A little update

I’ve been remiss. The past few weeks (month) had been me staring at my screen wondering to put online. What to write? I look at my folder of various pictures of food and a part of me wants to slap myself.

“SC~~” I can hear my inner voice start to whine. “Another goddamn food review? We all know Feng Wei Wee is fantastic, and you’d be a sorry gourmand for ever not appreciating it! It’s also been blogged to death! Does the internet really need to see another picture of what you had for lunch?” 

Look! More Food Pics!

Look! More Food Pics!

Then the process of feeling shame and remorse begins. Considering my last food review post, it was too early to start another one. As much as I do enjoy food (and I do, and I am tend to be very vocal of what I love and HATE about food and restaurants), I didn’t want my personal blog be mired with nothing about me either praising or bitching about food..again.

Also it’s is detrimental. I have regained a whooping 20lbs from just ‘testing’ these restaurants as of late and I need to go back on the Cohen, stat! If I start blogging about food now, I’ll be back to my pre-Cohen weight in no time! Unacceptable! So that will never do. I had to write something else other than food.

At the time I started blogging years ago, I wanted to make a review blog, it didn’t matter what I reviewed…food, cosmetics, or fashion. I was unfortunately flighty, and focusing on just one thing was decidedly unappealing. So much so that at one point, I actually considered a blog for each category. I figured that was my OCD talking and thought better of it.

A little clutter, and a mess wouldn’t be so bad right?

vanity

Yes, that’s me in the mirror. :p

Speaking of clutter, I’ve decided a few weeks to start de-cluttering my vanity. I’m a certified little pack rat and I have a tendency to accumulate…stuff. Unfortunately, living in a small space and a kleptomaniac cat means that one has to learn to let go and throw away things.

That said, I spent two hours just sorting and cleaning. The results was one I hope to keep.

Unfortunately, I don’t have the “Before” picture of my vanity. I didn’t think of taking a picture when I started cleaning (nor did  I consider making a blog post about it until it was done). But to give you an idea, lets just say that I had a drawer choke full of cosmetics as old as a decade.

As a housewife, I realized I didn’t need as much cosmetics as I used to when I was working. Less is good after all, and that usually means when I do invest in cosmetics I can afford to invest in good quality ones  instead of cheap stuff that you can pick up at the local drugstore. Though in this picture, I need something else to secure the bottles of hair products, lotions and perfumes on my dresser. The open basket is nice, but I have a cat. And Mochi just loves to start digging through my vanity box because it makes crinkly sounds.

Like every other de-cluttering job, the bigger job is keeping it that way for a long time. It’s so easy to forget and end up buying those little things we think we all need. Next thing you know, the vanity’s a huge mess again and I’ll end up sorting and cleaning out stuff I bought but barely used (what a waste!)

I’ll probably dedicate another post on this particular housewife’s choice of cosmetics and toiletries. I didn’t think there’s so much to consider when you’re married and sharing a small (read: cramped) bathroom with someone else. And this time I promise to take pictures.

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Scones and Pasta Saturday

Saturday was a busy morning for me and the Hubby as per usual. It was morning punctuated with prepping the apartment for tonight’s geekery of gaming with friends and much needed grocery shopping for the week. Summer being the current season here has made doing anything outdoors impossible, at least for my husband and I.

We head out for a brunch at Serendra before we go grocery shopping and headed to this Italian restaurant that we’ve been noticing every time we pass by. Once inside, we notice Balducci’s interiors. It was dark and cool in a pleasant way and was actually far welcoming in the noon time heat. The vibe is all wine and dine classy place, with a deli at the side. The staff are attentive, and fairly knowledgeable of their menu.

We were served some complimentary warm bread with butter, liver pate and a tomato salsa type spread. It was a much step up than the usual barely warm foccacia bread with balsamic oil and vinegar dip in some places.

Our first order arrived which was an antipasti. We ordered the Insalata de Mare, a seafood salad. Unfortunately we forgot to take a picture of the dish, it was only when we were half way through with it when we realized I brought my camera with me.

