She's Making a List

My family is known as The Last Minute Shoppers. We'd shop for gifts on the eve of Christmas (yes, as in December 24. I'm not kidding.). I don't remember why we did this, but I think it was some twisted notion that there are less people shopping at that time (not true).

But this morning, I headed over to the mall with my friend Mimi (who taught me something about Christmas lists—print them on a spread sheet! Genius!) to get some Christmas shopping done. I loaded my list into my iPod (Woohoo! Purchase justified just a little more) and proceeded to update the file whenever I found something for someone (filed in neat columns: name, present, price).

I'm only halfway done but I can't wait to head to the mall again and tick off names from my check list. So amazing that this gadget, which I initially decided to buy because of Incredibooth (I know, I know), is actually super functional! d:

I finally changed the oh-so-creative Macy's iPod to utagai. Named it after my favorite Audrey Kawasaki print. It means "uncertainty" in Japanese. I wasn't really sure about getting it for myself (I've never really spent so much on a gadget) and we weren't really sure we were going to be able to buy it so soon. So yeah. Nameless gadget named!


Good Eats and the Good Things

And just like that, it's four days until December. Where did 2010 go? This week felt so long yet whizzed by just like that. I ate so much this week, I believe my stomach is hurting now because I overexerted it. Ugh.

Tomorrow will hopefully be a successful shopping trip for presents. I am on a mission to tick off all of those names on my list (which I will actually print out on a spreadsheet—inspired by super managing editor Mimi, haha). And I shall sneak in some yummy things (as if this week was not enough for my tummy) in between.

Hope you guys have a great weekend.

I'm thrilled that the fashionable bunny has been replying to my tweets. Haha, it's kind of hilarious how starstruck I am.


A Very Macy Christmas To You!

I've had this play list for a couple of years now and keep adding a few new songs I find on the Interwebs. I think my favorite is Jason Mraz ♥ Tristan Prettyman's "All I Want For Christmas (Is Us)." And also Belle & Sebastian's "12 Days of Christmas." And "Baby, It's Cold Outside" from the Elf sound track. Okay, maybe it's safe to say, I like all of the songs. I've got a few more from Sufjan Stevens and Belle & Sebastian but you can't upload more than 1 track from the same artist on 8tracks.

What's on your holiday play list?


The Good Things

This four-day week was tiring as hell but it was quite fun.

Monday started out with a field trip down South. I've always associated the South with the cemetery because that's where my Mom's parents and siblings are buried. The last time I went there, I got into a huge fight with my Mom because... well, I was being a brat. I have a horrible family picture to prove it—with my scowl in the foreground. Harrr. Buuut this trip was nothing like that. Ramen and Cheese Gyoza, Serenitea, Zombieland, M&M Pretzels, and my brand new toy.

Tuesday was a holiday and although I love staying home, sometimes mid-week holidays are strange. You get the "weekend is over" feeling twice in one week! I had my nails painted and stamped with a pretty lace-like pattern. Will write about it for our site soon. I can't stop staring at it and I'm being extra careful with my hands so my polish won't chip.

Wednesday was a terribly busy day. A cover shoot in the morning (the model was great so we were finished in record time) and a round table interview with David Archuleta (who is possibly the most adorable boy in the world!). Then there was a wonderful surprise because we got to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in IMAX (thanks to the wonderful people at WB!). I loved it! And Dobby certainly wins best house-elf in a supporting role, hands down. I have mixed feelings about July. Excited, because I want to see the second half. Sad, because it really is over. I want to re-read all the books, but I only have the first four. HAHA, the rest I read on my computer. O:

Thursday was quite busy but uneventful. Except for my ride home, which freaked me out. The cab I got was old and the driver was sick (he opened the door to spit—IN THE MIDDLE OF EDSA WHILE WE WERE GOING AT FULL SPEED). The car stopped in the middle of the road and he had to fill up the tank with gas from a mineral water bottle. I clutched my rosary and bottle of Holy Water (my boss's pasalubong from her trip to Europe) the entire way home. Then when I paid the driver P200, he gave me P270 for my change! I returned the P100 and he said sorry. He must've felt how incredibly anxious I was.

