How To Take A Beautiful Selfie

Wednesday 25 June 2014 @ 10:22 am

These days almost everyone likes to take selfies. Walk by any beautiful scene, shopping center decoration, restaurant, park etc and you will see someone engaging in this activity. In fact, in November 2013, the word “selfie” was announced as being the “word of the year” by the Oxford English Dictionary. 

Like anything that you find online, don’t believe everything that you read online. Don’t believe everything you see online too as I’ve discovered. Selfies can be instantly “photoshopped” with a click these days with the increasing number of photo editing apps available. Some of them are really amazing too.

Forget about checking out articles on how to take the best selfie, the best poses, best make-up etc, all you need to do is to download one of these apps on your iPhone, iPad or Android devices to take the most beautiful and flattering photo of yourself to share with your friends.

Here are some selfie photo apps to turn your selfies into the beautiful images that you see and so envy.

1. BeautyPlus available for both iphone and android phones instantly gives you flawless skin and shiny hair plus brighter eyes at the click of your camera. I love how this camera removes my pores with one click. This simple no frills app is perfect for the lazy ones like me who wants to do everything with just one click with little customization required. However, you can customize it further if you want, Slimmer face? You’ve got it at a drag of a finger. Bigger eyes? No problem. Lots of filters and fun brushes for you to enhance your portrait are all available with one click before you save and share it on social media.

What is different or good about this selfie photo app: Simple and easy to use with nice results for a flawless look.

BeautyPlus Photo Editor App

BeautyPlus for iOS on Apple iTunes Store

BeautyPlus for Android on Google Play Store


2. PhotoWonder basically does the same thing as the above but it takes it one step further. Want bigger boobs? You can even customize that too! You can “thinify” yourself then beautify your look by adding make-up for longer lashes and bigger eyes. Then add decorations, effects and pick a frame for your perfect selfie. The stickers, brushes and speech bubbles are fun. Lots of filter choices are available categorized into portrait, classic, scene and art category. You can even turn yourself into a sketch if you prefer. You can customize by sliding along a bar till you get the look you want whether it is larger eyes, fixing blemishes or removing dark rims under your eyes. Fortunately, one click is available for lazy people like me.

What is different or good about this selfie photo app: Extras in the form of effects, decorations and frames.

PhotoWonder Photo Editor App

PhotoWonder for iOS on Apple iTunes Store

PhotoWonder for Android on Google Play Store


3. MeituPic  “Meitu” simply means “beautiful picture” in Chinese and that is what you get.  You can slide your finger to whiten or tone your face to a flawless complexion just like what you would see in a magazine. Lots of excellent filters for your good selfies here.  Cropping and blurring is possible and you can have lots of fun with magical effects by adding sparkles, dazzlers and more. You can even take beautiful pictures of your food because aside from the portrait function you can enhance the look of your food, objects or scene. The desmog feature allows you to turn smoggy skies into clear blue ones. I think I will need that one right now.

What is different or good about this selfie photo app: Includes enhancement for food, scenery and objects photos which is not available in other portrait enhancement apps.

MeituPic Photo Editor App

MeituPic for iOS on Apple iTunes Store

MeituPic for Android on Google Play Store

I would pick BeautyPlus for its simplicity and wonderful results and MeituPic for being the most comprehensive.

When fixing photos, I personally prefer to smoothen my complexion and add effects for fun and that is it. Somehow, thinning my face and making my eyes bigger seem a little bit much, sort of  like doing digital plastic surgery but that’s just me.

Well, that’s all. No need for a lengthy review or article on how to take a good selfie. Just go and download one or all of these apps and try it for yourself. Then start snapping away and be amazed at your new lovely selfies! They are all available for both iOS and android devices. Enjoy!

Chinese New Year Shopping

Tuesday 21 January 2014 @ 1:04 pm

There were two public holidays last week. We took the opportunity to do some Chinese New Year shopping then. Chinese New Year shopping is a big thing for us. We make it a point to shop only once a year for Chinese New Year whenever possible instead of all year round to make the event more exciting for the kids. This is part of our build up towards Chinese New Year for them so that they will look forward to the same tradition year after year.

We took to the stores first thing in the morning before the mad dash comes in. It is no fun to shop with two young kids in a huge crowd. You also waste a lot of time waiting to try on outfits and waiting to pay for them. It was still a mad dash though since there were four of us to shop for. In and out of outfits we went as we hurried from fitting room to fitting room. Phew! Fortunately, we only do this once a year.

