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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

June on Ibyangram

Ibyang + Instagram = Ibyangram
While my instagram photos are shared on my twitter page and sometimes on my tumblr and fb page, I would like to have a monthly dump of ibyangrams on AWCL too. It is thru instagram that I share everyday moments and random finds. I use instagram as my real time mini-blog. Every end of the month, I'll be choosing a couple of photos from my instagram and share it here because I have something more to say about a certain ibyangram.
While my instagram photos are shared on my twitter page and sometimes on my tumblr and fb page, I would like to have a monthly dump of ibyangrams on AWCL too. It is thru instagram that I share everyday moments and random finds. I use instagram as my real time mini-blog. Every end of the month, I'll be choosing a couple of photos from my instagram and share it here because I have something more to say about a certain ibyangram.

Winter officially started in June. The weather has become colder by the day. Although we have a lot of "sunshin-y" days, it can never be too warm as the sun has moved away from this part of the continent. The days are shorter, the nights longer and darker. This season calls us to hibernate, slow down, hug our loved ones closer and find comfort in the things that make us happy. 

While I would love to just sleep Winter away, life has never been busier. My June has been a mixture of staying at home, doing some photography, helping the Husband with his projects and spending time with loved ones. I miss blogging...writing and doing photography for the blog. I wish I could easily find time to sit down and blog as regularly as before but it's just not possible at the moment. The Husband and I are working on a new site we bought (ibyang.com) which will hopefully be up and running soon. I'll keep you posted! In the meantime, I hope you'll enjoy my compilation of June's Ibyangram.

The first day of Winter was cold and gray. Perfect for having a cup of tea.
Amused at the huge-ness of this Upo (long melon/bottle gourd). Oh the possibility of so many dishes I can make from this! Grateful to my friend, Rache, for sharing the harvests from your neighbor's garden.
The first Monday of June was a public holiday so we had lunch at home. Baked meatballs, stir-fried Long Melon some Banchan dishes: cabbage and radish kimchi.
I'm so cold that I just had to wear my ski socks on a Saturday morning.
I bribed the Husband with sweet watermelon & tea so he can watch The Legal Wife's finale with me haha. The Legal Wife is a Filipino tv series which I watched for a few weeks. 
My photograph entitled "Walking Under A Thousand Torii Gates" is now housed in a 42cm x 52cm frame. This photo was captured while the Husband was walking under the torii gates of Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto, Japan. 
I seem to eat more ice cream in Winter. For tonight, Salted Caramel ice cream with wafer biscuits that tastes like Otap
A simple pleasure from America. My first Kate Spade bag.
The green stuff I bought all for $5.25! Some afternoons, I dropped by the Asian supermarket and find veggies which are on sale.
Winter Solstice. Shortest day of the year in Australia. It was a beautiful day so I hung outside our balcony and sunbathe for the a few minutes.
Sunrise hues of pink, orange and blue. The view from a moving train. 
My morning fuel. Whole grain flakes and various seeds & nuts topped with Avocado.
Pandesal, Ensaymada & Spanish Bread. Filipino breads for brekkie.
A pair of Winter slippers for a Socceroos fan. My twitter timeline were mostly about the World Cup especially in the morning. I'm not a soccer fan but I enjoyed reading news and hoorays of soccer fans around the world. 
From my parents with love. Finding comfort from chocolate-coated dried mangoes in this cold and windy day.

-o0o0o-

Monday, June 30, 2014

Red Pepper (Strathfield Sports Club)

Thanks to food bloggers like Suze whom I follow on IG, I get to discover restaurants to try out in and out of Sydney. It was thru her that I found my new favourite Korean Fried Chicken. And I'm so happy that it's located in Strathfield. If you follow me on IG, you'd probably notice that the Husband and I usually have dinner in Strathfield (Sydney Metro's Koreatown) once a week. We already have our favourite restaurants in the area but we love discovering and trying new places. 

Strathfield Sports Club has a bistro called Red Pepper that serves Korean cuisine. They are particularly known for their Korean Fried Chicken.
We ordered a big bowl of U-Kaejang, beef stewed in spicy soup with leek, green bean sprouts, glass noodles and topped with fried egg. It was the perfect comfort food on a cold day. 
The main star of our dinner was Korean Fried Chicken, of course. We got a half order of Korean Fried Chicken with Wasabi Sauce sprinkled with Spring Onions. It was the best KFC I've tasted in Sydney so far. I love it! The skin was crispy while the meat was tender and flavourful. We tasted and felt the heat from the wasabi but it doesn't overwhelm, just enough flavour to give you that wasabi kick.
We are definitely coming back here in case we crave for Korean Fried Chicken in the future and try out their other variations of KFC (have a look at a part of their menu here).


Red Pepper 
Strathfield Sports Club
4a Lyons Street, Strathfield

Friday, June 27, 2014

Coffee Klatch At Esca Cafe

It's so easy to get lost in the busy-ness of everyday. My solution in avoiding being trapped in work routines (without sacrificing quality of my work) is to inject a bit of bonding time with workmates. I seldom do this before as I'm normally very focused with finishing tasks so I can go home early. I realised that it's good to break my routine at least once a week like have long coffee breaks or take walks during lunch time.

