Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Fashionably Ferosh Fifi Lapin

I wasn’t even aware of how deeply Fifi Lapin has creeped into the fashion world till I got a Fifi Lapin Sweethearts overnight bag as a Christmas gift. The world's most stylish bunny now has a range of Le Sportsac bags fashioned after her likeness. There are three prints to choose from – “Dress Up” presents Fifi in her runway best; “Fifi In The Sky” shows Fifi sleeping against the night sky; and “Sweethearts” displays Fifi and her boy, Sonny Hare, as they go on some romantic dates around the world.

Fifi Lapin is a chic rabbit with an amazing wardrobe straight from the runway created by an illustrator based in the UK. For those of you not acquainted with Ms. Lapin, here’s what it says on her Blogger profile…
Fifi Lapin is an extremely stylish rabbit.

Fifi was born one of 257 brothers and sisters (you know what they say about rabbits) but sadly there was an outbreak of myxamatosis when she was just a year old and she was the only one to survive. Her parents are therefore incredibly protective and spoil her rotten. As an ‘haress’ to her fathers fortune (which he made playing fast and loose with carrot and lettuce shares on the international stock market) she loves nothing better than spending her time shopping, browsing fashion magazines, shopping and attending the opening of an envelope. People may think she's just a socialite but behind that sweet smile lies more than just an extremely stylish clotheshorse.

If you would like to know more about Fifi, go to her blog where you will be able to read all about "the most stylish of all rabbits" and her amazing jet set lifestyle and more importantly check out her gorgeous outfits!
I must admit that I was never one to make bambi eyes with the Japanese-inspired and Italian-designed TokiDoki trend. Anyone scream "kawaii"? Although I love reading her blog from time to time and I confess to occasionally checking out her BFF, Ruby Gatta's design blog, I just find the whole anime look too quirky for my own taste. 

Still, I refuse to let a perfectly functional bag go to waste - creepy and fashionable animal notwithstanding. 

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Temptation by Royce'

I can say, hands down, the family’s favorite gift this year is the bagful of  ROYCE’ Chocolates we got from Dennison and Jan.

Royce’ Chocolates originate from Japan.  As with everything Japanese, the brand puts a heavy emphasis on excellence, that even the packaging spells impressive. The bag comes in a thick clinical white paper, and each box is placed in another protective plastic.

This is THE favorite chocolate brand of the three little ones that every time we pass their tiny store at Greenbelt, they would beg me to buy a steeply-priced minuscule box.  Already, I would do everything within my powers to avoid that tiny space of chocolate heaven, hoping that they would not remember.  But they do!  They would rush to the sales attendant and point to their favorite, the Nama Chocolate.
I am not a chocolate purist and I shamefully admit that I prefer my chocolates when they are mixed with almonds, walnuts, macadamia or any type of tree nut.  However, I can make an exception for the Nama Chocolate any time. It has a superbly, velvety soft texture that melts smoothly the moment you place it into your mouth.  It is unlike anything I have ever tasted.  In my opinion, the Nama singularly claims the chocolate supremecy test in favor of Royce.

I am sorry that I couldn't give you a better photo as the picture above doesn't do the Nama any favor.  The cocoa powder that covers each bar has actually started to coagulate due to the extreme Manila heat. 

On the other hand, the bite-size, thin rounds of Royce’ Pure Chocolate offer a distinctive gustatory experience.  The chocolate orbs perfectly fits the mouth in one pop. The ridges on one side are designed to be placed waves side down to enhance the eating pleasure.

Now excuse me as I go back to give full attention to these lip-smacking discs!I am sooo giving in to the temptation!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Happy Gift Giving

I wanted unique and handsome gift tags to accompany each holiday gift I hand out this year.  So a few months ago, I started my painstaking work on each of them.

However, upto the present they still remain as designs in my computer, exquisite though they are to my own eyes.  I have not had the time to have them printed out. As I looked at the piles of items that are waiting to be wrapped ,  I succumbed to reality ( and the easy way out, really) and used store-bought gift tags.

Here they are, all wrapped and ready to be delivered.

Still on design, I just want to share the save the date card and party invite that I made for J's class party.

