My Worst Online Shopping Experience.

In my years of experience in online shopping, I have not encountered “bogus” sellers.  Until now.  Well, it’s not really bogus, but it was close to that.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 20: I bought clothes for our dogs via @arfarflove.  I chose 10 clothes in total.  I paid as soon as I finalized my orders, all in either Medium or Large in size.  The seller said she’ll have it picked up by courier the same day and I might receive it the next day.

THURSDAY, MAY 21: As soon as I got home from work, I asked the receptionist if they received a package for me and true enough, it was delivered as promised.  However, upon closer inspection, I only got 8 pieces and one of those was the wrong design.

I sent a message to the seller and she said she would immediately rectify the mistake and will send the missing items the next day.  So I waited again.

FRIDAY, MAY 22: Guess what? It didn’t come.  Nothing. Nada. Zilch.  I asked the seller what’s taking so long and she said it was just picked up late that day.  Giving her the benefit of the doubt, I patiently waited, expecting the package to arrive the next day.

SATURDAY, MAY 23: Still noting.  By  now, the seller can’t be reached via SMS or Viber.  I tried calling her, but her phone is turned off.  I sent her messages, but she didn’t respond until the next day.

SUNDAY, MAY 24: She said her phone was broken and she had it fixed.  She insisted that the items is with the courier since Friday.  She said she followed up and is waiting for the response.  And then she didn’t update me anymore.  She couldn’t even provide me the tracking number of the package.

MONDAY, MAY 25: No package, no replies.  I looked up her profile on Facebook and Instagram if there are any recent posts and she was having a Bazaar during the weekend until today.  I was this close to going there and confronting her, but I still waited.  I sent her several messages, but I got no response at all.  I also saw several comments on her accounts, customers inquiring where their packages are.  I figured, I wasn’t the only one experiencing this fiasco.  I even asked for a refund.

TUESDAY, MAY 26: She finally responded.  She said that the person who’s supposed to deliver the package was absent since Monday that’s why it hasn’t been shipped.  Ridiculous, right?  The delivery guy doesn’t take the packages home, so why would it hinder the courier to assign another person to deliver the package??? She also gave me a tracking number, which was someone else’s package when I checked.  She then said, it was a typo and gave me another one.  And when I checked it on the website, there was no record of the package being picked up last Friday.  She even sent me a photo as proof (see photo below).  She said the courier will deliver it the next day, but it might be delivered late in the day.

This was the photo she sent.  Notice that she was covering the date with her thumb.  *To be discussed later on.

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WEDNESDAY, MAY 27:  I tried calling the courier – all the contact numbers published on their website.  Nobody answered at all!  I got home from work at 9:45pm.  No package.  I sent her a message, but she didn’t respond.  At 10:30pm, someone knocked on my door.  Surprise, surprise!  The package is here!  Opened it, and all 3 were there.

This was the receipt that came along with the package.  She only sent it the day before.  I knew it!  I knew she was lying all along.

  

THURSDAY, MAY 28:  Sent her a  message saying one of the items was extremely small, obviously not a medium or large.  She no longer replied.

So I guess this is hopeless.  I may not completely stay away from online shopping, but I’ll definitely be cautious of such sellers.  Maybe a little background check is needed next time.

Here are all the items I bought, minus the one Chelsea is wearing on the second photo.  The top row are the large ones, the front row ones are size medium except for the one beside the tutu, obviously. :/ The Royal Blue one is what she got wrong, the courier was supposed to return it to the seller, but he didn’t get it from the receptionist. It was there for a week! They gave it back to me earlier today. At least I got something out of this, huh?

    

This may be just my very unpleasant encounter with this seller, but I still believe she wasn’t telling me the entire truth about the situation.  This post is not intended to ruin her reputation or anything.  I am just merely telling my story.

Recovery Bowls. Recover Your Goals. 

Two weeks ago, I was asked by my boss to come up with “recovery meals” or after workout food.  This should also feature the Quinoa, which we already have in the menu.

I initially presented 5 dishes to them and they picked 3 of those.

Last week, I cooked the 3 that they chose in preparation for its photoshoot.  And that was a tiring night! More tiring than when I presented the 5 dishes! Yes, I had all day to prepare, but plating food in a semi big bowl with limited ingredients – that was the biggest challenge!  Good thing I had the help of Samantha and Euvy. 😄

Here’s the ad:

* The Greek Salad (left) is a recipe made by the owner.

One Down, Sixty Seven More To Go.

