05 Household DIY and Tips – I

And welcome! 🙂 

It’s not a Tuesday, yet but here I am! First up, let me do some explaining on my post because it doesn’t seem like another daily rant! 

I’ve always wanted to do a bit of a DIY or Tips n’ Tricks post because I’m really big on these guys. I read, BuzzFeed and educate myself, improvise, replicate and voila! I titled this “I” because I hope to continue with my little tips that do work at my place. 

Before I proceed to the Big Five, let me give you an intro to my household setting. I live with my folks, in a house that some may consider a little too big for three people. I usually disagree, but I see the point when I do a mandatory broom-hug once a week. I’m quite OCD, would’ve labelled everything in the house, but alas, it isn’t “mine” and therefore, certain limitations and self control are of course expected noh. The following are a combination of “hacks” (for want of a better word) I have accumulated from the parents, online videos and articles and stuff I’ve tried, tested and succeeded with. 

a) Dettol and Water Spray Can 

How many of you all have issues with flies? You don’t? And you live in Sri Lanka? Pfft. 

Old spray can, water and dettol jam. Also, lol at "Maaraya" :D

Old spray can, water and dettol jam. Also, lol at “Maaraya” 😀

Well, like most average “tropical” households, ours is no different and there are flies, plenty when there are fishies to be cooked but gah. They annoy me. My step-dad initially came up with this bright idea and my friend’s mum (who is OCD at a whole new level) also used this excessively (also because their average fish consumption is well, above average) and voila, their house is fly free. I KNOW RIGHT. 

What you need:

  • An old spray can / bottle (preferably one of those air freshener or glass cleaner thingies you would otherwise throw away)
  • Dettol
  • Water

What you need to do: 

Add a bit of Dettol and dilute it with water (the quantity is variable, if you have kids in the house, more water would be advisable I suppose) and spray away! Works wonderfully on kitchen counters, sinks and stove tops. If I am meal-cooking, I usually Dettol-spray the whole kitchen before and after. 

*If the flies are of uncontrollable amounts, mop the floor straight up with Dettol added to your bucket of water. 

b) Zaza Fly Bait 

I don’t have a pic of this, because we seem to have run out of it at home! But warning, I don’t think it’s advisable if you have children around. It’s quite strong, it even once got a gecko killed. Rama, I know. It’s around LKR 80, easy peasy noh. I mean, it’s cheaper than a burger at McDonald’s! 😀 Basically, it’s just a few pink crystal like substance that you “serve” on the cardboard tray it comes with. You leave it at a highly fly-dense area and in no time you see the little suckers lying dead on the tray. Very sadistic and very pleasing. Muhaha.

c) Candles! 

Haha. Dilapidated. I think a candle update is required.

Haha. Dilapidated. I think a candle update is required.

I really like candles. From the scented, to the non-scented to the nikan white candles. I cannot imagine life without them. It once came to a point where I had so many candles that I burnt a few to make room for the others. Sigh. The sacrifice! For example, all bathrooms in the house have two essential things (apart from the usual toiletries): candles (and a match box) and handwash! 

The dining table candles that uhm no one uses. Ikr.

The dining table candles that uhm no one uses. Ikr.

In this instance, I use candles in my kitchen (again!) for flies! By now, you must think that I live in some fly-infested house. Lol. But truly, I don’t. It’s just that I use these options alternatively. For example, I can’t use candles, if the fan is on noh. The candle tip was a hand-me-down from the Mothership. Candles make everything better. Yay. 

d) Plastic Bag (uhm) Holder / Jar 

This is a BuzzFeed ripoff me thinks. To be honest, this is time consuming and I am the only person in the house genuinely interested in doing so and well, yea. If you live in a Lankan house or even Indian (I had the same problem there, except we had an extra basin in the house!) or wherever you end up with endless polythene bags,  – yes, I know I’m a green person and all and we have two standard grocery bags but for stuff like rice, vegetables or even with your weekly shopping and your reusable bags do not suffice! – you know what I am talking about. 

