Monday, June 30, 2008

Awww! Love the look!

I know the look of the outfit is partially biased towards the fact that it is worn by Miranda Kerr... Still, I think it would look decent on us commoners. :)
-- Taken from Shop Til You Drop - Get The Look (Miranda Kerr) page.

Mmmm.. here's an adorable fuchsia full skirt... :)
-- Taken from Lucky Magazine website.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Did you know ...

... the real capacity of a song???

On the train today, my MP3 player choose to play "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz (the updated version for the We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things: Jason Mraz: Music album) and it just makes me CRAZILY happy. The I-want-to-sing-jump-up-and-down-and-dance-to-the-music type happy. Yup - in the super packed morning rush-to-work train! Plus, it's me! I don't dance! It's crazy.

Anyway - if you already know the song, be sure to check the new version out; if you don't know the song, get to know it!!! It definitely will lifts up your spirit! :)

Thanks, Jason!

As an addition, here's a post that has some tips on achieving happiness, "9 Tips in Life that Lead to Happiness - Stepcase Lifehack". I have to say - tips #2 is definitely working very well for me (with #1 being the pre-requisite). :)

P.S.: *Sob* Now I wish I had said yes when my brother offer to get me ticket to his upcoming Melbourne gig in August!!!! Argh!

Updated on 28th June 2008:
Coincidentally, the Dietriffic blog is also talking about happiness today... :) Check out the post, "The Secret of Happiness".

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Shopping Shopping Shopping

I've been waiting eagerly for the time when I can go shopping for the past month or so! Most of my clothes don't fit the way I'd like them to and I've been eye-ing lots of different things lately. Plus, it's stocktake sale time! *Yippee!*

So what am I going to shop for?

Well - I bought a very nice long red (with a very little hint of orange) V-neck Sweater; which I'm not sure what I'd wear it with as yet. I'm thinking thick black stockings with heels or boots. What colour boots? Black seems bland but I'm not sure what other colour would do. It'd be nice to be able to pull of something like this...
-- Taken from youlookfab » Blog Archive » Four ways to wear bright shoes

But even without trying; I know that if I wear those things I'll end up looking like a clown! :P Anyway - I'd really like to find the right things that will go with this pretty red sweater.

Next, work pants. I need a really nice fitting and durable sleek black pants in my wardrobe. It needs to go with everything!

Then, a new pencil skirt. My favorite pencil skirt that used to make me feel all grown up and professional looking no longer fits me the way it used to! Ick. So - I'll have to find a replacement for it.

I'm considering about wide legged pants...
-- Taken from youlookfab » Blog Archive » Wary of wide-legged pants

But still not very sure about it. Will see how it goes when I try them on.

I will also need a light grey sweater vest to wear over work shirts, a nice fitting black cardigan (which I haven't got around to replace since I donated my comfy old Guess black cardigan) and a sleek formal looking dark boot cut jeans (Something like the one the lady in yellow top wears in the first picture would be nice). A few new tops would be nice too. Maybe a new black long coat (but this can wait...). A nice bright red jacket would be nice too. Yup - the list continue to grow and grow and grow.

Thankfully - last nite when I clean up my wardrobe (again - for the hundredth time), I can finally say that I have memory of wearing every one of the clothes in my wardrobe at least once in the past year (Trying it out at home counts!). They are looking pretty neat nowadays - not so overly cluttered anymore. The casual clothes wardrobe which I share with my sister is another story though.

Mmm.. I wonder how much all those shopping are going to cost me... Bleh! Not a pretty thought. At least I have a stack of nice clothing (some of them brand new with tag) which I'd like to sell. Now, if only I can find out what is the best way to sell them?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Desperate Housewives S04E17

Tom Scavo said...
"If you're willing to break up over ice sculpture, you guys should ABSOLUTELY not get married."
"Because - who gets to choose the ice sculpture, who should take out the trash, who has to stay home and make the mini pizzas - that's the little stuff.
What are you gonna do when the big stuff comes along?"
"What are you gonna do when a tornado hits your house or you have problem with your kids or one of you gets cancer?
At some point - the crap is GOING to hit the fan - and that is why now, BEFORE you make the commitment, you have to ask yourself:
Is that person in bed next to you WORTH the trouble?
Do you love him or her so much that no disease, no disaster could possibly pull you apart?"

I love the speech!

By the way - this is the first time I've heard the term "the crap hits the fan". *LOL* Apparently, it's used to form a picture of when things get uncontrollable. Anyway, find out more about the term at this Urban Dictionary page.

The Problem with Labelling...

Geez - it's been so long since I have been this sick.

I stayed home and watched the finale episode of the Desperate Housewives - 4th Season. A really good watch indeed.

Something that hits me right in the face from episode 16 was the general habit of labeling someone and why it is never right because of how dynamics we are. We are all capable of being good and bad at the same time. That's what makes us interesting.

