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Saving Nutella

>> Wednesday, July 31, 2013

What should you do if you're stuck at home with a bottle of Nutella?

1) Eat it straight from the bottle
2) Experiment with simple Nutella recipes

I've done #1 countless times already. It was time to do #2, because I needed a faster way to finish up my Nutella. So off to the internet I went and look for easy recipes to try out. I wanted the least number of ingredients and ingredients that I could find in the kitchen. The kitchen at home is not exactly a chef's haven, because we only have the basics. Because I was also stuck at home with the chicken pox, I haven't had the time to take a trip to the grocery to replenish our cupboards and fridge with food.

I found two recipes which I thought was fairly easy for me to manage. One is the Nutella brownies that only needed Nutella, flour and eggs. Unfortunately, flour is not a staple ingredient at home and the eggs were eaten for breakfast already.

From three ingredients, it went down to two. The second recipe I found was Nutella ice cream. ICE CREAM! oh noms noms noms. I was sold. We had bananas at home so it was a big check on the ice cream. The foodie project was definitely on.

Doodly-dooing the foodie project on my Moleskine. (Pattern nicked from wallibs.com)

The stars of the show

What do you need?

A food processor or an Osterizer
Bananas (the number depends on how banana-y you want it to taste. The more Minion you are, the more bananas you put in)

Cocoa powder

How do you do it?

1. Place your bananas in the Osterizer. Nutella follows in. Finger-licking moments are allowed. Yum.

(Pattern from chrispiascik.com)

*There's another recipe which also suggests that you cut the bananas into coins then freeze them, before blending them with the Nutella.

2. Cream until you get the consistency of baby food. If you don't want that image, just make sure all the ingredients are mixed together evenly.

3. Pour into popsicle containers or any kind of container. Pop it in the fridge. Now for the hardest part: Wait impatiently.

4. ICE CREAM! Finalllyyyyyy.

Say hello to my attempt at food photography.

- I should have used 3 or 4 bananas. The banana taste is overpowering the Nutella, like an aftertaste. It still tastes good because I love banana, but my tastebuds are looking for the Nutella flavor.
- I was strict on the 1/3 cup of Nutella. I should have emptied the bottle of Nutella. Chef's are never strict on the measurements, I should have followed their example. "That should be around a cup of milk." Estimating powers, you rule.
- The banana stops the mixture for freezing over like ice cubes. It's still easy to scoop out the ice cream after freezing it overnight.
- I shot this around dusk and natural light was dying on me, so I used a table lamp for extra lighting. Lol at all the lighting fail. I was also lazy to use a makeshift reflector so that the lighting is even.



>> Saturday, July 27, 2013

Everyone is doing selfies. I don't like doing selfies because 1) no one really wants to see a million shots of my face online and 2) that's basically it.

I'll make an exception today. If selfies are usually done in photos, why not change it up a bit and do a selfie doodle?

Actually, I only did it as a contribution to the challenge on Doodlers Anonymous. However, when I was about to submit my doodle, I realized that the deadline for the challenge was last June 26. LOL fail.

So there goes my face. I'll probably check out the past challenges so I have ideas on what to doodle. More doodles = more entries to post! Let's get back to blogggiiiiing.

P.S. Oh look, I have lots of blog entries this month.

P.P.S. Still don't like taking selfies after this challenge. Therefore, I leave you with a photo of my face with another in-thing: flower crowns.

Hashtag awkward selfie. Ever heard of smiling, self?



>> Wednesday, July 24, 2013

July 21, 2013. Remember the date, the date I was spotted.

Friday afternoon, I was already feeling nauseated. I tweeted that I was sleepy and could hardly keep my eyes open. By the time I was fetched from work (didn't commute because the parents were around the area), I already had a slight fever. It became a full-blown fever by midnight -- bundled up in jammies and a thick sweater, with socks and a hot compress on my feet.

I drank meds and the effect immediately kicked in. I still felt lousy the next day -- which I associated with work stress -- but at least I was up and clacking away on my laptop, working. I also felt bummed that I missed a scheduled day out with friends. I just thought of it as a blessing in disguise because it gave me time to catch up on overdue deadlines. *shakes fist* Lesson plaaaans.

Sunday came and I was feeling better. My mom noticed that I had bumps on my faces, but my uncle who lived across the street and also a doctor shrugged it off and said they were allergies. Allergies due to dust or maybe stress. I went on with my life and went to church and lunch at the mall.

Then my mum decided to have my "allergies" checked again with my uncle because more of it appeared on my chest. The bumps on my face grew. My uncle had a better look at it and wah-lah.

Chicken pox.

Manok pox. (Chino calls it Manox.)