The Aftermath
The Aftermath
Originally uploaded by the best kind of nice
Yesterday, I had my first ever Wee Nam Kee experience. We tried the Chicken Rice with steamed and roast chicken. 2 kinds of kangkong (I liked the one with crispy garlic bits—I had three small servings!) and cereal prawns. I'm definitely going back, but maybe when the hype has died down and it won't be too hard to get a table.

Today, I woke up at 5am like an old woman. And I think it's going to be a good day. (:


Touchy Feely

Not too long ago, I posted on Facebook that I wanted a white iPhone 4 or the new iPod Touch for my birthday. It was part wish and part declaration—and I knew I was going to get it one way or another.

A few weeks ago, my friend told me she was selling gadgets for a lot less than retail prices. Roch and I didn't even think about it and placed our orders for the iTouch 4th Gen (64G). A few days later, my friend told me the bad news that they'd run out of stocks for the 64G model and they didn't know when the supplies would be replenished. We were already resigned to the fact that we'd have to wait when her brother got us each an iPod at the Apple Store. We asked him to return the gadgets because they cost almost P20k each! Eep. Then just two weeks ago, we ordered from Amazon (well, Roch did. I have no idea about online shopping anything) and it was delivered to her brother's friend's house on my birthday (my birthday!). And yesterday...

Can you say giddy? Hahaha. My friend caught all of it on camera but I'm too embarrassed to post all the pictures here. This I-won-an-award photo will have to do!

I'm proud to say I did get some sleep (slept a little bit after midnight—but woke up at 6:30. I am such an old person) but that might be because my battery ran low. Hehehe.

I was excited to sync it with my computer and transfer all (yes, ALL!) my music but apparently, this jurassic computer's iTunes needs to be updated first (and it's taking FOREVER!). So until then, I shall try to get 3 stars on Level 1-21 of Cut the Rope.


I ♥ My Driving Queens

These girls were my constants in college. I love them and I'm glad they planned this weekend for me. I missed all four of us together and this weekend was the best!

This is the longest birthday celebration I've ever had. And it's not even done yet! Celebrating with my fellow Candy Novembers on Wednesday! I can't wait! (: Hope y'all had an awesome weekend, too!


Dinner with my Girlfriends

When I turned 16, I had a party at my house. My mom cooked food and had them lined up on a long table in these fancy-looking chafing dishes. All my friends came and we ended up walking to the park right before everyone left.

This became some sort of tradition since. I'd celebrate my birthday every year with the same chafing dishes and walk to the park. I had the best memories looking back at those parties. I have a stack of photos from one of my parties and we apparently passed them around in class and doodled notes at the back. My friends always remembered how we'd all troop down to the village park before they headed home.

A couple of years ago, I was heartbroken and didn't feel like throwing a party. That and my mom was already sick. My friends decided not to break the tradition and planned a surprise dessert party for me. I had the most cakes I've ever had in my life on that day. It was amazing and I felt so loved.

This year, we just all headed to the mall and had dinner and coffee after work. Nothing extraordinary but it was great!

We tried a new restaurant and although there were a few hits and misses (don't order the paella if you're expecting, well, paella), I enjoyed my Salpicao Fried Rice. (:

I used to be the one to arrange our weekly dinners but somewhere along the past year, I kind of stopped. I got busy with work and for the first time in my life, I actually forget to reply to people's messages! Eep.

My friends say there must be something about my birthday because no matter what, we all come together for it. Even if I've stopped having parties or we can't go to the village park anymore, I know that when I ask my friends if we can have dinner, they'll make time for it.

We weren't complete but this is actually the most people we've had in a long while. <3

Oh, and of course we had cake!

