I miss…

I actually found this very hard to write; because there are a lot of things I miss, but I was trying to find the things that are really closest to my heart.

Of course, being a mum, it’s natural that I’d say things like I miss having the freedom to do whatever I liked, I miss not having so many responsibilities (or rather, dependent little people who I need to wait on hand and food) and I miss all the things mums don’t get to do very much like go out on fancy dates or the movies or even just to the toilet without a toddler wanting to be a part of it.

Those things matter, but I think I really want to talk about feelings. I used to be a very emotional person – some people who know me will be shocked because at times I reckon I appear unmoved by certain things, almost stoic? I’m not the type who cries openly (though I sometimes shed a tear watching a sad commercial – go figure!) and I almost at times feel like I’m not sure how to feel about certain things.

Like, when Jared was born, the day leading up to his birth was one filled with the joy of newness and the sorrow of change as I was so afraid my relationship with Jacob would change (and it has, but for the better). I wrote a poem about it, which you can read HERE.

But anyway, here are some things I miss, in no particular order:

  • I miss meeting my babies for the very first time. I don’t think there is any other feeling in the world quite like it. The exhaustion, the relief, the joy.
  • I miss Malaysian food from time to time – some of the oddest things like Japanese egg tofu first thing in the morning or sago gula melaka late at night. I also miss the drinks – teh halia (ginger tea) on a cold wintry night perhaps.
  • I miss getting caught in the rain to the point that you’re completely saturated, that extra rain doesn’t matter one bit. And just walking around in that state in warm humidity like nothing’s happened.
  • I miss playing the piano with my eyes closed, with absolutely no agenda and letting one song turn into another or into a melody you’ve never heard before, but it sounds good nevertheless.
  • I miss my family who are far away. There are times we don’t get along, but then they leave and I realise that it was just not worth being mad at each other, because there’s only so many hours in a day and only so many opportunities to be in the same room together.
  • I miss the feeling you get when you’re starting out on a holiday, be it a road trip nearby or a flight overseas; the stress of “Have I packed everything? Where are my passports?” and the excitement of “Oh yeah HERE WE COME!”
  • I miss meeting someone from your past who once played an important role in your life, but then life got in the way and you didn’t see each other for ages, but then we both smile at each other and all the familiarity comes floating back.
  • I miss the memories made at Port Dickson – my parents used to take me to a company bungalow and eventually we bought a flat not too far away from there because we loved the town so much. Just imagine the whole beach house feel; playing ping pong or carrom, eating seafood and of course, going to the beach. And we often had family friends come along with us too – people I hardly speak to now but there was once that we shared such amazing moments.
  • I miss the moment that you’re performing something that you’d been diligently practicing for, like a song or a dance. In particular, I want to share my wedding dance with you – which is something I got hubby into (he wouldn’t call himself a lover of dance) and, while I can’t speak for him, I reckon we had an amazing time learning and performing it.


What are some things you miss?

What a world we live in…

I’ve been dwelling on things that have been happening in the world and sometimes it just feels like this world is so sad.

I’m sure most of you have heard about the MH370 incident and, like me, are flabbergasted. I don’t know why it troubles me so much – perhaps because most of my Facebook friends are Malaysian and I get updates non-stop on my Facebook feed. I have friends who are pilots, who are quite vocal about the topic, and I also have friends inviting me to Candlelight Vigils in observance of this tragedy.

Perhaps because it is my home country’s national carrier, which I’ve used year after year without a moment’s hesitance. Perhaps it’s because I started to read about the profiles of the people on board – the pilots, the crew, the passengers… And then you don’t think of them as just part of a piece of news, but you see them for their roles – as a parent, as a child, as a colleague and as a friend…

It doesn’t help with all the speculation around the incident. I’ve read a number of theories that are really interesting but unfortunately don’t answer the question. It doesn’t help that one party says this and another party says another, and subsequently they retract their statements. Whether it’s poor leadership or irresponsible reporting, it does not provide closure for all the families waiting for news. 

I pray that answers will be revealed and that hearts will be comforted at this time.

