Some quick tips to improve sleep

If you are unable to get proper sleep at night (insomnia), you should try some of these habits:

  1. Sprinkle just-washed sheets and pillowcases with lavender water. The scent has been shown in studies to promote relaxation, which can lead to better sleep.
  2. Buy a new pillow. Studies show that pillows with an indent in the center can enhance sleep quality and reduce neck pain. Also, try a “cool” pillow — one containing either all-natural fibers or a combination of sodium sulfate and ceramic fibers that help keeps your head cool.
  3. Eat a handful of walnuts before bed. You’ll be giving yourself a boost of fiber and essential fatty acids along with the amino acid tryptophan — a natural sleep-inducer.
  4. Also having a bath with cold water before going to bed is advisable.
  5. Avoid having caffeine for two to three hours before going to bed, instead have a glass of warm milk.
  6. If still you do not get a proper sleep for a week, it is advisable to consult a doctor immediately.

Rice Delicacy

A mouth watering combination of rice with fresh green onions and

Rice treat: Khumb Pulao

Rice treat: Khumb Pulao


Cooking time: 14 mins.
Preparation time: 10 mins

1 cup long grained rice
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
4 spring onions
2 cloves
12 mm. (1/2″) piece cinnamon
2 green cardamoms
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon cumin (jeera) powder
2 tablespoons oil
Salt to taste

Serves: 4

1. Clean and wash the rice. Soak in warm water for about 10 minutes. Drain and keep aside.
2. Chop the spring onion whites and the green separately. Keep aside.
3. Combine the oil, spring onion whites, cloves, cinnamon, cardamoms and bay leaf in a glass bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes.
4. Add the mushrooms and microwave on HIGH for 1 more minute.
5. Add the rice, mix well and microwave on HIGH for 1 minute.
6. Add 2 cups of hot water to the rice mixture along with the spring onion greens and salt and mix well. Microwave on HIGH for 10 minutes, stirring twice in between after every 4 minutes.
7. Serve hot.

How to make a small room seem airy and open?

Do you have a small room that feels claustrophobic when used? Read this article by Stacy Herlihy of Happy Living Magazine and learn how to make any room seem airy and open.

Furniture in a small room

One of the easiest ways to make a small room seem like it has more space is with paint. If you paint a room a single color you will unify it and draw the eye outward.

The best colors to choose to accomplish this task are colors from the cool side of the color spectrum like blue and green. Such colors appear to recede when viewed. Another very popular color widely used to make rooms seem larger is white.

White is an excellent choice for rooms that don’t get a lot of sunlight since the color will reflect back any light in the room. If you choose another color other than white, make sure you paint the ceiling of the room white. Otherwise the use of a sole color can mitigate the effect of the cooler color. A blue ceiling will remind people that the ceiling is there whereas the white will make it blend in with the rest of the walls.

In addition to painting walls a single color, you may also wish to look carefully at every thing you place in an undersized room. The primary rule here is to avoid clutter. Putting too many items in a room takes up floor and wall space, leaving less room for other activities. If your goal is to make a room appear larger use books, knick-knacks and family photos should be used sparingly if at all.

Another aspect of decorating to pay close attention to in a petit area is furniture placement. Any couch, bed or table should be considered carefully and thoroughly first. Ask yourself if the room really needs it. Good design can be of great assistance here. When choosing furniture for smaller spaces look closely at the materials used in the construction of the furniture. Wicker, for instance, has an elegant and airy feeling that takes up little visual space. Wicker items are available in a large variety of finishes and colors so you should be able to find a piece that suits your taste. Think about putting in a glass topped coffee table rather than a wood table. The transparency of the glass will seem to almost disappear in the room. A couch that is open underneath the cushions rather one that has a skirt that falls to the floor is another good choice.

All furniture you use should ideally be scaled to the size of the room. Overstuffed couches and massive china cabinets will not work in a smaller room. Consider choosing a love seat and breakfast table instead. Manufacturers have marketed items that are specifically designed for smaller spaces so investigate these choices.

When accessorizing a smaller room it is best to choose pieces that draw the eye upward. Avoid horizontal lines if possible. Put paintings on the wall that are columnar in shape rather than square. Long thin candles are a nice item to choose. Group several over the fireplace mantle if you have one. Another way to draw the up is to use a decorative border or stencil. Place the border wallpaper parallel to the ceiling and use it all around the room. A stencil can also be placed right below the ceiling. Using a stencil is very easy. You can either buy one from a kit or make one yourself. If you have painted the room in a dark color, a contrasting stencil done in white will look very attractive.

Follow a few simple rules and you should be able to make even the smallest of rooms in your home appear sleek and open.
(Inspired by Happy Living Magazine)