Featured Post

Çeşme: A Dream Destination in the Aegean Region

The Aegean Region is definitely a must-see when visiting Turkey. In the province of Balıkesir alone, there are heritage places, hotels and ...

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Season's Greetings from Kolca Family




Hello, everyone! Hoping you all have the best of the holiday season. Have a very merry Christmas and advance happy New Year, too!!






Monday, December 12, 2016

A Quick Visit to Kuala Lumpur

I know I already have fallen in love with Tokyo and in my mind, there is a small chance for any other country in Asia to surpass that. But maybe I have to give others a chance by not judging them even before sitting my foot on them. So here you go, I booked a ticket to Malaysia and off we went to for Kuala Lumpur during my elder daughter's school break in October. We took the kids to the Batu Cave, KLCC Bird Park, Aquaria, Jalan Alor, Petronas Tower, and that's all.






Family photo with a peacock. Suna was scared of the bird.




This way to more peacocks and peahens.




It was so humid that day. We had to change outfits.




This was the cutest part of the KLCC Bird Park.




Looking for dinner at Jalan Alor.




At the Aquaria the next day.




Then walked to the biggest children's playground in Kuala Lumpur after.




The kids didn't want to leave. Haha.




Saying 'hi' to the twins.


On our 3rd day we didn't do anything much cos there was traffic everywhere due to the celebration of Hindu's Festival of Light or Diwali. We just spent most of our time at Berjaya Time Square, a mall nearby Park Royal Hotel, the hotel where we stayed in. The good thing about Berjaya Time Square is their indoor amusement park. Of course, it was nothing compared with Universal Studios in Singapore. Nevertheless, the kids had fun with the rides and were tired enough to sleep soundly on our flight back to Manila that night.

Honestly, traveling with family is the best though can be a little hard at the same time. We wanted to stay more or go around more yet there are factors to always consider first. Like what's stated in the title, it was just a quick visit. Anyway, we make memories and interesting discoveries while traveling whether it's a short or a long one. Hopefully, our next flight is to a continent that we've never been to, ever. Hint: we had our visa interview approved last Friday and now we're waiting for our passports to come in the mail.





PS. You can more photos from this trip in my Instagram. Follow me @mrskolca.






Thursday, December 08, 2016

A Different Kind Of Basket





As holidays approach, you might question what to get family members, friends and those you work with. Unique corporate gift baskets are an idea if you aren't sure what to get for an employer. You could make a basket with coffee and muffins or one with wine glasses and a bottle of wine, but these are so traditional. Think outside of the box, giving something that says that you appreciate the work that is put forth by the employer so that you have a place of employment.

If your employer is a man, then consider a male-themed basket. An idea for the basket itself is a paint can that is painted black on the outside with the words "Man Can" in white letters. Add items to the can that any man would enjoy, such as a few tools, a coffee mug or shave gel. You could also add a few things that have to do with sports, like a ball or even tickets to a game.






Give someone a sweet basket with candy that is a bit nostalgic. Find a lunchbox or tin with an older kind of candy on the outside. Fill the box with candies that have been around for many years, such as a candy necklace, a Clark Bar and other vintage finds. This is a gift for one who enjoys looking back and reminiscing about good times. Another option for the one who enjoys food is a beer and snacks basket. You need to make sure the person drinks before adding the beer. You could get a variety of small bottles to display in the front of the basket with snacks behind the bottles that include crackers, meat sticks and peanuts.

For the person who spends a lot of time taking care of a car, then a car care basket would be the ideal gift. Put the items for the basket in a bucket that can be used to hold water to wash the car. You could include a sponge, car wax, shop towels and other items that are used to keep the inside and outside of the car clean.





Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Silly Suna



I love how talkative Suna is already. She can express herself more clearly and is using familiar expressions at the age of 3. If you want to smile, read these excerpts from my conversation with her earlier today.


Conversation #1
Suna: I wanna be bigger and bigger then I'll go to zumba with you, Mama.
Me: Uh, okay. You and ate can join me. I will teach you how to zumba.
Suna: I want to do myself! I'm just big girl!! :)


Conversation #2
Suna: Don't go to gym, Mama.
Me: I need to go. I want to be strong.
Suna: Strong is for boys only. It's for Baba!
Me: Girls can be strong, too. You can see there are lot of girls in the gym.
Suna: It's not your age! It's Baba's age!! :D


More to come so stay tuned. Hihi.



