My Recent Eats From The East

Friday, April 29, 2011
One of my relatives here recently came back from a visit to the Philippines. And she has surprised our family with a small gift (pasalubong) - a whole packet of  Goldilocks Special Polvoron (powdered milk candy). There were at least 24 of them in the packet.

It was such a remarkable treat! Yum!

When did you last have a very special treat?

Novice Blogging - Note #23 (Badges Part 2)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011
After learning 2 weeks ago how to upload and get an HTML code for your badge, we now tackle the Blogger Design side of how to display the badge onto your blogsite.

Once you have logged onto your Blogger account:
- press the Design tab on the blog that you want to add the badge to
- press Add A Gadget
- select HTML/Javascript
- paste the HTML code that you have gotten from the picture site (like Photobucket) onto the space provided

Now the pasted code must read like this, exchanging the words in red with your website address (URL) and the words in green with the name of your blog. Then, the words in blue must be added in: 
Remember that the (name of your picture) refers to the URL of your picture from Photobucket. It does not mean that you must type it the way it is exactly but rather insert the URL of your picture on this space.

Once you are done, the end result should be that your badge is displayed on your site and the HTML code to copy your badge is also displayed on your site like so:

I've customised it a bit and given it a Grab My Badge title.

See what you can do with yours. :-)

Weighing In: Week 6 For The Food Diarist

Tuesday, April 26, 2011
If ever I am to be successful, this would be the week........

The start of the attack of the public holidays is upon us. Meaning that there would be more time for me to hit the gym. Or it could be just more reason for me to lie in bed. Either way, out of the next 2 weeks, I would stay at home 8 days. Not straight-through, but nevertheless, the holidays are almost right next to each other.

Monday - breakfast - Kellogg's All-Bran flakes with one banana
Monday - lunch - a quarter chicken breast portion with peri-peri potato wedges
Monday - dinner - white rice and sauteed chicken and green beans
Monday - snack - 100g potato sticks

Tuesday - breakfast - dried mangoes
Tuesday - lunch - 100g potato sticks and an Oreo McFlurry
Tuesday - dinner - chicken macaroni soup (sopas)

Wednesday - breakfast - Kellogg's All-Bran flakes with one banana and full cream milk
Wednesday - lunch - quarter chicken breast and chicken macaroni soup (sopas)
Wednesday - dinner - 2-minute beef noodles
Wednesday - snack - cheesy snack

Thursday - breakfast - Kellogg's All-Bran flakes with one banana and low fat milk
Thursday - lunch - white rice, spicy fried calamari, spicy beef, roasted chicken pieces
Thursday - dinner - white rice, spicy fried calamari, roasted chicken pieces

Friday - breakfast - 2 fried eggs
Friday- lunch - brown rice and char siu barbecued pork (asado)
Friday - dinner - more char siu barbecued pork (asado) and an Oreo McFlurry

Saturday - workout - 1 hour step aerobics class
Saturday - breakfast - Kellogg's All-Bran flakes with one banana and full cream milk
Saturday - lunch - french fries only
Saturday - dinner - 6 pcs KFC zinger wings

Sunday - workout - 20 mins fast walking and 10 mins cycling
Sunday - no breakfast
Sunday - lunch - 3 slices of pizza
Sunday - dinner - beef fried noodles and 3 pcs sweet and sour pork

My eating habits continue to be erratic. Especially now that we are currently renovating our kitchen, there is literally no cooking at the house. At least I am getting the workout during my off days. I weighed in on Sunday and the gym scale tells me I am 0.1kgs over my starting weight. I was kinda hoping that I had hit lower than that but I suppose the weight is going the right way, which is down.

VTT Postcard - Day 12 - Lucerne, Switzerland

Monday, April 25, 2011
The next day saw us making our way to the Swiss city, Lucerne. Switzerland was the second last country on our itinerary and so the mood was sorta somber as we realized the tour would be ending in a few days time.

We arrived in Switzerland in the late afternoon and were brought to the Lion Monument or the Lion of Lucerne. The monument commemorates the Swiss Guards which were killed during the French Revolution. Right about now it started raining but that did not stop the tourists (that’s us!) from taking pictures around the monument.
The Lion Monument, Lucerne

Girls Talk - She's Got The Lopsided Look

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I don't have any dress sense! I prefer to wear clothes that are really comfortable and usually I end up looking like a hobo. There are, of course, days when I'm just in my girly-girl mood and I rock up looking something fresh from a magazine. But those days are rare and really, really, REALLY far in between.

Size-Challenged Oreos

Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Being vertically-challenged, I simply love looking at and buying "small" stuff for "short" people. Here was my latest find while I was traipsing around in Europe during December.
As it was near empty, I asked my eldest to take a picture before the container gets thrown away. Just to show exactly how perfectly tiny these Oreos were!
I wonder how many mini-Oreos make up a normal one?

