Friday, December 10, 2010


If there’s anything that I would like to get this Christmas, it’s the Nokia C7, and the people who really know me would know why I want that phone.  2 things; camera and technology.

Being a food blogger, phone camera is a big deal to me and there’s nothing like HD video and 8MP camera for awesome clear pictures everywhere you go!  For my blog, I make it a point that I post crisp, clear and true to life photos so that my readers can have a good sense of what my experience was in a particular restaurant and how the food really looks like without misrepresenting anything.  Also, more often than not, I would find myself in a situation where I’m dining in a restaurant and I just decided I want to blog about it but didn’t have my digital camera with me.  Of course I have to settle with my current phone, which is not really that bad as it also takes wonderful pictures with its 5MP camera with auto-focus (a Nokia E72 – yes, I only choose the best ^_^), the 8MP camera of Nokia C7 which has full focus, would really take my blog pictures to the next level!  Night time photos (or romantic dining with dim lights ^_^) won’t be a problem with its powerful 3rd generation dual LED flash.  Oh, did I mention that it has 8GB internal memory!?!  *** cue in orchestra playing in the background…  clouds open up, Nokia C7 descends to earth from the heavens***  Seriously, I might never have a need for a digital camera ever!  Not to mention, the phone’s 3.5” display is an awesome bonus!  You get to take great pictures and also see them in a “viewer friendly” size.

Well, aside from the camera, I would of course be getting that state of the art finger gesture technology and the C7 would be my first touch screen phone!  I have been very cautious in deciding whether or not to get a touch screen phone just because I want the technology to develop even more, and now I think Nokia really pushed the envelope this time, with the Nokia C7, by combining touch screen capability of the usual phone and adding features you can only do on PC tablets and some notebooks.  I love customizing my phone’s homepage  and although that’s not really a new technology, the freedom that Nokia C7 gives the user to do that plus the real-time homepage update of your social network accounts and email just blows my mind away!  So if I customize my homepage so that it has everything I need, I can get to the applications that I usually use in, literally, just a touch of a screen!

I know you get the picture and you sense how badly I want this phone (I hope Santa is a big fan of blogs and internet surfing… please read this, Santa).  Nokia C7 is a really solid touch-screen phone with an amazing camera that would make it to the top of anyone’s wish list this Christmas just as it has made to my top 1, 2 and 3 thing/s I want this Christmas.  I just can’t wait to see how my food blog pictures would look like using that phone!  Santa, are you still reading this?  ^_^

I hope everyone gets what they want this Christmas! - From Anne in Red

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Want To Sing Duet But Noone To Sing With?

I love to sing, and whether singing loves me doesn't really matter, I'll sing anyway.  I especially love singing with someone else, unfortunately, it's really hard to find people to sing a duet with me whenever I feel like singing.  It's not my husband's cup of tea.  He would sing, but he won't bother to learn or sing the way the male parts of the song should be sung.  I know there are a lot of people out there who, like me, want to sing a decent duet number with someone to sing the other part and not you having to sing all the parts alone... ^_^  Solution?  Or should I say, solutions?  Youtube and Keepvid!

How to get videos on Youtube with Male/Female parts only?

1st Step:  Search for Male Only/Female Only Youtube videos

Very simple, just type the title of the song you're looking for and add "Female Only" or "Male Only" after a comma.  One very good example is how I found this wonderful (one of my all time favorites) duet by Leah Salonga (my favorite local/international female singer/performer) and Brad Kane (who also sang "A Whole New World" with Leah for Disney's "Alladin").  My search terms were "we could be in love, male only" and sure enough, the first item on the search results is exactly what I was looking for.

By the way, it's always better to look for karaoke videos with lyrics on the video (on screen) so that you won't have to look for lyrics or read the lyrics out of a different screen or a printout.

2nd Step:  Download  Youtube Using (so you can sing offline)

My brother introduced me to this.  Just copy the URL of the video (if it has the "&feature..." only copy the link upto before "&").

Open and paste the link, hit on download and choose the format you want!  Click and Download!

Really easy thing!


Sure enough, I tried to learn the Leah-parts and "tried" is the keyword in this sentence, mind you... ^_^  And sang the song with the virtual partner....  Using Audacity, a headset microphone (yes, a very primitive tool ^_^;) and my PC's speaker, I recorded my voice singing with the Male-Only video.

Here's the result (Please please be kind... it's my first time ever posting anything on the internet of me singing anything!  And I'm not pro and definitely not a Leah Salonga, but this is purely a labor of love and fun so I hope you enjoy!):

*  By the way, let me be the first to say, I messed up big time in one part but I was too lazy to redo the audio...  I'm sure you'd be able to tell which part... ^_^;

Here's a video I made with the audio I recorded (my voice and youtube username firsttenor76):

* pictures are from our prenup session and wedding.  Against my better judgment, posted this on youtube!  Hahahha!

There you go!  You can start singing duets now over the internet!  There are a lot of videos on youtube from anime songs made minus 1, to nursery rhyms, without the annoying melody tune guide and a lot of Male-Only songs to sing with.

