0 Worship Thru 1 Corinthians 1:27-29

These past few days have been a challenge in my spiritual life. It’s so hard to contemplate the right thing from wrong as certain beliefs tend to contradict another. As thoughts and reasons crossed my mind, I usually ask, so “which one is correct?”

Upon reading some news feeds on my Facebook’s timeline, a friend shared a Facebook page called “Usapang Worship” and since I’m part of a music ministry on my church, I got curious and browsed the page. I stumbled to one of their posts and saw the quote “God does not call the qualified, he qualifies the called”. To be honest, this is what I have been longing to see. I searched the web for the bible verse supporting this and I found 1 Corinthians 1:27-29.

I sometimes have doubts whether I am worthy of leading worship , or whether “the way” I lead worship is correct or acceptable to God. You see, most churches struggles on praise & worship as some doesn’t “feel” the sound of modern contemporary praise music and even say that it does not glorify God. Some church leaders, even question the hearts of the music team if they are truly worshipping God or just performing. I say that this is already a way of judging them. Like one of my co-worshipper says, “It is so hard to worship if our own church leaders questions our integrity and is not convinced of our worship because of what they think through their own personal standard”. I just told him, “we are doing this for God and not for them”….but you see, this is a negative perception based on their own personal belief and not on God’s preference. I am not saying that I am correct, but by reading the scripture above, I can say that God has a different mindset compared to most church leaders.

So let me ask those that think like this, who are we to judge? Are we really setting the standard based on what God prefers or what our church elders prefer? Is there really a right or wrong way of worship? Is a certain person qualified to be a part of the worship team because he/she follows the standard of the church leader or because he wants to use his talents in worshipping God?

If we will be so strict and conservative about our beliefs, then we are probably pushing our own personal agenda and unconsciously ignoring the purpose of another individual’s way of worship. I think its better to listen first and build a relationship with each other instead of criticizing and finding faults. I always believe in communication and acceptance of others idea. For me the reason is, not because you are the leader, you are always right and not because I am a member that I the leader should always think of me first. We should always meet halfway and seek what is actually for God because it is not about us, but it is about God.

 

0 Nature Trip at Sequoia and Yosemite National Park

Long weekends are fun especially if you’re looking forward to it because you have plans to go out-of-town with family and friends. Last July 4th, we’ve went to visit Sequoia National Park and the Yosemite National Park. It is summer and nature tripping is one of the best way to enjoy the sun and have a breath of fresh air. You might think that it was a bad idea, but surprisingly the heat was not that intense in a park full of giant trees.

Sequoia Trees

Sequoia Trees

 

Sequoia National Park is famous for the giant sequoia trees surrounding the area. You can find here the biggest tree in the world, The General Sherman Tree. It was said that this tree has the biggest volume pertaining to its trunk compared to other trees in the area.

General Sherman Tree

General Sherman Tree

 

The park entrance fee costs $20 for a single private vehicle which gives you unlimited access for 1 week. Upon entering the park you will see the park’s “Welcome Sign” which gives you an opportunity for a souvenir photo-op and also a sign that you are about to face a series of long-winding roads which lets your vehicle run for about 10-15mph. I would suggest that you bring some anti-road sick meds just in case you suddenly felt dizzy.

Sequoia Park Portrait

Photo-op!!!

 

Along the road you will pass by the intriguing Tunnel Rock not far from the entrance. I’m just amazed of these rocks on top of each other which made me curious and made me climb on top of it.

Tunnel Rock

Above the Tunnel Rock

 

The park has a large area and eventhough it is huge, parking is also scarce. I would suggest that when you find a parking space just leave your vehicle there and just ride the free shuttles the park is offering. It is also the mode of transportation to the known scenic views the place has to offer.

 

We also went to the Morro Rock Trail – accessible only via shuttle bus as no personal vehicles were allowed to go inside. If you are into hiking and adventure, this trail is a must! You will have to climb 350 steps to reach the top of the mountain which is around 6725 ft elevation. Be aware that certain parts of the stairs will only allow 1 person to pass. I needed to stop a few times as it is also tiring especially when you have a toddler climbing the mountain with you. Reaching the top is fulfilling. You can see the whole valley and makes you appreciate more the beauty of nature. The top of the Morro rock is just a two person platform protected by rails to keep you safe from falling over the ledge.

