The photo I posted yesterday was taken using my new toy, a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 lens, slapped onto Maxine. I introduced her here.
It takes some getting used to, if you know what I mean. But I really quite enjoy using this wonderful gem of a lens. I took her with me to work yesterday, almost leaving the battery behind haha. I had a terrible headache while trying to work, and it was really bad timing because there was a mountain of stuff that I needed to do. I ended up being only about 60% percent productive on my official office hours, and having more stuff done after hours.
That was after I went down for a good brunch.
I hung out at Starbucks for about 40 minutes. Had Hungarian Sausage and Egg on Ciabatta bread, with hot White Chocolate Mocca. Elizabeth Gilbert kept me company.
I was recharged when I went back and sat in front of my computer. 🙂
I must say though, that having a Starbucks brunch isn’t something I should be doing. I should be saving money, not splurging. I could have had a free meal at the pantry, or a less expensive meal at The Loop. But it felt like a simple pleasure that will give me much relief. It felt just like what I needed. And I was right, it gave me the lift I was looking for.
It meant though that I had to walk through the regular Friday bazaar at ELJ. And I ended up splurging on this:
This is a leather checkbook purse, all hand made locally. I have no intentions to take my checkbook with me every where I go so this one’s just going to replace my Le Sportsac (a fake really) purse. I love how the material feels on my hands. And the color, it’s just love! 🙂 It cost me 580 pesos. I showed it to my mom today, and she wants one too.
Before I went home, I also picked up fudge brownies and chocolate cupcakes. Yummy. 🙂
I got home and was finally headache free. Seems like all I really needed was some retail therapy. And a little splurge.
As I was Entrecard hopping today, I hopped through Pinay Backpacker’s blog about Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secrets. It’s a book available at the National BookStore, about the many wonderful places to dine in and around Metro Manila. I was at the NBS Quezon Avenue branch sometime last week and I saw this on the shelves. You see, I love browsing through the baking books section, and it shares the stands with cookbooks and other books on restaurants, wining and dining.
I had been tempted to get tear this book open, and checkout the restaurants they were suggesting. It has a map somewhere there and I checked out their recommendations for QC, my city. There were only two! Is this for real? Maybe I didn’t check hard enough? But it is quite interesting. Go buy the book, then lend it to me, okay? 🙂
But I’m mentioning this today, because seeing Pinay Backpacker’s post reminded me of what was going through my mind while I was browing through that section. I had wanted so badly to learn more about baking. There were so many baking books there that looked so attractive to me. But I could not justify the cost of buying any one of them when I still have not gone through The Art & Soul of Baking, which the boyfriend gave me for Christmas last year. Only when I finish through it, I told myself, would I allow myself the pleasure of another baking book. I also have The Field Guide to Cookies, and Hello! Cupcake.
I saw these two on the racks, and I got even more inspired to devote time for baking:
The second isn’t really just about baking, but a cook book. I don’t cook. But looking at cookbooks just makes me want to start learning. Seriously.
I don’t know if anything will come out of this really, even the boyfriend sorta doubts that I’ll really learn to cook. It might seem easier to build a house, than to get me to cooking. Haha. Yeah, only if you get a manufactured home (something that also always fascinates me, think Brad Pitt and his Make It Right/The Pink Project). But who knows. It’s never too late to learn a new skill.
We were expecting it, but not as early as it arrived. There was no electricity (as is always expected when there’s severe weather conditions) so we were outside enjoying the cool wind and the light drizzle (versus the heavy downpour just prior and then again after that time). I also took it as an opportunity to socialize with my cousins, and the kids too 🙂
Then I heard someone at the gate asking for me, I knew right away who they were! They came in a truck, bearing a big box with my name on it. Labelled this (Italy’s Finest, it says):
Because they came earlier than expected, we hadn’t cleared space for it in the cooking area yet. So we just asked the delivery men to set it somewhere without opening the package before they left. This old love was still in it’s original place of honor, though we’ve moved it already when this photo was taken:
We’ve had this oven for seven years, and got it for less than a third of the price of the Elba. If I remember correctly, our earnings from baking (mom and mine) paid for the monthly installments then. We’ve had some good times, me and this oven. It was the first I ever had and for awhile, it nourished my love for baking. I haven’t used the oven for over a year. I hated that it doesn’t have a proper thermostat, and that you had to turn the knob from high to medium for specific intervals just to achieve the right temperature. Whatever happened to leaving the muffins to bake for 20 minutes while you move on to something else? That was impossible.
