Monday, June 27, 2011

another owl sighting

there are days really that the laundry takes up most of your time and you never get to see anything else other than the pile of whites and coloreds and you forget to look up and smell the nice "fresh laundry" smell. well, i was so up to my eyeballs with laundry the other day that i barely noticed this little critter hanging upside down from the neighbors' line upstairs. "hoot-hoot-hoot," he seemed to be saying to me, "dont get too caught up with routine, my dear. there's more to life than that." i thank God for the little things that inspire me and giving me good solid reasons to continue being true to myself :D

Saturday, June 25, 2011

flea market finds: cat earrings and candle holders

i have been planning on listing them on ebay or giving them as gifts but i've never really come around to doing both.this pair is of pure silver and they are just so darn cute i just had to buy em.this is a pair of German porcelain bisque candle holders that i bought for a pound.the mark is Kaiser West Germany. i love white accessories in the house.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

flea market finds: day of the turquoise

finally, here are my finds on that lovely hot day! i have noticed that i am leaning more towards turquoise, dont you think?following the 70-30-10 rule, this turquoise bottle will eventually grace my bookshelf someday. the candle gives off a lovely sweet pea and honeysuckle scent and to think i only got it for only .50p! the pink and grey baubles could potentially be gifts for little girls (bought two for .50p)since i am growing a vegetable and herb garden, i am needing more pots than i can imagine. i spotted this beautiful clay pot under a pile of clothing. it is glazed in a lovely turquoise color and i just fell in love with it! its a bit heavy and too bad the lady selling it only had 1 :( bought it for only a pound.i bought this from a classy guy selling designer stuff. he had a bunch of canvas prints of paintings that he explained was from a museum in Italy. he prolly doesnt have room for it anymore so hes trying to sell them for a pound each. i really dont know why i bought this but i thought they would make a lovely photo mount someday.ahhh my pyrex ramekins. perfect for flan! too bad there were only two. (bought for .50p each)and finally my favorite Presto Polaroid camera which i dont know will work or not. of course i didnt know the films are not available anymore and that you can only buy them from either ebay or this independent store in the Netherlands (The Impossible Project). nevertheless, i love it to bits and cant wait to try it out :D am asking my sister for the films as a birthday gift :D marked £3 but i managed to buy it for £2 ;) score!

Monday, June 20, 2011

when you dont know what to make for lunch

the other day i had no idea what to do for lunch. i looked in the cupboard and the usual cans and tubs and packets are all there waiting for some inspiration from the mistress of the house: a bag of penne pasta, a half cup of apple juice, some prawns in the fridge, leftover cherry tomatoes, some tomato sauce...etc., etc., etc. in the spirit of impromptu lunches, i came up with this:

Prawns and Poms Pasta
(in the background you can actually see some lovely garlic bread to go with this pasta and a bowl of refreshing watermelon cubes. perfect for a hot summer's day! also you can see some stuff that i got from the sale. more on that soon!)INGREDIENTS:about 14 to 16 medium prawns, peeled and cooked
about 2 cups pasta (any kind will do really)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 can chopped tomatoes or tomato sauce (depends on what you like, i added some cherry tomatoes on this one)
1/2 cup dry white wine or apple juice (i used our favorite Poms apple juice)
about half a cup of creme fraiche or single cream or double cream
fresh dill, to garnish (again, depends on what you have on hand, i used chopped flatleaf parsley)

PROCEDURE:(1) cook pasta according to directions. set aside.
(2) cook onions in oil until soft. add tomatoes or tomato sauce and cook for 1 minute.
(3) pour in wine or apple juice and simmer for 5 minutes.
(4) stir in creme fraiche or cream and simmer for about 2 to 3 minutes until well mixed.
(5) add prawns and cook for 1 minute or until heated through. (at this point i added my parsley for a few seconds)
(6) serve on a bed of pasta.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

i spy with my little chinky eye...

why is it that when you have a list of things to watch out for in a flea, you dont actually find them but instead you end up buying the most interesting things imaginable? well, i think thats exactly part of the fun and definitely one of the pluses when you love fleas as much as i do :) here are snapshots of things i spied with my little chinky eye in the recent car-boot sale that i went to with the mister :) i will post my gorgeous finds next time i promise!an original artwork from a guy who apparently graduated from the Glasgow School of Arts. hhhmmmm....ahhhh! i have a neat idea for this pile of toys... will definitely be making it this year :)love this skeleton baby onesies! soo rock'n'roll :)love these two dudes who obviously love flea markets too! love the fact that they are shopping, shopping, shopping and really couldn't care less!decisions! decisions! this boy was staring at a bowl of marbles for the longest time. one can only surmise what conversations are going on inside that little head of his!ah! my little owl candle holder. i love you but i am a practical babe after all, i am so sorry but i really can't find a a use for you for now... i am so sad to let you go... i saw a lot of golf clubs for sale that day... hhhmmm wonder what the implications are...designer bags anyone? although i wasnt sure if they were really genuine.. and besides i dont like loud logos or labels in bags... it screams bourgeois :Pthe cutest mushroom house ever! perfect for having alice over for tea ;)princess jasmine is upgrading :)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

summer lovin' espadrilles

they are called "alpargatas" in Spanish and originated in the Pyrenees (also Catalonia and the Basque region). They are worn by miners since the 14th century and have been making a comeback as designer summer footwear since the 40's up till now. When we were in Madrid, i had to check out Casa Hernanz which is one of the oldest and leading "alpargateria" there.the shop wasn't hard to find and soon these babies brought a sparkle in my eye :Dthey are super comfy and my feet didnt get any blisters at all. each shoe is handmade from durable canvas and jute rope soles with all colors available. some also have rubber soles. the basic ones are only 5euros each pair! what a steal!there was a time that these became very popular in the Philippines. and now i've been told it is currently the fad.

