Birthday Blues and that Birthday Wishlist

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Birthday blues.... So, some people really get it huh?! While I had the same feeling of solitude and fear before my birthday last year, I put it down to the fact that I was going through something at that time that's why I didn't pay much attention to it.  But to feel the same way now two weeks before my birthday?  It can only be the birthday blues.

I love birthdays. I look forward to celebrating my birthday every year. Over the years, I have celebrated my birthdays in different ways. From a simple dinner at home to a week holiday in Europe. And the best thing is I never had to work on my birthday in the last 14 years. Not that I am special but it's my day so I should be off.

I believe I have lived a good life in the last 39 years (almost). Although I also had to go through some painful experiences, still I am blessed to get to where I am now.  Reflecting on my life right now, I honestly don't have any excuse to cry for no reason and lose some sleep over nothing. I mean, I may not have everything that I ever wanted at 39, but it's not the end of the world. I have a lifetime to make all my dreams into reality. And yeah, I may be turning 39 in two weeks, but with how I look? I wouldn't mind being almost 40. Ha, I didn't mean to say that.  What I am trying to say is that I have my family and friends who love me dearly and unconditionally. I have a job that I enjoy and I work with the most amazing people others can only wish for. To top it off, I work at one of the best hospitals in the UK, across two of the most famous landmarks in London. I spend a lot of time with someone who makes me happy and who is unintentionally trying  to make me believe (again) that maybe there is  a happy ending (or even #forever) after all (well, let's hope there is for me anyway).  So, what is this emotion all about?  I really don't know.

All I know is that retail therapy might actually help me get through this  birthday blues. I don't even mean literally.  I can just window shop or browse on the internet and pin whatever tickles my fancy. And so I made this birthday wishlist on Pinterest. I have never done this before because I really never bought myself anything for my birthday - I think. And I never really obliged my family and friends to buy me anything either. But maybe this year, I will. Haha.

So here's my list:

1. That light blue Stripe Pleat Sleeve by Nichole Ciotti for Kingdom and State, $39.50
-  I have been looking for the perfect blue top for Keith's birthday this year. And when I saw this top on instagram, I knew I found it. I am still contemplating whether to buy it or not though because I really don't need it.

2. Combined City Bag with Buckle from Zara, 49.99 GBP
- This I certainly don't need but I would love to have one.  Just because.

3. That Nikon 1 J1 or J2 camera (it doesn't really matter what J it is). Available at Amazon, 219.99 GBP
- My Lumix finally gave up before I left the Philippines in January this year. I tried to revive it, but honestly after more than 25,000 photos I guess it deserved a rest. I have not had a camera since. I mean it has been okay but recently I have started visiting places again and found a new passion in photography so I guess it's fair enough to say that I need a new camera? Especially because I am going to start traveling soon again. Pretty, please?!

4. Assymetric Wrap Shift Dress, Topshop 39 GBP
- Not exactly the Little Black Dress that I am dreaming of, but I saw this on my friend and I absolutely loved it. I may not have the body for it though. 

5. Black Saffron by Byredo, 70-130 GBP (or at Liberty's)
- One of my friends introduced me to this perfume not long ago. We were at Liberty's and he asked if we could look for a perfume. As soon as I opened the sample bottle, I knew I  have potentially found my soon to be signature smell. ***wish, ***wish

6. White Leigh Skinny Jeans, Topshop 38 GBP
-  I have this top that I know will look good on a white pair of skinny jeans. I actually no longer have any sort of white jeans  because I have outgrown them all. If I can have this for my birthday, I would really be so happy.

7. Easel, Cassart 54.50 GBP
- There is actually a cheaper one on sale, but this one I think looks better. Really, I need to get on with my painting. I plan to paint on a bigger canvas, hence the need of a bigger easel. 

8. A Tiffany & Co Necklace, 100-240 GBP (my price range)
-  I had the one with a circle pendant but I lost it about a month ago and still not over it yet as it was my first ever Tiffany & Co necklace and it was a gift from an old friend. I would really love to buy one for my birthday.

9. Nude Court Shoes, House of Fraser 29 GBP
- This pair of shoes is on sale. I actually have a pair of nude court shoes already, but I want one for everyday use. A pair of shoes that won't hurt me (and my pocket)  that much even if it gets murdered. 

And that's it. I will probably buy at least two of the things from my list, but we'll see. They are all really nice to have, but perhaps there are more important things that I need right now.  Like getting over this birthday blues.

