Friday, January 30, 2015

how to keep creating

Photo credit: Elizabeth Gilbert Facebook Page

She travelled the world in search of her self and now Eat Pray Love author Elizabeth Gilbert will publish a new book "Big Magic" set for a September 2015 release.

I've been following her Facebook page for some months now and last year she was part of Oprah's The Life You Want Tour and I am sooooo glad she has a book on creative living.

While waiting for her book, let's watch her Ted Talk. It's totally awesome, guys. A great motivational boost if you no longer have that creative drive.

crazy. stress. crazy. stress. repeat.

I promise to myself that for 2015... I wanna open myself up to my readers. Be more personable and honest with what I'm going through.

So....... do you want a piece of my mind right now? Well, even if you don't, I'm gonna share it anyway.

This is what I'm feeling right now:

Photo credit: Flickr/id-iom

I have to conduct 6 interviews, which has not been set, for a microsite. 

My deadline is February 6.

That's like *counting my fingers* just a week away. 

Stress. Stress. Stress. Stress. Stress.

I'm so glad my colleague Hyder is so motivating. He's my partner in crime for this project. Between the two of us, it's 12 interviews altogether. 6 interviews each. 

"We can do this," he WhatsApp-ed me. 

InsyaAllah. Hopefully I will still be sane next week. We're gonna give it our best despite the tight deadline. If we can't complete it? Well, let's think about that later. 

Wish me luck guys. 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

why i love oprah

Today is Oprah Winfrey's birthday! I am a HUGE fan!!! *AAAHHHHHH*

Oprah and I - we went back to 2000 - when I was first introduced to The Oprah Winfrey Show. Watching her show (I still remember the slot - 9am and repeat at 1pm on weekdays) during school holidays was a routine.

At that time, I was pretty much the social outcast in school.  I suffered from low self-esteem, I didn't feel good about myself. I didn't think I have much talent. I was an average student. I could count with my fingers the number of people I talk to in school. In short, I wasn't having much fun in life. But despite  all that - I really want a better life. But... but.. but... I was just too afraid to change and I felt stuck.

As you know, The Oprah Winfrey Show touches on many topics from current affairs, to celebrities and spirituality and even Oprah's personal struggles. The common thread from all the shows is that  she teaches us (her viewers) that we matter and we are not defined by our setbacks. We have the power to overcome any obstacles and, as cliche as this may sound, to live our best life. And that's her motto. *Of course, the freebies and goodies viewers get are awesome too*

I was too afraid to "live my best life" during high school, so after graduation, I returned back to Malaysia and tried to make some changes in my life.

It started with a hairstyle change (so-called makeover), and then I had to learn how to make new friends at university (being a shy guy in high school, that wasn't easy!). Thankfully, life was good. It changed my outlook on life and living well. Then I got a job and I'm here, as a journalist at the country's first 24-hour news channel.

And I have this blog. And with this blog I've been given the opportunity to speak at various events. My work here is very minuscule as compared to Oprah Winfrey.

But just like how Oprah was my beacon of hope when I felt lonely, I hope to be that beacon to some of my anonymous readers out there reading this blog.

This year I also want to share more with my readers, and I hope to receive some feedback from you too. At the end of the day, we all have our dreams and aspirations, and we sometimes struggle a bit... but we just have to be there for each other. Right?

Thank you for the inspiration and motivation. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, OPRAH!!!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

life lessons from cleaning the window. seriously!

What better way to be spending my off day then by... cleaning my balcony's sliding door? Hmmm.... Really?

I have a good story and lesson to share, I swear.

I followed my Mum to some hardware shop as she was looking for some stuff for her bathroom. I found a window squeegee and was quickly amused by it so I had to buy it. To be honest, our balcony's sliding is so dirty that it's totally not cool to write about it here.

Armed with my "gadgets" and Kleen Glass Cleaner, I was ready to start.

First door. I sprayed the glass with Kleen and wiped if with the squeegee. Left it for a few seconds thinking I am a quarter way through. Boy I was wrong. Once dried, some water marks were visible.

"No, no, no... I need a new technique," I told myself.

Since it was just dirty, I decided to wipe the whole door with water. Then I use the Kleen Glass Cleaner, did a little wiping but I could still see some marks. As I was experimenting around with different techniques, I realise I had to wipe it until it is totally dry with no traces of water.

"Ahhhh that's the trick!"

Repeat that for three other doors. *pengsan*


So, what's the lesson here?

Well just like cleaning the window, life is also an experiment. It's about finding the little tricks and techniques to make life work in your favour.  In short, it's a shortcut for you as you navigate in this world.

Maybe there's is a certain way you do things at the office, that makes it fast for your to submit your proposals and presentations. Maybe you manage your social media platforms a certain way so that you're not overwhelmed by the many tools. Maybe you cook (you cook????) and do things different in the kitchen (trying to be Rachael Ray ehhh??)

Do you do things a certain way so that everything is just faster? Share with me.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

passion for baking


When you're willing to do something at the oddest hours, you know that's passion.

Here's a long story about my new-found passion for baking:

This photo was taken in July 2014 when I first began to experiment with the two-ingredient Nutella Brownies recipe. 

I told Isaac that I make good "brownies from the box". You know, those instant brownies available in the supermarket? It's instant but you still have to mix some ingredients and bake it. *It's still hard work, ok???*

A few months back I discovered a recipe to make Nutella Brownies using two ingredients only. It's way easier than those instant brownies. I do not know about you, but I'm such a huge fan of Nutella... so it's definitely my fave!

I gave it to some of university friends last year, when we organised an Iftar get-together.

Last month, I was this close to baking my signature Nutella Brownies and wanted to give it to Isaac (since it has been years since I told him I'll bake for him!) but on that day, I somehow could not find my mum's handheld cake mixer. To make matters worse, my Mum's old Kenwood mixer didn't work. SIGH! There was no way I could mix the eggs without it. I was definitely disappointed in myself.

Since Isaac and I would attend TK's wedding, it was the best time to do my baking project. Just a day before the wedding, I told my mum I wanted to bake........ at 10pm!!! I guess she got the shock of her life when I wanted to do my project at that hour.

You see, I finished work at 7pm, arrived home at 8pm and we went to dinner and by the time we got home, it was 9 something. The next day (which is the day of TK's wedding), I start work at 7am, by the time I got home around 4.30pm/5pm I was planning to take a nap before going home. There was no way I could bake on that day.

"Let me bake for you," said my mum.

But that's not the same. It's MY project. I wanted to bake. Otherwise that'll be cheating *hahaha!*

So I told my mum to just relax. Let me check-in at the kitchen. I'll make sure to clean it up when it's all done. And sure enough, one hour later, the kitchen was clean *Chewah!!!!*.

I gave the Nutella Brownies to GG, Arfa and Isaac after TK's wedding. I warned them it does not look good, it might not be delicious and the final warning: "Eat at your own risk".

Arfa said she likes it.

Wait. I have the proof:

I'm starting to love baking, even though I am far from an expert. I have a sweet tooth, so it's kinda fun to be in the kitchen and do some experimenting *while keeping the kitchen clean, of course*

I am already featuring a lot of good dessert place at, but I might as well make some on my own, right?

Are you taking on any creative/DIY projects this year?
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