Saturday, July 30, 2011

Straighten and strengthen your lower back

My yoga pose of the month – Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

Basically, you mimic the position of sitting on a chair.

The foundation of every correct position is a strong, straight lower back. In this chair pose, we learn to straighten and in the process, strengthen our lower back and legs. 

1) Strengthens the ankle, thighs, calves and spine.
2) Develops core strength
3) Stretches and create space as well as openness in shoulders and chest
4) Stimulates the abdominal organs, diaphragm and heart
5) Reduces flat feet

Beginner's tips
To help you do the pose more comfortably, try practicing it near a wall. Begin with your back to the wall (a couple of inches away). Adjust your position in such a way that, when you bend, your tail bone is just touching and is supported by the wall.

Other online articles which you can refer to :


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What's up, Doc?

The monkey suit

Participated in an event at a client’s place last week and was required to suit up. It’s been quite a while since I did that, something that I hate doing. But for a day event, it was bearable.. :-D


Simple things in life that makes me happy

                                       Home cooked lotus root soup

It was boiling and simmering on the stove for 2 hours, and oh, how lovely it tasted! Went out to buy rice, with veggies to go with it, and was enjoying it in the living room, in front of the TV.. :-)))

See my food container in the picture? Bought it from 100¥ in KK. It's a bento set box, so I don't use those external styrofoam boxes when I "ta-pau" (pack) food home.

And this is by far the best picture I have ever taken at home.. :-D

Man’s best friend

                                 Click on any picture for a clearer view

Having to read heavy duty stuffs are not easy, especially on a hot afternoon. But hey, I get companion all the time, whether it’s in the afternoon or when I’m burning the midnight oil.

In the afternoon, I prefer to read in the room, next to the window where there's plenty of bright sunshine, using the basket as my table.

Just too hot!

Timon in our garden, hiding from the scorching sun. One afternoon I was in class, when I got this mms from ST.

                                                   The next day...

Pencil case and file

I was lying down on the sofa one afternoon, reading, when I noticed my lovely little pencil case and my brightly colored file. Don't you think they are pretty..?

Out of action for a day
Two weeks ago, I think I pulled a muscle between my neck and shoulder. One fine morning, I woke up to find that I couldn’t turn my head to the left or right. It was worse at night coz any movement will involve the neck muscle/shoulder, hence, I was not able to sleep for 2 nights. I was in pain. On the third day, I went to the doctor and was given muscle relaxant and pain killers. That day, I decided to get dis-connected for a day.

It was a coincident that the following day, I met up with my ex-yoga instructor – Shireen, and when she heard my story, she immediately identified the source of my problem. She said I sit in front of the lappie for too long & was quick to instruct me to do 2 yoga poses in the morning and evening to relief the extremely knotted muscles.

Under normal circumstances, I would do some seated neck, shoulder and upper back stretches on the chair every 2 hours. However, the 2 weeks leading to my muscle pull, I didn’t do any "in-between stretches" and non at the end of the day to release the tight muscles accumulated over the day. It was the OB exam anxiety, and some last minute unforeseen urgent work matters that all got to me.

The suggested two poses were fantastic, they worked wonders and I would like to share it here.

                                            Picture 1 - Child Pose

Sit on your heels and put your head down with forehead touching the ground like the picture here. This is the child pose, but your hands should be like the picture below.

                                     Picture 2 - Rabbit Shoulder Stretch

I did 5 sets of this, each time for the length of 5 deep and long breaths, before I revert to child pose. You can do exactly like the picture above, if you think you're up to it. But do go slow.

Your hand can be at 90 degree or less if the muscles at your neck and shoulder is too tight and painful. But bear in mind that immediately after doing it, you will feel your entire neck and shoulder like as if it is all knotted up again, only to feel relief and loosened about an hour after the stretching. It was total bliss, I tell ya!

The second pose which I did was this.

                                          Picture take from here

The cobra pose. Do not forget to open up your chest and push your shoulder down. Don't bunch up your shoulder towards the neck. Breath deep and slow.

