Sunday, December 27, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Brittany Murphy

Just when I thought we are done with shocking deaths. Goodbye Brittany Murphy. Almost every girl (including myself) was a Tai back in the day.

Actress Brittany Murphy dies in LA at age 32

By ANTHONY McCARTNEY (AP) – 40 minutes ago

LOS ANGELES — The unexpected death of 32-year-old Brittany Murphy, who gained fame in such movies as "8 Mile" and "Just Married," appeared to be from natural causes but police are investigating, officials said.

Murphy died about 10 a.m. Sunday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, according to the hospital.

Read more.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sundried Tomatoes and Basil Torte




Our women's life group had a Christmas dinner Monday night and someone prepared this very delicious dip. It was so good I had to ask for the recipe.

I plan to replicate this dip on the next Christmas party. I hope what I make comes close to what I tasted!

Here is the recipe.


SUNDRIED TOMATOES AND BASIL TORTE

1 bar cream cheese
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
assorted crackers

Soak sundried tomatoes in 1/4 cup olive oil.

In a processor or blender, add olive oil and basil leaves.

Add garlic.

Wash the processor or blender and add cream cheese and mayonnaise.

Blend until smooth and easy to spread.


To assemble:

Layer 1 - pesto

Layer 2 - cream cheese

Layer 3 - sundried tomatoes

Layer 4 - cream cheese


Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Monday, December 7, 2009

My Christmas 2009 Wish List

I rarely receive gifts on my wish list (but I love ALL gifts that I do receive!) but I do find pleasure in listing down some of the little stuff that I know will put a smile on my face.

I also do not consider myself materialistic but I do feel very loved when someone takes the time to make, write or get me something that is tangible.

Here are some things I wouldn't mind seeing beautifully wrapped under my tree.


The Experts' Guide to Life at Home by Samantha Ettus


Epson PictureMate Deluxe Viewer Edition Photo Printer


The 80's to 90's Combo Travel Game


Everything You Pretend to Know And Are Afraid Someone Will Ask by Lynette Padua


Canon LA-DC58H Conversion Lens Adapter for Canon G7 & G9 Digital Cameras


Electronic Guesstures


Divine by Karen Kingsbury



Underwater Case for the CANON Powershot G9


Wii Fit


NARS Everlasting Love Palette



What's on your wish list? :-)

Friday, December 4, 2009

My Tree and Me

I absolutely love it when I stumble upon websites that get my imagination running wild.

Robert and I live in a tiny apartment in the heart of Metro Manila. I just love how our small space encourages me to be creative in making our home beautifully decorated.

I just got done putting up a photo gallery by the entrance of our place. Right now I am looking around for more ways to brighten up our other walls.

One of my "future" projects (meaning: someday, when I have the energy and resources to do it) is to develop a family tree. I had no idea how I was going to make it look like but I knew I wanted to make one someday.

This is why I was so thrilled when I found "My Tree and Me" -- which designs customized and modern-looking genealogy charts.

Look at these designs to appreciate the work that My Tree and Me does.






My favorite design.


A lovely idea to give to our future children!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Noticer by Andy Andrews

"The Noticer" written by Andy Andrews is really a tough one for me to review. To those who have been following this blog, I am part of the Bloggers' Review Program of Thomas Nelson Publishers.

A reader's reaction to the book will generally be categorized into two: it is either you really love it or you really didn't care much for it.

Those who end up loving it are those who find it refreshing to read a light, inspirational Christian fiction after a series of heavy reading.

Those who end up not liking it probably has read something similar in the recent times and might find the story a little bit cliched and probably very reminiscent of Tuesdays With Morrie.

I consider myself more of the latter. However, I have a deep appreciation on the heart behind the book.

"Sometimes, All A Person Needs Is A Little Perspective" -- a reminder that we all need often. I know I do. The main character -- Jones -- is used as the messenger of wisdom-filled statements that catapult another character into a life-changing discovery. He challenges us to start noticing the little things we usually miss. These things usually do a lot in changing our approach to situations and problems.

