Kabsa Night

And so I mentioned on my previous post that I met up with A (my high school friend). And that night, she told me that they will have a small gathering together with older batch mates who were from our school as well. I’m lucky that I had to chance to meet up with them. I’ve been dreaming to taste the very own Kabsa of kuya Papu (the one on the far right). And they were right, there’s no way to not resist bringing a pack home.

With Joshua John C. Santiago, Lance Abary Contreras, Me, Arianne Ailie Asuncion Dizon, Jerry Dizon and Papu Nucum.

Thank you to Santiago family for accommodating us and welcoming us to their beautiful home in San Larazo Village. I’ve never been to that place and I so love that place. Insha Allah I’ll have the chance to buy a house from that area – yeah right! Let me win the lottery for that to happen hahaha!

Highlights of 2012

WARNING: Photo overload hehehe!

So here we go. Before I totally forget. Just to summarize the year of 2012.

JANUARY

It was our first family photo to be complete after what happened last 2011. I can’t believe that we’re finally here in UAE and looking forward to start our new life. This was the month that we first see the beauty of Burj Al Khalifa (that still give me jitters up until now whenever I see it in person).

Day 7/366 - Dubai Mall to meet up with friends and to see this amazing building Burj Al Khalifa.01.01.12 - US at Sahara Mall. Our first family photo for this year. Alhamdulillah!

February

Had the opportunity to finalized or visa. In return, we had to exit UAE and stayed overnight in a hotel in Muscat Oman. Hubby went first and within that week, me and my kids flew to Oman. My MIL arrived as well to stay for a short visit.
It was this month that we experienced life in Dubai through riding the means of transportation: Bus and Metro.

Our flight going to Muscat Oman. Feb28/12MIL's first time in Dubai Aquarium and to see the beauty of Burj Al Khalifa.Our first ride over Dubai Metro w MIL.Nahuli sa parade ng National Day ng UAE ✌✌✌

March

Everything was back to normal. Hubby started to look for a job while I on the other hand are still coping up with our new life.
Yazan celebrated his 6th birthday too. It was a month of roaming around because MIL was here and then she had to leave and go back to Rabegh that time too.

At Dubai Festival City. Alhamdulillah! To God be the glory.❤Julie & Julia❤Goofing around during their cousin's birthday.

April

Opportunities come and go. We still don’t have work and we’re still looking for chances as well. But we know that Allah’s with us. We may not have what we’ve always wanted to have, but we’re still blessed that we are complete and we’re together through thick and thin. Met with my cousin and they showed us more of Dubai’s finest places. Burj Al Arab was very beautiful.

While waiting for Papa, me and the kids stroll down along Jumeirah Beach Residence. Nagutom lang ako pano puro restaurants. Mag lu-lunch pa naman. After strolling for 30mins, Julie and Julia's face were so pink. Even when walking under the shades, ang iniTGIF w my cousins at Souq Madinat Jumeirah. First time to see Burj Al Arab.Ansaveh ng Rayban?

May

It’s my SIL birthday month. We treat her in Applebee’s Dubai and she loved their steaks. But I wasn’t impressed with their service though. Nothing can compare the hospitality of Applebee’s Qatar. Having a SIL like ate Rana is one of the best gift I’ve received from God. My family-in-law are the best and I’m one lucky WIFE indeed. Masha’Allah.

Taken last Friday: (L) Hubby, Yazan, SIL and her husband + their "Still-thinking-what-to-order" faces.Celebrating SIL's birthday. Her Cake topped with the free Syrian flag. We love you ate Rana!!! @ranaowainy5.25.2012 • Julie & Julia • ApplebeesSIL and I

June

Our dearest Julie turned 1. Hubby’s cousin celebrated her birthday as well for this month. Went out to Zaabeel Park with cousins and Hubby was preparing to leave to Jeddah this month as well. It was a heartbreaking month because we will not be with him for a month.

