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PENNY WISE

A little pragmatism can help our loved ones

By By Nasreen Sattar,
Former CEO, Standard Chartered Bank, Afghanistan

About a week ago my husband and I, along with another couple who are very close friends, were on a flight from Rome to Istanbul. While we were cruising, I looked down and saw the beautiful blue waters of the sea and felt sad that our holiday was over. We were headed back home to reality.

A delicious lunch was served and as I enjoyed the first bite of the appetiser we heard a loud continuous beep, like a fire alarm. My initial reaction was that it came from the galley area and that it would stop. The loud beep went on and all of us in the cabin realised something was wrong.

Our husbands looked nervous but pretended they were not; we girls were definitely troubled. We were more terrified when the flight attendant came and took away our half-eaten food and told us that we were heading back to Rome.

The whole ordeal lasted for nearly 20 minutes until the beeping stopped. The pilot announced that there was a malfunction of the drinks chiller, which has been shut down, and we would continue to proceed with our journey to Istanbul!

When we eventually reached our destination I asked my friend what was going on in her mind during those 20 minutes and her thoughts were exactly the same as mine.

We were travelling with our husbands and if something were to happen, what would be the fate of our children? We had not made any arrangements of our estate or even informed them of our financial and insurance details. We tend to take life for granted -- this incident was a major wake-up call and I think it is imperative that all of us make it a point, sooner rather than later, to set our financial books in order, adding our children's names as nominees whether they are in the country or overseas.

Muslim Law does not allow 'wills' to be made but there are other ways of ensuring that our children are not deprived of anything when we die. Islam allows property to be gifted to offspring during the lifetime of the parents but then one has to be wary of the fact that there have been cases where parents have been driven out of their own homes.

Greed is a strange phenomenon and can make your 'kith and kin' turn against you. A well-established lawyer-friend of mine advised me that the parents' property can be gifted during one's lifetime with a caveat inserted ensuring that the 'gift' can only be effective on demise of both parents.

I hope the article is not misunderstood but taken in the spirit of prudence and realities of life.


ASK DR SAGIR

Puppy chronicles

By Sagir U Ahmed

This week Star Lifestyle introduces their newest columnist, Dr. Sagir U. Ahmed, who will be giving tips and offering answers to present and prospective pet owners. This week, Dr. Sagir discusses puppy adoptions and the basic requirements that go with it.

Pet adoption is a primary but important consideration for any prospective owner. For my first article, I'll be discussing puppy adoptions and gradually I will move on to kittens, rabbits, turtles, cage birds and other exotic pets one by one.

Puppies are lovely creatures but need a lot of care. Be prepared for day to day foods, accessories and training. Owning a puppy can be a real joy but it's also a big responsibility that you must be mentally prepared for.

What type of puppy should you choose?
This is the first step for any prospective pet owner. It is essential for you to choose a breed which will best suit your circumstances. Therefore, before making your choice, there are a few things you need to consider.

Know the different breeds by reading books or surfing the Internet and gain as much information as possible before making your choice.

Think about your lifestyle, the size of your home, facilities for exercise and time available.

Speak to other dog owners for their advice and experiences.

Should you choose to adopt a pedigree, meet dogs of all ages and both sexes of that breed. This will give you an idea of what to expect.

Consider both the physical and mental needs of the breed you have chosen

Caring for your new puppy
Once you have chosen your puppy, it is important for you to make plans for his transition to your home. This will help reduce any extra stress caused by his new surroundings and give him the best start in his new life. Here are some basic guidelines for you to follow:

Preparation
Decide on a name for your new puppy. This will be one of the first things he will learn.

Decide where your new puppy is going to sleep and have a suitable bed ready with a blanket or an old jute bag. Many people choose to place the bed in an isolated room, where the floor is easy to clean and the area is free from draughts.

Many puppies struggle to cope with separation from their mum and littermates and are much happier sleeping with humans in their bedroom until they are older. They can be gradually moved onto the landing and/or downstairs if preferred.

Ensure you have all the necessary equipment such as a feeding bowl, a water bowl, newspaper, a couple of safe toys, suitable grooming equipment for the coat type, a lead, collar and name tag, and a supply of food he is used to (ask the breeder or previous owner or a vet).

Ensure the home environment is safe. 'Puppy proofing' is wise to avoid any unnecessary accidents. Remove anything that you would not wish to be chewed, particularly electrical flexes; also ensure that your home boundary and gates are secure.

Lastly, ensure that each and every animal adopted has love, food, vet care and shelter and never has to endure abuse.

In the following weeks, I'll be discussing a puppy's first days, its healthcare, training, feeding and exercise. In the mean time send all your pet related queries to lifestyleds@yahoo.com

Graduating with a D.V.M. degree from Bangladesh Agricultural University in 1997, Dr. Sagir began his profession as a Veterinarian in 1999. In 2001, he joined the Novartis Animal Division as a Veterinarian and also did his MS in veterinary science in 2002. Afterwards he did post graduate training on pet animal and farm animal treatment from Thailand and India. At present he is doing his PhD with a fellowship at BSMRAU. He is the owner of Dr. Sagir's Pet Clinic at Lalmatia, near the Meena Bazaar, at Dhanmondi Rd# 27. .


