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. 😆

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. 🤔

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! 😅 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. 😄

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! 😆

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.

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 💘 all the way from the UK. 🇬🇧

A little of Malaysia in a box making this Malaysian a very happy Malaysian. 😄

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!

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. 😅

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! 😆

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!

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!

A Tribute To Genoa

This video was sent to me in a WhatsApp group. I couldn’t help but tear up when I was listening to this. *Sniff*

Genoa is genuinely crippled by this disaster. The city is literally divided in 2. So many areas are closed and so many families have been evacuated and so many businesses affected. Even giants like IKEA are feeling the pinch in just 20 days from the collapse of the bridge. You can only imagine the damage to smaller businesses.

Some big companies had to layoff or rather suspend some personnel indefinitely as well some parts of their building is right underneath the bridge so it is not safe for them to work.

Now the city is also at almost a standstill especially during peak hours as traffic that usually passes by the city via the highway has now got to go through the city and back onto the highway. Good thing is that highway is free for now. Even the Telco companies are waiving this month’s bill in solidarity to businesses within the vicinity of the bridge. Our business is one of them.

Some places are so dead…it is disconcerting and sad.

I hope we bounce back soon. I hope that the displaced families will have everything sorted before winter comes.

I ❤️ Genoa!!

2017 just flew by…

Where did 2017 go? I remember it just like it was yesterday when we were braving snowstorms that grounded our flight in Istanbul for days. I remember the havoc that the airport was in after many days of flight cancellations and delays when we finally got into Istanbul. We were lucky to be diverted to another town, Elazig, and set up at a newly opened hotel (literally opened the day before we arrived) for 3 days before we got the clearance to finally fly into Istanbul and make further arrangements for our next flight home. Finally in Istanbul we waited a whole day for our flight that kept getting delayed till it was finally cancelled and I insisted that I do not want to be on the next flight out but in 2 days time as it was after midnight and they are finally flying people out and I know from my experience, that the airline will do its best to clear its backlog and we might still be bumped off the next flight we thought we were already booked on. With children, I rather we rest well and check out the city and finally get to really fly out instead of waiting around in the airport. By this time, the airport was already out of many things. A family was stranded so long that they ran out of diapers and couldn’t find any on the airport and they couldn’t get out of the either. Luckily I had enough to pass them some. Poor family. We finally got in on the 12th of January when we left on the 6th.

It felt like it was just yesterday! Now it is already the 19th of December!! 2017 has been a beautiful year and seeing that it just flew by it must have been a good year too. Because only when you are having fun, is when time flies. Little munchkin has grown so much and is a little tornado. The hashtag that I gave her on Instagram is #TornadoJ. I can actually say she is living up to it. Little bumblebee is not so little anymore. She is only 3 but taller than most 5 year olds. She has always had a strong character and I can also say that she is also living up to the hashtag that I gave her on Instagram, #HurricaneZ. My little forces of nature. I am so lucky to have them.

So, thank you God for a wonderful 2017 and for my family and all that I have been given and for keeping everyone safe and bring on 2018!!

A very Merry Christmas to all who celebrate and a Happy New Year to all!!

adding hashtags here #feelinggrateful #feelingloved #thankfulforeverything

 

Caught between a rock and a hard place…

Of course there are a few reasons for my lack of blogging. No time. Nothing much is up. No inspiration. So on and so forth. It applies to my Instagram and Twitter posts as well. I have to admit though, the main concern for me is the fear and respect for my children.

I chose to write, photograph and post about my life but my children didn’t. Or at least, have not decided for themselves yet whether they would like to or not. Then there is this online paedophile concern that lurks in the corners every time I think I want to post a picture. I don’t want anyone to be using my child’s photo for anything. Not even a meme. But once it is out in the world wide Web it remains there forever. Even with all the security measure we put in, it can still get out. After all, we are all only connected. Just 6 degrees of separation separates us all.

Which means the moment I share a photo in Facebook even with friends only setting, it can and will be shared with others if anyone of my friends liked the picture or commented on it. It pops up on their friends’ feed telling them that their friend has just liked a photo. All this ease has put a stone in my shoe, so to speak, making me uncomfortable. Makes me think twice before posting.

