Thursday, December 18, 2008

Leaving on a jet plane

The bedroom which I've been using as a home office now looks like a maze or an obstacle course with all the boxes, gifts, packing cubes and what-nots scattered about. We've been packing and unpacking stuff that we plan to bring to CA because we couldn't decide on the best combination of luggages to bring.

We started off thinking that we'd just use the box for the gifts we're bringing and we won't be bringing that back with us anymore. After we prepared our clothes last night, the 2 carry-on sized luggages seemed bitin. We don't even have space for an extra pair of shoes, let alone the stuff that I asked Mom to bring me from Manila.

So now, we've decided to bring along an extra piece of luggage which we'll be checking in. We'll place one of the carry-ons and nest it inside the check-in luggage so we'll have less to lug around at the airport. If we need the extra space when we fly back to NJ, we'll just take out the small bag and hand-carry that.

The current tally is:
1 balikbayan box
1 check in luggage (w/ 1 extra carry-on inside)
and 1 carry-on bag

Oh yeah, looks like we might have to resort to filling up the box with paper towel rolls and / or boxes of tissues, LOL! We still have the extra space but we don't want to make the box go over 50 lbs.

I'm excited about our trip, going on vacation and being with my family. I will probably want to scream my head off halfway into our vacation - I've gotten so used to being alone - but it will be fun, for sure. Soon, I'll be blogging and saying hi from the other side of North America.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Hot new site!

So I've found yet another hot networking site and the idea behind this one is very fresh and new (now, I sound redundant!).

We all have our favorite things and places, right ? Those cool gadgets that we just can't live without ? Or that nifty toy that would just make our day if we found it in our Christmas stockings ? It could be something as small as an iPod or something as big as your shiny new smart car or something that you absolutely cannot leave your home without - your cellphone. How about that nice, romantic place where you and your husband honeymooned ?

Now imagine yourself being able to connect with other people who own and love the same things and places that you do. Imagine being able to discuss the merits or even exchange wishlists when it comes to the features that you would like for the new version of your camera or iPhone ?

Now, *that* would be cool.

and guess what ? You won't need your imagination anymore because acobay is now here.

Me ? I'm making a list of my favorite things which I have added/will be adding to my account:
- Brother Labeler (Yes, I love to print and stick labels)
- Roomba (gotta love it!)
- Tivo
- Wii
- Guitar Hero Band Kit
- iPhone
- Subaru Impreza (we love our car)
- a Toyota Prius (we don't have this, but would like to hear from others who already have it)

Spinach Alfredo Pizza

This post should actually be the latter half of a two-part series of posts that chronicle our first attempt at making our own pizza at home. I will be writing another post that describes how we made our own pizza dough :) If you plan on making your own pizza from scratch, wait for that post. Otherwise, you could just buy some ready made dough from the store.

Starting off from a pizza dough that has now been rolled out and placed on a roasting pan (again, no pizza pan or baking stone yet). Note that some pizza making instructions advise that you use a pizza peel and assemble your pie on that instead.

Us ? We didn't want to go gung-ho and buy a lot of equipment that we probably won't be able to use for other dishes anyway.

Now remember this when making your own pizza, this site advises us to make sure that the toppings go on a specific order.

1. Pizza Dough
2. Sauce - for flavor and to keep the dough moist.
3. cheese - to keep the dough moist
4. toppings
5. cheese again
6. garnish, if any

Ingredients:
Classico Four Cheese Alfredo Sauce
chopped bacon
shredded ham
shredded swedish meatballs
mozzarella cheese
1 10 oz package of frozen chopped spinach

Step 1: Pour some sauce over your rolled dough and spread it around. Sprinkle a layer of mozzarella cheese over the sauce.








Step 2: Arrange your toppings across your pie. For our pizza, we drained & squeezed the water out of the package of chopped spinach before paying it out here. The topped it with meat.

I half-cooked the bacon in a pan before arranging them on my pie. I wanted to get rid of some of the fat and I also wasn't so sure about putting in raw ingredients since I didn't know how long I was going to bake the pizza before the crust gets cooked.

The Swedish meatballs were the packaged ones from Ikea, I wrapped them up in foil, thawed them in the toaster oven and pulled the balls apart so I could spread them across the pizza.

I also threw in some leftover ham for good measure.

Step 3: Before popping it into the oven, sprinkle another layer of mozzarella cheese over your pizza toppings.

Now, this is where the instructions vary. Some recipes ask that you bake your pizza in the oven at 400 to 450 F for 20 to 25 minutes. Some say to bake them at 475 F for 10 to 13 minutes.

I decided to set the oven at 425 F and it took 25 minutes for my pizza to get done. Make sure that you watch the sides of your dough, once it starts to brown, that's a sign that your pie is ready.



Verdict: yummy! Ang galing.

Santa and Me

This year, I've decided to indulge the little girl in me this Christmas and sit on Santa's Lap. I've always just contented myself with watching the kids line up for their annual photo with Santa and I have to admit that I envy them the experience.

Santa wasn't such a big deal where I grew up - at least, not when I was a child. This time, with the Sit on Santa's Lap Experience offered by Ceiva Digital Photo Frames, I got a wish fulfilled. It's really quite easy, really. The hardest part was choosing the photo to upload and thinking about what to wish for.


I finally chose the picture that hubby took of me while we were goofing around on Liberty Island (NY). That was a fun day for us. As for my wish, I thought about LCD TVs, or another GPS, or even a new car but then I realized that those things won't really give me any permanent satisfaction so I wished for good health for my family and friends. Merry Christmas to you :)



And if you're interested in checking out the video I made, click on the link below. I'm sending this video out to all my blogger friends out there with the invitation to come and sit on Santa's lap. Do pay attention to the Ceiva digital picture frame that Santa uses to show the picture that I uploaded, that would make a nifty Christmas gift, don't you think ? It's way better than the other digital frames on the market nowadays because it has wi-fi. How cool is that ?



I'd also like to give a special shoutout to my siblings and nephews - see ? I get to talk with Santa and make a wish too. See you guys this Christmas!







Hey, do check out the Sit on Santa's Lap Experience and who knows ? You might just get randomly selected as the daily winner and get $500 - that goes a long way towards getting wishes fulfilled.

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Mineral Makeup Update

Remember those mineral makeup samples I blogged about earlier ? Well, I've tried them out a few times and while I wasn't disappointed, it didn't have a "wow" effect on me either. It's probably because I expected to look a lot different than normal so I wasn't seeing what I wanted to see.


When it finally sunk in that I was not going to look like Angelina Jolie after putting on mineral makeup, I did see the improvements. Oh, and hubby's suggestion to just apply on one side of my face so I can compare the results? That helped too.


So far, it seems as if the mineral makeup helped put some evenness and color on my face without making it seem like I have makeup on. This, I like.


I'm now looking for a good makeup brush set :) Would appreciate your feedback & suggestions. And no pictures just yet, diet muna.

Jersey Shore

We live in NJ and we are happy here. But I always find it hard preparing travel itineraries whenever we have guests coming to stay with us. I also find it hard to answer questions like "so, what's there to see and do in NJ ?" That question always gets me thinking and my response would be: NYC, Atlantic City and shopping (no taxes on shoes and clothes, yay!).

NJ tourism brochures don't help at all, since NJ is mostly described as a "Gateway to NY". Even when we go out ? We go out-of-state. Sad, no? I've heard about the Jersey shore a lot but we haven't really gotten the chance nor taken the extra effort to check it out. I loved going to the beaches back home in the Philippines and I always thought that US beaches cannot compare to what we had back at home.

But now, I realized that I was wrong to compare. The Jersey shore, as it turns out, isn't really mainly about swimming (so no worries for the winter visitors). It's all about having fun and being entertained! Why not take the plunge and see about getting a Jersey Shore beach vacation in Morey's Piers. This will surely be a whole lot fun for the entire family with its amusement park and other boardwalk attractions. They are also currently holding an annual holiday sale on season passes to both water parks.

For those still looking for stuffing stockers, you might want to check out the gift cards that they currently have on sale.

