Monday, June 30, 2014

Happiness is the best medicine :)

Happiness is ephemeral, subject to the vagaries of everything from the weather to the size of your bank account.
We’re not suggesting that you can reach a permanent state called “happiness” and remain there. But there are many ways to swerve off the path of anxiety, anger, frustration, and sadness into a state of happiness once or even several times throughout the day. Here are 20 ideas to get you started. Choose the ones that work for you. If tuning out the news or making lists will serve only to stress you further, try another approach.
1. Practice mindfulness. Be in the moment. Instead of worrying about your checkup tomorrow while you have dinner with your family, focus on the here and now — the food, the company, the conversation.
2. Laugh out loud. Just anticipating a happy, funny event can raise levels of endorphins and other pleasure-inducing hormones and lower production of stress hormones. Researchers at the University of California, Irvine, tested 16 men who all agreed they thought a certain videotape was funny. Half were told three days in advance they would watch it. They started experiencing biological changes right away. When they actually watched the video, their levels of stress hormones dropped significantly, while their endorphin levels rose 27 percent and their growth hormone levels (indicating benefit to the immune system) rose 87 percent.
3. Go to sleep. We have become a nation of sleep-deprived citizens. Taking a daily nap or getting into bed at 8 p.m. one night with a good book — and turning the light out an hour later — can do more for your mood and outlook on life than any number of bubble baths or massages.
4. Hum along. Music soothes more than the savage beast. Studies find music activates parts of the brain that produce happiness — the same parts activated by food or sex. It’s also relaxing. In one study older adults who listened to their choice of music during outpatient eye surgery had significantly lower heart rates, blood pressure, and cardiac workload (that is, their heart didn’t have to work as hard) as those who had silent surgery.
5. Declutter. It’s nearly impossible to meditate, breathe deeply, or simply relax when every surface is covered with papers and bills and magazines, your cabinets bulge, and you haven’t balanced your checkbook in six months. Plus, the repetitive nature of certain cleaning tasks — such as sweeping, wiping, and scrubbing — can be meditative in and of itself if you focus on what you’re doing.
6. Just say no. Eliminate activities that aren’t necessary and that you don’t enjoy. If there are enough people already to handle the church bazaar and you’re feeling stressed by the thought of running the committee for yet another year, step down and let someone else handle things.
7. Make a list. There’s nothing like writing down your tasks to help you organize your thoughts and calm your anxiety. Checking off each item provides a great sense of fulfillment.
8. Do one thing at a time. Edward Suarez, Ph.D., associate professor of medical psychology at Duke, found that people who multitask are more likely to have high blood pressure. Take that finding to heart. Instead of talking on the phone while you fold laundry or clean the kitchen, sit down in a comfortable chair and turn your entire attention over to the conversation. Instead of checking e-mail as you work on other projects, turn off your e-mail function until you finish the report you’re writing. This is similar to the concept of mindfulness.
9. Garden. Not only will the fresh air and exercise provide their own stress reduction and feeling of well-being, but the sense of accomplishment that comes from clearing a weedy patch, watching seeds turn into flowers, or pruning out dead wood will last for hours, if not days.
10. Tune out the news. For one week go without reading the newspaper, watching the news, or scanning the headlines online. Instead, take a vacation from the misery we’re exposed to every day via the media and use that time for a walk, a meditation session, or to write in your journal. :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Secret to Natural Looking Highlights

Despite the weird weather we’ve been having recently in NYC (90 degrees one day, 50 the next—what is that?!), spring is definitely here and with it comes the desire to wear eat lunch outside, and get highlights. Okay, maybe not everyone is like me in that the slightest increase in temperature sends them running to the colorist, but there’s definitely a connection between warm weather and lighter hair. Remember back when you were a kid and your hair would get lighter during the summer because of the sun’s natural effects? Well, unless you’re spending the next four months on a beach (if you are, keep that to yourself or you’ll make the rest of us insanely jealous), then your highlights are going to come from a bottle.

