Trader Joe's

Photo Source
Speculoos Cookie Butter is one of the many food trend that happened in 2012-2013. At first, I didn't understand why. I've known about Trader Joe's from my husband way before the hype. I was wondering how it became an food trend. According to a friend it was shared in Instagram by Pinoy celebs. Of course, with their legion of followers everybody's curiosity will spark. Why would they even bother to post if it's not really delicious?! But I didn't bother to jump in the hype because it's mahalia jackson. Imagine they resell it for 400 pesos per piece! (Ok fine, have to pay for shipping)

I was able to try it here in the US. At hindi pa agad-agad ha! Most of the time when we visit TJ's in Eastlake this is what I would see from the speculoos shelves...

The cookie butter's taste is still very much like peanut butter with hint of ginger cookies. I find it different and unique because I never thought you can add cookies in peanut butter. Though I'm also aware that the TJ brand is not original speculoos. I heard it hails somewhere from Europe.

Aside from the cookie butter they also have lots of organic goodies. From cookies, mini cakes, wine, chocolates, pasta, chips, fruits, veggies etc. There's lots to see inside aside from the cookie butter. It's nice to actually experience that the store has a variety to offer. 
We made the stores bigger (if you can imagine), decked the walls with cedar planks and donned our crew in cool Hawaiian shirts. Most importantly, we started putting innovative, hard-to-find, great-tasting foods in the "Trader Joe's" name. That cut our costs and saved you money. Still does. ---SOURCE
The store's humble beginnings dates back from 1958. They have a rich history, go check out their timelime.

Photo Source 
My favorite chocolate among the rest. They also come in dark chocolate and 73% super dark chocolate with almonds.

I don't eat brussel sprouts but I love the calligraphy sign for it.

Is someone thinking of bringing Trader Joe's to Manila? I think it'll be better if there's a creation of an organic grocery store that would feature products from our local farmers and food entrepreneurs. 


Music Monday: Let's Have A Party

How are you going to celebrate Christmas?

As much as I miss the Pinoy Christmas that we have at home, I have to make something worthwhile. I can't wait for Christmas day!


OAWSP: Mirror Shot

I love the classic Mirror Shot when taking self-portraits. I don't know how I was able to get a hang of it. I like it better than a typical selfie. I'm not saying that I never did a selfie (you will know that if we were connected/friends in Multiply, Friendster or we were roommates during college). I just grew out of it.

So for now, I'm loving the mirror shot!


Nostalgic Tuesday: One Whole Year

I was checking my FB profile the other day when I saw the 2013: A Year in Review portion. Wow! I didn't expect 2013 to finish that quickly. I can't help but smile as I browsed the pictures and status updates. It was a great year. I may have left Singapore but a new life here in the United States is ready to unfold. Looking forward to 2014.

Music: One More Time by Daft Punk

I'm a Video Noob

I've been doing some video editing with the use of some apps. It's new to me because, all this time I'm more of a photo-taking enthusiast. Making a story look and sound coherent is tedious as compared to photo-editing. What I didn't expect was, I liked doing it. It makes me happy that I can tell stories through another medium. I foresee making vlog for a change. I have to work on my stutter (my greatest enemy in oral recitations during Nursing school). I want to try my hands on editing with a software using a computer (of course I have to do some research on this). Well for now I need to maximize my resources.

I'm using apps like Lightt, Cameo, Flipagram, StopMotion and Magisto. Among the five, I like Cameo the best because it's easy to use. Next is Flipagram because you can use your photos to turn it into videos with music. I highly suggest to experiment with the 5 apps or other editing apps and you're likely to end up with unique results.

The Seaworld video was my first edit ever! It was taken during my birthday, that makes it extra special. While the PETCO park video was during my Downtown San Diego outing with my sis-in-law Ate Marilou.


