We had a blast at Kidzoona last September 14, 2016. I almost forgot to do a post about this. Hay, totoo na ata yung kasabihang kapag operada ka na, nagiging makakalimutin ka. This is the first time we tried at a play area na malaki compare sa mga usual play area here at SM.



Title: The First Touch of Sunlight
Author: Len Webster
Genre: A Standalone Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 13, 2016



Blurb

My Josh. His Beth. Someone else’s Meredith.

Destined to fall apart before their lips have even touched, Samuel Michaels and Meredith Driessen have seven years of almosts between them.

Seven years ago, a night by the river would bind them together. Seven years ago, Sam’s entire world blew up before his eyes.

His only saviour …
Meredith.

She saved his life, exposing him to what it could be like to be with her. But that wasn’t Life’s plan. Because deep down, his secrets will destroy their lives and separate them. His secrets will break both their hearts until the day he finds her standing on the edge of the train platform, completely lost.

He did this to her.

And Sam knows that if he doesn’t go to her, he’ll lose her forever.

Will seven years be enough to mend their scars? Or will the secrets they both keep deny them once more?

One thing is certain …

You may never know tomorrow’s sunlight if you’re drowning in yesterday’s storm.





Purchase Links

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU





Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

SAM

Seven years ago


It’s my fault.

It’s always my fault.


Samuel Michaels picked up the bottle of Jack Daniel’s from the passenger seat. It was lighter than before he got in the car. His mother wouldn’t be happy. Disappointed wouldn’t even come close. She couldn’t look him in the eye. Not after what had happened.

Because of Beth.

Because of what they had done.

They destroyed what they knew.

They destroyed how they lived.

Their lives would now change.

He uncapped the bottle of whiskey and brought it to his lips. He paused and stared out at the river. It had started raining almost ten minutes ago, and in those ten minutes, his phone had rung a handful of times. Looking out the windshield, he was thankful the moonlight aided in his view of the river. Sam could just make out the raging waves. A sigh had left his lips before he threw back the alcohol and felt the burning on its way down his throat. Whiskey had never been his drink. The way the liquor scorched waves in his stomach was one he hated, but for Sam, he needed strong. He didn’t want weak beer.

He wanted to be numb.

To forget.

The ringing of his phone had him returning the bottle back to the seat next to him and picking it up. He saw Phillip Hall’s name flash on the screen—no doubt, his mother had called his best friend. Sam declined the call and threw his phone next to the empty bottle. It’d been over an hour since he’d run out of his house to his car. He drove to the bottle shop and then to the riverbank. It was too dark for anyone to notice his car, not unless they came close.

Sam curled his fingers tightly around the leather-wrapped steering wheel and let his forehead rest on it. He wouldn’t cry. He promised himself he wouldn’t. But the flash of Beth’s trembling lip had him sobbing. It had been a mistake. She had said that months ago, and now, that same mistake had caught up to them.

The alcohol had finally kicked in, and he no longer felt. Instead, he relished the numbness consumed by his body. He smiled and then belted out a heavy laugh.

“What the fuck has she done?” He leant back into the driver’s seat, and his hand searched the door for the handle.

The moment he found it, he opened the door and fell out of his Jeep, landing on his hands and knees. Sam ran his palms through the wet grass and rolled onto his back, laughing. Once he was able to get back on his feet, Sam lifted his arms up and down as if he were flying and stomped towards the riverbank. He let his feet sink, even squishing his shoes into the sloshy mud. He laughed like a child, continuing to march in the dark night.

When he had reached the edge of the bank, he watched the water rush past him. With the moonlight beaming from above, he was just able to see the river current drowning a log.

“I want to be that log,” Sam said as he bent down and unfastened his shoes. He removed them and placed them on the wet ground. Moisture seeped through his socks and hit his skin, causing his toes to wiggle.

“Sam?”

“Can’t save me,” he said to the sweet and gentle voice. “I need to be the log… I need to die.” He closed his eyes and leant forward, intending to fall into the cold water and never resurface.

To be free.

The impact of the water had him opening his eyes. The current was strong, trying to force him under. His instincts had him fighting against what he had wished for. Water rushed into his mouth, and he swallowed it for air, choking him. His arms fought against the strength of the river.

“Dutch, stay!” the voice commanded.

Sam turned his head to see her. She was on her stomach, reaching for his hand. His heart had drowned at the sight of her. The look of determination on her face was one he could not miss. Sam paddled—not to reach her but to get away from her.

To die quickly.

“Sam!” she screamed and reached out further, almost falling in.

I can’t let her die.

The sight of her instantly sobered him.

Not her.

Sam pulled his hand up from the water in time for her to take hold of it. He kicked his legs to get closer to the bank and to stop her from falling in. When he was close enough, she had tried to pull him out of the water, but Sam had fought her. He just wanted her to fall back on the ground.

“Stop fighting me!” she demanded loudly, tugging on his hand.

A wave hit him, dragging him under and pulling her entire arm into the water. It was a miracle he hadn’t dragged her with him. He broke through the surface, and his eyes met hers. It was too dark to see the colour, but he already knew they were a bright blue. Not dark enough to resemble the ocean, but not light like crystal clear water. The colour was somewhere between.

Sam coughed, trying to breathe in air. “My life isn’t worth much. Let me go, Meredith.”

Can’t let her die.

Not her.


She gripped his hand tighter, as if she knew he was moments away from letting the current take him.

Meredith blinked once, and the fear in her eyes left her. The determination had returned along with her tears.

Meredith Driessen was crying.

Because of him.

Because she thought he was about to die.

“Your life is important to me, Sam. The moment you give up, I’m following you,” Meredith said.

Don’t save me, Meredith.

His heart squeezed in a way it had never done before. He held Meredith’s hand tighter, his lifeline.

“You’d …”

Don’t let me live a life where I want you.

Meredith nodded. “Yes, Sam, I would. I wouldn’t hesitate.”

Don’t let me love you.

She wrapped her other hand around his arm and gave him a small smile. “Let me save you, Sam.”

Let me drown, Meredith.






Author Bio

Len Webster is a romance-loving Melburnian with dreams of finding her version of ‘The One.’ But until that moment happens, she writes. Having just graduated with her BBusCom from Monash University, Len is now busy writing her next romance about how a boy met a girl, and how they fell completely and hopelessly in love.

She is also not a certified explorer, but she’s working on it.


Author Links

True to what they say, The Chef Charm's is indeed the house of Pastry and Pasta. How did I end up in a newly opened store like this which in every corner is a feast? Thanks to Chef Charmi and kabatang.com for the sumptous and overload sweetness I have last night amidst the traffic. I don't even remember we were just a few steps from the highway. 


Thank you for spoiling me last night Chef Charmi 😁 I must have done something right to deserve all of these in my life. Charot. So eto yung table namin last night. Oops, before you head on and reserve a table for two, I should warn you that they are not yet accepting dine in. They have pre-packed food on the go since they are still renovating and have an "exciting idea" for the shop. I don't want to elaborate much farther kasi ayokong masira ang plans nila. I want them to achieve it kasi sobrang brilliant ng idea ni Chef and first in Batangas will I ever witness that when the time comes. Uyyy Chef pareserve na ako ng seat ha. 😁 But Chef Charmi said that they will provide tables in the next few days so the clients can also experience the festivity we had.



Starting from my favorite, if you're my follower from my IG or facebook, you should know the fact that I am always in search of the best Carbonara in town. Kahit I can cook naman my kind of Carbonara I still want something na I can buy whenever I crave for it. Good thing Chef Charm's have it! Yes, I prefer a not so creamy carbonara kasi gusto ko yung may kaunting alat. But this platter for only Php120 is a must try! So creamy and so tasty in every spoonful of noodles. No bias ha, pero sa lahat ng Carbonara I had, this is surely the best I tasted. The cheesy texture toppings compliments well with the creamy sauce of the carbonara. No umay factor for my tastebud.



Another pasta served is Lasagna. The sauce is sweet. Medyo iba siya sa mga natikman kong lasagna. But the noodle is perfect for the creamy sauce.

