Living Each Single Day

Hey, welcome to my little online space. I would say this is a blog of sorts, to help me sort out my thoughts. I also present beauty, health & fitness tips and many others in bite size pieces to help people who are like me go through life in an easier way. Basically, Life isn't easy, everyone knows that. While we are at it, don't forget to live life to the fullest :)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Me & My Attempt in Drinking Chinese Tea

I don't know how but I seem to be gaining weight around the tummy, hips and well..butt area which is so excruciatingly difficult to get rid of. Many women tend to gain weight around those areas and it really sucks. I have no idea too how I've been gaining weight because I don't remember eating a lot of unhealthy food. Everytime I set my mind to losing weight, I gain instead, haha. My lunch isn't fantastic either. It just consists of oatmeal and wholemeal bread except for one of the weekdays where I get to skip eating oatmeal and eat a proper lunch instead bought from the canteen.

While I think it's true that as you age, your metabolism rate slows down which means that you burn fats at a slower pace, it's not completely true that you cannot lose weight at all. I know that I have to be more conscious in what I eat such as eating more healthier stuffs and do more physical activities to help in the burning of calories.

I read over the last weekend that a successful weight loss means 90% diet and 10% exercise. Basically, what you eat is what you become or something in that line. As I read further on what food I should take to aid in the weight loss, I discovered the benefits of green tea.

Green Tea Photo Credit: the apple diaries




Click here to find out more



I know you're thinking where have I been. I actually don't like the taste and smell of green tea. It just reminds me of highly concentrated shampoo product, haha. But somehow at one point of time, I had to drink green tea at a Japanese restaurant because it came in a set as part of our groupon deal. Buying another drink will add cost so yah, unless I want to choke on my sushi, I drank the green tea and I found out that drinking it without the sugar isn't sooo bad. 

However, I still am not a fan of the taste so what I do is to hold my breath and drink it non-stop until it's finished. Then, on the first day of attempting to drink this humble drink, I did more research and found out that while it helps to increase metabolism rate, it only increases it by 4%. However, with oolong tea, another type of Chinese tea, it seems that its increase is higher at 10%.  My office pantry has both and while I have bought my own pack of green tea, I used the pantry supplies. I tried to find for the oolong tea at the groceries but I cannot find the exact brand. There is one other brand but it's pricey because it's organic. I am going to find either the same brand or another one but at an affordable price. It's so much harder to find than green tea which every tea manufacturer seems to have though. I guess people already know how more beneficial oolong tea and I am so much left behind, haha. 

I better get my own pack soon before I used up the whole pack in the pantry ;p

I hope that with a healthier lunch, where I will faithfully eat the oatmeal lunch every week day at least 4 times instead of 3 times, together with drinking chinese tea, I will see some positive results. If I snack, it will be minimal and only in the morning. Usually in the late evening I will feel hungry so I will just eat some marie biscuits to curb the hunger and finish off with oolong tea. I know I can't see the benefits fast but I hope to at least look better before I start school in less than 2 weeks time.

I've seen other women about my age or younger are taking a more conscious attempt at losing weight too not for the sake of vanity only but for health in the long run. At least I hope they are. I mean sometimes how can you not when you are surrounded by people who are so much thinner than you who you work with or go to school with on a regular basis. I know how it felt like back then when I used to go out with my former classmates. I also felt different from them.

Hope this post inspires you to drink Chinese tea too!




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Monday, April 07, 2014

Treasured Memories

In life, people come and go. Even things that used to be in the rage and of places that used to be bustling with people, over time popularity may dwindle, things take a toll by the harsh realities of time but memories are not meant to be broken. There are people who may do things that upset you and practically make your life a living hell but there are also others who are basically real life angels. Sadly, the rapid changing world has made many people cold hearted and instead of doing some self-reflection on how they could be better, they choose to blame it on other people.

When you hear them talk, all you can think about is how the world doesn't revolve around them. Don't always expect people to bend over backwards for you for your own benefits. Fortunately, there are still others who are rational, supporting and caring enough to be there for your in times of your need and to support you in every step you take. 

