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Showing posts with the label Homemaking

Home Improvement Dreams

Ever since I moved into this homey condo I call home, I've found myself being quite the house person. I used to have someone do the cleaning for me. My previous place had more modern amenities and was freshly painted when I moved in. All I had to worry about was cooking - which wasn't a worry because I love cooking, and when I didn't feel like, I would just take the elevator and walk out the building and take my pick of the restaurants in the area.

Now, I sweep and mop the floor, vacuum the carpet, scrub the bathroom and kitchen, etc. on a regular basis. And you know? I enjoy it, too!



It gives one a sense of satisfaction knowing you're doing things on your own.

Housecleaning Bratinella

Now don't get me wrong. I am not that useless around the house. My dad taught me, at an early age, to do stuff around the house. I learned how to fix a leaky faucet. I know (or knew) how to use a saw and a hammer (though my thumb did suffer at some point). I know all about concrete nails and threaded studs.
But, I just dislike cleaning the house. Sure, there is something to be said about manual labor and how it clears the brain and helps you de-stress. I totally agree with that, but having to regularly scrub the bathroom floors and making sure the bedroom floor's free of dust and hair...that's a totally different story.

Operation GR: Couch for Sale!!!

Time to set Operation GR in motion! I am selling some stuff that I will no longer need in the near future, and this is the first (well actually second - have a prospective buyer for the poker chip set) to go: the couch.

I hate to sell the couch, but really, what would I do with it? It's not covered with matouk linen, but it is very very comfy - ask anyone who has had the chance to sit on it. I think practically everyone who's used the couch has fallen asleep! It does have a few tiny holes:
And that's why I am selling it for less than half the price I paid for it. It's 1 year and 3 months old, and I'll be ready to hand it over first week of October.

If you know anyone who's interested (and lives around Metro Manila and its suburbs), please let me know.

Up next...dining table. I just need to take photos and it's not very organized right now. ;)

Old Magazines

What do you do with old magazines? I found a huge stack of them yesterday and I think that it might be time to get rid of them, for one reason or another. I cannot believe I have so many mags, and they're an eclectic bunch, too. They're just gathering so much dust (I'll probably have a break out and have to check acnezine reviews) and eating up space.

I don't want to just throw them away, though. I wonder if there is a recycling thing in the neighborhood...

Of Flies and Rackets

I got me a racket!!!

Nope, it's not for badminton. It's not for tennis either. Can you figure out what this cute little racket is for?

You see, for some reason, we get tons of flies up here in the condo. For the life of me, I can't figure out how they got here - they were here when we first moved in. Can flies fly up to the 27th floor?

For months, we suffered. Then I saw this maintenance guy at the Eastwood Mall while eating lunch at Cyma. He was waving this cute little racket around and every now and then, I would hear a ZAP!

You know those rectangular bug zappers they have at some restaurants? Apparently, some smart Chinese guy created a handy version - the very racket you see on the right. It took us a while to find one. The guy said they bought it at a supermarket so we tried Shopwise and Hypermart - to no avail. We finally found one last weekend at ACE Hardware - and I have been swinging away happily ever since!

You'd think the flies would learn, but no, the…

Where'd All This Stuff Come From?

I never really realize how much of a pack rat I am until I need something and I have to go through tons of moving boxes to find it. Our condo is perhaps the smallest we've had since we got married, and it seems to me that we have more boxes than we've ever had - there simply is no space for all our things!

Last night, for some reason, I was unable to get any sleep. Oh I am sure I dozed off for a bit, but I was awake by 6am, and trying to go back to lala land just made me frustrated. So I got up and tried to get some work done. I remembered that I needed this receipt for some papers that I need to get (you can't imagine just how much paperwork is required to take the board exam!) so I started digging around. That's when I realized we have been keeping things that should have been thrown out ages ago.

Take a look:
Tons of receipts - electricity bills, LPG delivery receipts, rent receipts - all from 3 years ago!Empty bottles of liquor - can't throw this away, J seem…

Goodbye Long Weekend and a Wish List

Last week was great for many working Filipinos as it provided much needed respite from the job. We had a holiday on Wednesday and another one on Friday. Many people took Thursday off as well - I would have if I could! In any case, I still enjoyed the days off.

Now it's Sunday again and I am saying bye to the long weekend...at least I was able to stay at home and relax a bit. It got me thinking about things I wish I could have (but I know I won't have in the near future). My wish list (humor me):
walk in tubs in the bathroom. This is practically impossible for me right now, not only because of the cost but because a walk in tub would be bigger than our bathroom!a nice four poster bed. Don't laugh, but we've been sleeping on a futon (euphemism for mattress on the floor!) for the past 2 years. We just thought that buying a frame was such a hassle. Now I want one. Problem: what I want will probably be too big for the elevator, like the couch we wanted.
one of those …

Housewife Wannabe

I can't believe it! It has been a very busy morning for me as I have decided to make the most out of whatever time I have. For the past three weeks or so, we didn't do any grocery shopping. As a result, we had to eat out most of the time, and it really made us broke.

