A little thought on Monday: short term goal does not hurt!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Happy Monday friends, I am revamping my blog design, if so happen you drop by and the layout still messy and not in the usual place, please forgive the messiness, it is me behind it. I am not designing my new layout on my own, but I am under budget conscious. I will hopefully share the makeover tips once it done, it does not necessary to be costly to have a pretty and professional look's blog :).

Meanwhile, I recently browsed my old pictures and found these two candid pictures that my friend took during my trip in Amsterdam in 2012. I used to hide these pictures in my the hard disk and not willing to share them. I was so plum and had wrong hair style back then,  I think, now, I shed 10 kgs from these pictures, because in 2013, I set the goal and decided to have a regular exercise and healthy diets. The reason is simple, I just want to live healthier and be there as long as I could for my love ones. When I achieved the goal to loss few kgs, I continue making a habit to set another random small goals, I do not believe in year-end resolution, I tried and none achieved. So beside my regular to do list in the office/home, I like to set a short term resolution/goal instead.  I feel life is much more excited when you walk through with the determination to achieve the goal that you set in the short term basis, weekly for example; this week I will complete revamping my blog. Next  week I will try a new lemon tart recipes, etc,etc. And when I really get it done I feel it give me a satisfaction and looking forward to a new week. 

That's just a little tips on Monday afternoon. Have a great week ahead!

{images took on the street of Amsterdam when meeting my good friend}

Midweek inspiration : Changes in life. Embrace or avoid them?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Hello friends, how is your midweek? This is the time of the week that I feel my day is longer than usual, so why don't we discuss about something uplifting. Often I involved in the conversation with my friends, colleagues and family about life in general and how life treats them. Often they also brought up the topic about changes is necessary, but what change means for each of us and which aspect shall we change? it could be about career moves, life style, relocation and many other things. Also, many of us brought up these statements; 'I want to quit my job', 'I want to do something different', or even ' I want to move to other country, my country where I live sucks'. Lol. But the question lies, do we really mean it? Changes! How we treat this? remember we are after all a creature of habit, changes requires something outside the routine, changes is something extraordinary that about to happen. Will you embrace or avoid them?

The only drastic change in my life that I am glad I've done it right is when I decided to make a career change. I am an economic graduated, major in accounting, I worked for ten years in finance and accounting field, I had pretty decent career paths until when I married my husband in year 2005 and I had to move to Malaysia. I had to start from zero, looked for jobs, I could not get any job for 6 months, local company prefer not to hire foreigner as obtaining a work visa at year 2005 was pretty tedious procedures (now is much easier) unless you are hired as expatriate which needs certain requirement to be the one. In the end, I was hired by a company that has affiliation with my previous company in Indonesia, not a job that I wanted, a position as administrative staff and totally underpaid. I desperate for a job so I accepted it. I have bunch of nice colleagues except a senior that I did not even report to. She is an insecure person and made my life shitty at there. So I had enough for all these unnecessary negativity. In the same time, I felt that I had enough with the field that I was into. As far as I remember, I studied accounting was because my parent want it so. I worked in the field was because I thought I should after I graduated (what else can I do as an accounting graduated?). Do not get me wrong, accountant or finance officer is totally an excellent profession and earn a pretty decent salary, but it is not something that I am passionate about. I am a people person not someone that happily sitting a whole day in front of computer facing numbers, miraculously I done it for ten years...haa..  In year 2006, my husband's friend introduced her self as an instructional designer. The words sound foreign to me, I asked 'What do you do as an instructional designer?' she said, 'I design instruction, I train educators to imply new teaching paradigm, I introduce technology tools for teaching and learning'. And I asked again, 'So you deal with people?' She said, 'Yes, a lot'. At that night after my meeting with her, I told my husband that I wanted to be an instructional designer. In the same year, at 2006 I enrolled my self to further my study in  master degree of Instructional Technology and not too long after that, I got a job in the field that I studied and I enjoy every bit of it. 

