Nov 26, 2011

Waiting for the Flight

Last Thursday morning, my husband and I had reached Soekarno Hatta Airport (Jakarta, Indonesia) at 04.30 am. After checked in, we waited for 06.00 am flight time at an open hall among gates.

Benches at the open hallEntering a gate

The Weekend in Black and White

Nov 25, 2011

Balustrading for Your Homes and Buildings

Balustrades and handrails play a pivotal part in the staircase of the building as well as an important part of the architecture and the overall look of the building. So, it becomes essential to do balustrading in your homes and buildings because balustrades and handrails are the main attention point in any building.

Balustrading are installed in stairs, balconies and many other places. When you are choosing balustrades and handrails for your residential as well as commercial buildings, there are some factors that are to be considered. Those factors include:
· The place where balustrades need to be installed
· Installation cost
· Maintenance cost
· Cost of the handrail and balustrades
· Suitability of the design

Along with these important considerations, regulations and rules regarding the fitting of the handrails and balustrades should also be considered.

There are numerous handrails and balustrades available in numerous kinds of materials, which would help you in selecting the suitable balustrades that will match with your architecture of the building. Those people, who want long lasting handrails opt for metal handrails because these requires less maintenance and are less prone to breakages and damages. Metal handrails are the best option in those houses where there are children as these would not break and can also bear the pressure.

Wrought iron is also used, where contemporary and modern look needs to be created. This iron is comparatively much expensive that other metals available in the market because of which its usage is very less.

Another option that is available is a glass handrail that helps in creating a spacious impression. Glass handrails also give the impression of the entire area being elaborately designed. With the help of glass balustrades, an impression of modernity and elegance can be created. Moreover, while selecting the glass rails the main factor that needs to be kept into mind is the safety factor as glass can easily be broken. In the buildings where there are busy activities being held and too many people are there, glass should not be used because if it gets broken then it can hurt the human life. In those areas, wooden or metal handrails should be installed.

In addition to wooden and glass handrails, there are many other options available for handrails that includes brass and steel handrails. These handrails are less prone to damages and are requires less maintenance.

With numerous options available in market, you can select the appropriate handrails and balustrades for doing balustrading that best matches with the d├ęcor of your residential as well as commercial buildings. You can do the balustrading on your own and can also call the expert professionals for performing the work.

Nov 22, 2011

Tips for Securing Your Home While on Holidays

It is important to secure your home properly while you are on holidays. Holidays are a fantastic time of year for those going away, but it is also a great time for thieves. To avoid being a target next holidays, there are a few things you can do to secure your home properly. As well as doing things like outlaying a little bit of money on security doors and security screens for your windows, you can also do simple things like asking your neighbours to watch out for your property while you are away.

Security doors

Often you can avoid being robbed by simply making your home look difficult to break into. If your home looks hard to break into or looks like it would take a fair amount of time, then a thief will move on to the next house. Having security doors makes your home a lot harder to break into while you are away and having them also helps protect your family while you are at home because you can open the door to speak to strangers without having to unlock the security door. Security doors will also keep out unwanted pests, like flies, so you can keep your front door open in summer to let a cool breeze through the house.

Security screens

When you install your security door on your home, think about having security screens put on your windows too. Any would be intruder is not doing to just look at your doors as a point of entry. Make your windows harder to break into by adding screens. They won't spoil the look of your windows, nor your view out the window, and you will still be able to open your windows and let the breeze in.

Security alarm

Having a security alarm is great when you are going away on holidays. It is obvious that you have an alarm as you can have signs attached to your letterbox or the front of your house, and often the flashing light that goes off when the alarm is triggered is visible from the road. If anyone breaks in while you are away the alarm will sound, scaring away the intruder before they have a chance to damage or steal anything, and the security company will send the police around immediately.


Let your neighbours know that you are going away on holidays. Have your neighbours park one of their cars in your driveway so it looks like someone is home and get them to clear your letterbox daily of mail and junk mail.

Stopping your mail

If you are going away for an extended period time you might want to think about stopping your mail. Contact the post office and let them know when you are going away and what date you will be back. You will have to pay a fee to have them hold your mail for you.


