JPG JPEG with transparent background – making the impossible, possible

While I was working on a logo today at work for an event, I accidentally discovered something that goes against all logic, and because I am a computer graphic artist, this felt like defying gravity, going against the laws of physic, walking on water… etc.

I had discovered that I could make a JPG image with transparent background.

Check it out below:

summit2015evite

http://www2.benefitsconnect.net/content/images/summit2015evite.jpg

I did this entire process on Photoshop CC and Visual Studios, and couldn’t figure out how I did it.  Since I work at a software company, and half of my coworkers are computer software developers and tech savvy folks — I seeked out their expertise to help me figure out how I did it.   They were able to recreate a transparent jpg and quickly replicated the process by changing the extension of a png to jpg, and to verify the process, you can upload the image to Exif Data Viewer to verify.  So while I was uploading the image, I had changed the extension on accident without consciously knowing what I was doing.

So the moral of the story is, you can make a JPG/JPEG image with a transparent background.  You just have to start it off as a PNG first.

Now I owe my coworker a beer because he figured out how it was done.

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A love story between a baby and her Great Pyrenees dogs

Since the birth of my niece, Havanna, I have always try to capture every moment she has with my Great Pyrenees dogs. My two Great Pyrenees dogs are rescues from the Sierra Pacific Great Pyrenees Club.  While I can’t speak for all dogs of this breed — from my personal experience, these dogs make excellent baby sitters and have immense tolerance and kindness towards toddlers and children.   As with all interactions between a pet and young children, I was always there to supervise.  However, should I walk away for a few minutes while my niece is in the room with our dogs, I don’t really fret about it because I know they will never do anything to hurt her.   From what I have seen so far — the bond  between children and dogs seemed very natural and almost innate, and often at times,  she would prefer their company over adults.  However, the only time I see my dogs react is when sudden loud noises occur.  Their sudden movements can sometime knock a barely walking 1-year old child onto the floor very easily.  And because of their size, I still try to keep an eye on them when they’re playing together (even though the only thing I have to worry about between their interaction is if the pyrs would accidentally turn around and knock the wobbly baby off her feet). Although the pyrs can be a little stubborn and independent at times, they are definitely gentle giants… and I hope this video shows just that.

 

And because Great Pyrenees dogs do make excellent companions for young children (with proper training of course), I often refer to them as my giant furry babysitters.

 

 

Excerpts from an article I wrote for Journalism class that changed the way I view the Central Valley dairy industry

As I am digging through old folders, I came across this article that I had written few years ago when I was a student at CSU Fresno.  I had to take an Advanced Journalism class and my teacher then, who was an investigative reporter pushed me to write this article about a local industry.  Although I had mixed feelings about the way he pushed me to take a certain side on the issue about our dairy industry and the usage of rBST, this version I am posting here has been edited to reflect more closely to my perception of the matter.  I hope you’ll enjoy!

 

THE RISE AND FALL OF POSILAC IN CENTRAL VALLEY’S DAIRY BELT

For 14 years, Donny Rollin was just one of the many farmers in the Central Valley dairy belt that used the growth hormone that increased the milk supply at his 2,000-cow dairy in Riverdale.  Rollin’s farm, cleverly called Rollin Valley Farms, is one of the many dairy farms here in the Central Valley. Surrounded by groves of pomegranate trees and 700 acres of Sudan grass, wheat, and alfalfa, Rollin’s farm looks almost picturesque during the springtime. Yet about two years ago, Fed-ex trucks would trundle out to his farm every few weeks and drop off a new supply of the bioengineered hormone rBST, better known as Posilac.  Needles in hand, Rollin and his dairymen would inject a tiny white vial of the clear liquid into his Holsteins.

Today, Rollin no longer uses Posilac.  At the age of 44, he is a third generation dairyman.  Like the other 98% of the family-owned dairies here in California, Rollin and his family live and breathe their dairy business.  Two years ago, when the price of milk dropped due to overproduction, coupled with a growing consumers’ demand for rBST free milk, Rollin stopped using Posilac.  For the past two years, Rollin’s cows are hormone free, and he’s not alone.  In fact, here in the nation’s most productive dairy belt, it is almost impossible to find dairy farmers these days that will admit to still using Posilac.