Happy Holidays!  Enjoy all the parties and just say YES to all the invites coming your way!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Playful Kitten

Our very own Lea Salonga is poised to play Grizella in the Manila production of  CATS – The Musicale.  I missed this on Broadway so I want to catch this local staging.

The play brings to mind one of the kiddie parties we attended early this year.  I came home almost looking like one of the cast members.

None of the kids, including my own, were interested in having their faces painted; leaving the face painter very bored stiff.  A few minutes before the party broke up, Tanya and I had this crazy idea of having some fun.  We decided to have our very own Littlest Pet – on our face, that is!  We excitedly told the artist we wanted those drama eyes – big and adorable; with long, loopy eyelashes; slinky whiskers. 

Pretty soon, all the moms joined in the looniness! 

Sometimes, it is fun to just let go and act like a kid again, even if only for a while.  Meow! :)

Crumbs on the Coookbook

I want to let you in on my peculiar way with cookbooks - I read them like I do a novel.  Why not? I take pleasure scrutinizing the ingredient list and the cooking process of each recipe.  I delectably savor the method of perusing it from the first page to the last, consuming every element as I go along. 

A few months ago, 2 wonderful ladies simultaneously offered to lend me their treasured cookbooks.  One a knowledgeable and experienced home-baker and the other one a certified foodie.  The recipe books were my favorite bedside companions at night for the past few weeks.  As I went through the pages, I would make a mental note to take a crack at the recipes that called my name

The carrot cake from the Baking Illustrated was the first endeavor.  It was yummy!  One more recipe added to my “tried and tested file.”  My apologies for not taking a photo of the finished product.  It was speedily boxed and packaged, given as gifts of appreciation for the kindness of several friends.  The few remaining ones were gone in the blink of an eye, thanks to the fast hands of B and R.

The next attempt was the granola bars.  This one needed a little improvement, and I can incontestably declare that my current master granola recipe is still the one to go to.

The most recent undertaking was to attempt to re-create the flavor and texture of Mrs. Field’s cookies. This endeavor was actually two weeks in the making, or thinking, as the case maybe.  After all, choco chip cookie doesn’t really sound exciting.  There are several recipes that abound, all claiming to be the best ever.

I am amazed at how close the cookies come to the original Mrs. Field’s.   This one truly takes the cake, or the cookie.  It is simply the best!

My next baking project is the German Chocolate Cake from the Joy of Cooking recipe book.  It will be made with the mocha fillingfound in the same book.  What keeps me from putting this one off is the multiple process involved in making it.  Baking the layered cake, cooking the filling and finally preparing the chocolate ganache frosting.  Whew!  I got tired just thinking about it. :)

I suppose I should get my own copy of these two books anytime now.

Gemma and Mely, I promise to return your books soon, but first I have to dust off the flour …

Friday, December 4, 2009

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like CHRISTMAS

The first week of December has not even ended and yet our family has already been blessed with Christmas presents starting to trickle in.   The kids are excited to take a peek at what's inside, but I've told them to wait for Christmas before they open them.

Seems to me that Rustan's is the favorite among discriminating shoppers, because not only do they have a wide selection of  top-notch items, they offer free and exceptional gift wrapping service.  I love that they didn’t stop with the fine-looking gift-wrappers, all gifts are also adorned with these exquisite ornaments.

I love the graphics featured on this gift bag.

I love the Christmas wrappers that I bought this year, all 75 sheets of them!  C was sort of shocked to find out that I bought so many, but I don’t want to find out in the middle of wrapping that I ran out of wrappers, like what happened last year.  Also, I made sure to buy wrappers that have the Christmas colors but are not too christmas-y in design, so should I have any left-overs this season, I am sure that I will find some other use for them. 

I have started wrapping our own gifts to give to family and friends.  I always try, and the operative word here is try, to personally wrap all the gifts myself.  I find so much joy in doing it, and the solitude of the task also serves as my quiet time.  It seldom happens but if I find myself neck deep already then some help is definitely needed.

My favorite Christmas purchase this year is something that is very cute and useful.  I bought about seven dozens of these cute berries for the kids to give to their friends.

