Living Each Single Day

Hey, welcome to my little online space. I would say this is a blog of sorts, to help me sort out my thoughts. I also write about things going in my life with friends & family and being out and about in sunny Singapore. Life isn't easy, everyone knows that. While we are at it, don't forget to live life to the fullest :)

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Friday, August 28, 2015

An Emotional Week with Two Burdens Down

I feel so guilty for not writing recently because I actually like to blog and I don't think it's something that I want to stop. Not for money and popularity but basically because I enjoy sharing my experience with other people and also share my life stories which also help me to 'let go' a bit of the feelings and also to probably motivate other people as well.

Last week had been intensive, followed by emotional, as I spent the first two days of the week going to the school library in the morning and the next day in the afternoon all the way to late evening. It was the dreaded exam week and while almost every week, I am facing demanding school commitments with tests and projects that don't seem to end, this was also critical as the exam paper carried 50% weightage (!). There was NO WAY I can afford to fail this paper. The test and project only carried 20% weightage each with 10% going to class participation.

I know this wasn't as overwhelming as the previous semester where I had to take 3 exams and my gosh, I was questioning myself a few times on why I had to do this. Why, why, why do I have to put myself through this pure torture when basically I'm doing a-o-k already with my current job. It doesn't make sense. At all.

But something stirred in me when my brother said that I chose to do this is for my future. I know we both often talk nonsense to each other but for someone barely out of his teens, he can be wise sometimes. So that shook me, made me more determined and even made me want to score As for a subject that I've barely passed the tests or even understand what the heck was going on in class. I felt that the more I read, the more I understand, the more it was possible to score that A and I did.

For many things in life, it's a matter of pursuing what you want and working very hard towards it and going against the mental blocks that tell you that you can't do it or that it's not possible.

I worked just as hard for this subject and again, I didn't do as fantastically well as other people for the test because I was too busy. But I didn't want to fail so I had to force myself to carve out time for it so basically, my motivation was simply not to fail, haha. 

But for this semester, I've been so blessed to have been under the guidance of two lecturers who was so determined to make us pass and they did all they can to assist us just as long as we put in the hard work. At the end of the exam when he collected the paper, he asked if his inspiration worked and I thanked him for it because he really gave us a bit tip off on what exactly would come out like which areas to focus on. If I were to get an A for this semester, I really hope that it would be for his subject. 

Moving on, the weekend following that dreaded exam night, my mother received the letter from a credit company pertaining to my outstanding bill. I was so so sad that night because whatever I said, made no sense to my mother and she kept questioning and questioning me until I had an emotional breakdown. The amount was not stated and therefore she kept making these big sweeping assumption that I owe so much. 

The next morning, she still didn't let me off the topic and she kept on pursuing the matter until I had another emotional breakdown, and this time wanted to involve another friend of mine who used to work in banking. While I learnt my painful lessons already, I still am bearing the consequences of it.

Eventually on Monday morning, I had to go to the bank after making a call to the company which sent me a letter regarding the outstanding amount. It wasn't an incredibly big amount but still significant enough to cause me some heart pain. But I told myself, I will work harder to pay myself back the amount I had taken out to pay for the outstanding bill and at the very least, I would be able to put a closure to owing this company, whom for  years, had been chasing me and calling me until recently, for 3 times a day if I didn't answer them. I basically borrowed $500 and with interest and admin fees, it would at least make me owe them $1000 but I felt I had been paying them a lot more than that, imagine over 4 years, for that small amount. But because I didn't pay them regularly as I have financial commitments to other banks as well, I think I might have paid them thousands of dollars.

This was a very sad situation which I feel anybody shouldn't be in unless they're so desperate and it's the only way out. But they NEED to have a proper money management after that and pay them regularly or they will, like me, end up paying even more. If their own salary, after paying the credit companies, won't be enough to sustain them, they have to get other sources of income to supplement their fixed monthly income. 

With two down, I have two more to go and I'm planning to clear one of them asap including taking quite a chunk from my December bonus to pay. What to do, I just want to save myself from another emotional breakdown. 

But God has been good to me. I have been more careful with my spending and concentrate more on efforts in bringing some side income. I still have to spend on the family but it's not something that I can avoid and I always believe that if you're charitable even towards your own family only, your generosity will be paid back in double. I've also received some orders this week and even though they're not big amounts, but in small ways, I can work towards repaying myself back. 

So yah, that's how it goes up to yesterday. Hope your week hasn't been as emotional as mine, well at least if it has, it's not that bad as mine. Take heart that there are down moments and up moments as well. Just think positive and continue to work hard and push through the obstacles.

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Sunday, August 09, 2015

From Small Changes to Big Dreams

 It's always inspiring to read about how people went from zero to hero by not letting personal setbacks rule their life by rising above the circumstances to being where they are right now. A lot of people, well Singaporeans as well, take things for granted and just keep complaining over and over again. Today we are celebrating our nation's birthday and someone on my facebook was so excited that she took her first free MRT ride in conjunction of the celebration, even though it was for one station, lol! But then her friend commented, oh well, if you look at it in another way, the government may have spent money on us but it's still OUR money. Ok, party pooper. But my friend candidly said, well it's true so therefore, we must take this opportunity to ride for free!

I know what people say may have some truth in it. I mean, our government back then wasn't the same as now as in look at the circumstances. They were totally different. But it still remains corruption free and scandal free because it still puts the focus on the people. Still, you can't please everybody. No matter what you do, there are people who will nitpick on everything. 

Anyway, the focus of this blog post is for me and you to do a self reflection. This is the 3rd day of our long weekend and while I have spent my time fruitfully for the morning up to late evening catching up with my orders, I still haven't got the chance to even open up, download and print the notes my classmate has kindly prepared for us for our upcoming exam. I wasn't feeling so well and had to rest at night because on the first day, I had a fever and the following day, my stomach was feeling bloated and had to sleep early. I actually wanted to start studying. I didn't want to just focus on my online shop.

However, despite feeling unwell, I wanted to do what I could do in order to continue running my shop besides just making the physical products. I upkept the blogs, both personal and business, and this morning woke up to over 200 viewerships per blog. I also learnt new ways of making my cards and put them to the test this morning, although I wasn't very successful. Still, I think there is room for improvement but that video taught me to experiment with the things I had bought some time ago but had not actually done anything. I was glad at least I have finally opened up the bottle of white embossing powder and created a bookmark using stencil and the powder.

So I believe, the small things that we do each day, to help us get from point A to point B, matter a lot. We can all dream big and may get easily disappointed if we are not able to achieve success just as how we have dreamt it to be. But we should make the effort and celebrate the little achievements along the way, just like how a simple  upkeeping of the blog garnered me that amount of viewership. I know other successful blogs, 200 viewerships is such a small number, but it is a lot to me. 

I was happy when I started to lose weight consistently despite my struggles over and over again. I had to make big changes which weren't easy like cutting down my rice portions to a mere 3 spoons even though I don't eat rice every day. I don't buy snacks anymore and refrained from eating at least 6 hours after lunch to prevent myself from unnecessary snacking. It's still quite a long way before I ideally achieve the number I wanted by the end of the year but I'm happy with every kg that I drop.

I think end of the day, what should keep us motivated is not just the destination, but the journey itself, how we overcome each obstacle successfully. The rewards will seem much sweeter. So don't look down on those small changes. They are your stepping stones to your big dreams :)

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Our Quiet Raya Celebrations for 2015

Hari Raya celebrations has always been a quiet affair for me and my family. My paranoid mother doesn't like to receive guests and we don't actually visit people as well, except for one of my aunties. You know, it does seem like my childhood memories seemed more interesting with the visits, lol, even though I never looked forward to the first day because I had to go to the house of two my aunts from my dad who I wasn't close to.

Anyway, so Hari Raya has been like a family thing for us instead. Mum will prepare the food although at some point, she did it grudgingly because suddenly she had this 101 things to do list. I wasn't so fussy but I MUST have my sambal goreng. It's actually a traditional Malay dish that is often found in most Nasi Padang stalls or mixed rice stalls. They have fried beancurd, fermented soya bean cakes (tempe) and sliced long beans. There are many variations but these ingredients usually stay and they would be pre-fried first before adding to the chilli gravy and then cooked to almost dry or slightly wet, depending on preference.

I used to love choosing this when I used to buy Nasi Padang but because I don't consume coconut milk anymore, which is one of the main ingredients in making the gravy, I've stopped eating. I actually still do, occasionally from a stall near my house, because she doesn't use coconut milk. Some don't use it unless they want a thicker and richer gravy. 

Okay, so from below you can see the delectable Malay dishes which were so yummeh. I ate a lot of the sambal goreng which you could eat with either rice, ketupat (rice cakes) and even bread. You know, as I'm typing this out, I realized I might have talked about this dish before, lol! Goes to show how I love this dish.