What an awesome birthday. (: And it's not over yet! I'm headed out this afternoon to have a slumber party with my college best buds. And then I'm coming home to a family lunch on Sunday. Life is good. Hope you all have a good weekend! (:


My Menagerie

I don't remember when I got so fascinated with giraffes and owls. All I know is that I now have 3 owl necklaces, 2 giraffe necklaces, 1 giraffe ring, 1 owl ring, 1 owl shirt, and 1 owl pouch.

The two newest additions to my humble collection: a sparkly giraffe necklace (Forever 21) that I couldn't put down even after my self-imposed shopping ban and the purdiest owl ring (cache cache) from my boss. Funny how I was just looking at the exact same ring last Saturday but I didn't buy it because I just got the giraffe necklace. I guess all things just work out in the end. d:


Old Friends

I love getting together with old friends. You just pick up from where you left off and it's like those months of not seeing each other didn't really happen.

I met up with Em, Mika, and Stephie over the weekend to eat unhealthy food (sorry, Em!) and catch up. Would you believe me if I told you I met all of them on the Internet? Because I kind of did. (:

If you read my sidebar, you'll know that I've had a site since 1997 and I've been blogging (manually before Blogger, haha!) since then, too. My friends didn't understand why I had a site or why I had all these friends online. "What do you talk about? Isn't it weird?" were some of their questions. I don't remember what I told them. To be honest, I think these people I would talk with everyday, these people who read my thoughts through LiveJournal, knew more about me than my friends who I'd see once a week. It doesn't seem strange at all now that we've crossed the line from talking to each other through screens to actually talking to each other face-to-face.

Which is not to say I don't love my friends—the ones I've known even before I owned a computer much less knew anything about the Net. I do! But all I'm saying is I don't have offline and online friends. They're all... well, friends.

Anyway, the point is—if I ever had a point—it was great getting together with them, laughing about the same things, talking about what's been going on, updating each other about any progress in anyone's life, and then making plans to do it again. I super enjoyed and can't wait 'til the next time!


Soupy Dumplings

I don't like soupy dumplings. Or at least that's what I remember. I just tried it when my friend Mimi brought some as her baon. I think I may have confused it with the sauce, which had a very strong ginger taste. Maybe that's why I always thought I didn't like it.

So last week, I went to this new place that supposedly has good soupy dumplings. I wasn't looking forward to it, but I was looking forward to yummy Chinese food. I was with Mimi and Stephie who both had eaten in the resto, here and abroad. I've never been, period. We got there a little past 11am and we already had to take a number. But the wait wasn't that long and we were in our booth seats in maybe 15 minutes.

They did the ordering save for the Chicken with Cashew Nuts in Spicy Sauce because I like anything with cashews and I was curious. We got the Crispy Eel (sweetand crunchy!), this noodle soup with a peanut-y broth (I removed the spring onions and wansoy that came with the spoon. Ick.), and of course, Xiao Long Bao.

The tray of soupy dumplings arrived steaming hot! But I didn't bite into it until in the middle of the meal so some of the soup might have either evaporated or got absorbed into the meat. I decided to skip the sauce and the verdict is: I like soupy dumplings just not with that ginger sauce. I had two despite my already hard tummy (note to self: stop eating when your stomach is as hard as your forehead, hehehe). And I wouldn't mind having just that. And maybe the chicken because I liked it a lot even if it was a bit spicy.

I was stuffed and didn't even get to finish the noodle soup. We split the bill among the 3 of us and it came out around P350 for each of us. I say not bad! I didn't even have dinner that night anymore because I was too full. That, and well, I had a large cup of Hokkaido. Heh.

Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao
V-Mall Greenhills Shopping Center
Greenhills, San Juan
570-6910, 570-6912
Operating Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.


Thanks, Mikkomix!