Julie's Cake

I miss you Sweety! Come home soon.Taken during the last week of June. We visited Hubby and SIL's cousin for a surprise birthday cake. photo snag from SIL @ranaowainyFinally went boat riding at the corniche. Our first boat ride experience was in Doha Corniche last April 20, 2007 (Our first day as husband and wife) Now after 5 years, here we are with our two lovely treasures.TGIF with cousin Cyrille. Naipit ko ata si Lilypot

July

Hubby left to Jeddah to find work. While his brother, Ahmad arrived and stayed for a week since he’s going to Riyadh to finally Alhamdulillah start working there. Hubby went to make Omrah in Mecca that month as well. Hubby arrived at the end of the month too. You can see the last photo my girls giving him a welcome kiss. They sure miss their dad. Oh by the way, this was the month that ScrapMatters accepted my application as a Guest CT for their store for the month of December. It was a such a happy/sad/exciting month I believe.

All his bags are packed and ready to go...✈ Hubby's leaving again tomorrow. He's off to Jeddah to make Omrah in Macca and to also try his luck to search for a job. He'll be welcomed by my parents-in-law. Kagabi pa ako nagiiiyakBIL is here! We missed him. Sayang hindi sila nagkaabot ni Abed.He's in Mecca now. Alhamdulillah!Sensya na, masaya lang ako talaga. Hehehe!!! Kahit na mali username ko dito ok lang. Basta may JHARI pwede na sa akinBIL's tour at Dubai Mall. First time to see the Waterfall Atrium as well. Gondo lang!And Papa's home

August

It’s my mom’s birthday month. And Hubby got his gall bladder removed as well. He was confined in the hospital for 3 days for that procedure. Alhamdulillah he’s all fine up until now. Harry died on me the previous month and he was revived after being taken to another local store. Thank God! And August was a month of getting ready for Eid. A job opportunity knocked on my door. I thought that was it. Until now I’m still hoping that they’ll give me a callback. But I guess, it’s not okay to let your hopes up too much.

Mommy and DaddyThank you for praying with us.WB Harry!"I promise... Do you?"C is for Cookie. Stocking up for the Eid.

September

It’s Yara’s turn to celebrate her birthday. She turned 9 that month. The call that I was waiting for came in that month again. 2nd interview. It’s summer time so we went to Bab Al Shams and a swimming at Dreamland.

Waited for 3hrs and this was my view this afternoon. Sumakit ang fwet ko hahahah!⌚One Monday night at Bab Al Shams.After 2yrs, nakapag swimming rin. Hindi ko na uulitin. Ayoko na mangitim. Huhuhu!!! Yup, that's one of our ways to cover up. Exclusive Muslim Swim wear but there's one i want na Speedo ang tatak. Para may protection talaga sa sun. Hanap kami ni SIL next t

October

Hubby’s birthday month. Hoorah! He turned 32 last year and Alhamdulillah he’s with us and praying for more years to come. We spent the day along the beach with SIL’s family. Thankful for another year. We brought Julia to her 2nd dental Check-up too for this month. Went up to Green Mubazzarah a well. Picnic with Hubby’s family. And lastly, this month was a hectic month for our dearest Lily. She was nebulized for the first time. Wawa baby. Suffered due to cold and cough.

We're here. Alhamdulillah.2nd Dental Check-upMy ex-boyfriend cc: @abedoweiniMorning kisses from Julie and Julia for dearest Papa. Happy birthday Sweety @abedoweini. I hope you enjoyed your day with us from sunrise to sunset.Went this morning to the health center para pa-checkup si Lily. Nebulize ang bagsak. Ubo, sipon and teething stage nagsabay sabay kasi. Wawa naman sana ako nalang may sakit pag ganito. She cried too much that it hurts seeing her in pain.

November

The weather started to change this month. I started to arrange our clothes and pull out the winter ones. This was the month for the end of Twilight Saga. And hubby surprised me by buying a ticket for the first day showing here in UAE. I was really surprised and was shouting like crazy LOL! Our pretty Julia turned 4. Alhamdulillah. I couldn’t ask for anything more except for her to be safe and to grow up with full of respect to elders. We experienced our first dine in at the famous Golden Fork in Dubai. Hubby’s cousin and her husband took us there for a treat. Over all, November was  good month.

