Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Project 365: Batch 1

Posted by Kero at Wednesday, June 30, 2010 3 sweets for Kero Links to this post
The one photo a day diary has been making rounds in the blogosphere. I've been meaning to join but hesitant of posting a photo of myself everyday hahaha! Instead, I decided to take photos of things, places, or food i see everyday to develop the eye. I think this is much more helpful to enhance my photography skills. Naks!

I cannot blog everyday as you noticed by now so I shall post five photos a week. All comments to improve angle, lighting, framing, and whatever else you call them are most welcome. Let me know as well if you are doing your own Project 365 - be it the original or modified version so I can come visit.

1/365 - We saw this black bamboo at Mirdif City Center. Hubby, ever the green thumb, immediately thought how we could smuggle such variety to Pinas. 

2/365 - An artsy framed mirror at a restaurant in Bastakiya

3/365 - My son's Thomas and Bertie trains

4/365 - Did I mention I am crazy about pearls?

5/365 -The bar area at Meat & Co.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

2010 Middle East Junior Chef Competition

Posted by Kero at Sunday, June 27, 2010 10 sweets for Kero Links to this post
As part of the annual Dubai Summer Surprises, the competition for Junior Chef of The Year is on again this time held at Burjuman.The event celebrates the works of 600 and more chefs from star hotels across the GCC. They gather in Dubai to showcase their finest preparations and compete in front of the jury consisting of master chefs from around the world. There are 22 categories consisting among others of Chocolate Carving, Ice Sculpture, Arabic Cuisine, and Cake Decorating.

While we were lucky to see all the creations last year at Oasis Center, we saw only a few entries last Thursday set in a series of long table. Maybe the rest have been stored away for the finale on June 29. I share some photos with you. These are the silver and bronze winner in the respective categories.

The event celebrates the works of 600 and more chefs from star hotels across the GCC. They gather in Dubai to showcase their finest preparations and compete in front of the jury consisting of master chefs from around the world.

The three-tier wedding cake category

Hubby thinks this centerpiece is brilliant!

just look at the detail...

Bread loaves and Showpiece

This has no award but i still took photo as I think it is very Asian =)

Can you believe they are all edible?

I will share the entries for chocolate carving next week so do come back.

For last year's Middle East Junior Chef Competition creations, click here.

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Spied: Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren

Posted by Kero at Thursday, June 24, 2010 1 sweets for Kero Links to this post
Yay! There are just too many thrilling events going on around the world! Some thought England will be eliminated so they can go home to watch the Wimbledon. There's the Grand Prix getting nearer to Middle East, the FIFA World Cup, Dubai Summer Surprises.....I am running out of things to wear. Kidding!!

While half of the world is having breakfast of chocolate cake (or maybe a bag of Cheetos?) in honor of USA's Hollywood style goal last night, I am treating the rest with a  spy shot in honor of McLaren's two consecutive pole position =).

While on an errand to replenish our fruit supply, I saw this oh so beautiful Merc parked just before the Spinneys' entrance along Jumeirah I. For the petrol-head-would-be-Dubai-tourist, take your seat among the numerous coffee shops along Jumeirah, order a panini and enjoy the sights of Bugatti Veyron, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Hummer, Audi, Corvette, and Rolls Royce in motion every five minutes (avoiding Salik fee lolzzz!). I reckon nowhere in the world you will see such manic luxury.

Enough with blah blah. Enjoy these..and have a glamorous weekend!

SLR stands for "Sport, Leicht, Rennsport" (sport, light, racing)

See the side mirror detail? Hmmnnn maybe the Corvette Stingray ripped the mirror idea =)

Another fierce detail

Why You Sould Consider Lasik

Posted by Kero at Thursday, June 24, 2010 1 sweets for Kero Links to this post
Last night, while waiting for the football game of Germany and Ghana to start, my husband asked me to share more about what I have read regarding Lasik. I am glad that he is slowly showing interest on the topic.

So I am sharing to everyone else what I told him. Lasik or  laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis is a surgical procedure that changes the shape of the cornea to reduce the need for glasses or contacts. Comparing to other surgical corrective procedure, Lasik's benefits include faster patient recovery.

What's more, because this is currently the most popular performed surgery in US, there are plenty of websites that provide helpful information about Lasik. Among the most recognized, as I shared in my previous posts, is the Stahl Eye Center. Their doctors’ patient outcomes have been independently verified by nonprofit Lasik patient advocacy called USAEyes to meet or exceed the national norms for Lasik results. Fewer than 100 doctors nationwide have attained this certification.

Hopefully in the coming months, I can finally have him agree to consider treatment for his eyes.

