My foray into YouTube

So, I have thought about this for the longest time and I finally took the plunge. Though I have had this thought for a while, it resurfaced and reinforced itself after my Digital Marketing course. More so after we had to build our own website, which I already have and I used that opportunity to revamp my site a little and revisit my old blog posts. I realised, I always had so much to say but so little was put into words.

Then I asked my friends and family what should be my first vlog be about. My sis said to talk about whatever I want. Another friend said, you always tell great stories and another said that I have a good voice. Oh, how sweet she was. I agonised over it for a few months. About 2 to be exact. πŸ˜†

Then I promised myself that I would start it in 2021. Maybe I should post one on new years. That came and went…I still mulled things over. Not to say that I was idle. I took videos, I tried to download them onto my computer but I couldn’t. Then I tried a few other ways. Then I gave up. Changed over to another camera and tried with that. Then I tried to edit the videos which I suck at. The video is still there waiting to be finished.

As all that was happening, the days were passing. Now we are right smack in the middle of January, way beyond the new years deadline I put for myself and I am still nowhere with that video.

So today, after a pretty eventful week, I decided that I am going to throw caution to the wind and sat myself down and made a video. No editing, no special effect, no anything. Just me and the phone yapping away. After I was done, I watched it again just to see if I was making sense at all and realised I wasn’t half bad. Guess all my university debate experience came in handy. I bit the bullet and decided that this was good enough and I must post my first video today. So I did.

Though if you look at my channel, it is not the first video per se as the previous ones were the videos I had to post for this blog. WordPress didn’t support video content before. We could only link videos before. I don’t dare to delete the previous ones for fear that I will affect that blog post. As you can already tell, I am not that tech savvy. I have a long way to go.

Anyway, here is the link to my YouTube channel and post. Hop over to watch it, feel free tonlike it and maybe subscribe and let me know what you think. Also, if you have any suggestions or ideas or anything you want to me to talk about just drop a comment here or in YT. See you all there!

Thanks and toodeloos!!

P/s: just realised that we can now add videos directly here. WordPress has improved. I like. Or maybe I am behind with technology. πŸ€”

Happy New Year!! Hello 2021!

Leaving behind 2020! Happy New Year!!

Hello 2021!! And bye-bye 2020! You won’t be missed but you will be remembered for all that you were. It is not easy to forget what 2020 was but it was also hard to remember as all the days blended into one. Homeschooling, staying indoors, 24/7 with the kids bursting with boundless energy. All in all, a very unforgettable year.

It was also a year where I finally lost 10kgs from all the weight I put on over 15 years here. Though I have only managed to lose the those from my pregnancies and none from the gluttony after moving to Italy. Such is life! πŸ˜… I got to work harder on this.

I can also say, I have gained a lot too in other areas of my life. I finally used my kitchen to the fullest extend since we got it 13+ years ago. It was as if 2020 knew I had to make up for all the lost years. My kitchen told the universe that they felt underutilised and wanted to do more. Wanting to be used for what they were made for. πŸ˜„

I upped my cooking skills. Managed to finally bake bread, cakes, biscuits and cook up a storm. I have also finally learnt to cook Malaysian food with whatever I could find and all its substitutes. My saving grace is that I am cooking for Italians and even if I don’t do a good job, no one is any the wiser! πŸ˜†

Then there is an international Tabata group going on since lockdown and it is still going strong. It was actually helpful for me on my weight loss journey. The girls are amazing. Very motivated and they re going strong. Germany, Italy, the UK, Australia, Malaysia and occasionally Singapore and Japan all log in at a specific time to exercise our fats away and build camaraderie. I hope this goes on for as long as it can.

After these trying months, I am ready to say goodbye to 2020 and welcome 2021 with open arms. All ready for all it has to offer and all its possibilities.

So Happy New Year everyone!

P/s: Watch this space as I have something planned…fingers crossed, it comes to fruition.

Bath Stories

Some time back I received a beautiful package in the mail. In the midst of the horrible pandemic of 2020, a little box of joy dropped in to say hello from @bathstories.sg. Have you ever seen such a beautiful piece of soap? It reminds me of a very famous painting. Do you know which painting I am talking about? Though it reminds me of a painting, Simone, the beautiful soap maker found her inspiration from a photo by Babak Tafreshi. This photo is the cover of the photobook “The World At Night”.

