Sunday, June 26, 2022

Five Places for Unique Summer Treats in San Diego!

Here is my list of five places in San Diego that offer unique desserts!  These are all great selections when those hot summer days call for something cool and sweet! These are not listed in any particular order.
PC: Paleta FB So many choices!
Located in Bonita, there is a wide variety of different places. This is mainly a buy and go place, there is very little seating available. So you enjoy your treat in front of the store or in your car!  Unless you want to pack some dry ice in a cooler to bring to a party or back home!
PC: Halo Halo Website.  Mix Mix all the goodies in this Filipino Dessert!
The most recognizable of Filipino desserts - Halo Halo!  It is a shaved ice, condensed milk, ice cream topped dessert filled with all sorts of different items (beans, fruits, ube halaya and even leche flan if you like)  that is eaten with a spoon and then with a straw to sip up all the liquid goodness after.  You will have to save room for this after a meal.  Or replace your meal with this, lol! The rainbow colors will whet your appetite!
PC: Somi Somi FB Ah-Boong!
Korean soft serve served in a fish cone, like a soft waffle cone!  It's fun to watch the fish cones being made! So good after some kbbq!
PC: Up2You website  Green Tea Crepe Cake!

PC: Up2You website,  Honey Brick Toast!

Up2You is my type of place! The desserts can be shared and paired with a hot or cold beverage!  This is where social media / socializing is at its best! 
MNGO Cafe
Mango sweets, iced treats and coffees too!
Mangos are my favorite summer fruit, especially manila mangos! If you know someone who likes mangos, take them here! They offer so many different types of desserts! 
These are five unique spots in San Diego! Did I list your favorite place? Or did I miss one?  Where else do you recommend? Write a comment below!

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Yasukochi Family Farms - Fresh produce all year long!


I've partnered with Yasukochi Family Farms this month of July to try out their Community Supported Agriculture produce boxes. Each week  I received a box of 11 - 15 items!  This was the first box full of farm fresh fruits and vegetables!  This is a $25 box and free delivery is included!  Boxes are available for weekly, bi-weekly or a 20-box subscription.


Pictures of what I have made with items from the boxes:

Eggplant Torta (omelette filled with ground pork and shrimp)

Sauteed spinach with scallops! 

Vegetable Stirfry!


Honeydew melon drink with mint! 


With some cherries on top! 

Lettuce, carrots, bell peppers, cilantro, green onions and more made lovely spring rolls! 

Beautiful food! Healthy too!

Used the potatoes, green onion, and celery to make potato salad! 

Yasukochi Family Fams makes healthy meal planning super easy! I am thankful that we've been able to be inspired to cook with these beautiful and quality ingredients!



Follow Yasukochi Family Farms on Instagram @Yasukochifamilyfarms and on Facebook! 
Disclosure: Weekly boxes were provided in exchange for social media posts.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Hamilton - A Powerful Musical!

Hamilton tickets | Broadway | reviews, cast and info | TheaterMania

At first, I wasn't really excited to see "Hamilton" despite all of the hype surrounding it. There was controversy too about whether this musical glamorized historical figures who didn't really deserve the attention. I anticipated seeing a story about one of our founding fathers told in a hip-hop trendy fashion. It was that...and SO much more!

Strictly speaking about the music, Lin and the creative team are truly musical geniuses. Some of the songs are fast, especially the raps, so thank goodness my TV was already set for captions. I would encourage those watching on Disney+ to also put the subtitles on. The lyrics are stimulating, intellectual and witty. The rewind scene itself is a masterpiece. I see now why this musical has won so many awards! Layers and rounds of choruses that are mashed up and revisited over and over throughout, emphasize multiple meanings depending on character, circumstance and situation. "My Shot", "To the Union", and "Helpless" are all examples.
Also repeated by different characters are the lyrics "Aren't we lucky to be alive?" juxtaposed with "You'll never be satisfied." These combined with the endearment "son" from George Washington, trigger glimpses into Hamilton's internal struggles.
At the very tip, "Hamilton" is entertaining but underneath is a complex foundation of educational and critical content that still resonate in today's political and societal issues. With more to unpack, and like a good original mixtape, "Hamilton" is a powerful musical that leaves one wanting to press play again. What was your "Hamilton" experience? Please leave a comment below!

Friday, April 17, 2020

Celebrating San Diego County's Inaugural Counselor of the Year, Lysabeth Luansing-Garcia!

2020 SD Counselor of the Year Lysabeth Luansing-Garcia
My blog turns five years old this year and I wanted to celebrate by highlighting the person that got me started on this blogging journey and that person is Ms. Lysabeth Luansing-Garcia! 
Please let me tell you why there is something special to write about Ms. Lysabeth Luansing-Garcia.  She is a dear friend that I have known for a long time  and she is the San Diego County's FIRST EVER recognized Counselor of the Year in the high school category and on top of that, she is PINAY! Woo hoo! Way to represent the Sweetwater Union High School District, the South Bay and the Fil-Am community! 

Lysabeth is the head counselor at her alma mater, Sweetwater High School.  Before becoming a counselor she was a middle school and high school English teacher for several years. Counseling is in itself an all-encompassing job, but out of 900 school counselors who were up for the title,  “what stood out about Lysabeth ...was her...passion, leadership, and the above and beyond work [she does] to positively impact their schools,” said Tanya Bulette, counseling coordinator at the San Diego County Office of Education.  

