July 31, 2010

Food Tasting

The wedding is only 149 days away and there are still a thousand things I need to take care of. My to-do list seems to grow with each day rather than shrink. Invites, guestlist, flowers, gowns, shoes, rings, music... It's neverending.

One point that I was looking forward to was the food tasting. At least you get instant satisfaction (assuming the food is good) from it unlike other items on the list where the result is only seen the big day itself. My sister/maid of honor and D. joined me for an earlier dinner at our reception venue Marriott Newport City.

We decided on a sit-down, 4-course menu. For the food tasting we got to pick 3 dishes for each course. Our decision was unanimous for soup, appetizer and entrée. We are still torn when it comes to desserts, as they were all so delicious that we'd actually want all of them. We'll probably end up with a mash-up of the choices we had.

Meanwhile, here's a sneak peek of what's to come.... There are still tweaks here and there, improvements on presentation and increasing/decreasing of portions or certain ingredients, but this is more or less it. Bon appétit!

Soup: Cream of cauliflower with toasted almonds and truffle essence
Verdict: We requested for some more truffle oil to be added as we're big fans of the taste.

Appetizer: Sweet harbour prawns, tomato avocado salsa, spicy remoulade and salmon caviar.
Verdict: Presentation is a mess and the chef is working on coming up with something visually more inspiring. But the prawns taste fresh, fresh, fresh and the avocado salsa is tasty.

Entrée: Grilled Australian rib-Eye, sautéed rock lobster tail, asparagus, potato dauphinoise, truffle sauce
Verdict: We knew from the start we wanted a surf&turf. This version exceeded our expectations. I'm not a huge fan of lobster, but this was delicious and D. and I fought about who got the last piece. We switched the truffle sauce to a simple red wine sauce as to not overpower the taste of the steak and lobster. Portions are obviously very generous, and I hope even our most hungriest guests will be satisfied.

Dessert: Banana Split cheesecake, rhubarb&pear crumble
Verdict: I'm still salivating just thinking about it. Not everyone is into rhubarb&pear though...

Dessert, option 2: Chocolate banana spring rolls with fresh lychee and fresh mango
Verdict: This is a glorified turon with a chocolate ganache in it. Home food with a sophistication.

Dessert, option 3: Chocolate crème brulée, chocolate mille-feuille, chocolate almond cake and whiskey sauce
Verdict: Chocolate overload. The mille-feuille reminds me of my dad's favorite dessert whenever we were on vacation in South of France.

July 30, 2010

Obsession du Jour - Wall Stickers

Not the type to hang your grandma's artwork on your walls? How about a different type of art? Wallstickers are such a cool and easy way to give your home a little ooompf without having to commit to it like you would if you'd paint your walls a bold color.

I've been browsing Acte-Deco looking for ideas and already planning nursery rooms for my yet-to-be-conceived children. Can't wait to decorate our new home. Well, we'll have to find one first. But once we do, I have plenty of ideas already.

July 27, 2010

Obsession du Jour - Bridal websites

As a bride-to-be, I'm obviously a sucker for everything wedding-related out there. I have a thigh-high stack of bridal magazines at home and suffer from acute analysis-paralysis because of the overload of inspirations I bookmarked.

To make matters worse, there's an array of A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E blogs and websites in the cyberworld that post the cutest pictures from real weddings, ideas for the Do-It-Yourself Bride and other snippets making me exclaim in awe "Ooh! I could do that. This would look pretty!". Here are the ones I visit daily (sshh! don't tell my boss):

I will still be browsing through Style Me Pretty even long after i'm married.

The most gorgeous and ethereal real weddings are featured on 100 Layer Cake. I wonder if they'll post my pictures...

La Belle Bride makes me swoon and pray that I'll look just as radiant and stylish as the brides on the website.

Inspiration boards galore on Snippet & Ink and plenty of links to browse through and "waste" an entire working day.

July 26, 2010

Obsession du Jour - Laptop Envelope

Another find from Totally Funky is the Undercover Laptop Bag.

This ratty, wrinkled brown envelope is actually a padded, waterproof, tearproof laptop sleeve. In a country were you can get mugged for a lot less than a laptop, this is one ingenious idea.

July 23, 2010

Obsession du Jour - Paper Plan Wash Bag

I love stumbling upon quirky stuff like that while surfing. So I've decided to add a new category to my blog called Obsession du Jour. This could be anything from gadgets, websites, pictures, food, anything really.

Today: Paper Plan Wash Bag, available at:

This wash bag is the most adorable gift for my bridesmaids. It's designed to look like an old-fashioned package shipped via snail mail complete with string, stamps and that brown paper look. Instead of the address there's a slogan that says "Wash Your Face and Wash your Feet, Now it's Time to Fall Asleep".

They also have a make-up bag inspired by a postcard. As Rachel Zoe would say: "I die".

July 6, 2010

Every 4 years...

... the world comes together. For 31 days. To stand apart.

No other event encourages nationalism and patriotism as much as the FIFA World Cup. But what do you do if your heart belongs to more than one country?
My filipino blood doesn't call for attention during football season, as the Philippines has yet to be able to perform well in this sport. But my French blood as well as my German upbringing, split my support in two. I haven't seen a match yet, in which my two countries went head to head, so I was never forced to side for one and abandon the other.

With France embarrassing exit of this year's competition. My hearts and lungs (I lost my voice after the win over Argentina) root for Germany.
Unfortunately, the World Cup is not as big a celebration here in Manila as it is back in Munich. So I'll just post some pictures from 4 years ago to reminisce the only 31 days every 4 years, that Germans are proud and loud about being Germans. Deutschland vor! Noch ein Tor! (or in this case: Allez les Bleus!).

July 4, 2010

Random thoughts

From as early as childhood, we are told to always strive for more. Faster, higher, stronger like the Olympic motto. As if life was a constant competition. Always try to be richer, more beautiful, more successful etc. Society often judges and measures us by these criteria. And we comply to it. At least I do. Financial stability is a major concern in my life. I wonder every day how much life would be simpler, had I not to worry about money. Goal: be richer. And everyone knows that girls have body issues. I'm getting married in less than 6 months, of course I'm not happy with the way I look. I've started a strict no-fried food, low carbs, no softdrinks diet and am considering taking it to the next level and going on a strict South Beach diet. Goal: be more beautiful. And work... Ah work!! It's so stressful lately with so many things going on. I got promoted earlier this year and still I want to do more, achieve more, hit higher targets. Goal: be more successful.

But what if that pursuit is actually our biggest roadblock to achieving happiness? What if our focus on always wanting more hinders us to live the moment?!
It's such a simple theory, as if I'm stating the obvious. But the truth is, I am feeling pressured. I am my own roadblock to bliss. Or at least I was. I mean I still want to achieve all of the above goals and pressure is still on, even the more so when I think that a) I need more money to support a child, b) need to get in shape before I get pregnant and c) need to achieve more in my career before I settle down, but the pressure has definitely lessened. I've learned to take a step back and look at my life and appreciate it for what it is. It's a tiny step and I hope that with time I will be able to take some more, but I'm grateful for what I have. I have someone by my side that loves me for who I am and I know that no matter the challenges I will face, at least I won't be alone anymore but have someone standing next to me.

Perfection isn't the goal. All those superlatives are great but they're not essential. To put in some cheesy words: the journey is the destination. I know it sounds like something of quotes.com, it actually is. But happiness is found in trying to achieve it. I've made peace with my past, but now I've also made peace with my future.


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