Featured Mommypreneurs

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DIY Busy Bag Ideas

DIY Busy Bag Ideas
DIY Busy Bag Ideas

ANNOUNCEMENT

Introducing the brand NEW look of joycescapade.com! Tell me what do you think. :)

I have launched a series of blog posts called Featured Mommypreneurs in collaboration with mommypreneurs (i.e. mommies entrepreneurs). Let me know if you're interested to join me to feature your products / services. :)

 

 

Project 365 2011 - Photo #304

Horror-movies

The latest soon-to-be-watched horror movies:

1. Don't Be Afraid of the Dark - A man (Guy Pearce), his daughter (Bailee Madison), and his girlfriend (Katie Holmes) move into a 19th century Rhode Island mansion. The daughter begins to witness malevolent goblin-like tooth fairies emerging from a sealed ash pit in the basement of the house.

2. Paranormal Activity 3 - In 1988, young sisters Katie and Kristi befriend an invisible entity residing in their home.

3. Sleepwalker - Yi (Lee Sinje) is an ordinary woman living a mundane life. Over the years, she has been bothered by a repeated dream, in that dream she stands alone on wasteland with a doubt of the mystery being buried underneath.

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Project 365 2011 - Photo #303

Coach-poppy

My eyes are drawn to a pretty pink-and-beige Coach bag at the Coach outlet at The Gardens Mall. It's priced at RM1,025.

*/slits wrist*

Disheartened, I went online and found this oh-my-so-pretty-I-want! Coach bag that looks similar to the one I saw at the outlet.

Description:

POPPY SIGNATURE SATEEN LAYLA
  • A push-lock closure and brightly colored contrast trim add wit and charm to a compact and practical design with a long detachable strap for shoulder and cross-body wear.
  • Signature sateen fabric with metallic or patent fabric trim.
  • Inside zip pocket.
  • Push-lock closure, fabric lining
  • Handle with 6 1/4" drop
  • Longer strap for shoulder or cross-body wear
  • 10" (L) x 6 1/4" (H) x 2 1/4" (W)
*dies*


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What's His Dating Nationality?

Source: Cleo magazine, November 2011, pp. 146-150

To guys, which type are you? To girls, which type is your guy? Read on.

The Italian Stallion... is a tireless workhouse. His career is and always has been his number one priority. He pursues his financial ambitions with unrelenting diligence (which is good), enjoying his freedom to roam the land. Anything that slows him down is dealt with promptly and callously... including women (which is bad). If you date an Italian stallion, be prepared for cancelled dinners, forgotten anniversaries and short but very painful arguments. The Stallion is rude, crass and curt. Until you become his number one, he'll not let you get in the way of his wild and free dreams.

To win him... you've to tame him. But, like breaking a wild horse, breaking an Italian Stallion takes time and patience. You can try to force him through threats, blackmail and pouts, but there's little chance you'll succeed. No, the only way you'll ever ride an Italian Stallion into submission is if you do so gently.


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The Latin Flirt... is almost always in love with someone or the other, whether his heart is with her or not. You'll find him checking out the babes at clubs or chatting up the ladies at cafes, never really alone, but never really taken, either. Even with one woman on each arm, the Latin Flirt seems quite comfortable studying the anatomy of a third. However, in The Love Diet, Mabel Iam explains that the Latin man's reputation of being a super flirt is one that they actually have trouble dealing with. "The Latin man is supposedly always ready to jump into bed, but this reputation doesn't do them any favors when they're trying to find a real partner, not just have a little fun," says Iam. "In general, having a family and raising children are top priorities for Latino men."

To win him... "Don't get flustered when he looks at you," says Iam. "Men have a way of fixating on certain body parts (breasts, rear, legs), and it's especially pronounced in Latino men." Let the Latin Flirt works his charm on you - after all, that's why you're interested in him. The way to win him over is to demonstrate that you're a woman who are open to long-term relationship without coming on too strong.


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The French Romantic... is, of course, full of hogwash. His sweet nothings will make you blush and, long after he's gone, you'll lie awake at night thinking of the things he said and did to you. If you complain that men don't buy flowers anymore, that they don't sing or write love letters anymore, then you haven't dated a French Romantic yet. The French Romantic comes from the land of Chanel No. 5 and Givenchy, and believes in candlelit dinners, sensual massages and nice presents. He'll make you feel more special than any other type of man, but beware: the French are not without their flaws. He's very fashionable and highly individualistic - don't expect him to change his bad habits for you.

