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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Taking a leap: Cutting My Own Bangs

I was never vanidosa. But name any girl who would claim not to give a damn about their hair, I don't think there's a lot of them out there. Majority would probably (albeit some maybe hesitantly) admit to the fact that they consider their hair to be their crowning glory.

So yes, I do take my hair seriously. Even more seriously than my skin, in fact. When I was single, I used to frequent salons. I don't get to have regular hair treatments and I've never undergone hair rebonding or any of those hair fads (yes virgin hair, i have!) but I've never ever considered cutting my own hair. Not even my bangs. I was never the risk taker when it came to experimenting with my hair (probably because of a few disastrous incidents when I attempted to do so). I've always entrusted it to professionals. And I've always gone the safer, trusted route (which is baby bangs, soft layers, just a little above the shoulders although a few times in college I did went super short but terribly regretted that-pls refer to above side note).

Today, however, I took a big leap and decided the last minute to do my own bangs. I saw this tutorial by My Soul is the Sky  in twitter a few days ago (via manilamommy) but I did not take it to heart then. I viewed it but didn't think I can do it so I sent it to the back burner (i though maybe one day but not now most definitely). I decided to subscribe to the blog though because she did wonderful braids and I wanted to try experimenting on braids when Maia grows her hair a lot longer and seeing it on my reading list somehow got me visiting the site everyday since then.

This morning, I was supposed to go to the salon to get my hair done for a wedding we're going to this afternoon (Tibs and I are going to be principal sponsors for the first time, can you believe that? I still can't up to now hehe) but I got really lazy to even leave the house. Tibs told me my hair is nice looking when tied in a bun so I thought I'll just do that instead. I tried tying it and it looked okay. I noticed that my bangs grew really long though and realized they might look better when they're shorter. Light bulb moment and well, maybe I'm really just braver in the mornings, led me to opening the tutorial and tada, a few minutes after, I have new side swept bangs. I got a bit crossed-eyed making the cut in front of the mirror so I kind of cut the bangs shorter than the tutorial suggested (which was supposed to be just right below my nose but I cut mine a good one inch shorter, see how messy I get?) but when I side-swept it, it surprisingly looked good. So yeah, I'm happy with how I did.

thank you fx camera app for hiding my grey hair! (i have a lot of them already!)
Thank God for the internet. And for tutorials like this! Now I'm off to get myself and Maia ready for this afternoon (she's always going to be an instant flower girl, I hope she doesn't fall asleep this time).

How To Cook Juicy Hotdogs Sans The Scary Oil

I know I have been sharing in my previous posts how I've been trying to get my family to eat healthier this year. We've successfully cut down our meat (basically just pork and chicken since we've long given up red meat anyways) consumption from 4x a week to just 2-3x a week (the rest of the week is mostly just fish and veggies). On weekends however, we allow our daughter to indulge on 'bad' food - hotdogs, fastfood treats, some nuggets maybe. We've never really prohibited her to eat hotdogs anyways (especially during birthday parties) but it was only last year (during the holidays actually) that she developed a likeness for it. Since then, she would occasionally request that I get her hotdogs when I shop for our weekly groceries.

I myself was never fond of eating hotdogs. It was probably because the hotdogs that were served to me as a child were always wrinkly and a oily (they would soak up the paper towels when drained). And they never looked appetizing. My folks had always cooked hotdogs by frying them in oil. But I thought there must be a better way of doing it. So I experimented and eventually got the perfect juicy hotdog even with just a pan as my cooking tool [I was of course comparing it to perfectly done hotdogs in Purefoods'stalls where a hotdog griller (is that even the correct term?) is used]. So how did I do it?

Simple. I used water (about 1/4 cup poured it directly unto the pan with semi-frozen hotdogs already in it) to cook the hotdogs instead of oil. And to lock in (talaga!) the juiciness, I'd add in a teeny tiny bit of butter (like about 1/8 of a teaspoon for 6 hotdogs) when the water is about to fully evaporate and this is what I get.

my point and shoot just wouldn't cooperate with me so i apologize for the blurry shot but see? no wrinkles!
What are you having for breakfast today?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mr. Clean, Mrs. Mess

"Okay, I've tidied up the kitchen. You can now make a mess"

This is Tibs' usual monologue especially on weekends when our helper takes her day off. When I get busy in the kitchen, I really make a huge mess. And since our dining area also serves as our kitchen/prep area, the sight would sometimes bother him to the point of irritability maybe that he'd start tidying up even before I get my menu done. Despite this, he rarely complains. I think he's just too proud to admit it but cleaning up is his therapy just as cooking is for me. And I guess that's where our yin-and-yang really lies: on me being the messy partner and him being the clean up guy. 