It's easy to just label someone as something, e.g. someone who lie once as a liar, someone who steal once as a thief, someone who help someone else as a saint... but how long does this label last? How valid are they if they keep changing almost every second?

It's even easier to label an acquaintance and gossip about them to other people. But - really - what do we get from it? Why do something that might hurts other people's feeling (directly or indirectly)? And more importantly - why waste our time doing that if we are not getting anything out of it?

Something else that is just as important, I need to work on my desire to be labeled as something. I should use my realisation of the fact that I am a complex individual (most of us are) and stop trying to fit into a particular label. It's difficult enough to find time to do the things that I love to do and focus on the things that I genuinely care about. Why should I waste time on getting a particular label which has no meaning and especially when no one knows how long it will last anyway?

Just my thought.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Worrying: This Article is Freakishly Talking To Me Directly...

"Too many women are fretting about the future instead of savoring happiness now. Find out how to stop the cycle - and get back to enjoying every day."
-- Taken from the article mentioned below!

There is this article in November 2007 edition of SELF magazine titled "Life is good. So why can't you stop worrying?" by Stephanie Dolgoff.

Despite the desire to deny, I have to say some of the paragraphs are way too relate-able. See following extracts...
"When I'm in a worrying mood, I can fret about nearly anything. Doing so makes me feel as if I'm solving a problem, even if the problem doesn't exist yet. My husband, Paul, frequently points out that I get so worked up about preventing snafus that I forget they're hypothetical; I find myself as twisted up as if they've become full-blown disasters. That's a lot of wasted energy..."

"The trouble with this kind of thinking, familiar with it as I am, is that girding yourself for the downturn doesn't necessarily soften the landing, not to mention that it makes it tough to take pleasure in the good times."

"The worst part about being a platinum member of the worry club is that, more often than not, when fretters bite their nails, they sometimes create bona fide things to worry about in the process. I've known women in new relationships that are going along happily, who have still felt compelled to constantly seek reassurance from their partner - "Just tell me you want to break up with me now instead of torturing me!" The result? They drive said partner away, resulting in the feared outcome. "No matter how many times the person answers yes to the question 'Do you love me?' it doesn't do any good. A worrier thinks, Is he only saying that to make me feel better? Or, What if he changes his mind tomorrow?""

"As for why we agonize, "Worriers hope to gain a feeling of sureness," says Robert L. Leahy, Ph.D., author of The Worry Cure (Three Rivers Press). "They want to avoid disappointment or staunch a problem before it gets out of control."

"Breaking the perpetual worry cycle takes separating unproductive fretting from the kind of problem solving that helps everyday life run more smoothly."

Yup - this article is a GREAT EXAMPLE of the reason I chose to subscribe with SELF magazine.

Some tips to stop your stressing (following the article)...
* Choose to stop worrying
* Plan to fret: Take time off, do your worrying, move on!
* Keep a journal of your worrying
* Challenge the possibility of your worry
* Peel an orange (or do something else - distract yourself!)
* Get nostalgic (on your worries which did not come true!)

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Orphanage and Wedding Ring Facts

Last night, I went and see Orfanato, El (translate: The Orphanage) [2007]. It was really enjoyable! (Yup! Even though some parts of the movie did an excellent job in scaring the sh*t out of me!)

One small thing kept me a little distracted though; i.e. the wife and the husband are wearing their wedding ring on the right hand. It got me very curious!

I've only recently learned that wedding ring is worn on the base of the ring finger on the left hand. Why is that so?
Wikipedia says...
"In Western cultures a wedding ring is traditionally worn on the ring finger. This developed from the Roman "annulus pronubis" when the man gave a ring to the woman at the betrothal ceremony. According to tradition in some countries (derived from Roman belief), the wedding ring is worn on the left ring finger because the vein in the left ring finger, referred to as the vena amoris was believed to be directly connected to the heart, a symbol of love."
-- Taken from Ring Finger Wikipedia Page.

So - why did they wear it on a different hand altogether in the movie??

Well - here's the story...
"As with most cultures, the wedding rings are a significant part of the ceremony as well as a symbol of the union between the bride and groom. Although some people may be accustomed to wearing wedding rings on the ring finger of the left hand, Spanish wedding traditions are different. The bride and groom wear wedding rings on the right hand."
-- Taken from The Traditions of a Spanish Wedding - Associated Content.

Apparently, being more observant and curious means that I get to learn something new (fairly often).

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Mothers' Day vs Father's Day

The post that Tara Whitney wrote yesterday, a day for him, which I have shared on my Google Reader Shared web page, got me panicked for a little while. Oops - did I forgot to organize the important Father's Day wishes call? @.@

Luckily - I didn't. Fiuh..
Mmm.. well actually - you can either say I did or didn't, depending on where you are.