Stairs Morro Rock

Morro Rock Stairs – Let’s do this!!!

On Top Of Morro Rock2

On top of Morro Rock – Scenic View Rightside

On Top Of Morro Rock

On top of Morro Rock – Scenic View Leftside

Morro Rock Trail

If you’re planning to visit the whole park, I would suggest that you come here early and spend a few more days, as 1 day is not enough especially if you will be using the shuttles.There is also a fallen tree that was curved to make a vehicle pass through it. Since we were out of time and we finished our Morro Rock trail late, we weren’t able to stop on this place but fortunately enough to pass by it.

 

You can reach the Sequoia National Park by going thru I-5 North and for approximately 60 miles be ready to continue on CA-99 freeway. Just go on and you will see an intersection on Visalia, turn right on the 198 freeway going east. Freeway 198 will lead you to Sequoia National Forest. You will know you’re near, when you see the Lake Kaweah in Three Rivers.

Lake Kaweah Panoramic View

Lake Kaweah

 

The next day, Saturday morning, we again hit the road to go to Yosemite National Park. We were hoping to be able to see the whole park but since it’s bigger than Sequoia National Park, it is surely impossible to do that. The entrance fee to the park is $20 for a single private car and you can use it for 7 consecutive days.

 

I would say that it was really a beautiful place, the road going to the inside of the park is not as much winding compared to Sequoia National Park. Since it is weekend, I am not surprised if there were a lot of tourists, hikers and campers around. It’s really a large area and going from point A to Point B will take most of your time but it is also worth it as the road will offer you amazing scenic views that would urge you to stop and get some pictures of it. You don’t have to worry about gas as there are a few gasoline station inside the park(although it’s a bit more expensive compared to gas stations outside the park).

 

Our itinerary for our visit is to go to the Yosemite Valley to see the Yosemite Fall, Half Dome, El Capitan and Glacier Point close enough to admire its beauty. Unfortunately, since there were lots of people that day, the Rangers prohibits visitors from going inside the Yosemite Village where the Yosemite Falls is located. Here are some pictures of the places that we were able to see:

Yosemite National Park

El Capitan

El Capitan

Half Dome

Half Dome

Yosemite Valley View

Yosemite Valley

 

I would suggest that if you want to visit Yosemite National Park, you have to come early and spend a few more days to be able to visit all the places this park has to offer.

 

Going to Yosemite National Park from Visalia, driving through freeway 198-West, take exit going to CA-99 North toward Sacramento. After around 30 miles, be ready to take exit CA-41 North towards Yosemite National Park.

 

I should say that this is actually a nice experience especially if you love nature. It’s a good way to unwind and de-stress if you are living in the city. The good thing about this is you get to have an exercise while having fun and appreciating the wonders of nature.

 

0 A Fun-filled Arizona Trip

It’s been a while or should I say, it’s been months since my last post. Time got hold of me and have been very busy these past few months but I’m back and would try to update my website once in a while.

It was a very busy life indeed, but I still managed to squeeze an amazing, fun-filled road trip to Arizona with family and friends just to unwind, enjoy nature and escape reality for a brief time. Our family loves traveling and this trip was one of our anticipated activity for this year.

We planned on going on a Friday night and this was last April 11, 2014. Since we started late and the distance from Los Angeles, CA to The Grand Canyon South Rim was approximately 490 miles( almost 8 hrs drive), we’ve decided to spend the night at the Tropicana Laughlin Hotel & Casino in Nevada(which was halfway to our destination).

family

Morning came and before we proceed to Arizona, we took some time to have some pictures and off we go. It was a nice sunny day and in my opinion we have picked the perfect season of the year to go to Arizona, Spring time!, as it was sunny but not too hot. We left at around 10 am and we are expecting to reach the Grand Canyon at around 1 pm as we still need to travel around 200 miles. Unfortunately, we exceeded our estimated time of arrival for we had to have a few stopovers for gas, restrooms and snacks along with a few stretching of our muscles. We arrived at approximately 2 PM and was greeted by a ranger by the booth at the entrance going to the Grand Canyon itself. The entrance to the whole place is $25 with parking and this is actually a fair price. You can check their website here, if you want to know more details.

