10 milestones in 2016

I usually do this every year end to reflect how the year has been. Clearly, this is wayy past December and we are now in February March. Talk about being efficient, eh? To be fair, January was a crazy tough month which I will leave it for another time but I’m going to stick with this just because.

#1 – We got married!

2016 was all about wedding planning and getting hitched. From managing our parents’ expectations to finding a venue that fits to finding good people to work with, man..it was tough work. Planning a wedding was really difficult for us, especially with so many limitations but in the end, it was really about learning about how to work together as a couple. It was also a testing time for our closest friends who helped us out because there were just sooo much to do, but we’re glad that together with Jesus, it all came together in the end. Now, we get to wake up to each other everyday, snoozing our life away.. Hahaha…Read More »

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The Wedding – Part 2

THREE MONTHS SINCE! Are we still considered newlyweds? Haha!

I actually did give up from continuing where I left off because real life is pretty hectic. How do these bloggers keep writing every alternate days! #2017goals

But since Jon delievered our wedding pictures not too long ago, that little spark left in me was reignited to continue this. And it’s soooooooooo pretty! funny!

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Now, that we received our pictures in full.. it also means that we have fully close this chapter in our lives. Of being engaged and preparing to be married. With this, I just want to do a quick mention and share some pictures with you guys on our very special day!Read More »

The Wedding

Done and dusted.

..and hello everybody, I’m now Mrs. Chow! 😀 ❤
I AM OFFICIALLY MARRIED OMG!

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It’s crazy how you spend one year (or more) to plan and prepare for that one day, and that one day passes you by in a blink of an eye! SO FAST OKAY! When Pr. Kenneth introduced us to the crowd, I thought to myself, “What in the world, didn’t I just walk in this place?!!!?” Lol. Before we know it, our wedding weekend came and gone.

Man, I wish I could relive those moments. Marc & I enjoyed every bit of it and wished we could do it again. Only the wedding day, mind you. Because the wedding planning is something we don’t ever wanna do it again. Ever… and my girls would say an amen to this. HAHA.

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10 milestones in 2015

Happy Belated (veryyy belated!) New Year, guys!

Time..has..gotta..slowwwwww…down. Like seriously. Or maybe 2015 was pretty darn awesome that my blog couldn’t keep up with the pace of my lifestyle! ☀✌ The moment I’m back home, I unpack, stay home for a week or two and off I go again!

2015 was really a year of awesome-ness filled with great people in it! If there’s one word to describe the year, it would be a year of exploration. (2014 : Breakthrough, 2013 : Learning) I was pushed out of my comfort zone, trying new things, so many “first’s”, epic new experiences and I’m glad things happened the way it did! A lot to be thankful for 🙂

#1 – WE GOT ENGAGED! ❤ ❤ 

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This gotta be the highlight of the year (life)! It was our 3rd year anniversary and Marc decided that it’s time to get someone to do his laundry for life. He got down on one knee on the beach, with the sunset as our backdrop. And now, we are going to get married! Yay!

We don’t know how our future is going to be but we know that it will be helluva of a ride! We talked about how we will rush in the mornings because we will be both late for work (ugh, I’ll have a longer travel time when I get married), how we say we will make each other breakfast but in reality, we will just have instant coffee and bread, how we would really like to watch football together but I’ll just leave him and do my own thing. Or how we are gonna play futsal as a family and do fun things together! It’s gonna be funny and a lot of hard work!

For now, it’s the wedding planning and I don’t know who creates this culture of having big weddings, because it ain’t fun and it uses a lot of money! Even for small weddings, there are so many details to be taken care of.

Why can’t I sign the papers and just fly off to our honeymoon? Haha.

Anyway… YES. We are engaged and we are pretty EXCITED! 😀 ❤Read More »

Is Malaysia STILL worth fighting for?

Today is my nation’s 58th year of independence. I can’t help but to think how so much have changed in the recent years.

My Prime Minister is accused of having RM2.6 billion of public funds transferred to his personal account, our government owned investment company (1MDB) is unable to account to us where the crap is our tax money of RM42 billion, 6% of GST have just been implemented in March this year and our currency has dropped from USD1=RM2.9 to USD1=RM4.2 in just a year. These are the most recent news that have been flooding our FB timeline and media.

More than that, gone were the days where we could run around in our neighbourhood without fearing of getting kidnapped, when crime rates weren’t as bad, when we could buy 1 week of groceries with RM100 or when the education system was way better back then.

All these saddens me.

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Two Thousand and Fifteen

When people ask me what are my New Year’s resolutions, I usually tell them I don’t have any because I don’t believe in them. How many people who said “they want to go the gym and lose weight” as their resolution actually do lose weight by December? Probably 1%? When people tell me this resolution, I usually roll my eyes, inside my head. Haha. I’m sorry, I just can’t help it.