Happy Singing! - From Anne in Red

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Global Warming - Real Threat to Polar Bears

 Taken from

I just finished watching an Animal Planet feature, following the lives of 2 Polar Bears (a brother and a sister) in the heart of the Arctic region.  The clip in the end really just enraged me and pushed me to write this article.

I can't find a clip of that documentary and even the photo above isn't the bear on the feature, but, the ending, which was really depressing, shows a very thin Polar Bear (can you even imagine seeing a thin Polar Bear?!), with her big bones depressingly clearly showing their raw shape against her skin.  The ice around her has melted, and the food was scarce.  Yes, sure it was the low season and Polar Bears are expected to have a difficult time hunting for food when the film was made but still, it was very alarming to see how some of them struggle to get by until the season of plenty.  That Polar Bear on the documentary was a female and she needed to fatten herself up to increase the success rate of bearing cubs, and with how she looked, it seemed that she wouldn't even last a month.

Now for people who would argue that Polar Bears have been growing steadily in numbers for the past 70 years due to conservation efforts and try to change the focus from saving endangered species to saying that all these stories about global warming and Polar Bears aren't as scary as the documentaries set them up to be, well, you may be right about some things.  These stories do get quite a number of viewers and any self respecting income generating broadcasting company want exactly that - lots of viewers and lots of money.  But it doesn't change the fact that the only reason why Polar Bear population has improved is because of human intervention - aggressive conservation efforts.  And the reason why they have been placed in the endangered species list is also greatly attributed to hunting and global warming.

And interestingly enough, there are people who argue that global warming has NOT BEEN PROVEN?  Hmmm...  I don't exactly know how to answer that technically but here are my personal observations....  Typhoons here in the Philippines have significantly grown in strength over the past 5 years.  There have been more signal storms marked 4 in the last 5 years than there are in the decade before.  Philippines has never had instances of hail but there have already been 2 in the past couple of years so far - Camaligan, Camarines Sur for example.  There are parts of Luzon that have never been flooded before, and now, there's not a lot of cities that are flood free anymore.  Our rainy season has become hot and almost an extension of Summer...  Seasons have been really hard to predict.  Dams are running out of water, and even with the ridiculously strong typhoons we have, they weren't enough to fill the the dams or they really didn't pass above the dams to fill them up.  Whether these are results of global warming is probably something debatable, but CO2 emissions have been proven to increase every year and pollution is a fact that needs no research as proof - just look where ever you go, there's all sorts of pollution.

Just that there are some people denying that there's global warming and that we are the primary contributors to this phenomenon is really upsetting.  We see one picture, one film, one clip and a lot of people rationalize it, or criticize it and refuse to see what is being shown.  The photo above, shows a Polar Bear on a small chunk of ice and he would probably have to swim to get to the next chunk and to the next... until he gets to a solid mass.  Whether it's global warming or not, can't we just be on the safe and proactive side and do our own part by minding our garbage, where we throw our cigarette butts, selling recyclable stuff to the junk shops, making sure to follow the labels in the trashcan, have your car checked when it's puffing black smoke, etc?  I love nature, I love all things that are living and refuse to be a part of the system that kills.  I am a nature lover and I will continue to be an advocate of change in the hopes that one will follow my lead, and others will too.

A passionate reminder - From Anne in Red

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Bug War 2 - Tips and Review


Bug War 2 is a second release (duh!) for the Bug War title by  It’s one of those strategy games where you or your minions occupy a tower at the start of the game and you have to overrun enemies by occupying all of their towers.

There are 2 types of towers in the whole game, the Spawn tower which can produce bugs every second and there’s the Cannon tower that can fire cannon balls at incoming attacking bugs but can’t create bugs.  Both towers can hold unlimited number of bugs.  There are 13 levels in the game and after finishing a level you’ll get a rating of 1-5 stars depending on how well you do for that level.  5 stars is the maximum number of stars you can get in a game and it’s very important you get all 5 stars for every level if you want to complete the trophies.  This game encourages replay by offering trophies and other races of bugs.  At the start, you’ll see that there are 3 options for races of bugs: Agile, Fast or Strong – but you can only choose Agile type of bugs if you’re playing the game for the first time.  Fast and Strong bugs can be unlocked after finishing the game using the Agile Race.  Also, there are 12 trophies or achievements you can complete while playing the game which are all fairly easy to get.

Here's when all levels are played and have 5 stars rating each plus all the trophies completed.


The key to get all 5 stars in each level is speed and to some extent, not losing any spawn over to the enemies. 


To finish the game really quick, you should attack the enemy straight on.  Don’t bother occupying the nearby towers if they’re not leading the shortest path to your enemy’s tower/s.  Better if you capture another spawn tower at the start of the game for higher levels so that you can produce more bugs per second, but for lower levels,  if the nearest tower is a Cannon tower, then go ahead and occupy it right away.