After Christmas and New Year, guess where our next long-weekend holiday will be ? *wink*

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Palpak

I've been wanting to try out these bra-protector products since they first came out on As-Seen-On-TV. Girls know how expensive bras can get and since handwashing is definitely NOT in my vocabulary at home, I'm getting tired of finding mine all smooshed up after coming out from the delicate / gentle cycle.

When I found some being offered online, I decided to spring for a couple of these contraptions. Excited, I tried them out the same day that I received the shipment.

Guess what ?

Palpak.

I've never had issues with my compact washing machine before so this never came to mind. The balls are too big for my washing machine. Eventually, I did make it fit by unassembling the balls and then reassembling them & placing the garment inside it while it's already INSIDE of the washing machine.

Hubby laughed when he saw this, he said, "Let's replace the washing machine ?"

That's absurd, of course, a bigger washing machine would not fit in the closet that currently houses the washer and the dryer. So I told him, "How about we replace the house ?"

LOL!

Blurred

I first suspected that I might be having trouble with my eyesight a few months ago when I realized that I couldn't read the program information that's displayed on Tivo. Come to think of it, this didn't seem like a gradual decline. All I knew was that one day, I just couldn't read the small text anymore.

I told hubby and his initial thought was that I must be thinking about buying a new LCD TV and my eyesight was my excuse. Now, you guys know me and how stingy much of a wise-spender I am so the TV excuse is out of the question.

Fortunately, I can still read whatever's on my screen when I'm working so I don't feel an urgent need to visit the eye doctor and have my eyes checked out (or prove that it's our TV screen that's degrading). Mom is going to scold me when she hears about this, but I've decided to postpone my visit to the optometrist until 2009 - this is when our FSA kicks in and what we spend on co-pay & eyeglasses become tax free. After all, we all know how expensive prescription eyeglasses can get, right ?

Today, I am so glad to have stumbled across Optical4Less.com, a site that offers trendy, hip & stylish glasses at an affordable price. If you order more than 1 pair of glasses, they even ship it for free! I'm most impressed with their virtual try-on system, this will help me choose the best frame and style that suits my face.

With glasses starting at $15 ? Who needs to wait for the FSA ? I want to stop squinting when I watch TV now. Besides, I've always wanted photochromic lenses, this seems like a good time to get those *smile*.

Books I've Read

I came across this "Books I've Read" list in one of my friend's site on multiply and I decided to try and see which ones I've read. I just realized now that I read most of the classics in this list while I was in high school. My reading tastes have changed dramatically since then and I now favor science fiction & fantasy books, though I still find the time for the overly-cheesy romance novels every now and then.

How about you ? Which books have you read ? Feel free to snag this :)

-----

1. Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2. Italicize those you intend to read
3. Underline the books you LOVE.
4. Reprint this list in your own sites so we can try and track down these people who've read 6 and force books upon them.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien

3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott

12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens

72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Monday, December 8, 2008

An Explanation of the Financial Crisis

Got this from a forwarded email, if you know the original author please let me know so I can credit this story to him/her.

-----

Young Chuck bought a donkey from a farmer for $100.

The farmer agreed to deliver the donkey the next day. The next day he drove up and said, 'Sorry son, but I have some bad news, the donkey died.' Chuck replied, 'Well, then just give me my money back.' The farmer said, 'Can't do that. I went and spent it already.' Chuck said, 'Ok, then, just bring me the dead donkey.' The farmer asked, 'What ya gonna do with him? Chuck said, 'I'm going to raffle him off.' The farmer said "You can't raffle off a dead donkey!' Chuck said, 'Sure I can, watch me. I just won't tell anybody he's dead.'

A month later, the farmer met up with Chuck and asked, 'What happened with that dead donkey?' Chuck said, 'I raffled him off. I sold 500 tickets at two dollars a piece and made $998.' The farmer said, 'Didn't anyone complain?' Chuck said, 'Just the guy who won. So I gave him his two dollars back.'

Chuck now works as a consultant for Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and the US Federal Reserve.

-----

When I first read this story in my mailbox, I was amused. Now, my feelings have changed from amusement and have turned to disappointment and a little bit of despair. This recession has been hard on a lot of people.

Now, I wonder, if I went to the California Inmate Locator website, would I find Chuck incarcerated ? I hope so. If he's in some other state, he should be in the Prison Inmate Locator site as this contains full Federal inmate records from a lot of other states too.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Mineral makeup bandwagon

I've been hearing a lot of good things about mineral makeup so I decided to join the bandwagon and order some samples.

I very rarely put on makeup - a few times a year at the most - and more often than not, I usually go to the salon to be made up. When I make myself up, it's usually just foundation, blush, a dab of lipstick and brush on some powder (it's a Clinique product, don't remember what it's called?) to set my makeup and I'm done.

Still unsure of my commitment, I decided to do some research and sampling before I spend some serious $$$. I found a good site and brand (Signature Minerals) that offers free samples of their products (you pay for shipping) and ordered some of my own. While I was doing the research, I found out that mineral makeup has been around for a long time na pala and that there are many brands out there. I finally settled on SM because (a) they have samples; and, (b) they have an oriental asian in their before-and-after pages and they also listed the colors that these people used on themselves. This helped a lot because I have no idea what my skin tone is.

Following the advice of the asian in the testimonial pages, I got the following shades:
- 2.3 Light Beige foundation
- 4.0 Light Foundation
- Bisque Concealer
- Rose semi matte blush
- Angel wings veil
- translucent veil

Then the next step was to get a buki brush... I checked and GOLLY, makeup tools are expensive! So I'll skip this for now - since I'm on the trying-out stage anyway - and will just use my retractable Clinique brush (whatever this is) in the meantime.

I have a party to go to tomorrow and if I feel like it, am gonna try this out. If I like how I look and how my skin feels afterwards, I might just splurge and get a set of nice makeup brushes and a good set of mineral makeup.

After all, it's about time for my makeup kikay box to get filled anyway.

Dapat, after nito, maganda na ako. No snide remarks, please :P

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A to Z

A to Z - response to Mandy's tag :)

A. Attached or single ? — Attached
B. Best friend? — Hubby
C. Cake or pie? — Cake
D. Day of choice? — Saturday
E. Essential item? — Phone
F. Favorite color? — Yellow, though this might not be so evident since I don't have a lot of yellow clothing
G. Gummy bears or worms? — bears!
H. Hometown? — Quezon City
I. Favorite indulgence? — Caramel Lattes
J. January or July? — January
K. Kids? — none yet
L. Life isn’t complete without? — God and my family
M. Marriage date ? — Feb 11
N. Number of magazine subscriptions? - 5
O. Orange or apple? — apple
P. Phobias? — Cockroaches that fly and *ulk* chase after people
Q. Quotes? — "Smile at your enemies, it will drive them nuts." I read this from a Garfield comic book and it has never left my mind. When times are rough and filled with adversaries, this quote comes to mind and helps me smile.
R. Reasons to smile? — Love :)
S. Season of choice? — Winter
T. Tag 5 people - Berry, Mai, Tin, Sheryll, and Berns- I would love to read / hear your response to these questions :)
U. Unknown fact about me? - Shy talaga ako.
V. Vegetable? — Eggplant
W. Worst habit? — Biting my nails when I'm tense
X. X-ray or ultrasound? - Ultrasound
Y. Your favorite food(s)? - Purefoods Tender Juicy Hotdogs, I can eat this everyday.
Z. Zodiac sign — Scorpio

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving weekend in Boston

Hubby and I drove to Boston, MA during the Thanksgiving weekend. We figured that it was the best time to go back to Boston to use the Go-Boston cards that we had purchased long ago.

The first stop of the day was 5 Wits, a wonderful hands-on museum that has an egyptian tomb theme. The entire tour lasted around 45 minutes. The goal is to solve puzzles to move on to the next chamber. There were 3 chambers all in all. If you ever have a chance to drop by Boston, this would be a fun place to check out - lalo na if you have kids. :) Note that it does get pitch dark in some places so if you get scared in the dark, keep away.

