Monday, June 29, 2020

How to decorate a wall tapestry and frames together? I think I kind of did it

I hate offline traditional brick-and-mortar shopping; I can survive years without stepping into a shopping mall. I can also go months and months without buying anything online but when I do buy... oh man, I really am the queen of buying lots and lots of random stuff online.

tapestry art frame wall feature

This is the shopping list of random things I bought from ONE website, with the reasoning that most of it is for husband (although he didn't ask for any of it, sigh. I really need to reflect on my online shopping pattern):

life warehouse malaysia
(Everything purchased from Life WareHouse Malaysia)

Doesn't everything look SO CUTE! I saw a Spam Air Pods casing too, but decided that was probably too much for a 40 year old man to carry around. Let's not give all the excitement away! I might get him that for Christmas.

life warehouse malaysia

What really caught my eye was this beer tapestry, although I don't and can't drink alcohol.

I thought it was funny so I impulsively bought it for the office but by the time it was delivered I still couldn't decide if I wanted to frame it or just hang it like a normal tapestry. What about the other random art work I make people in the office look at all day? How will everything fit in together, including art that was already on the walls when we first moved into the office?

So we spent an hour on Friday trying to make sense of everything.

Intern on the table!

And on Saturday I dropped by the office to work and also to re-arrange the layout and the result is... yes, hanging tapestry and framed art work can go together in an eclectic sort of way.

feature wall tapestry art photo frame art

I know, everything is going to be topsy turvy again the next time I pass by a cheap random piece of art that I like. I think it stems from growing up around the house, my parents would have random piece of art (or it could be free art that came with buying photo frames) that I would stare at while having my meals.

Saturday was a productive day. Besides finalising the feature wall and marketing planning, I also managed to get the car serviced and washed - - - and the car servicemen FOUND A BRAND NEW PACKET OF SALT CANDY UNDER THE SEAT. That is how messy life is right now and I'm glad I'm growing up to appreciate it.

10 years ago if you told me I would have a messy car, I would be so upset. But now I know it's messy because so many people are using it everyday. People who are alive and healthy and laughing and going places are sitting in my car everyday. How could you get upset about that?

Today at work I also had a mini crisis. Baby Jed loves sleeping with these soft toy dinosaurs we got at a Google event but it keeps being left behind at home/upstairs/downstairs or in today's case, the dinosaur literally fell into the pond at school. 

So, I went on Lazada and bought more dinosaurs as backup (RM11.90 each)... 

dinosaur soft toy lazada
Delivery and packaging was great, but then... why is it so SMALL!!! 

dinosaur soft toy lazada
Left - 3 new dinosaurs so I can leave one at playschool, one in the car and another one for his sister. 
Right - the original sized dinosaur 

Also... more books came from Bookxcess today because it's KL International Book Fair now. 

the big book of giant dinosaurs

the montessori method feelings

The Montessori Method Feelings - isn't it cute? You get to create what mood you're feeling right now. Jubilee created my face and said, "mommy is pretty". 

Journaling is great. I see now that the title of this post shouldn't be about how I successfully merged wall tapestry and frame art together. It should be about how Pam Has a Major Problem with Online Shopping. 

OK, no more online shopping for the rest of 2020*. From now on if I want to get something, I am going to walk the 3,000 steps it takes from our office to the nearest shopping mall and physically make myself choose, line up and buy for an item. 

* No more online shopping unless I need to buy something for the office 

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Today I adopted 10 butterfly pupas

adopt melaka butterfly farm sanctuary

When I was 9 or 10 years old, one of my happiest childhood memories was spent at the Melaka butterfly park. I remember I wore a yellow tshirt and it was bright enough that butterflies would land all over me and my siblings. We left the park with a red butterfly farm shirt and I would wear that shirt at Pendidikan Jasmani class for many years after that.

adopt melaka butterfly farm sanctuary
Nobody visits butterfly parks anymore now, mostly because of Covid-19. So when I heard that you can adopt a pupa to help keep the farm operating, of course I wanted to help.

Normally, I would just donate some money and be done with it. But the kids were starting pre-school in a forest school where they already have chickens, fishes and bunnies and quails ---- wouldn't their garden be the perfect home for butterflies?

