Growing our own herbs

When we stayed at my brother’s house last weekend, I saw the herb garden they are growing. With all the health issues in our families (hubby’s hypertension at age 30, and my own dad’s high blood sugar), we have to be extra careful in the food we take in. I wouldn’t want my own daughter catching on and developing the “bad” parts of her genes. At her age pa naman, she loves sweets and processed foods so much. So as her mother, I need to pick up and imbibe healthier habits to be a good model for her.

I guess there’s no harm in growing our own plants when we can. It is part of embracing a healthier lifestyle. We started out with these.

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We have three varieties of basil: regular, thai and choco; mint and oregano. Some of them came from Mico’s own garden, which the husband repotted in organic oil. We hope that we can add more later on. I plan on expanding our “garden” ala Martha Stewart soon enough.

My little rockstar

Mischa has always exhibited a keen interest in music. She absolutely loves it whenever she receives musical instruments. It seems that, more than the toys themselves, she looks like she enjoys making music out of them. So far she owns a number of all sizes and shapes of guitars, xylophones, keyboards and drums, and I noticed that she prefers these, most of the time, to her dolls and other toys. I really hope she’ll be inclined to take music up as a hobby or even a way of life.

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Rock on baby!

The results are in

Mischa brought home her school zebra bag, which contains the results of her mastery tests. Since July, every few days or so, scheduled mastery tests (which I assume are equivalent to quizzes) are held at the school. This entails reviewing on our part at home of the things she learned at school. I was apprehensive at first since you know, I felt she was too young for structured exams. Also in her last school, while the pupils take exams in batches for the teachers to be able to assist them, I noticed that they still do not watch the examiners closely, and instead are focused on certain pupils only.

Anyway, as I have said, I am glad we have switched schools! I will say that over and over because I truly believe that. I have noticed that she has learned more, and I really, really like Mischa’s adviser now. She’s young, vibrant and looks like she genuinely loves her charges! She makes them feel at home, and more importantly, makes them feel confident about themselves and their abilities. I see the changes in Mischa. And I guess, it also shows in her exams. For the record, I am not being bitter or anything because she had lower grades before, but I can definitely see that she is more interested in school and in learning, in general.

See?

Language

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Reading

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Math (well, I guess she doesn’t take after me and my “superb” Mathematical abilities nyahahaha)

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CLE

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Language

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Of Spanish food and lifelong friends

Saw an old friend today whom I thought I lost. Before I lament on what happened, I want to say that I enjoyed the food and the ambiance at the new Alba’s Restaurante EspaΓ±ol at the Prism Plaza in the Mall of Asia complex. While the hubby and I have made MOA our second home (hehehe), it was my first time to set foot in this irregularly-shaped building. It reminded me of the alfresco dining level of the Hongkong Museum of Art. It overlooks Manila Bay and I am so sure that the sunset here would have been a spectacular sight.

Alba’s, of course, is as traditional yet modern as it could be. We took advantage of their dinner buffet, which cost Php750++. I always feel lugi when I have buffet since I don’t eat much in one sitting, but I guess what we paid for was the variety. Mmmmm…writing now and looking at the photos making me crave for Spanish food.

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Tapas – Pizza with anchovies, Croquetas de Jamon, Mariscos, Tostadas with 3 spreads (Quezorizo, Tomate, ajo and aceite de oliva, and Espinacas), Salchichas con Champignons (which is my personal favorite!) and Mejillones al Tigre

Also available were Tabla de Embutidos, which I planned on going back on but was too full so regretfully was not able to taste, and ensalada with different dressings.

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Paella Valenciana, spicy shrimp pasta, pescado ala vizcaina in homemade tomato sauce, pollo ala king, steamed vegetables, escallopines ala pobre, and house specialty, cochinillo, and costillas de vaca al vino rojo

I would have taken and eaten more of everything if the stomach had been willing. Alas, only the mouth was. lol. Everything was just rich and sumptuous just the way I like them.

I didn’t get the callos and lengua as I have a thing about innards.

For dessert, I had canonigo, which was as near to heaven as I could get, maja blanca and mango squares. Because I was too full by this time, I let go of the mocha cake and fruit salad.

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The restaurant had the right amount of light and sounds. Not too bright, not too dim, not too loud. Perfect for family gatherings, quiet get-togethers, and even dates. Now, I’m thinking I want to hold a small party here for my Dad’s upcoming 70th birthday. We’ll see.

Over the good food was a lot of catching up. I missed my very dear and good friend for about six months. I feel happy anyway that she chose to reach out this time. I thought we broke up. She had so much going on in her life that I felt hurt when she wallowed instead of taking advantage of my shoulder to cry on. I would have thought that I was as special to her as she was to me, and it just felt wrong to me that I was lumped together with the rest of the things and people she was getting over with. I felt so disappointed that after years of confidences, food trips, kids, tears, heartbreaks, parties, hangovers, out of town trips, and whatnots, I was on her speed dial and top five list of go-to people. Save for about less than five text messages within that span, there was basically a sea of silence that I wondered if I was the only one affected. Clearly, whatever the things she was going through was beyond our friendship.

But oh well, maybe it is time to move on and grow up. It is true that things really change, and that you can either go with the flow, or get out of the raging water. I know that we would still be friends but to my consternation, it has taken on a different form. It is on a whole new plane now, and I just have to get used to it. Our roles in each other’s lives have titled at different angles. But I’ll take whatever we have.

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Unpleasant job

I unhappily took on (because I was compelled to) the unpleasant task of heading a Committee that will decide, or rather, make recommendations, on the fate of a co-employee. Dishonest or not, I would have rather watched, like anyone else on the sideline, how the story would unfold. It makes me cringe everytime I have to think of the actions the group has to take. That someone’s future, whether set into motion by something he did, may be in our hands, is no joke. It is not a happy feeling. Others, in my shoes, would have felt the jolt of power. But I don’t.

Fitting in

I am so glad Mischa seems to be doing well, socially, in school, too! The first few weeks of school saw my heart bleeding for the little girl when I couldn’t shield her from girls who didn’t play with her at first. More than a month after, it looks like she has found her place in class, and in the hearts of her classmates. I am happy she feels safe and secure in her second home. Her excitement every morning (which is more than what I can say for myself everytime I have to prepare for work haha), is an indication of how much she enjoys school and everything that goes with it. At night, when I get home, she always has a story to tell, whether it was something they worked on, like writing or drawing, or something her classmates said, or anything in between.

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