To win him... you've to let yourself be romanced. How? By becoming more French-like yourself. "If you strip away the stereotypes and contradictions about her, one of the fundamental qualities associated with the French girl is her sense of self-possession," says Debra Ollivier in Entre Nous: A Woman's Guide to Finding Her Inner French Girl. "She's entirely, unequivocally self-contained." So be yourself and let him do the calling. Don't fall for his loveliness too soon, or he'll quickly lose interest.


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The Oriental Baby... needs to be mollycoddled. With dimply smiles and innocent eyes, he's a hopeless devotee of any woman who takes an interest in him. True, he may not be able to anticipate your needs very well, but that's precisely why you like him, isn't it? Oriental Babies are hapless fellows when it comes to love and relationships. They neither understand a woman's basic need to fight or make up, nor the intricate power struggles that take place between men and women in love. They need to be told what to do and how to do it - don't expect them to read your mind and know what you want, because they're incapable of such sophistication in their relationships. Their adoration of you is pure and unadulterated, and all they want is the same in return. 

To win him... you've to take care of him. Mother him, even. Iron his clothes, cook his meals, run his errands. The Oriental Baby equates love with these things and, much as some of you may hate to admit it, there are women who think the same.


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The English Bore... needs to be listened to. His is a history of conquering, colonizing pompousness, and he really does believe that he stands head-and-shoulders above everyone else. His ego is enormous, as is his mouth, and you probably like him because he spouts so much apparent wisdom and eloquence that he must be right - how could he not be? The English Bore wins women over by wit, intellect and disinterestedness. He loves the sound of his voice, and is of the opinion that his opinions are the only ones that matter. Unfortunately, there's only so much a woman can listen to from one man, and eventually, his charming chatter does become a boring babble. Still, if Victoria Beckham an put up with it for the sake of David's purse strings, why not you, right? 

To win him... you've to indulge him. Laugh at his banal wisecracks. Pay attention to his wise nuggets. Wonder at his superior intellect. Let him think he's master of your universe, and he'll be more than pleased to give you diamonds in exchange for your adulation.


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The Spanish Matador... is a cliched hero. He loves the 15th century ideals of dueling for the women he loves because he doesn't believe in easy love. He wants, no, needs to fight for you! Of course, in these modern times, fist-fights over ladies are less common. Society has evolved, as Valentina Artsrunik points out in How to Flirt and Be Seductive, "While the primitive male used spears, and later swords, to demonstrate chivalry and win the heart of the woman of his choice," says Artsrunik, "the contemporary man resorts to wit, sense of humor, a fancy car or a large wallet, career prospects, stock portfolio and so on." 

To win him... you've to play a complicated game of cat-and-mouse and let him go to extremes to 'win' you, even though you may have been long ready to drop your pants and make babies with him. Play hard to get. Play the prey. "The most famous courtesans of all times knew well how to capitalize on being the 'prey'," says Artsrunik in her book.

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The American Hero... needs no introduction. Hollywood has done a pretty good job at marketing the American Hero to the world - if there's one culture that we're more familiar with than our own, it's his. American Heroes believe in gender equality and all its virtues so if he ever comes to a woman's rescue, then that's an American Hero at work. This shouldn't be confused as a sign of love, because it's more about his principles than anything else. Unlike the Spanish Matador, the American Hero will fight for your rights because he's a hero and not necessarily because he's into you. 

To win him... you must be able to stand on your own two feet. The American Hero rescues damsels in distress every day so to be someone special to him, you must be able to fend for yourself - that's how you differentiate yourself from the other women he rescues, and in doing so, you gain his respect and affection. Dating an American Hero is a very liberating experience because he relates to you on such equal terms - try it!


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The Scandinavian Stone... has a cold, frigid persona that attracts only a select few women. Either through bad experience or an inhospitable upbringing, the Scandinavian Stone has come to regard women with suspicion and contempt. Personal relationships are few and far in between. He doesn't have more than one or two friends, if any at all. And love, as far as he's concerned, is a myth - there's only a biological imperative to procreate, nothing more. If you didn't know any better, you'd call a Scandinavian Stone a heartless, loveless creep. But that's not nature's way. Everyone has the capacity to love and care for others. The question is, how do you get the Scandinavian Stone to love and care for you.

To win him... you've to flirt - it's the only way you're going to get through. You can't 'break' through that fortress around his heart. You've to take it apart, brick-by-brick. It may take months or even years, but with persistence, you'll get there. "Flirting builds rapport," explain Ron Louis and David Copeland in How To Succeed With Men. "Having rapport creates a a bond. The bond creates the opening for a date, and a date can become the foundation for your relationship."


