Thursday, December 31, 2009

my resolutions for 2010

First off, happy new year to everyone! It's now 2010 - we have another year to rock out and just be our fantabulous selves! As usual, since today marks the start of a new year, everyone's into making their resolutions so I'm joining the bandwagon! Haha!

I had no plans to go out during the Christmas break so most of my time was spent online - checking my Facebook account, going through my favorite forums and researching about not-so-important stuff.

While looking for stuff to do in Facebook, I chanced upon an application from Coke Zero where you would post your resolutions for the coming year and if yours was chosen to be the one of the best, you might even win an exclusive iPod Nano especially designed for Coke plus a Nike + iPod Kit. 

I didn’t join for the prize since as mentioned in my earlier post, I already have these babies. I just thought that this is a good exercise for me to really ponder on the things I need to do for my personal improvement. The first five resolutions on this list are the ones I shared through the Coke Zero application (Hence, it is more formally written):

  • I shall not dilly-dally and start working on what I have to do as soon as possible.
  • I shall do what I can to help save the environment. The small things such as bringing a shopping tote, segregating trash, and reusing the old stuff can already do wonders.
  • I shall not perceive singlehood as a curse, but rather a blessing to pursue to pursue the things I want and be the best person I can be. Live life to the fullest!
  • Finish 1 book per quarter to enhance my vocabulary and reading comprehension.
  • Learn how to drive so I won't have to rely on my dad to pick me up after late-night gimmicks.
  • Learn how to jump rope since this is a good form of exercise.
  • Write in my blog regularly, at least 1 entry per week, to keep this space updated and practice my writing skills.
  • Short-term (i.e. must be accomplished by January): Finish the remaining 9  sessions of boxing at Elorde
  • Join at least 2 10-km runs to test my endurance and running skills.
  • Cook for my family at least once a month to develop my cooking skills
  • Lose fats on my midsection, arms, and hips – buy a set of dumbbells, do the 2-minute ab workout every morning and before sleeping

And last but not the least…
  • Have a boyfriend so I can win the bet with my co-worker [Well, I ain’t got a problem if I don’t achieve this, it’s okay to give them a more expensive gift for their wedding.]

So there you have it. I guess this list of things to do will already keep me busy for the whole year that I won’t really feel the need for a partner. Yey!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

food find: christmas dilly bar is love!

After going to the dentist for my root canal (which is not yet done, btw; I still have to go back on Monday) and Baclaran to get some Chinese meds, I headed to Gateway for a meet-up with the person who bought my PDA. On my way back to the train station, I happened to pass by a DQ stall in Farmer's Plaza. A small poster of their new product caught my eye but I didn't give much attention until I realized that there's a phrase "mint chocolate" in it. Since I'm such a sucker for mint chocolates (Kendi Mint was my cheap comfort food.), I took a few steps back and bought myself one.


For just Php35 a pop, who can resist this lovely treat? As soon as I took my first bite, I instantly felt bliss. I walked around the mall while munching on my sweet find. Happiness indeed.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

gadget find: goodbye creative, hello ipod!

I had long been a user of Creative because it offers a lot of features as compared to its more popular rival, the iPod, which only functions as an mp3/mp4 player (then).

My first Creative was the Zen Stone Plus which was very handy and stylish since I used to wear it around my neck making it look like a pendant.

For a size that small, I was really amazed that it already has a voice recorder, an FM radio, and stopwatch among its other features. However, it just stopped working one fateful day. I  didn't anticipate its death to be so soon because I only had it for 2 years and it was still playing perfectly a day before that.

Since I really can't bear not listening to music while commuting, I finally decided to get a replacement. I did a lot of research prior to my purchase and found my perfect match in Creative Zen X-Fi:

This baby is packed with lots of features: a video player, photo viewer, voice recorder, FM radio, calendar, SD card slot, speaker and of course, the X-Fi technology which claims to enhance your listening experience. My thoughts on this technology? Well it makes a difference in the sound quality but if your mp3 is a bad copy to begin with, then the only effect you'll have is that it makes the sound louder than usual.

Here's my take on this mp4 player which has been with me for 6 months:

  • Remarkable sound quality. I appreciated the X-Fi Technology more whenever I listened to Chillout/Bar Lounge music since even the most minor of sound details can be heard clearly.
  • Size is perfect for watching movie. It's also small enough making it really portable.
  • You can expand the memory through its memory card slot. Since I only bought the 8GB version, I bought a 16GB SD card to store my videos and other photos.
  • It's plug and play! Unlike the ipod, you won't need iTunes to transfer your music files from your PC to your player.
  • Really clear voice recording!
  • The loudspeaker was also very useful and the sound quality is not compromised.
The BAD:
  • It got busted 3 months after using it so I had to return it to Villman to have it repaired. After 1 month of waiting, I finally got a replacement. Then I've lost interest in it so I sold it instead.
  • There are some useless buttons.
  • If you're playing music/video from an SD card, it will stop when you navigate to other menus.
  • You had to convert the video to a certain format before you can play it. The video converter found in the CD was virtually useless so I had to download another media encoder.
  • The earphones that came with the unit was substandard since I only got to use it for 3 months. Yikes!
I would have kept the unit if it didn't get busted. But it was also blessing in disguise because it gave me a reason to buy the new iPod 5th Gen!

Finally, Apple has come out with everything that I've been looking for in an mp4 player! It even has a pedometer and video recorder to boot! Now I ain't got a reason not to buy that, eh?

