• Travel

    When traditional meets modern – Shanghai & Suzhou Travel Diary

    I like China. I find it interesting to watch how the country evolve in such an incredible pace. When I first went to Beijing in 2001, the public toilets had no door, just the toilet bowls. Not kidding – we had to pee with 6 other local aunties who’re chatting loudly with one another when they pooped. When I visited Shanghai in 2004, all I could remember was the messy traffic and old buildings. Not impressed. Fast forward to 2019, so much has changed especially in Shanghai. The traffic is much smoother and the CBD areas are uber posh. Shanghai IS indeed the heart of China. Shanghai The Bund 外滩,…

  • Recommendations

    The Essentials: Makeup

    We have 4 women in this house: me, my 2 sisters and my mum. Naturally you might assume that we load our house with LOTS of makeup and clothes. We have a walk-in closet full of flashy dresses, handbags and heaps of lipsticks. We splurge money on vanity and pretty things like nobody’s business. Well, OF COURSE NO. We’re way more thrifty than you think. My sister Shin and I are rational scientists, and my youngest sister Shan is probably the most price-sensitive 22-year-old you’ve ever seen. We also share makeup and clothes. Before we buy anything, we research. We read reviews, we test them out in the store, we…

  • Living

    Love yourself first

    In the past three years, I’ve attended at least 10 weddings and ROMs. I’ve seen people falling in and out of love. Heartbroken, disappointed, cried, healed, eager to find love again. Some are lucky, some are still struggling, some are happy being single. One of my friends, recently separated, asked this philosophical question, “Why do we even need to find a partner?” “Why do we even need to find a partner?” Well, it’s because we’re 30 years old and our parents want us to get married and have kids. It’s because we need a companion to watch movie and eat dinner with. It’s because our combined salaries might get us…

  • Career,  Living,  Recommendations

    The Essentials: Planning

    One of my 2019 resolution is to stay organized (and sane). I need a planning system that can organize my finance, projects, deadlines and ideas in one place. I’ve tried multiple ways, such as Trello, Google Calendar, Bullet Journalling, using notebooks in different formats and sticky notes with different colours. After some time, I slowly merge different functions in each one and create my own system. Here are the tools I used to stay organized. 1.Passion Planner “Passion Planner is the one place for all your thoughts.” The planner comes with a wishlist, roadmap, monthly and weekly layout. This is perfect for scheduling and having a bigger picture when you…

  • Recommendations

    The Essentials: Books

    A few people told me their 2019 new year resolution is to read more books. When my youngest sister Shan said she wanted to pick up the habit, I almost teared up. Finally she wants to pick up a book and not Facebook! Here’s some of the books that I’d recommend you to read at least once in your lifetime. I choose these books because they are timeless and universal – you can learn something at every stage of your life. easy to read – nothing too technical or boring here. easy to find in bookstores or your friend’s bookshelf. sectional. You can read them by chapters without feeling overwhelmed.…

  • Photography

    Journey to the past

    Every Chinese New Year my sisters and I would wear qipao (旗袍). I think the form-fitting dress accentuates a woman’s femininity and grace, creating a beautiful silhouette that you don’t see when she wears T-shirts and jeans. The Mandarin collar and high slits on the thighs somehow bring out the elegance that we usually don’t have. In the past few years, I’ve been taking portraits of us in the outfit. Not only it is a good way to embrace our Chinese roots, I like to look back at photos and see how we have changed. (Above) 2013. One of my earliest portraits taken with the timer on a DSLR. That time…

  • Business

    Coffee, cakes and big dreams

    My friend Jason is earning big bucks as a sales manager, but his 5-figure salary doesn’t seem to satisfy him. He’s bored of the nonsensical sales target, constant boot-licking, entertaining customers’ wild requests and getting calls after working hour. He wanted a change for good. “So what are you going to do?” “I don’t know,” he pointed at the handsome barista over the counter, “maybe I’ll open a nice cafe and be my own boss.” I used to dream about owning a cafe too. I’d make it airy, spacious and bright, just like the cafes in Instagram. Lots of cool people will be working at the desk, drinking cappuccino and eating chocolate…

  • Travel

    Postcards from Penang and Langkawi

    My sister Ivy has a bubbly and feminine look but she’s probably the most workaholic person I know. As a data scientist, she’s coding all the time. So to pull her out of her work mode, we go for a vacation. My partner and I are also workaholics who think about our projects all the time. So for the same reason, sometimes we’re on the road. Most people think that travelling means spending lots of time and money. Well, not necessarily. (Above) Nope, this is not Ivy the workaholic. This is my youngest sister Shan. During the last week of December, we brought our parents to Penang for 3 days.…

  • Living

    I think you need to read this book…

    If you want to cut through crap in your life and don’t mind some rude words, read this book. “The subtle art of not giving a fuck” by Mark Mansion Just by reading the title, you might think, “Okay, so this guy is teaching us not to care about everything in life.” But in fact, what he’s talking is this – we all have limited amount of time and attention – use them wisely. Make the conscious decision to focus your time and attention on things that truly matter. The neighbour who sings loudly and affects your mood every morning? Not important. The random guy who cut queue in the…

  • Living

    #18: What ONE word or sentence will be your theme for 2019?

    Link: 18 questions for an incredible review of your 2018 In the last weeks of December, I’ll be answering 18 questions for an incredible review of your 2018 that I wrote in my previous post. I hope this series inspires you to look at your life, career, family and relationship, and to reflect and plan for an awesome 2019. Let’s go. Question 17: What are your top 10 goals for 2019? I divide life into ten categories and set a major goal for each one. You can use the template below as a guide. I’m quite unrealistic in dreaming big goals. Last year under the “Finance” category, I wrote that I…