One of the highlights of our trip was our visit to the New England Aquarium. Hubby - and I think I've mentioned this before - is a great fan of aquariums and this was no exception. We were in awe of the great tank in the middle of the building and used up a lot of our SD cards filming the sea creatures in the tank - I got on the internet and ordered new SD cards when we got back to the hotel. We really need bigger capacity ones.

We've visited a lot of aquariums in the past and we still saw some new varieties here in the New England Aquarium. It was a fun and satisfying finish to day 1 of our trip.

We wanted to do the Freedom trail on day 2. I've walked it way back in 99 (or 2000?) and hubby saw parts of it last year with another friend and this time, we wanted to do it together.

It wasn't comfortable walking the 2.5 miles in 30 degree weather but we did it anyway and finished the trail. I swear, my muscles were so sore the next day. Hubby was tired too but he complained a lot less than I did :)

Considering that it was Black Friday - probably the biggest shopping day in the US - we didn't get to buy anything at all. Given that my uncle serves with the LAPD, it might be nice to get him something that he can use on a daily basis. My search has led me to the LA Police Gear site where I'm thinking of getting him one of these Blackhawk CQC Holsters. He'll surely love this and hopefully, this will remind him that his family loves him and wants him to be stay safe.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

i heart your blog

Thank you, Sheryll for this award :)

***start copy***

The rules of the award are:

1. The winner can put the logo on her blog.

2. Link the person you received your award from.

3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.

4. Put links of those blogs on yours.

5. Leave a message on the blogs of those you have nominated.



Previous awardees: Mabelle, Prily, Ate Norma, I Love Philippines Too, Shenga, Nova, WebbieStuffs, Nancy, Webloglearner, Pinay Wahm, and My So Called Life, Let’s Spice Things Up, Beauty and Shop, Idealpinkrose, allin, kimchiland, Korean Food, The Paper Vision, Embrace Simplicity, Me and Mine, A Window To Our World, A Grateful Heart, Can of Thoughts, A Mother’s Stuff, http://housewifeatwork.blogspot.com/, MommaWannabe, Lourdes Mia, Praning’s Shoutout, When Silence Speaks, Etc Atbp, Aeirin’s Collections, Life is What we Make it, Underneath It All, Cellulitic Bliss, 100% Kelly, C'est La Vie, Our Family Adventure!, PopcornsThoughts


***end copy***



Super late na to, I've seen this tag is most other blogsites but I'm tagging my blog-buddies Mandy, Berry, and Mec in case wala pa :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

bleh

One sign that you over-indulged over the weekend is getting on the weighing scale and seeing numbers you've never ever seen before.

Kainis.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Skinless Longganisa

My sister in California buys the yummiest longganisa at her local asian market. Whenever I visit her, Mom would surely prepare some for breakfast one day and serve it with sunny side up eggs and garlic fried rice. I love my longganisa paired with vinegar infused with garlic & chili too.

The Asian food store that we go to sells longganisa by the bulk and since hubby isn't exactly a fan, I hesitate about buying a package.

A few days ago, I was browsing the web for recipes for ground pork and found a recipe for skinless pork longganisa.

Ingredients:
1 kilo ground pork, 10% fat
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp rock salt (or 1.5 tsp fine salt)
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1/2 tsp ground black pepper


Blend all ingredients together.

Roll a small amount of the mixture in a 4.5 in x 3 in piece of waxed paper

Store in the freezer for 3 hours or until ready to cook.


I have to admit that I did have some doubts as to whether the mixture would stick together while being cooked because there's no egg or cornstarch to serve as a binder for the sausage. But this works.
When ready to cook, heat oil in a wok or frying pan.

Unwrap the sausages and fry in batches until fully cooked.

Drain on paper towels.

These look good, no ? The sausages look so rich and yummy and they were.

Domain

I've been blogging for a few years now - I started blogging with another host before I switched to blogger last year - and I figure that it's about time that I get my own domain. I've been doing some research and so far, it looks like GoDaddy.com is one of the leading providers and most preferred providers among my friends.

Aside from the competitive prices, they also do hosting, aside from domain registrations. I find this a huge advantage because you would only have to deal with one provider if you need the whole package.

Try this out and click on any of the banners below :) I know I will.
$5 off GoDaddy.com

$7.49 .com banner

If you see my blog under a domain soon, it will be because I've purchased one from GoDaddy.com.

Lemon Chicken

Hubby loves lemon chicken. This is actually our 2nd try of this dish, the first one didn't turn out too good.

I've mentioned a few posts ago that we've been making an effort to curb our meat-eating habits and are trying to switch to healthier meats instead (i.e. chicken). Hubby has been talking about his mom's lemon chicken for months and how this would be their default baon for field trips.

We were in Chinatown last week and decided to drop by the neighborhood asian store where we like to do our shopping. We found a packet of Lee Kum Kee Lemon Chicken Sauce and decided to give this a try.

Ingredients:
Boneless chicken thighs
cornstarch (we will season the cornstarch w/ a little salt / pepper in our next try)
egg

1 packet of Lemon Chicken Sauce
3 Lemon slices

Steps:
1. Season chicken thighs with seasoned salt, let this sit in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
2. Beat the egg in a bowl.
3. Dip the chicken in the egg and then coat it with cornstarch
4. Deep fry the chicken until cooked and drain on paper towels.

Sauce: The instructions on the packet only calls for heating the sauce and adding the chicken in. Hubby added some lemon slices and water to adjust the taste.

1. Pour the sauce into a small saucepan to heat it.
2. Add 3 lemon slices and 2 tbsp water.
3. Stir.

To serve, slice the chicken pieces, garnish with a lemon slice and pour some sauce.

Note that we served the chicken and sauce separately because we wanted the chicken to retain its crispyness.

<-- Lemon chicken sauce, costs $1 in Chinatown (NY) Ansarap! We couldn't stop eating and making papak the leftovers.

Btw, we found this packet to be just enough for 4 pcs of chicken.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Pork Menudo

For two weeks now, hubby and I have been having our Friday date night at a Filipino carinderia style restaurant in Jersey City. We actually love the food at another Filipino restaurant more - Mama Fina's - but they have been closed for a few months now and we have no idea where and when they will be in operation again.

So anyway, we've been to the Pinoy restaurant in Jersey City twice now and while we find the lechon kawali quite good, hubby (not a pinoy food fan to start with) has been disappointed with their Menudo and Bistek Tagalog. He claims that they didn't taste authentic - I'm not sure where he got his authentic pinoy food taste ideas from because they surely don't prepare that at home.

This menudo dish I prepared is an attempt to try and see what he expected Menudo to be, the original recipe is from Pinoy Menudo in Visual Recipes.

Ingredients:
1 kilo pork loin (orig recipe calls for pork liempo, I didn't want fatty meat)
1/2 kilo pork liver (we did not add liver)
3 medium sized potatoes, diced
3 medium sized carrots, diced
1 medium sized onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic
1.5 cups of tomato sauce
1 cup water
2 dried bay leaves
2 tbsp sugar (orig recipe calls for 1 tsp only but we adjusted to suit our taste)
  1. Saute garlic and onion in a pan.
  2. Add the meat and saute until meat is no longer pink.
  3. Add the bay leaves, tomato sauce and water. Mix it around and let simmer.
  4. When pork is cooked (in took me 30 to 45 minutes to get to this stage), add the carrots and potatoes and let it cook.
  5. Season with salt and pepper (to taste).

Verdict: Masarap :) Though hubby says that this is not the menudo taste that he knows - syempre, walang liver. And in retrospect, we just realized that the menudo from home also has green peas and garbanzos (?).

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hot & Spicy Porkchops

We may have converted Mommy and Achi, my older sister, to the wonders of Knorr's Hot & Spicy Bake Mix.

Aliw rin to think of the story of how we found this product. Hubby and I were in our neighborhood Asian grocery store when we remembered this one pork dish that we've been aching to try at home - Spicy Salt and Pepper Pork Chop. It's been a while since we were able to order this dish in Chinatown so we (okay, it was me) were craving for the taste.

