Month: May 2014

transforming a city: san francisco

In the last year or so, while attempting to escape the office during the lunch hour, aiming  to find solitude, I have realized as I walk the pavement that at this very moment, there isn’t any in downtown San Francisco. The city is going through a transformation, well planned for decades ago and one I hope to see or experience before I retire and move to the suburbs. There is construction everywhere, noise pollution intolerable, driving unbearable and yet, through each phase of renovation or new building erection or simply a makeover,so far most of the work is esthetically pleasing . The big regret is, I should have taken before and after photos of all that’s been done so far, transforming this great city I live in.

healthy recipe: sweet potato lovers

I love sweet potato and always incorporated it with my meals. So, naturally I look for variations in recipe for this starchy treat. I found one here and of course I had to share it. Big Comfy Sweet Potatoes Serves 4 Ingredients: 4 medium-large sweet potatoes (organic, if possible) 1 ½ cups black beans (equivalent to 1 can) 1 ripe avocado Optional toppings: cilantro green onion sprouts lime wedges crumbled goat’s cheese crushed chili flakes Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C. Prick sweet potatoes a few times with a fork. Place on a baking sheet in the oven and roast for 30-45 minutes, depending on the size of the potato. You will know it’s done when a knife can easily pierce the skin and the center is soft. 2. Remove sweet potatoes from oven and slice each one down the center, almost through to the bottom. Open up to reveal its orange flesh. 3. Stuff the sweet potato with black beans and top it with avocado, and any other herbs, sprouts or veggies you like. …

happy anniversary with wordpress

Today marks my four-year anniversary with WordPress. Although I’ve been blogging for nine years now, I signed up with WordPress four years ago. With this milestone I do wonder if blogging will be around for another five years or even more since I’ve seen many come and too many go.  Blogging, although fun, is often times challenging and since there are so many out there very similar indeed in giving information, telling stories, sharing recipes, travel, entertainment news and what to wear, it almost makes it difficult to stay competitive. Kind of like everything else these days. So, what now I ask myself. What more can I strive for and how far do I go? At first blogging was just an outlet and now I know, it has become much more for me. I do know one thing for sure, I cannot see myself waking up every day and not blogging. I suppose I am addicted and I still have loads to say 🙂 Happy blogging everyone.

inspired to write in portofino, italy

When I worked in the travel industry, I thumbed through hundreds of travel and tour marketing brochures, aiming to learn everything about the business. At the time, I turned the pages, marking with a sticky note or a paperclip, all the places around the world I wanted to see. Portofino was one of those places. I finally got a chance to go there two years ago, and the moment I arrived From Genoa by train-to-bus to the small fishing village, I was completely taken aback by how perfectly surreal the place was. Enchanted if you will, surely one of the best places to photograph and fall in love with. I spend hours at an outdoor eatery, people watching and taking in all that I could about the place, while imagining how people lived and vacationed in the quant town. I couldn’t get enough of the best facaccia bread also , baked perfectly with local olives and grilled onions among the dozen or so other ingredients; all choices displayed in small bakeries, lined along the narrow …

healthy eating: kale salad with lovely vignaigrette dressing

Kale is one of those things you either love or hate. I happen to love it, up to now mostly steaming it to make it easier on the digestive system. The other reason is because I haven’t yet found the best dressing to pair it with. So, as you can imagine, I paused here while searching online for ideas to incorporate into my weekly menu. Kale, Orange nad Hazelnut – a variation I already love. But what caught my attention the most was the dressing. Ingredients 8 cups Tuscan kale, large stems removed, chopped into bite-sized pieces 2 blood oranges or cara cara oranges 1/2 cup stilton, or other blue cheese, crumbled 1/2 cup blanched hazelnuts, toasted and chopped   for the vinaigrette: 1 tablespoon minced shallot 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic 1/2 tablespoon dijon mustard 1/2 tablespoon honey 1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 tablespoon minced parsley zest and juice from 1 lemon pinch of kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper Make the vinaigrette. In a small bowl, combine shallot, garlic, dijon, honey and vinegar. …

stop, close your eyes and dream

This month has been a little difficult for me, facing challenges I care not to think about.  So, after spending a weekend running around, nearly breathless mostly doing things I don’t really want, I got on the train this morning very glad to be going to work, just so I could relax. Funny how that works sometimes. Along the way, I put on my headphones, stopping the world even if for only 40minutes. I closed my eyes, dreaming mostly of…

fashion: cannes film festival 2014

I do have a soft spot for the Cannes Film Festival, and although I prefer the event in the classic days of film, I am on occasion impressed by the choice of gowns celebrities wear for the occasion.  From those celebs who have been photographed, I can only say, these ladies topped the best dressed list in beautiful modern classics (if you will) from top designers too many to detail here: This year’s winners in my opinion are: