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Wedding festival at Wedding Diary

Popular wedding event planner Wedding Diary offers exclusive packages for those who are considering tying the nuptial knot this season. The packages include but are not limited to wedding photography, videography, digital album, decoration, music and others.

Wedding Diary is a team of experienced professional photographers, cinematographers, thematic and floral designers and event management experts.

Creating intimate, authentic stories of people's lives is at the heart of the Wedding Diary's dynamic photographers and cinematographers. They can capture the spirit, fun, joy and beauty of your special day.

“Wedding Diary believes it comes down to trust. You should feel completely comfortable with the photographer and designer and feel assured that s/he completely understands your needs,” says Prito Reza, the team leader of Wedding Diary.

The festival will continue till 15 December, 2012.

For details contact: 0197 555 6633; weddingdiary.com.bd; facebook.com/ weddingdiarybd


Keeping cancer at bay

We have all been made aware of the unhealthy chemicals being artificially applied to our food. Even those of us who take steps to cleanse food with homemade remedies before consumption are unaware of other threatening chemicals being used in abundance around the household.

Here we disclose some of the prime everyday household products containing carcinogens (cancer causing chemicals) --

The most alarming carcinogen agents in the average household are the carriers of the food. Nonstick cookware usually contains perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) which is known to cause cancer. Research suggests PFOA can be released when cooking in such cookware, particularly at high heat. Although the released amount is small it may build up over time and why take the risk to begin with?

Do not use nonstick pans to cook foods over 300 degrees. Better yet, use glass, cast iron, copper, and ceramic or porcelain-coated pans or, if you can find them, nonstick cookware made with surface coatings (often ceramic, titanium, or both) that are PFOA-free.

Making the news worse is the next product in our list. Plastic water bottles or cans, which are made from BPA, a synthetic estrogen linked to cancer, reproductive problems, and heart disease.

The first world has already taken steps to phase out BPA from the manufacture of plastic bottles but this side of the world is still many steps behind. The silver lining to this dark cloud is the fact that BPA only becomes reactive when heated.

So never heat plastic bottles or cans; do not put hot or warm water in plastic bottles either. Also do not cover bowls and other containers with plastic wrap when heating. Best of all, use metal water bottles when you're out and a filtered water pitcher when you're home and microwave food in glass or ceramic containers.

The next offenders are the very ones which promise to keep us fresh. Cleaning products may keep us and our surroundings fresh on the outside, but on the inside they might be wreaking havoc.

Any cleaning product which is required to be sprayed is a likely carcinogen. The high pressure of such products activates the carcinogenic characteristics of the chemicals incorporated in cleaning products to unbind and break down dirt.

Air fresheners are among the worst offenders and also products containing bleach of any kind. If possible, make your own cleaning agent by using baking soda, lemon juice, and vinegar added to water. Alternatively, you can choose "green" cleaning products that use natural ingredients to scrub, disinfect, and shine. Look for products containing citrus oils and enzymes, which also unbind and break down elements.

You may also be carrying around carcinogens in your bag and lovingly applying them on your child to make her happy. Make-up products are teeming with carcinogens and once again, though the amount of the chemical you absorb is small, it may build up to a harmful level over the years. Moreover, a small amount itself can be highly dangerous for the little ones so please keep the liners and lipsticks away from children, specifically those younger than nine.

Lipsticks, hair spray, perfume, nail polish and some lotions are known to have carcinogens. Choose fragrance-free products or fragrances made from botanical ingredients whenever possible. Natural skin care and beauty companies sell natural and organic skin care lines that are free of toxic chemicals. Seek these out to stay beautiful...and healthy.

By Raisaa Tashnova


Gardening as the ultimate luxury

Someday, gardening may become the ultimate luxury for many of us. Fresh and safe vegetables are the crying need of the day all over the world and organic foods and seeds are capturing the market and getting more prominence. Organic farming is a new frontier in the food trade, even though organic seeds are costlier than most other seeds.

