Showing posts from 2018

Foursquare City Guide New Restaurant Weekly Challenge

Jomar and I did a no eating out challenge for one month. As soon as we can eat out again, we made an agreement to only eat at a restaurant once a week (before our challenge we dined out on average 3-4 times per week).

The Plan I plan to try one new restaurant per week but to make it more interesting for each week it should be from one of the Foursquare category. For example, on week 1 we will try an Afghan Restaurant then the following week it will be African Restaurant. It's not just one new restaurant; it will be one different category as well.

Why Foursquare? Because I love it - just check out my post two years during Foursquare (4.16.16) day.
The Goal Why do I want to do this? Well, obviously I love to eat. Next, I love to travel and by trying out different cuisines every week is like getting to know that country and culture through their food. Lastly, I want to explore more of Greater Vancouver area. Actually, this adventure only works because Vancouver (and Canada) is such …

Food Guide for Granville Island Public Market: A La Mode (Pi Day special)

Happy Pi Day! To celebrate today's Pi Day, Jomar and I went to Granville Island Public Market in search for pie. I didn't know that there's a store that specializes in pie! It's like pie heaven.

A La Mode Located inside the Public Market, A La Mode offers a wide selection of homemade sweet and savoury pies. Whether you’re after a toasty beef pot pie or a sweet slice of lemon meringue, we’ve got what you’re looking for. Enjoy a slice in the market or take a whole pie home to share.
- Granville Island Directory

My Pick We decided to try Pecan Pie (my fave) and Apple Pie (because it's safe). Our assessment is pecan pie over apple pie but it was the BEST apple pie we EVER tried. I don't know why but in Philippines when we try apple pie it seems always sour.

Pi Day story In my last 2 years in the Philippines, Jomar and I celebrate Pi Day with our dear friend Mitch. Unfortunately, around our neighborhood, there's not one pie source and we always end up eating at …

Food Guide for Granville Island Public Market: Omi Japan

Sushi, maki, teriyaki, udon, and donburi bowls - Omi Japan has it all! If you crave any of this and a bit more while in Granville Island, this place has it. I have been twice so my recommendation is pretty limited.

No restaurant food for a month challenge

Jomar and I decided to challenge ourselves by not eating at restaurants for a month. It's really difficult for me because I grew up in a family where we always dine out (minimum of once a week) or buy food from restaurants or fast food.

Rules and ExceptionsNo eating at restaurants (which includes coffee shop) that it's just the two of us.We can eat food from restaurants if someone else is paying for it (this is here because of my weekly work team lunch).We can eat out if there's a birthday celebration (this is here because Therese is celebrating her birthday this month).We can eat out during our once a month movie date.
Lifestyle changeWe're in a grocery store 1-2 times a week.I cook more frequently which I don't mind.I lost 5lbs in the first week that we didn't eat out.
Food Here's a list of things I have cooked or I plan to cook:
Chicken Tinola (Ginger and Onion Chicken Soup)Filipino BistekPork Kaldereta (Pork in Tomato Stew)

Pork NilagaChicken AdoboChicke…

Food Guide for Granville Island Public Market: Curry2U

Curry2U is your plane ticket to India while inside Granville Island Public Market. As of this post, I have eaten here 70 times (the most in Granville Island). When I was new in Gumstix, we practically eat here everyday.

Curry2U Curry 2U is the environmentally-friendly brainchild of Shaffeen Jamal, a second-generation restaurateur with a long family history of serving Vancouverites. The Jamal family’s earlier restaurants–the multi-award-winning Rubina Tandoori and Tamarind Indian Bistro–earned a loyal following. We continue that tradition with a firm focus on value, sustainability, and mouth-watering Indian dishes from the heart of the Granville Island Market.

- Granville Island Directory

My Pick This one is easy. I kept coming back for the butter chicken. It has become an unhealthy comfort food during stressful days. We always get the Bombay Box which includes rice, lentil, one vegetable dish, and one meat dish.

If you love spicy food and if it's available, you should definitely…

Food Guide for Granville Island Public Market: Celine's Fish and Chips

If you go anywhere in Granville Island and don't eat one of the three or more places where you can get fish and chips, then you're missing out! Celine's Fish and Chips is the only place you can get fish and chips inside the Granville Island Public Market.

