Tuesday, November 25, 2014

What's Outside Madrid?! Primera Parte.

Ah España. So many places to visit, so many things longing to be discovered..

On my non-lazy weekends, I try my best to be like Dora and explore this still very foreign country for me. Visited a few now, but still more to go.

First one was a trip with BeMadrid - which is a tour group kind of thing so you'll be in the company of students. But it's super convenient, and you get your value for money. 

Went to Segovia and La Granja on the 18th of October. RANK #2 out of my current trips.

Segovia is like the little town Belle would sing about. But what stands out most is the Aqueduct, the city's main attraction. Super ginormous, bigger than life, mind-bogling architecture. A must visit place for me.

We also went into the Alcazar of Segovia, very medieval palace castle like thing, which had an awesome view of the town.

Another attraction was the cochinillo - like the baby lechon we have in the Philippines. The ones we had was not the best one, but it was very tender. Clean taste, simple roasted pig on a plate. I liked it. Oink.

Since La Granja was close by, we had a quick visit to this town as well. Went to one of the royal family's vacation palace with tons of fountains (they weren't working when we went there though!). It's basically a huge ass park. Not a must-see for me, but it was pretty.

For the Nov 2nd weekend, visited Salamaca and Avila with BeMadrid, again. Haha

I felt the trip was too short though, plus it rained a bit (and I was wearing shorts so this Asian almost froze to death). We just went around the University area observing old buildings and stuff. Quite nice to actually visit the world's 3rd oldest university! The main attraction is the University of Salamanca's main facade named La Puerta de Salamca, which has a legend that if you spot the Frog carving, you'll pass your exams. My eyesight is awesome, but I couldn't find it, until someone pointed it out. Boo. 

One quirky cathedral facade had a hidden astronaut too! Which is amazing because it's been built between the 16th and 18th century. Clearly pre-Moon landings period, so that's a bit cray cray and amazing at the same time. Try to spot it!!

There's another hidden thing there with a gargoyle eating ice cream! So odd :) 

Popped by Avila which is a nearby town. Stayed for an hour, I think. But this was when it rained so got stuck in a cafe sipping warm coffee, but I'm not complaining.

Was RANK #4 for me. I feel Salamanca is way more awesome that what I've seen though. Plus it's mainly a party town being the country's university area. 

Next up was Granada on 8th and 9th of Nov. Again, with BeMadrid. This time we spent the night so it was enough time to go around. RANK #1 for sure. Despite me being sick with my ladyboy voice on, this was still the best city for me. 

Everything was gorgeous, like a painting almost. Can't give justice to it by explaining it with my weak words. It's just amazaballs. Especially the Alhambra and all the Islamic Palace within it. Beautiful structure, beautiful view. It's the type of place you can just stare at blankly all afternoon and breathe peacefully. Plus getting to each of these breathtaking views took lots of uphill downhill uphill downhill cobbled streets walking (wore heeled boots, another bad decision and made me want to cut my legs off at the end of the day). But it was all worth it. Food was great too. Tapas served everywhere. Went to El Tabernaculo, this Jesus-Mary-adorned bar along Calle Navas, and I've heard Anthony Bourdain tried this place out too. Quite creepy to see Jesus everywhere, but I must say that it is one of a kind!

Then there's this one area that was like little Agrabah - lots of arabic souvenirs, teas, shishas. Very quaint and authentic. I love this trip!

Finally, went to Valladolid last weekend. RANK#3. It was the ex-capital of Spain. Small city, nothing much to see. Went to a museum of Modern Art, saw some Cathedrals, nothing special. However, there's lots of stuff to eat! Had the tastiest tapas ever. La Paramesa won the best tapas contest with this odd looking boat-shaped kombu thing with raw fish and lots of other mushy stuff inside. Was really good, so had it two nights in a row. And I had the best roasted lamb or Lechazo at El Asador de Aranda. Super tender lamb meat, swimming in its juices. Love love love lamb. And they cooked it very well. I also have a new fave thing, Morcilla, blood sausage with rice and spices. I hate innards, but this one is super tasty and not gross.

Lots more stuff in my checklist. Can't wait!!! 

Better to explore now so when you guys visit me here, I'll know where to take 'ya!! Woot!

xoxo Marie


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Madrid: Week 1. Craziness Level 8.

It's been exactly a week since I've been here in Madrid. Still feels unreal, but I'm looking forward to call this my third home pretty soon.

This week was mainly about organizing my life and doing all the necessary to "move" here permanently. Looking for apartments, fixing my papers, bla bla bla.

