Thursday, July 31, 2008

More Than A Game

"Be not afraid of moving slowly, be afraid of standing still"
- Anonymous

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Asia's Most Expensive Cities

According to www.msn.com, the top 5 most expensive cities in Asia are:
1. Tokyo
2. Seoul
3. Hong Kong
4. Osaka
5. Singapore

Susan Dehlinger's Sunshine Gallery

I really like Susan Dehlinger's paintings, especially the above - good amount of sunshine though the window, and the flowers bring smiles to anyone who sees them. It looks like a pot of flowers which a cheerful mother has kept at a corner of her study room in her big, happy home.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

No Caffeine, Thanks

Although I am in the process of cutting down my caffeine intake, I must say it's refreshing to look at these three mugs of tea lattes. 

The Greatest Mistake Is Giving Up


I thought I have cut down my carbo intake, "pull away my sweet tooth", and adopt a healthier lifestyle these days. Strangely, those people who see me these two weeks, keep telling me I have gained weight INSTEAD.

I wonder whether my sacrifices in the past 8 weeks made sense, or the exercise that I have carried out are not sufficient to support my weight loss goal.

I wonder how could those extra weight cling on to me when I am so careful with my diet.

I flipped through a glossy magazine in the salon when I was waiting for my hair to get done, and the report says my size is considered as obese in USA, UK, Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore, and I am also in the obese range using their "revised" BMI matrix.

I thought I've lost a kilo. Although I shouldn't be so happy about the mere 1 kilo. It's a good motivator, don't you agree?!

I knew I should be happy in whatever weight range I am, as long as I am healthy. But, which woman in the right mind would response with: "Oh yeah, I've gained weight .. oh that's good news. I've been wanting to gain a kilo or two to look more attractive!"

The only explanation I could give myself to my weight gain: I may be self-deceiving. I may be eating more than before to compensate the thought that I am exercising more now.

It's depressing when I found out that I couldn't wear my favourite clothes anymore. As time passes, they look so tiny to me now. How did I fit in those clothes before??

If I could lose 10 kilos before, why can't I do the same now?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Positive Thought

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Back To Work On Monday

After 5 days leave, I'll be back to work TOMORROW. 
How time flies!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Laughter Is The Greatest Medicine

Nancy's Fan Club


I wasn't aware that Nancy came in comic books until yesterday. I know I'm not alone - because I went to local bookstores to look for them this afternoon, and the salesgirls' expressions told me I came from another planet, haha. 

Simple Life

Why some people like to interpret simple things in their own complicated ways?

SJP Vs Carrie Bradshaw


Although I couldn't deny Carrier Bradshaw's Manolo Brahnik's heels are irresisitible, especially those appeared in the SATC last season. Unsure if NY fashion is blowing towards the currents of Gladiators and The Flintstones, Carrier's wardrobe in the movie version of SATC looked more tarty than lovely (check out: the green dress with the gladiator chunky heels)!

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Plant Talk Part 1

The weather was good this afternoon, and I decided to take some pictures of my parents' new plants in the garden.

My parents love these lavender plants (see picture above)

My Other Hobby

Most of my friends don't believe when I told them I have a recipe book. The recipe book was inspired by my Aunt Agnes who has both a beautiful handwriting and has kept a thick book of recipes since the time she was crazy fan of HK singer Agnes Chan. 

My favourite recipe in my recipe book is Cotton Cheesecake, and here is the recipe I've taken from Simply Her Magazine. 

Cotton Cheesecake
Note: I haven't altered the ingredients to suit the low fat diet. 

Preparation time: Approximately 25 minutes
Cook: Approximately 60 minutes
Serves: 6 persons

Ingredients: 
30g butter
150g cream cheese
50g fresh milk
4 eggs, yolks separated from whites
1 tablespoon lemon juice
25g superfine flour
25g corn flour
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
100g sugar

Method: 
  1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees C. Grease a 22cm cake tin and line base with grease-proof paper. Set aside.
  2. Using a double boiler, bring butter, cream cheese and milk to a boil. Stir to avoid lumps. 
  3. Remove from heat and add egg yolks, followed by juice.
  4. Add both flours and mix well. Set aside. 
  5. Using an electric mixer, whip egg whites, cream of tartar and sugar until soft peaks form. 
  6. Fold cream cheese into mixture. Pour mixture into cake tin and bake in oven for about 60 minutes. Leave cake to cool in baking tin before removing.

My Childhood Friends

My grandmother ever bought me these sets of dolls when I was little, but they could have been chucked away when we shifted houses so many times. Back then, these dolls were sold at a much expensive price, about US$15 - 20 for a pair of them. I was so happy when I spotted them during my shopping last Sunday. I bought two sets at about US$2 each. What do you think of them? Aren't they cute?


