I came upon this illustration by Nicole Lim via my friend Yvette on Facebook today and GLARG! I just loved it so much, I had to post it here. For those of you who don’t know, it’s a picture of Michael Christian Martinez, the only Filipino figure skater in the 2014 Winter Olympics — or any Winter Olympics, for that matter.
Here’s the thing, see. There’s a very valid reason that there aren’t more Filipinos in the Winter Olympics. It’s because WE HAVE NO WINTER.
So it just kills me that Wheee!! We, the winterless people, have a Winter Olympics athlete!!! That’s so awesome!
There’s been a lot of discussion and controversy in the local news about Michael and the lack of support he received from the government and blahblahblah, but bleh — I’ll leave that to other people to discuss.
I’m just going to be happy for him, and inspired, and grateful for the lessons he’s teaching us all just by being his 17-year-old, out-of-the-box-dreaming, hard-working, figure-skating, triple-axel-performing self.
Anything is possible. We are only challenged, not limited, by the circumstances surrounding us. And I don’t know about you, but I needed to remember that.
So thanks, Michael! Mabuhay!
As you may have surmised from my Calamansi Muffin fiasco, I’m really not the most obedient of amateur bakers. For some reason I can never seem to follow a recipe to the letter. I always have to improvise.
Sometimes I get lucky and come up with something surprisingly palatable, but that’s really not the norm. THIS is the norm:
So anyway yeah, it’s quite a bummer — and really rather wasteful, since even the dogs on the street won’t touch my rejects.
Luckily my latest disaster was a single-serving oatmeal cookie I saw on Eating Well, Living Thin. As usual, I saw the recipe and did my thang….
… with predictable results…
Luckily I was only making ONE cookie so the resulting wastage was minimal. And so it got me thinking… AHA!! I should totally only ever bake single-serving recipes!!!
It would solve so many problems — the waste of ingredients… my resulting internal self-flagellation… my husband’s super-annoying reactions…
So yup. Single-serving baking is definitely the way for me to go from here on out. I’ve found a ton of recipes already, but I think I’ll start with cookies.
Here are 7 easy recipes (one for each day of the week!) that you can try too when you’re suddenly hit with a sweet snack attack. Just click the links (or the pics) to get to the recipe pages on the blogs I borrowed them from.
No-Flour Oatmeal Cookie (the one I messed up) by Eating Well, Living Thin
Peanut Butter Cookie also by by Eating Well, Living Thin
Note: These recipes by EWLT use Splenda and have no flour, so they’re a little more diet-friendly than the others.
Single Microwave Chocolate Chip Cookie in a Minute by Prudent Baby
Here’s another one that you make in a cup! by Number 2 Pencil.
And a deep-dish chocolate chip cookie that you bake in a ramekin by Chocolate Moosey!
Can you tell chocolate chip cookies are my fave? Haha! But the next two might just change my mind forever…
Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt Brownie Cookie by My Happy Place
WTF, right? That looks awesome. Almost as awesome as the last one on the list…
Easiest Fudgy Nutella Cookies by Kirbie’s Cravings
OMG NUTELLA COOKIES! And they only have 4 ingredients! But wait. Hang on. Full disclosure. Please note that this Nutella cookie recipe actually makes 12 cookies. But as far as I’m concerned, that’s a single serving.
Enough said. :) Enjoy the recipes! Would love to hear your feedback if you get around to baking any of them. Cheers!
About 20 or so years ago, my sister Bambi and I used to host regular Friday night mahjong sessions at our house, and I often find myself wishing we could do that again.
Call me boring (or a little old Chinese lady at heart) but I friggin’ love mahjong, man. Best game ever. I’m pretty sure I could play it for a week straight without stopping if I didn’t have to sleep or perform bodily functions. Or umm.. work or whatever.
I’m thinking of starting a new mahjong group this year, but I do miss that old one we had back in the day. The group was actually made up of Bambi’s friends, so a few years younger than me, but really quite the fun and interesting bunch.
The only problem with being the oldest in that particular gang though was that I think they all assumed I had the answers to life, which I so did not. This, of course, never stopped me from pretending that I did.
(Incidentally, this drawing is still a pretty accurate representation of my life today.)
