OMG…Foods!

few more days to go! as the days come closer, i feel more anxious and my palms and armpits are sweating like crazy…or maybe because PAGASA declared that it’s now officially summer. i am nervous. i was telling a friend that thinking about the wedding is something like preparing for a speech in front of the class and my heart starts beating faster than usual. ugh. i can’t wait for the day that it’s all over and our lives will come back to normal. we can travel again, spend our precious money on petrol for road trip than paying a bunch of suppliers, i can read books again and most of all…i can cut my hair pixie short!

if there’s one good thing about wedding planning, it’s about food tasting. after all, they said that you can’t eat on your wedding day so make the most out of the food tasting sessions.

the other day, i brought my mother with me during the food tasting at the caterer’s place. we got kbyc because they serve really good food and got styling with a class. we went to their place at greenmeadows around 10am. upon arrival, Nina our AE welcome us and have us seated at one of the tables in the room. their food tasting area is big because i assume this will be their main place for couples who wish to have their food tasting sessions. we are the very 1st to arrive because it’s our first and last meeting so we are an hour earlier.

i was really overwhelmed by the amount of food they served us. for 2 persons doing a x2 food tasting, it’s too plenty that we can’t finish everything. first, they served us the red iced tea then the food for the cocktails. i love my AE for exceeding expectations. prior to the meeting, i just emailed her my 1st and 2nd options but during the food tasting, they even serve those food that’s not included in my choices. :)

drinks

red iced tea

cocktails1

cocktails from l-r: grilled cheese and tomato soup shots, bruschetta roasted eggplant with peppers and feta, crackers with smoked tanigue and horse radish, hoisin chicken wrap

i initially chose bruschetta with roasted eggplant and crackers and the crackers with smoked tanigue but find them too small. the grilled cheese and tomato soup shot is yummy but my mother find the cheese ‘nakakaumay’. taste and size wise, i love the hoisin chicken wrap. i’m fan of wrap foods because i always order them at mcdonalds in new zealand.

next, they served the soups. i’m choosing between roasted corn and squash soup. me and my mom have different taste in foods, she didn’t like the roasted corn soup because she finds the taste weird, ‘anak parang may chinese yun lasa’. but i like it more than the squash soup because the squash soup is not delicious at all when it’s cold unlike this one which has a long-lasting taste be it hot or cold. i initially thought it’s just like a knorr soup but it’s different, there’s some grainy bits of corn, pepper, spice and other stuff in it which makes it very interesting. so yes to roasted corn soup. :)

i thought we’re done with cocktails until they served us the second batch. omg fiesta! crostini with ratatouille is just ok. my mom likes the cheese and chorizo balls with pimiento aioli, which i agree. but the winner in size and taste is the chicken tortilla with arangula and caramelized onions and pandesal bruschetta with adobo flakes. both are very very yummy and not too small. husband and i wants everybody full because personally, we’re both patay-gutom eaters and we feel very sad if food is nakakabitin (so no to sosy small servings). LOL! also, they don’t serve breads during the food tasting because it’s just a normal bread with assorted dippings. skip that for the actual event.

cocktails2

cocktails batch 2 from l-r: crostini with ratatouille, cheese and chorizo croquettas with pimiento aioli, chicken on crisp tortilla with arungula and caramelized onions, pandesal bruschetta with adobo flakes mango salsa and kesong puti

next, salads. i easily devoured the insalata caprese with walnuts and vinaigrette so wasn’t able to take a photo. it’s my first and only choice because i love refreshing garden salads. the orange and walnuts are very tasty. insalata caprese is the unanimous choice for me and my mother. they even gave us the barbecue chicken salad as bonus to taste, which is also yummy.

salad1

salad: barbecue chicken salad

next, chicken dishes. this is it, the mains just started! seeing all these food makes me now excited on the wedding day. they served us 2 different dishes, again another exceeding expectation from kbyc. i just asked for supreme of chicken with herb cream sauce but they also gave me the other chicken dish which is japanese rolled chicken in leeks and cheese with teriyaki glaze. i like both but chose the supreme herb chicken in cream sauce so i have one cream based dish. i love cream based dish, that’s why i’m fat. hehe!

