Dec 30, 2011

Day 35 - 40

Because I'll be very busy in the coming days, indulge me as I squeeze 6 days in one post :)

Day 35 - A picture of your hometown
I've been living here since birth but I don't have a real picture of my hometown. Haha. This will do. :-)

Thanks Google Maps! ^^,

Day 36 - A picture of your favorite toy when you were younger
Polly Pocket. I have a Country House, a Pizza Parlor, a Ski Chalet, a heart-shaped small house and the one in the photo below - a Mansion! I'm pretty sure you can tell which is my favorite! Haha. I and Ate Pants play with these all the time. With our Polly Pockets combined, we get our very own village! Geez, I miss being a kid! :-)

Credits here and here.

Day 37 - A picture taken at school
On our last day as students of our beloved Pamantasan.

Day 38 - A picture of your favorite drink
When I'm too tired or too sad, I buy myself a grande Java Chip and the world is a better place again. Haha.

Day 39 - A picture of your favorite food
No other than home-cooked Pork Sinigang. I am sooooo bringing packs of Sinigang Mix to SG ;P

Me: *drools*

Day 40 - A picture of your friends
Lucky to have these people in my life!

Happy to be almost halfway through the challenge,

Dec 29, 2011

In 7 Days... as I know it will turn upside-down.

Remember I told you that there's another reason I bought myself a laptop but can't disclose it until it's a hundred percent sure? Well today, I received the confirmation. I'm leaving for Singapore in 7 days. For work. For the entire 2012.


I know I've wanted this opportunity for so long but now that it's here, I can't help but ask myself if I'm ready for it. Like, emotionally. I haven't been away from my family in my entire 23 years. I can't last a day without Haley. I'm sure as hell I can't take more than a week of not seeing J. I need a regular dose of girl bonding. And in a week I'm off to a foreign land for a year-long assignment. Seriously?!


I have my flight details now and God knows I've been holding back the tears since I opened that e-mail attachment. It's no turning back. It couldn't have happened if it wasn't meant for me. I can do this. I am doing this. For my family. For J and I's future. For my career growth. No one said it's gonna be easy, but I'm certain it's gonna be worth it.

Wish me luck. Lots of it.

And if you have time, listen to this song 'coz I've been LSS-ing on this for the past X days.

Day 34 - A picture of your favorite morning

J and I having breakfast in our veranda at Keni Po Rooms in Tagaytay
our first out-of-town trip just the two of us :-)
Imagine cuddling the entire night then waking up to a misty morning still in his arms.
Talk about life's simple pleasures :-)

P.S. You don't mind my straight-out-of-bed look, do you? :P

Dec 25, 2011

'Tis the Season

Me, Junie, Micah, Dad, Haley, Mom, Faye and Choy

From our family to yours, a merry and meaningful Christmas! :D

May we all experience the joy of the season in the company of people close to our hearts.

And oh, Happy Birthday Baby Jesus! :)


Dec 23, 2011

Day 32 - 33

Putting these two in one post coz they're related anyway :-)

Day 32 - A picture of what you did today
Day 33 - A picture of somewhere you went to today

Are we really just a day and a few minutes to Christmas? By looking at the traffic and the crowd at the mall, yes, it really is Christmas. So today I went to SM Makati with J to do some last-minute shopping then grabbed a quick dinner at Mc Donald's (I never realized I miss McD till I got the first bite of the fries.. haha!). We just got home and guess what, I still have a couple of persons in the list without gifts :(

You done with your Christmas list? Clock's ticking!

Day 31 - A picture of food you made

I like the 100-day picture challenge because I get to share photos from yester-years... Like this one... :)

This photo was taken Valentine's Day last year. We just go out on V-day year after year so I thought we needed a breath of fresh air -- We're celebrating at home! I cooked Carbonara for the first time and not to toot my own horn but it was a massive success! J getting a second round was enough proof ;-)

To your left is what we had for dessert, a refrigerated cake also made by yours truly (gosh this feels so long ago -- look how small Haley is in the picture!). I painstakingly wrote those 3 characters using strips of ripe mangoes with oreo bits on the background. In fact, I almost didn't wanna slice my masterpiece when it's time to serve! Hahaha!