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The Jamaican Gypsy... is, at his core, fun on legs. Sometimes jobless, often broke, he leads the life of a drifter without a care for the future or past: the present is all that matters. No money? No problem - he'll wash a car or two to earn his lunch, and paint someone's roof for dinner. His kinds aren't the most secure of boyfriends and he might not even be able to put a ring on it! However, some girls admire their ability to live in such reckless abandon and are able to laugh about it. Optimism is infectious that way. 

To win him... you've to convince him to commit to you. The reason he's able to lead a life of near-zero responsibility is because he makes sure he never takes on more than he can afford to lose. With no loans, no credit cards and no dependents, the Jamaican Gypsy is free... and he knows it.

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Interesting article right? My special someone is a blend between The English Bore and The Oriental Baby. Cute!


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Project 365 2011 - Photo #302

Diy-memo-board

DIY: Magnetic Memo Board

What you need: Large photo frame, magnets, metal sheet, plastic flowers, colored paper, glue

Step 1: Glue the metal sheet onto the board that comes with the photo frame. You can get the metal sheet from a hardware store and they will even cut it for you to fit the frame.
Step 2: Cover the metal sheet with colored paper and fit the board back into the frame.
Step 3: Glue the plastic flowers on the magnet and leave to dry. This will hold up your fave pictures and reminders on your new board.

Source: CLEO magazine, November 2011

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Project 365 2011 - Photo #301

Tower-of-love-seoul

I want to visit this place in Seoul! :D

Photo & excerpt from: N Seoul Tower’s A Lock of Love

Locks at the viewing deck of N Seoul Tower has become so famous that a marker has been erected at the site. It reads:

A Promise for Endless Love "I Love You"

From old times, there was a story that if lovers make a wish at a shrine on Nam-San (Mt. South), it comes true. Since that, this place became a symbol of the place of promising an everlasting love for couples with hanging a lock together. A Lock of Love, already famous by media, is not just expressing couples' love by hanging locks, but meaning endless love with experiencing unforgettable moment in the place you can see a view of Seoul.

Now N SEOUL TOWER is the icon of love and friendship with family and friends as well as love stories of "A Lock of Love". We will remember your precious moment @N SEOUL TOWER.

Wow...

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Movie: In Time (2011)

Live Forever or Die Trying

In Time (2011) is a sci-fi thriller movie set in a retro-future where you need to earn time to stay alive.

Synopsis: In a retro-future, people stop aging at 25 years old and they are engineered to live for only one more year. A clock is stamped on their left arm to show how long more will they live. Time is now money, the only means for people to pay their daily necessities. The rich lives forever, while the poor works to earn extra years day by day.

It is here Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) decides to go rogue against the system when his mother, Rachel Salas (Olivia Wilde) timed out (died) in his arms and he's accused of murder when he inherits 100 years from a man who timed himself to death.

Running away from the police force known as the "Timekeepers", led by Raymond Leon (Cillian Murphy) and gangster group known as the "Minutemen", Will ends up in New Greenwich, the place where the rich lives for centuries. He meets Sylvia Weis (Amanda Seyfried), the daughter of Philippe Weis (Vincent Kartheiser), a very rich owner of an influential time company. Together, they fight against the system.

Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried - ummm... they look cute together (quoting Sylvia Weis). Well, they really do look cute together. I'm imagining Justin Timberlake pulling some James Bond stunt and Amanda Seyfried as one of those revolver-touting James Bond girl.

Back to the storyline, in the movie's retro-future, time is money. The poor has a limited amount of time and they need to earn time to continue living, whereas the rich has an eternity to spend. The cost of living increases irrationally, causing more and more poor ones to time out faster in order to sustain the the rich ones' selfish desire of immortality.

Doesn't this sound familiar to you? In our real world, the poor and the rich are segregated by the amount of money and possessions they have. The poor always doesn't have enough, while the rich has too much money to spend. Now matter how hard the poor works and toils, they can't seem to earn enough, whereas the rich always seem to have more than enough. UNFAIR!

In the movie, the poor has no time to waste because each minute counts. They might drop dead anytime by being robbed or simply because their timer times out. The rich? They have an eternity to spend and they do so selfishly and unflinchingly.

A good sci-fi this is and how I wish it incorporates some of Christopher Nolan's styles, especially from Inception, well, whatever that means. Do watch it if you're a sci-fi movie fan.


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Project 365 2011 - Photo #300

Diy-button-bracelet

DIY: The Button Bracelet

What you need: Multicolored plastic buttons, gold frog buttons, scissors, and elastic strings

Step 1: Run the elastic strings through the buttons.
Step 2: At the end, insert the gold frog buttons.
Step 3:
Secure the end with a double knot.