They also have Pesto but last night hindi siya available so the dish should be on my "what to eat next visit" list.


This is also one of their signature blend: Fruit Juice. Juice with different kinds of fruits. Did you know that they also include banana in it? First time ko nakatikim ng ganun sa juice. This is the tropical or the "fruity" version of samalamig, best when served cold.


Among the bitter ones, this got to be something na hindi talaga siya bitter. Nasa acceptance phase na siya mga bes. Which makes me wonder and forgot to ask Chef Charmi why is this even called "Bitter Sweet Brownies" when in fact I couldn't taste the bitter part in every bite. This is also one of my favorite here at The Chef Charm's.


Kalma mga bes! They might not serve a cup of capuccino but this Capuccino bites is oozing with its flavor. I am not a coffee lover ha, pero this brownies are perfect subsitute for my "caffeine" intake once a month.


The Moist Brownie is sealed in a "pang sosyal" mala hotel wrapper. According to Chef Charmi she wants something na hindi basta basta ang packaging. She really spend effort and money with her business. Tunay namang ang masasabi ko lang ay "Chef Charm's, hindi tinipid sa packaging at lalong hindi tinipid sa lasa". My bad I wasn't able to take pictures of their different packaging sa malapitan. Napaka intricate ng bawat packaging, even the labels, signage and I must add their jingle is one unique factor they have. Pwede mong ihanay sa mga branded kumbaga.



No words for the Moist brownie, I want you guys to try it and for you to find out the difference between Chef Charm's brownies.

Food for the Gods, this one has rhum. Kung yung ibang coffee shops ay inaachieve ang Italian style of cuisine, dito you can have a taste of Greece.


I was laughing at myself when I mention this kasi nasabi ko e caviar but it is called Ciabatta with Zatar Dip. Alam niyo ba na si Chef pa mismo ang gumawa ng Zatar Dip nito.



This choco bites is called Pralines. Perfect panghimagas!


Now for the Hello Kitty lovers out there you should try their yummy cake. They use meringue icing here. Usually ang natitikman ko ay boiled and fondant. Nakatikim na din ako ng marshmallow icing but the texture and taste of the meringue is different. Sobrang tamis. Para siyang nababasag, nakakagulat nga kada slice. Pero ang cake mismo ay siksik na siksik not too moist.



Oli's Angels este #AlaEhBloggers with Chef Charmi. Thank you so much for having us. Sobrang sarap po ng foods at higit sa lahat napakadaming pagpipilian.


Pasalubong treats! Yung mga gusto ng pasalubong dito kayo bumili, maganda ang packaging at pwede ng ipangregalo. Tama si Chef Charmi, once you saw the packaging, di mo na bibitawan. My eyes are wandering what to get and where to start. Juskolord, ang tumagal sa place na to ay di biro sa isang katulad ko.


The Dulce Ensaymada is only Php100. Malasa ang toppings not too sweet, soft and fluffy ang tinapay at may lasa din kumpara sa ibang ensaymada na ibabaw lang ang masarap. Sa sarap nito naubos ko ng 1 upuan lang, ay hindi na nakaabot ng meryenda eh.


And it's a wrap ❤ Kitang kita sa aming mga itsura ang galak sa masarap na hinanda ni Chef Charmi. Na spoiled talaga kami masyado at may pabaon pang Dulce Ensaymada. Thank you so much Chef 🤗


I will definitely visit The Chef Charm's again kasi gusto ko namang matikman ang kanilang yema cake, cassava cake at sansrival.

The Chef Charm's House of Pastry and Pasta
National Highway, Brgy. Calicanto, Batangas City
0928-175-2390 / 0906-457-3890 / 043-727-2858
Out of nowhere napapunta na naman ako sa Sweet Kirsh. Since wala kaming maisipang puntahan this afternoon, we decided to try eating at Sweet Kirsh Cafe. Na feature ko na nga pala siya before pero dun yun sa dati nilang branch. Burger and Monster Shakes ang bida noon, pasta and lemonades naman ngayon.


