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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hiking Wear....Not Fashion

Hiking Mt Woodson, San Diego
Do you know that hiking is just as easy as walking? If you can walk, definitely you can hike. The only difference is that, most of our walking is in the city, whereas hiking is in the wilderness. We walk mostly on level surfaces in the city, whereas we walk sometimes on treacherous slopes in the wilderness. Because of this, hiking wear is not about fashion but is about comfort and safety! But who says that to be comfortable and safe, one could not look chic, if at all that matters?  Elegance, after all, is what is inside that radiates outside.
Hiking @ Burney Falls, Burney, CA, summer 2009
Even though hiking calls for a different set of clothing, however, a woman's glamour is not dictated by her clothes, rather, it is influenced by the way she confidently carries and projects herself. She can be in a total hiking gear, but she can keep her femininity glow. 
To make hiking more pleasant and comfortable, here are some basic hiking gears:
Hiking the snowy Slopes to Bumpass Hell, Lassen Volcanic National Park, CA, summer 2009
(shoes: Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boots 
When we go hiking, we don't simply wear our walking shoes, and most especially fashion shoes which don't have any trace of support at all. Ordinary sneakers ( walking shoes, running shoes, tennis shoes, etc) are not designed for rough terrain, even good quality tennis shoes have poor traction and nil ankle support. Twisting of ankles, getting blisters and damaging toenails are some of the common sad occurrences if we do not wear proper footwear when we hike. 
Hiking on Snow Covered Trail to Bumpass Hell, summer 2009
If we wanted to experience nature and see its marvelous beauty, we need to invest on some really good quality hiking shoes/boots that will protect us away from injuries. Good quality hiking shoes/boots can be very expensive, but then, it is a lot more expensive if we injure our feet or ourselves when we fall. 
In addition to hiking shoes/boots, hiking calls for hiking socks. We can have a very good pair of hiking shoes but still end up with having blisters because we do not wear the right socks. Cotton socks are a BIG NO in hiking, as they easily get wet, causing blisters. Like hiking shoes, we need to invest on good quality hiking socks as well. When hiking, we have to forget about high heeled shoes and flip flops, for after all, a woman's femininity does not depend on her shoes. How do you think you would look if you hike on that icy slopes with high heeled or stilleto boots? Do you think you would still look fashionable? Chances are, you would simply solicit wrong attention and you could not even walk a meter and you fall, good if you fall on the trail only and not slide down the mountain cliffs. Mind you, I do see some who walk barefoot while carrying their shoes in the trail and turning around without completing the hike, for they could no longer bear the pain caused by wearing the wrong kind of shoes.   

