Archive for March, 2013


Zuppa Toscana

Dear Diary,

I knew that getting married might require me to learn how to cook.  I know how to do the basic things like cook rice, boil and fry and microwave stuff.  But I didn’t know much about experimenting and I never thought it would actually be easy to follow the steps from cooking recipes…  Our trip to Minneapolis last year has taught me a lot about cooking.  One of the recipes I learned during that trip was Zuppa Toscana.  In all my 29 years on earth, that was the first time I’d heard of it.  I even thought it was Soupa Tuscana ’till I searched it on the internet…

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 (16 ounce) package smoked sausage (or whatever alternative that is similar to this)
  • 2 potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch slices (hubby did it because I haven’t mastered the skill of slicing and dicing)
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 cups kale – washed, dried, and shredded
  • 2 tablespoons chicken bouillon powder
  • 1 quart water
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup Evaporated Milk


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Hubby chops up the Kale

STEPS

1.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).  Bake sausage for 25 minutes and chop it up.

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2.  Place the sausage into a large pot after cutting it up.

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2. Add onions and garlic and cook for 1 minute or until onions look almost clear.

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3. Add chicken stock, water and potatoes, simmer for 15 minutes

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4. Add kale, milk and cream. Simmer for 4 minutes and serve.

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Happy Eating! 🙂

KJSO

Child’s Play

Dear Diary,

I have a confession to make… I’m 29 years old and I still play with dolls… I take them out of their boxes and brush their hair. I dress them up and make them pose. I take their pictures and post them online…

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When I go to the mall, I visit the toy section and check the dolls out. I look at the doll houses and talk myself out of buying one (because our house is too tiny to have another house inside it).

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I like talking to them. Don’t worry they don’t talk back… Mostly, I just tell them how pretty and cute they are.

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My hubby thinks they’re freaky… But this is coming from a guy who skateboards with his fingers…

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Hubby’s cute tech deck.

I don’t have a lot of dolls though because they are expensive…  Ok, I just have that one big one, two smaller versions and Barbie…

Someday, I’ll have a room just for my dolls and stuffed toys. Which will be next door to the room full of books. But for now, that tiny corner in our house will do.

Love lots,

KJSO

THE TWO NATURES
By George Feldmann
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The very moment one exercises saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour, a new nature is imparted by the Holy Spirit to the believer.  This is described as regeneration in Titus 3:5 and 6.  Immediately a hitherto unknown conflict also begins within.  The two natures each strive to go in opposite directions, and to have the upper hand in the life of the believer.

Both natures cannot reign at the same time, so one will have to be rendered inoperative, or put out of commission.  It is here that the will of the believer comes into play and determines which of the two natures shall rule.  A good chapter for study in this subject is Romans 6.  Our salvation puts us in union with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection, and we are identified with Him.  This is what is meant by the word baptism in Romans 6:3.  His victory can be our victory in a practical sense in our daily lives.  In fact this is the will of God for all believers.

This identification with Christ gives the believer both the power and the authority to exercise the will over the old nature. This is a wonderful privilege because the believer can demonstrate in his own life the power and glory of the Lord’s resurrection for all the world to see.

Even though the believer determines which nature shall rule in his life, it is also very important for him to remember that the old man (nature) is not dead or eradicated when rendered inoperative: it is ready to spring to life the very moment the new nature is dethroned by the believer.  The old nature will not be eradicated until resurrection.

In Eph. 4:22-24 we are told to put off… the old man. The negative comes first. The positive, put on the new man. As nature abhors a vacuum. so it is folly to stop at the negative position and try to make the Christian life a series of don’ts. We put on and continually grow in the Lord, going on to perfection (maturity).

PS.
1. Christian life does not stop in Salvation (In Christ), we study to grow unto adoption (maturity), then service (to reign with Him).
2. The Lord gave us the NN, He did not repair the OSN. We need to continue studying the Word of God to feed our New Nature (NN) and to disable the Old Sin Nature (OSN). OSN will only be totally gone in the resurrection.
Eph 4:23-24 Col 3:10
3.When we became a Christian we became a New Creature (New Creation- born again) 1Cor 2:14 “But the natural man (the flesh) receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God…”
Gal 6:15- “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. (No ritual)
2Cor 5:17-21 – “Therefore If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away, behold all things are become new”
John 14:17. “…for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”

Weekly Photo Challenge: Future Tense

It’s still phoneography month, and in today’s challenge I’m hoping you’ll put all of that futuristic camera tech to good use, by thinking about the shape of things to come.

