Sunday, December 29, 2013

How to Be Motivated? Start Now.

The first step is always the hardest. But to me, the best way to get around and be motivated is to just...get up and do it. Then you'll be in the way of things and realize what was the hype all about..haha.

Honestly, I'm not always motivated. I'm on of those who would rather laze on the couch and just sleep through. But I don't want to do that all the time. It's difficult for me to have a quality life if that is what I just want to do. I can't be able to have a sustainable second income from my online shop. I can't get promoted if I keep making mistakes at work. I can't get good grades to get my modular certificate from my studies.

What do I do if I am not motivated the day before? I just do MORE the next day to make up for the so-not-motivated me. But I don't want to always be stuck in a rut like that. I want to be able to keep moving and just do it instead of doing rushed work at the last minute and not being happy with the results. No point waiting for the right hour, the right time of day, simply just get up after a short break and just simply get your things done.

I believe that's how you should lead your life too. No point being a hater and being jealous of their success when you're not doing much to help yourself. I don't want to tell someone that I have a dream to do this or that, or I want to achieve so and so weight, but I am not helping myself.

The one tip I learnt is when you are doing things that may seem mundane or repetitive, but ought to be done to get where you want yourself to be, is to always be EXCITED about it. Excited about riding on the treadmill, eating healthier food, fulfilling an order, getting up earlier to start work, opening up your textbook...just simply be excited about it can make things easier. It breaks down slowly the psychological barrier where you think oh, you'll never achieve it or you're simply too  lazy because no one is going to appreciate it anyway. 

Newsflash. When you put your heart and soul into doing something, every failure, rejection, will not feel so bad because you know you are going to do better the next time and to treat them as a learning point. Then with patience, continued hard work and sometimes even luck, you will experience a great feeling of success that will surpass the feeling of being a failure and being rejected.

Don't wait until the new year to put your plans into action. Start being motivated now and truly enjoy whatever you're doing now to open yourself up to more exciting opportunities ahead.

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas Light up 2013 & Annual Dinner

Every year, almost everyone comes down to Orchard Road to see the Christmas light ups. This year, the guideline had been pretty strict as in no colours resembling the colours of the traffic light, which is kinda stupid, because the main colours of Christmas is green and red. But still, if you're creative, you won't be limited by such stupid rules. I don't know about how others feel but I kinda got the feeling the budget for Christmas light ups have been reducing in recent times? Last time, they used to have those major Christmas props along the streets and we would go in awe at such displays and take photos every now and then. Now it was like, that is all they had to offer? But the saving grace was the displays outside Ion Orchard. Beautiful garden wintery theme with mazes and lattice awnings (I think that's what they're called..not too sure..ha!), we practically had to wait for others to take photos in them! Still, they were in our photo shots.

Anyway, first we went for our annual bonus dinner. It was the same as last year where we had our dinner at Seoul Garden Takashimaya. This time round, it was pretty noisy and crowded. They cleared our table even without asking, like practically taking plates away and profusely saying sorry because people were waiting to come and eat. Whatever, at least we had our fill.

I didn't buy much clothes this year and my mum was quite puzzled too. Normally, I would do like this one time big purchase thingy with clothes that would last me few months of non shopping for clothes. I dislike buying clothes because first, I'm not good at picking out the right clothes and second, I just find they're pretty stingy with fabric nowadays to give me a more covered top. It's like I don't need to be wearing a too translucent top. So I basically just gone one top from H&M and one skirt from another shop. They each were $20 and $16 respectively so I basically cut off my clothing haul budget to even less than half. Wowza.

This is so funny because this year, my bonus is actually the most I received for all the time I work in the civil service. So even before getting the cheque for my online shop project, I would still have quite a lot of money left from the bonus itself like as though I never touched one month's pay..haha. The only thing I spent a bit more money is on my hobby because usually around this time, they offer discounts and coupons for you to spend er..more I guess? Ha. And this give me a chance to stock up for future orders and also for my own mini album projects.  I still haven't got round to printing the pictures. Soon soon. I just want to get rid of my project 300 the soonest. What's this project about? I'll explain more in due time :)

Meanwhile, enjoy the pictures from the sibling's outing on Friday the 13th. No, nothing horrible happened to us that day..haha.

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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Staff Retreat to...Desaru, Malaysia!

When you think about Desaru in Malaysia, you think of pristine beaches where you can chill and relax. But no, that day, it was raining. Nobody wanted to get down to take pictures unless you count getting down the bus near to the beach for our makan or lunch, haha. I've been to Malaysia at least once for the last almost 5 years and it's always amazing to be back home and appreciating Singapore more. I don't know, I think I'm just not cut out to be staying in a sleepy town where getting basic groceries is like half an hour drive away, haha. But if you like to stay out of congested crowded public places and prefer a more quiet and simple life, probably it's for you. 

So anyway, back to this trip. It was a staff retreat so obviously, it's customary for us to visit places that we would learn from. Of course, there were a lot of things that we learnt but if you ask me what have I learnt from those trips, ostrich egg is equal to 25 chicken eggs! ha..I did learn something, didn't I. Oh yes, from the fruit farm, the knowledgeable guide provided many information about the different types of plants that provide natural remedies to common diseases. But like any modern medicine, there's a limit to how much they can benefit. 

While some things in life are unavoidable like illnesses even though some people may argue that they take care of their life by eating healthy and exercise, it's only a prevention but it's not the ultimate solution. Before you stop exercising and eating junk food, our life is very precious and think about what matters to us most. Our family, our loved ones, friends but most importantly, treasure our life in all its glory, trials and tribulations because we can only become stronger in our heart and mind.

Just like any other tourist attraction places, of course they would want to make money from us by selling products that have this and that benefit but I didn't want to spend so much cash on them. I'd rather use the money I have on clothes :p and okay, maybe things for the family like chocolates and yes, yummy doughnuts! The only things I bought from these places are a bottle of pure pomegranate juice and some fruits, which are so ex here, but cheap over there because they're local fruits.