The lower levels are more forgiving in terms of losing spawns to the enemies.  As long as you finish the level really fast, even if you lose a couple of spawns or towers, you’ll still get 5 stars.  But for the higher levels, 10 and up, you’ll need to secure the spawns/towers you occupy by concentrating on putting bugs until you get to have 30 or so bugs in the tower, a comfortable number that you know can’t easily be overrun by the enemies.

Here's finishing level 1 in 11 seconds and 1 spawn lost, still got 5 stars.


I love this type of strategy game because it does get you to think of strategies per level because some levels can prove to be challenging if you make a wrong move for the first few clicks.  But I think the games is a little too easy and the trophies, aside from being easy to get, aren’t at all that rewarding (well, maybe it’s because they’re easy to complete so that’s why there’s no ‘feeling of satisfaction’).  I like the art and the levels but after completing the whole game, I won’t bother to play the levels again unless it’s to complete the trophy set.  I’ve played a lot of other games like this that really have more replay value.

The end of credits - after you finish level 13 'aka' "The Final Level"

For more game reviews and tips, you can go to my game blog GameBoots (

Happy Gaming! - From Anne in Red

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

How to Get Top Score in Bejeweled Blitz Every week

Bejeweled Blitz is one of the games in Facebook that has sustained its popularity since it has been introduced to the site last year by PopCap.  It is a fast paced puzzle game, a round lasts only 1 minute, and the goal is to out-score your friends every week because the scores are reset every Wednesday early morning.  Here are some tips on how you can out-rank your friends every week and be the talk of the town for your high scores in this game.  Our goal is to get 300,000+++ every week for a safe spot on top.
First, you should know how to recognize a good set from the first 5 seconds of the game.  If you find yourself struggling to find a match, then chances are, it’s not going to give you good results in the end.  Quit it and start a new game.  If you start a game and quickly find matches easily, then that’s a good round.  Halfway through the game, if you haven’t got any multiplier or you’re still at less than 50 thousand points, then it’s best if you quit the game and start again.  It’s important not to waste time on games that won’t put you on the leader board.

This is a so-so game.  You can find 3 matches in a glance so you can play this set but I've seen better combination so you can quit this and start a new one too.

This one's a good game.  You have possibilities for big scoring and multiple jewel matches.  You can play this game.

  This is a great game!  Do I need to explain why?  Just a few clicks and you'll have bonus items!

Speed is the key to this game and as soon as the game starts, you should have already found at least a couple of possible matches in the board.  And every time you successfully find some jewels to match, as your hand is leading the mouse to make the match, your eyes should already be looking for another one.  Think a step or 2 steps ahead of the game.  If you do this, you’ll start piling up Speed Bonus.  Speed Bonus gives additional points to every quick matches you make hereafter.  Speed bonus starts at 200 and increases to 1,000 points as long as you keep matching colors or jewels quickly.  You should not break the momentum or else you’ll lose the speed bonus and have to build it up again starting 200 points.  That’s a waste of a lot of points and time.  Also, once you max out the speed bonus, as long as you keep getting matches really fast, you’ll notice that the bonus (upper left corner of the game) is filling up with orange color.  Once it’s full, you’re going to have a few seconds of speed bonus explosion.  All the jewels that you create matches with will explode and break the other jewels around it, which is good because it means more points for every match.

Learn to prioritize matches that contain 4 or more jewels instead of just 3 jewels.  Simple reason behind this is that they give you more points and give you bonus items.  It’s important that if you see bonus items such “multiplier”, “flame gem”, “star gem” and “hypercube”, you should prioritize finding matches or using them, especially the multiplier.  If you can break the multiplier as soon as you see it, then it will start multiplying the points that you get for every match from the moment you break it.  Imagine if you have 1,000 speed bonus and you currently are at 7x (after matching a 7x multiplier gem), that 1,000 speed bonus gives you 7,000 points.

Start finding matches at the bottom of the board so that it shakes up the placement of the gems and gives you a lot more chance to find good set or balance of colors and matches.

If you have enough coins to buy boosts, make sure you can buy the maximum number of boosts which is 3.  Buying just 2 or 1 won’t do much good.  Here are my top 3 boosts that work absolutely great when used together; Mystery Gem (and pray it gives you a hypercube or a multiplier), +5 seconds (adding 5 seconds at the end of the game is crucial because this is when you have a big multiplier and you’re piling up speed bonuses at this point) and Free Multiplier.  Using boosts will give you easy 300,000+ points or as much as 500,000++ points.

All in all, practice makes perfect and as soon as you get the hang of applying all the tips in this article, then you’ll find yourself placing first every week with the least amount of time spent on the game.

I hope you find these tips useful! - Anne in Red

Friday, June 18, 2010

Last Minute Father’s Day Gifts

Oh my gosh!  Father’s day is just a couple of days away!!!  I hope everyone has ordered or started working on their father’s day gifts!  If not, well, here are a few suggestions for last minute Father’s Day gifts from ones that wouldn’t cost you anything to ones that need a little financial sacrifice:

If you’re musically inclined, then why not use the talents your dad has passed on to you?  Play the guitar and sing a song for him, like “Father and Son”, “Through the Years”, “Bridge Over Troubled Waters”, “I’ll Stand By You” or, surprise him and have everyone sing “Happy Father’s Day To You” – tune of “Happy Birthday” – while bringing out a cake or some chips and beer.  ^_^  Even if the song wasn’t really intended for a Dad, you can change part of the lyrics to suit the occasion.

