Earth Day

I wonder if anyone pays attention to Earth Day anymore or if they ever did. I remember when recycling was the thing to do and now everyone talks about upcycling. For me, it’s all about trying to simplify. It wasn’t always like that. I’m as much a consumer as anyone else and I’m not sure when but one day I did realise there are a lot of things I have that I don’t really need. Just a lot of things I want. Then came the harsh realisation that if I didn’t buy all the things I wanted … I could probably have had a down payment for my dream car.

It was about 5 years or so ago when I was walking around Beijing with my then boss and asked him if he wanted to buy his wife something. He began to tell me how he and his wife have come to an agreement that they only bought things they needed and if they came home with a purchase of something they already had, they had to get rid of the old item that needed to be replaced by the new purchase. Like a light bulb that went off in my head, I thought to myself I like that and I’ll try it out.

Fast forward to 2017 and I’ve mostly stuck to that rule. Couple of things I’ve learnt:-

  1. I never ever have to buy bags. My family and friends always seem to get me bags and I never run out of them.
  2. White pieces of clothes are the ones I replace the most. Maybe I should invest in a bib. Everything else seem to last. Again family and friends have me covered on that front too.
  3. I don’t ever buy pyjamas anymore because I just recycle/upcycle older clothes to chic sleepwear 🙂
  4. I spend a lot of money on FOOD. Being vegetarian is not the most cost efficient. Add organic and that’s the bulk of my budget.
  5. I like spending money on people I love. I don’t consume much for myself anymore but I do like buying things or experiences (especially when it’s shared with me) for my family and friends.

So I haven’t quite saved enough for my dream car but I’ve figured out that I don’t really need it anyway. On this Earth Day like every other one, I smile a little, give thanks that I’m blessed with amazing people in my life. We’re not perfect but we’re there for each other. I couldn’t ask for more and this week, my theme is more of the same – remind the people I love that I love them!

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Happiness

I started watching this video with curiosity, wondering what an effective actor like Philip Seymour Hoffman could share about happiness.  I finished it with a heavy heart albeit hopeful that his seemingly honest take on happiness juxtaposed with the way he passed, will be a simple reminder that we are all pretty much the same.

I would definitely say pleasure’s not happiness … There is no pleasure that I haven’t actually made myself sick on – Philip Seymour Hoffman

Happiness eludes us all and it’s so easy to confuse pleasure with happiness.  Happens to the best of us and the worse of us.  We just have to find our own way.  With me, happiness is being honest with myself and ok with who I am and what I do.  It’s one of the hardest thing I’ve had to learn and am still learning to do.  I wonder if we had a class in being honest with yourself, would that make life easier?  Can you teach life skill in school?

Lunch Time Dates

I love lunch time dates!!  They give me a break in the work day and make me smile like no other things can.  So when Raewyn’s Mum asked me over for lunch, I jumped at the chance.

I had such a blast with Raewyn that I can’t wait for the next date.  The last time I saw her was at her one month.

The picture on the left is from her party and the picture on the right is from today 🙂 Look how she’s grown and into a real sweetie too.  She let me cuddle her, play with her, we even made funny faces together and let me take numerous pictures of her.  Isn’t she such a sweetheart?

It’s really easy to see why too.  Her Mummy, Tess is one of the gentlest soul I know.  I can’t wait to see this little one grow up into the fine lady I know she’ll become.  Till then, I can’t wait for our next lunch date little one 🙂

ETA May 14, 2014

Nature gives you 9months to get use to an idea of a whole new human being taking over your life.  Come May, Zurich will find out what happens when and an Aulin and a Tan gets together 🙂  My cousin is going to become a Mummy!!

That’s her and me circa 1978.  She would be about 4 and me, 3.  Cousins are your first friends and she’s definitely mine.  Though we don’t remember, we apparently even shared time in a crib together.  She’s the perennial big sister to us all, she has 2 younger brothers and 9 younger cousins and now she’s going to be a Mummy!!

That’s my new niece or nephew who is due May 14, 2014, which happens to be my cousin’s birthday too!!  How’s that for a present from God 🙂  with 2 nephews and 2 nieces, I’ll be happy either way when we find out if she’s a she or a he.  Something tells me it’s a her.  We’ll find out in a couple of weeks if her favourite aunt is right 😉  Yes, I get dips on favourite aunt!!

