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Top 10 Outdoor Couples Activity

Posted by Angelica on August - 16 - 2011

Quote of the day

“Ideally, couples need three lives; one for him, one for her and one for them together” – Jacqueline Bisset

 

Its weekend soon and you’re still empty on plans? Staying home again for the weekend might just make it past even faster than you thought and before you know it, Monday blues hit you hard and you’ll be regretting why you didn’t spend the precious time with your loved one strengthening your bond. If you come from a huge family (brothers, sisters, in-laws, grandma, grandpa, nieces, nephews, maid…etc) , this is the time you get to go out; just the two of you and spend that quality time you need while discovering each other in a whole lot of ways.

 

  1. Join Classes

    This is a great way to start a routine together. Pick a favorite mutual activity(Gym, dancing, cooking, arts, music, photography, sports, etc), find a place near your home that offers great classes of your choice, decide on your budget and you’ve established a ritual together at least once a month of learning a new skill together. Make sure not to dominate or convince the other party to say yes to your choice. The goal is to spend quality time together while having lots of fun.

     

    Dancing Class

     

  2. Go for a Romantic dinner

    Romantic dinners can be arranged at any point of the year without needing an occasion as an excuse. On a schedule where both of you are free, make reservations at nice ambience restaurants which you and your partner can get all dressed up and attend. Try restaurants that offer candle light dinner, with relaxing music and tranquility. You can share your feelings and have a good chat about your future plans. Some of the best spots to choose would be by the beach, a place with picturesque scenery, away from the hustle & bustle of the city, or a splurging fine dining where you pay for the ambience.

     

  3. Watch a nice movie in the cinema

    This is one of the most regular things you could do as a couple. Going for the movies usually kindles back the feeling of youthfulness like when you first started dating. Get popcorns, and drinks for sharing and hit the cold & dark cinemas where you get to cuddle each other tightly while enjoying a new blockbuster. Checkout MovieWeb.com for latest/popular movie releases.

     

    Movie at theater

     

  4. Volunteer

    The benefits of volunteering are endless and even more if you do it as a couple. Some of the benefits as include making a positive change for your community, connecting with other, boosting your career, giving a meaning of fulfillment to your life and definitely having lots of fun while doing it. There are many ways you can give to your community and this gives the flexibility to choose to volunteer in the area that interest you most e.g home for elderly/the disabled, zoo, pets shelter..etc. See Wikipedia listing on the different types of volunteering available.

     

  5. Couples Massage/Spa

    Many Spa/Beauty parlors these days offer a wide variety of package for couples to pamper themselves together. Packages are designed to be shared with the significant other and it’s a great time to bond which indulging side-by-side. Some luxury spa’s will provide special features such as shower room, Jacuzzis, dual soaking tubs, or even champagne & strawberry’s.

     

    Couples Massage

     

  6. Travel

    People and couples especially often get nervous when you mention the word travel as it’s usually linked to luxurious holidays with lots of planning, spending & time involved. I would say that this is highly misinterpreted or probably the worst excuse to give. You don’t have to journey a few thousand miles to call it travelling. Try organizing trip to a neighboring state or country which usually has so much more to offer than you think. Take a slow drive together instead of traveling by plane. The adventure is much more rewarding and satisfying and usually doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket. If budget allows, plan to visit the famous “love countries” like Paris, Venice, Bali or the Caribbean’s.

     

  7. Adventurous trips

    If both of you are into outdoor adventures, try arranging trips like hiking, jungle trekking, white water rafting diving, horse riding by the beach or bungee jumping. Outdoor trips bring you closer to Mother Nature and you get to admire the best of what the environment has to offer such as mountains, beaches, streams, rivers, marine life, flora & fauna.

     

    Bungee Jumping as a couple

     

  8. Watch the sunset/star gazing trip

    Do some research on the best places of hangout with great sunset view or star gazing sights, and take a drive there during evenings. Watching the sunset/star gazing while cuddling with each other in pure serenity can be one of the most peaceful and harmonious way of acquainting.

     

  9. Attend concerts/ plays

    Lookout in the entertainment section of newspapers, magazines or media announcements for details on the current happenings at your place. Some of the renowned events which you could attend together depending on preference are celebrity concerts, theatres, rave parties, sports, musicals, dances, talks, parades or festivals.

