Sunday, September 27, 2009
photo credit: Nicholas T
As a traveler you have the opportunity to see amazing new things in far-away places, and as a green traveler you have the opportunity to preserve them for future generations. There are hundreds of reasons to be more environmentally-conscious and responsible when you travel. Here are 15 of our favorites:
- It’s Good for the Environment. No need to say more.
- It’s Good for your Children, and your Children’s Children. By being a responsible tourist you’ll do your part to ensure that the places you visit will still be there 15, 50, even 500 years from now.
- You’ll Save Money. Green travel is often cheaper than traditional travel. When you burn through fewer resources, you spend less money.
- You’ll Have Something Interesting to Talk About. Trust us, when you hike (instead of drive) 4 treacherous miles up a snowy mountain in Siberia in search of the village’s only ATM machine, only to find out the power is out and you’ll have to trek back the next day, you’ll have a new story to tell at parties.
- You’ll Meet Other Travelers. A great way to travel green is to stay at a hostel and cook in the hostel’s kitchen. The kitchen is often the communal area in a hostel and it’s a great place to make friends with other globetrotters.
- You’ll Meeting Interesting Locals. Two words: Public transportation. There’s no better place to meet (or at least observe) interesting locals.
- You’ll Get Off the Beaten Track. Trying to find organic lettuce in the middle of Siberia will definitely put you somewhere you’d never thought you’d go. Just be sure to check if someone is at their dacha before you go digging in their garden. (In case we need to spell it out, this is a slight exaggeration. Stealing is bad, even in Siberia. Don’t do it.)
- You’ll Learn the Local Life. Locals often live greener because it’s more economical, especially in some European countries and Canada. They are more likely to take public transportation or bike, spend an afternoon in the park, or eat an interesting local food than the tourist will.
- You’ll Lose Weight (or it will at least be good for your health). Walking more, eating healthier, consuming less = the perfect healthy diet plan.
- There will be More to See/Future Vacations. Green travel now is imperative to any sort of travel in the future. If you want to take a trip later, travel green now.
- You’ll Strengthen Your Brain. If you’re new to “going green” you will quickly learn to see things from a different perspective and keep your mind active.
- You can Focus on the Travel. When you focusing less on what you consume, you can focus more on what you came to see and experience.
- You’ll Feel Good about Yourself. When you “do good” you feel a little better about yourself as a person and what you contribute to this world. And you’ll realize what an impact you can make.
- It’s Not as Hard as You Think. Once you get the hang of it, traveling green becomes second nature. All it takes is a few minor changes and maybe a big one here or there. In the end the question isn’t “why travel green?” but “why not travel green?”
- It’s Trendy. Green is the new black. Before you click away, hear me out. I’m generally not big on group think mentality, but when more travelers go green it’s good for the environment. If it’s “in” to be thinking about your impact, then I’m all about trends.
Sunny days with fewer tourists are the most cited reasons for traveling in the late spring and early fall. But by traveling “weather consciously” you also can be a much greener traveler.
photo credit: preciouskhyatt
Here are 5 ways that traveling with the weather will make your travels more eco-friendly:
1 Winter Jacket, 1 Pair Heavy Boots, 3 Pair Long Pants, 3 Long Sleeve Shirts, 2 Sweaters, 1 Pair Mittens, 1 Hat
Total Weight: 14 Pounds
1 Light Jacket, 1 Pair Walking Shoes, 2 Pairs Shorts, 1 Pair Light Pants, 3 Short Sleeve Shirts
Total Weight: 6 Pounds
Warm weather means that you need to pack less. When you pack light, less energy is needed to transport your stuff.
No Air Conditioning/Heat
If you time your travel with the weather, you can visit most countries during a season where you won’t need heat or air conditioning. Just open your window and the weather outside will be comfortable.
Longer Days = Fewer Lights
In the late Spring and early Fall, the sun stays out longer than during winter. Thus, you don’t need to turn on your lights until later at night, meaning less electricity gets used.
