Posts Tagged ‘nature’

365great Day 263: sunsets

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , ,

365great challenge day 263: sunsetsIt’s amazing how every day the sun rises, crosses the sky, and sets yet it still is fantastic each time. I mean, you’d think we’d get bored but I often catch myself staring at a gorgeous sunset in admiration. It may not be every single day, but at least once a week I stare off into the horizon and enjoy the colors and brilliance of the sunset. Sunrises are pretty cool too, but I’m usually not awake to witness them, so I can’t gush about them quite the way that I can about sunsets. Between glorious ones where the sun dips beneath the ocean, behind trees, or light up the clouds on a rainbow of colors, I could be entertained for ages just standing in awe. I got to witness a dreamy one tonight, as the sun set over the Pacific Ocean and played at the beach in Malibu. Could life be more perfect in that moment? Next time it’s getting dark, take a moment to enjoy the sunset. I bet it’ll be pretty great.

365great Day 262: hummingbirds

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , , , ,

365great challenge day 262: hummingbirdsHummingbirds are a fascinating type of bird. They’re so different that they’re almost like over-sized insects rather than a tiny bird. They’re delicate and cute, very much like butterflies. They even drink from flowers and flit around like butterflies. Their tiny little bodies are adorable and they rather feel like toys. Even though they tend to move around quickly, when they perch on something, there’s a certain peace about them. They’ll even stare at me sometimes, completely unphased. Because of their ability to hover, it’s easy to watch them for ages without ever moving your head. And well, I’m great at staring at things like that. I could sit and watch a (humming)bird feeder all day long. Hummingbirds are so cool! I wish I could have them as pets – wouldn’t that be great?

365great Day 243: baby animals

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , , , , ,

365great challenge day 243: baby animalsThe young of almost any creatures are super adorable. They’re softer and wobblier and awkward and cute bundles of fun. Who doesn’t like kittens, puppies, ducklings, and the like? The way they waddle and squeak and don’t quite know how to do things is hilarious and endearing at the same time. If only they could just stay like that! My mom has always wanted a baby tiger for a pet, but of course you can’t keep them for long before they outgrow you. Meanwhile, I prefer smaller animals that can fit in your hands when they’re young, like these ducklings. Back in China in my childhood, my cousin and I would get baby chicks and ducklings from street vendors, then try to raise them at home. They were the sweetest little things! Unfortunately we were not very good at keeping them alive since we didn’t have a heat lamp and had no clue what we were doing. So I guess it’s best to leave it to their moms to raise them til they’re not cute anymore. Still, I love it when I can play with baby animals. They feel so great!

UK Vacation Day 6 Recap

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses, photo blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Day 6 of our UK trip was a wonderful day of revisiting memories and sharing them with Panda. We wandered all through York and checked out a bunch of stores, buying some items but mostly browsing. I got a chance to feed some ducks and geese by a river, which I loved. We even had time to enjoy afternoon tea at Betty’s before returning to the hotel to rest and wait for the train to Edinburgh. A few hours later, we were stepping off onto Scottish soil and making our way to the hotel (getting a bit lost along the way). Once we finally found it, we happily settled in and enjoyed the welcome gifts and nice warm quarters.

[Need more recaps? Here are Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, and Day 5 recaps.]

view of york eye and train station from hampton inn by hilton hotel window

Good morning, York!

yorkshire soap co bath butters and soap on specialty tray

I had a lot of fun choosing what to get from the Yorkshire Soap Co.

holding up yorkshire soap co shopping bag and cute paper box

Yippee, now I’ve got awesome bath products from lovely Yorkshire.

cat scarves at the cat gallery in york uk

Cat scarves?! I was really tempted, but next time…

guy fawkes born here sign in window

Did you know Guy Fawkes was born in York?

collage of person taking picture of york minster and photo taken of york minster

Panda got a shot of me getting a shot of York Minster.

collage of york city walls

Our wanderings eventually took us outside the city walls.

guy on stilts and man with ghost walk sign promoting york ghost walks

Fancy a ghoulish tour? Then meet these guys for the Ghost Walk!

purple windblown street performer frozen on bike in middle of road in york

Hehe, check out this windblown street performer.

storefront for evil eye lounge asian fusion food and bar

Evil Eye lounge! All I remember is weird beds upstairs and Asian fusion downstairs (with a bar too, of course).

collage of mr chippy fish and chips shop

Panda had to try some fish and chips. Tasty!

standing in middle of road walking streets of york

Caught me wandering.

collage of sainsbury grocery store and products inside

The Sainsbury that I once walked all the way back from with my groceries!

trees overgrown on bridge over river with lily pads and boat

I wish we could get on that bridge.

collage of river and hungry geese and birds being fed

I had to stop and feed the birds. It’s a compulsion.

grinning happily while feeding ducks and geese in river

Can you see how gleeful I was? I love animals.

collage of ducks and geese in river being fed and following food along bank

A ton of them joined in when they noticed food and I had fun walking along the bank sharing the wealth.

collage of pigeon and black duck waiting for food

Even this pigeon wanted in on the action. Check out the cool black duck too!

collage of person leaning over bridge feeding birds

At one point, I leaned over the bridge to feed them.

walking on bridge holding plastic bag with wind blowing hair around

After running out of food, I happily walked off into the wind.

large marketing suite building

If they can make their marketing suite this big, I wonder what the places they’re selling are like!

collage of old cars on display in plaza in york

Back in the center of town, we discovered some old cars on display.

large owl eye contact cases and googly eye iphone case

Random browsing brought me to these adorable contact lense cases!

exterior view of betty's cafe tea rooms in york

It was cold out, so Betty’s was especially inviting to us.

collage of betty's tea room afteroon tea set

I loved warming up to a pot of tea and some snacks. Afternoon tea rocks!

old toff's club in york now rebranded tokyo

Back by the hotel, I hardly recognized this as the old Toff’s where I went clubbing once. (I much preferred the Gallery.)

hampton inn york bridge entrance

Does this look like a proper hotel entrance? Cuz it totally was.

view of edinburgh castle at night from princes street

After a few hours on the train, we arrived in Edinburgh and got to see the castle from afar!

free glass bottles of strathmore water and jars of the dormen nuts and candies

All settled in at the hotel, with these nice treats waiting for us.

