March 27, 2013

Blog challenge: your views on mainstream music

Photo taken during Tanduay Rhum Rockfest 2012

The recent concert I've been to was Tanduay Rhum Rockfest (October 2012). That night was a very good one! 

When it comes to music, most of us opt for something fresh and for some reason, we hope that it's not something that most people in the planet know. I was one of those people who are too scared to put up something in Facebook or Twitter or anywhere about this new *cool* band that makes awesome music because people might love it and later the whole universe. (And that is kind of annoying). But that was me before this concert (maybe way before that). I realized that music should be shared because it somehow connects us to strangers who later on become our friends.

Music serves as a common ground to each one of us. It feels good when somebody knows your favorite song. It's even more surprising when somebody sings an old song that you thought was non-existent to everyone else but you. There are different types of music. Mainstream is one of those. At one point, people don't like mainstream music because it is "common" or, worse, "lame just because". But not all mainstream songs are very lame. There are some that deserves a round of applause.

Wolfgang for example. Wolfgang was one of the bands that my brothers idolize back then (when I was still in kindergarten, I guess). They greatly affected my taste of music. I love rock music, I listen to what my brothers listen to, and I eventually love it. I guess everyone from where I am knows their songs or at least familiar with it. So when I ride a jeepney or a motorcab that plays their songs, I am always sure that at least one of the passengers other than me knows the song very well. And that's a good thing. It means we have something in common.

The concert was very magical and surreal. A lot of mainstream bands were playing, and almost everyone sang along. And I never thought I'd be able to watch Wolfgang live because they have been gone for years but their music still lives on. So, I am surprised that the people around me in that very chaotic spot I was in sang along with them. I knew that even those kids younger than me know their songs very well. I admit I was kind of teary-eyed when they played. I never thought I'd experience being in that moment, where the band is right in front of me singing their old songs that I love from them even before high school? Priceless!

Mainstream music, those songs that are really good and well-written, live on forever. They are there to unite strangers and could probably form friendships in between.

March 21, 2013

Broccoli Spaghetti

 I am a newbie at cooking so I tend to follow everything that's written in the recipe. Sometimes I wish I could make my own recipe and experiment. Soon. I just have to practice more. This time I wanted to cook anything with broccoli, and I found this recipe in the internet.

I want to share an awful experience and just be honest with you about me, being stupid and absent-minded, and the broccoli I bought. But you can disregard this one and continue on with the recipe.
[ So, I bought a stalk of broccoli (and other ingredients) from the grocery store during my school project making break. After that, I went back to school and just put everything in my bag pack. I totally forgot about it when I got home and didn't open my bag for two days until I smelled something inside my room. I checked everything -- the corners, desks, cabinets, and bags -- there I found the stuff I bought for this recipe and found out that the broccoli was the culprit. I felt so sorry for it hahaha and just decided to throw it away. Reading some articles in the internet and an advice from mon coeur, I learned that it's fine to still cook it but you have to cut off the yellow parts which was taking up 50 percent of the broccoli I bought. So instead of buying a new one, I decided to cook it before it starts to mold completely. Hehehe. So, I cooked at 3 AM and it was sooooo good except that you can't see much of broccoli as wanted. But it's okay! :) ]

Broccoli Spaghetti

250 grams spaghetti
1 broccoli
1/8 cup olive oil
1 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp salt
chicken meat, shredded
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1. Cook the spaghetti according to the directions written on the package. Drain, reserving half a cup of the cooking water.
2. Meanwhile, cut the broccoli into small florets.
3. Heat half the oil in a skillet over medium heat.
4. Add the broccoli florets, garlic, and one-fourth tsp salt. Cook until garlic is lightly brown and broccoli is fork-tender.
5. Add the pasta, reserved pasta water, chicken, remaining salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Cook until heated though.
6. Add the crushed red pepper flakes. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil before serving.

You can add any herbs that you want.
Also, I added boiled quail eggs. 

March 18, 2013

Milk Chocolate Pudding


 There are days when I really opt for something sweet. So, I end up eating sweet chips, candies and ice creams. I found this recipe somewhere in the internet and tried to make my own milk chocolate pudding. It tasted so sweet and so good, my nephew and niece liked it very much! 

Milk Chocolate Pudding

2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream 
4 ounces fine-quality milk chocolate, chopped
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, and a pinch of salt in a saucepan. Then gradually whisk in milk and cream. Bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Whisk in chocolate and vanilla until smooth.

Transfer in a bowl and chill pudding, cover with wax paper, to prevent a skin from forming, until cold at least two hours.

Chill with a plastic wrap for two hours, up to three days.

I used All-purpose cream because I couldn't find a heavy cream in stores.
I used an equal amount of milk and dark chocolates.
You can disregard putting two tablespoons of sugar if you opt for something not so sweet.
You can put some candy sprinkles in it, too.

March 15, 2013

A hand-made postcard sent to South Carolina, USA

A postcard I sent to David L. from South Carolina, USA. He likes naval ships, books, and dogs. So, I made my own postcard which composed of his favorites, which turned out to be a funny hand-made drawing. (See a closer look). The title of the three books are from novels which are set in his place. At the back, I have drawn a tooling leather as a separator of my message and address lines, because he likes tooling leathers.