[…]

The initial research on Posilac told the consumers that by the time the milk has been packaged in milk cartons, these artificial hormones would have already been broken down by the cows themselves; therefore no harm can be done to humans. While the FDA said that there were no significant differences shown between the milk tested from rBST-treated and untreated cows in their 1993 study, the potential side effects of the hormone injections created considerable amount of doubts and criticism.  Animal health activists got involved first, and pretty soon, the everyday milk-chugging consumers were worrying about what’s being passed into their milk. The concerns first began when the side effects started to show up on the cows that were injected with rBST.  With the cow’s utters already full of naturally produced milk, the increase in milk production induced by the hormone led to the overextending of the cow’s utter size, causing utter infections to occur.

Another major cause for concern was mastitis.  Mastitis occurs when the injection area swells up due to tissue infections.  So when the images of the cows’ utters swelling up with mastitis and independent research claims that consumption of rBSt milk can be linked to breast, colon and prostate cancer started to circulate the internet, Posilac suddenly became the drug that tainted the milk industry.  Grocery stores began to take notice of the fact that milk labeled “without rBST” was selling better, went back to their dairy processors and demanded more of it.

To cope with the negative backlash and the threat of decreasing sales, many dairy co-ops and processors demotivate rBST usage by imposing penalty charges on milk that is produced with Posilac injections.  California Dairies Incorporated, the largest dairy co-op in California, charges a 50 cents penalty per 100 pounds of milk for dairies that use rBST injections. To a great number of dairymen here in California, penalty charges such as these are so unattractive; many of them ultimately stopped using Posilac it. However, to the others who found the product useful, one thing that still rings true: “The product was a success, but it was the public perception that made it a failure,” said Gerry Higginbotham, PhD, a researcher and dairy nutritionist who assists with the dairies in Central Valley.
Removing Posilac injections altogether was also another unexpected challenge that many dairymen had to deal with. “There were guys that were using Posilac, and when they stopped all the sudden their production took a big hit and cows would crash.” Rollin explains about some of the devastating effects that he had heard from fellow dairymen. Cows would literally stop producing, or produce at very low levels when the injections stopped. While Rollin’s cows adjusted just fine when he took them off the injections two years ago, how other dairymen were using these injections and what stages they were injecting their cows with Posilac, was the deciding factor on how well the cows would perform after the injections stopped.

When the consumer demands for rBST-free milk began to grow, the dairy industry in the Central Valley was at a tipping point where milk oversupply was met with economic recession.  As a result of bad economy and low milk prices, many dairymen were forced to close down the business that they have had for generations.  “There are a few that have gone out… In Fresno, mostly the smaller guys just couldn’t compete with the high feed price and low milk prices at that time,” Higginbotham said. The combination of high feed cost and low milk price, along with environmental regulations and high cost of operation, it was tough for many of family owned dairies to overcome this giant hurdle. At the same time, a lot of the dairymen who were using Posilac quit using the product as a result. By 2008, Rollin, and many other dairymen in the valley had stopped injecting their cows with Posilac.

[…]
Posilac never made sense to Rick Adams.  Located in Laton, Adam’s family has been in the dairy business since 1936. When the product was first introduced, the salesmen of Posilac went to every dairy farm and gave out free samples for dairymen to try, Adams recalls his first encounter with the product. “Only stuff we ever tried was the samples they sent us,” said Adams.

Recalling the better days when milk prices were high and feed costs were low, it was easier to be in the dairy industry then. But when it comes to milk production, Adam doesn’t believe in pushing his cows at the sacrifice of highest output. Instead of trying to get more milk out of the cow, he feels that the wellbeing of an animal is more important. “I personally don’t like it [Posilac] because it’s just taxing on the cow,” Adams believes, “in fact, some say that we might be extra easy on our cows because we don’t want to push our cows too hard, and we suffer financially because of it.”