Enjoy the pics!

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Musical Trip Down the erm..Downtown MRT Line

We went on another adventure in one of those open houses (yes, we *heart* MRT open houses) and in the first station itself at Bugis, we were treated with three celebrity impersonators, well at least attempted to impersonate, and the more fun part was seeing some people who were asked to be on stage, to be so sporting. I mean, everyone loves doing the Gangnam style, no?

The rest of the time, we were just hopping from one station to another, and stopping at places where we wouldn't have gone to usually like the Chinatown Point and Telok Ayer, which are nearby to each other. It's definitely a change from the usual spots. The shophouses along Telok Ayer were pretty nice and chillax, away from the hustle and bustle of city areas like Orchard Road. It has this nice traditional town vibes. Not too sure if it's about to change with the opening of the downtown line but it could be good business for them. Rental maybe increased too. Oh well, in life you can't have it all I guess.

The open house of the downtown line had each station with its own theme like the 60's theme with  the older generation singing classic Chinese songs; we got the more hip former video jocks hosting the 90s theme and for the 70s theme, Chua Enlai was a natural funny host, who at that time, was conducting a musical chair contest with kids while dressed in an outfit popularized by John Travolta from Saturday Night Fever.

My brother was disappointed we came too late and we didn't get any Goodie bag (unless he did the Gangnam Style on stage..ha!..but he didn't want to) so oh well. He did however went to Chinatown Point and Telok Ayer, which is a highlight for him because he had never gone there before in 18 years of his life. At least I had been there, er..once or twice before.

We also had to take the customary pictures at the fare gate including one cheesy photo. Before we took the photos, there was this one family who took a nice family shot with each one of them lining up at each gate looking at though they were about to tap out. It was nice and we kinda like laughed as it looked fun.

Enjoy the pics!

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My First School Hols...After So Long!

After soooo long, I finally experienced my first school hols! I think it's after more than 10 years..haha. I wrote about my schooling days pursuing a part-time course in a diploma and man, was it hard. But somehow, surviving. I'm juggling my full time job, my online shop and the part time job. While other people are fast asleep, I'm awake crafting fulfilling online orders or studying for a test or some concepts I'm unclear about especially regarding the excel formulas. It's crazy sometimes but I enjoy it. Well, sometimes..haha.. but I have to be grateful that I can FINALLY continue my studies because it's been made affordable for people like me who struggle at times to make ends meet. It's a good opportunity for me to  get better job offers in the future with a better pay. 

My classmates have been wonderful too. We keep in touch via a whatsapp group chat and you just have to give a shout out for help and there are willing people willing to offer the help you needed. And sometimes, it doesn't even have to be study related as we all come from different fields of customer service. There is even a guy who works in Apple and he can give us discounts if we want to buy Apple products. 

Despite the struggles, I think it can better be managed. I have to learn to make small baby steps in planning. There was a time the class got pretty hard because I was really sketchy on the excel formulas until I told myself, that's it! I am going to read up on it. I should be doing that but well, you know. 

I tell ya it was a big help. I still struggle a bit but it wasn't so major. It was at least more manageable. It helps that I sit beside a classmate who helps me out even though I don't ask for it. Ha, yes it's NOT good to keep to yourself if you are unsure. Just ask away! 

Slowly but surely, I'm getting to know more of my classmates and most of them are really nice. Glad that we're in this together and we hope to graduate together, with the same people 2 and a half year later. Let this be a reality of us.

Meanwhile, here's a collage of me and my classmates attending a wedding at one of our classmates. Thanks for the invite! The food was nice, the setting was gorgeous and the video of how they fell in love was both funny and sweet. 

Hope we all will persevere through this module and our last ICA for the current module.

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Sunday, December 15, 2013

When You Feel Safe & Loved..Imperfection can be Beautiful

When I was watching this web series in different parts, the ending almost blew me away. What started off as a short break up, a lot of self doubt, all that just fades away with that one realization that he decides that he wants to give his all and be totally exclusive in the relationship. 

'I want to give you me..that no one else could have'

In real life, when someone changes the whole outlook of your life such as making you change for the better, encourages you to be even better than you already are, love like you had never loved before and make you feel special. If you have found that  person in your life, congrats to you. For those still searching, don't give up hope yet. Fate has this funny thing of uniting two people even in unexpected situations. Sometimes you don't even have to search. It's right under your nose but because we're so caught up with things in life or too caught up finding the 'one', we failed to see that imperfection can be beautiful as well.

I've always had low self-esteem and communication problems with people. From young, I have been a pretty quiet girl. But when I went into the working world, I slowly start to learn to communicate with people. I won't say that I have perfected this art. But yah, cutting the story short, I've always felt a bit different from others. Not so much, like an outcast. Just don't feel wanted.

Still, I sometimes have to fake bravery so that people will notice me, not so much as the clever contributor, or smart conversationalist, but simply know that I'm not invisible. Like, hello..I'm here..sorta thing. So basically, if I ever (I say..if..haha..) gonna pursue a relationship, I just think that it will be challenging for me. I don't know how it's going to be like. I just know that the person must be able to put up with my quirks, my lack of social ability and lastly, make me feel special, loved and wanted.

I don't want to feel like I'm just tagging along in the relationship because he's far better than me. I want him to accept me as who I am, my flaws and all. At the end of the day, whether you're good looking, a social butterfly or a wallflower, know that you are special and unique in your own ways. If he or she make you feel happier than you ever were, challenge you to do the things you are scared of only because it will change your life for the better, encourages you to move forward when things aren't exactly working out or you're feeling down and out, you deserve this special person. Don't short change yourself because you are special too :)

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Sunday, December 08, 2013

What Have You Done Today?