Here is one of the ‘live update’ links, which I will be tuning into:

This morning, we also heard more sad news that is closer to home. A family that we know was involved in a terrible accident that left a 14-year-old and a 4-year-old dead, and most of the family in hospital in critical condition. Dan actually taught the 14-year-old at school – he says she had a wonderful, bubbly personality and will really be missed. 

I went to a funeral last week of a wonderful woman who lived well into her years and left behind a beautiful family. I’ve been to a few funerals of older people, but never for one for a child. It just doesn’t seem right for a parent to bury their child. As a mother, I can think that it would be the hardest thing one could ever do. 

This is the news report about the crash:

It just makes me remember how precious life is, and how blessed we are to be safely in our warm beds with a roof over our heads. I love to watch Jacob sleep because he makes me feel safe and at peace (yes, he actually has two arms but only one wriggled out of the swaddle):


The world is indeed a fallen place; full of tragedy and sadness. But it is also a place where love and beauty can blossom. Today I also met my friend’s beautiful baby girl Ruby for the first time – I didn’t hold her because I have the tail end of a cold, but she is a gorgeous little girl.

When I think of babies, I think of the hymn “Because He Lives” written by Bill and Gloria Gaither. For those of you who haven’t heard of them (don’t worry, I didn’t know who they were til a few years ago), they are country gospel singers and songwriters who wrote many beautiful Christian songs. 

The story goes that Bill and Gloria were going through tough times and they were expecting a baby as well. It was the time of the hippie movement as well, where there was an increase of sexual infidelity and drug use that made them think about what a sad world it would be to raise a child in.

It inspired one of the most famous hymns of all time, and the lyrics of the second verse particularly touch my heart:

How sweet to hold a newborn baby, 
And feel the pride and joy he gives 
But greater still the calm assurance 
This child can face uncertain days because He lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow 
Because He lives, all fear is gone. 
Because I know, I know, He holds the future 
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

I know not all my readers are Christians – but for myself, this song really grounds my faith and gives me hope. It reminds me that Jacob indeed has a life worth living and that I can show him that the world, amidst the sadness, is a world full of beauty and joy. 

And right now, he is my beauty and joy:

ImageHave a lovely weekend everyone!


Jacob with grandma(ma) and grandpa..

My parents live overseas but they’ve come to visit! 🙂 The last time they were here was when Jacob was born – look how tiny he was! They left when he was about 6 weeks old – he still cried a lot (as obviously that’s the only way he interacted with people) and wasn’t very strong yet.

ImageNow, they’re back while he’s 6 months old! How he’s changed! And he LOVES banging on the piano…

ImageAs with most families, we have our ups and downs and sometimes we get along, sometimes we don’t. Even being miles and miles apart, we do find things to argue about but also things to be glad about. I’m honestly happy that they can be here to see how Jacob progresses. We have a few things planned in the next few weeks so stay tuned!

Another thing I’m planning is my trip back to Malaysia. The last time I was back was for my wedding, which was held in Kuching on a Sarawak River Cruise Boat. This wedding reception was actually organised by my parents – it was a unique experience for us and our guests (I don’t think many people have had weddings on river cruiseboats).

ImageWe had a little tea ceremony as well, which is a Chinese tradition where we present tea to our elders (parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, etc.) and they give us a little gift (usually a red packet).

ImageThat was 2011 – I can’t believe I haven’t been back to visit for sooooo long! Honestly, part of it was preventing myself from re-opening cans of worms – every time I go back, there are so many things I want to do and people I want to see that I disappoint myself by not doing it all. And also, I was trying to maximise my time working before I had Jacob (so I didn’t take much annual leave).

Yes, I am excited to take this trip, particularly to introduce Jacob to relatives and friends. And also do a bit of holidaying and touristy stuff as well. 🙂 And fooooood!

