Saturday, 29 December 2012

First snow storm, winter is finally here!


Just want to share some pictures of the first snow storm right after X'mas here. Snow slows down my steps, snow is cold, but snow is fun :). I love snow and the old winter man!





Thursday, 20 December 2012

Before the end of the world


I just feel like I should put some lines here as bookmarks before the end of the world.


Saturday, 1 December 2012

Hello December!

Hello December! It's time for holiday shopping and preparation. I doubt that I can prepare anything this year though. Life's been so busy these days! However, it's still fantastic to think about the big upcoming holiday. How about you?

Anyway, this entry will sum up my November, it's not about the holiday tho, excuse me if I misled you :). 

(Source: from the Internet)


Saturday, 10 November 2012

Inspirational and worth watching Hindi movie: 3 Idiots

Studying and working usually occupy most of our time in life. I think it's time to relax a bit. Today, I'll introduce a truly inspirational movie I've watched recently. It's a Hindi movie called "3 idiots". 







Saturday, 27 October 2012

PR approval, Sudbury trip and work

Finally I could find time to write something here after an extremely busy month. My life is moving to a new page now. 

(From the Internet)

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Australia Network: Study English IELTS Preparation

It's been awhile since my last post on IELTS topic. Today, I will introduce a free but good resource for IELTS preparation. It's called Australia Network (Learning English). 

australianetwork.com


Friday, 5 October 2012

Self-study, self-organizing and self-push are the strongest power for life

Today I just walked through the video titled "Shimon Schocken: The self-organizing computer course" on TED.com and I cannot refrain myself from sharing it on my blog. 


(from Internet)

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Worms' Conversation_Did you find love?

Here was a very random conversation between two worms on way home after midnight.

(Picture source:  mynameisjacy.com)


Friday, 14 September 2012

Book Review: The Magic of Thinking BIG by David J. Schwartz, Ph.D.

These three weeks, I took a short break in the middle of project management books by reading The Magic of Thinking BIG by David J. Schwartz, Ph.D. This book now is worth of being added into my book recommended list for life motivation category. Since I’m rather busy to run after some huge life plan at this point of time, I’m just introducing a cursory review here.






Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Homemade: Candied Ginger or Crystallized Ginger

For an introduction, I would honestly say that I have a sweet tooth but I always try to avoid confectionery. I think everyone knows the reason, just to make it clear in my case, it's to thwart the waist protest! However, with candied ginger, I still enjoy it anyway. In Vietnam, it's likely no TET (Lunar New Year) without candied ginger. Therefore, I would give myself a special treat to not thinking much when eating some slices of candied ginger in the biggest holiday of year. Ginger root is very well known to be good for health, but it's not easy to eat the raw one.  And if you're a ginger lover, you can tell me what you shall do with a pound of raw ginger root? I've been recently offered that amount of ginger and I need a way to "spend" them, LOL. Well, let me tell you my solution right now. I sugar coated them, yay yay! I don't want to sound so excited but this is truly my first time to crystallize ginger root! 




Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Once in a blue moon

Inspired by the great moon today, I feel like having some fun with my modest pictures and I ended up with this post. It's just a random moment and if my memory served me right, it may be called blue moon too. Enjoy!



Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Book Review: Project Management for Mere Mortals by Claudia M. Baca

Due to the complex work demand, project management requires a lot of skills and knowledge, among them, flexibility and smartness cannot be missed. Human beings are unpredictable and project management job spends more than 90% of time to deal with human (the upper, peer and lower). If a person unluckily gets stuck in that maze, every day at work is just like nightmare. To be flexible, there was more than once I put myself deeper in the process to obtain soft skills and somehow I got positive returns. However, smartness or cleverness was a kind of innate talent, I supposed, which was not a thing that money or time could buy. What to be done if I’m not lucky enough to possess that kind of talent? “Project Management for Mere Mortals by Claudia M. Baca” opened a door for me. Achieving the skill via in-house empirical experiences, I’ve been always questing for some formal materials to fill my gaps and gain more credit of work.  This book gave me hope.  Recommended by my mentor, just after reading two chapters of the book, I knew I had to take notes carefully and must read it from cover to cover. The book tells me that a project manager, especially IT project manager, isn’t necessary to be a superman or superwoman. By its aid, as long as I pay enough time and attention to different aspects of work, I can gain some level of the thing called “cleverness”. And someone who has never read this book would call it “smartness” [not able to obtain by learning process] as I used to. If you’re looking for a full skeleton of project management from opening to closing, an approach to work with your team and a strategy to face with your uppers, this book is for you.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Impromptu Homemade Dishes

