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 palette..at 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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Sunday, December 11, 2016

National Gallery Light to Night Festival

The National Gallery Singapore is a huge place. I went there last Saturday for a second time as recently, they held a festival celebrating their first anniversary. Technically, the gallery has existed for a long time already, and was monumental in Singapore's first National Day in 1965 and the election of the first group of the political leaders.

So the celebration consisted of installations, both interactive and non interactive to musical performances and of course, food. I didn't eat any of the food from the food kiosks but there were lines formed for almost every kiosk. Basically coz Singaporeans are foodies...haha..no matter how much it costs. $10 for a bowl of noodles?!! 

Anyway, having been there in February, I had seen most of the in-house installations. So we basically just walked around, took the lifts and explored the various exhibitions that we had not seen or were part of the festival.

Of course the most interesting ones were the interactive ones like the one where we had to 'brush' on copper plates on some parts of the pictures where in awhile, those brushed parts would come to life in the projected image on the wall. You can see this from the picture below.

There was also a cage like installation where you can go in and it would somewhat take you back to the 70's with the old school furniture and tv. But a fan of the robots (betcha you didn't know that..lol) the installation I liked the most was the recycled boxes stacked up on top of one another forming a robot structure. 

The place is huge so obviously we got tired and sat on the stairs along with other people and watched a jazz performance. Outside of the gallery were the food kiosks. And on the road pavement, there was a bubble performance where the kids and the kids at heart were busy popping the bubbles, which however, wasn't that much. I was thinking that this guy isn't that good or he was using cheap quality bubble soap..oops.

At the backdrop, there was a light show on the facade of the buildings turning the former city hall into a multi coloured display for 3 minutes every 30 seconds. 

Despite being over 50 years old, the renovated building looked brand new and you should actually pop by to see the various art displays and installations. Caution, some of them are not for those who cannot think of art besides porn, haha. 

After walking around and being tired, coz well the place was huge, we walked again -_- in search of food which got my brother frustrated as we ended up buying overpriced food with just one drink instead of making use of our McDonald's coupon consisting of my brother's favourite burgers. He was complaining and complaining all the way. 

So that was how we spent our Saturday. It is still possible to spend very little and yet have an enjoyable evening. Okay the food of my choice kinda spoilt the tail end of our night out but oh well. Lesson learnt.

Below are the pictures, enjoy!

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Friday, December 02, 2016

Happy 1st December & Life's Updates

It's 1st of December..yay!! Life has been a roller coaster ride and a struggle too. But as much as possible, I try to lead a good life. I try do my best. And I try to simply survive each single day like getting through life in one piece. I still have to face the ghost of my past which I hate but I can't avoid it totally. But I also try to bring value to my life by continuing to do my best and improve my life each and every day.

I've also been busy with orders. I made some minor changes to instagram and slowly, the local community starts to take notice of my work too. I actually followed a local instagrammer who is a Science student and has mad skills in calligraphy and makes customised calligraphy pieces with foil. Amazing talent. Part of this change is because facebook, where I first started posting my customised cards, has changed its algorithms and people don't really use facebook pages to look at my works and be enticed into making orders with me. While carousell has bring in more sales, I thought of using instagram as another way of garnering interest and customers. 

I don't have pretty pictures and most of the pictures taken of my cards have my office table as the backdrop, lol. I actually just have to place the card on the table and take a picture of it in a nice angle with the background looking not so busy with my stuffs coz well, my table can look messy at times.

Besides that, well...I'm also trying to be a much nicer and patient person in life. Honestly, I can understand how some people can lose their patience easily but whatever it is, we have to calm ourselves down first and know that we can't always get our way around by screaming and shouting like some barbarian. I notice this happens quite a lot when I'm outside. I don't know if they just want attention and if they do, well they got it, but I try not to look at them because I'm actually quite disgusted by such people's attitude. Even if the other party is wrong, the way to solve the matter is not by screaming and shouting.

But let's not learn from them. I've always said life isn't easy, whether over financial issues or relationship issues, but the truth is, we need to have integrity in our life too, hard work and faith that things can get better. I look up to certain people, even if I don't know them personally, but when I feel like there isn't much to life especially when I'm facing problems or feeling overwhelmed, I think about how these people manage to cope with the demand and still be a nice person. They don't let things get them down easily. They just continue to work hard, and play equally hard as well, but when it comes to getting down to business, they put their 100% in it.

I too sometimes get annoyed with certain demands of customers and can be this close to saying that if they're so smart, why don't they do it themselves. And I also feel like lying to them if they come and order from me again.

