Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happiness is...

                                       Click on the picture for a much clearer view 

Happiness is... when the house in the picture is where I live. 

This is my dream home. Here, I have my water, my hills and the sky. Bliss...

Well, this is one of my dream home lah.. no harm dreaming, right!

Blog name - carrot head and applemint

Monday, November 29, 2010

Going totally natural

I remember when I was in Uni, some of us could not afford to buy expensive skin care products. Some of us will use pharmacy brand while there were some, whom I remember, uses natural skin care products. And when I say natural, I mean really & totally “natural.” Like those made out of real fruit and veggies!

These days, with all the hype regarding high chemical content and cancer causing ingredients in skin care, I’ve read quite a number of blogs where they even recommend going back to nature. 

I was browsing through a book titled “Cosmetics & Personal Care Products – More Dangers and Side-Effects” by the Consumers Association of Penang, and extracted 5 natural tips from it, if it does interest you.

Natural cleansers from fruit masks

Papaya mask
Helps to make skin more supple.
Mash 2 tablespoons of ripe papaya & spread over clean face. Leave for 10-20 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.

Fresh tomato slices
Placed on the face can help remove impurities from the skin and exfoliate dead cells.

An orange peel and almond scrub
This is a good exfoliator.
Mix together 1 table spoon each of finely ground orange peel and ground almonds. Take a little in the palm of your hand, mix with a little water and use the paste to wash the skin.
Or you can use finely ground green gram (kacang hijau) powder – an excellent skin cleanser which has been used for generations by Indian women.

Egg white
Beaten with a few drops of lemon (or lime) juice is a favorite wrinkle chaser among Egyptian women.
Apply the mixture to face and allow to dry thoroughly before rinsing off.

Banana slices
A couple of banana slices mashed to a fine puree and applied to the face and neck is also helpful in avoiding skin tautness that can lead to wrinkling. 

Some of the blogs that might interest you :
1) Fashion Tribes Blog
2) Suite101.com 
3) Sheknows.com

Saturday, November 27, 2010

What's Up, Doc?

Not so sorry case
The other day, ST showed me his first tiny grey hair sticking out of his scalp like a sore thumb. He was so proud of it.. +__+

For someone who has to get her grey hair dyed every 1 ½ months & paying quite a substantial amount for it each time, it does drive me nuts to see him not having any grey hair at all at this age.

And you know what he always tells me? “It’s better to have a whole head of grey hair than to have no hair...., like him.”

Book Rug
A close friend of ST went to Dubai sometime back, and when they met up recently, she passed him a bookmark from Dubai which she bought for me. I love it! Speaking of which, I do love to collect bookmark, have I ever mentioned that before..? Well, I have now... *hint, hint*

It’s a bookmark that look like a mini rug/carpet, and it’s made out of Lextra Fibre technology, and it uses a tough material with its urethane core that they claim is tear-resistant and if bent, will return to its original flat shape. It has a beautiful Celestial design, cool...!

She did the slide!
My niece from Penang - Mae came down to stay with us for about 5 days at the start of the school holiday. My sis-in-law came down to KL for work, so Mae stayed with us. Had a great time catching up with her, doing girlies stuff like eating Famous Amos chocolate cookies & ginger bread & she also spend quality time entertaining my 2 furballs. We were in The Empire Shopping Gallery one night, when she saw someone sliding down a tube/slide and wanted to have a go at the Lex Slide (the world’s tallest indoor tube slide, it seems, at the highest level of IT section). 

This is her..

                                 Click the pix or any pix for a clearer view

It's RM 12 per try and it takes about 10 secs to get down from the top most floor. She wanted to go through it so that she could tell her friends she did it, but after having gone through it, she said it was so so only. 

At that point, I thought I saw the RM 12 dive and slide down the tube too... But it's ok, next time when we are both old and she has started working, she can pay for us to go for the ride in return.. ;-)
Initially, she said she wanted one of us to wait for her at the LG floor when she "touch down". So ST went down and was supposed to give me a missed call when he reaches there. But because both of us were so "kan cheong" (nervous) and excited, before we knew it, she went down the tube even before I got ST's missed call. We completely forgot about it. So when ST reached the landing point, she was already down there waiting for him instead. Great coordination we had on that day indeed..  -__-

Mouseketeers get-together
Took Mae to my nieces’ house for a day of fun. They exchanged loads of crazy stories about what they did the whole year through, etc, etc..

