carbonara Sauce. 

Both pasta dishes were delicious.. I would have had more of it if I hadn't munched my way to obesity while cooking. LOL.

The Meat

Pork Chops with salt and pepper

The Garlic Bread

The Drinks

The NOW "famous" Sun Cooler

Sliced apples, oranges, pineapples, watermelon drowned orange juice.

Italian Night was a blast... Ate so much pasta and drank a pitcher of the Sun Cooler. Creativity Achieved. I wonder what theme I'll co-host next. I am really rooting for either French or Japanese. Give themed dinners a try, It'll spice your weekend up.. :)

Off to my next adventure...

Monday, October 7, 2013

Co-hosted a Boodle Fight

Boodle Fight

May the odds be ever in your favor...

I have no complaints when it comes to eating but I ate so much I was about to burst. After a long day of running around the city, buying and sending Medicine to my dad and a whole lot more, I was looking forward to a long relaxing night to rest. But it did not work out that way.

A week ago, during a badminton session I inserted the idea to my friends that we have a food trip. We initially planned on eating at CnT ( A lechon place here in Cebu) but we opted not to. Today during our weekly badminton sessions I had them explore the possibility of trying out a Boodle Place near Cebu Doc. For those who are not familiar with the term, Boodle Fight is when all the food is arranged in the middle of the table under mats of banana leaves and when you eat you do not need utensils, you use your hands. So going back, we decided to host our very own Boodle Fight and talked about the menu during badminton breaks and how much we were willing to spend. This is the result. 

We spent P 150.00 each to make this work. Our Menu consists of the following:
  • Rice
  • Chicken Pork Adobo
  • Bagoong (Bagoong lol.. its tiny tiny shrimps in salt and stuff)
  • Ginataang Bangus (Fish in Coconut Milk)
  • Itlog na Maalat (Salted Egg)
  • Fried Fish (Fried Fish)
  • Coke and Sprite for Drinks
  • Watermelon for dessert ( everybody lolled when I complained why this fruit is very watery)
We had so much Fun and ate so much... I really like this hosting gig. It makes me feel happy, excited and creative. Kudos to the chefs (Dona, Erron, Madam, Banjo, Mary Anne, Bryan, Arnel and Ahem Me.. lol)

FYI, I was craving this the whole week last week so I am already good.. hahahaha..

Have a Boodle Fight your friends and/or families and tell me how it went. :)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

DIY: Mug Cakes Galore

Cooking Session With my Sister

Our version of the Mug Cakes

Disclosure: Please be warned that I am wearing short shorts here. LOL.. 

This was during my last vacation at home. My sister and I made tarts and cakes for my parent. We had sooo much fun.. so here's the short cut version of what we did. 

the patisserie

Make one too and let me know how you did. Quick Tip? It's more fun if you share the moment with friends or family. (or both) :)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

DIY: How to make your own KITE in 30 mins


Simple Childhood Kite (I am not an endorser of SM)

Remember when you were a kid and you had so much FUN with your friends? Yeah i remember mine too. Nothing else mattered BUT to have FUN. No bills to pay, no work to go to, no worries on food cause it magically appeared on the table every morning, noon and dinner (thanks mom) and no matter how much fun you make the only thing you had to remember was to go home before the sun goes down. I remembered 1 of my best childhood memories back home today. During Summer, my friends/neighbors and I would go out and just play. Back then Cellphones, Consoles and the Internet was not yet popular. This particular memory was when we made our own kites from things we found in the house and flew them up high. So today I decided to make a kite and I'll fly it tomorrow morning. (I was planning to do it next week but a few friends from Facebook made me realize that making my own kite is fun so i decided to make it today)

First: What you need

  • Barbecue Sticks or anything like it
  • Glue
  • Cutter (please be careful using this, ask an adult to help you if you are 14y/o or below)
  • Plastic Bag
  • Thread or Strings
  • Pen

How To:

First you have to tie 2 sticks together. If you have a longer stick you cut it to your preferred length. Use the cutter to make the ends look like the picture below, then use the string or thread to tie the two together. Make 2 of this.

Once you have 2 sticks together. Tie the 2 to make a cross.

Place the cross on the plastic bag and cut a diamond shape like the one below.
After cutting out the diamond  shape tie the points of the diamond to the ends of the sticks. Remember to put glue after tying so it wont get loose. Then poke 2 holes where the string should be, add tassels and your good. Try that baby out.. 

Imma fly my kite tomorrow since its 2:20am here in The Philippines...

Let me know how your day goes when you fly your kite. :)

Friday, September 27, 2013

A KID at 25 - My very first HAPPY MEAL

A lot of people would agree that I am a HUGE Jollibee fan. I love their menu, their staff and the store locations are ridiculous (in a good way because they are everywhere like Angel's Burger or 360 Pharmacy).

