Never stop believing in YOU.

It’s been a crazy few months, almost a year since I decided to quit my job.

I know I did the right thing, my job was eating me from the inside. Don’t get me wrong, I actually quite liked my job but…. there’s always a but. After applying for jobs and never hearing back, interviews that didn’t bear good news in the end, I began to wonder if I made a mistake..

I started to feel lost, unsure of what to do but I knew I wasn’t alone. I knew that I wasn’t the only one in such a situation and there could definitely be others who have it worse.

I could easily have gone back into the F&B industry, but the more I thought about it, the more I didn’t want to. I had to stick to my decision. So… what did I do?

I’m currently taking a course in digital marketing, with the hope that when I’m done with the course in 5 to 6 months, I’ll be able to live a new life out of F&B. The course requires us to produce quite a bit of content, initially I wanted to go with a made up company and product but after 3 assignments I realised it was going to be tough to make up fake content, so I decided to use my store!

They did not ask to curate videos but I enjoy making them so here’s one for everyone who needs a reminder to always BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.

Reach out to friends who need you, and that love will come back to you!

Calm Amidst The Chaos

To say that time flies would be an understatement.

A year and 3 months later, I find myself revisiting my old self. But why? Because, life happened.

And now, in the midst of this madness caused by the COVID-19 virus, I finally feel like I have time to myself. After all, the past year and a half has been a total whirlwind, time just flew past. I remember leaving beni, taking a break and then starting a new job at Shangri-la last January which didn’t quite work out. Before I knew it I landed another job and as cliche as it might sound, yes, the rest is history.

I always dreamt about working in the wedding industry, there was just something magical about planning someone’s big day. I finally got the offer to do that, although it isn’t quite as magical as I envisioned it to be, it is worth it in the end.

Due to the current situation, I’ve gained a lot more free time and putting work aside to be creative really helps to keep my sanity in a way.

It may seem like a daunting task at first but once you see what you can create with paper, you just want to keep doing more and challenging yourself to do better every day.

I’ve been going back and forth with the idea of creating a new crepe paper flower section for the online store, speaking of which I have neglected for the past year and only started updating over a week ago.

I’m trying my best to tidy up the site and maybe start building content on the blog again, but in the meantime, go check out my new airpod cosies!

[ SHOP NOW ]

“But the reality is, times are unpredictable.”

How long will COVID-19 last? Until when will we have to practice social distancing? When will life go back to normal?

Amidst the chaos, I guess there’s a silver lining even in the worst situations such as this.

It all depends on how you make it out to be.

The Bigger Plan.

“….I believe everything happens for a reason and is all part of a bigger plan. Everything has its own time and place, and I believe I am where I should be.” – New Year’s Day 2015.

4 weeks later, I am certain that everything that has happened in my life has led me to where I am and where I am supposed to be. Along the way, I learnt many life lessons, it wasn’t an easy transition after working from home for some 8 years, in fact, I never realised that it has been so long. What have I been doing the past 8 years? What if I did things differently? What if I led a different lifestyle and I never left the F&B industry in the first place?

Questions, too many to answer but I know one thing for sure; if I had lived any differently, I probably wouldn’t have met the people I got to meet, and the one thought that makes me cringe, what if I didn’t meet Robin? Thankfully, I did.

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Us during NYE 2011

The truth is, in life you need that one person who doesn’t give up on you even when you’re close to giving up on yourself. Someone who sees your potential, someone who keeps pushing you to be a better person and doesn’t hesitate to tell you that you’re not being the best you can be. It can be hard to take in, but we need that truth.

Thank you for being that person for me, love.

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The lights at Absinthe.

All these years I took so much for granted, that I would get a job easily with my qualifications for one. It turned into a 6 month long journey before I found THE JOB I was looking for. Sure I got offers, but interview after interview, I realised those jobs wouldn’t put me in the right direction, I wouldn’t grow the way I want to, so I kept looking. I always enjoyed doing events, so I decided I would pick up where I left off. There were times when I felt lost and on the verge of falling back into complacency, but I made a decision and I was going to stick it out no matter what. I learnt not to readily accept everything that falls into my lap if it won’t help me grow, I learnt to not let people determine and tell me what I am worth. I learnt that I should never settle for comfortable, and if things get comfortable, it means that it is time for a new challenge. Today, I am in Reservations & Events for the TRE Group, handling reservations and events for Absinthe Restaurant Franςais which is located at Boat Quay.

