Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Leonardo Da Vinci in Kuala Lumpur

The National Science Center in KL is hosting the world acclaimed 'Da Vinci - the genius' exhibition.

We went there this past weekend. It is a must-go to all those who wish to know more about Da Vinci, his life, his inventions, paintings etc.

The exhibits have been brought all the way from Italy from the Il Genio de Leonardo da Vinci Museo. The exhibits help to bring to life the genius that was Leonardo da Vinci - an inventor, artist, scientist, anatomist, engineer & architect.

There are numerous exhibits (life scale) that we can actually admire and handle, right from simple mechanical stuff to the 'vertical flying machine'. The exhibits are a treat for sure.

The highlight is of course the 'Mona Lisa'. One entire hall is dedicated to this mysterious lady. There is loads of information about the painting, facts, trivia. There are many photographs that are part of a assignment by the famous photographer Pascal Cotte; these photographs help us to uncover many unknown facts about the Mona Lisa. One gets to see what the original painting looked like.

There is also a small TV hall, which plays a documentary about the life of the genius, I think it's a BBC documentary. Very informative and worth sitting through.

We enjoyed the exhibition immensely, Aadu held on for quite a long time, but soon lost it when we were watching the documentary, he went off to sleep. He had a great time handling the exhibits, working models etc.

Overall a great way to spend an afternoon.

Venue: National Science Centre, Bukit Kiara.
Time: 9 am - 6 pm.
Infoline: 03-20921150 / 03-74933010
Tickets: Children upto 7 years - FREE !!
Children 7-17 - RM 20
Adult - RM 25
Senior Citizen - RM 13 (free admission with pension card)
Family(2 adults & 2 Children) - RM 70

(Waiver of ticket fee for 1 person if you carry any one of the following:
Astro Bill
TM Bill
Malaysia Airlines - Enrich Card member)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Fire-flies at Kuala Selangor, Kampung Kuantan

Our quest for something new and different around Kuala Lumpur, led us to Kuala Selangor, which has the largest fire fly colonies in the world.

The drive there was good, the route was full of plantations, and we drove through some small pretty towns, and thus got to see the real Malaysia. It was indeed very refreshing to see normal people do things other than mall hopping and shopping. We saw children run along their gardens, big boys enjoy a game of football, kids on bicycles, and people driving around slowly, talking & waving to friends go by.

We left KL around 4 PM, and we took around 1.5 hours to reach Kampung Kuantan. I had read on the net that there are about 4-5 places from where you can take boat trips down the river to see the fireflies; we chose to go to the Fire Fly Park Resort.

Once there we freshened up & smothered ourselves with insect repellents. All of us wore full sleeved clothes. We then bought the tickets & went in.

The Sun was just setting as we went in near the boat station, so we had to wait for around 20 minutes before the guys announced the first number. There were life jackets for all to wear.
The most un-cool part of this place was that while we were waiting for darkness to engulf us, the boat guys were watching a documentary on 'Snakes' !! I was totally grossed out, and much too scared...coz we were going to enter water in the dark !!

Anyways, the number was announced & we threw the life jackets on and each one checked the other's straps, we headed to the boat, sat down, and the sound-free boat started down the river. Sound free coz they were electric boats, and it served the purpose of maintaining silence. We also spoke in whispers...Aadu had some questions, and I am super impressed with him for keeping his voice down for the entire boat ride.

The sight that was waiting for us was simply superb !! It was as though we were looking at trees decorated with tiny twinkling lights, thousands and thousands of blink-blink lights. It was very soothing, as nature was at her best, and these marvelous creatures were giving us so much joy.
They really looked like the largest colony of fire flies...we rode downstream for about 12 minutes, and then turned upstream and went on for another 15 minutes.

Each and every moment of the boat ride was lovely, and we loved it. This time also was strange as we were in complete silence, and after living in a bustling city one tends to forget what total silence is.

No photography was allowed during the boat ride, so we have no pictures of the best part of the trip. The graphics are engraved on our minds though.

I would recommend this trip to everyone. Except maybe people with real tiny babies. One has to remember to wear full clothes, cover yourself well, use insect repellents.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My son wants to be a Doctor

Yes !!! Yes !! Yes !!
That's what he said to me last night !!
And it is the first time that he said anything like that to me I mean about what he will be when he grows up, profession wise etc.

Well the background is like this:
We were watching Patch Adams, the autobiographical film about Dr. Hunter (Patch) Adams.
In this movie, Patch is a person who has a great passion for life, and for connecting with other humans, add to this the fact that he wants to help as many people as possible; so he decides to enroll in Medical School.
While at the school, he brings joy and laughter to all around him, by sometimes being a clown, on another occasion by filling his room with balloons and inviting a friend in for a surprise birthday party !!

All these incidents in the film made Aadu jump up in laughter and that is when he said 'Mumma I want to be a Doctor'.

And Mumma being the emotional mom that she is, hugged the child, and plastered some kisses on his cute face, and said 'Yes my baby, you can be a Doctor, and I know you will be a good one, and will help everyone'.

But seriously, after his surgery, I really felt the need of a Doctor in the family, leaving the parents aside, all of us my brother, myself, my husband, my bro-in-law, all of us a Engineering graduates. My mom did want my brother to be a doctor, but he was adamant on being an Engineer; also it is worth noting that I drew all the frogs, Earthworms, etc in his Biology journals, so by no way he would have gone to a life-science field !!
If Aadu chooses to be a Doctor, believe me I will be very happy. But then again...we have decided not to put our wishes and dreams onto him, he will have the complete freedom to choose his profession. Actually we'd rather see him as an Artist/Musician/Painter etc. ..... than see him slogging off in hard core science faculties ...

I think from now on I will try to show him the real life examples of professions. Now that he has seen a film about a Doctor, maybe some more about different fields of work....All suggestions are welcome !!

Indian Army - Lakshya
Fireman - Ladder 49
Artist/Painter -
Musician -
Singer -

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The book sale...where I went mad

The Big Bad wolf Book sale was on, and I had the calendars marked, actually 3 of them marked so that I don't miss the sale under any circumstances.
The first day was last Thursday, and I wanted to go in early in the morning, but since it was a school day, I decided to go in at 4 PM after the kid was well fed and had dozed off for a couple of hours.

