Observation and ramblings of a Wanderlust

  • Why is the train still full of people at 9am when they should already be at work or in school?
  • We are all a slave to our phones. Everyone was staring at it so intently that they ignored everything else around them, i.e. to move over when someone is trying to squeeze into a full train, to move inside a little more so that the rest of us do not need to sandwich near the door.
  • Have you ever noticed how dirty the handles of the standing straps are on the train? I cannot get past myself to reach out and touch one, let alone to grab it for the entire journey. >_<’’’
  • For the first time, I have to admit that Malaysia has come a long way in trying to make a reliable public transport system. If you are in KL Sentral, you can move from the LRT to the ERL in just 5 minutes if you have the tickets ready and know where you are heading. Even if you are new, the whole process would not have taken more than 10 minutes. That’s serious stuff by the Malaysian standards!
  • The tagline for ERL was ‘On time, every time’. It was true and I was truly impressed!
  • But I also wished that the on-time service, the clean train, and the good quality seats didn’t have to come with such a hefty price. If only the price was 40% cheaper, I’m sure many people will start taking the train to the airport, thereby reducing more carbon footprint.
  • Air Asia came up with a new process which literally passes all the work of tagging and checking the bag into the cargo on to the travellers. That makes me wonder:
    1. Why are we still paying so much to travel when we are already doing so much ourselves (booking, checking in for our flights, tagging the luggages, and now scanning and dropping our own bags? Should we be expecting even cheaper prices from now on since airlines can reduce the number of staff working?
    2. Who came up with the idea of charging so much to travel in the first place?
  • Tuesdays are supposed to be the day where there are the least travellers, and yet the airport is full of people. The flight that I was on was probably 80% full.
  • Why is it that the people from a particular country will keep up a full conversation when one is at the front of the line, and one is at the end of the line…by yelling?
  • And 3 people from another country, potentially the same family, kept up an entire conversation throughout the flight…when they are seated in 3 different rows!
  • I am a traveller who likes to just be in my own world when I’m travelling solo. I plunged into bliss when I put on my mega earphones.
  • Car rental is a very competitive business on an island. They are like vultures, instead of circling above your head, they kept waving their cards at you. It’ll start with just 1 or 2 beckoning you to their counters when you are standing afar, but when you cross over the threshold marked by an invisible line, all 30 people will start fighting for your attention…that’s made me felt like a superstar!
  • A place that I fell in love with 13 years ago has lost its appeal as development took over and removed its charm.
  • Nevertheless, there are still little gems that I have found along the way that have made this trip worthwhile.
  • Have you ever tried travelling solo? If not, try it! You may not like it at first, but if you truly remind yourself to slow down, observe and listen, you will fall in love with it. That’s what happened to me on this trip. <3 <3 <3

Giving thanks…

Today is the 11th day since I’ve started working independently without a fulltime job. I’ve decided to take the leap of faith of going independent without a day job, after working for 14 years in the corporate world and boy, it was scary and exciting at the same time!
I have so much to be thankful for because life has been quite fun yet challenging for the past 11 days. I have been given some opportunities to try writing something new, I’ve been referred to by friends and family who believed in my ability, I’ve been supported by friends who asked me to charge them for helping them out with some writing and editing, I’m seeing many different sites, links and groups where I could potentially be getting some work from. I really am thankful for all these blessings that the Universe has showered me with as it kept my positive energy up all the time!
Although I could have been wallowing in the negative thoughts and getting worried about where and when is my next paycheck coming in, I chose to stick with the positives, and the Universe is rewarding me with more as I wake up every day to even more positive news. I have had doubts, with some negatives popping up every now and then, but I chose to squash them by thinking happy thoughts and focusing on the little victories that I gained every single day. It requires a conscious and constant effort, but it’s working for me as I’m so much more positive and happier, and I just can’t wait to see what other positivity this will bring.
In the course of looking for more positivity, I came across this video and I think it is a great one to share – it is HARD WORK trying to change from negative to positive thinking, but if we do not consciously train ourselves to do it, then how are we going to get there?

Share your thoughts on how you get yourself unstuck from the negativity in the comments below.