In order to make your man-made streaks look natural you should only go one or two shades lighter than your base color. But the real secret to gorgeous highlights is all in where you place them. A lot of colorists start at the root and evenly space out the streaks, which is fine, but Marie Robinson at Sally Hershberger Downtown in NYC gives me super-skinny highlights (about the width of angel hair pasta) mainly at my hairline with a few random bright bits at the ends. It might sound weird to leave out your roots, but I swear the results are really pretty, plus you can go way longer between color appointments. If you try this technique at home, ditch the applicator that comes in the kit and use a Q-tip to paint on the streaks exactly where you want them. 
Life of Pi is divided into three sections. In the first section the main character Pi Patel, an adult Canadian, reminisces about his childhood in India. His father owns a zoo in Pondicherry. The livelihood provides the family with a relatively affluent lifestyle and some understanding of animal psychology. Pi describes how he acquired his full name, Piscine Molitor Patel, as a tribute to the swimming pool in France. After hearing schoolmates tease him by transforming the first name into "Pissing", he establishes the short form of his name as "Pi" when he starts secondary school. The name, he says, pays tribute to theirrational number which is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. In describing his experiences Pi describes several other unusual situations involving proper names. Two visitors to the zoo, one a devout Muslim and one a committed atheist, bear identical names. A memorably ferocious tiger at the zoo bears the name Richard Parker as the result of a clerical error in which human and animal names were reversed.[9]
Pi is raised a Hindu who practices vegetarianism. As a fourteen-year-old he investigates Christianity and Islam and decides to become an adherent of all three religions, saying he "just wants to love God."[10][11] He tries to understand God through the lens of each religion and comes to recognize benefits in each one.
Shifting government policies led to a decision by Pi's father to sell the zoo and emigrate with his wife and two sons toCanada. The second part of the novel begins with Pi's family aboard the Tsimtsum, the Japanese freighter that is transporting animals from their zoo to North America. A few days out of port from Manila, the ship encounters a storm and sinks. Pi manages to escape in a small lifeboat, only to learn that the boat also holds a spotted hyena, an injured Grant's zebra, and an orangutan. To Pi's distress, the hyena soon kills the zebra and then the orangutan. At this point Pi learns that a 450-pound Bengal tiger has been hiding under the boat's tarpaulin: Richard Parker, who had boarded the lifeboat with ambivalent assistance from Pi himself. The tiger kills and eats the hyena.
Frightened, Pi constructs a small raft out of rescue flotation devices, tethers it to the stern of the boat and retreats to it. He begins conditioning Richard Parker to take a submissive role by using food as a positive reinforcer and seasickness as a punishment mechanism while using a whistle for signals. Pi asserts himself as the alpha animal and is eventually able to share the boat with Richard Parker.
Pi recounts various events while adrift in the Pacific Ocean. At his lowest point, exposure renders him blind, feeble and unable to catch fish. In a state of delirium he talks with a marine "echo" that he eventually identifies as Richard Parker finally speaking up, then identifies as another survivor on another lifeboat who is also blinded by exposure and dying. They share dreams of food. The other voice speaks with a French accent and prefers meat to the vegetarian fare Pi longs for. Pi welcomes this "brother" aboard his boat. The other person moves to attack and eat Pi but is instead devoured by Richard Parker, who springs out at him from under the tarpaulin. Later, after Pi's sight is restored, his boat comes ashore on a floating island network of algae and inhabited by meerkats. Pi gains strength but his discovery that the island's plant life iscarnivorous forces him to return to the boat. Two hundred and twenty-seven days after the ship's sinking, the lifeboat washes onto a beach in Mexico. Richard Parker disappears into the nearby jungle without a glance back.
The third part of the novel describes a conversation between Pi and two officials from the Japanese Ministry of Transport who are conducting an inquiry into the shipwreck. They meet him at the hospital in Mexico where he is recovering. Pi tells them his tale but the officials reject it as unbelievable. Pi then offers them a second story in which he is adrift on a lifeboat not with zoo animals, but with the ship's cook, a Taiwanese sailor with a broken leg, and his own mother. The cook amputates the sailor's leg for use as fishing bait, then kills the sailor and Pi's mother for food. Pi then kills the cook and dines on him.
The officials note parallels between the two stories and conclude that the hyena symbolizes the cook, the zebra the sailor, the orangutan Pi's mother, and the tiger Pi. Pi points out that neither story can be proven and neither explains the cause of the shipwreck. He asks the officials which story they prefer. They choose the story with the animals. Pi thanks them and says "And so it goes with God."

