Friday, 10 February 2012


You cannot buy happiness. What is it that you can buy yourself and be happy while you are on a diet, without worrying about the calories?


Normally after the paper on the toilet roll gets over, what happens to the roll?'s usually thrown away. But Annastassia Elias, a talented artist in the field of painting and illustration based in Paris, does something quite unique and interesting with the empty toilet roll. She converts toilet paper rolls into amazing works of art. She cuts small paper shapes and sticks them inside the toilet rolls creating tiny scenes. Each piece of art takes few hours to complete. 

“One day I looked at an empty roll and wondered if I can do something with it,” said Annastassia Elias. “I use tweezers to manipulate the paper shapes. I select the paper of the same color as the roll. It gives the illusion that the paper figures make part of the roll,” said the artist.


Mushroom man Paul Stamets claims mushroom can help to cure cancer, as it did for his mother who recovered from stage 4 cancer. And now she has no tumors at all. Watch this interesting video where Paul Stamets explains about the nutritional value of mushrooms and how consuming mushrooms can help fight and cure cancer. 

According to Paul Stamets, mushrooms are "miniature pharmaceutical factories" that can help support healthy immune function in plants and animals, and have a record of thousands of years of traditional use in Eastern medicine.

Paul Stamets


Gorgeous 29 year old Anne Hathaway of 'The Devil Wears Prada' fame, said she suffered depression and anxiety as a teenager. She did not resort to any medication and managed to work through her anguish. Anne Hathaway told her mother the other day, "Do you remember that girl? She has now gone, gone to sleep. She has said her piece and she is gone ... I am sorry she was hurting for so long. It's all so negatively narcissistic to be so consumed with self." Anne Hathaway went on to say, 'I so remember her, only she is no longer part of me'.

Anne Hathaway has starred in Princess Diaries, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, and Ella Enchanted, Brokeback Mountain, Havoc, Becoming Jane, Rachel Getting Married, Valentine’s Day, Alice in Wonderland, Love and Other Drugs. In 2011, she did a voice role in the animated box office Rio.


Thursday, 9 February 2012


“Happiness is a skill we learn,” says Marci Shimoff, author of the New York Times bestseller Happy for No Reason: 7 Steps to Being Happy from the Inside Out.

* Shimoff goes on to say, if you feel stressed, do the 'pause' practice. Pause for a moment and place your hand over your heart. “It puts you into heart rhythm coherence".

* You are liable to remember people's criticisms than compliments. Instead of dwelling on the criticisms and feeling low, be grateful for all the good things about you, good things happening in your life and the blessings from the past. Look for things around you that will increase your happiness quotient, like looking at a pretty flower or a beautiful sky or a cute smile of a child. You get what I mean?

* Say a prayer for yourself each day, “May I be safe, may I be happy, may I be healthy and may I live with ease", and wish this upon others as well. And see what a difference it makes.

* Surround yourself with happy people and not people who infect you with their negative talk. Misery loves company...stay away from toxic people who are always fretting and complaining.

* Get a good night's sleep every day. Six to eight hours of sleep will increase your energy and make you feel good. If you are tired due to lack of sleep, you can't concentrate, you'd feel dull and in no position to experience happiness. 


Cat unaware of dog behind, decides to become brave. He goes, "Hey Rover, ya dumb mutt, where are you bonehead?"

Like this mug? It's available in Sultan Center Salmiah.


Craig Lewis - after the successful implant of the device that helps him live without a heart

The continuous flow device

Dr. Bud Frazier and Dr. Billy Cohn, Texas Heart Institute

One of the biggest causes of death across the world is heart disease and heart failure. Craig Lewis, 55, was dying from cardiac amyloidosis, a heart condition where there was a build up of abnormal proteins, which clog the organs and they stop working. Dr. Billy Cohn and Dr. Bud Frazier from Texas Heart Institute came up with a solution and successfully replaced the patient's heart with a 'continuous flow device' that will allow blood to circulate in his body, without a heartbeat or pulse. When doctors put a stethoscope to his chest, there was no heartbeat or pulse except a humming sound! And now Craig Lewis lives without a heart. 'He wanted to live, and we didn’t want to lose him,' said his wife. 

This device was developed by Dr. Billy Cohn and Dr. Bud Frazier some time back, and they had tested it on 50 calves, by removing the animals' hearts and replacing with the continuous flow device. The device  helped to circulate blood in their bodies. By the next day, the calves were very much like the day before, eating, sleeping and moving about, without a heart. 


Dawn French, 54 year old British actress, writer and comedienne managed to shed 7 stone, 7lbs and looks fabulous. She would certainly inspire a lot of women out there who are obese and want to lose weight but somehow were unable to get around to actually doing it. If you might wonder what is the secret to her weight loss, or if she followed a secret diet, well, you'd be surprised, there wasn't anything like that. Her weight loss is a result of conscious healthy eating and exercise. 'I don’t eat bread, potatoes or pasta now. 'I don’t have chocolate in my house. That is really hard', said Dawn French. 

