Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sisig at Midnight

After a late night of watching DVDs, we (I, my sister, and Em) decided to go to Icerberg’s for something to eat. My sister and I ordered their really good sisig XD The manager took care of us and she was a really nice lady (^.^)

One of the best sisig I have ever tasted :3

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Flan Face

Mr. Flan Face

Sorry, but it’s a bit blurry. I am still posting it though to show off the Face XD

This is leche flan made by my sister. It’s her first time to make it but I think it already tasted perfect. It has just the right “thickness” so I love the texture, and I love eating it cold XD

Coffee Tower

It would be great to have a coffee tower XD

Coffee Tower in Farmville

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Momo-chan

Mini-me XD I just decided to take photos of the kokeshi doll I got from Japan before. I bought three of them - one went to my sister and the other went to our other friend. I picked the ones that mostly closely resembled us XD 

So anyway this is my mini-me, and I named her after me as well XD 

Kochira wa Momo-chan desu (^_^)


Let Go, and Enjoy

Over a week ago, I was going through a totally hyper state. I was constantly glowing, I was full of energy, and I was doing one thing after another, hardly stopping at anything. It was not like a frantic, busy state which I had to be in. I was simply inspired. Because of that, I did not need any convincing to get on my feet and get things done. The best part was that I was completely enjoying every minute of it. I love those phases. 

And then, sometime when this week started, I noticed that my high energy level gradually "normalized" again, and has now plateaued. This means that I am not in any lazy mode, but I am not overly enthusiastic either. I have just the right level of energy to get me through the day and get things done. It is as if I slowed down a bit, but just enough so that I can enjoy whatever I should be doing. 

In a nutshell, I have moved from the Inspired Phase to a Fully Functional Phase. In the Inspired Phase, I was particularly driven by the thought of a person I look up to. Now, of course I still look up to him, but since the start of this week, I just naturally shifted to a calmer, more functional mode, where he does not play a major role. 

For a while, a part of me wondered and became worried what "killed" the Inspired Phase. However I realize that it is not that my inner drive has dissipated; I am just going through all these natural phases. And while I am in the Fully Functional Phase now, I should just do what I can while I am in it, and enjoy being in it, just as I enjoyed being in the Inspired Phase. It should not matter whether my inspiration is working full time on me right now or not. Surely, it will come back. All I need to do is let go of my thoughts about it, and enjoy my current phase.

In the same manner, we can always just simply find the joy in doing something, without having to think so much about it. A couple of things came to my attention recently, which led me to realize that I should not think so much about my transition from one phase to another, but rather, let go of these thoughts that make me worry and over-think, and enjoy where I am. 

Screenshot image from the game Farmville by Zynga

One is about all the fuss that has emerged because of Farmville. Farmville is one of the most popular games in Facebook now. Clearly, this game is here to be enjoyed. Zynga, its maker, continues to develop the game and add features to keep it exciting for its players. But apparently, there are groups of people who greatly dislike the game and have very strong opinions about the game being a major distraction for kids, being mindless and pointless, and not having any values to teach its players. Some comments went as far as the game trivializing the real efforts and hard work of farmers. 

Screenshot image from the game Farmville by Zynga

If we think about it, Farmville simply exists to be enjoyed. It is there for those who wish to unwind or play simple games. It is simply about having fun. It is not supposed to be judged for not having values or for being mindless. Farmville was not created to be a deep, mind-boggling game that will lead to one's self-actualization. The best way to deal with it is to simply enjoy it - this means playing the game without having to analyze so much about what it does for the player and what significant role it has in one's life. Of course, game addictions and failing grades are another matter, but assuming that one plays the game at a normal frequency and level of interest, the game should only be a source of fun and enjoyment, and not be a point of stressful discussion about how "bad" and "unhealthy" it is. If someone does not want to play it, no one is forcing him or her to.

