“Life is tough my darling. But so are you.”

Coming back to write on this space strangely feels more and more foreign, especially when I’ve not written in quite a bit.

Work has been pretty swamped, the issues the seniors face get more and more daunting as their generation gets left behind amidst the fast and furious rise of technological advances as they fight to hold on to what they knew. One of my cases flew a very long , long kite that I ran so hard for, making me feel like a complete and utter gullible new bred physco. I come home to so many thoughts a day but I try to keep them contained as I head to bed each night.

Social work doesn’t get easier sometimes, especially when sometimes you feel extremely lost at what to do. But I guess that’s the challenge too, because one shoe never fits all.

In the meantime, despite my rantings and ravings of work- I would like this to be a space for leisure and thoughts. I’ve always thought that writing would be a skill to pen down all my thoughts into a space- as well as to improve my writing and command of the english language since I started blogging when I was in secondary school. Work aside…

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The kids are growing up so fast. My baby niece and nephew learning how having a sibling is the bane of existence and terror 

I was sick for the last 1.5 weeks with a on/off fever and cold, flu and sore throat and boy was it terrible. The first doctor I went to gave me a day’s mc, told me to rest and gave me the common pills (paracetamol, cough syrup). I dragged my body 5 days non stop to work and finally on sunday Leon dragged me to the clinic. Guess what? I learnt 3 things that day.

1- the first doctor was a quack.

2-I was suffering from a viral throat infection and needed antibiotics to clear. The second doctor told me I should have been prescribed antibiotics the first time to clear it and

3- I was blessed to have a doctor who kindly told me to take rest in bed and gave me a whopping (1+2) 3 MC long rest. Well, his drowsy medications were the way to go, and I did nothing but sleep the whole 3 days. img_9876-1

Aside from that…. I also finally completed both my Basic Theory Test (BTT) and Final Theory Test (FTT) at Ubi last week finally Whoohoo!!!

With theory out of the way, I can finally just focus on my practical lessons and hopefully finish soon with a driving license. For all those who asked why I chose school to private, I’ve come to realize that I really work and learn better by structure. Without it, I crumble/become lazy/make excuses and also I really wanted to start as soon as possible and finish without keeping to my private instructor’s schedule. Also lastly, no one could recommend me private instructors for my school’s centre. So eventually, I decided to swap from private candidature (which i signed up for when i was 18 lol) to school.

img_0005Just a side note for those who didn’t pass the BTT or FTT the first time, I would really reccommend you guys to take the e-trial tests that they offer because the questions are exactly/close to what they’re going to test you. The Etrial test gives you a total of 12 speciment papers to try and each session lasts about 45 minutes. You can try as many as you want and at the end of the paper they let you review your mistakes.

Because of the etrial tests that I attended (I attended all 3!) I passed the first time for both BTT and FTT and it was really worth it! Was really happy and pleased that I didn’t have to do it all over again because honestly I forgot how hard working and studying was especially when your motivation to do anything after work is just a -1000000.

And yes I opted for a class 3A autocar license because I think I will be a bad driver and my sister told me most cars are auto now (i hope?) so I decided to just opt for the easier option, as everyone says.


 

The weekend was one of the last few things I’ll have left to enjoy, really because I’ll be working all saturdays on the month of May. I’m dreading it not because of the scope, but more of the fact that waking up at 5.30am on a saturday morning feels terrible, especially on a train from east to west. But! I shall look at it with another fresh perspective that perhaps, if I did indeed never have to work on saturdays, I would never appreciate free saturdays as much as I do now. See that’s the thing with entitlement, I suppose.

This weekend started off great. I’m still nursing my cough, but it is a lot better as compared to when it first came about. The coughs sometimes keep me up and wake me up at night still, but it’s getting progressively better. I woke up on saturday morning and shortly after Leon came by and told me to continue sleeping, because he wanted to do his own things and make himself some leftovers for breakfast. I lazed around and watched some korean drama and was pleasantly surprised when he came in with a bowl of piping mac and cheese just for me (my favourite!!! ah!!!)

Yes been watching the korean drama “heal me, kill me” but so far, nothing beats “innocent defender” ever. HA YEON AH!!!!!!!!!! (You have to watch it to get the same feels i’m having right now as I yell, CHA MIN HO!!!!!!!!!!)

