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Wonder Device To Restore Women’s Confidence

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If the sexuality of a woman depends upon her ability to satisfy her man, would she feel inadequate if she can’t? There could be a number of reasons why a woman is subjected to such feelings & one of them is purely medical. Let me share what I’ve learnt in the launch of a very cute & sexy medical device designed to restore a woman’s ability to maintain her grip on her man.

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Puan Suhaila - physiotherapist

When the good people at BioInfinity asked me if I have heard of Kegel’s exercises & would like to know more about a revolutionary device to help women, I said yes. At the launch, Puan Suhaila, the physiotherapist from HUKM, gave a tremendous insight to what women suffer from when they begin to age, after childbirth or when their pelvic floor muscles are weakened leading to incontinence problems. Pelvic floor muscles? Well, it’s not muscles you can workout in the gym, I assure you but it’s the part of the woman’s anatomy that holds her pee inside & prevents her from leaking. That will happen if your pelvic floor muscles are weakened or injured from childbirth, surgery or if you lack targeted exercise. We will get to what targeted exercise is about later.

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Bloggers & press people

Many women prior to being Puan Suhaila’s patients, couldn’t understand how to exercise that part of the anatomy, being hidden & obscured from their vision and so her instructions had to take them through on a journey of self-discovery & practice. That’s when the workshop became hilarious with Puan Suhaila’s descriptive & suggestive gestures! Soon, the floor (not the pelvic) began to open up with questions, a few being quite bizarre. We were, after all, in a room filled with ladies only, making it perfect to ask everything under the sun and about areas where the sun don’t shine. We were shown pictures of how a woman’s uterus can fall out of place (and into the open) when the pelvic floor muscles weaken. This is definitely not sexy. I can’t imagine anyone telling their spouse, “Honey, can you go down on my uterus?” during foreplay. Some things are just not on when out.

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So when the room is full of 20 somethings & 30 somethings, unmarried & married women, it becomes a place of free expression. When we were taken to the gym to work out our pelvic floor with exercises that required us to gyrate, we made heads turn, although it’s ultimately what some women want to do in the bedroom after these exercises! After going through some hip-tossing movements & back-arching workouts, I definitely want to know if my muscles will keep my organs from falling out, not that anything is out of order but from the medical perspective, it is a very good idea for a self-assessment.

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We each took home the Vibrance Kegel Device to test & give a full review on what the device does for a woman’s esteem besides the main purpose that it was designed for. Wait for my review on how it functions after I lay my hands on this little wonder of a medical device in a week’s time! Watch this space!

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My Mom Has Finished Her Journey

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My mom, Mary Then, has been called home to the Lord on 22 February 2012. She suffered her third stroke in August 2011, the same time when I was attending Chien’s funeral in Penang. It had been downhill all the way & as we prepared ourselves, I prayed & released her. I know she will be better off where she is now, having reunited with dad in heaven. I haven’t been able to focus my thoughts to write what I feel, just as I thought I had overcome the sadness of my best friend’s passing, I have to deal with another. At least I know her pain & suffering from being semi-paralysed is now over.

My optimism belongs to God. He’s there when reality hits me later. That morning, God sent me 9 migratory eagles thermalling in the sky just outside my apartment. He said, “Just as they are on their journey home, so is your mom!” I was comforted in that knowledge & proceeded to arrange for the undertaker.

We had the wake on the same day & the funeral the next. It was a simple service. Thank you for turning up to support us in our grieving.

Thank you, mommy, for living this life for us. We will see you again.

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I had the honour of having Nigel play the keyboards for the wake service. Thank you, Nigel!

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Flowers for my mom

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The journey for mom & us.

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Our last goodbyes before she enters the furnace. It’s hot, mommy but you’re not there anymore! You’re with Jesus!

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And she shall return to our Father in heaven!