Something to note about the service here is that it’s very top notch. They were attentive to the needs of the customers, the glass is made sure is always full with water, and the dishes arrived in a decent amount of time. Unlike most restaurants where they dump everything you order in your table in one go, and are now suddenly forced to scarf your soup, salad or whatever appetizer of your choice like an animal in vain hopes that your steak would still be warm by the time you’re done…which is always never the case. By now it’s grown colder than your ex’s little black heart and your meal has been turned into a cheap metaphor of broken relationships and Taylor Swift songs.

I was worried for a moment, since I have forgotten to request this from the server. But all my worries were unfounded as the staff was more than educated in serving food in sequential order (Service à la russeso each dish came out at the temperature it was meant to be served in and are therefore presented at it’s best.

My beautiful Arrabiata~♥

My beautiful Arrabiata~♥

I was having a hankering for a spicy pasta but I was disappointed to see there wasn’t any on the menu. The waiter suggested that they could have Arrabiata cooked by the kitchen (whee! Off-the-menu dish!) or choose to make some of the pasta spicier. The Arrabiata was the better choice for me.

Balducci’s take on the Arrabiata has got to be my favorite so far. The spicy is a slow burn that doesn’t overwhelm the refreshing flavor of the tomatoes, basil, garlic. This dish is served with a small dish of chili flakes on the side if I wanted it a little hotter. But for my standards, the pasta didn’t need more heat. I was far too worried of the spice burning the rest of the dish’s flavors.

The serving is fairly good for one person. It might be too much if you made the mistake of gorging on the complimentary bread or having far too much antipasti.

maccheroni

Hubby’s pasta

The Husband ordered the Marccheroni e Salsicce al Profumo Tatufo. A fairly hearty mushroom pasta dish, using truffle oil (and I think it has some truffle slivers) with Italian sausage. It’s got a strong umami flavor to it.

The husband really loves it, and I don’t really blame him. The balance of the flavors is pretty amazing. I was half expecting for the truffle oil to overwhelm everything.

If my Arrabiata was a bright summer’s day in the gardens, this dish is a cool walk through the woods in a lovely afternoon.

I know, I sound corny but I’m no professional gourmand and this was the best I could give as a mental image for the two pastas we’ve tried. My verdict in the ends it that I would not mind ordering this dish for myself next time I visit.

We didn’t stay for dessert though. Opting to try Chez Karine for a change but unfortunately, all blood was at the tummy so I’ve forgotten to take photos….again (I’m also lazy and not really a big fan of photography).

Insalata de Mare was at Php 380
Spaghetti Arrabiata at Php 370
Marccheroni e Salsicce al Profumo Tatufo at Php 480
Balducci is located in Serendra, The Fort

~ ❤ ~

scones part 2

Scones on my second try!

Update on the Scones!

As I mentioned in my earlier post, we were expecting guests arriving for our weekly table-top gaming meets. I was planning to show off my newly acquired baking skills. This time though, the scones came out much better than the first time. I made sure to only use enough of the milk and egg mixture on the dough and didn’t over knead it.

The husband liked this batch better, it was lighter and more crumbly like the scones we’ve had. The other boys were also happy with the scones and made short work of my lemon curd as well (and nutella jar, the two actually went well together too), and I’m more than happy to see that I 1/4 of the mixture is all that’s left.

After all, empty plates is a best compliment a chef or a baker can have. 😀

I can probably tuck away this recipe for future use. I’m a big fan of entertaining and this is perfect for serving for an afternoon tea with guests or something you and a kid can do too.

Whee! Look what my Husband Got Me!

Last week, my husband surprised me by buying me 3DS XL. I’ve been meaning to buy a 3DS XL when it was first announced. I like the 3DS and the DS series, they have a lot of nice games for retired hard core gamers like me who find more enjoyment playing with Facebook games compared to most console games nowadays.

