Wearing my adorable BCBG Maxazria blouse that came straight from the Philippines. Thanks to Nina/Schmug!

On April 27th, my parents treated me out for dinner in the city. We had dining reservations at Technique Restaurant Le Cordon Bleu San Francisco, located in Potrero Hill. This spacious restaurant serves delicious contemporary French dishes for a ridiculously reasonable price!

The chefs who prepare and serve your dinner are all California Culinary Academy students. From what I’ve been told, Technique happens to be a “practice” restaurant for the students. We weren’t quite sure of what to expect, especially when you know that the entire restaurant is being run by students, but we’ve heard that these students have enough culinary training and experience to prepare exquisite dishes to the public, and those who’ve dined at Technique in the past assured us that we would enjoy our dinner, which we did!

The menu for that evening listed a five course meal for only fifteen dollars. They even had a nice wine list to choose from, which I wasn’t in the mood for that night. The “First Plates” and “Chef’s Choice Dessert Tasting” were served family-style (to be shared), while the “Main Plates” were served seperately.

One of the student chefs came off a little shy when taking our order, because she spoke in such a really low and nervous tone and constantly kept apologizing for the long wait, which we honestly didn’t mind at all! She was really sweet though. The entire staff came off as super friendly, so plus points to that.

First dish to be served to our table was the “Cheesy Garlic Bread”. Beautiful presentation!

“Mushroom and parmensan risotto wih porcini ragu.”

“Beets, mixed greens, pistachios and goat cheese salad.” Eh, this honestly didn’t do too much for me. Not a big fan of dry leaves. I guess I’m just the type that loves to drench my salad with dressing… Blue cheese dressing to be exact.

For the Main Plate, I had the “Grilled lamb churasco with steak fries and green bean salad.”

My dad ordered the “Miso glazed pached halibut a la nage with buckwheat noodles, maitake mushroom and ramps.”

Mom had the “Braised Osso Buco with root vegetables and asparagus.”

“Rice Pudding with Swiss Meringue, cookie crumble and caramelized mango.”

Out of all the dishes, I would definitely say that the dessert was my favorite. Even my dad agreed! The taste was absolutely IMPECCABLE. I seriously wanted to order another one! As for the least favorite dish, I would pick the salad.

Almost everything we ordered tasted great though and was definitely pleased with the results, especially for the price we paid for. When the bill arrived, we were told that “tipping was not allowed”. If we went somewhere else, we would be paying triple the price for receiving that kind of taste and presentation. Twas’ one unique dining experience…. Wish I knew about this restaurant sooner! Definitely taking my friends here next time!

My lovely parents and I took a trip over to Vancouver for a little vacation time from April 19th to the 24th. It was my first time ever to explore the beautiful country of Canada, so I was completely stoked out of my mind during the entire trip! Mom would constantly keet telling me how gorgeously beautiful the city of Vancouver was and that I would immediately fall in love with it. I could not wait to sight-see and explore the living shit out of this city, and of course, see the family whom I haven’t seen in a long time! Majority of the pictures are taken with my iPhone.

When we arrived at the San Francisco Airport (SFO), Steve Aoki literally passed by me right when I stepped out of the car! Talk about perfect timing and a great way to start the morning!

DAY 1
It was freezing cold out once we arrived in Vancouver early in the morning. Now rather than taking a cab, my parents and I thought it would be a great idea to take the public train down to the main city, where our hotel was located.

We checked in at the Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown Hotel. I was very impressed. They carried a very friendly staff, spacious bedrooms, and these amazing pillow-soft beds.

While I was resting up in the hotel room, my parents decided to step out for a quick bite to eat. While they were on their way back, they picked up a hot dog for me at the famous Vancouver street vendor, Japadog! My “Terimayo” hot dog was simply made out of Teriyaki sauce, mayo, and seaweed. Definitely a perfect combination!

 We then met up with my Auntie Precy, who just happens to have a little condo in down town Vancouver, and luckily, she lives close by to our hotel! We all headed out for our first dinner in the city at an adorably small Japanese restaurant called, Ichiban-Ya. We had the sweetest waiter!

