Monthly Archives: May 2014

Our new toy: Chormecast

For those of you who are unaware of what Chormecast is, it is the latest in Google’s recent string of TV/internet-connected devices. The Chromecast is a small thumb drive size USB stick that plugs into the back of your TV and allows you to stream video and content from your phone, tablet or computer to your television screen. The Chromecast device connects to your TV’s HDMI port and uses your Wi-Fi network to stream your videos, music, pictures etc.

AS has been reading about it for a few months now and was annoyed that it was not available in Australia. He thought it would be great for us as we use an HDMI cable to connect our TV and computer. The bad thing about the HDMI is that it has a long wire gets disconnected easily if you move your laptop around With Chromecast this can be done wirelessly.

Finally, Chormecast is available here and we got it yesterday. It is only $49 so not a big hole in our pocket. We set it up after work and it worked so well. It was so easy to set up.

To set up Chromecast, all you need is a TV with an HDMI port, a Wi-Fi connection and either a computer with Google’s Chrome browser or a mobile device with Google’s Chromecast app. Simply connect the Chromecast to your TV’s HDMI port, visit chromecast.com/setup on your PC, download the app and follow the instructions from there.

Now we can use the Chromecast with our mobile, tablets and laptop without connecting any wires and it’s available on iOS too.

Chromecast also allows us to further multitask with our digital media; for example I could be using Facebook on my tablet while streaming a video to the TV simultaneously.

I have to say it is one of the best devices we have bought and the price is just too good.

Take care,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

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Jumping Ship from Android to iPhone

I have contemplated switching to iPhone from Android many times and now as my old Samsung Galaxy SII is slowly dying, it was time for me to buy a new phone and I decided on iPhone 5S. Finally I have switched to iPhone and I have to admit I am a bit lost.

As an android user the biggest adjustment to using iPhone is navigating my way through iOS. Even though I use an iPad, I find it hard to do certain things on iPhone. I am sure I will be fine with my phone after a month but for the next few days, I am going to miss these features from my Samsung Galaxy phone.

The back button

The “back” soft key which takes you one step backward. If you opened a program and want to go back to the previously opened program, you tap the right soft key. When I’m using my iPhone, I really miss the back key and I’m constantly tapping the right side wondering why nothing is happening.

I also miss a lot of functionality accessed via the left soft key.

Mini SD Card

I didn’t realise (lack of research) that iPhone doesn’t take mini SD card which I have used in my phones for the last 5 years. Every time I change phones it has been easy as I save all my music, books, and a few videos in the mini SD card but now I have to transfer everything to my phone.

Screen size

I think I got used to the screen of my Samsung Galaxy that I feel iPhone screen is too small. I am hoping it is just a phase and I will be OK with the screen size in due time.

Compulsory use of iTunes

One of the most important things I need on your computer for using your iPhone is iTunes unlike android where I could easily manage my music, podcasts, and movies without it. I feel so locked in and restricted but I know I have no choice.

On screen customization

There are so many ways to customize the way that your home screen looks in my Samsung but I couldn’t find that feature in iPhone.

Things are not all bad. I have already found out a few things in my new iPhone I like so I guess I would be OK in the long run.

Camera

I think my new iPhone has a better camera than my of Samsung SII, beautiful pictures, and great features like high dynamic range, so I am now ready to take more photos  :).

iOS

The iPhone user interface is much more polished.

Accessories

I am also looking forward to using cool iPhone accessories now that I have jumped the ship. I noticed when I had Samsung that iPhone has more options in term of accessories so now I can take my pick.

I have to admit that as I have been using Android long enough to accumulate a decent number of apps and a good-sized music library, photos, contacts, and calendars, it was fairly easy to transfer everything. Glad it is almost done now and I can carry only one phone.

I have a feeling that after few months I will discover more cool features and apps in my new iPhone and I will rave about it but right now, it is a bit of a pain in the butt.

Please share any useful iPhone apps that you use for a novice iPhone user :).

Happy Friday and take care,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Period craving

I feel like I talk about periods all the times, I have talked about it in the post like “There is no such thing as a happy period” and “I hate those cycle.” Today I am coming back to it again and talking about period carving.

