Saturday, January 26, 2008

Inspiration for the Day (26th Jan 2008)

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."
- Theodore Roosevelt

An email forward full of wisdom from my cousin...
In April, Maya Angelou was interviewed by Oprah on her 70+ birthday. Oprah asked her what she thought of growing older. And, there on television, she said it was "exciting."

Regarding body changes, she said there were many, occurring every day... like her breasts. They seem to be in a race to see which will reach her waist, first.

The audience laughed so hard they cried. She is such a simple and honest woman, with so much wisdom in her words!

Maya Angelou also said the following things:
  • "I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow."

  • "I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights."

  • "I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life."

  • "I've learned that making a 'living' is not the same thing as 'making a life.'"

  • "I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance."

  • "I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back."

  • "I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision."

  • "I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one."

  • "I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back."

  • "I've learned that I still have a lot to learn."

  • "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

Thursday, January 24, 2008

"Did I Marry the Right Person?"

- an email forward from my sister...
During one of our seminars, a woman asked a common question.
She said, "How do I know if I married the right person?"
I noticed that there was a large man sitting next to her so I said, "It depends. Is that your husband?"
In all seriousness, she answered "How do you know?"

Let me answer this question because the chances are good that it's weighing on your mind.

Here's the answer.

EVERY relationship has a cycle.
In the beginning, you fell in love with your spouse.
You anticipated their call, wanted their touch, and liked their idiosyncrasies.

Falling in love with your spouse wasn't hard.
In fact, it was a completely natural and spontaneous experience.
You didn't have to DO anything.
That's why it's called "falling" in love...

Because it's happening TO YOU.

People in love sometimes say, "I was swept off my feet."
Think about the imagery of that expression.
It implies that you were just standing there; doing nothing, and then something came along and happened TO YOU.

Falling in love is easy.
It's a passive and spontaneous experience.
But after a few years of marriage, the euphoria of love fades.
It's the natural cycle of EVERY relationship.
Slowly but surely, phone calls become a bother (if they come at all), touch is not always welcome (when it happens), and your spouse's idiosyncrasies, instead of being cute, drive you nuts.

The symptoms of this stage vary with every relationship, but if you think about your marriage, you will notice a dramatic difference between the initial stage when you were in love and a much duller or even angry subsequent stage.

At this point, you and/or your spouse might start asking, "Did I marry the right person?"
And as you and your spouse reflect on the euphoria of the love you once had, you may begin to desire that experience with someone else.
This is when marriages breakdown.
People blame their spouse for their unhappiness and look outside their marriage for fulfillment.

Extramarital fulfillment comes in all shapes and sizes.
Infidelity is the most obvious.
But sometimes people turn to work, a hobby, a friendship, excessive TV, or abusive substances.

But the answer to this dilemma does NOT lie outside your marriage.
It lies within it.
I'm not saying that you couldn't fall in love with someone else.
You could.

And TEMPORARILY you'd feel better.
But you'd be in the same situation a few years later.
Because (listen carefully to this):


SUSTAINING love is not a passive or spontaneous experience.
It'll NEVER just happen to you.
You can't "find" LASTING love.
You have to "make" it day in and day out.

That's why we have the expression "the labor of love."

Because it takes time, effort, and energy.
And most importantly, it takes WISDOM.
You have to know WHAT TO DO to make your marriage work.

Make no mistake about it.
Love is NOT a mystery.
There are specific things you can do (with or without your spouse) to succeed with your marriage.

Just as there are physical laws of the universe (such as gravity), there are also laws for relationships.
Just as the right diet and exercise program makes you physically stronger, certain habits in your relationship WILL make your marriage stronger.
It's a direct cause and effect.
If you know and apply the laws, the results are predictable... you can "make" love.

Love in marriage is indeed a "decision"... Not just a feeling.

“No one falls in love by choice, it is by CHANCE.
No one stays in love by chance, it is by WORK.
And no one falls out of love by chance, it is by choice.”