Celine's Fish and Chips Celine’s offers only the finest fish the ocean has to offer. Enjoy the classic cod and chips or try something a little more adventurous, like deep fried oysters or calamari. Lots of selection and lots of flavour – a seafood lover’s dream!

- Granville Island Directory My Pick I have been to Celine's four times and I get the Salmon and Chips every time. I didn't enjoy it the first three times, probably because it was for dinner and everything is just way too oily for my liking. The most recent one though was spot on. Crispy batter, crunchy fries, and fresh pink salmon. It was great!

Though, if you have time to spare and want the best fish and chips go to Go Fish (5-minute walk from the en…

Pokemon GO Community Day: Dratini day

I played Pokemon GO when it came out last 2016 with my sister but it was so challenging to get Poke Balls that we stopped playing. Fast forward to December 2017, I am married and Jomar plays it ALL the time. I decided that instead of being mad at him for playing, I should just join him. I resumed playing sometime November (just at the end of the Halloween event) and we've been playing together ever since.

Community Day in Vancouver, BC Mark your calendars, Trainers. The next #PokemonGOCommunityDay is coming your way on February 24, featuring the Dragon-type Pokémon Dratini! — Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) January 22, 2018
This month's community day is the second ever but our first time to join fellow trainers in Vancouver, BC. We went to Science World on Main Street where there's a pentalure (5 Poke Stops which you can reach in one spot and they're all lured).

I know there's a lot of players but oh boy - I didn't …

Food Guide for Granville Island Public Market

If you have been checking out my blog so far, you would know that I work close to Granville Island and for my first year, my colleagues and I would eat lunch daily at the Granville Island Public Market. It's been my goal to try all the food places in the market and I, finally, finished it last month.

Tips and ThoughtsBest place to sit: Near Blue Parrot. The tables in that section is big enough to hold 6-8 people, ideal for big groups plus it has the best view.
Best time to visit: If you have time to spare, I highly recommend going after the lunch crowd. During summer months, bus tours stop at Granville Island for lunch and it's nearly impossible to get a chair and it's just crowded. I enjoy the peace of the market for early dinner or late snack between 4-6 pm. Don't forget that the market closes at 7 pm.

Water source: If you don't want to spend money on drinks or just want water, there's a drinking fountain where you can refill your water bottle near Granny Muffi…

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Starting February with great news

Last month, I decided to start consulting on my own. I reflected one Sunday evening on my strengths and what gives me joy and what I should do about it. My conclusion was a list of actionable items to help me achieve my goals. I borrowed a lot of books from the library to ensure I have the right foundation skills to start digital marketing consulting side projects. My goal? To help Filipino entrepreneurs in Canada be available and accessible online.

The following Monday, I sent dad a text asking when he would meet his Filipino friend which owns a newspaper so I could pitch my idea. Well, that didn't happen but he mentioned that I am interested in making websites to them. By Friday, Jomar and I met with our first client. Yes, that quick. I know God is at work because it took small steps and by His miracle something happened.

By Saturday, I sent our client a prototype (a sample website) and by Sunday night we're live. A week later we got paid and are now discussing how to help t…

Top 3 Reasons Why I Love Canada

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that I have a love-hate relationship with Canada. Now I am giving you the Top 3 reasons why I love Canada.

Family My Ohana is here. Below is our photo in Richmond Center celebrating my parent's anniversary.

Feeling Vacation I still feel like that I am on a vacation. I have been here for two years and the sense of wonder is still there. Take for example, how the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage look at night. We always walk here and I never notice how it looked at night.

Or you may stumble upon a series filming while walking Downtown.

Additionally, here's a mural in a parking lot along Granville Street. It's impressive and worthy of a pause just so you could take a photo.

This is what I love about Vancouver. It allows you to pause and appreciate life - well, only if you let it. Diversity More than the acceptance I feel in Canada, diversity allowed me to grow and accept culture. Moreover, I get to try and appreciate f…

What do you collect when visiting a new place?

I have 4 collections; 3 of which are travel related. I collect or keep things from each country, city, or tourist spot I visit. Here they are.
Bills and coins When I visit a new country and after exchanging my money to the local currency, I make sure to keep one of each bill or coin that I stumble upon. It is actually the first thing I do before spending.

