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


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


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!).