Take up the challenge to expand your interests this year

I think most of us have certain interests/hobbies/pastimes right? Reading, music, star gazing, gaming, photography, and so on. And what most of the passionate ones have likely done is, say music lovers, bought and downloaded music online, bought records from shops, attended every gig in cafes in their city, attended the city’s annual music fest, and maybe attended a concert of an international artist or DJ if they happen to live in one of those cultural cities.

What next?

Now challenge yourself to take your interest a step further. For the passionate music lover bloke we just talked about above, look beyond your city and experience your interest someplace else. No city or country is like the other. Even the same thing can be perceived differently by your friend. The thing about art, music, literature or anything for that matter is that everything is open to interpretation, which manifests in change, resulting in a certain unique outcome to a particular group of people, or region.

Art, music, and literature are also a form of expression of a region and its people, reflecting the way of life, sociopolitical scenarios, and issues plaguing society.

My pastime is reading books. I either buy them online or borrow them from libraries. I generally read books whose synopsis interests me, is a literary prize-winner, or maybe a bestseller. I have been recently pondering over how I could take my reading interest further this year. Read 100 books this year? Join a book club? Choose one author and read all their works? Or save up to attend a literary fest?

I’ve decided to do none of them now thanks to a TED talk I heard yesterday by writer Ann Morgan on “My reading a book from every country in the world.” Her inspiration for this project came from the realization that she mainly possessed books from English-speaking countries. I love her ambition and project, so I’m going to follow in baby footsteps; set the goal to read a few books this year from different parts of the world.

If any of you are interested in charting Ann’s journey or looking for recommendations, you can take help from the interactive maps provided on go.ted.com/readtheworld. You can find book recommendations from 196 countries along with a short review from the writer.

Follow your heart, your interests, and let them take you to wonderful places and new experiences.


What would you ask for if you were the child of a king?


I was attending our church’s weekly prayer session yesterday and after the service my husband and I were casually chatting with our pastor, sharing  each other’s plans and aspirations for the new year, and then our pastor said something which took me by surprise because I never really thought deep about it. He said, “I say dream big because our God is a king. Why ask for something small when nothing is impossible for Him?”

He is right! If we were friends with a king, say the king of Brunei, and he told us to ask for anything we wanted, wouldn’t we get all excited and ask for something which is so much beyond our means? Such as a ginormous beautiful piece of land, or a palatial mansion, or lots of money.

We are sons and daughters of a heavenly king who tells us to just ask and we shall receive. Do not underestimate His power for He is our creator. He has entitled us to riches both on Earth and in heaven.

So dream big this year, place your plans before the Lord, and wait patiently. The Lord will make paths to fulfill your desires and show His glory.

Happy New Year 2018


Some of you, like me, may have jotted down a few new resolutions for this year or maybe not. Well, whatever the case may be, we can’t help but feel a sense of a new beginning when we step into a new year.

I’m not going to list down wise suggestions or tips on all the different areas of your life I think you should focus on in improving this year. By gosh, we have enough of those circulating around since November of last year.

I do want to, however, share one encouraging thought: You are you, you only live once, so live with fierce passion every day in the midst of the ordinary to see the extraordinary.

Have a blessed year ahead and thank you for all your support in 2017.


A Christmas with Christ in it


Merry Christmas to one and all

A day for feasting, fun, and toys

But did you put Christ in the center of all of this

And remember His gift in the form of a baby boy

To redeem us sinners from the first Fall

With eternal life in His presence for evermore


Did you seek Him like the Magi did

Make haste to be in the presence of the King

Did your heart lift with praise just like the angel choir

For the babe in the manger in a cold stable with no fire

No greater gift can we receive

Than the love of our Father in the form of a swaddled babe fast asleep


Let’s remember Christmas for all the right reasons

Spread joy and love in the name of Jesus

As we’re surrounded by family and all Christmassy things

Let’s honor the Lord for all the good things

Let our hearts stay true to the meaning of Christmas

Put Christ in the center and for good reason!


