Where the raindrops as they're falling tell a story...

Monday, September 29, 2008

Ampalaya and my cooking secret

Do you know what a bitter melon is? Sometimes it's called bitter gourd. It's called different names in different regions but here in the Philippines, we call it ampalaya.

Yes, it's bitter and lots of people hate it. I'm not one of them. I love, love, LOVE this bitter fruit! Mostly because it's got loads and loads of good stuff in it. Partly because I know how to perfectly cook it and get rid of the bitterness. Ah-huh, bet my neck on that!

I can make ampalaya dishes without a hint of bitterness in the cooked dish. Oh, wait, I said that already. Time to spill my secret.

The trick is super simple. DO NOT MIX. That's right. Once the ampalaya slices are in the pan, leave it there, but be sure they're evenly distributed to get equal heat from the pan, though. Then, just very simply, leave it there to cook on the sides. Resist the urge to stir. Something with the stirring in the heat releases the bitter ampalaya taste. And to make sure they don't scorch, leave it in low-medium heat. After a minute, briefly flip the whole thing to get the other side a chance to cook. There, ridiculously simple. I hope restaurants learn to cook ampalaya this way so we don't have to eat bitter ampalayas anymore.

Here's a pic of an ampalaya dish I did awhile back. I like this vegetable best when cooked like this, and when pickled.

ampalaya with egg

Here's the recipe (in case you're interested):
  • 2 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 medium sized ampalaya, sliced (how thinly is up to you)
  • 1/4 cup meat broth, or as substitute: 1 pork cube, dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water
  • 3 medium eggs, slightly beaten
Heat the oil in a wok or pan. Saute garlic and onions. Add ampalaya, do not mix.

After about a minute, add broth. Give it another minute then pour over the slightly beaten egg. All this time, keep your heat in low-medium. Wait until the egg has set slightly, then flip over the vegetables to properly cook the other side.

I love this on breakfasts.

image from http://en.wikipedia.org/

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MMR, to have the shot or not

Because your thoughts are important to me, I'm making this into a sticky post, please scroll down for the most recent entries. And since you're already reading this, I hope you'll comment if you have something to say on the MMR issue -- Is MMR worth the risk?

You heard me talk about Xofia all the time. What can I do, I'm one inlove mama who can't get her grubby hands off her daughter. I'm happy to report that she feels the same way towards me as well. At least for about 15 minutes seconds, then afterwards, she'd want me to put her down so she can continue exploring her world without me. Such is a fact of life. :-)

I will do anything for my daughter. I wanna give her the best care I can afford. I bet all moms feel the same way. Since her birth, I've never been amiss on her vaccinations. See, my daughter has a heart anomaly, but that's a totally different story. Part of me wanted to be an activist and wanted my daughter to get immunity the natural way, a big part of me doesn't want to subject her to the aggravation of getting the disease just so she gets the necessary immunity. Though she's been asymptomatic so far, I don't want to compromise. Up to now, I had her shots complete and on time. Until it's time for her to get the MMR shot.

MMR is a single shot composed of three live attenuated vaccines: Mumps, Measles and Rubella, thus the acronym. At least in my own little research, never has a vaccine so abundantly littered with controversies than MMR. There is a very big controversy on it's relationship with autism. Autism was non-existent before MMR was introduced. Of course, I am not discounting the fact that time and again, scientists claim that there is no link between the vaccine and autism. I am also aware that because MMR is administered at approximately the same age babies who have autism manifest the disorder, thus the fires of doubts were stoked even more. On the other hand, the companies that fund these researches that prove no relationship between the two are allegedly the companies that make the vaccine. It is of no secret that the vaccine business is a multi-billion dollar enterprise. Go figure.

As you can probably see by now, I'm all for shots. If you look at my daughter's baby book, you'd be amazed by how perfectly I followed the vaccination schedules. Now it's all about weighing the risks. Autism is a lifelong threat. Giving my daughter the MMR shot does not guarantee a 100% immunity from the three diseases. Mumps is not that threatening to girls, and even to boys if they had it early in life. Measles, she's had a separate (individual) shot of that. Rubella is not life-threatening unless she's pregnant (by then, fatal to the baby).