     

    Concert

     

  10. Attend wedding parties, birthday parties or other social events

    Social events are a great place to go as a couple as you get to meet other couples, friends, family and enables networking. In the event you’re planning your big-day soon, attend wedding parties to get lots of ideas on how you can conduct yours ;).

The Search for Happiness

Posted by Angelica on August - 4 - 2011

How to be Happy & Contented

 

Quote: “Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.”

~Anonymous~


Happiness is defined as a state of well-being and contentment accompanied with the feeling of pleasure and satisfaction. When we experience happiness, we feel fortunate and blessed and everything around us would seem magnificent. Most people these days are searching too hard and too far for this feeling to appear when what we really need to do is step back, unwind, and enjoy the present moment as it is. When you do this, you’re already on your way to enjoying this feeling.

How happy are you this very moment? Take the Happiness test at Oprah.com

 

The small little things to heighten the blissful feeling of happiness:

  • Happiness is a choice – recognize that being happy is more than an emotion; it’s a choice of how you want your state of mind to be. To embrace happiness, you must first let go of your misery. You can choose joy over sadness, positivity over negativity. No one should have control on your emotions

     

  • Be thankful to God – how often do we focus on life’s problem that we miss to see that each day is a blessing to be able to wake up alive. Constantly remind yourself about this and appreciate this gift and take time to pray.

    Thankful to god

     

  • Take regular time-off for yourself – if you’ve been on a streak of high-pressuring lifestyle, make sure to take breaks as and when your mind or body suggests you too. Spend time with family, go for holidays, have solitude moments of reflection, or just let your body have the sleep it needs. Come back to reality with more productivity, alertness and efficiency

     

  • See the positive in others – if you tend to develop hatred towards others more often that you should, it might be one of the reason that’s draining your happiness. Everyone would possess a goodness in themselves and the key is to find the positivity in people and try focusing on that instead

     

  • See beauty in the tiniest creations – many times, we are so bogged down with the rush & intensity of life that we fail to see beauty in littlest formation. Take time to appreciate the morning dew of a bloom, the sound of water flowing, the orange sunset, or the smell of roses

    Beauty inNature

     

  • Laugh more – it improves blood circulation, & releases pain-reducing endorphins. Laughter instantly brightens your mood and releases tension

     

  • Learn something new – you would never know your full capability until you’ve tried new things. Take up art classes, attempt a new sport, try an exotic food, or go places you’ve never been before. Life is much more than it seems and you need to get out of your comfort zone. On the other hand, never do something just because everyone else is doing it. Do what you heart wants and you’ll enjoy every moment of it

     

  • Spend time with children – a child is pure, naïve and totally free-spirited. Sometimes, you just need to become a child to feel joyful. Play games with children, watch movies with them, try bonding with them to learn how they take life so effortlessly

    Child is pure, naïve and totally free-spirited

     

  • Giving – I’ve read about the act of giving from people who have much and people who have very little. Multibillionaires, the kind in heart, those who don’t have but yet offer are people who have given testimonials of how generosity gives them inner peace of mind. Giving not necessarily need to be in the form of money or things, it could also be in the form of time, energy or voluntary services. If you have old clothes or things that you’re not using anymore, give them out today. Someone out there would have a use for it

     

  • Get acquainted with your old friends – This is a great way to feel young instantly. Remember the days you had in school which had been free-spirited & unstressed? You can rekindle the feeling by getting in touch with the people who shared the moments with you

     

  • Smile often – What do you think are the odds of you smiling and not receiving the smile back in return? In a completely civilized culture, this should be very minimal or zero. Smile is a way humankind reflect gestures of greetings and it inspires instant happiness

    Smile often

     

  • Pursue your innermost dream – find out what you’ve always wanted to do and do it. It could be dancing, owning your own garden, or even rocket science. No one should tell you that you’ve incompetent of anything other than yourself. You know your strengths & weaknesses and have full control over them

     

  • Take time to enjoy your food – Food is a way of feeding your soul. So much has been stressed about consuming the right nutrients and vitamins essential for your body in the form of a healthy & content meal. Breakfast, lunch, tea-time & dinner are the essential meals that you should consume without distracting yourself on other thoughts or happenings. Of course you could get companies like a loved one, friends or co-workers to join you for your meals, but concentrate on happy or positive socializing instead of gossiping or stressful topics

     

  • Be alert of the small miracles that happen around you – miracles happen around us at all forms, the birth of a kitten, a guardian angel protecting you from the pothole, or the promotion that you get at work. Look at these as a grace of God and you’ll instantly feel happiness or satisfaction building in you

    smurfette

     