After dinner, my Auntie Precy invited us back to her place to hang out. We went to a local bakery/grocery to buy a little Tiramisu Cheesecake, grabbed some coffee at Blenz (Canada’s famous coffee shop), and continued to walk down to her condo.
She has the cutest condominium ever! The interior was very old-school, and I absolutely loved her small vintage mustard/brown-colored oven! Sorry, no pictures!

We ended the lovely first night by we placing two candles on the little Tiramisu Cheesecake and sang “Happy Birthday” to the two April babies, my dad and Auntie Precy!

DAY 2
The following day, we started our morning by visiting the Olympic Cauldron, which was only walking distance from our hotel. Even though it looked sunny out in the picture, it was still freezing cold outside!

This 25-foot Lego-looking Shamu, known as the “Digital Orca”, caught my attention.
Made by author/artist and Vancouver resident, Douglas Copeland.

The Chevron gas station located… Where?

We took the bus across the bridge to Granville Island (located under the bridge!), which is pretty much like San Francisco’s ultimate tourist spot, Fisherman’s Warf.

Walked around and grabbed lunch at the indoor market, selling the freshest of seafood and local pastries drenched in their famous Canadian maple syrup. Mhmm…

My “Oyster N’ Chips” — Big chunks of fried oysters over a handful of fries. Now that’s what I’m talking about Canada!

Didn’t realize how many back shots my mom took of me!

Headed to Pacific Centre for a little shopping!

 A street performer and his hooves.

Yes, it was April 20th that day. We accidentally came across the Manitoba Legislative Building, where the city of Vancouver gathered for one big joint convention. Believe me, it wasn’t my intention to go there! I absolutely hate smoking in general (Yes, us girls in this generation still exist!). My parents had no idea about the history behind 4/20,  so we walked around and ended up leaving the scene and smelling like marijuana. Hah, great.

Walked around Gastown, named after “Gassy” Jack Deighton.

Beautiful architecture in this quaint-looking town.

Dropped by Stussy to bring back a Stussy “Canada” shirt for my brother. I completely forgot to ask the employees if they had a “Vancouver” shirt instead, since that’s what my brother wanted. But whatever, my brother seemed satisfied and content with what we got him. Well, he better like it! It sure as hell wasn’t easy getting to the place!
After a long walk around the city, it was break time at Blenz Coffee, where I enjoyed their free wi-fi and a hot White Belgian Chocolate. Twas’ the bomb!

Walked back to the hotel to rest and freshen up to meet with family I haven’t seen since I was little!

DAY 3
Auntie Precy picked us up from our hotel and insisted having lunch at popular greek restaurant called, Stepho’s Souvlaki Greek Tavern. We arrived about thirty minutes early before the restaurant opened, so we decided to wait and walk around. She mentioned how people would actually line up at this restaurant, which was true, because once we arrived before its operating hours, there was already a line formed!
Auntie Precy and I waiting for Stepho’s to open up its doors, and getting a head start on what to order.
For the appetizer, we ordered these cheese balls with pickled beets.
Dad and I about to feast it up!
Dad and I both ordered the Roasted Lamb, which is a specialty at Stepho’s.
Big serving at an affordable price! The lamb melted right off the bone…
We visited the Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver. This popular tourist spot had a ton of attractions to check out, so it pretty much consumed four to five hours of our day!
The Capilano Suspension Bridge was originally built in 1889. Stretching 450 feet long and hangs 230 feet above the Capilano River. If you could only imagine how terrifying it was for me to stand in the center of that bridge! I was so terrified that I had to look straight ahead and hold on to my father for dear life! Me dealing with heights is like putting oil and water into a glass, we don’t mix well! Twas’ a thrilling experience indeed!
The only positive side about being in the center of the bridge is that breath-taking view of the Capilano River. Nature at its finest!
The second attraction we went on was the Treetops Adventure, which consisted of small suspension bridges that were all connected to one Douglas Fir to another. They hang 100 feet above the ground, and gives off an awesome squirrel’s eye view of the forest.
The third and newest attraction to the park was the Cliffwalk, which opened its door to the public on June 3, 2011. The Cliffwalk was clearly my favorite attraction of all, due to its insanely breath-taking views of the forest. Though I admit it wasn’t as terrifying as the Capilano Suspension Bridge, the Cliffwalk still has that exciting “thrill” to it. You’ll be taking the stairs going high up, walking on narrow wooden bridges, and at one point, you’ll will be stepping on a floor made out of glass.
Strange-looking tree?
I remember a woman walking along the Cliffwalk telling me, “Don’t rush through it! Enjoy the beauty of every step you take on here. It’s definitely a good way to get your money’s worth.” …And that’s exactly what I did.
After those long hours spent at the Capilano Suspension Bridge, we drove straight to the city of Surrey to meet up with the family.We walked down to the local market to pick up some fresh seafood for the mighty Filipino feast the family prepared for us that night!
DAY 4
We met up with my dad’s long time friend, Imelda. She is truly one of the sweetest people I have ever met! We started off the day by having lunch at a Filipino restaurant called Josephine’s Restaurant & Catering. There was quite a selection to choose from.
We told Imelda how we were looking for souvenier shops, so she took us to Chinatown. Looks pretty much the same when compared to the one in San Francisco.
Diamonds are a girls best friend! — Engagement rings on Sunset Beach. Designed by Dennis Oppenheim.Keeping this place in mind for my future wedding pictorials!
Afterwards we went to Metrotown Mall in Burnaby, which was one of the few biggest malls in Vancouver. Of course, I had to do little shopping for myself!
Imelda took us to another greek restaurant for dinner… Ordered the exact same thing from yesterday, Roasted Lamb! This was delicious as well. Less fatty compared to the one at Stepho’s.
DAY 5
On our last day, we continued our sight-seeing around Vancouver.
Walked around Robson Street for some last minute shopping!

