Saturday, 31 December 2011

from simple pleasures. Really, they just found this out? It should not be rocket science. It's always going back to the basic and the old age way of life.

According to the survey, these are the top 30 boosters - finding things that you value in your pockets (like dodger stadium cufflinks) that you didn't expect is always a big pleasure .
TOP 30 HAPPINESS BOOSTERS
1. Finding a $10 note in an old pair of jeans
2. Going on holiday
3. Getting into bed with freshly washed sheets
4. Swimming in the sea
5. Waking up on a sunny day
6. Sitting in the sun
7. Being surprised with a gift or flowers
8. Getting a nice message from a loved one
9. Cuddles
10. Receiving a thank-you card in the post
11. Seeing an elderly couple holding hands
12. Driving a car with the window down on a sunny day
13. Winning a $10 prize on the lottery
14. Booking a holiday
15. Hearing your favourite song
16. Finding a bargain
17. Seeing an old friend
18. A picnic in the park
19. Getting a promotion
20. A romantic night out
21. A song that reminds you of your past
22. Looking at old photos
23. Making a new friend
24. Having a quiet moment to yourself
25. Walks in the country
26. Hearing a baby laugh
27. A girls'/boys' night out
28. Waking up on a Saturday morning and realising it's the weekend
29. Chocolate
30. Eating cake

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/top-stories/simple-ways-to-get-the-good-life-in-2012/story-e6frfkp9-1226233341745#ixzz1i7PcfVQr


I reckon, not centering ones life in material things can give one instant boost.
*****

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

It's not like everyone would be stressed. Like me, I can't be bothered with all the commercialism of this season. I buy gift when I see things that I'm sure people that I know will like or appreciate them, no need for the occasion as a reason.

Anyway, if you're stressed juggling work, shopping, party, family... take some time to meditate. Five minutes of it will do wonders. I'm not one to meditate, as a matter of fact, I remember doing it when I was in retreat. But it doesn't seem to be that hard. I might just to do it. Twice daily is attainable, just less time watching download from YouTube.

*****
That's what most people love in Christmas. On top of being with family and friends of course. In the news today, some people consider it their most important meal of the year not to mention the most expensive, the Christmas lunch. It's also the time when people splurge and binge intentionally. Food is actually tastier when shared around, I reckon.

Oh, the pressies are in between here and there of course. Some would get zamberlan boots, jewellery, electronic gadgets, etc. We as a family get a lot. That I am thankful for. The whole year has been just full of blessings, I couldn't ask for anything.

*****

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

..is none. I already have what my heart wished for. But then, those coupons for walmart are big help if you haven't done your Christmas shopping and if there's Walmart in your area. Sadly, there's none in Down Under. I'm familiar with coupons as I have used some and saved. So now is the right time to use these coupons to the max and enjoy the opportunities. Though from the b+s list of pressies, this caught my attention. I wouldn't mind some pampering products. Really.



b+s loves…

This set of beauty goodies is spiked with peppercorn oil, pink pepper extract and spicy cardamom and ginger, which is said to reenergise sluggish skin. Either way, it’s a gorgeous way to perk up our bathroom and our senses!

Molton Brown Refraction gift set, $99. Available from selected David Jones stores or phone (02) 9150 0590 for stockists.


*****
at its cheapest. I noticed for almost a month now, the prices of bananas have been down to less than 2 bucks a kilo. A big fall from 12 bucks a few months ago - more so after the floods. So it's time to catch-up on those bananas you missed for almost half a year. It's rich in potassium and yummy too.

Thinking of concocting something with bananas, here's an inspiration.

Cooking Time

35 minutes
Ingredients (serves 4)

4 bananas, peeled, thickly sliced
1/3 cup sultanas
1 tablespoon desiccated coconut
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 orange, rind finely grated, juiced
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 sheets filo pastry
olive oil cooking spray
1 teaspoon caster sugar
2/3 cup low-fat vanilla custard, to serve

Method

Preheat oven to 190°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place banana, sultanas, coconut, brown sugar, orange rind, 2 tablespoons orange juice and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a bowl. Stir to combine.

Place 1 pastry sheet on a workbench. Top with another pastry sheet. Spray with oil. Repeat twice with remaining pastry sheets and oil to make 6 layers.

Spoon banana mixture along 1 long edge of pastry, leaving a 5cm border on both short ends. Fold short ends in and roll up to enclose filling. Place strudel, seam side down, on prepared tray.

Spray top of strudel with oil. Combine caster sugar and remaining 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Sprinkle over strudel. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until pastry is crisp and golden. Stand strudel on tray for 5 minutes. Slice and serve with custard.



I'm putting gift ideas for Christmas in your head. Oh, I was curious of apple strudel from The Sound of Music movie.
*****

Saturday, 19 November 2011

..reindeer?

When we get to a certain age, the magnifying mirror becomes the beauty tool we love to loathe. It saves us from smudging our eyeliner, but it also amplifies some facial details that perhaps we’d rather not scrutinise up close. Like the skin on our nose. It changes over time. The pores get bigger, the texture more rough and inflamed. And have you got those tiny broken capillaries around your nose? Yeah, me too. I’ve had my suspicions about what causes this (in a word: booze) but I wanted to get the experts’ take to find out what we can do about it.

Enlarged, visible pores may simply be the result of a build-up of sebum (or oil), which regular extractions by a facialist’s nimble fingers should resolve. But the main culprit behind the thickening and reddening of the skin, it turns out, is rosacea – a sensitised dermal condition that causes flushing all over the face. (Read up more about it in our rosacea fact sheet.)



“There is a subset of rosacea that seems to affect the nose and not much else,” says dermatologist Dr. Chris Kearney from Sydney Specialist Dermatology. “There’s something about that area that it likes to come to.”



Years of sun exposure can also change the nose skin’s appearance, of course. Add in the fact that around 15 per cent of the Australian population is affected by rosacea to some degree, and that hormonal changes also play a role and you’ve got an ageing trend. Which I’m now calling “nosacea.”



