Monthly Archives: July 2014

The weekend away with amazing photos

The weekend we went to Snowy Mountain, we stayed in a remote cabin in front of a lake and there were wild animals everywhere. We saw kangaroos, wallabies, rabbits, wombats, different kinds of birds and it was just amazing. The only drawback was there was no reception for the phone. It might be a plus point if you are thinking to have a good time with loved ones without any distraction.

AS Photography (1)

We really enjoyed our stayed there and AS was able to capture some amazing photos of the place. I’m sharing some of my favourite ones here.

AS Photography (2) AS Photography (3) AS Photography (4) AS Photography (5) AS Photography (6) AS Photography (7) AS Photography (8) AS Photography (9)

There was bird seeds placed in each room so we took ours and went to feed the birds. They were so used to humans that one of them even landed on my head and another was happy to perch on my hand to eat the seeds from my palm.

birds (1) birds (2)

During our way back, we stopped at a small town called Adaminaby where there was big trout. So here is my pic kissing the fish, of course it was AS’s idea and photography.

AS Photography (10)

Take care ,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

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Nirbuni for my nephew (second birthday)

I swear it feels like yesterday that I told you I had a new man in my life (my li’l nephew) and gosh it has been two years now. Even though he was born in 18 July, we celebrated his birthday on 26th of July which was determined by his birth chart and our own Nepali calendar.

Since his birth, he has given joy to everyone including his parents, us, my parents and my sister in law’s parents. When he was visiting last month to Nepal, he was the apple of the eye and was spoiled rotten by everyone.

Strangely, for reasons unknown and out of traditions handed down from generation to generation, the first birthday of a child is not celebrated by Newars. When a child is born, he will have chhaiti, nawaran then pasni. After pasni, the big celebration is second birthday, which is known as Nirbuni in Newari.

According to tradition, we make Yomari every even birthday (2, 4, 6, 8, 12) until a child turns 12. Yomari is a delicacy of the Newars. It consists of an external covering of rice-flour and an inner content of sweet substances such as chaku (Molasses).

yomari

During Nirbuni, a big puja is performed and the child is given a garland made out of two yomaris. The child is also given tika and sagun and prayed to ward off evil spirits from the child’s body. If we were in Nepal, relatives would come along with gifts and sweets for the kid. Therefore, this birthday was a big deal for us.

We started Saturday making yomari and sagun. With the help of our cousin it was done and then the puja started. My nephew was good during the puja as he sat on his dad’s lap while I perform the puja.

Nirbuni  (12)I am not expert on performing the puja but this is what I did.

  • First I gave Nasala, a few drops of water, in the palm of the right hand of my nephew to sprinkle some into his mouth and the rest over his body for purification.
  • Then I put tika on Lord Ganesh with water, rice, flowers, and vermilion powder as well as a plate of sagun in front of him.
  • Then I gave water, rice, flowers, and vermilion powder to my nephew to worship the Lord Ganesh and also to all the God and Goddess by throwing the rice towards the ceiling.
  • Then I placed tika on his forehead and put a flower on his head.

Nirbuni  (14)Nirbuni  (11)

  • Then I placed the Yomari mala followed by flower mala.

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  • After that I put bits of rice, radish, coins, cucumber in a small container and poured them on his head. This is believed to take all the evil spirits away from him. I did this three times.

Nirbuni  (8)

  • Then,I gave Sagun to him. For Sagun, you put a plate of egg, bara (lentil cake), meat (chicken), a piece of giner and fish in the right hand and yogurt in the left hand.

Nirbuni  (9)Nirbuni  (15)

  • Once the process is finished with my nephew, I gave tika to the rest of the family, followed by sagun.

My parents and my SIL’s parents were on skype watching the ceremony. They were happy to watch all the ceremony even though they are so far away.

I also took tray of fruits, biscuits and a three piece suit for him as a birthday gift.

Nirbuni  (10)

He looked really adorable in the suit.

Nirbuni  (5)Then there was a party in the evening. I did the decoration and was happy with the result. It was a fun party with lots of kids.

Nirbuni  (7)

The house was chaotic in a good way for the rest of the evening where kids ran, laughed , danced and played.

Nirbuni  (3) Nirbuni  (2)We had a nice cake for him and the food was catered so everyone enjoyed the day. It was such a fun day and the little man was very happy with all the attention and gifts.

