Monday, October 20, 2014

Sofia's 7th Birthday Dinner at Kimpura with free US Prime New York Steak Bonus

Sofia celebrated her 7th birthday a week ago.
She had a Hotel Transylvania-themed 700th Birthday Party Celebration
in McDonald's with family and friends in the afternoon of her birthday.

Since her 700th birthday party was already a major production (yes, blog post to follow - lazy mom is procrastinating since there are soooo many pictures to sort through!), we decided to do something easy for dinner, and whenever you ask Sofia what she wants to eat - the answer most often is Tempura!

I decided to just make reservations for us for Kimpura in Greenhills. It's a good thing I called, because I sort of had to beg and plead for them to give me a teppanyaki table.

Because we just came from Sofia's party at McDonald's it seems like I was the only one hungry. Hahaha.
I ordered three US Rib-eye steaks to share with some other stuff
to be cooked on the teppanyaki grill. You can disregard Timmy
who's on this weird roar-photobombing-phase!
Of course we had to order loads of Tempura for the birthday girl.

The service was really good, because immediately after I ordered, the waiter already approached me to ask if I have a BPI Credit Card because they have an on-going promotion where you get a FREE US Prime New York Cut Steak if your bill reaches Php5,500 (though this is not valid with any other discount like the Senior Citizen discount). The waiter even tallied our bill and he confirmed that we ordered more than that, and he even allowed us to cancel some dishes, since we won't be able to finish what we ordered with an additional free steak.
The family with Jem and Ivan while waiting for our food to be prepared.
Timmy photo-bombing the chef.
The fried rice was so good. Really buttery and heavily seasoned!
All the extra tempura went to the birthday celebrant, and of course,
fat Ninong was teasing her by trying to get some of it.
The steak was also sooooo good! Hahaha. 
Kimpura never fails!
You can even think of the steak as healthier... since all the fat is removed,
so it can be used to cook the veggies!!! Hahaha.
Sorry, no picture of the unhealthy veggies - it went straight to the tummy!

Kimpura also gives the birthday celebrant a free Coffee Jelly dessert.
Birthday girl ready to eat her Coffee Jelly with
Ice Cream and tempura flakes.
Three Generations
The magic candle was such a hit! I hope Sofia used it to make many wishes.
No gathering is complete without lolo
taking a selfie, he's been doing that even before
selfies got it's name. Hahaha.

Happy Happy Birthday dearest Sofia!!! Glad you enjoyed your tempura and coffee jelly dessert as much as mommy enjoyed the Fried Rice and Steak. just saying.

Thank you BPI and Kimpura for the Free US Prime New York Cut Steak. You can still avail of the BPI - Kimpura promo until November 10, 2014. Visit the BPI website here for the details.

Unimart Building 
Greenhills Shopping Center 
Ortigas Ave., San Juan 
Metro Manila. 
721-8816 • 721-8869

Sunday, October 19, 2014

DIY Chalkboards Tags, Free Christmas Label Printable and Gift Wrapping Ideas

In the Philippines, Christmas season normally starts once the -ber months kick in. Call me a scrooge, but I get quite irritated when I hear Christmas carols play in stores come the first week of September because I think it's just a pathetic attempt to drive up sales by pressuring the shoppers that Christmas is fast approaching --- when in reality, it's not yet that near.

Based on my own personal timings, I start preparing for Christmas, right after Sofia's birthday (blog post to follow). Christmas shopping isn't stressful at all for me because I normally shop the whole year! Hahaha, especially when I am travelling, so normally, all I need to do is inventory my gift stash and match it with my updated Christmas Gift list.

Since I'm around 95% done with my Christmas shopping, I started surfing the web for "Gift wrapping ideas without box" and one of the cooler ideas I came across was using Chalkboard Tags as the gift tag. DIY instructions were a bit complicated though because it involved using chipboard and painting it with chalkboard paint so I got the brilliant idea of making it with illustration board.

I wasn't sure it would work, so I immediately went to the mall yesterday to buy the materials for the project. I was so happy with the result, I decided to blog about it so others can also use the idea for their presents this Christmas.

Super Easy DIY Chalkboard Tags

Materials Required:
Craft Twine or Jute String (available at DIY or Japan Home P66 for 4 rolls)
Illustration Board (P8.25 for 1/8 size from Office Warehouse makes 25)
Scissors, Puncher and Chalk (with Blackboard eraser)

1. Cut your illustration board into the desire tag size. I used the 10"x15" illustration board so I just cut the board into 25 tags that's 2"x3" in size.
2. Take the illustration board tag and punch a hole on one of the shorter sides.
The beauty of a DIY Craftsy Project is you don't
really need to be precise on the measurements.
Then just snip off the corners of the side with a hole,
to make it look like the shape of a tag.
Or course, you can also make different shapes.
5. Lastly, just cut off your desired length of twine, to hang the tag.


