Wednesday, January 27, 2016


Photo from
I am in a singing, happy mood today. When I am this joyful, I usually sing out loud and talk in singsong.

At the office co-op earlier, while listing down my purchases on the sales order slip, I was trying to recall what else I needed to buy. Spotting the packs of sugar on the bottom shelf, I burst out in song...

KAYE: "Sugar..." 

I had meant to sing Maroon Five's "Sugar" when Leny, the lady who mans the co-op sings along with...


LOL! Today is a great day!


Mish had invited us to try out the new Korean joint over at Solaire. To tell you the truth, I was already salivating when I first saw her photos on her Instagram feed. So when she asked if I would like to drive out to check out the new grill, I didn't need any convincing. LOL!

The girls and I were excited to try out Kiwa as we are big Samgyeopsal fans, but Didi couldn't make it at the last minute (t'was her nanny's birthday off and she couldn't bring nor leave the kids). So Cai was my official lunch date for the day. Funny because we both got to the venue late (traffic was terrible!) so we were given a table of our very own! Date talaga!

Our spread for the day. 

Cai and I were excited to start the meal. I was eager to dig in as I was very hungry, but then Cai whipped out her camera and her iPhone to take a zillion photos, so I thought I would do the same thing. In case you didn't know, this Apples and Dumplings blogger is also a photo enthusiast and camera expert. She knows her camera, and I get pretty insecure around her, especially when she has to take photos of products from every angle. I swear I took about 3x my usual number during this lunch! LOL!

Ah, a blogger's gotta do what blogger's gotta do!

And then it was finally time to eat! Yay! This Pumpkin Salad was soooo good! I wanted more!

Mashed pumpkin mixed with assorted nuts, assorted seasonal vegetables,
and served with a sesame seed dressing.

The Pajeon came next. I love Pajeon! I feel a Korean meal isn't complete without it. This one was good and the dipping sauce was just right.

Haemul Pajeon
Pancake mixed with seafood, spring onion and assorted vegetables,
served with spicy soy sauce with sesame oil.

In between appetizers, we were served a special Juk or Korean Porridge and a cold Kimchi soup. The porridge was really good. I cleaned out my bowl. Hahaha!

I've never had Korean Juk, and this was really good. Mmmm...

After polishing that off, they served this awesome Gobachi - an assortment of single-serve Korean appetizers similar to that on Mish's Instagram photo.

Platter of Scallop Sashimi, Steamed Shrimp, Salmon Sashimi, Steamed Octopus, Marinated Tomato,
and a mini Green Mango and Korean Cheese Salad.

By the end of this round, I was stuffed! But we weren't done and the wait staff kept serving! Now if you follow me on Instagram, and if you read my posts on here, then you will know how much I love my Kimchi. The Kimchi at Kiwa is one good Kimchi! It was spicy, but really, really good. Cai and I kept picking on it with our chopsticks 'til we ate it all up!

Rolled Kimchi
This is a winner! 

Next came the iconic Korean Japchae. I am not really a fan of the Japchae, but this was good.

Seasoned Soy Sauce-based pan fried glass noodles with beef and fried assorted vegetables.

After the appetizers (yes, those were just the appetizers!!!), we had asked to take a short break from eating. The other girls were already having their dessert, so we paused to do small talk and catch up. We also stopped grubbing to take this photo!

Group photo (c/o Tiffany) with some of the girls, from L-R after moi (Cai, Jackie, Neva, Tin, Tiffany and Mish)
Okay... we were on a sloping bridge. I may be short but I ain't that short. LOL!

Because most of the lunch crowd were leaving, we also got to pause and admire the restaurant's interiors. Kiwa has been on soft opening since December 24 of last year. They are pretty popular with the Manila and Solaire Korean crowd. Would you believe this is actually the first real Korean fine dining barbecue set-up in the Philippines? It is, in fact, the only one in Southeast Asia!

