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Friday, March 29, 2013

Moving To Where My Heart Dreamed

Me, Reminiscing @ Crystal Cove State Park, Laguna Beach, CA
About eleven years ago, my "California Dreaming" was born in my heart, at Laguna Beach. Thus, each time we pass by Laguna Beach, I could not help but sit on the cliff, watch the waves, and be thankful for that one day where I simply listened to the waves and let the waves nourished my dreams......to reality.
Sunset @ San Onofre State Beach, San Diego County
However, fate did not bring me right away to realize my "California Dreaming" when I gave myself a chance to explore a life in America. My first job, that opened my world to the "Land of Dreams" was not in California, but in Connecticut. And perhaps teasing me, my first job in Connecticut was also close to the ocean, the Atlantic Ocean. However, despite thousand of miles away, my heart continued to beat the "Pacific Waves", and of course, I give the credit also to "one outdoorsy California" guy. Despite however my heart was strongly beating for "Pacific Waves", deciding to move to California was not at all easy for me, for various reasons:
1. I felt guilty of leaving the company that opened my world to America. But thankfully, one word from a colleague pushed myself to chase my dreams, "you are free Elizabeth, to chase your dreams, to follow your heart. Please do not think you are obligated to stay in our school. You have paid the school back and MORE by giving your best always everyday. You had touched so many students, they will move on, we move on too."
2. I was at a loss what to do with my things! What do I do with my computer, my cooker, some of my appliances, etc. I felt like it was a headache to pack, I felt like just leaving all things behind! From East Coast to West Coast, it would just be too far!
Me @ Yale University, New Haven, CT
I was already tempted to leave everything behind, when suddenly, a friend from the Philippines moved in to Connecticut too. However, he was maybe 100 miles away from where I lived that time. I told him of my dilemma in moving, and he told me also that "maybe, you were God's angel to me. HE is sending you away to California so you could leave me your things? You know how hard it is if you are starting? We hardly have a chair here. Would you be kind enough to sell all them to me at a lower cost, and would you be kind enough to let me pay you in installment?"
And I replied, "oh, you were HIS angel to me too! Now, I won't feel as bad if I would leave all these behind. Now, our task is to find an affordable but reliable truck rental to help us move these things."
We both searched together for a trustworthy moving company, thankfully, online search allowed us to make comparisons and find our best match. We were able to find a moving company that helped us find a reliable rental and affordable rental truck. To both our surprise, the moving went with ease. No headaches! My positive experience with moving does not scare me at all if there will be a need to move one day.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


“Don’t let the agony, regret, or fog of yesterday blind you to the fact that each new day carries with it a plethora of opportunities to move your life into the right direction.” 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Fountain of Youth

       I would love to think that what most people are saying about me looking younger than my age is true. I laugh out each time I am told and confess that the secret to staying young is no secret at all. For one, hanging out with wacky, angelic friends keeps me in the best mood. The fountain of youth could be found through visiting and staying in relaxing places with people close to the heart. Even the mere sight of slate wall fountain is enough to make one feel refreshed and delighted. Seeing outdoor, indoor, wall or floor fountain is soothing specially during moments with wacky friends like my friend below posing beside an indoor fountain at a hotel lobby during our recent meet-up.

Sea Dahlias

Sea Dahlias at Torrey Pines State Reserve
Native To: San Diego County; Baja California, Mexico

Monday, March 25, 2013

Two Different Dinner Meals for a Household of Two

For her: laing ( taro leaves cooked in ginger, green spicy pepper and coconut milk) , crunchy dried fish and sunny side up egg.

Singing in the Rain

     Suddenly I miss the rain! The way colorful petals would be soaked in rainwater and everything looking green and fresh and the sound of the raindrop's peter patter on the ground. The following shots were taken around two years ago on my dad's birthday celebration. Though he's been gone for sometime we take time to gather and imagine him belting out with shure sm57 mf to the beat of his favorite songs, Spanish songs on top of his list!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Quiet Beach

China Cove Beach, Point Lobos State Natural Reserve
“Why do we love the sea? It is because it has some potent power to make us think things we like to think.” - Robert Henri

Looking Back

In my post, Blogging Happiness, I shared how my blogging has transformed from simply sharing the priceless happiness I find in hiking and being with nature into gaining really wonderful and extra caring friends, gaining more knowledge from reading relevant sites, and also, gaining extra income.
Being a reflective person, I love looking back sometimes to learn from the steps I made before. Now, as I was looking back to some of my first posts in The Joys of Simple Life, my post on "Change" brought me smiles :) Back then, I was very new to blogger, had little knowledge about getting a domain, I had to ask the sound advise of some blogging friends about their thoughts on getting own domain vs free hosted domain.

Thankfully, some friends shared to me using Domain Promo Codes so I could save some money.  One could get domains from Bigrock Coupons, GoDaddy, Yahoo, Network Solutions at discounted price. I checked again if these promo codes are available since I am planning to get a new domain ( had been thinking about it for a long time already), and thankfully, there are a lot of promo codes offered right now such as Register.com Coupon Codes. Sweet! Some of their latest codes right now includes:

Beautifully Humming From High To Low

 Can you see the hummingbird here?
A very pleasant surprise came my way today when I least expected it. I was at first caught by the beauty of this very tall pink orchid tree. As I aimed my lens towards the tree, I saw a hummingbird perched peacefully on one of the frail branches.