By the late afternoon we made our way to Leon’s grandma’s place to have dinner with the family to celebrate Uncle & Auntie’s birthday (their birthdays are 3 days apart) and Alicia brought us to Hai Di Lao @ vivo City. It was my first time there and I was SO impressed by the service.

1- though the wait was 1-3 hours long, we were given tables, seats, snacks, fruits, drinks, ice cream (free flow) at no cost at all.

2- They had gelish manicure service and a playpen/area for children.

3- They are right smack in the middle of vivo so you basically can just walk around when you’re bored.

4- They provide you with bibs, plastics for your phone (in case the soup drips on your phone) and a screen wiper for your phone. They also provided me rubber bands for typing my hair so I  could eat.

5- They have a bar with seasoning and their fruits are free flow.

6- Their soup was excellent. We had the tomato soup and the chicken broth. Both was so good.

Leon didn’t let me buy any gifts for his parents. When I asked why he said, “No. We don’t do that. Don’t be weird.” #thebiggestirony

Sunday morning rain is falling…………  (I wish)

Woke up at 6.45am to the alarm and then asking other people to check if it was raining because I was praying it would be the perfect excuse to sleep in. But it wasn’t *inserts cries of despair here* and so, I trudged to the park for a morning run. Not going to lie to you, the first 15 minutes were quite torturous.

As the sun rose the heat was more intense but I tried to listen to music and tune my thoughts elsewhere. I’m happy to say I managed to finish a 4km run that very morning. Celebrated by eating breakfast at Ya Kun and then later in the afternoon going to meet the boys at Jalan Kayu for our usual prawn mee session.

By the way, I’m very disappointed that Blanco has increased their prices from the old price of $4 a bowl to $5.80 within the span of less than 2 years. But selagi remains the same which we love, as well as the old school otah that we go to and not to mention, my favourite Jane’s cake station chocolate cake that I love. Yes! the 4km was worth it hur hur hur. 

Not to mention, had no monday blues this weekend because my monday was a team bonding event in the morning at Clay Street!!! I finally got to make my own mug since the last time I made my own mug when I was in Primary two yay!! Can’t wait to see how it comes out after they fire the clay up. So excited!

Last but not least, I’ve been hooked on this FREE game called fun hospital. Remember the game theme hospital as a kid??? This is pretty much the same concept. building, running and hiring and firing people etc. I love it.

Okay spent almost 45 minutes crafting out this post because my pound class at the CC got cancelled again (3 times within the last 5 sessions) and I’m extremely frustrated because I paid $60+ after $30+ sg credit waivers. I think maybe I’ll just sign for a monthly gym pass to the public gym next time because it’s so annoying when you hype yourself up for a class and then they decide to cancel the class and send you a sms only 15 minutes before it starts…….

you should have seen me and Sarah’s face.

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meanwhile, have an amazing week you guys!!!

xx

We had it all in front of us

Youtube randomly played some songs the other day and brought me back to We the Kings. I think the last time I heard this song, I was only 16 or 17 and loved every bit of it.

I was all ready to blog and then Caroline called me and started stressing me out about my leave, the upcoming exams and so on that my brain went on a full-on frenzy mode. It didn’t help my blood pressure, at all. But it was a still short and good catch up, I gave her five minutes to say her piece, and after 2 minutes, we hung up with a “I gotta go now” and me receiving a “I hate you, bye.” Dysfunctional friendships surround me, I wonder why.

So let’s do what we all 20 somethings do- we distract ourselves from the stressful reality of life. That is, distracting ourselves from the “now”.

My labor day weekend was eventful, it went a little something like that.

I had gone out with Marcus for a mini shopping spree before meeting KL for dinner at Bugis. I was a little bummed out about some things that happened recently and really tried to distract myself by actually pulling myself out for some retail shopping. My friends were really cute, Marcus made jokes and followed me all around street shops and supported me to get a tee shirt with bold words labelled “QUEEN BEE” (in retrospect, I don’t know what I’ll use it for, maybe PJ’s or something) and KL and I had a very filling dinner at Platypus chicken- side note: don’t get the steak, it was SO salty I almost died. KL ended the night by saying, “Hey! It’s time you blog about me!” So on KL’s request, here is a picture we took that night together. IMG_20150501_222808[1]

Was still bummed out on the train home. Bummed around when i got home, took a shower and had intended to go blog it out. (taking it to social media as always) in a attempt to hone my feelings and mask them as creativity, I was deep in thoughts when my phone buzzed. I looked at the name on the screen once, a little in disbelief because, well, he never calls. It was close to 1am in the morning. ‘Must have been a butt dial’. I assume. But just in case, I called back.