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Max Growth Eyelashes Builder

Woofhams and I went for eyelashes perming few months ago, and we have ordered through the beautician a daily eyelashes growth serum each for both of us. The beautician told us this max growth eyelashes builder is good in: 
  • helping to add strength and support to the lashes
  • stimulating the lashes growth
  • sealing and protecting weak lashes against splitting and breaking 
  • providing the lashes with rich conditioning 
I cancelled both orders when we didn't receive the goods in a week which the beautician has promised. After two and the half months, the beautician asked me this afternoon whether I am still interested in buying it. She explained that the delay was due to shipment because she has no longer asking her orders to be air flown. I bought one as a trial, before I bought for my mother and Woofhams. 

Let's see whether I could see visible , battling eyelashes after 21 days!

Motivation

I bought this new shirt to reward myself for losing the first 1 kilo - it's still L size though, haha!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Weekend Special

When we were younger, we loved Sundays. Of course, who doesn't love Sundays, except the thought that it would be Monday the next day. When you were kids, you lived in the moment, you didn't think much of the next minute or the next day. This is one good living skill that I am still working on to revive. 

I recalled when I was in primary school, my parents loved picnic outings. They took us to picnic at nearby beach on most Sundays unless there were family functions. My father packed many things in his white Mazda the evening before, and my mother cooked a big pot of curry which we later ate with big plates of fried rice or bread on the day of picnic. Music were non-stop where my aunties played songs on their cassette player such as The Bee Gees's "How can you mend a broken heart", Brian Hyland's "Sealed with a kiss", Everly Brother's "All I have to do is dream" etc. Back then, many of my aunties (my mother's siblings) were staying with us. My father taught us fishing, my mother chased the waves with us. Aunties taught us to collect seashells. Time passed so quickly that I didn't even bother I had calligraphy and maths homework that were waiting for me in my school bag. 

We took Baby K to Empire Hotel last Sunday. I initially thought every Sunday (between noon to 5 pm) would be Family Splash Day at Empire Hotel which I later learnt I was wrong. So, we just walked around with Baby K in his stroller. Baby K was excited with everything he saw, from grass to fountain and the parachute. I was excited with the kayaking. I tried canoeing twice when I was in Brisbane, but was advised to polish my swimming skills before I joined the class further, haha!!

All I Have To Do Is Dream

Mr Bean Goes To A Restaurant



No matter how many times I've watched this episode, I still laugh out loud with the part where Bean wrote himself a birthday card and pretended it was sent by someone else, haha!!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Grandma, Thank You For Loving Us





This is the only song to date that could make me cry thinking of my late grandma. I don't normally listen to Hokkien dialect songs, because most of the time I found the music too 70s and I must admit that I couldn't decipher some of the words they sang.

However, I like this song ever since I heard Yuming (the young guy in the second video) sang it during the Taiwanese Talent Time 2007. Although I agreed with the judge's comments that he didn't sing as good as the original singer, I've been looking for this song ever since. It is a beautiful song, except the one sentence which the grandma reminding her grandson not to step into the footsteps of his father - that sentence has done a massive demerit to the entire value of this song. Also, the entire video would fetch a better effect if the director could ask a young boy and a grandma walking in a kindergarten where the grandma smiled at every word her grandson is telling her. Then, Xiao Huang Qi (the singer) could sing in an open space during the chorus part. 

In brief, the song says: 
When I was younger, my grandma loved me the most. 
I miss my grandma, she used to take me everywhere, watching children played and reminded me umpteen times to study smart.
But, I couldn't understand what her words meant at those times.
When I grew up, I began to comprehend each and every of her words. 
Grandma, where are you now? Could you hear me calling you? Could you see my hard work, effort and achievements that I've promised you? How are you these days? Anyone is taking care of you now? 
I hope in my next life, I still have the opportunity to be your grandchild and calling you grandma, again. 

A note from Pancakeism to her Grandmother: If there is heaven which you believed and I believe too because heaven should be allocated by God for good people like you, I hope you've lived well. We miss you very much. 

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Eczema

Eczema (from Greek έκζεμα) is a form of dermatitis or inflammation of the upper layers of the skin. The term eczema is broadly applied to a range of persistent skin conditions. These include dryness and recurring skin rashes which are characterised by one or more of these symptoms: redness, skin edema (swelling), itching and dryness, crusting, etc.