So it was kind of a given that whenever I was at a party of theirs, I was like the official go-to girl (or granny figure) for them to hash out whatever angst might assail them once the alcohol had kicked in. Honestly. It got so that I was considering charging a fee. Because they were even volunteering my services to emo people that I barely knew.
Anyway I remembered the old mahjong gang the other night when I was reading Tina Fey’s book Bossypants (it’s so funny, read it) - because something happened to her that also happened to me.
We should really be BFFs… But moving on…
If you read the book, it’s that part where her friend Brendan comes out to her. To quote Tina:
In my experience, the hardest thing about having someone ‘come out’ to you is the ‘pretending to be surprised’ part. You want him to feel like what he’s telling you is Big. It’s like, if somebody tells you they’re pregnant, you don’t say, ‘I did notice you’ve been eating like a hog lately.’ Your gay friend has obviously made a big decision to say the words out loud. You don’t want him to realize that everybody’s known this since he was ten and he wanted to be Bert Lahr for Halloween. - BossyPants
OMG! Haha! I can totally relate to that! It was during one particularly angsty drunken party (Wow. Super. I had back-to-back clients that night) that a member of the mahjong gang - let’s call him Sunny - suddenly decided to come out to me and admit that he was gay.
This was completely unnecessary, mind you. I (and I imagine everyone else on planet Earth) already knew this. Because seriously — I was always a relatively girly girl, but beside Sunny I swear to God I felt like RAMBO or something.
I mean Sunny wasn’t like my other friend Joj, for example (who also came out in a pretty funny way, but that’s a story for another day) — or those other guys that you suspect might be gay just because they dress neatly, work out, and have never had a serious girlfriend.
Whether he was aware of it or not, Sunny’s rainbow flag had always flown pretty high. So yeah, that was a pretty see-through closet Sunny was clambering out of that night. But I remember trying to act as surprised as I could because he obviously felt it was some sort of startling revelation.
It was no small feat, let me tell you.
The memory is a bit fuzzy now (remember.. drunken angsty party…20 years ago) but I fervently hope that whatever it is I did and/or said gave that moment the respect it deserved. Because although I’ve never had to come out of any sort of closet myself, I can imagine how difficult it must be. And I am in awe of the amount of courage and strength it takes to put yourself out there, knowing full well that the words you speak may change life as you know it.
So bravo, young Sunny, and Tina’s Brendan. And cheers to all of you who have done the same in the past, or plan to in the future. I salute you.
People may disagree and/or disapprove (and be hurtful and obnoxious - or just plain ridiculous - about it) but the truth is that there’s room enough in the world for all of us. So just go and be the person you need to be.
Be loud, be proud, and be happy. :)
I’m really not a very big fan of Valentine’s Day. I wrote a whole article about it last year for Rappler, so if you’re curious as to why I hate it, you can head over there and read it. Basically though I think it’s just too commercialized. And MUSHY. Bleh.
Having said that, I do realize that the hubby and I will still celebrate/acknowledge its existence somehow, so I’ve been looking around for ideas for cards to make for him and HA! I found some pretty good ones.
Here’s my fave from Etsy:
Haha!! I love it! And I’m pretty sure he will too.
Umm… at least I hope so.
Well. I guess I’ll find out.
Anyhoo, if you’re looking for funny, un-mushy cards too, here you go. Enjoy! :)
And don’t forget a Valentine for your single friends…
(That’s true, by the way. :))
Happy V-day, friends. :)
I saw this really interesting infographic about the Secrets of Happy Couples on Lifehacker yesterday, and was happy to see that the hubs and I seemed to be on the right track — except for the part about fighting.
Yeah we definitely fall more on the “unhappy” side of the equation when it comes to fighting style. In our defense though, I feel I must ask.. WHO THE HELL DOES THE STUFF ON THE LEFT SIDE WHEN THEY’RE FIGHTING???
FYI — If you’re showing humor and conceding on the other’s points… THAT’S NOT FIGHTING. And as for showing affection when angry… REALLY???
Yeah, I really don’t think so.
In fact, my friends and I had this whole discussion about angry sex the other night, because honestly, I don’t believe it’s a real thing. So it always bugs me when I see it in a show/movie or read about it in a novel.