Now, hopefully I don't get this in the future. It was said that people with oily skin get this but if under control, they age slowly. So there, oily skin is not always that bad except if your hormones are on overdrive. So take a break and maybe join the roadside assistance club because there's still rainbow behind the storm of acnea and shiny face.
*****

Sunday, 13 November 2011

The halloween has just passed. And there are more bigger holidays coming up. I want to get into the spirit but it is hard when you are not that kind of person. But we have so many things to celebrate and thankful for this year that when I get a breather, I'll surely get into it full blown.

I want to put a big tree this christmas - oh not just then but by the start of December so we can enjoy it more. I also want to get into my Christmas shopping early and avail some of those coupons which are already available when you click here. Certainly, there are so many things to get excited about and be busy.

*****
This is from the body and soul.com.au.
Glowing skin

We've all heard that vitamin C can keep the sniffles at bay. However, scientists have uncovered a new role vitamin C plays in protecting the skin. A natural part of the ageing process is a decrease in collagen and elastin fibres of the skin. Yet according to researchers at the University of Leicester, vitamin C, can not only "mop up" free radical damage (oxygen fragments that attack and damage collagen cells), but can help remove the DNA damage they form. Since the body cannot store vitamin C, we need to top up levels with our diet. Foods rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwi fruit and vegetables such as capsicum, tomatoes, broccoli and sprouts.

Beat acne

It's often believed that eating greasy food or chocolate can cause the skin to breakout. Recent research, now suggests the root cause of acne could lie in the consumption of typically high-GI sugary foods. A study conducted at RMIT University in Victoria followed two groups of teenage boys for 12 weeks. One group ate low-GI, high protein foods, compared to the other, who ate a diet consisting of white bread, potatoes, and sugary drinks and snacks. The researchers found the sugar overload caused a rapid release in insulin, triggering the over production of skin cells, leading to acne. To keep breakouts at bay, keep blood sugar levels stable by eating a diet high in fresh fruit and vegetables, unprocessed grains, low-fat yoghurt, nuts and legumes.


Vitamin c rich foods do not only help boost our immune system, it also give glow to our skin. That plus healthy eyelash growth, will surely look one gorgeous or dashing. So, load up the shopping trolley of those citrus and high fibre good.

*****

Sunday, 9 October 2011


Leading by example

If you want to improve your children's health, check you own health first. Look at your habits and how they are educating your kids. Make sure you eat all your vegetables and tell your kids about how great you feel and how good it tastes. This information will slowly have an effect over the years.

Eat as a family as often as possible

A recent US study found that children and teens who share meals with their families at least three times a week were less likely to be overweight, eat unhealthy foods or be at risk of eating disorders.

Work with your child about food

Give them healthy foods to choose from. By giving them a choice, you show understanding, compassion and respect for their likes. They will be much more inclined to try new things if they know they are not being forced.

Positively reinforce healthy eating habits

Kids love to be encouraged, supported and told how well they are doing. Telling them they're "not leaving the table until you eat your veggies" or offering a sweet reward for eating healthy food, are bad habits to get into.


There are many tips out there that helps us to raise healthy and active kids. They're all helpful but I suppose one has to be very consistent which is not part of our routine. I admit that we play it by ear or we rely on our instincts. Although, I am sure most parents are after of their kids well being and how are they going to turn up ias adults (maybe one of those raleigh nc lawyers?)? Regardless, parenting is always unique just like each one of us.
*****
.. for me, that is. This is from body and soul website. This is what I truly need. I don't get enough exercise although I consider my doing the house chores enough exercise but apparently not. There are so many things that I have put-off including some Dental Jobs on my peggies that I am hoping to find time while overseas.


Start your day with a good stretch

Our muscles and the tissues that surround them need to breathe daily, so commit to starting your morning with a simple stretch. Just 10 minutes each morning will help you release tension and start the day feeling invigorated.

"Try some hamstring, lower-back and shoulder stretches that can be done on the bus, in front of the TV, after a workout or at the office," Kelly says. "If you can't motivate yourself, find a local yoga class."


*****

Sunday, 25 September 2011

are you?

Here are some tips from Christie Nicholas:

HIRE a house cleaner if they can afford it.

ASK for help if they need it.

DO something that makes them feel sexy.

EXERCISE regularly.

ACKNOWLEDGE their emotions.

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/national/health-and-happiness-is-in-your-hands-author-tell-smums/story-e6frfkvr-1226144532383#ixzz1Yxnb76bb


I'd say healthy mummy has less pressure and more achievable. On the other hand, I believe that it really depends on the person. One doesn't have to a Mum to be a slouch or it's not only women without kids that should look babe (yeah, that's what Mcj calls me). Being a mum makes one really full-on busy including getting away from electronic pickpocketing in crowded places. But supermums can do them. Really, they dont need exercise as the every day tasks are enough to keep them fit.
*****
The first -ber month is almost over. Christmas is just a few weeks ahead. My most favourite season in a year. And although, we are not going back to my hometown in the last -ber month, we are still making the trip in the -ber months. Something to feel good and excited. I'm actually in the mood now. I'm tuning in to SG's christmas album.



Come hurricane, high water and malfunctioning symbol barcode scanner, I'll make sure that I grab a copy of her CD when we're home.

*****

Sunday, 11 September 2011

The Tatapilla was invited to a birthday party of his friend from school - a girl friend. The party was at the same place where the Tatapilla had his fourth. The place was quiet compared to his party - today being a Sunday. The Big Guy is not big on playground party unless he has some friends that share his interest. He doesn't like playing in daring areas - he is very cautious. I thought he was not having fun unlike when one sends first birthday invitations, all the hype is there. But eventually, he found his niche - he is easy to amuse anyway.
*****

Sunday, 28 August 2011

While blogging I am listening to this:


This is the first song of Sarah G that I like.

Anyway, as to the effect of music:

Music soothes

Listening to music from our youth can be particularly beneficial, Fuller says. "We're very affected by sound so if you play music from a time when you were doing interesting things and happy, that revitalises you. It floods you with feel-good hormones.

"If you feel uplifted, the muscles in your face relax more. You’ll stand and move differently – more upright and with confidence – and you’ll breathe more deeply and that impacts on oxygenation to the skin and improves your complexion. All these subtle changes can help you look younger."

