Nov 17, 2014

Tips for Working from Home

Hello Monday! It's the beginning of working week again and let's talk about work today.

With the rise of technology, more and more companies are encouraging their employees to work from home. It saves cost, save time and increase productivity (if you use the opportunity properly). I've been working from home for almost one and half years. I hope I can share with you some tips that I learn along the way to make your experience working from home an enjoyable one.

#1 - Wake up normal hour
It is so tempting to sleep in, especially when you have a flexible hour. Avoid the temptation. Wake up as usual, like how you wake up when you have a 9 to 5 job. It is to train your body on your awake-and-sleep pattern. My dad told me anything that has got to do in changing your body is the hardest but when you set a pattern to it, it becomes a normal thing to do.

#2 - Make yourself available during working hour
Set your working time and chain yourself at your work desk (not literally). Let's say your normal working hour is 9am to 5pm, you have to put your job as your top priority during those hours. If you want to take an hour off to run your errands, make sure you bring your phone along and answer every call. Make sure all your important tasks are done before you take your time to do your house work. I always reply my emails early in the morning. While waiting for the replies, I'll take 10 minutes to do my laundry or to sweep my floor. The most important thing is to make yourself available to your job at working hour.

#3 - Allocate a work space
Get yourself a work desk. Or if you can afford, make a room into a work office. Make sure everything in the vicinity of your work place is only related to your work. This allows you to separate your personal life from your work life. And it helps you concentrate better, especially when your bed, tv, kitchen, pool, etc. are constantly tempting you to slack off.

#4 - Stay connected
Although you're away from office, remember to stay connected with your colleagues and especially your bosses. Discuss with them about work during office hour (this is also a good way to show that you're actually working at home). Whenever you have to make decision, make sure you get approval from your bosses or discuss it with your colleagues first. Always remember that working from home is a big disadvantage when it comes to communication and communication is the key to maintaining relationship with others. In a situation where your boss has a chance to promote someone, the person sitting in office has double the chance compared to you. This is why you need to stay connected with everyone in the office despite not being there in physical form. Remember, out of sight out of mind.

#5 - Hangout with your team
This is part of #4. Do make time for lunch with your team/boss/colleagues at least once every fortnightly. This gives you the opportunity to catch up on what's happening in the office. Be included in your team. Remind them that you are part of their team so that you're not left out in any opportunities available. When you're not around, your presence can be easily slipped off their minds.

For a positive vibes for working from home, always separate your personal life from your working life. The most import thing is to separate your time, space and mind. Remember to stay connected with those whom you are working with. When you're in the comfort of working from home, you might forget that relationship is very important. Stay connected with everyone.

I hope you appreciate these tips. If you are working from home and have more tips to share with me, do comment below so I can learn from you as well.

Happy working week everyone!

Nov 15, 2014

[Weekend Edition] Alexa Chung's IT Book

Do I need to introduce who Alexa Chung is? I guess not. But if you don't know, she's one of a top self-made model. Some of her major appearances are face of DKNY & Lacoste, music video appearances for Westlife, catwalking for Vivienne Westwood, Stella McCartney, Pepe Jeans and many more. Recently she launched her range of bags for Longchamp. Flip any beauty magazine, and you'll see her face.

Unlike most of the fashion models, Alexa is one rare phenomena, putting her in the same category as Kate Moss & Cara Delevingne. She's gotten the nickname the "It Girl" for being original, beautiful, clever and modern girl. That's the right definition for "it" girl by the way.

And so.... she wrote a book titled "IT". I've been looking for it for a  long time, unfortunately I couldn't find it anywhere. Surprisingly, I found it in a bookshop in Indonesia. So I quickly grabbed it.

It quickly became a good travel companion. Basically, the reading is light, fun and short. The content is very original, somewhat like reading a diary of a very interesting piece of mind. The topic that she covers is very wide - everything under the sun. From fashion, her family stories, growing up experience, being a groupie, summer rave party, weird tips and tricks and many more.

This book is perfect for lazy weekend and travel. It's not very educational per se, but it's definitely mind-opening. Every girl age below 30 should have this on your coffee table. It is fun to read. I find myself turning page after page, and I finished the entire book in less than an hour. I wanted more, except there's nothing more to it, so I turned back the pages and enjoyed the photos instead. Most of the teaching sounds like what your mom would have told you but she never did...

Note that if you're a serious reader you might find this book pointless or a waste of time. This is why I put this book in the category of lazy weekend or travel. It is those kind of books you will want to read while enjoying your coffee or suntanning on the beach. Don't take it too seriously. Don't judge the language or anything beyond the words. Just enjoy the pun.

Weekend Edition posts are short blog posts that not related to beauty. And it's published only on weekend, duh!

Sep 8, 2014

After Menstrual Care - Pat Chan Soup

Today I'm not blogging about beauty, but this is a post that is pretty important for girls to read. A lot of you probably already know about pat chan soup that needs to be taken after our period cycle ends. If you don't know about it, you should read on. Pat chan is a mixture of herbs. You have to cook the soup and take it one or two days after your period stops.

Why you need to take pat chan soup?
During menstrual period, "dirty blood" may clogged on our fallopian tube and cause cyst. When you take pat chan, it works as a detox mainly to clean our fallopian tube. At the same time, it will restore the amount of blood lost during menstrual.