I have developed atopic eczema near my neckline since 2000. I thought it was ring worm when it first appeared! I was relieved when our uni GP Dr Yuen confirmed that it was eczema, instead of ring worm. Either the corticosteroid steroid creams (DermAid, Egocort, Elomet and Elocon) are too mild or the normal protective barrier of the skin is disrupted (ie. dry and cracked) from regular scratching and it allows easy entry for bacteria, my eczema doesn't seem to follow the cycle that Dr Yuen once suggested. Scratching both introduces infection and spreads it from one area to another. I have tried Oilatum, Medi Oil, bath oils and Eucerin cream, but also to no avail. May be I should just cut my hair shorter, perhaps. HaHa, enjoy the cartoon!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Chivary Vs Independence

I attended a meeting two months back, and there was this young guy attended the meeting in his boss's place. Basically, he complimented most things I did and said, to the extent sometimes one just couldn't differentiate between whether those were compliments or facts. I am well know in our circle for my fierce independence, but that doesn't imply I mind if another human being on earth offers to open the door for me when my hands are full.

Anyway, an elder, who has known me for years, commented on the young guy when he opened the door for me, took coffee for me during meetings break. Elder said to young guy, "I thought chivary has long gone, or you are the only exception".
**
May be me being the firstborn does have an impact on my independence. I was taught to lead my younger siblings and younger cousins. In school when I was younger, I offered to lift heavy chairs and I stood up to protect the smaller girls in class. I used to be given names by boys in school eg. "The Ugly Tomgirl". Tomgirl instead of Tomboy because with my beautiful bob hairstyle and my girly pink pencil cases, I didn't exactly qualify as Tomboy. Eventually, I grew up to not even know how to delegate work - I am improving on it.

In my twenties, I admired at how my female friends could get their boyfriend to carry their heavy shopping bags without complaints. Their boyfriend sent them home after dinner, they opened the door for them, and they even bought expensive gifts for them while I bought everything myself with my hard-earned money (note: tint of sour grape). In my thirties, I admire at how younger women could get men my age to pull out the chair for them to sit down.

I recalled 8 years ago, my mother, my sister Woofhams and I were chatting in our living room, and I called out when the tv showed a guy sending his gf home and called her on her hand phone again when he reached home to make sure she's safe at home.

Pancake: "Geez, as if she is not safe before she met him"
Mama and Woofhams told me, "That's basic chivary act and dating etiquette"

And that comment really got me thinking about my dating experiences:

1) My date didn't stand when I approached the table
2) My date didn't pull out the chair for me to sit down
3) My date hardly allowed me to go through the door first
4) My date hardly opened the doors for me, including car doors
5) My date didn't offer to pay for meals instead of "go dutch" or "you earn more than me".

Sometimes I wish my date came to fetch me in a bike, at least that would give myself more excuse as to why my date didn't volunteer to open the door for me. Sighz. 

Mama said to me, "You will never get when you never ask". Mama always has a much higher IQ and EQ than me. 

I believe it was my wise decision to dump my dates, and I also believe "the right one" just not among them.

Deciphering 2 Dreams


Mama laughed and told me I am thinking too much lately, when I told her I dreamt of the same house twice in the past 6 months. 

In my dreams, I dreamt of a big house with (1) spacious balcony, (2) oak room library, and (3) cosy kitchen. I dreamt of the same house twice, though I am positive I didn't really think much of it earlier in the day. Nor do I have seen the house before.

Prepared Mind

"Chance favours the prepared mind"
- Louis Pasteur

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Simply Her


I love these dresses, especially the Little Black Dress.

Source: Simply Her magazine.

I Like This Advertisement

Monday, July 14, 2008

Best Selling Secret





When we were 8, the main characters in the show were our parents' age.
When we were 18, the lead actors were around our aunties' age.
When we were 28, leading roles were our age.
when we are 38, main actors are a decade younger than us. Actors of our age have become parents of teenage children.

At random, my mother found a HK sitcom on our cable called "Best Selling Secret". I was surprised to see Esther Kwan, 44, played a mother role who has a son of about 20 yo in the show. 

Actually, I have begun to enjoy this late 30s phase which friends' teenage children calling me Auntie ;-)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Be Yourself



"Others have made many negative comments. However, I decide to do what I want for my life as long as Grandma appreciates and approves of them" - Quote from Jay Chou's song, Grandma

The first time I heard Jay Chou's songs over radio about eight years ago, I disliked this boy. I found him very aloof. Over the years, as I heard his songs more and began to listen to them, I learnt a few theories about life from this boy. His songs particularly the lyrics have taught me to stick to my principles and determination no matter how negative the environment is. We should seek positivism from every unfavourable moment.

Probably this song helps to explain Jay Chou's absence in this year 17th Chinese Grammy Awards held in Chinese Taipei.

Be Positive

Friday, July 11, 2008

On My Fat Day

Tall and/or thin people just don't understand our fat issues. 