According to Wikipedia, both Mothers' Day and Father's Day* fall on different dates all around the world. The confusing thing is that Australia Mothers' Day falls on the same day as to most other countries (i.e. Second Sunday of May); but has a different Father's Day to the rest of the countries (i.e. First Sunday of September) - sharing it only with New Zealand-ers.
* Brief explanation on the spelling:
"Although normal English punctuation guidelines indicate that the holiday should be spelled "Fathers' Day" (as it is a plural possessive), common usage dictates that the ostensibly singular possessive "Father's Day" is the preferred spelling."
-- Taken from Wikipedia

Indonesian only celebrates Mother's Day, yup - also on a different date (i.e. 22nd December). Grrr - what should I do??? I really don't want to hurt my parents' feelings by not wishing them the "Happy Father's/Mothers' Day" when all their friends are getting the wishes. Just to complicate things more, my parents watch Taiwanese TV shows (through the Satellite) - which has the same Mother's Day as Australia, but a different Father's Day (8th August), which means that they will be exposed to that too!!!! Haiyaaaaaaaaaa!!!

For now, I've decided since I missed out on the communal Father's Day (i.e. Third Sunday of June); I'm just going to follow the Australian Father's Day for giving the proper present day plus "Happy Father's/Mothers' Day" for the Indonesian Mother's Day and Taiwanese Father's Day. Sounds fair.

*Sigh* You would expect the world would have one singular global Father's Day and Mothers' Day instead of confusing people who might be located in different countries! :P Oh well!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Cravings: Sate Padang

The other day when i saw Bernard's post, Duan Wu Festival, it raises my zongzi, Sticky Rice Dumplings, cravings. Not sure what I did to deserve the luck, the next day, Louisa (my youngest brother's, Charles, girlfriend) brought over some. Yummy!

Now, for some weird reason, Sate Padang pops up in my head...
Picture taken from the sate padang!.

Yummmmmmmmmmmmm - enakk!!!! MAUUUUUUUUU!!! (Translate: Yummmmmmmmmmm - yummyy!!!! WANTTTTTTTTTT!!!)

And the above post in Berry Berry Ramen also triggers my Putu Bambu cravings!!! Arghhhh!!!

Apology for the pointless post - this is just a desperate attempt to maybe trigger the same thing happening again (someone appearing with these food)! :P

Sex and the City: The Movie

-- Images taken from I am Fashion: Sex and the City- the Movie.

It's the movie that I've been waiting for ever since I heard it's in the making!!! I FINALLY get to watch it last nite (in the comfort of Gold Class Cinema Jam Factory).


I have to admit, the first 10 minutes or so was a little weird (to hear the extremely familiar tune, see the "SEX AND THE CITY" writing on this massive screen, and even more so when one by one the characters that I have grown to love appear on the screen too). But, it doesn't take long for me to get attached to the four amazing ladies again.

I love the movie. It was sweet, full of love and joy, yet it was sad, and funny at times. It is a great way to wrap up one of the best stories ever told. The finale of Sex and the City (the TV series) was not enough for me (and I'm sure for many other people too). At the time, I was still craving more and more and more of it. So - it definitely felt great to be able to see them again and get updates on how great they are all doing. It's like meeting up with your very close gal pals after a long void period. Hence - I can't rate the movie.

It's definitely a movie that I'd like to watch over and over and over and over and over again...

Anyway - I don't want to accidentally spill anything and ruin the movie for anybody.

-- Image taken from Carrie Bradshaw Wedding Dress; ‘Sex And The City Movie’ Wedding | TV Crunch.

IMDB link || Sex and the City: The Movie Official Website

P.S.: I miss my gal pals BIG time...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Food Lists: Melbourne, Brunch, Cafes, Sydney

Anyone who knows me well will attest how unreliable my memory is - but I do remember that these restaurants are DEFINITELY a MUST TRY for anyone who lives in or visits Melbourne. Plus, now, when I don't remember, I have this list to refer to... :)

Need a little bit more money, but TOTALLY WORTH EVERY PENNY [ >$20 per head ]:
* Da Noi (Italian Cuisine) - 95 Toorak Road. South Yarra. (03) 9866 5975 (Miettas - Best Australian Restaurants: Da Noi)
* Claypots (Seafood) - 213 Barkly Street. St Kilda. (03) 9534 1282 (Miettas - Best Australian Restaurants: Claypots)
* Sel De La Terre (French Cuisine) - 74 Toorak Road. South Yarra. (03) 9866 2744 (website)
* Ling Nam (XO Sauce Lobster with Egg Noodles, Salt & Pepper Chicken, XO Pippies + Chinese Donuts) - 204 Lt Bourke St. Melbourne. (03) 9663 2347 (Ling Nam | EatDrink | ThreeThousand - subcultural guide to Melbourne)
* Old Kingdom (Peking Duck) - 197 Smith St. Collingwood. (03) 9417 2438 (Mietta's Australian Restaurants, Food & Wine - Old Kingdom, Melbourne Inner Suburbs)
* Mabrown (Spicy Quails, Chili Prawn) - Shop 6, 188-190 Belmore Rd. Balwyn. (03) 9816 3755 (Mietta's Australian Restaurants, Food & Wine - Mabrown, Greater Melbourne) [Psst... Make sure you are not too hungry when you get there - cause the service is pretty slow from my past experience. Yup - even after you've booked and ordered.]
* Curry Club Cafe (Butter Chicken plus Raita... slurrppppp - but it is a little expensive & fickly these days...) - 394-396 Bridge Road. Richmond. (03) 9428 6455 (website)

