Monday, April 02, 2018

Happiness is in a journey

How time flies! Three months had passed since the beginning of the year 2018 and I had visited few places and spent valuable time with dear friends and my loved ones. Spring had started in the four-season countries, while in Singapore, it had been raining at any time of the day for the past one week.

Perfect time for reading and sipping tea with biscuits :)

It was rather a perfect time to read a book, to sip a cup of hot tea or coffee accompanied with delicious biscuits, and to snuggle under my Doraemon blanket. However, the rain had deterred me from catching my favorite physical activities, such as: morning walk and cycling. Since I had difficult time to wake up early in the morning lately, I could only go for cycling in evening time, and only when the weather permitted, just like yesterday.

After ensuring the sky was bright enough and no rain, I took the bicycle out from home. Glasses were worn to protect my eyes from the wind, sand, and dust. Hair was clipped and tied to a pony tail. Waist pouch was clipped to secure my mobile phone. A string bag was packed behind my back filled with water bottle and a small wallet made of clothes. Both ears were plugged and English songs were played continuously on my ears. Geared well, I started cycling once I reached the lift downstairs - to my usual destination.

My reflections from the mirror :D

The sky was half bright and half cloudy, the color was just like the inverted kueh talam ubi. Therefore, no expectation to see the sunset. The air was very cooling though, very pleasant. It was good that not many people took the same route as mine. Usually it was very crowded during weekend, but I saw many had preferred sitting down, picnic-ing, and chit chatting with their friends and/ or families along the seaside while catching fish.

Many thoughts were played on my head when cycling. Like just now, I was thinking how people chose to spend their evening on weekend and how I spent mine. It was completely two different things. They had accompany, sat down, and relaxed while I would rather cycling, moving my both legs ups and downs, filling my lungs with fresh cooling air, and sweating my body up - alone.

Cycling made me feeling free like a bird (Instagram: Rimareyka.writes)

Cycling had never failed in giving me a sense of freedom - especially when cycling alone. I could cycle as fast as I wanted, sing loudly the song that I played on my phone, shout out loud at the descended road, express my hearts out, smile and laugh while recollecting beautiful memories from the past and feeling grateful for all things happened in my life, collect inspiration to be written into my blog, and I could even cry when remembering the sad and awful incidents in my life. People might think that I was crazy doing all that at one journey, ha-ha... But with my speed, people would hardly notice it though! ;)

The sky was getting very dark at the road ahead but it did not deter me from cycling. It even started drizzling but I kept going. I refused to take the U-turn or to avoid the storm. It was just like the life that I went through. Despite knowing clearly that the road ahead might not be smooth, full of obstacles and challenges, I would not go back to the past or give up on moving on. Because by facing the difficulties ahead - the life challenges - only then I had the opportunity to get and learn something new, and even - God knew it well - find my happiness ahead. Just like people said, rainbow came only after the rain.

Let it rain, baby! You are not alone (Instagram: Rimareyka.writes)

True enough, after some time, it was raining. Slowly, it got heavier and I had no choice but to stop when the splatter got fuller and painful. I saw a shelter and decided to stay under it for a while. Soon after, many cyclists took the same shelter standing up together. Despite feeling shattered with wet and coldness under the heavy rain, I was feeling good. Good because I was not alone. Good because it only showed that many were facing the same challenges in their life journey and together we could wait until the storm had over, or braced ourselves to get wetter and sick if we chose to keep going. Nevertheless, we were sure not alone.

Beautiful night view after the rain - Punggol Sunrise Bridge

In a while, rain stopped. One by one, people left the shelter, and so did I. To my surprise, in just less than 100 meters away from where I stood before, the ground was dry and showed no sign of rain. I felt that the incident was clearly a sign for me to learn from the nature and life itself. I continued cycling, going another one big round while collecting a source of inspiration - a sign for me to update this barren blog - to share with others what I went through and learned that evening, which were: not to take the bad things too hard and good things for granted. To brave yourself and keep walking forward. No one said it was easy, but it would be worth it.

I kept cycling and suddenly my favorite song below was tuned on my playlist:

"Underneath the Sky" 
by Cameron Ernst

Like a low sitting fog at the break of day
Let it fade, let it fade
Like a hold of a frost on a window pane
Let it all melt away
I see it now so clearly where I couldn't see before
Finally now it was worth the wait

I hear my heartbeat
Feel my wings take flight
Everything is golden underneath this sky
Underneath this sky (2x)

I can jump, I can soar, and I'm not afraid
Let the wind hit my face
I can take on the clouds, they're no longer gray
Take 'em on any day

I see it now so clearly where I couldn't see before
Finally now it was worth the wait

I hear my heartbeat
Feel my wings take flight
Everything is golden underneath this sky
Underneath this sky (4x)

Look beyond at the horizon
And remember the day
This was the day yeah
Keep your eyes there
There's nothing like it
I was born to be brave
Forever brave

I hear my heartbeat
Feel my wings take flight
Everything is golden underneath this sky
I hear my heartbeat
Feel my wings take flight
Everything is golden underneath this sky
Underneath this sky (4x)

