Movie: Coraline

Every now and then, the little kid in me still enjoys watching cartoons and eating cupcakes. So I am planning to see this movie when it comes out soon. And I will give my movie review later.


This will be the first movie project for Laika Animation Studio in Portland, Oregon. The movie was filmed using stop-motion animation. This is where the hands and every other part of the characters (puppets) in the movie are manipulated frame by frame. This is done to achieve movement and expression and to tell a very realistic looking story. I am a big fan of claymation and am looking forward to seeing how this movie will compare. Other features in this movie people will notice is that some theatres (including one near our city) will offer 3-D screenings. Read the rest of this entry »


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My favorite classic suede Converse has seen better days and the side is starting to rip. With a little bit of Shoe Goo, it will not end up in the landfill just yet. I plan to use it as my dirty chores shoe now.

simplesustainSince it’s time to shop for another comfortable walking shoe, I’ve decided to get something made by Simple. They are an interesting green company that was started in Santa Barbara, CA back in 1991. Simple Shoe company is committed to making their product 100% sustainable. Finding materials and processes that make the products sustainable is a method called “Green Toe”. Some of the products found in their shoes are listed in the colorful bubble drawings here – from hemp to bamboo.

The company follows the Deckers Ethical Supply Chain Guidelines. I’ve never heard of it until I came across Simple’s website. It’s a good concept and more companies should strive to do the same. You can read more about it here. A little excerpt below:

“Deckers Outdoor Corporation respects internationally recognized human rights and environmental standards and places them at the core of our business practices. We believe that no business should ever be complicit in human rights abuses. We promote greater environmental responsibility and we encourage the development and use of environmentally friendly technologies. Read the rest of this entry »

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Rooftop Gardens & Urban Farmers

A great way to bring a bit of nature into city living is having a rooftop garden. People usually think of rooftop city gardens as only being in New York City. Usually places used to hold cocktail parties. But rooftop gardening is nothing new, it has been seen in the Hanging Garden of Babylon to the Kensington Roof Garden in London , England.

The popularity of roof gardens have grown in many other cities in the United States as well. Even people in Vancouver, B.C. are joining in on rooftop gardening too. From hotels, restaurants to local organizations. I think that is a great use of extra space and a way to add a bit of green space. It may even help clean the air too.

englandrtgarden2Photo credit: Risc’s Rooftop Garden.

Another successful rooftop garden comes from England. The one pictured here is of Risc’s edible roof garden. The garden is complete with over 120 species of edible and medicinal trees, shrubs, vines and plants from around the globe. You can read more about the place here.

Rooftop gardens are usually seen as ornamental gardens, but the idea of growing your own food is gaining popularity. A great organization based out of Vancouver, B.C. by the name of City Farmer’s has a collection of stories about their work in Vancouver, Canada, and about urban farmers from around the world.

Continue reading post here.

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Best Skin Care Supplements

Beauty magazines are always talking about the latest skin cream that will take away the wrinkles or soothe the occasional skin problems. But little do we realize that taking supplements can also improve our skin from the inside out. A healthy diet can also do wonders for you skin. Since we don’t usually get our vitamins from the everyday food, it’s fine to add supplements.


A diet consisting of fish is very good. But watch out for the high levels of mercury, especially found in tuna. Wild salmon such as the one pictured here is one of the better pick.

Here is my list of what I think is the best skin care supplements to use daily.  Please click here to see the list.

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Pomegranate Fruit & Leaf

Pomegranates are amongst one of the most popular superfruits. These superfruits are classified as fruits with very high antioxidant levels. They include blueberries, Acai berries, and goji berries. I remember years ago not many people heard of this fruit, let alone knew how to eat them. One summer I bought a huge pomegranate for my friend as a treat and she didn’t know how to eat it. The fruit ended up being part of her home decor.

pomeleavesNow you can find just the seeds (packaged in plastic containers) at the super market. It is commonly used in salads. The fruit itself consist of many small seeds. The colors range from white to deep red, and are called arils. I have found that the deeper the color, the more tangy the seeds. The ones my mom grows in her garden are very sweet. The skin is light red and the seeds are almost white to pink. It gets even sweeter when it ripes and the skin starts to crack a bit.

Just like the loquat fruit I mentioned earlier, the leaves of the pomegranate can also be used to make tea.  To continue reading this post, please go here.

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Book Review: Classic Knits

I just saw the most pretty yet subdue knitting book ever. It’s Classic Knits: 15 Timeless Designs to Knit and Keep Forever by Erika Knight. I am not the expert knitter, as I have never successfully knit anything more than a scarf.

If you are interested in classic design and can’t really knit any of the patterns in the book, you can still find ready made items and include them into your wardobe. Personally, I always like the idea of mixing a few classic items with trendy ones. Classic designs are the best since the style will last much longer for years to come. Unlike trendy pieces that can only be worn for a few seasons.

The photography in this book is also very beautiful. The background feels like somewhere in an Irish or English country cottage mixed with Parisian city apartments. Katya de Gunwald, who is the photographer, did a great job highlighting the clothing and setting. At first, it felt a bit solemn, but it’s still bright enough to feel like spring is just around the corner.


This picture above is a classic, but mix the nice leather boots and it looks modern. I love the combination of polka dot dress and a simple sweater. The decor reminds me of a drafty English home. It could probably use some fresh flowers, or maybe even a sleeping cat.

The three pictures in the photo gallery are some of my favorite from the book. I also like the cute little navy vest. I think I have one like it in wool, but unfortunately it was thrown in the washing machine and shrunk! I love the classic knit messenger bag. Just the right size for all your magazines and books. And finally, the soft caramel color sweater is sweet, but with an air of elegance.

If you like classic designs, I think you’ll like this book. And if you can’t knit, just keep it as an inspirational picture book. Please note, all pictures are copyrighted by Erika Knight and Katya de Grunwald. Please do not take photos without permission of artist. Thank you!

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Loquat Fruit and Leaves

Loquats are one type of fruits that are first to appear in spring. While most other fruits don’t appear or ripen up until summer or autumn. The loquat tree is also considered to be an evergreen, as the leaves do not turn brown and fall, very much like citrus trees.

These fruit trees originated from China, but can bee seen growing in much warmer climates of the U.S., from Texas to California. Even in the warmer parts of Europe too. They are actually fast growing trees and very easy to propagate. The best part is that they are drought resistant trees. So this would be a great time to grow one, especially when water is scarce.


As seen here, the photo of young loquats and leaves growing in San Jose, Ca. This photo was taken in springtime. The leaves are glossy green in the front but fuzzy in the back. And the fruit itself can be a bit fuzzy like a peach too.

The fruit is tangy to sweet. But it is delicious when it ripens and turn yellow. Loquat fruit and leaves have high concentrations of Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron, Potassium, Vitamin A and Ascorbic Acid.

The leaves can also be used to make tea. I have made tea with some of the dried leaves and the taste is very light.

Continue reading here.

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