Over and out. Will end with a pic of Jacob eating a strawberry in one of those little net bag things. He lovesss strawberries. 🙂


Of rojak buah and black forest cake…

What a weekend – I think I really got too enthusiastic about this International Night. It’s usually a yearly event our church organises to celebrate our diversity. For an Australian countryside church, we really do have quite a variety – people from New Zealand, the Philippines, Malaysia (me), Indonesia, South Africa, etc. And of course, there are those who grew up in Australia but embrace their cultural roots; from German and Dutch to Scottish and Russian.

Anyway, this year I manned the Malaysian table and hubby decided to do a German table too, though I admit I did most of the cooking for it. I started preparing things from Friday and spent the whole of Saturday night and Sunday cooking.

Anyway here I am setting up my spread! I realise I need a haircut haha! And that’s my friend looking gorgeous while being 5 months pregnant… looking forward to more babies coming our way!


One of the Malaysian dishes I miss the most is roti canai from a mamak stall. I remember going out with my parents or with my friends to eat this for breakfast, sometimes for lunch and sometimes in the middle of the night. Malaysians can eat at any time of day! Due to the lack of time (and skill), I just used frozen roti (but there’s nothing like the real deal!).

Two curries accompanied my roti canai – usually we eat this with dal curry and sambal (or at least I do). My dal lost a bit of water so it was quite solid but I like the flavour – the recipe incorporated a lot of spices like cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, turmeric, garam masala, etc. And I sorta cheated with my other curry – thanks mummy for the curry mix. Just throw in the veggies and some coconut milk, and voila!

The bowl furthest to the right is Penang rojak buah, which is a savoury fruit salad. It has a mixture of fruits like pineapple, apple and green mango with some cucumber and jicama. It’s really yummy on a hot day, and don’t forget to put a sprinkle of crushed peanuts onto it!


On to the desserts! Since it was a warm day, I decided to make some drink-like desserts. On the left is what we call soyabean cincau. In Asia, soymilk tastes completely different (it’s not the ones in the cartons) and it is SOOOO good. Hits the spot for me anyway. Somebody in Malaysia decided that it’d be good to put black grass jelly into this soyabean milk and it’s really good! In Indonesia, instead of soyabean milk, they put this jelly in coconut milk (which sounds pretty darn good too!).

And on the right is my favourite honeydew sago – I was a bit disappointed with it because the honeydew didn’t have very much fruity sweetness, so it could have used a touch more sugar. It looks a bit pink because Daniel bought me pink sago. But it was thirst-quenching anyway – I’m going to enjoy the leftovers!


Here I am rushing to get the German table ready while Daniel takes photos (and Jacob sleeps in his pram). I made sauerkraut and the key to it is be generous with the apple cider vinegar. It sure cured one of my pregnant girlfriend’s cravings, haha! And I also made a dish called bratkartoffeln which is basically fried potato with bacon. We don’t eat bacon so I used veggie bacon, which was not too bad at all!


And finally, the cake of cakes – black forest! It’s funny how it was a significant cake in both my husband’s life and mine – we both grew up having these cakes at our birthday parties, etc. Anyway, I was intent on trying to make this cake despite being terrible at baking. I was thinking of making my base cake in my convection oven but chickened out in the end, so my mum-in-law saved the day. Thanks for the lovely cake, Julie! Daniel and I put on the finishing touches – layering the cake with cherry mixture and cream, then lathering the whole cake with cream and breaking some Flake onto the cake. I heard it’s yummy (though I haven’t tried it myself – will have a piece tonight though!).

20131020_174125All in all, a great occasion. If anyone wants recipes, let me know and I’ll lead you to them. I’m an Taste.com.au addict and always swear by them for good recipes, though I usually improvise.

Jacob was well-behaved too. It’s amazing how he’s so good in public places – I suppose it has to do with all the aunties and uncles cooing over him (not to mention getting cuddles from nanny every time). Pity Jacob couldn’t try any of the food (though he might taste it in his breastmilk). Did you know that your milk will change flavour based on what you eat?

Another thing I’ve caught myself doing many times over the last few months is being an insufferable pregnancy know-it-all! I can’t help it at times though – I guess it’s my way of being excited. When I found out some of my close friends were expecting, of course I was really excited but I’m not the type that screams and goes “OMGOMG tell me everything!” I guess my way of expressing excitement is by sharing their situation with my own prior experience (which leads to a lot of fact-dropping).


