“Calligraphy is an art form that uses ink and a brush to express the very souls of words on paper.” Kaoru Akagawa （赤川薫）
There are several things to love about Japan – that’s why I’ve always loved revisiting the country! 🇸🇬 ✈️ 🇯🇵
The food never leaves me bloated and unsatisfied (even their convenience store wares), the people are often very polite and kind, and their products have crazy gorgeous packagings! 😍
But lets not forget their culture – the Japanese boast a long history with countless stories and works of art to showcase to the world today, tomorrow and beyond. I’ve visited a few museums, palaces and other historical monuments whilst in different parts of Japan. And one art I love is the art of calligraphy.
It’s not just fancy writing; from start to finish, the entire art itself captivates and engulfs you – if you were to give it so much as a sliver of a chance.
Right from the moment the artist starts poising his/her hand to select a brush; the magic begins. The intensity coupled with elegance in each movement is carefully calculated and flawlessly executed to making its way to completing a masterpiece of black & white.
If you’re lucky, you’ll manage to hop on and join the artist as you make through each turn and flick – and when you take your first glimpse at the entirety of the masterpiece, that bit of your breath gets stolen away.
Fallen in love with calligraphy yet? …or maybe you’re not quite convinced?
Head down to the Luxe Art Museum between 20-25 October 2017 and be enthralled with about 60 pieces of specially curated calligraphy masterpieces! 👍🏻
Calligraphers from the Japan Calligraphy Art Academy (Nihon Shodo Bijutsuin – 日本美術院) will be presenting…
1 Kanji (Sino-Japanese ideograms)
2 Kana (Japanese syllabary)
3 New Calligraphic Art (I’m quite interested in checking this one out!)
4 Seal Carving
Don’t miss out on the calligraphy performances by the visiting calligraphers! They happen daily from 2-3PM (except for 25 Oct). Visitors get to do a calligraphy trial too – so be there early to save a spot!
Y’know what’s the best part about all this?
This is all thanks to the awesome people at Sunstar who aim to continue strengthening ties and promote cultural exchanges between Japan and Singapore. 😊 Through Japanese calligraphy, they hope to also encompass and express the importance of a holistic healthcare.
So you have full five days to really immerse yourself in the scintillating world of Japanese calligraphy – without having to spend a cent.
But on 21 October, Sunstar is going the extra step by co-organising a series of workshops & events right in the heartlands of Singapore!
Check them out at:
Mark your calendars and don’t forget to check out the exhibition at the Luxe Art Museum!
Event: Japanese Calligraphy Exhibition in Singapore
Dates: 20-25 October 2017
‘Like’ the event’s Facebook page to get your updates!
“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” – Anonymous
While I rather enjoy my work, the feeling of having a ticket to a whole new foreign experience is simply too amazing. In my Outlook calendar, I have a whole line-up of meetings blocked in blues – then planned holidays in a pretty shade of pink!
And it comes to a point whereby travel has become a mandatory part of my life. Simply because every single day at work I’m too busy fulfilling my responsibilities to earn my keep – I find I forget to live life.
And that’s quite the basic fundamental of being human, isn’t it?
We need to LIVE our lives.
Albeit reality dictates we also have bills to pay… 💸😩
And lately my life has started growing up a little faster than my wallet.
So to sate my travelling appetite, I’ve started exploring more on travelling to my little island’s neighbour – Malaysia 🇲🇾!
And if you’re looking for some awesome accommodations, check out Traveloka Malaysia!
Traveloka is a spanking new website that allows you to search for a whole bunch of hotels and flights – at really competitive prices! And Traveloka boasts about having the most extensive search results. 👍🏻
You’ll also see that hotel listings on Traveloka have TripAdvisor reviews conveniently embedded right inside them! So this means – we no longer need to manually search for the hotel name on TripAdvisor to see what other fellow travellers have to say.
ISN’T THIS AMAZING???
Because this just makes it soooo much easier for you to know which hotel will give you a legit great holiday experience AND is worth your hard-earned moolah.
And honestly when it comes to getting quality advice on my travels, TripAdvisor is my go-to. No doubt there.
One pretty cool hotel I think you’ll love is the Lexis Suites Penang!
Check out the hotel’s listing here!
This hotel is crazy cool. Okay – the pictures of the hotel at night kind of looks like a Genting hotel… but it’s the inside that caught my eye.
