Back to work / Song of the Month

My song of the month
Gal Costa & Caetano Veloso – Sorte

There are some leftover candies at work, but we are now back in full working mode.  2017 was a relaxing year for me, except it ended with a bang.

I came to work and got my morning coffee. I set at my desk and played my favorite song of the month. Before start working, I looked at the other side of my cubicle.  The wall looked beautiful with morning Sunlight.  I can see shapes of leaves from a tree outside. It’s hard to describe but that moment was personal and enjoyable. It felt like my whole life story was painted on that wall.

‘Life isn’t that bad’  I smiled as I sipped coffee.

Song of the month:

Gal Costa is one of my favorite singers. She’s in her mid 70’s.  She’s still alive!!  As far as I am concerned, she and her duet singer Caetano Veloso are legends in Brazil and Latin music in general.

She sings in Portuguese and I don’t understand a word she says, but I love this song so much it makes me want to cry.  It’s just so beautiful.

If you liked the song, watch this video.  it’s cute.  It’s the same song live, from 1985.

Costco Shopping – January 11, 2018

3rd Costco shopping in 2018 – $13.12 (today) / $144.15 (this year)

It was a lunch time Costco shopping.

I ate a hot dog first.  I should try that new salad, but I wanted some meat… and Pepsi.  Celery and spinach are for Vitamix juice.  I bought my Vitamix blender 6 years ago.  I still use it twice a day. Chicken BLT salad (2 pack) was for my lunch at work.

Sorry about low quality pictures.  I forgot to bring my camera to Costco.

Costco Shopping – January 9, 2018

2nd Costco shopping in 2018 – $43.76 (today) / $131.03 (this year)

I went to Costco today for paper towels, sugar snap peas, minced garlic, and some salad for lunch at work.

Then I found this funky noodles.  It’s Long Kow Organic Bean-Vermicelli Noodles.  You can do a lot of things with these noodles *IF* you have some basic cooking skill.  After soaking them, I would mix it with random vegetables, or I can put it in random soup.  It’s a fun food product that I can enjoy once in a while.

The noodles are available at Costco Business Center website

Product detail.

  • Bean-Vermicelli
  • Noodles made from bean starch
  • Organic
  • Vegan, non GMO
  • Gluten free
  • Halal
  • 29.6 oz

blendSMART Raffle Winner

Congratulations to Lori for winning blendSMART makeup brush.  Thank you for participating Christmas raffle. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

And, thank you, blendSMART for making this Christmas more enjoyable.

blendSMART is Rotating Makeup Brush that’s highly rated at Amazon and Sephora.  Costco is selling them for $69.99 each.  This set sells for $110 outside of Costco.  It comes with 3 brush heads (Blush brush, powder brush, & foundation brush).

If I wore makeup I would try blendSMART. Just saying…  check it out.

Split Pea & Ham Soup – Kirkland Signature Recipe

I make ham dinner for Christmas.  I buy my ham from Costco, of course.  New years day is when I enjoy split pea & ham soup.  I make split pea soup with leftover ham bone. I follow the recipe that comes with the ham.

Except, I do things little differently.  I put less ham.  I don’t put salt and pepper. Ham is salty already, and I can always add them later.  When it comes to water, I put just enough amount of water to start.  I would add more water as needed.  Starting with less water is much better than starting with too much water – because there is no going back if you end up with thin soup.  You don’t need to think too much about how much water is needed.  You can just eyeball it and add more water as needed.  The soup will tell you how much water is needed. 

To make the soup, you have to be the soup.

Also, I put a few bay leaves that’s not in the recipe.

The soup was amazing good.  I ate half and put the other half in the freezer.

Split Pea and Ham Soup - Costco Recipe

Kirkland Signature Split Pea & Ham Soup Recipe

Kirkland Signature Spiral Sliced Ham

Costco Shopping Jan 3, 2018

1st Costco shopping in 2018 – $87.27 (today) / $87.27 (this year)

I didn’t know Costco had eye/vision health care supplement, Ocusight.  I am intrigued by it.  I will try and see if it does anything to my eye health.  My eye health is not too bad, but it’s been bothering me lately (detail skipped). I will keep you updated on my experience. 

Turkey Jerky is a treat (for myself) for the weekend. Salad is for my lunch at work. Box of chips should last about 6 months. I buy them because they are tasty AND they are on sale. I should not buy any more of these chips, because I want to live healthy and long.  What’s the point buying expensive vitamins when I eat even more amount of bad food.

Instant coupons saved $17.70

That’s about it, boring…  (forgot to buy minced garlic)

I cannot believe Christmas is over. Now I have nothing but work… working forever… 🙁

Costco Alamo car rental VS Alamo Insiders discount

This is a real life example of car rental pricing comparison between  Costco’s Alamo car rental VS dealing with Alamo directly with insiders discount. 

Costco provides rental car services from Alamo, Avis, Budget, and Enterprise.  I only had time (and energy) to experiment with Alamo. I like Alamo more than the other three.  Alamo suck less.

First, I joined Alamo’s insiders membership 2 months ago.  I now receive insiders discount (5%).  I’ve been receiving newsletters and special offers.

FYI: Alamo’s insider discount is supposed to be 5%.  But, non-members get “Pay Now” discount which is exactly as same as insiders discount.  Basically, I pay the  same amount as non-members.  In return, I receive ton of newsletters.

