I am on

2013/12/21

Inspiration On How To Wear Faux Fur Vest

Did you ever had I-forgot-I-have-it moment while browsing in your closet? I bet you did!


I got this faux fur black vest as Christmas present from my mumsy a few years ago. She had so much hope in me that I could pull through a wardrobe like this. I don't want to appear too flashy. I have tried the mix and match game with it but to no avail, I wasn't very successful. I found it again sadly hanging in the closet waiting to be worn. I wanted to figure out how to wear it with a little subtlety

I browsed the trusty Google engine and found this photo for inspiration. Casual but sophisticated get-up with a touch of brown leather bag and flats.



...still playing with it and trying on some more ideas.




2013/12/10

Christmas Birdhouse Project


It's not to be up decorating and crafting again. It is one of my relaxing moments on my days off from a tiring work at the restaurant.




I am doing a few sorts of new decor lately. It's funny how my taste in decoration differ from the last year. Although, I have been recycling and re-using some stuff that I had last year to make new ones.



I had this wooden bird house since last year. I got it from Goodwill for a $1 or less. This is going to be my blank canvas for this project. One of my problems is I over think things too much. I was too excited to do something with it a while a ago but I just ended up not doing anything with it so it just sat around, collecting dust at the storage room, until one night while watching TV with hubby, I jumped right off the couch like a spaz chihuahua and gathered...


 a piece of scrapbook I got as a present from my Aunt Carol 2 years ago, some transparent glitters, modge podge, geeso paint and artificial snow grains that bought last year at the end of year Christmas clearance.


Covering the bird house's front was quite tricky. After I managed to finally do it, I had to paint some blue parts of the house with white Gesso. Embellished it with glitters for frost effect and artificial snow for snow effect


You could either hang it...



or display as it is.



I hope you like my little project! Have a wonderful day!


Time to Sparkle Link Party

2013/12/05

French Yule Log





Getting tired of fruitcake for dessert on Christmas? How about try a classic French yule log or " Buche de Noel". Of course you can be all Pinterest- y with your dessert such as crafting an intricate cute snowman melts and reindeer cupcakes if you have all the time in the world. However, I find this recipe as easy as making snowball cake.

As promised, I am sharing this recipe I got from an old book entitled Southern Heritage Cakes Cookbook.

What you need

4 eggs
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tbsp powdered sugar
2 cups of sweetened whipped cream
1 tbsp of instant coffee granules
3 (1 ounces) of unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup butter or margarine
dash of salt
About 2 1/2 cups  sifted  powdered sugar
Candied cherries

Instructions:

Grease 15x10 x 1 inch jellyroll pan: line with wax paper and grease lightly.

Combine first three ingredients; beat at medium speed of electric mixer. Gradually add 3/4 cup sugar, beating until thick and light colored. Fold in flour, cocoa and vanilla.

Spread mixture evenly into prepared pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 13 minutes or until surface springs back when gently pressed.

Sift 2 to 3  tablespoons powdered sugar in 15 x 10 inch rectangle linen towel. Turn cake out onto sugar; remove wax paper from the cake. Trim crisp edges if necessary. Starting with the short end, carefully roll cake and towel, jellyroll fashion. Cool thoroughly  on wire rack. Unroll and remove the towel; spread with whipped cream, re-roll and chill.

Dissolve coffee granules in boiling water; stir well and set aside.

Melt chocolate in top of a double broiler; add butter, coffee mixture and salt, stirring until smooth. Cool to lukewarm. Stir in about 2 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar to make a spreading consistency.

Spread frosting  evenly over cake. Mark with spatula to resemble a bark of a tree. Garnish with candied cherries. Refrigerate until serving time. Yields 8 to 10 servings.

Thank you for your time! All the blessing to you and remember... never stop creating!






2013/11/24

Cakes for a Cause


I was given the privilege to contribute 2 cakes at the bake sale/cake auction  to raise fund for Speed the Light ministry, an event hosted by CM Journey Youth Ministry. Without any hesitation, I took the chance to make two cakes of my choice.



I wanted to be timely. I saw Martha Stewart's Caramelized Apple spiced cake in Brown Sugar Swiss Meringue Butter cream, decorated with Gold Marzipan Pumpkins, Leaves and Acorns and took courage to give it  a try.

Of course, I am no Martha Stewart so my cake didn't turn out as gorgeous as hers. This cake is great for Thanksgiving holiday. But beware, this is a very rich and heavy cake. A sliver would be good with a cup of apple cinnamon tea!



The second cake I made was Buche de Noel. The recipe came from an old recipe book I bought from a thrift store for half off! I will be sharing this recipe. I have to day the Oldies are goodies!


Linking to:

Sunday Showcase
Inspiration Monday

2013/10/19

The Time I Embraced My Beauty

I visited my home Manila. Some people noticed there was something different about me after living in U.S for four and a half years. Some people I know observed my skin gotten darker maybe after I moved to Tucson.
Some of you may not know in Philippines, tan or darker skin is often unappealing. To call someone dark skinned could be taken as an insult or considered imperfection.
"Nothing has changed since I left" I thought to myself. Supermarkets and drug stores were full of skin whitening products, from soaps, to creams to pills. The market of whitening products had increased from natural whitening papaya soap to a hardcore gluthatione pills. For some reason, I was glad I escaped a place where society encourages me to hate my natural color.

