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I believe I would consider myself a romantic person. There was a span of time in my younger life when I was a voracious reader of sappy, sometimes erotic, romantic novels (“bean flickers“, a raunchy term Jian would often call them). I would throw myself headfirst into these saccharine-sweet predictable stories, & let myself become easily bedazzled by the male hero character. I could imagine myself in those stories, as the female lead character, often painting wildly vivid scenes in my mind as I was reading those books. (I still do read those types of books sometimes, but let’s keep that as a secret between me & you.) I also enjoyed watching romantic movies (ugh, I hate the term ‘chick flick’). During that time in my life, I even tried to write my own romance story. I got into reading & writing Fan Fiction, & once attempted to write my own story. It didn’t quite pan out the way I had liked, so I ultimately kept my writing hidden & locked away from the world.

Yes, I would say I’m into romance. However, I’m not crazy about all of the fluff that comes along with it…fluff such as: candle-lit decor, overflowing bouquets of flowers, boxes of chocolates, stuffed animal bears,  etc.. I don’t mind a quiet dinner for two, or a surprise getaway, but it doesn’t have to be flashy, showy, or smothered in hearts & flowers (a reference I borrowed from a famous book trilogy). I prefer the subtle approach. That’s mostly the reason why, even though I am all about romance, I don’t particularly enjoy celebrating Valentine’s Day. It’s more than just the over-commercialization of the holiday. Romance should be displayed every day, not just for one wallet-cringing, budget-busting day.

This is where I try, unsuccessfully, to segue into the next part of this story…my trip with Jian to Lake Tahoe, CA. We didn’t even realize Valentine’s Day would fall on a weekend, let alone this upcoming weekend. We had been planning for months to take my All-Wheel-Drive Audi station wagon (which my friends have lovingly named it the Storm Trooper) up to the mountains & play in the snow. Seeing so many photos on the Internet of other Audi car owners taking their cars to snowy terrain had made Jian & I quite envious. So, we put our feet down, & made the firm decision to do the same with my car. Using his rewards points, Jian was able to score us a swanky room at the Ritz-Carltom hotel in Lake Tahoe, on the North Shore area. We were so excited that we booked a free night’s stay at such an extravagant hotel that we completely forgot about V-Day. It wasn’t until we looked at the dates we booked, when it finally dawned upon us. What a pleasant surprise.

This spur-of-the-moment trip to Lake Tahoe, & staying at the Ritz-Carlton is just about the most romantic thing we can think of doing within our limited budget. We are not planning on ordering room service & spending the quiet evening alone in our hotel room. We are planning on eating at the swanky French restaurant inside our hotel, & then going outside to play in the snow, freeze our butts off, & get our pants uncomfortably wet. We are not skiers or snowboarders, but we do enjoy playing around in the snow, & the one winter sport I enjoy is ice skating. I can’t do any spins, jumps, or axels; however, I can skate correctly, skate well, & skate backwards. (I’d like to credit my two years of childhood ice skating lessons for those achievements.)

We aren’t going to put emphasis on Valentine’s Day (we hardly ever do, anyway). However, we do understand that it will be Valentine’s Day weekend, & we will enjoy spending our time together in the snow. I just hope we don’t get snowed in. Cheers.

Today’s song of the day:

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Pascal Campion Art

ALL Credits Belong To: PASCAL CAMPION at www.pascalcampion.com;  Artwork Shared Via: http://www.pinterest.com/pascalcampion

Wow, I can’t believe January is almost over. Time is flying by so fast. Lately, it’s been quite chilly where I live, especially in the evenings. So, I’ve been taking more baths in the past few weeks. I know that my region is still not out of the drought danger zone, therefore, I try to make a conscious effort to reuse/repurpose my used bath water in an attempt to not waste water.

When I take baths, I fully utilize my private time in the bathroom. I am not ashamed to say that I can take a bath for up to two hours (on occasion). According to today’s Pop Culture standards, “Netflix-ing & chilling” is the cool new “hang out” thing to do. For me, I believe that bathtime is my favorite chill & relax thing to do. After I shut the bathroom door & step into the hot bathwater, I can totally tune out the rest of the noise going on around me & unwind for the day.