Sometimes I read posts, but merely skimming through, and man, they can be so mean. The problem is at times, I know some of these people and I'm like in disbelieve, why are they saying such things. But I'm not here to judge people. I am here to simply lead my own life. It's their own prerogative. Only thing is that, if they're so negative, I don't want their negative vibes to rub on me. 

I would rather ask myself 'What Have I Done Today?' Do I even have any right to judge other people's lives, especially when we don't know the real them, for sure? If they're truly happy being themselves, after hiding for so long as if they are being chained, let them truly enjoy their new found freedom. For other people who said that we shouldn't give them the respect because compared to someone else, they are world's apart. There IS no comparison. Each of them has put their kind heart and soul forward, for the benefit of other people, and they shall be remembered for it; not because 'oh he was a celebrity, he shouldn't be glorified'..yadah yadah. So what. He didn't die out of folly like drunk driving or something. It was an unfortunate accident, which happened at a charity event he had co-organized.

So just leave it as that. They had obviously carved out a life which people remember them for. What have we done today? Do we spend time, behind the computer, passing snide remarks using our keyboard, cursing for no reason, while other people out there, continue to make a difference in their lives as well as in other people's lives?

So I say, create a life which you think YOU ought to live. From my past posts, I have been trying my best to think positive, despite the difficulties I'm in. I felt like I needed a time out. I seldom skipped gym on Sundays unless I'm really sick the day before. There was one time where I fell down the day before in the afternoon, but I still hobbled to gym and slowly walked on the treadmill and cycled on the stationery bike. 

But last week, I felt I needed to be away from it. Not because I'm lazy but because I want to get out of the routine, for once. I needed to read something that will inspire me to move ahead in life, despite the hardship that I am going through. It then dawned on me. God has indeed blessed me. I received an order recently for 300 cards (!) last month which is the most number of cards I have received. I have more than a month to do them but I have to commit to my earlier projects first and study for my tests and I can only officially start in the month of December which is now. So I have to seriously work super fast.

While waiting for the money to come in, I thought about how am I going to survive for the few weeks before my pay day which includes the bonus as well. I didn't want to borrow money from the people I used to borrow from. My online shop isn't receiving much orders, but I guess it could be a good thing because due to the upcoming 3 week's long holiday, the tests dates are quite close to one another. The random orders  I receive still enable to support my family, no matter how small the amount is. I have also been helping my mum who borrows from me quite a lot this month and she was saying, she didn't need to additional money from my bonus because she want to use the money now. I can't just say no because I'm struggling myself. But I simply hope and pray for the best.

The thing is, at first I prayed I get this much of money before pay day. My prayer is answered but I would have to wait for it. In other words, work for it first. That got me thinking just recently. Sure, orders are slow and my Christmas promos aren't really popular. But I believe I should respond to it positively. I will not stop. I will not just drop everything and say, that's it..this is a TOTAL waste of time. 

So did God just make me wait for the big fish and meanwhile, suffer from it? No. As long as I believe and have faith that things will get better and continue to pray for it. Somehow, I managed to get by. But I will have to pay back and it's okay. The amount helps me to tide over my difficult period. Do I curse myself for having such a pathetic and poor life where every day is a financial struggle for me? Honestly, yes I have been pretty upset but not to an extent, I hated my life. Sometimes, my mind blanks out like I really don't know what to do but miracles come, in small ways but with big impact.

People have also been kind to me. I get to eat food I don't normally eat like pizza or seafood lunch. I even went on a Staff Retreat in Malaysia which is good because being broke means I can't even travel across the causeway. A colleague also helped to pay for my clothes, which initially, I didn't want to buy because I didn't bring enough cash.

While I have to eventually pay back the amount, which amounted to close to $400, I have it covered. I don't think I have much to spend on later. I will a;sp be getting additional cash from the project as well as some bursary money from the polytechnic which I am currently pursuing a part-time diploma. But it will go straight to funding my next semester. 

Life has been tough recently, but slowly I will rebuilt it to make it even better than it was yesterday because everyday, to be able to wake up and make changes in my life, and perhaps in other people's lives as well, is truly a gift even money can't buy.

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Sunday, December 01, 2013

Am I Smart Enough?

I've never seen myself as smart. I think I'm getting by life pretty okay, learning and growing at the same time. I see how people converse, how they make smart opinionated remarks, though hurtful remarks are not withstanding, and I'm like..ugh..I'm so not like them. 

Before I make a self-declaration that I'm stupid or something, I think I would term myself as street smart. I only hit the books when I have to, I'm not studious like that where the whiff of books cause them to be in a dizzy spells as their brain expands taking in the new knowledge. I have been in school for 3 days a week for the last one and a half months. I went through two ICA, or Individual Continuous Assessment, and how I managed to past one of them, is by studying in the wee hours. In fact, how I managed to scrape through and passed all three major A level papers and the sub papers, was by pulling my socks, in other words, putting as much hours as I could, in the day and at night, after failing miserably in the prelims paper.

So you see, I'm not book smart. I can't even categorise myself as street smart, like how I described myself earlier, because if you throw me out in the foreign streets, and telling me how to get from one place to another, I will probably not survive.


But one thing I DO realize is that when push comes to shove, I would really shove. Sometimes I wish I am back in the old childhood days where I don't have to make big decisions but everybody grows up. Yes, sometimes people don't, but yah, that's their prerogative. Doesn't mean you're older in age, your maturity level is of the same par as well. I've made major decisions before, those that involve life and death, and I had no one to rely on for opinions. I only think about what is best and if this is the best route to be taken.

I've made decisions on my career choice. I would have been in my past job for another 5 years but I thought enough was enough. I just could not afford to have much of my income spent on travelling from one place to another, with the company paying less than $100 of reimbursement for travel.

About me being a lone traveller, I guess I would have survived. If I was in the company of travel savvy friends, of course they would make better decision makers. But if I am alone,  out of a sudden like if I got separated from them, I would automatically go into the survival mode. 