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When my 3-year-old cousin sees a book, he gets excited and asks the adults to read it to him.  After a couple of minutes, he grabs it and pretends to read it to us instead.  Sometimes I feel like there are too many kids these days that are always stuck in front of the TV or playing games in their iPad or game consoles. It gives me hope to still see kids like my cousin, who are interested in books and reading.

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He saw my book on the table and he just grabbed it, saying matter-of-factly, “Magbasa ako.” (I will read).  He looked so cute that I quickly searched for my phone so I could take a picture.  He doesn’t know how to read yet but he recognizes all the letters and sounds. I just really love that he likes books, next to toy cars of course.  Photos taken with iPhone 4s and edited with Pixlr-O-Matic.

KJSO

Dear Diary,

For Date Night Friday, hubby and I watched the movie The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, starring Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Olivia Wilde and Jim Carrey.

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Photo Credit

It’s been a while since I last laughed out loud in the cinema…  I would have rolled on the floor laughing if not for the millions of germs that most likely lived there.  There was even a point where hubby and I were trying hard to hold our laughter because the scene had already moved on but we were still stuck on the punch line.  And we’re not talking about the I-see-a-funny-picture-in-FB-hehehe kind of laugh.  I mean the guffaw kind that leaves you trying to catch your breath…

The movie is about two bullied kids whose friendship began with magic tricks.  They grew up to become magic performers in Las Vegas but have a falling out as Steve Carell’s character has suddenly lost the passion for performing magic that he used to have.  The story focuses on how he gets that passion, his friend and a new girl back.

My hubby loves magic tricks.  We have maybe 3 different kinds of cards that are used for “magic”.  I know the trick to it and sometimes can perform them, but I’m not really good with the sleight of hand thing.  But the movie centering on magic tricks is probably why we really enjoyed it.

So I’m not sure if I just easily laugh at jokes (although, I like to think I have a pretty high standard for humor), or if I’m just a sucker for Steve Carell’s comedy, but hubby and I had a really great time.

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Photo Credit

Added to my 2013 Movie List

Love lots,

KJSO

Dear Diary,

I love teddy bears…  We used to sing this song when we were kids and we were taught how to draw teddy bears.  It goes a little something like this… “small circle, small circle, big circle…”  I can’t remember the rest of the lyrics… hehe

Anyway, just wanted to share a gift my hubby bought me months before he became my hubby.

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Ephesians 5:20 – 33

20Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

      22Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

      25Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

       33Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

Submitted for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Circles and Curves

Love lots,

KJSO

UPDATE:  I couldn’t sleep thinking about the lyrics of the song… So I googled it… hahaha

small circle, small circle big circle (eyes n face)
small circle, small circle big circle (ears n nose/snout)
this is the boat we’re going to ride on (a smiling mouth)
here’s mama, here’s papa (small circles inside ear) waving goodbye
six times six (one six and an opposite facing six to make the arms) is thirty six (fingers on the hand)
six times six (one six and an opposite facing one) makes magic (the ^ that connects these sixes)

Share Your World

When anniversary’s of unhappy times pop up, how do you handle them and what makes you turn your mood (attitude) around?

I don’t know what it is about me, but my unhappy times don’t have anniversaries…  I know I’ve had unhappy moments in my life like my grandmothers’ deaths and my close uncle’s death.  I was sad and I cried a lot when it happened, but I’ve learned to move on.  So I look back and I miss them, but it never affects my mood…  Maybe it’s because I have a phlegmatic personality.  I just go with the flow.  One of my trainers in a previous company, mentioned that I had a high EQ…  I don’t know how he even measured that, cause I sure didn’t take any tests…

Are you a cat, dog, goat or prefer the zoo person?

I am scared of dogs.  I am wary of cats.  I don’t even see enough goats to know how I feel about them.  The only parts of the zoo I appreciate are the ones with marine life.

Picture taken on my trip to Manila Ocean Park

Picture taken on my trip to Manila Ocean Park

Picture taken on my trip to Manila Ocean Park

Picture taken on my trip to Manila Ocean Park

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

I usually feel like I’m just 27…  It’s the first thing I say when people ask my age.  Then I realize that I’m already 29, so I have to correct myself and look like an idiot who can’t even remember her age…

Are you left or right handed?

Right handed.  Which is the reason I tell my hubby why I’m always right.  Then he says he’s right handed too so he should also be right.  I tell him his right handedness is the wrong kind.  That’s how I argue.  Deal with it… hehehe

If you want to share your answers, just click on the link to Share Your World!

KJSO

Creative Writing Challenge: 2AM Photo

It’s 2AM and your phone has just buzzed you awake, filling the room in white-blue LED light. You have a message. It’s a photo. No words, no explanation. Just a photo. Tell us all about it. And what happens next.

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I vaguely hear the phone chirp and the vibration has awakened me out of slumber. I raise my hand overhead and feel around my pillow for it. With one eye sleepily open, it adjusts to the bright light of the phone and focuses on the screen.

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It’s a text message. And it’s 2am. Who the hell is texting me at 2am?

I lazily, slide my thumb to unlock the phone. I almost drop the phone on my face. I grip it harder. I type my birthdate in for the password. The red Wrong Passcode error appears and I try again, too sleepy to be frustrated. It sends me directly to the text message with an attached picture.

What the hell is this?

I click on the picture. It’s blurry. I rub my eyes a bit to clear it and maximize the picture.

Holy shit!

My hand starts to tremble as I realize it’s a picture of me sleeping. I sit up quickly, my heart beating fast. My eyes adjust to the darkness. I clutch the phone tightly to my chest.

I’m afraid to move. I can’t move. I listen carefully for any sound. But it’s hard to hear, as my head pounds to the rhythm of my heartbeat. Is the intruder still here?

My heart is still beating fast but my mind is working now.

My eyes roam the room, my head and body still frozen in place, but I can’t see anything in the dark.

I need light.

Unable to control my mind, images of the latest horror movie I watched starts flashing back to me. I start shaking as I wait for a hand to grab me from the darkness. I clench my fist and tell myself to move.

I scramble out of bed and head to the door of my tiny studio type condominium unit. I grope for the light switch and turn it on. For a second, I expect someone to jump at me. But there’s nothing. There’s no one here but me.

The light has given me confidence. My heart beat slows down a bit. I check the door and see that it’s still locked. Did he lock it after he left? Did he lock it when he came in? Is he still here?

I’m silently thanking God that I went with a Japanese inspired bed and that I didn’t have to check under it now. But my closet was big enough for someone to hide in. He might be in the bathroom. I stare all the way across the room to the door of the bathroom.

I let out a startled scream as my phone suddenly vibrates and a high pitch bell sound fills the room. Crap, it’s just a notification from one of my apps. But the sound makes me remember that I have a phone. I dial the number for the front desk.

I frantically explain in a whispered voice, that there might be someone in my room and that I need help right away. I tell him my room number and I wait, rooted on the spot. I look around for any weapon I could use, just in case the intruder decides to show himself.

All I could find within arm’s reach was a feather duster. I felt relieved when I found a broomstick behind me. As I turn back, my eyes widen to find that the closet door was now open.

FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!

Panicking now, I unlock the front door and step out into the hallway. I run wildly towards the elevator. I’m screaming my head off, hoping my neighbors hear me. And I run right smack into someone’s chest. I bounce and fall on my ass. I swing my broomstick like a maniac and I know I’m still screaming, but I didn’t know my eyes were closed, until I feel someone grab the stick and yells at me to calm down. I open my eyes and see the guard crouching in front of me.

“There’s someone in my room! Someone is in my room!” I scream. I know I sound hysterical. But I can’t stop. I just want to scream until my throat hurts.

He radios something to the other guards and helps me to my feet. He tells me to wait here and he heads to my room. He is in front of my unit now, looking in through the open door. He disappears from view as he enters my room.

The elevator dings and the door slides open and more guards step out. One of them stays with me while the others head to my room to help the first guard.

I tell him about the picture I received as text and told him about the closet door. He is writing it all down on his tiny notepad. I’m a little calmer now that I was no longer alone. One of the guards that went into my room poked his head out and yelled that they didn’t see anybody inside.