Although I was able to do one touristy thing and went to the Prado Museum which was amazing. I'm not an art connoisseur but I realized I like paintings more than sculptures. My favorite one was The Garden of Earthly Delights by Bosch. I think I stood in front of the painting for like 15minutes. It's a 3-piece painting showing the Creation, Earth with temptations and hell in great detail. You can't take photos of the paintings in the Museum but you can't really appreciate the intricacy unless you're really there.

Going back to the Spanish normal life, I really like the fact that people are very friendly and warm here (the polar opposite of what Singapore is for me). Everyone will just say Hola! to you randomly - but I wish I can speak Spanish because most people can't understand Ingles. :(

And then there are the tapas, the vino and the cervesa. It's very cheap here as compared to Singapore. Bought a bottle of red wine earlier today and it was just 4.95EUR!! Plus if you go to the restaurants, they will give you chips or olives on the side every time you order drinks! And it's like 3EUR per glass. I can also see that Spanish people like staying outdoors, maybe that's why all these coffee and tapas places are everywhere. Just walk a few steps and you'll see another one in the corner. I'm still getting used to the food though. I still love my rice but I do like their jamon!

The biggest change for me is definitely living alone - I don't have my Roomie anymore :( But I've gotta move on and grow up. And it's been tiring viewing houses. Some rooms are too small, no windows. Then there are gorgeous ones but the people you will live with are quite meh. I still have tomorrow to decide but I think I know which one to pick.

I'm currently living in a service apartment sponsored by my company and I'm still getting used to being alone - hence the reason for blogging because I'm going mad without someone to talk to in person (do note I've been whatsapping constantly and skyping with family and friends YET I still feel ALONE!!!!).

However, I've been kept entertained by all the livestreamed shows and movies (horay for couchtuner and popcorntime) but mostly because of all the crazy nonsense mishaps I've been doing in this apartment.

MISHAP #1: I was calling up people to view apartments but no one ever picks up their phone - then one time someone did and I got all excited and accidentally wrote a long straight line on the bed sheet with my blue pen. Panic attack so I hurriedly removed the sheet, went to the sink and tried to rub it off - did not work. So I rushed to the washing machine to clean it off. Thank god the stain was removed.

MISHAP #2: Never used a dishwasher before. I was too lazy to clean the dishes so I tried to use it. Worked the first time but I didn't put any soap. I became suspicious about how clean the plates are so I tried the second time but this time adding some liquid soap. When the cleaning was done, I realized I put too much because it was full of foam when I opened it. Fail. So had to redo again until all the soap is gone.

MISHAP #3: My skin is getting too dry here so I bought a bottle of Dove. After showering, I was so excited to lotion up. So rub rub rub. The lotion felt a bit thick, but I continued on. I dunno but I grew suspicious so I googled "Gel De Ducha"...It was a shower gel :( So i had to take a shower again... :(

MISHAP #4 (the best one ever): My bathroom is connected to my room. So the usual showering occurred...After 5 minutes, I REALIZED I FORGOT TO CLOSE THE SHOWER DOOR! All the water came out, almost flooding the bathroom, and also started going inside the room! Another heart attack moment, I rushed out and started laying out all the towels to absorb the water. Eventually, with the help of 3 big ass towels and a mop, the bathroom and room have been saved!

It's been only a week and I suspect more craziness to come ;)

XOXO I miss my girls and boys in SG and MNL! Lots of love from the other side of the world!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Potato Head SG: Burgers

Burgers. I've always loved a good burger. Juicy ones! Plus I love ketchup, which is a match made in heaven. 

So for this Friday's lunch, Guy decided to go to Potato Head's burger joint. 

Such a quaint place. Always loved the art of their interiors. Bali was still the best. But the one here in Singapore was cool as well - very hipster and avant-garde. 

Walls were filled with quirky hand-painted  designs - my favorite was the Pinocchio one with the 2 characters in pleasure island. And somehow all the furnitures and accessories don't belong with each other but matches in a way. Organized chaos. 

Menu was quite sharp and simple. Just burgers and a hotdog. And choice of sides. 

I got the Baby Huey. And I really enjoyed it - which is their standard cheese burger. First time that I didn't load up my burger with ketchup! So that's a good sign! Oh and this place makes their own homemade ketchup and chili. I still like the bottled one better, but what they have is tasty as well. 

Serving portion is for a regular guy. Couldn't finish mine. But it was delish. Loved the caramelized onion too!

Closed the meal with a cup of latte. I like how  they pay attention to details - the diagonally angled spoon against the folded serviette. Shows how they planned out everything. 