I'm making this combo again for Christmas Eve and if you don't have plans yet for your feast, you may want to try them. Yes, I'm sharing the recipe! :)

Pasta in Creamy White Sauce (Instant Carbonara)
Credit goes to my friend Noreen for the original recipe but this one I already tweaked to my liking :-)

* 1 kilo spaghetti noodles
* Cooking oil
* 250 grams bacon
* 200 grams ham
* 1 chicken breast
* 1 small can of Jolly button mushrooms, sliced thinly
* ½ cup butter
* 2 cans Jolly Cream of Mushroom
* 2 packs of Nestle All-purpose cream
* 1 small can of evaporated milk
* 1 pork cube
* 1 box of quickmelt cheese
* regular cheese (for toppings)
* 8 cloves garlic
* Pepper

1. Cook the noodles according to package directions.
2. Boil the chicken breast, shred then set aside. 
3. In a pan, fry the bacon until crisp. Let it cool down then dice into bits. In the same pan, fry the ham. Cut into squares.
4. In a separate pan, in low heat, melt the butter and sauté the garlic. Mix the cream of mushroom, all purpose cream, milk, pork cube and grated quickmelt cheese. Continuously stir until the sauce starts to boil so that it won’t stick. If the sauce is too thick, add a little water (be careful not to add too much of it cause the sauce will be bland).
5. Add the mushrooms, ham, chicken and about 2/3 of the bacon bits. Add pepper to taste (no need for salt as the cheese is sufficient). Simmer.
6. Put pasta into a plate then add sauce. Top with bacon and cheese. Voila, Carbonara! :-)

Ref Cake a la Maude :P

* 2 packs of graham crackers
* 3 packs of all purpose cream
* 1.5 cans of condensed milk
(Note: My milk to cream ratio is 1:2 because I have a sweet tooth. By all means, adjust it to your preferred sweetness.)
* Ripe mangoes and oreo bits for the toppings

1. Put the condensed milk and all-purpose cream in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
2. In a rectangular tray, lay the graham crackers. Make sure that there are no spaces as this will make the cream go all the way to the bottom of the tray once poured.
3. Pour the milk and cream mixture until the layer is completely covered.
4. Put strips of ripe mango on top of the cream. I used to think this is optional but soon I figured that this is the secret to a moist ref cake cause it prevents the layers from sticking together, thus absorbing the cream between them :-)
5. Repeat steps 2-4 till you fill the tray. I can usually make 4 or 5 layers with the ingredients above. Tip: Spare a generous amount of cream for the top layer.
6. Now do your thing with the strip of ripe mangoes and crushed oreos. Be artsy or cheesy, totally your call! :-)
7. Refrigerate for 6-8 hours. Serve with a smile ^_^

Happy Christmas Weekend, dearies!

Dec 20, 2011

Day 30 - A picture of your favorite quote

Agree? :D

Because I Deserve It...

I bought myself a Christmas gift!

Well, not really "bought" cause it's from BPI's Installment Madness but I'm still gonna pay for it so what the heck! Haha.

I figured that now is the perfect time to buy one cause the kids' school work is getting more and more demanding leaving me little to no time at all to use the laptop for just surfing the net or blogging. Now my old laptop is theirs and I can tinker with my lappy as much as I want, in the comfort of my own room even. Thank God for wifi, as well :-)

Now allow me to share with you how great a deal it is...

I got it at Php37990 at 0% interest for 12 months and with the Buy Now, Pay Later promo at the Installment Madness, I'll start paying for it on March pa! I opted for it because the two preceding months will be financially stressful for me (with the post-holiday expenses and Faye and Choy's prom on February, good luck to my pocket, really! Haha). And then there's actually another reason, a major one, but because I don't wanna jinx it, I'll be mum for now. Promise, pag sure na, I'll blog about it right away! :)

Next, the specs...

     * 2nd generation Intel Core i5-2430M Processor (2.4GHz)
     * 14.0" Diagonal HD BrightView LED Display
     * 640GB Hard Drive
     * 2GB DDR3 RAM
     * WLAN and Bluetooth
     * DVD Optical Drive
     * New Mobile Intel HM65 Express Chipset
     * Radeon Graphics
     * Genuine Windows 7 Home Basic (64-bit)

Another laptop brand offers an i3 processor at the same price so I preferred HP. My Compaq (an HP product also) served me well for 3 years -- and counting! -- so durability is out of the question. RAM and disk space are tip-top too! Now I can have all my files in one place without compromising the machine's performance. And the color! Oh my goodness, the color i L-O-V-E!

But wait there's more!

It comes with a free Snap-on cover in Leopard and tell me, what could be more fabulously fierce than that?! Raaawwwrrrrr!

Other freebies include:

- an upgrade to 4GB RAM
- a beautiful leather messenger bag... not your ordinary laptop bag, I tell you! (note to self: take a picture of it to show it to you! ^^,)
- an optical mouse
- an HP digital camera worth Php4000 (approx) -- with my Canon Ixus and my friends' S95, I'm not much of a fan of this one but a freebie is a freebie, yeah?

