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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! With 2012 just around the corner, I would like to just spend a few minutes doing a recap post (yes, so standard but I guess we all need it).

2011 has been a year of ups and downs, I’m in my final year of law school feeling extremely miserable and lost about my future, reintroduced to the amazing God by my lovely friends in uni, struggled with finals, had an amazing graduation trip with my besties in uni in Thailand, worked in a totally different field/industry over summer, made the most “risky” decision of applying for masters in late August, and ready to go by mid September.

There are so much more than those few lines, the many lonely nights in library, at home, or the true joys I had with friends and families. I had more than once lost faith in myself but I’m so grateful there were a lot of angels who pulled me through on and on. Sometimes when you stop blaming or moaning, you will realize how lucky you are. That certainly applies to me.

If I am going to put my wish for 2012 into one simple sentence, it would be this: Boldly go forward, chase dreams, and regret no more.

I was at home over Christmas, and came across one of those “self-help” books Mom bought in Beijing, it mentioned writing yourself a bucket list of the dreams or goals you want to reach. And I thought, “This is such a good idea!” So when I got back to the UK, I wrote down a list of things I want to achieve/do/complete. There are 15 on the list so far, some are travel destinations, some are reminders for myself (how to be a better person etc), I can’t wait to tick them off one by one!

Do you want to know how far you can stretch? Now I’m really believing that, if you want it enough, you can find a way to do it.

What are your new year resolutions? Make small, sustainable baby steps and I’m looking forward to hear from you.

P.S.: Really lovely to see Jamie on Christmas Day at Steffi’s but poor girl is so jetlagged. Hopefully we’ll hear from her in 2012 after her vacation in Asia 😉 Happy New Year to y’all!

x0x0

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I’m happy
Very happy indeed
I took tonsssss of graduation photos with friends
I did tons of jump photos and climbed the rooftop of my old school

(i hope my friends don’t mind me posting here, do let me know if you want me to take it down :p)
got myself a pair of dirty feet
sho satisfied
stuffed myself with heavenly Chinese food, Japanese food and homemade comfort food. NOM.
Went back to home church’s service feels SO GOOD
but still jetlag
Hong Kong is HOT compared to England
But rather enjoyable
I went shopping again
Got an amazing bag, hat and top OMG must show you
er what else was i gonna say?
Oh yeah, 5 days away from Christmas, I NEED TO DETOX FIRST BEFORE DIVING INTO BIG FEASTTTTT
Jamie’s coming home soon
She said she’s gonna update but didn’t (I sort of expected that) (Jokes Jamie, I love you.)
I got a reply from Marthe @ The Freedom Experiment, so excited
Er what else
OH – a slight update of the About page, you might wanna check it out
A picture of me will be BOOM in yo’ face
Forget it if you don’t want that
But I thought I looked quite nice in that locks of curls, swooning gown & black heels
Just so you know.

I love writing it this way.
Don’t you?
Time to dash.

Until then
xoxo

Sources: The Freedom Experiment, TED.com, pinterest

DEAR WORLD,

Tell me, how many “what ifs” have you thought of over the past weeks, or months, or years? What if I didn’t buy that red jacket I love, what if I actually turned down an important reunion, what if I actually went on that long-dreamed holiday instead of hanging back in town for some now-hideous reasons.

The fact is, we always find ourselves regretting, looking backwards because we always make, probably not wrong exactly, but regrettable decisions. I recently came across a really interesting blog, called The Freedom Experiment, which gives you a lot of ideas how to liberate yourself from some of the constraints most of us face in life, big or small.

The most frequently asked, and most dreaded question, I came across these few years is “What do you want to do after you graduate?”. Some people have very clear goals set along their way, but I don’t, that’s probably why I’m freaking out 24/7. Although I’m a freshgrad out of law school, doing a masters in England, and most people may say you do have a bright promising future, my heart often sinks thinking about it. The future will be promising maybe in material terms, good money, good comfort, comfortable life.

But if you don’t love it, what is so promising about it? Afterall, life is short, and aren’t we all suppose to live everyday not regretting? I’m not so sure whether I’ve been doing it right all along.

What is your dream?

This is probably one of the most nostalgic questions on Earth, because it always gives me a giddy smile when I think about it. I’m really envious of those who know what they want to do and really go for it. I think I’m still searching what I really want to do for the rest of my life, but I’m pretty certain I don’t want to compromise myself into doing a job I don’t enjoy doing, even if it means good money good car good flat. I hope I can remain doing that way.

To put it short, maybe my dream(s) is/are this. I love all creative things, and have a big heart for art and culture, so maybe something to do with these is a good start. I’m a travel maniac, I enjoy the thrill visiting or living in a strange new place brings me, so I actually thought of being a travel journalist (this idea still stuck in my mind). I love to write, so I want to keep up writing in my spare time and not to give up easily. The last sounds real cheesy, but I feel that humanitarian virtues is losing to commercial values and profits, and its doing us no good. I want to change it, or at least raise awareness, from my hometown first.

