My Newest Babies

I have wanted to get a decent camera for so long – I wanted DSLR quality but I really couldn’t be bothered with the bulk. So, I settled for point and shoot ones, from Canon, to Olympus to Nikon and back to Olympus. But now, with the mirrorless and micro four-thirds system cameras in the scene, I can finally have good quality photos less the weight and bulk.
But, having been burned by an impulse splurge on a Nikon compact camera a few years back (one of their most expensive at the time, but sadly, it only lasted a few months before dying on me), I took my time doing lots of research. And having proven how sturdy Olympus was (both my eight and two year old cameras are still very much functioning) and user-friendly, my top two choices were Olympus and Sony (which had that built-in panorama I so wanted plus a tilting LCD).
So which one did I pick? 
Tada! Olly it is for me. The tipping point was the range of lenses: with Olympus, you can use any of their Zuiko lenses plus Panasonic’s and other micro 4/3 lenses out there. Besides, I find the Olly better suited to me than all the other brands out there. While with Sony, well, you can only use Sony lenses. And I like having my options, thank you very much.

I have yet to figure out how to use this baby though, and I might need a more detailed guide or even a class for that (talk about technologically challenged) so, no camera tips from me here, just photos:
Yellow is my favorite color, but red and white sure come a close second. Besides, I don’t think a lot of products come in yellow. 😦

with the 14-42 kit lens and detachable flash

The initial models didn’t have this tilting LCD (up to 90 degrees), which was why I considered getting a Sony but when they launched the EPL3, I was sold.

It’s not touchscreen, you have to use the scroll button to get anywhere but it works fine with me – I hate touchscreens.

One other thing I finally gave into? An iphone. Although I got this earlier this year, I only got to blog about it now (my bad). Peer pressure, you know. Everyone I know has an iphone (or an android) while I was stuck with a Nokia (which I actually loved).

And of course, I had to get it in white.
I wasted no time looking for a nice case – I wanted something yellow or floral, but couldn’t find one I liked, so I got me a white case from Japanese brand, Tunewear.
The case is pretty heavy duty – Joey dropped my phone several times but seems the case absorbed all the shock. It comes with a cord organizer too and a plug for the charger slot, which you can accessorize with crystals and whatchamacolit.

The cord organizer doubles as a stand too! And the pack comes with a clear home button sticker.
I didn’t want my phone to get dirty or anything so I immediately looked for a multi-purpose case for it. I was on my mandatory leave at the time with no maid so I was forced to do my shopping online and came across this red leatherette case from Shopping Bliss. 

It has three card slots, a bill slot, and of course, cell phone slot, which is perfect as I don’t have to worry about holding my phone and wallet at the same time. My only gripe is that I can’t charge it or use the earphone while the phone is inside the case.

I also got a stylus from Capdase, a bit of a splurge considering I don’t use it as often now (I only used it during Draw Something’s heyday). And, after realizing that the iPhone uses up its battery like there’s no tomorrow, I got a power box (with 1500 mah) from National Bookstore, good for one full charge. And if you have a car, get those car chargers. Trust me, they’re very useful. Victorinox has a pretty nifty set – with cables for blackberry, iPhone, etc.

See? I have a penchant for red and white things, which are easier to get than yellow.

Look! The cap of my stylus has that needle-like thing for opening the sim compartment of the iPhone.
Okay, this one last item is more of in keeping with my lazy nature – I mentioned earlier on that I couldn’t be bothered with bulk right? Well, when I got the iphone, I figured it could serve as my camera as well and I might as well dress it up properly. So, I got me a macro and wide angle lens from Chic Mommies. It attaches via a magnetic ring which comes with the lenses, and can be attached to the iPhone.

Yep, they may be small and far from pro-quality, but for an ordinary person like me who just likes taking photos, these lenses are perfect! My only gripe is the magnetic ring covered the phone’s flash partially, hence, I couldn’t use the flash anymore, unless I remove the case.
All the photos from our Ilocos trip earlier this year were taken using my iphone and edited using a variety of apps; but my favourites are Camera+, DMD (for that panorama shot; I liked this one better than 360), ProCamera, PicFrame and CameraSplash (where you can highlight only portions of the photo and leave the rest of the photo in black and white) and Retouch (photoshop baby!). 
Here are some sample photos taken using the macro lens:

There’s a new model of the Olympus PEN coming out later this year, and I heard iPhone 5 is coming out next month… with this growing interest in gadgets, I think my wallet is gonna kill me. 😛

Food Trip:Aposento

Hit up Aposento with my officemates for a lunch treat earlier this week. It’s funny how I rarely get to eat here even though it’s practically our next door neighbour (even funnier is how I only knew about it’s existence a year and a half after I joined the company). 
But, better late than never! This place is fast becoming one of my favorites, one, because of its location (hello, no need to go to Greenbelt or Glorietta in all this rain), two, the price (hubby and I ate here one time with a friend as they were waiting for me to finish work – talk about dedication, theirs, not mine – and our tab only came at less than Php1,000!), and three, the food is good. It’s nothing fancy, mind you, but they serve a host of your favorite food at home, but they made it so much better.
Since we were trying to have a balanced meal, we ordered different dishes.
Veggies:
Pinakbet
Bicol Express
Pork/Beef:

Tapa with lots of kropek – bestseller! Make sure to get this.
Crispy Pata
And since if was raining, of course we had to get soup – sinigang, which was just the perfect foil to all the dried meat dishes!
Fish:
Bangus Belly – it was my first time to taste this but it was sooo good! The fat of the fish was too die for (admit it, it’s your favorite part of the fish too!)

We were too full after wolfing down all that food (there were only five of us: two guys and three girls) so we just shared a slice of this baby:

frozen brazo de mercedes – one of my all time favorite desserts, but sadly, not too many restos serve this

Oh, and did I mention they serve cocktails and beer? We didn’t drink of course, as it was only noon. But, just saying. I got to try their cocktails a few months ago and it was good. 😀

They don’t have a website but they do have a facebook page which you can view here.

Food Trip: Slice

We were craving something sweet after our late dinner last Saturday, and since Slice was only a few steps away, we decided to grab a couple of cupcakes before heading to a coffee shop (Slice was too crowded).
This photo was taken a couple of months back, when it wasn’t so crowded yet
Now, on my first visit which I wrote about here, I already mentioned how ridiculously expensive their drinks were. Hubby, on a separate occasion, also noted that their cheesecake cost way too much – Php290 a slice, which becomes Php 300+ when you get to the counter, where they charge you with 10% service charge. 

 

But imagine my surprise when, after ordering four of their yema cupcakes, the lady at the counter informed me that I would be charged Php10 for a box. Huh? Say what? I was so caught off guard I could only mumble an “It’s okay” because really, how was I going to hold those cupcakes? And it’s not like they’re usual muffins or cupcakes which can be put in plain paperbags without having to worry about how messy they’d become. 
Imagine if Starbucks or Coffee Bean or any of your favourite cafes/dessert stations started charging for their take aways.
See that Php10 charge? And if you do stay to eat, they will bill you service charge. Talk about a money-making venture.

Talk about being robbed upfront of your money. Slice of heaven? Na-ah, more like a slice right out of my pocket. While I love their cakes, it is just too ridiculously priced.