It's a great article - especially for people like me. :P

I Could Live Here... Really!

Yup - it's not a hotel - it is a house. Pretty neat yeah?
It's owned by the family of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyah.
I guess that's what you get from being the former President of the UAE (United Arab Emirates).

More pictures here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Post #300: Life Review

"Open your eyes, look within. Are you satisfied with the life you're living?"
- Bob Marley

A little while ago I was feeling the "Quarter Life Crisis" syndrome. Then I went on the search - observing my surroundings, read "Buddhism for Busy People", had a few interesting discussions with Shanon and Pipi and keep browsing these interesting blogs - searching for the secret perfect life recipe...
I didn't find what I was looking for. Why? Well - mainly because 1. there is no such thing as "perfect life" and 2. everyone's idea of it is different - hence no recipe. Oh well - I managed to extract some life tips and inspirational view points which I now try to apply in my life. However - there is still no magic about it - just like any other tips, the benefits are only obtainable permanently if I remember and apply them permanently. I picked a few and applied them for a short while then get distracted by another tips. The cycle goes on and on and on. Now I'm left with lots of life tips that are constantly nagging me in my head - but none actually properly applied in my life.
Or, according to the Sufism saying -
"A donkey with a load of holy books is still a donkey"
... *speechless* I am still a donkey!

Lately (a bit stretched..) mmm actually - for as long as I remember - my mind has always been cluttered. A little bit like my blog. Everything is everywhere. I have all sorts of categories but things don't fit in correctly. I have to use google search bar to find things on my own blog (even to find out if I have blogged about something in the past). Except that my brain doesn't really have search bar - so I ended up doing/reading/watching the same things multiple times.
Yes - I know it is very inefficient. Especially considering that I only have one opportunity for each second of my life and I'm now 25 years into it with no rewind button.

Back to the Bob Marley's quote - am I satisfied with the life I'm living?
Nope - and it is time for me to do something about it.

I'm VERY tired of feeling unorganized and can never find time for anything (even though when I finally have spare time - I wasted them on these games :P).
I am going to declutter my life.

Why decluttering my life? What is going to be my long-term motivations?
I want to live my life to the fullest doing all the things I love to do - but I'm stuck with all these clutters and constant list of should dos.
I'm tired of feeling chased and unorganized.
I need a goal - and it's difficult to aim when I have all these clutters around me.
I feel content and happy when I'm organized. So - It is important for me.

OK - so now that I have decided to do that - where do I start?
For a start, I'm going to quickly go through these cool posts about de-cluttering:
Once I'm done with the reading; I'm going to list my life aspects and prioritize them to be decluttered.

How do I make sure that this decluttering my life decision is not going to be another one of my started-and-never-finished project?
I'm going to do what The Reshaping Project does. I'm going to post my progress updates to keep me going.

That's enough for now - wait for my next post on the list of my prioritized life aspects to be decluttered. :) Wish me luck!

Psst... Check out this photo taken from LifeHack's post, "Clutter 101: How to De-clutter"...

Monday, January 21, 2008

Guarantee to Cheer You Up!

My lovely chubby li'l cousin... Josephine

Awww!! So cute!
PS: If you're still unsure, yes, she is a girl!!! :)

Salad with Vinaigrette Dressing

I'm in search for vinaigrette recipe!

Me & Shanon went out for lunch on Saturday at 'Picnic', a new-ish brunch place near Shanon's place on Toorak Rd. It's a nice cosy place with great selection of yummy food.
I had scrumptious vegetable lasagna that comes with the best "vinaigrette" side salad I have ever tasted!
Seriously! I never knew that vinaigrette salad dressing can be so yummy! :P
I like salads - but I do prefer creamy over clear dressing anytime.
Salads with clear dressing are normally refreshing enough to keep me eating them but has never been able to distract me from my main meal - especially one that was as yummy as the vegetable lasagna!!!
This vinaigrette dressing was the right blend! It wasn't too tangy (as the ones I've had in the past) - it has the creaminess and a little bit of sweetness in it.. Super yummy!