My eldest niece - the Tomato Head whipped up something wonderful for tea break while I brought along the Vitagen and Babybel cheese. And owh… what a weird combination, now that I think of it…

                                    Cucur bawang, yuuumm....!!!

The two that’s born in the year of tiger playing PC game together. They click so well.

And for dinner, Tomato Head cooked up a delicious meal of fried chicken with potato wedges and tomyam!

Bunk Over
I bunked over at my nieces’ home on this Monday night. We did nothing but yakked, yakked and yakkity yak! We went out for J-Co doughnut and coffee and told lots of ghost stories, which kinda freaked us out that night.

Then we hit the Korean series VCD marathon (continuing from where we left off from the last school holiday), a Korean series titled Jewel in the Palace (Dae Cheung Gum) from 10.30 pm right up till 3.30 am.  After which, instead of hitting the sack at 3.30 am, we chatted in the dark on our bed till 5 am.  The next day, there were 4 zombie looking persons in the house.

My niece cooks like a pro!
My eldest niece is only in Form 4, but she cooks like a pro, I tell ya!

I guess she’s got a good cook at home as the instructor. But then I had a darn good cook at home as my instructor when I was her age too, but, but how come I turned out like this one? Up till now, I am only good in eating still. Cooking, I would give myself a 2 out of 10, I think, sad eh..? My specialty would still be Maggie mee noodle, fried egg, egg sandwich and spaghetti, thank you very much..!

Utensil set
My sis-in-law was working last w’end, participating in a food promotion at The Gardens, outside the Cold Storage Supermarket. They put on some interesting games for the public to play, and if the win, they get a box of utensil set (you know, those with a fork, spoon and chopstick inside a portable box). Since we had to show her that her daughter is still alive and kicking after staying with us for 2 days, we went up there to see her, and took part in the game. None of us managed to get through the game, but I got myself a utensil set still.. :-D

I actually intended to get a set earlier, so that I do not have to use those disposable wooden chopsticks, hence this utensil set came at a right time.

This is how mine look like.. nice..!!

I came home and googled some more, just to see what’s out there, and found some really nice ones which I would love to have.

Hey, I think I've given out quite a lot of Christmas or year end "great gift ideas" in my blog here, haven't I..? *hint, hint*

* Double hint, hint...? *

Ok lo, just trying my luck... :-(


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Smile and the world smiles with you

Little things in life have more importance than we can imagine.

A bright & radiant smile is linked in our minds to youth and attractiveness. It is the best expression of happiness, contentment and honesty.

“Doors open to people who smile. People listen to people who smile.” – Virginia Peck Richmond, Ph.D., UAB’s chair of communication studies says.

At times, when you feel extremely exhausted with life’s multiple challenges and you feel like giving up, try smiling sincerely & genuinely.

“It’s easy enough to be pleasant
When life flows like a song
But the man worthwhile,
Is the one who can smile,
When things go dead wrong.

For the test of the heart is trouble
And it always comes with the years,
And the smile that is worth
The praises of earth,
Is the smile that shines through the tears.”

- Ella Wilcox -

See what a simple act of smiling can do
1) Smiling makes us more attractive
2) Smiling can change our mood in an instant
3) Smiling is infectious
4) Smiling can relieve stress
5) Smiling releases endorphins, natural pain killers and serotonin (the natural feel good-drug)

1) Take a brisk 30 minute walk around a park. Enjoy the scenery & fresh air.
2) Skip stones across a creek
3) Play a game with a youngster and let him/her win
4) Compliment someone
5) Pay the tol fare of the car right behind you
6) Tape your favorite picture on your pc or your fridge
7) Think of your favorite thing/event/person
8) Have a cup of coffee/tea/soup
9) Help someone less fortunate than you (this always works)

Put a smile on your face, make this world a better place.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Points to ponder

1) Life is meaningless only if we allow it to be. Each of us has the power to give life meaning, to make our time and our bodies and our words into instruments of love and hope. – Tom Head

2) Experience is how life catches up with us and teaches us to love and forgive each other. – July Collins

3) When I hear somebody sigh, “Life is hard,” I am always tempted to ask, “Compared to what?” – Sydney J. Harris

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Insomnia attack?

Oooopss..... it's a public holiday tomorrow, I almost forgot about that. Ok, I can stay up for as long as it wants to stay up then.

Thanks, Nora for keeping me company! God bless those who work on night shifts.. :-D

Blog name - carrot head and applemint

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What is your personal space expectation?

Do you know that each one of us have our own personal space expectation?

Each one of us have our own expectation of an appropriate interpersonal distance.

