Blueroselady's Weblog

I wish you abundant happiness, health & wealth

Posts Tagged ‘frugal

Decluttering in autumn 2013

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I love to remove clutters (declutter),
it cleans my physical, spiritual, and emotional life.

Decluttering allows us to realize that life is full of delightful treasures, if we take a moment to look around.

Cool stuff:
# DNA-based computers. Leonard Adleman.
# Self-tracking / health-tracking devices. Up wristband.
# portfolio career.
# What heals the soul, heals the mind and body as well.

Interesting quotes:
# Time is most definitely a thief.
Questions: What is the longest yet the shortest? What is the fastest yet the slowest?
Answer: TIME

Useful tips:
# Be careful! Over use of medication (e.g. paracetamol), either intentionally or accidentally, may damage liver.
# To fight pimples and minimize scar, I have used tea tree oil and aloe vera.
# Try to move after sitting for 45 minutes, e.g. while travelling on long-distance flight. In terms of radiation, 7 hour flight ~= an X-ray session.

Inspiring people:
# Bernie S. Siegel
# Christine Ong of UBS Wealth Management Singapore
# Reene Ho-Phang

Some random muses and reflections …

@~@ On life
An event that at first seem to be unfortunate / undesirable may actually provide surprising advantages, e.g. autumn 2007 (that affects the next 7 years).

@~@ On being unique
It is a great thing to be unique or different.
The grown ups often tell any kid (e.g. a 6 year old) that it is great to be yourself.
Be unique.
However, the goal of many grown-ups in life is to fit in.

@~@ On career
A career for life vs portfolio careers.

@~@ On gifts
Some people (e.g. KS) value expensive gifts. In case of KS, he acknowledged the hardship in his early life.
Some people (e.g. KF) value heartfelt letter of appreciation much more than expensive gifts. Possibly, people who are relatively richer than me in material wealth and assume leadership roles (e.g. my direct boss in 2013) have similar perspectives as KF does.

@~@ On travel destinations
Some destinations wow me and are perhaps best to be visited once over a short period of time (instead of residing there) in entire life, due to extreme weather conditions or high living expenses. For example, Cappadocia and Antarctica.

What’s next?
# Deal constructively with criticism. Give constructive criticism.
# What are you going to do for the rest of your life? (A question I wrote in a note taken in Switzerland)
# DO, don’t dream.

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Written by blueroselady

November 16, 2013 at 2:09 pm

Is it safe to eat expired egg?

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November 2013: I forgot to finish our egg.

Livestrong.com : When stored properly, fresh shell eggs are safe to be consumed 4 to 5 weeks beyond the carton’s date of package.

Check if your eggs are still looking good in appearance, no bad smell.
When it smells toss it
when it’s runny toss it
when you suspect toss it

Some molds can slowly penetrate through the shell and cause dark spots to grow even inside the white and yolk. Eating a moldy egg will likely not pose any serious threat to your health, as the fungus will die from stomach acid, except those with mold allergy.

Salmonella can grow both in the yolk and white, which is why the USDA advises people not to eat raw or undercooked eggs.

Fully cook the expired egg.

Final advice: Ensure our priorities are right.
Safety and health above frugality.

Written by blueroselady

November 10, 2013 at 4:37 am

Posted in food, health

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Where else besides restaurants and hawker centers can we eat in Singapore? Someone’s home through PlateCulture

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I used to be adventurous in my food consumption: gulping everything edible (though I am not highly carnivorous) until my pregnancy, confinement and breastfeeding restrict my choices of food. Please don’t get me wrong.

These experiences (that I am grateful of) have widen my horizons and allowed me to embrace a new passion in food, its benefits on health, and simple cooking. I even take a course on cooking for children from Coursera.

These days, I love home-cooked meals.
I also try to minimize eating MSG-infested food served in restaurants and (some) hawker centers.
Sometimes, I feel thirsty after dining in some restaurants / food courts / hawker centers. Have I become so sensitive to MSG and excess salt?

Now, I choose to savor (instead of hastily consume like in the past) my food and constantly learn creative ways related to food and health.

Recently, I learned about PlateCulture through Anh-Minh Do of Tech in Asia. PlateCulture, a Malalysian-based start-up (founded by Audra Pakalnyte and Reda Štarė of Lithuania), is like Homedine in US and Cookening in Europe.

So, I started browsing the hosts listed by PlateCulture.

I am particularly interested by Healthy Chinese Food with Herbs hosted by Sara K of Damansara, Kuala Lumpur. Like Sara, I love pandan leaves and ginger.

Here are 4 inspirations from her (mixed with my past experience):
(1) I plan to incorporate traditional Chinese medicine principles into my cooking.
For example,
On a hot day, have a bowl of green bean soup.
On a cold day, have a bowl of red / azuki bean soup.
(2) Freshly squeezed orange juice with no water or sugar added, is indeed a simple pleasure of life.

(3) I often cook steamed fish (salmon with sesame oil or white fish with ginger), perhaps I should also try cooking foil-wrapped steam herbal chicken.

(4) Sara wrote "Dinner at home is often accompanied with relaxing traditional/new-age music with aromatherapy". Sometimes I do listen to classical music while enjoying my simple home cooked dinner, perhaps I should try traditional / new-age music too.

For PlateCulture-listed kitchens in Singapore (as of October 2013), the cost ranges from SGD 30-70 per person, which is quite expensive for our standard.

Normally, we will only spend around $15-$20 per person on our once-a-week restaurant dining. Sometimes, we are pretty happy eating at shop houses without air conditioner, and it costs us only $5++ (less than $10) per person. Many times, my husband and I will share a cup of coffee.
I do not care if people say that I am cheapskate, we do so simply because I could not take too much caffeine (but I love coffee!);
it is more about one of my values of being frugal and sustainable (environmentally friendly and not wasteful).

Of course, I understand that home kitchens (like those promoted by PlateCulture) are not professionally run restaurants. It is the interactions with the hosts and the newly formed relationships that matters, which are absence from dining in restaurants.

I really look forward to more affordable home dining experience in Singapore offered by PlateCulture!

Written by blueroselady

October 9, 2013 at 6:37 am

First Monday of 2013

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Breakfast:
Cadburry chocolate milk. I added fresh milk.
strawberry yoghurt.
home-cooked luo han guo drink : a healthier substitute of sugar.
steamed egg with anchovies.

Brunch: chicken essence.

Lunch:
Fish&co
Grilled cod with black pepper sauce (I thought I was getting rice with vegetables as advertised, but I got mash potatoes)
Mushroom soup.
Orange juice.
Ice cream.
Listening to voice notes from my inspiring mentor NH on how to overcome fear.

Tea break:
Char Siew bread.
Shiroi Koibito / White Lover.
Walnut drink.
Steamed vegetable with olive oil.

Dinner:
Home-cooked dinner by Mom.

How to spend less $?
Dining at lunch time.
Dining on weekdays instead of weekend.
Beware that some promotional items may be less than the normal.

Activities:
@~@ Revised my notes from reading over 100 books in 2012.
@~@ Did shopping at Popular and Daiso. Less crowd means less stress.
@~@ Talked to Dad and Moms.

Very HOT. 35 degree C.
I put my hat off to those who work outdoor e.g. Construction workers. They risk sunburn and dehydration. Thank you!

Written by blueroselady

January 7, 2013 at 1:34 pm

Christmas 2012: I think I am a geek

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While people are in the mood of celebrating Christmas and New Year, I am finding myself to be more motivated and hardworking than ever.

I had shopped for Christmas gifts early (I did it simultaneously when I shopped for groceries and there were sales / discounts). No last minute shopping for me. Thank you for the new bag and book for my Christmas gifts!

I am learning to forgive my boss who is dragging me down. He is slowing the progress of my work. I am also learning about patience.

Due to medical reason, I am not allowed by my doctor (and mother) to go out (including to go to my workplace, church). Fortunately, I can still work using my laptop, read, reflect and think. Pretty happy.

Counting my blessings:
@~@ Finished reading and understanding a couple of books.
@~@ Have consulted and learned from my mentors more than in 2011: the super kind MT, Uncle Zhou, Aunt Ning, Aunt SQ (Dec), Uncle Toni, Uncle Roger (Nov), Brother Adam, Brother Tim.
@~@ Planned for the education of LS and obtained the approval from the father of LS. See pink 2012 notebook page 51.
@~@ Reflected on my lessons (Always remember that there are no absolute failures, but temporary setbacks), past achievements (e.g. PhD), and future plans (including being a business-owner entrepreneur, an agent of positive change).

An important lesson:
Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.

@~@ Have fed myself with positive food for mind and soul (almost daily and every morning). This is highly important because the Russian psychologist Blyuma Zeigarnik discovered early in this century that human beings remember unresolved problems, frustrations, failures, and rejections much better than we remember our successes and completions.
@~@ Being hugged every morning and night by my man. Tips: Women need to be loved, men need to be respected.
@~@ Sent personalized Christmas cards to my friends.
@~@ Ate Shepherd pie and banana pear yoghurt for the breakfast on Christmas Eve. Shepherd pie reminds me on cold and wet England in the winter.
@~@ No need to spend time on commuting means I can sleep more.
@~@ Delivered an almost 90-minute of talk (based on my notes from books I read in 2012) to LS, with breaks in between. Tired. I must train my stamina because I will deliver more inspiring talks in the future. See books2012.txt
@~@ Dressed up myself on Christmas day, though I could not wear my engagement ring (hopefully for temporary). I love the progress of applying make-up, transforming myself into more beautiful than ever.
@~@ Clean flat (since Dec 23rd) thanks to the cleaning lady. We are sleeping on my favorite bed sheets with the pattern of pink flowers and purple leaves. So far, we only have 3 bed sheets.
@~@ Not being able to attend a Christmas mass, I listened to "On Eagle’s Wings". Always remember that "He will raise you up on eagle’s wings".

@~@ Listened to the songs by Mindy Gledhill. Gothic. Soothing. Fairy Tales.

Finally, Merry Christmas to the readers of Blueroselady. I love you!

Written by blueroselady

December 25, 2012 at 8:54 pm

Tips to maintain refrigerators

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1. fill up our refrigerators. Empty refrigerators have more air that warms up when the doors are opened, so empty refrigerators need to spend more energy to cool down.
2. Do not open refrigerator door for too long.
3. Put frequently-used items near the front of each shelf for easy reaching. Be organized.
4. Allow hot food to cool before putting them into refrigerator.
5. Keep refrigerator level so the doors can close tightly.
6. check door seals / gaskets regularly for damage. Escape of cold air wastes energy, electrical bill.

Written by blueroselady

November 22, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Posted in food

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How to cook and use the remaining for beauty?

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Today, I attended a demo on how to cook mushroom alfredo fettuccine and water melon salad.

Though I do not plan to prepare those 2 dishes (because the preparation steps are too many for me), I learned useful tips.

To prevent the lost of nutrients, cook using small heat.
Do not use big heat or high pressure.

Olive oil is best not cooked, because upon cooking, the anti-oxidant property of olive oil will be lost.
Extra virgin olive oil can also be applied on the navel of little children if they suffer from stomachache.

Mushrooms
Do not wash them upon buying.
Wash them only immediately before cooking.

Garlic and chopped onion
Instead of heating oil then adding garlic into the pan (which may result in the release of water from garlic), we can add garlic to a bowl containing olive oil and incubate them for a while before stir-frying.
Do not over cook garlic as it will lose its anti-oxidant property.

The more you stir, the longer it takes to cook our food because cold air will go in.
Do not stir garlic too much while cooking.
Do not over stir.

Before cooking rice, soak the rice grain in water for 10 min.
This step will let the rice grain to elongate and the rice will be fluffier.

How to remember which vitamins are anti-oxidant?
vitamin A
vitamin C
vitamin E
ACE as of the ACE in the poker card.

If possible, do not use salt and sugar in cooking.

Lemon
To get lemon juice, rub 1st before cutting.
To squeeze, penetrate a fork into a half-cut lemon, move up and down. This will prevent you from muscle ache. No need to spend money on orange squeezer.
Lemon may not be good for facial because it makes our skin becomes more absorptive to UV sunlight, so increases pigmentation.

Blanching is a cooking process wherein the food substance, usually a vegetable or fruit, is plunged into boiling water, removed after a brief, timed interval, and finally plunged into iced water or placed under cold running water (shocked) to halt the cooking process.

The secret of Hong Kong soup:
Instead of putting all ingredients into a pot of water and bring all to boil,
1. blanch vegetables, meat.
2. put them into a pot of boiling water, then brew.

You can also blanch in bicarbonate of soda.
Bicarbonate will soften the outer skin of vegetables, and it is the secret of getting crunchy prawn.
Use the remaining soda on your hand to get smooth skin, e.g. to scrub the elbow skin to improve the flow of Qi.

How to prepare salad leaves?
Do not cut with knife as you may tear the chlorophyll.
Instead, use hand to tear e.g. lettuce.

Pomegranate
How to buy pomegranate? choose the one with 6 cuttings.
How to open pomegranate? soak it in a bowl of iced water (to prevent the oxidation of vitamin C), the fruit skin will float on top and be easy to throw.
How to wash pomegranate-stained apron? use vinegar and salt water.

While you are boiling water, you can steam your face (do facial). Do not forget to apply moisturizer after that.

Cooking can be a relaxing activity.
For me, the most satisfying parts are when I can decorate my food, take photos of them, and when Darling and I are happily eating them.
Honestly, I dislike washing dishes and find preparation takes time, e.g. washing, cutting.
I have tried to outsource washing to my spouse or our cleaning lady.
I have also tried to ask more home-cooked food from my mother in-law.
I am grateful.

In the country where I am living now, there is a high prevalence of colon cancer, so I must include more fiber into the diet of our family.

I am grateful for a free lunch today with blackcurrant drink. I ate many cereal prawns!

Written by blueroselady

November 15, 2012 at 7:09 am