Definitely, May Be .. Shopaholic

I love statistics, but I don't believe in the application of statistics in lottery winning. Some dreamt about a combination of numbers, bought the lottery number, got the prize - to date, I believe this is purely luck. There are some research investigating whether lottery winning is based on the game of probability or people are just simply lucky. 

Yesterday, to de-stress during lunch break, I was thinking on a few things I may do/buy if I was that lucky to win a lottery of $50k. I know this is boring .. well, just some random thoughts. 

Yeah definitely. Family holiday trip and sponsoring education are always on top of my list. Taking my family on a two weeks holiday visiting a few of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites would be enriching and de-stressing. Then, I am thinking of sponsoring education of some children in the less developed world. I am a strong believer of education as one of the most effective tools to break their vicious cycle of poverty. 

And, what will I buy? The list rolled from 1 item to 3 items then to 6, but I stopped at #8. 

Coach Bleecker Canvas Tote
Rado Sintra Jubile Watch
Tiffany "Please Return To" Ring
March Jacobs Sunglasses

Cartier Love Bangle
Mont Blanc Signing Pen
Marc Jacobs Dress
Marc Jacobs Trenchcoat
During my first economics lesson, my teacher taught the class: [Resources are Limited, but Wants are Unlimited].

Pancakeism page 110708 says: [Before 35, you buy mainly because you want them. After 35, you buy because you need them. But, to add on what have been said, there is variation in everyone's bandwidth of wants and needs].

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Pancakeism On Holiday Soon

I am looking forward to my leave in the last week of July. The last couple of leaves I have applied were usually preoccupied with preparing papers, finishing projects, helping family to carry out some tasks, etc. that I haven't been really live up to the real meaning of "Cuti Rehat" (applying leave for resting and recuperating).

It's mentally healthy and productive for me to have something to look forward to. Finally, I have a "Count Down", 2 more weeks to go!! The feeling is exactly like when I was 9, Woofhams was 6 and DK was 2. Woofhams and I would open our respective shoebox and put on the new shoes several times a day. We would say to each other, "2 more weeks to go. Can't wait for Lunar New Year, and we could really wear these pretty new shoes!"

Do not think children do not have problems;
They have problems, but they use uncomplicated ways to solve their problems.
- Pancakeism on Life

Little Miss Scary

I believe I might have transformed my status from "Little Miss Sunshine" to "Little Miss Scary" over the years.

Two weeks ago, I've made a new resolution that I shouldn't rot at home and do nothing on Sundays. I did it well for the first half of last Sunday until we were at a retail shop that specialises in massage chairs.

Personally, I don't quite believe in the therapeutic effect of massage chairs. My brother spotted one that is less than 5k and I can't deny the chair looks good in tomato red with all fancy buttons promising to deliver better massage than Osim's iSymphonic. I wasn't tempted because I disliked the over-pressure approach that salesguy was using.

Pancake: Don't worry, give me your name card and I'll let you know within 2 days should we decide to buy. I know your boss, and I'll contact him myself.
Salesguy: No, you won't get this offer if it's not purchase within today. It's useless even if you call my boss.
Pancake: What, you meant your boss is powerless in this decision?
Salesguy: Yes, I deal directly with various dealers, so even my boss can't give you such good price.

I pressured my brother to leave after convincing that salesguy that we had no intention to buy. In fact, I didn't realise my brother was really keen in that chair and he has been thinking about buying an ideal one for quite some time.

I threw my temper while we were in the car on the way back, and made unnecessary loud comments on the concept of under-utilised goods and impulsive spending. I had some minor arguments with my parents as a result.

That unplesant experience is teaching me some good lessons. I was thinking to myself a while ago, "We must learn from our mistakes, otherwise our life is a mistake." My major mistake is, I always want things to go my way and in that "my way", I am turning myself into a "Little Miss Scary."

Note: I am neither giving in nor do I give up on my previous determination. I just learn to prioritise, prioritise on my family's happiness. If everyone at home will be using the chair and it's not under-utilised after a month or two, why should I be thinking that massage chair purchase is impulsive spending.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Run, Pancake Run

To date, I don't own anything from Tiffany & Co. It's not about the ability to own one, it's more about will I wear them and when will I wear them. I've never been an accessory person, though lately I seem to have the habit of wearing earrings. I don't like bracelets, and never like pendants and necklaces. I particularly dislike necklaces because it always "catches" my hair.
But .. I don't mind to own these cute necklace+pendant set from Tiffany & Co (which is part of the runner's kit in some of the US marathon races). May be runner's kit which includes such fabulous Tiffany & Co gift might motivate fat woman like me to finish a mere 10km run!