Feb 28, 2015

Happy Caturday: Amber’s Sleep Chronicle

About last quarter of 2014, I saw a cat strolling in our place. She doesn’t have an owner. Every time I see her, I give her something to eat. At first she was scared to even get close to me, kind of like she had a bad experience with human. But after few days, she learned to trust me and would even give me kisses (slow-eye-blinking). I took her in, and I found out that she was pregnant. She gave birth to 4 beautiful little kittens; sadly “Stripes” died 2 weeks after they were born due to unknown cause. I named the renaming 3 kittens; Blake (the black one), Amber (the orange-ish one), and Cookie who look exactly like her Mom.


These little kittens make me happy every day. Somehow they are better than any anti-depressant out there. Watching them grow is a fun thing. In this post, I will share with you Amber’s little funny sleep chronicle, I’d say unusual because the two other kitties always sleep in their bed.


Amber loves playing with me. He always lay down next to me, or would do anything to get my attention. And the funny thing is falling asleep in my arms is a normal thing for him. Ha-ha! 


If he’s not in my arms, he’d be sleeping next or on top of my flip-flops.  


Or right where my dirty clothes are…he must be drunk or something! lol


Or on top of my books or shoes…Looking so tired right there. haha


Or he’d be sleeping and hugging his sister…isn't this too sweet? J


But of course there are also times, rare times, that he sleeps on their bed.

And yes, Amber is a male kitty. hehe! By the way, please excuse the quality of the photos.


Feb 26, 2015

Project Pie PH: Build Your Own Pizza

Project Pie Ph is a picturesque, simply furnished, spacious and cozy fast-casual, custom-pizza restaurant. This restaurant is the brainchild of James Markham, who opened Mod Pizza in Seattle and Pieology in California. What I love about this place, you get to customize your own perfect pizza and you can add as much toppings as you want. Ang sarap lang diba? That’s definitely a treat for a pizza lover like me. 


Donna, Anna and I decided to go to SM North, right after work, to check on some new shoes.  It was almost lunch time when we got there, so gutom na kamiLuckily we found this really nice pizza place. This branch is situated on the Upper Ground Floor in SM City North EDSAright across the National Bookstore. 

 

Everything is at Php285.00 only! Like I mentioned earlier, not only they have pretty good choices of premade pizzas (check photos above), you can also build your own perfect-pizza. Here’s how to do it. You decide which pizza you want order or if you want to build your own. In our case, we decided to go with their house favorites – Premade #2, #5 and #6. 


Should you decide to build your own pizza, you can add whatever you want to it as they have a whole bunch of things to choose from – sauces, cheeses, meats and everything else. The toppings - they are unlimited which makes the whole thing crazier! It makes my heart so happy. 


Here’s our first pizza! We were actually planning to go simple with our #2 order (Pepperoni, Italian Sausage, crumbled meatballs, mozzarella, red sauce and garlic) but curiosity kicks in, we added a load of different things on our pizza. Ha-ha! And we renamed it – The MAD (MariaAnnaDonna) Pizza.  Kulit diba? Ha-ha And I’m telling you, our own custom made pizza was the best! 


The second one was premade Pizza #5: It was a combination of mozzarella, ricotta, GorgonzolaParmesan, cracked black pepper, olive oil, garlic and fresh chopped basil. Still at Php285.00 only! 


The third and last one was premade Pizza #6. It was a combination of grilled chicken, sliced red onion, cilantro, mozzarella, Gorgonzola, and BBQ sauce. Still at Php285.00 only. 


There are two additional features that I really love about this place – the refillable drink counter which could really make your visit sulit (you can refill your drinks up to 3 times), and the big white board with full of beautiful quotes that truly adds character to the restaurant. 


I love all the pizzas that we ordered, and pricing is also very impressive. Service was very friendly and attentive, and the staff seems to really know their meats and cheeses! This lovely place deserves to do well. If you want good pizzas at price that won’t hurt your pockets, Project Pie PH is the place to go.

************************************************************************
Upper Ground Floor, Main Building
SM North EDSA, Quezon City
Phone: (02) 373-4731



Feb 20, 2015

Short Story: My Heart Is Yours, Forever!

Without sacrifice, true love is meaningless. It's just a label with empty meaning. Every now and then, our love and commitment towards our partners are always being tested, but how far would you be willing to go for the one you love? This is a story about true love and sacrifice, written by yours truly. Hope you like it. 