I do have such people in life and one of them is a friend, not just to me, but to many others. Her birthday is coming up soon and we did a small celebratory lunch with her before sitting down about two hours later to pass her the gifts, and ahem..for me to take the opportunity for a selfie with her.



I cannot find any faults in her..well, perhaps her inability to find a boyfriend LOL...oh wait, that happens to be mine too, haha. She is down to earth and level headed about things in general and practically an angel with a lot of lame jokes in her mind. I just think that she is where she is right now not because of her family background but because she deserves all the good things that she have in her life right now. She is so understanding and practical and think before she does things by not letting emotions get in the way.

Nowadays it's so easy to find easily irritated people who have no qualms picking fights and quarrels, even in the middle of the road or in public places. But this friend of mine has a certain kind of zen in her, haha. Well, what is the point of always being angry at other people anyway, eh? We're not perfect ourselves, we can't expect other people to be perfect too.

Happy Birthday to you!

In the evening, I had the chance to go to the defunct Bukit Timah railway station and instead of enjoying myself, within 5 minutes, I was overcome by sudden illness that we had to cut our adventure short. Haiz, don't wish to get into details of it. It's so majorly embarrassing although thankfully there isn't many people around.

To cut the story short, it was a bad experience although thankfully, nobody noticed it. I've caught myself in this situation before and it was not a good experience too but I learnt from my mistake. I also learnt the mistake from my earlier illness too, sigh. 

I managed to take one lonely shot of this remaining railway track.




You can imagine the situation back then when people used to lug their belongings and hoping to get home safely amidst the bustling crowd. I had one memory of boarding the train when I was so much younger back then in the early 80s at the Tanjong Pagar railway. However, I wasn't quite sure if it was indeed a memory from the past or I was simply imagining things because I did have pictures of my parents in the train from our old album. I could have imagined going to the station and eventually the train.

If indeed it was true, then it will be like a treasured memory of mine, much like the selfie I took with the upcoming birthday girl.

People and things may come and go but what is important to remember are the treasured memories we had of our first adventure and the friendship that we have.


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Not Loving Myself & The People I Love..Enough

I know, what a shocking title right? The truth is..I have been feeling rather 'meh' and as much as I read about self-improvement whether about my side business or my life in general, and how I want to do this and that, everything seems to go on the slide down. This is what happens when you don't know WHY you are doing this or that. You don't have this hold in life where you know what you are supposed to do but you just don't have a firm enough grip.

I've read this a few times and I know that I just have to tell myself that if I love myself, I will do whatever it takes to bring happiness in my life by improving my life and making things better for my family. Because if they're happy, I'm happy too. I should count myself lucky that I'm not dirt poor or living in the slums. I should be grateful that we care for each other in the family and having a few well meaning friends who are supportive and colleagues who also care for my benefits. I don't think you can find colleagues who, once in awhile, wash the cup for you even though it can be filthy at times from the stains and wipe the table for you with your food crumbs left behind.

Basically, I'm ruining my own chance of making myself and other people happy. I let emotions get the better of me and I let laziness easily overcome me. I know my flu bout made me rather listless but it took me awhile to snap out of it. While I still somehow manage to squeeze in time for honouring the orders, it's only because I force myself or I'll risk my online shop reputation for not fulfilling the orders.

I also let my health take a slide too and even though I know what I am supposed to do, I didn't do it wholeheartedly. Yet, I ask myself why this is happening to me like why all this weight gain and that I don't deserve this because I've worked hard all this years trying not to go back to my past weight. But that may soon become a reality if I don't do something about it and stick to it instead of just making it a touch and go effect. Thankfully, I still manage to follow the Sunday routine of going to the gym even though there are times my mind fights quite hard in preventing me from going but I've trained myself in not letting such silly thoughts overcome me.

I also want to improve further my finance credibility because I know I will be in big trouble in future if I don't do something about it now as it may not just affect me, but my direct family members. It is a slow and painful journey getting out of my financial troubles but every month, I have been making progress.  I also want to create a healthy emergency family fund and while the financial road is not easy with increasing costs and a stagnant pay, I know that I have to be a little bit more conscious of my spending power and my efforts to save no matter how small the amount because I will reap the benefits from it. 