This year, however, I felt very strongly to just make a public list (to keep me accountable!) of what I want to do more by Dec 2015. I’m listing it according to frequencies, trying to be as specific as I can. **updated

  1. Journal –  It’s important and even more powerful when you read your progress of life’s successes and failures. Of how faithful and sometimes annoying God is. This should be done daily.
  2. Blog – I love blogging but I allow the perfectionist in me to scrutinise the content until I don’t even bother to write anymore. Two to three times a week, once on weekends and once/twice on weekdays. Once a week.
  3. DIYs and arts & crafts – Sewings on Saturdays, Other arts on Weekdays. In fact, I might just create hashtags for it!
  4. Read – One book a week month. Any book, as long it’s one of the 100 books on my shelves.
  5. Meeting up with people – At least one person fortnightly. What’s life if it’s all about “me”?
  6. ExerciseAlternate days 2 to 3 times a week, just to keep me going.
  7. Call and catch up with uncle – Once a week phone call and visit him once a month perhaps.
  8. Travel – Siargao to visit the awesome people I met in 2014, Australia for Wei Xiong + Alicia’s wedding, Vietnam for backpacking. Hoping I can slot some local travels in between – perhaps Cherating and Langkawi?

Now, let’s see how this rolls out. *starts countdown timer*

10 big moments in 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY! *throws virtual confetti*

Can’t believe it’s 2015 already! I still remember I was on my bed in my aunt’s place back in 2001 or 2002 and I was so excited to grow up, so excited to be a teenager and brave the world. Now, I feel it’s going wayy too fast! For all I know, 2015 is going to fly by really quickly and I’ll be in shock again!

If I could summarise 2014 in a few words, it will be a year of breakthrough. (2013 : Year of learning) A year of much struggle and tears, but I’m so glad that it had a happy ending by December. A year of uncertainties but my victories and breakthrough finally came to past! *fist pump*

In the midst of everything, here are the few big moments I can remember of 2014!

#1 – Changed my career path!
So, I’m no longer working in the corporate world! Having more than 4 years of experience in the accounting and finance industry, I finally decided to call it a day. Think I had enough of the crazy rat race – 2 years in PwC as an auditor and another 2.5 years in Deloitte as a M&A consultant. I was working an average of 12 hours a day (weekends included although lesser hours) and that left me with very bad eye bags, lack of sleep and a lot more of health complications. I had no social life and used all my waking hours to study, serve in church and volunteer as a teacher on Saturdays. My friends kinda stopped asking me out for dinners and hangouts.

Things got slightly better in Deloitte but it got equally as bad by Dec 2013. The working hours, unreasonable deadlines and vague leadership were the very reasons I couldn’t take it anymore. I do not want to work like this for the next 10 years of my life, sacrificing my health, happiness and social life doing something I don’t like. Or even doing something that was just OK. This is NOT how life is supposed to be.

So, I took the leap of faith and resigned. Started my new job as an NGO employee in Generasi Gemilang which I detailed it all in here. Now, I wake up excited everyday and I get to do what I love, no 2 days of my work is the same and I have really fun colleagues! I get to even tag along with my colleagues twice a week for football trainings with the kids! #lovelovelove

LIKE THIS! I feel like a kid working here and I LOVE IT! ❤

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Nippon Art Exhibition – Paintings were done by the kids themselves

Then again, my job gets pretty hectic. I work on most Saturdays and dealing with kids really draw out every ounce of energy from me. I get super duper exhausted after work each day that I just crash on the sofa when I’m home. That’s why loving what I do really helps me get through the bad+tough days! Can’t imagine me doing this if I had no passion for it. I can really go cray cray. Lol!

This really made my year. Thank you, God 😀

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New Season in Life

It’s funny how I’m typing this from Dunkin Donuts café in a small town called Ormoc – a 2 hour drive from Cebu.

It was only 9 months ago that I told one of my directors that I’m feeling very frustrated at work. I started contemplating, considering other options and more importantly; I had to ask myself what do I really want to do in my life.

I knew that accounting and finance wasn’t my cup of tea but I hung on to it because it seems the most promising among many other options and after all, I spent 4 years of my university life pursuing a degree for that. I spent the next 4 years in the Big4 accounting firms as an auditor and subsequently, a M&A consultant.

Yea, work life balance was definitely better in Deloitte as a consultant but when times were bad, it was really bad. I told myself that if ever my job seems as bad as my previous one, it was time to leave and it was. I did not want to jump to another company but with the same amount of stress and nonsense; so the considerations for my next job cannot be compromised anymore.