2) ART
If you’re into the arts and crafts, here are some great artistic last minute father’s day gift suggestions that small kids and moms can do together,  as well as artistic ideas for the big kids… ^_^

A.  Custom Made Greeting Card with Handwritten Message

Back to basics.  This is one of the easiest last minute Father’s Day gifts.  Just fold a regular bond paper twice to make your basic greeting card shape.  On the front part, draw whatever you want to draw for Dad, let mommy help you, and then for the inside of the card, write your message.  Nothing beats a handwritten message in this age of computers, texts, and emails.  You can use crayons, water-based paints/poster colors, cutouts, glue, a pair of scissors and anything else you want to use.   Be creative!  You can use harder, thicker special papers if you want.  Throw in a poem you've made to make it more special!

B.  Handmade Picture Frame with Family Photo or Scrapbook

Make a decorative picture frame by using craft materials like ready-made letterings you can buy from the arts/crafts (scrapbook) section of the bookstore, some buttons, lace, etc.  For the frame, you can use illustration board or any kind of board you want.  You can even recycle parts of the big balikbayan boxes.  Just use the side that doesn’t have any print or you can cover up the print with your art materials.

Mini-scrapbooks are also available.  You can put your baby pictures there or photos with you and your Dad together.  You don’t have to put photos on every page.  You can have family members sign or write a message in some of the pages.  Put photos of your Dad hard at work, photos of your Dad in the garage, family day pictures, etc.

C.  Powerpoint Presentation with Background Music and Family Photos

Be very creative here!  Mix some nice background music with your favorite photos with Dad and the whole family!  Easy last minute father’s day gift!  You can have funny captions for every photo, and have a theme and a title to tie up the whole presentation, something like “When I Grow Up…”  ^_^ Plus PCD soundtrack?  ^_^  Funny!   Then have your photos with Dad from babyhood upto your current age…  And towards the end of the presentation, switch to a more serious music and add some sincere and serious messages, something like, “And as the years have passed us by, the more I realized how much of a wonderful Dad you are.  I hope someday I could be half as wonderful as you are.  Happy Father’s Day!” 

After you finish the presentation, save it and send it via email, or post it on his Facebook wall, or sneak in and copy it to his laptop or the PC and trick him into opening the file.  Use a funny filename too if you want, or use a filename that goes like this, “Open this if you are (name of your dad).pptx”.

D.  Customized T-Shirt

This one, you can either do it yourself or have it printed by someone else.  T-shirts would cost around 150Php – 200Php depending on the size and brand of plain shirt.  If you’re going to design your own Father’s Day T-shirt gift and print it on the shirt yourself, it’s best to use cotton shirts although there are “Transfer papers” that are for semi-elastic shirts too.  The transfer papers cost around 100Php or less and they come in pairs or sometimes 5pcs, depending on what type you get.  You’ll have a choice of buying light transfer papers which are used for white T-shirts and dark transfer papers for colored shirts.  There are instructions on how to print and transfer the designs but it’s basically ironing the design into the shirt.

 If all that seem too complicated or inconvenient for you, malls have specialized shops or stalls that print designs you choose from their own album, into the T-shirt of your choice.  Easier!  You can choose to have letters and spell out a name or a message.  Each letter will cost around 5Php each.  Designs can cost from 20-100Php depending on the type and size of design.  This one’s fast and you’ll get the shirt in seconds after you finalize your design and layout on the shirt.

What Dad doesn’t want to be pampered by his kids or his wife?  Offer to be of service the whole day!  Everything he wants, you do!  Let's say... a massage?  Back rub?  Watch his favorite movies over and over again?  Sing videoke?  Play golf?  Or you can give him a gift certificate of his favorite store whether it’s a sport shop, a clothes shop or a massage parlor.

You can treat him to a dinner or lunch out at his favorite restaurant, or you can check out my food blog ( for restaurant reviews to find which restaurant is right for your celebration.  I recommend Lime 88 ^_^. 

These are just some of the last minute Father’s day gifts you can give your Dad, but since every Dad is special from all the Dads, I’m sure you know what the best gift is for your Dad.  It’s really the thought that counts and the effort or time your put into thinking about the gift or doing it.  This is just one day in a year that we honor our fathers, and I hope we honor them well and give them the proper respect and gratitude they deserve. 

Happy Father’s Day to my Papa! – from your little (well, not so little anymore) Letlet, now turned Anne in Red.

Here are some of our pictures from last year's Father's Day (2009)!  We were lucky enough to spend that day with him while he's in the Philippines!  He's such a funny Dad! Super Dad!