THE CREATIVE MUMMY

Colourful crayons

By Nazia Farzin Shafiq

A warm and sunny good morning from Pittsburgh! The weather here is really nice now. We are officially into summer. The winters here are so long that have long-held dreams for summer. Now that it's finally here, I thought of sharing one fun summer craft with you.

This week's project is simple and fun for all from preschoolers to teenagers to mums and even dads.
The supplies are quite basic: canvas, crayons, and hot glue. For little kids, you can use liquid glues, but that takes a little more time to dry. For our project we used a 64-count box of crayons and supplemented with a few extras from a 24-count box (to replace the browns and grays we had rejected) and arranged them into a pattern we liked.

The next step was to peel off the paper labels from all 60 crayons. This was not fun. We could have left the labels on, but I preferred the more natural look without them. At this stage, my girls helped me tremendously. They were more than excited to tear off the crayon labels.

We glued all the crayons to the top of the canvas (pointing down) with a single strip of hot glue from a high-heat glue gun. We let it dry for a few minutes, and then re-glued a few loose crayons.

Finally, we set our crayon-covered canvas on our balcony and set the canvas up at an angle (to keep the melted colours on the canvas rather than the floor). After 30 minutes, the crayons started to sweat and slowly melt. At this point, my daughters were far too excited to catch the dripping colors. My little one caught a drop of her favorite colour -- purple -- on her tiny little finger. But the three of us were getting impatient. That's when I decided to speed up the process and broke out our super-secret weapon: my hairdryer. It worked like a charm. Melting all the crayons still took a while but it was all well worth.

Do look at pictures and tell me what you think of our masterpieces. We were pretty psyched with the results. We placed the art in my girls' room and it totally brightened up the wall.

Oh! Just for an idea, you can attach some fabric flowers in the canvas to make it look a little different. For a more adult like look, you can choose your favourite shades of crayons and paint or attach a picture at the bottom. You can also attach the crayons in different shapes. The opportunities are endless.

So dear readers, I wish you good luck with your own masterpieces. If you have any further queries, feel free to email me at lifestyleds@yahoo.com


A TRUE TASTE OF ASIA


By Tommy Miah

Buttermilk Fried Chicken
INGREDIENTS:
1 (3 pound) fryer (see Wikipedia on the difference between broilers, fryers, and roasting birds), cut into pieces
2 cups buttermilk
1 large onion, sliced
1/4 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs (parsley, tarragon, thyme) or a teaspoon each of the dried herbs.
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon onion salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
Salt and pepper
2 cups grape seed oil or other high smoke-point oil such as canola oil, or peanut oil

METHOD
Soak chicken overnight (at least 8 hours and up to two days) in buttermilk with onions, herbs, paprika, and chili powder.

Drain in colander, leaving some herbs on chicken. In a large paper or plastic (sturdy) bag, mix flour with seasonings. Meanwhile, heat 2 cups oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet (cast iron, stainless steel, or anodized aluminium - something that can take the heat) on medium high heat until a pinch of flour starts to sizzle when dropped in the hot oil (but not so hot that the pan is smoking). Remember when working with hot oil; always have a pan lid close by.

Coconut Shrimp with Sweet Chilli Mayonnaise
INGREDIENTS:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
1 teaspoon chili-garlic hot sauce (optional)
1 pound tail-on shrimp shelled but leave tail on
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 egg
2 tablespoons coconut milk (or regular milk)
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes
Oil, for frying

METHOD
In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sweet chilli sauce and the chilli-garlic hot sauce (optional). Set aside.

With a paring knife, slice down deep at the middle of the back of the shrimp, but do not cut all the way through. Discard the black vein/tract.

Set three shallow bowls side by side. Place flour in the first bowl; whisk the egg and coconut milk in the second; and combine the bread crumbs and coconut flakes in the third.

Heat 2 inches of oil in a sauté pan over moderate heat until thermometer registers 350°F.

As the oil is heating, bread the shrimp by dipping the shrimp on both sides in the flour and shaking excess off. Next dip in the egg/coconut milk mixture and then in the bread crumbs/coconut flakes, patting to ensure the coating sticks well.

Fry the shrimp in small batches for 2-3 minutes until golden brown on both sides. Serve with Sweet Chilli Mayo for dipping.


TIPS

A quick feast

Sometimes in life you make the mistake of inviting five of your friends over for dinner and forget to tell your house-maker. You tell her or him and they categorically refuse to help you out of your predicament since you told them much too late. So, what happens now? Fear not, there are still ways to fix this. All you need is a 1000 bucks. You'd probably spend more anyway, so why not?

Now, the first thing that comes to mind is obviously 'take-out'. Well, wrong answer because 1000 taka will not help you prepare a meal to remember. You could order Tehari, but for the sake of argument, let's just say you won't. So what options do you have now? Plenty still.

