Archives for October 2013

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I have basically written all the ingredients in the post title. I got this idea from Maan. (Thanks, Maan!) I like 3-ingredient recipes. It is easy to memorize. Ingredients are available. I do not have to slave around the kitchen.

All you have to do is prepare the ingredients: 2 bananas, 1 cup oatmeal and a handful of chocolate chips.

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Mash the bananas together with oats and when you get the consistency you want, mix in the chocolate chips.
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Roll into balls and flatten into a buttered cookie sheet that is covered in flour.

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Bake for 10-15 minutes. (I really do not know the temperature. My oven does not have a thermometer. I use quick cooking oats so I do not have to worry about undercooking it.) Maan used the microwave.

This is the finished product. It is tasty. It is not sweet. You need to get used to the taste if you are used the unhealthy chocolate chips cookies. That said, I found myself eating one cookie and another one and another one. It is guilt-free.
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Maan also shared the Youtube video of this recipe (minus the chocolate chips). Check this out!

Try this out and let me know the result.

Lovefilm vs NOW TV: their key features explained

Find out what the key features of two of the most popular streaming subscription services are, and how these services will change the way in which you enjoy watching TV. They allow you to have the freedom of not entering a lengthy contract, and also give you control over what you watch and when.

Long gone are the days of having to enter lengthy contracts for your television subscription and being limited as to what you can watch, and this is all thanks to the online streaming subscription services that have been around for the last few years. These services allow you to pay a fee each month which can be cancelled at any time, and as well as this you stream shows and films directly to your device, and this could be a computer, TV, laptop, tablet or even your mobile phone. It is clear why so many people now opt for this method instead of TV subscriptions – there are a few different streaming services for you to consider, each with their own unique features.

LOVEFiLM, an Amazon subsidiary, is one of the most popular and is perfect for any film buffs. Another powerful option, which is similar in some ways but also has several vital differences, is NOW TV, which is powered by Sky and is perfect for sports and film fans that don’t want to be tied down to lengthy contracts. Both are excellent services, but it is worthwhile exploring each one so that you can make an informed decision.

LOVEFiLM is very affordable and allows you to cancel your membership at any time, and it also has an enormous catalogue of films and some TV shows as well. These are updated frequently and are easily streamed to any suitable device that you have, and as well as this you can also get DVDs and Blu-Rays through the post which you then post back when you are done, and this is great for those that enjoy popping a DVD in and will enjoy all the extras. As the name suggests, LOVEFiLM is perfect for film buffs because of the huge catalogue with Hollywood blockbusters, modern and old classics and plenty in every genre that you can imagine.

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NOW TV is similar in that you can get a monthly Sky Movies pass, which will give you access to a large collection of films including the latest Blockbusters and hundreds of other fantastic films as well. They can also be streamed onto a variety of devices and you can watch these at any point. NOW TV differs in that it also offers a Sky Sports day pass, which allows you 24 hours of all 6 Sky Sports channels. This is great for those who do not want a long and expensive contract, and instead want to catch the occasional football match, a cricket series or any other sporting event shown on Sky Sports.

Lovefilm vs NOW TV is a tough call and it will come down to what your preferences are and what you want to be able to enjoy. If you are a huge film fan then LOVEFiLM would probably be the best, whilst NOW TV still offers a decent film collection and is the better choice for sports fans.

The Unplanned Road Trip to Laguna

While we were on our Ilocos trip, Janine of Wowtrippers asked us when we are going back to Butuan.  When she learned that we still had two days to spare, she suggested a road trip to Laguna after a day of rest. The cool thing about Wowtrippers is that they treat us like friends. Since this was an unplanned road trip, no additional fees were collected. We just pitched in for the van rental and paid for entrance fees and all.  They even contributed their share! We would have pitched in for their share, too, but it was our last day of our trip to Manila. We were running low on budget.

We have no prior expectations for this trip since we do not know the itinerary. We just knew we were visiting some falls like Pagsanjan.

