One Flight Down

Sunday, 30 November 2014

While November is coming to an end, I'm grateful and at the same time terrified. Because I think I'm adding too many events to my calendar and I'm not even sure if I have enough time. But that aside, I have Christmas to look forward to!

I can only imagine myself writing this now with the help of Norah Jones's One Flight Down. I have been too tired to even eat, sleep or think. I guess you can call that auto-pilot mode; if that ever make any sense to you. For the entire week, my mind just picked up on any sound and work that comes by.

Back in high school, I'd do anything to get away from Maths or History class. In fact, I've concluded myself as the laziest Convent girl. And now, people said that I've over-worked.

I remember a friend shared a quote on Facebook that goes 'No one is too busy, it's just a matter of priorities.' As much as that make sense, what about people like me whose switch are off sometimes? I let the word p-r-i-o-r-i-t-i-e-s fidget out from my selfish version of dictionary.

Whenever I looked into the mirror, I recollect the moments of my younger years; how I was excited about my new ballet leotards, how I've finally learned to play a new love song on the piano, how I was always on time for volleyball practice and how I love the smell of the grass whenever I'm on the running field. The funny thing is that those 'younger years' were just about 5 years ago. It's strange how the working world to retire me from a tough pirate to a little man who guards the lighthouse. 

At this point, I'm always looking for something to perk me up; coffee is no longer on the list. Sometimes, cooking helps too, but not this week. I'm too worn out to even preheat the oven!

Whenever I look into my phone, there will always be checklist where I can never cross them off all at once. It could be deadlines, workshops, trips, and executing plans on my online store (I'll explain this soon!). I wonder whatever happened to my camping plans.

No matter how many hours I've slept, I can never replenish the energy that was stripped away from me. 

I came this far to confess that work + life balance is one of my toughest challenges. I need to learn how to pause, and you should too. 

P.S.: Could not be more thankful for Fall Out Boy, fluffy pillows and Orange Bergamot essential oil.

My first attempt with marble soda

Saturday, 22 November 2014

After a movie day last week, my 5-feet tall friend distracted me while I'm choosing between Danish salami or mustard-glazed ham. She was rather animated about this drink she had with her host family in Japan.

Her cheerful voice drowned the Mariah Carey track that was on repeat. All I could hear was "marble", "classic", and I think several times of "You must try this!".

'ラムネ' Ramune soda costs about MYR6.00 here for 6.6oz - about USD1.80. So I went ahead and bought one. There are several brands and packaging available, but the one that I'm holding is known as the original marble soda.

The fun bit was I got to push the glass marble down to pop the bottle. I skipped the picture where almost a quarter of the drink gushed right up before draining my top. How could I live with myself when I forgot to settle down the soda?

For so many years, I've had my fair share of soda, seltzer and tonic water (can I be any healthier?). Unlike other fizzies, Ramune is neither too fizzy nor sweet. It's just a safe drink; taste wise. I might not buy this again because it's quite pricey for 6.6oz, but you should try this at least once!

Now, I'm curious about other imported drinks! What are some of the best drinks you've had? 

P.S. : Thank you, Tricia. You were right about Ramune.

Glimpse of light

Saturday, 8 November 2014

There are some days where I feel like the coldest day in January; lost, confused, almost comatose. But there are some days where I've got the whole world in my hands. At least I try to convince myself that I do. 

Lately, I've been convinced towards different directions of my career. At this point of my life, I could do a little extra to learn more. Thankfully, I stood firm in order to achieve one of my goals next year. It was neither easy to decline the pleasantly helpful headhunter, nor reject a copy writing job offer. 

I choose to believe that if we have dreams, we should stick to it and work our way towards it. Perhaps I might sound frail if I admit that life isn't easy and always goes as planned. But I rather share about what happens when you are about to step into the working world. 

It is okay to feel a little lost after you graduate. Trust me, I was terrified and had no idea what lies ahead of me. But in that way, you'll have something more to search for. It is okay to not know what to expect in life, because sometimes it goes entirely different from what you've planned. And sometimes, you'll end up somewhere better.

Ever since I had my first performance or competition (I can't remember which came first), my ever so wise dad told me to just go with the flow. Que sera sera, whatever will be will be. Unlike many stereotypical judgements on Asian parents, my parents have high expectations on me, but they don't beat me down when I failed to hit the bullseye. 