You should have adequate lighting around your home for safety anyway, but have your lights set on a timer on the outside and even inside your home so they turn on and off at appropriate times. This will create the illusion that someone is home.

Nov 21, 2011

Yellow Rice Field

A part of rural scene that you'll miss after you come back to your city life


Nov 19, 2011


Crossing different bridges.

Nov 16, 2011

Great Holiday Destinations to See Amazing Animals

One of the best things about going on holiday is always the incredible people that you meet, though for the animal lover, any good trip needs to include some quality time checking out the animals. If you feel like you’ve seen it all, one of the following places is sure to have something new for you.


More known for its luxury
Doha hotels than for exotic animals, this tiny island provides a great opportunity by way of the Doha Zoo. While hosting all the regular zoo animals like lions and tigers, this zoo also plays host to one of nature’s more amazing creatures, baboons. Obviously not native to this area, they live in a well built and considerate enclosure, and attract thousands of visitors from around the world each year.

This country of exceptionally friendly people has all the beauty and luxury you’d want from a great holiday destination. It also provides a good chance to see an amazing nearby animal welfare project, the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre. An easy day trip from Fiji, this incredible centre is home to between 60 and 80 orang utans and is located in a spectacular virgin rainforest. These amazing animals are brought in with a variety of health problems and are rehabilitated and released into the wild as soon as possible. If you have never seen an orang utan, be sure to have this side trip included in one of your
Fiji holiday packages.

Africa is an animal lover’s paradise and a Kenyan safari is a great way to see the Big 5, lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and buffalos. There is nothing like seeing these animals in the wild, and the locals know all the best times and places to find them. Doing a safari doesn’t have to mean roughing it either, with safari tours available to suit every possible budget.

If you want to get a good look at one of the world’s largest and most dangerous animals, the northern Manitoba town of Churchill is the place to go and get up close to a polar bear. Every year between October and November, polar bears from all around come to the edge of Hudson’s Bay and wait for it to freeze over so they can begin their hunting of the ringed seal. Get on one of the Churchill based tours and get an up close look at these enormous and beautiful creatures.

One of the countries blessed by the Amazon, this is a place for those who want to see something different. The jungle here is home to the sloth, jaguar, iguana, and of course the toucan, not to mention thousands of other birds and animals. There is no shortage of tour operators here so go with people who know the jungle to be sure you make it out alive.

The world is full of truly amazing animals, and each part of the globe has its own special treats. Get to some of these spots and be amazed by the creativity and diversity of nature.

Nov 14, 2011

The Contrast

See the contrast? The very long traffic jam caused by an accident which involved ten vehicles that day.

5 Great Places to Experience the REAL Sydney

When people travel, all too often they only experience the parts of a destination that are made for tourists. Guidebook safely in hand a travel insurance policy safely in bag, tourists from all over the world visit Sydney each year. The majority of those people see very little of the real Sydney, choosing instead to spend their time climbing the Harbour Bridge or taking in high tea at the Opera House. Of course these are worthy tourist destinations and definitely should not be missed, but if you’re looking for a slightly more authentic Sydney experience, this is the article for you!


One of the best ways to experience a city is through your taste buds, and Sydney is no exception. With one of the most dynamic and exciting culinary scenes in the world, Sydney will constantly amaze you with the gastronomic wonders it has on offer. No matter what your budget, you can find quality food in Sydney. If you’re looking for cheap eats, head to Chinatown in the city centre, and sample the most authentic of Asian cuisines for a very nifty price. Instead of dining right on the harbour in restaurants that pushes up their prices and dumb down their menus, check out a few local food blogs to figure out where to go to eat.

If you want to feel what it’s like for the true urban Sydneysider, head to Crown Street in Surry Hills for a range of great options, or King Street in Newtown, an alternative hub that is positively lined with quality food outlets. If you’re looking to spoil yourselves, Tetsuya’s is a Sydney institution, and while it’s fairly pricey, you’ll be blown away by the skill and quality of the dishes.


Of course, everyone heads to iconic Bondi Beach as soon as they set down in Sydney, and so they should. The beach is an Australian landmark and a very beautiful one at that, but there is so much more to see in terms of beaches than just Bondi. Don’t make the mistake of spending all of your time on Bondi Beach, instead explore some of the lesser-known harbour beaches that provide brilliant views of the city. Places like Camp Cove in Watson’s Bay and Milk Beach in Hermitage Bay National Park are both prime examples of dazzlingly beautiful beaches that remain un-crowded even on the hottest of summer days!