Poxy. (Please pronounce it with da Pilipino Englesh, F with and "ep" and P with a "phee." like Phaxy. Para less scary and more triple x sounding.)

Triple x means triple "Don't touch me." Rather, Donnn tats meh.

I've had numerous chances of catching the virus -- in highschool when my seatmate got it, years back at work when Quincy received a second round of the pox, and way back when my cousins got it too. I think I had a strong immune system at that time and I wasn't able to catch it.

I don't know from whom I got it. I just know it came at a right time when my immune system was down and weak because of the sleepless nights and the stressful workload I was having lately. Here it is finally, the day I've been waiting for. I am now part of the club who can share experiences about the pox!

There's nothing to share really, because there aren't that many bumps on my body. There are around ten on my arms, and three or four on my legs. The most horrible part is the face. It's like I had a major pimple breakout session. I could feel every bump on my face whenever I would wash it. *cringe*

The itch only lasted two days. Right after my other uncle (who is a dermatologist) gave me medicine for my poxy-face, I battled every scratch urge with itch lotion. Now I'm itch free, but still with a poxy face.

I can't go out of the house right now or else someone else will get the poxy face like me. Maybe even a poxy body. But I think I was carrying the virus already when I went out last Sunday. Soooo to whomever I met last Sunday in church, the people around me in the public transpo, I apologize if you get the Chicken Pox. Ehe.

Only those who have had the Pox can only visit me, unless you want to get it too and get it over with. It means I'll be working at home for the next few weeks. Which I should be doing right now. I just took a short morning rest because I stayed up late for the last two days because I was trying to meet an overdue deadline.

Okay, off to get a cold shower then it's back to scratch, scratch, scratch. I mean, work, work, work.


Summer Tag

>> Monday, July 15, 2013

Remember when tagging fellow bloggers was a thing? Karla (lol, I'm still not used to calling you Karla) resurrected the blog tagging with a summer theme.

It's currently the summer vacation for her on the other side of the world. The Philippines is on the rainy season, but I can still consider it summer because of the bipolar weather that we have. In the morning it's crazy hot, but when the late afternoon/evening comes, the rain pours. It pours just when everyone is clocking out of work and is getting ready to face the horrible commute home. Commute + rain = walk of shame.

Drop the attitude and let's get back to the summer vibe. I'll be shifting from Philippine and American summer time, whichever is appropriate for what is asked.

Shades on, let's get this summer favorites survey going!

(Unlike Karla's post, I don't have photos to share. I leave you with doodles instead.)

1. What is your favorite summer treat?
Ice cream never fails to make me happy. I can just cross the street to Mini Stop (the equivalent of 7-11) and have my ice cream fix. However lately, I'm craving for a huge cup of Dairy Queen. Blizzard ftmfw.

2. What is your favorite non-alcoholic summer beverage?
Ice, ice, ice. Anything that is cold and with ice. Hot tea helps too, sometimes. But I let it cool down for a bit before drinking it.

3. What is your favorite alcoholic summer beverage?
Haha, pass. I don't drink.

4. What is your favorite piece of summer clothing?
Dresses can be considered as summer clothing right? I've been on the look out for summer dresses this year, because all my office wear are not appropriate for the hot weather. The Ayala MRT is also not friendly for thick clothing, so as much as possible, I want something comfortable and at the same time presentable. I'm so thankful for the local boutiques here, I am able to buy cute dresses for less than a thousand pesos.

5. What is your favorite summer accessory?
I used to laugh at people who open their umbrellas when it's not raining. Boy, who's laughing now? I am now part of the club who'll open an umbrella the second that I step out in the sun.

6. What is your favorite summer vacation spot?
Beach. Beach. Nothing beats a summer sunburn in the beach. I shall daydream instead, since I wasn't able to have a proper summer vacation in the beach. The office outing semi-counts. But I still want a week in the beach, doing nothing but read a book and an occasional dip in the ocean.

7. What is your favorite show to watch during the summer?
The local television scene does not have summer seasons. They only peg around 16 weeks per show, then they just extend if the ratings are high. I'm basing this with the summer shows in the States. Newsroom started today (haven't watched it). I put all my dance dreams on So You Think You Can Dance. I watch Graceland for the Tveit. Oh, there's this Filipino show that is such a hit right now. Guess what that is. Of course I'm not telling because it's such a guilty pleasure. You'll figure it out because everyone is talking about it for it's bold theme.

8. What is your favorite game to play during the summer?
Push. Pull. Squeeze. Retain your composure. Breathe. Keep your valuables close. All that while trying to read a book in a moving train. This is my daily game in the morning and going home: the commute home via the MRT. I knooooow, it's boring. I don't play video games. Does Words Up or Traffic Jam count? Maybe not.