My iPod has been with me for less than a month and until now, I still find it such a hassle to sync my music files through iTunes. Really a bummer since I've been used to Creative's plug and play. But aside from that, my MAJOR gripe is the loudspeaker! Ugh, it really pains my ears that I wanted to throw the thing away! I don't know why it has such bad loudspeaker since the sound quality is good whenever it's attached to earphones or a portable speaker. My PDA or even cellphone speaker sounds better than this! Yikes!

But I super love the Nike+iPod kit. Keeps me motivated to run more! Yey!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

food find: wicked treats from wicked kitchen

Christmas is in the air once again! Of course, the block can't miss having a Christmas party. Initially, my blockmates were considering Banapple in Il Terrazzo, however, when I called them up, I was informed that they don't offer reservations. So as I was chatting with my friend Karen via Facebook to finalize the plans, I was also searching for other restaurants in Timog or Tomas Morato area since Karen's place is along Mother Ignacia.

Thanks to Google, I chanced upon this restaurant called "Wicked Kitchen" and their spunky name has definitely called my attention. I did further research and my curiosity for the place grew even further as I read lots of positive reviews. Since none from the block offered other suggestions, I asked my two colleagues if they already agree with Wicked Kitchen, fortunately, they conceded so we updated everyone about the change in our dinner venue.

The place was kinda small but good thing all 14 of us fit comfortably in the dining area. Good thing we also made a reservation since the place might already be too crowded if we just walked in.

Pa-cute with the menu

Bloggers have been raving about their best-sellers: Fish and Chips, Ex's Lasagna, Firestarters and the famous Beef and Beer Pie. Since I wanted to try out something different, I opted for Mushroom Chicken Pie. Besides, chicken was also a healthier option and I also like to have a puffed pastry to replace rice. Some of my friends who were also not familiar with the place asked for my recommendations and I gave the above-mentioned dishes based on my limited knowledge. Others ordered Beef Salpicao, Sisig Rice, and Chicken Teriyaki, and I was glad that they loved their meals! Wee!

Mushroom Chicken Pie (P172)

I must say that this dish is really comforting. This reminds me of Chicken a la King because of the carrots and rich white cheesy sauce. It was also served really hot so I believe this is perfect for the rainy days. Although I just thought that the fries that came along with it was not enough, probably they could add more. :)

 Gluttony (P135)

Of course, I wouldn't leave Wicked Kitchen without trying out their famous Gluttony dessert! We just ordered the single serving since my colleagues are not fond of sweets. We had to wait for around 20 minutes though since they still had to bake it. But when it came, wow, it was huge! Definitely, not just for one person! Good thing I shared it with another friend.

When I took the first bite, the best word to describe it is heavenly! The cookie was crusty on the outside but inside was really chewy and the chocolatey goodness just seeps out as you chew on it. Mmmm... The whipped cream and mantecado ice cream complemented the chocolate cookie very well since they toned down the richness of the chocolate and the contrasting temperature (hot from the cookie and cold from the ice cream) was really soothing to the palate.

  • Really delicious food! I was glad that my friends were satisfied too.
  • Drinks are not that expensive!
  • Nice ambiance. I love color black and red plus the soft yellow lighting.
The BAD:
  • A little expensive. Definitely not for students' budget. 
  • There's still a 5% service charge.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

shopping find: giordano brights for world vision

After visiting the dentist to finish the procedure on my tooth, I decided to go with my sister who was supposed to buy me a vitamin C serum for my recently lasered facial skin. When we got to the mall, we immediately headed to Healthy Options for Avalon C Vitality serum. Since I've also read from Girltalk that Zinc helps in healing the skin and preventing breakouts, I also bought a bottle of Zinc Picolinate.

As we were heading to a resto for our merienda, I saw this poster displayed in a Watch Republic store:

The cute watch design plus the affordable price caught my eye so I asked my sister if she was also interested to get one. Since I could sense that she also liked it but was only hesitant since she didn't have the budget for it, I offered to pay for it first through my credit card. We went inside the store to ask if these babies were still available but unfortunately, we were told that it was already sold out. Since I knew that Watch Republic also holds a concession inside the department store, I decided to try our luck if these were available there.

Fortunately, there were still 4 designs available at the department store! Wee! Actually, while we were on our way there, my sister and I have already been discussing which ones we're getting. I told her I wanted to get red since it's my favorite color but she asked if she could get it instead since her school uniform is already blue and she wanted the color of her watch to be different. Being the selfless sister (ahem!), I conceded and opted to have the blue one instead. Since we have already decided which ones to get, it was already easy for us to choose the watches we wanted to try on.

I was pleased with how the blue watch looked on my wrist so I didn't have any hard feelings toward my sister for not getting the red one which I originally wanted. My sister too was very happy with her new watch since it looked different and attention-grabbing. [While we were strolling inside the mall, wearing our watches, she told me that she could see some people staring at her watch. :)]

When we got home, I told my sister to check the Toywatch website to check how the design was very similar to the former. I've been telling her that I've been longing to have a Toywatch since I first saw it in Oprah [since it was one of her favorite things] but it was too expensive for my budget so it just remained a longing ever since. Good thing, we have found this cheaper alternative from a reputable brand, Giordano. Yey!

Check the design of this original Toywatch:

Very similar, eh? Thank you for coming out with a Toywatch dupe! :)