One friend said she had leg cramps, so I suggested taking more calcium (cos that’s what worked for me).

One friend was saying she felt she should get her eyes checked, and I went sometime like “Do you know that when you’re pregnant, your eyesight deteriorates a bit? But it’ll go back to normal after the pregnancy normally…”

One friend was talking about how she felt her baby in her tummy, and I went something like “Do you know you can also feel the baby hiccup in your tummy? Jacob’s hiccups used to vibrate my whole tummy! And later on you’ll be able to see the movements too – like a leg or hand poking out!”

I suppose I’m trying to be helpful but I don’t want to be bordering annoying. But just a shout out to my girls – if any of you want advice (or an opinion, since I don’t always know best), I’m here! And if I don’t know it, I will search the whole world wide web and find it out for you. But if you think I should shut up, just tell me and I’ll quit it! 🙂

Just a brief farewell from my little boy blue. He’s really happy that he’s already raised $560 for the ADRA Appeal. 3 more weeks to go – I wonder how much he can get by then. xoxo



September is my favourite month, because it’s my anniversary month (by choice) and my birthday month (by default)! I can’t believe I’m 24 now – part of me still feels like a teenager. I have to admit that I do feel older than 24 sometimes – not many of my friends my age are married with kids. I am indeed blessed though – this is exactly how I would have liked my life to turn out.

That isn’t to say that I haven’t done things in my life that I do regret – rather, I prefer not to dwell on a past that I cannot change, but rather on a future that I can.


In conjunction with my 24th birthday, I’m going to list out 24 things that have happened in my life (which I don’t regret!):

1. Being born a girl! 🙂 At times, I wondered what it would be like to be a boy, but there are a lot of good things about being female. Like getting a guy to change your tyres by just batting your eyelashes. But I also love being a not-so-girly girl.

2. Growing up in Malaysia. Yes, I don’t have that British accent I always wanted (and I don’t think I ever will – I’m terrible at accents), but it was a good experience. While there isn’t much to say about things like safety, the education system, the drivers and the corruption, children get by pretty well and do enjoy themselves.


3. Learning to play the piano. This I give credit to my mother, who started me at the age of 3. I must admit that my piano is my hiding place – it is where I pour out the deepest emotion, and it’s one of the few things that can turn a bad day good again.

4. Dancing lots. One of the biggest things in my growing up was doing dance performances. I learned ballet as a child, but that wasn’t really my thing. I remember dancing to songs like ‘Bring it all back’ by SClub7, ‘Larger than Life’ by Backstreet Boys and ‘No Strings Attached’ by NSync. I even did cheerleading in high school.


5. Writing poems and songs. This formed a huge part of my later childhood and teenage years. It was a means of self-expression but also was something I took pride in. I sometimes look back on the collection that I still have to see where I was at that stage of life.

6. Going to both government and private schools. There are several stark differences between the two types of schools, but I had fun in both places. I remember running wild in my government high school – dealing with things like truancy, gangsters but building some of the best friendships ever. Private high school had its perks too, and probably helped me become a bit more serious about my academic achievement.

7. Winning a writing competition and going to Dublin. I met up with winners from Thailand, the Czech Republic and the US – we had a ball of a time! Goodness, I look so nerdy though:


8. Learning to drive in Malaysia. Believe me, it’s a challenge (and I think I’d be scared to drive there now, cos I’m so used to driving in Australia now). But we also can drive FASTTTT and not get caught. 😀

9. Starting my first job at 16. I was an ‘Aunty’ at Tumble Tots, which is a child play program – a funny choice for a person who had never dealt with kids before. It was good fun and I earned RM5 an hour. I think it wasn’t so much the money I earned but the ethos of the whole situation that taught me that money doesn’t grow on trees.