Weighing In: Week 5 For The Food Diarist

Tuesday, April 19, 2011
So I'm having a slower start this week than all the other previous week. I have not been updating my food diary everyday like I used to. I've only started on Wednesday and by then, I had probably forgotten what I had on Monday. Anyway, I am still trying. So I have to continue on.

Monday - breakfast - Kellogg's All-Bran flakes and low fat milk and one banana
Monday - lunch - a small chicken burger
Monday - dinner - 2 barbecued chicken wings equivalent to a quarter chicken size
Monday - workout - 30 situps on the exercise ball

VTT Postcard - Day 11 - Florence, Italy

Monday, April 18, 2011
Last Italian city on the list was Florence. Oooh, we could hardly wait to get there. Our bus was bustling from all the activities that everybody did the previous day in Rome. As everybody did their own thing, there were just so many stories to tell.

We arrived in Florence just after lunch and we were brought to Piazzale Michelangelo, where a magnificent view of the Florentine skyline could be seen. This is where we had our whole Contiki group photo. There was also a replica of Michelangelo’s David here.
The city of Florence, Italy

Sweet Saturday: A Relationship Filled With Renovations

Friday, April 15, 2011

Today is a Sweet Saturday, where we all join our host, Jona of Heartifying, to talk about the big and small things that we, as couples, do.

For my very first ever Sweet Saturday entry, I will share today what hubby and I have been doing for the last couple of nights after work.

DIY FYI: The First Unit Is Up

This was the first cupboard that went up in our to-be-renovated kitchen - the TALL unit. Notice how tall it is compared next to my youngest? You can't even see the top of the unit from this pic!
We decided to start with this unit as the space was separated from the whole kitchen. This space was used for our fridge, which will go back to its place as soon as the small cupboard (pictured above beside the tall unit) is positioned correctly.
Hubby and I have been hard at work all week putting the cupboards together, although they are not 100% yet as we have not torn down the old units to make space for the new ones. The units have been situated all over our house but mostly in the garage. The new cupbaords will be installed as soon as Easter weekend comes up and hubby and I have time to get rid of everything that is in the kitchen now.
And no, the butterflies are not REALLY on the unit.

P.S. My eldest was trying to make the pictures more lovable. What do you think?

Girls Talk - The Power Couple And A Third Wheel

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hmmm.......I am a little indecisive when asked to choose any one celebrity. I like a couple of them although I am not really much of an avid fan. They take my fancy and I watch their movies; I start disliking them and I just become disinterested in what they have to offer.

For today's Girls Talk, I'll showcase a few actors that I like to watch on the screen.

Novice Blogging - Note #22 (Badges Part 1)

I always feel very honoured when people grab my badge and display it on their websites. It sorta works like a blog advertisement for me. For free. :-)

As soon as I had decided on the designs of my blog header, I quickly worked on developing a badge. First, you pick the designs you want for your badge. This should be eye-catching and appealing. My badge design was not that much different from my blog header because I wanted readers to identify my site immediately. That is, of course, if they were already familiar with my blog.

Anyway, I downsized my design to a "100 x 100 pixeled" image using the normal Microsoft Office Picture Manager. After which, I uploaded the said picture to my Photobucket account. Actually any picture site will do. As long as the site can give you an HTML code for your image. 
After uploading the picture and obtaining the HTML code, you can use this to paste it onto your blogsite.

On the next novice blog notes, I will explain how to load the badge onto the Blogger Design tab.

See ya in 2 weeks!

Weighing In: Week 4 For The Food Diarist

Tuesday, April 12, 2011
So after the revelation that I am a bad weekend eater dawned on me last week, you'd think that this week would have me trying to fix up whatever was wrong with me. I don't know if I will be successful but we shall see.

VTT Postcard - Day 10 - Rome, Italy

Monday, April 11, 2011
Aaaah, roaming around Rome on your own, what beats that?

We left early for the city centre for our tour of the Colosseum and the Forum.

There are simply no words to describe how big and mighty the Colosseum stood. An ancient piece of history, what a sight!
We toured around the Colosseum for an hour. Then we proceeded to The Forum for another hour. We were then informed that the Pope was giving a blessing at St Peter’s at around noon so a group of us decided to head straight to the Basilica after our tour was done.

Navigating the city via buses was difficult. You had to know which end of the street to queue in as well as where the buses were going to. The bus system in Rome was average compared to the efficiency of the Germans and British, I suppose. Furthermore, I found the Italians not too keen on foreigners as when we asked, hardly anybody spoke any English nor offered to help us with directions.