In the contrary, I also made few mistakes regarding changes that I wanted. The consequences of the mistake that I made is sometime not easy to overcome, however I try to learn from it. As my age is catching up and having more commitment, I now seeking for stability. Therefore, stability is the opposite of change. Stability means we have to ensure having a secure job to pay our bills and being accountable to our love ones. As far as my desire to have continuous excitement in life, I still have to be careful to decide impulsively. So before big changing actually happens, I try to enjoy every bits of the little ones. These are few things that I do, to make me keep going and creating a little excitement in my life;

1. I mingle with like minded people
I like meeting people, but I am very selective making friends, mingle with like a minded people is important to bring a positive energy in my life. Sometime routine could be so unexciting, I need some fresh ideas, new initiatives, break the chains a little bit. So, I joined a community/club unrelated with what I am doing in daily basis. Last year I joined fans club, first time ever ha... I enjoy making new friends with the same interest and discussing about our idol and giggling and feeling younger than usual. We develop a genuine friendship, from talking about casual things to sharing our life and problem, my friends gave me a positive vibe that I need in within my ordinary life and I hope I could function the other way around. Now, start digging what interest you at the moment and find a community to articulate your interests. 

2. I always hungry for new knowledge
Being jack of all trade but master of none has an advantage haha. Seriously, I just hungry to learn something new, it gives me excitement. I attended many various workshop and online courses out of curiosity. A matter of fact, this blog was born out of boredom. In 2009, I started reading blogs, I wonder, how these blogger set up a beautiful blog, random posts yet so interesting to read. Then I started to learn how to set up blog and wrote post. My first post was just a picture with a few words, along the way after five years of blogging, I slowly found my blogging voice. I attended wonderful online blogging course call Blogging Your Way to improve my knowledge about blogging, if you are interested on blogging, this is a good course. Also as a working adult, we may have limited time to attend real workshop/courses, yet learning something new or taking courses could be a way to have a little spark in our routine. Thanks to MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) that now we could just have an internet connection, a lap top, a comfortable couch at home and we could enroll online courses at flexible time. There are many free courses that we can enroll, from a fun courses like how to decorate a cake to how to create apps. I took free online courses from Coursera to improve my knowledge as Instructional designer. If you are interested in various MOOC resources, you can leave comment in the comment box, I will share with you lots of lists as it is impossible to type them here. Still the lists of new knowledge that I want to learn goes on, I want to attend culinary retreat, I want to attend calligraphy workshop in here, I want to learn about coffee brewing technique, etc, etc... I make my mind occupied with this excitement of learning a new things whenever I feel that life is sucks. Please try, it helps!

3. I take a further steps.
Have you ever heard these phrase ' when you have it, flaunt it', but not in the negative connotation though :). I like my job as ID and trainer, but doing and training the similar topic for every single day somehow drain my creativity. I feel my brain redundant in some extend, but I am not planning to have a career change, I just need a little varieties. In result, since last year I started to teach night class at one of the private university. I currently teach three hours a week, but starts on May 2014 I will teach six hours per week. My teaching subject is still under my expertise but I cover a wider topics, it gave me a fresh injection to my brain. My students never fails to cheer up my day. Recently, I signed up with Odesk, an online portal for freelancer and you could offer your service in any field that you are good at. I believe everybody has hidden talent, please dig your hidden talent and start nurture them, transfer your talent to be your additional income resources without leaving your stable job. You can set up an online shop at Etsy or Big Cartel to sell your handmade product without spending tons of money to start your business or you can become a member of Luvocracy if your talent is curating a good product and earn commission from it or selling your cakes if you good at it, etc. I have few friends that conducting various creativity workshop at their home apart of their official job, the possibility is endless, right? 

Note: Please consult your boss if you plan to do freelance/part time job to avoid conflict of interest (if it is related). 

I hope some of my personal tips inspire you in anyhow. Remember life takes time, be kind with it and according to someone that I adore dearly, we shall live our life without regret, keep going! 

Have a good day, I shall be back next week. 

{Image credit: 1.Design Love Fest, 2. Cannelle et Vanille 3. Shop Sweet Things 4. Bloesem - You may check their site, they are all inspiring bloggers}

A Virtual trip in Korean town LA { The Line Hotel}

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Hello friend, how is your Thursday? seem very long day to go, isn't it? weekend is approaching yet not close either, we still have another day or two working day. So this afternoon is a time to have a day-dream for a while, a time to have a virtual trip with me :).

