Saturday, 31 December 2011

Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne. 

As the hours wind down and another year bites the dust, can't help go through the usual end-of-year reflection.

2011 has been quite a ride, for sure, especially at work. But at the end of it, really, the things, the people, that really matter remains around as anchors of strength, and the reasons to carry on despite it all. And for that, I am infinitely grateful.

And as the year winds down, hanging on to a few more reminders of the holiday season...

... from this house we always drive by, heehee

... more from the same house, hah!

Now, have to get ready for an intimate NYE party...


Thursday, 29 December 2011

Photo Diary in Food, Mostly

The holiday season is definitely living up to its name as far as eating is concerned.

As the Boxing Day excitement waned, ie, shopping out of the way, the focus is obviously shifting to this trip's original purpose, ie, to spend time with family and friends.

So, we slept over first sis' house Tuesday night. Haven't seen her lil boogers in ages; it's clearly one thing to speak with them on the phone during our usual weekend calls and definitely another seeing them in person and spending time with them for a good period of time.

All imma say is that it never ceases to amaze me how smart kids are these days, technologically speaking. Cray cray!

... taken by my 2-yr old niece:p (that's her bootie, our lil fashionista)

And as if I need more proof of our age difference...


Oh did I mention that it finally snowed?!?! So it wasn't quite a White Christmas, but oh boy, winter is definitely making its presence felt.

Wednesday was then spent with the in-laws.

Pasta Forno

Meatballs in tomato sauce

Mom-in-law's popular homemade pizza

Hubs gotta reprezzent! heehee

From bro-in-law's Cuba trip...
tasted like liquid Tootsie Roll, as other sis put it,

Mom, of course, also made a fave dish for dinner.

Filipino spaghetti

This could very well be a dish that, really, only Filipinos could appreciate. Unless I'm wrong:p Or kids, perhaps. Or you grew up surrounded by Filipinos. Ok, maybe I don't know what I'm talking about. Hah!...  It's sweet! And it's got hotdog! Yummmy! heehee

Then, for lunch today, first sis' hubby treated us for lunch. His side gotta' reprezzent too! lol

Shrimp wonton noodle soup

Shrimp egg drop with rice (not sure if that's what it's called:p)

Lobster congee

Fried turnips, delish!!!
(apparently a house specialty)

And last but definitely not least...

Lobster chow mein

So for the last 3 days, every side of the (extended) family, to date, is all represented. Was that delish, or was that delish!:)

Seriously, with all the food I've been ingesting so far, I need to burn that calories, somehow. So what did we do after lunch? Why walk in the mall! That's all imma say! *head bowed down in shame*

Anyhoot, as I was saying, tonight, as if I have any more room (pffft, there's always room!), meeting friends for drinks/dinner in a short while. Like I've mentioned before, let the feasting continue!

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Boxing Day 2011

We've been doing this kind of trip to the mall every year for the last, what, 3 years now, so it's becoming quite a tradition now for me and other sis. Trust us to have a tradition revolving around shopping. How sad, eh? And fun, no?!?! heehee

Yesterday, first sis joined us to go to our Boxing Day usual haunt. We were at the mall by 8!!! I tell ya, nothing else can get me up this early, hah!

Funny enough, getting there that early apparently wasn't early enough. We were lucky to have found a parking spot at the time, how nuts was that!

This is the mall around 9...

People lined up to get into the Nike store

And this is the mall by noon...


Boxing Day is, without a doubt, the antithesis of what I'm trying to do here. Granted I haven't really been that successful (obviously) but a day like yesterday is almost like an in-your-face assault to my psyche. So I figure, on that day, why fight it! If you can't beat it, join it. HAH!

If it's any consolation, even a wee bit (and yes, I'm saying this to myself), yesterday's trek was not as aimless as it's been in the past. Before, wallets go out the moment 50, 60, or even better, 75% sign was sighted, for items that were not really needed nor even wanted before the sale was seen. Sad, and scary, I know...

This year, I think I displayed better restraint. After all, I did put down a 7 for All Mankind jeans that's more than a half off, because, like my sisters reminded me, how many pairs do I really need. See, small victory, no?!?