In order for you to reach The Grand Canyon from Tropicana Laughlin Hotel & Casino, you need to pass Highway 68-East going to Kingman and then merge to Interstate Freeway 40-East/93-South going to Flagstaff. As you drive in I-40 for about 120 miles, check your exit going to Williams to reach the junction Highway 64 which leads to the Grand Canyon South Rim(destination).

I do admit that it was a tiring drive but once you arrive and see The Grand Canyon, you will feel renewed. I was mesmerized by the beauty of this place and makes me appreciate more the wonder of God’s creation. Good thing that I’ve brought my jacket with me, for even though it was a sunny day, it was also cold due to the gusts of wind. We stayed for a couple of hours to have some pictures taken and enjoy the beauty of The Grand Canyon. Here is a picture I took of The Grand Canyon:

The Grand Canyon

As for a person afraid of heights, I really want to challenge myself and have a picture taken near a ledge(be aware that the rocks are slippery and take extra caution if you will be doing this).

Living On The Edge

Living On The Edge

We were done strolling and enjoying the scenery at around 4PM so we decided to take a snack/dinner. We traveled down the road and ate at a Wendy’s fastfood chain in a small town a few miles from the entrance. While we were having dinner, we decided to call it a day and look for a small hotel in Williams’ small town(there were lots of accommodation here).

I woke up early the next day and excited on our next destination for I usually see this place only in pictures and this time it’s my turn to see it personally. We had a quick breakfast and at exactly 9AM we departed Williams to go to The Antelope Lower Canyon in Page, AZ.

Going to the Antelope Canyon is an amazing drive, even though it will take about 3 hrs to reach the place, you will be amazed at the scenery that you will see along the way. The road leads thru a huge desert valley and when you look at the your side you will see a few hill-like rock formations that will definitely startle you. As you came to approach your destination, you will see from afar red-colored cliffs being divided by the road. These landscapes sometimes look like sponges due to the lines depicted by the wind as it ages. Here are some photos that I captured on the road:

Page Trip

Page Trip2

Page Trip3

Upon arriving at the Antelope Lower Canyon, you will be greeted by a small cabin with a receptionist which sells tickets for your tour. Ticket prices varies depending on what package you want. For the standard tour, it costs $28 per person (13 yrs+), $20 for children(7-12 yrs) and kids 6yrs under are FREE. You can also visit their website for more details with regard to their guided tour.

Coming from Williams, you have to drive thru Interstate 40-East going to Flagstaff then go thru exit 201 toward Highway 89-North going to Page, AZ. Along the Highway 89-North, you will have a detour to Highway 89-Temporary by turning right when you see the green sign “Page” just after a small gasoline station. For around 45 miles you will turn right to Highway 98-East and you will see the big coal station ahead. Just before reaching the coal station there is a small asphalt road to the left and this leads to the Antelope Lower Canyon. Just follow the signs and you will arrive at your destination.

Here are some photos that I captured during the tour:

Desert Walk

Antelope Canyon 1
Antelope Canyon 3
Antelope Canyon 2
Antelope Canyon 5
Antelope Canyon 4

Our Arizona trip was totally tiring and yet so amazing. Lots of driving time but it’s all worth it because you get to see the different locations the state of Arizona is proud of. The fun in traveling is that you just don’t get to see it in pictures, you get to capture them yourselves.

7 Food Review – Fish Dish

Poster

 

 

I have been very busy lately with school schedule for my son and some activities with our friends during weekends and weekdays that is why after doing all these things, I have decided to treat myself with some healthy food. Who loves fish? I admit that I am not a fan of seafoods (although I love Japanese food) but still it didn’t hinder me on trying this restaurant(that serves fresh, healthy cooked seafoods) called Fish Dish.

