Archive for January 2012

Media Invite: World Press Photo 11 Press Conference

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After attending the Press Launch for the 4th Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon Fiesta on Saturday, I received another media invite:

Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Malaysia and TNT Express Malaysia presents the World’s largest and most anticipated photo exhibition!

The World Press Photo Exhibition, the largest and one of the most anticipated photo exhibitions in the world, has reached our shores, Malaysia, presenting a striking collection of over 160 award-winning press photographs from all over the world.

A culmination of press photographs, the exhibition is a result of a worldwide annual contest on press photography. This year’s competition attracted 5,691 photographers from 125 countries including Malaysia and in total; a record number of 108,059 images were entered in the contest. 55 photographers representing 23 nationalities in 9 themed categories – Portrait, People in the News, General News, Spot News, Contemporary Issues, Daily Life, Nature, Arts & Entertainment, as well as Sports; were awarded with prize recognitions.

And I am honored to be one of those invited to cover the event. I can't wait to attend the event, see the world's best press photography.

Please watch out for my blog post after the event. I will sure be asking my photographer-cum-husband to take a lot of shots. Will also try to sneak some shots when I have a chance. :D

Excited much?

You bet!

The Joys of Teaching

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Teaching means having to learn at the same time. Believe me, I can’t tell you how I have been reviewing High School lessons since I have started teaching. People could never really underestimate t the teaching profession. It’s not as easy as it sounds, actually. More than the teaching you do within the four corners of the classroom, you have to model so many things and inculcate in them principles that are useful to them as individuals.

So when friends ask me how my day in school was, I always think about how teaching can be fulfilling and tiring at the same time. But honestly, I have come to love it. I may not be out there building metal buildings as what I am supposed to do because that's more like my profession, but to be a part of someone’s young life, to be teaching them and be an influence is joy enough.

Photography Support

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I am so grateful to have a family that is so supportive of my passion for photography. I am also blessed to have friends who are so helpful in coaching me in this hobby. Of course nothing compares to the feeling of getting praises from friends everytime I post photos in my photography blog or in facebook.

I still no expert and have so much to learn still, but I am getting there. Being the handy and techie person that I am, I would not be surprised if I’d actually do good in fixing bikes and cars! But I should get to know how flat washers and bearings are used. Just the thought of it makes me laugh-- I could not possibly do that kind of job. For now, I guess I’ll stick with photography and strive to be best at it.

Cameron Highlands

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It's been a long time since we didn't visit Cameron Highlands. But glad we had a chance to do so this week. We drove up to Cameron Highlands sans the kids. :D

It's the first time we did a spontaneous trip. We didn't book any hotel rooms for us. But we went anyway. It's good to be adventurous sometimes. It's exciting.

The first thing we did was check out hotels in Tanah Rata. That's the center of Cameron Highlands. We usually dine at Rosemary's. But sad to say they're no longer there. But we saw there was another western restaurant, Belle's Cafe, right below Planter's hotel. We had an early dinner there.

Checked out some hotels and finally settled on staying at Bala's Chalet Hotel and Restaurant. Amid the lush greenery lies this beautiful and cozy chalet. It's quite worth staying there, knowing it's peak season and yet we were charged for only 180RM per night. If you are tight in the pocket, though, just skip having meals there.

The next day we went to have breakfast at the Cameron Valley Tea house. Had a nice hot cup of masala tea with ham sandwich plus a gorgeous view of the Cameron Valley (Bharat) Tea Plantation.

Drive to Cameron Highlands

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It was a spur of the moment decision. Kids were supposed to be with their grandparents for a few days. So we decided to pack our bags and drive up to Cameron Highlands. On the way up, it started raining heavily. It was almost 0 visibility so we took a really slow drive.

I wanted to listen to the radio only to learn our car stereo was spoiled. And so I thought of using my hand phone that has an fm feature. But again, I didn't bring the head phone. It only works when I put the head phone on. LOL.

I think the next time, I have to invest on a music phone that will have sennheiser hd 202 ii headphones so I can listen to music when I want to. I am a music sucker. What can I say?

Anyways, it was a long and slow drive but glad the rain stopped when we reached Cameron Highlands. Will post more about my trip later.

My Family's Celebration of Chinese New Year

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One thing I love about Malaysia is that we have so many holidays. Malaysia is so culturally and ethnically diverse. We have at least 3 major groups living here: Malays, Indian and Chinese. Amazing how inspite of the long years of mixture with other cultures, each group still maintain its tradition, culture, language, etc.

