Pre-Valentine Weekend @ Parque España Residence Hotel

Whoever said Valentine’s day should be celebrated on February 14 only? As long as you love each other, you can always declare Valentine’s day whenever you want it! Personally, I’m not fond of going out for a date on Valentine’s day (February 14). It’s not that I don’t want to celebrate love, but because for some reasons. First, I don’t want to be celebrating it just to conform with the idea that someone should have a date on Valentine’s day. Second, sooo many couples dating that everywhere seems to be sooo crowded. Third, dinner date during Valentine’s day is much more costly than ordinary days, not to mention another big cost for flowers, etc. And fourth, as I have said, romantic valentine’s celebration can be done on other days than February 14 and there is no difference at all. Well that’s my personal opinion.

And so for us, we chose to celebrate it on a weekend staycation before  the Valentine’s day at Parque España Residence Hotel. And we never regret celebrating it there! Parque España is located at the heart of Filinvest Corporate City in Alabang. It’s a home away from home with complete kitchen, dining area and living room feature in a very affordable price.

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Source: Excursionista

We booked for a 1 bedroom deluxe thru Agoda. And the room is just perfect for the dinner date I have imagined.

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Our queen sized bed…
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we have another TV in our bedroom.. 🙂
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our nice toilet & bath…
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our complimentary toothbrush kit, shower cap, shaving kit, vanity kit, body lotion and shampoo & conditioner 
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spacious kitchenette with complete kitchenware, gas range and ref…
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there’s also a microwave, electric kettle and goodies for sale…
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the living room with big TV and a balcony …
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and the dining area where we will be having our dinner date…

Since I want to make use of the kitchenette and I want to make our staycation extra special, I will be the one to prepare for dinner and breakfast. We went to nearby Alabang Town Center to buy everything we needed for our dinner date and breakfast. But before we entered the grocery store, we of course availed first of the meryenda date package from Taco Bell. 🙂

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Going back for our dinner date, we just takeout a meal from Shakey’s then I cooked Aglio E Olio in Spanish Sardines (hope to share my recipe for this in another post). Then hubby bought me a bunch of Pastillas roses and Strawberry Heart Cake from Tous Les Jours. And we also brought with us a bottle of Raspberry Sparkling Juice. So dinner date simple and perfect!

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Solo Pack (chicken and mojos) from Shakey’s
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Captain’s Choice (fries, calamari and fish fillet) from Shakey’s
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American Salad with Raspberry sauce
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my own Aglio E Olio in Spanish Sardines
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Strawberry Heart Cake from Tous Les Jours
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bouquet of Pastillas roses
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i displayed the scrapbook valentine’s card I gave hubby on our 1st valentine’s day as a couple 
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our dinner table setup with scented candles…
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nice to see my diy hearts adorned candle 🙂
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“i love you” in different languages are written in my diy heart attack poster…

i even DIYed some heart attack decors… 

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me & my mahal 🙂
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me and my mahal with heart attack poster and heart garland in our background…
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one more selfie before dinner…

The night was simple yet special and memorable. We ate, we talk, we hug and kiss and watch movie afterwards. Dinner date at fancy restaurants are indeed romantic and ideal, but for me there’s nothing more perfect than having simple dinner date with my love like this. I don’t need to be conscious with other people nor with my outfit. We can talk anything we want without being conscious with the time. And most especially, I can express more of my love by my labor of love. 🙂

The following morning, I prepared simple breakfast for us. We did not booked room with breakfast inclusion since I really planned to cook breakfast for us. I cooked egg (sunny side-up), sausages and chicken ham. I also prepared Cranberry Red Velvet Waffle (which again I hope to post the recipe some other time). Then of coarse a breakfast wouldn’t be complete without his cup of coffee and my cup of tea (Strawberry Mango flavored tea for that morning).

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our humble breakfast prepared with love 🙂
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selfie first… 🙂
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Mahal is ready for his breakfast 🙂

Our valentine celebration may not be that elegant but I can say that it really made me sooo happy. Happy wife happy life indeed! 🙂

Before we checked out, we went to the rooftop first to check the hotel’s swimming pool and cafe (Bistro del Cielo). We were not able to take a picture of the pool and cafe but I can say its also nice. We will surely be back next time. 

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on the 14th floor lobby
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on the way to Bistro del Cielo
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Parque’s valentine decor going to Bistro del Cielo
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the love of my life 🙂
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selfie daw muna ulet… 🙂

So till our next love adventure! 

