Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Vanilla Cupcake Bakery at UP Town Center

Been wanting to try this dainty cupcake bakery but for reasons only known to me I keep on skipping whenever I get the chance. The day finally came when I succumbed and took myself (and the Cheese!) inside their very cute door.

Vanilla Cupcake Bakery, UP Town Center

All the cupcakes look great and enticing.

Vanilla Cupcake Bakery, UP Town Center

Vanilla Cupcake Bakery, UP Town Center

Vanilla Cupcake Bakery, UP Town Center

I ordered this Walnut Salt Caramel cupcake which was a poor choice on my end. I was presented with tons of flavors, panicked and ended up with this one haha. Nothing special. Maybe in the near future I'll give the others a chance so I can have a good cupcake story to share about my experience in Vanilla Cupcake Bakery.

For now, let's mull if this cupcake quote is applicable to your life.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Green Tea Oh How I Love Thee

A couple of weeks ago, the Cheese and I visited the newly opened Ayala mall in Katipunan area - UP Town Center. Finally may mall na ang Katipunan universities! Medyo sad lang cos it's really beside UP IS and I saw they opened the gate of the school to accommodate more cars since parking is already full in the mall's designated parking area (this was on a Sunday). I wonder if UP admin is aware of this hmm.

Anyway, as expected a lot of the stores are still closed, others with On Soft Opening and Cash Only signs hanging on their doors. We checked out the second floor too but a lot of the establishments are still closed so we went back to ground floor (yes there are only 2 floors in this mall) and just spent a bit of time looking around Cotton On.

Then the most awaited green tea icecream from Family Mart! For 25 pesos, you get to taste one of Japan's most famous goods. You can choose between Vanilla, Green Tea or a mixture of both. I obviously went for all green tea.

Green Tea Ice Cream at Family Mart, UP Town Center

Green Tea Ice Cream at Family Mart, UP Town Center

Please excuse my over eager face.

Green Tea Ice Cream at Family Mart, UP Town Center

Then last week, we went back again to Family Mart, biking all the way from Visayas, crossed Tandang Sora-Commonwealth intersection then finally Katipunan on a hot, HOT day. No regrets. Only green tea.

Green Tea Ice Cream at Family Mart, UP Town Center

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Jumblethon AKA That Day We Joined a Triathlon Relay

I absolutely suck in swimming so I'm gonna pass on to my future kid the responsibility of fulfilling my grand ambition of competing joining a triathlon. I AM SO GONNA BE A STAGE IRONMOM! *sniffsniff*

Let me tell you a short story of JC, Kimi and I's attempt of joining the ranks of an elite group of athletes. Emphasis on attempt.

Prior to the Tri Tri event, we've been scouring the web for months looking for a triathlon relay event perfect even for amateurs like us. Most of the triathlon events these days are geared for serious triathletes. Good thing we have a friend who introduced us to Jumblethon, the second of the Tri-Tri series they've been organizing. We had 2 months worth of "training" ahead of us. Unfortunately, we did not take training seriously. This is too embarrassing to admit but I did not do any 5k training those couple of months (which I paid dearly come game day). I did, however, a lot of cycling training. Irrelevant, I know.

The event is called Jumblethon because they jumbled the usual swim-bike-run order of typical triathlon events and made it run-bike-swim instead.

Kimi will do the swim leg, JC the bike leg which naturally left me with the run leg. As if I had a choice!

Fast forward to game day. September 29, 2013 at UP Diliman Swimming Pool area. A day the sun chose to shine ever so brightly (read: sobrang init) after raining the previous weeks.

Jumblethon - The Tri-Tri Series

Jumblethon - The Tri-Tri Series
Relay bikes section

Individuals section

We were part of few groups with a mountain bike instead of a road bike. Uhmm.

Jumblethon - The Tri-Tri Series

Before the game started, I was really nervous because 1) I HAD NO PRACTICE (easily my fault) and 2) 99% of the participants looked like semi-pros with their attires pa lang! I was the only one wearing a running shorts! Slightly nakakahiya.

To cut the story short, I struggled with my 5k run. I know it's fairly easy and my personal 5k record ain't bad too but seriously the heat - the insane heat - dragged me farther behind. My feet were burning, legs felt like heavy logs. Thoughts of why do I keep punishing myself when I could be lying on the couch right now watching nonsense shows on the TV kept running on my head but I ran-walked-ran with this as my only motivation: Takbo, Mariela. Nakakahiya sa mga kakampi mo ikaw magpapatalo sa team nyo. You know shame has a way of pushing you to get the job done. I know I did.

Almost there and ready to pass out

I thought I was gonna pass out after reaching the finish line. Thankfully I didn't! I wouldn't be able to live with the shame. Chos.

It was JC's turn. He has 9 laps of cycling to do around the acad oval. After regaining my composure and drinking probably a liter of water, I headed back to acad oval to support and help him count the number of laps he did (participants had to do it manually). On his last lap, I headed back to the pool area to signal Kimi that it would be her turn soon. I took a short video of JC while crossing the finish line, helped took off the time chip on his ankle (which I passed to him earlier after my 5k) and transferred it to Kimi's before she began her 15 laps on the pool.

