Monday, 31 October 2011

Demimeals (is that weird?)

To kickstart my trial into vegetarianism, I ate the following today:

Breakfast - a banana and toast with vegemite.

Lunch - baby corn, carrots, string beans, lettuce in curry sauce.

Dinner - special k and koko krunch with melon yogurt! While watching Pretty Little Liars :)
I need to come up with some kind of adorably lame name for these meal posts...

Food Inc. and Forks Over Knives

In the past year, a few things have correlated to make a rather large impact on choices I make for my life.

I began to exercise more, and I discovered how much better I felt starting the day with it than without. I realised how much more energised I was becoming.

Gabe recommended a book called Skinny Bitch, and at the same time, I had just finished watching the film Food Inc. Both showed me how I don't need meat in my diet, or at least not as much meat as I'd love to have in it. My friends would know what a big statement that is for me to make, being a red meat lover for a very long time. I saw how deceiving and intolerant many agricultural industries are, and began to think about the idea put across by Freedman and Barnouin that I am putting terror, fear and so many unnatural things into my body. It coincides with my belief that if you surround yourself with positive things, more will follow. My food choices are now much healthier than they've ever been, and it feels great. Don't get me wrong though, I still do have my indulgences ;)
I do recommend everyone to watch the film - check out the trailer above. I'm not trying to push vegetarianism or anything here, or to say stop eating meat... I am doing this for myself, and want to share it with you guys. Maybe it'll inspire a change, maybe it won't. Either way, by watching the film, you'll get to see a very interesting and often more shadowed side to food.
Now, again, elements have aligned and I am about to watch the film Forks Over Knives, which "examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting animal-based and processed foods.".

I've also just ordered a five day meal plan from Edgy Veggy - I saw Carlos Celdran tweeting about it recently, and it was exactly what I had been looking for! Especially after doing the Juju Cleanse. He's one of the only Filipino personalities that I follow dedicatedly because I love the messages he sends out and how he fights for the people and shares what he knows. I had the chance to meet him once in Resort's World and I think it was the giddiest my friends have seen me about any other sighting of the sort!

I've started my steps into a healthier diet by asking our household to refrain from serving meat for me until Wednesday, which is when my meal plan will start. Both my dad and little brother are out of town, so there's no temptation from their food and the household now has a much lighter workload because really I'll just be eating fruits and veggies while they're gone! Win-win! I can't ask my family to cut out meat from their lives (I've tried...), but at least this step will help ease me into it.

I'll be updating about all of this as the week progresses. I'm very very excited for this all!

Peace and love, everyone. Peace and love.

***update***

I'm about 15 minutes into Forks Over Knives, and one of the doctors was in the Philippines in the mid 1960s to help the malnourished children and they found success in non-animal-based proteins. They also found that the more affluent families that had greater animal-based diets at the time had greater chances of having children more susceptible to having liver cancer.

S: Day 10 - Exploring The Rocks

Seve and I spent the day exploring The Rocks while Sophie was at work.
As calm as I look in this photo, I was actually freezing. I just needed to hold off putting my cardigan on so I could get a photo of what I was wearing, hah!
Tempted to get our fortunes told, but I got too scared. We had brunch at Pancakes on The Rocks. Nothing impressive, though it seemed to be the restaurant people kept mentioning.
One of Seve's cultural activities.
We sat ourselves at a little cafe for an afternoon snack, I forget the name of the place but Isa mentioned they had the best macarons and she stopped here whenever she was in the area. Delicious tiramisu, and the coziest hot chocolate.
Seve bought CDs from the guitarist playing in the area. He was so smooth and dreamy, I was melting in his music. It was one of the most serene coffees I've ever had :) We spent a good couple of hours here, I'm pretty sure. Cold, a bit breezy, great company and wonderful music.
I can't wait to be around musicians like this again! I forget his name, but I'll post it here once I ask Seve.

xo,
Demitasse

Friday, 28 October 2011

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Croque Madame

When I have a lot of time to myself, my thoughts will usually gravitate towards the things I am happy about and grateful for in life. I was sitting at a breakfast cafe I frequented in Sydney one morning and wrote the following list.

Things I find beautiful and am thankful exist.

Rich orange egg yolks that you can pierce, letting it ooze out on top of whatever you fancy. Poached eggs on Croque Madame or a sunny side up with some good longanisa and garlic rice.
People that eat at little cafes or bistros by themselves that seem to have no rush or awkwardness to care about. The ones that are content in that silence and comfortable with themselves - appreciating food, wine, beer, the weather and people around them.
Meals with people that intrigue you. Not necessarily your best friends, but people that maybe aren't in your immediate comfort zone. People that you might've taken a chance with to get to know and enjoy some good food with.

