Learning to Listen


I know I had recently promised weekly updates, but I have good reasons for my absence! (And incidentally, these reasons make for a very good entry right now.)

It all started 2 weeks ago. I had taken the 9th of November off for family affairs, including a beautiful baby shower care of my mother, her sisters, and other close family and friends. It was a wonderful day (a story I am saving for a later post), but I had felt fatigued all day. I wondered at the time if perhaps I might be coming down with something, but brushed it off as another symptom of my progressing pregnancy and the energy required to love, carry, and grow this baby. So imagine my frustration when I woke up the next morning with a nose running all over my pillow, clogged ears, and watery eyes. Suffice to say I was in no state to do much of anything.

For the next few days I took all my meals in bed, had copious amounts of water and fresh ginger tea, and slept as much as possible – of course, while continuing to work here and there, attending meetings, and doing my Dutch language exercises from home. On Friday, feeling better, I tried to stretch myself a bit further (leaving home, running errands, working more) until I realized I had begun exhibiting symptoms of infection (TMI: aka, my snot was no longer clear). Thus, on Saturday, my husband and I went to see a Pulmonologist referred by my OB-GYN. He did the usual checks, deduced I had a minor infection (but nothing to worry about in my lungs – praise God!), and put me on a short course of medicines that wouldn’t affect the baby. It wasn’t my ideal means to fight the infection, but Jay and I agreed it was better than letting it progress further. So we took it, along with additional reminders to continue taking it relatively easy.

Of course, I have discovered (and perhaps you have too by now), that I am not very good at “taking it easy.” By Monday, I was feeling alright again, so I took it upon myself to try to get back into my routine. I stubbornly insisted I was fine any time I was reminded to rest, assuring everyone that though I still sounded like death, I was no longer exhibiting infection symptoms (clear snot! Hurrah!). Really, I felt perfectly chipper.

Then came Tuesday. Reaffirmed when I woke up still feeling okay, I was determined to make up for lost time from the week before. However, by 5pm, I started feeling strong dysmenorrhea-like cramps in my lower belly. Now, I am used to cramps and Braxton Hicks. They come with pregnancy, and usually it just takes a few glasses of water, a change in position, a light meal, or some stretching, to alleviate them. This, however, was different. This was a steady ache, occasionally spiking with strong pelvic pressure, or an urge to use the toilet. By 7pm, it hadn’t gone away. I sent my doctor a note letting her know how I was feeling. I was still mobile, and wasn’t even in the slightest bit worried, but I figured I had some symptoms I shouldn’t ignore.

She responded immediately and said if by 9pm the symptoms hadn’t disappeared, I should go to the hospital to rule out preterm labor.

This was not great news. My husband was not in town, and I had just come out of that “flu”. I was raring to get back in action. Still, my parents took me to the hospital, and there began my first experience in a Delivery Room (my own birth aside, that is – hah). Much like they would when you come in during Early or Active Stages of labor, they did the usual checks (weight, blood pressure, urine), and had me lie down. They strapped two monitors around my belly, and handed me two handheld sticks with buttons at the ends that I could press: one was for monitoring fetal movements (I was to click it whenever I felt him move), and the other was for calling a nurse. Mom sat across me on a chair, and the nurse interviewed me over medical and pregnancy history. 45 minutes later, they were able to determine that the baby was fine with a healthy heartbeat, and plenty of movement, and that I was not having anything more than Braxton Hicks. However, due to the nature of my symptoms, they requested a couple of further tests, and – with my mother piping up in the background in agreement, reminded me (again) to please take it easy. I was instructed not to engage in vigorous physical activity, and to start listening to my body, and not just my brain.

I suppose you can call all this a mini awakening. Throughout my pregnancy, I have been blessed with relatively high energy levels, and the ability to continue much like I usually do: exercising, spending long days out and about, traveling, and working regularly. Now, as we approach the big day, my body is reminding me to slow down, to take time to listen to what the baby and I need, and to allow myself peace and quiet.

The wonderful thing about the experience was that, somehow, I felt completely safe and confirmed throughout it. Though I did feel certain slightly alarming physical symptoms, I knew in my heart: 1) nothing bad would happen, and 2) if anything came up (or ever does come up) God is always on our side. In a moment when I had every opportunity to be my occasionally neurotic, hypochondriac self, I was instead blessed with a quiet heart – as though I felt God was right there with me, using the moment to remind me: “You’re okay. But see, you need to slow down and listen.” Not only is it important to do that for my body and my baby, but for my spirit too.

Anyone can easily get caught up in the hype and excitement of the moment: the high energy of the Christmas season, the opportunity to spend time with family and friends you haven’t seen in a long time, the desire to be physically active and play that “Superwoman” role flawlessly. When we allow ourselves to get so busy and caught up, we don’t allow for our bodies, minds, and spirits to rest. As a result, we can not only cause our physical selves fatigue (and trigger things like the flu, or cramps, or a pre-term labor scare), but we can also burn ourselves out and neglect the things that enrich our spirit (like spending more time in prayer, or in the Word – two things I admit I didn’t do much of in the weeks I was sick and frustrated). And what could be more important for me than humbling myself, and being completely in tune with, and filled with the Holy Spirit? Jay and I are now well along in this journey toward becoming new parents, and we will certainly need the grace of God to strengthen us in this our latest adventure.

The flu, cramps, etc, these minor physical discomforts – though drawn out, will be nothing compared to the physically demanding work of labor, birth, and child-rearing. To make it through, and to have a strong foundation when all else fails, Jay and I will both need to find peace, quiet, and the will and discipline to listen (to our bodies, to our minds, to our hearts, and most of all, to God).

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26 

I am grateful. Though the last couple of weeks have been challenging, and have tested my patience, they were small nuisances in the grand scheme of things, and I feel blessed that neither situation was dire. Without causing further distress, they each served as much needed reminders of the limitations of the flesh, the needs of the spirit, and the grace of God.

We will continue to pray for a smooth pregnancy as we enter our final few weeks of pregnancy, and ask that you join us too if you can. Looking forward to the adventure ahead, and we hope that all of you out there experiencing anything similar are able to relate with these learnings as well. Remember, if you are going through something challenging (big or small) or feel God using a moment in your life to reach out and teach you something, perhaps take a step back, get a good eye on the situation, take a deep breath, and simply turn to Christ. After all, those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint (Isaiah 40:31).