A few weeks ago, I've started this new change in my work life and invited one of my close friend at work. Anna and I chose to have coffee and pastry at Esca Cafe.
Esca Cafe used to be called Naggy's Cafe. I believe there was a change in management, hence, the change in name. They have retained the cozy vibe and delicious food they serve so that's a very good thing. I've heard too that they've introduced more food in the menu but haven't tried them yet.
I had a cup of Flat White and a Lemon Tart while Anna had a hazelnut cookie which was chewy and had a sweetness that was just right.
The Lemon Tart was a beautiful work of art. The tartness will give you the zing you need in case you're sleepy haha! It's quite unique because the base was coated in chocolate which gives you the sweet and bitter taste of cocoa. An interesting harmony inside my mouth. 

Maybe next time we'll have lunch here sometime soon so we can try out their new offerings.

Esca Cafe, Restaurant & Espresso Bar
333B Glebe Point Road, Glebe
Phone: 02 9566 4860

Sunday, June 22, 2014

June's Long Weekend

The start of winter, the start of June, always gives us a long weekend due to the celebration of the Queen's Birthday. I find it fortunate that we get a few days off to get our bodies adjust to the cold weather. My biggest challenge during Winter is getting out of bed in the mornings. Long weekends mean more mornings to sleep in. 

The Queen's Birthday falls on the first Monday of June. The Husband and I decided to make the long weekend longer by taking Friday off too.  So we had four days of break and it was a good decision because we really missed being on holidays. 

I started the long weekend by having coffee with a mate from work. I seldom hang out with workmates and it's refreshing to mingle with them once in a while.
Friday was spent having brunch and shopping in IKEA with girlfriends. We took our time and leisurely hung out in IKEA's food court and picked up a few things we fancied in the kitchen and home section. It was so fun shopping with the girls. 
Friday evening was spent at our relatives' place. My aunt hosted a party for her friends and we got invited. The Husband and I helped in making Taho (sweet tofu with caramel and pearls). We stayed until after midnight, chatting with my grandma, aunt and cousins.
Saturday was spent at home. Facetimed with my Mom while I had my coffee. Ate and slept the whole day. 

Woke up early on Sunday for mass and afterwards, Hubby took me to Coco Cubano for breakfast. It's a luxury for us to have time to go out on Sundays and spend an hour or two at a cafe. It mostly happens only when we have long weekends.
The Husband enjoyed his favourite Havana Feast which consisted of bacon, eggs and chorizo on a bed of sourdough toast.
While I had their Vegan Pancakes with Berry Compote and Maple Syrup. So delicious. 
We slept in on Monday and savoured our time at home. It wasn't a complete day of rest as we prepared for the workweek and did our usual house chores. The extra day at home gave me the chance to de-clutter a part of our closet. I was able to sort out and organise our undershirts, socks, tights and leg warmers for Winter. 

We returned to work on Tuesday morning. And although, the weather was rainy and gloomy, we didn't complain. Instead, we're just grateful for the four day break we had.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Beauty Stash From Manila

A few weeks back, I've shared my love for Human Nature products. Today, I'll share my other loved beauty stash from Manila, Philippines.

I love buying cosmetics, bath stuff, perfume and colognes. I'm such a girl when it comes to these things.  I make it a point to bring home some beauty products I discover during travel. In Manila, they've got lots of good beauty products that are reasonably priced. Here are some of my favourites:
Beauty Stash From Manila
Camay Bath Shower Gels in Grapefruit, Rose and Vanilla variants. I remember Camay soap bars came out when I was young and when I came back to Manila last year, they now come in the form of shower gels. I bought all the three variants and used them during my stay. The Husband loved them too. I loved how fragrant they are and how they made my skin supple shower after shower. My favourite from all them was the Grapefruit variant as it's the most refreshing of all three.
Beauty Stash From Manila
These aren't new but two of my most loved fragrances come from Johnson's Baby Cologne and Baby Bench Colognia. These are the most refreshing fragrances especially in Summer.
Beauty Stash From Manila
Ever Bilena Magic Lipstick and Color Pencil. I use the Color Pencil for shaping my eyebrows and it stays on for the whole day. The Magic Lipstick is called such because it stays on for a long time...as in! I use the Magic Lipstick as a lipstick base and then layer up with another lip colour. It goes well with most lip colours. The best thing about these two products is that they are very affordable. 
Beauty Stash From Manila
Kokuryu Placenta Cream is a Japanese brand but I found it in an SM Department Store. We have placenta creams here in Australia but I found Kokuryu better. It's runny and very greasy--you may not like the feel of it--but it never makes my skin oily during the day. I wake up with skin that's hydrated and fresh. It's my best Winter moisturiser to date. I finished a small bottle last year and my face never went dry even during the coldest days of Winter. I asked my Mom to get me another bottle for this year's winter season which she brought with her last November. The best thing about it is it's very affordable (not more than P300).
Beauty Stash From Manila
The Philippines have a lot of beauty and well-being products and I hope to discover some of them when I visit again.