Reminiscing our Racks lunch at SM North EDSA with Papa some years back...  It's Racks again, MOA branch!

And here are some cute shots we took somewhere from several locations in MOA.

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads, Papa, Itay, Ama out there! - From Anne in Red.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Wedding Preparations - Where to Start?

In the light of the anniversary of one of the best things that happened in my life, our wedding, I would like to give some wedding preparation tips to all bride-to-be’s out there as they’re planning for their wedding because I know that wedding preparations are one of the most daunting tasks any 2 persons (I assume the groom is going to help the bride) can take on.  I’ll break my posts down into parts because I’m sure it’s going to be a long series of tips.

Where to begin?  What are the first steps?

Once you’ve said yes to one of the most famous questions in the world, “Will you marry me?” or even if you skipped that and just decided you’ll tie the knot, you can start your wedding plans with either of the 2 options:

A. Choosing the Date

This is for couples who have set a date in stone and don’t ever want to change that wedding date for personal reasons like favorite number, favorite date, significant date, tradition or cultural beliefs.  This means, that everything else, like the venue availability and guest availability, will have to work around this.  So, set a date first before going forward.  This will be your guiding star throughout the planning stage.  The best preparation time is a year or more before the wedding so it’s best to set a date a year or more ahead.  Making reservations or services will be a lot cheaper, your guests will have more time to plan their trip if they will be coming from outside the country and you won’t have to rush things and get all tensed on the wedding day.

The Anne in Red Experience:

Personally, we had 2 years to plan for ours, and that’s just fine because we had a habit of relaxing a bit and getting side-tracked when planning.  ^_^  We originally wanted a Christmas season wedding because the hotels and the churches are wonderfully decorated at that time of the year.  But, due to other factors, specifically my dad’s availability, that didn’t happen.  So clearly, this wasn’t our guiding star.

B. Choose the Church (or Ceremony Venue) and/or Reception Venue

This is for couples who have a specific church or venue in mind and everything else will have to work around that venue.  That means, it’s more important for you to get that venue and you’re flexible with the date of the wedding.  Decide if it’s your dream church or a dream reception venue, either way, make sure that both locations, where you’re going to have your wedding rites and the reception, are close to each other.  This is going to be your North star, and your plans will generally revolve around this.

The Anne in Red Experience:

This is exactly the path we went on.  We, well, I had a church in mind and have wanted to get married in it since I was in high school, love at first sight.  When I was in high school, It was a church in the middle of a reclamation area in Pasay and it was the only structure there.  It was like a church disconnected from the city but still very close to it.  Fast forward 10 or so years after, one of the biggest malls in the Philippines (Mall of Asia) was right in front of it and soon many other huge structures around the area that turned it into a metropolis!  Well, I still wanted to get married there so I had to put up with all the buildings and the crowd from the mall.  Later on, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

 Here's The church from the outside.  Clean lines, really neat and just breathtaking in a simple elegant way.  I love how simple and clean it looks.  It's like all outlines and no rough lines.

  Here's the church from the inside.  I love it even if it's huge and really not ideal for small intimate weddings.  Our wedding was small with 100-150 guests, but still, I wanted this big church not for the prestige but because I've laid my eyes on it for a long long time, and I just wanted my dream to come true.  Love it!

And here's how it looked in December.  Yes, the lights change!:

There certainly are other ways you can start your wedding preparations.  It really depends on your priorities and your technique or style as a couple.  Wedding is a big project in which the bride and groom are the project managers.  Create your own style of approach but if you’re lost and find yourself not knowing where to start, you can choose from either one of the options I enumerated.  I know that when it comes to wedding preparations, you'll need all the help you can get!

Happy planning and don’t get stressed out!  Have fun while preparing for the big day!  A reminder from Anne in Red.

* By the way, you can find more details about our wedding on our wedsite that you might be able to get ideas from at  You can also create your own free wedsite account to document your wedding preparations!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Amateur Copy Artist - Katsa and Watercolor

I started a project in March to paint a full picture of an unknown anime.  I wanted to see how so many years of not drawing and painting has affected my skills (if I had any).  ^_^  I finished it 1st week of April after 2 weeks of on and off painting.

The materials I used were:

  • Cheesecloth or better known as "Katsa" - I used leftovers from the 4 or so meters I bought in Glorietta at 18php each meter (on sale in one of the stores - the rest were selling them for 30php).  I used them to make privacy curtains to hide the stuff under the stairs.  ^_^
  • Watercolor
  • water
  • tissue
  • a picture from the internet (the image I copied)
  • Pencil
  • extra paper or extra katsa to test out the colors

I sketched the outlines on the katsa using a mechanical pencil (the only pencil I had at that time) which I didn't think would really work, but it did!

Here's the sketch on the katsa in pencil.

And here it is side by side with the image I'm trying to copy.  I have a layer of paper covering the table because I expect the paint, being very watery, to seep through the katsa and just blot out the painting.  A paper or tissue at the back of the katsa will absorb the excess paint or water.

And here's the finish product!  Not bad, ei?

