Monday, December 31, 2007

ThanksGiving for 2007

Time flies. I bet everyone agrees with me.

Year 2007 didn't start good for me. A very bad shocking news hit me early of the year and left me in darkness helplessly for almost a month. I prayed and prayed, and with that, I grew closer with God. I prayed hard and studied hard on His words to find strength in my life to be able to rejoice and live joyfully again. Joshua 1:9 says "Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go". I was enlightened. The words gave a boost into my life and my heart and somehow, I could smile and laugh again.

There's a chinese saying that says "A year's plan start with Spring". We always believe things will be good if we start it well. A negative thought hit me when I thought that Year 2007 started bad for me, and hence it will be a bad year for me. I shook it off and live on. Today, on the last day of the year, when I looked back to year 2007, I had a fuzzy feeling in my heart. It was just... Great! I couldn't stop giving thanks to God for all the blessings in 2007.

EG and I have been planning for our wedding for the whole 2007. It was HELL HECTIC. We were running around almost every weekends. We used all our free time to prepare for our wedding - meeting up vendors, preparing power points, wedding agendas, and etc etc. As usual, everyone has a dream - be it big or small - for their weddings, so as EG and I. With financial constraint, we have to be careful with everything that we're going to spend. Again, we see God's blessing in all our plannings. We managed to get all the things that we wanted within our budget - they came WITH GREAT DISCOUNTS!! I just couldn't put all of them in words. For both of us are not from Penang, we really have no contact for the vendors, but rather we depend on our own surveys and friends' reccommendations. With that, we're really blessed that we could get good offers for almost everything.

I remembered while we were planning for our bridal studio package, I told EG I wanted to have a video on how we took the bridal pics. Due to budget, I had to let my small little dream off. Little do I know, 1 month later our bridal shoot, we won a competition by Whizarts & WeddingStory. We got extra photos and video session - FOR FREE!! What can we complain some more when it's free?! And they were great!

Another recent incident, I was quite stressed up with wine supplier for my wedding. We have been driving pass Roo's Cellar near Crystal Point and
few times it was closed. I was desperate and went to find another wine suppliers - but their price were rather high. One weekend, we went back to Roo's Cellar again, and it was open this time. As usual, the price shocked me. But somehow, we stayed back and learnt a little bit on wine tasting and story on red wine and white wine. And guess what, the sales rep told us later that they're closing down and all their wines are going at 40% off! And the price dropped to EXACTLY what both EG and I had in mind! What if we found our wine suppliers at other places? What if we signed up with them much earlier before December? EG said, "Got so ngam (co-incident) or not? When we go they are having stock clearance!". I said, it's God's blessing. I don't believe there can be so many coincidents throughout our whole wedding preparation.

Other than wedding preparations, other good things that happened in 2007:

  • Settled in EPCC as my church
  • Had my family trip to China for sight seeing during Chinese New Year and experienced winter with less than 10 degress for the first time
  • Travelled to Philippines two times and met a lot of new friends from the other side of the globe
  • Travelled to US and visited one of the Wonders of the World & did a lot a lot A LOT of shoppings!
  • Won my first lucky draw in my life
  • Signed up so many many courses in Jourdeness - without going bankrupt :P
  • Bought sofa, air-conditioners, and setup our home for a better place after marriage
  • Had my first manicure and pedicure in my life and found out that actually I also can have nice nails...
  • Went back Miri two times - with 30 cents ticket for the first trip
  • Broke my life record by working in the same company for >2 years!!
  • Changed a new phone after 4 years
  • Signed up gym @ Priority Fitness
  • Completed EPCC pre-marital counselling and nursery duty 1 month before wedding
  • Had a great wedding ceremony in Miri

I will be lying if I tell you I have no dream for 2008. In fact, I have so many many dreams - big and small. In 2008, I wish to:

  • Have a blessed wedding together with my friends and family in Penang
  • Have a wonderful honeymoon in Bali
  • Plan for a holiday trip with EG
  • Curl my hair again
  • To pick up my piano skill again
  • Serve in my church - EPCC

I am anxious for the arrival of Year 2008. I want to see God unfolding His blessings for me and see Him making my big dreams as well as my small dreams come true.

Time flies. It's time to bid goodbye to 2007, and say HELLO to 2008!!

For my friends, a very happy 2008 to all of you also. I hope all of us had a great year in 2007 and will have a even greater year in 2008!

Happy new year DUDES!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Birthday

EG and I don't really celebrate birthdays, valentine days, anniversaries or any special event. We normally just stay at home and spend time with each other - watching tv, or doing housework. We don't like the crowd - probably a sign of getting old? Some think that we're really weird couple but I am perfectly OK with this. We are already doing or experiencing new things together always so I thought there's no need to do extra on special events.

However, this year, it's a little different. EG has decided to bring me for some nice dinner on Christmas day - a day before my birthday. I am not sure why. Probably we both wanted to take a break after we completed our wedding reception in Miri (50% of work done!!). And probably EG wanted to treat his girlfriend (still) real nice before we both upgrade our status to husband and wife in less than 1 month time!!

