Category Archives: Food & Cooking

SUMMER RECAP: Fitspiration

Just like last year, I took a break from blogging for a few months – I mean, summer IS the prime season for social events and outdoor activities. But apart from that, it gave me the opportunity to dabble in a side job, reprioritize my life, set aside some much-needed time for myself, and improve some aspects of my lifestyle that I wasn’t satisfied with. But since I can’t recap my entire summer in a single post, I’ve decided to do a series of entries to get all my followers caught up. Enjoy! :)

I think it’s about time I make a confession – something I haven’t been fully honest about to even some of my closest friends. During my senior year of college I was diagnosed with body dysmorphia, brought on by my already existing generalized anxiety disorder and mild obsessive compulsive disorder. 80% of the time, I look in the mirror and see myself anywhere from 20 to 60 lbs heavier. Some nights, I will still spend hours at a time poring over my facial imperfections in photos uploaded on Facebook. It’s only under very rare and specific conditions that I see myself accurately. And when I do, I end up spending the whole night crying.

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With that said, over the past few summer months a friend introduced me to the concept of fitspiration. It became popular after pro-anorexia and pro-bulimia blogs started getting banned from Tumblr. The idea is to see “fitness” as the goal, not “skinny”. Since then, I’ve been eating a lot cleaner, and focusing more on toning. And although the number on the scale has remained the same, I can definitely see the change in my body. Most importantly, I’ve learned that being fit is not a fad that you do temporarily until you’re happy with yourself; it’s an entire lifestyle change.

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Three things I’ve recently added into my regimen are: oatmeal, biking, and light weight training. Every morning for breakfast, I used to have yogurt with granola. And while it’s a fantastic option, it doesn’t fill me up. And because I can’t take a break for a small snack on busy work days, I would always end up overeating during my lunch break. Oatmeal is plenty filling and contains soluble fiber, of which I otherwise don’t get much of throughout the rest of the day. It’s great for your heart and digestive system, and tastes so good with some fruit, walnuts, and a dash of brown sugar! But personally, I prefer the texture of the old-fashioned rolled oats over the all-too-mushy instant oatmeal.

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As for biking, my boyfriend and I go for about 5 or 6 miles every Sunday morning – usually in a local scenic spot like Alley Pond Park or Bayside Marina near Fort Totten. It’s a great addition to our weekly schedule, and it’s so much easier to get motivated to exercise when you have a workout buddy. Unfortunately, my old bicycle that I used to cruise around my college campus with is now a dilapidated mess. Not fit for riding anymore, I’ve been borrowing my brother’s. I plan to invest in a speedy new one in the near future, though. :)

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And last, but not least, is light weight training. It all started when my regular Zumba instructor was out for the whole month of August. The substitute incorporated dumbbells into our dance moves, and you can really feel the resistance and burn in your arms after a few minutes! I was able to score a weight set on Amazon for an amazing deal, so every other night I do a bunch of reps for a more toned upper body. And in the relatively short time I’ve been doing it, I can already see more defined biceps! I really want to keep this up, since it takes more work to get rid of the dreaded “bra bulge”. Wish me luck!
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Stella Artois

“To the casual observer, drinking Stella Artois from a pint glass seems…acceptable. But to the refined eye? It’s nothing short of criminal. We know you won’t do the same injustice to your beer. In Belgium, the birthplace of Stella Artois, tradition dictates every beer be served in a unique glass that highlights its distinctive flavor. Stella Artois is no exception — this classic Belgian lager is best enjoyed from a Chalice, not a glass.”

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As a BzzAgent, I love being introduced to brands that I have never tried before. This time, we partnered up with Belgian beer brand Stella Artois – a lager I had always heard positive things about. And since Stella was initially launched in 1926 as a seasonal beer for the holiday market, I find it appropriate that I received their special chalice and learned their 9 Step Pouring Ritual a few weeks before Christmas. :)

I was never a huge fan of beer in college, probably because it’s an environment where quantity matters more than quality. Dorm parties were always thrown with racks of Coors Light or Keystone Light – yuck. But I’m glad that I’m starting to develop an appreciation for good beer now, my favorite being Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat. :) Stella Artois is a little too bitter for me, but definitely a good choice for those of you who look for that in a lager.