Pinakamahirap na tanong ay "saan tayo kakain?" tapos ang sagot sayo ay "kahit saan". Bakit nga ba ganun ano? Katanghaliang tapat yagyag kami ng pinsan ko sa bayan kung saan manananghalian. Paano ba naman, masarap sana ang burger kaso alas dos pa ang bukas. Masarap sana ang sisig kaso sobrang init na ng panahon. Buti na lang He Brews saves the day. Sakto din namang di pa siya dun nakakakain. Twas my 3rd na but my 1st in this branch.


Hindi ako yung tipo ng tao na palasimba every Sunday, every special occassion at kung kailan dapat magsimba ang isang Katoliko na tulad ko. Pero sa twing may makikita akong magandang simbahan, gustong gusto kong makarating dun.


Napakaaliwalas tingnan ng St. Lorenzo Ruiz Parish. Matatagpuan ito sa Dagatan, Taysan Batangas, makalampas lamang ng Palengke. Madali naman siya hanapin dahil tabing kalsada. 30-45 minutes ang byahe pero medyo matraffic dahil sa ginagawang kalsada sa bandang Bilogo.


Merong malawak na parking kaya pwedeng pwede na magdala ng sariling sasakyan. Marami na din ang dumarayo dito kasi nakapost sa social media ang Parish at nakita ko nga siya sa Facebook kamakailan lang. Kaya naman naisip ko na dito kami magsimba ng baby Isobelle ko. Kaya lang napostpone kami last week dahil nagkasakit siya. Still, nung gumaling na ang baby ko, natuloy din kami kasama ng aking mga inlaws. Ang saya!


Alas sais kami umalis ng bahay at nakarating kami ng 7:30 am sa simbahan. Patapos na ang pang alas sais na misa nun. Pero sabi sa amin ng pwede naman muna kami mag picture picture kasi 9am pa ang sunod na misa. Araw-araw meron silang misa na pang alas syete (7:00 am). Twing Myerkules meron namang misa sa alas kwatro y medya (4:30 pm) ng hapon at pag Linggo ay 6:00 am at 9:00 am. 


Hindi pa tapos ang mga struktura sa labas pero ito yung pinaka driveway sa harap ng simbahan. Ang swerte ng ikakasal pa lang. Maganda kasi itong simbahan at napaka aliwalas. 


Kung ikakasal ako ulit gusto ko sa simbahan na ito. Mabait pa ang pari, si Rev. Fr. Richard Hernandez. Maganda ang homily, tagalog pero English Mass dito katulad sa Caleruega. Naalala ko tuloy si Fr. Boy Oriondo.



Ipinabless ko si Isobelle matapos ang misa at kinausap niya pa kami kung taga saan. Natuwa siya ng malaman na taga ibang lugar kami. Every after mass merong blessing of the Holy water. 



Maganda at maluwang ang loob. Bago pa ang mga upuan at hindi siksikan kapag nagsisimba. Siguro dahil na din bago pa. Pero iba talaga ang pakiramdam sa loob. Malamig din kasi dahil nakaharap ito sa kabundukan at kitang kita mo ang kalangitan. 


Ang krus ay hindi masyadong aninag sa picture dahil puti ang pintura nito. Imagine habang nakikinig ka ng misa makikita mo ay mapuputing ulap at berdeng paligid.


Salamat sa magandang araw ng bumisita kami sa simbahan. Pag-uwi ng asawa ko yakagin ko siya dito kahit na medyo malayo sa bayan, gusto ko ulit magsimba dito.

Are you looking for a hassle free booking in just one click? You might want to check TravelBook.ph for your convenience. Here are the reasons why. 

About TravelBook.ph 

In 2012, TravelBook.ph, under the management of Summit Media, started as an online catalog catering to more than 4,000 hotels and resorts in the Philippines. The company was established by Recruit Holdings Company, one of the biggest media conglomerates in Japan, and specializes in classified advertisements, publications, and human resources.

To date, TravelBook.ph is the fastest growing Online Travel Agency (OTA) in the Philippines and boasts more than 2,700 hotel listings all over the country. Over the past three years, the company has achieved a record-breaking 200% growth rate and an average of 3,900 paid bookings per month.