The guys insisted angry sex really happens, but then, well … THEY’RE GUYS. They tend to think sex is achievable under any circumstances.
So yeah, I really don’t trust them when it comes to this. Makeup sex, sure. That’s definitely a thing. But angry sex?
I don’t think so.
Because I don’t know about you, but when I’m mad, the last thing on my mind is getting it on. What, we’re supposed to be all “ROAR! You hurt/disappointed/enraged me so now I will tear off my clothes - and yours - and have SEXYTIMES??”
I don’t think so.
In fact when I’m really mad, I’m all for no contact at all. I don’t even want to talk. I prefer to go off on my own, silently seethe for a bit and write shiz down.
Yup I’m pretty sure every guy I’ve ever gone out with has received at least one of my angry letters… because that’s my thang.
I prefer silence, and distance. And passive-aggressive shit. Which can be terribly annoying, I know, but my sibs and I weren’t really brought up to be battle-hungry and confrontational.
This is why we’re all so seemingly pleasant. This is how we look when we’re happy.
And this is how we look (in public) when we’re mad.
Yeah I know. Pretty creepy. But that’s just the way we are.
My husband and his family, on the other hand are the exact opposite of that — MAJOR CONFRONTERS, I tell you. So here’s what a lot of our fights looked like in the early years.
But then as the years go by, you start to rub off on each other, I guess. I’ve become a little more direct and confrontational when the occasion calls for it — and he’s learned to (sometimes) put a lid on the boiling rage within. And I think we’re both a little better for it.
We still have a way to go when it comes to “mature” or “ideal” fighting - whatever that may consist of - but we do try, and we do care enough to keep working at it, and I think that counts for a lot.
Fighting (and I mean REAL “I so do not agree with you!!! My point is the right one!! And there is no humor to be injected here! OR SEX!!" fighting) is just a normal, inevitable part of life as a couple, I think.
As long as you see it for what it is — a brief bump or detour on the road, something you need to go through so you know better than to pass that route again — I don’t think it’s anything to be afraid of. :)
What’s YOUR fighting style? I’m curious! Please share in the comments!
So it turns out Facebook and I share a birthday.
Except Facebook turned 10 this year, and I turned… well, never mind that. Moving on…
Yep, Facebook turned 10 on February 4th, and celebrated it by giving each user a personalized “look back” video showing highlights from the past 10 years.
Mine had a couple of misses (like “Whut? I barely know those people!”) but overall I think it was a pretty good representation of my Facebook life and sharing habits.
I think almost everyone I know felt the same way, so my FB feed’s totally flooded with #FacebookIs10 videos — and you know what? I really don’t mind at all. I kind of love watching them.
They’re so touching. And telling! Yup, I’m actually learning a lot from watching them. Here are 10 things I’ve learned already, just off the top of my head:
1. Facebook is 10 years old.
Let’s get that out of the way first because really… Who knew until yesterday? Definitely not me. I (and most of the people I know) joined in 2007 as refugees from Multiply, and had no idea it had been around since 2004. Maybe because the 2004 version of “TheFacebook” really wasn’t very attractive.
Yawn. I’m glad I came in later.
2. Based on the videos, the Facebookers I follow fall into 5 basic types:
- All about me
- All about me and/or my significant other
- All about my kids
- All about food
- All about memes
3. People who post nothing but selfies are even more obnoxious when in video format.
4. Kids grow really fast.
Seriously. What the F. They’re like tiny in 2008 then all of a sudden GIANTS in 2013.
5. Adults grow really fast too - but sideways.
And by “adults” I mostly mean me.
6. Pretty much any picture can be touching and make people emotional as long as it’s set to inspiring music.
7. Haters gonna hate.
I think that for the most part, people’s reactions to Facebook’s Look Back videos were positive, and there was a lot of good will floating around the news feeds. But then there were also these guys:
Because there just always are, no matter what. Can’t be avoided, I guess. :)
And then there were also people like these, who were watching people’s videos (and posting their own) BUT NOT KNOWING WHY, because…
8. Some people just don’t pay attention… or read hashtags.
Sigh. Next up…
9. It must be said… Facebook’s pretty creepy.
I already knew this. I remember it every single time I decide to tag people in pictures, AND I DON’T HAVE TO DO A THING.