But – the La Germania served me well. The goodies that came out of it brought smiles to many people. I expect to have a longer journey and a more regular bakeoff with the Elba this time. 🙂
It still works, by the way, though it probably needs a good cleaning. I’ve offered it to my cousin at a very very low price, but she hasn’t decided yet. I’m not sure if I want to sell it to anyone else if she decides not to take it.
So how did I end up buying an oven on Tuesday? I’ve always wanted to. I had my eyes on a bigger model actually, one that would’ve cost more than twice as much as the one I ended up getting. But I just never had enough money. Whenever we go into an appliance/electronics store, the boyfriend and I would check on three things – DSLRs, TVs, and ovens. Last weekend was no different.
We saw this on Sunday, and decided that it’s all gas sister was perfect for us. Sunday was the first time I checked my ATM after the last payday and I was overwhelmed by how much money I had available. I got my leave conversion, and anniversary bonuse see. 🙂 Rather than slowly see that money go down on clothes, shoes and food, we decided it was better spent on something big. Something significant.
And something that can help us earn on the side 🙂
But the final decision happened on Tuesday after somehow consulting mom, and discussing finances with Alfred (will I be able to pay my bills even after I splurge on this? Do we pay half in cash and half in credit? Do we do installments?). Even at the mall, walking through the aisles of the Appliance Center at The Block, I was asking Alfred if we were sure. We could get a 17-inch LCD/flat screen TV for a lower price. I could buy a Samsung Pixon. Or an Iphone.
But this baby won out.
So there it is in it’s permanent home. Thank you boyfriend for setting it up for me, and cousin Mice for helping to lift it out from it’s box. We couldn’t test it today though because the hose to the gas tank is too big. I can wait a few more days. 🙂
All of my Project Wonderful ads have been deleted. As in. In violation of their TOS. I can’t argue against that, but I really wasn’t aware of the restriction agains sponsored posts. The thing is, sponsored posts have paid me twenty times more than I ever earned from PW so I don’t think I’m dropping that. And I take pride in posting some blogs that are sponsored without my readers actually noticing it. There’s a lof of fun in writing those. Haha 🙂
It takes awhile to earn from those anyway, but I still feel a little sad that that income stream is gone. Oh well.
I subscribe to a newsletter from a business opportunities weblog and today, I read about how huddles or five-minute meetings are good in the workplace. I totally agree. I also don’t like meetings because some of them are just a waste of time, but preshift/start of shift huddles are good for making everyone aware of where we’re at and to drive stats or better productivity for the day. Conducting these pre shift huddles was something we were all doing at work upto maybe a month ago. Now, we have hour-long performance meetings for team managers, and though I appreciate the accountability it has developed in all of us, it’s not something any of us really look forward to. I think that we should go back to just having pre-shift huddles, and I’m all for the Tuesday shift knowledge sharing hour.
While surfing through the Entrecard and Adgitize networks, I came acrosse this article about human foods that are deadly for dogs. It lists Macadamia nuts too. Are regular nuts okay though? My dog eats peanuts sometimes and I hope those are okay. The others on the list I’m pretty sure are out of reach for him and no one would ever give him chocolate. I’ve told my nieces and nephews about that too because they are always around here and sometimes with chocolate. I find that whenever Esban is unsure if something’s okay to give to Zune, he’ll stop and ask me first. Good.
For digiscrapaholics, the site DigiscrapAddicts is hosting another round of their So You Think You Can Design contest and there are so many amazing freebie kits available to download in their members only gallery. I don’t know how many entrants there are, but Flergs and Redju Scrap, whose newsletters I receive in my Inbox are part of the competition. 🙂 I’m trying to find an announcement to post here but can’t find any so far… but here’s a link to the Week 1 gallery, but you’ve got to be registered and signed in to view them (I think): http://digiscrapaddicts.com/products/showgallery.php?cat=556
I have another idea for a blog and I really, really want to do it. BUT I haven’t had much success in my photo blog (I mean, when was the last time I updated?) so I’m not very confident I’d actually do it well if I set this new one up. I’ll keep it under wraps for now. My blog development priorities should be in this order – redesign this blog, re-evaluate if I want a real gallery versus my photoblog, setup a new one. 🙂
While at the mall on Sunday, I realized that I am not familiar with the Department Store inside the MegaMall at all. I mean, I can navigate SM Cubao and SM North pretty well, but the department store at Megamall? Not so much. I guess that whenever we go there (which isn’t a lot as it seems) we skip the SM part of the mall, if you know what I mean. So there was a three-day (or was it four?) sale over the long weekend and we just had to checkout the racks for men’s pants. It wasn’t as crowded as I expected, and the cashiers/counters are better structured than the regular ones at the other branches. Haha.
