Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Blog surfing

Have been blog surfing lately... seeing what was out there. I am always interested in what other people have to say...

It got me wondering, what makes a blog interesting? What makes us look, stop and read a blog?

Is it the title? the post? or the pictures?

I sometimes see the heading, read the last post and if I find that interesting, read some more...

I have wondered..... is my blog (at first glance) interesting enough to stop and read? or maybe the first part.. with the picture, the quote and the comic a bit much and uninteresting.....hmmmm...

OK, so I said I write for myself... but I would love to have more people read what I write... thank goodness someone finally commented for once! (well... that was because I commented on his blog first), but still... a comment is a comment and it very much appreciated.

Easter is coming up and it will be awhile in between posts. Long holiday and a busy first monday for me next week. Will be racking up reading some of my TO-READ books and my take home work load... *sign*...

Monday, March 29, 2010

Writing Furor

Ok, two posts in one day... what can I say? I am in  the mood..... hahahaa

I have been writing again. Journaling so to speak... AND...I have joined a writing workshop this April (I hope I can attend though). They also have a writing contest there where you can win a scholarship for that workshop. Although I can pay for my own tuition, I would like to try to submit an entry and find out if i could win. (narcissistic of me yeah?)
I joined

My writing fever is also evident when we went to Hk. I chanced upon a new stationary shop selling pens. It was new and they were setting up the display. My mouth was watering from the array of journals and pens on display.. and the guy selling it was from Italy. He approached me and asked if I was familiar with their brand. I said no... I was just browsing.... (well.... actually, I was salivating at their merchandise)-- they didn't have the glass pens pictured above (these are murano pens from venice-- note to self: get one of those when I go back to venice)

They had feather pen sets (the one's you imagine Shakespeare used to write down his works). they had ink in a bottle and you had to dip the feather in it to write. (The feather had a metal tip)

The sell also different colors of inks in bottles  and fountain pens. I just have this desire to start practicing my calligraphy.... hahaha

The only thing was, I didn't have a place to keep these when I do buy them, so I have to wait for the new house to finish before I can buy anything new.

They also had wax stamp sets... (I still have the one I bought when I was in oxford... the one with my inital...) where you heat up the wax and seal letter with the stamp...

Yeah, I know, in the age of wireless letters, when will I get the chance to send a letter? -- I SAY, WHO CARES???
I think precious are the ones who receive letters nowadays. It means the one who sent it took the time to write AND send it. Just imagine how a letter (snail mail) travelled to it's destination. It took a truck, a ship or plane and got sorted and handled and then got delivered. The mail itself has a story to tell.

Come to think of it.. I think I will send my friend Jasmine a "glad you are my friend" note.. complete with wax stamp and ribbon... hahaha (me , finding reasons to use my stationary)...

Friday, March 26, 2010

For the love of.....CHEESECAKE!

I haven't done any baking for awhile, one of the things I love making is cheesecake. I have tried so many recipes and this is the one I really liked. It is originally from Tyler Florence. I tweaked it a little to suit the taste of my kids. (the original was a bit tart from too much lemon zest and sour cream). My daughter was bugging me to make her a cheesecake (she tasted one when we went on vacation) and I dusted off my apron and went to work......




  • 2 cups finely ground graham crackers (about 30 squares)-- use a food processor to make it easier
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted


  • 1 pound cream cheese, 2 (8-ounce) blocks, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups cream (or if you want it more tart, 2 cups sour cream)
  • 1 lemon, zested (careful with the zest.... )
  • 1 dash vanilla extract
  • Warm Lemon Blueberry Topping, recipe follows


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
In a mixing bowl, combine the ingredients with a fork until evenly moistened. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of an 8-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Pour the crumbs into the pan and, using the bottom of a measuring cup or the smooth bottom of a glass, press the crumbs down into the base and 1-inch up the sides. Refrigerate for 5 minutes.
For the Filling:
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on low speed for 1 minute until smooth and free of any lumps. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and continue to beat slowly until combined. Gradually add sugar and beat until creamy, for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. Periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters. The batter should be well-mixed but not overbeaten. Pour the filling into the crust-lined pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
Set the cheesecake pan on a large piece of aluminum foil and fold up the sides around it. Place the cake pan in a large roasting pan. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan until the water is about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan; the foil will keep the water from seeping into the cheesecake. Bake for 50 minutes. The cheesecake should still jiggle (it will firm up after chilling), so be careful not to overcook. Let cool in pan for 30 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for at least 4 hours. Loosen the cheesecake from the sides of the pan by running a thin metal spatula around the inside rim. Unmold and transfer to a cake plate. Using a spatula spread a layer of Warm Lemon Blueberry topping over the surface.
Slice the cheesecake with a thin, non-serrated knife that has been dipped in hot water. Wipe dry after each cut.

