The New Look

The thought of redesigning this blog has been in the back of my head since I wrote about it last February. I never really had the time to sit and plan how I am going to go about it. I would have wanted to have an enriching experience learning how to do it on my own.  However, I never really had the time.

Whenever I came across a blog that I like I looked at what WordPress theme was used. Most often, I find blogs under the Genesis Framework to my liking. It is not a free framework and I still need to learn how use it. The best thing I can do is hire someone to do the web designing. Research led me to Fancy Girl Design Studio.  I love her sense of style  so I commissioned her to do my blog.

If you have forgotten how my old blog looked, this is the previous design. It was pretty plain.


Patricia asked me to answer some design questions to determine my preferred design. I wrote that I wanted a calm and serene look and picked these two color palettes from

Although pink is my favorite color, I specifically told her not to use pink or purple. She sent the two options.

I picked the first one because I want a cleaner look. I suggested a background on the post title.
katrina design 1b

I gave it a go. And now I have a prettier blog than before. It is minimalistic like the original but it already has some design elements that reflect my taste.

Thanks, Patricia!

4 Easy Recipes for the Busy People

Those who have read this blog would know that I am a poster child for easy cooking. From cakes out of the box to three-ingredient recipes, my food experiments revolve around cooking without breaking a sweat. I may have burned a few cupcakes or so. It is part of the learning process.

I found this sweet potato and bean burrito from and it looks easy and yummy. Making this one only requires a 4-step process. This recipe is right up my alley.

This triggered a search for more easy recipes and I found three of them worth a try. How about Portobello mushroom drizzled with olive oil and topped with feta cheese and shredded zucchini and baked in the oven? Sounds easy, right?  It also looks delicious. I imagine serving this to my friend and getting a pat on the back.

Another recipe I found is a 3-ingredient peanut butter cookies. Mix 1 cup peanut butter, 1 cup sugar and 1 egg. Scoop 1 table spoon of the mixture and press with fork. Bake in the oven.  I am now thinking of putting Nutella in the mixture  and naming it, “peanut butter marble cookies”.  I sometimes try to innovate. We’ll see how it will turn out. For now, I will just drool over these.

Who loves chocolate? Chocolate truffles are something so decadent that we often think that they are made by people with sophisticated culinary skills. Well, not necessarily.  How about mixing softened cream cheese, peanut butter and semisweet chocolate? The mixture can be rolled into a ball and sprinkled with whatever you like.  Looking at the picture, one would think these are hard to make.

How about you? Any easy recipes to share?

Top 5 Singers of My Father’s Generation Whose Concert I Want to Watch

As a child, my earliest musical influence is the music my parents play at home. I was familiar with many standard songs that my father loves and it is only when I was older that I get to appreciate the artists behind the songs.  It warms my heart when I see that these artists still doing shows  and tours. Most often, it is not about earning a living but getting the music out there. So, I understand when people get excited about enduring bands like Status Quo putting up a series of shows. If you check out their touring schedule, you’d be amazed how they are able to keep up with it. It is no wonder many are buying their Status Quo tickets now.

In case you are not familiar with the band, Status Quo is a British band who is known for boogie rock.  Check out this Status Quo Performance.


This made me think of the artists of my father’s generation whose concert I want to watch. Their music has filled our happy home during Sundays and I remember my father bursting into song whenever he feels like it.

I am listing this in no particular order.

1. Paul Anka. A few years ago, we got to watch his concert in Las Vegas on DVD. He was already in his 60s but the arena was filled with women in their 50s and 60s still gushing like teenagers. This did not make sense to me while watching a few minutes into the concert. Slowly, I realized  how popular he was when each song he was singing was familiar to my ears. Songs like Diana, Put Your Head on My  Shoulders and You are my Destiny. The biggest revelation to me is that he composed, My Way. Yes, he wrote that immortal Frank Sinatra song that can cost your life if you butcher it in karaoke bars.

This is Paul Anka singing Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit.

 2.  Barry Manilow. This guy sings like he knows what you are going through. Ha! Every aspect of a person’s love life seems to have a Barry Manilow song as a soundtrack. The songs are smooth and easy on the ears.  My favorite Manilow song is “A Weekend in New England” because the lyrics gave a few hints on the title of the song. I thought the title was “When will I hold you again”. HA! Interestingly, it is Manilow’s favorite song.

 3. Johnny Mathis. This guy has a crystal clear voice.  If you want a song for your wedding, you can go through his repertoire and you can find one that is not commonly used in weddings. My father was particularly impressed at Johnny for being an athlete. From what my father told me, Johnny Mathis was  a high jumper and hurdler and he was supposed to try out for the Olympics but singing got in the way. I love his version of “How Do You Keep the Music Playing.” 

4. Neil Diamond.  My father had a close affinity with Neil Diamond because Diamond was almost his age and they shared the same first name. When he was alive, my father claimed that he is the oldest ‘Neil’ in the Philippines. Oftentimes, people would ask him, “Is Neil a nickname for Danilo?”  There are not many people with the same name as him until the 1960s when a man stepped on the moon and Neil Diamond started selling records.

 This is Neil Diamond singing “Sweet Caroline“.

5. Barbra Streisand. The woman needs no further introduction. She’s multi-talented- actor, director, singer, songwriter, writer. I really wish I get to listen to her sing live in concert. What I love about Barbra is that she’s got some comedic timing. This is Barbra and Judy Garland singing “Happy Days”. They both have powerful voices but their voices are in harmony and they are not outdoing each other.

How about you? Do you like artists from your parent’s generation?

Choco-Banana-Hazelnut Brownie topped with Nutella and Chocolate Chips


Oh, that is a mouthful to say. It is because this is a modified version of the 3-ingredient Nutella brownies. My friend shared this recipe on Facebook.

Because I am a fan of easy baking where I just dump all the ingredients, I was excited to try this one. You might be wondering why the name change. It is because I modified the recipe. We had overripe bananas lying around and my aunt wanted me make banana bread. So, I chose to use the bananas for this recipe. I also replaced Nutella with the Jolly choco-hazelnut spread. Nutella is expensive for my poor budget. Instead, I used the Nutella as an added topping on the mixture. I also had chocolate chips in the fridge so I took a handful and mixed them into the batter.


Here’s what I did. I mixed 1 cup Jolly choco-hazelnut spread with 10 tablespoons of flour and 2 eggs. I mashed the bananas and mixed into choco-hazelnut spread-flour-egg mixture. I dumped a handful of chocolate chips. Then, I scooped two tablespoons of mixture into muffin pans with cupcake liners. I topped a teaspoon of Nutella and some chocolate chips.

This is what it looks like before baking. IMG_9623

Once it was done, I let it cool down and removed the liners. This is the finished product. IMG_9635

The people in house says its yummy. Go ahead and try this recipe!

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