Closing 2012, Welcoming 2013

I can't believe it's been a year. Time flies really fast since I started working. I've never really been this occupied with my life as life had always been somewhat laid back when I was a student. Well, minus those last minutes assignments and exams preps. The working life is very much different. Being the nerd that I am, I actually do enjoy the student part of my life as well as the working part of my life. Both have their own pros and cons. You know about that saying where there is never a balance between free time, money and energy? I can tell you that it is so true.

The year 2012 has once again been a memorable year for me. Good and not-so-great, all in all, I am lucky to be here where I am right now. Life is so short these days that you just have to grasp the opportunity whenever you see it.

Here is one of the moments our department went out for a little fun at Labuan early this month. I don't travel a lot growing up so it was actually my first time there. Bottom line is nice island, great environment and fun game. Would love to visit again some day!

This picture is taken ONE YEAR after my actual graduation (which I missed). Yes, it took our family one year to take this so it's a good one to put in the memory lane. It's nice to be a graduate. I can't really explain why. Maybe wearing that robe makes you feel smart? But of course, you can only go that far with education. Without the right mindset and attitude, you can't go any further. So I am blessed to have a supportive family and really glad to be in this position today.

Having said all these, I have decided to retire from writing in this blog. I figure that there are a lot more ways to communicate these days that you don't really need your own space to do that. I also can't find the time to write proper posts what with work and all. This will be my last post and I want to thank all the people who have visited my blog. Really appreciate your time. Don't worry, my footprint is still all over the internet as I still have my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter so there is no escape. 

Good day and HAPPY NEW YEAR 2013!

Hats and Cards

Hello world,

I was helping my sister the other day to sell her stuff at a children event here in the town somewhere and I never thought how hard it is for street vendors to sell. I mean really sell. There were quite a number of nice folks that day so we were lucky enough to get the business going for a bit in the beginning. It was a great business experience for me and I actually learned the art of small talks, which by the way, I am terrible at.

Me chilling at the booth.

Sharon is quite creative in making all these homemade stuff.
Baby hats crocheted using yarns. Purely hand-made.

All-occasions cards made by Sharon.

If you are interested in making orders for crochet hats, scarves, bags, baby blankets, crochet pencil cases or purses, do order from Sharon at or check out her blog here 

She also makes cards, scrapbooks and dream catchers. Yes, you heard right, dream catchers!

Weekend Adventure

This year for Sharon's birthday, she decided we do something different so we planned out our weekend and actually stayed in a hotel. It's quite enjoyable given that I've been so occupied with work lately. This break is much needed and everyone was excited about it.

We watched Taken 2. I am sure everyone agrees that any movie with Liam Neeson in it is awesome, much contrast to the ever-more disappointing Nicolas Cage. This part two film is just as good as the first one. You should watch this, period.

In a parallel universe: Stealing from Invisible Man.

We originally had some plans for some games in the hotel but we posed for pictures more than the actual game. But we sure as hell thrashed the whole room so I am sure the cleaner had a fit when she enter for cleaning.

We also went for a little swim in this cold pool on a cold Sunday morning.

Having breakfast at the hotel. The food is not bad at all.

Our birthday girl

Karaoke before we head back home.

Hmmm, after the weekend, it makes me think whether I should plan something like this for my birthday? Maybe a getaway to somewhere else. This is cliche but YOLO so why not?

Mooncake Festival 2012

Hello ladies and gents,

I am not a person who can tell an enriching tale because the story of the Mooncake festival must be told by a learned storyteller with sound knowledge of the Chinese culture.

And so I will elighten you with pictures.

I was asked what do we do for this festivity? Honestly, I can't really tell you because it works very differently for us here in this country because our community is quite sparse and disconnected. Nevertheless, we always put in effort to celebrate anyway. All I know is it is normally celebrated at night with special food and moon cakes aplenty. Under the stars, we catch the moon and hang lanterns on trees, and sometimes even take a journey along the road while holding the lanterns just to admire the beauty of it.

By the end of the night, after much mosquito bites and sweat, we caved in and went back inside the house to catch up with our daily evening routine of procrastinating in front of the TV and laptop. LOL

When September ends...

Good day to all you folks! September almost always comes and goes without anyone noticing, hence my excuse for this late post.

Let me just start off by sharing this cake we got for my dad for his birthday early this month. Obviously, the candles are 'merely decorations' and do not determine the age. A year wiser is perhaps the only saying my dad accepts to be true. All in all, it was a fun day for us not because there was a party, but rather because I love cakes.

Moving on to a more exciting news... I just got a haircut!

Okay, that's not very exciting. How about... I got a new car! Better? I just need good music to go with my car and my life would be complete.

*awkward transition*

Baby portraits are, as many photographers or instagrammers would agree, one of the most difficult photographs to take. They just can't keep still! What we did here is a simple solution. We just propped Jazelle between two pillows so that she won't fall on her sides and used quick motion setting on the camera and voila! A baby portrait!

Taking pictures of guinea pigs, on the other hand, can't be any simpler! Well, the story behind this new pet of mine is my brother in law heard about someone selling them and knew I love them so he got me this guinea pig as  a surprise! Meet my new companion, Jasper!

New Read

How's it going? Just a quick one this post. I finally got myself some books and I thought I'd share with you. I'm a fan of detective novels so naturally this first book is the classic Sherlock Holmes Vol. 1. I've read some of them before but it's nice to have a physical collection.

This one is quite interesting so I can't wait to read this as well. As usual, also mystery novel about solving crime and stuff.

This one is what my sister got when we went to Miri the other day. This is actually the book I'm reading currently. I mean, not that I've started but I hope to get some reading done soon, hopefully tonight.