Walking 3 miles to the museum doesn’t seem very appealing in 10F degree cold or 100F degree heat. But, when it’s 65F degrees who can resist an enjoyable stroll to your destination?
Fresh, Locally Grown Produce
During Fall, there’s an abundant harvest and in Spring greens taste fresher than ever. When you time your travel with the seasons your food is more likely to be fresh and locally grown.(Source: http://gogreentravelgreen.com/green-travel-101/5-green-reasons-to-time-your-travel-with-the-weather/)
Friday, September 25, 2009
Most of us have heard the do's and don'ts of wrinkle prevention. Stay out of the sun, moisturize, don't smoke.
But here are a few tricks you probably haven't thought of yet -- new stay-young skin secrets from the experts at RealBeauty.com.
3 Smooth Secrets
Make these your mantra and you may be staring down fewer lines and wrinkles in the mirror:
- Eat soy. Early research suggests soy may help protect against -- and possibly even heal some -- photodamage caused by sun exposure. Try this easy and delicious recipe for Asian-Style Grilled Tofu with Greens.
- Have a cup of cocoa. Research shows that two of the antioxidants in cocoa -- epicatechin and catechin -- can help shield against sun damage and improve your skin's hydration and blood circulation. All of which can help lead to smoother looking skin. Try RealAge skin expert Dr. Amy Wechsler's favorite hot cocoa recipe.
- Sleep on your back. Sleeping with your face in the pillow every night can cause wrinkles known as "sleep lines," say folks from The American Academy of Dermatology. Perpetual side sleepers tend to get these fine lines on their cheeks and chin, while people who sleep facing down can end up with a more furrowed brow. Here's a facial expression that can affect your sleep.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Below is the news i found online:
On Saturday, a body was discovered below the Tomoiwa cliff of Arafune mountain in the Gunma prefecture. The next day, authorities recovered the body and determined it to be that of mangaka Yoshito Usui (51), who was best known as the creator of "Crayon Shin-chan."
The body was recovered from the mountain by helicopter on Sunday afternoon. An examination of the body found that it matched Usui's, and his family further confirmed his identity.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
12 ways to streamline your day.by Maggie Jackson
All those precious seconds waiting in line and browsing at the video store add up. Here, 12 ways to streamline your day.
1. Send gift certificates for presents. Phone in the order no shopping, no wrapping, no exchanges.
2. Buy bagged salad greens and rotisserie chickens, two cornerstones of quick, healthy dinners. Add shredded chicken to casseroles, salads, soups, and pastas.
3. Ask for the earliest appointment. The later in the day you book a doctor's visit, a haircut, or a meeting, the greater the chance it will be delayed.
4. Keep a stash of all-purpose birthday cards on hand, at home and in the office.
5. Put a list of movies you want to rent and books you want to read in your wallet or Palm Pilot.
6. Keep doubles and triples of things you use all the time (scissors, tape, reading glasses, cleaning supplies) in every corner of the house. This will prevent extra trips up and down the stairs for minor projects.
7. Get an electronic tag for your car if it is accepted at toll plazas in your area.
8. Invest in a wireless handheld e-mail device (such as a BlackBerry). Keep in touch with friends during unexpected downtime.
9. Sign up for automatic bill paying at your bank's website.
10. Buy a case of your favorite olive oil or wine so you don't have to make last-minute trips for hostess or birthday gifts.
11. Buy movie tickets in advance using Moviefone or Fandango to avoid wasting time on lines.
12. Whenever possible, double a recipe. Eat half right away, and freeze the rest for a future meal.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
2. Decorate Easter eggs. Arrange rubber bands in a pattern around hard-boiled eggs, then dip them into dye. Remove the bands when the eggs are dry.
3. Bring order to your dishwasher. Tether stemware and other delicate, wobbly items to the rack.
4. Wrap a gift. Use multiple colored rubber bands instead of ribbon to add modern flair to a small present. (Particularly handy when you can’t find the tape.)
Monday, September 14, 2009
This is a quick healthy meal using a can of tuna and vegies. Kids will love the crunchy cheesy topping and the creamy sauce.