Friday, June 17, 2011

flea market finds: an hors d'oeuvres plate

i haven't been posting for some time and now two in a row! talk about overcompensating hehe. well, call it what you like but i can't wait to show off my newest find: a heavy brown glass hors d'oeuvres plate with an Italian mark at the back! isn't she a beaut?i have not used this yet but my mind is spinning with ideas!
some crudite perhaps?
or some cool Vietnamese do-it-yourself salad? hhhmmmmm...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

what it is to take care of something

summer is officially here!

yesterday it went up to a whopping 32degrees! whew! now we're talking ;) this is my kind of weather :D it might not be the beach for me but i've got a few activities lined up that will permanently stick this smile to my face just until the first cold wind chase the sun away. so, first up was my little garden in the balcony. i've had this packet of spring onion seeds tucked away for the longest time since last year and so i finally planted them a month ago and look at them go now!eventually, i will be replanting them to bigger pots so they won't have to compete for their food. i planted them in recycled plastic containers that came with the ready-made meals i used to buy. i just created holes under them so water can flow freely. my tomatoes are fat and lovely :D i just know they will be yummy when the fruits eventually come out.
my peppers are quiet but sturdy. the seedlings took their own sweet time coming out :) so, with this little garden of mine, i am reminded of my mother, who grew up tilling the land and who loves the earth dearly. i grew up watching her take care of something and everything .. or someone and everyone. she told me that everything and everyone need the right amount of everything, really, for it to grow into what its supposed to grow up to. of course you can only do your best, depends on the effort you put into it. the rest is up to God.

Monday, June 13, 2011

moments in MADRID (part 3)


i can't remember a time that i didnt like being Filipino. yes, there were times that i felt embarassed about being one, or disappointed, frustrated, hopeless maybe... but deep down, i know my heritage cannot be denied. that i am brown and i smile a lot. seems to be what i can think of atm. now that i am living in another country, i now know how much my original home means to me. i find myself always going back to my childhood. back to family. back to happy memories. when the mister and i went to madrid, i knew it would be a city with a good chunk of "pinoyhood" scattered all over it. like the mini Rizal Monument which we had a jolly time looking... the first time it was just a few paces ahead from the metro but we didnt dare venture out so much afraid that we would get lost. but the next day, it was a stroke of pure luck, on our last day, we came by the Museo Naval showcasing the rich naval history of Spain including its conquest of the Philippines and also Gibraltar. the huge painting above is a depiction of the Spanish landing on Philippine shores.she is lovely isn't she? i felt a connection when i saw her and i am most definitely coveting her hair. i found her at the Museo Antropologia where there was a permanent exhibit about the Philippines.
and when one night after dinner we finally checked out the Mercado de San Miguel, i found my mother's favorite fruit sitting amidst the mestizas! what a lot of memories this fruit brings :D God never fails to bring me little reminders of home :D too bad i didnt bring this home with me.purportedly the oldest restaurant in the world, this Spanish resto has pinoy chefs! next time, maybe i will make reservations :D

Sunday, June 12, 2011

moments in MADRID (part 2)

all the keychains (or other kitschy souvenirs) in madrid could never equal the value of this humble early 1900's photograph of me and the mister taken with an authentic vintage camera in the grounds of the Sabatini Gardens :D talk about vintage indeed! i love this photo dearly and it is now sitting in a special shelf in our living room :Di just think this is sooo precious :D this is what we would have looked like in another time and in another place :D

Friday, June 10, 2011

moments in MADRID (part 1)

the mister asked what i wanted for my birthday. i said i dont want paperweights (he laughed because his first gifts to me were paper weights... all lovely but one is really enough). i said i dont want stuffed toys (he knows i dont like useless things.. theyre cuddly and cute yes, but after that they just gather dust). i said i dont want material things (i can buy them on my own, thank you). so what do you want? he asked again. i said i want moments. i want experiences. something that will stay in my memory forever. okay, he said, what about a trip to madrid? needless to say, i had a huge smile on my face and he got a huge hug in return :)the San Jeronimo Cathedral very near the Prado museum where we spent hours people-watching and art-browsingin the Buen Retiro Park where our national hero Jose Rizal used to hang out and write poems :Dinside the Mercado de San Miguel... very posh but also very Spanishenjoying my most-awaited paella arroz con negro.. made with squid ink...wooooowweeeee!!! i ate every last grain!and then at the end of our journey when we were so tired, we decided to take a nap in one of the green lawns in the Retiro Park while listening to the strums of a Spanish was a lovely day and we literally snored! all in all, we loved Madrid :D