In between long periods of anxious, impatient waits and sometimes unbearable ennui, I have mastered ways to calm my listless mind.

It’s really simple, really…Brew a cuppa tea, stare out the window & have your notebook ready!

I do this a lot, but I feel Sundays are always the best time. Some people give thanks on Sunday – although we really should be giving thanks every day, if we’re giving any at all. But I like to call this my musings. Just a little corner for my mind to run free with gratitude for the week that just passed and gearing up for the week ahead.

I hope you will enjoy this little snippets of my week that I am grateful for.


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double rainbow

I’m sure a number of you caught this on Monday, but how lucky was I? I was just minding my own tired business when I suddenly looked out the windows and gave the loudest gasp anyone can give in this quiet, peaceful flat, flung the French doors open to the balcony and ran out there admiring the beauty (and my luck). I also forgot that it was cold, good thing I had my cardigan on. I probably took in the best view until I realised I didn’t want to miss a shot and my phone wasn’t with me. I managed this shot, just right before the fog breezed in and went right folks, nothing to see here, back to your homes everyone”. I must’ve stood there for a while, just feeling ever so lucky to have caught sight of my second double rainbow. Also, it was the BIGGEST rainbow I have ever seen in my life. It was magical. And then I caught another double rainbow just yesterday! How amazing!

 

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celebrating C.’s birthday…in person!

I am very, very happy that I finally have the chance to shower C. with lots of birthday love in person! Technically, this is my first time celebrating his birthday lol. We had a nice home-cooked meal (he was kindly subjected to my cooking & new recipes attempts) & an array of unique cakes for him to pick from – but of course he went for his classic carrot cake. It was also nice that he got home from work early, he actually surprised me by coming home earlier than I thought (I wasn’t ready!!!). But I supposed the best bits was almost successfully throwing him a small surprise birthday dinner with a handful of his closest friends over the weekend. I say almost because he said he had some sort of suspicion but then brushed it off, until we got to his favourite restaurant (Honest Burgers) and the lady who welcomed us in betrayed me. She cheerily announced that everyone was here and waiting. The dramatic face-palming happened in my head as C. chuckled and went “Hah, your cover got blown.” Massive eye-rolling right there. He still somewhat got pleasantly surprised at the company, so I guess that’s a success still, right?!

 

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curling up in bed with a book & a cuppa

That sigh of contentment as you sink into bed, wrap yourself up in the duvet, and sip some hot tea. And then proceed to escape in your book of choice. Heaven.

I was going to wrap it up, but I had a thought…and this might be a little bit odd but can we please take a minute to be thankful for:

the dishwasher

I know, I know. Y’all probably think I’m strange, but honestly! Back home in Kuala Lumpur (and Singapore), no one I know has a dishwasher. It was always hard work of washing the dishes by hand. You may think it’s menial but imagine the skills you require to get rid of burnt crusts at the bottom of pans etc. When C. found out I’ve been living with a dishwasher (when I was studying here) & used it as a drying rack for my pots and pans, he might have bowled over in laughter or in pain, or both. Then he started introducing the wonders of a dishwasher and ever since then, I’ve never been able to imagine how I can ever live my life now without a dishwasher.

I had a rather grey week this last week and I am just glad there were things that made me happy.

I hope everyone had a fabulous Sunday and is well-rested for the week ahead!

Toodles. ♥

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“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,
Bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens,
Brown paper packages tied up with strings;
These are a few of my favourite things.”

I can have so much love for so many things. Too many things, sometimes.

I thought it would be a good idea to curate a list of things that brings joy to my life and share with y’all every month. I would do it every week but there is already a new weekly feature coming up on Sundays (so be sure to check that out too!). In a way, I wouldn’t feel all too bad if I were to miss out blogging at times. It’s like sharing mini snippets of my life!

So here you go, my February FavesUnfortunately, no pancakes were involved in this post. 