What The Last Six Months Had Been

Catching up with my thoughts is a rarity nowadays with the numerous events & assignments I have undertaken to bring the stories to you. Life seem to have gone on a fast forward mode with pauses in between for the things that matter in my life albeit brief ones. I was mourning the loss of my best friend, Choo Tse Chien, the person I have considered as family, since his sudden demise in August 2011. At that time, I had work assignments that required my composure & sense, keeping it all in to project the fragile front that managed to trick a few who did not know me well. I lost a travel partner, a guide, a teacher, a source of inspiration & excitement. I lost my panic button of sorts, a shoulder whose never tired of my outpouring of emotions . Immersing myself with work, I could only think of how my life would be without a reference, a valuable opinion or a confidante. Just how God can take him away at the prime of his life, I don’t want to know. I only know how much I miss him, his nagging & his kiddie-ish sparkle in the little secrets that he shared with me. I am thankful to have been his best friend for the last 6 years of his life & to have known how precious his friendship was to me. The whole of Penang rings of his name & presence at the mere mention & as I drove up to bid him farewell then, I knew Penang would never be the same again.

Everything that I know about birds, Chien had taught me. Every gear that I needed to get, he had done the research for me to make sure I didn’t make any wrong purchases. I made it this far since we started birding in 2006 is because of his infectious influence in my life. He made me enjoy birding so much. When I was on the phone with him one morning after walking the dog, I had seen a very curious blue/green bird with no tail. I described the bird to him & he told me to get my gear back to that spot I had been to shoot the ever elusive Hooded Pitta! And I did. He made everything so simple & attainable. And he worked hard for everything he had acquired, choosing to buy me stuff because I was the female version of him who loved bags. He added to my collection of bags when he himself couldn’t resist getting them. He made decisions when we travelled & it was simple because I didn’t want to think. I can go on & on but I want to tell you that even as I miss him dearly, I have chosen to let my memories stay within the hundreds of letters we have written to each other through email. We even fight through email. Being the big man that he is, he is very quick to make amends & apologise even though it’s my fault. Gosh, I don’t want to cry anymore & I’m sure you would want to read about the happy things happening right now instead.

So I will leave you with this, as personal as I could ever get, I am sad I have lost my best friend but I am glad to know that he loved me even as he had to deal with the biggest brat ever in the last 6 years of his life. I will endeavour to keep this passion for birding that you have instilled in me, for the underwater photography that you have been so supportive of & the cycling that you inspired me to take on. Sorry for all the times I’ve defied you as you have always been right. I just wanted to be a brat. Babes, if I’m not a brat to you, who else can I be a brat to???

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In loving memory of Chien.

Happy Thoughts, Happy Trails & Happy Fins!

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Staring at my screen, my mind flows to the instances when & where I had been the happiest. My dad instituted in me when I was growing up, that it’s not how much I can make but what I do to get there that would make me rich. It’s not about being with the people who can help me achieve my goals but about making the goals to help the people around me so they won’t falter. He wanted me to go places, to see things, something I couldn’t really fathom at the age of 13, but his words echoed in my mind. I had 4 dogs, 17 cats & 2 turtles which I could never take with me & the thought of going anywhere without them wasn’t appealing at all. I was filled with thoughts of how to save the world – the world being the stray dogs & cats in Malaysia because every time when it stormed, the thought of a stray dog/cat being drenched & suffering in the cold, etched a despairing imagery that made my heart drop. Indeed, my first ambition had been to be a vet & save ”˜my world.’

As if animals had the seventh sense, (detection of impure intentions), my first dog, Mickey, was adverse towards my mother, a Hakka who USED to eat dogs. It’s repulsive to think my mom ate my best friends’ kind but in her days, it’s either dog meat or die of starvation. Well, the feud began as Mickey would wait for the time when my mom would hang her laundry (dad, sis & hers included) & when it was all done, would leap up the lines to pull them all off!!! LOL!!! He even knew which items belonged to her & would shred her clothes to bits!! ( I really shouldn’t laugh but it was such a funny sight to see her going after him with my dad & I running to the rescue! Rescue the dog, I mean…..) When my nanny does our laundry, Mickey would sleep underneath the clothes line to chase away the landing crows. Call this loyalty but it went on for years! I’m surprised she didn’t eat him up. Ppffffttttt! 😀