This particular piece is made of lavender, neroli and patchouli. When I first opened it, a burst of intoxicating perfume filled the room. For the next few days, till I kept it away, it filled my hall with its beautiful scent. It worked just like an room incense. I had to keep it away cause while it was pleasant for me, it was a little to overwhelming for everyone else. Also, the kids kept playing with it and it was too precious to me for them to play with it and it will probably be “lost” among their toys later. So I kept it away until it was time to use it.

I didn’t use it right away as I had others I need to finish up first. I don’t like too many opened items around, all half used and nothing finished. So, I patiently waited. Though I kept it away, I kept it within sight so that I won’t forget to use it once my other soaps finish. The moment it did, I whipped it out of its box gleefully, like a kid in a candy store. But it was a few months later, hence the late posting. I got it back in October and only started using it in December and only now am I posting it here. I did already post in on my Instagram.

It was quite a change for me to use bar soaps as we use liquid soaps cause of the kids. Way easier and the kids can soap themselves without dropping the bar everywhere. Also, my elder child has sensitive skin so bar soaps are a “no no” for her. Dries out her skin too much. But with the linen bag that comes with it, I can keep this bar of soap away from those prying hands and hang them way up high, away from them. Now it is my own personal soap bar.

Now, let me sing its praises. This bar of soap not only looks nice it leaves my skin silky. I absolutely love it! It is perfect for my “lazy to put on cream” days. So perfect for winter! Though it leaves the skin silky, I still won’t share it with my girls. πŸ˜› shh….don’t tell them. Someday they might read it here but by then it will be ancient history. πŸ˜€ It is not only good for the skin but the bar of soap becomes more beautiful as you use it. In one of Bath stories’ posts, you can see how beautiful it becomes with each use. It looks like a pebble weathered by the flowing waters of a stream.

Bath stories have so many more amazing bars of soaps. Hop on over to her Instagram and get one for yourself. Of course, you don’t have to take my word for it. Get yourself a piece and see it for yourself. You will love it and be so sad when the bar of soap finishes. I am already a little sad as I see my bar of soap getting smaller by the day. I should get myself another piece but with lockdowns and Italy’s “amazing” postal service I am hesitant. I would rather fly to her and get the bar of soap myself, in person. I shall be back to see the soaps for myself, Simone. Keep some for me!

Toodeloos everyone! I will be here patiently waiting for the borders to re-open to fly back to Asia to stock up on everything, especially hugs, kisses and love and comfort food from my family back home.

Hope 2021 will be better and safer for everyone!

Care package with love

My happy package

Look what came in the mail today!! An amazing care package arrived with all my favourite goodies sent with love πŸ’˜ all the way from the UK. πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§

A little of Malaysia in a box making this Malaysian a very happy Malaysian. πŸ˜„

Best of all I get my Ipoh white Coffee!! Because of the lockdown on international travel, I couldn’t stock up this time but a good friend with a huge heart got me my fix. Am super happy!

Sending my care package angels lots of love, hugs and kisses!

Thank you Lyn and Vikki!

Advent calendar

All done!
Finished stuffing every pack with something
There was more chocolate than anything else
Hiding their designs
Don’t look mama!

My eldest wanted to make her own advent calendar this year. Not that we have ever been making them all these years. She just decided she wanted to make one this year. Mind you, we are not religious. So much so, that this year is the first year we have a Christmas tree at home. We just never got round to it before. We were usually never home anyway for the holidays. But we are doing it this year for the kids.

I bought all the items needed and got them to design their own boxes. It took them 3 days to finish colouring everything. Then one morning when the girls were in school I packed and stuffed each packet with stationery and chocolate.

Now every evening after school, they will run to the boxes to open their surprise for the day. Sometimes it is fun but sometimes they fight. Kids! Though I put in the same things for both boxes but because they get to choose their boxes everyday, they both get different items each time.

What most interesting about this whole thing was that M doesn’t know what an Advent calendar is? I looked at him incredulously and laughed. I mean, he is the Christian in this house and he doesn’t know what an Advent calendar is! Now he knows. πŸ˜„

This is our Advent calendar adventure. Our first, and I see it, the first of many more to come.

Toodeloos!

Popcorn success!

Caramel popcorn

So, why popcorn success? Well, I have tried many times over the years to make caramel popcorn but I have never been successful. Don’t get me wrong, I can pop normal popcorn and add salt but it doesn’t always turn out well either but always edible. However when it comes to caramel popcorn, I suck at it! I have no idea why.