I had told another mommy blogger about the sale, and we had made a pinky-promise to exchange notes depending on who went first. Well she went first and I had my first review and reaction wherein she told me that it's amazing and the prices are to die for, and the collection of books was superb. Now these are the only things that a book lover like me needs. She also warned me about the crowd and asked me to be careful with Aadi around. OK points noted, and I got about packing my bags, one with food and drinks for the Son, the others were huge IKEA bags to carry the books and yes a grocery trolley to dump books as I life them off the shelves.
All preparations done, I was awaiting the clock to strike 3:30 when the husband had volunteered to come & pick us up. I love you for this dear Hubby !!

As we approached the place (Amcorp Mall), I saw people with bag full of books, and I felt that I should have come in the morning to pick up all the hot stuff. But never mind lah .... I was sure to find good ones still waiting for me. I firmly believe in the adage 'daane daane per hota hai khaanewale ka naam' just tweek it a bit and it reads 'kitaab kitaab per hota hai padhnewale ka naam' (wow i'm good at this).
All said & done I was after all going with a well researched & thought-out strategy. I was going to attack the large books, your typical coffee table type books, about flowers, grasses, animals etc. These are usually priced very high & it's a great buy if you can get them at a bargain price. I'm talking fresh books people, not second hand ones.

We entered the place, there was no line to get inside as opposed to the morning rush where people had waited in line for upto 30 minutes just to enter !!

We went on picking books, the coffee table types, the cook books, the parenting ones, some management ones, some biographies, and yes books for the young reader at home.
We walked out with 40 books that cost us 340 RM, and I can give it in writing that we got a great deal.

After this round, I deposited the son with the Dad who took him to his workplace nearby....this was strategy # 2. So that I had some my-time at a place that I like. Again I went in and came out with 9 books, this time, some light non-fiction, and more management books.

I was/am so overjoyed to see all those books in my house. I have yet to find shelf space for all, but they are my reading material for as long as they last......

I get my love of reading from both my parents, and I am happy to see my boy turning into one too.

I finished reading the first book- Many lives Many Masters by Dr. Brian Weiss; finished it in 2 days and then started with a light non-fiction called 'Waiter Rants'.

Will keep an reading update on this blog.

So any of you who went to the book share your story and what all you bought.
I will put up the list in the next post.

Adios....the waiter waits to be read

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

of najar...evil eye....etc..etc

oh my days have been plagued by some bad 'najar' who ever it is please quit .... it's caused enough turmoil and trouble to ur happy???
now please quit.

I am from hence forth going to mark my posts with a 'kala-teeka' (black dot) to ward off any evil eyes that any of you are casting my way....It is not one of my readers I am sure of that......but I just want to be safe (than sorry like I have been for a long time since Diwali)

There was my back muscle pull during Diwali, that was followed by a long fight with cough, and the green mucous that I was throwing up with every cough........Goshhhhhhhhhhh....I'm so glad all that is over....
Funny thing is that the medicine that was given to me to relax my back muscles, kept me awake all night....and needless to say the following day was like the day when I was at the height at my nastiest self, much like a lady with a bad case of PMS !!
Then the antibiotics for the cough left me more time in the loo than on the bed......once the capsules were over I was so relieved I wanted to party !!
And actually the cough went off after the meds were totally throat soothing liquids, no cough concoctions, no tablets....that was my way of healing.

Oh yes that was not the end of the evil-eye effect....there is more....

My darling nokia 6210 red phone....the phone that was given to me by my brother as a rakhi gift....
it broke down :(
It all happened in 5 minutes....we were heading to Gardens Mall, and in a hurry I put Aadu's water bottle (the leaky filthy piece of plastic) into my purse along with my precious phone...and until we reached the destination my phone had stopped showing any activity on it's screen. Thankfully there is a Nokia store in Gardens, and we went there only to be told that we must rush the phone to the service center ASAP !!
Did all the running around, but to this day my dear phone is not working :(

OK enough of my rants and negativity.....

Hey just one more.....Oprah is saying bye to her talk show...
This piece of news had me lost for words and in a daze; I looked up the news channels, I dived into the world wide web to
And boy it's true.....What will I do now? What about my dream to go on the show?

Ok that's about all that I have to cry about.

My brother is here, so I have lots of cheer around.

Oh and BTW: Buri nazar wale tera mooh kala !!!
Now I just had to say that !!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I made them ....funny faces

I made two of them this morning as a surprise for Aadu. He loved it when he saw it and called it 'Happy Face'.

I would like to tell you that all together it took me about 7 minutes to put it all together.
I think I added a bit too much Jam in the cake time I'll add a bit less so that the ball turns out sort of loose yet bound together....get what I mean??

Sadly my pack of Smarties did not have any bright colors :( so I had to make do with these rather dull ones...

Do make your Funny Faces and send me the snaps...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Funny Faces - it's a sure hit with kids

This one is for you Malina...especially for Nazu's upcoming birthday....

Funny faces is a goody snack that you can serve at a birthday party or any gathering where you know there are going to be little bubbly kids.
It's a very simple dish to make, actually involves hardly any cooking and it gets done very fast and the best part is that you can prepare it well in advance !!

You will need:
  • Sponge cake - vanilla and or chocolate
  • Dark Chocolate - grated
  • Milk,
  • Jam - your choice of flavor
  • Round, colorful chocolate...."Nestle Smarties" is the brand available in SG
  • Almonds, Cashew - you could replace these with other shapes of candy if you wish to avoid any kind of nuts.
  • Ice cream cones
  • Plain biscuits like Marie
  • Crumble the cake into a fine mixture
  • Add some jam to this, so that you can roll it into a ball shape
  • Melt the dark chocolate (use double boil method), and add some milk to it so as to form a thick-ish paste.
  • Roll the cake-jam balls in this chocolate-milk syrup/paste
  • Now you have the main face of the item
  • Next put on the ice-cream cone (wafer cone) over the ball like a pointy hat
  • Stick the colored round candy for eyes, the almond forms the nose and use the cashew to make a happy or a sad or a funny face...
  • Finally place this on the biscuit so that you can move these 'funny faces' around easily.
  • I personally would prefer to place the cake-jam ball covered with chocolate over the biscuit before the decoration.....I think it will be easier and less messier.
Here is a video (in marathi) of this recipe.....just have a look to understand the flow of is very simple to understand...and in case of difficulty ...I am right here to handle all your queries....

Funny Faces Recipe Link Courtesy of ZeeMarathi on Youtube

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Our favourite place to eat in Bandar Kinrara

We found this place, on the ground floor of the Giant Hypermart @ Bandar Kinrara. Don't ask me the name of the's long and I refuse to memorise it !! But it is bang opposite Bata; so this should help anyone of you who wishes to explore this place.