 

 

 

They have a few locations here in Los Angeles and we went to the Burbank location since we were at the vicinity at that time last week. The location was actually good, lots of parking spaces and the area was clean too. Upon entering the store, we were greeted by the crew behind the counter and no problem looking for the menu as it’s already written in a big black board beside the counter when you entered the door.

 

Wall Menu

 

Normally, if I am eating at a seafood restaurant, I would  order Grilled Salmon but this time I want it to be different, I want to try something new.I ordered the Charbroiled Mahi-mahi which was a food prepared as you order(served fresh!). It comes with a side dish of Coleslaw and Garlic Bread, Brown Rice(choose between Brown Rice,White Rice or Fries) and Garlic Butter Sauce(choose between Cajun Sauce or Garlic Butter). I can say that it’s not bad and it’s also not a “wow” popper for me. I love the Garlic Butter Sauce, it was actually flavorful and the coleslaw was great, crispy veggies meaning it’s fresh and not soggy. The Mahi-mahi’s texture was good, it was firm and not flaky like the Salmon. It was also a bit bland(good thing the sauce was rich in flavor), I was actually expecting a little sweetness from it but I guess it’s probably normal for this kind of fish(I need to try out this fish more from other restaurants). I can say that I am satisfied with my meal but if I am going to eat here again, I would probably try a different meal.

 

Charbroiled Mahi-Mahi

 

My wife ordered their Calamari Plate as she has been craving for this food for quite a few days now. She gave me a couple of pieces for me to try and I can say that it was ok. For me, it’s nothing like it will be a “talk of the town” food for being great, I should say that it is fine if you are not that very picky when it comes to Calamari.

 

Calamari Plate

At the end of the room you will also find their condiments section, which was actually nice because you get to choose different sauces that soothes your taste.

Condiments

All in all, I can say that my experience with Fish Dish was good. If you would ask me if I will recommend it to my friends, I will say “yes” for the reason of great service, good ambiance, affordable price and good food. It may not be the best Seafood Restaurant in town but it is definitely not the worst. I would definitely comeback and try some of the other dishes to really give a better judgement of the place when pertaining to their food.

 

Fish Dish (Burbank Location) is located at 2575 North Hollywood Way Unit 106, Burbank, CA 91505 opens Mon-Sat 11 AM – 9:30 PM, Sun 11 AM – 8:30 PM. They also accept Credit Cards as mode of Payment.

 

8 The Real Praise And Worship

First and foremost, what you are about to read is what I believe in and mostly my opinion. I do not intend to offend anyone or persuade to believe what I think. I respect you for your beliefs and I expect you to do the same. I accept constructive criticisms as I believe everyone is entitled to their own opinions.

I have been thinking about this certain thing about church praise and worship for quite sometime now. As a matter of fact, it became more visible to me when I started this awesome task to lead the congregation for a few Sunday service when our worship leader attended a seminar. We can’t deny that sometimes (or perhaps most of the time) differences starts even inside the church(even though we are Christians) especially when it comes to music but like what I always think of – “there is no perfect church, because if there is one, then it is not a church it is “HEAVEN”.

In giving praises to God, there are people who prefer the old-fashioned, solemn, quiet, calm hymn-like songs and there are some which prefer the upbeat, fast, dancy-groovy kind of songs which makes them more involved when it comes to praise and worship. Being part of the worship team, I am torn between these two ways of giving praise to God. Let me point this out, what is “worship”? what is the proper way of worship? What is our goal for worship?

So, what is worship? If we would like to understand it in a definitive way, it is a way of communicating to God – simple as it is. If we would dig deeper and not just literally define it, worship is having a conversation, offering our sincere thoughts and proclaiming the awesomeness of God with pure humility and being happy about it. Sounds easy huh? Well what about doing it ?

