Getting Things Done: Intel® Core™ i5 Review and More Chances to Win $250

This is a compensated review by BlogHer and Intel.

Disclosure: Some weeks ago, BlogHer and Intel offered the opportunity to review the new Intel® Core™ i5 processor, wrapped up inside a new laptop and a really cool Intel® Wireless Display (a.k.a. WiDi) that I would get to keep. Read on for my review.

 
I like lists. Lists are an easy way to organize items or ideas, you can easily check things off as they get done (or don’t apply anymore), and they make things look doable. But an entire home inventory that takes weeks and weeks to complete? That’s a list of epic proportions. And I don’t like things when they break the “everything in moderation” rule. Unless they’re covered in chocolate. Or wrapped in bacon.

Lists (and a $250 giveaway!)

This is a compensated review by BlogHer and Intel.

Disclosure: Some weeks ago, BlogHer and Intel offered the opportunity to review the new Intel® Core™ i5 processor, wrapped up inside a new laptop and a really cool Intel® Wireless Display (a.k.a. WiDi) that I would get to keep. Read on and you’ll see why I was happy to do it. Then stay tuned next week for the actual review.

 
Life hasn’t been the same since September, when everything changed in an instant. Many of you know the reason for that. On one hand, so many things have been simplified for us. Less clothes to wash, no more of the usual clutter lying around, no growing stacks of old papers to put in their respective folders, and no more of those periodic basement and attic cleanings. It’s quite nice not to have to spend my free time tidying up. On the other hand, our days are now filled with new tasks—more pressing, time-sensitive demands—and a more urgent need for organization.

One-Dish Dinners: Doable, Delicious Paella

ivoryhut Doable Delicious Paella Pam Anderson One-Dish Dinners
 
I wouldn’t exchange my childhood in the Philippines for anything. The whole family sat down to supper just about every night: my grandparents, mom, dad, and my two brothers. But every Sunday, all my mother’s brothers and their families would arrive in the afternoon and stay till late into the night. Those suppers were extra special. Sunday suppers meant not just fiesta-worthy food (and lots of it!); they also meant hide-and-seek or capture-the-flag games that lasted until the wee hours of the morning. Yes, Monday was a school day, but we didn’t care. We would have played until the sun came up if “the parents” let us. (They sometimes did.)

That was our Sunday, every week of the year. We also spent summers and school holidays together, and as if that weren’t enough, we even scheduled occasional mid-week slumber parties. Fifteen cousins in all and we were all each other’s best friends.

We still are.

Lessons Learned

 
It’s been seven weeks since the fire and while progress has been made, some things are stuck in a standstill. We finally got the go-signal to begin demolition and cleanup, after weeks of failed attempts to figure out the cause of the fire. It will be a relief to drive up to the property without having to see the pile of rubble. The recent severe weather here, however, has pushed back our demolition plans. I am both eager to get it done and dreading it. But I continue to remind myself that every day is one day closer to being back home again.

The fire has taught us many things. Valuable things, both practical and life-changing. We have learned volumes about the depth of love that exists in friendship, the kindness of strangers, and how easy it is to make that leap from stranger to friend. Many people have told us how strong we are, how resilient. But we can’t take credit for that. What we are inside, we owe to our faith, and where we fall short, the people around us—both far and near—bolster us up, lifting us higher than we can stand on our own.

Biko (Filipino Sweet Sticky Rice)

ivoryhut biko recipe
 
Biko is my all-time favorite Filipino dessert or merienda (snack) item. It uses only 4 ingredients—which, in a pinch, can even be cut down to 3—and is so simple to make and requires no special tools or pans, which makes it an easy endeavor for someone who doesn’t yet have a properly-equipped kitchen.

 
Last week, I wanted to make something sweet for my son Tim. His favorite: cookies. Then I looked at my favorite recipe and realized that I needed to get every single item in the ingredient list. Chocolate chips. Vanilla. Flour. Butter. Sugar. Eggs. Nuts. A whisk. A mixing bowl. Cookie sheets. Maybe a cookie scoop too, since there is this strange pain in the fingers of my right hand that could use the help.

 
It overwhelmed me. I wasn’t even sure I’d have enough cupboard space to keep all these ingredients. So I just bought a tub of cookie dough. In an attempt to make it kinda special, I pressed pieces of Toblerone chocolate in the cookies. (Yes, I have no butter or sugar, but I have Toblerone chocolate.)

about me

I write, cook, play music, and make pictures. Not necessarily in that order. I was born and raised in the Philippines, and it shows. That means I eat rice with every meal, love my cousins like my own siblings, and firmly believe that avocados are best eaten with cream and sugar.

If you want to learn more about me, here are 43 things I'd like to do. Here's a little something about my name, in case you were wondering. Here are some other places you'll find me:

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LOST AND FOUND

One summer night in 2010, our house burned to the ground and we lost everything we had. This is the story of what happened and how life and hope can always rise from ashes.



I'm proud to belong to an amazing community of Filipino food lovers. Together, we celebrate this often-neglected Asian cuisine, sharing our family's treasured recipes and discovering new ones along the way. This is our club.
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