Beautiful full moon on 15th Feb lunar calendar - 31st March 2018

"Wooohoooooo......." I shouted again on the descended road. Thank SB for everything!!! You never failed in supporting and encouraging me facing the challenges in life. You even pampered me with the beautiful moon that I found before exiting the park. Thank you, thank you, and thank you for everything!!! :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Embracing Each Moment by Anam Thubten

This book was suitable to be said as "A Guide to the Awakened Life." I picked this book up at the library last weekend. In between novels that I borrowed and read, I had to slot some Buddhism and inspirational books to remind myself about the reality of life. As we know, many novels were fictions. It often brought me to the imaginary world out there. But it was truly necessary for me to read the Dhamma, the inspirations, which could awake me and remind me our true purpose in this very life.

Embracing Each Moment by Anam Thubten

The awakened life is the essence and aim of the Buddhist teachings, according to Anam Thubten, and this book is a guide to cultivating the awakened mind and heart that allows this wonderful kind of life to happen. He illuminates the path to awakened living in a way that's concise and completely accessible to anyone of any background - reflective of the diverse backgrounds of the students who attend his popular talks on which the book is based. 

"We all want to be happy," says Anam Thubten. 

"This seems to be our strongest impulse. Primarily our happiness comes from our state of mind, though we can't deny the fact that outside circumstances play a big role. When we learn to embrace each moment of our lives, we're empowered to let go of our emotional patterns and false beliefs about ourselves, and we discover the compassion that's been there all along."

(Source: Embracing Each Moment's prologue)

The introduction of the Embracing Each Moment's author - Anam Thubten

The book content 133 pages divided into 15 chapters. Started from the introduction, what the Buddhism is all about, all the way to Buddha of Love (or Buddha Maitreya - the future Buddha), love and heart matters, true nature, mind, spiritual awakening, and so on. It was written in simple language, very easy to read and understand. It was practical too. It guided us to look within us, to find our true nature, the Buddha within.

Love image (Pic source:

Buddhist teachings are all about becoming aware of your own limits and learning how to love." - Anam Thubten.

"True happiness comes from loving, melting, and being free from the grip of fear." - Anam Thubten.

"We lived a life in a beautiful bubble that is going to burst at any given moment. Things that we felt as a source of comfort and glory was actually just a beautiful bubble, even our existence. It was truly beautiful, but at the same time, very fragile and impermanent." - Anam Thubten.

"Love is this authentic feeling that transcends judgement, hatred, and envy. It embraces one person or a group of people in our hearts with trust and kindness. This unconditional acceptance and affinity is what love is." - Anam Thubten.

"Sometimes love is misunderstood. When we think we love somebody, sometimes it turns out not to be pure love. It often can be mixed or poisoned with our own selfish motives and projections. This kind of poisonous love is often found in human relationships." - Anam Thubten

"Love heals everything. Love will awaken you. It heals your wounded heart and will awaken your deluded consciousness. Love of humanity is, in the end, the only true love - the highest love you can find, love that will free you and heal you.. Once you love humanity, you can love everything. It is the most powerful love, but it is the most difficult love to actualize" - Anam Thubten.

"True monk is not someone with a shaved head who goes around begging for food, but someone who has conquered his own doubt, his resistance to love. Because love is very scary, very frightening to the ego. This fear keeps us from letting go of all our defenses. It keeps us from jumping into that both scary and liberating world of all-embracing love. But if you have a moment, listen to your deepest wisdom. It will tell you that when you open your heart, you are going to be free and happy forever. This love will heal everything. Eventually you will be able to love everything. You will be able to love this entire existence, with its beauty as well as its messiness." - Anam Thubten.

Poor innocent love (IG: Rimareyka.writes)

In this book he reminded us the preciousness of human life, encouraged us to contemplate within our inner self, to meditate what if today was your last day to live, and so on. I loved the part where he wrote about forgiveness.

"There is no divine or eternal reward if you forgive, yet it can be the most liberating experience you can ever witness. Forgiveness comes from understanding the human condition and understanding where each of us is coming from. Understanding those who have caused harm to us. Understanding their karma, their background, their suffering, their delusions and realizing that there is no evil in anybody. There is no evil in human beings. Ultimately, nobody hurts anyone else intentionally, even though we may sometimes feel that we have been hurt intentionally.  Everyone is harming each other with complete unawareness. So we are ruled by our own delusions, our own neuroses. Sometimes all we need is this understanding. When we have this understanding, there is no human being in this world we cannot forgive." - Anam Thubthen

"There is no Tantric master bestowing the empowerment (forgiving yourself) on you. You give this empowerment to yourself. When you totally forgive yourself, you know how to accept yourself. Then you will love yourself madly. You'll give this empowerment to yourself. Then you will be enthroning yourself as Avalokiteshvara, the embodiment of infinite love. You'll be enthroning yourself as Tara, the embodiment of boundless complassion." - Anam Thubten

Words by Anam Thubten

He also wrote about the preciousness of human's life.