Frozen Lake Helen and Lassen Peak, Lassen Volcanic National Park, CA, summer 2009
Dressing in light and breathable layers is very important in hiking. No matter how cold the temperature is, but after a while of hiking, our body heat builds up warming us inside and causing us to sweat. No matter how warm the day is, but the weather can change all of a sudden turning the wind so icy and chilly that if we are not prepared, we are caught suffering the unpredictable moods of nature. 
A. Base shirt or first layer:
Our greatest discomfort when we hike is sweating which can not be avoided since we exercise our body. Cotton shirts absorb and hold our sweat which add weight to our hike, and if it is cold, could be the cause of hypothermia. Synthetic shirts on the other hand wick the sweat away from our skin and move it towards the outside of our shirt for quick drying. Plus, synthetic shirts are a lot more breathable than cotton, allowing our body to sweat efficiently, healthily and more comfortably. If you look closely at most long distance runners on the street on a very hot day, their shirts are synthetic for simple reasons: lightness, comfort and breathability.
B. Mid Layer
If the temperature is not extremely cold, two layers is good enough. One base shirt, and one sweatshirt. Fleece jackets are great for mid layers or outer layer ( when we only need two layers ). They are good thermal insulators and have the same moisture-transporting qualities as base layers. They transport moisture to the outer layer and dry very quickly. 
C. Outer Layer
Hiking Garnet Peak, Mt Laguna, San Diego County, winter  ( Jan 2009 )
 (Outer Layer/Shell: Arc' Teryx Alpha SV Jacket )
Usually, we only need a 3rd layer when it is too windy and icy. Before, hikers used to bring two types of jackets: waterproof if in case it rains or snows, and a breathable thermal insulator when it is dry. Thankfully, because of research and technology, we do have outer layers right now that is extremely breathable ( very important to dry out that sweat quickly not only for performance but also for health reasons), yet also is water proof, windproof and absorbs shock. Plus,  the material today is also very light that does not look like for extreme weather at all.  From wilderness it can cross to the city without a problem. A good quality outer jacket can cost from $300 - $600, so, if one does not not intend to hike nor ski in winter at all, there is really no need to invest in one. One can invest it in good quality hiking shoes instead.    
Moro Rock, Sequoia National Park, Summer 2008
( Hiking Pants by North Face Paramount Porter Convertible Pants)
I know, before, we did hike in jeans, plus of course, jeans are more fashionable. But after discovering the ultra comfort and lightness of hiking pants, I hardly hike in jeans anymore. A lot of hiking places take place in areas where temperatures can vary greatly between warm and cold.  If it is too warm, you will curse your jeans. If it is too cold, you wish you don't wear shorts. Hiking pants, though very light, but they can accommodate temperature fluctuations more than shorts and jeans.  The breathability and ultra lightness of hiking pants make the hike easier on the legs. Also, most hiking pants can be zipped off and change into shorts without changing at all
Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, CA, summer 2008
( from the High Sierra which is chilly, down to the desert valley, which is hot, I had to zip off my hiking pants to shorts without changing at all. This is the same style hiking pants as the Moro Rock picture above. )
Hiking pants also protect us from serious scratches from branches, itch from poison oaks, insect bites, sun rays (most hiking pants have UPF 30), and it keeps us warm even when it is cold and wet, yet it keeps us cool  when it is warm. We can always zip off the lower portion and change to shorts if it really becomes too warm and there is no danger of scratching our legs from branches. 
4. Wide hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. 
Enjoying the Deep Blue and Cold Waters of Crater Lake National Park, OR, summer 2009
( the only way to go down to the lake shore is to hike down from the rim of the crater )
I think it is pretty basic that hiking does not shy away from both the cold and the sun, but we do need as much protection from all these exposure to elements. A good trail hat with sun protection and a sunscreen is a must. The advantage of women over men is that women can wear make-up, and from my experience and backed up by recent researches, women's moisturizer and make-up acts as a better sunscreen. My face don't get easily sunburned if I wear make up, of course with SPF rating and usually the waterproof kind.
At Crater Lake's Shore, Crater Lake National Park, OR, summer 2009
( I wear make-up here for my facial sunscreen, but can you tell? )
Who says make up is a no no in hiking? Just like what Che said, a little make-up here and there won't hurt, in fact, it helps! Sunglasses are also very important in hiking, they are not not meant to be fashionable, but to protect our eyes from the glare of the sun, for after all, we do need to take care of our health and eyesight. 
5. Backpack:
@ Arches National Park, Utah, spring 2009
If you noticed in the picture above and in my other pictures, my backpack has waist and chest belt. These belts serve to hold the backpack in place and transfer the weight to the waist, therefore avoiding back and shoulder injuries. Hiking backpacks have extra cushion on the shoulder and at the back to minimize shock and avoid back injuries, plus the material is more breathable allowing our back skin to breathe and not be saturated by sweat. Frankly, my camera and lenses are quite heavy (or very heavy for some), plus I carry bottled water, gatorade, bananas, other foods, first aid, compass, GPS, reflector blanket, etc when I hike. Yet, I hardly can feel all these weights on my back and shoulders, in fact, my waist or hips do not even complain. When hiking, we can not afford to bring ladies bag, unless you want to hurt yourself or be the subject of wrong attention. If probably these hiking wears/gears are not present today, I may be also complaining about the roughness of hiking, and may not be bringing my heavy camera with me when I hike. But because of them, my experiences are very pleasant and very comfortable, making hiking easy and truly enjoyable.
Let me leave you with these two quotes from John Muir:
Keep close to Nature's heart... and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean. "
"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul. " 

