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COVID19 Pandemic: What and How it is living in the RED ZONE

Good day all and welcome to my blog post on the current situations during the Covid19 Pandemic.

It’s not hot news as compared to the new President elect Joe Biden and Vice President elect Kamala Harris in the US – but surviving the pandemic is an on going process and progress. Wouldn’t you agree?

Malaysia is going thru CMCO – conditional movement control order . Which essentially means as a part of a community – is to wear mask at all times and scan your attendance at all malls/stores/restaurant you visit , maintaining 1M distance and washing/sanitising your hands as often as you can. The new norm – which often irritates senior citizens and the ones who don’t care about themselves. Many has been put on hold/fired from work , some have started small business to support their family , healthcare staff pushing thru the pandemic wave , parents managing school work like psychos – the list goes on.

It has been hard and trying for every sector in the economy. Healthcare workers like myself is constantly at stress managing work and life at home. The fear of getting sick from the positive Covid19 patients is still sending us paranoia vibes – not funny when you need to be away from your family for 2 weeks. Living in isolation with your other “neighbours” in isolation can really drive you nuts. Monitoring your symptoms and praying that you don’t get any worse can be nuts too.

My experience as a suspected Covid19 patient was something to remember. I was dizzy from work – I got the FLU. Being in the red zone you gotta get yourself screened all the time – from filling up mental health screening forms , to places you have visited , re-tracing back your patients who are covid19 positive. After all that I got my throat and nostril swabbed. Not pleasant but essential.

Next is living in isolation – not being around your loved ones , wear a mask at home at all times , have separate meals , not share a room/space / bathroom. It all sounds easy till you get home and realise you have to change your room into a sorta mini studio apartment.Which brought back memories when I had my foot trauma. I am not sure which is worse tho – back then city life was as vibrant as it should be but since my foot was on a boot cast fo 6 weeks – socialising , having fun was just at home thanks to internet and Netflix. I look back and thank that moment during my lowest times and how I recovered. Somewhat scary that it was sort of a preparation for the MCO.

I should be used to this new norm right? The answer is still nope for me. Humans get bored easily and we need to find different rhythms / patterns/ routines to make things interesting.

After getting your swab test results (negative) it was pure joy of course. But off we go to attend our essential living. There is a lot of uncertainties I feel – from sitting for your final exams , submitting your thesis , job interview , being in the job not knowing when you will be dismissed or die from the disease. But I think what we all need is to have a little faith and hope. It is important to allow ourselves to feel bad but NOT for long and then pick yourself up and face the world.

We all need that little push for humanity , love and compassion.

Wishing everyone here in this writing community a peaceful and healthy day. Stay safe!

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Mental Health: How to deal with Difficult People

It has always been hot topic of discussion whenever we meet a difficult family member , work colleague or random people in public. More over since I started my journey working as healthcare worker in hospital setting. Dealing with difficult people sometimes can be really painful , thought provoking and can be exhausting. Providing care to patients and dealing with family – often times we are exposed to verbal and emotional abuse or sometimes threats. Sometimes our colleagues can be really bitter to work with.

This kind of situations can give birth to various mental health problems. Anxiety and depression being the most common. Lack of support from family members , excessive bullying and negative comparison at work could aggravate the problem more. I have found that to NOT deal with work politics and focus more on being the best version of myself has helped me alot in my career and keeping a good focus in everyday life. Not forgetting to pamper myself after a long day at work of course!

For those reading this blog suffering from some sort of mental illness or life turmoil – just remeber that you are not alone and that there are people out there who are willing to help and listen. Yes! the world is not as ugly as you think.

One thing for sure – you can’t change a person totally. But you can change how you react towards negative or difficult people. Remember to be always be professional , calm and intuitive when dealing with negative people. Know and acknowledge your limits.

AVOID NEGATIVE PEOPLE. For me personally that is – avoiding is probably the best medicine. If you happen to confront an individual who happens to scream at you relentlessly. Stay calm , take a deep breath and just walk away. I find that this has helped to diffuse quarrels , fist fights and further depressing moments. If you find yourself threatened – it is okay to report to your boss and make a police report.

LEARN TO SAY NO. Being a good listener at work has its ups and downs. But I do get people venting their temper buy telling someone that they are not. It is very dangerous to have colleagues like this and it can affect the relationship at work and cause poor judgement and trust. In this matter I again AVOID and say NO to listening negative judgements. When confronted with someone difficult or that I dislike – I promptly stand up and leave the table.

