Moments of 2013

It's less than 24 hours to the closure of 2013. There's something magical about this time of the year, not only it's a season of joy and giving, it's the season of self-reflecting too. Over the years each December, I love to review my archive and read on the happenings for the past year (from 2012 & 2011). Nostalgic feeling~ 2013 is different as it marked the year I stepped into full time workforce and that said, no longer enjoying all student luxuries I used to have. As much as I missed the carefree school days, work however is great on the other hand because I get & contribute income. What's more important is that I'm definitely taught the value of hard earned money :'(

January, February - Jack & I took on our first flight to Hong Kong. I think both of us really liked HK! I missed strolling around the chilly weather, with an icy cold cup of mango smoothie, having HK breakfast early in the morning, dim sum for tea & shopping there :)

We had our first visit to Disneyland too :) thankful for the weather, we didn't sweat a single bit!

In March, I spent the entire month catching up with friends - from poly, uni , primary school :) Epicurus agreed "Of all the things that wisdom provides for living one's entire life in happiness, the greatest by far is the possession of friendship" :) I haven't meet some of them quite some time and so glad I did!

April, May - See me and the other half getting one step nearer to our future as we went down to HDB to pay our 5% payment. If nothing goes wrong, we should be getting our keys late 2016/ early 2017, that is about another 3.5 years. *keeping my fingers cross*

May was of course another joyous month of many catch-up with friends for birthday celebrations. Come next year, I'll be hitting my mid-twenties :<

June - I had our first company retreat to Bangkok :) It was definitely a great short break for all of us and even though we were hell tired from residential planning, I'm sure we (the comm members) took away quite abit and I surely enjoyed all the fun and laughter with my colleagues. Looking forward to the residential 2014!

July - I had my commencement after a long awaited 7 months since December'12. So proud to be part of the graduating class of 2013 :) nobody said it was easy, I can't be more than thankful to the bunch of people I've met in SMU. We all tided through the difficult but fun times in SIS, the endless projects & sleepless nights :')

I've also gained many opportunities & experience - overseas community service project to China (where I witness snow for the first time), Technology Study Mission to India (probably a country I'd never venture to w/o SMU) and 8 weeks summer exchange in Korea (my longest time away from home).

Of course with all these trips, it also meant I spent all my years of poly/uni working part time over the weekends. I am lucky to meet the most wonderful and understanding bosses whom I regret I have to leave them for somewhere better. we still stay in touch :) this job helped me through all my overseas trips, shopping loot, expenses, Starbucks and brunches hahaha, which most of these I find it ridiculously priced now lol!
Aug, Sep - I took a break from blogging. In that two months, I was figuring what I wanted to blog about and also wanted a change of name, which was why there's hellosoulmat today :)

In late aug-sep, Jack & I made an impromptu trip to Vietnam :)

4 days getaway from our bustle of cities and work was indeed a good recharge :)

October - Definitely a memorable month as I took on a 30 days hot yoga journey! :) It was a kind of life changing experience. After taking on this challenge, I've learnt more about myself and happy to make more friends too. I enjoy being in and around the almost one of the happiest and expansive place! You can read more about my journey here

November - I took on my first 21.1km with GE & clocked a decent 2 hours 30 minutes. Whooo! TBH, I haven't been running for a long while and was skeptical if I could make it. The weather was thankfully great albeit the drizzle and I'm happy to own a 21.1km finisher tee!

December - Random staycation in Carlton :) This month also marks my first year old onto my job!

As each year and day past, I'm thankful for all I have - my family, my another half, my friends, health, job and honestly, these suffice. 2013 was an incredible year for me and I hope 2014 will be too. I have plans but....but there are also so much to consider. & I have to be practical about it, practice about this life we're living in Singapore.

Oh well, till 2014444 :)

I hope you had a Merry Xmas and a happy blessed new year!

*p/s: all my pictures are in B&W but idk why blogger turned some of them to sepia


give life a meaning

.:Move toward the things that make you feel GOOD. Surround yourself with people that make you feel GOOD. Listen to music that makes you feel GOOD. Eat food that makes you feel GOOD. Move in a way that makes you feel GOOD. Do all the things you can imagine that make you feel so so very GOOD. This is your true nature. It’s how you’ll connect to your authentic self, how you’ll become authentically you. You’ll break free of any chains and flow freely like water down a mountain side, like a fish released from a small jar into a rushing river. Dance with it. Be inspired by all the GOOD feelings. Stay there. That’s you:." via upliftedvibrations
 Merry Christmas! xo


Our love shines on and on

Time flies, we're in the thick of December. Jack & I celebrated our 8th Christmas together. We decided to do dinner last weekends at Marmalade In The City. It was the perfect choice, and I was really satisfied with the food :) My oriental grilled salmon with soba was every bit well-cooked & simply my kind of food. J's marmalade club sandwich on the other hand was also very flavorful, which I had many mouthfuls of haha! Even though I think the club sandwich could be easily remade by myself, it was still worth the order. Our dessert choice of seasalt caramel cheesecake was average though. I'd definitely love to try next the carrot or fudge cake but with more to share because it looks extremely hugeee!!