How about you friends? What is your valentine story? 🙂  

Parque España
5309 East Asia Drive, Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang, Muntinlupa City 1781
T: +632 850 5880 to 81
E: reservations@parqueespana.net
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“Pick A Date” in a Jar

Married couples need date nights and days! They need them more than anyone. They need quality time for each other to strengthen the relationship even more. Even amidst busy schedules or even if they already see each other everyday at home, they still need to find time to go for a date may it be outdoor or at home.

In our case, my Mahal have to escort and pick me at the office every weekdays. So that means we are together every day. But the problem is, it just became ordinary for us. We sleep together…we ate together…that we thought its already enough. But then I realized, marriage will always be a work in progress. We should NOT stop after saying “I do” and just be contented being together. So we agreed together that we spend a night or day every weekend, if possible, to have a date. But of course date does not always mean spending a lot of money going to a fancy hotel or restaurant. And so I listed all date ideas we could possibly try.   

I included in our date ideas those we can spend at home and/or outdoor. And as DIYer and craft lover as I am, I thought I should present the ideas to him in a creative manner instead of just handling him an ordinary list in a paper. I got the idea of a “date night in a jar” in Pinterest and made my own “Pick A Date” in a jar.

Source: I Am Lady Fab

I used my pink Popsicle sticks in stock and colored washi tapes. I wrote “dates at home” in Popsicle sticks with pink washi tape, “dates outdoor” in a yellow washi and those dates that can be spent either at home or outdoor in Popsicle sticks with green washi tape. Then I decorated a small jar where I will put the date ideas.

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Our date ideas include the following:

DATES @ HOME

  1. SPORTS DATE NIGHT AT HOME
  2. COMEDY MOVIE NIGHT AT HOME
  3. SCARY MOVIE NIGHT AT HOME
  4. ROMANTIC DINNER DATE AT HOME
  5. BREAKFAST IN BED
  6. TRIP AROUND THE WORLD DATE
  7. MOVIE TRILOGY MARATHON
  8. BEER TASTING AT HOME
  9. HOMEMADE PIZZA DAY/NIGHT
  10. SCRAPBOOKING TOGETHER
  11. HAVE A FONDUE NIGHT AT HOME
  12. BOARD GAME NIGHT
  13. READ ALOUD ACTIVITY
  14. COOK TOGETHER FOR DINNER DATE
  15. THEMED DATE AT HOME
  16. COCKTAIL NIGHT AT HOME
  17. FINGER FOODS ONLY DINNER AT HOME
  18. DOUBLE FEATURE (MOVIE) DATE NIGHT
  19. WINE TASTING AT HOME
  20. CANDLE LIGHT NIGHT AT HOME
  21. ICE CREAM PARTY AT HOME

DATES OUTDOOR

  1. CAMPOUT DATE NIGHT
  2. ROMANTIC DINNER FOR TWO
  3. SPECIAL MEMORIES TOUR
  4. CHECK OUT A LOCAL MUSEUM
  5. OUT FOR A MOVIE DATE
  6. GO FOR A HIKING ADVENTURE
  7. GO FOR A PICNIC
  8. SPEND A NIGHT AT A HOTEL
  9. OVERNIGHT SWIMMING
  10. ATTEND A CRAFT LESSON
  11. VISIT A FARMER’S MARKET
  12. AN HOUR OR MORE IN AN ARCADE
  13. DROP A PIN INTO A LOCAL MAP AND DRIVE THERE
  14. VISIT A THEME PARK OR CARNIVAL
  15. VISIT A ZOO WE’VE NEVER BEEN TO
  16. DRIVE TO SPOT OVERLOOKING THE CITY
  17. WATCH A THEATRE PRODUCTION
  18. GO FOR A FUN ACTIVITY
  19. FISHING
  20. WEEKEND JOYRIDE
  21. LOCAL TOUR
  22. GO TO THE BEACH
  23. GO FOR A LOCAL PARK
  24. GO TO A MALL WE’VE NEVER BEEN TO
  25. VOLUNTEER TOGETHER
  26. PROGRESSIVE MEAL

DATES EITHER @ HOME OR OUTDOOR

  1. ICE CREAM NIGHT
  2. SPORTS DATE
  3. KARAOKE NIGHT
  4. MASSAGE DATE
  5. FITNESS ACTIVITY
  6. GO FOR A BIKE
  7. GROUP DATE NIGHT BURGER BBQ
  8. DINNER + MOVIES (HIS CHOICE)
  9. DINNER + MOVIES (HER CHOICE)
  10. STARGAZING
  11. TRY A NEW CUISINE
  12. AFTERNOON TEA FOR TWO

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We also agreed some rules on our date nights:

  1. It will be a weekly date activity.
  2. Every end of the month, date ideas for the following month will be picked up.
  3. The one in-charge for the date prep will be:   a.) Me – 1st week; b.) Him – 2nd week; c.) Together – following weeks 
  4. Only three tries to pick are allowed for the specific week.
  5. No same date ideas are repeated for two consecutive months.

