Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Book Review: Me and Mr Darcy by Alexandra Potter

After a string of disastrous dates, Emily Albright decides she’s had it with modern-day love and would much rather curl up with Pride and Prejudice and spend her time with Mr. Darcy, the dashing, honorable, and passionate hero of Jane Austen’s classic. So when her best friend suggests a wild week of margaritas and men in Mexico with the girls, Emily abruptly flees to England on a guided tour of Jane Austen country instead. Far from inspiring romance, the company aboard the bus consists of a gaggle of little old ladies and one single man, Spike Hargreaves, a foul-tempered journalist writing an article on why the fictional Mr. Darcy has earned the title of Man Most Women Would Love to Date.

The last thing Emily expects to find on her excursion is a broodingly handsome man striding across a field, his damp shirt clinging to his chest. But that’s exactly what happens when she comes face-to-face with none other than Mr. Darcy himself. Suddenly, every woman’s fantasy becomes one woman’s reality. . . .


The fact that it's written by Potter immediately draw me near this book. I love her books because it's light, fun and charming. Aside from this, the title having "Mr Darcy" in it really piqued my interest. Not because I've read the classic Pride and Prejudice or a fan of Jane Austen (at least not yet) but because I just recently watched the movie and I loved it. Like I've said, Potter books are light, fun and charming and this is not an exception. You can wrap this up in a day or two but it took me a month (a lot happened between my readings). There are excerpts from Pride and Prejudice injected in the book that made me conceive the similarities of Emily Albright and Ms Elizabeth Bennet. On another note, I think the times Emily met with "Mr Darcy" are a little off. At first, I didn't understand the whole imaginary Darcy thing, but eventually catch on some loose ends. The story was obviously based on the classic novel and, I think Alexandra Potter is quite brilliant and one hell of an Austen fan to be able to write such version.

Overall, I give this book 3 out 5. 

Because you will meet somebody more exceptional than anyone you have ever know. Who will love you warmly as possible. And who will so completely attract you that you will feel you never really loved before.
-- Me and Mr Darcy, Alexandra Potter

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sweet Treat: Fried Peanut Butter Oreos

A heartily sweet treat perfect for family gatherings and batch reunions. - Fried Peanut Butter Oreos

- Pancake Mix
- 1 large egg
- 2tbsps cooking oil
- 3tbsps Peanut Butter (or more)
- Butter
- Cream-filled cookies (Oreos)

1. Make the pancake batter. (I just followed the steps found at the back of the box xD).
         - With one pack of flour, add one egg and 2tbsps of cooking oil. MIX until smooth.
         - Add 3 tbsps of peanut butter.

2. The batter is at the right consistency if no lumps are found. Next step, drop the cookies into the mix until fully coated.

3. Lightly coat the pre-heated pan with butter. Carefully drop the battered oreos on the pan, fry both sides until golden brown.

I surprised my family with this treat on Mothers' Day and it was a total hit! Easy-peasy, eh? Grab a flipper and fry Oreos now! xD

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Race Your Voices (05.05.12)

Last Friday, "Race Your Voices", a fun run entirely for the benefit of the Calasiao Children Chorus was held at Robinsons Place in Calasiao, Pangasinan. The proceeds of the said activity is to fund the choir air fare as participants in the upcoming international competition this coming November. For your information, Calasiao Children Chorus have joined international competitions in the previous years. If I remember it correctly, they brought home medals from the categories they've won. So, it is just right that we support and give this group another shot. They might just win and bring home all the gold medals this year.

My cousins, brother and I were among the hundreds who joined and supported the benefit. As first time runners, we chose the second shortest distance - 3K. When we first got the copy of the route, we thought the distance was short for us. An easy-peasy. We even thought about doing the 5K instead. And good thing we stuck to the original plan, because it's only when we heard the gunshot that signaled our start that we realized - it's going to be a loooong run...

