October was warm fall weather, Halloween and blackouts! Yes, power outages/blackouts! We have never experienced blackouts in California until this year. PG&E announced scheduled power outages. This resulted in panic buying among communities who were affected which were in the thousands. Sadly, those who were affected had their power turned off for days. People also spent hundreds of dollars on last minute emergency supplies. Many lost a lot of money on food that were spoiled due to the lost of power. For me and my family, it was a blessing that we were not affected. My nephews were actually excited as they thought it was fun, sort of like a zombie apocalypse, and eagerly awaited the blackout that never happened. They are children so they can be excused as kids find fun even in dark moments. (No pun intended.) They have never experienced power blackouts but when I was a kid in the Philippines, it was just a part of our everyday life!
Mr Sweetie panicked at the last minute and went out to buy bread for Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches but came home with tons of groceries even though we can probably survive for a couple of months with what we have at home. It was also a good opportunity for me to do an inventory of emergency supplies as a preparation in case of a major earthquake. I am happy to say that although there are still things that I need to do, we are well-equipped with crank radio, heavy duty thermos, batteries, lamp, flashlights, a good supply of water and canned goods. Hopefully, a big earthquake never happens again — ever but it pays to be prepared since we live right on top of the fault lines. And also the reason why the powers were turned off was due to the strong winds that caused fires and claimed dozens of lives in 2017. Thankfully, the lost of lives were prevented this time.
BRUNCH DATE & DATE NIGHT
🧡 Black Bear Diner …. Mr Sweetie and I had an impromptu brunch at Black Bear Diner on Indigenous People’s Day which was October 14. It was a holiday for me while he had a routine doctor’s appointment early in the morning. I went with him and he was famished right after his doctor’s visit. We ended up at Black Bear Diner which was not far from his doctor’s office. He ordered up a storm! The picture does not even show our entire order! Since I already had breakfast while waiting for him, I ordered a tuna sandwich which I only managed to take a couple of bites of. Before we left he bought a couple of pies to go. It was a fun morning. Black Bear Diner is one of our favorite brunch places that we manage to visit once or twice a year. I will be doing a full post of this fun Bear-themed restaurant one of these days.
🧡 La Calaca Loca…. I talked about our Dia De Los Muertos date night Mexican food dinner on this post. I have decided to make it our tradition to come here every fall season.
🧡 I went to Pasadena, CA for work this month and only stayed overnight. I flew in the afternoon before and flew back to San Francisco right after the presentation at 12:00 pm. I literally just slept in my room at the Sheraton Hotel. I got in at past 6 pm which was already dark, ordered room service, woke up at 6:30 am, walked a few minutes to the site, did the presentation, walked back to the hotel to retrieve my luggage and straight to the airport! I did not get to see any of the city of Pasadena. What I like about work travel: 1) Waiting at the airport for my flight and being able to relax and read for a couple of hours, then more on the plane. 2) Being able to read more in my hotel room. What I hate about work travel: 1) Airport and hotel food for having limited non-dairy and non-meat options even though I am not a complete vegetarian. 2) Being at the airport 2-3 hours before my flight even if the flight is only for a little an hour just like flying to Pasadena. Regardless, despite the stress, I always enjoy every moment of my trips. More pictures of my hotel room here……..
Yummy Travel Food
- Tofu, kimchi and fried egg bowl from Bun Mee at the San Francisco International Airport
- Vegan ravioli with fried onion and pepper coulis — In-room order at Sheraton Pasadena
- Roasted Pasilla Pepper Burger from Guy Fieri’s Burger Joint at Burbank Airport.
🧡 Funny travel story: I grabbed a tuna fish sandwich and handed a $20 bill to the cashier thinking that I will get at least $8 back in change. When the cashier told me that it was $16.80, I just said “No, thanks!” Then I looked for something else to eat. Honestly, burger is not something I would choose to order unless I get the occasional cravings. However, between a $17 cold tuna fish pre-made sandwich at the airport’s refrigerated section or a warm burger, celebrity chef burger it is! And the burger was actually surprisingly really good!
BFF’S BELATED BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION
🧡 Celebrating BFF’s Belated Birthday is always a well-awaited event for me although it is not my birthday. I enjoy it as much as she does. This year’s venue was at Starbelly in San Francisco. It was truly a very chill and delicious afternoon. Check out the yummy pics here……..
