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.

2 An Afternoon Trip to the Farmer’s Market

organic1 organic4It was a Thursday afternoon, having a good weather and the craving for some unique pastry, my wife and I decided to visit the South Pasadena Farmer’s Market. There is never a bad time in visiting this place because of the friendly atmosphere, lots of fun activities, clean street foods of different specialties and culture and most of all fresh-organic fruits and vegetables that you can buy.

 

The venue is located at the Meridian Avenue and El Centro just adjacent to Metro Gold Line Station in South Pasadena. They closed down the intersection of both streets every Thursdays at 4pm. Finding the place is easy as it is at the heart of the small town, the only problem that you will encounter here is looking for a parking space. Since this is also a residential area, street parking is the only option for its patrons. There are a few small parking lots that you can use if you’re lucky enough.

 

organic2 organic3 spices 1 spices 2 Samples

As you enter the market, you will find different varieties of food that are being sold under the tent stalls like organic fruits and vegetables, different spices and even breads. There is also a sample table for the fruits that they sell that looks like a salad bar.

 

 

food court

 If you get hungry strolling around or if you want to take home some foods for your family, there is also a part of the farmer’s market that looks like a food court where you can find different foods that you won’t normally see at home nor at a few fancy restaurant.

 

 

 

 

menu pupusa

 

An example of this is the “Pupusas” , a grilled pastry filled with meat of your choice. I ordered Pork-Beans & cheese and Beef & Cheese with a matching Raspberry Lemonade, a very good combination on this mild-hot weather.

 

 

 

children's place

If you have little ones tagged along with you, there is also a place at the side that looks like a park where families gather around and have some picnics. This is also a spot where the children play with other kids or watch a person making animals with balloons. On this spot, you can also have some good relaxing music from street performer’s at the front.

 

 

 

This place may be crowded a little bit, but it doesn’t matter because nothing beats the experience of not having a dull moment whenever you’re here.

6 Achieve Life With Less Regrets

There are so many things in life that we often ignore, give too much attention, adapt and neglect that makes it very complex. We usually say that “everything happens for a reason” but what do we actually mean by that? Is it just our way to justify all the things that we don’t intend? Or perhaps a manner of self-denial to things we cannot accept? I, too, cannot answer these questions but yet have a thought to symbolize this way of thinking, this is what I call “Regret”. I cannot say that at this age of mine I already have plenty of regrets because (I am still on my 30’s) I still have time to reverse or do what is necessary. So at this point in time, it comes to my mind that I might regret a few things in the future if I don’t do something about it.

 

  • I might regret not doing the things I wished I have done.

She

At this point, all I can think of are my dreams – a house of my own, a career that I will love and enjoy, and being the best person that I can be. These things are all possible depending on my decisions and ways I have to do in life. I am sure that we oftentimes have to take risks to reach a goal or we can say that things would not be that easy. The good thing about this is, we tried, it may not result to things we want but at least we tried and did our best – all the way we can, to achieve our goal. This will nullify this part of regret because we have the answer to our “what ifs”.

 

  • I might regret doing the things that I shouldn’t have.

"The Bean"

Even though we are still young, it doesn’t mean that we don’t care about the things that we have done when we were younger.  It is normal for a human being to commit mistakes because that is where we learn things to be better. That is how we mature and later on becomes a basis of how to handle and face life. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that we leave the tracks of the past because I am sure it will certainly hunt us in the future, for having said that committing mistakes are normal alongside with it comes having a conscience is also a part of being human. That is the good thing about now because we can still do something to clean and straighten those mistakes so let’s grab that opportunity to avoid having this regret.

 

  •  I might regret not using my TIME.

Frustrations

It’s simple, we still have the strength and we still have the time to explore and do all the things that we can do, maximize ourselves and enjoy life. Try to do it in a way that others would love to do it with us. This is what we call “harmony” – make our lives a living music, a living melody.

 

These are just simple thoughts that we might encounter as we go on in life,  give it a thought then we can say that a fulfilled life is a life achieved with minimal or less regrets and hopefully no regrets at all.


Featured image used courtesy of korafotomorgana – flickr

2 Food Review – O Dae San

My wife and I obviously love food and we see to it that every weekend, we go out and try some of the well-known restaurants here in Los Angeles. So let me ask you, are you fond of grilled, fresh foods that will be cooked in front of you? If yes, let me share with you our experiences and review in this Korean BBQ restaurant near Central LA called O Dae San. You can find many restaurants here with the same format but we chose this due to the fact that most of our friends recommend that we try it.

 Outdoor Menu

We arrived at around noon, so we were expecting a lot of people here since it is already lunchtime and it is also a Saturday but I guess we were wrong. As soon as we arrived we were greeted by a valet attendant and were instructed to leave the keys and just proceed to the entrance of the restaurant which we immediately comply. Upon entering the door we were greeted by one of their waiters and asked us how many persons, we told him two but we requested if we can sit by the couch-like bench since our son is still asleep. He was somewhat hesitant because the tables with couches were assigned for group guests which I totally understand but the owner was kind enough to say that it was ok and instructed his crew to place us on our desired table (which I am really grateful off).

 

 

Dining Area

 

So we were seated at the first bench on the left side and we were given our menus. I will say that I like the ambiance of the place, everything was clean and shiny even the grill in front of us looks very clean and I will definitely not hesitate to cook my food here. There is a TV set in front although too bad the show was Korean and I can’t understand but it’s ok because I came here to eat anyway.

 

 

 

 

 

food 1

 

We ordered the lunch special which consists of 2 slices of pork bellies, lots of pork briskets and lots of side dishes and white rice. It didn’t take too long for the waiter to serve our food and he was even kind to assist us in placing our raw food at the grill.