My family is not Chinese but when my son knew we would have school holidays because of Chinese New Year, he suggested we celebrate the holidays, too.

And so today, we decided to have a party. I tell you, my family loves to party. You should know that by now. LOL!

Schenker said he would be in charge of the party. So he decided who to invite and what to prepare for food. So he invited our Brazilian friends and his best friend and his family who are living in our area to join us for barbecue.

I cooked some fried chicken and nuggets, bought some frankfurters to grill and bought some ready-to-eat satay from the outside shop. My son's friend's family brought a couple of pizzas and some firecrackers. My kids were so excited to play with the firecrackers! We usually don't allow them to play firecrackers but since we're celebrating Chinese New Year, we let them.

Chinese New Year won't be until Monday. But we did the party today. I am telling you, I even prepared ang pows (red envelopes with money inside) for the kids! Really a Chinese-y night we had. I guess this is going to be a tradition from this year onwards. LOL.

To all friends and family celebrating Chinese New Year 2012, Gong Xi Fa Chai!

Holiday Plans for 2012

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I know I have been talking a lot about going for holidays these days. I guess one feel that way when one feels stuck (stuck at work, stuck at family commitments, etc). But really, I have always been a holiday planner. I love to do it, knowing that most of the time, when I plan on going somewhere, somehow, it becomes a reality.

And so that is why I have been talking a lot about going for holidays. Actually, I’ve been planning for a holiday for 2012. Turkey, Korea, India, New Zealand and Barbados are in the radar!

Barbados offers a wide range of activities to fill up our holiday itinerary. There is just simply so much you can do. I am pretty sure barbados holidays will be fun, whether its tranquility or thrills, you will enjoy the country.

We all have heard of Barbados, but where exactly is Barbados? Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles. It is situated in the western area of the North Atlantic and 100 kilometres (62 mi) east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea.

The hubs and I both enjoy adventures. We found out that Barbados is known for its fascinating submarine adventure and beaches. I think if we can save enough money we might even be able to spend a day on a luxury catamaran. We have always wanted to go for a luxury holiday, and I think this could be the one. One of our dreams is to feed and swim with sea turtles. Imagine swimming with them! Scary thought, but I think they are really beautiful creation.

Yes, we would definitely go snorkeling. What is a holiday at the beach without going snorkerling. We might even try windsurfing. Like I said, we are on an adventure trip, and are so game to trying new beach activities.

So the Barbados holidays is something we are really looking forward to. I am going to do a bit more search and see what other adventure awaits us.

New Year's Eve

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One of the best movies I have watched so far this year was New Year's Eve. It's a star-studied movie. It's a chick flick and yet a decent movie. You can rarely watch chick flicks nowadays that are quite decent, I should say. The movie speaks of love and romance and the reality of couple's lives.

One of the reviews said:

I don't think I understand people at all. I watched it despite all the bad reviews and I didn't regret it. I'm starting to think people are really bitter, it's a really sweet movie about new years and how people feel around that time of the year, it actually gave me a warm feeling, so yes, it's not a deep smart full of effects movie, but sometimes people need a movie like this, I'm all against unchallenging movies, but I don't think this was the case at all. It's the perfect new year movie, that gives you hope for the year to come and live everyday fully. The variety of characters is okay, as you get to know them enough to see a little bit of yourself in them or not,and it's really interesting to see what different people go through at that time of the year and how they feel and what they hope to change. It really is a warm,hopeful movie, at least that's the way I saw it.Sometimes we need to take a break and take a deep breath, that's the movie.

I totally agree. There are some parts that I got teary-eyed coz it was just soo touching.

Have you seen the movie? Did you like it?

Family Boat Ride

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Schenker, my 7 year old son has been asking us to go on a boat ride. I think he even asked if we could hire a boat and go on a holiday or a cruise. Either that, or hire a camper van so we could go camping. LOL. We have been thinking and we finally decided that we would take the family on an island trip.

We made a trip to the Andaman Sea and decided to rent a boat (image above, Schenker on a boat ride with his friend from South Africa) so we could go on a cruise except that it’s a smaller boat and not a real big cruise ship. The ride on the boat was just overwhelming. As we traveled, we saw beautiful mountains, clear sandy beaches, beautiful landscapes and experienced the bright sunny weather. The kids absolutely loved it, and I am glad, the trip widened their perspective of life and the wonderful creation.

