Maybe you were in a hurry. You were changing your socks and forgot you wore shoes. Maybe you thought a homeless person would find it and use it because they’ve been using their tattered hole-filled shoes for years.

The shoes are waiting nonetheless. Waiting to be owned by someone. Waiting for the weight of every step. A step that will take them on the adventures of life, of work of family. Maybe it will set foot in hot sandy Africa. Maybe it will be stuck in an office for 12 hours a day, only experiencing the feel of a sad carpet that will not see sunshine at all. Maybe it will not know another person and will find itself in a landfill to rot away. Maybe it will sit on the foot of a bed while its person loves on his wife.

Maybe. Maybes are possibilities. Possibilities of a new step in a new direction.

These black shoes are waiting nonetheless.

Being Wooed

These past few days, my heart has been swelling.  Swelling with love.

God is wooing me.  Asking me to talk to Him and spend time with Him.  He has truly been showing me how much He loves me.  With the sunsets, with art, and with the people He is putting in my life.

He is inspiring me to be me.  Gently nudging me to where He wants me to be, to bless me, to love me and protect me.

I thank God that he speaks through sunsets.  I thank God He still hears my cries.  He hears my desires.

Last week, He gave me another sunset.  It was more beautiful and mesmerizing than the first sunset I showed you all.  We all stopped to take a look at it.  Even my boss stopped to take photos herself. Oh it was beautiful.  And I knew it was for me.

This whole weekend, I was surrounded by creativity I haven’t seen in a long time.  Theater, singing, dancing and film.  It was not just an awakening of the senses, but a calling I have ignored for some time. I will write. I will take more photos. I will act and I will dance like King David danced.

I am back because I am loved.

Sometimes Snowy in West Seattle

It snowed last Tuesday. It came that night, then disappeared the next day. I think God did a good job of scheduling the snow right after work. So I was able to go home first, then it started snowing. That way, not a lot of people were stuck out on the streets trying to get to their respective homes.

When the snow was a couple of inches thick, Nick and I decided that a walk would be nice.

snow on sidewalk

don't even think about it

where to?



It’s a new year filled with lots of faith goals, art, photography and writing. I don’t do resolutions, have never done it and will not start anytime soon. But I am definitely looking forward to this new year with a fresh start. The end of this year didn’t really end the way I wanted it to. But really, there are just some things we can’t control. So we just move on, pray about it and hope for the best.

For the holidays, we spent Christmas at Nick’s parents and then came home the day after Christmas. We were supposed to go on a road trip to California but thought that a week won’t be enough time to visit friends and family during our stops all the way down to LA.

So we decided that the farthest we were going to go was in Oregon, to visit my good friend Liza and her husband. But that would only be during New Years Eve. So in between Christmas and New Years Eve, we spent a lot of time visiting friends and family in Seattle.

It was the best staycation because we actually slept in. Didn’t look at the clock much, and just enjoyed Seattle.


Excited to be out!


We met up with Nick’s high school buddy, Adrian. He lives in LA now. But he came up for the holidays.


We went to trivia night at a tavern somewhere. We only made second place. Oh well.


The next day Nick and I visited our friend Adam. He invited us over and made dinner for us. It was yummy!


The guys stuffing their faces.


A morning stop at Bakery Nouveou.


I got the twice baked almond chocolate croissant. Deadly and good.


Coffee and pastry. Good life.


We visited our friends and their kids. A picture with one of their kiddies, Deja.


We went to Outback for Happy Hour. We don’t really go there to eat but since we had a gift card. Why not?



Yeah salad but it was still heart attack food. haha!


We visited Nick’s best friend, Asrat.


Nick took me to Seattle Asian Art Museum. Yes, because I’m Asian.


I snuck a shot. :-p




Capitol Hill


At Joe Bar on Capitol Hill.


Another cup of coffee.


Prosciutto, mozzarella, and basil sandwich.


View of the Space Needle from Capitol Hill.


Comfort Soup

One of my favorite soups that my dad would make is sopas. Sopas is soup in Spanish, but when you say sopas in the Philippines, it means elbow macaroni in a creamy soup. The meat in the sopas is usually chicken, but the way my dad would make it is with ham.

Nick and I were buying some groceries at Safeway when I saw a package of smoked ham hocks sitting in the shelf. The first thought that came to mind was my dad’s sopas so I just had to get some some carrots and celery, and I was ready to make it.

And because I was originally making Chicken Afritada for Nick, I cooked both the Afritada and the Sopas at the same time. Take note, it was 9:30pm when I started cooking. Talk about late cooking in the Hayes household.

