Monday, January 09, 2017

Welcoming in 2017 Part Two

We started the new year's eve watching the free movie at the Esplanade Park and they were showing Kungfu Panda 3. I watched part one but not part three and it was an enjoyable start of our celebration. After that, we kepo kepo (busy body) went to the Zumba workout session held by Health Promotion Board and saw how energetic the people were following the difficult to follow (at least to me..) steps to fitness. I would have messed up from step one..haha!!

So holding on to my sanity, we then walked to another area, where there was another movie screening showing X Men Days of Future Past. We didn't want to sit down and watch again so we walked around the area which started to get crowded little by little and there were people selling food, street performances and then we got hungry. Finding the toilet was not a problem because nearby the National Gallery Singapore, the place was quite empty. I pity the ushers who had to keep telling people where the toilet was..heh.


Time moved pretty fast and soon it was almost 11pm and we were famished. So we went to a nearby McDonald's at Raffles City but dang, the line was so long. But there was another outlet nearby like about 10 minutes walk and thankfully, it was less crowded. I think this is where we made a tiny mistake.

We were quite tired walking around that we didn't feel like we wanted to move out but we had to. So we left quite late and then we made the mistake of not going back to the venue and travelled..or the nearby mrt station to go to somewhere near to where we went just now but further down. 

The clock was ticking and by the time we reached, with my shoe almost giving way, the fireworks were on full display already. Aww..we missed the countdown! But then again, the fireworks were magnificent and we had our first argument on how we didn't manage our time properly and we didn't get the best view being here instead of where we were supposed to be.

By the time the fireworks finished, that was where the challenge of going home came. Crowds of people started to emerge to make their way down to the MRT stations and we were thinking of whether to join the crowd or walk down further to a bus stop and take the midnight bus.

However, we went one big round because every turn we wanted to make to go to the bus stop, the road was blocked. Eventually I said I would take the lead..which was to...turn back and go to that same MRT station where we had come from. My brother was like fine...because he hated crowd..and well, because of him too, we missed the countdown.

By the time we made the u turn, the crowd was much lesser as the waves of the earlier crowd had almost cleared. When we were in the train, even though we had to stand, it wasn't too crowded either so it was still a pretty comfortable ride. 

Then thinking back, we felt that okay, at least we didn't get stuck in the crowds nearer to areas where the fireworks display were clearer. It was massive and many of the people were not Singaporeans too and I don't know if it was just me, they seemed more ready to celebrate the new year than us Singaporeans who would rather go home straight and sleep instead of having an after party,  haha..

Anyway, enjoy the pictures below!!

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Welcoming in 2017 Part One

So it's been a week since we last welcomed in 2017. Hope things have turned out okay for you..or at least, quite manageable. Everyday I try to think about moving forward and not wanting to make mistakes fairly easily. Now my main motivation in life is to have a better future. Sometimes I see other people and think why can't I be as happy as them. I know behind closed doors they may problems of their own too but I'm sure each one of us has our own unique strengths to overcome the obstacles that will make us stronger than we ever were before.

Then there is another side of argument that we should be grateful for what we have already like a roof over our head, food on the table and so on. But is that all we lead be good enough only? We are also capable of achieving great things in life. I always think about how am I going to cope with the school fees and going to school after work when my body will be so exhausted. Not forgetting the tests, exams, projects etc etc...and also dealing with new work demands that I thought I am not capable of handling. Of course there are ups and downs but you just tell yourself that you can pull through and do even better.

Now I've graduated with a diploma and then hopefully in the near future, I want to further my education again which means going through the cycle all over again. Because of that diploma too, despite my dismal work performance thanks to my former manager who somehow had something against me back then, I managed to get a post in the HQ after the interview process because I really wanted to move out and gain new learning exposure. I have to leave behind a place where I've grown comfortable. Pretty much how I had left my former work place being the first to resign from the batch that had been outsourced to a private company. 

As long as you know what you want out of life, if God willing and through sheer hard work and determination, you know you will progress in life. Of course life is full of setbacks but just remember, whatever you do, begin with the end in mind. You want to have a good life for you and your family, then you jolly well pull yourself up and get your sh*t together. Don't let other people suffer because of your ill judgments in life that you can't see beyond what it is right now.

Let's go through 2017 with a fresh start and write down your personal mission statements for each area of your life. Spend like 2 to 3 min or so reading through them before you start the day so that your life evolves around these statements instead of making baseless decisions or the same mistakes again because you don't have a tight grip on the values in your life. 

All the best!!

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Monday, January 02, 2017

Christmas Wonderland 2016

So the Christmas season come and go and now we're two days into the new year of 2017. But I will backtrack a bit sharing with you what we were up to last Saturday. We went to the Christmas wonderland, like we do every year, from when they first started it. But this time round, due to its huge popularity, we had to pay $8.00 for the entrance as it was expected that a lot of people will come. The crowd was well managed, actually up to a certain point, and not enough directions were put out to actually tell us where to head to. But because we had gone there a few times, we roughly know where to go, but of course we did a few wrong turns. 

