Five Things

A quick post on 5 things or thoughts at the moment. 

1. Home Decor

I felt like I was in SIMS when I made these little. In SIMs, when you purchase a nice decorative item for SIM character, it boosts their mood. I felt the same way too.

2. When Macron won the French Election

Watching him give his speech gave me hope liberté, égalité, fraternité has been restored during these tumultuous times. It’s a start, I hope.

3. Clearing out the weeds

Again, my inner SIMs mood meter boosted as the yard is clearing from weeds.

Huntington Library

Huntington Library, year not sure

4. Peet’s Coffee

I did my first one-day business trip flying in and out from Burbank to San Jose. When I’ve done long distance business trips I’d be there for a couple days at a time for a conference, not couple of hours for a meeting or a project. I was dreading it until I saw Peet’s and ordered a large house coffee at the Burbank airport to start my day. Starting your day with a good cup of coffee makes a difference.

5. “Queen of Athleisure Wear”

The owner of the barre studio I go to tells me I’m the “Queen of Athleisure Wear”. I was flattered to hear that compliment. It certainly made my week. The truth is, I don’t wear yoga pants and tanks 24/7. I only wear them when I work out. For other things such as work (of course), meeting friends, or even running errands I wear regular clothes. Wearing stretchy yoga pants is forgiving if you’re pigging out on shakes and In-N-Out burgers. For me, I need my regular clothes to be the barometer.

Any opinion of products listed here are authentically my own.

Hike 10/52 Fryman Canyon

Date: March 5th

Neighborhood: Studio City

Distance: 3 mile loop

Difficulty: 2 out of 5

Weather: Sunny, cool

Trailhead address: 3431 Fryman Rd, Studio City, CA 91604

Fryman Canyon

View of the Valley — it must be beautfiul during dusk!

Continue reading Hike 10/52 Fryman Canyon

Hike 9/52 626 Golden Streets

Date: March 5th

Neighborhood: More like neighborhoods! South Pasadena/Arcadia/San Marino/Monrovia/Duarte/Azusa and a few I forgot to list!

Distance: 18 miles!

Difficulty: 3 out of 5

Weather: Mostly Cloudy and rain towards Azusa

626 Golden Streets

I tried collecting all the neighborhood stickers.

First of all, wow! I can’t believe I did 626 Golden Streets and finished from South Pasadena to Azusa. This was all 18+ miles and I haven’t ridden a bike in a while. In fact, it was my first time riding a bike with my puppies in the stroller. It looked like they enjoyed it, especially with all the attention they received.

With this bike ride, I achieved quite a bit of personal milestones:

  • First time biking with the puppies
  • First time biking with a stroller
  • First time biking more than 10 miles
  • First time biking in the rain. When the rain got too heavy, I was on the verge of giving up. I told myself “Stop at Duarte, take a metro back.” I didn’t think I would make it to the end at Azusa. There was this voice in my head telling me to keep on going. The voice reminded me the reason why I came to Golden Streets was to finish it.

On the left. At the South Pasadena starting line. It was cloudy. Teddy and Koda enjoyed the air.
On the right. Leaving on the Gold Line from Azusa. Rain-kissed and rested.

Read: “A Thousand Naked Strangers: A Paramedic’s Wild Ride to the Edge and Back” by Kevin Hazzard

“…lessons are drawn from mistakes, not victories.”

A Thousand Naked Strangers: A Paramedic’s Wild Ride to the Edge and Back by Kevin Hazzard

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars



Working as a paramedic is one of the least appreciated professionals and these people have seen a lot of crazy stuff. I don’t know why they’re not seen on the same level as a firefighter, police officer, an active duty member, or a veteran. The author worked in media and journalism prior to his career change to a paramedic because he wanted some excitment in his life. He wanted to have that same feeling as the friends who were in the military deployed overseas. Some of us can relate to finding excitment in our lives. This career change became a decade long journey of high stress and high moments where he finds his job meaningful. There are some of moments where I laughed out loud and valuable lessons learned one can carry over.

Hike 8/52 Tongva Peak/Beaudry Loop

Warning: This is a picture heavy post!


Date: March 4th

Neighborhood: Glendale/La Canada

Distance: 5.57 miles loop

Difficulty: 3 out of 5

Weather: Mostly Cloudy, cool

Trailhead address: 3110 Beaudry Terrace, Glendale, CA 91208. More details from Modern Hiker.

Continue reading Hike 8/52 Tongva Peak/Beaudry Loop

Home Decor finds

Happy Sunday everyone!

I went to Home Goods after barre class. I’ve been meaning to purchase a few home decor items to face-lift a couple rooms. It’s funny how a few items makes a difference.


I found this gorgeous table tray to place on our coffee table in our living room.