The concept of this place is health. You will see a weight & height measuring instrument at the entrance. Each table has a special table-top-calendar-like menu. Now this is not the main menu; but this one is only to describe & detail all the food-nutrition-calorie information of each dish served there. Even the juices and other drinks have this kind of information drawn out.

The lovely hostess Linda (you can see her in one of the pictures) told me that the place is actually a Government initiative to get people to think about food with their health in perspective. The effort is worth an applaud. I just wish that they open up some branches near the city center so that it becomes more popular.

The food is the best part of course!! why else would I talk about the place !!
My favorite so far is the nasi goreng-chili-padi which is a fried rice with green chilly (lots of them for me) and has a generous amount of vegetables and chicken in's just yummmmm !!
The husband has liked the nasi goreng paprik which is fried rice dish with a gravy; and the gravy is the best part of this dish. The second time we went there, he ate nasi goreng - kampung, that is kampung (village) style fried rice, this one had loads n loads of vegetables in it, and was also great to taste.
I have eaten my favorite one when ever we've gone there. I also like her teh-tarik (tea).

Some pictures....

Linda the beautiful, chirpy, cheerful, friendly manager of the place.

A close up of the nasi goreng kampung

Nasi goreng kampung - the full dish

My Nasi goreng chili padi

Another shot of my favorite thing

Friday, October 30, 2009

Diwali 2009

Diwali this year was celebrated on a grand scale at the Sawaikar residence. The wife made the 'faral' the sweets and namkeens that are served as snacks during this festive season. The items on the 'faral' list included:
1. Patal pohyacha chivda - a namkeen made of thin 'poha'. This has a tempering of curry leaves, green chilly, groundnuts, and puffed chana daal.
2. Sweet Shankarpale - these are diamond shaped fried snack made out of semolina & maida, sugar milk etc
3. Namakpare - thin, long strips of fried maida which has ajwain & salt.
4. Shev - again a fried snack made up of besan, and a few spices
5. A long-ish flat shev - a snack I found to be loved by local Indians, ingredients are same as the shev, only difference is the disk pattern used while frying.
6. Chakli - this is an all time favourite at our home, but this time I did not make it with the usual 'bhajani'; I just used the locally available ready mix and added some sesame seeds, a bit of black pepper & red chilly powder to it.
7. Besan laddoo - this one is coming to be a favorite with me & Aadu ; this is not your usual besan laddoo; in this method the besan is kneaded into a dough, then rolled into thick pooris, and fried, once this is cooled down it is processed in the mixie to make a thick powder; then a sugar syrup is made in proportion to this fried besan powder; once the syrup is ready, the powder along with huge amount of desi-ghee is added & this mixture is cooked till it becomes thick & a spoon can stand in it (that thick). Dry fruits are added along with elaichi powder & then this is rolled into laddoos....they turn out very delicious.
8. Olya-naralachya-karanjya (karanji made of fresh coconut) - this one I made for the first time, and they turned out quite a hit with the crowd.

This is the 'rangoli' I made outside our home during Laxmi-puja, it shows how inept I am at the art, I am very poor at doing the traditional 'dot-dot' wala rangoli patterns, that others find sooooooo easy to make....well I have my own ways...

This is the rangoli that Amol drew freehand with a chalk, and then we sat together and filled in the colors; it is actually a dot-dot wala design, but he being a better artist than me, he just flashed his arms around and voila the rangoli was drawn !!

Thus Diwali of 2009 was celebrated at our home in KL !!

Most educational TV shows for children

According to David Dutwin, a social science researcher and the authour of "Unplug your kids:A Parent's Guide to Raising Happy,Active & Well-adjusted Kids in the Digital Age", the following are among the best educational shows for preschoolers:

Reading Rainbow
Mister Roger’s Neighbourhood
Super WHY!
Play with me Seasame
Pinky Dinky Doo
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
Jack’s Big Music Show
Barney & Friends
Dragon Tales
Between the Lions
Sesame Street
Mama Mirabelle’s Home movies
Franny’s Feet
Backyard habitat (For age 4 and up)
Hip Hop Harry

Out of all these shows,I am familiar with "Worldworld","Play with me Seasame","Mickey Mouse Clubhouse",Barney & Friends","Between the Lions" ,"Sesame Street" and of course "Barney & Friends".

The two seasame street shows are undoubtedly good and maybe I am biased because I watched Seasame Street as a child. "Wordworld" is also very educational for children above three and so is "Between the Lions"."Between the Lions",however,is probably not aired in any of the children's channel in Singapore but I have bought some of the DVDs.

We have recently started watching Mama Mirabelle's Home movies in CBeebies and I would say that it is an excellent show.It gets kids interested in the animal kingdom and presents lots of information in a lively way. Barney,though educational,is no longer liked by my four and a half year old younger one still likes it. The other shows,which we have never watched,I am trying to trace in Nick Jr.,Disney and Playhouse Disney.Other mummies...please help me out in tracing these shows and let me know when and where they are aired.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mister Maker

All mummies & kids who love art and craft,please don't miss Mister Maker in CBeebies.The guy (Mister Maker) is absolutely fantastic and he makes such beautiful crafts in a matter of minutes!In Singapore it is aired at 9:00 a.m. in the mornings in CBeebies.

Craft Idea - Building made of toothpaste box

Few weeks back (or was it months???) while Aadi was staying at home due to the H1N1 fear in his school, we used to do art and craft projects.
This one here is a building that we created using a toothpaste box/cover.

What you need: One toothpaste box/cover, some colored paper, glue, pencil, color pens (shiny), scissors, and plenty of patience.

How to get it done:
  • Cut out a sheet of paper making it the exact size of the box so as to cover all sides. Also cut out 2 squares to fit the top and bottom.
  • Stick this paper to the box
  • Using other color papers cut out doors and windows. Stick them on as well.
  • Now with the shiny pens shade out or outline the doors and windows. Here I have shaded the windows so as to get the light-shining effect. The black window means that the office is shut and the orange is where people are still working. My building is a night-view version !!
  • My son loved to stick the windows onto the building, and then announced it as Papa's office. Later in the day it became our residential tower !!
  • Enjoy making this oh-so-simple craft, you could make multiple buildings and then the kids can play 'city'.