Nebulizer Aroma Diffuser vs Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser cum Humidifier

Now, I wouldn’t say that I have a chronic sleeping disorder, but I have had my days of ups and downs and when stress hits, I do not get much quality sleep. And not having enough sleep is a major blow to my productivity the next day. So, I’ve started searching for all sorts of solutions including medication, music, aromatherapy, exercises, food and beverage, heck, even a new pillow, you name it, I’ve tried it.
One of the most expensive investments that I have had to put in in order to get a good night’s sleep is having the right essential oil. When I was much younger and had less financial freedom, I have got my hands on all sorts of cheap essential oils. But as time goes, I started buying better essential oils and for all of you who have been on the same quest searching for the quality stuff, you know what I mean when I said that they were a pretty heavy investment *wink* They are literally liquid gold!
And with good essential oils, come the next set of investment – and that is getting the right diffuser so that the oil can do its job – whether it is to make you happy, or make you calm and relax, and finally drifting off into a good night’s sleep.

Ultrasonic Full
Ultrasonic Diffuser

I started by getting an ultrasonic aroma diffuser which also acted as a humidifier. It required water to be added in order for it to function. I thought it was the best, as it does not require the burning of any candles, therefore fewer safety hazards. It worked like a charm, I slept like a baby, and the evaporated water kept my skin hydrated in the air-conditioned room. But one day, me being a klutz all my life, I accidentally knocked it over and it somersaulted to the floor. Yup, you guessed it, water was everywhere!
Then I started thinking, surely there must be another type of diffuser that does not involve any burning nor water! I mean, technology would have made it possible, right? So thus began my journey into the realm of nebulizer diffusers. What a nebulizer diffuser does is that it breaks down the essential oil particles and release the atoms into the air, without changing its original chemical structure or composition. Compare that to the ultrasonic diffuser that I have already owned – the essential oils were diluted when it is mixed with water.
The atomised essential oil that are released by the nebulizer diffuser are small enough to be absorbed by the body and lungs almost immediately, thus providing a better healing effect compared to the ultrasonic diffuser, where the essential oils are released through evaporation together with the water, which all it does, really, is to give a fresh aromatic scent to the environment that you are in.
So I’ve gotten my hands onto a brand new set of nebulizer diffuser recently to test it out. After doing all my homework about it, I know those nebulizer diffusers are all made of glass, well at least the top part of it, so I was quite worried about it being broken in transit. But thank goodness the packaging was good and everything arrived intact.
cof
All the components in the box (except for the 3 bottles of essential oils)

I opened and laid all the components of the device on the table and noticed that it was made up of only 4 parts. Simple enough for a bimbo like me to figure out how to put it together without referring to the operation manual. The package contained:

  • Wooden base
  • Glass hemisphere
  • Atomisation nozzle cap
  • Power cord

The entire underside of the base was fixed with non-slip rubber material, unlike my tall ultrasonic diffuser which only had 3 little rubber studs. The weight of the wooden base gives a very firm and solid foundation to what would be a fragile glass hemisphere sitting on top.
 


I am not sure if the glass hemisphere is handmade as it was not stated anywhere on the packaging, but it was solid enough to hold without having to worry that a strong grip is going to shatter it into a million pieces. It was probably built with the end in mind, knowing that one would need to exert a tiny bit of force to push the glass sphere into its wooden base, and also take it out for cleaning and maintenance later.
 
sdr
Assembled and ready to roll!

 
The little round atomisation nozzle cap was not in a perfectly round shape, and I had to turn it around a little to find the right angle to slot it into the nozzle, but it was no rocket science really. I later found out that they actually highlighted this in the manual. I set it up really quickly and then referred to the manual on how much essential oil to fill. The instruction on the manual says to pour 10 – 15 drops of essential oil into the glass hemisphere.
Now that’s when a wee bit of challenge comes in. There would not be such a challenge if you own an oil dropper. But, I do not have one. All the essential oil bottles that I have, comes with a tiny flat white plastic at the opening that controls the amount of oil coming out of the bottle. I never had an issue with the ultrasonic diffuser as I have always just tilt the bottle, give it a light, controlled tap, and I can count the number of drops that go into the “water tank” of the diffuser as the surface of the tank was much larger. The challenge with the nebulizer diffuser’s nozzle is that it is a small hole, slightly smaller than a normal essential oil bottle opening. Adding to that is that the nozzle is also at an angle.
 

