If I'm Getting Into Photography?

29 November 2008

After I introduced the Canon Eos 1000D, people had been asking if I am getting into photography or is it my new passion. I'll be honest, I wanted a DSLR because I want to take "better" pictures.  My only mistake is that, I bought a new digicam early this year without doing any research or reviews on the available options. Early today, my parents visited us, I showed them some of the pictures I took from the 1000D. My dad asked me: "so did you study about photography?"
My answer: I am still in the process of learning and studying the camera, and yes, I am opening myself in loving photography. I am willing to learn. It would be a waste if I will limit the soul purpose of the camera, especially when the package includes a 3 day Photography Lessons with Canon. But... I "might not" get into it 100%, my life is at home,  most of my joys are with my family. The pictures that I will be able to share are with my loved ones.

Right now, I am just concentrated with what my Eos has to offer. I had some pics assessed by a friend who is very much into photography as a hobby and his dad professionally.

Assessment: The camera per se is really good. The features has the basic and professional combined. My shots are okay for a first timer. All I have to do is to study the gadget, angles and maybe think on what kind of photos my heart & mind desires the most.With regards to the type of photo, it's too early to tell. I want to experience everything first. Landscapes, portraits, art, everything! Part of it, is studying the different types of lenses that are "essential". So far, I am very satisfied and happy, that now, I am able to get better pictures of my family. (which was my main goal) It's such a fulfillment reaching a certain goal. All I had to do is to learn to wait. With the holidays' just less than a month away, oh boy, am I very excited to take more pictures.
I hope this entry will answer the question : Are you getting into photography?

What's Cookin'--- Tanigue Friday

28 November 2008

It's an easy dish for today ladies. All you will be needing is your favorite fish, olive oil, salt and pepper, and herbs of your choice. Part of my mommyism is to serve white meat every friday or as much as possible, most of the time. Last week, I came up with my version of chicken cream.
It's been a busy week for the family. After my birthday, I didn't have the time to do serious blogging at all. And today,I made an easy meal for lunch.

Pan fried Tanigue
Fresh Salad & Rice
Nothing much. But it's healthy and my boys loved it.

Season your fish with olive oil on both sides, a tip -spoon of salt and pepper. Add a pinch of dried rosemary and thyme (my choices) on both sides of the fish. The taste will vary on the amount of herbs. Fresh herbs are always best in every meal.

No oil is needed in the frying pan. Heat up the pan. The olive oil will do the work and the fish will secrete it's own oil. Fry on low fire. Salmon, Tuna, Blue Marlin are perfect.
Have a healthy Friday everyone!
Big Hugs!
And oh, finally, I was able to learn how to make a watermark for my pictures. Happy!

Look Who's 30 And Still Looking Fabulous

26 November 2008

Here's my Birthday Roundup guys! This was one of my best birthdays ever. It's been a day full of surprises. Just a few weeks back my husband gave me the go signal to purchase a new camera. Which was the best news I received this year. But...I have to wait til December or longer than that to be able to purchase it. I agreed with all my heart as long as he already said yes.
Last sunday, I accompanied my Dad to Sm Megamall. Since the shop he went to was beside Canon, I asked him to take a look at the camera I wanted. Tuesday, yesterday, My Birthday! My husband took me to Canon and we purchased our precious camera.
But without me, wishing for it, we wouldn't have had the intention of buying. Well, Canon Eos 1000D will answer our every need. It was built for those who are in transition from point and shoot to a more advanced one.  It has a well-set package. The features? Just right! Nothing much, nothing less.

My husband took a day-off, had lunch at Almon Marina. While waiting, we played with our new toy and took pictures.

Had an awesome meal of Stuffed Porkchop, Pasta and Burger

May I also include that early yesterday, my husband surprised me with these cool bags. I asked where he purchased it. He said: "I bought it online". I was really happy and touched by this loving gesture. I can't imagine him shopping for bags, without asking for any help at least from a friend or family.Late in the afternoon, we had some Tea at Bubble tea. I had Jasmine. Milk tea for Him. Jasmine is my favorite tea. (Aside from the fact that it smells so good) I had to try it cold, and I love it! We had dinner at Terriyaki Boy in Galleria and decided to go grocery shopping at SM Tiendesitas before heading home.

