Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Selamat Hari Raya

To dear friends and readers,

Wishing my muslim friends a blessed 'Hari Raya'

Langkawi Retreat 2008

Geopark hotel in Langkawi

Aqua yoga

Tracy having a break

In deep thoughts....

Froo relaxing at the waterfalls.... :)

Froo Froo took over my place in the cable ride.

Back on dry land safe and sound. :0) Love to travel, just not to crazy about flying high in the air. The trip was good fun and it was great to see Wei Ling and Paalu again. Unfortunately after all the adventure in Langkawi, I caught a very bad cold and sorethroat.

I think it was all the travelling in and out of the plane, and having to wake up early in the mornings. The start of the journey was already pretty tiring. I arrived at 12.15am at Boulevard Hotel, Mid Valley in KL. The hotel was very nice and cost $175 RM per room per night. The room was spacious, clean and the washroom pleasant enough to sit in and read the papers during the 'business' hour. I stayed with Tracy in the same room, pre warned her about my tendency to talk in my sleep plus snoring. She was too tired to think what I told her. All she remembered when I spoke to her was how she was upset on losing her IPOD before falling back to sleep again.

We woke up early shortly after my arrival at 4.30am. Our taxis were arriving at 6am sharp for our 8am flight. So much for my holiday snooze! We dragged our feet to the lobby and all we could think of was bed, bed, bed, bed.....

The flight to Langkawi was okay. I've been to Langkawi before and thought it was pretty okay. At least we had a programme to follow on arrival. Paalu and Wei Ling was there to receive us. We drove to GeoPark Hotel, on arrival the cable car hanging in the clouds caught my attention. Heights, flying in the air and cable cars are not my strongest points in life. I felt nauseated looking at the cable cars riding to and fro in the air. The girls started teasing me and said I had to get on it. I just told them they'd have to knocked me out and tie me up first.

GeoPark hotel was surrounded by little retail shops,lovely gardens,various restaurants,a small size swimming pool and animal pets. The rooms were pleasant and clean. We started the afternoon off with an introduction to every body in the group. The attendants were yoga teachers and students, all with either 1 year or a few years experience in yoga. After the yoga session, my sorethroat was feeling all itchy and tight already. I had to miss going out in the night. I don't think I missed anything since the girls came back with just a few buys and some dried goods.

We had another early night and woke up at 5am for the 6.30am ashtanga vinyasa at the beach. The things we do for yoga!!!!! Luckily my throat felt better that morning. Thinking I had fully recovered, I decided to join the group. It was a lovely beach and lucky us, there weren't any sandflies!!!!! It was very different to do yoga on the beach. The sands kept sliding into my yoga mat and within 15 minutes, I had sands all over my hands and legs. But having to do it by the sea was so nice. The sound of the ocean waves was soothing and blue skies were amazing. It was definitely worth it! Paalu got us to do a few yoga moves that I haven't seen before but it was fun. One of students was a professional photographer, and the shots he took were amazing. There was a shot where we had to do headstands near the shoreline. That was hard!!!! We were doing heandstand on a slope close to the seashore and trying to kick the legs up was very challenging.

For the rest of the day, we studied numerology and how numbers (when you calculated it accordingly) affects our destinys and characters. Very interesting! After that we did more yoga asanas (Okay, I think as a yoga teacher I was at MAX doing all the yogas for the week!!!) and then aqua yoga. I was achy and my cold returned in the evening. I shouldn't have gone into the pool. As the saying goes, 'No pain no gain'.

We left Langkawi the next day. I felt the weekend was over too quickly. Can't believe I'm back in Brunei already. Felt like I never left!

Back in KL, we just went shopping. What else other than to eat and shop? Bought more yoga CDs and books. Didn't get to go to Kinokuniya (Is that the right spelling for it?) as I was in KL for a night only.

So, back in Brunei now with a very bad cold and sorethroat. Had to cancel my classes and stay in bed. I did think I was better last night but woke up early this morning and sounded worse than a toad. I was croaking and would have sounded like a dying frog if I tried to conduct a class. Sorry guys! But hopefully I will see you soon after 1st day of Hari Raya.

Ps. Tracy finally found her ipod in her 'kamsumui' bag. I have no clue why she left it 'there'.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Flying to Langkawi Retreat

I don't like flying. A few more hours to go before I board the plane to KL. I can feel my tummy churning, palms all sweaty, feeling nauseated. I have gone on the plane a thousand times and yet I have had these symptoms a thousand times too, right before heading down the airport. Even when I have Pete with me, I still feel all worked up.