Source: Female magazine, October 2011

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Pumped up evening with pumpkin @ Marché

Marché's pumpkin promotion runs from 24 October 2011 until 13 November 2011.

Pumpkin Latte
This fantastic latte is homemade by mixing fresh pumpkin puree with Mӧvenpick Coffee. This drink has a very unique taste that you will love. Well, the part about having a unique taste is true. I would say it's an acquired taste. It's bitter-ish and delightfully refreshing.


Chicken and Pumpkin Stew
I really love this stew and I amuse myself by trying to figure out what are the vegetables found in this delicious bowl of goodness! So, there are lots of pumpkin, carrots, and celery chunks. Everything just melts in my mouth. I must cook this dish next time! :D
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We played Battleship!

Battleship is a tactical combat game. Each box contains game materials for two players. We build our own fleet and destroy our opponent's fleet!

There are five types of ship - aircraft carrier, battleship, destroyer, submarine, and patrol boat.

According to Wikipedia, the game is played on four grids, two for each player. The grids are typically square – usually 10 × 10 – and the individual squares in the grid are identified by letter and number. On one grid, the player arranges ships and records the shots by the opponent. On the other grid, the player records his own shots.

Before play begins, each player arranges a number of ships secretly on the grid for that player. Each ship occupies a number of consecutive squares on the grid, arranged either horizontally or vertically. The number of squares for each ship is determined by the type of the ship. The ships cannot overlap (i.e., at most one ship can occupy any given square in the grid).


After the ships have been positioned, the game proceeds in a series of rounds. In each round, each player's turn consists of announcing a target square in the opponent's grid which is to be shot at. If a ship occupies the square, then it takes a hit. The player's opponent announces whether or not the shot hit one of his or her ships and then takes a turn. When all of the squares of a ship have been hit, the ship is sunk. After all of one player's ships have been sunk, the game ends and the other player wins.

I believe we will buy this game for our kids next time. :P


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Project 365 2011 - Photo #299

Diy-rope-belt

DIY: Rope Belt

What you need: Suede ribbons (3 x 300cm) and stud earrings

Step 1: Tie the ends of the suede ribbons together and braid tautly.
Step 2: At the end of the braid, knot the ribbons together to keep it in place.
Step 3: Pierce the knotted ends with heavy stud earrings; they act as weights and charms.

Source: Female magazine, September 2011

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Project 365 2011 - Photo #298

Kolam-tropicana

This one is found at Tropicana City Mall.

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Movie: Sector 7 (2011)

Something awaits 8,000 feet under the sea off the southern tip of Jeju Island. 

Sector 7 (2011) is a South Korean 3D action horror movie. 

According to hancinema.net's article on Sector 7, 3D movies are an untapped territory in Korea. The release of this movie in 3D is significant in the Korean movie history with the hope that it will pave the way for 3D movie market in South Korea. 

Synopsis from IMDb: The Eclipse is the offshore drilling rig stationed at Sector 7, a mining area in the vast open sea located off the southern tip of Jeju Island. The oil drilling excavation ends in failure and the crew is given the order to withdraw by the headquarters. 

Captain Jeong-man (Ahn Seong-gi) is sent to oversee the crew's withdrawal. However, Hae-jun (Ha Ji-won), the equipment manager opposes the headquarters' order adamantly as she's certain that oil will be discovered in Sector 7. Motivated by Hae-jun's conviction of finding oil, the Captain suggests to conduct one last drilling exercise. 

While Hae-jun and the crew are fully engaged in their final attempt, they lost communication with the headquarters and are overwhelmed by the disconcerting feeling that something is out there. As people begin to disappear one by one, the few surviving ones need to think fast and fight for their lives in a non-stop battle against the mutant monster from the sea. Survival looks unlikely, but Hae-jun and the crew are determined to take any chance to get out of Sector 7 alive.

Here's what I have to say: I can't help but to compare Sector 7 to Alien and Ha Ji-won to Sigourney Weaver. The problem is, Ha Ji-won tries too hard to prove that she's a rising South Korean action female star. Blatantly speaking, I find her character as Hae-jun unrealistic and hollow because she takes herself too seriously and I couldn't bother if she will survive the catastrophe. In fact, the rest of the cast seems to suffer the same syndrome except veteran actor Ahn Seong-gi as the elderly captain.

The script seems to be written just for Ha Ji-won and everything seems to revolve around her, especially the movie's climax - the human vs sea monster face-off. Maybe she tries to be Sigourney Weaver or Angelina Jolie, but I think she needs more practice to better her performance in terms of realism and audience relations. 

Anyway, if you're a fan of Korean action horror movies, you might want to watch this movie, just to kill time, if you wish.