BE BOLD TO SAY WHAT YOU DISLIKE. This can be difficult for most Asian cultures as we are taught to respect our elders no matter how we dislike them. But this comes with limits of course. What is important here is to EXPLAIN politely , CONVEY message CLEARLY and AVOID tempers in this situation. After calming yourself down – come back and explain how you feel and think. Both parties must be at ZEN place. Do not attempt to do this when you are still running tempers and adrenaline!

LEAVE THEM BE OR LEAVE THEM PERMANENTLY. Of course not everyone will stay negative forever – maybe it is just a family issue at home that is resolving. I would avoid them till their problems have resolved. As for individuals who are stuck in a negative abusing relationship and despite doing personal adjustments and therapy is just not working – best to leave and move on. Life is too short to live with someone miserable. Move out and move on.

TIMEOUT. Get some time out after a stressful day! Do not keep it in you. Talk to someone , have a nice meal , exercise and remind yourself that problems are not permanent. Plan a holiday with your favourite people or just with yourself. Be sure to do something healthy during your time out. Eat something healthy , journal , cuddle someone – what ever it takes to find inner peace.

PRAY. This I find very meditating. It might not work for everyone but it is an act to be in a zen place and connect with yourself. It is a time to be humble , be at peace and to reflect.

MAKE PLANS. The idea of making plans is to get your mind going and forget the negative past. So plan and execute those plans that you have been writing on your journal! Passing that exam , loosing 2 kilos a month , do the laundry , clean your room , go on Safari , finish that book! List is endless! It is important to list them to always have something to look forward to. You don’t have to wait for someone to make plans. Make your own!

I hope this helps! Please remember that you are not alone in this world. Everyone has their ups and downs in their life time. IT WILL PASS! Always aim to be better , be positive , know and acknowledge your limitations.

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Should I wear Make Up during the Pandemic?

Some of my petty yet interesting girl problems and continue to be hot topic at work. What eyeliner or eyeshadow colour should we wear to distract ourselves from work stress.

And the answer is……

Hell yeah!

Wearing make up is just part of grooming yourself and one of my happy things to do to keep myself fresh and gorgeous looking. I am not that gorgeous but it certainly makes myself noticeable. Double wink!

Pandemic.Germs.Virus.Covid19.Quarantine.

This topic is all over the media and daily gossips. With the RMO somehow it has led to most of us forget about grooming because there is no reason for us to wear make up. True to some but there are women and men out there who are at work fighting the virus such as healthcare workers and essential workers braving the virus and giving care to the public.

Kudos to those brave men and women out there!

Now , about make up.

As a healthcare staff – I have colleagues who wear full make up and some just ONLY lipstick , lip gloss , lip balm , mascara and eyeliner on a daily basis. Which ever works for us as long as you come to work looking groomed and looking your best to face your daily challenges – be it in theatre , ward , lab and office.

We are ALWAYS wearing masks and caps to protects our hair and face. Scrubs that we change once we arrive at work. Some days are colour coded some days we just look like birds of paradise flocking about!

I guess now you can imagine why we don’t wear much make up since half our face is covered revealing only our eyes. Hence why most of us gravitate towards just eye make up. You can imagine if we wear foundation – most of it will be wiped away when we wear and take off our masks and scrubs. Yeap nothing left.

The questions still remains – should we omit make up during the pandemic? Hell no! I believe in being pretty and powerful babes! Do wear makeup which ever works for you.

HYGIENE ASPECTS ON WEARING MAKE UP

Many girls out there have their way in keeping their make up stash and brushes clean. But here are my tips to avoid introducing infection to your face, skincare and make up.

1.wash your face and hands before each application

2. Do your skincare. Make up gurus around the globe out there will always say PAMPER your skin first before make up. Never skip the serums and sun block!

3. Avoid touch ups in the middle of the day – especially for a healthcare worker. Even if you wash your hands vigorously ,  you still don’t know how much germs is left in your hands

4.avoid touching your face while at work. Since make up nowadays are just water and sweat proof. There is no reason to always check your face and alter your wing or re-blending your eye shadow with your fingers.

5. Use hands/fingers to apply make up- since I am lazy to wash my brushes and sponges. Plus I only use tinted moisturizer, mascara and glitter eyeliner – you guessed it!

6. Remove your make up once you reach home – proceed to shower/bath tub and just wash away all those grime post work or after any outside home chore during this pandemic.