9. What is your favorite activity to do during the summer?
I'm a home person. So whenever I'm home during the weekends (which is most likely), I only do three things: sleep, go online, and turn on the airconditioning. I should've done my thesis, but my brain is so tired from work that I end up sleeping the afternoon away.

10. What music do you listen to during the summer?
After watching the Tony's, I scoured the internet to get a copy of the cast recording of Matilda the Musical. It's my musical addiction right now. I am obsessed with the songs, "Naughty" and "Quiet." I even had a phase where I spent the whole day just watching clips of Matilda on Youtube. Go check it out, it's a lovely musical.

"If it's not right, you have to put it right. But nobody else is gonna put it right for me. Nobody but me is gonna change my story."

"The words they are forming cannot reach me anymore. And it is quiet, and I am warm, like I've sailed into the eye of the storm."

The song "Revolting Children" is so much like Spring Awakening. I'm imagining the kids to grow up to be the Spring Awakening cast. haha Hello future angsty kids. Trish said that the kid doing the solo is the mini Otto. I said he'll grow up to be Moritz.

"We are revolting children living in revolting times, we sing revolting songs, using revolting rhymes."

11. Bonus Question: What is the least favorite thing you have to do this summer?
Go. To. Work. 'Nuff said.

Karla tagged fellow bloggers. I'm doing the same. Can I tag the same people that she tagged? haha I'm friends with some of them too! No? Ffft. Fine.
Maui: my 1D sister has her post here.
Tia: check out her entry here
Ceres: She's done, but her entry's locked. haha

If you have done this too, leave a link below and I'll update my entry and add your summer finds!


To continue reading or not to?

>> Wednesday, July 10, 2013

I was browsing through the internet and saw this very cool infographic by Goodreads. I learned in graduate school that everyone has varied reading paces for different books. There are some books that you can finish in one sitting, even if it has a thousand or so pages. There are some pages that takes you weeks, months, and even years to finish. And there are books that you just put down and abandon it.

The infographics talks about the reasons why people abandon books, and what books are usually abandoned.


While I was going through it, I began to reflect and look on my reading habits. I also checked the book titles to see if I have read them or have gone through similar experiences with those books.

Goodreads top five most abandoned books:
1. Casual Vacancy - I haven't found time to read this yet. As a Potterhead who has found great respect to the world J.K. Rowling has created, I should be excited for this book. I think being a Potterhead has its disadvantages, because I have high expectations for the other titles that J.K. Rowling released or are planning to release. I believe that the story is different from the Harry Potter world that we have loved. I think the story is more mature. According to my friends who have read it, they were not too happy with the story. Maybe that is the reason why I'm delaying my reading time with it. Peer pressure. haha
2. Fifty Shades of Gray - I don't have plans of reading this. I've seen snippets on Tumblr and puh-leeze, I've read better fanfics than that. I know Fifty Shades was originally a fanfiction inspired by Twilight. I don't have anything against fanfiction because I read them. But judging from the snippets I've seen, I can say that it can be dumped in the badfic bin.
3. Eat, Pray, Love - For some reason, I don't like reading nonfiction books. I prefer fiction that exaggerates reality. I've seen the movie (watched out of curiosity) and I only liked the eat part. So I might read it... or not.
4. Wicked - Ah this book is so different from the musical. I finished this, but I only remember parts from it. If there was a one-word description challenge for this book, I'd say "political." The book really built upon how Elphaba came to be. The musical just treated her as misjudged and special student, but the book delved deeper than that. The relationship between her and Fiyero was more intimate. You'd also see the transformation in Fiyero from being a carefree student to realizing what Elphaba wanted to do. I can't remember much because the book was so long. Gregory Maguire's style of writing is just not for me.
5. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo - I really thought I'd abandon this book for real. I started reading a few pages of it, then put it down because I just didn't get it. Then after five months (yes, I remember), I picked it up again and then it clicked. I think it's just one of those books that when you hurdle one difficult chapter, everything will be smooth-sailing. I think the names of the characters put me off a bit, because they're not your usual English names. It's Swedish for heaven's sake. I love the mysteriousness of the book, from Lisbeth to Mikael, to Mikael's project. I think my love for mystery gave me reason to keep on reading.

Top five abandoned classics:
I have only read Lord of the Rings among those five titles in the list. Lord of the Rings trilogy is a difficult read because J.R.R. Tolkien really gives his all in vividly describing each scene and each character. It's information overload. But for a visual person like me, I like it because his descriptions are like a dummy's guide to imagination. You get lost in the words because you're busy imagining how the author wanted you to see it.