Fuller believes it’s also important to have friends of a broad age range so you keep up to date with younger people, but also have friends who are older and leading interesting lives.

"They show you growing older doesn’t have to be depressing and dispel the negative myths about ageing," she says.

Try to do at least one new thing each week – even if it’s only finding a new route to work, taking up a new sport or hobby, going away for a weekend to a place you have never visited before or listening to a new style of music.

"When we try something new we’re enthusiastic and that is an attractive trait," Fuller says. "People appear younger when they are engaged, interested, curious and enthusiastic. So don’t give up on living life."


Indeed! Music does wonder to people as water pump does to plants.
*****
I always buy steak but I am not really sure how to cook them so I always braised them. Though one would think that's ruining a perfectly good steak by boiling. Oh there are many recipes available online. One just have to find to her liking. But this tip is really helpful. I'll definitely do this as I have already fried the steak and will freeze them. Will put in the oven when it's time to eat them. This is a compromise for one has to cook enmasse on the weekend to cater for the weekdays. We enjoy some nice steak cook just before eating them at times (just like tumbling composter).

Cooking the Perfect Steak
For best results, remove the steak from the refrigerator about an hour before cooking. This will allow the steak to get to room temperature. This is really important if you are going to cook the steak blue, rare or medium rare.

I’d recommend using a grill plate with bars, or a char grill on a BBQ heat as they will give you the best results. Turn the heat to high, as it enables the natural juices to be sealed inside the steak.

Season the steak with sea salt, black pepper and macadamia nut oil, then place on the hot grill. Leave for 3 minutes and then turn 90 degrees, this will give you the char grill marks or criss-cross effect. Cook for a further 3 minutes then turn the steak over and repeat on the other side. At that point remove the steak and finish in the oven.

If you are able to finish the steak in an oven, do so, otherwise finish on the grill to the desired doneness. Rare to medium rare will just be a few minutes longer on the grill, where as medium and medium well will see a small pool of juice come up out the top of the steak after a few minutes.

The key to the perfect steak, is allow the steak to rest after cooking. Simply remove the steak from the grill or oven, place on a plate in a warm place for a ¼ of the cooking time. The reason you need to rest the steak is because the meat is all tensed up from the heat of the cooking and you need to allow the meat to relax.

Credits
*****

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Some really helpful tips in instilling manners to our kids from bodyandsoul.com.au.

Five manners all kids should learn

Saying "please" and "thank you": Eighty five per cent of people surveyed in a US poll a few years ago said they felt the world would be a better place if we just said "please" and "thank you" more often. And they may just be words, but throwing in a "please" or "thank you" can soften a command, or make a response sound friendly and respectful.
Eating like civilised humans: The subject of table manners could fill pages. But learning some basic politeness like not talking with a mouthful, not reaching in front of others and not burping, passing wind or talking about disgusting topics in public can take kids a long way.
Respecting others' voice space: If someone is talking – whether an adult or one of their friends – kids should learn it's impolite to interrupt. While teaching them to say "excuse me" is good, kids also need to know that saying it over the top of other is not polite.
Don't use rude or disrespectful language: Kids, like all of us, need to learn how speak politely to others and not use rude or inappropriate language and put-downs. This is not about swearing – some non-swear words can hurt a lot more – but continuing the theme of treating others courteously and with respect.
Respect differences: We live in a diverse society now with lots of different cultures, nationalities and traditions. Teach kids to embrace and accept diversity in others.


As parents, we are the first teacher and however the kids interact outside our house have at great time, something to do with how we have brought them up. And hope for the best that what we have instilled in them will live long and carry on (much like bearings).
*****

Monday, 25 July 2011

I felt the onset Friday morning. My right nostril was clogged with a mild headache. I took paracetamol - the symptoms were manageable. I was alright - just a bit tired. We dropped by the chemist on the way to the supermarket to pick-up cold and flu medicine. I bought the generic one as I was told they are the same as that of the branded. It doesn't matter. But it's the third day now, and I don't feel any better. Last night, Mcj told me that the medication I bought is milder compared to that of the branded stuff. So today, I am taking the branded ones. Hopefully, I'll get better to go to work tomorrow.

But I wonder, what do I really feel. Cold or flu. I have been using them interchangeably without really knowing what is what. Thanks to about.com, I'm about to find out.


What is the difference between the cold and flu?

The common cold and the flu are both respiratory illnesses with similar symptoms. So how can you differentiate between the two?

The main difference between the common cold and the flu (influenza) is the severity of the symptoms.

Flu symptoms generally:
Come on quickly and severely.
Include fever, which tend to be higher and last longer (3 to 4 days) than the occasional low-grade fever that may accompany a cold.
Include body aches and severe tiredness or fatigue.

Common cold symptoms:

Gradually get worse over a few days.
Are more likely to include runny or stuffy nose than the flu.
Often include a sore throat, while flu rarely does.
May cause tiredness, but it is much less severe than the exhaustion that comes with the flu.
Do not usually result in serious health problems and hospitalizations.


Now, I know that I have common cold as although I don't wish anyone to have what I got (that's why no trip to the commercial playground equipment), it's not that severe. I reckon, plenty of rest and food with medication will do me good.
*****

Sunday, 17 July 2011


cup cakes, that is.

We've been buying the woolworths mud cupcakes but for the big day of The Tatapilla, he requested these iced cupcakes - along with the mud cupcakes and pirate cake. It was a hit. A co-worker commented that it isn't bad. You know, woolies stuff, I reckon sometimes are too commecialised but I am happy that we didn't ordered the cake and cupcakes from these so called independent overpriced bakery - as you know, in birthday parties.. kids are already too full to gobble up nice cakes.

Now onto presents received from friends who went to the party (no best doormats this time) but lots of really nice toys.
*****
Change is as good as a holiday. Yes, that's what we need in our meals at home. I've been cooking these days and sometimes, I ran out of ideas of what to cook. Mcj's favourite is (along the lines of htc smart phone as well) mexican - more on enchiladas and tacos.

All the ingredients are in the pantry now but we don't have the time to have some. But for inspiration, here's a recipe from taste.com.au.

