Thursday, February 28

Electrolux HUSH Happier at Home

I lived with my parents until a bit after college. It may be unheard of in other parts of the world, but here in the Philippines, it's pretty common. I grew up having helpers in our home, and that meant having someone cook, clean, do the laundry, and drive for you. Yes, I lived the easy life.

When I went to the US for graduate studies, I had to do everything myself. That meant learning to cook food (and rice), clean the house, and do the laundry. I learned how to drive when I was 16, and I was driving to school almost everyday during college days. I thought doing chores was actually pretty fun, especially with the technology available like dishwashers, rice cookers, vacuum cleaners, blenders, food processors, washers and dryers.

I got married a few years later. My husband and I both enjoy staying home during the weekends and relax. He's a movie and video game fan, and I love cooking and baking. We just bought our own place in a nice and peaceful neighborhood. Watching movies on TV and eating home-cooked meals during the weekends was our way to spend time with one another. The best thing about staying at home is we get to talk and have fun without spending a dime, even if it means we have to do housework together. I usually prepare food for both of us, while he cleans our house.

Can you just imagine the noise? We get rewarded after though. We feast on the yummy food, appreciate our clean house, and enjoy the peace and quiet.

Time passed, and now I am a mom -- a mommy to a beautiful little girl who wakes up to the tiniest noise. When she was still an infant, I would go do the laundry when she's awake. Our washer was inside the house and it makes the loudest noise. I couldn't vacuum the floors/carpet because it is louder than the washer. I was dying to get a new washer and a new vacuum cleaner that didn't make so much noise, but we knew we were moving back to our dear old country. Whenever I needed to clean, my husband had to go out to the park with Allie, and I would quickly use the vacuum cleaner on our floors.

I waited and waited for technology to catch up with my silent wish (pun intended), and now it's here in the Philippines. Electrolux brought in a couple of the noisiest home appliances and turned the volume down.

I swear, this is pure genius. How would you like to get your hands on a blender that is about 10 times quieter than an average blender?

With the Electrolux Powermix SILENT Blender, I can now make smoothies and slushes without disturbing anyone, and yes, I can have a normal conversation with family while using it. I don't need to shout or turn the blender off.

Just because it's quiet it doesn't mean it doesn't do the job. It still does.

How about a quiet vacuum cleaner that won't wake up the baby? Sign me up!

This Electrolux Ultrasilencer Green boasts minimal noise level without compromising power and performance. It's environment-friendly as well. It's made from over 50% recycled plastic and very energy efficient. Perfect for the environmentally conscious. Best of all, the exhaust air is cleaned by more than 99.99% before releasing it back. Are you sold yet?

It looks gwapo pa.
If you want to know more about these amazing products, head on to the Electrolux Philippines Website.

You can also follow their twitter account @ElectroluxPH for more updates.

Pin It!

Wednesday, February 27

Inspiration: Ladders, Ladders, and More Ladders

Ladders are wonderful things. They are useful in the kitchen when you need to get that hard-to-reach Speculoos Cookie Butter in the pantry... or maybe in the library when you want that Pride and Prejudice copy that you placed on the top shelf.

But you know, you can use ladders to decorate an empty space, or repurpose it into something else. Here are some ideas I found on what you can do with ladders.

Just make sure to get bamboo or some wood that resists humidity.
You can do these shelves yourself; it only requires 
at least one ladder, or more of the same kind, and long planks of wood.

Reach your upper cabinets using this library style ladder.
Make use of the vertical stacking space of a stepladder to store books,
lamps and other stuff beside your bed.

Just hang on the wall, and the rungs serve as your dividers.
This ladder becomes thinner at the top; it was installed so that one side was horizontal.

Roll up your sleeves and get an old ladder. This one has step-by-step photos.
Here's another way to repurpose a ladder.

What a lovely way to hang towels. Oh, and did I mention this is eco-friendly?
Use branches from your garden and hang some pail of flowers on each rung.

Got some other ideas? Do share.

Pin It!

Sunday, February 24

Baby: A Little TMI Might Help

As I type this post, my baby's now fast asleep, comfortable on the king-size bed beside me. During the past couple of days, she was feeling constipated. She would stop whatever she was doing. Then, she would try to hold on to something and push. Usually, she would squeeze her legs together and bend. You see, she's not potty-trained yet, but we are going to start soon.

This morning was the beginning of the third day of non-poop. As advised by her pedia way back then, we put a little bit of olive oil in her milk to make poop pass easily. We've been doing that, but she was still constipated. Normally, she poops once every day. So, this morning, I decided to send a text message to her pedia. Yes, we can do that here in Manila. Her pedia was very accomodating too. This medical convenience frees us from having to go to wherever the clinic was on a Sunday. Most likely, it's closed. See, specialty doctors in here in the Philippines usually have multiple clinics around the metro. Anyway, I just texted our pedia about Allie, reminded him about his age (very important!), and what she's going through. After five minutes, I got a reply on what meds/dosage to give her.

