pagtitipid and cooking at home

i’m planning to make chicken curry later for dinner (wanted beef or shrimp curry but we don’t have beef nor shrimp so back to good old chicken) and since i’m on a bree van de kamp phase (more on this later), i told myself that chicken curry is not enough. so i browsed through my indian recipe book (yup, i have an indian recipe book!) and tried to look for a dish i can pair up with curry. hay! wala akong mahanap! my problem lies with the spices. i can handle cumin and turmeric but what the hell is garam masala or asafoetida? sabi ko na nga ba, i should have gone to the specialty Indian food stores muna para i could have bought stocks. anyway, so for now, my indian cookbok will remain on the shelf until i can gather those out-of-the-world ingredients it’s talking about.

for dinner, if i can muster enough sipag, then i can drop by the supermarket to buy additional ingredients and i’ll just make tom yang. 🙂
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at last!

because of all the things i’m doing right now — wedding coordination, thesis (although hindi naman talaga), and this research study bernard and i are doing for a UK market research firm — i decided that to avoid being burned out, i need to give myself at least 30 minutes a day to just sit and be. i realized, too, that the best way to spend this half hour is to blog so i can organize my thoughts and put thing in perspective. i promised myself that three weeks ago and it’s just now that i was able to sit down and type my thoughts.

i am supposed to be cooking right now but something happened to our stove so i’m waiting for jojie to come home to fix it. actually, and this is a secret between you and me and the world wide web, i do know how to fix it but waiting for jojie enables me to: 1) blog; 2) watch an ally mc beal rerun; and 3) make jojie feel he’s the man of the house…. hahaha! the last one’s a joke. although i’m pretty handy around the house, having been my dad’s assistant around the house for most of my life, jojie does the “handyman” things around here. i must say, though, that since i’m home alone most of the time, it’s a really good thing that i’m used to fixing stuff.

i was in makati today to meet with a client and i had lunch with abie. although we’ve seen each other last week (in a wedding she helped us coordinate… more on that later), we really were not able to talk. so we took the opportunity today to have lunch and to talk and to make chismis about our other friends. hahaha!

it’s so funny how abie and i met. we were “forced” to stick together during the w@w5ive because our boyfriends were not with us. a couple of months after, we met again to go to dangwa and to divi. i introduced her to mang boy, she introduced me to divisoria’s bubble makers. from then on, she and i would talk every now and then to update each other about wedding preps and life in general and slowly, our friendship grew. although we’re in different fields and our life circumstances are different somewhat , we are in the same life stage and although she might not realize it, i learn so many things from her. and as mushy as it sounds (i know abie hates mushy stuff! hahaha!), i’m looking forward to planning our silver wedding anniversary with abie and my other w@w friends. 🙂

jojie and i are doing this research together. the research is about the wheat and wheat flour industry in the philippines. although it’s been hard (we’re on our fifth and last week of the project) and really stressful and tiring (case in point: we spent the whole holy week in coffee shops until after midnight), the research has given us an opportunity to work together. although we’ve done this before, working together as husband and wife is a whole lot different than working together as boyfriend and girlfriend. for one, when we were doing research before we had to stay at my house. we were so stressed that we argued many times. since i’m such a bossy editor, jojie and i quarreled a lot. with our current research, we have learned how to utilize each other’s strengths and how to take things in stride and how to be there for each other all the time. it has not been easy; there were times that jojie was ready to just give up and i had to be there for him and there were also times that i wanted to give up but he was there for me. i think this is what marriage is all about. working together and supporting each other, all the time. i’m not saying it’s easy because it’s SO not! but then, having jojie by my side makes the adjustment, the compromises, and all the changes i have to cope with worth it.

i’m alive! (an update of the last two weeks in one loooong kwento)

it’s been more than two weeks since i last posted…. been so busy with the coordination business…. i’m really enjoying this. i know it’s not-save-the-world kind of job but it gives me an opportunity to do something which i know i’m good at (hahaha! ang yabang!)

we’ve been in business for two weeks (our business officially started when i unsubscribed from w@w and announced) and we have quite a lot of inquiries. ang babaw pero ako natutuwa na when people, especially w@wies, inquire kasi i think that means they trust us up to some level. a few have also booked us and i am as excited with their weddings as i am with the wedding of really close friends. as much as possible, i really try to develop a personal relationship with them since i don’t to be just another supplier and i don’t want them be to just another client to us. 🙂

so far, even if, in effect, i am preparing for five weddings (in our team, each wedding is assigned a lead coordinator and as a lead coordinator, you are really the one on top of all the preps), i am really happy. it is a hard job, keeping up with all things-to-do’s and stuff but it is fun. at the same time, i also realized, just the other day, after a client meeting, that i am really taking this seriously, as in hindi lang siya another fun thing to do na pwedeng pagkakitaan while i’m not doing anything meaningful right now. ang galing!