We eventually got to St Peter’s Square which was still a long walk from the bus stop. The St Peter’s Basilica was magnificent from afar. Apparently, it is the tallest point in all of Rome.
St Peter's Basilica
The St Peter’s Square was fast filling up with people, all anxiously awaiting the appearance of the Pope. The Pope blessed us from his Papal Residency, which was located just beside the Basilica. To say the least, I think he blessed the crowd in 5 different languages!

After the blessing, our group decided to head for lunch and look for authentic pizzas. We found a pizza place that was run by someone who at least spoke some English. Then we proceeded to sightsee some more. We walked around and found our way back to the Victor Emmanuel Monument. Then walked some more to find ourselves on the Quirinale Hill, the highest of the seven hills in Rome and had a great view of the St Peter’s Basilica.

We took the Metro and decided to see the mother of all churches, Basilica of St John Lateran (San Giovanni di Laterano).
Basilica of St John Lateran
The time flew by so fast. Before we knew it, the sun had set as we headed back to Rome city centre. We walked around a bit more and found ourselves inside the Pantheon.

Afterwards, our group decided to have dinner. We found a small Italian restaurant and they served good food. I was not sure if the food was really good or we were just hungry. Anyway, my spaghetti carbonara was delicious. And the portions were so big, it was the first time I could not finish the food on my plate (because I was so full). But not too full for gelato (ice cream), I guess. We found a gelato place nearby and decided to have some to wash down the pasta dinner we just ate.

Our group headed back to the hotel, taking the Metro. Unfortunately, as it was holiday, the Metro did not arrive as punctual as we would like. We waited an hour for the Metro and when we got to our stop, we found out that some of the buses were not servicing on a Sunday. Woe is us! We had to walk our way back to the hotel, got lost a bit, and spent more than 30 minutes of guessing wrong and guessing right. Getting lost was such a bummer end to what otherwise was a beautiful day spent in Rome. But we eventually did arrive at the hotel at around midnight. I went straight to bed.

DIY FYI: A Kitchen Puzzle And The Cupboard Pieces

Friday, April 8, 2011
So we ordered the kitchen cupboards for our planned kitchen renovation and they came in forms that we didn't quite expect. Well, okay, we knew they were coming in pieces but there were just sooooo many.

Hubby and I tried to make sense of how each cupboard was made up. It took us 3 whole night of at least 3 hours each sorting all the ready-cut wood out.

Hubby needed my creative genes to figure out how to bring the pieces together to make them into the cupboards that they should be. And of course, I needed hubby's muscles to put them back and forth and back and forth. With our ingenious ways of doing the kitchen renovation, this should make for some funky and interesting cupboard pieces.

 Ho-hum! from tiredness. I am ready to sleep it all out from here. We're starting the real-deal putting together on the weekend. Hubby will be ready with his handheld cordless drill....and I will come prepared with my tiny sticky super glue. LOL.

Watch this space for the update!

Writer's Workshop: Finally, Fame!

Thursday, April 7, 2011
Mama’s Losin’ It

For Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop prompt #1: Your 15 minutes of fame

The following video is dark and gloomy but hopefully this will not deter your interest to find out what is playing on the other side of it. We really wanted fame (and maybe some fortune) but decided, when the cameras started rolling, that we were just too shy to show our faces. Sorry.

I am sharing the limelight (or lack of it anyway) with my daughter, who has never had any keyboard training in her life. She is a self-taught Youtube student so please judge not too harshly. Also, 15 minutes I felt was way too long and just over 3 minutes and a half between the two of us is better :-) Don't wanna bore you guys to death.

Our claim to fame is a cover of One Republic and Sara Bareilles "Come Home". Enjoy!

Girls Talk - Food, Food....Glorious Food!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I must confess that I'm a picky eater.

And I eat. A lot. Of all the wrong kinds. This is actually why I have weight problems at the moment and I am trying to get fit and healthy. I've even dedicated a blog series, The Food Diarist, about it. But anyways, I am going off on a tangent again.....

I started talking about food because this week's topic for Girls Talk is just that. Food and all its glory.

Weighing In: Week 3 For The Food Diarist

After last week's misadventures in the most havoc fashion, this week promised to be good....or I had hoped to be good anyway. Wanna find out with me? Let's go.

Monday - breakfast - Kellogg's All-Bran flakes with low fat milk and banana
Monday - lunch - brown rice and sauteed sousou (sayote)
Monday - dinner - brown rice and 2 pieces pork steak
Monday - snack - 125g salty snack

I gotta get this salty snack off my system.

Tuesday - no breakfast
Tuesday - lunch - 6pc McNuggets and Oreo McFlurry
Tuesday - snack - 50g salty snack
Tuesday - dinner - brown rice and beef stew (nilaga)

I REALLY gotta get this salty snack off my system.