I was often called "negra" or black when I was a little girl. I was often compared to my sibling who is "meztiza". "Why is she darker?" I remembered a friend of my mom asked. Our silly neighbor didn't know I was too busy enjoying my childhood playing under the sun all day every summer . I guess my skin just adapted to my lifestyle to protect me from the sun which caused me a darker complexion. However, I never escaped the same comparison every family reunion. It's always been the whitest is the most beautiful. This sentiment was planted in my mind. White dolls were the epitome of beauty. I wished I was blond, white and blue eyed. I was a little girl who wished I was something else.

The time came when I liked boys and I became too self-conscious about my appearance.  Filipino mentality has becoming more and more westernized and whitening products were on the rise. Girls and boys in school who have whiter complexion were among the popular ones.
 I saved my allowances to buy skin products strong enough to burn and peel my skin. I would wake up one and a half hour early just to bleach my skin before school and scraped it with knife to remove what I believed dark dead skin cells. I hate to admit, it was painful and it consumed so much of my time I've thrown so much money in the beauty industry. I've gotten tired of it. WHAT A COMPLETE WASTE.

I stopped my skin whitening obsession when I met and married my husband. He preferred my natural color and most of all, he loves me the way I am and wouldn't change anything, with a bonus of second parents who always remind me that I am beautiful the way God made me.

I have been to different countries where I haven't seen any kind of whitening products in grocery isles. Many have wanted and complimented my complexion. There were few men asked my for my number. Instead of digits, I answered "I am married". My confidence climbed higher I didn't have to be ashamed of my color anymore.

 I am not saying skin lightening is pure evil. Skin whitening  has a benefit too. 

According to this girl on youtube, when you got a boo-boo or acne inflammation, the Melanocyte creates more melanin in a spot. It should actually fade within 24 months, so to speed up the process, whitening products are used to speed up the process to diminish the excessive melanin that caused dark acne spots. But in most cases, many have abused it, bathed or injected these chemicals into their bodies hoping to look like whites.

There's nothing wrong on having preference when it comes to the definition of beauty as long as it won't hurt or scar someone and feel bad about themselves. Do not fall for the lie that beauty demands something you are not or you do not have. Beauty is always been there. It can be enhanced but shouldn't be changed. Filipinos are given a beautiful and functional skin color to enjoy the beauty of nature (such as beaches, mountains) Philippines have.

With this in mind, I was wanted to bring home a Filipina barbie doll but couldn't find one that I could afford. 
So my oldest sister who's hobby is crafting doll gowns, gave me a gift to bring back to U.S. She found my old dusty barbie doll and clothed it in very beautiful handcrafted gown.


 Filipino inspired ball gown made from our very own Philippine product Abaca. 









2013/09/22

It was nice to be home


“How does it feel being back home?”, my husband asked while driving on the highway. I literally took few minutes to answer. It seemed like a trick question, but actually required a deep reflection.

 I knew as soon as I stepped out NAIA, I felt an overwhelming humidity. No Anti-humidity hairspray could save my hair from big time frizz. The sticky feeling indicated I was finally in Manila. 

We came during the rainy season. There was a lot of traffic and flooded streets. There was a sense of familiarity. There was a comforting feeling since Manila has been my home for 26 years. I've seen and experienced the comfort in living in U.S. I couldn't help myself but to compare both places. The poverty I've seen once again became more heartbreaking.

I was very happy to finally see my family again. My mother, brother and sisters remained the same and never aged, caring in their own ways. There were loud jokes and laughter when they get together. They had given everything they could for our comfort and made sure met our needs and never asked anything in return. Their love for their bunso never changed. They welcomed my husband as their newest family.

Philippines 2007

Philippines 2013

Me and my mother 2013
However, it was a different case with my nephews and nieces. I was surprised how much they have grown. I had to drew my tears back every time I see them.




Seeing my nephews and nieces was the hardest part of my trip. I tried so hard to draw back my tears seeing them after four years. They became more silent and self-conscious and will probably be ashamed to be kissed by their aunt in public. They were not as talkative as before. It felt like they were different people.
Philippines 2007
They walked towards to greet me but in my eyes they were running as five year olds. I refused to accept they are fully grown. It hurts, like the feeling of being robbed, like time has become my enemy. It stole something I couldn't retrieve. I felt like I lost my babies. Somehow I'm glad I was there to teach in their Sunday schools. I was there in their most glorious age when they gave all their love and trust.

Philippines 20017
                                           
Philippines 2013
                                                  
2013
Leaving my family was the hardest decision I made. They are all in my dreams every night. This vacation became a dream came true. The trip was difficult and the plane tickets costs. I longed for them like a cup being emptied, but now it is filled again with great memories. I needed it. Although I didn't bring balikbayan boxes back, my family is my wealth and worth much more than any Filipino goods.