My husband and I went out to Mercury Drug (it's like our CVS version) to get Dulcolax suppository for children. Once we were home, I gave her one. It took about one hour for her poop to come out. She was crying while trying to push it out. We gave her milk because she wasn't able to eat much breakfast. Then we let her watch Phineas and Ferb on her iPad, just so she'd be more comfortable.

Sigh. It really kills me when I know she's having a hard time. Every mommy fiber in me wanted to just take away all her pain.

When her poop finally came out, I shouted to my husband, who was playing Dead Space downstairs, "It's out!". I swear, I've never felt more relieved in my entire life. Whew.

I thought maybe this experience can help others. So I decided to go to BabyCenter (my go-to source for baby and toddler information) and read about toddlers and constipation. So, what makes toddlers constipated? According to BabyCenter, the usual suspects are:

Low-fiber foods. My daughter is at the age where she knows she can say no to the foods we give her. So this is a hard one for us. She loves to eat mac and cheese, ice cream, yogurt, and other dairy products. But she wouldn't touch any fruits or vegetables, except if it's cucumber. She loves the crunch of cucumbers. Maybe I can sneak in vegetables like potatoes or cauliflower in her mac and cheese, or give her fruit juice with her breakfast. What about carrot cake or orange muffins? Maybe she'll like those.

Toilet Anxiety. I think my daughter has this. Signs of toilet anxiety include stiffening her body, arching her back and getting red in the face, but nothing comes out. This actually are signs that she's holding it in, which in turn, leads to larger stools, making it more difficult for her to pass. Haay.

Dehydration and Lack of Activity. Like adults, constipation is also caused by dehydration and lack of activity. Less fluids make our body absorb fluids from what we eat, making poop harder and drier. Activity helps blood flow to the digestive system naman. We try to give our daughter lots of liquids every day, and she runs and walks everywhere too. I think we are okay on this.

If you want some other ideas to help a constipated toddler, head on to BabyCenter for more.

Pin It!

Saturday, February 23

Shopping: American Eagle Outfitters

Looks like American Eagle Outfitters is hitting the Philippine shores soon! I wonder what the price range would be. Hmm!

Pin It!

Wednesday, February 20

Food: Kouign Amann

Pronounced as queen a-mahn, this yummy dessert hails from Brittany, France. It is the specialty of the best French bistro in the city, Brasserie CiÇou. Kouign Amann, literally means butter cake, in Breton. It is caramelized laminated sweet dough that is similar to puff pastry if you ask me.

My one and only run-in with Kouign Amann is the one I had at Brasserie CiÇou, and I think it is excellent. I've been wanting to make some but I am intimated of using yeast. I guess I will just have to live vicariously through my baker readers who can tell me if these recipe links I'll be posting are good.

Braserrie CiÇou's menu actually spells it Kouing-Aman. But in other websites, it is Kouign Amann. I am not sure which one is correct. I've posted about Braserrie CiÇou yesterday here if you want to read about it. Anyway, just look at the photo below. They serve it with yummy salted caramel ice cream and some lacy cookie. Okay I am now salivating just by looking at it.

Here are some promising recipes you have to try if you're a fan of Kouign Amann.

* David Leibovitz has tips on how to make the best Kouign Amann, and his recipe comes with photos too.
* The Purple Foodie has step-by-step photos that go with the recipe. They look like cinnamon rolls.
* Chef Eddy Van Damme's recipe for 10.

Have fun!
Pin It!

Tuesday, February 19

Food: Brasserie CiÇou

Here's another food post. Come to think of it, I actually got a ton of backlog posts about food. But I'll try to put in some other topics for my other readers.

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending a welcome home / going away party of one of my cousins. We had it at Brasserie CiÇou up in Greenhills, right beside O.B. Montessori at Annapolis. One of my other cousins is a chef there, and she has nothing but great words to describe their food. So we decided to go.

It was dinner, and my good camera ran out of batteries. So pardon the dark iPhone shots. Head on to Our Awesome Planet's review for better food camera shots. I promise I will go back, armed with my good camera, and during lunch.

Brasserie CiÇou is a French bistro with clean, simple decor. I love the color of their tables and chairs. The style is very 'farmhouse'. The wood pallet wall on the left photo reminded me of what Katie Bower of Bower Power did on her little boy's nursery here. There's a DIY there, so in case you're wondering how to do it, make sure to visit her site. They also reused wine corks and fabric to tie the curtains. Cool huh?

Another DIY-able decor is the wine bottle chandelier. I swear, Brasserie CiÇou's interior designer is so crafty.