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I went to school daily with several paw prints on my pinafore, drawing curiosity from teachers till they accepted the fact that I had very enthusiastic dogs that bade me farewell in the mornings. We went straight home after school, had lunch & short nap before we went to the golf club for our extra-curricular activities. On weekends, my sister & I would follow dad to the shooting range for his practices. We got acquainted with everyone at the club until I picked up air pistol shooting myself. I didn’t go as far as to represent the country like my dad did in the Asian Games, Commonwealth & SEA Games, but I got an idea how passionate dad was about his practices long after he retired from the sport. Then my thoughts went further back as a child when dad would bring us to the beach in Port Dickson. During low tide, there were lots of soldier crabs which I half expected to leap out of their burrows & nip me. Refusing to walk, I clung onto my dad’s legs for dear life…….with a reassuring voice, he said, “Darling, daddy will hold your hands & you can put your feet on mine. We will walk to the water together ok? The crabs won’t bite daddy’s feet!” That sounded just fine. I could do with that. So we set out with me standing on my dad’s feet, being held up by his hands & we took giant strides to escape the battlefield of claws & clippers….

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Mom would disappear into the horizon the moment she enters the water. Used to freak dad out. Dad was the stronger swimmer but mom loved the sea & had no fear. Isn’t it apparent where I got this ocean-streak from??? Mom’s fearless attitude & dad’s wisdom had kept me astute in all other sense & I thank God for their dedication in my life. The last I heard, dad is happily playing golf in heaven. Mom will soon join him there. She can still recognise me but she’s no longer able to talk nor respond to what I say to her. ? – I am thankful that she is in Christ & my assurance is in the promises of God, in the Word that has been established since the beginning of time. I know she will be in a happier place after suffering from stroke twice.

I sail across the reef & look at the colonies that God had designed. It’s so awesome that He pieced them together to build a reef occupied by so many inhabitants. Even my camera cannot capture the marvels of His thoughts & all I can do is show you a glimpse of my world & what goes through my mind when I dive.

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It’s been awhile since I wrote any heartfelt pieces. I was too busy getting in & out of aeroplanes, stopping to pick flowers but not to smell them, I’ve witnessed but not engaged & I have disassociated from caustic people who tried to rob me of my joy. I have made peace with God to not fret with people who discount me from their lives in their moment of weakness & after trying to make peace with them unsuccessfully, it’s time to move on. The burden is not mine to bear. God fills every need I have & I can’t ask for more. I hope they too, would forgive me for my silence in letting go.

I want to make every second count. I will take more pictures & fill you in on what goes on in my life, if you care to come back here. All these engagements to write for my sponsors are indeed, my own opinion & I will not endorse anything contrary to my beliefs. I have started my new appointment with another travel agency & this new covenant will be for His Kingdom. There will be events & exciting happenings as we roll out our offers soon. Hope you are able to join me in my adventures to make these stories come to life!

Tribute to Maxine

Maxine, I will not forget your cheerful laughter & all the things you have done to make me laugh. I’m sorry I couldn’t return in time to bid you farewell nor to support your grieving family mourning for the loss of their loved one. I hope the angels have taken over where we have left off & I ask God to be your source of happiness in heaven now. I miss you & will forever cherish all the times we had together.

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Bon voyage, my dear friend!

Tabasco-ing Shells & Such!

This post brought to you by TABASCO® Original Red. All opinions are 100% mine.

Dinner courtesy of Tourism Malaysia, New York in Orlando, Florida.
Dinner courtesy of Tourism Malaysia, New York.

Alighting your tastebuds only needs a dash from the little bottle that we are so accustomed to – TABASCO® Original Red. It adds zing & spice to succulent, raw oysters when added with a squeeze of zesty lemon especially when served with a platter of prawns & lobsters! It somehow brings out the flavour of the shellfish. Having a bottle with me when I travel is handy to spice up food from different cultures!

