Spoil Your Dog! Make Him a Cashmere Sweater

Believe it or not, there are a lot of cashmere sweaters out there that are made particularly for the comfort and style of dogs.
The choices range from fleece style t shirts and sweaters. These clothes could be styled and adorned with crystals, bow ties, bows, pearls, pockets, jewelry gold as well as silver jewelry.
Way back in the olden times in China, little Shi Tzu dogs and Pekingese pups were actually termed sleeve dogs.
The Chinese empress as well as other royal people carried all these little doggies in the insides of their sleeves - the way current socialites carry little dogs in their bags. They also come in laces trimmed, fur, feathers, leather, faux fur. The fact of the matter is that shopping for cashmere sweater for your dog is fun, the same way you shop stuff for yourself or for a little baby.
Designers of dog clothes are also busy - the way big name fashion designers are busy - in creating new dog clothes designs for dog clothes buyers and fanciers. These dog clothes vary from the fifty dollar sweater to those hundred dollar cashmere dog sweaters.
Choosing which to purchase could make one's head swim through a lot of confusion, especially if you are a person who could be indecisive and impulsive at the same time. The solution for this predicament is simple, make your own cashmere dog sweater!
The following are basic tips and advice to make your dog their very own cashmere sweater.
You could actually use any old sweater you may have in your closet. You could even use your favorite old cashmere sweater that may now have a stain that just will not come off.
First things first, measure the particular length how you would want the cashmere dog sweater, when that detail has been decided, begin to cut. You could add more hem if you prefer.
Take note that the sweater's ribbing at the wrist part actually turns out to be a beautiful turtleneck for a little cute dog.
For the legs, cut holes on the sweaters that would fit the legs of your dog.
Do hems around the hemline and the armholes. After doing all these, viola, the cashmere dog sweater is completed. Believe it or not, this cashmere dog sweater could be made in a matter of minutes.
For additional creativity as well as design and style, add some trim of any item you would prefer such as faux fur and stitch this along the arm holes and the hem.
You could also add pearls, beads, buttons as well as rhinestones. You are also free to add any item which you think reflects perfectly what your dog is about as well as his personality.
A cute and additional idea is having you and your dog look alike. You could look for a sweater that is selling at bargain price. Buy two of the same kind. Cut the other sweater following the directions above.
Believe it or not, you could find great sweaters at the local Goodwill Store. A lot of the items here are in good condition. It is a great resource for cashmere sweaters. Also, many of the sweaters found here are from fine silk and wool.
All in all, your imagination is the only limit. The possibilities are limitless in creating personalized cashmere dog sweaters for your perfect little dog.
Your dog's safety should be more important than him or her looking good in dog clothes, so make sure to check get a dog car seat or a dog carrier when you are traveling with your beloved pet.
Anna Sandpakdee is a mother of two and who loves to cook and eat Thai and Laotian food.