A few week back, my husband had a lock tight bottle on the dining room table that leaked. There’s this spot on the table where the varnish was removed. At least our table is second hand from Craiglist. A great quick fix is to purchase a tablecloth and a runner. Also I finally get to pull out a table tray I purchased a while back to hold condiments and candles on the dining table. Here’s to adult purchases!

Hike 7/52: Porter Ranch Trails/Limekiln Canyon Trail

Date: February 26th

Neighborhood: Porter Ranch

Difficulty: 3

Weather: Cloudy, cool

Distance: 3.46 miles (out and back)

Trailhead location: Limekiln Canyon Trail (Rinaldi Entrance). It’s next to the strip mall with Walmart and Jo-Ann’s Fabric.


This is another gem I found in the valley. Who knew that next to the super strip mall was a park with a stream and lush trees. For a moment you’ll forget you’re surrounded by track houses until you look up and see a glimpse of homogenous tile roofs.

If on some weekends I don’t have time to hike, this is a great place to go. It may be in the suburbs, but it’s fairly challenging will all the uphill and downhill climbs.

Hike 6/52 Claremont Hills Wilderness Park

Date: February 11th

Neighborhood: Claremont

Difficulty: 2 out of 5

Weather: Cloudy, cool with a bit of rain

Distance: 5.37 miles (loop)

Trailhead address: 4031 N Mills Ave, Claremont, CA 91711

Claremont Hills

Claremont Hills

This was my first time hiking in the rain. Thank god we brought our rain coats to this hiking trip.

Why did we go all the way out to Claremont? It’s about 40 miles away from our home. My husband needed to come out to Fontana to buy a car. We thought before we meet the seller, let’s go out for a hike.

Claremont Hills

It’s a beautiful hike especially in the rain. It made the hike feel more peaceful, more magical with the clouds.

The path was wide and smooth — this hike more like a walk through the fire road.



What happens if it rains? We get wet. Poor puppies :-/.

5 things

A quick post on 5 things or thoughts at the moment.

1. Overdrive app

I know this app has been around for a while, but it’s amazing. With your local public library card, you have access to e-books and audiobooks for free! For me, audiobooks help me get through my cleaning and other chores throughout my weekends.

2. Paper planner

I’ve been using a paper planning since the beginning of this year. The time before that, was in college to fill out my school schedule, my work schedule, and my social schedule. After college, I thought I didn’t need to purchase a paper planner and forgot about it since.

What made me decide to purchase a paper planner after years of not having it? I was somewhat frustrated with Google calendar. It was great for scheduling appointments, but it didn’t help work towards goal setting or leave room for me to write out my ideas. Also, I felt somewhat burnt out on technology. I work in an office in front of a computer for a large part of my day or I get home and my husband wants me to view a video on YouTube. Times I feel I am on the edge of resentful. I feel a paper planner has helped me disengaged from technology for a short time to allow me to re-engage. It’s my little piece of Walden.


Brewery Art Walk, May 2013

3. Breathing new life in old photos

I thought it was strange to post photos that have absolutely no correlation to my posts. At least they correlate to the seasons. I would never post a winter in Tahoe on a summer post. I have thousands of photos through my phone, Facebook, Google Drive, Photobucket that never quite surfaced. For me, it’s nice to look at and there’s no long-winded story required. Plus it gives me an opportunity to clean out all the bad and terrible photos from my files.

4. Giving yourself an hour before going to work

When I was a fresh young professional out of college, my morning routine was wake up, brush my teeth, put on work clothes, polish up, and walk out the door. Nowadays my morning routine is wake up, make and eat breakfast, make coffee, review my planner, listen to the news, then brush my teeth, put on work clothes, polish up, and walk out the door. Though this new routine requires me to wake up a little earlier, it makes a difference. It makes my day enjoyable.

5. Giving positive affirmations

Sometimes I find me punishing myself for giving myself a pat on the back for progress and effort. It’s easy to think i’s frivolous. Maybe because I am around people hearing negative thoughts like “you did not get there” — well…I did not get there yet. When I get there, I know I’ll kick ass several times over.

I do notice when someone says something negative or turns you down, I feel they’re attempting to ooze power to you. Make sure they fail at this attempt. When I do hear the negative criticism, I look right into the root of the issue which leads to the root of the person: they’re insecure. They’re standing in your way and you’re letting them. You can find affirmations by reading inspiring blogs or quotes, or even better, create your own affirmations. You can create your own affirmations by utilizing your talents, your skills, pursue things that make you happy, be around people who make you happy, give compliments, recognize your accomplish, recognize your efforts, the list goes on. There’s a lots of ways to create your own affirmations.