"Human life is not only precious, it is also extremely transient. We are not immortal. We can die at any given moment. We are obsessed with many unimportant things. We pay attention to all these things that we don't have any meaning. When we realize how fleeting and impermanent our own existence is, we wake up and feel an urgency to do something meaningful with our human lives." - Anam Thubten

"Perhaps the goal of this human life is to realize nirvana, but perhaps nirvana is not what some people think it is. Nirvana does not have to be some kind of permanent, static, or eternal state of freedom or enlightenment. Instead, it can be alive and vibrant, something that can be actualized here and now. When we feel this nirvana, we feel only pure love and pure compassion. Love and compassion for ourselves and for all humanity, as well as love for animals and nature." - Anam Thubten

"According to the Lojong teachings, we don't have to run away from them. It says that we can welcome all the circumstances of life, even the unfavourable ones, and use them as a spiritual path, a path to nirvana, a path to the great awakening. By following that path, we can learn how to surrender, how to forgive, how to become courageous, and how to find happiness - not from outside, but from inside." - Anam Thubten

"If you are courageous, then somehow all of life is dharma; all of life is a spiritual teaching. You can almost say that everybody is your spiritual teacher, your guru. And we have no control over life's circumstances. From the moment we are born, we have no control over our own existence. The future is completely unknown. And the profound understanding of uncertainty becomes vivid in our consciousness when we have tragedy or a crisis in our lives, when we feel we are pushed to the edge of the unknown. Once we can surrender and love this great unknown, there is only freedom; there is only joy. Then we can let go of these long-held chains binding us inside: the chain of hope and the chain of fear. Then we can be the happiest people who ever lived on the planet. Therefore, the secret of everything we are looking for - nirvana, enlightenment, the great awakening, or whatever we call it - is surrender." - Anam Thubten

"Unconditional happiness comes from this secret: surrender. Surrender is the act of loving and embracing the great unknown. Unconditional happiness comes from not running away from anything. It comes from taking even the most unfavorable circumstances as a path, a spiritual path, a truthful teaching. Surrender uses such circumstances as a way to turn our attention inward, as a way to see our limitations, our neuroses, laziness, cowardice, fear, insecurity, pride, and attachment. From that understanding, we grow and develop love, compassion, and courage. Life is unfolding continuously, whether we like it or not. The more we try to control it, the more we suffer. If we truly surrender our fears and hopes and jump into the unknown of everyday life, we'll lose nothing except suffering. We'll gain freedom without looking for it." - Anam Thubten

"Learn to be compassionate and content. Learn to dance in your heart while in your mind you are losing everything. Learn not to become angry, bitter, or pessimistic. The truth is that we are going to lose everything in the end. It is just a matter of time. when death arises, then we have to lose everything. We cannot take even one object with us. We have to leave everything behind - this beautiful world, our loved ones, our friends, our fortune, our glory, and our physical body. The important message is telling us that the purpose of this existence is to walk the spiritual path, the path to nirvana, the path to the great awakening. This message is also telling us, 'Don't seek nirvana in the future, but find nirvana here, here in the nowness.' It is the state you find yourself in after complete surrender." - Anam Thubten

Anam Thubten Rinpoche wishes for all sentient beings (Pic source:

There were more to read in this book. The above was only some excerpt from what he wrote. Let you find out the rest.

"Bodhicitta is the most beautiful state of mind we can experience. Some translate it as the 'enlightened mind,' and others as 'awakened heart.' Mahayana Buddhism says that bodhicitta is this amazing mind that you can have before you become a Buddha, before you become fully enlightened. It teaches that you can develop bodhicitta, no matter who you are, even when you are lost in a delusion, in a totally painful state of mind. This is now a time to surrender - surrender to everything and let go of all your hopes, fears, attachment, hatred, obsessions, greed -  and let our heart dance." - Anam Thubten

And yes, after reading it, hope it gives you some motivation to practice it (including myself :D). This would be one of the wonderful guide to embrace each moment of our lives and reach the bodhicitta :)

May the above bless you!!! (IG: rimareyka.writes)

Sabbe Satta Bhavantu Sukhitatta
May all sentient beings be happy and healthy, free from suffering, life full of peace and joy.
Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu

Monday, February 26, 2018

New year wishes for you :)

Wish everyone a wonderful 'Dog' year ahead!!!

Hi hi, it's been a while since my last post. First of all, let me wish everyone a very Happy Chinese New Year and Happy Losar Tashi Delek to those who celebrate!!!

Happy Losar Tashi Delek la!!! :)

Wish everyone be blessed with good health, lots of love, luck, wealth, joy, and happiness in your life especially this 'Dog' year.

Those who are studying, may you can study well, pass your exam successfully with flying colours and continue pursuing your next level according to your wishes and dreams!!!

Those who are working, may you have happy environment not only happy and satisfied with your work, but also with boss and colleagues. May you get whatever things you think you deserve to get.

