Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Capricciosa for a night

Capricciosa is an Italian word for capricious or anything characterized by whim. And last Friday, I chose to be one.

After a hard week's work, my officemates and I decided to reward ourselves by eating something we haven't eaten before. We tried Capricciosa in Greenhills, San Juan. It was a spur of the moment food whim. We didn't mind the price or the location. We just went there, not knowing what that Italian Restaurant has in store for us. For an hour or more, I just enjoyed the company of good (young!) friends and good food that Friday night! It was so stress-releasing!

Capricciosa's facade
Capricciosa is established by Chef Masaaki Honda, a Japanese chef
who worked for an Italian cafe and studied at National Culinary Academy of Italy.
He must have loved Italian cuisine so much that he put up the very first Capricciosa when he came back to Japan.

Capricciosa's interior.

Me and my young officemates :)

Capricciosa P485
Capricciosa's house specialty pizza. Southern Italian Napoleon style pizza
topped with salami, bacon, mushroom and bellpeppers. This is so yummy!

Calamari and Onion in Squid Ink Sauce (S P365 and L P650)
One of Capricciosa's specialty dishes. Fresh squid, sliced onion sauteed in squid ink and tomato sauce. This is like eating Adobong Pusit with Spaghetti Noodles. Don't order this when you are with a date you want to impress.
This is best ordered for hunger and fun! :)

And this is the fun I meant! :)
We were given plastic bibs for stain prevention purposes.

Four Varieties Ice Cream P220
Four Italian gelato in one dessert, which are vanilla, strawberry,
mango and chocolate. This is served either in one bowl or
in separate small bowls, depending on customer's request.

This is the price of about an hour of fun and food satisfaction.
For drinks, we ordered Bottomless Iced Tea P80,
Strawberry Iced Tea P95 and San Mig Light P65

I had a very good dining experience with Capricciosa Greenhills. The food was delicious and served fast. Their customer service was excellent. Their staffs were very accommodating and friendly. Special mention to Analyn, who willingly took pics of us in our blackest mouths!:)

Capricciosa, Greenbelt
3/L, Fun Dining Area, Greenbelt 3,
Paseo de Roxas cor. Legaspi St.,
Ayala Center, Makati, MM
Phone Number: (632)757-7811, (632)757-7898
Mobile No.: (+63)922 84-CAPMA
Operating Hours: 10am to 11pm

Capricciosa, Greenhills
G/F, Fox Square Bldg.,
53 Connecticut St., Greenhills, San Juan, MM
Phone Number: (632)744-0689, (632)744-0490
Mobile No.: (+63)922 80-CAPGH
Operating Hours: 8am to 11pm

Monday, December 13, 2010

I heart Magnolia Ice Cream this Christmas!

I almost forgot that there was Magnolia Ice Cream.

When I was a gradeschooler, my sisters and I would wake up early to see a bottle of Magnolia Chocolait waiting for us at our door. That was my earliest rendezvous with Magnolia, the brand. Later, the rendezvous became an affair when I realized that I also love their ice cream. For years, I didn't taste any other ice cream brand.

I came to love Magnolia more when I was able to drop by at its plant in Aurora Boulevard in Quezon City when I was in high school. Located inside the plant was the Magnolia Ice Cream Parlor. I remember I got a bit excited because I got to choose many flavors! During that time when malls and other hang-out places were still scarce, going to that ice cream parlor was already something a teenager like me could brag about! And since we lived in San Juan (a municipality then), we would pass by that Magnolia Ice Cream plant whenever we went somewhere north. I clearly remember seeing happy faces of Magnolia employees. Could their happiness be one of the reasons for its delicious flavors then? :)

With the merging of Magnolia with Nestle a few years after, I began welcoming other ice cream brands. Slowly, I forgot about Magnolia.

Until this December. When NomNomClub invited me to a Magnolia Ice Cream Bloggers' Event, I immediately said yes! I again felt the same excitement I had on my first visit to Magnolia Ice Cream Parlor years ago. And this time, meeting an ex-love was delicious! Magnolia, with the Nestle brand no longer tagged with it, now offers Nuts, Cakes and Fruits: The Magnolia Ice Cream Christmas Limited Edition 2010. I got to sample the three flavors and I fell in love with all of them!