Anyway, there’s always got to be a Health and Beauty section at SM right? And now that they have Watson’s there, I always feel the need to pass through one when in the mall. I figured that then was as good a time as any to look for facial wash – I couldn’t find their Pond’s section! What the heck? I tried the Pond’s Age Miracle microdermabrasion kit and liked it. I wanted to get just a regular Age Miracle cleanser or something but since I couldn’t find any, I ended up making another Body Shop purchase. I ended up with a Tea Tree Oil with peppermint facial wash. It is so refreshing! I used this line before, because I wanted to get rid of bleshimes. I liked it. As soon as I used it though, I remembered why I wasn’t so keen on using it again – the tea tree oil smell can be overwhelming. Haha. But it is a wonderful product, so I don’t really mind.
My mom buys Garnier and I like the citrusy smell, and the facial scrub is also refreshing. Alfred likes it too. There was a Garnier booth at the mall and we approached it thinking we’d pick up a tube for him. As it turns out, they weren’t offering the facial wash tubes, they were eyebag roll-ons! Seriously! You know how we always think we have dark circles under our eyes and no amount of sleeping can get rid of? Well, Garnier has a new product that pledges to take care of that and instead of applying it on like regular eye cream, you roll it on. Hmm.
Anyway, I did not mean to sound like a promo girl for beauty products, but you should hear us at our room during the Youth Camp last month! I think it was Ate Chu and Ate Verns (both from PETA theater company) who commented about Joy’s Body Shop products, and then I chimed in because I had my rich pomegranate body butter with me there too. We sounded like we were trying to convert them to go for Body Shop! We talked about the membership card (which I have), and I even mentioned the company’s ties with NGOs and fair trade organizations. Haha.
Okay, I’ll stop now.
Whew, so much for a quick post. And I thought I had nothing to write about?
I knew I must have had a post that mentioned the marathon, at least once. And I found it on my truffles post last year and in this post too. I’m surprised there aren’t any from previous years. Hmm…
Every year at Lent (for how long I don’t remember anymore), Studio 23 runs a 7th Heaven marathon at daytime. And we always watch. Always. I love this series, I wish they’d release a DVD set of all the seasons. I think it’s the only one I have yet to find. I’m not losing hope though, we did find the complete set of The ’70s Show didn’t we?
What year did Studio 23 start showing 7th Heaven? I don’t remember. But I know that for years, we’d always tune in no matter what night it would be shown. And even if I already saw it, I’d still see the marathon. I really just love that family. Ruthie used to be my favorite, but now that she’s so grown up, she can be bratty no? I love Matt! He’s gorgeous isn’t he? Hahaha 🙂
That’s how they looked in the beginning, and they grew up right before our eyes. Man, there’s a lot of kissing in this show haha. Now, more than ever, I want a DVD set of all the seasons! Someone find me one!
One thing I really miss about being in school or working elsewhere is having long holidays, having the week off for Lent. Mom and Dad have been home all week, and though they didn’t get to leave, they were planning to drive somewhere, like what we used to do before. And I haven’t been to church once this season though I probably shouldn’t blame that one on work.
Anyways… I was trying to find great deals on DSLRs, you guys know we’ll soon shop around for one right? I just don’t know where to look for a bargain, a camera shop that goes on a big sale maybe? Hehe. Anyways, when you start looking around for a camera, so many sites featuring other gadgets try to grab your attention too. From jumping from one site to another, I found myself looking at featured deals at Buy.com. It’s a wonderful idea to have comparison sites that help you find the best deals available. If only there’d be something that would feature products that I can actually buy around here.
….OMG. The Glenoak congregation is singing You are my sunshine for the Reverend’s miracle, and I can’t help but feel like crying. Not because i feel happy that the Rev is well. But because it still reminds me so much of my grandma…