Friday, February 17, 2017

A relfection - Belief

I had an epiphany after talking to my psychologist. There are a lot of things you've been taught all these while may not be the entire truth. 

Take Christianity for example, I stopped going to church for a few reasons. 
Since young I've been attending church services faithfully.
Then in my youth, I was an active member trying my very best to organize events to bring the youth together. 

All these years in the church, I was taught to fear God. In the Old Testament, God was depicted as a fearful unforgiving God. He would send punishments in the form of plagues and famine to His people, and that made me scared of him. So when I addressed this problem to my church member, they told me to skip the Old Testament and focus on the New Testament. They say I must read the bible everyday to keep connected to God. 

I was told that don't wait until you're about to face death then you start to believe. One of the more extreme church I've attended before kept on emphasizing about the coming of Jesus Christ and heaven. They don't use pianos and guitars, because in heaven there are no these type of instruments. Whereas people who don't believe in Jesus will be cast to hell. So everyday I would pray and pray that my love ones would start going to church. 

In my whole life, I was taught to fear this invisible being which I do not exactly sure if he really exists. I was taught that I must pray everyday, and it cannot be just 5 minute long, it must be at least half an hour, because God gave us so much, or else I'm not committed enough. I was told that I need to attend every cell group meeting, 3 times a week, even though I don't feel like it, cause what we discuss in the meeting are practically the same as the Sunday sermon. At times, because of my duty in church, I felt like I'm obligated to attend church instead of attending it on my own will. 

I tried going back to church, it no longer felt the same, sermons annoyed me. There's a constant debate in my mind about the whole bible. 

Come to think of it, there's no concrete evidence that the bible is the truth. In fact it was not written by God himself, it was written by humans. Human's own interpretation. Not to mention all the christian books and daily breads out there, they are all human's own interpretation. The more I read these, the more I felt stressed as I felt the need to follow every thing they said. 

I find that christians are as rigid as uncooked spaghetti. Take LGBT issue for example. 
When I asked a christian counselor about it, she was not keen on discussing about this topic but told me to just read the bible. I asked another church member whether homosexual is nature or nurture, she strongly denied it was nature. Do you know why do Christians refused to accept that gays are nature? It is because by accepting that, they are agreeing that God made them that way, which of course contradicts the bible teachings. 

All of these teachings and sermons had created an insecurity inside me, that's why I'm worried all the time. Sadly to say that I think I got anxiety because of Christianity. I was constantly worried that I will offend this mighty God and got punished. That's why at some point I thought that my illness is a punishment from Him. Everyday I will ask for forgiveness even though I didn't make any mistakes, because that's what I was taught, we need to be humble by seeking forgiveness everyday. I am worried that if I don't pray everyday, my love ones won't be protected and might face danger. 

These people are living in fear, because they are living in the future! Everyday they are waiting and preparing themselves for the second coming of Christ and forgot to live in the present. How can you be happy if you're constantly worrying about the unknown?!

Here's a chinese saying which I find so relatable and I think you should ponder about it too.

If you are depressed, you are living in the past. 

If you are anxious, you are living in the future. 
If you are at peace you are living in the present. 


And do you realize that the word "present" has a second meaning?

Yesterday is a History.

Tomorrow is a Mystery. 
Today is a Gift.
That's why it's called Present.


This is my blog's quote, I just realized that the answer to happiness has always been right in front of my eye! 

My therapist  recommended a simple technique called Mindfulness. It's a kind of meditation which teaches us to be at the moment, to be aware of our body and surrounding. Our brain is too busy thinking of the past and the future, it needed some rest. You can download this app called Headspace, it really helped me to relax and embrace the present. 

I tried to ditch God a lot of time, but I couldn't, His existence had been deeply ingrained in me. Hence I still believe in Him, I still pray, but I won't read the bible or attend church anymore. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Playing With Anxiety

Everyone has anxiety as our lives now are getting more and more complicated than before.
Relationships, career, family, financial problems, illness etc.
It's natural and perfectly normal to worry, however, some of us worry so much up to an extent that it affect our daily routines, it's called anxiety disorder.

