Author Archives: Brendel

Ellis Suites: A Nice Hotel in Bustling Gensan

During last week’s trip to General Santos City, I had a pleasant overnight stay at Ellis Suites, one of  Gensan’s newest hotels. Cozily tucked in one of  the quiet corners of the city, the hotel can easily be any traveler’s urban oasis.

 

 

Ellis Suites is, in many aspects,  a boutique hotel.  Its size, location, contemporary vibe, and modern amenities make it an ideal second home for those who are looking for a more intimate and personalised service in a city hotel.

Aside from the efficient service, what I really like about Ellis Suites is that the hotel seamlessly combines sleek architecture with tasteful interiors.  The rooms, although some of them compact in size, are designed to maximize space and are dramatically enhanced by bold splashes of purple and green.  All of the 32 fully-airconditioned guestrooms are equipped with amenities such as a 32-inch LCD TV and modern lighting.

My Favorite Treats: Pastillas de Leche + Coffee Ball

Although I’m not much of a sweet tooth I still have an affinity for specific sweets.

First it was Red Ribbon’s choco walnut mousse but they stopped selling it so away went my cravings as well.  I lasted years without craving for anything sweet.  I would eat something really salty for breakfast, lunch and dinner without the need for dessert  to complete my meals.

But finally, more than 10 years after my last bite of Red Ribbon’s mousse-y goodness, the gods of sugar heaven have once again opened the gates for me. And to replace that long gone but never to be forgotten choco walnut mousse, I have found not one, but two great loves of my life.

Go Nuts Donuts’ Pastillas de Leche

I had my first bite of Pastillas de Leche in June 2011 when Go Nuts Donuts opened its first store in Davao at Abreeza Mall.   You probably won’t believe me but with that first bite, I felt a rush of emotions that can only come from comfort food.  The donut reminded me of yema (custard balls), a Filipino delicacy.  I can’t describe it but there’s just something about the creamy, oozing sweetness of the pastillas de leche’s stuffing that makes it my favourite donut of all time. In fact, I like it so much that I can eat more than 3 donuts in one sitting (defintely not a good idea when you need to lose weight).

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The Walking Dead’s Daryl Dixon Action Figure

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I don’t normally fawn over toys but being a fan of the hit television series The Walking Dead, well, I must admit that the Daryl Dixon action figure got me excited.

Daryl Dixon (played by Norman Reedus) is my favorite zombie-killer so having my own lil crossbow-wielding hero on my bedside table will be awesome. It’s just too bad that the Daryl figures sold like hotcakes and the ones available on Ebay and Amazon are priced five to ten times the regular price. The Walking Dead action figures are originally priced at $15+ and now sellers are asking for more than $100 for unopened boxes.

The Walking Dead Mid-Season Premiere

And The Walking Dead is Back. I already have this season’s latest episode but I didn’t watch it yet. I have to be somewhere in a few hours so I think I have to prolong the anticipation just a little bit.

I watched the first half Season 3 with lots of trepidation. Honestly, I was afraid that they would kill off Daryl. Daryl is my favourite character in the zombie-infested series so the slightest possibly that his head gets chopped off automatically translates to increased blood pressure and heart rate for me.

I hope that I won’t see much of The Governor and Andrea this episode. They make me mad in so many levels. Watching The Governor makes me miss Shane terribly. And oh, I’m expecting a lot of zombie action because the mid-season finale was riddled with human vs. human conflicts. I’m all for depth and heart and stuff but I don’t think the show needs to drown in drama.

Modern Family

Modern Family

In a blog post I’ve written in December 2010, I mentioned that my knowledge of US TV series is very limited to The Office and Just Shoot Me.  And now, more than two years later, I can say that I have improved immensely as I’m now a passionate fan of a number of shows.

One of the sitcoms I really, really love is Modern Family.  It’s a mockumentary focusing on family life and relationships and revolves around  Jay Pritchett, his young Colombian wife and stepsons, and  two grown children and their respective families.  Jay Pritchett is played by Ed O’Neill while Sofia Vergara plays Pritchett’s gorgeous Colombian wife.  Ty Burrell, Eric Stonestreet, Julie Bowen, and Jesse Tyler Fergusson are also part of the outstanding main cast.

Modern Family is currently on its 4th season and I recommend it to everybody because its fun, smart, engaging and has very relatable characters who find themselves in relatable situations.  It’s easily one of best TV shows out there.  So if you’re not watching Modern Family yet,  it’s DEFINITELY worth a try.

More Personal Finance Apps for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch

Personal Finance IOS apps

 

One of my goals this year is to continue to keep track of my expenses and manage my personal finances.  In 2012, I started using an awesome personal finance app called Expensify and so far, it’s been great at helping me keep track of my expenses and vastly encourages me to stay within my monthly budget.

But I can’t really say that Expensify is the ultimate mobile personal finance app.  Yes, I love its simplicity and how it lets me organize  my expenses into categories, take pictures of my receipts, and generate detailed expense reports.  However, I feel like it lacks a couple of features like tips, budget tracking, and financial calculator.

So I downloaded more mobile finance apps from the App Store.  There’s Mint.com, BudgetTracker, EEBA, Spending, and a few others.  I wanted to try using them one by one so I can find the app which will help me me me keep track of my spending (and where my money goes)  and aid in managing my monthly budget as well.  I want to accomplish so much as far as personal finance is concerned so if ever I come across a nifty application that’s packed with lots of useful features, I’d jump ship in a jiffy!

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Milkbar’s Cookies

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When it comes to coffee, I’m not very picky.  At home, I get by with any instant coffee.  Black or 3-in- 1 is also fine by me.

But yesterday afternoon’s cup of coffee was extra special.  No, I didn’t have brewed coffee or anything fancy.  I had a cup of instant black coffee but…I had yummy pastries that went really well with it!

So with the usual cup of black coffee, I had a bunch of cream cheese and chocolate cookies.  Yes, you read it right… cream cheese and chocolate chip!

The cream cheese cookies were flavourful, but not too sweet.  It had a texture that reminded me of mini-muffins so there’s a delightful fluffiness in every bite.  And the chocolate chip cookies?  Nothing but soft, chewy, chocolatey goodness!  I say both types of baked goodies make great pairing options for those who want to enjoy their coffee with something to munch on.

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New Girl

Season 1 of New Girl was so good that I became an instant fan after watching an episode.  I loved Jessica Day (Zooey Deschanel) and Nick Miller (Jake Johnson) even though their weirdness mades me cringe sometimes.  And though I hate to admit it, even the douchebag Schmidt and his womanizing ways make me laugh.  But now, I don’t know, the show has gotten so bad that sometimes I do wonder why I still watch it.

New Girl Season 2 is boring.  It seems like they ran out of good material for jokes.  Or maybe they changed writers.

I guess it’s time to move on to another  sitcom.  Any recommendations?

 

Thoughts on Home Remodeling

This year is a busy one for me. Aside from blogging and events organizing, I also helped my father oversee the remodeling job we had at home.

No, don’t get me wrong. I didn’t do any of the carpentry, plumbing, and painting. We had workers for that. What I did was help out in the sourcing, selection, and purchasing of materials.

The best thing about the whole experience is that I learned a lot. For instance, when we were purchasing materials, I learned that most quality and durable items are very costly. But for those who are remodeling their homes on a budget there are cheaper alternatives that will also serve the purpose, if you just know where to look.
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My Stationery Collection

I was cleaning one of my storage boxes when I found these:

Yeas, sweetie.  You’re looking at my stationery collection. I have memo pads, stickers, sticky notes, pens, deco tapes, letter sets, notebooks — cuteness overload!  I started buying these babies more than a year ago because I have a soft spot for all things kawaii.

My love for stationery started when I was in grade school.  How old was I — 6? Well, I first had a  sheet of My Melody writing paper (or stay-shoo as we called it back then) that my classmate gave me and because I was an astute trader, I bartered my way into building my own collection.  Hello Kitty, Little Twin Stars, Tsukuba, My Melody, Kerokerokeroppi, Zashikibuta, Tuxedo Sam — the works!  I also had loads of those small note pads that smelled so good.

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