A few days ago McDonald's opened a branch at our building and everybody got excited and so was I, not because I love the place but because I know a handful of people who enjoys eating at the place which meant that before it opened at our building we had to walk around 4 blocks to get to one, now we don't (teehee).

So, yesterday when we took our break from helping a friend out with his Demo, we decided to eat at McDonald's and I decided that I was in the mood for a burger. When I got to the place, I was overwhelmed with happy emotions that ordered a Happy Meal. Yep my VERY FIRST HAPPY MEAL at 25. I got crazy excited. Did you know that a happy includes a toy.. I mean score!! a toy and a meal at the same time. So this is what i got.
Thanks Iggs for taking this Photo. I LOVE HAPPY MEALS

The above photo is when i got the Happy Meal and I got caught up with the excitement of checking out what the toy was. I got a beautiful PONY, MY PONY..

My Little Pony, a prize i got with my happy meal
This is Apple, I named her that because she has a big ass tattoo on her back, I brush her pony tail all day and tell her how my day was ( Crazy right? 25 and childish)

Not so Kung Fu Panda
Along the lines of the Happy Meal Red Box was this little fellow. I named him Fho.. hahaha

Cool penguin
An this little guy, is Pinky...

Friends for Life... Awwww...
Shared my  Happy moment with friends at work
It was a Fun Day, I felt like a kid again and it felt awesome.

I have a strong belief that in order for you to live life to the fullest, you have to lower your expectations, make as many mistakes you can, never aim for perfection and never forget the KID in you. Not only will you maintain your compassion, it will also make life a little less stressful. GET A HAPPY MEAL NOW. :)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

How to Host a Themed Dinner

It has always been my dream to live like a van der Woodsen or a Waldorf ever since I watched the Gossip Girl Series. Though I am not that fortunate to inherit the looks, the body and the bank account, I did inherit something much more fulfilling, PERSEVERANCE. To "feel" a little bit like Blair and/or Serena I planned to host a dinner party at my place.

Below is a list of tips and guides based on what i did last weekend for my American-Themed dinner party


  1. Never bite off more than you can chew - Do not over and under estimate and always make sure you have a plan B (B for Blair.. teehee). Make sure you have resources and location already covered.
  2. The Guest List is like the Ten Commandments - Always make sure that you do not commit mistakes when listing the people attending your shindig. One thing I learned when it came to the guest list was to never invite people that makes you scared, insecure, nervous and/or uneasy, it ruins your night and you'll be focusing more on the mistakes rather than enjoying the night with friends and family.
  3. Decide on the Theme or Menu at least a week in advance - the theme is important because it sets the mood and the Menu fulfills the mood (teehee). When it comes to the menu, always have a plan B so your world doesn't end when the ingredients fall apart.
  4. Clean you Place - have a general cleaning the day before so you won't have to worry about it on the day of the party.
  5. Prepare everything at least an hour before - more than an hour everything gets too cold and just in time doesn't leave you enough time to take a shower and prepare yourself.
  6. One of the main reason why people don't like to host dinners or party is the clean up - what i did was clean in between. If I'm waiting for something to boil, i cleaned the pots and pans that I already used.
  7. One more thing... HAVE FUN... its supposed to be a gathering of friends and family... relax and enjoy.
I found that Carbon (a local market place in Cebu) is the best place to shop for meats and vegetables and pretty much everything else for a steal but if you prefer to get them from big stores like SM, Ayala, Metro Colon or anywhere else then that's fine too as long as you get everything you need.


The Burger - Mixed Meat Patty (Beef and Longganiza, salt, pepper and rosemary to taste), Caramelized Onions, Cherry Tomatoes, Button Mushrooms, Lettuce and some Cheese
Sweet Corn (tip to make the corn more sweeter - when boiling the corn add a tablespoon of sugar)

One of the best seller for the night - quartered potatoes boiled, then seared in olive oil, butter, a dash of thyme and flat leaf parsley
Second best seller that night is the Sun Cooler. Orange Juice with sliced real fruits (Watermelon, Orange, Apple and Calamansi) - Mooon Cafe inspired

It was a Fun night and I really felt like one of the characters in Gossip Girl. Check out the blogs below to see how they felt when they got invited to my Elite (ahem) soirĂ©e.

Off to my next Adventure... Japanese, French or Zombie.. teehee.. I don't know.. What do you think? Let me know.. :)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

My very own Bucket List

Thing I want to do before I turn 40

I found the Slytherin notebook my sister "gave" ( more like she had no choice but ) me and saw an entry I made a few years back. It had everything that i wanted to since 2011, maybe that's why I titled it Bucket List. Let me tell you the two reasons why I'm blogging about it now. First, carrying a notebook everywhere is 50% fun and 50% bulky so I'm keeping my records online (easy update). Second, I wanted to share it because the more people know, the best chance for me to get all the information I need to achieve it. :)

Here's the list in exact order when I wrote it down. Every time I complete an item on the list I will place a picture below it and update this blog so you too would know.