chicken1

japanese rolled chicken in cheese and leeks with teriyaki glaze

chicken2

supreme chicken in herb cream sauce

next, they served all the beef, fish, pork, seafood and pasta dish. ohmygulay. i didn’t expect they will serve this many food. just looking at all the food makes me dizzy.

beef1

slow cooked beef in ponzu sauce, truffle oil and onion rings

pork1

baby back ribs with corn

rice1

carrot rice

seafood1

honey nut prawns

seafood2

prawn thermidore

pasta1

seafood linguine with tomatoes, capers and basil

fish1

seared sesame crusted salmon, wasabi mashed potatoes and balsamic syrup

hinde na kami makahinga ni mother sa kabusugan at dami ng foods. my mom and i were full from the soup, salad and cocktails, we barely touch the mains, tingi na lang. the slow cooked beef in ponzu sauce and truffle oil reminds me of asado, sweet with a bit of citrusy flavor and the beef is tender. of course, the carrot rice which kbyc is known for is really very good. for the seafood dish, they gave us the honey nut prawns and prawn thermidore. i like the prawn thermidore because it’s creamy with some mushroom inside similar to chicken-ala-king but mom likes the honey nut prawns better. i just badly want the prawn thermidore for the reason that i already ate the honey nut prawns in a friend’s event so would like to eat something different. but i love my mom and let her win this time since i already chose the soup dish earlier. we didn’t get the baby back ribs as we both find it spicy, probably too much barbecue dressing or cumin so we ditched the pork dish. anyway, lechon will be serve so there’s still pork for pork lovers. :) for pasta, the seafood pasta linguine with basil and capers is good but salty. i just asked them to lessen the saltiness and it’s still good to serve. lastly for the fish dish, we get the seared sesame crusted salmon with mashed potatoes and balsamic syrup. me and my husband love to eat salmon, whether it’s salmon don or sushi salmon. this is an upgrade because this is our personal favorite and something we like to share with guests on our special day.

our AE then started discussing with us the details for the reception look, going through the contract, etc. it took us 4.5 hours to finish everything. it’s a breeze talking to her because i don’t have to mention the things i want. she did her assignment before the meeting by reviewing the pegs i sent her and all the things i’d like to include in my reception look, she mentioned them all to me. anyway, i trust her completely and i know she will be my wedding guardian angel to prettify everything.

to cap of the meeting, they gave us the desserts. one is the banoffee cups and the white chocolate cake. i chose the banofee cups while replaced the white chocolate cake with mixed fruits for the oldies. i forgot to take photos before eating the dessert, so sorry for the messy spoon. hehe.

desserts1

banoffee cups and white chocolate cake

nothing ever excites us on the wedding other than the food. and the thought that once all these brouhaha is over, we can go back to our normal lives and move on.

Kiwi Anniversary

homaygawhd, time flies. it’s been a year since i arrived here in new zealand. that was fast! i can still remember my first day here, when a friend picked me up at the airport and brought me to my new place. i was walking around the neighbourhood at 9:30pm, very amused because it’s still sunny bright. also, i’m loving the nice cold weather! tucking myself in bed in my newly bought comforter with heaters on, shet sarap!

i couldn’t be more happier that i am we are here. a peaceful place in a very beautiful country is more than what i asked for. i just can’t complain anymore. thank you lord for this wonderful experience of bringing us here, looking at your beautiful creation and living the happy and peaceful life i dreamt of. the things that i can only see in post cards and books are made true to life as seen in the hills, blue skies, stream of water and lots of greenery. to be honest, i don’t think i can go back to city life again.

my life is far from perfect. i still have my dose of downs and failures. but now, i can feel somehow that my life is back on track.