Sunday, November 06, 2016

Of Witches and Candies

Hello, dearies! How was your Halloween?

This year, Halloween party and trick and treating was all fun for my 2 daughters. The elder daughter got a little lucky. She was able to attend a total of 3 events and won 'Darling of the Crowd' in one them. She's got to dress up as her favorite saint in line with their Hallow's Eve celebration in school, too. If you guys follow me in IG then I am sure you know how she'd look like that day. Anyway, this post is about our Halloween party in the clubhouse. Exactly 3 days before we flew to Kuala Lumpur, we went trick or treating in our community and below are a few photos from that day.






Suna opted to wear a DIY Minnie Mouse costume. I remember her ate also wore a Minnie  inspired costume when she was at the same age. Check my entry HERE. What a coincidence!




The admin hired McDonald's services for this year's Halloween party. Here the girls are in the queue to get a happy meal box containing their food and toy.




Of course, there has to be a photo op with Grimace after all the games and eating. Everyone is smiles, ha. That's because they're about to go around the community for trick or treating.




Me doing some mama duties: gotta carry this girl to get to the candy faster. Haha. Seriously though, I hope they won't do the program in the morning anymore. It was quite hot!




Okay, tita duties next because my arms are tired na. Look at that bucket. It's already full.
Next year, hope to catch another spectacular Halloween celebration. Maybe Japan again? :)





Saturday, November 05, 2016

Visiting The Doctor

Doctor's visits can be extremely intimidating for children. A visit may often include the administering of vaccines, or, if the child is sick, may require an examination that is uncomfortable. As a parent, it may be helpful to discuss the upcoming visit in a calm and reassuring manner, and discuss the reasons why the visit is needed and how it can help the child to stay healthy, happy, and well.

Basic Health Discussions Calm discussions about why it's good to visit the doctor regularly are a good way to put children at ease. Gentle language, and a discussion about basic good health practices, like eating well, getting rest, drinking plenty of water, and going to the doctor regularly. The discussion about basic good health practices offers a non-threatening lead in to make it easy to discuss the doctor visit.

Preparing for the Doctor's Visit Before the actual visit, it may be a good idea to sit quietly and meditate for a few minutes. If you have a spiritual leader that you follow, like david e taylor, it may be a good idea to listen to them quietly. In preparation for the visit, pack books and simple toys that your children can play with while they wait to be seen.

The Doctor's Visit Once you get to the doctor's office, pull the toys and books out and let the children play with them while they wait to be seen by the doctor. Offer to read one of the books that were packed for the doctor's visit. Ask the children if they have any questions regarding the purpose of the visit. It's also a good idea to ask if there is anything they would like to talk about before you see the doctor. You can also encourage your child to discuss his or her nervousness regarding the visit, with the doctor, at the beginning of the examination. This is also a step that will help to diminish fear and anxiety.

Doctor's visits can be intimidating, even for adults. Imagine how much scarier these same visits are for little people. Becoming the calm gentle voice of reason, answering questions, initiating conversations, and preparing for the visits, can move mountains in terms of getting children to feel more relaxed about going to see the doctor. Encouraging children to express their anxieties to the doctor is also a helpful approach. The doctor can then respond with sensitivity and take measures to make the child more comfortable.





Tuesday, October 11, 2016

My Berdori Pearl Haul

So I have been meaning to publish this entry. Like I mentioned in my Berdori post, I going to share my mini shopping haul after. I know some of you are waiting for it. To be honest, I didn't really buy a lot of items, I only spent a few thousand pesos, but to give you an idea on how much would it cost for a strand of quality freshwater pearls or a pair of south sea earrings from a legitimate pearl store in Greenhills, here we go.






I got this pair of 11mm champagne south sea pearls set in silver for only P6,000. Pearls, being my birthstone, is my favorite go-to earrings at the moment. I can dress up and dress down with it. One more thing that I really love about south sea pearls is that I can wear them practically almost everywhere even on jeepney a commute. Deadma sa pitas hikaw gang ang pearls.