Time to make: 25 minutes
Total cost of all ingredients: $9.20 / $2.30 per serve
- High calcium
- High fibre
- High protein
- Low sodium
- 2 cups macaroni pasta (around 250g)
- 300g broccoli, cut into florets
- 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 3 cups warm skim milk
- 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- 185g can tuna in spring water, drained
- small handful basil, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup breadcrumbs
Step 1 Cook the macaroni in a large pan of boiling salted water according to packet instructions, until al dente. Add the broccoli for the last 1 minute of cooking time. Drain and tip back into the pan.
Step 2 Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1 minute, then remove the pan from the heat. Season, then add half the cheese and stir to melt.
Step 3 Preheat the grill. Toss the sauce through the drained pasta mixture with the tuna and basil. Tip into a shallow ovenproof dish and scatter over the breadcrumbs and remaining cheese. Grill for 5 minutes, or until golden and hot through.
Time to make: 20 minutes
Total cost of all ingredients: $10.68 / $2.67 per serve
- High calcium
- High fibre
- High iron
- Low sodium
- 100g lean bacon (eg. mid loin)
- 1 cup light evaporated milk
- 3 eggs
- 350g fettuccine
- 80g grated (1 cup firmly packed) parmesan cheese, plus extra for sprinkling
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup frozen peas, steamed
- 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley leaves
- 8 cups green salad, to serve
Step 1 Cut bacon into thin strips and cook over medium heat in a non-stick pan until crisp. Set aside. Combine evaporated milk and eggs in a jug or bowl.
Step 2 Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente (cooked but still firm when you bite it). Drain well and return to saucepan. Add milk and egg mixture to pasta and stir over low heat for a few minutes or until sauce thickens. Do not to overcook or the sauce will separate.
Step 3 Add parmesan, black pepper, peas and parsley to pasta and stir well to combine. Divide among 4 serving bowls. Sprinkle each with a little extra grated parmesan. Serve with a large green salad.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Need healthy comfort food? Try this high protein, low fat recipe the whole family will love.
Time to make: 30 minutes
Total cost of all ingredients: $16.48 / $4.12 per serve
- High fibre
- Low fat
- 400g lean beef mince
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs
- 2/3 cup roughly chopped basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan
- 700g bottle Italian tomato sauce (we used Leggo’s Sugo di Pomodoro)
- 400g dried penne pasta
- 8 cups green salad, to serve
Step 1 Combine mince, onion, breadcrumbs, half the basil and parmesan in a large bowl. Roll tablespoons of mixture into balls (there should be about 32 balls) and place onto a large plate. Cover and refrigerate mixture until required.
Step 2 Bring tomato sauce and 1 cup water to the boil in a large, deep saucepan. Add meatballs and cook,
shaking pan occasionally, for 15–20 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through.
When your emotional well-being is in need of a "tune up," follow this simple rule for feeling better: take more walks.
A strong body of research suggests that walking and other forms of regular exercise can turn the dial way down on depression, stress, and anxiety.
Midlife Mood Improvement
That’s exactly what a recent 8-year study of pre- and postmenopausal women showed. Premenopausal women who exercised 3 to 7.5 hours per week reported lower levels of stress compared to women who exercised just over an hour per week. Two additional benefits seen in postmenopausal women on the high end of that exercise scale: less depression and anxiety compared to their less inactive counterparts. Feel good and look good. Find out how to walk off fat fast with this exercise video.
And exercise can take the "blue" out of your mood regardless of your gender or age, according to other research. It’s all thanks to those wonderful little feel-good brain chemicals your body produces when you exercise. So, lace up your walking shoes -- and also give these other mood modifiers a try:
- Have a love affair with your life. It’s easy with these 5 steps.
- Turn on the stereo. Find out how music can transform your mood.
- Consider the ultimate mood booster. You know, the one you do with your partner.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 6-count boxes frozen French toast
- 1 9-ounce package thinly sliced ham
- 1 9-ounce package thinly sliced turkey
- 12 slices Swiss cheese
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise (optional)
- 6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- Heat oven to 400° F.