Vanilla Praline contains cashew praline with
streaks of caramel ripple in a vanilla ice cream base. Yummy!

Caramel Cheesecake contains cheesecake bits with
streaks of caramel ripple in a caramel ice cream base. Nomnom!

Apple Strudel contains apple cinnamon bits with crushed chocolate pretzels swirled with a combination of green and red apple ripple. Triple Yummy!

My kids were able to taste the three new flavors, too and they love all of them! Sunday likes Apple Strudel and Gabby wants the Caramel Cheesecake. I like Apple Strudel. I don't like apple but this flavor made me want it. It is so yummy!

These Magnolia Ice Cream Christmas Limited Edition flavors in 1.5L tub will only be in supermarket and Monterey shops until February 2011. So hurry and grab them all! Believe me, you will fall in love with them, too! :)

PS: Want to win Magnolia Ice Cream GCs? Join's blogging contest today!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I Dream of Going to Batanes Someday

My husband’s “No!” is sometimes my “Yes!”

Working in another country and thousands of miles away, Fred requested that I do not travel anywhere far. He cannot bear the thought that I am in this or that province and not safely seated in front of our desktop computer chatting with him. I understand him and how he feels. He is just worried that something might happen to us while he is away. But I always love to travel! That’s the main reason this blog was aptly addressed I’ve always wanted to explore and discover new places.

Just like Batanes. It is always included in my Top 5 Must-Visit Destinations list. I dream of going there since my college days when I was still free to go anywhere I please! That dream was deeply embedded in my subconscious that when I watched the movie Leap Year, I almost thought that the rolling hills and staggering coasts of Ireland were that of Batanes. Believe me, I was so fascinated with that National Geographic documentary-like movie that I watched it more than ten times! But I know I don't have to go to Ireland to appreciate those sceneries. Batanes is Ireland’s countryside, Asian version. And maybe, even better!

I would love to see Batanes's green landscape and blue waters!

Seeing these rugged cliffs would be a dream come true!

This is what I look for in a perfect tourist destination.
For me, a getaway is not a getaway if it doesn't have long, sandy beaches!

When I told Fred that Seair is holding a contest on Batanes Winter Bloggers' Tour and showed him the images of that stunning province, he immediately said, "Join! Join Seair's contest!" to my surprise. What happened to all his apprehensions? He said he finally realized that while working there, my world, including that of our kids, should not stop revolving. We should continue to discover new places and things while he also explores the sights and wonders of Saudi Arabia.

Fred plans to take us to Saudi Arabia because he foresees that he will be working there for a long time. His employer has already given him the go signal and promised financial support for our transportation and housing. God willing, the kids and I will be with him when he renews his contract. While waiting for that time to come, I think it's best that I continue exploring our homeland. And the best way to start again is on top. Geographically, that is Batanes.

Fred’s “No!” became a “Yes!” this time. It only took Batanes to make him agree. :)

Update: I didn't win in this contest. But it's alright. The winners all deserved to win. :)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Day at the Market

I thought of bringing Gabby and Sunday to Market! Market! at The Fort because I haven’t been there myself. My officemates told me that there was this sports store in the 5th floor that offers running shoes at discounted prices. We went there lunchtime. Although I’m also window shopping for LCD TV and maybe a TV table to go with it, I decided to bring the kids out for some fresh air! I was a bit disappointed because the mall was kind of crowded. But it was understandable because of the holiday rush.

The Market! Market! shopping mall

The Serendra beside Market! Market!

This Serendra Piazza is best visited at night.
Perfect for gimmicks and meeting with friends or a date.

The Play Zone of Market! Market! with the Serendra at the back

Gabby and Sunday didn't leave Market! Market!
without trying its Play Zone.

Before heading home, Gabby and Sunday enjoyed looking at
these animal sculptures with their bodies covered with plants.