Was trying to decide which book to bring on the plane with me. It needed to be something not to depressing, not to unreal, not too bloody or too scary. I picked 'My Sister's Keeper' by Jodi Picoult. Read the first few pages and seems interesting.

Packed away most of my yoga clothes with me and a few informal wears. The bags feels light. Brought my yoga mat along. It looks as if I'm going on a golf trip with my yoga bag hanging off my shoulder. And yes, I have taken Froo Froo (Seraphina's mascot) with me. It'll be his first trip to Langkawi. Lucky me, he's lightweight to carry in my gigantic handbag.

Sigh. Wish Air Asia didn't have to fly so late at night. Feels a bit strange not to be teaching this evening till next week. :0)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

White Rabbit

All those white rabbit sweets I have been consuming! Sorry guys! I feel bad that most of you guys had some in my studio. Okay, let's put it this way. I had lots when I had the bowl of white rabbit sweets at my desk. Tapping away at the laptop and scoffing them down while pondering what to write. So, if any body's kidneys is going to kaput, it'll be mine first. I hope that's a consolation to those who are worrying about it now.

While we say our goodbyes to White Rabbit sweets. Here is a walk down memory lane of White Rabbit Sweets history from Wikipedia.

"White Rabbit Creamy Candy originated at the Aipixi Candy Factory of Shanghai in 1943, when a merchant from Aipixi tried a milk candy from England and thought that its taste was not bad. After half a year of development, he then manufactured the factory's own brand of milk candies.

The first Aipixi milk candies were packaged using a red Mickey Mouse drawing on the label, and were named ABC Mickey Mouse Sweets. As their prices were lower than imported products, they became widely popular among the people.

In the 1950s, Aipixi became state-owned. Mickey Mouse was seen as a symbol for worshipping foreign countries, so the packaging was redesigned to feature a naturalistically-drawn White Rabbit and an artist's paint palette with Chinese and English hand-lettering in a colour scheme of red, blue and black against a white background. The result was a distinctive candy label design that became instantly recognizable around the world. The packaging and brand logo have changed over the years: When the candies were first marketed, the White Rabbit on the outer packaging was lying down; however, this was changed to an image of the rabbit jumping. Currently the trade mark animal on the outer packaging has been given enormous neotenic, forward-facing eyes in the style of Japanese manga, while the inner wrapping retains its classic art deco look and naturalistic rabbit.

Initially, production of the candies was capped at 800 kg per day, and they were manually produced. In 1959, these candies were given as gifts for the tenth National Day of the People's Republic of China. In 1972, Premier Zhou Enlai used White Rabbit candies as a gift to American president Richard Nixon when the latter visited China. Today White Rabbit candies are China's top brand of sweet.

Although the White Rabbit brand already had some history, its populalrity worldwide has grown with the economy of China. Cities and agricultural villages' demands are increasing, especially during the Chinese New Year period, when many families provide White Rabbit sweets among other candies for visitors. In 2004, White Rabbit candy sales hit 600 million yuan, with sales increasing rapidly by a double-digit percentage yearly.

Bye, bye White Rabbit Sweets..........

Seraphina Students at Berakas Beach

Lovely muffins made by Candy C.

Margaret in Surya Namaskar
Warm Up & Stretches with Lizzy S.
Adho Mukha Svanasana

Ardha Naukasana (Half Boat Pose)

Ikuyo and Peter

Candy C. side Crane Pose

Pictures taken by Devin Kho

Surya Yoga

Here we go again. Alarm got us up as early as 4am. I was dragging my feet to the washroom and Pete rolled over from bed to floor. "I think I feel feverish. Don't think I can do yoga this morning. Can I be excused?"said Pete. "Not unless I'm excused too. Nice try. You're still coming." He mumbles something I can't hear. Maybe better I didn't know what he was mumbling under his breath.

Even my parents got themselves ready and dad was keen to cook his 'pisang goreng' for the students. "Dad, I did say 'wholesome' food." He looked at me puzzled,"But it is 'wholesome'. It's freshly fried bananas ." I couldn't argue with him. I have to reserve my energy for the rest of the morning.

In my head, I was praying the gatekeeper wouldn't have forgotten to open the barriers at 6am. We needed to drive in and prepare the area for the students.