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Project 365 2011 - Photo #297

Kolam-gardens

This one is found at The Gardens.

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Movie: Real Steel (2011)

Courage is stronger than steel.

Real Steel (2011) is a sci-fi movie based in part on the 1956 short story "Steel" by Richard Matheson.

Synopsis: Set in 2020, the near future, human boxing evolves into robot boxing that gives audiences a more brutal carnage but without damage to the human life. Former boxer Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman), now a struggling manager of robot boxing hopes to rise to the top with his robots. It is then he discovers he has an 11-year-old son, Max (Dakota Goyo) who wants to know him and he's into the robot boxing as well.

I'm very impressed with this movie - the awesome animatronic robots, meaningful storyline, and especially the very energetic Max. Jackman says that "Real Steel" is about second chances and redemption. Well, in other words, that can rephrased as a stubborn boy teaches his childish father a valuable lesson in life.

In line with that, I've to agree with this comment from IMDb: Sure the story's climax pits underdog undersized fighting robot Atom against the ferocious indestructible Zeus. For me, "Real Steel" resonates in its human voice. Hugh Jackman as Charlie confesses to his son Max (scene-stealing Dakota Goyo), "You deserve better… than me." Charlie asks Max, what he wants from him. Max answers, "I want you to fight for me!" Yes, "Real Steel" is fighting for love with everything you have. "Real Steel" is the real deal.

Some other comments from Internet:

- Real Steel is a real movie. It has characters, it matters who they are, it makes sense of its action, it has a compelling plot. Sometimes you go into a movie with low expectations and are pleasantly surprised.

- Director Shawn Levy makes good use of his specialized skill in blending people and computer-made imaginary things into one lively, emotionally satisfying story.

How about that? If you haven't watched this movie, you really should get yourself running to the nearest cinema and watch it once and for all!


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Project 365 2011 - Photo #296

Oktoberfest-2011-mug

This is the Oktoberfest 2011 giant 1L mug.

Here's last year's mug. :)


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Project 365 2011 - Photo #295

Inside-handbag

What are the stuffs in my handbag?

1. Purse
2. Nokia X6
3. AmBank account book
4. Papers
5. Mini notepad
6. Condo access card
7. Fitness First access card
9. Touch 'N' Go card
10. Pantyliners
11. Foldable shopping bag
12. Packet tissues
13. Benefit Triple Performing Facial Emulsion
14. Daisy Radiant Body Lotion
15. The Body Shop Japanese Cherry Blossom Pure Body Lotion
16. Dermalogica SPF15 sunblock
17. SebaMed medicated lip balm
18. LipIce Color
19. House keys
20. Car key
21. Thumbdrives
22 Phone cable
23. Pen
24. Comb
25. Nail clipper
26. Stringy hairband

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Movie: Parallel Life (2010)

Parallel Life (2010) is a South Korean thriller movie.

Synopsis: Kim Seok-hyeon (Ji Jin-hee) lives a perfect life. He has a stellar career after being appointed Korea's youngest judge. However, his life crumbles when his lovely wife, Bae Yun-kyung (Yoon Se-ah) is brutally murdered.

A reporter approaches the grief-stricken Kim and tells him that 30 years ago, a man named Han Sang-joon was appointed judge on the same day Kim is appointed judge. Han's wife was also murdered and their bodies were found on the same mountain on the same day, 30 years apart.

Initially, Kim is skeptical about the theory of parallel life but he soon discovers that his life may exactly replicate Han's, with an interval of 30 years.

This movie is based on the idea of history repeating itself, particularly that of former U.S. Presidents Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. Their life mirrored each other with an interval of a century. Both were elected to the senate in 1846 and 1946 respectively, then presidency in 1860 and 1960. They were assassinated on a Friday and the assassins were born in 1839 and 1939, respectively.

This is a very well-scripted movie with a provocative opening scene and a well-maintained pace of high-strung tension and suspense scenes.
To leverage the existence of parallel life, there are quite a number of scene switches between the life of Han (past) and Kim (present).

Another factor is the solid, realistic, and effective performance from the cast. Blood and gore are quite minimal because sadism is not this movie's main theme. Thankfully, there are no comedic relief moments, which some Korean movies like to include, and of which I find degrading. One more thing, if you put aside logic, you will find this movie truly enthralling.

I do recommend this movie to all South Korean thriller movie fans.