- Spread the mustard on 6 pieces of the French toast. Divide the ham and turkey evenly among the 6 pieces and top each with 2 slices of the cheese. Spread the remaining pieces of French toast with the mayonnaise (if using) and sandwich together.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Spread 1/2 tablespoon of the butter on the top and bottom of each sandwich. Cook 3 sandwiches in the skillet until brown, 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches.
- Bake until the cheese is melted and the toast is heated through, about 4 minutes.
Surprising ways to instantly improve your mood.by Gretchen Rubin
Being happier doesn't have to be a long-term ambition. You can start right now. In the next 30 minutes, tackle as many of the following suggestions as possible. Not only will these tasks themselves increase your happiness, but the mere fact that you've achieved some concrete goals will boost your mood.
1. Raise your activity level to pump up your energy. If you're on the phone, stand up and pace. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Put more energy into your voice. Take a brisk 10-minute walk. Even better...
2. Take a walk outside. Research suggests that light stimulates brain chemicals that improve mood. For an extra boost, get your sunlight first thing in the morning.
3. Reach out. Send an e-mail to a friend you haven't seen in a while, or reach out to someone new. Having close bonds with other people is one of the most important keys to happiness. When you act in a friendly way, not only will others feel more friendly toward you, but you'll also strengthen your feelings of friendliness for other people.
4. Rid yourself of a nagging task. Deal with that insurance problem, purchase something you need, or make that long-postponed appointment with the dentist. Crossing an irksome chore off your to-do list will give you a rush of elation.
5. Create a more serene environment. Outer order contributes to inner peace, so spend some time organizing bills and tackling the piles in the kitchen. A large stack of little tasks can feel overwhelming, but often just a few minutes of work can make a sizable dent. Set the timer for 10 minutes and see what you can do.
6. Do a good deed. Introduce two people by e-mail, take a minute to pass along useful information, or deliver some gratifying praise. In fact, you can also...
7. Save someone's life. Sign up to be an organ donor, and remember to tell your family about your decision. Do good, feel good―it really works!
8. Act happy. Fake it 'til you feel it. Research shows that even an artificially induced smile boosts your mood. And if you're smiling, other people will perceive you as being friendlier and more approachable.
9. Learn something new. Think of a subject that you wish you knew more about and spend 15 minutes on the Internet reading about it, or go to a bookstore and buy a book about it. But be honest! Pick a topic that really interests you, not something you think you "should" or "need to" learn about.
Some people worry that wanting to be happier is a selfish goal, but in fact, research shows that happier people are more sociable, likable, healthy, and productive―and they're more inclined to help other people. By working to boost your own happiness, you're making other people happier, too.
Friday, September 11, 2009
I was on leave for the past 4 days and supposed to be lazing around in a beach resort in Batam with hubby but ended up spending the whole week at home nursing a bad flu :<>
I have been too lazy to go swimming since i started working as i'm too tired after work and i hate going swimming during the weekends as the pool is always so crowded. Sometimes i really miss the times when i was not working and having the freedom and all the time in the world to do whatever things i like...spending the whole day lazing by the swimming pool or just wandering around my neighborhood taking long walk to the beach etc.life was much simpler then..now i seldom do such activities....
Luckily i won a pair of air tickets to Tokyo playing the Uniqlo online games recently and can look forward to going Tokyo this year which will make up for my lost Batam trip :> and i'm really looking forward to the trip as i have been wishing that i can revisit the place again since i last went there several years ago for my honeymoon. I'm looking forward to going there again with hubby and revisiting some of my favorite places like the romantic Tokyo Tower, the fun Disneyland and taking lots of pictures to share on my blog ;> and of course discovering more yummy and delicious Japanese food!!!
Just dreaming about my Tokyo trip will give me energy to face the never ending work waiting for me next week!
If not today, goof off soon. Take that vacation, unwind with friends, or spend the day at the beach. "Frivolous" indulgences like these are a must for longevity.
Because research shows that spending ample time doing what you love may keep you from developing a whole host of disease risk factors. And that’s a great way to help extend your life. Having fun yet?
