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Posts Tagged ‘Malaysia

Where else besides restaurants and hawker centers can we eat in Singapore? Someone’s home through PlateCulture

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I used to be adventurous in my food consumption: gulping everything edible (though I am not highly carnivorous) until my pregnancy, confinement and breastfeeding restrict my choices of food. Please don’t get me wrong.

These experiences (that I am grateful of) have widen my horizons and allowed me to embrace a new passion in food, its benefits on health, and simple cooking. I even take a course on cooking for children from Coursera.

These days, I love home-cooked meals.
I also try to minimize eating MSG-infested food served in restaurants and (some) hawker centers.
Sometimes, I feel thirsty after dining in some restaurants / food courts / hawker centers. Have I become so sensitive to MSG and excess salt?

Now, I choose to savor (instead of hastily consume like in the past) my food and constantly learn creative ways related to food and health.

Recently, I learned about PlateCulture through Anh-Minh Do of Tech in Asia. PlateCulture, a Malalysian-based start-up (founded by Audra Pakalnyte and Reda Štarė of Lithuania), is like Homedine in US and Cookening in Europe.

So, I started browsing the hosts listed by PlateCulture.

I am particularly interested by Healthy Chinese Food with Herbs hosted by Sara K of Damansara, Kuala Lumpur. Like Sara, I love pandan leaves and ginger.

Here are 4 inspirations from her (mixed with my past experience):
(1) I plan to incorporate traditional Chinese medicine principles into my cooking.
For example,
On a hot day, have a bowl of green bean soup.
On a cold day, have a bowl of red / azuki bean soup.
(2) Freshly squeezed orange juice with no water or sugar added, is indeed a simple pleasure of life.

(3) I often cook steamed fish (salmon with sesame oil or white fish with ginger), perhaps I should also try cooking foil-wrapped steam herbal chicken.

(4) Sara wrote "Dinner at home is often accompanied with relaxing traditional/new-age music with aromatherapy". Sometimes I do listen to classical music while enjoying my simple home cooked dinner, perhaps I should try traditional / new-age music too.

For PlateCulture-listed kitchens in Singapore (as of October 2013), the cost ranges from SGD 30-70 per person, which is quite expensive for our standard.

Normally, we will only spend around $15-$20 per person on our once-a-week restaurant dining. Sometimes, we are pretty happy eating at shop houses without air conditioner, and it costs us only $5++ (less than $10) per person. Many times, my husband and I will share a cup of coffee.
I do not care if people say that I am cheapskate, we do so simply because I could not take too much caffeine (but I love coffee!);
it is more about one of my values of being frugal and sustainable (environmentally friendly and not wasteful).

Of course, I understand that home kitchens (like those promoted by PlateCulture) are not professionally run restaurants. It is the interactions with the hosts and the newly formed relationships that matters, which are absence from dining in restaurants.

I really look forward to more affordable home dining experience in Singapore offered by PlateCulture!

Written by blueroselady

October 9, 2013 at 6:37 am

How to use quotes to better your life? 4 empowering tips

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Do you love quotes?
Do you have a collection of quotes that you love?
Would you please share one or few with me those that you love most (in comment below)?

When I was a high school student, like other boarders, I was assigned to a particular class room for 7-10 pm self-study every Sundays to Fridays, and Saturdays too when it was near the exam period!

I was fortunate that the class room where I was assigned to had inspiring quote written on the black board.
坚其志,苦其心,劳其力,事无大小,必有所成。

Since then, I started to collect my own quotes.

I also learned that by including quotes in my essays, I can improve the quality of my writings, and received higher marks. So, I started to memorize some useful quotes.

Agreeing with my friend Passuello of Litemind, quotes can instantly transform our moods, feelings & emotions, like a keyboard shortcut. Being short & succinct, quotes act faster than books, music & movies.

Toni Robbins highlights the importance of being able to instantly switch our mood, it is a relief to realize that quotes can be one of our arsenals.