Brewery Art Walk May 2013

Hike 5/52 Eaton Canyon

Date: February 4th

Neighborhood: Altadena

Difficulty: 3

Weather: Sunny, cool

Miles: 4.8 miles20170204_092847_zps6c8mvr1m20170204_090245_zpsczbvin1v

Thanks to the rains in California, there’s actually streams and rivers through the canyons! And there’s lots of green! Winter is a perfect time to start racking up on the hikes for the 52 Hike Challenge!

Eaton Canyon is a popular, very trafficked trail. Thank goodness we arrived early to find parking in the lot and there was no one around. When we finished hiking at around 11 AM, the lot was packed. Note to self: We’ll park in the neighborhood instead. Or in front of my coworker’s house, he lives near by.

The popular hike is to walk along the stream until you get to the water. We did not do that. In fact, because it was our first time and I did not read much about the park, we spent a lot of our time walking around. We saw a trail and walked a little bit here and another trail and walk a little bit there. Maybe next time, we’ll do the entire trail of Henninger Flats. There’s less traffic.


Hike 4/52: Woodley Park

Date: January 24th

Neighborhood: Van Nuys/Lake Balboa

Difficulty: 1

Weather: Evening, cool

Miles: 1.6 miles


You can see the 405 Freeway from here. And Encino. And Sherman Oaks.


This was the same day I went walking along the Tujunga Wash. Yes, it was a weekday and I took that day off because I work 6 days last week and that day was my make-up day. My husband came home from work and wanted to go walk around the park. This was our nowadays rare work weekday outing. Gladly we enjoy having this piece of green space nearby.

Again at the time, I thought during the course of the 52 Hike Challenge I’d be making multiple trips to Balboa Park exploring all its quadrant. In retrospect, I was wrong.

May Goals

I decided to follow along and post my May goals on my blog since everyone in the blogosphere is doing it. For me, I like to reading other people’s goals on their blogs so I was inspired to put together mine.

1. Start the Pergola Project

We bought a fairly cheap house in the Valley. It was built in 1953 and has not been updated since. In other words, we need to remodel the crap out of it. Last year, we updated the home electrical to code and added recess lighting. There’s other major resource-intensive projects such as remodeling the addition but we’re still doing research. This pergola project is fairly small and I would love to have a beautiful shade structure in time for summer events. Is it going to be professionally done, is it going to be a purely DIY project? We’ll find out.

2. Hike 3 times

Since the City Slicker Challenge, I want to take it a little easy on hiking. In March, I hiked 10 times. Though I told myself to take it easy on hiking so I can focus on my home projects, I’ll still do some hikes. Maybe not a 8-10 mile hikes for this month. I’ll place my focus on smaller, more hyperlocal hikes like Fryman Canyon, Lake Balboa, or Tujunga wash. Or when we go to Portland and Seattle towards the end of the month.

3. Clean my closet and drawers

This  was on my to-do list in April. I started this on April 30th and will continue to do so for the month.

4. Remove weeds in the backyard

This is a tie-in to the Pergola Project in the beginning of this list. For us to have a pergola and patio, we need to remove the weeds in the backyard. Last Saturday, I learned a little background on the last people who lived in our house from our neighbors: First, they were renters, and second, they made the house a mess. Ding, ding. We’re cleaning it up. It’s a lot of work since we are doing that on our own. Sometimes I wonder if it’s worth getting a professional to do the job. Or maybe…we can leave it to the professionals to do the harder things like remodeling or placing pavers on the patio. You see, when you are a homeowner, all one sees are dollar signs. You’re already paying mortgage, property tax, all the utility bills –Dollar signs can scare people away. You need to see dollar signs from two sides: one for the services being done by a professional versus the services you are doing yourself. It can get tricky. Sometimes, it may cost more if you do it yourself because you purchased the wrong items or you purchased tools you end up using once. Then there’s the cost of the learning curve of practice and other potential wasted resources.

5. Donate books

I have a few books in my office that I am ready to clear out. I am open to doing a book-crossing, donate my books to a used bookstore at my public library, or donate to my local little free library. I hope whoever is the recipient of the books are people who’ll enjoy the books as I did or more than I did.

6. Post all my hiking trips from the 52 Hike Challenge

To date, I’ve hiked 21 times this year  and I need to document them! I plan to write about them all during May. It’s been a wonderful experience and a unique way to explore LA.

Los Angeles Zoo 2013 — Summer is almost here!

You’ll see some random photos in posts like these. I have a whole collection of old photos in my phone that probably deserve some spotlight, not just my wedding and engagement photos. I’m looking at you former brides who continue to post photos from their wedding though life moved on after the wedding. Because we’re nearing summer, I thought to share a photo of a little waterfall from the Los Angeles Zoo.