Those mama who stay at home being home maker or housewife, may your hard works paid off with the love given by your spouse and children. To see them eating well, properly clothed, healthily growing up, life full of laughter would be the best contentment you get.

Those who are unemployed and currently looking for a job, may you find it soon, hopefully, according to what you want.

Fall in love with yourself :)

Those who is single, may your wishes come true. If you're looking for a wonderful partner, may you're blessed with one. If you prefer stay single and lead a life full of freedom, may you stay that way happily.

Those who are in a relationship, may your relationship remains happy and loving. If you think of going into a further step like getting married, may you both be blessed with good fate and karma so that it can go on smoothly. But if you both are not ready for marriage and prefer to enjoy this state of relationship, go ahead and enjoy while you can. No matter what it is, stay faithful and loyal to each other.

Those who are already married, wish you are happy with your married life. No one is born perfect, including ourselves. So give and take, complete what lacks in other with your capabilities and make it workable. Shower it with lots of love each and everyday. In times of giving up, remind yourself why you both were together at the very first place, think again if it's fixable and worth keeping.

We complete each other perfectly :)

We all know life is full of challenges. No one passes through life without fights, challenges, hard work. We've all gone through it. As long as we are not giving up, we all can go through all the obstacles and challenges that we have in our lives. It's how our mind take it.

Take good care of your health! Watch what you eat. Do exercise regularly. Exercise not only body but also our mind. Practise mediation as much as you can (a good reminder for myself :P). Balance your activities well.

You must have read or listened to the above advices a thousand times but it isn't harm to read and listen to it another time. Sometimes we need the reminder to keep ourselves alive.

Let's make a wish!!!

Live well
Love much
Laugh often
Meditate regularly
Pray everyday
May all your wishes and dreams come true and have a wonderful year ahead!!! :)

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Live today as if you will die tomorrow

Live as if you will die tomorrow quote (Pic source:

While we were discussing our trivial matters,
someone else was fighting for their life.
While people busied satisfying their ego,
someone else breathed for their last time.

Life is such a delicate thing.
It's separated by thin wall,
segregating life and death.
Fragile, really fragile.

When we're gone,
what you think was important, won't matter anymore.
Money, success, health, fame, loved ones.

And while we're still alive,
live a life that matters.

Do what you love, love what you do.
Help others who are in need.
Live every moment to your fullest.
If you can't help, at least don't hurt them.

At the end,
what we left behind is just memory,
moments that you have created all through your life,
with people that you have met all along,
for different reasons.

Let your kindness and compassionate heart be the imprint of your existence in people's heart.
Yes, time will let all that disappear, because nothing is last. 
Nothing is permanent. 
Everything will return to be empty.
But one day after you're gone, at least you can still create a simple upward curve into someone's lips upon their remembrance of you. 
Isn't it beautiful?

Quotes (Pic source:

P.S. As I travel a lot in my life (especially when I fly alone and for a longer period of time), I always have the uneasy feeling before flying. Will I survive this flight? Will I be return back home safely and in one piece? Will I be healthy all throughout the journey? And so on. There are so much uncertainty lying around in my head. It needs a lot of courage and bravery to face this uncertainty alone, over and over again. And it takes courage to come out from the comfortable shell, to face the vast outer world with its people who live differently and have different culture. There is a need to adapt for the constant change and environment.

"If this will be the last day that I live, what will you and I think?" - I always ask people and myself this question as I can not hide my curiosity. Are you happy enough to be with me? Why you love me? And I will say sorry for every mistakes that I've made in my life (so that I won't die in regret) and thank everyone for taking part in my life's journey (with all happy and sad memories). Not forgetting to tell them how much I love them and how grateful I am for their existence in this present life.

We all know that it is not easy to meet up and have fate in the present life. There are so many billions people across the world (this world only), not yet counting those who live in other Universe. Therefore, it requires a great karmic relation from the past lives in order for us to meet up again in this present life. So while it happens, I'll do my best to treasure them, whether they have mutual feelings or not. But so far, thank Buddha, many have expressed the same gratitude as I have.

These could be my last cooking for my loved ones. We'll never know!

So, let me end my writings here. And as close message, live today as if you will die tomorrow. Be grateful for everything that happen to you always! :)

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Letter of Gratitude

"If only we are willing to try" - Rimareyka.writes 

Everything happened for a reason. You heard what I wished and everything came at the perfect place and time. Although it's something I'd never done before, although the place was so far away, it didn't stop me from trying. You gave me accompany to start and end it together.

There, I learned many lesson from the wise and someone who had a compassionate heart. Everyday I listened to her story, be the listener, of her sometimes repeating story. But it taught me many things. About life especially. About hardship, kinship, honesty, high-spirit or determination in overcoming life's challenges, trust, honesty, love, faith, gratitude, and so on.

"No one says it is easy, but it is worth it" - Rimareyka.writes

There, I saw how miracles working to someone who put a faith in you, never gave up in praying and left everything into your hand. In times of need, someone appeared on her door and offered help; goods available upon needed; and I could see how people were coming back to her store again and again.

