Cameron Highlands Tea Plantation, Malaysia

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The ABC Tag

This is a fun ABC tag. Thanks Monica for thinking of me.

A. Attached or single? Happily married to Jordan.

B. Best Friend? Jordan

C. Cake or Pie? forget the calories........cakes please, especially cheesecakes and brownies.

D. Day of choice? Oh I love Fridays, coz the following day is a weekend.

E. Essential Item? my eyeglasses and mobile phone.

F. Favorite color? Go green

G. Gummy bears or worms? neither one but if I've to choose, it has got to be gummy bears. I hate worms of all kinds.

H. Hometown? Penang or 'Pearl of the orient'.

I. Favorite Indulgence? Sleeping

J. January or July? I prefer December coz it's my wedding anniversary and my birthday!

K. Kids? I have two princesses and one prince.

L. Life isn't complete without? Family, friends, music, fun, laughter, the list goes on and on.

M. Marriage date? 3rd December which is fast approaching

N. Number of magazine subscriptions.? None.

O. Oranges or Apples? I like both.

P. Phobias? Deep water and heights.

Q. Quotes? If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other - by Mother Teresa

R. Reasons to smile? My lovely kids and hubby to boot, not to mention so many other reasons.

S. Season Of Choice? Chinese new year and Christmas season.

T. Tag friends: Anyone who wants to play can go for it.

U. Unknown fact about me? I thought I've blurted out everything.

V. Vegetables? brocolli and asparagus

W. Worst Habit? Boy......I've so many to select but sadly, I would have to say I'm a procrastinator.

X. X Ray or Ultrasound? Gee.....does it really matter?

Y. Your favorite foods? Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Indian, Malay food.

Z. Zodiac sign? Saggitarius

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Trendy and Fashionable Eyeglasses

I envy people who has perfect vision, you know the ones blessed with great eyesight without having to wear eyeglasses? Sigh......I'm one of those short-sighted individuals who need wearing eyeglasses regularly. Infact, I'm quite literally blind as a bat when I take them off. I have been four eyed since I was 12 years of age. I used to hate wearing glasses but I love them now. When I was in college, I wore contact lenses but unfortunately, my eyes developed an allergic reaction and couldn't wear them any longer. In a way, wearing eyeglasses changed my life completely for the better. Infact, my hubby thinks I look cool with glasses than without them.

With the amount of intense concentration on work and not to mention blogging furiously, it's not surprising that my eyesight will deteriorate further. hehe ....But thanks to the wonders of technology, I don't need to wear thick glasses with heavy frames anymore. With my high prescription, I need multi-coat with high-index lenses to make my glasses look and feel as thin as possible. If you're wearing glasses, surely you know how expensive high quality eyeframes and eyeglasses can be.

But incredibly, much has been said about the affordable, high quality online prescription eyeglasses offered by Zenni Optical. The feedback has been encouraging, so I clicked on their website out of curiosity. I was amazed by the stylish range that comes in various styles and funky colours. With the multiple selection of eye catching eyeglasses, you can get a pair of holiday frames with such amazing bargains. The pair of frames that I fell in love almost instantly is the stylish plastic full-rim frame with sparkling crystals.

So if you are looking for trendy and fashionable eye glasses this holiday season, go check the selections NOW!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wordless Wednesday # 2 - Disney on Parade

Monday, November 24, 2008

Retrenchment Woes

I write this post with a heavy heart. As I mentioned earlier in my blog post, my company has been suffering from financial difficulties.

After weeks of speculation in my troubled company, the retrenchment exercise began today and employess from the upper management were apparently affected. I was thankful and quite lucky not to be hit by this predicament. For the first time, I felt an enormous sense of relief but at the same time I felt sorry for those that will be facing the blues.

When I started in this male dominated industry 10 years ago, many felt that I would not last long as the job was tough. I took it as a challenge to prove the sceptics wrong and was determined to work my way up from there. I've to admit that I didn't have the physical strength for some tasks, nevertheless there were ways to work around it. I have grown close to my colleagues and really appreciate them for being there for me when I needed help. Although most of my friends were safe from the retrenchment exercise so far, it was disheartening to learn that some of them were not spared the knife.

Sadly, many manufacturing plants in Penang are expected to retrench their employees in the months ahead, following the global economic downturn. Looks like everyone sees it like a chain reaction. To make matters worse, the affected people especially those who do not have a good education background are more likely to face difficulty in finding available jobs.

Suffice to say, I hope the economy will pick up soon. I am safe for the time being but only heaven knows what the future holds and all I can do is keep my fingers crossed and pray.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

How to get a Flat Belly?