The lamp over our table... check out the ceiling fixtures!
Really, really beautiful and cozy interiors designed by a Korean firm.
Kiwa has a seating capacity of 184 - with 8 private dining rooms that can be converted into one big room that can accommodate up to 48 persons. 

Kiwa is a smoke-free Korean Grill Restaurant!
 Kiwa utilizes a state-of-the-art exhaust system under the restaurant so all the smoke from their grills goes under. It is the best technology in Korea. So when you dine at Kiwa, you will not smell like smoke and barbecue!

Then we were ready for the main dish! I should say dishes, as we were served more than one...

Time for that Samgyeopsal!

Seasoned Pork Belly for our Grilled Samgyeopsal.

Check out Kiwa's smokeless grill!
At Kiwa, the servers do all the grilling. Now that's top-notch service!

Our perfectly-grilled Pork Belly. Nommy!

Yea, it is Samgyeopsal time!

Omnomnom! My beautiful wrap before I devoured it.

I was stuffed - literally stuffed. But that wasn't the end of our special Korean meal. This was a full-course menu with very, very generous servings!

Kimchi Jjigae Bansang
Sour Kimchi broth with tofu and seafood. This was Cai's favorite!

Then they brought out the beef. This, my friends, is Kiwa's Yang Nyeom Gal Bi. It is the most tender and tastiest gal bi I have ever, ever had.

Yang Nyeom Gal Bi
Grilled marinated beef with Kiwa's special sauce.

Lives up to its name. It is Nyeom-nyeom-nyeom! Hehe.

And right when I was thinking the meal was finally over, they served us dessert (a patbingsu, bingsu or Korean shaved ice similar to our Halo-halo). But I was too busy enjoying it, I forgot to take a photo! LOL! Mind you, I was stuffed, but everything was just so good! I did manage to take a photo of their lovely, lovely cold tea. This was the plum tea. So refreshing!

Nothing like a refreshing cup of tea to wash everything down.

That was a sumptuous meal! Thank you, Mish, for always thinking of me!

Kiwa Korean Grill officially launches their restaurant on January 28 (that's tomorrow)! By then, they will have their complete menu. A full course meal would set you back approximately P3,000. Lunch sets start at P1,500. Rice sets will be in the P500-P700 range. 

I loved Kiwa so much that I am treating my folks out to a Kiwa dinner next month. I am sure my mom would love how tender their meat is, and my dad would love their big servings. Yay! I can't wait to bring them there!

Operating hours: 
SUN-THU | 9am to 12mn
FRI & SAT | 9am to 2am

Solaire Resort & Casino, 1 Aseana Avenue, Paranaque City
For inquiries and reservations, call (632) 888.8888.


Sunday, January 24, 2016

#HoarderDiaries | Quick Trip to S&R!

I took a quick solo trip to S&R in the middle of the week. But you know S&R, trips to the giant warehouse is nothing but quick. I tried to hurry down the aisles, but would get distracted. I swear, the buyers of S&R utilize a smart strategy of getting new items on their shelves every week. If you see something you like, make sure to get it because chances are, it will fly off the shelf and you may not find it on your next visit - well until they get new shipments in.

So yes, where was I? I took a not-so-quick shopping trip. Hehe.

My friends are all trying to get a little bit more fiber in their diet. I suppose it comes with the age as our metabolism isn't as snappy. The kids and I have been having green juice the past couple of years, and although that has helped, eating the actual veggies and fruits have more benefits. So this year, we shall try to incorporate salads into our meals, and eat more fruit for snacks. After the fast I did for the first week of January, I felt good physically and realized how it trickled down to my whole being. So yes, we are starting the year right.

So that trip to S&R was to scout for things to help us with our renewed resolve to diet. These are some of the things I found!

This DeliChef Slow Juicer is a great deal!
It is currently on sale at S&R from its regular price of  P9,989.95! That's P4,000 off!

Personally, I prefer the blender to the juicer, but only because all the fiber gets retained.