Checked out more of Vancouver’s historic totem poles at Stanley Park.

Last view of this beautiful city!

On our last night, Auntie Precy recommended we have our last dinner at Ebi Sushi, a Japanese All-You-Can-Eat Restaurant.Ended the night with coffee and chit-chatting at Tim Hortons.
The following morning, we packed our belongings for our trip back to San Francisco and said our goodbyes to the beautiful city of Vancouver. Had such a wonderful time during my entire stay. Those five days went insanely fast, which made me so bummed to leave! On my next future trip to Canada, Toronto and Montreal are next on my bucket list!

My April has seriously been starting out pretty freakin’ sweet, but at the same time, it’s been mad exhausting! I literally spent my entire weekend (day and night) walking around downtown San Francisco. I’m now stuck at home with heavy allergies and sore feet, paying for all the times I didn’t wear comfortable shoes and a thick enough jacket! Rather than creating three separate posts, I’ll just be posting a whole weekend’s worth of memories on one single post. Now let’s get to these weekend recaps!

FRIDAY
Mom treated me to dinner at O-Zone Thai Restaurant & Lounge. A large, cozy, and dimly-lit Thai restaurant with a modern touch to it. Definitely brings out a relaxing atmosphere! We actually made reservations thinking it would be busy since it was Friday night… Surprisingly, it wasn’t!

The Blueberry Mojitos were absolute perfection. They turned out quite strong, but delicious. The first round of drinks already got my body fully relaxed! Definitely started the weekend the right way. ;) Cheers to that!

We ordered the mouth-watering Soft Shell Crab Appetizer which we surely enjoyed.

As for the entrées, we ordered Pad Thai, Red Curry, and white rice. From the presentation and taste of the dishes and most importantly, the attentive service… Everything was outstanding and on point. I will definitely be coming back.

Since we ended dinner past nine in the evening, most of the stores I wanted to check out were already closed, but we walked around Union Square anyway and did a little window shopping.

We stopped by Cafe Bellini for dessert.

I admit, the Tiramisu wasn’t as amazing as the one we usually order at Calzone’s on North Beach, but it was still delicious!

SATURDAY
Friends and I celebrated my good friend Misza’s 22nd Birthday at Union Square! Misza wanted this celebration to be a “no dresses” kind of night, so we all kept it casual but dressy. I wore my Zara Basic halter top with black wide-legged pants and of course, my baby pink five-inch killer platform heels. Whenever it’s a night out, I like to keep my heels four to five inches minimum. :)

The beautiful Trisha Mae and I taking a quick photo at her pad before heading out to Pier 39 for dinner. Pardon the awkward face I am totally making in this photo. I was too busy getting the angle right!