Anyway, the highlight of the dinner was our surprise gift exchange. Both of us dropped no hints of getting a gift prior to the dinner & I really wanted to get him something on this special day. I ended up receiving a timeless piece of genuine leather clutch (my most expensive one too...) which I think it may be handy this new year! This gift definitely wasn't on my guessing list and I love it! Thank you my Santa <3

This is a season of giving & receiving, simply a month filled with love & gratitude. 8 more days to go this year, let's enjoy the ride :)


Xmas's Calling x Loysel's Toy

On some lucky Saturday(s), Jack & I get to spend our afternoon chilling around random cafes, have a nice cup of coffee with desserts & catch up with our lives. It's crazy how time flies & am amazed by the many phases we been through our life - from poly, ns, university to work. A good 7+ years spent :)

I've been wanting to visit Loysel's Toy for a long time and we finally made our way there last weekend during our staycation. Not very hard to find the place by foot from Lavender station but it's in a pretty hidden area. We got there late afternoon so there wasn't much crowd. Great to sit in there on a hot sunny afternoon with my iced cold brew with milk & lemon tart. I love tarts, I love crusts.Yumz!

Loysel's Toy
66 Kampung Bugis
#01-01 TURE

It's Monday again, till the next weekends x


Take care of your nervous system and the rest of your body will function at its optimal level

Carrying my Lululemon carrier with me has been quite a norm in the late recent, at least 3-4 days out of a week.

It's been about three months since I practice yoga regularly (I take about 24 classes or so a month) and I have seen so much improvement in myself. In yoga, I learn everyday, not only on the mat but I also carry my takeaway with me everywhere - to work, to home, to self and more importantly, to people I love.

What give me energy? Maybe it's just yoga :) and maybe for what's worth, myself but here's why it keeps me going:

1. Increase strength
I started out not being able to do Chaturanga. I couldn't hold long in Downward dog. I dislike Warrior II. I fear of Headstand. I could barely lift my legs up forearm stand. I have strengthless arms to take me through crow pose

People often think that you have to be flexible to do yoga but I can tell you it doesn’t works this way! Yoga requires alot of strength, strength that comes from your inner self. Like many others, these are some of the many challenges I faced when I started yoga. It's only through constant classes and guidance that I find myself being stronger. I can do Chaturanga now, I overcome my fear of doing headstand in the middle of the room, and I can lift my legs back in forearm stand. It’s day by day practice and allowing myself to move with ease that I’m improving.

2. Connection
Karent Fabian -'As one develops an awareness of how the body feels in each pose, one has a better chance at starting to make positive changes to improve different aspects of their lifestyle that are negatively impacting their health'. I'm slowly finding the connection and an improvement relationship with my body. The importance of a good lifestyle and healthy diet affects my performance and movement on the mat. I see the need to take care of my body and fuel it with the right food, I'd prefer a cup of unsweetened drink or sweet treats from natural fruits anytime over sweet desserts I used to crave for every single day. Of course I still indulge in sweet treats once in a while but it’s amazing how exercise and yoga transforms me, it helps me glow :)

 left: current & right: the old me who craves for chocolate/ice cream/bbt every single day

3. Improve flexibility
“No, I can't touch my toes!”, “my bones will break”, this is what I often hear from people. It’s untrue. Not all yogis are born flexible. I can’t do dancer pose very well but through regular practices, I can feel it slowly shaping into my body. Sometimes, it may take months or it may take years, but what you know is you’ll can get there. Be patient and open ourselves to the big possibilities of entire yoga tree.

4. Focus and bringing to life 
Yoga taught me the ability to focus and that also, I'm carrying it to my daily life. I learn to stay present at the office, I learnt to sit through discomfort of people and also letting go of ego. How we react on mat is how we react in reality - practice mindfully on mat, practice mindful communication with people. It's a journey of support and a magic of life. You will start to get conscious of your posture, breathing, alignment anywhere. You become aware of yourselves and body.

5. You have got time!
Before this, I'd never thought I could have so much time commitment to it. Like spending 5 hours of my morning in the studio on a Saturday, or waking up earlier. I guess with passion plus doing classes with like-minded people, it's just pure fun. Everyone has got the pleasure to take time out :)

Yoga works for everyone and it's the way I live my life now. It helps me find myself. The more relax you are, the healthier you will be :)

Stay grounded. Breathe 

What a cosy Sunday as I'm writing this :)


30 Nov 2013 - gf got engaged!

Yesterday marked a happy & special occasion because my dearest girlfriend of 7 years ~ is engaged!!! :) My first couple friend to be honest and I'm so excited for them as they stepped towards the next phase of their life. So so glad to see both of them coming tgt - from uni, to work and today. Definitely an endearing moment to remember <3

Can't believe I'm at this stage of life already!!