10. Learning Ninjutsu. And yes, I kid you not – it’s not some fictional art to turn me into Naruto. I learned so much in my journey – not just the actual techniques, but also how it made me grow as a person. It taught me how to carry myself and how to handle people in different circumstances, and is part of me. It made such a huge impact that I have a tattoo of 忍 on my back – it’s the ‘nin’ in ninja and it means strength & perseverance.

11. Going for National Service in Malaysia. What an eye-opening experience! We experienced insect and frog infested dormitories, using a squat toilet for 3 months, food that made us sick and activities that tested us physically but also emotionally (and perhaps racially). I did love my time and have made some amazing friendships there too.

Stop – coffee break time! Don’t overwork yourself or you’ll end up as tired as this:


12. Finding Jesus. I didn’t grow up going to church, but I was also searching for something more in terms of spirituality. And I’m so blessed to have found it, and also found not one but two loving churches (USJ SDA Church in Malaysia and Birdwood SDA Church in Australia) to accept me and help me grow.

13. Studying hospitality, particularly focusing on Food and Beverage. It is a vibrant, fast paced industry that is honestly not for everyone but I love it. I love how busy it can get; I love being run off my feet but in the end, doing a good job and being appreciated for it. The downside is that I have high standards at restaurants, and do not tolerate poor service.

14. Moving to Adelaide. I had the choice of doing the course locally, in Switzerland or in Adelaide. In retrospect, Switzerland may have been cool too (though I would have FROZEN in winter – I really hate the cold!) But I really do love Adelaide for its quaint personality, lovely people and the fact that I believe that I was always destined to be here.

15. Working in Port Douglas for 6 months. Yes, this turned out to be an amazing adventure for me. Imagine working in a huge resort, where you did housekeeping in the day and worked at the restaurant at night – exhausted myself completely, but managed to save up some cash. And it was from there that we went on an epic trip in Far North Queensland. I absolutely adore that area and cannot wait to be back.


16. Working in Melbourne instead of Dubai for my second work placement. I had a job offer from Dubai and was preparing to go, but then changed my mind and remained local. It was the best decision I could have made in terms of my love life, and my husband and I got engaged during that time.

17. Being Asian. That means I can get away with taking epic photos like this:


18. Having loved and lost before. I honestly don’t regret my past relationships, though perhaps there are some elements of some of them that I would have rather done without. But I think everything is a learning curve, and in some relationships, we have a mutual agreement that it was best not to be together.

19. Marrying the man of my dreams. And getting married young too – I was 21 when I walked down the aisle. But I honestly knew that he was the one, and we are more than happy now!


20. Having my wedding the way I wanted it to be. Obviously, everyone has an idea of a dream wedding – I knew I wanted my ceremony somewhere, either on a beach or in a garden. I wanted a smaller reception where I could be more personal with my guests. I also wanted to have a specially choreographed dance with all the fancy moves. And I got all that and more. 🙂

21. Honeymooning in Phuket. Staying at a gorgeous resort with a private plunge pool. Going on tours of the gorgeous coastline and islands. Checking out the markets and touristy attractions there, but also getting a local’s perspective from my friend Mann who lives there. And most of all, spending it with my awesome husband!


22. Getting Skittles. Yes, she is a menace. She has eaten more plastic than any dog I’ve ever known, destroyed most of our garden, run away and killed a neighbour’s chook, and the list goes on… But I love her to bits!


23. Buying our house. We had been shopping around for a bit and had seen a few that were really not up to mark. I’d driven around to a few real estate agencies and we were told we could view this place that very afternoon. Saw it and fell in love. It’s got a lot of great features, and I just love the fact that it’s so close to a lovely reserve!

24. Having a baby – who I believe is the most gorgeous baby in the world. Do you agree?


The moral of the story really is that I am so blessed. There are always ups and downs in life, but I do my best to dwell on the moments that make life worthwhile.

Desserts galore…

My pregnancy cravings certainly have been rather delayed… earlier in pregnancy, I really didn’t feel like eating anything much at all. But now that I’m tired, aching and happy to sleep in til 11a.m. every day, I’ve realised there are quite a few things I’d like to eat.