So - here's the tempting ones to try so far...
From reading them, I decided to try the following mix and see how I go...

1/2 tablespoon finely minced shallot
1 clove garlic (minced / garlic pressed)
1/2 tablespoon Dijon-type mustard
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp honey
1.5 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons of onion juice (no solids)
2 tablespoons of chopped basil
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 - 1/2 cup excellent olive oil
Freshly ground pepper

I plan to mix all of them, blend quickly with a food processor and leave for at least an hour in the fridge while I prepare the following mixed salads to pour the dressing over:
1 avocado - thinly sliced
1/2 red onion - thinly sliced
1 bag rocket lettuce - shredded to bite size (remove stick bits)
1 medium size carrot - grated
1 medium size cucumber - halved, thinly sliced
handful of pine nuts - chopped
packet of fake crab meat - sliced bite size

I'll post update on how this came out... LOL :)

Please do let me know if you have any tips before I try this!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

bluey decision...

... what do you think it means?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Mmmmmm... My New Lust!!!

The new MacBook Air!!! It's SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO tempting to upgrade my laptop (or even just buy it as a portable one :P)...

Psst... if you were thinking about getting a MacBook - NOW is the time!!!!!

It's so pretty....
With this kind of thickness....* 0.76 inch = 1.9304 centimeter

More pics and info here...

Can I please (pretty pleasee.... with the hopeful but sad eyes of the cat from Shrek) have one of this? :P Anyone? :))))


This image converter thing is pretty kewl! :)

I tried them today and it converted the following images on my Sept post "My Happy Little Pupsit Family" to look as below...

Meet Boris...
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Last but not definitely NOT least, Divina! :)
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Try them out yourself here!

Friday, January 11, 2008

My Singapore Must Do

- Orchard Rd (Takashimaya, Wisma Atria, Tang, Centrepoint, etc)
- Bugis Junction (Shopping + Market + PhotoBox)
- Raffles Place
- Suntec City (Fountain of Wealth)
- Gadgets: Sim Lim Square, Funan IT Market
- Kinokuniya

- Kaya Toast!
- Carrot Cake
- Nasi Lemak
- Ice Kachang
- Chicken Rice
- Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao (Bugis Junction) updated on 18th Feb 2008
- Paragon's basement food court! updated on 18th Feb 2008
- Outram Park (Chinatown - market - yummy oyster omelette thing..)
- Lau Pa Sak (Old Market) Food Court (Boon Tat Street, Shenton Way, Robinson Road)
Take the MRT to Raffles Place Station (EW14) and walk towards Robinson Road
- Newton Circus Food Center (Newton Circus, entrance at Cavenagh Road)
Take the MRT to Newton Station (NS21)

* Best food in Singapore
* Food & leisure - Eating in Singapore, famous Singapore food
* Uniquely Singapore - 20 Unique Things to do in Singapore
* Singapore Travel Guide: Overview - Lonely Planet WorldGuide
* Makan Time in Singapore - Singapore unofficial food page
* Singapore Food Guide - Singapore Restaurants, Eating Guide and Reviews

- Clarke Quay
- Singapore Flyers updated on 18th Feb 2008
- Sentosa (Musical Fountain, Fort Siloso, Sky Tower, Fantasy Island, Butterfly House)
- Singapore Botanic Gardens
- Singapore Zoological Gardens & Night Safari
- Singapore Discovery Centre
- Haw Par Villa
- Chinatown & Chinese Heritage Museum (Niu Che Shui)
- Jurong Bird Park
- Asian Civilisations Museum
- Fort Canning Park
- Merlion Park is at One Fullerton, near the Fullerton Hotel (Marina Bay)
- Visit Johor Bahru???

