mani.mondays.february2013.edition.

Happy Monday everyone!;)

Welcome to our February mani monday!

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It’s my first time to use L.A. Colors nail polish. It has a pretty thick consistency. I only had to use one coat, which is always great. [it saves you polish and time]

Their brush is not that bad either. The polish applied really smoothly onto my nails.

For those who have weak nails that break easily, this one also has nail hardeners which is an added value to the product!;)

My only negative feedback about this polish is that their colours have no name. It makes it hard to find the same colour if you run out. This particular one only had a #11 on the bottom of the bottle.

To add a little bit of jazz to my nails, I topped my ring fingernail with my favorite “Rainbow in the S-kylie” from Nicole by OPI.

Have great Monday everyone! ;)


on.marriage.

Good day everyone!

Here’s something I chanced upon this morning that really got my attention.

Married or not, I think it’s worth your 5 minutes today! ;) Some of us may already know about it, but we forget most of the time.

I sure needed this reminder.

[Click on the blue link to read article]

3 THINGS I WISH I KNEW BEFORE WE GOT MARRIED (By Tyler Ward)

marriage

{via}

The gist is, “Go home, love your wife/husband.” It will change everything in your life.

These are very powerful words amidst the “me-first” and “I-want” mentality that we all have. This guy who wrote this article actually tried this very simple sentence for a month. Intentionally stopped being self-centered and just went home to love his wife. He didn’t go into detail, but I’m pretty sure “love” included conversation, kindness, and put her first in his life, instead of himself. He saw great results in all aspects of his life after the 30-day trial period.

Now we all know this anyway; there wouldn’t be a quote/biblical passage called “Love Conquers All” for nothing right? It is a very simple truth, yet most of us who think we “love”, fail in our relationships. However, there was something about this article where the writer Tyler, mentions being INTENTIONAL in loving your wife/husband.

Come to think of it, we have to be intentional about it because as human beings, we generally are very selfish and self-centered.

So let’s be intentional in being selfless today! ;)

If it works, maybe we should do it everyday! ;)

Have a great week everyone!


banana.leaf.day.

Aji was going downtown to run some errands two weekends ago and I decided to tag along! ;)

banana leaf day

We didn’t really stick to the downtown area, instead, I introduced Aji to Banana Leaf.

The roti canai did not stand a chance between the two of us.

Their calamari was superb!

The beef curry was a little too spicy for our palate [yes even for Aji] but nothing a cup of rice on the side couldn’t make better.

The Singapore Laksa was unexpected but it turned out to be creamy and fantastic! ;)

This wonderful “tag-along-unexpected-date” turned out even more-so to be full of surprises because we hit a few of my favorite places.

So I’ve decided to segue into

Wednesday WishList

and incorporate some of the fun we had that day on this post and share it with you all.

Furniture Window Shopping

After lunch, we decided to walk along Broadway on that beautiful Saturday afternoon.

We finally found the perfect furniture store tucked away in a quaint spot on Broadway [between Ontario & Manitoba, close to Main St.].

We originally thought they were a vintage shop and much to our surprise, they are furniture makers. They make furniture from real wood and then make

them look like they are vintage! ;) [The three little photos in the middle, above, are from Shilo Living.]

The top and bottom photos are from Moe’s Home, which we also visited later on that day.

What an awesome spontaneous day for us! ;)

Sometimes we need those kinds of days to get out of a funk.

Have a great week everyone!


mani.mondays.january2013.edition.

Welcome to our last January catch-up installment of 

the bangles, manic monday, monday, manicure, mani-pedi, mani

 

If you are following the blog and have browsed at my Mani Monday photos, you probably already know that my hands/cuticles are very dry.

If not, let’s refresh our memories:

mani mondays

 

dry hands

 

Yes, those are my hardworking hands. Whether it be at home or at work, I always find that my hands get really dry because I wash my hands a lot. I used to always apply lotion or hand cream, but it got old when I started using touchscreen phones. Hand creams and lotions are terrible on any touchscreen surface. They just make everything you touch greasy.

Here are some of the creams I use:

victoria's secret

 

glysomed hand cream

 

I have to say that the odd time I would use hand cream, I’d prefer Glysomed if I’m sure I won’t be typing up anything, playing the bass, using my phone, basically making any surface greasy with my hands. It is very effective and it really makes a difference, but again, it leaves your hands a bit greasy for a good period of time.

If I know I’ll be using my greasy paws for work very soon after applying hand cream, I go with the Victoria’s Secret one, since it would only make your hands greasy for a few minutes, and then your hot paws are good to go on the touchscreen. However, it’s not as effective as the Glysomed. Your hands become dry again as soon as you wash your hands.

Is there anything out there that you think might be really good for moisturizing hands/cuticles, without making everything you touch greasy? ;)

Hope you have a fantastic Monday everyone! ;)

 

 


mani.mondays.january2013.catch-up.edition.

Welcome!

the bangles, manic monday, monday, manicure, mani-pedi, mani

Hope you all had a restful weekend! I had quite a busy one, but I had a bit of down time as well, which is always nice on the weekends.

Saturday was spent at a mini event at church for the ones involved in the music ministry, followed by a birthday lunch out for Luke with a few friends at Country Meadows.

Now let’s get back to business. As promised, here we are again for the 2nd installment of the three catch-up editions we’re doing this January.

Here is a little experiment on some nail art:

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[Don't mind my really dry skin, I intend to talk about nail hardeners and cuticle moisturizers next Monday! ;)]

Above here is a mirror image of my right hand. I used my left hand to apply and you will notice the uneven application of the sparkly silver divider between the red and the blue polish.

I started off with just applying the red polish on the entire nail. When the polish is dry, apply the blue polish diagonally on the bottom third of the nail. [Notice how my index finger just has the red polish and the blue polish] After drying, I then apply the sparkly silver/titanium polish right between the red and the blue.

Below is a much better image with better application of the polish, because it’s my left hand, and I used my dominant right hand to apply.

mani mondays

Here are the different polishes I used:

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1. ORLY, Royal Navy

2. Nicole by OPI, Follow me on Glitter

3. Tip Toe by Old Navy, Red Aloud

I’ve tried Orly and Nicole by OPI before, but Tip Toe was very new to me. It was surprisingly great! The brush was decent and the polish was neither too thick or too thin, allowing me to just do a single coat. It was just right and it dried up pretty fast too! Yay Old Navy!

Have a great Monday everyone!


mani.mondays.january2013.edition.

Ok so I’ve missed a quarter of the year with this one. I got pretty busy with my day job. Most of my Mondays are spent at work now instead of being at home and enjoying a manicure ;)

How about we play catch-up and I give you the next 3 consecutive Mondays of January to make up for the last quarter of 2012? ;)

Welcome to the 2013 Manicure Mondays!

the bangles, manic monday, monday, manicure, mani-pedi, mani

manimondays

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Sinful Colors & The FaceShop

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Sinful Colors: Silver Glitter

The FaceShop: BR801 (It’s really unfortunate that they do not take the time to make up names for their polishes! Numbers are very hard to remember.)

manimondays

I got these nail stickers for free when I bought a nail kit from The Face Shop in Asia years ago.

manimondays

I decided to only use the stickers on my thumb and ring finger just to give the blah color a bit of a punch! ;)

Have a great Monday everyone! ;)


welcome.2013.

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If you don’t already know, this month marks my blog’s 1st anniversary! ;) YAY! Today, I’d like to share how it all began.

It was a year ago when I decided to start a blog in the hopes of encouraging creativity in my life.

Before getting married, I’ve always either worked full-time, or was in school full-time, or both. The first few months of being a housewife were great! I got to learn how to cook, bake, and manage the home altogether. However, I’m a quick study, the downside being, I get bored easily.

It eventually came to a point when I started feeling bothered when people asked what I did at home. (Like it’s a crime for a woman not to have a job and stay at home now?) They all most likely meant well, but all the questioning just made me feel so little, and it started making me question my sense of purpose.

This miserable introspection was the beginning of a beautiful journey. The life that would have just passed me by, has now been carefully chronicled on this blog. This entire year of blogging, helped me realize that what I did at home indeed had purpose and it brought me joy.

It is my hope to share this sense of purpose and joy to everyone!

Here are my 2012 favorites:

2012 Year-At-A-Glance

2012 Year-At-A-Glance

We brew joy here @joybrewed ;)


love.one.another.

Christmas is fun for most people!

We get to decorate our homes with festive ornaments and buy new things.

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Each corner screaming: “It’s Christmas! Let’s celebrate!”.

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What is there to celebrate?

For some people who have recently lost loved ones, or don’t have homes to decorate because of a storm/hurricane, or poverty, Christmas doesn’t really mean much.

As we pray for and think about those who have been affected by the tragedy in Connecticut, let’s share some love all around the work place, our schools, our church, our communities.

It’s what Christmas is all about after all. The greatest love of all, when the Father sent his only beloved son to be born human, die on the cross, so that we may experience life everlasting. There I’ve said it.

Have a great weekend and spread the love everyone!


birthday.getaway.weekend.

My Birthday is the day before Memorial day/Veteran’s Day, so I always get a long weekend or a holiday the day after! ;-)

Here’s what went down on the birthday getaway in Washington:

birthday getaway

We did a pitstop in Burlington on the way to Everett and did quite a bit of shopping at Ross! ;-) We wanted something quick and good for dinner. It was a toss between McDonald’s and Five Guys. Five Guys won. Love their free roasted peanuts while-you-wait on the queue gimmick.

It wasn’t until we got to the hotel in Everett that Kyla and I realized how “unfortunate” our Ross shopping bags looked, framed in the beautiful luggage trolley. To top it all off, Jason and Aji took the trolley with the nice bags on and left Kyla and I with “Ross trolley”. We were laughing out loud for a long time that the concierge had to ask what it was all about. ;-) Of course we divulged the reason for all the laughter.

Our first night at the hotel was restful. Dexter marathon with J and K before bed. I woke up to balloons and presents on my birthday courtesy of Kyla! ;-) The little bugger woke up early to blow up all the balloons in the bathroom, just in case I woke up before she was done. ;-) THANK YOU! ;-) All of it made my day!

