you can’t fall if you don’t climb, but there’s no joy in living your whole life on the ground.

31 Dec 2014 § Leave a comment

2014.

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A year where I was fortunate enough to move into yet another lovely new home (my 7th move in 12 years!).

A year that saw my daughter enter the next phase of her schooling life – she began Primary Year 1 in September and is currently thriving in the amazing environment of her new school.

A year where I met people with a shocking lack of integrity as well as individuals who lived their lives with beautiful personal values and principles.

A year that reinforced my cynicism about marital fidelity yet at the same time, gave me a renewed sense of hope that in an age where romance is an emoticon and instant gratification is a swipe away, faithfulness and loyalty is not a thing of the past and love can flourish in the most unexpected circumstances.

A year where some individuals I knew brought out the very worst in me, while others brought out the very best.

A year that was marked by four memorable holidays spent with people who are nearest and dearest to my heart.

A year where an unorthodox birthday celebration led to a newfound love for rock climbing – a passion which has taken up much of the second half of the year, and is now shared by the little one as well.

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While 2013 was a year of rediscovery, a year where I gained clarity about what I wanted…2014 was a year where I finally took a leap of faith, and in doing so, learnt that some risks are worth taking, some things are worth fighting for and if it’s right, it happens…nothing good gets away*. After the highs and lows of 2013, this year has truly been an upward journey, very much like an awesome climb that continues to take your breath away the higher you go.

Above everything else, 2014 was a year where I was infinitely and immeasurably blessed with so much joy, love and grace.

And for that, I am humbled and grateful beyond words for a year that has been nothing short of beautiful.

*quote by John Steinbeck

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the writing’s on the wall.

18 Jun 2014 § Leave a comment

Listen I know it’s been hard
You know it’s no different for me
We’re less than a zero-sum game now
And baby, we both know that’s not how it’s supposed to be

The writing’s on the wall
It seems like forever
Since we had a good day
The writing’s on the wall

But I, just want to get you high tonight
I just want to see some pleasure in your eyes
Some pleasure in your eyes

I go too high, and you go too cold
And we both fall apart
Then you bring your mind, to rest against mine
But the mind has no say on affairs of the heart

The writing’s on the wall
It seems like forever
Since we had a good day
The writing’s on the wall

But I, just want to get you high tonight
I just want to see some pleasure in your eyes
Some pleasure in your eyes

Then you bring your mind, to rest against mine
But the mind has no say on affairs of the heart

I, just want to get you high
Just want to get you high
Just want to get you high
Even if it’s the last thing we do together

Even if it’s the last thing we do together

life.

22 May 2014 § Leave a comment

They say bad things (and good), happens in threes. That’s two down, then.

A good friend told me today:

“You’ve gotta live and love every single day like there’s no tomorrow.”

And I was immediately reminded of this quote – an excerpt of my favorite portions forms part of the header to this blog since I started it – it truly encapsulates all that I’m feeling right now.

I’m glad I’ve done almost everything there.

Life’s too short not to.

“As we grow up, we learn that even the one person that wasn’t supposed to ever let us down, probably will. You’ll have your heart broken and you’ll break others’ hearts. You’ll fight with your best friend or maybe even fall in love with them, and you’ll cry because time is flying by. So take too many pictures, laugh too much, forgive freely, and love like you’ve never been hurt. Life comes with no guarantees, no time outs, no second chances. You just have to live life to the fullest, tell someone what they mean to you and tell someone off, speak out, dance in the pouring rain, hold someone’s hand, comfort a friend, fall asleep watching the sun come up, stay up late, be a flirt, and smile until your face hurts. Don’t be afraid to take chances or fall in love and most of all, live in the moment because every second you spend angry or upset is a second of happiness you can never get back.”

five.

20 Jan 2014 § 2 Comments

My little one turned five over the past weekend and the lucky girl had three celebrations in total – one at school, one with myself and her grandparents and another one with close friends! I was in the midst of uploading the pictures taken during her pool party onto Facebook when I was hit with a wave of nostalgia and decided to compile a series of photos taken from all her past birthdays.