My friend Mikko from Alaska has always been an enabler. She gave me a domain on my birthday and paintedcloud.com was born. When that expired, she hosted me under her domain that changed names over time. Whenever I'd want to order something online, she'd offer to get it for me and then I'd pay her when she'd come home to visit. We'd fuel each others' dreams of building a bake shop (mine) and a bookstore (hers) and promise that we'd build it someday.

When she told me that she and Tita Tocy (her mom who showers me with such generous baking presents) were putting together a small package for me, I got excited for cupcake liners. That's it. When her cousin told me that the package was ready to be picked up from their house, I asked the driver to drop by for it after he brought my brothers to work.

He arrived with a larger than normal shoebox plus a plastic bag of cupcake liners (so pretty!). I was wondering, what else could be inside the box? I had to go to work but I couldn't resist not peeking. I pulled out a dress, 2 skirts, plus a bunch of Ziploc-ed accessories. I was nowhere near unpacking even half of it. My dad was laughing at me because I couldn't contain my excitement. I put everything back and said, "I'm going to do this tonight so I can savor it!" Hahaha.

So I went to work, had yummy Chinese food, got a pretty surprise from my friend at the shoot, had my favorite milk tea from Serenitea, and COULD. NOT. WAIT. TO. GO. HOME.

I carefully unpacked each item and took a pic (haha). I wasn't going to post the pics but I had a hard time finding the stuff online, hehe. Can't wait to wear everything (I'd wear them all together if I could!). This should curb my shopping urges for a while, right? I should keep reminding myself. d:

Got some cute new spatulas plus pretty cupcakes liners, too! My dad had my oven checked out and sadly we have to wait for the service center to check if they've still got parts for it. Apparently, it's an old model that's already been phased out. Please cross your fingers, toes, and eyes that it can still be fixed. I want to bake again!

Anyway, you guys have an awesome weekend. (:


Two Movies in a Row

I used to be The Girl Who Watches Movies on TV. I'd literally wait for movies to be shown on HBO rather than watch them in the cinema. It's not really by choice. Most of the time, I don't have anyone to watch them with. Besides, watching a movie while you're on your bed without anyone else in the room is not so bad. You won't have to sit through two hours of someone who keeps kicking your seat from the back (haaate when that happens!).

Anyway, I got to see two movies this week: Due Date and You Again. So I am now The Girl Who Catches Movies in Cinemas Once in a While. (:

photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Due Date was hilaaarious. Even from the trailer, I was already laughing. Zach Galifianakis is so funny! I haven't seen The Hangover (still waiting for it to be shown on TV—I'm kidding!) but my friends told me I should go watch it. If only to see him and laugh out loud again, I probably will.

photo courtesy of Touchstone Pictures

My friend Kaich told me that two of my favorite Kristin/Kristens (Chenoweth and Bell, respectively) were in a movie together. I had already read about it by way of Twitter (like all news spread these days) and I couldn't wait to watch it! I think I'd watch anything with some sort of high school theme to it (Easy A, you're next!) so it's no surprise I liked this movie, too. The end was a treat, too, since I was hooked on The Bird and the Bee's tribute album to Hall & Oates a while back. (:

Anyway, it's time to catch with my TV series now. Still behind on Dexter, Chuck, and Glee! What have you been watching?


Songs I Like: Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi "I See the Light"

I'm a big fan of Disney and their movies' OSTs. I used to have Aladdin's OST memorized from Side A to Side B (Come closer, closer... Not that close!), which I think is the best Disney sound track ever. I remember playing the tapes on my Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and Aladdin sound tracks thin.

My brother told me about a song from Disney's Tangled sung by Rapunzel (Mandy Moore) and Flynn (Zachary Levi). I immediately Googled it to hear the song.

It's no surprise that I love it because the man who's behind the song is the exact same guy who did the scores for Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and The Little Mermaid—Alan Menken! And it doesn't hurt that Zachary Levi's voice sounds like a true Prince Charming's. ♥