Little details at restaurants or cafes like complimentary plates of fruit or a karaf of still or sparkling water served without question. In addition to this, the kind of staff that really care about their customers.

Genuine smiles from people that walk past you on the street. People that seem to have problems and real lives and jobs and stresses but, whether aware or not, share a little friendliness. When I smile at strangers here in Manila, it isn't often reciprocated. I felt at home in this aspect in Australia, there wasn't a confusion or a suspicion, just a smile back.

When the wind is cold but you step into patches of sun and it warms you up. Or when you hold a hot cup of tea, coffee or chocolate. Or have somebody to wrap their arms around you.
Coffee art. This may sound shallow, but I think it is so sweet to have a cappuccino or whatever you've ordered brought to your table with two hearts or a rosetta detailed on top. Little details, people. Little details.

When you smell something and it triggers a memory or specific emotion you've forgotten about. Maybe a cologne of somebody you knew or the particular waft-y butteriness of a bakery you used to visit.

Anxiety from things like waiting for university or job offers. Whether the outcome is what you want or not, that nervousness and anticipation means you're putting effort into something and are trying to push your life forward.
Sophie Smith. People that unexpectedly become very important to you, teach you a lot and show you new things about the world, themselves and yourself all the time.

Warm bread. Be it a chewy round of pandesal stuffed with quesong puti fried in butter, or a crisper slice of sourdough with butter and vegemite. Warm bread is homey and comforting, and I know you're all nodding in agreement.

So a big thank you to the universe from me for all of the things that make life beautiful.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Thought Catalog: You Smell Like A Boy

Here's an article that I found myself relating to quite a bit. It was written by Ryan O'Connell, and he's captured many things I've felt and thought before.

I've always been interested in the way people smell. Now don't judge me just yet! I'm talking about how once you've been with someone in close proximity many times, be it a best friend, boyfriend or girlfriend, or even just somebody you hang out with a lot, their scent makes an imprint in your mind. At least that's what I feel happens. I usually never realise this until I smell their scent while we're apart and their name flashes in my mind.

Or sometimes it doesn't even come to me that quickly - it'll bring back an emotion, that I'll trace to an activity, that I'll eventually find myself putting a face to. Point aside, these descriptions of how boys smell ring a bell to me. And they probably will for you too.

***

You Smell Like A Boy


Boys smell ripe and pungent, like fragrant peaches with a hint of rot in them. They smell like sneaky creatures who could hurt you and will hurt you. But we’re not there yet, are we? They still smell like yummy peaches. In the beginning, they always smell like something you would eat and drink.
Boys smell like patchouli, sweat, and gardenias. They smell like hard work, taut muscles, and thick hairy legs. The aromas of a boy are all irresistibly disgusting, which I guess also accurately sums up boys themselves.
Boys smell like Axe Body Spray or maybe Tom’s deodorant or maybe like clean laundry. Maybe they smell like the worst body odor in the world or maybe they smell like their mom or they probably smell like dirty sex. Whatever it is, always know this: Boys never smell like nothing.
Boys smell unavailable, hanging on the corner of your bed with their naked back turned to you. They never did care about showing you their flesh but they did shy away from exposing their heart. You would plead with them, begging for them to take off just one more layer of clothing but they said no and lit a cigarette. That day, boys smelled like tobacco and petulance.
Boys smell like the whiskey they stole from their parents on a Saturday night in high school. You grimaced at the thought of touching their tongue because you felt everything much more at seventeen, but you did it anyway. Back then, you inhaled the smell of boys like they were a drug. You would do lines and lines of smelly hair, stained t-shirts, and bad breath because it made you feel like you were experiencing life and going places. You still do but now they’re just tiny bumps and don’t get you as high.
Boys smell like an unidentifiable musk. Each one comes with his own unique fragrance and the second you come in contact with it, it’s locked into your memory forever. Because even though it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it is, you’ll smell it for years to come. You’ll smell the boy who used to love you in the summertime at a grocery store when you’re 25 or maybe even 30, and it will stop you dead in your tracks, temporarily paralyzed by a memory. You feel like you don’t have a right to sniff that smell anymore so you make a beeline for the exit and get the hell away from it. You go home and drown yourself in your own perfume and try to erase its mark.
Boys smell like fresh cut grass, firewood, and ash. They smell like security, which can often be scary. When a boy wraps his long arms around you, you soak it all in while knowing that you could eventually one day despise his smell. We all have the option to hate the things we once loved and the musk of a certain boy is no exception. Remember that in the beginning, boys smelled a delectable peach but that seemed like a long time ago. The peach has started to bruise and change colors. It’s collapsing like a souflee and being overtaken by rot. We’re at the end of the line now and you just smell like a dirty boy who hasn’t showered in three days. It’s no longer endearing or irresistible. You’re just another smelly boy.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Local(ish)