It might not only because of things that she was selling, but I could see how she treated them well over almost three decades of building trust, give only good materials so that it was worth the price they paid, and love-hate relationship with them. She knew the names of most her customers cum friends, because every time she met someone new, she always asked for their names and she'd remember it for a long time.

"Nothing is permanent. Treat people well" - Rimareyka.writes

In these short 3 weeks, I could feel how kind and compassionate she was as a human being. She was there before, tough times, that's why she could understand their plight, and able to offer help without thinking any second. I saw her handed few ten dollar notes to her old friend, who came from faraway just to buy her products, in raining day, with pulling cart, and asked that lady to reach home by taxi instead of bus. She thanked my friend's hubby in person for letting my friend spending her time working at her shop. Wasn't it amazing?? Her power of gratitude amazed me!

She respected everyone she met and knew. But, never offend her once as she would remember it all her life!!!

Doing my favorite things :)

With this opportunity, I could spend my time productively, do my favorite things (such as reading books, thinking and writing poems/ quotes, listening to Buddhist chants during traveling from and to work by MRT plus bus), distract me from unnecessary thought, and with the earning, I could purchase things that I need and use it for many other purposes.

With dear colleagues :)

Today was my last working day. Although this might be the end, we shall meet again next time when fate allows us to. Or to join the force again next upcoming Chinese New Year.

Before leaving she thanked me for my help for the past three weeks and gave me many things (such as: handmade kueh lapis or thousand layer cake, home baked pineapple tarts, pandan plants) plus a red packet filled with bonus money as good luck for the upcoming Dog year. I thanked her back - not with goodies (as she has plenty of it in store) - but with my prayer, gratitude, and heartfelt wishes so that she and her families would be blessed all the time with good health, wealth, luck, love, joy, happiness, dreams come true, plus this letter of gratitude on this blog post.

 With the strong, compassionate and wonderful lady - Tante Lina :)

Thank you SB for everything that happened to me. Thank you, thank you, and thank you. It's been a wonderful start and I feel very grateful for it. Hope things go equally well for the rest of the year and may all sentient beings be happy and healthy, free from suffering, life full of peace and joy. And may God and Buddha bless Tante Lina and her families always! :)

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Embracing 2018

A Year of Maturity

Time flies. It's almost a month since it'd started. Hope it's not too late to convey my dreams and hopes for the upcoming year. Shall this be a remembrance and may it all will come true!!! :) Wish me luck!!! ^^

Saturday, January 13, 2018

New life's learning - Baking Kueh Lapis :)

Pic source: Channels News Asia

Bbbrrrrrrr......... It was so cold this morning!!! Most Singaporean chose to have their window opened last night to let the cooling air entering their house and bedroom. The air-conditioner was retired for the day. The rain had poured for sometime, and even some days. But only yesterday night I could feel the drastic temperature change. It felt so cold at the Outram Park when I walked to the four-star hotel in the area to meet two new Bhutanese friends to pick my parcel up from Bhutan. My other friends felt the same too and I could see many people walking on the road wearing additional layer of cloth to keep themselves warmed.

The new Instagram account - rimareyka.writes - for the love of thinking and writing. Add me there if you have not yet done so! ;)

Before leaving the house, I saw my in-law lying down in the sofa with blanket covering from her neck all the way to the feet while playing the Pokemon games from her mobile phone. So enviable!!!! In this kind of weather, I would have snugged inside my blanket with a book on hand and a cup of hot coffee at the side table next to me. Or otherwise I would have just browsed the Facebook, gone through the Instagram photos and stories, checked new posts on We Chat Moments, or thought deeply on what poem to post at the new installed Apps - (In case you have joined, you can follow me there - Rima Reyka) or add me on Instagram - Rimareyka.writes.

Unfortunately I had to leave the house at 8.30 am with small umbrella on one hand (to save me from the drizzling rain that had poured continuously since the night before) and the batik patterned bag slung on my right shoulder.  I had to reduce my walking speed as my purple flip flop had grown old and slippery (to prevent myself from getting blue mark on the butt and unlimited embarrassment if I really fell down hahaha.. :P).

I finally started doing my first part-time job since last Saturday. My Indonesian bestie recommended me a job to bake the Indonesian Kueh Lapis (Thousand Layer Cake) since the lady boss needed someone to do it as the Chinese New Year was coming soon. If you have no idea what am I talking about, please watch the following Youtube video to explain what the Kueh Lapis is and why people usually order, buy, and eat it during Chinese New Year.

By watching the above video, hopefully you can have a better idea now about what Kueh Lapis is, using what ingredients (a very sinful cake using lots of egg yolk, butter, sugar, condensed milk, etc.), how to make it layer by layer (spread the mix dough into one layer, put it into oven until the color turns brownish, and continue to do so until it is at certain height), and what's the meaning behind it or on why people eating them during Chinese New Year (it is believed that each layer of cake represents each layer of prosperity in the upcoming year).