Ingredients (serves 8)

2 long green chillies, deseeded, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon chilli powder
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
600g pork fillets
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 corn tortillas
1/2 small iceberg lettuce, thinly shredded
2 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
2 small avocadoes, thinly sliced
toppings, to serve (see note)

Add above ingredients to your shopping list
Method

Place chopped chillies, garlic, oregano, chilli powder and vinegar in a food processor. Process until almost smooth. Pour into a large, ceramic dish.

Add pork. Turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate, turning occasionally, for 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan-forced. Heat oil in a frying pan over high heat. Add pork. Cook, turning, for 5 minutes or until browned. Place pork on a greased baking tray. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until just cooked through. Stand for 10 minutes. Thinly slice.

Meanwhile, wrap tortillas in foil. Place on a baking tray. Bake for 10 minutes or until heated through.

Place tortillas on a plate. Cover with foil to keep warm. Serve tortillas with lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, pork and toppings.


*****

Saturday, 2 July 2011


Weekend dinners are usually easy to cook food like sausages, fish or left overs. If not, just frozen pastries and meat. Tonight, it not different. We had sausages and instead of having sausage rolls, I bought burger buns so we made do. Toss in some green salad and cheese. This dinner is a little bit too much for me - Mcj would soon put up plaques for me for the person with eyes bigger than her stomach. Simple dinner shared with my family. Priceless.
*****

Sunday, 26 June 2011



This is my first try of making mud cake. I bought the chocolate on impulse and found that the recipe at the back is really easy so I made it last night. It looked quite nice before i put in the oven but it had colapsed when it was cooked as I have to leave it longer as required because the inside wasn't cooked quickly. This is all because of using gluten-free flour. I haven't found a secret recipe or tip yet when baking using gluten-free flour. There might be one as I have found that the cake cooks slower or longer than usual. Sometimes, it is moist or dry. Oh well, I just have to persevere and reward myself with funny t shirts when I have perfected a recipe.
*****

Sunday, 19 June 2011

This is probably for me as I seem to think that I don't eat as much fibre as I should. Well, actually I think that I dont eat as much as I should but I can only so much.

From bodyandsoul.com.au:
Here are four ways to get more fibre in your diet
1
Choose vegetables over salad

Salad vegetables such as lettuce, rocket and radicchio are delicious and aer rich in vitamin K, C, beta-carotene and iron. However, as a vegetable, they are low fibre choices. Enjoy your salads, but add fibre-rich vegetables to your diet daily such as cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, carrots, beans and peas.
2
Replace fruit and vegetable juice with fruit and vegetables

If you have ever used a juicer, you will have seen the pulp left behind after extracting the juice. This pulp is fibre. Fruit juice, in particular, is high in sugar and low on the valuable fibre that fruit in its unprocessed form offers.
3
Less processed is best

When possible choose the least processed food option. For instance, eat brown rice over white rice and go for 100 per cent wholemeal bread over white or even multigrain. Whole grains contain double the fibre of their refined cousins. Taking this unprocessed concept further: eat potatoes with the skin on (even in mashed potato) or bake pumpkin with the skin – even the seeds too. With fruit, don't peel apples, pears or even grapes. Enjoy them: seeds, peel and all.
4
Brekkie fibre recipe

This recipe is a brilliant way of starting the say with enough fibre. Sprinkle a dessertspoon on your cereal; add it to smoothies or even yoghurt. Store in a sealed container in the fridge.

Mix together

1 cup ground LSA (linseeds, sunflower seeds, almonds) available from supermarkets
1 cup slippery elm powder
1 cup rice bran
1 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup psyllium husks
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp acidophilus powder


Well, at least I eat as much veggies and fruit as I can. I am not fond of drinking juice or eating dried fruit or anything that go through the barcode scanner individually. I like them in packs of greens, that is.
*****
Jens and I have just made a strawberry cake for the first time - checking up trade show accessories will come later. He's been wanting strawberry cake for almost two weeks. It's winter so it was possible as strawberries are in season though as of last Friday, they were still a bit dear.

The photo is available here: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=226112864084901&set=a.168782609817927.42612.100000585667996&type=1&theater

We got the recipe from bestrecipes.com.
Ingredients:
Butter
Caster Sugar
Eggs
Self-raising flour (we used gluten-free)
a punnet of strawberries
milk
vanilla

The recipe is similar to banana cake except using strawberries instead of bananas. It was a hit - not too sweet and the strawberries balanced the flavour.
*****



You Are Apple Cinnamon Tea



You are a warm and friendly person. You have a compassionate heart, and it shows.
You are naturally sweet and kind. Your spirit of generosity is far reaching.
You love to be cozy and comfortable. You are a natural homebody.
And while you like to be at home, you're not a hermit. You love it when your friends make themselves at home at your place.




I am not a tea drinker so I cant really say what does cinnamon tea taste like.. Uh duh, cinnamon of course. I only drink tea if I have to.

I'd consider myself a homebody these days. I am already out 5 days in a week so I'd rather spend time at home with my family (could be playing with monster rc trucks) cooking, baking.. or simply have fun at home.
*****

Sunday, 5 June 2011

The cold season is what I consider the time when people have to gear up their body. Sniffles, cold, flu and cough seems to be the trend illnesses. Here are some tips.

Five ways to boost your immunity

Eat a tub of organic yoghurt or a bowl of miso soup.
Drink a smoothie full of alkalising green vegetables.
Try a probiotic drink such as kefir.
Limit alcohol, caffeine and soft drinks.
Choose healthy oils such as olive oil and healthy fats such as oily fish and avocados.



I might just take up the eating yoghurt while sitting on Adirondack chairs in the backyard if we have one.
*****

Sunday, 22 May 2011



Recently, I was tempted to buy bed sheets with higher threadcount than I normally buy. I was just curious, that's all. I want to feel it to my skin and see the difference. Plus, they were on sale as it's getting cold and the sheets are for warm season. And I'm still waiting for the warm season to use them. But really, what are threadcounts? Found this in yahoo.com. It looks like those labels are just to use online printing service. I have yet to prove that they are indeed good and last longer.