But I realized it even more when I watched the videos, because they really did seem to know what mattered to each user. I’m sure there was some sort of formula or algorithm to figure all that out. It’s not like they hired an army of stalkers or anything, but it kind of felt like that. So yikes.
In spite of that, the whole “We made you all personal videos” thing really made me love Facebook this week, because…
10. Doing something other-centered on a day that’s special to you is a great way to celebrate.
I’m celebrating my birthday all week, and I’ve pretty much been “Me, me, MEEE!” the past few days — just because I think I can get away with it. But I love how Zuck and the FB gang made their celebration about doing something for (or giving a gift to) everyone else.
That’s pretty cool, and definitely something I’ll need to incorporate into my own birthweek bonanza.
So thanks Facebook, and Happy 10th!
Yippee! Happy birthday to me!
I wasn’t really planning to blog today, but my friend Racquel recently turned 39, and did a "39 Lessons" type of piece on her blog —- and I’m tempted to do the same. Given my age and tendency to ramble though, that would probably be more material for a book than a blog post…
So yeah, forget that. Besides, I really don’t have time today. Too many awesome messages to read…
….and then there’s all that cake-eating to commence…
So I think I’ll leave you with just one short lesson, or reminder or whatever, that I’m trying to live myself today — as soon as I finish this post. :)
Life is good. So take some time to get up, get away from whatever screen you might be attached to, get out there and celebrate it face to face with the people who matter to you.
That is all. Plus a postscript from the Oatmeal…
And off I go. Cheerio! :)
I’ve been kind of obsessed with tiny houses the past few weeks, so the hubby’s been subjected to a number of strange outbursts from me, ranging from wistful sighs…
…to out-of-the-blue pyscho rants.
It’s all the fault of this couple I read about in the NY Times who live in a tiny house — not because they can’t afford a bigger one, but because they prefer to have fewer things… “to allow them to free up their time and funds for intellectual and recreational pursuits.” How cool is that?
This is their house:
Anyway so yeah, I’m all for moving into a tiny house (or at least a smaller one) sometime in the future. Of course it’s not something that can happen right away, so in the meantime, I’m just adopting that cool couple’s life strategy — Own Less, Live More.
I love it. It’s my new life goal. So here are 3 ways I’m planning to start:
1. Get rid of all the junk in the house.
My mom’s a major hoarder — so much so that when she brings her strange collections out (for one reason or another), locating her can be quite a challenge.
I swear, she just can’t throw stuff away. And I really am rather deathly afraid that I’m following in her footsteps, so I’ve made this my other high-priority resolution for the year (aside from saving money). I’m getting rid of all the junk I’ve amassed in 11 years of living in this house.
It’s a pretty daunting task, since I’ve been looking around the house and realizing that I really am more my mother’s daughter than I thought — but I’m determined to do it.
So expect offers of donation, garage sales and other such things in the near future…
…and please don’t be offended if you see things among there that you gave me for Christmas or whatever. It’s nothing personal. I’m just really determined to downsize. :)
I also found this helpful infographic called Shred, Scan or Store? to help me figure out what to do with all my paper junk. If you need this too (AND YES, MOM, PLEASE NOTE…YOU DO) - then you can find it here.
2. Stop buying for the sake of buying, and stop collecting useless crap.
Umm. Gulp. This one’s a bit of a toughie, because like most women, I happen to think shopping is fun and therapeutic, and there are times I can go a little overboard.
But enough’s enough, right? It’s not as if I’ll stop shopping completely, but I’ve set a couple of ground rules to help me buy more mindfully:
- One in, TWO out. For every new thing I buy, I have to let two things go.
- For big purchases — don’t buy anything I can’t sell later at a higher price. So yeah, that rules out pretty much everything except for jewelry, art and real estate - none of which I can afford right now anyway. ;)
I’m sure I’ll come up with more as I go along, but those two should do for now.
3. Rethink gifting.
When I was all stressed out last Christmas, I set forth a proposition that a lot of my friends seemed to agree with.
