Friday, May 22

Kitchen Gadgets I Love


One of my favorite parts of the house is the kitchen. I enjoy cooking and baking but not what comes before and after. Haha. The post-cooking scenario involves tons of cleaning, and I hate washing the dishes. Good thing I have a handy helper already. I suck at prepping the ingredients though. It's not that I don't like doing them, it's just that I'm too lazy. So, I take as much shortcuts as possible.

Enter kitchen gadgets. I don't have every single kitchen gadget out there -- just a handful of what I think is useful for me and my family. I got most of them when I got married -- a blender for smoothies, food processor for chopping lots of veggies, slow cooker for cooking tender stews and a set of pots and pans. Every so often I get gifted with them -- the most amazing rice cooker a few years ago, and a really cool ice cream maker the year after. A few were purchases -- my beloved mixer and my oven for baking. I would love to get an espresso machine for my forever kitchen, but I know it's going to be just for decoration since I am not a regular coffee drinker. Haha.

I never pass up an opportunity to look at what's out there. I love stores like Crate & Barrel, Williams-Sonoma and Gourdo's. I always, always make sure to visit them. Some time ago, my friend, Michelle, invited me to her place for a crepe soiree. She had me at crepes. She also said a friend of hers can show us how to make crepes using the Severin Crepe Maker. All I could think of was, be still my heart. I was so excited that I was probably the earliest one there. Needless to say, I bought a crepe maker the first chance I got.


The soiree was such a hit that Michelle helped organized a more formal event featuring the brands that Colombo Merchant Philippines carries, Severin, and a brand I know so well, Braun. Braun was the brand of my very first gadget, the hand blender. But I gave it to my friend when we moved. Hmm, come to think of it, I do miss the convenience of using it. I shouldn't have given it away. Hah!

The event was an afternoon to remember as we had merienda that Chef Redj Baron made using the Severin and Braun kitchen tools. Every dish was created using one or more of the Severin/Braun kitchen tools featured and the food was plated perfectly.






Photo by Momma 'N Manila
I even got to try the Citrus Juicer myself when Chef Redj was showing us how to make the lemonade basil refresher. I'm too easy to convince and after trying it out, I just had to get the juicer. It's perfect for this terrible summer heat. So far, I've been using it to make fresh lemonade and orange juice with lots and lots of ice. It's so easy to operate that Allie even helps me out. The juicer is electric so just imagine how quick and easy it is to squeeze lemons. You don't even have to worry about the seeds getting into your juice because this tool keeps them out.



As part of the invitation, Colombo sent a jar of homemade mango pineapple jam, which was a hit in our household.



It came as a surprise when I learned that a bread machine made it. I always get intimidated by people who know how to make breads. But I am eager to learn. I am beyond ecstatic I got to bring the Severin Bread Maker home. I will purchase the ingredients tomorrow to make my very first bread, so pretty soon, my friends, I'll share with you the action.


I got my eye on you next, Raclette Party Grill!

It was a pleasure trying out these great kitchen tools and they surely make my domestic life easy. Thank you Colombo Merchant Philippines for sharing with us these wonderful toys, and the yummy food too!


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Colombo Merchant Philippines
Unit 303, Richville Corporate Center, 
Commercial Avenue, 1780, Muntinlupa, 1780 Metro Manila
+63 2 879 4060

Facebook: /Colombophils



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Tuesday, May 5

Kitchen Renovations


If you've been following me on Instagram, you might have had an inkling that we just moved to our new home late last year. I've been posting some tiny kitchen renovations and a few laundry details here and there. I think this is becoming a never-ending renovation procrastination for me because I know that this is a temp home before the big move to the forever house, which sadly, we haven't found the ideal location yet. Someone got some high standard issues kasi! Tsk tsk tsk. Heehee.

The kitchen before.



Yes, I have a dishwasher. It's pretty uncommon to have one here in the Philippines because most households have help. I don't, so I blackmailed my husband into buying me one. I told him that he has to wash the dishes every single time if he doesn't buy a dishwasher for me.

I looked everywhere for a dishwasher that has two things -- a slim design and a local service option. My kitchen is itty bitty tiny so I really needed a slim dishwasher. My cabinets were already done so if I had to buy a standard sized dishwasher, I had to change my cabinets and I didn't want to take the additional hassle.

Most dishwashers sold here are imported from the states, and you can just imagine how much they are. A typical $400-$500 model will cost you about $2000 here. It's not even top of the line. Crazy, right? They don't even have warranty and the voltage is different! But my extensive research paid off because I got hold of a local supplier that sold dishwashers with a slim line model (around 500mm width). It was pretty affordable. It didn't have the drying element I was used to, but that's okay as long as it has hot water. It just dries slower.

Here's the kitchen after.


Quite a few have been asking me where I got my kitchen accessories here. Well, lo and behold, here is the list.