I got you something…..I’m coming over now.

You’re joking right? (tone of disbelief)”

Why do you always think I’m joking! I’m serious. See you in a bit.

At 1am on a super bummed out night, I received a box of Chee cheong Fan all the way from JB in my PJ’s downstairs my block, shocked beyond words, surprised and a little, less, bummed. And needless to say it was #yumz. IMG_20150502_0128281st May is also a special day for me because it’s actually my brother’s birthday. So on the 2nd, we had a belated surprise birthday party with him and his friends. We took some pictures, played some pool (I won Charles in a game- ahha! First time ever) and drank, a lot. I mean, what is a party without alcohol, right? Tried ginger ale with raspberry belvedere, and amazingly, it tasted good. My belly was warm the entire night. I got home at close to 2 am that night. Not a good choice since exams are just around the corner, but thankfully me and my brother only live a street away from one another.

Happy 26th Birthday Fatso! Last year was a testing period for us and you have been there for me in so many quiet little ways that I see but we both don’t ever acknowledge because we don’t work that way. You are so annoying sometimes, but you will always be my annoying brother. Blessed Birthday, with love always.

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After turning in at close to 3 in the morning after my shower, I woke up early at 8ish for……… get this………….trekking. Whose stupid idea was it? Whose? Right. Mine. Ah-ha! Smart, Cally. Real Smooth.

I had talked about wanting to go to the treetop walk since forever at macritchie reservoir but we always postponed the trip there because of whatever reasons. Since we had kept this day free, despite the drizzling rain, we climbed and trekked a total of 6.8km (inclined and steps included ok!) and finished the tree top walk! The view was beautiful though. For a moment, I forgot the perspiration and stickiness as I watched the view. It reminded me of extremely large broccoli for some weird reason.

Oh and monkeys! There were a cute bunch of monkeys snacking on potato chips on the treetop walk bridge. Caroline scolded me on the phone, “What?! Why didn’t you take photos of them eating chips?! since when do you ever see monkeys eat chips?!”

I felt strangely happy to have finished the trek. When we reached the carpark, I was so happy to finally get into my slippers because my shoes and legs had muddy marks all over thanks to the rain. But the feeling of accomplishing the trek was indescribable.

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That’s all I got for now. The next two weeks are going to be busy for me both at work and with upcoming exams, so I’ll stop here before I get too lengthy.

I’ll be back!

Lots of love, xx

National Nutrition Month 2015

Did anyone know that the month of march is also known as National Nutrition month?

I'm Blogging National Nutrition Month

National Nutrition Month is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. The theme for 2015 is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle,” which encourages everyone to adopt eating and physical activity plans that are focused on consuming fewer calories, making informed food choices and getting daily exercise in order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of chronic disease and promote overall health.

I personally am not a very healthy eater when the mood strikes, so I make do with work outs and healthier options, which I hope this post sets out to do- to inspire and create awareness for my readers on the daily choices and frustrations we make on a daily basis when it comes to choices related to our health.

I recently learned about Oscar Health, a health insurance provider in New York and New Jersey. Their company sets out to incorporate technology into personal wellness by encouraging their policy members to be proactive in their lives towards health everyday. This is something which I thought personally stemmed well in the idea of taking charge of your own health, and your own life.

This is something in Singapore that I personally feel is lacking in the healthcare industry, and we have become too dependent and critical on healthcare professionals, creating a strain on the profession itself. Sadly, Oscar has yet to branch out to Singapore or Asia. This is not a paid advertisement. This post is solely on my own story and experiences.

The cool bit about their brand distinction between other insurance providers is that they provide free misfit bands as well as have their own Oscar App to track their activities, and be rewarded with cash rewards when they make their own fitness goals. Which is really amazing! A misfit band is actually retailing at $99.99!

So,  on behalf of National Nutrition Month (NNM), Here goes my post of how I, personally use technology to find information about healthy eating and to track my own nutrition and health habits.

