Tuesday, March 29, 2011

LO Project: Paper Pieced Hot Air Balloon

I learned a new paper crafting technique, and I've been addicted to it the past few weeks.  It's paper piecing!

Basically, this technique involves cutting pieces out from a design and layering them onto paper.  Paper pieced designs can be used on cards and scrapbooking projects to add more dimensions into them.

Well, I have done a few pieces from patterns I have downloaded for free on the internet and used them to embellish cards and envelopes.  Here they are. :)

Baby Boy Booties

Baby Girl Onesie

But this latest one I did I am really proud of. I think I outdid myself.  Really. :)

I looked up printable coloring pages on Google, then picked out a simple image of a hot air balloon.  And made a paper piecing pattern out of it. Cool, right?

Here's the original coloring page (Sorry I forgot to note of the web link I downloaded the page from).  And beside it is my paper pieced version.

Yes, those are actually strings! :)

I have yet to decide where to use it on.  But most likely, I'll put in on a card.  Maybe a "Bon Voyage" themed one.  What do you think?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Singapore Adventure: Kapitbahay Blues

Gone are the days when you knock at your "kaptibahay"'s door to ask for some spare salt or sugar.  Well, at least that's how I remember it when I was growing up in Manila.  I can't really say if it works the same way here in Singapore.

Based on the last three years living here at the Woodlands HDB, we only knew by face the people from the 4 units on our storey.  Actually, just the ones from 3 units.  The family on the other unit were so elusive.  But I am sure they can only say the same for us.

Gone are the days you make "tambay" at the "bakuran" of the house.  Here we don't have "bakuran".  It's your door, then it's the lift lobby, or for other homes, your friendly shoe rack or bike stand.

In Manila, you can sit in your "bakuran" on your rusty garden table set to do your afternoon "siesta" and when you wake up, your kapitbahay would have just gotten out from his "siesta", then you start to chitchat about your other "kapitbahay"'s (personal) affairs.  And this is while you sweep the dried leaves and empty "chicharya" wrappers sprawled on your "bakuran" with a "walis tingting".  I can't remember seeing "walis tingting" here.  Or maybe I am just not as observant as I presume I was.

Sigh.  This makes me miss home all the more.  Specially now that we have a "kapitbahay" with two obnoxious kids.  There's one who cries on a schedule.  And there's one who bangs the door for a pasttime.  I am sure that one will grow up to be one of the Security Aunties in office buildings if not a hotel door-person.  Sorry for being too harsh, but I am just fed up with those little gremlins.  And the sad thing about it, I think the mum is just equally fed up and just let them be.  Arrggh..  In Manila, parents will always try to silence the little ones with threats like "Kung 'di ka titigil, makikita mo ang hinahanap mo."  Irony in it's greatest form! :))  But it works, at least it did for me at that time.

Oh well, to each his own.  I just hope that the dead plant that my "kapitbahay" seems to be trying to revive grows leaves soon, at least the water she throws into it doesn't go to waste.

And there goes the crying gremlin, 12 noon, right on schedule!

Singapore Adventure: Wifey Cookie's Birthday Month

I love birthdays!  And this year, I had a month-long celebration.  Good food, good company, and the well-wishes of my good friends made it even more special.  But of course, all I want for my 31st birthday is my Hubby Cookie. <3

19 March
Brunch at Epicurious in Boat Quay.  It was really my birthday celebration, it was Fred's birthday treat.  But I did consider it as the start of my birthday revelries. :)

After a hearty brunch of Full Monty, we took a stroll down to Clarke Quay then decided to take a 30-minute Singapore River Cruise.  Surprisingly, it was worthwhile!  The breeze was really relaxing, and the recorded male voice of a tour guide was not annoying at all. Hahaha...

20-21 March
My Hubby Cookie's birthday treat for me was an overnight stay at the Marina Bay Sands.  We spent two days at the posh hotel and felt like we actually left Singapore.

The view on the Observation Deck was really awesome, and the Infinity Pool was just jaw-dropping.  Well, we didn't really take a dip in the pool.  But Hubby Cookie promised that the next time we visit MBS, we will definitely!