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the new flat

May I just say it is really nice to have the space and the freedom to walk around in my jammies at 12 noon and not be judged by anyone else but my teddy bears. And it is really nice not to be living out of my suitcases anymore. Also, because this flat is new very new, that’s sort of a plus point because we almost went crazy shopping for new flat things and that was very exciting. But what is more exciting is now that we are a lot more settled, I AM QUEEN OF THE KITCHEN AND I CAN UNLEASH MY CLEAN FREAK AND NO ONE CAN JUDGE. And I make good food. At least that’s what C. tells me. 

Pssst. – Totally loving the Verveine fragrance from The White Company, plus it was a gift! It took every ounce in C. to hold me back from buying everything else in the store after that.

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my new KeepCup

So I have raved about getting a KeepCup since forever but never actually gotten it. It was one of those things you know you want, but never got around to getting it, collecting cobwebs in the back of your mind. A couple of Saturdays ago, C. took me out on a surprise shopping spree and he simply refused to tell me what he was going to get me. Until we finally entered Selfridges and I was making silly wild guesses like Oooohhh you’re getting me perfume//No, you must be getting me a bag!//Or , *gasp!* you’re getting me a lipstick! etc. He found it highly amusing that I was coming up with such expensive wants and getting myself all excited just trying to guess. But really, who knew he can be such a sweetheart, he remembers exactly what KeepCup I have always wanted – even the colour (The KeepCup Brew Limited Edition cork; black lid and plug)! If you know of KeepCup, you will know that they have so many options on material, colours, sizes, it’s almost understandable why I never really made up my mind even though I already knew what I want lol. I am really pleased with this little gift, it has now taken over all my favourite mugs and has served me my mornings, afternoons, evenings, even those in-between period cups of tea!

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My Family & Other Animals

As I have mentioned in my post yesterday, C. is apparently intending to surprise me with a book a month – books he thinks I would enjoy reading. This is his first pick of the year and I was already cackling with glee in the first few pages. I might do a review when I’m done but it has already hit the spot on my February Faves!

 

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tulips

Tulips are always going to be my favourite, regardless of what month it is. It is my February Faves because I decided to go out on Valentine’s day and buy myself some blooms. These bright tulips were only £2.35 or something, and they brightened up my entire week. Sadly, they’re gone now and just writing about this makes me want to go out and buy more blooms.

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starflowers

At least this is what I think they’re called. C. managed a surprise Valentine’s bouquet with the aid of Bloom & Wild and I have watched them bloom all of the last 2 weeks. The bouquet is beautiful, the roses and spray roses sweet as ever. But what caught my eye are these starflowers. When they first arrived, they were not flowering yet so I didn’t think much of them. A few days later, I was wow-ed by the blooming starflowers! Look at them! They also seem to last well and long; they’re doing much better than the roses right now. I will definitely be looking out for them when I pop to the florist next! Most certainly making it into my favourite flowers list!

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Sundate & Sunday roast

Finally. I believe the last time I had a Sunday roast was 2 months ago. I’m a big fan of Sunday roast these days, and C. & I are finally free this last Sunday of the month to go for a Sundate lunch. It has been almost a year since we first walked into The Princess of Shoreditch and we loved it there. We had lamb the last time and this time as well, but we definitely remembered it differently. It was still very good, I loved every bit of it (and the date) but we are looking forward to check out other places for Sunday lunch. If you do have any recommendations/suggestions, do let me know, I would be only too pleased to rush over for my next Sunday roast!

I hope your February was just as colourful as mine!

What are your favourite things this month?

Toodles. ♥

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If you have been following my journey in the last few months, you would realise that it has been 5 months since I dropped everything and left sunny Singapore for cold, grey London skies.

I won’t lie; I have naively thought that the transition would be a little more smooth sailing. Oh, life’s transition is perfectly fine – I feel very much at home here, all thanks to close friends, boyfriend, & his wonderful family. But the progress and process to attain a right to live and work in the UK is far more complicated and cumbersome. The never-ending requirements and hidden fine prints are enough to send me up the walls.