We searched on "thread count of sheets" and "linens buying guide" and had to rip past dozens of sites trying to sell sheets before we found your answer. Finally, we came to rest upon this definition: thread count is the number of horizontal and vertical threads in one square inch of fabric.

Thread count in sheets can range from 80 to 700, although most stores sell sheets that range from 180 to 320. In general, the higher the thread count, the softer the fabric feels, but that doesn't necessarily mean the sheets will last longer (and sheets with a higher thread count are usually more expensive). One linens department manager says thread counts above 380 are "kind of a farce." Manufacturers twist two threads in a way that lets them double the sheet's thread count.

Recently, many linens manufacturers have touted thread count as the best way to choose a sheet. But others point out that the quality of the fibers and finish are more important to the sheet's comfort and durability. In fact, sheets made of linen, flannel, or jersey (those trendy "T-shirt" sheets) have low thread counts due to the type of fabric. A high thread count would eliminate part of the appeal of these sheets.

According to Consumer Reports, cotton and cotton-blend sheets with a thread count of 180 to 200 stand up to wear and tear and provide satisfactory comfort.

*****



You Are Milk



You are caring and nurturing. You like to make sure that your friends are well fed and well loved.
As long as the basics are covered for you, you're happy. All you seek is a roof over your head and a full stomach.
You are a calming influence on others. You haven't figured out why or how, but you're a pretty naturally peaceful person.
You help remind people of simpler, easier times. You make others feel like everything is going to be okay.




I realise that my life is so many ups and downs of everything. There was a time that I wasn't as materialistic as other times. I've sworn off spending and acquiring things that are really not necessary. There are also times, that I indulged myself with excessive shopping. But behind all these, I still think that I want to live simpler. Yes, we now live a very simple life.. but mayby a little bit simpler. I just hope that hair loss treatments wouldn't get in the way of that thinking. I'd prefer living fully in a more emotional and spiritual way.
*****

Sunday, 15 May 2011




You Are Fettuccine Alfredo



Compared to most people, you have rich and decadent tastes.
If you can afford something, you'll go ahead and indulge yourself.
You are a true foodie. No food is off the table for you.
You're the type most likely to appreciate every aspect of a five star meal.




Well, this isn't really true as my first love in pasta dishes is the good old spaghetti bolognese. I veered away from white sauce as more ofte, I don't like it. It seems every chef has their own idea of what comprise a white sauce like that of alfredo. Tomato-based sauce seldom go wrong. I'm on the safe side. I'm more on investing in sure think like buying gold coins or American silver eagles rather than investing in high-rish market.
*****
As a parent, I really hope that the Tatapilla will grow up a likeable individual with good manners. I know there are many books available or any reading materials that I have access to but I seldom read them. We play it by the ears or through our instinct. I'm sure my parents didn't have a guide or manual while raising us up but we ended up quite good actually.

Today, I read about teaching kids to show empathy and one example was taking care of animals. Just last week, two ginger kittens adopted us (followed us home when we went for a walk). They're the neighbours but it seems that they are not taking care of them so Mcj being a cat-lover is feeding them at home and they dont have plans of going home. The Tatapilla is really keen on them. He feeds them, baby them, play with them. I now see that he likes taking care of them.

We do our best in teaching him manners and at the same time, hope that it will take him further in life. If only with kids you can take a 5th wheel insurance and when something go wrong, the insurance company will pay you out and you'll get a new one. We apply our learnings from our experience and at the same time, based on the Tatapilla's personality.
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Sunday, 8 May 2011

No, I didnt buy all these food from the Filipino Grocery. I'm the only person who eats pinoy food and it's no fun eating something on your own. It's best shared. Plus, most of these food are for family consumption.. buying just for one person seems a waste as it cant be consumed soon enough. It's not like buying Wholesale Insurance. Although, I enjoyed browsing at the shops. It makes me feel like I'm back in the Philippines.



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They've been on the market for how long? I'm not really sure but it's just recently that I have tried them. I was really getting tired these days that any boost is welcome. I started with redbul. I didnt take one can in one day. Also tried V.. and then wicked. So far, I cant give any decent testimony that these products have really boosted my energy. I don't drink as much so maybe that's the reason. I dont feel different than when I drink coffee. Meaning, when I am tried.. I am tired. No amount of coffee can perk me up - it seems that if I am into playing games Id be wide wake with xbox slim). I am actually on the verge of thinking that all these products are just having placibo effect.


But what really is in energy drinks?
What are their main ingredients?
The main ingredients in energy drinks are caffeine, taurine and glucuronolactone. Some new drinks on the market also contain opium poppy seed extract or ephedrine.

Taurine
Taurine is an amino acid that occurs naturally in the body. Amino acids help to build protein. They are also believed to detoxify and cleanse the body of harmful substances. In times of stress and high physical activity, the body can lose small amounts of taurine. Some people use energy drinks to try to replace or build up their body's level of taurine.

Glucuronolactone
Glucuronolactone also occurs naturally in the body. It is a natural metabolite and carbohydrate formed when glucose breaks down, and is believed to be helpful in ridding the body of harmful substances and providing an instant energy boost.

Caffeine
Caffeine is a stimulant which acts on the central nervous system to speed up the messages to and from the brain so that the person feels more aware and active.

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Thursday, 28 April 2011


If somebody ask me if I have eaten seaweed, I'll say no.. not this type anyway as I haven't tried sushi in my entire life. I have eaten fresh seaweed though, or I have tried when I was in the Philippines.

Seaweed is known to be rich in iodine. Although there are pros and cons (and so tv mounts), when eaten in moderation will benefit the body.

Using seaweed

* Sheets of seaweed can be shredded and added to salads or rolled up to make sushi. In powder form, it can be added to juices and smoothies or sprinkled over meals.



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There were lavenders and other scents for sale at the market that we went to last Good Friday. We just stopped at the lavenders and Mcj had been suggesting things for me to buy like little pillows, hanging things, etc. All to calm a person and help sleep. I told him, I don't need help to sleep. Yes, I always sleep soundly except when I am excited or when I am angry at him before going to sleep - lol.

