As you can see from my website, I love nothing more than spending quality time with my family by going on trips out and doing activities together.
Since Fall is upon us, this only means one thing – Halloween is on its way! This spooky holiday makes an excellent opportunity to dress your kids up and make some tasty Halloween treats together. Why not spend your Saturday afternoon bonding with your family by doing some festive baking together and leave watching a film or playing at FoxyBingo for a rainy day? Below is a recipe for the popular Halloween treat, Caramel Apples.
Caramel Apple recipe
8 Granny Smith apples
2 cups of golden caster sugar
1 tsp vinegar
4 tbsp golden syrup
Candy sprinkles and marshmallows (optional)
Begin by boiling the kettle and pour all the water into a large bowl. Carefully place the apples into the water and give them a swirl. Doing this helps to remove the waxy coating from the apple skin which makes the caramel stick on much better.
Pluck out the apples and dry them thoroughly. Then twist off the stalks and carefully pierce a lolly stick through each apple.
Find a large roasting tin and line it with baking parchment. Place the apples on the parchment with the sticks pointing up in the air.
Meanwhile, tip the sugar and 100ml of water in a bowl and let the mixture simmer over a medium heat. Once the sugar has dissolved, tip in the vinegar and syrup. Once the mix is boiling or has reached the ‘hard crack’ stage, remove from the heat.
Dip and twist each apple in the caramel mix and place them on the baking parchment.
At this point, you could even sprinkle over some candy balls, chocolate drops or marshmallows for decoration.
Leave the apples to cool for a good hour or so before eating.Read More
Photos, or prints, are typically made out of three layers of materials: chemicals and inks which make up the image on the surface, and the binder which adheres the picture to the paper. The exact chemical make-up of a photo depends on the era and developing process used. Regardless of when a photo was processed, each layer reacts to its environment different and deteriorates over time.
The most common way of storing photos is inside an album; however, there are many ways of storing photos for different formats and sizes. The type of storage you choose will depend on cost, the condition of the print and how frequently the photos will be handled for viewing.
Handle With Care
Newly developed photos should be kept separate from the negatives. The chemicals in the photo and the negatives have been known to react with each other, causing damage to the print if not they’re not stored separately.
Always hold photographs by the edges, while supporting it from underneath with your other hand. This protects the photo from being accidentally bent or torn.
Avoid touching the surface of the picture with your fingers. The oils from your fingertips can leave stains on the print. To remove fingerprints from a picture, gently clean it with either cotton or a Q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol.
Storing Photos in an Album
Avoid storing photos in materials containing acid or lignin. Prolonged exposure to these chemicals can yellow and destroy your photos. Many albums sold in the past are not archival safe. Black paper pages and magnetic albums, which were once popular during the 1960′s, were extremely acidic and have been known to cause damage photos. You can increase the lifespan of your photos by managing the acid content of storage materials that come in contact with the prints. For example, if you use albums, envelopes or boxes, make sure that they are archival quality.
Avoid using any adhesives in your photo projects or albums. Adhesives, such as tape and glue, are the main cause for deterioration in photos because of a chemical reaction which occurs between the glue and the print. Avoid using albums with adhesive pages unless they are specified as being archival quality. Instead, use photo corners to secure your pictures to the page.
Use a page protector to limit the amount of contact your photos have with the air. Page protectors look a lot like plastic sleeves and come in a wide selection of shapes, sizes and materials. Most page protectors are designed to fit into standard three-ringed binders, post-bound and strap-hinged albums. Page protectors are often designed with built-in slots for slipping in one photo or two back-to-back into the sleeves. These are designed to fit directly into the photo album without any special preparation or mounting.
Polyester or mylar page protectors are considered to be top of the line and can cost anywhere from $10 and upwards for three, 5 inch by 7 inch sleeves. Polypropylene and polyethylene page protectors are more affordable alternatives and can be purchased in bulk for the same cost as one mylar page protector. They are both inexpensive and are safe for storing photos and documents. Avoid magnetic album page protectors. Although they are labeled as “acid-free”, they will destroy your photographs over time. Also, avoid page protectors made out of acetate or vinyl components. Vinyl and acetate can adhere to photos, causing them to premature change color and fade.
Always store albums in an upright or vertical position. Albums, which are left lying on their side, can cause ugly distortions and indentations in the page; as well as damaging the photos.
Be careful not to overfill an album with pages. Too many pages in an album increase the chance of losing a page if the album does not close the entire way.
Take Care of Framed Photos
Display photos away from direct sunlight. Exposure to UV radiation is one of the main causes of photo fading. If possible, find a frame which has glass surface treatment to it which decreases the amount of UV light being transmitted through it. These types of frames are available at most frame shops and photo stores.
Always place an acid-free mat between the photo and the frame. This prevents the photo from adhering to the glass over time.
You can further decrease the amount of UV radiation your photos are exposed to by rotating your pictures.
Store Photos Digitally
Download photos directly onto your computer from your and label them according to month or year.
Remotely store your favorite photos. This can be done by burning a DVD of your photos and storing them in a case, or by uploading them to photo sharing sites on the internet.
Other Forms of Storage
Store photos in a cool, dry and dark place, safe from pet damage and water. A closet or a well-ventilated room is an excellent choice for storing photo boxes. Try to avoid storing photos in an attic or a basement, these areas are prone to fluctuations in temperature and humidity.
Photos which are frequently handled, should be stored separately in its own protective sleeve before being grouped together in a box.
Try not to over-stuff or under-fill a box. An overstuffed box can cause damage to photos whenever they are filed or pulled out. Conversely, a relatively empty box will cause the photos to warp and curl.Read More
Do you remember the movie 50 First Dates where Drew Barrymore keeps on forgetting the present because of her amnesia so her husband, played by Adam Sandler, had to convince her every single day that he is not a stranger and they have been married for years? Well, I really liked that movie. It was so hilarious and kept me and my husband laughing for a while. After that, I sort of wondered is the movie real? Is there someone living that sort of crazy life?
I’m sure those of you who watched the movie wondered the same thing and now our questions have been answered. Michelle Philpots is the woman living that life. The 47 year old wife wakes up everyday with no recollection beyond the year 1994. She has no idea what she did the day before whether it was something trivial like buying truck accessories or something important like marrying her husband, Ian. Her unfortunate condition was caused by two car accidents. Doctors diagnosed her condition as anterograde amnesia, which is characterized by the loss of ability to create new memories or recall the recent past.
So how does someone like her live a normal life every day. Just like in the movie, each morning her husband tries to convince her they’re married by showing her their wedding pictures. Ian is luckier than Adam Sandler in the movie though because unlike Adam who had to convince Drew he’s not a stranger, Ian and Michelle met way beyond the accident so Michelle still has a memory of Ian. After that Michelle tries to move on with her life with the help of post it notes that she had put up for herself to read the previous day. Technology has also helped her tremendously. She gets alerts from her mobile phone calendar on appointments and daily duties. Every new acquaintance is logged in for future reference. When she ventures out she is assisted by the sat-nav programmed with details of local shops and her own address. Living with this condition has its perks too, it seems. A joke doesn’t get old on Michelle. She can laugh at the same joke every single day. For her, there is also no such thing as a repeat on TV.Read More
Weddings can be nerve wracking. There are so many details that are needed to be ironed. Even when sending out wedding invitations you need to do with great care. Here are some guidelines that you need to know before you send out that wedding invitation.
1. It is tradition that the wedding invitations are done by hand and not printed. You can hire a calligrapher to do this work for you or if you have a good penmanship you can choose to do it yourself.
2. It is just proper that you send out the invitations at an early date so that the guest can have time to respond and prepare for the wedding. Also a last minute invitation is bad taste and gives out the impression that you hadn’t planned on inviting the guest all along.
