Goodie Junkie

This month means a ton of things to different people. For the scholarly, it could mean taking a two-week hiatus from school and not worry about exams the next day; for the kids, stage moms and titas out there, planning and preparing cutesy outfits for the upcoming Halloween party is all the rave. Not only that. This could also mean getting all those overdue planned trips to execution because you and your friends of x number of years are finally getting that much awaited looooong weekend (I need to exaggerate on the “long” part as it means a great deal to BPO employees to get a two-day official holiday on top of the regular two-day rest days from work. Thank you, Thanksgiving).

This is the irony my country gets when the “ber” months roll in. It marks the transition from getting all hot and bothered (no pun intended) because of summer to getting all chilled and soaked up because the rainy days have now officially arrived. Thing is, while the world falls in a state of autumn—a state of solace and relaxation before the big reveal—October fills my head with thoughts of merriments and planning. Lots and lots of planning. One thing that’s on top of my list is finding ways to jazz up my gift wrapping shizz come gift giving time. I am pretty sure this, too, has been your dilemma. Therefore, to all of you who can’t juice up on their muchness to creativity this season, this post is for you.

Let’s get started!

1. BOTTLES

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glass ones are the best

How: You can use glass bottles in packing foods, letters or even accessories.

From experience: I used a glass bottle (medium sized one – think Zaragoza spanish sardines bottle size) in packing a fuchsia themed long necklace that I gave to a friend who adored bottles and all the “kakiyan” in the world. I didn’t use much wrapping. Just a bow and I was done!

 

2. CANISTERS

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got these from (L) an underwear brand and (R) a freebie from an oatmeal purchase

How: They are big enough to hold colognes, trinkets, letters, clothing, etc. Bonus if you get the artsy ones as they can save you time in deciding how to wrap it.

From experience: It was my best friend’s birthday and I wanted a loot for her filled with a bunch of stuff I knew she’d definitely love. So, I opted for a canister (same size as the one on the left picture above) and stored in there, from what I can recall, the following items: a cologne, two arm swaggers and an ionizer. Since it was cylindrical and I ran out of artistic options to wrap it with, I decided to use an old fabric, covered it up and topped it with a bow. I was all set! Plus side to canisters is the fact that up to now, after 3 years since I gave it to her, she still has it and is using it for storage.

3. PAPER BAGS

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shop and keep the bags, too!

 

How: This one’s ubiquitous. Gift bags are not only limited to those we see and buy in gift stores; recycling old shopping bags (preferably the paper ones) can rock the gift glam just as well. Tip: Keep all sorts of paper bags regardless of the size, shape, even the tag. There is always a season and an occasion for that. Trust me.

From experience: I always prefer used, old shopping bags whenever I give gifts. It breaks my heart whenever I see a newly bought gift bag that gets torn up just because. And whenever my cliques or coworkers would plan on having a kris kringle, this comes really handy. Depending on the size, I am able to stock whatever: socks, clothes, quirky “somethings”, you name it.

4. ECO BAGS

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I got these from my online shopping purchases.

How: Same with paper bags, this can hold all sorts of knick knacks. Depending on the size and weight, the eco bag can be your saving grace when you want to look all compact and stylish at the same time.

From experience: I keep—scratch that—I hoard eco bags. I use it not only as an alternative way of packing gifts but as a grocery bag as well. This comes very handy whenever I hit a thrift store, or do groceries on a whim. Especially in the city where I live wherein plastics are simply banned from being used, you have to keep these nifty pieces available all the time.

5. SCARVES

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One is just not enough. God help me.

How: Wrap, wrap, wrap! For that extra bling, oomph it up with a brooch or appliqué.

Not from experience: This is my newest find, and I have not tried giving gifts by wrapping them with a scarf. Although, with the recent discovery I’ve made from my local thrift store, I will be getting a few pieces both for personal usage and for gift wrapping. Will show you how I did it in the coming posts.