I’ve always looked forward to planning her parties, and while writing this post, I realized that the little one has slowly risen the bar for me each year – god knows what she’s going to ask for next year!

Some friends tell me not to bother having such an elaborate party every year…”it’s not like she’s going to remember!”.

But truly, that’s not the point. As tiring as it may be, I love the pre-planning stage…sourcing for and making the decorations, deciding on the menu and venue, preparing the party packs. It really doesn’t matter whether she remembers this a year later or 5 years later, what matters to me is that look of amazement and wonder on her face when she sees the theme that she has asked for come to life as she walks onto the party venue.

And that tight hug I always, always get with the accompanying heart-melting whisper into my ear…

“Thank you mommy, this was the best party ever!”

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One

  • Venue: Bijou @ Mont Kiara
  • Birthday cake: Fruit Pavlova from Just Heavenly
  • Food: Bijou @ Mont Kiara
  • Theme: Pink
  • Decorations: I printed 52 photos of the lil one and placed it all over the restaurant, one for each week of her first year. M&Ms and old skool sweets. Balloons courtesy of Bijou.

one

Two

  • Venue: Stuff Your Face @ BSC
  • Birthday cake: Strawberry shortcake from The Haute Food Co.
  • Food: Stuff Your Face @ BSC

two

Three

  • Venue: Multi-purpose hall at Challis
  • Birthday cake: Chocolate strawberry cake from The Haute Food Co.
  • Food: Citarasa Uniq
  • Theme: Pink and blue
  • Decorations: Balloons, banners, pom poms, lollipop cake, clown, bouncy castle, face painting…the works!

three

Four

  • Venue: Artis Kids Store @ Publika
  • Birthday cake: Tinkerbell themed chocolate cake from JC’s Simply Delectable Cakes
  • Food: Cupcakes from Wondermilk, macarons from Nathalie’s Gourmet, Garrett’s popcorn, homemade mini cream puffs and Oreo pops, popsicles from The Potong
  • Theme: The Fairy Arty Party
  • Decorations: Balloons, handmade cupcake stands, handmade fairy flower wands made out of felt for the girls and Peter Pan caps for the boys and the pièce de résistance…a fairy crown for the birthday girl, made out of small individually-created felt flowers painstakingly glued together using my trusty glue gun!

four

Five

  • Venue: Poolside at my new place
  • Birthday cake: Blackforest cake from The Haute Food Co.
  • Food: Catered from The Haute Food Co., popsicles from The Potong
  • Theme: My Little Pony
  • Decorations: Rainbow balloons, customized My Little Pony decorations purchased via digital files from Etsy including centrepiece, cupcake toppers, birthday signage, happy birthday banner, bottle labels and food tent cards.

five

It’s definitely a party when desserts outweigh the mains. From left to right, top to bottom…we had: Bacon+onion+cheese quiche, egg+cheese+chives sandwiches, smoked chicken+mushroom quiche, red velvet cupcakes, black forest cake, vanilla cupcakes with strawberry frosting, mango and strawberry popsicles, roast beef sandwich and banana cream pie.

IMG_20140117_211342

The food all lined up…

food

Recycled last year’s cupcake stands, and bought more My Little Pony figurines for decor…

cupcakes

Love the personalized bottle labels from Etsy!

orange juice

The rainbow balloons were a hit…the kids ‘freed’ most of the balloons when the party ended, so adorable to see them squealing in glee as the balloons floated higher and higher and was carried off by the breeze into the clouds…

rainbow balloons

The girls having fun playing with bubbles…

bubbles

Behind the scenes…late night preparation!

preparation

Here’s my gorgeous girl on the night of her birthday. We brought her to her favorite Italian restaurant and surprised her with another birthday cake…she was so uncharacteristically shy when the staff came out with the cake while singing happy birthday! It was really nice to have celebrated her birthday there as most of the staff in that restaurant has seen her grown from a baby till now…sigh, how time flies!

dinner

And here she is on the morning of her birthday, celebrating with her friends at school…

school

Happy 5th birthday, my precious girl! You’ll forever be the love of my life and my partner-in-crime for all things sweet! ❤

loveofmylife

jiwang.

