Stupid is Forever.

I bought 2 books today, and I finished reading the first one in less than 2 hours.

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Stupid is Forever is written by the phenominal Senator Meriam Defensor Santiago.

I’ve never been interested in politics. And honestly, I’ve never voted in my entire life! It’s all too complicated for me or maybe because I have little faith in the Philippine government system. Sad to say, but that’s the reality.

However, Senator Meriam Defensor Santiago is one of the the only one that stands out among all other politicians. I may not know a lot about politics, but I know this senator is straight as an arrow. She is intelligent, a good speaker, honest, funny and has conviction among other things.

After reading the book, I have known more things about her and many of the things she has done for the country. And I truly admire her for that.

The book in itself is humorous. I was on the third page of the book (the Foreword) and I was already laughing! It is a short book considering most of its content are quotations, smart quips and short jokes. The occasional comic is even funnier! I favorite was the Meriam on Meriam chapter. So candid and funny!

Some of the puns I didn’t understand mainly because I was curious as to whom she was referring to.

This book is an inspiration. I have greater respect for her than before. :)

And now… On to the second book!

A Work In Progress.

I officially moved into my condo last Saturday! Yey!

It was chaotic the first 2 days and I was dead tired from trying to organize my things without shelves!  The contractor has not started the installation so I am living in boxes.

After getting some rest, I sorted out my things based on where I will be placing or storing them.  It was the quickest way to get rid of some boxes.

Of course the kitchen came first, but that became cluttered in no time!

I initially took out my clothes from boxes, luggages and bags and stuffed them in these plastic bins because I was in a hurry to get rid of the boxes and place my clothes all together in one place.  I realized later on that I couldn’t find what I needed because they’re not really sorted properly.  So yesterday, when I got home from a meeting, I placed a big blanket on the floor and took out the bins to sort my clothes.  It took me about 3 hours to finish. Yes, I had that much clothing plus I was being obsessive-compulvise about it!  All my hard work paid off because now I can easily tell which bin to open for the kind of clothing I needed! Hahaha  In total, my clothes are in 3 bins and 2 small boxes.  I stored the clothes [e.g. jackets, chef’s uniforms, dresses, etc.] I’m not going to use soon in the boxes.

Today I decided to sort out my documents since I haven’t done this in quite some time.  My bills are all over the place and this is the most opportune time to update them and throw away the outdated ones.  Again, it took me about 4 hours to finally finish.  I know that is a long time, but I wanted to arrange it in such a way that I only have to take them out when the shelves are installed.  No more fussing by then.  I stored these bills and documents in another bin because I didn’t want them to get all mixed up when the contractors start working.  I also stored my expensive cookbooks inside this bin. I will feel guilty (and mad) if something happens to them! Lol

Don also came to my house after work, he promised we’d go grocery shopping later in the day.  So while I was sorting my documents, he was sound asleep!  We went to the supermarket late afternoon and got what I needed.  I am excited to be cooking a meal tomorrow!  Not in my stove, but in an induction stove for the mean time.  My gas range hasn’t been installed and connected to a gas line and I’m afraid to do it on my own.  I really need to call the company to set things up.

I expect the next coming days to be the same, but I am happy that my house is starting to look and feel like a home. :)

Unboxing of January-February BDJ Box.

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So I’ve been wondering where the BDJ Box is.

A few days ago, I looked at the BDJ Box Facebook Page and I learned that they’re making it a January/February Box that’s why it hasn’t come in yet.

I visited the page again today and read that they’re shipping it today. I went out to buy stuff for the new condo earlier today and asked the receptionist if anything was delivered for me. I looked over their desk and instantly recognized the package. Obviously I asked if that’s for me! Hahaha I was that excited!

I opened the box to check it out and then continued on with where I was going. I just had to see what’s inside!

Then as soon as I got back home, I opened the box again to see the contents [in detail].

If you’ve read previous unboxing beauty loot posts, I have mentioned that I have extremely sensitive skin and I couldn’t just use or change beauty products especially those I use on my face. So once I get something that works, I stick to it. Having face allergies are the worst and it takes such a long time to heal. But once again, here’s a box filled with facial beauty products!