The skies were still dark and Pete, for some odd reason was wide awake. I looked over and asked, "Are you okay?" Pete had a grin on his face,"I think it's going to rain. I think we might have to go back home." I looked up at the skies and it looked clear. "If it starts raining, I'll make you do the 'anti rain dance' on the beach." He mumbles under his breath again.

At 5.50am, we arrived at Berakas Beach Forest Reserve and the gates were OPENed. I was happy. We droved in, my mum and I walked down to the beach and starting burning stick incense and mosquito coils.

WHACK, WHACK, WHACK......My mum and I were already hitting ourselves silly. We were on the breakfast menu for the sandflies. Then mum started mumbling in chinese. "Ma, you okay?" I asked.

"As if being in child labour wasn't enough, I have to bitten by sandflies because you want to do beach yoga. Can you please choose air con next time leh?"

The sun was just rising up when the students started arriving at 6.15am and within half an hour, we had 29 students sitting cross legged on their mats. Brunei Times reporter Qistina Rangga watched from a distance while Saiful the reporter took several shots as we started off surya yoga with a bit of meditation and then proceeded on to sun salutations.

Shoosh, kwwwssssh, qssssssh, .....sands were sliding into the students mats each time they went into Downward Facing Dog. Decided not to give them any difficult twists.

The yoga session was a smooth flow of Warrior I, II and III. Every student flowed in and out of the pose with grace and focus.

We ended it in less than an hour and some of us went straight to the picnic table. There was so much food!!!! Lots of fruits (dragon fruits, watermelon, bananas, fruit cocktails), salad, mee hoon, chicken wings, satay, pisang goreng, kelupis, muffins, donuts, yam cake, egg sandwiches, fruit juices. And Candy made cupcakes with pretty decorations. She made cute little slippers and yoga mats out of icings on top of the cupcakes. Very nice!

We played some games after. Yee Man's little girl Hazel enjoyed the Blind Man's bluff game. I think Pete and Alan did too. They fought between themselves for the last pressie.

Just want to say, 'thank you' for being there at the beach and thank you again for all the donations and food. See you all again soon.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Beach yoga: Getting closer to nature by Qistina Rangga (Brunei Times)

As MANY AS 29 barefoot men, women and children sat cross legged on yoga mats, eyes closed, hands resting on their knees, palms facing upward and ears focused on listening to cues from the instructor.

Jac Fang,31, spoke calmly to instruct her students, but she had to project her voice even through a microphone, over the sounds of the waves breaking at the shoreline, about 10 feet from the yoga class. Nearby, a dozen people were having a picnic by the shores and others splashing around in the water.

But the 29 yoga students seemed oblivious as they moved into a "downward facing dog", while their teacher circulated among them to adjust their positions. Why the beach? It's to bring the students closer to nature, she said. The weather was beautiful and the atmosphere peaceful.

Moreover, the sequences they were doing were called sun salutation." That is why the yoga session this morning was called Surya Yoga. Surya means Sun in Sanskrit."she said.

It was also a great opportunity for students to get to know the others better. Her number of students have been steadily increasing.

Yoga has so many benefits as it's great for stress release and relaxation, and contributes to overall well being, she said.

Fang, a registered yoga instructor, has been teaching yoga lessons since March this year. Before becoming a full time yoga instructor and manager of Seraphina Studio in Kiulap, she was an intensive cardiac nurse at Gleneagles JPMC."My passion was more to yoga, so I opened my own studio to teach others,"she said.

The class started off with five members, and the word of mouth spread to the members' friends, she said. Today, the class has 100 members.

The Surya by the Sea is the second class conducted outside her studio in Kiulap, with the first one held at the Tasek Lama Recreational Park.

The classes are open to all levels and with a fee of $10 per class. Each day, she conducts 4 to 5 classes.

Many students drop a donation into a donation box. The money riased so far was initially supposed to be donated to the Blind Association but the president was not able to attend the session yesterday morning.

According to the philosophy of yoga, the eighth limb of yoga is about moral and ethics, and hence the charity work, she said.

Fang also shared some of the benefits of practising yoga session, where the basic poses such as warrior is designed to help strengthen and stretch the legs, she said.

When the arm is lifted all the way up into the air and then the shoulder blades are squeezed to the back, it opens up the chest.

"This movement encourages people to have confidence in themselves and good for people with mild asthma,"said the instructor, adding that it helps them with their breathing techniques.

