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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 07/11/12

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

ORANGE PUSH UP SMOOTHIE!


   I thought I would throw a little bit of a curve ball your way and post a nice smoothie recipe (I love smoothies, of the non alcohol variety.  This recipe comes from www.loveveggiesandyoga.com.  Enjoy this nice refreshing drink  for breakfast or lunch.  Enjoy yourself!


When I was growing up, one of my favorite things to do was ride my bike with my friends to the local gas station’s mini-mart and reach into their freezer case and pull out an Orange Push-Up.






I loved Push-Ups and seeing those brightly colored dots meant that creamy orange goodness was soon going to be mine.






I love it when Push-Ups begin to melt because they taste even sweeter, creamier, and better.
The same was true with this smoothie. As it began to melt, it got even better.






This smoothie is a dead ringer for Orange Push-Ups.
Don’t skimp on the sugar if you want it to taste exactly like an Orange Push-Up and I promise, it does.






Sweet oranges ‘n creamy perfection.






I used this mango-orange from Hawaii’s Own brand for the concentrate. It was on sale for 99 cents for the can at my grocery store and I was
being cheap being budget conscious and didn’t want to buy the Minute Maid which was $3.29 for one can.
If you can’t find this concentrate, I’m sure any OJ concentrate or citrus juice concentrate blend should be fine. I really didn’t taste mango per se, just an orangey citrus flavor.






This recipe made three good-sized smoothies and since I wasn’t going to drink them all at once, I popped the leftover smoothie mixture in the freezer and realized after the fact that I should have poured the extra into Popsicle molds for homemade Push-Ups. Next time, I’ll do that.
For now, I’ve been eating it like orange sherbet style with a spoon from the glasses I poured it into and then froze.






And doing lots of slurping.
The variations of what I’m going to do with this addictive orange mixture is exciting and has my wheels turning:






1. Pour it into molds and freeze like traditional Push-Ups (or frozen into ice cube trays or poured into paper Dixie cups with a makeshift stick inserted and peel off the paper cup after it has frozen)
2. Freeze it and eat in a bowl as orange sherbert
3. Drink it smoothie style






Now if the weather could just warm up a bit so my teeth don’t chatter while I slurp copious amounts of orange sugary liquid.





But I’ll shiver and chatter for this stuff any day.










TOP 10 SCARIEST FILIPINO MONSTERS!!

    Here are, ten of the most scary and unusual monsters in Filipino mythology:



10. Aswang


Aswang 10-1




    The aswang is probably the most common of Filipino monsters since there are so many different kinds. In general, they are shape shifters who are human by day and then at night turn into a dog, a pig, a bat, cat, snake… the type of animal depends on the regional lore. They break into funeral homes and steal recent corpses. They are also known to enter homes to drink human blood and can turn people into aswang by tricking the human to bite them in return. The aswang are especially hungry for human fetus so some of the more superstitious stories include neighborhoods patrols set up in front of the home of a pregnant woman to protect her from wandering stray animals in case they are the aswang in disguise.



9. Matruculan

Balisong2



    The Matruculan is one of many Filipino creatures who attack pregnant women. This particular creature first impregnates a virgin before coming back later to kill the woman and eat the fetus (although some stories say that both mom and baby are eaten). Some stories claim that the woman is not a virgin but rather married and already pregnant. To protect the mother and child, the husband must swing a balisong (pictured above), or butterfly knife, above the woman’s belly while she is in labor. This leads one to wonder: which is scarier, an invisible mythological creature, or the father of your unborn child brandishing a knife above your abdomen?



8. Kapre



Kapre



    These are hairy giants with glowing eyes and a cigar that never burns out. They can usually be found sitting atop of trees waiting for nightfall to scare naughty children who are outside of their homes late at night. The Kapre is a unique Filipino monster because he doesn’t steal fetuses, eat people or cut them up. The Kapre simply enjoys scaring children… and I suppose laughing at them for being scared. Some stories claim they are actually very friendly beings who can grant wishes if you find their magical white stone. One can assume a Kapre is nearby when trees sway while there is no breeze or you see faint smoke from high above, probably from the Kapre‘s cigar..




