Lifestyle Home Improvements City 2 Outdoors Travel Foods Technology FINANCE Contact Us

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Random Red Photos

 Sea Gull on a Carpet of Ice Plants, Anacapa Island, Channel Islands National Park, CA

Saturday, September 29, 2012

A New Domain for the Love of Blogging and Friends

     Last night I came home late because I visited the newly opened resto-bar of a high school friend. I felt fuzzy while capturing photos of her sumptuous menu because the hubby checked on me every thirty minutes worried for my safety because he could not fetch me. I took all the time still to snap the best angles I could of my friend's cozy place and delicious food treats while merrily chatting with my buddies about the past, the present and the future in no particular order as well as Yahoo small business promo codes as I enticed her to  make a website with a domain of her own to promote her restaurant. She has a masters degree in business administration and finished Bachelor's degree in Computer Science so I knew she will have no problem with setting up a domain of her own but gladly shared to her Yahoo small business coupons she could easily avail of.
photo of the banana split I indulged on at my friend's resto-bar

What I see

No matter how high I fly, I would still come back down....
For on the ground, there is not only beauty that I see,
But also a lot more of  love and life that supports me.
Such as....I see home in these palms,
I see beauty in the East @ the West,
And beauty in all directions
When the sun bades goodbye....
 I see God's love for us is burning with a passion.
I see in these colors God's undying love that forever gives us warmth,
A reminder to share God's promise,
of a wonderful life!
Sweet dreams, from San Diego......

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Colorful World of Petals and Living at Orchid Island

     Family and nature are thoughts that keep me going when exhausted at work. Nothing else comes close to hearing the kiddo's laughter at the start of my day and watching the sun rise up with its rays casting magic on petals and wings. Beautiful moments turn into beautiful memories and the best memories are made from moments spent at beautiful places with the ones we love like Orchid Island at a beach community.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Craving for Ube

Ube Shake (homemade)
Purple taro ( for Vietnamese and Chinese) or ube shake, ube smoothie, or ube milk tea is one of my favorite drinks. Sometimes, there is no reason for me at all to stop by Mira Mesa on my way home from work, but I just do to get a medium size ube drink. However, the cost ( $3.99 medium size) sometimes inspire me to make my own drink instead. So, today, I am inspired enough to make my own ube drink.

Fund Raising Ideas and The Bliss of Giving

     Our lives are interconnected wherever we are in the world. While we breathe with ease and our hearts beat in perfect shape somewhere under the same huge sky tiny lungs and hearts and brains could be fighting to survive. The good news is we can help them and many others through Fundraising ideas ranging from A-Z.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Izu The King

We go to San Diego Safari Park (previously Wild Animal Park) often yet never get tired going there. First, completing the trails in Safari Park is like a day hike already. Second, there is always something different. We have photographed Izu so many times, but each time, Izu showed us his many different faces. 
These pictures below were not cropped nor edited, I just reduced the size and resolution in Paint for easier uploading. This was the closest encounter we have of Izu without the glass! There is a cliff that separates us and the lions, the lions cannot jump to the other side of the cliff to get the people without falling off, and they are too smart also not to do that. Anyway, here are the pictures.

Betchai's Moments with Izu

The Healing Power of Nature

     After I gave birth to my second child my body has been sending me messages which I could not simply ignore. My vision got poorer and I would experience nagging headaches and sometimes my joints made it hard for me to push and pull. I wasn't even in my forties so that alarmed me. Looking back I admit I broke many rules to a healthy lifestyle then. A little bit of this and a little bit more of that bad stuff that tastes so sweet or salty and fatty but yummy could spell the difference between living long and dying young.  Yes I have come to that realization and my angels are thanking heaven I feel. I gave up drinking soda and would consume natural fruit juices instead and drank enough water. I threw out the thought of junk foods from my system for their being the trash that they are.  Thanks to the healing power of nature and naturopath  and the influence of health conscious and nature loving friends I get to enjoy and appreciate more of life's priceless beauty now. Exposure to the right amount of sunlight through photo-walking with combined balanced diet has allowed me to have healthier bones and that delightful feeling of being relieved of all the stress of daily living.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Salmon and Avocado with Veggie Rice

Salmon and Avocado Salad With Veggie Rice
We all are probably aware of the health benefits of salmon and avocado. I eat them not only for their health benefits, but because I love them. :) I am crazy about avocados actually, it is one of my favorite foods. I can eat avocados as dessert, as smoothie, or made into ice candy. Or I eat them with dish, like as dip, as salsa, as guacamole, or salads. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Big Layaway Giveaway