Baby Bump Haul: 5 Things I’m Loving this Pregnancy


I’ve discovered I am really enjoying watching vlogs, reading blogs, and writing about pregnancy. I think it has a slightly cathartic effect. It’s nice to know there’s a community of moms out there to lean on, and to use for research and empathy and support. In honor of that, I’d like to do a simply Baby Bump Haul today to cover 5 products I’m loving lately as a mom-to-be. These are practical products for mommies — not really for babies, and I hope that they can be as useful to the rest of you out there as they have been for me! So here goes…


#1: Moisturizers:
Redwin Sorbolene Moisturizer and Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula

Two of the most common complaints during pregnancy are stretch marks and skin problems (rashes, itchiness, dryness, and more). I had been warned multiple times and was told one way to maybe prevent stretch marks, and definitely relieve dryness, sensitivity, and itching, was to have the right lotion.

The first moisturizer I purchased was the Redwin Sorbolene Moisturizer. In Indonesia, it cost anywhere between US$10-13 at the local drugstores for 150ml (expensive), but I had read multiple blogs and reviews online swearing by its gentleness, and easy absorption so as not to feel sticky or greasy all day long. Immediately, I found these were all true — at least for me. Other perks include: its lack of parabens, and the fact that you only need the tiniest dollop to spread it everywhere (thus it lasted throughout my entire first trimester, and into half of the 2nd as well). The only con I can think of is that it doesn’t smell very nice, it has that petroleum jelly-like scent that is neither pleasant nor unpleasant, and so is just kind of blah. Suffice to say, I still give it a 4.5/5.

After running out of Redwin, however, I did want to try something else — I suppose just for the heck of it, and to maybe see if there were any slightly cheaper alternatives. Enter: a random Jennifer Love Hewitt prenatal video on YouTube, and a plug for Palmer’s. A week later, I was in a drugstore in Manila this time and stumbled upon Palmer’s Coca Butter Formula Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks (with Vitamin E, Collagen, Elastin, and Shea Butter). Flashback to JLove and her testimonial, and the reasonable $10 price tag for 250ml (significantly more than my Redwin), and I figured, what the hey! Now, I’m hooked. I. Love. Palmer’s. Not only does it come on smooth, absorb easy, and not feel greasy; it also smells delicious. I literally walk around smelling like a cup of hot dark chocolate all day. It isn’t a sweet smell, so I don’t get sick of it, it’s just that delicious scent of cocoa powder. Yum. So far all the same pluses as Redwin, you get a little something extra, and save a little something extra too. 5/5 for Palmer’s, with Redwin as a close 2nd choice — if Palmer’s was out of stock, Redwin would be an easy yes for me.

I’d also like to note that, I can’t say for certain if the lotion has had a big hand in this or if this is all owed to genetics (I’m not a scientist), but I literally have one small stretch mark. And, trust me, ours is not a small baby. He has consistently been in the 60-80th percentile, a.k.a. above the global average size (imagine that on my 5’2″ frame). So I’m certain this belly is stretching plenty. End of day, whether it’s genetics or not, I think it’s worth picking a good moisturizer and sticking with it.

citronella patches

#2: Citronella Patches!

There are no specific brands that I prefer over others, but we do buy the ones with animals on them, or the ones with superheroes on them. Because they are cute. Obviously. That said, these things work! Mosquitoes love me, and always have. There could be one mosquito, and fifty people in a room, and it is likely I will still leave with at least 1 bite. There have been times when I have counted upwards of 15 mosquito bites on my legs alone. Thus, finding a solution that works for me without needing to rub a bunch of chemicals onto my skin was relieving. You just stick these patches onto the bottom of your shirt (on the inside) or (even better) the inside hem of one of your pant legs, and you’re good to go. It’s a great way to protect yourself against mosquito bites and the itchiness/inconvenience/disease they carry too!

ecco shoes

#3: Ecco Walking Sneaks

While we were on our Epic Babymoon Eurotrip, we walked at least 10km a day — often uphill. After the first 9 days, my feet were killing me. That’s why it was such a relief to find an affordable Ecco store around the corner from our hotel in Berlin. I purchased these light grey babies and wore them nearly every single day of the trip after that, and have since worn them at least every other day to date. They match almost anything, are breathable, and comfortable, and have ample support.

One of the things that lots of women experience when pregnant is increased issues in mobility (loosening joints, aching backs, tired legs, and more), so the right pair of shoes can be a real godsend. I would suggest these exact ones, or a pair from a similar brand (like Hush Puppies or GEOX) that can provide the same amount of comfort and support while still maintaining some visual appeal. (I mean, I find these very cute, personally, haha. I know fashion sense may vary from person to person and I am not even close to what I’d consider “stylish”, but I stand by my suggestion. Get yourself something comfy, you won’t regret it!)


A bonus shot of the shoes and East Side Gallery, my handsome husby, and the bump and I at 15 weeks.


#4: Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman

I purchased this book right before our Epic Euro BabyMoon, and it was a great companion through the trip. I found it fun and witty in parts, generally honest, and filled with interesting insight on raising independent, confident, well-behaved children without completely losing yourself in the process.

As with all parenting books, it should be taken with a grain of salt and I hardly consider it an exhaustive, authoritative take on the parenting process. It should be noted that the writer is not a professional child psychologist, or pediatrician. Rather, she is a journalist, and a hands-on mother, who puts some well-researched ideas together with her own observations, and is able to provide an easy-to-read, accessible piece of literature that can serve as both encouragement and inspiration to parents of young children and parents-to-be.

My husband and I both believe God’s Word is our best parenting resource, and we aim to stay grounded in our faith, and keep an open heart and mind to facing every parenting triumph and tribulation the best ways we possibly can. That said, we still both enjoyed this little book, and look forward to employing some of its ideas as we move forward in our own journey.


#5: The DexBaby Wedge Pillow

This. Has. Been. A. LIFESAVER. Since entering my 3rd trimester, my belly has just gotten heavier, and larger by the day. It’s amazing being able to see our son move around in there as he gets bigger and stronger, however, a side effect of this growth is that it’s become harder for me to sleep comfortably. As the pregnancy term progresses, women should refrain from sleeping on their backs (it cuts off circulation, and can also cause sudden dips in blood pressure). We are encouraged to sleep on our sides instead — particularly the left, which puts the least pressure on blood vessels and promotes optimal circulation. I have found, though, that sleeping on my side comes with its own aches and pains: particularly in my upper back and around my ribs. The extra weight from my belly pulls down and causes strain.

