A little piece of ‘Ferrari’

I return to the blogosphere like someone with a vengeance. With once again a renewed theme, I’m armed with determination to be a more consistent so-called blogger.

For most of you following my lame excuse for a blog, the current theme seems like a little deviation from previous, and I guess, alittle skewed from what I’m (and you) are used to around here. And if you’ve been around here long enough, you would realise that my changes come once in a long while and during this period of change, there could be a couple of changes before I’m satisfied with the look and feel of things around here.

Firstly, the departure from the usual look (many columns, which i will now call ‘distractions’) to the bare minimum i.e. my latest post, in its entirety. Any other ‘bits’ will be available at the bottom of the screen. You hardly scroll there anyways….right? Also, a bit of colour that packs a punch never hurt anyone – except those lying in bed in the dark feverishly playing ‘scramble’ on your phone. So yea, while I will be terribly impressed and honoured that you might be doing just that – reading my blog on your phone in bed in the dark – I’m sure it will probably be more the exception than the rule.

So back to my item for the day – we are now in the proud group of people owning a little piece of the ‘Ferrari’ of photography (as the sales manager put it to me). A very interesting thing that was said to me today….When you are an F1 driver, everyone aspires to drive the Ferrari, even Lewis Hamilton. Not 100% sure if that’s really true, but its always nice to be happily ‘persuaded’ that you are indeed getting your money’s worth when investing in something, even if its the junior member of the product line.

car park mafia

With the current purported crime rate in KL, its not wonder that valet parking services are raking it in.

I even overheard two women talking as I walked past them in a popular neighbourhood mall: Yes I always use the valet parking service nowadays – said one to another. So sparks the debate: if you are travelling alone in your car, is Rm15 or RM20 too much to pay for your safety? Just make sure you dont visit more than 2 malls per day.

There was another area in a nearby neighbourhood who had scary looking carpark touts. When we approached the restaurant nearby, they ‘assisted’ us in parking our cars by gesturing left right etc (not like we needed the help you see). I told my husband…this is a municipal parking space. Are they going to  illegally charge us for parking here? At 8pm at night? I asked rather sarcastically. Then hubby said….we wont pay! Then as we vacated the car… i told hubby…you know what? If they do ask, we should just pay and get out of here. I had changed my mind because I realised how vulnerable we were, with our 2 year old, and them, a bunch of hooligan-looking people.

As we entered the restaurant, I asked the waiter…are we supposed to pay these hooligans? And the waiter said (as re-reassuringly as he could without looking sheepish) Dont worry Ma’am, the restaurant will pay for all our customers. Rm10 per car.

I was shocked.

So what is the world or rather, KL, coming to? How can these touts be allowed to ‘operate’ like that? the carpark Mafia.

Are the police doing another about it? Its a blatant act of exploitation and extortion.

And the very fact they they even look scary and scare regular Malaysians….is in itself a terrible thing. Dont even mention the scare for tourists. Gosh.

 

 

 

The dreaded comfort zone

Are you in your comfort zone?

Have you built up your life to do everything ‘as you learnt to’ ‘as you always have’?

Recently, I have be involved in something that catapulted me out of my comfort zone. Other than being married for a few years and being pregnant twice and having 2 little babies in that space of time…I guess I can’t really say that I’m in a comfort zone (its sometimes anything but!), however I somehow managed to make life alittle spicier but starting something new that is a complete 180 degree turn of what I usually wouldnt do.

The new venture initially thought of as curiosity, has led me to learn a few things in life. Or rather, to relearn a few things in life.

When have you last had to create networks, put your reputation out of a limb? Learnt something new and fresh, started from the ground up? When had you attended an event for the first time? When have you last evaluated what you want to achieve in life? Have you even evaluated if you have even attempted to reach for your childhood dreams? Do you even remember your childhood dreams? When was the last time your knowledge has been examined? When was the last time you were rejected? When was the last time you felt butterflies in your stomach?

growing older brings alot of benefits. you learn from experience not to do certain things. but you also lose the appeal of risking something to do something new. That usualy comes with the foolhardiness of youth.

