Travel Theme: Paint


Here’s my entry to Ailssa’s challenge for the week, Paint.

My cousin is in town visiting. The mural was taken in the Pilsen neighborhood on our way to the Mexican museum. I’ve been in Pilsen many times before but that day we entered from the southside and what a revelation. Several houses have their whole house painted this way – more like an organized graffiti. Street art exactly.

I enjoy these things and I definitely will go back to take more photos of the neighborhood.

Posted in Chicago, Photo Challenge | 6 Comments

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Sense of Taste


The other day, a coworker asked me a favor. She was working from home but had a dozen-and-a-half of cupcakes waiting to be picked up for a baby shower for my lady boss.

I didn’t mind doing it for her – besides I’ve been wanting to explore and try the Magnolia cupcakes and I could use some fresh air and exercise.

Magnolia of New York as the name implies started in NYC. While there, a couple of years ago, I wanted to get a cupcake and taste for myself and see why it would cause a long line that twisted around the block of its location in Manhattan. Well, I got discouraged when I saw the crowd.


And then they opened a bake shop on State Street here in Chicago. Maybe it was all hype when they were new but the other day at 10:30 in the morning there was only an old couple there. It was a very slow day. Maybe they are busier during the morning rush hour, I don’t know.

Finally I got to taste this much vaunted about cupcakes. They are supposed to be baked fresh daily but the one I tried was already a bit dry but for one who always scrape the icing in every cake I eat, this time I must say that their frosting really sets them apart from ordinary.

This is my entry to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge from last week: Sense of Taste.

Posted in Chicago, Photo Challenge | Tagged | 3 Comments

Ailssa’s Travel Theme Challenge: Fruit


Viv and I visited her friends’ family garden two weeks ago. We gathered several kinds of Asian vegetables and one of them was bittermelon fruits and tops. Asians particularly like bittermelons and they are prepared in so many ways. Salad, soups, steamed, sauteed – they are very versatile. As the name implies, it is bitter and it’s an acquired taste but they say it is very good for diabetics and other health benefits. Commercially they now sell tea made from the leaves and those fortunately are not bitter.


Two Sundays ago, we dropped by the Oak Park Conservatory. It is a small building with a stamp-size outdoor garden but filled with surprises. It is a beautiful place to visit with family and it is nice that they also have a bench where you can reflect or just enjoy the beauty of their plant collection. They also have a tiny pond or artificial brook with huge kois and a family of turtles. Among my favorite in the garden is this Ponderosa lemon. Still unripe so they are green but notice the size. Am sure one fruit is enough for a pitcher of lemon juice, don’t you think?

My entry to Ailssa’s Challenge for the Week: Fruit.

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Grid


Above is my entry for last week. Am late with my entries as I’ve been having difficulties linking photos here from Flickr.

Here’s the grid as seen from the lobby of the IRS office in Downers Grove. I had some business to attend to there so I took Monday off. It is a beautiful building and very well landscaped.

Posted in Photo Challenge | Tagged | 12 Comments

DP Photo Challenge: Connected


Whatever your religion, prayer is a way to connect to our favorite saint, god or deity. This lady could have said her prayers inside the church but she picked this location for personal reasons. Maybe she felt the connection here because it was quiet and not too many people around. There was solitude and calm.

This is my entry for the challenge of the week, “Connected”. To see more entries go here.

Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments

Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Feet

Yesterday I attended Caleb’s first birthday and I got a chance to carry him. He’s such a delight to care for – just so calm and still even though almost all the adults around him were whining about the stifling heat and humidity.

Here’s my entry to Ailsa’s Weekly Challenge: Feet

To see more go here.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Ailssa’s Travel Theme: Gleaming


San Francisco gleaming from a distance when seen at night from above.

My entry to Ailssa’s challenge for the week. To join and see more, go here.

Posted in California, Photo Challenge, Vacation | Tagged | 6 Comments

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Burgundy or maroon


My entry to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge for the week. Go here to join or to see more entries.

Not my favorite colors. My university color, remembering wearing maroon bloomers (ha ha ha am aging myself) as our physical education uniform in gymnastic which meant we needed to do tumbling. Nothing complicated. Even then my weight pushed me down and I couldn’t tumble. Am sure my instructor just gave me a passing grade just so he won’t see me again, either that or he realized the skill would not make or break us in the future.

It was also my firm’s color for many years. Imagine having large wreaths every Christmas adorned in burgundy ribbon. It was a relief when they changed it to yellow.

Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments

The Daily Post Challenge: Creepy

San Juan de Bautista Mission Church old cemetery

San Juan de Bautista Mission Church old cemetery

Nothing creeps me more than a cemetery, whether old or new, in ground or whatever. Death is not a favorite subject matter for me.


Above is the National Geologic Park in Montana as a result of an earthquake in 1959. What happened was truly nightmarish for those who experienced it. In all 28 people died. Read the story here. I have passed this park twice in my life and it always gave me that creepy feeling. Imagine the earth underneath the lake moving and the mountains breaking. It was hellish they said.

My entry to the Daily Post Challenge: Creepy. See more entries here.

Posted in Photo Challenge, Vacation | Tagged | 11 Comments

Travel Theme: Grey

Ghost town

Ghost town

This is how Chicago’s financial district looks like on a weekend. Devoid of office workers, with just tourists determined to cover all the must-sees in the city, cramped in their weekend schedule.

My entry to Ailssa’s Travel Challenge: Grey.

Posted in 9 to 5, Chicago, Day-to-day, Photo Challenge | Tagged | 4 Comments