What you need: 

  • All the excess polythene bags in your kitchen
  • An old jar (I used on of the old jars we used to store sugar in. Most houses change their condiments or tea/sugar/coffee/milk jars periodically noh)
Well, that must be my Mother's effort of stuffing the bag in the jar. haha <3

Well, that must be my Mother’s effort of stuffing the bag in the jar. haha ❤

What you need to do: 

Basically you fold your bags in neat little squares and place it at the bottom of the jar. It:

  • Doesn’t stock up easily
  • Doesn’t leave your bags lying around
  • Makes things easy peasy

*You could also segregate your bags into different jars, depending on what was in the bag initially. Then, you could decide when reusing it if it should be your next garbage bag or the one you put your tomatoes in 🙂

e) Workstation Madness! 

So, if you are the type who works at home or works in front of a laptop for most part of the day, then this one is for you. 

One thing I have found consistent as a writer or an individual who writes is my need to get away from the laptop. Lol. I mean, any excuse to walk around the house and talk to myself and well you know, usual self-imposed distractions. 

So to keep myself on my bottoms, especially on the nice new chair my Mother got me *Yay MAMA! <3* I get all my essentials around me. This way, no excuse missy, you are seated right here. I also have a small-ish room and my book shelf is an arm’s reach away so tough luck!

My Table 

My table! Or bits of it.

My table! Or bits of it.

Has my headphones, water, tea! (yes for long nights and days), dictionary, thesaurus, various notebooks (I use different notebooks for different tasks), foot cream and day planner! And the rest of the junk you see lying around. When I declare to myself that my day is “done”, I write a list of things to follow up on the next day. I like to tell myself that it keeps me on my toes.

On the Ground 

My handbag or whatever bag I used last, my other notebooks, work-related reading material and more books. 

I also have my laptop and phone chargers next to me so well, you know, priorities. 

While clicking the pictures I did come with a few more “hacks” that I used, will share them soon. 

Thank you for reading and do let me know if there is anything I could try out as well! 

Have a blessed week my babies 🙂

How-To: Not Strain Your Caffeinated Beverage

It’s blogging Tuesday! Yes, I started my little trend hokay. And I meant to type this out yesterday while I was ‘not’ working [official working hours – tsk], but ended up working while I was at home and haw, we know what happened next.

Just a short intro to blogging Tuesday. I’ve been shape eke talked into cultivating a writing thinamajig. I’m still trying to figure out the thingamijaig part, but at least I thought one should start by abiding by a schedule. I mean Superwoman has videos every Monday and Thursday! See what I did there? 😉 I might to a more flared up post about #BloggingTuesday soon.

So this post is dedicated to all those who love their teas and coffees. For those who  order a cup of tea (coz some of cannot decide between Cappuccino, Americanos and Cafe Lattes – yes I am aware of the different milk to coffee ratios, but still) before they decide on the main course.

Point being, I love both my teas and coffees much more than white rum. Not lying. However, since India, I got used to dust-powder ish instant milk that doesn’t need to be strained *lazy individual* Shit got real when Anchor / Fonterra went and made a mess of things and us Anchor-babies had to shift to Highland *gasp* Moreover, I used to have Nescafe 3-in-1s at work coz I was again lazy and couldn’t be bothered with straining my tea / coffee! So the Mother, yes the woman of all things great, taught me a trick to avoid this hassle of straining and I felt a leetle obliged to share it with my great readership ❤

So I took pics at work yesterday and couldn’t switch the flash on. Also, just when I started mixing my coffee, milk and sugar, the lunch room had a sudden influx of people leaving me to sheer, attempted discretion.

Sorry the pics came after, I don’t know if it is possible to get the images next to the text, if it is possible then I clearly don’t know how it is done. Haw 😦 

Step 01 

Mix ingredients: coffee / tea, milk, sugar (I make tea the lazy way!)