And here's the finish product side by side with the original image plus some of the materials I used.  I wasn't confident enough to add the sakura flowers on the yukata.  I might mess it up and it looks pretty ok even without them, so I left the flowers out.

I loved the whole experience and to actually finish the painting is just unbelievable!  It's like a personal breakthrough because I seem to always be good at starting things and never big on actually finishing them except if I really have to.  ^_^

If you want to see the painting as it progressed, here's a slideshow featuring shots I took throughout the painting process:

Why don't you start working on that project you've been putting aside for a long time now?  Whether it's learning to speak in a different language, taking up a hobby you always wanted to try or starting your own blog, there's no better time but NOW!  For we'll never know what tomorrow is going to be like for us.

A friendly reminder from Anne in Red.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Addicted to Free Online Games

I've been addicted to games all my life.  I think it's my brother's influence on me.  We started with the good ol' Family Computer, then Atari, PSX (the 1st playstation but shouldn't be confused with PS1 which was the more portable version and sometimes comes with an LCD monitor attachment), borrowed Dreamcast so we played a few games there too, PS2, PC games played over the internet and LAN like Counter-Strike, Starcraft and MMORPGs (Mass Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) like Ragnarok, and now... I can't stop playing free online games!

Free online games are free games (of course) created buy heaven sent game developers, which are often flash based or sometimes even java...  They have really quickly achievable end goals compared to long playing console games and almost goal-less MMORPGs.  They're often hosted on the developer's own site such as and  This means, these sites develop their own whole barrage of assorted types of games and host them on their own website (only their games are on their websites) but make it available for other websites to embed the games on their sites.  A sample of these "other websites" that host various games from different developers are and

I check a whole lot of my own bookmarked sites everyday because there's sure to be a least 5 new games posted in a day.  But I don't play all of the games.  The games are categorized as (the most common categories) Strategy, Adventure/RPG, Skill/Simulation, Sport, Puzzle, Action, Shooting and Classic/Arcade.  The categories of games I love to play are Strategy (mostly tower defense games), Skill/Simulation (lots of cooking games, mostly mouse heavy games - use the mouse a lot) and RPG games (role-playing games).

Exactly how addicted am I?  Well, I did mention I check the sites everyday, right?  I guess that would make me an addict already, right?  And when I play, my goal is always to reach the end goal with the best statistics or with the most number of points.  Most of these games allow you to submit your scores online at the end of the game.  Then you'd be able to see how you ranked among all the other players around the world.  If you're playing with a Philippine IP, you get to see our flag beside your name!  I've ranked really high in some of the games and I'm proud of it.

Here are some of the tops scores I've landed:

This is from a game called "Cook Until Done" where you have to cook (mostly grill) sausages and stuff until they are perfectly done and serve them to your customers.  And yes, top score!  See the Philippine flag proudly on number 1?  This one's a cooking game, but some sites don't have a separate "cooking" category so they place these kinds of games under "skill".

The 2 pictures above are from "Parasite X" where you have to aid the parasite and stop the blood cells from killing it.  It's considered to be a strategy game and a skill game too.

If you're looking for something to do with your free time, well, I'm not saying this is the best and most productive activity you can do, but incase you want to give it a try, here are some of the sites I check everyday for new games:

Happy gaming and hope to see more Philippine flags on highscores, from Anne in Red!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Back to Painting? For How Long?

I'm one of those people who can't wait to get their hands on a new, or in this case old, hobby...  Start doing it... buy the necessary materials (props)... only to leave it again for a new hobby...  ^_^  Also, a jack of all trades, and, unfortunately master of none...  And here I go again!  I'm back to painting after, ummm... 10 years!?

I use watercolor and love how very flexible and easy it is to use!  I started with painting Japanese Anime Characters and never attempted to do serious painting.  And it was all for the love of art!  I'm a copy artist and I never draw/paint without a copy...  I have to say, I'm very good at it (copying).  I can get the proportions, color, etc. down to the last detail, or at least I try.  I remember those good old days when I didn't have a paper that's big enough for what I wanted to do so I tape four 8.5" x 11" sheets together!  I taped them at the back, end to end and they look like 1 big poster paper!  That's how desperate I was and needed to paint right away and didn't bother going to a bookstore to buy a cartolina.  I transform text cards of anime characters to posters!  For those of you who don't know what a "text card" is, it's like the Magic the Gathering cards only smaller... around 2" x 1" and has the characteristics of trump cards (power, speed, etc.) and you can flip 2 of them in the air and play against your friends.  ^_^

Here's how some of them would look like:

Dragon Ball


  Yuyu Hakusho (Ghost Fighter)

Going back to painting, yes, I'm back to painting and here's the result...