Today I tried out a new feature on Photoshop CS6 called Irish Blur. Actually, I watched a demo on Youtube about this feature for a couple of months ago and loved it right away. The reason was simple. With an old PnS camera, full macro pictures were just in my dream. Flowers and food, however, macro style is always the best choice. There is also awhile I didn't share any food images. I guess now is the moment to combine two of them into one shot. This entry will be the least verbose one ever on my blog too [with brief text and the rest is photo!]



Wednesday, 1 August 2012

My Blog is One Year Old – Happy First Birthday!


Time flies. It was just like yesterday but one year passed. From the very first days, I setup this blog with the only purpose: reviewing books I read. However, day by day, more and more targets were included. My little cyber home now also takes care of studying journeys and food findings. One year ago, on August 1st, 2011, the first post was published. Now, after 1 year sharp, there are totally 74 posts. The number is modest but still, it's not nothing. I’ve been trying to have at least 1 post per week. With 74 posts for 52 weeks, I can call it a success and I’m at least catching up the goal well.
Happy first birthday to my dear blog!
(Picture from the Internet)


Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Extr@ – a good TV sitcom for English studying


Being language learners, I think the most important factor is able to keep up the mood and energy enough for the long run. Any ways that help both studying and entertaining are always the best choices. Between “I have to sit down and study now” and “oh, let study and it must be a lot of fun today”, if that were me, the latter one would be far more effective.

By the means of entertainment, of course we can’t miss movies, films and TV shows. Beside music, they are also the best candidates for both studying and entertaining. Therefore, it’s not surprising that whenever questing for English study tips, you can easily bump into thousands of recommendations on those media genres.

To enrich self experience with visual media on English studying, I’ve tried one of wonderful TV sitcoms called Extr@. I’m going to introduce and share a little bit about this TV show with you here.

(Picture source: from the Internet)

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Black Sticky Rice by Microwave


In my food culture, rice is the most important component for all kinds of appetites. Needless to say, there are also plenty of rice variations on the market. Hence, when it comes to the table, there is tremendous selection of dishes to go with rice. Also, talking about the rice family, it will be a big mistake if I don’t mention about sticky and glutinous rice. They contribute to enrich our breakfast with many ways of cooking and garnishing.

Mentioning about sticky rice, my memories are flooding back about difficult days on the family farm when we all rushed out of the house in very early mornings with empty tummies and nothing else, except tiny packages of sticky rice. Sticky rice also followed me most of morning during my years at high school.  Later on when I started working, sticky rice was always the best solution for hurry mornings to the office. To sum up, I can say sticky rice is the most simple, compact and comfortable food to start a day, especially tough and busy days.

Do I sound like I love sticky rice? Honestly, I didn’t love sticky rice as much as my memory about it. The reason was simple - it was pretty dry and tedious. It is a perfect saver for a quick day kickoff, but not a choice for everyday. I don’t remember exactly the last time I had sticky rice. I would say more than 2 years ago. Back home, whenever feeling like eating sticky rice, I always bought from small vendors on the way to school or work. I had never thought about cooking sticky rice myself. On my mind, it’s too cumbersome to deal with sticky rice in the kitchen. Moreover, when things were always available and too easy to get, like most of people, I didn’t bother to do it myself.

