Island Photos with @makayformayor
Agho Island, Concepcion.
Photos of my friend Makay and I in Agho Island, Concepcion.
Panoramic Shots of Agho Island, Concepcion.
Panoramic Shots of Agho Island, Concepcion.
My husband and I laughing like crazy.
We’re fortunate to have good friends (with good hands and a good set of eyes) who took photos of us before we got married.
It’s overwhelming how we both drive each other nuts, but at the same time absolutely adore each other from our hair to our feet. I wake up every morning always thankful for this man and always excited to be discovering something new with him everyday. We still have little wisdom in this world, and it’s beautiful how we learn new and different things together.
I am drowning in His grace and I couldn’t ask for more.
What I love about travelling by plane is that get suspended above the clouds for a little while. I don’t know why, but the sky (and the beach) has always been my happy place. I would always stay on our roof and watch the clouds, it gives me a feeling of being infinite, endless. It marvels me and believe me, someday my children and their children will get what I mean.
Anyhow, last January, my mother and I went to Manila for a few days. We took the afternoon flight going home and our plane took off just in time for the lovely sunset. My mom was asleep all throughout our travel, and I (being myself) kept taking pictures of the sky and the sunset over the calm open sea.
It was the first time that I was able to chase the sun as it went down, and in every few minutes, the hues and blends of the sky kept changing from golden yellow, to crimson, to pink, to purple until the stars began to twinkle in the pitch black atmosphere. It’s amazing how things can change in a matter of minutes, seconds, even.
My husband asked me once, why I always take photos of the sky since they were all the same. Different forms, different days, but the same view. I disagree. They might look the same but if you intricately go through photos, you’ll find that there is a distinct and unique beauty in every day, every turn of our earth, in every moment that you capture the heavens. There is a familiar feeling of infinity and vastness every single time I look up at the clouds or every time I gaze at the open waters.
(Photo above) For the first few minutes, we glided in between the clouds. It seemed that the sky was closing in on us that it made me feel a bit claustrophobic. Can you imagine scenes from end-of-the-world movies where climate change has affected atmospheric activities and little do the people know that they were nearing the end? Well, that was how I felt with this view. Only that I was too happy to be swallowed by this beauty. Eat us up, heavens, just like how Jonah was swallowed whole by the whale.
(Photos above) When our plane flew higher than the clouds, I saw how the placid water reflected the excruciatingly burning sun. The undisturbed ocean turned golden, as if the sun’s rays were King Midas’ touch. It gave off a feeling of serenity. Oh I could be stuck up there forever (discounting the several scientific ways to die up there if it really did happen: I would freeze to death, or burn from the heat, or die from lack of oxygen. The list goes on. ).
(Photos above) Our plane rose to an ever higher altitude as the sun slowly gave way to the night. The sky has now become a gradient of orange and blue. As of that moment, the clouds looked like the ocean waves crashing toward the shore. If this were a real ocean, people would be riding the tide. The silver surfer would have a field day, he can go galavanting in the sea of white, fluffy, cotton-looking condensed water vapor and ice crystals with his, uhm, board. That was a joke, a terrible one, I’m afraid.
(Photos above) As we were nearing Iloilo City, our plane cautiously descended to reach a lower altitude. This time, I was able to see the mountain ranges being gloriously curtained by the sun’s rays before it finally retires. Everything was golden, and it seemed like ‘life’ was being sprayed upon the earth in the form of light. Distant rivers were trailed magically with gold, and the peaks and valleys were highlighted. The marriage of orange and blue from the clouds I saw earlier have not yet reached the earth. Once it did, everything illuminated by the sun slowly faded into the evening.
Then it was dark. The black blue atmosphere slowly and carefully cried out thousands of stars in a simultaneous manner until it covered the evening sky. The beauty of the heavens does not stop at sunset, it continues until the morning, never sleeping, never ceasing to be beautiful.
For some people it all looks the same, but I am a freak of the heavens, I don’t see what they see.
My mind goes here my eyes go, even farther.
Got this from Bianca King’s blog. Among the few recipes I’ve tried, I like this one best. Please feel free to check out her blog on the link above, as I just recopied her exact recipe, I hope she doesn’t mind.
This is how my Apple Walnut Crumble looked like. Check Bianca’s out.
Here goes her recipe:
- 1 & 1/4 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon raw sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons COLD butter (around 85 grams)
- 5 tablespoons COLD water
- Combine flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon.