This week on Shala

I have to be honest with you, I haven't been updating much these days because I've been occupied with work at home and not to mention I don't have a computer to work on. I'm working on getting my laptop fixed but that's dependent on when I have the time to do so. I have to make do with Sharon's old computer for now.

I'll make this short because my latest obsession is waiting for my attention. 

Here is a handmade room my brother made as part of his little project. I helped him out with the screws and lighting. It was tough work but it's quite fun to build stuff, whether its life size or miniature!

Jazelle and her aunt, taken a few weeks back. She's all adorable and 'playable' now. She's learning to flip over and making lots of baby noises these days so we quite enjoy her companion when my sister bring her over.

We celebrated Stephen's 14th birthday the other day with 3 trays of sushi party sets. It's nice to not mess up the kitchen and we're getting the hang of takeout food for parties. There are less dishes to wash so I'm not complaining.

This lot below costs about $50. Quite pricey for chocolates, don't you think? Well, if you're in for quality chocolates, that's the price you have to pay. I recommend Nama White. It's goooooood~

For the past 5 days raya holiday, I was in a cave with 4 seasons of Dexter marathon so I don't know what's going on in the outside world. I hope everyone is having fun out there. Checking back to reality tomorrow, though. But it's been a good 5 days!

Selamat Hari Raya

Wishing all my friends and relatives celebrating this festivity


image credit

Best wishes,

London 2012

We're in the midst of summer Olympics right now and I don't know about you but I'm a fan of this kind of events. It's a shame that not many people around me love it like I do. Too bad I missed our first local swimmer's tournament. He was dead last but nevertheless, he did beat his old record. So now I'm looking forward to our two other runners. We all know they won't even strike bronze but we're definitely cheering them on!

And that's Olympics. On this side of the planet, one good news is I finally got a job. Like a real job. Not a part-time that pays daily so obviously I'm very happy and so very ready for the challenge up ahead. I've been in this organisation for nearly 7 months now and I'm still loving every bit of it. It's not everyday you find a job you like so I guess luck has got something to do with it.

Another part of my life is I bought a zumba DVD thinking I would workout everyday. Turned out I only managed to follow 10 minutes of it before I slumped down on the sofa and gave up. My sister, on the other hand, has been following the full DVD nearly everyday since I got it. All I have to say for myself is this body ain't build for zumba. Nuff said.

Also, not many people know this but there is a new restaurant at OGDC in replacement of the old crappy one. We went there for lunch today. The food choices aren't a lot but the food itself is not so bad. Go check it out if you have the time!

Watch out for the next post because who knows what I'm going to write! I'm curious too!

Raya Cards for Sale

Greetings fellow people,

It's Ramadan now, which means raya is just around the corner. What better way to greet your friends and relatives than custom made raya cards?

Please visit my sister's website to make raya card requests or simply browse through pre-made cards! Click on the image below to view.

And there are plenty more to choose from. Simply visit her website today!

Twenty Fifth

Today marks my 25th Birthday. Just want to thank those who greeted me. Really means a lot to me.

What does your birthday means to you? For me, although there is nothing much happening today since I already celebrated it earlier with my family, there is still this special feeling like somehow everything I do today is special. Well, I was in a course the whole day so that wasn't much fun but yeah I guess it's something you remember. Like if I ask myself, "What did I do on my birthday in 2012?" Oh yeah, I was in a training. But I guess any memory is still a memory!

I also notice that every year on this day, I have trouble writing the date because I automatically want to write out my birth year out of habit. Anyone else does that?

On a different subject, I realised that London Olympics is starting in 9 days! Where have the time gone? I'm a fan of this kind of events so I'm quite excited about it. Tennis is definitely in the agenda, but so is diving and athletics! Can't wait!

Rainy Sunday the 15th

HM's birthday fell on a rainy Sunday. Unlike other citizens of the country, I did not watch the live broadcast of the ceremony because I'm ashamed to say we don't have the receiver for local channels. Nevertheless, we did 'celebrate' a birthday. Not His Majesty's, mine. I'll post about the cake later because I promised not to talk food for this post.

Our national flag hoisted up proudly despite the rain.

Jazelle relaxing outside the house and watching the rain pour. 
She loves the outdoor.

A wet gloomy Sunday, indeed.

A lazy dog on a lazy Sunday

Well, almost lazy Sunday. To be honest, we had our little party with guests and plenty of food to celebrate my birthday in advance. To top it off, we had a delicious custard cocktail fruit cake and for dinner, I went out with my siblings for sushi. We were gunning for macha ice cream so there were plenty of sweet desserts on the table. I even managed to squeeze in a gym session in the evening in my attempt to burn the calories off. So it turned out to be quite an eventful day for us. Like I always say, I love the weekend!

Another Sushi Dinner

I promise I won't talk food in the next post..but this post it's all about food again. This time, it's our usual favourite Japanese restaurant in this country, y'all know what I'm talking about. No doubt you'll find yourself indulged in this delicacy every now and then. As sushi lovers, we just love to try different dishes and of course reorder our regulars. This finger-food style dining is an ideal way to socialise with family and friends and at the same time, have a fine dining experience.

Food Porn

Lunch time at home nowadays can be pretty awesome, although I only get to see what's cooking during the weekends. Come to think of it, most of the food I eat these days come from outside. And I haven't cook in a while. I think I've forgotten how to prepare a proper meal.

Anyhow, today's post is about food - again. So typical me. These were prepared by my dad, the chef of the house.

This next one is my grandma's favourite..some sort of seafood? Hah, I have no idea what its called!

For desert, we had fresh longans courtesy of James' mom.

Here is a random shot of Stephen playing his piano. He's the only one who can really play this instrument, the rest of us pretend we can play it.

And here is an Angry Bird balloon.