Step 02

Mix all ingredients with a bit of cold water. Do not say that you thought it was hot water. I thought so too, but adding hot water would only require straining the darn thing once you are done.

Step 03

Stir well. Rofl. Okei once the stirring’s done use hot water and brim up the mug.

Step 04

Drink up! I’ve attached pics of both tea and coffee. The former is of tea bags though, work doesn’t inconvenience themselves with leaves lu.

Step 01: Coffee, milk and sugar

Step 01: Coffee, milk and sugar

Step 02: Add a bit of cold water

Step 02: Add a bit of cold water

Step 03: Brim up the mug with hot water

Step 03: Brim up the mug with hot water

Step 04: Drink up, coffee!

Step 04: Drink up, coffee!

Step 04: Drink up, tea!

Step 04: Drink up, tea!

Fasting for Dummies

Eek. I’ve had inquiries! 🙂 Okay, two, two. But still. Makes me sound a fasting Guru aite? Tsk.

To be honest, if it weren’t for religious purposes, I may have not fast either. Fasted either. Do people say fasted? It’s like saying cutted. ‘Have you cutted the sandwich, Alan?’ But then, there isn’t a red line beneath ‘fasted’. Haw moment.

So fasting. No biggie, I love fasting mainly coz I have a poor appetite, saves me time to do other things besides eating and obviously as I am no foodie. There is a definite religious part to it as well. God is good. Praise be to God. No, I’m not mocking God, get that look out of your face, now.

So if you are fasting for the first-est time ever, let me go veteran on you: start small. Yes, it’s all cool how some people go on for days without fasting. >insert Gandhi image if you forgot what he ended up looking like< #NoOffence

So the following compilation wasn’t derived from any ‘source’ as such, just a compilation I drew out based on my few years of fasting.

1. Start Small 

Wait, I already said that. But yes, let me say that again. Start small. DO NOT GET AMBITIOUS IT MIGHT LEAVE YOU LOOKING LIKE that anorexic chick who committed suicide coz she was too fat. Sorry if I’m being meaner than usual but it is vital that this gets across through the mass of hair, through the soft head and in to the skull and whatever other stuff we got in there. You might cause some serious harm to your system if you don’t.

2. The Twelve Hour Rule 

I don’t know what my obsession with fasting for twelve hours is. Even we fast for fourteen. But since it’s not a religious do and unless you are a morning person (which I am by no means not!) I would say twelve hours is a good deal to start with. Maybe you could try twenty-four once a month as a dare. There are some cultures / religious practices that abide to a twenty-four hour fast, however.

3. BIG Breakfast

Not from McDonald’s no. Unless we are talking triple cheese burger and a Chicken McJunior topped with fries and a shake. Slurp. Remember that you won’t be eating anything else throughout the day, you need enough fuel to get through the day and not end up with one of those ‘haw’ faces that generate negative vibes on a Monday morning.

4. It’s Okay to Drink Water 

I mean, we do have access to it, noh. I do pity those who don’t, sorry 😦 But do drink water, no harm in doing so. If you want to completely abstain from food and drink, I’d suggest the minimalising rule as opposed to stopping overnight. Lookie what smokers do, eh.

5. It’s Also Okay to Eat if You Have to 

If your fast begins at seven am and if you either need to beat the midday lag to look all swell for the meeting with the bosses or you are drained so much so that sun and music fail to have an effect on you, eat a cracker. Yes, reach out for and munch munch. You are not going to Hell.

6. Don’t Overdo 

Roll your eyes for all I care, but do not overdo your fasts. If fasting Days 01, 02, 03 went well with twelve hours each, that is not reason enough for you to launch into a twenty-four hour fast on Day 04. Remember you are trying to adjust your body to a pattern it is not used to.