Right now, in the course that I am in, again I feel like they are smarter than me. When I got my paper back for the first ICA, I didn't do so bad, considering I only started studying 4am-ish in the morning but seeing at how my answers were being marked, I felt like I could have done better. It's something which I strive to improve by putting in more hours because it's going to get more and more difficult. I realized they don't call it diploma for nothing.  I also think they're smarter, not because of how they do for the test, but simply how they talk to one another, like I just don't know how to join in. There are times I do join in, but I talk to them in a style I know best. 

It's good to know most of them are not judgmental and they are simply happy to talk to me, about the course and how difficult the excel formulas are and we share our difficulties in grasping the concepts. I may not be able to talk as well as them, I know I can at least 'fake' it by talking about what matters to us most, about our course like what topic to talk about or yes, how annoying some excel formulas can be. It's also good to be up-to-date with current issues so I don't appear ignorant about what's going on around the world or locally.

I don't want to belittle myself by thinking I'm not as smart as them. There are things that I do or decisions that I make that make me grow personally. Like I never thought I will be able to be able to be invested in my online shop to make extra income, signing up for a diploma course knowing how difficult it is for me to study (I take a long time to process what I read & learn), be promoted at work, and financing my housing loan. Yes, it's still a steep learning curve for me and I do make mistakes along the way, just like most people.

So am I smart enough? I don't care if some people think I'm not smart enough, or better still, not as smart as them. I am a unique individual and my thoughts are unique as well. I may not talk as well as them but I am smart enough to talk in the style I know best; with sincerity that comes from the heart.

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Celebrating Life..& Being Thankful for it

If you watch the news, you would have heard about the devastation caused by Haiyan Typhoon leaving thousands homeless and corpses strewn all over the streets, uncollected and unidentified. So sad. What's sad too, when young children lost their homes and their parents. If you can't imagine the horrific devastation the Haiyan Typhoon had caused in the Philippines, you can read about the news here, the tragic stories as told by the orphaned children.

Philippines Orphans Speak Out

I am not trying to gain readership for this post by speaking about this topic that many others would have covered. I am trying to do some self-reflection on myself. It's easy to think about oh, how lucky I am and in the next instance, I am back to being ungrateful and leading my life as though the world owes me.

I watched Philadelphia when I was young and I watched snippets of the movie online and it still brought tears to my eyes especially the hospital scene. Everyone went up to him and saying things like 'see ya tomorrow' and 'have a good night rest'...but knowing, his life was fading away. However, I completely broke down when one of them couldn't utter a single word but simply hugged him and sobbed. He just couldn't pretend that everything was well for him. They continued with the celebration of life in the ending scene after his passing and they threw a mini gathering at the family home. Everyone was simply celebrating life as it is, conversing happily with one another, with little children being carried around or playing.

When they played the home videos of him when he was young, full of innocence, it was so sad and poignant that this child grew up fighting for his human rights against discrimination which he later won.

I have a friend who went on her first solo trip to Northern Vietnam and the pictures she took were breathtaking. It was a personal breakthrough in her life as she ventured on her own, and while she still paid some amount for safety, she still did things like hitchhiking on a local's bike to popular tourist destination before returning back to the hotel. She has always been an avid traveller but this one marked  a significant point in her life, going solo where she had no one to lean to, accompany her and instead, she had to rely on her strong independence and intuition to help her along, in a village city no less.

While I go through ups and downs in life, like my current not-so-good state, I don't want to give up yet. I lacked grit in life. I lacked the determination to see how life would be better for me if I had planned my time well and do things to ensure a better life for me. I have done things that I am not proud of in life. I truly regret my actions and yes, during those times, I was desperate but after that, I made things right and they got better for me.

However, I don't know if I am continuously cursed to experience the wrath of my wrongdoings. But I believe it's simply because I know I tried hard; but not hard enough. When you want something, you go through leaps and bounds to ensure a better future and to achieve your goals. Sometimes I feel, I just didn't try hard enough. I let laziness overcome me. I let complacency over come me.

I don't want to experience a terrible jolt to get me out this vicious cycle of lacking the grit in me to overcome my current obstacles. This is, I believe, isn't for long. It is a struggle now but I know that if I don't dwell on it too much, and just continue to focus on a better future me, everything will fall into place. The universe will respond back. I will be able to finally reach my weight loss goal, make at least $200 from my online shop every month, be good in my studies and be promoted at work. I just have to continue this life journey with grit and determination and not let any setbacks get me down.

I simply want a better future for me and my family, without me thinking about where the money is going to come and if I ever will get orders from my online shop to supplement my current income. If you are facing the same financial situation as me, or in difficult situation whether family, relationship or etc, we can get through this. We can. Let's celebrate the gift of life.

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Saturday, November 16, 2013

My Thoughts on My Part-Time Studies

 Finally, I can sit down and write a blog post about my on-going part-time studies! It's been a harrowing really eye opening experience juggling a full time work, part-time studies and running my online shop.I had to be smart when it comes to planning my time so that I can include time for studies, basically for the recent ICAs or Individual Continual Assessment, which test my knowledge on what I have learnt, fulfilling orders for my online shop and some 'me' time or family time.

There are of course times where I struggle especially when my eyes are too tired to open when the alarm rang for me to wake up and catch up on my studies or orders. But despite these hard moments, I managed to carve out the time, nevermind if I have to wake up in the middle of the  night to either study or fulfill orders.

How's my class for my part-time studies? I enjoy them. I won't say that they're easy which I thought it would be easy breezy. I don't know where I get that from..haha. There were times during the classes where I could initially follow but then get lost for awhile, and at one point, was pretty frustrated where I couldn't get the damn formula right for Excel. However, the concept of having ICAs or tests instead of exams to test on what you have learnt is a good thing. I know, what is so good about exams right? Who in the right mind like tests or exams? I don't but there's no way you could go through a study course without studying. 