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Japanese products are wonderful in its own way. But with so many imitations and fake products, I tend to stay away from them all together. I am not saying that they are no good, just that I stick to what I know – products that are tried and tested.

 Let us start.

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BIFESTA CLEANSING LOTION AGE CARE, 300ml. This is a water-based make up remover that is gentle on the skin. It is formulated with Coenzyme Q10 for cell renewal and deep nourishment. This will also keep your skin moisturized and prevent it from drying.

I have been using Neutrogena Make-Up Remover Cleansing Towelettes for a while now, but I will definitely try this make up remover. The towelettes are convenient since I just have to pull one sheet and that’s that. There’s more than enough liquid infused in the towelettes to remove everything I put on my face, including waterproof mascara! It also very handy when I’m travelling.

I am a bit skeptic in the water-based part with this product, but I will give it a try. An open mind is always a good thing, right? I will post a separate review on this product in the next coming days. Who knows? This might be ideal for use alternatively with the towelettes.

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PIXY EYE SHADOW, 2.8g. It’s Micro-pearl formula creates a soft texture that makes it easy to apply and blends on the lids.

I got the Sparkling Gold 09. What I learned recently is that these boxes send out different shades, sometimes different products. I have been re-thinking these eye shadows because I have been getting a few in the mail and gifts also. First off, I don’t really know how to apply or blend properly. But I told myself I am going to get out of my comfort zone and try it out. And this shade is the perfect color. I don’t want to use colorful shades as of yet.

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PIXY BLUSH ON, 3.5g. This pretty blush will help you pull off that natural, cute flush on the cheeks. It also comes with a handy brush and built-in mirror for easy touch ups.

I got the Passion Roses 04 shade. I think this is a bit darker shade than what I’m used to.  I still have a few that I haven’t used up, but BDJ kept sending one every month! Hahaha

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PIXY TWO WAY CAKE FIT, 12.2g. This blends perfectly for a smooth and long lasting base. Use it wet for more coverage or dry for a natural look. It contains two-way whitening squalene oil to prevent dry skin and SPF15 to protect skin from sun damage.

I’ve never tried using cake foundation except when I have my make-up done at the salon. I like the shade though. They gave me the Ivory shade. I think this is the same shade that I buy if not similar. Not too light and not too dark.

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PIXY COVERLAST, 10g. This long lasting foundation has Microsphere Powder that covers blemishes. It also controls oil and shine.

What is Microsphere Powder? I assume it’s really tiny powder granules, thus being called micro. Well, as long as it has good coverage and looks natural, then that’s fine by me! Shows how little I know about these things. Hahaha

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SUNKILLER PERFECT STRONG PLUS, 30ml. This sunblock features super UV-blocking abilities. It is waterproof and sweatproof. It’s also non-oily and turns transparent upon application.

First of all, who thought of the name, Sunkiller????  It’s pretty direct though.  I have a confession to make. I don’t use sunblock! I know, I know. It just feels so icky all the time. I use make up with SPFs though. Good enough? Hahaha

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LUCIDO-L STYLING MILK AIRY, 70ml. This is a leave on treatment for hair conditioning and styling during day time. It coats the strands of the hair for outstanding volume leaving dead-straight tresses. It also has a fruity floral fragrance.

This is the perfect product for my hair right now. Since I had my hair colored, it has become dry because they had to bleach it before applying the actual color, which only stayed for 2 weeks. So now my hair color is much much lighter than I wanted it to be and the ends are really very dry! Bummer.

I still use the Dove Hairfall Rescue serum, which makes my hair soft and shiny. And use Argan Oil for the ends. I might eventually need a hair spa, but I have a lot of expenses while having the condo renovated so this will have to wait.

 One thing I don’t like about leave on products is that it makes my hair oily. It is lotion for the hair after all! But since it is promising “outstanding volume” I will give this a test.

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 LUCIDO-L TREATMENT OIL PERM, 50 ml. A perfect fit for permed and colored hair, this overnight treatment will repair and maintain soft and bouncy curls. Can also serve as heat protection serum when styling the hair.

While I don’t have curly hair, I sometimes curl my hair for special occasions or when I feel like having curly hair, but I don’t use serums. So this could be very useful.

