Tips

How to grow melons from fresh seeds

May 26, 2014 // 0 Comments

As I was chopping melons a few weeks ago I began to wonder if I could reuse their seeds.  It turns out melons need a long growing season and I might be too late, but because I live in California I think I will give it a shot.   

Another look at household cleaners

April 30, 2014 // 0 Comments

  I stumbled on this article this morning.  I remembered reading it but with time totally forgot which were the “worst household cleaners”.   I prefer green stuff, but I will sometimes use chemical cleaners when I need a little extra boost.  So, what a surprise it was for me to see the brand “Simple Green” on top of that list! Another proof that I should really really start making my own cleaners! Another surprise to me was the Comet Powder.  I always thought that it was the same as famous brand “Bon Ami” since they are both cleansing powders and sit side-by-side on the grocery shelf. I used Comet because my mom used it when I was a child. I still have some under my kitchen sink that I use from time to time to give my kitchen sink a thorough cleaning. Oops. I guess I’ll have to get rid of it. Lucky for me I’ve always been wary of other types of cleaning, especially the “Febreze” kinds that pushes a bunch of chemicals in our breathing air.  But reading this article really made me think I should make my own cleaners. So, in order to give me a little push, here are a few links on how to make our own cleaners. Now I really have no excuses to use chemical cleaners! http://mymerrymessylife.com/2012/03/diy-homemade-laundry-detergent-cheap-and-green-free-printable-2.html http://premeditatedleftovers.com/naturally-frugal-living/5-easy-diy-cleaning-products-you-can-make-yourself/ http://amy-newnostalgia.blogspot.com/2013/02/no-grate-no-cook-liquid-laundry.html http://www.survivingthestores.com/homemade-cleaners-floors-counters-tubs-non-toxic.html http://www.mnn.com/your-home/at-home/stories/make-your-own-housecleaning-products http://www.mnn.com/your-home/at-home/stories/cheap-and-natural-cleaning-alternatives http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2012/09/make-your-own-antibacterial-soft-scrub-cleanser.html   […]

How to grow and care for sage

April 25, 2014 // 0 Comments

 Last month I bought some organic kitchen herbs seedlings, including sage, at my regular home improving store. Days later I planted the seedling in my garden, along with Rosemary, Thyme and Oregano. It seemed to thrive for a few weeks, but lately, it kind of lost its pop. Desperate to find a cure before I kill the plant, I once again turned to the Internet for some answers.   Sage is native to the Mediterranean region. It has been used in medicinal remedies for centuries to treat many illnesses.   It appears sage is full of antioxidants and also antibacterial (probably one of the reasons it is used in sausages). Sage needs full sun It is very drought tolerant and doesn’t need much water. It is best to water infrequently. It is most often killed by too much watering (my mistake) than by pests and insects. Sage does better in soil that is not too fertile. Most varieties grow up to 1-2 foot tall X 3 foot wide.  Leaves are considered at their best when picked right before or after a bloom.  Pruning after flowering will help the plant stay healthy. Replace plants every 4-5 years to ensure the upmost quality. Sage leaves are good for poultry and pork seasoning.   Here are a few recipes using sage:   Sage recipes: 12 ways to use an abundant crop of sage  Steamed vegetables […]

6 tips on how to grow leeks from seeds

April 24, 2014 // 0 Comments

  A few months ago, I started growing green onions from kitchen scrap. It was so successful that I decided to explore the world of leeks. I also replanted a leek from a kitchen scrap, but at about 5$ a piece I decided to plant leeks from seeds.  It turns out my seeded leeks aren’t doing so great, so once again I turned to the Internet for some insights on how to grow leeks. Here’s what I found out: Leeks do better in the cold, but can grow in about any climate. They prefer sunny spots and need fertile soil along with plenty of water to thrive. (I should fertilize more…) Seedlings must be “hardened off” before being planted outdoors (here’s my misstep). Leeks can be planted 6-inch apart and can be used to fill-in empty spots in the garden. They should be grown in trenches and filled with soil as they grow – called “blanching the stem” (or simply filled with soil, creating mounts around them for the lazy gardener). Harvest as soon as they’re ready to ensure great taste.   Ressources: http://www.wikihow.com/Grow-Leeks http://www.garden.org/plantguide/?q=show&id=3325 http://www.hortmag.com/weekly-tips/propagation/growingleeksfromseed http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/basics/techniques/growfruitandveg_growingleeks1.shtml http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/growing-leeks-zw0z13112zsto.aspx#axzz2zLpu5l4u  