Right now, I have 109 bills from 20 countries. No, I have not been to 20 countries but I have supportive friends who give me their spare small bills to add to my collection.

On the other hand, I have 139 coins (125 unique coins) from 22 countries. I still have around 20 more that I haven't had a chance to inventory.

I started consciously collecting bills and coins in 2010 when I went to South Korea with friends. However, the first foreign bills I kept was in 2004 from Hong Kong which was my first trip outside Manila. Since 2010, I have been keeping every unique bill I see even if the condition is horrible.

Key chains It's a…

Barbecue from Memphis

After Mass last Saturday, Jomar and I decided to take a trip to Memphis without living Vancouver. How? By trying barbecue from Memphis Blues Barbecue House in West Broadway.

Memphis Blues Barbecue House I love barbecue. Whether it's Korean or Filipino-style, barbecue tastes so good! It's tangy and sweet and a bit of heat. Yum! Going to Memphis Blues, I have no idea what to expect all I know is that You Gotta Eat Here visited this joint. Jomar and I (like we always do) order a starter, main course, and dessert.

BBQ Poutine For our starter, we picked BBQ Poutine. I mean, we're in Canada, of course we'll pick the poutine. Honestly, it was a debate between BBQ Nachos or BBQ Poutine and well, you know what won.

It was sooo good. The fries is crispy even though it's smothered and drowning under the weight of the pulled pork and BBQ sauce. The cheese (though not as melted as I would like) provided a creamy texture. Moreover, the serving size is so big, it's definite…

My fave fish and chips in Vancouver

Fish and Chips is not popular (at least I don't think so) in the Philippines. However, on my second day in Canada, my parents brought Jomar and I to Pajo's in Steveston, Richmond to try exactly that. I was surprised at how big the portions were and well, you can never go wrong with fries, especially if it's unlimited and you can come back for more. Also, I have always liked salmon (whether raw, grilled, or in a soup) and seeing and eating it in deep fried goodness was amazing.

Tony's Last Friday, Jomar and I went to my favorite fish and chips place in Vancouver so far - Tony's Fish and Oyster Cafe located near the entrance of Granville Island. I have been her 16 times (as of this post) because I love their salmon and yam fries.

Another reason I love this place, it's a walking distance to work. When I am stressed out or needed a feel good food Tony's is my go to place. Moreover, I can enjoy it in all seasons whether it's raining or snowing outside, I can…

My first Philly Cheesesteak from The American Cheesesteak Co.

Growing up in the Philippines, I only heard of the famous Philly Cheesesteak in movies or when watching Food Network. Thus, it shouldn't come as a surprise that last Satuday was the first time I tried a Philly Cheesesteak from The American Cheesesteak Co. in Vancouver.

I have an uncle and cousins in Philadelphia and when I visit my goal is to try a Philly Cheesesteak while in Philly. The same way I was so estatic to eat Japanese Katsu Curry in Japan and Vigan Empanada in Vigan.

The American Cheesesteak Co. Jomar and I went to St. Paul's Hospital for the last weekend of Lights of Hope and decided to have dinner here. Why? First, it's close to Granville Street where we will take the bus going home and second, I remember seeing the You Gotta Eat Here episode featuring them. Therese and I are attempting to try most of the restaurants John Catucci went to. Here's a map of restaurants the show visited in BC as of Season 5.

The Philly VS New Yorker Since it's our first t…

Starting the year with Lights of Hope

When you hear or read the word hope, what comes into your mind? For me, hope is that little voice telling you that something good is coming. Hope is expecting things will be better even if it may not seems right now.

Light of Hope Jomar and I went to Downtown, Vancouver last Saturday to view the Lights of Hope in St. Paul's Hospital. This display of lights is part of their annual fundraising activity to provide hope and support to the patients and caregivers of the hospital and all the supported institution of St. Paul's Foundation.

Staying Hopeful As I write this post, I kept coming back to the question, what makes you hopeful? Think and reflect about it. During the moments of your life when all is lost and you feel totally lost and hopeless, why do you keep living? What makes you get up and live another day?

My sources of hope First, my faith makes me hopeful all the time. When I feel scared or when I worry, I pray. Those few minutes of silence and prayer reminds me that we …

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