Book 5- 2014 : The Time Keeper – Mitch Albom

 

thetimekeeper_3dI just LOVE this book. The story line is short and sweet. It involves the life of 3 very different people. And different lifetime I should say. Just like ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’, this Mitch Albom book is full of life lesson that teach you amongst all, the importance of time.

“Man alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour. And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures. A fear of time running out.”
Mitch Albom, The Time Keeper

Unplugged

Recently I have read a bunch of articles with regards to unplugging. It is very ironical how not too long ago we dream of being connected with everything and everyone, and now that we do, we try to unplug. It is definitely not an easy task. And at this time and age, it is not possible to go completely cold turkey.

Staying connected every minute has its own pros and cons, obviously. Since we’re looking at reducing the online time, I am going to focus more on the negative side of it. The few articles I read touched on these few subjects.

  1. The blue light from the screen of ipad/laptop/phone is disrupting to your sleep cycle.

This is quite a big deal for me, because as it is, I have slight ‘issue’ of falling asleep. So I try to limit gadget usage by 8pm and if we’re watching TV, at the latest by 9pm. Then continued by reading books prior to falling asleep. Yes mine is e-reader, but it’s the one without the backlight (Sony E-reader). And I can’t use it if my surrounding is dark, exactly like a book.
In addition, now I will be able to catch up with my reading and be more on track with my goal of 30 book for 2014.

Related : Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card

2.  ‘Do Not Disturb Mode’

Kinda related to no. 1. I leave my phone atso the phone will not vibrate if there’s any phone call or messages or whatsapp or whatnot. And the screen won’t even light up. I’m a light sleeper and vibrations annoy the hell out of me when I’m just thisss close to falling asleep. Cuz I’ll be alert after that and will take me another 15 minutes or so to fall asleep.

3. Saturday Unplugged

I’ve been waking up early on Saturday mornings and go to Starbucks to study. I intend to keep this up, even after my exam. Not to study, of course, but just to go out, read, people-watch, or ‘eavesdrop’ here and there (hey, it’s Starbucks, if you’re not whispering, everyone can hear you). Or you know, just go out and about, and unplug in general. I might even pick up a notebook just to doodle some stuff in. And I figured I could update my Unplug Experiences of the day….

Spending Updates 4 – 10 Apr 2014

Beg. Balance End Balance
Clothing -84.5 -91.5
Entertainment 41 0
Dine Out 31 0
Misc. 40 0

Friday
Coffee – $2
Wine – $16
Snacks – $3
Saturday
Coffee – $2
Sunday
Coffee – $7
Translink – $2.75
Gelato – $4.50
Monday
Lunch – $5
Amazon – podiatrist stuff – $20
Tuesday – No Spend Day
Wednesday
Dinner at HalongBay – $18
Thursday
Duty for ModCloth – $38.75

So for this week, the 2 ‘unusual item’ are my foot stuff and the bloody tax for my online purchase.
I have super flat feet, so my podiatrist recommended me to get this feet contraption of some sort, to be worn at home or at night to adjust my misshapen bone. This is on top of the custom-made orthothics that cost a dubloon. I know I sound grumpy about it, but I do realized that whatever he said might be the cause of my discomfort while I’m walking in my ‘tight’ shoes… The shoes might feel tight, because my feet is crooked, or something like that. Anyhow, so I ordered online to get it… It was slightly cheaper than if I got it from like London Drugs or something. For the exact same thing.
The other one is tax tax tax…. 2 things that’s unavoidable in life are death and taxes… So, there you go. My first experience with ModCloth was that no shipping and no additional tax. Basically what I have to account for is the exchange rate. That was during Christmas, so I guess to encourage holiday spending, ModCloth was having a free shipping event, even for International Purchase. Understandable. Then, I was already prepared to pay for the shipping, BUT definitely not the additional tax payment. I mean, I understand if I have to pay tax, but it caught me off guard, and I didn’t budget for it… So I’m out $40. Sooo not happy about this….
I decided to sort of spread the $40 across multiple categories. Essentially to zero them out. Except of course the clothing budget. But I will have it in the positive soon enough…
Anyway, now I know, and I will think twice or thrice before purchasing anything from Modcloth again… or you know, purchase below $200 to ‘avoid’ taxes.

Overall, though I’m really glad about the purchase. Will update again for the outfit I got!!

 

Fillings for Spring Roll Could Double as a Dish

Fillings for Spring Roll Could Double as a Dish

Yes, that’s right. The way I made it, you can. Let’s start with the ingredient.
I did 2 mung bean noodle, half of russet potato, carrot, green bean, oyster sauce, onion, garlic, ground beef, sesame oil.