Wednesday - breakfast - 200g boiled peanuts and Kellogg's All-Bran flakes with low fat milk and banana
Wednesday - lunch - 2minute spicy beef noodles
Wednesday - dinner - 5pcs spicy wings and a fried chicken breast

Thursday - breakfast - 200g boiled peanuts and Kellogg's All-Bran flakes with low fat milk and banana
Thursday - lunch - chicken strips and spicy rice
Thursday - dinner - brown rice and beef stew with tomato sauce (mechado)
Thursday - snack - one mango

Friday - breakfast - Kellogg's All-Bran flakes with low fat milk and banana
Friday - lunch - chicken breast portion with peri-peri potato wedges
Friday - snack - 50g salty snack
Friday - dinner - 4 pieces KFC zinger wings

Saturday - workout - 30mins at the gym (a bit disappointed my step aerobics class was cancelled for the day. Just spent my time on the, treadmill.)
Saturday - breakfast - 1 scrambled eggs and 4 pcs of luncheon meat with brown rice
Saturday - lunch - 4 medium slices of pizza (2 seafood, 2 supreme meat)
Saturday - snack - 100g salty snack
Satuday - dinner - spaghetti with creamy chicken mushroom sauce

Sunday - breakfast - Kellogg's All-Bran flakes with low fat milk (so bare! horrors of horror. The taste was so bleh!)
Sunday - lunch - spaghetti with creamy chicken mushroom sauce
Sunday - no dinner
Sunday - snack - 100g salty snack (how about that? totally skipped dinner of a meaty substance and decided to go for an unhealthy snack.)

I did not get the chance to workout too much this week as my hubby and I decided to start our kitchen renovation and so most of our free time has been spent sorting out the cupboards.

Looking back, it seems like I only become a bad unhealthy girl when weekend comes along. I'd have to control my weekend eating habits in future.

Onwards with this experiment!

Look What My Mom-In-Law Got Me Into!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Today is my mother-in-law's 81st birthday. I'd like to share one cool thing about her and so this post is dedicated to her. This story goes a long way back, back when I visited the Philippines and first met my mother-in-law.

Back then, cross-stitching was the craze and as she was hooked on the craft, she proudly showed her new daughter-in-law (that's me) how to stitch a cross or two.

After watching and learning from her, it spurred me to buy the materials that I needed to start my own little project. I took this craft back to South Africa and began my own cross-stitching journey.

VTT Postcard - Day 9 - Rome, Italy

Monday, April 4, 2011
It’s a pity we couldn’t stay any longer than one night at the Venetian hotel. More pleasantness awaited my roommate and me when we arrived at the hotel the previous night to find that we had one of the biggest rooms we’ll ever have in the entire tour, complete with kitchen and lounge area!

The hotel was Base Hotel Venice. And although I do not remember much about the hotel, I just remembered our room was really nice and big and spacious.

Anyway, the bus trip to Rome this morning was okay. The bus was starting to fill up with other fellow travelers who we’ve picked up from Amsterdam onwards. There were now 42 of us in the bus.

Today was Christmas Day and to mark this very special occasion, our TM scheduled us to have Christmas Dinner in Rome.

We arrived just before dinner in Rome and proceeded to our hotel, Park Roma Cassia Hotel. The hotel felt like it was on the outskirts of Rome because it was off our Rome city centre map. But other than this small, but significant, detail, the hotel was very nice. (We’ll have more about this on the next day’s post). We had free Wi-Fi in our rooms and I don’t know if it was because it was christmas but when I placed an international call to my family for about 40 minutes, I only paid EUR12. Very, very affordable.

TM took us to the city centre and we walked to the restaurant where we were going to celebrate our Christmas dinner. We met up with some other Contiki groups at the restaurant and it sorta felt like the coming together of one very big, happy family. We even had turkey!

Afterwards, TM took us on tour around the city. There were no Metro (subway) stations inside the city centre because of the Roman ruins that the country was preserving. So a lot of walking was involved in the sightseeing of Rome. 
Trevi Fountain
We walked and saw the following sights that night: Victor Emmanual Monument, Trevi Fountain, Temple of Hadrian, Pantheon, Piazza Navona. Even at night, these places were packed, especially the Trevi Fountain. I can’t believe the amount of touring you can do even during the night.
Pantheon being re-touched
We went back to the hotel early as we had a free day the next day. Or rather, our tour driver had a free day as he did not need to drive us anymore. We were advised to roam around Rome on our own. TM scheduled a tour of the Colosseum and the Forum in the morning and the rest of the day is up to us!

I was excited as Rome was one of the cities I was really looking forward to seeing. It was a pity we could not go into the Vatican Museums because it was closed during the holiday. But we’ll have more about that in the next instalment.

Please Do Not Disturb; Children At Work

Friday, April 1, 2011

These pictures just go to show that in our family, even the smallest of kids need to pull their weight.

Actually, judging by how happy they are doing simple, normal chores, I think my kids are going to do great in life!