In the Philippines, we usually eat sopas for merienda (midday snack). I remember eating it for lunch in high school on those cold rainy days in June. Ah those days. It seemed like it was yesterday when classes would be cancelled midday because of a typhoon and we’re already in school so we have to wait for my dad to pick us up. Where else would we hang out but the cafeteria. The lunch ladies would be ready for the onslaught of orders from the excited kids who want to eat as they wait for their parents to pick them up. But I digress…

Below is the Chicken Afritada I made for Nick. I wasn’t in the mood for it since I felt that I was making it a lot, but since Nick wanted it, I made it for him.

Instead of using elbow macaroni, I used the egg noodles that we had. It was kind of the same. Texture-wise, I think I like the elbow macaroni more. I remember the days of eating soggy macaroni in the sopas. Ahhh heaven.

I know if my dad saw the photo below, he’d be so proud of me. I think my future kiddies would love this. It’d be their favorite and they’d ask me to add extra milk in it. Just as I did when I was young.

My dad would be cooking the sopas. I’d watch the whole process of how he did it and learn from him. Well sometimes he’d walk away to do other things while the sopas is simmering. What I would do is sneak in more milk into the soup to make it extra creamy. I don’t think he ever noticed. He would then say, “Wow this is really good.” He’d be so proud of what he made. And inside I was thinking, “That’s because of me, I put the extra milk in there to make it yummy.”

He Would Think it is Gourmet

There are times when I get home from work and all I want to do is sit on the couch, watch Bizarre Foods and eat. Yes I can do that without puking my guts out. The thing is, food doesn’t make itself. And eating canned sardines and rice everyday is not really my thing. I love Filipino sardines with rice though. What I’m saying is, I have to cook and Nick can’t because he has to study.

The one thing about my 9-5 job is that, when I get home, I don’t have extra work stuff to do. Nick does because he has to do homework. I don’t have any excuse for not cooking. Ah, these are the times that I wish I had a helper at home. Some of y’all in Manila better not be complaining about how hard your life is if you have a helper. Puuhleeeez! Ok I’ll save that for another post.

My introduction is getting long. Anyway, I made some Mahi-mahi with capers and onions on a bed of  couscous. Sounds fancy doesn’t it? I made this with just 10 minutes of prep time and 15 minutes of cooking. 25 minutes total is pretty fast if you’re a Filipino because we like our stews and stews take a while to cook.

I was also craving for fish so I just HAD to get me some Mahi-mahi.

I got this recipe from Epicurious. I started with the onions. Carmelized them in butter and olive oil.


And while that was carmelizing, I prepped the fish and placed it in the oven. Remember to preheat your oven.


I cooked the onions until it was carmelized and in the end added more butter as well as the capers and a lemon juice. I took it off the heat and covered it to keep warm.

As I was doing all this, I was also making couscous. I made the instant one from Trader Joe’s.  When the fish was ready, I plated it as so.


It was sooo good! Nick loved it and raved about how it looked so gourmet. Tasted gourmet too. Fancy I tell ya! It was fast, we ate, and then I finally got on the couch. Perfect!

Do you have any quick recipes that’s a winner with the family?

Tortilla de Patatas

The other day I was going through Travel Channel’s video clips and I ended up watching Anthony Bourdain in Spain eating their national dish, Tortilla de Patatas.

He talked about how good it was, and the clip also showed how to make it. Flipping it over with the help of a plate and then putting it back in the pan to cook the other side. He also mostly talked about how he couldn’t understand why it would be Spain’s national dish, when it only just contains eggs, potatoes and sometimes onions.

I laughed when he took a bite of the tortilla and used his hand instead of the fork to put it in his mouth. One lady out of camera said, “Use the fork you barbarian.” That line, for some reason, reminded me of my grandma.

So I came home after work one night and didn’t feel like going to the grocery store, knowing that we haven’t done our grocery shopping and only had a few items in the fridge. I thought I was going to go hungry until I found eggs, onions, a potato oh and look some mushrooms.

I chopped up the potato, onions and mushrooms. Deep fried the potato and onions in olive oil. Strained it and fried it again with the eggs.


The hard part was flipping the eggs. I didn’t have a flat plate so it took me a while trying to flip it without burning myself. I failed but it still looks pretty good.


My first ever Tortilla de Patatas! It was yummy. Yet I kind of felt like I was going to get  heart attack. I have not deep fried anything in a looong time.

I must say, I too don’t understand why this would be Spain’s national dish. Why not paella?