Po-tae-to, Po- tah- to : How to cook potatoes

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A year ago, I decided to make herbed potatoes by stir frying them. I sliced the potatoes and rubbed them with a herb mixture and put it on the pan. After an hour, they were still uncooked- but they were also burnt. I was too embarrassed to let my mother know that I was such a bad and ignorant cook, so I ate them anyway. I vowed to never cook another potato.

Today, I cooked a potato. I mustered up enough courage to make herbed potatoes. And now, for the poor ignoramus, I will tell you how to cook potatoes. Because I think its a service to mankind.

Boil the potatoes!

Boil potatoes when you usually need to mash them or generally eat with a salad or as a side dish. It usually takes 10 to 20 minutes. You can boil potatoes either whole or cubed. The cubed potato should be evenly cut so that it all cooks through evenly.

To boil a potato-

1. scrub the potatoes clean and transfer them into a saucepan with cold water. The potatoes should be drowning in them.

2. Stir in a teaspoon of salt

3. Bring to boil, and then reduce to simmer. Do not cover the pan.

4. Check the potatoes and then drain them

You now have cooked potatoes.

Bake the Potates!

You can oven bake them by:

– Preheat the oven on 200-250 degree celsius.

– Prick the potatoes with a fork, rub them with oil and season them

– Cook the potatoes for 45- 60 minutes

You can also microwave potatoes:

– Rub the potatoes with oil and prick them with a fork.

– Place the potatoes in the microwave for five minutes at full power.

– Turn them over and microwave for another 5 minutes.

– They should be done, but if they aren’t keep microwaving in 1 min bursts.

You will thank me one day, if you’re an inexperienced cook who’s trying to impress someone with edible potatoes. Or your self esteem has been boosted by my stupid uneducated-ness. Either way, this article has helped you.

photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/banger1977/2914549247/”>banger1977</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

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Probably Why You’re not Successful: Sleep

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I’ve been sleeping at 6 or 7 am in the morning these past few weeks. When I do sleep, it’s really disturbed and I just think about all the insignificant things in my life. Like all jobless people, one morning at 4 am, I Googled. Apparently, I could have acute insomnia. Or I could be a hypochondriac, believing innocently, every word, Google hands to me.

Anyway, I did some research. All this time, Insomnia meant the inability to sleep at all, to me. It could, however, involve difficulty remaining asleep or falling asleep, poor quality of sleep or just unrestful sleep.

The lack of sleep can not only affect productivity, but also your creativity. I’ve had a lot of work lately, and I’ve also been trying to read a little more and be productive. But I haven’t been able to do any of it to the best of my abilities. I was supposed to read “The Fountainhead” in a week, but I took a lot longer. Any problem I was given seemed hard to solve too. But there are ways to get yourself back in the sleep game.

Naps

I had my exams last week, which led to the vicious cycle of stress and sleep. Sometimes I wouldn’t even sleep and attend the exam. To help my body recover I’d come back home and sleep for almost 6 hours during the day. But naps can only help to a certain extent. Naps are supposed to be limited to 30 minutes for maximum health benefits- more than that disrupts the nighttime sleep all over again. The best time to nap is between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. to match the body’s circadian circle.

Sleep Schedule

I started to stick to a sleep schedule that I set out for myself. I tried making the “Snooze” button nonexistent as well. That button can actually ruin a lot for people who are trying to be successful. I’ve read somewhere that successful people always wake up early. And the snooze button is just an obstacle in our way. When you look at it like that, you have a little more hope in getting up earlier.

Sleep Diaries

Psychologists suggest sleep diaries as well. Diaries can help one record how long they sleep, how many times they woke up in the middle of the night and the general patterns of a person’s sleep. They also help determine why insomnia or other sleep related conditions are caused, as you can even write what you ate before sleeping or how much exercise you got before sleeping.

Smoking/Caffeine

I don’t smoke, but smoking is apparently a big reason that stops people from sleeping and being productive. Smoking urges and pangs occur in the night and generally makes sleep difficult. Although most movies portray successful people in expensive suits with a cigarette in their hands, please do not imitate. Caffeine should also be limited to increase sleep at night.

I wrote this article to help others like me. Happy Sleeping! 🙂

Try apps like:

http://sleepgenius.com

http://mysleepbot.com/tour

photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/alancleaver/4293345631/”>Alan Cleaver</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

Styling the bump: Maternity inspiration

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I am not one for too much celebrity gossip, but I can’t (like everybody else on the internet) take my eyes off Blake Lively in her “maternity wear”. (http://www.preserve.us/blog/celebration/bringing-up-baby/ ) She looked beautiful. The Sami & Lavi floral top and maxi skirt were sold out almost as soon as the photo was posted on the internet!

