Christmas Silhouettes

Christmas silhouettes make great decorations with their lights creating different scenes for the holiday season. Christmas silhouettes can transform a house or yard into one big Christmas story with Christmas tree silhouettes, angel and nativity scene silhouettes.

Christmas silhouettes look really good as window decorations. Once lit up, a beautiful Christmas scene is displayed. There are many different silhouettes available from Christmas trees, Christmas angels, Santa Claus and many more. The nativity silhouettes are popular and can be hung in the yard as well with the silhouettes seen on both sides.

Christmas silhouettes are easy to hang up with no assembly required as it comes in one piece. The great thing about these silhouettes is that when one bulb blows it does not affect the rest. All you need to do is replace the blown fuse.

Happy Deepavali

Happy Deepavali to all our Hindu friends. It is the festival of lights and a time for Malaysians to join in the happy celebration. As in many of our festivals we are invited to open house with our Hindu friends.

You know Deepavali is here when you see the numerous displays of kolam, the ancient art of rice painting on the floors of mall, homes and office buildings. It takes much time and patience to create a beautiful picture. If you are not a Hindu you may wonder how to draw a kolam.

This Deepavali we are headed for a sumptious Indian lunch at a friend's open house. This is all in the Malaysian spirit of joining in the celebration with our Indian friends.
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Angry Birds At The Moon Cake Festival

Lantern makers sure know how to follow the trend. I saw these Angry Bird lanterns on display. So is your child or you yourself is an Angry Bird fan, be sure to pick up one of these colorful lanterns.

For those with younger kids, there are the battery operated lanterns though not as much fun as the lanterns kit up by candles.

I saw these at Tesco's and were going for RM 12. Or maybe you are the traditional type and still prefer the chicken and fish lantern. Which ever your choice, be sure to buy your lanterns early.

Happy Moon Cake Festival!
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Bad Shopping Habit - Opening Sealed Jars

The other day as I was doing my usual grocery shopping I came across a couple who were in the sauces section practicing a very dangerous shopping habit. In this section there were tomato purees and tomato based sauces for cooking pasta.

The middle-aged couple were opening jars of imported tomato based sauces and smelling each one. I presume they wanted to make sure the contents were fresh since they were not satisfied with opening just one jar. In case you are assuming it was an aunty (more on Please Don't Call Me Aunty) who was doing this, you are wrong.  The couple were obviously not Malaysians too.

The man was opening each jar, smelling it, showed it to his wife (I presume it was it was his wife) and after closing the jar , chose another one. Not satisfied with opening one jar he proceeded to open another 3 more jars. I did not stay to observe how many jar he opened or whether he bought any in the end.

Now, you may chide me for not pointing it out to them that it was not the right thing to do. At the time, the thought did cross my mind but I hesitated in pointing out his shameful act. In the end I failed to do my civic duty.

The couple should have known that all the jars there came from the same batch so each jar was no different from the rest in terms of freshness. If they wanted to know if the taste was acceptable to them then they could very well buy one jar and if it was not to their liking then they know which one not to buy the next time. No one in their right minds choose a sealed jar this way.

I am sure they did not think that their act was not just bad shopping practice but could also lead to a health risk for customers who bought the unsuspecting jars. The jars were vaccuum sealed to protect against contamination so once the seal was opened, the jar of contents were open to the thousands of bacteria floating around. What if shopper had bought that particular jar and did not use it right away. It could be some time again when it was subjected to more contamination so that when it was consumed the contents were already be a TICKING BOMB which could have disastrous consequences.

Make Soy Milk For A Healthy Drink

One of the benefits of drinking soy milk is the effect it has in dealing with problems experienced by those going through menopause. Soy  milk is a good alternative for HRT or Hormone Replacement Therapy.

Women in the peri-menopausal phase suffer headaches, hot flushes, night sweats, insomnia and mood swings. Soy milk seen to help address some of these effects of menopause but without the added health risk of breast cancer.

Soy milk and other soy products contain high quantities of isoflavones which have estrogen-like properties. Reports have revealed that women in Japan rarely experience peri-menopause symptoms as compared to women in the west.

Why not make soy milk at home for a cool, refreshing drink and reap some health benefit of soy milk at the same time. Some smoothies with soy milk and fruit will certainly be a healthy breakfast to start a busy day.
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Hatsune Miku - Pop Singer From The Future

Hatsune Miku is one of a kind pop sensation. It is understandable if you are totally ignorant of this new diva especially if you are not of the Y generation. So was I until I heard that she was not your usual pop singer.

Well this pop idol is not human at all but only a 3-D animation, the product of computer designers. If you find it hard to believe that millions of fans are crazy about this singer, you may be even more surprised that she will be making her US debut next month in Los Angeles.

What could be a more fitting arena for the Hatsene Miku concert than at the Anime Exhibition. Many young people are great fans of Anime. I listened to a few of her songs and they were quite enjoyable ( though I couldn't understand a single word as it was all in Japanese.)
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Lots Of Hair Or Losing Hair

They say a woman's hair is her crowning glory. I guess that is true since a great hair style makes us look fantastic. It is no wonder alarm signals start ringing when we see hair dropping as we wash or comb it.