Enter: THE WEDGE PILLOW: the perfect thing to put between yourself and your bed. I stick it between the left side of my belly and the mattress when I sleep and it helps to prop my bump up so it doesn’t pull down/cause additional pressure on my back/ribs/etc. Another bonus feature of the wedge is that I can also use it as a back pillow when sitting in less ergonomic chairs/on my bed while leaning against the wall. Overall, it provides ample comfort and support, and keeps me from developing further, unnecessary aches and pains. Also, it cost less than $10. Yay!

And there you have it! My 5 Things. :) Coming up soon in the mama-hood category:

1) Mama Musings Inspired by Proverbs 31 Ministries
2) 10 Songs We’re Loving this Pregnancy
3) Baby Boy Haul: After the Shower [Take 1]
4) Prenatal Yoga in Manila: A Review
5) “Bridesmaiding” With a Bump!

*Product Placement Photo Credits to:
DexBaby, Ecco, Palmer’s, and Redwin

Love the bump! : Nurturing the mind, heart, spirit, and body during pregnancy


“Just because I can no longer see my feet, doesn’t mean I should lose sight of the rest of my figure too!”

Pregnancy is often fraught with unpredictable cravings, mood swings, bursts of energy, fits of anxiety, and moments of extreme tiredness .It’s a tricky time in which one can yo-yo often between “that pregnancy glow” and feeling clunky, tired, and unattractive. Though symptoms differ from woman to woman, I am sure everyone who has ever experienced it will agree that, no matter how or what your unique pregnancy journey is like, it is still one of incredible newness, change, and a constant need to adapt to what is going on in your own body. With so much happening, it sometimes takes extra discipline to maintain a positive self image, and balanced lifestyle. With the fatigue, back aches, and round ligament pains, it is easy to make excuses not to optimize one’s eating habits or work out, for example. 

So how can we encourage one another and remind each other of the wonderful blessing it is to share in this miracle of creation? How do we remind ourselves of our responsibility to take good care of our bodies as the vessels that they are? And how do we keep ourselves from falling into that cliched rut of “letting ourselves go” during pregnancy, and gaining not just baby weight, but a sense of disappointment or disdain towards ourselves as well? I am not one to focus so much on the exterior, but I do think all things are connected, and there is much to be said about ensuring we love ourselves – inside and out, and are able to share that love with others. So. Here are some ways I like to Love My Bump and Nurture my mind, heart, and spirit throughout this pregnancy. These things help keep me disciplined and accountable to taking good care of my body for mine and my family’s (especially our baby’s) sake, but also encourages me to continuously view this journey and all the changes as an opportunity to directly participate in the miracle of creation.


#1: Start the day on the right foot.

For me, the best way to start the day is with 3 things in close succession:

1) A quick prayer and some dedicated time spent in God’s word (whether it be via reading the Bible or going over a devotional) to recenter one’s self and enter the day with positive, refreshed perspective

2) A tall glass of cold water infused with lemon and cucumbers [and ginger too if you like] in it! (to activate the metabolism)

3) A champion’s breakfast! Often that just means something high in fiber, calcium, and good carbs with a hint of protein and fats. Lately, my daily kickstart involves: 1/4 cup of oats, a 3.5 inch banana, 2 tbsp of Greek yogurt, a dash of cinnamon, a little under a tablespoon of crunchy peanut butter, and sometimes half a serving of cottage cheese on the side to get some good protein. This typically amounts to approximately 300 calories, is a great way to whip that metabolism into gear, and keeps me full for at least a good 2.5-3.5 hours.

#2: Eat well throughout the day.

To keep myself on track, on weekdays I try to follow a reasonable diet that involves 1 ample breakfast, a mid-morning snack of fruit (ie pomelo) or wheat crackers (ie Jacob’s Hi-Cal Vegetable 80-calorie packs), a lunch of 2 veggies-1 carb-1 protein, an afternoon “mini-meal” (either a veggie sandwich, a grilled cheese sandwich, or a protein bar), and an ample dinner of 2-veggies-1 carb-1 protein. A sample look at my meal plan throughout a regular work day would be as follows (excluding breakfast, which has already been described in detail in #1):

Mid-Morning Snack: Jacob’s Hi-Cal Vegetable Crackers
Lunch: 2/3 cup of broccoli, a cup of tomato based pasta with veggies; then sometimes I’ll also throw in 5 almonds or a Gluten Free chocolate chip cookie for dessert20150827_120914

Merienda/Mini-Meal in the Afternoon: Half a grilled veggie panini
Dinner: Baked white fish, asparagus, tomatoes, creamed spinach (and often I’ll throw in a “late dessert” of a single piece of dark chocolate – like a dark chocolate Reese’s mini-cup)


Being disciplined needn’t necessarily mean being entirely restrictive of your diet. You’re pregnant! Eat what makes you happy, but do so in moderation, and be sure to get your “veg and protein fix” to guarantee your baby of all the nutrients he or she needs to grow strong and healthy in there!

#3: Get off your butt and do something!

Keeping yourself busy isn’t just about continuing to work, or taking up nesting and domesticating techniques like knitting or crochet. It’s also about keeping yourself moving. There have been numerous studies boasting the positive effects exercise has on both mothers-to-be and their babies-in-utero. Increased circulation, lowered risk of blood clots, higher energy levels, better weight management, and “easier births” even…the list of benefits goes on and on. Many pre-natal books and OB-GYN’s will even advise a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity per day, so this is something I myself generally take to heart. Even if it only means walking for 30 minutes around the mall next to my office, I believe it is best to invest that time in for both mine and the little bun’s sake. My weekly “workouts” typically include a trip to the gym to bike/elliptical and do arms (weights) and stretches for an hour 2x a week, low impact home workouts 2x a week, and gentle walking 1-2 more times a week. Here are some of my favorite resources to keep fit and on top of things:

1) My Fitness Pal — I use the app on my phone to track my eating and calorie burning progress
2) Jessica Smith TV’s low impact prenatal cardio workout video on YouTube — I use this often for my home workouts
3) Brittany Bendal’s Prenatal Barre workouts — I use these when I’m feeling more energetic as the isometric holds get challenging towards the end and always get my cardio going!
4) A pedometer! Either use your phone, a fitness watch, or even just count in your head — it helps. Try to make sure you get that “minimum 10,000 steps” on days when you don’t work out. You don’t need to walk briskly, you can just walk leisurely while shopping or in a park for a while and you’ll easily reach this quota.