  • Reward yourself – you don’t need others telling you how accomplished you are. There’s no better person to tell you that you’ve done a great job and deserve the pat on the back than yourself. If you feel that you’ve achieved something significant in your life, get yourself rewarded by sending yourself fresh flowers, buying yourself a good book, or going for the travel escapade of your dreams

     

  • Avoid gossips – Good news travels fast, and bad news faster; for whatever reason that is. Do not let gossip control your life. It is essential to pour out your feeling as times, but don’t do it at the cost of everyone else. The path to happiness is through praises & compliments, not condemns & criticizing. Remember that good words will establish you reputation as a person, earn you trust, respect and admiration of other. And this applies vice versa

     

  • Take up good habits – sleeping on time, exercising, personal hygiene, punctuality are all great habits than should be incorporated into our routines. These simple habits will keep our lives on-track and happiness would supersede stress or depression. After all, it only takes 21 days to institute a good habit!

     

  • Read, listen or sing to motivations or inspiration – we all have that time when life throws a lemon. When we fall, we get up, dust ourselves and always move forward. If a situation seems overwhelming, try help of books, songs or motivational videos that will guide you to the road of recovery

     

  • Manage your Debts – money matters have been one of the stress inducing component when not managed wisely. Always pay your debts on-time, never spend more than you earn, live within your means, and enjoy simple things in life. Remember that money buys comfort, but “Money can never buy Happiness”

    Snoopy

     

  • Trust others – in the current dog eat dog world, it might not be the best advice to be sharing. However, it is significant to have a certain amount of trust in people we come across, work with or live with. Trusting gives an inner peace and guide to a life path. *Disclaimer: never give out possession in the name of trust, always conduct a proper due diligence when it comes to money. You should never cheat others nor let others cheat you.

Garden of roses – Part II

Posted by Angelica on August - 2 - 2011

Tips for growing & caring for your rose plant

Quote of the day
“We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon-instead of enjoying the roses blooming outside our windows today.”

So you’ve contemplated that the rose plant in the nursery looked remarkably beautiful and decided to get one for your backyard. What next?

If you’ve always wanted to wake up to a balcony of roses in the morning, here’s an article of a step-by-step guide on how to grow & care for your rose plant. Rose plants are like babies. It would take a special person to grow this special flower.

 

Beautifull white rose in a pot

 

Planting the Roses

Before choosing a spot to place your rose, make sure sunlight is readily available as the rose plant would need good sun exposure. If you plan to re-plant the rose tree from a poly-bag to the ground or bigger pot, soak it in a pail of water for about 2-8hours to soften the soil.

General rule of rose plants are that they have large roots & it’s essential to provide a deep pot/ hole for root growth. Soil is encouraged to be added with organic matters/ black soil to get a texture which will be easy water absorption. Roses need lots of water & ventilation, and proper fertilization.

Fertilization starts 2-3 months upon planting. Roses will bloom better if you use NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium) ratios of about 1:2:1 that is more Phosphorous than nitrogen or potassium. Too much Nitrogen will lead to the plant preferring leaf growth to flower growth. A good rule for fertilization is bi-weekly/ once every 2 weeks for optimal results. Bear in mind that too much fertilization can kill any plant.

You could use mulch such as shredded wood, stones, coconut husk, sawdust, or hay. Mulching is essential for the plant to prevent water loss, discourage weed growth & avoid soil erosion. It also adds beauty to the garden.

 

Planting the rose

Watering Roses

For tropical hot weather where the temperature is around 30° Celsius, it’s essential to water your rose plants every day.

If it rains, heavily, you can skip watering for the day. On a day that rains less, it’s good if you just mist the leaves & flowers. If the sun shines hotter than usual, you might want to water it twice a day i.e. morning & evening.

If your rose plant has mulch, you would not need to water it too much as the mulch will retain the plants hydration for a longer time. Roses in pots will generally need more watering than those on the ground. It is not advisable to keep a plant at the bottom of the pot to retain water as the water on the dish can cause rotting of the roots. Try avoiding watering into the blooms as the water would remain stagnant in the flower buds and cause it to rot.

Use judgment when watering plants, hotter weather would need more water and colder weather less. Too much water will cause rotting of roots, & too less will cause infertility & dry out the plant.