Fortunately, hubby (thank goodness that he still remembers his Chinese), knows what spice it is that is used in my fave dish. We asked the cashier, she asked a store clerk, the store clerk asked the manager, and eventually, the manager asked the owner. And yes, we found it.

I sent a box over to Mom and Achi in California (each box has 4 packets and cost around $2.50) and sent some pictures of how we prepared our pork chops.

Basically, I get a huge piece of pork - usually, pork loin because it's tender and cut it up into smaller slices. Smaller slices mean that more of the spice gets into the meat and thus, tastier. Mix in 1 packet of the spice for every 2 lbs of meat, massage the spice into the meat and let it stand in the refrigerator for an hour.
Just before frying, I coat the pork pieces with camote powder (because I like the texture, but you can use cornstarch so that it becomes crispy) and deep fry the pork pieces.

The outcome is delish, I tell ya.

And yes, the pic on the left shows that I have no patience for cutting / chopping whatsoever and don't care about uniformity at all. But, however my pork chops look like, they do taste good and contrary to what the label on the spice package says, these aren't spicy at all.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The (crazy) day that was my birthday

I mentioned in a previous post that we (my family) don't make a fuss during birthdays. I expected my birthday this year to be more of the same - same ordinary day, except I was a year older.

A couple of weeks before my day, hubby was already asking questions about what I wanted to do. I told him, "nothing." I just wanted to stay home and rest.

I woke up on Saturday morning to the phone ringing, it was Mom. Still groggy and half-asleep, I allowed the answering machine to pick up and listened to the message "Hi! Are you still sleeping ? or nag ce-celebrate na ng birthday?" I smiled, made a mental note to call them up later in the day and closed my eyes to sleep again.

A few seconds later, my cellphone started ringing. It was my family again. I peeked at the clock and saw that it was 10:30,... I figured it was time to get up. Kwento kwento... then friends started calling. Aliw, I even got a birthday song.

At around 12nn, I prepped the rib-eye steaks that we were having for lunch - that was supposed to be the celebration na - and I decided to make some spaghetti, para may noodles for long life. I wanted a cream-based sauce but couldn't decide on what to include. So wala na lang. I cooked some whole wheat pasta, heated up some bottled Alfredo cream sauce and made bacon bits (crispy fried bacon, cut up into smaller pieces) for the topping.

By 2pm, lunch was ready and I woke hubby up*. After the meal - masarap! - we cleared up the dishes and that was when it hit me.

"This is it ?"

Now that we've had these steaks and the spaghetti for lunch, tapos na birthday ko ? It was a depressing thought. The night before, it had seemed like such a wondrous idea to have the steaks for lunch because:

(a) I wasn't maarte so I didn't want people making a fuss over me on my bday
(b) good excuse to cook the steaks (they weren't cheap) and look at dem steaks, so succulent and cooked perfectly.
(c) tamad to go out

... and I realized that I don't get to go out daily anymore since I work from home and it's such a shame that I would want to spend my birthday cooped up indoors too.

So I cried.

It wasn't the dab-the-corner-of-your-eye-with-a-hanky kind of crying. I sobbed. Ugly, loud sobs. I sounded really pathetic and sad - hubby might have a different take on this, btw. In fairness, I really felt so depressed and insignificant. I was so mad at hubby too. Of course, I said that I didn't want anything special and that I didn't want to do anything BUT he should've made an extra effort. He should've made plans or at least did some research on where he could take me if and when I changed my mind.

My friend, V, commented that I'm "being such a girl" when I told him about this incident.

Thankfully, it wasn't too late to go out for dinner when the drama ended. We had dinner at a small carinderya type pinoy restaurant (my choice) in Bergenfield. We had lechon kawali and pinoy style pork barbeque, we loved the lechon kawali - it wasn't as good as Mama Fina's but this comes a close second. They also serve a lot of rice so Pinoys would be really pleased by this. I swear, we ate so much that I started thinking about having to find a lapband doctor just so I could fit back into my clothes.

After dinner, we stopped by a few stores: Bed bath and Beyond, Christmas tree shop, and a department store where I found my perfect pot. I bought a set and let Mom & Achi know that I was able to find their bday gift for me :P

... and then I was finally happy. Hubby is really such a patient and loving man. I am so blessed.

----

* hubby wakes up very early in the morning to get to work on weekdays so he likes to sleep in during the weekends, also, we usually stay up late - until early morning - watching movies on Friday nights.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Birthday Kaldero

Tomorrow is my nth birthday and I am enjoying my birthday leave today. Yes, we have that in our company.

Mom has been calling me on and off these past few days, mostly to remind me to check out some cookware (sets) that she wanted me to buy as a gift for myself, she will reimburse me later. She also reminds me not to be kuripot and get a good set raw. Cookware is really her and my sister's xth gift idea, I rejected raw kasi her other suggestions.

Funny. I don't have a lot of birthday memories. Maybe it's because we don't celebrate with as much hoopla as other people do. The last birthday I remember celebrating with my family was when I turned 18 and even then, I wasn't so keen on the idea of a party because I wanted a car... (or just the cash) and my parents had already agreed to skip the party. Two weeks before my 18th birthday, an aunt succeeded in convincing my parents that throwing a party would be better for me and that it would give me lifelong memories. So yun. I had a formal debut party and it was indeed memorable. In fact, I still remember NOT getting a car that birthday. I guess this is something I'll remember the rest of my life, my aunt was right :P

So back to Mom's calls. She keeps asking, "have you seen the Calphalon na ? The Calphalon is nice. Check out the Farberware too or the Cuisinart... Choose anything, don't be kuripot ah, ako bahala. Farberware is cheaper but maybe not so good quality, check it out."...

... and I keep thinking that I just need a pot. One pot. That's this big and this high *gestures with hand*. Because my pots now are either too big or too small when I make adobo and this would also be perfect for when I make ma-chang (sticky rice wrapped in bamboo leaves).

... but Mom wants to get me more. Kasi 1 pot is .. cheap ? and after all, it's my birthday. and she's feeling guilty that she and dad have not come to visit us here in NJ. You see, they're in the US a lot but they stay with my sister because she "needs them raw because of her kids". So now, Mom and sis are both feeling a bit guilty and sad for me because they don't get to see me... and are trying to shower me with pots and pans.

*laughs*

But *looks around* where am I going to put the rest ? Bahala na, looks like I'm going kaldero shopping this weekend.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Obama

I've never followed politics. I only read the newspapers when I'm bored, I only get to watch the news on TV if someone else has switched the channel. Even when I was still in school and needed to be familiar with current events in order to keep up with Social Studies ? Nako, my Dad would always have to quiz me and drum the details into my head. He was like my Cliff Notes for the news around the globe.

The past few weeks, I find myself uncharacteristically drawn to the presidential elections. Probably because my 5 year old nephew has declared himself to be Obama's #1 fan because "he's a good man, I saw it on the news" to which his 8 year old brother would respond "what ?? Obama ? But he does not have enough experience! We should vote for McCain!"

Now, I cannot imagine where they got their views from. It certainly was not from the parents because I am sure that they aren't the type to discuss politics, especially in front of their children.

Last Tuesday, Nov 4, I watched the news voluntarily. *smile*

I wanted to see who would win and be the first to tell my nephews. I also wanted to see for myself. After all, our lives would be (indirectly?) affected by this event somehow. When Obama was declared the winner, I rejoiced along with his supporters. Not because I'm an Obama fan but because they were so visibly happy and to be completely honest, I rejoiced because I had not expected Obama to win because of his color. Obviously, America is more open-minded than I thought and this pleases me.

Watching McCain's speech moved me. If I were to judge his possible presidency by his speech alone, I'm sure it would have been a good one. He was very gracious about his loss and when he asked his supporters to support Obama and cooperate ? Wow.