I didn't have a new baju kurung or a Malay traditional dress but this was from some years back which I thankfully could still fit. There was one time I wore some dress from awhile ago and I was struggling to fit in despite having fasted for a few weeks. It's so traumatizing I could remember it until now, haha!

So here are the pics including the mentioned favourite dish of mine and my baju kurung from years back along with my family and my cousin.

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Sunday, August 02, 2015

Happy 1st August (For 2015) & Working with the Best Team

I've been so busy last month, it's so unbelievable! My life has never been so tortured with so many projects and tests within a month, lol. I still have one more project and two weeks later, a major exam. I actually haven't start yet with the project, and here I am typing away, haha. 

Last Thurday's project was a group work and I am so SO happy my team treats this so seriously, despite each one of us having family and work commitments. They were also so hardworking in doing research and I must say, they did a very good and thorough job. I didn't do so thorough as them as I am also managing my shop's order but I try my best to do whatever I can, such as waking up early to do some research, type out key phrases and sentences from the book, editing other member's works, getting together to finalize the report (until 11pm mind you, in school) and finally, understanding the notes for the presentation the following day.

Overall, I was happy with our project and while I did fumbled a bit on one part, I think overall, we did very well, which our lecturer ( who is super awesome) also commended and we were so ecstatic over it. Of course, each one of us would also be individually graded but I hope I don't get a C overall, knowing how badly I did for the test although he was kind enough to let all of us pass for the test as long as we wrote something. Now you tell me, which lecturer would be so kind until like that? Ultimately, they want us to pass as it's not easy juggling work and school but they would also want US to put in effort rather than taking it nonchalantly.

Anyway, here are some pictures from our very hardworking moments, lol! But we were serious about our work and you could see our cramped faces from one of the pictures. The best picture is of course,the one with our lecturer who, in his own words, couldn't be happier to take a photo with us. Awwww....

I hope, that if ever there is another group project for our next semester, I get to work with this super awesome team again. 

As for now, I will continue to work hard in all aspects of my life because only we are responsible for the success that we bring in our life. I came across this saying that we don't live once, we live every day but we die once. Aim to live each day to the best that we can and not just to focus on getting from point A to point B. Make time for improvements in our life, whether it's small or big, start saving for the future starting with any amount and accumulate from there, aim to do at least one kind act each day and also aim to spend more time with our friends and family no matter how busy we can get sometimes. 

Let us look forward to future endeavours that we will be proud of and if it's going to make a difference in our lives, have a leap of faith and just do what it takes and work hard towards any goal in life.

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Friday, July 17, 2015

Busy Busy, Barely Hanging & A Miracle on Hari Raya Eve

 I really needed this long break coz I've been slapped with so much things do, and often feeling the guilt of sleeping in a little longer to rest my tiredness. I had orders coming in left and right, and almost every week, I'm down with preparations for either a class test or a project. Though the nightmare isn't over yet, I watched a video recently about how we can overcome the feeling of being overwhelmed when we have them written down what need to be done and giving ourselves an estimated time on how long it takes to complete it. Of course, not everything will be smooth sailing and just now when my classmate asked about how to upload a file for an assignment, I just remembered that it was due...TODAY.

Argh! * pulls hair*

Anyway, I've done it and according to my schedule, I should be updating this blog, haha. I may not always be here but I will certainly update it as and when I feel like I want to talk about things that are in my heart. I felt a tinge of sadness when I thought I had failed my recent class test while everybody was scoring pretty well. Brought me to the days when I had my first failure and I was even more determined to do well for the project and eventually, the exam. I do not know if I am able to perform the same miracle as this time round, the marks relied heavily on tests and projects and there is only one exam due next month. 

I realized I didn't fail the test, thankfully, although I can't say about another test which I  had recently taken. It was super hard but I thought that the difficulty of it could somewhat be cushioned IF I had started my preparations earlier since there was a lot to study. It says a lot when I was doing my orders while studying at the same time. Of course I also felt sad because my other classmates did well while I barely passed. So yeah, it is high time I do some mental check-in.

But I will take it in my stride because nobody says that achieving success is a stroll in the park. There are other people who also juggle multiple roles in their lives and each role is significant. Yet, they can still manage them all well. Pretty much like what the video I watched mentioned, if I want to have a successful life, start by planning my day. Simple as that. I will usually attempt to write and then stop referring to it when other things come into play and I start feeling overwhelmed again because I don't where to start and when to end each task. Sure things may not always follow as plan, just like the earlier mentioned assignment, and also I forgot to include running errands for my mother as part of the Hari Raya plans and also going to a bazaar in Tampines, which turned out to be a waste of time, because we didn't realize that it was over few days ago, haha. Oh dear. Now, I'm basically carrying forward yesterday's planned tasks to today and hopefully will be more successful this time round.