3. I have seen couples opting for bridal registries for their gifts. While this is practical for the couple because it will ensure they receive the gifts they most need some people are still not familiar with this concept and might frown upon it.
4. Lastly, keep in mind that some people would want company so if you’re inviting make sure to include the spouse or the guest’s child in the invitation or if your guest is single leave a space for his/her date.
That’s it, folks. Enjoy your wedding but don’t forget to send thank you notes after.Read More
Last Friday, we watched Iron Man 2 at Megamall. I liked the first part a lot so I was looking forward to watching this one. We arrived at 4:30 and found out that the movie will start at 5pm so with only 30 minutes left to eat we decided to take out some food instead. Hubby asked the cinema staff if food is allowed and found out that yes, food is allowed except for rice and spaghetti. Coincidentally, I wanted to order spaghetti that day so I had to eat the spaghetti just before we went inside.
We arrived at the theater in the nick of time. We started munching on our food as soon as we were seated. I was a bit apprehensive Z won’t like the movie. Those who have small children know how embarrassing it is if their children gets bored in the middle of a movie. During the first part when the characters were just talking Z couldn’t care less about the movie and was playing with his chair which in turn was making some noises. I tried to stop him and good thing he listened but when the movie gets boring again he starts playing with his chair again. So that’s why all throughout the movie I was silently praying that it will have less talk and more action scenes because action scenes he likes a lot. The problem was when he can’t understand what’s going on he starts asking questions loudly. Whew, it’s really hard watching a movie when you have a young kid in tow but Z is getting better and better and we’re predicting that this year (well, until just before our baby is born) we’ll be watching more movies. After that when our baby is born we won’t be able to see the inside of the moviehouse again in years. )
Today is the first day of Z’s Vacation Bible School (VBS) which was held at St. Francis Square. We arrived at the mall as early as 8am and it’s past 5pm when we got back home, no wonder my feet are aching.
So as early as 8:30am we were able to leave Z alone and me and hubby were free to do whatever we wanted.
First stop was to go to the bank to process my Eon card. I’m so happy that I can finally apply for one. Unfortunately, when we arrived at the bank it was closed. We forgot it was holiday! Arrgh! There was nothing to do but laugh at how foolish we have been. Fortunately, we will be going back everyday until Friday for Z’s VBS so I have plenty of time to get it done.
With nothing to do until 11:30 we stopped by Starbucks. I quickly tried their old-fashioned glazed doughnut which I heard tastes really good. My verdict: it was good the first few bites but for health reasons don’t even try finishing the whole doughnut in one sitting. I think I got an upset stomach right after eating all of it.
Next, we went back to the mall to look for maternity clothes. I walked around for an hour but didn’t find anything I like. After VBS we went to fetch Z. Found out he cried a little because it was too long for him. Yes, 3.5 hours may be a bit too long but hopefully he’ll get used to it. Anyway, his Dad tried to bribe him so he won’t cry the next day. So our next stop was Toy Kingdom!
You won’t believe how long we were at Toy Kingdom today. We might have broken our previous record because today we were there a total of 3 hours! Can you beat that?! Anyway, the reason why we spent three hours there was because of this.
Z tried it around the store for hours. He liked it that much. Of course we wanted to buy it for him but we just bought a pretty expensive toy for him a few months back so we just let him try it for as long as he wanted.
By 3pm we were out of the toy store. We bought new school shoes for our incoming prep student. Last year, we bought a cheap pair but by half the school year some of the black had faded away so this time we bought a pair of Chicco shoes. Good thing they were on sale.
By 3:30pm we were already famished so we dropped by KFC. On the way home I was able to grab a book on sale at National Book Store for only P50. Entitled “Fit Forever” this book by Jeanne Ernst promises to teach me some moderate exercises I can do at home (even while sitting) and also some good eating habits. Let’s see how I’ll fare. Day 1 starts tomorrow.
So that’s the end of our long and tiring day. We’re going to go back there tomorrow but hopefully we won’t stay too long next time.Read More