#4 Buddy up!

To keep myself accountable, I love to buddy up with family. Most of the time, my buddy is my husband, but sometimes it can also be my mother or sister. I simply ensure that if they are going to the gym, I’m coming with them. It’s a great way to have company if you’re feeling lazy or like you need that extra boost.

Here is a picture of my husband buddy (from the back) walking ahead of me as we do a leisurely trek through rice paddies in Bali. (This was in Week 11 or so of the pregnancy)


#5 Treat Yourself!

Now when I say treat yourself, I definitely don’t mean go all out. I just mean, allow yourself simple pleasures in life doing the things you love with the people you love (or alone too!). Take time out of your work day to breathe, sleep in late on a Saturday morning, go on a Babymoon with your husband, continue to keep the romance alive with dates out and movie nights, have that piece of cake on a Sunday afternoon, skip a workout day and just go for a stroll in the park or picnic with a nice book…the list goes on. Just think about the things you love, and allow yourself opportunities to do them. It’s easy to get caught up in focusing only on the baby, and only on the pregnancy, but it’s important to continue to see yourself as an individual, and your relationship with your husband as its own

See below for my 5 favorite treats this pregnancy, which have really kept things in perspective for me and helped both my husband and I bond over the pregnancy experience whilst still nurturing our own relationship and putting our faith (and each other) first:

1) An epic European Babymoon across 7 cities in 3 weeks! — My husband and I took 3 weeks off in July to enjoy a true European vacation. We visited 7 different cities, and spent most of our time on foot and/or taking public transport everywhere. It was a great way to stay active, see new places, try copious amounts of delicious food, and enjoy each other’s company.

2) Taking time off to be with family — In July, we took time off before our Babymoon to go to the Netherlands and be with family for our wonderful yearly reunion. And on weekends now that I am working from my home city, I am also able to spend more time with my parents, siblings, and the rest of the extended family (including close family / childhood friends).

3) The occasional sinfully delicious treat! — This treat goes well beyond my usual small cookie, or piece of chocolate a day, and is typically something truly heavy, and fatty, like a greasy burger bigger than my face or a bag of fries or a proper slice of cake with ice cream.

4) Signing up for a Dutch language course set to get me to B1 proficiency (aka able to read and write, and able to converse colloquially; the mid-level between A1 [lowest in language proficiency levels] and C1 [fluent]). — My husband is Dutch and we would like our children to speak Dutch fluently too, so I figured no time like the present to start this! The classes were an investment, and they require time investment as well (it’s like taking night classes after work hours, since I also am still holding a regular full time job!), but they are incredibly enriching and stimulating to the brain: like a new puzzle to solve everyday!

5) Weekly/bi-weekly dates with mijn man (excluding nights bonding over Masterchef; and popcorn+movie nights) — These dates are usually very simple, as that’s what we like. We usually go somewhere for burgers, or coffee, and we sit with books and talk (or not even) for hours.


So there you have it! Let me know if you have some of your own tips, tricks, recipes, and workouts to share as well!

Stepping Up.


From the glass viewing section of the 2nd floor of the Eiffel Tower. Some 700 steps up.

At first, I was thinking of a slow re-start to this blog. I was thinking, perhaps I should begin with a piece on being “Back in the Saddle” to outline my key motivators for coming back to this, and coming back to writing. However, after some failed attempts, I decided to just jump right in.

Often, life calls for us to step up to the plate, to walk the extra mile, to climb a mountain to get to where we’re really meant to be. In the last few years, I can identify some such moments that have pivoted me in different ways, and then ultimately in the exact direction I was always meant to be moving in.

From 2011-2012, I was called to step up and take control of my own body: to make myself fitter, and healthier, to learn to trust and love myself. I was called to challenge myself: to do one thing everyday that scared me, to learn to respect and honor my freedom by actually using it.

In 2013, I was called to step up and take a leap of faith. After 2 years of wandering and wondering what was missing – and how to “fill my soul”, I finally found my answer — in the most unlikely of places, too! One warm night in Bali, amongst the sounds of cicadas, lizards, a faint ocean breeze, and nostalgic praise music that felt like a blast from the past, I rediscovered the source of my salvation. Jesus.

This triggered a whole new set of opportunities to step up. Not just that, but opportunities to step away and step in. Step away from my old life, from bad habits, from cuss words, from the things that keep us from our best versions of ourselves.  Step in to a new life filled with its own rich, surprising challenges. I had grown up a believer, baptized a Catholic at just a month old, and active in Youth Groups and Ministry until right before I ventured out on my own. But I had never realized how deep, vast, and rich my Christian life could be if I properly cultivated, beyond dogma and doctrine, a real, personal relationship with God and scripture, as much as possible unhindered by distractions, and selfish inclinations.

[Asa] took courage, and removed the abominable idols from all the land . . . ; and he restored the altar of the Lord. —2 Chronicles 15:8

New life in Christ was the greatest gift I could have ever received. And it was especially wonderful that I could share the journey with the man who has now become my husband. His own faith and steadfastness, and both the challenges (of which there were some) and the good times (of which there were many more) we shared in that first year of our “coming together”, helped me mature in ways I never expected.

In 2014, all that maturity, growth, and shared experience led to my next big step upmarriage, and in November, my love and I tied the knot in a tiny civil ceremony in Singapore in lead up to our larger celebration to be held in February of this year.

And now we are here.


And I am writing this, because after an epic wedding, and a crazy year of work, we are again embarking on another opportunity to step up, and this time it’s setting a brand new precedent to what that means. As I write this, the little one in my belly is quiet for the moment. I have just eaten a small meal and he is likely enjoying that post-snack buzz, but I can tell in no time at all there will be rolls and kicks, and reminders that as I grow, he grows, as I breathe, he breathes, as I love, he loves.

This was not in our original plan. We had expected to wait a year before even attempting to start our family. But God does have his own plans. And so it goes.

Out of all the things I’ve experienced and learned in the last few years, this has got to be one of the biggestmost daunting ones of all. It requires the most faith, the most trust. It is a monumental step up. But it is simultaneously the most exciting thing I have ever known. 22 weeks in, and already I know this step…this one is different. This one is teaching me as I go, and teaching me everyday, in fact, is teaching me every second, and will never ever stop.