Another great way to experience the real Sydney is to check out the local events and festivals guides. There are generally markets on every weekend all over the city, and here you’ll get a great taste of the way Sydneysiders like to spend their days off. Alternatively, check out whether or not there are any outdoor music festivals, concerts or other interesting events and head along to take part.

Sydney hostels are full of eager travellers who cannot wait to experience the real Sydney. It’s easy to become sidetracked by all the touristy things, but if you hunt around a bit you’ll find that everyday life in the Harbour City can be just as exciting.

Nov 12, 2011

Old Bikes in Songgom Village

click to enlarge During on the way back home from my husband's home town, we passed by some interesting villages. One of them is Songgom Village (Central Java, Indonesia). Most of the villagers are farmers. The unique thing is I saw many farmers there using old bikes. Here are some of my captures.The Weekend in Black and White

Nov 11, 2011

Ways To Make Your Restaurant More Family Friendly

You don’t really notice when you are single, though once you have a family it can prove really difficult to find a restaurant that will accommodate all of you. It’s not just a matter of numbers but it’s also tough finding a place that has thought of those little details that make all the difference for a family. If you run a restaurant and want to make your place more accessible to families, the following ideas will make all the difference.

Kid’s Menu
One of the best parts about eating out is being able to order your food off a menu, and as any
hospitality training in Australia will teach you, eating out should be a memorable experience for everyone. Having a special kids menu will not only have the kids feeling important, but will also be a way to ensure that there are items that kids can and will want to eat. The kid’s menu alone will make families more likely to consider dining out at your restaurant.

Ways to Keep the Kids Busy
Children can be hard to keep quiet for very long so it can be a good idea to have ways to keep them occupied. Having some toys on hand for them to play with or even a few simple
school supplies can be there difference between a great family experience and a nightmare. It won’t cost much to pick up some kid-focused products and will be another way to show parents that you are a family friendly restaurant.

Make sure that you have more than one high chair on hand for really little kids as if there is no appropriate seating for toddlers you may end up losing out on some business. If your restaurant has a few different sections to it, it may be worth designating one section as the family area. This will separate potentially noisy kids from other patrons and also allow families to relax and feel comfortable.

A very smart way to attract budget-conscious families is to offer a discount on kid’s meals or even offer free meals for kids under a certain age. This is a very clever way to attract business, as kids don’t eat a lot of food anyway, though your gesture will have you looking like the best option for family dining.

Have a Kid Specialist on Staff

Not everyone likes kids, so if you have someone on your staff that is clearly a child friendly person, make the most of their skills and have them handle your family patrons. You don’t want to have a staff member losing their cool dealing with a little kid, so make sure your biggest kid-lover is on the case and that your customers and their kids are all having a great time.

A lot of restaurants forget about the needs of people with children and as a result miss out on thousands of dollars of potential business every year. Your place is either kid-friendly or it’s not, so make a little effort and be sure the little ones love coming to your restaurant just as much as their parents do.

Moving out of Home? Get Contents Insurance!

Moving out of home can be an extremely exciting but daunting process. Leaving mum, dad, siblings and the old family dog behind is a huge move that comes a newfound sense of freedom and independence, but also a new set of responsibilities. All of a sudden, you are accountable for solely looking after your own belongings. This might sound like a piece of cake, but before you tune out, think about this: can you afford to replace your belongings if they are damaged, broken or stolen?

Most people’s answer to this question is ‘no’. If you are one of those people, think again. In the case of an accident or theft, you could lose the entire contents of your home. That means you would need to replace all of your home entertainment items, kitchen appliances, furniture, homewares, clothes, accessories, linen and bedding, art, photos….you catch my drift. You could be up for the lot!

Home contents insurance is a worthy investment that can help you recover the costs of replacing your belongings in the event that something happens to them.

Sadly, for some people, insurance is an afterthought – they wait until the unthinkable has occurred and then wish that they had have taken out the insurance they needed. So don’t leave insurance to the last minute - even before you find a removalist, you want to think about home contents insurance. It can protect you financially if you have to replace your clothes, furniture or electronics due to accident or theft.

