Friday, January 27, 2006

generous love, generous cooking

according to eric, this was la germania's jingle (probably during his time...80's) with tina revilla as the endorser. hehehehehehehe :-)

i have been given the task to choose the appliances for our kitchen: cooktop, oven and rangehood. have you been to any appliance center lately? there are heaps of kitchen appliances to choose from! i know from the start that i want a gas cooktop and an electric oven. eric wanted a glass canopy rangehood. so that somehow narrowed down our choices. we have a budget we're working on so that too helped (goodbye miele and smeg!).

we need to have these appliances soon as our kitchen cabinets will be fitted based on the measurements of the appliances.

we're now seriously considering getting the la germania P680TX 600mm gas cooktop and F669D4X 600mm built-in oven. as for the canopy rangehood, we're thinking of a goldenhood C-900FG filtration canopy rangehood.

stainless steel finish
4 gas burners including 1 small, 2 medium and triple ring wok burner
heavy gauge matt finish burner caps
automatic ignition
easy clean one piece sealed hob
heavy duty cast iron trivets
front controls

60 litre electric oven
programmable, multifunction oven with 7 settings: conventional, fan forced, inner grill, fan grill, fan assisted, lower element with fan and oven light
defrost capability
closed door grilling
digital programmer
catalytic self cleaning oven liners
cooling fan
stainless steel finish

w900 x d500 x max height:880 mm
direct exhausting centrifugal fan
airflow 660m/hr
Ø150mm top venting
2 halogen lamps
2 aluminium mesh filters & grease collector
stainless steel
electronic switch controls

we're leaning towards a la germania since i was told by the salesman at one of the appliance centers that i went to that's it's better than other brands within our price range (eg. westinghouse) since it's a european brand and european made. i also mentioned to eric that our upright cooker at home in the philippines is a la germania and we had it eversince (we never changed upright cookers and my mama cooks and bakes a lot with it). eric checked with mommy what their cooker is at home and what do you know, it's a la germania as well! not only that, my sister-in-law's cooker at home is a la germania too! we therefore conclude that la germania is the official pinoy cooker. the 80's ad then has been very effective...

home improvement diary2

january 24

moved some stuff (mostly books, files and pictures) when eric arrived from work. we went back and forth thrice.

january 25

tito rod accompanied us to bunnings in thornleigh to buy all the painting materials that we need. we decided on dulux garden pond (green), arctic daisy (yellow) and blue oar (blue).

january 26

australia day was spent preparing and painting the master's bedroom and study. tito rod was in charge of filling the holes and gaps while eric and aris were painting the ceiling. i, on the other hand, was in charge of painting the wooden frames of the windows and doors with varnish (using wattyl gloss stain and varnish in teak).

we had problems with the ceiling in the master's bedroom as the paint seem to peel when it dries. i think it has something to do with the old paint so we might have to strip the ceiling first before applying the dulux white ceiling paint.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

home improvement diary

january 19

lalit called to say to meet him at 8:30pm in front of the house so we could get the house keys. arrived around 10 minutes after 8:30pm and waited 30 minutes but no lalit seen. we even dragged tito rod and tita bebs to "witness" us getting the house keys and access to our very own home. went home disappointed...

* later that night, lalit called and said that he was there at 8:30pm but left when we didn't arrive at the agreed time. he couldn't reach us (and we couldn't reach him!) since he left his mobile at home.

january 20

met with lalit at 7:30am to have a walk-through inspection of the house. we didn't get the keys though. later that afternoon, i got the keys from caldecott & williams, our solicitor managing the sale for us. before eric arrived from work, i went shopping for every imaginable disinfectant (must be hospital-grade!), cleanser, deodorizer, sanitizer, insecticide, scrub, sponge and sweeper. that night we gave the entire inside of the house a good sweep and took down all the curtains with the help of aris and jen.

* we had about six garbage bags full of curtains!

january 21

i worked on the entrance hallway of the house, garage and patio while eric cleaned the laundry area and the bathrooms. our lg washer/dryer was delivered later that afternoon, just in time for the newly scrubbed laundry area. we "bombed" the entire house to get rid of insects. went home with my body aching all over...

*i'm just not used to all these manual labor! oh well, time to get used to it now i the way, "bombing" is a diy pest control.

january 22

heard mass at 8am so we could start working on the house early. passed by kitchen connection to request a quote for a new kitchen. tito rod and tita bebs helped us clean today. we started with the master's bedroom and then moved to the study. tita bebs and i were assigned to windows and blinds duty while tito rod and eric were assigned to inside cabinets, walls and ceilings duty. aris and jen dropped by so i took advantage for aris to change all the bulbs around the house.