The same goes for the second thing that came to my attention - enjoying a wonderful and hearty meal with family or friends. Nowadays, so many people are on different kinds of diets and are so conscious, sometimes way too conscious, about what they eat. Oftentimes, because of over-thinking about what goes into their bodies, they miss out on the fun and enjoyment of savoring the flavor of the food, and sharing it with others. The meal then becomes a "challenge" or a "test" to them. In worse cases it becomes a guilt trip. A slice of very tender beef shifts from delicious to "very bad for the heart." A thin slice of chocolate cake turns from "heavenly" to being a "sin to be paid for." Somehow, the enjoyment of the food lasts for a few seconds, and then is immediately followed by thoughts and feelings of guilt and deprivation, aggravated by the stress of having to count and compute calories and kilometers as "punishment." Food becomes an "enemy" or a difficulty. 

Chocolate Mint Torte from Cafe 1771

It is even worse when these things are discussed over a table of people who are heartily enjoying their meals. Cannot some people nowadays just let go of all these depriving and limiting thoughts and just enjoy what is laid out on the table? ESPECIALLY when there are other people who just wish to savor the meal? The key after all, to a healthy body is to have everything in moderation. It is not about chewing on a piece of beef and feeling guilty about it. It is about eating just the right serving of meat. It is not about depriving oneself of chocolate and feeling sad about it. It is about having a piece of chocolate cake and enjoying it. Over-thinking about what one eats immediately KILLS the enjoyment of the food. 

Whether it involves playing a social media game, meaty dishes, sweets, or a natural shift in one's moods, sometimes, it is good to just let go of too much thinking and analyzing, and just enjoy the moment.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cupcakes

I have been playing (baking cupcakes) Baking Life and I am so amused by the different "designs" I have created XD 

Cupcakes "baked" through Baking Life :3 

I'm clearly such a sucker for cute and colorful things (^^U) I particularly like that monster cupcake with tentacles and I would like real versions of the chocolate cupcakes :3

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Ultimate Break

There are many ways we take a short break from work, a meeting, studying, or any task that requires us to spend long hours. Sometimes, these breaks consist of the length of time it would take us to:

  • Make and hurriedly finish a cup of coffee
  • Visit the restroom and freshen up
  • Quickly check a personal email account
  • Step out for a 2 to 3-minute walk
  • Close and rest our eyes for 5 to 7 minutes 

Everything is fast-paced.
A lot of times, these breaks re-energize us and bring our brains back to working mode, but as they become more incorporated into our routines, they sometimes lose their effect. They become part of the whole picture or scenario of work, chores, or obligations. Eventually, we try looking for alternatives that will feel more like "effective" breaks. On certain occasions, we even feel like nothing will work, and we just need to get AWAY.

I have tried different methods for re-energizing my brain and my body so that I can get back to whatever I am supposed to be doing. Sometimes though, even these breaks require effort because my mind just has way too much information and responsibilities to think about. For instance, trying to clear my mind for the few minutes of break time that I have was effective at first, but eventually, even that required me to exert the effort to clear my mind at all. 

It can be effective to switch to different ways of maximizing your breaks, but one thing I recently learned to do is to just spend my time doing nothing. By doing nothing, I mean nothing at all. I am not even trying to push away thoughts or worries. I am not thinking of anything that I will need to deal with after the next few minutes of my break time. I am not hurriedly checking emails, sending text messages, or stretching my legs. I am just sitting There, doing Absolutely Nothing. So far, I think this is the ultimate break that I have taken - more than the brisk walks and more than washing my face with cold water. 

Finding the time to do Absolutely Nothing.
When you do nothing, you just let the thoughts come by, but somehow you do not use up so much effort trying to keep them away. At that point, they just seem to fleet by, and you just naturally notice how calm your breathing has become. Sometimes you find yourself staring into space, and you realize how quiet it really is deep inside you, despite the noise around you. Sometimes you find yourself thinking of things in the past, or things you will need to do later on, but they seem so distant, that you cannot be bothered by them. It is just you being present where you are, allowing the world to fleet by, as you rest in your own stillness. When it is time to get back to work, you will just know. There is no need to time this kind of break. 