People with anxiety disorder like me, tend to worry practically everything from little things such as a bug to upcoming big events, all the time, anywhere! When our worries become too overwhelming, we start to get panic, our palms will sweat excessively, our hearts beat faster and louder, our whole body feel uncomfortable, we feel nauseous and some of us eventually puke.

That's how anxiety disorder feels like.

I remember going for a job interview last year, on the way to the office, my worries started to amplified as we get closer to the destination. I had all the symptoms mentioned above, the next minute I knew, I was screaming and crying out loud like a newborn in the car. It felt like going to kindergarten on the first day all over again. I told mum I couldn't make it, it was too scary, I wouldn't be able to face the scary interviewer. Let's quickly make a U-turn and go home. 

Just like usual, mum would try to coax me, told me to calm down and everything was not as scary as I thought. In the end, after regaining my composure, I braved myself and walked into that office alone. Thank God that Running Man was on the tv while I was waiting for my turn at the lounge area, the laughter made me forgot about the anxiety for a while.

Long story short, I got the job and the interviewer was not scary at all. However I found out that the job didn't suit me. In conclusion, all of these are just stories in my head. Thanks brain for the wild imagination. 

Here's a book I recently read about anxiety. It gave me a whole new insight about this condition I think all of you should read it too. It teaches us how to manage our anxiety when it strikes. 


It's available in Suria library, or you can go to this website and download its free ebook. 

Happy Reading and Happy Valentines Day!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Thanks for the Support

Few days ago, I stumbled upon a Facebook page called Minda. It's a Malaysian organization which helps to raise awareness about mental health. Inside that page, many people are stepping out to share their mental illness stories. I was truly inspired by these people and at that instant, I decided that I wanna be one of them.

I was extremely scared at first, looking at a blank yellow paper (I ran out of white), still doubting if this is a bad decision. Anyhow, the next minute I know, I started designing my words. 


So here is the picture I posted on my Facebook. It took me great courage and a lot of doubts to do this. My heart was pounding out loud and fast when I clicked that post button.
 I've got to say, I'm so proud of myself. 

Little did I know that this post had inspired many other of my Facebook friends, even acquaintance. Likes and loves came swarming in like bees for the past few days. Teachers, relatives, friends and even strangers gave me words of encouragement for my bravery. 214 likes and 19 comments!
I have never received so many likes before in my entire life!

 I wanna thank all of you who have shown your support, I definitely feel the love. 
So here's a bone crushing hug for you all.

People like me who are currently struggling and fighting alone out there, please don't be afraid to show who you are. I was afraid once. Afraid of  being viewed differently, afraid of being called crazy and afraid of getting rejected by the society. However, this post just showed otherwise. I received tremendous supports from people who knew me. Not even 1 negative remarks were given.

Hence I urge you to stand up, speak up about it and receive help and sometimes blessings too.

Click Here to see my story featured in Minda's official Facebook page.

You're still not too late to join the bravery squad. Yes, that's what I called these wonderful people like me for their extraordinary courage. Trust me, it wasn't easy for us to make that decision to let the whole world know about our illness. 

You don't have to have mental illness to support this cause. Just go to Minda official page, post a photo of yourself with some encouraging words, then #ImNotAshamed and #TeamNotAshamedMY. Then tag Minda and Relate Malaysia. That's all.

If you are too shy to do so, what you can do is to educate yourself more about mental health issues.
So I hope you can be part of the cause to raise awareness about mental illness.

Have a great day =)

Friday, February 10, 2017

The underlying danger of online shopping

Online shopping has existed long time ago, however I only started to experience the joy of buying (clicking)  stuff online this year. Earlier this year I told my mum I didn't want any birthday presents, I just wanna have a celebratory meal with my family. So she suggested to give me some money and buy anything that I like since she doesn't know what I like. 

