Monday, December 30, 2013

Repurposing Leftover Wrapping Paper

Although I has been a while since I used gift wrappers, gift-giving time we still end up with heaps of left over wrapping paper. Check out Yahoo! She for ways on how to reuse them.  

Friday, December 27, 2013

Repurposed Everyday Stuff for Storing Holiday Decor

I have to admit that we have not yet taken our Christmas lights down since the year before Alonzo was born. The old Christmas cards that I so enthusiastically framed on to our photo divider have even been there for far longer than that (gasp!). Last year's appreciation wreath (a tradition that I started three years ago) have also been on display the entire year, albeit unintentionally at first (will talk about that some other time).

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Gift Wrapping with Brown Paper Bags (again)

Brown paper bags are probably one of the easiest ways to wrap gifts. And, just like pattern paper it can potentially bring out the artsy, creative side in anyone. (Check out last year's gift wrapping craze).


You could be minimal by simply securing the seam with washi tape or you could go to the extreme by adding whatever embellishment you have at hand. 
We have accumulated quite a number of brown paper bags this year.
I actually tried to save all the plain ones and reuse them to wrap presents for the holidays.

Peace. Joy. Love. Hope. 
Have a blessed Christmas, everyone!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Repurposing Old Floppy Disks

I really had fun with this project. Last semester I needed to refer to my old files stored in shoebox full of floppy disks(you can imagine how old those files are). Unfortunately, the floppies were all damaged! In consolation, I turned those old and "useless" disks into something else... as in luggage tags! Check out Yahoo! She for more.  

Friday, December 13, 2013

Cornstarch Clay Ornaments

I made a lot of salt dough crafts in grade school. I remember how excited I got when I read a tutorial about it in a craft magazine at our school library. The recipe required some baking but at that time using the oven was out of the question -- it must have been either because I wasn't yet allowed to use it or I must have presumed our oven wasn't working because nobody ever used it at all. Anyway, I was absolutely thrilled to know that I could just leave the dough out under the sun to dry.
For my first project, I molded the dough into whatever odd shape I could think of (I remember I made a pair of little tsinelas) but a light bulb moment came and I realized that I could use the dough to make mini picture frames. Trust me, I made a lot of dough frames! Hmmm...I just might make a couple of dough frames one of these days for old times sake.
I am, however, now more drawn to use cornstarch instead of flour. I searched the internet for a flour recipe and discovered that cornstarch could actually give better results. By the way, these dough ornaments are for my son's friends from playhouse.
 I used a star-shaped cookie cutter at first but realized that the tips might be too sharp and "pointy" for the little kids. I also realized that rolling it out into small balls and flattening them down with my hand was a lot easier for me than having to use a rolling pin for the entire batch of dough. 
Here's the recipe for cornstarch clay recipe:
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 cup baking soda
1 1/8 cups water
Combine all the ingredients together and mix thoroughly in a sauce pan over low heat. Constantly stir until the mixture becomes really thick (kind of like mashed potatoes). Turn of heat and transfer mixture into a flat surface to cool. Knead and mold into shape. Set them aside to dry. These babies were left overnight on a baking sheet. They were also left out accidentally for a few hours inside the car!   
I also created little sachets made of parchment paper to hold each ornament and attached a basic label sticker.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

DIY Christmas Light Garland

Next to Christmas songs and carols nothing else could set the mood for the holiday season than the delightful glow brought about by the twinkling of Christmas lights. Make a garland of Christmas lights out of colored paper to hang along a window or decorate around your tree. These lights don’t twinkle but they are definitely just as bright and festive!

Materials needed:
Colored board paper
Green art paper
Black marker pen
Ribbon or yarn
Step 1: Fold and cut board paper in to desired size.
Step 2: Stack several pieces together and cut into the shape of a “bulb”.
Step 3: Stack green colored paper and cut into rectangles to make “bulb nozzles” or boquilla.
Step 4: Fold green paper in half.

Step 5: Glue the ends of the “nozzle” to attach the “bulb”.
Step 6: With a black marker draw “bulb wire and filament.
Step 7: Repeat steps 1-6 to make several pieces of different colors.