Age, I guess is supposed to just be a number. but every year older you grow is every year less on earth. And where and how are you spending your quality years on earth?

such a random topic. Anyway, its food for thought. let us never ‘rest on our laurels’.

 

 

Inspired?

Hello all…..such a cheery greeting to my long lost readers. You must have thought I’ve hung up my blogging hat judging from the sad inactivity on my blog. Well you guys are still visiting and thank you for stopping by!

I’m always guilty of explaining my (lack of) appearances and after a dreary long time away from putting up posts, I guess I have a mega explanation to make.

Lets just say that time at the moment is of the essence. Time, at the moment, is not so much a friend as is a tester – a tester of how good I really am at ‘managing’ it. A few weeks of abnormal heart palpitations later, I find that I am learning to prioritise abit more, learning to let go abit more, and learning how to look at things without giving myself too much stress.

My kids are such a big part of life at the moment – I’d like to remind all you readers out there who are also parents ….whether parents of young babies, children or teenagers etc…that every moment spent with your child is an investment. Every quality moment spent, is more of something they will ever remember – as opposed to ferrying them to and from school activities, gymboree, music, dance class or whatever that these generation of toddlers go to.

While I tell myself these things, its also so important to consistently develop yourself, Mummies. A happy mummy = a happy daddy. A happy mummy and daddy brings forth happy and wonderful offspring. Why consistently develop yourselves? A child looks up to his or her Mum and Dad. Whether they admit to it or not. What Mummy learns (it could be music, reading, singing, sports, language) – the child benefits. It is passed down to your children, and you CAN and WILL inspire them. I feel its such an important part of nurturing them.

So Mummies (and Daddies), your life doenst have to stop here. Dont deny yourselves 100% just to look after your kids. Spend a little time of your own for personal and self-growth. Have you been inspired lately? Do you feel as if life has stagnated and there is nothing much left but pampers, bathing, feeding, educating, playing and sickening reruns on the Disney Channel or Cartoon Network? Stop here and write down your dreams and ambitions. Take one day at a time. 10 minutes a day can produce wonders.

Take care of yourselves Mummies. Your health is your children’s wealth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wrong ‘Chanel’

And we thought the standard of service in Malaysia was improving….

It was a rare opportunity for me to find myself (and kids in tow) visiting Suria KLCC last weekend. It was a Saturday afternoon (and public holiday! Wesak Day) and I planned to spend a couple of hours only doing aimless window shopping in the place which I hadnt stepped foot in in at least a few years. I had heard there were a number of new shops there and since I had a few hours to spare, took it as a chance to take the kids out for a jaunt.

Well everything started out nice enough….it was just before noon and the place wasnt too packed. I had two helpers with me and my 4 month old baby and a toddler (i.e. not one but TWO strollers). At least I give my breast-feeding self a pat on the back for attempting to take both kids out together.

It wasnt before long I realised that we were stuck on the same floor for the next 2 hours because we couldnt all fit into a lift. the 2 lifts running in the center of the place were always packed whether we wanted to go UP or DOWN. And then shortly thereafter, one of my helpers wanted to use the toilet. And the floor which we were on ONLY had the Premium toilets, which charges RM2.00 per entry. I never knew why they did that, since the toilets were not any better than the ones which were free. So I decided to locate everyone in DOME while one helper went to the loo on another floor. (I wanted to eat in Chinoz since they had a toilet there but it was under renovation!)

And about 5 minutes later, i found that my toddler needed a nappy change (big change!) and finally I had no choice but to pay RM4.00 for me and my OTHER helper to use the premium toilet. NO CHOICE!!! Whenever in Malaysia do you feel you have NO CHOICE but to be extorted for using a basic necessity?? I felt right mad.

So now that I deem Suria KLCC as one of the most baby unfriendly shopping centres in town, I have another (bad!) bone to pick with our very own Chanel boutique.

I dont profess to be so widely traveled and even then, I havent been to all the Chanel boutiques in the world, but in Asia, I think I can safely say that the sales people in the Chanel boutique in Suria KLCC fall far far below par. I have been to quite a number of Chanel boutiques in Asia and all of them lived up to the service standards you would expect of a luxury boutique, whether or not you buy something. Of course there were one or two in Hong Kong which had rather snotty sales personnel there but they served you professionally.

I was keen to visit the Chanel shop because I had heard that it had been renovated and was very spacious and of international standards. I had no intention of buying anything but was curious if it was a nice as you saw overseas. And indeed I was impressed! The items – many in variety, well placed, shop floor was spacious and looked just like those overseas in the swanky shopping streets of Tokyo, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore etc etc.

But I guess in terms of being similar, it stopped there. Stopped short and well below acceptable standards, I was appalled to note.

Firstly, there were only 2 other ladies (friends) in the shop being served by 1 sales assistant. I just walked around and no one came up to me or asked me if i needed anything. Usually I would have waved them away but this time, i was strange not being asked. Once I rounded the corner I saw 4 to 5 sales assistants standing in a bit of a circle. Possibly just after a briefing (I heard one of them say, is briefing over?)

Anyway, i squeezed past a couple of them, and one of them smiled as said to me Welcome to Chanel or something, while the other 2 was loudly discussing their options for lunch! I was looking rather interestedly at the shoes and NO ONE asked me if I needed assistance. They were too busy discussing what they were going to have for lunch. They stood about 2 feet away from me.

As I walked away feeling alittle disdainful, I passed another 2 different sales assistants (one male and one female), who seemed… to be flirting!

Male: You look so pretty today!

Female: I am pretty everyday!

I was walking past them in that enclosed area (in between clothes and shoes), about 2 feet away and they were busy chatting among themselves. I really felt sad and disgusted for the level of service in Malaysia. I dont even see such bad display of sales efforts in modest boutiques, let alone this luxury boutique of supposedly high standards! I am not a nazi….its fine to talk and chatter among yourselves but to do so when a customer is so nearby, looking interestedly in the goods….and being literally ignored (as if I wasnt even there) – is unforgivable! Madame Coco Chanel might have turned in her grave!

I passed by the first sales assistant on my way out. She was still serving the 2 ladies. She looked at me apologetically and I said to her…”I think you are the only one working today. All your colleagues are too busy chatting and ‘bersembang'”. She said….”Sorry, sorry! I already told one of them to serve you…”

I think the unspoken hung in the air….”but no one came”…..

Anyway, its sad that its the attitude of the Malaysian Chanel sales assistants. Poor Poor Poor. Bad Bad Bad. I hope this is not representative of the general service level in Malaysian International boutiques in comparison to our other Asian counterparts. Cos if so, we badly fail. We may have all the infrastructure, the glitz and shine of the shops, but unfortunately, not the warmth. This post makes it into my “WHAT THE?” category.

 

Steam!

Have you had to tiptoe around your own bedroom for a total of 2 years (in the dark?!!).

Well I have. And today, im writing my post with great fervor and excitment as finally we have moved into our new place and both our girls are in their own rooms. Finally, for the first time in 2 years i’ve got my own bed to myself and as if in great rebellion, ALL the lights are on. Just cos I can! Before, I had to tiptoe in the DARK and darent even whisper (or sometimes breathe) in case the baby woke up. And if the baby so much as stirred in her cot, I would freeze in my tracks (e.g. when I’m on the way to the toilet, or turning in bed under the covers – no rustling sounds as to wake baby up, ya know?)

So, while I’ve stopped short at blasting music in our bedroom, I am sitting in bed with the laptop AND 2 books nearby. I have a problem, I admit. I buy books because I want to read them, but i hardly get a chance to do so. Therefore it is shameful that I have at least 4 -5 books lying in wait for their turn to be read. And the rate that I’m going through them is painful, at best. My speed reading skill isnt what it used to be.

I remember those days (its a fuzzy memory, but its there) when, as a teenager, I could lie in bed ALL day with a great novel in hand and do absolutely nothing else but read. How great is that luxury!? I’m lucky now to get through a few pages at all these days (while on the loo, or at midnight after all my other necessary ‘work’ is done). I pass by the shelf containing my half read books and i look at them wistfully as I climb the stairs and trudge into bed, resorting to a few minutes on FB or on the e-bible before words start swimming before my eyes. (its happening right now)

So whether or not I have my bedroom to myself…the novelty is getting older and older as we speak and as my eyelids get droopier….my typos get worse.