My birthday was spent driving to Renton to have lunch at Jollibee {it’s a Filipino fast food restaurant we’ve been wanting to visit for some time now} and then it was shopping day again at South Center Mall. Ky and I found those ridiculously long and curly scarves at Forever 21 and decided it was photo time! ;-) We didn’t buy them, we’ve got nothing against them, I’m sure they look really pretty on really tall women with long necks! ;-)

Dinner was at the Cheesecake Factory. My parents  and a good friend Beegee, met up with us at Bellevue to dine. It was a 2-hour wait unfortunately, for a party of 7 that night. Boo. The food is always worth the wait there though, so we all sucked it up and I had a happy birthday! ;-)

One last thing, our free breakfast at the Holiday Inn Everett Washington was the bomb! ;-) Bacon, hash browns, eggs, toast and all-you-can-drink Starbucks coffee! ;-)

Have a great weekend! ;-)


autumn.wreath.

{This post is for those who’ve e-mailed me about the last post regarding our DIY autumn wreath, and also for those who didn’t get to e-mail and ask me but were interested to know how it was made.}

I made this wreath almost a year ago for Christmas, I think.

It’s made of:

pages from an old book + some egg cartons + a  glue gun + a red ribbon.

{Click here to see the first time I posted about it on this blog.}

This year, I decided to re-purpose it for Autumn and here it is:

It’s the easiest and cheapest re-purpose I’ve ever done. The only thing I did was change-up the red ribbon and add these Behr paint chips.

I got these free from Home Depot while we were looking for a paint colour for our accent wall in the living room. ;-)

The fun leaf shape gave me an idea for a future project, so I may have swiped more than “usual”…ooops. I didn’t know, at the time, it was going to be useful for my wreath, but I’m glad they worked out well.

The best part, aside from the fact that they were free, is that I didn’t have to glue them to the book pages {less work, and I can use the wreath again for another occasion}. I just stuck them into the holes and loose spots and they held up pretty nicely since I’ve put up the wreath a month ago.

You can totally change things up and use paint chips in different shapes, or make the wreath totally different by rolling up the book pages a different way! ;-)

Click here, here and here for other wreath ideas!

Hope you enjoyed this DIY post! Have a great day!


easter.pumpkins.

On Friday night last week, Kyla and I decided we would carve our pumpkins at their place. It was BYOP, so Aji and I went to Superstore on late Thursday night to grab our pumpkins. I went for what I thought was a decent medium size and Aji just went for a big one. To our surprise, Jason and Kyla’s pumpkins were mini ones compared to ours! ;-)

It was an extra fun activity because it was Aji’s first time to carve and we were all pretty excited about our theme: “Easter”

We sort of decided to put an Easter message twist to this year’s carving just because it’s a great way to join in on the fun of giving away candy to random strangers that come up to your doorstep, without joining in on the original evil connotation of halloween. ;-)

If you are wondering what pumpkin #1 says, it’s not about Easter, Aji was being a rebel and wanted to be different.

His pumpkin says: “THIS IS NOT A SQUASH”, in Filipino.

Pumpkin #2 is mine, it says: “JESUS LOVES YOU”

Pumpkin #3 is Jason’s and it’s a dove which is a symbol of the Holy Spirit.

Pumpkin #4 is Kyla’s and it’s a cross which is a symbol of Jesus’ empty cross.

We had an awesome time carving but Kyla had more fun taking the goop out of her pumpkin and some out of Jason’s and mine too! ;-)

{The first photo is my autumn wreath, I just thought it would be nice to add it to this bunch of photos}

After an evening of laughter, we capped the night off with some baked potato nachos with bacon, which Kyla made.

Hope you all had a great and fun evening tonight!


october.fest.

Time Flies.

I swear it was just the beginning of October, with the sunny skies and the uncharacteristic BC warm weather still here.

Well, those days are gone.

Incessant rain and gloom, falling leaves are here. Autumn is definitely here.

Here are some photos to remember our very own “October fest”.

October Re-cap { Photos from L-R }

1. Thanksgiving Dinner @ home. It was a blast!

2 & 3. Photographed some of Kyla’s gluten-free stuff for future grocery shopping reference. {For when we invite them over for dessert} I’m usually lost in the

gluten-free aisle when I go grocery shopping. I never know which one is a good brand and they are all very expensive that it sucks if you pick out the wrong,

crappy brand. Hence, I consulted the pro. ;-)

4. One Sunday morning before going to church. Isn’t it an amazing display of God’s creation? ;-)

5. Thanksgiving Dinner @ mom’s. It was intended as a Thanksgiving Lunch, but all that food fed us all until Dinner. We played some instruments and sang

some funny songs: i.e. Crash Test Dummies’ MMMMMmmmmmm song, Hanson’s MMMmmmbop song.

6. Liempo {broiled crispy pork}, Thanksgiving Lunch & Dinner @ mom’s.

7. Turkey {old-fashioned, stuffed and baked}, Thanksgiving Lunch & Dinner @ mom’s.

8. Kyla’s mixed vegetables. There were beets. Nuf said.

9. Dad’s grilled salmon, Thanksgiving Lunch & Dinner @ mom’s.

10. My creamy garlic mashed potatoes, Thanksgiving Lunch & Dinner @ mom’s.

11. Our decorative gourds on the kitchen island.

12. Our “Thankful Tree”. You may have seen this tree before, click here to jog your memory. I know, It’s a recycled craft, I’m working lots and my travel time

eats up my blogging and crafting time so I apologize. ;-)

13. Dad’s birthday dinner @ Dhoom Restaurant.

14. Jason wanted to be in the photo for my sister Belle, who wasn’t here, so there you go.

15. Still @ Dhoom { I know, minus the “H” it’s a very creepy name for a restaurant…lol }. It ended up being a double lamb curry, triple butter chicken

night with some rice and naan! ;-) If you love Indian food, this place is highly recommended! ;-)

16. Some gluten-free ginger snaps Kyla helped me buy, to make a gluten-free crust for my pumpkin pie for Penny’s pie party {click here}! ;-)

Well folks, it’s time to embrace the cold days.

Time to really take out the big bins of winter clothing and stuff them back into the closets. No more denial.

Have a great weekend everyone!


1st.birthday.party.weekend.

This past weekend was a pretty hectic one for us. We went to 2 one-year-old birthday parties! ;-)

The first one was my niece extraordinaire, Lexi’s birthday party. Her theme was a “Hoot” and the party was indeed a hoot! ;-)

Here are the photos:

L-R (Clockwise):

1. Candy buffet table, red velvet cake

2. Birthday girl Lexi and her Mom Ley

3. My mom and Lexi

4. Some macarons for dessert, made by my cousin Odette

5. The gorgeous owl cake topper was made by the birthday girl’s momma and the cake by her friend.

Some family photo booth fun:

L-R (Clockwise):

1. Jason (being a monkey) and Kyla

2. Aji & Joy

3. Aji, Joy, Kyla, Jason, Dad and Mom

4. Aji & Joy

The second one was our good friends’ first baby girl, “the champion”, Penny Joy’s party.

We literally ran from church to get lunch, then off to the party. Talk about a hectic day!

The theme was Penny Pie, hence, all the homemade pies brought by the guests.

L-R (Clockwise):

1. Pie Buffet Table

2. Penny playing with grandma Michelle’s gift, a picnic basket.

3. The Penny Pie Shack, for photo booth fun

4. My gluten-free pumpkin pie

5. Kyla’s gluten-free key lime pie

There was also a place for photo booth fun, but the birthday girl was a bit too tired by the time everyone was ready for photos.

The pie spread on the photo is also just the dessert table.

What a weekend! Makes me feel so old being tired going to 2 birthday parties in a row. ;-)

Have you been to any one-year-old birthday parties lately? ;-)

Have a great weekend everyone!


happy.thanksgiving.oh.canada!

To my fellow Canadians, Happy Thanksgiving! ;-)

To our American neighbours, it’s your excuse to eat turkey once again, this year and be thankful for a lot of things of course! ;-)

Today, Aji and I didn’t have anything planned but rest and relaxation. Unfortunately, I wake up really early on weekends following a week of early shift work.

So around 1:00pm I was actually done house chores, with Aji’s help.

I cooked brunch for Aji and I.

I cleaned our place (Aji did most of it).

I was able to play and practice bass.

I was able to make a little thanksgiving craft.

I thought: “Why don’t we have our family over for dinner? Who cares if we’re spending Sunday and Monday with them too for Thanksgiving Lunches?”

Who would’ve thought I’d get bored with the little, precious, spare “alone” time I had? ;-)

To be honest, we could’ve just stayed home and watched television all day. I just thought when there’s so much to be thankful for, it’s a bit selfish not to celebrate and share the gratefulness with your loved ones.

I didn’t want to waste the opportunity to celebrate our gratefulness to God with family.

Since we’re for sure having a more traditional Thanksgiving lunch tomorrow, I’ve decided to bake chicken with stuffing, instead of turkey. I also cooked glazed ham, fried rice, green beans, baked mushrooms and zucchini. My sous chef Aji was very helpful, I couldn’t have done all of this without him! ;-)

Kyla brought a pumpkin cheesecake pie for dessert, which was amazing!

I’m glad we had an awesome spontaneous family dinner together! Thanks for coming on short notice Mom, Dad, Ky, Jase and Beegee! ;-)

I am thankful for family; those with us and those who are far away from us. I am grateful for God’s kindness and compassion and His faithfulness and provision to us.

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!


wednesday.wishList.

A month ago, we were in Richmond and we actually had extra time on our hands to spend in a shopping mall. So off went Aji to the nearest Best Buy store and off I went to the nearest Home Sense store.

Here were my finds to add-on to my Wish List:

1. Reclaimed Wood Desk

Isn’t she exceptionally pretty? ;-) This is a work of art on its own! (Big Sigh…)

2. Shoe Organizer

Now I know we’ve already got those Ikea shoe but this is just my “the grass is greener on the other side of the fence” babble. ;-) I think it is much prettier than what we’ve got though, to be honest, not just because “the grass is greener..” lol!