So, if you’re wondering why my posts don’t seem to be making sense chronologically you know this is to blame. 🙂

Unfortunately, it took me this long to get one due to a lot of financial restraints over the past year…the wedding, the honey moon, medical expenses, insurance, taxes, the goddamn car repairs which was *last month* that almost made me cry—I’ve been meaning to save up for a Galaxy S4 or a Samsung 8.0 tablet but those plans got flushed away with the sudden deluge of bills.

Then last week happened. We dropped by the local gaming shop, Data Blitz (the only videogame shop that I know of that sells original games) and I spied a 3DS XL, in pink and white. I stared at it for a good few minutes wondering if I was seeing things. It has come to a point that I’ve given up seeing a 3DS XL that wasn’t red or blue, and I told myself I would only get one should a color alternative like a tasteful pink or lavender or baby blue came out.

Good bye Farmville!

Good bye Farmville!

It was just there. Looking oh so pretty. The husband noticed me sighing at it–as I usually end up doing every time I visit Data Blitz and see a 3DS XL–and asked the sale’s clerk if there was a pink and white unit was still in stock, and they have. I will admit to squeeing like a little girl and showering him with kisses when I found out that he was going to buy it for me along side two games for the 3DS to get me started (part of what encouraged the husband is that we can pay over the unit and games for six months spread out if our bill ends up at Php 10k)

I’m a very big Harvest Moon and Atlus fan, so I got Harvest Moon: Tale of Two Cities and Soul Hackers. I’ll admit, it’s because of Harvest Moon that I got hooked to farming games on Facebook. Though I’ve not played Farmville I used to be a heavy Gourmet Ranch player which is another farming game only prettier.

Harvest Moon will satiate my need for farming games from now on, and my friends list will never have to deal with countless farm requests (you guys are still going to get my Hidden Agenda ones though, at least it won’t be as many as before).

Look how well it fits on my hand!

Look how well it fits on my hand!

Once I had the 3DS XL in my hands, I note how comfortable it is compared to the standard sized DS. The screen is larger too, which is good as a major complaint in my old PSP lite is that the screen felt teeny. Just staring into it gave me a headache. Since this one is bigger, it is expected that it will be heavier, but that’s just fine. The heft is actually comforting, like I’m actually holding a portable gaming device suited to an adult rather than a 10 yr old’s.

I’ve been tinkering around with it, and I do find it amusing it’s got a built in pedometer when you put it on Sleep Mode, which encourages you to walk about with your DS. This is smart for a gaming console to try and reward you with some form of physical exercise as I do earn play coins, 1 play coin for every 100 steps I make.

This is good since I walk to the hospital every day to see my dad for his radiation treatment at Makati Medical Center. It also gives me something to do while I wait (and not think about all the sick people around me….) In any case, if anyone would like to be friends in 3DS/Mii, send me an email, leave a comment or something. We can trade Friend Codes. 🙂

The 3DS XL does have a few cons though, one of which is that the unit uses 110 volts as compared to the local 220 volts. You will need to buy an AC regulator (which if you owned an XBox 360 or a desk top PC, you probably have one of these lying around). The second one, is that it is heavy (almost as heavy as the Samsung 8.0 if I recall) I will have to reconsider the things I put in my bag to take the load off. I’ve got a nasty habit of weighing my bag down with unnecessary stuff and it’s not uncommon that I’d get a sore shoulder. Thankfully it’s not a too big an issue for me, since I can opt to leave behind my book…

Maybe I can just get rid of the plethora of make-up and empty my coin purse instead. (^^);;

I love my books and my games, they get higher priority all the time. I’m more apt to get a new bag to make lugging my stuff about easier. Over all, I am very happy with my husband’s gift. The 3DS XL is a great buy, and Data Blitz is offering quite a reasonable deal. I am looking forward to a lot of gaming time with it. ♥

Eclair Sees the Vet

Last week I noticed a few scabby wounds on my beautiful cat, Eclair. I had thought suspected that this was caused by rambunctious play with Mochi, a very active Oriental tabby. Eclair being a Ragdoll breed tend to be more passive, less active and are very docile. It’s those traits that many breeders encourage keeping their Ragdoll a purely indoor cat, as their genetic predisposition of being the doormat of the cat world makes them vulnerable against people and other cats.