Music Monday: Penguin Prison

My husband is a music lover of different genres. With his quiet nature, I didn't expect him to be one. From the 60's until the present he has favorites. Though he's been living in the US for a longtime he still appreciates OPM especially from bands like Rocksteddy, Rivermaya, Eraseheads et.al. He grew up during the New Wave Era thus the obvious attachment (I didn't know till now that Bizarre Love Triangle was from NWE). For him, Depeche Mode is the greatest band of all time. Because DM has survived after the New Wave, outlived the 90's and surpassed the New Millenium. He's also a fanboy of Duran Duran having sported their hair when he was younger (I'm still looking for evidence, I want to see how he looks like). I discovered Lorde because of him (kaya lang pinagsawaan na niya ang Royals). The list goes on. 

I also noticed his speaker collection from inside the house up to his truck. I was stunned! Why would one person needs so much of those! But I need to understand him like how he tries to understand the need of using different brushes when I apply make-up. I asked him why and answered back "Because I care about my music!" WOW!  Ikaw na ang super caring sa music. Same thing with watching a film. That's why we don't watch movies in the cinema. Our surround sound system are comparable to movie house standards. Kulang na nga lang 3D.

The song for today was from his random FM radio-heard selection. Good thing, Sound Hound is ever reliable for Seff's music researches.

Happy Monday to everyone


Photo Source of Duran Duran

Music Monday: Safe and Sound

This weekend was a blast! But I couldn't be happier  to be safe and sound at home... A happy Monday to everybody!


Halloween and Vegas Weekend

I had a very memorable weekend with my in-laws... It was my first time to meet my sister-in-law Jaina and her husband Arnold from Virginia. And my first time celebrating Halloween in California. I'm still in the process of editing pictures. Another blog post coming up...

View from our room.


Fast Food Fix

Lots of fast food joints are available in San Diego. Most of it are not exactly approved by Seff (hubby is fitness junkie period). From time to time he lets me experience a part of it.

The fast food industry here is quite diverse. I'm happy for the variety so there's a lot to choose from (aside from my fave Subway sandwiches). I also noticed the humongous servings that they have! Which makes it sulit. Most of their drinks are refillable. A small or regular sized drink will do because you can refill it anytime. This is what I call  a well deserved cheat meal. 

1. El Pollo Loco

2. Chick - Fil - A - Specializes in chicken meals. I love them because they support the military. We got free breakfast from them!

Chick Fil A Chick n Mini - Chicken in biscuit. Tastes good with their sauce ( I forgot the name)
Chicken, egg & cheese sunflower multigrain bagel for hubby.
3. Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers - Even when I was in the PHL and SG, among the famous burger joints Wendy's has the best and juiciest burger in my opinion. Hubby told me that their meat are always fresh that's why he finds it expensive among the other burgers. 
I was thinking, how come Wendy's comes in a longer name/title. Hhhmmm...

I can't remember the name of this wrap. A healthy alternative from Wendy's aside from the salads.
Chili. Have to mix it with crushed crackers. It's delicious not too spicy.
I tried their cheese and its sinfully good.

The following are those that I wasn't able to photo because I was really hungry. 

6. Arby's
...known for slow roasted roast beef, turkey, and premium Angus beef sandwiches, sliced fresh every day. ---SOURCE
Roast Turkey and Swiss Wrap. Photo grabbed from their website.

7. Rubio's - First time I was here it was a Taco Tuesday. 
The Original Fish Taco

8. Stone Oven - Gourmet sandwiches and salads. 

Got this from their website.
I had their Santa Fe Hot Ham. Aside from the sandwich this includes a side item of your choice Gourmet salad, Caesar Salad, Pasta Salad, Potato Salad or Gourmet Potato Chips. So their serving are good for two people if they are diet conscious plus the drinks are refillable for sodas. 

If my brothers and sisters are here, they will surely love this food line-up.  

Till next my next foodie trip.


Duxton Road

In one of my photowalks for the Mid- Autumn Festival in Singapore 2012, I encountered Duxton Road in Tanjong Pagar. It's one hidden gem for dining that I wasn't able to experience at all. It's either I was too busy to remember or too stingy to give in. Pfft! So here I am checking my old photos sour-graping.                  

Anyway, there's always a next time and I'm posting so everybody can come and see what it has offer.