3. Chevron Print Accent Chair/Vintage Green Side Table

Oh these pieces would work so well in our living room! Now while I love Ikea very much, I would like to gradually graduate from some of our Ikea furniture which I’ve had for at least 10 years already. (Hah! That will be the day…it’ll be a celebration! I’ll make sure to post lots of photos!)

4. Mail Slots/Magazine Organizer

I almost drooled when I saw this red, aged mail/magazine organizer! I think I gasped a little louder than usual at the store when I saw this, and people kind of looked on with this in mind: “What is wrong with her? It’s just a mail organizer!”

Contrary to popular belief, this is NOT just a mail organizer, it is a beautiful piece of furniture that can also work as wall art.

5. Red Door Painting

Oh what I would give for this cool painting to be in our entryway! Sadly, Home Sense does not accept barter, I asked.

To be honest, I didn’t even bother to look at the prices  of all the items because I would just be terribly disappointed not to be able to buy everything!

Instead, I basked in the joy of being able to take photos of the things I really loved so I could share them with you on this fateful Wednesday! ;-)

Have a great Wednesday everyone!


mani.mondays.october 2012.edition.

Let’s celebrate the first day of October with Mani Monday! ;-)

I’ve seen the polish brand Nicole, by OPI, for some time now but I’ve never tried it before.

Last week, I got a few of them and on the next few Mani Mondays, I’ll be sharing them with you! ;-)

Meet “Khloé Had A Little Lam Lam” and “Rainbow in the S-kylie”

“Khloé Had A Little Lam Lam” is a green-blue hue that shows as deep green with a blue undertone when done in 2 coats.

“Rainbow in the S-kylie” must be the most sparkly glitter polish I’ve ever owned! I love it! I should’ve gotten 2 of them!

Nicole by OPI is usually around $8.50-10.00 a bottle, but I lucked out when I got them for $8.50, with a “buy 1 get 2 free” promo! ;-)

I’m pretty satisfied with my bargain purchase and the quality of the polish I got! I think it is much thicker than the usual OPI polish. I only needed 2 light coats for this very dark “Khloé Had A Little Lam Lam” color.

The polish brush is a little bit wider than the OPI brush, which I think is better. It covers more of the nail with one stroke, so it leaves less brush marks and if you’re careful, it won’t even leave any.

Hope you have an inspiring Mani Monday and a spectacular week ahead of you!


rice.cakes.

One weekend over the summer, Mom and I were at TNT Supermarket perusing the grocery aisles and found this:

We quickly grabbed a box to try it and went home to bake it! ;-)

It’s like any other cake mix, you just have to add water, eggs and some sugar, then bake.

We topped it with salted duck eggs, and some grated cheddar cheese.

Baked it for 12 minutes at 450°F.

Voila!

Brush some butter on top and it makes it even creamier and yummier! ;-) Best served warm.

Just couldn’t resist posting more photos because they were so delectable.

You haven’t tried rice cakes until you’ve had these Bibingka rice cakes. I’m not kidding.

If you have nothing better to do on this lovely day, go and get a box of this Bibingka cake mix, some cooked salted duck eggs and you will not be disappointed! ;-)

Have a great weekend everyone! 


i.am.not.cinderella.

I’ve wanted to buy these converse shoes for some time now. They’re just a bit too expensive for my liking if I bought them off the rack, from the mall.

So when I saw them go on sale on Hautelook, I instantly bought 2 pairs that I’ve liked for some time now. I then had to patiently wait for them to get shipped and delivered.

I was so ecstatic when the package arrived and I opened the boxes because they’re just gorgeous aren’t they?

It would’ve been nice if they both fit me. After trying them on, neither of the two fit me! :-(

I didn’t realize they were men’s size so they’re waaaaay too big for me! ;-(

This is why I’m not all that sold on online shopping. It works for me most of the time, but this is the one time I wish it actually worked. Sigh.

I’m shipping them off today to return them!

Such a shame ! I’m not Cinderella after all.

Hope you’re having a better online shopping experience than I am!


mani.mondays.september2012.edition.

Happy Monday everyone! You’ve guessed it right! It’s that random day in September for Manicure Monday!

Can you tell how dry my hands are? Maybe I should do a hand care post one of these days for Manicure Mondays…

I definitely need good habitual hand care.

Ok, onto the three nail polish colours that I used, still from the Sinful Colors polish binge I went on a few months ago.

I used

1. Secret Admirer

2. Love Nails

3. Frenzy

I alternated Love Nails and Secret Admirer between my nails and topped them with the sparkly purple/aqua Frenzy.

The manicure looked fabulous despite my hands and cuticles desperately needing some hand care.

I still had a very positive experience with these nail polish. They didn’t come off easily even after a full week’s work. They remained glossy and sparkly too!

Have a great week ahead of you! ;-)


patio.express.bench.

We bought this “Patio Express” from Superstore. When we got home after the purchase, Aji, immediately took to his computer and played his video games (his usual on a weekend, and on weeknights too).

So off I went onto the patio, to build the “patio express”. It had Ikea-like drawing instructions that made things really easy, identifying each screw and where they went exactly.

It took me all but 10 minutes to build this baby. I’m assuming this is why they decided to call it the “Patio Express”. ;-)

I would’ve finished sooner if not for the lack of another person to help me secure both sides of the bench arms while I screwed them down. [In all fairness to Aji, he did actually help me for about a minute or so during the build, thanks love!] ;-)

Anyways, here are some photos of my latest “puzzle building” activity:

It was such a fun little afternoon puzzle! ;-) Best of all, it was only $29.00 at Superstore and it is very sturdy and it fits well in our patio behind the bedroom window.

Hope you’re having a great Labor Day weekend everyone! ;-)


liebster.blog.award.

A few facts about the Liebster Blog Award

- After a few “google” searches, I found out that the origin of this award either isn’t out there anymore, or has changed url addresses.

- I did however find out that “LIEBSTER” is German for “DEAREST”.

- It is one of those blogger to blogger awards, where you have to nominate other bloggers after you’ve been nominated for it.

- With this particular award, originally, you had to nominate 5 bloggers with less than 200 readers. How it came about to 11 bloggers and no particular number of readers, I’m not really sure and I’m not up to finding out either.

Anyways, since I’ve been nominated using the new rules, we’ll just have to follow those don’t we? ;-)

Cheers to Ja, of Athlete In Me for an awesome blog! You started this blog from knowing absolutely nothing about how to create one and you so quickly and efficiently blossomed into a full-time blogger! Like how a forest fire would start from a single spark and spread ablaze in a few minutes! ;-) Your determination inspires me! ;-)

Thank you for the nomination, it’s a first for me too! ;-)

So this is how the Liebster Blog Award goes:

1. Answer the questions that the person who tagged you asks.

2. Tell us 11 random things about yourself.

3. Tag 11 blogs and link them to your post.

4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag.

Ja and Joy’s Q & A:

Ja’s Questions in red, My answers in Black.

1. What do you love most about blogging?

Here are some of the reasons why I love blogging:

I love that it is both a journal and an artistic outlet for me.

It gives me the feeling of accomplishment when I look back and see the DIY things that I’ve made.

It gives the people I love that are far away from me, updates about Aji and I.

2. What are your hobbies except for blogging?

I like cooking and baking. I absolutely love anything DIY and decorating! ;-) I’m on the constant look-out for things I can re-purpose at home. It’s becoming an addiction I think.

3. What’s your favorite blog that you read daily?

Young House Love and Our Humble Abowed are definitely the two for me! ;-) You should follow these blogs! They’re the best! ;-)

4. What snack do you eat at the movies?

Aji and I don’t normally snack in the movie theatres. We find munching and crunching a bit annoying and disruptive when you’re watching movies that require “thinking”. ;-) However, on the odd times that we do watch light, entertaining movies, we would have popcorn of course! ;-)

5. If you could travel back in time, what era would you choose and why?

Definitely the late 60′s early 70′s, to get a chance to see the Beatles Live in concert duh! ;-)

6. Iphone or Android?

I have an iphone, but since Aji got the google nexus phone, I’ve been wanting to switch! ;-) lol!

Seriously though, the iphone is better for me because the apps tie-in very nicely with my mbpro, hence I find it easier and convenient to use when I blog and do everything else.

7. If you could pick a dream profession, what would it be?

It’s a toss-up between a Professional Shopper, and an Interior Designer. I’m being serious! How awesome would that be!?!

8. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever given/received?

Wow, this is quite deep. I’ve received so much advice and I’ve given a few, but I really think it’s not my place to say which one is the best I’ve given.

Here’s the best piece I’ve received:

- Change is the only thing that’s permanent in this world. Don’t fret if things change, expect it and be ready for it. – Dad

9. What’s the best time to workout for you?

I don’t really workout. However, on my days of inspiration, I would go and run in the neighbourhood late at night (9-10 ish) then go home, have a shower and go to bed. I find that late nights are the best because I don’t feel exhausted during the day, so I don’t really “waste” time resting and feeling sorry for my achy muscles. ;-) I sleep it off and it’s a brand new day when I wake-up.

10. A must have item on you at all times? (pick one!)

A purse! ;-)

11. Which country, other than your current residence, do you love most?

I love Singapore! It’s a bit like home, because it’s beautiful, orderly and clean but warm all year round (unlike here)! ;-) Another thing I love about it is that it has low crime rate because people actually respect the law in Singapore.

Thanks again Ja! I’ve enjoyed answering your questions today! ;-)

11 Random Things About Me:

1. I do not eat raw/uncooked vegetables.

2. I love cold brewed coffee, but anything coffee is fine.

3. I do not like sweating. I have a problem with feeling sticky and dirty and having sweaty people around me. (You can infer from this random fact about me, that I do not like the gym) lol.

4. I absolutely love purses and shoes! But who doesn’t? ;-)

5. Purple used to be the one colour love of my life. Now purple just has to share with Turquoise and Red.

6. I love manicures and pedicures. Again, who doesn’t?

7. I was in school for the most part of my life, 24 years. No, I do not love school and I do not particularly like exams, but I love learning.