I was worried about the rivalry between Mochi and Eclair as the two never got along, but I noticed after feeling under her fur that she had the same similar scabby wounds. Now I’m no stranger to seeing injuries on animals, so I was pretty sure these weren’t consistent to animal bites at all. I did suspect it was either some kind of skin infection or a fungal infection, the possibility of it bothered me since there’s a chance Mochi could also get infected with it.

This brought bringing both cats to the vet, might as well as the two were also overdue for their shots (I would have brought them sooner but I got sick the past few weeks to take them).

Eclair_quarantine02

A cleaned fungal site

Mochi was declared okay, but poor Eclair was diagnosed with a fungal infection. She was given some medicated shampoo and we were told to give her a bath once a week and spray her with some medication spray. Upon going home, we realized how that is an impossible mission. Eclair despite her docile temperament would not hesitate to show her displeasure of not just being bathed but also picking at the scabs we were supposed to clean. I have enough scars mind you so we decided to return in the week and sent my husband to take her to the vet’s groomers to do the job (I would start crying if I saw them clean up the scabby wounds, there were so many!)

She was bathed but poor Eclair looked so matty and unhappy. Unfortunately for her, her troubles are only starting.

The vet had requested we quarantine her, or at the very least make sure our hands are clean when we handle Mochi and make sure the two do not share bedding. For once, I’m grateful of Eclair’s standoffish behavior. She and Mochi never really along so it was highly unlikely they’d be sharing the same space or even cuddle.

Her Shower Bedroom

Her Shower Bedroom

None the less better safe than sorry, so I had to make sure the bathroom was dry, clean and set up Eclair’s space for the night (and hours where I can’t be around to supervise the two). Now Eclair is a people cat. She loves to be with company, so any sort of quarantine distresses the poor dear. She refused to eat when I or my husband are not present. She was suddenly more needy.

I took the time to play with her, and gave her a little bit more TLC. Which unfortunately angers Mochi, who is by far the most jealous cat I’ve met.

The times when Eclair would be out of the bathroom, Mochi would hiss at her angrily. She was needier too, more than her usual and would in frustration attack my hair and back. To say I’m a bit overwhelmed with these two at the moment and I have to be vigilant for their care can be a wee bit stressful.

A happier Eclair getting attention.

A happier Eclair getting attention.

It’s hard to be a pet parent sometimes, but I’d never give away my darlings for anything. Eclair and Mochi will always be our little pet babies!

Baking Exercise: Lemon Curd & Scones

I am a big fan of scones with lemon curd. I’ve discovered this love for such a simple tea snack fairly recently. A visit to the da.u.de Tea Lounge at the Fort has cemented my love for it (their food and teas are delish).

Unfortunately my wallet disagrees. For a simple dessert, the cost of eating just *one* scone with lemon curd and clotted cream is at a whopping Php 185 last I ate there. That cost for me, doesn’t justify the dessert. For one thing, scones are fairly easy to make. In fact it’s so easy, a beginner at baking can do this in an hour. The ingredients also, are not expensive and can be bought at your local grocery.

Neither are the Lemon Curd and the Clotted Cream are expensive nor very hard to make either.

So as much as I enjoy da.u.de’s Scones, I can’t go there often. Not with all the expenses that piled up the past year. But I’m not the type to starve myself of a treat as simple as this and I do enjoy baking and cooking to some extent. So why not try to make this dessert myself, right?

And that’s what I did.

I started with the Lemon Curd. It wasn’t hard, I found one at allrecipes. Actually I found two types: one you can do over the stove, and the other on the microwave (talk about lazy cooking).

I decided to be industrious and do the Lemon Curd recipe that uses over the stove.

