Thursday, April 11, 2013

Elevation Burger Experience

One of myfrustrations about living in Dubai is eating good food (Actually, Chief and I). We always go out on Thursdays to unwind after a longweek of hard work and of course, to have good food. We get disappointed most of the time so we end up making food we want to eat at home which is actually too much hassle and work.

Then there's this one weekend that really made us feel like Harold and Kumar from the movie Harold& Kumar goes to White Castle. Our Elevation Burger Experience.
I was browsing through Cobone when I saw the deal for Elevation Burger. The picture looks enticing.We've been disappointed by all fast food burgers in this country--name it alland we've tried it---and every time we have the craving, we give in to McDonald's (though Mc Donald's from other country tasted better--)

I showed the deal toChief because I wanted to get the coupons for it. Of course he said NO andsaid, why beat the rush of getting the coupons when we can go there when wewant to because we can pay (ok fine! it's not that I'm being stingy, it was agood deal and I was being wise perhaps?!) So, yeah, we didn't get the coupon.

Last weekend we had avery late breakfast around 11:30am and around 3:30pm after browsing ElevationBurger's facebook page--I got obsessed. I need to try this burger pronto!!

Fresh Organic Burgers(not frozen), fresh potato fries cooked in olive oil, milkshakes... hmm...mymouth was watering thinking about it (and even now writing about it) andlooking at the photos.
I said I want to eat at Elevation Burger! Chief didn't have a choice, he just drove.. lol!

So we took a drive toSheikh Zayed Road and there it was the big round blue logo...I was jumping upand down my seat due to excitement. Chief said "I feel like we are Haroldand Kumar, I hope the burger tastes good--ME: I Hope so too!!) We parked,walked and ordered.

One Elevation Burger,fries and one milk shake each. Vanilla for Chief, Chocolate with Oreos for me.
We dined outside sincethe weather is nice. Here's our number while waiting for our order.

Sorry but it's just myBurger on the photo, Chief couldn't wait to try it and was already ravishing his burger when I took this see his hand on the right corner of the photo??

my order before the attack :p

and since I couldn'twait too, I bad quick photo of my chocolate milkshake:

It was perfect!
Itreminded me of In-n-Out Burger in Los Angeles.
I haven't been to the west coastfor years since my family settled on the east coast and having this burger justmade me go back to the very first moment I tried In-n-Out Burger..It's delish!!A sinful treat!!! Every bite was exquisite and for the first time in years, Ifinished a whole burger sandwich!

After Chief's firstbite he said "wow! finally! a match to my burgers!" I just rolled my eyes at him.. Though he makes really good homemade mini burgers--Elevation Burger is better (for me) as well as In n Out (sshhhh.. don't tell him that! lol!)

He ordered anothersandwich when I asked him to get me a sparkling water (the milkshake was not quenching my thirst, it became my dessert) He said he didn't want to get homecraving for it because he was not satisfied with how much he ate. But it turnedout he ate too much.. oh my goodness!

To summarize it all..we really were Harold and Kumar that moment. My mouth is watering right nowjust thinking about it. We are going again this weekend and I can't wait!

Elevation Burger is located at Latifa Building Sheikh Zayed Road (few buildings before the old Crown Plaza Hotel if you are coming from Dubai  heading Abu Dhabi--look for the Blue Round Logo!)



Design Inspirations

As a designer, it is not always easy to come up with ideas when working on new projects. Apart from the brief you have from what the client wants, it is still up to us the designers on how we can provide our clients with beautiful designs that suit their needs.

I have a few architectural sites that I love to browse to get inspired and get some ideas. Not that you are copying or whatsoever, now that is a bad thing. You can get ideas and evolve them to suit your need since every project is different. In a way, these websites inspire me a lot.

Here's my website list of inspirations for Modern & Contemporary Architecture:

          Archdaily is more like "THE" website for us architects. It features works of designers from today as well as the old, articles about architecture whether old or new, they also feature architects, news on architecture and design technologies and a whole lot more. They cater to Architecture as a whole.

