Gardening

Gardening: Seedling Part 1

I started new seed system since last week. I used BURPEE Seed Starting 36-cell version. Just for one week, most seeds started growing up. Here are the progress so far. Very exciting and never get tired of watching them grow.

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After a week

In fact, I want to wake up early to see the progress every morning 🙂

1. Preparation

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Top Left: 36 cells, Top Right: Sponge, Bottom Left: base, Bottom Right: lid

2. Assembly and pour warm water into the 36 cells

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After warm water, soil expanded but some were not equally expanded. Ended up adding additional soil 😛

3. Start placing seeds. Caution: Small seeds need only a small hole for planting. Big seeds will likely need bigger holes for planting, but the big seeds have their own nutrient.

4. Better place this unit under light for indoor harvesting. Then, keep watching for a couple of days. Start seeing some difference. Very exciting to see first plant coming out of a seed.

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This was my first lettuce.

5. Keep growing and harvesting 🙂

Investment

Investment: Stash (smart phone investment)

Now, smart phone investment is becoming very popular. I started investing small amount of money each week on Stash and Acrons since last December. I would like to share the experience for the first month. The iPhone snapshot is the result of first month. Fortunately, it is positive total return so far 🙂

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Starting Stash is very easy.

  1. Download Stash app from App store
  2. Type your personal infomation with one bank account
  3. Invest $5 from your bank account
  4. Answer multiple questions to find out your investment (high risk, moderate risk, conservative risk) You can switch it later.
  5. Start investing!. You can add more stock options, buy more or sell your inverstment money. You can get dividends once a while depending on your selected inverstment.

https://www.stashinvest.com/

The first three months are free. After three months, $1 fee per month for less than $5000. 0.25% for more than $5,000.

Since Trump became the U.S. president, the stock is going up. It is indeed very interesting time to do inverstment. I would like to share how this Stash and Acrons go for this year. I feel that this is better to be long term inverstment with medium amount of money.

Productivity

Productivity: New Year Resolutions after three weeks into 2017

Each year, I try to make plans and goals. At the end of each year, I ask myself, “am I improved this year?” It is hard to quantify my achievements, good, and bad things. This year, I am trying check-box approach. I write down my new year resolutions by itemizing them into 5 categories. Then I distribute sub-tasks over 12 months including easy and hard tasks). Let’s see if I am still on track after three weeks.

  1. Finance/Investment
    • Started two small investments (Stash and Acrons) – DONE
    • Pay car and home loans on time – DONE for January
    • Limit credit card usage – NO (went to a road trip)
  2. Cooking
    • Limit number of eatouts < 10 – GOOD so far 6
    • Start writing receipes and blog posts online – DONE
  3. Gardening
    • Start harvesting vegetables – DONE
    • Start seedling – DONE
  4. Exercise
    • Run 100 km per month – NO (very distracted by snow)
    • go to GYM 3 times a week – NO (only did a few times this month)
    • Start new sports – DONE (golf)
  5. Productivity
    • Blog post count > 30 % (10 posts per month) – Close
    • Automate routine for weekdays and weekends  – NO (need to define routine better)

Result: 7/12 = 58 %

I think I need to improve better and work on more clear definitions for better motivation. I will keep working on this February 🙂

Cooking

Cooking: Benefits from Apple Cider Vinegar

I introduced cheap energy drink with Apple Cider Vinegar before (link). I would like to share the benefits about Apple Cider Vinegar by this cheap solution.

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  1. Whitening your teeth
    • Apple Cider Vinegar is known to remove stains and whiten your teeth. This effect starts showing up after several weeks of drinking the same cheap energy drink introduced in this link.
  2. Help lower high blood pressure
  3. Digest food well
    • Drink about 20 mins before your meal
    • Feel good every morning after drink at night
  4. Get energized
    • Works better with honey in this case
  5. Good to understand what you are drinking with just three items (Water, Apple Cider Vinegar, and Honey) without a lot of overhead
    • This is the simplest solution that I found over years 🙂

First, you might not like the taste of vinegar. After you adjust amount of honey, you will feel comfortable with drinking it twice a day.

One caution is strong pH in Apple Cider Vinegar can hurt your gums. So, I would recommend to use straw most of time 🙂

Events

Events: Chocolate Fest 2017 Jan

This weekend (1/20/2017 – 1/22/2017), there was an annual Chocolate Fest at Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon. The weblink is here. This event is of course fun for chocolate lovers like me. For adults, it’s $15 for general admission. We can do chocolate tastings at most of the exhibitors for free once you enter. This entrance fee truly makes us try to eat $15 worth of chocolates. But we have limits for a day 😛

They have wine tasting for 21+. They have organic and vegetarian chocolates and animals made of chocolates like bears and panda. Kids would love them for sure.

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I tried most of free samples there. I would just list the best chocolate sample and drink!

I think the best chocolate product was

Moonshine Bars by Chocolate Moonshine (https://www.chocolatemoonshine.com/)

  • I loved “MOONSHINER” flavor.Moonshiner The credit for the right picture is Chocolate Moonshine company.

 

The best chocolate drink was Moonstruck + Sunshine chocolate drink

moonstruck drinking chocolate に対する画像結果

Website is here. http://www.sunshinedairyfoods.com/moonstruck/

 

 

 

 

After tasting too many chocolate samples, we needed some salty food and a lot of water to digest chocolates 🙂 Anyway it is once a year event and I am excited to check out new chocolate flavors every year and my mind was filled with chocolates for few hours. I would love to think how to use chocolate for cooking and eating for sure.

Cooking, Gardening

Gardening: Grow Green Onion Part 2

I love to watch green onions grow everyday. I am always amazed how strong they are and they can add unique taste to cooking.

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Here are the steps for growing green onions forever! No need to buy more from grocery stores any more and they are organic at home 🙂

  1. Get a planter and organic soil

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2. Fill soil into the planter

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3. Place green onions that already have their roots grown under water for about one week. Please check Part 1 instruction here about growing green onions under water.

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4. Separate green onions about 2 inches. Finish planting

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5. Pour water every morning. For cooking, keep cutting the green side from the top and leave 2 inches from the bottom for them to keep growing 🙂

Cooking, Gardening

Gardening: Grow Green Onion Part 1

I love watching vegetables grow gradually every day. One easy and strong vegetable is green onion. Here are how I grow green onions.

  1. Cut and leave 3 cm (about 1 inch) short from the root
  2. Place the cut green onions into water and leave them for a couple of days
  3. Change water every day till you see the green onion and roots grow
  4. You can keep growing this way under water. They only last till they run out of nutrient from the roots
  5. Or you can use a planter after you grow roots 🙂

The picture below is after two days. Note that the dark green portion is grown after the green onions were cut for the first time.

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Cooking

Cooking: Cheap Food Processor

I learned that doing prep-work over weekends is very efficient for busy weekday cooking. A cheap food chopper (recommend Brieftons QuickPull Food Chopper in the picture below instead of expensive food processors) is very helpful for cutting vegetables into small pieces. I cut onions into small pieces and don’t need to cry anymore.

  1. Cut vegetables into big pieces first
  2. Place the big pieces of vegetables inside the chopper
  3. close the lid
  4. Pull the string a few times – The more times you pull, the smaller pieces they will be.
  5. Get small pieces out of the chopper and ready for cooking or store them in the ziplog 🙂

One cabinet is a little difficult to clean the blades, but recommend to soak them in water and dry them.

Cooking

Cooking: Preparation

I feel that big overhead for cooking after work is preparation. So, I usually do all prep-work during weekends. For example, I buy cheap ziplock bags at a doller shop and cut veggies and store them in a refrigerator or freezer. This saves a lot of efforts on cooking during weekdays and save time and $$$. Here are the steps.

  1. Get cheap ziplock bags
  2. Cut vegetables, fish and meat
  3. Organize them for one meal in ziplock bags
  4. Store them in refrigerator or freezer
  5. Cook during weekdays without too much overhead 🙂