Hope that helps dudettes! Always remember good hand hygiene!

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PANDEMIC HOME QUARANTINE

Am sure some of us are driven insane to be at home most of the time , aside from doing the groceries and doing work from home.  Here are some things to ponder about.

FRIENDSHIP

What a better time to think about friendship.  Friends come in and go – sometimes its dumb luck that any of your friends becomes your spouse or soulmate. The point is , it’s the loyalty and care that feeds the friendship during the toughest times. Am sure you will agree.

HEALTH

With all the restaurants closed –  cooking at home is the best policy! Delivery takes ages to wait. What better timing to cook your own favourite meal. I personally love to take my time cutting thru vegetables and meat before the cooking starts. Some days I prefer just the cooking and leave the cleaning later. Unless I am feeling uppity – I would definitely do the cleaning.

DE-CLUTTER

Staying home can really stun you with how much rubbish you have. All thanks to Marie Kondo – bless her for teaching us to give away our unused things. Its amazing that what we do in life is work hard and shop hard. I truly regret all the shopping I need to full fill my needs of comfort. Should be traveling more. Cheers to rounding up 100kg worth of clothes to charity! It is amazing how refreshed and good you feel after giving away old clothes ( that is still wearable of course!)

STUDIES

Best time to do work and getting in there with the reading and studying.  I have always been the person who goes to libraries , office or the café to study – but my HOME is just amazing.  Just wish the home quarantine is prolonged till we have ZERO Covid19 cases. 

BONDING

Since friends are just crappy these days. It is a realization that our very own FAMILY is the best soul people we can ever have. I really am blessed with a loving family. They are the true grit true ones that love you inside out , and just LOVE you inside out. Care and love is constant and loyalty is fierce. Thank you GOD!

TMI : Bikini waxing

That time of the month or year that some of us do religiously for the purpose of grooming and keeping it neat and clean. Girlie talk! Let’s dive into it!

My journey into bikini waxing was more of a bucket list kinda thing. Do it once and there you go! But then it became a thing where you get to hang out with your girls / besties more importantly with yourself! More importantly it is a time for TIME OUT

Since MCO started – things got a little bland. Going out is not just going out – it was mostly a chore to get the necessary stuff for home or personal use. What happened to ME time? Nada. Hence I jumped to the wagon for bikini waxing when the opportunity came out.

I had done it once before and it wasn’t that bad really! The secret to success is adequate pain killers or some might term it as analgesics. For me it’s NUMB CREAM that I purchased from the pharmacy. Applied an hour before your waxing appointment will give you enough comfort. To be honest I did not feel a thing! It was totally painless and it made me really confident thru out the waxing procedure.

Kudos to the waxer who was very professional and fast. She was very kind and put me at ease very easily. To sum up – adequate analgesics and an experienced waxer is the goal to having a comfortable bikini waxing experience. Below are the tips I have listed to help make the transition to waxing easier

1. Book appointment – just book and worry about calming or conditioning yourself later.

2. Purchase numb cream at your local pharmacy – to apply 1 hour before appointment. Wash it off just before waxing.

3. Exfoliate the area to be waxed a day before – remember to be gentle and kind to yourself.

4. Bring some of your friends along for moral support – I went alone the first time but going with friends/colleagues was a lot more motivating

5. When the time comes – please be punctual with your appointment. Make a point to arrive early so that you have enough time for parking and to compose yourself.

6. Have something before your appointment – I had hot chocolate to help comfort myself. Stress can make you hungry and cranky

7.Make sure you are not in your period or wear any form of tight clothing. Your tender area needs TLC and good airing post wax.

8.When you are on the waxing table – it is NO TURNING BACK! Just go with the flow and take it easy. Your lady bits are numb! That is if you applied numb cream an hour before.

9. It may be a good idea to avoid intercourse after your wax appointment. 48hrs should suffice.

10. ENJOY THE VIEW!

Bikini waxing can be done to men as well. I do not think it is a taboo really. Think about personal care , grooming , cleanliness.It is okay not to talk about waxing to whom you don’t trust. There are blogs like this to ease your journey.

Give it a go! It is actually refreshing – after going thru your first appointment from there you can personally gauge how often you need it or not. Or simply put it in your bucket list!

