Friendly Desserts :)

Brownies. Cakes. Cookies. Cupcakes. Macarons. The dessert list evolves and goes on, but one thing’s for sure: I’ll always love ’em all! Haha! I actually credit my love for sweets to my late mother who was so passionate about baking. In fact, our Christmas season equated to “fruitcake season,” and I grew up to the smell of freshly-baked whatnot all year round. What started as a passion, then turned into a business. In 2001, my mother eventually pursued opening an actual bakeshop just near our house. Unfortunately in 2003, we lost her to cancer. And as much as we wanted to, we couldn’t continue the business anymore. But that was THEN.

I still plan on resurrecting my mother’s bakeshop in honor of her. Someday, the world will once again be able to taste her pastries and sweet treats through her recipes that we, as a family, treasure.

But since I’m still in the process of acquiring baking (even cooking) skills (ahem!), I just made it a personal advocacy to support people I know who share the same passion as my Mama.

So in this entry, I’ve included three of my friends who found their passion for baking, and I hope you also get the chance to taste heaven through their creations! 🙂

Tiny’s Desserts

My friend Tiny (or Tinah as some call her) and I go all the way back to high school. Now, we’re workmates! Of course I’m talking about our day jobs (which is my dream job, btw! hehe!) because as I’ve mentioned earlier, I can’t bake nor cook to save my life! At least not yet! =))

Anyway, even before Tiny decided to make her passion an actual business, I was already lucky enough to sample some of her baked goodies.

From her eggcheflan (yes, it’s leche flan inside an egg shell!) to her brownie cupcakes, I know that I’ll order for some more!!! 😉

Moist Chocolate Brownies

Moist Chocolate Brownies

For more information on how to order from Tiny’s Desserts, click here.

Gracefully Sweet Blessings

Stock analyst by day, baker by night (or during the weekends). That’s my friend Grace.

I met Grace through my Light Group from #FeastMakati, and I’ve witnessed how her passion slowly turned into a business. She specializes in customized cakes, but I’m pretty sure she can bake anything! I can’t wait for what’s in store for her and her budding cake business!

THE Blueberry Cheesecake that Grace shared to our Light Group! #happytummy

THE Blueberry Cheesecake that Grace shared to our Light Group! #happytummy

For more information on how to order from Gracefully Sweet Blessings, click here.

True Riches Cupcakes

Ah, don’t let the name fool you. True Riches Cupcakes don’t just serve cupcakes, they serve anything and everything under the sun that can be baked! They can even provide desserts for parties and whatnot. And the interesting part? My friend and former officemate Cha (the owner) is actually a software developer by day! O diba?!

Aside from the cupcakes, I recommend you try TRC’s flavored Cookie Shots and French Macarons:

Cookie Shots

Cookie Shots

heart-shaped French Macarons

heart-shaped French Macarons

For more information on how to order from True Riches Cupcakes, click here.

And those are just three of the people I know who are using passion as fuel to their own successes. I’m sure you also know people who do the same. Let’s all support them together! 😀

My Take on Diet Deliveries

Last September, I decided to join the “healthy” bandwagon by trying out the on-going fad called “diet delivery.”

In a nutshell, the idea is to have your healthy meals delivered to your doorstep daily. And for someone like me who’s been living a sedentary lifestyle (sad, I know) and not really into cooking (haha!), being introduced to the concept of “diet delivery” was definitely an alleluia moment! 🙂

To be honest, there are A LOT of options to choose from so I decided to trim down my list to those that I can afford (and like the menu). Most of the brands offer 1,200-calorie meals daily (that already includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack) for less than Php2,000 per (work) week — meaning Monday to Friday only.

