Monday, January 28, 2013

Postcard Weekly 01-23-2013

Wednesday last week, I went home to 5 new postcards!

The day before, I got one postcard from my orgmate Roxy which made me smile. That day, I received FOUR more from her! It made me smile again from ear to ear. :)

Here is Kumamoto Castle (in Kumamoto Prefecture in Japan). I love this postcard because it shows a beautiful structure embraced by the sakura trees. 

Here is Roxy's "favorite scene": Huis Ten Bosch, a Holland-inspired theme park in Sasebo-shi, Nagasaki. According to her, the One Piece Thousand Sunny Ship is "docked" here!

Here's an animated version of Shuri Castle in Okinawa (the southern part of Japan). It looks so festive!

Here's a postcard of Hello Kitty and his boyfriend (According to Roxy, Hello Kitty has a boyfriend in Japan. Cute, right??) with a mouse under the sakura trees! It's my first Hello Kitty postcard and honestly, I've always wanted one.

Roxy's postcards made me realize that aside from those in my bucket list, there's still a bunch of places worth visiting in Japan. :)

Finally, here's the fifth postcard. It's from Belarus. These are puppets by Iva Perinova. They're kind of scary/creepy but I don't get a lot of postcards like this. :) 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Recipe: Tuna Curry Pasta (or Casserole)

My saving grace whenever I get random curry cravings (which happens quite often). You don't want to spend on those expensive blocks of Japanese curry roux in the supermarket? That's okay. I don't spend for those either.

  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp olive or canola or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 to 4 tbsp curry powder
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 small carrot, optional
  • 1 can of tuna
  • salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • cayenne pepper (optional)

Curry roux:
  1. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a small saucepan.
  2. On medium-high heat, add flour and stir with a wooden spoon until it turns golden.
  3. Reduce heat to low. Add curry powder to the paste. Turn off the stove.

Tuna curry sauce:
  1. In another saucepan, saute garlic and onion in 2 tbsp olive oil.
  2. Stir curry roux and water. Let it boil.
  3. Add carrots and let it cook.
  4. Add tuna and let it boil again.
  5. Put more curry powder or cayenne pepper if you want spicier curry.

Finally, pour the sauce on pasta. Or on rice. Or even on bread! 

Serves 1 to 2.

The color of my curry usually varies with how long I cook the flour.

  • If the sauce seems a little too dry, add more water by tablespoonfuls until you reach your desired consistency.
  • I don't measure when I cook so the quantities are just rough estimates which you can change according to your taste.
  • The amount of curry powder to be used depends on the quality of your curry powder and on your taste.
  • You can add potatoes too.

Easy-peasy, right?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Postcard Weekly 01-22-2013

This week, I got record-breaking 18 (!!!) postcards! It's perfect because I received a huge emotional blow this week so the postcards, somehow, make me smile. :) Now, instead of showing all 18 postcards in one post, I'll put them into separate posts.

Last Saturday, we went to a sleepover at my friend Kyle's house. He gave out special Rurouni Kenshin postcards that he got for free when he bought the RK DVD online. I was only supposed to get one. I had a choice between Kenshin and Kaoru and I could not decide because I really love them both! (Did I ever mention that Rurouni Kenshin is one of my favorite anime/manga of all time?) In the end, Kyle gave me both. Lucky! I can't thank Kyle enough because these are special postcards that are not for sale!

Last Tuesday, I got three postcards.

This is a painting by Fanny Churberg from Finland.

Here's Brandenburger Tor am Pariser Platz. It's an important landmark in Berlin, Germany.

Here's a postcard from the USA that shows Cirque du Soleil at Bellagio: journey across the oceans of time. I don't have a lot of postcards like this and it's nice to get something unique every once in a while.

And finally, a very adorable postcard from my orgmate Roxy who's currently studying in Japan. The postcard shows the dragon mascot of Okinawa. It's so colorful and I love it!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Postcard Weekly 01-19-2013

Three postcards this week!

This is a beautiful painting of St. Mary's Church in Horncastle in United Kingdom. I really like these kinds of cards: paintings of structures!

Here's my second tulip-shaped postcard from The Netherlands (and my third odd-shaped postcard)! I wonder what the girl in the postcard is holding/sitting on. Could it be cheese?

Finally, here's a postcard of Basilica di San Marco in Venice. The architecture is just amazing. This is one of those things that inspire to work really hard. :)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Postcard Weekly 01-14-2013

Last week, I received two postcards.

The first postcard of the year was not posted but personally given by my friend who's on vacation from Australia. It's an odd-shaped card of Uluru (a.k.a. Ayers Rock). He even got people of different nationalities to write greetings in their own languages at the back side of the postcard. Cute, isn't it? Talk about effort. :)

Here's my first postcard from Slovakia. I found this non-laminated card in the garage last rainy Saturday night (more like Sunday morning), soaking wet and face-down on the pavement. I'm quite sure it arrived last Friday (as there's no post on weekends) but I don't know why I only saw it that night. However, I'm so glad  that I was still able to recover it. I just let it dry and then pressed it in between some books. There are some tears at the sides and a few stains but no ink bleeds.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Organizing Ribbons and Lace Trims

Two days ago, I bought some ribbons and lace because an orgmate asked me to do some costume accessories (hats, cuffs, chokers) for her and for her sister that they'll be wearing to the upcoming AME 1UP.

The next day, yesterday, I really wanted to start working on them because inspiration was there and I wanted to take advantage of it. However, my OC self was also kicking in. I couldn't start sewing unless I had all my ribbons (old and new) organized neatly.

This is how I used to organize my ribbons: the thin ribbons are kept together by paper tubes or tape while the thicker ones are simply rolled together and then I put everything in a box. It's not that bad but I knew that something better could be done and that was my goal.

I'm sorry for not showing the photo of the whole box. I was too excited on organizing that I forgot to take a "before" photo. I've already started organizing when I took the photos above. (See the cutting mat?)

Before, I've seen a ribbon organization technique that involves a basket and wooden sticks. This technique, however, is not feasible for me because I don't buy ribbons by the spool-- I buy them by the meter, depending on my needs.

photo from web
Yesterday, I felt a bit more motivated to organize my ribbons and found this site [at the top results]. Finally, I found something that will work for me.

  1. I cut some cardboard (recycled).
  2. I wrapped the ribbons around the cardboard.
  3. I secured the roll with a rubber band (recycled too).
See, it was easy and costs nothing! I'm so happy that my ribbon box is finally organized. I should probably put some dividers inside the box next time but this will do for now. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Trying Out Tous les Jours

It was my little brother's birthday yesterday and he's been asking me to bake something. Unfortunately, I had a meeting the whole afternoon yesterday so I had no time to bake a cake and I just decided to buy a cake from Tous les Jours.

Since this cute bakery that originated from Korea (despite the French name) opened a branch at SM North, I've been telling myself  "I should try that." but I never really got around to do so (what's new?) until recently. I bought an Apple Inspiration cake (PhP548). It's a strawberry-flavored cake that takes the shape of an apple (odd, I know).

It came with cute long candles (like the birthday candles we see in Korean TV dramas).

Here's how it looks like inside. There's little sponge cake inside and some real strawberries. It's a very pretty and adorable cake (the whole family agrees) but it's not exactly our cup of tea (or slice of cake?) 

I'm not dismissing Tous les Jours though! I want to try their cheesecake and the mocha crunch cake next time I feel like splurging and too busy to make my own cake.