And of course, you saw these as backdrop on all the photos:

  • 5 stickers that says, “Rock it and Own it!”  I will definitely will!  I’ve never featured the stickers in my unboxing posts, but I especially love this one! Will be adding it to my photo wall.  I had to take it down because of the move, but I will show you guys once I have put it up on the new condo. :)
  • Kawaii Booklet.  This features some of the products in the box and other Bifesta and Pixy make up products, helpful tutorials and coupons.

 

All these products and more can be bought at Watsons!

Moving On Out.

Sorry if I haven’t written anything in weeks.  Aside from being busy from moving my stuff to the new condo, I got sick for over a week.  I was on bedrest the entire time — got fever and a terrible, terrible headache, so I was asleep most of the time.

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Anyhoooo.  Today, I went to the condo to fix some stuff up and receive the delivery of my appliances.   I bought a refrigerator, a gas range and hood and an AC for my bedroom.  I have a very limited budget.  I still need to buy a washer and dryer plus pay for minor [but pricey] renovations.

I don’t know why, but I got a jolt of excitement when the delivery guys left.   I will be living alone, in my own condo, really really soon!  I was the only one there with no help, but that adrenaline I had gave me the “strength” I needed to push the appliances to their places! Hahaha  Honestly, I think I didn’t have enough adrenaline, because for the life of me, I couldn’t [more like didn’t attempt] to remove the styrofoam under the refrigerator.  It was heavy!

Next is the range.  Wow!  This is such a fragile equipment!  I am afraid even to open the oven door!  After much fuss, I finally got off the carton under and placed it safely in its sweet little corner!  The next problem is the gas… lol

I promise to take better pictures when I go back. :)  And update you guys more.

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SALAV Garment Steamer.

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I just ordered a Salav Garment Steamer GS18-DJ in White late last night via Lazada.  Lo and behold, it was delivered today, a Sunday and a holiday.  I was still asleep when our helper knocked on my door to told me that I have a package right outside the door and I need to receive it.  Although I was still sleepy, I got so excited and tried it!  I was also FaceTime-ing with the BF (coz he’s in Canada for a work thing) while assembling and trying it.  It worked great the first time, but the true test will come when I have to iron several clothing and of different materials.  So far I am pleased with the product, although I was supposed to get the Black one (I guess they didn’t have stocks anymore).

This was somewhat complicated to assemble, but very easy to use.  Unlike the one my sister got so many years ago, a portable one where you still need to press something for the steam to come out. I never ever got it to work! Hahaha

On the other side, ironing is a dreadful task because it is very tiring to do.  With the steamer, hopefully ironing won’t be such a dreadful chore to do.

Here are some of its features:

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It has 1.5 litre water capacity and a universal wheel for easy transport. Also a drain plug for safe and convenient care and maintenance.

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Generates steam in 45 seconds (or less in my case). Also, a double insulated hose to maintain steam temperature.

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It has a folding clothes rack suitable for ironing small collar clothing.

 

Find out more about the Salav GS18 steamer and many others on their website.

 

Moving Out.

Late December last year, my condo was ready to be turned over.  I finally got it early January 2015.  I never really thought about all the expenses until I listed all of them down.

It’s been a roller coaster for the past 2 weeks, meeting contractors, planning, going around to canvas appliances and furnitures.  It really takes a lot of time and effort.  And I am currently out of a job by the way!

Aside from all that, packing is another big chore! Whew!  I’m about 80% done though.  The only problem now is I have more things… and they are stored in two different houses! Hahaha So… moving got a little bit more complicated.

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Boxes all around! =P

I am excited though.  I am looking forward to the move, hopefully within the next week! :) Good luck to me!

New Year’s Feast.

I spent New Year’s in my boyfriend’s house with his sister and other relatives.

I just want to share some of the food I cooked for them. It was tiring, but definitely worth it after all the wonderful feedback I got!

FYI. Both of these were Don’s requests.

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When I tasted TGIFriday’s version, all I wanted to do was recreate that. I’ve never cooked baby back ribs before and I didn’t have a grill. So it was a challenge! I searched online and got a copycat recipe via Spicy Southern Kitchen. I followed the recipe to the T except for the celery salt and oven baked it all the way through instead.  And we were satisfied with the results. That was the main reason why Don requested for the same dish for New Year’s.
This time around, I adjusted the ratio of the spices on the dry rub and made it a little bit more spicy. And… Added more JD to the sauce. Perfect outcome!

