Simple living in an abandoned yard

I have been longing to live  away from the city; to be surrounded by nature and just work from home. The idea that I don’t have to drive daily to the office is really appealing to me. And as always, I look to the internet for inspiration.

a dose of simple abandoned yard makeover

How I envy this couple!  Both born in 1989, Yixiao and Peng Dele are freelancers living and working in Beijing. Their story of simple living began in  2016 when they rented an abandoned yard of 600 m2 in Shunyi District.  50 km away from downtown, the yard became a place where they flourished, both as artists and as a couple. Via 条 YIT.

 

Have you seen anything that has inspired you lately? Tell me about it! Drop me an email at adosimple@yahoo.com. And follow me @adoseofsimple on FB.

Food for Thought:

“Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning sun can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day – like writing a poem, or saying a prayer.”

― Anne Morrow Lindbergh

My Little Corner: A Writer’s Space

 

I’ve been so busy lately that I’ve neglected some areas of the house, including the lanai. If you’ve been following this blog, you’d know how much I love this lanai and how I’ve rescued it from total abandonment time and time again.

Well, this year is no different. Due to work,  I’ve had no time to maintain it and it has become a bodega of sorts yet again (plus the cats’ favorite hangout and occasional giant litter box). Thankfully, because of the holidays,  I was able to spend a day cleaning and taking out trash and now,  here it is! I have reclaimed my writing space! Yes!

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adoseofsimple_home_14This owl is guarding my every move. 😉 

Surround yourself with things that you love. They will cheer you up even during your darkest moments. This watercan  from Ikea, a pasalubong from my sister-in-law, just makes me happy. 

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adoseofsimple_home_4I just love these painted stones from Papemelroti. And they’re super cheap, too! The Japanese cup and saucer are from a surplus shop.  The embroidered table cloth is vintage and a hand-me-down from my mother. And the book is from my friend Grace Leung’s online book shop. Check it out here.

adoseofsimple_home_6Sometimes I can’t write when I don’t have a cup of coffee on my table. How about you?

adoseofsimple_home_5The pour over method is still the best way to brew, methinks. I use this Kalita ceramic dripper 102. I’m a bit old-fashioned that way.   I buy my coffee filters from Daiso for 88 bucks/100 pcs.

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adoseofsimple_home_11The cats are plotting their takeover!

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I really do hope I’ll be able to keep this space as it is now. “You can keep hoping,”  says my cat Mayo.

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

― Ernest Hemingway

 

“I have my favorite cat, who is my paperweight, on my desk while I am writing.”

-Ray Bradbury

Review: New Favorites from Nu Skin

Christmas came early this year. A couple of weeks ago, a friend sent me some products to try out.

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After a couple of months of being in so much stress over a recently concluded project, this was exactly what I needed! So read on to know more about these products.

LIQUID BODY LUFRA

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First on the list is this wonderful Liquid Body Lufra.

The Claim: The promise was very appealing: will provide essential exfoliation, will smoothen dry, rough areas, and will improve skin tone and texture.

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The Test:  I’m not suere if I was able to capture it in the photos but after the first use, my skin certainly appeared smoother and more supple, thanks mainly to the finely ground walnut husks. The pores became less visible, I guess because the dead skin has been sloughed off.   The sweet bubble gum scent is lovely, too! I love body scrubs, especially those of the natural variety. And for sure, this one will be a favorite.

POLISHING PEEL SKIN REFINISHER

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The Claim: enjoy skin smoothing results clinically proven to be equivalent to a professional microdermabrasion session without ever leaving home.

The Test:  The skin finisher has pumpkin enzymes that help dissolve dead and damaged cells, making it a cheaper (and better?)  treatment than microdermabrasion. I’ve never had a microdermabrasion so I can’t exactly compare the two. I do find it easy to use this product: just dab and spread the product on clean face and neck, leave it for a couple of minutes or until you feel a tightening on your skin (do not let it dry completely, though), then using your fingertips, gently massage face in a circular motion. The dried layer will carry away your dead skin cells, leaving your skin looking and feeling polished.