Tony Roma's Pina Colada

Posted by Kero at Thursday, June 24, 2010 9 sweets for Kero Links to this post
"Meet me down in the bar. We'll drink summer breakfast together."

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Stahl Eye Center

Posted by Kero at Thursday, June 24, 2010 0 sweets for Kero Links to this post
As I continue my research for my husband's vision correction surgery, I found another website called Stahl Eye Center which provides great help to patients who undergo lasik treatment.

We have been regularly buying eye drops to ease my husband's dry eyes. As I read the information on Stahl  Eye Center, most of the artificial tears available in pharmacies aggravates the dry eye condition because of the preservatives present in the the eye drops. When one is rehabilitating after a lasik eye surgery, the patient experiences severe eye dryness thus Stahl Eye Center conducted effects of popular eye drops Restasis when used by patients. This shows how committed they are to serving  well their patients.

With 35 years of service and with doctors from top universities such as UCLA, one is sure to get reliable information from Stahl Eye Center.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Travel Meme

Posted by Kero at Tuesday, June 22, 2010 6 sweets for Kero Links to this post
Tis' the season for travel! It is getting hotter and hotter here in Dubai that I am fervently wishing the government will install giant ACs everywhere. Pretty soon, locals and expats will be going away for summer breaks and Eid Holidays. 

While we have no plans yet as we have more important things to save up for, I share this meme to everyone interested.

Where, of all the places you have never been, do you want to go to most?
The Big Apple. We all do =)

"In New York,
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
There’s nothing you can’t do,
Now you’re in New York,
these streets will make you feel brand new,
the lights will inspire you,
lets hear it for New York, New York, New York"...~ Alicia Keys

Where do you most want to go back to?
Batanes.Where life is simple and I can fall in-love over and over again! It is probably my most romantic place on earth...

And Dubai. I will always want to come back here. The safest, cleanest, ambitious city you could ever get. And frankly, there are just no dull moments here!! It's amazing how religions, races, and cultures can co-exist. The ultimate East meets West.

Favourite City?
It is excruciatingly difficult to choose just one so I will choose from the three countries.

In the Philippines, it will have to be Puerto Princesa in Palawan for bikini weekend get-away (lolz). And Baguio City for ukay shopping!! Kidding! Baguio will always be close to my heart because that is where we got married. Also, the city's nightlife is the one I enjoyed most.

In Italy, I had a grand time in Rome. And for United Arab Emirates, I am definitely curious about Abu Dhabi..........I will add to this list as I live it.

Least favourite city?
I am torn between Manila or Venice hahahaa. God forbid but Venice is the place I would never want to spend the rest of my life. Yes, it is a must visit before you die... but for me, it is not worth going back to.

Do you speak other languages?
I will never be fluent in them but I tried to learn useful phrases in Arabic, Spanish, and Italian.

How do you get by without being fluent?
Smiling, sign language, and some key phrases. Smiling is the most effective.

Best airport?
Dubai International Airport. Boy it's like a huge sprawling shopping mall. Very posh! You wouldn't mind waiting with so much to keep you busy. And shuttles are everywhere for your convenience.

Worst airport?
Malpensa International Airport. I complained to Hubby how old looking it is considering that Milan is a very famous city.

Best travel tips?
Bring plenty of toys to keep kids busy although a DVD player is your best bet.Pack light and bring enough cash.

Biggest travel mistake?
One huge, heavy luggage. lolzz!

Best coffee outside your city? Best coffee in your city?
There are no Starbucks in Italy so anywhere you go, one is sure to get a delicious coffee.

Arabs are traditionally tea-drinkers but Starbucks is everywhere here. There is also the Italian coffee house called Cafe Nero (we saw one in Milan) and the Armani Caffe but we have not tried it. Coco's serve a good cup of coffee also but for us with a tight budget, nothing beats the bottomless Ikea cappucino or cafe latte or black coffee for 5 dirhams =)

Best meal while on travel? Best meal in your city?

A get-away to Puerto Princesa is not complete without visiting Ka Lui Rstaurant. The whole place is made of native wood and bamboo. We walked in bare-footed and the place was packed with tourists indulging in seafood fiesta. We admit we had no idea about the place beforehand. We were just lucky to be touring with Fil-Am couple who treated the honeymooners for a sumptuous dinner.

Food in Rome in incomparable anywhere else. If you are up to spending more, try the legendary Cafe D' Paris in Via Veneto.

You get the best mix of culture cuisine in Dubai with so many expatriates to please. From Lebanese to Mediterranean, Cantonese to Indian food, all American to Italian, one is spoilt for choice. In fact, no tourist leaves Dubai unimpressed with its Friday Brunch culture. Hotels and restaurants throw open their doors for a four-hour lunch buffet with free flowing alcoholic drinks that even the most gluttonous person would beg for the food to stop.