She misses her larger self and went on to say, 'I was never actually unhappy then so it’s not the case that I was miserable and I’m happy now. I look slightly different now, yes, but the fuss has been remarkable,” Dawn tells Woman magazine. "I didn’t lose weight because of some weird self–hatred,” she says firmly. But I started to wake up to the fact that if I got any bigger, I was going to be tipping into a dangerous area".

Back, in 2009, before the incredible weight loss, she said, "I think the medical term for my condition is called "body blindness".

Dawn French before losing weight

After and before losing weight
 Dawn French after her incredible weight loss


Wednesday, 8 February 2012



Amanda is a cute looking turtle carrying a solid disk of stainless steel soap on her back, which will magically neutralize and remove pungent odors like garlic, onions from your hands, after cooking. How to use it? Well, just wet the metal soap bar and rotate it around in your palms like you would with a normal soap and then no more odors! 

Available at all Sultan Center outlets. 


There is really no point in overeating or indulging in high calorie foods when you are trying to lose weight. 


Enjoy sewing? Then this ring would not only be quite an eyebrow raiser but useful - don't you think? 


White Goat recycles office waste papers into toilet roll

Oriental Company Ltd. in Japan has developed an office waste paper recycling machine that converts office waste paper into toilet roll. How does it work? Waste paper is fed into one end of the machine. The papers are shredded inside the machine. Water is used to dissolve the shredded waste into a pulp. It is then, thinned out, dried and converted into readily usable toilet paper. The entire process is automated. It takes 30 minutes and 40 sheets of A4 office paper to create one roll of toilet paper.

White Goat claims to be able to save 60 cedar trees annually. The White Goat was priced at 100,000 $. It's 1.8m tall and weighs 600 kg.


Tuesday, 7 February 2012


Gryphon Trio will perform a musical concert tomorrow, Wednesday February 8 at Maidan Cultural Center (near Shaab Park)  at 7pm. The three award winning world renowned musicians of Gryphon Trio are:

Annalee Patipatanakoon on the violin,
Roman Borys on the cello and 
Jamie Parker on the piano.

Their music ranges from the traditional to the contemporary and from European classics to modern-day multimedia. 


H&M outlets are having a sale. Beside that, they have new collections arriving everyday. They also have a 'buy 3, get 1 free' in cosmetics. I was at H&M in Salmiah last week, and they have some really nice new collection. Check out their H&M stores at Avenues Mall, Marina Mall, Northern Building Salmiah, Salem Mubarak Street beside Centerpoint.


When you visit Sultan Center in Shaab and in Salmiyah, you will certainly not miss the Farmers' Market that has fresh produce, fresh milk, cheese, labneh, yoghurt, freshly baked bread and a whole of wonderful fresh food. Farmers' Market is a definite 'must visit' section at Sultan Center.

Here are a few pictures of the Farmers Market in Sultan Center Salmiyah



Google doodle commemorating Charles Dickens 200th Birthday
Charles Dickens

It was exciting to see Google's beautiful google doodle this morning commemorating Charles Dickens 200th birthday. The doodle with a Victorian touch, has characters from Charles Dickens novels including Scrooge, Bob Cratchit and Pip. I was swiftly taken back into my childhood days, where it was such sheer pleasure to read books by Charles Dickens. In fact to own a collection of his books was considered a treasure. 

I cannot conclude my post yet without mentioning a few interesting things about the greatest English author of the Victorian times, who was responsible for the most iconic novels and characters. Charles John Huffam Dickens was born on 7 February 1812 at Portsmouth, Hampshire. He was the 2nd of eight children to John and Elizabeth Dickens. He was married to Catherine Thomson Hogarth and they had ten children. Dickens  has written two dozen novels, several short stories and some plays. His first novel The Pickwick Papers was penned in 1936. 

Some of his well known novels are:

* Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby
* Bleak House
* The Old Curiosity Shop
* Great Expectations
* A Christmas Carol
* A Tale of two Cities
* David Copperfield
* Oliver Twist
* The Cricket on the Hearth
* The Battle of Life
* The Haunted Man and the Ghost's bargain
* Our Mutual Friend
* The Battle of Life
* The Chimes
* The Life and Adventure of Martin Chuzzlewit
* Little Dorrit

There will be celebrations across the globe today to honor Charles Dickens. The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will be leading celebrations in UK. Prince Charles will visit Westminster Abbey to lay a wreath on Dickens' grave at Poet's corner, where he was buried in 1870. He is also expected to visit Dickens Museum in London. Many actors will be giving readings from Dickens' novels. Several of his descendants are expected to join the celebrations today. Dickens World Theme Park in Kent will host live attractions and events for visitors to experience characters from his novels come to life with costumed entertainers and interact with them .

Author Lucinda Dickens Hawksley has written a new book on Charles Dickens to celebrate the occasion. She is his great great great grand-daughter of Charles Dickens and a patron of the Charles Dickens Museum in London. The biography contains removable facsimile documents from Dickens' personal archives.

