Friday, February 26, 2010

this moment

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Inspired by Natalie, who in turn was inspired by soulemama to take part in this little photo project that captures a single moment from this week. A moment that makes you stop and stare, a moment that needs no words, a moment that makes you break your routine, a moment that will stay with you for a while.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

photo: some flowers...

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Remembering the flowers at home on my trip last winter.... and now it's time for another trip. Not a vacation, but just a trip home, time for some relaxation, some pampering, some laid back catching up. No rush-rush this time around, no trying to pack it all in just a few days, but a more leisurely trip. I will be online every few days, so will still be blogging and flickering as usual.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I wonder, if I could have made it....

Did you know what you wanted to be when you were a kid? For me it alternated wildly between a career in hotel management or something to do with criminal justice. I know, hotel management is believable, but criminal justice? Well, I suppose the fascination could be attributed to the plethora of detective and mystery novels like James Hadley Chases that I read. Mind you getting a criminal justice degree is a great career option, but I really don't think I had thought it through completely at the time.

There were barely any schools that taught it, not like you have online universities where you can get a degree no matter where you live and regardless of if you're already working in another field. When I looked it up online, I found that Northwestern College has a pretty detailed course offering, something that can easily be missing in online studies. While the field of criminal justice sounds like it's part of a high paced CSI Miami set, it's not all glitz or glamor, or dead bodies either. A lot of work comprises of meticulous notes and organizing files, doing research, combing reports for clues and so on. And I do love doing research, at least!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Travel the Australian way!

Isn't there something so addictive about going through travel sites? It's almost like you're planning your own dream trip, even if you stumbled upon a site just by chance. Well, that's how it happened to me for this site, Travel.com.au, which is the largest and oldest Australian travel site. Lately, I've been reading a lot of the Australian magazines online, and the photos of the Australian outback and other locales has always intrigued me. Like since I saw Thornbirds when I was a teenager!

Even though this is one of the oldest travel sites in Australia, it hasn't shown the promise that it did when it was first launched in 1998, but recently it was bought out by a group of entrepreneurs who are turning it around and making it a must see travel website. Not only is the site fast becoming the place to head to for booking flights, but also for newer and lesser known international airlines such as jetstar besides quantas and singapore airlines.

Besides flight bookings, the site also caters to corporate travelers as well as family vacations, right from planning the perfect ski vacation and so on. A lot of travel sites also offer such services, but the difference seems to be in the range of options that Travel.com.au offers its customers.

list: January reading

streaks of sunlight

January 2010 has been good reading month, considering just how much work and back-and-forth there has been going on.

False Impression--Jeffrey Archer. This one was lying in my room at my parents place for ages, I just always assumed that I had already read it. I loved it...it's about art and history, with some murders and chases around the world as well. Fast paced and like the Jeffery Archer of old times. Well, it's not that new of a book anyway.

Slumdog Millionaire/ Q&A --Vikas Swarup. Very frankly I like the original title for the book, as it just suits it more. I was told to read this book right when it first came out, but never got around to buying it. Then it turned into a phenomenon and I didn't want to read it for some reason. But now I was gifted a signed copy of the book, alas it has the movie cover instead of the original one, but still, it's a signed copy!

The Templar Legacy--Steve Berry. Fast paced, stuffed with history, and that too very controversial history, but very interesting and gripping nevertheless. In the same lines of The Da Vinci Code.

a creative pull


I like being creative. You all already know that right? A medium that I've experimented with only slightly is clay. I've played around a bit with the ready made clay tablets that one can use at home, the kind that hardens just in the air, and does not need to be fired. But what I'd really like to do is to spend some more time with more specialized products, stuff like I found from AMACO/Brent. Now this is something that I really want to do, to learn how to work with clay and they seem to have lots to offer, not only the physical products but also the tutorials and instructions to make it worthwhile.

To make clay art, one needs to have a bit of creativity, lots of patience and perseverance and a sense of proportion. I've made some small pieces using basic molding techniques and experimented with stamping them as well, which came out really nice, except that the discs on which I stamped them didn't end up staying flat as they were meant to, so I cannot frame them as I had originally planned. Well, that's the name of the game, I suppose, one just keeps on experimenting and learns lots of things along the way.

I've also been inspired by Patricia's creativity at decorating her own cup at one of the local cafes that offers all of this, and I'm really thinking of trying my hand at some mexican clay pottery to go with the Mexican style pots that I already have. What is cool about AMACO/Brent is that they have been working with teachers, students as well as professional potters, so the range is pretty extensive. They even have lead free overglazes that work really well for a variety of materials such a glass, metal and enamel objects. I just have to figure out which project to take on now and get started!

LoudLaunch - Compensating bloggers for their unbiased opinions, reviews, and analysis.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Travel to where the good times are always on

What is it about vacations in far off spots that make them even more appealing! I think it must be that it seems better since it's further out of one's reach or some such thing, but actually, when it comes to saving on prices, there are some discount vacation packages that really do make it worthwhile for every dollar you spend. I came across the Breezes Resorts website and was quite impressed with the packages they offer. It's not just about the usual stuff that every other resort has on offer, these people really do make it their business to make things special for you.