Now the question is am I willing to take the autism risk just so my daughter gets her chance of immunity from the three diseases? Our pedia has been very understanding, and has been very patient in answering my questions. She has scheduled Xofia twice for the shot, twice I expressed my fear and told her that I'd rather wait up and delay it, if I ever should have Xofia have it.

Evidently, the jury is still out on whether she'll have the MMR or not. Right now, I am at a point where I am unwilling to compromise in as much as I am unwilling to take the risk. If you're a mother who has had experience or know something about the issue, your input will greatly help me in arriving at a decision. If you're a parent faced with the same dilemma, what did you do? Do share?

To all sports fan!

I've always been a sports fan. Anything that gets my butt off the couch, burn calories while having fun, I'm all over it. I can go on and on here about the benefits of sports, and I will never run out of something to say. That is why, even before Xofia was born, me and my husband already envisioned her playing whatever sports we fancy—or she'll fancy, rather. We intend to keep Xofia active and engaged in sports and martial arts. Exposing her on sports is never too early. SportsVids is a site that hosts sports videos for free. Members can upload their own sports clips and share it with fellow sports fan.

Right now, there's a great contest waiting for members right at Sports Vids. The prizes that await the lucky winners are:

  1. The new XBox 360
  2. Tickets to Michigan vs. Penn State, Saturday, October 18, 2008
  3. $100 Gift Certificate from Dick's Sporting Goods

You have to be a member of Sports Vid to join. I encourage all sports fan to head over there and join in. You don't only get to watch free online sports videos, you also get the chance to win all those amazing prizes above. Click here to start the fun.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

PR 3, is that really you?

I just found out that Google gave purpledsky.blogspot.com a page rank of 3!!! I mean really?! Could I be dreaming? Or maybe it's because I haven't checked my PR for the longest time? Whatever, I am thankful. Really, Google, you rock! Thanks, guys!

Excuse me while I bask in this PR glory, teheee! How long this will last, I really don't know. That's why I'm snagging that cute SEO counter on the right. ;-)

*doing the happy dance*

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

WQ 18: Try it, it's yummy!

This week's question is inspired by last week's: Pig Brains.


What were the worst or weird food (for you) that you have ever eaten? What were your reactions?

The weirdest food I have ever eaten is not balut (boiled fertilized duck egg with a nearly-developed embryo) nor dinuguan (pork blood stew). I eat those otherwise weird food mentioned like there's no tomorrow. Yes, I find the two delicious and they actually made it to my favorites list. You can now call me weird. :-)

Back to the question, the weirdest I ever had would be abu-os, or ant eggs from Ilocos. It's a seasonal delicacy gathered from the nest of winged ants in the mountain forest and are sauteed in oil and garlic. Some full-grown ants also made their way to the water-filled basin used to collect the eggs, and thus, to the sauteeing pan. Surprisingly, I found the full-grown ants more to my liking than the eggs. They're crunchy (which bugs are supposed to be)! Abu-os is said to be the forest's caviar.

My reaction? I was weirded out at first, but had my spoon ready. I told you, I'm gastronomically adventurous. If it doesn't poison me, I'll eat it. If it looks suspicious, I'll try it anyway. But I only had it once. Aside from it not being available locally, I don't think I'd like to have it that often.

What about you, what weird food have you tried?

PS: I intentionally did not include pictures for fear of grossing you out, if I haven't already. If you wish to be further educated, you can check out Google images. :-)

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The search for the perfect green tea

And so it has come to a point that I literally drag my friends to the nearby mall in pretense that they need to buy something. This muse actually asked me what she will be buying. I replied. She consented. But I had to admit as well that I wanted to buy green tea and a teapot. Smirk, smirk. Good thing these girls are pretty and smirks don't deform their faces as smirks should.