Recommended Friday brunch are Spice Island, Planet Hollywood, JW Marriott, and Al Muntaha.

Most breathtaking view from your travel? Most breathtaking view in your city?

Yamashita Shrine in Ifugao. The view during Honda Bay island hopping. Butanding interaction in Sorsogon. The perfect cone of Mayon Volcano in Albay. View at the top of Mt. Makiling in Los Banos..

Venice early in the morning.

The view from the 27th floor of Burj Al Arab. Which reminds me that Hubby's been wanting to visit At The Top. Maybe I should agree so I can add to my list.

I am tagging Kayni of Kassidy's Notes and Artemis of A Charmed Life, my two blogger friends who have taken me to places through their writings and tremendously inspired me to save(!) and explore what the world has to offer. Feel free to do only when you have the time, ladies! xoxo

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Carved Watermelon

Posted by Kero at Sunday, June 20, 2010 9 sweets for Kero Links to this post
I took the photo during a family Friday Brunch at Flora Creek Hotel in Deira. This decorative watermelon served as centerpiece at the salad bar area of The Olive Tree Restaurant.

Fresh-carved watermelon

Dubai skyline as seen from our from our table.

An entry for

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Daddy (Holiday) Moments

Posted by Kero at Thursday, June 17, 2010 13 sweets for Kero Links to this post
So we continue our tribute to Fathers all over the world with this week's MM theme of  Baby and Daddy Moments. I have various candid shots of my boys but for now, I am sharing some the treasured photos while we were on holiday. It was one challenging travel abroad with three cities to visit but Hubby did a great job keeping our two-year old reined.

Our first stop was Rome. And on the day we landed  the city, we checked the ancient Roman glory The boys just had to pose with the famous Emperor. What's in a name? =)

Next we visited Vatican Museum. Inside, we were the only tourist with a toddler! Luckily, the guards and staff were very helpful as they showed us the lift and secret passages all the way to Sistine Chapel which was the highlight of the tour.

Then we went for a day trip to Florence to visit The Leaning Tower of Pisa

Next we hopped in the high-speed train called EuroStar Italia and went to the City of Love

Then lastly, another two hour train-ride to Milan.

Going back home to Dubai, I took these photos while the boys relax with series of Dora The Explorer =)

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mommy moments

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Father's Day Celebration

Posted by Kero at Wednesday, June 16, 2010 7 sweets for Kero Links to this post
Making the most of my writing juices hihi! Great to be back on CC!

The theme for this week calls for Father's Day Plans.Thank goodness for football, I am saved with any plans or preparation. I would  want an all boys weekend getaway where they could do all those silly stuff and drink and pig out. But perhaps, no matter how fun or interesting my plans are, nothing could ever match the thrill and excitement Hubby will get from watching Brazil, Italy, and Paraguay play live on Sunday. So I am simply letting him off with any Daddy duties and have him spend the day watching the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The gift will be a surprise and will be revealed in three months. Tagal! nag-iipon pa ako eh lolz!

Anyways, before I end this post, I would like to share this everyday prayer for our hero.

"I thank you, my dear God for giving us Ceasar 
as head of the family 
and as a devoted father to my son. 
Enlighten us that we may realize the depth of his love 
and the greatness of his sacrifices for us. 
His fatherly care reflects Your goodness, 
his manliness, Your strength, 
his understanding, Your wisdom. 
He is your faithful servant and image. 
Bless him with peace of soul, 
health of body, 
and success in his work. 

An entry for

Lasik Information On USAEyes

Posted by Kero at Wednesday, June 16, 2010 0 sweets for Kero Links to this post
For a couple of years now, we have been looking for a more lasting cure for my husband's astigmatism. Our friends have suggested a laser-eye surgery. But hubby is hesitant about the procedure. For now he is content with his eyeglasses. But his work and long drives puts constant pressure to his eyes so for awhile now, I had been researching on vision correction procedure called Lasik, hoping for more information that might just convince him

Finally, I came across USAEyes, the Council for Refractive Surgery Quality Assurance which is a nonprofit Lasik patient advocacy organization. For over a decade now, website has tremendously helped patients learn more about Lasik and its related issues. Proving further of their worth, a US Congressional subcommittee cited USAEyes as a reliable source of Lasik information and USAEyes representatives have testified before the FDA.

So if you are like us needing eye-treatment, you can visit the website and post any other questions and concerns through their interactive bulletin board.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Amigo, Amigo! Malpensa Este?