Since my recommended daily calorie intake is actually 1,360 calories, I’ll be honest with and tell you that I did have “cheat” food and drinks from time to time to compensate for my calorie balance. Hahaha! But don’t worry, I did lose around 6 lbs. without exercise and so far, I’ve been maintaining it. 😉

Anyway, here are the diet delivery brands I’ve tried so far and what I’ve to say about them:

Delicious Diet

(photo courtesy of Delicious Diet)

(photo courtesy of Delicious Diet)

When: September 1-5, 2014 (Monday to Friday)
How much: Php1,850 for five days with delivery fee in the Makati area (around Php370 per day)

Ah, Delicious Diet was my very first try on the diet delivery fad and it didn’t disappoint! It was really delicious and this was when I lost the initial 6-7 lbs. in just a week! 😀 But since it was my first try, this was when I also experienced the “withdrawal” symptoms of not eating the calories my body was used to. The first two days were really struggles! Don’t worry though, starting Day 3, the whole thing was a lot easier!

Oh well. At least this was also my only well-documented diet delivery experience. Haha!

my Delicious Diet meals! :)

my Delicious Diet meals! 🙂

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT IT
-the Japanese green tea from Day 1 (the brand is OSK, and please tell me where I can buy it!!!)
-their bread (both the Whole Wheat Ciabatta from Day 2 and the Chicken Asparagus Sandwich from Day 4), which I think they baked themselves!
-the Chia Pudding from Day 3
-the seedless grapes (also) from Day 3
-the “Healthified” Turtle Pie from Day 5
-they texted me the menu every day (which was a good reminder)

WHAT I DO NOT LIKE ABOUT IT
-I found their microwaveable containers “thin” and easy to break

After my first week with Delicious Diet, I was planning to take a break. But because of my sister’s convincing powers, I gave in and tried a different brand (for a change) the following week…

Diet Diva

(photo courtesy of Diet Diva)

(photo courtesy of Diet Diva)

When: September 9-12 2014 (Tuesday to Friday)
How much: Php1,520 for four days or Php1,900 for five days with delivery fee in the Makati area (around Php380 per day)

Like I said, I was thinking twice about going on another week with limited calories so I missed the first day of that week’s menu. Luckily, Diet Diva agreed to accommodate my four-day diet! (Diet delivery brands usually release their menus a week before and prefer that customers reserve a slot and pay for their orders A WEEK BEFORE! #PasawayLangSiMika)

Unfortunately, this wasn’t really a good week for me. I believe missing A DAY was a big deal when it came to my “diet momentum,” so I really didn’t enjoy it. This was also the week when I took a sick leave, so that’s a total of two missed days! What I did instead was eat the food the next day (which extended my diet to Saturday). Go figure.

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT IT
-accommodating of my (last-minute) four-day diet
-they used Dona Maria Jasponica rice (brown and red)
-their food didn’t spoil easily, which allowed me to eat Thursday’s menu on Friday and so on

WHAT I DO NOT LIKE ABOUT IT
-their tea was predictable (Lipton, anyone? Even our office pantry has that!)

And then the two-week diet delivery “hiatus” of moi began… 😐

Lunchbox Diet

(photo courtesy of Lunchbox Diet)

(photo courtesy of Lunchbox Diet)

When: September 29-October 3, 2014 (Monday to Friday)
How much: Php1,700 for five days with delivery fee in the Makati area (around Php340 per day)

After two weeks, I missed having my prepared “healthy” meals delivered to me and not thinking about what I was going to eat for each day of the work week so I decided to give diet delivery another try — enter Lunchbox Diet. WHEW.

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT IT
-their rice bowls
-the Beef Kebab with Garlic Yogurt Sauce, served with healthy rice from Day 1
-the Grilled Potato Mash and Sole Fillet, served with healthy rice and vegetables from Day 4
-one of the least expensive diet delivery brands
-the three sets of plastic utensils per day (other brands prepared only one set per day)
-they delivery day and night — perfect for my friends who are on the night shift!
-the daily quote that comes with the menu

"With self-discipline, ALmost anything is possible."

“With self-discipline, ALmost anything is possible.”