Every day, Adams takes great pride in cutting fresh grass for his cows.  With the smell of fresh cut grass in the air, the cows would run towards the manger and enjoy the grass that was just standing in the field ten minutes ago. “They love the smell of it, and it makes them eat better… If we take good care of the cows, they’ll take good care of us, we don’t need to inject them with stuff that they don’t need,” said Adams.

[…]

When it comes to who still uses Posilac, no one will or can tell nowadays. “Almost everybody in the co-op quit… There’s less pressure, and less chances of them actually having health issues,” said Rollin. Rollin is happy with the fact that he no longer has to use injections on his cows, and that his dairy is doing well. Posilac was supposed to be a supplement drug that would “revolutionize” the dairy industry.  Yet nearly $2 billion of loss revenues later, Monsanto quietly sold the disgraced Posilac at a fraction of the cost to the pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly’s agricultural division Elanco, for a price tag of $300 million.

Charlie De Groot, another dairyman here in the San Joaquin Valley, feels that Posilac is an efficient tool despite its stigma.  Even though he himself has never used the product, he feels that the consumer’s negative perception is what ultimately made the product unusable.  “I know dairymen who have top notch facilities and treat their cows really good that have used it.  For them, the product is a very useful tool.  It worked for them because of the way they manage their dairy,” said De Groot. De Groot himself however, never thought the product was a good fit for his dairy for many reasons. “It takes a lot of time and resources, ultimately I feel like there’s a lot more other things that are better for the cows than just trying to push more milk out of them by giving them the shot… we didn’t feel it was economical for our dairy to use it,” said De Groot.

De Groot is another third generation dairyman. He manages the family dairy called De Groot and Sons Dairy with his younger brother and father. At a very young age, De Groot already knew that taking over the family business was something that he was destined to do.  Today, in a small part of town called Easton on the outskirts of Fresno, De Groot oversees the family dairy that stretches over 2,000 acres.  Like many other dairymen here in the Central Valley, De Groot doesn’t just raise cows.  He is involved from growing and harvesting the row crops that his cows eat, to perfecting the gene pool for future heifers.  Running a dairy farm isn’t just a job, it’s part of many dairymen’s heritage, with a whole lot of passion mixed in.

[…]

It’s only spring but Rollin’s skin is already ripened by the sun.  As the sun sets, the orange light beaming through the stalls of cattle shelter, Rollin picked up some wheat barley mix with his right hand, sprinkling the feed mix into the dusk wind as it blows from the west.  With machines in the distance humming and the occasional cattle mooing, it has been a long day for him at the farm. Even though he’s tired from the day’s work and can’t wait to get home to his four kids, there is still enough passion left in his eyes for anyone to see that this is what he truly enjoys doing every day.  It’s a passion about doing what’s best for his animals, his business, while preserving that way of life and hoping that his kids would someday continue doing.  Through milking more frequently and better breeding, farmers like Rollin, Adams, and De Groot have each found their working formulas that make their businesses thrive.

[…] End

My review on American Giant’s “best sweatshirt ever made” + 15% off code

American Giant, Snapfront sweatshirt $79Herald as the “best hoodie/sweatshirt ever made” or if you prefer, “the greatest hoodie known to man”, the internet has catapulted American Giant, a proud everything-made-in-the-USA apparel company into something of an internet super-stardom.  Demands begin pouring in and within days of when Slate first published an article about the product in 2012, their inventory was completely depleted. It’s design and production methodology has been compared to the likes of Apple, and when production was so far behind the demand, that customers had to wait months for the sweaters to go back in stock.  So what is this internet phenomenon that has been dubbed the “best hoodie ever made”?  A company that cut-out the middleman altogether, wanted to make quality products without the ridiculous high price tags. With its fancy preshrink 12.4 oz cotton and clever stitching aside, the price tag of the sweater still costs a pretty penny ($89).  Hefty enough to make me pause a little and think about when’s the last time I paid that much for a piece of clothing… wait, nevermind.