These test force me to carve out some time to get my concepts or knowledge right. I tell myself there's no way I'm going for the tests unprepared. It's as good as failing. I don't aim for high grades because I don't have things like the GPA like my brother who is studying full time at the same polytechnic. At the end of the 2.5 years, I just want a decent diploma as a stepping stone to my next career choice.

There were moments of frustrations where I get back home, had planned to do certain things and my sleepiness failed me. But I tell myself, it's okay. I'll make up for it the following day, the day where I don't have class and over the weekend. Ever since I started the part-time studies, there was never a weekend where I wake up later simply because I don't have to go to work. I still wake up early. Infact, earlier than on weekdays where I go to work. Every day I pray for strength to God and if I don't commit myself in working hard, it's as good as not fulfilling my promise to God. I know that God is there to guide me. He works in mysterious ways but He is certainly my main guidance in life, especially during my personal crisis. 

My classmates are pretty chatty and fun. They're not like wood and it's a pleasure knowing many of them. There are still those I have not talked to. I'm not as chatty as many of them but I open up myself up as a friendly person, someone that they can still chat with. They're also intelligent people who speak their mind. I still haven't grasp this concept though. I think I'm someone whom you can't have an intelligent conversation with, haha. But I'm there for you as a concerned friend or someone you can rely on.

Some of them really make the effort to get the class together. After all, many of us will be in this together. One of them had initiated a whatsapp group and we share info especially after our first ICA and our fear for the second ICA which involve around some excel formulas, which I never knew existed, haha. I have guilt moments when during my work, I had to do some revision or do some preps for the upcoming class or test. But I try to make up for what I couldn't do at work the next day.

I'm still learning on how to juggle my time. I know it will only get difficult in the future. But I know I can rely on myself to get things right and to always be prepared for the tests because the marks will add up before they can reward me with the modular certificate for each of the module completed. The diploma will still be quite far to achieve so I'll take it one step at a time. You're not looking at a potential A star grader but a potential diploma holder. Can't wait to wear the graduating gown one day :)

Okay how's the transport like going there? I would say that it's not so bad, provided I leave exactly at 6pm from work. If I delay even the slightest bit, good luck to me in trying to enter the train, like the other time I left at 6.10pm. OMG. I have to battle with the crowded train in Bartley and then in Bishan which is three stops away. The queue lines are always long at Bishan but it's still slightly bearable if I leave a bit early. The train will still be packed but I guess I'm used to it already. But I learn my lesson to drop immediately whatever I'm doing at work, make a dash to clear the mess, wash my cup and run for my life...or rather, the train..haha. 

My first week at the school, I was exploring the different bus routes that I could take including taking the train but I don't like to take the train because I have to get down to Bishan, go to Serangoon and then take the bus home. So after figuring it out, I take just one bus service, bus 45, to Serangoon rather than another service 70 because I don't have to climb the overhead bridge. I just need to walk to the lift to go up the 3rd floor and buy groceries. I still need to run errands for my mum and the supermarket is opened 24 hours. I can't get for them snacks though, like I usually do and only get them on the two weekdays where I don't have to go school.

So my life has somehow changed a bit. I am better off now than the earlier weeks after slightly more than a month. I'm getting used to the routine of leaving work earlier and going to school. Once a week, I'll buy food and eat dinner before heading for class. I enjoy the rice dishes and the halal Vietnamese noodles. Yumz. I LOVE Vietnamese noodles. Maybe next week, I'll eat fast food. Prepping for school also mean planning what to eat in school :p

Tomorrow, I have to prepare for the ICA on Wednesday which requires me to prepare a transcript for a speech which I have to present to class within 3 minutes *gulp* I MUST prepare to get as much marks as I could or prepare to die..haha. Speaking of these ICAs, how did I fair for the earlier two? Well, I am just thankful that I managed to find the time to get the concepts and formulas right because when I looked at the questions, it just spells doom if I don't study, apart from just attending the classes like seriously how much can I absorb, after 8 hours of work. But I'm guilty of eating into my work time because I prepared rather late. 

So now, for the third ICA, I will prepare slightly earlier. It's all about good time planning. This I must bear in mind *cross fingers*

For those of you who are pursuing part time studies like me, diploma, degree, whatever...I feel your pain. But don't be easily discouraged. You're doing this for a better future, opportunities and to make your life more enriching. I don't think you're doing this for fun. So far, the lecturers have been pretty kind by helping us prep for the ICAs because they know we're working individuals whose last thing in our mind is to study because we're all tired after work. But at the end of the course, we want to get a diploma for better career opportunities and promotions. Good luck to all of us! :)

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Starting All Over..A Silent Prayer for Myself

I have to start all over. I had a small stash of money from my online shop sales and sadly, I had to use it up. In fact, I had to use my mum's money too to pay for my debt because I got so scared. I don't like this feeling of being out of control with my life. I really don't. Nowadays, every single day, I pray to God for strength. I pray to God to give me the strength so that I will be more motivated. It's hard when you think you've got it all under control and then when a new thing come into your life, it tends to shake it a bit and then you find yourself struggling to get things back to normal.

So I started my studies about a month ago and yes, I will write a full post on it very soon. I have been running my online shop during my free time after work by making products, updating my facebook page or writing the blog posts. However, I have been struggling. Suddenly, I find myself having lesser and lesser money. Suddenly, I struggle to keep myself awake whenever I get home at 11.30pm plus after school. Luckily, I have been receiving orders which help to pay some of the things although I pretty much wanted to save the money instead. However, I believe I have to start all over, which is disappointing to me, but at this point of time, there isn't much choice.

But I'm taking it in my stride. I find that I shouldn't let myself feel so lost and whatever it is, I try my best. I try to find a good time to honour the orders and also to study for the test. I have to get used to a new set of timing now and while I could not stay up as late as I did the previous time pre-studies days, I find that waking up earlier is the solution. How early? That is something I had to experiment with. I think 5.30am is a good time where I would spend an hour working on the order, bathe and then continue before I go for work. This arrangement came about because my mum wanted me to get up and bathe earlier than my brother on some days where has lessons at at earlier timing. So instead of waking up in time to bathe, I decided to wake up much earlier and do something useful.