This was the 'Building' that I made with Aadi some time back.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Taking care of silk sarees

My silk sarees have just been occupying the top shelf in my wardrobe. The last time I wore a saree was during the Diwali of 2008. All the expensive wedding silks just stay put up without much care and attention.
My mom always tells me to keep changing their folds, so that they last longer and so that the 'zari' does not wear off or tear along the folds. I used to do as told, but for the past year I have ignored them completely. It's not that I buy sarees all the time, I have not bought a single one since 3 years. I know I am not going to wear it so what's the point in investing in one.
Last night, out of nowhere I thought of them, and decided to do something about them ASAP.

So as soon as I woke up this morning, I pulled all of them out, and spread them out on the bed, and switched ON the fan, and tied up the curtains to allow some morning Sun to warm up the room.

But I kept thinking of other things I should do to preserve my sarees and I must confess right here right now that I love each one of them....and one day would love to see my daughter/bahu/niece wearing them.

Hmm so I must do something to make them last that are a few things/steps that I found through the Internet.

1. Store silks away from sunlight & heat.
2. When you buy a silk saree, do not keep it in the plastic bag for more than 3 days, the plastic traps moisture, and this can cause yellowing and mildew & ultimately damage the saree.
3. If your saree has a 'zari' border, it is best to attach a 'fall' to it. Here I would like to tell you one more thing regarding the fall. Use the same breadth of fall fabric as much as your saree border. Anything more than the border will cause the delicate fabric to bear all the weight and you will notice tiny holes there; besides it looks really ugly if your saree fall and border are of different breadths.
4. For the first 3 washes, use only plain cold water. In case of stains, use cleaning product only on the affected spot. (more on stain removal follows). Many people suggest adding salt to cold water for the first wash. And yes hand wash the silks please.
5. We can use soap-nut or 'reetha' and also 'shikakai' for washing of silks.
6. Wash the border, pallu and main body separately.
7. Never wash saree with other clothes, and keep it in water for minimum time possible.
8. Never beat the saree or wash roughly.
9. Dry the saree by rolling it in a towel and then hanging it on a padded hanger.
10. Iron on medium heat only. I have seen people iron their silks by placing them under another saree in order to avoid direct heat.
11. My dry cleaner in Mumbai once told me that we should dry-clean our silks just before it is time to wear them. Like just before Diwali or any wedding etc. He said, dry-cleaning after a function and then storing the saree without use only damages it. I follow this rule strictly.
12. Store the sarees in a dry and cool place and dust with Neem leaves. Moths love to live where natural fibers like silk are stored, so make sure the place is cleaned properly frequently. One can use cedar chips or balls to keep moths at bay.
13. Some silks like Raw silk, China silk, India silk, Crepe de Chine, Dupion and Jacquard silk are safe to be washed at home.
14. Covering silks in a cotton cloth/bag/lungee/dhoti allows the natural fiber to breath.

Stain removal for Silk sarees:

1. The moment you get a stain wash with cold water.
2. If the stain is of oil/ghee then sub some talcum powder over it. The powder will soak up all the oily stuff. Then wash with mild soap/shampoo and warm water.
3. Protein stains: these include stains caused by blood, deodorants, eggs, meat juices and sweating. For removing these stains, apply a mild detergent like a shampoo (Amway has some amazing products for delicate fabrics), wash off with cold water. If the stain is stubborn then try using a mixture of a few drops of NH2 with Hydrogen Peroxide.
4. Lipstick stains: use dry-cleaning fluids like petrol and then follow up with mild soap/shampoo and cold water.
5. Nail polish: rub the affected are with acetone on a ear bud.
6. Other stains: These include chocolate, gravy, ice-cream, milk etc. Use dry-cleaning products like petrol, then let it dry. Then use mild soap/shampoo/liquid soap and rinse with cold water. Later use a pre-wash stain remover and wash in warm water.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Homeschooling moms

I am in awe of homeschooling mothers because they have taken the schooling of their children entirely in their own hands and doing so requires a lot of guts.

I find the concept of homeschooling quite appealing because the mother has a lot of freedom in designing the curriculum according to the interest of her child. Also,she can devote her attention fully to him and give him a lot of one-to-one attention.Recently,I have started giving some individual attention to Nayaz in the mornings when Zunairah is in school and I have already noticed improvement in the area of vocabulary and language.We do nursery rhymes,coloring or go for interesting outings nearby.Our time is cut short by his schedule as he has to set off for school around 10:15 am.

I was actually thinking of withdrawing my younger one out of school and homeschooling him.He is going to turn three and so he doesn't have much to lose even if I turn out to be a not-so-effective teacher-mum. But then I thought of the socializing part and I kind of backed out.He loves going to school these days.Also,what about the Mandarin part?I can't understand a thing that is in his mandarin report card but I believe that the early exposure that he is getting now in the mandarin classes will serve him well if we stay on in Singapore and even if we leave the country.

These reasons have kind of dampened my enthusiasm for homeschooling.But I keep reading about homeschooling as it fascinates me.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A beautiful story - God's Wings

God’s Wings -

A little something to put things in perspective…

After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park , forest rangers
began their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno’s damage.

One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched
statuesquely on the ground at the base of a tree. Somewhat
sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with a stick.
When he gently struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under
their dead mother’s wings. The loving mother, keenly aware of
impending disaster, had carried her offspring to the base of the
tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing

that the toxic smoke would rise.

She could have flown to safety but had refused to abandon her
babies. Then the blaze had arrived and the heat had scorched her
small body, the mother had remained steadfast ..because she had
been willing to die, so those under the cover of her wings would live.

‘He will cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you will find refuge.’
(Psalm 91:4)

Being loved this much should make a difference in your life.
Remember the One who loves you, and then be different because of it.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Window shopping - our theme for the weekend

Window shopping in a place where everyone seems to be shopping for something and where every (almost) store has some too-good-to-resist promotion going and why on earth did I decide to just window-shop?.....answer lies in the time of the month...where the bank account has been set on high speed spin dry by paying off all those bills, and trying to maintain a good diet at's the month-end and like me many of you also may face this situation at this time of the month.

It's not that we go into a spending frenzy but given that we just turned the page on Diwali makes up for all the loss of cash in the bank. We did buy some clothes for the son and father from Isetan, and then my footwear had to be replaced because every step that I took was accompanied by a 'charrr-charr' noise which finally got to me. There was an occasion of impulse buying at the Bangsar Village where I spotted a lady with a good collection of Indian wear. We also bought some surprise stuff for our brothers. Most expensive turned out to be the son's clothes, as we were replacing all of his cute cartoon featuring clothes for some grown-up (in kids category) stuff.