My birthday dinner was at the Todai International Seafood and Sushi Buffet Restaurant.  It's located in the mall wing of MBS.  And it was quite a long walk from the hotel lobby.  We got lost initially, but we did make it in time for our booking. :)

When we entered the restaurant, it was reminiscent of Spiral @ Hotel Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila.  There were long lines of different dishes, salad options, seafood and sushi, asian delicacies - even Chili Crab and fried mantou, a pasta station, a Korean selection, roasted and grilled food choices, and a wide selection of drinks!  Hubby Cookie almost lost it seeing the Iced Milo dispenser!  Hahahaha.. :))  Too bad we asked for in-room dining a few hours earlier and so we were not really hungry.  But again, Hubby Cookie promised a repeat!  So looking forward. 

The restaurant is currently running a 10% discount on the buffet price until the end of March 2011.  So if you are up for some serious food tripping, head on there as soon as you can.  Dinner is at 58SGD ++.  Yeah, everything in SG has a ++ suffix at the price tag, so that's a heads up! :)

Breakfast the following day was at Rise.  We've been to Rise once in the past for dinner on our 55th month as boyfriend/girlfriend.  It was also a treat eating at Rise.  Most of their staff are Pinoy and so you are assured of a great dining experience when it comes to service.

It was a great birthday treat indeed! Thanks to my Hubby Cookie!

25 March

It was a Fri-date! :)  A nice cozy dinner at Chili's - one of our favorite places to dine here in Singapore. We had to queue for almost an hour but it was worth the wait.  And of course, it's Friday.  It pays to be patient, after all, any other place would be just as packed. :)

I am a sucker for chips and salsa.  So yeah, that's always at the top of the order list.  We had a juicy burger and ribs as well.  And it was all good, as always! :)  Lots of Pinoy in their staff, too.  So great service is again assured.

26 March

I booked the Cookies for a couple's massage.  It's been a while since our last massage and we still have a few sessions in our package.  We need to start using them up!  1.5 hours later, two "tender" Cookies left A Fond spa in South Bridge Road and started the 10 minute walk to Kreta Ayer for some Filipino food.

Bonifacio Modern Filipino Cuisine has always served up to it's name - Filipino Cuisine at it's finest! :)  And they have sisig!  Take that Gerry's Grill @ MBS Rasapura Masters! No more sisig at 2pm on a Monday???  Sheesh... ;( We also ordered for mango shakes, and that's with real Philippine Mangoes! *drool*  When I book for our next massage schedule, it's a definite lunch stop.  I have vouchers to use after all.  You get a 10SGD off on every 50SGD spent in the food bill. :)  Calling on the Cookies' food trip buds!

27 March

And of course, to show my appreciation of my dear friends for their well-wishes and support of us Cookies for the year that passed, we invited them for a nice buffet dinner at CafĂ© Mosaic at the Carlton Hotel on Bras Basah.  Starhub is running a 1-for-1 dinner promotion if you present the subscription bill.  Their buffet selection was not as "international" as the others we've been to were, but it was still okay.  They had some dishes that were really nice, like the crayfish dish and the steam fish dish.  They also had those nice prawn balls that looked to us like "tukneneng" at first glance. Hahaha...

There's 4 more days left in my birthday month.  There's still time.  I wonder what other "events" we can squeeze in til then. ;)

Singapore Adventure: A Cookie Year Recap

The year that passed is indeed an eventful one for me.  Here's a recap.

(April) I brought my family to Singapore for a visit.

We went home to Manila to attend my brother's college graduation.  It was just a few days.  Then they joined us on our return to Singapore and spent a whole month with us!

It is a second time for my Mama and sister, but the first for my brother.  We showed them around Singapore, visiting popular tourist attractions.  The latest one to date is the Universal Studios.

It was really a memorable experience for everybody.  I can't believe it's been a year.  Hopefully this year, we get to do another family outing.  Outside Singapore this time perhaps? ;) 

The months in been are not as eventful.  Most of which were spent flying back and forth between Singapore and Manila working on wedding details.

(August) I was jobless.

Well, it was a great run.  The money was good, that's really all to it.  Hahaha... 

(September) I married the love of my life. 

56 months of being boyfriend/girlfriend. 20 months of preparation.  1 day to remember for the rest of our lives. :)

It happened all too fast.  From the dressing up, to the marriage ceremony, to the dinner banquet.   We just breezed through it.  We didn't even touch our food and feel that we did not attend to all of our guests as much as we hoped.  But we definitely had the time of our lives! :)

Note to self - get the wedding photo selections cracking!  It's been 6 months!!!

(October) I traveled to Thailand with Hubby Cookie.

Hubby Cookie had to go on a business trip for a few days.  But of course, no Cookie gets left behind! Hehehe...