Our first stop was in Panguil, Laguna.  We visited Ambon-ambon Falls.  No,  it was  not the regular trek-and-pose-for-picture type of trip.

We trekked and crossed bamboo bridges.

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Photo credit: Mau Rago

We waded the river.

Photo credit: Wowtrippers

We “climbed” boulders.

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Photo credit: Wowtrippers

We rode a raft.

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Photo by Wowtrippers

Funny story about the raft: Only 5 passengers are allowed. My 5 friends went ahead (see picture below). When it was our group’s turn, I walked confidently to the middle and found myself sitting comfortably until I felt that I was sinking. Woah! Was I that heavy?  I tried to maneuver myself with my legs up. Poise forgotten. I was laughing my ass off.

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Photo credit: Mau Rago

We swam. There are ropes to hang on to for those who do not know how to swim. (Me!)  Below is my friend trying to show me how to do it.  Nah, she was posing for the camera. 😀

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Photo credit: Mau Rago

No, this is not yet the falls.

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Photo credit: Mau Rago

After another river trek and a few meters of swimming (using the rope), we finally reached Ambon-ambon Falls.

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Photo by Wowtrippers

But  wait, there’s more! On our way back to the starting point, we dropped by the river tubing area.  River tubing is an activity where a group rides on connected lifesavers (salbabida). It was a fun activity!

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Photo credit: Mau Rago

We really had fun with this activity.
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All the trekking and swimming made us hungry. Prior to trekking, we paid the guides to cook for us. There were no utensils so we had a boodle lunch. Yum! We even had soup. We took turns in using the cut-up plastic softdrink bottle.
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We had our lunch in a hut near the river. This was our view.
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We were already full so off we went to our next adventure: Pagsanjan Falls. No, we did not ride the fancy boats to get to the falls. We used the alternate route where we walked 589 steps downhill (It should be called “downmountain”!).

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Photo credit: Mau Rago

We had to rappel twice. No, the rope did not break even with my weight. We asked Toto of Wowtrippers to take a photo of us. He already rappelled down. He climbed up again. We told him he should not have climbed up because he could take the photo from down there. He replied that the angle is better from the top because our faces will be seen. From the bottom, all the photos will be of our behind! Oo nga ano?

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Photo by Wowtrippers

When we reached the ground, we rode the raft going to the falls.

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Photo credit: Mau Rago

Notice how happy we are? Notice also that the Korean tourists had life jackets on and helmets on their heads while we only had a rope to hang on to. Ha! The happy poor people still had fun.

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Photo credit: Mau Rago

My friend, Mau, had a photoop with the colorful Pagsanjan boats. This easy route costs P1,250 per person. You get to help the boatmen earn their living. They only get a fraction of the amount. I am not sure where the rest of the fee goes.

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Photo credit: Mau Rago

After this is another 589 steps up. I suddenly regretted the times when I did not exercise. HA! Each step was a challenge.

It was already getting dark when we reached the top. Time to go home!

We had dinner at Isdaan in Calauan, Laguna. It is also a nice place for picture-taking.

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Photo by Wowtrippers

We had dinner in one of these huts.
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Food was a little pricey but it was good since the restaurant is owned by the same people who own Barrio Fiesta.
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By the time we got to the pension house, I hit the sack without changing clothes. I was that tired.

Do you want to experience the Laguna road trip? Wowtrippers offers such an experience with white water rafting. Check out their Facebook page and get in touch with them.

I was not asked to write this post for Wowtrippers. I am just a happy client.

3 Tips and Trends in Web Design

I do not pretend to know a lot about web design. I am writing this from the point of view of a reader.  I am always fascinated at how some sites are designed. I have minimal requirements in mine. I am happy that my web designer understood  what I wanted. However, those who wish to design their websites on their own can look into webdesign.org for information on how to develop a website.

Here are three tips on how you can make the most of the information shared at webdesign.org:

1. Be inspired by other website designs. This resource is easy to navigate. On the left sidebar, one can see the link to website. Check out existing websites. You’ll find something you like and be inspired to do the same on your website.  Try create your own style so that your website will not be a second-rate copy of another site.