Yesterday we just went to the Curve (Aadi kept calling it 'urve') and strolled into some stores, where we had not been before like the Padini Concept Store, where I absolutely fell in love with most of the accessories on display. The chains, the earrings, the large cocktail rings, the sunglasses, the bags (one particular one has caught my fancy, but it's going to have to wait at the store for me). The accessories were very nicely displayed and separated as per the color tone, yellow, oranges, black, etc...very well done and a very well thought out collection too I must say. None of it was OTT, they were all wearable pieces and price was also good, a nice pair of danglers was 29.00 RM etc.
We spent quite a lot of time at Padini.

Next we walked into a home store called IDEKO, located on the 1st floor. They had a good collection of lanterns, and the display was very nice, with lanterns of different designs were all hung in one cluster at various heights. The cushion covers were nice too. Best of all I liked their dinner sets, they were from Italy, and they looked very tempting. Priced at around 140 RM (after discount) for a 16 piece set. Again very subtle & minimum details. Amol liked some lamps there, and also some bathroom sets. Aadi had to be warned time and again about not touching any of the items.

After a quick bite at the Thai Express where we ate some seriously spicy yellow chicken curry, we strolled over to the Ikano Power Center, across the street. Here we walked through the Ace Hardware store (don't as me why we entered it in the first place); but we walked out with a coir door mat, a nylon string to dry clothes and a steering wheel cover.
Something interesting about this cover: Aadi & I were in the car accessories aisle, Amol was somewhere very far off. Aadi spots this tiger striped steering wheel cover and insists that we buy it for our car, and he said it was Tigger's tail !! I tried to dissuade him and lastly told him that that thing was outright dirty !! Much later when I was at the check out with my door mat in hand, Amol walks up with the same cover and insists that he wants it !!! (Talk of father son bonding) . At this point I was down 2 to 1 so I had to concede and pay for it.

Next stop was a very impressive store called AuthenTeak, which sells Teak furniture. Not only was the collection good, the prices were sky high as one would expect; but some of their stuff was made out of re-claimed wood which in these times of climate change and global warming is very nice to see and one should encourage such companies.

Macy was next in line, and I was instantaneously in love with the numerous curtain fabrics on display, the sofa fabrics were also very nice. They make sofa slip covers, so I made a note of it, and will pass on the details to my house owner as we are in dire need of replacing the current covers which are beige in color and have weathered after all the use and abuse they have been through with us around !!

With no more time in store, we hit the road again to attend Aadi's art class at Bandar Kinrara. Amol also did some canvas painting there, and we will go again next week to finish off his work.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Our Killa (fort)

These are two (not so good) shots of our Diwali Killa (fort) that we made for Aadu.
The base is a blue plastic tray that we usually use to keep Aadu's drawing papers. The outer wall is made up of Pizza boxes cut up and painted. Inside it the maid body of the fort has a base of soil and we used a toy bucket (up side down) to create to height variations.
The blue/purple cup that you see is supposed to be our water well. The trees were made by moi, just used some sticks as the trunk then the leafy part was cut out from thick paper painted in hues of green. the cut up paper was stuck to the truck with cello-tape and also some stapler pins.
We sowed some mustard seeds - that resulted in the green growth all over the Killa.
The idols of Shivaji, his Mavla (soldier) and the Gavlan (village milk lady) were made using white clay that we bought from Aadu's art class shop. They use this clay to make various articles. This is not play-dough clay but more like pre-kneaded plaster or paris. Very soft to use and finish was also good.
I may have some better photos of the killa, I promise to upload later...that is if I find them.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Which colours to teach my preschooler after she has mastered the basic colours?

Today, while my daughter & son were painting, I was wondering which colours to teach my preschooler,now that she already knows the basic colours.
In her Lapbooking class (more about this later),Zunairah is working on different activities related to the book "Harold and the Purple Crayon". In her Lapbook the teacher has mentioned about the different shades of purple such as lavender,lilac,plum,lilac,puce,eggplant,mauve,magenta,royal etc. I realized that I only know purple,violet,lavender & magenta out of all the colours.
Apart from the different shades of colours,I am also confused with burgundy and maroon and with hot pink,fuchsia and magenta. The list of colours in the wikipedia is quite useful in reminding us between the differences between the different shades of colours. However,I wish there was something more....maybe a website on colours which accurately names the different shades of red,yellow,blue,green,pink and yellow.
After the basic colours I have decided to teach Zunairah the following colours:
  • navy blue
  • peacock blue
  • cyan
  • tangerine
  • maroon
  • beige
  • lavender

Along the way I'll try to clear my own confusion about the different shades of colours.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Never put all your eggs in one basket

Never put all your eggs in one basket or never plan ahead of time or always consider 'off-days' when you are planning ahead. These are some of the lessons I have learnt during the last 24 hours. Ask me why....

Well, all of you know that Diwali is just around the corner and for me (I am from Maharashtra) it begins on Thursday with 'Dhanatrayodashi'; which also means that my house has to be clean before that and my kitchen has to produce some sweets and namkeen goodies in time to welcome the 1st day of Diwali.

My plan was perfect: Call in the maid every day starting Monday i.e. today; start preparing the goodies or 'Diwali-faral' (faral loosely translates as snacks) today. and do 2 or 3 items every day so by Thursday I would have a good variety and stock of the 'faral'.

But no.......... things have not happened quite in the same order.

Yesterday we were making the fort for Aaditya to play. Those of you who are not aware of the 'Diwali and fort-connection' here is the background.
As children growing up in Pune, we the parents each had our share of building fortresses (killa), so this year we thought we could introduce the concept to our son. One the fortress is built we place clay statuettes of Shivaji, his army, some villagers etc and basically create a scene for children to enjoy.
So for this fortress we bought 5 Kg of soil, which was insufficient as we started working on the fortress, and we were too tired to go out and buy another bagful of soil. So we went down with a bag and spade and started digging !! and once Amol had done his share, I offered to show him the 'authentic' way of doing it. I bent over and dug out quite a lot, and as I was getting back revolted and started aching like it had never done before...everrrrr...

So last evening and night had become nightmares for me and my poor back :(
Every movement was painful and with great discomfort, finally only some strong ointment helped ease the pain and I also gulped down a Panadol Activefast....

