Thursday, December 29, 2011

It's giveaway time!

CONTEST IS CLOSED

Three more days and we will all bid goodbye to 2011. I can't believe that another year is over! Everything still feels like yesterday. As they say, time flies so fast and before you realize it, a lot of things have already happened.

2011 will forever remain as a lucky and memorable year for me. My first ever international research presentation and first trip abroad happened in this year. God has also been gracious enough to give me plenty of free lance jobs.  Though the early months of my 2011 wasn't that good because I lost a friend and I was almost hospitalized just because of neglected cough, God compensated and gave me a blast at the end of the year.

I also had my share of bad times and frustrations in 2011, but all the blessings were more than enough to make me happy and thankful. So to further spread the luck and happiness, I'm hosting my second humble GIVEAWAY!

Here's what you can win

Since most of my blog friends, followers and readers are female, I decided to have a pink tote bag for the giveaway.
The bag is reversible so you can choose between the floral or the pink stripes.

How to join?
1. leave a comment (including your full name, blog url and email address) and 
2. answer this question
"Among my 2011 posts, which one did you like the most?"
You don't have to be a follower or make a post for my giveaway to qualify. :-)  But if you want to do so, I will highly appreciate it. 

Everyone is entitled to only one entry.  The prize will be shipped for free to anywhere in the world. The winner will be drawn through random.org and will be announced anytime on January 2, 2012. You can join my giveaway as long as I don't disable the comments in this post.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My Happy Holidays

Hello everyone! How was your Christmas? I'm sure everyone is tired yet so happy with the parties, food, gifts and the company of your friends, families and all the special people in your lives. As for me, I attended a couple of Christmas parties at the workplace, had dinner and went malling with one of my best girlfriends, fulfilled some things in my mother's wish list and spent Christmas day with my maternal relatives in the province.

In this post, allow me to share some of the Pre-Christmas activities I attended.

I work for a Catholic college so Christmas is one event we really look forward. A number of activities for both the students and employees are regularly conducted. For the students, an annual Christmas feast is organized where some famous local bands perform.
Can we have these Christmas lanterns forever? ;-) Lower picture shows me (from right) with my constant lunch mates during the Annual Christmas Feast

As for us employees, we had our annual themed Christmas party. For this year, we were expected to dress in Spanish inspired costumes. When I googled images of Spain's national costume, I was given these
Photo Source here
Photo Source here
My initial reaction, No way! I'm a proud member of the female populace but it's not in my personality to wear layered peticoat skirt, huge ruffled sleeves, black veil, flowers on my head, and dangling earrings. Purchasing or even renting this kind of outfit is likewise not in my vocabulary. I thought of an alternative costume so I came up with this
Me as the goalkeeper ;-) I am the member in the darkest jersey
Since we were only told to wear Spanish inspired costume, I thought of wearing the jersey of Spain's National Football Team. I bought a pair of jersey, which I believe is more useful and practical because I can use it for my weekend jogging. As it turns out, some of my colleagues also had the same idea. We were even nominated for best costume.

The best part of working in a Catholic school is we are given a two-week Christmas vacay. So before we parted ways, here's a group shot with my few friends

A few days before Christmas, my family was invited to the 18th birthday of my cousin. Birthday celebrations bring in mini-reunions and a few good times with my relatives
As I am writing this post, I am savoring my once a year long vacation. I usually spend my day reading books, watching movies, playing games in my pad and wishing that life will be forever like this. :-D

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Hello everyone! Two more hours and it will be Christmas here in the Philippines. :)
Just dropped by to say  
Merry Christmas 
to all my blog friends, followers and readers!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Younger and happier

December is my favorite time of the year for two reasons, obviously it's because of Christmas and my birthday falls on this month. When I was still doing my 30 day blog challenge, I remember sharing about my sudden desire to take a leave on my birthday. For some unknown reasons, I wanted to spend my birthday away from the city. The problem is I don't have anyone to tag along on that dream vacay and my recent trip to Taiwan left me with tons of works to accomplish. In the end, I chose to spend my day in the city with my few close friends at the workplace.

I arrived at work... LATE! Good thing the boss never really reprimands me of my tardiness. :) I've been blessed with a superior who is more concerned over quality output than any other minor concerns at the workplace. During lunch, we were invited to join another office's Christmas party.  We feasted over some sumptuous Chinese dishes with a videoke machine and the classic Christmas' exchange gift.

On the day of my birthday most offices also had their respective Christmas parties. The mood at the workplace was so festive and everyone seems to be so happy. How I wish everyday would be forever like this. :) No grouchy faces for a day? It's possible!

I ordered boxes of pizza and some dessert as my birthday treat. I invited my close friends and since everyone seems to be so full on that day, I ended up having this dilemma of who will finish my birthday treat. LOL!

Everything seems to fall on the right place on my day, except for an antagonist who kinda ruined my afternoon. After covering up for an office who created a dissatisfied client, the person who holds authority in that office was kind enough not to utter any word of gratitude and leave her unfinished pizza in my face. What a great birthday gift from a gate crasher :) But since it's Christmas, my heart has already forgiven you. I just hope that next year, you will be responsible enough in cleaning up your own mess.

After work, I invited some of my friends for dinner. We ended up at Kitchen of Cakes and Coffee with these
and some cakes which I forgot to take pictures.

