Monday, January 28, 2008

Eating out with friends

Grilled Lambchops
Originally uploaded by Jepster
A bunch of my colleagues and I decided to start having nice dinners together at least once in 3 months. The first one we went to last month was a nice restaurant in Tagaytay. I had grilled lambchops and it tasted great (in spite of one of my companions singing "Mary had a little lamb" while I was eating my meal -- what can I say, I love lamb *yum yum* they might be cute and cuddly but they sure are tasty too). I think having regular night outs like these is a very good idea and the frequency is just right that we could save up and splurge on really fancy places the next time we do this sort of thing. I wonder where we will go to next time.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The problem with red Mulberries

Originally uploaded by Jepster
Right before the mulberries ripen into a deep purple, they first turn into this very bright shade of red.

I saw my colleague the other day poking around beneath a mulberry tree. He looked a little pissed so I decided to ask him what is wrong.

"What's wrong??! What's wrong you ask?? Look at this and tell me what you see," he said while pointing to the tree in front of us.

All I saw were red and not quite so ripe mulberries on the tree.

"Exactly! Those damn grasscutters and gardeners are eating all the ripe ones."

Looking forward to a relaxing day on the beach

Lazy Dog
Originally uploaded by Jepster
If everything goes according to plan, I will be spending my Sunday on an island somewhere. Will do a bit of snorkeling, some skindiving if I'm still up for it (it has been a while and I'm out of practice), and hopefully a lot of rest and lazing about. Will also try to get a ton of photos. Ah... can't wait. Is it Sunday already? Why are certain days seem so slow especially if you are waiting for something?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

To Sugar or Not to Sugar

Last December, I discovered a wonderful place for diabetics to go out and have those desserts they always craved for but could not eat because of their situation. The place is called "Sugar-Not" located in Megamall. Ironically, I discovered it when I was just finishing off my regular yearly medical checkup and my doctor was admonishing me for not keeping my blood sugar in check. Last stop was for my Audiometry test at the fifth floor. I had to wait for some time for the technician to come out from her lunch break so I had some time to kill.

Seeing the name of the shop for the first time made my heart skip a beat. Sugar-Not... Could it be? I went inside and asked the attendant which pastries were sugar free. She answered back, "all of them". And that was when I realized I was in sugar free heaven. :D

Their menu was mouth watering with sample photos of some of the items. I decided to give it a shot.

My impressions:

  • New York Cheesecake - a bit dry and the blueberry topping featured in the menu was not available. A bit of a disappointment.
  • Carrot Cake - very very nice. It was moist and flavorful. Just what I imagined it to taste like.
  • Latte Lite - the best I tasted so far. Beats an iced Starbucks cafĂ© lattĂ© with sugar free vanilla syrup anytime.

I will definitely go back there to sample the rest of their offerings. Can't wait…

Monday, January 07, 2008

Saving up for the new year

Piggy Series
Originally uploaded by Jepster
It's a fresh new year and I'm still trying to pay off the expenses I incurred during the holidays. That is why for this year, I have resolved to be more budget conscious (no more impulse buying *sob*) and hopefully finish the projects I have started last year that I was not able to complete because of lack of funds. The biggest of these projects is of course my flat which after more than 2 years since moving in still looks like a storage space with a small clearing for the bed and a small table.

Things that I should spend less on:
* Eating out -- I used to cook often but lately I have been eating out a lot. I hope to change that this year. The downside is that I tend to get fatter when I do my own cooking :p
* Buying overpriced coffee -- Ok I admit it, I have probably spend a whole lot of money on coffee than I should have just for the months of November, December and January. All because of a lousy planner that I have just gave away to friends. It would have been cheaper if I just had bought them the planner instead of collecting all those promo stickers from Starbucks.
* Impulse buying -- the year 2007 was a landmark year for me in terms of impulse buying. The items ranged from a nice mini tripod that I just had to buy to a very nice Bluetooth keyboard for my equally nice new phone (the keyboard was one-third the price of my phone). That also includes all the cheap but moderately useful items I buy from my favorite budget gadget store (CDRKING). And did I really need that new widescreen LCD monitor? I'm guessing not.
* Fuel and car maintenance related expenses -- I'm not sure what I can do about this category but this represents a huge chunk of my total expenses in 2007. A colleague suggested I stop doing my maintenance checks with the OEM and stick with 3rd parties offering the same services instead. Almost all of my Christmas-bonus just went to that single maintenance repair. Bummer huh... :(

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy New Year Everyone!

Originally uploaded by Jepster
I decided to drive back to our company housing compound for the new year. Sure beats spending the new year alone in my apartment without an internet connection and thinking of how to fit the leftovers of the new year feast in an already brimming fridge.

We played Bingo starting 9pm (I did not win anything) and ate free food (mostly food that are traditionally served for the new year like round fruits, Balut, Hot Chocolate, salabat and assorted "kakanin"). I tried taking some pictures of the fireworks. I did not prepare beforehand and I was fumbling with my camera when the fireworks display started, had to swap out inappropriate filters that were installed, and eventually just ran out of battery power. :(

I think some of the pics turned out nicely though.