So that's how I started online shopping.
My first item was a tripod stand, however I made a mistake, it was too short, and Lazada wouldn't let me cancel my shipment, hence I got this 1 meter plus tripod stand. Barely high enough to take any family photos. My second item is on it's way now.

The mode of shopping has been shifting from the traditional store to online store. With so many tough competitions out there, businessman are selling their product through an online platform, which offers a more cheaper version of the product sold out there as there are no overhead cost. That's why more and more people opt for online shopping instead. Online shopping has become a trend. If you're a businessman and haven't adapt to this mode, you'll might fall very far behind others who had done so. 

So what's interesting about online shopping? It's literally at the tip of your finger.
See what you like, click and voila! You bought that stuff. 
So what's so dangerous about it?

It's easy. Way too easy.

You can keep on clicking and clicking and clicking the whole day. 
There's no end to it, you can browse for goods whole day wherever you are, even in the loo! 
Unlike shopping malls, you can leave after finding the stuffs you want or having sore legs after shopping too much. By the way did you know that there is no clock inside the shopping mall?
That's because it's part of their strategy of not wanting you to realize that you have to leave already. 

There are pros and cons of online shopping, let's see the pros.

1. It's simple and hassle free, just click and wait your parcels to arrive right in front of your doorstep.

2. You can compare up to thousands of the same category products and read their reviews or ratings to help in making decision. 

3. You feel like receiving a present from yourself when your post arrive, and that's quite fun!

Here comes the cons.

1. There is no limit to it, if you're not careful enough with your financial planning, you'll might end up in debts. This is the most dangerous part, you definitely don't wanna fall into this trap.

2. Some of the products may not be what you have seen online. There are so many funny stories of how these online buyers found their products were far from expected, especially clothing. The material, the colour and the size matters! My cousin is also one of the victim.
That's why I will never buy clothes online, plus I'm not a typical lean size lady.

3. You need to pay for shipping fee and wait for your products, some may take a while if it's shipped from overseas. Some of it got damaged during the shipping, and here comes the problem, they are many procedures, refund and all that. Sometimes you are required to pay the refund shipping fee as well. 

So that's it for now, I hope all the buyers out there be rational while online shopping, buy only what you need. There's no wrong to reward yourself occasionally with stuffs you really like especially after working really hard on something. Just bear in mind that, unless you are loaded as Jack Ma, don't buy excessively. 

Happy shopping! 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Baking cookies tips

Good news, my chinese new year cookies business is a huge success! I got good feed backs from customers who ordered it. Although non of my customers are my fabulous buddies or close friends, God had blessed me with many other leads. My mum's colleague even helped to sell at her stall. So yeah, thank God!

So here, I wanna share a few baking tips to ya'll so that you can learn to bake at home as well.

If you think that baking cookies is just as simple as a 2 minute video, dumping all the ingredients into a bowl, giving it a quick mix, popping it into the oven, and expect lovely desired cookies, then think again.

Although I have never taken any formal baking class, but according to my years of experience of baking cookies, it definitely requires more than that.

So beginner bakers, heads up, I'm gonna give you a few tips on how to make the perfect cookies which suit your taste.

Ingredients
This is the pivotal factor of how your cookies are going to turn out. There are thousands of recipe on the internet, we often follow the recipe on top of the google search, cause we just assumed that that's the most popular recipe and it must be good. Hell no. I've tried a lot of popular internet recipes and failed many times. Wasted my time, energy and all my precious ingredients. But hey, that's how I found out which is good and bad.

If you want crispy cookies, avoid finding recipes with eggs, brown sugar, self-raising flour, sodium bicarbonate and baking powder. These ingredients make your cookies texture cake-y. You may find that most western cookies recipes taste too sweet, so cut down a bit of the sugar, say 20-30g, but not too much, cause that's what make the cookies crispy.

