February 28, 2013

Favorite Places: Baños, Ecuador

Baños, Ecuador
Happy 1st of March! Three months into 2013-- can you believe it?! Crazy.

It's a new month, so I decided to start a new segment called "Favorite Places" where I talk and give information about some of the places I've been that I've really enjoyed.

Waterfalls in Baños
I've been wanting to write the first post for a few days now. I've been trying to decide what place should be the first... which one do I choose??!

And this morning as I woke up, I was thinking about something that had happened while we were living in Ecuador-- and then the light bulb went off in my head-- Baños!!

Baños, Ecuador

Baños is a small town in Ecuador located in the Andean Highlands and is known as the adventure capital of Ecuador. It's really popular with tourists- both foreigners and Ecuadorians alike. It may be a small town, but it is packed with things to do, places to eat, and budget accommodations.

February 27, 2013

Link Parties & Blog Hops

Here's where I link up:
{updated regularly when I join new parties & hops}

Watch Out MarthaSweet and Savoury Sunday    Let's Get Social Sunday

Sweet Anne Designs - Sweet Sharing Monday   

Cranberry White Chocolate Pistachio Pudding Cookies

Quite a mouthful to say, right?

Every Wednesday is cheat day for my husband and I where we get to cheat on our diet and eat whatever we want for lunch (well, as long as it's reasonable of course). Today we had homemade hamburgers and fries. And I also decided I wanted to bake some cookies since I haven't baked since we started this diet. It's our 8th week on the diet-- the 2 month mark-- so it's cause for celebration, you know?

This recipe is a mix of a couple of recipes I came across on the web. I've never tasted this combination of flavors before and I wanted to give it a try. This is the first time I've ever used pudding mix in my cookies, and let me tell you- I'm a huge fan now!

These cookies taste so good. The flavors of the cranberries, pistachio pudding and white chocolate chips go together really well. It's like a combination made in heaven. The sweetness of the pudding + white chocolate chips + the tartness of the cranberries= really yummy! These cookies are extra soft and the texture is just right- not too cakey and not too dense-- I'm sure the pudding mix has something to do with that.

February 24, 2013

Yellow Curry Vegetable Soup

Bags of pinakbet veggies we pick up at the market.

We've been on a strict diet for about 8 weeks now, only eating fresh fruit and veggies. Every three days or so we go to the market and pick up our "groceries" which usually consists of fruits, salad veggies (cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, a couple of bags of shredded carrots and sayote mix and and a couple of bags of shredded cabbage & carrots mix), and a couple of bags of pinakbet veggies to steam.

The other day, it was steam vegetable day for lunch, but I wasn't feeling it. I've been getting a bit tired of  eating the same type of stuff everyday, so I decided to switch it up and make a soup. I had two bags of the pinakbet vegetables and looked around to see what things I could use in the soup base.

Now, this isn't completely healthy because I did use a chicken bouillon cube, so it was a semi-cheat day for us. I threw some other things into the soup for more flavoring- and it came out really good! I had two huge servings and my husband had three!

February 19, 2013

How to Earn like a Beggar and Live like a Baller

My husband and I didn't have to file income tax this year because we didn't make enough money. In fact, we haven't made enough money to file taxes in a few years. And still we manage to travel. A lot. In the past six years, we've been to the Philippines, Peru, Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica, Spain, Ireland, Portugal, Mexico, Palau, and Thailand. People often ask how we're able to travel so much, so we put our heads together and came up with some things that make our gypsy lifestyle possible—a few tips for anyone who is looking to do a little vagabonding. Jason wrote some of these and I wrote others, in case the narration gets confusing. Most of these tips have to do with either saving up for a trip in advance or staying thrifty while you're on the road. Not all of these tips will be practical for everyone, but they work for us and a lot of people we know.

February 16, 2013

Monthly Photo Journal: January - February 2013

Left to right, top to bottom: A nice dusk, sunset view from our backyard.// Me & Prada. // Fendi napping. // The makeshift grill Jason rigged up. // Jason grilling some chicken on the grill. // My favorite fruit- mangosteen. // I planted some wheatgrass- it was already sprouting the next day. // The wheatgrass after 5 days. // We harvested some of the wheatgrass & made a smoothie-- it was pretty tasty. // A day at the beach. // We went to Tacloban for a visa run and played legit BINGO for the first time {we didn't win} // Jason playing an arcade game. // I won big at this game-- the 150 ticket grand prize! // We had a lot of tickets and this kid was following us around "helping" us, so I made his day and gave him all of our tickets {in exchange for a picture, lol} // On the van ride back home, crossing the bridge from Leyte back to Samar.

February 06, 2013

Free recipe organizer software!

I have had nothing but time on my hands since we've moved to the Philippines. It's actually been pretty nice- doing what I want to do, no stress because work, getting to spend all day (and night) with my husband.... I am taking full advantage of our situation right now because I know it won't last forever and we'll be back on the working grind again soon.

My recent interest in cooking has been making me spend a lot of time on Pinterest and Foodgawker finding recipes. I pin and save so many recipes on a daily basis- I have hundreds. And although I know I won't make every single one, I do plan on trying most of them {when I have the resources}.

The other day, I decided I wanted to organize all the recipes I want to try into a program that I could use offline and that would allow me to print the recipes if I wanted to. First I thought about doing it through a word processing program, like OpenOffice. But I didn't like the fact that I would have to open a new document for every recipe. So then I did some research online for free cookbook software-- and I found one that fit my wants and needs called “Cookbook Portable”. And yes- it is 110% FREE and I really like it.
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