Saturday, June 30, 2012

Red on Black

I finally had time to go to the salon last Thursday (no MS class!) Jed and I went to OrangeBlush Salon in Mother Ignacia Ave. (right in front of ABS-CBN) to get our hair colored. Jed went for a full-head color while I went for highlights.

You see, I wear glasses and braces. I carry a backpack. And when it's warm and humid (which is practically everyday), I put my hair in a ponytail or a bun. Can you imagine how nerdy I look? No, it's not that bad but I thought some highlights would make me look less nerdy and a little more "cool" haha.

red highlights on black hair
...and I finally got around to grooming my eyebrows ugh

I asked the stylist to put red highlights near my nape. My hair was bleached first and then red was applied. I also got a haircut and I love the way she did it because apparently, my hair seems to have an ombre. (One of my students asked me if I got an ombre!)

I'm glad Jed was also there. Otherwise, I'd be bored to death with waiting.

Free time has been so elusive these days. I believe I have enough budget to go shopping (and I need clothes for work) but I don't have time to go to the mall. Crazy and sad, I know. But you know, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Happy-logue 06-29-12

1. I have new postcards! Two from Germany and one from The Netherlands. I even got my first 3D/holographic postcard!

a 3D postcard from The Netherlands! <3

from Germany!

from Germany!

2. Moonleaf Peach Yakult (one of my favorites) is back!

Monday, June 18, 2012

TV Series: Otomen

I recently finished a Japanese drama called OTOMEN. I've been meaning to watch it long ago but never got the chance. It's based on a manga of the same name. I've also been meaning to read the manga but I never had the time.

Anyway, look at this! When I was in Japan, my orgmate Stychen brought me to a manga shop in Shibuya. I practically drowned and was too overwhelmed that I didn't even look at anything! I can read katakana but with this much, I get too lazy to read the titles! Instead I just took a few photos. When I got home and browsed my pictures, I noticed that this one reads "Otomen". What a coincidence, huh? :))

You see, the reason why I want to watch/read Otomen lies in the synopsis. Masamune Asuka is a school idol. He is kind, handsome, intelligent and is the school's kendo team captain. However, he also likes girly things like sewing, crochet, cooking, baking and shoujo manga (girls' comics) and he has to hide these hobbies because a Japanese boy is expected to be very masculine. Meanwhile, Miyakozuka Ryo is a girl who can't sew, bake or cook. She is also kind but is very boyish. Compatible much, huh? And as I usually say "there goes a love story".

The title "Otomen" comes from the Japanese word "otome" which means "young lady" and the English word "men"

Well, a little cliche but isn't that so cute? I mean, come on, who doesn't like a handsome, intelligent and sporty guy? What more, he sews, crochets, cooks, bakes and reads shoujo manga (hey, those are practically my hobbies!) Yes, it's fictional but that's what makes it so enticing to watch/read (and besides, it's not like you can find a real human guy like Masamune Asuka anyway haha).

Okada Masaki and Kimura Ryo holding Otomen manga

My other motivation to watch the drama is the actor who plays Masamune Asuka: Okada Masaki. I've always found him to be adorable since I saw him in HanaKimi (one of my favorite shoujo manga-turned-TV drama) where he played Sekime Kyogo.

I especially love Okada Masaki's jawline (LOL)

Isn't he adorable? Whether he's in school uniform, in kendo uniform, in a girl's kimono or casual clothes, he's so cute... or rather, pretty.

Aaaaaand when I finally watched the drama, I could not stop gushing. Super kilig forever! I feel like I'll get an imaginary nosebleed everytime. Everyone and everything is just too cute and too funny. It's definitely lives up to the "romantic comedy" genre. And while there are a lot of parody references to Japanese culture, I think even non-Japanese will find this drama funny. The plot is also pretty light and not too serious, which I like because I'm watching this for leisure after all.

Kendo club members

Boys in kimono hahaha

And if that isn't enough to make you watch Otomen, here's a lineup of more adorable people:

Kimura Ryo plays Tonomine Hajime, Asuka's rival. His character in Otomen is really cute. And I still can't believe that he's the same actor who played Senri Nakao in HanaKimi. His character was really different there. Apparently, he also played some role in Nodame Cantabile (also one of my favorite manga-turned-TV drama).

Seto Koji plays Ariake Yamato, one of Asuka's lowerclassman in the kendo team. I've seen him in Runway Beat where he played Mizorogi Biito.

He's cute like that.

He's pretty like that

Sano Kazuma plays Tachibana Juta, Asuka's bestfriend. It's my first time seeing this actor. (I like his tan haha.)

that smile

Sometimes I wonder why Japanese boys are always prettier than me. And I don't think it's just the actors. I've seen lots of prettier-than-me boys in Tokyo.

Otomen's version of F4 (haha)

Anyway, they're not just adorable. They're also pretty good at acting! You'll be sure to laugh and swoon all the time.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

There's something about snail mail

Two of my professors told me stories. While they were studying Masters in Japan, they used to send snail mails to their respective girlfriends (who are now their wives). Isn't that beautiful? I'm so amazed that they were able to sustain a long-distance relationship with SNAIL MAIL. I can't even imagine that! These days, even with cellphones, e-mail, Facebook, Skype and whatnot, there aren't many people who can sustain long-distance relationships.

Sometimes, I wish I had someone to exchange snail mails with like what my professors used to do. But I don't. So recently, I joined a website called postcrossing.

It's a community where you can send a postcard to a stranger in the world and then you receive a postcard from another stranger in the world. I learned about this through my orgmate, Ate Raine (who, last October, sent me a handmade postcard). I joined this community because I like the surprise of getting old-fashioned snail mails and learning new things about the world. I also like buying postcards when I travel because I think it would make a good collection and of course, postcrossing would really help with the collecting.  