South east asia countries and western countries has different take on their cookies. We asians like crumbly melt in your mouth type cookies like the pineapple tart. So for these type of texture, find recipes with potato starch or corn starch.

Temperature
Talking about temperature, this is another crucial part of the entire baking process. Different oven has different heat level. If your cookies didn't turn out right despite following every instructions, then there's a huge possibility you're using the wrong temperature. OR, another possibility is that you're residing in a very hot country like Malaysia. So yeah, adjust accordingly.

If you find that your batter is too sticky and can't be shaped, that's because the butter in the batter has melted, your cookies will turn out very flat. You don't want that, so just pop the batter into the refrigerator for about 5-10 minutes until the batter is firm enough to be shaped.
Therefore you don't wanna follow exactly the recipe's temperature.

All I can say is keep on trying and adjusting. Remember to preheat your oven, cold oven is a big NO NO. One more thing, be sure to check the temperature used is in Fahrenheit or Celsius. I once burnt my souffle because of using the wrong metric. Just use google to convert.

Measurements
Baking is different with cooking, everything needs to be precise. So if it says 150g, then 150g. I once accidentally added 30g extra of corn starch into my cookie batter, guess what, my whole cookie crumbled before I could hold it in my hand. I would suggest using recipes measured in grams instead of cups, cause every cup is slightly different, some are square, some are long, some are round. Eggs are also a major factor in determining your batter consistencies. Large eggs produced more fluid batter while small eggs otherwise. So yeah, follow the ingredients and instructions. If the cookies are not good after many trials, you can throw away that recipe. Hey, life is all about trying right?

Size
As they say, size matters! So does baking. The size of your cookies determines the time taken to be baked. Usually the recipe will tell you to bake 15-20 minutes for cookies. However, if your cookies are petite, you might wanna reduce it to 10-11 minute. Hence it all depends. Be sure to set the alarm clock. 30 second makes huge different. Over baked cookies will burnt while under baked cookies will not crisp up. I once busy washing the dishes until I totally forgot my cookies. All burnt.

Here's another general tip, whichever country you are from, I would suggest you to refer to a local recipe cause it is written by the local chefs who knew the country's temperature, available ingredients and what suit your taste. Don't be sad if your cookies didn't turn out right on the first time, the first batch is always a failure. Trust me, I've been there before.

In a nutshell, baking needs patient and lots of love. Sometimes you gotta pray to the God of cookies so that your cookies will turn out perfect.
Happy baking =)

Kungfu Yoga VS Journey to the West 2

Alright, just as I promised in my last post, I'm gonna write short reviews of Kungfu Yoga by Jackie Chan and Journey to the West 2 by Stephen Chow.

Spoiler Alert!

Between these 2, my vote goes for Kungfu Yoga. So let's start with Jackie shall we.


The story line is very similar to Chinese Zodiac 十二生肖 and The Myth 神话. 
Apparently Jackie is shifting from being a cop to an archaeologist.

Accompanied by an ensemble cast of Chinese and Indian pretty faces, 
Jackie is on a quest to find some mystical artifact. 
They fight, they switch from city to city, then they found the temple. 
They fight again, then the villain realized that the treasure was nothing made of gold but some old manuscript, he got an epiphany,
and............out of the blue, 
all of them including the villain starting to Bollywood dance.
The end.

I was like...what? That's it?????!!!!!

Where's the yoga element?
I was expecting some yoga integrated kungfu!
Not yoga, then kungfu.

There were very little chemistry between these actors and actresses. 
Not even the pretty faces.
However there was one memorable part when Jackie was driving a car with a lion inside.
Their synchronized expressions were damn hilarious.
Oh, I love Jackie bollywood dancing. 

By the way, Aarif Rahman is fiery hot!
Quick fact, did you know that this hot lad's daddy is a Malaysian Arab? 
Which meant he is a muslim. 
Oh, what a shame.

For all these reason, I'll give 3.8/5. 

Jackie, I'm still waiting for Rush Hour 4.