Did I enjoy the book? I cannot say I did. I found a lot of the statements recycled. Example is an attempt to re-tell Dr. Gary Chapman's "The Five Love Languages."

Is it a nice, light, easy read? Absolutely. I guess I was just not looking for one at this time.

If there is one statement from the book I must share with all of you it is this wonderful definition of WISDOM:

”The ability to see, into the future, the consequences of your choices in the present.”

One thing I am about to check out and probably participate in:
“The Noticer Project: A Movement to “Notice” the Five Most Important People in Your Life.”

Anything that will encourage me to show love and appreciation to people is something I am always up for!

Congratulations Mel and Rhea Serondo!

Robert and I went on a fantastic trip to Bacolod this weekend. I am part of the wedding of one of my best friends from college -- Rhea.

She was also a bridesmaid at my wedding. We have seen each other through past boyfriends, nights out and slumber parties.

I will definitely blog more about the trip and the wedding itself. In the meantime, I am excited to share with you a short video that highlights the beautiful wedding of Mel and Rhea!

Mel & Rhea Wedding Same Day Edit from S. Kieron Tan on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Strong Life Test for Women


I just took the Strong Life Test for Women. This test was designed by strengths expert Marcus Buckingham for women the LEAD ROLE and the SUPPORTING ROLE they were born to play.

Here are the results of the Strong Life Test I took yesterday.

My Lead Role: EQUALIZER

I begin by asking:
'What’s the right thing to do?'

I am sensitive to how everything in the world is connected, how movement in one part of the world causes everything else to move as well. Alive to this inter-connectedness, I feel compelled to keep everything aligned.

My best quality:
Your innate sense for what is right

I must always:
Lead with my values

I must be careful about:
Becoming too obviously defensive when my values are challenged

My smartest career move:
Any job where I'm paid to speak up for people who’ve been wronged.


My Supporting Role: INFLUENCER

I begin by asking:
'How can I move you to act?'

In virtually every situation, my eye goes to the outcome.

My best quality:
Your ability to outwit others

I must always:
Keep my eye on the specific outcome I want

I must be careful about:
Wasting my time with people who can’t make things happen

My smartest career move:
Any job where I'm paid to persuade others to act


I am, to this day, completely amazed how "strength strategist" Marcus Buckingham can formulate test questions and accurately define people's strengths.  My Equalizer Lead Role wonderfully describes my moments in my past where I felt were my strongest ones.  I have had several incidents in my past where I stood up for misunderstood people (usually my friends) or people who are victims of bullying (living in a city where there is a distinct and obvious social stratification, this has happened a lot).

However, I am still not convinced (or maybe I am still in denial!) that I am an Influencer.  Do I love outwitting others (never liked it)?  Do I find satisfaction in closing a sale?  Yuck.  But I will give it a chance and see if Buckingham's test results are true.

What I learned from the book "Find Your Strongest Life" by Marcus Buckingham and will apply right away: start listing down my "strong" moments.  Bring a notepad and pen right away.  Will start focusing my energies on my strong moments instead of attempting to live a perfectly balanced life.

Ladies, here is what I recommend that you do:

Take the Strong Life Test.  It's free.  No access codes necessary.

Evaluate your Lead and Supporting Roles.

Grab a copy of the book.  I strongly recommend it because you will get fantastic tips on how to maximize your roles. And when you know where you are strong, your life becomes more purposeful.  And when it is more purposeful, you experience freedom from engaging in tasks that you feel weak in.  And there is nothing like freedom from having to do the things that you don't like!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Less is Moore?

Demi Moore has proven that she can sell magazines. Her famous covers in the 90's were considered controversial but the Vanity Fair issues flew off the newsstands anyway.



Check out Demi on the cover of W Magazine. She still looks amazing after all these years.



However, look at the right side of the picture where her hip is -- or should I say, where her hip used to be?



Excessive alterations that distort our already screwed-up body image: NOT COOL! :P

Monday, November 2, 2009

ViewSonic's PJ258D ViewDock™

I am probably one of the last people to hear about something like this but I did stumble upon ViewSonic's ViewDock LCD projector and I knew this one is going to directly to my wish list.