Tao Christmas Decoration

EG has been to Tao restaurant for his teambuilding and he always wanted to bring me there. Since both of us like Japanese food, we decided to try their japanese buffet @ eGate today. Good that even though it's Christmas, the rate remains. And we're free to order anything in the menu.

Tao Menu

Both of us had a heavy breakfast today and we skipped lunch. EG placed our booking while I was having my afternoon nap. There are two sessions for the jap buffet, i.e. from 5.30pm - 8.15pm and from 8.30pm - 11.15pm respectively. To fight off the crowd and the traffic, we reached Tao sharp at 5.30pm with our empty stomach.

Waiting for food

Since both EG and I are small eater, we have to be smart to order the food so that we can try different varieties and fully utilise the $$ that we paid (yaya, call us cheapskate :P). We avoided the dish served with rice or mee. We started our meal with Miso soup, and followed by two big plates of sushi with soft shell crab.

Spider sushi and Fire Cracker sushi

I am not going to describe all the food as those are quite a standard japanese food. Below are some of the pictures that I took during the dinner.

Both EG and I are big fans for grilled salmon.
We ordered total of 3 plates of grilled salmon during the dinner

Yummy sashimi

Scallop with cheese - it is a little too cheesy

Their chawanmushi is really small

EG is enjoying his food

Since it's Christmas, all tables are served with a free Christmas meal. It's nothing too great but it tasted ok.

Complementary Christmas meal

In total, we ate 23 items from the menu (some are repeating). Finally, we ended our dinner with a green tea ice cream. I was too full to eat anything so EG finished it off.

Green Tea ice cream

After the dinner, we were really full. Initially, we wanted to get a piece of cake from Secret Recipe next door as my birthday cake but I told EG I really couldn't take it anymore so we cancelled our plan.
Finally, you must be wondering where my birthday present is. Well, we don't normally give each other surprises for presents to avoid any disappointment (:P). We choose our own presents. So, I chose a handbag this year while we were doing some window shopping in Midvalley during our 9 hours flight transit to come back to Penang last Sunday.

My birthday present

I always tell EG that he's very lucky as I am quite an easily pleased girlfriend. This is my 3rd birthday together with EG. A simple present with a nice dinner like this are more than enough to make my day.
It's a great day!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Wedding Ceremony in Miri

I just had my wedding ceremony & dinner in Miri, Sarawak (my hometown) for my friends and relatives last Friday. If you know me well, this wedding news shouldn't be a surprise for you. Both EG and I have been planning for our wedding since end of 2006.

We went back to Miri on Tuesday. Dinner on Friday. Came back Penang again on Sunday. It's very hectic, worse for my parents. Well, good thing is, most of the stuffs and plannings are settled by parents and sister. I just need to make sure I do what I need to do - i.e. my manicure, and etc. I was searching high and low for nail trimming & painting in Miri. In Penang, it only costs RM10 for that service. To my surprise, Miri price is higher - it ranges from RM15 to RM20. So, I went to one of the popular shop where most brides in Miri will go (according to my sister) and did a weird color. Well, it looks weird at first, but later I think they are not too bad eventually.

It looks like french manicure but it's not.
The girl told me that's the new pattern. Hmm...

My mum managed to find me a makeup artist that came to my house to do makeup for me at a reasonable price. I slept at 12.30am and woke up at 6am to get ready and makeup session started at 6.30am till 7.45am. I was tired, but guess what, my parents slept for ~3 hours and started preparing the food at 3am for relatives during the tea ceremony. They were more excited than me. First time being in-law i guess. :P

Makeup from 6.30am

The tea ceremony is very much simplified. We only serve tea for my parents. For the other uncles, aunties & cousins, we just need to nod to them to introduce the new member in our family (EG!!) and they will then put ang pows into EG's pocket. Luckily that his shirt has a pocket at the front.

Tea for parents

My parents didn't decorate much in the house but they just did what the others told them to do. There is a shop in Miri selling all wedding stuffs. One of my aunties told my mum that there should be a pair of candles lighting up during the tea ceremony - symbolising that there is light - ???. I don't understand but it looks nice anyway. And guess what, the stupid candles cost RM20. Well, wedding ma, once a life time.

Some nice candles

Anyway, all in all, it went on well. Thank God that everything went on smoothly as planned. Below are some of the nice pics taken and I love them lots!

One of the switches in my room

My wedding band & the bible
Creative shot by both my brothers (apparently copied from some website :P)

I am still waiting for the other pictures during the wedding dinner. I had a glance at them and they were great! Hopefully I can get them soon and blog about it here!

PS: I wanted to be mysterious on who the photographer was during my wedding in Miri but I couldn't hold it anymore! It was my brother. I am amazed by his camera and his slightly improved skills. Of course he has lots more to improve on but I am rather happy with most of the pics so far. Not bad right?! :D

PPS: For more pictures, check out my wedding website. :)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Cat & Bear Talk

Cat: (While washing dishes in kitchen) Bear, so today where did you bring your US colleagues for lunch?
Bear: (Replying emails in the next room) Oh, since they're vegetarians, we brought them to Tan Hsiang for Chinese vegetarian.
Cat: Tan Hsiang ah... Is it the one beside CCOP one?
Bear: Where is CCOP?
Cat: The one beside Tan Hsiang la...
Bear: What the f***... What you talking....
Cat: **Laughing** What's wrong?!
Bear: It's like you asked me where is Chung Hua, i tell you it's next to St. Joe. And you ask me where is St. Joe, i tell you it's next to Chung Hua... What the toot you talking man....
Cat: **Laughing till losing breathe** Do you know that you're very funny?!