Oh before I forget, through the BPI rewards program, the purchase also entitled me to a 6-pc Chicken Bucket and 3 servings of Spaghetti from Jollibee. We have a lot of kids so this came in handy last weekend! Talk about free advertisement. Hahaha.

With my new baby, hopefully I can organize my files and blog more often now. Crossing my fingers and toes here!

Cheers to 2011 and the blessings that came with it! :D


Dec 19, 2011

Day 29 aka Our Christmas Tree! ^^,

If there is a "Blogger with the Most Backlogs" title, I'm definitely one of the toughest forces to reckon with. Haha. Seriously, I have a loooooooot of stuff to share but I haven't gotten a lot of time! I wish I could just stay at home and blog the holidays away but you know, with the Christmas rush and all the work-related tasks that needs to be done, that is just impossible.

Okay, I digress. Back to the challenge now. I still think this picture is that which always makes me smile but because it already has its own post, I'm picking this one instead:

I have always wanted a pretty tree and finally, wish granted.
Btw, we chose pink and violet because it's my and Haley's favorite color!

Yes, looking at our Christmas Tree makes me smile these days. It makes me feel that Christmas is really just around the corner (6 days left, my goodness!). I have my Tita Antin to thank for this -- we shouldn't be putting up a tree this year but she gave in to my little wish and we went all the way to Divisoria to buy the entire set. And because caring is sharing, I'm giving you a closer look at the ornaments and a run down of the costs.

The tree itself is of Scotch Pine variant (they have what they call the Monterey variant but it's much pricier, like in the 3k range). It's 5 feet tall at Php1000. That's our lead decorator right there. Haha.

The pink Christmas balls cost Php 160 per canister of 20 (or 24? I forgot!). It comes in 3 finishes: matte (the one in the photo), glossy and glittery.

The medium-sized poinsettias cost PhP 120 per dozen. We got two. A dozen was put in the mesh ribbon (as shown) while the another dozen was scattered all around the tree.

The mesh ribbon made of Sinamay is the modern-day garland. I think it's more beautiful and classy! We got ours in cream and gold but there are other colors available at PhP250 per pack. The vendor volunteered to tie it into bows for us free-of-charge (or not! haha), and it made 11 ribbons.

The LED lights cost Php180 per box of 100 lights. We got two but a box is enough for a 5-foot tree. It's a little more pricey than the ordinary ones but according to the vendor, it doesn't overheat even if you leave it on over the night so it's safer. Ours is white but like the ribbons, it has other colors as well.

Our angel tree topper is soooo pretty and perfect for our motif! It's at Php150 only! :)

Et voila! Our 2011 Christmas Tree with our little girl too happy for words :-)

I'm not sure if what we got are the cheapest there is in Divisoria but it's definitely a far cry from the overpriced ones in the malls! Here, I did the math for you ^_^

Add Php30 for the salesgayguy's talent fee. Yes, may TF! But since it's Christmas, pagbigyan na. Haha!

There, you've seen our humble tree and how much it takes to get one. All items are bought at Tabora Street in Divisoria, Manila. Click here for the map :)

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Dec 14, 2011

Planning 2012 the Starbucks Way

I'm sure you all have heard of the Starbucks Planner Promo running from December 13-15. But for those of you who haven't, here it is:

Coincidentally, I already have 12 stickers so I and my cousin just grabbed 2 Christmas drinks yesterday and I already got myself the planner. Lucky me!

I think Cherry's the prettiest shade.
Okay, I'm biased! Haha.

I've been using planners since I was in college. I tried those little ones from Papemelroti, the Cosmo Datebook, the Belle de Jour Power Planner for this year and now I'm trying out Starbucks. I actually have no plans of joining the sticker-collecting bandwagon but the size and weight of this one is irresistible! Haha. I don't want to just leave my planner in the office again (like what happened to my BDJ 'coz it's too big and bulky) so SB planner's perfect!

You have until tomorrow to take home your very own Starbucks 2012 Planner, if you haven't already! :-)

Dec 11, 2011

Subic Trip with J's Family: Ocean Adventure

Note: This is the last (and loooooooooong overdue) installment of my Subic series. I thought I have to get this up before the year ends! Haha!

After recharging over the night and grabbing a quick breakfast, we checked out of the villa as we're all set for our Subic Day 2 destination:

This time, J's driving and that made me kinda lonely at the back seat (you see, I'm used to cuddling with him during long travels). That's his kuya on the passenger seat, guiding the way with his handy-dandy GPS.

