Saturday, January 31, 2015

Petal



the girls at NUS picked you up from a bed of flowers and named you petal. your attraction to flowers was undeniable. today, korkor went back to that same bed of flowers and made sure you left with them.

i miss you petal. we had to change our lifestyle since you came. i complained and grumbled about having to share the bathroom with you, the various scratches you inflicted and having to close my door all the time. we even had to baby gate the stairs so that Stumpy would stop trying to look for you upstairs. which reminds me of the one time he chased you up the stairs into the room and you finally stood your ground and whacked him as you sat on the chair. you were a feisty scaredy cat


i secretly think you probably hated me at the start too. but we were stuck at home alone together for too long most of the time during my last semester in school and after graduation. you were my only company at home (together with Stumpy), and tolerated all my bathroom (and everywhere else) singing. we secretly bonded when i came home one day depressed and you sat and fell asleep on my lap as i sat on the rug in front of my room. i fed you treats on the sly almost daily after that.



but i've gotten used to that tinkling bell around the house. knowing you would always greet us at the door. even when i returned home late when no one else was awake. you would come running down to welcome me. i'd say you were a cat who thought you were a dog. you played fetch with your toy. and i believe you're probably the only cat who'd ever play fetch.


i miss you running to the window whenever you hear that we're home. to welcome us back through the glass and subsequently plop comfortably in our way as we entered to get our attention. no longer can i tap the glass at the window when i come back home. the house feels empty and quiet without you.


you'd sit in front of my room because you weren't allowed in. you'd try your luck sometimes and walk in, only to be drenched in water as i ran after you with the spray can. once, you disappeared in the house and we thought you escaped. only to find you comfortably hidden in my wardrobe for the entire day. you loved my wardrobe and sought to get in whenever you could. or you'd sit just outside my door, meowing to get my attention and hoping to come in. peeping in from outside.


you'd pose funny with your exceptionally long body. and bully stumpy by taunting him at the balcony. yet, you would still rest on the carpet right in front of him when we leave the house. despite our plans, you never made friends with Stumpy. i will miss seeing you lying there. or on your favourite spot on the black chair downstairs at night. or on top of our shelves as you stilt walk your way across our curtain rods to spy on Stumpy and the birds.


you also loved mummy and daddy's room, and would sit outside meowing till someone let you in. that was, until you learnt how to push open the door. you loved their bathroom, and the top of their wardrobe. you were constantly finding new places to hide, perhaps from us when we harassed you to play. or when i scared you just to watch you jump. or when i harassed you one night to catch the giant flying cockroach in my room when no one else was home.






















you were a celebrity with our neighbours and the tuitioning kids walking past. everyone tapped at the window when they walked past. hoping to get a glimpse of our supermodel petal. you were so popular we fixed a basket beside the window. 


you also loved sitting at korkor's window, looking out into the skies, trees and birds. you loved birds. you always wanted to run out. perhaps to see the world outside. and you did, much to our dismay. and you didn't make it back. and i'm sorry for not being there to protect you, or save you from the dangers of the world. i'm sorry that you fell, and ran into hiding against that wall alone, behind the bicycles, bleeding and helpless. i'm sorry petal. it tears me apart every single time i think about how afraid and alone you must have been, lying there in pain. i thank God, that daddy managed to find you. but i'm sorry we couldn't save you and i'm sorry for not making it in time to see you before you left.

you were more than just a cat. you were family. always dependable, always around and rarely rejected a hug whenever i come home from a bad day at work. i miss you dear petal, and it's been extremely difficult for all of us ever since you left. i really miss holding your soft warm furry body. your long tail with that funky kink at the end. thank you for the past 1.5 years you've been with us, all the joy and laugher you've brought into our lives. i'll never forget you.

Petal, 2013 - 29 Jan 2015


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sunday Afternoons; 2015 New Year Resolutions


Miam Miam Spaghetti
i love how Christmas seems just barely over when here we all are, preparing to welcome the Lunar New Year. everything is just fast, coming and leaving in a flash and i can't decide if that's a good thing or a bad. working in a FMCG exacerbates everything - i have found myself living in the future far too often. planning for Christmas way before we hear any bells ringing and planning for CNY during Christmas. it plays with my mind really. i've been incredibly tired, and getting comments at how.. i stone perpetually or have become less lively. i'm not sure if life is meant to be lived this way, or perhaps all working people have to go through this. but i know, that it is a choice on how we want to live our lives. and we have the power to dictate where we want to invest our time and energy - at the expense of things. you can't have your cake and eat it too. 

nonetheless i resolved to make some 2015 new year resolutions.