Journey to the West: The Demon Strikes Back by Stephen Chow

Ok, how do I put this, erm....too Alice in the Wonderland? 
The plot is weak, the cast were all changed from the previous one.
Not even Stephen Chow's essence can save the rating.
I almost fall asleep halfway through the movie.
Overall this is a poorly written story. 
I don't think I need to further explain the details of how they fight like anime characters. 
So here it is 2.5/5

Funny how both movies have Kpop boy band EXO members, Lay in Kungfu and Kris in Journey.
I guess popularity plays a major role in casting. 

There are so many Journey to the West movies in these recent years, now even in Korea they have a travel-reality show named after it. It was just too overrated. Movie makers, just... please stop.


In my heart, there will always be one monkey king 
Played by Dickey Cheung in 1996 version Journey. 
You can't beat classic. 

So yeah, that's it for this year CNY movies. 
Won't recommend Journey unless you insist on wasting your time and money.

Happy Chinese New Year! 
Raise your hand if you have gained a kilo!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

2017年金鸡报喜

首先祝各位恭喜发财!

今年的新年有点不一样,我们首次没有在外婆家聚在一起吃团圆饭。
因为婆婆不在了,所以小舅和家人没有回去。
我们一家和二舅在的大舅刚粉刷的家一起吃顿简简单单的中午团圆饭,
晚餐则在家随便吃,加上家里没有摆设,很显然的少了以往新年的氛围。

每年的年初一,我们大家会聚在婆婆家,今年大家都没有回去了,所以我们去妈妈朋友家和亲戚家拜年。


一年一度的家庭照

年初二

像往年一样,妈妈把所有的近亲叫来吃顿饭,爸爸的妹妹也有过来一起凑热闹。
我们终于吃上一顿团圆饭啦!


每一年,我和妈妈都会绞尽脑汁想菜单,因为不想和去年的一样。
父母七早八早到Lido菜市买菜,买回来后我和妈妈在厨房便开始忙切割食材。
我们先从最长时间的菜开始焖,炖,和烩,最后等客人要到的时候才炸和烧。

弟弟负责做司机,有什么东西需要填补的,妈妈叫他去买,爸爸则负责打扫家里和外面。
我们大家分工合作,成功地完成这一顿晚餐。
味道和卖相虽然比不上大酒楼的的大鱼大肉,但放了一些生菜,辣椒丝,葱花和小番茄点辍整个菜肴还算是出得了厅堂,所以摆盘是非常重要的哦。

今年总共有8样菜,包括姨姨的客家扣肉,还有小舅价值不菲的海参鲍鱼冬菇烩鸡脚。


超喜欢这张照片,非常有温馨感和层次感的大合照。
幸好大家也很合作。

今年的年初二刚好是表妹的生日,所以我临时临急特地做了Red Velvet cupcake 给她。
那是因为Tg. Aru 的一间出名的蛋糕店没开,哈哈。
非常推荐那间蛋糕店的蛋糕,超便宜又好吃,尤其是Carrot Cake,可以跟我要联络号码。


表妹22岁生日快乐!

虽然办一次聚会很累,但我们都心满意足,至少大家在一起团聚有说有笑。

年初三

我们又去同学家拜年啦!有个学姐跟我说我们更像是去 ngok 红包,哈哈。
看到大家非常开心,聊着聊着,发现很多已经有男女朋友了,甚至是换了。
我没有玩Instagram 所以有点 outdate。

  


年初四
今天和父母去看电影,人生中第一次连续看两套戏。
成龙的《功夫瑜伽》和周星驰的《西遊伏妖篇》。

相比之下,还是觉得成龙的较好看,下一篇我将会告诉你们为何。

新年大约就是这样啦,因为下雨所以没去远地方。

再次恭祝大家新年快了,财源广进,身体健康,岁岁平安,鸡年行大运!
今年是我的鸡年,也祝我自己能够有所成就,希望这只肥鸡开始学会翱翔!