At the far end of the restaurant is a giraffe statue surrounded by ornament potted plants. There is also a curtained dining space near the kitchen -- I think they are perfect for wine drinkers. Murals adorn the walls near the giraffe statue, and it reminds me of my old school days (yes, my alma mater is the school beside it). It has an image of Saint Francis of Assisi and some angels.

Here is the main dining area.

The Pan-Seared Salmon (with bellpepper, marble potatoes, eggplant zucchini in olive oil, vierge sauce) -- very good, in my opinion. I had to taste some from my mom.

One of my uncles had the Braised Ox Tongue, which I should HAVE ordered, instead of my Paillard de Boeuf. I was sooo jealous. Haha! It was heavenly.

(From top to bottom) Pan-Seared Salmon, Braised Ox Tongue,
Home-Made Garlic Sausage, Paillard de Boeuf

My sister had the Home-Made Garlic Sausage with lentils and red wine sauce. I think this one doesn't quite top our list. It was too nakakasuya (any Filipinos who know what this translates to, in English?).

I felt what I ordered (Paillard de Boeuf) was a bit salty. When I asked my brother what he thought of his Paillard de Boeuf, he said it was good. I guess it was only mine that was not.

You know, in almost all events I attend, I feel like I always get the short end of the stick. Something is almost always wrong with my food. If I were still in the US, I would have gotten my food for free, or get a discount just by complaining. Sigh, how I wish consumers here in this country has the greater power.

Here's the view of the kitchen.

Whenever I eat at Brasserie CiÇou, I always, always look forward to their desserts. They NEVER EVER disappoint.

Chocolat Moulleax, Creme Brulee, Kouign Amann. Every single one just made me want to get some more. My favorite is Kouign Amann (pronounced as queen a-mahn). It deserves a post by itself. The dessert is basically caramelized laminated sweet dough with salted caramel ice cream. Sigh, if only I can have this everyday.

My daughter enjoyed, for the most part, the lounge area of the restaurant. They have couches, daybeds, light sabers, and a play/game area. Perfect for kids!

Brasserie CiÇou
57 Annapolis Street,
Greenhills, San Juan
+63 2 661 9200

Pin It!

Thursday, February 14

Food: IHOP in Metro Manila

Breakfast lovers -- it's finally here! IHOP has come to Manila, and I got to preview the place (and taste the food) yesterday. It is the first in the Asia Pacific region, with plans of putting up 5 more in Metro Manila, totaling to about 20 in the Philippines.

One of the prerequisites whenever we travel to the States is to somehow eat at least once at IHOP. I am sure you've heard about International House of Pancakes. But if you haven't yet, maybe you're living under a rock -- haha, kidding. Seriously, they serve the most amazing omelettes, pancakes and french toasts!

It is located at the W Global Center at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, and the space boasts a light and airy interior, sans the barn/cottage/blue gable roof we are all accustomed to.

Pin It!

Tuesday, February 12

Love: Lego Minifigs

Sometime last year, we went to one of our go-to malls in Buckhead, and we saw that Legoland Discovery Center has occupied what used to be the food court on the top floor. I was super excited but bummed at the same time. Excited because it was something new, but bummed because Allie was still too young to enjoy it.

We decided to go in the store anyway.

I always love to look around Lego sets. I saw these cute minifigs keychains.

Woody --

Buzz --

Captain Jack --

Want some Star Wars minifig keychains?

Anyway, here is an infographic showing interesting facts about Lego minifigs. I want the gold one!

Pin It!

Friday, February 8

Inspiration: House Lamps

In the literal sense. How cute are these?

[1] Good Night Lamp via Design Milk
[2] Creative House-Shaped Night Lamp via Mini in the Box
[3] House Lights by Kristian Aus via Home Reviews

Pin It!

Fashion: Hermès x Comme des Garçons

Another collaboration has finally made its way out. The "Comme des Carrés" scarf collection is a feast for the eyes. Each one is art on its own. If I could, I would get my two favorites. I will probably secure them on black frames, and put them in my forever living room.

Copyright Hermes. Via highsnob

Copyright Hermes. Via hypebeast.

Do you like them as much as I do?

Well, I heard they retail between $550 and $720. You can get them at COMME des GARCONS in Paris, New York and Tokyo, and at Dover Street Market in Ginza and London.

Pin It!

Thursday, February 7

Crafts/DIY: Easy Hang

Do you have a hard time pounding a nail on your plywood wall (or concrete wall for that matter) to hang that cute little canvas art you have? I never had a hard time when our house used to have drywalls. But now, most of the walls I encounter are either made from plywood or concrete.

My sister got this cute "You are my sunshine" canvas art for her birthday. Her boyfriend gave it to her. Sweet huh? Well, her room walls are all concrete. So her canvas art pretty much stayed on the floor for about a month.