I wanted loose tea leaves, I don't want the ones that come in bags. Largely because I wanted to use my one-dollar teapot. I wanted Japanese green tea, heard they're much better than Chinese. I really don't know, I am at the mercy of what people tell me. This is the first time I went green tea hunting. I have always been a Chai tea fanatic. Then somebody told me green tea has more advantages than any other tea. So here I am, gullible me.

Back in the supermarket, I had the most difficult task. I cannot read Chinese/Korean/Japanese characters. How am I going to know that the tea I picked up is not for "sexual performance" (yeah, i read that at the back of a tea label). I wanted a simple green tea. Chinese or Japanese or Korean, it doesn't matter now, just simple green tea. The sales attendants weren't able to offer much help, they're as ignorant as I am. So I ended up taking the pack that has "Green Tea" in the label. It looked generic, and comes with a simple plastic packaging. At least I was sure it was green tea. Fearing that I might not like the taste, I grabbed the trusted Twinnings brand of Green Tea and Mint.

I have yet to taste the generic green tea tomorrow.

If you happen to know an excellent green tea, will you pretty please, share the information with me? And if it comes with foreign markings, a picture will greatly help if not a detailed description of the packaging. Pretty please?

And why, you ask, am I suddenly in the hankering for green tea? Just read this article for a start. Am I being gullible again? This time, I doubt that.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Scrapbook Saturday: Itsy bitsy spider

My Scrapbook Saturday entry for today is a repeat, originally posted on June 26. This is one of the first few layouts I did through Scrapblog.

Scrapbook Saturday

Click on the Scrapbook Saturday button above to see more scraps from SS members. Happy SS, everyone!

Bingo memories: the best gift

I don't know if it's something with women, or it's just me. I really have a hard time shopping for gifts; especially when it's something for school-aged children. Children are like sponges, they absorb everything. That makes me extra careful because I don't want to expose the recipient to something unproductive. Then I stumble upon Disney Bingo.

Bingo was a big part of my childhood. I remember having so much fun with my friends from school playing Bingo. And since we didn't have the fancy pebbles you use to mark the numbers, we'd use fruit seeds. We didn't mind, it was fun all the same. Sometimes, I'd go with my grandma to the neighbor's where we play Bingo all day. Now that I remember, I must've learned my first numbers with Bingo!

Disney Bingo is a game for all family members. The game promises a wonderful twist from the traditional one. And since it's Disney, the children will get to learn colors, numbers, and develop matching skills while having enormous fun. Now, this is the gift that I am talking about. My godchild is eight, and I'm sure she'll have a blast playing Bingo with the rest of the family. I'll make sure I'll get one for me, too. Bingo has given me so much fun memories in my childhood, I can't wait to make some with my daughter.

I encourage all of you to swing by Amazon.com or Drugstore.com and grab a copy of the DVD game. To give you an idea of what awaits you, here's a video:



Banana bread with walnut topping

(From my other recipe blog, originally published on April 5, 2008)

Have you ever woken up to a clogged drainage or a burst pipe? On a what could have been a perfect Saturday morning? Well, I did. Good thing I baked the bread last night, and all the good vibes are still in the room, and the best thing? I get to enjoy it for breakfast.

Thank God for little blessings like banana bread and freshly-brewed tea.


  • 7 extra ripe lakatan bananas, mashed
  • 2/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups tightly-packed brown sugar
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
Preheat the oven to 175C.

Toast the walnuts for 2 minutes. Roughly chop and set aside.

Add the melted butter to the mashed bananas in a large bowl using a wooden spoon. Mix the sugar, eggs and vanilla. Mix well until sugar is almost melted. Add baking soda and salt to the mix. Add the flour little by little. Mix using the wooden spoon until there are no more lumps.

Pour into buttered loaf pan. Sprinkle walnuts and press just enough for the nuts to stick on top.

Bake for 1 hour.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Under construction?

OK, time for confessions...

I liked my old layout, please don't hate me. I know it was cheesy, and pa-cute but I LOVE green and it was easy on the eyes. Plus those little daisies on the header? They always make my day. But then the two column layout just did not serve well with my purpose. I'm sure lots of bloggers understand my sentiment on this one.

