The Kate Bakes Cookie Cult

I’ve been staring at my laptop screen for the past 2 hours and I cannot think of a way on how to jump-start this post. All I know is that I want you folks to know that the photo below is THE BEST COOKIE I’VE EVER HAD THE PLEASURE OF EATING IN MY LIFE.

And no, I am not exaggerating. Just look at that beauty. LOOK AT IT!

Hi, sexy.

Before I formally introduce my new-found cookie addiction, allow me give you a back story on how my passionate and not-so-secret affair for these baked goodies started. I’m going make this short, I promise. I just think that all great love stories should always kick off on the right foot. And this, my friends, is a love that will last forever. I guarantee it.

November 6, 2011 – It all began on an impulsive decision to troop to the Global Pinoy Bazaar 2011 held at the Rockwell Tent in Makati. I wasn’t planning on buying anything, really. No goal in particular. But after ending up with a pair of wedge sandals (and accumulating a bag-full of brochures, calling cards, and stickers), I hurriedly headed to the nearest exit before I wipe out the remains of my wallet.

Then I spotted Kate Bakes‘ booth. I stopped on my tracks. It was something so difficult to pass out on. The woman manning the booth stretched out a tin can–it was filled with cookie bits. I reached inside and the next thing I know, I was buying two more cookies for the road. Win!

I was excited to have the boyfriend taste this inexplicable goodness. So excited, I was skipping back to our meeting place. Everything was a blur–all I remember now is that we sat there together by the fountain, wolfing down our cookies. And the rest was history.

The person behind Kate Bakes deserve a pat in the back, I thought. So I sent her a text, thanking her for baking such exquisite treats. I also asked her if she could send  in the photos and a price list so I could share it on my blog.

Imagine my delight when I received this text message last Friday:

Wow. What an awesome way to to end a tiring work week! Thanks so much, Kate. This was so unexpectedly delightful!

After meeting up with Kate so she can hand me the “goods,” I opened the parcel and shared it to three of my closest office friends. Me saying that they loved it is an understatement. Kesi even said that she have “never been this emotional about a cookie before.” Hah. Beat that, Chips Ahoy!

Kate Bakes’ Heavenly Cookies are especially made with only the finest premium ingredients. Trust me, it has everything you’ll ever want on your cookie. You’ll understand this insanity once you’ve sunk your teeth into it.

To Kate: You have created something really, REALLY special here. I hope you don’t mind if I have unintentionally put together a cookie cult of some sort.

Guys, I think one of you good souls out there deserve a piece of heaven this Christmas, so I’m giving away a box of Classic Belgian cookies on my next post. (What am I thinking?!). Stay tuned.

KATE BAKES | Facebook | Twitter | E-mail: iamkatebakes@yahoo.com | Mobile Number: +639087729930 | Price list

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Afternoon breakfast at Milky & Sunny

“How would you like to retire at 40?” My friend, J, sent me via BBM a month ago. I said yes, of course. Prior to her invitation, I’ve never gave much thought about getting a life insurance. I want to, I swear. I just didn’t know where to start. But thanks to her, I had a clearer picture.

We arranged a meeting and realized that we were both busy on the following weekends. So we had to make do; I’ll get out of at work mid-day and then she’ll sneak out from her office (hehe). I also suggested that we go to this breakfast place I’ve been wanting to try called Milky & Sunny in Kapitolyo.

I rarely take half days off. Such a hassle, don’t you think? That’s why it’s either I just stay in, magnetized in my bed (or off someplace better) or I get my lazy butt on my office chair. Black or white. Yin or Yang. This day, however, made my decision to leave work early, worth it.

Good morning 27/7! 

It was a particularly lucky Friday, actually. Good news just kept pouring in! Happy, happy, happy! And the restaurant seemed to match our sunny moods.

Entering Milky & Sunny is like going inside a little girl’s room. It’s small, cute, and soothing. These lovely wall hangings are my favorite. Next to the food, of course. 😛

Together forever and ever

And to prep me for our hearty meal, I asked for a tall glass of cold milk which I downed within minutes.

Ta-da! Behold the star of my afternoon: the Breakfast Big Plate! Garlic rice, sausages, bacon, hash browns, corned beef, and scrambled eggs in one, gigantic plate. Sigh. I am drooling as I type this.

On the other hand, J got the tomatoes-mozzarella-pepperoni omelette. The parsley gave it a fine dining-ish touch.

She also got this Choco Hazelnut French Toast for dessert, which we shared. It was oozing with Nutella. NUTELLA! My god.

My date was exhausted as I am. Tired but definitely happy. It was indeed an afternoon well-spent.

Good friends and good food really make a great combo.

MILKY & SUNNY | 9 Briggy Hall, East Capitol Drive, Barangay Kapitolyo, 1603 Pasig, Philippines | Facebook | Twitter | Downloadable Menu

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Something for your ears this holiday season

Not to be a grinch or anything but I take the whole Christmas shebang as, well.. not enthusiastically as most of us does. Perhaps I’ve come into terms that people like me who are in their mid-twenties *gasp* have ‘graduated’ from child-like fantasies and anything related to Santa Claus. But if you want to take a break from the annoying Christmas music blasting inside malls and mainstream radio stations, here’s something I know you’d like:

Incredible watercolor art! Check out Alessandra’s post here.

Artwork and playlist is brought to you by the lovely and talented Alessandra Lanot. The songs are not as classic as Jose Mari Chan’s and Ray Conniff’s but it’s enough to set you on a holiday mood without being too overwhelming.

Go and download the playlist here. Put it on your iPod. Play it on your laptop. Share it with friends. Let’s all combat loneliness and kill it with joyfulness and cheer! #corny 😛

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Finding the good in goodbye

A few days after my grandmother was cremated, I posted this photo on Facebook with a long and emotional caption. It garnered a lot of “Likes” than average. I was deeply touched.