I prefer to browse slowly but I never have the chance to when we shop like that especially not when shopping with the kids in tow and that organized husband of mine. “Come on. Hurry up!” he’d go after every few steps. That is why, I sometimes secretly (shh) shop online with online shops like Zalora.

I didn’t know that Zalora had such a lovely Chinese New Year collection. I am on their email mailing list since I have shopped there before. The last time I looked there were lots of lovely kebayas and baju kurungs so I thought they were specialized in that area. However recently I received their Chinese New Year collection in my email. The collection is huge and lovely. Now I can have some fun shopping and browsing slowly on my own. I have no problems with sizing because I know my size well. So, after rushing with the man and the kids, now I can slowly take my time browsing and let my fingers do the shopping. :)


After writing this post, I couldn’t resist but to continue browsing online at Zalora.  I let my fingers do the shopping and after a few clicks my order went through. No stress or hassle. No need to pay for parking or queue up in fitting room or cashier counter.

The very next morning, I received the items I ordered from Zalora. How exciting!

There was a Thank You note inside plus a stack of Angpow packet. A very nice touch indeed.

I ordered a blouse from the EZRA collection, shoes from Marie Claire and Earrings from Fox’s. The choices are enormous. So many brands and for all kinds of budgets and tastes.

There were so many shoes to select from, I couldn’t make up my mind! I love the very high heels but in the end practicality took over and I went for something not so high.

The shoes were so nicely wrapped up. Even much nicer than when I buy them at a store.

Tadaa! Here is my very own Chinese New Year collection. I love it and I love shopping at Zalora. :)

Image Credit: From Zalora’s Chinese New Year Collection



Color Themed Christmas Decorations

Friday 13 December 2013 @ 10:16 am

Color Themed Christmas Decoration Ideas

ingle, Dual, Triple or Multi-Colored Christmas Decorations? Which Will it Be? How do you combine colors? Which Color Works Best together? Check out the tips on this page.

Decorating according to a color theme makes things simple and easy. All you have to do is pick a color you like, then you can go crazy buying all sorts of items to fit your favorite color theme and tadaa…. you have a nice coordinated look.

Color themed decorations make your Christmas Decor look like its done up by a pro. It is easy. The only hard part is….. it can be hard to make up your mind on the color! There are so many lovely shades to choose from!

Traditional red, green and white seems nice, so is gold and silver but blue looks good too. Oh and purple and pink looks like they are made to go together. Hmm…. Maybe it is best to go colorful instead. This lens include some color tips to help you decide on the color theme for your Christmas Decorations.

Which Color Works Best together?

Single, Dual, Triple or Multi-Colored Christmas Decorations? Which Will it Be? How do you combine colors? Check out the tips on this page.

Finding Color Combinations that Work for your Christmas Decorations

Decorating your home or Decorating a Christmas tree for the holidays is a little bit like designing your home. You can select one color and use different shades of that one color. That will work very nicely.

You can also go for a dual or triple color scheme. However, if you do that, how do you know what color lights work best for your blue, white and silver decor and whether purple and yellow will go together etc. In fact, many people are confused by various color combinations and whether they will look good together.

Within a few days of putting up this lens, there were many searches coming in for help with color combinations for Christmas Decorations which prompted me to update it with some help in this area.

Here are what some people looking at this page were searching for:

1. Color themed christmas decorations

2. Colorful pink orange christmas glass crystal ornaments

3. What colour of lights to put on my chirstmas tree with a purple theme

4. Christmas colors purple green and gold

5. Sams orange and blue chrsitmas ornaments

6. Purple and golden tree decoration

7. Xmas decorating ideas with the color purple

8. What theme of christmas ornaments are best with multi colored lights

9. Christmas colors that go with yellow

10. Christmas decorations with an orange theme

11. Warm colours decorations baubles for Christmas

12. Decorating a tree with blue green putple and pink

13. Purple and white christmas themes

14. Color themed christmas trees

15. What color lights will go good with blue white and silver christmas decor

16. Pink purple silver Christmas

17. Christmas decoration light blue color

18. What colour goes with gold for Xmas decorations

19 What Christmas color goes with silver

20. Orange and purple Christmas decorations

21. Purple and pink Christmas theme

22. Decorating a tree with blue, green, purple and pink.

Here are my simple tips to combine your Christmas Decorations Color Combinations

1. When going for One color combination, choose various shades of that one color. That will work very nicely to create an interesting look so that it won’t look boring.

