Archives for November 2012

New Business in Town

Going home from the cemetery last November 1, we took a different route. I wanted to do landscape photography. (Yes, frustrated photographer here!)

I got what I wanted. The alternate route had pretty rolling hills.

And there were ducks gathering around a lake. This is what I love about provincial life.

Along this road, we also discovered a new resort.

Construction is still ongoing but there is already a functional swimming pool.

The resort already accepts guests who want to use the pool. We grabbed the opportunity and returned in the afternoon. Since only a few knew the place exists, we look like we own the place. 😀

The place also has a function room for those who want to hold their parties and meetings here.

We swam till dusk.  I love that the resort is surrounded by mountains. No obstructive view of those dangling electric wires.

 The place is pretty at night.

The resort is not yet fully opened and they do not even have a signboard. The resort is a water park for kids complete with slides and other water activities. I found this taped to a column in the entrance. So, if you happen to be in Butuan City, you now know who to call. 😉

A new business like this needs an online presence. Everyone uses the Internet to search for places to eat, things to buy and resorts to enjoy.  Having a website, a Facebook page or a twitter account  is just a start.

The Gelatin Experiment

Last month, I bought these gelatin moulds in our stopover in Cebu from Puerto Princesa.

A week after I bought these, I was excited to give the moulds a try. Using gelatin for dessert is quite straightforward. You just have to follow the instructions on the packet. I added food color in my experiment and some of the mixture had condensed milk. This is the first batch I made.

I unmolded the mixture unto a pan and covered a colored yet transparent gelatin mixture over it. To give emphasis on the individual designs,  my aunt and I had the idea of putting them on individual containers.  Coincidentally, it was my other aunt’s turn to sponsor snacks for her prayer group. Thus, one Saturday afternoon, we labored over creating these.

Unlike the first experiment,  we poured a milky pink gelatin.

Sorry for the glare in the photo. Anyway, we had an excess mixture that we make into one single gelatin pan for personal consumption.

When my aunt’s classmates had a mini-reunion at home, we made another batch. When we saw the final product we realized they look like votive candles. 😀

I guess it is safe to say that we will have more gelatin experiments in the future. My nephew loves gelatin and it does not matter whether it is in a beautiful mould like the ones we used. I found this on Pinterest:

 

Gummies are made of gelatin! It is no wonder why kids love SmartyPants, a mutlivitamin for kids that looks like gummies. Parents understand how hard it is to make kids take their vitamins.  It is not the case for this multivitamin for kids at smartypants.com. Packaged to look like gummy candies, kids could not refuse to take their vitamins.  The vitamins are packed with the essential nutrients necessary for raising healthy and happy children.

DIY Customized Gift Wrapping Paper

It was the baptism of my friend’s second daughter.  I already had a gift but the place where I bought my gift did not sell gift wrapping paper or gift boxes. Good thing, it was near a fabric store so I bought 2 meters of ribbon there for P4.00/meter.

I decided to create a customized wrapping paper by printing the baby’s name on a colored typewriting paper. I found few pieces in my files. I originally decided to use plain white bond paper but changed my mind when I found specialty paper with a light pink tint.

I typed the baby’s name repeatedly and printed it on the paper.

I used the paper to wrap the box which contained my gift. I tied a ribbon over it. Voila!

I need to use tape to fasten the three sheets of paper. I decided to use these tapes I bought a year ago for P25/batch.

The yellow tape caught my attention.  Probably because it is the only yellow in the batch.

Hmm, I think I ruined my gift design. Ha! The party was for the baby so I hope the whimsical tape was understandable. I also realized that I forgot to put my name on the gift. I hope my friend was able to figure out that the gift was from me.

The giveaway during the party was a cupcake.

Not a real cupcake though. It is a hand towel that is shaped into a cupcake. Cute.  I don’t think I will ever use that hand towel. I don’t want to ruin the design.  😀

There are other ways of wrapping gifts.  Start collecting the comics pages of the newspaper or colorful pages from a magazine. Christmas is near!

Here are some ideas from Pinterest.

Source: realsimple.com via Donna on Pinterest

Source: bit.ly via tanika on Pinterest

 

Nice ideas.

The Cupcake Experiment

The first batch of cupcakes I made that I frosted was in February.

The frosting was made of butter, sugar and powdered grape juice. Because we live in a tropical climate, the humidity easily melted the buttercream frosting which we then refrigerated to prevent it from melting. Refrigeration caused the frosting to harden so eating the cupcake felt like eating a block of butter.

Still, I continued icing birthday cakes using butter for aunt’s birthday…

… and mine.

After my birthday, I lamented over on Facebook that my birthday cake was the last cake I would frost in a little while. I expressed my problems with buttercream and my fear of using raw egg whites for frosting. My baker friends came to the rescue by introducing me to some frosting techniques and explaining how boiled icing is more apt for humid weather like ours. I promised I would give frosting another try.

My friends celebrated their 9th wedding anniversary and I wanted to bake something for them.  I wanted to do rainbow cupcakes with chocolate frosting but I was not successful with the chocolate frosting recipe and have of my cupcakes burned so I ended up giving them only 12 pieces of cupcakes with no frosting.

Photo courtesy of my friend, Wela.

Good thing, one of their children declared that he likes the cupcakes.

In October, my aunt celebrated her birthday so I took it as an opportunity to bake cupcakes one more time.  I think I got it right this time. Thanks to my friends and boiled icing!

A week after, I tried another batch. I wanted a cupcake frosting that looks like a rose. These are almost the rosettes I wanted but not quite. A reminder: Buy the Wilton tip 1M.

Two days ago, I was asked to bake cupcakes for my aunt’s get-together with friends and I came up with these.

Currently, I have 6 hours of experience on baking cupcakes from scratch and frosting them. I have 9,994 hours to go before becoming an expert. 😀

Because of all the cupcake baking I did, I thought about setting up a home-based cupcake business like those ebay sellers who are earning through their home-based businesses. However, I also realized that even a small online business venture requires capital to get the initial inventory going. Maybe I can tap those internet-lending scheme once I find the cupcake recipes I can be proud of. Who knows? For now, I just have to hone my baking talent first.

Source: etsy.com via Allie on Pinterest

Garden Plants for All Soul’s Day

Halloween celebration is still a foreign idea to me.  Around this time, our thoughts are on our plans for All Soul’s Day.

Since 2006, this has been our All Soul’s Day flower arrangement for our loved ones.

It was just a makeshift cross. Floral foams are attached to secure the flowers in place. We then spray water on the foam and flowers to keep them fresh. Every year, we just replace the flowers.

The cross is only made of scrap wood. The wood has deteriorated that last year, we can no longer hang it. It was place on top of the tomb instead.

This year, the wood is too brittle to use. We had to discard it. We can no longer use it.

Flowers around this time are expensive We used to buy this yellow flowers at P25 for three bunches for the altar on a weekly basis.

When we asked the flower vendor for the price early this week, it already cost P20 per bunch. We did not buy this time.

My aunts remembered that we have these plants in our garden.

 These garden flower were offered to our loved ones.

We passed by these flowers in the cemetery pathways.

I told my aunt that we should plant this type of flower in our garden so we can use them next year. She said she already did. I hope the plant grows well.

Did you also visit your loved ones in the cemetery?