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1/19/2009

A Filipina sings "God Bless America" for Obama

If you're not familiar with the name Charice Pempengco, she's a 16-year old Filipina singer who became an internet sensation in 2008 when someone posted a video on Youtube of her performance in Star King, a Korean talent show. The video got more than 13,000,000 views that it later caught the attention of some big celebrities outside the Philippines. Charice guested on the Ellen De Genere's show, Paul O' Grady Show (London), ABC's Good Morning America, sang a duet with Celine Dion during the latter's concert at Madison Square Garden, guested twice on Oprah, and was one of the performers at David Foster's Tribute Concert in Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas. She has rubbed elbows with other big names in the music indusry such as Josh Groban and Andrea Bocelli to name a few, and has performed infront of famous personalities such as Donald Trump, Denzel Washington, Jay Leno, Gayle King, designers Tommy Hilfiger and Kenneth Cole, and many more.

Charice's latest international exposure to date is probably the biggest performance she will ever have in her life. I'm talking about singing for the U.S. President elect Barack Obama. Yesterday, January 18, 2009, Charice sang "God Bless America" during Obama's pre-inaugural ball at the Grand Hyatt Washington Hotel along with other musicians. This may not be a big deal to the Americans but it kind of makes me wonder why, of all the musicians they can pick, Charice, who is a pure Filipino and  not even a U.S. immigrant was chosen to sing the 2nd National anthem of the USA which some of the lyrics say: God Bless America, land that I love and God Bless America, my home sweet home. While there's nothing wrong with that and everyone can sing whatever song or anthem they want to sing, to me it's like a pure American sings the Philippine National Anthem infront of the Filipinos at the Malaca├▒ang Palace on a big national event. Anyways, Charice also sang "One Moment in Time" at the said event.

Congratulations on being chosen Charice! and you make us Filipinos proud.




1/14/2009

Get Guides Online for Your Houseware Shopping

When I was still single, my interest in shopping was focused only on clothes and cosmetics. That's why I never liked to go to the malls with married women or moms because the first section they would usually go to are either the kitchen wares section or the babies'/kids' section and the stuff found there bored me to death, lol. But now that I'm married and cook for my other half at least 4 times a week, I've  learned to appreciate housewares and home furnitures more than anything else I can find in stores. What used to be piles of fashion and gossip magazines in the bookshelves are now magazines on furnitures and appliances.

I'll always be grateful of the internet. Just by clicking the mouse, I can browse different online stores that sell kitchen wares, home decorations, etc. and don't have to go outside the house and drive some miles to look for them. The better thing is, you can also compare prices of the products. Most of all, you can search for thousands of products and not get weary because unlike shopping at retail stores, all you have to do when shopping online is sit and click the mouse button. Another good thing about online shopping is you get some reviews  as well as guides about the products so you have an idea which one satisfied a customer and which one disappointed.

Whenever I browse products at ShopWiki.com, I always read the features of those products that catch my interests and more importantly the tips on which model I need most based on the features offered. What I like most about this website is that they give the customers some ideas that help in deciding which one suits their needs best. Like if you want to buy a laundry washer, their website will compare both the advantages and disadvantages of the standard top loader, the top-loading high efficency washers, and the front-loading washers.
Like every other housewife out there, my houseware and home appliances wishlist is never ending :P But right now, my ultimate wish is an indoor hot tub hehe.
 

Utah- USA's fastest growing state in 2008

When I read that Utah is the new fastest growing state in the U.S., I remember the day my husband and I moved to Salt Lake City which was 5 months ago. It was very hard to find the apartment we wanted: 1-bedroom, pet-friendly, monthly rental not higher than $650, and close to his new workplace. We had to get an apartment guide book from a gasoline station and called different apartments on the list. Majority of the responses were "no vacancy". 

Between July 1, 2007 and July 1, 2008 the population in Utah increased by 2.5 percent to 2.7 million. Does it mean more people in Utah were born than died? or does the increase account mainly to the people moving from different states (like us, haha) due to the change in economic situation of the country. In 2007, it was Nevada  which is only a few hours away from Salt Lake City that was the fastest growing state. Aside from Nevada and Utah, 4 other Rocky Mountain states are among the top 10 fastest growing this year namely Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, and Wyoming. Hmmm... I'm starting to think that more and more people are leaving the city lifestyle at this time of economic crisis and turning to the country life where cost of living is cheaper.