Warm Lemon Blueberries:-- (you can use canned pie topping)

  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
In a small saucepan add all the ingredients and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes or so until the fruit begins to break down slightly. Leave to cool before spreading on cheesecake.
Yield: 6 servings

This is the result... it was fresh from the oven when this picture was taken. The kids loved it. (at last).. I didn't have any topping at hand, and the kids prefer it plain. This is definitely a successful cake, if I should say so myself. (YUM YUM said my TUM TUM)-- hahaha

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Its a..... Surprise???

Yesterday started like any other day... considering it was my birthday. I still went to work and attended meetings. Birthdays used to have some thrill to them, especially when you are young. You can't wait to get gifts and turn another year older. When you get to where I am, every day seems the same.- even birthdays.

For once though, my mom threw me a advance birthday lunch the day before my birthday. Surprisingly, my brother, who flew in from the US also remembered to give me a gift. (perfume)..

My sister also gave me a towering cake... just don't count the candles.... hahahaaaa

So.. back to my birthday, DAY. My hubby gave me (I actually found them while getting dressed) a tiffany necklace (silver) which looked like pearls and a pair of earrings (these looked like black pearls but were onyx). Seeing the tiffany box was quite exciting... and opening and finding those items were doubly rewarding too. They were both beautiful......I could wear them everyday.

He had planned a dinner for us and we went out of the house at past seven. He seemed quite different. He kept saying to me... "Take your time..."- which  made my ears stand up.. hmm... is something up???

Reaching the area where we were supposed to have dinner, he kept looking around, as if he was watching for something. I was beginning to suspect. I finally asked him... "What's the matter?" and he kept smiling. The jig was up. He was throwing me a surprise party..


He asked my friends to come at 7:30pm. Knowing them though, they were late.... and we were the first to arrive at the restaurant. - SURPRISE! -- no guests...! hahaha... I pity my husband.. having to invite my delinquent friends!!!
 I didn't mind though because I really appreciated him doing this for me. By this time, I was really extremely hungry. I didn't eat a proper lunch and just had a slice of pizza to tide me over. My loving husband took me the adjacent restaurant to eat something ( it was kind of embarrassing to eat first on the same restaurant).

My loving friends finally arrived at 8pm (late late late) but no matter.. we had so much fun and even if they didn't know each other, my friends hit it off. On one side is the girls and on the other were the boys.

These I think are the closest friends I have in the present..... Vivian- my customer/friend who always kids around with me. Jasmine - my psychiatrist/legal counsel/mother figure. Arlene - adventure buddy. Frances- supermom/ superfriend/ doctor reference.
I also got another birthday cake... how lucky can you get? two cakes for one birthday.

Also, good old Vivian, knowing how I love paper, gave me two beautiful journals!... ooooohhh.. they are soo beautiful and I love them... ! Gonna use them.. SOON!

I finally ended the day at 12 midnight... the waiters at the restaurant were giving us dagger looks because we refused to leave... hahaha.. It was a wonderful surprise. A day that exceeded my expectations. The icing on the cake was the card I got from my daughter, something she made for me. It just goes to show, the most precious gift is not the most expensive one.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Stayed in THE MIRA HK last weekend. This hotel was formerly Miramar Hotel. It was renovated late last year and now sports a sleek new look...

I expected it to be great but wow... It surpassed all my expectations. The check in was very smooth and surprisingly, they ask you what COLOR room you would like to have (silver, green or red).. The lobby itself is a study in silver and glass.

The room itself is a adventure. It has free wifi internet and aside from which, you don't even have to bring a computer. The 32 inch flat screen TV is connected to a sony Vaios where you can browse via a wireless keyboard and it even has a USB, SD card, memory card dock. You even have a Bosh soundsystem where you can dock your ipod and have your own music piped in the bathroom.

The room itself is very sleek and boast of modern furniture. The bed features a tufted leather headboard. The desk also features a nokia cellphone, which at first I though was odd. until I read the welcome note. The cellphone is actually an add on of the room. YOu can bring it with you when you go out and if anyone calls your room, the cellphone will ring. You can also use it to call the hotel (in case you need anything or get lost)- in the screen is some feature like : My mira, room service, and room to room calls.