So this weekend, I decided to go to the supermarket, stock up, and make sure that I cook every day. It's day 2 and I am doing great so far.

Anyhow, as I was making pan-fried tilapia fish fillet for lunch and some concoction with pork, broccoli and baby corn for dinner, a thought hit me. I wish I could just do it every day!

I mean, I want to be able to prepare our meals without rushing. I want to be able to do stuff at home without having to hurry to work. I still want to work, but just my writing and at home.

In short, I want to be a (semi) housewife.

How weird is that?

P.S. I remember buying a nice apron a month ago but I can't find it now. I think J threw it away...

Home Staples

It's Saturday and it's Jerry's football day. SD, a friend of ours, recruited him for a football (American, not soccer) team and for a couple of weekends now, they have been going to QC every Saturday for practice. Jerry has this habit of eating a huge plate of pasta before practice. He says its for the carbs (this actually makes sense).

So anyway, there I was making tuna spaghetti when a thought occurred to me. There are certain things that I make sure I never run out of. And then I thought that it would be fun to make a list of the "staples," things that I make sure I always have at home.

Fridge
Butter - spread on bread, base for pasta sauce, substitute for oil; I always have a block of Anchor unsalted butter in the fridge.Potatoes - Jerry eats everything - and I mean EVERYTHING - with potatoes. Filipino dishes that normally do not have taties, when prepared in my kitchen, must have taties. Ever had tinola with potatoes? :pWater - this one's for me. I c…

Loving Our New Condo

It's been a crazy weekend for us, and the week is passing my by so quickly. We were able to move on Saturday and we have pretty much settled in, but there is a ton of other stuff to do: apply for Internet, cable, telephone, etc.

Work is also crazy as well, but everything is just so great - I have not felt this positive in a long time, and I am loving it! I don't know, but maybe it's waking up to natural sunshine, with lots of bright light coming in, and fresh air too. Maybe it's the fact that we don't have this subconscious thought that we might get some disease like mesothelioma due to the poor ventilation and construction of our apartment. I know that's exaggerating things, but hey, the ambiance does make a lot of difference.

I gotta run now, but I will write a more detailed post as soon as I get the chance. Pics to follow as well.

Might Move Again

We were watching NatGeo over the weekend and became engrossed in the migratory patterns of various animals...penguins, salmon, bats, etc. It occurred to me that many animals have to migrate to breed. It's a built in thing. Why don't we humans have this instinct as well?

Then it occurred to me that perhaps we do, but in a different way. Look at us, we might be moving to a new condo in a couple of weeks. Come to think of it, we have not stayed in a single place for longer than 2 years.

Anyhow, while this will entail SO MUCH in terms of money and effort, at least I will be free of a stinking bathroom drain. I will not need spider traps to keep sane. I will not have to push that garage door up and pull it down every freakin' day.

I'm gonna miss our red walls and wonderful lights, though. That is, if we actually leave. Updates here and there...

How Can a Cactus Die?

Darned if I know! My mom has the greenest thumb I know. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for myself. Despite the fact that several plants have withered away to brown nothingness under my care, my mom still likes giving me her creations every now and then.

Her latest gift was this small pot of cacti that she placed in my bathroom. It was cute. A splash of green always livens the room up. And a cactus shouldn't be that hard to keep alive, right? After all you don't really have to water a cactus. Or do you?

I don't really know. All I remember is Jerry asking me "How the heck can you kill a cactus?"

Excuse me? I don't KILL plants. I may kill ants, but not plants! They just die by themselves!

Unfortunately, when I checked the bathroom yesterday, I indeed found the cacti desperately struggling for their lives. I don't know the how or the why...but they are dying. Take a look:
(This pic taken using Kvothe's cam. Apparently, it is not very goo…

100 Skills Every Man Must Know

I saw this article on MSN last Friday and I was overwhelmed. It seems to me that gone are the days that men actually did everything. Does a man with all these skills really exist? The list is too long for this post but they categorized the 100 into major groups. Of these groups, I think that the Home is most important:

14. Carve a turkey
15. Use a sewing machine - yeahhh right!16. Put out a fire
17. Home-brew beer
18. Remove bloodstains from fabric - that's what the maid is for.
19. Move heavy stuff
20. Grow food - thank God for the market?
21. Read an electric meter
22. Shovel the right way
23. Solder wire - I learned this in college.
24. Tape drywall
25. Split firewood
26. Replace a faucet washer - Dad taught me this.
27. Mix concrete
28. Paint a straight line
29. Use a French knife
30. Prune bushes and small trees
31. Iron a shirt
32. Fix a toilet tank flapper
33. Change a single-pole switch
34. Fell a tree
35. Replace a broken windowpane
36. Set up a ladder, safely
37. Fix a faucet cartridge
38. …

Asian-Inspired Chicken Breast in Wine Sauce

As you may know, I love to cook and I am always on the lookout for something new. Yesterday, I found a recipe for chicken on the Net and I thought I'd try it out today. I wanted to share the site here but for some reason, I cannot find the link anymore. :(

I printed out the recipe but I didn't have some of the ingredients so I tweaked it a bit.