I have lots of classics in my shelf that are for now abandoned. I miiiight go back to it some time in the future.
1. Wuthering Heights - GOOD LORD. When when I get past the second page?
2. Oliver Twist - I love the abridged version when I was a child. I've seen almost all movie adaptations to this (I think). I'm still desperately looking for a bootleg of the musical with Rowan Atkinson and Gwion Jones (but there aren't bootleg recorders in West End. haha) I started reading the unabridged version. I think I stopped in the 25% mark. I can't remember.
3. Tale of the Two Cities - Well, I've read the comic version. Does that count? Of course not.
4. Peter Pan - My copy has the unabridged text, printed to look like a children's book with lots of colorful illustrations. I've spent time looking through the pictures, but not the text.
5. Alice in Wonderland - I'm late, I'm late, I'm late. *jumps into the rabbit hole* I think I stopped after Alice drank the liquid in the bottle and shrank herself.

What is it about a book that makes you put it down?
From the choices, I picked two:
1. Slow, boring
2. Ridiculous plot
I can spend my time reading better books so I won't waste mine trying to read a boring book. /snob

What keeps you turning pages?
1. Committed to the series - This is why I don't like reading series. I HAVE to finish them. (note: this is said as a joke) Which means, I have to save up to buy ALL books in the series. Bye money.
2. I'm usually pleasantly surprised that an author can pull it out at the end - I love these kinds of books. That one last paragraph or last sentence that hits you straight in the heart, then everything finally makes sense, or gives a realization that daaammmn. what. the. hell. You get what I mean???? Come on, readers.
3. I promised a friend to finish it (not on the list) - I swap books with friends. Of course you have to finish reading it so that you can share your opinion or feelings towards the book with your friend. If you stopped reading, what's there to discuss? Besides, my friends don't allow me to return them unless I've finished reading it. Darnit.

When do you abandon a book?
It's similar to the "what is it about a book that makes you put it down" question. I don't have a specific number of pages. When the plot gets boring or ridiculous for me, it's back to the shelf you go.

How about you, what books have you abandoned or is trying hard not to abandon?


Sandy Toes

>> Monday, July 01, 2013

My last blog entry was dated on the 28th of March and was about my quick trip to the beach. I come out of hiding three months after with another post about a trip to the beach. Maybe it's been three months since something exciting has happened with my life that required lugging my camera and taking photos.

Hello, Blogspot, I have missed you. I'll talk about missing blogging some other time when I have prepared my materials (slash doodles) that come with that topic.

For now, let's soak in the sun and talk about the sand and the ocean!

The people in the office were itching for a break that we vowed to escape the routine work in the office, the pollution, and the crazy commutes. We booked a two-day trip to the beach as soon as the summer programs ended. We found it silly to schedule an outing in the middle of the rainy season but thankfully, the weather cooperated with us and gave us the sun.

We stayed at Coral View Resort, in Morong, Bataan. We arrived there on a weekday, so it was like owning the whole resort. We went pool hopping (there were two pools!), had games on all sandy space possible, pranced around the obstacle course, and chatted the afternoon away with chips and drinks.

Our view from our room. Isn't it lovely?


Water was shallow. I think Edgar was a hundred meters away from the shore when I took this photo. Look, he's even standing on rocks!

Because I'm on zoom lens, I can't take selfies of my face. So here's a photo of my weird toes. #yumiproblems

That spot of the beach where the resort was located was also a fishing area. We saw fishermen in waist-deep waters, fishing for food, in the early morning and late at night. We even felt the fish nipping on our legs when we took a dip in the ocean. I wish I took a photo of them when they were fishing at night, with their little lamps hanging from their heads while trying to spot for fish.

We enjoyed our short bonfire activity, roasting marshmallows and drinking (hey, I got the non-alcoholic drinks!), just before the rain came to err... rain on our parade. *shakes fist* We were just getting started! We took shelter in one of the open cottages and drank in the dark. Haha, now we know how it feels to be a contestant on Survivor, even if we had better living conditions.

We all got our tan and sunburn the next morning. Right after breakfast, frolicked on the beach again. Stupid me for deciding to put on sunscreen hours after hitting the beach. So now I have a sunburn on my chest that looks like a bib. *laughs at self*

It's a boat! It's a boat!

(1) Beach babes. Minus me. #yumiproblemsagain (2) Time to get twisted!

Oh look it's... my back.

Meg took home a new friend for her niece, which she named Gary.

Two days isn't enough to destress ourselves, but who am I to complain. It was still enjoyable and overall it was a good break. It was good to let loose, inhale clean air, chat with officemates-turned-friends, and experience a different environment.

Someone take me to the beach again.


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