Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Christmas gift ideas from my favorite stores

This year, I had an early start on my Christmas shopping. I gave the exclusive Twilight Borders calendar to some of my Twilighter friends. I got them with the help of a friend in the US and my recent trip to Australia. Needless to say, they all loved me for it.

I still have some people on my Christmas list and here are some of the things I plan to give this Christmas.

Bookstores (National, Powerbooks, Fully Booked, Victory Christian Fellowship Bookstore)

The bookstore is a treasure trove of excellent gift ideas. Even a set of gel pens makes a great gift. I remember a friend who gave me a school supplies set with mini stapler, plastic folders, and others and I really appreciated it. For children, I highly recommend the Kumon books. Yes, they are a bit pricey but they’re worth the price. I especially like the arts and crafts books. For self-help, I recommend Joel Osteen’s books. For mothers, Victory Christian Fellowship has a book entitled Pray God’s Will by Jay Duque. It’s a wonderful book of prayer inspirations for children based on God’s word.

Kitchen and Food Items

Last year, I found these nice Robert Green potholders in Christmas colors to give to family. I think they’re great because they’re practical and reasonably priced. They are available in the SM home section. Nathan wanted to be in the picture so you get a glimpse of my handsome son in this photo. 

For food gifts, I like CSB Hotel’s box of ensaymada. They sell their ensaymada at PhP220/box for 6 huge buns. As for the grocery store, it is always good to give ham and Majestic Ham, for me, is the best Christmas ham. 

Zen Zest

I personally like the new Sugar Collection of Zen Zest and they prepared a Christmas gift set of the scents. I like Watermelon Sorbet the most but they also have Vanilla Cream, Key Lime Pie and Cherry Cheesecake in the collection. Their cocktail scents are also great especially daquiri. For smaller gifts, their watermelon hand sanitizer is always a delight.

Astrovision

I like movies and music and I visit Astroplus quite often. I think these old and new releases will make for great Christmas gifts. The Josh Groban collection will be good for those who are yet to discover his talent. For those who like Adult Contemporary, I suggest Colbie Caillat and Vanessa Williams’ Everlasting Love. For the younger set, I suggest Jesse McCartney’s Departure or Elliott Yamin’s album. For movies, I plan to give Joe Wright’s Pride and Prejudice and The Jane Austen Book Club as a set to friends who like romance. It’s always nice to receive a comedy series and I recommend Friends and How I Met Your Mother. Christmas is a time for joy so I’m giving out comedies and feel good movies.

Advanced Merry Christmas and enjoy preparing your Christmas list and gifts!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Friday, August 08, 2008

Robert Pattinson tells Edward's POV of Breaking Dawn

This is just the most hilarious thing I've read in a long time. Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen is just precious. At least, I got something out of Breaking Dawn--a great laugh along with Rob. :)

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Breaking Dawn Broke My Heart

My review of Stephenie Meyer's Breaking Dawn may be found the the reviews section. Read it here.

Monday, June 23, 2008

A Small Thrill but a Thrill Nonetheless

Thanks to Twilight Lexicon for giving us a chance to express our affection for our favorite fictional vampire. My entry made it to the list. Check out #35.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Twilight Saga's Breaking Dawn Chapter 1

Thanks to Stephenie Meyer for pointing me to Entertainment Weekly's sneek peek of the first chapter of Breaking Dawn. It's a little short but I still enjoyed it. It's just sooooo Bella to be this concerned about what other people think of her engagement. Truly, she is young. I have a weird feeling the wedding will not push through as planned and this, I think, will make the book even more interesting. Can't wait till August!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Chicken Ass, Anyone?

Ganns and I saw this on the menu of Reyes Barbeque and we just can't help but take a photo. A lot of people like to eat this part of the chicken but to see it on the menu is really quite amusing. Chicken ass is quite tasty...have you tried it?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Recommended Cold Remedies

I have a terrible cold. Any recommended cold remedies?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Phone Calls from Credit Card Companies

I just received a phonecall through my cellphone (Caller number: 7953889) supposedly from a Citibank representative asking to verify information about my card. I am very very careful with my financial information and even if it is rude, I immediately told the caller that I am not answering any of his questions and that Citibank can verify whatever information they need in another form. I heard so many stories of identity theft and it is really scary out there.

I wonder if these calls are, in fact, legitimate. I really feel wary about these calls that come from nowhere. Do these companies really call us through our cellular phone? Do you have any experience of this kind?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Many Incarnations of My Name

I had been Admissions Director of DLS-CSB for three year now and one amusing thing that occurs is when people misspell my name. Let me give you some examples of the many incarnations of my name...

Ms. Catherine Dee
Ms. Catherine Dy
Ms. Katherine Deen
Ms. Kathleen Deen
Ms. Katy Deen

My favorite of all was...
Ms. Christine Deen (This came from a pinoyexchange post of an applicant I interviewed)


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Bechamel Sauce - What a difference proper technique makes

Two days ago, I decided to prepare my usual creamy tuna pasta dish for my husband. I've seen and heard many cooks prepare this dish with all purpose cream which is incredibly high in fat. I prepare it with a bechamel sauce made from butter, non-fat milk, flour, salt and some pepper. I normally prepare the sauce directly on my non-stick pan. However, this time around, I followed the instructions of Linda Carucci in her book "Cooking School Secrets for Real World Cooks" and what a difference proper technique makes! My sauce was much creamier and tastier than my usual.

The secret? Prepare the bechamel sauce by melting 6 tablespoons of butter on a saucepan (not a non-stick pan) and whisk in 5 tablespoons of flour to make the roux. Using the wire whisk is very important to achieve a smooth finish. After about 2 minutes, whisk in the milk (1/4 cup at a time). Continue whisking until the milk is absorbed. When the mixture is smooth, you can pour in the remaining milk all at once. After this, switch to a wooden spoon and continue stirring in a figure 8 pattern over medium heat. Stir like this for about 8 to 10 minutes. To test if the sauce is done, just drag your finger over the back of the wooden spoon. If the track remains, the sauce is done. At this stage, salt and pepper (or Tabasco sauce) may be added. Taste and see if the sauce is to your liking. For me, I put a lot of salt because I am using it as the only sauce for the pasta. However, if you are using the bechamel for lasagna, less salt is needed since you also have your bolognese sauce. To complete the dish, I added the cooked tuna and tossed in the pasta. Add grated cheese if you wish. Enjoy.