There is a nice website exclusively dedicated to celebrating Charles Dickens' 200th birthday. Visit the website to read lots more on Dickens.

Dickens World Theme Park Kent

Dickens World Theme Park Kent

Birthplace of Charles Dickens - 393 Old Commercial Road Portsmouth


Monday, 6 February 2012


A little boy of 8 years residing in Salmiah, who was out playing, went missing on Saturday evening from 6.30pm, causing much pain and anguish to his parents and shocked the community. There were search parties looking for the child the whole night and next morning. Fortunately 15 hours after the child went missing, he was found at a local police station next morning, and the child is back with his parents. ‘I am glad I got my son back alive’, said the mother. One of the saddest things, I have heard a mother say is what this little boy’s mother said, ‘When your child goes missing, you go through hell’.

Young children are curious by nature, it’s natural to want to explore the neighbourhood while playing or wander off sometimes with friends or even alone. This poses quite a danger as the child can

* Get lost and not find its way home and get scared
* A stranger with ill intent can take him away
* The could fall victim to child theft/molestation/kidnap
* He/she could get into an accident

A lot of children go missing each year, sometimes they are found, sometimes they aren’t. Parents of young children who play together, can take turns to go down each day, to keep a watchful eye to prevent the child from wandering off, or stranger approaching them , or running across on the road to get a ball. Little children can be very trusting towards older children and older people because they are innocent and unaware of the cruel and terrible things that happens in the world around them. As much as we would love to teach little children life skills, make them independent, do it with awareness, always keeping the safety of the child in mind. When a little child makes a mistake or does something, don't be harsh with your words, or scare the child with severe punishment, that a sense of fear arises in the child, which makes him want to run away from home. Parents could discuss and implement certain safety rules at home and make sure the child abides by it. Ensure you spend quality time with your child. Take your child out more often; spend time as a family. Engage him sports and hobbies along with other children. 

* Keep the main door locked and under no circumstance allow the child to open the door and go off to play without informing/asking the parent.

* When someone rings the door bell and you are busy, the child might run to open the door. It’s not always a known person who could be at the door. It’s best if parents or older children answer the door.

* Never let your child play alone outside without the presence of a trusted adult. 

* Make sure when you are out in the Mall or shopping centres, or amidst a crowd , your child is always with you. Your child could get attracted to a toy or something interesting it sees and walk away from you not realizing he could get lost.

* Not to talk to strangers at all and to inform you immediately if a stranger tried to approach him.

* Give clear and strict instructions not to take a lift from a stranger while while returning home from school and to stick to the arrangement you have made – like you picking up your child or the child returns home by school bus.

* If you are a working parent, ensure a friend, a neighbor or a nanny sees your child off while to the school bus in the morning and receive the child when it returns.

* If you are willing to have your child sleep over at a friend’s place, ensure that you know every one in that house your child will be staying and give them safety instructions for your child.

* Don’t send your little child to the nearby shop to get you something since you're busy. It can be dangerous. Do it yourself or call the shop and have your things delivered or accompany your child to the shop and you both could chose and buy together.

* Never send your child alone in the elevator.

* If your child wants to go to a neighbour's house or the neighbouring building or nearby open grounds to play, don’t send him alone thinking its close by. Accompany your child, ensure there is an adult present while children are playing and pick up your child when play time gets over.

* When you correct your child, explain to him why you are correcting him and that you love him and no matter how angry or sad he feels, he should not run away from home or leave the house.

* Explain to your child what is right kind of touching and wrong kind of touching and not to allow strangers to touch him and to let you know if he is uncomfortable around any adult known or unknown.

* Let your child memorize 2 or 3  important phone numbers/mobile number of parents, relatives/close family friends so he call during an emergency.

* The child should be told that in case he is lost and can't find his way home, to get into a near by shop and make a phone call to the parents, friends or relative.


According to OK! Magazine, Anglenia Jolie  36, and  Brad Pitt, 48,  are expecting their seventh child this year.  There has been no official announcement made by the couple yet. Jolie and Pitt have six children Shiloh and twins Knox and Vivienne,  adopted children Maddox, Pax and Zahara

Some wonderful things Angenlia Jolie had to say in the past, about pregnancy, motherhood and being a parent, which is quite inspiring for any mother to be.  

* I love being pregnant.
* You feel like more like a woman than you've ever felt. 
* You just feel like everything about your body is there for your baby.
* I’m just glad I was able to return to some of that innocence and beauty I had as a child when  I started my own family and my children brought me back some of that spirit.
* Everything that matters in life has to do with being a parent.
* Being a mother to my children is the most important thing in my life.
* Who is the disciplinarian ? When it comes to the boys, it’s Brad, and with the girls, it’s me.
* Raise the kids with a lot of love and make sure they grow into the individuals they were born to be.
* Every morning I wake up with the people who are the most dear to me in the whole world.

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt at Golden Globe Awards

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie with their six children