Upon entry, it was actually not overly crowded despite being the Christmas eve. Also maybe because it was raining since earlier on. So we could walk around comfortably. We actually waited in anticipation in the rain for the snow machine to blow out snow bits, actually more like frosty ice, and we stood there for 15 minutes. Actually my brother saw the machines were covered but well you know, miracles do happen, haha. 

So okay, after being really sure there won't be snow, we started walking around past game and food baths to a mini concert where there were people singing the Christmas carols. Then we walked around again with our one single umbrella and we saw some booths had queues while some did not. There was one guy supposed to man the booth in the rain without shelter but poor thing, he was in the rain in his raincoat but no one was interested in playing. 

The super trees were playing an interlude of popular Christmas songs with the lights dancing around. Honestly, it was quite magical although it was the same thing every year, including the songs. We watched another concert and they had a young female singer as the special guest with such nice jazzy voice singing Santa Baby.

It was pretty cold because the rain did not stop and then we went back to the dome at the given timing and finally the snow machine churned out the snow flakes although only one was on. Still, it was pretty magical and the closest ever to snow without the frost bites. Then we headed back out and the first time we actually took the lift and it was not crowded at all. 

We then took the bus down to have our dinner in town and I had the Samurai Burger from McDonald's for the last time before they bring it back again. Then we had the Speculoos Cheesecake from Coffeebean and it was so delish, we ate it again when we went there on Wednesday to take back our umbrella which we had left there when we tried to rush for the bus.

So that was our adventure. We ended up walking late because we didn't watch our time and the barista took forever to pack the cake. 

Enjoy the pictures below!!

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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Between Giving in to Consumerism & Saving for the Future

I am so torn apart...I want to start afresh by having a stash of savings, at least as a good start for 2017, but there's so many distractions that I do not know whether should I give in and buy that make up palette set that goes for 40% off (OMG...) and or to keep my savings safe and sound. Honestly, I don't need so much make up since I'm always rushing to work in the morning..heh..and often end up applying blush  to add some colour to my face. But the temptation..hooh ma god.

I am trying to write out this post so that I can convince myself that the palettes that I have with me now..they're good enough. I should put a stop to it already and instead, use the money for good use instead like buy the daily necessities for the family. I mean I know myself well enough that the last few months have not been easy financially. It was really tough. But at the same time, I do not want to deprive myself as well. So I still indulged in buying a stash of makeup for myself and even buying lipsticks for a good friend of mine for Christmas and for my mum also. It's all good, right?

The issue now is how we are easily swayed by consumerism. Of course buying things when they are on hefty discount is better than buying it in full price. But still, it defeats the purpose as well when you buy and then you barely use it as you keep on accumulating by buying newer and shinier things. I'm not a make up artist and while I do love make up, I need to know my limitations. 

So to me, the best solution for this? It's to simply start using what I already have. I barely have made a dent to the eyeshadows and I want to buy another one. Why? Because other people are raving about it especially the social influencers and the sellers because they get to earn as well. Then people like me would have to write an entire blog post convincing myself that I should not be getting another eyeshadow least not for this month.

I must focus...focus on what matters to me most. I want to have a good life in the future. I want to earn more and not spend more on unnecessary things. It's ok to spend but it's not ok when you find yourself spending more and more and not earning as much to cope with the expenses. it's also not ok when I have yet to clear my debt and here I am spending and spending. 

What I am leading myself to is a downward spiral and I begin to wonder again why my life sucks. It's because of poor decisions that we make in life that we tend to forget about until it hits us hard in our face. I have been given this fresh start and I'm not about to screw it up. 

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Sunday, December 18, 2016

Orchard Road Christmas Light Up, Christmas Trees & Decorations 2016

Last Saturday, I received my bonus earlier and therefore, got the chance to go shopping and also have dinner with my brother at Seoul Garden, as we always do every year. I didn't shop much this year, except for skincare and makeup, that as mentioned in previous post, spent a total of $150.00 only. I made a mistake coz I was focused in getting this mini palette that is only available online that I wanted to get something at least from Sephora so I got this 10 blush pan set from Tarte instead of the ultimate palette, also from Tarte. This blush pan set wasn't even in my wish list, lol. But it's okay coz I justified that well, I use blush almost all the time as compared to the eyeshadows since I don't have the luxury of time when getting ready for work. So yeah.

Moving on, my brother got upset halfway through the dinner because he splattered mushroom soup on himself even though I told him to bring his bowl closer when scooping out the noodles. As usual he didn't listen and got into this mess..heh. It was just a bit of splatter but to him, it's everything. 

After that we went to Orchard Road to take pictures of Christmas lights starting from Dhoby Gaut. So we walked from one end to another. It was really crowded but we still managed to take some pictures. After that I went to Ion Orchard and bought the said items at Sephora and actually almost forgot my items at the counter, hehe.

I don't understand that with the crowd, why would they close the toilets early -_- and it didn't help that I drank quite a lot at Seoul Garden since it's free flow. In the end, before we took the bus home after scrapping the idea of sitting at the McDonald's cafe coz it was super crowded, I managed to go to the toilet after FINALLY managing to find one that was still open. Honestly, I was turning hysterical coz I visited a few toilets and they were already closed. But in the end, I saw this guy like er, adjusting his pants, and I assumed from the direction where he came from, the toilet must be from there because the sign wasn't obvious enough. When I came in and thankfully the door wasn't closed, I saw this gothic girl wearing a dark lipstick, and I'm like..yes it's opened!!

Earlier, my brother had some fun playing with the interactive Christmas displays where he had to jump and jump to get the display to light up. At first, it didn't quite work but a small kid sitting nearby was demonstrating how it was done and then when there was less of a crowd, my brother tried again and it worked! Thanks to the kid. But he was pissed off with me because I didn't record properly.

Anyway, it was a mixture of emotions. Overall we still enjoyed ourselves despite the hiccups. Even if I have to scrap most of the items on the wish list, at least I managed to save some money for rainy days or at least for the next few months' of usage. Things at home aren't in tip top condition anyway.

So enjoy the pictures below!!

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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

When the Year End Bonus Comes In..

So I just received my salary and the 13th bonus with a little 0.5 extra bonus which usually goes to my mum. I know I always tell this to myself every year that I am going to put this aside and use as little as possible. I didn't buy clothes, accessories or big stuffs this year, well except for make up and skincare that costs me $150 in total plus an annual treat to Seoul Garden, more on that in a later post, even though I could afford them now. 

I guess the last few months have been hard for me up to a point, I am grateful I prayed to God to help me in times of my low moments when I didn't have much money left. The help came in a form of the money that was given to me for payment of something. I used the money to help me tide over my financial difficulties for that one week prior to receiving my salary. Coz in that same week too, the kitchen light blew and we had to call for repair that cost us $40 which frankly speaking was all the money I got :(

But life has to go on, right? I had since paid the money back without anyone knowing I borrowed the money. I had also returned my brother his money who had graciously, ok fine...grudgingly, loaned me some money when I was running very low in cash. I've also stashed away almost one month's worth of pay, after the cpf deduction, to another account which is to be used for things like repair of home, case in the point, the kitchen light. We had also quite recently fixed the toilet pipe and the kitchen pipe, and I wouldn't be able to pay them if I had not kept a little stash of money away from the sales of my online shop.

I would have stashed a little bit more away but because I had to return the money I borrowed for that one week, it had to come from somewhere. I still have some money for daily expenses although admittedly, it's running a little low so whatever money I make from making cards, will go here instead. If there's no urgency in using the cash that I had stashed away, it will remain in there. Now I just have to be a little leaner in spending like how things were before I got paid in December.

I don't need to go on holidays and I don't need to buy expensive items. I know many others go on holidays with their family and it's actually really nice to see them spend their time in countries which I do not think I will ever go in my life, haha. I don't want to be pessimistic because dreams do come true if you think you can. But I also have to be realistic. They too have financial commitments such as their children's education, getting degree, getting married and so on and so forth. They too have cut down on things mercilessly just so that they can get their dream house. 

Everyone has something they look forward to. I hope one day I am able to study for my degree before I hit 40. So the sacrifices I make right now is for a better future. Of course I can never guarantee how long the money will last. Soon I will have to dig into it somehow. I guess I just have to continue to work very hard in life so that I can go far and without having to worry every day about money.

I believe there's more to life than just having lotsa money. But there's no way you can carry on your day to day routines without having to use money. I won't say I aim to lead a simple life like for instance, you won't see me spending my money on another lipstick shade or buy another bag as if I don't have any bags. Of course you definitely won't see me buying expensive make up because even though I love make up, I don't like to spend too much money. On another hand, I don't like to spend too little money too just because it's so damn cheap for make up. 

What I'm trying to do right now, which I think you can also learn, is to fully make use of what you have right now. Don't just buy for the sake of buying because it's the in thing now or it's trending or it's from a certain popular youtuber or celebrity. Know that if you were to buy this, you will have to cut down on other things, like don't buy new clothes for this month for instance. That way, you will end up buying things you love and at the same time, you maximise the value of the things you have spent on previously, let's say the last make up palette you got, to make your money worth it.

Look, you and I know it's not easy to earn money. Those celebrities who entice you to buy their products will get even more filthy rich while we are earning peanuts and yet spend quite a significant amount of our money on their products. Just like how when you eat, you try to eat in moderation and to have a balanced meal, in terms of spending, we should be balanced as well. Know your top priorities like why are you saving money in the first place. That will keep you grounded if there are some things you  just have to skip.

So that's just my two cents' worth..heh...because for me, I just want to have a better life. I don't want to lead a life worrying about money. I would like to have a safety net. I'm not here to judge on how people spend their money because you don't know what goes on for them to get to this point where they are enjoying themselves fully in their dream holiday destination or buy that luxury bag. You do not know that actually they have already saved up for months before going on their holidays or they already have put aside money for rainy days before buying that Coach bag. Or that they have worked their ass off and have sleepless nights working over their paid projects to have extra moolah.

I hope you will be inspired to not just buy the things on your wish list but to be inspired to learn how to look at money differently to help you in times of need and to help others too, not just to acquire physical wealth. All the best!

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