1 year : post orthopaedic trauma

While browsing thru blogs and ideas today I was reminded that today is exactly one year ago that I fell on my left foot. August 26th 2019 at 1700hrs.I can still vividly remember my code blue alarm , the adrenaline rush running down the stairs from the 6th to 4th floor , the sharp pain , the whole code blue drama and how helpless I felt during my graveyard shift. Pain was hell – coping with the pain and stress of running the shift was really trying.

The night went by pretty fast and by next morning I was lying down on the metal bed to get my foot x-rayed. After establishing my 5th metatarsal fracture it was off to the cast room. My head felt dizzy after listening to the instructions of how to take care of the cast , how to ambulate and how to deal with my daily life the next 10 weeks. 10 weeks!

Taking care of the cast was not an issue but running your life gracefully with one foot was the big deal. I went home googling blogs on how to live your life , ambulating safely on crutches , getting your way around home from bedroom -toilet -kitchen , dealing with the pain , how to be productive. Which lead me to blogs in WordPress and eventually writing my first blog on how to cope with left foot trauma. Writing helped me to remedy my stress and also help me to give back by sharing my tips surviving an Ortho trauma and being productive.

I have never felt soo vulnerable and helpless! My work as a healthcare worker was running around codes , attending ill patients , doing procedures , dealing with patient’s family and the list goes on. I needed all limbs to function and having a fracture was a wake up call to SLOW DOWN.

You can’t save EVERYONE.

You can’t save the WORLD

You have to LEARN to LOVE yourself!

You have to TAKE CONTROL

Funny how an episode like this has made me look at life the fullest – or at least try to understand life better. My sense of purpose , direction , who my true friends and family were , understanding myself better and the power of positive and thoughtful thinking. Failures , mistakes and facing challenges can either make you or break you.

The choice is yours. Earn and embrace it.

Deodorant: Going Au Naturel

The journey to zero waste living is quite challenging coming from the city. Too much plastic and paper usage from things you buy from the grocers, pharmacy and the post! Ergo when the buying stops (not totally!) it does help to reduce waste. So here comes the DIY!

I had been using crystal deodorants for almost 6 years and it is a wonderful product until it had been giving mild rash. The rough surface especially when the product is finishing would also scratch my under arms making it more sensitive. I would then break it into smaller bits and place it into my spray or roller deodorant container with some distilled water and voila! It works just the same. NO BO. 

A commercial about natural deodorant paste surfaced in instagram and I thought to try it. It worked great but it is expensive as it took me 40 days to finish. I mean it is awesome! 12 hours of NO body odor despite the excessive sweating! Malaysia is summer all thru out. So yeah you get the picture! Anyways it prompted me to make my own deo paste. To my surprise there is A LOT of recipes out there using just baking soda, cornstarch, coconut oil as your base. Usage of essential oils of choice, bees wax , mango/shea butter to help make it into a paste that doesn’t melt on hot weather is optional.

My personal deo recipe I wish to share is as follows. To note I have sensitive skin. It is easy for me to have contact dermatitis from dust, fur and certain liquid body wash. If you are like me – Hi! Nice to meet you! I make small batches and store them in an old nivea creme 150ml container.

MY SENSITIVE SKIN DEO PASTE 

¼  cup corn starch – we don’t have arrow root powder 

¼ coconut oil

2 tea spoon baking soda

10 -20 drops of essential oil of choice ( I use young living brand)

The formula may be runny in hot weather. I live in Malaysia where it is summer all year.This small batch is enough to put into a nivea crème 150ml container OR into 2 50ml nivea roll on deodorant bottle ( half full ). Add cornstarch to thicken paste. Add baking soda if you still smell. Always TEST it out before putting into your deo container. The reason I fill my containers half full is to allow myself to tweak the formula. Some days I like to use thick paste , some days I smell a little off so I have to add another teaspoon of baking soda or maybe to add on other essential oils. Remember to mix the ingredients well.

Do make small batches first and tweak it from there.How much paste you need depends on individual, the paste should not feel oily in your pits. I keep a spatula to help scoop out the paste and also to prevent bacteria from my deodorant. I do find this formula great to put into roll-on bottles.

I now use it for my feet and under arms. My feet and arm pits sweat but smells like peppermint and orange. The laundry smells pleasant too thanks to the essential oils. It did not produce any yellow discoloration or white film. Feel free to experiment with other essential oils tapered to your liking. I find that it lasts 10-12 hrs post application. 

Feel free to try the recipe peeps! Use it as a base to make your own formula. No two people are the same. For some switching from commercial to natural deodorants may experience a “detox” period where your pits may stink despite the natural deo. This is your body adapting to the new formula from NO sweat to sweaty pits after years of using commercial anti-perspirants. Do not give up and continue using – detox period will pass.

Good luck!

Covid19 Pandemic: What has changed?

Life had been pretty crazy dizzy getting used to the new norm. Daily mask wear , washing hands 20 times a day almost , frequent showers and trying to not be paranoid going out is rather tiring but I guess necessary. With some countries going thru the 2nd wave or trying to beat the 2nd wave – it is stressful and depressing. Our comrades from around the world are really doing their mighty best to keep the virus at bay. It hurts to watch from the sidelines – you wish you could do more but reality just stops you.

WHAT ARE THE POSITIVE CHANGES?

My general health has been good – I rarely get the fever and the snuffles. Kudos to the public in maintaining good hand hygiene , mask wearing and social distancing. However there are still some people who are still happy go lucky and oblivious to the disease – no point on changing their minds. Avoid and move on.

Skin and body care had been to the most basic and I honestly feel the most healthy. My skin had not been dry and sensitive. Thanks to organic coconut oil base soap and lavender essential oil. I have not been washing my face that often not much serums either and my face seems more glowy!

Not much traffic jam on the road – the buzz had been picking up slowly but I truly miss the time where EVERYONE was at home under quarantine and the road was just post zombie apocalypse mode. There were fewer accidents and much less noise and gas pollution.

Family bonding had been awesome. Yes it was stressful the first 2 weeks of MCO but I feel that the family bonding is soo much better and we get to know truly who are our family and close friends. You do not need many friends , just a few good ones is all you need. Friends come and go – so do not worry if friendships did not last. Such is life!

Society in my community had been a lot more caring since the MCO. Of course there are the stubborn non-maskers but we are not harsh in telling them off. Maybe this is a south east asian thing. It still does surprise me especially living near capitol city where we are more stressed and paranoid.

WHAT ARE THE NEGATIVES?

STRESS levels had been the same. There is always a worry that the 2nd wave of covid19 might turn out bad. Maybe this is just me as a healthcare worker even tho we are generally doing alright in Malaysia. I feel at some point we can do better but for now I am pretty much grateful that I did not loose any family member nor colleagues to covid19.

It pains me to see my healthcare comrades in other countries to suffer from the pandemic. I wish a lot can be done to generate an out reach to the affected countries. I pray very hard this pandemic will end very soon.

I hope everyone here in this WordPress community is in the best of health. Keep it up with the mask wearing and proper hand hygiene. Maintain social distancing and be very firm with your friends and family members that social distancing is IMPORTANT. It does hurt NOT to hold your loved ones but it is necessary – for now that is.

Wishing everyone good health , peace and lotsa love!

TMI : Menstrual cups

Anyone up for discussion about mentrual cups? Welcome aboard! To the men out there reading this – hey its okay! This could be an awesome info to talk with your girlies , partner or wife.

The menstrual cup was first introduced to me by my bestie. I was sold to the idea of wearing it for 8-12hours straight without ever worrying about over flowing and major crime stains haha! It kinda made sense to put in a medical grade silicone cup into your vagina and let it collect your menstrual blood. Also you get to minimise waste ! One menstrual cup if taken cared properly could last a decade or less. But just think about the waste reduction.

However one thing was clear that inserting a mentrual cup might not be as easy as it seems. There is just A LOT of videos out there sharing tips on putting in a mentrual cup. Taking care of your menstrual cup is also another thing altogether. I got the Lena menstrual cup in the size small.

What was the main reason to use the cup?

Mentrual pads lately had been too drying for me. Itching was unbearable. Blisters from malpositioned pads. I did not even consider tampons because I knew I would be having the same problem as menstrual pads. Wearing it for 8-12hours straight was gold for me. That means changing twice a day mostly during the shower – for me that is.

What did I do with my first ever menstrual cup?

I washed it with Detol solution – some say to boil for 5 mins before use and after use. Store it in its mini bag and keep it at a cool dry place.

How did the insertion process go?

Not bad I guess! I used the punch down method and inserted toward the tail bone and voila! It’s inside! You can have an option of using a water based lubricant or coconut oil. Be sure to RELAX before inserting

Was it painful to insert the cup?

Uncomfortable yes.Painful nope.

How did I remove the cup?