Yes, we are talking salads every day, kids!

This is such a cool serving tray (excuse the pun)! Perfect for movie night veggie stick snacking.
I haven't had Red Washington Apples in months. My little boy loves them!
I usually go for the Fuji or Granny Smith ones as they are tart and perfect for juicing.

We love pears! 

So aside from these, I was so happy to see these in-store! S&R recently brought in some of Raley's home brand food. Raley's is a supermarket chain in CA and NV. We love Raley's because they come out with great food for their in-house brand. They are also affordable compared to big brands. I hope S&R brings more of Raley's in.




Aside from these, S&R carries a bunch of Raley's Frozen Food. Check out the Frozen section for more choices. I love their frozen fruit (they have dark sweet cherries!) which are perfect for smoothies.

The thing with diets is, you can't do a quick crash diet while working full time. The nanny and I have been staying up late (as in late-late, way-into-the-morning kind of late) because of BentoMommas catering orders. So I realize I need carbs and a little fat in my diet as well in order to stay awake and alive enough to get myself to work the next day. I guess it all boils down to healthy eating. And getting enough rest. Digestion works double time in our sleep. So it is a must to get at least 6 hours in to burn food.

After all the hard work, a good massage sounds like the perfect reward. While I try to get my weekly massage (a treat to myself for all my hard work, LOL) on Tuesdays, I found this nice massage cushion on sale at S&R that could help me relax throughout the week.

This looks so inviting!

This was calling out to my back the whole time I was checking the package out! 

Ah yes, you had me at "Comforts..." LOL!

Guess we all know where this week's catering money is going...


9AM - 9PM 
Bonifacio Global City | Congressional | Alabang | Aseana-Baclaran | Shaw 
Cebu | Pampanga | Davao | Imus | Nuvali 
| FB: S&R Membership (Official)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

#GuessWhat | A BIG SURPRISE!

I have been wanting to write about this since I first got the news. Itching. Eager. And all the synonyms you can think of to mean such. But I didn't get the go-ahead from the campaign manager until last week, so I had to keep this piece of news all to myself. Well, myself and a few good friends. Hehe. But first, let me give you a brief background.

A few days after the New Year, I decided to join this year's Prayer and Fasting. Not because I wanted something from God, but because I knew I needed to work on my prayer life this year. I have not been so faithful - you get lost amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life. I have been so busy, and although I know it is not an excuse, I have been lacking and missing-in-action in my daily quiet time with God. I know, bad. But such was life in 2015. I have no excuse, really.

So on Day 1 of Prayer and Fasting, I was particularly giddy. At the office, I was telling my assistant how I wanted to transform our office and how I planned to shell out the money for it. When asked how I was going to pay for everything, I declared out loud, "Mayaman ako, anak ako ng Diyos!" ("I am rich, I am God's child!") That evening, as I was going through the questions in my guide book, I came across this particular Q: "How has God been faithful to you in the past year?" As I reflected on this, I couldn't help but feel grateful because God has been more than faithful. I recalled a post that came up on Facebook Memories back in December, and it was this Christmas Wish List I wrote about 5 years ago. And it's funny, because I appeared to be so needy back then. But anyway, that post made me even more grateful as I reflected on God's goodness, because compared to back then, today, I have everything I need. So yes, back to my reflection on 2015... I was feeling a tad overwhelmed because God provided - He gave me even the things I didn't ask for.

As I reflected on the next question on my faith goal for 2016, I didn't know what else to put. I kept thinking about work so I decided that my faith goal for 2016, aside from financial breakthrough, would be a successful 2016 for work (sidenote: we have been struggling, so yes, work needs a major turn-around, a miracle to get us out of the red). As I prayed to cap the day, I asked the Lord for this specifically. Because I knew that was the burden He placed in my heart. I knew it was a burden for a reason. And for my personal goals for 2016, I negotiated, "Lord, I know You will take care of me. I will not ask for anything else but breakthrough for (insert place of work here)." That evening, I went to sleep at peace.