“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” ~ Proverbs 19:21

Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition

this photo was taken during one of the walking trips with my husband here in christchurch. walking tracks are one of the many things i like about new zealand. this country is filled with lots of beautiful scenery. one can spend endless hours walking around, enjoying the sights of hills, sheep and greenery.

one saturday, we went to orthon bradley park and tried one of the tracks which is good for 2-3 hours. the track will lead us to a waterfall, so it’s quite an adventure. :)

we chance upon this wooden purple door, seems to be lost amidst the tall trees and weeds. sort of gave me the creeps because i only see this thing in suspense or horror movies. haha! it was like a portal that once you step inside, it will bring you somewhere…maybe like that in narnia. whatever! hehe. :)

the door

the door

The Church

eureka! 

one of the major things a couple should do ahead of time during wedding preparation is booking a church. you can’t get other wedding suppliers unless you have sealed the date.

it’s quite amusing to know that every couple (or should i say most brides), have different criteria in choosing the perfect church. some couples want a church that has a special meaning for them, like the place where they first met…or could be a church they have seen in some romantic movie. on the other hand, some bride to be’s lean more on the logistics such as having nice wooden doors so they can have their dream grand entrance (moment ko to!) OR a grand looking altar for the after wedding photo ops OR well ventilated (plus points for the aircondition) OR with a balcony where photographers can position themselves, to get that ‘on the top’ shot. some practical bride to be’s just want it somewhere more accessible for their families and friends.

so how did we end up in tagaytay, particularly on chapel on the hill?

church1

chapel on the hill

for a simple reason that our wedding day is on the peak of summer and of course knowing how hot metro manila is during that month, so i (yes.me.) chose a church somewhere in tagaytay where it is cool and relaxing. and will lessen my chances of getting sweaty and icky on my special day. ang arte arte di ba noh?

well actually, my hmua told me that the weather in manila and tagaytay are just the same. the only difference is that tagaytay is not as polluted as metro manila and despite the hot weather, everything else is still refreshing because of the nature and mountains.

church 2

cool and breezy mountainside

luckily, there was a wedding ongoing during my ocular adventure in coth. i just sort of imagine myself in that moment and i suddenly got excited! i am praying and wishing that it won’t be too hot on our wedding day though. i am also happy to see that the church is small enough, just enough to handle my ‘hopefully’ small number of guests.

church 3

it will be me next time :)

ok, so this is the story of the church. i can’t think of anything else to write for now because i feel so lazy. ugh. will be back soon. :-|

Our Christmas Date Night

four days to go before christmas! i’m very excited to go home and celebrate it with my family and friends!!! filipinos are very festive when it comes to holidays and spending my last four years away from home, made me realized that i can’t compare the filipino christmas to anywhere else in the world. the back to back christmas parties, reunions, get together, traffic and so much foooooood — it’s only in the philippines! :)

since i’ll be away from husband this christmas, we decided to do it in advance. this our first christmas together as husband and wife but then i have to go home and do some wedding errands so he has to stay here in christchurch. i don’t think he’ll be too sad when i’m away because he will have lots of time playing ps3 at home – haha!!!

aside from the throngs of people doing the last-minute shopping, everything else seems to be ordinary here in chch. so for us to somehow feel the christmas vibe, we always attend the simbang gabi daily at 7 pm and so far we haven’t missed a session.

after our simbang gabi last night, we had our dinner at Spagalimis Italian Pizzeria. we went italian this time to make it special because we’re fully loaded with chinese, korean, japanese and indian food binge these past few days.

when we entered the restaurant, i noticed that the place is dimly lighted and i said, “beh, masyado naman pang romantic date ang aura…madilim!”. i ordered our food right away because we are very very hungry as usual. lol.

for the starter, we ordered bruschetta. THIS IS THE MOST ‘SULIT’ BRUSCHETTA I TASTED IN MY LIFE! the serving is large fully loaded with toppings and already filled my stomach to the brim. we had 1 each and split the last one in half because, we love each other so much. haha!

yummy bruschetta

yummy bruschetta

for the pizza, we ordered a medium salmon pizza in cream cheese with lemon zest. it’s also very good and tasty. we both liked it so much because of the cream cheese on top. the pizza looks small for its size but i no longer complained once i tasted it, because it’s very delicious and yummy. all superlatives.