I woke up yesterday morning, put on my office wear to work, stand in front of the mirror admiring myself when my hubby poked his head through the door with his ridiculous grin, "L, have you seen your side profile?" I froze and I was in a daze for a moment. I suppose he must be referring to my tummy bulge. As soon as my hubby walked away, I eyed my reflection in the mirror miserably. He was right. The sight of the bulge was obvious and making its presence felt all right. There I was, the older I become, the more I exercise, the less I eat and yet my tummy bulge got worse. duh!

But I thought I had it under control. For years, I thought all I needed was Trudtox tea for a flattering tummy. I guess now that I'm hitting over mid 30's, the method of shedding the belly fat has made it more difficult for me. sob! sob! But fat days hit all of us, you just have to know why and how to handle them. Looks like I need to adopt other desperado measures to get rid of the unwanted inches from my jelly belly. One of the programs that sounds too good to be true is the Flat Belly Diet, the diet everyone is talking about! Incase you haven't heard of it, the program leads readers step by step, day by day, meal by meal, towards a flatter belly...and a longer, healthy manner.

According to the editor of Prevention Magazine, the gimmick of this diet is to eat healthy fats (Monounsaturated Fatty Acids or MUFAs) at every meal. The good thing about MUFAs is that they specifically focus on eliminating belly fat! Gee....I guess the more MUFAs you consume, the more you lose belly fat. Now I am liking the sound of that!

God willing, I hope I can whip my body back on track with a combination of strict diets, workouts, discipline and persistency.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

School Holidays are here

The much awaited school holidays are finally here and woohoo.....there was a buzz of excitement in the air. The daily routines of having to wake up so early, doing endless homeworks and projects, attending tuitions, returning home and repeating the same process day in and day out can be pretty overwhelming for the kids. Everything is so timing and schedule. Thus, going for a vacation is a wonderful idea for a great escapade from stressful days.

During this period of the year, many would take the opportunity to go for a vacation with their families. Somehow, this year majority of the holiday makers seem to be tightening their belts owing to the global economic crisis. Taking the family on a vacation can really drain your wallet if things are not planned out carefully before even hitting the road.

We'll be attending my sister's upcoming wedding reception in KL and thereafter we'll be taking a short vacation to Malacca. We usually plan and manage our own itinerary and choose a destination we can drive to. I reckon car travel to be one of the most inexpensive ways to go. Having said that, I can set my own schedule, carry my entire luggage with me and I can stop anywhere I like along the way.

Suffice to say, I'm in the midst of doing research on the net and travel books to get the best bargains and options available. Anyone has any great vacations lined up for year end?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Highlights of Taiwan Trip

My husband came home from Taipei a few days ago after a two week business trip to Shenzen, Shanghai and Taipei. It was my hubby's first trip to Taipei and I thought I'd share some of those pictures with you. Since hubby and I have been to China quite a few times in recent years, no photos were taken there.

The National Dr. Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall was built in memory of the national founding father of the Republic of China, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen.

The Presidential Office Building, Taipei houses the Office of the President of the Republic of China

Taipei Confucius Temple is the symbol of Chinese Confucian culture. The temple holds yearly ceremony on September 28, the birthday of Confucius in conjunction with Teacher's Day.

The entrance of National Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall. Incase you are not familiar with Chinese history, Chiang Kai- Shek was the first president of the Republic of China.

The Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall

Taipei's big attraction is Taipei 101, currently the tallest Skyscraper tower in the world since 2004 which beats Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur. The Burj Dubai will take that record upon its completion by the time it opens in mid-2009.

As night falls, various parts of Taipei come alive and bustling with activities. It's a night market where the locals gather to sell their speciality or local delicacies.

Popular taiwan sausages. Apparently, these Taiwan sausages came with larger sizes compared to the ones we had in Malaysia. Hmmm, not my cup of tea though.

Fruit juice stall with a wide range of fruits

oyster pancake

The locals fishing for shrimps. The ones caught were barbequed right there, poor little shrimps.

a flock of doves cooing and fluttering on the ground

The city looks pretty cool, with sweeping views of the mountains and valleys surrounding.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

My Unspectacular Quirks

I've been tagged by Monica to reveal 4 unspectacular quirks about myself.

1) I tend to say what I think. I don't think I mean, just being blunt but some people take me a bit too seriously and I ended up offending people I barely knew. Come to think of it, I just regret blurting out the truth that might have been better left unsaid.

2) I drive barefoot all the time. As weird or illegal this may sound, feeling the accelerators can be extremely cool and thrilling. Being able to kick my high heels off and drive with bare feet provides ultimate comfort, allowing my feet to set free. I understand that the car mats collect dirt and debris but I don't want to experience black or dirty heels at the same time. LOL!

