If your friend is going through a tough time

Winter 23 Dec 2017 in Oklahoma

I often wish people knew how I felt when we knew my dad had cancer. He passed away a few years ago when I was 27 years old, and it felt like none of my friends understood how it felt like. Is it one of those things that you would never comprehend until it has happened to you? It’s a situation that many of them would likely not have to deal with for at least the next 10 years.

I was devastated, and still am sad about it because he was my rock. It was honestly one of the few things that I really feared for in life, and to have it happen way sooner than I wanted it to be sucks. The loss of a parent has to be one of the hardest thing to deal with as an adult.

What I really want to tell you is that if you have a friend who has a loved one who is really ill or has passed away, do show them your support. Please stand in their shoes and do the things you want others to do for you if it was you. Be a little nicer to them because they are going through a hard time. They may get grumpy or get upset over something silly, so please bear with them.

Also, appreciate every day you have with your loved ones. Never take them for granted. Actually, we should never take our own time for granted too. Life is short and very precious, so make the most out of it.

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What’s your New Year’s Resolution?

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Is it weird that my new year’s resolution is very similar to Eva Chen’s? I was a little shocked when I saw it on my Instagram Stories feed. These are the things I really want to work on this year.

1) Start doing yoga again
Yes, yes, yes! I used to be so much fitter when I did yoga twice or thrice a week. I need to either try out the online subscription to Cody App, or find a good yoga studio near me. The sad thing is I’m not very confident driving on the highway or in crowded areas, so that rules out a lot of yoga studios for me. I have to figure something out though.

2) Reduce plastic waste (bottles, utensils, etc)
There is no excuse not to reduce, reuse and recycle. Why are there no more cartoons like Captain Planet and the Planeteers for kids these days? I always feel like I’m the only person that tries my best to recycle everything I can. Is it a hassle? Yes, it is but I feel obligated to do what I can. You won’t realize how much waste you contribute until you start sorting your waste. It is only the two of us and we accumulate a car trunk load of recyclables in a month. I recycle all mail, cardboard, milk jugs, aluminum cans and glass bottles. Do you know you can recycle your cooking oil from your deep fryer too? Anyway, back to plastic waste. There are so many things we can do. I wish restaurants would stop giving out plastic straws. I always try not to use them when I eat out, but am usually given one and I don’t think they would give it to someone else if I give it back to them. We also try our best not to order takeouts, so we won’t be using plastic food containers.

3) Try to be nicer to my parents
We should never take our loved ones for granted, and be as nice as we can to them because time is limited everyone! My dad passed away four years ago and I still miss him every day. Gosh, just saying this made me tear up. I always wonder if people around me can even comprehend how sad I was and still am since he passed away. (I was only 27). There is just this gaping hole that will never heal. I guess that’s the thing when you love so deeply.

5) for every ONE thing I bring home, purge three things to create minimalist apartment
I really want to be more minimalistic, and stop buying frivolous things. This will not be easy for me though since I love seasonal decorations. I will definitely buy more quality products, so they can last me a lifetime.

7) Start taking better care of my skin again
Our skin is so important; it’s the largest organ that we have. I need to start using sunscreen and moisturize every day, especially since I’m already 30 years old.

8) Floss
Our teeth are very important too. I need to floss more often and make sure my husband and I visit the dentist at least once a year.

Christmas Lights near Tulsa

I love looking at Christmas lights. Isn’t it such a fun way to enjoy the festive season by looking at all the crazy lights homeowners put up? I wish I have the budget to do the same. For now, I’ll just be cruising around in the car when I want to look at them.

My favorite Christmas lights around my area is in the video above. It’s crazy how many lights he managed to pack on and around his house, and I feel that the effects really complement the music that is played.

8437 Forrest Glenn Rd, Claremore, OK 74019
Music is played on 94.7 FM.

There is also a house near the entrance of the same neighborhood that has great lights. I know the song in the video isn’t a Christmas song, but I still like it because I consider it a happy song. Haha I know Christmas light purists will not agree with me.

8019 Silverado Rd, Claremore, Ok  74019
Music is played on 103.9 FM

We also went to another town near us to see more Christmas lights. The three that I listed below should be the popular ones in Owasso, Oklahoma.

 

Owasso Lights
9236 N 144th E Ave Owasso, OK 74055
Music is played on 107.7 FM

The Lights at Camelot
9205 N 143rd East Ave, Owasso, OK 74055
Music is played on 88.5 FM

Lighting Up Owasso
9612 N 110th East Ave, Owasso, OK 74055
Music is played on 106.3 FM

The lights at Lighting Up Owasso is done up by an 18 year old which is pretty amazing if you ask me. I do think the whole display would look a lot better if he slowed down the pace of the lights blinking and changing color by a tad.

I hope you enjoy my videos. Pardon the silly conversations that were recorded too.

Lastly, I would like to add that I wish more people knew how to turn off their headlights when they park their car to watch the Christmas light displays. It makes the whole experience so much better for everyone including themselves.

What is home?

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Is it funny that I was never homesick for the past 2.5 years of moving to America until my mum and brother came to visit me? It was so comforting when we finally moved out of our tiny rental (that we shared with my husband’s cousin) and into our very own home last October. The freedom to do whatever we want is so enjoyable. We could actually invest in everything that we own like getting brand new “adult” couches. Never once did I think that it was just the two of us until my mum and brother came over to stay for a month.