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Absinthe’s outdoor terrace by day. It’s a lovely place to be and especially so in the evening.

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Where will this new adventure take me? Only time will tell, but I will put my best foot forward, every day. No job is easy, but having a job you enjoy waking up to and excelling at makes all the difference.

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My daily view, the office at 46 Bukit Pasoh.

Some of you may wonder, what about the store?

The store is still “operating”. Orders for in-stock items are mailed out on a daily basis since I pass a post box on the way to the office every morning. Customisations will take more time though, for custom orders please email me at jeaninegabrielle@gmail.com.

For those who may have missed the update, the store is now at http://jeanine-gabrielle.myshopify.com

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Mini Amineko in Mustard $32.90 (London bus not included)

»♥«

Q : Do you still customise wedding bouquets?

A : Yes I do, however due to the limited free time I have on weekends, it is advisable to order at least 6 months in advance.

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A previous custom bouquet of roses and peonies.

Since we’re on the topic of flowers and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, what IS everyone up to this Valentine’s? I definitely won’t be having a Valentine’s date since Robin will be out of town but if you haven’t made plans with your significant other yet, may I suggest you join me at Absinthe Restaurant Franςais?

Full details in my next post! :)

Absinthe Restaurant Franςais is located at 72 Boat Quay. Tel : 62229068

Days off with the boy! Friday at Ski360degree

The weather in Singapore has been so unpredictable of late with strong sun in the early afternoon to thunderstorms in the evening, so we were really lucky to have enjoyed half a day of fantastic sun last Friday at the Cable Park!

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Ski360degree at East Coast Park Singapore

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The boy with his new North Gambler 2014 from North Kiteboarding.

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I totally forgot to snap a shot of the underside while we were there, here’s the board when it was still in Hua Hin with the North Kiteboarders.

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It’s no wonder why Robin loves this board, I secretly fell in love with it too when I saw it for the first time! It has that Andy Warhol vibe. Maybe one day I’ll get to ride it..

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I had initially intended to try out with a wakeboard but the staff suggested I use the Easyup board since it was my first time at cable. I tried a few times with this board with not much luck, after countless falls and swimming back to the dock, I didn’t have enough energy left to justify paying another $5 for a wakeboard. Cable ski indeed proved to be a lot harder than I expected. It’s been over 10 years since I last went wakeboarding, so I’m pretty much back to square one in terms of technique but the pulling force of the cable shouldn’t be underestimated! We met a couple of wakeboarders there and they all said the same thing, it is a lot harder to grasp than a water start behind a boat. Really proud of Robin for getting up so quickly! ♥_♥

 At the end of the day I came to the conclusion that I’m totally unfit and the past few days (and counting) of severely sore muscles confirm it. Time to hit the gym if I am ever going to attempt kiteboarding so I can get out on the water with Robin!

Happy snaps!

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I resigned to being his photo girl, and ended up having tons of fun putting my Samsung Galaxy Camera to the test for real since I wasn’t able to in Hua Hin due to not so fair weather. After our two hour run was up we hung around for a bit and ended up making friends with a couple who was on a flight layover post-honeymoon! Here’s JT landing an air raley!

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This GIF is made up of 54 screenshots from the video below. Yes I succeeded in making a .gif, does that make me a tech geek? No? Okay.

The Samsung Galaxy Camera did amaze me though, considering I had the zoom at 16-21X most of the time, the video footages were pretty good and I managed to get some nice screen captures too. Can’t wait to shoot more videos when Robin progresses to jumps and ramps!

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The sun, sand and sea, until next time…

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Check out Robin’s Kitesurfing blog when you are done here! He beat me to blogging about Ski360! :)

Toodles! xx

Why We Refuse To Be Vulnerable, And Why We Should.

