Thursday, December 27, 2012

Another kind of motherhood

Do you have a kid
who pulls on the hem of your dress
as you are getting ready to leave for work?

This is my version of that ♥


Have a Thur-ific day! 


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Why do you stay in bed every morning?

Good morning!

Rise and shine, it's a beautiful Tuesday.

This is the reason I want to stay in bed every morning... to see Pepper rest soundly on my calf as her pillow.



What makes you want to stay in bed every morning?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Turn doubt into hopefulness


Yes I’m crazy enough to believe I can finish the half-marathon. 

I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. I’m not saying I’ll finish among the top 20 or the top 50. But I will finish it within 3.5 hours. Even if I finish last, I will clock in for the finisher medal. I'm not even dreaming big yet...

And when you’re committed to something crazy, something that means a whole lot to you, there will be people who will pull you down and try to trample your goal right in your face. What's funnier? Some of these people are those who do not know you. Who do not know how hard you've trained. And who do not know how far you've come.

So, don’t ever give them the permission to steal your dream. Don’t let their fear or inferiority thwart your plan.

Because they don’t have the slightest idea of what you’re capable of. Because it’s your dream, and not theirs.

When you face such people, it’s your chance to prove them wrong. It’s your chance to prove you are serious. And you will succeed.

Don’t take their opinion as boulders of impossibilities, but take it as stepping stones of opportunities.

I believe dreams are worth fighting for. Dreams are not envisioned to remind us of what will never be, and they are not reminders of a lifestyle we cannot achieve. Instead dreams are visions of what our mind knows are possible. So be fearless and be determined knowing that you can achieve anything your heart and mind can imagine.

If your heart and mind believe you can achieve it, why let someone else, or someone who doesn't know you, say otherwise?

So take intimidation as a challenge. Draw strength out of it and rise up!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Take it up a notch

Do you know that our body is smart?

If you make your body do something repetitively, it will eventually get used to it and become so good at it that you don't even have to work that hard anymore.

A simple example is driving.

Do you remember how your journey to work today was? Do you recall how many times did you change gears or look into the mirrors?

I doubt it.

But surely, you did all what was necessary to drive and arrive at work safely this morning.

That is the reason, even with workouts, we need to keep changing it up. So, variation is the key to avoid plateaus.

So yesterday, I did 5 sets of this combo workout. It's very lightweight, and if you're a beginner like me, it's perfect for you!

video

The workout:
  • 20 sit ups
  • 12 bar squats
  • 20 knee pull-ins
  • 15 tricep dips

If your fitness goal is similar to mine - run a half-marathon - it's time to burn off the extra and get lean to run faster. Try it and share your thoughts.

Happy running off the extras!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Man Up Your Workout Sessions

D’you know the thing about most women? We like to do things in packs – even going to the restroom. It’s great to have company most times, but at certain times, it can be really distracting. Especially when we hit the gym with a buddy, we might end up gossiping more than we burn calories. Hence, I've decided to sign up for a gym membership along.

Taking the cue from men, they are independent. The hubster loathes shopping with me because I can’t decide which leads to a lot of his time wasted waiting for me. Anyway, I've learnt to be on my own since I was as young as 3 years old so I’m fine doing things on my own. Besides, when you hit the gym by yourself, the only thing between you and the treadmill, is well... yourself.


I would usually turn the volume on my phone down, only answering important calls. Other calls can wait until after. If you can’t keep control of yourself, turn off your phone. You can catch up on Facebook, Twitter or chatting when you’re done working out a sweat.

Like I always say, there is a time for different activities. So step up your workout routine. Push yourself outside your comfort zone, add adventure to your workout and increase your level of intensity. That is the key to make you stronger, more agile and better prepared for any challenge.

Let’s do it like the boys – go hard or go home. 


Friday, October 26, 2012

Will you bread for 5 days?

The key is to be creative.

If you lead a hectic schedule or you're just too tired of deciding what's (healthy) for lunch, try these simple recipes.

