Thousand Word Days & Ten Years of Blogging

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I don’t often do challenges – that’s not to say I don’t like to challenge myself. I’m allergic to habits wildly spontaneous, and since most challenges work on a habit-forming model, they don’t sit well with me.

I was trawling through my old blogs a while ago, and an hour later, I had removed every trace of myself aged 10-17 from the Internet. That’s because I was a little shit. But these 38 deleted blogs led me to the year I started blogging – 2006, when blogskins.com was all the rage, and everybody used Cbox. Oh, those days. Coincidentally, this ten year mark coincided with my one month of being on the Thousand Word Day challenge. Seriously, does Heaven schedule these things?!

Writing has been something I’ve been very ill-disciplined with over the years – only writing when inspiration struck me over the head with a club. Those days, I’d sit down and bleed words, but otherwise, I was losing a lot of content every day, simply by not penning them down. It wasn’t until I got to Korea that I decided to make it a part of my day. And the challenge?

1,000 words of writing a day, or 3,000 words of reading a day

30,000 words later –

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TAG: Wanderlust & A Place I’d Like to Visit

In keeping with the 30 Day Live For Tomorrow Challenge and the Wanderlust tag: here are my voyages across the seas!

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I have taken a keen interest in Tibetan culture after watching Chinese Idol so Tibet is pretty straightforward. Korea – even more straightforward. Greece because who doesn’t like posh white houses on cliffs that hang over beautiful blue seas? And Bora Bora – for the sunshine-sand-sea girl in me.

1. Your most treasured passport stamp?

I think my most treasured passport stamp would be the one to Cairns, and I had a blast there. I was actually young enough to have the energy to try every single thing, but old enough to remember all that I did. I mean, I went to the Great Barrier Reef and spent a day snorkelling, as well as took a hot air balloon and ate the most exquisite outback steak in my life ever. I cannot forget that.

2. Can you recite your passport # from memory if asked?

I could probably do half of the numbers, but I think I have better things to remember!
3. Preferred method of travel; planes, trains or automobiles?

I think any mode works. I don’t mind, in fact, I love long-haul flights, road trips. I haven’t properly taken a train before but I can’t imagine it’ll be bad. By the way, am I the only one around who loves airplane food? I love how compartmentalized everything is. I’ve always loved compartmentalized food! Or it could be just me being strange.

4. Top 3 travel items?

I would feel very handicapped overseas without my phone. I will not travel without my trusty chapstick/lip balm. And some identification because let’s be honest, if I ever run out of cash, I could always sing on the streets and be a busker, right? Yep, people would actually pay me to shut up.
5. Hostel or hotel?

Oddly enough I have always felt terribly afraid of staying in hostel or hotels. Too many stories of such haunted places and so many rituals to observe, such as knock the door, occupy the whole bed, don’t talk trash, etc. I’m probably being superstitious but I suppose it might be better to err on the side of caution. If I honestly had to choose, not the hostel. The last time I stayed in a hostel in Lake District I had to lug my almost 20kg suitcase up the stairs. Not enjoyable at all!
6. Are you a repeat visitor or do you explore new places?

I am.. a repeat visitor. I always miss the places I have visited and have rarely or never felt an inclination to go explore some godforsaken corner of the globe before. I am just not the adventurous type. Oh, and I hate anything and everything plant-related, so that means no tropical rainforest trekking for me, no matter how people try to make it sound exotic.
7. Do you read up on your destination (culture,history,safety) or do you wing it?

The places I’ve visited have been pretty familiar. I mean, Singapore is a global cosmopolitan city so we pretty much have experienced a large number of world cultures. I have read up extensively on a few countries I’d like to visit: Tibet, Alaska and Nordic countries!
8. Favorite travel website?

None. I usually find out about travel experiences from my favourite youtubers’ vlogs or @pameloho on twitter, who’s my friend 🙂
9. Where would you recommend a friend to visit? Name city & why.

Stratford-upon-Avon. Other than it being the birthplace of the Bard, which makes it fantastic for literary geeks, it is also a really quaint town. I remember enjoying a good meal of English fish and chips and buying Beatrix Potter books for 2 pounds each. What a steal! They also have cobble-stone paths, which I absolutely adore.
10, You’re leaving tomorrow, money is no option, where are you going?

I’m hightailing it to Tibet! It’s a dimension of its own entirely, the rooftop of the world. I have been so fascinated with the culture there and I would really like to visit! Second choice would be Greece, simply because it is breathtakingly beautiful (from the pictures I’ve seen of it). It seems that the city is mostly white and surrounded by blue seas and it’s like a dream come true for me.

Blogtember: Online Shopping

Share links to your favorite online shops, preferably with a few photos of your favorite items in each shop.