I am very fortunate to have lots of hair. Even with some dropping off I don't need to worry. (for now that is). Besides falling hair we worry about white hair. That goes for both men and women. After all, increasing white hair reminds us we grow older each year. White hair can be easily solved with a visit to the hair salon or do-it-yourself hair coloring at home.

Thinning hair is not as easily dealt with. Some people seem to have this problem more than others so maybe your genes have something to do with it. Sometimes I wonder if subjecting our hair to all those harsh treatments like blow drying, coloring, perming and straightening may have contributed to our thinning hair. Did you know to straighten hair is literally to iron out the curls? No surprise then that we are literally shedding our hair even as we brush it.

Concern for thinning hair is not confined to women alone. Men have balding problems too. Did you see Prince William's thinning hair and balding forehead at the Royal Wedding? He is not the only celebrity male concerned about balding. I read that Wayne Rooney, the English footballer is getting a hair transplant.
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A Little Home Made Compost Can Revive A Dying Plant

I don't have green fingers so I consider it lucky if my plants don't shrivel up and dry. Still it's nice to see my few plants thriving and looking in the best state of health.

I don't have many plants - two potted palms, some curry leaf ( gives added flavor to my curries!) and "snake leaf" (good for sore throats). It's better to have a few good looking greenery rather than many half dead ones. Don't you agree?

Well lately my mini garden has bloomed out beautifully. This was despite my husband's suggestion to throw  out the palms as they were scrawny, brown and unsightly. My secret was home-made compost! No amount of artificial fertilizer that I had been using seemed to improve their condition. Adding fresh compost has given new life to my dying plants.

How to make a simple compost heap

1. Use a big container / gardening pot. Make sure it has holes for drainage.

2. Ingredients for the compost - freshly cut grass, dead leaves, vegetable peelings, tea leaves. If adding twigs and other woody materials, the decaying process will take much longer.

3. If possible, have a balance of green and brown ingredients. List below.

4. Keep compost bin in a sunny or semi-shaded area.

5. Cover with a lid. Don't worry if you don't have one.

6. Turn the heap regularly to mix up the ingredients.

7. Once the materials have decomposed you can use the rich, dark crumbly compost for your plants.

8. I use two bins - one for the already decomposing plant materials and the other for new ingredients.

Green (nitrogen rich) ingredients

Raw vegetable peelings

Tea bags, tea leaves, coffee grounds

Grass cuttings

Brown (carbon rich) ingredients

Cardboard - cereal boxes


Wood shavings

Woody prunings

More on How To Make Compost

How To Avoid The "Heatiness" From Eating Too Much Durians

Is there such a word as "heatiness"? The double-tongued dictionary defines heatiness as characteristic of certain foods said to cause emotional or physical reactions associated with fever, temper,etc.

The durian sure comes under this category. Don't ask my how but anyone who has eaten durians will tell you that  this fruit is definitely heaty. So if you want to enjoy your durians without suffering its ill effects here are some tips. I don't have scientific proof but from the many tales of durian lovers some of these remedies have worked.

1. Drink plenty of water. The secret is to drink it from the shell of the durian. Not sure how that works but many have sworn by its effectiveness.

2. The heatiness of the durian can be countered by the mangosteen. No wonder the two fruits are often in season together.

3. Coconut water is another cool way to quench your thirst after a thirst of durians. Some stall offer fresh coconut water for sale to cool off the heat.

4. I personally take 2 grape seed extract tablets after a big durian meal.
The grape seed extract seem to have a cooling effect so now I can safely enjoy eating durians as often as I like.

5. Of course the most obvious remedy is not to overeat if you know you have a tendency to develop heatiness after eating lots of durians. Easier said than done, I know.

Have You Eaten Any Durians Yet This Season?

Gone are the days when you had to buy durians and then try to open them at home with a parang before enjoying their fruit. Anyone who has tried this knows it is not an easy task.

Durian eating can now be enjoyed at the many stalls set up where you can sit down at tables with your family and friends. SS2 in Petaling Jaya is one such area.

Now I prefer to eat my durians at home. Don;t ask me why. Well, these stalls certainly know take away is a favorite way of buying for many Malaysians. They are ready with big tupperwares for you to enjoy your durians at home.

One of our personal favorite durian species is the "Raja Kunyit" or "Mau Sang Wong". There are so many species that it is sometimes hard to choose. You can take your pick of the sweet, golden colored fruit or you may prefer the ones with a bitter taste.

Chilled durians taste great so you might want to keep extra fruits in the freezer to be eaten at leisure. Gone are the days when you had to finish the fruit as soon as you bought them.

Of course you may have to put up with your fridge smelling of durians. What the heck! It is only for a short while as soon as durian season is over.
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A Squid Angel

What in the world is that?

In case you don't know who this weird looking squid is, let me enlighten you. They are volunteer Squidoo Angels out to bless any lens which they feel deserve some angel dust.

A blessing from a Squid Angel will also give your lens a small boost in rank and of course additional traffic. Isn't that nice?

When I first joined Squidoo, it was very encouraging to receive a blessing. So now when the opportunity came for me to be part of this program I happily volunteered for the task.

What started as a week assignment has now turned into me being the neighborhood Travel Squid Angel for South Asia countries.

In My First Angel Wings, you will find the lenses which have been blessed. Do visit them and you will understand why I blessed them.

Squid Angel clip art courtesy of Greekgeek on Squidoo.