Lately I found myself thinking a lot about life, in general. But the one thing that really bugs me is the topic of VULNERABILITY. What is it, and why does it cripple some of us? Well, according to the  dictionary, being vulnerable means:

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But trust me, it’s so much more than that.

I did some reading over the past week, and came across this short verse by C.S. Lewis.

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It made me shudder. But I realised, I’m not the only one.

When we were young and first started discovering a four letter word, no one told us it would hurt that much. Then heart break after heart break, we realise that if we love, we’re putting ourselves out there, like a sitting duck, leaving our hearts wide open to attacks.

Being vulnerable in a relationship means you’re basically handing your partner your heart, giving them a chance to hurt you and break you. Being vulnerable means it’s very likely that you will get hurt, and the more we put ourselves out there, the more we will hurt. As we grow older, we grow more and more aware of this vulnerability, and some of us decide to stop being vulnerable altogether. And refusing to be vulnerable means, refusing to feel, and love.

But, why?

Because stereotypically, being vulnerable means being weak. Being vulnerable means giving the other person control over you, and no one wants to appear weak, no one wants to lose. We all want to be strong, or so we want to appear. We have been vulnerable before, and we got hurt, and it really sucked, so why would we want to be vulnerable when we know hurt is waiting around the corner? Ironically, one person’s vulnerability can be interpreted as courage by another.

Oddly, the surmon during mass yesterday was also hovering around the subject of being afraid in life, being afraid to show who we are, and I felt like I needed to get more familiar with this supposed road block, this fear. After all, it could well be the answer as to why I’m stuck. This morning that chain of thought was continued when I sighted this posting on Facebook by my cousin.

Connect by Taking the Initiative by Rick Warren

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV)
And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. (Genesis 3:10 KJV)

When Adam and Eve sinned and God came looking for Adam, Adam said, “I was afraid and I hid.” (Genesis 3:10 ESV) This fear is as old as mankind. We hide our true selves. We don’t let people know what we’re really like. Why? Because we think, “If I tell you who I am and you don’t like me, I’m have no alternative.” So we wear masks and we pretend.

Fear does three terrible things to relationships:

Our fears make us defensive. We’re afraid to reveal ourselves. When people point out weaknesses we retaliate and defend ourselves.
Our fears keep us distant. We don’t let people get close to us. We want to withdraw and hide our emotions. We don’t want to be open and honest.
Our fears make us demanding. The more insecure we are the more we try to control or dominate things. We try to have the last word in a relationship. It’s always a symptom of fear and insecurity.

Where do you get the courage for taking the first step in connecting with someone? You get it from God’s Spirit in your life: “For the Holy Spirit, God’s gift, does not want you to be afraid of people but to be wise and strong [courageous] and to love them and enjoy being with them” (2 Timothy 1:7 LB).

So the starting point in connecting with anybody is to pause and pray and say,

“God, give me the courage to take the first step.”

The first step, is also the biggest step, the scariest, and the most intimidating.

I’ve been in situation after situation, where I have had the solution right in my hand, and yet, I feel as if, in that moment, I am paralysed; not physically, but my mind just freezes. Why didn’t I do it? Why couldn’t I say it? Why did I do that? Why am I so afraid?

In some of my (past) relationships, I came out feeling like I did more than I should have, that I wasn’t appreciated. I walk out feeling I loved more than I was loved. I started to lose faith in love, really, and it got harder and harder to find someone who was worth the pain. When things don’t work out, we tend to blame ourselves, maybe we’re not good enough, maybe we just can’t get it right, and we start to build walls around us. At some point, I stopped myself from feeling entirely, was I happy? Well, no, not really, I felt empty, but I knew no one could hurt me that way. And for awhile, it was okay.

But we can’t live that way forever, can we? Like it or not, we need to be vulnerable. We are nothing without love, and to love, is to be vulnerable. I wish they didn’t come interlocked, but they do, and there’s nothing we can do to cancel one or the other out of the equation, they come together.

But how? How do you decide you’re ready to open your heart to hurt again? How do you make that first big move?

