Saturday, March 30, 2013

Postcard Weekly 03-29-2013

This week, I received four postcards!

This is the national flower of Finland-- lily of the valley. Pretty, isn't it? Trivia: the same flowers were used in Kate Middleton's bridal bouquet!

This is from China. It's a traditional Chinese painting. 

This is a winter landscape of northeastern Russia. I'm a person who gets cold easily that's why I cannot live in a place with a lot of snow though I would also love to travel somewhere with snow just for the experience. :)

Finally, here is a nice train from The Netherlands.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Pancakes and Farewells

Last Sunday, my friends and I went to High Street to try IHOP (International House of Pancakes). It was sort of a send-off for our friend, Kyle, who left yesterday to study in Tokyo (he'll be staying there for two years). 

It takes a really long time to get seated at IHOP because of the amount of people wanting to get a taste of their pancakes. That's why Airis and I arrived there at around 2pm (off-peak time). We had our names listed and asked around how long until we get a seat. The man at the reception told us that we'll get seated in around 30 minutes so Airis and I, while waiting for the others, went to Fully Booked first to pass time.

True to their estimate, we got seated at around 2:30pm. I was really hungry that time because I didn't eat lunch and I did it on purpose because I heard that IHOP's servings are huge. 

I ordered a Split Decision Breakfast (French toast, two strips of bacon, two eggs, two sausages and two buttermilk pancakes,) and Iced Vanilla Coffee (with free refills). I was expecting our orders to take long because they had a lot of customers but it actually didn't.

I've been suffering from hyperacidity since last week (I haven't been drinking coffee recently) but that day, I could not resist trying their iced vanilla coffee! Unfortunately, I couldn't taste the vanilla in it but it was good iced coffee nevertheless. I was actually amused by their customer service because while I was happily sipping on my coffee and my glass was around 20% full, a hand suddenly snuck up on my left side and brought another glass of iced coffee! It also happened to my friend who ordered a bottomless Splashberry. It was actually funny. I really love how we got refills without even asking!

And here's the champ: Split Decision Breakfast. I really thought I could finish everything since I didn't eat lunch but I was wrong! I underestimated it. My friends and I couldn't finish everything we ordered.(which is not normal because we eat a lot!)

My wallet got 500 pesos thinner and I felt like I gained a couple of pounds just that afternoon. 

I guess won't go to IHOP on a normal basis because (1) High Street is so far from where I live, (2) it's expensive and (3) waiting long for a seat is not something I'm willing to do all the time. However, I really think it's worth the experience. I'm glad that my friends and I were able to try it!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

And They Were All Yellow

Around Christmas break, my AME orgmate Kat asked me to make some accessories for her AME 1UP costume. She was going to dress up country loli style. Needless to say, I agreed despite being busy because I really wanted to do it. Kat gave me a straw bag and a straw hat to decorate. She also asked me to make a pair of wristcuffs to match her dress.

Honestly, I enjoyed making them! Here are the things I came up with:

Postcard Weekly 03-22-2013

Five postcards!

This is a postcard showing the Rozhdestvensky monastery in Moscow, mailed from Belarus.

This postcard shows a painting of a Russian village by Anna Sosenskaya.

Here's a simple but ponder-worthy postcard from Finland.

Here's a train in the Douro Valley Region from Portugal. This is my first train postcard and I love it! I actually like trains. (For some reason, this reminds me of a scene from the movie Source Code!)

Here's a postcard of castles in Germany. Someday, definitely. Someday. :)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Mail Outbox

Because I've been really stressed out recently (tons of work, problems, worries, etc.), I decided to make cards and write letters to some people. It's my way of relaxing.

Since I'm pretty sure that the recipients of these cards won't see this blog entry (I don't want to spoil it for them of course. It will defeat the purpose of sending snail mail), here are photos of my handmade cards:

I used washi tape/deco tape/fabric tape, paper punches, felt-tip pens and a Unipin for these cards. I will try other stuff/other media next time. :)

More Reasons Why I'm Not Skinny

I initially wrote the title "More Reasons Why I'm Fat" but then I thought to myself, "Hey, I'm not that fat. I'm just not model-thin." hence the present title. :)

This is the Oats and Apples tart I made a few weeks ago. It's made of an oatmeal crust, sweetened cream cheese and fresh apples. This is quite a pain to slice because of the fresh apples so next time, I will try cooking the apples.

I am currently abstaining from milk tea and I mean store-prepared milk tea (e.g. Moonleaf, Gong Cha, etc.) A few weeks ago, I went to Saizen/Daiso and saw this Meito Royal Milk Tea. The brand Meito sounded so familiar so I bought a pack. It contains 4 individual sachets. It's made of Earl Grey tea. It tastes really good and it's relaxing to drink! Tomorrow, I'll be checking Saizen again to buy some. :)

I've been frequenting Chilli and Ink a lot recently. Their caramel cupcake is so addicting (and their spicy chicken, of course!) By the way, they're also serving fish fillet! 