Diet

For those who know me personally, you’d know I’m not a fan of vegetables. It’s been a habit for as long as I can remember, and has been around since I was a kid. To answer all your questions, I think most of it stemmed from how I hated the taste as a kid, and though I was forced often to eat them, as I grew older, my mother left it to my own personal choice to eat vegetables on my own. She nags from time to time now, but she doesn’t force me to eat it. (I am an adult now, after all). There are some exceptions to the rule of no vegetables though, because the main issue for me is the cellulose in the stems of the vegetables, as well as the bitter, crunchy taste that I hated terribly. So, I found alternatives through trial and errors. As of date, the only vegetables I can potentially eat are long steamed brocolli (Soft) and probably spinach that has been cooked in soup.

Yes, I can hear my readers nagging already. “No vegetables????”, “How do you crap???” (yes my friends ask me that all the time). Some just shrug and shake your head. Others just let me be. So, how do I survive without vegetables? I make up for the fibre in……. brown rice, and the water soluble vitamins in……. fruits!  I currently eat Naturel brown rice that can be found at supermarkets, and as for fruits (with no thanks to braces), I have cut apples, papayas and even oranges.  Fruits are supposedly supposed to be taken before a meal to ensure good absorption of the minerals, so take note guys! With work recently, I’ve been taking my fruits after meals and fighting the Z monster after.

So how do I know what to choices to make when it comes to the healthier option?

I took food and nutrition in Secondary School, and since then, I roughly know which foods are better for me in terms of what my body needs. Example, Vitamin C (oranges) when I have colds. Calcium for teeth or bones (Milk). High Biological Proteins (HBV) in animal meat and Low Biological proteins(LBV) in plant foods and so on. But, if I’m ever confused or forget what equates to what,Very often or not, I use Health’s website. Which is amazing. Because….everything is there!

Click here for the link to Health.com.

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What I love the most about health, is that they provide everything, from current reads to health trends, to healthier choices and recipes, and to exercise and fitness.

For general health, It’s important to know how much calories on a daily basis you burn. For basic information, your BMR (basal Metabolic rate) is the about of calories you’d burn if you stayed in bed all day. As for the rest, it really depends how vigorous your day to day activity is, which affects your calorie burn. Every individual burns differently, so a good gauge would be to just test your BMR (which is your basic burn) (Click here for an online BMR Calculation) and seek professional help for the calories you burn on average. For me, I know on average, I burn 2,100 calories a day which I took at a fat calculator at a gym before I signed a package earlier in 2014. Which isn’t a lot.

You can check your BMR to know how much is the ceiling for eating, and to stretch out your meals through the day. No one should starve! I firmly believe in eating in moderation, and I eat pizzas and fast food from time to time to indulge because…life’s too short to starve. But knowing my calorie burn helps me to gauge and to not over eat.

I love to bake in my free time, and baking usually includes a lot of butter, fat and oil. So whereby possible, I try to use healthier alternatives. Check out Pick Lee’s Website here to read different types of healthier baking alternatives. As for other foods, steaming and boiling are always a healthier choice compared to frying, deep frying and so on. I try not to use oil but instead a non-stick pan when I’m cooking an egg, for example.

 fitness

Because I don’t exactly keep a good routine for eating healthily, I try to make do with exercise to stay fit and keep my mind healthy and active with whatever time I have. I’m on the chubbier side, so I mostly do cardio exercises to help burn fat. I try to keep my exercises between 20 minutes or more, and do workouts like jogging.

My company has started a workout regime that has been pretty eventful. So if you’re someone like me who has about an hour to spare for lunch during the weekday for a workout, you can try these resources to help you on your health journey!

Youtube links

There are so many youtube links out there that have exercise workouts. Many of my peers love to do the VS workout (victoria secret), but personally I find that not suited to my liking. I’ve been trying HIIT in my free time with my colleagues, but it’s really tough. We like to try the videos from fitnessblender. Check out their profile here! 

The biggest loser, Cardio Max DVD

Tougher than it looks, especially for beginners…. when my colleagues and I started this workout, we huffed and puffed and turned all sorts of funny colors because it was SO tough. We were very motivated by the people in the background who were much fitter than us, and we struggled through week 1 and 2 exercises. It’s a pretty good resource as one workout with warm up and downs last about 30 minutes. You can buy their DVD on Amazon!

