Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Decorating with Green and Red Theme for Christmas

It's already past midnight here, I know. I have been busy catching up with the workload. Whoever claims that working in the government is the easiest, they are either the lazy ones or they never worked for any government agency at all. I have worked for two government agencies and even here at my new office where there are just 200 employees, I am overloaded (and underpaid? well, compared to what the private counterpart of my position). That's why I am still up, preparing for my trip tomorrow.

I have lots of photos for you, especially the DIYs that we have done so far for the christmas season and recipes but don't have much time to transfer photos from my camera's memory. When I get back, blogging will be on the top of my list.

For now, here are my favorite desserts (two flavors, of course):

yogurt with strawberry syrup

yogurt with choco syrup
We live in a small town and having access to this kind of sweet treat is a big deal already ( because yogurt is not an organic in this country. ice cream and ice candy, yes but yogurt is still a bit new to the general population so its a store for this one is something that you don't see much in small, rural area)

For DIY inspirations, here are some ideas from the web:

1. tree planters for small christmas tree: you can buy a $1 worth tree planter from the garden store + spray paint.

2. garland for the christmas tree(not the venetian star topper) : if you will look closely, they used buttons (white ones) instead of the usual ribbon/garland type on the tree. The venetian star can be DIYed as well (but that is another story)

or you can go for a green and red books display for this season. That way, you can design using books that you already have. or anything green and red design that you have will do. You can display them around.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Cheap DIY Wreath for Christmas

We (I) have been busy with the decorations.
This is one of the many things I have done in the house.
It was easy and cheap because there are lots of stuff to choose from.
I bought the materials from the local dry/wet market.
The salesgirl offered the cheaper, not assembled wreath materials, but I told her I prefer the one already shaped into a wreath since it was relatively cheap and will save me time.
Then I bought the other three decor for around $1.

Here is the breakdown cost:

$1 = 43 pesos (you can do the math, but basically its around $2 in all)

After 5 minutes, here's my DIY wreath on our front door:

I did not use any glue since the ornaments have a wire that you can twist at the back and you're all set.
It's an easy-peasy ornamental wreath, making the holiday preparation stress-free.

Linking this to:  

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Simple Everyday Foods

Christmas season has started on this side of the world. The shops are now full of decors that one can choose from, cheap to expensive stuff. Our tree is decorated and I will be posting a photo one of these days.

On the other hand, our experience on our domestic life continues. I have a househelp who do the cleaning/unclettering everyday, sometimes cook dishes (but we are hoping she learns to cook them well), do the laundry and ironing and stay at home housesitting all day long. Most of the time (even when we are at home) she stays on her cellphone chatting over with her friends and boyfriend. Lately, this is getitng on my nerves because she seems to be forever on it and would get into a shouting match with whoever is on the other line.

I am now in the process of creating a procedure manual for her (aka schedule of cleaning and other how tos) to follow because she seems to be forgetting most of the things that should be done. Simultaneously, I have been on the hunt for recipes that we can actually use with minimal supervision on my part. My househelp's idea of vegetable dish is mixing all the vegetables available in the refrigerator into one single dish (imagine potato + squash+ eggplant+beans, all in one dish). I am glad to finally found another local blogger who is into cooking. Here are the his dishes that I am hoping to make:

1. Stir-fried chicken and vegetables

 recipe via
2. Pork Giniling

photo and recipe via
3. Pork Menudo

photo and recipe via
4. homemade no-bake macaroni and cheese

photo and recipe via
So far I have tried cooking japanese curry, fish fillet, pork and chicken adobo with a twist, and chicken adobo. I will be posting them here soon.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Easy to Cook Fish Fillet

This is my first time to cook for the family. And I am carefully choosing my first dish (?!). Here's the easy to cook fish fillet:

fish fillet with store-bought sweet and sour sauce
It was an easy task and the family loved the crispy outside,very soft inside texture.

Here's how to do it, amateur-style:

You will need:

1 pack of fish fillet (approx. 500g, store bought fillet)
1/2 slice lemon
3 tbs soy sauce (i used kikkoman soy sauce, that's how i roll.)
3 cups japanese breadcrumbs
1 egg
oil for frying

1. cut the fish on your desired size.
2. mix the lemon juice and soy sauce in a bowl. marinate the fish for 10 minutes. set aside.
3. prepare your fyring pan. heat the oil.
4. Here's a trick that will require your attention. *just kidding. but i read somewhere that there is a tendency of getting a hard crust not the light and crisp that you like if you roll the fish on the crumbs and set it aside for frying. You must do the dip in egg followed by roll on crumb method then fry on the pan to get the right texture.

5. Fry until lightly golden brown. Serve with rice.

The serve with rice is optional.  G ate it after lunch without rice. But since we eat rice on every mealtime, I recommend you eat the fish with rice. That's hiow we do it here. 

linking to: Shabby Nest , Whipperberry

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

DIY: Old Furniture + Spray Paint = New Bookshelf

My first major DIY is this: an old shelf that is a staple on old houses from the 70's.
This is courtesy of my MIL. So it cost me nothing.