While a lot of beach type resorts focus only on couples, the Breezes offers all inclusive family vacations so you can take your kids along as well. I think that's a much better way to plan a trip, rather than shunt one's kids off to some other place or to the grandparents.

Jamaica is just one of those places where it all comes together for me, well, not that I've been there yet, but it certainly seems to be one of the places that it will. The beaches are legendary, the music hypnotic, the dancing energetic, the drinks intoxicating, just like the atmosphere. For the best kind of Jamaica vacations, I think it's best to leave the planning and organizing in the hands of the experts and to just sit back and chill with a nice cool glass of something special!


LoudLaunch - Compensating bloggers for their unbiased opinions, reviews, and analysis.

photo: weekend mornings

weekend morning

Yes, the weekend is over, but this is something that can be made up the night before to make even the most boring of mornings into better ones. Check out the recipe here on Smitten Kitchen, one of the most fab recipe sites that I have come across. Enjoy!

how to get on the first page of search engine results

A lot of my work in the past year has dealt with search engine optimization issues. A lot of sites start off with a bang, but don't follow through on how they are going to maintain the momentum of being in the news, essentially of coming up on the first page of the search engine results. There are a ton of companies that promise to help boost lagging results, the number of results for something like best seo software will show you just how competitive the market is, but the rule is to to stick with a company that has some kind of specialization in your field. That's the number one way to make sure you will get your money's worth.

is this the easy way out?

I had gone to the pharmacy to stock up on my vitamins, you know the usual ones....calcium, iron and so on, and was surprised the see the largest part of the store was dedicated to a variety of diet pill. Obesity is one of the major diseases over here, along with Cardiac problems and Diabetes, but to me this is not the right solution. I know it's each individual's personal choice, but to be healthy in the long term, one must make some effort, some sort of regular movements that constitute some sort of exercise. That's just what I feel.

Create your own card design

The PAYjr Visa Buxx Card was launched and it is a great step forward towards the financial education of the younger generation. The PAYjr Visa Buxx is a re-loadable prepaid card that will help teenagers understand how they should spend money. To make it fun, there are lots of cool features like uploading your own images for the card and even a design competition for the best card images. The winner of the card design competition wins an Apple Macbook, other prizes as well as royalties each time someone selects to use their card design. It's a cool way to get teenagers involved in understanding the intricacies of credit cards.

thank god I'm not a teenager anymore

Ask any teenager what they hate most about being a teenager and the answer invariable revolves around their looks, their insecurities, their self consciousness and the inevitable need to find the best acne treatment reviews that will work for them. Yes, it all comes down to acne, something so simple and common that makes even the brightest of teens cow down to their more fortunate peers and generally make their life miserable. It's no wonder the pharmaceutical companies focus so much money and marketing on this segment alone.

it's just a number

We bought a new weighing machine over the weekend, one that slides very nicely under the shelves when one doesn't want to bother with checking one's weight, but when one does, it gives a nice weight. No, no it's not a trick weighing machine, just one that is nicer than others. And yes, I have checked the see if it's set up and aligned right already! It's not as if I'm into any kind of quick weight loss diet that I need to check my weight after every bite, but it makes sense to have one in the house right. We never bothered with one earlier, after all it's just a number right, it's better to gauge one's weight based on if one's pant fit just nicely or a bit to snugly! But now that we've got one...I know, so long overdue....and yet we weren't living in the middle ages....and I'm happy that a "nice" one found us!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

photo: fallen flowers


Flowers from a morning walk against a carpet of fallen ones. I love these tiny yellow ones, and always try to cut a few branches to bring them in, but they mostly fall off by the time I put them in vases. Oh well, they look so pretty even when they're fallen.

a sunny vacation

I've been thinking...that it's been a while since we took off for a vacation to a sunny spot. Well, since we live in such a sunny part of the world, we usually consider vacations in the hills or cooler climes, but I came across an advertisement for one of those Bahamas vacation rentals and it really got me thinking. A warm and sunny beach vacation sure sounds good. Somewhere not too far of course, someplace where there's not much to do besides lazing around, somewhere with good food and somewhere with good deals. Asking for too much you say, I think so too, but then that's what dreams are all about!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

how many computers are enough?

I can't believe it's already a year and a half since I bought my new laptop. Yes, I still call it my "new" laptop, even though my hubby bought one a few months after I did, but somehow mine is the "new" one. Lol, well that's just how life goes! When I brought it, I had decided that I would replace it in 3 years, so I'm already half way there. This time I'm thinking maybe of getting one of these desktop computers as well as getting a souped up Mac laptop as well. Seems very tempting to me! I just have to figure out whether I really need to have both at the same time. That's the hard part.