The whole of last week I had to digest the new information, the new…demands of bureaucracy (I swear, bureaucracy is my new constant word these days) and quite frankly, that has gotten me down in the dumps. Half the time I found myself in denial, the other half of the time I spent hating on how difficult things are turning out right now. And at all times, C. has been nothing but so very kind and helpful, always optimistic and trying to make me see the issues in a different light. It wasn’t helping me at first, but he is constantly giving me hope until I am slowly starting to believe again, that everything will be alright soon.

And in those moments of hopeful thoughts, I channelled my energy to happier things. All my worries about how this new development is going to affect me – financially, mentally, physically – I repackaged them and sold it to myself in the form of a sabbatical. I have never really thought about it this way because I have always imagined that I would be able to jump right back to work once I settled my visa etc. Now that it isn’t all that simple, I have to buy the idea of a sabbatical. It’s not a terrible idea anyway. I can guess many might only be too happy to trade their places for mine. Not that I would let you, really, I’m quite happy here. But hey, it is making me feel a lot better. To acknowledge that I *am* on a sabbatical right now. I have all the time in the world now to do whatever I want, and I feel this is the best time for me to focus on ME.

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♦ To start with, I had a brainwave to revamp this blog. For reals. I acknowledge that in the past I haven’t been the most consistent blogger and this year I intend to change that. I want to be able to properly share my thoughts and improve my writings. And to do this, I will be starting off with a few new features that hopefully will stay regular. By making it regular, I hope it will keep me in check and disciplined enough to put more of me into this space that I call my own. I am looking forward to prettify this little corner on the internet (this is work in progress, some time in the week there should be some sort of visual changes), and tomorrow the first of my new feature will go live! So please hang around and check it out!

♦ Secondly, I am picking up French again! C. introduced Duolingo to me some weeks back and I must say, it is such a fun way to learn a new language! It is also free which is the best aha. However, procrastination is in my blood, I am not on top of it yet but apparently I am now at Level 6 and am 13% fluent in French! Merveilleux!

♦ I have been reading loads in the past few months – you can follow my reading challenge here on Goodreads. This year’s goal is to hit 25 books by the end of 2017. I seem to be doing pretty well, I have done 7 books out of 25! I have every intention to increase my goal but I am also setting myself monthly book goals on the side. I am supposed to finish 4 books in February but alas, only 1 book achieved this month. I will do my best to talk about the books I’ve read and yes, it will be one of those new features I was telling you about. C. is being an absolute delight, he wants to surprise me with a book each month and who am I to say no to that?

♦ It is a little disheartening that I haven’t ran / gone to the gym in ages. Every day I wake up telling myself today will be the day I start working out again. Never happened. I am still working up the motivation to make that first step – after months of slacking – so wish me luck!

So there you go, bits and pieces of my life thus far. Hopefully everything will fall into place soon and this whole new life I have been pursuing will then begin. There is always a time and place for everything. But until then, let me enjoy this freedom and time I have in abundance right now.

Toodles. ♥

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I welcomed 2017 with bittersweet hope, looking down the road full of uncertainties. In my last post, I spoke of never-ending brick walls in my way. I was nearly in despair, only to be reminded of the love & support I am surrounded by. It was the one bubble keeping me hopeful & pushing me on. Continuously whacking at that brick wall with my battered hammer.

And today, I am happy to announce that I have finally broken down that brick wall! Made a huge hole in it, and watched it crumble. Then proceeded to climb over it; now I’m seated on the remnants of that wall, sipping on my iced lemon tea, and staring at yet another brick wall a little further down the road. But that’s ok! Nothing can dampen the triumph I feel right now. The sense of achievement, the appreciation of just how much I have accomplished, & the cognizance of how far I have come.

The most important lesson I’ve learnt in 2016 is perseverance brings progress. One step at a time, things started to work out. There was always something in the way, rocks, boulders, rivers, you name it. All the damned time. I started wishing so hard for things to be over, for everything to come together already but all I experienced was the seconds ticking by like they always have, speed unchanged despite my fervour prayers.

I had to learn, that there is a time and place for everything. And there was. Every action, every decision, every turn led me to where I am right now. It wasn’t always easy. But I always remember believing in the magic.

