The best coffee ever!

A few months ago I bought my first french coffee press. A lime green Bodum.

Let me tell you... the coffee you brew in a french press is the richest boldest best tasting coffee ever! I go to Starbucks to get a bag of their Pike Place Roast, which they grind for free for a french press. (or any other coffee machine you own.)

I've used drip machines over the years, but the french press brewing method comes closest to tasting like you got your cup of coffee straight from a Starbucks Barista! It's very fresh, rich and bold tasting coffee. I love it! Plus it's an easy/affordable way to get my gourmet coffee fix at home!

And it's so easy to do. You heat some water, while the water is heating you put your scoops of coffee grinds into your french press. Then you pour the hot water directly into the pot with the grinds and you let it sit for about 5 minutes. Then you press down on the plunger of the french press and tada! Fresh hot coffee! The metal screen/strainer keeps any grinds from getting into your cup when you pour.

How do you brew your coffee?

(I got my french press at Target for $19.99 but is also selling the same model for the same price!)

(I do use Amazon Associates, but not because I've made any money- because I haven't! lol! But I like that I can show a picture/link with a product when I'm blogging. Plus I do recommend for their low prices. That or Ebay!)


Fortune Cookie Soap Giveaway!

It's time for another blog giveaway!!!

For my birthday in September my cousin Jessica gave me some Fortune Cookie Soap products. They are AMAZING! She got me cinnamon rolled soap, cupcake bar soap & a cupcake lip balm! They smell amazing! The soaps actually smell like real desserts and the lip balm tastes amazing. And yes! There is an actual fortune in the fortune cookie soap, hehe! (See mine!)

My birthday gifts. :)

I am giving away one $10 e-gift certificate to Fortune Cookie Soap! This contest will run one month and end on December 5th, 2011. So you can get yourself some holiday gifts or order some for your family/friends!

This giveaway is open to US & Canada residents only. (And also to my family & friends.) You do not have to be registered on Blogger to leave a comment. Anyone can comment. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment telling me:

What is your favorite dessert? (Mandatory).

You MUST include a valid email address in the comments along with your mandatory entry, because the winner's gift certificate will be emailed to them!

For extra entries- (Leave a separate comment for each extra entry).

-Follow my blog on Google Friend Connect. (You can find the 'Followers' link under 'Contents' on the right hand sidebar. If you follow already you automatically get an extra entry if you answer the mandatory question). 

-Follow me on Twitter: @tunaynamahal82 (Include your user name in the comments. If you follow me already you automatically get an extra entry if you answer the mandatory question- just leave your Twitter username in the comments).

-Tweet about this giveaway (One tweet only- multiple tweets will not be vaild- include your link in the comments).

-Blog about this giveaway. (Include your link in the comments).

Giveaway Ends: December 5th, 2011. 12AM EST.

Winner will be chosen with Random Number Generator. 

I am not affiliated with Fortune Cookie Soap, I just love their products! 

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Mark Beauty! ♥

I ordered a few Mark beauty products from my cousin Jessica's e-boutique last week. My ordered arrived a few days ago. And I wanted share what I ordered!

I ordered a snap to it mini & two Mark Metallic eye shadows in Truffle & Goldi Luxe. They are super shiny. My cousin said they were like MAC eyeshadows and they are very concentrated like the MAC pigments that I use all the time. The snap to it mini is pretty neat it has a magnet in it and you can pick or choose which eye shadows to put into the case. I don't like their eyeshadow applicator all that much. I buy extra Cover Girl eyeshadow applicators. But I think an eyeshadow brush would work nice with these shadows too. 

I also got Glossblossom Ripening Lip Tint. It self adjusts. It turned out to be a nice rosy pink on my lips which is what I usually go for when I buy lip gloss. It's not sticky which is nice and it has a nice scent to it. But the tube is also pretty small, so I'll be sad when I use it up. 

And this! Oh my gosh! I love this scent! The Luxe Lemon Sugar Set! I thought it would be really sweet smelling. It has a nice lemony citrus scent to it, but it also has a grownup kind of cologne smell which is really really nice! (It has jasmine scent too.) I love the body spray the best. The bodywash is nice too, it says you can use it as a shampoo- but you better use a separate conditioner with it. (I have straight fine hair and got tangles when I went to brush after my shower- so I put in a leave in conditioner.) I love the thick body butter. I put it on after I showered. And the purple makeup bag is really big and roomy. I have all my makeup stashed in it right now!