I renewed my WordPress subscription today! Last week, I asked Don if I should renew my subscription and he said, “You should. That’s a good hobby of yours.” Blogging, he meant.

I was having second thoughts coz I haven’t been posting lately due to very busy schedules — not exaggerating.  Somehow I’m attached to blogging, but I also don’t want to spend and not be able to fully commit to it.

Anyway, enough about that! Here’s the real story.

2 weeks ago, Don gave me a 2000-piece puzzle that I wanted, but haven’t bought yet. This will eventually be displayed in the kitchen, I told him.

I started putting the pieces together the night he gave it to me and that occupied my time at night when I get home from work. Usually spending 2-3 hours at a time.

My goal was to finish it in a total of 24 hours!

When the workers finished doing their work at home, I spent my free time cleaning, decorating and organizing, so the puzzle was untouched for at least 3 days. By this time, I was only down to about 200 pieces, the hard pieces, the almost identical looking pieces that I was dreading to accomplish. And because they were almost identical with each other, putting it together became harder and I was getting impatient.  I would give up after 30 minutes or 1 hour of trying.  Hahaha That was the main reason why it took longer than my initial goal of 24 hours, shorter if possible.  But I am happy that I only extended 1 hour: finished in 25 hours total.

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Now that it’s finished, I can scratch off this item listed on my Bucket List. I even surpassed my goal of 1000 pieces! Haha I totally forgot that I had this listed as a goal. :)

I made a flipagram to show you my journey. =P

My House is Now a Home.

The contractors has just finished doing the major renovations in my condo unit2 weeks ago.  I am quite happy with the outcome and I just couldn’t wait to start decorating and arrange my closet!

But before that, I posted tried posting a blog about my kitchen when they finished installing all my kitchen appliance, but I guess the internet connection was bad and it didn’t post.  I was always tired from work and didn’t get to check until recently.  So I will just include a summary of that supposed post. :)

This is the living room. The design  of the wall to wall shelving wasn’t followed to the T, but I am still pleased with the outcome.  I need another day, without any distractions, to completely decorate this area. hehehe  And also, buy decorative baskets to hide some clutter!  Sofa’s arriving soon and I have added a few decorations also. Will show you an updated version on my next post.

 

This is the closet area.  I just finished hanging all my clothes last Sunday.  And yes, I bought about 180 hangers, maybe more, to accommodate all my clothes.  I didn’t get to use all of them though about 40 hangers to spare! hahaha  Another reason to shop for clothes?!  Naaaah! I think I have more than enough for now.  Rethinking of replacing the plastic drawers, which I had for more than 10 years now. *Sorry for the mini clutter on the left side of the closet! 😁* This is still a work in progress.  I still have a lot to do in this room, but it is funcional now!

 

Lastly, this is the kitchen: the most important part of the house, my santuary, but a bit neglected these days. Lol


These are the few of my favorite things in the kitchen:

ELBA GAS RANGE. This was very expensive. Out of budget to be honest, but I would rather spend now than have headaches on cheaper, dysfunctional stoves. I had a hard time finding a gas range that has four burners. The more common ones are with three burners and one hot plate. We’ve had that kind of stove and we NEVER used the hotplate. It only served as a trivet most of the time! Haha  

 SAMSUNG REFRIGERATOR. This is actually not the model I initially wanted. I prefer the freezer to be at the bottom. But due to height space issues (stupid cabinet on top!) I had to settle for a different one (read: this!) Regardless if I wanted this or not, so far, I am impressed with its performance. The freezer is quite small, but it serves its purpose. My refrigerator is somewhat empty right now: vegetables, condiments, milk and water are its only contents. It easily fills up when Don is here though! Lol And I must say, my electric bill is lower than what I expected it to be. This was a really good decision.

KITCHEN BARS. One of the things I had installed are these bars, which are designed for the bathroom, but I wanted bars on top of the sink to hang wet kitchen towels and commonly used kitchen utensils. I don’t have drawers so I have to be creative! :P The other utensils go on one container.

RAJTAN SPICE JARS. I bought these online. They came in a package of eight. I bought sixteen jars in total. There are about three jars that are empty. And yes, I labeled them individually! Haha These used to take a lot of cabinet space, but then I bought mason jars to use as mugs, so a bright idea came to mind and I just had to use this mini shelving to maximize the space I had! 