We may have already known about the idea that a particular quote expresses, but sometimes we may have forgotten about it. The quote can serve as our reminder.

Sometimes, we may subscribe to popular ideas, but not everything popular is always right. Quotes of different (if not opposing) ideas can challenge our perspectives.

Sometimes, we have an idea on particular issues, but we are struggling to find the right words to express it. Herein, quotes come as a shortcut & springboard for explaining our ideas / established views / formed perspectives to others.

To summarize,
1. quotes are useful to instantly transform our emotions.
2. quotes can make us happy and hopeful.
3. quotes challenge our perspectives.
4. quotes enable us to communicate (write, speak, talk) effectively.

Bonus:
# Quote of the day:
Do our Best
Let God do the Rest
# Quotes at the end of my email

Written by blueroselady

September 9, 2013 at 10:56 am

Recipe: ginger milk tea (2 methods)

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Benefits:
Ginger tea helps to get rid of digestive problems, headache and throat infections.

Ingredients:
3:1 ratio of milk:water
brown sugar (to taste)
tea bag e.g. Darjeeling. Exclude this ingredient if you are pregnant.

Method 1:
Boil milk, water, brown sugar, tea powder / tea bag.
Pour the hot mixture into a cup containing grated ginger.
Do not boil milk and ginger together, because milk will get curdled.

Method 2:
Boil water, ginger, tea powder / tea bag together.
Pour the hot mixture into a cup containing brown sugar.
Stir.
Add warm milk.

Written by blueroselady

December 24, 2012 at 7:56 am

Posted in food

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How to endure the unendurable?

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These are examples of events are challenging us:
the death of loved ones
failing ill (severe illnesses)
failed relationships e.g. divorce, being written off by friends that one treasures
bankruptcy / loss
failures / defeats / major disappointments
labor / giving birth
wars / riots
natural disasters

Who has never experienced at least one of those events?
The answer is nobody.

We must equip ourselves with the ability to endure the unendurable.
How to master the art of endurance?

Prayer. Believe that God is always with us.
Positive affirmations. Believe that the mother nature is taking care of us, the entire universe is protecting us through the law of divine protection.

Use the power of subconscious mind, especially the passing over and visualization techniques. When I was a kid, I learned to focus on the scenery picture in my dentist’s room, to distract my mind from the pain of my tooth being extracted. I imagine I visited the place with hilly green pasture and snow-capped mountains at the back. Indeed, before I was 30 years old, I have been to Switzerland (a place that seems fit to the scenery) thrice.

Relax and release all your burdens to the invincible (God, mother nature, universe).
Concentrate / focus on your breathing. Use alternate one-nostril technique.
Listen to soothing music.
Read inspiring words.
Meditate / self-hypnotize.

See the big picture in space and time. In X amount of time, we will experience less pain. Time heals. All things are passing.

Think of our role models. What are our role models going to do in such situation? Bring the matters to our daily counselor meeting, ask for their opinions.
For delivery, I will think of how my mother lovingly brought me to the world. If she can, so can I.

Master the art of detachment.

Learn a lesson, especially for sufferings and pains from failed relationships or failures in school or work. By enduring our pains, we progress to the next level of our lives; from a child to an adult, people may experience the pain of growing up; from a single woman to a mother, women will experience the pain of birth.

Understand that things are complementing. If we do not know what ugliness is, we will never appreciate what beauty is. If we have never experienced pain, we will not appreciate our pleasure or joy.

Remember that if you are willing to endure more pain than the person next to you, winning will be your only option. Mentor MR told me (when i I was in teen struggling on my own without my parents) 吃得苦中苦,方为人上人.

Related:
How to manage disappointment and anger?
How to play the game of life?
How to overcome fear?
Subconscious mind
How to endure the pain of moving out of comfort zone?

Written by blueroselady

November 4, 2012 at 11:01 am

How not to listen to non-constructive criticism?

