House by the bay

As seen in Urban Zone:

House by the bay
with Gilbert Lui, the architect of this modern home by Manila Bay.

House by the bay
Living room. That glass wall behind me is actually a space divider encased in glass. It hides the electrical and airconditioning unit. There’s also extra storage behind the painting.

House by the bay
Here’s a better look at the other side of that glass divider/secret storage.

House by the bay
On the second floor landing, Gilbert placed these cubes as shelves…

House by the bay
To hold the collection of little guys like this.

House by the bay
All the materials were carefully chosen for this sophisticated urban house because it’s so close to Manila Bay. Salty wind and water can easily corrode metal.

House by the bay
I fell in love with the shower.

House by the bay
The glass doors can completely be opened and you end up taking a shower outdoors! Beautiful.

House by the bay
How to de-clutter. Muji storage boxes.

House by the bay
On the roof deck.

After the storm

Storm “Bebeng” left a huge mess in our street. Lots of fallen branches and debris. I worried yesterday because water started to seep in through our lanai. The runoff was too strong outside, our drainage couldn’t pass clearly. So it started to back up in our property. But whew… luckily the rains started to let up. No damage. I hope you’re all okay.

This morning, Sophia was eager to help clean up the mess from the storm. She wouldn’t stop talking about the strange branch that fell on top of their playhouse. She said it had the most beautiful flowers. She wouldn’t stop until the driver reached for the branch and she walked in with these…

Storm blew these flowers into our back yard.
The most beautiful flowers I’ve ever seen!

Storm blew these flowers into our back yard.
The colours, shape and texture were so pretty!

Storm blew these flowers into our back yard.
They were cut close to the bud, so there were hardly any branches to hold them…

Storm blew these flowers into our back yard.
So we placed them on old sake cups (oops just noticed the chip there, tsk tsk)

Storm blew these flowers into our back yard.
And placed them all on a cake stand.

Storm blew these flowers into our back yard.
I can’t get over how pretty they are!

Storm blew these flowers into our back yard.
And neither could Sophia. She sketched…

Lily May 2011
Lily drew the scene when they woke me up with the news about the perfect flowers falling onto their playhouse.

Storm blew these flowers into our back yard.
Can anyone identify the flower? What is this perfect thing?

Beautiful.

Daphne cupcakes!!

 

 

I always say… sometimes the sweetest people are those you haven’t met yet. No offence to the lovely people who I’ve already met. But this morning I got a surprise on Twitter. Aikko, a blogger, created these adorable cupcakes inspired by the Daphne chairs.

 

From bakehappy.blogspot.com

 

IMG_8643

 

From bakehappy.blogspot.com

 

Check out her awesome blog bakehappy. Its filled with amazing photos, recipes and tutorials for cute yummy cupcakes. Thank you Aikko. I hope I can order these Daphne cupcakes one day.

 

 

More National Book Store goodies

 

 

National Bookstore
My summer reading from National Book Store (two books for me and five books for Sophia which I didn’t order, but they sent as a present. They must have read this).

 

The other day I received the best summer loot from National Book Store. I had ordered Katie Couric’s book “The Best Advice I Ever Got” as soon as Katie and her friends tweeted about it – the likes of Maria Shriver, Ellen De Generes and Ryan Seacrest. It got me curious. So I ordered from National Book Store right away. They have a very efficient system. Just ask customer service and they can order any book for you. Or better yet, join their Facebook page.

 

Before ordering Katie Couric’s book, I had already placed an order for Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cookbook, “My Father’s Daughter.” Yes she cooks. She did a series with Mario Batali about cooking. She did a travel show. And her website Goop.com gives some of the easiest recipes. I was excited about the cookbook because, well it’s no secret I love everything Gwyneth. Shoot me.

 

National Bookstore
The book was inspired by meals she had with her father. But the recipes include her own finds and contributions from friends and family.

 

National Bookstore
It has snippets of her domestic life. And lots of resource info on eating healthier.

 

National Bookstore
Lots of anecdotes about meals she’s shared with her dad. I love this about her. You know how much I adore my parents and family.