I have a routine (go figure…) that I always follow before I step into the bathtub. I like to first clean the bathtub a little to get rid of all the loose hairs & soap/shampoo residue from the previous showers. (Nobody likes to take baths in a dingy tub!) Then, I like to set up all of my bath products around the bathtub in advance, so that I don’t have to get up every two minutes to grab something. While the tub is getting pre-filled, I will then utilize this time to pick a fresh set of clothes, brush my teeth, neatly arrange my towel right next to the tub, & finally…grab my tablet & the little blue plastic IKEA children’s stool that I use to prop up my tablet.

After I’ve gone through my pre-bath bath routine, I am now ready to, as the kids say these days, “Netflix & Chill”. Sometimes, I will watch an entire movie while sitting in the bath. Other times, I will play games or read an e-book. When I am in my bathtub, I feel like I am in my own little bubble, undisturbed until the moment I step out of the tub. Once I am in the tub, there really is no other thing to do but to relax. I don’t have any particular order or routine in which I clean myself. I just let all of my muscles relax & zone out for a little while. There are some times when I take quick & efficient baths just to clean myself & go. There are other times when I will truly use this time for myself, & sit in the bathtub until the water starts to get cold.

No matter how much time I spend in the bath, I will try to save my bathwater & reuse it to water the plants around my house. It’s often very tedious & boring to scoop out the water into a bucket & haul the heavy bucket to my garden. I often have to make multiple trips,  but at least it saves water. I often get achy joints when the weather gets colder, especially when it’s raining outside, & taking hot baths greatly soothes the pain in my joints. I thoroughly endorse taking baths whenever you can. Save the bathwater, & reuse it to water plants. OR, do as the Japanese people do & reuse the used bathwater to wash clothes. When the weather is less than warm, it’s always fun to take baths. Cheers!

Today’s song of the day:


I can’t believe it’s almost September! Today is the last day of August. Summer is nearly over, at least according to the calendar. It’s a good thing that where I live, the weather only gets warmer from August until mid-October. The sun is out, & the skies couldn’t look more beautiful. It’s such a waste to be cooped up inside the house (or office cubicle). I’ve decided to take a personal day for myself today just to unwind & reorganize my life’s To Do list. Hey, even persons with less stressful jobs need some personal time to recharge his/her own batteries.

This summer, I feel like every day rolls by on one continuous loop. I don’t even remember when each day begins or ends. It has all been one big blur of the past four months. My niece’s 5-year old birthday, which coincided with my older female cousin’s bridal shower. My own birthday, which ended in a rather embarrassing way that I wish I could go back & do over again. Many more birthday parties of my close friends & family. Followed by the Mexican-destination wedding of my above mentioned cousin, which happened to take place on the exact date of our other cousin’s birthday (which truly upset him…but only for a short time). Shortly after that, San Diego’s International Comic-Con took up an ample chunk of my July days. Peppered in with a few extremely brief layover days in Los Angeles. More birthday celebrations! And now, here we are at the end of August.

WHERE DID ALL THE DAYS RUN OFF TO?! WHERE DID ALL THE TIME GO?!

Right now I’m sitting in my local coffee shop, in my “usual seat”, writing this blog post. I just finished eating a pre-made protein snack box filled with fruits, slices of cheese, a hard boiled egg, & a small slice of multi-grain bread. This is one of the regular food items I always order at this coffee shop. I am a creature of habit, & usually order only amongst the same three or four items I like every time. I don’t mind trying new things, but I dont like holding up the line behind me. So, I generally just pick the things I like/know, so that I can place my order quickly, pay the cashier, & step out of the line fast.