In the beginning I didn’t understand my urge for food especially just before the period and during it so I would get stressed as I was eating a lot of junk food at those times but with some research I managed to calm down as I found out that it is normal.

Just like other PMS symptoms, such as cramping, bloating, and moodiness, cravings are caused by fluctuations in the hormones. I believe most women and especially men are completely unaware of this thus my blog about it.

According to experts a woman’s need for magnesium, sugar, carbohydrates, salt and water increases dramatically between ovulation and menstruation. Our caloric needs fluctuates through our cycle. That means we need to eat more on some days than others. Right before we start our period, the levels of the hormones estrogen, serotonin, and cortisol in our body will shift. These hormonal changes result in cravings. The bad thing about these craving is that it leads me to binge excessively on crappy food like chips, fried food and chocolates that leaves me feeling bloated.

One common symptom of PMS is craving particular types of food. No wonder I want chocolate for snacks and samosa for tea. There are even days when I am so hungry that I feel like I can eat a whole elephant. That is the worst part as I feel that I can easily put on weight during those 7 days and I am back to square one in my weight loss plan.

I know the key to managing my cravings during this time of the month is to try to prevent myself from going overboard. So these days instead of denying myself, I indulge a bit. I go for smaller portions like these days I am enjoying Lindt dark chocolates with almond during period but just one small piece a day. I am eating whatever I want, but eat it in a mindful way. I believe that if you are mindful with the food you are craving you will feel satisfied with less, and may even realized that it is not what your body is actually asking for.

The good news is that according to the experts, this kind of moderate “indulgence” is unlikely to have much of an effect on our weight. Scientists have also demonstrated that most girls and women burn extra calories just prior to starting their periods. So, as long as you keep your chocolate “fixes” small, you should find that you can include them as part of a balanced, healthy diet.

For all the men out there, please get her what she wants to eat during this time as it is a part of the body cycle. And please do not lecture on how bad junk for the body is or how we look bloated as that it the last thing we want to hear. It will really help if there are people around who can understand us during this time.

Do you/your partner have period craving? What do you/she crave?

Take care everyone,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Why do so many drivers never use their indicators these days?

I know I shouldn’t be annoyed at petty things in life but sometimes I wonder what people are thinking when they are driving. When I need to turn or change lanes, I don’t even have to think, my hand automatically moves to indicate my intention but I have lately seen so many drives turn or change lanes without the indicators. I don’t understand why drivers are so lazy that they can’t make the effort to flick a switch.

It can be laziness in their part but that is really serious as this can lead to accidents and even death in worse cases. The worst part is they are not putting only themselves in danger but others on the road as well.

Because of their laziness and selfishness there are times there is unnecessary traffic congestion on the road. Say if I am waiting to go straight on a two-lane road and the driver in front of me is going right but didn’t blink until the last minute, I won’t be able to change lanes in time and go straight on the left lane which means I am stuck behind him. On top of that the drivers behind me will be stuck as well as they can’t see the indicator in the car in front.

Another example is when I come to an intersection and I see a car on my right with no indicator, so I stop to give way to them, wait for them to pass through in front of me, they then turn left instead and I am left thinking that I stopped and gave way for no reason.

Also in a roundabout at least half the cars never signal right to turn right, which makes it extremely dangerous. I always wait until the car has gone through most of the intersection before proceeding, because I don’t know when they will suddenly turn and smash into me.

I have seen many drivers who come by and pass me and others, weaving through traffic without any indication. I am sure not so many people have an emergency on a regular basis so why the rush? What is wrong with these people?

If you know the answers to any of these questions please do share and please take care when you drive and do not forget to use your indicators when necessary.

‘The indicators on your car tell people where you are going… Please use them!’

Take care.

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Nepal is a poor country with rich people

Every time I visit Nepal, I feel that Kathmandu is so expensive and wonder how people who live there manage.

For a country, which is listed as one of the poorest in the world with Gross domestic product (GDP) per capita at just $743 you don’t get that feeling when you walk around the city.

If you look around, everyone has a new mobile phone, the latest iPads, fancy new clothes and a feast for every festival. It always makes me wonder how they manage to live like that when I know that the average salary in Nepal is NRS 10,000 ($100) per month.

Every time I go back, I can see that prices of things have doubled from last time and the quality has gone down. Having been to places like Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia, definitely the quality of things sold is Kathmandu is not very good.