- With your fingers and thumbs, blend the butter into the flour mixture. The motion will look like you are pinching the rubbing the butter and flour together until the entire mixture is evenly saturated.
- Add the cold water 1 tablespoon at a time and repeat the pinching motion.
- Make the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic and store in the refrigerator while you make the filling and crumble top.
- 5 medium sized apples cut up into chunks
- 1/3 cup raw sugar (or honey for a healthier option)
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Combine sugar, flour and cinnamon then with the apples.
- Add vanilla and lemon juice last.
- If you are using honey, this should be last. Do not add it to the dry ingredients.
**You should now preheat oven to 425 degrees F (218 degrees C) and grease your pie pan with butter.
Crumble top ingredients:
- 1 cup flour
- 1/3 cup raw sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon sal
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup melted butterMethod:
- Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and walnuts.
- Pour melted butter on mixture.
- Pinch and rub together until the chunks are evenly broken apart.
- Remove crust from fridge and flatten plastic wrap.
- Place another large piece of plastic wrap on top and roll the ball flat with a rolling pin until it is 2 inches wider than your pie pan all around. (No rolling pin? Get creative! Use an encyclopedia or the cardboard tube of a kitchen paper towel)
- Peel off one side of the plastic wrap at a time when you transfer the crust into the pan.
- Press the bottom and the sides to the pan then pierce bottom all around with a fork.
- You don’t have to do this but i don’t like a soggy crust so I put the pan with crust only in the oven for 2 minutes to cook it a little.
- Pour apple mixture into pan and top with crumble.
- Cover loosely with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove foil then reduce heat to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and and bake for 25-30 minutes more or until you like how toasted the top is.
Let it cool for a bit then top with vanilla ice cream!
Today, I tried making Classic Deviled Eggs for lunch. I got the recipe from the Food Network website (you can find over 50 different recipes for Deviled Eggs there but I decided to stick to this one). Oh, I’m not an aspiring cook or anything, just a long distance housewife trying to explore the kitchen so that I’d have a variety of food to feed my beloved husband. Anyway, here’s the recipe. You can tweak it anyway. In my case, I added more ground black pepper (my favorite seasoning) and Spanish Paprika on top.
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Smoked Spanish paprika, for garnish
Place eggs in a single layer in a saucepan and cover with enough water that there’s 1 1/2 inches of water above the eggs. Heat on high until water begins to boil, then cover, turn the heat to low, and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and leave covered for 14 minutes, then rinse under cold water continuously for 1 minute.
Crack egg shells and carefully peel under cool running water. Gently dry with paper towels. Slice the eggs in half lengthwise, removing yolks to a medium bowl, and placing the whites on a serving platter. Mash the yolks into a fine crumble using a fork. Add mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper, and mix well.
Evenly disperse heaping teaspoons of the yolk mixture into the egg whites. Sprinkle with paprika and serve.
Today, April 2nd, our 2 labradors (Keep the Golden Lab and Chuck the Chocolate Lab) turned 2 years old. I managed to bake them a Peanut Butter Banana Cake and whipped up some cream cheese and 0% fat yogurt for the frosting. I added some bananas and candy sprinkles to add some color, not that they can actually see color. The thing is, the cake crumbles so easily since I used dog-friendly ingredients (and it’s not too sweet). The recipe is made specifically for canines,by the way.
Anyhow, Keep was given to me by my grandfather (my lola’s brother. He has a kennel in Bacolod City.) when he was just a month old. My mother bought Chuck from the same kennel 2 weeks after Keep arrived and planned to bring him to the farm. Eventually, I convinced her to leave Chuck with me, since I know he will not have to kind of care he deserves there.
Even when they were puppies, they already had different personalities. Keep was a little bit composed but stubborn in following commands, and Chuck can’t keep still even for a few minutes, always barking, but he followed instructions eagerly and quickly. Even until now their personalities have not changed.
There was even a time when the weather was so hot and dry that Chuck would swim in his pee, while Keep would almost tiptoe just to avoid getting pee on his paws. He, however, always spilled his bowl of water and swim in the puddle. They were so hyper they drove me so mad. I even remember how I was alway grumpy and thought about sending them back. I picked up after their mess every few minutes, poop, pee, and everything that they’ve destroyed (from furniture, to toys, to shoes, to clothes).