The Last Remaining Wild Giraffes in West Africa

There has been an on-going competition between human and wild life over natural resources and spaces. In addition, increasing human population creates greater pressure towards wild animals.
The last remaining wild Giraffes in Niger, West Africa are one the example. Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world which makes the pressures towards wildlife is greater. However it also provides the success collaboration between conservation and development. Thanks to Niger Government's commitments through the ASGN (Association pour la Sauvegarde des Giraffes du Niger) and later on EU's funding, the number of wild Giraffe increases from 50 in 1990 to around 200 per January 2009.
You can see Giraffes mingle in between people's houses and fields in Haoukoussa and Yeni Villages. I had an opportunity to visit it last January 2009. It was a bright day with blue sky and breeze. To visits the wild Giraffes, you need to visit first conservation project office in Kouré Village, 60 Km from Niamey on the way to Dosso. You need to pay for the visitor entrance fee, tourist tax and guide fee.
We had to go through the bushes and millet fields. We drove for about twenty minutes until the guide pointed out the tall-slender creature at a distance. "Look, over there," he said in French. I simply could not stop smiling after that. We found on male Giraffe foraging on Faidherbia albida, in the middle of Millet field. It was already at the end of harvesting season so it was not an issue to find Giraffe there. He is so cute! You don't believe?
On the right side of the Giraffe we met two women sitting under the tree after working in the field. It seems so strange to see a Giraffe is side by side with human. The Giraffe did not seem disturb and I found the women worked casually. After taking some pictures with lots of smiling and laughter as we were so happy, The Giraffe ran to other side of the field. He kept running and the guide said we'd better find other group of Giraffes. We drove for about ten minutes and finally we found two male Giraffes. The guide said it was OK to approach them as they are used to human now. I walked closer to them and I was able to be as close as five meters from him. Giraffe is definitely much taller than me! Do you know what I smelt I smell Thai Basil (Kemangi) surrounding me! When I asked, he replied, "Yes, it is how they smell".
We moved again and we found a group of 20 Giraffes. We also saw a cute baby of Giraffe with his mother. Another cute couple was detected. It was a very short yet full of surprises as we never thought that we could fins so many Giraffes within less than two hours. On the way back, we pass through a school built from the visitor fee. The guide also mentioned that part of visitors' contribution is used for different purposes to create direct benefit and compensate local people on the existence of wild Giraffes. For example, the Project paid for any damage on the fields by Giraffes as the love eating crops during the rainy seasons. Other contributions are in forms of sewing machines and donkey carts for villagers. Regarding poaching, he said that he never heard again about Giraffe poaching cases in the village. In fact, tourism also creates jobs and additional incomes for local people.
This is definitely a nice example on the great marriage between development and conservation. Conservation projects have been criticized for putting local people's interests aside or simply exclude them on the negotiation process.
You can go there from Niamey, Niger or from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

Thai Dinner For Two

Do you have an anniversary, birthday, or other special day with your significant other coming up? Try a romantic Thai dinner, either dining out or cooking and dining in. There are many delicious and interesting meals to enjoy! Sometimes it is quite a challenge to come up with great menu selections. One might spend lots of time looking up or researching all the Thai dishes. There are really more than enough to choose from, and many great combinations, so don't beat yourself up trying to plan. This article outlines some choices for each part of the dinner.
Choosing a start up dish sometimes can be challenging. Try to choose a dish that is not too heavy. Choose a light dish but yet one that teases you to want more. My first choice would be "Kra Thong Thong", golden pastry cups with minced chicken and chopped vegetables. This appetizer is a cute little cup that will definitely impress him or her. The next choice is "Miang Kam", leaf-wrapped tidbits. This can be a fun thing to do and create nice start up conversations. It involves wrapping several kinds of little tiny items in a leaf, along with a sweet-and-salty sauce. The items include shredded roasted coconut, peanuts, diced lime, diced ginger, diced shallots and chilies. Third choice is "Po Pia Tod", deep-fried spring rolls.
Main course
Whether you are vegetarian or a seafood or chicken lover, don't worry, there is always plenty to choose from. Let's start with how many dishes to order or make. For 2 people, I would say 2-4 dishes. If you are dining out, two dishes are enough for two but might not have variety. Three to four dishes will definitely leave some leftovers for later days. However, if you are planning to cook them yourself, you can make a smaller amount of each dish. This way you can have more dishes for variety. Here are some different combinations of dishes.

  • Combination 1: for those who like things just a little bit spicy
    • Khao Ob Subparod: fried rice with meat, pineapple, onions and cashew nuts, baked in a pineapple
    • Kaeng Kiaw Waan: a slightly sweet green curry with meat and vegetables
    • Gai Pad Med Ma Muang Him Ma Paan: stir-fried chicken and cashew nuts
    • Chu Chi: stir-fried fish (or shrimp) with kaffir lime leaves, Thai sweet basil (Bai Ho Ra Pha) and chu chi chili paste