But a comment from a former college classmate struck me the most:

Leo, I was afraid of losing my lola, too. When Papa told me she had cancer, I didn’t know what to think or do. I just felt sick in the pit of my stomach and wanted to scream until I can scream no more.

My lola’s condition deteriorated quickly—and so was my religious faith. I was lost. I felt like I was abandoned in the middle of nowhere with nothing to get me by. Everyday was a nightmare –a torturous one.

During those dark times, nothing made sense to me anymore. How could someone so kind be inflicted with such illness? What have she done to deserve this? I was angry and bitter and saw only negativity on all things. Before I knew it, I made no effort to pray or hear mass. I often fronted my happy, perky self but underneath, I had a whirlwind of emotions.

It was extremely difficult to watch my grandmother struggle for dear life. Cancer gave her hell and it took its own sweet time doing so.

When my lola passed away last September 23rd, I was heartbroken. It was inevitable, I know. I should have accepted the fact long ago that she’ll be leaving us sooner or later. But I was in denial because I loved her too much.

Two months after, I’m still on the road to acceptance. I’d like to think that maybe there really is a reason behind her passing. Someday, I’ll find what the reason is. Someday.

Leo, I hope you assure your grandmother that you love her. Find every opportunity to show how much you care.  Pamper her, spoil her.. Make every moment count. Those are just the few priceless things you could give that will keep her spirits high.

Keep the faith,

ODP

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#ThankYouSteve

Overdue post. Please forgive the writer.

***

There are two things that surprised me about Steve Jobs’ passing: 1) Because I didn’t know that he was battling pancreatic cancer, and 2) He had a huge following.The latter was the most intriguing. For three straight days, my Facebook and Twitter feeds were flooded with his quotes, copied verbatim from his various speeches and interviews from the past.

Naturally, the first thing I did after learning the news was to log on to Apple‘s website. A black-and-white photo of Jobs’ was plastered on the homepage. Goosebumps.

They couldn’t have said it better.

People close to me know how much of a music freak  I am. I even remember asking my parents for a Sony Walkman for my 11th birthday. At 16, I saved up and bought a Discman with my salary from my first job. I loved both gadgets but the bulkiness and the constantly changing of batteries bit bothered me.

I got my first MP3 player, a 2 GB 2nd generation silver iPod Nano, after college. It was the best gadget I owned EVER. I cannot fully emphasize how great it is, scrunching in 500 or more songs in my pocket. Pure. Genius.

Then I lost it (accidentally left it inside a jeepney) and got myself an 8 GB 3rd generation iPod Nano. Featured the same thing as the first but with video playback. Thanks to this clever little thing, I finished all seasons of That 70’s Show. Also made my long commutes to and from home, enduring.

In memoriam: My 3rd generation iPod Nano looking sassy and smart

Then again, I was mugged sometime on December 2009. Long story. My latest ‘baby’ now is this purple 16 GB 4th generation iPod Nano. Still serving me well like a dependable soldier.

Bottom line is, none of my round-the-clock music fix won’t be possible if Jobs’ hadn’t pushed enough to develop devices like these. He did it. Hell yeah, he did it!

This is the last I saw of Jobs. I think I caught a snippet of this on CNN several months ago. He looked frail, yes, but he still delivered his speech with such enthusiasm like he normally does in his keynote addresses. Great guy. No wonder millions upon millions spend their cash on his merchandise.

Carlo got word that the Power Mac Center at Greenbelt 3 propped up a signboard to commemorate Jobs’ repose. I immediately invited Pixie if she wanted to come along after work and scribble a message there for Steve.

Steve Jobs, my life is beautiful as it is. Thank you for making it a hundred times better with your creations. You will still rock in the hearts of many Apple product-users like me.

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If it was that easy to leave work and be with him everyday, I would.

I love you, Gabriel. Please don’t grow up too fast.

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Going through the shelves of Bookay Ukay

After that wonderful lunch at Burger Project, the Nerd Herd trooped a few blocks away to check out Bookay-Ukay before heading home. I’ve been meaning to visit this thrift bookstore long ago but, well.. It’s in Quezon City. ‘Nuf said.

It’s a quaint little shop, far from what I pictured. The store was filled with second-hand books, trinkets, charms, and even shirts up for sale. They also sell brand-new books. Personally, I think selling new merchandise defeats the purpose of being an ukay shop. I don’t mind, though. Leave me inside a bookstore and I can get lost for hours. Books are that sacred to me.

Of course, I had a lovely time going from one shelf to another. If you’re planning to check out the place, don’t forget to bring a hand sanitizer. Most of the books are covered by dust and some, mold. Not cool.

Creatively funny artwork lines a portion of the store’s walls. Can also double as a cool backdrop in photos. 😛

Look! Sweet Valley! Ahh, nostalgia overload. Have to remind myself to get the newest book that was out last March. (I have the teaser chapter here.) I also saw a couple of Goosebumps, Nancy Drew, and Animorphs, but Enid Blyton was nowhere to be found. Where art thou, Ms. Blyton?

We were about to leave store  but I was determined to not go home empty-handed. I think the good ones are already either reserved or up for bids at their Multiply page, that’s why. So I ended up getting this local, new book titled The Literary Apprentice 2009. It’s a collection of essays, short stories, and poems by the members of the University of the Philippines Writers Club.

Scored it for 12o bucks. Good read, finished it two days. I’ll definitely come back and get a legit ukay find from Bookay-Ukay.

BOOKAY-UKAY |  55 Maginhawa St., Teacher’s Village, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines |  Facebook | Multiply

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