          Website that features contemporary and modern Architecture and Interior Architecture. I love browsing this site for the photos, and new furniture designs, lighting etc. One thing though, not because the project was featured here it means I like them all, definitely not. Some are not good and Chief and I even wonder sometimes why some projects were featured here.

          This is one app in my iPad that I always visit.(Chief too!) Its the same as the Contemporist though they don't feature furniture's, all architecture and interiors-- that from the iPad but on the website they also have news features about Architecture, Architects and anything related to Architecture.

4. Dornob
          This is one website about design ideas, from structures to interiors to Art & Design.. anything under the sun. They have a lot of cool stuffs in here.

I hope these helps other designers too!



Press Conference aftermath..

I took a taxi after the press con only to realize that after reaching home, I don't have the house keys. I sent a message to Chief and he was cursing for forgetting to give it to me. The thing is, we both have our set of keys but he lost his when his family came over for a few weeks. He thinks his father mistakenly took it with him when he went back to Italy.
So there I was under the sun in front of our gate.. melting under the heat of the afternoon sun. It's good that I make it a habit to take a shawl with me every time I leave the house. I called Dubai Taxi to request for one and gave our address and one came after 15mins.

I was a little bit bummed about what happened. Only one photo with one of the band members. Imagine my disappointment for missing the opportunity.
So I decided to go shopping to relieve my negative feelings.
Since summer is just around the corner and I know we will be going to RAK a lot to spend weekends with friends there at the beach...I got these 2 dresses.

I got the peach dress because I bought a beach hat from Forever 21 just 2  months back. It was winter then and still was cold but I know I can use it for the summer and it's an addition to my collection of hats.

Also, I've been wanting to get this Urban Decay Naked II makeup palette for some time. I headed to Sephora to check it.. and I ended up buying it because it was just so beautiful. here it is:

 Came with a free lip gloss..

description of colors..
The palette..

I also availed the membership for the store. (sayang ang points!)

Waited at Starbucks for Chief. He said he is on his way to pick me up. He decided to come home early and work there (he didn't want me to be out longer than I'm supposed to since I am still on my way to recovery from my illness..sweet eh?)

I had a decaf chocolate chip frap with extra ice (me like it thick and icy --not runny and sweet)  been years since I ha one of these.. i even forgot how to order it.. and a slice of carrot cake of which I avoided eating the frosting because I cannot have too much dairy products because of protein content. Can't have too much protein, my body throws it away and damages my kidneys.

Chief called after a while and I was happy.. this little activity after the presson just made me feel better and I started counting the hours til the next day's big concert.

I'll be posting about the concert soon!!


Goodbye Facebook

I finally did it!

After some time of contemplating, I realized that I value my privacy so much.

I spend so much of my time everyday on facebook, and I'm not liking it at all. I must admit I got hooked, it was really fun at first. Seeing friends there, playing Farm Town, Car Town, Pet Society, Restaurant City.. I did all that. But then now seeing all my photos there, people that can tag me on photos without my permission, people that can browse on things about is just too much exposure of myself.. Where's the mystery now?

Others might say, "well then configure your privacy settings!" Frankly, i don't have the energy and time to browse and follow step by step for every type of privacy I wanted..

Thank you Facebook, it was fun at start.. But you've invaded my privacy now.. No more tagging, no more wall posting, no more people feeling bad if i was not able to reply on Facebook chat (apparently I was always online on chat because I opened my account on my Blackberry..people thought i was ignoring and making deadma to them.. Like hello?? I work people! I cannot always reply to chats!)

Thank you Facebook for the many years we've shared..for making me happy to be updated on seeing my niece and nephew's photos and videos..I've seen them grew up through you.

Thank you for being an instrument for me to keep in touch with close friends and family and what goes on in their lives.

Thank you Facebook because I was able to share with family and friends bits and pieces of happenings of my life to people that care and love me..

We've had our share of good times, thank you Facebook and Goodbye!