8. I’ve known my husband for 20 years now. No, I’m not a 60-year old woman! ;-)

9. I am a bit obsessive with cleanliness and order. I haven’t always been. I’m not sure when it all started. I think it was a gradual process, wanting to be organized and wanting to have everything clean and orderly. If you watch Friends re-runs, I am “Monica”.

10. I am a meat lover. Meat lover + No raw veggies = Colon Cancer.

Yes, I’m quite convinced that I will have colon cancer sooner than later in my life, but at least I enjoyed living and eating what I love, right!? ;-)

11. I hate the rain. I know hate is a strong word, but I do not like it when my feet get wet and I generally do not appreciate the gloominess and dirt all around that rain entails.  [I do appreciate that rain is good for the foliage though, but I'm not foliage...I digress. ]

My 11 Questions For You: 

1. What do you consider the single most important technological discovery in the 21st century?

2. What makes you happy on a particularly bad day?

3. What is most important to you right now, aside from God and family.

4. What is your favorite baked goodie?

5. What is the best recipe you’ve recently tried or made? [Care to share? ;-) ]

6. Where’s the best place you’ve been to and why? [It doesn't matter if it's Disney Land, it is the best place on earth! ;-) ]

7. Do you find it hard to open up to people and why?

8. What do you consider the most annoying?

9. Quartz, Granite, or Marble countertops?

10. What’s your favorite pastime?

11.  If you can have an all expenses paid holiday week, anywhere in the world, where would you want to go? (choose 1 place)

My Top 11 Liebster Blog Award Nominations:

Here are my top 11 blog picks that I find really interesting. I would love to know more about the authors! ;-)

1. Donna of Donna On Palawan

2. Kellie of Le Zoe Musings

3. Tori of The Stori Brook

4. Beth of The Renegade Seamstress

5. Kristin of Bliss at Home

6. Tracy of Let’s Get Thrifty

7. Amanda of Our Humble Abowed

8. Leslie of Work Play Polish

9. Sandra of Miss S’s Office

10. The Mouse of Live2Eat Eat2Live

11. Magdalena and Agatha of A Good Hostess

That’s it folks! Wow this has been lengthy!

Have a beautiful week ahead of you! ;-)


no.bake.cheesecake.

To everyone out there who lives in a southwest-facing home, I know you can totally relate to the fact that this is hardly the time to be doing any baking at home. Since we moved to our new condo almost 3 months ago, I think I’ve only baked once and I quickly regretted it soon after the oven started pre-heating. It just made our entire place feel like a sauna, even more than it did already, before I turned the oven on.

But I love baked goods and I just love eating baked goods. So my solution has been to just buy cakes from the grocery store. However, lately, I’ve wanted to make something out of my blueberries that I’ve frozen from a couple of weeks ago. I dared to pre-heat the oven, but it got too hot too fast, so I quickly turned to the Martha Stewart’s website and found a great no-bake cheesecake recipe.

For the complete recipe and instructions, see here

Meanwhile, here are photos from when I made the cheesecake, oven-free! ;-)

It’s a “combine-all-ingredients” type of recipe so all the newbie wives out there, you can totally impress using this recipe without being frustrated with the failed baking results! ;-)

Remember to use a springform pan so you can easily pop the cheesecake out on a pedestal cake holder.

This is a regular graham cracker crumb + butter + sugar kind of crust and the best part is, you don’t have to bake it! ;-)

Click here for the blueberry topping recipe. Even this recipe is a dump everything in a pan kind of deal, so it’s really fool-proof! ;-)

Isn’t this a beauty?

Oh so worth all the work! ;-)

To anyone who’s interested in how it tastes, it is as delectable as it looks! It’s actually not very sweet because of the lemon juice that the recipe called for. I was pleasantly surprised with the results! The crust held very well, even without baking. All in all, this was a successful no-bake recipe I made on a whim! ;-)

If you’re following a gluten-free diet, this is a cheesecake I would recommend and you would just need to buy gluten-free graham cracker crumbs for the crust.

Hope this works out for you and you get to enjoy an oven-free summer! ;-)


fashion.friday.

TGI Friday! ;-)

Now let’s talk fashion ladies!

1. Miz Mooz, Tamara Wedge Sandals- $41.00, originally $119.95 (Hautelook or Shoe Suite)

- peep toe, covered wedge

- zip back closure for ease

- 3.5″ heel

How do you like this beautiful blue wedge sandal so versatile you can pair it with probably anything? I love it so much!

2. Silver Jeans, Aiko Skinny Jeans- $27, originally $80 (Hautelook)

- skinny leg

- zip fly button closure

- slight front distressed look

This outfit is so casual-chic with this Silver pair of skinny jeans and flowy top. The jeans are dark but have a subtle distressed detail that make for a great pair for this coming Fall.

You could totally rock those Tamara Wedge Sandals with this outfit right? ;-)

3. Earnest Sewn, High-Rise Skinny Twill Jeans- $72, originally $194 (Hautelook)

- skinny leg

- zip fly button closure

- purple/burgundy twill material

This is a more dressy look with the structured jacket and the twill pair of jeans, but if you want to make it casual and bright, wear some color on your feet!

Those Tamara Wedge Sandals would also look great with this outfit! ;-).

4. Calvin Klein, Madison Pants- $35, originally $80 (Hautelook) 

- straight leg

- zip fly closure

- 2 front slant pockets, 2 back mock pockets

This outfit totally sends out Fall vibes. I think these boring camel sandals aren’t the best for this though.

Now the Tamara Wedge Sandals we’ve been talking about from the beginning of this post would go so well with this number, picking up on the blue/green hues on that colourful top.

Have a great weekend everyone! ;-)  See you in September for our next Fashion Friday! ;-)


manicure.monday.august.2012.edition.

Hello everyone! ;-) Today is that random Monday I picked for the month of August for our ManicURE Mondays!

I’m still testing one of the Sinful Color bottles I picked up a few months ago.

This one’s called “Stella” and it’s a shimmery brown/taupe polish. It’s a nice calm fall/winter colour I think, but a bit too bland for the summer.

We still have a few more weeks of summer after all (hopefully), so I decided to add some more sparkles on the already sparkly number.

I used an H & M nail polish called “Spark me up”, which has red, blue, silver and light blue glitter sparkles, on a clear coat base.

Check out my pinky right above with the glittery sparkles. It made such a difference from the plain brown polish I had.

I think this boring autumn nail colour was transformed into a more appropriate colour for the hot summer days we’ve been having lately! ;-)

I have to add that with about 2 coats of the “Stella” and another 2 coats of the “Spark me up”, this manicure lasted me 2 full weeks and that’s even with working almost everyday and cooking too!

(A tip for those who’ve tried it before and find it chips quickly, make sure to apply a very thin first coat and let it dry thoroughly to touch, then apply a thicker second coat and then repeat thorough air drying, after which a colorless topcoat, to make it last long)

That being said, I think Sinful Colors nail polish is definitely worth a try! ;-)

I’d love to hear from you if you’ve tried this brand before or if you have another new brand you’re testing out! ;-)

Have a great Monday and an even better week ahead!


wednesday.wishList.

It’s that special day of the month once again, where I share my wishes to you guys! ;-)

1. 43″ Samsung 43 Plasma HDTV (pn43d450)- 499.95$, at BestBuy

I think it’s way too big for our living room really. But this one’s definitely Aji’s wish. If it were up to me, I’d get a 32″ or a 36″ tv. If I want a bigger screen, I’d rather go to the theatre. So why did I put it up on my wish list you ask? Well just thought I’d share one of Aji’s wishes. ;-)

2. Oster Convection Toaster Oven- 99$, at Canadian Tire

We already have a little red, 2-slice bread toaster, but sometimes, I think it would be nice to have one of these little convection ovens, just for heating up leftover pizza you don’t want to get soggy in the microwave. Well, that and many other things like baking a little pan of brownies, or a little dish of chicken. It would just be much more energy-efficient, rather than using our full size oven. Plus, it wouldn’t create too much heat in the house during the summer months.

I’m so good at convincing myself aren’t I? ;-)

Oh Aji even said, it would be better than a microwave, because it doesn’t use radiation for heating up leftovers! ;-) Now this totally sounds like what I’d call a “hard-sell” guy at the store right?!

3. Patio Furniture- 149$, originally 300$ at Superstore

What we love about this patio set, is that it’s all foldable including the table! Plus the table can expand to this full size, and can also be smaller for a smaller group.

We’ve wanted to buy a good set of patio furniture since we bought our place. We’re just waiting for a good end-of-summer sale. Now that it’s here, we’re shying away from all the great sales. We feel like we should be careful with our spending. What with the new mortgage payments and all the new bills.

Sigh. We’ll see. So far, God has blessed us far and beyond what we’ve expected and hoped for. So maybe He will allow us to enjoy some of these things we wish for.

Anyways, I should cut this post short. All these items are waaaaay too expensive already. I have to wake myself out of this dream! ;-)

Hope you’re having a great Wednesday!


when.all.things.seem.to.go.wrong.

It’s a Monday morning.

Had horrible abdominal cramps since last night.

I have a 7am shift at work today and it just isn’t the best day for me.

Got up at 4am, got out of the house on time to get on the train so I wouldn’t be late for the bus. However, the bus I was supposed to get on was 30 minutes late. So big news, I was late for work (which I totally hate, that’s why I make sure to leave my place early)!

I had to change into a scrub suit after coming to work already late, only to find out I was allegedly supposed to work at 9am!

Can you imagine the fuming anger I had in me? I was about to explode and just go home because let’s see,

a. I wasn’t feeling well to begin with.

b. I had to wake up at 4am.

c. My bus was a half an hour late.

d. The scheduler at work screwed up my schedule.

e. I have 2 extra hours I have to waste being at work on top of my 10 hr. shift.

Everything about my Monday morning is not working out. :-/

Here I am, venting to all of you, knowing fully well it won’t do much good for me.