Since today is my so-called day off from doing my everyday work, I’m going to enjoy the sunshine, fresh air, & outdoors. Then, I’m going to watch a matinee movie, a movie that I am more than happy to pay to watch twice in the theaters. Yes, that’s how much I thoroughly enjoy watching this particular movie. (I will even buy this movie on DVD &/or digital download when it it released.) In two days I’m going to watch Brandon Flowers (the lead singer of the band The Killers) in concert. I’ve only ever seen him in concert at the Outside Lands music festival along with his fellow Killers bandmates. This will be the first time I will be watching Brandon Flowers perform music from his solo albums. I’m so excited to be going to another concert, especially since it’s Brandon Flowers, & he is a great musician that I admire very much. I. Can’t. Wait. Cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

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Autumn is here, but it still feels like Spring weather. 💐🍂 . . . . . . . . . . #flowers #flower #flora #garden #BeautifulWeather #sunshine #SoSoft #SoPretty #cute #outdoors #outdoor #nature #CityLiving #LovelyDay #BeautyInNature #CityLife #white #yellow #orange #red #pink #purple #green #blue #LineCamera #FlowersOfInstagram #instaflowers #instapic #instagallery #PhotoGallery @linecamera_official
The sun was so bright today, you could literally see the halo ring around it. 😳☀️ . . . . . . . . . . #NoFilter #sun #sunshine #HighNoon #noontime #MotherNature #nature #outdoors #CityLife #CityLiving #outdoor #weather #sunny #SunnyDay #AutumnWeather #halo #HaloRing #TheRing #RingAroundTheSun #BeautifulDay #ICanSeeYourHalo #NoCloudsInTheSky #NoClouds #WTF #sky #BlueSkies #BayArea #280Freeway #Peninsula #CA
When the fog rolls in, we eat ice cream. 🌁🌥🍦 . . . . . . . . . . . . . #latergram #FerryBuilding #Embarcadero #IceCream #Amaluna #CirqueDuSoleil #flavor #LimitedEditionFlavor #CremeFraicheAndBluberries #HumphrySlocombe #SF #ouioui #monsieur #humphrey #MonsieurHumphrey #LickThat #hype #instagallery #IceCreamOfInstagram #CityLife #CityLiving #FoodOfInstagram #instafood #instalove #instahype @humphryslocombe @karlthefog @linecamera_official @cirquedusoleil
Flashback to that one time I had unforgettable croissants and doughnuts w/ coffee. 🥐🍩 ☕️ . . . . . . . . . . #Latergram #doughnut #donut #VanillaGlaze #GlazedDoughnut #HamAndCheeseCroissant #ButterCroissant #latte #HotLatte #LatteArt #delicious #FlakyAF #Fremont #pastry #breakfast #BunAppetitDonuts #Fremont #FoggyMorning #ILoveAutumn #CoffeeOfInstagram #PhotoOfTheDay #instapic #instalove #FoodOfInstagram #CityLife #CityLiving #SundayFunday @linecamera_official @foodieapp.official @bunappetitdonuts
And so it continues... . . . . . . . . . . #DeYoungMuseum #DeYoung #GoldenGatePark #SF #museum #WeekendMode #art #exhibition #culture #ExpandYourMind #OpenYourMind #OpenYourEyes #FamilyDay #FunTimes #abstractioncontinues #BlackAndWhite #minimalist #minimal #arrow #sign #typography #typeface #fonts #SansSerif #FreeAdmissionDay #instagallery #instapic @deyoungmuseum
Tonight’s dinner menu. 🍝 . . . . . . . . . . #HelloKitty #Sanrio #hype #ILoveHelloKitty #45thAnniversary #pasta #SoCute #HelloKittyPasta #organic #OrganicPasta #carbs #ILoveCarbs #NotOnADiet #NoDiet #凯蒂猫 #ハローキティ #パスタ #HK #kitty #cat #cartoon #character #CutestPastaEver #HelloKittyAndFriends #HerBowIsOnTheLeft #CatsOfInstagram #AnimalsOfInstagram #LineCamera @sanrio @hellokitty @linecamera_official @worldmarket

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