Friday, July 26, 2013

Recipe Share: Tea and Herb Infused Fried Chicken

Do you want to do something different with your fried chicken. Why not? Try  the fried chicken, a product of my experiment.

When I cook chicken whole it's usually as roasted which I marinated in several spices overnight before roasting. 

One time, I thought why not fried chicken for a change. So here's what I did
Opened 2 packs of tea bag, regular flavor is better. I used Lipton tea bags and combined the contents of 2 bags in one bag. I added some more dried spices like rosemary, oregano, basil, marjoram, salt and pepper. 

seal the tea bag tighter and drop in a big pot (one that can accommodate 1 whole chicken) of boiling water. You can also add soy sauce to the water. Then, very very slowly, put the whole chicken in the boiling water and cook. 

Once chicken is cooked, place it in a drying rack and let the excess water drip from the meat. 

Meantime, prepare the frying pan. Yep, this chicken gets all the beating: boiled and fried to yummy goodness! When excess water drips no more from the chicken, you can heat oil in your frying pan. Ideal you use a deep fryer unless you're a great flipper. In my case, I'm not, thus, the tear on skin. Cook for just a few minutes per side or until the skin gets crispy and golden brown, it's already cooked anyway.

Serve with steamed veggies and enjoy. Can you see our homemade Yang Chao fried rice peeking? :) Honestly, it tastes like the famous Filipino fried chicken and I'm happy that continuously experimenting on ingredients and techniques made me discover great flavors and more to share to you! :)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

In Between Work

So what do employees at work do to have some fun? Kumbaga, activities 'pag may time?' 
What do we do when we are not running around looking for juicy or breaking stories, checking on air materials or when we're not in the boardroom for a brainstorming meeting or presentation? 

Sharing with you some of fun stuff at work:

A senior officer retired after 15 years of loyal service and was surprised by her staff with an aisle of red and white roses and a cotillion. Totally sweet!

I attended a birthday lunch for Feb and March celebrants. Kuya Germs has been hosting our birthday lunches for years now and he's really an entertainer by heart. 

Found a pack Nestle Crunch and Ferrero chocolates on my table on morning. A pasalubong from a former colleague. Yum! but I had to share so I won't pack the extra calories. 
One of the girls also gave me a Burberry perfume from HK. Thanks guys :)

 It's Art Gap Time! Yearly, our company holds an art competition and this year requires the use of paint.

The finals in exhibit. That's our reporter Lars Santiago in checkered polo during an interview with Charice. 

I remember joining Art Gap a few years back when the exhibit was about photography. I submitted this photo which I took through film photography.

We got a visit from these extinct creatures. They look amazing in person and Sam couldn't get enough of the photos I took. He's so much into dinosuars now. 

 Whenever possible, peeps from work grab the opportunity to take a photo with their favorite celebrity in sight (there's a lot of them around). My life is too showbiz as you can see that's why I try to make my 'other worlds' a little less hyper to maintain a certain balance :)

an employee with Kim Rodriguez of Kakambal ni Eliana hit
with Charice Pempengco
And finally, a look up photo during a shoot for the service awardees. Every year the company recognizes the 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 year service awardees with an AVP presentation shown during general assembly. Yes, we get to star in those AVPs :)
As for me, I can't believe it's been a decade now since my first day in the network. More of that to share in my next posts.

Work perse can be stressful already  and it's hard to be working all day all week without having some fun. That's why, it's important for companies and managers to find creative ways for the employees to relax, enjoy camaraderie and have some fun in the workplace every now and then. For my unit, we enjoy after work videoke night, dinner and an outing at least once a year to destress and relax.

What's your idea of bonding and relaxing time in between work? 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Top 10 Visa Misconception and What we Need to Know

Lately, I have frequent day dreams of having a latte in a quaint cafe overlooking the Eiffel tower or walking along the cobbled streets of London. 
More than once, husby and I talked about celebrating our wedding anniversary in a European country. Preferably a place near the ocean because, as you can see in our travel destinations, we are beach people. Moreover, there are also talks of securing work abroad (this is more one-sided as husby is far from that throught, for now). 