There are many ways on how to unwind the mind to de-clutter and de-stress. Bodyandsoul.com.au suggest many things and reading is one of them. That is my form of de-stressing. I'm not the sort to indulge myself with having a long soak in the bath as I find it tedious and waste of time - a good long shower is just as good. Going online and reading blogs as well as youthology review, do good for me too.

There are many ways on how to channel ones stress level - you just have to know and norture it.

*****

Because of gluten free diet cooking that we have at home, we can seldom have a real spaghetti. I have never seen a gluten free spaghetti and I rekon, I wont as gluten free pasta breaks easily. It seems making acne home remedies is easier to do than look for this type of spaghetti. Anyway, two days ago we had real spaghetti and it was a hit again. I didn't put as much veggies as I usually do but it still tasted good. No ready made sauce either, just tomato paste and some sliced/diced tomatoes.
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Monday, 25 April 2011

Jesus is alive and it's time to rejoice. Why now contact Augusta flower delivery if you're in the US and send some flowers like these to your friends and loved ones?


Or if you have flowers growing in the garden pick some and put it on the table to perk someone's day at home. Flowers always make someone's day.
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Facial steaming: an unbeatable trick.

You will need a large cooking bowl into which you can pour approximately six to eight cups of boiled water. You’ll also need two towels: one to place over your head to trap the steam and the other to layer under the bowl to protect the table from heat.

Add two drops of essential oil, or roughly one handful of fresh herbs or one tablespoon of dried herbs.

Give the water a stir and allow it to sit for approximately five minutes before proceding to steam your skin.

Be very careful, as steam can burn skin quickly. It’s always better to have the water too cool, rather than too hot: after all, you can always top it up with hotter water.

The temperature needs to be warm enough to make your skin perspire but not so hot that it’s hard to inhale or hurts your skin.

Steam your skin until it feels good and wet with perspiration, by which time the water should be cooling and no longer producing steam. Once there’s no more steam, it’s all over.

Don’t steam your face if you have visible capillaries, skin irritations or skin conditions such as rosascea. Remember to consult your doctor first.

Herbs from the garden or the pantry can also be used in a facial steam bath. Fresh lavender flowers are beautiful, so are rose petals, mint leaves, sage, fennel and lemon grass. Simply toss a handful into freshly-boiled water and allow to steep for five minutes before testing the temperature and steaming your skin.

One herb reputed to do wonders is liquorice root. You can buy this from health stores for between $5 and $10 for 50g. It comes as a woody stick. Place it into freshly boiled water, cover and allow to sit for 10 minutes, then test to see if it’s cool enough to steam your skin.


As they say, this is the old age secret to clear skin. And so far the cheapest way to achieve it and less hassle yet one has to be careful. So, if you're on for a Mega Meeting web video conferencing and want to appear blemish-free, this might worth a try but I suppose it has to be done regularly.

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.. i know, I know. Lol. but i reckon, just this once people can indulge. I haven't. I'm sure, some give the same reason on Christmas.


I'd still say, too much of something is bad but if eaten in moderation is good. Chocolate doesn't have to evil as long as eaten once in a while. It has become comfort food for some so I'd advice if feeling down, try shopping for interior plantation shutters, it might perk you up just selecting styles, textures and colours.
*****

Saturday, 26 March 2011

I've been into perfume or cologne these days. I seem to have adapted the idea that it's essential, like conference call to people with international base. In a span of a month, I have amassed bottles of them more than I have in my entire life. If I will let my want of them grow, I'll be downright crazy in panic buying. Although, I must admit I only buy those on special and the scents that I like.

But of course, there are other essential scents.
Peppermint (Mentha piperita)

One of the most uplifting fragrances, Peppermint instills confidence and helps to clarify thoughts and emotions. Physically, peppermint has the quirky talent of being both warming and cooling, which makes it the perfect digestive remedy, helping to quell nausea, indigestion and bloating. Drink peppermint tea. Also good for sinus congestion, asthma and bronchitis, add peppermint oil to a steam vaporizer.
Rose (Rosa damascena)

Think love. Think compassion. Rose is the most sensual, not sexual of the essential oils. Fabulously aromatic and fantastically expensive, only a couple of drops are needed to work it’s magic. Massage over the heart chakra with rose oil will help mend a broken heart and provide harmony and strength through tough times. Rose is used in cosmetic preparations to reduce redness and improve dry skin.
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Derived from the Latin word ‘lavare’ – to wash, lavender is commonly used in soaps, bath oils and detergents. A calming, soothing fragrance, lavender is the perfect stress buster. Studies have shown that the smell of lavender can even lover blood pressure. A drop of lavender oil massaged onto the temples and scalp can treat a headache. Lavender is antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, perfect for insect bites and rashes.
Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)

The first aid kit in a bottle, Tea tree is an Australian indigenous medicine. Studies have shown it to be amazingly effective against a host of infectious agents including fungi, bacteria and viruses. It is added to soaps, toothpastes, deodorants, disinfectants and even douches. Often used for athletes foot, jock itch and thrush. Tea tree oil is capable of increasing cell growth in damaged tissue, so it is helpful in a diluted wash or cream to treat mild burns, wounds and even acne.
Sandalwood (Santalum album)

The oldest perfume of all, used for at least 4,000 years, Sandalwood is a deeply spiritual essence. Often incorporated into incense, sandalwood sets the scene for meditation and travelling deeper into self, helping one to attain inner calm. In addition to this aspect, Ayurvedic medicine uses sandalwood to help treat urinary tract infections, skin and respiratory tract infections and as an aphrodisiac.
Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)

Chamomile is a soothing remedy for digestive problems, tension headaches, sleeplessness and even for babies' colic and teething. Drink as a tea, or add a few drops to a bath or on a flannel and apply to the body part as a warm compress. Chamomile is also calming emotionally, helping one cope during a stressful time.

For home use essential oils should not be taken internally, as they can be toxic.

Massage oil - 10 drops essential oil to 100mls of base oil (eg almond oil, olive oil)

Cream – 15 drops essential oil to 100g of vitamin E base cream (from pharmacy)

Bath – 10-15 drops essential oil to bathwater

Steam vaporizer – 5-10 drops

Essential oil burner - 5-10 drops in water

from bodyandsoul.com.au

This gives me ideas for home-made cream and bath that I might try sometimes.