5 Truths about growing green onions from scraps

April 19, 2014 // 0 Comments

  In the frenzy of the “how-to grow food from scraps”movement, I tried to do the experiment. I was surprised at how easy it was to regrow scallions/green onions from the scrap.  I also tried with leek, and found out that while it takes longer than green onions, it’s also very easy. Here is what I learned while doing the experiment: Cut the scallions about 1 inch from the base.  Too short and it’ll be in too much contact with water.  Too long and you are losing some precious veggie flesh. There’s no need to leave them in the water until fully grown.  I began with leaving the scallions in the water, but unlike what some information said, at some point the scallion’s growth slowed down and wouldn’t grow to it’s full size.   It’s best to plant green onions in soil. By planting these in pots or in the garden, they get more sun and nutrients, thus growing faster.  What I do now is I’ll start a sprout in a baby jar with enough water to cover the roots and transfer these in the ground the next day (or within 2-3 days), making sure to water the soil after planting so it doesn’t dry up. It takes longer than a week (or 10 days as some website say) to regrow from scrap.  I’d say at least 2-3 weeks before having a […]

Traditional Foods Pantry

April 9, 2014 // 0 Comments

I cook almost everything from scratch.  I very rarely use processed foods, or items that are already prepared, since I always find these are not as tasty and usually contain a bunch of preservatives and unnecessary if not unhealthy ingredients.  I also try to eat organic as much as possible. Last week I stumbled on this post from the Nourished Kitchen: Stocking a traditional foods pantry: what to buy, where to buy it and how to use it  This blog post is really interesting and enlightening.  It is all-inclusive and I love the fact they tell you how you can use the ingredients listed.  I think if you are looking to eat fresh and healthy from your pantry, this is a great article to read.  

The Sandwich Advice

September 1, 2010 // 0 Comments

***Retrieved from Archives*** Originally published on September 1st, 2010. I was a cheerleader during my teens. Just before going to college, I became a coach. There I learned what I would now consider as my best managing advice, in life and in business. Maybe you know it: it’s the Sandwich method.  You can use this technique when managing a team or event with your friends and family. The sandwich method is one that can be used in your everyday life, as well as your professional life. And as a manager, you can get a lot out of this technique.  To make a sandwich, you need two slices of bread, and the filling (meat, cheese, vegetables, mustard, etc.). Here’s the parallel. The two slices of bread contained in a sandwich stand for a good compliment. This means that when you need to approach someone to discuss about a negative concern, NEVER start with it. Engage the conversation by saying something positive about the person (a part of the job he/she’s doing well if it regards work, a compliment if in your personal life). You can always find something positive about someone. Let’s say you need to talk to one of your employee because he is failing to do its job. He may be kind or has a beautiful personality. Maybe he’s always on time or is a hard worker. Even if […]

Tips to build an efficient Request for Proposal

August 18, 2010 // 0 Comments

***Retrieved from Archives*** Originally posted on August 18th, 2010.   My last job, before leaving for a 4-month trip to south-East Asia and Australia, was Web Project Manager.  I built an e-commerce website for a company.  Throughout the whole process, I learned a few things about how to build an efficient Request For Proposal (RFP) when launching a new e-commerce website.   The RFP allows you to put in one big document all that you will require from your web platform supplier (ex.: email marketing platform, classified ads, A/B testing on web pages, canonical tags, sweepstakes program, picture enlarger, comparison engine, etc).   Compare what you would like to have with what other competitors have on their website and what could add value to your organization.  You can also look at what other companies in different industries are doing to get different ideas.   Take time to ensure that nothing is forgotten, because this is usually into those forgotten features that your new supplier will make a lot of money from you.   Make sure you divide the project into phases and write down realistic deadlines.  Keep to yourself an extra 4-8 (or more) weeks, if you are putting up a big project.  For sure, something is going to go wrong and you have to plan ahead if you don’t want to be in trouble!   List down the criteria that you will consider when making […]