OOSOUJI: Japanese New Year Clean-Up

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Welcome the new year like the Japanese.


The Japanese prepare for the coming year by cleaning their houses and offices from top to bottom. This is a way for them to inform Toshigami (the new year god) that their place have been purified and is ready to receive his blessings.

I am cleaning our house now. "Toshigami, I am ready for your blessings."

Sources: Wikipedia and Blue Lotus


Go Organic This Christmas

Friday, December 19, 2008

This is my favorite gift box so far. All that yummy goodness without the guilt.

Second place goes to the basket containing SPAM that will last us a year.


What's was in your favorite gift basket this year?

(C, I know it's a horrible picture. I'll change it later.)


Baby - Made in Taiwan

Monday, December 15, 2008

"Mr. G, bring me to the hospital! It's time!"

They just opened a Hello Kitty-themed maternity hospital in Taiwan. (See more pictures here.)

How cool is that?!

Note to Mr. G: The baby need not be made in Taiwan. I just want him to be delivered there.


GoodHousekeeping's The Maid Manual

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I got a copy of GoodHousekeeping's "The Maid Manual" by Tisha C. Bautista last week.

As advertised, it's truly "your ultimate guide to finding, training, and keeping your household help."

Part 1: Finding Help
Part 2: Training your Staff
Part 3: Keeping your Staff

Template for Household Staff Bio Data
Household Staff Interview and Assessment Form
Cheat Sheets for Cleaning the House
Sample Weekly and Daily Schedule for the Household Staff
Laundry Labels
Easy Recipes (my favorite!)

"Part 3: Keeping Your Staff" was most helpful for me. It has tips on how to motivate household staff and an explanation of standard employee benefits.

As to the other parts -- cleaning tips, weekly and daily schedules, and interview notes -- I already have them in my own household manual, thanks to Mrs. Frannie Daez.

For only P195, "The Maid Manual" will be a valuable addition to your household management library. (Click here for my other housekeeping reference materials.)


Sandwich Wrapper: Use Cloth -- Furoshiki Style

Saturday, December 6, 2008

After some thorough research and investigation (See this and this), my quest for the perfect sandwich wrapper has ended. It's CLOTH and REUSABLE PLASTIC CONTAINER for me.

That being said, I present you with a cool way to wrap your sandwich with cloth -- FUROSHIKI STYLE.

Photo by cafeconlecheporfavor

Click here for the tutorial.

As I don't want my sandwich to be crushed inside my bag, I'm planning on buying this cute Rubbermaid TakeAlongs Sandwich container.

Weird? It's like putting a LV bag inside a plastic bag. LOL! Oh, well...

Note: This is not a paid post. I'm not endorsing Rubbermaid.


Sandwich Wrapper: Paper or Plastic? PART II

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Ibyang: "I use aluminum foil. It keeps the sandwich fresh and easy to fold. I even write a little reminder on it for the husband sometimes."
  • Great to use with hot sandwiches
  • Easy to fold
  • Can cause minor shock when bitten
  • Not environment-friendly
  • Cannot go straight inside microwave
Aluminum foil is another great option. However, as I told Ibyang, I was traumatized by foil when I was a kid. I accidentally bit the foil while eating a burrito. OUCH! Since then, I stayed away from foil-covered food. (Click here to find out why it hurts to bite into aluminum foil.)

Reshma: "I use a cloth napkin to wrap my sandwiches in...they stay soft and fresh..more environment friendly too!"
  • Environment-friendly
  • No chemicals to react with your food
  • Not airtight
  • Your kid will likely lose this in school
I used to lose a lot of handkerchiefs when I was in grade school. It only stopped when I started to bring Kleenex.

Laura: Ziploc bags for me!
  • Airtight if sealed properly
  • No folding required
  • See-thru
  • Very convenient
  • Can be combined with tissue or wax paper
  • Not environment-friendly
C! I know you sometimes double wrap. Aluminum foil AND Ziplock. Tsk... tsk... tsk...

Homemom3: "Plastic bags here or those sandwich boxes (plastic). I hate wrapping in paper as it always stuck. That jelly can get tricky."

Mai: "I don't like using throwaway stuff for Pogiji's baon na sandwiches because they become garbage after, kawawa the environment! What I do is I put his sandwiches in LockLock containers (although the most recent LockLock containers are not made in Japan na -- made in China na...ack!) or Biokip (made in Korea naman) to maintain their freshness. The containers are not as cheap as sandwich wraps but in the long run, they are since they are reusable. And they don't harm the environment too! Wax paper gives sandwiches an aftertaste that I don't like."
  • Environment-friendly
  • Air-tight
  • Reusable
  • More expensive
  • Your kid will likely lose this in school
I also lost quite a number of Tupperware plastic boxes. It's not my fault! The Tupperware-gnomes followed me and stole my lunch boxes.

Environment-Friendly Choice: Airtight Stainless Steel Food Container
  • More environment-friendly
  • No plastic
  • Reusable
  • Expensive
Some environmentalists do not consider reusable plastic containers as environment-friendly. Only stainless steel containers for them.

My choice: Cloth Napkin AND Plastic Container
I'd wrap the sandwich in a cloth napkin then put it inside a reusable airtight plastic container. I think I'm now mature enough not to lose my lunch box.

Photo credit: WTFwich by minusbaby


Sandwich Wrapper: Paper or Plastic?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Sandwich wrapping is not as easy as most people think. First, you have to chose a wrapping material that will best seal the sandwich's freshness for at least 5 hours. Nobody likes a soggy and damp sandwich. Next, you have to fold the wrapper origami style for better presentation. (This post is dedicated to Teacher J. Her nanny cannot wrap a sandwich without using tape and it's driving her crazy.)

Paper or Plastic

While we need air to live, our sandwiches do not. Air accelerates food degradation so keeping air out of the wrapper or container will help your sandwich stay fresh longer.

Tissue Paper: This is the wrapper of my youth. ("Scottie, strong even when wet." -- Was it Scottie?) The sandwich is usually wrapped with orangey-checkered tissue paper then placed inside a white sandwich bag.

I do not recommend using tissue paper. By recess time, my sandwich was already soggy and the tissue sticks to the bread. Taking it off was like peeling out a super sticky price tag, you don't get it all out. I know how tissue tastes like.

Wax Paper: This is what C's sandwiches are wrapped with. Her mom makes her a sandwich in the morning so she'll have something to eat for lunch. But does she eat it during lunch time? Of course not! She has it for dinner. Thanks to the wax paper, her sandwich is still fresh after more than 8 hours.

Wax papers are definitely better than tissue papers. However, as Teacher J knows, folding it can be quite a challenge.

Plastic Wrap: This is the wrapper of the pros. Most canteens and cafeterias wrap their sandwiches with plastic wrap. We don't know long those sandwiches have been on the display counter but they're still pretty fresh after we buy them so they must be doing something right.

Plastic wraps provide a sealed environment for the sandwich, keeping it fresh longer. Also, it's clear so you don't have to open the wrapper to know what's inside. "Ham nga!"

Click the link for a guide on effective sandwich wrapping -- How to Wrap a Sandwich.

How do you wrap your sandwiches?

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