So instead, I turn to the one who comforts me, more than anything and anyone.

“In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NASB)

An immediate calm and peace is over me.

What have I to be thankful for this morning you may ask? Well, I’m curious myself so I went ahead and made a list.

a. I woke up not feeling well, but alive nonetheless.

b. I’m healthy, I don’t have some debilitating illness.

c. While I’m not rich, I have the means to get to work and back home and I have more than enough food in my lunch bag for the long day ahead.

d. I saw a great sunrise this morning, while on the train, a combination of pink-red-orange skies, the beauty of which couldn’t possibly be described by words.

e. I’m sitting on a lazy boy chair in the “quiet room” at work so I have a place to rest and relax before I officially start my day at 9am.

f. I have good coffee and hot water which makes my tummy feel better.

g. Above all, I actually have a job, that pays the bills and allows me to bless other people who are in need.

For these I am thankful to God and for His mercy and love and forgiveness for my ungrateful heart earlier this morning.

This photo was from yesterday’s beautiful fund-raising bbq at Richmond Alliance Church for Islandson Ministries ;-)

So much to be thankful for, I wonder why we even bother to be ungrateful!?

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Check out the button on the right hand side of this page to learn more about Islandson Ministries!;-)

Have an awesome Monday everyone! ;-)


i.miss.my.grandma.

The other day, on the way to work, on the bus, I saw a little girl hanging on so tightly to her grandma’s arm. She kept asking her at each stop if she should get ready to get off the bus. Her grandma would laugh and tell her not yet.

In retrospect, it reminded me of how annoyingly persistent I was when I asked my grandma about my “questions in life”, but it also reminded me of how patiently she would treat each question valid and gave me non-dismissive answers each time.

Seeing these two on the bus was so sweet, it made me miss my two grandmothers!

Lola Lu and Lola Derie, wish you were still here. I remember your patience, kindness and love often. I love you!

Just having a nostalgic day. I guess this was a great reminder to remember and appreciate loved ones while you still can! ;-)

Have a nice Saturday everyone!


long.weekend.festivities.

Saturday night spur-of-the-moment mini barbecues are the best! ;-)

We realized the following:

- we really had nothing planned (as we were too lazy to head out downtown and watch the fireworks),

- we had no good t.v. shows to watch aside from the televised olympic games,

- it was nice and hot out,

- we had meat in the freezer and

- we have a perfectly good patio and grill to have a barbecue night.

In B.C. (the land of rain and gloom), we take every opportunity to have a barbecue when it’s nice out. We don’t get a lot of those.

Aji being the man of the household, taking care of the grilling,


…while I take care of the sampling and eating. ;-)

My kind of bbq:

Drink: blueberry and melon smoothie

Food: plain burger with french bread

Of course Aji got to eat too! He was stuffed, he had two massive (non-plain) burgers. ;-)

But that’s not all we had, you see those things on the grill below? ;-) They are simply the best!

Chicken breast + Bacon = Chicken tornado

YUM!

We didn’t plan on having people over, but mom came by after work. Later that night dad too, after his fishing trip with my brother. Then another friend also came over. We all had dessert and some had leftover bbq. All this while watching Michael Phelps make history once again, was a night to remember. Well done fishyMichael! ;-)

All in all, it was a pretty awesome spontaneous saturday summer bbq! That’s how we like it! ;-)

Sunday was a day of going to church service and a day of rest.

We had planned a bbq at White pine beach on Monday with our good friends Matt, Kat and their baby Penny, but the weather quickly took a turn for the worse, so we decided to just have a patio bbq again at our place!;-)

We know how to make the best of the weather we have! ;-)

We got some meats from Superstore, which is a 2 minute walk from where we live, and we got the grill ready.

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Here goes the chicken tornado again and the hamburgers! ;-)

Our guests brought homemade chicken skewers and beef ribs marinated in homemade sauce.

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This is the summer spread minus the meats, they were still on the grill. By the time they were ready to be photographed, we were all just ready to eat as well!! ;-)

Penny was entertaining us while Aji was grilling.

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The Johnson Family + Aji
(L-R Kat, Matt, Penny, Aji)

Penny was eating frozen cantaloupe, if you were wondering why her cute little face was pouting! ;-)

Monday night spur-of-the-moment mini barbecues with friends, now that’s how you end a long weekend with a bang! ;-)

Hope you had a great long weekend!


chicken.with.basil.mushroom.cream.sauce.

Last week I was going to cook some stew with the chicken I had. I got inspiration from my newly purchased Basil plant, so I whipped something up that’s totally different from what I intended to make.

I’d like to share with you the recipe I came up with. See how easy and tasty it is!

Chicken with Basil and Mushroom Cream Sauce

Ingredients:

Boneless, skinless, chicken breast- 2 lbs. cut into strips

Shake’n Bake - 1 package

White wine- 1/4 cup

White mushrooms- 8 large pcs. washed and sliced

Fresh basil leaves- 10 leaves, washed

Campbell’s cream of mushrooms- 1 can

Egg- 1 beaten

Butter- 1 tbsp

Salt and Pepper to taste.

Procedure:

Breaded Chicken Strips:

1. Sauté sliced mushrooms in a teaspoon of butter or some cooking oil ’til brown. Set aside.

2. Open shake’n bake packet and pour into a large bowl, add some salt and pepper to taste.

3. Pre-heat large frying pan to medium high and add some olive oil or canola.

4. Dip chicken into beaten egg and then dip into a bowl of shake’n bake breading.

5. Pan sear the breaded chicken strips make sure they are flat on the pan. (please keep in mind the chicken are pan-seared, not deep-fried, so use very little oil)

6. Cover for a 2 minutes and flip the chicken and cover again for another 2 minutes.

7. Lower heat to medium to cook chicken thoroughly. (they shouldn’t take too long to cook because they are boneless, skinless, chicken breast strips)

8. Do steps 4-7 in batches until all the chicken is cooked. Set Aside.

Basil, Mushroom Cream Sauce:

1. Pour a can of cream of mushroom on a medium sauce pan at low to medium heat.

2. Use a wire whisk to mix until smooth and free of lumps.

3. Add 1 tablespoon butter, sautéed mushrooms, salt and pepper to taste.

4. Add wine and stir with whisk.

5. Add a bit of water or some milk to thin out the sauce if it becomes too thick. (this will highly depend on your sauce preference)

6. Finally, cut the basil leaves into smaller pieces and add them into the cream sauce and keep stirring with whisk.

7. Pour basil, mushroom, cream sauce onto the breaded chicken.

8. Serve and Enjoy! ;-)

Hope you liked this easy recipe I came up with, inspired by my new basil plant! ;-)

I’d love to hear from you if you ever get to try this one out! ;-)

Have an awesome B.C. Day Monday! ;-)


some.cheap.finds.

On Thursday, I was off work, so I walked to the grocery store to cross-off some stuff on my grocery list. I walked to Save-on-foods among others, this time, I remembered not to buy meat that would give me that horrible bruising on my shoulder on the way back home! ;-)

First stop:

Save-On-Foods

I got these small Basil and Rosemary plants for $2.50 each! ;-) They also had Cilantro and Thyme but I’m not into Cilantro, and Thyme I rarely use. So these two are a perfect addition to my little indoor garden! ;-)

Next Stop:

Dollarama

You see those nice little plant pots the Basil and Rosemary are in? They didn’t come with the plants for $2.50! I wish they did, but I found a cheap but beautiful alternative.

These beautiful ceramic plant pots were 2$ each from Dollarama! ;-) Score!

Last Stop:

Superstore

After some blueberry and bread shopping, I glanced at the massive end-of-summer sale they had in the Joe Fresh Women’s clothing department.

Joe clothing is one of my favorites!! ;-) The design is casual chic which is totally what I need for my daily work clothes and just general everyday use. They are grotesquely cheap when they go on sale. So I ALWAYS wait for their sale events.

a. Blue light long-sleeved top embellished with front black lace- 3.25$, originally 19$

b. Grey and white light long-sleeved, collared top- 3.25$, originally 19$

c. Camel light cardigan/sweater with front rushing- 3.25$, originally 19$

d. White summer tote with 2 brown leather straps- 6.75$, originally 20$

Let’s see, I got 2 beautiful tops, 1 sweater, and 1 bag, all brand new items, for 16.50$! ;-)

Now that’s what I call robbing the store really.

So have a nice relaxing walk today and head out to your nearest Superstore if you’ve got nothing planned! ;-)

Have a great long weekend everyone!! Happy BC Day!


girl.time.

Two Mondays ago, I was off work, and a friend of mine, Amy, came over to visit me and our new home. She brought her baby Jacob and all of his cuteness too! (I was preoccupied with the cutie pie so I wasn’t able to take photos)

It was a quick visit but it was fun just being with a girl friend and talking about “girly” things. It’s a nice break from the work, home, work, home routine.

Amy wanted to go to TNT Supermarket, an Asian grocery store, and I tagged along. I got some veggies and I also bought black bean sauce which I’ve planned to use for ground beef for the longest time, but just never got around to doing. Good thing Amy was there to boost my confidence about black bean sauce and how easy it is to use for Asian/Chinese cooking.

Last week, I was off work again on Monday, and I had two beautiful ladies (Rho and Linds) over for lunch. They intended to camp by the Vedder River Campsite over the weekend until Monday, but the weather didn’t permit that. I was fortunate enough to catch these busy girls with a free Monday, so it was the perfect day to get together.

Rho and Linds brought me goodies (even though they really didn’t have to, it was just a lunch).

Anyways, I got me some new dish cloths/towels, a cute “pig” chip clip and  a pretty plant:

(thanks so much ladies, for your thoughtfulness!)

The table setting with some vanilla scented candles:

This was before I served the food:

Too bad I don’t have a photo of our actual lunch.

The appies were a tad too healthy for me, (well, minus the potato chips of course!) but I knew my guests would appreciate some almonds and table grapes.

We had steamed rice and ground beef with green beans and eggplant on black bean sauce for lunch. I know it’s a mouthful, but it really was a simple dish to put together.