So what I had to do was to tilt the whole diffuser upwards, so that the nozzle was straight up without the cap, before I can pour the essential oil in. There were a couple of drops lost in transition, and trust me, it was painful to watch that liquid gold slipped away, but other than that, it was pretty alright.
I plugged it in and set it to work right away. On the manual, it was stated that the essential oil will start diffusing after 15 – 20 minutes, but in actual fact, I could feel it just about a minute after turning it on. The little devil was diffusing nicely in my living room. I could even smell the scent faintly in the dining area as I walked around the house. If I were to compare that to the ultrasonic diffuser, the latter’s coverage is not as wide. So that’s another plus point.
 
cof
Pumping away

 
While the glass half-orb was diffusing, the built-in multi-coloured light bulb was also dancing happily, rotating through the 7 rainbow colours, starting with white, followed by red, orange, amber, green, teal, blue and purple. The light emitted was a beautiful soft glow that will not interfere with sleep at night.
On the other hand, I was more concern about the humming noise it was making, on whether it would actually disturb me from a good night’s sleep. But I switched the knob on to a few different settings and noted that the noise was louder when it was switched to a higher setting for a stronger output. The noise should not interfere too much if it was on the lowest setting, which then meant you will have to pour in more than the recommended 15 drops of essential oil, in order for it to diffuse properly. For me, the 15 or so drops lasted for about 2 hours on a low setting, with 3-minute intermittent stops for every 5-minute operation. But it could be longer, but I could not tell for sure as there was no indication of whether it was running low on oil. In any case, the manual stated that it should not operate for more than 3 hours at any given time. So to be safe, I did not exceed the recommended time. In comparison, with the ultrasonic diffuser, at least I could tell that it is running out when the water level is low.
Next comes the cleaning process. According to the manual, the nebulizer diffuser will need to be cleaned only with medical alcohol to avoid a clogged capillary and it should be done once per week. Now that could potentially be a problem if the user did not know where to get the medical alcohol. But thankfully, it can be easily obtained from any community pharmacies in your neighbourhood. The good thing about this is that the medical alcohol will ensure that all bacteria are wiped out as it is antiseptic in nature. Another plus point is that the user need not worry about accidentally pouring water into the wooden base where all the electronics are, as one is required to remove the glass hemisphere from the wooden base completely before the cleaning process starts. But do handle with care as we are dealing with glass here after all. On the contrary, the ultrasonic diffuser had a much easier cleaning process where the user just needs to rinse the water tank with warm soapy water, and it would be ready to go for its next run. But do note that the water tank is attached to the base where all the electronics are, so one has to be extra careful that water does not accidentally get into the electronics, otherwise, he or she can say bye-bye to the diffuser.
So there you have it. Comparing both, side by side in a summarised diagram below:
 
Comparison chart
Nebulizer Diffuser vs Ultrasonic Diffuser

 
Conclusion – I’m very big on natural healing and being safe. I would, of course, go for the best if money is not a concern. But the reality is that we all work with limited resources in this world. So, if cost may be an issue, then the ultrasonic diffuser is probably your next best choice.
Interested in getting a nebulizer diffuser yourself? Click here.
A word of caution: Because the nebulizer diffuser breaks down the essential oil particle to be absorbed quickly by the lungs and body, therefore, it is important to ensure that your essential oil is 100% pure. Do not be penny wise but pound foolish and go for the cheaper option, as you would have no idea what you are inhaling into your body.