With various offline and online marketing efforts, TravelBook.ph has gained exposure through media partners such as TV stations GMA NewsTV through programs like PopTalk and Biyahe ni Drew, CinemaOne, and radio stations Love Radio, Monster Radio, and Barangay LS.

TravelBook.ph also boasts increasing 1.6 million monthly page views, with 455,000 monthly unique visits, 52,000 registered members, and 299,000 newsletter subscribers.

Its social media presence also continues to grow: it has more than 540,000 likes in Facebook, while its Twitter and Instagram accounts have about 2,900 and 10,300 followers respectively. 


Why Book with TravelBook.ph? 

TravelBook.ph aims to cater to the needs of the ever-growing market, which is why it continuously develops and expands its strengths through various customer-driven initiatives. 

1. Convenient Booking 

TravelBook.ph focuses on improving its offline bookings through 24/7 Customer Care that offers competitive room rates, promo plans, rewards points, membership promos, and GetGo promos.



TravelBook.ph also has a user-friendly mobile app that offers double rewards for bookings to make the service available for the growing number of smartphone users in the Philippines. 

2. Multiple Payment Options 

Since only about 5% of the whole Philippine population are credit card holders, TravelBook.ph has made sure that it has various online and offline payment methods to make booking hotels for every customer convenient.



Aside from using their credit cards, customers can pay via online and offline bank deposits or over-the-counter payments. They can also pay at 7-Eleven branches, Robinsons Department Store and SM Department Store branches, Bitcoin, and the newly launched Pay At Hotel, which allows the customer to pay upon check-in. 

3. Corporate Partnerships and Alliances



TravelBook.ph has also partnered with top brands and companies in the Philippines, including Cebu Pacific, Robinsons Bank, Sun Cellular, Toys R Us, JG Summit, Robinsons Land, Robinsons Department Store, and Universal Robina to strengthen its presence in the business through various campaigns.

The company also has special partnerships with GetGo, BDO, Union Bank, Eastwest Bank, and Security Bank. 

5. Tours



TravelBook.ph will soon launch its 359 Tour Package Plans to cater to the travel needs of its customers. 

6. Affiliate Program 

The recently launched Affiliate Program now has over 600 partner bloggers. Through this program, both seasoned and new bloggers are able earn income from the hotel bookings made in their websites. 

7. Promotion of Philippine Tourism 

More than just being an e-commerce company, TravelBook.ph aims to Philippine tourism by encouraging everyone to travel more in the country. The company believes that traveling should become a lifestyle as it promotes education, quality time, and bonding with families and friends.


TravelBook.ph also comes up with various creative campaigns to promote local tourism such as the recently concluded #Juanderlust, an international competition where travelers all over the world participated to be the lucky “Chosen Juan” who will embark on an 80-day adventure to 80 places in the Philippines. The winner, Mr. Dave Agbayani, traveled around the country to explore and experience the best things that the country has to offer.
Mahirap kapag nakasanayan mo ng hindi ka nagluluto sa bahay ninyo. For 30 years, nasanay ako na ang mommy o ang tatay ang in charge sa kusina. Ako? Taga lamon. Naranasan ko lang magluto nung 2007 kasi nagtrabaho ako sa Laguna noon. Pero madalas prito prito lang din naman.

Ngayong may asawa na ako at isang anak, yung excitement na nakabukod ka ng tirahan at mapagsilbiban ang iyong asawa ay talaga namang walang katulad. Mahilig magluto ang asawa ko, lalo na yung paborito niyang Sinigang na Baboy. Wala atang linggo o buwan na hindi siya nag-ulam nun. Ayaw ko naman dahil ayaw ko ng masabaw. Pero syempre, if a way to man's heart is through his stomach e di isa na yun sa pag-aaralan kong lutuin. Actually tinuruan niya ako noong magluto ng Sinigang.