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I'm into lamb these days, I mean experimenting on recipe. Last week, it was the very simple recipe I used but the sauce was a bit overpowering that Mcj didn't know what meat I was using. I put too much soy sauce. Entirely my fault as I didnt follow the recipe - usual story.

This week, I fried it. Mcj thought, I was boiling it because I put a bit of olive oil in the pan and it sort of sizzle and boil while cooking. It looked tender enough that I don't have to braise it, what I normally do with pork or beef.

This one from startcooking.com is simple and easy.. and looks yummy as well. I might try this next time. I didn't use the part with handle though, just ordinary chops


I'll surely buy more chops next time as I'm varying the meat that we're eating. I might try kangaroo.. you know, change is like holiday so is variety - so instead of just blogging, I might also look into best creatine supplement. I am having a "me" time tonight. :)
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or something else? I always thought that I already have arthritis because I sometimes feel knee pain especially when it's gloomy. But after reading this article, it doesn't seem that. I could be feeling something else entirely. But this article is really very informative that I just want to share. It's not really something that I should be very worried about or something that I should include in my disability insurance... but when the pain strikes, it's an inconvenience.

What is arthritis?

There are over 100 different types of arthritis, however the two most common forms are:

Osteoarthritis

Affects mostly mature-aged suffers, it is the breakdown and eventual loss of cartilage and is known as the 'wear and tear' arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Affects people at any age, it is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the joints and tissue surrounding the joints. The cause is unknown.

Although these two forms of arthritis are very different in nature, they both present with similar symptoms of joint pain and stiffness.
Treat it the natural way

Diet

Naturopath Emma Sutherland says diet plays a significant role in treating arthritis and something as simple as fresh juice is an absolute must in the treatment of this condition.

"When you have arthritis, your body is more likely to be in an acidic condition," she says. So to get your body into an alkaline condition, a natural anti-inflammatory state, Sutherland recommends the following:

* Alkalising wonder juice: drink 400mls of beetroot, carrot, celery and loads of ginger daily.
* Omega-3: a natural anti-inflammatory found in oily fish including salmon, mackerel, and trout, as well as avocado, nuts and seeds.
* Vitamin C: fruits and vegetables like kiwi fruit and berries are a must for their strong anti-oxidant properties.

Foods to avoid

* Packet foods: preservatives, artificial colours and flavours can place unnecessary stress on the immune system.
* Nightshade vegetables: white potato, eggplant, capsicum and tomato contain a chemical alkaloid called solanine, which can inflame arthritis.
* Coffee and alcohol: both diuretics. Coffee and alcohol have been found to inhibit the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals, which can affect the body's immune system.
* Red meat: an acidic food, which can aggravate arthritis.

More in bodyandsoul.com.au.


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Sunday, 20 March 2011

For a change in our menu this week, I bought lamb chops. It's a very common meat here in Oz, but I haven't really tried it myself even in restaurants. So of course, I have to check the net for recipes.. easy and quick ones of course. I found this one from bestrecipes. The ingredients, I already have in my pantry so that makes it special as well. Plus the procedure in cooking is like a walk in park. If only choosing for designer reading glasses is just the same - I've been thinking of replacing my glasses.
http://www.bestrecipes.com.au/recipe/Caseys-Lamb-Chops-L1012.html

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Saturday, 5 March 2011

I'm running out of recipe (personal recipe, that is) for stir-fry. More often, it is just a mish-mash. No basic recipe, anything that is available in my pantry, fridge and frezer. But from time to time, I seek the assistance of the net (just like when I look up jsp furniture), so here's one simple recipe that I haven't tried yet, but surely will soon.


Ingredients (serves 4)

* 1 1/2 cups jasmine rice
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 500g pork stir-fry strips
* 1 brown onion, cut into thin wedges
* 125g snow peas, trimmed, halved diagonally lengthways
* 425g can baby corn spears, drained
* 190g jar Thai chilli jam stir-fry paste


Method

1. Place rice into a sieve. Rinse under cold water. Bring 3 cups of water to the boil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add rice. Cover tightly. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off heat. Stand for 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat a wok over high heat until hot. Add 1 teaspoon of oil. Swirl to coat. Add one-third of the pork. Stir-fry for 1 minute or until browned. Remove to a plate. Repeat twice with oil and remaining pork.

3. Add remaining 1 teaspoon of oil and onion to wok. Stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add snow peas. Stir-fry for 1 minute.

4. Return pork to wok with corn and stir-fry paste. Stir-fry for 2 minutes or until heated through. Serve with rice.


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Saturday, 26 February 2011

I've always thought that eating fish is healthy without any implications whatsoever but after reading, I found that I should be conscious of the mercury content. It's not that I am pregnant but it always pays to be conscious with what we put in our mouth. Anyway, here are some important facts about fish and mercury:

LOWEST MERCURY
Eat 2-3 servings a week (pregnant women and small children should not eat more than 12 ounces (2 servings):

* Anchovies
* Catfish
* Clam
* Crab
* Crawfish
* Flounder
* Haddock
* Herring
* Mackerel
* Mullet
* Oyster
* Perch
* Pollock
* Salmon
* Sardine
* Scallop
* Shrimp
* Sole
* Squid
* Tilapia
* Trout
* Whitefish

MODERATE MERCURY
Eat six servings or fewer per month (pregnant women and small children should avoid these):

* Bass
* Carp
* Cod
* Halibut
* Lobster
* Mahi Mahi
* Monkfish
* Perch
* Snapper
* Tuna (Canned Chunk light)

HIGH MERCURY
Eat three servings or less per month (pregnant women and small children should avoid these):

* Bluefish
* Grouper
* Sea Bass
* Tuna (Canned Albacore, Yellowfin)

HIGHEST MERCURY
Avoid eating (everyone):

* Marlin
* Orange Roughy
* Shark
* Swordfish
* Tilefish
* Tuna (Ahi)


I suppose, if one is eating seafood once or twice a week, it doesnt matter if the fish is high in mercury - is that good reasoning?