1. be happier :)
certainly the most vague and generic resolution ever. but i honestly, genuinely want to be a happier person. from the bottom of my heart, not just so to patronise or entertain - which i have recently caught myself doing. or to make someone happy. i want to live my life the way i want to and find meaning and value, worth in the things i put my mind, heart and soul in. it's easier said than done and i will have a game plan:

2. give less shit about things
i guess the nicer way to put it would be to care less. to care less about what people think or how things will turn out. perhaps sometimes we spend so much time giving thoughts about the feelings of others and a whole lot of crap at the expense of our own happiness. i need to learn that we all have limited amount of time and cares. limited energy and soul to dedicate where we will truly put our energy in. this applies to me in both work and out of work context. in work, there's an overwhelming amount of things to do and it always seems that every single thing is important and urgent. but there really is just one of me. and i don't even feel experienced enough to make certain decisions at times. my colleague pointed out that i spend so much time worrying on things that aren't really that important. i can't help it but i have to change.

work consumes me and sometimes i don't even have time for myself. so out of work i try to spend my time wisely. meeting friends helps to keep me sane and grounded, and reminds me to be myself. then again, as everyone gets busy, it's sometimes incredibly difficult to meet. but people who want to stay connected will find means to stay connected. and i should stop investing in people who doesn't care? i have enough things on my plate at work to chase after someone else.

i thought about this for awhile now. i grew up fighting to hit expectations, impress. to please. recently i decided that i wasn't going to live my life trying to please all these people around me. i just want to do what makes me happy (even though pleasing people makes me happy sometimes too). i can't come up with a reason why i should be making someone else happy all the time at the expense of my own.

3. exercise
enough said. i used to be so active before starting work. i just feel fat and lazy now. i need to exercise at least once a week and get back into the dance studio/swimming pool. it's really bad at how unhealthy i (sometimes) feel.

4. read
i want to read 12 books this year. i've got book credits from my brother as a birthday gift last year, which would probably safely cover the 12 books i would want to read. i miss reading. whether they are cookbooks, intellectual nutrition books or fiction. i want to read.

5. #365
perhaps the most important book i should be reading would be the Bible. i signed up for my church's #365 - which is a commitment and dedication to finish reading the Bible in a year. well, i actually am 11 days late, already. need to pull up my socks on this one.

6. bake
i haven't been baking. but this should be easier to achieve with CNY coming up and i have prepped the fridge with the necessary blocks of butter for those pineapple tarts. kueh lapis would require some true dedication and perhaps a day or two off from work. that aside, i shall sub point this: to renovate our kitchen. i hope to eventually renovate our kitchen this year and have a nice true baking space.

7. write
writing has always been my outlet and channel to rationalise and sort out all the thoughts in my head. it keeps me sane, calm and grounded, and reminds me of the life i want to live. i'm not very good at writing, and it rusts if i don't write frequently. i need to keep to writing, at least weekly - as i had previously tried resolving to do.

8. korean
i stopped my korean classes ever since school ended and have been stagnant. had a video call with my korean friend the other day and found myself speaking slower. i had wanted to sign up for korean classes on Saturdays for awhile now. but i really haven't had the time to. i will, this year.

9. travel
i want to go back to Korea this year. once or twice perhaps. and Taiwan. these places of comfort that reminds me of the days back when i was still studying. although i still dream of making a second visit to London and Europe.. but i absolutely miss korea. so so, so much. i love knowing what lies around every crook and corner. i love knowing that everything goes on sale every couple of weeks. i love the whole familiarity of just being there.

10. love myself
in all the right ways that is. this isn't the same as being self-centred. i want to love myself more. i need to be less hard on myself at times and be a little more forgiving.

Chase your dreams, pursue your passion, do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life. But what happens when what you love becomes diluted by the process of incorporating it? When writing becomes scripting tweets for Merrill Lynch? When designing clothes becomes needing to hit sales numbers and Facebook likes? When becoming a character on the stage means having to constantly play a character in life? What is so wrong with having a job that’s just a job? When did we become so entitled to think that we should enjoy every minute we are literally surviving? That we can just fly from airport to airport finding ourselves? Who’s going to run the airport?