Discipline, from what I know of it, especially that which pertains to your body is acquired over time. Also, it is such discipline that is more consistent than the ones achieved overnight. Kudos to the overnight consistent exceptions though. But fasting even to me, started off small. As a child, I used to fast half-day and occasionally give in to temptations. Over the years, I have learnt to abstain from that which is tempting 🙂

Didn’t feel the need to Google coz I somehow trust my instincts on this one and like most generalisations, you maybe the exception! So improvise to a way that would best fit you and comment if you have suggestions or more stuff to add.

Have a great week ahead!

Tertiary Education in SL for Dummies

So you are done with your first degree. Back – ‘home’, I am tempted to say, – in India, an undergraduate degree immediately follows a postgraduate degree with no work in between. However, over here things take a different turn to things. A one that is not too pretty, I’m afraid.

The content that follows is based purely on experiences encountered the past few weeks.

Postgraduate degrees take a turn (for the worse) when:

a) You are a girl.

b) You are Muslim.

c) You are in your early 20s.

d) I’m not even going to write this.

The questions you are subjected to could be any one (or more) of the following:

a) What do you want to study?* (If you are clueless it usually follows a -) You must at least have an ‘idea’ of what you want to study?

b) (If in the event of having stated broader areas of study) You have to be specific about you want to study?

c) (When visiting local universities) At least two years of work experience is required. (Your response being) I’ll see you in 2015 (bitch.)

d) (When calling up universities that don’t require work experience) I’m sorry our intake was in February. You can try for January 2014. (Yeah I’ll just be an year older. Not necessarily wiser but drawing closer to my marriageable age).

e) (When emailing local universities) Being replied with the email you sent them a few weeks ago.

f) The dread of waiting for foreign universities to respond.

g) Saving the best for last, “You are too young to do your Masters.” (I hope all you Indians are reading this. 22 is too young. I repeat, twenty-two is too young.)

May God save us Graduates.

* A rhetorical question in my opinion. It’s like asking someone what they want to be or better, what their purpose is in life. I’m sorry but not all of us had our ‘calling’.

Fainting for Dummies

So for the first time in my life today, I fainted. I always thought it’d have more Anne Shirley romance but sadly, it had none of it. I broke a table. But hey, I’ve always been wanting to write a dummy series – tsk – followed by a review series. Keep your fingers crossed!

So after having been brought to life by the two lovely, pretty, intelligent, I-will-stop-there Nepali girls, who helped me to the bed in the hall – yes they have a bed in the hall – I knocked off in about half an hour after having Googled as to why you faint and what you do when you faint and how to prevent fainting and symptoms that you are about to faint and zzz.

So here are a few things I thought you should know about what you should do, when you faint, as the pass-out-er.

*Do not panic – I know it’s obvious but even if you are in pain, just try not to show it as much, unless you are bleeding your red blood cells off. It just causes unnecessary Rama.

*If you can speak, just say, “Water” and try to throw in an “I’m okay” (if you can).

*Find yourself to a bed / mattress / floor and lie down. Switch on a fan and  / or open a window. Point being, get some air in to your system, lungs, and wherever else that air finds itself to.

*Drink water.

*Sweets! I had chocolate chip cookies at 4.30 am. Mind you, I’ve got no sweet tooth but it was like manna in my mouth 😀

*Apologise for the broken table.

*Fire up https://seniinthebox.wordpress.com/2013/03/30/fainting-for-dummies/ 😉 or Google to soothe your yourself.

*If you live away from home, do not call them up at 4.30 am. You are not dying for Heaven’s sake. Grow up.

*Wake up the next morning and ask your Mum to call you and explain the situation. Tell her you’ll be be a good girl (or boy) and go check your BP in the evening from the nearby Hospital. Like seriously, I’ll suggest you go but if you think you are okay types, it’s alright to miss today but do go within the next few days to pacify yours and Mum’s paranoia.

*Have breakfast and start a new collection of candy in your handbag / wallet.

*Go home and write a blog about it. Also, you are entitled allowed to use it an excuse to not study!

(y)

However, on a more serious note, it’s not that much of a big deal. And no, I’m not being modest but, there are worse things that happen to people so quite worrying yourself.