SO I went layout hunting with the Faery. We found this cool layout, with easy-on-the-eye colors and promised to be totally customizable. I excitedly tried the layout in my test blog but encountered error upon saving. I am not the most patient girl, so I tried it in my actual blog. It worked, alright. But I'm not ready to do the tweaking just yet, which was a lot, so I decided to revert to my old layout. Next thing I knew, I was palpitating and palms were sweating cold beads of liquid. Blogger simply refused to load my XML back in! My blog, and my widgets, all gone!!! What's a CSS-ignorant blogger to do when she's told the problem was inside her XML file? Panic. That's what I did. And when I panic I shut up. It took awhile before I regained my composure.

First thing I did was to keep my blog from showing up publicly. And since I was already in a deep hole (alt-text here), I had no choice but climb out of the craphole of my own making: manually putting in my 3 sets of blogroll, widgets and all the other things behind the scene. It was one helluva work. My consolation is that I now have a 3-6 column layout, and a customizable header. Of course, I took that photo in the header, and mighty proud of it.

No doubt, there's still a lot of work to be done 'round here, but here's hoping you'll like my new layout.

PS: If you used to be in my blogroll, and can't find your name here, let me know and I'll link you up.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What's inside my purse?

I remember {girl}fas had a challenge similar to this awhile back. That time, I was dead busy I wasn't able to do the fun challenge. This time around, Faery Rowan tagged me. I'm kindov hesitant but went with it anyway. It sure is fun embarrassing yourself :-P

Wait... are you sure you're ready for this? This purse of mine is such a mess, it's an embarrassment in itself hahaha!

Here are the rules. Find a safe, quiet place free of significant others, nosey meme makers, priests, nuns, all things religious and men in general. (If you're a guy, just reverse this process to fit males and tell us about your wallet, tool box, briefcase or metro sexual accessory.)

1. Dump the contents of your handbag in a pile.
2. Take a photo of your handbag and the contents.
3. Be brave and explain to your fellow bloggers what lurks inside the handbag.
4. Tag others who might want to embarrass themselves.
5. Answer these questions:

Describe the contents of your handbag.
What's the most important thing in your handbag?
What's the most embarrassing thing in your handbag?
What's the smallest thing in your handbag?
Is there anything illegal in your handbag?

Started by Mimi, Queen of Memes.

Here's a snapshot of the mess that is my purse:

Contains my company ID, some receipt, dessicant, shades and glasses, dental floss, bills, check book, kikay kit, and mini purse.

The mini purse contains:

compact powder, coin purse, cards, some money for paying the bills tomorrow. And no, it doesn't stop there. My kikay kit contains:

comb, two shades of Lip Candy lip gloss, cheek tint, Nivea lip conditioner, MK foundation, eyebrow pencil, Loreal concealer which I almost never use, and lastly, razor for slitting throats. Kidding. The razor is for wayward eyebrow hair. I don't pluck, hurts big time.

The most important thing in my handbag? The money, the check book. Gah, I'm so cheap. But let's face it, if I lose the money, what happens to the payables? I'm the budget officer of the household, it's important I keep everything within the budget, and to not lose the budget.

The most embarrassing thing in my handbag? Nothing in particular, but I didn't realize I bring lots of unnecessary things and stuff them in. I don't even use half of what's shown here. But a girl is a girl, and kikay things have to be within reach, right?

The smallest thing in my handbag? The dessicant. It's one of the manifestations of my being anal. I have to have a bag of dessicant in my purse to keep moisture (and consequently smell) away.

Anything illegal in my handbag? Has to be the razor. For all you know, I could go wacko and slit throats, you know :-P

Now, anyone who's up to embarrassing themselves, come grab the meme!

Monday, September 15, 2008

WQ 17: Pig brains in my lasagna?