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014


Christmas at Nana's Green Tea
  1. Spent Christmas with Eddy this year. an impromptu session - as all our meetings are. and half the time on special occasions. 
  2. It's about less than 2 hours to the new year, but i don't quite feel anything in particular but fatigue. time has been flying and half the time i feel so consumed in work and everything i don't even have time to do anything else.
  3. which reminds me, my parents were away last week and the responsibilities of feeding the dog and cat fell on me. and i tell everyone i don't even have time to feed myself sometimes...
  4. but that does not explain my weight gain since work started.
  5. it feels like Christmas crept up all so suddenly and took me by surprise. this year, i scrambled to put gifts together. and i will unashamedly say that as my Sparking Snow Yankee Candle is burning at the side of my table, i have a stack of unwritten Christmas cards (which i intend to finish tonight) to send off tomorrow. yes, i do know that tomorrow is 1 Jan 2015. lol.
  6. i didn't even have time to do any Christmas baking :<
  7. i also need to clean up my room and get my life in order.
  8. i procrastinated blogging since the eve of Christmas. and this is rather unlike me. i need to make new year resolutions. i will think about them and write about this again sometime next month.
2014: 
it has been a life-changing year. and a year filled with learning experiences and new things. 
with graduation and entering a new phase of life. getting my first job - yes, i actually got a job. in a company that i'd never imagined i would be working in. and being a part of an awesome team. making friends, both new and old. i also actually organised an entire dance workshop on my own and started returning to physio this year. experienced a short health scare.

it also seems almost too surreal that my Korea exchange has now passed, more than a year ago. that it happened in 2013. i miss Korea terribly, i miss being in Korea and i miss being a student in Korea. feeling like a local and speaking Korean. and it saddens me that those will always be just a memory. i will have to return. 

i wish i had more time to write and tidy up things i want to say.


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Sunday Afternoons; Apple Cinnamon Rolls & Work

Work-in-Progress; Apple Cinnamon Rolls

Have absolutely been procrastinating the entire day in writing. i disappeared for a month - work has been crazy. i sometimes wonder if i'm giving up things i'm passionate about. that aside, today was one of the first days in a long long long time that i spent doing nothing important. except sleeping. (:

1. i squeezed time out to do the Last of Fall baking. they didn't turn out too pretty but they were absolutely yummy. yes i'm shameless but #truestory lol. Apple Cinnamon Rolls.





2. i've been going through rough weeks after weeks. two fridays ago, i decided to escape and went to watch a movie with a friend. picked a light-hearted movie - Penguins that was really quite funny. after which, there were no more buses home and we ended up walking. yes i walked home - with a cider in hand. goodness. was absolutely exhausted that day and was amazed that i was still able to hold a conversation at 2am. slept at 3am - explains my heavy sleepy debt.

3. i have been working over the weekends for the.. past few weekends. i haven't been eating with my family a lot. and it's been a little more than just tiring. i had one of those hospital appointments on Friday and managed to take a day off yesterday. it truly gave me some space to breathe and time to catch up on sleep. in fact, i've been sleeping practically the day away (both yesterday and today) but i still feel tired. one more night tonight and i hope i'll live again.

4. my stomach hasn't been at its best with my irregular eating hours and the stress. i have even stopped keeping track of the amount of coffee i've been drinking. 2 pumps from the coffee machines, or more on some days. but my stomach hasn't been very happy and i've been forced to stop these few days.


5. been eating lots of Ramen recently. RamenPlay is actually pretty yums. and i'm not saying that cos i'm biased but i truly feel that way. and so i've been eating Ramen everywhere else too. the one at Parkway is awesome too.

6. i need to rededicate my time to things i want to do. my korean classes, my dance classes - goodness even my physio has been telling me that i need to exercise. i was out of breath less than 10 minutes into doing strengthening exercises. need to reprioritise my life.

7. as i walked out of the hospital and along the roads of Simei, i suddenly saw how stuck and enclosed into my job i have been. not that it's a bad thing, but i had forgotten the beauty of being outside, of the other things in life. of being free. don't get me wrong. i like what i do. just that sometimes we forget that there's so much more in life than just the things that we see.

sorry for the incoherence. i need a proper theme to continue writing. i will end abruptly here.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sunday Afternoons; Recap

