Sunday, 22 May 2016

062. The dish with no name.

A friend asked me once what I like to cook. I remember telling him that it really depends on which ingredients are available, and he in turn asked me if there is any dish that I particularly love to cook but unfortunately, I don't get to often. So hence, this dish, which (haha it rhymes) is originally of my mother's invention (she swears that it was an experiment involving chicken, tomato, and cheese in a combination she has already forgotten). With her permission, I modified the recipe. Below is the recipe I am excited to share with you all!

You'll need:

2 chicken breasts, sliced thinly*
5 leaves fresh oregano, chopped finely
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 cup tomato sauce
2 cups grated quickmelt cheese**
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp corn starch, dissolved in water

For sauteeing, you'll need:

2 tbsp olive oil***
1 onion, finely chopped
garlic, crushed
1 chicken broth cube

Friday, 20 May 2016

061. All this, and everything else, too.

I'm not going to lie. I've been going through a tough week a week ago, and I'm still going through it. But I'm going to do something about it soon! I'm not, at the moment ready to tell you about it yet. Meanwhile, however, one must still fight and soldier on. Today being Friday makes it so much easier, ha! 

Yes, I intentionally posted this as it is. I'm still new to this flatlaying thing, but it's
pretty handy when I make posts! A guide from one of my calligraphy-typography heroes
can be found here. Please do check her out, she's totally awesome! :)
The past weekend found me in one of my favourite malls in the city I live in. I was a woman with a mission; get a copy of Jojo Moyes' After You (a book review will be in the works!) as well as the increasingly popular (elsewhere, seriously Philippines, what are you on about?) The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I bought this book because I seriously need help, and I want to learn.

And yes, it's mission accomplished. I've wanted to buy these books for ever so long, and I thank my favourite bookstore for not failing me for the past five years.

A confession: I fangirl. Yes, I do. And you can only guess why I bought that magazine. The magazine toasts Georgina Wilson (she's one of the It Girls in the Philippines--for a good reason) as she is now Mrs. Burnand. This woman has it all--but she manages to keep it real, and that's why I think she's fabulous. I really do wish Mr. and Mrs. Burnand the best! :)

#TheBurnands. Image source here.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

060. The struggle to travel light

Image credits here.

To be honest, I don't get to travel a lot. But when I do, I get very excited, and tend to be reckless with packing. The last time I traveled was to visit my cousins in another province. I just packed about everything--well,  nearly--and it caused a bit of inconvenience. First lesson learned: never bring a shampoo bottle that contains more than 100 mL! 

Then I brought a lot of clothes--some of them ended up being unused, which caused unnecessary extra weight. The next time I travel, I will make it a point to know what the itinerary or activities would be! 

I have a confession. This struggle isn't confined to long trips! If any one of you have read this post about the contents of my bag, you would know about the ridiculous amount of stuff that's in it. And I bring that bag everyday to work.  It's really difficult to weed out which ones are (un)necessary, especially when I feel that they are--I think you guys know what I mean! Because girl's gotta have options! Of course that's not a healthy thing to do, because the bag ends up heavy, and you'd get to bring a lot of things you don't need! Hello, masochism!

So lately, I evaluate the contents of my bag--which is really hard to do--go through things that I need, and don't need. Medications, cooling powder, hand lotion and hand sanitizer,  check!  The makeup bag is another story, and it's like a time bomb waiting to explode. Which reminds me, I have to go over it again and take out stuff that's pretty redundant. Which is pretty much a daunting task. Just kidding, haha! I'll just need an extra dose of resolve. 

Then, in goes my planner, and uh-oh, the also fairly bulging pencil case. I love my pens, and woe betide you should you borrow them and lose them! Sometimes, I bring them, and sometimes I bring a smaller pencil case--which I really should. I'll have a bigger problem when I go back to law school, since well, hello highlighters again! Haha. 

Tomorrow is another day, and I should really, really think twice about putting in a tube of lippie when there's a lip and cheek stain.

Hi, my name is Layla, and I'm a work in progress.

Till then! :)

Sunday, 8 May 2016

059. By the book.

In a previous post, I've mentioned that while shopping, you'll most likely find me in the bookshop more than in the beauty counter. In short, it's the next best thing to heaven. I found this post in Mimmi of Muted Mornings' blog, and thought I'd give it a try. 

Is there a book on your nightstand right now?

Rilla of Ingleside, by Lucy Maud Montgomery. I grew up reading the Anne of Green Gables series, and reading those books reminded me of how simple life was back then, and goodness and kindness are always important. In this book, Rilla starts off by being really selfish and vain. The outbreak of the First World War changes her life. This actually is a re-read--just like all of LMM's work! :)

What was the last truly great book you read?

Treasures from the Attic: An Extraordinary Story of Anne Frank's Family by Mirjam Pressler. If you're one of those people who grew up reading Anne Frank's The Diary of A Young Girl, you will find this an extraordinary read, as the title says. It was a great journey finding out about Anne's ancestors, other family members, and what happened to them after the Second World War.

If you could meet a writer, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you want to know?

Frances Hodgson Burnett. I loved reading the three of her most well-known work--A Little Princess, Little Lord Fauntleroy, and The Secret Garden. I want to know what Sara Crewe would be like when she grows up,  how the garden would affect Mary Lennox' life after the story has ended, or how Cedric Errol would be like in his adolescence and adulthood, and what kind of Earl he would be. I feel that these stories shouldn't have ended where they did.  

What books might we be surprised to find on your shelves?

What Not To Wear by Trinny Wooddall and Susannah Constantine. I admit, I'm clueless about clothes--well, I was, until only recently. There's nothing more awkward than going somewhere wearing something that's not appropriate.

How do you organise your personal library?

Currently by category. Books I use(d) for uni belong to the top and second shelves.  Books for leisure go to the third shelf. Magazines, and other stuff go to the bottom.

Is there a book you have always meant to read but haven't got around to yet? Anything you feel embarrassed not to have read?

I have a list as long as my arm! Included would be Vera Brittain's The Testament of Youth,  All Quiet on The Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque, Jojo Moyes' After You, and Emily Gregory's Little Book of  Lettering. And as a die-hard Downton Abbey fan, I would love to get my hands on a copy of  Downton Abbey: A Celebration.

Disappointing, overrated, just not good; name a book you feel you were supposed to have liked but just didn't? Do you remember the last book you put down without finishing?

Fifty Shades of Grey, just because I was curious, so I borrowed it from a friend. Returned it to her the next day. I couldn't get past the first page.

What kinds of stories are you drawn to? Any you steer clear of?

I steer clear of the vampire/mean girls/cliquey sort of books. Or anything with a depressing plotline. I've been going through something lately, and books with that kind of plotline would seem too close to home. Otherwise, I read just about anything.

If you could choose a book the President (/Prime Minister) had to read, which would it be?
I honesttly don't know. Like Mimmi,  I don't think anything could make him a better person. To be honest, I just want his term to end. I probably wouldn't recommend anything because he's not that kind of person.

What do you plan to read next?

I bought Margaret Macmillan's The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914, Hew Strachan's The First World War. Not exactly a cheerful reading matter, but when I was still in law school,  my Public International Law professor revived my interest in that subject matter, which started when I was reading Rilla of Ingleside. Before I've read that book, I have only heard of the Second World War--and back then, I didn't know that it was the second.  I really wanted to know what had transpired back then.

Please do let me know if you're going to do this tag, and I'd love to know about your answers!

Until then! :)
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