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Our Own Herb Garden

By On October 20, 2013
Basil in the Philippines (bloggermother.com)
Last year, I and my husband decided to put up a small herb garden of our own. Since my sister and his aunts are living outside the country, we asked them to send us some seeds of the plants that we want to cultivate. Some of the plants that we were able to grow under Philippine climate are the Italian Large Leaf Basil and Jalapenos.

The Italian Large Leaf Basil is an herb that we use most of the time when we cook pasta. We are very fond of pesto so the leaves are always being harvested, leaving the plant almost bald. Haha! 

It may seem impossible for anyone in the Philippines to grow these plants but researching a lot about them definitely gives some good results. However, there are some plants that no matter how hard we tried growing and taking care of them, they just wilt and die. Like rosemary. When my sister came back from Italy, she managed to hand-carry a mature rosemary plant. It lasted for about a month (we kept it indoors, near the kitchen sink, even though my sister insisted that it just grows outdoors and is fine with it) but slowly wilted. Probably due to very high humidity here in our country. Before that, during one of our visits to Baguio City, we bought three very young plants and brought them here in Nueva Ecija and the plants got the same fate. We just decided that we'll just have to make-do with those dried rosemary leaves in bottles that can be found in supermarkets.

Taste N See Toasted Pastillas: A Milky Treat

By On October 20, 2013
My husband went home from work one day with a packet of tasty treats. At first, I thought it was just a small bag of crunchy croutons (I was puzzled actually, as I can't remember we bought some stuff for salads). But then, it turns out those little cubes were actually pastillas! I wouldn't really know if he hadn't told me.

Honestly, this was my first time to taste toasted pastillas. And this thing tastes great! This is the kind of pastillas that I'd always wanted. The sugar coating on the outside makes it sweet. I think the sugar was torched to make it stick to the milk mixture, thus giving it a toasted look. The pastillas cube may have been coated with sugar, but, surprisingly it tastes just right and not too sweet. I was so used to the pastillas that we usually buy from sari-sari stores that I was expecting Taste N See Toasted Pastillas to be the same in terms of sweetness.

I took some photos of it before opening the bag. I'm afraid I might not be able to take some pictures once I've started munching on them as they might be gone in a snap! Haha!


Note: Unfortunately, due to my carelessness when I switched to WordPress, I did not create a backup of the photos (ikr), so isipin mo na lang yung itsura ng croutons 😩


I'm now a fan! I was told that our friend who gave it to my husband ordered it online. Immediately, I've scoured the web and found the candy store through https://www.facebook.com/officialtastensee. The store is located in Malolos, Bulacan. That explains why the delicacy is made to perfection. The Bulacan province is well-known for it.I'm not really sure if they have a physical store, but anyone who wants to try their products, they can be reached through their Facebook page and through mobile number 0915 719 3817.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. The bag of croutons, err, toasted pastillas was paid for by a friend.

Sleepless

By On October 08, 2013
cup of coffee
Great! It's one in the morning and I'm still wide-awake. Thanks to my companion for more than fifteen years: coffee. It's effect on me never fails. I just had a cup of instant coffee after dinner and here I am, very much awake, alert, and alive (not that enthusiastic though, haha!).

I've started to have a relationship with this buddy when I was twelve (I know, I was way too young but I just love it). The bond between me and coffee is going strong as ever. I became more drawn to this alertness-enhancing beverage back in college when I had to read stacks of lecture manuals until the wee hours of the morning. I thought it's going to end after I graduate. I was wrong to believe that 😂.

When I used to work call centers, my bond with the aromatic brew became stronger. I wouldn't have survived the graveyard shifts if not for this wonderful caffeine-packed decoction. Back in the days when I had to stay up from 10PM until 7AM, my average consumption's around several cups (each cup is about 240ml) for the entire shift. It's like coffee's running through my veins. When I can no longer feel that caffeine rush, I had more than the usual, making my body tremble after shift. Hah! Those days.. I know. Less (almost none) sleep + Caffeine, bad combination.

Then I thought when I became a mom, a caffeine fix wouldn't be necessary anymore. How wrong I was again! Taking care of my son requires me to stay up late to feed him. Therefore, coffee's there, again, to the rescue.

As a child, I was often told that it's not good for me, and now I know that it's not as it has some adverse effects on our body. But being the stubborn kid that I was, I didn't listen, haha! And I've found through research that coffee is loaded with plenty of antioxidants preventing free radicals that cause cell damage in the body. That meant that coffee could act as preventive agent for getting old (yeah, I am actually aging--err, old, so I'd like to know how to delay it, hahaha!).

I know I'm getting a lot of benefits from drinking lots of coffee. Being able to stay up late when I've got projects to work on is one. This benefit alone turns out to be a drawback as there are times that I'd like to sleep early but I obviously can't (just like now). And I know that doing something (like blogging) while caffeine is very much active in my blood just makes it worse. Now, even if I stop what I'm doing and try lulling myself to sleep with the nocturnal sounds from outside, the land of oblivion is still going to be a far destination.

Well, though coffee might not be the best thing to turn to if I want sleep, this won't keep my hands off of a steaming mug packed with activity-inducing caffeine. Nah. Nope. Won't. Stop.

Blog Makeovers And Personalities

By On October 06, 2013
Over the past few days, this blog went through a series of re-"fashioning" (if you can find any fashion in it, haha!). I've done that to simply make it look different so, to justify individuality further, I made some changes according to my whims.

Most often, blog readers often look at blogs first from its looks then the contents. I must admit that my blog isn't the "Wow!" type of blog when it comes to looks. It's a bit plain, actually. But I just don't want to overdo things so I kept the look more on the subdued side. I'm more on inclined on that side as a person and my goal is to make this blog resonate that.

To make the blog personality thing more interesting, I tried the Typealyzer, the brainchild of Jon Kågström, created using Wordpress for the site's framework coupled with his own text classification server called uClassify. This thing compares texts on a URL provided based on the predefined sample texts compiled by Mattias Östmar. And parts of the type description texts, some of them slightly modified, are courtesy of Wikipedia and CelebrityTypes.com.

Typealyzer
Now, the results are actually interesting as the Typealyzer was quite accurate on some points but not the entire personality. Here's what I got after having  this blog's personality-type analyzed before this particular post's published:
And there it is! It's just amazing to see how it accurately analyzed the type of person that I am. The personality based on the posts that the typealyzer analyzed was just spot-on indeed. Though my profession does not fall in the common satisfying careers. Many other websites or blogs may be classified under different types but the results are not always as accurate as what I've got. That's why users of the site are encourage to submit the right author-personality type to improve the database. You can try it yourself, actually. It's free to use. Alright! So much for my writing inspiration today. I'm not really planning to blog my brains out today but hopefully, I can still reserve my "creative juice" for the coming days. 'Til my next post then!