9/10 for me. :)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

So it's been 2 years...

It's been a while since we have updated the blog. Funny to read what we have been doing when we were still newbies here in Singapore. And what's more amusing is how we have all changed since then.

Back then, we thought $5 is the maximum you should spend on food. And how spending $30 for tea and cake is highway robbery. Our outlook on money and its value has definitely changed - given the Sunday brunches and weeknight drinks we've been enjoying.

Independence is another thing. There's somehow a sense of security and ownership now that I think we all have, realising that we can survive in this world and its up to us how we want our future to be. At least for me :)

Oh, and definitely how we perceive relationships as well. Learning how to deal with different kinds of people (sometimes crazy, sometimes psycho, and sometimes we are lucky to find awesome ones too) and getting to know what we want to have around us and what's our limit.

It's quite cool to see who we were in these pages, because it's a reminder of where we have been and who we started out as when we left our nests and ventured into "the wild".

Pretty soon more adventures will be made, but might be separately this time - so I hope we can keep this thing going, girls. OUR thing.... <3

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

How to throw a bachelorette party

crazy siblings doing crazy things :)

Big sis, Em, is getting married this Sunday! Quite crazy. I still feel like we're little girls. :")

Anyway, as the maid of honor, I wanted to throw her a great bachelorette party that she will never forget! Pressure.

When she told us she got engaged, I already knew we need to have this party like what you see in movies - with strippers of course! So I had to bring in my mom. And all my other siblings plus her fiance, mark, to sort this out Haha

Here's what we did to achieve the most awesome party:

1) Booked my flight so I arrive Saturday morning of the party. Em didn't know I'm coming home that day so that's also a surprise for her :) told her I'm arriving sunday. Haha

Had a send off dinner form my ladies, Bernice and Ilene.
Told all my friends they can't post in fb that i'm arriving on Saturday.

2) Got the location covered. Rented a hotel room of dad's friend. Had a birthday party here once, you can make noise all night so that's a plus.

3) Shopped for Em's night outfit. Had to get her something sexy. So shopped for a LBD with Bernice in sg. Got her a pink feather boa too! Thanks to B for fitting the dress.

Little Black Dress + Tiara + Wand + hot pink boa

4) Booze and food. Did groceries with Di and Chi. Bought lots of alcohol to get her drunk. Plus your usual party chips + pizza for dinner.

pizza. easiest way to feed a hungry crowd.
you can never go wrong with alcohol.

5) Party props. Had a panic shopping mode with brother and sister. Thankfully we found what we needed. Tiara and wand for em. Kinky party hats for the guests. And fireman's hat for the strippers.

our documentation team with the hats!
6) Guests. Mark got involved to spy on Em's phone to get phone numbers of her friends. Thanks to ma for confirming them. Since I will unlikely have a bachelorette party as I am doomed to be single forever, had to invite my friends as well. Haha

Em's friends are here!
7) Games. While having a random dinner with my colleague, Kezia, we started to brainstorm on the games. Landed on this site which gave me the ideas.


Getting her outfit came from the site. Outfit in a box FTW. Weee!!!
8) Strippers. Had a panic episode here too. When mom picked me up from the airport, we still don't have confirmed strippers. I wanted to die. We need naked men for this to be an official bachelorette party! But thank god, in the end we got them. We even had 3. Haha for only 8k pesos. Hahahaha

Applause for mom for getting 3!!! Haha

9) Last but not the least, how to bring Em to the venue. Quite a last minute excuse we made. Mark told Em that they will have their last single dinner date and she has to be in blindfold. Everything went smoothly :)

They're finally here. Em in blindfold.
In the lift. They're so sweet. I want to die haha


So happy she was surprised. Very fulfilling to see how my sister was that night :) she deserves it!!

Anyway so she opened her outfit box and wore what we got her. She looks so cute with the props!

Played the first game. Guess who gave you that present. Em's friends got the wrong memo. Mom told them to bring gifts that expresses who they are. I only knew this when em opened a nose plug - from her swimmer friend. Hahahaha my friends got the right memo. Props to moch who gave her a mrs. Officer costume and to Ching who gave her whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Haha I gave her weird shaped condoms which I bought from a sex toy shop in sg.

Mrs. Officer outfit complete with cuffs haha

cream + chocolate. kinky.