 Our new place's wall  was painted white and my goal is to introduce pops of colors through furniture. For this project, I have chosen a spray paint color of sky blue. It cost me less than $2 (99pesos) for the can of  paint, nothing more

Here's how I did it: 

  1. I wiped it with a damp rug and let it dry for at least 30 minutes. It was a sunny day on this part of the globe so drying is not a problem. 
  2. Then I started on spraying the entire thing.I am lazy and the materials for DIY are not available ( MIL do not DIY) so I did not sand or primed it. I just sprayed. The husband even joined the fun! 
  3. I left it to dry for few minutes.

Warning though, you have to do it outside where ventilation is good because spray paint really smells. 
I did not distress it because there are sides where the brown paint seems to shows off, giving it the distress look  that I want (another bonus for me).

I had fun doing this project because its my dream to recycle/reuse something. and it cost me $2 for a brNS new looking furniture!

I will be linking this to the following Linky Party :

1. Today's Creative Blog

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Going Do-It-Yourself

It's good to know that we will have our own place before the year2012 starts. And I can finally incorporate my own style on our new home. For my first two projects of DIY here are the plans:

1. Re-upholster an old sofa.

  • Sofa: MIL's old rose-colored sofa
  • Fabric: I have been eyeing Ukay-ukays (Goodwill version of PI). There are several stores near the market that opens only during Saturday. Or a new fabric from Divisoria.
  • Paint: Will buy (I don't have stash of paint somewhere since we are starting on clean slate. No accumulated things for us).
  • Instructions: Little Green Notebook, Design Sponge and Apartment Therapy. They seems to have posted instructions about re-upholster at almost the same time {though AT has referred to Little Green Notebooks DIY that lead me to the blog}. Below are snapshots of their works:
 both made the project look I easy to make. Something that I have to decide once I started the project.

2.  DIY Curtain {Print Using Stencil}

  • Curtain: Thrift Stores or Fabric Stores whichever cost lower. On thrift stores, I am hoping to buy old bed sheets. On Fabric stores, I am eyeing plain, cheap fabrics.
  • Paint: Will buy
  • Instructions: Apartment Therapy, here and here.
These are the pictures from AT:

the projects look easy to do, I hope they are. :D

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Hello Monday. Goodnight Sunday.

A storm is probably brewing on the lower part of our country again. Although it was a wet Saturday, we were able to catch up with our sleep yesterday. It was cold and raining every few hours, sleeping is necessary.

After the Sunday service we went to the mall to pay to our internet provider. We got hungry and ate some of this local delicacy: Bibingka:

locally grown coffee + hot bibingka + rainy morning = love
Sorry about not posting a photo that I actually took. Photo was from their Facebook account. It was really delish.

The husband has finally talked to the InLaws and we are officially anticipating the Moving Out within the month. We are looking for househelp, so we have to wait a little bit. But all plans are already laid out.

For the interior inspiration, here goes:

from here
Love the color combination.

photo here
Wont be able to have the same look on my small kitchen but this is a very nice kitchen that I can't get out of my head.

from here
This is my favorite. I'm not sure if this is the second time I have posted it here in this blog. I love this DIY.

Good night Sunday, Hello Monday.

Have a good time this week.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

White and Wood for My Kitchen

We are trying to fix the things that went wrong last month. So even if it seems that our home ownership is postponed, we are looking forward at the rental of our first new house. It is probably a small one {honestly, we have seen a vacant space near our in laws house} but we are still excited. Because I am scared of clutter, I asked my friends and relatives to skip the dinner wares when planning for their gift on our wedding. I am glad I did because they will probably not have survived a year.

Inspired with our ongoing plans, I went blog surfing of course. Although not a blog, I often visit Etsy. Even if there are only few selling their stuff at our local Etsy here. Here are the beautiful things I found:


stoneware covered casserole
ceramic plates
potential DIY bench?

don't you love them white and wood?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

DIY Inspirations

I caught some bug two weeks ago but it did not stop me from reporting to work and blog hopping for things that can inspire our "put on hold" home.

Here are the things that I might ask a local carpenter to do for me {since pottery barn and other stores like these are not yet available here in our town}:

clean lines, wood + white drawers underneath = love. found here.

photo credit
The white sofa is my all time favorite. I will probably reupholster MIL's rose-colored sofa to white. The wicker baskets are cheap buys here. I remember buying something like that when I was in college for a P100 ($2).

dining table from Target
I love white and wood. Finding that dining table available here locally and affordable would make me one lucky homeowner.

My aim is to have less cluttered house, living in the conditions that we have right now. We are not sure when will that happen but I know its gonna be soon.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Life is a Blessing

I have been down with a flu but worked the entire week after taking a one day break to let my body heal a bit. It's not an excuse for not blogging, my target is to blog at least twice a week but it is impossible right now. So many things has been  keeping us busy.

photo from flickr
Our home ownership seems to be on hold again.

photo source: unknown

And we are keeping our fingers crossed that things will work according to the (revised) plan: buy the smaller lot and pay for it before the month ends. Then we will be paying for the funds that we borrowed to pay the lot in full. for two years. so two years of no house of our own yet. Then we will start building.
or maybe, we will be migrating somewhere, outside the PI. New Zealand, maybe?

image from flickr
WE are still considering a small house. A rental perhaps so that we can play house like real family. Well, let's hope that the lot acquisition pushes through first, then we will have our teeny tiny rental house for two years ( we've asked around and found a small house we can rent for awhile).

