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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Walking Dead

Wait!  Before you give me credit, these insanely jaw-dropping cookies weren't done by me! Yep, you read it right the first time. These are COOKIES! They are the amazing creations of fellow cookier Gerry Marsh. Wish I had half of the man's talent. Do visit his Instagram page @ https://www.instagram.com/gerry_marsh/ for more of his mind-blowing masterpieces. That guy is a creative genius!

Daryl Dixon cookie
Michonne
Rosita Espinosa
Carl Grimes
Hubby and my teen boys are big fans of The Walking Dead and have been watching the series since Season 1. I only started watching the show midway in Season 6 and I am now SERIOUSLY hooked!
Finally, dinner conversations at the table are no longer monosyllabic answers!

So true except that I did 5 1/2 seasons in 3 days.


No cookies to show off this week. I have been 'busy'!  LOL!

Are you a big fan of the series too? If you are, who do you think was lucilled?

Have you ever tried binge watching?

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Precious Moments

My friend,V, is a huge fan of Precious Moments figurines. She has a display cabinet entirely filled up with those adorable statuettes that she has amassed over the years.
Can you imagine the look on her face when I gave her these cookies?

This is just one of the many joys of cookiefying things people love that money can't buy - the very reason why I don't sell my cookies. The expression on her face? Priceless!


Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Monday, May 2, 2016

Moles

When Rodney was little, he had this cute wee mole above his right upper lip. That was his most charming feature. Females of all ages would gush over him. Everyone seemed to adore his cute mole. But as he grew, so did the mole. Mole in Malay is "tahi lalat" which translates as " housefly poop" and Rodney's mole had often been the brunt of jokes for unkind kids in his school. He hated his mole and wanted it removed.

The Hubs and I had been mulling over Rodney's request for quite some time. According to Chinese and Indian beliefs, a person's future is based on the position of moles on his/her face and removing a mole may change one's fate. Rodney's was a good mole, as it suggested abundance of wealth in his life. This mole also would bring him fame and recognition according to The Chinese Almanac. Well meaning friends and relatives advised us against the removal,  Maybe it was just a coincidence but a friend became bankrupt when his business failed soon after his lucky mole was removed.

I reasoned, how could it possibly be a lucky mole when it was causing Rodney so much unhappiness? And so, against all caution, The Hubs and I decided to accede to Rodney's request.

It has been a week since Rodney had his mole lasered off. What used to be his snot-size mole is now a scab. It takes a little getting used to seeing him without his mole - he looks different!  But I can clearly see that he is very much happier so I know we had made the right decision.

Abundance of wealth, women, fame and fortune, huh?

This week's cookies

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sheet Masks


Did you already know that sheet masks are a staple in Asian skin care? I didn't!  Apparently, they are a Korean beauty favourite. I am always so behind when it comes to beauty stuff.

To the uninitiated, a sheet mask is exactly that; cloth or paper with handy cut-outs for your nose, eyes and mouth drenched in skin-pampering ingredients that are left over your face for 10-15 minutes so your skin can marinate in the good stuff.

I was window shopping with a friend when she suddenly dashed into a Korean beauty shop that was buzzing with shoppers. I ran after her, not having the slightest clue what the hooplah was all about. "Quick! Grab as many sheet masks as you can before they are sold out," she said excitedly. "What the hell are sheet masks?", I asked. She rolled her eyes at me as she pointed to all the customers in the shop who were each carrying armloads of colorful packets. There was a 70% discount on sheets masks while stocks lasted. The normal price was RM4,20(USD1.07) per packet which meant the masks were going at RM2.90 (about US70 cents) per piece and that was a steal! Following her, I grabbed as many as I could without the slightest inkling what they were for!

My haul!
The packaging looks so attractive and yummy with all sorts of scents, ingredients, vitamins and essences to luxuriate in. From ginseng to green tea, to mulberries to snail slime - they have it all!

Note to self - Warn my son Josh that these are not edible when he sees them in the fridge. That guy eats anything that looks remotely edible. Once, he tried to eat my DIY coffee mask!
I tried my first -  Pomegranate & Collagen Lifting Silky Mask. My face looked hydrated, brighter and slightly firmer after 20 minutes of use.  Sheet masks are so refreshingly perfect for our hot and skin-parching tropical climate. This is life changing!

Have you tried sheet masks? If you haven't, you really should give them a shot. It's like a mini facial, but way cheaper and you don't have to leave the house. Sheet up, pallies! They are heavenSCENT!