I loved everything I ordered, and there are still a few more things I'd like to order soon. I can definitely recommend the products I ordered!

Click to visit my cousin's e-boutique!

Hope you all like the new design & layout! ♥

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Wordless Wednesday: Pumpkin Rats!

A little Halloween Fun. :-)


Jumping on the e-reader bandwagon...

I pre-ordered an Amazon Kindle Fire a few weeks ago. I've always liked the Kindle, but I said I would never get one until they were color. I like the e-book concept but for something so pricy I want to be able to do more than just read books on it. Amazon store credit offered 6 months with no interest on purchases over $150 so I applied and was approved. Still at $199, it's about half the price of other color e-readers & tablets currently available. Now to wait for the Kindle Fire to be released! (Nov 15th).

The Kindle Fire is going to operate on Android OS. But a few of the articles online have me a bit worried because it seems like we may not have access to the actual Android Market, but have to download apps through the Amazon App Store. The screenshot shows a Facebook App icon, but there's no Facebook App available through the Amazon App Store. So they are either going to be adding more apps before the release of the Kindle Fire, or perhaps Facebook is already built into the Kindle Fire?

I guess we will see...  besides being able to read books, I want to be able to browse the internet, blog, access Facebook, Twitter, etc. I would like to be able to watch Netflix. I love the idea that I could access my online recipes and be able to cook in the kitchen without dragging my laptop downstairs. This is what I want out of the Kindle Fire. Kindle Fire owners will be given a free month trial to Amazon Prime which has unlimited movies & TV shows, but a lot of the shows I watch aren't available yet, but Netflix has them! (Family Ties, Malcolm in the Middle, Bernie Mac, etc).

Owners of the Kindle Fire will have unlimited Amazon Cloud Storage. I started uploading all of my music today. I like that you will have unlimited cloud storage for musics, apps, books, etc. The Kindle Fire will only have 8GB of internal space. (Of course you'll have to have a working wi-fi connection to access your files!) It doesn't really bother me that the Kindle Fire will not have a camera/web cam. I have my phone or camera to take pictures. And I rarely ever Skype.

One of the things I love is that my local library now has an e-book site! So I can check out free books and read them on the Kindle. I've actually started taking out books to read on the Android Kindle App on my phone. It's a bit smaller to read books on my phone; but I'm really enjoying it so I can't wait to read them on the Kindle Fire which has a bigger screen!

I guess it remains to be seen whether the Kindle Fire will live up to my expectations. If not I suppose I can always return it and get a Nook Color. :-p

Edited to add: Amazon released a statement this week (11/11/11) that the Kindle Fire will have access to Netflix, Twitter, Facebook, Pandora apps! :-)

(I do use Amazon Associates, but not because I've made any money- because I haven't! lol! But I like that I can show a picture/link with a product when I'm blogging. Plus I do recommend for their low prices. That or Ebay!)

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Pumpkins and... SNOW?!?

We officially got our first snowstorm today. In October. In the Fall. 2 days before Halloween! It was supposed to rain all day and turn to snow in the late afternoon but already around 11am it was snowing and sleeting pretty heavy out. It seems to have stopped now, but when I went outside the snow covered the top of my shoes, so I think we got around 2-4 inches. There is definitely 4 inches on my car! The last time it snowed in October in Philadelphia was in 1979! (The month & year my husband was born, hehe!)

F.B. got to carve his first Jack O' Lantern! It's his first ever Halloween in the United States. Halloween is not widely celebrated in the Philippines. He helped me gut the pumpkin and he drew the face for me and I carved it. :-) So... today we had a Snow-Lantern instead of a Jack O' Lantern! Lol!

Happy Halloween Weekend!

Wordless Wednesday: Fall/Halloween Photos!

Ghost Peeps!
Pumpkin Bread!
Sally Hansen Salon Effects- Halloween Skulls!

Photos taken with Retro Camera App

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Welcome to the blogging world!

Please welcome my Mother in law to the blogging world! Stop by and check out her windmill collection blog; Windmills of Zen! :-)


My Dollar Tree is Freaking Amazing!

I've always loved Dollar Tree. They always have a really good selection of products and a lot of name brand items all for $1.00 or less. Just last year our Dollar Tree put in a freezer section and expanded their food aisles.

They have Campbells & Progresso soups now. Tons of canned vegetables, noodles, tortillas. I already discount grocery shop at Bottom Dollar & Food Basics. But wow my Dollar Tree has really stepped up it's game! I wanted to share some of my awesome Dollar Tree grocery finds!