Well this was abit of a challenge. You bear down as if you wanna poop and once you feel the base of the cup – gently squeeze the base and gently wriggle it free. Yes it was messy at first but practice makes perfect babes!

Can you have sex while using the cup?

Best not to guys. I think you should give your girls a break during their most tender moments.

How do you store your menstrual cup post use?

Wash it with gentle soap and water. Boil for 5 mins and leave it to cool before storing into the pouch provided.

Would you recommend it to other girls out there?

YES!! It may not be everyone’s cup of tea. There are other options out there such as menstrual underwear or washable menstrual pads for those who are sensitive down there. For those future menstrual cup users – I would recommend to practice using it even before your period just to get the hang of it.

What is amazing about it?

No more stains! It was just like not having your period at all. You can go to the gym , scuba , swim , run , walk , bike around and its just still there! No more dryness down there. No more waste so I get to save the planet!

To the girls out there skeptical about menstrual cups – at least try it once and see how it feels. If you are uncomfortable with the thought of inserting something into the vagina – hey! It’s okay. Do not force yourself to do something that you do not like. Respect yourself and your body.

Stay safe peeps! Thanks for reading.

COVID19 Pandemic: How are we doing?

This is the most discussed topic on a weekly basis be it with our family , neighbours , strangers in the public or at work. It seems almost desperate that we just want the MCO ( movement control order) to end. For now I am currently glad that my job is still intact as a healthcare worker. The stress for the next wave is definitely there which is annoying. I understand that work retrenchment is happening in certain job scopes – still that is not the end of the world.

In my country we are now at recovery phase which means we get to resume most but not all services. Restaurants are open but with limitations such as dining less than 2 hours or just strict take away. For most people ALOT has changed but for me – mask wearing , hand hygiene , dealing with infectious people is by daily bread and butter. Hence , I am glad to have a healthcare background. It has its perks during this pandemic but I won’t deny the paranoia , germaphobe and adrenaline that follows when I go out grocery shopping. There are not many people who follow strict social distancing , proper mask wearing and hand hygiene.

So how are you all doing? I do hope the community here in word press is in good health. Health is wealth! Since most of our social activities is limited – I don’t think online chatting cuts it ergo meeting a person face to face is still gold. Here are some ideas that I think may benefit your time at home.

SOAP MAKING

I am a body product junkie. Unfortunately I had been having sensitive skin reactions in forms of redness and itchiness from using some of my favourite drug store products. Which led me to soap making. Haven’t gotten the main ingredients yet but I plan to share my sensitive skin regime once I got it right. Organic stuff with no preservatives – stuff that you can get from your grocery store. Soap making for all types of cleaning and well being. Yeah! lets do that.

JOURNALING

Yeah I have been doing this for a long time. Journal to de-stress. A journey thru thought processing. It calms me and allows me to list down a myriad of things that bothers and up lifts me. I am not into fancy journaling where you colour code your diary , stickers and glitters here and there. Nope. A good old fountain pen and a think blank book. Let the ink flow together with your thoughts and ideas.

READ A BOOK

Not online but an actually paper book. I love reading and I admit I am a nerd. Reading and re-reading books for me is just like Netflix binging. It does not strain the eyes and the story in most books has better character description and story line. Authors that I am into are Micheal Crichton , Anne Rice , Dan Brown and Stephen King. Nothing beats a good book. Do you agree?

PRAY

Our daily chores and work has robbed us of our time. We are constantly chasing after our dreams and forget to meditate , pray or just sit down and look back of what we have accomplished. It has led us to forget of ourselves. It is important that we understand that we serve a tiny part on earth in the universe that each becomes something productive to become a form of service in life – to help , contribute and maintain life. Despite whatever we go thru – there is always a higher being. For me praying was able to give me faith , grounding and peace. Try it!

MINDFUL EATING

Eat to Live and not Live to Eat. Since MCO started – home cooking was the answer. Not everyone is born a cook but you can definitely LEARN and make an EFFORT to cook. It is alot cheaper , more healthy and tasty. I admit is not always visually attractive but it is still food. Being a nerd that I am and into the environment – eating what you need to sustain you for the day is enough. Think about the animals that had been slaughtered. Many animals out there had not been treated ethically. We have alot of greens that we can grow and give us energy – eating green and going green. Healthy living guys! Lets make that change. Becoming a vegetarian is of choice. Health wise – best to cut down red and white meat.