I guess one day when we save enough we might be able to go on a nice family cruise, and I guess Family Cruises would be a great way of bonding, away from the hustle and bustle of life.

I must say the boat trip we made to the islands made us appreciate life and the beautiful nature. Life is bigger than we think, indeed.

Tender Love by Force MD

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I have been listening to this song over and over and over again. And again. LOL. I just can't get enough of it. Tender Love by Force MD.

I am not sure when this song came out. But judging on how the singers look like, it seems like it's a couple of decade old song.

Here's the lyrics of the song:

Here I lay all alone
Tossin turning
Longing for some of your, Tender Love
I'm waitin for the right moment to come
So I can thank you for,

All the tender love you've given to me
Oh baby
Tender love (Tender love)
Love so tender
Holdin me close
baby I surrender (oh baby I surrender)
Candles they light the dark,

Now I see how
lovely these feelings are
All the tender love you've given to me
And I want you more and more
(can't resist you)

oh and I feel your touch
Tender love
And your loving me straight from the heart
(hold me nearer)
reasons beyond our love
All the tender love you've given to me
(all of your love, baby)

Tender love (tender love)
Love so tender
Holdin me close
Baby I surrender (baby I surrender)
Tender love (tender love)
Love oh, so tender

Hold me,
Close to you
Girl, I surrender
Tender love (tender love)
Love so tender
Hold me close to you girl
I surrender, baby

Tender love (tender love)
Love so tender, baby
Hold me close
Hold me close
Hold me close to you,

I surrender
Tender love
(tender love)
Tender love
Tender love, give me some of that tender love
Tender love

Escapade | Away from Kuala Lumpur

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Just lately we’ve been thinking of just going on a short escapade, away from the busy bustling city life in Kuala Lumpur. Although Kuala Lumpur, commonly known as KL is a beautiful metropolitan with a beautiful tropical city-look, it would be just nice going somewhere far away from the normal routine of life, and just chill-out at the beach.

I heard there are some really gorgeous beach resorts in Magaluf. I heard that it is just like the infamous Langkawi Island as they say. Not knowing where Magaluf was, I did some internet search and realized that Magaluf is a major holiday resort on the Spanish Island of Mallorca, and they especially known for their three main white beaches of Palma Nova Beach, Magaluf Beach and Mallorca Beach.

The beaches are known for sun-tan spots and water sports. Although I am pretty sure I would not need a sun-tan, I would think westerners would find the beach a sun-tan haven, and knowing me and my hubs, we’ll probably opt for the water sports.

I also read that they have a water theme park known as Aqualand Magaluf. It looks like they have some thrilling water slides and speed tubes. It does look like this will be a fun place to be.

Something I would really forward to, if ever I could really go for holiday in magaluf, would be the quaint traditional food and the craft markets for souvenirs. Souvenirs are something one must never forget to get when going for holidays in Magaluf. They have some really pretty indigenous cultural crafts that I’m sure my friends and family would love to have.

In My Dreams - Reo Speedwagon

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I must be in Grade 6 when I first heard this song. Loved it since then. It's a very easy-listening song. My sister just posted this on her Facebook timeline and it really reminded me of some fond memories. Not that I had a boyfriend at that age. It was just lovely to listen to the music.

Anyways, here's the song In My Dreams by Reo Speedwagon. Such a cute smile he has. Just pardon the first few seconds.

Love List for Couples

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When hubs and I married each other, we both knew that we were going to have a great marriage together. We had so many common interest, and one of them was going on holidays. You know, on our first month of marriage, we sat down and wrote down the 7 non-negotiobles on our Love List.

This is something we wrote down for everyday. Everyday we touch, cuddle, kiss, hug, say ‘I Love You’, compliment each other, and laugh. These were the stuff we told ourselves we would do, and to be really honest we still do them. I am so glad we enjoy these special moments together.

Then we agreed on things we want to do once a week. We agreed that we would sleep in, talk, clean the house, clear conflicts, chill-out at the malls, restaurants, and we would have passionate nights. Well this one we couldn’t do it all, but the passionate nights is something that has been a challenge because when the kids came along, they took all our energy away so much so we don’t have any more energy left at nights. Funny,but true. I’m sure all couples with kids can attest to that.