The truth is, they're not that bad but of course if their demands are a little too much, I just have to politely turn them down if it comes to a point where whatever I do, they're not happy with it. I can't please everyone but still, life goes on. Then my brother said something to me that showed his maturity, well he has to be coz he's 21..haha (yet again, some older adults..see top to see what I mean) said that well at least money I earned is good money. Money that is well earned through my sheer hard work which help to support my family in small ways and my hobby so that I lead a more fulfilling life. I did not get the money by cheating other people or doing illegal jobs. 

I've been reading a book about how things are in real life, we can turn them around and make it better for not just ourselves but the people around us. Simply by looking at things at a different perspective shed a different meaning. We often don't like to say that we are at fault. Sometimes we are not aware that our body language, the way we speak and our expression can be easily misconstrued because obviously we can't see them but other people can. So we also have to be mindful. Yes sometimes people can be so annoying (like really...) but we just have to keep our temper in check just try to weasel our way out of the situation asap..lol. 

Next week, I will be getting the 13th month bonus, yay..and my wish list this year is very short, haha. I want to keep a large chunk of it for future use (I know I use this line every year) but this is in anticipation of when things at home break down like the fridge and the washing machine, that have seen better days. I don't want to owe money again and it's something that I totally regret in the past and I'm still struggling to pay for it. Honestly, I would rather scrimp and save but at the same time, I want to be able to continue to earn extra money so it's a win win situation. There's no way I can be so frugal because that will take the fun out of life. It's ok to give ourselves a little treat. There's people who spend money on shoes but cut down mercilessly on other things. But to save on everything, that is just sad. Money isn't evil. We can choose to use money to enrich our lives like investing for the future, learn new skills, gain more experience and feed the family with food that is good for the body,  and I don't mean dining at restaurants only, so that they continue to be healthy.

Sorry for this super long update because I haven't been writing for some time. 

Wishing u the best in this last month of the year =)

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Monday, November 21, 2016

A Quick Weekend Getaway to Pulau Kukup Malaysia

A couple of weeks ago, I went to Pulau Kukup with some of my colleagues and it was a last minute thing and it was paid for..hee..💖

Actually I was hesitant in going but since I'm leaving this work place for good, currently the saddest thing but you know, life goes on...I could not pass up this opportunity as we were used to going out together at least once a year for admin and support colleagues bonding sessions. The couple of days we were there, it was totally wet weather but when the weather permits us to walk, even with brollies, we went ahead and explored. It wasn't my first time there but it was my first staying in a lodging which is not a hotel.

While they were busy shopping for mostly dried goods and snacks, or little souvenirs, I was just taking in the sight. Sometimes when you travel, home is always the best especially in those place where it's a lot lesser than what you're used to back home. It makes you appreciate what you have here more.

In the chalet where we stayed, there was a karaoke room and my more senior colleagues were having fun belting out old Chinese classics. By the way, I was the only Malay in the group, haha..and the rest were Chinese. But they knew about my halal consumption only and the food catered (by the way, we were served food every now and then) was halal. Although I still do not think it's fully halal, if you know what I mean, as I'm used to seeing the halal cert in Singapore where it's more legit, or cooked by Muslim people. But I give it the benefit of doubt because on the other hand, if I do not eat, I will probably be hungry..haha. I do enjoy their fresh seafood especially their prawns, yummy, because they are surrounded by waters and their seafood is a fresh catch from the sea.

At night, we watched fireworks which would be put on display if we buy the firecrackers from them. There are other chalets there as well so at point, we would be watching it from one end and then the next thing, the fireworks will be at the other end.

The community was pretty small and it's like they know each other. Their access to the city is quite a long ride and another mode of communication is via the ferry and there is a ferry terminal nearby. They are also entrepreneurial and they sell goods to mostly tourists here for some extra income. I'm a lousy shopper, even when we have our annual shopping trip in Johor, I would buy stuffs but not enough to fill a luggage bag sort of shopping. I'm just more interested in chilling and eating.

Honestly, their items including food are expensive. With the very good exchange rate, many Malaysians choose to make their income in Singapore, and some braving the traffic with their daily commute, to work here. Because of this exchange rate too, many Singaporeans also enjoy having their short vacations across the causeway with family and friends for some R&R.

Even in hotels, I don't always sleep very well because well, it's not home. I've never slept in a bunk bed and this was my first. I didn't go up the upper deck and just stayed at the lower deck with my things at the foot of the bed. I slept beside the window, which I didn't peep out because it was covered with the curtain like almost shut, but every now and then, I would wake up and hearing the sloshing of water like when you're on the beach. It's quite tranquil and I was tempted to push the curtain aside to have a view but I dared not, especially late at night, haha.