Enter 3M's Command Picture Hanging Strips. 3M boasts that it can carry up to 16 lbs! You don't need to drill or put nails. No more holes, cracked plaster or sticky residue, they say. Then, if you want to take the art down, it's easy to remove.

Look, the artwork is finally up. Painless and easy to put in place.

Have you discovered some other easy way to hang photos or art?
Pin It!

Wednesday, February 6

Food: P.F. Chang's at BGC

P.F. Chang's used to be only at Alabang. They finally opened one at Bonifacio Global City, at W Global Center. This new location makes P.F. Chang's more accessible for diners living in the northern and central part of the metro.

In every P.F. Chang's that I've been at, in and out of the country, they have their signature horse figures flank each side of the entrance.

The space has two floors. No elevators though, so the stairs require actual exercise. All 29 steps. Haha.

Five ancient hand-painted Chinese murals adorn the walls of the dining areas. A Taiwanese friend told me that the red stamps you see on Chinese paintings tell the history of its ownership.

Wood rafters occupy the ceiling space with a range of lighting choices -- all of which have warm lighting. One thing I learned from design school is that restaurants that want you to stay longer often use yellow or warm lights. They make food look good. Go ahead, check out those fast food joints; they usually have white light. White light makes food look blah, which in turn make you eat faster and leave sooner.

Of course, the terracotta warriors at P.F. Chang's will never go away. I got a miniature chocolate version of this one as a gift from P.F. Chang's during their media launch.

If I could describe the media luncheon, it was a foodie heaven. Just look at the menu.

Of course, their plate of special sauces is there. They mix the hot mustard with the soy, vinegar and chili paste.

Top row: Distilled white vinegar, soy sauce, chili oil
Bottom row: hot mustard, soy sauce, chili paste

The last time I got invited at P.F. Chang's, I was treated to their Asian Pear Mojito, which I really love. This time, I wanted to try something refreshing, and our waiter recommended the Honey Dew Cucumber Smoothie. It was excellent! It would have been perfect if there was no whipped cream. I like my smoothies slush, and uhmm, lower fat.

Top row: Honey Dew Cucumber Smoothie, Chang's Mai Tai (I think)
Bottom Row: Royal Poolside, Asian Pear Mojito
Just for clarification, I only had the smoothie, and none of the cocktails ha. Buti nalang, because I had to drive back home earlier than expected because of some misunderstanding with AAV people. Grr. Anyway, the folks at P.F. Chang's must have known my love for their Chicken Lettuce Wraps, because that's what came out first. But seriously, if you have not tried it yet, you should. You won't be disappointed. It's their best seller.

After that, the food just kept on coming and coming. Obviously, the Chicken Lettuce Wraps are my favorite of the bunch. The Dynamite Shrimp (pictured in a martini glass) came a close second. I also enjoyed the Seared Ahi Tuna, which was very fresh, by the way. The sauce and salad dressing complement one another. The Pork Dumplings is also a staple Chinese food, but P.F. Chang's reminded me of Japanese Gyoza. It wasn't memorable enough for me. The Crab Wontons, on the other hand, looks so fancy. They taste good too.

Below are their Sichuan-style Asparagus and Lo Mein.

The main dishes were really yummy. Chang's Spare Ribs is moist and tangy. The Shrimp with Candied Walnuts is a surprise because it came with honeydew balls. I didn't think the honeydew will work with the sauce, but amazingly, it did. You must try it. The Spicy Chicken was okay. The Mongolian Beef was really yummy. The green onions were just too much though. The dish can be called Green Onions with Caramelize Beef. Haha. It's still one of my favorites.

One thing I must say about P.F. Chang's dishes is that unlike authentic Chinese food, their food is never too oily, and is presented (and cooked) very consistently. At least here in the Philippines (so kudos to you P.F. Chang's Philippines).

I was only able to take pictures of the desserts. I had to go early. But based on my previous P.F. Chang's experiences, you can never go wrong with these two. Keep in mind, though, when you order the Great Wall, there must be at least 4 people in your table, or that you must be really really hungry. It's ginormous!

To celebrate the opening of its second location, P.F. Chang's offers a 20% rebate for every P1,000 dine-in purchase this coming Chinese New Year on February 10. It's a one-day offer folks, so make sure to drop by!

P.F. Chang's 

W Global Center
Bonifactio Global City
+63 2 664 5956

Alabang Town Center
+63 2 869 7837
Pin It!

Monday, February 4

Drink: Ginger Tea and Sympathy

I've been sick for the past couple of days, so I wasn't able to post stuff recently. I started with an itchy throat. I feel a lot better, although I still have the sniffles. My constant companion? Twinings of London Lemon and Ginger tea with a little bit of sage honey. :)

It reminded me of The Spa's ginger tea. Although that one is so much better -- it has this pandan and caramelized sugar taste. 

But for now, Twinings will do.

Pin It!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...