And so with our “Pick A Date”, we will never be bored having the same predictable dates every weekend. And most of all, we will always look forward to it and surely we’ll be full of great and wonderful memories and stories to tell our children in the future.

I look forward to reading your share of date ideas too my friends! And hope this post will also inspire you in your relationship with your partner and love.

xoxo:

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Bag of Beans and its Charms

I’ve been too many times in Tagaytay but I never had the chance going to Bag of Beans. OK my fault! I know its one of the “must go to” in Tagaytay but I ignored the calling cause I thought its just one of those usual coffee shop. Besides I thought its just a small cafe since it looks small every time we passed by it along the highway. Little did I know how awesome it is inside!

Just last month, my friends stayed overnight at home and we all agreed to go to Tagaytay the following morning. And so thank God Bag of Beans is one of the lucky point of destination! Otherwise I will never discover its charms.

Since we had our lunch on other restaurant overlooking the Taal Lake, we just hangout at the Bag of Beans (Main) for coffee afterwards. I was surprised it has a wide parking lot at the back. And I was even more mesmerized upon entering inside. It’s as if I was taken into a mystical garden with rustic interior design. My eyes are really like “Woooowwwww! How on earth I chose not to come here before? Should have I known!”

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Source: Bag of Beans

Going back, without exaggeration, I was really amazed by the charms and beauty of the place. Waiting area pa lang panalo na! Just imagine having your cup of coffee/tea here with the cool breeze of Tagaytay…just magical! I really love the concept of every corner. I wish I can own the kind of restaurant or cafe like this someday!

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Source: Bag of Beans

So after we entertained by the staff and asked to stay in the waiting area, we grab the moment to take pictures and selfies.

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Mahal can we make our living room like this? 🙂 

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The madam with her aliping sagigilid wearing “papayat din ako” t-shirt …

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take one…two..whatever…
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can’t get over with the waiting area…

After a while, we were escorted to our table and took our orders.

What we ordered?

  1. Hawaiian Pizza (P450)
  2. Blueberry Cheesecake (P160)
  3. Barako Coffee Regular (P105)
  4. Caramel Machiatto (P130)
  5. Iced Coffee Mocha (P135)
  6. Mocha Frappe (P135)
  7. Cookies Choco Banana Frost (P170)
  8. Choco Milk Shake (P170)
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picture picture while waiting for the order….
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our selfie share…
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one more selfie…

I don’t have much pictures with the food cause we became excited to taste our orders.

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my Cookies Choco Banana Frost
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Hawaiian Pizza…yum!

My verdict?:

Place – ♥♥♥♥♥

Menu – ♥♥♥♥♥

Service – ♥♥♥♥ (the service is a little slow but maybe because of plenty customers…)

But still…Bag of Beans is really worth the come back!

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My takeout souvenir…

Have you been to Bag of Beans? Feel free to share your insights!

For those who are yet to visit:

Bag of Beans Café and Restaurant Inc. “Main Branch”

115 Aguinaldo Highway, Mendez Crossing West, Tagaytay City, 4120

Tel No.: 046-4134356/046-4132724/046-4130026

Cel No.: 0922-8818265


Bag of Beans Café and Restaurant Inc. “Athena Branch”

Aguinaldo Highway Silang Junction East, Tagaytay City, 4120

Tel No.:  046-4134522


Bag of Beans Bed and Breakfast “D’ Lodge”

Aguinaldo Highway Silang Junction East, Tagaytay City 4120

Tel No. 046-413-0490


Bag of Beans Café and Restaurant, Inc. “Charito Branch”

150 Aguinaldo Highway, Maharlika East, Tagaytay City

Tel No.: 046-483-1279/046-413-6459


Bag of Beans Café and Restaurant, Inc. “West Lake Branch”

Aguinaldo Highway, Twinlakes Shopping Village,

Dayap Itaas Laurel, Batangas

Tel No.: 046-4604146


Bag of Beans Website 

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Early Christmas Greetings

Hi there! It’s been almost a month since the last time I post in here. It’s not that I don’t want to or I’m in a lazy mode the past weeks, but because I got so busy with our audit works. We’ve been auditing from one office to another that I don’t had the chance to even think of what to post. I’m not done with the so-called busy weeks yet, but right at this moment, I really felt that I have to pause and write something other than the audit reports. All I hear right now are the loud conversations and yells of people on their everlasting rally in front of the building that I can concentrate no more with my reports. 😦 I know that I have no choice but to focus hard amidst all the noise because its my responsibility to deliver an output no matter what the circumstances are. But right now is really one of those moments that my brain can’t seem to analyze data in the middle of endless commotion. Pardon me for that for I definitely need a break even for an hour or so! So here I am in my comfort corner. 