  • Go on a date
  • Get a new BlackBerry
  • Get a Passport

  • Apply for a Visa
  • Enroll in a Gym
  • Enroll in a French Class
  • Learn a New Language (Russian, German, Hebrew and more)
  • Travel to Places iv'e never been to
Dumaguete, Dipolog, Dapitan and Dakak

  • Travel Internationally

  • Quit
  • Quit Smoking
Smoke Free for 8 months now

  • Minimize Rice intake
  • Lose weight
  • Get over GF_ (sooo stupid, I am actually hiding this.. hahaha.. sssshhh)
  • Get a Tattoo
  • Boycott Fast Food Joints
  • Save P10,000 and put it in the bank
  • Get New Clothes (preferably when your thin)
  • Go to Boracay 1 more time
  • Get a Massage
  • Boycott Carbonated Drinks
  • Spend the night at a Hotel
  • Travel Alone
  • Give yourself something special for your birthdays
Birthday 2013

  • Visit Pat-pat in Ilo-Ilo
  • Eat somewhere fancy
  • Take family on a fancy vacation
  • Apply and get a job outside the Philippines
  • Pay off Credit Card
  • Finish Loan
  • Take singing lessons
  • Buy a Laptop
  • Travel to Manila
  • Practice Wicca More
  • become a Hybrid in the Training World
  • Sit through a Play
Les Miserable, Facebooked, Sister Act the Musical and a few more local plays

  • Learn how to Surf
  • Bake a Cake
Mug Cake - It counts teehee

  • Wall Climb
  • Fly
  • Go Fishing and Catch Something
  • Host a Dinner Party 

  • Host Brunch
  • Throw knives like on Hunger Games
  • Be in a Play
  • Dance like there is no Tomorrow
  • Meet McFly (or any of the Band Members)
  • Meet the Cast of Harry Potter (or any one from the movie)
  • Take a picture from the outside of the Halliwell Manor
  • Meet the Cast of Friends ( Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler and Ross)
  • Learn Martial Arts
  • Shoot an arrow from a bow (lotsa times)
  • Fire a gun (safely) 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

How to make your Mother Happy


Birthday Bash 2013 - 58 and loving it...

Edible Birthday Cake ( it was hard eating the "body" part but off with her head... teehee)

So my mom celebrated her birthday yesterday and she had a big surprise. For the last couple of years, we celebrated hers and my dad's birthday here in Cebu at The Port Sea Food Buffet but this year was different. She had that cake above and Lechon and a whole lot of food. The bad part for me was, we (my brothers and i) were not there but she celebrated it with her brother and sisters, my lil sissy and my dad with a few cousins.

Her birthday tarp ( tarps are becoming pretty popular in Calbayog)
Foooood so many fooood.. (love makes the world go round... so does food)
Dad with the Roasted Pig (Lechon) Yummy!!!
Brother and Sister for Life
Mama Isa looking for a seat to eat the treat which was neat. (rhyming - not my forte)
I called them yesterday and they were having Fun. I'm glad they did. Wished i was there with them but me in spirit did the job.. hahaha plus, if i was there? I would've locked my self with the roasted pig and that awesome cake in a room for weeks calling it My Precious... hahahaa..

Off to my next adventure with the Mad Hatter!!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

ZEN - Work||Life Balance

If you feel that you're dragging yourself to work then 

you're doing it wrong.. Its not your work. Its you. -


1. When you go home, spend time with your family, they are the reason you're working. Don't sleep immediately.

2. Do random small projects that will make you proud of yourself. Although supporting your brother or sister financially is great, self fulfillment doesn't kick in till they graduate. Add small stuff like decorating you room or learning how to not burn fried eggs.t makes sense..

3. Visit places during days off that will not cost you much. Don't be a bum or a couch potato during Rest Days. Try going to Ayala, SM, Cmall, Emall, Park Mall, Mall Mall and all the words that ends with Mall.. They're free and it gives you the chance to meet someone you know randomly.

4. Don't be afraid to admit that life can sometimes be boring. It only stays boring if you want it to.

5. Have some alone time once in a while. You will only feel depressed when you have friends and don't know what to do on your free time. Why not focus on you and get a massage. *wink

6. Never forget to smile even if you have to fake it... It adds to your mood and it'll make your day a bit better.

7. And last but not the least. Never judge a co worker and question why they are in their position when they clearly don't know what they are doing. Why? Because your stressing yourself with something that you have no knowledge about. Cause if you did? You should have applied but didn't. Let them do their job and focus on not screwing up yours.

