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Our Proposal Story


When people ask for our proposal story, I always feel a little weird about telling it. Not only because I have repeatedly told Keith throughout our relationship that I didn’t want a proposal or a ring, but also because I want to counter-ask “How much time do you have?” I mean I can tell you the story of how a couple months ago, we both decided that it was time for us to upgrade from our civil union/common-law status to marriage. Since his family was coming for Christmas to meet my mom, it was the perfect time to tell them the happy news. We were going to have dinner at the hotel where his family was staying at, but after having a less-than-satisfactory Christmas meal there, we decided to just have a low-key night at the pub across our apartment where we go for half-price wings every other Tuesday. It just so happened to be Tuesday that night and the server who had been with us since we started our wing nights was working. He overheard the news so he brought over a complimentary bottle of bubbly to celebrate the occasion. Our families were super supportive and they were getting along so splendidly that I hated having to break up the conversation to go to work the next day. Keith and I could not have asked for a better night.

But then it became even more special when Keith’s mother brought over his grandmother’s engagement ring in case Keith had wanted to give it to me. I feel very honoured that she would even consider me family enough to let me wear her mother’s ring. So on New Year’s Eve, Keith ordered sushi from our favourite sushi place and picked out a great bottle of champagne with a label that matched my Tiffany blue kitchen.


We had a lovely dinner and sat down to watch An Affair to Remember, which was not only one of the first movies we had watched together, but also starred Deborah Kerr. Keith’s grandfather met the actress when he was a shoe salesman in Hollywood, the same grandfather who had bought the engagement ring for his grandmother. I left the room after the movie and when I came back Keith was on his knees, frantically looking under the couch claiming he “lost it”. My concern and irritation quickly turned to relief and joy when it turned out that obviously he had the ring all along. For all my reservations about the one-sidedness of proposals and absurd cost of engagement rings, I could not help but say “Yes, of course!” when faced with the love of my life on one knee asking me to stay committed forever. Then we drank more champagne, ate macarons which he remembered to get since I love them and watched the countdown.


That’s the short version of our proposal story. The truth is that Keith and I have actually been proposing to each other for the past seven years. He proposed to me the first night we met, at a viewing of How I Met Your Mother’s 100th episode, when he made a Tim Gunn reference that only I got. I proposed to him a month later when I asked him if we could define our relationship status before I left for spring break. We proposed to each other when we entered into a civil union one year after dating then moved in together. He proposed to me by picking up the slack when I had just graduated and couldn’t find a job for months. I proposed to him when I told him it was his turn to pursue his dream career and my turn to take care of the bills. He proposed to me when he adopted a rescue dog without my knowledge. I proposed to him by accepting to keep said rescue dog and it’s been one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. We propose to each other every time we support one another, make up after fights, forgive each other’s mistakes and celebrate one another’s accomplishments. And I am so glad we will get to keep proposing to each other until the wedding (whenever that will be) and  that we will continue to do so long after.



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Five Years

Today I’m celebrating my 5-year anniversary with my best friend that I’m still so in love with. I was lucky enough to get the day off from work so I’m taking the day off from posting as well. Happy Hump Day everyone!


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Tasty Tuesday: Winterlicious Casa Manila

For my 2nd Winterlicious 2015 experience, my sister and I chose to go for some Filipino food. I have a special spot in my heart for Casa Manila. It was the first Filipino restaurant I’ve been to in Toronto and I’ve taken my family there whenever they come to visit. We even got our Christmas dinner from them one year. They just make great traditional Filipino fare and I was glad they were participating in this year’s Winterlicious.

I’d like to take a second to point out just how many options they have on their Winterlicious menu. While some restaurants have three or four appetizers, entrees and desserts to choose from, Casa Manila has 5 appetizers, 8 entrees and 4 desserts to choose from, which would normally be a wonderful thing, but for someone who loves everything, like me, it was torture.

For the appetizers, I hesitated between BBQ Skewers, Spring Rolls or Arroz Caldo but opted for the latter, since it’s a rice soup that’s perfect for winter. We all ended up ordering the same appetizer. While it did warm us up, we thought it could use a little less ginger.

Once again, I had a dilemma when it came to the main dishes. While adobo is a classic choice and the most well-known Filipino dish, it’s easy to make at home so we didn’t order that. I love Filipino stews like Kare Kare, our peanut stew, which it might seem weird to use peanut butter in a stew but it works well. Plus there’s Kaldereta, a tomato beef stew, which is what my sister and Keith chose. I had a bite and it tasted good, but this time it needed more of the sauce and more veggies. Keith would’ve wanted it served in a bowl so he could dip some bread in it, but we don’t really do that in the Philippines. We eat almost everything with rice.

Fun fact: Filipinos love their pork, so it was no surprise that there were two pork belly main dishes on the menu, one grilled and one fried. I opted for the grilled pork belly, Inihaw Liempo, marinated in their secret sweet and salty sauce. Served with rice and dipped in vinegar, it was just as good as I remember it from back home.

For dessert, I got mango ice cream but should’ve definitely chosen what my sister and Keith ordered: Leche Flan, our version of crème caramel.

All in all, while we had some minor suggestions, we enjoyed the food and left very full. If you’ve never tried Filipino cuisine before, Winterlicious at Casa Manila is a great introductory experience.

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2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here's an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 10,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Christmas Gift Guide 2014: Food

Happy Tuesday all! Part Two of my gift guide series continues today with ideas for all your foodie friends:

1. Inspired by the Beer & Chocolate pairing class taught by Crystal Luxmore, I’m bringing this Raspberry Lambic and Dark Chocolate for the office X’mas party gift exchange.

2. You can’t go wrong with the Top 12 most popular teas from DAVID’s TEA.

3. Who doesn’t love cheese or bread or monograms?

4. I’m in love with these glasses. I may just get them for myself.

5. For the beer-lover in your life, this mixed pack of abbey ales should do just the trick. This might also end up in the “keeping it for myself” pile.

Click here for Part One.

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Lest We Forget…

It’s Remembrance Day in Canada and I just want to take the time to remember and express my gratitude to all the men and women who have sacrificed their lives to keep us safe, and also to all those who continue to do so.

In Flanders fields the poppies grow,
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

What you should read to remember today via The Globe & Mail.

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Hope everyone had a great weekend!

imported photos 00064

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October 13, 2014 · 3:57 pm