Staple of the week: 3-seeds sprouted bread from Adventist Bakery
Made of sprouted wheat, flaxseed, sesame seed, sunflower seed, honey, molasses and corn oil. (flour free, bromide free, no artificial flavour, egg free, shortening free)

Monday: I had very little salmon spread leftover from last week, so I decided to top it off with half an egg.

Tuesday: I left my bread at home! So I satisfied my cravings for Auntie Anne's cheesy turkey pretzel without butter and salt, and finished the meal with half serving of fat free yogurt.

Wednesday: I tore the sprouted bread into small pieces and had it microwaved for about 3 minutes, and served the breadcrumbs in salmon salad. Crispy crunch! Crunch!

Thursday: I've had salmon since last week, and I want some MEAT! I opted for roasted chicken breast salad topped with freshly microwaved sprouted breadcrumbs.
This is truly west-meets-east dish ;)

Friday: I ended the week with a very simple salmon spread sandwich.

You can even make soup to go with the bread, or wrap some beef strips in it.

Have fun lunch-ing and eating healthy will not seem bland and boring.

What's your quick fix for lunch?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I will and I can

Has that thought of giving up on your goals ever crossed your mind?

To be honest, I have definitely had wanted to give up many times over.

Thankfully, I have been able to stay focused on my goal towards finishing my first half-marathon, which is just 1 month away. 

I’m not saying it’s easy to stay on course. In the beginning, I had to wrestle between my will and flesh whether after a long day of 9-hour work, to go home straight or to detour to the gym. And each instant that this struggle creeps in, I remind myself that I need to finish the half-marathon. I can and I will!

I can tell you that, the thought of giving up keeps coming back to stand in your way. When I hit the treadmill, the first 15 minutes and the last 10 minutes are the toughest to go through. The time seems to take forever to tick to the next minute. These are the times that I keep checking on the time and feel strained and drained, with a split second away from hitting the STOP button. But I need to finish the half-marathon. I can and I will!

The hubster is a sportsperson and a gym instructor. He is stronger mentally and of course physically. Although I've done kickboxing, I’m not as fit as he is because of my inconsistency in fitness. But my push is the half-marathon. That is my big WHY at the moment. I need to finish the half-marathon. I can and I will!
Always stretch after each run

So I’m pushing it. I run 5 days a week – 2 long runs and 3 short runs. Sometimes, I kick it up a notch with 20 minutes low intensity cycling after the run. Each session before my short runs, I do strength training, targeting on different parts of my muscle – biceps, triceps, glutes, quads, hamstrings, chest, shoulder, back and abs.

Free bar squat

Day 1:
3 sets of 12 dumbbell squats (glutes)
3 sets of 12 barbell full squats (quadriceps)
3 sets of 12 dumbbell side bends (oblique muscles)

Day 2:
3 sets of 12 bicep curls + plie squat (biceps & hamstrings)
3 sets of 12 butterfly exercise machine (chest)
3 sets of 12 shoulder press machine (shoulder)

Day 3:
3 sets of 12 triceps rope pull-down machine (tricep)
3 sets of 12 triceps dumbbell exercise (triceps)
3 sets of 15 crunches (abs)
3 sets of 12 lunges (glutes, hamstring, quad, calves)

Be sure that your muscles get enough rest in between muscle building workouts to get stronger. So mix it up and work different muscles on different days.

If you are looking at this to reduce your fat percentage, these will do nothing without a balanced diet. So stay tuned for some simple meal fixes you can easily duplicate ;)

Happy staying focused on your fitness goal!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Best date ever

I can’t believe it! Three weeks passed by so quickly.

I didn’t know I could have fallen so deeply for him. This ache I’m feeling as I’m writing this post, counting down to the day he will be leaving me. I shudder as I thought about life without him. How could I have survived those days before he came into my life?

As the old adage says, you will never know until you try.