The room has a mood lighting features where you can adjust the light with a dimmer. ( cool).

The bathroom has a shower and a separate bathtub (they also have rooms without tubs so if you like a good soak, tell them you'd rather have a room with one).

The shower features a "rain" shower head aside from the separate hand held shower. The vanity is a sleek lighted mirror . The window shades are remotely controlled thru a switch - the privacy feature...
I think the MIRA hotel is the best hotel I have stayed in (so far). 5 stars (or pillows)

Thursday, March 11, 2010


I love this blog. I think this is serving as some kind of notebook for me. -- Also, I think it is a bit theraputic writing here....Although I don't think anyone is reading this blog except for my husband-- (HI)...

I love notebooks. I love seeing the words I write in them. I should try and write in one again. -- I hope... still having a kind of phobia...

I really need to start my creative juices again.. writing some kind of story.  I think my brain is a bit overtasked. Been thinking about house colors, design, furniture for the past week.


Maybe I should write about how my journey to interior design is going... HMMM...

Anyone out there?? (echo.. echo... echo..)... hahaha.. OK, so no one is reading this blog.... who cares? I WILL keep writing. maybe one day I might get discovered by someone who is interested in reading.... CIAO.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Is it March already???

What very mysterious things days were. Sometimes they fly by, and other times they seem to last forever, yet they are all exactly twenty-four hours. There's quite a lot we don't know about them.

Melanie BenjaminAlice I Have Been, 2010
When did March happen?? I felt as though everything went fast forward. Can you believe a quarter of the year has already passed? Hmm... tic tock... as if I can't feel myself growing older everyday... 
My mom asked me what we are going to do on my birthday. I just sat there in the car thinking.... "another birthday?" -- I said, "nothing". I think she was expecting me to treat her out to lunch. -- don't want to spend the money to celebrate getting older.... hahahaa
She volunteered to treat ME instead... (good ol' mom). I said I would think about it. 
Been stressed about decision making for the house. As I said, everything suddenly went fast forward and I had to decide on tiles quite soon. After which, I need to meet with kitchen counter suppliers and such. Decisions! Decisions! Building a house makes you grow older 2x as fast...!!
My friend gave ma a copy of pictures she took of us when we went on the Pinatubo trip. They have an awesome DLSR camera and they took amazing pictures. (see banner picture above) I wanna go to other parts of the country and explore... but I guess we have to balance the "need to" do stuff and the "want to" do stuff because I only have so much time to do everything. -- aside from work, kids, house etc.---

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

50 Universal Truths About Men

Someone posted this in facebook. I found it an interesting read.  Has anyone have any opinions?

