Giving Hope

When my colleague blasted a shoutout email to the team for a female facilitator to assist their Microsoft training program (XLR8), I almost replied but I didn’t. Simply because I’m the last person you should approach when it comes to computer and technology.

I really suck at these kinda things. Haha. Keith, our IT guy can testify to this. I probably bug him the most because every time I can’t figure things out, I will call out to him. Keith, why isn’t it printing? Keith, why am I not online? Keith, where is this icon? Keithhhhhh help me fix my computer!!!! LOL. Typing this is already making me laugh.. and Keith will either roll his eyes at me or pretend I’m non-existent.

So, I didn’t reply that email until a week later when another email was sent out asking for the same thing. That’s it la. This is for me. I replied immediately and I was in the team! YAYY!!!

I didn’t know what to expect but I was pretty excited because I knew it would be life changing. And also feeling very nervous, actually. That’s because I was tasked to do a power point slide show about myself. Yea, it’s a simple casual presentation but still, it freaked me out.

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The Wedding Planning Journey

I’ve been meaning to write this for the longest time but you know, there are more important things in life like..wedding planning. 😛 We’re half way there and it’s little more to crunch time now. Kinda regret that we chill so much last year and only started preparations this year. Procastination habit dies hard, haha. Oh wells, but still do-able! 🙂

Gotta admit it was pretty stressful in the beginning, but much better in the recent month. If a bride-to-be says that there are no stress moments throughout their wedding planning journey, they are lying. Unless they hire a wedding planner. Or maybe they are just men living in female bodies. ANYWAY, that’s not the point.

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Conversations with Luka

I met Luka, an Italian surfer dude who stayed in the same hostel as me in my Philippines trip a week ago. When he first arrived, he was so courteous, with him introducing himself and stuff. That was probably the nicest he has been to me throughout my stay because hours later, he began with his funny jokes, poking fun and laughing at me (and other pple too) but it’s all good, because it’s all FUN!

He has this amazing personality, one-of-a-kind and he is sooooooo funny!! Like really funny, funny! Nina can vouch to it. The Italian accent contributed a major part of it! Sometimes, I just burst out laughing from a normal conversation between him and other people because of how he string his sentences together with his thick Italian accent. Once, he told me that he understands English, I do not need to slow the pace of my speech just because he is an Italian. HAHA. And, he’s so cool about it! 🙂

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Because he is SO FUNNY, there are a few conversations that I can remember till now and reckon it’s good to put it here for memories sake. I know right, one blog entry just on this.

#1 – Cooking Dinner

The hostel crew decided to cook dinner instead of eating out and so everyone helped out in the kitchen. Being the only Asian, I was tasked to boil rice using a rice cooker (how tough can it get, right??! I do it at home all the time anyways!) because you know, I’m the expert. Only except that I’ve never boil rice for so many pple before. So yea, you guessed it right. I messed up, it was too watery.

Me: Oh no, the rice is too watery! 😦
Luka: NOOOO… it’s too cooked!!
Me: No, Luka.. it’s too watery! How now?
Luka: *shakes head* How can you not know how to cook rice?! You’re an Asian, that’s what you know best! It’s like saying, Italians can’t cook pasta! You’re a Malaysian!!!!
Me: Thanks Luka. I’m feeling better already.  -_____-

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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 »

Clare’s 2015 Reading List – I am Malala

When I saw this book on Marc’s book shelves few months back, I knew I had to borrow it! Heck, it’s MALALA! The ever famous Malala who got shot because she wanted an education for everyone.

I first knew about her story through ZenPencils (you gotta check his work out, so brilliant!) and I started reading the book in my Hanoi trip. I don’t know if you share my sentiment, but reading has this magical power to bring you out of your reality into this new world of imagination shaped by what the author writes. You can be in different eras, different social backgrounds, different careers – all in the power of imagination. Of course, for this particular story – It’s real.

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I imagined myself being Malala, in her world in Pakistan and all the things she went through as a teenage girl. It really brings things into perspective. Her people have to deal with suicide bombers and terror attacks daily, women are not allowed to be educated. Yet here, we are living life in our comfort zones – no fear of getting killed the next morning, access to education, house to live in, a job that we can go to everyday and we find it hard to be thankful.