Both my besties had done it in previous years and asked me to do it as well before. But since the location of the working place was very far from my house (it required more than an hour to reach the place by MRT and bus), I never thought of doing it. But this time, since I had free time before pursuing another thing at the month-end, so I thought, why not??? At the same time I could earn some pocket money to buy stuffs for the upcoming Chinese New Year :)

One oven fits 4 moulds of cakes inside

So last Saturday I tried it together with my bestie. The lady boss trained me personally. One person was in charge of one oven that could place 4 mould of cakes at one time. We did not have to worry about the mixed ingredients as it had been prepared by the lady boss' son. We just had to bake the ready made dough.

This is how the sliced Prune Kueh Lapis looks like - Sold at $2 each

She taught us how to bake the Prune Kueh Lapis - same process with the Original Kueh Lapis, but we added preserved dried prune in between the layers, and there were steps to follow. E.g. Baked 3 layers of cake. On 4th layer, added the prune. Topped it another 2 layers and on the 3rd, added the prune. Topped it with other 2 layers, and on the 3rd added the prune again (meaning added the prune 3 times), and end it with 2-3 layers. Something like that. The ending product would be just like the above photo (I made that! :D)

Record down the number of steps I had done :P

It sounded easy but I had poor memory. Hahahahaha.... In the middle of baking it, suddenly I lost count on how many times I had put the prune in it. OMG!!! Or I lost count how many layers I had put in the first few layers - 3 or 4?? Since I had to multi task doing other things like taking the cake out from the mould, transferring it to the tray, spreading the butter into the mould, and so on. I felt very bad if I accidentally made it not as expected as the cake was sold at a very expensive price. The price for the Original Kueh Lapis is SGD $58 while the Prune is SGD $61!!! (Imagine how many hours should I work to be able to buy one??? ^^"). Luckily the lady boss and her son were very kind and understanding. They said they would use the wrong one as the tasting sample to prevent waste. Therefore, to prevent the miscalculation, I had to write down the no. of steps on the paper each day now and put more attention on the timing to produce a good cake :)

Me caught in the action (Pardon me for the blurred picture as my friend took candid shot when I was working) :D

I had to stand up most of the time and faced the heat from the oven. My left arm and hand were aching as I had to take the mould in and out (each layer) and rotated them (to distribute even heat inside the oven) for hundred over times - daily. My right hand was paining from opening and spreading the dried prune one by one, also from spreading the mix dough into the mould layer by layer.

To finish two batches of the 8 cakes required two and half hours. On my first day, I managed to do 20 cakes (5 batch) from 10 am to 6 pm. In between I had about half an hour lunch break. So at least I had to stand up for 7.5 hours each day. We were allowed to sit down but we could not sit for long as we had to put our attention to the cake all the time to prevent over and under cooked.

My working table - Dough container, dried prune (some had been separated to make the process faster, water to clean the hand, wooden thing to press the layer and stick to pop the bubble out :)

On the second day, the speed increased as I found some ways to reduce the time in making it without affecting the quality of the cake. E.g. Separated the dried prune one by one so I could place it faster into the dough layer, prepared the cleaned and butter spread mould filled with dough when the current ones were almost done, and so on. In the end, I managed to make 27 cakes. So much improvement on the speed, but I felt very tired after that as it finished around 6.30 pm, and reached home almost 8 pm. The day after that I told the lady boss that I had to finish before 6 pm and instead, I would reach the place earlier (around 9.40 am). With this timing, usually I made 6 batches or 24 pcs of cakes daily - 2 batches before lunch and 4 batches after lunch.

Trays filled with the fully done Kueh Lapis!!! :)

Well, one week has gone and two more weeks to go. I hope I am blessed with good health (with raining days many people gets fever, cough, and cold), so that I can fulfill my duty as I had agreed to the lady boss. And although tiring, it was all worth doing as I learned something new in my life (added on knowledge and experience as I only knew how to eat and had zero idea on the making it before).

My Doraemon Piggy Bank! :P

Plus, at the end of the day when I reached home and entered to my room, it felt so good to slip the earning of each day into my Doraemon piggy bank that I hung on my room's door. I already planned in my head to open and calculate it on my last working day, purchase few necessary items, treat some good food to family members, and enjoy my upcoming holiday!!! So, let's pray that all my wishes come true!!! :D

Thursday, January 04, 2018

The Mummy Bloggers by Holly Wainwright

"Meet three women who are living their lives online, each one of them followed, idolized, imitated, taunted and trolled.

Elle Campbell is a glossy, lycra-clad mum with washboard abs, a ten-year plan and a complicated past. Abi Black has quit sugar, moved to the country and is homeschooling her moody teens. Leisel Adams slogs away at her office job each day before rushing home, steeped in guilt, to spend precious moments with her three babies before bedtime. They all share a label that they simultaneously relish and loathe - mummy blogger. And the connections don't stop there...

When all three women are nominated for a prestigious blogging award with a hefty cash prize, the scene is set for a brutal and often hilarious battle for hearts, minds - and clicks. As the awards night gets closer, their lies get bigger, their stunts get crazier - and some mistakes from the past become harder and harder to hide."