Sunday, April 7, 2013

I made Sicilian Spidini

When Chief and I went to visit his family in Italy, they prepared this special Sicilian dish at his father's house. It is called Spidini (Sicilian term)  also called as Involtini (general Italian). They look like meat kebabs.
Because I loved it so much, I asked Chief's mum how to make it. I did not take notes, I just tried to remember when she explained how it is made.
Tonight, I tried my own version of Spidini as to how I remember it with the help of Chief (well.. he just rolled up the meat since he was so hungry and wanted to help me finish soon so we can eat). To give credit to him, it was his idea that I make this dish tonight since we bought those thinly sliced meat yesterday from the grocery.
Meat rolled up with a filling -- prosciutto (ham), grated parmesan, bread crumbs, onions and olive oil on skewers.

Here's our finish product - Sicilian Spidini:

A more enticing shot..

Chief loved it!!! Made me happy. It was my fist attempt to make a local Sicilian dish.  He said it is best served with Guinness Beer lol!!!


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Eraserheads in Dubai - Press Conference

I am an Architect, and do not work for press. But what am I doing at the Press Conference for Eraserheads in Dubai Concert?? IM A BIG FAN!

So, my friend Kelvin who works as a DJ for the local Filipino Radio in Dubai (Rewind Radio) gave me and Jasmine Platinum passes for the Sundance and Du World Music Festival 2013 Featuring the Eraserheads.

 Here's my favorite band of all time!

You can imagine my excitement when I found out upon hearing this on the radio. I immediately made a call when I heard that Rewind Radio was a sponsor. I was like... Sh***T I have to see this concert! I cannot miss this after the Reunion concert back 2008!

I was really disappointed then because I was here in Dubai and I cannot just ask for an emergency leave from work to fly to Manila for this. Back then I was still working for this company with very strict rules for leaves and a pain in the butt manager. Back then Kelvin was also working for the same company as one of our graphic designers. He then left for a holiday in the Philippines and got me CDs of the concert when he got back.

So going back to present, I called Jasmine to get in touch with Kelvin since they talk a lot and Kelvin did not reply on my BBM message. She had good news when she called back.. two tickets for the concert!!! And when she picked up the tickets from Kelvin's co-DJ from the radio station, it was Platinum passes baby!! HELL YEAH! (me dancing and jumping up and down)!

Kelvin knew I was a big fan, so he told me to come to the press conference to be able to see them closer, and have photos taken with them.

I was supposed to take my collection of CDs to have them autographed but could not find them :( I just brought two cameras with me, an DSLR and point and shoot just so I am ready for whatever. I came to Radisson Blue Hotel in Media City later than schedule. The presscon was at 11am 'til 11:45am, I got there at 12nn. Chief and I passed the hotel and told me to go down and check he said "try, there's a big possibility that they start late, you said they're a rock band and if they live up to their rock star status, they are probably late." Despite of my hesitation and also save myself the embarrassment for being late I still got off the car, saw people wearing t-shirts of the band entering the hotel. I saw a Filipino guy and I asked him if the presscon is finished. He said it hasn't started since the band just got there. I immediately called Chief and told him the good news. (He was feeling bad for holding me and the reason I was late----I could have missed this event, He knew I was excited for this and been texting him and reminding him every single day since he was supposed to accompany me. He then left off after and went to work.) 

While sitting at the lobby I saw Buddy (the bassist) come out of the coffee shop..then Ely (vocals and guitar), Markus (lead guitar) and then Raimund (drummer)... I WAS STAR STRUCKED! I couldn't move, I just stared.. then all of a sudden the band posed at the lobby with this man -- I don't know who he was could be one of the sponsors. Everybody stood up and went to a corner and started taking photos. I also did the same but then still star strucked.. I couldnt even figure out how to open my camera to take the photo. I was behind many photographers and they were already breaking off from their pose for the photos and I did that snap shot.... WHEW!

Yep..I took this photo and I dont know who's that man in the middle.