Ingredients:
4 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 small red onion, chopped finely
4 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/3 cup white wine
1 chicken bouillon
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons cornstarch
olive oil
salt and pepper
soy sauce

Method:
1. Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
2. Heat pan with some olive oil - about two turns of the bottle around the pan.
3. Sear the chicken breasts on high heat - this took about 3 minutes per side.
4. Remove the chicken breasts and set aside.
5. Stir fry the onion, garlic, and ginger for about 1 minute.
6. Add the wine, sugar, water, …

My First Roast Dinner Attempt

Roast beef is one of my favorite dishes - who doesn't like it anyway? Prior to last Sunday, I had never been able to make it, though. When we got McQueen, I decided that I would finally try to make roast beef. I got some beef from the market the other weekend (sirloin cut) and looked up some recipes online. I also decided to make mashed potatoes and gravy.
Since this was a first for me, I was a bit apprehensive. Jerry's expectations didn't help a bit...ever since he got here, he would normally compare the (local) food and what he ate in the States. Not that I find it offensive, but when I am the one making the food, it places an additional burden on me.

Anyway, I basically rubbed the beef with salt and pepper. I also made several cuts and inserted garlic cloves. I let that sit for a couple of hours and then put McQueen in high gear - 250 degrees C. After 30 minutes, I turned the roast over. Another 30 minutes and I lowered the heat to about 180 degrees.
I then got t…

My First Construction Experience

I am not the one actually doing the construction but I have been closely monitoring the carpenters and while the work is not spectacular - much to Jerry's dismay - I think it is pretty good. Maybe they could work a little bit faster but the house is shaping up well enough. And so is my bill from the hardware store. I am quite thankful that our sup, Boy, just told me that since they were supposed to shoulder some of the costs anyway, everything from here on would be paid by them. That means I am to just pay what I currently owe the hardware, the paint, and the carpenter. The wood and other supplies that might be needed today and in the ensuing days, the owners would take care of. I'm really lucky in this respect.

Some pics of day 1 of the construction.The store front.
Taken from the original living room. The wall on the left is one of the bedrooms.Jerry taking a look at the new bedrooms, which were moved to the location of the original living area.The view from the hallway…

On An Appliance High

We paid a visit to an appliance sale (thanks again, Livi!) yesterday and boy, did I get high! They sold brands like Moulinex, Krups, Brun, Dowell, and more. It was a bit overwhelming, seeing all those appliances being sold at very low prices.

So what did I walk away with? Well, I was only really planning on getting a turbo broiler and I was so delighted to see one for only PhP1,100 (approx. 23 USD). I also wanted a coffee grinder and we found one for PhP1,300 (approx. 27 USD). As I was looking around, I noticed Jerry following me with a dirty and ugly box. There was a jewel inside, though - a Moulinex Duomo! This espresso machine normally sells for PhP5,000 (approx. 106 USD) but we got it for PhP1,800 (approx. 38 USD) - thanks to the box and a couple of scratches.

Here are pics of our new babies.

Oh yeah, we've named them already. The turbo is McQueen, the Duomo is LePieu, and the grinder is Grim. Since I got today off, we were able to play with them. I made barbecued pork …

Construction to Start Tomorrow

It's starting and it's becoming real. And now I am starting to really feel scared. The carpenter has arrived and we are starting construction tomorrow. It's not really a big job - we just need to move a few partitions and paint the living area behind the store.

Wait, come to think of it, I think I have not written about our decision to move out of the current apartment unit to another one downstairs. The unit is larger but we will be using the front as a sari-sari store. That's the Filipino version of a Mom and Pop store - not exactly the same but something similar. More on this later.

Anyway, we're starting the work on the unit tomorrow and hopefully, we'll have it done in 3 to 5 days. Our target is to move in by the 16th of October (that's when our current contract ends). There is so much to do, so much to spend on, and so little money...

Now I am starting to feel that range of emotions that one experiences when taking a leap of faith. It is exhilar…

Appliance Shopping

Livi told me about this sale that's going on near my place. They sell small appliances - coffee machines, espresso machines, ovens, etc. - at very low prices. The good thing is that they are all quality brands like Brun (I forget the others). Gotta get up early so I can drop by before I go to work...good luck with that!

Why Does It Have to Stink?

Those were the words that came out of my husband's mouth as I was cooking a mouthwatering pot of paksiw na bangus. I am not sure what the English equivalent is but I think the closest I can get is pickled milkfish.

It didn't stink, really. I think he smelled the vinegar cooking and that's what made him say that. I just realized how different backgrounds really give you a different take on things. I found it quite amusing because he does not complain that much about tuyo, which is supposed to be the worst smelling thing ever.

In my mind I was thinking...your loss!

Photo courtesy of Kikai's Kitchen (didn't have time to snap my own photo last night)