I asked her some questions about being selected for this honor:

1. What/who inspired you to become a school counselor?

When I was in college, I was an avid tutor at Granger Junior High School and National City Middle School. I really enjoyed working with young people so I decided to pursue a career in education. My plan was to teach for a few years and then maybe pursue career advancement as a school administrator. But as a teacher, I realized being an administrator wasn't a good fit for me. I did have fond memories of my high school counselors. The school counselors at my high school are some of my greatest mentors. Thus, I decided to pursue my master's degree in educational counseling.

2. What brings you joy in your job?
I love being able to work with students one-on-one to plan for their future goals. Many students have dreams and goals that they feel are unattainable. I am able to give them to tools to help them achieve those dreams and goals. 

3. What is the biggest challenge in being a school counselor? 

My biggest challenge is not being able to address the needs of all my students. As a school counselor, I have a caseload of 360 students. Because of such a big case load, it is hard to find the time to have one-on-one, meaningful interactions with all my students. 

4. How do you spend your time outside of work?

I have a blog where I document the fun things I do with my family. You can check it out at www.GarciaMemories.com. I've also started a small business venture which was inspired by the wellness initiatives I've done at Sweetwater High School. Visit us at on Instagram @InhaleBeWell. Other than that, I love just spending time with my family and friends.

5. A year from now how do you think you will describe being the first ever SD County Counselor of the Year?

It was a great surprise, and a huge honor! The best memory is walking into the principal's office with so many of my colleagues and students there to greet me and congratulate me. If you've seen the pictures and videos, I think I facial expression explains it all! Haha! 
Seriously though, it was such a validating moment knowing all of these people who I work with value the work that I do. In addition to that moment, I was able to address over 400 school counselors at our annual school counselor leadership conference for San Diego and I was featured on a morning segment for KUSI news as well.  I feel like the "Miss America" of the school counseling world. I was scheduled to tour around the county and advocate for school counseling before the COVID19 protocols were put into place.  We were told that there would be other events in the future to attend to speak on behalf of school counseling. ("We" refers to Lysabeth and another counselor, Edward Gigliotti, who was selected as the K - 8 representative.) It's a great platform to be able to advocate for the great work school counselors do.

What else can I tell you about Lysabeth and the work that she does? Lysabeth and I have been members of the same committees, namely the Sweetwater District Magkaisa Filipino-American Student and Parent Conference committee and the Sweetwater Filipino Educator Karangalan Scholarship committee for many years.  The Sweetwater District has around four thousand Filipino-American students enrolled, making our students the second largest ethnicity. The first Magkaisa conference was held in 2001. It came about as a response to the growing concern towards our Filipino-American students having mental health issues and stress associated with generational parenting styles and expectations. 

At that time, many of our students were experiencing suicidal ideation. Sadly, they still do today. The Magkaisa conference is something unique to the Sweetwater District and students from neighboring districts are also invited to attend.  This conference is generally held on a Saturday and attendance has been upwards of two thousand students and parents. Along with parenting workshops, parents and students are also exposed to career and college presentations from local universities and community members.  Lysabeth has been the chairperson of the conference and a mainstay member of committee since its inception.  Being the organizer of such a large-scale event is no easy feat, especially when many of the supplies needed rely solely on donations and recruiting speakers for the presentations depend mostly on the community connections and relationships built over the years. The conference has been an excellent activity for our students and parents because of Lysabeth's involvement.

In addition, Lysabeth has been the chairperson and a committee member of the Filipino Educator Karangalan Scholarship Committee for just as many years. Recognizing that although Filipino-American students may be able to get into college, funding tuition may be difficult for the families. The purpose of the scholarship is to help aid families with the further goal of raising the retention rate of Filipino-American students graduating from college. As the Karangalan chairperson, she has had the responsibility of facilitating the process of soliciting donations, publicizing the scholarship to qualified applicants, reading the applications, selecting winners throughout the district and presenting scholarships.  This is another example of how Lysabeth gives back to students and their families.  Furthermore, much credit goes to her technology savviness as she has been the webmaster and social media manager for both the Magkaisa Conference and the Karangalan Scholarship.  

Yes, technically she is an academic school counselor but her specific work in recognizing the social-emotional needs of students is especially deserving of acknowledgement. Lysabeth is kind, caring and compassionate and genuine in her interactions with her students and families. That Sweetwater High School students see someone at their school who lived in the area, attended the same high school, went on to higher education, and has been able to achieve success in so many areas is so inspiring! It is a bonus that our Filipino students see someone who looks like them. 

Along with her work responsibilities, Lysabeth is a devoted daughter to her aging parents, a loving and caring spouse and mother of two boys.  She is one of the most giving, selfless, and tireless people I know. I admire her humility and her tremendous effort to give credit to others. She is not only a Super Counselor but indeed a Super Human. I am proud to call Lysabeth Luansing-Garcia my professional peer, my colleague, and my friend.  My life has been enriched with her in it.   I get to spend time with her at work-related events and also at social events through the world of blogging!  Our families even met up for dinner in Manila, Philippines at Christmas time a couple of years ago! I know she is going to be a great ambassador for high school counselors this year! Many Many Congratulations to Lysabeth!

Find Lysabeth on these pages and in videos that she is featured in:


The Filipino American Blogger Network

The Filipino American Woman - Lysabeth Luansing


Total Mom Makeover - Lysabeth Luansing

Connect with her on:
Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, and gmail: @lovelylysa
Facebook at GarciaMemoriesSD!
Thank you Lysabeth for all you do!
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