Nose plugs. Em's friends got the wrong memo *face palm*

A bag from the minor. Wrong memo as well...

got her weird-shaped condoms haha
Second game is guess what you're eating, drinking or who's hugging you. This was supposed to be the last game. But bec the strippers were already waiting, had to move this forward. So Em had to be blindfolded and guess whatever we feed her. Chocolates, baby food, red bull, donuts, etc etc. Ran out of stuff to feed her bec strippers were getting ready. Then it's time to guess who is hugging her. After some friends, the last one who hugged her was the stripper!! Hahaha took off her blindfold and all the nakedness happened.

Hug from a real friend.

Guess who? Hahahaha

Let the stripping begin!

One went all the way. I didn't see much though. We turned off almost all the lights. Funny funny funny!!!! They started to perform around 9pm. And by 10pm we don't know what to do with them anymore. Since we had them til 12, we had to be resourceful. Did body shots on them with whipped cream. They sandwiched almost every guest. And we dressed them in toilet paper to see who can have the best looking wedding gown. Hahaha

Em is harassed haha

whipped cream body shots hihihi

One even lost his toilet paper wedding dress!

Around 11pm we gave up and asked them to leave. Played the supposed to be second game which was how well does Em know Mark. We gave a list of questions which Mark answered in advance and Em had to guess them. :)

Em answered most of them! Good job!!

Think everyone had a great time but more importantly, my sister super enjoyed that night. SUCCESS!!! we deserve a medal.

Mandatory group shot!

I love you my dear sister!!! :)

til the next party planning,
Queen Marie

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Search for the best Chirashidon

Chirashizushi (ちらし寿司, "scattered sushi") is a bowl of sushi rice topped with a variety of sashimi and garnishes. There is no set formula for the ingredients; they are either chef's choice or specified by the customer. It is commonly eaten because it is filling, fast and easy to make. Chirashizushi often varies regionally. (got this from Wiki)

I like to try different kinds of sashimi thus the chirashi don works well for me. I will be listing down some of the ones i tried for the past month. (in no particular order)

1. Omakase at Greenhills- Php 330 Sgd 10
After my usual Ton Ton's Annapolis massage last week, my dad, sister and I decided to have an early dinner in Greenhills. Aside from the chirashi don we also ordered 3 kinds of sushi: Dynamite roll, American dream and Black angel. The sashimi were okay for me it has a generous amount of uni which is a plus for us. I give this 3 stars out of 5.

Chirashi don

2. Ginza Kuroson at Roberston Quay- Sgd 23.30 (tax included)
 Wanted to explore more of Robertson Quay since it will be our future home (right M and B?). I saw some great reviews about the Chirashi don at Ginza Kuroson so I gave it a try. I was served with salad with super yummy dressing together with miso soup. Then came my bowl which was filled with different kinds of seafood which i dont know what are the names are but it all tasted really good to the point that I dont have to dip them in the soy sauce and wasabi. The dessert was some kind of blueberry pudding which was divine.This set is only available during lunch. I will give this a 4.5 out of 5.

Fisherman's Nagekomi Don $20 with salad, soup and dessert


 Visit them on their website for more details


30 Robertson Quay #01-10/11
Riverside View Singapore 238251

TEL:(65)6737 5547

3.Yakitori Emmaru at Ion

I was in Ion doing some last minute shopping for my brother who wanted some Nespresso capsules. I was looking for anything Japanese so i ended up at Yakitori Emmaru which from its name suggests that it is a Yakitori place. They did not have the Chirashi don so i opted for this dish that is quite close to what I was craving for. The salmon sashimi was really fresh and so was the uni sushi (the best i tasted so far) it melts in your mouth.I will give the salmon/roe don a 4 out of 5.Sgd 21.30 

Salmon sashimi with salmon roe @ $21.20

Uni sushi @ $11 each

4.Sangokai at Beach Road
It was our TGEF (thank god its early friday) so my colleagues and I decided to have dinner first before going to Attica. I love their version since it included 2 kinds of tuna: the normal maguro and yellow fin tuna, squid, shrimp and salmon. I will give this one 3.5 stars out of 5.

Chirashi don @ $19.90
 Visit them on their website for more details

327, Beach Road,
Singapore 199560.
(Opposite Concourse Skyline)
tel : 63967009
Fax : 63967010

Operation Hours:
Mon - Sat 11:30am – 2:30pm; 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Closed on every Sun and Half day afternoon of Public Holiday

Central Branch:
203, Upper Thomson Road
(3 mins walk from Long House Hawker centre)
tel : 62517009
Fax : 62517023
Email : ask@sangokai.com.sg

Operation Hours:
Tue – Sun :12: 00pm - 3pm; 6:00pm – 11:00pm
Closed on every Mon.