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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Picnic....where do you love to spend it?

My Favorite Spot for Picnic Here in San Diego
Each one of us has their favorite place to go to for picnic. Some prefers a crowded park where they can people watch, some prefer a kid-friendly place, while some prefers spending it with a beautiful natural setting. Let me share with you my favorite place for picnic and why! 
My favorite place for a picnic here in San Diego is along the bluffs of Torrey Pines. This place allows me to combine two of my favorite activities, hiking and the ocean. The water in the Pacific West Coast does not get warm at all even in the summer, we get lucky enough if the water will reach a temperature of 70F (21C). It mostly is in the low 60s (in the 10s C). This is not the healthy temperature for swimming since we lost about 20 times of energy in the water than in air. The ideal water temperature for swimming is in 80s, that is the reason why pools at the gym are heated to this temperature. But there is no way we can heat up the temperature of water as vast as the ocean. But we can warm ourselves! Thus, before plunging in the frigid waters of the Pacific Ocean in the US West Coast, I take a hike first. I believe in the deeper purpose of everything, even in mere topography. For me, God is so loving that He gifted us with cliffs and mountains right next to the sea so that we have our natural slopes to warm up our body. After a hike, we love to sit on top of these cliffs and start enjoying not only the scenery around us but also the foods we brought. 
Ingredients for Strawberry and Banana Crepe
We usually bring foods that would still taste good despite no longer warm, such as strawberry and banana crepe. I love making foods, especially on a Saturday morning knowing that whatever I make will be our food to go for our picnic. For others who may not have the time to prepare can order their picnic baskets from picnic hamperf. The pure happiness of enjoying our picnic foods on top of the coastal bluffs at Torrey Pines as we watch dolphins and pelicans pass by for me is priceless.
After enjoying the passing of time on top of the bluffs, and when we feel warm enough, we go down from the cliffs to enjoy the water.
This to me is how a beautiful day goes. Also, when I needed that much time to refocus and think, when I needed so much to come up with well thought thesis, I know where I needed to go. To the ocean to listen to the power of the waves. To the ocean to be one with the waves. It may look like I am simply having fun and riding the waves, but on the contrary, it is when I empty my mind to the simple joys of our beautiful world that deeper thoughts come in. Life's beautiful and meaningful experiences most of the time happen when we are one with nature. It is when we see clearly the boundless opportunities and not focus on temporary material or egoistic happiness. 
How about you? Where is your favorite place to have picnic? Are you planning to have picnic this July 4th weekend?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Take a Pleasure in Living

Isn't it funny? We always chase the thing we want, hunt it with all of our heart and soul that we arrive at a point where we no longer understand why we are running after it in the first place. We were so blinded of the fact that we fancy that thing the most. We believe so much that without it, life is futile. Yet in the end, when we already own it, we no longer feel the same way as how we really feel from the very first.

Well, life is like that, I bet. We feel jovial the most at the time that we are certain of what we desire but still don't have it. Maybe because it's exciting to catch for a fish that you are craving to eat, but at the time that you already ensnared it, your hunger already dwindled... but still you're going to cook it, and eat it, anyway. Not because you're hankering to eat it, but it's because that's the reason why you're catching a fish in the first place.

So what's the point? We live only once, time may be too long, and too plenty, but once we spent it, we can no longer bring it back. We may be able to achieve what we want in the end, but the time we splurge to have it comes only once.

Having what we think we want, or feel we want, isn't the real deal.REACHING DREAMS isn't really the thing that makes a person the happiest... that only comes second. What makes someone really happy is how they FULFILL their DREAMS.

Enjoy the journey, love the stay, because SUCCESS is only a price for HARD WORK. :)

This is a guest post by my niece, Darian Kaye. She is a graduating Legal Management student at University of Santo Tomas, Philippines. She shares my passion for writing and photography but I must admit she is doing a lot BETTER than me in both areas. Check out her inspiring blog titled Life's Lemon Square. 
~ Cher

Monday, June 27, 2011

Impatiens @ Today's Flowers

Impatiens from our front yard

I'd like to thank the gracious hosts of Today's Flowers, Luiz, Denise, Pupo and Sandy

To see more wonderful blooms, click on the badge below.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

where indeed?

i was asked by a couple of friends where does the words come from - referring to my poems and blogs or notes i had been posting here and there. i couldn't quote them verbatim but it was along that line.