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kmart for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine. -Zenserly
     Looking at the calendar and seeing the word Septem"ber" makes one count the days to December. I am looking forward to the holiday season because many of my friends are coming home. Reunions and meet ups are already listed on my journal as well as contemplated holiday gifts which take a lot of thinking not to mention saving. A dear friend says he remembers me each time he sees camera gadgets and one time he almost got me one seriously had he been able to put the item on free layaway for me. He says layaway is great for those with limited budget because it allows one to put a product on hold until one is able to pay in full and take home the item. A major advantage is one isn't charged an interest as compared to credit plus purchasing holiday gifts could be kept a secret. Kids and kids' at heart love surprises and he makes sure his family gets the advantage of free layaway and cherishes the smile on his children's faces enough to make his Christmas perfect.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Rice and Vegetable Salad

I never had rice salad, in fact, I did not know rice can be incorporated into salad, until last weekend when I sampled a salad recipe from Trader Joe's.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Nopal Cactus: Inside and Out

Nopal Cactus Blossom
Scientific Name: Opuntia
Common Names: Prickly Pear Cactus, Nopal Cactus, Nopal, Nopalea
Most cactus blossoms are beautiful. Their pads may be full of thorns but their petals are like satin soft which fold so beautifully contrasting their thorny nature. But their thorns are there for a purpose. Most cacti develop thorns  to help them conserve their water by slowing down the evaporation process.  The thorns also protect the plants from the animals trying to drink their water.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Simply Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Brown Button Mushrooms

Brussel Sprouts and Button Mushrooms
Whenever I have very little time to prepare vegetables, I simply roast them in a portable oven toaster. While the oven is roasting vegetables, I can prepare another dish to accompany with the brussel sprouts and mushroom. This then, would be both our dinner and lunch. Unlike others who buy their lunch from work cafeteria, or dining outside, both I and hubby prefer to bring our own foods to work.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Life is Still A Beach! On Weekends :)

Life is beach! And it definitely applies to me every summer.

Into The Fairy Land and Fairy Hob Mother

Gateway to Fairy Land, Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
One of the places that made me giddy like a child, filled with wonderland happiness is Bryce Canyon National Park.


String Beans, Alogbate ( Vietnamese spinach), patola (smooth gourd), bittermelon and eggplant

In Search of Well-Being

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of My Well-Being Powered by Humana for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.- Zenserly

      Everyone goes through innumerable struggles in life. From the early stages of life when one starts to have an awareness of his or her environment as something which must be mastered and conquered so as to keep tract of reality. As the middle stage of life sets in we begin to balance career and personal goals with family matters. Oftentimes we find ourselves at a lost. Our energies both physical and mental could dwindle with the myriad roles that we play. My Well-Being is something that I constantly take time to examine especially so because professionally I look after the health of others. I think I found a site that will aid me in keeping myself  emotionally, spiritually, physically and financially confident and therefore contented and equipped with all the needed stamina to help others.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Pansit Palabok
Pansit Palabok is one of my favorite Filipino dishes. "Pansit" means noodles, and palabok is shrimp based gravy. I am not really good in making this dish, thus I am making use of instant palabok mix available in Asian supermarkets. With the Palabok mix, everything becomes very easy to prepare :) I just cook the rice noodles until it is soft, but not too mushy, then, I prepare the garnishing which usually includes a mix of seafoods and chicharon (fried pork rinds), green onions and boiled eggs. For those who love to cook however, here is a link to pansit palabok recipe from scratch

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Growing Lettuce In Your Easy Way

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Scotts Miracle-Gro for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
Not all of us can a have a green thumb but if the passion and determination are present, then it’s more than enough to start having your own garden of edibles. All for the sake of healthy living, getting assured that everything that what you’re eating is free from harmful pesticides and similar products, you might as well consider growing your own veggies. 

Lemon Turmeric Rice and Tofu- Vegetable Kare-kare

Lemon Turmeric Rice and Tofu-Vegetable Kare-kare
Since I learned the health benefits of turmeric especially for migraine sufferers like me, I make almost anything with turmeric :) and we love it! Vegetables and rice on the other hand had been my partner since when I started on solid foods :) It's very hard for me to imagine a life without rice and vegetables! Kare-kare is a Filipino dish, that is a very rich and meaty stew of oxtails. However, we do not eat red meat and hardly have the other type of meats at home, my kare-kare version is all vegetables. I actually think it tastes better without meat, but of course, don't count me on that since I grew up eating mostly freshly picked tomatoes, patani (lima beans), kadyos (pigeon pea) and more vegetables! Some of my favorite activities when I was young was mushroom hunting and harvesting wild amaranth (kulitis). So yeah, I am a grass lover! :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Prepare for the Future

Health is wealth. Taking good care of our health is like taking care of the wealth that we have worked so hard to build up over the years. Having a good health and staying in perfect shape has become a big issue nowadays as more and more people have become conscious about their health.  We see a lot more people these days enrolling in physical fitness program and choosing healthy foods. 