For people on budget [ <$20 per head - excl. drinks ]:
* Amici Bakery (Excellent Brunch! Has the best Caramelised Onion!) - 242 Chapel Street. Prahran. (03) 9529 7770 (Mietta's Australian Restaurants, Food & Wine - Amici Bakery Cafe, Melbourne Inner Suburbs)
* Pellegrini's (awesome pasta, great service, mouth-watering dessert & must try its Watermelon Granita!) - 66 Bourke St. Melbourne. (03) 9662 1885 (Mietta's Australian Restaurants, Food & Wine - Pellegrini's, MELBOURNE Melbourne Inner Suburbs)
* Max Brenner (Chocolate Brownie with Walnut - with Ice Cream!!!):
- Melbourne Central - Shop OE5, 300 La Trobe St. Melbourne. (03) 9662 4442
- QV Square - Shop 25, 210 Lonsdale St. Melbourne. (03) 9663 6000
* Trotters - 400 Lygon St. Carlton. (03) 9347 5657 (website)
* Laurent Pattiserie (Cute single serving cakes, Yummiest Chicken Foccacia - with WALNUTS!!!) - Shop 16 Como Centre, 169 Toorak Rd. South Yarra. (03) 9824 1414 (Mietta's Australian Restaurants, Food & Wine - Laurent (South Yarra), Melbourne Inner Suburbs)
* Miss Marples (Best Scones Ever!!!) - 382 Mt. Dandenong-Tourist Road. Sassafras. (03) 9755 1610 (website)
* Toorak Thai (Best Massaman Curry I Ever Had so far...!) - 34 Toorak Rd. South Yarra. (03) 9866 3099 (Toorak Thai Restaurant Melbourne Restaurant Review and Information)
* Amigos (Yummy Signature Chicken Burritos) - 7/478 Chapel St. South Yarra. (03) 9826 1653 (website)
* Babble (Yummy Cafe Style Dinner, Great Ambience) - 4B Izett St. Prahran. (03) 9510 6464 (the breakfast blog: Babble Cafe, Prahran)
* Kenzan Sushi (Has the FRESH-EST Sushi!) - Shop 28G, 350 Bourke St (GPO). Melbourne. (03) 9663 7767 (Kenzan @ GPO, Melbourne - Restaurant Information And Reviews -
* Zap Thai (Super Yummy Addictive Spicy Pork on Kai Lan!!!) - Address Unknown - Re-opened recently near Deakin University Burwood.
* Bamboe Cafe & Restaurant (Yummy Indonesian Food, A Bit of a Wait for Food to Arrive Though) - 643 Warrigal Rd. Chadstone. (03) 9568 5311 (The Perwira Homepage)
* Soul Mama (Excellent Dessert, Great Ambience for Catch Ups, Vegetarian Food) - 10 Jacka Boulevard (St Kilda Sea Baths). St Kilda. (03) 9525 3338 (website)
* Don Don (Quickest and Cheapest Prepared On the Spot Japanese Food Take-away Ever!) - 330 Little Lonsdale Street. Melbourne. (03) 9670 7113 (Don Don (Lt Lonsdale) - MELBOURNE - FoodGod Restaurant Review)
* Vegie Bar (Best Nachos!) - 378 Brunswick St. Fitzroy. (03) 9417 6935 (website)
* Garage Cafe (Another yummy Indonesian Food Cafe - Try the 'Ayam Penyet' (i.e. squashed chicken :P)) - 221 Berkeley St. Carlton. (03) 9349 5000 (website)
* Nudel Bar (Introduced & Got Me Addicted to Aglio e Olio) - 76 Bourke Street. Melbourne. (03) 9662 9100 (Miettas - Best Australian Restaurants: Nudel Bar)

Here's a few restaurants that intrigues me BIG TIME and I'm hoping will get to try by the end of this year:
* Vue de Monde (Fine Dining) - Normanby Chambers. 430 Little Collins St. Melbourne. (03) 9691 3888 (website)
* Journal Canteen (Italian Cuisine - Lunch Only) - 253 Flinders Lane. Melbourne. (03) 9650 4399 (Journal Canteen, Melbourne restaurant review)
* Donovans House (Modern Australian Cuisine) - 40 Jacka Boulevard. St Kilda. (03) 9534 8221 (website)
* Circa, The Prince (European, French and Modern Australian) - 2 Acland St. St Kilda. (03) 9536 1122 (the breakfast blog: Circa, St Kilda)
* Nobu (Japanese Fine Dining) - Riverside at Crown. 8 Whiteman St. Southbank. (03) 9696 6566 (website)
* Jacques Reymond (International / Modern Australian) - 78 Williams Rd. Prahran. (03) 9525 2178 (website)

I love brunches! But then again - what's there not to like? Being served yummy food on a lazy Saturday morning.
Check out this cool lists in the interesting The Breakfast Blog:
* the breakfast blog: Melbourne's Top 10 Breakfasts
* the breakfast blog: Top 20 Melbourne

This list from Visit Victoria Official Website of Melbourne Recommended Cafes is very promising.