Now, it’s different. I’ve been out of the country for more than 2 years. Some simple food that I never missed or thought about before, they’ve been touring back in my mind times to times. Sticky rice is one of them. I always thought that I might just be able to eat sticky rice again if and only if I backed home to visit my family. Maybe my thought would never change if there was not a day, a day I found ways to cook sticky rice by microwave, the day that many ideas of sticky rice dishes blossoming in my mind. If you are a great cook, you can tell right away – how dare you compare sticky rice made by microwave with the traditional way? The answer is you’re right. I’m not going to put those two methods on scale. Just imagine me as being drowned and found a life buoy.

I love black sticky rice the most, thus of course it will be my first try too. I know if I don’t post an entry of cooking recipe now, there will be no entry later. The first time is always the one uplifting me the most. So, let’s go through the simple recipe and I hope you can do it yourself one day (if you've never done before). 

(black sticky rice dish from black glutinous rice)

Friday, 13 July 2012

Duolingo - A potential and powerful system for language learners


If you speak English as the first or second language, have you ever wished to study another language with zero fees? Have you ever thought about a system which can help you study at any time you want and any pace you define without paying a penny? In this post, I will introduce you a system like that - a completely flexible and accessible system for everyone. The beginning of this entry, I’m off the topic a little bit to tell about my language learning curve. If you have no interest in it, please click here to go straight to the main topic.

Monday, 25 June 2012

English Vocabulary – Learning aid software, podcast and radio


I used to study new English words with the traditional method which was usually taught at high school in the old days, like getting ready a handful of drafts and trying to write down words as many times as possible until I felt like I remember them. This method followed me many years not because it was good, just because I wasn’t motivated enough to look for any alternatives. The awful result was that the words were forgotten very easily after a short time. This method also didn’t help with pronunciation either.

(Image source: Internet)

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Father's Day 2012: Daughter's wishes to Daddy and Daddy's Songs for Daughter

Father's day is here and like any other daughters in over the world, I also want to send my special love and best wishes for my beloved daddy. Absolutely there is not only Father's day, but every day he's always in my mind.  He's with me for every single step; he was the FIRST MAN in my life. Even though I'm living away from him, he's still here with me in my heart. I missed him in my important day of life; however, if he were there, he would happily give my hand to my man and bless us too. He's the generous man who would give me ALL THE BEST THINGS IN THE WORLD for nothing back. I love him!

(Picture source: art.com)

Friday, 8 June 2012

Book Review: What the dog saw and other adventures by Malcolm Gladwell


I’ve been reading 4 books from Gladwell so far. However, I think only “Outliers” and this book “What the dog saw and other adventures” inspired me to write a review. Basically, Gladwell’s books usually collected reliable science evidences or research studies to reveal the world in disruptive ways which need the third eye to discover. What was considered as myths or weirdness were explained pretty well in different manners in Gladwell’s books, especially in the cases of mysterious accidents, social phenomena or human psychology. I’m going to give a brief review for “What the dog saw and other adventures” in this post.



Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Summer trip and wormhome one year anniversary at Niagara Fall

Worm family had a great trip to Niagara Fall area in the last week of May. Let's share some pictures here to keep the good moments. Actually, this time, my camera was out of battery pretty early since we recorded a couple of videos [video recording costs more battery and space than picture taking]. Plus, the camera lenses weren't properly cleaned (so embarrassed me!). I guess I need to take care of my camera better even though it's an old-age one but it's still my best friend though. Those were the reasons that we didn't have great pictures this time, but we still try to share the good ones we have in hand. May summer bring you enough inspirations for great trips like us!

(Close-up view)

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

All about corn


I intended to write an entry for corn long long time ago, but just can settle down today. Corn is the wonderful food that we eat everyday in many food products but under different forms, mostly as powders. Sometimes we just forget to eat corn at the art of origin. I always have to eat corn on the cob or plain popped corn at least once in a month (except in the winter). Now, when I find many simple ways to cook corn, I can enjoy them anytime as long as I have 5 minutes for preparation. I will introduce those cooking methods here and hope to get you back to original corn in case you also forget them in a long time. 

