Sunday, December 25, 2016

Sincerely Sunday - What is Christmas without you

This Christmas we are extremely overjoyed because my daughter and my favorite SIL are spending the holidays with us.  Since the time of our last Skype when they told us this news, I have been counting sleeps and trying to prepare the B&B for their arrival.  Doing all the things that needed to get done before their arrival was the perfect solution to getting the days go by so quickly.  But even with all the excitement in our B&B, I cannot say that it's complete because we are missing one special family that is so dear to us.  Today I would like to share the Christmas card I wrote for my son.  

My son would have loved to see my special Minion nativity.

May this incredible time of giving and spending time with family bring you happiness to last throughout the year.  From our house to yours , Happy Holidays and thank you for stopping by.  I look forward to many more exciting posts next year.


Monday, December 19, 2016

Mournful Monday - Remembering a friend

How can anyone get through this very special time of the year when they lose someone they love?  There's only six days before Christmas and while everyone is getting all excited, there's a family out there going through some very tough times.  I was going to post today about how I cannot remember the last Christmas I spent with my son.  Why is that?  My mind is blank and some nights I stay awake trying to go through my memories and there's nothing. But today is not about me.  "Our dear friend Michelin passed away yesterday after a long and courageous battle with breast cancer". That was the message I received.  So today, I just want to dedicate this post to her.  

Image result for candles and flowers images

Image result for white flowers images

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Scattered Saturday - Yellow leaves everywhere

It's another sunny day in our neck of the woods.  There's no snow on the ground, instead in our back yard, yellow leave everywhere.  Yes, I know it's only a few days and it's the beginning of winter but around here it seems like the fall season continues for another month.  It was a perfect day for Jeff to rake all the leaves and do some yard clean up.  Just a heads up, it's not like the Fall in Ontario.  Before he started his raking, I took some photos to share with you.  This is what our backyard looks in the middle of December.  By the way, last night I got a text from my cousin who lives in Yellowknife.  It was -36C and it feels like -50C.
My aunt who is around 83 yrs of age is currently staying with my cousin and yesterday she went out and about at least twice.  Really, are you kidding me?  I still remember those days when I live there.  Looking back, I spent 15 years in the North and 23 years in the East Coast of Canada.  A lot of winters, right.  Well now I am so blessed to be in San Jose where I can still wear my flip flop almost all year round.


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Treats Thursday - Christmas Cookies

Only ten more sleeps before Christmas and just going to remind my readers to finish your shopping, wrapping and baking.  I am happy to report that we completed our tasks and are just getting some last minute housekeeping before my daughter and SIL arrive to spend their first NO SHOW Christmas.  We are hoping for some sunny weather and maybe a little warmer just for them.  The menu for the holidays are complete but still need to shop for them a couple of days before they arrive.  As for my baking, I am proud to say that I baked more cookies than any other year.  Hopefully I can share some with family and friends and maybe even the guys at the golf course.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Tree Trimming Tuesday - My first time

Have you ever been invited to a Christmas Tree Trimming Party?  Well, for Jeff and I, it was our first time, after all these years.  It was a day trip to Boulder Creek where the roads are very much winding all the way.  There were two ways to get there, one is very crooked and the other less snaky.  Either way it will make you sick if you are not used to it.  At first I was fine until we turned into another highway and that was it.  The sad part is that we will have to do it all over again when we go home.  Make the long story short I was not feeling good for the next couple of days.  The happy part is that I got to help decorate some of the ornaments for the tree.  Our friend Chris built this home and it took him three years but it's like a cabin over looking a bunch of redwood trees.  There's a beautiful fireplace and his bedroom is located upstairs loft.  Of course I took photos of the tree and the ornaments to share with you.


Monday, December 12, 2016

Minimal Monday - Only four ingredients

It's that time of the year again when the lemons and oranges are in bloom and the fruits are just the right size and sweetness.  My MIL have those fruit trees in her backyard and last week I received a bagful of those produce.  She told me that maybe I won't like the oranges as they might be a bit tarty but definitely make great marmalade.  Since I only have one jar left from last year's batch, it was time to make the very easy recipe from Ina of Food Network.  Ever since I watched her make this simple recipe of marmalade, I usually try and make a batch right after my MIL gives me a supply of these two fruits.  It will be perfect give aways during the holidays.  I don't think I can remember the last time I got store bought jams or marmalade.  My most favorite would have to be my FIG jam.  So what other treats did I make.  Another simple recipe of Almond Joy cookie was timely since only four ingredients were required.  Almond, chocolate chips, coconut and a can of condensed milk.  I was a little concerned since it did not have any of the main ingredient of a cookie recipe.  Well, I took a photo and shared it with my daughter and she immediately said I needed to make it for her.  I did and I couldn't help but eat one to make sure they were prefect.  Oh so yummy.  You still have time to make this cookie for Christmas and your family will love you.