Finally, here's some Sydney must eats:
* Cafe Sopra - 1/7 Danks St, Waterloo 2017. Ph: (02) 9699 3174 (website)
* Jazushi - 145 Devonshire Street cnr Clisdell Street, Surry Hills 2010. Ph: (02) 9699 8977 (website)
* Sydney Fish Market (Lobster Mornay!!! Sashimi!!!) - Blackwattle Bay. Cnr Pyrmont Bridge Road & Bank Street. (02) 9004 1100 (website)

Updated 27th June 2008:
* Tried out Journal Canteen. The food was yummy. The service was very efficient. It is a bit pricey for lunch though (20$ for pasta), but the main did come with bread and salad, so that makes up for the price I guess. :) I will go back again but maybe not soon. (Note: The suspense and heightened expectation for this place might have biased my opinion).

Updated 23rd July 2008:
* Also, there is this other place, Han Guuk Kuan Korean Chinese restaurant, 13A Victoria St, (03) 9639 1747, which are totally worth trying! Though you do need to know what to order though as I find the menu is not very helpful. I keep a list of numbers in my mobile of the dishes to order at this restaurant! :P Must haves are Sweet and Spicy Chicken (Khum Pun Ghi #55), Kimchi HotPot Soup ^ (Bu Deh Jon Gaul #105), and Fried Potato Noodles ^ (Jab Chae #60). If you have more people, please do order Black Sauce Noodle (Ja Jang Mien #1).
P.S.: Be prepared to wait a little - the speed of the service isn't one of their strength.
^ Pictures linked from Guava is getting crushed, again: Han Guuk Guan.
* If you have more time (and money), please do try out Kanpai Japanese Inspired Food on Chapel St, South Yarra (569 Chapel St, (03) 9827 4379). They make really yummy creamy Teppanyaki. Though lately it hasn't been as good as it used to, they are still worth trying! It costs around $20+ per head for one Teppanyaki dish and a bowl of rice.

Updated 26th August 2008:
* Found the current must try chocolatier in Melbourne, Cacao Chocolate. They make the yummiest creamiest chocolate in Melbourne by far! I haven't tried their dessert yet, but I have high hopes! :)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

What's Behind My Emotions? (Tickle)

Take this test!
In other words, your uncompromisingly loyal nature directly affects how, and how often, you experience certain feelings.

For example, your test results indicate that you're most fulfilled when you can connect on a meaningful level with friends, family, and others in your community. That factor is directly related to your fundamental belief in loyalty and the range of emotions it triggers.

Based on your belief in loyalty, where do you rank in the emotional landscape? Which of your emotions dominate your life? And how can you learn to control your emotions?

"Because of your uncompromisingly loyal nature, you generally feel most fulfilled when you are connected deeply with loved ones or when you are an integral part of a community or organization. You enjoy being with old friends you know you can count on, and you always stand by your loved ones no matter what. You do your best to be a faithful partner and friend, and you'd never intentionally betray someone's confidence or trust in you. People can really count on you to be there for them through good times and bad. Your emotional intolerance for disloyalty— in yourself and others — makes you a highly faithful person."