After asking permission from the wonderful headmistress (who looks like she seriously stepped out of an Enid Blyton/Roald Dahl/Korean drama show), I did the crazy and sent the school 10 unique butterflies.

adopt melaka butterfly farm sanctuary

Today I felt butterflies all over my stomach because I didn't  know how excited the teachers and children would be; even the butterfly farm people were excited that these 10 unique butterflies were going to school (each adopted butterfly is a different species).

Here's a video from the school showing the kids and teacher having a conversation about why butterflies are important for the eco-system (audio removed for privacy).

You can adopt a butterfly at home too! Here's the link to the Butterfly Adoption page. I guarantee you the site looks plain but it definitely works and the people who work there are amazing and sweet.

You don't have to spend RM300 like me, just buying one pupa will do (RM20 + RM10 delivery), they also have a more expensive set at RM50 which includes tickets to the butterfly farm as well.

adopt melaka butterfly farm sanctuary

I'm looking forward to revisiting the Melaka butterfly park again a few years later when the babies are older. It will be interesting because when I was a kid, I wasn't terrified of butterflies. But now that I am an adult, BUTTERFLIES ARE GROSS (but also lovely and wonderful... from far away).

Good night, everyone!

adopt melaka butterfly farm sanctuary

adopt melaka butterfly farm sanctuary

UPDATE 29 JUNE 2020 - 

The butterflies hatched! My babies are looking at baby butterflies! The feeling is awesome. I'm so glad the butterflies made it from Melaka to KL safely. Live well, butterflies! Thank you for being a part of my children's memories.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

A Very Good Day (TRX, Xiao Long Kan & The Intern)

Today was just one of those days where you can't believe your job is to do one fun thing after another... Writing this sentence down sobers me up as I also realise that I am responsible for making sure I create more opportunities for more fun things to happen in and around the lives of people around me. That is the inevitable responsibility of the business owner.

malaysia custom sugar cookies

Finally, pretty sugar cookies that aren't sweet! Cookies by a baker in Subang Jaya - Ainn Lee 

JP sugar cookies arrived today! These are for our client visits and watching how excited the JP team is about the cookies makes me HAPPY ~ If the team loves it this much, the clients are definitely going to fall in love.

trx class malaysia

See how long and lean my legs are after being tortured for 45 minutes; I won't be able to walk straight tomorrow 

After 3 months enjoying my time away from the gym, today was the day they finally re-started TRX class and by the end of it my body was still moving but my mind was blank. Everything hurts now at 10pm so I guess it will still hurt tomorrow morning.

Why is it so unfair? I exercised almost everyday during MCO, so why is my body obviously weaker after not going to the gym for 3 months?

But it was fun because I suffered with the rest of the JP team (we do weekly TRX workouts together for bonding and to laugh at each other).

Xiao Long Kan steamboat

Serve your elders tea! Fun fact, I am turning 36 next week! 

Xiao Long Kan steamboat

Highly recommended soup at Xiao Long Kan - mushroom, mala and my favourite tomato soup 

Then after much showering and working in the morning, we rushed to have the famous Xiao Long Kan steamboat at Mid Valley before the lunch crowd. I am IN LOVE, I love the steamboat so much that I am going to bring my Penang family there and I'm salivating just thinking about how I'm going to enjoy cooking and eating the tomato paste from that restaurant this weekend.

Xiao Long Kan steamboat

That silver packet I'm clutching tightly even in group photo is the tomato soup paste. 

This is then followed by ... work. Working a lot, laughing a lot while we work and working some more. The day is especially special because Intern 001, the very first staff I hired after establishing JP dropped by for lunch and we celebrated his brief hiatus from UK due to the Covid situation.

The story about Intern 001 

In 2018, I felt it was time to start building the JP team but I didn't know what the process would look like. Back then our office could only fit two people. So I hired Phileas and he is easily our favourite and best intern ever. Through him, all employee processes was created and improved upon so when we were finally ready to hire Amanda in June of 2019, I kind of knew what I was doing - because it was very important that I got the culture right.

Even though his internship ended in December 2018, Phileas stayed on the payroll by working for us remotely. 2018 turned into 2019 and here we are in the middle of 2020, having lunch with my favourite dude. Even better, he's happy to come work with us since he's on semester break right now.