The celebrant with her birthday cake. Happy 4th birthday ate Julia!!!
A day at the park.Julie & Julia at Al Mamzar Bay. ❤ 11.26.2012Passed by the big tent on our way to the park this afternoon. So excited! Weeeee! It'll be my first time na makakita ng circus live!And there goes the end of Twilight Saga... Forever❤ 11.15.2012Golden Fork. Sarap ng Seafood soup nila. Grilled shrimp, the best! Treat from hubby's cousin.

Finally, December

National Day for UAE falls on the 2nd day of December. We experienced how patriotic Emirati all are. UAE flags are all over the place. And the Corniche was unbelievably crowded. The traffic enforcers had to close the whole street just for all families to be safe to cross back and forth. My birthday month. I was sick and it’s not a good sign at all. Got infected with the stomach flu. Me, my husband and my kids suffered with it for 2 1/2 days. Ugh! We had to move my birthday celebration on the 7th.  We dine in for the 2nd time in Applebee’s with and first time at Chilli’s. Thanks for the generous family of SIL. Oh yeah, this month ended with removing lice and nits. Yup, you heard it right. SIL’s kids got it and 2 of my kids obviously had it too. Good thing we were able to remove them all after 3 weeks of curing and shampooing everyday. Ugh! What a stressful month.

Oh yez! Traffic along Corniche. Saya ng National Day dito sa UAE. Ramdam mo hangang kahapon pa. Parang fiesta sa park dahil ang ingay and super dami ng tao. Families all group together for a picnic. Ang saya lang! Hehehe!Sick at 32Will be blowing my cake for my 32nd birthday. We call this, "dress up party". Kasi wala naman party. Hehehe!With cousin Hiba at Applebee's Dubai. [12.13.12]Untitled

That’s it. 2012 was a tough year for us all. Health, marriage, financial and relationship with each of us here in the house has been challenged a lot. But Alhamdulillah, things are great and Allah never put us down in times of need. We’re striving hard and we’re coping up as well. We can do this and we will not give up until we’re up on our own. We’re blessed and we’re thankful.

Kabab

As I mentioned in my previous post, we went to visit SIL over her in-laws for lunch and decided to stay there for the night. Her brother-in-laws prepared a delicous meal for us.

Kabab has been one of my favorite meal aside from Kabsa (the famous Beryani rice with Chicken). And so when we arrived there, the guys had already prepared the grill and was just waiting for us so that they can start cooking.

Here’s a photo of the Kabab (edits from Instagram).

Kabab
I was so full after eating much that day. Bloated as ever Masha’Allah.

Farm Town

Last Friday, I was MIA the whole day with no access to the internet because we visited my SIL at her in-law’s house. I was amazed on the things that grows at their back yard. We stayed there over night and enjoyed our stay since they prepared a lot of food to eat. Here are some photos to share. Roll over the photo to see the names.

Lemon TreeCactusOlivesTinMintTomatoesLettuceParsleyGrapesPearApricotsPlum Tree

Just imagine these growing in your backyard as well. An instant farm town for real. There’s this delicious snack that her family prepared for us. It’s so sweet that they gave me a bottle of it. It’s an Apricot Jam that you have to dip with coconut and almond nuts. So yummy!

Apricot Jam

We are invited over to come by and spend the a night with them. I’m expecting to eat this once again, hehehe! :D

Cakes–Nostalgia #50

Thanks for the heads up Mommy Rose. Looking back into memories and sharing it with the others is really a great deal. So for my first entry ever, here’s my share of sweet cake.

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My 28th Birthday

This was taken on my 28th birthday. We celebrated it at Pizza Hut. Hubby left the restaurant I thought he’ll pick up some of our friends to come over, but he came up with this delicious cake that says “Happy Birthday Sweety”. My face is still swollen here. Why? I just gave birth. Julia was only 3wks old that year. Still trying to cope up with motherhood duties at night.