The next question is probably, how to do it?

I came across this TED talk a few weeks ago, about how to change your habit (or for the talk’s perspective, trying something new) in 30 days. You probably encounter the same problem as I do, I always have so many ideas on my mind, but I just couldn’t find the time, energy, or money to do it. So i put it on my to-do list and say, “OK, I’ll do it when I have time, energy and money”. And you know what? You’ll never find a perfect timing, so your to-do list most probably end up in the back of your drawer, long forgotten.

All you need is to put your thoughts into action. DO IT NOW.

Check it out: Matt Cutts – Try Something new for 30 days

The Freedom Experiment had a good article that sort of sums up how you can keep up with the stamina, and really get things done. Click How to make a dream come true in 30 days

I think one of the quote the author put in the post pretty much sums it all up:

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.  – Proverb

So I sort of made up a list of things I want to complete or challenges I want to do:

  • Finish 4 books in 30 days
  • Complete a novel in 30 days (Missed the NaNoWriMo completely, but who says I can’t do a mini challenge on my own?)
  • Plan a trip abroad in 30 days
  • can’t think of more right now

p.s. I did something quite fun another day. Came across this cute pic on Pinterest and decided to put one up in our neighbourhood bus stop. I drew out the exact same note as above and posted it at the Robinson Road busstop. So if you happen to be in Hong Kong 2 days ago and happen to live near Robinson Road, you might spot this.

Life can be fun if you want it to be.

Until then,

xoxo

HELLO WORLD.

Hope you all had a good week. I’m back in Hong Kong my uber-cool hometown for 2 weeks of Christmas holidays! Feels so good to be back. Can’t imagine 2 months ago I was sort of dying to leave this place after being stuck here for uni for 4 years, good ol’ England is good, but nothing beats home I guess.

I probably didn’t mention (or did I?) I’m sort of into cooking and baking now. My passionate love for food has always been known amongst family and friends and my classic facial expression is often seen when I’m nibbling on my favourite chicken wings (Grandma style is SHO GOOD) So I would be really happy if anyone likes to drop by, share recipes and tips and stuff.

There are a few websites that I can’t live without now:

BBC Goodfood – This website has so many different recipes that I can actually cook everyday not repeating the menu! Of course, that’s if I have plenty of time to spare, afterall I’m a busy postgrad student. D-UH!

Speaking of which, being a amateur cook who only picked up the joy of cooking last summer, I swear by this New York Cheesecake recipe. The first time I made it was for my Dad’s 60th birthday, been making these on and off for 4 or 5 times now so I would like to say I’m getting the hang of it and so far feed back had been good.

Also, tried out some fruit swirl variations, such as Annie’s Eats Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Cupcake – petit but just the right size for girls. I made this yesterday night to bring to my galfriend’s birthday dinner tonight

I should post a photo of my version later – didn’t have time to go and buy raspberry in the market so substituted with some cranberry sauce, still good!

Tasty Kitchen – creative, simple and good recipes!

Pinterest – Literally, I think I can’t live without this website. I found so many amazing recipes and websites through this, its such an information-rich platform. And on a tiny side note, I created an Inspiration Clipboard album from the photos I collected on the website for my facebook, and I love it, my friends love it. Who says one can’t dream big?

Noble Pig – There are probably a few other websites that I always go to, but can’t remember on the top of my mind. I just came across this website a few days ago. Its the website of a vineyard in the U.S. and offers a great range of creative menus, good for health and good for a smile 🙂

And if you can’t tell from the posts so far, I’m Chinese. So getting home food ingredients here is not that easy. No offense, but it’s not like Tesco can stock up the most authentic cooking ingredients you use at home, and sometimes the kind of veg or meat you get at home are just not available here. Cultural difference eh?

For those who want to try out Chinese style cooking (and I believe you really can do it even if you’re not Chinese!) – the most important thing is to buy the RIGHT ingredients! Living on my own overseas now does wonders in improving one’s cooking skills, not to say its like finger-lickin’ good, but its OK-standard by modern day 20s year olds standards.

I really should write something on Chinese cooking or casual home-style Canto food sometime.

Anyways, so obviously this is just another blabbing post. My co-blogger Jamie is obviously so busy enjoying her Londres life with the art scene and le boyf but I think she’ll come around soon, maybe this coming weekend? I have two 4,000 words essays to write and one exam to prepare, need to do quite a bit of cramming, all due in 3 weeks. GO GO POWER RANGER.

Meanwhile, don’t forget to have fun too!

I have sooooo many homefood on my bucket list that I wanna eat. So far, chinese congee and deep fried dough – checked, chinese style sweet soup – checked, seafood (LOBSTERS OMG) – checked. Going to yum cha with grandparents later! And need to do shopping, and sushi, and take graduation photos! (Yeah, I probably didn’t mention I’m a freshgrad from uni… but doing postgrad in England so I missed my graduation ceremony, SHAME)

The fact is, I’m still jetlagged, just got off the plane like 2 days ago, so I’m probably quite delirious while writing this. Anyways, hope you enjoyed it (if there’s anyone reading), at least I enjoyed writing it.

