Monday, February 25, 2013

There They Go Again

Once again, UP Anime Manga Enthusiasts did it. AME 1UP, the organization's major event this academic year, was a blast! This is the ninth anime/manga fair that UP AME organized throughout its 12 years of existence and I'm really happy that AME fairs have gone a long way since its Ang Bahay ng Alumni days. Now, don't get me started about how important AME is to me because I can go on forever, writing about how grateful I am to this student organization.

I was there from 11am (before opening) until around 9:30pm (after closing). I was really excited for that day because I knew I was going to see a lot of old friends!

The sad thing though is that I left my camera's memory card at home. Imagine my heart break when I was about to take a photo and my camera prompted "no memory card". :'( However, I didn't want to get stressed that day so I decided to just let it go (ooohhh... looks like I'm becoming really good at letting go haha).

Now, have some blurry phone photos. 

Nice set, UP AME.

This is pretty much how I looked like. The floral wreath I made two weeks ago was really meant for this event. I also decided to wear the silver wig which I bought online around two years ago (but never got to use because I still haven't finished the costume that I'm supposed to wear with the wig.)

I had wanted to come as a random fairy but I didn't have enough time to put together a nice costume. In the end, I just wore a blue lacy dress, gray tights (to prevent peek-a-boos) and blue flats (so I can go around comfortably). I also brought my black lace blazer to fight the air-conditioner.

This is my buddy Numi as Sailor Moon. She created the costume herself. Isn't she awesome?

This is the backstage. Those are cosplayers waiting for their turn at the catwalk.

In the evening, my head started to hurt because the wig was squeezing it so I decided to take the wig off (but not the floral wreath). Insta-curls/waves. :)

That's me with the famous Japanese cosplayer, Reika. I never really knew her until AME 1UP but I still wanted a photo with her because she's very pretty and very nice!

You did a great job again, UP AME! Cheers!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Postcard Weekly 02-22-2013

Three postcards!

The first is a postcard of Plum Garden in Kameido in 1857 from "One Hundred Famous Views of Edo" by Ando Hiroshige. It's actually mailed from Germany but the stamp has a Japanese temple on it! The sender must be really in love with Japan (well, she said she's been to Japan twice). 

Here's Rabi from Czech Republic. Ah, I wonder when will I ever see these beautiful castles.

Here's a Touchnote card of Harry and Ron from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (my favorite among the eight movies)! It may be a Touchnote card but the sender was thoughtful enough to send it first to herself and then send it to me via post (at least there's a handwritten message and pretty stamps!) :)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Postcard Weekly 02-15-2013

Four postcards this week!

From Finland is a beautiful painting of a lighthouse by Kimmo Palikko. I think it's watercolor. It makes me wanna paint the sky right now!

Here's a cute painting from Belarus. The sender said that she was supposed to send me a postcard of their national flower, the cornflower, but she couldn't find any. I was curious about the cornflower so I google-d it-- it's pretty and\ blue in color! 

Here's a nice postcard of the City of Manila from my AME orgmate Ate Yvette. It looks very pretty in the postcard, right? The City of Manila is close to my heart because that's where I studied high school. I can't identify where this place exactly is, but that should be Pasig River over there. 

This is the town hall of Eindhoven from The Netherlands. It's my first B/W postcard. Looks so vintage, right? :)


Last Wednesday, despite my hectic schedule, I went jogging around the academic oval because I knew it was chocolate/sweets season.

aunt and uncle came home from the USA

KitKat is my favorite chocolate

from my officemates  (except for the KitKat) :)

chocolate ice cream and chocolate bar while studying yesterday afternoon for an exam last night

Today was spent with the software ANSYS. I crocheted while waiting for the models to run. I ate pistachio ice cream too. I love eating ice cream from a mug when I'm home. It feels so... comfortable.

I gained weight but I don't care too much because I'm gonna lose them anyway (when I go jogging again and when hell week arrives).