I never thought I would need to stay connected on the go. Now I do.
I never thought I ever need a companion when I leave the house. Now I do.

Because of him. The little yet mighty P1 MiFi MF230.

I affectionately call him – Mike.

On our first date to Gurney Plaza, Mike fitted so well in my Levi’s jeans pocket.

Yes, Mike slipped perfectly into the Levi's jeans recycled bag.

He was kind to give me the ‘green light’ throughout and allow me to do whatever I wished. Even ignoring him at times when I was engrossed on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

He never complained. Not once.


On one of our dates in George Town, I drained Mike. He was completely knocked out. Poor Mike! I felt like an abusive companion.

Mike loves the great outdoors. My house is too ‘cramped’. He can hardly ‘breathe’ hence the warning red. He had to get some fresh air at the laundry area. I felt like a bad host! :(

When I go to bed, I just fell asleep… leaving Mike turned on the whole night. He goes to sleep too in the middle of the night. So I had to wake him up every morning.

But Mike’s patience transcends it all.

He never fails to light up when we are out. For the past 3 weeks, Mike has been my bestest friend (besides my dog, Pepper). Unlike Pepper, I managed to sneak Mike into my workplace in Queensbay Mall.  So he was basically there 24/7... ready to keep me entertained anytime, anywhere.

And next week, he will be leaving.

I may be able to find someone else like Mike. But like every relationship, it will never be the same. The connection. The bond. There are never two alike in this world. And my life has changed since Mike.

If you haven’t already known, check out how I met Mike and got my hands dirty with him.

Mike is a P1 MiFi MF230, which is part of P1’s new ToGo™ plans. It is available for FREE when you opt for the ToGo™ 69 plan which comes with unlimited 4G speed and 6GB usage quota at RM69 only per month. What's more? You can get additional RM50 online rebate when you subscribe online here.

Nonetheless, I’d make Mike stay… if I had the choice.

What have you grown attached to and felt heavy letting go?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Ambitious, she gets...

While many friends hop on the cycling bandwagon, I opt to run.

Don't get me wrong. I do cycle but I tremble on the road which can be quite dangerous. I think the trauma of  cycling into a luxurious car when I was 16 still haunts me. This was what happened...

I was cycling and when I reached a junction, I slowly hit the brakes but the bicycle did not stop. So I shut my eyes, wished for the best and hit the Volvo in front of me.

That explains my reluctance to cycle or ride.

So, I resort to running for fitness. After running in the park for 3 weeks, I got VERY ambitious!

We are sponsored by our company to participated in the Allianz Penang Bridge International Marathon. So ignorantly (or innocently), I signed up for a half marathon.


I didn't know what I got myself into until I started training. Like freaking 21km! The experienced marathoners must be laughing at me. Although I'm being ambitious, my goal was just to finish within the allocated time, which is 3.5 hours. I think it's doable. I think I can. I think I'm crazy enough to think I can ;)

Wish me all the very best and stay tuned for my training updates.

Let's marathon!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Getting my hands dirty with P1 MiFi

As you may have known, I've been with P1 for about 18 months. It is a bittersweet relationship, although mostly sweet experiences. I mean no one’s perfect, right?

Nonetheless, I cherish this relationship because P1 brings the world to me and connects me with my family and friends who are scattered all over the world. Almost instantly.

So when P1 launched their new ToGo™ plans which feature the latest P1 Personal 4G WiFi MF230 modem and the High Performance Personal 4G WiFi MX230, the seduction was too much to disregard. I want that sexy little thing!


Thankfully, before plunging into the unknown of the new, I managed to get my hands on the P1 MiFi (MF230 modem) for review. I even dressed up just to collect the modem! That’s how eager I was to get my hands dirty with it.



I really did hope I made a good impression, but the mighty little one wasn’t impressed at all. It ignored me for the next 24 hours no matter how much love I gave it and how I pretended to be the statue of liberty, shoving it to the air hoping to catch some signal. I later found out that it needed 24 hours to be activated, how embarrassing!