When we decided to get married, we never really sat down  and talk about how we can equally divide the tasks at home. But I guess Tibs has always known that I demanded equality even in marriage so the division of labor somehow just fell into place. He's the treasurer, I'm the spender. I shop for groceries, he carries them. I take care of arts and crafts time with Maia, he cleans after us. (Perfect lang, di ba????)

Tibs is really OC when it comes to cleanliness, tidiness and neatness. The guy takes at least 4 baths when he's at home fer cryin' out loud. If that isn't enough affirmation to his OC-ness then I don't know what is. Well I can probably list down several other weird ways of him expressing his being a neat-freak but I won't. Because I love him like that. Lolz. 

I now actually have no idea what drove to start writing this post but my subconscious was probably directing me to make another THANK YOU post for this wonderful guy that decided to marry me for messy or for worse (and even worst). He probably didn't expect it to be as worst as this but I know he already accepted me as me (with the mess and all), so sweetie I THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE (and sometimes even the lack of it hehe), FOR YOUR LOVE AND FOR YOUR ABILITY TO TIDY THINGS UP NO MATTER HOW HUGE THE (MY) MESS IS.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Greens For Breakfast

Really?! Greens for breakfast you ask? Very unconventional, don't you think? My co-workers winced when I mentioned this to them. Well what greens are those exactly?

I'm referring to green smoothies and yes, I'm leveling up with this BETTER ME by the end of 2012 thing. I'm now on my fourth day today. I'm been planning to do this for so long but I always manage to come up with valid (who says so? I DO so!) excuses but because of my BETTER ME project this year every excuse I came up with has since seem very trivial. What sparked and moved me even more to finally do it were several photo posts in Facebook by a childhood friend sharing her new adventures with raw food diet. She had been constantly posting her smoothies recipes and it urged me to finally try making my own. Budget was once a major constraint that hindered me from embarking on this 'smoothie' adventure because the smoothie recipes that I came across earlier called for ingredients that were a bit expensive for me and I couldn't honestly squeeze them into my weekly budget. But when I saw my friend's recipes, I was surprised she only utilized locally and easily available veggies and fruits. Super yey! So last Thursday, while I was on a holiday break from work I finally bought some pechay, ripe mangoes, fresh buko (juice and meat), parsley and bananas. My friend uses buko juice instead of water and I guess that's another thing that encouraged me. Fresh buko on its own it already sweet so I took comfort on that. I trusted that the buko juice alone would save me from feeling queasy about the drink.
before the adding the buko juice
I planned to start last Thursday but by the time I had the ingredients on hand I already ate breakfast so I decided to start on Friday instead. I read somewhere that green smoothies are most effective/best taken as your first 'meal' of the day. That way your body can easily absorb the nutrients in the drink. So Friday morning, I finally drew the courage but kept asking Tibs to wish me luck (yes I know medyo OA) because looking at the veggies and fruits (before blending) I can't seem to imagine how they would taste altogether. But when I finally took a sip, it was amazingly sweet with a slight bitter aftertaste (which to me was quite the good kind of after-taste) probably due to the parsley. I've been having the smoothie since Friday and I can't tell yet if it's making any difference on me. For one I guess, I have to really give up coffee so I can maximize the effectivity of this diet to its fullest. Well, I do not have the drive to that just yet. I've cut down on my daily consumption (from 3 I'm now down to 2 yehey, right?) and I'm hoping by the end of this week I can finally manage with just one cup (goodluck, goodluck!)

My friend also referred me to this wonderful site: Incredible Smoothies and I'm so excited to try the other recipes in here. If you're planning to start on green smoothie diet, this FAQ sheet might help you. 

Cheers to a healthy week ahead for all of us!