National Palace Museum (bought during the September 2011 Taiwan trip)

bought from Taipei 101 observatory

also from Taipei 101 observatory

bought during the January 2012 Taiwan trip

Postcard set I bought in Asakusa in Tokyo

Some people think I'm weird for doing this since there's already the internet which can send things in a few seconds. But meh, they probably just don't understand the beauty of getting tangible snail mail that travelled across the world.

So far, after more than a month of postcrossing, I've sent out eight postcards (to Europe, Russia and China) and received one (from Kenya). I hope that by doing this, I'm helping our post office and our country's tourism. After all, the postcards I send always show beautiful places here in the Philippines.

postcard received from Kenya via postcrossing

Anyone is free to join! So if you find enjoyment in writing to strangers and in getting snail mail, you should sign up too!

Here in the Philippines, sending a postcard to anywhere in the world only costs PhP13.00. Just be wary about the size of your postcard. Sometimes, the post office staff charges a lot more when your postcard is slightly bigger than normal (it's not really how it should be... but you know how our country and our post office rolls). 

Fontana di Trevi (from my brother's trip to Rome) I asked him for a Trevi Fountain postcard because he's too kuripot to buy me pasalubong. Haha.

Colosseo (also from my brother)

St. Peter's Square (also from my brother)

Aside from postcrossing, I've also been sending out mail to friends (whether here in the Philippines or in other countries). Their reactions are lovely when they receive the mail. Sending mail within Metro Manila only costs PhP7.00! Check Philpost. Wouldn't it be nice to brighten up a friend's day with just a few pesos?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Happy-logue 06-10-12

1. I watched Snow White and the Hunstman last Monday with my colleagues on a whim. The movie was disappointing (I'll make a post about it next time) but it was worth seeing Chris Hemsworth and Sam Claflin anyway.

photo from here

Can't wait to see how his career fares. From Pirates to Snow White! (photo from here)

2. I finally got wire on my braces and the dentist finally removed the porcelain fang-like things on my teeth. My smiles are less awkward now!

haha can't even notice the braces there

3. I had fast food dinner with my college batchmates last Wednesday. It was just fast food but I really miss times like those. We were talking until 9:30pm.

4. I hanged out with Ali (my orgmate/friend who moved to Australia, is currently working in Japan but is now home for her parents' anniversary) and Ate Nice (Ali's close friend and also my orgmate) last Thursday. We were supposed to meet at Moonleaf but I met them at Spa 101 instead. They were getting their nails done and so I had mine too.

Pedicure at Spa 101 was pretty expensive. I don't get my nails done at salons (I can do it myself) but I did it this time because I managed to save on tuition that day... which brings us to the next item...

5. I am officially enrolled and I paid PhP 146.50 instead of PhP10,000+ for my tuition this semester! For the following semesters, I'll only be paying PhP46.50. My tuition is cheaper than my pedicure! Well, perks of working in the university. 

Although that is not totally a happy thing. I was helping out during enrollment and saw how expensive tuition in my university has become. Back in college, I used to pay PhP6,000 to PhP7,000 per semester. These days, students pay more than PhP20,000 on the average. Our university is supposed to be a public university. Tsk, whatever happened to the university of the people. :(

6. Yesterday, I went to UP with my parents to bring some stuff there. I treated them to Rodic's and to that Korean fish-shaped ice cream sandwich.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Summer Head

Finally got around to making this headband. I'm giving it to a friend. I know, I know. This headband seems like a summer item and summer is ending here in Manila. (Yes, it's still warm but the southwest monsoon has arrived!) However, where my friend is currently living, summer is just starting. :)

detachable flower!

Also, I think I want one of those head mannequins to model my headbands and fascinators. They really just look better when worn and I don't like 'modeling' them because I'm going to give/sell them to other people. Problems are (1) where to buy, (2) how much and (3) where to store the said head mannequin (I have enough stuff in my room).

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Hi Banoffee Pie!

I remember making banoffee pie last year. It wasn't a total success. It tasted good but I didn't cook the caramel the right way; it was too runny and the pie became a mess upon slicing.

Anyway, I made another attempt last Wednesday and I must say it has gotten better.

For the crust, I used oatmeal and walnuts instead of graham crackers because we have lots of oatmeal here at home. I also have walnuts that I haven't been using. I initially wanted to put chopped walnuts to the caramel layer but that will be difficult to eat with my braces so I decided to crumb and mix it into the oatmeal crust instead. That way, the walnuts will also lend flavor to the not-so-tasty oatmeal crust.

Oatmeal-Walnut Crust
1 cup oats, milled (turned into crumbs)
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and milled (turned into crumbs)
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons melted butter or margarine

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F or 180 degrees C.
2. Mix all ingredients together and cut them together using a pastry cutter or two knives or two forks.
3. Press onto the bottom of a nine-inch pie plate.
4. Bake for 8 minutes or until set.

A lot of banoffee pie recipes on the internet use caramel that's made of cooked condensed milk. They submerge a can of condensed milk in a pot of water and set it on the stove for two hours. I didn't want to do that for three reasons: (1) you cannot forget to replace the water in the pot as the can may explode if the water evaporates out, (2) I think cooking for two hours is a waste of gas if I can cook caramel in minutes and (3) I just wanted some homemade caramel.

For the caramel, you can use either of these recipes: ONE or TWO.

I used five bananas. Three would suffice but I like bananas heh heh.

I lightly whipped some cream with minimal sugar.

1. Pour caramel onto the cooled crust. Let the caramel cool until it is firm.
2. Arrange sliced bananas on top of the caramel.
3. Pipe or spread some whipped cream.
4. Dust with cocoa powder (optional).

I say it was pretty easy to make and it's not that expensive too!

Achievement unlocked!