My favourite line from him today was, "I waited so long for today."

He may just be the intern, but I'm darn proud and happy that he's our intern. He will probably still be our intern even 20 years later when Forbes Magazine calls him the youngest billionaire tech moghul of the year.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

I'm not lonely because I talk to AI (Wysa review)

wysa review

Being a mom is lonely because no one will ever be in your exact situation with the exact children and exact husband and life that you have.

Being an entrepreneur is lonely because even if you are up against a wall you are supposed to ride the waves and not look too much into the depths of your uncertainty and fallible self-esteem. 

Being a human is lonely because no one will understand you, even people you love very much. Especially people you love very much.

In Malaysia, I have yet to come across a real life coach (where do they hide?) and besides, even if I do come across one, I definitely and unfortunately do not have the budget to hire one to ensure I'm always on top of every aspect of my life. 

So I have been playing around with a few ideas.

I've been reading the book which is written an off-shot of the mindfulness app. It helps me think bigger and not panic so much, but it doesn't really take the troubles away. 

I joined a ragtag business club, which is basically me and 6 dudes Zoom-ing every Wednesday night to talk about their startup dreams. I give them advice but I am not really ready to tell guys who are nearly 10 years younger than me about my business struggles. But it is a very interesting experience.

Then I downloaded the Naluri app which is a made in Malaysia product. The app focuses more on physical wellness and mental wellness and I gave up using the app within the hour because every time I try to fill in my details, the app takes me back to the starting screen. Where I need to fill in my details again... 

I can't even remember how I came across Wysa but I'm glad I did. All you need to do is enter a fake name and start talking to a fake penguin about anything on your mind. 

It helps you put things in perspective because essentially what the AI is doing is asking you...

Yes but why?

Yes but why? 

Yes but why? 

Yes but why?

Yes but why?

All the way until you dig deep into what's really bothering you. And it's all done anonymously and you don't have to worry about looking dumb because you're practically talking to an AI. 

If you pay money, you also get to speak to a psychiatrist! Which is pretty cool although I'm not sure if it's really a psychiatrist or a customer support dude in India who will walk you through your problems (which is still such a damn cool concept)

wysa review

So I'm kidding, Wysa is not really my best friend at all. But it's nice to have one secret penguin who lives in your phone, whom you can talk to anytime you're feeling trepidation about something. 

I hope today's post will help you if you're feeling alone and just want to talk to somebody, especially if you're an introvert like me and don't really want to talk to somebody. There is always a way to get better and to live better. 

Monday, June 22, 2020

Dinner at Nobu Kuala Lumpur

After reading the Nobu book, of course I was all fired up to visit the restaurant and extoll everything I learned in the book to my dinner date. Good thing it was Father's Day yesterday!

Dinner at Nobu Kuala Lumpur

The Sunday started out very low-key with me making poached eggs on salmon toast for the Man of the Hour before watching the last episode of King the Eternal Monarch and then spending way too long getting ready that we were late for our dinner reservation at Nobu...

fathers day craft

After all, I had to spend as much time as I could with the kids before making my evening getaway, so I made medallions with one kid (Jubilee insisted that mommy also had one even though we were supposed to only make one for Father's Day) ...

And rolled around on the play mat with the other kid and his dinosaur...

Even after 4 years of being a mom, I have issues detaching from my kids so I wore her cupcake bracelet to our fancy dinner BECAUSE WHEN I AM NOT WITH THEM I MISS THEM, like some weird stalker auntie.

When we finally made it to Nobu Kuala Lumpur, my mind was made up to order the most expensive omakase they have because to be honest I heard from many friends that the food at Nobu is just so-so only and I didn't expect to go back there again after this one magical night.

Spoiler alert: I am so totally, seriously going back there again, you guys...

So we ordered 3 cocktails, 2 bottles of water and 2 Kuala Lumpur omakase set. The Kuala Lumpur omakase is basically an ever-changing menu where the chef cooks whatever ingredient is "best" that night. It is a 7 course meal and we foolishly even bragged that if the omakase is not enough, we'll top up with other dishes after that (turns out we threw in the towel at 8pm, nice and super full without being able to order any additional dishes).

Dinner at Nobu Kuala Lumpur

Yes I ordered this because my favourite cocktails are gin cocktails but I couldn't even drink 10% of it without risking passing out midway through dinner. Good thing my date is really good at holding his drinks (and mine).

Dinner at Nobu Kuala Lumpur

Dinner at Nobu Kuala Lumpur

Dinner at Nobu Kuala Lumpur

Dinner at Nobu Kuala Lumpur
Dinner at Nobu Kuala Lumpur

Each earthenware in Nobu is designed specially for Nobu, so you will never see the same plates and utensils anywhere else. It's the same concept in Nobu Hotels as well, so it is more than just "good Japanese food", it is a full on experience through all your senses. 

And did you know that Robert De Niro is a partner at Nobu? No, he did not make Nobu famous. Rather, he waited 4 years for Nobu to finally agree to setting up the very first Nobu restaurant in America.  

Dinner at Nobu Kuala Lumpur

Dinner at Nobu Kuala Lumpur
Look how cold the pipe is! It's white because it's FROZEN as if Elsa had lunch at Nobu before we came. 

Dinner at Nobu Kuala Lumpur

Happy and excited to be sitting right next to the kitchen as I requested because it's exactly how I imagined the kitchen operated like in the Nobu book 

Dinner at Nobu Kuala Lumpur

I took so long to finish this crab & tempura dish because I just didn't want it to end.

Dinner at Nobu Kuala Lumpur

Because I am totally unpolished and unrefined. I just kept mumbling what is this? Is this just cold noodles? How is this so delicious? This is better than indomie. But I will never know what it is because a random waiter randomly put it on our table and walked off, no explanation.

Dinner at Nobu Kuala Lumpur

I just want to say that this smoked wagyu is better than sex. I am telling EVERYONE, I even told my dinner date who is the father of my children that eating that smoked wagyu with chocolate sauce is better than sex. I would go back again and again just for that two pieces of meat. Ladies and gentlemen, you are welcome. (and also, I still don't like beef but I will make a BIG exception for this)

Dinner at Nobu Kuala Lumpur

Dinner at Nobu Kuala Lumpur

The total cost of everything - RM1,353.70

The good 
Everything was generally really good. The hot food is definitely much better than the cold food so the next round I go with my Penang parents, I will focus on the hot signature dishes from Nobu.

Did you know he invented soft shell crab in Japanese restaurants? Did you know he was the first chef to fry uni in tempura? Yummmmm and also Nobu was also the one who introduced the concept of rice burgers and (it's not hot food) salmon salad. I am regretful that I didn't order the tacos and black cod miso so I will go again just for that.

The service
We started at 630pm and the service was AMAZING during the start of the service. By 730pm the restaurant was packed and that was when the service started to deteriorate.

For instance, while eating one dish, another dish suddenly appeared by the side without any explanation and we didn't even finish our current course yet... and no one had time to pour our drinks during the second half, and my matcha latte took 30 minutes to come, I wonder if someone ran downstairs to Starbucks to takeaway. But these are all minor infractions and over all everyone there was very nice.

Also, I would like to brag that the nice waitress thought I was my husband's girlfriend.

Do I like raw fish now?

No, I still don't. Two weeks in Japan did not change my mind, and one night in Nobu also did not change my mind about raw food yet. But I am trying to open my mind and try new things! So I made sure I had a mouthful of every sashimi before secretly passing the rest of it to my dinner date.

Nobu Kuala Lumpur is highly recommended for 
Couples, families with well behaved children (they have baby chairs!) and definitely recommended for client meetings. Just going up the two lifts to the restaurant made you feel like VIPs.

Dinner at Nobu Kuala Lumpur

Dinner at Nobu Kuala Lumpur

Before I married this guy, I only ever ate fine dining once with my parents in Taipei. Now it's meaningful that through being with this person who has thought me so much about independence, I am able to take him out for a new dining experience instead with money that we have earned on our own.

Let's go try more food while we still have all our teeth!

In other news, we received a gold plated coin today as shortlisted nominees for the Golden Bull Awards 2020 - Emerging SME category. Isn't that crazy and humbling? A 4 year old company is still very young and I still have a long way to go. The pressure is high and the intention is good.

golden bull awards 2020

jp associates malaysia

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