What’s up with MIS?
In OB, we were reminded over a zillion times via various methods and channels not to copy and paste other people’s work and opinion and writings, due to the easy access to pc and internet. We were encouraged to pen down our own opinion/views on the subject matter and our own suggestions for improvement, and were also told to refer and relate our views back to the theories and terminology in the text book, but if our assignment consist of mostly direct quotation/citation from other people, we earn no marks.

In MIS however, it’s a totally different ball game. Whatever point that we discuss on, must be related and backed-up by journals and articles.. +__+

So if you can’t find reference materials to back up your point, you can’t put it down. And the access to the online journals that we have been given is limited..! 

Hmm…. I’ve never done so much online search for journals and articles before, I think I’m beginning to be an expert in it. Because more often than not, the really good articles and journals can only be accessed via subscription… f@#$%¥€...!

Ok, ok, I am quite calm……… I am calm….

Food fiesta

We had dinner on one weekend at Bangsar Shopping Village, at a place called…

The good thing about the place? They offer like 12 – 15 different types of SALAD….!! OMG, when you see the variety of salad they have there, you’ll go “bongkus”!

                                             This is the salad counter

                                               Picture taken from here

And this is what we ordered..

Salad. The top half was potato and salmon salad (ST’s choice) and bottom half is something chickpea with something something (lots of things in it), so much until I can't remember. (and it's my choice).

This was what we ordered the previous time we were there. Lovely!

         Funghi mozzarella, fresh wild mushroom, mascarpone with truffle oil pizza

The pizza is to die for....................... it's yummyliciousss............!!!

If you are there and you love mushroom, you must order this.

You can read more about the place here.. Eat Drink KL.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Are you a positive or negative person?

If you are a person who sees most things as beautiful in life, most likely you’re a positive person. If you’re a person who only picks out all that’s ugly, improper, incomplete, etc, etc, then you know what you are.

I know of people who complain endlessly, about everything, and I too, know of people who makes me feel happy just being with them.

Life itself is hard enough, don’t add on your burden OR your “perceived” burden onto others. Life will be more meaningful and fun if we see the good & funny sides in them.

I am not saying we should ignore what is not right, but highlight only if you plan to do something about changing it. If you can’t or if you don’t intend to, then let it be.

How to be a positive person

Be mindful 
Be mindful of what you say at all time. Know that you have a choice. You can either do something to change it rather than just complain for the sake of complaining, and not doing anything to improvise the situation.

If it isn’t good, let it die.  If it doesn’t die, make it good. – Ajahn Chah


When we are in the midst of chaos, let go of the need to control it. Be awash in it, experience it in that moment, try not to control the outcome but deal with the flow as it comes – Leo Babauta.

Simple and good things in life 
Look at all the good things in life and be grateful that you are able to appreciate them. Play a game of spotting the fun things or the funny side in everything that you see out there.

Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the life boats – Voltaire

Take charge 
Compare yourself to someone who is less fortunate than you. And decide what you can do today to make a difference.

I had the blues because I had no shoes until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet – ancient Persian saying.

Why is it important for you to be a positive force? Because people who exerts negative forces makes life extremely difficult for their loved ones to be around them. Being with such people drains our energy. These people are called the energy vampires!

Being positive or negative are habits of thoughts that have a very strong influence on life. A positive attitude brings strength, energy and initiative. – Remez Sasson

Positive and negative are directions. Which direction do you choose?

Articles/sites that you might find helpful in staying positive :
4) Being mindful
5) How to help negative people (this is an extremely good article to read!)


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Strike a balance

When life is becoming to be too much for you at one point, stop….. 

and seek balance.

Be still

Look within, and connect deeply with your inner wisdom.

Within you, there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself – Hermann Hesse

Through return to simple living comes control of desires. In control of desires, stillness is attained. In stillness the world is restored – Lao Tzu


Silence your racing mind and thoughts.  Listen to your inner voice.

We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence; see the stars, the moon, and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.

Be present

Then listen to the surrounding.

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives – Annie Dillard

Being present means being fully conscious of what’s going on so we can participate fully and appropriately in the opportunities that present themselves.

When you find yourself thinking too much into the future or the past, bring your awareness back to the present. If we can treasure each moment, our lives will be rich, no matter what we have accomplished.