Then we agreed on things we want to do once a month. We agreed that we would have special romantic dinners, hubs will buy me flowers, give each other something (doesn’t matter how big or small), and visit parents. You know, hubs hasn’t failed in giving me flowers once a month eversince we got married. He’s just so romantic. Every month he would by me African Daisies, or also know as Zebras, and I just simply love them.

Then we agreed that every quarterly, we would go on holidays for at least 3 days, and 2 nights. In the early years of marriage, we kept to our plans, but as the children grew older and started going to school, we couldn’t go for breaks once in three months. Now we go for holidays once a year, and in fact, last year we were able to go for two holidays, once to Australia and another trip to Thailand.

Then we agreed on things we would like to do once a year, and we agreed on spending time to do a personal reflection of the year that passed by, talk about new year resolutions, and go for a long holiday somewhere special.

I am so glad we had this ‘Love List’ for building intimacy in our marriage. I’ve been waiting to say this the last, the most common thing we both share is we both share the same birthdays! Isn’t that awesome!! Oh, you know that already. LOL!


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Have you tried eating escargot? Japanese love to eat them. They make such excellent dish out of escargot.

When we were young, we used to have a river at the back of our house. The river was so clean then. I remember going to fish and collect snails. Kohol, we call them. My mom would cook it in coconut milk. We had fun taking the meat out of the snails before eating them. That was probably 30 years ago.
Then I went to Indonesia for a conference with my husband. Our Indonesian friends took us out for their local cuisine and ordered Kohol (tutut in Bahasa Indonesia). I had a good time eating them and good time of remembering my childhood days.

Travel As Things-to-do in Our Love List

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One common interest amidst the many others both me and my DH have is we both enjoy going for holidays. We have traveled quite a bit and we have enjoyed every single moment of it.
We have enjoyed meeting people of different cultures, understanding their worldview, and even appreciated their food. The experience has just widened our perspective on life. Life is really bigger than we think. There is just so much to enjoy in life.

Interestingly, we travel so much, and one might wonder how do we do this, or they might think that ‘money is growing on trees in their lawn’ , but the reality is we always search for cheap holidays so we can stretch our dollar and cents to the max.

Even our trips to the US, we were able to enjoy cheap holidays. We had friends who were willing to host us, and we used discount coupons to save on meals and shopping.

One of the things we wrote on our ‘Love List’ when we first got married was we would go for holidays every quarterly. In the early years we were able to keep to that commitment but as the kids grew older and started going to school, we had to slow down on holidays as holidays become more expensive. Nevertheless, we have still been able to go on short holidays because of cheap fares.

Garlic Shrimp

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My girl loves anything shrimp. So I make sure shrimp is on my grocery list. I have different kinds of recipes for shrimp.

This time, it's garlic shrimp.

It's very easy. I don't follow any recipes and I don't do measurements.

Here's my easy recipe for garlic shrimp.

You will need:
  • garlic
  • soy sauce
  • shrimp
  • butter
  • loads of love
Heat up the butter on a pan, sautee the garlic, add shrimps. Season with soy sauce, sprinkle some coarse black peppers.

Didn't I tell you it's a simple recipe?

Heart-Healthy Breakfast

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I love preparing healthy breakfast for me and the hubs. (The kids would only satiate themselves with either peanut butter sandwich or chocolate sandwich.

This is what I would normally prepare when I am in the mood to prepare breakfast:
  1. heart healthy omelet with light mozzarella chees
  2. canada bacon
  3. greens
  4. loads of love.

Turkey, Oh Turkey

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Hubs is visiting Antalya in March (I can't stress it enough - LOL), and I am getting very excited (how many times have I said this already? Hehehe) as I might be going with him for a short holiday. I have always been very curious about Turkey. Every year we see lots of Turkish tourist here in Malaysia and they look really nice and pleasant.

Hubs is planning on extending our stay after his meeting so we can travel around Turkey. One place that really caught my attention was the place called Dalaman. Dalaman is a district situated on the southwestern coast of Turkey.

image borrowed from
I googled and found out that Dalaman is known for its international airport (and Dalama has the most expensive airport in the world?) which serves as a gateway to the tourists who visit this part of Turkey every year, heading especially to seaside resorts to the west and east of Dalaman such as Marmaris, Fethiye, Köyceğiz, Dalyan, Ölüdeniz and Hisarönü.