Cook’s note: The recipe requires the use of a double boiler, but really…you don’t need this. You can substitute using a sauce pan, and a metal or glass mixing bowl that can fit over it. Just make sure–and this is very very important–that the simmering water does NOT touch the bottom of the bowl. Also using this technique, you can melt butter and chocolate. 🙂

This is important, since double boilers are a little bit expensive for something that does only one thing. That and I live in a studio unit condominium, so it’s without saying that my kitchen is tighter than a virgin in a convent. It doesn’t leave room for a lot of space, and it can get really hot especially when an oven is involved.

In before 4 hours of refrigeration

In before 4 hours of refrigeration

The result after 4 hours in the fridge (as per instructions) this is what came out. It was sweeter than what I’m used to, but not bad for a first time. In the future, it might be best to not use overripe lemons (as the lemons have been sitting in my fridge for two weeks).

You will come out with a lot of lemon curd though, even with the recipe. It’s great to use if you have biscuits or plan to make tartlets or sweet turnovers/empandas instead of savory. You can even use them on cake, as evidenced to this lovely recipe of a Lemon Layer Cake from Yummy.

And if you’re the type to enjoy sharing your gift of love from the kitchen, all you need to get are those tiny jam jars and give them away as presents. Heaven knows, I’ve tried looking for ready-to-eat lemon curd from every other deli and imported section in a grocer for the past few months only to always come out empty handed (and irritable when the veritable staff looks at me like I’m talking about something alien sounding–looking at you Santis).

My scones look flat…and biscuit-looking…

But having lemon curds alone is fairly lonely, and figured I might as well pair it with some Scones, also pilfered from the allrecipes website (this place is really useful. I think I got my previous cinnamon and butter cookies from this website a few years ago and it was very well received).

The scones came out…well a bit more flat than I would remember it. Scones tended to be crumbly, and I fear it’s because I used too much of the milk and egg mixture. You only need the dough moist and not a lot of kneading. Other than that, the recipe is fairly straight-forward and simple.

The Scones aren’t too sweet by itself, just sweet enough that paired with the lemon curd doesn’t make your teeth twinge at the sweetness. I actually liked it and the husband, seem to approve of it as well.

Practice a few more times and I’ll probably nail it. Hopefully.

Stuff I need to learn next is how well and how long do they keep. As there are only my husband and I at home, there was a lot of left overs. According to some recipes, the lemon curd can keep for a week in the fridge. For the scones, I will freeze both baked and unbaked versions, and see which is the better option.

This little experiment made me realize that I do miss baking. It’s been quite a long time since I last baked (due to a never replaced oven, at least until I moved out and bought a tiny convection oven) and I’ll admit part of procrastinating was the mountain of dish washing that had to be done after particularly when baking is involved. If it weren’t for the husband’s voluntary duties of dish washing, I highly doubt I’d be this eager to experiment in the kitchen (it’s bad enough that it’s small, cramped and uncomfortably hot to cook in it, so the additional chore isn’t exactly encouraging).

This won’t be the end of my future kitchen experiments, I think. I look forward to a lot of experimenting and learning, and I hope to be able to chronicle my journey here. Hey, it’s a good enough excuse to blog. 🙂

Cohen Recipe: Chicken Lettuce Cups

I may have mentioned it before that I had been on the Cohen diet prior to my wedding. Well I sort-of had to go back to it. Last long weekend-vacation has left me with some undesirable weight gain (I can’t help it! My in-laws are fantastic cooks! And we have Chinese duck liver sausage! Do you have any idea how deliciously unhealthy it is? Well it is!)

The origin of this dish is Chinese, and I often seen it served at home or in a restaurant as an appetizer. The original recipe uses hoisin, a sweet tasting sauce, some vinegar and water chestnuts. Unfortunately, Cohen has not approved the use of Water Chestnuts and hoisin in our diet. Actually Cohen restricts a lot of things so most of our food ends up tasting bland or down right horrid.