For starters – they provide something intangible in the air that simply makes the world a better place… 😌
Now, don’t ever discount the importance of Wi-Fi. I’ve been to a few hotels that charged about that price range, and didn’t have the courtesy of having free Wi-Fi. Apparently all part of the ‘zone out’ experience, and if you really need Wi-Fi… you can pay for it at the business lounge.
No – I don’t ‘zone out’ when I don’t have my Wi-Fi.
If anything at all, I go into panic mode because every second I’m unable to check if any important emails came in, I think my work is imploding.
NOT a desirable feeling while on a holiday, I’ll give you that.
And you might say this isn’t healthy. No, it really isn’t. But that’s the lifestyle I have currently whereby I need to check my messages and emails every once in a while, just to make sure things are going well.
Today’s a Public Holiday in Singapore…
On that note, a very happy Hari Raya Haji to all my Muslim friends! 💚
So like almost every other hardworking office-enclosed adult on this tropical urban jungle island – I took the day to nua (translates to: relax till you melt to a pulp-like being).
And so decided to pop by my neighbourhood nail salon to get my nails done.
And mind you – I planned for my brain today to be in nua-mode. Means, “pulp-like” mode. Means, I don’t know 1=1 or the Sun rises in the East or that Donald Trump isn’t a white man, but rather, an orange man.
So I wasn’t prepared for what was about to come… 😩
Everything was pretty much going dandy; with the most complex thought in my head being the choice of colour of my nail polish.
Then this other customer came in and started to creep the crap out of me.
Omg, I think she actually did creep the crap out of me… I had to do the big business as soon as I came home! 😱
Ahem. TMI, for you.
Anyway, she looked pretty okay and sat down being super-duper concerned about her health and how her medication is making her feel.
Okay, that kind of raised a flag for me.
Then somehow we moved onto the topic of ‘marriage’ and then she got all disappointed in me when she found out I was in a loving relationship and we are soon to be married.
And apparently it’s because, she doesn’t agree with the concept of marriage.
Now here’s the funny part – she herself is married with 2 fully grown children.
So the beautician asked about her own children getting married, and she got pissed.
She went on like this (in Mandarin), “No! My children can never get married!! I will NEVER approve!”
The beautician and I exchanged questioning glances, and I swear I tilted my head and raised my right eyebrow a little – because apparently I’ve kissed goodbye to tact.
Me: Why not? It’s not compulsory to find someone and get married, but what’s wrong with it?
Woman: Everyone just suffers at the end! People get married, then get divorced! Then get married and divorced again! Can be more than 3, 4 times, you know!
Me: Oh, is that so? (In a sarcastic way, may I add – because once again, I kissed tact goodbye) Well, there’s good and bad in everything.
Woman: Marriage is useless. It just makes people suffer. My children don’t need to get married. They can take care of themselves without a partner.
Me: I fully agree that every single person should be independent and capable of taking themselves without being in a relationship just based on reliance – but, okay – what if your children co-habited with a partner?
Woman: Hmm… No, no. I think they don’t need to. Just stay with me forever.
Me: As long as they are happy, I guess.
Woman: They can have friends, but they don’t need to leave me.
Instinctively, I opened my Plants VS Zombies app on my iPhone – because it sort of when with it. She was like a relentless zombie chewing away on lives.
Yes, you might call me a bitch. And I’m not going to disagree with you either.
But I grew up under someone who wanted so badly to keep & control me like a mad person – it was entirely unhealthy. Her nightly prayers with me at bedtime included lines like, “May this child always tell me the truth, and if she should lie – may it eat up within her so much that she will be forced to tell me the truth because the truth shall set her free.” And this is just one example.
Only after many years, I realised it wasn’t normal.
So it pricked a nerve thinking that there are other people suffering this same silent cry that no one else really notices/helps.
And Plant VS Zombies has really fun quests lately! So I’ve gotten hooked again! 😄
Beautician: But what if next time they’re old? Won’t they be lonely?
Woman: They have each other what! They can take care of each other!
And IMMEDIATELY – I said, “Huh? Like the Lannisters?? That didn’t turn out really well…”
They both obvious don’t watch Game of Thrones… and they were both looking at me weirdly. Swear the beautician was freaking out that her shop had two nut-job customers.
But siblings whom don’t intend on having partners and taking care of each other…?
Image Credit: http://www.thewrap.com
It was really quite disturbing. I need to do something else to legit nua today…
Do you know what I love about a great face powder? 😍
- Really keeps your makeup together for longer
- Helps with all the oil secretion; especially in our tropical weather
I feel that a great face powder is one that isn’t too messy and non-cakey. What really annoys me are those that pile up and make me look like I put a thousand layers of foundation.