And you wonder why some makes stuff better than the rest ;-)


This week's question is about a story that Teacher Julie's friend has encountered one dinner get-together in a typical pinoy fashion. Her friend later discovered that instead of beef, the cook uses pig brain in the lasagna. Go read :-)

If I were in the situation, what will I do?

I am squeamish, that much I admit. But I am also gastronomically adventurous. I once had sisig where the cook admitted to adding pig's brain, and truth be told, it was the best fraking sisig I've ever tasted. Now, back to the question. What will I do if on my second plateful, I was candidly told I'm eating pig's brain instead of beef? I'd probably be shocked, albeit briefly, take another spoonful and reassess the taste, mindful that however exceptional this certain gastronomic experience is, I am eating something unconventional. Then, I'd make a bee-line to the cook, huddle her in the corner, and ask for a step by step instruction on how she came up with such tasty lasagna, pig's brain included.

But then again, I'm not a lasagna eater. I prefer the rest of the pasta family, but seldom lasagna. Chances are, if I were to make the lasagna at home, I'd probably just be loading it with lots of velveeta cheese to make up for the richness and creaminess of pig's brain. I don't think I'm that brave to literally pick brains out from a skull, even from a pig's.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Scrapbook Saturday: beach

Scrapbook Saturday

Last February when my sister was here, we went to Plantation Bay for a day. Xofia was only 7 months old then, but she instantly liked the beach. She can't get enough of the splashing even if the water stung her eyes. And she loves the salty water, too. She had her mouth open and her tongue ready for any droplets of water that may find their way to her mouth. I posted a video of her on that beach trip here.

And now, 7 months after, Xofia uttered her first word: puppy. She'll say "puh" if you say "pooh" referring to Winnie the Pooh, and she'll obediently point to a picture of Pooh. She'll wag her finger even before I can utter "no." When you ask something from her, and it happens to be in her hands, she'll scamper off faster than a hopping bunny just to get away from your clutches. My little girl is growing up fast, it's impossible to keep up.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Chicken and asparagus pasta

This recipe is long overdue. I kept on forgetting to sit down and write the recipe from my notes consisting of: breast fillet slice, asparagus stir-fried, pine nuts, basil. I don't know about you, but that right there is my recipe note, and I can very well recreate my dish from there, at least for about a week. After that, I'd be just like you, wondering what lunatic can make recipe notes in gibberish.

I always liked chicken paired with asparagus. Asparagus, from my side of the world, doesn't come cheap, so it's more of a treat to myself whenever I grab a bundle from the supermarket. That particular day, I felt like splurging, and grabbed a bundle. I was left with nary an idea what to do with it but the thought of chicken breast fillet sitting in the ref brought comfort. A quick check in the pantry, and these are the ingredients I gathered:

  • 500 grams pasta, cooked according to packet directions
  • Olive oil
  • EVOO for drizzling
  • Half head of garlic, sliced
  • A bundle of asparagus (about 4" in diameter), sliced
  • 2 chicken breast fillet, sliced as desired
  • Mushrooms, sliced (totally optional)
  • A handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted
  • Salt and pepper

1. Cook pasta. Drain and set aside. Save 1/2 cup pasta water.
2. While the pasta is cooking, prep the rest of the ingredients:
  • Slice the asparagus in bite-size pieces. Discard the bottom hard part of the stalk.
  • Peel and thinly slice the garlic.
  • Slice chicken breast in bite-size pieces.
  • Toast pine nuts in oil-free hard-bottomed pan until brown on sides.
3. In a pan, heat 3 tbsp olive oil and stir-fry asparagus until done. Drizzle with a dash of salt, and set aside.
4. In a bigger pan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil.
5. Saute garlic until fragrant.
6. Add chicken breast and mushrooms and cook until done.
7. Add basil leaves and pour pasta water when wilted.
8. Bring to a light boil.
9. Season with salt and pepper.
10. Still on stovetop, add pasta and toss well until well-coated.
11. Serve with toasted pine nuts and EVOO drizzle.