Worship BG - Great is the Lord

So, what is the proper way of worship? Defining it is the easy part because it is like giving it a form or a category but it gets complicated if we would want to show the proper way of doing it. For me, everything that you do in accordance to God’s word is the proper way. We cannot say that God will only like if we sing solemnly or he will love us more because we are dancing in his presence, it’s actually seen by God in our hearts.Proper way of worship cannot be defined verbally or physically but instead it will be defined by how we submit ourselves in worshiping and how God can be glorified with sincerity. It does not say that we have to worship God in our way or worship him in his because this will just show that worshiping is one sided and biased. Like a magnet, it does not work on North Poles or South Poles only, it must be combined to work, so I can say that worshiping God needs our way and his way and through this a conversation is made.

Lay It All Down For The Lord

So, what is your goal for worship? Does this include self-righteousness? Do you want others to see how holy you are or perhaps how great in singing or dancing you are? If this is your goal, then I’m afraid you have the wrong goals. A true worshiper’s goal is – to please God because that is the reason why we do it in the first place. So if you see someone dancing and singing , let him be because it is him pleasing God. Just as him seeing you singing solemnly and calmly because that is you pleasing God. Don’t be distracted at what others do because by doing so you are already missing your goals.

GBI Kenisah Christmas Party_14

There is no right or wrong when it comes to praising God. Whether it is lively or solemn, quiet or loud, modern or old-fashioned it will always be the same in front of God because what matters most is what He sees in your heart.


Featured image from Flickr.

0 A Look At The Space Shuttle Endeavour Upclose

A few weeks back, we went to the California Science Center to visit the Space Shuttle Endeavour which was a headline among all the news outlets last year. Just to give you a brief information, the Endeavour was the fifth NASA space shuttle orbiter to be built and it was also the first and only shuttle to be named by children. I was always fascinated by space shuttles ever since I was a kid, I even dreamt of being an astronaut because of my likings to these amazing aircrafts. So when my wife said “let’s check out the Endeavour space shuttle”, I automatically said yes and off we go because I am really excited.

Before seeing the actual space shuttle, all guests will have to begin the exhibit by entering a room filled with images and actual items and artifacts that can be found inside the Endeavour. This will give us an idea of what goes around during the astronauts stay in space, what equipments do they use to be able to live in a normal way and also to show the guests some of the space shuttle’s components that makes it inhabitable and trustworthy in going to space and returning back to Earth.

This is what you will see after entering the door, an introductory story about what you will experience on this exhibit.

Endeavour Intro

As you go on, you will see at the right side the actual tires used by the space shuttle when it landed on NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Guests are allowed to touch it to feel the texture of the result of abuse the tires absorbed when it first landed on Earth.

Endeavour Tires Endeavour Tires Upclose

Across the tires to the left features the Fuel Cells used by the space shuttle to generate electricity. Chemical reactions by means of hydrogen and oxygen is the source of electricity and its leftovers which is water and heat where used by astronauts for drinking or re-hydrating inside the shuttle.
Fuel Cell Fuel Cell (Back)

Moving on you will see at the right, the Space Oven used by astronauts to cook their food. Amazing because this equipment functions by means of the Fuel Cells and it’s leftover wastes.

Space Oven

Looking at the left side is the Space Shuttle Potty. It’s amazing how this equipment functions whenever an astronaut needs to “go”. In space, wastes does not go directly into the toilet as it is on Earth. Since there is no gravity, poop tends to curl and stick and does not fall off also urine just sticks to any surface it touches. In order to deal with this problem, they used airflow to pull away the wastes going to the bag. The Space Shuttle Potty stores urine and solid wastes in different storages. The solid wastes collected shall then be exposed to thee vacuum of space to kill germs and bacteria and then stored to bring back to Earth (No littering in space, literally). The air used in pulling away wastes will then be filtered to cleanse it from bacteria and odor to be used again inside the crew cabin. Amazing isn’t it?

Space Potty Space Potty Angle

In the middle of the room you will find the actual Mission Control Equipments used to monitor every shuttle launch from 1981 to 2011.

Mission Control

There is also Simulator rides that you can ride to give and show you the feeling of astronauts experiences on their trips to space.