We had a late dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe.

My Citrus Grilled Chicken Salad. Delish!

Misza and friends in front of the Hard Rock Cafe.

After dinner, we headed to a Speakeasy/Prohibition era-themed club called Slide SF, which was located literally right beside Ruby Skye. This club really stood by their theme because the entrance blended so well with the wall that I never really noticed the club whenever I drove past it. Also, there were no signs that read “Slide”, which made it even more difficult to spot.

One thing I did find amusing was the slide in front of the entrance! One could either slide down to get in or take the stairs. Very creative!

Though I was slightly disappointed in what the DJ was playing that night (everything was completely mashed-up that we couldn’t even sing along to anything!), I still had one wonderful night… All thanks to the amazing people I was with!

SUNDAY
HAPPY EASTER! 
Spent another day in Union Square!

Mom and I walked to the Historic John’s Grill for a late lunch.
I ordered the Linguini & Clams and Mom had the Jack Lalanne’s Favourite salad. Her choice of salad couldn’t have been more perfect… I believe it was filled with good ol’ dungeoness crab, baby shrimp, tomatoes, avocados, and mushrooms mixed with the right amount of dressing. The taste was seriously on point!

Mommy dearest in black and white.
I love spending time with her… Everywhere we go results in a good time.

After lunch, we had a good two hours to spare before church, so we basically did what we did on Friday, but this time everything was open. Hooray!


Took a quick shot with one of the local street performers around Union Square. He put his glittery hand around me which resulted in a glittery blazer! Good thing it dusted right off. Super nice guy though, and amazingly talented!

Long walks around downtown in my Calvin Klein pumps was seriously the worst idea. Though the wedge isn’t that high and they’re quite comfortable to stand in, they’re quite a torture to walk in for several hours. The pain was so unbearable that it actually reached a point where I had to buy myself comfortable flats in order to continue the day. My stubborn little self already knew what to expect because this wasn’t the first time this incident occurred! Hah!

So that basically sums up my weekend. :)

I seriously need to get on my blog more often, because so much has been happening!
God has been blessing me with so much amazing things in my life, and I just can’t thank him enough for it.

It’s been well over a year since I last picked up a pencil and doodled during my free time. I’d say the last time I got any drawings done was when I was still studying at the Philippine School of Interior Design (PSID) in Manila, which was way back in 2010! (Cannot wait to head back by the end of the year btw!) After that awful long break from drawing, I thought I should get back to practicing again…

So with that said, I finally had the patience to complete a portrait of beautiful actress, Amber Heard. After seeing her role in The Ward a few months ago, I instantly fell head over heels for this woman… Especially in The Rum Diary… which made my obsession over her even worse! Anyway, I specifically chose this photo of her because of that perfect smile she wears.

The drawing took me about 2 1/2 days to complete. Didn’t keep track of the hours I spent per day because I took way too many breaks in between!

I left all my blending stumps, putty rubbers/good-quality erasers, and my Staedtler pencils (with a complete set of grades) back in Manila, so I had no choice but to improvise! If you look on the top left corner of the photograph, you can see the crappy materials I used. All I had to work with was just a #2 pencil (HB), cotton ball/swab for blending, and a ghost eraser I got from a halloween goody bag, haha! It wasn’t impossible for me to draw with those materials in hand, but it was definitely a lot more challenging and time consuming. When you don’t have the right materials on you, your drawing doesn’t turn out the way you want it to be. Well, in my case it didn’t…

Whatever, I’m just happy that I was able to put in the time and patience to a favorite hobby of mine, which I haven’t done in a while. Must hit up Blick for new materials once my lazy ass isn’t so lazy anymore.

This post has been patiently sitting unfinished and unpublished on my blog for about a good month now!  Thought I’d get it done even though it’s already later than ever!

After a long and hectic week, my parents and I headed to North Beach for a lovely evening out.