Zumba Toning

A much lighter cardio, about 28 minutes in total and you need 1kg weights. I have all 6 discs of the Zumba programme but the Ripped discs focused more on toning with workouts in dance that were easy to follow, conscise and amped up. I bought my discs on http://www.qoo10.sg/ for barely $50 Sgd. And it was worth it. We do this every thursday at work!

APPS FOR FITNESS/Health

Runkeeper

An app that focuses on your distance, pace and calories burned tracker. I love this app! It has been with me for almost 3 years now. It’s extremely effective, and even has fat burning programmes with a built in voice trainer to help you (though I just jog at my own pace). The only issue is that you have to carry your phone with you, and if you own a samsung note, that can be a heavy issue. so, I bought a Garmin Forerunner to help me when there are days on a run that I don’t feel like being contacted or disturbed. It helps so much!

Period Tracker

For females, it’s really self explanatory. Don’t you just hate it when you get your period outside and you’ve completely forgotten that it’s that time of the month, only to find you have no pad on you, and none of your friends do? I hate it. Period Tracker was recommended to me by my friend Caroline when I was still a student in tertiary. It helps me by reminding me as much as 3 times before my expected period date so I remember to carry a pad with me, just in case!

My fitness Pal

I hated this app when I downloaded it because It consistently stopped me from eating the food that I loved with constant reminders,and it made me sad each time they told me I had exceeded my calorie budget. So if you love food like me and hate to be reminded, remember to off the notifications! It’s good to track your calorie count in my opinion but not be too fixated on it, which is what we girls tend to get too conscious about from time to time, no thanks to media’s perfect body image. Boo.

Summing up my fitness journey!

Fitness is something that comes hand in hand with health and technology has definitely helped us create more awareness as to what is good for our bodies, and have made the information vastly and readily available for us. Choosing the better option in our fitness and food habits is a conscious choice that each individual has to make!

So dear readers, I hope this post has helped or inspired you to try out some of the things I did, I am no fitness instructor but these are the things that technology has helped aided me over the years in my fitness journey towards better health. I wish you all the best in your own fitness journey!

Lots of love

xx Cally

Garmin Forerunner 10

With the year end bonus I received in 2014, I have been spending more than I probably should. A lot of it went to my crazy wants, such as the tv which hangs proudly in my room, some furniture and a girl’s best past time- retail therapy. Aka, clothes.

For those of you who have been keeping up, I have been nursing a consistent back injury, which started since October last year and acts up from time to time. Because of the intensity of the pain and how I can’t gauge when the pain will come, I stopped exercising on a whole (this obviously did not bode well for me, hence the crazy weight gain and fat shaming I’ve been receiving).

I then decided to listen to spontaneous past Cally who decided the only way to get back on the fitness track was to sign up for a marathon in 3 months time, so that I future cally (me, now) could decide to float or sink. I’m so dead, lol.

Hence, I thought, brooded even, for the longest time on this purchase before I decided it was a investment. It was also a way for me to motivate myself to hopefully deal with the pain and run through it, since the pain has not subsided since I took a break from physical activity anyway so….tadah! Meet my new baby.

Garmin Forerunner 10
IMG_20150105_185033 for all my friends/readers who are curious what the Garmin Forerunner does and can’t understand technical instructions like me, I will attempt to explain why I chose Garmin, the model 10 (since there are so many other Garmin models out there) and what’s so good about getting a Garmin watch. 

  1. The Garmin Forerunner 10 runs on GPS. This means that I just have to be outdoors, turn on the GPS to let my watch catch the location, and that’s it. I get my distance run.
  2. It also provides speed per kilometer, time elapsed. When it stops, it reverts back to a normal digital watch for date and current time.
  3. it is completely waterproof.
  4. it also helps to count calories burnt
  5. It is extremely easy to use. Idiot proof. Especially if you grew up in this technology infused era like me #1990schildren

To me, the Garmin forerunner 10 was also the most economical price, costing USD $129. considering other Garmin Forerunner watches go as expensive as $400+ sgd (oh my god that is just insane, I’ll eat grass for the next month……..) but I guess the more higher end ones are for competitive, whereas I’m just a recreational runner.

Used it for two runs and I regret nothing!

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I’ve never been more motivated to go running considering I’m so excited to see if the watch will fail me. Thankfully it hasn’t died on me or fizzled out so far.

for more info, you can check it out here! And should you buy it, I hope it sprinkles as much motivation to exercise on you as it did for me 🙂