To me, it's no point if you pray to God but you expect miracles to happen. Somehow, you have to put in the efforts as well. God will guide you along provided you do your part as well. That's what I choose to believe. 

As for the lack of money, I will stand firm on not wanting to be poor again. I guess after my pay day, I will have to make some brutal adjustments to my expenses. I know I shouldn't be too hard on myself because life's too short but if it's going to help in some ways, this will be the best arrangement. I will also work harder for my online shop so that I can earn more income. Perhaps I should take this opportunity to make some more money like making use of the upcoming Christmas, a popular public holidays celebration, even among non Christians, as it is the time when people will normally do gift exchanges with other people. I want to be one of their choices for their ideal shop to buy the things for gift exchanges.

I'm also aiming to lose more weight which has been a struggle for me in recent years like they fluctuate like crazy, even recently. This week, I told myself if I want to be successful, I must make the effort. So I know I like the fried goodies from the canteen at my work but I will entitle myself to just once a week. I will stick to my regular wholemeal bread for lunch and munch on biscuits when I'm hungry or drink more plain water. I will not buy unnecessary snacks, which pretty much is okay to me  because I've got school three times a week which eliminate the need to buy such snacks. However, I will get hungry after school so I buy a pack of nuts and I will eat them at the bus stop while waiting for the bus. I have also told myself to buy lunch only once a week at my school instead of three times like in the earlier weeks.

This self control works though. Since I started this early this week, I managed to lose 1 kilogram and finally the number went down..haha. I hope it won't creep up again though. I figured if I can keep up with this 1kg thing every week, meaning to say I lose this much, or the very least 0.5kg, I think I can weigh lesser by end of this year which I'm gunning for by the way.

So yes, I don't want to be too hard on myself. I will not tell myself to do soooo many things and then get upset if I can't get half done. I have to be realistic by doing what I know I can achieve in the short period of time like on days when I have school. I just have to make up the lost time on the non-school days and over the weekend. Like the past two weekends, I have been hard at work. I sat down and just do as much as I could. So far, this arrangement has worked. On Sunday night, I will spend time revising my work too including Tuesday where I have no school. Friday will be a relaxed day for me. I won't do any shop related or school related thing. It's basically TGIF for me :)

I do hope things will get better for me and while I have to restart my savings plan again, it's okay because it's not too late. God will guide me and I trust in Him that he has a better plan for me.

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Fun Walk at Marina Barrage - Civil Service Family Day 2013

I went for the Civil Service Family Day..because it was free and I would get a goody bag. Before you think I'm a free loader (at times...), I actually set out to go with my other colleagues. In the end, one of them went but he was a soloist, which I didn't mind because I didn't want to go with him anyway..ha! Yes, horrible me.

Moving on, I took it as an opportunity to go to Marina Barrage because I had not gone there before. Even though I didn't get to explore much of it, as I had to follow the trail closely for the Fun Walk, there were some interesting things to see. I don't know if seeing half naked Caucasian guys running along the path as interesting but to me, it is. 

The Fun Walk took a total of 45 minutes and it was fun initially until I reached almost the end, and I had to make a U Turn back to the initial point :S but oh well, it was there anyway that they have the Family Day thing going on. Speaking of which, while other people went with the family day, I was alone! I had two tickets but my mum was making so much noise the night before how me and my brother had to use the bathroom at the same time. Hrmph. 

So there I was queuing up for the goodie bags and since they had this silly policy where you had to collect in person and strictly no collecting on behalf, I had to queue up twice. Sigh. But the second round, I misplaced the bun coupon stub and when I was back on the shuttle bus to the train station, it was in my bag! I was looking at the floor to see if I had dropped any but I kept picking up the popcorn stubs instead. Hrmph. 

I queued up several times since I had two coupons anyway. They were also giving free cups of Nescafe coffee and the weather was hot enough to render me queue up twice for the same drink. I would say I was there for about one and a half hour only. I could have gone back up to explore Marina Barrage but that would mean crossing the bridge again and I'd rather go home. Yes, lazy me. But there were others who had left way before once they had used up the food coupons. Sadly, I couldn't queue for the ice-cream because it was the potong ice-cream and had coconut milk, which I don't consume. So wasted.

Would I go again? Most defo. But I'll remind myself to carry less heavy things or I'll end up with aching shoulder. 

Enjoy the pics which were mostly scenery scenes from my Fun Walk.

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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Walking Down Empty Streets in Tanjong Pagar

Despite the initial hiccup of taking the train from the wrong side, we reached Tanjong Pagar almost 7.30pm at night. This is like the station to get down to enter the CBD area or Central Business District that consists of Shenton Way & Raffles Place. So it's no surprise this place will be full of working people who spend their mornings and evenings in cramped trains besides battling with the crowds during lunch. However when we reached there on a Saturday night, it was practically like a ghost town.  There are the usual food restaurants and coffee outlets like Coffeebean and Starbucks found in shopping centres along the footway and the ground floor of the office buildings but they're all closed. You can expect them to be opened in shopping centres because of the crowd but here, they specially cater to the working crowd. So even on weekdays, they will close by 7pm?

The ones that are opened are Cheers and 7 Eleven which are 24 hours and we went there because my brother said the 7 eleven has some seats for you to sit down and have your heated up pre-packed meals or sandwiches. I know, we went all the way just to go to 7 Eleven..LOL..but for someone who dislikes crowd especially the weekend crowd, it was perfect for him. However, while he could still go on a weekday after his school has ended because there will still be people walking most likely the ones who work around there, he had to go with me because he will be one of those lost lonely souls walking..haha.