LEARN TO BE CRAFTY

We are soo used to and hooked in buying things that we do not need. Most of the time because everyone is buying it but then it ends up not being used. So get crafty! Learn how to mend broken zippers and buttons , do your own basic meni pedi , make your own green bag/foot mats out of old t-shirts , learn how to make soap. You tend to appreciate things you make a lot more and it does not break the bank. Make use of your brain and hands – stop whining. I sound like my parents now haha!

Thank you for reading. Aim to make a difference for a more healthy planet. Stay safe!

FOUNTAIN PEN INKS: Which colours should you get?

Welcome!

My ink journey for fountain pens have been rather dull. Black and Blue- thats it. Pretty staple for work purpose and daily journaling – and then I got bored. I just want some colour in my journals and note taking. Give me ink spice! Currently into shimmers – feel free to recommend me some to try out.

That is when I moved to using Red , Blue Green , Purple , Brown and Orange tones. I tried a bunch of them at a local pen shop before purchasing – it was crazy. Those ink makers! Thank you for making really awesome vivid ones. I never knew I would enjoy testing out different inks – it just made my day and thankfully I was able to discipline myself into buying what I needed.

Inks listed below are the ones I own over the past 3-4 years. Currently the black , blue and red inks are my go-to for work. Purple and brown for journaling , writing notes and postcard writing. I do doodle and scribble down meaningful quotes from the internet into my Doodle Book – its fun! Do try it. I would LOVE to buy more ink bottles but I gotta be real – I don’t do enough calligraphy or doodling.

Lamy Black – This ink was part of the Lamy Safari set I purchased while on sale. One of my staple inks for work. Ink dries fast and comes out black gray when I use broad or stub nibs.

Diamine Onyx Black – It appears darker than Lamy Black. On certain papers it has a sheen once dried. My go-to work ink.

Lamy Blue Black – I call it my Bruise ink. When it stains your skin it comes out looking like a bruise. Halloween make up tip haha! When it dries it looks like grey blue – but it leaves an impression wether the ink is blue or black? That happens when you’re using a fine or extra fine nib.

Diamine Oxford Blue – Dark Navy blue. One of those really good looking dark blue that you just can’t look away. It looks professional , formal and it stands out.

Diamine Jalur Gemilang – Inspired by the Malaysian flag. It is a 2 tone colour – blue and red. Best seen on tomoe river paper. Perfect for calligraphy writing. One can enjoy endless scribbling , doodling with this ink.

Diamine Classic Red – I got this ink for work purpose – to mark or write important urgent notes on reports. The ink is dark red but then dries down bright red. I think educators would love this red ink to mark exam papers.

Diamine Red Dragon – This one looks like blood when you spill it on your hands. I wanted something red and brown for work purpose. If you’re using a fine or extra fine nib – it looks more dark brown. Feels like those ink used a hundred years ago for important documentation – maybe someone can help me out what ink colours were present back in the day.

Diamine Manggis – Not a purple fan but this one is really attractive! Inspired by a local fruit in Malaysia.It is a solid purple and green – 2 tone ink. Again the green sheen can be seen better on tomoe river paper. I use this for writing down notes just to make it look more attractive and it did! In way that it helped me to browse thru my notes more hence effective reading and recalling.

Diamine Enchanted Ocean – Scuba diving is a hobby of mine and this ink colour reminds me of the ocean waters at night time. It is dark blue green with silver shimmers. Best to use with broad or stub nib to bring out the best of the ink shimmers. It does from time to time clog the nib so make an effort to soak nib overnight before using another ink.

Diamine Cocoa Shimmer – Brown ink with gold shimmer which instantly reminded me of my favourite lip gloss. So hey! Why not have a brown shimmer gold ink! I use this alot for writing notes on cards or messages. Make sure to tilt the bottle upside down few times instead of shaking it to prevent bubbles. Leave the bottle upside down for a good 30 seconds to get the most of the shimmer while inking your pen. Very satisfying to use.

Noodlers Ink Apache Sunset – It is truly one of a kind orange yellow ink. Great for writing notes on cards or for any calligraphy and doodling. Great on flex nibs as you are able to see some ink variation. Some artsy people use this to paint images and patterns. Really attractive!

There you go! I would not say it is an impressive collection but I do not regret my purchase. It is common to stain your hands while inking up your fountain pen- but that is just the fun of it! Only fountain pen users would understand. The stain will go away after a few washes- no worries.

Stay safe people! Good luck in buying your ink of choice.

FOUNTAIN PEN: Where to start?

