Sunday, September 27, 2015

September Garden Updates

September is ending soon and unfortunately, it's been a pretty dull month with not much going on apart from WORK. =.= October is gonna be a busy month of work, study, and play, but I should have more interesting stuffs to blog about. So before I go on another round of hiatus, here's this month's garden updates, broccoli updates to be specific. =)

Previous 'milestone' updates:

Sept 12 (day 84): I was surprised how much the leafs had grown within just a week! We were very lucky with our timing coz it rained good the week after we planted them outside, and since then it has been growing fast! I'm sure a lot of people (like me) eat broccoli all the time but never knew how the plant actually looks here you go. =P

If you look closely at the left photo, you can see that some plants have 'disappeared' the right photo, coz some naughty animal has been eating our broccoli leafs!! All these happened within 2 days and the parents called us in the middle of the week telling us that we need to go over and 'rescue' these poor plants. 

Project of the day...went to Lowe's, bought some materials and started building fence around our garden. Of course, both of us wouldn't have been able to do all these without the parent's help. As I mentioned before we are gardening rookies...haha!

Taadaa....after 2 hours of hardwork....our garden is now safeguarded! Naughty rabbit, don't you dare come eat our broccoli again!! =P

Sept 27 (day 99): Looked like the fence successfully stopped whichever naughty animal from eating our broccoli, and those poor ones that were eaten up earlier are also growing back so that's good news. It's been more than 3 months since we started planting these and we're finally spotting some small broccoli heads growing! =) One of the plant is badly attacked by worms but hopefully this issue is only confined to this one plant.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Tampa Work Trip

It has been 9 months since I started my new journey here and as always, I'm more than happy to have the opportunity to travel for work. 4th work trip for the year brought me to Tampa, Florida for 3 weeks (Aug 16-Sept 3). Work was kinda monotonous but 4-day work weeks in Florida, I can't really complain...haha! 

Complimentary upgrade to first class for my flight to Tampa on the first week. =) Considering that I don't really fly much for work, I'm happy that I get to maintain my Silver (lowest Medallion status) for the next year. =P

Hello Sunshine State!

My suite for 3 weeks. Most people opted for another hotel but it was perfect for me. Spent most of my time on the study desk and fully utilized the fridge and!

Our office in Tampa.  

For the entire 3 weeks, I had most of my dinners at 2 restaurants...Sa Ri One Korean restaurant (5 min from the hotel) and the hotel's restaurant. The food at the Korean restaurant was good and authentic, that explains why I kept going back for more...haha! Two more reasons why I liked the hotel was because of its proximity to this Korean restaurant and the drink & appetizer voucher at the hotel's restaurant. =P

Kimchi dumplings, jjamppong (Korean spicy seafood noodle soup), bulgolgi pork, bibimbap, yaki mandu (fried dumplings), hameul pajeon (seafood pancake), japchae (stir-fried glass noodle), jajangmyeon (black bean sauce noodle)...Masisseoyo!

Food at the hotel's restaurant was decent but I enjoyed the free appetizer and drink. =P

Tomyum seafood soup, Malaysian char koay teow (not even close, more like Singapore noodles), and pineapple fried rice at Royal Thai Palace.

Sunset view for my flight back on Thursday evenings.

I can't leave Tampa without doing any sightseeing so on the last week, I decided to fly in earlier on Sunday (right after I finished my exam the day before), rented a car from Hertz and spent an afternoon driving around Tampa, St Petersburg, and Clearwater with 2 of my co-workers. 

First stop...the Plant Hall at Tampa University...a National Historic Landmark built in 1891...interesting architecture. When I sent hubby a photo of this building, he asked if I was visiting a!

Tampa riverwalk. To be honest, there's nothing much in downtown Tampa.

Made a trip to Westin Tampa Bay to find out what's so nice about this hotel that most people ditched the Sheraton and stayed here instead...haha! It's all for this! =P

Next stop...Albert Witted Park and the Dali art museum at St. Petersburg. No, this Dali museum has nothing to do with the town of Dali in Yunnan,'s the name of the artist Salvador Dali, which I have absolutely no clue about, pardon my ignorance. =P

St. Pete beach.

Our last stop for the day...Clearwater beach. Had dinner by the beach while waiting for the sunset but it started raining when we were eating so we thought we were out of luck for sunset.

Good thing about the rain in Florida, it comes and go quickly. So happy to see the sun!

Pretty cool that it's so cloudy and dark on one side but on the other side, the sky was still clear for sunset. =)

Goodbye Clearwater...thanks for a pretty sunset!