I’m so encouraged by her life, so young and yet, achieved so much. How she is so fearless despite real threats from the Talibans and she was only 15+ when all that happened! In her book, she described how much she loved reading and going through her books, that to her is gold. She even asked her father to bring her books from Pakistan to Birmingham when she was recovering from all the surgeries! Crazy!!

You know, all the buzzfeed and other list articles that you read in social media on how you should listen to your heart and pursue after your dreams? Yeah, Malala is ALREADY doing that in her teenage years, living her dream and I don’t think she will stop anytime soon.

Makes me think, what am I waiting for? Why am I always procastinating?  

I’ll leave you with one excerpt from the book that I feel worth sharing because I know how it feels to lose certain functionality of your body temporarily. You begin to appreciate.

“We human beings don’t realise how great God is. He has given us an extraordinary brain and a sensitive loving heart. He has blessed us with two lips to talk and express our feelings, two eyes which see a world of colours and beauty, two feet which walk on the road of life, two hands to work for us, a nose which smells the beauty of fragrance, and two ears to hear the word of love. As I found with my ear, no one knows how much power they have in their each and every organ until they lose it.”

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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Do I really have to post that travel picture up?

After a long day exploring the city, we were all exhausted. We plopped ourselves to the couches in the common area and that’s when it all started. My travel buddies and I began to play with our phones (not cool on vacations, I know!),  checked for emails, replying Whatsapp texts and what not. Checked social media, lo and behold, my buddies have uploaded pictures of our most recent outing an hour ago.

Why so efficient this people? -___-

So, I felt a pressured to also post something online to show that I’m on a holiday too, having as much fun or maybe more than my friends back home! At least people should know where I am, right? I skimped through my pictures on both my camera and phone to pick the most breathtaking capture I’ve taken so far. I couldn’t choose one, so I kept asking for opinions.

“This one or that one?”
“This sunset at this angle or the other?”
“Or this picture because better lighting?”

I was doing that for at least 10 minutes until I stopped and gave up.

Then I asked myself – Why am I stressing myself up to post a travel picture just because everyone is doing it? Is it actually okay not to inform social media that I’m away somewhere awesome for a holiday? Am I missing out on my travel milestone for not posting a picture up in Instagram?

I put both my camera and phone down, continued reading my novel and don’t give two hoots on picking the best picture to put in Instagram. I guess I’m still learning how to enjoy the moment, balancing between capturing memories in a camera and in my heart. Some moments, no matter how beautiful can never be captured with a lens.

That’s what travel taught me. To live in the moment and it’s okay to not post a travel picture up for the sake of it.

Fine. Just maybe one picture 😀

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p.s. – Don’t get me wrong, I’ve nothing against posting pictures during travel, it’s just that I shouldn’t be absorbed into peer pressure just to prove something that isn’t worth it at the first place! 🙂

xx

Cheong Hong & Michelle : Beach Wedding in Avillion, Port Dickson

Michelle got marriedddd, FINALLY! YAY! ❤ 😀

Michelle was my ex-colleague in Deloitte and she has been dating her then-boyfriend, now hubby John for 10 years before getting married last weekend. In fact, I have always used her as my “defence mechanism” when people in office keep asking me when is it my turn to get hitched.

“Going away for the weekend with your boyfriend? He’s going to propose is it?” “No la, not so fast. Michelle first!” “….okay..”

HAHAHA. Always work!

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Second Chances

The thing about second chances is that it either comes one too many times OR it doesn’t come at all, which then makes second chances less valuable than it is. I am going to generalise this, but you get what I mean. Even when it’s related to health, we tend to take it for granted after some time from our recovery.

I remember telling myself that I need to get enough rest, eat right and exercise after my episodes of “making-the-hospital-my-second-home”. I’m definitely living better – not too much spicy, eating regularly, sleep more than 6 hours, don’t work too late – but I know I can do better than this. TODAY is one of those days.

If only I was more aware of what time I sleep each day, I will not be stuck here on medical leave and wasted my entire weekend off to rest. I spent so much of time in bed trying to recover; what a waste of time! All the things I could have done with it. -___-

Anyway, that’s not the worst. The HORROR when my doctor said…
No more durians”

WHAT! ARE YOU KIDDING ME OR WHAT!
I hardly had any durians the past week and I have to stop eating them? Story of my life or what.

It’s amazing how I can divert from one topic to another unrelated one. Haha. Think I need to just vent out my frustrations.