I made quite a few new friends while I was roaming Sydney by myself. Can anyone say Pitt Street Mall?
When Sophie got off work, Ben took us to Hyde Park, where there was an ongoing Sydney International Food Festival! Good on him. Sophie and I would've never gone anywhere like this otherwise.
We got okonomiyaki, which is a Japanese pancake. They jazzed it up with different flavours like 'spicy cheesy beef' and such. It was pretty yummy, just a bit too chewy.
This is Ben. He's a real softie, though he doesn't look it.
There was such a nice atmosphere in the park! It really brought back memories of spending that summer with Sophie in Montpellier, France. The month we were there happened to be when wine festivals and tastings were held in the nearby park!
The photos above are Tadhg, Sophie, Oscar and myself circa 2010. Sophie was very blond and I had much shorter hair.
Beautiful, yes?
Here's Ben teaching me the difference between Bombay Sapphire gin and Tanqueray gin.
He's actually an entire foot taller than me (I'm 5'4 and he's 6'4), and crouched down for the photo... Because his face gets cut off if he stands straight. HAHA.

To be honest with you, I still don't understand the difference between which gin is what. Only that one bottle is green and one bottle is blue.

To be honest with you again, Ben tried to teach Sophie and I lot of things that night. In through one ear, out through the other. Love the kid though.
His stash of Japanese goodies. Green tea KitKat, blueberry cheesecake KitKat, melon KitKat and wasabi KitKat. Who knew.
We grabbed our nightcaps at a cozy place called Pocket Bar right around the corner. Pink Floyd and the like playing in the background, a spunky pixie haired waitress and elaborate velvet seating. Couldn't really ask for much else!

On that note, I really want to find a nice cozy but upbeat bar in the Fort / Makati area to have my birthday celebration this year! Do you guys have any suggestions? Please tweet me or drop me a line on my formspring if you can recommend any such place :) It'd help a lot!

Love,
Demitasse

Monday, 24 October 2011

Versace x H&M

I wish I could get my hands on these! 

I'm considering meddling with the dangerous and potentially addictive path of online shopping to stuff my closets with pieces from this collection (hopefully they'll be available for us budding e-commerce-ians). They're meant to release all these goodies in stores come November 17. Right before my birthday month! Dare I?
I love their belts and the jewellery. I find the necklace with a dagger strangely romantic! Think Romeo and Juliet. The rings, I find a bit too sparkly, but I like the volume in them. In general, I enjoy most things floral. Except for a lot of those certain overused prints you see everywhere. I know you know what I'm talking about.
I love the first and third dresses in the above photo. The first is more something I would try and pull off, and the third is something my mother would pull off extremely well.
I find this red caped dress so lovely. Simple with a more interesting facet. Not sure if I could pull it off but I'm sure ready to make the purchase and do all I can to! I really like the structure of the centre black dress as well - very clean and solid.
I want to rock the dress on the left so hard, you have no idea. Clean lines with such vivid colours! I wish the general community in Manila dressed up a little bit more. A lot of the time, I never repeat any of my outfits from when I'm on holiday when I'm back home because sometimes it just feels odd to over here. I need to break out of that.
I want more statement pieces like the skirt on the right that I can pair with simpler items. I want to be more daring. I want to stop passer-bys like how they did in Memoirs of a Geisha. Except that when I do try and dress up a little bit more razzle dazzle than usual, it leads my dad to wild thoughts like I'll get kidnapped because I'll attract attention. Oh, world. The games you play with me.
I really like the centre and right-most dresses. The centre one is a little bit girlier (is that a real word?) in an ironic way, which is cute, but I'd normally shy away from the layering in the skirt area. Now the one to the right, ay, dios mio, be mine baby, I would take such good care of you and show you such a good time.
The bags and shoes didn't appeal to me as much as a lot of the other aspects of the collection, but if anything, I do find the last black one very cute.

What is the lesson to be learned here? I need to stop holding back and go all out every once in a while, there's no harm in it. Be fabulous, dahlings (who knows who I'm quoting right now palanggas? *wink*), and that's all there is to it.

xo,
Demitasse