7. Duwende


Duwende1



    These are tiny human-like creatures that live underground. There are two main types of Duwende: the duwende puti who are supposedly kind creatures who bring about good luck, or the duwende itim who are mean folk that like to play pranks on humans. They generally keep to themselves and only interact with humans when their homes are disturbed. For example, a kindly farmer who takes care of his plot may be rewarded by the duwende puti with a greater abundance of crops than usual. However, someone who kicks an anthill on or near the home of a duwendi itim will be punished with a myriad of ailments from twisted mouth to swollen testicles. The best way to avoid Duwende of any kind is to say “Tabi-tabi po” aloud before entering what might be their space.



6. Tiyanak


Tiyanak



    The tiyanak is similar to the Greek mythological siren in that it lures its prey with its voice. A person hears a baby cry from deep in the woods and then follows the sound to rescue the baby. Some stories say the person wanders aimlessly in search for the baby and becomes hopelessly lost. Other stories claim that the person eventually finds a baby in the middle of the woods. When it is picked up, the baby then shape-shifts into a monster with large, sharp teeth. It then eats the person and transforms back to a baby to await its next victim. With either version, the story ends with “… and he was never found again.”



5. Sigbin



Sigbin



    Depending on region and storyteller, the sigbin resembles either a hornless goat, a reptilian crow, or something vaguely along the lines of the Chupacabra. What is most common with all accounts is that its head hangs between its forelegs which are much shorter than its hindlegs. Whether because of physiology or because it makes the sigbin seem scarier, it is also known to crabwalk backwards. The sigbin also has a long whip-like tail that emit’s a foul stench and two grasshopper-like legs on its neck that enable it to jump far distances. They wander around at night in search of children to devour but they keep the hearts to make amulets. Most stories and sightings originate from the Cebu region. However, although it is some distance away, in 2005 scientists in Borneo discovered a “cat-fox-like carnivore” with hind legs longer than forelegs giving it an awkward gait and physical appearance that somewhat fits many of the descriptions of the sigbin (e.g. long tail, short forearms, can jump far distances, carnivorous). No conclusive evidence has been found yet to link the two together.


4. Tikbalang


Tikbalang1




    The tikbalang is described as having the head of a horse, the body of a man and the hooves of a horse where human feet would be. In northern regions, the tikbalang is considered a nuisance but generally harmless. They enjoy disorienting weary travelers and making them imagine things that don’t exist. Travelers can easily stop the pranks by turning their own shirt inside out and asking the tikbalang to stop bothering them. The stories of tikbalang from southern regions paint the creature as a much more sinister monster. He has glowing red eyes, a large cigar and smells of the stench of burning hair. When angered (and he angers easily), the tikbalang will stamp you to death. To tame the beast, the person must pluck the one of three unusually long hairs found in its mane. After that, the tikbalang is your slave. Folklore states that when the sun shines through the clouds while it is raining, a pair of Tikbalang are getting married.




3. Kumakatok



Kumakatok



    In the middle of the night, a knock will sound at the door and outside are three hooded figures, one a pretty, young woman and two elderly men. There are no stories of how the group was formed or where they originated but tales about them have popped up all over the Philippines and with more frequency around the time of outbreaks. Legend has it that a visit from them is an omen that someone in the family will soon die. There are no paintings or hangings that can keep them at bay. Leaving the door unanswered does not help either. They simply knock and leave and then someone would still die shortly thereafter.



2. The White Lady / Kaperosa



Screen Shot 2009-11-20 At 11.04.33 Am



    The White Lady is a specific kind of Multo, or ghost. Most multo tend to be family members who come back to certain relatives to take care of unfinished business but the White Lady is unique in that she doesn’t appear to only her relatives or even to specific people she knew when alive. Many sightings have reported her in empty buildings, near forests and on cliffs. However, she is most commonly reported seen along Balete Drive in Quezon City. She was a young lady who was raped and killed by two Japanese soldiers during WWII. While there haven’t been stories of the White Lady being a purposefully malicious being, she has been the reported as the cause of more than a few car accidents by drivers who look in their rearview mirror and see a young lady in the backseat wearing a white dress. Sure, some strange, unknown lady sitting in your backseat is bad enough but the White Lady is also said to have no face or a face covered in blood.



