December 19, 2016

How to Make Polymer Clay Christmas Ornaments

I don’t change our Christmas tree theme every year because ornaments and decorations are expensive and we live in a small house so changing decors every year will not help us. Where will I store all the decors after Christmas?


The less you have and do, the more you will FREE 


So for the last few years, I just added one or more ornaments and reuse the old decors. If there are stuff that I won’t use anymore, I give it away. For the last 3 years, we’ve been making handmade decorations on our Christmas tree. So far, we made Christmas angels, paper ornaments, salt dough ornaments and gingerbread ornaments. 



It is really nice to see those DIY ornaments every year because it is not just a decor, we made it and there is a story behind it. It is a good way of keeping our memories alive. 



Last Saturday, we made another Christmas Ornaments using Polymer Clay. It is our Day 17 Advent Calendar activity. We’ve made Salt Dough Ornaments last year but it did not last so this year I decided to use polymer clay. 

I bought polymer clay last month at National Bookstore but there are only two available colors, green and yellow and I chose green. I only bought one clay so we can try it, the polymer is not cheap too, P95. For the tools, we use my son’s clay tools that I bought in Daiso Japan, old Christmas tree Cookie Cutter and Oven Toaster. 

Since it will be our first time to use polymer clay, we just chose an easy design which is Christmas Tree and we put our family fingerprint to add a personal touch. 



For baking time, I just refer to the instructions at the back of the polymer clay packaging. We use sharpie pens to color the fingerprint.



We’re so happy with our first polymer clay Christmas ornaments. We will definitely do this again, more practice pa. Aside from NBS, do you know where I can buy polymer clay here in the Philippines?   

December 15, 2016

How to Convert Your Paypal Balance to another Currency?

Since October, I was having issues with Paypal whenever I need to send payment. I have USD and PHP balance in my account but whenever I make payment, it doesn’t allow me to choose the currency. Of course, I want to use the PHP balance for PHP transactions. 

Read: Why I Can’t Use my Paypal Balance?

Last November, it happened to me again when I placed an order in Sample Room. It so frustrating that I can’t use my PHP balance so last Monday, I searched if it is possible to convert my PHP balance to USD. And I was so glad when I learned that I can convert currency.

I tried it last Tuesday and here are the steps. 


1. Log in to your Paypal account. 
2. Click Paypal Balance under your profile photo. 
3. Click Manage Currencies
4. You will see the Currency Exchange at the right side and fill out the form.

Select type of currency conversion 
From (select currency)
Enter Amount that you want to convert 
To (select currency) 
Calculate 

5. Click Review Exchange to see the conversion details. 
6. Click Exchange Currency to confirm the transfer. 

That’s it!

December 13, 2016

Advantages of Parking at Park 'N Fly

One of the concerns in traveling is “How to get to the Airport?”. You have to consider different options. Am I going to commute? Am I going to hire a service? Will someone drive for me to the airport? Or Am I going to park at the airport? 

We’ve tried commuting to the airport but of course, the most convenient way is to bring the car especially that we live outside Metro Manila. Hiring a service is more expensive and commuting in the wee hours is not easy. Parking at the airport or offsite airport parking is a good option. 


We used to park our car in NAIA 3, NAIA 2 and DMIA but they have increased their parking fee so now we choose Park 'N Fly. Since last year, my husband has been using the service of  Park 'N Fly and so far, no bad experience yet. 




In my “5 Days in Singapore” post, one reader asked me “How’s our Park N Fly experience?” so I decided to create this post to give you an idea, just in case you are planning to park your car at Park 'N Fly.

Park N Fly Procedure 


1. On your way to NAIA, you will easily notice the Park 'N Fly because it is just beside the gas station. Park your car and get all your stuff. 




2. Customer’s Vehicle Registration. Proceed to the office. For the first timer, you need to present your O.R./C.R (Official Receipt/ Certificate of Registration and driver’s license. On your next visit, just give your name. (if you are using the same vehicle) 

3. Surrender your key. Then the staff will ask for your plate number, your name and flight details 


4. Customer Vehicle Checklist. Sign a form (about the status of your car) 


5. That’s it! All you need to do is wait for the free airport van shuttle service, that will drive you to and from the airport. 