Countdown: 17 days to Jakarta ^.^

My Jakarta must do:
* All sorts of Hair treatment + full arm & leg scrubs (as many time as possible!)
Note to self: do not "LULURAN" - full body scrub n massage by "mbok2" (old ladies) - scarily no clothing allowed! x(
* Reflexology (as many time as possible!)
* Manicure & Pedicure (as many time as possible!)
* Shopping: Bandung, ITC (International Trade Center), WTC, Taman Anggrek, Plaza Senayan, Senayan City, EX, etc ... ohh and of course Mega Mall (the cheapish shopping mall near my house which is familiar and favorite in a strange way) :P
Plus, Pacific Place, Grand Indonesia updated on 18th Feb 2008
* KARAOKE!!! It's sooooo much cheaper there! :P

My Jakarta must eat:
- Bubur Sumsum
- Martabak (Sweet ones, of course!)
- Bihun Bebek (Duck Rice Vermicelli)
- Kaya Toast!
- Nasi Padang & Satay Padang (Padang Rice - spicy!!! & Satay Padang) YUMMY! - Galung?
- Pondok Laguna (Indonesian Seafood Restaurant) - SUPER YUMMY.
- Hok-ben (Japanese fast food)
- Pizza Hut's Salad!
- Kuay Tiao Sapi (Beef Paper Rice Noodle)
- Mi Kangkung (Market Spicy Kangkung Noodle)
- Sushi Tei n Hachi2
- Eaton cheese cake!
- Bumbu Den's Rica-rica Chicken (YUMMY SPICY CHICKEN!!!)
- Rujak!!!
- Street Fried Rice / Noodles / Kwe Tiao
- Kolak
- Bak Cang (Glutinous rice with fillings wrapped in banana leave)
- Sweet glutinous rice (Bubur Ketan Item)
- Lontong Cap Go Meh
- Corica apple strudel
- Wendy's Baked Potato with Broccoli and Cheese - A MUST!

My Jakarta must bring back to Melbourne food:
+ Mom's pineapple cake
+ Mom's corn flakes cake
+ Spekuk (spicy layered cake)
+ Bika ambon
+ Mbak Oda (my dearest home helper)'s stir fried chilli peanut and dried anchovies
+ Pork floss
+ Prawn crackers
+ Pempek
+ Otak-otak

Will update when I remember more... ^.^

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Lego City Pics by Shelwin W Ng

My sis (Shelwin) took these pics of the cool Lego City in one of the shopping mall in Jakarta.. I thought it was pretty cool! :)
Lego City

"Bajaj" - the classic Jakarta tri-cycle motored public transport!

The COOL Bat-mobile


Quite a bit of work hey? :)

Friday, January 04, 2008

Yet Another Extracts from Buddhism for Busy People

"It's an amazing paradox: the more we focus on making ourselves happy, the unhappier we become. We remain convinced that attracting money, love and influence to ourselves is the road to happiness. Conventional consumerism and social beliefs support this delusion. But an honest assessment of the facts - whether the microcosm of our individual loneliness, or the macro trend of antidepressant consumption - reveals the same incontrovertible evidence that me-ism makes us miserable. Or in the words of Shantideva:
'We all seek happiness, but turn our backs on it.
We all wish to avoid misery, but race to collect its causes.'"
@ page 132*

"One of the biggest problems of busy people is that we feel so much of what we do is ultimately pointless."
@ page 135*

* Page references comes from the 2nd edition soft cover version of the book.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

How would I spend my last 24 hours being alive?

This question has been bugging me since last nite..
"If I was told that I've got 24 hours more to live.. what would I like to do?"
Mmmm I don't know - what is it that I really want to do?
The clock's ticking and I have to make my decision quick - otherwise I'll be spending my last 24 hours deciding on something that I will never get to do.

Do you know what you would do?

