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Sunday, April 24, 2016

DIY: Create your own design on Terra Cotta Pots

I picked up a new terra cotta pot from Daiso to put my cactus in.

moon, cactus, terra, cotta, pot

But it looked a little boring to me so I decided to paint the terra cotta pot with some acrylic paint. I used some tape with cat images on it that I picked up at an airport in Taipei in order to keep the design clean.
terra, cotta, pot, design, cat, tape, cactus, moon

Then I just painted away!!

DIY, design, pot, acrylic, planter, terra cotta, cactus

And here is the finished result sitting on my porch. It looks quite lovely and it was such a simple project to do.

terra cotta, pot, planter, DIY, Moon, cactus

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Happy Earth Day!

I thought this would be a fitting day to post about my new interest in PLANTS. Yes, I have become a crazy plant lady. My interest started when I saw an IG photo of my friend's new place. The furniture was very modern, clean, and simple. Usually, modern furniture can create this feeling that a home has a lack of warmth...but it didn't feel that way when I looked at her place and that is because she had plants!

I started off with a Half Moon Cactus and Aloe Vera plant from Wal-mart. I also picked up some soil and planted a garlic clove as well. My end goal at the beginning of my plant journey was to be able to grow food that I could use in cooking, but that was very intimidating for me as my radish plant is not doing too well right now and I thought I should take baby steps.

From left: Moon Cactus, Garlic Clove, Aloe Vera

I also wanted to have plants that I could decorate my place with and would be easy to take care of... so of course, I jumped on the succulent boat. I had heard from my friend that I could get very cheap succulents from the Goldenwest College Swapmeet in Huntington Beach. So I made my way over and picked up 6 succulents for 5 dollars! They had such a large variety... and the cheapest prices I've seen so far.

My New Succulents!

I was able to get some cheap pots from Daiso and I was able to fit all my succulents in them. 

I also went to Lowe's and discovered this thing called the clearance section and picked up 2 house plants, a Peace Lily and a Dieffen Bachia.

Peace Lily Plant

Dieffen Bachia

This is when I realized that I had a plant problem. It didn't help that we had green day at work and they gave succulents away!
My newest succulent!

 Still on my list is 1) to learn how to propagate succulents 2) buy a large indoor plant for my apartment, 3) learn to plant herbs.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Favorite Links for Thursday

I found a couple interesting things today while I was surfing the web:

First, let's continue with the theme of women needing to be BAD ASS as possible with this video I found from Remezcla:

These girls are 15 or younger... they are already bad ass and when they become older... I hope they will be even more bad ass. 

The second link I have for you is about a penguin and a man...and it is about the cutest story ever. Please read about it here.

My last link is something that I found very interesting. It is from VICE and it is a documentary series called Gaycation that stars Ellen Page and her friend Ian Daniel. The first episode explores homosexuality in Japan.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Happy International Women's Day

Happy International Women's Day! Today, I am proud to be a woman in the engineering field because throughout my life I doubted my abilities.. questioned whether I was smart enough to be an engineer ... felt this constant anxiety because I felt that people chose not to listen to my solutions and opinions because I was a girl. BUT I have pushed through those doubts and will continue to do so as I continue my career in aerospace engineering and encourage women everywhere to do the same: Prove all the doubters wrong.

I would like to share an excerpt of Michelle Obama's speech today on CNN that struck a chord with me because I could relate to:
"Move beyond the "doubters"...There were some teachers that I ran into who doubted that a girl like me -- a black girl from the south side of Chicago -- should apply to Princeton or could get into Harvard. As I told those girls in Cambodia, our job is to push past those doubters and to find those caring adults that see the positive in us because they are out there. Because for all the people that told me I couldn't do it, I had parents who believed deeply in my ability to do whatever I wanted to do. I'm passionate about this because I truly see myself in these girls -- in their hunger, in their burning determination to rise above their circumstances and reach for something more. And I know that many of you do, too."  - CNN
Here is a picture of my coworkers and I celebrating Engineer's Week. To me International Women's Day is not only about being a woman, but it is about struggle and overcoming adversities beyond our control whether that may be a result of being a woman, a minority, coming from a low income household, or not being listened to because you are considered "too young' to know anything. Diversity is what makes great teams and I am glad that I am working alongside people of different races, minorities, sexes, ages, and backgrounds.

