Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Celebrities by The Times

Sam Raimi

Roberto Bolle

Anna Paquin

LL Cool J

Drew Barrymore

Garret Dillahunt

Just a small selection of the awesome photographs from the
L.A. Times "Celebrities" gallery.

from L.A. Times

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

...just one of these days....

....just one of these days when life got the better of me and I wished I was somewhere else....

This was taken on a farm in Australia where Frank and I spent some of the most memorable days of our life. Indeed, I wish I was there with my baby now! Miss you!

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Water saving shower designs

We read and hear a lot about how we need to go green, save water and sacrifice comfort – but what if you could do the first two without the third? This ingenious gadget adds air into the middle of water drops right inside an existing shower head, churning the spray so it aerates naturally. As a result, users have the feeling of using a full-power shower while wasting a third less water – space is simply displaced in the stream and replaced with air.

Low flow designs involve compromise as do most other water-saving shower heads. This innovative idea is projected to be able to save tens of thousands of liters of water per year per household – or, say, enough water to fill 45,000 Olympic swimming pools were everyone in Australia to begin using one. Just imagine the environmental impact in terms of water saved on a global scale

The aeration process by CSIRO Manufacturing Materials Technology, while complicated to develop, is remarkably easy and cheap to implement in its final form – water is essentially sucked out of the stream, mixed with air at differential pressures, Â and the air bubbles then remain inside water droplets as they pass out into your shower. So far, no one seems to be able to perceive any difference – you can just add this filter to your shower and forget about it, until you see the savings on your next water bill anyway.

(via dornob)

Congrats to Vitali

I'm not much of a boxing fan, however, I've always been fascinated by Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko. To me, they represent the ideal athlete, with a perfect body. Almost like a Greek sculpture. They also have a very likeable personality. So, congrats to Vitali for defending his Heavyweight World Championship!

(photo L.A. Times)

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Fall impressions....

Today was a perfect day. My sweet hubby and I took a long walk, enjoying the sunshine and the beautiful colors. This is why I love fall! Not the cold wet days, but the sunny ones, the change of colors on the trees, the clean, brisk air. Beautiful!

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Cala de Joncols

Part two of "memorable culinary experiences"...

There's a lovely place on the Costa Brava where we spent a couple of days with our friend Maike from Barcelona. It's a beautiful bay near Roses and Figures. Situated in a "Natural Park" is the small Hotel Cala de Joncols (that's also the name of the bay). The location is fantastic. Great hiking possibilites with breath-taking views. The hotel has its own scuba diving base and water taxis to reach the touristic centers along the coast.

However, as beautiful and romantic as the scenerie around is, as bad was the hotel service. It was over-priced and the staff was unfriendly and peeved most of the time. They are the ONLY hotel within the Natural Park and very secluded... so it figures. You just don't have much of a choice but pay for their over-priced drinks and meals. At least the quality of the food was good. Still, we made the most of the situation and enjoyed our days there - and it's certainly worth a trip, as long as you stay in a different hotel :)

On our way back to Barcelona, we stopped in Roses and ate
the best Paella EVER in a small local bar.
(just looking at this pic sets my mouth watering ....)

...followed by the most wonderful Crema Catalan....

I wish I had the name of the bar, but we forgot to write it down. It was definitely a very memorable culinary experience. I love the Spanish cuisine anyway, but this was really delicious beyond words.

all photos courtesy of Maike. For more of her work, go here.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Our bedroom closet... in a perfect world...

In a perfect world... THIS is how our bedroom closet would look like :)
(and for a split second I toyed with the idea of uploading the "real life" bedroom closet... However, I've decided the world is not prepared for this sight yet ;)

All pictures from the Ars Nova Collection.

Sydney turns red: dust storm blankets city

This looks kind of surreal...

The dusty blanket that wrapped itself around Sydney this morning pushed air pollution levels to 1500 times their normal levels - the highest on record, a climate scientist says.#

Dr John Leys, principal research scientist with the NSW Department of Climate Change and Water, said initial estimates showed the dust plume stretched 600 kilometres along the NSW coast from Sydney to the Queensland border this morning, dumping up to 75,000 tonnes of dust per hour into the Tasman Sea.

Harbour Bridge this morning

The view of Sydney city from Macquarie Street as a blanket of dust covering the city of Sydney from a dust storm.

Red dust on a car

People exercising at Coogee Beach

Sydneysiders have woken to a red haze unlike anything seen before by residents or weather experts, as the sun struggles to pierce a thick blanket of dust cloaking the city this morning.
Callers flooded talkback radio, others hit social networking sites and scores of emails were received from readers as Sydney residents expressed their amazement at this morning's conditions.
"It's just red, red, red as far as you can see," one caller at the Anzac Bridge told 2GB.

The dust has caused havoc with the city's transport system this morning, with visibility on the roads reduced to just a few hundred metres in some places.