Oranges, lemons, water and sugar.

Best ever Almond Joy cookies, soft, chewy, and a slight crunch.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Saturated Saturday - Flowers and Fruits

Expect some showers, a bit more rain and maybe even thunderstorms.  Lately that has been some of forecast for our local or bay area weather.  The benefit of the wet weather is that all the hills turn green, the winter plants look alive and even some flowers are happy.  When we visited the winery recently when my BFF was in town, I couldn't help but take some of the photos of the area.  Of course I always think of my followers and ensure that I can share what I see in our area.  For most of my readers they are already experiencing the white stuff and the freezing temperature.  Maybe seeing some of this photos will provide some warmth.


Thursday, December 8, 2016

Timeless Thursday - Then and now

Today is a very special day because my favorite daughter is celebrating her 40th birthday.
Since she is not living in the same country as me, I sent her birthday gift early to ensure that she receives it before today.  I started shopping the gifts for this birthday as early as January.  Between two to four gifts a month was my goal because I want to make sure that I have some time on the last month to pick some last minute gifts if I did not have enough.  By the end of October, I have completed the task and I mailed the big box around the middle of November.  A funny story that my daughter shared was that when she received the box which I mailed through her work address, she opened it from the bottom instead of the top.  She wasn't really sure what I was sending her since it was a bit early.  When the box opened, most of the gifts fell on the floor and her co worker had to help to place them back in the box.  Unfortunately she was not able to take a photo of all 40 gifts and I also forgot to take a photo of the same prior to mailing it to her.  The good news is that she was able to send me a video of her opening the gifts. 

When she was two years of age, she celebrated her birthday while we were on holidays visiting relatives in the Philippines.  I found this photo of her opening her gifts.  I wish we had phones that took videos like what everyone has now a days.

Happy birthday to my favorite daughter.  I can't believe that you have reached this wonderful age and still look so young.  We look forward to seeing you soon and celebrate this special day because we can. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Thankful Tuesday - My guest blogger

It has been over a couple of years since I've had a guest blogger or writer on my post.  This morning was an early start and I couldn't believe my friend Lorna was able to get this done
shortly after she got to the airport.  Anyway this is what she sent to I could post it today.  I decided to share a couple of photos that we took during her visit. 

Well once again the Cranberry Portage B&B has surpassed all expectations. Starting with the warm welcome last week (tea and a muffin) at the airport, accompanied by the delicious meals (complete with cooking lessons...I love chili verde), including all the fun activities (winery Clos la chance, lunch at golf course (Deep Cliff), spa (Preston Wynn), personal manicure, shopping, shopping, shopping....), topped off with Jeff's kind and quiet ways, right down to the scoop of ice cream and electric blanket in the evenings. Its thankful Tuesday because I am so lucky to have a friend like Luckie....a rare gem!

Each one of us picked one flight and were able to taste all 15 of these variety.

This is the view from where we were seated.  The winery also owns the Corde Valle Golf and Country Club.
Maybe once Jeff, Lorna and Danny retires, we will be able to visit each other wherever we might end up living,  East or West or maybe somewhere in the middle.  Thank you Lorna for taking the time from your busy work schedule to visit us.

Friday, December 2, 2016

French Friday - Nail Art

December already.  Oh no, there's only 23 shopping days and I still have more things to buy.  The only gifts we purchased last month was for the grandchildren.  Hopefully we can do it sooner than later.  Although we don't have to buy a lot because we have a small family, we still want to be ahead and not be shopping on Christmas eve.  Now that Christmas is around the corner, I decided to start doing my nails with a festive design.  I know that I will most like have to change it at least three more times before the day itself.  Well, this is the one benefit of knowing how to give yourself a mani pedi including the nail art design.  Anyway, here's a few of the designs I did which maybe I have not shared.  I love doing a variety of French manicure because it's the easiest and quickest design to dry.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wondering Wednesday - Not sick just busy