People with lower-back injuries and those playing sports also gain benefits from yoga.

"Yoga is a low impact workout which strengthens the body muscles and it detoxifies the body,"she said.

Intermediate yoga students at the Seraphina Studio, Rozana Yunos,29,is delighted to share the many benefits she has discovered from practicing yoga.

Physically, yoga increases flexibility and circulation and helps improve balance, she said. Emotionally, it helps to release tension that we hold inside our bodies. "And you can find peace and focus,"said Rozana, a BAG Networks'employee.

She encourages those who have the idea that they cannot get a full body workout from yoga or one has to be flexible, to try the yoga at least once.

The Brunei Times

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Weekend Treat

It was a nice weekend. Treated myself to a crystal/hot stone massage. My cousin used clear quartz crystal for the body and rose quartz for the face. It felt cooling, soothing and relaxing. Crystals are supposed to be beneficial due to its healing vibrations. Apparently Clear quartz contains all colors of the spectrum and heals at all levels. While rose quartz helps to soothe the skin. So, if you like to know more about crystals, go to http://www.crystalwellbeing.co.uk

My weekend ended with Candy's mooncakes for dessert. That went down a treat down the tum tum. :0) Now,it's payback with yoga sessions for the week.

Surya Yoga on 21st September 2008

I have checked Berakas Reserve Forest Beach for the upcoming event and it looks good. The beach is really clean and the surroundings are amazing. If you haven't confirm your place, please do so as soon as possible. Also, do be on time at 6.30am. Please bring your own yoga mats and sun block . Don't forget to either dress in black or white (hmm, thinking and humming M.Jackson's song now......) We will do an hour's flow of Hatha Vinyasa Yoga. Beginners, intermediate and advanced yoga students are welcome. See Ya!

Opps, I did it again!

"Ha! Ha! Ha!....Hee! Hee! Hee!..... e.t.c" The laughter was spontaneous and when Pete heard it, he jumped out of bed and said out loud," WHAT THE HELL!"

That was me laughing in my sleep two nights ago. I have no idea why I did it. Maybe it was the after effect of watching Mamma Mia. "SOON people in white coats are going take you away to the FUNNY FARM! What's going on in that head of yours?" I looked at him innocently,"I don't know why I laughed. I feel okay." He looked at me strangely, trying to suss out whether it was SAFE to get back into bed. "Seriously, if you do it again, we'll have to MRI your head."

I decided to google sleep talking and these were the results:-

Sleep talking (somniloquy) refers to any utterance made during sleep, from one word to entire sentences. It can be brought on by stress or some illness. It is relatively harmless although disturbing to room mates. (or Husbands! :0) )

Speaking or muttering during sleep
Sleeper is not aware he is talking
Sometimes shouting, singing or moaning
May be associated with other sleep disorders
May be associated with physical or mental illness ( Me?? Crazy?? )

Apparently there's no harm in it. Oh well, at least I didn't scream out loud in my dreams. That would send Pete running out of the room! Hee! Hee!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Mamma Mia !

Just arrived home after watching Mamma Mia. Pete kept his promise after all. The movie was pretty fun and light to watch overall. Meryl Streep took the lead role and the casts included Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth. With a story framed around the music of the Swedish pop band Abba, crowds loved its raucous, dance party vibe. It is the story of Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) a young woman living on a picturesque Greek island with her mother, Donna (Streep.) Sophie discovers her mom's diary prior to her wedding and invites three possible men whom she thinks might be her dad. But Sophie invites without telling her mom her scheming plans.

All three men turn up for Sophie's wedding, unaware of 'why' they were invited. Donna is shocked and overwhelmed when she discovers her past lovers have made a come back. The story then sees Sophie spending time with each man, determined to learn the truth.

The mother daughter relationship is touching. Streep has a lovely singing voice, and to watch her throw herself into this whimsical role is truly a delight. She looks like she is having a ball, and it is hard not to shimmy along with her. I guess it's entertaining, but I felt the producers and directors might have overdone on the singing bits. Have a laugh, take the movie with a 'pinch of salt'. I rate it three out of five.

Pete thought it was just too silly nilly. I guess the guys would do.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ways To Prevent Cancer ( By Lisa Fayed 2007)

1)Avoid smoking, whether it be actual smoking or secondhand smoke.