* i hate yellow lighting so i'm partial to philips compact fluorescent lamp in cool daylight.

january 23

met with kitchen connection's design specialist at 6pm in our home (feels good to write!). we decided on their sierra traditional range but we're thinking of getting the appliances (built-in gas cooktop, built-in fan forced electric wall oven and a ducted canopy) someplace else (they carry their own brand but we want a more well-known, established brand). would you believe the meeting ended at 9pm? i was impressed by how the design specialist presented to us our new proposed kitchen. first, he measured the cabinets, appliances and benchtops. next, he took out his laptop and entered the measurements in the kitchen renovation program indicating the style and layout that we wanted and with a click of a button we were able to see (in different angles!) what our new proposed kithcen will be like. what dragged the meeting was we couldn't agree on the cost of the renovation. he threw at us all kinds of discounts, freebis and promo just so we'd sign a contract then and there and pay 10% deposit. we eventually did only because of the cooling-off period building law in nsw which gives us the right to get our deposit back in 5 working days if we decide not to push through with the job. we will be meeting with another kitchen renovator later this week and then we'll be deciding early next week whom we'll getting to do the job. assuming that they could start next week, our new kitchen will be ready by end of february.

* eric and i dream of a miele or a smeg but it's way beyond our budget. what's a good brand of cooktop, oven and canopy?

Monday, January 16, 2006

fixated on a dining set

am currently wishing to be the proud owner of this brand new solid mahogany 7-pc dining set from ebay.

we're just counting days before we become homeowners and perhaps a couple of weeks before we move in to our very own home and one of the things that we need to buy is a dining set. eric and i decided that we're going to invest in a dining set since it's something that our family will use for years (our dining set at home in the phils is actually the same dining set my mama's family used). this is the second time this dining set has been put up in ebay and am taking this as a sign that this is meant for us. :-) we wanted a dark wood dining set that can seat at least six with clean and simple lines (no intricate carving) so this is just perfect (our bed also has the same vertical lines). eric originally wanted a square table but we're not sure if it would fit our dining area.

here's the description from the seller: "Beautiful new - very chic, very modern, very solid - Dining Table +6 Chairs in a rich mahogany tone. The table measures 1600mm x900mm and is 75cm high.

The recommended retail price for this solid mahogany set is $1599 but we will be selling this item at a WHOLESALE PRICE of only $899!!! GST inclusive."

i hope my dear husband will let me bid on this. only 4 days and 10 hours bidding time left as i write this!

bargain hunters

last saturday morning, aris, jen, eric and myself went around north shore to visit garage sales and thrift shops. we were able to pick up a few items: corning ware 6-cup cornflower blue teapot with infuser for $8, two handmade quilts that can be converted to a throw pillow for $10/each, a number of pyrex serving dishes and a glass cheese board for $1-$2/each, spoon rest for $1 and the best hunt of all, a weber kettle charcoal barbecue grill in red for $20 (which retails for a couple of hundred dollars).

christmas holiday 2005

december 22 last day with ibm. 6-month contract should have ended december 30 but since they declared operations shutdown from december 26 - january 6, my last day should have been december 23.

december 23 flew to tasmania via jetstar (budget airline of qantas). we didn't know there were no seats alloted and it was first come first served so eric and i ended up not seating together on the flight (lesson learned: when taking jet star be at the gate early!). drove to cradle mountain upon arriving in launceston airport. i was pretty tensed all throughout the trip since it was getting dark already, drizzling and we don't know if we'll make it to cradle mountain. i tell you, the way there was pretty deserted so what if the car broke down or we got lost? saw a number of wildlife (both alive and roadkill) on our way. arrived at cradle mountain wilderness village around 11pm. we were both pretty hungry but we couldn't find any open place where we could grab a bite. did i mention it was freezing in cradle mountain? we weren't prepared for the cold weather since it was pretty warm in sydney and launceston.

december 24 since it was raining, we decided to just drive around the surrounding area of cardle mountain. had brunch at quolls in cradle mountain chateau before heading to house of anvers, a chocolate factory in latrobe.

we just spent the entire day going around the small town of davenport and then heard mass at their church there. we headed back to cradle mountain where we had our noche buena of anvers' truffles, smoked cheese and jacob's creek sparking rose.

we also exchanged gifts that night. i got eric a star wars trilogy boxed set while he got me the complete book of modern classics cookbook compiled by the autralian women's weekly that i've been bugging him to get me.

december 25 christmas day since we're heading back to launceston this afternoon, rain or shine we just had to go to dove lake and do a quick walk.

we arrived in launceston late afternoon and checked-in at hatherley house. this is the first time eric and i will be staying at a bed & breakfast type of accomodation and we extremely enjoyed the experience. the mansion has 9 bedrooms with a common kitchen, library, and a verandah that's overlooking the manicured lawn.

the host made arrangements for us to have dinner at the jailhouse grill. we both had steak and salad which was pretty yum.

december 26 went to bridestowe estate lavender farm (i remembered you emi!)

and cataract gorge.

*i'm now inspired to plant lavender and hydrangea in our garden.

we joined the launceston ghost tour that evening, didn't see any ghosts.

december 27 had breakfast at hatherley before visiting the small town of ross and head towards coles bay.

december 28 checked-out from hatherley and visited grindelwald swiss village.

had lunch there before proceeding to beauty point to visit seahorse world

and platypus house

*wasn't able to take pictures of the platypus but i was able this picture, nakikipagunahan si eric sa paghawak sa echidna!

and then off we go to the airport (we want to be early so we could sit together this time :-P). aris and jen picked us up upon arriving in sydney.

december 31 we were at baulkham hills for ate helen's 40th birthday celebration. we just watched the new year's eve fireworks from the tv. so far, the most quiet new year's eve celebration i've ever experienced in my life.

*more pics of our tasmanian holiday here.