Each day that I bond with the little one, I not only understand myself, my husband, and my own mother (and matriarchs) more, but I also understand God and His love even better.

What a blessing to be on this journey. What a blessing to be on this climb. Looking forward to continue learning, sharing, loving, and growing.

To My Dearest Wowo


Old Pine
(Dear Wowo)

And we stood,
steady as the stars in the wood.

My childhood was built on marble floors, Bermuda grass, a nipa hut in my grandparents’ yard, wide suburban streets, and games of hide and seek. It smelled of sun, tropical heat, freshly baked brownies, white chocolate lollipops, sunblock, chlorine, homemade calzone. Lunches were preceded with visits to Church, and succeeded with play time on living room floors – toy bears with felt exoskeletons and moveable limbs in my hand and yours.

They said I was the only child you would get on your hands and knees for – sit on the floor and play pretend with. You – Wowo  putting the wo in my wonder. I didn’t know it then, but I was your biggest fan. My mind was filled with your stories. Days were wasted blissfully daydreaming about your carabao rides, and provincial farms; GI’s, and jazz; part time jobs, and escaping away to America. When you weren’t around to fill my head with fairytales, I compensated with books, juxtaposing your life with these fictional characters. You were my Indiana Jones – nothing you did ever sounded boring. From refugee camps to Open Cities, you gave one child a glimpse into another child’s perspective on a far removed war. From babysitting to road-tripping, you gave one teenager a glimpse into another teenager’s perspective on what it is to seek, and what it is to earn. You cushioned lessons normally learnt from harsh realities, with marshmallows and play time, with love letters and classic cars. You accented heavy truths with the optimism of innocence, and the allure of adventure.

I lived vicariously through your travels, your comprehension of many languages, your depth in perception. There were times when you were verbose – generous in providing me with endless Socratic dialogue, and other times your teachings were subtle – hidden in glances, sly smiles, knowing smirks, a green joke, advice sugarcoated in nonchalance. In your presence I was always learning. — In your presence, I always am.

I was born into your home – where you, and Aya, and Mama, and Papa, cradled me and filled my big eyes with wonder and my little heart with wanderlust. At 6, I listened to your fairytales. At 12, I wrote stories inspired by your wanderings. At 18, I told anyone who would listen that you were the man to meet. And now at 24, I find myself writing this. An open letter. An ode to a history – 80 years of inspiring love, kindness, and being beyond expectation; and the many years to come, of course. Funny how the things we know are true never do make it into the history books. Here is my history of you now for posterity: from the child you have told me so many stories of, to the man I call my grandfather who has shown me all at once how to be smart, just, true, chivalrous, kind, patient, and grateful; you are one of the biggest reasons I am able to go forth in this world, unafraid. Your stories were the first stamps in my passport – mythical, mystical places my mind could wander and lust. In your words, I found the spirit of adventure; and in your deeds, I found the inspiration to pursue that.

I love you everyday, more than is expressible in any letter written out of any heart cracked wide open for the world to see. Every moment that you are proud of me, I am proud of myself. Sometimes you seem moved by the way I move, but really it’s because I’ve been moved by you.

I don’t think I’ve told you enough: thank you for everything. Happy Birthday to you, Wowo – one of my favorite people on earth: my roots, my soothsayer, my friend, my beacon.

Love Always,


(P.S. I hope you’re surprised! ;) I know you subscribe to this blog!)

MaCanCook IS UP!

MaCanCook IS UP!

It’s finally here! To all you people who love to cook and have been looking for a place to share your thoughts (especially my friends and readers in Singapore), look no further: MaCanCook is here. We’re still a baby Community, but trust me when I say: MORE FUN STUFF IS COMING VERY, VERY SOON. Meet me on Google+ and LET’S GET COOKIN’! I mean, COVERSIN’!

Nostalgia For Nepal


I always had wanderlust. Perhaps it was all the books I read, or the movies I saw, or the stories I wrote in my head, but I don’t remember a time when I didn’t want to see things. New things. Scary things. Different things. But it wasn’t until a few years ago that I found myself able to truly test out my wings and land myself in all sorts of situations. Even as I write this, so many things are running through my brain, and I want to share them all – these corners of my soul that I found these last years searching. But even with a language with billions of ways to express one’s self, none are enough for what I want to say; and some of the things I’ve seen and learned and loved are just to delicate to even articulate. But let me try.

When I was 20, after a few particularly difficult years, I came to this realization that life is just a brief, terrible, wonderful moment of beauty in which you move in the world, and the world moves in you. The day that came to me, I wrote it down and I said: And oh how I’ve moved, and how I hope to move – move like wild fire. Move through the world; and I feel I have been burning ever since. 

Travel, discovery and adventure are just one side of this flame. And one trip in particular served as a fantastic example of letting that side of the flame light the whole room.

Last year, from late September to early October, I went on a solo trip to Nepal. Earlier in the year, I had done other outdoorsy trips and got into a lot of strength-building habits (camping on the beach and trekking through valleys to see indigenous people in Palawan; exploring the temples in Siem Reap; swimming with whale sharks in Donsol; hitting the weights a little harder at the gym; and rock climbing in the city). I had officially fallen madly, madly in love with the outdoors. I remember at one point, standing on the sidewalk in Singapore, looking directly above me into a canopy of trees, closing my eyes and imagining rushing waves, the sound of cicadas, the backdrop of Palawan with no one else but my friend and myself, a tent, and our backpacks. I opened my eyes and brought them back to street level and felt my heart sink. There were no rushing waves – just rushing cars, no cicadas – just cross walk lights bleeping, no backdrop of Palawan with its beaches and tropical rain forests – just the urban jungle in all its concrete boxed glory. I knew then that I had to plan something “epic.” Nepal had been on my bucket list for years, and so I thought – well…there’s no better time than the present. So I booked my flights, made a few itinerary plans, and thought, well you know…let’s leave the rest to the moment. With that, I packed my bags and headed for my yogi homestay in Kathmandu. I had no expectations, and no clue what I was about to get myself into. All I knew was Nepal was this exotic place of physical challenge and spiritual Nirvana, and I needed to have a piece of it. I just kept thinking, maybe my final answers will be there. 

