Monday, November 9, 2015

DIY Christmas Ornaments

 it's beginning to feel like Christmas.

 So I decided to sit down and refashioned my old bangles into Christmas ornaments!

For the materials, I just used my old metal bangles since I have plenty of them which I don't see myself wearing anymore. Actually, they were all from my sister that it took long for me to put them into 'to let go' bags. 

I just formed a ball using 3 similarly designed and sized bangles and secured the top and bottom with metallic wrapped copper wires. I was planning to put actual Christmas balls inside but found some pearls and other metal accessories and gave it a try. They turned out fine though. I also used nylon strings for the danglers inside so it will be clean.   

... and tadaaaahh!!! the finished product, to my heart's delight.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Yema Cake Recipe

baking should be accurate. But measurement conversions also vary online and even the oven temperature depending on the brand. This recipe is based on my conversions during the time of baking and in my oven experience . If it helps, I bake using Bompani model 664.40GGFS gas cooker - on the lowest rack. You can bake  as you please depending on how familiar you are with your oven.  
This is one recipe I just copied online and made some adjustments which got thumbs up from those who tasted it.


§  For the cake:
Part 1
    • 50 g butter stick (or nearly ¼ c butter as ¼ cup butter converts from 55  to 60ml, see what I mean about conversion?)
    • 250 g Philadelphia cream cheese spread
    • 1 110 ml or 1/3 c + 2 tbsp can evaporated milk 
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp cornstarch
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 6 egg yolks
    • 1 tsp lemon juice
Part 2
    • 6 egg whites
    • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
    • ¾ c + 2 tbsp sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract

§  For the icing
    • 1 can condensed milk (I used Alaska)
    • 3 egg yolks
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/4 tsp almond extract
    • 2 tbsp butter
    • grated cheese
    • slivered almonds

Cooking Instructions:
1.       Part 1: Over simmering water, melt together cream cheese, butter and milk. Once melted, let cool to room temperature. Using a mixer, add in flour, cornstarch, salt to the cream cheese mixture. Then add in egg yolks and lastly the lemon juice. Set aside.
2.      Part 2: In a separate bowl, mix egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Add in vanilla then gradually add sugar and mix until stiff peaks form. Fold in to the cream cheese mixture. Make sure everything is well combined.
3.      Pour batter into a 10.5-inch round cake pan covered with parchment paper. Bake the cake in a water bath for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until done at 180° C. (This is based on my available pan and oven temperature. Most recipes call for 8-inch round pan and baking on 375° F, I wonder how tall it is when it rises.)
4.      For the icing:  Combine 1 can of condensed milk and egg yolks and cook in low heat. Add in vanilla and almond extract. Cook until it thickens enough to spread. Add in butter.
5.      Let the cake cool and pour over the icing.  Top with grated cheese and slivered almonds.

Note: I used large cheese grater but the finer one is suggested so it will have smoother finish.

Happy baking!!! 


Thursday, June 25, 2015

An Adoptee’s Life

    don’t get me wrong, this is not a hate campaign or a social media attention seeking post. So long gone are my angst-ridden, multiple ear piercing, wanting to express college days (and looking back at it, the multiple earrings fashion is just too tacky now, ewww!!).

         I am also not a product of a love affair with a wealthy congressman or aristocratic family that existence had to be kept, so it is not worthy of a tell-all biography. However, while the story of my adoption doesn’t belong to those requiring combing histories and rummaging from long buried registration books, being adopted does not exactly fall to the society's norm. While not socially condemned, the movie and TV series plots have already made a general impression of adoption synonymous to unwanted. With this, to an adoptee, the joy of an ordinary day out in pigtails and sipping Zest-o is robbed off by the children’s teasing and the innocence is crushed by the adult’s harsh repetitive reminder of not belonging to the normal.

Top 8 things, situations and questions adoptees deal with

1)      The questions like: Who are my biological parents? How do they look like? Why did they give me away? Lucky me, I know them from the beginning so I don’t have to ask these questions and the follow ups. But to those with untold stories of conception and birth registration, everything else begins with these questions they are dying to find answers.

2)     The gossipers. Coming from a small town and from family of teachers, my adoptee’s story was as simple as growing up with hushed adult conversation at school, market, PTA meetings, funeral or any gathering about my adoption. It was an on-going competition who can ask in front of my face if I know whose tummy I came out from and an endless confirmation I am the one. I had to deal with it until they were too old to remember or died.

3)     The endless teasing growing up and the branding. Adopted becomes your family name.

4)     Listing your biological parents in the spaces provided. I am not being ungrateful, but my adoptive parents have long been gone so I put my biological parents name in my wedding invitation. My reason was simple: it feels crazy being invited by deceased people (at least to me). I was serious about it and also felt the urge to honor my other set of parents on that special moment in my life. My birth has already been registered under my adoptive set of parents, they were listed as my parents in all my legal documents and they were the only valid beneficiaries under the Philippine law, so on matters I can decide on, I want to cross out one of that ‘adoptee’s what ifs’. In this matter, when to and when not?

5)     There is one or two you loved most or more. That is the truth even if you always answer equally when asked. And you will be asked hundred times growing up and even as an adult. It is already a torture to a child with one set of parents and being asked constantly, imagine if you have two. 

6)     Family health history left blank. I wasn’t hospitalized too often growing up that the blood type and genes I carried never bothered me much. If I filled up medical information in the past, I guess I never paid attention to them as my parents look healthy that time. Abroad, with legs spread my OB casually asked my family's health history, and I have no answer.

7)     Visa processing – as a result of my idleness and wandering while folding the clothes, I realized how Visa application and processing can be delayed, denied, expedited or approved according to your blood relation. #justoneofmyrandomthoughts

8)     Security questions and account verification.

CCA: And just for confirmation Ma’am, can you please provide me your mother’s maiden name.
Me: Concepcion or Torres? Oh, why can’t you simply ask my shampoo brand?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


Grief is real
Denial was yesterday
And I guess I am coming to terms with anger
But pain is omnipresent
Deep, black, indefinite

Monday, February 9, 2015

My Bittersweet 16

there are just not enough words to describe the pain of loss. You get consolation from thinking even grief and sorrow will also end. But while you are at the bottom of the pit and everything is just dark, you just endure the feeling. You cry, you bleed, sleep through it, cry again, bleed again and sleep through it again.

You just have to survive the day, a dear friend says.

My bittersweet 16, my heart is still bleeding for you.