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This article is inspired by John Gurdon’s experience on criticism. He received Nobel prize in 2012. Though I have never met him, I counted a blessing that in a period of my life, I walked / cycled passed the Gurdon Institute (named after him) regularly.

An Eton teacher of John Gurdon wrote that the then 15-year-old John Gurdon wouldn’t listen, couldn’t learn simple biological facts and, horror of horrors, "insisted on doing work in his own way". In one test, Gurdon scored a miserable two out of 50.

The report made John Gurdon disheartened, but fortunately one of John Gurdon’s early decision on not to listen to non-constructive criticism indeed played an important role in his subsequent research work, including the discovery that mature cells can be converted to stem cells (and ended up winning a Nobel prize).

How not to listen to non-constructive criticism?

1. Be prepared that in life, no matter what we do (including noble actions), some people will criticize us. To protect ourselves against these peace robbers, we can
# enhance our inner strength by reminding / focusing ourselves on our strength
# have a thick face

2. Be aware of the reasons why people give non-constructive criticism

# jealousy and justification attempt. They are jealous of our achievements and attempt to gain self-importance by criticizing us. They justify themselves at the expense of us. Do not fear those who criticize us because of their jealousy. Perhaps, those who criticize us suffer from low self-esteem and meet their need of having self-importance by criticizing, instead we can be kind by giving them empathy and sympathy.

# ignorance and inexperience. For example, you want to attempt a new venture and you seek advices from people around you. Those who never start up a company or those who have failed will project their fear and criticize you. Do not listen to these naysayers. Instead, consult those who have successfully achieved what you want to achieve.

3. Be mindful of your perspective (mind), emotions, and body

# Must be able to see the BIG PICTURE
When I was a primary and junior high school student, I accept the fact that teachers are role models. I did not question their authorities. They were the grown-ups with more knowledge and wisdom than me who was only a fledgling individual. I did not realize that teachers are also human beings, subjected to human conditions (both positive and negative attributes). Few of my teachers had ego and misused their authorities. They criticized students who refused to follow them, e.g. if a student refused to learn bad words, he would be labeled as self-righteous. Fortunately, I moved to a better school and I learned a lot from my kind teachers – those who teach for the passion of teaching and nurturing the next generation more than for earning an income (of course everyone has to earn a living). Looking back, those teachers who criticized things I thought as right, did no longer matter.

Then, when I started my study in a famous place, an unhappy professor told me that the only reason I went there was because of the fame. Well, while that reason honestly contributed to my decision, I had bigger reasons why I fought all my ways to gain admission there. At that time, when such a professor with his authority / power and perceived superiority (in knowledge, ability, etc) said such things to students, the impact could be huge. However, I did not listen to him. I shifted my focus to my purpose (FOCUS ON YOUR PURPOSES). I managed to work with more successful (and more generous and kinder) professors, produced results, and graduated. My mentor CNC loves to say that success is always the sweetest revenge (without harming our past offenders).

My learning journey then brought me to meet inspiring entrepreneurs. In some aspects, I look up to entrepreneurs who create jobs for many people and excellent products / services with great values, more than to professors who care only about their tenure, publications, and self-importance in their fields (of course, there are always kind professors, I was fortunate to meet and work with few of them). My experience with the entrepreneurs unleash an inner desire of me: to be an entrepreneur. That is why I am working everyday to prepare myself for my venture, to provide values to my customers. I believe that I will be invited to teach / give talks at universities because of my expertise, instead of having to apply and fight for limited faculty positions.

To summarize, I have met more people and seen the world, my perspectives have changed. When you climb a mountain, your standpoint / perspective has elevated, you can see wider and hence the bigger picture.

# Must be able to be the master of our emotion
Often, when one is criticized, one will end up feeling sad, shameful, worried (worry is a kind of fear), or angry. All these emotions are of lower consciousness.
Be aware of your emotion, then you can shift those of lower consciousness to those of higher consciousness (e.g. courage, patience).
For example, you can manage your anger through techniques such as loving yourself, Siberian North Rail Road, and detachment.