(Picture source: http://blog.foodservicewarehouse.com)

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Book Review: Step Up To IELTS - Self-Study Student's Book by Vanessa Jakeman and Clare McDowell

Living in an English speaking country and using English for everything, those things are still not enough for me. Whenever bumping into any academic fields, I need a recognised certificate. I had tried to avoid an international certificate as long as I could – for at least 5 or 6 years I think – simply because I didn’t need one for all sorts.

I just wish life is always that simple . Unfortunately, it is not. The need for an international certificate is coming and hitting me back now. For better or for worse, I should get high scores for at least one international English test system this year. Also, an international certificate could help prove my stand in the effort of a fresh life-kickoff. After all those considerations, I select IELTS as the target. My strategy is self-studying (the best and also the hardest method) and the score expectation is between 7 and 8 (band 7 or higher).

With all those introductions, I just want to let people know that from now on, my blog will also contain some self reviews on IELTS books, learning strategies, learning sources or English tips. By forcing myself to update the learning progress regularly on this blog, I hope it would also motivate and keep me up to the end of learning journey. Just hope that I’m strong enough to not drop the plan in the middle

I have begun studying since March (two months ago) actually. After researching all necessary tips and resources on forums, I had built up good steps for my entire journey though. While there are enormous learning tips and strategies on over Internet, I just emphasize one thing here - All roads lead to Rome. If you’re on the way to get an English certificate too, just pick up your own strategy and go with it to the end. That is also my thorough guideline for self. Even though I need a certificate, I don’t just study for a certificate. Eventually, I will try to review and catch up as much knowledge as I can during the studying time. I suppose it’s always good to replay what was known but forgot or misunderstood now. Therefore, materials used in my list can be both at basic and advance.

The first book I kicked off was “Step Up To IELTS - Self-Study Student's Book by Vanessa Jakeman and Clare McDowell”



This book is really a great start for learners like me who have no experiences of IELST test. After finishing 16 units in this book, I want to jot down some self reviews here and hope they’re going to help those who need it later.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Homemade: Bean Sprout

Started from last year when I first concerned about bean sprout hygiene on the market, I googled around to learn and tried growing them myself. Actually, food in Canada is pretty safe comparing with my home country. However, bean sprout is very easily contaminated and I usually have to buy it from Chinese stores which is I don't really love to do so. Plus, I also want to spout the beans and enjoy seeing them growing everyday myself. 

How joyful is it when you can make this yourself? 

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Cozy and happy birthday celebration with my family

My birthday just passed a couple of days. I was supposed to post an entry on the right day, yet it was still in my to-do list. I guess now is the time and I need to show my gratitude to my families and friends. I want to tell them I love them. 


Friday, 27 April 2012

Homemade, dough from breadmaker: Lemon Cheese Braid

Today I challenged myself a little bit with filled bread. I said "challenge," but you'll see it's nothing challenging though. Just try to sound it louder, LOL. Since my kitchen is very narrow, a bread maker is my saver always whenever it comes to make a dough. 
OMG I love this bread so much and, it turns out perfect for the first attempt. Let me introduce you to my little cuties now. Here come the slices: 


Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Book Review: Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Project Management by Gregory M.Horine and Mastering Project Management by PM4DEV

Indeed, my first purpose to create this blog was for learning and sharing Project Management (PM) skills. Conversely, after day by day, I’ve turned it into my cozy space for sharing all moments and expertise areas in my life, not just PM. I just hope that change would bring more colors to my virtual space. This post is basically just a book review as usual. The only difference is that the book is in PM field which is also my main major after computer science. 



Thursday, 19 April 2012

Cherry Blossom at High Park (Toronto)

The winter is pretty mild this year, so cherry blossoms are blooming a couple of weeks earlier than other years. Visiting High Park around this April, you can immerse into the romantic space of cherry blossoms. In my own opinion, cherry blossoms here in Toronto can't compete the ones in Japan or Korean after viewing same pictures from my friends at those locations. However, I still think they all bring the same joys to viewers. Picking up one petal from the ground, the first feeling comes to mind is "it is too thin and too tender," just like Vietnamese apricot. But it is a completely different story when those vulnerable petals intertwine to each other and ringing in the wind. They now form a wonderful masterpiece of nature. If you are visiting or living in Toronto, you properly won't want to miss this-once-in-a-year-scene. 