i went to obando last monday to interview for my thesis. i was able to interview four mothers. my thesis, for those who don’t know, is about parenting beliefs of mothers on childrearing, and as such, my questions focused mostly on what they believe to be the right way to bring up a child. i was so surprised when during the course of the interviews, i have realized (and of course, i will include this in my discussion) that although low-income parents believe the same things middle-income parents believe, they do that for a whole different reason. for example, middle-income parents believe that education is important. when asked why, they would reason that education would enable the child to be self-sufficient and would equip him or her with the right skills for the future. low-income parents, on the other hand, while also believing that education is important, reason that if their kids are not educated, people would talk about their kids and this would reflect badly on them (the parents themselves); “tatanungin ng mga tao kung sino ang mga magulang niyang batang yan at syempre nakakahiya”. nakakagulat. i am excited na nga other differences pa. i hope i get to find high-SES parents na so i can complete the analysis.

my obando trip made me realize again how hard life is for some. although all of them live in concrete houses (so hindi naman barong-barong), their houses are only twice the size of our area rug here at home. the mothers talked of financial difficulty, of their husbands not having jobs, of selling the catch from the fishponds early in the morning so their kids can have baon for school, etc. no, i do not blame god in this instance (siguro kasi since hindi bata yung kausap ko, mag hindi naantig ang damdamin ko), but i blame the government for their plight. naniniwala ako na hindi dapat pinapayagan ng gobyerno na mabuhay sa ganung sitwasyon ang mga mamamayan. pero naiintindihan ko rin na mahirap kasi talaga ang buhay at hindi rin naman maaayos ng mga kahit na matitinong pulitiko ang sitwasyon natin sa loob ng isang linggo. haaay! ang hirap talaga.

on a happier note, it’s my honey’s birthday on sunday. he’s turning 28! and for his birthday gift, i am throwing him a surprise party tomorrow night at my parents’ place! sobra na akong excited for this! kaya rin naman sobra akong busy kasi inaayos ko nga ito. things are basically set na. just need to buy the ingredients later and to order some stuff like the chairs and kung anbu-ano pa (i ordered a keg of beer from san miguel. nakakatuwa kasi sobrang hassle free talaga.) i was supposed to have an international menu: puttanesca, garden salad, chicken lollipop, and yung other things na babagay pa dun. but then i decided to have shabu-shabu. actually my mom decided that we’ll have that kasi masarap. my mom’s really into this surprise din. hehe! (thanks, ma! love you!) so nung una okay pa, sabi ko carry na yun kahit hindi partner yung shabu-shabu sa ibang dish. but when i talked naman to jojie’s dad, sabi naman niya magdadala raw siya ng lechon. nye! eh di talagang ang layo na, so when i consulted my mom, we decided to have pinoy foods na lang. so our new menu is the shabu-shabu (for the gulay and the soup), menudo , inihaw na bangus, pininyahang manok, lechon, pandan rice, and pandan lychee for desert. i wanted to make oreo cheesecake kaya lang wala akong springform pan. okay lang sana kung kami lang ang kakain, kahit na ordinaryong baking pan lang but because ise-serve, kelangan talaga springform pan. oh well! so bili na lang ako. mas madali pa, mas mura pa. hehe!

i’m really excited. i can’t believe i lasted this long without accidentally telling him. i started planning for this august but then because of the gastos of my thesis, akala ko hindi kakayanin ng budget ko pero kinaya ko (well, partly because my mom offered to help me out… bait ng mommy ko!). so now, we’re going to have a dinner for jojie’s closest family and friends tomorrow night. mga 30 people yung invited. really excited! kakatuwa pa kasi sobrang game family and friends ni jojie. as in super cooperative. galing-galing!

will update you how the surprise bday party turns out.

off topic: testing tomorrow

vina, one of my supervisors at wellness center, called me the other day and asked if i can conduct a testing (psychological assessment if you want to be more technical about it).

candles and gowns – divisoria and a bit of quiapo

bernard and i went to divisoria this afternoon to buy materials for our gel candles. went to gody (candle supplies store along recto) first to canvass then went to columbia (another store, also along recto). columbia’s asking price for the gel wax was actually a bit higher than that of gody’s but their wick was much more reasonable. since we were going to buy five kilos of gel wax, we asked columbia’s proprietor if she can give us a lower price. she was willing to go down P5 per kilo but that was still higher than gody’s price. in the end, we just thanked her (after buying the wick, the wick sustainers, and the scent) and said that we were just going to buy at gody’s. since she realized that we were not just bluffing, she gave us the wax for the same price that gody offered! yipee!