I am very thankful that I was able to celebrate my 30th birthday with a blast. Thanks for the greetings everyone. Right now, I am still having some hang-over. I need to study and practice my new buddy and update my blogs at the same time. Which is kinda making me lazy...doing both.

What's Cookin'--- Chicken Cream

21 November 2008

Let me share my version of Chicken Cream

What you will be needing:

2 chicken breasts (adobo cut or chopped into desired size)
5 garlic cloves (minced)
1 medium onion (chopped)
6 celery stalks (chopped)

Celery leaves chopped
4 potatoes (cut into quarters)
1 red bell pepper (cut into quarters)
1 Cup full cream milk (this is a powdered milk & water mixture)
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup water
2 green chilis
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil (or any oil)

note: milk and water measurement are based on liquid measuring cup

How to:

Saute garlic with olive oil until golden brown. Add onions.
Add chicken breast
Add 1/2 cup water (add enough water if needed)
Simmer until chicken is half cooked
Add potatoes
Simmer until potatoes and chicken are cooked
Add milk
Simmer until the milk is a bit thickened
Add the celery
Salt & pepper to taste
Add red bell pepper

Top with Green Chili
Simmer for a minute
Ready to serve

note: you can slice the chili a bit to add a little spice.
Servings: 3-4
There's a big difference between simmering and boiling.
Simmering is below boiling point. Food that is simmered in milk or cream instead of water is referred to as creamed. (wiki)
Reduction is performed by boiling liquid (whether stock, wine, whiskey, vinegar, or sauce mixture) rapidly until the volume desired is reached by evaporation.
Big Hugs!

Becoming an Inspiration

Yesterday, was a pretty bad day for me. I was down with colds and at the same time, I needed to purchase some supplies for our house and tried to keep my son busy with some stuff so he won't get that close to me (I don't want him to catch my colds). Getting sick gave me a lot of advantages in a sense that I didn't do any house work for the day, I surfed and surfed the net, which eventually, gave me the strength to visit my blogger friends.
One thing officially made my day, was a YM chat with my classmate from Montessori. She's one of the nicest people who welcomed me when I transferred from Assumption. I won't mention her name...
Our chat started with a question, if I worked before I became a housewife.
 My answer: I was literally a full-time housewife. I didn't enter any work of any kind.
All she said was...your blogs inspire me... In a way, you changed my perspective in life.
I'll be honest, I told myself that I will not blog about it. But her story inspired me more, that's why I am here sharing it to you. Girl, you are one of the few who touched my heart. Now I know why I'm blogging.

 The soul purpose of my online journal is to be able to release the sweets and spices my life is made of. I am not a writer. I am just your typical girl next door. I don't ask so much in life. And I love discovering things, helping people, and now inspiring them.
Nowadays, being a housewife has become a privilege. A position that requires so much! (emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual) and you don't get paid for all the work you do everyday, 24/7.

Now, how can a person survive this kind of situation? It's the reason/s why you are at home. The chores doesn't really matter. It's all 4 aspects, (emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual).

These are the things you will not only give yourself, but to your family too. To provide some love and care, support to your husband, keeping an over-all healthy relationship with your famiy and developing your child/ children into a God- fearing and loving person.. My statements are all based on my experience for 4 years and inspirations from my mom, full time, for 33 years.
Finding the right partner in life is a big factor too. I wanted to work. But I saw the deeper meaning of looking after my family full- time, and my other half couldn't agree more.
My stories comes naturally. I am also the same in person. Me online, are for the people I couldn't reach physically.