I watched this video where Brené Brown speaks about the Power of Vulnerability. I’ve watched it again and again, and it’s like a sudden realisation, over and over again.

According to Brené, in her book “Daring Greatly” she explains that there are 3 MYTHS surrounding vulnerability. If you’d like to read about these myths in details, click here. I’m trying not to make this longer than it needs to be.

  1. Vulnerability is weakness.

  2. Some of us don’t experience vulnerability.

  3. Vulnerability means spilling your secrets.

If that’s not true about vulnerability, then what is?

One thing I know for sure now, is that refusing to be vulnerable means refusing to love, and refusing to love is refusing to be happy. We all want to be happy, we all want to be loved. But the fear of getting hurt by loving really cripples us a lot more than we admit to. We try to look for assurance, we want to know that the person we are interested in likes/loves us more than we love them, and yet, they are very likely looking for the same too. I could go on and on about how refusing vulnerability can completely mess up your life, but, you get the drift right?

We push people away because we lack confidence in ourselves, because we refuse to trust that not being 100% perfect is actually okay, and that to them, imperfect IS perfect. It’s not them, it’s us. We refuse to admit we need help when we really need help because people might think we’re weak, or because we’re afraid they’ll judge us. The result? Our non-vulnerability instead makes us appear as cold, aloof and emotionless persons, of course there is much truth in that, because in a bid to avoid pain, we just refuse to feel.

If only we realised sooner, what our non-vulnerability is doing to us, but what’s done is done. So what does it become?

I call it self-sabotage.

So the answer here clearly is, to just forget everything bad you know about being vulnerable, and just be, vulnerable. Stand up and charge forward, regardless of what lies ahead. Be vulnerable by all means, because we were made not to be afraid, but to be courageous. After all, for as long as we refuse to be vulnerable, we’re practically blocking all possible happiness out of our lives, right? Harsh, but apparently true. But pin-pointing a problem is the easy part, how do you get about to solving it? How do you untangle the knots? Where do you start? How do you stop living in fear? How do you stop hurting? How do you become vulnerable?

I wish I could have all the answers at the tip of my fingers, but I guess that’s one of life’s challenges, to figure them out along the way. Does admitting to having serious issues with being vulnerable unlock any answers? I don’t know yet. But I want to believe that when I have the answer, I’ll have the guts to make the first move.

Because to love, we need to be vulnerable; and if we stick to not wanting to experience the pain that comes with it, I guess life would be a big waste of time.

Perhaps being vulnerable might not work out to be such a bad thing, after all, it takes courage to make vulnerability a choice; and courage can overcome a lot.

5 days into 2013.

Time flies really fast these days, too fast, perhaps?

It feels like just yesterday that we were preparing for Christmas, but the 12 days is almost over and we’re already 5 days in to the new year; not to mention it’s already the first weekend of 2013. Really?

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I’ve been trying to make the most out of everyday. I want to live in such a way that, if my life were a novel, there won’t be a single boring day. Saturdays are meant for sleeping in just a wee bit longer. :)

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“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up.” Neil Gaiman, The Sandman vol.9: The Kindly Ones.

The transition from being in a hopeless holiday mood back to work is not an easy one, I’ve been trying to come up with new designs every day to beat the holiday bug. And if you haven’t heard, I’ll be launching The Perpetual Spring’s “Luxe Editions” next week! :)

My first paper flower bouquet is sitting pretty in my room, with a slight hint of Vera Wang’s “Princess” fragrance. Wouldn’t you want these in your home? They last a lot longer than fresh blooms, and have a softer, warmer feel than artificial flowers. Did I mention you can use them as fresheners with a tiny spritz of perfume? *grin

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“Someday”, she said. “Someday, I’ll meet you in a pretty white dress & a bouquet of pastel flowers in my hand.”

A league above paper bouquets, the satin blooms. I’ve wanted to go into weddings since like forever. It’d be great if I could use my own wedding as a try out but no, not anytime soon for me. If you know anyone who needs anything at all for a wedding, and would like to try something different from store bought bouquets, please feel free to drop me an email. (jeanine@jeaninegabrielle.com)

Corsages, bridal bouquets, money boxes, ring pillows, floral hair accessories for the bridesmaids, I’d love to try them all! Really!