Now here is a pair of earrings, a choker and a bracelet in freshwater pearls of high quality. I got this set for P4,000 only. These are the ones I bought to be gifted to my husband's friend. They look very nice in person. Only my photo doesn't give enough justice to it.




I went back to Berdori the next day and bought another set of quality freshwater pearls at the same price range for another friend in Istanbul. In total, I bought a pair of south sea pearls for me and then 2 pairs of freshwater pearls earrings, 2 freshwater pearl necklaces and 2 freshwater pearl bracelets to be given as gifts.

You know, I previously heard about Berdori in an online thread before and read a few blogs about their store, so I was kind of interested to see them and their collection of south sea pearls and other jewelry. Their price range isn't really that high compared with other stores in Greenhills. I did a few rounds before going straight to their store and found that out for myself.

Do you like pearls? What is your birthstone?




Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Baked Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Just posted a photo of this dish in IG and Facebook. One of my friends asked for the recipe, then I thought why not blog about it and send her the link? So okay, writing down the recipe now and sharing it to her in a bit. Here we go.





Dyaraaan..  my most requested Turkish-style baked meatballs.


   

Best eaten with rice and plain yogurt on the side.



Ingredients for the meatballs:
500 grams ground beef
1 small carrot, grated
4 stems parsley, finely chopped
1 white onion, finely chopped
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tsp spanish paprika
1/2 tsp cracked pepper
1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
Salt to taste

Other ingredient:
2 medium eggplants

For the sauce mix the following:
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup water

Procedure:
In a bowl, put all the ingredients for the meatballs and mix very well. Get a small portion and form into an elongated ball which is about 2 inches long and 1 inch thick. Don't panic, I know I said meatballs but dear, Turkish meatballs are like this, really. They are either flat like burger patties or elongated like tiny kebabs. Repeat the process until the meat mixture is done.

Divide the eggplants into three and then cut them the same length with the meatballs. Arrange meatballs and eggplant slices in a rectangular baking dish, putting them side by side, one after the other.

Finally, pour over the sauce on the meatballs then bake for 25 minutes or until the top is brown and the sauce is reduced. Enjoy!



Yield: About 5 servings.


NOTE: I forgot  to mention that I sprinkled some spring onions and cracked pepper before baking. This is very much optional. Also, instead of the two you can use chopped parsley and black pepper or other spice and herb combination that you like.








Thursday, September 08, 2016

Çeşme: A Dream Destination in the Aegean Region

The Aegean Region is definitely a must-see when visiting Turkey. In the province of Balıkesir alone, there are heritage places, hotels and beaches that attract thousands of local tourists during summer. Meanwhile, the province of Aydin beats the latter with its port that welcomes cruise ships all year long, a coastal community of powdery beach, row of yachts, marina park and mall, etc. But hey, I am only speaking based on what I visited personally and haven't told you everything about other famous destinations yet, say for example the province İzmir. Honestly, of all three provinces I mentioned, it is my most favorite because it is where I can find one of my dream destinations, a place called Çeşme, also the subject of my post today.






This is like the Turkish counterpart of the coastal town of Saint-Tropez in the French Riviera. I think the people living here are either really old residents or the very rich and famous.




Here is the beautiful view of the marina and yacht club from Çeşme Castle. I will write a separate entry on the castle later on so watch out for it. It was a great place to visit.





So hot that we also thought of swimming on the Ilica Beach. Long beach, fine sand and clear water. What do you want more?




Just a few beach-goers tho. People normally crowd this place in June after school closing and summer officially starts.




Meanwhile, let me take you to Alaçatı, a small town known for its narrow cobblestone streets, old houses, and boutique hotels.




This place becomes alive at night when most clubs and bars stay open until the next morning.




Like Greece? Wiki says this place is originally settled by the Greeks in the 17th century. That's why.




We saw a lot of couples shooting their prenuptial photos that day. Look, couple #1 walking while couple #2 spotted behind the bougainvillea flowers. There were more couples but I was too shy to take their photos. Haha.




Feeling romantic yet? Say I do! :)




A perfect spot to snap some pictures. Click*




We passed by a souvenir shop.