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I’m no connoisseur, but there’s definitely a difference in taste when drinking from their chalice compared to from the bottle – it’s much more crisp and tasty. If there’s anything I’ve learned from this campaign, it’s that beer should be enjoyed in the proper glassware. :P Until next time! ^.^

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How to Cook: Spontaneous Stir-Fry

Stir-fry is a staple of Asian cuisine that is so easy to prepare, it’s almost laughable. Tonight, I used whatever was available in my kitchen to make dinner for my family and it came out surprisingly delicious for something thrown together last-minute. So feel free to substitute any of the ingredients that I listed with your own meats and vegetables! Bean sprouts, snow peas, broccoli, baby corn, and peanuts are especially good in stir-fry. ;)

MY INGREDIENTS: thinly sliced beef, garlic, onions, potatoes, zucchini, ginger, cabbage, olive oil, soy sauce, and hoisin sauce (optional)

Dice up all your vegetables and set them aside in separate bowls. Taking only your garlic and half of your onions, sauté them with your beef in olive oil until it’s halfway browned. At this point, throw in about half a cup of soy sauce and stir well so that the flavor is cooked into the meat. Add a small amount of ginger and a generous portion of diced potatoes.

After adding some sliced cabbage to the pot, leave it covered for few minutes to steam. After the leaves have softened somewhat, uncover and add two tablespoons of hoisin sauce. Stir well, as this is what will sweeten the dish. If your mixture looks a bit dry, add no more than another 1/3 cup of soy sauce. At this point add your zucchini and the remaining half of your onions. Stir well and cover once again to steam for a few minutes.

Serve over steamed white rice and enjoy! ^.^ If you’ve missed any of my other cooking posts from way back when, check them out:
Pancit / Baked Salmon Loaf / Turon / Sopas  / Pad Thai

The MiO Diet

Hey, guys! :) How is everyone doing? I’ve been feeling a little under the weather lately. Between the frustration of finding a job after college and how sick I’ve been for the past few days, it’s been hard to focus on things like work and school. I’ve been trying to keep myself as hydrated as possible, though, with the help of MiO Liquid Water Enhancer. I admit that I’m obsessed with this stuff – a few drops in my reusable water bottle, and I’m good to go. :P

MiO is convenient to carry in my purse or school bag, and promotes recycling in that I no longer have to buy bottled water on my campus. The best part? It contains zero calories. :) I never liked the taste of plain water anyway. >.<; My favorite flavors definitely have to be Mango Peach and Strawberry Watermelon. I really want to try Black Cherry and Green Thunder, though. A single bottle lasts me forever, too! My plan for the next few weeks is to cut out all the calorie-dense liquids in my diet and replace them with MiO-enhanced water.

Anyway, what have I been up to lately? Well, apart from my regular daily responsibilities.. I visited the new exhibit at the Charles B. Wang Center on my campus, Singgalot: The Ties that Bind.

“The exhibition details the rich history of Filipinos in America, honors early immigrant pioneers and the determined generations after them, and addresses the community and culture of Filipino Americans through historically significant photographs. Singgalot celebrates the vital contribution made by Filipino Americans to Pacific trade, military service, the arts, and civil rights activism.”

I found it  interesting, especially with my background, but was a little disappointed that the advertisements that I had seen mislead me to think that it was larger than it actually was. In reality, it only took up one small room.

In other news, I’ve been relieving stress and passing my free time by streaming episodes of Breaking Bad. I’m only halfway through season two, but I’m already hooked! For those of you who aren’t familiar, the television series is about an overqualified high school chemistry teacher who cooks crystal meth with one of his old students in order to make money for his family. :o

As for my extracurricular activities, I recently joined my quad’s intramural volleyball team. (Below is the design that I created for our uniform shirts!) Although I had played on a volleyball team for five or six years in the past, I’m sure that I’ve gotten rusty. But volleyball is one of the only things that I get competitive about – and I needed more exercise in my life anyway. :POn a final note, are any of you interested in purchasing prescription eyeglasses online? Because my friends at Zenni Optical sell a large and inexpensive stock of stylish glasses – be sure to check them out. :) Until next time! ^.^

150,000 hits?! :D

Hey, guys! I’m pleased to tell you all that this blog has reached 150,00 views as of yesterday. :) I never thought I’d reach such a number, mostly because this all started off as a hobby. :P Thank you so much for sticking with me this entire time. <3 Anyway, with the first round of exams coming up, I’ve been getting exponentially stressed and lazier by the day. >.<; Thankfully, this box of tea that I picked up last week has been quite effective at calming me down and keeping me focused! It’s oh-so-delicious, as well. ;)

In other news, my old mouse broke. :< Mostly because I’m just really clumsy. I replaced it with the same model in a different color, just because it fits so comfortably in my hand, and Logitech is a pretty reliable company that I trust.

