She loved books, she loved life.

“She loved books. She loved them with her senses and her intellect. They way they looked and smelled; the way they felt in her hands; the way the pages seemed to murmur as she turned them. Everything there is in the world, she thought, is in books.”  Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

She was a romantic. She was feisty about living life in her own terms. She was a feisty romantic. This is her story.

She loved books, too much. She loved food, a lot. She loved music, wholeheartedly. She loved singing. She played the guitar and piano. Really well. Music was her soul. She loved to run, feel the wind in her hair. She loved to look good – buying bags and clothes as much as she bought books. She loved eating and cooking too. She was patient and forgiving of those she loved. She was gorgeous, but she didn’t think that beauty was everything. She had a gentle personality and a loving soul. She was kind to kids and animals.

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6 Things I Learned from Kerlijne (and our travels)

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Image source: blog.virtuoso.com

In early May 2018, just after I left my full-time job, I took a few days off to be a tourist in my own country, Malaysia. My travel companion was Kerlijne (pronounced ‘Caroline’), a Belgian colleague who is currently working in China. Kerlijne has worked in China since her Chinese studies in sinology. As I was contributing regularly to the e-newsletter at the China regional office where she is based, I communicated with her regularly via Skype.

Since I started working with her, I found her to be an open, friendly and sometimes comical character and we hit it off straight away. Our friendship deepened over time, and we decided to plan a trip together. It was my lucky day when she decided to come and visit me in Malaysia so that we could explore the sites together!

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Haiku (Feb – Apr 2017)

16 April 2017

Flowers, forest walk
And a lake, a cute squirrel
Brings me love and joy

I float in the lake
Healed by the sun, sea and sand
Universal bliss


9 April 2017

A power failure
Chance to unplug and focus
On air and stillness


9 April 2017

Girls get together
Games, banter and baked goodies
Grateful for the love


16 March 2017

The body crashes
Into an ill weakened state;
Time for a good rest


5 March 2017

A sudden downpour
Water flows, rises and forms
Large puddles, a flood


22 February 2017

Coconut chips, with
dried and sweet cranberries, stirred
into my warm oats


21 February 2017

Coconut milk rice
Spicy sambal, nuts and egg
Tickle my tastebuds

Our Experience at Cantaloupe Sky Dining’s Big Sunday Lunch

I’ve always had a secret dream to be a food reviewer/blogger, but often find myself failing at taking beautiful photos of food as I just can’t wait to taste it! Good eats, I’ve realised, is something that must look good for the eyes, as well as the palate.

I believe that food reviewers are armed with 3 things: (1) a good camera + decent photography skills (2) an eye for detail (3) a good memory to recall how certain foods apply to the taste buds, not just at present but also in comparison to others they have tasted in the past.

I’m not a professional food reviewer, but sometimes I pretend to be one when I come across great food in a good location. It also serves as my personal recommendation for you to try out some unique cuisine which won’t create a dent in your wallet. Read on for today’s experience.

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From Dust to Dusk

Hello readers! I’m back after a short hiatus.

So, what kept me busy? In July, there was a personal trip with friends to celebrate our other halves’ 40th birthday. Following that, my family and I travelled to Phuket for the wedding of my second cousin. September beckoned next with some long holidays, so my hubby and I went on a short getaway to Bukit Tinggi, Pahang. I’ve also been busy writing up a series of articles about my trip to Central Vietnam earlier this year. I plan to feature more Travel posts in my blog, but have been overcome by the procrastinating devil. But rest assured, I’ve saved a few blog posts in the Draft which I will publish very soon!

I have also been busy continuing with my decluttering the KonMari way. I’m glad to say that I managed to get out of my decluttering rut, moved past Kitchen and now I’m onto Accessories/ Jewellery and will move onto Sentimental items soon. (By the way, the reason those words are bold is because these are actually sub-categories in the KonMari method. If you don’t know about the method already, here’s a good intro article by Dr. Christiane Northrup.)

While driving home from work last week, I saw this absolutely gorgeous sunset in my neighbourhood. I am always in awe with sunsets, they make me so happy and wistful at the same time. There’s something about the changing of day to night which is so magical, I think. Right after I took the photo, I wrote a short fictional prose for the photo. Go on, read it and tell me what do you think?

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Sister Day, Brother Night

Day lit up the sky in fiery hues and dressed itself in golden tones in honour of its last hour awake. She will not go without a grand celebration. Soon, she must gently step aside for Night to enter, sashaying in with grace. Night carries with him the velvety blanket of darkness, quickly enshrouding the sky, merely dotting it with pinholes of starlight and reflections of planets afar.

“Have a good run,” Day said to Night, winking her last light at him as she exits gracefully.

“Have a good rest,” Night replied, as he blew a light breeze to cool her down. “I shall see you, sister, in 12 hours,” he whispered. “Sweet dreams.”

Book Review: Love, Rosie by Cecilia Ahern

Rosie and Alex are classmates and the best of friends since they were 5 years old. They love to hang out with each other, tell each other everything and have decided they will be best friends for life. They don’t seem to need other good friends to spend time with or anyone else they can pour their hearts out to. All up to the age of 17 when Alex has to move to the U.S. because his father got a job there. Hence, distance comes between them as best friends and possible romantic interests for now, but not before making a pact to apply to colleges in the same city of Boston together. Until Rosie gets pregnant at 18 and everything changes.

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2016 Birthday

Well, 2016 has been a really special Chinese New Year first day and birthday, a 2-in-1 celebration.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by on my Facebook wall to wish me Happy Birthday and also to all those who sent personal Whatsapp messages or called. Being such a busy time, I appreciate your messages even more, so thank you!

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Book Review: The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket

There’s nothing unusual about the Brockets. Normal, respectable, and proud of it, they turn up their noses at anyone strange or different. But from the moment Barnaby Brocket comes into the world, it’s clear he’s anything but ordinary. To his parents’ horror, Barnaby defies the laws of gravity – and floats.

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Book Discussion Summary – Station Eleven

Book title: Station Eleven
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic
Author: Emily St. John Mandel
Date of discussion: 25 October 2015
Average rating: 7.2/10

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This book discussion summary was originally written by Vivian Ong for members of The KL Book Appreciation Club, published in the group on November 3, 2015.

A novel of art, memory and ambition, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the fleeting nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it. Spanning decades, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, this suspenseful novel is told in a beautiful, dreamy prose.

The thread that connects these stories is Arthur Leander, an aging Hollywood star who, on the same night that the plague began destroying civilization, was trying to reboot his career when he died on stage in Toronto during King Lear. As Arthur falls in and out of love, as Jeevan watches the newscasters say their final good-byes, and as Kirsten finds herself caught in the path of the prophet, we see the strange twists of fate that connect them all.

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