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Project 365 2011 - Photo #294

Ff-halloween Ff-pt

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Project 365 2011 - Photo #293

Diy-2

DIY: Ruffled necklace

Get Ready: Fabric, scissors, thread, needle, leather string, and studs / beads / ornaments

Step 1: Cut a long strip of fabric and tack from right to left.
Step 2: Once tacked, pull the thread to create gathers / ruffles.
Step 3:
Repeat in smaller-sized fabric, then sew it on top of the first fabric.
Step 4: Sew on a leather string on both sides of the fabric as a fastener.
Step 5: Decorate the necklace by sewing ornaments onto the fabric.

Source: Cleo magazine, August / September 2010

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Project 365 2011 - Photo #292

Book-thong-red

I bought this handmade book thong from Melinda. It's called Stepping Jesus' Path. I really like the design, especially the stones and metal crosses.

Visit her blog to find out more.

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Movie: The Thing (2011)

It's not human. Yet.

The Thing (2011) is a sci-fi horror movie. According to Wikipedia, this movie is the prequel to the 1982 movie of the same name by John Carpenter. The 2011 movie's plot takes place immediately prior to the events of the 1982 movie.

Synopsis: A team of Norwegian and American scientists are working together in a research in Antarctica in 1982. Paleontologist Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is recruited by Dr. Sander (Ulrich Thomsen) and together with his research assistant Adam (Eric Christian Olsen), they fly to Antarctica. They discover a frozen alien specimen buried deep in ice near its crash-landed ship. They recover the specimen to the safety of the base, only to realize too late that it's still alive... and it has the ability to consume and imitate the shape of that which it kills.

The main concept of this movie is the existence of an ugly and nasty alien that creates dissension and chaos among a group of people confined in a God-forsaken place such as Antarctica. No one can trust anyone, everyone is in fear, there's absolutely no sense of safety at all, and everything is in complete chaos.

The final highlight is the sense of utter despair and total breakdown of trust among team members because anyone can be the impostor, i.e. the dangerous alien shape-shifter ready to pounce on them anytime.

The CGI is effective with the alien form looking horribly organic and icky. Imagine goo, slime, and pink tentacles swishing around and killing people.

Here's a remark I like from the Internet: "Loving prequel to a horror classic. It's full of chills and thrills and isolated Antarctic atmosphere and terrific Hieronymus Bosch creature effects, and if it winks genially at the plot twists of Carpenter's film, it never feels even a little like some kind of inside joke."

If you like sci-fi horror movies, this movie is for you.


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How to become financially comfortable?

Photo source

Reference: Cleo magazine, September 2010 issue, pp. 359-362

Note: This post is written based on the article from Cleo magazine (listed above).

A key to wise money management is financial self-awareness, i.e. knowing your worth.

1. Take stock of your current position: Once a year (on your birthday / January 1 / special day), add up all your assets (everything you own) and subtract all you owe (your liabilities).

2. Every six month: Review your budget.

3. Once a month: Set aside an evening to pay bills and enter them into the appropriate categories in your budget.
 

Mastering key financial concepts

5 basic areas to focus on to make the money you earn grow and help provide the good things in life:

1. How interest rates and inflation affect your money.
2. The differences between various pension plans.
3. The differences between stocks, bonds and money market funds, and what each can do for you.
4. The various types of bank accounts and loans.
5. Mutual funds - what they are and how to use them.

Dare to take risks

- Keeping money in a bank savings account or even a money market fund when rates are low is never going to make you rich.

- Take a small amount of money - money you can afford to lose - and make an intentionally high-risk investment, e.g. buy speculative stocks, invest in a friend's business, buy shares in an aggressive-growth mutual fund or a high-yield fund.
 

Use debt

- Debt should not exceed 20% of your take-home pay.

- Pay the total of current minimum monthly payments as your regular monthly obligation. - List outstanding debts in order according to the number of months left.

- Ignore declining minimum monthly payments. Whatever the minimum is in the first month is the amount you're going to pay until your total creditor shows a lower amount on your statement.

- No matter how many debts you've paid off, you must commit to pay the same amount every month until every debt is paid.

Plan for the future

- Always save and be prepared for emergencies, unexpected changes, and new pleasures.

- Make putting aside money regularly a lifelong habit. Begin by saving a minimum of 3-5% of your take-home salary. Put it in a money market account until you've accumulated six months' worth of living expenses and then branch out into stocks, bonds, mutual funds or real estate.

- Set financial goals. Write them down. Make some short-term (those you can accomplish in 3-6 months) and other long-term for which you will need one or more years.

- Find out how much insurance coverage you have, retirement package, and disability insurance.

- Plan for non-salaried income.


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Project 365 2011 - Photo #291

DIY: From large tee to built-in necklace cropped top

Get Ready: Tee, necklace, thread, needle, scissors

Step 1: Cut the tee to a desired length (leave the edges unhemmed).
Step 2: Cut the sleeves (leave the edges unhemmed).
Step 3:
Place the necklace around the neckline and sew the back of the necklace onto the tee. Leave the front dangling.