I was thinking how to creatively use the Chalkboard tags for wrapping our Christmas presents, and I decided that I wanted to make stickers with our Christmas Greeting, so the tag would only have the recipients name on it. 
Here's what I came up with. A Christmas Tag with me and Sofia,
as well as tick boxes to indicate who the gift is from.
You can download and edit the labels I made here. Just use google images to search for stick people that look like you and your family, and edit the names accordingly.

Gift Wrapping Ideas

I normally choose a simple pattern for my gift wrapper. This year, I opted to go for red and shades of green dotted gift wrapper.

Simple Gift Wrapping Idea for Smaller gifts:
For smaller gifts, you can just stick on the tags using the
Christmas labels.
Here's a sample of how I tailored the gift tags.
The illustration board worked perfectly as a chalk board.
It's so easy to erase if you make a mistake, or if you change your mind
on who is getting what gift. No more throwaway tags or torn wrappers.
After erasing, the Chalkboard tag is as good as new!
This is the first batch of gifts I wrapped because I wanted to try out my idea.
Cha!!! I didn't forget you, iba lang gift mo!

Optional Step:
Since I'm not really sure how well the chalk will hold up, since the gifts will
still be stored and will be subjected to Under the Christmas Tree Chaos,
I labeled the gifts at the back of the tag, so I can figure out who owns what
if the chalk writing gets erased. Or you can write on the white part. Hahaha.

Another Gift Wrapping Idea:
You can also use the twine in the same way you
use a ribbon.

Another Gift Tag Idea:
I'm sure you can also decorate your tags with washi tape. I was just too lazy to do it.

Now I can't wait to wrap the rest of my gifts. just saying.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Once Upon A Time Restaurant in the heart of Pratunam

I haven't been to Bangkok in the last few years, in fact, I don't think I've been since I started blogging, hahaha, so it actually came as a surprise to me, that we really didn't have a default set of Must Eat in Restaurants for Bangkok. Since our flight was delayed, I spent the time waiting surfing the net on places recommended near the Pratunam Area.

One of the places I read about was Once Upon a Time in Soi 17. I was quite excited to try it because it was described to be a restaurant which used to be an old house that serves Local Thai dishes, and it happens to be just a street away from where our Centre Point Pratunam, which you can read about here, was located in Soi 15.

For reference, the blue arrow points to our hotel, the green arrow points to
Once Upon A Time and the shaded blue area is Pratunam Market.

The alley of Once Upon a Time is easy enough to locate because it's across the street from Pantip Plaza on Petchburi Road. 
I wasn't sure we would find it in the dark so we passed by when we walked
home from Pratunam Market so we could scout it out.
They have indoor and outdoor seating.
Good thing we looked for it during the day because it looks very different,
and I'm not sure we would walk far enough to find it at night.
The old house.
It's also some kind of museum or Gallery.
This is what the outdoor tables look at night.

I'm glad we were given a table inside because I'm not really fond of getting bitten by mosquitoes. If you're familiar with the original branch of Cafe Juanita in Kapitolyo, it sort of has the same look and feel.
It seems like everyone preferred to sit outside because there was only
one other group seated with us inside. 
I loved their table setting.
The service was excellent, there was always someone
filling our glasses, and the food was really good.
We ordered Chicken wrapped in Pandan Leaves for Sofia.
Tom Kha Gai, which is my favorite Coconut Based
Chicken Soup, for me.
I love the soup presentation, but the metal spoon does get hot. Hahaha.
We're still not over our salted egg sauce craving, so we ordered the squid
with salted egg. Not quite what we expected but the squid was very tender.
We also tried their Green Pork Curry which was a bit to mild, but still better
than getting food that's too spicy since language is a barrier.

We discovered the second floor gallery when Sofia needed to use the toilet. They preserved the second floor bedrooms into what I am assuming is what they looked like before.
Everyone can just walk up the stairs to the second floor.
The rooms are open to the public, they just have a small
sign asking people not to touch anything.
The second bedroom is more of the same.
Mirror selfie in the second room. A bit creepy.
I'm half expecting someone to show up beside us.
At the end of the hall is the bathroom where
the toilet is for customers' use.
There are a lot of old pictures around the house, but the one it the toilet
is a bit on the outrageous side.
Even the bill is served with ambiance. Surprisingly, our excellent meal
was reasonably priced because our Total Bill was less than 1,200 Baht!
We really enjoyed our dinner at Once Upon a Time. It's now going to make it on our Must Eat List in Bangkok, especially when we're staying in the Pratunam Area. just saying.

Once Upon A Time
You can visit their website here.

Soi 17, Phetchaburi Rd, 
Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
+66 2 252 8629