I was semi-kidding when I said it, but the more I think about it, the more I want to make it happen for real.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think we should stop giving each other gifts. I just think we should stop giving each other THINGS. Let’s give each other favors. Or experiences. Or memories.
Not only will they take up less space, I really do think they’ll mean more.
Think about it. Just off the top of my head, here’s a quick list of experiences and “non-things” I’d rather have instead of material gifts any time:
- An offer to drive me somewhere. I HATE driving and parking.
- A date! Quality time is always good. Coffee or lunch, movie/show (or even a road trip!) together. I’d love that.
- Any beauty salon or massage treatment — always a winner.
- A good read — send or lend me an ebook!
- Pretty much anything that’ll make me laugh or relax or umm… full. :)
How about you? What would YOU prefer to receive instead of things? Let me know!
Anyway that’s it for my “Own less, Live more” plan so far. Any other suggestions? Leave ‘em in the comments. Cheers!
I don’t know why the hell I’m such a sucker for these wellness-mommy-type bloggers and their harebrained schemes. I swear, they do the weirdest, most disgusting things… like NOT SHAMPOO FOR FIVE YEARS…
But sucker that I am, not even 2 minutes after saying “Eeeewww!” I’m always all “Yeah, I need to try that.”
Except I really can’t do the poo-free thing (because I dye my hair a lot and what would be the point? And also, YUCK.) — so I’m trying to convince my mom and sister to do it instead.
No success so far.
Anyway the latest thing I discovered while browsing through Design Mom’s blog was this thing called OIL PULLING. Basically it’s this super healthy and beneficial alternative to brushing your teeth, where instead you kind of swish oil around your mouth for twenty minutes.
I know. You can probably imagine my reaction when I first read about it.
Especially since the intro picture on the blog was this:
I know, right? Feel free to join me in a GROUP GAG… 1,2,3… EVERYBODY RETCH!!!
But I have to say, I found the concept totally fascinating regardless. Plus the benefits seemed to outweigh the grossness. Apparently oil pulling is some ancient method of natural oral care, which “pulls” all the plaque and bacteria from your mouth, improves gum care and even whitens teeth. It’s even supposed to cure tooth decay, etc, etc.
So yeah. I needed to try that.
And so I did. Just this morning.
And you know what? It’s not bad at all. And it’s only about 1/8 as disgusting as I thought it would be. Here’s how it works:
I didn’t have any of that coconut LARD-looking stuff the bloggers used (thank god), but apparently you can use any high quality edible oil, so I used extra virgin olive oil. And I thought I might gag when I stuck a spoonful in my mouth but I really didn’t.
The only difficult (and potentially gross) part of the process is having to keep swishing the oil in your mouth for 20 minutes. First, because 20 minutes is a pretty long time. You’ll want to do something else while you’re swishing, so you don’t have to think about it so much. (I drew pictures for this blog.)
Secondly, as you swish, I guess you sort of promote the production of more saliva, so that one tablespoon of oil dilutes - which is a good thing - BUT it also increases in volume as you go along. So by the time your 20 minutes are almost up, you have a pretty big mouthful… which you’re kind of worried will overflow.
But hey, I made it. And so can you. In fact you want to make sure that you don’t EXCEED 20 minutes (since apparently that’s when the bacteria and toxins start to reabsorb into your system) —- so if you’re dying to spit but you’re still short a couple of minutes, just spit. But remember, don’t spit into the sink, spit into the trash, because that spit is chock-full of bacteria, man. Eeww.
So yeah, totally doable. After spitting I rinsed my mouth out with warm water (even if I didn’t really feel the need to. Mouth didn’t feel oily at all.). And guess what? My mouth felt GREAT!!! Really fresh (not toothpaste minty, but fresh-breathy nevertheless) and super clean! And my teeth felt really smooth. I loved the feeling.
So yeah, I think I’ll keep doing this. I certainly won’t stop brushing and flossing (come on, guys, let’s get real) — and I doubt I’ll have the time to oil pull in the morning on work days, but I really want to work it into my nighttime routine.
Now of course you don’t have to try it if the thought grosses you out, but hey — if you want to, at least you know what to expect. If you still need more convincing, you can find more info and FAQ’s about Oil Pulling here and here.