We hear a dozen times a day how bad cigarettes are for us and the risk of lung cancer. Why? Because smoking is the most significant risk factors for cancers that we can reduce. Did you know that smoking can increase your risk of many other cancers? Need help quitting? Check out About's Smoking Cessation Site for great tips and support.

2) Practice sun safety and recognize when skin changes occur.

Skin cancer is becoming more common, especially among young people. Wear sunscreen when outdoors, even if it is shady, and try to avoid the outdoors during the sun's peak time, which is 10 am - 2 pm. Knowing your skin's moles and spots is essential. Any changes need to be reported to your doctor ASAP.

3. Eat your fruits and veggies.

Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, which help repair our damaged cells. Green veggies and orange and yellow fruits and veggies are your best bet. Learn more about antioxidants in this great article, "Antioxidants and Cancer Prevention"

4. Watch the meats you eat, especially smoked or cured foods.

Research suggests that a diet high in animal fat can lead to the development of certain cancers. A diet high in smoked foods, salted fish and meat, and pickled vegetables increases your risk factor for cancer.

5. Limit your alcohol intake.

Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol regularly increases your risk factor for cancer. Studies suggest that men who consume 2 alcoholic drink per day and women who have 1 alcoholic drink per day significantly increase their risk factors for certain types of cancer.6. Exercise for cancer prevention.

Being overweight greatly increases your risk factor for developing cancer.

So, exercising to maintain or reach your ideal weight is one of the best defenses against cancer. Exercising doesn't have to be a bore, check out Top 10 Best Ways to Prevent Cancer Through Exercise for some fun ways to exercise.

7. Know your personal and family history of cancer.

Research tells us that some types of cancers can be genetic. Knowing your family history of cancer can help you make more informed decisions about your healthcare. It can also aid in genetic testing and counseling, to assist you in finding out if you carry a mutated gene that increases your risk factor for cancer. Check out "Genetic Cancers" for more information about genetic cancer, testing and counseling.

8. Know what chemicals you are being exposed to in your work environment.

If you are exposed to fumes, dust, chemicals, etc in the workplace, you have a right to know what you are being exposed to. Gasoline, diesel exhaust, arsenic, beryllium. vinyl chloride, nickel chromates, coal products, mustard gas, and chloromethyl ethers are all carcinogens and can be found in some work environments. Talk to your employer about limiting exposure.

9. Practice safe sex.

Unsafe sex can result in the infection of the HPV virus, a known cause for cervical cancer and a risk factor for many other cancers. HPV is a virus transmitted through sexual intercourse. Learn more about HPV in "HPV: What is HPV and How Do You Get It?"

10. Be sure to keep up on screening tests like the Pap, mammograms, and DREs.

Make sure you have regular screening tests like the Pap smear and mammogram if you are a woman, and a DRE (digital rectal exam) if you are a man. The Pap and DRE can detect cellular changes before they become cancerous, and the mammogram may be able to detect breast cancer early. A rectal exam should be part of a woman's yearly gyn exam


JUST STAND UP Lyrics (This song is included in my playlist of songs)

Beyonce: The heart is stronger than you think
It’s like it can go through anything
And even when you think it can’t it finds a way to still push on, though

Carrie: Sometimes you want to run away
Ain’t got the patience for the pain
And if you don’t believe it look into
your heart the beat goes on

Rihanna: I’m tellin’ you that
Things get better
Through whatever
If you fall, dust it off, don’t let up

Sheryl: Don’t you know you can go be your own miracle

Beyonce: You need to know

Sheryl: If the mind keeps thinking you’ve had enough
But the heart keeps telling you don’t give up

Sheryl/Beyonce: Who are we to be
questioning, wondering what is what
Don’t give up

Fergie: It’s like we all have better days
Problems getting all up in your face

Leona: Just because you go through it

Fergie: Don’t mean it got to take control, no

Leona: You ain’t gotta find no hiding place

Keyshia: Because the heart can beat the hate

Leona: Don’t wanna let your mind keep playin’ you

Keyshia: And sayin’ you can’t go on

Rihanna: I’m tellin’ you that

Miley: Things get better
Through whatever

Rihanna: If you fall

Miley: Dust if off, don’t let up

LeAnn: Don’t you know you

Natasha: Can go

LeAnn: Be your own

Natasha: Miracle

Carrie: You need to know

Ensemble: CHORUS

Mary: You don’t gotta be a prisoner in your mind

Ciara: If you fall, dust it off

Mary: You can live your life

Rihanna/Carrie: Yeah

Mary: Let your heart be your guide

Rihanna/Carrie: Yeah yeah yeah

Mariah: And you will know that you’re good if you trust in the good

Ashanti: Everything will be alright, yeah
Light up the dark, if you follow your heart