The Mummy Bloggers by Holly Wainwright

The above is the synopsis of the book. As a blogger myself, I know it well that blogging, apart from the way to express the heart out, the passion that flames within self, a media where writing skill, story telling, or poem writing can be flaunted, a site to share the life's journey and experiences, it is also the place where people can use it to generate money, influence, connections, fame, and so on.

Some use it as their main or side income to generate commission from the ads they posted within their blog, engage in sponsor of various products, hotel or Food and Beverage experience at different restaurants, and so on. And usually they create a life that is not necessarily the real life they live in. It is more into what appear on the outside rather than what really happens, which you can find out more from the book above.

There is nothing wrong with it really, until it has become a competition rather than passion, until the person has to hide the truth and lie exaggeratedly to show the best of their lives, to satisfy their ego to become the cream of the cream, which more often or not, not exist in real life. After all, we are all just a normal human being with our own strength and weakness, perfection and imperfection, happiness and sadness, peace and troubles, etc.

From the Mummy Bloggers :)

And lucky to those, that despite of their weaknesses and imperfection, there is always someone who will stay by their side, who loves, cares, supports incessantly to whatever things they do in their lives, who appreciates all the efforts and love given to the best they can.

We often heard this quote: "Behind every successful man, there is a supportive and encouraging woman," but it is also true that: "Behind every happy woman, there is a loving, supportive, and appreciative man that keep her safe and secure." 

So, this is my first read for the year 2018. Hope you have started yours and share your reading in your blog soon ;)

Monday, January 01, 2018

Books read for the second half of the year 2017

Depict me snuggling down under the Doraemon blanket with a cup of hot black coffee on the side table and a book within hands on my comfortable bed. That was how I had spent many days like that in year 2017, especially in the last month when it rained often in evening time.

End this raining season with delicious coffee and great book. Life is blissful :)

Below please find the book  that I read for the second half of the year 2017 :)

July 2017

July 2017:
1. The Unbearable Lightness of Being - Milan Kundera
2. I Too Had  a Love Story - Ravinder Singh
3. Kadrinche Beyond Words - Kinley Wangchuk
4. The Expatriates - Janice Y.K. Lee
5. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness - Arundhati Roy
6. Record of A Night Too Brief - Hiromi Kawakami

August 2017

Aug 2017:
1. Not For Happiness - Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse
2. The Vegetarian - Han Kang
3. Life is Elsewhere - Milan Kundera
4. Beauty and Sadness - Yasunari Kawabata
5. Rich People Problems - Kevin Kwan

September 2017

Sep 2017:
1. The Girl of My Dreams - Durjoy Datta

October 2017

Oct 2017:
1. The Last Love Letter From Your Lover - Jojo Moyes
2. Buddha Dhamma for Students - Ajahn Buddhadasa
3. At Home in the World - Thich Nhat Hanh
4. Regrettable Things that Happened Yesterday - Ennani Durai
5. Sunday with Sumiko - Sumiko Tan

November 2017

Nov 2017:
1. Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change - Pema Choedron
2. How To Love - Thich Nhat Hanh
3. Met Without Women - Haruki Murakami

December 2017

Dec 2017:
1. Lady Stuff - Secrets to Being a Woman
2. Buddhism - One Teacher, Many Traditions - The Dalai Lama and Thubten Chodron
3. Marriage: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures - Amber Dusick
4. Friend Request - Laura Marshall

24 books for the second half of the year 2017, made it total of 47 in a year. I still had hard time to finish the Buddhism books that I started. Just hope to change for the better in year to come :)

Happy New Year 2018!!! Wish you a wonderful chapter in life ahead!!! :)

Time goes by. Another year passes by. I hope all of you had a wonderful time in 2017 and made many beautiful memories, which would perfectly fit to be just a memory, and nothing else.

I hope you create more beautiful moments with your parents, spouse, children, partner, colleagues, friends, and even strangers this upcoming 2018 as life is unpredictable. Anything can happen in a split of second. Love much, live fully, laugh often, explore as much as you can, defeat your fear, and bravely face the world's challenges.

Hope you too keep your passion alive and recommend me some more good books please! Have a blessed 2018 ahead dear passionate readers and bloggers and wish you a wonderful chapter in your life ahead!!! Cheers.... :)

Monday, December 25, 2017

Bangkok D4 - Chatuchak Weekend Market, Asiatique Ferris Wheel, and delicious local food to try!!!

Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok, Thailand - Must visit place!!!

Bangkok is well known as a shopping heaven especially for Singaporean. When they go to Bangkok, they will arrange to be there during weekend so that they can visit the famous Chatuchak weekend market and shop until they drop!!! Despite hot and humid weather, they will prepare themselves by wearing short-sleeves shirt, short pants, slipper, carrying big backpack on front part of their body, holding the battery operated portable fan at one hand and bottled of mineral water at another hand,  and sometimes wearing glasses and hat too. For me, umbrella is a must!!! :P

Chatuchak map (Pic source:

Chatuchak is such a big place (grouped into 27 sections) and has over 8,000 stores. When you reach there, you are advised to download the Apps into your phone so that you won't get lost or if you do not have the internet connection, free map is also available. It is reachable by both BTS (Mo Chit Stn) and MRT (Chatuchak Park Stn). You can find more information here.