Face powders after foundation/BB creams are amazinggg. 👍🏻
BUT! ☝🏻 Only if you have a great face powder.
So, dear reader, here’s a little something for you!
As of right now, ALTHEA is easily a mandatory fix for me every time I need a cosmetic refill.
From basic skincare to makeup products, ALTHEA always had my back.
And now they’ve kicked in something of their own too! ❤️ Was crazy happy when I received my very own Petal Velvet Powder in the mail!
Now, I’m going to be entirely honest here even though it’s a sponsored post. It’s what was requested by ALTHEA’s Pixie! (Another reason why I love them)
It’s really quite a great product – and I’ll give you 3 reasons!
1. It smells SUPERB.
Largely thanks to the Althea flower, I suppose. The powder doesn’t just feel soft, it smells soft too. It leaves your face with this lovely hint of floral smell, so it’s really not too much.However if you’re someone who just doesn’t like floral scents – this might not be a favourite for you.
2. It’s light & covers up pores!
I have pores that are large and aren’t afraid to show themselves. It’s annoying. With this powder, it really helps to cover them up. Even tried this powder one day without my usual BB cream fix. After my usual skincare routine, I patted some of the powder on – and it gave off a clean and refreshing look.
Now, the powder IS NOT going to make you look glowy and shiny. In fact, it’s actually quite matte. And it doesn’t cover any blemishes whatsoever. It might help to lighten it a tad… but that’s about it.
3. SO CHEAP. OMG.
Cannot deny. S$6.00 for quality, nice-smelling powder is really quite a steal loh. Go Sasa also cannot find.
And it’s so cute and small – it’s perfectly-sized to carry around for a quick touchup!
Just a quick tip, you really don’t want to pile on too much. Like other powders, pat it in moderation. When using it the first time, tap off the excess and pat lightly onto your face.
It’s always easier to put on more than to attempt to wipe off some! ☝🏻
It’s not something that’ll improve your complexion drastically, to be honest.
But it definitely helps with making your skin look smoother and cleaner.
Try out the ALTHEA Petal Velvet Powder today!
I’m not going to lie to you – you will have monsters in your life.
They’re going to seem big, they’re going to seem scary, without ethics or a conscience; some of them seem pure diabolical.
And there’s no absolute shield against them.
You’re going to need to deal with your own monsters.
Some monsters choose to insult you;
only because they can’t stand others complimenting you.
Some monsters choose to hate you;
only because they know they’re not easy to love.
Some monsters choose to speak louder than you;
only because you speak more sense.
Some monsters choose to threaten you;
only because you’ve been a threat to them.
Some monsters choose to discredit you;
only because they fear to be in your shadow.
Some monsters choose to ignore you;
only because they want you to feel as insignificant as you make them feel.
Some monsters choose to outcast you;
only because they’re very much alone deep inside.
And some monsters choose to blame you for anything & everything;
only because they’re finding a convenient distraction.
And you can choose to feel insulted, hated, silenced, threatened, discredited, ignored, outcasted and blamed…
However you can also choose to realise that these monsters are just really…
PITIFUL WANKERS!! 😂 😂
It (finally) dawned upon me that truly successful & happy people in life don’t waste their resources putting people down – they’re constantly looking toward a better future.
…Your monsters (AKA pitiful wankers), on the other hand, are too short-sighted/cowardly/incompetent to see their future. So they constantly look behind and see if there’s anyone they can use as a footstool to prop themselves up – even if it’s for just a while. 😕
But like I said – they’re pitiful.
Once you get past your initial anger (and sometimes amusement, even), you should take a step back and take a good look at your monsters. 👀
You’ll come to realise they’re not that big; they’re not that scary; they’re not that worthy. If they choose to act childishly, then you’re clearly just dealing with a child.
You’ll come to realise that your monsters can choose to be so ugly, but you can choose to be happy regardless.
And while your monsters made the choice to spend time hurting you; they made the choice to neglect other things in their lives as well.
So you shouldn’t make the same choice, yes? 😊
Lately I’ve chosen to love more; love everything, really. Even my monsters! ☝🏻
Because I believe that everyone has some good in them; as minuscule as it might be for some. And I believe that good people turned into monsters because of the scars their monsters left them with.
It’s not going to be easy…
But y’know what?