Nirbuni  (1)

On Sunday, I baked cupcakes for him to take to his childcare to celebrate his birthday. The childcare request simple individual cupcakes so I baked them myself.

Nirbuni  (6) Nirbuni  (4)Overall, it was a great nirbuni celebration for my nephew.

Wishing little man all the happiness of this world.

Take care ,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

The Himalayan Times published my post

Another of my post is published in The Himalayan Times , one of the leading daily papers in Nepal.

I am honoured and happy to be a part of the paper again.

It was published in 24 July 2014 under Blog Surf section. If you are in Kathmandu, get the paper and find me on page 8 and for those who can’t, here is how it looked :).

 himalayan times30 day list

And here is the link to their epaper.

http://epaper.thehimalayantimes.com/epapermain.aspx?queryed=9&eddate=7/24/

Take care ,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Snowboarding fun @ Winter wonderland

I know I keep on writing that it is so cold here and I hate winter. The only perk during winter is that we can drive a few hours (5 hours) out of Sydney and have some fun in the white snowy wonderland. I had been to the Snowy Mountains two years ago and it was great fun so it was time to do it again.

snowboarding (14)snowboarding (13)

This time we went with another couple. It was a long drive after work on Friday but it was worth the trip when we were on the mountain to snowboard early next morning. First we went to the ski hire shop to pick our boots and snowboards and headed to the mountain.

snowboarding (17) snowboarding (16)

Selwyn Snowfields is a small, family-friendly snow resort located in the northern section of Kosciuszko National Park; just west of Kiandra. The scenery as you drive towards the Mountain snowfields is spectacular. Trees, rivers and lakes give way to snow covered mountains and the whole incredible scene is punctuated only by the winding sable coloured road on which you drive.

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We were there by 9am but the place was already full with excited families and kids enjoying the sunny day and lots of snowfall. After parking in the nearby car park, we went to buy the lesson and lift pass and it was time for the real deal. I have skied before but never snowboard so both AS, me and my friend was getting a two-hour lesson first then we were on our own for the weekend :).

snowboarding (1)

I was slightly nervous because I remember falling so many times when I tried to ski the last time. I was sure snowboarding was not goona be any easier. But looking at small kids easily going around in snowboards gave me some hope.

snowboarding (9) snowboarding (8)

The lesson is supposed to teach us the basics, and that was essential. The class started in the flat surface with the instructor teaching us how to slide using only one foot. It looked easy but it was seriously hard and in 30 minutes I was so tired and exhausted, I was ready to give up. AS was constantly encouraging me but I was so hot and tired by then that I was thinking why I was punishing myself.

snowboarding (7)

I had serious troubles skating i.e. moving with one foot detached. That is tricky to learn, and because I was tired, I started to get annoyed but was not giving up just yet.

After the initial practice, we were taken to the slope where we strapped both the feet. I struggle to stand for a while with both feet strapped but finally learned to do it and then I struggled to learn how to shift my weight properly in order to steer.

snowboarding (10) snowboarding (2)

Finally, I could stand and slide on the slope but I had no control of stopping. I was falling down every time I wanted to stop. Lucky no bones were hurt during the process. I was so happy when I could snowboard even for short distance as it made me feel excited to try more.

By then two hours of the lesson was over so the instructor asked us to keep practicing, and he left.

As all of us were tired by then we decided to have a break. We had our lunch at the cafe besides the main slope. We were starving by that time and two hours of snowboarding was really a great workout. We settled for chicken sandwiches and a big box of wedges.

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Then we headed onto the slopes again.

This time I was happy going on the slope even though steering ability was not good and it was tricky at times trying to avoid collisions with other adults and kids. I fell hundreds of time during the whole process but still both AS and I thoroughly enjoyed our snowboarding experience.

  snowboarding (4)snowboarding (11)

The afternoon sun was melting the snow and it was slightly windy by the end of the day so we decided to call it a day and head towards our hotel for a bit of rest. I felt really good when I took out my snow boots and relaxed in the car.

snowboarding (5)snowboarding (6)

For the next few days, every muscle in my body ached but I highly recommend the experience and we will be doing it again when we go to snow next time.

Do you snowboard? Do share your tips and tricks for novice snowboarders.

