Tuesday, July 31, 2018

baked goods with a homeland twist

every now and then the hub and i get a chance for a day date - whether it's grabbing lunch, heading out for some shopping or even just a midday treat.  and sometimes we stumble across something new and fun - like this place we found in chino hills.  it's called baked dessert bar, and i was a little surprised to walk in and find that a good number of their treats feature filipino-inspired flavors.  i've noticed that there are some new bakeries and restaurants out on the west side that offer grub from the homeland, but this one is a lot closer to home.

this was the first thing i saw:


halo-halo is kind of like a filipino slush.  well, not exactly, but it's made with crushed ice, evaporated milk and a bunch of random mix-ins like sweet beans, fruit, coconut, and all sorts of other stuff.  sometimes you'll see it topped with ice cream, or maybe even some flan.

luckily there were others in front of me, so i had some time to peruse their menu.


the cakes looked really fun, and there was a wide variety of different flavors of cheesecakes in a jar.


macarons are always a good option.


there were cupcakes in two sizes.  these were the minis.


and i was really intrigued by these polvoron truffles.  from the description, they sound like a variation of cake pops using white chocolate, cake crumbs and polvoron - which the girls and i made a couple of months ago for one of the bean's school projects.  i would've grabbed a couple if they'd had the red velvet or chocolate flavors available.  maybe next time.


instead, i played it safe with a box of cupcakes to take home.  these are lemon meringue, ferrero rocher, chocolate peanut butter and salted caramel.


later, we put them on a plate and cut them into pieces so we could all taste each flavor.


while they were all pretty good, the lemon was a clear favorite.  light and tangy and refreshing, it really was the best of the bunch.  the chocolate cake is nice - fluffy and not dry at all, but their buttercream frosting is a no-go for us.  it tasted oily and thick, and was kind of a dealbreaker for me.

i mean, not that i won't go again.  i'd like to return and try out some more of their filipino treats, and i'm sure no one will say no if i suggest taking a trip out there again.

Friday, July 27, 2018

learning to let go

the old lady and her special friend are settling into their new place nicely.  they've got a lot of the necessary furniture in place, with a couch from IKEA coming this weekend.  we had a lot of fun shopping for it, and he's a good sport for letting me make him lay down on it so i could take this:


i mean...we had to make sure he'd fit on it, right?  dude is like twelve feet tall.  and on a whole other trip to IKEA we loaded up the back of the tahoe with their bed, dining table and four chairs.


we've also made at least one costco run, and the bean had a ball being pushed around as if she were still in a stroller.


it's been fun watching the old lady go through all the crap in her room.  she came across all sorts of fun stuff, like this collection of her most favorite childhood movies on VHS.


a trip to the filipino supermarket yielded some treats and the best broom on the planet.


after they put together the dining set, we brought in a costco pizza and shared their first dinner on it.


they've even had us over for a quick swim already.


the bean decided that she liked her sister's bedframe better than her own, so one day while she was at camp the hub and i got to work switching the beds out.  when we pulled off the old lady's mattress we found all sorts of treasures, like this super dusty twilight board game:


and there was a large black duffel bag that made a familiar clinking noise when i picked it up.  i unzipped it and found this:


and when i sent that picture to the old lady, who was at work, she sent me a string of crying/laughing emojis and explained that it was a long-forgotten bag she'd brought home from a party...in high school.  oy vey.

poor mollydog remains super confused at all the commotion, but found a new favorite sleeping spot in the ball of bedding we pulled off of the old lady's bed.


with the bed and bookcase and vanity out of the room, the hub helped me start moving my sewing gear in.  this is my new workspace:


but it's weird.  while almost all of her stuff is gone, she's been living in the new place for a week and a half now, and my stuff is slowly but surely taking over the room...well, it's just weird.  that room is always going to be hers, and while i do like being able to have all of my sewing stuff in one place (with a door i can close if i need to), i miss her.  we see her all the time, and yeah she's only a mile and a half away.  but still...i'm adjusting to not having her here.  this will always be "home," but it's not where she lives anymore.  she's a grown woman now, and gone is the little girl i still remember her being like it was yesterday.

sigh.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

train to nowhere

so with the hub off to vegas for a cigar convention and the old lady packing for her big move, the bean and i found ourselves totally free one saturday morning.  i'd seen a post somewhere about a free summer train festival at union station that day, and when the bean expressed some interest in checking it out we decided to just go for it.

i dug out our metro rail cards and off we went to the local train station.


a little less than an hour later, we pulled into union station and made our way downstairs to see what there was to see.


it'd been awhile since we'd been here last - i think it was probably a year ago, for my cousin's wedding.  the room looked a little different from that day.


the bean decided to check out the virtual reality goggles, where she got to take a virtual ride on a swiss train.


a little further and we came across the huge displays of model trains.  the hub would've liked this...even if for like ten minutes.









this setup was particularly elaborate.





it wouldn't be a fun event without at least one cheesy photo op.


and some other stuff for the littles.



we went outside to check this out, but it was way too little kiddish for the bean.


so we stopped to grab some lunch at the crepe cafe, where the bean discovered the beauty that is nutella milk.


we decided to head downstairs to see if we could find the vintage train cars that were on display and found ourselves in an area of the station we'd never seen before.



the line to walk through those vintage train cars was insanely long.


neither of us was interested enough to wait for that amount of time, so we found something else to check out even though we weren't at all hungry.



 the bonus was that while we didn't get to actually go inside the trains, we at least got to see them from the outside.  and it looked rather miserable in there anyway, as people slogged through the cars dragging their kids behind them at a glacial pace.  we were much better off.






 and then we were over it and found our way back inside to catch the train back to our car.


it was a fun outing, and maybe we'll take another ride on the train to do fun stuff downtown before school starts.  which is in like two and a half weeks.  yikes.  where on earth did summer GO??
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