It also says...
* "Your test results have revealed that you tend to experience happiness at a moderate intensity. When something really good happens in your life, you like to revel in your happiness. While some may be more inclined to jump for happiness or meditate in a state of serenity and calm, you most often feel a more balanced and even-keeled happiness. Your feelings of delight are nourishing to both yourself and those you share them with."
* "Your test results have revealed that you tend to experience respect at a low intensity. When you place your respect in others, it means you've identified them as someone you value and approve of. Some people may think of respect as revering another person without reservation, but when you respect another person you tend to base it solely on your individual interactions with that person. Your tendency is to allow people the opportunity to earn your respect through positive proof of their character. For you, it may be liberating to allow yourself to dispense respect more freely, imagining that humans are generally good in nature."
* "Your test results have revealed that you tend to experience fear at a high intensity. When something frightens you, such as a dark alleyway or an upcoming test, you may find that you feel panicked. In situations where others experience mild worry or anxiety, you may feel something closer to terror. While there are certainly times in your life when a high level of fear is appropriate and self-preserving, there are other times when your level of fear may be out of proportion with the actual or likely risks involved. You might consider employing some relaxation techniques the next time you feel overwhelmed with an irrational fear."
* "Your test results have revealed that you tend to experience sadness at a moderate intensity. When you get into a funk, you generally avoid the full depths of misery. Your feelings of sadness indicate that you're in touch with your emotions and that you aren't afraid to acknowledge painful feelings. Because of this, you likely tend to be an empathic person. While being able to access your sadness is a useful emotional tool, you may sometimes get stuck in your sadness. During those occasional sad times, you may want to make plans with others to watch a light comedy or engage in other uplifting activities."
* "Your test results have revealed that you tend to experience wonderment at a high intensity. When something surprises you, you tend to be stunned for a long time. Unexpected news, such as a significant promotion at work, impacts people in different ways. Some people tend to feel mildly upset or alarmed, but you're more likely to feel shocked. If the intensity of your wonderment throws you off, it may be helpful for you to pay extra attention to the thoughts and concerns of those around you, as this may give you a heads up about things that would otherwise escape your attention."
* "Your test results have revealed that you tend to experience hostility at a moderate intensity. When someone makes an inappropriate comment, for instance, you're more likely to feel appropriately offended, instead of blowing it out of proportion, or excusing it entirely. Your feelings of hostility can be used as a gauge to identify behavior that is offensive or inappropriate, and they can motivate you to take action against such behavior. When misplaced, though, feelings of dislike and repulsion can alienate others and sometimes poison you. Engaging in empathetic feelings for yourself and others is a good way of defusing hostility when it seems inappropriate."
* "Your test results have revealed that you tend to experience anger at a moderate intensity. When you're wronged, you're less likely to feel complete rage than others. Because you are able to experience anger in a tempered way, you're more likely to channel it into constructive solutions. You're not one to let people walk all over you, nor do you tend to steamroll others with your anger. On those days when your anger feels more heated, you may want to employ techniques like meditation to help you cool down and come back to your center."
* "Your test results have revealed that you tend to experience expectancy at a moderate intensity. For instance, when planning your vacation or getting ready to start something new, you're likely to spend a lot of time preparing. Looking forward to things can add spice to life, and being able to feel that excitement means you don't tend to prepare for the worst or hold back on your eagerness. This enthusiasm adds thrill to your life, and others find your good feelings contagious. The downside to your levels of expectancy is that sometimes you may feel disappointed or let down when things go wrong, and you may find it difficult to be 'in the moment' when you're focusing on something that hasn't yet happened. Making sure to balance your expectations for the future with an appreciation for what you already have is important for your emotional balance and well-being."

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday Morning Inspiring Post

Check out this inspiring post, "Power of 10 Minutes a Day", @ - Healthy Eating for Busy People.

I completely agree and think that the author couldn't have stated it any more clearer. Some snippets below...
"But, have you ever stopped to consider the powerful impact just 10 minutes a day could have on your life?"
"The secret to achieving our goals in life is ultimately taking it one step at a time, day by day, month by month, year by year. So, rather than getting overwhelmed thinking, “I could never learn a new language,” break it down into manageable chunks; eventually you’ll achieve success."
"By breaking your goals down into small, baby steps, you will find success, all-be-it rather slow at times. Remember, speed is not your aim, success is. So, if you want to lose weight, take it slowly, pound by pound, rather than fixing your focus on massive weight loss in the beginning (or the bigger issue), which can, and usually does, result in weight loss failure."
"10 minutes is a very small percentage in terms of a 24 hours day, but consistently over time, it could have a huge impact on your lifelong goals. Remember, consistency is absolutely essential to this principle."

Thanks Melanie!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Two Thursday Links

I've been doing a bit more short reading lately, e.g. blog posts, short articles, etc. It's a fun and interesting way for me to find out if I'm doing things in the most efficient way there is. A lot of improvement ideas pops up from the activity. But yes, I have to make sure I read from the right sources.

Here's 2 posts @ Dumb Little Man that I highly recommend:
* For people who have lots of emotional clutter, check out 7 Ways to Eliminate Emotional Clutter.
"Our emotional clutter absconds the life purpose, depriving us from connecting with our inner self. The deftness lies in building awareness to confront elements of emotional clutter and sort out what is important and what goes into the trash."
1. Eliminate physical clutter
2. Letting go of worries
3. (Fix) Low self-image
4. (Stop) Going to bed with unfinished business
5. Conserve energy
6. Eating too much
7. (Fix) Difficult relationship
It's quite an interesting mix of steps, but when you read through it (the Healing Actions are especially useful to know), you'll understand how they all work together in de-cluttering our emotional life.
For me personally, I think I'm doing quite good with step number 4 and 5. Number 7 is not applicable. I am currently consciously working on number 1 and 6. Once those are handled, I'll need to start working on number 2 and 3.

