Thursday, October 02, 2014

The Waiting Game

I am already on my 39th week of pregnancy and it is taking longer than I thought. Not that I am complaining, I am duly aware of the benefits the baby gets inside the tummy (so long as everything is going well). I must admit time flew by with this pregnancy, I have been pregnant since January but it didn't feel that way at all. I remember dealing with nauseousness on my 2nd month and then the next thing I know I'm already on my third trimester and nearing my due date! During my first pregnancy, I had to deal with nauseousness far longer than most women I know. It stretched way past my 2nd trimester and crept on to my 3rd trimester. The good thing was I gave birth on my 38th week (and what joy that day was!).

I am a little anxious with the labor and delivery this time around. For one, I am less clueless now, I know more about the risks involved and have heard of horror stories. Adding to that is the fact that my husband and I have decided that I do a trial of labor (I had a C-section during my 1st pregnancy). I'm a good candidate according to my OB since I fully dilated during my time with M, the problem only was she was breached. This time around, baby girl #2 is fully engaged head down and seem to be staying put.

Preparations are already in place for a VBAC (vaginal birth after CS). We had to donate 2 units of blood to put on standby in the hospital's bloodbank just in case I'll be needing it (hopefully not!). The treatment would be the same as if I'm undergoing a C-section, the operating room would have to be reserved to me for an emergency CS should the need arise. C and I have discussed about the pros and cons of VBAC with our OB a numerous times, but in the end the final decision rests on us, on me. We prayed about it a lot and now that I am very near my due date, I do feel more determined to have a successful VBAC. I'm thankful to my friends and sisters who are very encouraging, it gives me more confidence and sometimes that is all you need to succeed! One of the motivating factors why I am going this route is I simply want to avoid another surgery. I want to feel well after giving birth and not have to worry about my wound. It IS a major surgery, after all. I want to devote all my time to my new baby, to M & C, to breastfeeding.

So, what do I do while on this waiting game? why EAT, of course! I've made a list of foods I want to eat as my last hurrah before I go through the traditional ge lai - the chinese tradition of making the mom eat certain foods only and house confinement for a month. I have no problem with the food and house confinement, I'm a homebody and there's no other place I want to be than be with my new baby. But part of the ge lai though is the no shower policy. I do sponge bath with hot ginger water 2x a day and that's about it. Luckily, I don't sweat a lot and my scalp hardly gets oily. The ginger sponge bath keeps me feeling fresh and help keep my body warm - an important factor during ge lai - so my body will heal properly.

SO, let's see. I can't wait to see my new baby girl! I can't wait to see how M will interact with her. I have even prepared a little gift that will come from the new baby to M. And as I always tell her, a sister is one of the best gifts God will give her. 

Tuesday, December 04, 2012


I have been interested in fashion for a long time. I look at magazines for inspirations and to update myself with the trends and whatnots. Having an incredible amount of time at home and spending time with  my 11 month old baby girl, I find myself having this desire to create clothes not just for me but for my little girl, too. I bet many moms with little girls can relate to a yearning to dress their little girls with cute clothes all the time. I get excited whenever Maddie and I are going out because I get to dress her up (and with no complaints from her!). Photo sessions at home is my excuse to use all her new clothes and even order a custom made one for her. Speaking of custom made, I can't deny that what takes up my free time lately is in learning this new craft. I have partnered with a good cutter and sewer and I feel that it is inevitable that I pursue this new craft (new to me, at least) if only to be able to create clothes not just for myself and Maddie, but for the whole family, as well. It gives me a sense of responsibility whenever I opt not to buy a piece of clothing and instead make one for myself with a fraction of the would-be price.
The rosette dress above is the latest I designed for Maddie. It was supposed to be her Holiday dress but it's still a little loose on her. It's for 1-1.5years old. But, I sure can't wait for Maddie to wear it with white stockings and Maryjanes!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Loving Macarons

Jean Paul Hevin. Chocolate, coffee, earl grey.

Multi-colored and dainty! I had to restrain myself from taking a bite off all of them!

Jean Paul Hevin. The heavenly chocolate macarons from JPH is simply sinful. The thick filling, which seems like a kin of the ganache, is fudge-y without being too sweet and has a perfect balance of bitterness to it that sits well with the slightly sweeter chocolate macaron shell. It's like eating a softened dark chocolate bar with an interesting bit of crunchiness. This is, hands down, my favorite chocolate macaron! JPH also has some interesting flavors and one of them is earl grey. Since I HEART tea, earl grey macaron held a lot of appeal. And after one bite, it quickly became my 2nd most favorite flavor.

Laduree. This place is always packed with customers! Not only for the macarons, but also for the wide range of pastries they sell. With its charmingly dimmed lights and old world atmosphere, one can easily be lured inside and experience tête-à-tête Laduree style. My friend, Barnaby, gave me a pistachio-strawberry cake the first time we visited Laduree. The cake is made of 2 big pistachio macaron disks sandwiching fresh cut strawberries and cream. It's simplicity in construction belies how divine they go together.
Bee's mom made it a point to remind us to try their hot chocolate, which is by far the best she has ever tasted. And I should agree. After enjoying one cup for breakfast, the other hot chocolates I had for the rest of the trip seemed a watered-down version of the real thing. Laduree's hot chocolate is so thick that the liquid lava flows like melted chocolate down your throat, leaving a trail of earthy cocoa that relinquishes any doubt you're drinking the real thing.
Pierre Herme. Noticeably, Pierre Herme makes their macarons a tad smaller than, say, JPH, but if you're looking for variety in macaron flavors, well, this place has got it in spades. For a first timer like me, I like to try all the flavors. But Beurre Caramel really caught my attention, with its pale caramel color. True to its name, it is butter-y with a burnt sugar taste. It is a revelation for a baker like me how they capture the real essence of the flavor even in such small proportions. The taste is so clean and evident.

Lining the wall of the shop are various degrees of bitterness and flavor. I got for myself a 75% Dark Chocolate with Fleur de Sel and had to practice all manners of restraint so as not to take a bite right then and there! I know Pierre Herme loves working with intriguing ingredients and fleur de sel is most definitely one of them, as evidenced in not only his chocolates, but in this another favorite of mine: sable chocolat. No wonder he's THE Pierre Herme, his ingenuity in combining components and- consequently- improving texture is remarkable!

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Parthenon

The closest I'll ever get to seeing the Parthenon (I hope not!). A debutante's cake, this is. What a chic way to celebrate one's 18th birthday-- Grecian style. And here I thought it is reserved for wedding themes!
The bottom is 2 layers of carrot cake sandwiched with buttercream, then covered with fondant. The color of the cake is actually dirty white (hard to catch on camera), just like the real Parthenon, charmingly aged with time.

-kitchen of Carla & Elaine-

Monday, January 18, 2010

Tea Cup Cake

This is one of my most favorite cakes! Any couple who loves to drink coffee and tea would surely identify with this creation. This is our present interpretation of our first teacup cake back in 2001 (below).

- Kitchen of Carla & Elaine-


To create this masterpiece required the utmost patience and skill. The curlicues were made in advance in varying sizes to make sure it will all come together in a cohesive style. And then, once everything is stacked and glued with royal icing, they were painted with gold. The light colored hydrangeas looked like fluttering butterflies who can't help but be drawn to the flickering glints of gold.

-kitchen of Carla & Elaine-

Friday, November 20, 2009

Peppermint Cookies for the Holidays!

What better way to savor the holiday season than to bite into a chewy and dark peppermint cookies?! Now available in Carla & Elaine's! These peppermint cookies are studded with white chocolate chunks for a satisfactory ending to Christmas meals! or better yet, dunk them in cold milk for a BRRRRight morning!