There's this quaint little bookstore along the way called Littered With Books. The cozy two storey high haven makes me want to stay there the whole day and just read books!

At the time that I was there, they don't allow photo-taking. According to customers who reviewed them in yelp. Their book prices are cheaper than other bookstores that gives you reason to come back over and over. The staff are very courteous and helpful.


After exiting the store, I was doing some shots when this guy just came out of nowhere. He asked for to be photographed, quickly said thanks and walked off.


They appear to be looking for something...hhmmmm


Further into the streets are some offices
I think Clarence worked here, if my memory serves me right.

Bistros, pub, winery...I see most of the people in this side of town are yuppies. 

The former Berjaya Hotel now called The Duxton for they have changed management. I like the rustic charm of it. Who would have now a shop house can effectively be a hotel structure.


An architectural heritage
Too bad I wasn't able to come back at all. Duxton Hill has also an interesting wine and dine vibe. This place is excellent for after work hours chillaxing and hang-out.


Till next time


Music Monday: Sweater Weather

The exact description of the weather here in Chula Vista. Finally! A chance to don some sweater and boots...


OAWSP: Stamped

I used Camera 360 app for this one. Under the effects category of Art ---> Stamped--->Sweet. I just can't afford yet to get the paid apps that has wonderful painting and sketch features. 

I haven't been taking self-portraits in a while maybe because I've outgrown the "selfie" stage of my life. I want to evolve creatively (wow! mature concerns?! LOL). Right now I'm trying to learn how to do lettering and watercolor it nicely. I'm thinking on taking some knitting class and doing some crochet projects again. A lot of creative ideas has been churning in my head. I hope I can handle it gracefully. Not to mention I still have an upcoming licensure exams.


Pho "T" Cali - Clairemont Mesa

My husband has taken me to his favorite dining places. One of these is the Vietnamese restaurant Pho "T" Cali in Clairemont Mesa.

I fell in love with the place because it's very clean. The staff are very courteous. When they see a customer come inside they quickly greet and accommodate them. Not to mention the staff smiles a lot.

My husband had his usual Beef noodle soup with all the greens. The servings are humongous! We were able to share the big bowl.
Ooops he that single strand right there.
My forever favorite, Fresh Spring Rolls! I had the beef filling for that day
They have the peanut sauce instead of the fish sauce ensemble when I was in Vietnam. 

They have a variety of dishes in the menu aside from the above mentioned. The restaurant is huge but they get full during lunch and dinner time so plan accordingly.


Around San Diego

I've been here in Chula Vista for more than 2 months. If anybody asks me how's my stay, my quick reply "Love the weather!" Seriously the weather here is awesome! No wonder my husband is proud of himself for retiring here. It's fall season now. The sweater weather makes me excited of wearing jackets, boots and thermal tights.

Here's some snapshots of some of the places I've been to. San Diego is huge! It may take me a lifetime. 
In National City there's Jolibee.  There are lots of Pinoys residing here. That's why Seafood City, Red Ribbon and point-point (turo-turo) joints are everywhere.

I just want to emphasize on what is going on the side. According to Seff, the ongoing construction is one of the governments efforts to decrease traffic due to increasing population.
There's one highway that they name Filipino-American Highway. I think it's near National City. But it's not this freeway.

The Iconic Rooftop of Hotel Del Rey in Coronado Island

Breaker's Beach. The quiet and secured part of the Coronado Beach inside the Naval Base.

Hikers and cyclists paradise. The mountain range near our home.
Of course! How will I forget SHOPPING. I will post a separate entry for it. I'm with my sister-in-law Ate Marilou. She accompanied me for some good old bargain hunting.

I'm looking forward for more food trip, hiking and sight-seeing in San Diego. I'm taking my time.



While waiting for my mom-in-law to finish her doctors appointment, I read the next available magazine.

Look what I found! Check out the Top 10 Overall and Asia Category. No wonder I encounter tourists from US and Europe who have been to our country and they love it.

I can't wait to visit these places with my husband. We are rooting for El Nido, Palawan.