I can tell you that the product stays true to its promise. After use, my skin indeed felt smoother and tighter. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s for sensitive or acne-prone skin as it tends to leave the skin a bit dry. I just dab on a little moisturizer after each use to keep my skin hydrated. Would I recommend it? Of course!

NU COLOUR ADVANCED TINTED MOISTURIZER

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The Claim:  Now, here’s my favorite… the advanced tinted moisturizer. At first, I was a bit confused as to what exactly this product was.  I’ve been looking for a day moisturizer with sun protection. So I thought this was perfect under my liquid foundation. But upon application, I realized that it was actually make-up. My friend confirmed that it’s  a DD or Daily Defense cream, foundation, moisturizer and anti-aging cream rolled into one. Isn’t that fabulous?!

The Test:  What I love about this product is that it’s very light so it doesn’t feel sticky at the end of the day. I also love that it’s a foundation so it covers spots and blemishes effectively. Finally, you don’t have to slather a lot on because a little (just a couple of pea-sized drops) goes a long way.  Should you get a bottle for yourself? Yes, please.

Overall, I was quite happy with the three products. But if there’s a stand out, I have to say it’s the tinted moisturizer.

How about you? Have you tried any of these products?  What did you think about them? Please tell us about it on the comments section below.

 

Food for Thought:

I’m a big believer in that if you focus on good skin care, you really won’t need a lot of makeup.

-Demi Moore

My Kitchen Redesign

A few months ago, hubby and I decided to repaint the kitchen. What I thought was going to be a simple task turned out to be a full-blown project!  Aside from new paint on the walls, new shelves were also installed, the kitchen island repainted, and the cabinets,  decluttered. It took us about a couple of weeks to complete the project. But I have to say I’m quite happy with the result.  Now on to the living room!

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The kitchen cabinets used to be avocado green, and the walls light brown. So the first order of business was to brighten the kitchen  by painting the walls white and the cabinets light gray.
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The next order of business was to organize all my plates and kitchenware. I didn’t realize just how many sets of plates and glasses I actually had hidden inside the cabinets. And I never bothered to check since the shelves and cabinets were built too high. So the solution was to declutter and sell the unused sets and install a couple of floating shelves  so I can display and have easy access to the ones I’ve decided to keep.

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These wire baskets are certainly clutter-busters!  Bought them from Japan Store for  88 bucks each.

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Putting spices in mason jars and kitchen staples like potatoes and garlic in wire baskets is a great way to make sure that I never run out of much needed ingredients.

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I repainted and revarnished the kitchen island in less than 3 hours!

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Food for Thought:

“Always remember: If you’re alone in the kitchen and you drop the lamb, you can always just pick it up. Who’s going to know?”

-Julia Child

 

Makers Spotlight: Milkface Bakes

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“Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap.”

Barbara Jordan, lawyer and leader of  the Civil Rights movement in the United States, once said this.  And I know exactly what she meant. Along with ice cream and chocolate bars,  cookies, I think, can actually deliver world peace.

Diabetes runs in my family so I REALLY watch my sugar consumption. But I do indulge once in a while. When  faced with cookies, particularly the chewy, chocolatey kind, I become helpless and succumb easily.

So you can imagine my happiness (never mind diabetes! 😉 )   when I was told by  my friend Therese Laforteza that she was going to send over some of her sweet creations.  Therese and I worked together years ago on a children show called Next Stop. Therese has since gotten married and is now a full time mom. She is also the talented  baker behind Milkface Bakes, a cookie-baking business that she runs from home.

ADOS:  Have you always loved baking?

T:  I come from a family of bakers, me not being one of them! It was more of me loving to eat the baked goods rather than baking. But growing up, I would help or watch my Mom and her older sister, who are the matriarchs of the family, bake. I remember every birthday, baptism celebration, Christmas party, and other special occasion would only always have home baked cakes, pastries, and other desserts. Food was mostly home cooked as well. I on the other hand, have never baked anything from scratch until 2 months before starting Milkface Bakes.