It took me more about 1.5 years to take this leap of faith to finally apply for opportunities that I really like specifically travel, sports, community work and education.

During this time of consideration, God had taught and showed me many things. I was broken. I was challenged and was brought to tears so many times. I even had a mild depression. I remember working round the clock, having minimal sleep and it was a routine of work and sleep, even during the weekends. My superiors were difficult on me because I was equally as frustrated.

It was in the months of waiting (searched and applied for many jobs during the time) that God had taught me to truly trust Him and have faith in Him because He wanted to show me He is my provider. This process of waiting has taught me to be still in the Lord despite the bleak outlook. God wanted to deal with the issues of my heart – pride, patience, purpose and 100% dependancy on Him. I shared this journey of mine with my cell group members throughout the “Breakthrough series” because I knew that this lesson wasn’t meant for me alone. Some days, I wondered if my breakthrough will ever come. Doubts of whether I will ever get a new job or taking a huge pay cut keeps lingering in my head. All right, the thought of having a pay cut really KILLS me!

It was also during this time I finally had the guts to tell my mom that I no longer want to work in the corporate world. She has always envisioned us to be top leaders in the corporate ladder, earning big bucks and owning comfortable luxurious home – simply because she wants the best for us. She was reluctant at first but praise God! She gave me her blessings in the end! 🙂

By end July, I received my bonus and increment – I was then offered a job in an NGO that I really like!! OH YEAHHH BABY! 😀 😀 😀

His timing is soooooooooo perfect omg! Best part of all? NO PAY CUT!

Talk about His goodness and awesomeness! I finally received my breakthrough and I’m travelling in the Philippines for 21 days before I start my job! 😀 So so blown away at how God has orchestrated everything so perfectly and at how He puts everything in place in the end. All I needed was to have faith in Him to take the leap and pursue the things He has prepared for me!

I’m in a happy place right now! Stress free! Here’s a picture of what I’m doing right now! Till then! ❤

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Happy Teacher’s Day!

It’s been 4 years since I made this decision to wake up almost every Saturday morning to teach voluntarily in Court2 USJ. On some days, I wake up dreading to class and wished I could sleep in but changed my mind when I see how my students are so excited to start their classes.

Teaching these students week in and week out is one of the most fulfilling things I’ve done in my life. The joy of seeing my students being able to spell, to count and to grasp certain concepts is priceless. There were frustrating days though, days when I wanted to just give up and teach them how to sing but I can’t give up. The changes cant be seen in a day. Some took months, some even took years.

Anyone can teach, but not everyone can teach with passion. Teaching is never easy because the efforts put in are barely recognised and appreciated. Your students won’t even bother to listen to you or try the exercises you painstakingly prepare before the day. Heck, your students probably can’t even remember you the next year. But teaching is never for us. It’s for the students. It’s for their future. It’s worth doing every single week.

Just as I was feeling so grateful driving to the tuition centre today morning, I came to class greeted with this lovely gift of appreciation from one of my brightest students in class, Alifah.

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She took the gifts out with such wide smile and said, “FOR YOU TEACHER! HAPPY TEACHER’S DAY!”

I almost teared.

What a heartwarming moment that was. 

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Although I probably need to correct her English next week (lol), this is the very reason why I do this every week. My students are wayy too precious – they are my motivation.

I’m so awwwwww-ed by her thoughts. I love you too, Alifah! 😀 Thank you for remembering me!

10 big moments in 2013

Happy New Year, folks! A great year has passed and expecting a greater one to come! I had my fair share of ups and downs but I really thank God for His grace and faithfulness upon my life. This was sitting in my draft for quite some time but I knew that I needed to do this despite being late, because I know I’ll look through this again when 2014 ends.

2013 wasn’t the most challenging year compared to 2003. In fact, if I could summarise the year in a few words, it would be a year of learning. Learning that life is not always how we want it to be, that life can be really hard sometimes but at the end of the day, we always have a choice on how we want to respond on these situations. This year, *I* chose to be thankful. 

#1 – Passed my CPA 

This was the biggest highlight of the year for me. I wrote it on facebook on how I found it almost impossible to finish this (a professional accounting program) because I quit my job as an auditor in 2012 and I was undecided if I want to continue this program. I was half way there and spent an approximately RM6-7k for the 3 papers. Then, I got a job as a M&A consultant in Deloitte and I finished the entire thing in June 2013! Yay! Praise God really! I had different crazy challenges every semester – no time to study, had sports training, insufficient study leave – but I passed every paper with God’s grace! No more forking out RM2-3k every 6 months and no more wasting my annual leave to study for my CPA!