P.S. got something VERY EXCITING coming up in January 2012, will be commuting to London quite frequently. Will keep you posted.

P.P.S  – Flight booked to Prague in late January too. Talk about winter romance 🙂 Shame i’m not going with a boyf.

Until then,

xoxo

You know how sometimes you get really natural high, really giddy and the next second you can go really grumpy and miserable? Like one second you wanna laugh and roll on the floor and the next second you want to cry hugging the toilet bowl?

Yeah, you get what I mean? I sort of get that all the time.

And maybe you’re not a freak like me (but I would still love to consider myself a relatively chic freak) you must have one or two nerve-calming treats down your sleeves. Perfect for nerve-soothing or just for a chilled weekend.

Why is December in England so miserable and cold? My housemate was asking me with a weird expression and asked me if I’m having a dinner party tonight.

“No” I said, chopping sweet potatoes, “Why?”

“Because whenever I see you today, you’re in the kitchen.”

D-uh, lets talk about weather. Doesn’t the cold make you wanna binge eat and stuff yourself? No? You’re weird if you’re not…

I’m not usually a grumpy child, but a big good cup of warm lemon water with honey does wonders especially in the winter. Drink it empty stomach, wait for 30 mins before you have a hearty breakfast. Nowadays I always have plain greek yogurt with a dash of dried fruits and oatmeal. yum. and if I feel like I want something big, throw in a sunny-side up egg on toast with a pinch of salt. Don’t skip breakfast, people who don’t eat breakfast gets grumpy easily.

I always have my iPod with me, I must say my music taste is probably a bit different from Jamie’s, I realize like majority of my songs are either Korean songs which I probably don’t understand and Soundtracks. But invest in some good music will carry you a long way. Here are some of my favourites these few months:

Adele – Someone Like You

I have a feeling like “Someone Like You” can get a bit overrated in a sense that EVERYBODY loves it. But no its not overrated, its SO GOOD everytime i listen to it it gives me goosebumps, I wonder what other songs in the future will give me these kind of feelings.

Wonder Girls (Yisun & Yeeun) – When You Believe (Prince of Egypt OST) (This cover is AMAZING please listen)

Actually got too much songs on my list I don’t think I can manage it. But another detox ritual I always do is just do random websurfs – Pinterest is my vice.

Or, just daydream!
What’s the next restaurant you want to go to try out? Which country you want to go visit? Any exciting new sports you haven’t dared trying out you want to do? DO IT. Don’t think too much, just do it. You’ll be amazed how much you can get out of it. It sounds simple, you may think its hard, but its not. Get your arse moving and do it, simple as that!

For me, I’m really looking forward to spending sometime to do some travelling in Europe. Would love to visit the Scandinavian countries again, especially Sweden and Denmark. Need to go to Norway to see the beautiful fjords too.

to be honest, this post is probably meaningless, but its good to blab about something on this miserable Sunday (ugh hate raining) BUT I’m flying home tomorrow for CHRISTMAS!! Shoooo excited 😀 I’m getting my graduation photo taken (though missed my graduation ceremony already) – but 2 weeks at home shall be blissful and full of blessings. Thanks the Lord for everything!

Wish you all a good holiday too. I’ve been stuck on the same journal whole day and really should get going.

Jane
x

Hello, welcome to our salon! A place to catch up, discuss ideas, cool things we’ve read, seen, dreamed about, wish for. If only could be a real place!– like our above photo of our ladies’ tea party from the summer of 2011 in Hong Kong.

I’ve just spent this Sunday hung over, so haven’t done much in the way of literary anything. It’s not a day for visuals… instead, I’ve done something I haven’t in a long time — put some soul-lifting, foot-shifting music on, and put it on loud to infuse my room with good vibes.

Today’s soul cure was a Motown playlist, starting with Curtis Mayfield’s “Pusherman”. Low-key, groovy, funky, happy.

iTunes’ Genius button whizzed up a great list following with James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, John Legend and Amy Winehouse — whose beautiful, poignant song “Wake Up Alone” is spinning over and over in my head, and will probably continue to do so for the next week.

Later tonight I’ll be catching the tube northwards to my boy’s place, where a varied playlist of music streams endlessly from his laptop. He’s also teaching me how to play guitar.. so hopefully soon I’ll be able not just to revel in music but to make some, too.

Enjoy the links above for some easy Sunday listening.

J x

This is where we starts. We might stay, we might leave, but this city will always have a place in our hearts.

A place of opportunities, changes, growth and love.

I was down in London yesterday and went to visit Jamie. We’re friends since kindergarten and it’s quite amazing how we managed to keep in touch all these years. She’s working in London now and I’m still studying. She came up with this idea about exchanging blogs about our lives here in the UK and we came up with sharing a blog to jot down our thoughts whenever we can. This will hopefully be something interesting, who knows where life will bring us anyways?