********
It’s been 2 years since Blake left me at the hospital, before my heart transplant. Still I don’t have any idea why he left me. He is such a douche-bag. He promised he’ll stay forever…until my last breath. Promises are indeed made to be broken. And forever…that shit doesn’t exist.

Welcome home, Sweetheart!” Mom called to me as I walked in the house. And I ran to hug her. She finally let me go after minutes of holding my body in the longest hug.

I smiled at her and nodded, “It’s nice to be home.” At 60 years old, she’s still looking very beautiful. I wish I could be more like her. “Mom, I want to get some rest. I wasn’t able to sleep on the plane.” I gave her a light kiss on the cheek.

I went straight to my room. It’s been 2 years since the last time I was here. When I found out Blake left me at the hospital 2 years ago, I told my parents that I want to fly to the Philippines. It’s my mom’s home country, and the best place to forget everything…even Blake.

I found my old books and they still look pretty new. Mom did a really good job of taking care of my belongings, but I hate how she still kept Blake’s things in my room. I found a little black box on top of my side table. I am very sure it isn’t mine. “It’s probably mom’s.”, I thought, but my curiosity got the better of me.

I slowly opened the box and found a ring...and a letter dated February 20, 2013. I started getting nervous. I don’t know why, but it felt so strange. I unfolded the letter…and slowly read each line.
My dear Amber, 
How are you doing my cute nose? Is it snowing today? I hope it is. You love snow so much. Did you get the ring? It’s my surprise for you. I was planning to propose to you on your birthday next week. I can’t believe we've been together for 10 years now. I was thinking of taking you to the lake, and have a little picnic with your family. I was planning on getting your favorite flowers, as well as 100 balloons with your favorite colors. But I don’t think I can. I can no longer do that.
I stopped reading for a bit…I couldn’t control my emotions...silently my tears were flowing... 
Do you remember my favorite quote? “Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you're not really losing it. You're just passing it on to someone else.” Mitch Albom was right. I might be about to lose something precious, but I will be losing it to someone I love more than anything.  
Never think I have left you, Babe. Just feel me, I am with you, I am beating inside you. Live your life, a happy one. Travel…Meet someone awesome... Have kids…Live a normal life like others…I love you so much, my cute nose…And I will be with you forever…and yes, until your last breath. If there is life after death, you know I will be waiting there for you...with so much love. 
I was unable to read on...everything was so blurry...I broke down in tears. I was screaming. I felt like everything was crashing. I felt like I am in so much pain! I can’t take it. “What have you done, Blake? Why? I never asked you to give up your life for me. I never did! You are too selfish. You never considered my feelings. I’m sorry. I love you so much! I wish this never happened.

Mom and dad came in. They told me everything. Blake doesn’t want me to know about his plans. When he found out there’s no heart donor for me, he volunteered himself. And just crazy ironic, he was my organ match. He was with me, lying next to me, during my operation. He was holding my hands…he was looking at me…until his last breath. He never left me. Never!

The man I hated for the last 2 years, was the man who gave up his life to give me mine.

THE END.

 _________
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, events and incidents are all products of my imaginations. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Feb 18, 2015

It’s A Spoonful of Honey’s first Birthday!

H
ow time flies! According to that dashboard thingy on the right side, I have made one-hundred blog posts in the last year. When the heck did I do that? Haha! It’s seems like only yesterday that I was crying over losing my 3-year-old blog because of some crappy issue with Google. But past is past, and here I am now celebrating another milestone with my 1 year old new baby – A Spoonful of Honey. 



Have you guys noticed my URL? Yuuuuuuup! From www.honeygutierrez.blogspot.com to www.stellarhoney.com.  Hubby got me my own domain as my blog anniversary gift. Not only 1 domain, but all 5 other domains associated with Stellarhoney, to make sure no one will be able to use the same name for their website. Ha-ha! I sure do have the best husband in the world.

When I started blogging about 4 years ago I thought I was already too late in this field. Honestly I didn't start my blog for any other reasons but to keep track of my life, and a nice way to reflect on my experiences. That’s how everything started. From there, I gained visitors. I have made friends with some of my frequent readers. I started getting a lot of questions and inquiries mostly about Korean Dramas and Long Distance Relationship. To this day, each post is surely a learning experience for me. And I love how I can just search around my blog page and re-live all the moments in each post and picture I have posted.