365great Day 238: dragonflies

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , ,

365great challenge day 238: dragonfliesDragonflies are my favorite insect. I’m not sure why exactly, but I love to see one flitting about. One of the things I like about them is the variety of colors and sizes they come in, with everything from tiny blue ones to massive(ish) green ones. I used to try to catch them as a kid when I spent my summers in China; there was a type we called “big green bean” in Chinese that was very common across the area I was in. I’ve always admired their agility and grace… they can glide around rather effortlessly through the air. So much better than bugs that don’t fly or make it look like it’s a lot of effort. They’re kind of like the cool kid on the block and I think they’re awesome all around! If I was an insect I’d have fun as a dragonfly. A cute little blue one. 😛 It’d be great!

365great Day 227: Venus flytraps

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , ,

365great challenge day 227: venus flytrapsAren’t these just the coolest plants? I think it’s amazing that they managed to grow into a claw shape and developed a mechanism to basically become carnivorous. Out of all the insect-eating plants out there, my favorite is the Venus flytrap because it really looks the role. As a kid I really wanted one of these plants and I asked my mom for ages before she finally decided she’d let me. I was crushed when I wasn’t able to find them for sale at the grocery store after that! I looked for years with no luck and while I’m sure I could get some these days, I have yet to actually ever get any. Perhaps with the move to the new condo, I can add that to my list of things to get, but I’ve heard they’re hard to care for so I might just keep postponing it. Whatever the case, I always love it when I come across these awesome plants. The way they’ve adapted creatively is pretty great.

365great Day 208: clouds

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , ,

365great challenge day 208: cloudsOh what a brilliant skyline we had this evening as the sun was setting. The light came at just the right angle to create an amazing hue on the clouds lingering overhead. You could see everything from golden yellow to deep purple and it was stunning. If the clouds weren’t there to reflect the light, we wouldn’t have nearly as cool a view. I also enjoy thunderstorm clouds, with their deep grey menacing look bringing thunder, lightning, and rain. It’s the perfect time to curl up with a hot drink and get cozy as the pitter patter of the rain and rumbling of thunder create a symphony of sound. On the flip side, those super fluffy white clouds floating ever so peacefully overhead is striking too, especially against a rich blue sky. It’s always fun to look up and see what sort of clouds are blowing by; it’s great entertainment.

365great Day 200: loofahs

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

365great challenge day 200: loofahsI love loofahs. If you don’t decide to eat them you can just let them dry out and boom, you’ve got yourself a wonderful exfoliating sponge. Not only can you wash your skin with it, it makes for a perfect sponge to clean dishes with. So take your pick on how you choose to use it and then when you’re done just bury it in the ground! A beautifully natural tool for bath and kitchen that will compost away and create no waste when it’s time to get a new one. You can even save the seeds from them to plant yourself for a never-ending supply. Now that’s a great thing.

365great Day 199: flowers

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , ,

365great challenge day 199: flowersI’m a fan of many types of plants, but flowers are a surefire way to enhance a space so just about anyone would like it. They add color and sometimes fragrance to enliven an area. It’s no wonder you find them along streets, on tabletops, and adorning windowsills. Look at how they spruce up the front of this building! While many women enjoy a bouquet of these beauties, I find them to be useless in that form so I’d much rather get a live plant in a pot. That way I can enjoy the flowers year after year (assuming I can keep them alive). Flowers come in so many gorgeous shapes, sizes, and colors that you’re sure to find one that appeals to you. My personal favorite is the orchid, though anything purple or blue is perfect too. Whatever your preference, flowers are a great way brighten your day.

365great Day 155: Thailand

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Learn more about 365great here.

365great challenge day 155: thailandThailand is one of the most amazing countries I’ve been to. It has a little bit of everything I love in a place: beautiful weather, gorgeous landscapes, fascinating animals, quiet beaches, sprawling bazaars, amazing food, a rich culture, and relaxation treatments. I enjoyed both Phuket and Bangkok for their very different experiences and I absolutely loved the tour I took, which included an elephant ride, lunch on a floating restaurant (and a chance to drift on a raft), splashing around in a cute park with waterfalls, and (omg) petting tigers. I had so much fun relaxing by the beach, getting a wonderful hot stone massage from a very nimble old lady, and getting rides from strangers on Phuket Island. I equally enjoyed roaming the streets of Bangkok where I had THE most delicious pad thai I’ve ever experienced. And then I’d wander off to the Chatuchak market to get my shop on. So much to do, see, and appreciate. Thailand is such a great country and I can’t wait to go back.

Check out some of my posts from my trip to Thailand:

Tiger baby [feeding a tiger milk]

Pet clam & sea snail [the cool creatures I found at the beach]

Burrowing clams [entertainment at the beach]

Tiger-rific [petting tigers at the Tiger Temple]

Fish spas, the newest craze [oh what a fun experience to have fish eat at your feet]

A story of shopping and sandals [when a trip to the market yields some laughs]

Serendipity [more on my rides with strangers in Thailand]


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