Teal bouquets for a Tiffany-themed wedding, perhaps?

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We say we love flowers, yet we pluck them. We say we love trees, yet we cut them down. And people still wonder why some are afraid when told they are loved.” – Brandi Snyder

This week tons of stuff arrived for me! (Partly cos I’ve been OD-ing on retail therapy) My latest online order from Cotton On, sponsored products from Bioré and Organix, and then there was this mysterious package that was oddly light. To my absolute surprise, it was a bunny from one of my regular customers, Ronelle.

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The package arrived when I was working on this fabric flower, so naturally I had to pin it on the bunny for a snapshot!

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She even wrote me a thank you note; to be honest I was on the verge of tearing. It’s just the little things like these, you know? It makes you feel like you are actually appreciated for what you do, even if someone else doesn’t. There will always be people who will stand behind you and be that push you need sometimes, there are people who will always have faith in you even when you’re at your lowest. We just need to believe it, and more importantly, believe in ourselves.

To others it might be just a stuffed toy, but it’s really the thought and the effort that counts. I guess working doubly hard through the festive period to meet all those orders paid off after all. Which reminds me of another bunch of customers, but I’ll save that for later. I’m just thankful to have such warm customers to work with.

LOVE YOU ALL! And for that I promise even more awesome stuff in 2013! :)

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The harshness that is the reality of life. Admit it, we’ve all felt hopeless at some point. If you noticed, Snowy’s heavy paws actually do a pretty good job keeping the page down! Who said stuffed toys are only for kids, huh?

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And of course, Fifi. Resident cutie pie and my “in-house model”, occasionally. What a face, I still wish toys could come alive. Oh, imagine all the fun we’d have! Imaginary friends, they never leave.

2013 has been pretty good so far I reckon, apart from stabbing my finger yesterday and burning myself two days ago, everything else is looking rather peachy. I’ll be doing another post soon about how to get the most out of your shopping, DIY style. Now let me go hunt down some new shoes to match all my new threads! Later! xx

Goodbye 2012, a year of hits and misses.

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As yet another year comes to an end, I believe all of us go through the same motions. Was it a good year? A horrible year? A not so bad, I got through it kind of year? Perhaps after you’ve established that the year practically flew by without you accomplishing very much you start asking why, and what-if you did something differently. By the time you’re done with all that, you realise how much time you just wasted thinking about it cause there’s really nothing you can do to change the past year.

Well, 2012 was a real roller coaster year for me.

You know how you begin the year thinking your life is as close to perfect as it can get? Like everything has finally fallen into place, and you have everything you could possibly ask for, and you just can’t wait to wake up every morning with an idiotic smile on your face. Sure, everyone goes through rough waters, but at some point all that pain is finally justified, and it’s all worth it, you know? :)

But as with any roller coaster ride, there are tons of ups and downs, and it’s the down points that really kill you. I always say, there’s a way to get around anything, as long as you want to, I still want to believe that, but this year life has thrown me more curved balls than I can possibly deal with. I’m usually someone who hangs on and tries until the end cause I hate giving up and I hate losing a fight, but for me to reach a point where I actually give up and walk away, is totally new to me. 2012 definitely saw a record number of misunderstandings. Being misunderstood is one thing, but being misunderstood and put down before you’ve had any chance to say anything, that takes a hell lot of calm to deal with. I guess at some point I just lost that calm. After all I’m one person who cannot stand being misunderstood and called things I’m not. And amidst all the tears, you realise you’re actually fighting for what you want, and it should be something worth fighting for, but what if self defense kicks in and you unknowingly start fighting against it?