Now comes the matter of going there, well, luckily for us we have family members who are already immigrants of London so it will be easier to take care of requirements. 

For some, in can be a hit and miss situation. Thankfully, now we have a lot of help from online researches and from institutions that assists those who are planning to work or live abroad. 

The article below hopes to enlighten those of us who wish to travel abroad either as a tourist,  work worce or as a student. It's a long read but it's worth the time. 
Top 10 Visa Misconception
The thought of working or studying away from your country of origin comes with tons of facts involving the processes, the laws or policies governing each country and certain misconceptions.

For certain visa application you can easily visit the embassy or a representative of the country you may want to visit or work to.  You may want to seek assistance from offices who does services of immigration or visa consultancy companies such as Global Visas.
Before you get scrupulous over some details in your visa application, let’s bust a few misconceptions about getting visas.

1.  All EU states are governed under the Schengen agreement.
The Schengen zone includes 22 EU member states and covers more than 400 million people. All the EU states are included except Great Britain, Ireland, Cyprus, Romania and Bulgaria. Four European non-EU members - Iceland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Norway - have acceded to the agreement.  

This however is the prevailing truth, once someone enters the Schengen zone, he or she can travel freely without visas, and without having passports checked at borders.

2.  All nationality needs to get Schengen Visas if they want to work or tour Europe.
North Americans, most South Americans, Australians and Japanese are admitted without a visa for three months (90 days).

3.   You can apply to any embassy as long as they give Schengen Visas. 
You need to be certain on the countries you are getting your passport stamped on.  
That is why, visa applications must be lodged at the Embassy/Consulate of the country of intended visit. If your plan is to visit several countries, visa application must be made at the Embassy/Consulate of the main destination country—meaning the length of stay in this destination is the longest. If the length of stay in each country is almost the same, apply at the country of first entry.

4.  If you have a valid US Visa, you can  reside in the U.S. for that entire period. 
The terms “visa” and “status” are often used loosely and even interchangeably.  However, failure to clearly understand the differences between these words can lead to unintended immigration consequences.  
Visa is your point of entry to the country, but does not determine you admissibility.
An alien’s status is classified under the category of admission (such as visitor, student, intra-company worker) and the duration of stay permitted.   Thus, your stay permission is dependent on the kind of status you have.

5.   UK and Ireland  is in Europe, thus you can freely cross border  coming from other European countries.    Note that the UK and Ireland are not a part of the Schengen agreement.  Coming from other countries in Europe, you need to apply for Irish or UK Visa.

6.  Does that mean that UK and Ireland people need to get Schengen visa to go to other European countries?
While the UK and Ireland are not part of the Schengen area, their citizens can stay indefinitely in other EU countries, only needing paperwork if they want to work long-term or take up residency.

7.  What are the rules for working in France? I’ve heard that I have no hope of getting a work permit.
8.  It is legal to work in the U.S. on a visitor's visa.
9. Getting a valid airline ticket booked while applying for a certain visa can help with the approval of visas.
10.  Applying a Visa on your own is easy and cheaper.

European Union citizens can legally work in France. Foreigners outside of the EU must do the following, in this order : find a job, obtain a work permit, obtain a visa de long séjour, go to France, and  apply for a carte de séjour.

Visitor’s visas do not authorize employment in the U.S. In order to work, a person needs a working visa, called an H-1B visa or some other type of work authorization. H-1B working visas are for college graduates who will work in a job related to their college degree. This visa is valid for 3 years, with a 3-year extension, for a total of 6 years.

No agencies have advised that a visa applicant make any travel plans, including purchase of air tickets, unless their visa was cleared by the consulate.

Have you ever found dealing with the government easy? We bet not. All over the world citizens find government bureaucracies frustrating, annoying and insulting. It may have something to do with their virtual unaccountability, their lack of skill and experience or maybe, to be honest, they just do not care!

