Saturday, October 26, 2013

The One About L.E.S. Bagels

More than rice and pasta, I really am a bread person.  If I want to die via carbs, you bet I’m big on bread.  Choosing bread in our small household is almost an art.  I really take time in deciding which golden brown loaf will come home with us.  And that white generic loaf lining grocery shelves?  No, thank you.

A good bagel is really hard to come by in Manila which is a pity because I love a good bagel that’s double-toasted and slathered with thick cream cheese.  That’s why when I learned that L.E.S. (Lower East Side) Bagels has opened in Tuscany Hill near where I teach, I made it a point to visit the new establishment.

It was bagel heaven inside!  I was just looking for a good bagel with a soft, crusty outside and chewy inside but LES Bagels offered a rather good variety of bagels.  There were whole wheat, pumpernickel, sesame seed, black Russian, onion, cinnamon raisin, salted, and Nigella seed options apart from the plain one.

And the cream cheese menu!!!  To die for!  I thought it was really difficult choosing which cream cheese variant went with the right bagel!

Anyhoo, I happily brought home my brown bag of bagel heaven and unearthed these babies:

 Bacon and cheddar cream cheese on plain bagel

 Blueberry cream cheese on pumpernickel bagel

 Jalapeno cream cheese on an onion bagel

Sundried tomato and basil cream cheese on a sesame seed bagel

They were all really, really, really yummy!  Finally, a taste of real New York bagels in Manila!  They were also heavy so two people can actually share a bagel.  Check it out.  You'll love it!  Even your waistline will agree! :)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wednesday Nugget: Poetic Instincts

Here’s to people brimming with dreams,
To faith and belief in God’s power,
Belief in God’s love,
And belief in God’s own time.

Here’s to kindness and loyalty and hard work,
Compassion, sincerity, and patience,
Diligence, discipline, and determination,
And everything that paves the way for an abundant tomorrow.

Here’s to the farewell to the time that was lost,
Here’s to the hello to the lessons learned,
Here’s to the forgiveness I may ask for at some point,
Here’s to the gratitude for answered prayers.

So here’s to tonight,
For tonight, I’ll dream the sweetest dreams.
And here’s to tomorrow,
For tomorrow, I’ll do my best
And have faith in what will be.

(Little Miss Pinay Crafter, 2013)

P.S.  Two-liner nugget found on the Internet.  Poem inspired by it. :)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The One About Anthill Fabric Gallery

Our trip to Cebu was of the business-y nature but I managed to go on a quick craft sojourn while we were in the city.  I had long bookmarked Anthill Fabric Gallery as a must-see should I visit Cebu again and I was able to finally see the place last weekend.

Anthill Fabric Gallery is a creative social enterprise that supports and celebrates Filipino craftsmanship.  They carry a bevy of handwoven fabrics from Abra, Vigan, and Benguet.  I have a thing for social enterprises right now and, being there, I felt compelled to buy something.  It's also because all their fabrics are to die for!!!

The fabrics and other locally sourced materials are made into clothes, placemats, bags, clutches, wallets, organizers, and even shoes!

 Seeing this portion of the creative souk made me think about when the last time was when I slept on a banig.

 A sewing community in Cebu, meanwhile, makes these rag dolls.

There were so much to see.  Everyone involved in the Gallery really have their creative juices flowing.  It was evident in every piece that was sold in the store.  In the end, this came home with me...

It's really a bills organizer but I figured it'd work great as a clutch.

It's perfect for all my essentials:  my moolah, my phone (with visible fingerprints!  Haha!), my idea notebook, a pen or two, IDs, and cards.  And a tube of lipstick.

While I cannot really say that the handmade movement is robust in Cebu compared to Manila, Anthill Fabric Gallery very well declares that at the very least, it is alive in Cebu.  Here's to more creative enterprises in Cebu! :)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Weekend Tidbits: Cebu

Last weekend, Hon-some and I flew to the Queen City of the South.  As most of you know, I have a love affair with Cebu.  I still remember my first visit to that place.  I was 24 years old in a quarter-life crisis.  I wanted to get away and, not knowing what I was doing, agreed to a friend's offer to book me a flight to Cebu on a solo trip.  I didn't know a thing about Cebu; didn't know anyone there at the beginning.  But I knew it was the perfect place to think, think, and reassess my life.

I fell in love with Cebu in an instant.  I wanted to come back but not just for a visit.  I got my parents' blessing to try and strike it out on my own and live there.  By God's grace, I landed a job there and the rest just fell into place.

Although I only stayed there for two years, it was the best two years of my single life.  I became independent, resourceful, and responsible.  I learned to eat healthy and to budget my money.  To this day, I know some of my colleagues there wondered why I never "gimmicked."  I read my books, cooked my own food, wrote my thesis, and attended to creative projects.  They probably felt sorry for my social life.  But I knew my wallet was fatter than theirs.  Hahaha!

I also learned how to take care of myself.  The one incident when I got really sick there was super horrible that I vowed never to get sick again as much as I can help it.  That's when I became more aware of what I ate and did (I loved my evening jogs in Paradise Village).

When Hon-some and I stepped out of the airport last Saturday, it felt great to be back.  Really great. :)  Suddenly, I was reacquainted with the laidback charm that I have come to love about Cebu.  The environment is much better than Manila, the people are friendlier, and cab drivers give the change back!  While a lot has changed since I had left, it still felt like home.  Or maybe like an old friend I have reunited with after long years of losing touch.

We were in Cebu for what could be considered R&D and not necessarily R&R.  We were on our toes most of time, exploring the city and reveling in the ideas that kept on flowing.  Our trip, albeit quick, was fun and productive...and gluttonous!  I'm still on a juice cleanse today because of all the eating we did there!  Just one of the things I love about Cebu.  In fact, I will always love Cebu.  In time and with God's grace, I hope Cebu will be ready to love me back again. :)

By some stroke of luck, the short weekend got extended!  Here are some of what we did:

1.  Went for a morning walk in UP and reminisced about my student days...

(I took the photo.)

2.  Sewed up Mr. Gingerbread Man.  That rickrack fits him eh? :)

3.  Hon-some's niece and nephew slept over so we took them for lunch at Gino's Brick Oven Pizza and Cello's Doughnuts.  Happy eaters!

My plate...and a super swiped one in the background. :)

The weekend that was.  :)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wednesday Nugget

Every day is a good day to create. :)

You can get this free printable here.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The One About Craft Circle

My love for crafts has led me to offer a craft club in school.  Every Tuesday afternoon, a total of 20 kids from first to fifth grade troop into my room and excitedly ask, "What are we going to make today?"  For an entire hour, we would cut, glue, sew, draw, sketch, design, and sprinkle our way to craftiness.

Preparation can be really stressful and tiring, especially when I have to think about sourcing the materials and supplies that we use.  But whenever my students tell me that they had fun that afternoon or once I overheard one kid declare, "I love Craft Circle," everything seems worth the effort.

Here are some of the crafts that we have made...

I got this owl craft idea from here.  We did this on our first day.  It was a great icebreaker activity and it was also a perfect way of assessing my students' cutting, pasting, and writing skills.

Will post more crafts as we go!  And if I don't find myself lazy, will share a tutorial or two. :)

Happy crafting!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Wednesday Nugget

Photo from here.

There is awesomeness in determination.  Having said that, let's sew more toys, Ms. Gertie! :)