next, we went to our mananahi. we were able to finalize the price and the style. my gown is a strapless A-line (i think) gown with a chapel train. materials will be jusi and gina silk. (sorry, i am not really into clothes so i don’t really know to describe my gown. i just know that it is very nice; simple and elegant. and my h2b loves it!)

we were also able to finalize the entourage’s gowns although we’re not yet sure if we’re going to use two-toned shantung or frosted chiffon. that’s not problem though. i know we’ll be able to decide one of these days.

we have also scheduled the fitting for july… pressure to get thin!!! =)

after that, we went around tutuban center. grabe! sarap mag-shopping! una, everything was priced so low!!!! i have a tita who has a store in tutuban and she sells tommy hillfiger overruns, ang mumura! then of course, since it was a tuesday, the place was virtually free! ang sarap talagang mamili! but then again, we just went there for the gel candle materials so we could not just buy whatever we wanted. isa pa, since we just bought a laptop (our first major purchase as “husband and wife”), we have to scrimp to be able to save again. in the end, i bought an old rose shirt and bernard bought an orange polo.

after divisoria, we went to quiapo. we were able to buy shells for our candles but the store where we were going to buy the glasses was already closed so we still ahve to go back one of these days to buy the glasses. still, it was a really, really productive day.


(background: i worked as a guidance counselor in assumption san lorenzo for a couple of years. i handled one batch, 181 students. they were the sweetest girls ever. i loved them and i loved my work but there came a time when i was starting to hate going to work everyday, not because of my girls, in fact, they were the ones who sustained me, but because i felt too stifled by their system that i opted to resign. also, i was going to start my practicum for my masters and i knew that if i did not resign, i would not be able to finish my practicum.)

one of my former students sent me a message through text this afternoon. the message said that she, mara, remembered me and so she texted to say hi. i always get excited whenever one of my former students text me. siguro kasi i miss them so very much! =) so i replied; said hi and asked her how she was. she said she was okay and then she said that the reason she was texting really was because she wanted to apologize. i was so surprised! i could not remember a single incident she needs to apologize for so i asked her why. she said that she got angry at me when i left and that was the reason why she did not talk to me when i went to assumption to visit them. i got teary-eyed when i read her message. although i knew that some of my students felt bad when i left, nobody told me straight out how they felt. some just asked questions like, “ms. clarice, bakit niyo kami iniwan?” or “miss naman, can’t you go back?” sabi naman ni mara she now understands that things probably were for the best. still, that does not erase the fact that i knew she felt betrayed when i left. i felt so bad knowing that i hurt my students when being their counselor was one of the most meaningful things i have done in my life.

need to rest…

i think i’m coming down with something. i’ve not been feeling well all day. most likely, i’m coming down with the flu. either that or my basal body temperature is really high because of the time of the month. either way, i’m not my usual perky self.

bernard is already home from work and school. my poor baby! he sounded tired when we spoke over the phone. siguro kasi we slept around 3:30 a.m. last night trying to finish our reports.

i realized today that bernard and i are driving ourselves to the limit and we should really, REALLY rest. he is working fulltime (he’s a stock market analyst. was ranked as the 3rd best analyst in the power sector last year! i’m so proud of my honey! =)), is attending graduate school (he’s taking up master of science in computational finance in la salle), and has two part-time jobs (one is about drawing up a business plan for a chinese couple while the other is editing reports from a singaporean company). ako naman, i’m doing my thesis (i’m taking up master of arts in counseling psych in ateneo) and i have three part-time jobs (i’m a play therapist and a research associate for an ateneo research project, and at the same time, i’m writing another thesis for a client). i also help bernard with the editing for the singaporean company. most of the time, we work nights. okay lang yun for me since i don’t have a regular sched pero si bernard has pasok everyday so i’m more worried about him.

so why are we doing this? for one, we need to save up for our life together (not just the wedding). at least siya alam ko yun yung reasons niya. ako? hmmm… since i don’t really earn a lot with the jobs that i have, it’s more about learning and establishing myself as a psychologist/researcher.

but we enjoy what we do. i think one of the things that has attracted me most to bernard was that i saw how passionate he was as a person. he loves what he does and the things he does, he makes sure he does it right. with my circle of guy friends, wala yatang ganun. or at least wala sa ganung level katulad ng nakikita kong passion ni bernard sa mga ginagawa niya.

i think what we’re doing is just okay. siguro lang we need to manage our time more effectively para hindi kami magkasakit. on the other hand, this is a surefire way na papayat ako before my fitting in july! mwahahaha! a bride daw kasi has to be pretty and thin. with the things i’m doing, ha! i’ll be thin! pero hindi pretty! nye! i’d rather be fat basta pretty. (ay ang layo ko na sa topic!)

so anyway, starting tomorrow, i resolve to manage my time more effectively so i do not get sick. i also promise to take vitamins everyday. for now, though, i’ll just get my much-needed sleep.