I have to say it was my first time to cook with black bean sauce (thanks Amy!) and it was a hit! Rho and Linds loved it. (Hopefully they weren’t just being nice and polite guests) ;-) I didn’t hear the word “interesting”, which my husband would always use when he is trying to be polite about the food, so that’s a good sign right? ;-)

I apologize profusely for not taking photos of the main course. You’re not missing anything though, it just looked dark with all that black bean sauce and ground beef. I have to say, it’s one of those dishes that you have to taste, to give it justice. ;-) (Lame excuse, I know. Maybe I’ll write a recipe post and take photos next time!)

Anyways, just thought I’d share two of my consecutive Mondays spent well with great girl friends! ;-)

If you’ve been very busy lately, with work, or anything else that is taking up too much of your time, then take the time to wind down with your friends! ;-) It’s good for your sanity ;-)

Have a great rest of the week! ;-)


manicure.monday.july2012.edition

It’s MANIcure Monday and I just made it in time for the last Monday of July! ;-)

This is Midnight Blue #13, of Sinful Colors Collection.

Under bright lights and natural sunlight, it becomes a rich iridescent royal blue.

      

When it’s dark, it becomes a very deep blue.

I’m sorry the photos don’t really do my nails any justice.

I say it’s a pretty good nail color to choose if you have a long day out, because of the dual tone it gives.

During the day, you have bright blue summer nails and later if you have an evening party to go to, you’ll have dark, tame nails that suit evening affairs.

Have a great start of the week everyone! ;-)


last.family.wedding.

Last weekend, we went to Christian (my cousin) and Suzy’s wedding.

After the ceremony and the reception, we realized that it might be the last “family wedding” in a long time (when I say family, I mean, including first cousins).

While weddings can be stressful for the people getting married and their immediate families, I think they’re a welcome reunion for the rest of the extended family. At least that’s how I feel.

Anyways I’ll let the photos speak for themselves here.

Here are some snippets on their special day:

How do you like the white rose balls?

I heard about 3 people touch them and ask if they were real. They weren’t, but these are getting really popular at weddings. Very pretty in pictures, plus you don’t have to worry about getting fresh flowers that might wilt fast in the summertime. Not to mention they can get really pricey.

During the wedding ceremony, I briefly “stole” my cousin Ley’s baby girl, Lexi. Well, if you call 2 hours brief, then yes, that’s how long Lexi stayed on my lap without making a fuss. She’s baby extraordinaire! ;-)

Lexi’s chubby legs and her beautiful shoes:

Lexi and Auntie Joy:

Lexi trying to read the wedding program, I told you she’s baby extraordinaire!

Below are the mothers of the bride and groom:

The bride with her dad.

The wedding kiss.

It’s not the very best photo, but you get the drift. ;-)

The wedding reception at Shiang Garden Restaurant.

They did a 12-course Chinese Banquet Style dinner. To those of you who are unfamiliar with that, it’s exactly as the name describes. It’s basically a 12-course dinner, but they serve each course, one at a time.

The head table:

My mom, Lexi, and my cousin Ley:

Lexi being playful. (with Ley) 

Aji and I:

Uncle Ed and Auntie Flora:

Mom and I:

Mom and Dad:

The Lucas family: Len, Ley and Lexi

I’m sure not everyone will agree with me here, because for most people, weddings can be awkward and can be dreaded family gatherings.

I have my reasons.

Our extended family is close-knit by most people’s standards. We used to go out with our cousins and do things friends would do together like dining out, snowboarding, rollerblading, hiking, and just hanging out.

Growing up and being married is great and all, but our busy married lives kept us from visiting with each other often. In fact, the past few years, we’re lucky if we even saw each other once a year. So you see why I welcome weddings and having a great big reason to celebrate together as a family?

Anyways, that’s just me. Hope you’re not feeling stuck in one of those family weddings/gatherings during the weekend! ;-)

On a bright note, they say smartphones are a great companion during unwanted, uncomfortable moments.

Have a great Sunday everyone!


the.accent.wall.development.

Some people are afraid of using colour in their home. Aji and I are not “some people”. We love colour. Even before we moved into our new home, we’ve already decided on our accent wall colour.

Our picks ranged from blues to purples to reds until we’ve both agreed on this:

We were positive it was going to look bright even if it seemed too dark on the palette. We have a massive living room window so we knew the light will balance the dark paint on the wall.

So after the move, unpacking and cleaning, we painted the accent wall. (By “we” I mean, Aji painted while I slept and then I took off the tape in the morning)

This is half the wall painted already. Of course we chose nighttime to paint instead of daytime. It gets really warm in the afternoon in our living area.

This is a day photo and the wall looks very blue. It looks a lot more green/turquoise in night photos.

This is the finished wall without any artwork.

We were contemplating if we were going to leave it blank and let the colour be the accent.

You can see the other side of the living room here and you will notice that we really do love splashes of colour.

I just had to add some red in the mix to tie it with my “red love affair” in the kitchen.

Of course I couldn’t help but add some artwork on the wall. It was inevitable.

Then I added a few more picture frames.

Finally, Aji decided to hang one of our “children”, Aster (a Fender Stratocaster American Deluxe), on the wall and the accent is complete.

This is a night shot and an ultra saturated one might I add (sorry to the ultimate photographers out there).

Here’s a day shot of the wall. ;-)

These are the updates so far, will for sure do another post if we change-up the wall in the coming months! ;-)

Hope you’re having a great week so far!


exercise.fail.

Anybody who knows me personally, will also know that the closest I get to exercising and going to the gym is my occasional (about once in 2 months maybe) running, recreational (about once a year or so) swimming, and Yoga/Pilates when Kyla asks for a buddy.

Yesterday, I was off work and it was gloomy outside. So I decided to take a little walk to the grocery store. Google maps said it’s about 1.1 km from our place to the nearest Safeway and about an eleven-minute walk. I was feeling a little adventurous. The cool air and gloominess outside was actually inviting for me to take a brisk walk to the store.

I bought about 6 kg of this:

and also 1 kg of this:

After paying for my items, I realized I was going to have to walk and carry about 7 kilograms of meat on the way home.

I didn’t fret. I figured it was my exercise for the day.

It was a bit heavy for my shoulder at first. A few minutes later, every step I made seemed like the grocery bag on my shoulder was getting heavier.

After getting home and taking my jacket off, to my surprise, this is what I saw:

Can you see the bruising around my shoulder where my grocery bag strap (with about 7 kg of meat) was?

Now this is what you call an epic exercise fail! :-/

What’s worse is that I’m going to my cousin’s wedding today. I guess halter and tube top dresses are out.

Hope you’re having a better try at exercise today! ;-) Have a wonderful day!


fashion.friday.july2012.edition.

Today is my random Friday pick of the month! ;-)

So let’s talk about these gorgeous pieces I’ve picked out of the Hautelook sales events.

I want to start with this rich, black, structured bag that made my heart jump a bit.

1. Clo tote- by R & Em; list price $105, sale price $52 on Hautelook

- Dual top handles
- Detachable shoulder strap
- Magnetic snap closure
- Center zip detail
- Interior zippered wall pocket and two media pocket

I wish they made these beautiful heart-stopping shoes with kitten heels. I cannot walk in 5″ stiletto heels if my life depended on it! :-/

2. Saniano Pumps- by Enzo Angiolini; list price $110, sale price $38 on Hautelook

- Peep toe
- Pleated bow detail at vamp
- Satin upper
- Glitter heel and platform
- Approx. 5″ heel, 1″ platform

Since I might just keel over and die from the pumps I just showed, let’s move on to these sparkly and dainty flat sandals! ;-) Now this is more like it! ;-)

3. Persuit sandals- by Enzo Angiolini; list price $80, sale price $49 on Hautelook

- Open toe
- Strappy vamp with sparkly black rhinestones
- Ankle strap with zip back closure
- Approx. 0.25″ heel

Just because today is a rainy summer Friday, I chose to go with a neutral dress and accessories. I’m not in the mood for bright today.

I’m loving this figure-hugging taupe dress and the black belt with a bit of a punch on the buckle.

3. Valentino Jeweled Buckle Belt- by Valentino; list price $545, sale price $200 on Hautelook

Now I know I mentioned the belt, I’m not sure where you can buy this dress, but I’m sure you can find something similar in your own closet or in the mall. ;-) You can’t go wrong with a simple, taupe dress.

I hope this brightened up your otherwise rainy and gloomy Friday! I know it did mine! ;-)

Have a great weekend everyone!


happy.1st.month.new.homeowner.

This morning, I greeted Aji with a giant Costco red velvet cupcake to celebrate our 1st month as homeowners. ;-) Time did fly by waaaaaay too fast! Now that we’ve done all the unpacking and most of the decorating, it’s time to party! ;-)

Here are some before photos during our move:

Do you like the pristine white quartz countertops and the shiny beige over-sized, tiled backsplash? I do, I do! ;-)

and after our move:

I have no idea where the countertops went. They disappeared, and so did the floors! ;-)

Slowly clearing up the floors:

The beginning of the accent wall:

Will post more about what we’re doing with “the accent wall” soon!

Have a blessed Sunday and a great start of the week everyone!


foyer.lover.

One of my most favorite parts in our new home is the foyer, aka entryway. We didn’t have one before at the old place.

Having lived in a dormitory for four years during Med. school, before getting married, I never really knew what I was missing.

What foyer are you talking about?

You have to understand, Aji and I lived in my dorm room for about 2 months after getting married in the Philippines, before I went back home to Vancouver. When we moved into my parents’ one bedroom basement suite, we totally thought the space was so much more than what we had in the dorm, so we were just so thankful.

A few months passed and it seemed like the basement unit was getting smaller for the two of us. Accumulated junk stuff is what happened.

Then we had people over and we realized that the most number of people we can have over is six, that’s including the two of us.

Aside from the fact that we had very little space for guests to leave their shoes in, we also figured out that during the winter months, not having a foyer meant having the door open straight into your living room for about 10-30 minutes depending on how long the conversation went (during goodbyes), right before guests left the house. Can you imagine how cold it got? Brrrrrrrr.

