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The Rose Garden Tea Room

19 Apr

How do you like your tea and how do you imagine drinking it?  At The Rose Garden Tea Room, you can have your mini cakes and eat them too, and obviously, it’s where you can have your tea and drink it too.  In fact, you can have your choice from five types of hot tea: Strawberry Kiwi, Rose, ApricotEstate Black, and Mandarin Rooibos. At that time, I liked my tea non-caffeinated so I went with the strawberry kiwi – it was lovely, tangy, and pink in color.  Our amiable hostess said that the kids love it very sweet.  The kid in me likes the tea, but the adult in me likes it tart.  And I imagine drinking my tea in a peaceful setting… the rose garden in The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens would do beautifully.  Continue reading

Screaming for Ice Cream

26 Mar

Our good friend and The Hubby‘s homeboy, Cesar, and Cesar’s friend, Corey produced a funny short worth sharing.  If you’d like something cute and funny to lighten your day, the short is worth viewing.  It’ll be less than three minutes of your time and you’ll get a smile out of it and maybe temporary hearing loss.  To prevent an earache or hearing loss, lower the volume.  The boys are a real scream.


It’s a little early for National Ice Cream Day, but what the hey, let’s celebrate.  I scream for ice cream.  The “Nooo Boyz” scream for ice cream.  We all scream for ice cream.



Go Bananas

9 Jan

One of my favorite Demetri Martin jokes is the one about bananas.  It went on like this –

“I feel stupid when I write the word banana. Its like, how many na’s are on this thing? ‘Cause I’m like ‘Bana … keep going. Bananana … damn.“

Fredrik Gertten, director and journalist, must have had that same feeling of going through something never-ending when Dole Food Co. served him papers over his film Bananas!*.  I still haven’t seen Bananas!* yet, but I have seen his film on protecting free speech and fighting for the truth called Big Boys Gone Bananas!*, which recounts the trials he went through when Dole tried to shut down his film, Bananas!*.

Bananas-documentary site

Big Boys Gone Bananas!* has been sitting in my Netflix recommendations list and I decided to make a go of watching it earlier this afternoon.  I only watch my Netflix recommendations only when there’s a film on the list that’s already aligned with my interests, and there are four main reasons why I decided to watch Big Boys Gone Bananas!*:

1)      I really like bananas.  I like bananas so much that it’s a part of our household’s weekly order from our online grocer, SPUD.  I want to know where my food comes from and SPUD provides that information.

2)      As far as I can remember, bananas have always been a part of my family’s diet.  My sisters and I grew up eating bananas.  I infer it has something to do with my farmer grandparents growing bananas.  I can safely say that our diet has been biased towards their crops, with bananas being one of them.

3)      Before entering the nursing profession, my Mom considered majoring in journalism.  She was drawn to reading and writing, and felt that it was through journalism that she can use her skills and correspondingly, serve society.

4)      There’s a ton of information thrown at all of us and it’s become a mental juggling act to sort out the truth from the junk.  Sometimes, it’s easier for us to swallow what big media shoves down our throat.  And sometimes, what they give us are like drugs… they just dull our senses.  The truth, unfortunately, is usually painful and usually involve individuals or groups of people being mistreated; with the truth being kept under wraps to prevent people, like you and me, from knowing what goes on.  In order for truth to persist, we must protect free speech.

Big Boys Gone Bananas-documentary site

Generally, I’d like to believe that most people have good intentions.  At times though, that belief is shaken when I read the news and read about political crimes, corporate malice, and democratic governments (people whom we voted to serve us) not responding to public interests and needs.  Then I start to wonder if humanity would make it to year 3000.  Then I watch pro-social documentaries and learn about people – like Fredrik Gertten – fighting against injustice by putting it in the forefront and giving everyone access to the truth, and then my faith in humanity is restored.

Big Boys Gone Bananas!* reinforced my beliefs in transparency when it comes to finding out where and how our foods are sourced.  On a similar vein, it’s all about being open to different perspectives and truths, and that we can’t ignore the fact that countless people suffer to produce our foods, make our everyday items, and manufacture iStuff.

To all my fellow consumers, it’s okay to be fussy.  Really, we should all learn to be fussy when it comes to the foods we eat, clothes we wear, and materials we surround ourselves with.  As consumers, we should do our own inquiries and figure out which companies match our personal values and make an effort to support those companies, and hold the companies that we support to social principles and integrity.

Sometimes, it’s okay to go bananas.  When it comes to protecting everyone’s rights, why not go bananas.

Apples and Oranges

22 Nov

If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.”
(George Bernard Shaw)

My favorite Doc illustrates how to eat a whole apple.

“What’s the point of eating an apple whole?”, you ask.  The Atlantic’s medical journalist, James Hamblin, makes two good cases: 1) From an economic standpoint, we can save $13.2 billion worth of wasted apples that ends up being trashed, when the money could be put to relief aids or other helfpul uses. 2) Though the good Doc didn’t explicitly say it, this point is a smart take-away: you get more bang for your buck for eating the whole fruit (minus the seeds, unless you have a thing for cyanide).

I’ve tried the “bottom to top” method several times now and though I like the concept, I could not eat the apples as fast as I wanted to as I always try to carefully avoid eating the seeds.  Whenever I’d finish eating an apple using the “no core” strategy, I’d feel like Applejack feeling smug after picking loads of apples then realizing that there were more to be picked… “How’d ya like them apples!”

In my case, realizing that it takes me longer to eat an apple because I become cautious and self-conscious when I reach the seeds, it makes me less enthusiastic about eating apples.  My solution is to slice the apple, remove the area containing the seeds, and compost said area.  I may not be able to eat an apple like a boss but I sure can slice apples into quarters and put the mythical apple cores in the compost like a boss.

I feel as if I can’t talk about apples without talking about oranges so for those of you who’d like to try eating whole oranges, meaning orange peel and all, go for it.  Orange peels contain a type of carbohydrate called pectin which can help increase beneficial bacteria in the large intestine.  How’d ya like them orange peels!

With the holidays approaching, let’s revisit the tradition of putting oranges in stockings, or why not just give a fruit basket that includes apples and oranges.  Give the gift of health – it’s a gift that keeps on giving.

WFP Typhoon Haiyan Relief Effort

11 Nov

As if we need any more effects of climate change, Typhoon Haiyan shows us another devastation just year/s after Hurricanes Katrina (2005) and Sandy (2012).  News sources, such as CNN, BBC, and MSN are providing tons of information and images about the destruction and wreckage caused by the super typhoon.


If you are able to and if you’d like to provide aid, please consider making a donation to the World Food Programme to help the organization with its basic food supplies response.  Millions of people have lost their homes and are in dire need of food and clean water.  If you’d like to learn more about supporting the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, please read this MSN article on “How to help Philippine typhoon survivors“.

Thank you for caring and for your support.