Goodnight to all before i start slurring.

 

 

I am somehow taking alittle longer to absorp reading matter these days. either my motherly brain has gone alittle rusty, or that my eyelids probably need matchsticks to hold themselves up at the end of the day.

 

 

 

 

 

The making of the Diorissimo Bag

I came across this video online and thought it was very interesting.

http://savoirflair.com/bags-and-shoes/sf-exclusive-making-of-dior-diorissimo-bag

Hubby was a peach today – he got me a lovely gift. I think it’s called ‘wifey not able to go for a holiday’ gift. LOL. And it was from the beautiful House of Dior in Tokyo. He told me very conspiratorially that the bag is not sold to just any Tom-Dick-and-Harry (I’m sure it was a well-rehearsed speech by the sales attendant, reserved for a husband on the prowl for a wife’s gift). And I asked him….”What made you so special?”. I literally heard him shrug over the phone – but I could tell the thought never occurred to him – that he was one of the many.

Subsequently, he sent me more pictures of bracelets, dresses and even sunglasses??! I’m sure the Sales Attendant thought she was going to have a field day. How sweet my hubby is in these situations. Thank you my darling Hubby….but just the bag will do…How on earth do you buy sunglasses just by looking at it – in 2 D?!

I cant help but feel that this is going the main thread of things for the next few years at least. I would be home with the kids while hubby traipses the world over, getting me souvenirs from places which I would never go and can only view online – I guess for that I can sheepishly thank Google for its Google Earth. And this reminds me of the blue enrich card situation. Blue….indeed…sob…

But its OK…I can take my lovely new Dior bag to the…er….cant think of a nice occasion other than the odd birthday dinner.I’m still stubbornly purchasing high heel shoes…(its nice to look at) although realistically I wear my Birkies (the same pair mind you) about 50% of the time, 40% of the time in anything which is flat and the other 10% of the time the low heeled work shoe.

I like how a friend of mine (male) puts it. Low ROI for the expensive item you purchase but only use twice. Such as his wife’s KitchenAid mixer. Each cake she made became worth about a thousand dollars. Well, I’m sure we are all somehow guilty of buying something (doesnt have to be expensive) which is left hanging in the closet with the price tag intact – 2 years later (by which time, its fully depreciated!? Good argument). Retail therapy its called. The thrill of the buy. And ownership.

Til my next souvenir.

xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

virus

I’m into my first week of mentally reminding myself here and there of how I should spend my time if I knew I only had 30 more days to live. Man, that mantra in my head does wonders in getting my bum up and off to do whatever I’ve been procrastinating to do. Actually I cannot really call myself a procrastinator because I hardly have any time in which I could procrastinate. Its mainly always a choice of doing either A or B during my spare time.

So now, let me try squeezing in A and B during that spare time.

The 30 days to live mantra also works wonders in easing my impatience. If I had to do something which is deemed a ‘chore’ in my mind, I suddenly dont mind doing it so much. And the mantra hits many soft spots when it comes to dealing and spending time with both my little ones. Suddenly, all the time in the world is not enough to spend with them.

Unfortunately, I’ve caught the flu bug just today. It reared its ugly head and manifested in me after Ive been told enough times by people around me that they are down with the flu or that their someone is down with the flu. Its enough to psychologically make me sick and voila, it started with a sorethroat and now a runny nose. And the worst part, my little girls are both displaying the same symptoms. Looks that my feeble efforts to avoid kissing or getting too close to them proved futile. Just realised how hard it is to refrain from kissing and hugging them so many times a day.

Its close to bedtime (the only time I have to spare for myself with the house being in peace and quiet) and i think my runny nose is a little better although my watery eyes do not help. So goodnight all and keep yourself well protected from the virus thats going around. Vitamin – C yourself out!

Time is too precious

Tears come too easily. Something must be wrong with me. My mother might think I’m pregnant again. LOL.