I remember an election in our organization back in college, there were no other candidates for my position so all I needed was a confirmation - at that time, the required # of votes I needed to get was 2/3 of the members, I think. When I was declared the committee chairman, one of the guys* came up to me and told me that he will not support me and that he really thinks that I will not succeed without his help. Over the summer (my term does not officially start until next semester), he would call meetings with my committee members and made plans to impeach me.

He did not succeed. But really. Such hatred!

Having had that experience, it amazes me and moves me whenever I see grace despite these circumstances.

And so, let me end this post with a description of my nephew's reactions when I told them the news:

5 year old: Really ? Obama won ? He's the pwesident ? He is gonna wive in the white house ? Wow! He's a good man. Ahya, Angkong, Ama, Obama won! He's the pwesident!

8 year old: What ?? Mc Cain lost ? Haaaaaay! (sounds of fainting) what's gonna happen to us now ?

-----

* He wanted the chairmanship for himself but unfortunately, he was not qualified to run. He later campaigned, unsuccessfully, to have our org's constitution amended to lessen the residency requirement for officers. We did become become friends again when he apologized months later.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or treat!

Halloween is my favorite non-Federal holiday (all Federal holidays are favorites because of the no-work aspect). It wasn't as popular as it is now when I was growing up in Manila and I kind of envy the kids nowadays who get to dress up in costumes and go trick or treating.

Me? I'd be too embarrassed.

So this afternoon, I decided to treat myself to a hot caramel (decaf) latte - alangan naman that I trick myself, diba ? Of course, I had to have a donut too. After all, I did walk all the way to Dunkin Donuts :P

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wedding Photographer

I love everything about weddings - the accessories, the gowns, the jewelry, the flowers and most of all, the photos. I got into the habit of checking out wedding galleries when I was nangangarap about my own wedding (haha!) years ago and now, 20 months married, I'm still at it.

Anyway, I was just browsing through a photographer-friend's website and thought I'd make a post about him. So if you are looking for an east-coast based wedding photographer or know of somebody looking for one, check out Sachi Villareal. There is, after all, an advantage to having a pinoy photographer cover your wedding - mas makulit, mas aliw, and mas pinoy.

Love namin si Sachi :P

psst. sachi, adobo naman at crabs ;)

and btw, Sachi just started blogging too!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Baptismal in NH

We found ourselves trekking (drama!) to the far north east region of America last weekend to witness the baptism of a friend & officemate's son. It was a 4 and a half hour trip each way but we were looking forward to it because we get to be with our friends again, as I've said to another friend earlier, we all live so far away from each other now, and these occasions come so far and few in between so we look forward to them so much.

Baby was baptized in a quaint, small town (?) church in NH and I only wish that we could've taken more pictures of the grounds. A photographer friend took more pictures so I'll just make do with his as mine turned out to be dark.

The inside of the church was beautiful too.

The ceremony was solemn and very beautiful. The Deacon did a great job of including us all in the ceremony and asked us all to bless the baby as he was baptized. Nakakatuwa. And, btw, the parents were able to talk the church into giving a special ceremony on a Saturday so theirs was the only baby being baptized that day.

And before I end this post, I'll take the opportunity to do a little plugging to my readers who might be interested in some of my friends' services and products:

The cake was made by our friend, keykgirl. [website to follow]

My photo doesn't do the cake justice and I hope to find a better shot somewhere. If you're on the lookout for some yummy & pretty cakes somewhere in the MA/NH areas, drop me a line :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

n@wie ako

Mommy Laya from n@w made some badges and I just had to get one.

Never mind that I am feeling the pressure of tomorrow's trip to HQ and this week's application release, I just had to take a break from work and get a badge. Mine's posted on the left side of this page, just below my list of favorite things.

If you're a n@wie, don't forget to check out Mommy Laya's page and pick up a badge for your blog.

.... and I also leave you with a funny - but timely - picture that I got from an email from a high school friend. I owe you guys bloghops and I still owe Sheryll a tag ;-) Will get back to it when I get back from HQ at the end of the week, hopefully.

Presenting, the new US Dollar bill:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Home made peanut butter

So I haven't posted anything from my kitchen for a while so I thought I'd post this entry...

I remember having peanut butter & pandesal for merienda when I was a kid and as an adult, after outgrowing my peanut butter & pandesal phase, I still enjoyed the occasional spoonful of peanut butter that I'd have for fun :P

But really, it's so easy and cheap to get peanut butter so who would've thought that I'd be making my own peanut butter at home ? I found myself needing peanut butter urgently because I had just found a new recipe for Aristocrat-style chicken barbeque and I desperately wanted to make java sauce. Absent-minded me forgot to include that in yesterday's shopping list so what was an aspiring cook like me to do ?

Yes, make my own. Madali lang pala, as I always say, "almost everything can be googled nowadays."

  1. What you need are the following key ingredients: Roasted peanuts (unsalted) and oil (I used olive oil).
  2. In a food processor, put around 1 cup of peanuts and 1 tsp oil in a food processor and process it for a few minutes until you reach your desired consistency. I like my peanut butter a little chunky so I ran this for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Taste and season with sugar and salt as needed and pulse a few more times to make sure that the salt / sugar is mixed in well.
  4. Keep your peanut butter in a glass jar and refrigerate. I used up 2/3 of the resulting peanut butter for my java sauce and this is what is left.

I don't know how long this is going to last but we plan on consuming this in the next few days anyway.

Now that I've done this and it turned out well, I don't think that we'll be getting any more of the store-bought stuff. This is way better and probably much healthier than the commercial ones.

In fairness, masarap ah.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Shopping-savvy

Did some grocery shopping over the weekend and we've really made a more conscious effort to economize. Not that we're scrimping on food (it's obvious from the way we look that food isn't something we scrimp on, haha!), but we just try to avoid buying non-essentials.

<--- But *this*, I couldn't resist buying. It was selling for $4.49 and the grocery store has a promotion and will give out a $4 checkout coupon which you could use for your next shopping trip. I also had a $3 off coupon for this item which I had clipped & saved from the newspapers a long time ago.

To show you the math: $4.49 (original price) - $3 (coupon) = $1.49 + 7% sales tax = $1.60 (amount I paid).

$1.60 - $4 coupon which I can use for the next shopping order = $2.40

The way I see it, I am getting paid $2.40 to BUY this product and use this. Yes, I am a coupon clipper and I'm not ashamed to admit this. I keep telling my Mom that this is an art, it takes a certain type of coupon-savviness and patience to wait for just the right combination of in-store promotions and manufacturer's coupons to get the best deal possible.

I may not be able to claim to be a successful entrepreneur like Andrew Wilshire, I may not have high-impact Internet marketing skills that's a big help to clients and his ability to create long and short term financial strategies are surely beyond mine (read my previous 401k post), BUT I can surely say that I might have a little edge over him when it comes to shopping for groceries. Because this, I know. *grin*

This is one of those times when I absolutely love being on the consumer side of the market.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Super duper Upset

The downward market trend in the US is making a lot of people unhappy.

Me especially.

I just checked my 401k account and saw that between July to September 2008, I lost $7k.

Upset is too mild a word to describe how I'm feeling right now.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Hacked

I turned my desktop on this morning because I wanted to scan some documents before I shred & throw them away. After scanning, I just left it on, thinking that I might need to print something out later on.

Now, I work from home during the day and when I lifted my eyes from my (company-issued) laptop and glanced at my desktop screen, I saw the mouse pointer moving! Surprised, I got the mouse and tried to get control of the pointer. When I stopped moving the mouse, I saw the mouse pointer move to click on the Start button, then it went and looked at the programs that are installed one by one before it finally settled on the icon for IE and clicked on it.

While I was watching those actions, I was thinking that it might possibly the hubby who was accessing my computer from his office. He has this thing about leaving PCs / laptops on all the time and then just would just connect remotely to retrieve files that he needed.

Anyway, when IE went up, I realized that this could be a hacker so I pulled off the internet cable. Then, I disconnected and turned off VNC.

I called up hubby to confirm. It wasn't him.

I thought that with a random (or so we thought) password for VNC, firewalls and an internet protection suite installed, we'd be safe. Apparently, not.