Personal space is the “invicible”, variable volume of space surrounding an individual that defines that individual’s preferred distance from others.

Do you ever wonder sometimes, why is it that you readily agreed to certain requests by certain people while you just as quickly turn down certain requests of others?

That is because your decisions may have been influenced by the conversational distance between them and you. Some of them might have invaded your personal space, while some might have approached you from just outside the range that you would have expected them to, hence, respecting your space.

The size and shape of our personal space depends on our cultural norms and individual preferences, but it’s always a compromise between the conflicting approach – avoidance needs that we as humans have for affiliation and privacy.

How does this expectation arise? 

Each time someone approaches us, we process the context, the type of relationship, and characteristics of the others automatically in the mind so that we are able to gauge what to expect that person will & should do.

Why is it important that we are aware of this..?

Violating another person’s interpersonal expectations can be a superior strategy to conformity. When the meaning of a violation is ambiguous, communicators with a high reward can enhance their attractiveness, credibility and persuasiveness by doing the unexpected. When the violation valence or reward valence is negative, they should act in a socially appropriate way.

You might be interested to check out my previous blog post below :

Monday, November 15, 2010

Snapshots of the day

                                 Bayan Mutiara, Penang

                                Teluk Tempoyak, Penang

Pictures taken by Christopher Harriot

With each sunrise, we start anew...

For more spectacular pictures taken by Christopher, click below.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


The aftermath

This has been a rather trying week for me. I didn’t expect to get so emotionally drained when I decided to let go of something so dear to my heart. 

The mere thought of closing that chapter itself hurts just as much as thinking about it before that. Either way, I had to struggle and let whatever feeling of sadness hit me one after another; as and when it hits. I do not wish to block it or avoid it any longer.

“When you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill

Surprisingly on the night that I decided to post up the blog on Odie, I found my 2 furball staying close by me as well. This was rather unusual because on normal nights, they’ll be running around outside in the neighborhood, and those two can hardly be in the same place together. It’s as if they felt my pain and was around to provide me the silent support that I needed while I was sobbing uncontrollably. The power of animal love...

“We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.” – Carlos Castaneda

So, what are you working on?

My Deepavali celebration
We were invited to two Deepavali open house this year. This week, we were so privileged to be able to enjoy home cooked Indian food at a friend cum biz associate’s home. For that reason alone, I threw all cautions into the wind and dug in.

My lunch… beryani rice, chicken drumstick, tender mutton, fish and 2 types of veggies.

I know, I will have to work my butt off after this. But for this week, I just don't have the mental strength to be mindful of what I consume. I needed some comfort food.

It’s the school holiday again
The start of the year end school holiday always signals to me the beginning of the festive and merry season. It raises the flag up to say it’s time for high-spirited merriment, a time to catch up with close friends, parties & get-togethers with families, feasting and holidays.

After working hard throughout the entire year, it’s time to slow down and smell the roses & to enjoy the beautiful decorations at shopping malls with families and kids.

A day for celebration
Hey, it’s Nov 13th, 2010! Last year on this day, I created this blog, named it "carrot head and applemint" and posted my first blog in here.

I was asked for a name during the registration and in that spur of the moment, I just put together something that, uh... doesn’t have any meaning to most people. Carrot head is the nick name that my niece used to call me when she was in kindy. Applemint was picked because I simply like the word and the sound of it. In a way, this blog was created mainly for the purpose of sharing of tips, infos and life stories with my nieces.

It is so unbelievable that one year has gone past so quickly and I am still blogging..!! This calls for a little celebration, doesn’t it..?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Live life to the fullest

To live life to the fullest, bring a sense of adventure into every moment.

When you approach everything with the spirit of adventure, you inject your life with vitality and radiance.

Breathe a sense of adventure into everything you do by making small changes in your daily routine. Embrace the uncertainty this brings, and observe how such small shifts in perception can invite you to see the magic in the mundane.

My reference points that might interest you :
1) Inner Passage
2) Yoga Journal

Blog name - carrot head and applemint

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Time to let go - Good Bye, Odie!

One evening, about 15 years ago, I came home from work in the pouring rain. My colleague and I were car pooling. While dropping me off, I dashed out from the car, pulled open the gate in the blinding & pouring rain and dashed into the house. Because it was raining cats and dogs, I must have failed to close the gate properly or I must have not bothered to, in my haste to get out of the rain.

After about 15 minutes, I heard a car screeched loudly in front of my house, and then I heard the most horrifying bang in my life, followed by a painful howl from my dog – Odie. Realizing what must have happened, horror and fear set in my heart. I called out to my brothers, tears started to flow down my face, and I told them that it’s most probably our dog that just got hit.

