Few hours before 2012 chimes in, it is time for contemplating on New Year’s resolutions. One of the commonly broken New Year’s resolutions is losing weight and getting fit. I am one of those people who resolved to eat smarter and exercise more.  Yet, I still can see flabs in my tummy and arms. My weight did not change much.

Finding time to exercise is difficult. I can give a litany of excuses. The simplest way to exercise that sounded appealing to me is taking ‘10,000 steps a day’ . Thus, I bought a cheap pedometer for starters. It only cost P50 at CDR-King.

Above was the my pedometer reading after I did some errands that involved a lot of walking.  I have yet to achieve 10,000 steps in one day. When I walked our dog, I got 700-800 steps.

I don’t know the device’s accuracy. I tried walking leisurely to test. It recorded less than the steps I took. When I walked fast, it seemed to record more than the actual steps. I, therefore, conclude that this device can only approximate my steps. Nevertheless, my goal is to hit 10,000 steps a day with this inaccurate device of mine.  Good luck to me.

I found this study and below is its proposal:

Based on currently available evidence, we propose the following preliminary indices be used to classify pedometer-determined physical activity in healthy adults: (i). <5000 steps/day may be used as a 'sedentary lifestyle index'; (ii). 5000-7499 steps/day is typical of daily activity excluding sports/exercise and might be considered 'low active'; (iii). 7500-9999 likely includes some volitional activities (and/or elevated occupational activity demands) and might be considered 'somewhat active'; and (iv). >or=10000 steps/day indicates the point that should be used to classify individuals as 'active'. Individuals who take >12500 steps/day are likely to be classified as 'highly active'.

Oh no, 12,500 steps! What have I gotten myself into? LOL!

My DIY Planner

This is a graphical representation of how much it will cost for someone to get that popular Starbucks planner. (c/o myManila)

I do not think I would be able to drink my coffee well knowing that I would spend that much for a planner. (Kuripot!!) I am relieved knowing I did not gain all those calories. I am inclined to order the fancy-looking drinks with whipped cream. (Whew!)

This was my planner in college. We used to call this a filofax.

It had refillable inserts with tabs. While I abused this in college by plotting my exam schedules and various course deadlines, I never used this after graduation.

When I was still working, I used this planner (one of the  company giveaways). It was straightforward with dates and lists. What I liked about this one was that it could be laid flat and I could see the entire week. Downside, space was limited. I am a doodler.

If I had the budget, I would have opted for a Moleskine Daily Planner. It is quite thick with a page for each day.

I already saw a planner within my budget but by the time I was ready to buy, it sold out.  I made my own planner instead.


Yes, you are looking at a math notebook. There are grid lines in each page which makes it easier for me to draw lines. Below is my January calendar.

The next pages are for notes and daily to-dos. I have enough space for notes and doodles.

This planner reflects my taste because I love math. (Pag sure uy!) 😀 Added bonus, the grid line helps me create symmetric drawings. I found inspiration from graphic designer, Isabel Gatuslao. When she designed her wrapping paper, she used graphing paper to draw her initial design.  Who knows what creative ideas I might craft in this planner of mine? (Wishful thinking!)

I am now ready for 2012!


Fruit bar

Even if fruitcake was a popular treat for Christmas, I was not really fond of it.  In my baking class last year, we were taught how to bake fruit cake without the molasses.  I like fruit cake that way. I acquired a little bit of fondness for this kind of fruit cake.

This year, I discovered effortless baking. Well, it was more like lazy baking. Thus, I trooped to the grocery for another cake mix to experiment on. I found this.

At the back of the box, mango bar was a suggested recipe. I remember enjoying the mango bar from Red Ribbon. I decided to try that one but there were no dried mangoes available. However, glazed fruits were available.

I followed the instructions on the box and mixed in the glazed fruit before baking.  Tada!

Since the photo in the box showed bars of butterscotch goodness, I cut the baked product the same way and placed them on cupcake liners.

Cutting them into perfect bars was difficult! I think the trick is patience- the patience to wait for the cake to cool down completely. I did not have the patience to wait. Thus, crumbs were formed as the knife sliced through the cake.

My taste tester approved of the baked product that she asked me to bake another batch to give to relatives. We placed it in a nice box.

Thus, I named this recipe as the “Fruit bar”.

A simple Noche Buena

We had a simple Christmas celebration. We prepared dishes in small batches- food we can all consume  in a day or two.  We used to have Christmas celebrations where we ate leftovers upon leftovers a few days after. We did not want that kind of celebration anymore. We just made sure we had ham. We chose the complementary dishes according to ease in preparation; thus, we had the perennial favorite, Pinoy spaghetti! My aunt requested vegetable salad. For dessert, we had buko salad (using gelatin that looks like buko), cupcakes (a gift from a cousin) and my fruit bar (recipe will be shared on the next blog post).

By preparing simple dishes, we did not have to be slaves in the kitchen all day and end up exhausted by midnight. We had time to just be in the moment. My nephew came so we had bonding moments with the cutie pie who is now 5 months old.

How was your Christmas?

Let me say…

Christmas is more meaningful when we share our blessings with others.

This may sound like a broken record on repeat but Cagayan de Oro and Iligan need our help. Lists of agencies, foundations and groups where you may send your donations are listed here: How to help victims of Tropical Storm Sendong

Thank you for your kindness. May God bless you a hundredfold.


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