Today morning we rushed to the doctor who prescribed some pain killer and a muscle relaxant...since one dose has gone down into my system I am much better, but I have really learnt a lesson about taking care of my back and the biggest lesson is about exercising and including some stretching into it.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A website for prereaders & early readers

While teaching my daughter at home,I sometimes use the computer (or the internet,to be more precise).One website that I would recommend for kids in the age group 3-6 is this website called

Younger kids can learn their alphabet and older kids can practice their phonetics in this site.There are fun games which help kids with their phonetic skills and reading. When my daughter was doing the short "a" CVC words such as "bat","cat","bag" etc. I used this website to keep her interest level up.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Our First Parent Teacher Meeting (PTM)

Our first PTM took place on the 26th of September. My confidence was at an all time low thanks to the chums and then I was nervous about what I was supposed to be doing at an PTM !!
What would the teacher say to me? What will she ask me? Will she have nice things to say to me about my son? Will she have loads of complaints? Will she say that I need to be more focused on my son?...the works man...I was a nervous wreak to say the least.
To quell my nervousness and to be "prepared" for all eventualities I decided to go through my son's previous report cards from previous pre-schools. I mugged up all the points they had mentioned, I said them over and over again in my head. OK now I know lines that would make me appear 'intelligent' like.....'how goes he score on social-skills?'; 'does he interact with all his classmates?'; 'does he take instructions from teachers well?' ....'what are his favourite activities or subjects?'....and some more I was all set to be able to open my mouth and expect that pearls of wisdom flow from within !!
Next on my mind was....I had nothing 'suitable' to wear !!! What should a mom wear to a school? A saree? a salwar-suit..or a jeans? (skirts are out coz I don't wear them).
When Aadi was still a baby I had bought 2 cotton printed sarees, the ones that are stiff when you wear them....all the way from Nalli's in Mumbai......and when I was buying them I told my mom 'these are for Aadu's school functions' !! I was so stupid to do stupid for buying the sarees, stupid for stitching the saree-blouse at that time expecting to remain the same size when it was time to actually wear them !!! Needless to say I have doubled in size since I got them :(
So sarees were definitely ruled out for this PTM....
Next in line were some salwar-suits....and I finally chose to wear a white one, and I got out my brand new white sandals that I had purchased in Singapore from Clark's in Thomson Plaza. I had worn them only once on one of our wedding anniversaries, and since then they were neatly put away, in the wait of another 'suitable' day to wear them.
So dress chosen, shoes chosen, what else is needed? Nothing right? I was all set to take on the day.................but hey wait my toe nails look as though a cat had scratched off all the nail polish on them, they looked yuck !!
So I got out my nail-enhancing tools and got to work, and ended up with toe nails that looked neat, clean and nicely painted :)

This was just my account of how I prepared for the read the actual proceedings of that day do visit Aadityas' Dossier. There I have put a more serious account of what actually transpired that day.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Art class for my son

Yes...we did it...we enrolled our son at an Art class. We did not go looking for one, but it just so happened that we were at a mall and chanced upon this art class called Art Safari. They had a trial session of one hour, and then we could decide if we wanted to enroll or not.
So we sent Aadi for the trial session, while we roamed around in the mall, exploring one furniture store and eating lunch. Amol has written about this place where we lunched, you can read it at his blog. It was a Thai joint.
So after an hour of time pass we went to collect the bachha, and we were shown 2 sheets of paper, on one of them was drawn a small green apple, and on the other was a big, red apple with a nice vibrant color job, background all covered in color etc. So it was basically a 'Before' and 'After' situation. We saw what difference the instructions had made to my 4 year old son's creativity.
I was super impressed with the instructor as well, she was a sweet, bubbly girl who had a genuine affection for kids.
The Art Class is run at various locations in KL, and has been around for 10 years. The studio cum shop is very well equipped with colors of every category, shade, and texture. Other art and craft supplies are also in plenty stock.
They offer various classes, and for beginners and Aadi's age group they suggested we take the one-month class. This basically contains one-session per week, with a total of 4 sessions. Each session is of 2 hours. They will do 3 art sessions and one craft one.
This weekend was Aadi's 1st class, in which he drew a crocodile, and he did a good job, he honestly tells us what part was done by the teacher and what part he did, so I know what he is actually doing and what he is learning.
I am pretty impressed with the class and also I can see that Aadi is enjoying it totally.
So lets see what he does this Saturday for his 2nd art-class.
BTW the classes are run by the tomato creative art studio company.
I also found some photographs of the actual click here if you wish to see them.

Yes I know photographs are needed, but I have to only locate that cable that connects my phone to the PC and then I'm all set to upload them....
Now where did I keep that cable ??

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Toy Library in KL

Children love toys and there are just so many to choose from these days. From Barney plush toys, to train sets, to the latest Shrek figures, kids can never get enough. But new toys hit the stores every single day and parents sometimes find it hard to keep up. What do you do when your little one gets bored of the toy? Chuck it away and buy new ones? Seems like such a waste, but she is your little princess!

Now in Kuala Lumpur there’s an answer: two toy libraries run by Total Genius Sdn Bhd, where children can visit and play in a toy heaven! There are teddy bears, lego blocks, wooden toys…. plenty to choose from! The children can play with which ever toy they choose and they can even take them home for a small fee. (Broken toys have to be replaced of course.)

The first toy library in KL is in Tropics Shopping Centre at Damansara Perdana, and the next one is opening in Chow Kit very soon. Parents are charged a very small fee to help maintain the libraries and to let the poorer children enjoy the facilities for free. For RM 12 you can sponsor a child to let him or her borrow toys from the library, a small price to pay to bring a smile to their faces.

Great start to a great idea I must say !! I am definitely going to check out the place.

Who am I meant to be?

This quiz is available on, and I found it to be really very useful and insightful.

I took this quiz with a hope to pin point in which direction my interests (as of now) lie, what areas I should concentrate on. And after reading the results I am pretty happy with them and know what I should be doing....well sort of...we're never too sure are we?

My Results:


You are an artist: You came out of the womb with a paintbrush in your hand. Or maybe it was a flute or a castanet or a fountain pen to go with your poet's imagination. The point is, you're an original, and you know it. Even if you don't have a singular gift, you're drawn to the arts—anything creative, for that matter—and you have a unique way of looking at the world. Your need for depth and authenticity in relationships can lead to both great joy and profound sorrow, depending on whether others reciprocate. You don't care so much about adapting to group or societal expectations; your independence and sharp intuition propel you on your own path.