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

All the Light We Cannot See By Anthony Doerr

From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, a stunningly ambitious and beautiful novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. 

Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure's agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall. 

In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure.

Doerr's gorgeous combination of soaring imagination with observation is electric. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, All the Light We Cannot See is his most ambitious and dazzling work.                      


While bad hair days usually feel like an inevitable part of summer, that certainly wasn’t the case for Olivia Wilde at the premiere of her new movie, Third Person, in New York City. The steamy weather didn’t stop the star from stepping out in sleek waves—in fact, there wasn’t a hint of frizz in sight.
“It’s sticky and humid out, so I didn’t want her hair to look or feel too heavy or weighed down,” her hairstylist, Rebekah Forecast, tells us. “I wanted to give her a style that enhanced her natural wave and looked smooth and effortless.” Goal achieved!
To weather-proof your waves at home, Forecast recommends prepping with one to two pumps of Herbal Essences The Sleeker the Butter Smooth & Creamy Hair Milk ($5; through the ends of damp hair to lock out humidity. While blow-drying on low heat, work your hands through your strands as you dry to create natural looking waves like Wilde. Once setting with hairspray, grab two-inch sections of hair and wrap the mid-shafts around the barrel of a 1 1/2-inch curling iron (or alternate between two different sized irons to create more depth). After curling each section, finish by working three to four pumps of Herbal Essences Moroccan Me a Miracle 7-in-1 Serum ($5; through the ends for a boost of shine and added insurance against the heat.  

Monday, June 23, 2014

Kuala Lumpur International Hijab Fair ;)

KLIHF 2014 Event's Profile

For the first time ever, Malaysia plays a host for the first and largest Islamic fashion trade fair in the region for Hijabistas and more profoundly the fashion "people" from the industry. Marking the debut to an exclusive relationship between Islamic fashion and businesses, the KLIHF2014 is a beacon of glamour, luxury and entrepreneurship.

Over 3 days, KLIHF2014 brings together the Islamic fashion key industry players such as industry professionals, manufacturers, wholesalers, importers, exporters and retailers of yarns, fabrics and textiles, machineries, accessories, jewellery, design studios and houses from different countries. It is a meeting place of department store buyers and purchasing offices to discover more than 100 designers of Islamic fashion in Kuala Lumpur. Here, new and upcoming trends are revealed, meetings are held and deals are closed. In addition, advertisers, financial and government trade institutions complete the list to make KIHF2014 a comprehensive Islamic trade fashion festival you can’t afford to miss.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Review: Looking for Alaska

This was the first book I've ever read by John Green. It was given to me in 2012 when I had no idea who John Green was. I really enjoyed the story and I utterly love this book.

Miles is in search for the great perhaps, and has a fascination with famous last words. He meets Alaska Young who is basically the girl of his dreams. Their journey together at boarding school begins and John takes us on an exciting ride in which you constantly feel there is impending doom lurking ahead.

I'm going to keep this review short, because so much has been said on this book. The writing is as great as I always expect now from John Green, and the story unfolds with a great pace that makes you never want to put the book down. You will probably feel some excitement, sadness, and maybe even a little anger reading this book, but I think this book will be memorable. This is an outstanding coming-of-age novel that doesn't resort to a "happily ever after" ending, but the characters each seek closure on their own terms. The characters are well drawn, witty, and full of individual quirks. This book also includes some fun pranks, some great humor, and some shocking turns of events. I loved the "before"/"after" and the whole countdown. I thought that was a really neat tool that helped build suspense.