I was told that sheet mask selfies have been inducing instagram hysteria and even among celebrities!
photo via Lady Gaga / Instagram
 Guess who?
Hello! It's me!
Goodbye pricey serums!  Hello sheet masks!

This weeks's cookies

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Wearing Clothes Right Off The Rack

I was going to meet my friend  for lunch at a shopping mall when a pencil skirt on a mannequin behind a display window caught my eye. It was that elusive skirt I had been searching for a long, long time - denim, front-zipped, knee-length, perfect colour ....

I hopped into the shop and tried the skirt. It was a perfect fit! I have a big butt and tummy and pencil skirts don't become me but this one looked like it was made just for me.

Without hesitation, I bought the skirt and walked happily out of the store , wearing my brand new purchase as I made my way to the cafe a few metres away to meet my friend.

As soon as we were seated, I gushed about my new skirt to my friend. She gasped in horror! "Eeeek!  Take it off! NEVER wear a new clothing until it has been washed!", she cautioned me.  My friend, who's a dermatologist, then went on to share with me horror stories about the diseases her patients had picked up from wearing unwashed new clothes.

Dang! Can't wear new clothes? But that's the only time clothes aren't wrinkled!

If , like me, you don't wash new clothes before you wear them, below are 2 reasons what you should.

As Donald Belsito, a professor of dermatology, told Wall Street Journal, new clothing often contains harmful chemicals that can cause rashes and itchiness. Despite the "made-in" label on many store-bought purchases, items are often stitched, dyed, and sent out from various countries, each with different chemical use laws. Clothes containing common ingredients such as azo-aniline dyes, or formaldehyde resin can cause skin irritation — although, sending them through a wash can prevent this.

However, the ickiest clothing culprits come from the stores themselves. According to Belsito,   dressing rooms are breeding grounds for bacteria, lice, and fungus. “I have seen cases of lice that were possibly transmitted from trying on in the store, and there are certain infectious diseases that can be passed on through clothing,” he tells WSJ. There's no way to really track who's tried on the clothes before you did, so rather than take the risk of a possible allergic reaction (or worse), Belsito recommends running the washing machine, twice. After all, waiting a couple extra hours before you slip on your new outfit is a small price to pay for health and hygiene.

Strange, but no one had ever given me the heads-up before. Save for underwear,  I had been wearing clothes right off the rack all my life!

Do you wash new clothes before wearing them?

This week's cookies

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Asian Squat

I was scrolling down Facebook when I saw a tutorial  on how to do the Asian Squat. "Duh! All humans can do this!', I voiced out to my son Rodney.
"Wrong, Ma! Only 13.5% of Americans can pull it off", he corrected me.

Seriously?!! That was news to me!  Squatting with my feet flat on the ground has always been second nature to me and I have yet to meet someone who can't do that! I could squat like that for hours, thanks to the squat toilets we grew up on. As kids, we used to squat that way in the park so our tooshies didn't touch the wet ground when the benches were wet from the rain.

A video to share.

Squat Level : Asian


Can you pull off the Asian Squat?

This week's cookies

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Monday, April 4, 2016

Of Heat Waves and Heat Strokes

After a cup of tea with my neighbour Dorothy in a cafe, we were on our way out to the car park when suddenly, my head started to spin and I felt sick to the stomach. I thought I was going to faint but luckily, we made it into the car where Dorothy quickly switched the air-conditioner on and turned it up to max. I felt better instantly. I dismissed the episode as a hot flash, typical of menopause. What I didn't realize until later was I had a heat stroke and had I not been in an air-conditioned environment (inside the car), I surely would have collapsed.

The temps here have been hovering around 100 °F for several months now and the heat wave is predicted to last for some time, no thanks to the El Nino phenomenon that is causing the climatic change. Schools in the northern states were closed for a couple of days due to the scorching heat.

The present heat wave  is the hottest and longest we ever had and is just the tip of the iceberg. The blame has been put on El Nino and it is hoped that its effects will be felt only once in many years. But we all know that this  may be just  a foretaste of more or worse to come.

The almost unbearable condition in recent weeks has been due to a temperature rise of several degrees Celsius. Even if that is wholly due to El Nino, the same or even greater temperature rise is predicted to take place due to climate change.

Already the world is now experiencing a 1°C increase in mean temperature, compared to pre-industrial levels.

A two-degree increase will be devastating and any rise beyond that may be catastrophic. At present rates of Greenhouse Gas emissions, we are on track for a four-degree worldwide increase.