What type of insurance will you need?
The type of insurance you need will depend significantly on two key factors:
1. the types of incidents/events you want to be insured for
2. the amount you want the insurer to pay you if you have to make a claim.
The other key determinant is the situation you are in. If you are moving into a shared house, you may need to shop around for an insurer that will cover you. This is because it is usually harder to control who stays in or visits a shared house and therefore, those who live in them are more susceptible to damage and theft.

How much cover is enough?
This is not an easy question to answer, but a good way to approach this is to list all of your personal belongings and how much it would cost to replace them. Don’t be fickle or overly conservative - the reason for taking out insurance is so that it covers everything so make sure you list all items and a fair cost to replace them.

It’s even better if you have photos or receipts proving the value of the items you wish to insure. This will help you to verify the value of the particular item in the event that you need to make a claim.

You can take out home contents insurance regardless of whether you own your own home or you are renting. It is protection with piece of mind and that is priceless.


Nov 9, 2011

5 Awesome Child’s Room Ideas

Buying baby gifts for a room is always a great alternative to the usual toys and clothes. The nursery or bedroom is the environment where children sleep, play and interact intimately with their parents, so it’s important that it’s cozy, pleasurable and suits the tastes of the child.

Because it’s not easy to figure this out on your own, here are 5 original ideas for a child’s room.

1. Applied murals
These amazing, wallpaper-like products have hit the market these last few years with easy and original mural designs for all ages. These murals usually consist of a pack of different mural pieces that you can put on the walls as it suits the room. You can leave out some parts or even mix-and-match different murals.

These are great because they can be easily applied and removed; they don’t require any painting talent. When the child grows old enough to choose his or her room theme, you can change the motif quickly and without needing to repaint everything.

2. Decorative pillows
Find animal or nature-themed pillows that fit the room’s color and theme. Not only are decorative pillows pretty, they’re also safe to play with and provide comfort and warmth to a tired child.

If you have trouble finding what you need, why not make them yourself? Pillows are easy to make and can be done through sewing, knitting and even crocheting. It’ll be a personal gift that your child will cherish!

3. Themed decoration

Beautiful themed children’s rooms are all over the Internet and decoration shows; if you have the budget and the time, you should think about building a themed room for your child.

The main question you need to ask when theming a child’s room is, what does my child like? Don’t be afraid to ask your child’s opinion, especially the older ones. Also, think about the durability of such a project: is the interest a passing fad or will your child enjoy the theme for at least a few years?

4. Coded clothing storage
Does your child have problems dressing properly for the weather? A coded chest of drawers is a great way to help organize your child’s clothing and teach them what to wear when.

It’s easy: just stick or paint a seasonal code (snowflake for winter, rainy cloud for spring, sun for summer and a leaf for fall) and put the related clothes in the drawers. Light clothes belong in summer, sweaters in fall and winter, and rain clothes in the spring drawer.

5. A secret corner

If you have the space, build a little secret corner so your child can have a quiet space to think, play or read on his or her own. Some children need more solitude than others, so providing a solitary space is a great way to fulfill that need.

Furnish it comfortably with cushions, blankets, a lamp and anything else your child might need. Of course, don’t use the closet if it’s full of
baby clothes!

Nov 6, 2011

How to Make Your Home Entertaining

To have a home that is great for entertaining you need a good area both indoors and outdoors. The perfect style of home for entertaining is one with a large open living area, particularly one that includes the kitchen within this space, that way the cook isn't left out of all the fun. If you prefer to entertain outdoors you need a good paved area with some quality sandstone pavers, a veranda, retractable awning or patio and a good quality barbecue.


You will need some sort of shade and shelter for an outdoor entertainment area. If your home doesn't have a veranda you can have one built or construct a patio area. If you don't want to have a shaded area out the side or back of your home all year round you can also have a retractable awning installed which means you can pull it out when you want to create a shaded area and then put it away so the sun can warm up your home in winter.


You will need either a paved area or a timber decking, depending on whether your garden slopes away from the house or you prefer the look of timber. Paving is a lot easy to lay and there are great choices of outdoor pavers available in a range of different materials. You can set up your furniture on the pavers and they also look great around an in ground pool.