Now If you aren’t feeling the love we have for our new foyer already, here are some photos for you to change your mind! ;-)

Showhome photo:

When we moved-in:

Three weeks later:

Have a great weekend everyone! 


wednesday.wishList.

…is back for a July post.

If you don’t know it already, I have a love affair going on with “Red, Black and Chrome” in my kitchen.

You would understand why I would LOVE to own these things on my Wednesday wish list:

1. Bodum Coffee Grinder – buy online here or at Home Outfitters, $35.00.

Not that my Cuisinart loaner coffee grinder from Jason isn’t doing the job well, but this one just speaks to me. “Buy me Joy! I’m so pretty and red!”

2. Bodum Iced Coffee Maker – buy online here (I don’t think they carry them at Home Outfitters yet)

If you’ve been following my blog from a few months back, you would know that I’ve gotten into making cold coffee lattes . Now that it’s finally warmed up in Vancouver, I need a better and faster way to make my cold lattes! ;-)

Now let’s try to veer away from the red for a second. I’ve posted a few photos last week on Canada Day and I know most of  you have seen my living room wall colour. Since it’s more of a teal, turquoise hue, I’ve changed my mind about that brown and red area rug on my last wish list. I don’t want that 200$ rug from The Brick anymore.

I would happily choose this now:

3. Ikea Malin Blad Area Rug- Ikea, 39$

4. Avington Serendipity Chair – The Brick, $199.97 (idea from my friend Grace C.)

These pieces would work so well in my living room!

Hope you’ve been inspired by my Wednesday Wish List!

Let’s keep on day dreaming and wishing for what we like! It’s free! ;-)


white.pantry.revamp.

We got this small, boring, plain, white pantry about a year ago, at Canadian Tire, due to our lack of storage in our previous home, a rental basement suite. It was on sale and if you remember, all our cupboards and our appliances where white at the old place, so we decided to get this. We wanted to get rid of it when we moved, but sadly, we didn’t have enough cupboard space that would fit certain tall and bulky grocery items such as 2L Soda/Pop bottles, family size chips, bulk toilet paper, paper towels, etc.

Do you have the same storage problems living in a small pad or suite? An extra pantry helps! ;-)

Although, if you buy the same white pantry we did, and you have dark cupboards, and dark appliances, it will not work.

Okay, it doesn’t look so odd on the photo above, but it does over here:

The white cupboards look so…white, and plain right beside the dark brown cupboards. (Notice how I’ve tried to create some distraction and put some of my unhung wall artwork right beside the white pantry…lol!)

So here’s what we did:

I bought those decorative wall decals last May at the Ikea AS-IS section. They were a pack of 4 sets of flowers, all for the price of 0.59 cents. I didn’t know what I’d be using them for when I got them, but I sure am glad I found and bought them. Don’t those wall decals look lovely on that white pantry?

Here’s one more photo for good measure! ;-)

Ahhhhh…now it looks like it belongs there. ;-)

Hope you’re having an awesome, sunny Tuesday!


ikea.robin.drawer.hack.

First of all, I’ve had these drawers since forever.

(photo swiped from google images, due to my darn forgetfulness in taking “before photos”)

Ok, so maybe not forever, but roughly about 11 years. I got 2 of them from Ikea and they were called the “Ikea Robin – Chest of Drawers” (Wait, I got one and my brother donated his old one to me when he moved on from Ikea children’s furniture to adult Ikea furniture). They’ve been discontinued and the closest ones you could find that resemble them, size-wise, would be these. Although I think, the Ikea Rast drawers are better just because they are made of pine wood and not particle board and not melamine-painted.

Anyways, I digress, as usual. What I wanted to share with you today, was how I transformed these hideous, poor-excuse-for-adult-furniture, into these beauties.

After sanding my blue, melamine-painted drawers, I used this

flat, black, fast-drying spray paint in a can from Home Depot. I wiped the drawers with a bit of water to clean the fine dirt from sanding before I applied the spray paint.

These were the once little knobs that my drawers had. It took most of my might to try and grab them (as little as they were) and pull on them to open my full and heavy drawers.

After painting the knobs, I realized, I should really look for more efficient and generally better-looking knobs, since I’m already revamping my drawers.

Here are the beautiful pewter rose knobs I got from Rona.

I knew I was doing the right thing when I decided to repaint these drawers, but I never imagined them to be as beautiful as they turned out to be with the new knobs! ;-)

Do you have any old furniture that need some major revamp? I’d love to hear about your DIY plans! ;-)

If you have any questions or any thoughts about this DIY project, hit me on the comments space below and I’ll try my best to reply as quick as I can! ;-)

Hope you’re having a fantastic, warm, Monday everyone! ;-)


happy.canada.day.long.weekend.

Happy Canada Day Everyone!

Our home is finally officially “open for business” after 2 weeks of unpacking and drilling into walls and what not! ;-)

We celebrated and concluded the Canada day long weekend festivities with a family barbecue.

Our newly painted living room wall. We used the colour “Caribe” by Behr.

We had some almonds and peanuts and chips for appies.

I just had to sneak this photo in. I’m loving this red part of my kitchen! ;-)

Our new work station/ office area.

Dad, slaving away and cooking the barbecue for all of us! ;-)

Kyla chameleon. She totally disappears against our wall! ;-)

Pork and chicken barbecue marinated by mom.

Angel hair pasta with bolognese sauce.

Kyla’s lemon pie.

Kyla preparing the booklets for our “ethnic whispers” (originally called “Chinese whispers”) game.

Hanging out after dinner, having coffee and tea.

Playing Ethnic whispers.

We had so much food! I think if we summed up all the meat that we prepared and ate today, it would be around 4 kg of meat plus the pasta, fish, (which I didn’t get a photo of) rice, dessert and coffee.

This concludes our Canada Day celebration.

Hope you all had a great one despite the all-changing weather!

Have an awesome week! (Hopefully warmer.)


star.light.star.bright.

This will be short and sweet.

I found this brilliant idea to use toilet paper rolls to make artwork/DIY home decor on StumbleUpon. You all know how much of a sucker I am for all things DIY and re-purposing/recycling! ;-)

from toilet paper rolls via

to decorative flower/star.

I started colouring the outer parts using my newly discovered wood-less colored pencils. Yes, I said no wood, meaning you won’t have to sharpen them. And they aren’t the twistable ones either. Just plain Colored Pencils that you won’t need to sharpen! I’m loving them! I haven’t quite finished the project, but I just thought I’d share this with you now before I forget and before it gets shelved into the great abyss of my unfinished business (i.e. unpacking and organizing).

Have a great day! ;-)


we’ve.moved.

Remember that post I wrote; about our little home under my parents’ great big house? ;-)

Well, we’ve moved!!! ;-)

Just about a 10 minute drive from my parents’ house, and maybe about a 15 minute drive to J & K’s house, going North. So we’re in the perfect middle! YAY!

Did I take ‘before’ photos of our new place with the “show home” furniture? Of course I did! ;-)

Enjoy the condo tour!

Entryway/Foyer, left; Toilet and Bath, top & bottom right

Kitchen/Dining Area; Living Area

Bedroom, top left & right; Closets, bottom left

Yes, that is me on the bottom right photo, acting as if it was my very own bed! lol! ;-)

Below is the view from our balcony. We have no neighbors that are too close to the balcony so it’s very private. We have a courtyard and a very minor side street on each side.

This is the floor plan [if you're interested in those kinds of things ;-) ]

I will post more photos of the place after all the beautiful “show home” furniture are taken out. Of course you shall expect a post about the move and putting the place together. You know, trying to fit-in our existing furniture into the new home.

I’m emotionally excited but physically and mentally dead from all the planning, paperwork, and all there is to do with moving.

Aji and I are first time home buyers so bear with us! ;-) Some future posts will most likely be too extensive and detailed! lol! ;-)

Anyways, hope you’re having an exciting weekend as well!

“but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

-Isaiah 40:31



ikea.home.depot.run.

Last Wednesday evening, we went to Ikea to checkout their AS-IS section. For those of you who are “Ikea AS-IS virgins”, this is the part of their store where they basically sell slightly defective, or non-defective, opened, assembled and returned items.

We’ve been on the hunt for this particular desk for a few weeks now.

So far, we’ve tried to go once, to the one in Richmond and once, to the one in Coquitlam, to no avail. We got close to finding the one we wanted when we went to the Ikea Coquitlam, but it wasn’t the right color.

We lucked-out today, second try at the Ikea Coquitlam store, and we found the right one at 25% off original price at the AS-IS section! So here’s what we did: we closed our eyes, went to the cashier and just bought it, without so much as thinking about the proper timing, the cost, the other things we have to pay for in a few days.

Was it an impulse buy?

We’ve looked at this specific desk for a few weeks now. We’ve measured it and we’ve measured and planned exactly where it will go at our place. So, NO it wasn’t an impulse buy. I think…

But wait, there’s more…

After buying the already assembled desk, which was too big to fit into our compact sedan, we went to borrow some dismantling tools from the nice and helpful Ikea people. We quickly packed the desk parts into our car, after which, we went back into Ikea to look at lamps. Yes we went to see the exact same floor and table lamps I posted about here.

Unfortunately, after seeing the actual items in the store, the lamp shades were too small for my liking; especially the floor lamp. The size of the shade was just smaller than I hoped it would be. I think it would look awkward where I am intending to put it at our place. The desk lamp wasn’t that awful  disproportioned to look at, it just wouldn’t make sense if I only got the desk lamps and not the floor lamp, as I had intended to have matching lamps.

But wait, there’s more…

We went to Home Depot in pursuit of better lamps at a better price. We found a lamp very similar to what we’ve wanted and the size was perfect! It was 53.99$ originally at 89.99$.

Aji and I agreed that it was a good buy, since the lamp shade was the perfect size we needed, and the base was simple and sturdy. We honestly haven’t seen a lamp this size and quality that was cheaper than 150$. So we went to ask one of the good Home Depot people, if we can get a brand new item in a box. However, the sales associate told us, the display one was their last. Aji and I did a quick inspection and we found some discolored glue around the lamp, that we wouldn’t be able to clean off. So we told the sales guy that we don’t want it. Then he said, he can ask their manager to give us a better deal. So he went and asked and we got it for 25$ instead of 53.99$!