Below is my real-life final price on my rental car.  This is BEFORE adding insurance, XM radio, etc…

Conclusion – Maybe people who travel a lot will have different outcome. But, in my case, Costco is cheaper and better than dealing with Alamo directly. I had to spend many hours to come up with this conclusion. I should have trusted Costco and saved the hassle.  Also, in my particular case, their insider membership is useless, a joke.  With Costco car rental program, you cut the crap and get the best price.  

Also, if you use Costco Citi Visa card, you get 3% cash back on qualifying travel. I am not sure if Alamo is qualified.  I will be using a different credit card that I get 5% cash back on rental car.

Below – screenshots

Alamo – via Costco. The actual amount I paid was $121.10.  I shall add insurance.  I am likely to be driving in snow.

Alamo – member/insider pricing before adding any extra fees such as insurance. With insiders discount, it still costs $4+ more than Costco’s regular price.

Happy New Year – 2018

Happy new year!!  Good Times!

It’s almost new year, just 4 hours to go.  I am not doing anything special.  I am home alone and relaxing.  I shall make coffee and watch TV. 

To celebrate new year, I ordered a pair of Italian boots from England. 🙂

Please stay healthy.  God bless you.

13 Pairs of Buffalo Jeans

On my Sunday morning Costco shopping on November 19, I bought 3 pairs of Buffalo David Bitton Jeans. 3 pairs were all I could find in my size (30×30). 

They sit low on my back and they were comfortable.  So, I went online and ordered 10 more pairs (5 grays, 5 blacks).  In total, I spent $240 on 13 pairs of jeans.

My point of buying jeans in quantity is that I will no longer think about jeans for next several years.  I will not waste my time think about what to wear at work, that’s why I have 40 Dylan George t-shirts. I’m a guy… nobody cares about how I look at work.

If I want to look good, I will do some push-ups.

*Update:  I am not very happy with the quality of these pants.  They are low in quality.  The stitching is not even and flat that they warp the pants.  But they are cheap… so they are still good enough as wash and go work pants.

OMG. History was made.

This is about my favorite show, Maury.
History was made.  The first time ever!!

Let Maury himself tell you what just happened.  You have to see it to believe.  I don’t know about you guys, but this is significant.

This is the greatest TV moment in history.
Air date: December 29, 2017 – The last show of the year.

PureGuardian Humidifier, 2-pack

I suffer from dry skin every Winter.  I try to use lotion whenever I can to relieve my itchy skin.  But, it’s not just an itch.  It also makes me feel self-conscious about my appearance.  I am paranoid that people might see my dry skin and skin flakes.  It’s gross to look at –  even though it’s my own body.  Using lotion all the time is a hassle, but it is what it is, I guess….

So, this time I will try humidifier.  Perhaps humidifiers will solve my dry skin problem.  Costco has this 2 pack humidifiers from PureGuardian.  There was $15 discount at the time of my purchase, so I paid $64.99 plus tax.  $32.50 each is the best price anywhere. 

I put one humidifier in the kitchen and the other one in my master bedroom.  I had them for a few days now.  And my dry skin condition had completely disappears since then.  But I am not sure if I am seeing the benefit of humidifier or if there had been changes in the weather.

I shall give it time and see.  I will update you.

Christmas Raffle – blendSMART Makeup Brush. $110 value

Raffle is over – The winner is being contacted.

blendSMART has a Christmas raffle exclusively for my visitors.

blendSMART is a Rotating Makeup Brush that’s highly rated at Amazon and Sephora.  Costco is selling them for $69.99 each.  This set sells for $110 outside of Costco.  It comes with 3 brush heads (Blush brush, powder brush, & foundation brush).

I don’t wear makeup (sorry).  I will let the video explain it for you (below)

To enter blendSMART Christmas raffle, go to my contact page and enter your name, email address, and don’t forget to write “blendSMART” on comment section.  I will contact the winner on December 20 and announce the winner on my blog as well. If I don’t hear back from you in a week, I will pick someone else.

Visit below pages to learn more about blendSMART products and/or buy products now.  Good luck. 🙂

* I am not a professional raffle person.  I will do my best to be fair and accurate.  But, I do not take any responsibility for errors or mistakes.  So… don’t be hatin’

Christmas Moment

I contacted my friend Friday (Dec 22nd) and convinced her to come out after work for a “Christmas experience”.  Both she and I get off work late. We are tired, but I told her that she will look back and cherish the moment – that we must force ourselves to create some kind of Christmas moment before it’s gone.

The entire night I played my favorite Christmas music in my car.  I picked her up at her work and went for a quick bite.  And we went to a coffee shop and enjoyed holiday flavored coffee.

Then we walked around the shopping center and took some pictures.  I struck a silly pose in front of a big Christmas tree.  Then we realized that my stomach was exposed in the picture.  We had a big laugh.  We kept looking at that picture and kept laughing.

We took a detour back to her work and looked at houses with Christmas decorations.  I took her back to work in three hours.

4 days later, I cherish that magic moment.  I hate getting old.  I hope we will all live young forever.  Enjoy your magic moments.  I will talk to you soon.

Wardrobe by Costco (5 items):  Cashmere scarf, Buffalo brand hoodie, Calvin Klein shirt, Buffalo brand jeans, Kirkland Signature belt.