Here's U.S. Census Bureau's complete list of the top 10 fastest growing states and the percentage of their increase in population:

1. Utah- 2.5
2. Arizona- 2.3
3. Texas- 2.0
4. North Carolina- 2.0
5. Colorado- 2.0
6. Idaho- 1.8
7. Wyoming- 1.8
8. Nevada- 1.8
9. Georgia- 1.7
10. South Carolina- 1.7

Research Before You Buy

On Saturday evening, I was ironing my husband's white shirt that he was going to wear for Church the following day. I like to spray clothes with water and steam them when ironing because it gets the job done faster. So I sprayed, steamed, sprayed, steamed. Then I noticed dark yellow streaks on the white shirt, Oh no! the shirt is stained! I turned off the iron and check it's bottom. Guess what I found out? It's starting to rust. It's probably due to the water that leaks from its water compartment. Argh! I can only remember the number of times I've used our iron since we got it as a present on our wedding day, 3? or maybe even just twice? I don't like ironing and only do so when some clothes that we need to wear on a special occasion are very wrinkled. Although we didn't spend anything for our iron, I still feel bad about not having used it for a long time and having to buy a new one. Lesson learned: know the quality of the product before spending bucks for it. I usually buy something when it's a little more expensive than the other brand because that makes me think that it's of higher quality but I'm starting to think that maybe you don't always get what you pay for.

There are also stuff that I do a research for first before buying especially when it's expensive such as home appliances that cost hundreds of dollars or some skin care products. I read different consumer reviews or buying guides on the internet. From consumer reviews you will know the pro's and con's of the product even before buying it based on other people's experience with the item. You'll just have to google "Reviews+name of the product" you're planning to buy. Buying guide websites such as ShopWiki.com also help in determining what factors to consider at inspecting the quality of an item. They also give some useful tips. Like if you buy an air conditioner, they will help you determine how much BTUs you need. As for my new iron, I found one that I like at ShopWiki.

So goodluck on your shopping and spend those $$ wisely :)

1/06/2009

What Do You Think Of Beyonce's Single Ladies Video?

Hi-cut one piece + high heels + sexy dance moves= smoking hot, unless you add a pair of thunder thighs to these 3 which is the case of Beyonce. I'm not saying that there's something wrong with Beyonce's thighs, in fact I think she looks sexiest in her Crazy in Love video in that part where she's wearing skimpy shorts and doing all those dance moves. But for most girls, high heels and swimsuit combo just looks good on slender thighs...and "normal" butts. And I think it looks gross (ok, maybe gross is a strong word) rather than sexy when she does that grind dance step (time 0:53-0:58). Girls with bodies like Beyonce's, Rihanna's, Tyra Bank's, or Kim Kardashian's dancing in fast tunes wearing only one piece and, worse, paired with high heels? Oh puhleezz!!! I would have at least liked it if Beyonce and the back up dancers were wearing jeans or maybe even miniskirt,or anything else, just not that one-piece. I love the part of Beyonce's Upgrade U video where she wears a sparkly dress, the Survivor video where she's wearing camouflage, or the Crazy in Love video where she's wearing a very short orange dress (that part where she occasionally licks her thumb) and  I'm grossed out (again, maybe that's too mean) with her videos where she dances in one-piece and heels. I love the Single Ladies song, but the video? I wish some slender artist did it like Jessica Simpson, or Nicole of the Pussycat Dolls.



1/02/2009

Holiday Cooking Failure Part 2

As you can read in my previous post, I failed to understand a direction in a recipe which resulted to additional 3 hours of baking the chicken in the oven. I guess that wasn't enough lesson for me to be careful next time because "ooops!  I did it again" as Britney Spear's song says. But this time, it was a different case...and worse. You may call me dumb, stupid, careless, or whatever you please but I'll still blog about it anyway.

It's a Filipino tradition to eat dinner at 12 am of December 31, the very first hour of New Year. I didn't do it last year which was my first New Year in the US but decided to start doing it again beginning this year with my husband and will make it a family tradition when we have a kid/kids already. So at about 9 pm on December 31, I began cooking. Again, I made more than enough for 2 persons to eat because I wanted leftovers for the next couple of days. I made pineapple ham, teriyaki chicken, brownies, and pansit (an Asian noodle that is present in every Filipino household during special occasions because according to Filipino and Chinese superstition, it represents long life. Yea, I'm kinda superstitious.) I wanted to make a sweet potato casserole too but didn't have enough time, it was almost 12 am when I was done cooking the last recipe. Everything came out great except for the ham. I cooked it according to the recipe direction but didn't like the result. The meat wasn't very tender. I like my ham to almost fall apart when I slice it. That night neither I nor my hubby ate the ham though he tried a slice. I hate throwing food so I just let the ham sit in the fridge until I figured out later what to do with it. 

Yesterday all other food I cooked for the New Year was almost gone. At night after dinner, I decided to slowcook the ham. I remembered that on Thanksgiving, I cooked my ham in the slowcooker at low temperature for 10 hours and the result was perfect that my husband devoured it. It was a fully-cooked ham and this one I got for New Year is smoked. I figured that maybe a smoked ham needs longer cooking time than a fully-cooked ham. So I set it to 15 hours at low. Calculating the time, it would be done in the morning the next day (which is today.) So, I woke up at 9 this morning and immediately checked the slowcooker on the counter. It still had 1 minute and 3o+ seconds left. But when I checked the ham, this is what greeted me:


That's why it's important to cook more than one recipe :P


Before I decided to cook it "better".

 

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