Cohen Chicken Lettuce Cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 packet Splenda
  • garlic (vegetable allowance)
  • tomato (vegetable allowance)
  • onion (vegetable allowance)
  • bell pepper (vegetable allowance)
  • zucchini (vegetable allowance)
  • lettuce (vegetable allowance)
  • salt and pepper (spice allowance)
  • ground chicken breast (protein allowance)

Procedure:

  1. Season the ground chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. Chop all the vegetables finely, set aside.
  3. Prepare a skillet, heat it to medium. Once hot enough spray it with olive oil.
  4. Saute the seasoned ground chicken until no longer pink, add the vegetables and saute until caramelized.
  5. Add one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, continue sauteing. Wait for the strong vinegary smell to burn off. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. At the last stage of sauteing, sprinkle the Splenda. Saute for 30 sec. before turning off the heat.
  7. Spoon some of the chicken mixture into waiting lettuce cups. Serve with a grilled tomato or fresh. Either way it’s still good.
  8. Enjoy~!

You can opt to add another pack of Splenda if you want it sweeter really as long you are within your Splenda allowance, and there’s no harm in mixing sugar with balsamic vinegar before you pour it into the pan (although I’ve not tried it so I’m not sure if it’ll taste any different). If you don’t have zucchini, you can try to substitute with cucumber (or add cucumber) but for that you’ll want to add it a little later once you’ve turned off the heat. The refreshing crispiness of the cucumber will add texture to your ground chicken.

I’m Back…I hope.

It’s been a year and a month since I had been here. I seem to have gotten the habit of updating yearly, which is a shame. So much has happened lately that I felt a smidgen guilty for not updating.

Well sort of.

The combination of my diet from hell and the stress of the wedding planning would have left me with posts that would probably consist of nothing but HATE. Seriously. And it wasn’t that the wedding preparation was terrible. If anything, everything went smoothly except for one thing…well several but that’s probably because it was one person/designer handling it.

The Dress. And the Groom’s suit. And the entourage’s dresses and suits.

The man gave me no end of grief, wasted my money for which I was forced to purchase a RTW wedding dress from Rosa Clara (I love you, you are my savior! They got my dress ready two weeks before the wedding!) and embarrassed me to the point I either had to buy a replacement or let them wear whatever dress they chose for the wedding.

I hate him sooo damn much. He was the biggest thorn on my side, and the dresses he made were all TERRIBLE. A blind, rabid monkey with a penchant for Lady Gaga’s style of fashion would have done a better job than he ever did. He didn’t even have the decency to deliver the dresses we already paid for in time. In fact he delivered the last of them 4 hrs before the wedding started. <insert angry sounds here>

I hope you rot in hell you fucking bastard. I really do.

(You see, it’s been nearly 7 months ago this happened and I’m *still* bitter about it. Aren’t you glad I didn’t write anything during that time?)

Moving on…the day came and went, and it was lovely…or so I was told. I don’t really remember much of it, considering I was the bride and all I wanted was to get it over with, get out of my dress and make-up and get back to bed. It was a morning wedding and I had only four hours of sleep (no thanks to the designer, I still hate you. Die in a fire.) before I had to wake up and get ready.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned on my wedding and probably impart on every would-be bride is this: (1) Research your designer, followed by: don’t shrug off RTW dresses. Sometimes they’re even better than the designer and don’t carry the same atrocious price tag (2) Don’t scrimp on your food. Scrimp everything else but the food. No one, and I mean no one will ever remember your make-up, your dress (unless you spam tag them in your wedding photos online and not shut up about it), the music. But the food? Oh yeah…people will remember THAT.

Think about it. If you had to remember the weddings you’ve been to, the food is what people will remember the most. As the bride, enjoy the food tasting before the wedding. By the time the wedding rolls around, even when things go perfectly well you’re either stressed or too excited to be able to taste anything.

It has been 7 months and counting after my wedding and I’m happy. Well *happier* than I was before of course. Some of my single friends are asking me if it feels different now that I’m married. I have no idea what to answer, I pretty much shrug and say that nothing really feels different except I don’t have to clean the cat’s litter box anymore.  🙂

Life’s good.