Mary: And it will get better

Mariah: Through whatever


Fergie: You got it in you, find it within
You got in now, find it within now
You got in you, find it within
You got in now, find it within now
You got in you, find it within
Find it within you, find it within

Stand Up 2 Cancer

Went back home late last night at 9.30pm after class. Settled down a bit after and watched some TV. Was channel hopping and came across the StandUp2Cancer charity event (a re run ) with celebrities at standby to take in donation. Celebrities included Charlize Theron, Billy Crystal, Jennifer Anniston, Kirsten Dunst, Jennifer Garner, Sidney Poitier, Keanu Reeves, Tobey McGuire, Balthazar Getty, Hilary Swank, America Ferrera, Forest Whitaker, Salma Hayek, Scarlett Johansson, Christina Applegate, Sally Field and may more. Patrick Swayze showed up on stage too, a bit hard to recognise him as he has lost a lot of weight since his diagnosis of cancer. I didn't realise he had it till he started self referencing himself to the event. The telethon charity event showed real people who either have cancer, or had cancer. They also included people who have lost loved ones to the disease. It was a pretty emotional event, showed little kids going undertreatment.

So,what's Stand Up 2 Cancer? It is an innovative approach to help research designd and bring together the best and brightest investigators from leading institutions around the world. This unique initiative, helps foster scientific collaboration and accelerate the discovery of new therapies, which will be administered by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) the world’s oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing research to prevent and cure cancer, under the direction of a Scientific Advisory Committee led by Nobel Laureate Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D., Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT. (Ref : http://su2c.standup2cancer.org/node/1032)

The event was well organised. Beyonce, Ashanti, Mariah Carey, Mary J Blige, Keyshia Cole, Leona Lewis, Miley Cyrus, Natasha Bedingfield, Rihanna, Fergie and Carrie Underwood all decked out in their black Stand Up To Cancer t-shirts, grouped and sang “Just Stand Up!”, the worldwide charity single benefiting Stand Up 2 Cancer. It was very catchy, would love to get the album if I see it.

For more info, this is a good website to read about it http://www.backseatcuddler.com

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Laughing Babies

You can't help but laugh with these beautiful babies. Have a great day guys

Yuuuummmmy Mooncakes by Sweet Candy

Okay, even as a yoga teacher, I admit. I have my sinful indulgence and last night, wahhh, I really did indulge. My friend Candy baked some mooncakes and she gave me some, as soon as I took a bite of it, I just couldn't stop eating the next one. She bakes it herself and jees, she's definitely the next Martha Stewart. The pastry was nice and soft, the fillings was at it's fullest taste, and it was absolooodley deeelicious. Ya, I told her she should open a bakery shop. I usually share sweets with dear hubby. Lucky me, he wasn't into mooncakes, so weh hey! Moi' finished it. Ya, okay, feeling the guilt. But regrets? Nahhh. It was worth it!!!! :0)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Watched Juno yesterday. Like it. It's funny, witty and filled with lovable characters. The story's about a teen who's pretty smart for her age, yet she gets pregnant and decides to keep it. She finds her unborn child a perfect pair of parents. Lucky Juno also has the full support of her parents throughout the pregnancy. The film follows Juno in her pregnancy and how she finds 'herself' in the process of having the baby. If you are the type of person to watch Little Miss Sunshine, then you'll like this one too.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


Watched this last night and I thought it was pretty good. So, here is the synopsis. Outsourced is a modern day comedy of cross-cultural conflict and romance. Todd Anderson (Josh Hamilton) spends his days managing a customer call center for American novelty products in Seattle, until his job, along with those of the entire office, are outsourced to India. Adding... Outsourced is a modern day comedy of cross-cultural conflict and romance. Todd Anderson (Josh Hamilton) spends his days managing a customer call center for American novelty products in Seattle, until his job, along with those of the entire office, are outsourced to India. Adding insult to injury, Todd must travel to India to train his new replacement.