My night ended with both of us walking home because we missed the last bus. Though it wasn't far, I was carrying a 1kg bottle of bleach, lol...during the 20 to 25 minutes walk in the cool breeze. Oh dear, again.

Still, amidst the chaos, there was a ray of light. 

You know, I talked about a crush I had in the gym and then end up thinking that he will only be a crush to me, nothing more, because my mind is not in the right mindset for a relationship. Then due to the fasting month, I take a break so I don't get to see him for quite awhile, for a month I suppose. But I'm still thinking about him as and when.

Then lo and behold, in God's power, I was at the Kovan with my brother and we found a seat. As I was settling down, I thought I saw someone who looked like him but I just felt I was imagining things because I felt like almost every guy who looks like him, IS him, lol. 

But, upon several looks, I realized that it IS him. 

Oh.M.Geeeeee...this can't be happening. He seemed to have gone for a haircut but there was no denying that it was still a 100% him! I think he noticed too because he also looked at me but I had my hair down and not wearing some drab outfit so I guess it was more difficult for him to notice, haha. Then as I was looking at his reflection in the window, I was also guessing that he told his friend because he was turning around a couple of times, assuming that he was looking at me. Again, I'm just guessing. It could be a figment of my imagination, but my mind was not playing tricks this time, because who knew I would see him for real outside of the gym. On Raya eve some more!

Wah, and I had him in my full view some more. I didn't see him on the last day before I took a break but in God's grace, I saw him even when I wasn't at the gym. It is really a miracle :)

So if  you're feeling overwhelmed, take it easy and do your best to plan according to what you are able to achieve within a day. Can't finish? Don't be hard on  yourself and spend lesser time on less important things to give focus on things that are more important. You can have the most decorated, beautiful and expensive planner around but if you still struggling to get things done, then perhaps you should realign your focus, just like how I  have to close my online shop for July orders because I am overwhelmed with orders.

Ok, I will be writing a special Hari Raya post, hopefully in awhile.

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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Start of the Holy Month for 2015

It's the start of the holy month, well technically, this is the fourth day already and the day before we start our fasting, yours truly started to feel sick already. The first day, I was going fine, well almost, the second day, I feel weak already when the flu bug began to attack and fever started to develop.

Go me. 

So for the weekend, I could not fast because I had to eat medicine or otherwise, I could not function. I had orders to fulfill, errands to run, a project to do and while I try to stay up, there are times I just want to lie down on the bed flat.

I've been blessed with the orders I receive. Financially, this month is very tight and I'm sick of getting letters for outstanding bills. The feeling is so sucky. But the only way to get out of this poverty cycle is to just think ahead, plan your moves and stick with the plan. I don't want to drag this any longer and I'm going to just do what I have planned from the start of the year. I figured that the best way to do is to tackle it one by one. Clear one hurdle, move on to the next hurdle, and not be thinking and thinking what can I do right now and feeling troubled by it.

Back to the orders story. I don't know how and why but maybe because this is indeed a blessed holy month, where I have been receiving order every single day this week which is a rarity in itself. I didn't want to make myself feel overwhelmed and instead, to concentrate on my next step and be dedicated to it. I read and admire how the younger people started their own business and it just bloomed. Did they say 'I think I should stop now'? No, instead, they trudged on and do their best, put in additional hours and be consumed by passion, rather than the feeling of being overwhelmed.

I am not going to let God just give me these opportunities which I've been craving for. I need help and I'm going to receive it from Him.

Speaking of blessings, Singapore had recently been hit by a tragedy where young and courageous victims fell victim to the devastating Sabah quake. Those who survived will aim to take small steps to get their life back together and overcome the trauma though it will forever be remembered by them.

One of the families, despite their own loss of a loved one, still felt blessed at what they have and decided to help other people who are in dire need of financial help. 

He says:
"Coming from a blessed background, we felt we could reach out to those who are more in need during these difficult times and it would have been [my daughter] Rachel's wishes as well."

In simply put, he felt that he is just human, helping another human. For the full article, click  here

Whether you are a Muslim who does charitable work during this holy month or simply another human being, let us not forget to be charitable to those in need. Instead of just being keyboard warriors, complainers and what have you, if you think you need more and more of wealth and material goods, ultimately you can't carry them to your grave. People are more likely to remember you for what great things you have done and not what you have.

Have a blessed Ramadhan my dear Muslim readers.


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