But you know what, whenever he checks me out on the rearview mirror, with that look that I know is mine alone... I melt. Cheesy, yeah, but it's true. Hihi.

Anyway... going back to the trip, somewhere along the way to Ocean Adventure, we had to pull over because these monkeys deserve to be photographed! Haha. They're at the road-side, as if waiting for tourists to pet them and feed them and click away. That's exactly what we did :-)

When the bigger monkey came near (he's scary, he looks like he's the superior guy there), we went on our way. At around 10am, we got to Ocean Adventure. Mr. Sun's already up and about but we still stopped by the facade to take pictures.

Unlike Zoobic Safari, we didn't have promo tickets here so we availed of their regular rates:

I'm not sure about their height requirement but sadly, Jhay's nephew who's just about to turn 2 on December is no longer entitled to the free admission :(

Our tickets ^_^

Since it's Halloween, we were greeted by crew members dressed in spooky costumes. J wanted to take a photo with the zombie nurse and patient but since I'm not very fond of creepy stuff, I only let him pose by these 2. Hehe.

I also went inside the souvenir shop but didn't have the time to look around so I just took this shot.

We were given this flyer containing the show schedule. No need to worry if you miss a show because if you look at the image closely, there are re-runs throughout the day :-)

We headed straight to the Seaside Stadium to catch the Adventures of Olongapo Jones. It's more of an environment-centric kiddie show complete with a Kuya Kim-look alike lead character and his mascot friends. Hahaha.

This next act was a hit to young and old. The 2 guys were supposedly the villains in the story (they were the illegal loggers Olongapo Jones and his friends were aiming to catch) but with their trampoline tricks, they were easily the heroes of the show :)

*This is the part where I discovered the photo collage tool of Picasa. I swear I almost cried when it did the trick in a few seconds! Haha*

Of course, the show had a happy ending with O.J. and friends catching the bad guys and the bad guys then promising to work hand-in-hand with the team to save the environment.

After they took their final bow, all roads led to the El Capitan Theater where Dolphin Friends Show will be staged. On the way, I couldn't resist taking a photo of the serene Subic Bay.

As soon as everyone had settled, these adorable sea creatures started to strut their stuff. Really, I was amazed at their talent! These are the moments I wish I had an SLR. The following pictures don't do the show justice but at least you'll have an idea :)

Three dolphins and a baby whale wowed the crowd with their skills.

Oh, credit goes to their trainers, too.

The third show was another display of the brilliance of our marine friends - the Sea Lion Marine Patrol Show. It was pretty entertaining and what made it special was that one of the seals was actually blind but still proved to be as talented as the others.

I particularly loved the stage :-)

Sorry for the poor lighting but you can still see the seals naman, di ba?

Finally, we went to their Eco-Theater for Walk on the Wild Side where a native aeta talked about Jungle Survival 101.

At this point, our stomachs were already growling so we didn't finish the show. We proceeded to Ocean Adventure's cafeteria where Tita Meg and company were already waiting. As expected, the queue was long so it took us another half an hour to have these...

 Sinful Lechon Kawali for me :-)

Salisbury Steak for J

The food is good but the prices are on the steep side. If I remember it right, my plate cost PhP 250 while J's at PhP 190. Without drinks pa yan.

After lunch, we took a quick tour inside their aquariums. I didn't find anything extraordinary inside, just like a much smaller version of the Manila Ocean Park.

Sharon and Gabby daw sila :P

I missed J here. He's already outside getting the car :(

One last group shot.

Overall, I think we got what we paid for at the Ocean Adventure. If you're heading to Subic with your family, don't miss to include to include it in your itinerary. I'm sure the kids and kids-at-heart will enjoy!

And of course, what Subic trip would be complete without a stop-over here? :D

Duty-free shopping at Royal.

By some stroke of bad luck, the window switch of our car malfunctioned. J had to stay in the parking lot so I really didn't enjoy shopping. I only bought a few chocolate bars (which I regret, by the way, coz they're so cheap there!) for pasalubong and then spotted an All Flip Flops outlet at 40% off so I bought us these matching slippers. Nice, no? ^_^

These are only Php 567 a pair. I thought the purple and pink combo is too feminine so I got J the brown one. Ending: He's inggit with mine. Haha.

On the brighter side, not having J beside me that time game me a chance to bond with his mom. We strolled in the supermarket together and she told me a lot about J and their family. Being able to spend time with my MIL2B is truly a rare opportunity and for that alone, I'm very thankful that this Subic trip came to be.

We drove off soon after and reached home in less than 3 hours. Thanks to the Hipolitos and Paulinos for making my Halloween weekend fun and truly memorable :-)

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