And this house. I wish I live here. This place is so charming and posh. Till I see you again Çeşme!








Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Hot Spring Weekend

What is your favorite weekend getaway just an hour or two outside Manila? For over 10 years now, my husband and I prefer to go to this natural hot spring resort in Laguna. It it is called La Roca de Trinidad and it where we always go for a swim and barbecue if everyone in the family is free, weather is favorable and traffic situation is tolerable. Honestly, we do not get tired of the place because of the memories we have created and shared therein. Plus, it is always clean, not crowded, and the staff are friendly. We used to visit as a couple, now we go as a family so it's more enjoying. We went there again on a Saturday last month and discovered some improvement like they started adding a lanai to their picnic shed and also increased the temperature of the swimming pool.






Here I am with my daughters in their floaters.




We grilled some chicken, fish and pork liempo (last two not in picture).




This little miss right here was first hesitant to jump in the water.




Later on she was unstoppable as well as her younger sister. Lol.




Suna already fits a small floater. No more baby floater for her.






This place is surrounded with trees, plants and flowers so we could really relax during visits. The entrance fee is minimal and there are choices of picnic table, picnic shed, big hut, pavilion, air-conditioned room, etc. for daytime rent or overnight. This place is located just a little ahead of 88 Hot Spring Resort in Los Banos, Laguna. Disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post. If you need more info. on La Roca de Trinidad Resort, you can visit http://larocaresort.com/.








Friday, August 05, 2016

Berdori: My New Favorite Pearl Store

Being a June baby and having knowledge that it is my actual birthstone, it is almost natural for me to like pearl as my jewelry. I remember admiring an old churchmate with her pearl bracelet, a gift from her fellow missionary from the Pacific. That time, I didn't know the difference between a freshwater pearl and a south sea pearl yet, so I was thinking my churchmate was one very lucky lady to have worn such beauty in her arm. As a young office girl earning a very humble income, obviously I didn't have enough money to buy real pearls. I thought, I can work hard and buy me some pearls someday.

Fastforward to present, I now have a decent set of south sea pearl jewelry plus better knowledge on pearls and pearl shopping. Just the other day, I made it to a legitimate pearl store in Greenhills by the name of Berdori and bought a set of quality freshwater pearls as gift to a friend and a new pair of golden south sea pearl studs for me. I know I was not supposed to buy again, but I was soooo tempted. Luckily, hubby approved my wish and so I'm a one happy wifey.





Next on my wish list is one of these south sea pearl necklaces. They all look so grand most esp. the golden one.




Or maybe another set but with diamonds instead of plain gold? Oh my, I think I'll have to starve my family to get one.




Berdori is now my current favorite jewelry store in the Philippines. Thanks to Miss Edwina, the very kind saleslady of Berdori in Greenhills.




I know I will be back to Berdori to buy another set of pearls. Update August 5, 2016 12:30 PM: I went back to Berdori to buy another set of pearls again today. Haha.


Wait for my pearl shopping haul to be featured in this blog soon! :)





Berdori
G/F Pearl Market, Greenhills Shopping Center, San Juan
Cel. No. 09228592042



Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Zodiac Gifts

When it’s time to find that just right gift for that very special person in your life, it’s important to have a great place to shop that really delivers with quality gift ideas. There’s nothing more frustrating than searching around for a great gift that will really make an impact, but then coming up short. That’s why having a place like Cal Global USA, (where great gift ideas are guaranteed) is a gift in itself.


Cal Global USA is the online place to go to find fabulous gifts that suit any occasion. This shop has a wide selection of gift items that range from intricate gift cards to beautifully crafted items in crystal and gleaming plated chrome. Cal Global USA has gift ideas for all kinds of occasions, from holidays to birthdays, weddings, new baby celebrations, anniversaries and more.

The Beauty of the Zodiac Gifts

For those who enjoy the magic and mysticism of the zodiac, Cal Global USA has a beautiful line of finely crafted collector’s gift pieces designed to celebrate each individual sign of the zodiac. These lovely figurines measure 3 x 3 inches and they are crafted in shining plated chrome and accented with Swarovski element crystal. The zodiac figure on each of these pieces is featured on a stand with a title showing the name of the sign of the zodiac featured. These pieces are wonderful gifts for the holidays or of course for a birthday. They are great for display, too, and they add extra shine and light to a room. These unique, charmingly crafted gift pieces offer a different figure for each sign of the zodiac, and they are sure to be treasured for years.