I was looking, however, for a puffy jacket, which I did find. So did other sis:p

Gap hooded puffy jackets

Mind you, 2 more other coats were found after this. Well, I haven't bought a new coat in 3 years, for starter, and seriously, with what I paid for all 3 of them, I probably could not have bought even 1 if not for the Boxing Day sale. Again, another small victory, no?!? HAH!

Although I do wish I could say that was all I got. That was half of the damage... Let's just say this girl not only has 3 new coats, she also has a new cardi, a pair of boots and a tote. (That almost sounds like a title.)

O well... the day was over. In the end, I think I got some realllly good deals, had items crossed off the obsession wish list, with a bit of extra, that's all...

And today is another day. Moving on...

Sunday, 25 December 2011

How Christmas 2011 Came To Be

This was me yesterday.

After having gone through...

... to be with family.

And today, what marks a time to be spent with loved ones, was spent at sis' in-laws' place.

First came the food.

Then came the gift exchanges. Numerous gift exchanges. From gift cards to kitchen item to bath/body stuff, oh my!:p

After Christmas comes, why, Boxing Day, of course! Quite an anticipated day (by my shopping psyche) and dreaded day (by my wallet, heehee, or should I say hubby, perhaps? hah!) at the same time. Also, time to be spent with sistahs, so I say, we'll just leave it at anticipated! LOL

And if tonight's any indication of what to expect the next 2 weeks, all I can say is bring on the feasting/merriment/bonding! Woot woot!

Friday, 23 December 2011

Merry Christmas!!!

Hmmm, I feel it's almost fitting that the 100th post ends up being a Christmas greeting. No? It's as if it's almost my gift to myself since I started on this online journey. I kinda' like that. A double milestone. 100th post, and it's Christmas (almost:p)!

With the last couple of months just really crazy for me at work, It really felt like a whirlwind. I'm just glad I survived it:p

And with Christmas 2 days away, I have nothing to look forward to but fun times with family, yippeee!!!

And with the end of the year just around the corner, I wish for another fruitful blessed year for me and hubs, and for all our family and friends out there... love, peace, and prosperity...


Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Gift Cards

I still remember the days when you can get a gift certificate, yikes!

Now it's all about gift cards.

via Google images

As much as I use them, where appropriate, I think, I'm still not sure how I feel about it. For someone who likes putting extra thought when giving gifts, I'm not sure if I'm copping out every time I get these cards. But at the same time, I know there are times that call for this piece of plastic.

A third of Christmas presents bought this year comprises of gift cards. That's not so bad, is it? And I do know for a fact that those cards will come highly appreciated, I hope. I think.

I suppose, in the end, I saved a bit of time and the recipient, hopefully, gets what s/he really wants. I say, win-win, still... I think. I hope...

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Trish Summerville for H&M

Not sure what happened yesterday but I was just not feeling well. I really thought my cold came back, but when I woke up this morning, I was feeling much better, thank god! Guess it was just a really bad allergy, whew!

And since I was feeling better this morning, thought I'd check out the Dragon Tattoo Collection by Trish Summerville for H&M, heehee...

When I asked a staff about the collection, I was told it was on the 2nd floor. I thought that was strange for a new collection to be upstairs; but then again, I guess the collection is more along the line of their Divided pieces, I assumed that's why.

Now, with all the collabs that H&M has done so far, this one got me the most curious so I was really looking forward to seeing it in person. That may not have been the best attitude, I found. Since I was really curious about it, I must say I felt really let down by it. 

Mind you, despite the controversy regarding the collab and the strong reaction against it by some parties, I really thought the pieces were edgy, very urban and totally kick-ass.

Leather Moto jacket

Combat boots

What was really unfortunate, I thought, was since it's appearing to be one of the less successful collabs, I thought I had a better chance of finding my size, as selfish as that may sound. I think it's true, judging from the barely checked out section and considering there appears to be lots of everything still and it's techinically on Day 4 already. 

But no, no bigger sizes! Arggghh!!! Granted there's not too many tiny sizes either, hmmm... I seriously don't think the bigger-sized women cleaned out, again. Did they?!? Or did the collection only speak to the tiniest and the more rubenesque women out there, was that it?!?! Seriously, the only sizes left were 8 and 10. What was up with that?!?!