Earth has so much to offer, all we have to do is move our feet and keep on going. As an exchange, we take care of our health and fitness. Plus, we take away life's stresses and rejuvenate our spirits. Come, let us take a hike, let us explore our world outside. Let's enjoy life out of the door!
At The Backroads

Monday, May 27, 2013

Gorgeous in Blue

Meet the medical doctor in the The Salitype Society Family....
She is gifted with a mind, heart and hands that care, love, touch and heal. Her passion to life and her family is so uniquely hers....
Zen and Her Beautiful, Loving Family
"mothering goes beyond carressing one's child, it is about caring for all creatures and teaching kids to love God's gift of nature!" - Zen a.k.a. kulasa
She opened my eyes to the wonderful world of blue...
Zen's Love and Passion for Blue and Nature
One of Zen's Awe Inspiring Sunrise Pictures   

and I can see why the color blue speaks so much about her....for blue is peacefulness....blue is calmness.. blue is healing!
Gorgeous in Blue
I can see this beautiful lady inside and out glowing in her blue scrubs 
Smile that has healing touch!
  Let me share with you some words behind kulasa's heart.
"I am one of those women who dream of things which can not be bought...I dream of the world going back to how it was created a long time ago...pure, green, lush, amazingly blue, dreamy yellow, fluffy white...soft like a baby's touch...I dream of a world devoid of evil and materialism...I dream of heaven...so whenever time and God allow I run to where I feel His presence most...in the beauty of nature...and in the company of fellow dreamers..."-----from kulasa
I honor and share your dreams kulasa.....to the peacefulness and beauty of nature shall we go experiencing heavenly joys of simple life. 
Belated Happy Birthday to you, Kulasa!!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Words of Wisdom by Mother Theresa

Hi guys! I am leaving with you with these words of wisdom from one of my greatest inspirations, Mother Theresa. I am off for a long weekend!

Let us be kind to one another. God bless us all.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Injury Attorney Albuquerque, When The Need Arises


     Yesterday I was playing badminton with my teen-age son. As I ran to hit the shuttlecock something seem to have snapped at my lower back and I felt excruciating pain. I panicked thinking I might have sustained a serious injury and limped on my way back to the house. Right now I am still suffering from mild ache and thinking how life and health could change in a matter of seconds because of accidents. I am just glad that I have never been a victim of a serious accident on the road or at work.

     Accidents do happen and the worst injuries may become a nightmare when one is not well represented. I can not begin to imagine how terrible it might be to be suffering from pain and not getting justice. The expense of medical treatment not to mention the emotional and mental suffering an incapacitated person suffers as a result of being injured spells the need for an injury attorney who could study the surrounding circumstances in the incident and studying every minute detail to be able to help one seek justice.

     It is a relief to learn that there are law firms like Dathan Weems Law Firm committed to seeking justice for those suffering as a result of injury. Knowing there is someone "on your side, at your side" in the person of an injury attorney Albuquerque makes one assured of professional service that will make you get what you deserve. Personalized counsel by their veteran attorneys as well as exhausting all possible means to make you win your case and fighting those responsible for your injury through their extensive knowledge and solid strategy is what makes them different and stand out from the others.

    Waking up each morning without aches, seeing colorful flowers and being able to breathe and move with ease is a gift beyond compare. I pray no one ever gets injured again and those who have become victims may get the justice that they deserve to be able to move on in life.