Everybody was saying it was delicious! Don’s nephew ate 1/4 of the rack!

Our dog, Chelsea had a feast, too!

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This next one was supposed to be a copycat of Sbarro’a Baked Ziti. However, we couldn’t get a hold of Ricotta and Romano cheese so I just improvised.

This tasted real good! Tasted even better the day after! We had so much leftovers!

Will post the recipe tomorrow. :)

Recipe for: BAKED ZITI WITH MEAT SAUCE & THREE BELL PEPPER, TWO CHEESE WHITE SAUCE

Serving: 8 – 10 portions

  • 500 g    Ziti

Cook as instructed.  Drain and toss in Olive Oil.  Set aside.

*Save some pasta water to add onto the sauces, about 2.5 cups.

MEAT SAUCE

  • 2 Tbsp      Vegetable Oil, for sautéing
  • 3 cloves    Garlic, minced
  • Half of      White Onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 kg       Ground Lean Beef
  • 200  ml    Italian Spaghetti Sauce or Tomato Sauce
  •                   Salt and Pepper
  • 3-4 pcs     Tomatoes, deseeded, chopped into small cubes

Heat the vegetable oil and sauté the onion and garlic.  Add in the ground beef and continue to heat until the beef is thoroughly cooked.  Add in the spaghetti sauce.  Add some pasta water to get the consistency  you want.  In my case, about 1/2 cup.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Cook just until the sauce is warm.  Set aside.

Sprinkle the cubed tomatoes onto the pasta and mix.  This is to add texture and real tomatoes into the sauce.

When sauce is cooled, the toss the cooked pasta with the sauce.  Use just enough meat sauce to coat the pasta.  There will be extra meat sauce ;)  Set aside.

THREE BELL PEPPER, TWO CHEESE WHITE SAUCE

  • 1-2 pcs each      Red, Green, Yellow Bell Pepper or Capsicum (depending on size)
  • 100 g                  Fresh Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 100 g                  Mozzarella Cheese, grated
  • 60 g                    Unsalted Butter
  • 60 g                    All Purpose Flour
  • 1.5 – 2 cups        Pasta Water
  • 3/4 cup              Milk
  •                             Salt and Pepper

Roast the bell peppers on your stovetop until the skin is charred.  Turn the bell peppers so that all sides are evenly cooked.  Put the cooked bell pepper and seal with plastic wrap.  This way, it’ll be easier to remove the charred skin. Leave for a few minutes or until the peppers have cooled.

When they are cooled, using the non-sharp side of a pairing knife and remove the charred skin.  If charred properly, sometimes you can peel off the skin by hands.

Slice in the middle and remove the seeds and chop the peppers into half-inch cubes.  Set side.

Using low heat, melt butter in a saucepan.  Add flour to form roux.  Use a wire whisk to combine the butter and flour.  Cook for a few seconds, whisking constantly.  Add the pasta water while whisking to form a veloute.  In doing this, the milk/cream won’t burn when added.  This will look like a thick paste.  Add the milk and/or cream to the mixture, again while continuously whisking.  Make sure to get all the veloute under the pan otherwise this will eventually burn or your sauce will become lumpy. You can add salt and pepper at this time or like me, I wait until the sauce has thickened.   Let the sauce simmer until it thickens. Season to taste.  Add the two cheeses while whisking continuously.  Then add in the roasted peppers.  Turn off heat.

ASSEMBLY

  • 150 g      Parmesan Cheese, grated – more if preferred
  • 150 g      Mozzarella Cheese, grated
  • 5 g          Fresh Parsley, finely chopped
  •                Cayenne,

Using a deep dish, in my case a 9 x 11 nonstick pan, put half of the pasta in.  Flatten to level.  Pour some cream to cover the pasta. Sprinkle half of the grated parmesan and mozzarella.  You can dash in some cayenne too if you want.  I prefer to put it on top.    Put the second layer of pasta and do the same.  I like to put more a lot of mozzarella on top.  Sprinkle cayenne on top, depending on how spicy you want this to be.  Bake this at 350F until the cheese melts and/or the top is gratinated a little.

Remove from oven.  Sprinkle parsley on top and serve!