Take care everyone ,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Lost and found

Sometimes it is easy to ignore what you have and to appreciate how good you have it. That is the case for me when I sometimes forget that I live in one of the best countries in the world in terms of economy and safety. We also have many nice people around us. From time to time things happen that reminds me the very thing.

Last week AS forgot his bag on a bus coming back from work. He didn’t realise that it was missing until he was almost home. He was reading on his tablet when this happened so it took a while to realise.

Anyway he came home and told me. We went through what he had in his bag: work pass (important), lunch boxes, sunniness and some odds and ends. Basically everything in the bag was easily replaceable but still because it was his bag, he felt a bit bad. We googled and found the lost and found number for the bus company but unfortunately it was closed for the day.

The next day, AS called the number and reported that he had forgotten the bag in the bus. The woman on the other side took his details and promised to call back if anything turned up. Lucky for us, she called him a few hours later and told him that they have the bag in the depot.

How great is that? We had almost given up hope because it is a normal bag with ordinary items which anyone could have picked up and taken with them. So AS went to pick up the back this morning and everything was there. This definitely made us appreciated that people are pretty honest and do not to take others’ belongings.

In a a similar incident a few years ago my brother left his phone on the train while on the way to work. He didn’t realise that it was missing for a while. In the mean time, I got a call at home from his number. The person told me that they had found the phone on the train and dialled the number called home to see if they could return it.

I told her it was my brother’s phone and he will come and pick it up as soon as possible. She left her mobile number in case my brother’s phone died. The next day, my brother picked the phone up and thanked the kind woman. Incidents like this make you believe in good Samaritans and good deeds.

Do share if you have similar incidents?

Take care everyone ,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

10 Benefits of lemon

This article was published in +977 (a Nepalese Lifestyle Magazine in Australia) in  July 2014 issue.

lemon 977

As the cold and flu season is here, it is a good idea to take preventive measures to make sure we don’t get sick. There are many home remedies that we could use to strengthen out immune system and today I am sharing the benefits of one of them: the lemon.

Lemon is easily available throughout the year, has strong antibacterial, antiviral, and immune-boosting powers and contains citric acid, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, bioflavonoids, pectin, and limonene that promote immunity and fight infection.

Here are 10 benefits which have been attributed to lemons:

  1. Lemon gives immune system a boost with Vitamin C, an essential nutrient that protects the body against immune system deficiencies.
  2. Lemon is an excellent source of potassium, which is good for heart, brain and nerve function.
  3. Lemon juice not only encourages healthy digestion by loosening toxins in your digestive tract, it helps to relieve symptoms of indigestion such as heartburn, burping, and bloating maintaining the pH levels in the body.
  4. Having warm lemon juice early in the morning helps flush out toxins by enhancing enzyme function and stimulating your liver.
  5. Lemon juice helps replenish body salts especially after a strenuous workout session
  6. Lemon contains citric acid, which can be effective in treating acne. The vitamin C found in citrus fruits is vital for that healthy glowing skin while its alkaline nature kills some types of bacteria known to cause acne.
  7. Lemons contain pectin fiber, which assists in fighting hunger cravings.
  8. Warm lemon water is the most effective way to diminish viral infections and sore throats. If you have a sore throat, add the juice of 1 lemon and 1 teaspoon (5ml) of sea salt to 1 cup lukewarm water and gargle three times a day to diminish the burning sensation.
  9. A little lemon juice sprinkled on freshly cut apples, bananas, or avocados will keep them from turning brown
  10. Lemon strengthens the liver by providing energy to the liver enzymes when they are too dilute.

Take care everyone ,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Impressions of a first time cruiser

This article was published in +977 (a Nepalese Lifestyle Magazine in Australia) in  July 2014 issue.   

977

I have always had cursing on my bucket list but never thought it would happen soon.

During Christmas 2013, I was desperately looking for places to go for our holiday. After evaluating our list and considering our finances, we booked our first cruise on Carnival Spirit to New Caledonia and thus our journey began.

Once we booked and paid for the trip, it was time to do our research and I have to admit there were so many different opinions on the internet that it was hard for us to make up our mind on what to expect. We both decided that no matter what happened, we would try our best to make the cruise holiday memorable.