But people are acting like a reinvention of maternity clothes has never been seen before. The pairing of the skirt with the floral top is given credit of styling genius. However, I’ve been looking around and I found a lot of other people who’ve been styling their maternity clothes- spot on.

Melizza, from pincushiontreats.wordpress.com, has been “creating treats, one stitch at a time” for her readers. As I was looking through her blog posts, I found some of the clothes that she had stitched herself and created a wonderfully fresh and creative look with each post.

Take a look:

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Do check out Melizza’s blog: pincushiontreats.wordpress.com

photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/bellymotherbaby/921981665/”>christyscherrer</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

We are what we eat: The food we eat reflects our personality

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Jennifer Aniston starred as the vivacious Polly Prince in the movie, “Along Came Polly”. Polly was adventurous, averse to commitment and got high on life. She loved to travel, didn’t know where life would take her and loved it. I remember this particular scene where she goes on a date with a man (Ben Stiller) and she suggests a Moroccan place. She loves experiencing food with her hands and enjoys the spicy food. Unlike Ben Stiller, who we come to see as a completely different person as compared to Polly.

It turns out, the kind of food you prefer predicts your personality too. According to research by John Hayes and Nadia Byrnes at Penn State University, personality is a key element to why people like spicy food. They believed that capsaicin, a major ingredient in chilli and spicy food, could be a determinant to a person’s personality.

A study using 200 participants tested their “Adventurous High risk” attitude and correlated it to their preference for spice. They used a test known as the Arnett’s inventory of Sensation Seeking, which determines the participants’ risk taking behaviour. The results showed that people who scored higher on this test also loved spicy food a lot more!

Have we become what we eat?

Watch this hilarious scene to find the different personalities of food and people:-

Along Came Polly – The Restaurant Scene – YouTube

photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/geoftheref/2726818603/”>geoftheref</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

Foggy morning on Orcas Island

I found this on (https://wordpress.com/read/blog/id/4/ ) and it felt inspirational to me. It made me think of all the romantic cliche ideas of nature being the force that actually speaks to you. Plus, the brilliant photography captured the clash of manmade objects with the foggy nature in a way that just cannot be called a “clash” anymore.

Matt on Not-WordPress

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Model Crush: Analeigh Tipton

Placed third on Cycle 11 of America’s Next Top Model in 2008, Tipton has been playing both the modelling and acting fields.  Last night, I watched “Two Night Stand”, starring her and Miles Turner. She was always the essence of unique beauty, with her perfect eyebrows and adorable smile. But the movie made me look at her as the typical  “girl next door”.

Random photos of her portray the “runway ready” look at all times, combined with the factor of “adorableness”, of course. With long hazel brown hair and blue eyes, she posses an essential ability to morph into anything the client/movie demands of her. Her skin, hair and facial features allow her to have a varied inventory of looks to give more room for creativity for the client/movie.

Her unique look is very different from other typical models or the standard of beauty. She is beautiful in every way and I love every look of hers!

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Other factors that I’ve taken in consideration that makes Analeigh captivating is the fact that she is not just a beauty. She supports a charity called Invisible Children (Read here about the conflict at Invisible Children: http://invisiblechildren.com/conflict/) She was also an irresistible American figure skater, who, after retiring, continued to skate for charity ice shows for AIDS foundations.

Overall, I think she makes a perfectly reasonable model crush.

Visit: http://antm411.com/2010/04/03/analeigh-tipton-portfolio-for-ford-models/ to see Analeigh’s Portfolio.

To Habit or Not to Habit?

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(www.photopin.com)

According to Charles Duhigg, the author of “The Power of Habit”, people lose track of their lives because of the way the brain functions. All humans create habits that can be good for you (like eating salad for dinner) or bad (telling people you eat salad for dinner). But soon, the habits become a part of your being, and turn into a psychological pattern called “the habit loop”.

In a recent study in the European Journal of Social psychology, researchers have found out that you can change your life in 66 days! That is, if you have the control and the will power to not cry while doing so.

I started using this brilliant online app called Chains.cc, which uses the Seinfeld philosophy for breaking old habits and starting new ones. Jerry Seinfeld, a famous comedian, said that the key to success and productivity is to start a habit and to never “break the chain”. It doesn’t matter if you feel like doing it or how much of it you do- as long as you do it. Every day.

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Chains.cc works on this concept and uses pretty graphics that create something beautiful each day you stick to your habit. A block of letters soon turn into a pile of books; a flower soon blooms into different kinds of flowers- as long as you don’t “break the chain”. I love this app, although I use it on and off, but it’s the only app that has ever kept me going.

Check it out: https://chains.cc and change your life!