I do wish my cousin lived closer though but with us living in the 21st century, geographical distances are a lot shorter than they were before.  So little Aulin, you may be living in Zurich but you’ll get lots of visits from Singapore and you’ll always have a hot humid home here too!!  Can’t wait to meet you little one in 6 months time *MWACKS*

Being a Daughter

When it comes to parents, I’ve been truly blessed.  Maybe some day I’ll get to be as great as they have been for me for someone else and accord the same luxury of being able to choose to:-

Every now and then I forget that I am able to choose to be a better person because of everything my parents gave, taught and showed me.  Let’s be very honest, my parents aren’t perfect.  In fact, they are very real with flaws, some that can drive me a little nutty sometimes but that’s where they inspire me to be the better person I want to be.  Flaws and all, even when times are bad, they always try harder.

I grew up very similarly to how my Dad did and he learnt from my grandparents how to be better than them.  He understands that I’m like him and my yearn to constantly challenge myself.  My Mum, on the other hand, grew up from the school of hard knocks and made it her mission as my mother to make sure that everyday my sister and I have the luxury to choose to be a better person.  It’s so easy for us to pick and choose to be a better person simply because of her sacrifices.

So yah, I am grateful for every chance I get to hang out with them.  Sometimes we get lucky like this trip to Perth where I got to celebrate my Mummy’s birthday with them.

My Mummy probably doesn’t realise how much strength I draw from her.  I don’t think she even knows how her sacrifices have made subtle yet impactful influences in my life decisions, especially when I can choose to not sweat the small stuff and choose to be better.  Not everyone have what I have so I lap it up that on a beautiful spring day in Perth, I got to share her birthday, listen to her stories, learn from her life lessons and remember not to take my life for granted.

In case I forget and get complacent, I have been blessed to be able to:-

  • Be Kind
  • Speak Truth
  • Love Others
  • Show Grace
  • Work Hard
  • Be Grateful

because my parents made sure I could.  I shouldn’t squander it because a lot more other people who have less than me choose to be better everyday.

Uu

If you along Orchard Road and a little bored with the usual shopping, drop by Scotts Square and check out an exhibition by Kinetic Singapore.  It’s also a pop up store of sorts to get a miniature replica of yourself done.

3D scanning is all the rage nowadays but few have the ability to deliver the quality that I saw at the exhibition.  Ok ok ok, I may be a little bias because the organisers are dear friends.  That said, go check it out for yourself and I’m happy to be corrected.  Though my hunch is that you’ll agree that the likeness is better than most 3D scanners out there.

So it’s no surprise, my besties and I had a blast inspecting the miniatures, especially the Lims, which were my favourite.  I was so very tempted to get one of myself.  I can just imagine displaying mini me with my Ultimate Bumblebee.  In in the meantime, here’s my favourite picture from the day, regular us while we contemplate about getting mini us.

The Scarecrow

It’s no secret that I’m a vegetarian that borders on being vegan.  The jury is still out for me when it comes to bees and honey so I can’t honestly say I’m vegan.  There are many reasons why I’m vegetarian and mostly it comes from an awareness that I didn’t have before.  When something is made clear to you, it’s kinda hard to ignore and that’s why being vegetarian hasn’t been difficult for me at all.  So when I chanced upon this campaign, I was reminded about my answer when people ask me if I’ll ever stop being vegetarian.

I’ll stop being vegetarian when I’m prepared to kill the animal I want to eat.

Yes yes yes, the FaceBook guy said this too.  For the record, I said it way before he made it popular but it’s totally possible he said it to his friends before I ever thought it.  It really doesn’t matter who said it first but I understand what he means.  Like the Game of Thrones pilot episode where Ned Stark was teaching his young son about accountability, “The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword.”

Back to the campaign, I did like Chipotle when I tried it but I’m not entirely sure they are totally fresh food served at its best.  Nonetheless, it’s a great branding exercise and will make me seek out a Chipotle the next time I’m near one so I guess it worked 🙂

One day I hope I can put my name on something like that too.