* And for people with financial torment, check out Seven Spending Sins: Fast Track to Financial Torment.
"The (original) Seven Deadly Sins focused on spiritual matters, but our Seven Spending Sins are more about material consequences. Avoid them and you'll be better off in this world; if you end up being a better person as well, think of it as an added bonus."
1. Greed: Do you really need it?
2. Impatience: Do you need it now?
3. Pride: 'Keeping up with the Joneses' syndrome.
4. Laziness: Take the time; put in the effort.
5. Misplaced respect: Careful who you listen to.
6. Gullibility: Be a man!
7. Miscalculation: Do the math.
I personally think I'm doing quite well financially. I have always spend well within my range. I could perhaps work more in my Laziness and Gullibility department... :)

Have a nice day!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My Thoughts on "Loving Kindness Meditation"

This post in The Art of Zen Living, "Living the Golden Rule, even when you’re furious: My Loving Kindness Meditation" has been on my -ToRead- Google Bookmarks for quite sometime now and I finally have a chance to properly read this article.

I find the concept and practice of meditation very intriguing. Maybe it is common, maybe it is just me, but I know that my mind is totally the wanderer type. I have very little (if any) control over it. Attending the Bikram Yoga classes are one of my many attempts to quiet my mind down (stop worrying about silly things) and it seems to work (well - better than most other attempts). From time to time, I still fail miserably to focus in the class (well - doing a different pose altogether to what the instructor requested is clearly not a sign for being "present" in the class). But, I can recall a handful of classes (out of the 24 classes I've attended the past few months) where my mind was actually fully with me in the class (except for the small wandering it does during the Savasana pose).

When I was reading the Buddhism for Busy People book, I pretty much skipped the meditation chapter. Why? Cause it's like ME trying to kneel on a Pilates ball while doing bicep curls. I've seen other people done it, I admire people who can do it, and I can think of many reasons why it could be useful. But for now, it appears impossible for me to do.

So - back to the article about the Loving Kindness meditation. I'm interested in trying it out. I used to pray before I go to bed (Buddhist cross Catholic style). It was a good way to end the day and soothe my mind before I sleep. Saying grace for the day that I had, wishing happiness and protection for my precious close ones (family, partner, bessies), asking for forgiveness for whatever mistakes I've done and then asking for another good day to come tomorrow. If you think it's silly, hear me out! I started doing this when I was 15-ish. It was when I started having trouble sleeping (I was scared of dying in my sleep cause a family friend passed away while he was sleeping...)

I stopped doing this a couple years ago. I can't remember why. Partially, I wasn't sure who I was talking to. Especially after reading the Buddhism for Busy People and "Eat Pray Love". Those books present an entirely different Buddhism to the one I've been brought up on. Up till now, I still have questions and would love to get guidance on this, but it's not the right time yet. :)

Anyway - I thought the idea of the Loving Kindness Meditation suits me for now. It's similar to what I was doing when I was praying. It's one step towards meditation (despite being a very small step). I want to give this a go and see how it affects my (already much improved) mood and attitude. The next post will be of my version of "Loving Kindness Meditation". :)

Thanks Daniel (the author of the above mentioned post)!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

I have the same CURIOUS signals!!!! (DELL)

Ick! My Dell Inspiron 6000 has been blinking at me with one long green and 4 short orangle light.. Grr.... Found this article though "Most Curious (aka something funky's going on with my Dell and I have no idea what it means) -". I might try fridge-ing my battery and if that doesn't work, will need to get a new battery! Bleh. To give Dell credit, my laptop has been a loyal useful tool for the past 3 years... :) I guess it's about time for me to replace the battery!

Friday, June 06, 2008

How to Avoid Wasting Food...

The latest 'thing' that INTRIGUES me a lot is... "How much of my weekly groceries don't get properly used up!!!"

As a Medan born Chinese Indonesian, I'm all about getting the most out of what I pay for! :P My mom is a firm believer in "wasting food is a SIN". At the same time, I also inherit my dad's love of trying out new and different type of food or restaurants. This hasn't been a problem, because I buy packaged food which lasts for quite a while.

For the past few months, I've been trying to cook instead of going out to eat, since it's easier to know how much calorie is in my food. This means buying weekly groceries. A lot of the time though, the fresh ingredients are sold in a much bigger portion that what recipes call for (Yup - no one sells 2 sticks of spring onion, 2 anchovy fillets, 1/2 cup of thickened cream, 3 tablespoons of coriander, or 1 tablespoon of parsley!!!) Grrrrr!!! What am I supposed to do with the rest of the materials???? Even without that, some of the fruits don't get consumed and are spoiled by mid-week and they too have to be thrown away!

Anyway - this drives me crazy! Then, it triggers my curiosity... How do other families handle this???

As usual, a little bit of web-research resulted in the following links:
* How to Reduce Waste and Save Money - Healthy Eating for Busy People -
* Easy Ways to Reduce Fruit and Veg Wastage - Healthy Eating for Busy People -
* Spoiled Rotten - Vegetarian Times
* Storage and Tools Top Tips - Love Food, Hate Waste
* Tigers & Strawberries » The First Step To Avoiding Food Waste: Efficient Storeroom Procedures
* Apartment Therapy The Kitchn | Tips and Tricks: How to Avoid Wasting Food
* How to avoid food waste | Make the most of your leftovers | The Sun |HomePage|Woman|Health| Fit Squad
Thought it might be useful for other people! :)


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Calorie Awareness, Serving Size and Eating Out

I went out today with a group of work friends for lunch. It's been a while since I do that, and I'm reminded as to why that is. The most difficult part of my new-found habit of being aware of what I'm eating has to be the measuring the calorie of the food I'm eating. I've somehow developed this preference for food that comes with Nutrition Information. They all should!!! Seriously!