 First, the sketch.  I'm also into poem writing so I wrote a poem dedicated to my husband.  ^_^  It's entitled "Left Hand Ring".  I tried drawing my hands... I'm not really a 3D artist nor have I tried still life, because I know I'm not good at it.  But I decided I should try...  ^_^

Here it is, nearing completion.  I painted flesh over those green paint that got inside the hand border.  I also made an error when I wrote the poem in ink...  I accidentally transposed 2 words.  The last line should have been written as "And they'll never be empty again."  This is in reference to my favorite novel, Little Women (by Louisa May Alcott) where Jo (a girl) got proposed to by Prof. Baehr under the rain and he said he has nothing to offer but his empty hands.  Jo put her hands in them and said, "Not empty now."  So romantic!

For anyone who's interested, here's how the whole poem goes...

*  I usually follow strict measure and rhyme pattern when I make poems but I found it hard to stick to one when I was making this.  A bit rusty, I guess.

Left Hand Ring

When the band stopped playing
And the music faded to nothing
I stopped to look at my empty hands
Nothing special, nothing new, nothing grand

As other continued living
My hands wouldn't stop trembling
Thinking about the days I've had
Nothing significant, unique, or fab

But the light showed me something
Reflecting from my left hand ring
Reminding me of the joys at hand
Something different, special and grand

A change has taken place
And not a minute sooner
As I look forward to the days
We spend fun times together

As my hands start to fold
You put yours in them
Now my hands are never cold
And they'll never be empty again.

- by Anne in Red

My husband seemed to like it and we posted it on our dining room wall.  ^_^  The painting might not be perfect and the poem might need a little polishing, not to mention, I might grow tired of painting again and lay my brushes untouched after another 10 years. But the message, the thought and the emotion behind this work is perfect.  A perfect love that will never fade.  Unconditional and true.  That's the love I have for my Mario!

Happy loving everyone!

from Anne in Red.

How I Avoid being Roasted Under the Summer Sun

Summer has begun and so has our battle against the scorching sun.  It's all the girls (and guys) against an invisible enemy called UVB light (Ultraviolet B light).  I can explain all the dangers of prolonged exposure to UVB light but I think it's best to direct you to another site for a more thorough explanation (and save you from reading boredom).  Click here for more information on UV light.

Personally, I've started being conscious about UV light and being exposed to it when I was terminated from my Mon-Fri 3 and 1/2 years of forever night shift job.  I rarely saw the sun while working that shift, except for weekends, but even on weekends, I'm really a night person. We go to the mall when it's almost closing time and catch the last full show (movie) all the time.  ^_^  So, I never really cared to find out how to protect myself from UV light.  But now's a different story.  Even if it's not summer time, you can feel the sun burning your skin.  It's irritating, it's really hot and sometimes itchy.  I end up having, not only rosy cheeks but also rosy arms, neck, etc!  I don't know where you live but that's still not pretty for anyone anywhere!  And I'm a Filipina.  I have naturally brown skin, and never need a tan and don't want it.  I also read from somewhere that exposing your skin to UV rays for long periods would speed up skin aging.  I don't want to try to prove or disprove that so prevention is always better and it won't hurt anyone.  I'll give you the 3 items that I use everyday before going out at day time.

SPF, you see that in a lot of beauty products these days and there's a good reason for it.  It's good for your skin!  SPF (Sun Protection Factor) tells how long you may stay under the sun without burning from UVB light.

     a)  10 minutes:  how long you can stay under the sun before it burns
                   *  This figure is for example purposes only.  This differs from 1 person to another.  Light skinned folks have shorter safe exposure times than darker skinned folks.  This is the general rule.)
     b)  SPF 15 sunblock applied to skin

      How long can I stay under the sun without burning my skin with the help of an SPF 15 sunblock?

       10 minutes X SPF 15 =  150

        150 minutes sun exposure before your skin burns with the help of an SPF 15 sunblock.

*  In simplest terms, it really is quite literally the factor of how much your safe sun exposure time is raised.  In the sample equation, the safe sun exposure time was raised by a factor of 15.

Now that we got that down, needless to say, the higher the SPF number is, the better.  SPF rate goes to as high as 200.  The most that a skin protection product has (as far as I've seen) is SPF 50.  Without further ado, here are my battle armors:

Hawaiian Tropic Baby Faces Sunblock.  Of course!  With SPF 50!  Bought at SM Hypermart (Sucat) for the price of 366.75Php.  I chose this over the other sunblocks because it's gentle enough for babies, has less chemicals (according to the label), pediatrician tested and waterproof (or what I call "sweatproof" ^_^).

BB Cream from Elianto (Mall of Asia).  This replaced my foundation and moisturizer.  If I'm not going out, I use a moisturizer without any SPF because it's cheaper.  But if I go out, I use this as my moisturizer and foundation.  If you don't have oily skin, you won't have to put powder on top of it but I have oily skin and need a light coat of powder.  I forgot how much I bought this for but it's well over 300Php.

Burt's Bees Lip Balm (weatherproofing for SUN and SNOW) bought from Beauty Bar (Mall of Asia).  My former officemate gave me one of these as a gift and I got hooked!  It's really a good product and it has many different variants for different needs but they're all priced the same, 325Php.  This, in particular, is good for extreme weather.  It's white when applied (not opaque but a little translucent white) so put a neutral lip color on top but leave it alone if you're not going out.  Apply as necessary.  It has a minty flavor.