Simulator Simulator 2

This concludes the gallery of equipments and artifacts used by the shuttle and upon leaving the room you will be directed to the Space Shuttle Endeavour itself located in the Samuel Oschin Pavilion.

Upon entering the Pavilion, you will be greeted by an overwhelming amusement of the Endeavour. Believe me, it was really huge and the good thing is, it is just right before my eyes and I can even approach and go underneath it. I was really amazed for I only get to see this on TV when I was a kid but now it’s right in front of me. Here are some photos that I was able to collect of the Endeavour:

Tip Of The Endeavor Endeavour Wing Endeavour Tail Panoramic View Of The Endeavour

This is the detached Rocket Booster used to launch the Space Shuttle to outer space. It’s powered by liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen to give an output of over 1.5 Million pounds of thrust.

Rocket Booster Rocket Booster 3 Rocket Booster 2

Inside this big pavilion, you can also see the Space Hab – a module which was used as an extra room for astronauts to live-in or also as a workshop in space.

Space Hab

As you can see they also used the Space Hab as a storage for supplies and tools.

Inside View

Works of man that was used as a fundamental source of knowledge for the unreachable and unseen. These are the wonders that helped prove the existence of our imaginations. These are the things that helped us study and discover the wonders of space.

4 When Life Keeps Happening

Have you ever noticed that sometimes no matter how hard you try you still fail to achieve your goals. It seems like in whatever you do, there will always be failures and heartaches that stands in your way. I know that you can already see a glimpse of what you want from afar but in order for you to reach your destination there are some things you need to go through and experience even though you don’t want to but you have no choice because it is there.

This, my friend, is “when life keeps happening”. Frustrations, disappointments, trials, obstacles in life that you don’t want to experience but whether you like it or not, it is there. No other road to go through, trapped inside a tunnel and your only option is to go ahead or back out, what will you choose?

leading tunnel lines swirl

 

If you back out, there will always be a feeling of emptiness and regret but if you go on, there will always be a feeling of pain, confusion and suffering but as you look ahead you can see the light that will ease all these. You just have to go on, no matter what because these are all part of it, these are the reasons why there is light and these will be gone once you get out of the tunnel. Once you get past all these, it means your free, free from your fears, hesitations and sufferings. You will then realize that the light you saw is no other than your own aura, you are your own “light”.

4 Sweet Review – Confexion Cupcakes

It’s been a busy week, in fact a stressful one and if you’re experiencing the same, what do you do to somewhat lessen the tension in your body? Well for me I sometimes eat desserts whenever I am stressed because it somewhat soothes me and if you would look at the word stressed, it is actually desserts written backwards, so basically they’re connected to each other.

This week, I’ve visited one of the known gourmet cupcakes baker here in Pasadena, CA, the “Confexion”. This pastry shop was actually a winner of the famous Food Network TV Show Cupcake Wars.

Box Winner Food Network

This is also my second time to visit this place, my first visit’s experience (which was last month) was great and this time I have decided to give it a second try.

Confexion Front Porch It’s just a small shop, wherein most of the customers tends to buy and take home what they bought. If you want to eat here, there are a few tables outside of the shop along the sidewalk since there are no indoor tables for you to use . Upon entering, you will see at once the reception table beside the display of cupcakes they are selling. You will be greeted by a smiling woman (Which I think is the owner) that will also take your orders.

Panoramic View of Front DeskSince I have already been here, so I am somewhat familiar already with the cupcakes that they have on display. It didn’t take a while for me to decide which cupcakes to order, although there are two new ones added since my last visit.