I want this projector because I will be able to dock my iPod directly onto it and watch the latest episodes of Grey's Anatomy, Brothers and Sisters and Glee. I also rent movies from iTunes from time to time. How lovely to be able to watch it on our white wall!

Look at this beauty!



This Is It

As Michael Jackson's death shook the world, we all wanted that one last glimpse of a man we all felt connected to. I am so glad "This Is It" was released to give us the closure that we all needed.



Saw the movie twice -- first on a date night with Robert and second with family. I enjoyed each experience equally.

Here are some random thoughts and observations from the touching tribute film that provides all of us an extraordinary insight on how he is as an artist and a performer.

1) Judith Hill was a delight to watch on screen. And she looks like Sandra Oh's long-lost sister.





2) The name "Mo Pleasure" will always crack me up!



3) I was hoping to see a good ol' Moonwalk in the Billie Jean segment.



4) The intro to "The Way You Make Me Feel" was my favorite part. I appreciate MJ's passion for musical precision.

5) His frequent "God bless you" statements came off as heartfelt and genuine.

6) My soul wept a little when I started feeling compassion for every person involved in the concert series. The magical show that they were so pumped up for the world to see never got the chance to be displayed in its full glory.



7) The biggest pop superstar of all time working with one of the most respected choreographers (Kenny Ortega) in TV and film. Neither had an attitude nor an ego larger than the stage they were on. They were humble, polite, considerate to each other. One of the most refreshing artistic collaborations I have seen in a long time. 



8) Speaking of Kenny Ortega, I loved his work in Dirty Dancing. I love him even more now.



9) Enough of the toxicology, autopsy, paternity, and police reports. This film brings back the respect due to MJ.



10) The troubled, weird, eccentric, scandalous character presented by the media did not exist on this film. I saw a Michael Jackson who was brilliant, confident and in total command of his gifts. The Michael I choose to remember. I walked out not feeling his death but celebrating his life.



There will never be anyone like Michael Jackson.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Piperlime's New Jewelry Store

One of my favorite online shoe stores -- Piperlime -- finally opened its new jewelry channel. Since I am saving up for a 64GB iPod Touch and for our trip to the U.S. in the spring, I doubt it if I am going to make any purchases soon.



Here are some of my favorite pieces.

GS Lillian 28" Multistrand Beaded Necklace


Kenneth Jay Lane Coral Multi Row Necklace


Kenneth Cole Hammered Drop Earrings


Aren't they lovely?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Vinyl Attraction

I stumbled upon a website today that I am excited to share with you. One of my favorite activities in the world is looking for clever ideas to decorate our home.

Vinyl Attraction uses text as wall decoration. The online store is owned my a Christian mom named Amy Holt. Love these samples:















I am so inspired!

Friday, October 16, 2009

For Sale: PHILIPS Stereo System

We are currently selling a PHILIPS Mini Hi-Fi System.  Model FWD576/21M.  Brand New.  Still inside a sealed box.  Please send a comment if you would like to know the price and purchase details.


Friday, October 2, 2009

From WE International Philippines: Please Help Typhoon Victims


Dear Friends,

240 people were confirmed dead, over 40 missing, and 340,000 are left displaced after the Tropical Storm Ketsana, locally known as Typhoon Ondoy, hit Metro Manila on Saturday, September 26, 2009. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has declared a state of calamity in Metro Manila.

This coming weekend another storm is forecasted to hit the Philippines. Typhoon Parma has now been designated as a supertyphoon as wind speed reached 240 KPH. Its winds are forecasted to strengthen by 259 KPH by 8:00 am tomorrow morning, making it a CATEGORY 5 storm, the strongest on the Saffir-Simpson scale of cyclone strength. Such storms are capable of causing "catastrophic damage" and can blow roofs off residential and industrial buildings, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. After typhoon Parma, another supertyphoon is predicted to hit the Philippines again.

Our team at WE International Philippines are working tirelessly to provide support and assistance to disaster relief missions. WE are accepting monetary and in-kind donations on a rolling basis to help those affected by the typhoons and floods.