Start of soaking the mung bean noodle in hot water. Until the noodle soften a little bit, cut them up into shorter pieces; with scissors are fine.

Then start up the pan with sesame oil, onion and garlic until some kind of nice smell lingers in the air. Then add in the potato and carrot, cut into small cube and then the ground beef. Topped up with a generous amount of oyster sauce. Oyster sauce is very flavourful and salty. There is nothing much you need to add. You could add a dash black pepper and pinch of sugar to bring out the flavours. Then add in the green bean cut into small cylinder. Everything need to be small since you need to wrap them in the spring roll skin.

You can get spring roll wrapping paper from T&T. The one you want to get is usually in the frozen food section or some kind of refrigerated one and slightly yellowish. Made of flour. NOT the rice wrap. Probably less ‘healthy’ but taste more delicious, and easier to make it crispy. Recently we found out that bf can have it, despite it containing wheat (bf is sensitive to gluten)

I think there is about 30-40 pcs of skin in a pack of those wrappers. When I’m not lazy, I actually wrap the filling the way spring roll supposed to be, but the last one what I did was basically put the filling diagonally in the centre and take one end of the skin to the other end, making a triangle. Then fry them (in butter for extra flavouring). Easy peasy…. voila… You don’t have to do a deep fry, I mean it’s better if you have a deep-fry thingy, but otherwise, pan is fine too.

Leftover for the filling is a dish to be served on top of the rice. et voila… Lazy cook at work!

Book 4- 2014 : Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card

EndersGameBookCoverA friend of mine lent this book to my bf like ages ago. It was just sitting there unread, until we went back to my country and he didn’t have much to do but read. He finished the whole series, I believe. So Bf want to watch the movie which is coming out, or already out recently, so I thought I read it first. After reading about 1000 pgs of The Wise Man’s Fear, by Patrick Rothfuss, at 200 pages, Ender’s Game felt like a breeze.

The story line is quite action-packed. Like I told my bf, there are parts where the story line felt a little bit draggy, but overall I enjoyed reading the book. There is something about the story that’s bugging me though, which I can’t quite point a finger at. It might be that the story feel a little bit depressing, and a little bit disturbing, but it could be because the characters are essentially kids. But yea, I have not decided if I want to read the rest of the series. And if you are wondering, the story essentially ‘end’, it does not require you to read the subsequent book to understand the whole story.

 

Below $5 Lunch – Pizza

Below $5 Lunch - Pizza

I mentioned that I do not brown-bag my lunch on Tuesdays. The big part of it is because I need a break from cooking, sort of, and actually eat out. But I do still want to keep the expenses down, so, here is another cheap lunch.

On Tuesdays, pizza store on Dunsmuir, and Georgia I believe, offer a 2 for $4 pizza, and $4.50 including a pop. Both prices are tax inclusive. I mean it is very possible that there are cheaper pizza store on Tuesdays, but this one is in the vicinity of my working place. And I actually enjoyed their pizza. So… yay me, at the very least…

Spending Updates 28 Mar – 3 Apr 2014

Beg. Balance End Balance
Clothing 185.5 -84.5
Entertainment 50 41
Dine Out 50 31
Misc. 50 40

Friday
Modcloth – $270
Saturday
Starbucks  – $3
Sunday
Starbucks – $3
Walmart – Hair care – $10
McD – $7
Monday
Lunch – $7.50
Tuesday
Coffee – $3
Lunch – $4.50
Wednesday – No Spend Day
Thursday – No Spend Day

So I forgot to post the weekly spending. I spent quite a fair bit on ModCloth. Bust my clothing budget. That’s probably why I  ‘accidentally’ forgotten to update. hehhehe..
In my defense (as always), I manage to get about 3 casual dresses, 1 top, 1 skirt, 1 belt and shipping! Man I hate that we’re just across the border from Seattle and cost another $25 for shipping, which was otherwise free. You can get another top for that, at least….
AND my clothing budget would be probably be reloaded by the time the shipping arrived… >.< I will pay off my credit card for this purchase, once I have reloaded the so-called budget. And yes, I did take into account that I can pay off my credit card before the deadline and I will not incur any charges. Responsible shopping baby…

Bought Organix hair oil for my hair. It’s about $2 cheaper in Walmart, as opposed to in London Drugs. Walmart a little bit out of the way though, and I will need to buy transit fare $2.75 for 1 zone weekend…. Unless I buy some other stuff too… Oh well… we’ll see about that later… when it become a problem…

Anyway, I believe there’s no other unusual spending that I have not recorded….