After this shot everybody went  up to the press room for the interview. I managed to take a lot of horrible photos since everyone was blocking the view. I just held my point and shoot cam up and blindly pressed the shoot button over and over and trust that I can have at least one decent photo.

This is the result of that...good thing Im taller than the average people there..

After the the Q&A there was a brief photo op for the band and the sponsors and then the band started heading out.  Sorry for the bad quality and pop up of heads and cameras on the images.. people are in chaos and  just kept on taking photos.

 Yep, that's Ely's Ex-wife wearing that rainbow tank top. I used to hate her for breaking my heart..Ely was my super crush among the members when I was young.

Since I was alone, I had no one to ask to take a photo of myself with the band. I asked many people to take my photo as a favor but everyone seemed deaf and panicking to have that chance of having a picture with their idols. One lady was kind enough to take a photo of myself with Buddy. I asked him nicely if I could have my photo taken with him and he kindly obliged and even said "sure, of course".. sadly this one photo, Buddy's face was blurred :(

Me and Buddy Zabala, a very kind and nice man. How I wished it was the other way around.. me blurred face and him not. I really like him more now for being so nice and accommodating.. which my super crush Ely was not. He ran off so quickly with her ex wife dragging him out of the scene after the photo op.(okay i sound like a jealous fan again.. but he could have stayed a bit for us who were there for this opportunity!)

When I turned around to have a photo with the other members, they were gone. I felt really disappointed. When Buddy left the scene coming from behind me he even tapped my shoulder and said thank you and good bye. I didnt even notice at first that it was him who did that because people were going crazy. A lady we passed even made her iPad signed at the back by the whole band and Buddy felt bad for signing the iPad. A good man as what I always thought of him. He is now my super favorite among all.

Now I am much more excited for the concert tomorrow. I cant wait to hear them play again. 

I had lunch at a cafe adjacent to the hotel after and took a taxi home.. that's just half of my day, I will post a separate blog for the other back soon..CIAO!


Get Together

Was if fun? Did we have a good time?

Of Course YES!

Met up with Jasmine and Rachel's family at Mirdif City Center. It was nice seeing Rachel again after how many months with my god daughter. I always meet up with Jasmine but the last time we saw each other was few weeks ago when she came to see me at the hospital. We'd go out for coffee and shopping or I'd go to her house just to hang out or during parties and get together that we would be invited at their place.

I was actually happy. I felt normal since I got hospitalized few weeks ago, It felt like I was not sick. I was worried about this day because yesterday Chief and I did a bit of a "trial" when we went to the same mall to do some grocery shopping. I did not fare so well that just a few minutes of walk just made me so tired and out of breath.---JUST WALKING! That's the last thing I wanted was another trip to the hospital.

We then decided to sit down and eat since what we all wanted to do was to talk. They chose the Italian restaurant Al Forno. More like American-Italian.

I had the Caprese since I am on a strict low salt, low cholesterol and low iron diet.

Jasmine had the Shrimp Salad that I forgot what its called

Rachel and her family had Pizza, Pasta and Steak. Lucky them they can eat whatever they want.

This is Rachel with her hubby Gani

The whole gang: From left is Isabelle (my god daughter), Rachel her mom, Gani, Myself and Jasmine

and the 217 girls minus Kirstin and these girls!

Rachel brought a gift with her from her trip to Philippines. A gift from one of our friends Geomilie, it was a Christmas gift that came late. A sexy LBD with a necklace accessory. 

Its quite shocking how Geomilie just know my size. Every time she sends me a gift (usually clothes) they fit perfectly!

After that sumptuous lunch we headed to American Eagle Outfitters since there was a sale..I know! I'm a sore loser when it comes to sale. I told Rachel and Jasmine of the beautiful underwear Aerie have on style. Aerie is the underwear line for AEO.

After the store trip we went to my plac.. Jasmine's husband Nick baked some brownies for us to share, we had it with our was very nice

Chief and I as well as Jasmine prepared dinner for everyone later on.
It was a fun night of talking and cooking and get together. I enjoyed every single moment of it.