Tuesday, December 27

Food: Martha Stewart Cookbooks

I love cookbooks. I am a sucker for recipes, especially those with yummy pictures... and Martha Stewart's Everyday Food series do not disappoint. The recipes she puts in her books are almost always very delicious and most importantly, super easy.

This third installment (I have both the first two... teehee!) will be released today. I am uber excited! So hurry up and grab your copies now!

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Friday, December 23

Crafts/DIY: Holiday Wrap No. 4


Here is my final holiday wrap for this year.

I am such a sucker for gold wrappers. I got different gold wrapper patterns from Kamuning market -- plain, polka dots and candy cane stripes. They're P5.00 a sheet (that's about 12 cents). I also bought some artificial holly berries (I think) to 'trim' my gifts which I got for about P35.00 per 20 pieces (about 81 cents). As for the ribbons, I bought them from Walmart and Target on sale last January.

Merry Christmas!

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Friday, December 16

Crafts/DIY: Holiday Wrap No. 3

I went to Kish in Makati a week ago and bought an exclusive gift wrapper designed by Isabel Gatuslao. It came in 10 sheets, each was about half of a regular sized gift wrapper sheet you find in National Bookstore. But the sheet was so much heavier.

The set was wrapped in white paper with Isabel's logo sticker. The design was a lovely artichoke pattern in black and white.

This is a simple wrapping method - no ribbons were used at all. I simply stuck a card using my black and white polka dot fabric tape.

The folded card was a gift from Crane and Co. 

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Saturday, December 10

Crafts/DIY: Gift Toppers

My sister made some gift toppers for Christmas, and they are adorable. Here are a few of them.

She only used the following materials:
* kraft paper stock
* red paper stock
* vellum
* single-hole paper fastener
* rhinestone fastener
* scalloped circle puncher if you're lazy to cut :)

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Friday, December 9

Crafts/DIY: Holiday Photo

Fonts used: Pea Luzel, BonvenoCF Light

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Sunday, December 4

Freebie: Santa's Letter and Gift

Mommies and daddies -- here is a Santa letterhead for the holidays. Download it for free here (link will not download automatically). Print it using a letter sized paper. To make it special, use linen or card stock.

I used yesterday's font freebie from Lost Type Co-Op.

Here's a matching gift tag too!

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Saturday, December 3

Freebie: Lavanderia Font Love

This is Lavanderia -- an open type font that was designed by James T. Edmondson. You can find it at Lost Type Co-op.

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Friday, December 2

Shopping: Bazaar Finds

When we visited my sister's stall at the Acropolis bazaar, I found some inexpensive graphic design books. They were displayed with authentic Cath Kidston and Orla Kiely items that were also for sale.

Here are the books I got:

They were such good bargains! I got both for P500 -- that's around $6 per book.

Here are snapshots of the pages of the 'Print & Pattern' book -- patterns from Cath Kidston, Jill Bliss and Orla Kiely! So, so inspiring.

Here are some pages from the smaller book called Patterns. Lovely too, right? I can't stop looking at them.

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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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