Cupcakes
So I’ve decided to order the two new cupcakes and my favorites:

 

  • Chocolate + Chocolate

Chocolate + Chocolate

 

Who doesn’t love chocolates? The good thing about this cupcake is that even though it’s rich in chocolate it doesn’t tastes too sweet. It consists of Valrhona chocolate cake and chocolate frosting. I can say that they are consistent in making these because my second visit has met my expectation since I last tried it. I love the flavor and texture of the cake underneath, it’s moist and not dry. I even ordered two of this 🙂

 

 

 

 

  • Royal Red Velvet

Royal Red Velvet

 

This cupcake consists of classic southern light chocolate cake with hints of cinnamon and cocoa, topped with cream cheese frosting. I am actually not a fan (but my son is) of this cupcake as it tastes to sweet for me. Probably because the frosting has red candy sprinkles on it to make it look good. There is actually a another version of this which has no sprinkles and that might have less sweetness in it (although I haven’t tried it yet) As with the cake underneath the frosting, I can say that it is great. It is not dry and somewhat moist and soft in texture which balances the overall quality of this cupcake.

 

 

  • Black + White

Black + White

 

 

If you don’t like it to be chocolatey, this is your choice. It has the same ingredient with the Chocolate + Chocolate the only difference is the frosting as it uses Vanilla Bean instead of Chocolate. I actually liked this one too as it is also not too sweet and there is an added pinch mixture of vanilla and chocolate that blends in your mouth as you eat.

 

 

 

 

  • Cosmo

Cosmo

 

This is one of the new flavors I’ve seen from my last visit. The cupcake has fresh key lime zest cake filled with cosmo cranberry compote and topped with lime-vodka frosting. In my taste bud’s opinion, I actually don’t like it. Upon taking a bite, you will be fronted by a burst of sweetness from the frosting and the cake. Good thing there was a lime added to the flavor, just imagine if there is none, but I guess the lime didn’t do much of a help to balance the sweetness and flavor of this cupcake.

 

 

 

  • Chocolate Bacon Caramel

Chocolate Bacon Caramel

 

 

I was fascinated at this one that is why I ordered it. It has dark Valrhona chocolate cake topped with chocolate frosting, caramel and bits of bacon. Yup, you read it correctly, it has bacon on it. I was actually curious what it would taste like and to tell you the truth, I liked it. The saltiness of bacon mixed with the sweetness of the frosting made it unique. It was so balanced that if I would be visiting this place, I would order it again if they have it on their menu that day.

 

 

I should say that you need to visit this place a couple of times to actually figure out what you like as they have different flavors everyday for the whole month.

Open Box

The prices of their cupcakes are reasonable, for the regular size it’s $3.50 each $21 for half a dozen, $39 for a dozen. The petite size is $2.00 each and $22 for a dozen.

Front Desk

Overall, I can say that this place has met my expectation since my first visit. The cupcakes were great for all my choices, I like them to be moist and soft not dry and brittle. Although the sweet factor was too much for me with one of my choices, it does not mean that it will make me avoid this place. Some people like it too sweet and some like it to be balanced (like me), so I guess it is up to the customers to choose which of the flavors do they want.

 

Flavors

 

 

 

Confexion is located at 11 West Dayton Street, Pasadena, CA 91105 and opens Tues to Wed 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Thurs to Fri 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM, Sat 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM, Sun 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM and closed during Mondays. They accept cash or credit card as mode of payment.

 

 

 

12 Life, Seen As A Body Of Water

Everyday we have to deal with things that gives us joy, inspirations, stress, sadness that whether we like it or not, defines our personality and who we are. A beginning in which we do not know how it started but believed it was there, a present that we try to make the best of because we can dictate how it goes and a future that we fill with hope and only exist in our mind. This is what I call “Life”, a journey from a time we know but haven’t seen, yet we believe because we are experiencing it now, and hoping to leave a legacy of our own in days to come before it ends.

sea in between 2How do you see your life? I see mine like a body of water – coming from a place I don’t know but knew it’s presence. When I think about life now, I can define it as to what I see but if I try to look beyond, there is more to it.

pier smearedLike a body of water, it has its ups and downs, serenity and storm, smear and cleanliness that we still love and cherish.

 Alcatraz 2Like a body of water defined by shades of color, dark because it’s deep and light because it’s shallow – always unpredictable but still we get to sail on it as we move on.

Bay Bridge 2Like a body of water that represents 75% of the world we live in, our life also relies on 75% of body fluids to survive.

lakeview 2Like a body of water that is only beautiful if we accept it as it is, go with the flow, because it is meant to be.