So what makes the American Giant sweater so unique that it can claim the title for “World’s Best Hoodie”?  After reading a plethora of high-praising reviews, as an educated, single, working twenty-something female consumer with a pretty bad case of spending problem, I was hooked and I wanted to find out more.  After doing a little bit of research, and the internet has no shortage of info about this company — this company and it’s hero product, the heavyweight hoodie had been featured in media outlets such as Slate, Wired, Business Insider and even Bloomberg did a featurette. The product itself is something a cross between really nice cotton, clever stitching, and really great cuts — all of which are rare for regular sweaters.  I’ve dabbled in high-end stuff here and there as splurges to myself, but paying $90 for a sweatshirt? Well there’s a first time for everything.  It was a little hard because most of the high-price ticket items I’ve ever spent were designer leather goods, never a sweatshirt. The look of the product didn’t necessary appealed me, but from what I have read from reviews is that the sweatshirt seems to something that you can really “feel” the difference in. And I like good feelers 🙂 However, when I think of a hoodie/sweater, I think of Target or Walmart sweaters, $15 a pop at most, something one would wear on a lazy Sunday to lounge in and to hide that bloated belly during that time of the month or burrito baby, not this fanciness.

So today I placed my order on one of their newer designs, the baseball jacket and since it comes with free shipping and I found out that I can get 15% off, I thought hey why the heck not.  I picked this one because I can actually wear this to work and what not.

If you’re interested in this product and would also like to get 15% off, here is the coupon/link or just enter the code below to order from the American Giant website.

American Giant 15% off code:

9LWD-PRFP-4T99-CTT1

Note: This is not a paid advertisement nor is this my attempt at an “advertorial” whatever you call it.  I am using my own money to do this.   However, I am pretty excited about this purchase though, I’ll write a follow-up post once I received and can wear the product.

Update #1:  After placing an order for the sweatshirt, I quickly got my order within the week, even with the free shipping.   Upon unboxing the package, the well-packed sweatshirt looked very close to the product advertised on the website.  I quickly tried the sweater on and ran to the nearest mirror.  The first comfort reaction to the sweatshirt is that it’s actually very stiff.  This is no ordinary cotton blend sweaters that I am use to — in fact it almost feels like a well-worn version of a military jacket.  

The cut is flattering despite my 5’3 slightly overweight figure, and the sleeves fit my short stubby arms no problem.   The stitching and workmanship on the sweater is good, but not as impressive as some of the other folks have claimed online.   I’ve purchased other apparels at similar price with more impressive results to show for.    So far, I do enjoy the sweater — maybe because I am short and stubby (sorry for the reiterations), but it does crease quite a bit.  I had expected the sweater to be softer, so maybe with a few extra washes will help with breaking it in.  In terms of the styling, it’s definitely versatile and timeless enough to withstand the trends of fashion.  

At the end of the day, the product was made in the USA, and I do feel a bit better about my purchase because of that.  However. would I recommend the “World’s Best Hoodie” to my readers on WordPress? Only if you got a few extra Andrew Jacksons to burn and the bragging right to owning the most ridiculous and expensive sweatshirt ever.  

Update #2: I recently got their Essential Full Zip because I wanted something lighter/more accessible/softer, and OMG, it’s the best thing ever. Even at $79 a pop + the discount, it’s totally worth it.  Much better than the original jacket I had purchased last year (it was too stiff and thick, good for really cold weather but not as versatile as a result).  This is made of super fine/soft cotton — it’s one of those jackets that feels like you’ve worn for 20 years yet still in excellent condition.  Highly recommend if you are going to buy one to try American Giant!  

World map HD wallpaper for dual monitors

Call me a geek — today I had a sudden urge of re-educating myself in the subject of geography when a coworker asked me whether if I knew where Kyrgyzstan was in relative to Russia. When I didn’t know the answer, I knew it was time to study the world map all over again. Since I work on a computer all day long and I am constantly staring at my monitors, I figured — the world map as the wallpaper for my work desktop with country names on it was the best way to go. It was a little light bulb moment for me. I thought to myself, “Ah-HA! There has to be plenty of wallpapers created for dual monitors on the interweb… and it should be perfect for two screens!!”

So I went on my little googling binge and after 20 mins of some serious searching, I couldn’t find anything remotely close to be working perfectly for both monitors without cutting off major territories. So when I couldn’t find it, I decided to make my own with lots of screen captures, cut and paste, and then photoshop it all together.

