Bolognese Pasta Sauce Recipe

ritz carlton lobo bolognese sauce recipe

I'm posting this recipe for some diplo friends who asked for it after I brought the sauce for a potluck party we just had. Since learning the recipe at a cooking class with Ritz Carlton's Italian chef, Bolognese has become a favourite dish in our household. We've made a few adjustments of course. The secret of this recipe is 1) using only the best and freshest ingredients you can find and 2) more than one kind of ground meat and letting it sit in the refrigerator for a day or two before you [read more]

DIPLO READS: Crazy Rich Asians

crazy rich asians kevin kwan book

Summer is here! And for lazy days in the park or lounging by a beach somewhere, I love fun, lighthearted laugh-out-loud reads. Normally I like memoirs like these, but I was curious about Crazy Rich Asians because several people I follow online were reading it and seemed to enjoy it. It's a tale about... what else... crazy rich Asians. You can take it both ways: these Asians are indeed "crazy rich", but you can also say they are crazy and rich! This book is not to be taken too seriously which is [read more]

Making it Blissful at Home

diplo home beach photowall

I am happy to say that I wrote my first article as one of the Blissmakers on MakeItBlissful.com. Imagine how ecstatic I was when editor, Martine de Luna, asked me to be part of her amazing online magazine that has such a heartening message women. Honestly I was surprised to be asked, because though I strive daily to find bliss, I feel that it can also be a struggle. So imagine what a confidence booster it was to be asked to join such an inspiring group of women.  MAKE IT BLISSFUL is more than a [read more]

DIPLO BEAUTY: GlamPalm Hair Iron

glampalm hair iron

I usually put my hair up in a bun or ponytail, but there are rare occasion, like parties or receptions, that I feel like having my hair down. Before I liked to have it straight and sleek but these days I prefer sexy beach waves. In the Philippines I would usually go to a parlour for this, but in Jakarta I found that because of the language barrier it wasn't easy to get the results I wanted. I find that salon people can also be a bit harsh with my hair and the products can also irritate my [read more]

BERLIN FINDS: Christopher Street Day

csd berlin 2014

I've always wanted to check out the Christopher Street Day (CSD) Parade. When we arrived last year we weren't able to attend because we were busy trying to lock down and move into a flat. We made sure to go last weekend and I'm so happy that I can now check it off my Berlin bucket list. It was so much fun! On Christopher Street Day, hundreds of thousands of people demonstrate for the rights of LGBT people with a great parade, colourful floats, and music.... Up to 500,000 people celebrate the [read more]

BERLIN FINDS: Frau Tonis Parfum

Frau Tonis Parfum Berlin-009

The hottest place for perfume in Berlin right now is Frau Tonis. I was so excited when our Willkommen in Berlin Design Group Leaders scheduled a visit to their beautiful store. We were welcomed warmly by the owner of the store and her team and they even had a lovely spread of refreshments for us. The Frau Tonis team certainly know their perfumes and are very passionate about each and every one of their fine unisex scents. They introduced us to each one and we were transported to different [read more]

BERLIN BITES: Mabuhay Indonesian Restaurant

Mabuhay indonesian food berlin

After having delicious Indonesian food in Amsterdam, I was happy to be introduced to an authentic Indonesian Restaurant here in Berlin by a fellow diplowife and friend  from the Indonesian Embassy. I would never had discovered this place myself because it is tucked into a corner and not very easy to find. According to my Indonesian friends it is their favourite place when they are craving for food from home. My first question was why is the food Indonesian when the name of the restaurant is [read more]

TRAVEL DIARIES: Amsterdam Hitlist

amsterdam canal

A last-minute trip to Amsterdam mid-April - supposedly the best time to go if you want to see famous Holland Tulips in their full glory. Thanks to quick searches online and recommendations from Deepa, we tried and tasted some pretty memorable things during our stay. We opted for going around on foot and public transport (TD doesn't like to bike) and we were able to do these things (and more) in a relaxed and enjoyable pace. This is in no particular order. 10 Highlights in 3-days 1. Keukenhof [read more]

TRAVEL DIARIES: Amsterdam Transport, Tickets and Hotel

Amsterdam-2

I'd like to give you some information on our Amsterdam trip last April considering that it was very last minute, our budget is limited and TD doesn't like to bike. How we got there & back: Train We got to Amsterdam via train because it was the cheapest option. It was around € 74 per person return without reserved seats, and we didn't have to worry about luggage allowance. Using the Deutsche Bahn going to Amsterdam was a smooth 6 hour ride. I enjoyed the changing scenery and it if you [read more]

MADRID SHOPPING: Spanish Products

salvador bachiller leather spain

If you would like to go shopping in Madrid, I have some ideas to recommend. Salvador Bachiller Spanish Leather Goods Spain is famous for their amazing leather goods and my MIL loves buying the softest leather shoes and other products every time she goes.  Leather shops are everywhere, but for fashionable, high-quality yet affordable leather goods, I love Salvador Bachiller. I especially loved their turquoise collections. So chic! Click here for store locations. Beautiful Spanish Fans at [read more]