Like my existing P1 modem, the P1 MiFi gives me a red and orange flickering to signal limited or no connectivity inside the house. But enter the laundry area, it got wide awake with its booster green signal all day and all night long.

Mind you, even with orange signal (medium connectivity), I could still surf the Internet without much lagging. Reading online newspapers was fine, loading YouTube was relatively smooth, blogging still worked well and as a matter of fact, this is the inaugural post using the P1 MiFi.

So ladies and gentlemen, can we give P1 MiFi a round of applause? *clap* Thank you.

Now don’t be fooled by its size. It may be petite but its power and functionality are unmatched. P1 MiFi supports multiple devices on the go, at any one time. It is able to connect 5 WiFi devices and 1 more via USB port.

The battery is supposed to last up to 4 hours while in active use. I have not tested its full capacity as I’m not always on the Internet. I’m a hit and run kind of Internet user.

At the maximum, I have 4 WiFi devices connected to P1 MiFi at once – 2 laptops, 1 iPhone4 and 1 iPad2. The speed is good, and I wish I don't have to say this, but P1 MiFi surpasses my existing P1 modem (sometimes).

If you haven’t guessed it, yes I love the P1 MiFi. You know how people like to ask what’s the must-have in your handbag every day? My most recent, hottest must-have is MiFi!

What about you – what’s the must-have in your bag daily?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Appetite for life

We can all relate to food (especially for Malaysians), and looking for food when we travel. Hence the saying, we live to eat. As we draw near to the Moon Cake Festival, our desire for the traditional delicacies reminds me of simplicity.



While we often have more ambitious and (occasionally) unrealistic appetites in life, sometimes it’s the little things that give us hope and inspiration in that moment. 

Happy Mid Autumn Festival!


Monday, September 3, 2012

A Simple Life earns my praise and tears

The film is inspired by a true story of the producer, Roger Lee, and his servant. The plot tells of a heart-warming relationship between a young master of a well-to-do family and the servant of the family who raised him, Ah Tao (桃姐).


In the beginning of the film, viewers are brought into the rhythms of shared routine and intimacy that bind the lead characters. Ah Tao (Deannie Ip) prepared Roger (Andy Lau) an elaborate meal that seems to be the usual affair. Tou will notice Roger's distracted concentration and care-less behaviour towards Ah Tao.


Just as their relationship is established, Ah Tao suffered a stroke. Being a stubborn and selfless person, Ah Tao announced her retirement and her wish to live in an old people’s home. In the following scenes, we learn about the growth of the nursing home industry in Hong Kong and about the discriminated value of South Asian immigrants working as escorts outside the home.

Upon moving into home, Ah Tao slowly backed down from her obstinacy and self-reliance, learning to accept kindness and support from others.

I’m glad the director did not sentimentalise the social life in the home. As real as it could be, the loneliness and distance among people was heightened. Roger was also often shot alone in his apartment or in an empty airport. Like Ah Tao, although Roger ran into acquaintances everywhere, he was essentially self-contained. They both kept their guards up but they were not completely shut.

The movie retains a pick-me-up everyday humour and lifestyle we can relate to. It unfolds simply although predictably, it is overflowing with emotions. These notions, I believe, keep this fairly lengthy 118-minute film lively.

A must watch to expose young children today to relationships with the elderly and one another, family values, humanity, gratitude and compassion.

If you have watched the movie, share with us your thoughts!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Are you an exclamation mark or an ellipsis?


This just came to mind. Like out of no where.

This post may seem disgusting to some, so be warned ;)

If you're an exclamation mark, you take a big dump once a day or once a week (if you're constipated).

If you are an ellipsis (blessed with healthy digestive system), you take a few small dumps a day.

Please don't tell me which you are. I can't take in the grossness. I just view some things differently and thought it'll be great to share them with you.

So the next time you see an ! or an ... while reading a blog post, you'll remember as jamieywrites it.