Since I cannot think much of what really to post, I just want to express my early Christmas Greetings for everyone. After all it’s 23 days before the Christmas day! I may not be the very first person to post a Christmas Greetings this season, but I want everyone to know that despite all the things that has happened we all deserve to have a joyful and meaningful Merry Christmas. Not for anything, but because of the most important thing – it’s Jesus’ birthday! So for all mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, relatives, friends, colleagues, workers, travelers, far from home, already found their home and those who are still searching a home…Merry Christmas! I pray for all the blessings of peace, hope, forgiveness, joy, prosperity and God’s love be in everyone this Christmas and for a lifetime.

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DIY Christmas Tree Ornaments

Merry Christmas everyone! It’s 51 days before Christmas and I am very excited already. They say that Philippines has the longest Christmas season in the world. I’d say that Filipinos are just really happy and loving people! We love to celebrate every blessings we had even amidst problems and troubles. And most especially, as Christians  mostly we are, our favorite celebration aside from our birthdays is of course the birthday of Jesus. Christmas is a season of great joy because it is when God showed his great love for us that He sent His only Son, Jesus, in this world to save us. So how can we not celebrate this very special season? Aside from that, it is also the time when we are reminded to prepare ourselves for the coming of Jesus. Because after all it is the real essence of Christmas and it is when we invite Christ into our hearts that we receive the real joy and peace of Merry Christmas. Continue reading DIY Christmas Tree Ornaments

Mini Mermaid Memories Scrapbook and Little Mermaid Birthday Hat

I made these DIYs a month ago for my friend’s daughter’s Under the Sea Themed 1st Birthday. I actually almost forgot to include it here in my blog, but as I was browsing the pictures, I can’t help but remind myself to make time for it. So here they are!… Continue reading Mini Mermaid Memories Scrapbook and Little Mermaid Birthday Hat

How to Make Homemade Basil Pesto Sauce Without Nuts

Hello dear friends! We have plenty of basil plants just outside our window. And guess what? They’re much ready for harvest and so I decided to make my Homemade Basil Pesto Sauce for that bunch of Sweet and Thai Basil last weekend. I know that most Pesto calls for Sweet Basil or just Thai Basil. But since I can’t afford to waste any of them, I decided to just combine both. After all they were both basil and I can’t simply get enough of their sweet and soothing smell. I was also feeling inspired that I made my pesto the traditional way that morning. Meaning, I used the pestle and mortar instead of a food processor. And lastly, since I don’t have available pine nuts or any nuts for that matter, I decided to just omit that ingredient in my pesto sauce. I should say that it’s also great for those people who have nut allergies.

So here we go…..introducing my……. Continue reading How to Make Homemade Basil Pesto Sauce Without Nuts

Destination: Kamay ni Hesus in Lucban Quezon

Kamay ni Hesus Healing Church in Lucban Quezon is one of the popular pilgrimage destinations in the Philippines during Holy Week. It is a 5-hectare shrine constructed on February 2002 and located at Brgy. Tinamnan, Lucban, Quezon that includes Via Dolorosa Grotto, Healing Church, Noah’s Ark, Sea of Galilie, Holy Family Park, and the Pastoral Center founded by the Healing Priest, Fr. Joey Faller. But hey, you don’t have to wait for a Holy Week just to visit Kamay ni Hesus! Sometimes it’s even better to come in places like this during days when you know it’s not that over crowded. When you can really reflect and appreciate the real meaning of prayer in silence.

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How to Make Basic French Toast and French Toast Roll-Ups

Hi everyone! Today, I will share with you one (technically two) of my week-end breakfast recipes – Basic French Toast and French Toast Roll-Ups. These can be made and joyfully eaten anytime of the day, but since we need to go to work very early considering the heavy traffic we had in Metro Manila, so I don’t have the luxury to cook this kind of breakfast during weekdays. So what are you waiting for? Prepare your ingredients and start making these two yummy and tummy-filling breakfast. These are also great as snacks for everyone in the family, especially for kids. So easy and so delicious that you will surely be rewarded with hugs and kisses.

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Continue reading How to Make Basic French Toast and French Toast Roll-Ups

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