Singapore; being a tourist for a day
  1. i've been so tired and a little more than just drained, so pardon the lack of words.
  2. last saturday, i toured the city with a Korean friend, exploring places in Singapore that we hardly see, or hardly appreciate. i was really tired but it was fun.
  3. i also got the chance to try Honeymoon Dessert's Salted Egg Yolk Bun which was surprisingly mad yums. there was enough filling (unlike some that's actually dry). you can actually see the creamy sauce oozing from the bun.
Honeymoon Dessert; Salted Egg Yolk Bun
4. i will not talk about work today. but i will talk about my daily breakfast that i have at work. this is super easy. soaked oats in cold milk overnight together with raisins and throwing in fresh blueberries and bananas in the morning just before i pack them for work. mad yums<3


Daily Breakfast; Rolled Oats soaked in Cold Milk with Fresh Blueberries & Banana
Breakfast; Honey Stars with Cold Milk
5. I spent yesterday - my first Saturday actually free from work of all kinds. and i took 3 naps and rewatched one of my favourite old dramas. i honestly need to sleep more and get my life back in order. i am kinda missing the little gaps of time i used to have to myself. as Christmas nears, i am reminded of days of carolling. i miss singing, i miss dancing, and i miss performing. 

6. i know, Fall is almost over but i have not one single Autumn recipe up T.T i plan. but plans don't always work out. T.T but i suppose Fall foods still apply in Winter. speaking of which, it has been raining a little more than usual and it gets really cold. probably time to pull up those knits and leggings. (:

7. feeling a little jaded, of being tired. can't wait to see the rest of the family for dinner. <3 may it be an awesome week. (:


Coffee & Biscuits from HK
Group Therapy Brunch

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Jo's Dance Workshop

KARA'S MAMMA MIA'S CLASS 
Snapshot from 2NE1's Do You Love Me <3
*
 Night of Workshop Day 1 - 1AM: doing admin
Towards the start of the workshop...
By the end of the workshop - look at my poor Craftholic
Into an unacceptable state. I am pleased to report this was the messiest and it developed no more.

1. i have been extremely, extremely, extremely busy. and tired. i don't know how to emphasise this any further. my room looks like a hurricane came and left. i will unabashedly flash my dirty laundry in public. check out how it deteriorated over the days. i'm glad to report that all is in order now. i took some time after getting home yesterday to pack the place.

2. the workshop finally came to pass. and i still feel so overwhelmed, so thankful, so amazed at how everything turned out. even though i'm actually really too tired to feel too much but i know this is how i would feel if i weren't so numb with fatigue. it is a lot of work. but work i find palatable at least.

there's so much i want to say, so many people i need to thank and have a whole lot of feelings suppressed by fatigue.

my Thank You Speech

there's many to thank. during the planning period, i faced challenges and obstacles and am very thankful esp to Javius for being my official advisor: cost-benefit analyser, giving me constructive advice, helping me share the word and being so reliable. God knows how many hour long phone calls we had late into the night because that's the only time we have. i really really appreciate it - which you know <3<3. please come back soon we need to meet. Pat, for being so supportive and trying your best to help me in the ways that you could. for your time, effort and resources. <3 Lynette, for coming down on the last two days just to help me with registration and even offering to be my official photographer. and even more importantly, all that encouragement as i struggled through the first week of self-doubt and wondering if i made a right decision to do this. telling me to be positive and to dream big. you are such a source of positivity <3 Zhijun, for eventually coming down to help me with registration on Day 1 and freezing under the air con. (even though you are relatively disinterested in all that's going on but you came down for me. that is true love <3 LOL. Abi, even though you couldn't make it in the end, thank you for being there during that rough period. both of us were going through a tough time that week, and i know you were insanely busy at that point in time with PSS. but you would still always try to make time for me and give me opinions based on what you were more familiar with. i recall that day when i broke down and after we hung up, you and Tiffy kept sending me texts to check if i was okay. i was v touched :')

Gin, you may have absolutely zero interest in this hobby of mine but you still always gave your all in terms of brainpower. i know you're constantly drained from work but thanks for making the effort to always check on my progress and if i needed any help. and even still texting me after we fought over this. (we should have known, from the days of project work). but i really appreciate how much heart you put into this project that wasn't even part of your life. and checking on me every now and then to see if i needed anything. please know that i know. (:

tons of other people to be thankful for, like my Family, for being so supportive and worried for me. like my brother who proposed going on Facebook Ads and even sponsoring close to half of the Facebook Ads cost. I was really surprised when he came into my room and brought this up. and always being my (legal) advisor and telling me what he thinks is better. Family also includes my cousins Jo and Va, for helping me with the collaterals and artwork. I am very fortunate to have extremely artistic cousins who will always try to make time for me. they are still bogged with schoolwork and projects but they will always try if they can. my parents for sending Jo and I around and giving moral support by being physically present and trying to help in any way they can.

also everyone else who helped in one way or another, the little texts of support (Alice, Xinyi ...) very thankful. and also everyone who came. it was amazing and thanks for being part of this project. i truly hope that everyone learnt something valuable and improved in some way or another.