Do you have any quirky perspectives?


Friday, August 3, 2012

August Rush

Source: Google search
On the first day of August, I see myself unwrapping a new chair.

A new seat.
A new position.
A new challenge.
A new opportunity.
A new experience.

That act itself signifies stripping myself bare for this new role.
Mixed emotions of excitement and anxiety flooded over head and I felt my hands shaking as I unwrapped my chair.

Can I fit in?
Am I capable?
What will my colleagues think of me?

As I finished removing every bit of the plastic, I remembered Nelson Mandela quoted: It always seem impossible until it’s done. 

Today is my third day playing this role. And I fit in well, I’m able to deliver my work and my colleagues are welcoming.

So I’m ready for this new phase of life.

Let’s charge forward and close the year greatly!

Monday, July 30, 2012

What can I do with Sony Cyber-shot WX100 in my daily life?

I can start learning the art of framing, shooting and hanging what I captured, on the wall!

Sounds brutal?

Well, that's truly what I want to do. And Sony Cyber-shot WX100 will be just perfect for the job. For that mission.

Source: www.sony.com.my

My faithful panasonic is 5 years old. Though she is still clicking great, she is not up for that mission. She is not made for that purpose. She has a different calling.

I need a partner in crime. Right now.

One who will climb mountains, swim oceans, fly across continents, crawl in mud.

One who is not afraid to get his hands dirty.

One who is like me but in all the different ways.

One who is much more efficient than I am. Much lighter than I am that there's no need to worry about excess baggage.

Even if I blinked for a split second, he will capture what I missed.

Even if I accidentally stumbled, he will stay calm and keep still.

Even if my short-shortsightedness failed me, he will be my eyes, giving me detailed images.

Like Dr Jekyll and Miss Hyde, Sony Cyber-shot WX100 and I will be such great partners.

Source: www.en.wikipedia.org

Only with Sony Cyber-shot WX100 can we frame, shoot and hang. For amusement.

So, yes! I want my Sony Cyber-shot WX100 and if you want yours, head over to YouthsToday.com for more details!

All the best now!


Sunday, July 29, 2012

The end of a chapter

THAT day was full of hurt, anger and harsh words. But for the first time speaking separately for ourselves, each of us sorting our own thoughts.

We're closing a chapter although we are nothing like those who give up easily. But we wanted to keep our first love as fondly as we can remember.

I used to believe that love was our foundation. And although love covers a multitude of sins, it is not always enough. If it was, I would seriously give anything.

Our past was never a clean canvas. Right from the beginning, it had been tainted with fear, doubts and insecurities no matter how much we try to cover it up with beautiful strokes of paint.

"Goodbye," I said one last time before turning ahead.

My tears blurred the present from my vision. Wiping away the last trail of tears, the future seems so much clearer.

The door shut behind me and I whispered, "I love you."

We decided to let our unpleasant past stay just where they are. Buried in the darkness of the past. That's where they belong.

This starting over is exciting. Just like every beginning, there is a new promise. A new hope.

I believe when the dust settles - our love, our relationship will be stronger than ever.

For now, I'm keeping the faith and laying every expectation at His feet.

God will see us through. He always does.

Everything and everyone deserves a second chance!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Home Tuition: Because education is everything

Truly, education is my game!

I have always wanted to make a difference in the world. When I was younger, I had dreamed of becoming a teacher, educating young minds. So I am very excited to discover HomeTuitionJob.com where parents and students can find quality home tutors.

Home tuition is increasingly become the most preferred choice among parents to provide additional education for their children. Some of my friends are planning to give up their jobs to manage their kids' hectic schedule. And they find HomeTuitionJob.com very handy - saves them from hours and hours on the road, not to mention under the sun!

HomeTuitionJob.com is a web portal that matches tutors and students in a broad areas of learning beyond academic subjects. The tutors' experiences and knowledge cover programming, chess, pets training, swimming, drumming, piano, entrepreneurship, cooking, dancing and many more. However, do your research first. Feel free to get in touch with HomeTuitionJob.com or visit their blog and ask them any questions you may have. If needed to, get advice from other reputable home tuition agencies as well.

