HOME     

Lifestyle Home Improvements City 2 Outdoors Travel Foods Technology FINANCE Contact Us

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Beach is Fun!

Me, preparing to ride the wave
Beach is fun! But maybe, not the sand that we bring home. :) However, no pain, no gain! I will not give up relaxation and fun to avoid cleaning the house from sands. Actually, it's not that bad cleaning the house from sands since the hardest part to clean is only the area rug, the rest of the house, I could use a broom in sweeping off the sand. Cleaning an area rug is not as complicated as cleaning carpet, where homeowners with carpeted flooring usually have to rely on services of professional carpet cleaners such as carpet cleaning concord nc.
Body Surfing

Here is how I sand off our area rug carpet in the living room:
1. First, I vacuum the top part.
2. I then invert the area rug, and then, vacuum the bottom.
3. If I want it washed, I use our old carpet steam cleaner but I use detergent for area rug ( we have carpet steam cleaner since we used to have carpeted floor but we changed the floor to oak laminate) .

I however do not wash the area rug too often since I am afraid the rug will collect mold from wetness, thus I only wash it maybe twice a year. I just vacuum the area rug at least once a week, twice a week in the summer because of our "beach is fun" activities.
Snorkeling

Monday, July 29, 2013

Copying Files from Samsung Galaxy Note 2 to PC and Note 2 Pluses

Panorama of Great Basin National Park Glacier Trail by Samsung Galaxy Note 2 ( taken July 1 )
It has been about 2 months since I shifted from iPhone to Note 2 for various reasons. However, in that 2 months I have not learned how to copy my picture files to my laptop because got too busy. First, the end of the school year always make me busy with grading. 2nd, when summer break started, fun vacation began. When we got back from adventure vacation, summer just got busier at home with wanderings and beach....beach....beach...almost everyday. For such a short period of time ( 2 months), I am afraid with the way I take pictures with my cell phone, my cell phone would run out with memory. Even though one of the many reasons why I shifted to Note 2 is being able to add a Micro SD card to add more memory, but then, I thought of further simplifying by just syncing my pictures to my laptop, something I could easily do with my iPhone with iCloud. 
Wildflowers and Snow in the middle of Summer ( taken July 5), Lee Vining, California

Thankfully, with a little bit research online, I found a way how to copy all my pictures to my laptop without using a USB cable. All I needed is the "WiFi File transfer" apps, which I installed into my cell phone using Play Store. After the Wifi File Transfer App has been installed, all I did was follow the prompts from the app. It went very smoothly and easy. Now, I do not miss iCloud. :)

Here are a few reasons why I upgraded from iPhone 4S to Note 2 and not to iPhone 5:
1. Bigger Screen, yes, I have problems now with vision, the bigger the letters are, the less stress for my eyes. Talk about getting older. :)
2. The screen resolution of Note 2 is far better.
3. Processing speed in Note 2 is much faster. 
4. Note 2 has friendlier Panorama picture where I do not have to crop my panorama picture because of my very unsteady hand, which I always ended up doing with my iPhone before.
5. The burst feature of Note 2, where it is now easier to take pictures in action because we can take pictures in burst, with several frames per second ( I observe like 8 fps).
Action Shot at Low light using Burst Mode of Note 2
( there were about 8 burst shots- before-during-after jump, I chose the above picture )
My only wish is that Note 2 would also have an underwater casing like iPhone so that I could bring it with me when I snorkel sometimes. Yes, I took a lot of underwater pictures before with my iPhone using the Lifeproof Casing, and it performed very well, a lot better than my GoPro underwater camera ( which I no longer use because it failed working already in such a short time ). Now, with my GoPro and iPhone gone, sadly, I could no longer take pictures underwater. I have to simply get contented right now taking picture of tidepool, since I can take picture of what is underwater from above the water, not under during snorkeling.
Tidepool Shot Using Note 2 ( can you see the little fish?)
( again, I used burst shot here since the little fish was swimming very fast )
Now that I have all my Note 2 pictures copied in my laptop, it is easier for me to blog and share cell phone pictures. Though I use mobile blogger, but typing in a regular keyboard is still way better than typing in cell phone. 