In the rain, my brothers went out to inspect and true enough, they came back telling me that Odie just got hit badly by a car. He’s still alive, but probably won’t be for long. My tears flowed like the waterfall that evening, my heart hurt like it was being stabbed time and time again. I couldn’t bear to bring myself to take a look at him. My brothers kept calling his name, and about half hour later, they told me that he’s gone. They buried him behind our house.

I have never been able to forget Odie’s painful death, and even as I am typing, my tears are flowing like it has never before. This is a delicate incident in my life that I have always refused to dwell in coz it hurts too much just thinking about. My heart broke to a million pieces that night when he left us in that heart wrenching situation, and I don’t think it has ever recovered from it. I can truly understand how it feels when people say their heart bleeds.

I have done numerous self and soul searching session before, and in those times, I remember leaving behind all my sorrows and painful memories;  all except one. This one.

For the past few months and especially tonight, I let my mind replay over and over, the scenes of that night in the rain, the awful and horrifying images & sounds which I’ve kept lid tight all these years, while I let my tears flow freely. It’s time I make my peace with myself, it’s time that I let him go. It’s not easy of course, but I guess it has to happen in order for me to move on with life.

Good bye Odie, we love you. Hope you rest in peace now.

(This composition was written over a period of one year in the form of journal, it is only recently that I decided to have it posted here)


Blog name – carrot head and applemint

Hey, check this out - Coffee Talk

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Want a strong ankle, back torso and toned tummy?

                               Picture taken from Yoga Journal magazine (Feb 2010) issue

My yoga pose of the month - Garland Pose (Malasana)

Do you know that squatting is an extremely good exercise for us ladies? It actually helps to strengthen your ankle, groins and back torso. It also tones “the protruding belly” meaning the big tummy… ;-)

In the olden days, our moms, grandmothers and great grandmothers used to get plenty of such beneficial exercises whenever they go to the toilet (in those days there were no toilet bowl to sit on, remember?) and when they need to do house chores in the kitchen or in the bathroom (like washing, etc).

Does the pose look too difficult to execute?

Here, do a modified garland pose (aka squatting pose).

Ensure you keep your back straight and look straight ahead. Breathe deep and slow. 

It’s an easy pose to do. You can do it while watching TV for a minute or two at the beginning, increasing the duration each time.


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Snapshot of the day

Aaawhh.... so nice! Wish my 2 furball would sit quietly on my lap while I read, like this fella here.. :-D

Blog name - carrot head and applemint

Friday, November 5, 2010


Dynamite - Taio Cruz

I throw my hands up in the air sometimes
Saying AYO!
Gotta let go!
I wanna celebrate and live my life
Saying AYO!
Baby, let's go!

I came to dance, dance, dance, dance
I hit the floor
'Cause that's my, plans, plans, plans, plans
I'm wearing all my favorite
Brands, brands, brands, brands
Give me space for both my hands, hands, hands, hands
Ye, ye
Cause it goes on and on and on
And it goes on and on and on


I throw my hands up in the air sometimes
Saying AYO!
Gotta let go!
I wanna celebrate and live my life
Saying AYO!
Baby, let's go!

'Cause we gon' rock this club
We gon' go all night
We gon' light it up
Like it's dynamite!
'Cause I told you once
Now I told you twice
We gon' light it up
Like it's dynamite!

I came to move, move, move, move
Get out the way me and my crew, crew, crew, crew
I'm in the club so I'm gonna do, do, do, do
Just what the fuck, came here to do, do, do, do

Ye, ye

Cause it goes on and on and on
And it goes on and on and on


I throw my hands up in the air sometimes
Saying AYO!
Gotta let go!
I wanna celebrate and live my life
Saying AYO!
Baby, let's go!

'Cause we gon' rock this club
We gon' go all night
We gon' light it up
Like it's dynamite!
'Cause I told you once
Now I told you twice
We gon' light it up
Like it's dynamite!

I'm gonna take it all like,
I'm gonna be the last one standing,
I'm alone and all I
I'm gonna be the last one landing
'Cause I, I, I Believe it
And I, I, I
I just want it all, I just want it all
I'm gonna put my hands in the air
Hands in the air
Put your hands in the air

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Happy Diwali

                                      Picture taken from here

Here's wishing a very Happy Deepavali to all my Hindu friends!

May this festival of light brings joy and happiness to you and your family.

Blog name - carrot head and applemint

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