But wait, there’s more…

On the way out, we saw this little box in a cart and it seemed like it was the same lamp we just bought. So I asked the cashier if someone owned the cart, and she said no. Then I told her about the fact that it was the exact same one we were looking for earlier but couldn’t find a brand new one in a box. So she scanned it for us and said she’ll give it to us for 25$ if we want it, because it was their last one. Did we get it? Of course we did!! 2 beautiful floor lamps for 50$! YES Please! ;-)

I don’t have the exact photo of the item, as Home Depot doesn’t have it on their website anymore.

But here’s a photo of something very similar:

I forgot to take a photo of our lamp shade before Aji put it away in storage. Yes, we’re not using them yet. (I will post very soon about why we’re not.)

here’s the actual base we got (I beat Aji in taking a photo before he put it away!):

In all of its dusty, dirty, glory.

(By the way, the lamp-post is NOT lop-sided, it’s my darn shaky hand’s fault)

Although, I think the double bulb provision AND that it was half off makes up for all that dirt and dust. ;-)

So much for my words of restraint about buying things now on my Wednesday Wish List…oops.

Anyways, hope you enjoyed the story behind my bargain of the day! ;-)


mani.monday.june-catch-up.

Just because I missed a post in May, let me make it up to you by posting another “mani” feature for the month of June! ;-)

The real colour would be turquoise, but the photo colours are kind of skewed. If you have the same monitor as I have, the proper colour of the polish should be the one on the bottom left (except it made my fingers look awfully yellow!).

I got this nail polish from the Philippines for about 2.50$ a bottle. Elianto is Korea-made. Unfortunately, their website doesn’t seem to offer this wonderful colour I’m featuring. I will try my best to find it on Amazon so I could let you guys know where to get it if you like it.

After 2 coats of the Elianto turquoise nail polish, I topped my nails with another Korean-made nail polish,

Silver Glitter by Sinful Colors Professional. The same brand as this one from my last Manicure Monday post.

Excuse my very dry cuticle. I wash my hands very often at work, I feel like my hands are going to bleed from dryness most of the time. I know I have to be more conscious and apply lotion, but it never happens. :-(

Maybe next time I will feature some hand care solutions.

See you in July for our next Manicure Monday! ;-)

Have a great week!


fashion.friday.june2012.edition.

Let me re-launch my monthly, recurring, Fashion Fridays since I’ve been so neglectful of my blog lately. I’ve recently perused the Forever21 website and here are some of my “SALE” picks! ;-)

1. Abstract Print Chiffon Dress w/ Belt- 7.99$, original 23.80$, Forever21

2. Coiled Thong Sandals- 8.50$,  Forever21

3. Rose Party Woven Dress- 19.99$, original 23.80$, Forever21

4. Lace-Up Tennis Shoes- 6.99$, original 14.50$, Forever21

5. Knit Flats- 15.99$, original 22.80$, Forever21

Now, who doesn’t want a good sale AND be fashionable at the same time?! ;-)

Have a great weekend!


survived.nyc.2012.days.four.&.five.

I’ve decided to merge days 4 and 5 of our NYC 2012 trip. Day 5 was pretty much just getting up, having our last free continental breakfast at the hotel, going on the Brooklyn Bridge and going to see the 9-11 crash site. Then we quickly raced to JFK to make our flight back home.

So, this will be the last installment of our NYC 2012 series.

Our day 4 original itinerary:

8am- Staten Island train to St. George’s terminal

9am- Staten Island ferry from St. George’s terminal (Staten Island) to Whitehall terminal (Manhattan)

945am- Subway train to the Bronx to meet up with Aji’s friend

11am- Hang-out with Aji’s friend @ the Bronx

We didn’t really make it out of Staten Island til about 10am. Our friend Weng cooked us bacon and rice for breakfast! How can Aji say no? ;-)

These photos below, were taken on the Staten Island ferry, approaching Whitehall terminal in Manhattan. It was a cloudy day, but you can still see Manhattan’s cityscape right behind us.

About 2 hours later, and a long nap on the subway train, we got to meet up with Aji’s friend Paolo. He promised to bring Aji to the biggest Guitar Center in town. Before that, we visited Paolo’s apartment and Aji got to try out his Washburn N4 electric guitar (in the guitar world, that’s one of the really good guitars out there). Paolo also treated us out to the Cheesecake Factory, just before we went to visit Guitar Center. We all had amazing meals, but unfortunately, I forgot to document all of it! ;-( I know, silly me.

Here’s Aji and Paolo in guitar heaven. Aji has had his eye on this baby ever since he got his first Gibson Les Paul guitar. This one’s a Gibson semi-hollow body, ES 335. It apparently has a distinct sound from his Les Paul one.

After spending most of the afternoon in Guitar Center with Paolo, we said our goodbyes and Aji & I trained back to Manhattan.

I brought Aji to Little Italy and we had a huge dinner at Lombardi’s Pizzeria. The pizza is so fresh and the dough is to die for. We ordered the medium size 14″ pizza with meatballs, pepperoni, beef, fresh basil, mozzarella cheese & pecorino romano cheese toppings. You may have seen this pizza on this blog before, and that would be here.

We walked around Little Italy and parts of China town after dinner, and then went to Rice to Riches for dessert, which was across the street from Lombardi’s.

On the photo below, top left, it says: Dieting is optional. On the photo above, bottom right, it says: Eat Right; Exercise; Die Anyway. How true! I guess they would have to live by these sayings because all they sell is pretty much sweetened rice. I understand it’s not for everyone and most people may think that Rice to Riches is just selling overpriced sweetened rice. Truth be told, it’s my kind of food. So don’t diss. To each his own.

I had the hazelnut flavored pudding. Mmmmmmmm. Ate it right before going to bed too! I had sweet dreams! ;-)

Photos below are from our day 5. We figured we still had a bit of time before our boarding time, so we headed out to the Brooklyn Bridge.

Then we went to see the 9-11 crash site. To our surprise, there are 2 towers already being rebuilt. It didn’t look like much of a crash site anymore.

We were homeward bound, racing to JFK airport after the 2 side-trips we did.

Of course, it just wasn’t too stressful for Aji already, that we were almost running late for our flight out of JFK. He just HAD to take a creepy photo with the “tiled eyes” on the background in one of the subway stations. ;-)

But we finally made it to Howard Beach, the last subway station before JFK. Then we took the JFK  air train to get to our boarding terminal. We were Vancouver-bound, where home awaits.

Let me know if you’re planning to visit NYC soon. We can talk about the essentials and what not, for the trip! ;-) You can ask me about the subway system and how you can manage to get around without having to take 1 cab! ;-)

Hope you all enjoyed our 2012 NYC series.

Have a great day! ;-)


wednesday.wishList.

Hi everyone! Welcome to

I’m going to make this short and sweet. This monthly recurring post on my blog will basically be about things I would LOVE to buy and have, which I couldn’t afford now; or even if I could, wouldn’t be the wisest thing to do just yet. On each post, I will mention the name of the items, the online store I got the images from and will link-up. Enjoy! ;-)

1. Casa Area Rug- 199.97$, The Brick

2a. Aläng floor lamp- 39.99$, Ikea

2b. Aläng table lamp- 24.99$, Ikea

3. Pizza Stone- 12.98$, Stokes

4. Oil and Vinegar Set- 7.98$, Stokes

Sure hope you’re having an awesome Wednesday, daydreaming about things you’d like to have! ;-)


survived.nyc.2012.day.three.

Here’s the third installment of our recent NYC trip. I’ve mentioned on my day 2 post that we had to postpone our Metropolitan Museum visit, because we wanted to stay longer in the American Museum of Natural History.

Here is our original Day 3 itinerary:

1030am- 2 hr. Semi-circle Liberty/Ellis Island cruise

1230pm- walk around midtown Manhattan

430pm- head down to Staten Island to visit a friend and spend the night

On day 3, we decided to forego our 2-hour Liberty/Ellis Island cruise, (it was rainy and gloomy anyway) to spend most of the day at the Metropolitan Museum. I admit I was very much surprised by how much I liked the exhibits and by how fascinated I was with everything; from the Egyptian civilization to the Roman Empire and Byzantine Era, to the 16th Century English design. I was never much of a history person in school. I liked science more. But visiting this museum made history a lot more interesting! ;-)

Egyptian History and Civilization:

The Asian Exhibit:

From the Byzantine era:

Relics from the Roman Empire:

Weapons and Armaments of the Middle Ages.

Some 16th Century English Design:

Some designs were really grand and beautiful, while some were just plain too creepy-looking for me. ;-)

Can’t get enough of the grandeur of these ceilings and columns.

Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet pieces:

These paintings made me think to myself before, “why are these so special anyway? They don’t look all that hard to make”. Then I got to see the original pieces at the Met, and I cannot describe the feelings that each painting has evoked in me. As I looked further into each painting, it felt like I was actually a part of their world for a few seconds. This might sound really cheesy but right there and then, I understood and realized what art meant in those paintings.

I hope you had as much fun looking through these photos, as much as we had fun visiting the Met!

We had a quick bite at the nearby Shake Shack after our museum visit, and then took a subway train and hopped onto the Staten Island ferry and then onto the Staten Island train, to visit a friend and her family.

On a side note, Aji still got to see the Statue of Liberty from a distance while on the Staten Island ferry, even if we didn’t get to go on our Liberty/Ellis Island cruise (photo bottom left).

My friend Weng has an awesome husband, Marly, who cooked us an amazing dinner, after coming home from a long day’s work. They also had a special mocha mousse dessert especially ordered for us! They have two adorable kids, a 5-year-old daughter, Priscilla, and a 5-month-old son, Joshua. Weng and Marly have always been wonderful and gracious hosts! We are so blessed to have them as friends!

Stay tuned for Day 4 of our NYC visit!

Have a great day! ;-)


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