PLATE RACK. Again, due to lack of storage space, I had to be wise in buying such organizers. This reduced my cabinet space to at least half. My cousin gave me a plate rack but it took up so much space, plus it only holds two plates per partition. It couldn’t accommodate all the plates in the photo! I bought this 2 months ago and it worked out fine. I just had to place “runners” on the second and third levels because the plates tend to slide off. 

MAKING USE OF ODD SPACES. I’m addicted to home improvements! I must have looked at thousands of photos just to save or make use of the space I have. And since there are no drawers, I decided to hang my baking utensils on cabinet doors! These are not something new, but it has become really really  covenient.

 

The kitchen is a bit bare now. I have future plans of putting artworks or such. The essentials come first for now. :)

I will show you the bedroom and the the bathroom on my next post. The bathoom is chaotic at the moment, and the bedroom, well… it’s empty. 😜

Cooking for Seven.

I have been assigned at the Shangri-La branch for work for a month now. For the first week, I had a helper who goes to the market and cooked for the staff. When he got replaced by a trainee, the cooking was left to me.  It was hard at first considering we had a very limited budget. Often times I would shell out money from my own pocket just to buy food that could last us until the end of the work day. That went on for 2 weeks. And since I buy from the mall’s grocery department, the cost is higher.

Last week, I requeated for additional budget for the staff meal and it was provided.

I also decided to plan the menu for the entire week ahead of time and go to a wet market instead so we can save, thus having more food to eat.

The menu I made were all untested recipes; meaning I have never cooked them before. You could say that it was a testing ground for me! 

Everyday was a struggle, but I am glad that the meals I cooked were successful.  My colleagues liked them, others are being requested for the following week.

These are some of the meals I cooked, which they really enjoyed eating:

Slow-Cooked Pork Asado

  

  

  

   

  

Calamansi Muffins Version 2.

  

So the boyfie asked me to bake Calamansi Muffins for his Canadian client who recently went to Boracay and have eaten the famous muffins there. I still had calamansi leftover from the first batch so I decided to use those. 

I used the same exact recipe, but the outcome I got was different — in a good way. Maybe it’s the heat from the oven, but this batch puffed like real muffins do! Haha It had a softer, cake-y texture compared to the first batch, which was  a little dense. Tasted better, too. The balance between tangy and sweetness was noticeable. And I just couldn’t get enough!

The oven temperature was the same, but since I was baking cheesecake in the lowermost shelf, I had to place the muffins on top of the cheesecake, whick exposed it to more heat. 5 minutes in and it puffed up and was golden on top. I turned the tins around and baked it for another 10 minutes via convection setting of my oven. And viola! Really good calamansi muffins! 

Calamansi Muffins.

Last December 2014, Don and I went to Boracay for a vacation. He was raving about the calamansi muffins that we should definitely try. Unfortunately, we didn’t know where to find it. Apparently, you have to go early in the morning because it runs out fast. We usually get up around noon! That was the biggest challenge. Haha

I was curious so I searched for recipes of the infamous muffins.  I happen to come across a food hack recipe and I wanted to try it out.  This was through Pepper.ph.

I haven’t tried using my oven so this was the test! 

NOTE: I prefer listing the ingredients in the order it’s going to be used, but the recipe is exactly the same. I may have used a different technique though.

Squeeze the juice out of the calamansi and measure 1/4 cup.  I used about 70g of calamansi for this.  It’ll be safer to buy more than not have enough when you’re ready to bake!



Combine this with 1/4 cup milk.  I used the same measuring cup where I squeezed the calamansi and measured until I hit the 1/2 cup mark. Stir to combine and set this aside. Note that the mixture could curdle. Mine didn’t, but if it does, that’s totally fine.



Combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set this aside.



Beat butter that’s at room temperature and sugar until it’s light and fluffy.



Add eggs one at a time and mix well.  Scrape off the side and bottom of the mixer to ensure that everything is well incorporated.

Alternately add the dry and milk mixture starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Okay. Was that complicated? Hehe For those who are puzzled, this just means you add the dry ingredients in 3 batches and the milk mixture in 2 batches alternately. Even simpler: Dry – Liquid – Dry – Liquid – Dry. Do not over mix. Scrape off the sides before adding the milk mixture.





Fill the muffin tins up to two-thirds full and bake in a preheated oven for 15 – 18 minutes.

If you have a non non-stick bakeware, grease the pan with butter or shortening.



See, they’ve puffed up! I stopped baking at 15 minutes and left the muffin tins inside the oven with the door slightly open to cool it slowly.

This is best eaten while it’s still warm.  Maybe better with a hot cup of coffee!