After that, we went to Springleaf towers McDonald's because it has a McCafe and he has a card which entitles us to a free drink, which we sheepishly chose the most expensive one. At least here, the crowd was much more even though there was still plenty of seats. Some of them were not really here to eat but to study. Probably one of those McDonald's where they could study without being told off, not that I'm suggesting you go there to study.

It's very near Tanjong Pagar MRT station if you fancy a McDonald's that don't have the usual crowd of other outlets. 

So here are some random pictures of me, taken by my brother without me knowing of course, and Shenton Way on a Saturday night.

Even the roads were almost empty

Eating a sandwich at 7 eleven..and scratching my head

McCafe at McDonald's Spring Leaf towers

Waiting for our food

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Connecting the Dots

I once watched this tv movie and he talked about how the comics characters are made up fuzzy dots and they all connect together. Pretty much like our lives, these dots look fuzzy at first but they'll connect, maybe not now but later in life. 

So something that you do right now which other people may think that it's not significant, say..taking a third language course in French, learning how to do scrapbooking, taking up a calligraphy or baking class, which others may say..pfft..what's the point, waste of time etc etc..but you'll never know if they will be useful to you in future. Just like how Steve Jobs took up a calligraphy course and his mac has beautiful typography influenced by his stint during the classes.

Not only that, when you have to do things like taking two or three jobs at different times, while you're working on the early developments of your business, and they have no relation whatsoever to the business. However, they may provide a good source of building blocks as you learn to interact with people, networking and then these people can be your future customers and help you to share by word of mouth about your new business project. These jobs also provide as a source of income to fuel your upcoming business and make it alive. Sure it's time consuming juggling with several jobs or even one full time job that takes up all your hours in the day and even some at night. But they connect the dots to something bigger and more fulfilling in the future to get the business and life that you have always envisioned.

Like how one mother was retrenched from her job and then she turned to baking to make some side income for the family. Then now she's a successful baking teacher. She didn't think that one day, her baking lessons would prove fruitful for her. Sure there were teething problems in the beginning but they will all fall into place nicely if you are patient and never let your passion die.

For myself now, I am struggling right now in making some income from my online shop and even though it's a tad bit heartbreaking especially when I get queries or even prepared drafts, it didn't pan out as planned. But I still carry on and continue building up on my promoting my products, by advertising in an open facebook group, making promotional posters, writing blog posts and some other stuffs. I don't think about how much extra effort I have to put in. I just do what I should do and hope that my efforts will be paid off with future sales income.

So keep your passion burning and even if it's not conventional, something far off from what other people will do, these dots will somehow connect :)

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Outlet Haul from Anchorpoint

The first time I heard about Anchorpoint was via a beauty blogger who gets her stuffs from Cotton On in Anchorpoint where the items have the prices marked down compared to the regular outlets. I remembered going there and yah, while the things there were indeed marked down, they're not really fantastic.

However, after watching a second video from a local vlogger regarding her haul at Anchorpoint especially the one where she went to the Charles and Keith outlet store, I was sold. So many nice shoes and their prices are mostly marked down! However, not all stock are available but there's plenty to choose from. I know I'm not really a shoes person judging from my current footwear which comprises of sandals that cost $10 per pair. However, my friends recent comments that I don't look dressed up when I go out with them, despite the make up and the new dress or blouse, I feel like I don't put in effort. So I was hoping maybe I could find myself a decent pair of sandals over there.

I have no idea why but I'm kinda thankful that my feet size are pretty big at that point of time because they have shoes of my size! :D It's really true their heels and sandals are pretty and I don't get why they're not in the regular retail stores. But they have to keep up with the trends I suppose so these are old stock. 

The bags are also nice and marked down as well and I almost got two bags but pay day isn't in yet and still a week away at that time so I didn't want to be too greedy. I actually chose a pair of sandals already but as I walked to venture round the shop, I saw another pair, albeit nicer, and *gulp* it's in my size and only 19.90! Marked down by 50%!

I used to love the shoes from Charles & Keith but they're so ex now compared to back then and their quality is now sub par like they don't really last nowadays. So I don't bother paying full price for it and just await their warehouse sales. But I don't know if I'm not updated or something but they don't seem to have one this year so this is the closest that I can find.

I also got myself a top from Cotton On for just $10 and I think the regular stores are selling it at either $15 or $19.90. 

Here's my outlet haul!

I am loving the pink bag!  The shoes are not broken in case you're wondering. I just was trying it out earlier. See the marked down tag?

Verdict:  I am definitely coming back and I promise to work harder so that I can reward myself with another pair of shoes and bag :P 

So if you're budget conscious, or don't wish to spend a lot of money on things that have a pretty short life span, Outlet stores are great to shop at. By the way, if you think that Esprit clothings are expensive ( I know I do), they have an outlet store in AMK Hub just next to Ang Mo Kio bus interchange. I believe it's the second level.

Where's this Anchorpoint you ask? 

It's just opposite Ikea Alexandra. You can refer to the map below or click on the link:


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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Swimming Lessons & Korean Food

A week ago, my usual group of friends (Err..all two of them..LOL) did an activity which we had NEVER done together before and that swim! Okay, technically we didn't really swim although there were attempts to swim but it wasn't full on lap to lap. Yes, at least we attempted but one of my friends totally did a crawl from one end to another and after the whole swimming/tanning/relaxing time, it was only because she didn't want to get her hair wet in the chlorine water..haha! But she was so sporting as in she at least did go into the swimming pool with us, with her branded sunglasses and all.

I even had some swimming lessons taught by my other friend not because I couldn't swim, but I couldn't swim well. Being in the water can be relaxing and fun..but not when you had drowned once before in your life. That was many years back but I could still recall bouncing up and down the choppy waters. Still kudos to me because I didn't totally suffer from the phobia and managed to overcome it, bad swimming and all..haha.