It sounds quite simple though it might be hard to do at first. I guess the best way to put it is that you just need to stop, take a deep breath, and let go. Then just sit there and do nothing. If it helps, let your eyes rest on a blank wall or a plant. In my case, I face my window and watch the sky as it starts to darken. Somehow my body starts asking for this ultimate break at sometime around dusk. Sometimes, I have the need to take it during the wee hours, when it is most quiet, and I happen to be awake doing something. 

Occasionally, certain emotions will surface, but just like everything else in that moment, they will just pass you by. It is really as if you have stepped inside a shelter of stillness, and you get to see the world as it spins around you. You will see that you are not always required to catch up to that spinning; you can always step back and just take a rest.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My Coffee Jelly Journey

I recently discovered this really delicious coffee jelly snack XD Let me take you through my wonderful Coffee Jelly Journey XD

It comes in this very convenient packaging.

Opening the Door to Delicious :3

The jelly is so firm and smells so good.

The cream that will poured onto the jelly. Nya nya~

A mixture of goodness

The cream flows into the hollow space created by my spoon.

It was so delicious that everything was just Gone in a few minutes :D

Sanma in Coconut Milk

Last week, I had dinner at my sister’s place after working on a job she has for me. She cooked a couple of really good pork dishes, but the highlight of the meal was her sanma in coconut milk - it was SOOOOOO GOOD T.T I would love to have this again. It is really really really good. I like coconut milk dishes, but her mixture of this dish is like among the best I have ever tasted. It is so good it makes me dizzy XD

Sanma in Coconut Milk

Sushi Dose

We went to Tong Yang for my mom’s birthday. I got my usual favorites for the shabu shabu (squid balls, tofu, various leafy vegetables, oysters, different kinds of mushrooms) and grill (chicken meat, eggplants, onions), and prepared my “marinating mixture” where I momentarily soak the stuff for grilling before I lay them out on sizzling butter. Prior to enjoying these, I always check out the sushi area if there are still any left (sushi runs out quickly). The last time we went, there were still a lot. They’re okay, just enough to satisfy one’s craving for that sushi taste and texture, though sometimes the rice layer is a bit dry. So I just took one of each kind I like just so I can have my sushi dose.

Sushi Dose

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Cat Who Glares at Me

Last week, as I waited for my sister to pick me up so I can go to her place for a sideline, I noticed a BLACK FIGURE under the car parked near our gate, and I found The Cat Who Glares at Me. He was napping though, so I don't think he had the energy to glare at me. But on other times, he'd sit somewhere near our home and when I'd pass by and say hi, he'd miaow a slow miaow, flatten his ears, and GLARE at me. One time, we surprised each other because we accidentally met behind a parked car, and I almost stepped on him. He miaowed and slowly backed away, and I could feel feline cursing under his breath.

Anyway, I took his photo and he was too sleepy to argue. On the second photo though, you will see that he has realized who I am and is starting to look hostile.




Thursday, August 12, 2010

Watching the Rain

One afternoon, someone enjoyed watching the rain~

Finding happiness in one's solitude

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Fish Bookmarks

About a couple of weeks ago, I wrote about making bookmarks for my sisterShe is already using some of them now to mark the several books she is reading (^^,) I can now also post the photos since she has seen them already.

These do not look like much, but it was fun making them (^^,)

Fish pair with gold and silver bubbles
Fish with blue glittery eyes
Made like a wall hanging with fish ^_^
Sandy underwater
Fish inside a fish
Tea Bag Bookmark

I worked on the floor, and after I made all the bookmarks, the floor was so messy, but I was happy because I was able to make them.


(^^,)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Rainbow Sprinkles

I had Manila Scramble again (^_^) This time, instead of having fruit loops in the scramble, I opted for rainbow sprinkles!

Colorful Sweetness (^_^)

Even Junko is cheered up by the rainbow sprinkles!