Pine nuts, as with everything else, in my side of the world, is priced like gold. I am lucky I have a sister who indulges me in every balikbayan boxes she sends. If you don't have pine, you can substitute with cashew or peanuts. Just use the toasted one or toast them yourself.

This pasta gave me the longed satisfaction of a chicken and asparagus combo with a touch of heavenly flavor of basil. I did not add cheese because pine nuts are creamy as they are.

Next recipe to be featured soon will be from my Perfect Chicken Roast notes: 400F 25 min tent breast down, 25 min tent breast up; 350F 10 min no tent breast down, 10 min no tent breast up.

If you can figure that out, go make it. If your chicken was anything far from perfect, you did not get it. ;-)

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Barako coffee, anyone?

A friend is selling kapeng barako from Batangas at P350 per kilo. If you're from Cebu, and you're interested, let me know. :-)


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A neurological condition?

Migraine. Nausea. That lasts through the day for 5 consecutive days. I learned from our Perception class that the brain has no pain receptors. It’s the membrane surrounding it that’s loaded with receptors. I can imagine my brain rising up and down as the pain ebbs and flows. I can imagine the muscles contract and the veins narrowing. Not a lovely image.

A quick trip to the company clinic got me Myonal and Sibelium. Myonal is a pain reliever that does so by relaxing the skeletal and vascular muscles. It’s a bit medical for me, but as long as it doesn’t alter anything much in my system, I’m for it. Sibelium on the other hand has to be taken for 7 days, 2 capsules before bedtime; and promised to stop the attacks. It also has even uglier side effects. The medication connotes chronic migraine. I’m not quite sure if I’m ready for that just yet. I took Myonal for two days, got as much rest as I could, and cursed the migraine. That managed the pain, enough to tell me I don’t need Sibelium just yet.

I’m doing all these myself because aside from writing the prescription, the doctor did not bother explaining to me what the meds will do. She did not even bother getting my vital signs during check-up. The check-up did not last one minute longer. I told her the symptoms; she presented the diagnoses while writing the prescription. Doubts were hanging over my head the moment I closed the clinic door. I haven’t had much luck on doctors who are not as thorough as you should expect them to be. Sure, they’ve had experience on the field, but this is my head we’re talking about, albeit literally.

Maybe I’ll have my eye checked; maybe have an MRI. Do I have a neurological disease? Or this is just astigmatism? Or maybe I’m just being paranoid. Paranoia and ignorance is a very deadly mix.

What about you, have you had similar experience? What kind of measures did you take? Do share and cure me from my ignorance.

image from http://i.ehow.com/

Monday, September 8, 2008

Great American Seafood Cook Off

It is of no secret that I love cooking. I love creating and inventing something yummy in the kitchen. It gives me a certain kind of kick. That’s why I envy the likes of Wolfgang Puck and wish to covet Nigella Lawson's beauty and talent. Imagine cooking for a living--and being famous of it. Ah, one can only dream!

I buy recipe books, and self-categorize them under pleasure-reads. I am not sure if other foodies do this, but I did not realize this until such time when I cannot seem to stop reading one particular recipe book that’s 2 inches thick. Call me crazy, but I get giddy at the prospect of recreating something in my humble kitchen. In addition to books and magazines that I hoard, I bookmark online tools and references. I am always on the lookout for anything cooking related.

One very recent find is the www.GreatAmericanSeafoodCookOff.com. They have really interesting recipes one can easily recreate in any kitchen. The one that I particularly like is the recipe Mississippi Redfish Courtboullion with Seafood Dirty Rice by Chef John Currence of Mississippi. I am a working mom, and I like to cook meals that have everything on it – vegetables, seafood, some meat, and yes, rice! It is also necessary that the meal I’m making is delicious – I have a very hard to please customer *wink* Also, I use whatever’s fresh from the locale. Being an island girl, it’s not hard for me to gather fresh seafood ingredients for my meals. I can only get the freshest, juiciest, yummiest ingredients locally. That’s why this recipe sits right at home. If I were to recreate this in my kitchen, I’d be replacing some ingredients that are available to me locally. I can imagine making this with a grouper instead of a redfish. We have tasty tiger prawns which I can use in place of Gulf shrimps. Mmmm, possibilities!