 

National Bookstore
The recipes are easy and very doable. But I’m forced to buy fancy vegetables like artichoke – which I like eating but don’t know how to cook. She also recommends vegenaise, a no-cholesterol vegan mayonaise. She’s not vegan but she prefers this over mayo. I also noticed a lot of granola and oatmeal dishes for the kids.

 

You don’t have to be a Gwyneth fan to like this book. Like I said, the recipes range from fun and easy to scary like duck confit. It’ll be a blogpost if I get to that level. I’ve never liked cooking before. I wish my parents allowed me to be in the kitchen as a child. My brother was daring enough to cook eggs at a young age. Now he hosts dinners with really complicated and sophisticated food. I love his cooking and he loves doing it. It took me forever to appreciate the kitchen. The past couple of years though – with maids and cooks coming and going – I decided to take control, once in a while. And the few times I’ve cooked in our kitchen have turned out to be really pleasant treats for my family. And I’ve even surprised myself that I love the process of cooking. Maybe it’s because I drink while I cook. Patrick eats “too much” when I cook. And the kids rave about the stuff I make – Lily loves “green pasta” which is pesto-based, Sophia loves my shepherd’s pie and potato au gratin, Stella goes nuts over my macaroni and Patrick loves my risotto (I make it the Jamie Oliver way). Lily, who is my most expressive child, said to me the other day, “You are the best Mummy in the world because you cook the food that I love.” (She says Mummy when she’s emphatic, otherwise it’s just Mom or Mommy).

Back to Gwyneth’s cookbook, I’m excited to try her Seafood Paella (Spanish Mama Style), Sole a la Grenobloise (which seems simple enough as it just has butter and lemon), Whole Roasted Fish with Salsa Verde, Sweet Potato Ravioli (I don’t know about making my own fresh pasta but I’ll try), Vietnamese Prawn Sandwiches and Cheesy Stuffed Burgers. This could be the start of a new me. A new mama.

 

National Bookstore
Another good read, Katie Couric’s “The Best Advice I Ever Got”

 

Now Katie Couric’s book was a surprise. I’m not a fan of self-help and inspirational books. I don’t have the time and I just cringe at all that. So when I opened it and saw that it was a compilation of notes and essays from her famous friends, I initially thought, “What a rip off. This isn’t a book.” But when I started reading it, I got hooked. I loved reading about how people with extraordinary lives got to where they were, and about how they love what they’re doing. It was a big surprise when I found out that all profits of this book will go to fund Scholarship America – to help kids pay for college. I wish we could do something like that here!

Here are some excerpts from Katie’s book:

Life Is Not a Recipe:
“Whatever you choose to do with your life—whether it’s running a company or cooking dinner—stand for something you know is true. If there’s a recipe for success, it’s staying real and true. Which reminds me: Life is not a recipe. Recipes are just descriptions of one person’s take on one moment in time. They’re not rules. People think they are. They look as if they are. The say, ‘Do this, not this. Add this, not that.’ But, really, recipes are just suggestions that got written down.”
—Mario Batali, chef and restaurateur

Life Is a Series of Happy Accidents:
“Sometimes you just have to learn to get out of your own way. I know there are a lot of folks out there who are hoping for some words of wisdom or keys to the kingdom or that I might let them in on the Big Secret. So I will defer to Carol Brady, who in her infinite wisdom once said, “Find out what you do best and do your best with it.”
—Jane Lynch, Emmy Award-winning actress and comedian

Say Yes:
“Find a way to say yes to things. Say yes to invitations to a new country, say yes to meet new friends, say yes to learn something new. Yes is how you get your first job, and your next job, and your spouse, and even your kids.”
—Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google

Patrick and I are consciously going back to reading books – real books. Our iPads are full of so much reading material. I must have more than 20 Zinio annual subscriptions. But reading from the iPad and reading magazines on it have sort of turned me a little impatient and distracted. I wasn’t appreciating or retaining information. So now we are buying real books again. And over breakfast instead of swiping our iPads we are turning pages. It feels good.

I highly recommend these two books. And check them out in National Book Store because they almost always have lower prices than the other bookstores.

Feel free to share your summer reading here… I’m curious to know what you’re reading now.

(Re-published from http://daphneosena.livejournal.com)