Source: Cleo magazine, August / September 2010

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My Daisy & Chloé

Daisy Eau So Fresh

A whimsical interpretation of the original Daisy fragrance, this scent is more fruity, more bubbly, more fun! Open the bottle and you'll be transported to a field of sunshine that bursts with the flirty scent of flowers and the cheerful sweetness of fruits. Its light, woody base infuses a subtle but sharp glimmer of musk for an unexpected twist of radiance.
It's exhilarating, bubbly, and playful!

Fun to look at, touch, and open, the gold top of the weighted glass bottle is covered in six soft-to-the-touch daisies with petals in white, pink, and yellow.
Natural Raspberry, Grapefruit, Pear, Violet, Wild Rose, Apple Blossom, Musk, Cedarwood, Plum.

Note: Daisy Eau So Fresh is a sweet surprise gift from David.

This photo was taken during Chloé & Marc Jacobs Ultra Prestige Promotion - Your Flower Your Fragrance - at KLCC Parkson Entrance, Ground Floor, 22-28 September 2011.

Chloé

Capturing the spirit of women, the Chloé vision is not about one singular woman, but rather about the rich and varied personalities of all Chloé women. This fresh, smooth floral fragrance evokes sublime powdery rose. The effect is chic, comfortable, and entirely addictive.


Top notes of pink peony, freesia, and lychee embody subtle freshness. At the heart, mid-notes of magnolia flower, lily of the valley, and rose rise to sublimated femininity. A base of velvety elegance comes to fruition through cedarwood, amber, and honey.


Inspired by the details in Chloé's fashion, the flacon's heavy but softly curved and grooved glass reflects femininity and strength. The plated-silver top is embossed with the Chloé mark and adorned with a hand-tied ribbon.


Pink Peony, Freesia, Lychee, Magnolia Flower, Lilly of the Valley, Rose, Cedarwood, Amber, Honey.

Note: I think Chloé is an unexpected win from the contest I participated via Jerine's blog.
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Project 365 2011 - Photo #290

One of the Deepavali floor decoration designs at The Scott Garden, Old Klang Road.
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U Mobile - U58 Postpaid Plan

Last Saturday 3PM, my MNP request from DiGi to U Mobile was completed.

After almost 8 years with the yellow telco, I decided to change to the orange telco because U Mobile's "the other postpaid plan" is considerably cheap and worth a spent!


Table from here.

I switched from DG30 postpaid plan + IU68 (totaled up to RM98++ per month including 3GB data) to U58 postpaid plan (inclusive of 2GB data and FREE 200 minutes voice call from U Mobile to other operators per month).

FAQs
here.


I personally don't think I can spend more than 200 minutes worth of voice call per month. I just need to spend on SMS (i.e. 12sen/SMS to other operators) and make sure I don't use more than 2GB of data per month. No extra charges after exceeding data limit but speed will be throttled to 128kbps.

So, I can expect my monthly phone + mobile internet bill to be not more than RM65 per month.

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********************

Early this morning, I encounter a hiccup with my line. Around 12:17AM, the signal shows MY CELCOM and I have zero signal till 8:10AM when it finally shows UMOBILE3G. I almost call up their customer care line to request for assistance.


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********************

So far so good at the moment. Let's see how long will I stay with this telco. :)
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Movie: Wrecked (2010)

Wrecked (2010) is a thriller movie about a man trapped in a car wreck at the bottom of a ravine and how he must overcome incredible odds to survive.

Synopsis from IMDb: A man (Adrien Brody) awakens in a mangled car-wreck at the bottom of a steep cliff. Injured and trapped inside, with no memory of how he got there or who he is, he must rely on his most primal instincts to survive. But as he attempts to free himself from the carnage and escape an impossible situation, a darker side is revealed. Even if he manages to survive, the man may have to face the horrible consequences of an earlier, forgotten life.

This is a low-budget, one-man show kind of movie with an extreme lack of dialogue. Adrien Brody does pretty good in showing how painful, lonely, and scary it is to be trapped without help. Apart from his painful ouch-es and loads of non-stop cursing, this movie depends heavily on flashbacks and camera angles. The way the audience can guess the flow of the movie is by following the little clues that the story drops.

However, the running time is too long for a plot that amounts to nothing, lack of dialogue, and lack of suspense.

Anyway, if you want to watch a movie that's almost dialogue-less most of the time, you might want to watch this one.