 

Pruning for Rose Plants

The rose plants need pruning done as soon as the first batch of blooming comes to an end. The benefits of pruning includes promoting growth & bloom, to enhance light & air absorption, to remove dead or damaged stems, & shaping the plant.You would need to cut all branches and leave only about 6-10 healthy branches. You would need gloves to protect your hands from the thorns, a good quality bypass pruner. The right place to cut is above the bud.

Pruning Rose StemRose Stem


Step-by-step pruning

  1. De-weed the rose plants with your hand by removing unwanted grass or leaves 

  2. Start by removing dead/ unhealthy stems& 

  3. Cut off thin stems that seem like crowding the tree 

  4. Prune more in the centre to increase air & light ventilation 

  5. Cut surface should be white. If brownish, re-cut until white surface is reached 

  6. Make all cuts above a leaf bud that points towards the outside of the plant 

  7. Remove any branches that grow at the bottom as this would cause the plant to sag 

  8. Keep only healthy branches with dark green leave

 

Treating Common Rose Problems

Here are the most common diseases that will hit your rose plants and treatment methods

  1. Powdery Mildew/Black Spots/Rust – It’s a fungal problem which occurs during dry & humid season. It has distinctive symptoms of white spots on leaves and stems. Left untreated, the leaves will start dropping and soon cause the plant to die off. Early treatment is best.

    Treatment: To reduce this problem, water the plants (best during mornings) on the soil & less onto the leaves, to avoid residue build up or moisture retain. Air circulation & sanitation is important to prevent this problem and this can be attained by frequent pruning and cleaning up of leaves. Try spraying mixture of 1 tsp baking soda, ½ tsp oil, & 1 litre of water to treat and stop this problem. Another treatment solution involves dusting sulfur on the leaves affected as this would help to prevent spread. You could also use chemical fungicides (at a controlled level) to exterminate this fungal diseases.

     

    Rose LeafRoes LeafsGreen Rose Leaf

     

  2. Rose Mosaic – Is a virus induced problem (Rose Mosaic Virus/RMV) that affects you plant. A whitish or yellowish mosaic form, zig-zag patterns appear. This disease reduces the plants vitality and blooming but hardly ever kills the plant.

    Treatment: Sadly, this kind of infection doesn’t have any treatment. The only way to control this problem is by thorough checking before purchasing a new plant or if suspected to have an infected plant in the garden; it is advisable to remove the infected plant all together.



    Rose Mosaic

Top 10 Indoor Couples Activity

Posted by Angelica on July - 27 - 2011

Quote of the day

“Just when a couple is able to afford to go out evenings, they’re too busy babysitting their grandchildren”

 

In a relationship, it’s essential to keep the spark burning by initiating activities together as a couple especially if you’ve been with your loved one for quite some time.

Most young couples these days are too busy with work & other chores that being there for each other and spending quality time with each other is simply taken for granted. By the time you realize the lost of bond, it might just be too late to get the chemistry back or to repair the connection. Even worst, your other half might have found someone else who’s keeping them busy and happier.

My tiny winy advice, you’ve found your soul mate, retain them! It takes time, effort & money. But the reward is priceless satisfaction.

 

  1. Make love… Again & again & again

    It costs no money, most pleasurable & highly satisfying. Never use excuses such as being tired, busy or having no time get in the way of your pleasure time with a loved one. The benefits of love making are endless. To spice things up, try candles, aromatherapy oils, massage oils, sexy lingerie, toys & other stuff. If you’re too shy to shop in a mall, try websites like Youumi or AdultToys.

  2.  

  3. Cook together & have a romantic candlelight dinner at home

    This highly involves both partners to contribute to preparing for this special night at home. The guy sets up the table for a nice candlelight dinner with champagne or wine. Put on some light jazz music to get the ambiences rising. The lady can prepare the dinner with the help of online recipes from Delish.com or Food.com. Don’t worry to swap task if the either one is a better cook. 😉

    Candle light dinner

  4. Movie marathon

    Get some nice DVD’s and just put on your PJ’s and get all comfortable in your sofa for a long list of your favorite movies. Prepare popcorns or other snacks to munch. The great thing about watching movie at home is you get to choose the sound, laugh or cry as loud as you like, & pause for toilet breaks whenever needed. Don’t forget to cuddle each other.

    Couples activity

     

  5. Create art together

    Being creative as a couple is a great way to enhance the relationship. Get a huge cardboard, paints, paintbrushes, and start a painting together. Be open to each other’s ideas and don’t forget to compliment the other person when he/she comes up with something nice. You’ll be surprised to see the end results of you co-joined work. If it turns out awesome, frame it, if not just laugh your guts out together and take a different hobby next time.