When I was in Bangkok, the oysters served were in a bed of salad, sweet basit & vermicelli. I added  TABASCO® Original Red sauce to spice things further as I like my oysters that way! In Hanoi, the street fare is usually exotic & consists of different kinds of shellfish from Tiger Prawns to clams & various other edible gastropods. Lime can also be a substitute for lemon & what I do is, combine crushed garlic, shallots, lime, bird-eye chilli, TABASCO® Original Red sauce & some sugar to make a condiment for my mollusks! Tastes absolutely fantastic!

Woman preparing shellfish & grilling over fire in the streets of Hanoi, Vietnam.
Woman preparing shellfish & grilling over fire in the streets of Hanoi, Vietnam.

Select your own from the various kinds of mollusks offered in the streets of Hanoi, get it weighed & cooked on the spot!

Conch shells or better known as Gong-Gong Shells in Tawau, Sabah.

In Sabah, a different kind of shellfish is served at seafood restaurants. Like how I have other shellfish, I get the restaurant to make the same condiment with TABASCO® Original Red sauce but with ginger & honey added for extra zing!

Super Bowl is right around the corner & pizza would be the order of the day, whether delivered or frozen, as you are glued to your TV to root for your favourite team. Here’s how you can have Pizza Perfected recipes & ideas with TABASCO® Original Red sauce to make your own toppings or dips!

Check out the Game-Day Party Menu page for some simple ideas & recipes for food everyone loves!

TABASCO® Original Red was the first sauce introduced by the McIlhenny family back in 1868 and continues to be their most popular sauce of 6 total sauces. Tabasco is not about heat for heat’s sake. It’s about what heat does to the flavour of food. The simple combination of salt, red pepper, and vinegar are perfected in a 3-year aging process that produces a hot sauce with the uncanny ability to bring the most out of your food. Other hot sauces add their own specific flavour to food. TABASCO® Original Red simply enhances the flavor of food.

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Anticipating Adventure

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The New Year began with a new model for business & as I cover more destinations for magazines, resorts & travel agents who engage my services to explore uncharted territories. It has been a great year with 2010, ending 2009 with a trip to Orlando, meeting Tourism Malaysia, New York office & having dinner with the Malaysian delegates, Disneyworld & starting the following year with Koh Lipe & ending it with a journey up to see Moses burning bush in Mount Sinai with a dip in the Red Sea. I’d been organising numerous events which somehow were food-oriented whatever the theme or wherever the destination may be. I believe we Malaysians are born to live to eat. My foreign counterparts can hardly fathom that I eat 6 times a day (if I can). The night of chivalry at The Terrace was memorable. And so was the moment when I went on stage to receive my recognition certificate from the Deputy Minister for my contribution to the Malaysia in 24Hrs – Underwater Sceneries at the National Art Gallery. I started contributing to Asian Diver magazine too & some of the things the editor assigns us to write about are amazing.

In between earthquakes, I was in Padang, West Sumatera to map out gastronomical delights, Japanese war tunnels & dive sites to bring new places to the people I serve. I still feel the same way about detailing about my work here but I’m sure you must’ve noticed an increase in sponsored reviews lately. I’ve gone from one end of Indonesia to the other when I accepted a quick assignment from Travel360 inflight magazine to cover South Sulawesi. I was challenged to endure the bursting, fiery flavours of Makassarese culinary delights & to immerse into as much culture as I could while I’m there. An unplugged version of experience can be found here.

Both my blogs, Pummkin’s Pitch & Amazing Journey, are getting recognised as niche blogs, a specialty & expertise that I offer from the perspective of a professional diver/photographer, editor & a frequent traveller. I am still the same person as when I detailed about how I felt towards being commissioned to far-off places here. That part didn’t change. What did was my outlook on things that I would use to make my travels better. I will be highlighting specific products & services that I come across as indispensable items for travel & stuff that would greatly benefit you & address your challenges as it did mine! This means products would be selected & accepted for review only if it serves me well. Having worn out pants, tools, bags etc., it pays to know what you should pay good money for. Click Here to Advertise on My Blog.

It’s January, the first month of a new decade & I’m excited already! Remember to bookmark/RSS/Atom both my blogs to never miss an adventure!