Diet Milestones

It’s been a month and I just had my first weigh in from Cohen. It was a trying month admittedly, looking back at all my posts. But it’s been good. I lost 15.8lbs in my first month. That’s two cats of Eclair’s size. I lost that. In a month.

*would put up the success baby photo if I wasn’t so lazy*

It was more than just weight, I could tell I lost inches as well. Clothes that I bought two years ago I can wear now, and are even loose. People who have last seen me last 2010 are surprised to see that I look smaller.

Still I’m far and away from my target weight, but I am confident that I can make it. I’ve gotten the hang of prepping my meals. Right now I just clean my vegetables and sort them out in big bags. I don’t prep them by meal anymore as I found it easier to weight them before cooking. Except for the meat and chicken and other proteins, for that I really have to weight and put in separate containers for each meal since those things are frozen for the rest of the week.

I’ve even begun slowly easing myself back into yoga. I bought this yoga DVD a year and a half ago and now I try as a I can to do 1 hr a day. I used the beginners program, and it feels good to finally start getting that bit of exercise. Eventually I want to go back to swimming. I used to be a big swimmer in my day and I missed the sport a lot.

I just have some issues swimming in my building, my neighbors are certified douche bags–once I stepped on an inch long broken glass on the pool steps when I went swimming as early as 6am, on the day after it was previously cleaned the night before. Of course I complained but there was little that could be done. You see, there are balconies directly above the pool. So any douche bag can just chuck their trash over their balconies and into the pool below.

But I digress, it’s good to be able to become active again. My weight problems have become an issue. I’ve developed knee pain a month before I started Cohen, a first for me. I’ve also noted that I couldn’t walk as fast anymore, I tired easily. Emotionally I felt like a wreck, realizing my clothes don’t fit, that I can only buy at the “fatty” section in malls, where the clothes made for big people look really horrid. It didn’t help that alternated with eating like a bird before stress or depression would make me order some atrocious fast food to drown my sorrows in.

I was taking several medications for my hormones and cholesterol (which I think may have contributed to my mood swings), expensive stuff. And my blood sugar was borderline high. I was really scared. Cancer runs in the family, my mother had recently passed away with cancer and I just recovered from my own illness a decade back regarding a previous brain tumor.

Health wise, vanity wise I’ve got a lot of reasons to keep on going. But I’ll admit it’s been a challenge lately as we’ve gotten into the wedding preparation stage of choosing a reception–which we agreed it to be a restaurant. So I can’t taste the food <insert whimpering>, instead I’m relying on my fiance and his sister to do the tasting for me. I’m glad they’re just as picky of foods as I am so I’m rest assured they would know what to look out for.

Anyway, wish me luck and hoping to lose more weight on my second month!

Birthdays and Leaky Valentines

I just celebrated my 31st birthday last Sunday. It wasn’t a big affair. It was just me, the fiance and his sister and her boyfriend. It wasn’t intentional. We just hanged out at my place, had a good lunch (well good for them, while I dined miserably on my Cohen approved meals, oh woe is me~~~~) and just shared and talked.

The only thing I wish was that I could be a better host. I would have loved to cook for them, but well..diet. My motto on getting rid of temptation was to usually give in, so keeping “not allowed” foods at my fridge is just an invitation to more weight gain.

Despite my food being “medicine” as the Cohen tagline is, my food is usually very bland and too little. And as my previous posts had shown, often made me cranky or tiny bit depressed. Also all the chopping and weighing is still annoying a hell to do. It’s tedious to do for one and takes me an entire day to shop, clean the vegetables, chop, segregate and start weighing and labeling. Some of which I had to do on my birthday. Seriously, I need to find a better way to do this.

Other than that it was a peaceful, pleasant birthday. I even got gifts! My dad sent me a blue tooth headset. My fiance’s sister bought me a Spanish lace fan which I loved! She got it from the Legaspi Sunday Market, when she and her boyfriend went to grab lunch. I told her how my favorite Spanish lace fan was stolen from me and how it upset me since I loved it. Now I have a new one and it’s very pretty!