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2. Learn some cool skills. Learning how to edit photos and graphics is a valuable skill for website owners. Visitors to the site are primarily attracted to the visuals.   This means that images should be able to complement the text.  You do not need mad Photoshop skills. You can learn the basic at the start and eventually learn more complicated techniques.

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3.  Check the freebies. Free does not always mean cheap.  Good design s not necessarily expensive. Check out their curated freebies and choose which ones can improve your site.  There are free icons, patterns and backgrounds  that can improve the overall look of your website.

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I hope you find these tips useful when you design your own website.

To further enhance your web design plan, here are 3 trends in web design which you can also learn from webdesign.org:

1.  Typography.  Beautiful fonts can really improve the overall look of  the website.  The key is to choose a simple one on the text-heavy portion of the website.  Make sure the fonts are readable by choosing the right font size. Avoid ornate fonts for text-heavy content. Instead, use these types of fonts for titles and other texts that need emphasis. The quote below is created by combining different fonts.

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2. Mobile responsive design. Different devices can now be used to access the Internet. With the millions of users of mobile devices, it is only logical to design a mobile responsive website.  This means that whatever may be the size of the screen of the device used to access the Internet, it will not affect the design of the website.

3. Good content. Content is still what drives readers to the website.  It is important that a website can add value to the reader. In this information age, good ideas matter. It is what makes people stay on the website longer. It is what makes people check the site again.  An engaging content entertains and tickles the mind of the reader.

There are a lot more ways to create a good website. It is a continuous evolution and web designers are always keen in keeping up with the trends. Not all trends can be applicable to the website so it is important to develop some core design principles to follow.

Get A Freight Quote And Get Your Goods Shifted Today

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If you are looking to expand your current company or business, there are several things you need to consider. Besides all of the obvious factors, an important element that you may need to think about is what freight options you have.

For those of you tat don’t know what the term freight services means, it is basically another term for the different carrier choices you have to transport your good from one point to another. You may be wondering why it is so important that you choose the right carrier method, because after all as long as it gets delivered that is all that matters, right?

Wrong. Choosing the right freight service is highly important if you want to get value for money, and sometimes different options work out much more expensive than they need to be. Also, this all depends on a series of things, including how much the content of the package weighs.

Whether you are purchasing raw materials that you need delivered to your work place or you would like to deliver some manufactured goods that you have produced to a supplier, it is vital that you choose the correct freight carrier suited to your needs. This article is here to help you find out which service is best for you. Below we have listed the different options you have for you to consider.

 Road Freight

Even though road freight may not be the right option for your business, you should know that it is a truly fundamental part of the functionality of businesses worldwide. On average 90% of all freight is moved by road at one point or another, making it the most common and most popular freight service. In more recent years, the growing demand to meet consumers’ needs means that there has been a significant rise in alternative freight services, which of course massively impacts road freight.

 Rail Freight

Rail freight is a great alternative to using road freight and often most businesses that heavily rely on transporting goods around the country will chose to use both methods. The reasons for using both road and rail freight is because they will be able to shift a bigger load of goods in a much shorter space of time. Another reason that companies tend to opt for rail freight over road freight is because this option is seen to be more economically friendly and will often be less effected by delays, which means that services will hardly ever be disrupted.

 Sea Freight

Many people and businesses are encouraged to use this freight service simply because it gives the global trade business a huge boost, so that alone is a good enough reason to use sea freight as and when it is appropriate or necessary. In the UK alone, there are 120 ports being used on a regular basis, and there’s a good reason for that. No matter what you are exporting, it is likely that you will contribute to the sea freight services at some point.

 Air Freight

This option is the most effective method if you need to transport goods from one side of the country to another in a short amount of time. Throughout the past few years, air freight has been significantly improved, meaning that the types of products that can be transported on these lines have increased.

After reading this you may have a better idea of the types of freight services that are best suited to you. The next step is to get a freight quote from a well-known transportation broker.