From now on, I will be vigilant and will shut down computers in the future. I've also turned off the wifi in our laptops, will just turn them on when we need them.

Grabe, *bleep* hackers.

Propagating Friendship Award

I love the blogs of these people and I'm glad to pass this award onto them! All they need to do is to leave the following message on their post when they pass the award on to their chosen eight bloggers.


My thanks to Mandy for this award.
I'm passing this award to the bloggers that I've recently met and have started to love: Eds, Tin, Chocobread.
(Bitin ng konti yung tag *blush*).

Monday, October 6, 2008

Creative Blogger Award

Many thanks to Sheryll for this Creative Blogger award :)



The rules are:
* The winner may put the logo on his or her blog.
* Put a link to the person you got the award from.
* Nominate five blogs.
* Put links to the blogs.
* Leave a message to the nominees.


This is such an old tag and I find that most people have already done them so I'll just pass these on to two bloggers who are obviously very creative: Cidy (with her cooking) and Berry (with her egg masterpieces).

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Back from Boston

Last week has been a very busy week for me. I'm now all caught up with work and almost 100% caught up with my correspondence, I have just a few more emails and requests to go through and I should be all set before the weekend sets in.

We presented our product to a big (potential) client last Tuesday and I've been busy preparing for that in the days preceding the meeting. That explains my lack of posts and why I have not been blog-hopping lately. In theory, we actually had plenty of time to prepare for this meeting since this was scheduled almost a month ahead of time, but you know how things go in our world - people cram.

Unfortunately, the work that I do places me at the end or near the end of the process and I usually have to suffer the delays and it's usually up to me (and my team, if they're involved) to make up for the delays. The sample data that our partner promised to provide didn't get to me until Thursday (it was promised a week earlier) and I worked non-stop, till the wee hours of the morning, to get it loaded and set up in my demo application in time for Tuesday. This even took up half of my weekend.

Anyway, the hard work paid off and the presentation was flawless (tooting my own horn here *wink*). It was a success so far as presentations go and we're now waiting for the client to make a decision on which vendor they would go with. I've done a lot of these sales presentations in the last several years and the excitement, while still there, does not last that long anymore. I'm not usually still this hyper days after the meeting but this one is different because no less than 6 people (from the client side) approached me separately (in the hallway, in the restroom, in the meeting room, etc..) to commend me on the presentation and to let me know that I'm doing a good job. Nakakatuwa. Their kind words make up for the late nights ... somehow... :)

The best part, I think, is the fact that this was the first time that my new boss (since 2007) has attended a product presentation for this application. I'm hoping that seeing how our product is perceived by potential users would give him some ideas on how we could improve our application and do better in the future.

...

I have to say that my mood (while I was on the business trip) was also lifted a little by the hopes that I might be pregnant. My period is very regular and I can predict my next period to the day and oftentimes, to the hour too, and this month's got delayed and I was so hoping that this is it.

Sadly, we weren't meant to conceive a baby this month yet as I just got my period today. 9 days late. Hay. Home pregnancy tests can be quite expensive and I would rather forget how many I used up this cycle so I'm not even going to put the number down here. :P

A friend, Ivy, advised me a long time ago not to get my hopes up each month because I might just be setting myself up for a lot of disappointment each month. Relax lang daw. She's right, I'll probably set an appointment for a pampering session at a local spa one of these days (haha, excuse!).

Friday, September 26, 2008

Flowers from Berry

Thanks Cidy for this tag. *smile*

The rules of the award are:
1. The winner can put the logo on her blog.
2. Link the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of the girls you've nominated.


This tag doesn't give any reason but after some thought I realized that one doesn't need any reason to give flowers, right ? So with that, I've decided to brighten up the days of the following people:
- Tintin, Mandy, Mec, Sheryll, Arlene, Jane and Thet (nanganak ka na ba?).

Monday, September 22, 2008

Pinoy words of wisdom

The past week has been hectic and fun as we showed my brother around the east coast. I owe some tags from Berry and Sheryl and I'll get to them as soon as I catch my breath (and get all caught up with work).

We took a lot of pictures, courtesy of my new digital camera (the Canon SD1100is), but unfortunately, while we were in Washington DC, we opted not to charge it after using it on day 1 and we ran out of juice in the middle of day 2. We thought that it would last another full day. Thankfully, shoti brought his own digicam and we got some good shots in.

In the meantime, while I try and get things sorted out here on my end, I'll leave you with some Pinoy words of wisdom that I picked up from a blogger-friend, Ayeen.

6 tips for a happier life:

1) Lahat ng problema may solusyon , kapag walang solusyon, huwag mong problemahin.

2) Always remember - kung kaya ng iba, ipagawa mo sa kanila ,bakit mo papagurin ang sarili mo?

3) Hindi lahat ng gwapo may girlfriend , ang iba sa kanila may boyfriend.

4) Di bale nang tamad di naman pagod.

5) Practice makes perfect , but nobody is perfect so don't practice.

6) Don't face your problem if your problem is your face

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Counting down the time...

... till I see my younger brother.

He will be visiting us for a week and we're taking him on a whirlwind tour of the east coast. If you don't see me dropping by your blogs, that will be because I'm on tour guide duty :)

Our itinerary includes:
- a Washington DC trip
- trip(s) to NY and a Broadway show, he requested that we watch The Phantom of the Opera

Saturday, September 6, 2008

May Contain Nuts

Nothing beats a hot fudge sundae on hot days. We dropped by McDonald's today for a sundae fix after a long day of house cleaning.

Floors and kitchen counters have all been scrubbed clean - all furniture and appliances moved out of the way while the surfaces were being soaped and washed - and everything is so smooth now. In fact, I think the floors are too clean / smooth because I almost slipped twice. We've wiped down all the cabinet doors and surfaces with Pledge too. Saya.

All day long, hubby and I keep telling each other that we should have visitors more often, para ma force kami mag general cleaning. Rugs have been beaten, vacuumed and/or washed and everything has been dusted.

Tomorrow, we're going to the supermarket to stock up and will probably declutter the house by moving some boxes to the basement.

I'm telling ya, we deserve that sundae!

Anyway, we also found this package of peanuts (sundae topping) very amusing. Check out the allergen warning / information at the back of the package where it says "May contain tree nuts".

MAY CONTAIN ? E peanuts nga eh. :-P

Friday, September 5, 2008

Disappointing

We wanted to have Filipino food for dinner and drove all the way to Bergenfield to our favorite Pinoy restaurant, Mama Fina's. I almost cried when I saw their empty parking lot and I wasn't smiling when we saw their closed doors and the dark interior.

Labo.

We decided to eat at another restaurant called Tocino Grill on S. Washington Ave which our friends had earlier recommended and surprisingly, it was closed too. A sign saying "We are close[d] indefinitely" was posted in front.

Labo again.

Went to Baja Fresh instead and I filled up on tomatoes (pico de gallo) from their Salsa bar instead so it didn't turn out too bad.

The best

My little brother who - at 28 - is not so little anymore, is coming over for a visit next week. He arrived in California last night and is staying at our Achi's place right now. It's been more than a year since I last saw him and I'm too excited for words. I have taken a leave of absence from work next week and am looking forward to showing him all the nice places in the East Coast. My bro has been coming to the US annually for several years now but he never comes to NY for a visit, I usually fly there and we all stay with my sister for a few weeks.


Anyway, I've been doing some tidying up of some sort in preparation for his visit. I've been using our 2nd bedroom as a home office since our NJ branch closed last year and it's too cluttered already.


Yesterday, I (finally!) washed the queen-sized comforter that I decided to use as a bedspread / quilt / cover for the bed in the 2nd bedroom. Since it's freshly laundered now, I could put this back in storage and this will be taken out for use next winter.


I store our comforters / sheets and bulky winter jackets in spacebags. Gosh, this is such a convenience! The picture shows a large spacebag with a queen-sized comforter (folded in 6 layers), it's so thin - around half an inch thick.