Recently, I have been finding ready tears at the edges of my eyes during the times I spend one-on-one with my baby Sofia. I dont know whether its the way she looks at me (as if she has eyes only for me), or if its my still-raging hormones, or the fact that I get to spend very little one on one time with her just looking into each other’s eyes (usually while lying down).

I wonder what goes through her head? She seems to have such kind eyes, like an old soul, such a sweet, beautiful person. I think having babies is the best thing in the world. Praise God.

Once again, today, I’m reminded by our very mortality.

A contractor came over today to deliver something to myself. It was raining heavily and over coffee (of the 3-in-1 variety yea) shared his experience of visiting prison inmates in Sungai Buloh, Kajang and Jelebu and sharing the love of Christ with them. He also shares Sunday sermons and bible reading with inmates who are on Death-Row. He is only allowed to share with inmates who are non-muslim, and during these sessions, the prison warden sit with them in the same room.

He also shared about his team’s experience about children in women’s prisons. If a woman sentenced while pregnant, and there is absolutely no one to look after her baby on the outside, the child stays with the mother until he/she is 5 years old. I found myself feeling very sad for the child and mother – how to manage the separation anxiety after the first 5 years of life?

The contractor also shared that he once came across a little boy in the prison – one of the inmate’s children, who after seeing the contractor, ran away as if he had seen a ghost. It was because he had never ever seen a man before – no men are allowed in women’s prisons and all wardens are female. Can you imagine the staggering culture shock this little boy will have if say, you took him to Disney Land?

As for the prisoners on death row….can you imagine being in their shoes? Of course, notwithstanding the fact that they have once committed a serious crime. I cannot imagine facing the hangman’s noose – living your days out in confinement.

 

I am now starting to read a book called “One month to live”. Just managed the first few pages and already, I’m feeling the dread of our last days on earth.

How do you utilise your time as wisely as you can? Are you trying to live out what God wants you to do?

How are you prioritising your activities – your precious time on earth? What would you do if you knew you only had 30 more days to live?

Most of us dont know when we will die. But its the inevitable. Lets wake up and smell the flowers. Lets not wait for the “when XX happens then I will XX”. Re-evaluate, re-think, re-organise.

LIVE & LOVE.

 

 

Ahoy there

Why the weird title?

Cos I am coming far far far from the horizon of ‘domestic bliss’. The speck at the end of the horizon (which I see as a vast wide ocean) which is LIFE as I once knew it….is very very far away. But slowly and surely I’m rising to the challenge as a new mum of 2. And I tell you, mums of one are having it good. Mums of twos are no longer concerned even about trying to remotely resemble some sort of yummy mummy.

Today my mum is around so while we are able to have a little cuppa green tea at home, I manage to rustle up something for my blog which is quickly heading toward oblivion (i thought). Its been 2 weeks since my last paltry post but hey! You guys are still visiting me here so thanks for the motivation!

So far I’m still ‘working’ to get our new home in full working order. Today the astro dudes are here to install astro and yesterday hubby and I managed to purchase the TV that HE wanted (that was deemed as HIS department) and the vacuum cleaner that SHE wanted (i.e. me). Unfortunately they didnt have ready stock for the TV and as the astro installer was due to come today,  so we sorta coaxed them to give us a loan tv so that the installer could test the astro service reception.

And they reluctantly loaned us this little baby….a 24 inch Toshiba TV, which by the way, is smaller than my hubby’s PC gamer’s monitor!!! How we the human race have advanced in that even my hubby’s PC monitor is bigger than some people’s tv’s? Who these days would buy a 24 inch sized TV except to place in the toilet (?). I still remember, 25 years ago our family TV was a 14 inch cathode ray tv!! LOL. Well, never shoot the gift horse in the mouth! The ingrate in me…!

We are still in the midst of decking out the house as we all know, slow and steady wins the race when selecting pieces of furniture. Now we are sorta at the stage of buying electronics and hubby has his eye set on a nice swanky cofffee machine which he will CLEAN himself after using it. Hubby are you reading this?

Til the next time my two girls are napping. Adios.

 

 

 

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