2. When choosing two or more colors, what will work best is sticking to colors that complement each other. Warm colors together and Cool Colors together. Look at the color wheel. Warm colors are colors that make you feel warm all over. They are the colors of day and the sunshine and summer. Colors like yellow, orange, red and white goes very well together. Cool colors are colors of winter and the night. Colors like blue and green are cool and go together.

3. Choose colors that are beside each other in the color wheel. Colors like pink and purple go together. Yellow and Orange, Dark Blue and Magenta.

4. White goes with anything. Gold goes with silver. Think about it. Gold is warm and so it goes with the warm colors of orange and yellow. Silver is cool and goes well with blue and purple.

5. If you want to be even more adventurous, you can combine opposing colors on the color wheel. This will have a unique look. However, you must choose your colors carefully. If you are not sure how to, click on the color wheel. It will lead you to a site that has a color combination tool. This color tool is often used for website designers to choose the colors for their website but you can use it for your Christmas Decoration Color Scheme too. On the site, just click on your main color scheme, and you will be shown the matching colors.

6. What about Christmas lights? The same color principles applies. Just pick matching or opposing colors. Silver or White Lights for Cool Colored Decorations and Yellow or Gold Lights for Warm Colors to enhance those colors even more. If you are using multi-colored lights, try not to use multi-colored decorations. Multi-colored lights will look nice on just one or two colored Christmas Decorations.

7. When using one color, try to go for a combination of material, glossy glitter and shine or matt and rough to create interest and depth.

Thats it! I hope you have a good time decorating your homes for Christmas.

Single Color Themed Christmas Decorations

You don’t have to be a pro to come up with a coordinated look for your home by using single color themed Christmas Decorations

Purple Christmas Decorations

Purple is the Color of Passion

This Christmas why not go Purple. Purple is the color of passion. Purple is a rich color. It will be a nice unifying theme for your Christmas decorations.

Purple goes well with pink. Complete your purple and pink Christmas decor with silver lights.

Gold Christmas Decorations

Everything that Glitters is Gold

Gold is not only for the rich. This Christmas you can get the Midas touch of Gold by including a Gold theme in all of your Christmas Decorations. It will give your home a magical glitter and shine.

Gold is a warm color and really brings out a tree. You can match gold with any color theme. Use gold as a tree topper and golden lights for that warm and cozy feel.

There are many different shades of gold too. I love Champagne Gold. Gold ribbons make the perfect wrap and add a beautiful final touch to any tree.

Blue Christmas Decorations

Blue is the color of peace and tranquility

Blue is the color of the skies and the ocean. Blue signifies peace and tranquility. What better way to decorate a room for Christmas then with Blue?

Blue goes very well with silver and white or you could go for blue and green to give it a cool marine look and feel.

You can go for dual color combinations in your color themed Christmas decorations

Green and Red, Gold and Silver, Pink and Purple

Pink Christmas Decorations

Pink is the color of universal love

Pink is the color of flowers. Pink is a quiet color. Pink is for love. Fill your home with love this Christmas with the clever use of the color pink.


I like pink and gold or pink and silver or pink and pearl. Pearly white or off white colors go very well with powder pink. Create interest with dashes of gasp.. green. Yes, they will go together but be careful in selecting just the right shade of pink and green. Use the color wheel to help you.

Red Christmas Decorations

The Traditional Christmas Color Red is also dynamic, rich, strong and intense

You can really make red go for you. With the clever use of red, you will create not only a traditional look and atmosphere, it will also be vibrant and exciting.

You can’t go wrong with the traditional colors of red, green and white or gold. I never get bored looking at those colors and they remind me of Christmas right away!

Silver Christmas Decorations

Silver is Shiny and Cool

Silver snowflakes and silver stars and fairies add an extra cool touch to your Christmas trees. Why not make Silver the color theme and put cool touches all over your home this Christmas?

Silver goes with anything because of its clear, glassy look. However, I think they work best with cool colors on the color wheel.

Silver icicles are lovely and work with anything.

Triple Colors in a Color Themed Christmas Decoration is great too

White, Red and Green or Yellow, White and Orange etc

Yellow Christmas Decorations

Yellow is the Color of Sunshine

Invite the color of warm sunshine into your home this Christmas by decorating with a yellow Christmas theme.

Yellow is almost like gold but not quite. Gold can be a bit loud. You can combine pastel yellow with white or a rich yellow orange with browns.