Here it is in two different sizes (depending on your resolution size).

My assistant also wanted it on her screen but her monitors are 20inches instead of 24inches, so I made two versions of this world map. I might (someday) make a prettier version of this, but until that day, this will have to do. Enjoy!

Note: In order to make the wallpaper stretch across the monitor correctly, make sure you set your wallpaper setting to “TILE”. Also, depending on how your monitors are set up, China should be on your right screen and USA should be on the left.

Here it is, the world map HD wallpaper for dual screens at 3840 x 1200:

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A tad bit smaller, the world map HD wallpaper for dual screens at 3360 x 1050:

hd wallpaper for dual screens 3360x1050

Still learning to assimilate 17 years later…

Our family first immigrated from China to the U.S. back in 1996.  It was my father, mother, older brother and sister, and then me. Right off the bat, my dad knew that he is probably not going to stay here with us, because his work is in China.  Few years later, after he finished his second bachelors degree, my brother decided that he didn’t want to stay here either because he wanted to go back to where his fiancee was. And just about two years ago, my dad and brother finally surrendered their green-cards so that they can go retroactive on their Chinese citizenship.  

As first generation Chinese, we’ve assimilated pretty well.  I particularly, assimilated better than my older sister.  My mother on the other hand… well, ever since I went off to grad school, she had really blossomed into the wild one of the family.  She travels between Guangdong and California leisurely, depending on which one of her grandchildren is in need of her service.  When people ask if I have family here, I usually tell them it’s just my sister and I, and they have that “oh wow” look on their face.  Growing up and not having a huge extended family here is pretty interesting, you learn to rely on your very tiny nucleus family for almost everything, and also some close friends.  

Believe it or not, this is our first year ever, doing a BBQ and fireworks in our front yard for Fourth of July. We’ve always celebrated other American traditions, such as Thanksgiving and Halloween, but this is the first year, in me and my sister’s 17 years here that we actually went out got fireworks and BBQed.  

It was an interesting experience.  Image

Growing up in China, we’ve always been spoiled with fancy and ridiculous fireworks, so when we purchased a $100 worth of fireworks thinking that we might get something substantial, boy was I disappointing.  Everything we got was made in China, shipped here, and heavily taxed and marked up — just little sparkling fountains in various size, shape, and length, and none of that big booms in the skies (I found out you have to ask either a Mexican to get those or have to go to Chinatown for it). Regadless of the overpriced dampered fireworks experience, it was definitely a fun one.  My sister and her husband’s side of the family came over, brought along my favorite niece in the whole wide world (I only have one niece), and the evening was all about celebrating America’s independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.  

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Tips: professional profile photos for LinkedIn and Facebook etc

Recently I had my dear friend Christina from Lulu Photography do my professional headshot for my online social media profiles. We got some good photos, but I am having trouble picking out a fav. Believe it or not, I actually did some serious googling about what kind of clothes to wear and poses etc… And here are some of the tips I have come across that I thought was helpful:

  • Stay away from clothing colors that are too close to your natural skin tone.
  • Avoid clothing with bold patterns. Seems obvious but people often forget that the simplest things in photos can distract attention. Also, patterns can date a photo.
  • Collared, round, scope and V necks are usually safe bets.
  • Keep jewelry to minimal and simple, the photo is about you, not your accessories.
  • Bright color clothing are generally okay for ladies, but guys would look better in subtle hues.
  • When in doubt, contrast light with darker colors, and know what colors compliments your skin tone.  For example, if you have light hair and light colored eyes, go with lighter color clothing.  If you have olive/darker complexion, clothing in bold colors will compliment you better than pale color options.  In general, the best colors are medium shades of blue, gray, red and green.
  • Smile and show a little teeth!
  • When it comes to the background, don’t choose anything busy, and also try to avoid the typical elementary school photo background. It’s the 21st century folks, you can get creative with some textures backdrops!
  • Change outfits. Variety in the portraits will allow you to use them for different purposes. For example, for my Facebook page, I will use a more light-hearted, less serious looking photo, versus for my LinkedIn profile, I will want a photo with a nice suit jacket and less smiley photo.
  • Try different angles, you never know certain angles can be surprisingly flattering.
  • Guys: don’t forget to groom!
  • Ladies: go easy on the makeup. Just because you’re getting your professional portrait done, doesn’t mean you should go crazy on the makeup. As a professional makeup artist, I actually recommend my clients to get their makeup as close to their natural every day wear makeup as possible, as these portraits are meant to look like the everyday you, not the glamour shot version!
  • If possible, get a blow-out before having your photos taken.  Having a professional tame those crazy strays while keeping your hair on point will ensure your photos are the best reflections of you, without overdoing it.