No matter where or what you BRAVE, take chances, make mistakes... these are the keys to success. And with that I leave you with an inspirational TED talk:

Sunday, March 6, 2016

My Version of Mango Lassi

Guys, I gained weight about a month ago... probably around 6-8 pounds. I started exercising, but felt very discouraged after I started gaining even more weight. My pants were so uncomfortable when I would sit that I would need to unbutton them. Usually, I am not a dieter or someone who would pay for memberships at expensive exercise joints...but when I realized that it would cost more for me to buy a bunch of new clothes (work pants, jeans, skirts, shorts) I decided to change the way I eat and exercise. This included counting calories (tear*) and exercising so I could eat and not starve myself. I started going back to spin, yoga, including runing/walking like I usually did when I first realized I gain a bunch of weight, but didn't see results at first. So I got a groupon for Bar Method and it gave me an unlimited month of classes. I attended twice a week and those classes kicked my butt.

 After a month of going to Bar Method twice a week (as well as including spinning, yoga, running/walking in my workouts) and eating better, I started to see a great difference. I didn't have a six pack, but my arms and abs looked a lot more toned than it use to be. Eating wise.. I maintained around a 1200 calorie diet (with exercising I ate around 1600 calories) using MyFitnessPal. This does not mean I starved myself.. except that one time I decided to eat ice cream for dinner! Wahh...never again. I've had Korean BBQ, but instead of eating it with rice...I went for a salad. So it's not about depriving yourself, but making better choices. So far I am down 5 lbs. I am definitely motivated! I've bought another groupon for Barre Releve and am thinking about getting a yoga one.

I have digressed too much, but I wanted to share with you a new smoothie recipe I discovered and actually enjoy. It is about 245 calories and pretty filling. It has probitotics in it, which is good for the tummy. If you like yogurty tasting drinks..(without the thickness of it) this will be the drink for you.

M A N G O   L A S S I    S M O O T H I E
Serving: 1 Time: 5 minutes or less


10-11 pieces of frozen mango
1/3 C of lowfat 1% Plain Kefir Unsweetened
1/2 C of 2% milk
1 TB or less of agave (put this last and to your preference)
1 tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of vanilla extract

1. Place all the ingredient except the agave in a blender and blend until smooth
2. Add agave to your taste preference. If you like it just the way it is, then even better (less calories and less sugar in your body!)

smoothie, kefir, mango, lassi

This has been my go to smoothie lately... you can experiment with adding different fruits, but I have been craving mango as of late. They have flavored Kefir which I was advised not to buy because of the amount of sugar added to it. And if you are wondering what kefir is... read here. I buy mine at Trader Joe's. If you try it, I hope you enjoy it as much as me!

Are you into crime and mystery stories?

Because I definitely am... Jinx, Making of a Murderer, Dateline... are all shows/series I got hooked on. I first heard about Robert Avery on NPR actually... you can listen here. It is crazy how his story became so popular after the netlflix documentary of Making of a Murderer.

While driving home from work.. I was listening to NPR All Things Considered and came across a story called Missing: The Search For A Sister In China. It is about a Big Sister looking for her sister who has been missing for two years. She contacts Frank Langfitt to help her find her sister. The story is really interesting in the sense that even though this was a person you are related to and grew up with... her life was somewhat of a mystery. Take a listen if you get a chance. 

What do you think happened to Little Sister? You can find a link to the story here.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

How to Make Lemongrass Tea

As my friend and I headed to our cars after an evening of Bar Method, she pulls out a big bag of lemongrass from her trunk to give to me. Even though I knew my mom would stuff lemongrass in chicken when she cooked it.. I had no other idea what I could do with lemongrass.

Then I remembered my vacation in Thailand last November and our trek through the humidity to find our hotel.... we were greeted by hotel staff with a glass of cold lemongrass tea. It was so refreshing. So I began to do research about making this tea and it seemed fairly easy. 

L E M O N G R A S S    T E A
Servings: 2-3 Time: 6-10 minutes

8 cups of water
4-6 stalks of lemongrass 
1 tsp of agave per cup (really it is to your preference of sweetness)
Small piece of peeled ginger (optional)
1 Cinnamon stick (optional)

1. Rinse the lemon grass
2. Either cut or fold/tie them enough that they are able to fit and stay in the pot that you are boiling them in...something like this:

lemongrass, boiling, tea, thailand, drink, how to

3. Fill a pot with 8 cups of water and add the lemongrass, ginger, and cinnamon stick
4. Turn on the heat
5. Once it starts boiling, wait 5 minutes (lemongrass aromas will fill your house) and turn off the heat.
6. Pick out the lemongrass, cinnamon stick and ginger
7. Pour into a cup and add agave (you can add ice or put it in the fridge if you want to have it cold).

lemongrass, tea, drink, refreshing, thailand

Sit back and enjoy that lemongrass tea!