//Above:  Double Chocolate Cookie with Cream Cheese:  This is my favorite.  It’s chewy and creamy and perfect with a cup of Kapeng Barako.     I want this by my side when I’m having a bad day.  

 

ADOS:  Why and how did you get into it more seriously?

T:  I used to work in the Television industry and when I was expecting my 1st baby, I was about 2 months along, I found myself out of a job! But I always knew I would need to change careers when we started a family, so that was a blessing in disguise. I really needed something I could earn a bit from, that I liked, and that I could manage since we don’t have a nanny or helpers at home. Baking was the number one go-to option since we were already selling cookies and cupcakes on the side during the holidays, but it was my Mom and her sister who were baking them, and my sister and I were the ones packing and marketing them. After finally deciding to get into a cookie business, I learned through the World Wide Web! Luckily, we now live in a world with many generous minds who share their knowledge of baking in detail and post it on blogs! Of course Google was the best teacher. My Mom also always shared her ways when it comes to baking. With that said and when my daughter was about 1 and a half and I was again expecting #2, I finalized the IG account of Milkface Bakes. I was equipped with stored knowledge, some self studying, and a good 2 months of test kitchen and a whole lot of inspiration from Pinterest, plus much encouragement from the husband and the little girl. Milkface Bakes officially started business.

//Clockwise from top left -A)  Dark Chocolate Chunk, Peanut Butter and Oats:  I really loved how the slightly bitter cocoa taste of the dark chocolate balanced out the overall sweetness of the cookie;   B) White Chocolate Chunks, Peanut Butter and Oats:  a bit too sweet for me but a surprisingly delicious combination nonetheless!;    C) White Chocolate Chip with Creamcheese: the idea of combining creamcheese with choco chips is brilliant! ;   and D) Chocolate Chip & Chunk:  A classic, perfect when eaten with milk on the side. 

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//Oreo Cheesecake:  Who says Oreo and cheese are only for baking cakes?

ADOS:  What’s the story behind the name?

T:  Milkface is what I call my daughter. She is breastfed so she literally gets milk faced. And whenever I post her photos or anything about her in my social media accounts, I refrain from using her real name because I do want to somehow protect her identity. Milkface became catchy and when I was brainstorming on a name for the business, it was what came to mind since my daughter is (the one) who motivates me.

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//From foreground: A)  Dark & White Chocolate Chunks with Walnuts: the walnuts add a delightful crunch;  B) Cheesecake Cookie: soft and fluffy, almost like a cake;   C)  (at the back) Oreo Cheesecake

ADOS:  How did you come up with the recipes? (ansarap!)

T:  Most of the recipes are inspired by recipes from bloggers. Others were suggested.  I tweak some to make it more tropical country-adaptable. I have 2 original concoctions, the Chocolate Malt which is thin and chewy with Milo and the Oreo Cheesecake. I finally understood how ingredients work with each other, so I got to create these recipes. The science in baking is actually what make me love even more.

ADOS:  How can people order?

T:  You can follow us on Instagram @milkfacebakes and send me a message via Viber for orders +63915 3177621 but we need at least 3 days lead time. We have 2 pick up points:  festival mall in Alabang and Chocolat Congressional. Prices vary from Php 250 up to Php 480. We have 2 sizes, Munchies which are more bite size and the regular size which are more hearty. We also join some weekend bazaars or do meet ups which we announce in our Instagram.

At this point, you should really be picking up the phone to order from Therese. And guess what, Therese will give 6 (SIX!) chocolate malt munchies to A Dose of Simple readers (that’s you!) who will place a minimum order of 6 cookies  from now until April 15, 2016! Just use the promo code ‘SimplyDelish’ when ordering.  And please don’t forget to like A Dose of Simple and Milkface Bakes on Facebook and Instagram.

So what are you waiting for? 🙂

 

Note:  Although the cookies were given to me as gift, my opinion is entirely my own. 

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