You might not believe me – but YOU are likely someone’s monster too. 😉
The beggar on the street you blatantly turned away.
The cashier you got impatient with.
The new driver you angrily honked at.
Your child you put second to work.
Your parent you haven’t called in months.
Your friend you didn’t bother catching up with.
We all have monsters in our lives; and we’re all monsters in someone else’s life.
Just try to be a cuter monster? 😋
And maybe this world might become a little better.
Just read this article that featured Google doing research on common denominators of successful teams.
It really struck a chord with me.
Rather expectedly (at least from my POV), a mixture of well-educated and/or creative people was never one of the key elements that attributed to success.
Y’see – you can be filled to the brim with great knowledge and ideas; but the control here is if you let what’s in that amazing brain of yours come out or not. Are you able to openly share with the others what you’re thinking?
If you’re not – then there’s honestly no value in whatever value you were initially capable of bringing in.
In fact, the only value you might have right now is feeding the ego of another teammember who has a compulsive need to appear superior among everyone else.
And it’s an IMMENSELY HUGE pity.
Because then your infinite possibilities become limited according to another mere mortal’s permission; you’re only allowed to be as good as their ego would allow it. There’s so much you can offer – but you don’t dare to offer anything because of this fear installed within you. Because you somehow believe that your safe place is to serve the ego of such a person.
is CRAZY important if you’d like for a team of (good) individuals to thrive and therefore bring about success to the team.
I say good individuals because not everyone wants the team to succeed – they’re only interested in themselves succeeding, even if it means making the team as a whole fail.
The most fundamental trait teammembers should possess is understanding that the individuals make up the community; not the other way around. You and I both are part of and contribute in whatever way to the community; no community should be revolved around and contribute to that of only one or few individuals.
Because when a community (or team, in this context) revolves around individuals – other individuals find it impossible to find safety because they’re not seen as an integral part of the group. It immediately becomes hierarchical and therefore they’re easily dispensable.
And when people don’t feel safe – they don’t perform.
Why? It’s simple, really.
When you don’t feel safe, it’s only natural of you to be in survival mode. Everything you do is defensive and has the hidden intention of proving your worth – rather than actually demonstrating it.
There’s a fine line between proving and demonstrating. When you’re out to prove yourself – you start stepping on people, you start doing things just for the sake of doing them. So you do the bare minimum, with adding little sprinkles on top only in areas where you know others will notice.
But when you’re openly demonstrating your worth – it should come naturally. Because you do it for you. Every facet of your work becomes immaculate, because you did it for you. We are all capable in our own ways and it will show, if given the right circumstances.
And that’s when the truely unique contributions that you’re capable of start coming about.
You no longer contribute to please another individual – you contribute to please yourself, with the right intent.
And when that happens, people do MUCH better work.
When you’re given a safe zone to demonstrate your true capabilities (even if they’re wrong sometimes), you only get better.
And ultimately, the team gets better. ✌🏻
And that’s really the beauty of it. When others see that it’s a safe zone, they will also find it easier to want to do well in their own strengths and not get busy burying their weaknesses.
They don’t find faults in having weaknesses – because hey, we all have weaknesses. They see the beauty in their own strengths and others’, and are able to openly appreciate them because in a safe zone – appreciating others doesn’t equate to depreciating yourself and making yourself look bad.
And when people start feeling safe about their weaknesses (AKA vulnerabilities) and confident of their strengths (AKA potential contributions) – amazing things happen.
You simply cannot expect people who work under fear to perform exceptionally.
When people start fearing for their mere survivalibity, they’re too busy trying to craft ways to staying alive versus actually working.
And that’s where regardless of how amazing each individual is on paper – they’d fail to effectively contribute to the team, because you just controlled/closed the flow of their genius.
Geez. Blogging about this on my mobile at 4AM because I read the article in the loo – must’ve really struck a chord with me. 😌
This evident need to be worshipped and superior stems from deeply-rooted insecurities and self-loathing; and I find that pretty pitiable. 😕
And to a larger extent, actually quite repulsive.
Oh well. Life goes on. The world is filled with countless interesting characters. 🤗
P.S. I’m not particularly calling out anyone here; other than my own personal experiences, most of the post is based on my own logic from perceptions drawn over years – it’s not exclusive to anything/anyone. So please don’t take anything too personally.
…but if you insist on taking it personally and the shoe fits… 🙄 I could say 99% good things about you, but you’d still want to kill me for the 1%.
Don’t think this battle is worth fighting.