3) On very rare occasions, I spray a little perfume on my hair when it comes to no-time to wash days but it's only for emergencies though.

4) I'm a queen procrastinator. One of my quirky habits, that I 'm still trying to overcome. I understand that it's not practical in delaying things indefinitely and later............ seems to be forever to me. hehe

I'll not tag anyone. Nevertheless, anyone who's interested to do this tag are most welcomed. Happy Tagging Folks!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My favourite Pastimes

When it comes to my favourite pastimes, I enjoy pursuing a whole bunch of things when my work is not killing me mentally and physically. Something that totally keep my mind off work and daily tasks and comforts me. Infact, I pamper myself whenever possible in total relaxation.

Listening to music is part of my daily routines. There are certain songs that moved me, touched me and inspired me. On the way to work each day, I'd turn on the radio and blast the music immensely. More often, music plays a vital role in my life and will always be.

Oh yeah, I love to eat! It is one of my greatest indulgence of all time! I've always keep this healthy concept in mind but when those hunger pangs strike, the temptation to buy or eat everything in sight can be very strong indeed. Sometimes, I'll spoil myself eating the delicious nasi kandar, an Indian Muslim dish consisting of rice, seafood and curry.

Ever since I ventured into blogging a few months ago, I blog-hopped quite often and have some favourite blogs that I'd normally visit. Some of them have top quality posts which are truly awe- inspiring, humourous posts that made me chuckle, controversial posts which are interesting that I like.

I adore the idea of a great vacation. There are plenty of amazing places that I've yet to explore. That said, it's definitely great to destress from the hectic lifestyle and the pressures that come with it. I enjoy meeting people from all walks of life, experiencing unfamiliar cultures and tasting exotic food.

Reading is my passion especially romance stories with lots of steamy sex agenda. :D (I'm just being blunt here) and I'm also into women's magazines but it’s not the priority on the list. Travel books have always fascinated me because travelling was a hobby for me since I was young. I find well-written stories of perfect getaways to be interesting, so much I feel like I'm on holiday there too.

Shop! Shop! Shop! The temptation of shopping for clothes is always there. I did a lot of that in the past because I thought looking good would enhanced my job and my relationship with the counterparts I worked with. But these days, I've to think twice and be more conservative in my spending. I still like to look good though so I only wear outfits that suits for me. It's also a matter of knowing my limits and weaknesses, so I don't dress to irritate.

Last but not least, a deep slumber will absolutely put a rest to all my worries, blues and sorrows. I simply enjoy how comfortable the bed is and just laying around in bed in air-cond comfort and not having to wake up has got to be one of my favourite activities of all time. Suffice to say, I can't resist my pillows now. :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Songs for You, Truths for Me - James Morrison

Love him or loathe him, James Morrison is arguably one of the polished singers/songwriters in the world. I recently discovered his great new track called 'If you don't wanna love me' and I've been listening to it relentlessly lately. It proves to be a romantic catchy tune with appealing lyrics.

If you don't wanna love me

With his husky set of vocals, soulful style and substantive lyrics, James Morrison has already captured the hearts of millions of adoring female fans. This type of music isn't usually my cup of tea, but after listening to this track many times, it really hit me last night. I enjoyed listening to a few great tunes from his new album 'Songs for You, Truths for Me' as well and his first album, 'Undiscovered' was pretty cool too. His blend of exquisite melody, truthful songwriting, and brilliant voice is refreshing and soothing to the ears. One of my favourites is his lovely rendition of 'You Make It Real' which makes it appealing to the listeners as well.

You Make it Real

So any fans of James Morrison here?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Wedding Dinner @ Bayview Hotel, Penang

Last night, I attended a sumptuous wedding dinner at Bayview Hotel, Penang. It was the wedding of my cousin sister, Shane and his Prince charming, Gen Ming. Many friends and family members who came from far and wide congratulated the newlyweds and wished them well.

It was an auspicious occasion with splendid entertainment and performances from the band. Apart from that, there was a slideshow of images projected on a big screen. The slideshow was generally about Shane and Gen Ming's individual lives from the time they were born, all throughout their blissful childhood, teenage years, college days to the moment they met and fell in love. Obviously, this is a beautiful fairy tale with a happy ending and yeah, I totally believe that love makes the world go round.

The wedding was a simple collection of words, filled with romantic music and singings. Other than that, the ballroom has a lovely ambience, the bride was stunningly beautiful, the groom was charming, the wedding dinner was delicious, the cake was awesome and most importantly, everyone had a fabulous moment.

The invited guests were treated to a typical chinese eight course dinner.