Step 8: Thread twirling ribbon through “nozzle” in alternating colors and glue in place. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Grilled Vegetable Pasta with Kesong Puti

 I love grilling vegetables. Asparagus...mushrooms...squash... name it! My sister-in-law and her best friend loved the grilled vegetables on ciabatta bread drizzled with pesto sauce that I made for them during a vacation in the province a few years ago. At that time they were both into the business of kesong puti making. They had a variety of kesong puti products: bottled kesong puti in olive oil with different herb combinations (my favorite is garlic and basil), spreadable kesong puti and even "Parmesan" kesong puti, which they labeled as "Promdi-sano Cheese" (get it?).


Anyway, the kesong puti went so well together with the grilled vegetables! Y-U-M-M-Y-! Here's another take on the vegetable-cheese combination.   
Spaghetti, 1 package 
Garlic, about 1 head, minced
White onion, 1 large, cut into thin rings
Olive oil
Eggplant, cut in half then into about 1/4 inch slices
Zucchini, cut in half then into about 1/4 inch slices
Red bell pepper
Kesong puti, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

Boil noodles and set aside.
Heat up grill and brush with olive oil.
Lay eggplants and zucchini over grill and brush with olive oil.
Sprinkle salt and pepper.
In the meantime, place bell pepper over an open gas burner and char  skin. Once charred  on all sides, set aside on a shallow bowl and cover to cool. Peel off skins and slice into bite sized-squares.
In a medium-sized pan over medium to low heat, pour olive oil.
Add onions and caramelize.
Add in garlic. Set heat on low and stir.
Add grilled eggplant, zucchini, peppers, capers and anchovy fillets.
Pour cooked pasta, season with salt and pepper as needed and stir well. 
Sprinkle kesong puti.
Serve hot.


Monday, December 2, 2013

DIY Hanging Christmas Tree

If not having enough floor space for a Christmas tree is a problem you might want to consider creating one that you can hang. Use ordinary wire, such as the ones used to make a clothesline or “sampayan”, and bend zigzag patterns to resemble a tree.
Make sure that your wire has a large enough gauge to be strong and stiff enough to hold its weight and whatever you want to hang on it. Suspend it on a door, by a window or any available wall space and use clothes pins to attach Christmas cards. You may also hang or attach small-sized envelopes or sachets containing little goodies and surprises. Label or number the envelopes so your hanging tree will also double as an Advent calendar.

Materials needed:
Wire cutter
Utility gloves

Step 1: Use pliers to make a small loop on one end of the wire
Step 2: Make a larger loop, about the same size of a clothes hanger

Step 3: Make successive zigzag bends of increasing width so that the outline resembles a triangle 

Step 4: Round off the end of the wire by make another small loop
Step 5: Hang and adorn  


Sunday, December 1, 2013

DIY Star Twig Ornament

This project reminds me of the straw parols I made last year. The steps are essentially the same but you might want to check Yahoo!She for the directions. 
 Twenty four day to go till Christmas! Yipeee!!!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Frugal Finds at Uniwide: Mix and Match Tea Cups, Saucers and More!

As you may already know, I consider Uniwide a treasure trove of just about anything. Without really "looking" I chanced upon a stack of small, assorted, floral plates and saucers.  
bread plates cost P15.00
while saucers are only P12.00 each
At that time I was concentrating on finding a couple more of ceramic owls which Mama asked me to get for her as well as the printed fabric I needed for the throw pillows.  So I tried to ignore the urge to at least check them out. That night, I had a hard time sleeping and had that familiar, nagging feeling that I get when smitten by something.

tea cups sell between P15.00 to P19.00

It took me three separate visits to Uniwide to "complete" my collection and to finally get my mind to stop obsessing about these lovely, dainty tea cups and saucers.

They also have creamer pots that sell for as much as a tea cup. I also found a sugar bowl for P14.00. The cover was missing but I bought it anyway! 

 I love how it evokes a shabby chic esthetic and how each piece casually goes well with each other.   

I am absolutely charmed by my new collection that it makes me want to host a tea party... And, I think I might just have the perfect occasion to do so.....

Thursday, November 28, 2013

"Ngiti Mo, Sagot Ko"

In lieu of our Christmas party, the Association of Philippines Orthodontists in coordination with the Ateneo Center for Educational Development had an outreach program last November 20 at the Manuel L. Quezon elementary school. 

Some of the kids were shy to show  their teeth...
...while others flashed their brightest smiles!

