December 6, 2016

Holiday Gifts

It's few weeks more before Christmas, and to avoid the Christmas rush preparing for holiday gifts as early as now is a must.  I have thought of this some few days back and since I am the person who loves baking and cooking, I have thought of giving foods as gifts.  I might be giving cakes, cup cakes, cakes in a jar, breads and cookies for friends and relatives and for my immediate family, I would buy something else.  Maybe something related to their passion.  You see, they get to taste my sweets and dishes regularly, so giving the same to them won't be a great surprise anymore. Here are some examples of the baked goods I could give as holiday gifts.




But for the others who love to buy quality gifts conveniently at reasonable prices, they could also shop online. One good site that I know is musician and friends, that is if you have friends who are into music.  I'm sure they will be delighted receiving musical instruments and accessories from this online shop. If not, they could visit a lot of online shops for other consumer goods like electronics, fashion, jewelry and other kinds of stuff. It is more convenient than to fall in line on physical stores.

It is better to shop early to avoid the rush and to ensure that your goods will be delivered just in time for the holidays. 


November 1, 2016

Birthday Theme

My daughter will soon be celebrating her birthday and we are thinking of having a pajama theme party on that day, just an intimate one with only her closest friends.  Needless to say, it would be an all girls night. We have never done this kind of celebration before and being a family who loves surprises, I would definitely love to have a simple but a very meaningful celebration for her.  She had actually hinted me that she wants to have an overnight party with her selected friends.  After hearing that, the idea of a pajama theme party which I had been long wanting to do suddenly came out from my mind.  Then I am thinking of how are we going to do this just in case, we really want to push through with the idea. Having loud music is definitely a NO, even using brass and woodwind instruments.   So, I am thinking that probably, having parlor games and a movie night with all those popcorn and pica pica will surely be a great idea. That will be loads of fun, I guess. 

Can't actually wait to conceptualize the whole thing.  I'm sure my daughter is going to be really happy  on her forthcoming birthday.

October 30, 2016

Thoughts on Being A Work At Home Mom

Geezz... it's been 3 years now since I've decided to leave the rat race and be a work at home mom. I was in the corporate world for almost 20 years and during those years, I have experienced both the best and the worst, being in the corporate world.  You get to meet a lot of people, make so many friends, experience the fun, the thrill and the challenges of competition, discovering your strength as well as your weaknesses, experiencing office politics and overcoming them, getting promoted, getting an increase, receiving bonuses...to name a few.  Needless to say, my corporate life has been so colorful.  I may have both ups and downs, but in the end, there's no regrets.  I was able to provide well for the family, helping my husband earn enough to give our kids a decent and comfortable life. well, that's certainly a blessing.  However, I would not deny that experiencing freelance works for the past 3 years had enabled me to do everything that I want, my hobbies...my passions and everything that I haven't done regularly for the past 20 years just because I'm committed to my work and profession.  I must say, I couldn't be happier experiencing both worlds.  I think I have just made a perfect decision to leave corporate world long before my retirement age as this has enabled me to do things that I love to do while I'm still physically capable of.

Doing things that I love and at the same time earn extra to support my passion is such a blessing.  I do get financial support from my husband and son who are both working abroad which I spend for the house's monthly expenses, including maintenance and for the school expenses of my daughter, so what I earn  from my freelance jobs is technically mine. :)  This means that I have something extra to spend for my hobbies, my leisure activities and a little bit more for savings.  Well and good...right?

Working at home also helps me have a variation from my regular routine doing the household chores and keeps me sane (kidding).  On a final note, I would say that the best part of being a WAHM is being able to spend time with my daughter, to look after her...guiding her, and preparing her to become a more responsible young lady.  It's pretty obvious that now a days, temptations are great. Girls her age need to be guided perfectly to ensure their safety and safeguard their well being.   

 Ahh...the many perks of being a stay at home mom...


October 28, 2016

Korean Restaurant At Subic

My son and I love to eat Korean foods and we are glad that there are a number of Korean restaurants around Subic Bay.  My son used to work in an English school catering to Korean students, so from there he has developed a love for Korean dishes.  He had that opportunity to explore and dine out with his Korean students and friends and he seemed to be enjoying it.  Those who didn’t have a place to stay found that it wasn’t a problem too, as there are so many budget-friendly hotels in Subic. As for me, I began my love for Korean dishes when I started to work abroad and got the chance to taste different South East Asian cuisines.  I would say that my son and I had a lot in common when it comes to foods.  We both love spicy foods and we cannot eat well without a variety of dips and spices around our table.





