24 December 2008

it’s Christmas Eve!!! ^_^

Merry Christmas from Mr. and Mrs. Norbert Angelo Elbanbuena! =)

This is my first Christmas post as Mrs. Melissa Solito-Elbanbuena and will probably be my last post for the year 2008. And what a dramatic year it has been! Not just for me but for the whole world (economic crisis, epidemics, disasters, etc). WHEW! I wonder what’s in store for 2009?? o_O For this blog, expect my personal 2008 Year in Review, more of our wedding pictures and finally, our honeymoon photos! I know a lot of people have been waiting for that (so sorry guys!) but I’ve been really busy (yeah, pathetic excuse I know) even after our wedding last October. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

One, I was choosing and segregating wedding photos from 5gb worth of that stuff. I got to choose what to send to the printers, what to put in the albums we’ll give to our parents (the official storybook album was taken cared of by the studio), what to reprint for families, friends, and sponsors. The task seemed daunting! But I finally finished it and was even able to post some wedding photos in this blog =) Two, I was making a wedding invitation (second page below) for my cousin who’s in Zamboanga (his bride is in Dubai). Thank god for email!! I finally finished it first week of December. And yeah, I did it for FREE =) Three, loads of extra online work! Gotta earn dough for my insurance payment due this month!

devera-wedding-invite-page2Four, I was going out of my wits Christmas gift shopping for 2 families, 4 clans and 4 godchildren. Gahh!! Also, Labsie and I had a hard time scheduling how we will spend the meager holiday vacation time he has. Unlike most employees who had a 12-day vacation, Labsie will only be free on Dec. 25-27 and 31 (yes, he had work on 24 and 30!) and Jan 1-2. And since we knew his family was hankering to spend time with us, we knew we had to squeeze a mini-vacation in Panabo (his home). And did I mention already the 2 baptisms, 4 school reunions, and 4 family reunions that we have to attend? But wait, there’s more! Four of that reunions will be on Dec. 27! Are we supposed to halve our bodies now?? LOL! I tell you it has been (and still will be) a hectic December for us! Married life is effin’ crazy during Christmas!! o_O

14 December 2008

Christmas 2008 tag!

Ten more days to go and it's Christmas! Can’t wait!! ^_^ Join in the fun HERE!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? both, depending on the gift =)
2. Real tree or Artificial? haler, as if we have a choice here in Pinas! artificial, what else??
3. When do you put up the tree? after All Souls Day (Nov 2)
4. When do you take the tree down? after 1st Sunday of January
5. Do you like eggnog? nope =(
6. Favorite gift received as a child? my one and only Barbie doll, hehe!
7. Hardest person to buy for? my pesky brothers
8. Easiest person to buy for? Labsie =)
9. Do you have a nativity scene? yes, but it lacked one wise king, LOL
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? either, it's the thought that counts ;-)

merry christmas!

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? hmmm.. can't remember!
12. Favorite for Christmas dinner? ham and Mama's fruit cake (which she didn't make this year! sniff!)
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? as early as January, hahaha!
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? yup! the receiver needs it more than I do ;-)
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Christmas cookies and Mama's fruit cake!
16. Lights on the tree? definitely! =)
17. Favorite Christmas song? "Christmas in Our Hearts" and "Perfect Christmas" by Jose Mari Chan
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? as long as I'm with my family, doesn't matter =)
19. Angel on the tree top or a star? star! but this year, Mama put up an angel.. the new trend?
20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? anytime during December! LOL

credit: Typepad banner from Blog in a Box: Little Joys by Zoe Pearn

07 December 2008

do you like my new Christmas blog theme?

NOTE: for Multiply readers, head on to yes, it’s ME to see what I’m talking about =)

Me? I love it! After all it’s PINK, hehe! Don’t worry pink haters, it’s a very pale shade of pink, more like old rose actually. And before you heap praises (or maybe insults, boohoo) on how beautiful and Christmassy my blog looks, I didn’t do this. Hehe! I actually bought this Blog in a Box set for $6 from Zoe Pearn =) It came with 3 background papers, 2 photo banners, 1 non-photo banner, 1 Typepad banner, 2 blog post separators, 4 labeled sidebar graphics, and 4 blank sidebar graphics. Now that’s great value for money!! And I actually bought 2 sets =p

Blog in a Box: Little Joys

My only problem is that the JavaScript I put on the sidebar doesn’t work. As you can see, I have no skyscraper Adsense units and other monetize-your-blog widgets =( Also, I have yet to edit the HTML code of my layout. I still have to improve lots of stuff, hay! And come February, I’ll have a new theme (the second one that I bought) which I’ll use until November. Yup, it’s goodbye to my stark white Minima blog theme for the moment. Time to go cutesy and girly girl! Hehe!

01 December 2008

honeymoon chronicles: chapel and kitchen


Greenbelt Chapel in Makati (interior)The latter is my favorite place in the world while the former is Labsie’s most hated one. Hahaha! Kidding! But the truth is, he only goes to Mass about once or twice a year when we were still a couple. Back then we didn’t spend Sundays together coz we allotted it as quality time with our respective families. Thus, he never got my habit of going to church every Sunday (which I got from my strict parents, hehe). But it must be said that Labsie is not difficult to bring to Mass whenever we’re together ^_^

Sunday Breakfast

Since I slept early the night of Day 3 of our honeymoon (I was sick), I woke up quite early and never felt so much better! Sleep is really THE wonder drug ;-) And guess who texted me that early? My mother-in-law of four days! Hehe! She texted that Labsie and I should attend Mass since it’s our first Sunday as husband and wife – kind of a pamahiin to start our marriage right. No problem with us! We already knew the Mass schedule of Greenbelt’s cute chapel (the nearest church to us; it has a Koi pond with live ducks + carabao sculptures around it) and we decided that the 830am mass suited us best. It was a rainy Day 4 but still, off we went to hear God’s word!