1. Manananggal



Manananggal



    The Manananggal is sometimes considered to be a special breed of the aswangs. They are sometimes referred to as “Tik-tik” because of the sound it makes while in flight. To confuse its victims, the tik-tik sound becomes fainter as she nears. These creatures generally take on the form of a beautiful woman with large, leathery bat wings. The lower half of her body takes root to the ground while the upper part detaches as she flies in search of food. The manananggal has a taste for human blood and a particular craving for the hearts of human fetuses which it retrieves with its long, proboscis-like tongue. Like the Western culture’s vampire, the manananggals hate garlic and salt so hanging garlic or placing a bowl of salt near the window is the best way to keep them away. To kill a manananggal, one must find the lower body and spread salt or ashes on the open wound. That prevents the two halves from joining and transforming back to human form when daylight breaks.

CHRISTMAS IN JULY!!





   Christmas in July is an event which is unofficially celebrated as a holiday by people. It is especially popular among the young people. A Christmas in July dinner usually includes Christmas Decorations Christmas Candles, colorful streamers, bonbons, Christmas hats and whistles.
   During the summer months in the northern hemisphere, the weather becomes increasingly warm and many people crave for the atmosphere of cooler temperatures, gift giving, and holiday spirit. To satisfy this craving, some people throw parties during the month of July that mimic the holiday of Christmas.

History of Christmas In July








    It's hot, you're sweaty and longing for some relief from the heat. Aren't you? And while thinking about winter, you're probably also dreaming of all those snowy nights of Christmas celebrations? Well well, you can't actually change the season now, but the closest you can get to doing so is reduce the time left for Christmas and celebrate it now, in July. That's what many are doing year after year. An unofficial holiday, Christmas in July imitates the festivities of the actual Christmas and signifies our yearning for the coolness of winter amid the scorching summer months. Do you have any idea when Christmas in July celebrations started popping up? No?





    Come July, and there is an air of festivity all over. Everywhere we find people making a mad rush to nearby stores, shops and malls to buy gift items, apparels and all other articles traditionally linked to festal occasions. Those out of the loop may wonder at the reason for this sudden shopping though such people are a rarity. It is hard to come by anyone who has not heard about or celebrated the much talked about occasion - "Christmas In July".






Even Santa needs a little amusement with his buds

But how did this festival originate?

   The precise beginnings of the Christmas in July tradition is not very clear, although it is commonly believed that it actually started in Europe, as a way to celebrate Christmas in summer. During the summer months in the northern hemisphere, the weather becomes increasingly warm and many people crave the coolness of winter. Amid the scorching summer months, people miss the gift giving, and holiday spirit of the Christmastime. Though it is not known when it started exactly, it is probably from the 80s that the festival began to be celebrated. The earliest Christmas celebrations in July saw people throwing parties that imitate the actual Christmas festivities in December. The celebrations also included other Christmas traditions like Santa Claus, ice cream and other cold foods, and gifts. It was held that celebrating in the warm season would ensure a strong, happy winter Christmas season.








    This untimely Christmas festival is also often ascribed to a group of Irish tourists who went for a vacation in Sydney's Blue Mountains in the summer months of July in 1980. Away from the summer temperatures in their country, they were overjoyed at the sight of snow there. It is believed that they convinced the proprietor of a local hotel in the Blue Mountains in New South Wales to hold a party called "Yulefest". The idea was an instant hit and caught on the imagination of everyone present there. The proprietor saw a golden opportunity in this and henceforth held a Christmas Party each year in July.




Keeping it real with some of his "little" peeps



    The local businessmen too jumped in to cash in on this unique festival and it continues to this day. Today, the tradition is so well entrenched in Australia that most restaurants, clubs and dining halls, have an official advertised annual catered menu for Christmas in July, and are often booked in advance. Most hotels, restaurants, bars, apparel stores, gift shops offer special discounts for the occasion. During this time, you can find the local gift shops brimming with figurines of Santa and Snowmen. Resorts have special events connected with their Christmas in July celebrations. The whole occasion has come to be utilized as amarketing gimmick as much elsewhere in Australia as in its snowfields where the month of July coincides with the high season in the Australian skiing resorts.






    But the market opportunity is, undoubtedly, the most plausible reason behind "Christmas in July" celebrations. it is commonly said that the occasion was dreamed up by retail merchants in the western countries who wanted to benefit from a holiday in July, which is otherwise a dull season for business and has few marketing opportunities. That makes a lot of sense, specially when we see how so many “holidays” are emerging these days ranging from Boss’ Day to Grandparent’s Day. Many people embrace these special days as they emerge which surely spells a fortune for retail merchants as well as greeting card companies.