Now, if you know me, I love hanging out at the beach. Besides swimming at the beach, I just love watching the sunrise and sunset. They are just simply so beautiful. It just makes my day! I love snorkerling too, and that’s definitely going to be in our itinerary.

Now I am getting very excited, and I need to find flights to dalaman turkey from Antalya. I’m sure there are cheap flights, and I want to look around for the cheapest fare possible so that I can keep the extra funds for our holidays.

Oh Turkey, you’re toasted. I’m coming! (another big hopeful grin)

Jirah's Photos

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I have posted these in my photography blog but I want to post this here again. Photos are taken in Grass Hill, Ranong, Thailand.

Who would have thought there's such a nice ranch-like place in Ranong? It felt like I was in the US when I shot these photos.

I shot something like 400+ images, all in raw. These two are my favorites.

LDR (Long Distance Relationship) | Will It Work?

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I was just interacting with a friend on Facebook who just got engaged to her British boyfriend. I could just imagine how they're feeling right now being away from each other. It reminds me so much of how my husband and I have gone through with an LDR - Long distance relationship.

You see, I was posted in Thailand and he was in Malaysia. It was really hard for both of us. That time, there was only Yahoo Messenger and phone calls which would cost up to 5,000 Baht for me (sometimes). There was no budget airline yet. Airasia was still in the making that time. And so my husband would brave through train/bus traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Hatyai to Phuket just to see me.

It was hard when I think about it... but in love, there's no such thing as impossible. You would brave anything just to go through it... or through that person.

If both are right for each other, it's worth the hardship, too. In the end, you will appreciate each other more. And what do they say about lovers being far from each other? Distance indeed makes the heart grow fonder.

Why do I feel lovey dovey tonight? Hmmm... Sugar and Richard are both to blame.

Here's to both of you... may God bless your relationship. May you enjoy getting to know each other better... and let distance make your heart grow fonder.

Bodrum | Will I Ever See You?

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I’ve been searching and reading a lot about Bodrum lately, specially knowing that I might be going with the hubs to Antalya, Turkey in March this year.

image borrowed from
I read that one place no visitor should miss is the famous Bodrum Castle, which overlooks the harbor and the international marina. The castle was constructed in the 15th century during the crusades of the middle ages. I saw some photos of the castle, and it is really huge and beautiful. Oh well, all castles are beautiful and huge, I guess I was just overwhelmed by just looking at the beautiful photos.

One other place we must visit is the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology. This museum won an award in 1995 as a European Museum of the Year. I can’t wait to go take photos here. There are going to be lots of archaeological shoots that will be fun to take.

My darling hubs and I are definitely going to visit the islands around the Bodrum peninsula like Rabbit Island, Orak Island or Black Island. They are all known for fun activities by the beach like riding the waves with a jet ski, sailing with a catamaran, doing some para sailing or windsurfing.

All this is going to be a lot of fun. I am going to look for cheap flights to Bodrum. I am sure there are good offers online.

Here I come, Bodrum! Errrr... I hope! *hopeful grin*

Malaysia Airline Flashmob at KLIA

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Passengers arriving at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) on Saturday, 14 January 2012 were greeted with a flash mob as they made their way out of the Arrival Hall on Level 3. Much to the delight of unsuspecting onlookers, plus the odd stare in disbelief, visitors at KLIA witnessed some 100 singers and dancers break into spontaneous entertainment as part of Malaysia Airlines' special flash mob event held to welcome the New Year with a bang.

Loved watching this. It speaks so much of Malaysian culture. Very diverse, multi cultural society and yet there's so much unity.

God bless Malaysia!

Chinese New Year 2012 Coming Up

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Now that I have starting working, I become very conscious of the holidays. I used to just shrug it off. LOL. But now, it's 3 more days and it's holidays! Yay! Oh but please, don't get me wrong. I am loving my new job. Really thank God for this blessing.

Most of my students are Chinese. So now, I can already feel that they're already in a holiday mood. One of my students told me she couldn't wait for the New Year to come coz she's looking forward to getting Ang Pows (red envelopes) from her family and relatives. Chinese people believe that in giving red envelopes (of course, with the money inside), it will be a good luck.

And so, I believe that as early as it is now, Chinese folks are already preparing their Ang Pows. For other people, there are many forms of red envelopes and they could also avail someredenvelope radio codes to give away. For some, they get thrilled when they get money instead.