Whether the person you’re shopping for is a regal Leo the lion, a raging bull Taurus, a sassy Scorpio or an angelic little Virgo, there’s no doubt they’ll be thrilled to receive one of these charming little zodiac figures. Take a look at the full selection of beautiful zodiac figures available now at Cal Global USA today, to find the just right gift for that very special person in your life.





Thursday, July 21, 2016

Sunday Church Day Outfit

I love dressing up on special occasions. But if there is one specific day of the week that I love dressing up the most, then it would be Sunday. On Sundays, I make sure I look prim and proper for the sacrament meeting and other church services.

Being one of the leaders in the Primary Organization, I believe I play a very important role in the eye of the young children in our ward. Modesty is always in my mind when choosing what to wear for the Sabbath day. For example, a coverup is a must if the sleeves are short. Stockings are needed when hemline is a little above the knee. Makeup should be minimal or else I'd go for a natural look. These and a bit more to consider in getting ready for church in my Sunday best.




Obviously here, last Sunday was just another dress up day. I finally wore this dress which I bought long time ago. It waited a lot in my closet because I used to feel like 'suman' in it. This time, I'm only a couple of kilos away from my desired/ideal weight, so squeezing in it was easier.

What I Wore:
-Forever 21 dress
-SM Woman belt
-Shoes by Tish pumps (will write a separate post on this next time)
-bag from Istanbul
-Anne Klein watch


Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Backblogging: One Sweet Day

It was another early summer afternoon, the kids were looking for something to snack on so I thought of whipping up some doughnuts for them. They gladly helped me cutting the dough as my mother-in-law watch us as she was not familiar with them. FYI, doughnuts are not a famous treat in Turkey. They have a wide variety of caked and pastries but nothing very similar with doughnuts.






Look, both girls couldn't wait for the doughnuts to get glazed.





Can you spot Suna's hand dipping a doughnut ball in a plate of sugar?





The sugar glaze was done right but the chocolate glaze was a fail. Boo! :P



I just remember posting this because of Bayram. If we were in Turkey right now, the kids will most probably indulge on candies and a lot more sweets. Bayram is like Christmas for children in Turkey. It's all about celebrations, treats, money, and gifts.

Bayraminiz Kutlu Olsun Arkadaşlar!

Ahhh.. dobo!

One of the dishes that I really missed while we were still in Turkey was adobo. I missed it a lot that I requested our helper to cook it right away the first day that we arrived in Manila. For me, nothing beats the taste of our native Filipino cuisine specially our very dear adobo. It is something that I can never get tired of. In fact, I can cook so many different kinds of adobo recipe from meat to fish to vegetables. This one though is my classic take on pork adobo.






I love my adobo to have a creamy sauce and I achieve that by simmering the meat in a low fire until the meat is tender and the sauce thickened a bit.





This has been my plate for lunch today. I always want my adobo to be served with rice and steamed vegetables. #teamadobo #ftw


Good news though for busy mommies who wants to a quick-to serve adobo meal, Datu Puti has come with adobo mixes in different variants featuring flavors from Bicol, Visayas, and Luzon. They are the adobo sa gata, humba, pininyahang adobo, plus the classic with a twist spicy adobo.





Honestly, I haven't experimented on cooking any of these recipes yet. I am always stuck with the classic recipe be it meat, vegetable or fish. This time I promise to try all using these Adobo Series mixes. After all, anybody can be an adobo master in his/her own kitchen, yeah?

With that being said, I am formally joining the Adobo Movement by voting for adobo to be the official National Dish of the Philippines. Thanks to Datu Puti for launching the campaign this year.

If you love adobo and would like to support the idea of it being declared as the 'pambansang ulam', I propose that you sign the petition to officially declare adobo as the National Dish of the Philippines. At least 500,000 signatures is needed, so cast your vote now at www.adobomovement.com.

Makibaka! Maki-pork!! Maki-chicken!!!