It has always been my mindset to do more with what I have. Whether it be with stuff, memories or money, there is no such thing as a dead end to things. Be creative. And if you’ve run out of ideas, hope this post will help you get back in the artsy side of life. Happy wrapping! 😊

 

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Personal Calendar

When New Year’s eve was about to roll in, Pinterest showed me this interesting idea of crafting your own calendar. Initially, I wanted the old school type: with springs wired at the top part so all I have to do is flip each page for the desired month I wanted to view. However, it was a lot of work for a DIY newbie like me and I did not want to risk damaging the print I have chosen from The Cottage Market (which was soooooo pretty, by the way). So, I thought of using a cork board instead. What’s amazing about this alternative is the fact that I don’t need to chop, wire nor drill holes in it.

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To my delight, Daiso, a Japanese dollar store, sold affordable craft pieces, including the materials that I used for this project. I was able to secure two cork boards, pastel-hued pins and fabric scissors for 88 pesos each. Not bad. Here is the complete list of materials I used for this project:

1 piece cork board (I used two on the pictures above since I’ve made one for my mother as well)

pins (any hue and design of your choice will do)

calendar printable

scissors

Steps:

  1. Choose the design you want for your calendar. In my case, I chose The Cottage Market’s Disney princess 2017 as my calendar’s template.
  2. Print your chosen template. (Did I mention that they are downloadable for FREE? Yeap. They’re free.)
  3. After printing your calendar, cut them to your desired size.
  4. Use your pins in securing your calendar on the cork board.
  5. You can style your cork board if you think it lacks that extra oomph (e.g. flower decor, other pin ups, or trinkets)
  6. Use and abuse.
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This is the complete 2017 Disney Princess printables from The Cottage Market.
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FINISHED PRODUCT. You will notice that the cork boards still has room for some accessorizing. My mom, with her floral calendar on the right, decided to pin family pictures on her cork board to give it a more personalized touch. As for me, I chose to pin work out routines and work papers.

Apart from it’s obvious use, I get a thrill having to check my highlights/lowlights jotted on a design which I know, only a handful or probably less, have it. And for a DIY novice like me, it felt like an award winning piece to have finished a project and actually use it. I am on a high right now and off to planning my next DIY. How did yours turn out? 🙂

Spanish Sardines Pesto Pasta

For  someone who has a mom for a kitchen ninja, it can be a bit nerve-wrecking to recreate a dish and have her critique my own ensemble. But then again, there’s a first time to everything, right? And having earned her elusive seal of approval after 3 months of grueling experimentation, I now present to you, my take, on the Spanish Sardines Pesto Pasta. ENJOY!

Ingredients:

  • olive oil
  • spanish sardines in olive oil (spicy)
  • Filippo Berio pesto sauce
  • pitted black olives (sliced)
  • capers
  • pasta noodles (penne, fusilli, spaghetti pasta)
  • fresh basil leaves (chopped)
  • onions (minced)
  • garlic (minced)
  • tomatoes (minced)

Friendly Reminder:

Please be advised that I am not really into measurements, which means, I get over the top with the onions/garlic/tomatoes ratio and just play things by ear, depending on my muscle buoyancy that day. I am no chef, nor do I aspire to be one. I just happen to enjoy cooking my own baon to work since I want to eat with style and save money at the same time 🙂

How to get started?

  1. First, prepare all of your ingredients.
  2. Heat your pan or bowl with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of salt then lay your pasta noodles in there. (Fusili usually cooks for about 10-15 minutes, penne longer than that. So keep checking your bowl.)
  3. While your pasta is cooking, chop the ones that needs chopping and pre-mix the pesto sauce with the squashed spanish sardines in one bowl. Put a little bit of olive oil into the mixture to avoid drying and clumping of the mixture.
  4. Once everything is done (noodles included), drain it, and heat up your pan in preparation for a little bit of sauteeing.
  5. Use olive oil and put in your garlic first. Wait until it gets a tad bit brownish then put in the onions and tomatoes, next.
  6. Pour in the drained pasta noodles. Lower the heat, since we want to avoid overcooking the ingredients and having the noodles all saggy.
  7. Put in the mixture, next.
  8. Then the olives and capers. (No salt will be required since both olives and capers will do the trick.)
  9. Lastly, dazzle the whole thing with freshly chopped basil leaves for that extra flavor.
  10. Serve with wine or a bottle of beer.

There you go. Let me know how yours turned out. 🙂