My blogging life started June 2007. Due to some turn of events, I removed my first site, created a new blog on Multiply "One Woman's Tale", and now, another one from Blogger "Sweet Nothings". I couldn't go for a more serious title because my family has a very pleasant personality. My husband alone can make the funniest jokes and pranks with a snap. One Woman's Tale is filled with my personal stuff. That's where my friend got inspired... There are stories in between that my readers outside my friend circle doesn't know. I hope you'll understand.
Here in Sweet Nothings, I share the other part of me. The Nothingness, that makes my own and my family's day extraordinary. It's nice to share to everyone the small things that can spice up life that not all can appreciate and see. I hope this site will also inspire people to look at the smallest things and moments as blessings to a happier disposition.

A Busy Evening Cleaning My Havaianas

19 November 2008

As I was fixing our shoe cabinet when I found these 3. It's been awhile since I wore them. I recently bought a nice slipper from SM department and it's been catering to me since. I stopped buying Havaianas because I noticed, with these, I can't already figure out which one to wear. Anyway, I still need to take care of my little ones.

All black from dust and all kinds of dirt.

All good to go.
To clean, I used an old dishwashing scrub. The old ones are already soft and safe to scrub over the rubber. A drop of an all- around cleaner on each flop did the job. A little woosh- woosh here and a srub there, it's good as new. My clean Havs inspired me to use them again. Now, all I need is a reason to go out....Hmmm...
Big Hugs!

On My Successful 1st Month on Blogger---edited

18 November 2008

I have to say that I am very proud of myself. I was able to keep this site for a month. This was my third attempt. I am very thankful that I was very successful. Not only that, I was able to meet some people of same interests and became knowledgeable of the important things that I am not yet familiar or even aware of when it comes to blogging. It is now a part of my life.

A part? because I know at a certain point in this lifetime, I was able to share my story and was able to inspire somebody else. Who? I don't know... maybe it's you. I thank my other half who gave me this laptop. He is very supportive with the things that I am very passionate about.
Thank God for Family and for the chance given to me to become a mom and to have my own home to nurture.

I guess being true to everybody made Sweet Nothings go all the way with flying colors. Everytime I visit a site, I leave a message, sincere messages I want the person to know that I dropped by and that I enjoyed reading his/her stories. The messages you leave in mine, are very much appreciated. Through that, I was able to discover your lovely sites too. For a time, I thought that I will never meet the standards or create a readership for both One Woman's Tale and Sweet Nothings.
All I needed to do was to wait, be real and not be such a try hard.
Like a break in the clouds and the first ray of sun
I can feel it inside something new has begun
This life this love what sweetness
I feel so mysterious yet so incredible real
It's an uncharted sea it's an unopend door
But you got to reach out and you gotta explore
Even though you're not sure, till the moment arrives.
-First Time-
I now give my BIG THANKS to you...
Keep your stories comin'!
Big Hugs!

And Then There Were 5...

17 November 2008

Family is my no.1 in my list of priority in life. I can live without anything else but not without them... I cancelled several attempts to work abroad before I got married, just to save myself from being homesick. I'm glad I made the right desicion. Last Saturday, we visited my parents' home and after a month, the clan got together again. It's the busy time of the year for everyone. I'm glad we're back together. We shared a lot of stories, funny ones, serious and some recent scary stories, that my sister's friends experienced in our old house.

It is one of the famous haunted houses in our area...We're used to it. Before, my mom would see a lady in black going down our staircase, and people from outside would see a white lady going in and out and later they'll find out that nobody was home. For the past 20 years, nothing bad happened to our family. Everyone was very successful, so I guess there's nothing really to fear. The family's aura helped create a pleasant atmosphere even with these elements around.

One of those pleasant-ness is having a fun night bonding with my siblings. We just sit at the dining area, eat dinner together and talk on each other's life. Note: Everything was meant to happen. One by one, the 5 of us sat down. Just the 5 of us. Usually, our parents, pamangkins or our husband and wife would join us. That night was given for the 5 of us...