Gardening, once considered a favourite hobby for many, is almost forgotten these days. This may be true for most of the apartment dwellers in large cities. But there are others who at least take interest in growing some rooftop potted plants. The point I am trying to make is to reverberate the message that gardening is a wonderful hobby and we need to care more for safe food and for our healthy living. A small portion of safe vegetables may come from your own home-grown, rooftop garden. It will be a source of immeasurable joy and pleasure for you and your family.

An easy way to pick up gardening is to grow some potted herbs of your choice. This can be a very modest beginning. A freshly picked oregano and thyme whirled into egg to make an omelette for a weekend breakfast brings herby-flavoured omelettes to the table. This may well surprise your guests and young children and bring some excitement to your cooking. Dried herbs are aplenty in stores, but fresh herbs add more excitement to the cooking, particularly if you have grown them at this stage by sowing seeds.

Oregano and thyme goes well with tomato, tomato soups, vegetables and thyme goes well with fish, potato, egg and spaghetti. Some popular herbs used in cooking is thyme, rosemary, oregano and sweet basil. There are many others such as lemon balm, sage, and marjoram. Many of these culinary herbs are grown in Mediterranean regions but several herbs need warm and hot weather which suggests that they can be grown easily in our country.

Pot-grown herbs are better since they can be easily shifted to sheltered locations particularly in extreme weather conditions such as excessive rain or drought. Herbs can make your gardening experience simply wonderful when you will be in a position to make your own dried sweet basil for your homemade pizza or in the cold when you may prefer a cup of tea made from your fresh sage or refreshing lemon balm.

By M. Mahfuzul Haque


PICNIC nostalgia

It was on a wintry morning, some aeon away and in a very different time zone that I was lying between my parents, snug inside their warm quilt; and my father, fiddling with my tousled hair, said “let's plan a choroi bhaati, today in your Nanu's backyard.”

I was thrilled simply by the sound of the word, whose meaning I didn't know until he explained, “It's like playing with your pots and pans but today we'll take your Ma's and instead of leaves we'll cook real food.”

Some of my cousins were asked to bring eggs, rice and other grains, spices and oil, while some of us gathered wood and bricks from the backyard and dug up a hole for an open fire. And under the tall coconut trees and guava canopy of my grandmother's backyard, I experienced my first picnic. Exactly like the one from my favourite poem my mother always recited.

“Nuru, Pushi, Aysha, Shafi… bon bhojone mileche aj dushtu koti meye,'' the words are muddled and the rhyme is not right but the idea was most certainly imitated that day. It was one of the most exciting days of my life and till date I could never replicate that kind of pure and simple pleasure. Trust me, I tried with my child and her friends but somehow I missed my father's magic touch of turning an ordinary weekend into a memory etched forever on the young one's mind.

Then of course there were those school picnics. The big bus full of friends, the fighting for the front seats, keeping a place for the best friend, the tuneless songs, those packets of crisp, brandless potato chips; all these cherished moments are now stuck with glue on the leaves of that old album.

School picnics, where we had to bring our own plastic plates, spoons and napkins and paid a small fee, were always held at the national park in Chandra. Exploring the woods with teachers, playing badminton, singing songs and returning home way after dusk -- all these contributed to a memorable, fun picnic.

Let's not forget the family picnics; it added an entirely new dimension to the word bon bhojon or picnic. Gathering the entire clan of extended family in itself was a mammoth task. It was such a thrilling experience to have the entire bus to ourselves; cousins, aunts, uncles and our grandmother. The breakfast on the go, the steaming kachchi that was prepared at the picnic venue and the raffle draws; I still remember the blue alarm clock I got as a prize. Thus my fondness for random picnics and winter outings or tea parties is so intense and at every opportunity I get, I make plans for one.

Come winter, nostalgia hits me and I want to have choroi bhaati and random picnics and teas with family and friends; and if time doesn't permit or hectic schedules pose as a problem, then just the three of us is fine too. This Victory Day let's celebrate freedom under the open sky with friends and family; let's have a picnic.

-- Raffat Binte Rashid
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed


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