Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter Eggs

The kids weren't able to join any egg hunting activity again this year (the one in our village was at 7:30am and both kids are NOT early risers), so we just had our own little fun at home. ;p

decorating hard boiled eggs
I first drew funny faces on the eggs, which were covered in paint soon after ;p
My little artist! She said "The pink egg is for Miley and the blue egg is for Sabey!"
Tada! I had to finish these since Miley just wanted to play with the paint after a while :)

We also hid plastic eggs around the garden and everything was found in less than 2 minutes haha! ;p
Anyway, although I love our work of art, there are so many other creative ways to decorate Easter eggs. Here are some of my favorites.

use a black marker to make different patterns - so simple but striking!
washi and glitter tape covered eggs
use spray paint for an ombre effect
cover the eggs with sprinkles!
use nail polish to create a marble effect
cover the eggs with pretty paper napkins (paper mache style)

Wishing everyone a very happy Easter! :)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Stations of the Cross at Bonifacio High Street

When I was younger, memories of Holy Week included watching the 7th Heaven marathon on TV (raise your hand if you loved that show!). We also did Bisita Iglesia, but in the last couple of years we'd just do the Stations of the Cross in church. This year, I suggested we go to Bonifacio High Street for something new.

Walkway: Reflections on the Stations of the Cross (now on its 6th year) is an artistic and interactive exhibit designed to challenge the way you see the events surrounding the crucifixion of Jesus.

I really love the concept since I believe it's a great way to encourage more people to participate and reflect this Holy Week. Although we went yesterday afternoon (Holy Thursday) so there were really a LOT of people, which took out a little of the solemnity for me. But I highly recommend it because it's a great experience for anyone, old and young alike. I love how even the kids can take part in their own little way, like getting a red cloth, donating P5.00, or walk through a dark room.

can you spot my little boy dancing in the middle of the crowd? ;p
checking out the wine and bread at the last station

You can still catch the Walkway exhibit until March 31 from 11AM to 11PM. It will be capped off by an Easter concert featuring Jars of Clay, to be held at the urban amphitheater at Bonifacio High Street Central at 6PM.

Have a blessed Holy Week everyone!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

DIY: (Mis)Adventures in Painting a Striped Ceiling

Finally I can blog about this project! When I first hinted that I was planning to paint the ceiling in my daughter's room, I didn't exactly reveal the extent of what I was going to do. Well, if you haven't already figured it out from the title of this post, I actually did STRIPES! And it wasn't easy...

This project really tested my limits, physically and emotionally. I swear, there were so many things that went wrong and NOT how I pictured it to be, that I really wanted to quit midway. But I'm getting ahead of myself here. I just kept thinking that I needed to push on and finish it. My inner goddess kept chanting "It will look great in the end. It will look great in the end." Well did it? Read on to find out... ;p

It all started when I was lying down on the bed thinking of my next DIY project. I hadn't noticed it before but our ceiling already had lines in them which suddenly gave me the idea to paint stripes! I figured, I didn't need to measure anymore and make sure everything was straight since I would just need to follow the lines. Piece of cake! Or so I thought...

I did a lot "research" before I started, checking out different blogs, watching YouTube videos of how to paint a ceiling, etc. Anyway, I even did a little mock-up in photoshop just to see how the stripes would look. I tried a few different colors, but in the end decided to go with gray. I thought it was a good neutral color and would match the purple I had painted on the walls earlier.

In the beginning, I was honestly thinking of not even taping the ceiling and just using an angled paintbrush to follow the outlines of the stripes (and then using a bigger brush to fill the insides). That didn't work out.

Idea Fail #1

You see, our ceiling is what you call a popcorn ceiling, meaning it's not flat. So the brush wasn't really able to glide on it smoothly. I ended up deciding to tape it (using regular masking tape) but since the ceiling is textured, the tape wasn't able to lay completely flat on it. So I already knew there might be bleeding, I just needed to be extra careful. I figured having the tape was still better than having none at all.

It was definitely so much easier to tape everything since I had the lines to follow. Although it still took me about 3 - 4 hours to do it! I couldn't really tape a continuous line since I was on top of the ladder and had to stop every couple of feet to move. And I had to take breaks, because after a while, I was seriously lightheaded from craning my neck and looking up.

After everything was taped up, I was ready to paint! I HONESTLY thought that the hard part was over and it would just take me an hour to paint over the lines. It just looked so easy. NOT!

Anyway, I guess another thing I wish I could have changed about this project was the paint itself. I usually get the Davies Harmony paint which I have mixed in Ace Hardware. But my mom suggested to try getting paint from one of the stores near her place since it would be cheaper. They mixed the colors manually and this is what they gave me below. This 1 litre can cost P140 compared to about P250 in Ace. I was happy with it initially, until I started to paint. The color was darker than I would have liked and after a while, I noticed that it definitely had a strong smell*. But during that time, I was so committed to the project already that I didn't want to have to stop to buy and change colors. My feeling was, I'm doing this NOW no matter what!

* The smell was actually so bad when I finished, that we had to stay with my mom for a few days so the kids wouldn't be exposed to the fumes!

Fail #2

I used a 2.5" flat brush to paint the insides of the stripes and a thinner brush where I needed more control. I didn't bother using a roller since I wasn't sure how well the coverage would work on the popcorn ceiling.