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Conscientious Usage of Personal Care Products

This post brought to you by Toms of Maine. All opinions are 100% mine.

Rufus in his cone of shame....

Have you ever thought about the products that you use daily, especially products that you apply topically on your face, body, head/hair or even your toothpaste or mouthwash, could have been tested on animals? I cannot bear to think of any kind of chemical being dripped onto Rufus’ eyes or skin just to see if the allergic reaction would be severe enough to harm humans let alone think about the poor lab animals that are bound in small spaces with the cone of shame around their necks (pictured above on Rufus in his recovery mode after he was knocked down by a car 3 years ago. He’s my hope & joy & would never be subjected to any kind of cruelty!). We are in the era where we can be selective about the products that we put on our skin/hair/body & we can no longer ignore the blatant abuse of animals from products that do not declare against animal-testing.

I came upon the site of Tom’s Of Maine & was glad to see their policies, stewardship model standards (practical tool for judging what does and does not belong in their products and guides their decision-making as products are formulated) & the ingredients that they put in them. Tom’s Of Maine is a leading natural products company focused on oral and personal care. For 40 years, Tom’s has been committed to supporting people, communities and the planet.
 
Share your Wicked Fresh moments for a chance to win Wicked Fresh!™ Prizes at That’s Wicked Fresh contest page, a contest to win yourself some awesome prizes!

Follow @TomsofMaine on Twitter & join Tom’s of Maine on Facebook and be inspired at how they are creating change to make our world better to live in! When you support products that have conscientious beliefs & practices, you are making YOUR world a better place too!

Footnote: I sit on the board of committee for the Animal Rights legislation under the Legal Aid Centre of the Bar Council in Malaysia. Although we can’t determine all of the products in our homes are free from animal-testing, we can choose to start making informed buying decisions in the future.


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Kopi’s Gotten Hitched!

A beverage of colours is what we are known as on our usual morning breakfast rendezvous. Sree will order his kopi (coffee), Aziz his Milo & teh tarik (frothy milk tea) for me. For months, we would discuss Sree’s wedding plans. We laughed of the idea of filming his wedding & making him a placard to wear around town on his stag night to tell the world that he will be married. In his excitement one day, he excused himself to the gents, only to return with a panic look telling me that he’s dropped his phone in the latrine! The sadism in me overruled my sympathies for his sh*t-drenched phone & what followed afterwards left much to be told.

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Aziz & I were half-expecting him to call for our usual rendezvous but this time, his urgent voice denoted yet another emergency. He had lost his car keys with his mother’s & cousin’s luggages for their maiden trip to Jakarta! We rushed to get to him, whisk the women of his life to KLIA Express, put them on the train & sent them off while he sorted out his problem with the locksmith. His mother said to me, “Aiyo, he’s always like that, my daughter is calling from Jakarta & asking, “Ah Mah, are you on the plane yet???” and I’m thinking I’d better not tell her that we are not even in the airport yet!” She also said that he dropped his wallet into the toilet bowl before so Sree must have had some form of affinity for the lavatory. He then flew to the airport to check in the bags to make sure they got there with their pieces!

The day of joy came for him & his beautiful bride, Valee to be joint in holy matrimony & I made sure I was present to (laugh) celebrate his great moment (at) with him!

Congratulations, Sree & Valee! May your kopi be brewed & stirred constantly with the aroma of excitement & joy as you work on your brood of mini-kopis! 😀

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Teh Tarik, Kopi’s Wife, Kopi & Milo!

Even his guests became the unofficial dancers to grace his event!

Soleil Me Not, Ocean Potion®!

I once thought that my freckles were conspiring with each other to make a birthmark on my face from the increased prominence after some exposure in the sun but after learning the science of what the sun does to melanin-producing melanocytes, I concluded that my skin houses a highly reactive colour production factory bursting with experimental tinges of brown.