Has it been over a week since I posted something on my blog?  Oh no,  some of my friends are wondering, is she sick or maybe too busy or is she running out of ideas.  The answer is yes, yes and no.  I have not been feeling good since Sunday to the point that I missed golf on Monday.  Not sure what it was, just no energy and as I also say, lost my bounce.  Today was better, actually felt good enough to bake.  I made some blueberry muffins and a pineapple coconut cake.  Oh no, I forgot to take photos.  Maybe I'll post it by the weekend.  Tonight my BFF from Ottawa is coming for a visit for 6 days.  It has been two years since her last visit.  We didn't plan a lot for this trip as it'll just be all spontaneous stuff that we will attempt.  Oh, that's right what was it that kept me from blogging.  Embroidery.  If you recall on one of my post I was doing some tea towels for my daughter and then I got carried away and bought more towels in different colors.  So far I have finished four more and only two left to do.  After that I told my MIL that I will return all her threads that I did not use because I am taking a break from embroidering.  Maybe I'll take up another craft or get back to sewing more project.  Actually I have one order of change mat and some other new baby stuff which I will start in January.  Check out the latest tea towels I have completed.


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving Thursday - Happy Happy

Today is my first real US Thanksgiving.  What it means is that since I am now an American citizen, celebrating the American thanksgiving not as a guest but as an American.  For today's post I decided to just share my favorite emogi's as they are so much fun to use and it makes people happy when they get them.  It all started when my daughter introduced me to this app and after that, Jeff and my MIL got into it as well as Jeff's sister and some of my friends.  For a while we were just sending emoji back and forth but the most fun was creating our Avatar and our friends.  There was a lot of going back and forth but all in all it was hilarious after each and every changes we made with our own emoji.  Let me share today's special.  Happy Thanksgiving to all my family and friends in the USA.  Gobble gobble

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Walking Wednesday - Sidewalks are for cars?

Why does this topic annoys me so much?  Do you have this problem in your city?  Please do make a comment because it's just does not make sense.  So what is the problem with sidewalks?  First I researched on why there are sidewalks on our streets.  A paved path for pedestrians at the side of a road. This means there are specifically for pedestrians aka people walking.  But why is it that most of the people walking on our streets are on the streets and not on the sidewalk.  People walking their dogs, parents with their children and strollers are all walking on the streets.  Most of the time they don't even look if there's car coming, they just occupy the part of the street where cars are supposedly using and you need to go around them to avoid hitting them.  Are the sidewalks packed with other pedestrians?  Oh no, it's empty.  Do they want the cars to drive on the sidewalks so the pedestrians can have wider space to walk.  The other part that is truly annoying is that they give you this look like they are saying "what, can't you see we are walking and they don't even move to the side, instead they slow down and occupy the road.  I am not a walker or jogger nor do we have a dog that needs to take for their daily round.  Almost forgot, Jeff watches these people with dogs and he can see from the window of our home, some of them does not pick up the stuff the dog leaves in his garden.  He also can see these dogs, digging up the front yard where the flowers are and the owners are just letting their precious pet do whatever.  There are times when Jeff has gone out to tell them not to do whatever it is their pet is doing.  It's bad enough there's squirrels and raccoons that dig up the yard, Jeff does not need another animal doing the same.  Well, that is my venting for the week.  My apologies to my readers as this is not as exciting as my other posts.  To make up for it, I am sharing some meaningful photos.

Mini Creme Brule at Maggiano's
Someone at the golf course that I play seems to own a number of this classic cars as he parks in the same spot.
My version of black peppered chicken.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Mouth-watering Monday - Sushi for birthdays

Last week there were three birthdays were celebrated, two in Canada and one here.  The one here was a cousin of Jeff and she wanted to have Italian food at Maggiano's which was located in Santana Row.  It was a bad night to be there as there were no parking available.  We had to park across the area somewhere and walk to the restaurant which by the way was a cold evening.  Apparently it was the tree lighting ceremony and there were so many people.  Anyway the food was just OK.  I felt bad for Jeff's mom since she was wanting to have Ravioli and they only have cheese or mushroom version, so she ended up with just a salad.  The other birthday was my favorite SIL Mike and they celebrated his birthday by having dinner at a place called Jabistro located in the heart of downtown Toronto.  My daughter described what they had but check out the photo that Mike shared.

The other celebrant was my friend and golf buddy Lulu who is also in Canada.  She mentioned that they are ordering a big tray of Sushi to share.  She sad that it was the perfect meal for birthday since the word Sushi in Chinese means LIFE and what a better way to celebrate your birthday.

I have more mouth-watering photos which I took a week ago when we went to dinner with friends at one of the new Thai restaurant near our place.  Jeff ordered this coconut shrimp and was surprised to see how large the prawns were.