February 2018

On the first Friday of the month, my colleagues and I spent a day volunteering at the Foodbank Victoria. This is something I have always wanted to do but didn’t know where and how to start. We helped to pack more than 7,000kg of food to feed more than 12,000 people. To say it was a soul-satisfying day would be an understatement. My wish is to do more volunteering work regularly, and it would be even better to do it together with my loved ones.

Highlights and Happenings

This month I learned that I like taking pictures of people instead of things and scenery. It’s been a big revelation for me as I usually wouldn’t say I like having people in my scenery pictures. Still, after some soul-searching, I gotta admit street photography is where my interest peaks. Another photography goal is to submit a picture of Richard Renaldi’s Touching Strangers series. 

Still, about photography, I registered and been uploading my pictures on SmugMug, hoping that it will push me to keep practicing photography, which comes with a bonus of some me-time. 

If you ask me about one of my life regrets, it would be for not consistently keeping a diary. I have tried so many things, but it kept getting pushed back on the daily priority list and eventually got neglected. I recently made a new rule to write a diary before I step into the shower at night. No dairy entry = no shower. Hopefully, it works.

I finally collected the Apache bowl, which I bought last year, and left it at my parents’. I will write more about it and other woo-woo stuff that has been filling our apartment. Speaking of which, I also have been using crystals to cleanse our home’s energy. The effect has been lovely and lasting.

The crystal of the month is called Chevron Amethyst. It’s like the regular Amethyst, but with the additional superpower. It enhances intuition, repels negativity, cleanses the aura, and soothes anger. It’s freaking fantastic!

Kitchen update: I perfected the 10-minute pantry pasta, and it has been a weekly staple in our household ever since. Also, all the chilis for this month’s cooking came from our own chili plant.

I have been inspired by the tiny house movement ever since I read it on some blogs and knew Beth of Little Red Tarot lives in one. I have already chosen one I am going to buy, need to convince Fafa.

Sandra, my tarot consultant, once advised me to connect more and often with nature. Her words fueled my love for trees, and I have made an effort to have regular contact with it ever since. I also bookmarked world-famous trees and planned to see some of them before I die. Fingers crossed.

Travel and Trips

This month’s road trip destination was Daylesford. Compared to other road trips we have done, by far, it’s my favorite. We went to the Wombat Hill Botanical Garden for brunch, visited and had drinks at the Convent Gallery, and packed a bottle of delicious spiced cider from the Daylesford Cider Co Brewery, which has been polished off by yours truly by the time I write this.

Another highlight of the month would be when our couple friends invited and fed us the best fish biryani of my life. They make a living in Melbourne, far away from my family, easier.

Mid-month, I went to India for the second time! This time to Goa with a stopover in Chennai. I will share more about it soon.

The day after I came back from India, I attended Gala Darling‘s event. Even though I no longer relate to her, I thought the younger me, who was a fan, would appreciate seeing her IRL. I ended up having a great time, and to my delight, Julie Parker is there! OMG, major star crush! I told Julie that I was a huge fan and that I listened to her soothing voice all the time on the Priestess Podcast. In return, she hugged and enveloped me with her warmness.

In honor of Leslie Knope’, I threw a Galentine’s party at my place and invited my Tree of Trust teammates. They all came and brought too many wines (my love for cheap wines is public information at work), chocolate, donuts, flowers, and cats post-its (Thanks, Manda!). We spent the night getting to know each other better using the conversation cards from Kikki.K.

I will make this Galentine’s party a yearly thing and align it with the Lunar New Year to tap into extra blessings.

New and Favorite Things

NGV Melbourne is featuring Flower Obsession by an 89yo Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. It’s an absolute visual treat. Do check it out if you are in Melbourne anytime before the end of April this year.

I discovered the delicious Badam milk at Chennai airport and Feni in Goa. Both have become instant favorites. Liz’s point rings true about the best ways to experience a new place’s culture through eating, or in my case, drinking. Here is an idea, maybe I can make a beverage pilgrimage throughout India.

I am definitely revisiting India this year, starting from Chennai. I have bookmarked the oldest bookstore in Chennai to visit next time I am there. Hopefully, they sell Badam milk there too.

On Lunar New Year (not a holiday in Australia, boo! Yet another reason I miss Singapore), I got an ang pao from the boss. He gave it in a red packet symbolizing good luck. Inside there were two $5 bills symbolizing double happiness. It made my day! I also got a little nostalgic about the company I worked for in Singapore, where we get ang pao in a green packet during Lebaran and in a red packet during Lunar New Year each year.

Liz dragged me to hot yoga yesterday. I came prepared with a water bottle and a hair tie. Still, I was completely unprepared to repeatedly do downward yoga in between other yoga positions I didn’t even recognize while sweating profusely. Hot yoga ain’t easy! But it gave such a happy high that I am planning to go back tomorrow.

Media and Links

I thoroughly enjoyed Good Me and Bad Me, which I finished over a weekend, and am currently in love with RubyTandoh wrote Eat Up, which I have been savor-reading for half an hour every night. Meanwhile, I am forcing myself to listen to A False Report, which I have to finish in two weeks as it’s the theme in our next book club discussion.

As a super fan of Legal drama TV show ever since Ally McBeal, it was such a joy to discover The Good Fight, the spinoff of The Good Wife, on the flight back to Melbourne.

Other than that, I have been watching Scandal, HTGAFM, Law & Order SVU, Criminal Minds, and Grey’s Anatomy. I also have been playing Deadly Women in the background throughout the month while doing this and that around the house. I was bummed for a short while thinking that I finished all 38 episodes of it, but it was just the 1st season to my utter delight! There are more than 100 episodes to accompany in the upcoming months.

This month, I wrote about leaving my legacy in writing, and my Postcards Project, Hokkaido breakfast and Hyderabad Biryani, Valentine, and that little things matter a lot, also about Liechtenstein.

With the above posts, I have crossed the 500 blog posts milestone, thinking that I want to retire from the blogging world after I write 1,000 posts. I have been pondering about this for a while, about when to stop or will I ever stop blogging. For now, 1000 posts feel like a good number, milestone, and measurable goal to achieve. So, here’s to 500 more posts! How about you? Do you have a blogging milestone, deadline, or endgame?

If you are into monthly recaps, here are some of my favorite bloggers’ monthly recaps, such as Setarra’s Little Happenings, Erin’s How To Know It’s, Richelle’s Freedom Life series, and Kate’s monthly recap.

This month’s video is called the 160 characters. Check it out. Still, about the video, I don’t get why YouTube would restore an ignorant public figure’s channel?!!! I mean, seriously?! Word of advice, please choose your idols carefully, you guys! Better yet, look up to the best version of yourself and strive to be that person every day.

Thank You, Next!

February has been an epic month indeed, and I wish March will be even better!

As a starter, I plan to train weekly to prepare for the mid-year marathon, which I signed up to push myself to exercise more. Speaking of which, I have officially joined the gym now. Yeah, the 2018 version of me is doing great! I am hoping these short Audiobooks will be a good companion while working out.

We will be flying to Sydney for the weekend to hang out with Jik in her Pineapple House. Hopefully, we get to tick-off Devon Cafe, Shalom, Blue Mountain, Kinokuniya, Tea Cozy, and cat yoga during the short visit.

It will be 2 years of me living as an expat in Melbourne at the end of March. I am planning to celebrate it by eating crocodile meat. Because, why not?

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