# Learn to relax our body
Criticisms from people whose matter to us (e.g. parents, teachers, bosses, co-workers, or even peers) can result in racing heart, sweating, shaking, flushing face.
When you are aware of these physical reactions of your body, use relaxation to calm down. Breath deeply. Visualize / imagine serene places that you remember from your travel. Recall prayers that you have said countless times.

"Let nothing disturb you,
nothing frighten you,
all things are passing.
God is unchanging.
Patience gains all;
nothing is lacking to those who have God:
God alone is sufficient."
St Teresa of Avilla

Related:
How to Handle Criticism and Nonconstructive Feedback by Nicole Wolfe
*Davidson_not_hopeless* (in my ref folder)

More readings:
http://www.economist.com/node/21564525
http://www.talentsmart.com/articles/

Entrepreneur: Ruben Gnanalingam of Westports on people

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Ruben Gnanalingam is the CEO of Westports in Port Kluang, Malaysia.

His father won the bid in 1994 to operate Westports.

I found it hard to relate to Ruben in the context of his privilege to attend Eton, which opens the path to LSE.

In 2012, the school fee of Eton is more than GBP 30,000 per annum.

With my current economic situation, I will not be able to send any boy to Eton.

However, I like Ruben’s attitude to credit his people.

Westports hire 4000 employees.

I saw my boss, his boss and the boss of his boss, do struggle with people, with some success and some failure.

Dealing with people is one of the most important things to master for an entpreneuer.

In Ruben’s words:

“Anyone with the finances can buy equipment and build the wharf,

but it is not easy to buy people and culture.

We MOTIVATE people, PLAN well and AUTOMATE processes to make it easier for our people to work.

We try to KEEP our WORD and create a FRIENDLY and FLEXIBLE culture.”

Taj Mahal was not built by Shah Jahan,

Taj Mahal was built by the workers.

Source: Forbes Asia March 2012

Written by blueroselady

April 11, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Going to Kinabalu July 23rd – 26th, 2010

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Things to do before departure:
# remind Liv to apply national leave

Things we can do in Kinabalu:
# Hop on a gastronomical tour : mee goreng Tuaran at Seng Hing Restaurant, Yu Kee Bak Kut Teh at Jalan Gaya, Little Italy at Jesselton.

# Buy public bus tickets from Inanam Bus Terminal to visit Tanjung Aru Beach.
# Walk around Filipino market, Kota Kinabalu Handicraft Center
# City sights from Atkinson Clock Tower at Signal Hill
# Free shuttle from Warisan Square to 1Borneo Hypermall, the largest shopping mall in Borneo

Things we want to do at Kota Kinabalu:
Feed baby orang utan (possible location: Shangrila Rasa Ria).
Sunset cruise over South China Sea.
Parasailing (in February 2010: 10 min / person for US$40).

Eventually, these are our itinerary:
Night 1:
Dinner of Bak Kut Teh

Day 2:
Dimsum + mee tuaran
Speed boat ride to Manukan island: we love the drift
Beef shabu shabu hot pot @ Suria Sabah
Movie: The Inception

Day 3:
Sunday morning market @ Gaya St
View of Mt. Kinabalu from Nabalu market
Kinabalu Botanical Garden
Poring sulphur hot spring: canopy walk + private bath tub
Seafood dinner at Kampung Ayer (RMB 60 fish + cereal prawn + kangkong + oyster + coconut)
Stroll at seaside night market
A new brown bag

Day 4:
Breakfast of chicken rice + wantan noodle
Handicraft market
Seaside stroll with blue sky + white cloud + blue sea
KFC lunch at airport

Sabah people are very friendly.

Written by blueroselady

July 1, 2010 at 2:15 pm

Posted in food, travel

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