As you all probably know, I am a pretty crazy online shopper. It’s my retail therapy in the weeks that I get cooped up and horribly claustrophobic at home. I think it’s pretty convenient and there’s that pleasant surprise you get when your parcel arrives – I love it! Anyway, because I love to share all that is good, this post will be kind of shameless promotion for the various online shops I’m going to introduce – bear with me!

I like to think of Luxola as the beauty equivalent of Zalora.

Before I begin singing of its merits – here’s my favourite product from this store!

I did mention that I’m a hoarder, right?

Basically this is a 12-brush cruelty-free set from Sigma, which is right up there with Real Techniques and M.A.C for having the best brushes ever. I can totally see why it’s so raved about. There have been incidences where I’ll be just randomly brushing my hand with the huge fluffy powder brush and oh, it’s just worth the money.

What I love about Luxola is that they have delivery.

Nothing really beats knowing that your parcel arrives safely at your door – in less than 2 days. Seriously, I’ve never had a delivery where I had to wait for more than 3 days! Order and it comes right to your door, why not?

To top things off, Luxola carries brands like Sleek Makeup, butter london, covet london, REN, and z-palette. Icing on the cake would be my favourite brands Rachel K and Leaders Insolution! I would really recommend trying the eye palettes (especially Storm) by Sleek, which, as a matter of fact, I got last week, and Rachel K’s CC Cream & skincare range!

Ending off today’s post would be dolltodollcosmetics.

Dolltodoll is owned by Juli, of bunbunmakeuptips and carries hard-to-find brands like Lioele, Sugarpill, etc. She also carries Sigma, Real Techniques, Urban Decay, Monistat, Physician’s Formula and K-palette so it’s pretty much like a one-stop shop. Many of these items cannot be found in Singaporean stores, like certain shades of the Revlon Colourstay Foundation (which is pretty brainless if you ask me) and Maybelline mascaras like Full N’ Soft, Great Lash etc.

If you visit any of these stores based on my recommendation and do buy something, share with me! 😉



Blogtember: Pearls of Wisdom

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In a bid to make my September more fruitful, I’ve decided to take on two challenges, namely, the Blogtember Challenge by Story Of My Life and the 30 Day LFT Challenge by Live For Tmw (to be done on Instagram). Of course, I won’t be posting excessively, just whatever inspires me. So do keep an eye on this space as well as my Instagram, I promise you it’ll be an exciting month!

 Let’s begin with the first prompt:

Pass on some useful advice or information you learned and always remembered.

Because I was brought up in a very Chinese family, there are certain life lessons Grandma taught me that I will remember for life.

“帮你是人情,不帮你是道理“

To help you is a favour, and not to help you is logic.

Impactful words.

I remember having moments when I was young where I’d approach someone for help and I’d be rejected. My reaction would always be one of indignance, thinking, “Why, got so hard to help me meh?” or “Come on, I’ve helped you so many times. Shouldn’t you be fair?” But this taught me that nobody owes you a favour. Having said that, if they help you, you owe them one. And if they don’t – well, it’s to be expected, isn’t it?

I live by this now. I don’t expect people to help me – as far as possible, I try to do things on my own. I believe this has an integral role in nurturing my fiercely independent streak, and overall made me a more resourceful person. When you stop asking for favours and get up and do it on your own you realize that not everything is as easy as you’ve made it out to be.

Another influence that really shaped me was one of the most prolific teachers I ever met. Since P4 she has rejuvenated and impassioned me with a love for Chinese. Not just the language – everything Chinese. Now, before P4, I was not as receptive to languages as I am now. I was a voracious reader, yes, but I hated Chinese to the core (and to those who claim that Math is a language, yes, I hated that too). As you can probably imagine it took a great deal of nudging and prodding for me to appreciate the Chinese language, all its intricacies, rich culture and history.

One of the first lessons this teacher taught me was: You must not say “I don’t know.”

Indeed, in class, she was strict about never allowing us to get away with “I don’t know.” In retrospect, I can see why. “I don’t know,” is more often used as an excuse for being lazy to think than it is used for its true meaning. She forced us to think. Never mind that the answers were usually never beyond “Umm..”, and never mind that the answers that we came up with were really crappy. The important thing was that we hadn’t given up at get-go.

The second quote she left me with was also something that I’ve never forgotten:

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How true.

You grow your altitude by improving yourself. The more you improve yourself, the wider your scope of vision, because you now can see the world with a variety of perspectives. The wider your scope of vision, the higher your level, because you are gradually coming to understand more and more concepts of this world we live in. And as we “level up”, our state of heart grows – we become more forgiving. Loving. Peaceful. Grateful.

What are some of your pearls of wisdom?