Treating Menopausal Symptoms with Safe and Natural Supplements

It is likely that you will make an appointment with your doctor if you need advice or treatment for a new health issue. The doctor will probably order a few tests to determine exactly what the diagnosis is, and will eventually prescribe a medication to treat your problem. While it is wonderful that we have access to competent doctors and proven treatments, many times there are natural supplements that do a better job than prescription medications. One important consideration is the many possible side-effects chemical medications can produce. While there are also possible negative results that natural supplements can cause, they are not as common and less harmful.

One condition that middle aged women face is uncomfortable menopausal symptoms. While these symptoms are far from life-threatening, many women find it difficult to cope with the discomfort. The treatment typically involves hormone replacement therapy, and this treatment is very effective. There are certain risks if the medication is taken over an extended period of time, and breast cancer is probably the most serious threat. A natural approach to treating this natural stage in life is much safer, and some women report it is just as effective as the prescriptions. If you are suffering from hot flashes, irritability and weight gain because of menopause, Wise Woman herbal supplements from OVitaminPro.com could be the answer to your discomfort. Treating your menopausal symptoms with safe and natural supplements makes much more sense than using the artificial hormone treatments usually prescribed by health professionals.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Busy Bee, Happy Beetle and Surprised Caterpilla

Before jumping into the water yesterday for body surfing and swimming, we took some time to have fun with the critters in the gardens @ Balboa Park, photographing them up close with our macro lens. Here were a few of my shots, using my Canon EOS 7d and Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro IS USM Lens.

A. The Busy Bee
Manual Settings: f2.8, 1/2000 seconds, ISO-100, daylight white balance
Manual Settings: f2.8, 1/2000 seconds, ISO-100, daylight white balance
Manual Settings: f2.8, 1/1600 seconds, ISO-100, daylight white balance
Manual Settings: f2.8, 1/1600 seconds, ISO-100, daylight white balance

B. Happy Beetle
Manual Settings: f3.5, 1/1600 seconds, ISO-100, daylight white balance

Manual Settings: f3.5, 1/1600 seconds, ISO-100, daylight white balance
Manual Settings: f3.5, 1/1600 seconds, ISO-100, daylight white balance

C. Surprised Caterpillar
Manual Settings: f2.8, 1/1250 seconds, ISO-100, daylight white balance

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

4 Ways Hard Water Is Making Your Life Worse

Sixty per cent of homes in the UK are affected by an abrasive hard water supply, which occurs when water becomes contaminated with minerals such as calcium and magnesium from its source. Though generally hard water doesn’t affect health, it can cause significant damage to your lifestyle in other ways.
We’ve investigated the top four ways a hard water supply can have a negative impact on your everyday life…

1. Hitting You in the Pocket

A hard water supply is expensive; although limescale deposits on taps and surfaces are unsightly and tough to get rid of, it has its most damaging effect where you can’t see.
Limescale build up in water-using household appliances can result in significantly decreased lifespan so they’ll need to be replaced more frequently. In particular, limescale has been estimated to shorten the lifespan of toilet flushing units by around 30% and of water taps by a massive 60%!
And that’s not the worst of it. Scale build up on the inner walls of the boiler pipes impedes water flow. A 1mm increase in limescale thickness is estimated to reduce energy efficiency by a massive 6%, and in extreme cases can increase energy bills by 25%. If the average UK household heating bill is £587, hard water could be costing you around £150 every year!

This build up can also cause the metal in your boiler to overheat, which commonly results in failure and the need to shell out for costly repairs.

2. Ruining Your Looks

The minerals in hard water can build up to make skin dry and hair dull and brittle.The calcium and magnesium minerals present in hard water builds-up on hair through washing, causing it to be limp and difficult to manage. In some extreme circumstances, it can actually lead to hair loss.
With a little TLC, these negative effects can be reversed, but to get your hair back into good condition, you will need to use a number of lotions and potions, from chelating shampoo to natural remedies like vinegar!

3. Making Extra Cleaning

Everywhere that hard tap water runs in the house (so predominantly in the kitchen and bathroom) is touched by limescale deposits. These are particularly noticeable around plug-holes, on taps and tiles, and on stainless steel and glassware in the kitchen. These deposits can be removed with vinegar, lemon juice, and a bit of elbow grease – but it’s a tough job.

Furthermore, the minerals in hard water mean that it doesn’t react as well with soaps and detergents, so you’ll find that more need to be used to get the same cleaning results.

4. Causes Chaos With Your Cooking

If you’re a fan of beans and lentils, the high levels of magnesium and calcium in hard water react with the already starchy coating, meaning they take ages to soften, and in extreme cases, won’t soften at all. The same effect can sometimes be seen with some veg, too.