Do you have some tips for head shots that you’d like to share? Send them my way.

What do you think of my headshots?

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The Danish Copenhagen Diet Menu (Detox and recharge your metabolism)

August 1, 2016 Update: If you have a question, and please post it in the comments OR tweet /DM me @kitmlau for quicker responses. I don’t check this as often as I should, and I’ll try to answer quicker on twitter!

——————————————

So I am trying this new diet call the Danish Diet, also known as the Copenhagen Diet, and the 13 Day Royal Danish Hospital Diet.  My sister-in-law has just completed this diet to the tee, and she has lost nearly 10lbs. This is her email to me:

亲爱的,我吃这食谱这两个星期减了7、8斤,… 有个朋友按这个食谱瘦了12斤 [Translation: My dearest, I followed this menu for two weeks and lost 9-10lbs, I have another friend who also lost over 13lbs]

After her raving reviews, I am determined to give this a try. I mean, when you hear someone who is close to you lose 10lbs in 2 weeks with a diet, it doesn’t take much convincing to try it especially if you’re a girl who already has a little bit of padding (or in my case, quite a bit of padding) that you need/would like to lose.

Base on my internet googling, the diet lasts thirteen days and promises the loss of up to twenty-six pounds. However, it is a VERY strict diet: any kind of deviation from the menu stops the diet and prevents its resumption for the following six months. If the diet is stopped after six days, it may be resumed after three months.For the diet, the green salad must be always fresh, the yogurt 100% natural, without any fruits, and hunger may be avoided by drinking water. The coffee may or may not be replaced by tea, so base on my own judgement, I am going to swap coffee out with oolong tea (which is also high in caffeine but with no additives) and cod with trout or skate.  I would only recommend this diet to people who are perfectly healthy, not pregnant, or menstruating.  As with any diets, it is highly recommended that you do not binge the day after diet, as this is the fastest way to gain the weight you lost back.

I am going to start this next Monday, I’ll post my progress in a follow up post throughout the two week, hopefully I will have enough will power and perseverance to power through the 13 days!  If you have tried this diet, and also the tomato soup 7 day detox diet, let me know which one you like more, and how it works in comparison in the comments section!

1st Day

Breakfast: Coffee with a single cube of sugar (either brown/white)

Lunch: 400g of spinach (cooked), coupled with two hard-boiled eggs and a tomato

Dinner: 200g steak (any kind, grilled), with green salad, lemon juice and oil (dressing)

2nd Day

Breakfast: Coffee with single cube of sugar (either brown/white)

Lunch: 250g of ham with 1 cup of yogurt

Dinner: 200g of beef (roast) with green salad, lemon juice and oil (dressing)

3rd Day

Breakfast: Coffee with a single cube of sugar (either brown/white) and a slice of plain toast

Lunch: 1 slice of ham, with 1 cup of lettuce and 2 hard-boiled eggs

Dinner: 1 tomato, with 1 piece of celery (boiled) and 1 piece of fruit (your choice)

4th Day

Breakfast: Coffee with a single cube of sugar (either brown/white) and a slice of plain toast

Lunch: 200ml of any fruit juice (freshly squeezed or all natural) with 1 cup of yogurt

Dinner: 250g of fruit (assorted bowl) with 1 hard-boiled egg and a carrot

5th Day

Breakfast: 1 carrot with lemon juice

Lunch: 200g of cod (boiled) with lemon juice

Dinner: 200g of beef (roast), with butter and celery (1 piece)

6th Day

Breakfast: Coffee with a single cube of sugar (either brown/white) and a slice of plain toast