Monday, March 18, 2013


Hiking With Pro Bar Meal
I had been looking for a long time now for a healthy meal replacement during our hikes. Something lightweight, but not something that will sacrifice the nutrients from a regular meal. As we all know, hikers do not need dieting especially on strenuous hikes. It is a time where they needed the essential nutrients, electrolytes and calories the most. However, we just could not bring fresh foods or hot meals during our hikes. Sumptuous meals are sacrificed, in exchange of getting that much needed therapy and rejuvenation of energy and spirits from nature.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Old Pictures of San Diego From my old Point and Shoot

San Diego Skyline (2005)
Reminiscing the old times....some old pictures of San Diego, taken by my old point and shoot camera, Canon PowerShot S410. Most pictures here were taken 2005. 
San Diego Skyline (2005)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Payday Loan: Is It Heaven- or Hell- Sent?

I consider myself an accidental tourist to America. Never in my younger years I thought of coming to America to look for job and settle permanently. Back when I was younger, I believed that leaving the Philippines was equivalent to betraying my country.

Why then, did I end up in the United States of America? Perhaps, it all started as gullibility. A mistake that slowly shaped my path to America.

About 18 years ago, a small group of close friends encouraged me to be a member of cooperative that would allow us to take loans. Despite my hesitancy to join, my small group of friends succeeded in making me a member of the cooperative. At that time, I had no need of applying for loan. Also, it was against my parents' teachings of never to borrow money unless:

1. You are getting a house. Even if you are thinking of getting a house loan for 30 years, my parents taught us to just borrow money for house that we realistically could pay in 5- 10 years so that we will have 20 years of FREEDOM!

2. It is a matter of life and death. But my parents taught us to always set aside at least 25% of our salary for this "matter of life and death scenario".

My "payday loan" story is not about to make a devil or an angel out of payday lenders. Let us just say it was our inexperience that made us think it would be fun if we all apply for loan together, "Four for one.... one for four!" That's what we would tell each other whenever we did things together.

Many stories had been told how payday loans drained money and assets of some people who probably did not pay attention to the terms correctly before signing. However, it is also a positive fact that consumers in disaster zones fared better where payday lenders were legally available than in areas where payday lending was not present or not regulated.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Flight of the Butterflies

Wintering Monarch Butterflies @ Pismo State Beach, California
Last Saturday, was one of those very few days where the weather was not very pleasant in San Diego. Usually, even with rain, we would still go hiking because we find that to be the most stress-relieving activity for us. However, because we had eye doctor appointment in the morning, we decided to do some easy walking at REI ( a recreational and outdoor store), and then, later at Balboa Park. Our main purpose of going to Balboa Park was to watch the new film, "The Rocky Mountain Express" at the IMAX Dome theater at the Science Museum. Before the "Rocky Mountain Express" was shown, they showed the trailer, "Flight of the Butterflies". Even it was only a trailer of the documentary film I saw but it was strong enough to move me to almost in tears at how amazing our world is.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Fun and Dining at La Jolla Shores

La Jolla Shores Beach, San Diego, CA
La Jolla Shores is one of the beaches here in San Diego that we mostly frequent, perhaps, next to Torrey Pines. Why we love it here in La Jolla Shores is because of the many things we could do. North and South of it are rocky intertidal zones ideal for tidepooling.
Sea Stars @ La Jolla Shores Tidepool

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Promo Items and First Aid Kit in Hiking

Wearing One of My Favorite Promo Items, Fly Emirates Cap I got from watching tennis ( BNP Paribas Open )
Who does not love promo items? One of the things I enjoy watching tennis in Indian Wells aside of course from photographing and getting autographs of some of my favorite tennis players, is getting promo items. What is special with my Fly Emirates baseball cap is that it has the autographs of some tennis players who were kind enough to sign the cap for us. :)
Rafael Nadal

Egg Noodles or Pancit


Vegetables: Sautee or steam vegetables.

Noodles: Cook noodles in boiling water. When it's cooked, sautee the noodles with garlic and sliced onions.
Brown Sauce: Sautee garlic until brown. Then add cornstarch water, add soy sauce, pepper and some seasonings. Stir until thick.

Arrange noodles in plate, top with vegetables and brown sauce. Serve hot!


Sunday, March 3, 2013

A Musical Encounter at Razor Point

Was It You Singing My Name?
Peregrine Falcon Perched @ Razor Point, Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve,  San Diego, CA
While hubby and I were approaching Razor Point in Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, I heard a loud chant that was floating in the air. I told hubby, "dear, I hear a peregrine calling me!" :) Hubby is used to my exaggerated imagination. Whenever I heard wildlife, I would always tell him, "they are calling out my name." :) He knew however I must be correct about the chanting, so he joined me in looking around for the source of the sound. As we focused our gaze at Razor Point, we saw something juts out of the cliff. As we came closer, the sound became louder and how excited we were to find out that it was indeed a peregrine.
The Fastest Animal on Earth  @  Razor Point

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Pink Roses and Fogs

In the pink mood lately ( meaning, in a very very happy girly mood, haha ). The pink roses above were from our backyard's jungle of plants. Notice it is actually a mix of many other plants, most of them are drought resistant since we live in a very dry place that gets some precipitation mostly in winter, and the rest of the year, had to rely on fogs. And because we had an almost summer in a winter day today ( Santa Ana conditions), and tomorrow, the temperatures will drop to more than 20 degrees, we are expected to have very foggy conditions tomorrow.