Monday, May 13, 2013


 “Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world.”
Virgil Kraft

Thursday, May 9, 2013

My First Place

This guest post from Doris Dillon
I spend a lot of time at the office and I recently bought my first home. I was worried that I was a bad decision to spend money on a condo since I’m hardly ever there but it seemed even sillier to keep wasting money on rent when I could be spending it on a mortgage which is an investment. I spent a lot of time on a Website someone referred to me to research the cheapest utility companies and I also weighed the numbers for everything from cable to internet at home. Since I’m never there I decided against cable and I almost decided not to get internet, too, but then I remembered that I’m sometimes able to work from home and those days I’ll definitely need it. I don’t have a lot of furniture since I’ve always lived in furnished apartments so I knew I needed to buy some nice stuff. I can’t believe I’m 28 years old and have never bought my own couch! It’s a whole different beast being a homeowner compared to a renter but I do feel good about how responsible a decision it was. My dad is a financial advisor so I spent a lot of time with him going over the numbers and it just made sense for me to buy right now. The market is on its way back up so home prices were definitely as low as they were going to be – there was just not going to be a better time so when I saw this condo I knew I had to take it. It’s only a one bedroom so I’ll probably have to sell it if I ever get married but you know, that’s okay with me. It’s going to pay off in the long run and I’m not wasting my cash anymore which makes me feel better on a day to day basis! Plus, I got a new couch out of the whole thing.

Step 1 - Dream

by Chay

When I was six years old, thoughts of growing up to become a nurse started developing in my young mind. Throughout my formative years I would pretend I was wearing a white uniform, white lace up shoes, and a white triangle cap on my head. I would fold a piece of white paper shaped like a nurse’s cap, clip it on top of my long curly hair, and walk around the house with my plastic stethoscope hanging on my neck. I would check on Nancy, my doll and every relative, stuffed animal and living animal, bug, frog, and anything catchable within 100 feet of the house for life signs: temperature, blood pressure, and pulse. Life was great at 6 years old knowing my life’s calling.

(photo courtesy of yahoo image)

My family knew I wanted to become a nurse (figure that one out without additional clues), but in “adult truth” world, also known as “reality” nurses do not make a good living in the Philippines. Separation from family to work abroad for gain was never entertained in my family. Immediately, in the game of life “reality world” scored 1 and my 6-year old dream scored 0. My dream was boxed up, put away, and never opened again.

I went on with my life like a good little Filipino daughter should: graduated in business school. Worked hard and honored my family and myself with awards, promotions, and significant career ladder steps achieving other life goals in ‘reality world’. I couldn’t ask for more in terms of my career, family, and life. The results were all very fulfilling.

But just like the old saying, ” first love never dies”, my nursing dream rested silently in my heart. But with a change in “reality world” events, a nursing education opportunity knocked at the door again. This time I was not 6 years old and I had satisfied all expectations often placed on the perfect Filipino daughter. I grabbed this living dream with much passion never to let it slip away again.

Step 2 - Live your Dream

After passing entrance exams a month ago, I received the approval of my application to get into nursing school. It was one of the best days in my life. On June 1st, 2009, I will go to school part-time and still work full time in my business career.

I have mixed emotions just like a little child on her first day of school. I also have a new note pad, pencil, and school clothes just like a 6 year old; however, there is a veil of consciousness that holds feelings of excitement, skeptical doubts, enthusiastic attitude and nervous feelings surrounding the fulfillment of a dream.

Happiness is……never giving up on dreams because they all can come true someday. Mine is coming true today! …

… living my dream... wearing scrubs and carrying a real stethoscope.

Note: This post was previously published in my blog account "Loving life each day".