What to watch out for: When fear of conformity overrides your creativity, you can assume the role of "outsider" or "orphan" and end up feeling alienated. You may even go so far as refusing to vote or pay taxes. This lone-wolf stance might be a defense against feeling vulnerable. Try to be aware that blaming others for your banishment, or pushing away those who want to get close, only makes things worse. Also, dramatizing your emotions can interfere with your creativity.

Looking ahead: As long as you genuinely express yourself, you feel like the person you were meant to be. How you do it is irrelevant. A chef or architect can be as much of an artist as a painter or sculptor. Many advertising and public relations executives are also highly imaginative. Beyond work, there are opportunities everywhere you look to coax out your inner artist: Design your own jewelry line, create an innovative blog, dream up a comic strip. Relationships are another avenue for self-expression.

My overall scores

Many people have two or three strong striving styles, and they can all be important in leading you to the person you are meant to be. If you have a few "highest" scores, read each matching description, and see what rings most true.

Striving to help: 16

Striving to be recognized: 11
Striving to be creative: 18
Striving to be spontaneous: 15
Striving to be knowledgeable: 15
Striving to be secure: 17
Striving to be in control: 17

You too can take this quiz and if like me you are in a place which you know is not constant, for example I am a stay at mom-full time and I know that soon I will be pursuing a career; but since motherhood happened to me my definition and parameters for a career have changed drastically, I look for something that will let me have flexible work hours, flexi holiday patterns where in I can take holidays when my son has his school holidays or during that time I can work from home...something that allows my son to be the center of my attention at all times. These are the years of his life in which he needs me the most, as time flies by he will be independent, will have a full time school and co-curricular activities to keep him busy.

If you wish to take this quiz, please click here.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Behaviour issues

The incident that I want to tell you all about took place this past Thursday. But before I go there I will have to build the suitable background to it.
There's this lady S in my condo and her son R is a year older than Aadi. They go to the same school. R takes the school van.
Since Monday the school van is coming in early and almost at the same time that Aadi and I get home. So from Monday I am offering to take R in through the lobby door since his mom is not around and does not know about the early arrival of the van. I of course call her in front of the 'responsible' van driver and tell S that her son is with me and that we're coming up. By the time the lift came down to the lobby level, S was down and we went up together. This happened daily and I happily took R inside with me, always making sure I let S know that her son is back from school.
On Thursday as we got down at our lobby after uncle dropped us home after school. I saw that the school van was also there (like all the previous days of the week) so this time I took R with me and did not call S, I thought I will go to her home to drop him off before heading off to my home. As I let R know of my plan, he yelled at me saying that 'I know my house, and I know my don't come to my house OK?' and this statement he said in a very rude tone, and which left me numb and dumbfounded not knowing how to react at this child's outburst at my good offer to leave him till his door !!
When the lift stopped at his floor, I was thankful to see S (the mom) standing there, so I just said a quick bye to R and headed home.

I was utterly shocked at the behaviour and I could not understand how a 5 year old could muster up so much rudeness in his speech to one aunty who has known for 2 years and who has been taking care of him by not letting him stand down in the lobby until his mother comes to fetch him !!
I don't know if I said anything to warrant for this behaviour, but I think what ever the case the child was very rude and that cannot be overlooked.
I blurted out the incident to my husband who asked me to stay away from the thankless brat.

This kid R has other issues as well (according to me), he touches and gropes his mother all over her tummy, her chest etc. and this goes on in full public view !! She does look embarrassed but I don't think she has taken any stern steps to stop this behavior. She always complains that R (her son) does not listen to her, and that she has to keep screaming at her. Once the kid gave me a tap on my hand and when he saw that I did not mind it, he went on hitting me until I said 'stop hitting me' in a stern voice. Goshhhhhh I was so horrified...

Getting back to the Thursday incident; believe me if my son would have spoken to anyone in that tone he would get a tight rap from me and a reprimand of not doing it again to anyone.
I though if telling the mother S about it, but then decided not to.

Did I do the right thing?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

How come we haven't said anything about Facebook yet?

I can't remember when exactly I joined Facebook but it must be around three years back.When my sister suggested that I join Facebook I was very skeptical and thought that it was an application only for teenagers or people in their early twenties.

However,after joining & reconnecting with old friends I am totally hooked!It is extremely useful for keeping in touch with people in this day and age when everyone is so busy .I am not suggesting that Facebooking can replace actual meeting with people but it is a great way to connect with friends & relatives who are living in different countries.Best thing is there are many options of staying in touch :you can play Scrabble with an old friend or send him a virtual gift or comment on his photos.Apart from keeping in touch with your friends and other people,in Facebook you can also join a cause,become a fan of a renowned personality or political figure or invite and get invited to events.I have seen people use Facebook for launching a book and promoting their products(including blogs)

Friends I haven't meet for years I have found in Facebook and I now know what they look like currently,how many kids they have & what they have been upto all these years.There is comfort in connecting with old friends who were a part of your childhood.

Facebook also has many applications such as Scrabulous (basically online scrabble) and other word games, books & movies application (where you can view reviews and write reviews).However, some of the applications such as "Friend of the Day","Enemy of the day" or "When will you die?" are silly & unrealistic.However, preteens and teenagers would probably like these applications.

Then there are the privacy issues.Even if you don't give photo access to all your "Friends" ,they will still be able to view them if a "common friend" comments on your photos. A recent rumour suggested that Facebook could use any of your photos for commercial purposes but later I heard that it was not true.

Another downside of Facebook is probably that it can be quite addictive! Many a mornings,after the kids have gone to their preschool,I would be Facebooking instead of doing the household chores and later would curse myself for wasting the precious time.
Inspite of the downsides,Facebook is loved by its users and nowadays older generations are also creating FB accounts to keep in touch with their children who are living abroad or to keep in touch with relatives. I haven't tried the other social networking sites yet but would love to hear from people who have used them.I have opened Tag and Orkut accounts but haven't been checking my account for a long long time.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Eid Mubarak!

Today is Eid-ul-Fitr,or Hari Raya Aidalfitre, the biggest festival for Muslims all over the world. It comes after Ramadan which is a month of abstinence when devoted muslims observe fast from dawn to dusk.

Yesterday I did my Eid shopping from Mustafa and bought packets of of vermicilli,Rasgollahs,mustard,ghee,chicken & spices (mace & nutmeg) .I did all the shopping during daytime so that I could concentrate on the cooking part in the evening. Shopping in Mustafa while fasting was tough and yesterday Mustafa was really really crowded.

