Daughter turns 2

Daughter turned 2 recently and we wanted to keep the celebration simple. We have established a party rule and that is to give a 'big one' only on 1st birthday, 8th birthday, and 18th. Those numbers
have significance as each child grows. But I think it would be different for boys. They might not have to get big 18th birthday celebrations since they should be at the missionary training center that time.
 
For my daughter's second birthday, we invited no guests. Just the three of us. And ever since she woke up I sang to her the Happy Birthday song few times of the day. We played a lot and made sure that she would feel it was indeed a special day for her.
We bought a cake and lit a candle. She was amazed by the candle light, especially that she doesn't see it often. Candles really do have a special way of fascinating the beholders. She was.

When we started singing the Happy Birthday song before blowing the candle, she started dancing and giggling. She knew it was the best part of the day :)

I hope she will carry the special feeling of her birthday as the years go by no matter the celebration (big or small). And that happiness for her is not having the fancy of the world. Not receiving expensive gifts or getting loads of them, or getting everyone's greeting on social media, but understanding and being grateful for the gift of life that is given to her and the relationship that she has with people around her.

I hope that we are raising our children right.

I'm excited for Christmas, too. We plan on having an intimate one again. I would hold precious these kind of memories---one small family, one small home. 

FOOD: Bicol

When husband goes to Bicol, I would usually ask him to bring home a jar of Bicol Express (Pork+TONS of Chilies + Shrimp paste + Coconut milk) and Laing, too.

But I found out there's a huge difference between those which are in jars and that which is packed in a food plastic container. The latter tastes more like home cooking so I now ask for it.

I love Bicol Express much that I want to achieve its authentic taste when cooking at home. Husband said I'm almost there :)

Authentic: you can see generous amount of shrimp paste. Coconut milk was cooked too well that all you can see is oil.


Home cooking: me, so glad husband allowed to have lots of chilies ;) He doesn't like to eat anything spicy except Bicol Express. But no shrimp paste for this though.
 

I added green beans to make it healthier. They say cooking coconut milk too much could cause an upset stomach so I just had it boiled for about 20 minutes.
 Long have I tried experimenting different methods just to get closer to its authentic taste, and this time I finally found what's missing: GINGER.

FOOD: Kidapawan/Davao

Husband travels a lot. I take pictures of food items that he brings home but my blog can't keep up. So, I might post those from his previous travels. Recently he went to Kidapawan, North Cotabato via Davao City. Here's what we got:

Chines Pomelo @ 100/kilo. I can finish 1-2 fruits a day. But now, I'm stopping myself from peeling the last one. I want it to last longer.

 Toddler is on the move. She loves playing with the last Pomelo.
 Mango Rolls @ 150 from and Durian candy @ 65 from the airport. Talking about "Smells like hell, but tastes like heaven", how I missed Durian candy!! I personally think it smells good :)