 Sauteed Mungbean (or monggo beans) and Mixed Vegetable Soup

Responsible Adult

Thanks for the post from Sylvester Campbell

I’m trying to become more of a responsible adult mostly so my parents will get off my back. I mean, I got good grades and generally stayed out of trouble growing up so I don’t know what their deal is but at the end of the day they’re right – I’m 26 and it’s time I started acting like it. Last summer I actually bought my first house (well, it’s a condo and my dad helped) but boy if that doesn’t make you feel like more of an adult I don’t know what will. I think it’s incredible so many people pay rent for decades when in this real estate market you can get a house for what you’re paying to a landlord every month! But anyway, with help from my parents I’m learning to pay all my bills and keep the house clean and up to date. I went to www.ElectricCompaniesTexas.net the other day to see about getting my energy bills down which I thought was a really responsible thing to do, if I do say so myself. I think that by the time I meet a girl and want to settle down I’m going to be fully prepared to be the man of the house and that’s what my dad says he’s always wanted for me anyway. I wish I had a better job that made me feel more secure but for now I guess my marketing position will do. Honestly, I’m just thankful to have a job in this economy because things have been so rough for so many of my friends – I’ve got a condo AND a position which puts me leaps and bounds ahead of many of my peers. Life is good, all around, and at the end of the day it’s actually not so bad having more responsibility. I thought it was really going to weigh me down but it turns out it was time to become a man and it had been for a while.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Where to Eat @ Lee Vining?

Towering Tufas @ Mono Lake South Tufa State Reserve, Lee Vining, CA
Lee Vining? Probably, for a lot of people, this is an unheard place. For after all, Lee Vining is not one of the more popular CA cities.  For the nature lover, Lee Vining sits beautifully in the wonders of nature, the gateway to Yosemite National Park from the East and also the home to an ancient lake, Mono Lake.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Weekend Outdoor Fun and Dining Choices

It's Thursday! :) For hubby and I, our weekend activities start Friday afternoon, right after we both are done with work. So today, he asked me: "which would you prefer this weekend dear? Surfing? Or snorkeling?" Of course, he meant, body surfing. :)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Avocado

Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Avocado in Condensed Milk
I had been craving for something sweet that is a taste of home! When I saw avocados on sale for 5 for $1.00, I grabbed 20 of them! After all, it is only $4.00. How often can get avocados at that price? Sometimes, just a slightly bigger avocado would cost $4.00 each! Whereas the regular sized avocados always sell for $1.75 each! What I have learned from avocado is that, the bigger the size of the avocado, the bigger is the seed! So, I do not pay for much higher price for huge avocados since I pay extra also for the inedible seed. I always buy regular sized one.

Godaddy Promo Codes

When is the time to get a new domain? Is it when you see Godaddy Coupon Codes? I had been actually contemplating on getting a new domain, since I wanted to get a blog that is not in the blogger platform. I have been so comfortable using blogger, and for years, was so dependent on their free hosting. With so many changes in blogger right now, I am afraid that one day I will wake up not knowing what is going on in my dashboard anymore. However, I do not want to jump ahead and move my domains to another hosting. My two blogs were born in blogger, so, for now, they will continue to live in blogger. :) I will let both "The Joys of Simple Life" and "Breathe In...Breathe Out" bloom where they were planted, in blogger.

Beautiful and Confident You

     The radiant, vibrant colors in nature are a joy to watch. Each soft petal of whatever hue touching the human skin is soothing. Not unless of course when one is allergic to pollen. Each flower that blooms eventually withers but those which are taken cared of with enough amount of sunlight, water and fertilizer stay fresh longer. The same thing applies to the beauty of a woman.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Trattoria Grappolo, Santa Ynez, CA

our lunch at Trattoria Grappolo (all pictures above were taken by cell phone)
What not to missed when you are in the Santa Ynez Valley aside from visiting the lavender farm and vineyards?
Images from Gainey Vineyard in Santa Ynez Valley