How else am I, as one of the "people without natural eat watch" *, supposed to be aware of how much calories we are consuming??? (For more information about this notion of "people without natural eat watch", please read The Hacker's Diet book. It's a FREE book full of weight loss tips written in a very honest and fun to read manner!!! I was lucky enough to find out about it while browsing through the series of diet-posts mentioned in Good Food, Eating, and Diet Advice Talk by Michael Pollan (by Jeremy Zawodny).)

First of all, I am supposed to somehow know what's contained in that Butter Chicken that I love so much or Massamun Chicken Curry. Then, even when I can find information of the average calorie content for those dishes (perhaps from the Allan Borushek Pocket Calorie Counter book), I am supposed to know how much of it I am eating!!! I mean, the average calorie content information comes in either cup size, or grams.

I, who has never been anywhere near good in estimating measurements, am supposed to eye ball that dish and know how much I am eating!!! Grrrrr...!!! Surely I can't be expected to be carrying a 250ml cup or a small diet scale in my bag (which I am highly considering to do - except that I can't stand the attention I'll attract when I start measuring my curry by cup size or weighing them).

Of course, on top of that, there are some dishes which I like that is not even mentioned in the Pocket Calorie Counter book. To make matter worse, most Asian meals aren't made of one type of dish. It's normally some rice with at least three different type of dishes!!!

Anyhow - enough whinging (yes - I know won't get me anywhere). I'm looking at ways to sort this out, because otherwise it is going to hurt my calorie counting effort and I don't want that!

For people who's on the same boat, here's some good links I found on Serving Size...
- Visual Examples of Food Portion Sizes - Healthy Eating for Busy People -
- What Do 300 Calorie Meals Look Like?
- Visual Ways to Show Serving Sizes (PDF)* - from Alberta Milk
- What does a serving look like? — Healthy Food Guide (Psst... Check out the Serving size poster PDF (857kb) that on this page. I find them really handy!)
- Serving Sizes and a healthy diet, from iVillage Total Health
- Portion Size: Controlling What You Eat - WebMD

Here's some tips on Eating Out...
- Your Guide to Eating Out - Nutrition & Recipes - American Diabetes Association
- Eating Out on a Diet

And, maybe (only maybe) we should buy (or make) the Diet Plate to help me at home...

Anyway - please do let me know if you have any good tips on the topic. Cause after all, I really enjoy (love actually) dining out (especially with the right company).

* To view this file, you will need to install the Adobe Reader (FREE) software.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

China Earthquake Relief

I received this in an email today... (I know, I'm a little slow but hey - "Better Late Than Never!")
This is an urgent appeal for your help to the China earthquake relief!

The China earthquake has killed 69,224, injured 274,683, still 32,666 missing and made more than 5 million people homeless as known today. On May 12, a powerful earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale struck Sichuan province in south-western China. The deadliest earthquake to hit China in three decades has killed nearly 69,224 people and the toll is likely to rise sharply as tens of thousands more remain buried under debris. Thousands of people are still trapped under flattened buildings and rescuers are searching through the rubble with their bare hands as rescue operations are hampered by heavy rains and road blocks caused by fallen boulders and landslides. The high numbers of people still missing means that the death toll is likely to rise considerably over the coming days. In some areas as much as 80 percent of homes have been destroyed. Tents and makeshift shelters cover every available stretch of land.

More is needed even though people and governments around the world have donated generously for the rescue effort and emergency relief. It is reported that the total population affected by the quake is more than 22 Million across 5 provinces in China. The earthquake has destroyed close to 7000 schools, thousands of children have become orphans. The shear scale of the disaster means that the relief effort will be a long and difficult one. It will take many, many years for the people to resettle and rebuild their communities and livelihood.

I am appealing to you to give generously for the people suffered and still suffering from the quake, particularly those children. When I saw those little faces on TV, I was deeply saddened by this devastating tragedy and I felt so compelled to help. Also, this affects me on a personal level since I came from Chengdu, a city just 93km from the epic centre. That night I made my donation to the China Earthquake Relief Fund set up by Australia Red Cross. Now I am helping raise more fund for various charities including those listed below. If you’d like to help, please go to the website and give generously. By donating to the relief funds, you will be directly helping those affected by this earthquake with their immediate needs including food, clean water, clothing, shelter and medical care.

If you feel like you can afford to help them through some donation, please do it through Red Cross || Google || Official China Earthquake Aid. Some pictures available here,

Thank you for your compassion and generosity in support of the people affected by the disaster...