Friday, February 15, 2013

Samgyeopsal Day

Last Wednesday, my high school friend who just returned from a six-month stay in China went to UP to have lunch with me. She is a lover of Korean culture (she even went to Korea for one year as an exchange student). I, on the other hand, may not be a lover of K-pop but I do love Korean food and Korean comedy-drama!

We went to Kalayaan Avenue for late lunch. There are a lot of Korean restaurants along Kalayaan. I've been meaning to try them but I waited for my friend to arrive before going to one. (Well, actually, my friend and I have been to one before but that was years ago.)

We went to one of the restaurants almost just across Kamay Kainan and I'm sorry for not catching its name because I did not notice any English name (and I was really hungry too).

We ordered unlimited samgyeopsal (PhP299 per person) as my friend suggested. Samgyeopsal is grilled pork belly that you wrap in greens (like lettuce). My friend also put garlic, kimchi and rice inside the lettuce so I just imitated what she did with her food.

I really enjoyed five of the seven side dishes! Also, see the lettuce at the corner of the table?

pork belly and soup

I like how Koreans eat their food too-- with stainless steel chopsticks and a long spoon.

I think I'm totally falling in love with Korean food. For one, I love spicy food. (I actually have a perpetual craving for spicy food.) Also, I feel healthy when I eat Korean food. They grill their meat (which is relatively healthier because oil gets drained) and they always have vegetables (I swear I love vegetables). The pork belly was fatty but I didn't feel unhealthy at all even after eating a lot because most of what we ate were vegetables.

I think PhP299 was totally worth it because everything is unlimited-- pork belly, greens, side dishes (including kimchi), rice and soup. I should bring friends to this restaurant!

I think I'm getting addicted to kimchi. I should find and buy those kimchi stored in jars.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Postcard Weekly 02-08-2013

Here's a postcard from Cologne, Germany. It's a park called Flora.

Here's a postcard from Lyon, France. It's my first postcard from France! It may seem pretty plain but for some reason, I really like it. According to the sender, this building used to be the home of a former resistant of the World War II but is now a museum. I actually learned French in high school so I tried to recall what I had learned and tried to reply to the sender in French. :) 

Here's a postcard from Russia. This is Moscow Kremlin. It's included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. Isn't it beautiful?

Here is a postcard from California. When I saw this, I went "GASP! AAAAAAAAAAA STAR WARS!!! SO CUUUUUTE!" This one really made me happy. I want more Star Wars postcards in my life.

Postcard Weekly 02-01-2013

I got two postcards two weeks ago!

Here's a postcard from Poland sent by my Summer Course 2012 groupmate (and co-author) James. He's from Texas but he was in Europe when he sent me this postcard. I really love this one! James really knows what a civil engineer likes for her postcards haha. It shows the beauty of architecture in Krakow. (My older brother spent two months in Poland but I wasn't into postcards that much back then so I didn't ask him for any.) 

Here's a postcard from Russia. It's a 19th century painting by A.K. Cabpacob at the main Moscow gallery. It's so pretty! I really like getting art postcards.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Food Round-Up

A round-up of some of the nice things I had recently.

Blue velvet cupcakes I made during a sleepover at a friend's house three weeks ago. These are supposed to be red velvet cupcakes but for some reason, Landmark always runs out of red food color.

Bite-sized tacos and "takoyaki" from Mezza Norte.

And that's my face when I eat ice cream (DQ Blizzard, in this case).

One night, my co-instructors insisted to have dinner at Katipunan so I suggested Flaming Wings. I absolutely love the place. I haven't been there for the longest time so I really missed it!

Spicy chicken tenders with wasabi mayo

Finally bought myself some wicked oreos. Truly wicked. I felt like I gained pounds instantly haha.

I know, I know. I should get myself moving if I don't want to gain weight.

Chilli and Ink in Magiting Street

This small restaurant along Magiting Street (across Moonleaf and Iscreamist and just a few meters from Maginhawa Street) made it to my favorite list.

Chilli and Ink is named such because their specialty is spicy chicken wings (though there's also something for those who can't handle spicy) and they have tattoo services.