Note: CCOP - Charismatic Church of Penang

Thursday, December 06, 2007

刮痧 aka Gua Sha

Did the picture scare you? Don't worry, that's not me in the picture!

Quoting from Wikipedia:

Gua Sha (刮痧), literally "to scrape for cholera", is an ancient medical treatment that is still widely used by practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine....

Gua Sha involves repeated pressured strokes over lubricated skin with a smooth edge.
The smooth edge is placed against the pre-oiled skin surface, pressed down firmly, and then moved down the muscles -- hence friction-stroking -- or along the pathway of the acupuncture meridians, along the surface of the skin, with each stroke being about 4-6 inches long...

This causes extravasation of blood from the peripheral capillaries and may result in sub-cutaneous blemishing, which usually takes 2-4 days to fade. Sha rash does not represent capillary rupture as in bruising...

The color of sha varies according to the severity of the patient's blood stasis -- which may correlate with the nature, severity and type of their disorder --appearing from a dark blue-black to a light pink, but is most often a shade of red. Although the marks on the skin look painful, they are not. Patients typically feel immediate sense of relief and change.

OK enough of facts, but I guess the above more or less gives a better idea of what gua sha really is.

I signed up a gua sha + back massage course in Jourdeness - a facial saloon - @ USJ back in 2004. The saloon offered a trial session and the moment I tried it, I know I won't be able to resist its syok-ness. And true enough, I have been in the same saloon for 3 years. In the 45 minutes session, they will do the gua sha, and followed by a massage on your back. Working ladies normally have stiff shoulder and they will normally apply extra pressure on the shoulder and that feels REALLY GOOD! While I was going to move from KL to PG, one of the items in my checklist was to transfer my facial account from Subang to Penang.

I enjoyed the "pain" during this gua sha treatment. The first time I did it, my back was in dark blue black. But HOLD, it's not painful! I felt GREAT as my whole body was lightened and my muscles were relieved. And believe it or not, after doing it for 3 years, I never get dark blue shades anymore (probably only for the first few times). Most of the time I only get a shade of red or even light pink, no matter how hard the girl in Jourdeness pressed down. They said because the toxic in my body was cleared.

I always like to show to my girlfriends on the dark red shades on my shoulder after the session. And most of the time they'd get scared and worried as they always thought I am a self abuser! Gosh, it's something really nice, OK? :)

I just did my gua sha today after work. I had the same feeling just as the first time I did it. Anyway, I think my health & complexion has improved a lot after I make an effort to visit them at least once a month. Good thing is EG never stops me for going or signing up, instead he always encourages me to go. He always tells me, if this treatment is good for you then go ahead. So nice, right? But of course, if he could sponsor the cost that'll be even better. :)

I wanted to take a picture of my back now but I thought that might not be a good idea. Hehe... Anyway, now it looks exactly like the girl in the above picture. If you have chance, really you should try gua sha. Trust me it's really not painful!
I love it!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Priority Fitness

After considering for almost >6 months, EG and I finally signed up Priority Fitness near Ivory Plaza, Penang. Some commented that: Hey, dieting for your wedding huh?. But in fact, I always think it's too late to do that when we only have less than 1.5 months to our wedding day.

So, if it's not for wedding, then why? EG is always a very health conscious person. Recently, due to the stress and heavy workload in work place, I was having constant headache everyday. I get frustrated & irritated easily, lost my temper easily, couldn't focus in any meetings or projects, feel sleepy all the time, and etc. There's once when I didn't wait for the lift and climbed up the staircases to my place (I stay in 2nd floor), I couldn't catch my breathe and my heartbeat doubled. Knowing that I really need to workout, and knowing that I'll never go jogging (*Note: I could never run), after EG's persuasion and a lot of calculations, we finally paid to Priority Fitness for 6-8 months membership.

Since both EG and I are working in MNC, the Gym offered us great deals. We paid around RM50+ per month (after prorated) and we could use the facilities in the Gym unlimitedly. Besides that, the Gym has at leats 2 classes every evening - be it Yoga, Belly dancing, Cardio, Aerobics, Modern Jazz - and we could join all of them.

So far, EG and I are making it a habit to go at least for an hour for each visit for twice a week. So far, I am just trying to run and do some cardio exercises. I haven't tried out any of the classes yet but I am planning to once I got my stamina built up to a better level - Or else, I'll just join for 10 minutes and rest for 1 hour.

It feels good to workout. It feels good to sweat out. My headache is now gone and I feel more fresh on the next day after the workout. I am not sure if it's psychological effect or it's really the effect after workout. But knowing that I always get bored of things fast, I hope I'll keep going for the next 6 months - not for beauty or looking good, but more for my own health.