And so, yes... like I said, 3 more days and it's holidays. What's coming up for school break? I have yet to plan.

Yaaaammmmm Seeeenngggggg!

Poh Kong Auspicious Collection: 2012 Year of the Water Dragon

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Last December 2011, I had a media event invite from Poh KOng for the Media Briefing: Poh Kong Auspicious Collection: 2012 Year of the Water Dragon where publishers could preview and photograph/videograph their upcoming Auspicious Collection.

To welcome the year of the Water Dragon, Poh Kong has designed an exclusive collection of dragon-inspired gold jewellery that is modern while keeping true to Chinese beliefs, customs and traditions.

I responded to the invite but here's the problem. I got a follow up email asking for my phone number and car plate number, for security reason. That time, I didn't have phone yet... and my husband couldn't send me to the place because he had another appointment to attend with. I didn't even have a business card to begin with! Now I am trying to make clear business cards for my blogging media events. I didn't see the need until I had to decline because I didn't have id to show.

Anyways, I was really very excited coz I am a Poh Kong consumer. My husband got my engagement ring from there. We also pierced Samantha's ears from there. I also got a couple of jewellery from their TRANZ Collection (four-leaf clover designed earrings and pendant).

I hope I can get another media invite from them in the future.

Holidays to Egypt

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Traveling has always been fun for me. I like it that I get to meet different cultures, people, personalities, and worldviews, besides appreciating all the other plus points about the country.

Hubs will be flying to Antalya, Turkey in March for meetings, and I know that Egypt is about 765km from where he would be. That could just take less than 7 hours by drive to get there. This could only mean one thing, I might want to go with him!! As soon as his meetings are over, we’ll go rent a car and drive to Egypt.

Yes, you’re got this spot on .. We might be going on holidays to Egypt! I’ve heard lots about Egypt. Read the news, and even had friends who had been on holidays to Egypt. They all have one common appreciation about Egypt. They absolutely loved the architecture, especially the pyramids, and its beautiful people. The buildings are absolutely stunning especially for photography.

I just can’t wait to make a trip to Egypt and go on a photoshoot, and yes, I am going to drag my husband with me, I am sure we will both enjoy doing some photoshoots as we both enjoy photography. The only photo of a pyramid I have is the image above and that's just a replica of an Egyptian pyramid with a Sphinx - Sunway Pyramid mall. LOL.

Flightless Bird, American Mouth

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Just played a wedding song entitled Flightless Bird, American Mouth by Fire and Wine.

I love the melody of the music. It's very danceable. You can easily get carried by its rhythm. I very much care about the lyrics of the song I like to play, especially that I have a tendency to play the song over and over again for hours.... sometimes, for days.

And so, here's the lyrics of the song Flightless Bird, American Mouth.

I was a quick wet boy, diving too deep for coins
All of your street light eyes wide on my plastic toys
Then when the cops closed the fair, I cut my long baby hair
Stole me a dog-eared map and called for you everywhere

Have I found you
Flightless bird, jealous, weeping or lost you, american mouth
Big pill looming

Now I'm a fat house cat
Nursing my sore blunt tongue
Watching the warm poison rats curl through the wide fence cracks
Pissing on magazine photos
Those fishing lures thrown in the cold
And clean blood of Christ mountain stream

Have I found you
Flightless bird, grounded, bleeding or lost you, american mouth
Big pill stuck going down.

It's a very strange song, with seemingly nonsense lyrics but when you dig deeper, the message of the song could be great.

-Twilight Soundtrack-

Travel to Australia

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Traveling has always been my passion and desire. Little did I realize that one day my dreams would become a reality. I have travelled to lots of countries, but just last year, I was able to travel to Melbourne, Australia, and go on drive on the Great Ocean Road and take the 12 Apostles Scenic Flight and yes, take aerial photography of Port Campbell Bay too. Isn’t that awesome !!!

It was indeed an amazing experience.

How did we get there ? We used a family car hire, and of course a GPS, and we keyed in the address to Port Campbell. Port Campbell is the hub of the Great Ocean road, and lots of people stop-by to spend a night camping or staying at motels, but since we had a nice car, we spent the night in the car. It took us about four to five hours to get to Port Campbell. The route took us through Geelong, then to Port Campbell through Princess Highway.

The two beautiful hubs at the Great Ocean Road are Port Campbell and Princetown. They are both hubs for accommodation, meals and leisure.