For entertaining at night you will need adequate lighting if you are going to have your party outdoors. Fluorescent lighting is a bit harsh and creates a glare. For a better mood lighting turn off the overhead light and illuminate your outdoor area with garden lights or hang fairy lights in the trees. Have lights running up the side of pathways or even light some tiki lights in the garden, which are inexpensive. If you have a pool switch on the pool light to cast a lovely glow over your garden.


Whether you are entertaining indoors and enjoying the view of your garden through the windows or having a party outdoors, keep your garden tidy by weeding and trimming plants regularly. Mow the lawn or if you don't have time hire someone to come in and do it for you. Gardens look lovely at night with lights dotted through them or hang lights in the trees. For added atmosphere you might want to have a water feature installed.

Outdoor furniture

The range of outdoor furniture is fantastic. You can buy quality furniture that easily rivals your indoor settings. You can buy lounge suites that are as comfortable as your indoor set and furniture comes with all sorts of luxurious accessories like pillows, throws and table settings. If you plan on entertaining outdoors often invest in some quality furniture that will last.

Outdoor Kitchen

To create a really functional outdoor entertainment area you can install an outdoor kitchen. As well as the usual barbecue an outdoor kitchen will have plenty of bench space for food preparation and a sink for washing up.

Nov 5, 2011

Sea View

Captured from a restaurant in Indramayu (West Java, Indonesia) that has sea view. During our way to my husband's home town, we dropped by there for having a lunch.

What You Should Do If an Earthquake Strikes

If you live in an area that is prone to earthquakes you need to know what to do. Even if you don't live in such an area you should have some knowledge of how to protect yourself because you might end up travelling within a region that is prone to quakes and you could find yourself caught up in one. If you live in an area that experiences regular earthquakes then it is essential that you protect your assets by having home and contents insurance, which will cover your furniture, personal belongings, your Westinghouse fridge, computer equipment and clothes.

Where to go during an earthquake
You need to know where the safest place to be is if an earthquake was to happen. Inside the safest place to be is under a table or if there is no furniture to get under you should stand against an interior walls. You should try to keep as far away from windows as possible.

What to do if you are outside
If you happen to be outside when an earthquake strikes the best place you can be is well away from any buildings, trees or anywhere that anything could fall down on you. If you are near a hill side you will need to watch for falling rocks. If an earthquake starts you need to try not to panic and move to the most open area you can find.

You should have an emergency supply kit organised no matter where you live, even if earthquakes don't happen in your area. Other things could happen like storms or flash floods so it is important to be prepared. You should have a stock of emergency supplies such as fresh bottled water, tinned food, a battery operated radio with some extra batteries, a torch with spare batteries, a first aid kit and medical supplies, blankets, plenty of warm clothing and some basic tools, such as spanners, a hammer, screw drivers and a saw.

A safe home

You can help keep yourself safe by arranging your home so that if an earthquake hits then heavy objects are not placed up high where they can fall on you. Heavy books, vases, pots and pans and anything else of this nature should be stored in lower shelves and any breakables shut behind cabinets that can lock. Don't hang heavy mirrors or pictures above where people often sit or sleep.
It is also a good idea to anchor down heavy objects such as fridges, washing machines and other appliances.

After the earthquake has finished you should turn off your utilities, such as the gas and electricity at the mains. This is where you might need your tools.

You need to make sure that you not injured before going to find anybody else. If the building you are in seems to be unstable you need to get yourself and everyone else out. Don't put yourself in unnecessary danger. There may be gas leaks so check you can't smell gas. Turn off the power and gas if you can.

Related source: Earthquake retrofitting


Nov 3, 2011

Welcome Sunshine! 5 Great Ways To Celebrate Summer

Summer is an exciting time, especially for Aussies. The warm weather brings something out in us that the cold weather puts away for the months of winter. It seems to make us happier, lighter and ready to come out of hibernation and get active again. Summer is definitely worth celebrating.

If you’re one of those people who worked way too hard last summer, and missed the beach weather, got suck inside on a lazy Sunday afternoon or just couldn’t find the time to enjoy the heat, this summer is the one for you. Celebrate its arrival and make sure you make the most of it for however long it lasts.
So how can you kick summer off in style… and set a trend you stick to?