Overall, I enjoyed myself. Sometimes we just have to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and just take in the serenity of exploring another city or island.

Enjoy the pictures below!

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Friday, November 11, 2016

High Up at the Pinnacle@Duxton & A Bad Encounter with the MA Office

A few weeks ago, my brother and I went to the Pinnacle@Duxton. It's actually a beautiful block of flats under HDB built differently from norm, with a breathtaking view at the sky garden and luxurious looking architecture more so than many of the usual private apartments or condominiums. When it was first launched, it was crazy in a way that those who managed to get the unit through balloting, would be considered very very lucky indeed. I am not really into real estates so I do not know the affordability of it as compared to private housing.

When I heard I had to pay $5.00 to go up the sky bridge, naturally, I didn't want to go. But since my brother was so keen about going, and do some vlogging, I had to tag along. It's around 10 to 15 minutes walk from Chinatown and Outram Park MRT station and there are many entrances. But we're supposed to go visit the MA office first in order to pay to go up.

And this was where our unhappiness set in.

There was no queue, just a little sign telling us the opening and closing times to go up the bridge at a small cubicle, with a person inside, and the window was closed. We came all the way and I'm not turning back if we're still within the hours. The door was also closed but it wasn't totally closed so I opened it to speak to the person. He wasn't happy because I didn't knock and proceed to open the window. Of course I was shocked at his comment yet apologetic but at the back of my mind, I was thinking, why the heck would you close the window if it's not closing time you know.

Okay that is one thing. It was at the 50th floor and before we went up, a couple was behind us and I overheard they wanted to go up as well. So I guess this guy could not close the window after us after all. I don't think he should either unless he wasn't in and in case someone tried to be funny and enter.

After going all the way up to the 50th floor, we found we could not push the gate with a turn around mechanism because it was locked. Funny, we paid $5.00 each only to encounter this stupid sh*t. My brother was already pissed off earlier, and now he's worse off. The couple behind us arrived and they said the guy downstairs had activated their ez link cards for them. But then, they also cannot enter. The only signage we saw when we were at the gate was to call the MA office if the gate could not open and so one of them called.

But I found it sooooo stupid we were not told to handover our cards to activate for entry and the fact I had to travel down 50th floor via the lift to ask. By the time we reached downstairs, there was a group of people queueing wanting to go in. After the two people were done buying their tickets, I had to like quickly ask the guy why I could not enter even though I have paid. His solution? To call him when we reach the gate.


the nerves -_-

Now it was my turn to be pissed off.

So we went up the 50th floor again (le sigh..) and I called him. I guess he was quite free already because when I was on the line, the group of people had made their way up and they were ALL stuck and didn't know what to do.

The next thing I knew, since the turnstile gate could only let one person enter at time (Dumbest thing ever..), I ended up giving instructions for him to activate the gate whenever a person enter and another one was going to enter. The funny thing was, they were also clueless as to how to enter because obviously you don't just read the sign as you expect the gate to be able to open for you after you make payment, just like when you enter the fare gate prior to taking the train.

So yah, back to those people. I had to hold on the line to give him instructions to open the gate when someone wanted to open. Then these were not all locals. Some were tourists and like what my brother said, when he did the same thing like when he came another time in the day, the told him they could not call because they had a foreign line so it would be very expensive for them to call.

So the dodo, this MA office.

I was so scared my brother was going to do something stupid, like create a scene or something coz of his unhappiness at the incompetency of this whole matter of getting in, I got pretty emo. But in the end, he said that he was just venting his anger, but of course, he won't be so silly as to picking a fight with the guy, even though he's bigger and taller.

Therefore, initially I didn't quite enjoy the view despite taking two to three photos. When we both had calmed down, we spent like 45 minutes walking around and then lounging on some er, lounge chairs, even though there was no pool, and just soaked in the stillness of the night. There were also the residents walking around and I was thinking, they are so lucky to live here. Personally I don't want to live here not just because of the sh*tty way the MA office was handling the public, LIKE WE OWE THEM A LIVING, *cough* but I would rather stay where I am residing. However, it's quite near the city like probably 20 minutes away.

From another point where we were standing, we heard some loud music coming from one of the bars nearby along a row of shophouses. It was Saturday so we could see people enjoying their drinks and the music, even though they looked like ants from where we were standing up on the 50th floor.

Below are some shots that I took and the last picture was of us chilling at a McDonalds cafe ( not bar, lol..) and this was the calm after the storm.


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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 ...