Having a good mouse is so important for gaming – especially since I just recently joined an all-girls ranked team on League of Legends. We’re called the Destructive Divas, and although we haven’t played much together yet, I can see this being a long-term thing. :P Girls can be pro at video games, too! Which reminds me, I really need to invest in a good headset.

So.. what else is new? Well, I bought a new makeup primer and nail polish the other day! I went with Sally Hansen’s Complete Salon Manicure in Commander in Chic, because I’ve had amazing experiences with it before – in 3 other shades.

Not only is the formula smooth, but it can last up to a week with minor fading at the tips and minimal (if at all) chipping. I’ve never had a problem with air bubbles after application, but I do admit that the drying time is a little above average. I don’t mind, though, because I just busy myself with things on my computer while I wait for my nails to dry. :)

I adore this shade, too! It’s easily make favorite nail polish right now. Somewhere between taupe, greige, and muted purple, it’s the ideal Fall/Winter color. I would wear it all year round, though. <3 What I like the most about the shade is that it looks dramatically different under several kinds of lighting, and that it matches with all my outfits and makeup. :D

As for my new makeup primer, I’ve been meaning to switch brands and try out a new base for my foundation for a couple months, since I usually don’t like sticking to one product forever. I went with Maybelline’s Instant Age Rewind Primer because it was relatively inexpensive. The product itself gets my skin really greasy by the first couple hours, unfortunately.

It doesn’t matte-ify the dewiness of my natural complexion as much as other primers do, either. It does the bare minimum of being a mediocre base for my foundation to apply smoothly, but I’m not recommending or repurchasing. And although I usually hate what my naked face looks like, but here’s a photo of me without makeup anyway. :)

On a final note, have you guys heard of Killing Floor? It’s a co-op survival zombie game. It was 85% off on Steam the other day for only $3, and was too sweet of a deal for me to pass up. The game play reminds me of a cross between the Left 4 Dead series and Team Fortress 2. Even though I’m terrible at it right now, it’s pretty enjoyable. :) Add me- my Steam account is Mirasol. Until next time! ^.^


Christmas in California [Part 1]

WARNING: Long and photo-heavy post ahead! :)

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Early Holiday Gift Exchange!

Earlier today, Michael and I exchanged Christmas/Hanukkah presents – mostly because he’s leaving for winter break a whole week earlier than I am. :'( We both agreed to get each other small gifts that wouldn’t break the bank. I thought it would be thoughtful of me to get him a nerdy video game shirt. :P As I’ve mentioned to you guys before, we play League of Legends together. The official website just happened to carry this one..

It features the champion Cho’Gath (an alien-like creature that you can play as) dressed up in a suit, top hat, and monocle. This is a reference to the “Gentleman Cho’Gath” skin available for purchase through the in-game store. Needless to say, Michael really liked it! Here’s him wearing it:

But do you know what’s funny? He surprised me with a LoL-related present, as well. :P He got me a pre-paid card through which I could redeem for Riot Points, the game’s currency, and delicious Godiva chocolate. ;)

But that’s not all! HE BOUGHT ME WHITE FUZZY EARMUFFS. They’re so soft, warm, and comfortable – and they make me feel like a polar bear. :D Clearly, this boy knows the way to my heart. <3

This is an awful photo of me, and I put on the earmuffs a little lopsided, but I was so incredibly excited that I just had to wear them right away! :)

In other news, we also decided to go to the mall today. I had a $10 Victoria’s Secret gift card that I wanted to spend, and ended up buying their Precision Liquid Liner in Blackest Black for only $3 instead of $13. I swatched the product in the store, and was surprised by how dark the formula is. I just ran out of liquid eyeliner, too, so this was the perfect time to buy a new bottle.

I also browsed H&M and found a simple cropped black t-shirt for only $9. I would normally hate this trend, but there’s something about this particular material and how it flows when I walk that convinced me to purchase it. I was going to buy another in dusty rose, but decided not to at the last minute. While I was at H&M, I also bought five pairs of cute socks! I don’t know how, but I always seem to lose a pair or two when I do my laundry. >.<;

On a final note, have you guys heard about La Tomatina? When I first came across the website, I thought it looked like the most awesome thing to become a part of. Unfortunately, there aren’t any events near the New York area for me to attend. :( Check out their website, though – you might live near some of their locations. Anyway, that’s all I have for now. I have another post coming soon, though. I’ll mostly likely have it up tomorrow. :P I just need to pick up the package from my campus mail room first. *hint hint* Until next time! ^.^