WHAT I DO NOT LIKE ABOUT IT
-the meals didn’t have any labels whether they’re for breakfast or so on (sure, the menu’s already on the daily package but there were times when meat products looked similar and I had a hard time figuring out whether that was this and this was that…)
-the menus weren’t that detailed (be ready to be surprised that a certain meal has rice and whatnot when it didn’t say in the menu!)
-Day 5’s menu said that I was supposed to have TWO crackers but I was given only ONE. Hmm…

Was this for breakfast, lunch, or dinner? Haha! (photo courtesy of Lunchbox Diet)

Was this for breakfast, lunch, or dinner? Haha! (photo courtesy of Lunchbox Diet)

Overall, I say give diet delivery a try! Menus change every week, so there’s no room for boredom — taste-wise. Hehehe! 😛

Next week, I’m going to take a break again. I realized that whenever I’m on a diet delivery week, I miss the freedom of choosing my food and drinks — which leads to “cheating.” But whenever I’m on a break, I miss the healthy menus and convenience of not having to think of what to eat and drink! So I thought that the best compromise for my dilemmas is to just have it every other week (as long as I can afford it, of course!).

Speaking of which, I’ve yet to try another brand na pasok sa budget ko… so until then! CHEERS!!! 🙂


How about you? Have you tried the diet delivery fad?
Sound off in the comments section below!

The Date Diaries: 24 and More…

So… I’m 24 now (since almost a month ago)! I’d like to say that I’m wiser but for the most part, I think I just got the “older” part from that known saying. Hahaha!

Anyway, I missssssssss blogging. Like I couldn’t emphasize on that more! BLAME INSTAGRAM!!! Chos. 😛 So to kind of bring my blogging momentum back, I thought of a new “project” that aims to keep me motivated to blog, blog, blog — similar to my travel blog project (which is still on-going, by the way!).

And I think you already have an idea of what it’s all about (read: TITLE). And yeah, I decided to add a new category on this blog of mine: THE DATE DIARIES!!! ♥ (Sorry, mushiness included! Wahahahaha!)

I still owe this blog four entries after this one so to meet that self-imposed requirement, I’ll “document” (NOT “review”) ALL the places my boyfriend Paul and I have been to for the past year and beyond… which is kind of timely, too, since our ANNIVERSARY is already this month! Alam naaa! ♥♥♥

For the past year, we’ve eaten and hung out here, there, and just about anywhere in the metro (which kind of shows in the 17 or so pounds I gained! HA HA HA), and I just realized that I haven’t documented even one of those moments on this blog! 😐 This used to be myyy preciouusss (Gollum-style!), but Instagram got the best of me! =)) But of course, better late than never! So to kick-start this whole thing, I made a list of all the places we’ve been to that I could remember and from there, divided them into “themes” (meganon talaga?!). So… enough explaining.

And more on DOCUMENTING! 😉

We’ll start with the most recent memorable one:
my 24th birthday! 😀

The actual day was a Friday, so Paul and I decided to have it after work. Since both of us were already in Makati, we decided (or I did! Haha! Sorry na, birthday girl eh!) to have dinner somewhere in Greenbelt and ended up at TWG.

Happy Birthday tea and Christmas Lights tea :)

Happy Birthday tea and Christmas Lights tea 🙂

We ordered two kinds of tea that went well with what we were celebrating and with the current season: the Happy Birthday tea and the Christmas Lights tea — seriously! This was just my second time to dine at TWG, but I’ve to say that their tea blends do bring out the tea lover in me (minus the milk! Haha!). Plus, their names are no doubt interesting! So far, I like all of the tea blends I’ve tried and I can’t wait to try ’em all (which won’t be easy because there’s more than a hundred, I think). Of course tea wasn’t the only thing you can order here, they also have main courses and desserts.

TWG

For the second time around, I ordered the Chicken en Brochette and Paul had one of the new seafood dishes — which name I completely forgot! As for the dessert, we ordered French macarons that went perfectly with our tea blends. Tea drinking and macaron eating? Sign me up forevah!!!