I followed the guard with the notepad back into my room. I stepped inside and looked around just to make sure. There was no one in the closet; all my clothes were there untouched; I shut the door softly and let out the breath I was holding. There was no one in the bathroom too. There was no one on the balcony. There was no intruder here. I felt relieved.

I gave the guards a shaky smile and told them about the text message. They looked at the picture and took down the number. One of them tried to call the number, but he said he just got a busy tone.

They said they’ll have one of the guards check each floor and look back at the CCTV tapes to investigate if there’s anything that’s out of order. They wanted to know if I was ok and if I needed anything before they left. I told them I was fine.

All alone now in my unit, I sit at the corner of my bed staring at the closet door. I know I won’t be able go back to sleep now. I stare at the message, wondering who could have sent this. I press the call button at the top and press the phone to my ear. I hear it ring on the other end. The phone suddenly drops from my hand as I realize that the ringing isn’t only on the other end of the phone. It’s also coming from inside the closet…

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Author’s Note: This is what happens when I stay up late and write a blog entry….. @_@ Thank goodness I’m not alone in the room and that I never sleep with the lights off. 😛 I started writing at 1am and now it’s 4am… I think it’s about time to sleep now. hehe

Share Your World

If you could go back and talk to yourself at age 18 what advice would you give yourself? Or if you are younger than 25 what words of wisdom would you like to tell yourself at age 40?

Dear 18-year-old Me,

Study for your exams! That 1.76 grade point average you get when you graduate, it’s 0.01 more than what you need to be Cum Laude… Oh and don’t be so ashamed of not having a boyfriend yet or not knowing what it feels like to be kissed. You’ll get your first kiss from your future husband. 🙂

Love Lots,

29-year-old-me

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Ok… Technically, I was 27 in this picture… hehe

What is your favorite TV show that is currently on TV?

The Following. I’m fascinated with serial killer stories. We don’t have cable, so we can only get local channels, I was so happy to find something good on local TV.

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Jello or Pudding? And what is your favorite flavor?

Hands down, Chocolate Pudding wins for me. It’s hard to find pudding in supermarkets here in the Philippines, plus they’re kinda expensive. But when I do get my hands on them (like last week), it’s never enough! 😦

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What is your favorite flower?

I don’t really know my flowers except for the common ones, so I’ll stick with the Ecuadorian roses that were used for my wedding bouquet. 🙂

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KJSO

Weekly Photo Challenge: Lunchtime – It’s phonoegraphy month, and what do we love to photograph with our cameraphones? Food. So why fight it? This week’s theme is “lunchtime.”

Binalot in Filipino means, “To Wrap”.  And that’s exactly the description of how this food is prepared.  It is wrapped in banana leaf.  I’ve always loved eating on banana leaf.  It’s my favorite way to eat, because it feels so Filipino.  Traditionally, this is supposed to be eaten without using utensils.  But I have this thing with my hands, where I don’t like to get them dirty and sticky and I spray them with hand sanitizer, occasionally. Ok, I spray them often…  

There are tons of “binalot” restaurants in the Philippines.  We ate at Binalot Fiesta Foods, which my sister recommended.  She asked why I was taking a picture of my food, and I said it’s for my blog.  And she laughed and rolled her eyes.  Taking pictures of what you’re eating can get a little weird sometimes.  But I like doing it because food is so beautiful and delicious.  Although, I am aware that taking a picture of a person taking a picture of food is funnier, as seen here in this site:  http://picsofaznstakingpicsoffood.tumblr.com/

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Dahon is Filipino for “Leaf”

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I had Vivo Tocino Meal. Like most binalot meals, this includes salted egg and tomatoes. Tocino is a Spanish word for “bacon”. It has a sweet and salty taste and is my favorite of all the types of binalot meals.

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My sister had Tapa Rap Sarap.
Tapa is dried or cured beef, mutton or venison, although other meat or even fish may be used. Filipinos prepare thin slices of meat and cure it with salt and spices as a method of preserving it. Tapa is best fried or grilled, often served with rice, fried egg and achara (pickled papaya strips). (Source: Wikipedia)

For Filipinos in another country, I know you probably miss this type of food…  I know I did when I was working in Singapore.

KJSO

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