This is not photoshop, the sky was really so red and cloudy on our way back...kinda scary. All in all, it was a successful day of sightseeing and we pretty much saw all the nice places around this area in one afternoon...mission accomplished! =)

Monday, September 7, 2015

August Garden Updates

As mentioned in my previous garden update, we've been working on planting broccolis for the fall and here's an update on the progress. Good news...most of them are still alive! =) 

July 20 (day 30): The transplanted plants are still growing taller (not stronger) so I thought about using stirrers as supports. 

July 30 (day 40): Even though the plants were growing way too tall for the plastic cups and most of them are losing support again, we were hesitant on moving them outdoor into ground yet coz we felt that the outdoor temperature was still too hot for the plants. To acclimatize the plants for the hotter temperature, we decided to move them out to our shaded back porch. 

Aug 5: These are the 2nd batch of broccolis that I planted on Jul 2...they are growing so well, so pretty. =)

Finally, time to move the plants to the ground. Most of the plants that we planted in Spring are done harvesting so we took everything out and hubby tillered the entire area. Hubby and Donny prepped the soil by adding a whole lot of compost and sand few days before. 

Aug 9 (day 50): We planted a total of approximately 63! Donny helped to water the plants with sprinkler every evening but we were lucky coz it rained quite a good bit after we moved them. Hubby also helped tiller and water the plants while I was away on work trip.

Sept 4 (day 76): Went over to the garden last weekend after 3 weeks and was surprised by the rapid growth of the plants! Happy that most of them survive and are growing so well!

So many watermelons! I think we had around 20 this year.

These watermelons are really huge, heavy, and sweet! To be honest, I've never seen such big and heavy watermelon...look at how much watermelon we had just from one! 

Birthday Months

Oh's been almost 2 months since my last update and August is gone already?! August had always been a busy feastive month but this year was quite an opposite. I spent almost every nights and weekends studying for the past 2 months, and I thought I was done with exams 5 years ago, so depressing. Anyway, the first exam was over last week and I'm taking a short mental break now so it's time for a quick update of what I've been up to, apart from 'stu-die-ing'.   

These pretty much sums 90% of what I've done since the last blogging, no variety shows, no fun. Definitely not fun having to bring books when traveling for work.

First attempt making Jajangmyeon (noodle dish topped with a thick sauce made of black soybean paste, diced pork and vegetables), turned out pretty good yo!

We've had so much zucchinis from the garden all summer and I wished I found out about 'zoodles' earlier. To be honest, I wasn't a big fan of zucchinis but I'm now a big fan since I found out about turning them into 'noodles'. Plus, we had so much tomatoes from the garden, so I 'invented' this Tomyum tomato noodle soup, with assorted veggies (from the garden) and diced chicken. I know self praise is no praise but this dish was yummylicious! I wouldn't mind having this for lunch everyday but too bad we're done harvesting zucchinis from the garden this year. 

Aftermath of making 'zoodles'...injuries all over my poor!!

Minestrone soup (tomatoes+peas+squash) and ice-blended watermelon juice from the garden.

July 18 (Sat): Boat trip and tubing on Lake Guntersville for Donny's pre-birthday (Jul 19) celebration. Study hard, play hard weekend with the family!

July 18 (Sat): Pre-celebrated Dad Rick's 60th birthday (July 22). Good food at grandma's as always. =) 

Aug 1 (Sat): Post-birthday celebration for Dad's 60th birthday (July 31) back home. Too bad I missed out but thanks to SIL for the live updates. :P Happy Birthday Daddy!!
Not sure if anyone noticed this coincidence, July is a Dads birthday month and August is siblings birthday!

Aug 8 (Sat): Didn't get to celebrate Ah Ma's birthday this year but at least we woke up in time to skype to join in the celebration. Ah Ma was happy to see us despite our just-got-out-of-bed! Distance is no barrier to family celebrations. =)  

Aug 9 (Sun): Pre-birthday celebration for both of us at the parents'. Freshly made bolognese sauce using the tomatoes from our garden...yumss!! 

Aug 15 (Sat): Another round of pre-birthday celebration at grandma's. KFC and homemade choco cake treat from grandma. =)

Aug 16 (Sun): Our birthdays are just one day apart and this was the first time in 7 years we got to celebrate our birthdays together but the celebration was cut short to only one morning. No fancy celebration but at least a lunch date before I flew out to Florida for work trip. 

My birthday present...just in time for study mode. Successfully assembled it ourselves. =P

Hubby's birthday present...perfect for his gaming hobby. =P

Reorganized the living room mainly for hubby's gaming set up but it's looking much better than before.

Aug 29 (Sat): Date night with hubby to celebrate our belated birthdays and exam's over.