Okay. Spend a 100 bucks buying a few movies. That passes time. Spend another 260 on Butter Popcorn, Digestive Biscuits and Tang Juice. Now you're friends' tummy is pretty full. Spend 250 bucks on Maggi noodles and sausages and make it really spicy. That'll kill their appetite further. Spend 200 more on getting yourself enough salami to make enough sandwiches. Top it all of with a bowl of Jello for dessert and WHAT A MEAL you just made all on your own. Love's the ingredient, cheapskate.

Completion Time: 30 mins

By Osama Rahman


SHOP TALK

Notice
As part of Star Lifestyle's expansion to a 20-page publication, we have re-introduced our shopping column, Shoptalk, in a new guise. It will now focus on highlighting specific products and to this effect businesspersons, retailers and product manufacturers are requested to send products and product information (except clothes)that they would like to promote. All product suggestions should be emailed to lifestyleds@yahoo.com or raffat@thedailystar.net.

The bread spread
With Shab-e-Barat just around the corner, this week Shop Talk highlights all this flour to make your Halwa and curries a sure hit for the taste buds.

Fancy fabulous
Another Dior replica, this sunglass, complete with rich, unique craftsmanship, is sure to turn some heads on the way. A collectible for the ladies, the sunglass has multi-coloured rims, an elegant structure and a rather bulky and unique design, for which it is priced at Tk 6000.

No non-sense
But that doesn't mean colours like black and grey are not in style. They very much rule our tastes in eye-wear. This down-to-earth, yet stylish pair of specs, a design by Dior, shows the power of black and grey. These half-rimmed frame go a long way in making a solid impression. These sleek spectacles will cost you Tk.1600.

Out of the blue
Accessories are a great way to distinguish you from others. The wide scope of designs helps you do that quite easily. This blue sunglass, an Emporio Armani replica, is indeed a unique one -- a funky looking eyewear for girls to sport at casual occasions. A “chubby” design, it is a breathtakingly inimitable piece, made for girls bold and chic. This interesting sunglass will cost you Tk 4150.

All these replica spectacles and sunglasses are offered by Brand Optics. This is not a brick-and-mortar store though. You have to go online to check their products. Go to Facebook (you do that anyway) and search Brand Optics. Prices and model numbers are also mentioned there. Conversely, you can check out their website, www.brand-optics.com. The site gives you a zooming option that helps a lot when you are checking out the products. After you have narrowed down your choices, just pick up the phone and ask to bring them to your place, where you can choose and pay for the final ones. For further queries, call 01975544111, 01975544888.

Geeks in style
Nerdy is the word that automatically comes to mind when you see someone wearing these. What was previously deemed to be “not cool” is very in now (this is what fashion does to you!). Whilst carrying a “non-nerdy” personality, wearing this geeky bulky, thick Ray-Ban replica frame gives a witty, bold and stylish edge. A pair costs Tk.1200 only.

Got Chanel?
Chanel is one of the most popular and desired brands among women. The price, however, may make many uncomfortable. However, Brand Optics brings you some of the best and finest Chanel replicas. This one for example, is an enchanting sunglass that comes with a beautiful flower design on the temple arms. These sunglasses will cost you Tk.7000.

Fast and furious
The robust front gives this Ferrari replica an ultra-macho, ultra-modern look. This tough but yet plain and simple-looking sunglass will cost you Tk 5500.

Red is the new black
Long gone are days when black or silver were the predominant colours of eyewear. A little experimentation is enough to tell you that red -- even pink -- can be a great colour to wear on your eyes. This pair of replica Prada glasses for example, reflects vibrancy and charm irresistible. It comes with a reasonable price tag of Tk.3600.

By M H Haider


ON TREND

ERA

Needless to say, Dhaka has caught on the bug of online shopping. Numerous boutiques now maintain Facebook pages, their sole outlet for some, which provides the opportunity for buyers to “see” through the boutique's entire range of products, online, at the comfort of their homes. Some of the biggest names in the industry have also extended their service online, which once again shows the need for an e-platform for all houses in the business.

Old-school as it may seem, some clients, however, still prefer to go through the attires, match the size, etc. in person before making a purchase. They are not yet tuned, or don't feel comfortable, picking up dresses from the Internet without having a 'see' of what they are buying.

This where exhibitions come in. With Ramadan only a few weeks away, Dhakaiites are already busy shopping for the biggest festival in our calendar. The exhibition culture is not new. In the late eighties and early nineties, before the fashion market flourished, exhibitions of products were the norm. Kay Kraft, Henry's Heritage and others were a common name in the exhibition circuit. Despite maintaining outlets even back then, these fashion houses considered it important to take part in shows, highlighting their products.

Keeping in mind this growing demand, online boutique, Shunanda, and a few others are taking an initiative to explore this avenue. The purpose of their venture is to hold an exhibition not only to promote brands, but also to create an awareness of the boutiques hidden behind many Facebook groups/ pages.

The exhibition titled ERA, will be held on 13-14 July, Friday and Saturday, 3.00 p.m. to 10.00 p.m. at Flambe, Gulshan 2.

For details, log onto facebook.com/ events/258735574230919.



 

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