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Frozen grapes - Ice Cream Alternatives?

I read somewhere before mentioning some sort of info like this: feeling ice cream fantastic your tongue but upset your weight? It's time for frozen fruits. 
I've been tried frozen blueberries and grapes since then. More than a good choice, frozen fruits absolutely surprise my tongue as much as their fatty friend ice cream. Of course, I won't eliminate ice cream completely as well as I won't recommend you doing that; it's still very enjoyable sometimes, especially the homemade one 

Frozen grapes

Monday, 2 April 2012

Homemade Lemon Almond Cookies


When the weather is warming up but not yet hot, it's perfect time for cookies. Especially just imagine the fresh cookie aroma in the oven at the weekend when family members are chilling around. It's sweet, isn't it? This smell will follow us everywhere until our end of life. And on our way to struggle for life, whenever we smell it again, it just simply reminds us to return home. I love lemon and almond, that's why lemon almond cookies are my best matches!


Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Book Review: DK Essential Managers - Manage Your Time by Tim Hindle

This book summarizes some very good tips to manage time. We all somehow know all these tips but we never seriously sit down and sort them out. Sometimes we’re just too busy and let go everything by the order they appear into our lives. Happening more than once in our lives, we recognized that our days just passing by without getting anything seriously done. Sometimes we also claim that it’s wasting time to make a critical schedule since it’s very hard be practical enough and usually thrown in the garbage bin in a couple of days.





Thursday, 8 March 2012

Make Use of Left Hand

I’m a computer guy and that’s why it’s not surprised that I can sit with my computer for the whole day long and day by day for the whole year. I’ve been doing that for almost 10 years so far. Yep, it’s my job and I cannot get away from that part. That job makes my top concern and pushes me to schedule for physical exercise as much as I can to compensate for the huge idle time in front of a machine.


(Picture source: tipandtrick.net) 

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Bookmarks for Paper books, what is your style?


First of all, I admit that paper books are not very appreciated nowadays when more and more people are shifting to electronic books. However, in my own opinion, I still love paper books the best. If you’re not a fan of paper books but a little curious, hang in here and enjoy the post with me. It’s not a big deal, just my tiny opinion on bookmarking.

(Picture source: http://en.wikipedia.org)

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Leap Day of Leap Year - Wednesday February 29th, 2012

Today is a pretty special day which appears only once in every four years. Basically, there is no special revolution from me for this post. It's just a bookmark to celebrate for a "rare but trivial" day. 
(Picture source: psucollegio.com)
Let's welcome our LEAP DAY of the YEAR.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Just salad!

Salad is the most beautiful dish in over the world. You can create as many colors as you want. You also can mix as many kinds of veggies as you love. It's extremely simple and flexible. Beside the beauty, salad is also the most healthy food if you don't abuse salad dressing. And finally, if you're on a strict diet, you properly cannot miss salad.

                               


Sunday, 19 February 2012

Book Review: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

This is the biography book about the famous person - Steve Jobs, former CEO of Apple Inc.. I think this book already got its historic mark as the best seller for 2011. Maybe millions of people had read it before me. Therefore, the book doesn't need any further input from me. Personally, this post is just to tick the book off from my reading list that I officially finished it. 


Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Monday, 13 February 2012

Two simple life saving exercises for women – Deep breath and Kegel


Since my resolution for this year includes doing exercise regularly, I feel like writing at least one post for this topic. This post is for women. However, if you’re a man, you’ll still benefit at least a half of it. Because I’m not a hard-code exercise practitioner, everything I do should be simple, easy, fast and effective.  After 1 to 2 years practicing these two simple exercises as well as following all praises for them, I’m happy to introduce you to Deep Breath and Kegel (pelvic floor) exercises. Be noted that they are not for losing weight, they’re life saving. I’m going to tell you the reason why I pick them just right now and guarantee you won’t be disappointed even if you’ve never done any exercises before.

(Source: Internet - eHow)

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

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