Health problems

Emergency services had also been stretched by the conditions.
The Ambulance Service said it had experienced an increase in calls from asthma sufferers as a result of the dust haze this morning. Some were taken to hospital, a spokeswoman said.

Read the full article here.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Congrats to my favorite show :)

Emmy Award 2009 for "Best Drama"!

chocolate cream cheese cupcakes

Hmmm.... doesn't that look yummy???... must try out this one!

Chocolate Cream Cheese Cupcakes

makes 12 cupcakes

:: for cupcakes ::
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 cups water
2 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp vanilla extract

• preheat oven to 350 degrees F. line muffin cups with paper liners.
• in a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, cocoa, salt and baking soda. stir in butter, water, vinegar and vanilla until blended. pour mixture into prepared muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full.

:: for cream cheese filling ::
1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup apple sauce
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips

• in a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese, apple sauce, agave nectar and salt until light and fluffy. stir in chocolate chips. drop a heaping teaspoonful of the cream cheese mixture into each cupcake. bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. allow to cool completely before icing.

:: for cream cheese frosting ::
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
3 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar

• using electric mixer, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract in large bowl until smooth. add powdered sugar, beating until smooth.

via milk eggs chocolate

Mad Men Emmy nomination...

Yay! Fingers crossed for my absolute favorite show at the moment! I don't care if they're up there for the second time in a row. They deserve it! This show rocks on so many levels! Writing, photography, acting... just AWESOME!

Jon Hamm, left, with January Jones in “Mad Men,” was nominated for best actor in a drama. The AMC series also received a best drama nod and multiple acting and writing nominations.
Photo: AMC

And fitting right into that time, here's a great piece of advertising art that just sold for 2.250 GBP at Christies. ADORABLE!

Photo: Christie's Images Ltd.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Lakeside Cabin....

The idea for the cabin is that of a lakeside shelter in the woods—a little box with a big window that opens to the surrounding landscape. The cabin’s big window-wall (30 feet by 20 feet) opens the entire living space to the forest and lake. Materials are low maintenance—concrete block, steel, concrete floors and plywood—in keeping with the notion of a cabin, and left unfinished to naturally age and acquire a patina that fits in with the natural setting. The cabin sleeps ten.

via Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects.

Friday, 18 September 2009

A night out in Rome with Maike ;)

A couple of weeks ago I had a great dinner with my friend Maike from Barcelona. We went to my new favorite Italian Restaurant and had a blast!

I was fascinated by the way they folded the napkins there. Luckily, Maike had her Canon with her (actually, she rarely travels without it :) and today she sent me the pics for my blog here.

Thanks, Hun!

We must definitely repeat that soon. I've decided to post some more pics on this blog from other "memorable" culinary experiences we shared :) (La Bombeta springs to mind ;)

To me, you're the best photographer in the world, Hun!

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Fleetwood Mac

This is an ACAPELLA version of Lindsey Buckinham's masterpiece - Go Your Own Way

Here's the full music version :) - Can't wait to see them live in October :)

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

RIP Patrick Swayze

R.I.P and thanks for so many memorable moments on screen!
(and for my first "crush" on a fictional character... Orry Maine!)

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Most Amazing Aquariums

Dubai aquarium in the Dubai Mall

Stingrays swim in the Dubai aquarium in the Dubai Mall, which covers the area of 50 soccer pitches. The Dubai Aquarium – vast, entertaining, an engineering marvel, three storeys tall and featuring glass ‘walk-through’ tunnels that contain exotic marine life.

Churaumi Aquarium

World’s Second Largest Aquarium , Churaumi Aquarium,part of the Ocean Expo Commemorative National Government Park located in Motobu, Okinawa, Japan; capacity: 7,500-cubic meters (1,981,290 gallons) of water; one of the few places where visitors can see a great variety of sea creatures including sharks and manta rays.

UShaka Marine World

Largest Aquarium in Africa – UShaka Marine World, located on the strip of land between the beachfront and the harbor in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa; a beautiful amusement park and at the same time the worlds fifth largest aquarium with 32 water tanks. The sea creatures found in the aquarium range from small sea horses all the way through to sharks and dolphins. The Aquarium is built to look like an old wreck.

AquaDom, Radisson Hotel Aquarium

World’s Largest Cylindrical Aquarium , AquaDom, Radisson Hotel Aquarium, Berlin; 25 meters high aquarium, with a capacity of 260,000 gallons of water and over 2,500 fish (56 species); visitors can travel through the aquarium using an encased elevator and get to the top where there is a restaurant and an open view of the city; hotel rooms can also experience the underwater view.

The 32 million dollar Virtual Aquarium

World’s Largest Virtual Fish Tank, 30 by 250 meters LED screen or 32 million dollar Virtual Aquarium mounted at about 80 feet in the air between two shopping malls in Beijing.

(all via here)