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Friendship Made Stronger With VIPRE Internet Security

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Vipre. All opinions are 100% mine.
     One thing that's impossible to take away from my system at this stage in my life is my 24/7 bonding with my soul sisters. Technology has become my refuge in this sometimes too busy, too challenging life. Blogging has given birth to a new me. Through interaction with friends from across the miles, sharing thoughts and photographs I have turned into a better person. Someone who is not only concerned about my own future but that of the rest of the world's and even strangers. Keeping this goal and keeping up with societal change requires me to go online to keep abreast with what's happening around the globe. That has made my beloved PC indispensable. Imagine my horror when around three weeks ago it began to malfunction. It kept giving me notifications about its outdated virus software which I kept ignoring. Until one morning when I could no longer use it. Apparently it was infiltrated by a virus. I was so glad I had the right sense to have saved my precious memorable shots.

     What I love taking photographs of is nature. Nature keeps my soul feeling refreshed and my heart beating  with glee. Sharing the photos online multiplies the fun. So when I learned of VIPRE Internet Security packed with sophisticated security features including automatic software patching I didn't hesitate a bit to download it. I love most the experience of not noticing it is running because it doesn't slow down my PC. It also includes a firewall, a spam filter and website blocking, a powerful protection for complete malware protection!


     Downloading it was a breeze! It only took awhile before I had it running and keeping my PC secure. For blogging lovers like me that feeling is beyond description. Try out VIPRE Internet Security to experience that  secure, happy experience. More information could be found at vipreantivirus.com.

photo by Eng, one friend I am terribly missing 

 Bonding with my online friends is something I can never give up. After all, FRIENDSHIP makes life a happy journey! 

Visit Sponsor's Site

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

We Miss You, Chay!

We may not communicate with you often nowadays but we know in our hearts, your genuine friendship will never fade away. We love and miss you! #alamonayan

Sending hugs and kisses your way...

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Pink Day

by Tes
Bargain hunting anyone? If you fall under the category of petite or almost like it, add children’s department to your list of places to shop -and am not talking about Barbie dolls and doll houses, check out the girls’ clothes area and you just might find a steal. Not only will the size be just right for our small stature, the price might also work according to your budget.

I saw this two-piece apparel, a floral top that goes with matching leggings. The material is made of spandex –stretchy and comfy (is an understatement). You can sit, lie down . . . even roll around and not a single crease. Best of all, it’s not pricey. Did I mention it’s snug and comfy?

My kindergarten students and I are all in pink during the "Wear Pink" day in our school (in support of breast cancer)
Pink Day
Guess what, I rummaged through my closet and found a strappy wedge that just might go with my floral pair


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Hubby's Become Obsessed

Thanks for the guest post by Jo Levy

My husband has become obsessed with saving money at home. He’s started timing all our showers and having us eat only the stuff he can buy with coupons. He recently went to electriccompaniesindallas.com and switched all our utility companies (the ones we’ve had for about 10 years) to new, cheaper services and he’s even talking about having the kids get part time jobs. They’re only 14! I don’t know where all this crazy money worry is coming from but I know it has something to do with the fact that his brother just got laid off. I’m a homemaker and have been for years and now that the kids are getting older I think he’s starting to think about how much it’s going to cost to send them to college. They’re both girls and I know he said he’s had nightmares already considering how much it’s going to cost to pay for both their weddings! I keep telling him he’s putting the cart before the horse and there’s no reason we need to be cutting back to such an extent right now while they’re still in middle school! He’s always been a bit of an alarmist and it’s just part of his nature – in fact, it’s part of why I married him! I love that he’s so responsible and that I never have to worry about money but I don’t want us to live our whole lives just consumed about how much we’re spending on every little thing. I want to be able to go out to dinner to celebrate birthdays and buy each other presents if we want to. I just don’t understand why it has to be to one extreme or another – I think we’ve both showed that we can be responsible and think clearly about how to spend and how to save. I need to get him under control so he won’t have a heart attack by the time he’s 50! At this rate that’s where he’s headed…

The Flow of Life

Think of your life as a waterfall; it may come crashing down at some point, it may have it's ups and downs, but in the end, it will continue to flow.
~ author unknown ~
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