where indeed? what i write are by products of life experiences ( both mine and few friends whose stories inspired me to jot down few lines to immortalized those moments of inspiration), memories of my childhood and some are just result of my over active imagination plus the fact that i love to read somehow makes it easy for me to express myself in a rhetorical way. i am not an eloquent speaker. i dreaded the thought of me giving lectures at workplace and engaging in small talks hence the love for written words emerged and rightfully so - otherwise, i have no means left to express myself clearly. sometimes, a word leaps out from nowhere and starts to nudge - in a manner of speaking. it won't leave me alone until i give in to that command to put it into writing - actually happened on few occasions though far and wide in between. i remembered when i was young ( i think i was around 8 or 9 then), my father used to send me to the nearest news stand to buy him newspaper on weekends. there, somewhere at the bottom corner in one of the pages of manila bulletin was a small segment with proverbs and quote which i religiously cut-off and kept to be read again and again. i was in highschool when i started reading paperbacks and haven't stop since then. it sure does helps to get a grip on one's commands of words and most certainly aids the flow of creative juice. another peculiar habit of mine when i started working and had ample of time to kill was go to national bookstore and just browsed card after card reading those heart-warming passages. i don't know why yet i was transfixed by it like a moth to a flame. i may have outgrown reading hardy boys, nancy drew plus a shelf full of mills and boon and collecting cut-off quotes and proverbs, but i never outgrown my love of reading and quotes. i can only wish the same for my daughter, that she falls in- love with it as i did....well, i still am!.

there are habits that dies hard and reading sure fits to that category! its fun, informative, mind boggling, thought provoking and you can enjoy it for free ( borrow it from the library ). i say acquire that habit and keep it going - it's not too late, never! who knows, it could be the catalyst that makes you write your own book and be the toast of the town.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Vital Vitamins and Food Supplements

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Walgreens for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.


Last month, we received an awful call from my brother saying my mom missed the last step of the stairs and fell landing on her hip bone. She fractured her hip bone and had to be rushed to the emergency room. She had a surgery and they replaced a portion of  her hip bone. It was an awful ordeal but we're glad she's doing well now. She is recovering fast albeit not that comfortable. She has to use the wheelchair for awhile, though the doctors assured us that she can walk normally again. It is a good thing however that she has strong bones, otherwise she could have suffered a great deal more.


Which brought to mind the value of equipping ourselves with vitamins early on in life. I for one am already required to take calcium twice-daily  to prevent bone loss. Well, since it's a daily thing, I see to it that i get my calcium where it is cheapest. Walgreens have Calcium 600 +D at a competitive price. Why go far! The Walgreens Brand Health & Wellness Products have the same quality as name brand products.





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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Duck Feeding @ Arthur Storey Park, Houston

This was taken from Arthur Storey Park, Houston. People come here to feed the ducks and the turtles. But wait, even the friendly squirrels come out and beg to be fed!  Haha . . .

For more watery shots, check out Watery Wednesday by clicking the button bellow.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

thinkin' of you...

i cried a river of tears
alas! the pain remains
the wind whispers a name
and i am taken back to then

love if true never ends

no time can mellow
neither distance can tame
oceans apart and miles away
in thoughts and heart.....

forever you'll stay


Elton John on The Nanny

Content by Sol Rosales

In season five of The Nanny Elton John made a guest appearance. It is, without a doubt, one of my favorite celebrity cameos in a TV comedy. The premise of the episode is that Maxwell agrees to take Nanny Fine on a date to see the premier of Elton's documentary. From that point it explodes into one mishap after another.

Fran doesn't realize that she is in the documentary as the annoying "yoo hoo" girl who interrupts Elton playing tennis. When she finds this fact out it sets her on a course of trying to avoid being found out by Elton, whom she is having dinner with. The way that Fran plays out her situation comedy has great timing. It reminds me a great deal of Lucille Ball.

After a long day of work, I love to curl up in bed and watch The Nanny on channels that www.cabletelevision.net. Even though the Elton John episode is one of my favorites the show was known for its extensive list of celebrity guest stars. Some other notable celebrities who guest starred were Chevy Chase, Elizabeth Taylor, Celine Dion and the late Lynn Redgrave.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Mushroom Burger

ingredients: mushroom,onions, garlic, salt, pepper, flour, bread crumbs, olive oil