SELF-CARE…. We reap what we sow. Taking care of our bodies translate to better health, peace and joy.
🧡 Cozy Coffee Moment….I really treasure this quiet moment at this cafe where I was able to enjoy breakfast while waiting for Mr Sweetie’s doctor’s appointment. It is such a treat to find unexpected places, be able to enjoy a cup of coffee and nice meal without interruptions, and be able to enjoy reading as well. Cozy moments like this one are my most favorite moments.
🧡 Lunch Date With Amiga… Something that is really important to me is to make sure to have time for the best of my friends. Our quick lunch dates are part of our self-care as we have been doing for over a decade. I met with amiga for a short but sweet lunch at the San Francisco Shopping Center’s food court. We had Korean food. It was nothing to write home about but as always, it was a treat to see her and to catch up.
🧡 Chef In My Kitchen…My other form of self-care is cooking. I cook every night for Mr Sweetie but they are usual the quick weeknight stuff. I really get excited whenever I can find the time to cook new dishes, take pictures of them and enjoy eating/sharing afterwards. This Baked Stuffed Sugar Pumpkin has been on my list since summer and I was so happy to finally able to cook it! And it turned out beautifully and deliciously as well!
🧡 As always, Halloween did not disappoint! The first two weeks of October being very warm (more like summer!), was not Halloween weather. I was happy that on the 3rd week, the weather cooperated and fall finally happened! It got chilly as how fall should be. I was surrounded by fun Halloween images and decors all around me the entire month of October. I am disappointed to look at my photos on my phone and find out that I did not take any pictures of my neighborhood as I love to do every year. It is one of my joys to walk home in the evenings from work and look at the festive Halloween decors on the people’s gardens and patios. Every store I went to had fun decorations even the Southwest counter at the San Francisco airport. It was funny actually as they went all out and I did not expect to see Halloween at the airport.
🧡 I was at the perfect place the day before Halloween which was October 30. I was in San Francisco’s Mission District. Dia De Los Muertos has nothing to do with Halloween. It is a Mexican holiday celebrating the Day of the Dead. The Mission neighborhood bakeshops were selling sugar skulls and Pan de Muerto. I found this beautiful blog, Mexico In My Kitchen, featuring recipe of Mexican Bread of the Dead. When I walked into the bakeshop, I saw ginormous pan de muertos with the circumference of a small basin for about $28. I was so tempted to buy but Mr Sweetie and I have been doing great not eating a lot of carbs. I am sure that we would have demolished this delicious sweet Mexican bread.
🧡 Work as always was so much fun. My work place is big on celebrating Halloween. There were decorated pumpkin displays on every department. My co-workers go all out in costumes giving out candies. Some even make their own costumes. This year I enjoyed seeing a coworker walking around as a giant banana, “girl on fire” complete with a fairy lights wrapped around her, a “candy corn” and trendy, glamorous “witches, ” etc. Some of my co-workers I could not recognize and still do not know who was what to this day as their costumes were spectacularly elaborate. We also had a DJ party at night. I only stayed to say “hello” to my co-workers and grabbed a couple of Halloween buttons because I had to go home to give candies to trick or treaters. As always, I was a black cat with giant fluffy paws, ears and a tail. Mr Sweetie asked me if I wanted to be a different cat next year — a tabby, maybe?
🧡 We got about a dozen cute little trick or treaters at our house while Mr Sweetie and I watched football (instead of a scary movie) while eating dinner and waiting for the little ones. Well, it is football season after all and we both love football. (Those little guys were so cute! We got visited by an astronaut, Totoro and few superheroes. ) Since we know that we would not get many, we always give out giant-sized candy bars. The look on the kids’ faces are priceless!
Well, Halloween was over and I loved everything about it including decorating my house as soon as October 1st arrived. I could hardly wait for next Halloween to arrive! 🧡 🧡 🧡
WHAT I AM GRATEFUL FOR
I am grateful for the coziness of this season. I am grateful for not being able to take life so seriously as we celebrated Halloween. I am very thankful for the blessings of friendships, celebrating BFF’s May birthday in October, a fun workplace, the opportunity to travel, happy times with Mr Sweetie who indulges my love of Halloween and fall, being able to share this season with BFF who loves these simple joys as much as I do, t