If you follow my blog, you certainly know when I traveled, I love to explore and always longing for a hip and authentic concept of accommodation, eating places, shops and surrounding community. I am glad that such concept becoming more and more in Kuala Lumpur - the city where I live. I was in downtown KL last weekend and I saw few old buildings that converted into a concept hotel and cafe. I promise my self, that I will one day allocate my time, bring my camera, and take a walk to downtown to capture those beauty :). I have been dreaming if I can write a travel guide book about it too.. haaa..  

As for now, let us imagine our selves in downtown Los Angeles, to be exact is in Korean town neighborhood. When I visited LA in 2011, I did not have a chance to visit Korean town, my sister asked me to revisit LA beginning of next year, I am considering it and if I go, I will definitely would love to stay in The Line Hotel in Korean town that just opened recently. This hotel has an interesting concept, it is a collaboration project by Sydell group (a developer that specialist in lifestyle oriented hotel) with chef Roy Choi, Poketo and other artist in their own expertise. I knew about this hotel through Poketo's instagram. I am fans of Poketo's product, Angie Myung - the owner of Poketo and also a Korean born American, she and her husband are successfully grown this lifestyle shop by inducing a little bit of Asian design (Zakka) in their selective pieces. 

Back to the Line hotel, it nestled in the iconic American cement old building in the very hip and happening neighborhood of Korean town. It said the surrounding it self never sleep. I could imagine that whenever there is an Asian community, there will be always a good food and noises :). Cement, brick and mortar are always my preference, it looks everlasting and ragged and with a good lighting and minimalist furniture, it becomes perfectly cozy :). When I saw the picture of the hotel bed, I immediately want to sleep on it,. I have no expertise to write about hotel review, but I am glad to find more of life style/ bnb hotels offer a variety of bed linen in term of color and design. White is good and standard, but I guess it is not a sore in the eyes either if we can have more soft color or event vibrant color to add some mood for the guests. Furthermore, this hotel provide not only American soft drink and liquor in their room minibar, but also various of Korean drink. After all the location says it all! Here are some pictures of the hotel...

Poketo opened their lifestyle shop in this hotel. Glad to know that. I also learned about chef Roy Choi - an American born Korean chef who managed several dining outlet inside the hotel. There are Pot, Pot lobby bar and cafe. He introduces Korean underground food market concept and the Korean bar style. Definitely something we need to experience when we stay at the hotel.  I never been to Korea, so I could not imagine how the dining experience will be, but recently I bought a book about dining guide in Seoul, for God grace, there are so many wonderful lifestyle cafe and coffee places that I wish to visit in Seoul :). 

I always has a soft spot for man who cooks, so I decided to research about chef Roy Choi. He is apparently named of one of the best new chef 2010 by Food and Wine magazine, he also own Kogi - Korean taco truck. I saw some of my friends who live in America, especially in California, they mentioned that there are various food truck will schedule to stop in certain area, so then they will enjoy various food from the food truck seller, an interesting concept I shall say. I think in Malaysia it similar like 'Lok Lok' - the steamboat food sold in van, haha.. do you think so? Also, here are some pictures of the hotel cafe...

And I am happy to see that The Line hotel also collaborate with mural artist. Similar with what I've seen in Solo Inn - Taipei, to paint the wall bright and cheer up the local community, that;s the way to go...

So, don't you think this place worth to visit? I hope you enjoy my short virtual trip. Have a good day.

{Images credit: @Poketo, @Thelinehotel Instagram}

4th year of motherhood {+the roller coaster ride of it}

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

My daughter just turned 4 last week, it also my 4th year of motherhood journey, the journey that I am always looking forward despite the difficulties and obstacles. I know that motherhood is not for everyone, I respect the decision for those who are not keen, I used to think that I am not a capable of being a mother because of my nature. I love freedom, I love spending time for my self and I rarely like to settle down in idle situation for a long period. But when I became a wife then a mother, miraculously I changed my perception and I enjoy it very much. My daughter is my source of inspiration to be a better person. 

I switched career from accounting field to be an educators for almost a decade, I trained countless number of early years teachers, guide them how to be an inspiring educators for future generations but when it comes to motherhood, educate my own child and being consistent, I am completely hopeless. I still figure it out and find tunes what kind of mother I am,  I am definitely far from becoming a dedicate 24 hours mother figure and in case you are wondering, I will never be the one...