And the best part about home tuition is that it provides a safer and more conducive environment for learning. Besides, as parents, you have the advantage of monitoring your child's learning capabilities and attention span. You can also directly get in touch with the tutors to discuss your child's improvements and performance.

So if you're ready, finding the right tutor at HomeTuitionJob.com is so simple! You can search by gender, location/region or subjects. With their photos attached (mostly), parents and students will know their home tutors a little more before deciding to engage their tutoring services.



If you can't find the tutor you are looking for, fret not. Simply request for a tutor.



Now, tutors! If you'd like to extend your knowledge to enrich the lives of students, registration as a tutor is absolutely free of charge.

Home tuition is made so easy and you may think this sounds too good to be true. If it doesn't excite you just yet, the tuition rate might! Even my mama friends agree that the rates are reasonable.



With the many years of experience, I would love to sign up to be a tutor but I believe parents and students would prefer a more qualified tutors. Maybe I can sign up to be a baking tutor! Then again, I don't bake very well too.

Watch the introduction to HomeTuitionJob.com and you'll see how it can help you.


Happy learning and happy tutoring!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Acceptance. Straight or not.

Now, if you are in my friend list on Facebook, you might (or might not) have seen this.

What was I talking about?

It's my new found love for my permed hair.

I had wanted to chop those tresses off for a long bob or opt for rebonding (and further damage my hair). But I didn't want to ruin my hair a day before the trip. Because then I wouldn't have time for a rescue mission!

Loose curls, just what I had wanted.

Clearly, I'm not the fall-in-love-at-first-sight girl. But I believe in second chances. 

So what doesn't interest me now, may capture my attention some day, maybe.

Happy giving second chances! You might need it too, one day.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

To Chiangmai with love

I prefer to spell Chiang Mai as Chiangmai, while Chiengmai is more accurately pronounced.

Whichever you prefer, Chiangmai is the largest and most culturally significant city in northern Thailand as well as the capital of Chiang Mai Province. It has recently started to position itself as Chiang Mai Creative City and is considering to apply to become a UNESCO Creative City.

Chiangmai is surrounded by mountains with legendary, mystical attributes, and it is also a dynamic, modern city. It has successfully managed to combine its rich history and traditions with its increasingly modernity. While the verdant greenery is still prominent, I wonder how long they will stand before the green turn into concrete.

If you'd like to read more about Chiangmai, you can easily google it. If you want an insight from the perspective of my lens, follow me on this journey.

The beauty of dawn that I rarely witness.

Lives co-existing in harmony.

Avatar much?

The retired hardworking 'machine'.

Once upon a home.

Some royal treatment with lined plants.

Frangipani - like a fallen angel.

The weather makes you want to dive into the pool.

4 beds for the 3 of us ;)

Walking out of the dorm, ready to hit the night bazaar.

Beautiful handcarved soaps.

The mama elephant who ate a tourist's straw hat.

Not hand-in-hand, but tail-in-trunk.

Like little children, they open their mouths wide when they want food.

They are quite an artist. They paint better than me!

Elephants, the national symbol of Thailand.

Handmade and handpainted umbrellas.

Handmade and handpainted 'sa' paper fans.

The artisan's toolbox.

Ice cream to cool down the warm humid day.

Infernal Affairs much?

So we arrived at Designer's Street.

Then it started to rain...

We took shelter at the closest shop selling lomo camera.

When the rain slowed down, we ran over to iberry for dessert. 
Yes ice cream on a rainy day.

Ear pulling episode.

Recharge. Before hitting the 3rd night bazaar!

Love the crowd, arts, crafts and price!

What a steal!

If I have a chance, I'd love to visit Chiangmai again. And yes it's worth your minute and moolah to explore this mystical land.

Happy travelling!

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