Thai snacks and beverages - shopping break at Chatuchak weekend market

If you are hungry and thirsty, worry not!!! There are plenty of food and beverage stalls available down there. They sell many fancy and traditional food and keep your stomach filled and happy :)

Rung Rueng Pork Noodle near Phrom Phong BTS Station - Bangkok, Thailand (Pic source: Google map)

Before going there, my local Thai friend brought us somewhere to have breakfast. That's why I only had snacks and beverages in Chatuchak market while they also have many stalls to eat proper meals. He introduced us a local Thai Chinese shops selling typical Chinese breakfast dishes - noodles!!! My favorite!!! We went down to the shop together by BTS and stopped at Phrom Phong Stn. Check the map above to find the shop's location.

Rung Rueng Pork Noodles - Bangkok, Thailand - For Chinese noodle lovers :)

I am glad that I could find the location through the Google map based on my memory while walking down through small alleys to reach the place as the shop's signage was in Thai language and I did not even know what the shop name was. I included this shop here so that you can try it too next time (especially for Chinese pork noodle lovers :D). My friend said this shop was very crowded, so it's better to come early and avoid lunch time. We even had to wait for more than half an hour before our food arrived.

Try their crispy fish skin too!!! Rung Rueng Pork Noodle - Bangkok, Thailand

He ordered and ate three bowls for himself as he just attended triathlon days before and he needed to regain some good nutrients back for his body, and also because the noodle was very delicious!!! At first two of us ordered three bowls of noodles and crispy fish skin. But after finishing one bowl of noodle, I just felt it was so delicious and one bowl was definitely not enough, therefore I decided to order another one. Hahahahahaha.... So I finished two bowls of noodles (one soup and one dried) on my own :P I had no idea how much it cost as my friend treated us, but from the Google review, many said that it was inexpensive, so if you pork noodle lover, seriously, you have to try it for yourself!!! :)

Khao Tom Pla Kimpo - Rice Soup with fresh fish and seafood in Bangkok, Thailand (Pic source: Google map)

After having enough shopping, I was sweaty and tired. The weather was so hot and humid. I decided to go back to hotel to drop the shopping bags, take a little rest, and take a bath before going out again for dinner. My local Thai friend wanted to introduce us to another restaurant. We met up at BTS Saphan Taksin. From there we took a short bus journey. If walked, it might take us 20-25 mins to reach.

Khao Tom Pla Kimpo menu :)

This time the shop was selling rice soup with fish and/or seafood of your choice. It wasn't ordinary fish though, but including a choice of huge size fresh fish that they hung daily in front of their shop. The variety of fish they offered were butter fish, red grouper, grouper, and sea bass, while the seafood were squid, prawn and oyster.

Khao Tom Pla Kimpo - Rice soup fish and seafood in Bangkok, Thailand (Pic source: Google map)

Apart from the rice soup, there was also stall selling crisp fried mussel pancakes. You could choose mussels, oyster, fish, prawn, and cuttlefish or mixture of your choices. It tasted delicious too!!!

Crisp fried seafood pancake at Khao Tom Pla Kimpo in Bangkok, Thailand

The seafood that they put into the rice soup was amazingly fresh and great!!! Seafood lover, you should come to this place and try it for yourself. The cuttlefish and prawns were equally big and fresh!!! Omg!!! It was really high quality of seafood that they served, that was why it was a bit pricey, but I guess, it was all worth it!!! Mostly local went to eat here and usually from the older generation.

Asiatique Ferris Wheel - Bangkok, Thailand (Pic source: Google map)

Oh my... the meal was satisfying. I ate so much in a day!!! It was time to walk. My friend suggested us to walk all the way to the Asiatique Ferris Wheel. It was about the same distance that we took earlier. Good to digest the food that we just had, at the same time, had a romantic walk under the starry night sky.

Asiatique Ferris Wheel in Bangkok, Thailand

Other than riding the Ferris wheel, you could shop, dine, chill, relax, watch the Calypso ladyboy cabaret, Muay Thai Live, and classic Thai puppet performance. I had good time shopping there. There were few shops selling clothes for ladies at one price. There was local accessories shop and many other stuffs as well. Rows of restaurant and bars along the riverfront would be the perfect place to dine and chit chat, but we were too full to eat anything else.

A long and happy day in Bangkok, Thailand :)

At night, the free boat back to BTS Saphan Taksin was available until 11 pm so you did not have to worry on how to go back to where you stay. That was how you could spend another day in Bangkok. Well, Bangkok is such a big city with many places for you to choose to go. There are still many other places you can go if you have enough time to spare. Let's see if I can manage to come up with more post and suggest you where to go and what to eat :) 'Til then....
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