I still haven't reached the 1K mark when I started to feel really tired. Damn, how unfit can one get? Water was readily available for thirsty runners in the stations that were put up along the street. Aside from water, ponytails were also given. I really think this was a very thoughtful move.

At midway, I found myself not running but walking instead. The only time I ran again was when I saw this little girl, tired and sweating.. but still running. The feeling of embarrassment and weakness pierced on me. It pushed me to run again. To finish what I've started and to stick to the commitment I signed up for. Isn't it funny and amazing how a small little girl can teach or remind us something really important? I gave it my all but, upon nearing the finish line I just couldn't get myself to run anymore. And even so, we weren't the last ones to arrive. So yay! for that! :)

Here are some photos:

@ 5AM. On our way to Robinsons, the starting line.
@ Robinsons, waiting..
still waiting.. :)
I just had to take a pic. Haha
Credits to Kuya Simon Vistro of What's Up Dagupan

The Finish line!

While waiting for our certificates
From What's Up Dagupan
Breakfast @ Jollibee
The main reason we joined was really for the fun and not the prize (as if we had a shot at winning haha) and we absolutely got what we came for. I hope another benefit just like this will be organized again. Because although I'm very aware that my body would ache after and would last for a week, I would still sign up without a second thought. Who would've thought helping can be this fun?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My Top 5 Photography Apps

Since I had an iPhone, I haven't been using a digital camera or DSLR for capturing photos. Most people use their iPhone camera only for desperate times, but not me. It's my go-to camera. The main reason why I love it is because of the various photography applications available in store. I've tried using and learning Adobe Photoshop and Corel in the computer, but they seem not to like me. Haha So to people who are hard up in using those photo editing software, or to those who are just plain lazy, here are my top 5 photo apps that are worth downloading:

1. Snapseed
This application won the Best Mobile Photo App for 2012 and iPad App of the Year. The main edge of this app is that, you can select precise portions of the photo you want to be edited only. Creative enhancements are also available like Black&White, Tilt-Shift, Vintage Films etc.. The only sad thing about this app is, it costs 4.99 dollars. So save up!

2. Instagram
Yes! The famous photo app available for both Apple and Android users. This includes 17 unique instant filters. Another feature is the blur effect for better focusing and depth of field. Photo sharing to other social sites like Facebook and Twitter is easily done in one touch. Make sure to put up great photos dearies and it might just land in the popular page!

Follow me on Instagram @carinagironella !

3. Pix: Pixel Mixer
This app includes 30 filters, 24 film layers and 16 frames. It lets you create your own edit by allowing the usage of 3 filters all at once. This is also the app best for lazy lazy lazy people because of the Random Effect Touch. It randomly chooses filters and edits your photo with just one touch. Great, right?

My edit. :)
Random Edit

4. Camera+
Winner of Best Visual Design, Best Photography App, and Best App Ever Award. This app has numerous features. If your hands are shaky, well worry no more because this app has a stabilizer that helps steady the camera to minimize blurry shots. If you're very particular with angles and such, a grid is available to line up the photo shot. Also, this app includes Scene Modes such as Sunset, Food, Scenery, Backlit and more just like in a digital camera. It has 4 Filter Categories (Color, Retro, Special and I <3 Analog). Each of this category has 9 filters. That's a total of 36 filters! To complete the editing process, wrap it up with a frame and a caption. This app costs 0.99 and this is its sale price, so get it now!

 5. NightCap
Okay, iPhone's Camera Flash is useless. It makes the photo blurry and also makes the person like a ghost. It defies the main purpose of a flash. Don't you agree? So you absolutely definitely positively have this app right here! It allows you to take clear and bright photos even at night! And you don't have to edit. Just point, shoot.. and Voila! This app costs 0.99 also.

with flash
no flash
with NightCap

If you notice, 4 out of 5 are paid apps, but the best usually goes with a price. Right? So save up, grab your iPhone and start downloading.

Point. Shoot. Edit and Share! :D