I have found my blog to be very therapeutic. Living a life away from my family and husband is never easy. But with my blog, I was able to share my experiences and photos with them, though they are thousand miles away from me. I can't begin to tell you how beneficial writing this blog has been for me over the last year and I can't thank my followers enough for the kind feedback. You guys are definitely amazing.

P.S. I will be adding 2 new topics in my blog. First I will be doing ‘Caturday” posts to share photos and updates of my little lovely cats. And second, I will be sharing short stories I have written over these years. I hope you’d be able to read them!

Thank you again for visiting A Spoonful of Honey. I promise to do better!

Xoxo,
Honey Gutierrez

Feb 15, 2015

OLIC Restaurant at Alphaland Makati Place

H
ow was your Valentines’ day weekend, everyone? Mine was great; I got a priceless top-secret gift from my amazing husband. But let’s not talk about what I got, let’s talk about mouthwatering food! Haha! Usually when I want Filipino food, I hop on the nearest carinderia (also known as turo-turo), where the prices are much lower, and the food is excellent. But to be honest, it really is nice to eat well-turned-out Filipino food in something other than a carinderia environment. After all, Filipino Cuisine is great food, so why not dine in a fitting grand setting sometimes? Don’t we all love that?  


Dining at OLIC Restaurant wasn’t part of the plan that day. We were supposed to have our brunch at BORNGA Korean Restaurant, but they were still close when we got there. While waiting for the Korean restaurant to open, we decided to stroll around. And we stumbled upon this place, OLIC Restaurant












Their food was actually better than they need to be, not surprisingly the flavors were big and bold. We tried their Sisig in Kapampangan style (Php295), and it was very good. A must try! 


Their Pinakbet (Php245) was also a winner. They used traditional vegetables, fresh from their own farm, sautéed in homemade bagoong topped with bagnet. Ubos, simot sarap


This Crispy Tilapia with Buro and Bagoong (Php295) was served in a traditional yet fancy way. This dish is a proof that a simple food that presented beautifully taste better. It’s just a simple deep fried Tilapia that comes with buro (fermented rice - YUM!), and blanched vegetables, but it sure does taste different. 


They are offering both Pork and Prawns Sinigang (Php395), but since Donna is a vegetarian, we opted for Prawns. Its sour broth with tomato, sitaw, gabi, labanos and kangkong. It’s kind of the one we get at home, but with a twist, and a lot tastier. 


Lumpia Ubod (Php195) - a must try. This delicious food was made from fresh vegetables (from their own farm), served with garlic and peanut flavored sauce. The serving was quite bigger than the normal size; it would be enough for 3 persons. 


Service was professional, and the food was modern, straight forward, and well executed. Price was quite good; I’d say its average or mid range. I definitely love the place though, it’s very spacious and I love the modern-homey-traditional feel. The staff were all dressed in traditional Filipino inspired clothing, and well trained in the art of fine Filipino hospitality.  

The décor, the lovely service, the homey-feel all went hand in hand into create a harmonious dining experience at OLIC RestaurantThis place is worth a try.

***********************************************
Alphaland Makati PlaceAyala Ext cor Malugay St
Barangay Bel-Air, Makati City 
Phone Number: (02) 907-9729   


Feb 13, 2015

How I Renewed My Philippine Passport...Fast and Easy!


  
T
he laziness in me kicks in! I have been planning to renew my passport since November last year, but I was too lazy to even make an appointment online. Kaloka, diba?! Anyway, my hubby needs me to send my renewed passport, not a photocopy, but the real passport. My “last-minute” attitude truly sucks! I fell into panic because my passport already expired last February 2!  I even went to a couple of agencies to seek assistance to get my passport renewed quicker or less than the normal 7-day rush processing. But nah, they no longer offer that. Most agencies offer at least 9-12 day processing time-frame, and it cost more. Well I’m glad I changed my mind and processed everything on my own. 


Let me share with you my passport renewal experience at DFA NCR – SM Megamall Satellite office. Please note that whatever works for me, not necessary means that it would also work for you. I am particularly referring to documents and ID’s.

Step One: Check the requirements for passport renewal.
Before anything else, I did make sure I do have all the necessary documents needed to confirm my identity (click here to read the list of valid IDs and documents). Renewal is easier than getting a new passport, requirements aren't too complicated as well. But to make sure I won’t miss a single thing, I took all the documents and ID’s that I have. I have made at least 2 copies of each. Note that they won’t entertain you if you don’t have photocopies of your documents and ID’s. 