I think part of it is being part of a Peranakan/Nyonya Food Group on Facebook – people keep posting pictures of food that I would really LOVE to eat! I’m in a sweet mood today for some reason.

Here are my top 7 dessert cravings, not in any particular order, and because I like the number 7…

1. Sago Gula Melaka


Imagine pudding-like sago immersed in palm sugar and a bit of coconut milk. Used to eat this all the time at Nyonya restaurants in Malaysia. Pure heaven! (and probably diabetes too)

2. Crème Brûlée

creme brulee

It’s a skill to get creme brulee perfect – It needs to be soft underneath, but have that crackly top that snaps when you tap your spoon on it. This one in the picture looks extremely delectable.

3. A&W Waffles


A&W is an American chain that has been around in Malaysia for many many years. My mum and I would have fried chicken, curly fries, maybe a coney dog or two and finally, share a strawberry waffle with ice cream for dessert. Hits the spot!

4. Putu Mayam


This is a Southern Indian dish – in Malaysia, we used to buy it from a roadside stall. Very simple dish, yet really satisfying. It uses a rice flour base, and looks a bit like vermicelli noodles – imagine that with soft brown sugar and shredded coconut. To really get it right, you have to eat it with your hands!

5. Tab Tim Krob


This is probably my favourite Thai dessert. Don’t be alarmed by the bright red bits – they’re actually coloured water chesnuts. I love it nice and simple – just the red water chestnuts, slices of jackfruit immersed in coconut milk.

6. Fruit Tartlet

fruit tart

My mother-in-law is kind enough to remember me when she heads out to Lobethal Bakery and to buy me a fruit tartlet. I love the fruitiness of these tarts, and especially love eating the bits with strawberries, kiwifruit and peaches. Back when I used to go to the TAFE campus, I used to buy fruit tarts – basically, the students make them for practice and boy, are they good! Their secret ingredient is that they have a layer of chocolate between the pastry and the custard cream. Delish!

7. Pisang Goreng


Fried bananas are awesome! In Malaysia, we have so many types of bananas – emas, berangan, rastali, raja, abu, tanduk, etc. They have unique flavours and some are particularly delicious when deep fried. We have two types of fried bananas – the Malay style as pictured above normally involves battering their bananas, whereas Chinese style fried bananas are crumbed. Both are yummy in their own right (and I would love one right now!).

Anyway, enough lusting for food or I’ll crash out from sugar imbalance. Someone has already crashed out for the night (with her bone still in her mouth)… Good night world!


Pieces of a puzzle…

This is going to be a relatively random post, due to the fact that I’m a bit random and scatterbrained today.

It was a really foggy day this morning, and it stayed foggy until about 11.00am! I love foggy days – back in Malaysia, we only used to experience fog when we were in a hillside place like Genting Highlands, Fraser’s Hill or Cameron Highlands. Sadly, it’s more likely for Malaysians to experience haze than fog (which looks similar in pictures, but feels a lot different).


The highlight of the day would have been breakfast out at Inglewood Inn. It’s set in a lovely hillside location, not too far out of the suburbs (only about 20 minutes from our home) and they serve a delicious breakfast! I also had a lovely banana milkshake (and I think they use Tweed milk, which is extra creamy). I can’t believe I finished everything on this plate:


Yes, I took a picture of my breakfast – even after reading this article: http://eater.com/archives/2013/05/09/expert-photographing-food-may-be-sign-of-mental-illness.php
Please don’t judge me…

Here are a few random things I pondered through the course of the day:

1. Our dog is a Labrador x Staffy, and I was just trying to analyse habits of these sort of dogs. I know Labs are really loveable and have food on their high priority list, but I don’t know too much about Staffies.

So I googled up some Staffy trivia to share: http://www.funtrivia.com/en/subtopics/Splendid-Staffies-349290.html

I’ve also heard that they are quite vocal dogs and make funny sounds, but generally don’t bark unless they’re mimicking another dog. I wish this were the case with Skittles – she’s not a really huge dog, but she has a huge bark that she must have learned from another dog. She’s quite dominating when she plays, and when she’s not dominating, she’s just plain annoying. I have no idea where she gets her energy either – she can run around non-stop for hours and still not be tired by the end of the day. And she also makes strange supersonic dolphin-like sounds.