Good Times, Good Times
When people in a study were assessed on how frequently they engaged in 10 different types of leisure activities, those who spent ample amounts of time having fun also had lower blood pressure, a slimmer waist, a smaller body mass index, and lower levels of the health-damaging stress hormone cortisol. The funsters also reported better physical function than the all-work-and-no-play crowd. Here’s another fun activity that’s good for your body.
Rest from Stress?
Why would having fun be such a strong health facilitator? Researchers aren’t sure, but it may simply be that it reduces stress -- that ravager of body and mind. Stress has long been shown to boost disease risk and hasten aging. Just one more solid argument for shortening that to-do list and finding something fun to do each day instead. Stay healthier and live longer by avoiding these other major agers as well.
KBS World Channel 173 has just finished showing legal drama "The Partner" last night and will be showing another interesting 16 episodes drama "My Fair Lady" starring actress Yoon Eun Hye, from "Coffee Prince".
Following the success of "Boys over Flowers" early this year, KBS is bringing yet another stylish drama to television fans with leading stars Yoon Eun-hye, Yoon Sang-heon and Jeong Il-woo. According to the producer Ji Yeong-soo, the drama "will offer humor and laughs, perfect for the summer season". The drama started showing in Korea in August 2009 and will be shown on KBS World every Wednesday and Thursday, 9pm from 16 September 2009.
Hye-na Kang (Yoon Eun Hye), the only successor of Kang-san Group, is the owner of the ‘Lady Castle’ and lives a ‘princess-like’ life with her servants. Hye-na’s parents died from a plane accident and her grandfather brought her up. Hye-na is strong-headed, selfish and world revolves around her; it is because she could not experience the warmth of family when she grew up.
Kang Hye-na (Yoon Eun-hye)
Kang Hye-na owns the 'Lady Castle' and lives a 'princess-like' life with her servants. Losing her parents in a plane crash at a young age, she had a lonely upbringing, living under the care of her stringent grandfather. So, she neither knows nor feels the emotional warmth from others. For this reason, she is overtly indifferent and oblivious to others' feelings and situations and totally self-centered. Whenever she opens her mouth, she spills out blunt remarks to no matter who the person is. She has skills leveling any national representative when it comes to horse riding, fencing, and clay shooting. The only reason she holds these skills is to either humiliate men unworthy of her, or to add awkwardness to conversations.
Until one day, out of pure coincidence, she comes across Seo Dong-chan who is turned out to make her life upside down. She doesn’t have a good feeling about this man, Seo Dong-chan. She feels uneasy over the fact that she may have finally met her match.
Seo Dong-chan (Yoon Sang-hyeon)
A former gigolo, Seo Dong-chan gave up entering university and his first love and took the road of the gigolo in order to make money for operations of his mother with acute leukemia. Dong-chan became the best of the best in the gigolo’s world with his dashing looks, eloquent speech, excellent art of living, and great skills of adapting to circumstances. But he dropped the career as soon as his mother passed away. For now, all he got is only five thousand dollars debt from his mother's operations.
One day, a woman shows up and stimulated his competitive spirit. Named Kang Hye-na, one of the most arrogant and impudent daughters in the wealthy upper class families in Korea's high society.
Dong-chan makes up his mind to enter the Castle and becomes her butler on the purpose of changing his whole life.
Lee Tae-yoon (Jeong Il-woo)
Tae-yoon is a human rights lawyer. He rejects the advantages he can take from wealthy life of second generation of Chaebol. He is devoting his life to legal service for the poor in a shabby lawyer’s office. At first, he has no such romantic feeling on Hye-na. However, Tae-yoon is slowly getting into her as he knows that she also has her own scar and sorrow in her mind that nobody knows.
Yeo Eui-ju (Moon Chae-won)
She has grown up like siblings with Dong-chan. She is a kind of mentor who helps Dong-chan do right things as well as the closest person who worries about him and supports him to get his life on track. Behind of Eui-ju's special interest in him, her unrequited love is hidden.