But yeah, if one is pregnant.. it pays to be vigilant as one can be complacent with hot tub covers but not with the food intake.
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Well, I wasn't doing some more research for gluten-free bread crumbs. I just found how to from about.com.

1. Crumble as many gluten-free bread slices as necessary –- about 3 slices per cup of fresh bread crumbs –- onto a cookie sheet.
2. Toast the crumbs in a 200 F oven for about an hour, stirring every 20 minutes or so.
3. Let stand in the oven until cool or overnight.
4. If you want very fine crumbs, process them in your food processor or blender.
5. Store leftover crumbs in the freezer.
If you don't have bread on hand: gluten-free corn flakes or nacho chips -- or any gluten-free crackers you have in the house -- can make great bread-crumb substitutes. Either crush them in a plastic bag (for coarse crumbs) or grind them in a food processor or blender (for finer crumbs).

I think the next time we'll have fish, I have to use gluten-free bread crumb for my brother-in-law and the rest will just be normal crumbs.

I'm getting savvy at all these gluten-free food that maybe I can make my own gifts rather than just giving cigars and what-have-you. I've been cooking gluten-free food for months now and so far we are eating like the normal. No special food or special cooking.

*****
We changed our menu for Saturday dinner. Normally, we'll have sausages - easy to cook and we can have our choice of sides. But I changed it to fish and chips - home cooked, that is. I'm learning what fish tastes better and of course how much they cost. Seafood is not cheap especially if bought in supermarkets. I just know a butcher that sells seafood as well. The price is not much cheaper but a few dollars saved is good enough.

Another upside of this routine is I'm getting better at making gluten-free batter. I'd wish there are gluten-free bread crumbs as I really prefer crumbed fish than battered. With the rate I'm going, I'll be able to create a nice Birthday Food Baskets in the future.
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Sunday, 20 February 2011

Get the nutritionist's guide to gaining weight while still leading a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

(Q) I am sick of picking up magazines where there is information of all sorts on how to lose weight. I am at the other end of the scale where I need to put on weight and I cannot. Any suggestions would be really appreciated.

(A) For healthy weight gain you need to increase your calorie intake by increasing nutrient and calorie rich foods in the diet. You need to supply your body with all the essential nutrients it needs for muscle growth and maintenance.

You should be aiming to put on healthy weight by increasing muscle mass with a healthy proportion of body fat. To do this you need to increase your daily food intake of high-protein foods, healthy fats and slow releasing complex carbohydrates. Steer away from heavily processed junk foods that contain 'empty calories' and are high in hydrogenated oils and sugar.

Protein is essential for growth and maintenance of muscles, healthy choices include oily fish, chicken, red meat, dairy foods and nuts and seeds. Protein powders are very useful for people trying to increase their weight, try adding some to smoothies.

Increasing your intake of complex carbohydrate foods such as wholegrain breads, pasta, oats and rice, and starchy vegetables (potato, sweet potato, pumpkin, corn), will help promote healthy weight gain, without disrupting your blood sugar levels.

Upping healthy unsaturated fats, replacing saturated and trans-fats, is also beneficial. Use more cold pressed oils (olive, macadamia, walnut and chia), nuts and seed pastes, and avocado. Try making salad dressings with cold pressed oils and tahini, satay sauces with natural peanut butter, pesto through pasta, and cheese sauces over vegetables. Fresh coconut flesh is a delicious addition to smoothies.

Try including more calorie and nutrient rich snacks in your daily diet such as nut butters, tahini or avocado on wholegrain toast; nuts and seeds with dried fruit; muesli bars (try making your own healthy ones); cheese, avocado and tomato on whole wheat crackers; or smoothies with protein powder, milk, LSA (ground linseeds, sunflower seeds and almonds), and banana.

Remember to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables as they should be a major part of any healthy diet. Naturopaths and herbalists use herbs such as gentian to help stimulate appetite and digestion.

Conditions such as an over active thyroid can make it difficult for people to put on weight, and should be investigated and treated.

from bodyandsoul.com.au


For those of us who wants to gain weight. Ive been working on it but the problem is, I dont have much appetite. I like eating yeah, but it seems that food aren't much appetising to entice or whet my appetite. It's not that I'm taking the best weight loss supplements. Maybe, I need some thing that will triger the opposite.
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Extra curricular activities: how much is too...
It's an issue many parents struggle with - how many out of school activities should their child be involved in?

Melbourne psychologist Andrew Fuller, author of Tricky Kids (Finch Publishing), says scheduling lots of activities is not a bad thing as long as you prioritise. "Spending time as a family must come first," he says. Fuller suggests blocking out at least two family times a week - one evening and one afternoon. "It enables everyone to engage with each other, with no rushing around."

And findings from a 2009 US study buck the convention that an over-scheduled kid is a stressed one. The study showed participation in organised activities, even lots of them, is linked to positive outcomes in school, emotional development, family life and their behaviour. Meanwhile, the under-scheduled kid was more withdrawn, less emotionally mature and had lower self-esteem.

But don't panic if your child has not started violin, golf or art appreciation yet. Fuller says kids who come to things later can often be more successful. And while it's not unusual for teens to start losing interest in extra-curricular activities as they move through high school and their study loads increase, Fuller says it's still important that they stick with them.

"Resilient kids have at least one other peer group outside of their school peer group," he says. "They stop their social field from narrowing."

Tip: If your child is just starting school, keep extra activities to a minimum in the first term - they'll be tired enough.

from bodyandsoul.com.au


The Tatapilla is going to start a swimming lesson for the second time next week. Hopefully, this will turn out okay and he'll learn something and we can see improvement. He's like a duck to water but problem is he opens his mouth and swallow cupful of water everytime he goes under. He is also lazy when you teach him to swim, he doesnt kick but walks.

So yeah, I'm not in the position to say that the Tatapilla is burnt out as pci hosting is the least of his worries.. I wish. He's enjoying every moment so we're all happy.
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Blurb

Life in a home with gluten-free diet, preventing Diabetes 2 and trying to be lactose-free. And a little bit fussy child. It sounds difficult and complicated but not really. It's been roughly ten years on - we have a lot of practice.

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