Cheering Kimi on
I felt sorry for all the participants who had cramps while in the middle of their last leg - swimming. I saw a couple of guys who had to walk the remaining laps in order to finish the game lest they want to be labeled DNF (did not finish) which really is a bummer after all that you've just gone through.

Panorama of UP Swimming Pool
This wasn't our official time (we were a few seconds earlier hahaha).

We were three proud finishers albeit the last relay team out of the water :))

Team Tri Harder
With our friend (and Tri Tri organizer) Joanne who also doubles as our swimming coach.

Lunch was kalabasa and rice at 4 in the afternoon prepared by JC's mom with Häagen-Dazs to cap it off (and also as a reward to our kulelat selves). We didn't mind, we can always have our revenge next year. By which time we should be taking our training more seriously.

At least I finally was able to cross off join a triathlon relay on my long list of things-to-do-before-I-die.


All those time we thought we really were the last team in the relay category but when results came out, it wasn't really the case.

I don't understand why in the overall time though, we seemed to be in the last place. There's a significant 4-minute difference on my time versus the other team's (runner) time. If you total each of our stats, I'm pretty sure - and it doesn't take a math genius to figure this out - that we were NOT the last placer.

I feel so much better now.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Ice Ride: Global Bike Ride for the Arctic

Last September 15, we participated in Greenpeace's Ice Ride - a global mass ride with 110 participating cities worldwide to express protests against oil drilling in the Arctic.

JC and I joined the peloton in Katipunan since we came all the way from Visayas and can't be at the starting venue, which is Ortigas. We met our friend Kimi at Katipunan, right after the flyover, before we all rode out to our QC Memorial Circle destination.

Ice Ride: Save The Arctic

Somewhere along Commonwealth Avenue. You know, that deadly road.

Ice Ride: Save The Arctic

Ice Ride: Save The Arctic

Group photo at Quezon Memorial Circle.

JC with Firefly Brigade marshals. 

I'm glad you're wearing your helmet, Mr. Polar Bear!

Photobooth fun!

We stayed til the first half of the program ended, after which a lot of photo ops ensued. This one below came from Greenpeace's website. There are still tons of photos floating in the web but I'm too lazy to look for them. I would really love to find a link on the videos though. 

Spatzle Euro Market Cafe

A few weeks ago Ten and I ate in Spätzle to see how the food in there was. They have a nice interior and spacious location over the soshal East Wing of Shangri-La Mall.

Spätzle Euro Market Café at Shangri-La Plaza

Spätzle Euro Market Café at Shangri-La Plaza

Spätzle Euro Market Café menu

Spätzle Euro Market Café at Shangri-La Plaza

Spätzle Euro Market Café at Shangri-La Plaza

The food might not look appealing at all based from the photo below but they're actually good. Our orders came promptly, my only gripe was my Roesti didn't come with a dollop of sourcream on it. Or maybe I was just comparing it to the Roesti I had in Marche.

Roast Chicken Sausage on Mushroom, Spätzle Euro Market Café
Roast Chicken Sausage on Mushroom: Roast chicken stuffed with their very own sausage on a bed of spatzle
I had to ask for a serving of sour cream for this humongous Rosti.

Farmer's Breakfast, Spätzle Euro Market Café
Farmer's Breakfast: Ham, sausages & spam sauteed with mushrooms & veggies
The service was prompt so we had no problem at all on that, the food sumptuous and heavy in the belly I had to brown bag half of my rosti! I might actually come back here to try the rest of the food in their menu.

Spatzle Euro Market Cafe
Fifth Floor, East Wing, 
Shangri-La Plaza, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City

Friday, October 11, 2013

Singapore Series: Marche Restaurant

While I was in Singapore, I met up with Ida to hand over something her sister sent for her. She suggested we meet at Marche, a Swiss restaurant that she also wants me to try.

I thought the place only sells bread as I was seeing a long line of people buying pastries in front of Marche.

Marche Restaurant

Forget that. There was a whole new world underneath those planks! And it really gives off good vibes. From the colorful kitchen ingredients to all sorts of people busily choosing what food to put on their plates. It was all new experience for me.

Marche Restaurant

The Swiss restaurant boasts of serving only fresh, healthy and high quality meal. Just like in the market, you go around looking for what you want but in Marche, they will cook it for you (if they aren't yet).

Marche Restaurant

Marche Restaurant

Ida suggested that I try their bestseller Rösti. True enough, there was already a long line of people queuing for their Röstis. I saw a guy peeling all those potatoes that becomes the Rösti on our plates, then another guy manning the stove, turning and tossing the potatoes from the pans.

Marche Restaurant

Marche Restaurant

I had Rösti with chicken sausage on the side with a generous serving of cream cheese on the side.

Rösti with Chicken Sausage - Marche Restaurant

Forgot the name of this dessert but I remember how I liked the darkness of it.

There's an entirely different system of ordering in Marche. Guests are given a Marche Guest Card to which they will swipe into the card whatever you ordered. After finishing your food, you line up at the cashier to pay for everything. Pretty neat!

Thanks to my benefactor for a really fun, Swiss experience!

PS: I just had to have a photo with the whole Peanuts gang!


Marché 313 @ Somerset
Level 1, Discovery Walk, 313 Orchard Road
Singapore 238895