October 2015 Favorites

I don’t know if any of you are wondering but I’ve moved on to using Canson Montval, almost exclusively, for all my watercolor needs. And that means a bigger canvas to play with for my favorites!

I used to paint my monthly favorites on a smaller sized Berkeley watercolor pad but they’ve since changed their quality and their paper doesn’t work for me anymore.

Montval is a much more expensive pad but that also forces me to up my game whenever I paint something, whether it’s an exercise or for a more important project. I see that as a great learning opportunity!

Anyway, here are my October 2015 favorites – which are mostly sweet food items because, well, read on and find out!

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June 2015 Favorites

Hola! Are you still on a summer groove? I’m not really still stuck to summer, maybe my least favorite season too, but my favorites are! Because they’re delayed haha!

June was a really fun-filled month though, despite the intolerable heat and humidity. We got to spend the first few days of that month in Singapore to attend the Asian Festival of Children’s Content, where the husband was a panelist for two sessions and gave a comics workshop as well.

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December 2014 & January 2015 Favorites

December 2014 didn’t bring a lot of good things (as some of you may already know) so it was hard to pick my favorites that month, so I thought I’d combine it with January 2015’s favorites. January was definitely much kinder, allowing me (and I’m sure a lot of others) to refresh and look forward to the new things that a new year brings.

Lorra Elena's December 2014 and January 2015 Favorites

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November 2014 Favorites

This year seems to be intent on leaving us all behind. If you’re anything like me, you probably blinked just a few times and woke up to the monster month (of extra heavy traffic for both vehicles and people, of an enormous workload that is bent on ending before the year does, of meetups that I can’t be a part of, for shame) that is December.

But despite how fast it went by, November was still great and here are my fave moments from the month that just passed!

Click through to know more about each favorite and see pictures!

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Stars for Dreams x Cafe Publico

The month of October started with another dream coming true, as I was able to set up my Intimate Spaces exhibit pieces at Cafe Publico‘s first ever Blue Door Gallery show AND draw on the blue door with chalk.

It was really more of being able to draw on the door more than anything. I remember that my siblings and I used to draw on our bedroom walls with crayons, and this reminded me of that sweet childhood memory.

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An Epic Summer Komikon

I don’t think I’ve ever published it here, but the husband is a comics creator and this year, he decided to go at it full-time. And although that means a lot of sleepless nights and sacrifices, it’s also been extremely rewarding for the both of us so far. It’s not really my main thing but I do enjoy creating a comic book or two, as much as I enjoy assisting the husband in his endeavors. We’re also having the time of our lives collaborating on our weekly webcomic Homeycomb: A Married Life, where we get to commemorate and make fun of our newlywed experiences. But before I get ahead of myself, I’d also like to share our wonderful breakfast experience at Epic Coffee Roastery in Kapitolyo. front Continue reading

Umami at The Grove

Geek is the new chic, or so I’ve heard. Whether that’s true or not, Umami at The Grove is THE geek chic spot that we’ve all been waiting for. And if that isn’t perfect enough, it’s actually a restaurant! Umami has been around for a few years and I’ve been hearing so many raves and good reviews about it, but this is the first time that the husband and I were able to drop by.

The food is good (and comes in abundant servings) and is decorated like a (predominantly) Japanese animated film or game come to life. There were so many cute references to things close to my heart, like the Ghibli clips that run on their mounted TV screen near the entrance. When we were there, they were playing Ponyo!

Read on to see for yourself.

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My Happy Salad Recipe

I’m not very health conscious and by not very, I mean not at all. My best friends are named Ruffles Cheddar & Sour Cream and Cheetos Crunchy Cheddar Jalapeno. They have very sexy names and that’s why I can’t resist them most of the time.

But there are times when I just can’t ignore how much my pants have shrunk in the wash (that’s what I like telling myself) or I really just feel sluggish and downright dirty inside.


Recently, I’ve been feeling those same old feelings again and decided to put more greens into my diet. I’ve turned a new leaf! Pun intended.

Lately, when I’m just at home, I stay away from carbs and most meat. And when I have to work outside, I try to bring my healthier food options with me. This works fairly well, as long as I don’t need to run from one place to another within a day.


Of course, I do cheat once in a while during special occasions.

In the pursuit of a happy compromise between yummy and healthy, I came up with my own salad recipe that I’ve come to love so much. And some of you have asked about it as well, so I’m sharing it here. It’s a very flexible recipe and you can add ingredients to your liking.



  • leafy greens (I like baby greens, arugula, and lettuce)
  • sundried tomatoes
  • apples or pears
  • cheese (I like feta and parmesan)
  • crunchy bits (like nuts or sunflower seeds, even corn)
  • cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • tarragon or rosemary if you have any


One serving for me is usually half a pack of pre-washed Sunsweet greens. I basically just mix it all up.

But if you want the detailed step-by-step, I find that the mix becomes yummier if I season the greens first with the salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Just a dash of each ingredient to give the greens some extra flavor.

I also like cutting my apples or pears into bite-sized pieces. I take 2-3 wedges, depending on how big the fruit is, and slice those up into 4 smaller pieces. In the end, I have 8-12 apple or pear cubes in my salad mix.

I also slice my sundried tomatoes into thinner strips. Mine comes in a bottle and in whole dried tomato sizes, so I just slice those into 4 pieces each, using 2-3 tomatoes.

Then just pile everything on top of the greens, and drizzle a bit of the sundried tomatoes’ olive oil on top to create a “dressing”. I used to like creamy dressings and Thousand Island was my favorite when I was younger, but now I like olive oil-based dressings more.

To finish it off, I just add a few pieces of feta cheese cubes and/or sprinkle some parmesan cheese. And if you have those crunchy bits like nuts, just add those on top too. Personally, I really love sunflower seeds. It just adds a whole new flavor to the salad.

When I’m sharing the salad with the husband, I just use up a bit more of each ingredient.

And that’s it! So easy, not at all complicated, and you can customize it to make it your own happy salad recipe.



Valentine’s Day is over and done with, and a lot of people would say, “Good riddance!” The husband and I didn’t go out of our way to celebrate it in the past five years, but we chose to go the extra mile this year because this is the first Valentine’s Day that we’re celebrating as husband and wife. It’s kind of cheesy but we’ve given ourselves a free pass to consume all the figurative cheese we can get.

Taking the short drive to Tagaytay is one of easiest ways to leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind for a while, without having to ride a plane or spend so much. And that’s why it’s one of our favorite places to disappear to.

For the previous weekend, spending time in Tagaytay was also a welcome respite for us because we spent the bulk of the week working with the rest of the Pushpin team at a big and crucial event in Bohol.


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Baguio Eats

Research is always a part of my prep work for any kind of traveling that I do, although this “research” mostly consists of looking for food places to try out. Searching for local flavors always excites me for an upcoming trip and Baguio was no different, especially after I read about so many exciting and delicious Baguio-famous establishments.

Our gang tried several Baguio restaurants during our weekend trip there, but these three were my personal faves!


Address: Casa Vallejo, Upper Session Road, Baguio City, Philippines 2600
Tel. No.: +63 74 424 2734
E-mail Address: info@hillstationbaguio.com
Website: http://hillstationbaguio.com

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