Not that I dislike my freckles but anything that regulate or prevent the concentration of melanin in spots, I would be too happy to try. I don’t equate being fair with being beautiful but what I do want is to maintain my skin tone to that of the tone of my make-up foundation lest I appear grey and mismatched when I return from a dive trip! I’ve used sunblock of varying SPFs (sun protection factor – the time it takes for your skin to get sunburnt without any protection) and have tried so many brands in the market including those from cosmetic giants but most, if not all, of these products cause my face to breakout or become taut and dry. How do I get adequate protection from the sun without making me glisten like I’ve had an oil bath or be shriveled taut like leather?

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I was given an opportunity to review a new range of sun protection skin care in the market called Ocean Potion. Aside from its name depicting my place of work, I was pleased to note that the base of the range of these lotions does not contain mineral oil, a petroleum by-product that has no benefits but simply because it is low cost and widely available. Being free of a the irritant agent called PABA – para amino benzoic acid, Ocean Potion has an active ingredient called Parsol® 1789 (Avobenzone), I was given a bottle of Ocean Potion® H2O Water Sport SPF 30 Continuous Spray (RM36.80 for 177ml) for the ultimate water resistance in a quick dry mist to complement my profession in teaching swimming & scuba. Apart from being fragrance free, sweat proof and very highly water-resistant, its stabilised broad spectrum formula provides defense against UVA I, II and UVB rays, glide on dry and keeps me protected in wet conditions.

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It’s a joy to spray my back &  the back of my legs without straining myself by attempting calisthenics to rub lotion the conventional way half an hour before I go diving. Spraying over twice gives me a clean application & even coverage & helps me remember to do it before every dive because I’d like to reapply after drying myself with a towel which may rub some of the protection off.

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The other product that I got to experiment on is the Ocean Potion® (Broad Spectrum), Anti-Aging Lotion SPF 50 (RM15.80 for 44ml), specially formulated for fair skin that provides higher sun protection against UVA I, II and UVB sunrays. I didn’t hesitate to use it on my face, as it glides on easily for quick absorption. With no greasy after-feel, I took to it immediately. Containing Seaplant extracts and Anti-Oxidant Vitamins A, C, and E that aid in the reduction of cell-damaging free radicals, it helps to know that the product I continue to use, prevents as much sun damage as possible. One of the products actually contains Retinol, a cell rejuvenating substance that renews skin cells at a faster rate, thus promoting the elimination of dead skin cells! I might try that one after I’ve run out of these two products.

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After the day’s diving is done, a good scrub in the shower with a scrunchie & shower creme ensures there is no residue left on the skin. Straight after while the skin is still damp, I smother my skin with Ocean Potion® (After Sun) Moisturising Aloe Lotion (RM24.80 for 250ml), a rich penetrating lotion formulated to replenish and repair skin cells after exposure to the sun and all other outdoor elements. Not only did it keep my skin soft and healthy, it prevents peeling and ultimately maintains your tan (if tanning was what you desired instead of blocking) weeks longer with regular use. It felt cool on my skin after application without any trace of grease at all.  This potion is naturally made with pure aloe vera gel, vitamins A, C, and E, tea tree oil, herbal extracts, seaweed extract and other natural skin emollients and conditioners.

The verdict:- Overall after a week’s usage & a weekend out in the island, I had a very pleasant experience with the ease of use, the fruity fragrance of the Anti Aging lotion that lingers & that I’m adequately protected in the sun. I also found confidence in the knowledge that Ocean Potion is a cruelty-free brand and does not conduct testings on animals nor does it use cheap emollients that’s akin to lubricants (mineral oil) in the market. And as I love being in the sun, I can keep saying, ‘Soleil me not,’ when I’m liberally covered with Ocean Potion! I am well-prepared to switch brands!

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Macbook Pro Fund!

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With the kind of work that I’m doing, processing videos, high resolution photos for publishers, website designing & newsletter publishing, I am convinced that I need a Macbook Pro. Thinking aloud on Twitter the other night, I jokingly said I should start a #HelpPummkinFund to get funding for my purchase of a 15” Macbook Pro. With 635 followers, if each of them were to donate RM5 or more, I wouldn’t have to work so hard over the monsoon season for the purchase of the machine. And guess what, @warriors123, @xmocha & others have helped me raise RM250!!! Wah! Thank you for the contribution! I’m a step closer to getting a Macbook Pro!