Sometimes 'change' is really hard to accept, but it helps to remind me that life is short so I must love stronger. Like my family, they moved on and grew up, so should I must move-on and establish my own.

So how does it feel to be back home? There's really no simple way to answer. It hurts but at the same time it felt so good. The saddest part was leaving my family for the second time. IT pierces my heart to see them cry. Our farewell was filled with tears but with a promise I will be back real soon.



2013/08/15

On the Other Side of Darkness


By Myric Andreasen


I like to be seen at my best

Always there in gatherings 

in nice dresses and heels

I wear my best smile everyday

To show how happy i am with the life i chose


My husband's love is beyond what i needed.

So I gave mine to him with no boundaries

I have many friends, and i love my job

Which makes life perfect and i am satisfied.


But At night the feeling starts changing.

In silence, the darkness seemed vast in space. 

when the lights are out and nothing to see.

all I could feel is me. 

There was a discernible  fear for what to come

I think of future and i realize time is becoming my enemy.


Time will take away my youth, my caring mother, my friends and lastly my love.

The idea of being alone in an empty house nothing but memories that slowly fading in the southern hemisphere of the aging brain is heartbreaking.

I am not lonely but i feel alone.

Nothing in this world can save me, nor i can save someone from dying isn't that the truth?

It helps to believe i am just a passerby and this life is a training ground of yet to come.

Yet, these unpleasant thoughts taught me life is very short, so i want to love with purpose.

I hugged my husband and finally drifted to sleep, thinking what can i give rather than what i could lose. Time can have my tomorrow but it can never steal my "now".


Before i drift i whisper to my snoring love ever softly " you are the best and tomorrow I love you some more".








2013/08/02

New Antique Store in Town

So my vacation is coming to an end. I had  a glorious 2 weeks off from work to be with my in-laws. Mum and I decided to go for a little RnR antiquing to Rockton, a small town part of Rockford.

One thing I like about antique store is not just finding old artifacts from good ol' days.  I love trying on dainty hats like these!





...and a try on a fancy crochet gloves perhaps?



There is a street full of antique shops. We stumbled upon a newly opened antique mall called The Rustic Rooster.


We were pleased with their store. The people were inviting, the displays are well presented and organized.
The staff prepared  free little treats and barbecue sausages and hotdogs for the customers for their grand opening!


Free lunch and fully energized for more shopping!


They are selling a mixed of antiques and handicrafted home decors which was actually nice because it gives you more options if the stuff are too rustic for your taste.  I could relate in appreciating DIY handicrafts. However I admit that when it comes to antiques, I don't know what I'm doing.
I guess it takes a lot of knowledge to find that perfect and valuable piece.

Example this?At first I thought it was a torture device, but it was actually a pot scrubber! Imagine life without scotch brite?


So glad I was with my mother-in-love. Mum has great eye for antiques. She gave me one tip. Go for whatever catches my eyes.


So I did! This pretty little thing caught my eye! A pretty crochet apron! I thought it's interesting since I never seen anything like. It's a statement of my interest/career. Cooking!


If you are around Rockford IL and likes antiques, I would recommend this store. we had such a great time. You can read their info on their facebook.

Have fun!



2013/06/24

Old Look to Young Looking




I didn't know what was I thinking when I bought and old outdated dress from a thrift store. Maybe its because I  liked the fabric or maybe I just wanted a challenge, or maybe a little bit of both.



I liked the challenge. It was like a mind game, a fun puzzle I could wear. I don't usually buy dress that is...well if it is not within my budget.

The dress was way way way too big for me, but the good part was I could downsize it to fit my size. Revamping this dress is just a matter or adding and subtracting. I basically chopped off a little bit from the top and added a lace fabric.





I consider myself as still a novice in sewing.. There are still imperfections sewing wise but I got the style I was aiming for. 



2013/06/08

Little Tour At Museum of Miniatures

If you are looking for a wholesome things to do in Tucson, you might want to visit. The Little Time Machine is a big place filled with small things. The concept of the name came from an idea to take a visitor back in the history through exhibits of old miniatures and dollhouses. 


I was fascinated with intricate details of the displays.


Yes, I took photos of some of my favorites in the museum (without flash of course), but not to be a spoiler. I did this as a sort of a teaser of examples of must see in the museum. To be perfectly honest, no photo could give justice how astonishing the details are!


Seeing how teeny tiny these are in person is the essence of work of art.


Would you guess this doll is made of a grain of wheat? It probably measures around an inch!






okay to be clear, there were no touching of exhibits involved here. It was in a glass frame.

And of course, what is a museum of miniatures without miniature Christmas Town!

This reminds me of a particular scene in movie animation A Christmas Carol.
Being in the museum brought out the little girl in me. Some exhibits are for kids to enjoy!

Hubby and I left this place happy. I ended up loving it! The museum offers volunteer work and I am seriously giving it a thought.