I don't want to complicate matters. I just want to make it easy for me by simply doing what I have to do to get what I want for a better life and future. Just like the beauty blogger, Michelle Phan, while she loves make up and making video tutorials, her journey isn't easy as well. First off, she wasn't born in a rich family and her mother struggles to bring her and her siblings up as a single mother. So she made use of her talent to turn things around for them.

I too wish to turn things around for my family but first, I must start loving myself first. By loving myself, I know what I'm supposed to do, work hard at it to make things better not just for myself but for my family too.

My simple motto in life should be if I love myself, I will work hard for me and my family. I won't let anything else stand in the way, not even my laziness.
 

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Monday, March 31, 2014

i Light Festival 2014.

The i Light Festival is a bi-annual event that takes place starting from the vicinity of Marina Bay and it's filled with installations with the Light theme. It's amazing how they are so creative in making these light installations which change your perception of a light bulb. Don't believe me? Just check out this installation, made up just light fluorescent bulbs.

Rain Cloud

Beautiful right? It's so fragile I'm too scared to pull the chains hanging to switch off the light bulbs but just merely tugging on them, haha.








The one above is also a light installation but the crowd can take turns to throw a light stick with a blue fabric trail up the 'tree'. I don't know why but the tree was surrounded by senior citizens, haha..probably they were on a tour or something. Some of them got to have their hands on the light stick and while many failed to throw up the stick to hang, there was this one determined senior citizen who kept spinning and spinning the fabric holding on to the light stick like some catapult or something. But his spinning technique did manage to catapult the stick up the tree, yay! However, we were glad we stood pretty far from him when he started spinning and spinning the thing, haha.

Here are snapshots of some of the installations including the cute teddy bear heads. They are actually large inflatable balloons but they sure bring out the kids in us.

The festival has ended when I write this. You can still visit the website to read more about this bi-annual event at i Light Marina Bay.














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Being Your Own Boss & Believing in Yourself

 I was writing in my other blog stating how I actually admired this particular baker who have done proud for the Malay community and how her dose of creativity allowed her to have a fanatic following on instagram. Her cupcakes are always sold out within 2 hours upon opening at 12. Amazeballs.

I had a taste of her cupcake last Saturday and while I was a whee bit disappointed I came late and only left one particular favourite (which I can't remember but it was lemon-y). Oh well. It was flavourful with the taste of lemon bursting in your mouth although the cupcake base was rather too soft and crumbly. 

Will I go again? Yes because I wanted to try the nutella red velvet cupcake. I think chocolate and red velvet is like a deadly combo, haha.

I would say that she did a good job in staying fresh in her ideas and also, making them in limited quantities and available via the shop only. So people are so called 'forced' to come down, no sorry, rush down and have a taste of her cupcakes based on the posts on the instagram. I also admire how she keeps turning down requests, even corporate ones, because of overwhelming store demands even though she has the potential in making even more money.

So I just can conclude too that she's not in it for the sake of making that much of moolah but to extend her passion and creativity in baking.

If you wanna know more about this local bakery shop, you can follow them on instagram Fluffbakery.

There's also another cupcake baker and she takes orders online and judging from her pictures, they're really creative and whimsical looking. She won an award recently by Her World magazine and she's doing this business while juggling with her full time studies at SMU. You can visit her website at The Spatula and The Pen

Very inspirational and they taught me one thing: Never be afraid to explore the possibilities of standing out from the crowd by believing in your craft and to be as creative as you can. I sometimes worry that my designs are so SO different from others but the continued support I get is very overwhelming, so much so, I am having order after order last week. If I can't take the first step in believing in myself, how can I expect people to believe in my craft.

What can you take away from this post? You don't need to fit into a certain mould and if you're doing this with the sole purpose of making lotsa moolah, you're not going to do well. Just believe in yourself, your passion and your dreams. The rest is secondary.