I have been touched by the compassion that overflows around me as EVERYONE I know is contributing in some way to help victims of the floods. But WE still need your help. Hundreds of people are dying from starvation, illnesses and infections. And many have lost their families, their homes, EVERYTHING.

Please visit our website at http://www.weinternational.org.ph/typhoon-ondoy to make an online donation via PayPal, or contact me for information on where you can send In-Kind donations. Also, please help us spread the word on the situation here in the Philippines and what we are doing to help. I will be updating the information on the website daily so you guys know what's going on here.

Love,

Abee

Abigail Alethea Sy
Executive Director
WE International Philippines
www.weinternational.org.ph

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Prayer Points for the Typhoon Ondoy Victims



RESCUE AND RELIEF EFFORTS
- Pray for the rescue and relief of those who are still stranded, cannot be contacted, or have been affected in any way.

"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea..." (Psalms 91:2-4)


GOVERNMENT AND EMERGENCY RESPONSE ORGANIZATIONS
- Pray for strength, presence of mind, resources, and communication as they coordinate relief efforts.


PEACE AND SECURITY
- Pray for peace and order in our country
- Pray against looting and other people taking advantage of the situation

"Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear." (Isaiah 59:1)


COMPASSION AND GENEROSITY
- Pray that the church will respond to the cry of its brothers and sisters, and give whatever is possible to alleviate their suffering.

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." (James 1:27)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Donations for Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana Victims)



In response to the recent calamity brought about by Typhoon Ondoy, Victory Metro Manila has been doing relief operations for flood victims in Marikina, Pasig, Taguig and other areas.

Specifically, the following Victory Centers are currently open to receive donations, whether in cash or kind:

* Victory Alabang (+63 (2) 771 1212)
* Victory Fort Bonifacio (+63 (2) 8171212)
* Victory Greenhills (+63 (2) 584 1212)
* Victory Malate (+63 (2) 522 1212)
* Victory Ortigas (+63 (2) 631 1212)
* Victory Pioneer (+63 (2) 687 1212)
* Victory Quezon City (+63 (2) 426 7031)
* Victory U-Belt (+63 (2) 736 0752)
* Victory Malolos (09228424403)
* Victory Los BaƱos (+63 (49) 536 8201)
* Victory Sta. Rosa (09228424403)

The following items are considered priority goods to be donated:

* Clothes
* Bottled water
* Baby milk formula
* Canned Goods
* Bread
* Medicine (Biogesic, Neozep, Diatabs, Alaxan, etc)

For donations in kind, Victory is receiving cash and check donations at the centers stated above.

For those interested in making bank donations, please follow the following instructions:

PESO ACCOUNT
Account name: Victory Christian Fellowship
Account no: Current acct no. 0821-0298-13
Bank name: Bank of the Philippine Islands
Bank address: Fort Serendra Branch Ground Floor Serendra Retail Area Bonifacio Global City. Taguig City

DOLLAR ACCOUNT
Account Name: Victory Christian Fellowship
Account Number: Dollar savings account no. 0824-0542-58
Swift code: BOPIPHMM
Bank Name: Bank of the Philippine Islands
Bank Address: Fort Serendra Branch Ground Floor Serendra Retail Area Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City

Please email carol.almadin@everynation.org.ph with the following information so that we can confirm your deposit:

Your name
The Victory church you're a member of (if applicable)
The Name of the Organization on behalf of whom you're giving the donation (if applicable)
The dollar or peso amount deposited
Date deposited
Bank branch

THROUGH CREDIT CARD
Philippine-based donors may call 8171212 (9:00am to 5:00pm Philippine time) and inform the operator you would like to make a credit card donation to Every Nation Ministries for the victims of Typhoon Ondoy. You will be connected to a representative who will take down your information.

International donors (persons based outside the Philippines) may process their credit card donations through the Every Nation Ministries donation gateway.

If you would like to send a donation through PayPal, please send me a private message/comment and I can e-mail you the information.

Thank you very much and please do continue to pray for those who are affected by Typhoon Ondoy.