There was this Korean restaurant inside the Subic Bay Freeport Zone which my son used to go together with his Korean friends and he brought me there one day. It was near to Harbor Point and despite the fact that the place is plain and simple, it is cozy and inviting.  We actually ordered two kinds of meat viands and I was surprised that these came with a number of side dishes and a soup, plenty enough to fill the entire table.  My daughter Mika was with us and she really enjoyed grilling her own food.  It was such a nice experience for all of us and as expected, I couldn’t stop them from taking photos one after another.  The rice they served to us was not a part of the package, this was charged extra and a bit pricey too, but the taste is really good and it seemed to be really different from the usual servings of rice from other restaurants. Drinks were also not a part of the package, so you need to pay extra for this. Nonetheless, this was still a great experience and I was very pleased that we could also ask for refill of the side dishes.

Now, let’s go to the other aspects of the restaurant like the service and the price of the foods. The service was considered good as the food servers were attentive, very friendly and were checking on our needs from time to time. Our orders were served reasonably on time and even faster than we really expected.

I think, it would be an added factor if they could have some instrumental music playing on the background, soft enough to still let the customers engage in a conversation. As regards to the price of the foods, I guess these are priced reasonably and within the standard range.  Meat viands are charged from 300 to 700 per order depending on the kind of meat you want.  This comes with all the side dishes like kimchi, salads, soups, appetizers, green veggies and a number of dips and sauces.  The sour soup tasted heavenly and was an instant favorite.

This Korean Restaurant is located just across Harbor Point Ayala Mall.  You wouldn’t expect a lot when you look at it from the outside but the moment you enter the place, you will be surprised. It’s simple but looks clean and nice.  The restaurant’s name was written in Korean so it’s very hard for me to mention it here but this is very easy to find as this is the nearest Korean restaurant to Harbor Point Ayala Mall.

Trying different restaurants around Subic has always been our favorite bonding experience aside from spending time on those wonderful beaches around the area .  You may want to check Lonely Planet if you wish to go for the same fun and adventure. We don’t always have the time to go out together as we are all busy within the weekdays and sometimes tight schedule would even extend until the weekend so having had the opportunity to go for a food adventure like this has always been special for all of us.  We had done the same thing during our trips abroad and it has always been a nice and memorable experience.

My family is also considering to explore other nearby cities and provinces and I guess each destination has it’s own stories to tell when it comes to foods.  I am looking forward for more food trips and adventures with my family and I hope that we could do it more often.

 

  

September 26, 2016

BER months are here!

Since beginning of September, I can't help but to think of how are we going to celebrate Christmas. It's only me and my daughter now so celebrating the season in a joyful manner with just the two of us will not be that easy.  I'm thinking of buying some new Christmas CD's or just download if we can find some online.  I think if we always hear Christmas songs every morning while doing household chores will be a big help to feel the Christmas spirit.  My daughter knows how to play guitar but her guitar is no longer in good condition now and in as much as she wanted to have allparts from guitar center, that would be next to impossible now.  So the best option really is to buy new CD's.  I never really had the chance to spend Christmas in a good way last year since we are very busy with the home renovation projects which were not completed in time for Christmas.  We did not even afford to have much decors as it was a bit messy around the yard and garage until 24th of December. This time around, I hope I could put up some decors at least and make some plans 2 months before Christmas time. I  am certain that if everything falls back into place, I would be able to experience Christmas the way I wanted it. :)

Good luck to me!

September 25, 2016

Goodbye Dodie!