I enjoyed making this postcard because it was done spontaneously. No further initial planning whatsoever which is the fun part. The boarder was quite fun to do as well. I admit I was kind of scared that he might not like a hand-made postcard but he actually listed it as his favorite (and he didn't 'favorite-d' everything he received, and that is something.). So, yay! 

So, I am definitely making more hand-made postcards soon and I will be making them during breaks and/or before going to bed because I don't want to spend more time for it (there are other important stuff to do). Anyway, I like making drafts and simple designs during breaks. Making fun stuff such as this make me sane. It's always good to have something to do especially when you're too caught up with heavy stuff. :)

March 12, 2013

Banana and Coconut Drink

Banana and Coconut drink is a refreshing drink that boosts your energy and lightens up your mind through the natural ingredients, mainly banana and coconut, that are rich in Protein. Definitely a good starter drink for a busy day ahead!

Banana and Coconut Drink

2-3 bananas, peeled & sliced
1 large lemon (juice)
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 1/2 cups milk
1-2 tbsp honey

Mix bananas, lemon juice, orange juice, coconut milk, milk, and honey. Use a blender. Blend thoroughly. Chill.

You can sprinkle some grated coconut. I used sliced bananas instead just for fun.

At first, I thought the taste would be weird but it actually turned out great! Its taste just pops up positive vibes throughout your day. It is thaaaat good! My brother loved it. He actually asked for more. (And he never does that!) Hahaha Try it! :) (I found this recipe here)

March 9, 2013

A letter that says "I love you"

Pressed leaves from France
Pressed Lavenders from France

The first time I smelled a real Lavender was when I received this letter from France. And I should say it is way different from that talcum powder I used ever since. It must be so nice to be in a Lavender field smelling each and every stem, but these pressed ones are lovely, too. I am in love.

I got emotional when I received this. I didn't know what I felt but as I moved on from one page to another, tears fell because of joy. Through the years, I never felt this happy receiving a letter from someone who doesn't even used to write by hand anymore. Total effort.

Those words assembled together to form a thought that says you are loved. Those sentences that provoke laughter, longing, love, and other beautiful feelings that make your heart grow healthy. Those pages of letters that bring pleasure to my senses, I hold them near me every night.

Sometimes when the world seems to hate me, I always remember that someone, somewhere, in the other side of the world, loves me. And even though this love travels thousands of miles, it will always find its way accurately.

I love you, too.

March 6, 2013

DIY: Coconut milk and aloe vera shampoo and conditioner

Coconut milk can be used for hair. In fact, there are a lot of shampoos (of different brands) that uses it as one of the main ingredients. It is rich in protein and other nutrients that promote hair growth and lessen hair fall. When applied, your hair becomes soft, shiny and smoother. 

Aloe Vera, on the other hand, is best used for hair conditioning. It has enzymes, amino acids, and protein that help with the growth of hair. Just like coconut milk, it revitalizes the hair and scalp promoting hair growth and leaves your hair as soft as cotton balls.

When these two are combined, imagine how healthy your hair will become!

I am fond of making do-it-yourself projects and this one I have made a couple of times. I have a lot of remedies for hair (including something that has cucumber or mayonnaise mixture) and so far, all of them did a good job! I am pretty sure, though, you have encountered this mixture already but I am just going to blog about it anyway.

Here's how I made mine:
Prepare the fresh coconut milk.
Heat the coconut milk for about 2-3 minutes.
Set aside.
Prepare the fresh aloe vera gel (I used 1 large leaf from my little garden)
Mix the two substances (you can use a blender if you want)
Transfer the finished product in a container or an old perfume/cologne bottle.

And it's ready to use! I use it once a week because I am always at school during weekdays and so during weekdays I don't have time to do it since you have to leave the mixture in your hair for 15-30 minutes. And I don't want to smell like a coconut when I'm at school. :P

For best results, you should offer your hair this mixture every day. I know there are other products available in the market to achieving shiny, smooth, and soft hair but I love the thought of offering my hair a gift from nature. Try it. ;)

March 3, 2013

Euro Color 200 Film

One afternoon, I went to an old photography shop that sells analog and digital stuff. I bought a new 35 mm film to try out the fisheye lens of my friend's Holga camera.

I asked one woman, at her early 40's I guess, if they have expired films. I knew I'd get 'none' for an answer (because most of the shops I've been to said that other people have bought it already and it'll take months again to have expired films but I couldn't make any reservations for it) but she said, in a low voice, 'I have'. I didn't know why she lowered her voice at that time but I realized that she isn't the owner of the shop so it must be prohibited to sell their personal stuff to the buyers.

So, I asked how much. She walked farther where no other people could hear us talk and acted as if she tried to find something and said she'll give it to me. I got excited when I heard it and just to make sure, I asked again if I could buy it. She then explained to me that her daughter has one unused film six years ago for a college project. Now that digital cameras are more handy than analog, they couldn't use the film anymore. She thought of throwing it but was not able to. I then learned that maybe the reason why she wasn't able to throw it is because it is bound to be used by someone else (me). Hahaha!

I went back the next day and she gave me something that is wrapped in a paper. And then, I said thank you a lot of times. She smiled.

I am thankful for those people who like giving free stuff with no intention of getting something in return. I am thankful for that woman in Photohouse who willingly gave me an unused film for free. Now, I am ready to go out and shoot beautiful things that catch my eyes. Soon, when I am finished with this film, I will show her my shots and will probably give her copies as a sign of gratitude.:)
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