I have to admit it was not easy for all of us to adjust initially. We were all trying to figure out how we can function together without interfering too much into each others’ preferences. They made me realize that it’s really not that difficult to drive around by myself, and I should walk my dog around the neighborhood as often as I can. Yes, I am quite a wimp when it comes to doing anything by myself. Even when I was living in a city that’s filled with people everywhere, I rarely ever do anything myself other than going for yoga or dance classes.

Now that they have flown back home, I see the void; the lack of company to cook, exercise and shop with! It’s everything I liked and had when I was living back in Singapore. How am I going to do everything by myself again?

I need to remind myself that there was a lot more errands to do when it was the four of us. That’s a lot more housework to do too. Secondly, I don’t have to be shopping all the time since I have the luxury of not having to work at the moment. I can actually do most of the things I like at home. There’s youtube and other subscription based websites that allows me to do yoga, barre or dance at the comfort of my own home. Maybe when I do find a job around here that I like and actually start working, I can then use the extra cash to pay for yoga classes again.

Somehow I stumbled onto Jamie Beck’s post about her year living in Provence today. There are so many things that she said about living in the city that I do not miss too.

“I learned to live a life with less noise. My days in Provence are filled mostly with cooking, cleaning, and making photographs and those are the days when I am most happy. I found freedom. Above everything I learned, I discovered true freedom. Freedom exists beyond the ability to choose where you live or what you believe. I found freedom in my art and expression. I found freedom from money. Of course, we all need money to survive but they don’t worship it here in France and it’s amazing how much your stress levels dissolve when that’s not the goal to life. I’m really into being free from plastics and logos and that has brought down the noise in my life in the best way. I loved the freedom from a culture that tells woman how we are supposed to look. I loved being free from what society tells me I should be doing like having children and a corporate job so I have health insurance. I loved the freedom from ‘stuff’. I never had to walk outside my door and be reminded of all the ‘stuff’ I don’t have that I supposedly need to in order to be valuable. The value comes from within – in my mind, in my soul and if I can create something of meaning. I wish I had more time to work on these ideas. Time, I have come to find out, is the most valuable thing we have.”

If you love photography, do check out her Instagram Stories. The way she does her photography is so intriguing, especially when she shares the whole process of how she takes her photos. Right now she’s working on large format film photography.

Two Car Hacks To Make Driving Easier

When we lived in Singapore, there was never a need to have a car. We could get to wherever we needed to via public transport like trains and buses. Even taxis are affordable. It was basically cheaper to hail a cab than it is to own a car due to the high car tax.

I was beyond excited to own a car when we moved to the US. It was a luxury that I never had in Singapore. Driving is fun although it comes with its own set of obstacles.

Learning a new city takes time. You need to figure out where to get what and what’s the best place to get what you need or want. With that, we rely a lot on GPS to go places. Google Maps has so far been very helpful and we use this phone stand to prop up our phone. It sticks firmly into the CD player which we never use, so it works out perfectly for us. The magnet has been holding up our phone the past two years.

Another useful car product we use is Rain-X on our windshield. It repels the rain well enough that we rarely have the need to use the windshield wipers. We were skeptical about it until we saw it in action. It really works and we only need to apply it two or three times a year. Here’s a short video to show you how it works.

A new month

Hi everyone, I have been overwhelmed the past few days. There just seems to be so many things to do as we get later in the year. I have finally put up my fall/halloween home decor that I can’t wait to share it with you. I just need to tidy up the house a little before I take photos. Honestly though, how do people keep their house spotless!

Here are a few things I have discovered the past 1, 2 weeks:

Apples in sandwiches actually taste pretty good.


Vlogs and live streaming are going to be the next big thing

I’m so hooked on watching online videos these days. I have always enjoyed reality TV, so it’s not a surprise I love these vlogs too. Here are some of my favorite ones so far:

  • Zoella vlogs always make me happy. Her love for fall/Christmas is infectious.
  • Alfie Deyes daily vlogs are always upbeat too. I usually put his videos on the background while I cook.
  • Aimee Song’s New York and Fashion Fashion Week vlogs are so fun to watch since I have always wondered how it’s like to attend Fashion Week.
  • Sodapoppin and Reckful are in Japan now, and they are doing a IRL (in real life) stream on Twitch for the next week or so. (They are popular gaming streamers.) I honestly think streaming live is going to be more popular in the future. It’s kind of like Facebook/Instagram Live but on the Twitch platform. Twitch is currently more of a gaming platform where people stream while they are playing games, but they have added this IRL section. Watching them live in Japan is making me want to be a scrooge for a whole year just so I can visit Japan again.
  • Chef Norman Musan has been having cooking demonstrations on Facebook Live. It is always motivating to watch people cook Asian dishes overseas because it reminds me that I can do it too.


Dehydrated bananas and apples don’t taste that great

If anyone has any tips, please let me know! I think I’m supposed to cut them thicker, but I don’t think it would change the leathery/gummy texture. The banana chips from Sprouts must be fried banana chips because they are so crunchy and addictive.


Two cookbooks I really want to buy
(but I’m broke)

Last but not the least, the Las Vegas shooting was incredibly saddening. I don’t think I know enough to have a proper opinion on the matter yet. I barely know anything about guns because I’ve lived most my life in a country that doesn’t allow guns. The gun ownership laws and US politics are so complicated I don’t know how long it would take me to comprehend everything, but I will have to try much harder since I live in the US now.

Have as good a week as you can have, everyone.