We have finally decided to release Dodie, our half GS, half ASPIN pet, he is already 1 and a half years old and the daughter of our oldest dog Luca.  We have decided to gave her for adoption due to a number of reasons. First, we can no longer look after her as we still have other 3 dogs in the house.  Our Shih-Tzu dog Marcus needed a full attention because he is sick, he got skin infection that occurs from time to time. It is very costly and very time consuming to look after him, so definitely we could not release him to anyone for adoption as only us who took care of him since birth will be the one to understand his needs.  Our other dog Luca, is the oldest dog in the house and releasing her for adoption wouldn't be fair for her, since she had served us well. The last one, Alonzo is a pure breed Golden Retriever and my youngest adores him so much due to his sweetness and playful ways.  I also couldn't afford to lose him somehow because he is the biggest dog in the house and our supposedly "protector".  The only choice left for us is to release Dodie because she is the newest and he is not a high maintenance dog since she is half ASPIN. Besides, he could eat anything and she is not so attached to the people in the house.  Also, we had been neglecting her as we couldn't really find enough time for everyone.  So we have decided to post her picture for possible adoption.  We were surprised with the overwhelming response.  Too many dog lovers wanted to adopt him, we got a number of queries but we have given her to the first caller who happened to be my tenant in the rental property.  They are just a couple and a kid so I thought that she would be taken care of by her new "parents" who happened to be dog lovers, as well. So we bid goodbye to Dodie about two weeks ago.

My daughter in a way felt sad with her sudden departure but our consolation was that we knew that she is now properly taken care of by her new "parents".  I was sent few photos of her in her new home by the new owner and they made sure she is well and fine. We did this for her own good and we are very happy for her.


September 15, 2016

For The Love Of Baking

I had been very busy in the kitchen for the past couple of months and I was very happy that even though I did not get a formal training in baking, my hard work paid off.  I am slowly improving my baking skills and getting more customers than before. I never really promote my home based business but I do get orders from time to time.  I also do not want to go big time as I am very much worried that I wouldn't have enough hands to attend to all my part time jobs.  I am also teaching and providing seminars to some employees in some companies, so could I say that I'm a "Jack of All Trades"?  Well, just kidding but it's true, I'm into a lot of things now apart from managing our house and a rental property.  Even though I am usually tired at the end of each day, I still feel blessed and happy that I could do a lot of things. Designing cakes and cup cakes is giving me a sense of happiness.  It's very  time consuming but after you see the finished product, you will have that sense of fulfillment. I may not have any talent in music though playing ak15 would be a dream come true for me, I am still thankful that I do have other skills which in a way provide me with a source of income now that I am already separated from my corporate job.

Here are some of my baked goodies for the past two months:



 




I hope to be baking more goodies especially these "ber" months. Wish me luck guys!

June 30, 2016

Cake In A Jar

I had a couple of orders for fondant cake and cup cakes this month and since I am already in the "baking mood", I've decided to try this cake in a jar which I've been planning to do since few months ago. I had a Red Velvet flavor base for my fondant cake order this month, so I took the chance to bake an extra for my red velvet cake in a jar. Red Velvet has always been one of my favorite flavors for cake especially when it comes with it's signature cream cheese frosting.


For this cake in a jar though, I've purposely concocted my frosting with less sugar as I don't like it to be too sweet as it comes in layers. I've added more heavy cream instead and the result is really satisfying.  My Red Velvet Cake is super moist and really yummy.  Well...that's according to some people who have tasted it. :)



I have added some white and chocolate chips as toppings for this cake in a jar and this made it look even more appealing.  I am now looking into making more of this but I would like to try other flavors, as well. Any suggestions?


May 13, 2016

Red Velvet Cup Cakes

I would admit, I had been really busy for the past couple of weeks.  What occupied most of my time though was baking.  I am testing new cake recipes and accepted several orders for birthday parties so if I am free from maintaining/cleaning the house and teaching, you would normally find me in the kitchen mixing my ingredients for cake or cup cakes.  I really wanted to go into baking but my corporate life had taken me away from this passion.  Now that I am a WAHM, I was able to have this opportunity.  I started this hobby with my son then we later decided to make this into business.

I was baking cupcakes on the height of the election period and this enable me to be away from stress for even for a while.  Baking is a good therapy huh? 

I baked these Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting which was ordered by my client for her grandson's birthday.






I am now working on my new line of products which would be good as presents on any occasion. 

Meanwhile, My daughter was insisting of having a new guitar and eyeing one from guitarcenter, but I told her to hold that desire for a while until we get back on track again.  You see, we have spend quite a lot for our home improvement projects late last year and we have to save again for our future projects.  My daughter was very kind to oblige though and I just console her by baking her favorite cake.

More of my baking journey on my next posts.. Ciao!