I guess we already saw that coming and have only ourselves to blame for our blatant disregard for Mother Nature.

Sharing this spot-on, beautiful, moving tribute to Mother Nature by El Gamma Penumbra on Asia's Got Talent. As judge David Foster says, "The message is so beautifully profound".



Cookies I made for Easter
Easter Bunny Cookies
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Monday, March 28, 2016

Pop Market

"Me, selling bracelets at a *pop market!!!???", I gasped. The mere thought was staggering! I didn't know the first thing about my merchandise! "What if the shoppers come in droves? What about toilet breaks? What about shoplifters? What if I screw up?", I spluttered.

But I couldn't possibly refuse my good friend, A, who only out sheer desperation, sought my help. She knows what a klutz and muddlehead I am. Both of us had visions of me tripping and tipping the table over, bracelets and money scattered everywhere!

I owe A big time for the many favours she had done for me in the past. Her son, T, who owned the business was out of town to attend to an emergency and he had booked a stall for the weekend at the pop market months ahead. Not turning up for the event meant getting him blacklisted and he may never get a spot again in the future. He had been on the waiting list for vendor selection for a long time. Moreover, the stall rental was not refundable.

Freaking out at the daunting task ahead, I tried to enlist the assistance of Rodney, my sixteen year-old son. "What!!!???  Sell girly stuff at a market stall and horror of horrors, with my mother!!!!", he baulked, mortified by the thought. "What if my friends see me?"

After my desperate pleas, much cajoling, blackmailing (I was going to tell his elder brother something he did) and finally a bribe (a set of  new headphones), Rodney relented.

*Somewhat like a flea market, a pop market is a seasonal bazaar organized by and for young urban adults. Stall vendors are members of a pop culture club.

Can you spot Rodney trying to look as inconspicous as possible?
Turned out, the  bracelets were unisex and a great hit with the guys. Rodney bought these 3 for himself.

Sharing what I learned from the 2-day experience

1. Men are easier customers than women - they are decisive and quick with their selections. Women, on the contrary are picky, picky, picky! We had a lady who spent almost an  entire hour rummaging through the bracelets, finally snagging one only to return a minute later to exchange for another design!

2. Crowd attracts crowd - An oddity of human nature, people naturally follow the crowd, assuming the stranger in front of them knows more than they do!

3. Product display - Our stall attracted more people when the bracelets were disarrayed than when they were neatly organized in rows according to sizes!  Trolling through the merchandise in the hope of snagging the ultimate find made her less guilty, a shopper shared.

4. It pays to be trilingual!

5. Malaysians are an honest lot! Not one bracelet was pocketed despite the crowding!

We sold a total of 197 bracelets! Not bad for a first-time effort, I was told.

So will I do this again? Nah! While I enjoyed the 2 day experience, I don't see myself doing this everyday. I would really rather have a work-at-home job.

This week's cookies

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Sunday, March 13, 2016

My First Eyebrow Threading Experience

I was having my hair cut when one of the shampoo girls asked if I wanted my eyebrows threaded for a mere RM10.00 (USD2),  Having spent the past 30 years of my life tweezing my eyebrows in a poor attempt to achieve some semblance of brow maintenance, I was glad for an alternative. Eyebrow threading is an ancient Indian practice rumoured to be as equally effective as tweezing, but quicker, and possibly less painful.

I was amazed at the result. There certainly is a difference. My sons said my brows now don't look like Susan Boyle's (before her makeover) anymore! Yep, they are looking neater and subtly arched.
The whole procedure did hurt just a bit and it made my eyes water. But the process was quick (about 8 minutes) and well worth the minimal pain.

I am now a convert!

A  video from YouTube to share.


Have you tried eyebrow threading?  If you haven't, would you?

This week's cookies for Easter

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Of Useless Skills and Posts

Every now and then, Rodney, my teen son would show me some useless video someone shares on Facebook.

Take the following video for instance.



Me: How does this benefit anyone? It's a useless skill.

Rodney: I am sure some guy who loses his hands in an accident would find this helpful.

Maybe he has a point there. I guess this post is just as useless as the video but I am really blocked for something to write about. Sorry, pallies!

This week's cookies for St. Patty's Day.


Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Sunday, February 28, 2016

For Dog Lovers - Cry your eyes out!

If you suffer from Dry Eye Syndrome like me, watch this heart wrenching Thai commercial that has gone viral and get those tears rolling down your cheeks.

It's a sad, sad story about the relationship between a girl and her canine friend.