The first thing we noticed when we went to Circular Quay to board the ship was how massive it was. We joined other excited holidaymakers clearing the customs and boarded the ship. Our luggage was checked in and would be taken directly to our room.

Embarkation was as easy as giving them our credit card and getting a Sail & Sign card (Sail & Sign is Carnival’s on board cashless credit program, which allows you to charge all your services and purchases during your cruise to your room.) We were told to wait on the top deck where drinks and lunch was waiting for us until our rooms are ready and the luggage is delivered.

As we walked in, we noticed that the ship was huge and amazing with Christmas decoration everywhere. I was excited to see so many different bars, lounges and restaurants on the map. It was as if I was in a different city and it was going to be our home for the next 2 weeks.

Once we finished lunch, we were told that our room was ready. We got a room with a window and it was just perfect. It was not very big but enough for two with en suite, a big wardrobe, TV and mini bar. By the time we went to our room our luggage had already arrived. While unpacking, I was really glad that I didn’t need to re-pack until the end of the trip. I also didn’t need to learn a new culture, to speak a different language or to stick to transport schedules but could just relax and enjoy our time on board and look forward to an awesome time in New Caledonia.

The first impression for both of us was really good, starting from the nice lunch to the room, we were assigned and the things we learned. I was quite surprised by how much there is to do on a cruise ship. It is your choice, if you like to have a day full of nonstop activities or simply relax on one of the deck chairs or hammocks and read a book. Every day there is an enthusiastic voice through the loud speaker system, telling us what is happening that day, where we can go, what we can eat and what we can buy on an hourly basis so you are always informed.

We utilise all the facilities on board and were always busy doing one thing or another. My best place to relax was definitely the Serenity area and it was always fun to go and ride in the Green Thunder.

Food was always available no matter the time of day or night. We had most of our breakfast and lunch on the Lido deck and dinner in the Empire dining room. The few times we had afternoon tea, we were very impressed by the selections of cakes and fruits. We saw kids running around with pizzas and ice cream all the time. We had no complains about the food at all.

The one thing I really loved on board the Carnival Spirit was the entertainment. There was always something happening especially during the night that we had no time to be bored. Most nights we were going from one event to another fully enjoying each performance. From stand up comedian to hypnotist, juggler, Vegas style show they had everyone covered. If you are into trivia and games, you could always find one area hosting the event.

They tried their best to make the sea days more entertaining and full of activates to every kind of travellers. Apart from kids club for the young ones, they could be entertained in many other ways. They will definitely enjoy the rides in Water Park so just get wet. They will love the Chocolate extravaganza day and they will never worry you regarding food.

Port days were fun and well managed. If you want to know the details on what to do, please research before you board so you can Google the images and read reviews of the things to do in each island.

Disembarkation at all ports was easy and no stress at all. We really enjoyed different ports in New Caledonia but we were glad to come back to the ship and carry on with our holiday with awesome food waiting for us each time.

I might sound vain but I also enjoyed the fact they made our room twice a day. Every time we came back to our room, it was clean and the bed was made :).

After reading, my experience if you are wondering if cruise is your cup of tea, here is the list of pros and cons I experienced which I hope will help you make up your mind.

Pros

  • The most important pro of cursing is that it is definitely value for money. Your cruise package includes room, dining, most entertainment and many extras. Except alcohol and soft drinks, you don’t need to buy anything unless you are shopping. This gives you a clear picture on how much you are going to spend in advance.
  • Less hassle as everything is planned for you.
  • If you are a social person, it’s a great way to meet new friends. We made a few friends while on board.
  • No need to worry about food. It is always there and always changing. No matter what kind of taste you have, they cater for you.
  • I felt more relaxed during the whole trip as there was not much to plan and no running around. There are fewer unexpected problems to solve.
  • Pack and unpack only once.

Cons

  • Less exploration time as you are in one port for a day only. (May be multiple days depending on cruise but still less than if you go to one place only.)
  • Fewer destination options as your destination will be the coastal areas only
  • If you are after a quiet, relaxing getaway, then cruise may not be your cup of tea.
  • Motion Sickness can be a problem for many people. Do not forget to take some medicines of it.

I hope this has given you some useful insights and helps you make up your mind if Cruising is for you.

Happy Cruising!!!

Take care everyone ,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO