Time flies

Has it been really 2-3 years since I have last blogged? Wow.

So many things have happened since, but the single most life changing event is being married to my on-off boyfriend of 10 years and moving to Adelaide to be with him.

Adelaide as a city is much better than what I had initially expected (or feared). The people are nice, food is good, close to the beach and the hills, less traffic. The only thing I miss are my family and friends back home. And of course, Malaysian food.

Work has been hectic, so it is a good complement to the lifestyle here. I appreciate weekends more now!

I guess the next most life changing event is that we bought a place!

Initially we were deciding between buying an investment property vs buying a home, and then finally decided on the latter! It is so different in Australia where you have to actually plan your finances to minimise the tax you pay (I feel like they don’t encourage you to find ways to invest because in the end you get taxed on the profits!) but oh well, we are where we are.

What inspired this post was actually me reading up whether to go with a builder directly or engage with an architect/designer first.

The more I read, the more I think to myself, “What was I thinking?” There is so much work to do! Actually I asked this question when we signed the contract, during the cooling off period and even now! So whilst I did not get cold feet for the wedding, I feel nervous about this! That said, things happen for a reason. And I truly believe this whole building process is going to be a good experience for us.

Long story short, I wanted to document our experience, not only for me to read back in the future and laugh at how naive I was, but also to help those who plan to go down the same route as us. It has been helpful to read about others who documented their building journey, but I wish there were more to refer to, esoecially for newbies like us.

Some background info: we purchased a block of land at Broadview with a very old house sitting on it. While it feels like a waste to tear down a brick house, my husband simply cannot appreciate traditional homes because he “had enough of living in old buildings” when he was renting.

So we are going to knock down and rebuild. /takes deep breath, omg what have we gotten into?!

I have been busy visiting builders over the weekends. A few that I have seen and spoken to (they are a mix of mass builders to custom home builders) includes:

  1. Fairmont Homes
  2. Metricon
  3. Rendition Homes
  4. Medallion Homes
  5. Scott Salisbury Homes
  6. Eastern Building Group

– Fairmont Homes: We were recommended this builder by 2 happy customers in the Lightsview Sales Gallery. I thought the salespersons (actually met the father and son duo) were very helpful and friendly. What I like about FH is that they are happy to allow you to design your house, but the area of the house has to be within their set parameters. They were also upfront about costings for eg a door or an extra window. Very efficient to give a rough quote based on the plan that I drew thr next day. To consider.

– Metricon: My impression of the saleslady was not great and she wasnt as friendly. The design booklet for Metricon is definitely much nicer than FH, but they seem rather strict to sticking to the design plan and not allowing major changes. Also priced more expensive than FH. A friend had commented that Metricon has many outstanding lawsuits with clients in Melbourne, though I cant verify that. OUT.

– Rendition Homes: This was recommended by another friend. Out of all the custom builders Ive seen, their price is the most reasonable at $900+ psm. For a 270 sqm house it would cost approx $250k for the basic stuff excl air con, paving, landscape etc. Saleslady was helpful and we had a Valentine date to discuss about what I like to have in the house. Love their walk in wardrobe in the showhouse! To consider.

– Medallion Homes: From $400-450k for custom home designs. Too expensive. OUT.

– Scott Salisbury Homes: starting from $1100 psm but their showhouses were really nice! Maybe for our next house. $300k for 250 sqm basic. Too expensive. OUT.

– Eastern Building Group: this was recommended by our agent whom I feel can be trusted. Another custom builder but they dont do in-house design. It is this builder who introduced me the option of engaging an architect/designer to get the layout of the house first and then show that to builders for bidding.

In a nutshell, this is where we are. To go to a mass builder who is flexible on design, design/builder or get an architect then find a builder??

First world problems!!! Of course, if you are reading this and if you have some input, I’d love to hear them!

Anyway will update soon!

 

 

 

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Thank you, 2013!

A friend of mine, very recently, asked me to create an entry for 2013.. “Why not?” he said. “If this year is any good at all, you should write it all down.” (forgot the exact words, this was my impression of our conversation). He is also the same person whom encouraged me to update my blog, hence the one-off post in November 2012. I have, in truth, forgotten about this blog. Well, I guess it deserves at least an entry this year.

2013 has been a great year for me! It has not been smooth sailing, as you will read later, but it’s as good as it gets. Nothing I would change at all.

January 2013

I always tell people that I don’t regret coming back to Msia, and I still don’t. The most impressionable memory this month is work related. My colleagues and I did well enough in our pseudo portfolios and were given the opportunity to manage our own funds! Yay! I remember feeling unsure (was I up for this?) yet excited (hell yeah I can do it!). The journey started off rocky, and while I’m sure it wasn’t that bad all the time, all I will remember is feeling the pressure. The funds were not doing well; some counters did not move, some large positions we had fell a hell lot in the new year: it was pretty intense, getting pressure from the top and whatnots. Maybe most of it was also self inflicted, for I had expected to do at least okay at first.

My boss was extremely reassuring, and that helped a lot. “If you as an inexperienced young ciku can do so well, then other more experienced fund managers would have lost their jobs already.” So, slowly and patiently, I started learning about more companies, reading more charts and then reshuffle my portfolio accordingly. By March, our funds were in a better shape, thank goodness!

May 2013

I joined my first fitness club, Celebrity Fitness! My girlfriend’s bf found a better job in Spore so I inherited his all-club pass at an awesomely low corporate rate. I am now a gym junkie who enjoys the BodyPump and BodyCombat combo. Exercising is part of my lifestyle now, and I love the mental and physical effects it brings!

June 2013

I was pretty lifeless studying for my CFA Level 2 in first half of the year. What made studying bearable (and a success) was my study partner! The more I discussed things with him, the more I dont know. I would say that it was the perfect partnership though: me for instilling discipline (or so he says) and him for being a smartass. Hours and hours spent learning and studying the CFA materials were no fun. We studied after work, studied during the weekends, studied during public holidays.. But I believe it will all be worth it in the end.

July 2013

My sister is finally graduating! My lil sis is all grown up 🙂 We had organised a family trip to London and Iceland. Going back to London brought back some memories, but I am surprised that I don’t miss it one bit! Had a good time meeting friends and ex-colleagues though. Iceland was beautiful! Had a major heated argument (once-in-5-years type) with my mom post the trip, but we sorted things out quickly. I love you mummy!

August 2013

Mid year was a time of turmoil for me. Relationship issues are the culprit this time. I was so caught up with the whole thing that I didn’t even realised how much it bothered me until I look back and reflect. I have never felt so torn and confused before.

Would I want to go back and replay? No, because of the people I hurt. But I truly believe that things do happen for a reason.

September 2013

I turn 25 this year! Celebrated my birthday with family, then with friends at Heli Lounge Pad.. and went for an amazing birthday trip to a beach at Kuantan. I don’t think I could have asked for anything more, really!

After being in a complicated status for a while, WY and I became an official couple. This was a milestone, considering we have been on and off for a while. I always say, “It’s either we are truly in love, or we are plain stupid because we never learn.”

December 2013

The major, major thing for the past month is having my bf back in Malaysia. From college (2007) till now (2013), we have never been in the same country. The fact that he decided to come back for these 2 months means a lot to me. I realised how much he loves me, in his own way and from all the things he does. I also realised he is a gem to me, as much as I am a gem to him. We are as similar as we are different. Ironically, we also just had a minor disagreement today which is why I can’t sleep which is also the sudden inspiration for this blog post.

******

Well, this pretty much sums up my year in 2013. Exciting? I wish. I have only gone clubbing once or twice this year.

Another inspiration for me writing this post is you!! If you are bothered enough to read this, you are probably involved enough in my life. Thank you so much for being part of my life this year, and I certainly hope we will continue to chat/text/update/meet each other in the future.

A few people deserve special mention, some will remain anonymous but you know who you are 🙂 This is something that is always in my heart yet are words that hardly leaves my mouth:

  • Thank you, Daddy and Mummy for bringing me up, for loving me and for teaching me wrong from right. If you take a while to think about it, it might be shocking to realise that your daughter is already 25! Thank you for your attention, care and advice when I needed them most. I love you both so much.
  • Thank you Elaine for being the only sister I wish to have. I am so proud of what you have achieved this far, keep it up! I truly miss having you around, it’s never really the same being in different countries ya? Keep us updated with your life and post more pictures. Love you!
  • Thank you Bro for your continuous support and wisdom. You have been through the ups and down with me, being my friend as well as my guide. You have been a blessing, I will go as far to say that!
  • Thank you to my girlfriends (Msia and London) for the happy times we shared. There is never an awkward time to take pictures, nor do we need a real reason to dress up! Thank you for listening to my problems and offering solutions. It’s difficult to find someone whom you really trust nowadays, and I’m glad I found a friend in you!
  • Thank you to my Communicator buddy. You made work way more interesting than it already is, and before you start taking any credit, I’m sure the feeling is mutual lol. It’s funny how friendship can be reconnected. Thank you for always being there when I needed to talk. The only way I can compensate by finding you a chick!
  • Thank you to the one who showed me how thoughtful and sensitive a person can be. I believe that your partner will be super lucky to have you!

And last but not least,

  • Thank you to my dear boyfriend who stuck it through thick and thin with me. You are my pillar of strength and confidence. I believe we complement each other well, as you do. After years of knowing and being with each other, it’s like we’re meant to be.

Enough with all the sappy stuff. Interesting fact: According to the WordPress stats, my site has about 11k views! Wooh! Top searches were “Giant rabbit”/”German rabbit” in relation to a post I wrote in 2012. LoooooL!

Have a good New Years everyone! 🙂

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Back Home

My attention was brought to this neglected blog recently, and it has been so long since I’ve last looked at it that I forgot the things written here. I was pleasantly surprised at how I have expressed myself in the older posts, and it’s also nice reminiscing the things that had happened in the past year.

Hence the decision to keep this blog alive, for future references 🙂 I am also amused about the constant (not a lot) stream of hits despite me not updating for the longest time. Another inspiration to keep it going.

I made a life changing decision recently, and that was to return to Malaysia after 5 years in London. I know I say this a lot, but I really love it here and I think that this is one of the best decisions that I have made in my life. I wonder why though as it wasn’t like I hated London or anything. I still think it’s the cold over there. How liberating it is to walk around with just shorts, a tank top and slippers! Ahhh..

I have also landed myself a new job, one which I get to meet new people and learn a whole new spectrum of things in addition to exploring restaurants and visiting places. So far, so very good 🙂

As one chapter of my life closes, another one awaits..

Here are some pictures from Shangri La Rasa Ria Resort during my recent trip to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah that I’d like to share with you. We Malaysians have a lot to be grateful for!

Enjoy!

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Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Resort- Teaser

Went for a family trip to Kapalai Island near Sipadan in Sabah last week. Clear seawater, an abundance of live corals, colourful fishes and amazing chalets, oh and friendly helpers! Perfect short getaway!

It’s so beautiful and relaxing that I’d like to share it here, if I haven’t already spammed you with it 🙂

Official website here

Taken from dad’s iPhone so it’s pretty blur and noisy!

Afterthought: This place pretty much feels like an unspoilt part of nature.. they are planning to extend the resort which means more tourist -> corals dying at a quicker rate -> it will become the next Tioman/ Pangkor/ Redang where there are hardly any live corals left. So if you go PLEASE be careful with your flippers!!!

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Happy Father’s Day

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I love my daddy very much. Hence I cooked him a 3-course meal with love and got him 5 pink roses for Father’s Day 🙂 Sis got him a personalized iPhone cover.

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Oh, the irony!

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I Love You Mummy

To my mother:

Though I only declare my love once a year,
how deep it runs you should be clear;
Every time you need me near,
I promise to be there for you, don’t fear.

