Wednesday, November 30

Food: Simplified Strawberry Black Forest Cake

I tested my baking skills recently. Remember the strawberry black forest cake I made back then? Read about it and find the recipe here.

I was surprised to find all the ingredients I needed -- yes, even the elusive baking powder was available in the grocery store nearby. I got local strawberries at first, but they were tiny. I used them for the filling. I went with my mother-in-law to S&R (the local warehouse store similar to Costco) and found Driscoll's strawberries. They were huge and looked like they were injected with steroids compared to the local ones I got at the supermarket. They were perfect for my strawberry toppings.

Being in the Philippines is awesome! It's summer all year long. The downside? My chocolate sheet melts ever so quickly. We had to put the cake back in the fridge immediately. My kitchen right now is air conditioned. Can you just imagine if it wasn't?

The picture above is my finished product. I didn't dip the strawberries in chocolate to save time. It still looks good but not as pretty as the one I did in Atlanta.

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Sunday, November 27

Shopping: Dear Sadie

My sister and some of her friends has a stall at a bazaar in Acropolis Greens, a subdivision here in Quezon City.

They sell the cutest things. Here are some of the stuff they have.

Passport holders (P350, I think)

Canvas bags (P280-350)
The bazaar at Acropolis ends today, but their store, cutely named Dear Sadie will pop up again at a bigger venue at the PICC next month.

Visit them at Facebook here, and look at more photos of their items.

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Tuesday, November 22

Crafts/DIY: Holiday Wrap No. 2

I had extra kraft cartolina, so I decided to do another wrapping style. (Pardon the photo, I took it at night.) This time, I used Martha Stewart's edge puncher to create that cute doily edge, some ribbon, small hole puncher for the ribbon holes, and a correspondence card that goes with it.

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Tuesday, November 15

Crafts/DIY: Holiday Wrap No. 1

This is probably one of the cheapest wrapping idea I came across with.

All you need are:
- kraft cartolina (kraft paper that's card stock heavy), P6.50 (~ $0.15) for about 2'x3' sheet
- scissors / cutter
- glue stick
- fabric tape / decorative tape, P39.25 (~ $0.90) for a roll

Total = P45.75 (~ $1.05)

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Saturday, November 12

Crafts/DIY: Gifted Is Out!

Gifted e-Magazine by Creature Comforts is out. Yay! Check it out here.

It has a holiday gift guide that doubles as an inspiration DIY.

Here's a Mojave letterpress coaster that can be DIYed. Well, you don't really have to letterpress it, but maybe you can paint cork coasters with white paint. If you're not into DIYing these, you can get them from inhauspress' Etsy store for $10.

via etsy as featured in Gifted

Another DIY-able gift -- chess bottle corks -- from Pop Deluxe for $16.99 for both queen and knight. You can use old chess pieces and plain bottle corks... or fabulous door knobs from Anthropologie.

via Pop Deluxe as featured in Gifted

via Anthropologie

What about this butterfly pushpin collection as inspiration for an art display? You can use butterfly pictures and a shadowbox frame like Sherry did in Young House Love.
via Paper Source as featured in Gifted

via Young House Love

Decorate your own recipe box with paint like this.

via Rifle Paper Co.

There are tons of freebies too that you can use during the holidays.

From One Charming Party -- visit Gifted e-magazine p.131 for the download link.

via Gifted
From Domestifluff -- visit Gifted e-magazine p.132 for the download link.

via Gifted

From the designers of Gifted -- visit Gifted e-magazine p.137 for the download link.

via Gifted

So go and check it out. Have fun!

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Wednesday, November 9

Design: Camera for Living Pictures

It's about time something like this became available. It's a camera that captures the entire light field, unlike conventional cameras that only let you get a single plane of light. That means that after taking a picture with this new camera, you can still focus and re-focus on different areas of the picture and get an entirely new photo. It's called the Lytro.

It comes in different colors.

It's tiny.

I want one. For $399 - $499 (depending on the memory), I think it's really affordable for a light-field camera.

Visit their website here and play around with the focus and re-focus here.

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Friday, November 4

Design: One Farmhouse (Part 3) -- Post Halloween Edition

My family and I went to my parents' vacation house up north for the long weekend here in the Philippines. We had a long non-working holiday weekend not because of Halloween but All Saints' Day.

November 1st is always the time for Filipinos to remember their loved ones who passed away.

It just so happened that the 31st of October was declared, too, as a non-working holiday, hence the 4-day weekend.

As I was saying, we went up north; there rarely was any Internet connection. Their vacation house was kind of in the middle of nowhere. There were a few 3G spots here and there (like in the lanai bench, or in the seating area of the mini chapel in the garden -- READ -- too scary on Halloween night). I need to tell you though, having the personal hotspot connected to my Mac made my surfing super fast -- faster than surfing on the phone), but I just discovered it too late.

The chapel in all its glory.

Over the past however so many years, my mother always buy fresh cut flowers and does the floral arrangements herself. She bought potted flowers this time to place at the cemetery. I think that they are absolutely divine.

Uhmm okay maybe I'm just a sucker for hydrangeas.

I still can't get over the fact that you can actually get hydrangeas here!

I think they're hydrangeas, but looking at the stem, I'm not so sure anymore. They're still lovely.

It was my mom and sister's birthday celebration too. Here's my mom with Alyssa.

And here's my sister. Oh, she's going to get mad I posted her picture here. Haha.

We celebrated... with food. Lots and lots of food.

Here's their cake, which was made by the same dude who designed Alyssa's christening cakes. It melted during the 3-hour travel from the city.

On another note, this is Simba, my other sister's golden retreiver.

Alyssa loves watching him. It's one of her favorite things to do... as well as feed the koi in the pond.

There are also live turkeys in my parents' farmhouse.

My baby was so happy.

She even had enough energy to pose for her week 33 photo -- as a fairy.

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Thursday, November 3

Design: Amy Atlas Pattern Board

The pattern board is up!

Amy Atlas, the queen of dessert table style, published a pattern board that she uses for styling. I find it so useful too!

Image via Amy Atlas Blog

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