(1) My rugs are from H&M Home. Got them during the 30% off everything event. I just put a non-slip mat underneath because it moves all the time. Safety first.
(2) That vintage-looking fan there is by Hunter. It's available at Wilcon Depot.
(3) Curtains are from SM Home. I hand sewn them to size. I don't know how to sew using the machine I don't have. Learning how to sew is on my life list though. Teach me, Brother!
(4) Almost all my kitchen towels are from Williams-Sonoma (please open here in the Philippines already). I find them very absorbent and great-looking. What else do you want?
(5) The small potted plant is from Ikea, including the pot.
(6) Cookbook stand? Williams-Sonoma again. See? I'm a fan.
(7) For the non-dishwasher safe items in my kitchen, I use the Method dishwashing soap when available. Otherwise, Joy with Olay keeps your hands soft.
(8) The paper towel holder is by Polder. But I think the Kamenstein brand holds the paper towel better. Both are available in S&R.
(9) My handsoap dispenser is a gift from my mother-in-law. It's by simplehuman. I love it because whenever my hands are dirty, I don't have to touch the dispenser at all, and clean the bottle. Fangirl of simplehuman here. Our garbage bin (not pictured) is also by simplehuman. There are cheaper wannabes out there, but they're not as durable. Our bin is about ten years old and still perfect. Ten! Imagine that. Longer than my marriage. Hahaha!


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Monday, March 9

Spending My Saturday at an Art Gallery


How often can you say that in just one morning, you got to view the gist of Philippine history inside one gallery? I was fortunate enough to do just that. Inside the Gateway Tower in Araneta Center, there is this huge art gallery housing about 30 large-scale paintings, made by UP alumni artists. The exhibit features the sequential artwork of how the Philippines came to be as it is now. 

The project was 5 years in the making, and the exhibit is the outcome of extraordinary hard work and successful collaboration, and of course, immeasurable talent. 


Galleon Trade by Jonahmar Salvosa was one of my favorite pieces. His interpretation of the Galleon Trade is so colorful and dreamy. In Philippine history, galleons are these big ships that bring goods to and from Manila. The Galleon Trade was a means of income for the Spaniards in the Philippines. They trade silk and other Chinese goods in Mexico.


Another one of my favorites is Celebration by Romy Carlos. It depicts the fiestas, or celebrations of thanksgiving, happening all over the country. They usually are held in honor of a town's patron saint, hence the different religious characters. What I love about this painting is its composition and flow. There is an abundance of information about fiestas without being too cluttered.



Sining Saysay
The Gateway Gallery
5/F Gateway Tower Mall, Araneta Center, 
Cubao, Quezon City
(Hours: 11am - 7pm)

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Monday, February 16

Crafts/DIY: Giant Paper Roses Workshop


A couple of weeks back, I hosted a Giant Paper Roses workshop through @craftedlove. I super love this batch. They are so much fun, uber friendly and very talented. It was held at Vanilla Cupcake Bakery down in Bonifacio Global City, and that cafe is the epitome of cuteness. We used heavy crepe paper (yay!) in pastel colors, which really goes very well with the decor.

I will be having another workshop this coming March, and I hope you can join this time. Follow me at @craftedlove on Instagram to get first-hand news.











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Wednesday, November 26

Candles, Toddlers and Diaper Rash Creams


They really shouldn't go together. Last All Saints' Day, we visited our dearly departed ones at the cemetery, and Allie went with us. Sadly, a little accident happened. She was playing with flowers and tripped towards this candle holder with the metal cover. She burnt a part of her forearm. Yes, ouch. Yes, there were a couple of blisters. Yes, she cried. Yes, I felt so bad I wanted to cry too.

Photo credit to my father-in-law

I read somewhere that diaper rash cream can be used for minor burns, and being in a cemetery with no first aid in sight, I used my handy dandy diaper rash cream on her burn after we washed her arm with water. I know that it really helped soothe her because she stopped crying almost immediately.

I was so glad that I had the diaper rash cream in my bag then. I am forever grateful to Mustela because when I attended this Mustela launch event a few weeks ago, among the stuff they gave out was this tube of their Vitamin Barrier Cream. I started using it on Allie's behind everytime we change nappies, and I always carry it with me.


I am a convert now, just so you know. Not only does the Vitamin Barrier Cream work effectively on diaper rashes, but on burns too! It doesn't have that nasty fish smell. I love that it is very affordable and very available at local department stores.

So what happened to Allie's burn? When we left the cemetery, we went to the drugstore and bought silver sulfadiazine. It's an antibiotic, and because she had blisters, my doctor friend suggested to apply it thickly twice a day, after washing, and cover her burn with sterilized gauze. After about a week, her skin is completely healed. Now, I just apply some moisturizer and prevent sunburn on her arm to lessen the discoloration. A dermatologist told me it will take about six months for it to become less noticeable. But really, I barely notice it on her arm now.

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