It was a fine weekend for the kids. I hope you'll have a fine one, too! :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

This Christmas...

It's been a while since my last post. Many things have happened. And they brought emotions I've never felt before.

This will be the first time that I will celebrate Christmas without a father. Sadly, he passed away two weeks ago. Whenever I feel the loss, I just try to see things positively. I tell myself that he just joined our Creator.

And for Gabby and Sunday, this is the third time that they will celebrate Christmas without Fred. The first two years was when Fred went to Saudi Arabia and they were too young to ask for presents then. Now that their Daddy had to go back to KSA again, they already know what they want for Christmas. We went to the toy store last Sunday and they took pics and sent them to Fred. :)

But the four of us will still be together this Christmas. Virtually together, that is. We'll just call Fred on Christmas Eve or maybe, go online.

To all of you who kept visiting my blog while I was away, thanks so much.
Your visits just reminded me that life has to go on. And move on I will! :) Have a blessed December!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cakes, Celebrations and Confessions

Last month, Fred was asked to be the godfather of Alex, my brother-in-law's daughter. In lieu of the gift, the parents asked if we could buy the baptismal cake and we happily said yes.

The baptismal cake we bought for our Alex

Because I was too busy with work, I wasn't able to drop by any Red Ribbon or Goldilocks store a week before the baptismal date. I thought that ordering cakes is easy. But I was wrong. I learned some lessons about it and here they are:

1. Order a week before the event. Goldilocks and Red Ribbon Bakeshops have a three-day lead time. That will give the bakeshops ample time for baking and decorating your cake, especially if it's a three-layered one.

2. Ask if there are charges for delivery or for other services. Because I was a day late (from the lead time), I decided to order from the Goldilocks branch nearest my office. Since I cannot order their Celebration Cakes anymore, I ordered the cake on display and decided that I would just buy a cake topper and some decors. I requested the staff to put the cake topper just above the greetings. Good thing I asked them if they will charge me on that, because they would! Imagine, just putting the topper on the cake would cost me P75! I decided against it and did it myself instead.

some details on the cake topper

3. Check out other bakeshops. I just ordered from Goldilocks when I remembered there was a Red Ribbon just a block away. Out of curiousity, I still went there and found out that they offer more beautiful cakes, more themes and they're more affordable! Hmm...maybe next time.

4. If you want it delivered, order cakes from a bakeshop of your choice near the venue. It will save you delivery charges and you can be sure that it will be delivered on time and undamaged. Besides, when the delivery is late, you can easily check on them.

The baptismal-themed cake topper I bought from Goldilocks

5. Be creative. Don't fret when you cannot order the design or theme that you want for your cake. Toppers and other theme-coordinated decors will save the day.

6. Never lose your receipt. Your Baking Order Number is written there. If you call the bakeshop for some changes on designs or names on the greetings, they would ask for that BO number, or your OR number.

I love this soft and sweet flower icings!

Anyway, it's a good thing that I learned a few things on ordering cakes. Next time, I know better. Good thing, too, that I had a part of that baptismal cake and ate it too! Yummy! :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

A River Runs Through It

I wasn't able to post my to-do list for this month. It was just in my Drafts folder and before I knew it, it's just a matter of days before November.

Included in my October list is to join a 5K marathon. I don't join races just for bragging rights. I always consider the cause or where the proceeds of the race will go before I join. When my officemates asked if I will sign up for the Run for Pasig River 10.10.10, I immediately said yes because I know the proceeds will be used for the rehabilitation of Pasig River, a 27-kilometer body of water traversing across Metro Manila and connecting the Laguna de Bay to Manila Bay.

The Pasig Run was also an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the largest eco-foot race in the world. But with the record beaten or not, I don't care anymore. Being able to participate meant more.

Here are the highlights of my Pasig Run experience:
The fun run started almost on time. And I admire the organizers for that.

Students from different schools joined. And they came in their school's colors.

I saw an elderly, which we fondly named Lola, taking a break from the run. Take note of her bib: she ran for 5K! What a determination! :)

We didn't worry about accidents because there were
paramedics just waiting for injured runners.
Plus points for the organizers.