Work from home? Learn to still rock it



I work from home and like most of my type, I tend to stay in my comfy PJ’s all day long with my uncombed hair tied up in a quick knot and exhibit the usual telltale sign of “working from home” with wild-looking eyebrows. Or am I the only peculiar one who stays this way?  Well, if you can relate, it’s time to shake this complacence off right away.

You can ‘rock’ the whole work-from-home thing

  1. Get ready


Get ready in the morning like you would if you were heading out for work. Yes that includes getting up in the morning (not noon), taking a shower, and getting dressed (do not slip into another set of PJ’s). Which brings me to my next point.


  1. Dress up

dress up

This is the fun part. While we tend to wear “appropriate” clothing if we were working outside because we need to catch public transport, maintain the decorum of the company, and appear like we know our shit, working from home gives the advantage of wearing whatever we want. Feel like wearing high-waisted denim shorts and a tank top? Why not!  That cute white cotton dress hanging at the back of your cupboard that is a bit too thin for outside wear? Put it on! Feel like a quirky bow tie guys? Go ahead.


  1. Have a relaxed pre-work ritual




morning tea

Enjoy a quite morning tea/coffee with some light music on, whip up an easy breakfast, and sit in a comfy corner having a “me” moment. Staying relaxed will make you more productive and tune your mind for a positive attitude.


  1. Create an inspirational work space


work desk

We have the advantage of customizing our work space however we want. Keep your work space clean, decorative, inspirational, and productive. Which means, have your notepads and pens all ready, a to-do list of things you need to tackle right away, some inspirational quotes to remind you to stay focused and happy, and maybe a table plant or two to add that touch of serenity.

Have a great day guys!


Open the door to new life experiences


Think of the world in terms of continents, countries, cities, towns, villages…people, ethnicities, cultures, languages…art, food, and entertainment. It’s rather mindboggling.

For you as a person, all these things are endless new “experiences.” Life is a gift. Live it whole-heartedly. Get out of your box and go experience new, unique, weird, or out of your comfort zone things. Don’t be afraid to dream, to plan, to try. Live a little.

Plan a vacation or trip even if it’s as far as the next train station. You’ll be surprised how things can be different even if they’re at close quarters. If you can’t get out of town, then do something you’ve never done like see a play, visit a plant nursery, or attend an exhibition. Enrich your life.

Learn a new skill, a new language, a new craft, or even a new game. Keep learning.

Do one fun thing every week; work is not everything and neither is sleep.

I read somewhere “jobs fill your pockets, adventures fill your soul.”


4 simple tips to save money


We all want good things in life, but we weren’t all born with a silver spoon in our mouths. Somewhere down the line someone would have mentioned about savings and we must have rolled our eyes and thought we had plenty of time to make money. Well no matter if you’ve just starting to enter the work force or how great a career you might have, things are going to come up and you will need money.

At whatever stage of life you’re at, it’s never too late for some self-realisation and inculcating the habit of saving.

Here are 4 simple tips to get you started, but first of all Pay off your debts. You can’t start saving unless you are debt-free. Keep the credit cards for emergency situations only.

Pretend you make less money: Ever yearly bonus only increases our wants for something we really don’t need: A bigger TV, one more car, the latest phone. Keep the extra bonus aside by tying it to some short financial plan like a recurring deposit and you’ll be better off later on.

Stop impulse spending: In a bad mood or something caught your eye in the magazine? Don’t go to the mall. Hungry but need to buy groceries? Don’t go to the super market just yet. Most of the time, impulse buying only leaves us with regrets. Don’t we all have a piece of clothing lying at the back of our cupboard with the tag still on? The less you shop, the more money in your bank account.

Eat in: Why waste money eating out (not forgetting the exorbitant taxes) when there are lots of fresh, beautiful ingredients you can cook with. There are tons of simple recipes online, so turn on the music, grab yourself a nice drink, and cook away. Whatever money you think you would have spent eating outside, drop that exact amount in a jar. You might be surprised how much you would have been spending on eating out every month.

Live below your means: Most of us live above our means, esp. with the easy availability of credit cards. While this might be okay for a while, in the long run it will become a financial burden in the future. Keep your indulgences under control and seek the simple pleasures of life.

Hope this helps 🙂