I will always manage to even burn the popcorn. It will be all black. How did I do it? I don’t know. I just do. πŸ˜…

The only type of caramel popcorn I can manage not to burn are those prepacked ones that you pop into the microwave. Those, I ace! πŸ˜†

Then, while browsing through Instagram videos I came across a video of a mum making caramel popcorn for her kids and suddenly it all became clear. I have been doing it wrongly the whole time. It was such an epiphany! The next day, I promised the girls I would make them caramel popcorn and they were so excited! Poor girls, they have tried all my failed popcorn. 🀣 yet, they are still so excited. Bless them!

I wonder why I have never attempted to even Google how to make caramel popcorn. I mean, we now live in a wired world and we can get any type of information online, any time, anywhere and I just never tried. How strange was that. Maybe making popcorn is so simple that I didn’t think I needed any help. Obviously I did but ignorance is bliss, isnt it?

Anyhow, I just wanted to record this moment of useless glory for my own benefit. To remind myself how I triumphed over popcorn! I take my victories where I can. 😁

Hmm….maybe I should go make some popcorn now since I am working from home and I can have the whole bowl to myself! Hmm……toodeloos!

Isolation activities..

Snow White the Disney Princess

Last 2 weeks, J and I were in isolation. A classmate of hers was or maybe still is as he is not back in school yet, is positive for Covid-19. Unless you have been living off the grid with no access to civilization or maybe on another planet, you will know that Covid-19 is not a trifle thing. The whole of 2020 can surely be remembered in the future at Covid 2020. The year the whole world was brought to their knees.

Anyway, I digress. So, since she was to be home the whole day for 2 whole weeks we set about getting some activities to do to pass our time. I have seen this particular activity but I have never done them. When M brought the first one back J couldn’t wait to start while I was dreading the possibility of the millions of coloured plastic pins all over the floor. ButΒ  I managed to stop her and coax her into starting on them bright and early the next day when I had more time to organise and do it with her.

The next day we started on the first one. The first set was a set of Disney portrais of Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Daisy. In the pictures you will see that the whole piece is made up of 4 smaller pieces put together. So we had a portrait piece if each character. When we started, it took us a while to get the rhythm going. Also, it was not that easy for J to push those little pins into the holes piercing through the paper design on top. After a while she got the hang of it. She stops once in while to rest her little hands or when she gets carried away in her thoughts while chattering away. She chatters non-stop. I had to play the ‘game of silence’ which she loses every time, just to catch a respite from her constant chatter. πŸ˜…

How the picture is made up
The paper design that it comes in

We finished that in 4 days. I limited it to one a day. It was actually enough cause each one took us about 2-3 hours depending on how chatty or distracted we are. You could probably guess that I did most of the work but she was just so cute!! I found this avtivity to be very relaxing and cathatic. I didn’t have to think, like in board game or a puzzle, which we also did in that 2 weeks. Just grab a pin of whatever colour we working on, from the bowls I have prepared and just stick it in wherver I see the corresponding colour. Easy peasy! We finished it in no time at all!

Then, M got this one. This set came with 2 Disney princesses and we had to choose. We could only do one. The choice was between Snow White or Rapunzel. You can safely guess which one won. πŸ˜‰ This took us 4 days too. I can truly say the outcome is really beautiful! So much so that we are thinking of framing it! Though I joked to M that it would probably cost more to frame it than to actually buy it. It was €12 for this set. The frame would probably cost us at least €50. πŸ˜…πŸ˜…

After we were done, i told J to hold it up as I wanted to tale a picture of her with it. She gave me a cheeky face as I took the picture. I don’t think she intended to posr like Snow White but it turned out to look like she did.

Posing like Snow White

I am glad we did this. I liked it so much that I am thinking of getting another one. Something to do for when I am stressed or in need of some distraction? How about you guys? Has anyone tried this? If you haven’t, you should. Then you will know what I mean by it veing relaxing and cathartic.

Actually, now that isolation is over and i am back to work, I don’t know if I will have the time to do this again. But for now, I am glad that we are healthy and that J is back in school. Freedom!! πŸ˜†

Am off to get some alone and ‘me’ time. Till next time! Ciao and Toodeloos!!

