22 August 2016

The Paella Project Ends!

I did it! The 15th and final paella for The Paella Project. It took me years to finish, but I'm really glad I stuck to it. I'm not one to complete projects once the enthusiasm fizzles, so this right here is an achievement for me. 

The Paella Mixed with Jamon Serrano is one of Barcino's newer paellas, and it's not on the menu. I suppose they recommended it to my family though, or else my parents wouldn't have ordered it. While it tasted good, and it had a lot of toppings, I'd still go for the popular paellas, like the Negra or the Valenciana. And it's always ideal to have a glass of sangria along with the paella of your choice. 

As for a description of this paella, I'd say that it had a rich flavor that veered towards being salty (what with seafood and ham in it). I can't say more about it, for I was only able to get a small amount before it completely disappeared. That ought to say something about how much it was enjoyed by my dining companions.            

And so I end this project, prouder of the journey than of the outcome itself. It's not really a big-deal- kind of project, but it feels good to know that I can stick to something and see it through to its completion, no matter how long it takes to do so.      

20 August 2016

The Next Step

I'm in need of a change.

But as I learn more about myself each day, I see how I'm not really a fan of change. The upcoming BER months are upon us, and I confess to being terrified. With my teacher's exam next month, my wedding this November, and moving out of the house to start a new life, I am scared of letting go of the comforts and conveniences I've been enjoying ever since I was born. I know the idea of starting on my own and being independent should excite me, and it does! But once in a while, when I get a reality check of future scenarios, I find myself doubting my abilities to deal with adulting. Nevertheless, here's to the next phase of my life, where I will do my best to prove to myself that I can do it!        

01 June 2016

Paella #14

I'm on a blogging hiatus at the moment. My laptop crashed, which has been making my resolve to blog more often quite difficult. I'm making an exception for this post however, as I am celebrating a victory and giving honor to a restaurant that's closing as of today.

La Cocina de Tita Moning has established itself for providing unforgettable dining experiences for its customers. When we found out that they were operating until the end of May, my family made a reservation one last time to feast on their delectable dishes, especially their Paella Valenciana.

The win for me in this situation was not only an afternoon of enjoying a fine meal, but also the chance to reunite with paella #14 for my looonnnggg overdue Paella Project.

The first description that came to mind upon savoring this paella was smoky, which I liked very much. I'm a sucker for barbeque, and smoky always gives joy to my taste buds. If only I was a food blogger, and I could only describe how good the paella tasted.... but I guess all I can say about it is that it's such a shame this paella won't be accessible to outsiders anymore.

I wasn't able to take a picture of the whole thing, because... fine dining. They just put food on your plate and a refill is by request. No worries though, as the paella could be taken home if it could not be consumed during the meal.

It was a pleasure to be entertained in your house, Tita Moning. Your dishes shall be sorely missed.

02 May 2016

Musing Over Hair

One of the things I'm happy about is the acceptance of wavy and curly hair. Gone are the days when I would enter a salon that would immediately offer hair straightening services, such as rebonding. I remember my insecure teenage self looking at my wavy hair in loathing, after a bad hair cut or a critical comment from a stylist. And then there were those times when I finally succumbed to the pressures of having straight hair in my desire to belong.

This thoughts came to me after a recent haircut that ended in having my hair straightened. I took my photo with straight hair, showered, and then I took a photo of my natural hair to compare how hair can transform a face. Though straight hair gave me a polished look, I can't help but embrace my wavy hair. This must be me finally accepting and loving myself for who I am and what I have, flaws and all. 

I don't have anything against people changing how their hair looks, be it a simple hair dye, hair extensions, or going through straightening or perming processes. It's other people's business, and I admire people who are bold and creative with their looks. I mean, I shaved my head when I was in high school, and I love pink, blue and green hair. If I can be as brave as those people who dye their hair in these colors, I would do it in a heart beat. 

What I'm driving at, however, is that it feels so good to stop comparing oneself with other people, or using society's standards to define how one ought to look like, especially with hair. Straight hair was the thing in the 90s and the early 2000s (my childhood and teenage years), and it was quite hard to love wavy hair at a time when straight hair was deemed ideal. 

Diversity is beautiful and I hope this perspective is here to stay.               

30 April 2016

Action April Weeks 3 and 4

And so I find myself at the end of April. While I was on fire accomplishing my goals for Weeks 1 and 2 for Action April, the remaining weeks told a different story. I aimed to put order in our home and to come up with a creative output, but then a realization hit me: Focus on what NEEDS to be done.

We hire a helper to put order in our house, to allot more time for things we need to take care of. And while a creative output is a good way to make good use of time, there are some things that need to be prioritized and acted on, pronto. In my case, it's what's written in the photo.

Truth be told, our wedding planner told us that we were quite late in the planning process. This reality check put me on panic mode, and I began searching my contacts, along with anyone else's contacts for wedding suppliers. I also used up a day to complete my LET requirements, and spent the remaining days engaged in side hustles (or sidelines) to raise money for my Braver Goals by Arianne Serafico. (I'll talk about my Braver Goals, another time). 

So though the last leg of my April didn't turn out as expected, it was better and more productive because I shifted my focus to what needs to be done. Reflecting on this experience got me thinking of St. Francis' Prayer for Serenity: 

God grant me the serenity 
To accept the things I cannot change; 
Courage to change the things I can; 
And wisdom to know the difference

Indeed, knowing which to pay attention to, and which to let go saves a huge amount of time, money, and stress. Inner peace is good too, c/o the Holy Spirit :)