Here are some of the wise words on top of my head:

"Go step by step. There's no need to rush. Always do your best and stand firmly in what you believe." - Dad

"It doesn't matter what other's think of you. It only matters what you think of yourself. Because in the end, no one is going to live your life for you." - Mom

"We may have many dreams and goals, but we have only one family. I'm going to look after them before achieving something that I want." - Kitty Fong

"Sometimes, we need to get out of our comfort zone. I'm sure it's a hell roller coaster ride out there, but we should learn to take risks." - Siang

"There are times where difficult circumstances will change you into a different person. Sometimes, you just have to accept that you have no choice." - Kimchy

I'm always grateful to have family and friends that I can learn a lot from. At times, I have to give myself some time just to process their thoughts. It is moments like that I'm thankful that I have a space to write. 

After years of learning the lessons, here's my very own opinion to my dear friends out there:

Before you achieve, empty yourself. Take a step back and look around you. In our world, we are shaped to grow into a life where we should graduate university, get a job, a car, then a place to live. Later on, we'll get expectations about getting married, having kids, and the circle begins again.

What is all that about? Expectations. Expectations. Expectations.

Expectations may not be all bad. They are helpful in reminding us if we are going off track. However, they could be life-wrecking for those who beat themselves down easily. 

Always remember that whatever I've said above is only one path of life. Why fill your mind with one path when there are so many to choose from? As I grow, I have more goals, but lesser expectations. I move slower, but I notice more. I choose not to be a subject of competition among my relatives or friends. I choose to build my own path and open my mind other possibilities.
Wow, I can't believe that I'm going round and round about this. But I hope this could help at least a handful of you. I'm very honored when some of you turn to me at your times of difficulty. And whenever I can, I will always try my best to give my you my 2 cents.

Highlight streaks

Saturday, 1 November 2014

I'm in love with my hair right now! For about a year, I've been wanting to highlight only both sides of my hair, and I did it today! Not sure what has been stopping me before.

If you are looking to give your hair a fresh change, you can ask your stylist to give you a different shade or highlight. Since my job doesn't really allow me to have funky colours, I chose to go a few shades lighter. The highlight began from the part above my ears. Therefore, it will not be that visible if I let my hair down. I like it this way because it does brighten up my face when I tie my hair up. 

I would also like to  share with you on one of my favourite and easiest look. Mainly because I'm going for red puckers tonight.

List of products used for this look:

Makeup Forever brow pencil

Benefit Meet Matt(e) eye shadow palette - Matt Ramirez

Eyeko Eye Do mascara

Benefit Tropical Coral kit - Blusher only

Liz Earle Skin Repair moisturizer

Collistar Rosetto Design lipstick

Benefit Watt's Up sheer highlighter

If you noticed the above list, I did not mention anything about primer, foundation or powder coverage. I wanted my freckles to compliment the red lips, without going heavy on the eyes. What I did with my blusher here was rubbed in the powder blusher into a small dollop of my moisturizer. Since my cheeks are naturally rosy, I used this method to achieve a just little more flush. If you have dry skin, you can mix your powder blusher into your daily moisturizer, Argan oil or tea tree oil. But if your skin is oily, stick to powder blushers!

For every look, I have a focus point or should I call it the subject? It's the same concept when you design a visual. You need to have something to navigate your eyes to. The first thing you look at is the subject. Here, my subject is red, bold lips. Hence, I keep the number of products on my eyes very minimal. Instead of using liquid eye liner, switch to eye shadow to line them. It will open up your eyes, yet gives you a softer and a natural look.

So, dear friends, now you know how I achieve this easy look. The better you look after your skin, the lesser make up you need to pound on your face! 

I hope you find this helpful!

Random thought: I could kill for seafood paella right now. 

Dark Water

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Every once in a while, I tend to stop by Esplanade just to take a few deep breaths of sea breeze.

Today, I stayed there a little longer than usual.

The morning was beautiful and it is entirely different from when it's at night. You can see people walking their dog, reading the papers, some might be fishing and all.

I'm not sure about the weather out there, but since it's toward the end of the year, the weather on the Island changes drastically. We experience stronger winds, heavier rain and shorter daylight hours.

As the breeze rushed stronger, so does the ocean waves. It reminded me of how deep the water is and we could never know what's at the bottom. I'm okay at swimming, but I definitely will panic if you pushed me into the dark sea. Because I don't know what sort of sea creature that is swimming with me. In my mind, I'm terrified of angler fish, sharks, Moray eel, Barracudas, in fact any large-scale or black coloured fish.

Weird, I know.

I believe it all began when I was very young and my dad brought me to visit his friend's farm. We went to his back yard to see his 'fishes'. I vividly remember that I sat by this dark pond and all of a sudden, this huge Arowana swooshed at me. If you were there and you met this monster, you would be terrified like me. I think I cried on the way home.

This is why I'm afraid of swimming in dark or dirty water (even in pools). Does anyone else have this phobia like I do? I tried several times to push the terror away, but I failed. Watching Finding Nemo didn't help either.

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