To make 1 tall glass of green smoothie, this is my recipe:

1 handful of native pechay leaves
1 handful of parsley
about half a cup of buko juice
about half a cup of crushed iced buko juice (i freeze them using ice bags)
1/2 cup of ripe mangoes
1 piece medium sized banana
wanna share a glass with me? :)
Tomorrow, I'm going to try using native kangkong instead of pechay. Wish me luck! ^_^

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Recipe: How To Make Buco Salad Ice Candy

What you need:

1 cup of cooked sago (I used small pearls)
1 cup of evaporated filled milk
1/2 cup of condensed milk
1 1/2 cup of shredded fresh (and young) buco (coconut) meat
1 cup water
1/2 cup buco water
20-25 pcs of 1.5 x 10 plastic ice candy wrappers

How to do it:

1. Mix the evap and condensed milk together. I do this first to make sure the sweetness of the condensed milk is evenly distributed.
2. Add the milk mixture unto the buco water and the plain water.
3. Stir till milk is thoroughly incorporated with the water (I used a whisk to do this)
4. Add the the sago and the shredded coconut.

5. Funnel unto the plastic wrappers, knot and freeze.

Yields about 20-25 pcs of 5 inch ice candy sticks. Ours is still freezing so I have yet to tell you how it taste but my little girl drank about 1 cup of the mixture this morning and she loved it already so I think once frozen it should taste way better. I wanted to use pure buco water for this recipe but I needed the buco water that I had for a different project so I had to substitute with plain distilled water. You might want to try that on your version though (just a suggestion).

This summer has not been as hot as I'd expected it to be but still ice candies are always the perfect accompaniment to afternoon meryendas - so hot or not - enjoy! :))

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Recipe: Kalabasa and Spinach Soup

My aunt shared this recipe to me a few weeks ago and I was dying to try it but couldn't find cheap spinach then so when the prices went down last week I immediately grabbed a pack and set out to make my version of this soup.

Sad to say, the little girl didn't like it very well. I will have to figure out how to make it interesting but it was a hit among the adults. Maybe I can add cream or milk next time to add in some richness to the flavor.

Here's what I needed to make this soup:

1 piece (about 50g) breast fillet, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups kalabasa (squash)
1 cup spinach leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small white onion, chopped
1 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

How I did it:

1. Saute garlic and onion.
2. Add chicken breast and saute until it changes color.
3. Add in the chicken broth. Bring to a boil.
4. Add the kalabasa (squash) cubes and simmer till tender. 5. Turn off the heat and add the spinach leaves.
6. Season with salt and pepper to taste then set aside to cool while uncovered.
7. When soup has cooled down, pour unto blender and blend till desired texture is achieved. I wanted mine with still some bits of kalabasa on it.
8. Reheat once you're ready to serve.
9. Enjoy!

This is good for 3-4 servings. Best served during a cold, rainy day.

I wonder if what herb/spice I should add to perk up the taste of this soup. Any suggestions?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Dear Perfect [preschooler] Yaya

Our favorite of them all. Ate Inday.
Puerto Princesa airport.
After going through several nanny heartbreaks and eventually moving on, I thought it might serve us well if I list down the points that I would want to discuss with first and foremost with our prospective [perfect] nanny with the hope that they may guide and help Tibs and me make better decisions and choices. I know that I'm dreaming BIG when I say I now want the next one to be perfect. But who knows, right? 

In the meantime, [while we search and search for the elusive perfect nanny] we took in somebody who we thought was good enough. But since our earlier definition of good enough was very ambiguous and relative we ended up with someone that doesn't even meet half of our expectations. I am hoping that by coming up with this list (which I will probably update from time to time) I would eventually be able to come up with a more specific and concrete definition of what good enough is in our household. Good enough might eventually be synonymous to perfect, who knows again. What's important is we have this guide. 

When I finally cross paths with you and accept you in our home, I would like to be assured -

1. That you be familiar with local vegetables and would know how to prepare, cook and eat them. We would really like for you to feed Maia healthy, nutritious food.

2. That you make the effort to earn our trust and not assume that we already put our full trust on you when we decided to hire you.

3. That you stick to the schedules that we tell you especially on FEEDING and SLEEPING.

Ate Bebing. She fattened Maia up.
She was the most patient when it came to feeding chores.
4. That you exercise (using gentle persuasion) your authority as an adult over my kid. The reason why we got somebody to watch over her is because we recognize that she is still not fully capable of making the right decisions. So when she demands to eat chocolate for lunch, you should know that chocolate is not considered as a meal.

5. That you respect our household rules.

6. That since a phone is provided, you let me know when something is not right. And when I say you let me know, I mean RIGHT away. 