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“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

 

Like how I’ve wished so hard for snow to come falling and, finally I got to see snow woo-hoo!

I honestly believed in that. It is one of those things that I keep telling myself over the years whenever I come across adversities. It is one way of letting myself discover how much I really want something. Because one can only have so many dreams, and one can only achieve all of them if they really want to. Don’t you think?

 

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”

 

I promised myself I wouldn’t let the fear of failure stop me. Even if I think it almost did. My mom never lets me forget that it’s ok to try again (& again & again & again…). It’s not the end of the world.

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 “The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.”

 

And that, my friends, is how perseverance brings progress. Because by the eighth time, you would’ve set fire to the rain.

I did.

After two long years of paperwork, exams, and bureaucrazy, I am finally a registered nurse in this country I now call home. It was just yesterday that I was reminded that it has been 2 years since I graduated, since I made the decision to make my dreams a reality.

I don’t think I have ever been more proud of myself.

Right. Off to tackle that brick wall down the hall. Beyond that wall lies my new phase in life & I can hardly wait to begin.

To my first success of 2017.

 

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Toodles. ♥

It has been 2 months since I left my job.

A job I had both loved & despised, a job that took up almost all of my life, a job that brought me both pains & joys.

It was so hard for me to say goodbye. To my colleagues who became my closest friends at work, to my mentors who have inspired me to pursue my dreams, to my patients I have been taking care of right up until the day I left.

It was such a process. The goodbyes slowly crept up on me, but almost like in denial I brushed them all off saying I still have some time left with them. Until the day arrived and it finally hit me – it’s over. I spent the rest of the evening post shift properly saying goodbye for the last time in my uniform to all my doctors, nurses, allied healthcare members. Some I know I will most probably never see again.

It is a strange feeling – that realisation that you will not see some people ever again, or at least for a very long time. Especially if these are the people you spent almost all your waking hours with working around the clock in tears, sweat, and blood.

My closest friends at work found ways to keep me around even after I left, as did I. I found myself going back to the ward once too many times than I would like to admit, just so I can see them again.

The whole farewell thing lasted a while. And deep down, I know in my heart that this too shall pass. My friends cannot keep missing me, and I have to learn to let go. They will move on with their lives, and so must I.

 

When I thought the hardest of it all was over, I was hit with the tedious process of moving out of the flat, out of the country. Unearthing one old relic after another in my possession, I had to make big girl’s decision whether or not to keep them or throw them. I’m glad to have you know that I managed to throw out some, gave away some. For a hoarder like me, it was an achievement. Somehow I successfully moved out & moved back to KL. From there, it just got harder.

On the outside, my dad seemed like he has accepted the fact that I am moving countries once again, in search of new adventures. But he sure as hell isn’t kidding me, I know he isn’t coping well with this move. Out of the blue, he will say things like “you’re starting your new life soon, how many more years will it be ‘til we see you again?” Things like this set me off oh-so-easily (yes, I am a big crybaby) and it sure isn’t making this any easier for me. He decided that he won’t be following us to the airport to see us off because he will get too sad and that breaks me. Then again, every little thing breaks me these days. I’m useless, ugh.

Maybe he’ll change his mind, who knows. (He did, in the end. I still cried like a baby at the airport, as expected.)

“You gave me wings to fly.

            Now fly, I must.”

I am both terrified and amazed at how far I have come. I have never been this sure of a decision, and I am quite an indecisive person. This is what I want, this is what I have dreamt of. This is the beginning of an end that I have patiently (and painfully) worked towards for two long years.

In this war, the stakes are high. I won some, I lost some.

I may have just about won my way to the next battle, but at the same time I lost so, so much. I lost friends, I lost money, and most times, I lost heart.

I may have just about won the path to my new life, but I believe I may have also lost huge chunks of my past.

 

And that is the price I have to pay.

 

But moving on with the rest of your life, starts with goodbye.

So, hello England. It has been a week.

 

 

Toodles. ♥

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