Upon arrival in Nepal, I was greeted with an hour and a half long immigration line. At the end of it were three men sharing a booth…stamping and reading documents and passing them back and forth to each other. Certainly the height of efficiency. …I kid. They were kind, though. And insistent that I was local. “You not Nepalese?!” they kept asking me incredulously – like the answer would change, and like my passport would lie.

I was picked up at the airport by Visnu – one-part veteran Tour/Trekking Guide, and one-part my homestay mama’s life partner. I sat bitch on his motorbike with my hiking pack strapped to me, and got my first taste of the city.





Dusty. Vibrant. Wild. Crowded. Alive.

When I got to the home-stay, I was shown my sleeping pad, and my corner, and my home-stay mama, Sofi, and Visnu, both sat me down with a map of Kathmandu City as we mapped out what the rest of my day would be like, and what my coming trek would turn out to be. I had 4 hours to explore before having to be back in time for dinner (and before full on nightfall).

The bus system in Kathmandu is…interesting, to say the least. Mostly made up of makeshift white Pregio vans with their doors falling off, signs written exclusively in Nepalese tell you where buses are going, and bus stops are not always properly marked so you kind of just have to…flail your arms or whistle as one drives by with the money collector hanging half out, bills wrapped round his fingers like a fan as he waves and calls out names of destinations like an auctioneer. As a tourist, I had no clue what I was doing really, but I remembered the name of our stop, and I knew the name of where I was headed. So I knew I’d at least be able to get back and forth. Somehow.


Remnants of a real bus stop in Nepal.

My first Nepalese landmark was Big Buddha – a small temple/area of worship with three big buddha statues.



A little walk aways from that is the Monkey Tample (Swayambhunath Stupa). When I first entered, I came through the back where there was barely anyone. I bumped into a few worshipping monks, and a couple of the monkeys tried to get their hands on my hand sanitizer (which was hanging from my camera bag), but it was generally a very peaceful experience.



I got a full view of Kathmandu Valley from there – or at least, one area of it. And it was beautiful.

Once you walk down to the front, though, the temple gets crowded with tourists, vendors, monks, and worshippers. Prayer wheels spin constantly and monkeys power trip around the smaller stupas.




I must have spent two hours there in total. I realized a little late that that might be an issue in terms of daylight and made haste to go back home where we celebrated another girl’s birthday (and departure for India) over homemade paneer, and chicken. The paneer was wonderful and gave me just enough strength for what was coming next.

My trek.


Initially Visnu, who besides guiding treks owns a company that organizes full-on tours and has a staff of ready guides, had told me he would assign a guide to me. However, on the day, he came to pick me up and let me know he would do it himself. This was good news to me, because I’d like to think these days I’m a pretty good judge of character, and if I was going to be on a trek all alone with a guide, Visnu would be a good choice. He at least was clearly experienced, with legitimate testimonials to back him.

We started the day early, got on a bus that took us to our starting point, and began our journey. We were going to do a 3 day trek. The first day would involve walking through the valley and mountains from Kathmandu City to Chisapani, at which point we would stop to rest overnight at a tea house*, and catch the sunrise over the Himalayas before continuing our journey to Nagarkot.


That first day was amazing. Admittedly, I was undergoing culture shock, and sensory overload, and I was drinking it all in like I had been thirsty all my life, but now in hindsight I see it all through such clear lenses, and I know that while I was experiencing it, it felt wild and dangerous and utterly beautiful.

Day 1 involved a lot of moving through tiny towns.


It was a 30km day or so, all uphill, and by the end of it I didn’t even realize but we had ascended 1.5km in a day. When we stopped to rest before the final stretch (after photos on the summit), Visnu asked if I was feeling strange at all, and I wasn’t. He said this was a good sign that I should do a lot more climbing in the future. Haha.

As we emerged from the trail on the final stretch, entering Chisapani, the sun had just hit golden hour and everything was bathed in this ethereal twilight. In the distance you could see the Himal. The daunting ridges of those gorgeous mountains. I think my heart skipped a beat when I looked.



We stayed in a pretty tea house owned by an old friend of Visnu’s who has been housing his clients for years. At only $4/night, I got my own room with a balcony and an unobstructed view of the sunrise over the Himalayas. What. A. Steal.

That night we feasted on chapati and momos – Nepalese dumplings made with your choice of meat (mutton or chicken was my favorite), served with a Nepalese version of patatas bravas, and a pinkish light sauce and a spicier chili sauce. Delicioso. All this with the standard tea, of course. Milk Masala Tea.

I went back to my room after and tried to sleep, but by then temperatures had dropped significantly and my cold bed was moist from never having electricity to run a drier, and never having a day rain-free enough to ever fully sap all the wetness from any fabric. Thus, I lay for hours in my coat, in and out of sleep and fitful dreaming.

When I woke I had a spider bite on my arm, and felt heavy-headed and sleep-deprived, but outside the first rays of light beckoned. I stepped out onto the balcony with my camera and witnessed that long-awaited, highly hyped up sunrise. And it was worth it.



After breakfast, Visnu and I headed out to start the day early. He warned me that Day 2 would hold more precarious treks. Much would be downhill, but more than half the time we would be walking through jungle on barely-visible paths. There are tigers out there, and if you’re quiet we might actually see one! Yes. He said that. Along the course of the trek, I also came to know that there are also jaguars, some sort of leopard, deadly snakes, wild boar, and bears. As we walked I constantly reminded myself of the odds. The odds were in our favor, really. These animals were mainly nocturnal, and would be smart enough to steer clear of anywhere humans spent much time. Still, when we bumped into three village people who were freaking out, it didn’t take long for me to realize that one can really never be too careful. Or…prepared. And that there was just no room to be cavalier out there.

When the villagers left, Visnu broke a thin branch off a tree (perhaps the circumference of my forearm) and handed it (all 3 feet of it) to me wordlessly. At our next pitstop he explained there had been some sightings. That day.*



We made it out of the jungle into the town before Nagarkot in one piece, though. A relief. Along the way we met an old woman from America named Mickey, who was in what she called her Third Quarter Life Crisis, and was on “sabbatical from adulthood.” She had just spent three months in Pakistan and China and spending another month in Nepal before moving on to India for a week and then Africa for four months. What a crazy Grandma Indy Jones she was. Upon arrival in Nagarkot, Visnu left Mickey and I to trade stories over Masala Chai, while he fixed arrangements for accommodations. Sofi and a few other girls would be joining us there and doing the last leg of the trek with us. It was going to be fun.