Oh yes, a little side note, I actually had some difficulty going in and one of my friends was patient enough to wait for me and noticing something was not right.I couldn't use my ez link card because mine was the flash pay card and I had to buy the token card instead. After buying the token card for a one time entry, I couldn't get in because I didn't place the card on the right sensor. It was so misleading that the officer in charge had to see what was going on because the machines kept beeping simply because I tried to enter one after another machine..haha!

Anyway, going out had just one mini problem. The gate still buzzed because I scanned the card at one machine and tried to go out through the gate of another machine..ha! I was like..nobody saw that..but my friend went..too late! I saw that.

I am so ridiculous sometimes. But being in the waters do give you this calming effect like you don't feel like going out and just want to shrivel to a prune. Feeling stressed? Just go for a relaxing swim or simply soak in the waters.

Anyway, on to the pictures.

The customary poses, prior to the swimming!

Our lunch was special though. We had Vietnamese food..yumz. After our last Korean lunch, we now had Vietnamese food instead. We are so international. The soupy noodle dish was so yummeh that for one of those rare moments, I finished the food before them. I also had the traditional Vietnamese 'popiah' or vegetable spring roll, not sure the exact name, which I lurve coz it's so healthy and all although my friend preferred the fried versions.

Another friend had their traditional Vietnam tea which taste, OMG bitter, but she could take it..ha. 

The delicious food!

This shop was located in Arab Street and the last time we went Arab Street together was in 2009 where we had this special Exploring Singapore trip. One of the pictures we took, I was looking grouchy while my friend looked hungry and she wanted to recreate the looks we had.

Posing with the food

Recreating the 'famous' picture

The picture back in 2009 which my friend referenced to! Gosh, I did look unhappy..haha

In case you want to know which halal Vietnam restaurant that we visited, here's the facebook page.


So fun being with these girls. Nothing is planned as of yet but I am already looking forward to going out with them again!

Where shall we go next? Ha..thinking thinking.

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Embarking on A New Journey - Study Plans

So tomorrow is the D Day. After the longest time ever since I last left school (more than 10 years ago? whoa..) and now I'm going to a local institution. I thought this day would never come because of the fees as private courses tend to have higher fees. But the government understands the need for us to upgrade and they make courses affordable in some local institutions such as the polytechnics, which if you have read my previous post, is what I will be joining.

I am not like totally nervous but I am definitely worried about having to meet new people and trying to work my dusty brain again. While every now and then, I do join courses which last from 1 to 3 days, and in the process I meet new people too who work in the government sector as well, this to me is an entirely different thing. It requires commitment for next 2 and a half years and sacrifice because 3 of my weekday nights will be occupied, right after work. 

I don't know how I am going to pull through this but somehow, I am confident I can tackle this full on. Meanwhile, I gotta be more careful with how I spend my money. Although I have paid the fees for the first module, which includes course materials, I just received an email stating that I have to buy the textbooks which cost $27 and $34 respectively. Eeps. Looks like I have to totally cut down my expenses on my hobby. While I could cope with the expenses, recent 'money drops' have seen me spending a biiit more..heh. Plus two local scrapbooking stores make Rahayu a very happy girl.

But now, I have to think twice. There are 3 places where I will spend money when I get the moolah for my crafting needs. After that, if I really really want something then I'll get it but just that item only. No adding on. I will also work harder to run my online shop which includes making ready made cards and promoting the items in my shop every now and then so that people know what I'm selling. I'll do whatever it takes to help my online shop although flea markets are out of the question..ha. I don't believe if I don't do flea markets I won't be successful. It's just not my preferred way of marketing.

I will also think twice when I do grocery shopping. Some things are inevitable like seriously have to buy coz the MUM says so but if there is a way of cutting costs, I will definitely do. I believe that you can spend the money on the things that you want, not necessarily need, as long as you can cope with the expenses and don't go beyond what you can't afford. Food for thought.

I seriously hope I won't give this up halfway. It's taken me so long to reach this stage and I don't want to come to a point I cannot cope with the fees anymore despite me having a full time job. I want to make this work. I really do. Even if I have to crawl to school, I will but I hope I don't..haha.

So like what the Koreans will say...FIGHTING!


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Monday, October 07, 2013

Celebrating My Birthday in 2013 - Part Three (Vivocity & Seoul Garden Hotpot)

Finally, the last part of my birthday celebration in September! 

Yes this sort of thing ought to be blogged about no matter how late..haha. Anyway, my friend Natasha had it all planned out and I really really appreciate it because we had our SECOND karaoke session all because she knew how much I love our KTV session. And finally I get to eat korean food which is one of my favourite food of course. Too bad one of our friends couldn't join us for that but no matter, it was a great lunch.

The funny thing was that we were served by the same person throughout. From ushering us to our table, taking our orders, serving our food and then making payment to him when we leave. LOL. He really lived up to an expectation of a supervisor, a young one at that. Plus he even wished me Happy Birthday. That is so sweet.

Oh yes, he even took our photos when we asked him as he was passing by. Talk about multi-tasking!

Look at those yumz food!

After our karaoke session, when we stepped out, we were facing a shallow waterpool where you can wade in but of course, you cannot swim. But then again there were parents who came prepared with their children in swimming costume. Er, free access?

It was nice to just chill out at the sides and of course, phototaking comes with it too.

Since we can't swim and water has this mesmerizing cooling effect, we decided on a swimming outing in the next two week, which I will post up here soon! Got the pictures..heh.

So now it's time to unwrap the pressies!

Kewlness, I got a $10 papermarket voucher and a gym bag to replace the one I had with a broken zip. Life's sweet! I have yet to use the voucher and I'm planning to use it on a Martha Stewart punch because it's pretty ex and at least I can use it over and over again, making the $10 voucher all the more worth it.

Life's sweet when people remember your birthday and make the efforts to celebrate it with you, be it friends, colleagues and family.

I thank God for them. 

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Long Weekend, A Little Rambling & My Lack of Gratitude

The day I discover IG filters It's almost mid week to August..argh. I am in the midst of a long weekend, which sadly will come to ...