  • Combination 2: for those who like medium spicy food
    • Khao Pad Poo: fried rice with crab meat, eggs, tomatoes, onion and cilantro
    • Phanaeng: Thai southern style dry curry with meat, kaffir lime leaves and coconut milk
    • Gai Ho Bai Toey: fried chicken wrapped in pandanus leaf
    • Ho Mok Ta Le: steamed seafood custard
  • Combination 3: for those who love spicy food
    • Tom Yum Moo Pa: hot and sour soup with wild boar, mushrooms, cilantro, lemongrass, nam prik pao paste and chilies
    • Kaeng Leung: a hot yellow curry, most common meat used is fish. Other ingredients are winter melon, chilies, garlic, turmeric, lemon grass, shallots and shrimp paste
    • Poo Jaa: steamed crab with pork
    • Pad Ped Tua Fak Yao Moo: stir-fried long beans and pork with red curry paste
  • Combination 4: for seafood lovers
    • Goong Pad Yod Ma Proaw: stir-fried prawns with heart of palm
    • Poo Kan Chiang Nueng: steamed crab sculls
    • Hoi Lai Pad Ped: stir-fried clams with Thai sweet basil (Bai Ho Ra Pha) and roasted chili paste
    • Hoi Nang Rom Sod: fresh oysters with chilies and garlic dipping sauce

To end your meal, it is great to aim for the right dessert that will perfect the dinner. After a non-spicy or spicy main course, something light is always a good choice. Some may already have an idea for dessert, Khao Niaw Ma Muang (mango with sticky rice). For a romantic dinner, I personally would choose something else. This is because sticky rice can be a bit too heavy as a dessert choice. You can be too full to eat but feel you should eat. So I would go with something nice and cold like Thai coconut Ice cream with ground peanuts sprinkled on top. Just a scoop or two would be enough. My second choice would be "Nam Kang Sai." This dessert is a combination of 2-3 items of assorted fruits, beans or sticky rice with shaved ice on top.
As you choose your dishes, consider how the taste, color and presentation go together. In doing so, you might find ways to improve the combinations. For example, to get you started, it is generally better not to choose food all of one color, or all chicken dishes or all spicy dishes. Try to balance one dish with another and create a harmony of dishes. This can help give you different tastes of sweet, salty, sour, bitter or spicy, and make the experience all the more enjoyable. Take these recommendations and run with them! The best part comes from your familiarity with what you and your significant other like, so have fun customizing. Bon appetit and have a nice dinner!
Napatr Lindsley
Get authentic Thai recipes at http://thaicookinghouse.com/

Eastern Customs to Take Into Consideration If You Want to Date Asian Women

What happens when East meets West in a relationship? Nowadays, probably not much of a difference as a percentage of Asian women has evolved their thinking to be on par with their western counterpart. This article is to provide an insight for a western man wanting to date a more CONSERVATIVE Asian woman. These tips are based on my observation and my personal feelings therefore it is not entirely applicable to all Asian women especially modern, career minded Asian women.

  • Going dutch on a date

That is a no-no with the conservative Asian women. We prefer to pay on a rotation basis. Say, the man pays for this date and the woman the next date. There are two reasons behind this. One, we Asian women are brought up to respect the man and by offering to pay or go dutch, it kind of intimidates the man. Second, when the man pays, it gives us a sense of security which means the man can PROVIDE.
  • Prefer the man to initiate dates

Conservative Asian women (note conservative) are rather shy by nature and will not on her own organise a date on her own initiation. No matter how much she misses and like the man, she will wait for him to initiate a date. She might start initiating dates once the relationship is steady but not at the initial stage.
  • Prefer the man to be the decision maker

This is a catch 22 situation. When you ask an Asian woman where she would like to go or what she wants to eat, a common answer is 'Anything' or 'Anywhere' - which in essence means you need to read her mind! Then you proceed to make arrangement to a place or suggest a certain type of food and you will get a negative comment like "I don't eat this", "We've been there before" etc. Unfortunately there is no fast rule/answer to this 'custom'. You just have to persist to understand the Asian woman that you are dating.
  • Loves gifts

This is purely from my observation. During the initial dating stage, she will like to receive 'cute' gifts such as soft toy. Once the relationship is steady, her interest in cute gifts disappears to make way for more practical gifts. Perhaps psychologically, at the initial stage cute gifts indicate that you are interested in her physically and the practical gifts at later stage indicate your willingness to commit.
  • Holding hands and goodbye kiss is a BIG deal

Unlike our western counterpart, Asian women feel that holding hands means commitment! That applies to goodbye kiss too. Do not offer to hold her hands or give a goodbye kiss if you are not sure of your feelings for her. She will read into those two gestures wrongly.
  • Can be quite conservative in certain aspect pertaining the Asian culture and family