Oh well – I love her exactly the way she is (except I wish she would STOP barking at possums and jumping the fence). Also, I do wish that she could be this size again:


2. I may have mentioned in a previous post that I’ll be attending a Star Wars party sometime soon. I hope my costume serves me well, but I think it’s this one that will win the best dressed award:


If you were going to a Star Wars party, what would you dress as?
I think next time round, I’ll go as this guy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GJOVPjhXMY

3. We were watching the Formula 1 GP and eating popcorn, which made me ponder about the origins of popcorn… Who first figured out that corn would pop? Was it just a lucky accident?

I read a few links saying that popcorn was first discovered in the Bat Cave of west central New Mexico in the 50s. How this found popcorn was preserved, I honestly don’t know but it does make sense since corn is to the Mexicans as rice is to Asians. Apparently, it was used in religious ceremonies for the Aztec Indians, who made popcorn headdresses, necklaces and ornaments for their gods.

I don’t think we hold popcorn with such high regard nowadays – though there are people who profess themselves to Jediism or become part of the Universe People, hence the world is still full of possibilities.


On an ending note, this is a picture of my husband as a baby. Boy, I’d like our baby to look like that but I doubt my Asian genes can be overridden. Til next time…

Short sluggish snippets

I was looking to write a nice long blog post tonight but simply ran out of time (and steam). It’s a shame how little free time I seem to have to myself during the week.

Work takes up about 40 hours, 50 if you add commuting time. Meal prep, probably an additional 10 hours. Eating, maybe another 10 if not more… Church and community related activities, maybe 5+ hours. Housework, add about 0 hours… just kidding, maybe add 5 (I’m working on it!). What have I missed out? Oh yeah, sleep…

People say I shouldn’t be so busy while I’m pregnant, that I should take a step back and get more sleep. And I would love to honour that request if only I could reset my body clock – I’m still fairly nocturnal and, if given a choice, would rather sleep from midnight to whatever time my body decides to wake up.

But anyway, I digressed from the main point (though I never even mentioned the main point) which probably points out how tired I am…

Let me recapture my thoughts by posting a picture of my wonderful dog, who despite her destructiveness and hyperactivity, loves everybody unconditionally (especially when she’s soaking wet). Here she is devouring her Kong Wubba – note to buyers of Kong Wubba, this is in no way indestructible. Took her about 2 days (of supervised play, mind you)…


I was going to share the article I wrote on multiculturalism in Australia. I do admit that the article can’t quite do the subject justice, as there’s really so many things that can be said about the matter.

We have to face that fact that multiculturalism is everywhere – in our countries, in our homes. And regardless of how we try to ignore it, we do acknowledge it in many ways, be it positive or negative.

For a little background on myself, I’m a Malaysian who’s 1/2 Chinese, 1/8 Scottish, 1/8 Welsh, 1/8 Thai and 1/8 Malay. In Malaysia, where we still have to state our race on all official documentation, I’m considered “Others” as I don’t fall into the default Malay, Chinese or Indian categories. I strove to stand out and be proud of the fact that I was Eurasian, and perhaps hoped it gave me a different set of qualities that would make me different from other Malaysians.

And then I came to Australia, where I fall under the category of Asian. Forget the Scottish surname (which is Ritchie, by the way) – this girl grew up in Asia and has rather slitty eyes, so she’s Asian. Point blank. And I just live it with now, because I realise that in all honesty, there’s no point denying the truth and there’s honestly nothing wrong with being Asian.

I just don’t know how to explain to my kid(s) their ethnic make-up, taking into consideration my 1/2 English, 1/2 German (but born and bred in Australia) husband…

Just putting it out there – how do you feel about your own ethnicity? Are you comfortable with your cultural background, even if you aren’t living in the country you grew up in? Do you feel that you had to change parts of you that you didn’t necessarily want to change?