But then, I did not. My husband told me that I had to change the way I handled them and I had to be more patient because they were just pups. He was right, I was the problem. I worked hard in understanding the needs of a dog and personally, I think it’s like having your own kid. It’s not jut about taking pictures of them and dressing them nicely and giving them treats and a good bath. Every dog owner knows that they have to make sure their dog are healthy and that their needs are met. It’s been two years, and here they are, getting adorable and muscular by the minute. Still so full of energy, though. Labardors.
I talk to them everyday like they’re my human best friends. In fact, they are. Sometimes I forget that they’re dogs. Everyday I’d just sit with them, talk to them while stroking their fur, or play with them. Mind you, they play hard and messy and I love it. I know their distinct bark when they’re alarmed, on the verge of peeing or pooping, hungry, hostile, or just bored and seeking attention. Every bark is different. When I come home they would always stand up and try to sniff me, probably finding out where I’ve been and all that. I know I’m not the leader-of-the-pack type so I think sometimes they feel dominant. When they’re threatened the fur in their back stand altogether like a screeching cat and their tails stand at a 90 degree angle perpendicular to their bodies.
Chuck is more hostile to strangers, not a typical labrador trait, but he’s so loving and playful once he gets to sniff and check you out. He doesn’t like to be cuddled a lot, but he loves being stroked and scratched. Chuck likes to shake hands too. And oh, he likes apples better than bananas. Keep is the more approachable to strangers type but they both are equally loving. He is stubborn in obeying my commands because he knows I never get mad at them. Smart Ass. He knows how to be charming and loves to be cuddled and kissed. He loves bananas, apples, and carrots. Both of them are always, always so happy.
They also know when I’m sick, when I’m sad, when I’m hyper, or even mad. Also, I believe that they’re more intelligent and more compassionate than I ever am, they just were not given the privilege to speak.
Some people might find it pathetic to see pet owners get so attached to their fur babies. In my case, I can’t help it. How can I not be attached to these lovely dogs? They have always made me happy, and have taught me a lot of things. One thing that I’m very, very guilty about, however, is that I haven’t taken them out for walks anymore. They’re so strong and big that they’d drag me across the street. We almost got hit once. I remember one of them running so hard to the other side of the street that I dropped the chain leash and it got tangled with my thumb. I had to run faster to keep the leash from pulling off my thumb. I’m lucky my thumbnail didn’t g black. They ARE that strong. I love them anyway,
Time does fly so fast. They used to be so small. Now they’re adults and are almost the same height with my sister! Unfortunately, they’re still virgins. So, if anyone would like to have their female dogs impregnated, Keep and Chuck are very available. Please do contact me.
If there’s anything I want to do with this blog, it is to teach people how to create in the kitchen without the fancy appliances. Most crust recipes would tell you to put your ingredients in a food processor. No need! You can do it all by hand. How do you think they made pie in the olden days?…
Among all the recipes that I’ve tried, this one is the best.
A good way of organizing important documents. THIS IS A MUST in our home because my husband hates handling paper works and his wife is quite forgetful.
I want to try this tomorrow!
photo taken from pinterest: http://pinterest.com/pin/213146994836678074/
Yes, complex. One minute I am drowning in deep, melancholic or extremely ecstatic thoughts and floating in shallow waves of euphoria the next. This is my shallow self admiring the steamy badass Damon Salvatore, one of my favorite fictional characters, let alone my favorite anti-hero. It may be too teenage for my constantly changing age,but it is the shallow things that keep me grounded, partly.
I just want you to know that i have come to realize something. That, in this universe, every day of our (human) lives is a never ending battle. Against the predetermined turn of the earth, against circumstances, against criticisms of insignificant buffoons that act as if they know us well enough, and most importantly, it is a perpetual battle against ourselves (well, for me it is a brawl with you).
It is a cliché to have people say that we must always, always rise up to every occasion. Truth is, there are some battles we can’t win, and most of them are between us and ourselves (meaning you, self). It just sucks.
We should — if possible — always stick to that generic thought. It’s the only way we can survive this dog-eat-dog (or dog-eats-himself) human world. Today I received great news, and I realized that I can’t keep battling with you until we both (meaning me) are old. I think we can reach a compromise, me (the glass half full) and you (the i-cannot-do-it-because-the-world-is-so-damn-difficult). Just think of it, self, if we could synchronize and blend in our want and needs, i think that our human body (Anya) would be less distressed. It is hard keeping up with us. Everything is always decided on a whim. If we team up together, then our earthly host (Anya) would be fighting less battles than she already has (nothing compared to the rest of the universe, where everyone has bigger fish to fry).
Yours (oppositely) always,