I think and I think and I think and then I rethink some more - finally - I made up my mind.
There's no activity in particular that I'd have to try once. No food that I have to eat. No book that I have to read. No movie that I have to see. Shopping obviously no longer has any appeal. Ditto haircut and makeover. Well - you get the idea.
Those things suddenly have no meaning. The only thing that matters now are the people that I care about and love dearly. Suddenly, I only have 24 hours left to spend with them.


Hence, now I know ... I don't care what we'll be doing or where we'll be hanging out - but I will spend that last 24 hours with them; my partner, family and bessies.
That's all that matters. Spending as much time as possible with them.

Of course - *touch wood* thankfully - this is just a pretend situation...

But - this does remind me of how much of a very lucky soul I am to have the chance to be with these special people... I must admit, sometimes it's difficult to remember this - especially with the little arguments that we all have here and there about nothing (or about something) or just with the hectic life that we all led.
That's why I'm blogging about this now. To remind myself (and others) of the one thing that matters most to us - the people that we love and care about.

Posted with loving thoughts of my family, partner and extraordinary gals! XOXOXO :D

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Albert Einstein's Brain Size, Iraq War and Eating Alone

Fact of the day:
Albert Einstein had a smaller than average brain! His intelligence came from the large number of connections between his brain cells. more details here

Do you know?
  • the tally of US military deaths has risen to 3895 since the Iraq War;
  • the number of Iraqi civilians who have died in the same conflict is estimated at 1,139,602 more details here
Now, how MANY MORE will it take before they realise that they are murdering PEOPLE??? What does it take conclude the war?? Do you think printing this figure on a daily basis at the first page of every paper in the world could conclude the war? SERIOUSLY!!!!!! The 1 million and plus plus figures are of the number of HUMAN BEINGS that have been slaughtered!!!

If you'd like to take actions now, Just Foreign Policy has a few options available...

One last tip, as I was enjoying my lunch in the food court opposite my work building, (alone - which I used to dread big time and have now began to enjoy...), this knowledge finally comes into in my head (I really have no idea why it takes me so long to figure out something like this - which anyone with common sense would have worked out probably the first time they started cooking!). Anyway - the tip is - to start freezing the leftover herbs for next time!!!
I've been trying to cook a bit more lately and the thing I hate about recipes are the herbs that they use! One recipe will require two tablespoon of chopped parsley; some will require 3 sprigs of thyme or 1 stick of spring onion; while the market sell them in bunches. I end up always throwing them away and it annoys me A LOT! It's not that they're expensive - but it feels so much of a waste! Especially if I were to go and buy them again in a week time!!! So, stupid woman (i.e. me), why don't you try and cut them up nicely, store them in containers and put them in the freezer for next time? Geez! :P

Have a great day people!

Psst... if like the-old-me, you dread eating alone - please try it!! I take a reading material with me (cause I can't stand idly eating alone) and I love it! It's awesome and definitely beat eating with colleagues that you don't actually like! :P

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Goodbye 2007, Welcome 2008 and a Waterfall...

Geez - I still can't quite believe that the 2008 year is now here.

A lot has happened in 2007. Unavoidable changes in life. It's quite difficult to remember what was in my head this time last year. I can't even remember what I was doing. It's strange that the 1st January is just like any other holiday yet at the same time different, isn't it?

Goals - I don't really remember what goals I planned to achieve in 2007 so I can't quite tell whether I've accomplished them or not.. I do know one thing though, each year, I'm finding it more and more difficult to just be happy and living for the moment. Looking at old photographs - seeing the act of laughing with absolutely no worries - it makes me think as to why it feels so distant yet so close. I really miss the feeling of being stupidly crazy for the moment and not planning or thinking about what to do next. Don't you?

I'm very sad to say good bye yet to another year... But hey, even though there's no way to stop the time from moving on so fast - I have to remember that there is a way to make the most of it.. and that's my plan for 2008! :)

Anyway - here's couple pics of a very very pretty waterfall I took in Tassie.. Enjoy! Ciao!!!