So I’ve put in a button on the sidebar to facilitate your kind contribution as you journey with me to help me do something worthwhile as I give back to society through my contribution in StART Society as a swimming teacher for the underprivileged kids! I also produce their newsletter. Payment from clients is always delayed & by such a time, bills would have to be paid & essentials to be bought, so a purchase like this becomes second priority. So many of you had been so kind when I put out a need-list for the kids in my previous efforts but never have I put out a need-list for myself. Perhaps I should include hugs & love too! The donate button leads you to my Paypal account & I’d be so grateful for any amount that you contribute to this fund! May god bless you for kindness!

KickStARTing Their Future Through Music & Arts

Since I began my stint with StART Society, an academy that focuses on giving underprivileged (abandoned, abused and disabled) kids a head start in life through creative and performing arts, music and life skills, I must say, it is I who feel blessed. The kids who come from various backgrounds, have to spend their childhood not in a normal home but in the confines of a welfare home in hope that they would pick up the education, skills and talent needed to get on in life. My first lesson in the pool with them, humbled me as they had to enter the pool fully clothed. No, they do not have parents who can buy them swimming attire neither would anyone care enough to provide for that. Having amassed a legion of useful contacts over the years of diligently keeping records, I called a swimwear manufacturer and asked for help. To our delight, she said yes! We are on our way to donning the first 60 kids with proper swimming attire!!! Praise the Lord!

On 15 October, StART received a few very important guests, namely the President of Malaysian Chinese Association – Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek, the Group Chief Editor of The Star newspaper – Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai, the MD of The Star – Ho Kay Tat and Dato Rishya Joseph. They were presented with authentic artwork from the kids from the Art Class at StART as they beamed from ear to ear. I doubt the kids knew the significance of this visit but at the end of the presentation, Dr. Chua pledged to raise RM200K for the furtherance of StART Society in training these kids!!! Whoaarrgggh!!! Thank you, Datuk Seri! 😀

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Datuk Vincent Lee – Founder of StART

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The song that would bring tears to your eyes! Puts a lot of choir to shame!

Cajoling Into The Time Tunnel

It’s been quite a few weeks after cajoling myself up to Cameron Highlands to see what I did not get to see at Christmas last year. A successful alarm dodges near the dash. I visited the Time Tunnel, an antiquated pieces museum that depicted the history of Cameron Highlands & her visitors, the period pieces of life that denoted a simple childhood & the decor that adorned coffeeshops of old. I’ve contemplated on starting a proper travel blog to publish my life’s work & it’s currently underway. Once that is up, you can bookmark it to read about my journey & come here to listen to issues that I so do not want to deal with! I’m hoping to do this as much as I can!

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More about the Time Tunnel later in the new travel blog. You can access the article here:- Time Tunnelling In The Cameron Highlands

Looking & Feeling Silly For A Season

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Some of you have landed here from the link in my Twitter homepage or some of you got here from the gallery of pictures that I showcase but whichever the case, let me clarify what this blog is to me as is to you who have followed me since the inception in 2005. Maybe you got here to get an idea of who I am and what I do or maybe you are a client or prospective client for my services. What I write here is entirely my personal expression of what God had been doing in my life and how He has brought me to see much of the world to bring about the purposes He has in store for His people. I am merely the messenger who lives a life doing what she does best, diving, teaching, writing and photography. When I’m not teaching diving, I’m writing.