They say that being a mother
is not for the faint hearted;
No request from your child is a bother
regardless of how far away we have parted.

You keep your little ones close and tight,
yet you let go when the time is right;
And even though we are no longer little,
you make sure that we don’t do anything irrational.

You are the anchor in my life:
I’m not sure what I’ll do,
without you gently steering me though
the plentiful crossroads in life.

Thank you mummy for being an awesome mother,
with all your tender loving care;
Every day I strive to be better,
So that I too can give what you unselfishly share.

Much love,
Your daughter

 

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Far Away

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Win Win

 

I think besides reaching an orgasm/scratching an itch/free falling, one of the best feelings in the world has gotta be.. wait for it.

SOLVING AN ISSUE WITH A WIN-WIN SOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hell yeah!

I must sound like such a geek, but I’m sure you had a time when an issue which has been bugging you and is at the back of your mind all the time, just waiting to explode.. and then…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You found a solution!

Not just any solution, but a solution which benefits both you and another party!! That’s just great, it’s like by solving your problem you have solved another problem!

Happy times.

end-Random post-end

 

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Bersih 3.0: There Is Still Hope

I am so proud of every single one of us Malaysians who went for Bersih 3.0, especially those of you who went for rally in Malaysia. You were brave. You fought for your beliefs and rights although you were fully aware of the threats with the likes of tear gas, acid water and possible violence. Bravo!

To those who attended Bersih 3.0 London, well done! Despite the horrible weather, which I understand can be very demotivating, you still made it to the Malaysian High Commission to show your support. There are definitely more people this year compared to the last.

So what’s the fuss all about?

Malaysians have so many reasons to be happy with our country: strategic location in SE Asia, free from major natural disasters, plenty of natural resources, beautiful islands and of course, great food. But ask any Malaysian to name one thing which they are most unhappy about, and 8 out of 10 will mention the government.

This has been happening for many years now. We will complain about the government and how they are inefficient, corrupt and biased. And then we will sit back because there is “nothing we can do about it”, or we expect someone else to clean the s***. I thought that things will never change. I mean, what can one person do to help change how a country works?

And then there was Bersih.

Bersih totally changed my perception ever since I first heard about it in 2011. It is indeed heartwarming to see Malaysians, regardless of race and age, come together to fight for the same purpose. Your presence represents the voice of the people and the fact that we are not happy with how the current government operates.

I think this is a huge stepping stone for us as a nation. Some people are still skeptical about Bersih, but I think it is great! It means that instead of complaining, we are taking action and being proactive about fighting for our rights as a citizen.

Many people are discussing about who was right/ wrong regarding a few violent attacks. It is indeed unfortunate that there were deaths in the supposedly peaceful rally. I am sincerely sad for their families. But I don’t think it should be a police-vs-protesters scenario, because we are ultimately one nation, and it should be more of a police-and-protesters relationship. Let’s not be discouraged or lose our calm, let’s focus on the bigger picture.

Do I think that Bersih will get their demands? I am hopeful. But what I do know for sure is that it will work. Change might not happen tomorrow or the next year, but change will happen, slowly but surely. Bersih also ignites the patriotism within us, and with more public awareness, transparency will have to follow.

Every little action helps. My simple act of sharing the Bersih 3.0 link on Facebook made a few friends aware of the event, and they will then share with their friends, creating a monopoly effect.

I love Malaysia, it is where I grew up after all, a place where I call home. It is like having a partner, sometimes you have to see past the imperfections and appreciate the positives. Of course many things (such as public transportation) can be improved, but this will come as the nation advances.

And from what I can tell from the recent events, there is still hope for Malaysia to be a peaceful multiracial country, a country which is rich and efficient with happy and contented citizens.

United we stand!

FYI:

To quote Wiki, the Bersih’s immediate demands were:

1. Clean the electoral roll
2. Reform postal voting
3. Use of indelible ink
4. A minimum campaign period of 21 days
5. Free and fair access to mainstream media
6. Strengthen public institutions
7. Stop corruption
8. Stop dirty politics

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