Greenbelt Chapel in Makati (exterior)

Unfortunately, we arrived late and since I don’t like not starting a Mass, Labsie and I roamed around the Greenbelt – Landmark – SM – Glorietta area looking for an open store. Only Landmark’s grocery was open so we just went shopping for snacks and medicines for our Coron (Palawan) trip the next day. By the time we finished, Landmark’s department store opened and Labsie got lost in their funny shirts and what-nots area. He went home with 3 shirts + pajama set while I got nothing, hehe!

Jamaican Pattie (sort of like an empanada)

Since it was still too early for the next Mass (1015am), we just went malling in SM and Glorietta. We got lost in bookstores (I got a MUTTS comic book collection!) and gadget stores -- and by the time we realized the time, we were late for the 1015am Mass! Ackk! It seems that the fates does not want us to go to church, hay! Anyhoo, a 12nn Mass was next so we just went malling some more, bought snacks (super-hot Pinatubo Jamaican Pattie!! Pix above) and explored our options for a scrumptious lunch after the Mass. We were very conscious of the time this time and we made it to Greenbelt’s chapel before 12nn. Yippee! =)

- - - O - - -

Honestly, I was expecting the usual, boring Mass and was mentally preparing myself to be awake for the next hour or so. I want to be a good churchgoer model for Labsie you know! LOL! But as always, the Lord has something up His sleeves and gave us the most wonderful Mass ever! The priest was a bit youngish and a firebrand, and he gave the most rousing sermon I’ve ever heard! He talked about people who comes to Mass but are mentally absent, who comes to Mass but does not sing praises and respond, etc, etc. And he was funny too! The pretty chapel was ringing with laughter the entire sermon (and even after coz he kept interjecting!).

Lovely koi pond near Greenbelt chapel in Makati

He even asked the “emcee” to stop talking and let the people say the usual Mass responses without him. He also told the choir to stop singing and just let the churchgoers sing so he’d know if we knew the praise songs without a guide. I tell you, the Mass was hilarious! And humbling as well.. Coz I’m one of the people who doesn’t sing (I respond though) and the priest said: God doesn’t care if you sound like a broken record, only your seatmate does. And who judges if you’re fit for heaven? Not your church seatmate who hates your voice! That day I resolved to praise God as loudly as I can – just be sure you’re out of hearing range! LOL!

saisaki loot: pork gyoza, assorted tempura and assorted maki! yum!

After Mass it was off to Saisaki (and Lolo Dad’s) yummy buffet in Glorietta. The eat-all-you-can spread was gonna end by 2pm and we only have 1 hour to stuff ourselves with luscious tempura, maki and other Japanese delicacies! Hehe! Of course, we were able to do it and left Saisaki very satisfied (and around P1200 poorer, lol). Since I was not feeling well again, we went back to the condo to rest. We were meeting the Luzon-based KADA (Jinky, Pidja, Mhe, Penavi) that evening and I want to be fully rested coz I know there will be an energy-draining talking marathon later. Hehe!

Jinky and fiance' Madz

Around 6pm, we went to KITCHEN, a resto with modern concept in Greenbelt’s Restaurant Row. Jinky suggested it and we trusted her taste. Hehe! I was very sick (my afternoon nap didn’t help at all) and I prayed that good food will revive me again as it did last night ^_^ Jinky arrived with fiance’ Madz (that’s them above) as we took our order and Pidja arrived after we finished dinner. LOL! At least she was there unlike Mhe and Pen. Hala mo!! Hehe! Our evening, however, was cut short (despite the super yummy dinner I had, pics below) coz I was coughing left and right with runny nose and fever. Not good at all!! =(

Tomato Soup by Kitchen (in Greenbelt)

Labsie and I started with a delicious tomato soup. It was really good and cleared my sinuses for a bit! Rich in lycopene and vitamin C too! Good for sick lil me! =)

Garlic Pork Ribs by Kitchen (in Greenbelt) Madz had pork ribs with lotsa garlic. Looks yummy to me!

Seafood Carbonara by Kitchen (in Greenbelt) While Jinx had creamy seafood carbonara. Mmm good!!

Tuna Sandwich by Kitchen (in Greenbelt)

I had a bland tuna sandwich (above) that I wasn’t able to  finish-- or maybe my taste buds weren’t functioning properly. Love the crunchy bits in the upper left though! So who ordered the best dish? LABSIE!! He got this super duper scrumptious shrimp rice topping with crab fat sauce!! It was heavenly!! Yep, my sick taste buds weren’t sick at all, LOL!

Shrimp Rice Topping with Crab Fat by Kitchen (in Greenbelt) Isn’t it lovely?? I just love crab fat!! Here’s a closer look --

Shrimp Rice Topping with Crab Fat by Kitchen (in Greenbelt) DELICIOSO!!! ^_^

Buoyed by the crab-fat-gasmic dinner, Labsie and I set off packing for our Palawan flight the next day. Our flight was at 930am and we planned to leave the condo before 6am. I know it’s too early but it was Monday the next day and we don’t want to be caught in the morning traffic jam. Better safe than sorry! =) Day 4 ended quite nicely coz of the fantabulous dinner food. Thus despite me getting worse for wear, food came to the rescue again! Plus our spiritual aspect was nourished. Plus I got to hang with old friends (despite the short time). Plus we were off to Coron the next day!!! Woohoo!!!!!

we love KITCHEN's shrimp rice topping with crab fat! we shall return!

ALL PHOTOS taken with my Sony Ericsson k800i ^_^

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