This will vary from women to women depending on their upbringing. For example, some Asian women still have a curfew even at the age of 30. This is because the society that they were brought up view an unmarried woman out with a man after a certain time is undesirable. Other examples are drinking alcohol, gambling or even speaking up is not encouraged amongst some Asian woman. In this situation, it is best to get to know her family and upbringing.
  • Cohabitation is still not 'acceptable' in the Asian society

Cohabitation is getting popular amongst the younger generation but the older Asian generation still views it as 'unholy'. Do not be surprised if you are 'forced' into marriage if you initiate cohabitation with a conservative Asian woman especially if both of you are living in an Asian country.
  • Not as affectionate in showing their feelings compare to their western counterpart

Asian women do not openly declare her love or kiss in public. She tends to be more conservative and shy when it comes to showing affection. However, this does not indicate she does not love you. Asian women shows affection through other avenues such as preparing meals for you, making sure you has clean laundry etc. In short, conservative Asian women show their love through nurturing.
  • Not as open minded therefore can come across as jealousy

When dating an Asian woman, you might find that she gets jealous if you have a close woman friend or if she sees you openly embrace another woman. Therefore, if you want to date an Asian woman, you will need to refrain some of your open affection towards the opposite sex and also be completely honest with her.
  • Asian women prefers man with a steady career

This might sound shallow but conservative Asian woman still view the man as the provider. You need not be rich but you must be mature with plans for the future. The live one day at a time and spend as though today is your last day do not go down well with an Asian woman. Have a financial plan i.e savings and a steady career - that is already a step towards her heart.
Here are 10 customs that might help you in your pursuit of an Asian woman. Although she may not be as 'advanced' as her western counterpart, please do not pursue an Asian woman on the basis that Asian women are known to be submissive. This mentality will result in disappointment.
Alyssa Jones is a hobbyist writer in the Relationships and Love domain. Her interest in this field stems from her personal life experience. Although a qualified engineer, she has taken a leave of absence from her work and now concentrate on her passion in motherhood and writing.
Read more about her views and thoughts on relationship and love at Alyssa Jones' blog. Do register to share your thoughts on anything and everything under the sun of love. She welcomes your comments on her tips.

Thai Language - Spice Up Your Holiday With Pasa Thai

If you're planning on staying in Thailand for any length of time, you'll get much more pleasure out of your trip if you can speak a few words of the Thai language. Even if you only manage to grasp a few phrases, that knowledge is sure to transform your experience of Thailand. More often than not, Thai people are astounded when a "farang" speaks a few words of the local lingo, and you'll be showered with praise and cries of "you speak Thai very good!", while the familiar Thai smile will become wider than ever!
The Thai language is not so hard to learn either, you just need to appreciate some of the key differences it has from English. There are no plurals or tenses in Thai, so there are no awkward, irregular verbs for you to worry about. Just learn a word once, remember it and you're set!
The other big difference is that Thai is a tonal language, and this can cause a few problems for farang. There are five distinct tones in Thai, starting with the low tone, then middle, high, rising and falling tones. The confusing thing is that there are some words in Thai that have five completely different meanings, depending on how it's said. For example, the sentence "mai mai mai mai mai" illustrates this perfectly. A rough translation is "New wood does not burn, does it?" While the sentence itself is nonsensical, it allows you to see the significance of the tones and what a headache they can cause!
Before we go, a word about the Thai alphabet, which is one of the most beautiful in the world to look at. Unique to Thai language, it is made up of 44 consonants and 32 vowels and is an image of delight, with its exquisite, rounded characters and graceful loops. The Thai alphabet derived from ancient Indian script, and was designed by the esteemed King Ramkhamhaeng around 500 years ago, a man who we can guess had a lot of time on his hands! The great thing about the Thai alphabet is that it's phonetic, so if you can get your head around each of the characters and remember their sounds you'll be able to read every Thai word you come across.
Frank Munkvold is a pasionate lover of Thailand. Having previously lived in Bangkok for almost five years and having travelled extensively throughout Thailand since 1999, he has intimate knowledge of the city and of Thailand. He is the Managing Director of http://www.bangkokbeyond.com/ and can be reached at: frank@bangkokbeyond.com
For more information and tips on how to get a better Thai holiday experience and understanding Thai culture visit our web site.