2. as i had mentioned earlier, i walk into my office everyday feeling thankful to be there. i definitely don't hate my job - something i've been eternally worried about since i could and it amazes me that close to a month in, i still sit at my desk and get pangs of awe and gratitude for being there. and i'm exceptionally thankful that i was accepted for being who i was and who i am. because being myself and being true to who i am is so important to me.

at the same time, i am glad to be able to still pursue things i love, as a hobby. the dance workshop for example, stemmed from my heart. it was never my intention to profit or earn from it - it just developed that way. it's something i wanted to do and something i enjoy. even more so, something i truly believe in. it amazes me because exactly one year ago, i stood in the studio of the dance school in Korea a little behind Ssam, and thought to myself that my dance friends back at home would benefit so much from her - if they had a chance to learn. and a few days ago, i stood in the studio here, back at home and watched it happen.

/written on 22 October 2014

1 Nov 2014/

3. i know i still owe everyone pictures and videos but i truly honestly have been so overwhelmed with work (i mean check out this outdated post by almost 2 weeks) that i haven't had time to really do it. i managed to upload day 2's pictures today at least. one more to go. and many have asked about the next workshop. let me just say that discussions are underway and we'll see what happens but will definitely keep everyone updated(: meanwhile, my heart, mind and soul is really gradually being engulfed with work. so that will come first.

4. i realised i didn't mention, besides being extremely thankful for everyone who has helped and been part of this project, i also want to mention and thank those who really made us smile through your actions. i'm glad to have been able to bring some joy into lives, and at the same time, i experienced so much joy from watching these happen and receiving thank you cards and text messages actually thanking me for making this happen. it was honestly overwhelming and i was really, really touched. :') you guys know who you are and thank you for the effort, cards for both Jo and I and messages of appreciation really continues to motivate me. i truly treasure these encouragement, so, thank you. really. and another special thank you to mom and daughter who came down with gifts before Jo flew. it means a lot to both Jo and I and Jo expressed to me that she was v touched and at a loss for words.

5. i wish i could say more but i've got stuff to work on. and i rightfully have to post a Sunday Afternoon tomorrow. so i will update more about things tomorrow.. and maybe bake.... maybe.. before Fall is over T.T - before this develops out of the topic, that's all. and see everyone at the next workshop (:

xoxo

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sunday Afternoons; Eat Clean & Sleep

Ion Orchard; Toss & Turn
1. BFF and i finally managed to find time to meet yesterday. after over-eating more rubbish than i should last week, both of us decided to eat clean and boost our vegetable intake. had a very good salad at Toss & Turn with friendly and (relatively) patient staff. the plum sesame sauce was fantastic and the portion was appropriate.

2.  i have been rather sleep deprived trying to adjust to work schedule and juggling managing the dance workshop Facebook page. i was so tired i slept through my alarms today and missed service. 

3. my weigh-in this morning was at 46.5kg which came as a shock because i thought i'd have put on weight over the two weeks of work. (yknow, sitting in the office and all). but i didn't!! thankfully. that means i can start baking. lol

4. i was browsing my newsfeed on Facebook and came across this article about being good enough. it said something that made a lot of sense. "you will never look good enough for someone who doesn't love you." - food for thought maybe.

5. it's less than a week to the start of the dance workshop - my baby project and i am really excited. if you don't know yet. this is what i've been working on and this is a one-girl-show project, at least on the Singapore side, together with tons of love and support from my friends and family(:

6. i can't believe i'm saying this but i actually rather like my job. and for someone who has been eternally afraid of hating what i eventually would do, or being a slave to my career, this is rather significant to me. liking my job (or at least not hating it) - ranks rather high in my priority list. almost daily, i feel pangs of gratitude and awe that i'm right there at that desk, in the team. i am absolutely convinced that it was a divine intervention and God's plan (recalling my almost disastrous interview).

7. i am mega proud of myself to have started and finished my Sunday Afternoons post WITHIN Sunday. definitely improving, and definitely getting better at finishing tasks within the day. it must be all that training from work. ^^' anyhow, it's gonna be another awesome week and i'm really excited!!! (: may your week be as exciting as mine (alternatively you could find things to be excited about!!)