Looking For Alaska is a book I still love and recommend years later, and occasionally still think about. It remains my favourite JG book, and I would like to personally thank the person who gave me this book for introducing me to this wonderful writer.

Recommended to everyone, really!

                                                                                                                                                                        -Nuraishah Sabrina (P)

Thursday, June 19, 2014


Bulatan Jam Besar kini menjadi tumpuan ramai selepas 10 daripada 37 batang pokok kurma ditanam di kawasan itu berbuah lebat.

Pokok kurma yang terdapat di Kelantan.

KOTA BHARU - “Satu keajaiban." Itu kata-kata pertama seorang pengunjung, Wan Mohd Zamanhuri Wan Mansor, 40, sebaik diajukan kewujudan beberapa pokok kurma yang kini lebat berbuah di Bulatan Jam Besar, di sini.

Menurutnya, dia mengetahui pokok kurma itu dalam laman sosial Facebook, membawa isteri dan anak-anak melihat sendiri tanaman padang pasir yang hidup subur di Kelantan kini.

“Agak mengejutkan kerana umum mengetahui tanaman ini hanya terdapat di negara Arab, namun kini ia subur di Kelantan, malah mengeluarkan buah yang begitu lebat, ajaib,” katanya kepada Sinar Harian ketika ditemui di sekitar kawasan berkenaan di sini, semalam.

Seorang lagi pengunjung, Siti Nor Amirah Zulkifle, 22, turut mengakui terkejut apabila mengetahui pokok kurma yang berbuat lebat itu berada kurang 500 meter dari tempat pengajiannya di Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Kampus Kota Bharu.

“Ini kali pertama saya lihat buah kurma segar terus dari pokok, walaupun agak terkejut dengan maklumat yang tersebar di laman sosial Facebook, namun saya percaya tidak ada yang mustahil ketika ini, seperti mana musim bunga yang berlaku di Kedah,” katanya.

Sementara itu, Setiausaha Majlis Daerah Kota Bharu Bandar Raya Islam (MPKB-BRI), Rosnazli Amin berkata, kewujudan 37 pokok kurma yang ditanam Unit Landskap MPKB-BRI itu bertujuan mengindahkan bandar ini selari dengan gelaran bandar raya Islam.

Menurutnya, pokok kurma di Bulatan Jam Besar itu mula berbuah tahun lalu, namun baru kali ini buahnya agak lebat dan menarik perhatian ramai.

“Setakat ini, 10 daripadanya sudah berbuah dan dijangka masak serta boleh dipetik penghujung Ramadan ini,” katanya.

Rosnazli berkata, pihaknya mengalu-alukan kedatangan orang ramai untuk melihat pokok dan buah kurma berkenaan, malah tidak menghalang mereka menikmati buah yang gugur, sebaliknya melarang daripada memetik.

“Kita mengharapkan kerjasama semua pihak bagi memastikan pokok ini kekal terjaga,” katanya.

nuramilaafisya (P)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Cerita Cinta Ahmad Ammar

Ahmad Ammar, sebaris nama yang tidak dikenali semasa hayat, namun menjadi kebanggaan selepas pemergiannya. Tiada yang diinginkan melainkan sebuah syahid. Tiada yang diperlukan selain redha ALLAH dan tiada yang lebih mengujakan selain bertemu bidadari-MU di syurga abadi. Alangkah bertuah ayahanda dan bonda dapat melihat perjalanan akhir anakanda tercinta dengan sebuah pengakhiran yang baik.
Subhanallah... indahnya rencana-MU ALLAH. Benar, ia bukan kebetulan. Engkau pergi ketika membawa misi ALLAH dan Rasul. Moga jannah jua sebagai ganti. Tenanglah adinda Ammar di sana. Tabahlah duhai ibu bapa dan keluarga. Wahai sahabat seperjuangan yang masih dalam kelana ilmu di Turki, jangan patah hati. Perjuangan kita perlu diteruskan. Impian Ammar adalah realiti kita.
Shuhada Khairudin (p)