April 17, 2016

Turmeric Tea To Fight Inflammation Naturally

I think, I have mentioned in one of my previous posts that I am dealing with Sciatic pains for more than 3 months now.  There is a burning pain on my right buttocks down to the back of my right leg. Although the pain is on and off, I still consider it very uncomfortable especially when I have to go for my house errands, I don't know when will the pain attacks me.  I was in medication for 3 months now, though I am doing my best not to take it on a daily basis. I take pain meds as needed.  I know pain medicines especially those NSAID drugs could eventually damage your liver if taken for a long time and on maximum doses.  Because of this growing fear, I am always on a look out for alternative cure for my Sciatic pains.  I have tried all possible remedies such as massage therapy, stretching exercises, pain gels and lately, turmeric tea. I have read online that turmeric tea has anti inflammatory properties  which is a good remedy for muscle pains and other muscle related problems.  It also has Curcumin which is good for treating heart disease.  I bought one small bottle from the mall selling herbal products and I personally picked this Yamang Bukid 10 in 1 instant Turmeric Herbal Tea.

Aside from Turmeric, it also has 9 other herbs and it is infused with honey, so you don't need to add sugar or sweetener.  I love it's taste and it's very relaxing.  I haven't finished that small bottle yet but I could see some improvements on my Sciatic pains.  I know it's too early to say if the product is really good to fight inflammation but a little improvement is better than none at all.  I will continue to have this herbal tea until I get to see a major improvement in my current condition.

Will post about this wonder drink again soon.

April 3, 2016

The Perks of Working At Home

Since I've resigned from my corporate job abroad more than 2 years ago, I find ways to make myself busy and productive even at home. Admittedly, I have chosen to retire much earlier than the usual retiring age because of wanting to experience what my corporate job has taken from me for more than 20 years.  Even though, I am taking good care of a promising career, deep inside my heart, I am still longing to experience what a normal wife and mother could do like cooking, gardening, baking, decorating my home and spending more time with my kids.  My daughter is in her teenage years and I wanted to spend time looking after her, making sure nothing won't go wrong with her.  I also wanted to see my eldest receiving his college diploma and starting to begin a career of his own.  

So in order to fulfill all these wishes and at the same time remain productive, I've decided to use my other skills working at home. Aside from blogging, I do online teaching and this has given me a new perspective.  Currently, I usually spend my week nights teaching and occasionally writing for my blogs.  It is indeed a great thing to still be able to earn while in the comforts of my home.  Now, I get to do what I really want and still earn on the side.  The only thing I face about my online teaching is the undesirable noise around the house like barking of dogs and the likes. I once thought of soundproofing my room with The Best soundproofing foam at Musician's Friend but I'm afraid it would be too costly.  Luckily, my students are so easy to deal with and do not mind these occasional noise, mostly from my dogs.

I am currently enjoying the many perks of working at home. No need to spend for unnecessary things like transportation expenses going to work everyday, buying expensive clothes and make up, and other incidental expenses that you need to experience when you go out of your homes everyday.  The best part for me also is the convenience that you just need to move around, eat home made foods, do your own things around the house and work for just as little as two to three hours on weekdays and earn instantly!


March 31, 2016

Alonso Celebrates His First Birthday

Wow...it's been a year since we've adopted our Golden Retriever Alonso.  I can't believe it's already one year. He was brought to the house when he was just 3 months old and since then, we had a never ending drama having him in the house.  Admittedly, there were times when I almost wanted to give up...gracious goodness, he is so playful and would destroy anything and everything in the yard. Just leave him unattended for 15 mins and that already spells...DISASTER!

However, Alonso had developed into a fun, loving and sweet pet that would delight everyone in the house.  His forever cute looks always warms our heart.  Since he is a darling, we've thought of throwing a simple birthday celebration for him.  We bought a cake and had a simple "merienda" with him at home. It was so fun taking photos of him...never thought, he would be that cooperative.






To our baby boy Alonso...a very happy first birthday from all of us.  You maybe giving us a lot of troubles daily but rest assured that we will always be happy to have you around and we will always love you that much!

Cheers!

March 5, 2016

KTV Night

It was on hubby's birthday that my two kids decided to go for a KTV night.  Admittedly, we haven't done this as a family, although I would admit going to KTV's with family friends and my two kids when they were small.  I think, it's just timely since they have grown up and we could enjoy the night same like we are just "barkadas".  It was my first time to go for KTV  at Olongapo area as I used to got to KTV's inside SBMA.  The place is not as big and grand as what I've previously visited but the fact that I am with my family made it extra special.