Chirashi

One of my classmates from Nihongo class treated us out to lunch because it was her birthday. We had lunch at Nihonbashi Tei and I ordered their chirashi. It was quite good, there is just too much rice. But the toppings were delicious (^_^)



Friday, August 6, 2010

Lone Lunch

One Sunday I was left home alone because everyone had errands to attend to. I did not feel like going out so I just stayed home and blogged and studied. I woke up late so all my meals were pushed back, and I had lunch around 2 or 3 in the afternoon. Since I was in a lazy mood, I just decided to prepare a simple rice bowl, then brought it upstairs to eat while blogging/playing, I forgot which. This is just a layer of rice, topped with Japanese-style egg, topped with slices of meat (^^,) Oishikatta (^^,)

For a lone luncher :D

Thursday, August 5, 2010

私の毎日

2週間前に日本語の学校のしゅくだいがあります。

毎日のポスターを作りました。これは私のです。



Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Getting Ready for A Full Day Ahead

Thus a full breakfast of chicken hotdogs, scrambled eggs, bread, cheese, and a pot of green tea (^^,)

Full breakfast for a full day :)

Childhood Memories

Sometime last month, I was busy working (or was I watching anime?) in my room, when my dad came and brought me a tub of Manila Scramble. As in, SCRAMBLE. The pink, crushed ice-filled snack which the street vendor smothers with Brown Cow chocolate syrup and a tiny spoon of powdered milk, which I would buy outside the school grounds although it was prohibited. This sweet, light snack which I associate with good times is what Manila Scramble has XD This time though, you can choose from a variety of other toppings, if you want to add anything to the chocolate syrup and powdered milk. YUM.

My dad brought me the large tub of scramble with fruit loops in them :D

I even like their packaging!

It was SO good! (^_^)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Food for Thought

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf's Food for Thought is just, PERFECT. 

The coddled eggs and the fruit preserves are really good. A great way to start your day! (^_^)

Sticky Situations

My sister and I had lunch at My Thai with Buddy whom I used to work with. My favorite part was dessert (*^___^*)

Sticky Rice with Mango (I love sticky rice XD)

Coconut/Pandan Pudding (I love the texture and the coconuty taste :D)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Saizen Shopping XD

Thursday of last week, Saizen sent me an invitation regarding a bloggers’ tour to be held in one of their stores, so I sent her an email telling her I was very much interested. So yay XD

So last Friday, after Nihongo class, my sister and I went to Trinoma to check out the new store of Saizen located there. Other bloggers came and we were all given GCs which we could use for shopping XD We were also allowed to take photos and take note of our Top 5 finds. This is kind of hard for me because I love so many of the stuff that they have XD

During the free tour, I took photos of various Japanese items which caught my attention or which I particularly like, and then I bought some things too for myself XD I’ve bought a number of other items before in my previous visits to their store in Galleria, so I was able to choose and buy other things. 

One of the beautiful things I found was this set of fish, which can be commonly seen when the Japanese celebrate the festival of Kodomo no Hi, or Children’s Festival. My sister bought it because she likes to have it around for her Fish business (^^,)





Daruma. They are all staring at you. XD





Super cute erasers to add to the collection (^^,)





It was a super great experience and I feel so lucky to have been picked as one of the bloggers for the store’s bloggers’ tour. I already love the store to begin with, so being invited for a tour and some free shopping with their GC is really great XD We spent almost a couple of hours just going around buying and looking at stuff, because they are all so pretty and there are many things which I like about 5 colors of (”I want five of everything! - Biskit, Animal Crossing: Wild World) XD XD XD

A nice thing about Saizen is that I found in their store the same things I found in the hyaku-en shop in Yokohama, which I couldn’t find in other stores. I was not able to buy so much in the hyaku-en shop because I was worried about my luggage coming back to Manila (after having shopped from Disneyland Tokyo, Shibuya, Ueno, and Asakusa). With Saizen around, it’s like having the actual hyaku-en shop right here at home (^^,) I am definitely going back to visit them often - I love that store (^^,)
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