I believe that I am among the average income family for Australia but still after paying mortgage and bills, there is not much left to play around so we have to plan well for any holidays and other luxuries in life but in Kathmandu people seem to be living a real luxury life. I know most of my friends/family in Kathmandu have one things sorted easily, they don’t need to worry about buying/building their own house with their salary. Either they have their family home or have some sort of inheritance sorted to build their home. I think that make them really rich because I know, most of our salary go towards the mortgage.

I went shopping with a few of my friends and cousins who live in Kathmandu and the way they shop is so different from the way I do. The things I felt were expensive, they thought were normal and just bought them. Seriously I can’t justify paying between NPR 30,000 – NPR 1,00,000 ($300-$1000) for a lehengha or sari which is to be worn once a year. I also can’t justify a new mobile/tablet every year just to look cool and I definitely can’t justify paying NPR 400 ($4.00) for a hot water with honey and lemon. A lemon in Nepal is NPR 10 and one spoon of honey is NPR 50 max so it sounds ridiculous that people are paying so much for it in a restaurant. They are paying NPR 2500 for a foundation and NPR 1500 for a lip gloss, seriously. Just a reminder again, average salary in Nepal is NPR 10,000 a month. I know it sounds OK in terms of dollar here but not in Nepal for sure.

I could go on and on but people in Nepal are happily paying this price. They say it is expensive but still pay for these luxuries without blinking hence my conclusion that Nepal is a poor country with rich people.

Do you feel the same? If you live in Kathmandu, how do you manage?

10,000 steps: Week 1 progress

As I mentioned in my previous post, the 10,000 steps program is going really well at work. I see everyone walking around with their pedometer and everyone trying to do some activities during lunchtime. Seriously, since this competition started, I have seen everyone around work trying to stay active and reach the target; which means this is really working.

One week down and three to go now but I am thinking to count my steps every day from now on so I know my activity level. I am hoping it will make me stay fit and healthy.

Here is the graph from my first week. I am really pleased with the result as I clocked more than 12,800 steps on average.

10,000 steps

Wednesday, the 21 of May was the most active day with 16,990 as that day I went for the bay run which is around 7km. The following day again I managed to do more than 16,000 steps as I was working hard to organise Australia’s biggest morning tea and it kept me quite busy.

I have days where I didn’t do 10,000 because it is really hard to do 10,000 steps if I exercise during the lunch time only. However, I am sure counting my steps has given me a real idea about how active I have been throughout the day and force me to exercise in the evening if I wasn’t active enough.

Happy exercising everyone, take care.

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Happy Weekend

I am loving the weather in Sydney for the last few days, it’s been over 25oC and just amazing to be out and about.

On Friday after work, I was Skyping with my parents when AS returned home from work. I was on Skype for another 30 minutes before I finished talking with my parents. As soon as I was done, I wanted to go to the kitchen to make tea for us but as I was about to do so, I saw AS coming with a tray with tea and cakes. When he put the tray down, I was even happier to see a red rose on the tray. It was a nice surprise and I was touched. As I always believe little things definitely helps a lot and it definitely helped to lift my mood, and that is how I started the beautiful weekend.

spoiled

On Saturday, I wanted to go for my morning run but as I was coughing the whole night I decided against it and instead watched Downtown Abbey until AS woke up. When he did, he asked me to rest and cooked me a nice warm breakfast in bed. He is really looking after me so well that I feel so spoiled. We stayed home most of the day enjoying each other’s company, talking and planning our life.

Later in the afternoon after lunch, he ran me a bubble bath so I could relax. Since my sickness, I am feeling tired and my body feels weak so it was a good way to unwind and relaxed my body and my mind too. We went for a walk in the evening just to enjoy the fresh air.

On Sunday, we woke up early and went to IKEA for breakfast and quick shopping before coming home to change and attend our friend’s birthday party. She served us an amazing hotpot for lunch and it was a perfect weather to enjoy the food and company.

hotpot (3) hotpot hotpot (1) hotpot (2)

They also had lemon and orange in their garden so I picked some for the first time in my life. It was so much fun.

lemon tree

Hope all of you had a great weekend too and happy Monday everyone.

Take care ,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO