Feeding (during) Nemo

Weather like this makes us crave for that comfort food only mom can cook. This recipe (with a minor adjustment) is actually from my Uncle and is my husbands most favorite pre-nap dish. Enjoy and zzzzzzzzzzzzz. Where’s the remote?

pot roast


Crock Pot2 Roast

1 (3 lb) beef roast, (Whatever cut is your favorite, or on sale)
1 packet onion soup mix
1/2 packet of dried Italian salad dressing mix
1/2 cup water
Veggies & potatoes

–  Rub the onion soup mix all over the roast

–  Place in crock pot fat side down

–  Add your potatoes and water around the roast and cook for 8 hrs on low

–  At the 4 hour mark, add any veggies (I use baby carrots, sliced mushrooms and onions)

–  Season veggies with the ½ package of Italian salad dressing mix

–  Check around the 7 hour mark to see if meat is tender enough

–  Cook longer until desired texture



By now you are probably tired hearing about 12/12/12. Before I let this day pass, wanted to invoke the magic, aura and energy of today to help me improve myself. One soon-to-be new years resolution will be cooking.

Mom, thanks for this recipe and here’s to setting goals!

Wonton Soup

P.S. I’ll pass on the vitsin 😉


Mom in the NYC Subway circa 1970

On this 7th day of August mom would have turned 73. This year also marked her 7th anniversary in heaven. Lots of lucky 7s.

Mom was indeed lucky as a child being the first born to survive. My Lola endured three miscarriages before my mom arrived. Since her birth she was the golden child — like all first-borns — getting anything and everything she wanted.

My dad would tell me stories my Lolo shared with him about mom like how she would have temper tantrums as a child, hurling her body on the floor until she got what she wanted. (Sounds familiar, huh, Dexter?) Little did she know she would then be followed by a little brother and sister. At this point she quickly assumed the eldest sister role providing support and guidance.

She was the first and only from her immediate family to migrate to the United States — on her own. With two small suitcases in tow she and a girlfriend landed in New York City. They settled in an apt in Queens that practically felt like an earthquake when the subway travelled by. Soon after they found work at the United Nations. And that’s where she met dad in 1969. Lucky for him 😉

Lucky for my sister and me too! Lucky for us to have a trailblazer as a mom who will always be our rock and idol. We love you and miss you, mom. Happy happy birthday!

Hello Sunshine!

Dare I say it? Finally it feels like summer here on the east coast with — so far — a full day of the sun’s rays and warmth.

What’s a girl to wear to celebrate the season? Leave it to my stylin’ mom to help set the trend in the sixties with a mod mini of her own design. Ah, long gone are the affordable days of being able to give sketches to your own seamstress to handcraft anything you dream up. Maybe when I hit the lottery I’ll do the same. Or I could just learn to sew. Or get Glenn to learn to sew.

[Mom’s pic was taken in the Secretariat building of the United Nations probably during a lunch date with dad. Assouse!]

Pint-size fashionistas or their fabulous mommies need not search high and low for the perfect LYD (little yellow dress) this season. La Petite Couture has this darling number that’s never too fancy for any occasion. I see it gracing girls-only birthday soirees and garden tea parties. Or even a barefoot romp on lush [clean] green grass.

Oh summer joy!

A Charming Life

The six pillars in my mom’s life was prayer, family, friends, travel, shopping and jewelry. Not necessary in that order sometimes. LOL. But seriously no matter what, all her thoughts and actions exuded love and kindness. You can tell from one of her signature pieces she crafted dating back to the 1970’s and finally completed in the mid 1980’s. Most of the charms were from friends or family. Others were purchased from Seymour Rubenstein—her suki (favorite) estate jeweler on 47th Street. As I admire them I’m reminded and inspired by their stories. Some of the trinkets seem to have foreshadowed events that didn’t even occur yet in her life. But I guess that’s what happens when you dream, hope and believe in a life and future you were destined to have.

Clockwise from the center top…

1981 1/10 Krugerrand South Africa Coin
Purchased in the early 80’s from a coin shop in one of the buildings of Rockefeller Center. I think it was a gift from dad for her birthday. She always “picked” her gifts.

From a co-worker at the United Nations. She was aware mom was working on a charm bracelet and either bought it for her or gave it to her when she traveled back home to Brazil.

World Trade Center
Purchased from the World Trade Center gift shop during one of many visits when she played tour guide to family from out of town. She was the hostess with the most-est.

