Posted in Tips

Side Hustle 2: Recycling Bottles, Cans, Paper

When I was living in Beijing, a lot of the elderly people who were retired took to finding bottles, cans, boxes and paper to recycle. I usually save some of my bottles and cans to give it to them when I see them on the street on my way to work or on my way home. It felt good helping them earn a little bit and help me save the environment.

When I migrated to California and was caring for my mom, they have 3 bags of plastic bottles and aluminum cans in my aunt’s garage. They told me they were waiting for another bag before bringing it to the recycling station. Since in California, if you bring less than 50 plastic bottles or aluminum cans, you will get whatever the recycling amount for that size which you paid extra when you bought it (i.e. 5 or 10 cents). However, if you bring it by the bag, they will weigh it and pay you by the pound. So when I brought the bags to the recycling station in our city, those 4 bags of bottles and cans only amounted to around $25. For me, it wasn’t bad since I didn’t do much to collect it. After that first load, bringing my second load, only got me less than $20. Not all states have this kind of recycling concept. Better check your local government on what they accept. Some only accept aluminum cans while some do not have any recycling system at all.

Since it was giving me much, I gave the bottles and cans I collect to my retired uncle. Reminds me my Beijing days helping the elderly earn a little bit of money.

Posted in Cooking

Breakfast Egg Cups Recipe

With only 30 minutes of lunch break, going out to grab something to eat is not possible.  What’s breakfast egg cups got to do with lunch?  Well.. last week, there were a couple of days that I didn’t had time to bring leftovers for lunch.  I had these breakfast egg cups made on a Sunday at the fridge in the office and we only had cooked rice left, so I brought some rice and ate a couple of the egg cups for my instant lunch! 

Make ahead meals are becoming a norm now especially for people who like to eat something healthy and save some money.  I’ve had a hand making overnight oats but I didn’t like the taste.  I’ve been chopping some red, yellow and orange bell peppers for snacks.  I’m trying to expand my repertoire of food that I can make ahead and edible.

In my search for recipes online to try, I have adapted a recipe from Healthy Idea for Kids on their breakfast egg cups.  I used my favorite veggies and bake away!

Makes 12 egg cups
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 5 mini sweet bell pepper, red
  • 4 shiitake mushroom
  • 1 ounce, your favorite cheese 


  1. Grease a muffin tin and set aside.  Pre-heat oven to 375°F.
  2. Whisk the eggs and milk together in a bowl.  Seasoned with salt and pepper.
  3. Dice the bell pepper and mushroom into small cubes.  If you wish to add leafy vegetables like spinach, stack the spinach leaves, roll them up, and slice them thin. (This method is called chiffonade.)
  4. Add the vegetable and shredded cheese to the egg mixture.
  5. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full and bake for 20-25 minutes until centers are set and no longer runny.
  6. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

I used almond milk since I’m lactose intolerant.  It really is up to you which one to use.  For the salt and black pepper, I just eyeballed it instead of using a measuring spoon.  For the cheese, the original recipe called for cheddar but I’m not really a fan of it so I used mozarella or parmesan.
Extras may be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or in a freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to a month. Microwave thawed egg cups on high for 45-60 seconds or until hot.

You can change whichever vegetables you want.  You can use tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, spinach.  You can also add ham bits or bacon bits if you want some meat.