    These days, Christmas in July seems to be mainly a time for retail sales. In the United States, like all other festivals, this event too has become highly commercialized. is more often used as a marketing tool than as an actual holiday celebrated by ordinary people. But these days, many American families have started celebrating Christmas in July. An unofficial holiday, the event is especially popular among the young people. Restaurants offer special discounts on this time. Many nightclubs host on this time Christmas parties open to the public. Drinks are guzzled and food items eaten up like crazy. Television stations show the recent blockbuster flicks on this occasion or re-run Christmas specials, and many stores throw special "Christmas in July" sales. Many however, choose to spend the time all by themselves or with their families.




Santa and his "Old Lady", on Holiday



    Some families love the concept of Christmas in July, especially if their family members are scattered across the states, because it is easier for them to have a get-together in July, which is a summer month and when the weather is favourable for a vacation, rather than in the freezing winter months when long distance journeys are really hard.
    And then there are others who does not celebrate during this time. They are reluctant to acknowledge the event in July are opposed to having such an occasion. They argue that this untimely celebration of Christmas makes a mockery of the actual festival that is held on December 25th and commemorates Lord Jesus Christ's birth.
However, the precise date of Christ’s birth is subject to a lot of date. No one really knows when the messiah was really born. Hence, celebrating Christmas in July shouldn’t be a huge issue so long as the holiday doesn’t lose its meaning.
    Despite it's rampant commercialization, Christmas in July remains primarily an occasion to remember the nothern hemisphere's snow blanketed Christmas nights. It is a fun way to satisfy the craving for cooler weather and holiday cheer that many people experience during the hottest month of the year.




    Christmas in July is an event which is unofficially celebrated as a holiday by people. It is especially popular among the young people. The event is greatly exploited as a marketing opportunity in the middle of the year to uplift the slack in the market situation. It is celebrated sometime during the month of July. There are many people who does not celebrate during this time and are reluctant to acknowledge the event in July. Even among those who mark this time, it is far less important than The Christmas in December. A Christmas in July dinner usually includes Christmas Decorations Christmas candles, colorful streamers, bonbons, Christmas hats and whistles.
During the summer months in the northern hemisphere, the weather becomes increasingly warm and many people crave for the atmosphere of cooler temperatures, gift giving, and holiday spirit. To satisfy this craving, some people throw parties during the month of July that mimic the holiday of Christmas.


Watch out for Seagulls!



Celebration of Christmas in July (the whole month)...

    Did you know that most people have a love hate relationship with Christmas? Read on to know more... They love giving presents but hate the crowds; Love the true meaning but hate the commercialism that seems to engulf it; Love the music, but hate having six weeks of it. They love the food but hate the weight gain. Is it not funny that, despite all of that, we still hope Christmas comes more than once a year?! And the best part is we have a way to do exactly that - Celebrate it in July and leave the rest behind.. Its not about asking you to give up the late December festivities but adding an extra zing to your holidays and celebrations in the Summer heat. So soak up the sun and celebrate Christmas in July. Surprise your friends, family or mates you really care for with a one night of bonus Christmas celebration in the middle of Summer. Drag out the artificial tree while your love is away for the day or weekend and decorate it. Go to a nursery and find a small potted evergreen to light up, if you get a real one. Bake a couple of your favorite holiday goodies. Put a few presents under the tree. Turn the air conditioner on high and light a crackling fire in the fireplace while listening to your favorite Christmas tunes. And Folks! Its Christmas in July. Ho! Ho! Ho!





Singing a little "Take Me Out To The Ballgame".



    Often nightclubs host parties open to the public. Although its sometimes attributed to an Irish group who enjoyed the winter snow in Sydney's Blue Mountains and decided to party, the precise beginnings of the Christmas in July tradition is not totally clear as it is taken as a simple idea that has been enjoyed by many who remember the northern hemisphere's snow blanketed Christmas nights and wants to just have a jolly good time associated with gift-giving and loads of holiday cheer. Features of Christmas in July include: Santa Claus, ice cream and other cold foods, and gifts.