Note that it's still not perfect though, even though it's nicely vacuum packed and sealed, it doesn't last like that for very long. Air starts to seep in after a couple of months and the package will start getting bulky again. In my case, this isn't so much of a bother because even if the packages start bulking up again, they're already wedged in the shelf anyway. If I take an item out or if I need to add another space bag, I just vacuum the rest of the bags and I have space again.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Quotes from UP Professors

I received this in an email from a fellow UP-alumnus, another friend posted this in her site and I decided to do the same. Super aliw kasi. Note that this is an edited version (from the original email), some quotes/comments about other schools have been taken out.

Reading the quotes brought back so many memories of my years in UP. I have to admit that I do not know the professors who were quoted below but I have my share of very memorable moments:

1) Freshman year, day 1 of Soc Sci I classses.
A young guy walks in and sits on an empty chair and starts listening to conversations. 15 minutes later, he starts a conversation with one of our blockmates
guy: "hey, kilala nyo professor dito ?"
classmate: "Hindi eh, ikaw ? Kilala mo ?"
guy: "balita ko gwapo yun"
classmate: "ah ganon? paano mo nalaman?"
guy: "Ganito" [stands up and walks to the front of the class] "Okay, class, my name is Professor ....."

2) Sophomore year - my friends and I were walking along the AS building when we ran into our Soc Sci I professor from the year before and in a very loud voice, he starts saying:
"O, nandito pa rin kayo ? Ang tagal tagal ko na kayong nakikita sa UP ah, ano ? 7 ? 8 years na ? Hindi pa rin kayo gru-ma-graduate ?"
We were so embarassed :P

---- start forwarded email ----

"The aim of policy making is to invoke action! Because action speaks louder than words! You do not just say I love you. You say: If you love me, enter me! " - Dr. Alfonso Pacquing

"Class, next week na lang ung result sa exam nyo. I am having a hard time checking it. I will seek first the divine guidance on what to do about it. Class dont worry about your grade. Let me worry about it." - Sir de jesus, envi sci 1

(valentines day)
"Ano ba yan? Students ba kayo ng UP? Bakit ang bababa ng scores niyo? Siguro wala kayong date ngayong valentines kaya ganito kayo. Losers!!! When i was your age i had a date. Hindi ba naapektuhan ng UP FAIR euphoria ng grades niyo? Parang di kayo masaya..." (sabay matching tapon ng quizzes sa sahig) "I won't record this. Go find a date." (sabay walk out.) - Sir Doliente, BA

Ma'am: Many people believe that we, psychology graduates can read minds...
(silence)
Actually, we can.
Class: Weh.. Sample..
Ma'am: Right now, you think that I'm bluffin
- Ma'am Chei Billedo, Psych

"I don't give surprise long exams. all exams are announced. Halimbawa, Class, mageexam tayo, NGAYON NA!"
- Ma'am Chei

"The human body is 70% water. Kaya wala kayong kasaysayan lahat. Pag may kaaway ka, sabihin mo sa kanya, TUBIG KA LANG!!!
- Dr. Recio

"Oo, nagpapaulan ako ng uno... baket? aanhin ko ba nun? di naman ako yayaman dun."
- Sir Atoy Navarro, histo I

(commenting on a thesis of a senior student)
'Yang thesis mo? .. Mamamatay ka!! Mamamatay ka!!' - Dr. llanes, UPM.

"Nasa bandang gilid ang fallopian tube. Kaya kung gusto niyong magka-anak ng asawa niyo, dapat nakatagilid kayo habang gumagawa." - Ma'am Meggie, Zoo 10

"Last sem was the first time that I gave a grade of 5, and it felt good!!!" - Prof Goldie, Comm II, circa 1998, first day of class

"atheist ako, pero pag nasa bahay, nagro rosary kami ng Nanay ko, eh kung magalit sa kin yun."
- Socio 11 Prof

"you do not fall in love; you rise in love. That's how you love rationally."
- Dr. FG david

"Try to die! Try to die!" - sir billones, on a student who is palpitating while taking the exam.
He claims that after incident refreshed na lagi yung estudyante. If I
know, pag naaalala ng estudyanteng yun yung moment na yun, kaya siya
laging refreshed, kasi natatawa siya pag naaalala niya iyon.

"Anong molars? You don't say molars because it is an adjective! Do you say beautifuls?"
- ma'am ilao, to a student who said "n molars"

"Kahit magpakamatay ka pa di mo masasagot yang problem set na yan dahil pang-157 (phy chem II) yan!" - ibid

"Do not memorize! Analyze!"
- doc nic, advising us, her students never to memorize reaction mechanisms

"Kaya nga ideal eh, hindi siya nangyayari sa totoong buhay. Pero an approximation is good enough" - sir engle, on ideal and real systems

"Don't take the BAR and yourselves too seriously. baka mabalitaan nalang namin na nag-o-oral summation kayo sa Luneta. O lumulutang-lutang sa Pasig River. Enjoy yourselves, relax, and read at least 15 hours a day. Nakakabobo ang sobrang tulog. MAg relax ka habang nagbabasa. Magrelax habang nagmi-memorize. "

"Pag nananaba ka sa oras ng exams, ibig sabihin di ka papasa."

"Oh the BAR isn't scary. It's terrifying. It might even kill you."

and the unforgettable: "Wow. Rape-able." and "Stand up Miss ___ so that I might see the contours of your body."

alternately encouraging and disheartening ang drama nitong prof na'to.

Ito naman from our Prof. Ancient:
"Mga engineers? Nako. Bihira pumapasa sa BAR."

"UP ka nag-undergrad? Bright ka ba?"

"Sa mga taga-UP lang ako bilib eh. Pagpasok nila sa lawschool, hindi sila disoriented. Bilib ako sa study habits na meron yang mga batang yan. Some of them look like they eat kamote thrice a day, pero ang utak, di ututin!" (ewan ko kung matutuwa ako dito o hindi)

sabi ng aming dean who is 80 yrs old, "class you're laughing now, but i will predecease you all"

prof: O, meron na bang nakapunta sa inyong XXX
class: (tahimik)
prof: (medyo nadisappoint) Ano?! Puro na lang ba kayo aral? Aral na
lang kayo ng aral, ha? Wala na kayong napupuntahan kakaaral niyo!

same prof: Nakita niyo na ba ang Hoover dam?
class: (tahimik uli)
prof: Hehehehe, ang yabang ko talaga!

Second day of classes
Same Prof: (kinuha ang box ng colored chalks) Ano ba naman ito...
(tapos iniitsa sa lamesa yung mga dark colored chalks)
class: (tahimik na nagmamasid)
Prof: Class, sulatan niyo ang manufacturer ng chalk na ito, at
sabihing tanggalin na ang mga walang kwentang kulay na ito... brown,
green, violet. hindi makikita ito sa board. Convince them
class: (tahimik at gulat)
Prof: and .25 incentive sa final grade niyo!

terror prof after an exam (last day na din ng class..): ok class.. see
you next sem!

"The more wisdom you obtain, the more you shut your mouth. This is because the more that you learn, the more you realize that there are even more things that you do not know. The true mark of an idiot is a loudmouth, the true mark of a wise man is humility" - Paraphrased galing kay PI100. Puta best prof sa CAL.

"IE? Di naman engineering yun e" -Thesis adviser

Classmate: Ma'am, pwede po bang next week na kami mag report?
Ma'am: Alam mo, God is good. And I am God. So yes, pwede next week.

galing kay sir U eliserio during creative writing class...
"try everything once except incest"

and one day pumasok ng room, galit na galit. hinagis ang bag sa table, nagwawala sa harap ng room dahil hindi daw nasagot ng previous class niya ang question niya. kaya dapat daw masagot namin, ang makasagot may plus points. kapag walang makasagot, lagot kami. ang tanong.... "class, sinong lalaking artista dun sa TV show na wonder years"?

"Mamatay na mangopya..."
"Ang hindi maka-100, bobo!".

