Wednesday, October 26

Design: NAIA Terminal 1

The Philippines' airport terminal 1 (NAIA1) is ranked the worst airport in the world. Granting it's 30 years old, it is long overdue for a makeover. Well, I think being ranked as the "worst" has its silver lining. There's now an immediate plan to revamp the facility. The best designers in town, Budji Layug, Royal Pineda and Kenneth Cobonpue, along with the National Competitiveness Council of the Philippines, gave a pro-bono design proposal.

This is what Kenneth Cobonpue's social media page says about the NAIA1 Rehabilitation and Renovation project.

"It's time someone did something about the worst airport in the world. So we made this design because we believe that no matter how beautiful our country is, our airports give the first and last impressions. This plan is relatively inexpensive and simple to adapt. The plan also involves renovating the interiors to allow faster flow of travelers between security, immigration and departure.

The first step has been done. Lets hope our government moves on this proposal quickly."

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Tuesday, October 25

Crafts/DIY: No-sew Tutu

I decided to make a tutu for Alyssa today. I went to Kamuning market to buy materials.

I promise, this is so easy to make. To make a tutu for a 7-month old baby, I only needed:
  • 2 yards of soft tulle (there's a stiff version, which they use for petticoats - DON'T get that),
  • 2 yards of ribbon, and
  • a pair of scissors.
Note: Depending on the skirt size, you might need more tulle and ribbon. 

Measure your baby's waist, and mark both ends with knots. Make sure you leave about 10" on each side so you can tie a ribbon when you're done.

Fold the tulle many times to make it easier to cut into strips.

Cut it into 3" strips. Cut the strip into 4 equal parts, or however you want the skirt length is. Note: The final strip length should be twice what you want your skirt length to be. For my baby, I used about 6" final skirt length. That means I needed 12" strips.

Tie one strip of tulle unto the ribbon using a lark's head knot.

Image via

Keep doing this with all the other strips.

The more strips you use, the fluffier the skirt gets. Here is the finished product using 2 yards of tulle.

A closeup of the knots:

The costume is not yet done, but so far, it looks so cute! It reminds me of Sarah Jessica Parker's pink tutu on SATC.

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Sunday, October 23

Food: Suman sa Lihiya

My mom just came from Mindoro last weekend. She brought back some suman sa lihiya with her, and gave us some to taste.

I am such a fan of suman. This variety is made from glutinous rice, water and lye solution. Yes, lye solution. Kinda weird huh? But it's so good.

Suman is usually eaten as a Filipino dessert dipped in sugar. Sometimes, we eat it with ripe mangoes. They are soooo yummy!

The one she brought back was in a box.

The pieces of suman were cube-shaped wrapped in banana leaves.

After heating it up for maybe a minute, I peeled off the leaves.

This kind of suman was more bland, but they came with coco jam yummy goodness. The sweetness of the jam was a perfect companion to the suman.

I wish I had some mangoes.
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Saturday, October 22

Food: Mango Cake

My baby turned 7 months last week (31 weeks). She's wearing a pretty grey dress given by my dear friend Grace back in the US -- the same one who taught me how to make that amazing Strawberry Black Forest cake. The grey tulle/velvet dress she gave was a 3-6 month size but it fits Alyssa perfectly at 7 months. Hey, what can I do? She's a tiny baby.

-- And yes, I am doing a weekly photo for her -- like what I did when I was still pregnant.

My uber sweet Tita (as we call our aunts here in the Philippines) gave Alyssa a mango cake from Red Ribbon. I never thought much of Red Ribbon before, but I love, love, love their mango cake. I first tasted their mango cake when my mom bought one for merienda.

It is made of white chiffon, probably buttercream and topped with mango goodness.

I've been looking for a recipe and I found one by Elizabeth of the Asian in America blog. I have yet to try it, but here is her recipe. I don't know if it tastes like Red Ribbon's but here it goes.

She calls it the Manila Mango Chiffon Cake.

Chiffon Cake


  • 2 cups sifted cake flour 
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder 
  • 7 eggwhites 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar 
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar (for the eggwhites) 
  • 7 eggyolks 
  • 1/2 cup corn oil 
  • 3/4 cup mango nectar (canned or bottled nectar can be found in most groceries) 
  • 1 teaspoon lemon flavoring 
  • 1/2 cup of mango cubes (about half of a mango) 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Sift together the dry ingredients: cake flour, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, baking powder. Set aside. 
  3. In a separate bowl, at highest speed, beat the eggwhites and cream of tartar together. When there are high peaks and hardly any bubbles left, slowly add the 3/4 cup granulated sugar, a few tablespoons at a time. When peaks form and whites are shiny, put aside. 
  4. In another mixing bowl, make a well of all the dry ingredients. In the center add : oil, yolks, mango nectar, lemon flavoring. 
  5. Beat with the mixer at medium speed till blended. This should only take about 3 to 5 minutes. 
  6. Into the yellow mango batter, add the cubes of mango fruit, by folding with a spatula. 
  7. Finally, fold the mango mix very gradually into the eggwhites. Try to do the folding in 3 batches, to prevent the eggwhites from dropping. 
  8. Pour batter into a greased round tube pan. 
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or test for doneness. When done, cool on counter for a few minutes. Then loosen edges from the round tube pan, invert and take the cake out to cool. It should be completely cooled before adding any of the Mango icing. 