#2 – Rekindled my love for DIY’s and crafts

(Almost) every girl likes crafts. I stopped doing crafts after high school due to other commitments in life. Then, I discovered Pinterest. I spent hours and hours just browsing through the articles in there and I just couldn’t stop. One year later, I have my own stash of crafts materials with tons of ideas! All I need is time! 😀 I told myself that I would do a project once every fortnight in 2014 and we shall see how it goes!

#3 – Got serious in futsal and represented Deloitte in IAFG for the very first time!

I didn’t tell anyone about this but I had a fight with Marc on Valentine’s Day. So, I decided to say yes to an invitation of futsal (since i loved it anyway!) and it was one of the best decisions ever. I made friends with these awesome bunch of people and I’ve been playing with them ever since! Friendships were formed and I’m so thankful for these bunch of people! 🙂 I’ve also decided to try out for my company’s futsal team for our annual Inter Accounting Firms Games (IAFG) against other accounting firms. Although we lost, it was quite an experience. Can’t wait to play even more consistently this year.

#4 – Took a step in faith and serve more in Homes (Cell Group) and Court2 (A tuition community centre)

I’ve never imagined myself to be a cell group leader in my church but in June, God challenged me to take a step of faith and to journey with Him to lead a small group together with Jon, my cell grp leader. It was so overwhelming but the experience only leaves me wanting more of God! I learnt how to study God’s word so much deeper and just enjoying His presence in my life. Once again, He put different people in my life – some to encourage me, some to teach me, some for me to care for – and I’m just so thankful for each and every one in my Homes. My hope (just like God’s) is to see them grow so much deeper in Jesus each day. Just wanting to be God’s faithful steward in this 🙂 Also, I took a coordinating role in a volunteering teaching program by my church. Wow, wasn’t easy man, we made mistakes here and there but we learnt from that and I know 2014 will just be better!

#5 – Malaysia’s General Elections in May

Year 2013 was a historic moment for Malaysia. It was the closest general election ever with more than 80% voters’ turn out. You see, Malaysia is a very beautiful place. We have glorious food and attractions around. We have brilliant people. Unfortunately, due to corruption and dirty politics, we have fallen so much in every aspect. Security in Malaysia is in its critical stage but the government refused to do anything about it. We diligently pay our taxes every year but it has never been used for the correct purposes. Our education, healthcare, transportation systems are still lagging behind. In fact, if we are not doing anything about it, this nation will be heading for destruction. For the very first time in history, the younger generations were interested in politics and they were very determined to cast a vote for a change. People booked their flights home and some even lined up for a good 12 hours for postal votes overseas. The determination for a new government was just so surreal.

Although we didn’t manage to have a new government, I know that Malaysians have learnt from this experience. We have gotten stronger, more united and I know Malaysia will only get better from here. I have faith and I’ll give whatever it takes to let my children have a better Malaysia.

#6 – Travel 

I travelled to Bangkok, Singapore and Australia in 2013. Of course, the most memorable one was Melbourne. It was my very first time experiencing the weather and coffee there. It was a love hate relationship for me because I loved everything there except for its unpredictable weather. I just couldn’t take the cold. Everything there was just so beautiful. Even their fruits were so much bigger than Malaysia’s. Visited my uncle and aunt who lives in Aussie for the very first time and caught up with my friends who lived there.

#7 – Got sick in October/November

Right after my Aussie trip, I developed this really bad cough for a good 1.5 months. I spat really thick amount of phlegm daily and it hurts my ribs so much. I didn’t take it seriously as it was just a bad cough until I had difficulty breathing one night. I was wrongly diagnosed (can’t blame the GP doctor) and was diagnosed with sinusitis. It took me 2 months and almost headed for a surgery because all the meds weren’t working. The doctor mentioned that if I didn’t get better in 5 days, I would have need to go for surgery. Thank God I got better and I didn’t need surgery! 🙂

#8 – Spent more time with family and friends

Well, this has been my priority since I resigned in 2012 and I’m glad that it got better.

#9 – Celebrated our one year anniversary

Marc and I didn’t think we’ll see it through the first year because we were arguing wayy too much. Friends were asking me to rethink if this was the guy for me and I did. Glad we didn’t call it quits because we finally found a way to communicate with each other and since then, we are so happy together! 😀 Now, we look forward to every dates and we are so thankful for this relationship! Hehe..

#10 – Know when to say ‘no’ and to spend more time loving myself

Mentioned this a few times that I have learnt to say ‘no’ to certain people and certain situations. I have always given priority to people around me that I forgot I need to treat myself better. I learnt it’s okay to take some time off to do facials, to do my DIY projects, to clean my room, to read a book or even to clean my room! I miss doing all these things! This was the year when I started doing more of these and when I did that, I was better at interacting with other people. So the saying, ‘Love yourself so you will love other people better‘ is true!

Here’s to a better year and do greater adventures in 2014!