North Beach, popularly known as Little Italy, it is one of my favorite spots in the City. My mom and I both love roaming around this lively little neighborhood, especially during the weekends. There are rows and rows of the cutest little Italian restaurants and cafes that are all tightly squished together. I just love the atmosphere and overall vibe this place gives off…  I personally like to call Little Italy the perfect place to get highly-buzzed off of wine and do absolutely nothing but “people watch”. ;)

My mom recommended dining at Bocce Cafe, where we waited for about twenty-five to thirty minutes for an open table, which was all good! As long as I have a drink in my hand, my patience can last for about an hour max. :)

Once seated, our adorable waiter along his thick Italian accent came right to our table and brought out complimentary focaccia bread, which was seriously to die for! Definitely not the typical hard, cold and shitty (excuse my language) complimentary bread other restaurants would serve! Now, rather than spreading the focaccia bread with butter, ask for the balsamic vinegar and olive oil as a dip and you will get a complete taste of bread perfection. I tried hard to refrain myself from eating too much of it, because I was not there to get full off of free bread.

A local band performs live every Friday and Saturday. Three awesome musicians were jammin’ on the piano, drums, and double bass, allowing us to enjoy the rest of our evening by listening to the sweet soothing sounds of jazz and bossa nova. They even took in Mom’s bossa nova request by Jobim. Love, love, love!

Mom and Pops posing for a quick photo.

The menu consisted of nothing but authentic and exquisite Italian dishes. Of course, I always order my favorite, Linguini with Fresh Clams, drenched in white wine sauce and garlic… Impeccable!

I’ve been to a ton of restaurants in North Beach, but Bocce Cafe takes the cake (so far!). I also love the fact that it’s somewhat isolated and quite spacious compared to all the other squished up restaurants around the area.

After dinner, we ended the night at Calzone’s Pizzeria. We’d always stop by Calzone’s for dessert, only if the weather cooperates. Luckily, it remained lovely throughout the entire night, allowing us to grab an outdoor table placed under heated awnings and order ourselves the usual Tiramisu along with hot cafe mochas to complement it.

My beautiful mother and I enjoying the evening out.

Pardon the poor quality of a camera. I used my iPhone to take these photos!

 What beats spending quality time with the ones you love during the best days of the week?

Lord’s Resistance Army leader JOSEPH KONY and his war crimes must come to an end.

Please spare 30 minutes of your time to watch this video. It’ll answer all your questions on to who Joseph Kony is and why he and the LRA must be stopped. This is truly heart-breaking to watch, and it makes me upset on how this man is still out there doing what he does for 20 years.

Its aim is to raise global awareness of Kony – to make him famous – “not to celebrate him, but to raise support for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice”.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/executive-style/culture/blogs/all-men-are-liars/make-kony-famous-20120307-1ujd5.html#ixzz1oY9e0XV7

Please have a heart to paste this video on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Tumblr… Anywhere! As long as you don’t ignore it. Your efforts in sharing this video can make a difference and voice out in spreading the word of these horrible crimes.

No matter what race we are or what country we live in, everyone in this world matters and everyone counts.

SIGN THE PLEDGE: http://kony2012.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com/

My sweet pair of Call It Spring “Litrenta” combat boots, which were given to me as a gift by my brother, have been the ultimate replacement for all of my shoes right now. I seriously cannot seem to get enough of them at the moment! I love how these Litrenta boots fit me to a T, without giving off that bulky or heavy look. Since combat boots already come across as a pretty strong fashion piece, I personally like to keep my tops/outfits simple and effortless whenever I wear them out,  pairing them with nothing but my casual tops, such as solid or subtle printed button-ups, and plain v-necks.

I wore these bad boys to my first basketball game. Paired it with a white button-up Old Navy shirt, simple black Zara leggings, my dark grey Zara baby-doll coat, and my Mango cross-body handbag.

I am crazy about the thick straps and buckles on these boots! What’s even better is that they’re removable too!

So other than fashion talk…

Two weeks ago, I attended my very first basketball game with the family. We drove down to the Oracle Arena in Oakland, received a Tim Hardaway bobble head, and watched the Golden State Warriors play against the Phoenix Suns.

 I was able to touch and pass down the “game ball” down to the basketball court, which the players use during the actual game! That was definitely an awesome moment. We snacked on insanely overpriced garlic fries and hot dogs, and watched our Warriors kick ass. Definitely a good night.

Looking forward to the baseball season though. Can’t wait to see my San Francisco Giants play!