I also made S'mores in a pan because I still had chocolates from Valentine's Day. (Whut?!) Well, I like eating chocolate every once in a while but I'm not someone you'd consider a choco-holic. Anyway, I made a graham cracker crust, tossed marshmallows and chopped milk chocolate into the crust, popped the pan into the oven and then hurray S'mores!

I also made a little trifle from leftover cream cheese, leftover crushed graham crackers and bananas at home. I simply layered them in a small glass for a quick dessert.

This is the strawberry Danish pastry I got from Dusit Hotel last week.

Last Monday, I passed by the mall and craved for a sponge cake (blame my hormones) but I was in a hurry so I wasn't able to buy any. On my way home, my craving suddenly changed from sponge cake to chocolate crinkles (yeah, hormones) and then I realized that I haven't baked chocolate crinkles for years already so I made some when I got home. Craving solved!

Yes, I really should cut down on the sweets. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Postcard Weekly 03-15-2013

Here's a postcard showing a refreshing place called Loenen in The Netherlands. This postcard is quite odd. I knew it came from The Netherlands but it contained three stamps from Maldives, Togo and Rwanda (none from The Netherlands). The stamps were not postmarked either. Weird but I love it nonetheless because now I have stamps from the said three countries!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Berry Much

When my family went to Baguio ten years ago, we were not able to go to the strawberry farm because it was raining (and strawberries go bad when they get wet). During my recent trip there with my friends, however, we were lucky because it's the season for strawberries and the weather was great.

The strawberry farm is actually not in Baguio City-- it's in La Trinidad, the capital of Benguet. After eating breakfast at 50's Diner, we took the cab to the jeepney terminal where we rode a jeep to the strawberry farm. After getting off the jeep, we walked a little before finally arriving at there.

Other than strawberries, they also have flowers and crops

Strawberry picking, during that time, cost PhP350 per kilo. It's not required that each person picks at least one kilo of strawberries. There were four of us but we decided to just pick 1/4 kilo each because it's expensive and besides, we were only there for the sake of experience.

Our "harvest"

Right outside the farm, there were rows of baskets and boxes full of strawberries for sale. The bigger strawberries cost PhP150 per kilo while the smaller ones were PhP100 per kilo. My friends and I bought a lot of strawberries and it was really awesome because our room smelled of strawberries.

I bought 1.5 kilos of strawberries. One kilo was for eating and here's what happened to the 1/2 kilo:

Strawberry cheesecake. I made sure to stock up on cream cheese before I went to Baguio.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Volante Restaurant in Baguio

This restaurant is quite a common sight in Baguio. I saw branches in Camp John Hay, in Session Road and near where we stayed (somewhere on the way to Wright Park). Needless to say, it made us wonder what's with this restaurant so when we visited Camp John Hay, we decided to have [super late] lunch there. 

The place is cozy.

I ordered a strawberry milkshake.

They also have milk tea in their menu but I skipped it because I'm on milk tea abstinence this Lenten season.

My friend and I ordered a Pasta Puttanesca (around PhP200, good for two people).

Finally, we ordered a 10" smoked salmon pizza (PhP313).

I had a good tummy fill in Volante. If and when I go back to Baguio, I'd love to eat there again. The food is not too expensive for its worth and they have a lot of food in their menu that I really want to try. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Postcard Weekly 03-08-2013

Here's a nice postcard showing the moonlight shining over Saguaro cacti flowers: the state flower of Arizona! This postcard reminded me of one of my favorite books-- Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. In Stargirl, there's a cactus which the characters fondly call "SeƱor Saguaro".

Friday, March 8, 2013

50's Diner in Baguio: Breakfast in a Time Capsule

We left Manila at 11pm and arrived in Baguio at 5am. After resting a bit and waiting for the sun to come up, we headed out to have breakfast because my friends and I were already hungry. I insisted my friends that we should try 50's Diner. I've read about diners in Baguio a few months ago so when I got there, I immediately wanted to try eating at one!

Cool ride in front of 50's Diner

Upon entering, I immediately felt like I was in a time capsule (if only the diners also wore clothes from the 50's)!

I ordered a burger (yes, very typical) and brewed coffee (because I cannot be without coffee). I was surprised by the size of their burger. It's probably two times my normal consumption! However, because I don't like leaving food on my plate, I did my best to finish everything. I wished, though, that I had ordered cheeseburger because cheese would have complimented the taste of of the burger well.

PhP95 for a burger around 5 or 6 inches in diameter with fries (my hand for comparison)

My friend also ordered an Irish cream coffee. I tasted some and it was good but let's just say it's not fit for breakfast haha.

Eating breakfast at 50's Diner was a good experience! The food is good and not too expensive. If and when I go back to Baguio, I'll make sure to try the other stuff on their menu!