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Project 365 2011 - Photo #289

These are some weird but tasty sausage-like snacks from Korea. They taste like steamed otak-otak.

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Project 365 2011 - Photo #288

Last month, I posted my wish of getting Daisy Eau So Fresh by Marc Jacobs.

David surprised me with this gift set all the way from Korea! :D 

*giddily happy* 

Here are the three pretty things in the pretty package:
 
1. Eau de Toilette Spray 75ml
2. Eau de Toilette 4ml
3. Radiant Body Lotion 75ml


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Movie: The Sorcerer and the White Snake (白蛇传说之法海) (2011)

The Sorcerer and the White Snake (白蛇传说之法海) (2011) is a Hong Kong movie based on the Chinese Legend of the White Snake.

Synopsis from GSC Movies: White Snake (Eva Huang), in the incarnation of a beautiful lady, falls in love with a young herbalist Xu Xian (Raymond Lam). With the help of Green Snake (Charlene Choi), she ventured into the human world and got married to Xu Xian. In a twist of event, Fa Hai (Jet Li), a sorcerer from Jin Shan Temple, crosses path with White Snake. A fiery battle is about to begin...

To cut the long story short, this movie is basically about a beautiful white snake demon of 1,000 years who falls in love with a mortal and everything ends not well as expected.

What's Jet Li's role in this movie? He's the head monk, the sorcerer or demon hunter who hunts down every single demon that harms people in China. To do that, he should be performing all his awesome kungfu moves, right? To my utter disappointment, this movie is a whole load of crap. Jet Li is basically moving along with too much CGI effects.

I have to agree with this review and here are some of the excerpts:

- T
he reel hero is the computer wizardry – the generous display of the latest gimmicks in CGI and the preposterous action stunts that will leave you gaping if you are looking forward to enjoying a real movie and not some super duper computer game.


- The movie has almost every frame crammed with not-so-stylized visual effects. Sadly, for a trademark Jet Li action genre, it is yet to have a single compelling action sequence. The fights are lack luster, so to speak.

I'm adding three more points:

- Chemistry between Eva Huang and Raymond Lam is too weak. I couldn't sense intense love and longing between them. Their so-called love is so rushed and forced that I couldn't bring myself to pity their sad (supposed to be) fate.

- Charlene Choi (as the green snake demon) and Wen Zhang (as the bloodsucking bat demon) are dispensable sidekicks. They are supposed to be the movie's comedic relief but the entire movie is already a joke, so their existence in the movie, sorry to say, can be discounted.

- Talking animals? For heaven's sake, I'm not watching a kid's show, am I? They are the most annoying thing I find in the movie.

I'd advise you not to watch this movie unless you're an avid computer game player, especially those Chinese games.


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Project 365 2011 - Photo #287

I like book thongs! This photo is from Melinda's blog. I'm buying a similar handmade book thong from her, a red one. :)
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Movie: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest (Luftslottet som sprängdes) (2009)

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest (Luftslottet som sprängdes) (2009) is a Swedish crime thriller based on Stieg Larsson's international best-selling novel, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest.

This is the third movie in the Millennium series:

 
1. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Män som hatar kvinnor) (2009)
2. The Girl Who Played with Fire (Flickan som lekte med elden) (2009)

Note: This movie is not to be mistaken with the American version of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest, starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, which is planned for release in 2013.

Synopsis: Due to
multiple wounds from gunshots including a head shot, Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) is put under close supervision in a hospital and is set to face trial for attempted murder after she recovers. It's now up to journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist), his co-workers at Millennium magazine, and Mikael's sister Annika (Annika Hallin) to prove her innocence and bring the conspirators against her to justice. In doing this she plays against powerful enemies from her past and everyone soon find themselves in grave danger.

Again, you'll need to watch the two prequels to understand the storyline of this movie and its complex background. The first two movies are fast-paced and their full 2.5 hours are fueled with adrenaline, i.e. intense, dramatic, and brutal actions, especially abusive and humiliating acts against women. This third movie is somewhat slower and it's mostly serious courtroom drama that ends as good as expected.

For the third time, kudos to Noomi Rapace who plays a convincingly misunderstood Lisbeth Salander. T
he rest of the cast is very impressive but Noomi Rapace is the most outstanding element in all three movies. She brings a great sense of realism to Lisbeth's character - a fragile, damaged, and misunderstood, yet strong-willed girl who fights for justice. As the story unfolds, we believe and might be aware there are women out there who have had their lives ruined permanently or semi-permanently by "authorities".

Definitely a must-watch movie, i.e. one that gives you the sense of satisfaction derived from watching award-winning-worthy movies minus Hollywood's bling-bling and bullshit.


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