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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Two Financial Goals: Earn More & Save More

I have decided that my financial goals for this year should be to Earn More & Save More. While all these years what I have done instead is to try to spend lesser, I realize that this is just a futile effort. The prices here are on the rise and it looks like it's not going to come down anyway. My regular wholemeal bread costs me $2.50 every time I buy. While I don't mind buying house brand napkins, spoons or mineral water bottle, but I can't compromise on that bread. Okay I know you're thinking it's just bread. But I don't want to eat bread whose quality isn't as great where they will probably use low quality wholemeal grains to cut their costs just because I want to save money. 

I hope I don't put you off there, haha.

For years, I haven't been successful in trying to spend lesser because first thing first, it's difficult for my family and to have a mother who just can't compromise some things, pretty much like me too. Sure people may say that by cutting this or that out, I can save some moolah. Look, that is not going to happen. I tried to balance it out by buying them as household band products which of course, didn't go so well with her the first time round but slowly, she started accepting them. Still, it doesn't do much to the overall amount of expenses.

I know the way out is to get an additional source of income but I can't work part-time. So I decided to act on my dream of having an online shop and the problem then was that I don't know what to sell! I tried to sell handmade accessories but so far, I only enjoyed making earrings and even then I was struggling because my fingers were not nimble enough. But I've always had a creative streak in me and started making handmade cards instead because it's something that I can do and don't need to string beads because my eyesight is super bad, haha.

LONG STORY SHORT, just two days ago, or maybe even yesterday, I have decided that I shouldn't stress myself out too much trying to cut down on this or cut down on that and if I am not able to do so, I get so majorly depressed. Just quite recently, I have stopped being so calculative over every single cent that I have. Fine there are times I just had to know how much, which is actually OK but let's say for me, I have the tendency to over-do it, so hence why I shouldn't do it too frequently.

So I can't do much to my salary because I work in the public sector where I simply can't march up to my boss and say, I deserve more pay than this. It's true that having your very own online shop or when you sell products or services, even on a part-time basis like me, it helps to continue letting you earn even with a fixed salary from your regular job. However, don't hope that you get into immediate luck in getting profits. I struggled for almost two years (how time past!) and it's true that not everyone is so lucky in their first foray into business.

I've studied, followed and read the blog posts and watch the videos of successful entrepreneurs who have figured out how to earn money online. While I don't subscribe to their paid videos, their free stuffs are pretty sufficient in teaching me to not fret about it and just continue concentrating on what I CAN do instead of what I can't do, such as my mother's rather neurotic habits where I've mentioned I simply could not do away with some of her 'must have' items.

They also say it's possible to lead a rich life and by that, I don't just mean a life like that of Richard Branson. Rather, a life that is rich where I can do what I want and spend on what I want instead of constantly worrying where the money is going to come from tomorrow or that I shouldn't have spend the money on that $4 plus frozen yoghurt.

They teach me that as long as I learn the methods to earn more by gaining customers' trust and also serving them what they want instead of what I want and not by hard selling, mind you, it's possible to get repeat and loyal customers and even recommendations. Most importantly, I must know why am I doing this. It's not for me to go on a shopping spree, save for yesterday hehe, but rather, it's for me to save up for emergency family fund. I have failed many times in this by having to dip into them and totally wipe them. But this time round, as I've mentioned in my past posts, something that I shouldn't have a lapsed judgment.

From today onwards, I am going to write down and track my goals and progress. It will be annoying at first because I have to pick up an actual pen to write, but by physically writing, I can jot down ideas, know where I stand and where I should improve. It's also part of me and my friend's efforts in improving and enriching our lives.

While focusing lesser on my spending and concentrating on earning more and saving more, I help to keep a balanced beam. Like they say, if you can't control it, don't fret over it. Shift your focus on doing something that you can change, for the better of course.

Hope this helps for you too!




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Earning an Honest Living

There are many people who are proud of what they're doing, put in long hours without complaining and don't care and don't bother what people think of what they're wearing until some idiot have to put some unkind words and have it posted on the social media. But what comes out of it is that I am proud that he has brought up a daughter well who appreciates his hard work to put food on the table and treat the family well. She is not ashamed of how he looks and what he wears. To her, he is merely earning an honest living. A very wise teenager.