I told the fiance to save his gift when I’m done with Cohen. He’s usual treat was to take me out to eat in very nice places. Also I made him promise me a proper birthday cake, even a late one. If there’s one thing I love about birthdays is the cake. I can’t think of birthdays without it! It’s like trying to imagine Christmas without a Christmas tree or Santa or a Nativity scene. It’s a must.

My Valentine’s was sadly less pleasant. I awoke one cherry morning to find out the ceiling in my kitchen is leaking..specifically the area where the bulb was. It was going on for some while that half my kitchen mat was drenched, and my counter was wet with smelly water. Seeing the light flicker and spark, I madly smacked the switch off. I then immediately contacted the building maintenance and admin to report the problem. This was at 7am.

They suspected that my neighbor’s unit upstairs is flooded due to a faulty plumbing, but sadly it was unoccupied since it had no tenant and the only thing they could do was shut off the water to the unit. I was indignant. It’s common sense to shut off electricity and water if there’s no one living in your unit for longer than three days. And it’s not like it’s hard to get them back up either, some people are just lazy and stupid. And I’m paying for that stupidity.

Admin had promised to try to contact the unit owner or coordinate with unit owner’s architect. I’ve called the Admin several times in the day…around 9am, around lunch…2pm…all of them told me they can’t get a hold of the unit owner or the architect, and to wait for their call (which they never do by the way).

I. Was. Pissed.

I stormed downstairs to their office and let them have it (without the swearing). My unit had been newly renovated and I paid a very pretty penny to get my apartment the way it looks right now and I won’t have them ruin it or more importantly, destroy the electrical which could lead to a fire.

So I got there, pissed like the devil and complained what the fuck was going on. I never yell, but I knew to convey a great deal of emotion even when I sound calm. It also helped I spoke straight American English. I think that’s when everyone knew that I wasn’t joking around anymore not when I told them that they and the unit owner were going to shoulder whatever damage that occurs, emphasizing that my unit wasn’t a year old in it’s renovation.

This was at 4:15 pm.

By 4:20pm, Admin finally got the unit owner’s send us their unit key as soon as they can. Maintenance along with the building Engineer were upstairs in my unit already disassembling the socket and taping the wires (which they should have done in the first place rather than stare at my ceiling and make comments).

Twenty minutes later, we got word that the key to the unit upstairs arrived and they need to check upstairs. By 5pm, I was told that the unit above me was as they suspected flooded and they’re now mopping the worst of the water away and the leak in my ceiling would stop soon. They also informed me the unit upstairs would send a plumber the next day to address the issue.

I’ve calmed down somewhat, and I was pretty okay with them doing the rest of the repairs to my ceiling the next day. By the time dinner rolled around, the leaking all but stopped.

I don’t know why I need to to start threatening people to get people to act. They don’t have any sense of urgency at all. I fairly live in upscale condominium in the heart of Makati. You’d think that these people would have better service given how much we had to pay for in terms of Association dues.

And let’s not even talk about my neighbors. (>_<) When I asked admin about their rules regarding units that flood, I was told that they were once allowed to “break in” into the unit to stop it. A lot of unit owners threw a hissy fit. Then when Admin tried to impose a rule on requiring unit owners to shut off their unit’s electricity and water if they were going to leave it unoccupied for long periods of time, they threw an even bigger hissy fit, claiming that they were paying for electricity and water to begin with and they didn’t have right to turn off anything.

I have no words.

Irregardless, I had to cancel a lot of stuff that I needed to do that Valentine’s day. It wasn’t exactly how I thought I’d be spending the day of hearts, hating my neighbor (and partially at the building Admin) with all my being. I have turned for that day this tiny ball of stress and hate that couldn’t find peace until they did something.

Here’s to hoping that next year’s Valentine’s day wouldn’t be as hateful.