After running for two kilometers and just walking the rest of the distance, finally we reached the finish line. I have to commend the organizers for the rehydration of the runners. Maynilad provided water every 1.5-kilometer. I didn't get thirsty at all! Plus points again for the organizers.

This is where the organizers failed. Thousands ran so it was expected that thousands will line up for their finisher's band. There were no signages to show where runners can claim their bands. We just asked around. Only to find out after almost half an hour of falling in line and beating the heat, that two more tents/booths were designated for the distribution of the finisher's bands. And again, no signages or markers to lead you there. Minus points here.

Finally, our finisher's band! This band was made by the residents of BayaniJuan in Calauan, Laguna. BayaniJuan is the official resettlement site of the Kapit Bisig para sa Ilog Pasig (KBPIP).

Overall, it was an experience! I don't regret having joined one historic run for one valuable cause. KBPIP and other government and private agencies would certainly love to see the dying Pasig river get back to life and look like this in the future.
One step at a time, I believe Pasig River will look like this. :)

Happy weekend, everyone! :)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Corner Stone Pottery Farm

"O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter;
we are all the work of your hand" (Isaiah 64:8).

I am really amazed at how potters mold an ordinary looking clay and turn it into something beautiful. So when I knew that learning pottery was included in my kids' field trip agenda, I got excited. The kids went to Corner Stone Pottery Farm in Balubad 1st, Silang, Cavite. It is owned by husband and wife EJ and Eva Espiritu, a ceramic engineer and an artist, respectively.

I immediately fell in love with the lush surroundings which made me feel relaxed. But because it was just a field trip, we only stayed there for a short while. Hmmm...maybe I can visit it again someday. Check out what the kids learned there:

Corner Stone Pottery Farm signage

Sunday beside the lump of clay

EJ Espiritu, one of the owners, demonstrated molding using a kick wheel.
Look at how excited Gabby was while watching the process.

If the kids were amazed and impressed at how this potter
turned the clay into this bowl mold, I was too!

The pottery farm also do ceramics. A staff explains
how the ceramic mugs and decors are molded and dried.

Eva Espiritu explains to the kids how the ceramics and clay are baked in the oven.

One of the souvenir items on display at the Souvenir Shop

I want to make something like this sea-inspired
hanging decor! It's so beautiful!

Corner Stone Pottery Farm
Km. 46.5 Aguinaldo Highway, Barangay Balubad 1st,
B 1084, Silang, Cavite 4118 How to get there
Yahoo! Messenger: evaespiritu
Cell numbers: 0919-238-5535 / 0906-458-4678

Have a happy and blessed Sunday to all! :)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Vivere Suites Sky Lounge Restaurant and Bar

Sofia, Fred's former officemate's daughter celebrated her 4th birthday today at the Vivere Suites in Alabang, Muntinlupa. It was a happy party and the kids enjoyed it so much.

Vivere Suites entrance

After the party, we went up to the 31st floor of the hotel to check the Sky Lounge Restaurant and Bar, which Vivere Suites is famous for. Check out why:

No need to look for the bar when you reach the 31st floor.
This Sky Lounge Restaurant and Bar sign greet you shyly when the elevator opens.
Shyly because the sign is not that big enough to be noticed at once
but strategically located to lead guests to the bar. :)
Gabby and Sunday enjoying the view
I didn't take too much pics there to give respect to the diners. :)
Of course, we didn't order there. We just took pics and enjoyed the view!
There's the blurry Makati skyline in the background.
Take note of the balloons in the chair: There that time...
...gone in a second! I wonder how the waiters keep the light things from being blown away by the wind!
View of SLEX (from Sucat) and Laguna de Bay from the Sky Lounge
View of Starmall Alabang in SLEX (to Laguna or Batangas) and Laguna de Bay
Gabby and Sunday went back to the Grand Ballroom, where the party was held, to check if there were extra balloons. And there were!  Bye, Vivere! We had a good time!