Frozen Fruit! My dollar store now has frozen fruit! Even Aldi & Walmart charge $3+ for frozen fruit. I can now get frozen strawberries & blackberries for $1! I love making smoothies so these come in handy. Plus I sometimes take Crystal Light lemonade powder & frozen strawberries and blend with ice for strawberry lemonade! Yum! 

I just saw these at Walmart a few weeks ago. I think they wanted close to $3 for these frozen meals. I got 4 packages for $1 each! :-)

This isn't even half of the frozen vegetables Dollar Tree now offers. These are just some of my favorites!

This has to be the craziest dollar store find ever. Real frozen baby shrimp at the dollar store! They even had the full shell shrimp, (but I don't like their little heads, lol. They creep me out). Think I'm going to make a Thai stir fry with these baby shrimp & some veggies one night!

Frozen stuffed cheese ravioli & name brand tomato sauce. So neat! Hoping these Ravioli were worth $1! :-)

And yes, this is typical dollar store junk food, especially the ramen noodles! But ramen noodles are so versatile! I've started using them for cooking stir fry & have even used them with marinara sauce- you just don't use the seasoning packet that comes with the noodles if you're using them for a different recipe. 

We also got these amazing skins on, garlic & onion fries last week. But this week they were out of stock, so I don't have a picture of the package. They reminded me of KFC's wedge fries. They were really amazing & only $1!

And no; I'm not getting paid to advertise Dollar Tree! I just really really love them!

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Wordless Wednesday: Honey ♥ bananas!



I'm guest blogging @ A Day in my NYC!

I'm guest blogging at A Day in my NYC today! Please check out Patty's blog, she is one of my long time blog readers & one of my good blogging friends! My guest post is about long distance relationships, something I am very familiar with! :-)

Here is the post I wrote:

Hello! I'm Sarah Lynn from the blog 'Tunay Na Mahal' (which translates to "true love" in Tagalog, the Philippines national language). Patty asked me to do a guest post and I wanted to speak from something I have a lot of experience with. Long distance relationships!

If anyone is the queen of long distance relationships... I am probably it. My husband and I dated for 5 years long distance before getting married in December 2009. We even spent the first year of our marriage apart due to immigration.

And when I say long distance... I mean it! My husband is from the Philippines. A whole day ahead from Philadelphia. 12 hours apart- (13 hours during daylight saving time). Somehow during our 6 years apart, we made it work. And now we are finally together in the same time zone! Long distance relationships are not easy but they can work if you put enough time and commitment into them. My husband and I are proof of that. We have been together seven years now and married almost two.

How did we do it? LOT'S of communication and trust. Unfortunately it's pretty expensive to call the Philippines ($1.99 a minute!) My husband and I only talked on the phone for special occasions (birthday's, anniversaries, etc). I kept a phone card handy for those times because the rates were cheaper.

We made time to have a "date" every weekend. This took some commitment from both of us. We would meet online every weekend on Yahoo messenger. We would meet on my lunch break at work; while in the Philippines it was 12am and my husband's day was ending.

We texted. A lot. We emailed each other several times a week. We wrote letters and sent packages for special occasions. My husband didn't have a webcam because he had dial up internet, but I'm sure if we had both had a fast internet connection that would have been another way for us to connect. We were able to chat sometimes through headsets on Yahoo messenger, if the connection behaved.

I traveled to the Philippines almost yearly. And yes; it was very expensive. I worked all year long to save up enough money. I would get 0% APR credit cards and buy my plane ticket and then work hard the rest of the year to pay off that $1,200.

Sometimes it sucked and we really missed each other. Going out with friends and seeing them with their significant others, while yours was hundreds and hundreds of miles away was not easy. Sometimes we just wanted to be a normal couple, to be together in the same place; but it wasn't the right time yet. We persevered. Patience is huge thing in long distance relationships.

When we did get to spend time with each other in person it was exhilarating. They say to live every day of your life like it's your last, and the times we were together, we definitely did that. We would have to cram so much into a small amount of time.

One book that really helped us both during our time apart was The Long-Distance Relationship Survival Guide, by Chris Bell & Kate Brauer-Bell. We each had a copy.

Long distance relationships require 100% commitment & trust from each partner. They require loads of communication. Sometimes, years of patience and perseverance. But they do work. And if anything sometimes they are even richer when you finally are together, because you've put so much work & communication into your relationship.

*~Sarah Lynn~*

Tunay Na Mahal


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