salmon pizza with cream cheese and lemon zest

salmon pizza with cream cheese and lemon zest

for the pasta, we had one each. his is a salmon in cream pesto while i got a chicken ravioli in cream pesto as well. since we’re full from the bruschetta and pizza, we barely touched our pasta so had requested for it to be pack for take away.

chicken ravioli in pesto cream

chicken ravioli in pesto cream

salmon pasta in pesto cream

salmon pasta in pesto cream

our very simple christmas dinner may not be as grand as the parties in manila (to be honest i kind of miss that too), but we’re happy to have at least celebrated it together in the most simple and peaceful way we can. and of course, we’ll definitely go back to this place again! sarap eh.

food trip is date night

food trip is date night

IT Savvy Planning

waaaaaah! it’s almost december and what does that mean? it means that we have barely 4 months to prepare for the wedding and i’m starting to get nervous because i know how fast the time is once december comes in. i asked my husband, “aren’t you getting nervous, it’s almost 4 months!?” and he said that he’s not nervous and he doesn’t want to think too much about it and he feels very relax. oh well, there’s a running joke that bride does all the planning and execution and all the guy needs to do is show up on the wedding day. haha! :)

i am now starting to enjoy this wedding thing, little by little. it was overwhelming at first but once you get the hang of it, you will slowly get in track and enjoy the journey towards the big day. there are days that my ideas don’t coincide with my partner and we sometimes get into disagreements but overall, it’s a happy experience for both of us. i feel happy because i appreciate my husband’s inputs and ideas, regardless of how different they were from mine. :)

as both IT professionals, we were also able to utilise our skills and knowledge in the wedding planning. i think every couple has their own way of doing things and i’m pretty sure that what we are doing is not different from the others. but i just want to share some helpful tips, in case you will be planning for your big day soon.

1) use online storage for wedding documents
i used to store my personal documents in Google drive, but my husband suggested we use Dropbox for our wedding related documents. to be honest, i do not know the difference between the two. but knowing my husband who’s more adept and IT savvy (ansaveh?), we switched to Dropbox and created an account for our documents. he setup the account in my laptop and made sure that the documents are shared between us. i use the storage for keeping the contracts, proofs of payment, documented instructions to suppliers, brochures, photo pegs and other wedding documents you can think of. if i made changes to a document or uploaded a new file, the other person will be notified of the changes.

the drive is categorized per supplier. each supplier has their own folder so i can keep track of what documents i sent to and received from them. also, if you want to send a large file, you can just get the link of the file and send that directly to the wedding supplier. i had an experience wherein i was collating ideas for the reception look and i put the pegs, requirements and instructions in one document and uploaded it to Dropbox. i sent the link of the file to the AE because the document is a large 13mb file due to the amount of photos. in a way, it won’t clog her email and will lessen the confusion and spamming of our exchanged emails.

wedstoragefiles storage

2) use of excel wedding budget sheet
my laptop doesn’t come with a free ms office package when we purchased it so i have to ask my IT support/husband to install ms office in it. after installing, i was very happy to see a ‘wedding budget planner’ spreadsheet in the ms excel package. there were plenty of wedding sheets in the internet and my coordinator sent me one as well, but i was not satisfied with any of them. luckily, my new discovery solved all my problems.

using the sheet is very easy. all i need to do is enter the values such as budget, rate per supplier and down payments…and it will automatically compute for the estimated expenses, actual expenses to date and available budget. i customized the sheet to make use of php currency and add extra columns and the sheet is good to go. this is the first time in my life i find Excel very interesting. haha! “oh my gulay, sosobra na tayo sa budget!”

wedsheetwedding budget planner

3) use a photo collage software for pegs and ideas
i recently found out that photo collage softwares are not only for mobile phones but for laptops as well, HAHA (ansaveh inde kasi ako IT savvy)!!! i installed Fotor, a freeware photo editor similar to instagram and picframe combined. using the photos i got from Pinterest, i put them together in a single canvass to lessen the number of files (i was not aware of Pinterest at all until my husband informed me about it!)