The processing is tedious and may require you to spend a lot of time waiting.  However, there are trusted agencies like Global Visas who can deal with this for you.  They can actually make them care for you having known the laws for that.  Global Visas can make applying Visas easy for you.

Global Visas has won for its clients the most difficult battles as far as visa facilitation is concerned, such as immigration to Australia. The expertise of the Global Visas team allows it to deliver the best quality service in the lodgment of spousal, fiancée, tourist and working visas. The company holds the distinct advantage of having personnel in destination countries as well as constant updating of visa regulations in these areas: the USA, Canada, UK and other parts of Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Asian territories. Visit for more information.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Ready for the Rain

It's undeniably rainy season now. This week, we are expecting another thunderstorm so better to stay indoors over the weekend. 
I prefer summer but rainy season is my excuse to strut those booties that have been gathering dust for some time now. 
The first to make a come out party were my Melissa Ashanti boots in black. Yup, it like did a come out debut because people were complimenting my outfit that day, even the boys :) I get 'uy Melissa shoes!', 'nice shoes, and even a 'My Lady Boss' comment from peeps at work. 
Here's my OOTD:

Calvin Klein purple long sleeve shirt
Skinny spotted jeans from Landmark - the more current look of 80's acid wash but reminds me of my jeans in grade school :)
Coach Chelsea bag in purple and brown
Melissa Ashanti boots

As much as I love to sleep all day with the cool weather during wet season, I need to get up at 530am on weekdays to get my daughter ready for school and me to work. Rain or shine it's work, work, work so better gear up with weather-proof shoes.
These babies are also waiting for their turn to the rainy outdoors. This photo just made me realize I now have 4 pairs of Melissa shoes :)

Because it's a Thursday and we social media addicts are so into Throwback Thursday or TBT, here I am sharing my chubby toddler photo with my pretty sister. Check out my shoes! Boots pa rin. LOL!

Speaking of rain, there is an outpour of eager movie goers for three weeks now. The craze? Monster's University and Despicable Me 2. I wasn't able to take a photo of the line in SM North but it was unbelievable! We were supposed to watch in Trinoma but tickets ran out. Crazy right? 
In SM North, JCo Donuts popped a new store near the cinema so it got confusing where ticket and donut line was.

We joined the bandwagon of movie goers (because we promised the kids movie date) but went for the movie that has shorter line so we were able to watch Monsters University. Super hilarious and entertaining! You gotta see this one. The kids enjoyed it so much. Thanks Sis for the movie treat. 

We also want to watch Despicable Me 2 but maybe we'll have to look for a movie house with less crowd. Here's our next movie to watch. Kids are excited to see The Smurfs!  

How has your rainy June and July been so far? Be safe everyone especially rainy season is also a season of colds and cough. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Pretend Play is Fun

Lately, kids have been enjoying playing teacher-teacheran with Mom and Dad. I enjoy pretend play with them and I love that they are the ones who conceptualize pretend games. Mommy just goes with flow.

One really funny game we play requires a lot of imagination and improvisation. We pretend the bedroom wall is a huge blackboard, we have a pretend chalk and we write invisible ‘lessons’ on the board. It’s up to the 'student' to figure out what was written. From the supplied answers our game advances. Honestly, it’s really fun and funny. Anything goes kind of play.

Here's once conversation where kids get to play teacher:

Sam: Mommy I want to eat the one you bought kanina (he meant the other day pa).

Me: Which one? Otap? (he loves Otap).

Sam: No, it’s not crunchy. It’s soft and rectangle and color white.

Me: Bread sticks?

Ate S: It’s soft Mommy, not crunchy

Sam: Ate Sophie is check! Mommy is X! (that's 1 mistake for me) 

Me: Marshmallow?

Sam: No! You’re X (getting a little impatient with Mommy, 2 X na ko).

Me: What is it? A donut?