And for you out there who gets the birthday blues, this song is for you...

tintin x

Tintin Cooks: Breakfast and Brunch Meals

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

I remember my mother asking one of my previous suitors, "why do you like her, she doesn't even know how to cook?". I didn't disagree because I knew it was true. I know it's cliche but I actually have burnt an egg in the past. But I don't think I can put that down to my lack of cooking skills. I basically forgot that I was cooking an egg, so it turned out like a popcorn. Honestly, I was never really a fan of the kitchen. I can clean all day yes, but not cook.

But then sometimes changes in your life can make you do things that you thought you could never do. I know I have overused this phrase, but it's true. It only takes one life changing situation to change someone completely. So in recent months (in my bid to become a better version of myself), I started experimenting with food. Yes, I finally found love in the kitchen. I actually surprised myself. My cooking has been a revelation to me. I didn't realise that I can cook something that people can actually eat. I think it really helps when the person you are cooking for truly appreciates your cooking. I must say, I have never been this inspired to cook in my life. 

Above all my food experiments, I am most proud of my breakfast and brunch meals.

1. Champorado
- Even this I found difficult to cook in the past. I would usually buy a ready-to-cook champorado from one of the Filipino stores in Earl's court. Then one day I thought I'd try to cook it from scratch. And voila, a successful Pinoy breakfast.

Glutinous rice, dark cocoa powder and evaporated milk

2. The English Breakfast
- Believe it or not, I used to be a big fan of the English breakfast (except the black pudding). When I was working in Bristol, I quite often went to the bistro just for this deliciously bad food. However, when I moved to London I have completely forgotten all about it. Until recently when one of my favourite people requested  some protein for breakfast.
Sausages, bacon, beans, poached eggs, black pudding, shiitake mushrooms and brown toast

3. The Bagel
- One day in New York City, someone got excited over a street vendor's bagels. To me it looked like a plain round bread, nothing much. It didn't even taste that good. So bagel has never been on my list of foods to eat really. But about two years ago, I visited a friend and she served me bagel. For some reason, it tasted better and I liked it ever since.
New York Bakery Co Cinnamon and Raisin bagels, cream cheese, smoked salmon served with scrambled eggs

4. Mixed Fruits
- When one of my friends saw this photo she thought I was weird. Apparently she has never seen poached eggs on top of mixed fruits with yoghurt before. Nor have I. I must admit I am a bit of a weirdo when it comes to food. But honestly, this recipe turned out to be good.
Strawberries, blueberries, banana and yoghurt with poached eggs

5. The Fumptous Breakfast
- The word Fumptous is not even in the dictionary. It was actually a word that came up while I was having a conversation with a clever guy. I am calling this breakfast meal "Fumptous" because it is my favourite from this group of breakfast/brunch meals. I love it because it looks really simple yet beautiful. Don't you think? And if you noticed, I am getting better with my poached eggs. :)
Mixed salad and smoked salmon on toasted wholemeal bread topped with poached eggs and served with grilled sausages

6. Eggs Benedict
- My favourite brunch meal I would say. I am so pleased that I was able to cook my own version of it successfully.
English muffin, spinach, bacon, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce

7. Corned Beef
- I was worried I was running out of breakfast ideas. And then I realised that I haven't had corned beef in a very long time. To make it look more interesting, I laid some steamed spinach on the plate and put the corned beef on top. 
Fried corned beef and potato cubes on spinach served with  poached eggs

8. Healthy Muesli
- Of course sometimes I have to opt for a healthier breakfast option. And that option could only be muesli. It became one of my favourite breakfast meals over a year ago. And believe it or not, my favourite is the one from Lidl. This is also ideal if you are in a hurry.

And just to let you know, I don't use milk on any of my cereals. I eat them dry. But on this instance, I used yoghurt.
Muesli, yoghurt, honey and some mixed nuts and fruits 

9. The Filipino breakfast with a twist
- This recipe was intended for breakfast. But because we didn't have time to buy fresh food one evening, I didn't have a choice than to cook what was available in the fridge. Hence, the breakfast meal at supper. And instead of cooking new rice, we used the left over seafood risotto from the night before.
beef tapa, garlic longganisa, poached eggs and seafood risotto

I am glad that I have finally found love in the kitchen. If my poached eggs are anything to go by, I think I am ready to be a wife again. Well, not quite but we'll get there soon I'm sure. Haha.

There you go, some breakfast and brunch ideas for you.

tintin x 

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