Moto pleather leggings

In my last attempt to pick up something from the collection, I thought I'd give this pants a try. Ok, I did fit in it, with all the stretch and the unnatural fabric it's made of, but in the end, I realized I didn't want to feel like a sausage casing and had no intentions of mooning people when I sit down, so I put it back on its hanger and handed it back.

Don't really know why but I had this sinking feeling that the sizing was deliberate, that whatever sizes I saw on display were really the only sizes they made. Yes, the world of H&M and Ms. Summerville have decided to turn its back on me as "my size" is not the market they have in mind when they made the collection.

Either that, or I have way too much time on my hand (which I so don't), or the cold meds have not fully left my system (possible), or my frustration was getting all out of proportion (most plausible, I say).


As successful as the books and the original films were, and with the much-hyped North American version premiering soon, it's looking to be a very niche collab... *sigh* O well...

Anyhoot, since I was out and about, I thought I might as well check out the rest of the mall. So glad I wasn't really out to look for Christmas gifts as some, just some, of the stores were really busy, and as much as I don't mind the crowd, it was at a point where I was feeling a lil tired so was not in the mood at all to jostle around and wait in line.

However, with the memory of the H&M pants so fresh in my head, I did end up getting this.

Gap 1969 Cord Leggings

Yikes!!! Not good, I know... O well...
(haven't tried it yet, remember as I was tired at this point, so there's still hope, that I might return it... HAHA)

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Christmas Dinner with Fellow Skaters

Last night was what-is-becoming the traditional Christmas dinner with fellow skaters. No, we don't skate. At all, actually. We just got used to calling each other that, for reasons only known to us (sorry:p)...

We couldn't decide where to go, so we made a last minute decision to go to what-is-becoming our second favorite "joint".


Thank god there was a spot for us. The friend managed to get a 6-8 slot, whew! They were fully booked they were turning people away, yikes.

Food was good, as always.

Cheicken liver with balsamic onion,
& Chickpea, roasted garlic & herb crostini

Walnut pesto, gorgonzola & pear crostini
Those are becoming our go-to appies.

Spaghetti with achovies, garlic, chilies & Meyer lemon
Yes, anchovies! Yummm! It was a tad, just a tad, dry to my taste, and I thought it would have benefited from a drizzle of a nice EVOO, but I loved it! The sprinkle on top almost reminds me of crushed pork crackling that's usually served (in the same manner) on a Filipino noodle dish that I love. Anyway, the dish had me at garlic.

And what's dinner without desserts.

Chocolate Fondant
A flourless chocolate cake that almost looks like chocolate pate, mmmm...

Lemon positano
Almost didn't get this but it came highly recommended by our waiter, Jessie. When we asked him to describe it, he couldn't really describe it. He said to call it lemon custard will not give it justice. He was right. So glad we listened to him!

And last but not least...

Affogatto (vanilla ice cream doused with espresso)

Molto bene!!! heehee...

And since we had to leave the resto at a certain time, which was all good, we thought we'd finish the night at our first favorite (winter:p) "joint" for a nightcap. Couldn't have ended the evening any better.

Fun night, as always, with good friends!

And just like little kids, we had our usual gift/card exchange.

Thomas Haas chocolates, mmmmm

'Tis the season... HO HO HO...

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Oh, The Weather Outside Is...

Last night, along with a couple of friends, we decided, last minute, to check out the Vancouver Christmas Market.

It was such a treat, I thought! If this place doesn't put you in a Christmas spirit, I don't know what will.

Jack-o-lantern? Christmas? Hmmm...

Not sure what those are called, but they're the most adorable things! You can put incense sticks inside and as it burns, the smoke comes out in a tiny hole. Cute!

O Christmas tree!

Believe it or not, those are soaps!!! Made in Turkey. Cray cray, right?

... more soaps...

There was something for everyone...

And in true winter form, it was a chilly night. With all the food stalls at the market, offering all kinds of wonderful German treats (and libation), we did think we were going to stay, but it just got too nippy for us.

So, with a cup of hot cider on hand, we finished walking around and headed somewhere warm:p

Mushroom soup, mmm, mmm, mmm...

With a glass of wine on one hand, and a spoon to scoop the yummy goodness, belly warmed up quite nicely in the end. Hah!
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