… is having a loaner camera and lens to use, which makes it possible for me to share this short photo list with you.

Happiness is spending time with adorable little girls …

ivoryhut happiness

… and goofy young boys.

ivoryhut happiness

Happiness is furniture rental to help you feel like you’re home …

ivoryhut happiness

… and finally being able to set a place on a table.

ivoryhut happiness

Happiness is morning rain …

ivoryhut happiness

… and barn cats that come up to the porch to greet you.

ivoryhut happiness

Happiness is a view without power lines …

ivoryhut happiness

… and watching the fog settle around you.

ivoryhut happiness

And happiness is finding a photo I uploaded to Flickr two years ago …

ivoryhut happiness

… and getting to celebrate another anniversary with my husband tomorrow.


51 Responses to Happiness
  1. Jun Belen
    September 20, 2010 | 12:41 pm

    Wonderful photos. Best of luck in moving forward. And happy anniversary!

  2. Amber
    September 20, 2010 | 12:47 pm

    Happy Anniversary, Erika. They’ve settled you into a beautiful place that I hope will help you heal and move forward. Sending you big hugs, sweetheart.

  3. Terri
    September 20, 2010 | 12:48 pm

    many small but wonderful things to celebrate!

  4. Paula
    September 20, 2010 | 12:50 pm

    Happy Anniversary to you and your husband Erika! Happiness is viewing your photos and seeing that you are moving forward with such grace and positivity. Continued best wishes.

  5. Karin van D.
    September 20, 2010 | 12:54 pm

    Beautiful post, gorgeous pictures. Happy anniversary to you and your husband and thank you for sharing all this with us. x

  6. Wendi @ Bon Appetit Hon
    September 20, 2010 | 1:01 pm

    Those are wonderful reasons to be happy. Seeing a new post here made my day a little happier.

    September 20, 2010 | 1:07 pm

    Erika ~

    You just don’t know how much this fills my spirit – am so happy to read this post, see those beautiful pictures and celebrate your anniversary with you. Am thanking God for your family, your life, your spirit. Keep posting – we’re here. Hugs!

  8. Kristen
    September 20, 2010 | 1:13 pm

    Happy anniversary – you have so much to be thankful for and it is amazing how you can see the sunshine despite all the fog right now. Hugs :)

  9. Nancy@acommunaltable
    September 20, 2010 | 1:14 pm

    WOO HOO!! What a beautiful spot!! I am so glad that you’ve got some momentum going!!! Hopefully things are getting a bit easier for you and your family – have a wonderful anniversary!

  10. Barbara | VinoLuciStyle
    September 20, 2010 | 1:15 pm

    Happy Anniversary Erika, but more importantly…Happy Life. I know you’ve lost a lot but your spirit shows such promise of more good things to come.

  11. Brian @ A Thought For Food
    September 20, 2010 | 1:15 pm

    HAPPY HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! What a beautiful post! So simple and thoughtful.

  12. Tracy
    September 20, 2010 | 1:15 pm

    Happy anniversary, Erika! Thank you for sharing all of those lovely photos. I’m so glad that you are all finding a new normal. Sending lots of love! <3

  13. Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite
    September 20, 2010 | 1:17 pm

    What a beautiful post Erika. You are a rare and special spirit. We could all learn something from your approach the the events of recent weeks.

  14. Jenny Flake
    September 20, 2010 | 1:18 pm

    Beautiful Erika! What a touching and gorgeous post. Happy Anniversary to you and your husband!

  15. Prerna@IndianSimmer
    September 20, 2010 | 1:19 pm

    Aww! That’s such a cute post. There’s so much happiness all around us and we still look for it. Your post just made me go pick my daughter from the day care and call my husband back home :-(
    BTW do you live closer to heaven? Your house is so beautiful :-)

  16. Robyn
    September 20, 2010 | 1:20 pm

    Happy Anniversary Erika. What a beautiful post of items to be thankful. What a gorgeous place you are getting settled into.

  17. Liam O'Malley
    September 20, 2010 | 1:21 pm

    Happy Anniversary! Wherever you’re staying right now is gorgeous.

  18. Diana
    September 20, 2010 | 1:27 pm

    This just warmed my spirits. Sometimes the joy of simle things means the most. May you have a wonderful anniversary.

  19. alice
    September 20, 2010 | 1:32 pm

    I’m happy because you’re happy. Beautiful pictures and post.


  20. Souffle Bombay
    September 20, 2010 | 2:18 pm

    Your post brought a smile to my face!
    Happiness is love, happiness is family and you have both! Happy Anniversary, so good to see photos from you!!

  21. caryl
    September 20, 2010 | 2:58 pm

    Beautiful. Words and photos.

    You don’t know me, but I’ve heard a lot about you- mostly through Jennifer (Bread and Putter). You all have such a lovely and supportive online community I felt inspired to contribute to the fund drive for you.

    Also- I’m human. What a horrific thing to have happen to you and your family. How could I not help out? But you’ve had an incredibly positive attitude throughout so in a way, you’ve given me more. Really- finding that silver lining is something we should all do every day.


  22. Amy
    September 20, 2010 | 3:08 pm

    Beautiful Erika. So happy for y’all. Enjoy your anniversary – congrats on another year!

  23. Joy | Gourmeted
    September 20, 2010 | 3:14 pm

    Beautiful photos. More happiness to you and your family. And happy anniversary!

  24. Cookin' Canuck
    September 20, 2010 | 3:27 pm

    What a lovely post, Erika. You are a woman with such a generous and positive spirit. Happy Anniversary to you and your husband – I’m glad you are able to be together, despite the difficult circumstances.

  25. Baking is my Zen
    September 20, 2010 | 3:30 pm

    …as you find Happiness, it’s there to greet you.
    Beautiful photos Erika!

    Have a wonderful, love filled day tomorrow with your hubby! Happy Anniversary!


  26. Kamran Siddiqi
    September 20, 2010 | 3:36 pm

    Your happiness brings happiness to my day! Thank you for sharing such lovely posts. If you need anything- don’t be afraid to email/DM me. I have a new number too- I’ll email it to you! :)

  27. baahar
    September 20, 2010 | 3:44 pm

    What a wonderful post and photos :) Thanks a lot for sharing.

  28. carrie @ gingerlemongirl.com
    September 20, 2010 | 3:53 pm

    Wow. I’m so blown away by your grace through the midst of tragedy. This is just absolutely lovely!

  29. Malou Arevalo
    September 20, 2010 | 4:10 pm

    Happy anniversary! It’s so inspiring how you’re dealing with your recent losses! Thank you so much!

  30. Rocky Mountain Woman
    September 20, 2010 | 4:11 pm

    Happy anniversary!

  31. Sharon
    September 20, 2010 | 4:39 pm

    As a young mother & fellow fil-am, you inspire me in many ways! Happy Anniversary to you & your husband! Wishing you both many more tomorrows!

  32. Wenderly
    September 20, 2010 | 5:02 pm

    Happy Anniversary to you and yours. Love to see the rays of golden sunshine permeate through into the new todays…

  33. Nicole
    September 20, 2010 | 6:01 pm

    Awesome! Hope you have a Happy Anniversary and that things keep getting better for you…

  34. leslie h (in MD)
    September 20, 2010 | 7:55 pm

    What a positive outlook! Happy Anniversary!!!!

  35. linda
    September 20, 2010 | 7:57 pm

    ah. so glad you’re happy. good luck and a good marriage with good children!! it’s a good day!

  36. Kanniduba
    September 20, 2010 | 9:02 pm

    Happy Anniversary my dear Ivory. :)

  37. brc
    September 20, 2010 | 11:40 pm

    Your photography talent has always amazed me. It warms my heart to see you shooting again. Your grace in the face of catastrophe truly inspires me. I hope you and your husband have a very happy anniversary.

  38. CKay
    September 21, 2010 | 11:19 am

    Happy Anniversary!
    Hugs to you and yours!

  39. Bob M
    September 21, 2010 | 1:37 pm

    A Very Happy Anniverary Too Ha!!!!
    Take Care! All The BEST!

  40. Trisha
    September 21, 2010 | 4:47 pm

    Happy Anniversary! You have such an adorable and loving family & no tragedy can ever tarnish that! All hugs & love to you hun!

  41. Katherine
    September 21, 2010 | 5:01 pm

    Happy anniversary to you and your husband Erika. I hope you two like a long and happy life together. With eveyrhing you two have been through, you truly I inspire people to be happy with what they have. Gorgeous photos. You have truly mad my day. Thank you…

  42. Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef
    September 21, 2010 | 8:33 pm

    happy anniversary! i love your positivity. it’s so refreshing.

  43. Linda
    September 21, 2010 | 9:45 pm

    Happy Anniversary to you, continued blessings

  44. Serena
    September 22, 2010 | 4:19 am

    Happy Anniversary to you both!!

    A beautiful array of images certainly makes one feel happy ~ :)

  45. Spruce Hill
    September 23, 2010 | 3:59 pm

    I love this post. So happy you are settling in! Happy anniversary.

  46. marla {family fresh cooking}
    September 24, 2010 | 9:30 pm

    Oh tears….happy ones. It is wonderful to watch you guys get your lives back. I am so sorry about the tragedy that struck you-but love, smiles, commitment & hard work seem to be paying off. These photos are just beautiful! xo

  47. Kiran
    September 28, 2010 | 1:20 pm

    Happy Anniversary and god bless you & your family in this trying time.

  48. Deanna
    September 28, 2010 | 4:09 pm

    I’ve been gone for a while and everything fell apart, but so glad to see things are coming together and that you have a camera to use. You’re in my thoughts! Happy Belated Anniversary!

  49. Elise
    October 1, 2010 | 7:07 pm

    Beautiful photos Erika! I especially love the rain on the house deck. Love the light. Happy anniversary too!

  50. Melanie
    October 3, 2010 | 8:06 pm

    Happy Anniversary!

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about me

I write, cook, play music, and make pictures. Not necessarily in that order. I was born and raised in the Philippines, and it shows. That means I eat rice with every meal, love my cousins like my own siblings, and firmly believe that avocados are best eaten with cream and sugar.

If you want to learn more about me, here are 43 things I'd like to do. Here's a little something about my name, in case you were wondering. Here are some other places you'll find me:

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The Ivory Hut: My Quick and Easy Chicken Adobo

Chicken adobo is the Filipino dish most people are familiar with. Here's my quick and easy version that requires minimal prep work and only one pan. Perfect for busy weeknights.

The Ivory Hut: Homemade Nutella Baking Chips

Yes, I made my own chocolate chips. Nutella chocolate chips, to be exact. Then I made cookies. Lots of cookies.

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One summer night in 2010, our house burned to the ground and we lost everything we had. This is the story of what happened and how life and hope can always rise from ashes.