12 Jan 2014 § 1 Comment

During a senior managers’ offsite event a couple of months ago at work, one of the ice breaker games we played was for each of us to choose our favorite song on Spotify, and before it’s played out loud, everyone else was tasked to guess the genre and song based on their observation about the person’s personality, likes and dislikes.

I obviously did very badly, having always been terrible at reading people, on top of having a horrible memory of song titles and artists (give me the melody and I can identify the song but for the life of me, do not ask me who sang it).

As for myself, guesses regarding the genre of my favorite song ranged from boy bands to Chinese songs.

Seriously? Whatever image I’m portraying at work is definitely at odds with my inner persona because they were so far off it wasn’t funny.

The song I chose from the Spotify list is one amongst the list I’ve compiled below…yes, these days, my favorite songs come from the so-called jiwang Indonesian genre. Emo, I know. But really, I’m a hopeless romantic at heart. Most of these songs are permanently on rotation in my car, almost always played at full volume on rainy days during solo drives home, some of which I’ve repeated so many times that I almost know all the words by heart…

Terserah – Glenn Fredly

Akhir Cerita Cinta – Glenn Fredly

Jangan Memilih Aku – Anang & Syahrini

Kau Ilhamku – Man Bai

Sempurna – Andra and the Backbone

Mungkin Nanti – Peterpan

Januari – Glenn Fredly

hot showers and forehead kisses.

10 Jan 2014 § Leave a comment

My perfect day would go in this order:

#6, #3, #2, #1, #4, #5.

image

rediscovering happiness.

2 Jan 2014 § 4 Comments

A friend asked me, right before we left the office on 31st December 2013 – what are the two words you would use to sum up the year?

Took me awhile – after all, how do you sum up such a tumultuous year in just two words?

I finally settled for these two.

Rediscovering | Happiness.

Two separate words or a short phrase. Either way, it works.

2013 was definitely a year of rediscovery for me. Rediscovering myself – the things I used to like, the hobbies, the books, the movies, my personal style…things that had fallen by the wayside as I got too caught up in other matters. Rediscovering family ties that had drifted, unanchored, in the past couple of years. Rediscovering friendship – with my girlfriends, with my crazy group of boys. Rediscovering my love and passion for my work – something that has sadly disintegrated in the past 3 to 4 years (this was definitely one of the highlights of last year!). Rediscovering courage – to be by myself, to embrace and enjoy my ‘me’ time, to speak my mind, to say no even though everyone is urging me to say yes, to move out of my comfort zone instead of always opting for the familiar and the tried and tested, to do the things I want to do, the things that make me happy. The courage to say “eff it all, this is how I’m going to do it“.

And most importantly, rediscovering happiness.

In spite of some of the low points I’ve encountered in 2013, I realized that I’ve actually felt happier in the past 6 months than in the past couple of years. It’s the kind of happiness akin to bingeing on your favorite ice cream in bed while watching a rerun of your favorite series in your most comfortable pjs…at 3am in the morning on a working day. The kind that is also slightly tinged with a feeling of secret glee that can only come from indulging in guilty pleasures.

And with that feeling of happiness, comes conviction and clarity. I have more confidence in myself, I feel mentally stronger, I’m clear about what I want and when I want it. I know where my focus should lie and I’m contented with the decisions I’ve made and the things I’ve said.

My heart and mind are at peace.

2013: FB in review

2013 was surprisingly good to me in such unexpected ways, and I’m excited…truly, truly excited to see how 2014 will turn out.

Bring it on.

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