Sam: You’re X again. It’s a healthy food noh. (Bokyang bokya na ko)

When Daddy tried to join in, I had someone to share my Xs with. Only Ate Sophie is check. The conversation went on but I still couldn’t figure out what he wanted. Boo.

Here's another pretend play the kids invented. They pretended to be cavemen (after watching The Croods in cinema and Ice Age on DVD). That's about all of the bottles of their poster paints on our garage wall. Need to buy a new set again. Really, we buy crayon and paints almost every week.
Nevertheless, I smiled when I saw our wall and told the helpers not to erase it. Life with 2 imaginative kids :)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A (Super Late) Father's Day Post

Got caught up in school and work stuff and everything else in between that I missed posting something for Father’s Day. Boohoo. 

Here’s a super late update on our Punta Fuego, Batangas weekend getaway with friends. The best time for the dabarkads from college to hook up together for a Father’s Day celeb and much needed R & R.

Before we headed off to Nasugbu, we dropped by Mahogany market and bought everything we need for the 3D/2N resort stay.

It was my first time to visit the infamous market and I ♥ the fresh fruits and veggies and the beef only costs P150-220 per kilo! Such a steal. I think we bought a total of 15 kilos pork and beef and 5 kilos of chicken all in all. Then on the way home, we dropped by Mahogany market again to buy more to bring home to Manila. Men and their bulalo!

you can also eat in but we cooked our own Bulalo.
 Mahogany market is the same route as going to Batangas, just be wary of the Y road (with Petron gas station) 'coz that's where you turn right to get to the market.

Coming to Punta Fuego makes me think, I want to buy a place like this someday. Note to self: need to seriously work on that retirement fund.

the pool and gazebo
The place is a membership only residential resort and we are thankful for friends’ friend who welcomed us as guests in their beautiful rest house.

the view is spectacular

the house has everything for total fun and relaxation
husby and kids walk to the beach
husby and our good friend Olan
the little boys enjoy the sand while the little girl kept imagining sharks in the sea. Too much Nat Geo shows... 
kids enjoy the jacuzzi on a hot summer day, after the Dads got 'sawa' with the jacuzzi
quiet beach, love private beaches
The kids although some meeting each other for the first time got along pretty well immediately. They all enjoyed pool play. The caretaker thought these kids are cousins or close kin and was surprised to know they are not. ‘Hindi sila nag-aaway, akala ko magpipinsan sila’ (they don’t fight, I thought they were cousins). A friend of mine said, ‘Well Ate, matitino naman ang mga magulang niyan kaya I think tama naman ang pagpapalaki sa kanila.’ Haha! Love that answer friend, pang Ms. Universe :)

We had in our company a great cook friend, the cook in me got really intimadated. He can cook for more than a dozen people. I offered to be the assistant cook  na lang. We had bulalo, kalderetang baka, pancit bicol (I forgot the term) cooked with bulalo soup, hotdogs and liempo, etc. etc. I had to much meat that weekend, my body craved for fish and seafood after. 

The Dads definitely enjoyed bonding and jammin’. They were a band in college and played gigs in Club Dredd, etc. so, yeah, they come a long way.

Happy Father’s day to my Papa, husby and my dear brother. Sorry this is super late but you know how much I love you to bits.
taken at Shangri la Boracay
To my husby who’s been my dearest friend for 20 years now (since day 1 of college and you never let go of me, haha!), thank you for the abundance of love you give every single day. You have so much love for everyone in the family.

Thank you for always being understanding especially when I have my pms, when I'm being sarcastic or when I don’t want to drive and you have to drive me around :) You are willing to be the bad cop and I the good cop to our kids, you would even take the blame for Rizal's death (so to speak) just to pacify me. I'm such a lucky girl and I thank God everyday for you, my answered prayer. I know I forgot to include great body in my prayer request but that's okay hehe. Your selfless heart and great sense of humor compensates for that :)

Happy Dad’s day, I love you and I will never stop loving you. Mwa, mwah, chup, chup! :)
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