Mango Buttercream Icing (2 1/2 cups)

  • 1 cup butter, softened 
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream 
  • 1/4 cup mango nectar (canned or bottled, available in groceries) 
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon lemon flavoring 
  • 1/4 teaspoon golden yellow food coloring (optional) 
  • 1/2 mango, cut in strips
  1. In a mixing bowl, at high speed, mix together the softened butter and 1 cup confectioners’ sugar. Cream and blend well till smooth. 
  2. Gradually add in alternating order, a few tablespoons at a time: confectioners’ sugar, heavy cream, and mango nectar. Begin and end with the confectioners’ sugar. 
  3. Add the lemon flavoring and blend well. 
  4. Finally, add the golden yellow food coloring. Mix well. 
  5. Refrigerate the icing till ready to use on cake. After icing the cake, garnish mango slices on top in a spiral manner.

--- Visit her blog for her step-by-step photos.
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Wednesday, October 19

Love: Vintage and Modern

Photos from Google Product Search

We have 2 electric fans at home. One's vintage-looking and the other's over-the-top modern. I love both looks. The vintage electric fan is the 12" Hunter Classic Table Fan; I bought mine around $50 at Target. They sell the same exact model (but different voltages) at Ace Hardware here in Manila for about P4,000. The other is a bladeless fan, much like the Dyson Air Multiplier that I posted about here. You can get it at Amazon for about $170. I have not found any Dyson reseller in Manila, but my husband found another brand at SM Home World. The price? Just around P2,800.
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Friday, October 14

Freebie: Tile Pattern

So, I redid the header on my blog.

See the tile on the left?

I made a pattern out of it.

Download the high-resolution pattern here.

Want some more goodies? Here's a variety of blank gift tags for you to use.

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Thursday, October 13

Crafts/DIY: Pom Love Candles

I recently posted about a Martha Stewart craft involving pom flowers here, which I used for gift wrap decorations.

Now, here's another way to use pom flowers as decorations... for candles!

I used dripless candles (they're amazing!), Japanese paper for the pom flowers and some ribbons.

These candles were for Alyssa's baptism ceremony.
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Wednesday, October 12

Freebie: Honeycomb Pattern

One of my favorite blogs, puglypixel, posted some free downloadable honeycomb patterns on her blog a while back. You can also use her photoshop pattern to customize your own seamless pattern.

Image from puglypixel 

I loved it so much, I used it as the background pattern on my blog.

Thank you Pugly Pixel!
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Tuesday, October 11

Food: Reminiscing the food I make

I miss cooking. I miss baking. I miss making food. Period.

The last time I cooked was more than a month ago, and the last time before that was in June. Wow. That's a long time ago.

See, my family and I moved back to the Philippines where you have people do stuff for you... like cook, drive and do the laundry.

But as much as I want to cook, the stove in our house right now is a hand-me-down from my sister-in-law, and still needs some cleaning and repair before using. It's a gas-powered 5-burner with a pretty big electric oven below.

I miss making this really yummy Strawberry Black Forest Cake. It looks so complicated and done by a pastry chef but my good friend Grace, who shared with me her recipe, had tricks up her sleeve. I miss you Grace!

Here's a photo of my strawberry cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. I remember it was my first time piping, and I think it turned out quite alright.

Oooh, fried rice salad with radicchio and raisins! It's probably the easiest to make. It looks so colorful too.

I'll see you soon, spoonula!


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Monday, October 10

Design: New blog look


After weeks of procrastinating, I got myself a new blog look.

Simpler, and less girly.

Like it?

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Friday, October 7

Freebie: Because I Cane

I was in the middle of doing this cane pattern when I saw possibly the best dessert table designer ever, Amy Atlas, posted on her blog all about cane. Probably just a weird coincidence, or maybe great minds think alike. Who knows?

Anyhoo, probably anyone who grew up in the Philippines during the 80's would somehow be familiar with this pattern. It's just the pattern for a typical kids' party chair, and probably what their grandparents' butaca, or a lounge chair, is made of too.

Image from Cambio

I think cane is making a comeback.

Restoration Hardware has a fairly recent cane collection.

And now, Amy Atlas curated some beautiful cane pattern goodies.

Image from Amy Atlas

So now, I'm going to share with you a free --- yes, FREE --- cane pattern. Download it from here.

I used the pattern to make these cute little gift tags. Download the gift tags here. Like it?

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Monday, October 3

Freebie: Circle Play Pattern

Hello, folks.

Here's a pattern in jpg format that I made for fun. You can download it for free here (the link will lead you to MediaFire and will not automatically download). Have fun!

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Sunday, October 2

Design: Sun-tanned Paper

If we can tan our skin, why not tan our paper? It's a new printer design concept that uses solar energy to print without ink. I'd be excited to see this in stores.

All images are from Yanko Design.

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Saturday, October 1

Crafts/DIY: Pom Gift Wrapping

Poms from Martha Stewart

It's awful that I only got to share this now.

I've been making poms since I discovered this tutorial from Martha Stewart.

DIY from Martha Stewart

You can hang these pretty things or if you're like me, use them as gift embellishments.

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