Upgrading myself

Photo taken from Pinterest

It has been a while since I have blogged. This time, things have aligned for me and also thanks to Nowrid I have rediscovered a part of me that I have put on the back burner to be a mother. Between work and motherhood, everything else was not that important. Then, Covid happened, everything came to a halt and my youngest is now in school. I find myself with more time to re-evaluate my life. Things that I couldn’t do before I could now look into.

When I said things were aligning for me, I really meant it. An Italian company approached me before to work with them 3 years back but I couldn’t as J was not even a year old and she was with me most of the day. 2 years later, J has just started kindergarten and I was getting used to the free time when they approached me again. This time, I was very interested. I was also very excited and nervous. Though I am on social media, I have never done any social media marketing of this kind (cosmetics and beauty) and my main business of exhibition design and construction didn’t need the same type of marketing. Also my main business has been in business for almost 30 years, and we have ties and experience in the business that supersedes this new company.

I was looking around. Checking out social media of similar companies. Doing online research on similar companies to figure out a way to market this company and to see where we fit in the grand scheme of things. All this researching open my eyes to the power of digital marketing. I was intrigued but I didn’t know where to start. I was also searching online for more info to learn about it. All this researching made me feel helpless.

So when my sis sent me a message and asked if I was interested in a course for Malaysians offered by BAC, and for free too, I jumped at the chance. This course, has been the best thing that has happened to me in a while. Also the best investment of my time. Nowrid‘s easy going, straight forward explanation of how digital marketing works was a godsend. He made it look easy. He was also open to answer all our questions and doubts. What was more interesting was that he taught from his experience and gave alternatives and brought in other experts of other platforms that he might be so conversant in.

He gave me hope that I may one day actually know what I am doing with digital marketing. All I have to do now is to apply all this knowledge and learn as I go along in my new venture into the world of beauty.

I am a strong believer in that everything happens for a reason and I know that things aligned in such a way that I was meant to take this course by Nowrid and will grow from this. Thank you Nowrid for opening my eyes to the world of digital marketing and a making it less scary for novices like me. Lets see where I will be in a year or so.

Till the next time, Toodeloos!

Timing is forever off

My timing for blogging is forever off. I think of the random-est things at the most random times and it is usually when I can’t blog. It is because I am driving, putting the kids to bed then subsequently falling asleep myself or having a epiphany while I am with kids which is almost 20 hours a day.

Thanks to my babysitter (godsend) I have about 4 hours Monday to Friday excluding holidays that I can get some time for myself. Which I subsequently fill with work, physiotherapy, and all other appointments ie. hair, nails, banks, dentist, doctor and grocery shopping and cooking if I need to. In the end when I don’t need to do anything, I literally don’t. πŸ˜€ Does that make sense? I also spend some of that time to be with M. We work together cause we have businesses together. We used to travel together very often as well. Now less so. So when I don’t have the kids, I will go the the meetings and other appointments with him so that he doesn’t have to inform me of them later.

Now that I have some time, since I have to do some work urgently, I gave J her tablet. The only way get her to leave me alone and not bang on the keypad while I am working. Not even with the TV on on the kids channel does the trick. I am forcing myself to write. Forcing because I can see that my flow of thought is not there. I feel that I am incoherent and just having a verbal diarrhea. But I know that I have to try. I also get frustrated that when I do find some time, I don’t really remember anymore what I wanted to blog about. Then my mind wanders and then I find myself on Instagram, FB or Youtube, Netflix or Viki. I am going through a documentary phase. Devouring documentaries like there is no tomorrow. Mostly criminal and historical or both.

This makes me feel like when I first went back to school. After not having to write anything longer than possibly 3 sentences, I found it so difficult to even write 500 words for my first English 101 essay. I was despairing, thinking , oh no…how am I ever going to write my papers as things get harder. Thank God, all I needed was more reading and more writing. I managed to graduate so I guess I did do something right and what I wrote coherent enough for a final thesis. *peace sign*

Sigh…absolutely incoherent again. Could you get my flow of thought here? I think I want to attribute this to mommy brains. You know, the same ones as the pregnancy brains? πŸ˜› Ok, I am just trying not to take responsibility. Just looked at the word count at the bottom and I am approaching 500. Whee!! Who would have thought this incoherent verbal diarrhea can even reach 500 words! Ah…proud mommy brains moment! πŸ™‚

Signing off and I apologised if you came here to read about something more interesting and got this. I will try to make an effort on the next one. I update on Instagram more often. See you there!