Except for the Christmas traffic and an office's inefficiency, everything went well on my day. I realized that despite all the negativities and bad experiences, God has been so great to me this year. I have my family, friends, and an opportunity I never asked for. Thank you Lord for another year of blessings and happiness.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Let's have some food trip at Il Mercanti

One of my constant goals in life is venture to new experiences every year. Something new may include going to places I've never been, trying out new restaurants, saving up to purchase something from a shop I used to dream on, to enriching myself through a new learning opportunity.

This year, I have a few experiences to list in my table of accomplishments. Earlier this year, I was given the opportunity to visit Puerto Galera. I tried a few new restaurants such as Cafe Lidia and Pan de Amerikana. But more importantly, my trip to Taiwan serves as my greatest humbled achievement. This post will not serve as another story telling adventure of my first international trip. Though honestly, I am still overwhelmed on the entire experience. I don't however want my dear readers to become annoyed and exhausted over my repeating stories. What I will instead share here is a new and shallow food trip experience.

Last year, I forced two of my friends to join me to experience Banchetto. Banchetto is one of the pioneers in the food night market in the Philippines. This year, I was the one tagged by another group of friends to experience another famous food market in the city. Two of my fierce friends brought me to Il Mercanti!

Il Mercanti was established late this year by partners who have been doing businesses in the food industry. Il Mercanti gathers different food entrepreneurs in the heart of Pasig City from 7 pm to 4 am. As I see it, Il Mercanti targets young professionals and all those food lovers, who are in search for newer and better dining experience in the most reasonable prices.


As compared to other food night markets I've experienced, what I appreciate about Il Mercanti is the larger space, lesser crowd and more seats available for all food enthusiasts.



Enjoy some of my food shots
 Enjoy the classic corn dog and some traditional Filipino street foods on a stick for only Php 15.

I would die for this!!!!! My heaven of sweetness!

Here's what we  feasted
Tara's meal
Sorry I forgot the name of this dish. Sorry, Tara :). 
Tinee's meal
Java rice and fried pork belly (liempo) for Tinee

Monster Burger!
As for me, I had my all time favorite Monster Burger with
Moon Leaf Tea
refreshing Lychee Nata for my drinks
Oreo Cake
and for dessert, my all time favorite and sinful Oreo Cake.

Aside from all the sumptuous food, we were also treated to a fabulous fireworks display
Thank you Tinee and Tara for bringing me to Il Mercanti. :) I enjoyed the first time experience.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Peek to Some Unique Christmas Trees

I know this is a late post. By this time, I'm sure most of you have already built your own Christmas trees. But just the same, allow me to share some of the most innovative and impressive Christmas trees I encountered

A Christmas tree made of books

Photo from Library & Computing News
 If you have an extensive book collection at home then why not consider this. Empty your book shelves and arrange your books to a tree just for the season.

Who can resist to this?
Photo from Keropok Man
The kid at heart in me shouts for something like this

Why not try a Christmas tree made of ribbons and buttons?
Photo from About . com
I'm sure most of my blog friends into crafts would love the idea of this tree. Your scraps of ribbon and buttons can already be elegantly reused.

 How about old colorful buttons?

Photo from Cute and Sassy Designs
 
For the shoe addicts, a cupcake stand and a few pairs will do
Photo from Trendy Shoe Shop


Balloons or even the inexpensive Christmas decorative balls can form a tree 
Photo from Celebrate it!
Photo from Groupon Lifestlye
I love this! The color combinations are so feminine and refreshing.


How about an edible Christmas tree?

Photo from Crustabakes

I love M&Ms and potato chips, but in this case I have to think twice. How can I destroy this masterpiece?




Photo from Kitchensity

Go healthy with a fruity tree!

How about with the famous Japanese dish?
Photo from Straight from the Curls

Something sweet perhaps?
 
Photo from Straight from the Curls
Wow, another masterpiece!


A Christmas tree from the sea?


Photo from Aqua Nerd

Photo from Wonders of the Sea

Yes, it's possible with some great collection and creativity.

A floral tree arrangement from your garden
Photo from 1-800 Flowers


Recycling also works for Christmas trees!

A tree made of bottle corks

Photo from Homedit
  Old telephone directories, books and even newspapers can make small Christmas trees for your sidetables.
Photo from Recyclart


Photo from Recyclart

Blue and green looks so refreshing. Rival Pepsi and Sprite make a great Christmas tree! 
Photo from Olympia Dumpster Drivers

I never imagined that a ladder could serve as a Christmass tree.
Photo from Toe Smile
It really works!
Photo from Groupon Lifestyle

How about a tree where time becomes so plenty? ;-)

Photo from Country Living




This reminds me of Baguio City.


Photo from I'm so Vintage
 
A Christmas tree on your wall?

Photo from Groupon Lifestyle

I never thought of this too.

Photo from Ego Taco

How about bikes?
Photo from Eco Hook Ups
Hats off to the people who made this.

Another unique idea,
Photo from About . com
A tree made of lobster traps

Photo from Murdocks
Pepermint pebbles


 and this deserves a look

Photo from Home Re-Design

Your quiet throw pillows can turn to a tree

In case you want the traditional tree

Photo from Bothersome Toad
An Irish inspired tree with fairies and leprechauns..something like a fantasy theme


But above all the Christmas trees and other material things that excite us, I hope we don't forget this
Photo from Seaside Sundae

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