MADRID BITES: Rodilla Sandwiches

rodilla sandwiches madrid copy

Another quick but yummy bite in Madrid is Rodilla's sandwiches. There are many Rodilla branches all over the city and they are known for their delicious cold sandwiches. They also have some warm options available. It is self-service so you line up at the counter, order and take your sandwich to a table.  You can probably have it for take away too. My MIL's favourite (and I can understand why) is the ensaladilla which is a tuna sandwich with the softest bread (below). I also enjoyed the [read more]

BERLIN BITES: Dine Blind at the Dunkelrestaurant

unsicht bar dunkelrestaurant berlin-003

Have you ever dined in a completely pitch black room? I had the chance to do this in Dunkelrestaurant Berlin (dunkel means dark). For those who haven't tried this experience I highly recommend it because it gives us a better understanding of the experience of the blind and it is also a great ice breaker for new friends to try. I was fortunate enough to go with some members of the Dinner is Served group in the Willkommen in Berlin, a diplomatic club. While waiting for others in the [read more]

MADRID BITES: Museo del Jamon

museo del jamon-001

Museo del Jamon was a nice experience for a first time tourist like me in Madrid. It's nothing fancy, but it was cool eating amidst the walls full of hanging Jamon. You can also buy different cold cuts, cheeses, etc. to take home. A simple  jamón ibérico de bellota sandwich costs 4.50 € which is a great light meal. Bellota means acorn and a  jamón ibérico de bellota is the finest kind of Iberico ham. It is made with free-range pigs that have been fed a diet of only acorns and is cured for a [read more]

MADRID BITES: El Brillante Bocadillo de Calamares

el brillante bocadillo de calamares-003

Reputedly the best place to enjoy Bocadillo de Calamares, this was a definite treat for me. The other places that I tried had thick calamari rings which were harder to bite while at El Brilliante the calamari rings are small and thin. They are tender and juicy inside while crispy outside -  perfectly cooked! Because we were still full from our heavy merienda, three of us shared a sandwich. We ask the waiter to have it cut into three pieces and ordered 3 beers. We ate outside in the back and [read more]

MADRID BITES: Havana Blues Tapas

havana blues bar

One of the things I was really looking forward to doing in Madrid was the food, having tapas throughout the day and enjoying wine and beers with meals. I don't normally have beer with lunch or merienda, but when in Madrid it seems like the normal thing to do. According to my MIL, when she was growing up in Madrid the locals would have breakfast before school/work at 9, lunch at about 1 or 2 pm, merienda at around 7 pm and then dinner at 10 pm. We never had dinner that late, but we did end up [read more]

MADRID TO DO: Real Madrid Bernabéu Stadium Tour

real madrid bernabeu stadium

If you are a fan of Real Madrid then the Bernabeu Tour is a must-do in Madrid.  I only became a football and Real Madrid fan because of TD and through this tour I learned so much more of the proud heritage of "the best club in the world." This was a great experience to share with my husband and I highly recommend it even for the wives of football fans. First you get a breathtaking a panoramic view of the stadium at a dizzying height. Love the super modern interiors and LED screens that [read more]

MADRID TO DO: Free Museum Visits

museo del prado goya

Madrid with all it's history and art has a lot of museums that showcase the some of the worlds greatest works and artists. I would have loved to spend an entire day just wandering around one museum and I might not even have been able to see everything. Time and money was limited so we narrowed it down to 3 museums and scheduled them during the museums'  free admissions windows. Museo Nacional del Prado Museo del Prado is considered to be one of the greatest museums of art in the world and [read more]

MADRID BITES: Churros con Chocolate

churros con chocolate

The two must-try places to enjoy this Spanish treat is San Gines and Valor.  San Gines is known for their churros, the consistency is a bit better, and Valor is known for their amazing 125-year-old-recipe-hot chocolate. So it's all about preference really. I soak the churros in as much chocolate as I can so my pick is Valor. The funniest thing is I can't usually drink a whole cup of hot chocolate because it gets sweetyly-sickening after a while, but in Madrid I would finish my cup way before TD [read more]

MADRID INFO: Value for Money Tips

walk to del prado madrid

TD and I try to plan our vacations and budget well. We always try to get the best value for money. It's hard earned money and we try to balance out saving while enjoying ourselves. So here are the ways we cut cost while maximising our 7 days in Madrid. Tourist travel ticket The best way to get around is via Metro underground train and Buses. You can get a non-transferrable 1, 2, 3, 5 and 7-day tourist travel ticket. This ticket also includes the additional fee (6 € two-way) to get in and [read more]

TRAVEL DIARIES: 7 Days in Madrid

puerta de europa kio towers

We were recently in Madrid for a family vacation/reunion. It was my very first time in Spain and visiting Madrid was a dream come true. It was a dream I had, to experience the Madrileño lifestyle, ever since taking Spanish at University. So here was my bucket list for our one week stay. With a lot of walking, small bites and some money-saving tactics, we were able to check out almost everything without breaking the bank. Diplotummy Cochinillo at El Botin, the oldest restaurant in the [read more]