8. Smile. I said already but it makes sense..

Life's always better when you smile! :)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Through the looking glass

Everybody is looking for ways to be happy. Some chooses their career, building it from the bottom and not stopping till they get to the top. Some does everything the can to stay close and build a lasting relationship with their family. Some chooses material things over emotions. Some finds comfort putting other people down and some looks for love that they had before from others that cannot give the same. To be honest there are a lot of reasons, a lot of choices and a lot of things to consider when it comes to being contented and being happy. No one really gets contented with what they have. Even me.

I don't blame the choices people make to fulfill whatever it is they need to fulfill. As much as it hurts me, I can never decide for anyone but my self. I can't blame the person who chooses their career or the person who likes judging me and putting me down. Why? because that's what makes them happy. And I get judged because of that.

I envy anyone who can honestly say that they've loved or is in love. I admire them for they chose to be happy by looking for love and being loved. Every one loves differently and in today's society where gender, race, financial capacity or physical appearance are mere words, makes love abundant. Unfortunately because of how we think people are going to judge us, that love dies even before it beats.

Take me for example. Some who knows me would say that I live in a dream when it comes love and let me vaguely tell you why.

I am living a fantasy. I am waiting for someone right, someone not perfect but can make perfect memories with me. Someone who will knock me off
 my feet, make me feel gushy, make me feel safe, wanted, protected and loved. Someone who will come to my rescue and fall in love with me like what happens in movies and fairy tales. I want the whole shebang. And although I don't necessarily look the same as the characters in the movies nor have the same "qualities" i get judged for acting like i do.

Life is funny that way. If you're someone like me there are a few things that I wanna assure you and you may take this however you prefer.

First. You are never judged for no reason! You just have to know whose judgments count. I have a lot of friends who judges me all the time but I accept the ones that matters. You are never alone in this world so learn to keep the company that matters. :)

Second. You judge too like I do. If it makes you happy by all means continue. For me? I try very hard to keep it for myself (emphasis on "try hard"). I am not the type of person who likes confrontation and conflicts. i think.

Third. Let yourself be judged. It's life! you will always be judged.

Fourth. Never lose who you are and what you want. If you feel like a girl and want to wait for Mr. Right then wait! they're not going to live your life, you will. It doesn't mean that you shouldn't listen.

Last one. Make mistakes, make a lot of them. Be stupid. Be alive. Be wrong and be you. its less stressful when your not always right. Trying to be perfect is high maintenance. :)

 Be with friends who cares for you because you're you and not someone else. I am.

Love Love Love... then EAT! hahaha...

(listening to Nina's SOMEDAY on loop - this song touches me) :p

Walking on the streets of Bangkok

Khao San Road
Sawatdee Khap, the most common Thai phrase that i personally used when i was "back packing" in Thailand. I prepared myself for this trip for about a year, listening to MP3s on Learning Thai, googled tourist's spots and a lot more. So here are a few pictures of my trip there. 

This is Breakfast, the best stir fried rice I've tasted since i got there

I don't really know this guy's name but he is really friendly plus he made us breakfast twice... pretty cool

Munching on a few Squidballs while looking at the front view of the Siam Paragon.. Yumm

a collage of my "walks" around Bangkok - thanks Makoy for the effect

this is a shot from inside a TukTuk. it cost like a hundred Baht to travel using this mode of transportation (minimum)

Eating Ice Cream at Swensen's - me LOVE!!!!!

went inside Siam Center to find this HUGE MAGNUM ICE CREAM display filled with MACARONS

at the SCALA THEATER, waiting for Tong and Mew hahaha hopeful

Inside WAT PHO TEMPLE (The Reclining Buddha). Offering Satang Coins (i cant even remember what my wish was.. distracted? or was I wishing for something near?)

SATANG coins 

an Altar right below the tummy of the Reclining Buddha - totally look like a local right? teehee... 

Dinner for two.. I'm sorry I meant dinner for EW... lol.. crickets and bugs for the heck of it

Big ass Magnum Ice Cream... yum!!

Walking the streets of Khao San looking for a bargain

Enjoying the warm Sun 

Got the tickets to WAT PHO (the Reclining Buddha)


I look like an authentic Thai person right? cool...

Inside WAT PHO

This the most "FRIENDLY" palm reader I have EVER met in my entire life!!!! EVER!!!

I love how they created this.. couldn't imagine how long and stressful it would've been

I love this shot. it looks like I'm in the States or sum sum... hahaha but its in Thailand a few block from where we saw Kishni again

an Awesome shot by Makoy (lilies)

I miss Thailand

This trip happened last June 2013, a few days after my birthday. I am starting love traveling and will plan on traveling again next June of 2014.. will let you know of my next adventure down the rabbit hole