stacy-marie ishmael

Trinidadian-at-large.

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Travel: my favourite gadgets

Win friends in airports while charging all the things: Belkin SurgePlus 3-Outlet Mini Travel Swivel Charger Surge Protector with Dual USB Ports

iPhone at that deadly 20% threshold? Never fear: Satechi Portable Energy Station Extended Battery Charger Pack

Cabin lights so bright, meeting so early tomorrow: Bucky 40 Blinks Mask

Oh hey, 12 hour time difference: Lewis N. Clark No-Jet-Lag

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Misc: Thanks for reading.

For a long, long time I avoided using exclamation marks in email correspondence. I am not a wildly demonstrative person and exclamation marks have always struck me as oh-so-emotional.

But after the fifteenth person told me that in emails I can seem “terse” and my favourite, “unfriendly”, I started peppering my missives with emoticons and exclamations. “Thanks for sending that over!” and “Looking forward to next week!” and “It’s been a long week for everyone, so let’s all take a break this weekend :)”

So I very much appreciate this cartoon - and indeed the entirety of the post from which it is drawn:

exclamation period.png

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Misc: What would you grab in a fire?

1.30am fire alarm in an unfamiliar hotel in a big city after a long day of travel. A flashing red light and an overwhelming clang clang clang ring ring ring. You scramble out of bed and grope around in the dark red dark red, find your glasses and your footing in one movement.

What you grab before you leave the room?

I swiped my passport and left all the rest.

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GTD: An experiment in packing

Having just landed in London with two checked bags - a departure from my preferred hand-luggage-only style - I’ve decided to rigorously document whether I actually needed All The Things I packed for this 3-week trip.

I’ll post updates here.

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Food: Apples + Squeezo + Slow Cooker + Immersion Blender = Apple Butter Yum

Two years ago, I took up water-bath canning. Since then, I’ve filled many, many jars with various types of tomato-based sauces, chutneys, and ketchups.

My go-to resource for recipes and techniques is Liana Krissoff‘s excellent book, Canning for a New Generation. My favourite recipe from the book (so far) is for apple butter - which I’ve spent much of this weekend making.

Here’s a condensed and slightly modified version of Krissoff’s recipe, which I’ve now used to make about two dozen pints of apple butter.

Gadgets: Squeezo, slow cooker, immersion blender

Ingredients: 6 pounds apples; 2 cups apple cider; 1.5 cups cane sugar; 1.5 tsps ground cinnamon; 0.5 tsps ground cloves; 0.5 tsps ground allspice; 0.5 tsps ground nutmeg (this makes about 3 pints worth of apple butter)

Technique: Put apples in a large (6 to 8 quart) pot or pan. Add cider + 4 cups water and bring to boil over high

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Travel: A visual guide to visa requirements

Handy. And a frustrating reminder of how much of the world is off-limits to me without extensive paperwork and $.

Screenshot 2014-01-04 19.49.48.png

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GTD: My favourite apps

Going into 2014, my digital GTD arsenal:

  • iDoneThis
  • Asana
  • Any.do
  • Drafts
  • NVAlt / Simplenote
  • Evernote (Premium)
  • 1Password
  • DropBox
  • Memrise
  • Fantastical
  • Lift

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Food: Sticky Chai is terrific

Or, the only product I’ve ever bought on the strength of a How To Spend It recommendation

I <3 chai. I’ve made my own, and I regularly scout tea shops for new blends.

Recently I came across an article in the FT’s How To Spend It Magazine about an Australian blend, Sticky Chai.

One impulse buy and several weeks of waiting later, I can confirm that this chai is among the best I’ve ever had. And the writer of the How To Spend It article described the pleasure of the preparation perfectly:

I find the preparation a pleasing ritual (simmering two tablespoons in 150ml of water in a saucepan for two minutes, then adding 350ml of milk and a dash of honey and further simmering for two to three minutes before carefully straining into a petite teapot), and the result is a mix between an invigorating wake-up and a fragrant rush of heady exotic aroma.

Highly recommended.

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Health: Acupressure for sinus congestion

Spending Jan 1 cancelling most of my plans for the next few days because because influenza germs are not awesome.

Herewith a couple of YouTube videos I’ve found helpful for relieving the unpleasantness of sinus congestion:

Sinus Congestion Acupressure Points

acupressure treatment for sinus relief

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