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Simple pasta recipe

Here is a really nice pasta recipe. Nice simple flavour entertains my family every time.

It’s perfect for summer meal. This is also a good dinner recipe when your family members are a bit sick or tired.

– Makes 4 serves –

  • Spaghetti - 350g
  • Bacon - 4 slices - cut into small strips
  • Cherry Tomatoes - 16 - cut into halves
  • Mushrooms - half cup - sliced
  • Garlic - 2 cloves - finely chopped
  • White wine - 4 table spoon
  • Olive oil - small amount
  • Lemon - half - juiced
  • Salt to boil pasta and taste
  • Pepper to taste

<optional>

  • Avocado - 1 - cut into pieces
  • Cheese to garnish
  • Parsley to garnish

– Method –

  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente.
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a frying pan, cook bacon strips, tomato halves, mushroom and garlic.
  3. Add white wine to the bacon mix.
  4. Keep 1/4 cup of pasta boiling water and drain the rest.
  5. Add the pasta and the pasta water into the frying pan.
  6. Mix in lemon juice and taste with salt & pepper.
  7. <optional> Mix in avocado pieces.

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Simple Living

Lots happened while I was having a break from blogging. The biggest thing was definitely a loss in my family late last year. My father passed away. It changed something fundamental in my mind.  It was an opportunity to think about a life again. I thought about all the things around me, love, friends, family, laughter and fun. Life is too short… I really think so. Thinking back what I have been doing in the last six months, I was always planning on what’s in the future. Planning on what to do on the weekend, who to call this week, what to eat for lunch today… Planning itself is fun for me because it gives me a time to be creative and dream about the future. But I now think I’ve been forgetting to enjoy the ‘real’, current moment. For an example, I would like to be rich one day so I dream of being surrounded by nice new furnitures etc. Recently, I bought a set of plastic cups for my ten month old son. They are very cheap cups that wouldn’t fit in my dream ‘rich life’, but I somehow enjoyed using those plastic cups more than my fancy glasses to drink some water. It reminded me a movie that I watched years ago. It showed a simple life of a happy family. They weren’t rich or anything, just normal family like mine but I really liked the way they lived. They wake up and go for a walk in the morning, eating simple but healthy meals, talk to each other a lot to communicate and care for each other, everyone makes effort to be on time for family dinner every night. They enjoy lots of love and laughs around them. I think that’s the way of life I like to have, a happy life beats a rich life.

So, I decided to pay more attention to ‘now’ moments to enjoy more of them. I am pretty happy at the moment by having a simple life. Hopefully it continues for a long time.

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A Step To Find Your Life Purpose

As I mentioned in the previous post, I’m in the journey of searching for my life purpose. My life has been good so far but I feel I want something more, something that brings more fulfillment. I started reading self help books and articles.

It seemed there are many people who have been doing the same thing. Why am I here? What do I want to do with my life? These kinds of questions are hard to answer. Yet many of us still try to find it. When they do find it, their lives become more meaningful and they will gain an inspired life.

I haven’t yet to find it but as a first step of my learning curve, there is something from my readings that’s stuck in my head for weeks. Maybe, this is a message to link to my untapped area of self development. If you are not sure about your life purpose, this is an interesting book to read - What should I do with my life? by Po Bronson - and here is the sentences that’s stuck in my head.

“Often we burn 70 percent of our emotional energy on what we fear might happen (90 percent of which won’t happen). By devoting our energy to our other emotions, we will heal naturally.”

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Looking for a life purpose

When I was younger, I struggled to find my life purpose. It seemed lik a common problem for everyone around me. After years of searching for it I finally found it in my late twenties… or I thought I found it.

The other day I had a chance to think about my life purpose again, then what I had since my twenties appeared so outdated. It used to describe what’s important to me in life, but it doesn’t suit me anymore.

Life purpose can change as you grow up

This was my new discovery. I didn’t know that a life purpose could change. It changes when you grow up (in terms of improvement, not physical growth), or when your purpose is met, or possibly for many other reasons.

My moral and ethcal perspectives have changed a lot over the last few years so it’s not really surprising that what I think important had changed.