365/103-112

Day 103Day 104Day 105Day 106Day 107Day 108Day 109Day 110Day 111Day 112

And here’s my update for this week’s 365 Days Project.

Day 103 – It was a quiet day for the big sister. She played with her fishing game that my SIL gave her during her vacation.
Day 104 – When I was browsing my phone gallery, I saw a shot of Mr. Teddy. A stolen shot by the big sister.
Day 105 – And here are the infant clothes for Julie from big sister Julia.
Day 106 – I cooked for the first time “Beef Kare-Kare” also known as “Peanut Butter Stew”. Thanks to a friend’s recipe.
Day 107 – Julie at 31 Weeks
Day 108 – Lunch for today: Friend Chicken ala Jhari. Yummy!
Day 109 – Our 4th Year Together
Day 110 – Lunch for today: “Nilagang Baka” or “Beef Stew”, Beef with Okra and Tomato sauce.
Day 111 – A treat for myself, a cone of delicious yummy Chocolate.
Day 112 – It was raining this afternoon. May God Allah bless and protect Syria.

365/79-85

And here’s the continuation of my previous post. I had to publish it before WLW went down again on me. Better to be sure.

365/79-84

Day 79 – Here’s Julia showing off a big smile. Happy with her new writing board.
Day 80 – Two thumbs up from the big sister.
Day 81 – And here’s a photo of the cake for Mother’s Day for the GCC region.
Day 82 – Just a little fun with how they write down “Milk Chik” here. It’s actually “Milk Shake” :D
Day 83 – Julia and her cousins waiting for SIL to arrive from the airport.
Day 84 – Wake up sleepy head. She just woke up when I took this picture.

Day 85

And finally, Day 85 – this was grabbed from one of my Flickr albums when we treat MIL for a late Mother’s Day celebration at Swiss House Restaurant. My little girl’s growing up so fast. Time flies so fast.

365/67-78

Now it’s time to update my overdue post for the 365 days project. Sorry it took me a long time to post it here. I had to configure how to share photos from Instagram to Flickr. Clicking the image will bring you to the set where I posted all of images.

365/67-76

Day 67 – Julia’s bed marks on her face. It’s funny house babies and toddlers sleep. A friend said that probably she fell into a deep sleep that’s why she woke up with these marks. I’m so glad she did. Well, if so I’m so glad she did.
Day 68 – Banana Crepe made my SIL with lots of love.
Day 69 – Julia and her cousins, Yara and Yazan.
Day 70 – Me at 26 weeks with lots of peanuts on my side.
Day 71 – Look at who has an eye for Julia?
Day 72 – Another set of banana crepe from SIL. This time custard inside.
Day 73 – Peanut overload.
Day 74 – Bored Julia.
Day 75 – Krispy Crème for breakfast when we arrived in Beirut.
Day 76 – Me and my crave for McDonalds – a dream come true, finally!
Day 77 – M&M’s addiction. Counting down 94 days to go.
Day 78 – When Instagram made their recent update, me and my friends over Twitter got addicted with the Tilt+Shift features of it. It made it look like it’s a shot from a DSLR camera. Cool right? We heart Instagram.

Me, A Chef?

I had to repost this from Panlasang Pinoy aka “taste of Filipino foods” so to not forget about a career that my husband wants me to achieve in life (yeah! I’m that novice with cooking). I want to be good in the kitchen someday somehow. Oh God Allah, help me achieve this. I want to satisfy my husband’s needs when it comes to food. LOL!

7 Ways to Become a Successful Chef

1. Have a passion for food

The best motivation is passion. Being passionate in what you do simply means loving what you are doing. As the popular saying goes “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”. Having a passion for food is the greatest quality of a successful chef.

2. Spend time in the kitchen

Spending some time in the kitchen means cooking meals more often than the usual. Try to be the official cook of the family. Get to know kitchen tools, equipments, and basic food preparation. This builds self confidence and can make you feel comfortable when working in other kitchens.

3. Get a Culinary Arts Job

Experience is important in every job. Getting a Culinary Arts Job will improve your cooking skills and will provide the experience needed in your journey towards being a chef. It is important to start at the bottom and master some skills. These skills will add value to yourself which you can leverage on as you climb the career ladder.