As expected we sing...we dance...we went crazy and it was the first time that I actually heard my son sang a full song (lol).  I was also surprised that my daughter can actually sing so well.  Hubby took the opportunity that it's his birthday and went crazy for the entire night.  Looking at him that night, there was no doubt that he indeed had a great night and probably, the happiest birthday ever. 


I was not feeling really well because of my muscle pains which is going on for quite a while now but I've managed not to spoil the night.  It was really fun to be able to sings again.  It's been a long time, huh?



The price for the private videoke room was consumable, so we were able to feast with several dishes and appetizers.  It was quite dark inside the room so we cannot really capture a good shot.  Mika brought a birthday cake for her Dad but the outlet is charging us a corkage fee, so we've decided not to have the cake at the videoke house and brought it home instead.



This is me singing to my heart's content! (lol)  I was glad that I only have my family for an audience, if not, I wouldn't probably sing that much. hehe

This videoke night was one of the highlights of hubby's and my son's home leave as we get to bond and had fun. This was one of the very rare opportunities that we get to become complete as a family, so we really ensure that we will have loads of fun that night.  After all, hubby never spend his birthday with us every year.

My son Edmar was the one who sponsored this treat for his Dad and we are very thankful for his sweet gesture.  because of the great fun, we vowed to have a repeat and we are all looking forward to that! Cheers!


February 28, 2016

Golden Retriever As A Pet

My youngest Mika is a certified pet lover.  I still very well remember how hard she'd convinced me to buy her a shih-tzu pup more than 3 years ago.  I did not welcome the idea at first but the moment I bought Lucio, a Japanese Spitz and Shih-Tzu mixed breed, new pets have been coming to the house one after the other.  Next to Lucio was Marcus, a pure breed Shih-Tzu and this was followed by Alonzo, the last pet we have acquired.  

This is Alonzo, a pure breed Golden Retriever....


See how cool he is?  We bought Alonzo online when he was 3 months old.  This was upon the recommendation of my son who was dying to have a Golden Retriever.  We actually chip in to raise the required money to buy him from the online seller.  Because we love our son and we wanted him to get that simple wish, we had willingly given our "share" to finally have him. To our surprise, Alonzo became my daughter Mika's instant favorite.  She really adores him and from then on, she proclaimed Alonzo to be her own pet (lol).

Our journey with Alonzo did not come easily.  I almost gave up on him.  There was one time that I opened up with my kids the idea of swapping Alonzo with a German Shepherd.  The problem was he doesn't bark at all and I wanted a dog that could guard the house. Golden Retrievers are known for their sweetness and being playful. From my readings, I've learned that this breed of dog remains "puppy- like" for many years.  In fact they are known to be the finest family dogs in the world.  They are friendly with everyone and very welcoming.  Because of these things, I almost regret to have a Golden Retriever because that time, I find that it doesn't serve the "purpose".



However, I didn't realize that all what Alonzo need is a good training.  He remains to have a friendly attitude but once a stranger is standing or walking outside the house or outside the fence, he would bark non stop and appeared to be very fierce.  In fact, I've noticed that he would bark at anything, be it other dogs, mouse, frogs, cats...anything.  That explains why our vacant lot where he used to run and play became free from rats, frogs...etc. (lol)

Long after that and because of Alonzo's cheerful attitude, I began to like him and even love him. Mika is the first one to benefit from all these changes in Alonzo, as she became more confident that Alonzo will now "remain" in the house.

Alonzo will definitely stay!


January 21, 2016

Musical Plays

If there's one thing that I truly miss at the moment...that is watching a musical play or a live concert. I used to do this when I was in college. The Metropolitan Theater was just a few blocks away from our campus and tickets for musical plays were always available at the school.  I have a great fascination for the arts.  Although, I was never an actor or a musician, I used to write scripts and direct for school plays and that is something that I truly enjoyed.  During those years, musical instruments and equipment were not that sophisticated but we were still able to come up with a good show.  I am wondering how plays were being done now a days.  With the presence of sophisticated technology, I'm sure they could come up with far better musical plays than before.  Even live concerts now are such a joy to watch.  Using state of the art technology gives them an edge coming up with a great show. There are lots of great musical instruments and equipment that you can purchase now even online and some great deals are even available for the regular buyers such as rane mixer, amps and effects, keyboards, electric guitars, drums, lighting accessories and everything that could give you a great sound system.

I hope I would be able to watch musical plays again very soon.  I should be adding this to my bucket list for this year. :) 



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