Lunch: 2 eggs (cooked the way you like it) with a carrot

Dinner: ½ a chicken (boiled) with green salad, lemon juice and oil (dressing)

7th Day

Breakfast: Tea

Lunch: Water

Dinner: 200g of lamb (grilled) with one apple

8th Day

Breakfast: Coffee with a single cube of sugar (either brown/white)

Lunch: 400g of spinach (cooked, coupled with two hard-boiled eggs and a tomato

Dinner: 200g of beef (roast) with green salad, lemon juice and oil (dressing)

9th Day

Breakfast: Coffee with a single cube of sugar (either brown/white)

Lunch: 200g of ham with 1 cup of yogurt

Dinner: 200g of beef (roast) with green salad, lemon juice and oil (dressing)

10th Day

Breakfast: Coffee with a single cube of sugar (either brown/white) with a plain slice of toast

Lunch: 1 slice of ham with a cup of lettuce and two hard-boiled eggs

Dinner: 1 tomato, with 1 piece of celery (boiled) and 1 piece of fruit (your choice)

11th Day

Breakfast: Coffee with a single cube of sugar (either brown/white) with a plain slice of toast

Lunch: 200 ml of fruit juice (freshly squeezed or all natural) with 1 cup of yogurt

Dinner: 250g of fruit (assorted bowl) with 1 boiled egg and carrot shavings (1 piece)

12th Day

Breakfast: 1 carrot with lemon juice

Lunch: 200g of cod (boiled) with lemon juice

Dinner: 200g of beef (roast) with celery and butter (low-fat)

13th Day

Breakfast: Coffee with a single cube of sugar (either brown/white) with a plain slice of toast

Lunch: 2 eggs (cooked the way you like it) with carrot shavings (single piece)

Dinner: ½ a chicken (boiled) with green salad, lemon juice and oil (dressing)

Game of thrones party

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Last sunday aired the first episode of season 3 Game of Thrones, and I must say, I was a tad bit disappointed up until the very end. I won’t spoil it for those of you that have yet to catch up on it. I personally highly recommend waiting for the next few episodes to come out and watch it all at once. While the show was more or less a dud in my opinion, my Game of Thrones party however, was a successful one — thanks in parts to all of my friends who came and also brought along some awesome side dishes and desserts.

Here are some photos of the feast that was served the night of the premier party. I had originally planned a pretty simple menu, but on the day of the party I got a final head count and realized how many people were going to show up, I had to add a few more menu items. Not in picture: Night’s Watch frozen hot chocolate (which was something like a milk shake but with brownie bits), and Littlefinger’s tiramisu (thanks Busaba).

Our menu:
The Imp shrimp cocktail
Flaming (and non-flaming) dragon wings
The Iron Crown roasted tenderloin in rosemary and sage rub with prosciutto
Jon Snow peas
Wildlings wild rice pilaf
Night’s Watch frozen hot chocolate
Littlefinger’s tiramisu
Fresh rosemary bread

Additional menu items:
Mixed steamed veggies
Mashed potatoes with bacon
Cheese and crackers
Mixed fruits

Enjoy and let me know how you celebrated!

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Game of Thrones S3 Premier Viewing Party

I am so excited for the SEASON 3 of Game of Thrones! My friend Jena and I are both absolutely obsessed with the show, we are so obsessed that we had thought about planning a GOT preview party since LAST year!

This year I am taking the initiative in planning out the menu. We had initially wanted our guests to dress up as their favorite GOT character for this preview party, but knowing how burdensome that could be for last minute guests who just wants to show up and watch the show at the party, I’ve decided that it should be *optional*.

For the party, I didn’t want to go for a overly complicated menu because 1) execution will be difficult — I don’t want to slave away in the kitchen and not enjoy the party, 2) I need a menu with items that I can make (or purchase) ahead of time, and 3) food is not the focal of the night, the show is, and I needed to make sure it will compliment the theme.

Here’s our menu for our GOT preview party… I also got the inspiration from here.

Let me know what you think!

I tried to be witty with the menu item names

I tried to be witty with the menu item names