Friends say that I bare too much here but that’s because I don’t believe I have anything to hide. It’s not like I air dirty laundry in public that people might take and fling it back at me, it’s stuff that I encounter and personal difficulties that make me human. I’m in touch with myself, my emotions and my ability (sometimes not) to handle situations. In a world where people look at what you have, how much you earn (or think you earn), whom you know, what you know and how your popularity ranks amongst the Joneses as a measure of your success, I’d say, that’s not God’s standard of how I should live. With what I have (not a lot) I give of myself, with what I know, I share it to make others empowered, with whom I befriend, I make it worthwhile for the time spent in each other’s presence. When clients come to this blog, they will get an idea of the person that I am, not a person who has a facade that shields a warped mind or an incapable person for the task that is to be bestowed. Having said this, it’s also not the right platform to see my professional capabilities because everything here is an honest view and expression of integrity in my day-to-day living that’s above all that I do. I promote stuff that I use, places that I think is worth going because my opinion matters to students who have benefitted from my experience as someone who’s qualified, well-travelled and capable of making use of gadgets, equipment and computers.

Sometimes, you will read of my professional challenges here, but most often, you will read about how I overcome them instead. God did not call me to be a victim of circumstances nor did He say that I would be free of trouble but He promised me that He would see me through each situation as I encounter them. In my pursuit of underwater photography, I’d been messing up a lot. Firstly, in wanting to buy over Derrick’s strobes, he insisted that I take them on loan first to try. So I did. Both his SeaandSea YS110 were so powerful that at the lowest manual setting and the highest aperture and shutter speed on my LX3, I still had to pull the arms that secured the strobes back. And for some reason, the fibre-optic cable was not registering the light emission to fire in sync so I get a proper shot and several dark shots that followed. I missed a great number of shots of moving subjects and was extremely frustrated. Secondly, I get so excited going on a night dive without students that I forget to attach the fibre-optic cable to fire my strobes! Aaaah…..what a klutz! I’ve got to accept that things happen even when you are ultra meticulous.

A lot of my works, cannot be published here due to copyright issues and contracts signed with my clients (magazine publishers, portals, corporate companies, travel agents, tourism authorities and the likes) hence, until such a time that such contract cease to operate or when such term expires, I’m able to share them randomly on the net. Yes, it’s somewhat restricting to what many of you like to read about my exploits and adventure but it pays my bills and I’ve got to abide by them. I’m thinking of putting them up in a different section of my blog, once I’m able to, to show you what I’ve done with my literary pursuits. I am available for commissioning with due notice given.

Of late, there has been a string of projects that warrant me to give feasibility studies report and tourism activities potential feedback to the prospective clients and I’ve completed one in West Sumatra last month. Naturally, the piece that I’m writing cannot be published until the client accepts it and approves it for publication.

In the passed few weeks (maybe even months), I’d been having mental blocks, a period where words just wouldn’t flow. Inspiration was not forthcoming and despite putting myself under tremendous undue pressure, I couldn’t write pass 10 words. Worse, I didn’t know where to start. I thought it may be because I had abandoned my love for sharing, for the work that I am due to submit and I’m right!

Since the arrival of my nieces, sister and bro-in-law from North Carolina two weeks ago, I endeavoured to spend as much time with them as possible, thereby, abandoning work, writing, blogging and the Macbook altogether. How liberating it has been! I’m aware that I need to live and to have fun to be able to generate an output worthy of my clients’ engagement! What a tough time it has been! I’ve been sitting in the shell for too long, looking and feeling silly like this Hermit Decorator Crab that I shot. Looking at what I’ve put together so far, indicate that I’m on the road to recovery and am ready to take on challenges of having a column in a noteworthy magazine and being on the waitlist for a faraway expedition of a lifetime.

Category: Issues, Personal  2 Comments

Looking For That Rainbow From Within…and Beneath

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Life is a process of living through predestined encounters, some bad, some not so good and some that would leave you breathless. Ive said to myself that maybe one day, when I do have that encounter again, I would make the effort to build on it. What happens when you feel that you are in it by yourself? Would it invalidate your encounter? Or would you let that experience build on you? Uncertainties are most unnerving and many give up because they dont want to be let down. What if it was disappointment in the first place that warranted a defensive action which seemed to be a rejection but its not? What if theres really something at the end of the rainbow if you care to wait after the rain? What if the rainbow is that something that you may be beaming from within you, that can be sighted long after the rain is gone? How would that measure up to what others see in you?

The only way to find out is to look outside every time it rains, and wait for the sunshine…it may beam you up higher than wherever you have been before…