For spicy food-lovers like me, they have four different levels of spicy chicken wings: Level 1 (Hot ng Ina Mo), Level 2 (Hot ng Ina Mo Rin), Level 3 (Hot ng Ina Niyong Lahat) and Level 4 (Hot ng Ina Niyong Lahat CHALLENGE). They serve chicken wings by 300 grams. Levels 1,2, and 3 cost PhP150 while Level 4 costs PhP200. They also have other flavors like regular, garlic parmesan, wasabi, spicy mango, binagoongan, etc.

When I go to Chilli and Ink, I usually order the budget meal (because the 300-gram serving is too much for me). For PhP99, I get chicken wings, rice, a cupcake and a glass of iced tea, and it's not bad at all!

Level 2: Hot ng Ina Mo Rin (served with garlic mayo)

I swear by their caramel cupcake and I know a lot of people who do too. Both the cupcake itself and the frosting are delicious.

They sell their cupcakes by the dozen too.

They have many tattoo magazines for while you're waiting for your food.

I really love Chilli and Ink. It's very near our university. The place is laid-back. The people are very nice. The food is cheap and perfect to appease my perpetual craving for spicy food. And even if you don't like spicy food, as long as you like chicken, I think this is still worth a try.

PS: Chilli and Ink is where I got the idea for my Tropical Buffalo Wings. Next time I will try making Wasabi Buffalo Wings at home!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

My Floral Head Wreath

Just a quick post before I move to doing all my weekend tasks (both academic and domestic). 

This is something I've been meaning to make for the longest time. However, I could not find an occasion where I could wear a floral head wreath without getting weird stares from people. Well, now I do (AME 1UP, our student org's event on February 23, 2013 at the World Trade Center) so I bought some plastic flower decoration from Landmark last night (PhP150) and then used it to make a floral head wreath this morning. 

I've been wearing it around the house this morning and it's so comfortable that I don't feel like I'm wearing anything on my head. It doesn't fall off either. I wish I could wear stuff like this on a normal basis without getting weird stares, of course. But maybe I'm asking too much haha.

Next time, hopefully on summer, I want to make a floral wreath from scratch! I will sew ribbons and lace into flowers and then attach them to a circular wire. :)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Recipe: Tropical Buffalo Wings

I love spicy chicken wings! Recently, I learned a nice twist to it: MANGO. I got the idea from Chilli and Ink in Maginhawa Street and tried to execute it myself. I know it sounds a little unusual but it's worth a try (especially now that mangoes are in season).

Tropical Buffalo Wings

Original (non-tropical) version

Tropical Buffalo Wings

1 kg chicken wings
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup flour
cayenne (optional)

1/4 cup butter, melted
half a mango, pureed
chilli pepper sauce

1. Mix together milk, flour, salt, pepper and cayenne.
2. Coat the chicken with the batter. You may let it sit for an hour.
3. Cook the chicken until crispy. You can deep-fry it but I prefer using the convection roaster at 200 degrees C for 30 to 40 minutes (so that I don't have to use oil anymore and some of the chicken fat gets drained too).

4. While the chicken is cooking, mix the melted butter, mango puree and enough chilli pepper sauce.
Left: butter and chilli sauce mixture. Right: mango puree.

5. After the chicken cooks, immediately dunk it into the butter-mango-chilli pepper mixture.
6. You can serve the wings with garlic mayo dip (mayo mixed with crushed garlic).

Postcard Weekly 01-24-2013

That Thursday, one of my co-workers gave me four different Venezuela postcards! He said the cards were just lying around their house so he decided to give them to me. I had no cards from South America yet so Venezuela is my first!

Now, here's a postcard from Canada sent by my high school classmate, Karen. The colors are so beautiful! :D

This beautiful odd-shaped postcard from Portugal shows traditional Portuguese tiles! Isn't it cool? Some people may think "they're just tiles" but I like really it (I'm a civil engineer by profession)!

Finally, a cute postcard from Russia. :)