I am still inspired. and will continue on dreaming of having my own space.

For now, here are the photos that keeps me planning, doing and working on something we will own someday.

From Apartment Therapy, of course.

I love this simple bench. from here.

another angle, facing the bench (behind the white sofa)
I love white sofa and white walls. Don't you?

Friday, September 2, 2011

How Do You Spend Your Weekend?

One of my blog hopping agenda is looking at how people from other places spend their days particularly on the food that they enjoy. Based on the blog comments from my favorite sites, there are lot of us who are interested on everyday, ordinary people's way of living. For those people out there wondering how we spend our ordinary day here in the Philippines, here's mine:

Yes, you are looking at an arcade machine. We spend our Sunday (after church) at an arcade playing games. And this is my favorite game because I always win tokens:

This is not the ordinary day things. I had this baby back ribs while vacationing in Cebu City, visiting my best friend working there.

Another food while on Cebu vacation. We ate at the famous AA's Barbeque :

One of my ordinary day activities, playing play-doh with kids. Yes, I did that, dressed the gecko toy with clay, a summer outfit. or maybe it's a spa for mr. gecko.

And this is part of my weekly grocery shopping list. They vary of course but you can already imagine how my grocery bag contents look like.
and this is an authentic Filipino sweet from one of the cafe near a tourist destination in our town, Sampaloc Lake. This delicacy is called suman for those living in the metro. I don't know what its called here {my bad}.Its a sweet sticky rice with sweet coconut syrup.

I wanted to show off the house that we purchased but its too soon to do that because we are having some issues with the financing. What are the things on your everyday, ordinary life?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Decluttering Yahoo E-Mail Account

My day would always start with blog hopping and pinterest "pinning".
Pinterest account have served me well until I forgot my passwrod and user account.
 My bad. 
I am back to pinning again since I was able to retrieve the information I need to get back on the roll.

image credit here
Another thing that kept me busy this week is my email organization.
Yes, I finally found the time to work on my email account and remove the 9,000 unimportant emails that has been there for years.
After deleting those, I feel sort of free from clutter.
That was for my yahoo account.

My gmail is another story.

I haven't started on working on it.

image credit here
With the yahoo account, I have been using the "Other InBox" organizer that comes with the email. It makes deleting messages easier and faster.
You just have to click the icon on the left side bar and it will prompt you to update your settings.
The cons will be additional folders on your account with names like OIB Home, OIB Social Network...etc. existing and new emails will be categorized there.
Then you can delete.
If you haven't tried it, do it now.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Home Ownership in the Philippines

We are in the process of waiting for our home loan application results.
The ad says processing of the loan will take five days. 

The home ownership is putting us into another level of planning and organization. I have failed terribly on the planning part. At least around 25K has been lost from my poor planning and maybe we will have another dent on my planning ability when we are done paying to the realtor. Silly me have forgotten the registration process right that comes after paying the whole amount. according to some website the transaction cost comprises the following:
  1. legal fees
  2. local transfer tax
  3. deed of sale 
  4. Capital Gains Tax
  5. Real State agent 's fee
  6. document stamp tax fee
the last three items will be shouldered by the seller and the first three will be the one the homeowners will have to prepare for. Based on the computations, legal fee such as notarial will cost around P200 per document, local transfer tax will depend on the zonal value imposed by the municipality government and the documentary stamp tax will cost around P15 per P1000 (value of the property, i assume) or 1.5% whichever is higher. House and lot with value of 2.5 Million below are VAT-exempt so mine will fall under that category. To give an idea of how much a registration cost will be, the example on the website provided a computation of around P28,898 for a 12M property. If the zonal value is not that high, our house  and lot processing fee will probably cost around 4k.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Vice Ganda Concert: An Hour Late and Other Weekend Specials

I watched Vice Ganda's concert at the Araneta Coliseum, Friday night.
S/He is more than an hour late. 
I was pissed when the show have started and told my best-friend that even if Vice makes me happy and rolling with laughter the whole show, I will blog about the tardiness. 
She was late. 
But I laughed non-stop till one o'clock in the morning.

While waiting, we had our fill of Jamaican Pattie. It is one of the hubs favorite.

my favorite, Beef Pinatubo. This is the spicy one.
(photos from their fb page.)

Sleepless from the show, I have to proceed to our family date (I missed the seminar at work because it will be impossible to get back to the metro on time, i feel sort of guilty). 

mozzarella sticks

banana split worth 25 pesos with edible bowl

banana split (again!) with textured ice cream

pizza, Hawaiian and bacon&ham
I had a great week although the rest of the Sunday was spent sleeping almost the entire day, thus we were not able to attend the Sunday service. 

I hope you had a great weekend too.


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