Backtrack a bit to December.

Every year, Judy and Benji of itsjudyslife hold a fundraiser for various charities. They call it #Dancember. Their main charity for 2015 is Convoy of Hope - a group that works to end hunger for children across the globe. All throughout the month of December, whenever they reach a specific milestone amount, Judy, Benji and their friends dance on their vlogs. They also hold a 24-hour live broadcast around the third week and showcase other vloggers and social media personalities. Overall, for #Dancember, they raised a whopping amount of P228,000! So during the live broadcast, I decided I was going to contribute to their good cause. I donated!

Now, this particular #Dancember is special because Judy and Benji worked with a campaign manager, Prizeo - they were actually giving out a prize! Each $5 donation earned a participant one raffle ticket. They were giving away a trip + VIP experience to VidCon2016!

So back to Day 2 in January... 

I woke up to an email from Prizeo telling me I had won that trip to VidCon! Not just for me, but also for my nominated friend. I had nominated KY since we both watch itsjudyslife religiously. There I was, staring at the screen for a good 5 minutes, filled with unbelief. Thousands had contributed to their cause. Out of thousands, only one would win, and that person was me. A random pick, but God chose me!

Let me just say that although a trip like this wasn't part of my faith goals for 2016, I was believing in God's provision - trusting He knows the desires of my heart. The cool thing is - this was part of KY's faith goal! She had prayed for this because she recently started her own YouTube channel. KY was, needless to say, ecstatic. Beyond ecstatic!

He gives you even the things you do not ask for. Truly, the Lord holds nothing back. He is our Heavenly Father who loves us more than anyone else would. What more if you make your prayers known?

Do you believe in breakthroughs? Prayer is a powerful tool, and it comes free. The Lord is faithful, and I am humbled by His goodness.

“Ask, and God will give to you. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will open for you." Matthew 7:7 NCV


Monday, January 18, 2016

Happy New Year!

So 2015 was a blur. Seriously, last year, right after the holidays, I was promising a recap on that family cruise we took. Now, here I am, in the year 2016, and I haven't even written much on what went on the past year.

2016. Feels like the future is here.

Photo from Star Wars

So we spent the holidays with family. I spent it cooking, baking, and taking A out on quality momma and daughter bonding dates - something we both really, really need.

Bonding over good Xiao Long Bao at Din Tai Fung.

And I didn't bother much about seeing other people, except for Mish, Mia, Candy and Shar for Holiday Tea on the 23rd.

Holiday Tea-ing with the girls.
Incidentally, Mish will be selling these really pretty table linen for #MotherWhoBrunch.
Check them out on Instagram at @motherswhobrunch

After getting myself stuck in traffic for three hours driving home, I decided I was going to shut down my phone and spend my Christmas and New Year incommunicado.  So I am sorry if you were trying to reach me. I had my phone on DND - really needed a little peace and quiet.

So no, I didn't even bother going to class reunions (oops), and I didn't see any of my girls (nope, not the BentoMommas, not the Chinese Mafia Moms, none of the SoMoms, or the So-so-Moms, hehe - nada).

For Christmas, we spent the evening at my parents' place. I prepped Tri-Noodle and Russian Salad, while my brother cooked Bistek. We didn't have the usual, as the helper was out for Christmas, so we cooked what the kids and the folks wanted to eat.

My raclette cheese plate from Christmas Eve dinner.


Russian Salad with ManMade Matcha Finishing Salt

In between Christmas and New Year, RL spent the whole time with KY, so A and I got to bond some more. For the New Year Countdown, we got to stay at Marriott.

RL ready to attack his fresh mangoes at the lounge on the first morning of the New Year.

It was a good break from the hustle and bustle. And a great chance to separate myself from all the negativity and stress. I am thankful beyond words for the year that has passed.

But yes, I am ready for 2016. I say, bring it on!

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