That night we stayed at a real lodge. For only $8/night this time, we got a suite that had room for Visnu, Sofi, Sonja and Adele from France, and Jem from Australia. We touched base at the lodge bar, shared stories over local homemade millet wine, and chowed down on dal, paneer, and curries.

After dinner, we were randomly invited into the lodge garden to celebrate over a bonfire with some young Nepalese men sending their friend off to university in Melbourne. Flowing beers, millet wine, and music. I was briefly reminded of home. Tired from the trek though, I was happy to head to our room early with Jem and Adele, where we indulged in some girl talk before going to bed.

Day 3 began early again, but this time I was well rested. Sonja woke us and we all groggily found ourselves on the common veranda of the lodge, watching a cloud-shrouded sunrise over the Himalayas. Though the day before had been much more spectacular for me, standing there on the deck with these three other women and my sweater, just being in the moment, was nice too.

We took our time that day, enjoying Nagarkot before we made our way back down to Kathmandu first via trek, then via the top of a bus*, and then via trek again.

When it was all over, we went straight to dinner in the City, just in time to see the princess at Durbar Square. Once a year, they reveal her there – at Durbar Square, in Patan. It’s a massive festival where locals gather and celebrate, and call out and dance. It was truly an experience.

The next morning was my last day on this short trip – oh too brief a treat, it was. That day I prioritized the Hindu temple Pashupatinath, where I bore witness to an amazing religious ceremony (a cremation), and was able to see first hand just how Nepalese Hindus worship.

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It was beautiful.

And then it was over.


On the plane ride back to Singapore (via Bangkok), I remember feeling overwhelmed, and numb. I had been waiting for an epiphany, but hadn’t gotten one. I had gone in not really knowing what I wanted, expecting the answers to questions I wasn’t even asking to surface. I was expecting enlightenment, instead I got bruises, and spider bites, and memories of power outages, and mildew. I had loved it – the strain, the new relationships, the alone time, the meditative feeling of walking…and walking…and walking, of pushing your body because if you didn’t…you wouldn’t make it.

But Nepal stayed with me. The place of many firsts – first solo trek, first completely solo backpacking trip, first visit to Nepal, first glimpse of the Himal, first sunrise over a mountain ridge, first raw milk experience, first taste of those flavors*, first bus-top ride, the list goes on.

Funnily enough, it wasn’t ’til I was sitting on the plane again in December headed home for Christmas that it hit me like a wall, and a wave of nostalgia for this gorgeous place, and these one-of-a-kind experiences surfaced and has been difficult to quell since. I am dying to go back, or to try a longer trek one day soon.


*which is what they call inns in Nepal
*later on, upon returning to the City, there was news of Tiger-related deaths. Though this is not something I take to heart, it is something I try to bear in mind for future reference and as a reminder that life is precious and any moment could be your last so you have to live it well.
*well, Sofi and Visnu rode in the bus…but the rest of us rode on top of it and clung for dear life.
*Nepalese food is a lot like Indian, just a little more muted, with random, interesting traces of almost-but-not-quite Chinese (Tibetan?) influence. And. Nepalese TEA…well that stuff is special. I brought home at least a kg of different kinds (both for keeping and as gifts).

One month of silence, and thennn….

I know. I know, I’m horrible. But it’s been a pretty crazy month, so I’m not sorry. Since I started my new job, my life has never revolved more around food, drink, and the gym than before. Unfortunately, curating this blog has suffered the company of the back burner as a result. So I’m back. I’ll try to post more than once a week, but I can’t really promise anything*.

In the meantime, here’s a bit of a treat, and a means to ease my way back in to posting. In the first few months of this year I have been lucky enough to indulge in some truly amazing dishes, and would like to walk you through what I will call Quarter 1 Highlights (Top 5 best dishes in the first 3 months of 2013 and where to find them!).  Here they are: in no particular order:


1. Pizza from Acqua (Italian Restaurant, Shangri-La Mactan; Cebu, Philippines)

salmon and caper pizza


Though I chose to include this particular picture of Acqua’s Salmon and Caper pizza, I’m actually just a fan in general of all their pizzas. Over our 4-day stint there, we ate at Acqua 3 different times and each time could not resist ordering pizza. We also sampled their Quattro Stragiono (olives, artichokes, mushrooms, and cheese), Pepperoni, and Hawaiian pizzas. None disappointed.


2. Proscuitto Panini with Truffle Mayo and Mozzarella from Club Street Social (Club St., Singapore, Singapore)

proscuitto panini

Not to be put off by the $$ pricing, this panini is great value for money. It comes on delicious ciabatta with a hefty serving of proscuitto, dripping in mozzarella and aromatic truffle mayo. They don’t scrimp on any of the ingredients, and you definitely leave feeling more than satisfied. At about $17, this sandwich is worth every penny. I’m sure I’ll be back for more!


3. Different Banh Mi choices from NamNam (Wheelock Place, Orchard Rd., Singapore, Singapore)*


I went back to NamNam multiple times in a week to have this Banh Mi when I first discovered it because I loved it so much. It is delicious and at Subway-6″-sub prices is much better value for money than the aforementioned. The one in the picture is a Chicken and Pate Banh Mi*, but I’ve also had their Cold Cuts Banh Mi. Each one comes with a hefty spread of pate on one side of the bread, and a lot of cilantro, lemongrass, chilis, and fresh mint or basil. The meats and cuts all taste fresh too, and everything comes together in the most deliciously refreshing (and filling) sandwich you can get at this price point.

On one visit, I took my discriminating best friend with me, and the place has his seal of approval as well. ;)


4. Lamb Meatballs (Cafe Le Caire, Arab St, Singapore, Singapore)*



These lamb meatballs were perfectly cooked – with none of that lamb-y aftertaste a lot of picky eaters complain about, and with plenty of spice and flavor. At only $8 a plate you get a lot of bang for your buck with this baby, and if eaten with some Pita on the side, you’re pretty much set for the afternoon.

Cafe Le Caire is one of my favorite Middle Eastern restaurants in Singapore, and never fails to satisfy, in my opinion. I’ve also had their shwarma rice and on this day I went with a friend who ordered chicken shwarma rice and raved about it on her own blog.