So, again, I’m in search for my life purpose. In the process, I want to focus on listening to my mind & soul by shuting down external influences as much as possible, so that I can be ‘true me’. Hopefully, the true me can tell me what I really want to do with my life. I will cut down my internet usage too since it leads to external influences on me. So I will be blogging less often untill my mind clears itself and find its place.

It’s a journey of life. I decided to enjoy this process.

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Save Time & Organize your house efficiently

Lately I’ve been on an efficiency kick. I’ve been doing lots of exercise, meetings, and future planning, and asking myself, how can this be more efficient?

We are living in a time poor era. Somehow we are haunted by chores of various sorts.  Abundance of time is what we dream of. I’m sure that if you are given a bunch of free time you’ll enjoy it and use it as productive (or unproductive) as possible.

When I do occasionally get those free times, I try to plan how I want to use those times. Often I choose to be productive and plan lots of things to do within that time frame, such as organizing a catch up with old friends who live far from me or do a complete garden makeover. When I succeed to spend the time efficiently, I feel so good and satisfied.

However, those free times don’t always come with a notice in advance. They visit me when I am least expecting. When that happens I just get blinded. I know there are lots of things I’ve been thinking about doing, but I just end up standing there, not knowing where to start.

So I’ve been looking at everyday activities in my life and asking myself if there are better way or more efficient way of using time and doing the house chores.

For an example, I spend lots of time in the kitchen. Most of the time I’m holding my baby in one arm and using the other arm to do the kitchen work. There are limited activities that one arm can handle, and carrying the extra weight (of the baby) makes it even harder. If every kitchen items are placed at the level of my free arm, it would be lots easier. but that’s simply not possible. so I thought about activities I do in the kitchen, in terms of how often, how important, how hard to complete those activities, and how I can make those activities easier for me. One thing became clear was that most of the time when I’m in the kitchen, I make tea or coffee. That happens many times a day. The hardest part of the simple activity is when I grab milk out of the fridge because the milk is placed on the bottom shelf of the fridge door. That makes me to squat to get it as if I’m touching the floor. Maybe this little squat is OK to do once or twice a day, but it happens rather often than that. so it doesn’t make sense to have milk at the bottom shelf and have a tomato sauce at my arm level because I use milk several times a day and I hardly use tomato sauce (maybe once in every few weeks). It was easy decision to swap the location of those items in the fridge but until that location change, I didn’t see that the original location was inefficient. I guess it wasn’t a conscious decision when I first placed milk where it was.

When I buy a fridge next time I would probably buy one with fridge-on-top-of-freezer style because the fridge is at my arm level and I use fridge more often than freezer. If I think about how many times a day I have to bend over to get an item from the fridge, the current style of fridge (freezer on top of fridge) seems a bit stupid.

Similar changes I’m going to make in the kitchen are where cookware goes in the cupboard especially heavy items like cast iron pans. Every time I pull them out of the cupboard - again, from the bottom shelf - my back cries. It happens again when I put them away after washing up, back to the bottom shelf. They don’t make sense to be there!!

It reminded me a kitchen-product-demonstrator at a shop while ago. She was demonstrating a hand sized chopper, that chops veggies in small pieces very easily with a few palm pushes instead of a hundred cuts of knife. One of the viewers asked her that the chopper does everything a food processor does, what’s the point of buying her chopper if you have a processor. She asked the viewer “How often do you actually get the food processor out of your cupboard and actually use it?” The viewer said “never”.

If that’s happening in your kitchen or like my situation - backache comes with casserole dinner - is happening, it doesn’t make sense does it? We don’t consciously think about what we are doing when those things become a habit. I certainly didn’t think about my backache until the pain builds up and it needs a session of remedial massage.

I’m not saying I’m going to leave every cookware on the kitchen bench, because that will cause a broken window situation and it won’t be efficient. What I’m saying is the importance of this question: “Why you are doing what you are doing in the way you are doing” - This is what most of us forget to ask ourselves. If you want to live consciously, this is a starting point.

When I finish organizing my kitchen, I’d probably work on my computer desk, then living room and the rest of the house. I can think of so many items out of order, causing inefficiency and waste of lots of time. No wonder I rarely feel the satisfaction of the efficient time usage.

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