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We go into every new year telling ourselves it’s the best time to leave the past where it belongs, to bury grudges, to forgive people who have wronged us, to reconcile with family and the people we love; but is that possible for everyone? Don’t we forgive others in the hope they do not do us wrong a second time? Do we keep forgiving? Or do we draw a line somewhere? It’s true what they say that holding onto grudges hurts the one holding the grudge more than the one who caused the grudge to be. But why is it so hard to let certain things go? I wish grudges and all the bitterness that comes with it could magically disappear at the stroke of midnight, like some new year magic with fairy dust. Obviously fairies don’t exist, I guess that’s what life is all about, putting us through tough times to learn how to love and to forgive. And until we can untie all the knots in our hearts, we will forever be a tangled mess, completely incapable of loving someone else, or so I was told.

 Amidst all the drama, I’m happy that I got to experience love again, the feeling of loving and being loved, knowing that you could mean the world to just one person. It feels like a privilege, but it’s a birth right. It’s just a feeling that nothing else can replace. At least I know I AM capable of feeling despite how hard I try not to, and that my heart is not dead. But I guess you simply can’t hold on to something that isn’t meant to be yours, or force something to work out, and learning to let go is a part of life, nothing lasts forever, anyway.

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Perhaps a part of me died when Baileys passed. My bunny of over 2 years, I still miss him everyday, and talk to him as if he’s right next to me when I’m feeling frustrated. He was always there to listen to me, make me smile, no talking back, no dissing, just a patient listener; even though he threw bunny tantrums at times he was still the cutest bunny ever. I’m glad I had him for that short time, and I’m sure he’ll be patiently waiting on the other side. :)

No, I’m not going to sit in a pool of tears and cry, I’ve done more than enough of that. Despite all the pits I’ve gotten stuck in over the past year, I’m determined to get out of them in due time, but right now,

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Life is a gift and it’s a fragile one, every day lives are taken against their will, every day people are struggling to survive. There are so many people less fortunate than we are. Somewhere out there, a teen has probably never used a mobile phone, much less a laptop or iPad. We are so lucky to have what we have, we are lucky to be where we are. While we complain about fighting with a partner, somewhere in the world someone is all alone just hoping for a warm embrace. While we are deciding which steak house to dine at, so many children out there are rummaging through garbage looking for something that will fill their stomaches. 2012 has made me realise that there’s so much more to life than just what we see. We set goals, we plan for years ahead,

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We plan the future, we spend every other day talking and worrying about the future. What if something happens tomorrow? Can we keep leaving everything for tomorrow? Why not now? We try to live our lives so fast that it just flies by, year after year, the same cycle over and over again, it’s almost as if we are living our lives on auto-pilot. Something’s missing, we’re not making the most out of this life, or are we? That’s for you to decide!

As for me, I’m going to take some time out to rethink this life and what really matters before I attempt to make any resolutions at all.

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cupcake image courtesy of http://muffin-fluffy.tumblr.com

It’s going to be a countdown with the parents this year, since I’ve spent the past few new year’s out of home, I guess it’s time to hit home ground. :)

See you all in 2013! xx

Dig Deep.

I got a little sneaky last Friday, told Robin we’d go somewhere in the evening but that’s all I told him. We went to Beaulieu House which is within Sembawang Park, they’re currently renovating the place so there really isn’t very much to do there but I thought some quiet time out together by the water would be nice for a friday evening. :)

While waiting for our food to be served we enjoyed our very yummy coconuts.  I always say, don’t judge a book by it’s cover, just like you can’t judge a coconut by it’s tough shell, it still has a sweet centre.

Mr grumps/squishy face?

My teriyaki chicken, honestly I didn’t taste much teriyaki in this. It was supposed to be crispy but no part of this chicken was near crispy, still pretty tasty tho.

Baby’s steak with mushroom sauce, apparently not too bad but pretty pricey.

The food took awhile since there was a school event going on, prices are a little on the steep side considering the average taste. Next time I’ll go somewhere with less mozzies & ants.

I also physically parted with my past that night. As I watched a box of past memories go up in flames, I had imagined myself bursting into tears, but it was nothing like that at all. Instead, I felt relieved, as if I had been set free from a cage, a weight lifted off my shoulders…

Don’t let your past tie you down, limit the things you can do, or stop you rom being the person you can be. We only have this life to live. xx