To those who plan on embarking into a world of fountain pens.Welcome! I hope this will be an interesting read.

In general fountain pen nowadays tends to be slightly more expensive than gel ball point pens. There are fountain pen collectors out there that won’t mind spending a car worth of money. Personally I don’t think you should spend a bomb for fountain pens. Geez!

Fountain pens listed below are some that I own and would recommend to anyone interested in using them. Just try not to get carried away into collecting and buying too much because most fountain pens are really pretty and tempting to own. Always remind yourself to buy what you need.

PILOT METROPOLITAN – medium nib

A pen that looks classic and durable for office use – and this fits the bill. Perfect to bring during meetings and discussions. I had to bring extra cartridges during lectures because there is just an awful lot to write! Therefore not the pen for long haul writing. Pen glides smoothly on any type of paper but it can be a little “slippy” – my hand sweats sometimes.

PILOT KAKUNO – extra fine and fine nib

Yes – I got two of these for work. They are both durable and light and won’t break your heart when it falls on the floor or stepped on accidentally and won’t scratch – thankfully! Pilot cartridges holds alot of ink so that is why I use them alot. Also you don’t bleed or use much ink when using extra fine or fine nib. Great to use on any type of paper. I would recommend this to anyone who wish to start as it does not break the bank and it has a smiley face on the nib and a grip that helps you hold the pen correctly to write with.

LAMY SAFARI – medium nib

It is a work horse pen – my GO to for reports and lecture writing. The ink cartridges and converter holds enough ink for the day. Personally if I do have a lot of writing I prefer using the ink cartridges as it holds a tad more ink than the converter. Anyways I got ALL black LAMY Safari – it has given the most looks and thumbs up.

LAMY JOY CALLIGRAPHY – stub nib 1.1mm ,1.5mm and 1.9mm

It comes in a set of 3 different nib sizes as stated above. This is one of the fountain pens introduced by my baby sister to help me improve my writing. I would say that stub nibs has helped me enjoy deliberate writing where you have to take your time to pen the letters down. Sadly as a healthcare worker I don’t have the luxury of writing slowly at work as I am mostly dominated by adrenaline. The above fountain pen set is intended for calligraphy or what I call de-stress writing. Some people go to spa treatments to calm the nerves – I write or journal.

TWSBI ECO – stub nib 1.1mm

I wanted a pen that holds A LOT of ink without ever re-filling the converter or changing cartridges. By this time I kinda new that my writing looks way better with medium , broad and stub nibs. Stub nibs engages deliberate hand writing – it somehow trains the mind and hand to write properly. It takes a while to find the sweet spot to write with a stub nib. The pen has a chubby grip for my small hands and has also command looks mostly from senior citizens – I gentleman once told me it reminded him of university days and the lovely times when he use to write love letters to his wife – which he still does to this day. Funny how fountain pens connects you with other people.

TWSBI GO – broad nib

This too holds A LOT of ink. It also has a chubby grip like the TWSBI Eco. Super light and durable. Toss it into the bag and GO! Ink filling is super easy thanks to its piston filling mechanism and a pen cover that you don’t need to screw/ unscrew before use. Broad nibs was also a game changer for me – it writes nicely on any type of paper. Hand writing looks bold and stands out as compared to ball point pens. On certain papers the ink my bleed a little.Big plus is you get to see the ink level in the chamber. I would usually ink up every 2-3 days for work or for leisure writing once a week.

MOONMAN M2 & C2 – stub nib 0.7mm , 1.1mm , 1.5mm and 1.7mm

For those who love eye dropper pens – this maybe the pen for you. Thru blogs from Pen Chalet , Goulet Pens and Gentleman Stationery I found out that you can convert certain fountain pens into eye dropper pens e.g platinum preppy. These babies holds about 3 to 4 cc of ink which is WOWZA! Great for long haul writing and they have really wet nibs. It is a clear pen so you get to see your ink levels and ink sloshing. Ink sloshing? Yea its fun to see ink sloshing about when you have nothing else to do. Since they have really wet nibs – I find it awesome to use shimmer inks.

Okay pen geeks! I would advice to visit a pen shop and TRY out the pens BEFORE buying them – just to get the feel for it. DO try Monami Olika , Platinum Preppy and Daiso fountain pen. They are all light , durable and smooth to write on. If you do end up with a scratchy nib – try scribbling on paper bags. It helps smooth out the nib.

Stay safe and sane guys! Cheerio!