Four Silver Happiness Combination

Braised shark's fin soup with crabmeat and dried scallops

Braised chicken with "foo kwai" style

stir fried prawns with butter

Braised Lingzhi and Shitake Mushrooms with sea cucumber and broccoli

Steamed Snapper Fish with Thai Sauce

There were another 2 scrumptious delights which include.....Sang Min with prawnmeat and chicken meat and leng cheekang with gingko nuts which I didn't capture . That was because I was too busy catching up and retelling old stories with my relatives.

The traditonal 'yam seng'. Toasting or 'yam seng' is basically a courtesy of politeness, as each toast comes from the two families in honour to their guests for attending the banquet, and in return the guests will give a toast to the couple's happiness.

So here's a toast to the newly weds. Congratulations to Shane and Gen Ming! May your lives together will always be filled with laughter, friendship, love with many blessings and many years! May you both live happily ever after.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

An Unpleasant Episode

I had a tremendously bad time today. I overslept this morning. duh! As I was already running late, I hurriedly grasp my things and headed off to work. All hell broke loose when I discovered that I forgot to take my car keys with me. And they were just where I left them, inside my locked car. Argh!!! How could I be so possibly foolish and careless? My remote for the car is currently faulty, and replacing the batteries didn't work. Hubby has diabled the alarm so I have to lock the car with the key manually, or lock on the inside. Damn the whole thing. It seems like some bad luck must have befallen me.

I frowned in misery and gestured helplessly for a moment. Nothing like this had happened to me during my 15 years of driving. Not precisely like this. It must be some random thoughts running through my mind of late. I was trying to think about too many things at once.

Needless to say, it's such a hassle when it comes to circumstances like this. I glanced around to see if there are witnesses to my foolishness. I felt embarrassed but thankfully, I saw my colleague walking towards my direction. As he approached me, I told him that my car keys were locked inside the car. Without hesitation, he headed to our factory store room to get some tools. Apparently, all it took was a long piece of wire and formed a hook to do this challenge. I watched closely as he managed to slip a wire in between the door and window and unlock the door. He didn't get it unlocked the first attempt though. After a few attempts, he finally managed to hit the switch and unlock the door. YAY!

Upon leaving, I thanked my colleague for his help. Otherwise, I'll be stranded in misery, not knowing what to do. After today's unlucky day, I should get my spare keys to keep in my handbag just incase this ever happened again. That said, that's only a minor crisis in comparison to other major hiccups I've had experienced in my lifetime. We all make mistakes occasionally though. Moments we'd love to turn back the clock and do again, with much more skillful approach and a lot less stupidity.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Long Distance with Skype

My hubby has gone for a business trip to China last Saturday. He'll be home away from home for two weeks. Although hubby has left just a few days ago but the kiddos have been counting down the days like crazy until Daddy comes home. As usual, I've been preccupied with work, things on my own, with the kids and I am thankful to have my supportive family that helps out.

With today's fast paced high technology, the world has become easily connected with just a click of a mouse. Although we're physically separated, Skype is the system we used to chat when hubby is overseas. It's the the most popular VoIP (Voice over internet protocol) service and the best part is it provides excellent sound quality unlike other VOIP services.

Skype is user friendly, supports webcam and allows you to call other Skype users from your computer for free. Ironically enough, it seems to be the saviour for the family. We've been using this service since 2004. In the past, it would not have been possible to keep in touch like we do today what with the rates of phone bills being so incredibly high.

So if you have friends, relatives in overseas or spouse who goes on frequent business trips, then download Skype. The best part is you can see, chat and stay connected with your loved ones for free.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Procrastination is the thief of time

There are a list of things that I want to accomplish but just haven't done so, no thanks to my sheer laziness attitude. More often, I have been waiting until way last moment to do all my tasks. It has become habitual indeed. I mean for no apparent reason I decide to hold off on doing things that should be completed. When I have a lot to get done, I tend to procrastinate to one degree or another.

After months and months and months of postponing, I finally get my car repainted after a minor wreck at my bumper which occured in March. Infact, the paint of my entire car has almost completely worn and faded. Some areas have started to peel off, especially on the top. I understand that repainting my car is going to burn a hole in my pocket dearly, literally but I've no better options. It has become such an eye sore for me.

It has been a hell of a stressful week and I think that my procrastination is not doing any good. At times, I would push back deadlines to turn in higher quality work too, something which is I'm not proud of.

Come to think of it, life is so much better when you can get things completed in an organised and timely manner. Things will be different then and life just kicks on smoothly! I hope my kids would not possess the procrastination gene. Looking back, when I think about the amount of time I have wasted in the past where I was the queen procrastinator, it makes me cringe!

In the meantime, I'm trying to overcome the habit and try not to allow this affliction to invade my time, so my kids would not follow my footsteps.