4. Attend Culinary Arts Schools

The most recommended approach is to get a formal education by enrolling in Culinary Arts Schools. There are several schools in Culinary Arts offering different Culinary Arts Programs suited your preference. Having a formal education will not only improve your cooking skills, it will also provide other skills necessary in the Culinary Arts Industry, such as menu planning, purchasing, and food service operation. Having a degree in Culinary Arts will also make it easier for you to land in Culinary Arts Jobs.

5. Get familiar with the industry

The Culinary Arts Industry is not limited to cooking alone. There are a lot more things to know; things that can be of valuable importance as you progress in your career. Try to know more about the industry; understand how restaurant businesses work; get ideas on how to operate a catering business.

6. Hone your skills

Even the sharpest knife needs to be honed to maintain its condition. Honing your skills means to perform over and over until you master them. Practice, practice, practice!

7. Persevere and be patient

A chef’s job is stressful and challenging. It requires long hours of work (sometimes with only short breaks) doing both physical and mental tasks. Patience is a must if you want to stick to your career. Expect stress and issues everyday, but do something about it. Persevere amidst the challenges. Never give up and continue to grow.

365/60-65

And now for the weekly round up. Need to make sure that I’m up to date with my 365 Project. I’m happy that I’m keeping up with it. I’m much better than last year. I guess because using my iPhone cam was much easier for me this year. I can’t make the best shots for each photo, but the sense of taking shots every day is always there. It’s like a diary for me to remember as each day passes by. I’m crossing my fingers that I can scrap one day for this photo project. Insha Allah, God willing.

60-65

Day 60 – My Arroz Caldo also known as Rice Congee. During the first trimester of my pregnancy, I craved for this meal. I had to run down and visit my aunt when we were still on vacation just to taste her preparation for this food. I ate 4 bowls that time, imagine that? It’s meal prepared with rice, chicken and lots of ginger. Topped with fried minced garlic and scallions.
Day 61 – Dearest big sister ate Julia sleeping like a log.
Day 62 – Nutella + Chocolate drink and bread is loved.
Day 63 – 25 weeks
Day 64 – Showing off a big smile for this week from the big sister.
Day 65 – Chicken Tinola also known as Chicken Stew served with garlic, zucchini and, chicken and cabbage. I can say that this is MIL’s one of her favorite Filipino dish so far. She loves the ginger soup and the taste of the chicken.

365/51-59

And just to update you with my 365 project for this week. View all photos over my Flickr account here.

51-59

Day 51 – Julia hugging Jollibee getting ready to go out on a cold night.
Day 52 – “Kanafeh” one of my favorite Arab’s sweets.
Day 53 – A stolen shot taken by Julia using Hipstamatic app on my phone, not bad right?
Day 54 – Seriously watching “Beauty and the Beast”
Day 55 – Cooked Chicken “Sopas” or Soup in English. A famous Filipino dish cooked with shredded chicken, carrots, cabbage and milk.
Day 56 – Julia trying on her aunt’s hair cover, hehehe! :D
Day 57 – Cooked Cheese sticks for midnight snack.
Day 58 – Julia with MIL’s treat, Banana crepe.
Day 59 – Me at 24weeks and 2 days. Getting bigger.

365/9

DAY 9 – This is on KESHK AL ‘OMARA meaning “The Sweets of the Princess”. Hubby’s uncle went over to visit and dropped this delicious sweet made of milk and some other ingredients I don’t know in particular actually. But the taste is delicious, it’s the most important thing.

IMG_1922

Tahô

DSC_0023
I’m enjoying our stay here in the Philippines right now. And here is one of the reason for my happiness. My old time favorite “Taho”. It’s being sold by vendors here in our subdivision by a bucket with tofu base and the other bucket holds the arnibal and sago “pearls”. It’s a sweet blended cup. But good thing I’m not into a diet right now due to pregnancy. I will sure miss this cup of Taho once we’re back in Qatar.