Teatro ZinZanni

A different kind of Christmas present was what Nick and I got this Christmas. Nick’s parents decided a theatrical experience was what we all needed and they were right. We had the best night dressing up, feasting, and enjoying the sights and sounds of the most amazing talents at Teatro ZinZanni.

Part of their gift was staying at a Seattle hotel so we didn’t have to go home right away after the show. It was such a great idea because most of the family didn’t live in Seattle. Nick and I were pretty much the only locals.

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Getting Ready

We took a shuttle from the hotel to the theater so we had to take some photos before we left. Dressing up was pretty fun. I was able to borrow some feathery foofy stuff from Amanda, and it totally fit well with the whole theme of the night. She is the best go-to person for anything shining, shimmering splendid.

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Super Excited!

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Ladies of the Night

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Ummm....

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With the handsome man

Stace and I had to have a photo with the funniest lady of the night.

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With the Fabulous and Funny Christine Deaver

Throughout the show, all I could think of was how awesome it would be if I worked there. I honestly wouldn’t mind being surrounded by artistry, theater and talented people day and night. I could be a stage manager too! Maybe after Nick’s done with school I can start thinking of another career. haha!

Christmas eve eve in Seattle

It’s not snowing, it’s raining. Shouldn’t be surprised if you’re on this side of the world. Today is my first day of Christmas vacation. I go back to work next year. It’s also the first time I finally got to sleep in. Vacations should always be like that.

My brothers and I

It was a bit hard for me to get out of bed today. I woke up to the sadness that I am not with my family. I am missing my parents and brothers terribly. I miss all the talking and the laughing during the holidays. We’d all go Christmas shopping together, have dinner somewhere and then be home around midnight or later.

I love my family so much. It’s hard being away from them. Hopefully next year, money won’t be an issue and Nick and I will be able to fly home to a warm Christmas.

Nick has been really sweet to me though. He is such a good husband. Making sure my Christmas, even without my family, will be the best Christmas ever. I am blessed to have him.

We’re going to be off soon. We’re going to work our way up north by visiting family and friends and finally ending at Nick’s parents house. I pray for a Merry Merry Christmas this year. And may next year be another great year for our family.

I know I kind of didn’t end this post on merry tone but Merry Christmas everyone!  I pray for blessings over you all.

Scenes from Leavenworth

I went on a trip with my friends to Leavenworth, WA. A tiny Bavarian town in Washington. It’s about 2 hours away from Seattle so it was a nice quick trip to see the Christmas lighting festival, and then come home that same day.

Nick couldn’t make it ’cause he had to study. Which is pretty sad ’cause it was my first time to go there, and I didn’t have him there to see me ooh and ahh at the sights and sounds.

Below are a few scenes from the trip.

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Adam's happy to finally be there

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Cute Buildings

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My darling Alisha

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This guy followed me around all night

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Love how they're looking at different things

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I had to take a photo of course

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Loving the lights

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Ummmmm

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It's snowing!

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We needed something warm after the Christmas lighting

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Beautiful!

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A photo before we leave

December and Shrimp Fried Rice

December has been really busy that’s why I haven’t been posting as often as I want.  There are times when I look at the calendar and I get stressed with the amount of stuff that I have to go to. It’s really not work related but mostly just being at a lot of places in one day. This is usual for our family during December so I just have to deal with it.

I can’t wait for Christmas vacation and for the actual celebration of Christ’s birthday. Ahhh I get to relax for a little bit.

I noticed that my blog is turning into a food blog. I am wondering if I should have a separate blog for the food and for life. I don’t know. Just throwing the idea out there.

For now, I’ll try and catch up on my posts with December events and what I have been cooking.

So the other day, I remembered I had left over shrimp in the fridge. Again, I wanted something quick and easy. So I ended up with Shrimp Fried Rice. This is the Chinese part of me that comes out once in a while. For those of you that don’t know, my great grandfather on my dad’s side is Chinese. I remember, every time it was my grandmother’s birthday, we’d always go to a Chinese restaurant. On some of her birthdays the cook at my grandma’s house will make something Chinese. I especially love their steamed fish with scallions. Oh wow. Heaven!

Fried rice is a staple in the house I grew up in. My eldest brother and I, when we wanted some midnight snack, we always made fried rice. He’d always find some left over meat and add it to our rice and it was such a comfort food that up to now, I still make the same kind of fried rice that we used to make growing up. I guess we learned how to cook because if we didn’t, there will be no midnight snack to eat.

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For this recipe, I went to Steamy Kitchen for the basics. I skipped the corn starch and forgot the sesame oil. haha! But it still turned out good. In our home, there’s always left over rice. If there wasn’t, then it’s definitely the end of the world for me. I started with the garlic on this one, I know it doesn’t say anything about garlic in the recipe but hey, I’m Filipino, I can’t skip the garlic in fried rice.

Unfortunately, Nick didn’t get to have some because he was out somewhere. So I had the leftovers for lunch the next day.

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Don’t you just love going to work knowing you have some good food that you’re going to eat for lunch?

Comfort Soup

One of my favorite soups that my dad would make is sopas. Sopas is soup in Spanish, but when you say sopas in the Philippines, it means elbow macaroni in a creamy soup. The meat in the sopas is usually chicken, but the way my dad would make it is with ham.

Nick and I were buying some groceries at Safeway when I saw a package of smoked ham hocks sitting in the shelf. The first thought that came to mind was my dad’s sopas so I just had to get some some carrots and celery, and I was ready to make it.

And because I was originally making Chicken Afritada for Nick, I cooked both the Afritada and the Sopas at the same time. Take note, it was 9:30pm when I started cooking. Talk about late cooking in the Hayes household.

In the Philippines, we usually eat sopas for merienda (midday snack). I remember eating it for lunch in high school on those cold rainy days in June. Ah those days. It seemed like it was yesterday when classes would be cancelled midday because of a typhoon and we’re already in school so we have to wait for my dad to pick us up. Where else would we hang out but the cafeteria. The lunch ladies would be ready for the onslaught of orders from the excited kids who want to eat as they wait for their parents to pick them up. But I digress…

Below is the Chicken Afritada I made for Nick. I wasn’t in the mood for it since I felt that I was making it a lot, but since Nick wanted it, I made it for him.
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Instead of using elbow macaroni, I used the egg noodles that we had. It was kind of the same. Texture-wise, I think I like the elbow macaroni more. I remember the days of eating soggy macaroni in the sopas. Ahhh heaven.
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I know if my dad saw the photo below, he’d be so proud of me. I think my future kiddies would love this. It’d be their favorite and they’d ask me to add extra milk in it. Just as I did when I was young.

My dad would be cooking the sopas. I’d watch the whole process of how he did it and learn from him. Well sometimes he’d walk away to do other things while the sopas is simmering. What I would do is sneak in more milk into the soup to make it extra creamy. I don’t think he ever noticed. He would then say, “Wow this is really good.” He’d be so proud of what he made. And inside I was thinking, “That’s because of me, I put the extra milk in there to make it yummy.”
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