 

 

 

 

KimchiWhile waiting for the briskets and pork bellies to be cooked, I already started eating some of the side dish appetizers. I should say these are authentic Korean recipes because of the taste, flavors and manner they were prepared.  I started with the Kimchi which is one of my favorites, although not all like this because of the texture and the smell but for me, you are not in a Korean restaurant if there is no Kimchi. I should say it was rightfully seasoned and prepared, not to spicey and definitely not tangey. Vegetables are somewhat crispy, which I was actually surprised, because I know they have to be fermented for a couple of days before serving. My say to this is, it was ok, nothing special, it tastes as what I have expected.

 

 

 

side dishes1

I didn’t try all of them and just tried those that I am not familiar with. Next is the white Jelly thing with chili sauce, I asked our server (which was really kind) about this side dish and he was grateful enough to tell me the name and where it was made of. He said it is called “Mung Bean Jelly” made of fat-free and sugar-free starch. To tell you the truth, I actually liked it. The chili sauce, which only has a pinch of spiciness’ in it, added a distinctive flavor to it which made it special. I shall say it was really good. Another side dish that they have was the steamed broccoli that has sesame oil flavor in it. I am actually familiar with broccoli and butter but this one was actually great.

 

 

 

 

Omelette soup

 

They also have this Omelet Soup that was cooked nice, although it became dry in the end probably because the egg and heat has sucked up all the liquid in it. I should say, it was ok, but nothing out of the ordinary.

 

 

 

main dish

 

So immediately, when we noticed that the meats were already cooked, we started eating the main dish. It was ok, not too salty nor bland but I can say that it was good. It might not be the best but I am satisfied.

 

 

Overall, food was fine and suits its price for $9.99 per person. If you will ask me, if I will come back and eat here again, I will say yes, since I had a fun and good experience. It might not be the best but with the price, I shall say it is worth it.

For more info on O Dae San, you can click here for their website.

2 Signs Of Being Smart

I’m pumped up, I recently had a great conversation with a longtime friend of mine and we had the weirdest chit chat of all. We were talking about “How a person can be considered smart” and how it led to a thought of “you are smart, if you know how to clean ground beef properly” which ended in a debate. Sounds ridiculous huh? So enough with the ground beef thing and let me just share with you my thoughts and opinions on determining some signs of being smart.

Just to give you a heads up, this article does not pertain to me nor states that I am smart. You would have to know me personally or better yet, know me for a long time to be able to determine if I am one. So all in all, I am sharing my ideas here objectively and if ever you don’t agree, I am encouraging you to share what you think by writing down in the comments section and I will respect any thing you say for the purpose of a healthy discussion.

 

Smart people:

 

world-of-hands-wht-txt 1. Knows how to demonstrate their reasoning ability.

As we all know, it is a nature for a person to justify what he/she thinks whether it is right or wrong. It all comes down to how a person will persuade another individual to think the same way as he/she does and that is by reasoning. Smart people will always find a way to make their statements believable.

 

 

 

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world." -Albert Einstein 2. Are gifted individuals.

When I say “gifted”, it means that they acquired their traits since the day they were born, it’s in their genes. They tend to absorb and figure things out quickly often times by observation or by learning through experiences.

 

 

 

Common Sense 3. Are the ones with solid common sense.

Yes, it hurts and I don’t intend to offend anyone. The truth is, there are some people who are really good in academics but somewhat lacks in common sense but Hey!, I didn’t say “No Common Sense”, everyone has it and is probably just in a slump that time or just have things going inside their head that hinders them to think straight.

 

 

Stay focused 4. Are more focused.

Number 3 leads us here. They are really determined to do things right and in order, also tends to look into things systematically. Typically not affected by pressure or if ever being affected, just hides it without being obvious.

 

 

 

Think out of the box 5. Thinks out of the box.

Contradicting to number 4? Nope it’s not, because if they can’t find it in a normal, systematic way, they knew that it is not common. So they began to be more sensitive and look to other factors that will give them answers after which then leads us to Number 1.

 

 

Don’t fret if ever you don’t get all of the above items because it doesn’t necessarily say that you are not smart. I suggest that we all take it positively and strive to be the best for who we are.  Besides, nobody is perfect and there will always be a room for improvement for everyone.

0 Life After The Calendar, It’s Not As Bad As It Looks

“Life begins at 40”, I always wonder what’s the reason behind this phrase or is it even logical to believe in this. Is it just a state of mind that when you reach forty, it will be more lively, you will be more free? Or perhaps you are in self-denial because you know for a fact that you are getting old.

I am not forty yet but there comes a time that I even dreaded reaching the age of 30. Like what my friends say, “malapit na lumagpas sa kalendaryo”( almost exceed the calendar ). Why is that? Honestly, because I had this thought that I am getting old and I would not be able to do the things that I usually do like partying, hooking-up, drinking till you drop. I hate the thought of “sense of maturity will steal my fun”. I reached 30 and yes all those went away but I am still happy with my life right now because I have a family that makes me complete and I can still do the things that I want to do with the company of my friends even though it is on a different aspect. Turns out, It’s not bad after all!!! It’s a whole new different level but trust me, nothing to be dreaded about, nothing to be worried about. It is what I will call “an application from what I have learned when I was young”.

Now, I am in my mid-30’s and I am again on the thought of nearing forty but this time I am not afraid of it nor even in self-denial. I am just preparing myself to accept what is yet to come and even thinking of what to do when I reach that age. I know for a fact that I don’t want to be a “Dirty Old Man”, I just want to be a cool dude that is not trying hard and this time it will be “an application from what I have learned when I was a young-adult”.


Disclaimer:

Author of this post and site does not own the image featured. Image was just used to describe and convey the thought of this article and does not intend to make a profit of it. Credits of the image goes to the owner stated at the source link.