More recently this has a double meaning to me due to my loving husband’s negative definition of it towards my son and me. [He’s such a joker.] This could symbolize both the cruise-loving nature of my mom but also a sign of being grounded—possibly burdened which she was in the later years of her life due to breast cancer. Despite the hardship, she became the ideal mentor, rock and soundboard for others who became diagnosed with cancer.

Mom was certainly a guiding force in our family. She was so very knowledgeable about every topic you can think of. And if she wasn’t, she would research it. She made sure we always ate healthy, attended mass every Sunday and pushed ourselves to use our potential.

Double-sided Heart with Rubies & Emeralds
One of two and she said they are for Lyn (my sister) and me. I personally think she needed to fill two spots. And she loved shopping in multiples!

Four—now five—meanings: Rizalyn, Rolando, Rembon (her maiden name), Resuma and Rafael, her first-born apo (grandson).

She love watching shows especially ice-skating and dance performances. Mom was a huge supporter of Folklorico Filipino Dance Company of New York in their heyday. When I was either 12 or 13, I remember them performing at what was then Jersey City State College [now New Jersey City University]. She hosted an after party at our home with a buffet galore. She encouraged me to join when I was in college and I performed with the troupe one season. That year we danced on stage at Lincoln Center which was such a proud moment for her.

Statue of Liberty 1g Gold Bar
From a coin shop in Rockefeller Center. Another gift from dad. Listen to your mom. When she says to buy gold. Buy gold. It was $300/oz. back then. Today it’s over $1,600/oz.

This is possibly from her travels. She was able to go to Amsterdam during a European tour with girlfriends before acquiring “anchors” — BH & BK (before husband and before kids).

For Christine & Conchita

Second double-sided Heart with Rubies & Emeralds
OK, I see now how symmetrical the bracelet is with both of them.

Cap with Three Stars
Estate jewelry from Seymour

Four Leaf Clover
I want to say this is from Avon. She bought a lot from Avon.

Barbados Island
Pretty sure this was a gift from another UN co-worker too. She would have loved traveling here. It’s on my bucket list.

Inspired by mom’s lucky bracelet, I have some charms up my sleeve myself—pun intended. All are available @ my Etsy shop.


Season of the Tunics

I’ve always adored tunic dresses. Likely due to my mom’s history of clothing dating back to the sixties—including ones she sketched and designed to then have made by a seamstress in the Philippines. They are so effortless and flattering. Here’s a gorgeous pic of my parents during their honeymoon to Ballwin, MO when she met for the first time my cousins Chi, Meesh and Mimi. How adorable are they + their tights?!?

Tunic Dress - Then

As an independent jewelry designer, I have so much admiration of others who also are true to their passions and are lucky to be able to make a living creating beautiful things. New York City based designer Grace Sun‘s line embodies both uptown chic & downtown cool. I can totally see my chic & cool quotients edging higher if this lil flirty number’s in my closet. It’s a featured and favorite piece at the premier online global network of independent designers — StyleTrek.com (brainchild of fellow Academy of St. Aloysius High School alumna Cecilia Pagkalinawan @ceciliaNY).

Tunic Dress - Now

Pretty Printed Pants

Or as the British say “Trousers.” [Fancy.]

Growing up, a lot of our vacations were spent in Ballwin, MO visiting my dad’s sisters and parents. Even with one suitcase she shared with my dad, she would still have perfectly prepared outfits for each day that matched the occasion. I always loved these fancy pants of hers and she loved pairing it with either this blouse or a loose deconstructed blazer. In this photo, my grandparents — Mama Rose & Papa Ceto — are showing her and my Uncle Monet (in the background) the vegetable garden diligently sowed by my Uncle Naning during a lunch at his and my Tita (Aunt) Josie’s home after church.*

This season, mom would surely adore these flower power slacks. I can see her matching it with her many tops—and purses. I would probably wear it similarly with a tee. Now if I can just find these turquoise shoes too, I’ll be good to go!

*Editorial note: I’m sure they are all enjoying my Uncle Naning’s garden in heaven as all—including my Uncle Naning—have passed on. I know they are watching over us always. Rest in peace, my family.

Who wears short shorts?

Apparently my mom. Well, back in the day (circa 1977?). She will always be my style icon and this pic goes to show that you gotta flaunt what your mama gave you — even if it’s going to an amusement park with your kid!

Fast forward to today, I would totally rock these flattering folded cuff shorts from Piperlime. Hopefully soon. {insert sigh here}