7. That when you’re with my kid, you pay full attention to her. We don’t prohibit the use of phones, but even us are not with our phones 24/7. When we’re at work, we focus on our work.

8. Violence is banned in our household. And that includes violence against animals, insects and every living thing you see within the parameters of our household. Yes. I do not encourage you killing a helpless spider in front of my kid. That is beyond horrible.

9. Profanity is prohibited in our household. And when I say prohibited TALAGANG BAWAL PO. So when I catch you, please expect an earful from me. (the kid is really like a sponge you know.)

10. We encourage you to be observant. Our ways and norms can be easily learned, if you just observe. We don’t shout. We don’t hit. And we demand you do the same whenever you’re around her.
Ate Belen. She was Maia's best friend.
But she was really loud so I avoided conversing with her because I'd always get irritated.
That is all I could come up for now. But I am sure this list will grow. For now I just really wanted to write these thoughts down before I forget about them again.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Good Housekeeping Fun Run 2012

This might just be our first family fun run. I've been nagging Tibs to let Maia join us in one of our races since she was gifted with a pair of running shoes (thank you Ninang Ces!). But to date, he has not budged and give into my relentless nagging. I guess one thing that prevents him from letting me have my way are the race fees that are almost sky-high these days, to be honest.

When Tibs started running with his buddies, fees were at most pegged at only P250-300. And they were already running 10k's then. The longer distances would probably cost more but not a thousand like most races are these days. 

But, thank God for small races like this families are given the chance to run and have fun! There's no reason for Tibs to say no this time because at P600 all 3 of us can now register and run! I hope many families would come and join. I'm sure the little miss would be more than glad to race with other kids. 

If you're interested to join, here's a list of the registration centers and other race details:

Race Date: March 31, 2012
Venue: Bonifacio Global City

5K – open category
3K – inflatable obstacle along the 3K route for the child to complete
1K – obstacles are simple mini-hurdles and weavers for the dogs
100m dash – kids 6 below

Php 200.00 for all categories
• Children below 3 years old are free
Php50 per dog
* Dog must have vaccination record upon registration

Registration details:
starting February 4 to March 26, 2012:
- Hobbes and Landes Bonifacio High Street,
Quadrant 2, Unit B14, Fort
Bonifacio, Global City, Taguig
Starting Feb. 4, Daily, 1pm – 9pm

- Hobbes and Landes Greenhills Promenade,
Greenhills Shopping Center, San Juan
Starting Feb. 4, Daily, 1pm – 9pm

- Toys R Us Bonifacio High Street
Upper Ground Level, Active Fun Bldg.
28th St. cor. 9th Avenue, Taguig City
Starting Feb. 4, Daily, 1pm – 9pm

7th floor, Robinsons Cybergate Tower 3
Pioneer St. Mandaluyong City
Trunkline: (02) 451-8888 local 1070/1071
Starting Feb. 6, Weekdays only, 11am – 6pm

starting February 26 – March 26, 2012
- R.O.X.
Bonifacio High Street, B1 ROX Building, BGC, Taguig
Starting Feb. 26, Daily, 1pm – 9pm


Thursday, March 1, 2012


No I'm not pregnant.

But I was browsing through pinterest and saw cookies and muffins and all the good stuff. And suddenly I am craving for the following:

Blueberry Muffins. Fresh from the oven.

Photo from here

Hoshots Burger

Photo from here

A big bar of Cadbury milk chocolate

Parang maliit pa nga ang 200g ano? I want a really, really BIG bar.
Carrot cake with thick cream cheese frosting
Photo from here
Would you know who makes the best Carrot Cake here in Manila?
A bread soup bowl from The Soup Kitchen. But that has since closed (would anyone know if there are still branches open in Metro Manila?)

Photo from here
Well I couldn't find any photos of the actual Soup Kitchen bread bowls so I'm borrowing this photo instead.
Sigh. It's a Friday and I'm supposed to watch my portions but it's just really hard to do. Well it helps though that there's no way I can buy these from where I'm currently at so I'll just keep ogling till my eyes drop. Sigh. Sigh. Sigh.

Yes it really seem like I'm pregnant and I'm sort of trying to but we're not yet there. The truth is I've taken an impossible project that involves me strictly watching my food portions and calorie intake and look where it's taking me. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. This is really not looking good for me.

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