    Modern abstract art

  6. Have shower together

    Undress each other and hit the showers for a nice warm aromatherapy bath. Shampoo each other’s heads and scrub each other’s back. Light up some nice aromatherapy candles in the bathroom to have a more relaxed ambience. Rub oil/ lotion on each other after shower.

     

  7. Indoor couples exercise

    Try yoga or meditating together. Go to GaiamLife for some tips on couples yoga. Put on some relaxing music, and try to meditate in a quiet room. You could also try sit ups, waist bend, stretching, or dancing as couples.

     

  8. Board games/ Card games

    When was the last time you played a board game? Probably as a child. Try to re-kindle the innocents all over again. Try games like Jengga Blocks, Scrabble, Monopoly, Chess, pick-up-sticks, bingo, blackjack, and many others.

    Monopoly Board Game

  9. Home makeover

    Give your home a makeover by taking portions of the house for each other’s ideas & creativity. You might want to do the bedroom together though. Repaint the dining hall, change lightings in the bedroom, fix new wallpapers in the bathroom or change the curtains. A little change in the house will be a good way to revive the relationship as well. Get more ideas from Housebeautiful.com.

     

  10. Exchange love letters

    With the rise on internet, e-mail & hand phones, no one nowadays takes the time to write a love letter anymore. Sit in a quiet space as a couple and write down your feelings towards each other in a letter and exchange it with “yours truly”. Your other half will always have the memory of your handwriting instead of a Microsoft Word font. Keep the letters in a safe place & frequently re-visit to always reawaken the feeling you once had.

     

  11. Adopt a pet/plant

    So you’re not ready for kids. But it’s always good to train your relationship with a pet. A pet brings 2 people together. An animal love is endless and makes us think how small of a being we are in the universe. Make sure to take proper care of it, feeding it on time, maintaining its hygiene & shower it with love. If you’re not an animal person, try getting a “love plant” as a sign of your relationship. The happier the pet/ plant is, the happier your relationship would be!

    ———————–HamsterHaving a plant


View Top 10 Outdoor Couples Activity for more fun filling activities to do as a couple.
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Garden of roses – Part I

Posted by Angelica on July - 25 - 2011

 

Quote of the day

“In real life, unlike in Shakespeare, the sweetness of the rose depends upon the name it bears. Things are not only what they are. They are, in very important respects, what they seem to be.”

 

Types of roses

 

Roses are most probably the prettiest flowers on earth. Commonly available in many places around the world, it comes in different sizes, colors & shapes.There are more than 11,000 species of roses available around the world. Below is a list of the most common types, distinguish them by specific characteristic such as clusters, stems, flowers, & fragrance.

 

Floribunda – A cross of hybrid teas & rosa multiflora. Flowers are medium sized & have many petals which makes the flowers look full. Flowers grow in clusters per stem and throughout the year.

 A cross of hybrid teas & rosa multiflora.

 

Hybrid teas – A cross between hybrid Perpetuals & Tea roses. These are the oldest cultivar rose & the most popular. This rose produces only one blossom at the end of the stem. These flowers are known to have variable fragrance.

 A cross between hybrid Perpetuals & Tea roses

 

Grandiflora – A cross between hybrid teas & floribunda. Bigger flowers than floribunda are clustered at the end of large stems. Have variable fragrance.

A cross between hybrid teas & floribunda

 

Miniature roses – also known as China Roses, these dwarf plants bloom tiny flowers but highly clustered and bloomed roses last a long time.

also known as China Roses

 

Shrub roses – Disease-resistance, grows in a variety of climates with a minimum of attention, little pruning required, blooms beautiful flowers, consistently over a very long season. These make great as borders and fencing.

Shrub roses

Climbing roses – Have long arching stems that follows a supporting structure. Flowers are abundant and clustered and are great as entrance trails, balcony or archway.

Climbing roses

 

Tree roses – These roses are made of hardy root stock grafted to a long stem that is, in turn, grafted to a rose bush at the top of the stem.

Tree roses

 

Ground cover roses – They mostly grow low to the ground and the newer hybrids bloom when there’s plenty sunlight available.

Ground cover roses

 

More about roses coming soon. Part 2 of this post is being prepared. Subscribe to RSS or E-mail to receive update notification.

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