Sunday, August 25, 2013

Herbal Napier Grass drinks 马草凉茶

Let’s try a glass of Herbal Drink?
This plant was planted by my neighbour next to my Bunga Kantan. Initially I wanted to clear it, thinking it was weed. Then, my neighbour quickly came to me and told me it was one type of herbal plant used as a great detoxing supplements and consumed as a herbal drink. She later showed me its health benefits as illustrated in a Chinese Herbs magazine. The Chinese name of this plant is 马草, literally translated as “horse grass”. clip_image001
She said this plant was once very popular and widely sought after in Taiwan. It was even made into commercial skin caring juice, with advertisement claiming its effect in treating acne problems.


Later, I did some research and discovered the English common name for this plant was Napier Grass. Scientifically its species is Pennisetum and it belongs to Poaceae family. You can find more information on this page.

According to the Chinese wiki, this plant is rich in vitamin C and is claimed to contain the anti-oxidant and even the anti-cancer effects. It is good for treating swelling and easing stomach-ache. After knowing the goodness of the plant, instead of disposing it, I helped her to water the plants regularly.

The normal way to consume the plant is to blend the leaves and extract its juice to drink fresh without heating to prevent oxidization. It is also not advised to blend at higher than 900 rpm or above 50 ℃, as it will destroy its chlorophyll and vitamins.

However, instead of blending into juice which may taste a bit too raw to us, another way to consume it is to boil the grass along with its stalks and added with rock sugar to make into delicious herbal drink! The taste of the drink is very much similar to drinking Bamboo Sugar Cane, really tasty!
Beer anyone?
No, this is the Chinese Herbal Napier Grass drink,
served in a beer mug 马草凉茶 clip_image001[4]

 If you happen to find this plant growing wildly somewhere, do try to take some back and try out. It is such a great refreshing and cooling drink especially if you have symptoms of a “heaty” body such as sore throat and acne. Every now and then, I will pluck some to make herbal beverages for my family.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

DIY Wristlet Purse

Making your own limited edition

It has been a while since I last worked on any new sewing project. With the long Raya break at home, I reckoned it’s best to occupy the time to stock up my homemade gift buffer stock. I was hoping to make something useful other than household items.

Nowadays, wristlet purse is getting trendier. It is super versatile because you can use it as a replacement for bulky handbag which may not be so convenient to carry around to run short errands, office lunch outing at crowded eatery shops or even those disco nights where dancing is the prime agenda rather than keeping an eye of your oversized handbag. The wristlet can easily fit basic necessities, including ID, mobile phone, credit cards, lip gloss and cash and is small enough to use as a wallet in bigger handbags.

I seldom carry handbags to work. I used to have one self-made wristlet to take out during lunch hour which was big enough to store my wallet, hand phone, tissue, lipstick and car keys. Once, during a lunch outing with my boss, he saw the wristlet I carried and acknowledged it was much safer to carry such tiny handbag with short strap around hand than a big handbag. He later shared his wife’s unpleasant bag snatching theft experience and wanted to recommend his wife to get one too. This suggestion has prompted me to make more to share with my lady friends and relatives.

Shared below are some of the works I finished during the first 2 days of Raya break. Coach wristlet too expensive? Why not making your own ?

Not only cost saving but most important limited edition! Smile



Do you like these Bow Clutch Wristlets ? You can get the free DIY tutorial here.

Bow clutch collage



To add some variation to the bow clutch, I added a cloth rosette to it. I learnt to make these rosette via YouTube.

clothroses collage

Transform placemat into a trendy clutch wristlet with magnetic button


Simple lining zipper wristlet


I spent longer time in making this little half circle purse because I hand sewn the zipper. You can get this free tutorial here


This wristlet adapted from Garden Party Wristlet - Designed by Keyka Lou. I couldn’t locate any free pattern online, so I spent hours in trial and error to get this up.



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