5. King Fish and Prawn Ceviche with Tomato Compote and Balsamic Drizzle (The Marquee, Shangri-La Mactan; Cebu, Philippines)

king fish and prawn ceviche with tomato compote

It’s sort of cruel for me to include this here because it’s highly unlikely people will actually be able to taste it themselves, but I couldn’t help myself. Though there were plenty of delicious highlights to that trip in Cebu for my cousin’s wedding, this had to be one of the best. Everything about this dish was balanced – the flavors complemented each other perfectly, and as an appetizer preceding some heavy steak cuts and rich desserts, this was definitely the perfect “grand entrance” to any massive, multi-course meal.

Alright, that’s all I can offer you guys for now. I’ll be back soon. Probably to talk about how I’ve managed to keep my figure despite all these delicious dishes. ;)



*Not to be misconstrued as deep-seated commitment issues or anything.

*Forgive the photo, it was taken on my phone.

*For those unaware, Banh Mi are sandwiches from Vietnam – fusion style on freshly baked French baguettes with mixed meats (grilled chicken, cold cuts, etc) and Vietnamese spices and herbs reminiscent of what makes Pho so good.

*Yes. Another phone photo. SORRY, OKAY, I DON’T LUG MY HEAVY D7000 EVERYWHERE!

Who moved my cheese(cake)?

Inspired by the fact that I moved into a new apartment (WITH AN OVEN*), I have been on the prowl for simple recipes I can try to “healthify”*. The past week or so (since getting back from a trip to my cousin’s beach wedding), I’ve been hitting the gym, and basically living there. Thus, this week, I decided to change it up and keep the gym to a minimum hour or so, and spend some time working on some presentations for next week, as well as some self-betterment in the form of cooking or baking.*

I found this recipe for Cinnamon Roll Cheese Cake, and thought to myself: well. That’s not simple at all…………………let’s make that PROJECT #1! So without further ado, I give to you:


The *namon Roll Cheese Cake you never have to tell your priest about*

Mine is obviously nowhere near as pretty as the original, and it is much smaller, and I used a rectangular aluminum holder, not a 9″ springform pan…however, it was t-t-t-t-tasty-tasty (Fergie 2006)!

Here is how I modified it (I’ve copy-pasted the original recipe here and you can note my mods in bold):

Cinnamon Roll Batter:
2/3 cup white sugar — 2 packets powdered STEVIA*
¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg
½  cup whole milk — 1/4 cup hazelnut milk
1 TBSP vanilla extract
2 cups flour — 1 cup almond flour (please note that this is because I was making a smaller serving to begin with; she used a 9″ springform pan and I used like a 7 or 8″ rectangular aluminum tin thingy*)
2 tsp baking powder — 1 tsp baking powder again because of the size difference and I didn’t want this to puff up like mad
1/2 tsp salt — I just sprinkled salt in…because of the whole “smaller recipe” thing

MOST IMPORTANTLY THOUGH: I added 1 tsp of CINNAMON to this mixture.
Cheesecake filling:

2 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, at room temperature — 1/2 package fat free cream cheese; 1/2 package 80% fat free cream cheese
1 cup sugar — 3 packets powdered STEVIA
1 TBSP vanilla extract
2 TBSP flour — 1 tbsp almond flour
3 eggs — 2 eggs

Cinnamon Filling:

1/3 cup butter, melted — 1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar — 1.5 tsp raw honey, leted
3 TBSP cinnamon — 2 tbsp cinnamon

Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature — 3 oz because I knew I wouldn’t have the volume and fluff from powdered sugar to make this anywhere near real frosting
3 TBSP unsalted butter, at room temperature — I just…didn’t put any of this at all anymore
1 TBSP lemon juice — 1/2 tbsp
2 tsp vanilla — 1 tsp
1 cup powdered sugar — 1 sachet of stevia
milk (if needed to thin frosting) — hazelnut milk – just a drizzle

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. — also known as about 175 celsius for those unawares

Grease a 9-inch Springform pan. — OR 8″-or-so ALUMINUM THINGY! Okay, so when she said “grease” I was like, well I don’t have any spray sooooo…I just rubbed a little butter all over the place. 



Cinnamon Roll Batter:


Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment (or hand mixer) (Standing mixer…HA HA, I don’t even know what an aluminum thingy is called, you think I have a standing mixer?!) With a whisk (or any appendage you have that you find handy) cream together the butter and sugar for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.

Add egg, milk,  and vanilla. Beat for another minute. Scrape down bowl.

Sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Combine the sifted and creamed ingredients together. Mix until throughly combined.

Spread half of the batter onto the bottom of the aluminum thingy. It will be sticky and thick so spray your hands with baking spray and press down. It will be a thin layer, but trust me it will rise up during baking.

For the Cheesecake Filling:

Beat cream cheese and STEVIA for 2 minutes on medium-high speed.

Add the egg, scraping down the bowl after.

Add the vanilla and flour and beat for another minute.

Pour all of t

he cheesecake batter on top of the cinnamon roll batter that is in the prepared pan.

Cinnamon Filling:

In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, cinnamon, honey, and STEVIA. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Drop spoonfuls of the cinnamon filling over the entire top of the cheesecake.


These are the dregs of the cinnamon filling because I forgot to take a photo of it. It was nice and dollopy…dunno how else to explain. It was thick and delicious.

Bake for about 50-55 minutes 25-30 minutes (mine was small, remember?), cake will be puffy and lightly browned. Let chill for 20 minutes at room temperature and then cover and move to fridge for 4 hours. Remove cake and let it warm up to room temperature just a bit. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.


Those dark things on the top are the cinnamon filling dollops exposed!

Cream Cheese Frosting:

Beat the cream cheese and all the other ingredients together for 2 minutes.




*I used to live in an HDB (Housing Development Board) estate, and those places never have ovens (Asians don’t bake, okay. They don’t even bake their cakes, they steam them).

*Or just y’know...try at all.

*You know, so instead of “go make me a sandwich,” I can at least have a menu to choose from and it’ll be more like, “go make me some devil’s food cake” or “chicken pot pie” or “steak frites.”


*Unless it’s to bring him a slice. Obviously.


*Let it be noted that STEVIA themselves suggest on their website that 1 cup of white sugar = 1 sachet of STEVIA. I think this is wrong. These mods I am discussing up there refer to a refined version of the recipe already. I baked this TWICE today because the first I made, following the Stevia conversion chart, came out much more like bready crust with hints of cinnamon and totally normal tasting cream cheese in the middle. I suggest you do all this to-taste.

*I am such a noob I don’t even know what that thing is called…