Where do you get the pat chan soup?
You can buy the herbs from Eu Yan Sang or Hai-O, but I would recommend you to buy it from ordinary chinese medical hall. The price difference is huge and the ingredients are the same. If you don't know how to pronounce it, just copy these words and hand it over to the uncle ----> 八珍. For simpler solution, you can load this blog post and show it to him on your mobile. LOL!

What are the ingredients?

One pack of the herbs can serve 2 person. If you have sister, you can share it with her. For serving of 2 person, prepare 2 hard boiled eggs. 

How to prepare:

Step 1 - Cook 2 hard boiled eggs. I think it is not a rocket science to cook hard boiled eggs and I'm pretty sure all of you know how to do that. 

Step 2 - Bring 1 litre of water to boil in a slow cooker. If you don't have a slow cooker, a normal pot will do. 

Step 3 - Throw all the herbs into the pot and let it brew until the soup turns black. Let the ingredients boil at high heat for 15 minutes. Then lower down the fire to let it simmer for 30 minutes. When you lower down the fire, put the eggs into the pot.

This is what you will get at the end of the process...

I know it is not really that pleasant looking. And it does look like some concoction that an evil stepmother will cook to poison her stepchildren. But no, I'm not trying to poison you all. LOL! You can ask the chinese medical hall uncle to explain all the benefits. If you don't speak Chinese, you can go to the Chinese herbal shop in Paradigm Mall lower ground floor (same row as Delectable by Su), the owner is new generation Chinese medical hall uncle. He speaks very good English. 

The pat chan soup is definitely halal. The ingredients are made of tree bark, tree root, prunes and leaf. It is 100% plant based. 

If you are too lazy to prepare the soup, you can get it in the form of pills. I don't think every Chinese Medical Hall has it, but you can definitely get it from Eu Yan Sang.

Apr 5, 2014

[Weekend Edition] What's Poppin' Cookin' (Sushi)

Have you heard of Poppin' Cookin'? It is something which is quite hot in Japan right now. I've been seeing it for awhile now and finally got the chance to try it out.

It reminds me so much of Play-Doh. The concept is totally like Play-Doh, except that this is edible. It's a gummy candy. The sushi one that I bought comes with grape flavor.

This is what you have inside the box:

I didn't make a step-by-step pictorial because I was really into the process of making the sushi. I made it with my cousin, and it was super fun. My favorite part is the fish roe. It pops out like turtle laying eggs!

I know you probably won't understand what I say, watch this video for the process...

And this is my result...

If you're looking for something fun to do with your kids, try this. But I must warn you, you'll feel heavy hearted to eat it because it is freaking cute!

I bought this in a Japanese grocer for less than RM20 (Can't remember the exact price). I'm not sure if they restock it... A few days after I bought this, I return to the Japanese grocer to get the hamburger set, they were all sold out. I asked the storekeeper and she said she's not too sure if they're getting it again. If you want to try out, you can purchase it from Amazon at much cheaper price (click icon below):


Mar 23, 2014

DIY: Chanel Inspired Le Lion Luxury Display Jar

Remember how owl was the "in" animal in fashion few years back? This year, expect to see a lot of lions, all thanks to Chanel who introduced its Le Lion jewelry collection. Today I'm going to show you how to turn your used glass jar into a luxury piece of display jar.

It is super simple. If you ever see me posting my Weekend DIY projects, it has to be a simple tutorial. Or else I wouldn't do it. I consider myself a lazy person, so anything that takes a lot of effort to achieve is definitely not my cup of tea. Anyway, is it possible for a lazy person to enjoy doing DIY projects?

All you need are all these stuff:

1. Glue gun (or any strong glue to hold the lion down on to the lid of the jar)
2. A toy lion (you can buy this in toy store or you can steal your kid's. If you don't like lion, you can choose any other animals).
3. An empty jar (jam jar, pickle jar, candle jar, or any jar that you have emptied). I'm using my Bath & Body Works candle jar.
4. A gold spray (or any color you like, I use gold to get that luxury feel)

Step 1

Glue the lion figurine on to the lid of the jar with a glue gun.

Step 2 

Spray the lid with the gold spray. Make sure to coat it evenly. You might need 4 coats to cover every part. Leave it to dry about 4 hours. I left it overnight.

Step 3 

If you're using jam jar, you can remove the labels and wash it clean.

If you're using a candle jar, you might want to depot the wax out of the jar. And this requires some work. First, heat up some water in the pan. The level of the water has to be deeper than the level of the remaining wax in your jar.

When the wax is completely melted, pour it into a plastic bag. Sorry, no photo here because it requires a quick hand to do it. Remember to put on your oven glove when reaching for the jar. When the remaining wax gets harden in the plastic bag, turn it over and remove it. You can reuse the wax by burning it in your oil burner. It gave me extra 5 hours. Don't waste it, especially if your candle is expensive.

 Close the lid you sprayed earlier on to the clean jar, and you're done! There are so many things you can store with the jar - jewelry, nail polish, cotton balls, coins, herbs, candies, etc.

What do you think of my Le Lion jar? Do you like it? If you want me to post more DIY ideas, do comment below. I love doing DIY projects on the weekend. However, I only make easy stuff... stuff that don't require a lot of effort because I'm just lazy like that.