Meanwhile, there are other teenagers who have no qualms scolding their parents online with swear words for all to see and worse still, garner 'likes' from their uncalled for rant. It's not easy to bring up children and they have their demands and their tantrums. We have parents who believe in letting the children learn for themselves which is good rather than spoonfeeding them but no  matter which methods they choose to educate their children, they should also be taught some life long lessons such as to be humble, kind and be more sensitive towards other people. These are very basic principles in life but alas, even adults have difficulty following them.

I'm not here to point fingers at anyone. Rather, I would like to say that these people, despite what people say about them and their jobs, even their appearance, they are doing a good job. Without the cleaners, we do not have clean environments and without the hawkers, we won't have delicious affordable food cooked from the heart in the heartlands.

At times, I am puzzled how easy people criticize others but when it comes to them, it's as though they are untouchables and that they have the privilege to do what they want; but not others. If they have done something wrong, don't you dare point their fingers at them because they can turn it around and make it as though it's YOUR problem for not being able to deal with it.

You know what I think? Leave your criticism aside and just do what is best for you and perhaps your other family members. It could be your parents, your siblings or your children. Give them your focus instead of on other people who don't deserve your uncalled craving for attention or your biased criticism which won't affect those people anyway.


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Sunday, March 16, 2014

A Little Windfall & Indulgence

Actually, I was about to write this post when I saw a new email and I thought, why they give me the payslip so late. Then as I was reading it, I realized that oh, this is for the performance bonus for government peeps like me. Yayness. I was just scanning through, coz it's full of words..haha, and then I realized oh, I got a B grade and then down the line, it was a complete shocker. I never had that much before!!! OMG. In short, I got 1.5 months of bonus.

Alhamdullilah! That is a thankful prayer everytime something good happens to me. We must always say our thanks to God and even if you don't believe in God, I still believe you must be thankful for all the good things that happen in life because it's only going to get better from there.

I wanted to write about how this week, I've made quite a tidy sum of amount and I'm happy for the orders that also came through my website and how they appreciated my works that they have seen online.

I was saying about a customer who made a few demands and I have to make so many changes. Finally, he agreed on the final design and I had them sent to him through post that day itself, haha. So I received the amount of money from him too and have it promptly transfered to another savings account.

Speaking of that, I decided that I shouldn't see this income making venture of mine as something that I want so that I could eat at buffets like that of Seoul Garden without batting an eyelid, buy bags without looking at the hefty price tag (and yet lasted just few months..hrmph) and other stuffs like shoes and clothes. I have always been a careful spender, like check 10 times then buy, or don't and the only things that I ever spend on are groceries and materials for my hobby and online shop. Even then, I still practice caution.

I realized it should be more than that. I feel like it shouldn't be just based on materials, expensive food and holidays. It should be about having a safety net to fall on and not having to worry about where the money is going to come from when payday is still far ahead. I think this is more important for me. Sure, once in awhile it is OKAY to indulge ourselves like my mini indulgence is having a frozen yoghurt that costs $4 plus, haha, and a little branded make up items, which I bought on discount, because they were press materials for the beauty blogger. I know for sure I'll never pay that much for a single eyeshadow so paying $10.00 for a MAC pressed eyeshadow is worth it for me :p That's why I'm always excited whenever she posts blog sale.

I'm such a cheapskate, haha.

I believe little indulgences are okay to have as long as I continue to work to bring in the moolah, for the right reasons. I must learn to think in terms of the customers like what do they want. I started selling in stock cards recently and made some money out of it. Plus, it's a good way for me to use the materials that I have accumulated, haha. Instead of waiting for custom orders, I realized this is also a niche that I can help to fill in. They can choose to buy the instock cards or make custom orders with me.

Yay to business-minded me.

Oh yes, I also learnt that it's good to share and treat other people. I made some money and instead of just indulging myself, I treat my family members to good cakes like the ones below. Yummy!




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