BLESS the less fortunate

It has been a really long time since I’ve last deep clean my room as my excuse is that I have been busy at work and do not have time to even clean up my own mess, not to mention that I’ve been away and out of the country near the Chinese New Year for the past few years (cheers to more excuses!).
But 2018 is different as we have quite a few major changes lined up throughout the year, so naturally, we are putting things in place in preparation for those changes. One of them is a major clean up for our house.
So what better time (an excuse) than to clean it up for Chinese New Year? Every Chinese descendant is now busy preparing for the festival which is just around the corner. The same goes for my family and household. So what do you do with all the rubbish or old stuff that you no longer need or want? BLESS Shop organised their annual donation drive over the weekend with Sin Chew Jit Poh in section 19 and all our unwanted stuff, which are still in good condition were sent there. BLESS Shop channels all the donation back into their shop, so that the less fortunate can shop there and pay whatever that they can afford. They also redirect some of the resources to the refugees and children’s homes. Bless ’em for such a kind and loving act!
The cleaning was such a hassle at home, but the drive-through donation process was such a breeze in comparison. Since this is an annual event, the team has probably worked out the perfect system over the years for the public to just drive in with a full load of items that they would like to donate, in a drive-through fashion. All we needed to do was to follow the instructions of driving up the queue, and once you stopped the car, the volunteers were there to help unload the items. You just need to tell them what is in the bag, and they will be able to put it in the right pile, then off you go. That’s it! The whole process has taken a maximum of say, 2 minutes? Versus the hours and days that we have put in to clean our house and sort out the items into the different bags.
During the cleaning up, I came to realise that I have 2 major possessions – clothes and books. I have purchased wayyyy too many clothes and wayyyy too many books. It was a tough job having to part with them, and that is also when I realised that I probably am a hoarder too! But I have told myself that I have to follow the criteria that I’ve set, and that is any piece of clothing that has not been worn for more than 2 years, it goes into the bag. Any books that have not been touched for the past 3 years, it goes into the bag too.
But….there are always things that you will not part with regardless, such is my Harry Potter and Shopaholic series. Those went into a box for safekeeping. Same goes for my LBDs and winter clothing as they required quite a lot of investment when I was making the purchase initially. So they too went into the box for safekeeping. So did I end up giving away much? Yes of course! I gave away one full bag of clothing, a stack of books that I no longer read, and in fact, some of my old pieces of jewellery too! My parents gave away a bag of clothes each as well. It felt good knowing that whatever that we have given away will be redirected to better usage and along the way, it will help the less fortunate to be on a more levelled playing field. On the bigger scale, we are also recycling so that we create fewer wastages and rubbish for planet earth.

(photo credit: BLESS Shop Facebook page)

Moving forward, I will make it a point to clean up and join this campaign once a year. In fact, I will pledge to use more secondhand and recycled item to do my little part in saving planet earth by reducing the wastages. If all of us can do a little part in that, Mother Nature will thank us by rewarding us with less natural disasters and better air quality. That is my sincere belief.
So people, do your bit to save the earth so that we can all live a bit longer on it.
If you have missed the donation drive, not to worry, you can always drop the things off to any of the 7 BLESS Shop outlets located in and around the Klang Valley. Check out their Facebook page here for more info. While you are at it, check out the list of unique charities in Malaysia by clicking here.
PS: I was too busy with the cleaning and dragging the bags around, no photos were taken. All photos in this article were taken from the BLESS Shop Facebook page and all credits go to the photographer who has taken them. Will put a mental note to take pictures at every stage in the future.
 
 

My hobbies and interest

 
Storytelling fulfills my passion and love for words and languages, but it does not satisfy the kinesthetic creature in me. So aside from writing, I dabble in quite a number of things that require me to use my hands, when I can touch and sense.
One of it is through jewellery making. I am very happy to have come in contact with the Founder of Angie Jewels & Co. a few years ago and I’ve been getting my training under Angie herself since.
I started dabbling with jewellery making with the aim of training my patience. And I thought, there’s no better way to start that by doing something small and potentially frustrating repetitively. So I started searching for jewellery making over the internet. That’s how I found out about Angie.
In I went with faith, and little did I know that I would soon develop a passion for it. What I thought would be frustrating has, in fact, turned out to be extremely enjoyable. From a tray of single small beads that are dauntingly colourful, I slowly string and weave them together to form a piece of jewellery that I am proud to call my own work. The process is equivalent to crafting a beautiful layer cake that wows everyone. It is a kind of satisfaction that only the baker or an artist will understand and appreciate.
Here’s a photo of my very first set of jewellery, completely handmade by yours truly
Pearl Bracelet and Earrings
Stay tuned for more as I reveal in later posts on the projects that I’ve completed over the duration of the jewellery making course.
 
Toodles~