Then, comes the part that maybe my children won’t like their antics to be splayed out for all to see. Especially when they hit their teens. By then, it is too late to say sorry or to retract. What is done is done. It cannot be undone.

Now cones the crux of it all. Since becoming a mother my life revolves around them. Almost every picture and thought I have, have them in it. Scroll through my phone and all I see are my two angels looking back at me. Then when I am with them, I don’t have time for anything else. My hands are full. Even if I take a photo of something else, I have no time to organise my thoughts and make a blog post even if that what the intention when I took that photo.

Or maybe I am just lazy. I still work and am lucky that my time is flexible. Household chores are done to the minimum. I get a lady in to do the heavy duty cleaning. Maintenance is key. Whatever time I have to myself now is late at night, which usually doesn’t happen as by the time I put them to bed, I would have fallen asleep too. Or the time I have the babysitter who is an angel with Z and now I have to get J used to her for an hour or so, so that I can get some gym time in, is my only “me” time. J like Z before her is with me 24/7. There is always tons of laundry to get through. So many older clothes that don’t fit “growing like weeds kids” have to be routinely sorted and stored or given away. That in itself is a chore! Then I have a threenager now who will wear only what she wants regardless of the weather outside. I think she is made for warmer weather. We are living in the wrong country! 😓😝 Just the other day, to counter this I thought it was wise to start her early on her choice of clothing for the day. We took 5 hours to end up not looking like a hobo and be adequately dressed for cold rainy spring evening. Don’t forget loads of screaming and tantrums and threats of “if you don’t get dressed, we are leaving without you!”. I just don’t have the energy after everything. Then I just procrastinate. 

I would love to blog more. I just have to find my balance which I have yet to find. Maybe until then you will hear from me sparodically. Unless I have something else to write about that doesn’t involve my children. 

On another note, it is still surreal that I am now a mother of two! Surreal even after 3 years….

Good night! 

Hmm….is this an Asian thing?

So, a friend of mine shared a video from Buzzfeed on her fb page and it got me thinking. I always knew that some things are really Asian like sitting crossed legged on the floor. Or even like how the Japanese and Koreans do with their legs tucked in under them.

My funniest experience was when I took M to a typical Japanese hot springs hotel for a weekend when we were in Tokyo for work. I booked this particular hotel for its traditional Japanese tatami rooms with modern convenience and it’s traditional Japanese Kyo Seiki dining experience. We had our own lady “butler” who saw to our needs and also did a great turn down service. Anyway, as you can imagine dinner is served on our low Japanese table with cushions as seats. M struggled to stay seated with his legs outstretched so much so that he got a cramp. It was so funny to see him trying to get through dinner. Eventually he dined like a roman in ancient times. Even this he had to change his position from left to right and back again every 5 minutes or so. He was like a swinging pendulum. 😂

Then I asked other friends and found this to be true for most of them. I was told that for many, the last time they sat like that was in kindergarten! So, this I know is true for most. But squatting, I didn’t know.

Here is the video. I hope I managed to link it here. Squatting is pretty common for us. There is even a Cantonese saying that goes “mau kai” which literally means squatting on the road. Not to say that it means that specifically but more to mean like you have no where else to go so you are squatting in the roadside. Basically describing squatters. Hmm….maybe that is how the word squatter came about.

Oh…I forgot something. Even squat toilets are a sight for foreigners when they come to Asia. It is so common for us and strange to us to hear someone comment about it. Hehehehe!

So foreign friends of mine, do try it out an let me know if it is really something too difficult to do. I am now curious to see the responses to this request.

Hear from you soon! Good night!

Toodeloos!

Useless ramblings…

image

I really should add a new category called “Useless ramblings at odd hours”. I have had so many useless ramblings at the weirdest of times and if I don’t write it down here, I might be in danger of thinking of them out loud which might be quite inappropriate at times.

Today’s useless rambling is this…because I fee like having a beer right now, that I should go to bed instead. The context is, that it is 1.31 in the morning and I am already in bed. Besides writing this, I should be or should I say should have been asleep some time back. It is late, so before the urge of having a beer overwhelms me, I should finish this post and get some shut eye.

Urrghhh…the struggle is real…the beer ‘s calling my name…help….

Signing off grudgingly….I can’t hear you, beer! Go sleep, beer! It is very late now…shush!