0 Food Review – Sushi Ichi (Authentic Japanese Restaurant)

My wife and I are fond of trying different cuisines for we do like to eat outside oftentimes during weekends (because it is our day of relaxation after a week-long stress). After coming from an exhibit we visited, we thought to try this Japanese Restaurant called “Sushi Ichi” about a couple of miles from our place. We’ve heard that this restaurant serves authentic Japanese food and since we haven’t eaten any Japanese food for a while, we have decided to give it a try.

We arrive at the vicinity around 5:20 PM and luckily was able to find a parking spot near the restaurant. The parking lot is is a private lot which is average in size and shared by a few establishments. I’m guessing that during at night this is full as most of the establishments here were restaurants.

Inside the Restaurant Reserved Upon entering the store, I was somewhat surprised because I was not expecting it to be small (approximately 7 tables and a Bar) yet I find it very clean and well organized. The waiter greeted us and I have noticed that all the tables were “Reserved” except for one, which is a good thing because we were seated at that last table that wasn’t reserved. I later realized that before coming here, you have to call first for reservation because if you are unlucky you don’t have a chance to sit and eat (which in our case, we were lucky to have the last spot). It seems that this place is frequented by patrons as the waiter asked us if this was our first time here and I also noticed that they already knew some of the guests.

 

 

Upon seating, he gave us the menu and while deciding on what to order, he asked us what drinks do we want and we just ordered 2 Sodas. On the menu, you will find the typical Japanese foods that you normally would see on other restaurants, so in this case we were somewhat familiar (although not an expert) with some of the foods they offer.

 

 

Miso Soup

 

 

We first ordered a Miso Soup, this is a must for me, it is as if my meal won’t be complete without this. Their Miso Soup is ok, I am actually not expecting more since (as far as I know) this serves only as an appetizer before eating the main dish.

 

 

 

 

 

Yellowtail and Salmon Sushi For our main dish, we ordered the Yellowtail Sushi ($6.50) and Salmon Sushi ($6.00)which comes in pairs, perfect for couples. We waited probably around 5 mins. for it to be prepared by their Sushi Chef at the bar. When I ate my piece of the Yellowtail Sushi, I should say, I was really satisfied. Unlike other Japanese restaurants, the Yellowtail Sushi here tastes really good and fresh. It doesn’t tastes too fishy but instead there was a pinch of sweetness on the fishmeat and you will notice the texture to be firm and not saggy nor slimy. This goes along with the Salmon Sushi, both having the same quality.

 

Spicy Tuna and California Roll

 

Next we ordered the Spicy Tuna Roll ($5.50) and the California Roll ($5.00). This are the traditional rolls that you can find in any Japanese restaurants and to my surprise when I ate them, I don’t know if I am just hungry or it really tastes different. It is tasty and flavorful not a typical bland roll that I am used to.

 

 

 

Fresh Salmon Roe We were already full but we have decided to try a one last sushi flavor and we ordered the Salmon Roe Sushi. The waiter asked us if we would like to try the chef recommended or the normal one. We asked what is the difference and he said the Chef recommended is a fresh Roe while the normal is not(probably came from a bottle). Since the difference is only two dollars, we decided to get the Fresh Salmon Roe ($8.00). As expected, it was not disappointing, it was fresh indeed.

 

 

All in all, my experience here is great. Customer service is great as they were all accommodating and courteous (they even said goodbye in Japanese – all of them). Food was really fresh and served at a normal pace. The only thing that might hurt you is the price because it was somewhat expensive, although they reciprocate it with the quality of food and service. I recommend this place to anyone who would want to try an authentic Japanese food.

 

Sushi Ichi is located at 633 South Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena, CA 91105. Reservation is a must and their Tel. Number is 1-626-395-9977. Their operating hours are Mon-Fri 11:30 AM – 2:00 PM / 5:00 PM – 9:30 PM and Saturday only 5:00 PM – 9:30 PM. They accept credit cards for payments. If you have a toddler with you, you might not try this place since I don’t see any hi-chairs around.