After your trip, once you get your luggage, call the Park 'N Fly office so they can pick you up. Then settle your parking fee, P350 for the first 24 hours + hourly rate. 


Advantages of Parking at Park N Fly 


1. You can leave your vehicles on daily, weekly or even monthly basis. The longest that we left the car is 7 days. 


2. Park 'N Fly is open 24 hours a day and 365 days a year including weekends and holidays. 


3. It is an indoor parking so rain or shine, your vehicles are covered and secured by electronic surveillance. Though I'm not sure if all cars are park in covered area, sometimes kasi madumi yung car namin pagkuha, parang nabasa na ng ulan.


4. No reservations are needed.





5. They have customer’s lounge with complimentary wifi and TV. 



6. They also accept credit card payment. 

Disadvantages

1. You have to leave your car keys,
2. Additional 30 to 1 hour to your travel time because you have to wait for your turn, register or fill-out form then wait for shuttle service to the airport.


Park N Fly 
Mia Road Corner Domestic Road Airport, 
Pasay City Philippines 1301   
customer_care@parknfly.com.ph 
854-9302 to 04 and 852 1946 to 48 
0918-991-0000

December 12, 2016

DIY Gingerbread Ornaments

Ever since I changed my Christmas tree theme last 2012, I did not change it anymore. I’m very much satisfied with our Christmas ornaments so I don’t have any reasons not to reuse it. I just buy or make our own Christmas ornaments to add more decorations to our Christmas tree. 



Read: DIY Christmas Angel Ornaments
DIY Paper Christmas Ornaments

Last year we made salt dough ornaments but it did not last, maybe because of the moisture or I did not store it properly so I threw it away. Anyway, I have brown felt cloth at home na pakalat-kalat lang so I decided to make another ornament. Of course, I asked permission from my son because he owns the felt cloth. He got it from one of his activities at Edsa Shangri-la Cubs Trainings

Read: DIY Salt Dough Ornaments

My son allowed me to use it so I was able to make gingerbread ornaments. I did not buy any materials so I just use whatever I see in our house. I looked for gingerbread pattern, printed and traced it on the brown felt cloth. 



From the scrap felt cloth, I was able to make four gingerbreads then I patiently sewed them. My son helped me in stuffing the ornaments and I decorated it.



We’re so happy with our handmade gingerbread ornaments and it is now hanging on our Christmas tree.  Indeed, you can save money in upcycling stuff at home. 

Felt cloth (freebies from EDSA Shang)
Ribbon (Red Ribbon)



Read: DIY Christmas Wreath

December 07, 2016

Review of Brother DCP-T500W Printer

I guess when you have a computer at home, it is automatic that you also buy a printer. It is very significant especially if you are working or if you have kids who are in school. It is very helpful in printing documents, e-ticket, itinerary or school homework and projects.

Read: 7 Crafty Projects You've Never Tried with your Home Printer

I have two printers at home, one for scanning and one for printing. If you remember my post five years ago, I bought a 3-in-1 printer because the old printer was broken but I was not happy about it. Three years ago, my husband replaced my laptop and it has FREE printer (no scanner) so I’ve been using it for printing. 

Read: Epson ME 320



They are still working fine but I’ve been meaning to have a new printer with bluetooth or wifi access. I even joined Brother contest last 2014 but I did not win the special prize, free 2015 calendar lang. Hehehe!

We live in a small home so space is very important, so I just want to have one printer that can do everything. But the problem is, 3-in-1 wireless network printer is not cheap so I was really hesitant to buy. The two 3-in-1 printer that I bought before wala pa P4000 and Brother DCP-T500W is P9450. Waah! 