As he lands in India, Todd is assaulted by the sights and sounds of a completely different culture. Navigating through the chaos of Bombay, Todd must train the most unlike team in the ways of America and American novelty products. Between accent and culture training to education on the cheesehead hat and hot dog toaster, Todd frantically tries to increase the effectiveness of the Indian office, so that he can return home to Seattle.

However, it is through his team of quirky yet likable Indian call center workers, including his friendly and motivated replacement, Puro, and the charming, opinionated Asha (Ayesha Dharker), that Todd realizes that he too has a lot to learn – not only about India and America, but about himself. Todd soon discovers that being outsourced may be the best thing that ever happened to him.

Rice Bowl Game

Super Fun in the Rice Bowl........Woo Hoo

Takeshi Castle, Some more best bits.

He he! More Fun fun fun!

Takeshi Castle in Japan

I so love this game series. Used to watch this when I was back in the UK. Not to keen on the Stepping Stones but some of them look so much fun to try!!!!!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

It's all about Mr Cho-Leh !

We all know that exercise improves cholesterol but did you know this? The duration, not intensity, of the exercise is what counts. According to the Archives of Internal Medicine study, researchers found that working out extra hard had no effect, but exercising for at least forty minutes several times a week raised HDL ( the good cholesterol). So, lead researcher Satoru Kodama M.D and Hirohito Sone M.D at Ochanomizu Univeristy in Japan says if your HDL is below 40 milligrams per deciliter, do 45 minutes of exercise at least 3 times a week.

Vote, vote, vote

Sleeping Jac

I have never been a good sleeper ever since my mum "threw me out of the cot". When I was nine, I would find myself under the bed early morning when I wake up. Since then, I never tried double bunk beds. I know I talk and laugh in my sleep. It scared the crap out of my sister when she first heard it. She thought I was possessed. Nope, not possessed, just 'actively' sleeping. 

I think my worst sleep was when I pushed Pete out of bed one night, he fell out of bed and landed with such a loud 'thud' to the floor, it woke me up. I didn't remember what I did and when I woke up, I asked him why he was on the floor.  He got up,"Don't talk to me. I'm sleeping in the guest room tonight." He took his pillow and before he walked out the door," I still love you but it's a sleep war next to you in bed."

There after, I was much better for awhile after that incident, until last night.  It started again.  Yesterday, I taught 4 classes. I went home, felt exhausted and went to bed at 11pm.  The next thing I knew, I was woken up by my own sleep talk again. 

It was 3am, the lamp was switched on and Pete was at the study desk tapping away at his computer.  "What are you doing sweetie?" I asked.  " Don't talk to me.  I'm sending you off to a sleep therapist if there is such a thing."Huh? I thought.  I went back to sleep, too tired to understand what he meant by that remark.

Next day, he came over to the studio, we had lunch.  "Jac, we need to put a fat extra pillow between us when we sleep." I looked at him puzzled.  "Last night, you were teaching yoga in your sleep and the worst thing was you swung your arm over to do Warrior 2 and you slapped me right across the face."

I laughed at first, but when I looked over at Pete, he was not impressed.

"Alright! We put one pillow between us at night.  Aiyah! No need to be so 'like that'" 

"Jac, I think we should send you to NASA to find out what's going on in that head of yours when you sleep."

"OH, ho ho you funny white man! You say that to me one more time.....See where you will sleep tonight eh? !! "

Well, watch this space for Jac's improvement of sleep!

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Charm of Crystal Balls and Bracelets

A reminder to all about the Crystal Workshop tomorrow. It's held here in Seraphina Studio at 2pm. Let me know if you are interested in joining. See ya!

The Blue

I was cleaning up the studio this morning, the sun was shining in through the windows and it felt nice. Rozi's paintings looked amazing, especially The Blue. The sparkles in it caught the sunlight and I just stood there awhile, looking at the intricate work Rozi has put into it.

Rozi has brilliant art work and if you like to see more of it, you can visit her art work at http://www.roziyunos.blogspot.com

This week's Om

I receive daily doses of Om articles in my hotmail account and tend to pick just one for the week to concentrate on. I chooses the title that catches my attention and it happens to be this title 'Staying open and fluid'. It was perfect for my weekly Om.

Staying open and fluid talks about being able to form opinions and inner guidance without confusing them with judgement. A lot of the times when we judge, we end up with negative experience. Judgement finalizes the thoughts to a final decree whereas inner guidance and having an opinion helps us navigate a situation. "Listening to our intuition and forming opinions are both positive outcomes of our ability to interpret the information that comes our way. "

Be weary that being judgmental close us down instead of opening us up; opinions have a lighter quality and are amenable to change. Once a judgment has been made, there is no more conversation or consideration, whereas opinions invite further debate.