Posted by Kero at Monday, June 14, 2010 2 sweets for Kero Links to this post
The lovely well-suited man rushing and asking was obviously European but just as lost as we are in Milan. I gotta make this quick because my bambini is about to wake up. Here my dear readers, is your cheat sheet.

1. Milan has two airports, the Linate and Malpensa.Your travel agent could be asking if you want your hotel near Malpensa which is more than an hour drive away from the city. We chose the city center hotel and to sum it up, it was more expensive than our hotel in Venice or Rome. But then, we walked our way all around Milan. If you choose near Malpensa, you could be staying in a 5-star hotel for the same price and be near the famous San Siro Stadium, home to the successful soccer club, AC Milan. So depending on your interest and your next destination, give your hotel choice a thought.

2. You can reach Milan by train or plane. If you are coming from Venice, take the train again from Sta. Lucia Venezia and it will be a two hour-ride. The Milan Central Station is huge and impressive and I so, so regret not having taken a single photo. We were in a hurry for a scheduled viewing aaargh so prepare your camera even if you have a plane to catch.

3. Finding a taxi station is easy but I suggest you learn how the Milan subway works if you are staying for a couple of days. Traffic is just too much in Milan.

4. I highly recommend Hotel Fenice. Again, I do not have a single photo because Hubby and I were drinking beer half the the time we were in Milan hihiihh. Never had so much beer in my entire life! It was our last stop and having traveled so far, we just wanted to savor our lovely hotel room. Ours was huge with a balcony. The staff were friendly and very accommodating. We arrived earlier  than the check-in time but  our rooms were ready. During breakfast, they always offer to make a cup of hot chocolate for our bambini.

Hotel Fenice had the perfect location between posh shopping district and high street. stores. There is subway station right in front of the doorstep. Across the street is a taxi stand. Opposite the taxi stand is Milan's biggest public garden. It was like Dubai convenience all over again - minus the scorching sun. 

5. Lastly, when you go to Malpensa International Airport, take a cab to Milan Central Train Station. There in front, are shuttle buses called Malpensa Express. It leaves every 20 minutes. You pay around 7 Euro per person. The bus ride is about one hour.

Now for the question about shopping trip, no I did not do any retail therapy in Milan. Hubby, like the generous husband that he is all the time, told me to go shopping but I said NO for three reasons.

1. I was already planning our next holiday destination three years from now.

2. Whatever retail store I saw there - luxury or high street were also available in Dubai. I also think that the window displays in the Fashion Avenue of The Dubai Mall are even more grandiose. However, the advantage is that products of giant Italian houses such as Gucci were sold for a lower price compared to what we pay here in Dubai. But then I already have my Vernis Alma.

3. The photos and memories of walking in the rain, getting lost, and making out with the boy I love most in three world-famous cities is incomparable with the entire House of Armani.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Baked Pasta With Ham & Creamy Tomato Sauce

Posted by Kero at Sunday, June 13, 2010 8 sweets for Kero Links to this post
Food provisions in-between games!

While waiting yesterday for the 6pm game of Argentina vs Nigeria, I dashed to the kitchen for any left over in the cupboard and fridge. I had about an hour and a half so after making sure my food processor is up to the job, I came up with our yummy dinner =)

Baked Pasta With Ham & Creamy Tomato Sauce

What you need:
400 g pasta swirls
200 g cooking cream
400 g diced tomato
2tbsp ketchup
a tsp of butter
a tsp of olive oil
100 g cooked ham, sliced into small squares
1 medium carrot
three squares of cheddar cheese
medium bell pepper, chopped
chopped whole clove of garlic
chopped onions (medium size)

Here's How
1. Cook pasta al-dente. Set aside the water used for boiling.
2. Cut carrots into large chunks and pop into food processor. Press until they are chopped coarsely.
3. Stir fry ham in about half a teaspoon olive oil. Remove from heat when slightly browned and set aside.
4. Sautee garlic and onion in olive oil and butter.
5. Stir in carrots and stir fry for about a minute.
6. Add freshly ground pepper, 1 cup water from where you cooked your pasta, tomatoes, oregano and let simmer until it is reduced by half.
7. Season with salt, add cooking cream and remove on the first boil.
8. Pre-heat oven. Grease baking dish with butter.
9. Pour pasta and add  tomato cream sauce. Gently stir with wooden spoon until the swirls are all coated.
10. Garnish with ham, bell pepper, parmesan, and parsley.
11. Cover with foil and pop in the oven.
12. After 15 minutes, remove foil and place cheddar squares on top. Return to oven and bake until cheese are melted. Serve warm with rye bread and Portugal vino. Yeeha!

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