Green Christmas Decorations

Green is the color or nature and life

 Green is yet another traditional Christmas color especially if combined with red. If you want to make your green theme Christmas Decoration stand out, go for a white Christmas tree instead of green.Green goes well with brown for a back to nature look. Go Green this Christmas with lots of green decoration around the house. Many people avoid using green because of the green leaves on the Christmas tree but you can choose different shades of green like lime green or pastel green instead of the darker shade or leaf green.

White Christmas Decorations

White is the color of purity and innocence

White is pure, clean and innocent. White is also the color of winter. Just perfect as a color theme for Christmas.

Everyone needs a little bit of white snowflakes to get in the mood for Christmas and the holidays.

A white Christmas tree is magical when lit!

Orange Christmas Decorations

Orange is a vibrant and powerful color

Orange is a warm color. As orange is a combination between red and yellow. It has the power of red and the warmth of yellow combined. A color coordinated orange theme Christmas will give your home both these atttibutes of vibrant warmness feel.

Burnt orange can be combined with brown or green. Orange can also be combined with yellows or reds because they all belong to the warm color family.

Brown Christmas Decorations and Ornaments

Want to be different? Go back to nature. Choose brown themes as your Christmas decoration. Make it stand out with different finishing, matte, shining, glitter or sparkle.

Mocha or Chocolate Brown goes well with kiwi greens. You can also match browns with gold to give it a really rich look.

Can’t decide what color theme to use?

Why not go colorful. A few dashes of color here and there makes your Christmas Decoration more interesting

MultiColor Christmas Decorations

If you can’t decide what color to use for your Christmas decorations, you can go colorful

Multiple colors add fun and variety to your Christmas decorations but remember not to overdo it. Little dashes of color here and there are good but try to keep it from being overwhelming.

If all else fails, go for multi-color decorations. However, if you pick multi-color ornaments for your tree, try to go for single colored lights and if you choose multi-colored lights, try to go easy on the number of colors your use in your decorations.

How To Use Google Chromecast To Watch Streaming Video From Google Chrome Browser

Friday 8 November 2013 @ 6:12 pm

Google ChromecastToday, my Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player arrived in the mail. I’m really excited about it because this little thing allows me to watch YouTube videos on my TV easily. In other words, it makes my TV smart! With wifi connection, I can use an iphone, ipad, Android phone or tablet, laptop or desktop computer to ‘cast’ the videos onto the TV screen. Awesome! (as my kids said and it truly is).

What is the Google Chromecast? The Google Chromecast is a dongle developed by Google. It is tiny, just 2.83 inches but powerful. It lets you play audio or video content from a variety of devices namely your mobile phone, tablet computer, laptop computer or desktop computer onto your TV wirelessly via Wifi connection. You can stream video via an app. Supported apps include YouTube, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora Radio, Google Play Music and Google Play Movies and TV. If you are not in the US and is unable to subscribe to Netflix, Hulu Plus or Pandora, fret not, you can still stream video content from your desktop by using the Chrome Browser with a Chromecast extension. At the moment, this is still under Beta but it works fine.

Buy From Amazon



Google Chromecast

The box was small and there were four things that came with it.

  1.  a USB power cable
  2.  a power adapter
  3. the Chromecast dongle itself
  4. an optional HDMI adapter cable

Google Chromecast unboxing

I immediately set the hardware up. The simple instructions were on the box itself.

Instructions For Setting Up Google Chromecast

I searched for the HDMI input at the back of my Sharp Aquos TV.  I had an unused one called Input 3.

TV HDMI input

However, when I tried to stick the Chromecast dongle in there, it didn’t fit. Nevermind, that’s what the HDMI adapter cable is for. All I had to do was to join the HDMI cable adapter to the Chromecast dongle.

Here is a picture of the HDMI adapter and the Chromecast dongle.

HDMI Adapter and Chromecast Dongle

I join them together like this.

HDMI Adapter Cable joined to the Chromecast dongle

This baby needs to be powered, so the next step is to join the USB cable to the Chromecast dongle.

USB Power Cable joined to Google Chromecast Dongle

You can power the Google Chromecast by using the power adapter or if your TV has usb, all you need to do is to stick the USB cable in the USB input on your TV.

I decided not to use the power adapter because I couldn’t figure out how to use it. :P

Power Adapter

So, first I inserted the dongle into my HDMI Input 3 behind my TV…..

Setting up Google Chromecast

 Then I inserted the USB to my DVD player with a USB. If you are using the power adapter, all you need to do is stick the one end of the usb cable to the dongle and the other end to the power adapter. You don’t have to use your DVD USB input like I did. I used that because my TV does not have a USB input. Every cable and adapter you need is all provided.