So it took me months of thinking if I will buy or not, I’ve been asking my friend’s feedback too, she bought this printer a few months ago. She is satisfied so finally last month we bought Brother DCP-T500W at P8950. They have FREE BPI Gift Card promo worth P1000 until December 31, 2016

DCP-T500W (Print/Scan/Copy) 

3-in-1 Wireless Network-ready Color Inkjet MFC 
Print speed: up to 11ipm (mono) and 6ipm (color) - Laser comparable 
                    27ppm (mono) and 10ppm (color) - fast mode 
Print resolution: up to 1,200 x 6,000 dpi 
Paper Tray: Up to 100 sheets 
Wireless LAN & Mobile Printing 1 Line LCD 

Brother Philippines DCP-T500W Printer Review

I’m not a tech blogger so I can’t give you a full review but I can tell you that I’m very much satisfied with our printer. Find out why? 

1. It is a 3-in-1 printer so I can print, scan and copy. 

2. It wireless network ready so I can print and scan without connecting my laptop to my printer. I can print and scan also using my mobile phone, I just downloaded an app to do that.

Before, my husband always sends me his files like e-ticket and hotel confirmation to print because his company laptop has no access to our home printer. But now, he can print it on his own using his mobile phone.

Whenever I browse recipe online, I always see the click print button. Now, I’m happy to say that I’m enjoying that feature even I’m just using my mobile phone. Printing is easy as 1, 2, 3. 



3. The paper tray can hold up to 100 sheets and can print up to 200gsm paper. I can also adjust the paper tray according to my paper size or even photo paper size. Yes, I can print photos. 

4. I like the refilling tank system of Brother DCP-T500W because the refill is only P390 and according to the packaging, it can print 6000 pages. I hope it is true because I always print worksheets and reviewer. Before I’m using ink cartridges, the ink is not cheap too. It cost me almost P1700 for the black and colored ink and because my printer is an old model, pahirapan sa paghanap ng ink. 



I’ve been using this printer for almost a month and I’m still discovering and learning how to use the other features. I will just update this post.

Read: Brother GS2700 Sewing Machine

December 06, 2016

6 Days in Hongkong and Macau

Hong Kong is on my bucket list and I was happy that I finally ticked it off on my list. Whenever there’s international seat sale, I always check Hongkong but I wasn’t lucky in booking a flight. It took me years before I was able to score a cheap fare during P1 seat sale and would you believe it was only P2000+ for 3 persons. 



One way fare only because I booked another flight from Macau so I could save time and ferry fare. I'm sharing with you, our Hongkong and Macau itinerary when we went there last November 2012, I’ve revised it so many times because of the weather but still we enjoyed our stay especially in Hong Kong Disneyland

They say one week is not enough to enjoy Hongkong but since we want to do Hong Kong and Macau in one trip, I need to choose the tourist spots that we’re going to visit in four days. 

Hongkong

Upon Arrival in HKIA, we immediately went to Yiu Fai Guesthouse to check-in our luggage before starting our tour. We rode A21 bus going to Tsim Sha Tsui (TST) fare is $HK33. From bus stop we walked to the Golden Crown Building where the guesthouse is located. 

Day 1 City Tour at Tsim Sha Tsui and The Peak

We visited 1881 Heritage, Clock Tower and Avenue of Stars which are all walking distance from TST area. 



From TST, we took the MTR going to Central Station and head to Exit J2. We just follow the signs going to lower Peak Tram terminus where we will ride Peak Tram. We rode the Peak Tram to reach “The Peak”. My husband was not interested in Madame Tussauds so we did not buy package ticket just a roundtrip Peak Tram ticket. 

Day 2 

Chin Lin Nunnery
Nan Lian Garden
Ngong Ping Village   

We woke up early on our second day because we will visit Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden. It was surprising that there is a garden in the midst of busy city.  



After that, we proceeded to Ngong Ping Village



Shopping is not included in our itinerary but we did a quick visit in City Gate Outlet because we need to buy some clothes. We need warmers to survive the coldness of Hongkong weather. 

Day 3 and 4 Hongkong Disneyland 

From Yiu Fai Guesthouse we transferred to Disney’s Hollywood Hotel for our next accommodation. We spent our two remaining days in Hong Kong Disneyland. We let go the Ocean Park because we’re more interested in Hongkong Disneyland and my son really adores Mickey Mouse. 



Read: Disney's Hollywood Hotel  
Day 3 Hong Kong Disneyland
Day 4 Hong Kong Disneyland

Tips:  If you are on a budget you can eat at Chef Mickey’s Restaurant for breakfast but if you want the meet and greet experience with Disney characters, book your breakfast in Enchanted Garden

Read: Chef’s Mickey Restaurant

If you are looking for affordable fastfood in Hong Kong, you can try Cafe de Coral, they have branches everywhere. 

Read: Cafe de Coral  

Now I know why people always go back to Hongkong, if only I have the budget, I will go back again. Bitin ang 4 days. 

After Hongkong Disneyland, we went straight to the Sheung Wan Ferry Pier. We refunded our money in Octopus card and bought ticket at TurboJet Counter. 

Read: Travel Guide: Hongkong to Macau

Macau 

We stayed in Hotel Sintra, I chose this hotel because of the location. It is walking distance to New Yaohan Mall, Tourist Spots and Hotels. 

Read: Hotel Sintra

We had two whole days to roam around. Macau is not only for people who love casino because there are several things that you can do in Macau. Sharing with you our Macau itinerary. 

Day 5 Macau City Tour

Walking Tour



We visited the famous tourist spots such as Senado Square, St. Dominic Church, Ruins of St Paul, Macau Museum and Monte Fort. Then we went back to our hotel to rest. 

Then we went to Michael Jackson’s Gallery in Sofitel, no entrance fee. We're not really a fan of MJ but since this is a free museum, we paid a visit. We went back to Senado Square for night photo. 

Day 6 Fisherman’s Wharf and Hotel Hopping

We woke up early to finish our itinerary. We were not able to watch Prosperity show because it was under maintenance so we went straight to Fisherman’s Wharf. It is a tourist spot near Macau Ferry Terminal.



Then we started our Hotel Hopping, we visited Grand Lisboa, Wynn Hotel, City of Dreams Hotel and Venetian Hotel. We watched Bubble Show at City of Dreams. We only experienced Bubble Show because Dragon’s Treasure, Prosperity Tree and Fountain Show are under maintenance. 



Finally, we went to Macau International Airport. Back to Manila, Philippines. 

Tip: Take advantage the free shuttle bus of different hotels. We did not spend any money for our transportation in Macau. We just walk or ride shuttle buses. 

There are free food tastes on your way to Ruins of St Paul. This is also the place where you can buy pasalubong. 

Do not forget to taste the famous Portuguese Egg Tart and Lechon Macau

Read: Food Trip in Macau



Hongkong and Macau Itinerary

Day 1 City Tour at Tsim Sha Tsui and The Peak
Day 2 Chin Lin Nunnery
Nan Lian Garden
Ngong Ping Village 
Day 3 Hong Kong Disneyland
Day 4 Hong Kong Disneyland
Day 5 Macau City Tour
Day 6 Fisherman’s Wharf and Hotel Hopping

December 05, 2016

Bake a Rainbow Cupcake

Our Day 4 Advent Calendar Activity yesterday was “Bake a Cupcake”. Since last year, my son wanted to bake a Rainbow Cupcake but it took me a long time to fulfill his wish. If you remember my post last year, we tried to bake a rainbow cupcake but I only had two food coloring at home so we ended up baking a Christmas Cupcake

Read: Bake a Christmas Cupcake



So every time I go to supermarket, I always check the food coloring and I was able to buy 3 primary colors which is red, blue and yellow. But the problem is, I can’t find the white cake mix. Good thing, I saw the Pillsbury White Cake Mix two months ago at S&R so I bought 3 boxes na because bihira ko siya makita. The cake mix is more or less P80. 

I did not bake this immediately because I will include this in our Advent Calendar Activity. To make the long story short, we baked Rainbow Cupcake yesterday. 



Since I’m using a ready cake mix, all I need to do is add 3 eggs, 1/2 cup oil and 1 cup water then mix everything. I divide the batter in 6 bowls then put food coloring. 

I have the primary colors, so I just mix two colors to produce secondary colors which is violet, green and orange. O di ba, instant art lesson pa. My son was really happy in mixing the batter. 



Then I put the batter in baking cup according to rainbow colors, red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet aka ROYGBV. Yes I know, kulang ng indigo. Hehehe! 

We baked it and we’re so happy with the result. Finally we did it. We’re so happy to see the layers of the color and I can definitely say that we will do this again. But next time, 1/2 full na lang yung batter para di lumagpas yung cupcake sa baking cup. 



Rainbow Cupcake Recipe 

1 box of Pillsbury White Premium Cake mix 
1/2 cup oil 
1 cup water 
3 eggs 
Food coloring 

1. Set oven to 350F. Coat bottom of pan with no-stick cooking spray or shortening and a flour dusting. For Bundt cake, coat an entire pan. For cupcakes, use paper baking cups. 
2. Beat cake mix, water, oil and eggs in bowl with mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. 
3. Divide batter in separate bowls. Add food colors and mix. 
4. Pour batter into muffin pan. One color at a time.
5. Bake at 350F for 19 to 23 minutes. When a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, cake is done. 
6. Cool for 10 to 15 minutes before removing from pan. Cool cake completely before frosting.

December 02, 2016

8 Reasons Why I Love Shopping at St James Christmas Bazaar?

One thing I look forward every Christmas Season is visiting different bazaars. There are 3 bazaars that I frequently visit during the past several years such as Noel Discovery Bazaar, World Bazaar Festival and St James Bazaar. 

Read: List of Christmas Bazaars 

St James Bazaar was established in 1991, so they just celebrated their 25th anniversary last week. It was built to raise money to build the church in Ayala Alabang Village which is the St James the Great Parish Church. 

I only learned about this bazaar when I moved to Southern Luzon, there are tarpaulins near Alabang Town Center area. At first, I was hesitant to visit this bazaar kasi feeling ko pangmayaman at nasa Ayala, Alabang. 

2008 was my first visit in St James Bazaar, as in baby pa anak ko. But during that time, there are only few stores but few years ago nag-improve na. Now, there are more than 500 concessionaires in the bazaar. 



8 Reasons Why I Love Shopping at St James Christmas Bazaar? 

1. Location 

Most of the bazaars are in Metro Manila, I live in Southern Luzon so Alabang is my good option to avoid the city traffic. I also save more in toll and gas. 

2. No Entrance Fee 

Some bazaars has P75 or P100 fee but St James Bazaar has no entrance fee, the best thing in life is always FREE. Big savings for me or else, I will pay for 3 tickets which is pang foods and drinks na rin yun.

3. No Parking Fee

Aside from no entrance fee, there is no parking fee but there are times that it is hard to find a parking slot so you need to go there early or be ready to walk far.

4. Money? 

No problem if you ran out of cash because there are ATM machines in the area where you can withdraw and some stores accept credit card transactions too.

5. You will not get hungry or thirsty 

There are food stalls too where you can buy drinks and food. In some bazaars that I’ve visited, there are no available tables and chairs, so nakatayo kakain. But in St James Bazaar, no need to worry because there are tables and chairs when you dine. We ate at Ineng’s Barbecue and Ellies Roasted Calf during our last visit. 

6. It is Like a One Stop Shop 

When I say One Stop Shop, it means there are different stores that will cater to different customers. They sell foods, beverages, jewelry, accessories, home decor, personal care products, toys, clothes, stationery and many more. 

I prefer going to bazaar because there are products that are not available in the mall. There are online stores that I follow in social media that have kiosks in St James Bazaar so it saves me from shipping fee. I just buy products at the bazaar and sometimes they have promo too if you buy there.

7. Activities and Raffle Prizes

If you are into contest, you can join the different activities or you can buy raffle ticket to win some prizes. 

8. You Can Help 

You can help because the proceeds of the 4-day bazaar will be given to St James Parish Church. Not only that, you can help small entrepreneurs in earning money. Yes, support small businesses. 



I won’t share photos muna because some of the stuff I bought is panggift. Hehehe!


A photo posted by michisolee (@michisolee) on