P.S. The lady who entertained me only asked for my passport and 2 valid ID's. Since I only have a postal ID, which that isn't included in the list of the Government-issued ID’s, I submitted 2 old company ID’s instead. She took the photocopies, and returned the original copies to me.  

Step Two: Scheduled my appointment online.
Walk-ins are not allowed. A confirmed appointment is required (here)! I filled in all the required information correctly. The good thing is we can select DFA Satellite offices nearest our place of residence or place of work for our convenience. I chose DFA NCR-SM Megamall. A registration and confirmation was sent to my email together with a link to print my application form – I printed out all 3 pages, 2 copies of each. In case you can’t find the confirmation email, check your spam folder. Make sure to print the confirmed completed-appointment form, you have to present it at the front desk to confirm your appointment.

P.S.  The DFA will not entertain applicants without valid appointments EXCEPT senior citizens, infants and minors below 1 year old, person with disability and OFWs. For OFWs, sufficient proof must be submitted such as a valid employment contract or OEC.

Step Three: Proceed to DFA office on your appointed time and date.
My appointment was at 3:30pm. I went there at 2pm. I thought I was too early, but I was allowed to get in, and I was entertained right away.

P.S. I would advice that you get an early appointment. Show up at least 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment. Do not forget bringing all your requirements including your printed appointment confirmation and also, observe proper dress code. No chaperon is allowed for applicants with ages 18 years old and above.



I gave my printed application form at the APPOINTMENT COUNTER - all 3 copies. They scanned the bar-code from my form to confirm my appointment. They gave me a piece of paper with a check list to follow. 



Next is the PROCESSING AREA. I had all my documents ready, both original copies and photo copies as they will ask for both when you get to the counter. I gave the requirements to the lady, she asked me if I prefer regular (Php950) or express processing (Php1, 200). I chose express as I need to send my passport to Daniel as soon as possible. 

Payment is at the CASHIER'S COUNTER. The passport costs Php950 (approximately $21) for regular processing (15 to 25 days) and Php1200 (approximately $27) for rush processing (7 to 10 days).



ENCODING SECTION is the last step. This is for the image and data capturing.  Oh let me tell you, this part is pain. I was in line for about 3 hours I guess.

You can get your passport delivered to you, but this is optional. If you'd wish to do this, just pay the required fee of Php150.00 at the DELIVERY COUNTER. This is done so you can have the passport delivered to your home during the release date without the need to return to the DFA office.

P.S. I have seen few people that were told to come back because their requirements are not complete. Make sure you have all your complete documents with you before going to DFA to AVOID delays.


Feb 9, 2015

El Chupacabra, Makati City: Street Tacos and More


I couldn't wait to go back to El Chupacabra again and again and again after my hugely rewarding first-time visit (you can read about it here). My goal is to try every item on their menu at least once! I loved the food here and I was also satisfyingly amazed at what good value the menu was. Each dish was priced at a mere Php100. Here are some of the new dishes we have tried in our previous visits.


Carne Asada at Php98.00: It’s a grilled steak. It was good, but I am not a fan. It was too plain for me.


Camarones a la Diabla at Php148.00: It was a spicy chipotle shrimp. This is my favorite El Chupacabra dish (aside from the Baja California Fish Taco which I completely forgot to take a photo of it) and I highly recommend this to all the foodies out there.


Pollo Asado at Php98.00: This was grilled chicken. The chicken was so tasty and delicious!


Tex-Mex Grilled Shrimp Tacos at Php187.00: Per Donna, this was good. I haven't tried it yet but will surely give it a try on my next visit.


Patacones con Guiso de Tomate y Cebolla at Php88.00: This was surprisingly good and definitely a must try! It's a tasty Colombian plate of thick fried plantain chips and tomato dip, the French fries of South America.

    

Like I said earlier, my goal is to try every item on their menu at least once, and so far I am doing pretty well. I have checked few items off my list. I will continue updating this post as I continue my food-journey with El-Chupacabra's menu list. haha!

Like what I have mentioned in my previous post (here) if you are someone who hates waiting (like me), I suggest going here early or avoid lunch or dinner time.

****************************************************************
Location and Contact Information: 
5782 Felipe St. cor. Polaris St., Makati City 
Telephone Number:  +632 895-1919 
Operating Hours: 
Sunday to Wednesdays - 11.00am to 12mn, 
Thursdays to Saturday - 11.00am to 3am

On Instagram

© A Spoonful of Honey: Food, Travel, Lifestyle .