I'm sure most of your initial reactions are violent... towards the price.  Well, these are just one of the many things you can do to protect your skin against harmful UV rays.  I'm sure there are other more natural and less expensive methods out there but these 3 work for me.  In the end, I hope this article served as a reminder that the ozone layer is thinning, more harmful UV rays are penetrating our atmosphere and our climate (all over the world) is changing...  There are extremes of everything - heat, snow, wind, etc.  Start protecting yourself now, while your skin is still in a more healthy condition, rather than wait for something to happen to it that may require medical attention.

Just a friendly reminder from Anne in Red.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I am a RED person!

Hi!  I decided to explain the name of the blog for my first post.  I hope you won't get bored because it will all be about me.  ^_^ <--this is my favorite smiling face, by the way...

When it all started...
Red has been my favorite color ever since I was a child.  I remember claiming it as such when I was watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (TMNT) back in the 80's!  One of my favorite Western Animation of all time and my favorite among the 4 (you might be able to guess) is Raphael!  He's so cool, labeled "the bad boy" of all TMTN, gets angry easily yet cares deeply for his brothers and their sensei although he tries hard not to show them.  ^_^

* Raphael - Red Bandana

I am very RED...

There are many characteristics that make the color red such a perfect word to describe me.


- War and Love
This is how red first shows its contradicting nature.  While it's used to symbolize war because it is a bold and very warm color, it is also used to symbolize love and usually paints the valentine hearts.

  *  The Philippines' very own flag is turned red-side-up when we're at war.  Although I haven't seen it raised that way and I'm glad if it stays that way forever.  ^_^

- Anger and Passion/Affection
Red is also the color of anger (especially when writing letters).  Your ears and face turn red when you're burning with anger.  Coincidentally, your face turns red too, when you blush after being complimented by your crush.  ^_^  It shows your burning passion.

*  If you've never seen a boy blush, well, here's how it would look (bottom: Tomoya Okazaki from "Clannad")  I don't know who the baby boy (top) is, but he's cute ^_^.

Red is one of the colors that contradict itself in many different aspects...

Anne also continues to contradict herself everyday!  She is confident, unique, bold and opinionated yet she's also shy, stereotypical and open-minded.  I like dressing up even if it's just an ordinary trip to the mall.  It's up to that level that people may think I'm cosplaying (costume play).  When I go out sometimes, I assume a role, weather it's a Gothic girl, punk, anime, sporty, New Yorker, etc. and dress the part.  But on some days, when I dress down, I really dress down to lose pants, a pair of sneakers and lose shirt.  I can start a conversation, or stay quiet depending on a lot of different factors.  I'm a joker and an entertainer in a group, yet sometimes I struggle to find the right words to say without being really awkward.

Attention catcher

Red catches everyone's attention (except if you're color blind).  If you want your car to be noticed from miles away, paint it red like Ferrari cars...  If you want to be noticed in a crowd, wear a statement red dress or really loud red t-shirt.

Anne also catches the attention of many people (strangers, friends and relatives alike).  ^_^  Well, one of the times when I command attention, whether I like it or not (or if it's good attention or not) is when I go out all dressed up and also when I speak.  I'm really loud and talkative at any good gathering time or even alone with my husband.  He sometimes gets annoyed but if there's a very successful ice breaker invented, it should be named after me!  ^_^

Red means Celebration or Happiness!

Here's my very red wedding gown.  Worn on one of the happiest days of my life marking a beginning of a wonderful part of my life journey.

Red for birthdays and other celebratory events which means you're happy that day!  This is also very prominent in the Chinese culture where red signifies prosperity, success and happiness.

Anne is a very happy person.  While I'm certainly not rich, in the context of worldly possessions, I certainly am rich in knowledge, wisdom, love, confidence and contentment.  I don't need to be as old as a tortoise to be wise, or be a scholar to be considered knowledgeable, or be a public speaker (although I love talking in front of a crowd) to be considered confident and certainly I don't have to be rich to be contented with who I am, what I have, who I'm with and what I'm doing!  ^_^  I love life and everything I stumble on in my own life journey.  That's where my riches come from and I'm happy to share it with everyone!

Why "Anne in RED"?
While there are most certainly many other reasons why I like red, but the main reason why my blog is called "Anne in Red" is because red, being a bold color, represents the Anne that is not afraid to voice out her own opinions.  I've been really avoiding personal blogs or blogs that tackle anything under the sun because I am always careful on stepping on other people's toes.  But not anymore.  This blog is my "coming out blog".  Coming out of my safe zone, a blog about my opinion on anything and everything.  Whether people like it or not, that's how I feel about that particular topic, whatever it may be.

Phew!  Such a long post just to explain a blog name...  ^_^  Thank you for reading on 'till the end (for those who did) and for those who skipped some parts, thank you too!  I'll have more interesting articles coming up!  Be sure to check on this every now and then!
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