If you bake your own bread, you might find that you struggle to get your dough to a high quality - not surprising given that water represents around 40% of dough mass. These effects can usually be reversed by increasing the level of yeast used in the mixture and adding some form of malt supplementation, such as a small amount of vinegar.

You may be thinking ‘so what?’ Well, here’s the kicker… hard water ruins a brew.  Oh yes, when boiled, particles of lime scale characteristic of hard water will float to the top. These particles react with the natural properties in tea and coffee to form a film. Some people also report their tea and coffee has an objectionable taste too.

So there you have it. Four everyday ways that a hard water supply can negatively affect your everyday life. If you suspect hard water is causing you problems, then you may find that installing a water softening system to soften your supply could save you a significant amount of time and money in the long run.

About the Author
This guest blog is written by Ali Raza on behalf of http://ecowater.co.uk/. EcoWater has been selling water softeners since 1925. Visit their site and see wide range of Domestic Water Softeners and also Commercial Water Softeners.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Laswa and Rambutan

What's for dinner tonight? I made laswa, an Ilonggo vegetable dish simply prepared by boiling in very little water mix vegetables that consist of eggplant, okra, bittermelon, alogbate (Vietnamese spinach), squash and long beans. The water is not thrown but serve as the thin soup.
For dessert, we had rambutan!

What is A Lock Washer?

While I was cleaning the house, I saw a lock washer on the floor, and immediately tried to analyze where it may have come from. I am afraid that soon we may find something loose in the house, or some water may be leaking, so I looked closely, especially on the parts where we had some changes lately. We had been doing some home improvements at home, such as changing our faucet and sink, so I checked all plumbing if they all have the lock washers. Thankfully, I am glad to find that the loose lock washer was from our old faucet that was replaced, and that all our new faucets and other pipes at home still have their lock washer.

Anyway, what is a lock washer?

A lock washer is not completely smooth or flat, which is designed to prevent a nut from loosening, placed under the nut on a screw or bolt. For example, most of our faucets have lock washers to avoid water from dripping.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Lobster on The Beach

Found this dead lobster on shore at North Torrey Pines Beach this past weekend.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Student Travel Services

I was preparing our gears for snorkeling and body boarding when a group of teens also started to set up their beach towels next to us. They were talking in different language, not Spanish nor English. They all sounded happy teens, ready to enjoy the beach life. As two of them saw us trying on our snorkeling masks, they asked if they could join us. We smiled at them, and said, "sure! " That opened a conversation, and they told us they are visiting the US through student travel services. They came from the Grand Circle area and had a really grand time, 
and now, they are rewarding themselves with beach fun, and they said they really have a fun time exploring the US West. Looking at them having a fun time of their lives, and also spending a little about them because they asked me a lot of questions when they sea some wildlife such as a passing sea lion, or some fish when we were in the water, I kind of wished I too would have an opportunity someday to explore with a group of young minds maybe as tour leader or tour teacher. Well, for now, I enjoyed some moments spent with them explaining the joy of nature around. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Lychee

Lychee
A friend of mine posted rambutan picture in her Facebook that made me crave for the fruit. However, when I went to the nearest Asian supermarket, there was no rambutan. Instead of rambutan, I saw these lychees selling for $1 a pound! It's a steal, so I bought several pounds. I did not have rambutan, but I was okay with having too much lychee to feast, plus, it is a lot cheaper than rambutan.

Nutritional Information quoted from Wikepedia:

" The lychee contains on average a total 72 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams of fruit. On average nine lychee fruits would meet an adult’s daily recommended Vitamin C requirement. A cup of lychee fruit provides, among other minerals, 14% Daily Value (DV) of copper, 9% DV of phosphorus, and 6% DV of potassium (for a 2000-calorie diet).

Friday, July 12, 2013

Great Tips For Anybody Interested In Home Improvement

Hold your do it yourself projects easy and arranged with the helpful info in this post. You cannot go wrong with making improvements to you home, you merely have to understand the top means to do them so that you can acquire the most out of your cash, and really, who does not have to stretch a dollar nowadays?

When arranging a home renovation by means of your contractor, be truthful about your budget. When many homeowners worry that they'll get ripped off by a contractor if it is known just how much cash they should spend, the truth is that being honest will help you get better results. The contractor is free to plan for improved work and higherquality materials if they understand your true price ceiling.