wedcollagephoto collage desktop version

4) screenshot and document it like a software tester
my work as a software tester involves lots of documentation, narratives and screenshots in writing test reports. i was able to use this ‘skill’ in our wedding planning. ms word, ms paint, photo collage and cmd+shift+4 are my new best tools. you might ask, why not directly write it in email and attach the photos? there’s nothing wrong with that. i guess i just change my mind too often, so i’d rather change the document many times instead of spamming with emails. this will also lessen the confusion for both sender and recipient.

to get my point across, i documented every thing we need for the wedding (we call it Product Requirements Specification document in our world – haha). let’s try making ‘cake’ as an example and here are the steps.

a) gather sample pegs of your dream wedding cake from Pinterest. collect the photos and save them.
b) if you have decided on a theme and motif for the wedding, make a short list of your cake photos and put them in a photo collage. i’m doing this because i don’t want sending too many photos overwhelming the receiver. imagine receiving 5 photo collage of cake photos or 100 individual cake photos.
c) open a new ms word session and include the necessary details and photos. i used the format below.
d) lastly, save it as PDF and send. i prefer sending emails in PDF, to prevent others from modifying it.

weddocwedding requirements document

i hope you find these things helpful in your future wedding planning. :) the things i mentioned here might be an old trick though from a personal perspective, it really made things easier and less stressful because I was able to track everything during the planning.

happy reading!

Random D+K updates [11232013]

yey! with only 4 months and 3 weeks to go before the big day, i am starting to feel the little progress and accomplishments of our wedding project. :) we just had our pre-wedding shoot 2 weeks ago and 2 days ago, the photographer emailed us and sent us the link to the photos. i am excited!

i saw the photos and they are really good, i can’t even wait for the high-resolution copies! i remember when husband and i were discussing about the concept of our pre-wedding shoot, i was suggesting so many out of this world concepts and styling like a country-style shoot because we are in new zealand. haha! he objected to the idea saying he doesn’t want to wear costume and be a cowboy because that is not him and he doesn’t want to look ridiculous. mas game pala ako sa mga paandar, hahaha!

looking back on that conversation and to the pre-wedding photos we have now, i would say that i’m very satisfied and happy on how the photos turned out. i am grateful to my husband for giving me the realisation that beauty doesn’t have to come with wearing costumes, styling pang artista and whole day shoot. not that i’m against it though because i know some of my engaged friends are doing this. i guess we are just the type of couple who prefers it all natural and simple, just like who we are in real life. here are some of the photos, the rest to be shown on the wedding day.

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i really feel excited about this wedding thing that sometimes, i forget to ask my husband on his opinions. well, it’s actually funny because despite asking him for his opinion, we always still end up following ‘my’ choice. quoting my husband, “tinatanong mo pa ako, may napili ka naman na. dun na tayo sa gusto mo.” i really love my husband for being so patient with me.

[d&k conversation...]

me: beh, mag d diy ako para makatipid tayo. nag d diy yung mga wawies natuwa ako. tsaka para yung small details maganda sa picture. kasi pi picture-an yung mga [insert blah blah blah...]

hubbyalam mo, wag ka masyado mag pa stress sa mga details na yan. di naman maaaala ng bisita yan. mas gusto ko ubusin ng photographer yung oras nya picture-an yung mukha natin at pamilya natin, kesa mag picture ng kung ano ano.

he is right. i was focusing my energy on the small things that i tend to forget the real essence of the wedding day. so now, i just stopped doing diy projects and not stressing myself too much. i trust that our chosen suppliers will deliver very well on our wedding day and i know that god will help us make our wedding day be a very beautiful and memorable one.

my bride-to-be friend just started her 100-day wedding countdown and somehow this made me also excited because our wedding dates are just 1 month apart from each other. curious as to when our 100th day countdown will start, i looked at the calendar and was surprised to see that it will fall on dec 28th which is also our 1st yr (civil) wedding anniversary!!!

so now, i’m feeling that dec 28 and april 7 are very good dates for us and our marriage and that i feel the positive energy (na va-vibes ko) that everything will fall into place during our wedding day. “don’t sweat the small stuff” lang ang peg. 

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