DVD with USB

With the hardware ready, the rest of the setup was easy. Now what I have done so far was to plug it in (Step 1 on the box). Then all I had to do was follow step 2 (switch input – in my case Input 3) and then step 3 which is go to and follow the instructions there to setup. It was really easy too.

Soon, I was able to play my YouTube videos from my ipad. However, I am an international user. In the US, besides YouTube, the other supported apps are Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora, Google Play Music, Google Play Movies and TV. So my use was somewhat limited to watching YouTube videos. These looked great, the audio and visual were terrific.

Watching TV using Google Chromecast

You can see that I am watching from Input 3 using the Google Chromecast in this picture.

Watching YouTube Videos using Google Chromecast

I didn’t want to just watch YouTube videos with my Google Chromecast. I wanted to watch streaming videos from my Google Chrome browser so now comes the real test. I had read that there were problems with that. The Google Chromecast can mirror any website you are visiting using the Google Chrome browser. So that means, if you are watching streaming video on your Google Chrome browser, it should mirror that too.

In order to do this, I have to be on the web by using the Google Chrome browser. I also had to install the Google Chromecast extension. This is no different than installing apps on my ipad. Very easy. Soon, I was watching streaming videos on my TV. The most delightful thing is when you are watching cast videos on your TV, you can still use your device for other things at the same time. For example, I took some of these photos from the phone using my phone camera, while the videos from YouTube were being cast onto the TV. The videos continued to play while I used the camera phone, surfed the internet on other tabs etc. This is what is really good about the Google Chromecast. While your device is casting, you can still use it as normal for other purposes.

Watching Streaming Videos using Google chromecast

There was a slight lag between the audio and visual and casting was not perfect at first but that was quickly fixed by going to my Google Chromecast extension and setting the options to standard video quality 480p instead of 720p.

Google Chromecast Extension Options

Whats my verdict?

I love it! I think I will be watching a lot more YouTube videos from now on as it works best with that. For the price, USD35 it is definitely worth it.  If you are an international user like me, you will have to pay some extra shipping charges to your country but it is still worthwhile. Shipping charges for me in Malaysia was more than half its price so do check on the shipping charges for your country. It is very easy to set up. You basically just plug in and play in minutes.

Small issues. I did not have any problems setting Google Chromecast up in minutes. My Sharp Aquos TV was ready to cast and there were no issues. I did face a few small issues though as I tried it out with all my devices.

  1. My ipad was able to cast YouTube videos. However, I could not install the Google Chromecast extension on it. It said “Sorry, your operating system is not surpported just yet. The Chrome Web Store is available on Windows, Mac, Chrome OS and Linux.” So I could not mirror streaming videos from my ipad.
  2. My android phone the Samsung Galaxy Ace was able to cast YouTube videos but the Google Chrome browser was not compatible with it so I could not cast streaming videos from it.
  3. I have not tried it out with the iphone at the time of writing.

My Google Chromecast was set up in the Living Room TV and I had no  problems casting YouTube videos and streaming videos from both my desktop PCs upstairs. So before you buy, do check up the minimum system requirements required for casting a tab from your Chrome Browser. However, if you are like me, you probably have multiple devices at home and one or two of them are sure to work. :)

Do note that in addition to installing the Chrome Browser. You will also need to install the google cast extension for your chrome browser. If you are not a very techy type of person like me, one easy way to find out whether your device is supported is to try to install the google cast extension for your chrome browser. If you are able to, then you are supported. If not, your device is not and you will not be able to use this feature.


My Love Affair With Words

Friday 4 October 2013 @ 8:54 am

I love words. I love reading them and writing them. Now I love pictures and I love combining pictures with words. I love writing poems, quotes, sharing experiences through non-fiction writing. One thing I haven’t explored is fiction. I don’t think I am imaginative enough for that though.

I think my love affair with words started in primary school. As the youngest child in a family of 5 whose mom passed on when I was 10, I was never heard at home. Shhhhh was what I mostly heard. No. No. Not when the adults are talking. My brothers and sisters are born within four years and then there is a four year gap before I came along. So I never got to join in very much when the siblings were talking as well. As a result I became taciturn and quiet. Well, at least that is my analysis of it or maybe I’m just naturally born that way.

So, maybe that is why I find that I can express myself much much better in writing. In writing, my words just flow out naturally. In writing, I have so much to say. I am really glad to have my blogs, my books and even my FB group for me to express myself. Being able to ‘speak’ at last makes me happy.

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