Instead of buying white towels for the toilet, choose darker colours or patterns. White is a colour that picks up everything and needs continuous bleaching. You can select to get your fingertip towels and washcloths to be one color along with your genuine bath towels to become another color completely. It saves lots of problems when washing and makes your toilet seem a lot cleaner and put together.

You can dramatically raise your house's value by placing in another bath. Two toilets can be quite helpful if they're linked to distinct bedrooms, for example. If you have a big family or even a houseful of visitors, you cannot have a lot of toilets!

A fantastic home improvement tip would be to check out Youtube whenever you strike a problem that is desires repair. There are lots of helpful videos on Youtube.com that will show you the way to repair problems at home. This is often a fantastic method to keep money in your own pocket.

For those who possess the space which is permitted under city ordinances, consider adding an extension to your house. The additional space may be utilized as an office, den or living room. Consider placing a skylight in your addition. These add ons will raise the real value of your house drastically.

Window Replacement in St. Louis, MO 

If the cupboards inside your kitchen are outdated or in bad shape, consider replacing them or resurfacing them before you try to market your house. Kitchen remodels, like replacing cabinets, generally offer a 100-percent yield on what you spend. Kitchens are a huge feature when somebody is seeking to buy a house.

Covering a blot, scrape, broken tile, or any sort of defect on the ground with a cosmetic thing, can be ideal for do it yourself too as quick to do. The defect will vanish from sight, and it'll just take as long as purchasing the decorative item.

If you are enhancing the feel and look of your kitchen by installing a granite countertop, consider individual tiles rather than the single bit slab. Granite slabs of countertop span can really cost as much as $5000, and occasionally much more. Instead, install footlong granite tiles. For the same quantity of space, installing granite tiles will just set you back a couple of hundred bucks.

If you are arranging a major improvement to your house, consider the price of insurance before starting construction. Wood is consistently more expensive to ensure because it's highly flammable. Steel and cement framed constructions will cost less to ensure since they're highly flame retardant. A dialogue with your insurance agent before you start to construct could save you hundreds.

These useful hints for the home remodeling or home improvement job should have you well on the way to a delightful house. It's all about being advised and arranged so as to optimize your result and minimize your price, expenses and above all, your anxiety level and problems!

Meatless Sinigang

Meatless Sinigang
Sinigang is a popular meat and vegetable based sour soup in the Philippines. I tried cooking this dish without meat, and it still is delicious. I believe the reason behind is the use of sweet potato ( or kamote ) since it rendered the soup kind of sweet, that contrasted the sourness.

Ingredients: 
sweet potato
green squash ( or zucchini )
bokchoy
diced ginger, garlic, onion
sliced tomatoes
lemon to taste
note: you can use more vegetables, such as egg plant, green beans, etc.

Procedure:
1. Sautee ginger, garlic and onions until they are brown. Add tomatoes until juice extracted.
2. Stir the sweet potato. Add water
3. When sweet potato is cooked, add the zucchini and bok choy. 
4. Turn off the fire.
5. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Then, squeeze lemon to taste.
Enjoy!

Nutritional Information and Health Benefits:

Thursday, July 11, 2013

One Fun Filled Chicago Vacation

Boating in Chicago
Chicago is located on Lake Michigan, which makes for a vibrant Chicago skyline by the water. The city is made up of eclectic neighborhoods, sophisticated culture, and an amazing variety of foods. It is loaded with diverse tourist sites and top shopping locations keeping visitors entertained in their entire stay. One of the top reasons tourists want to visit Chicago is to experience a stay in some of the historical hotels with grand architecture, such as the palmer house chicago, at a reasonable price.
photo by hotel ( not mine )
Who would not be awed gazing at the famous frescoed ceiling of Palmer House, which is a famous and historical Chicago landmark and an AAA four-diamond rated hotel, each time you step in and out to explore the city. This historical hotel is just steps from the Art Institute, Millennium Park and State Street shopping.
A Very Touristy Pose at "The Bean", Millenium Park, Chicago, IL
Let me share with you some fun things we did in Chicago during our stay a few years back. We drove around town to visit some of hubby's pasts.
 The Science Building 
Visiting His First Engineering Research Job ( while attending university )
 Natural Science Park, :) , actually, this is a pond next to the Science Hall which I find very interesting

We explored the beauty of Chicago skyline from the water.