"im gay. so gay i could show you my penis because it is but an accessory to my body" - jean navera, spcm1

FIRST DAY OF CLASSES: "Kung may boyfriend o girlfriend kayo na hindi taga-UP, hiwalayan niyo na agad. Walang pupuntahan yan. Hindi kayo magkaka-intindihan. Tapos yung mga anak niyo, magiging bobo. Gusto niyo ba yun?"

ANOTHER PROF: "Hoy girls, wag kayong kukuha ng boyfriend dito sa UP. Pare-parehas tayong mahirap dito. Kumuha kayo ng mayaman. 80% of the child's intelligence comes from the Mother naman eh. Kayo guys, wag kayo kukuha ng bobong babae. Kahit matalino kayo, magiging bobo anak niyo."

sa PHILO:
"I THINK THEREFORE I AM FROM UP!"

"Class, kaya mahal ang bayad sa mga professors sa ibang school kasi ang bobobo ng mga estudyante dun. Dyuskoh, I used to teach there... at lumuluha talaga ako ng dugo bago maintindihan ng mga students yung sinasabi ko. Ang mahal nga ng bayad, magkakasakit ka naman sa panga kakaulit ng lessons! Wag na lang! Dito na ko sa UP, at least nagkakaintindihan tayo. Diba?"

Dahil kami ang mga huling estudyante ni Dr. David at mahal na mahal namin siya, nag-compile kami dati ng mga quotable quotes mula sa kanya. Ito ang ilan:
"Meanings we find are the meanings we make."
"The measure of a man is how many doors he has opened to other people, especially to those he doesn't know."
"To be born is to die. In between they grow and multiply like flies. 6.2 billion people in the world. Kadiri, ano?"
"Why not life? Why call it soul? Call a spade a spade."
"Earth is the only heaven we can know."
"religion is a successful economic institution"
"Do not live long enough to be worthless."
"Domestication of the human male is one of the greatest achievement of the human race."
"I do not know many. I only know enough to teach my classes."

"We do not accept anyone here in class except for those who are members of a certain minority group. For example, gays are part of a minority group, bakla ka ba? If you admit to this class that you are gay, then I'll admit you"
- Prof "hail to the chair", to a guy student na nagpre-prerog

"kapatid ng sinungaling ang magnanakaw.
"ergo, gma's marriage to mike arroyo is null and void ab initio."
consti law class, 1st sem, AY 2005-06

"running for summa ka? mapapagod ka lang."

"Si Miriam, crush ko 'yun dati. Muntikan na maging kami, kaso nasiraan ng ulo, kaya 'yun, iba ang asawa ko."

"Class, gusto ko kayong i-train na mag-English, so when you're here in class, magsalita kayo ng English! Ako lang ang exempted dahil matanda na ako at ako ang teacher!"

Ma'am Vitriolo (2nd to the last meeting)
Okay class, next week, we start the lecture proper.

more of Ma'am Ilao
"Hindi mahirap makakuha ng UNO sa class ko. yung gumradweeeyt last year na Magna Cum Laude ng Biochem, uno siya sakin sa Chem 18"

Sabi ng Prof ko dahil may kaklase akong recite ng recite w/o raising her hand
"I think this is the first time i have a student w/ tourette in my class..."
Recite parin ng recite yung student
"Wow the ejaculatory comments just don't stop!"

from my socsci1 prof last sem: "Birds of the same feather FLOCK together...don' t forget the L".

"I'll strangle you, strangle you really hard, smack right in your jugular (pause ng mga 5 seconds), you do know where your jugular is?"

"Be ready with your speech because I am going to lambaste you!"
-namutla nalang yung classmate kong freshie after hearing sir navera sa spcm 1 namin

'bakit parang napakaligaya ng klase niyo? maging sad naman kayo, 5 mins.'
- prof ko sa math 100.

"well of course when you sell your soul you have to make an elaborate justification to make yourself feel good." -Sir Walden Bello, Socio 127

"ano bang natapos mo? italian 8?"
"punyetissima! " (sosyal pati mura italian!)
"look at me i'm 433 years old pero ang lakas lakas ko pa. eh kung walang gulay eh di kakain na lang ako ng damo. kung wala eh di tubig, kung wala mag-ipon na lang ako ng laway." -Sir Tiamson, Italian 11, this sem

When you graduate, then you begin to live. -Dr. Carmen Jimenez, Psych 118

from Prof Soresca in my spanish 1 class
Prof:"Mr. Gatbunton, why are you late?!"
Student:"Sorry Mam, galing pa ako Las Pinas."
Prof: "Ladies, don't marry somebody from Las Pinas because they have bamboo organs!!"

"there are only two countries who still use Fahrenheit.. the United States of America and Liberia... a pathetic country in africa" - Sir Argete

Marx is more Christian than Christ and Christ is more Marxist than Marx. - Sir Lanuza.

sa geol11, ayaw mag-recite ng mga classmates ko..
sabi ni ma'am cathy
"wag na mahiya, you have nothing to lose but your face.."

si sir agapito..habang 2nd exam at malakas ang ulan..
"ang lakas ng ulan, ayos yan at least hindi halata pag umiiyak.."

Class: Sir, sa exams po ba nagbibigay kayo ng partial points?
Prof: Hmm, if I see partial wisdom.

"It's okay to smoke inside my class. As long as you don't breathe it out." -Dr. Obsioma, Biodiversity

"Oh, this is good. It's poetic because it's perfectly stupid." -
Ricardo de Ungria last week on my classmate's work.

Prof: Did I remind the class last meeting that we're going to have an exam today?
Class: (dead air)
Prof: Ok, it seems I forgot to remind the class that we're going to have an exam today. I'm giving you five minutes then to buy a bluebook. We're going to have an exam today.

sir tiamson (span 11)
"ayan, di ka makasagot. yung bakal sa ngipin mo naapektuhan na yung pagsasalita mo"

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

My Nephew

Achi (my sister) called last night and told me a story about my younger nephew, Lyle. She had been out that morning and left her cellphone at home. When she got back to the apartment, the little guy comes running to her ..

Lyle: Mommy, 2 people called you.
Mommy: Really ? Who ?
Lyle: your mother
Mommy: My mother ? Who's my mother ? do you know her ?
Lyle: yes, your mother... my Ama, she called and asked for you.
Mommy: oh, and what did you say ?
Lyle: I said you went to the bank.
Mommy: and what about the other one who called ?
Lyle: it's your sister
Mommy: my sister ?
Lyle: yes, my A-i.
Mommy: what did she say ?
Lyle: I don't know

and the little guy left to play.

There were a few things "off" with that story.

1) Our mom had called my sister that morning but it was the older son, Lance, who took the call. Lyle was probably playing pretend and wanted to give a message to his mommy too.

2) I didn't call.

3) Lyle seems so fond of talking about people in terms of their relationship - "your mother", "your sister", "my brother".

This conversation has made the most impact so far but I can recall other instances when he would say "where did my brother go ?" instead of "where did Ahya go ?" I also remember that he was very fascinated with our family's relationships during my visit last June, these are some of his questions & comments:
  • "Are you my mom's sister ?", "Are you and my mom sisters ?"
  • "Is my Aku your brother ?", "Is my Aku my mom's brother ?"
  • "Who is your mother / father ?"
  • "Hey, my Angkong is your father ?"

I remember a time when I heard my sister call from the kitchen, "kids, can you ask your A-i to come out to eat ?" Lyle comes into my room and tells me "A-i, your sister is calling you." We were so amused at that time.

We would correct him, of course, but he would just answer back and say "but she is your sister, right ?" And, how would you counter that ?

... and one time, I called my sister's house to look for my Dad (my parents were visiting and staying with my sister that time), Lyle answered the phone and when I asked for "Angkong", he ran off and I heard this going on:

Lyle: Angkong, your daughter is looking for you.
Dad: Bunny? (that's my sister's nickname)
Lyle: No, Angkong, your other daughter!

It's funny, amusing and given that he's only 4, this is still cute. Lyle's older brother, Lance, did not go through this phase. Ganon ba talaga ? Are there any mommies & daddies out there who've seen the same behavior in their children ?