50 Universal Truths About Men

by Bob Grant, L.P.C.
1. Why should I remind you that "I love you?" I already told you once.
2. I'll do anything for sex; even commit to you for life.
3. I hate arguing with you. I'd much rather find a compromise.
4. I love long hair. Sorry, but I do.
5. When you speak softly, I can't help but listen.
6. I need to be told "no" sometimes. Not a lot, but every now and again reminds me that you are expensive.
7. Please don't ask me how you look unless you're willing to trust my answer.
8. My eyes notice other women a lot more when you are upset with me.
9. When you're happy with me I can't help but want to please you.
10. If I don't feel I can make you happy, it makes me feel less than a man.
11. I expect you to be ready when I pick you up.
12. Cigarettes make any woman look cheap and easy.
13. I'm scared if I let a woman inside my heart, she'll take advantage of me.
14. If you can't stand up to me when I'm a brat, you're too weak for me to open up to when I'm upset.
15. Sitting quietly next to me after you've made me a meal is your get-out-of-the-doghouse-free ticket. You'll be surprised how quickly I can forgive.
16. You did something hurtful. If I never bring it up, I'm considering leaving you.
17. I don't read minds. Remember, I'm not a girl.
18. You may know fashion, but I wish you'd dress to please me, not other women.
19. If I'm losing my hair, it's not funny. Would you like me to joke about your weight?
20. When I talk to you about golf and you act bored, it would be nice for you to remember all the times I listened to you talk about what is important to you.
21. The woman I love is easy to please. She appreciates the effort I put into making her happy, even if I get the details wrong.
22. You look hot in a dress.
23. I hate being told what to do when I don't ask for help. It makes me feel you're my mother.
24. If you sleep over, I might eventually marry you, but I'm less motivated.
25. During sex my ears are as sensitive to your words as your skin is to my touch.
26. I need some type of signal or cue to walk across the room and approach you. What if you're married!?
27. It makes me feel like you trust me when you ask for my advice.
28. It feels competitive when you insist on being in charge.
29. Being respected is more important to me that being loved.
30. I want every guy to envy me when we arrive as a couple. Please don't let yourself go.
31. When I'm upset I am very tone sensitive. How you say it is more important that what you say..
32. I hate it when you minimize/ignore my compliments. It makes me what to stop giving them.
33. I'm more insecure than you think. Why do you think I need your respect so much?
34. I don't always know how I feel. That's why I don't tell you.
35. I don't need you to do things for me. What I crave is being able to please you.
36. If I do one thing and say something contradictory - Go with my actions, that will always tell you what's in my heart.
37. I find myself wanting to please you when you simply smile at me without asking for something. (Like a favor).
38. I really don't want to hear about any of your ex-boyfriends, regardless of the point.
39. If I don't share what I'm thinking it's because I don't think you will listen without interrupting.
40. I don't like to argue and I don't like to guess what's wrong. Just tell me so I can fix it.
41. I love it when you put your hair in a pony tail. Yes, it's a Freudian thing.
42. Don't ask me, "Are you going to wear that?" when I'm already dressed.
43. A gentleman should always be respected by his lady in public, even if she is disagreeing with him.
44. If you don't believe you're pretty, you won't believe me when I tell you, no matter how many times I say it.
45. It isn't how much you weigh; it's that your body is proportionate which is so attractive.
46. Sometimes I have weird and strange thoughts. I don't take them seriously and I don't want to share them with you (or anyone).
47. Sometimes you really don't want to know what I'm thinking. See above.
48. If you cheat on me, it is nearly impossible for me to get over it.
49. I don't remember everything about our relationship and that doesn't mean I don't love you.
50. I need some time to myself to calm down when I'm upset so that I don't say something I will regret.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


I was never a religious person. Although I prayed when I was small-- you know, those kinds of prayers where you pray you won't get nightmares..
I have been... a catholic (birth till about 12 years old) and then I went to a Christian school and became a born again christian (this lasted about 3 years) and then I kindda went back to a catholic/buddist stage  where I went with the flow of the beliefs of my mom. (who is part catholic and part buddist)
It's funny how we categorized ourselves as part this and that... I have some friends who are 25% chinese, 75% filipino or 50% this and 50% that.. as if we can judge a person by the purity of their race. But I digress.... back to God.

For several years, I went on a "believer" but not a doer kind of existence.. (I believed in God but was never went to church)
I was having second thoughts about writing this topic but I guess this blog is for me to share my thoughts.. so I will. The last few weeks have been, to say the least, trying times. I found that when you are out of options and at what you feel is the lowest point, there is no one else you can really turn to but God.

I really didn't think God was listening to me. I had several prayers that I was asking God for help and guidance.. (I can't really go into detail about it) but the funny thing is, he found a way to answer them. I AM NOT KIDDING. -- note: never been evangelistic/religious in my life.

It was last weekend when my friend asked me to attend a "post Valentine" get together with a movie showing of some kind. I didn't know what movie it was she was going to show. When we finally got there, it was a Christian movie and the topic struck a chord. It was like EXACTLY the thing I was asking God about. It was like HE heard me and sent my friend to invite me to that movie to get my answers. I was overwhelmed by the movie. I started crying. After the movie, they handed out pamphlets. It was the Gospel of John. (the Christian counsellor who we were talking to asked us to read this gospel but I wasn't able to read all of it because the bible was a bit heavy to carry around) -- another voice of God.. he was telling me to read. Crying in the car.... (sorry, I cry very easily).. The point is, and this I really feel is VERY VERY true. God is there and He hears our prayers. It's just that we don't talk to him that much. We don't even try. I can't explain the deep deep connection to God I felt at that moment.


It was then I felt He would be there for me even at the most trying times in my life. When you have no one, you always have GOD.  I have been attending Sunday service at the Christian church near our house with my family. Yup. That is correct. Sunday Service. I feel comforted by doing this. It's like lying back on a chair and not falling over because something is supporting you and believe me. I need all the support I can get. (let me not get started on the recent earthquakes.. it's a bit scary)

I guess this is the start of me getting to know God again. (I am not afraid to admit it, although it may sound corny). I have a long way to go.


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