A few days into his business trip, I followed him to Thailand.  It's our first overseas trip after the wedding.  I was only there for a night, but we did enjoyed the city tour.  We hope to visit again, probably for a much longer duration.

(November) I am officially on Wifey Cookie mode.

After three years of staying in Woodlands, we headed further West. :)  We relocated to Lakeside this month.  And I got down to the business of packing and unpacking the clutter we have accumulated over those three years.  Well, the unpacking isn't over... In true Singlish,  "How can??"  We still have to furnish the place up! Hahaha...  So in the meantime, Room number two houses the boxes.

(December) I visited Bohol for a third time.

Yey me!  Bohol is one of my favorite places in the Philippines and I've been there twice in the past.  First time with my Kumares, and the second time with my Mama and sister.  And as the cliche goes, third times a charm!  Hihihi...

Hubby Cookie was with me on this trip, which is a wish come true for me. I've always told him I wanted to take him to see Bohol.  And we did it finally! :)  His Mama and sister joined us on this trip.

(January) I stabbed myself with a scissor accidentally.

I started working on my crafting again.  And I had an unfortunate accident.  It healed fully in a month, but the scar it left on my right leg is just so unsightly.  Sadness.

(February) I got in a jacuzzi with Hubby Cookie.

It's the Cookies' first Valentine's as a married couple.  We spent in at the Siloso Beach Club.  Well, avid readers of Cookie Adventures should have the full details. But if you just happened to drop by, here's the blog entry. ;)

Whew!  What a great year!

Of course, as in the start of every year, I hope to be blessed with good health, favourable fortune, and burning love for this year and the many, many, MANY more years ahead. :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Kitchen Adventure: Kimchi Fried Rice

One fine morning, after sending Hubby Cookie off to work, I opened the fridge and found leftover rice and kimchi.  So, what do I do with it?  (Drumroll) It's time for a Cookie Kitchen Experiment!

I clicked over to Google and typed "kimchi friend rice recipe."  I found a fairly easy recipe to follow, I just tweaked it as I didn't want any meat in it.  Well, basically, I just want to get rid of the rice and kimchi sitting in the fridge taking up space.  And this is what I came up with -

Instead of red onions, I used challots, as I still have a few sitting in the vegetable tray. 

So, what's the verdict?  Kimchi fried rice... success on the first attempt! :) And being a success, it is now imprinted on a special recipe card in my recipe box. :)

LO Project: A Birthday Greeting for Hazel

I am an advocate of giving gifts that are personally made instead of getting them off the shelf.  After all, as the old saying goes, it's the thought that counts.  And adding a tinge of the gifter's personal touch and taste surely gives it that extra oomph! :)

Here's one I prepared for Hazel on the occasion of her Nth Natal Day last 13 February. :)

The trickiest part of this project is picking out the photo.  I had to decide wether to go for a colored photo (which how this photo comes originally) or a greyscale one.  I went for the greyscale photo.  It adds drama, for one. Hehehe... And it gives the photo more "pop" since everything else is in color.

I had fun working on this project, as it is the first one I did after Lord finally got me a work table! :)

Singapore Advenutre: V-Day at the Siloso Beach Resort

It is the Cookies' first Valentines as a married couple and it has to be made really special. :)

We're definitely not spending it sitting in the house.  That's what we've been doing the last few weekends after my unfortunate encounter with my craft scissors, which is a totally irrelevant story to this one so that's going to wait for a different blog entry.  It took a while before we have finally settled on a venue since there were a couple of considerations to note - it's got to be within Singapore, as we didn't want to spend the short weekend sitting on a ferry or plane to somewhere, it's got to be some place we've never been to before, inspite of Singapore being very small there's got to be a place we have not been to yet, and it's got to have a view of the sea and sky, well, that kinds of limits the options.  And finally, even with that, we managed to set a venue.We're spending the Valentines weekend at the Siloso Beach Resort. :)

We booked one of their Roof Garden Suites for a night.  The room is with a sea view and features a private stairway leading up to an open air private roof top garden.  On the roof deck, you'll find an outdoor bathtub with a jacuzzi. And the magnificent view of the sea is surely breathtaking. 

Being Valentines Day, they have this romantic room setup included with the package, plus a four-course in-room dinner.  Lord and I had a great time at the jacuzzi, and just lounging on the roof deck overlooking the sea.  A short but indeed relaxing Valentines weekend getaway.

After a relaxing day at the resort, we took a quick detour to Univesal Studios for a baby back ribs lunch at Chili's.

A few photos to share with you from my Facebook album Cookie Valentines 2011.