When you open them out, they turn into bags.

Enviro-sack bags have continued to be popular this year.

So there, this is my first post this season.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Shopping and Female Bonding

Shopping is the universal female language. Friendships are usually cemented over numerous shopping trips together.  Still, some say that shopping is very similar to a contact sport like football. The scrimmage, the noisy crowds, the danger of being trampled to death…

C and I were supposed to take B on a much-deserved one-on-one date with us, a reward for getting second honors during the 2nd quarter of the school year. I have decided this 2009 that instead of giving out material things as a reward for academic excellence, we should instead offer as a reward our undivided attention for one afternoon with any activity of their choice.

She was beside herself with excitement, and couldn’t decide whether to eat out or to have a chance to play at Time Zone ( a local gaming arcade). It was heart-breaking to see her having difficulty deciding on how to spend the date that I agreed we do both.

It was too late to postpone when I found out that the biggest bazaar this side of the world is happening on that same day. I found myself in a really tight spot. Should I or should I not? I took a crack at asking B if she was up to a last minute change of plans. Luckily, it was not that hard to convince her.

So the three of us drove off to Ayala, Alabang that hot and humid Sunday afternoon. It seemed to me that everyone was there; the streets leading to the bazaar were filled with cars as far as five - yes, you read that right, five blocks away.

While I was wound up to the highest degree as I saw the numerous merchandise spread out before me, B was slowly getting piqued. As both of my hands added shopping bags with great speed, it was with the same frequency that she began to feel resentful. What seemed to be at first to be a brilliant idea was slowly turning out to have a tinge of unpleasantness. Culminating with a tantrum conveniently timed when I was having a chat with a friend whom I haven’t seen for a while. She stepped in, and in true B fashion stomped her foot and said, exceedingly loud in fact, “This doesn’t feel like a date at all!”

Looking back, I feel like such a bad mommy for actually luring her into a bazaar and sugar-coating it as bonding time. B was obviously railing against not being able to enjoy our time together, intensified to a greater extent by the excessive heat and the huge crowd. I failed to foresee that she was only as high as everyone’s tummy, thus her view was limited to the same and she couldn’t even see the numerous display above her.

So, yes, I still feel bad two days after. And yes, I am writing this so that when she is older and she gets to read this, she’ll know that Mommy feels remorseful about that certain decision.

But what if the shopping cum bonding happens to take place inside an air-conditioned and spacious mall? That can certainly pass, right?

Photos form Premier Packaging and Jewelflyt

Thursday, November 5, 2009

One Fine Day

When nature commands the sun to showers us tenderly with her splendid rays of yellow;  when she summons the wind to generously blow a gentle breeze, what else is there to do but to go outdoors and be one with her?

Trying hard to get at the ball, at all cost...
This is a hilarious pic of R sitting on the ball.  After successfully getting the ball from his big sis, nothing would make him let go of it...

And where do we find B, in the middle of this all?  Uncharacteristically, just watching from the sideline...

This is one day I would want to happen again soon...

Monday, November 2, 2009

Bookshelf For A Song

I just wanted to share with you my happiness over finding a new bookshelf.  I did not want to invest so much in it, like the way I did with the custom-made desk and hutch.  I bought this at S&R for a song, practically.  While I see the hardwood desk staying with me forever, this new bookshelf will be with us only temporarily as C and I seem to suffer from bibliophilia. :)  Hence, I predict a need for a new one to house the growing collection in the near future. 

After 10 years of marriage, this is the first time that we will be consolidating our library.  There are still a lot of books in our individual bookshelves, but I am tired from moving books already so they will have to stay where they are till I find the time and energy to move them.

Here are some of C's selections:

Some of my favorite books:

Kulinarya ( A Guidebook to Philippine Cuisine) is my preferred reading material at the moment.  Food styling is done by one of my favorite creative persons, Claude Tayag.  He is not only a fellow Cabalen, but a talented food/travel columnist, as well.

J’s favorite book in my library:

 "If you truly love a book, you should sleep with it, write in it, read aloud from it, and fill its pages with muffin crumbs."