The objective of the outreach was to promote proper oral hygiene.  APO volunteers taught about 400 students from Grades 2-4 how to brush while members of the Luz C. Macapanpan Foundation provided free dental check-ups and treatment.

Cyril and Xilver volunteered
to be the "models" 

APO president, Dr. Laarni
with Cyril and Xilver

Dr. Katet showing the little girl
the proper way to brush
Dr. Chrys doing the "shake-shake-shake"

Dr. Boon and Dr. Claire
at the medication dispensary

The children's art works

APO members
Needless to say, the event so really tiring but nonetheless truly fulfilling and inspiring! It was also an opportunity to meet up and reconnect with fellow orthodontists and old classmates.  

Friday, November 22, 2013

DIY Personalized Christmas Gifts

For the past few years I have tried to give out hand made gifts for Christmas. The key word here is "tried". In a way I have semi-succeeded in this self-imposed resolution...somehow I managed to give hand-made gifts (Alonzo's bear pillow case, dip dyed and stenciled shirts) to the kids and adults last Christmas. Cookies, carrot cake and atchara count as hand-made, right?!!

Anyway, check out my article for Yahoo!She to make some easy, inexpensive and personalized Christmas gift items. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Throw Pillows Galore!

I might have mentioned several times how I wanted to make throw pillows for the living room? Now, I think I might have gone too far! Hubby and probably everyone else are thinking the same thing -- pillow overload!!! Okay, I get it. Yes, I got carried away.
Mama and I went shopping for fabric a few days ago.  I saw several lovely printed canvas material but this floral-paisley print (center pillow) at Cotton Depot really caught my eye. Printed canvas costs P120 per yard while plain, colored canvas costs P100. The other fabrics that we bought were based around the colors of this print. I easily spotted a plain, teal-colored canvas and decided to get some.
I love mixing patterns but this could be a little tricky and one can easily end up with a very distracting, haphazard and confusing design result.  It was a little difficult to find patterns that would compliment our base print. There was this sage-colored, leaf printed pattern canvas at the scrap fabric section. I'm not exactly crazy over the color and print but I think it goes well with our base print, so I got the remaining 3/4 yard.
I wanted to get another print but couldn't find anything more at Cotton Depot. The other fabric stores in Glorietta have a couple of printed patterns that I liked but they cost three to four times more! Then I remembered the mango-colored, geometric printed fabric from Uniwide which was used to make wall decor. So, from Makati we headed towards Uniwide (I was adamant to get all my fabric and finish the project by the long Halloween weekend). I was also worried that there wouldn't be any of the fabric left (after all, it only costs P69 per meter! I even saw in a design magazine that Heima has some pillows made of the same print). Thank God, they still had a roll and yes it still costs P69!!! I bought more fabric than I intended to get and had them made into 2 bolster pillows.
I'm happy with how it turned out and hopefully, achieved the Anthropology-esque esthetic that I was aiming for.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tuna Casserole

This recipe is a real crown pleaser. I usually serve this for brunch, potlucks and whenever I feel too lazy I prepare this even for dinner because it's fool proof and so easy to prepare! 
1 package macaroni, cooked
1 can all purpose cream
2 cans tuna in water, drained
1 block cheese, grated
1 onion, minced
2 cups mixed vegetables
1 tsp butter
1 bag potato chips, crushed (optional)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
Saute onion in butter until soft and tender. 
Add in tuna and mixed vegetables. Stir for a few minutes.
Add macaroni and mix together.
Pour cream and 1/2 of grated cheese. You may add a little pasta water if the mixture becomes too thick.
Remove from heat and pour on to a baking dish. 
Sprinkle crushed potato chips and Parmesan on top. 
Place in a pre-heated oven at 170 F for 10 minutes. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween 2013

Here's how we dressed Alonzo for this year's trick or treat -- as an SM hypermart bagger boy!
We scoured the malls for a plain, collared, neon green shirt but couldn't find one that fit the budget. We were about to settle for a branded one but luckily hubby found this shirt from Divisoria. I then attached the SM logo which was printed on sticker paper. The "sash" is a recycled strip of tarpaulin which I turned over and had sticker paper attached as well. 
We got him a "grocery basket" from Japan Home to finish the bagger boy look. Also, this cleverly served as his candy bucket!
Employee of the Month

 Happy to serve!

Happy Halloween!!!