Last week sinimulan ko ang aking "kitchen adventures" at nagpaka kusinera ako. Wifey duties ika nga. Nung una di ako magkaintindihan kung anong lulutuin at kung pano ako magsisimula o mamamalengke. Madaya ako kasi andiyan si mommy na taga pamalengke ko. Haha! Tara kain tayo ng mga naluto ko nitong nakaraang linggo.

Sinigang na Hipon


Buttered Garlic Shrimp




Pork Steak


Fried Rice ala ChaoFan

LeighcheFlan (requested version of leche flan of my friend named after her)

Follow niyo ako sa instagram, dun ko pinopost ang mga niluluto kong Pachamba.

Tawa lang ako ng tawa kasi hindi naman siya ganun kasarap pero pwede na. Makakabisado ko din sila sa susunod pang mga try. Diba try and try until you give up, este until you succeed. Hope you enjoy my Pachamba Series, kasi kung hindi, help me with my next kitchen adventures para mapasarap ko naman ang susunod na lulutuin ko.




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We've been invited last Tuesday at Sweet Kirsh Cafe located at P. Burgos in front of Asian Institute College School. It is actually my second time here since I already got the rave to visit their cafe a couple of months ago. I was ecstatic about the Hello Kitty themed cafe. From wall painting to their menu, I have no doubt that it will be the trend for all walks of life especially to Hello Kitty lovers.

 

At my first visit I ordered their best seller. The frappe was so good but it doesn't matches with my burger.


Chopper - Beef Sirloin in Teriyaki Sauce
Java Chip Frappe

I ordered some desserts for Isobelle and mom. There are tarts and cupcakes displayed at that time. Red velvet, chocolate, blueberry, strawberry, and mango are some of the flavor to choose from. Carefully boxed in a simple white box and tied up with a red ribbon.


The Hello Kitty cupcake is my favorite!

I like the idea that it has no wifi because you can talk with your friend while waiting for your order. Cellphones are for picture purpose only because the data signal is also low inside. Take a look at their menu. Every week they serve special menu so that customers will have the idea to come back again and try the new one.


Menu Board - Take note that they also make their own flavored buns!

Now on my 2nd visit, we got to taste the ultimate Pika Tower Burger together with #AlaEhBloggers Zai and Mirriam accompanied by of course kabatang.com admins ate Jobz and DJ Boom who also brought lovers for that night. While waiting for the menu, I happened to notice the difference of the cafe from my last visit. 

Front Counter used to be a display of cupcakes and tarts

New look of front counter: Graffiti Board or Freedom Wall where you can leave some notes.

We were served with monster shakes first. There are many monster milkshake in their new menu. This is surely a hit to chocolate lovers out there and for instagrammable photos. I chose the Rocky Road flavor and it's not too sweet after all so no worries. Thank you for this milkshake, I got to taste the Peppero for the first time! (grins*)

Rocky Road Monster Shake

Japanese Matcha Milkshake

Nutella Milkshake

Bacardi Milkshake

Ferrero Rocher Milkshake

And then the much awaited Pika Tower Burger arrived. Oh my God how are we going to eat them? The Pika Tower Burger is consist of 11 beef sirloin patties in a lemon bun. It tasted good and will definitely recommend it. It has bacon, slice melted cheese, cheese and their special sauce, tomato, cucumber, lettuce and onion. The lemon flavored bun compliments with the patty and spices perfectly!

Pika Tower Burger: Gonna Eat Them All

What's more enticing is the nachos. I used to hate nachos because I thought there was nothing special to it but then it makes a lot of sense to me now. 'Twas good and spicy but you will have the rich taste of every spice in it. 

Free Mexican Beef Nachos for every order of Pika Tower Burger but you can also order a single platter for only Php 85

For the price of Php 1198 it already includes unlimited lemon iced tea. Of course there are extra buns for every burger on the stick. You can already have a burger party for your friends and family if you order this one. Unique since you got to take a picture at a tower burger instead of a cake.

Ala Eh Bloggers x Kabatangdotcom x Sweet Kirsh (photo credits to Sir Ray Lubis)


Owned by Ray Lubis and his brother Engr. Robispher Lubis who is currently abroad.


A few months after, another branch was opened together with his friend Owen Javillo. 







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