However, there are few value that I strongly hold to raise my child and I confidently say these are the right thing to do for me being a parent. We are as parent definitely wish the best for our children. But the best is also very subjective, what is best in our personal opinion is not necessary best to others. For me and my husband, we have a simple wish, we want to raise a happy child, we are trying our best by showing the examples. Happiness is something intangible, how are we measure happiness? it is too deep to be measured. Happiness in my opinion is a formed of self actualization. According to Abraham Maslow (an American Psychologist),  if our basic needs (food and shelter) are fulfilled only then we could think of our higher needs, for example; if we ensure we have sufficient food to sustain our body, then our intuition will long for higher need such as security, love, appreciation, etc. 

Three things that I practice:

Everyone is equal
I never take for granted of my daughter feeling and opinion. Since she was a baby, I was very careful to observe her cues. And now she is a preschooler, time flies. She is more expressive, she is very opinionated too. Everyone in the house is equal. We listen to each other feeling and opinion, therefore she obliges to do the same things. In theory it is easy, in reality and in her world, we are not always right, and she is always right! No, No!We are still trying to practice it everyday, but I believe when I listened to her needs, she feels appreciated, and when she feels appreciated, it builds her confident to share, to express and to listen in return.

Love and forgiveness
Both of us grew up in typical traditional Asian family when the word Love and Sorry are rarely existed. Do not get me wrong, we love our parent, but I used to believe that my father's words is ultimate, we were not suppose to be right as He was the one who is always right. And no matter how much I love my mother and how close we are together, until now I still feel awkward if I have to literally say I love you, mom. 
We learned from our past, at our home, Love is the most speak-able word and we show and mean it. We ensure her that she is loved and plenty of it :). Forgiveness is another practice, we gave reason when she is being punished, we said sorry when we made mistakes and hurt her feeling. I want her to know that forgiveness is part of self healing and love is a beautiful gift that someone could give. 

The greater thing
I introduced my daughter about God since she was in the womb, now that she can speak clearly, we pray together every morning and night. For us, it is important that she realize about God's existence and He is greater than any of us. The world has changed that humility become scarcity. Sad to know that, however in my own capacity, I nurture her to grow up to be a humble person, be a God's connector to serve others and serve Him unconditionally. I have a strong belief, when God is our only desire in life, He will take away our worries. It does not mean we do not need to do anything, we still need to work diligently, carry our own burden and overcome our obstacle, but He will fulfilled. I want my daughter have the same belief when she grows up, to be happy to serve God and walk according to His words.

I am still learning and I will be... 
Happy April 2014

PS: This is not a wordy tips that I was talking about, It will be in next post. These not even a tips pun intended too :)

Here is Dania's 4th Birthday celebration with her classmate.

Behind the scene: She prepared the goodie bags tag for her friends :)

Weekend inspirations

Friday, March 28, 2014

Hello friends. How is your day? weekend is just around the corner, I am looking forward for it, don't you? 
Today post will not be so wordy, I am preparing a wordy posts next week, a worthy tips that I would like to share with you, my friends. Meanwhile for those of you who craves for visual inspirations, these three Instagram accounts (images below) are my current favorites. Do you have Instagram by the way? I am a very visual person, sometimes in my profession as an Instructional designer, I need plenty ideas of images to ease the instruction that I developed, thus, when I am stuck, I love to just browse my Instagram or Pinterest feeds. Often I get inspired from random images. 

Happy weekend! Hope you get some inspirations and feel recharged to say hi to Monday :).

*Fiona lives in Kuala Lumpur, she is my friend, she loves to play with her food and ingredients, simple food becomes so appealing. I would love to have a bite too :). 

*Lolo_et_uu lives in Japan, she loves to capture a precious moments of her son's daily gestures. It reminds me of my little daughter, my source of endless inspirations. Every time I saw her posts, I immerse my self on her visual story. Her pictures truly speaks a thousand words!

*Zara lives in Singapore, her instagram often have random objects. Those are often neglected , yet she is able to capture them beautifully. I guess beauty is always in the eyes of the beholder. 

{Images credit to the link above}