From around seven o'clock in the evening my maid started cooking.I made "phirni" and my maid prepared everything else except "pulao" and vegetables which taste better when they are freshly prepared.We were expecting some of my hubby's colleagues for dinner on Eid night.

On Eid day we woke up early for all the preparations.Faisal wore a new punjabi set and went to say Eid prayers in Ang mo Kio mosque. But he was late and when he reached there the Eid prayers were over!

After he came back we sat together for a while and then had our breakfast.Breakfast was bread,fried eggs and tea-what I usually have everyday.After a while we had "shemai" which has been prepared especially for Eid.It is roasted vermicilli cooked in milk and is a delicious dessert.

We were invited for lunch at a friend's place and so we set off for their place in the afternoon along with the kids.It was a big Eid party with lots of guests.We had a great time and it came close to Eid,as we celebrate it in Bangladesh, with lots of hustle and bustle and delicious food.

We came back home and my daughter had a great time watching shows like "Tinkerbell" & "Little Mermaid" which Disney Channel was telecasting for Hari Raya.

Even with guests the evening was quiet.The dinner menu consisted of "pulao",chicken roast, mixed vegetable & mutton curry. The guests left early as they were all were newcomers in Singapore.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Facial Hair

I am very troubled with facial hair and not just upperlip but also chin,cheeks and jaws. I don't want to bleach because it is not really advisable for women living in sunny countries.I had threaded recently but threading also doesn't seem like a viable option as it is very painful (upperlip I can bear with because it is a small area). And also though my face was looking fresh and clear after the threading,in light I could see the thread marks on my face.
And about "shaving" I don't know.I have never tried it but I hear some women do it with excellent results. But my concern is what if it produces a stubble on my face and make the hair coarser?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Ten foods to lift your mood

Below is an article from

I read it and knew that I must share it with you all, because most of us who are mothers feel very tired and exhausted towards the end of the day and this in turn leads to feeling sad, and read on girls and rush to your kitchen for one of the food items listed below....milk, walnuts, dark chocolate...sounds good to me for now !!

Let's face it, sometimes life can be tough. And managing your work and your personal life can be tough, and managing your weight and fitness, well, even tougher. No one can live a long and healthy life without the will to go on; sometimes mood swings can make us feel that life is too much to handle. But did you know, a bad mood not only gives you a gloomy outlook, it also lowers your immune function, leading the way to illness.

As it turns out though, what we eat is not only important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle; it can really make a difference on your outlook as well. The food you eat affects your physical as well as your mental well-being. This means a bad diet can be one of the causes of depression. On the other hand, a healthy diet may be enough to lift your spirits without the need for medication and counseling.

So, if it is true that food fuels your body and also fuels your mood then which are the foods that you should search for when you hit the blues? Well, here is a list of foods for your mood:

The carbs in oatmeal trigger the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that boosts mood and can even help you sleep better. Recent studies have shown that after consumption of high carbohydrate food, the hormone insulin is secreted, which lowers the blood levels of most amino acids, with the exception of tryptophan, which is a precursor to serotonin. When there are high blood levels of tryptophan in relation to other amino acids, it enters the brain at a higher rate, thus synthesising more serotonin. While all carbs will give you this kick, stick to whole-grains (complex carbs) as they are digested more slowly and will thus keep you feeling fuller for a longer period of time. Examples of whole grains include brown rice,
daliya and oatmeal. So if you want to have a good day, start the day with a bowl of oatmeal.

Well, as it turns out there a reason why you should add milk to your cereal. Milk is also a good source of tryptophan as so are other dairy products. Thus adding milk to your cereal or just having plain milk will have a happy and calming effect. Whey proteins have also been shown to decrease anxiety and frustration.

Your morning Java contains caffeine which is the world's most popular psychoactive drug. It boosts metabolism and energy levels, making you feel more alert. It also manipulates the channels in the brains, thus activating the brain's pleasure centers. However, too much caffeine can make you dependent and make you nervous, irritable, or bring on headaches. If you have trouble sleeping, avoid coffee and other caffeinated foods and beverages before bedtime.

According to a recent survey, many people suffering from depression felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan (although it's not one of the major sources, a medium banana still contains about 10.6 mg of tryptophan). Moreover, it also regulates your blood glucose levels with the Vitamin B6 and smooth your mood naturally. Vitamin B6 is needed to convert the phenylalanine to mood-enhancing dopamine. If you don't get enough vitamin B6, you'll probably feel low, and stress depletes your levels further.

The monosaturated fats in avocados help your brain be sensitive to serotonin levels. And there is more, these same fats will help lower blood pressure over time. So that's two kills with one stone. Moreover, avacados have one of the highest contents of Vitamin B6.

It's no secret that turkey contains tryptophan, but it also contains a chemical phenylalanine that the brain converts to dopamine. Dopamine is a neuro chemical that elevates mood and motivation.

When you're feeling down, cook up some fish. Their high levels of omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to fight depression, moodiness and impulsiveness. They boost serotonin levels and the zinc present in fish enhances your brain's receptiveness to the neurotransmitter. The best fish are fatty fish such as salmon, herring and sardines. Salmon is also a natural source of Vitamin D which according to recent researches may increase the level of serotonin.

Walnuts have long been thought of as a "brain food" because of their wrinkled, bi-lobed (brainlike) appearance. Walnuts are an excellent source of omega-3 essential fatty acids for vegetarians. They are also enriched with tryptophan, which is a precursor to serotonin -- mood enhancing chemicals.

This is one thing we all know that works! According to a recent study, moderate drinkers (two drinks a day for men, one for women) had fewer depressive symptoms, but alcohol in large quantities can be a devastating depressant.

Dark chocolate
So the best things always come the last. This sweet treat has a mild, temporary effect on your mood. In part, it's an emotional response. However, chocolate contains some caffeine, which acts as a stimulant, and the food's sugars and other compounds trigger the release of serotonin and endorphin. Moreover, cocoa and dark chocolate contain significant amounts of antioxidant flavanols, which improve blood flow in the brain.

There is one more thing that will help you lift your mood almost instantly. It's not a food, it's exercise. Research suggests that exercise may provide an immediate mood boost for people suffering from depression.

You deserve the best that this life has to offer for your body, mind and spirit. It all starts with how you treat yourself.

Let the good feelings flow!