Remember how I thought it would be so easy to paint everything? Well, I didn't realize how hard it was for the paint to spread evenly on the textured ceiling. To give you an idea, it took me about 10 strokes (really applying pressure) to cover a small area then there would still be white spots all over that I had to dab on repeatedly. My arms were killing me after an hour! Plus, I realized that my 1 litre of paint wouldn't be enough once I was halfway through, since I was laying it on pretty thick at first. So I diluted the remaining paint with water! Which worked out fine since I still have a tiny bit left over after everything hehe.

After I took out the tape to check how the lines were, there was definite bleeding! I swear, I was getting really stressed out and depressed. It's funny because if I thought that having the built-in lines really saved me some time, I think having a regular ceiling would have been better. Because even if I spent more time measuring and marking the lines, I could have just used a roller brush to paint the stripes easily. Oh well...

FAIL! Seriously doubting this project at this point...
My perch, which I almost fell off a couple of times!

Anyway like I said, I still continued on even if I was hating every damn brush stroke I did. And after about 9 hours of painting (spread over 2 days), this is how the ceiling looked after I peeled off all the tape. Thankfully, the paint did even out once dry and it actually looked... GOOD (whew!). But there were still imperfections that I couldn't let go off...

Everytime I looked up, all I saw were SOOO much bleeding! :( And there were still white spots and areas I wasn't able to completely cover evenly with gray...

Plus, I still had to paint in between the crevices but after 9 hours, I just needed a break from it all!

After about a week, I decided I was ready to resume where I left off. I bought smaller brushes which I used to fill in those spaces. Definitely looking better already... :)

And for the bleeding, I decided to buy white acrylic paint and an even thinner brush so that I could touch up those areas...

And it worked! I was seriously doing mental cartwheels already! YAHOOOO! :)

After another 2 hours of touching up, I was done. And now I can say that I seriously LOVE how it turned out!

So after all that drama, I'm glad this story did have a happy ending. But I'm keeping my brushes and paint for now... until my stiff neck and sore shoulders get better! ;p

Monday, March 25, 2013

Learning to Drive... Again!

One of my resolutions last year was to learn how to drive. Actually, I've already taken 2 driving classes in the past. When I was in high school, I took a manual course since our car back then was manual. Major FAIL! I just couldn't figure out the changing of gears and the clutch. And the car kept stopping in the middle of the road! Aaaargh!

After a few years, I was determined to try again since we now had an automatic car. So I took a 5 hour refresher course and it was an improvement. Although I never fully mastered how to park! I know, loser haha! So when I would get picked up from the office, I would be the one to drive home, but then ask someone else to park it in the garage. So I was never able to drive around by myself since I was scared of parking!

Anyway, fast forward to another couple of years after I got married and had kids. Now, Miley will be starting school this year and I have to be the one to drive her there. I've been practicing around our village, and once I even ventured out into the Skyway with hubby (scary!). But I definitely needed more professional help. And I hated it when hubby would get mad at me when I would do something wrong. Can you believe I almost hit another car once since I thought the gas pedal was the brake?! I know, OOOOPS!

I have another mommy friend who also needed to learn how to drive since like me, she would be bringing her daughter to school. She told me she enrolled in Smart Driving School since it was cheaper than A1, but she took the 10 hour manual class (at just P4,400). Since I had to take automatic classes, it was definitely more expensive at P1,000 per hour! I enrolled first for 5 hours (with free additional 1 hour) then would just add hours if I felt like it.

Since I was driving an automatic car, I was advised to take 2 hours per day so that I wouldn't be bitin. My first class was last Monday and we drove around Sucat. I'm telling you, Sucat has got to be one of the worst places to drive in! There's so many jeeps, people crossing the streets everywhere, motocycles jumping out at you, cars who don't even signal... well, I guess that's every other road here in the Philippines. I swear, it was just so nerve-wracking at times! But I survived and didn't kill anyone or bump another car!

My next class was last Thursday and it sucked because it was so traffic! I practically spent 1 hour in Sucat, bumper to bumper, inching my way back to the driving school. It was so annoying because I was supposed to learn parking that day, but the damn traffic ate my time up!

Anyway, my last class is TODAY so hopefully after this, I can feel super confident to drive (and park) by myself already. Although I definitely need constant practice. Hubby and I drove around yesterday and it was great because for once he didn't get mad at me haha! So that means I definitely improved yey! So wish me luck please? Because if I don't learn after this, I don't think I ever will haha! Besides, 3rd time's the charm right? ;p

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Baguio Getaway: Lunch at Cafe by the Ruins

During our trip to Baguio, we just had to eat at Cafe by the Ruins. What's nice about this place is their menu is designed to feature natural and local ingredients of the region, and to purvey vegetables and fruits in their best season. Plus, the ambiance is also great. :)

These are what we ended up getting:

Strawberry Soda
Cheese Lumpia Straws
Crisp rolls filled with carabao cottage cheese and basil
Baguio Bagnet
A typical Ilocano meal: double fried pork belly - first it is tenderized in lard, then re-fried to a crisp
Risotto Rita
Chicken and champignons and celery in bechamel cream over buttered rice
Tita Susie's Crispy Tapa
Fried, shredded and seasoned beef on top of mountain rice, served with fresh tomato-onion relish
Albert's Artisanal Ice Cream
Two Scoops (Pili Praline, Vanilla, or Mocha) with hot salted caramel sauce and cookies
Strawberries & Cream
homemade bread for sale

So the next time you go to Baguio, try to stop by this restaurant where the food is fresh, light and definitely satisfying. 

23 Chuntug Street, 2600 Baguio City, Philippines
(074) 442-4010


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