You can read the actual article here:

Anyway, speaking about change, I bought lunch today from a Korean BBQ type place in a food court (which is delicious by the way). I gave the lady some money and she said “Here you go, three dollar changes!” 

I was going to ask her “Three dollar changes into what? Is this a magic trick?” but I’m never that impolite (unless provoked). But yes, how simple life would be if changes could be bought. I suppose some can, but a lot of them come at a price that money can’t buy.

Anyway, I’ve rambled on enough and really should get some more sleep. Good night world, and may tomorrow be a wonderful day full of new opportunities.

Perfectionism and other flaws

I apologise for the hiatus but I’ve had other priorities that unfortunately had to be attended to before I could justify doing my own writing.

Truly, I was actually working on an article about multiculturalism in Australia and corresponding opinions and advice on the matter. I’d love to discuss it further, but perhaps in another post since I’ve spent my last few days dwelling on the same topic that it’s driving me nuts!

I write for a Melbourne-based Malaysian magazine, and it’s quite interesting to see how it’s developed over the last half year. We cover community and lifestyle articles focusing on Malaysian-interest themes; I’d highly suggest checking it out for yourself: http://jommagazine.com.au/

Below is just a snippet of one of the articles I’ve contributed to the magazine in conjunction with Valentine’s Day!


Anyway, today I wanted to speak more about perfectionism, because it’s something I myself struggle with on a daily basis. I remember once going into an interview where the following scene ensued:

Interviewer: What do you feel are your biggest weaknesses?
Me: Probably the fact that I’m a perfectionist.
Interviewer: How about a weakness that isn’t actually a strength?
Me: ….

Needless to say, I did get the job and did exhibit a certain level of perfectionism within the role I took up. However, is it really a strength? Or could it just be a hindrance to feeling content with your life?

I started pondering this topic again when I came across an article in a parenting magazine I was reading in a hospital waiting area. The article discussed how some parents can portray themselves to be ‘perfect’ parents who always seem to be able to get their stuff together, not to mention their kids are perfect and have no known problems to the outside world. It makes people look up to them, try to emulate their ways and feel sorry for themselves for not being so perfect. And it can also spark jealousy and ruin relationships.

Somehow, I’m quite afraid that I’m going to end up being that ‘perfect’ parent. I don’t like exposing my problems, and I really don’t like being pitied or being asked “Are you okay?” and having people giving me loving words of care and advice. And of course, I know people mean well but it makes me feel awkward, hence I’d rather just not mention it in the first place.

In fact, I don’t even like letting people know that I’m feeling sick, to a point where I’ve had to be carried unconscious to the school clinic or taken to hospital because I’ve let my symptoms go unattended for too long. And all this boils down to my emotional need to appear invincible to the outside world.

Throughout my life, I’ve received compliments like being ‘wonder woman’, having ‘superhuman powers’, and some have even asked me to write a self-help book on how to become as successful as me! And as flattering as they may be, I need to assure people sometimes that I’m only human and that there are so many flaws beneath my skin that people just don’t see because I’m too darn good at hiding them.

And whereabouts has this perfectionist streak come from? I’m not fully sure, though from some of the stories my mother tells me, I’m quite sure I was like that from a very young age.


And tada, that’s me at a relatively young age! 🙂 My mum used to have my hair cut really short so I looked like a boy. She recalls that I used to be really polite, prim and proper even, at the hairdressers as they lopped off my locks. But the moment I got home, I’d throw a tantrum because I hated what they had done to my dream of becoming a beautiful princess with long flowing hair.

Not to mention, once I had a birthday party where my mum ordered a low-calorie cake. Yet again, I was on my best behaviour but when I got home, I took off my clothes and had a terrible screaming match because I didn’t like the cake.

I’m sure you notice the trend – that in public eye, I was an angel sent from heaven. But what looms in that domain of my home, and now more so in my subconscious; only so few people have seen that side of me, and perhaps that’s exactly how I want it to stay.

Weakness, or strength?