                                                                 Picture taken from here

When we learn to accept what is, and embrace life in each present moment, our impatience often falls away.

Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow – that is patience.

The secret of patience is doing something else in the meanwhile.

Seek balance at all times. Stay grounded when life is a whirlwind. 

Some of the above quotes were extracted fr here :
2) Higher Awareness


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Dis-connecting for a day

I’ve submitted my 2 assignments this morning, woooohooooo…!!!

However, unexpected delay in projects, multiple + urgent deadlines at work, as well as assignment deadlines at college lately has kind of like taken a toll on my health and ST's too. Work demand and weeks of pre-scheduled commitment & appointments at this point, doesn't permit us to take a short vacation for the time being, though we know that's the best thing to do. 

Was feeling the pressure and I’ve decided to take time off by dis-connecting……. for a day. If I can… :-D

If you feel the same way too, but cannot afford to dis-connect, you might want to try this short break method – 6 seconds to relax.

Be back in a jiffy..!


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Can't travel? Do a mind travel..

Free your mind, just for a moment, and imagine you are where you wish to be.

Aaaawh.... bliss........... :)))


Blog name - carrot head and applemint

Friday, July 8, 2011

What's up, Doc?

We had an appointment in town one afternoon. Knowing ST and his "anxiety disorder", it was no surprise that we found ourselves in town with more than an hour to spare. So to while away the time, he decided to show off his knowledge of KL (he’s a sales man mah…). He drove us around and we somehow stumbled upon this place….

Yeah…. We drove in, and saw that the reception area was huge like the kind of entrance to a museum, you know, and it was a cool place!! There were loads of tourist buses and private tour vans lined up at a big and systematic open car park. So, we kind of like guessed that the company actually takes in tourists, which gave us the idea of joining one of those group for a tour. It’s a humongous place, I tell ya! ST didn't even know that they take in visitors/tourists to this extent.. +__+

                                                        This picture is taken from here

See what I mean? Makes me feel like as I am going into Universal Studio or something... And the crowd..?

The huge reception counter is always with tour guides, and they're professional looking and speaking one, you know. The entire area is only quiet for like 5 to 10 minutes, after which, a tour bus or a tour van will swing by, and then you get a crowd coming like the above, before they are welcomed by a tour guide and ushered in. Entrance is free, and anyone can drop by at anytime during working hour. ST says when he retires, he would also like to work there as a part time tour guide.

                                             Click on any picture for a clearer view

Going into the factory, museum and souvenir shops. See that impressive wall...?

Behind that impressive wall, are all the palm prints of their craftsmen (man or woman) who's worked there for more than 5 years. Their palms are printed with their name at the corner.

Royal Selangor was started by a Mr Yong Koon (then called Selangor Pewter), who hailed from China, and is now being managed by the fourth generation of the Yong family. The museum houses some very rare and priceless pieces of personal items used by Mr Yong himself, but mostly are really old pewter collections made by him/his company and some brief history of tin mining. Tin is one of the substance contained in the pewter.

In 1992, the company changed its name to Royal Selangor to reflect its royal endorsement from His Royal Highness The Sultan of Selangor that time.

                                   The hot melted pewter beside the worker...

                                               The beautiful end products...

                        There's a station for tourists and visitors like us to try...

They also offer a quick 30 minute course in pewter making, where paying guests will be taught how to make a cute bowl. Upon completion, the guest will get to keep the bowl he/she made, the apron that was used during the lesson and a certificate. The course is RM 60 p'person.. :-D

                                   Their cafe, with large fishes in the pool...

It was a very interesting and informative tour and we were so glad that we went for it. Good place to drop by with kids during the school holidays too. All the items on sale at the souvenir shops are costly, needless to say, but they do have small pieces of jewelry items which are rather avant garde and a whole variety of useful stuffs, which is good as gifts, such as tableware and drinkware. I truly love their urbane and contemporary designs. Simple and tasteful!

The cafe has pewter little vases to house their flowers on each table, and guests who goes there for a drink, have their tea housed in cute little tea vases made of pewter. Lovely...!

For a map on how to get there, please click here

That's all, folks!


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