This year has been a real challenge. For me, it's the change of career from a nurse to a yoga teacher. I had people judging me for my decision. And I still do. My friends thought I was wasting my nursing skills and when I started teaching yoga, I had people who slagged me off for not being good enough.

Did it put me down? Yup. But I realize judgement comes from insecurity. Perhaps, the change in my career has worried my friends and if I choose to see it that way, I won't have felt so bogged down by their opinions. And for those who thought me differently as a yoga teacher, well, sorry, my say to that is 'you just can't please everyone'.

I am judgmental at times, especially when I'm feeling insecure. I become all defensive and sarcastic. I have come to realise that words hurt if you relay that information directly or indirectly. So, yes, the best thing to do is to bring awareness into the things you say out loud to somebody. Instead, use that opinion to relect it on yourself.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Palm

It's always nice to have breakfast prepared for you. Somehow, making your own toast doesn't feel the same as having it prepared for you. Maybe, it's the thought of being pampered. Well, made a little trip to the Palm Restaurant in Kiulap early morning with my cuz Elaine. It was my first time there and Elaine knew the chef Theresa. The ambience was cosy and Theresa was there. I ordered srambled eggs and multigrain bread. The bread was handmade by Theresa and it was so yummy. I am quite choosey when it comes to bread. Don't really like it much when it taste too dry or if it taste too sweet. The bread at Palm was moist and tasted scrumptious with butter and jam. I love my bread and butter. I slabbed a good cover of the butter on my breakfast, nice enough to take a slow enjoyable bite into it.

The menu has a list of good choices, from steaks, pastas, vegetarian menus, etc. Good value for money too.

If you are wondering where the Palm is, head towards Kiulap Mall and it's just on the Ground Floor, same building as Fitness Zone.

I think I'll get Pete to take us out there tonight. He likes his steak. Need to try something different from Charcoal.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Yoga at the beach

More about Surya Yoga at the beach. Surya means ‘Sun’ in Sanskrit. I thought of naming it just that since we’ll be doing at sunrise at 6.30am on the 21st September 2008. Practicing yoga out in the open, inhaling fresh air is much different from doing it indoors. So, if you do get the chance, try it out. We are raising money for the blind charity. Small to big changes are appreciated.

We’ll hopefully be having the event at the berakas beach (Reserve Forest. Along Jerudong Highway). Please wear white or black attire to blend in the photos. :0) Also, if each of us could bring a dish for the picnic after the yoga session.

Things you’ll need to bring for the day:

Yoga mat
Big beach towel
Water to drink for yourself
Extra clothes to change in (after yoga session)
Sun Block Lotion

Please note I have placed an earlier post on it in August. Look up on the left side of your screen under category Yoga in Brunei with subject, Yoga at the Sea.
See you there!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Did You Know This?

Reading through Women's Health Magazine, did you know that women who accept their bodies generally eat more healthfully than women who don't? In a study of 597 women (A research presented at a meeting of the American Psychological Association), those who agreed with statements like " Despite its flaws, I accept my body for what it is" were 42.5 percent more likely to follow intuitive eating principles (eating when hungry, stopping when full) and had lower BMI's than women who were dissatisfied with their bodies. Making peace with your belly may take time, but you can learn to eat intuitively now. To start, eat only when you're moderately hungry, not ravenous.

And, and, and, and, and........here are more facts and figures for some professionals on the number of steps they take in a day at work (a study commissioned by the American Council on Exercise). They are...mail carriers 18,904....(not sure if that applies to Bruneian's postmen. I'm sure I saw our postman riding on his bike just the other day), Restaurant Servers with 10,087 steps ( erm, okay, I am also not sure if this applies to Brunei's restaurants. Maybe CheezBox.)
Nurses with 8,648 (well, I could agree on that figure if I was back in the UK in crazy St Mary's Hospital in London. However, in Brunei, I think maybe not unless you work in Emergency or really fast paced Intensive Cardiac Unit.) Lawyers with 5062 steps (Ummmmh, why did I even start with this write up in the first place? We all have pretty good cars to take us everywhere. Most times, we are always in the office right?) and teachers with 4726 steps. Okay, maybe that one I can agreee with. Just about.