1. finely chop mushrooms (i prefer brown, like portabello, shitake, or whatever brown so that it looks like real burger, teeehee)
2. saute mushroom in olive oil until tender.
3. in a separate bowl, beat egg and blend in sauteed mushroom.
4. add finely chopped onions and garlic. Garlic can be optional, I just love with garlic, but not too much also.
5. season with salt and pepper. ( i also add a little bit of mustard, just very little for taste- mustard and nutmeg are optional)
5. Slowly add flour and bread crumbs (alternating them), until the mixture thickens and can be formed to patties.
6. shape into burger patties.
7. Either bake or pan fry in olive oil.

mushroom sauce:

ingredients: olive oil, mushroom, garlic, onion, milk ( we use 1% milk at home, but half and half or full cream fresh milk would taste creamier i believe), corn starch to thicken, worcestershire sauce, salt, a little bit of sugar and pepper to taste.

1. saute garlic and onions in olive oil until they are golden brown and smells good.
2. add mushroom and sautee until mushroom is tender.
3. dissolve cornstarch in milk.
4. add the cornstarch and milk mixture.
5. simmer. season with salt, pepper, worcestershire sauce, a little bit of brown sugar and garlic powder.
6. continue stirring until the sauce thickens.
7. add the mushroom burger and simmer until they absorb the taste.

Enjoy :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

From Garden To Kitchen

Where do you spend most of your time when you are home? For me, not counting the number of hours we spend in our bedroom for sleeping, then the 2 places I frequent whenever I am home are: 1) outside in our little garden, just adoring whatever nature brings us. 
 One of Spring's Pleasant Surprises at Home
From the garden, my other favorite spot is inside, and that would have to be the kitchen. Cooking and baking have always been some of my favorite activities. When I had my very first salary many years ago, I went shopping right away for kitchen cabinet and cooking utensils. From there, my next salaries were lined up for our kitchen upgrade. Now, several decades after that first salary, and having had several kitchens already, the kitchen still takes a special place in my heart, mind, and well budget :) Right now, I am thinking of upgrading our Undermount Sink. Unlike others where they will hardly cook in their kitchen for fear of messing up their nice looking sinks and tables, I work the other way around. I find it more inspiring to cook and bake when the kitchen looks good, I can always tidy the mess. Thus presently I am trying to shop for an inexpensive but very nice looking Undermount Sinks. I am not sure when this kitchen plans will finally be realized, but just thinking about it inspires me more to stay and work in the kitchen :) We got to get nourishment, right?
Let me leave you with my own version of vegetarian burrito, the kitchen has to be working :)
 Vegetarian Burrito- grilled mushrooms, sweet pepper, potatoes, squash, fresh tomatoes, 4 cheese blend, and  guacamole (not in picture is the black beans).

Thursday, June 2, 2011

same pole repels

i often wondered why some people brings out the best and few the worst in me. the hubby has his theory on that; he says some unfortunate souls and me shares a very dominant characteristics hence we repel. that got me thinking. so, i don't get pretty well with ---- because me thinking that she thinks highly of herself and a pretencious b*%$ ( pardon my french, got carried away in describing what might have been me!!) which translate, i think highly of me self and a ....- well, you get the point!

i like a good and healthy argument and if someone is as passionate as i on a certain subject and don't see eye to eye, it could potentially turn to a heated argument......lol! the reason i might have ( emphasis on might have..here) dislike someone - at this point in my writing it is still inconclusive - is that i myself possessed the same appalling attibutes. OUCH!!! reality sucks and more than that, it really bites! by now, i had to concede that there is a slice of truth to my hubby's hypothesis, if i'm to be truthful. sometimes, i am so preoccupied of trying to pull the wool out of someone else's eyes blinded by the fact that mine -figuratively - are abundantly covered with it. often times, i learned life the hard ways and the truth harder still. it isn't a pleasant encounter coming face to face with your frailty. it makes me fell vulnerable to elements i tried hard to protect myself from. it exist to served as a shell to keep the soft core within safe. those rough edges though an intrinsic part of me can also be a stumbling block that pulls me down - relationships wise. to sand my rough edges to smoothness - if not to perfection - requires a painful process of admitting to myself there are part of me that needs to change NOW. i look at my daughter and feels a tinge of guilt. kids always looks up to their parents and copy the kind of behavior we display around them. the apple will not fall far from its tree. i want her to fall gracefully on a favorable ground with less of weeds and more of good healthy soil. isn't that what we all want for our kids? for her sake this old grumpy dog can still be taught new tricks, not an easy task but its worth a try.

you may have different say on the matter, that's absolutely fine. i want to be proven wrong if thats what it takes to see the light.

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