1. The traditional way
The best way for an Aussie to kick off the warm months is to have a barbeque bonanza in the backyard! Getting all your friends together is the sound of summer. Sausages on the barbie is the smell of summer. Freshly mowed grass covered in barbie tables and chairs are the sight of summer. Embrace the start of the season, call in the
event hire company for entertainment, and encourage all your friends to do the same.

2. Get active
The warmer months are also a great time to get in shape – they are, after all, the months of swimwear and short shorts. Start off the summer with a plan to get fit and healthy and be the best you can be. None of these New Year’s resolution type plans that have no follow through, a genuine plan that you will start from day one and keep following! Focus on clear cut goals and use the summer to achieve them.

3. Take a break
As soon as the temperatures start rising, start making plans to have a break. We should definitely not spend the best days of summer sitting in an office! If you can’t find the time or the money to take a proper holiday, take advantage of the October long weekend, or just take one or two days and enjoy a special long weekend break. Summer’s here to enjoy, so don’t waste it!

4. Girls night out
Winter is a tough time to hit the town. It’s freezing on the streets, but too hot in the clubs for the big coats you desperately need outside. As summer comes around, it’s time to polish off the heels and the short skirts, coat on the fake tan and get ready to have a big one! Get the girls all together, some music and a few pre-drinks to start the night, then let the warm summer air send you crazy!

5. Get sexy!
Finally, if you’ve hidden away inside the four walls of your home and the
colourbond fencing surrounding it during the colder months, you’re going to need to invest in cleaning up for summer. Think pamper pack for yourselves – and the girls if they are in. We’re talking manicure, pedicure, facials, hair – the works, so you can look your best, and feel your best when you strut your stuff down the street in summer.

Nov 2, 2011

How to Live with Others

Learning to live with other students, roommates or your partner is something we will all pick up in time. However, you are not alone if you seem to struggle with finding great flatmates, or always come into conflict with those you live with.

Here are some tips that will help make living with others an easier process, and will help you avoid the common areas that can cause arguments or disputes.

1. Establish Boundaries.
When you first move into a new apartment together, or you meet your new flatmates for the first time: take the time to establish some boundaries and clarify what is and isn’t acceptable.

For example, is it okay to invite your friends over for dinner, or do you need to let your fellow roommates know first? How loud can you be during the evenings? Are there any days of the week where you need to particularly quiet?

It might feel a little awkward to discuss this first, especially if you do not know each other well, but it will save you from a lot of potential conflict further down the line.
Printing a list of the boundaries you have discussed and keeping this somewhere for reference (in the very rare case that you will need it) can also be a good idea.

2. Sync Your Times.
Cooking times, TV times and showering times are all areas that can get a little messy.

Be mindful of what time everyone needs to go to work in the morning and plan around this: maybe some of you will have to shower at night to avoid clashes in the morning.

If you have a very small kitchen, it is a good idea to stagger your cooking times, or look into cooking together.

3. Bond.Depending on who has signed the rental agreement, one of you will have had to pay a bond (unless you own the house yourself).

If you have all moved into the house at the same time, it is wise to suggest the bond is split evenly.

This will mean that, in the event something does break or you don’t get the entire bond back, the loss is shared evenly between all of you.

Establishing the bond as a condition of moving in will save you an unpleasant discussion at a later stage, especially if the bond is lost through no fault of your own.

4. Contract and Rent.
The most important part of a contract between flatmates is to protect you for when someone decides to move out.

Include a stipulation in the contract that they must give at least two weeks notice – meaning you will have time to find someone else – or perhaps even include a condition that they cannot move out until a replacement has been found.

This would mean if they moved out and did not fulfill these obligations, a
debt collection agency would be able easily to help you get back what money is owed.

5. Give Each Other Space.
One of the best things about living with others is the opportunity to build long lasting, close friendships.

Just as you hear stories about flats that have turned out to be disastrous – there are also many success stories. Whether you moved in together already as friends, or whether you were complete strangers – you can become closer as a result of living together.

Remember to give each other space and respect the need for privacy when appropriate – and avoid spending too much time together so as not become weary of one another. Finding the perfect balance is difficult - but not impossible. Good luck!

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