Meet the Lara kids (L-R) NiƱo, Moi, Ella, Les, Ver

We asked our mom to take a picture of this one of a kind moment. We are looking forward for more of this bonding time as we grow old. I thank God to have given us a big family. A family who will always be there through thick & thin, happy & sad, scary or not. He!he!he!
Bonding with my siblings and my family is a very important "part" in my life. I feel so incomplete if I miss one family event. The support system is very solid. When I talk about family, that includes the people from both sides, my husband's and mine. Our families goes well together... I will say it again...
I can live without anything else, but not without them...

Suddenly, I have 402 friends

16 November 2008

What's happening to Friendster? When I logged-in just now, I found my contacts, boomed from 268 to 402. And I don't know these people. Am I a victim of hacking? I tried deleting and keep on refreshing the page. My gosh! they're still there. I was thinking of deleting my account. Since most of the time, get in touch with my friends through my other networks. But... it's been up way back in 2003, it's worth keeping. It is where I first got in touch with my chums abroad. Friendster people, please do something about it! This happened after your site maintenance this weekend.
To clear things on my part...I use friendster to look for and keep my real friends. I don't just add contacts. For security purposes. (even in my sites) I build a certain rapport first.
Please let me know that I am not the only one who is under this friendster circumstance.

What's Cookin'--- Pork Steak With Basil& Mushroom Sauce

14 November 2008

And let the cooking begin! This is my first recipe to be posted here on Blogger. I thought of CRAVINGS to be my title simply because, most of my recipes are experimented thru the taste I wanted to achieve. I can cook a regular Sinigang, but I make sure I add something to make a distinction saying: "hey! that is my recipe"
Most of my recipes are passed-over by my Mom and Grandmother who rooted all the way from Pampanga. Pure Kapampangan. And they are very famous for their native- cooking expertise.
I also post some recipes from the cookbook. That is, if I was able to get the right result. I am also into gourmet cooking. Fresh herbs are my thing. I keep a bunch of fresh basil in my crisper all the time. For it is the most flexible herb. Gourmet caters to most of my family's occasions.
Sometimes you'll find me cooking late at night trying a recipe or again, experimenting. Like this Pork Steak I will share today. I gathered the ingredients available in my freezer, crisper and pantry. I was stirring 3am in the morning. Boy do I make our neighbors hungry while they're asleep :) Weird for somebody cooking at this time :) I can't help it!

Moving On! I now introduce to you....

Pork Steak with Basil & Mushroom Sauce
What You Will Be Needing:

4 slices of Pork Steak
1 can button mushrooms (fresh is better)
a handful of fresh basil (- the stems) (chopped if desired)
1 red bell pepper (sliced o chopped if desired)
salt & pepper (to taste)
3 tbsp. Oyster Sauce
1 whole garlic (chopped or minced)
2 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch mixed in 1 taza of tap water
2tbsp olive oil (for sauteeing)

How To:
1. Treat Pork with salt and pepper
2.Pan fry until golden brown

note:you can use regular oil for frying.

3. Set aside pork in a serving platter

4. In a sauce pan saute garlic in olive oil until golden brown
5. Add chopped mushrooms
6. Add oyster sauce (medium heat, Keep stirring)
7. Add cornstarch Mixture (low fire)
8. Taste---add salt and pepper if needed
9. If all thick and perfect, add the fresh basil or (you can all top it first on the pork, then the sauce)
10.Top over the pork
11. Add red bell pepper to garnish

Best served with a platter of Fresh garden Salad & Vinaigrette.

Enjoy!Happy Eating!

Big Hugs!

Edited---I will be using What's Cookin' for my ecipes :)

Christmas Thoughts and Shopping-edited

11 November 2008

  Last year was fun. My in-laws watched us open our presents online :) Then they saw the Christmas dinner table. We exchanged greetings and even reminded each other to hear mass on this special day.
Speaking of Christmas and presents, I officially started my Christmas shopping. While looking for a nice Christmas wrapper, I accidentally bumped a rack of this cutie paper bag.

All I can say was "you were meant for me...(wink-wink)" it's cuteness everywhere. My son helped me pick the bags too. It's accidental to have passed at this side of the store. Some people were blocking the main path going to the wrapping section, so I went around. I don't really know what to use it for, I bought a lot thinking, I might use it for future gift giving.

The special ones? I have 2 nieces and a nephew. Looking something for the kids isn't that hard. You'll just have to know their age, their interests and buy something that will be useful for them even after Christmas. One thing I love is giving multiple presents. This is where "smart buying" comes in.

  • It's not necessarily buying something cheap or way too expensive.
  • Every year, a budget should always be allotted. May it be big or small. It will help lower the stress level.
  • And it will take more than a day finding the right present. Even for a person who has tons of cash. Window shopping is my partner in this kind of situation.
My purpose of giving out more than 1 present, is to see them enjoy tear the wrapper with anticipation on what's inside knowing that there's another to open. I saw it with my son. I want every little kid I know or my future children, to experience those simple joys. My theme this year are Disney's Princesses for the girls and Superhero characters (Marvel & DC) for the boys including my son.

Looking at the princesses made me want a girl for my next child :).

With regards to the gifts for the grown-ups, I really spend for them. One gift of value is good. But I'm still thinking... I want to make it individually this year. Last Christmas we gave presents by couple.

Here are samples of my "almost" Xmas Presents. I used metallic. Plain but will make your loved one remember you... Almost? because I'm still thinking if I should tie a ribbon or just buy a ready- made bow & sash. What do you think?

Well, there goes my Christmas thoughts on gift giving. I also plan to prepare some goodie bags for the children for our Christmas party. It will add some more excitement. The laughter of the kids alone, makes Christmas joyous and worth remembering.

HighSchool Musical I'll Miss...

10 November 2008

The girls (yours truly & Ella) had a night of HSM last Saturday. The boys (father & son) had their own too.
Finally I was able to watch it! I went all the way to Robinsons Galleria late that evening just to be able to see this flick... I'm now a fulfilled person. I followed these kids from the very beginning. I enjoyed the first, fell in love with the second, and almost cried with the third.

The movie went well. Now or Never, A Night To Remember and Dance With Me are my favorites.
It's nice that they made the expected finale the beginning. The dance moves? Woooooohhhhhh...The best of all HSM. By the way, Zac Efron is a perfect future superman. Keywords-Tree house. The roof top scene was lovely and sweet.

I love Gabriella's dresses, sexy but nice. Sharpay, still cute. You just can't get mad at her. Chad, happy to see him do basketball and theater together. I particularly like the fact they brought the basketball dance on stage with Chad as lead.

This HSM was the ultimate musical. Every scene had either a song or dance number. I got teary eyed as the camera focused on each character. The kids are growing, they can't do HSM forever.
As what the director said Kenny Ortega: The feeling is like a parent seeing his children go to college. Go to conquer Hollywood.
*I read online that Ashley Tisdale is going to do HSM on Disney Channel. They also introduced some characters for the new HSM series. Matt Prokop, Justin Martin, Jemma McKenzie-Brown

My Childhood Sweet Delights

I was out half of the day doing some grocery shopping. Part of it, was getting some sweets for my little boy. My buy today was kinda half for Franky & half for Momma kind of thing.  I was also looking for something to nibble while I do my blogs in the evening. As I was breezing through the shelf of goodies, I saw some familiar ones that I used to buy in the sari-sari store as a kid. I got really excited. The Ice candy costs 2 bucks each before. Orange Swits? It's everywhere! The bus vendors in Edsa has it too. These sweets remind me of my childhood days in Sta. Mesa Manila...
The size we're used to, is just too small for our big tummy.
My grandmother would always give me and my brother change to buy the candies we want. Orange Swits has always been our favorite. Up to now, my husband & I would still buy it. We love munching it while taking a stroll.

And who will turn down an  Egg Pie.

I prefer buying Egg Pies from the local bakery. There's just something to it that attaches me from being such an old-school person. Every morning, whoever's going to buy pandesal, a fresh egg pie would always come with it. Kung sino man ang dadaan sa bakery, kahit hindi talaga bibili nagbibilin ako palagi ng egg pie. Anybody who'll pass by the bakery, " I would say "buy me an egg pie". Love it! It's already 20 bucks a piece. They sell a box in Goldilocks. But I like it straight from the oven of a bakery nearby. Wrapped in a brown paper bag. I shared an egg pie moment last Saturday with my husband. While eating, we talked purely about our nothingness. It was all bonding, relaxation and music.

He played me some tunes while eating...Thanks Egg Pie for a wonderful, sweet- loving night.

I Rode Galactic!

03 November 2008

Definitely a sweet nothing. First time I saw this ride years back, I swore I will never try it. We went to Star City again last night. I didn't recognize it, so I went ahead with my husband. While being buckled up, I asked the person beside me if it's the ride that spins and tilts both at the same time. He said: Yes it is. The ride I promised myself not to try. It was too late to back out, it was already moving. I got scared at first, I couldn't look straight or even open my eyes. But as the spin went faster, i tried and looked up, it wasn't that bad at all. I went for a second round with my sister. After that, my tummy gave up. He!he!he!

Slow mo look

actual from the camera

My husband took this photo while I'm there riding with my sister. I never thought that this is how it looked like. Literally, while you're up there, you'll feel like you're time traveling just like the ones we see in movies. I rode this 2 times in a row, oh yeah! I experienced it (pat on the back). I was spinning, but it is the ultimate high ever.

Halloween 2008

02 November 2008

It was a one hectic Halloween night and day for us because of our busy week, we didn't had the time to look for costumes.

My husband dropped me off in Glorietta after lunch. In a way, it was my "ME" moment. I asked my sister to babysit. I went window shopping, bought some hair accessories and a shirt. Anyway, my window shopping ate up my time looking for our costumes. I rushed and found an almost empty Halloween rack. In other words, there was little to choose from.
I ended up buying at the kid's section just to get a witch's hat. Lucky for my husband, there was a Phantom mask available to match his black cape.
After shopping, I needed to go to The Enterprise building (where my husband was) to change. The Taxi Bay line was oh-so long. So, I called my husband if he could pick me up. To my surprise, the walk way from Greenbelt extends up to the Enterprise Building. With all the walking and rushing. I was completely famished. We had some hotdogs at the Food Park, and went up to his office.

It was my first time to visit my husband's new work place. The environment was friendly, his office was very private. I met some of his friends, and his boss was delighted to see me. Everyone was preparing for the Shake, Rattle and Run night.

With Cow & Chicken after the run. They were very generous for some photos. Thank You guys!

After the fun run, we had dinner at Caffe Puccini. Caffe Puccini featured Dinosaurs of actual size in front of their restaurant. We will be going back to take Franky, he is very fond of Dinosaurs.
Pizza Margarita
Pizza Pesto
The Fort was filled up of party people in costumes. The kids were having fun. I see myself in them when I was their age. From The Fort, we went home to check on Franky and to change. Boss invited us at 168 for another round. This time... it's party fun, for War Rock!

Addicted To War Rock

Last night, I ended halloween joining the boys play War Rock at 168, Makati. It was my first time to play this game. My husband and his co-workers introduced me to it. I was hesitant at first, because it looks a lot like Counter Strike, and I got bored with CS sometime ago already. But for my husband, I gladly tried. The group started playing around 1am, finished around 6 in the morning.

The main goal for one of the games is to have the most kills. A number of kills is set from 100 to 200. The first team who reaches the required number, wins. I chose to be the Medic. Well, first and foremost, the medic is a girl. Second, she has the ability to heal herself and her team mates.

The type of game I play? Assault. I like hunting for the enemy and kill them with a snap. Since a time is set for each game, I take advantage of it by experimenting on some tactics that I could use for future battles. You can't stick to one, the enemy will eventually study your moves.

Now, I am set to create my character, joining the "bu" group of 168.