You don’t find the purpose of this tear jerker until its final seconds. At the end of the video, you will see the words, "One of the students receiving scholarships under Krungthai University Graduates Project" flash underneath a photo of the vet at college.  The bank is reaffirming its commitment to helping Thai children reach their educational goals.


That dog should get an Oscar!

This week's cookies

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Crane Stories

Crane Cookies for Chinese New Year
Cranes are an auspicious motif in Chinese arts and favoured as decorations during the Chinese New Year. Throughout Asia, the crane is revered as it is symbolic of peace, health, prosperity and mythical wisdom. Referred to as "bird of happiness" by the Japanese and "heavenly bird" by the Chinese, the crane stands for good fortune and longevity because of its fabled life span of a thousand years. The powerful wings of the crane were believed to be able to convey souls up to paradise and to elevate people to higher levels of spiritual enlightenment.

An ancient Japanese legend promises that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by a crane. Some stories believe you are granted eternal good luck, instead of just one wish, such as long life or recovery from illness or injury. This makes them popular gifts for special friends and family.

Many enchanting legends and stories that have survived generations have been bestowed upon our feathered friends. When the boys were little, I would regale them with stories of the mystical birds while they folded origami cranes out of ang pows (red envelopes) that I would hang on my pussy willow stalks as decorations for the Chinese New Year.

Sharing two of our favourite crane stories.

TSURU NO ONGAESHI (Crane Returns A Favour)

A long, long time ago, there lived a poor woodcutter and his wife.  One day, the woodcutter found a crane caught in a hunter's trap. It was snowing heavily and the woodcutter felt sorry for the helpless creature. He freed the bird and it flew off in a great hurry. That very same night, a beautiful girl dressed in white appeared at the old couple's doorstep in the raging snow storm. The young girl begged them to shelter her for the night as she was lost while on her way to visit some relatives. The childless couple warmly welcomed the stranger into their humble home. The snow had not quite stopped the next day, and the day after that, and the girl remained in the house of the elderly couple.  She took great care of them and her gentle and kind ways endeared her to the old man and his wife. The girl then asked if she could stay and live with them as their daughter  They were delighted and consented without hesitation.

One day, the lovely girl requested for a loom to be set up in her room so she could help with the household income. But her request came with a condition and she said,“When I am weaving in the room, none of you can come to look at me working." She then hid in the room, and wove for three days and nights without a break. Finally, she emerged from her room and in her hand she held the most beautiful cloth the couple had ever seen. The old couple sold the cloth for a fair price. The girl continued to churn out cloths that were so exquisite, they became the talk of the town. People from far and near came to buy her cloths. Soon the couple became very rich.

The old couple persevered in keeping their promise but as the days went by, they noticed that their daughter was getting frailer by the day. Overcome with curiosity, the old lady sneaked into her room to peek. Where there should have been a girl was a crane. The crane plucked its own feathers to weave between the threads to produce a glittering cloth. Large portions of the wing had already been plucked out, leaving the crane in a pitiful state. In front of the shocked elderly couple, the daughter who finished weaving approached them, confessing that she was the crane that was saved. She had intended to remain their daughter, but now that they had seen her true form, she had to leave.  Suddenly, a flock of a thousand cranes appeared,  flying from the western sky. Carrying the  naked crane, the great flock flew towards the setting sun as the woodcutter and his wife sorrowfully watched,shedding tears of regret.

SADAKO SASAKI

The origami crane has become an international symbol of peace, a Peace Crane, through the sad but inspiring story of a young Japanese girl named Sadako Sasaki

Born in 1943 in Hiroshima, Japan, Sadako was two years old when the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, on 6th August 1945. Growing up, Sadako appeared healthy but at the age of 12, she was diagnosed with leukemia. While in the hospital, a friend showed her colourful paper cranes and told her an old Japanese legend, which said that anyone who folds a thousand paper cranes would be granted a wish. In the hope that she would recover soon, Sadako began making origami cranes with
the goal of making one thousand as inspired by the senbazuru legend. Sadly, she could only make about 600 cranes before she passed on after an eight-month battle with the disease.

After her death, Sadako's friends and schoolmates published a collection of letters in order to raise funds to build a memorial to her and all of the children who had died from the effects of the atomic bomb. In 1958, a statue of Sadako holding a golden crane was unveiled in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. At the foot of the statue is a plaque that reads:

"This is our cry. This is our prayer. Peace in the world."

A statue of Sadako holding a golden crane
“I will write peace on your wings and you will fly all over the world.”
(Sadako Sasaki)

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

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