After feasting on all that, I convinced Paul to watch a movie with me: She’s The One, starring Bea Alonzo and Dingdong Dantes! Mwahahahahaha! Sorry, boyfriend. We’ve got to admit though, the movie was really entertaining and funny!!!

But before all that, I found out that Paul originally planned to surprise me to a hearty buffet in a five-star hotel located in Pasay (ehem! #sweet), but then I told him that we could do sooo much more with the amount we’d spend in just one night of lamon fest! Hence, the AWESOME BIRTHDAY WEEKEND that followed! Ayiieee!

The following day, Saturday, we were off to The Mind Museum! 🙂

The Mind Museum

The Mind Museum

The Mind Museum

I’ve been wanting to go here since the day it opened and I’m so happy I was finally able to do it — and the fact that I was with Paul made it extra special! Heehee.

Once we entered the museum, we couldn’t help but be giddy with excitement to try the different interactive displays… which lasted for a little over three hours. Definitely kids at heart! Hahaha! But you can’t blame us because it’s truly a place where SCIENCE COMES ALIVE — from biology to natural science to physics and mooore! We were also lucky to experience one of the “traveling exhibits” (meaning, it’s in the museum for a limited time only) called Da Vinci – The Genius, which showcases Leonardo da Vinci‘s inventions and whatnot.

But after a few hours of reminiscing our elementary science classes, we were starving! It’s a good thing that the museum has a snack shop called Kyle’s Lab, where we had “octodogs” (hotdogs cut like octopus) and other kiddie snacks. But of course, that wasn’t enough (especially since it was already way past lunch time) so we decided to eat someplace else.

And that’s when we headed to Early Bird Breakfast Club. Yay!!!

Early Bird Breakfast Club

I “discovered” this restaurant through my most favorite blogger Patty Laurel-Filart. And guess what, by some crazy twist of fate, Patty and her friends actually arrived in the restaurant a few minutes after Paul and I took our seats! How lucky could I be?!?! Of course I didn’t have the courage to approach her (this is the third time I’ve seen her in person!) since I know that that was a “personal” affair for her. I guess better luck next time to me… again! They say it comes in threes, right? Haha!

Since I’m following her on Instagram, I see her posts from time to time. And on that particular day, she posted a video that featured me and Paul as EXTRAS! Wahahahaha! Check it out:

Mika and Paul on a blurred screenshot from Patty Laurel-Filart's video, uploaded on Instagram =))

Mika and Paul on a blurred screenshot from Patty Laurel-Filart’s video, uploaded on Instagram =))

Of course I took a screenshot! This is the closest thing I have with my idol blogger noh! Kaya pagbigyan niyo na’ko. #Fangirl din ‘pag may time! 😛

Anyway, let’s talk about the restaurant again. 😉 Early Bird Breakfast Club is a place where you can have breakfast food ALL DAY, everyday! I heard that during weekends, they’re even open for 24 hours. Awesomesauce!

So for our lunch date, we tried the following dishes: Yin and Yang Champorado, Viva Longganisa, and French Toast Fondue. And ALL receive a two-thumbs up from me and Paul! We can’t wait to go back and try their other dishes and drinks (especially the Harry Potter-inspired Butterbeer!)

Top right- Viva Longganisa; Bottom left- Yin and Yang Champorado; Bottom left- French Toast Fondue

Top right- Viva Longganisa; Bottom left- Yin and Yang Champorado; Bottom left- French Toast Fondue

Then after spending almost our entire day in Taguig, we went back to my beloved Manila and spent the rest of the day at Robinsons Place Manila. 😀  Paul and I frequent this mall for most of our weekend dates since it’s in walking distance from my house. We just decided to grab a quick dinner at Recipes then as much as I didn’t want to, we already called it a night… Then again, I couldn’t thank my boyfriend more because upon dropping me off at home, a big smile was obvious on my face knowing that this awesome birthday weekend did happen and is mine to relish for the years to come!!! ♥

IMG_1489

THE END.
For now. =))