This recipe is one of the 5 finalists of the cook off challenge. Visit www.GreatAmericanSeafoodCookOff.com, choose from which of the 5 you like, cast your vote, and have a chance to win a trip to New Orleans prize package which includes hotel and accommodation to accompany that unique dining experience.

Excuse me while I scour the cupboard to check my ingredients…

Sponsored by Lousiana Seafood

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Scrapbook Saturday: It's a Girl!

Scrapbook Saturday

Click on the SS button to see more scraps from SS participants. Happy Saturday! :-)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Friends are God's way of taking care of us

I got another BFF Gold Card from Constance of Sunny Side Up Foodie. Thanks, girl! Hugs to ya!


Like Maricris of Zen Ventures, I have a lot to thank blogging for all the new friends I have found along the way. Visiting my online friends never fail to warm up my day like a warm chocolate cup on a cold day. No matter what happens during the day, I know I always have something to look forward to when I open their blogs. Something pleasant, something interesting, something heartwarming, and yes, something intriguing. We talk through our blogs, and whether it's a glass of margarita or a cup of coffee you're holding in your hand, conversations flow endlessly. And like a time well-spent with friends, you close your browser feeling a lot better, a bit wiser, and very much thankful you found this treasure trove.

Thanks to Maricris for this award. Maricris warmed my soul from the very first comment she made in my blog. It's not everyday you feel like that to anybody. I think she really is like that. She gives out a certain Zen to those fortunate enough to meet her. Maricris is also into etsy and something handmade. I urge you to visit her Etsy Store if you haven't yet, and drool over the beautiful creations she's made. To tell you that this gal is artistic, is an understatement. Go check!

So anyhoo, for the award, here are the rules:

1. The winner can put the logo on his/her blog.
2. Link the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.

4. Put links of those blogs on yours.

5. Leave a message on the blogs of the people you’ve nominated

I also got another one from Maricris. Makes me think if I really am worthy of all these. *sheepish grin*

And because I =heart= you, my blogger friends, you are equally receiving both awards from me. Linky love to you:

Come and grab 'em! :-)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Shop online without shipping worries

Time, that’s what I don’t have. Household chores that I personally attend to are pushed back into the bottom of my TTD list. Having no time to do almost anything else besides work, I am left with considering the services of some supermarkets where they deliver your groceries to your doorstep. Personally, I have to look after for myself. And what’s the best activity any girl wished to indulge herself in when stressed? SHOPPING! How nice could it be if I was choosing between a heeled pair of pumps or a patent flats instead of numbing my fingers with keyboard strokes? What about the joy of an indecision brought about by two almost identical big purses? Right, I don’t have time to do that or DO I? Good thing there are companies like Access USA! I can now shop without wasting time going from one store to the next. I can shop online any day of the week, in my own time without shipping worries. What joy!

Access USA is the leader in package and mail forwarding since 1997. If like me, you live overseas, shopping online is almost shunned and avoided because most suppliers do not ship overseas. Not anymore. Access USA provides an array of services tailor-fit for us from overseas. Imagine yourself shopping for anything online from different retailers or suppliers without worrying for shipping hassles. The company lets you use their Florida address as your shipping address. Additionally, since the Address Verification System doesn’t work outside the US, you can add Access USA’s Florida address as your second address in your credit cards. Brilliant, eh? And as if those are not enough, Access USA consolidates your packages saving you up to 70% of shipping costs. For more information about the rest of their services, visit MyUS.com website.

Sponsored by MyUS

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The blogger is in coma

Not really. Just the blogging life. Please forgive my absence to your blogs. I haven't got the change to bloghop and read and comment (basically the things I look forward to at the end of the day to unwind). The only thing I get to do, which I make sure I do, is drop ECs to those who've dropped on mine. How come a day only has 24 hours? Unfair.



dNeero Convos

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