We enjoyed spending our time at the world famous Twelve Apostles. They were absolutely stunning. I was so glad I and Schenker took the scenic flight to see an aeriel view of the Twelve Apostles, London Bridge and Loch Ard Gorge which is exactly a replica of a sea horse.

We hung around a day just spending the day enjoying the magnificence of God’s creation, breathtakingly gorgeous , needless to say. The ocean was simply so blue, a true reflection of the beautiful sky. What made it really special was I spent the beautiful day with my family enjoying precious moments one would always cherish.

40th Birthday Surprise

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They say Life Begins at 40. And because of that, I wanted to make sure my husband would remember his 40th birthday.

You see, my husband and I have the same birth dates. He is just one year older than I am (now you know how old I am already - go figure! LOL). And so ever since we got together as a couple, we ended up not having a party for our birthdays. We just go out, give gifts in private, etc. But this year, I wanted to make it special for the hubs since he's turning 40 already.

Last month, I contacted a caterer we both knew.

I wanted a cocktail party, I said. And so, she gave me her list of menu. It looked really great and decided on it. But you also have to remember that we did a cocktail dinner for our wedding reception. Both of us want to make our parties more relaxing. Sitting down would make it less relaxing and very formal. And so, if we did a cocktail party, every one could have a chance in moving around, talk to friends, etc.

It's a good thing I contacted Lilian Jesudasan of A Family Affair Party Planner a month earlier coz they had such a huge event to cater to this week.

And so, I secretly contacted our office colleague, few friends, and our family a few weeks before the party and some, a few days before the party. I wanted to make it small but a cozy and relaxing.

Our theme was Red and Black Cocktail party.

And so, please let my photos say it all:

The venue was at the STAMP Ministry house. One day before the party, I asked my husband if I could go out and have a girls' day out with my Brazilian friend, Viviane. He sent me at 3pm, I only went home at 1:30am - the next morning! You can just imagine how worried my husband was because it was definitely a first time for me to go out and come home late! He tried calling me but I never dared answer his phone calls, lest the he would suspect I would be doing something fishy - which was really true.

I loved the way A Family Affair Party Planner a.k.a. Aunty Lilian and family did the food - suited according to my taste, I should say. My favorite was the cheese platter. I do recommend them if you need a contact to cater food for your party.

Family and friends waiting for our entrance. Had to call my friend Davi we're already at the gate. This time, my heart was really pounding so loudly, I almost couldn't move. My alibi was to come to the ministry house because I forgot something from Viviane... and I needed to pick it up that time. And so, when we reached the place, I asked if he could go inside instead. The kids insisted they wanted to go with daddy and I thought of using the opportunity so I also said I wanna go inside and suggested he turned off the car engine. LOL.

My red and black dress from Voir. My red stilettos (image above) is from URS. Samantha's dress is from Little Princess, in Sunway Pyramid.

I made a very surprised husband. I was glad. I thought I was the only one who crafted a surprise party. I did the party on the 3rd of January coz everybody would start school/work on the 4th.
Birthday Cake: D7000 DSLR Cake by AFA Party Planner

On the 5th, my husband and Samantha picked me and Schenker up from the school. We went out to have dinner at Nando's. When we came home, I saw this on the table: I felt numb. I didn't know what to and what to say and how to feel. My dream come true (I goaled to get it by the end of the year in 2012)... I got it on the first week of January. My husband is the awesomest of all.

My very own Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VR11 lens for my Nikon D7000. I gave my husband an edible DSLR Nikon D7000 Birthday cake and he gave me the real thing. Hehehe. 

Like I said, I didn't like to be surprised. But to get a surprise like this? It's all worth the effort. Thank you so much, Lord for my gift - my husband. 

Happy birthday to me! LOL!

P.S. I personally wanna thank my friends Viviane and Davi for driving me around to find stuff for the party deco. Malaysia is so pathetic when it comes to buying things for arts and crafts. I left the house at 1:30am, making them really tired... Hehehe. But they were really really helpful in putting up the decos.

I want to thank my dear sister Eugenia for helping prepare the food.

My bro-in-law Babu and family for 4 bottles of Champagne.

Bernice for taking photos (I had to give my camera in secret so she could take photos when we arrive at the venue. 

Kim Lilian Jesudasan of A Family Affair Party Planner for the cocktail food. On facebook:

Really awesome to have family and friends celebrate our special days. Thank you, Lord for them!