& it's December as I'm typing this. How did time flies so fast??? :O Gotta catch up with friends & loved ones over this festive season before welcoming the new year again! 

have a great (working) week ahead ;)


Smoothie x Eat your avocados

This morning, I woke up craving for some avocados, aka the superfood.

I loveeeeeee avocados even though it's heavy in calories and full of fats (read: healthy fats)! These little greenies are high in fiber, sodium & cholesterol free and rich in healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. It aids in weight gain and it's the secret to healthy heart, brilliant brain and eagle eyes ;)

You can read more about Avocados' health benefits here, here or here

I used to order avocado smoothie from fruit juice stall but I reckon all the health benefits be gone after they added all the gula melaka and evaporated milk. I simply blend them myself now :)

I wanted to make some avo-eggy toast but we ran out of bread at home!!!! :( I was lazy to go out and get. Normally, I'll eat them as a fruit itself but I woke up and wanted something hearty. Decided to Google for some smoothie recipes and tadah, avocado-kiwi and almond milk goody for me.

& here's my first time trying almond milk. I love it except it's so expensive, costs me 6bucks!

Jack says my real food, healthier lifestyle gonna costs us a bomb in the future. haha.

  • I cup of almond milk
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 kiwi
  • 4-5 pieces of ice
  • Maple Syrup (if you want it sweet)
Blend, and enjoy!

I omitted maple syrup since I was on my "I quit added sugar" 2 weeks challenge. It has a little sweetness since I added kiwi :)

A little update on my IQS journey:
The past 5 days has been easier than I thought, maybe because I allowed myself some fruits and few pieces of my 85% chocolate bar so it wasn't that bad! Other than that, I wasn't really craving for anything sugary... except ytd!!! I was famished before lunch, and my colleague offered me a mouth of this goodie from Bali. I ate without knowing it was chocolate in flavour and after I bite a mouth of it, I was like omgg, what is this thing so sweet?! hahhah

Now my brother is back with my subway lunch (im still craving for bread!)

Have a great Saturday ahead ;)


I Quit added sugar challenge - 18th November to 1st December

I realized there ain't much health nutrition related blogs in Singapore and I happened to chance upon Sarah Wilson's I Quit Sugar few days ago.

After browsing through her website for a long while, I was pretty loss for words at the amount of sugar we're taking in daily - be it added, converted or natural. Even though I don't drink coke or put sugar in my coffee, maybe just a few mouthful of chocolates here and there with some fruits and honey, a conservative day would actually see me consume about 30 teaspoon of sugars!! & that's horrifying!

Inspired by Sarah's 8 weeks IQS program, starting tomorrow to 1st December, I've decided to take a challenge and do a 2 weeks (instead of 8 weeks, for a start) no added sugar challenge. I believe it'll be a great start to reduce my consumption of sugar and also for the better of my health. 

I'll also try to get back to meal prep for work lunch at least twice this week. Talking about it, I'm craving for some cold cha soba!!! I'm a jap food addict hehe. And also aim to get 7 hours rest a day.

I'm not sure there'd be a lapse because I'm a (convert) sugar addict! :/ I know two weeks wouldn't be that tough. Furthermore, I'll be allowing myself 2 servings of fruits a day (the program doesn't allow!) so I guess it wouldn't be that bad. 

Check her website out if you're interested ;)

/morning before 7am class face in my first lululemon energy top!

New "no added sugar" week, here we go! 


Replace fear of the unknown with curiosity

'Before or After work class?'

If 9 months ago you ask me to wake up at 530am for a 7am workout, I'd probably stare right into you, tell you I am not that insane and my bed is more important than anything else.

9 months later today, let me take back my words! cause I can't tell you how much I would love to incorporate one or two morning classes a week before my work because every bit of class re-energizes my body and freshen up my mind for the day.

JUST LIKE... the happiest place on earth :)


I began this morning ritual while I was doing my 30 days hot yoga journey. I still remembered how excited I was for the first class! I do feel lethargic at times for subsequent classes and wanted more sleep but would pulled myself up eventually. Morning classes always makes me feels centered and relaxed, getting me ready for a chirpy, productive, healthy day ahead.

After work classes are great too because it takes away stress and strain from the body and mind. What I liked most about is the feelin' of being free after a sweatout and hot bathe, getting all ready for a sweet good night sleep.

BUT. for people like us who holds a day job, there are just times where... what you want to do after a long day of work in front of the computer screen is to go home and rest, or have a good dinner with your family. I remembered not going home for dinner for the first two weeks of my journey. Not only I spent more money dining out, I also feel bad for staying out late and long everyday. 

So I always ensure a balance of morning and evening classes and here's what I do to prepare before my morning classes: 

I always make a point to check out the schedule and scan through the teachers planned for class.Because waking up at 535am can be every bit agonizing, I'll choose a class that I feel like doing and the teacher I want to practice with. These little factors could make a huge difference. An energetic teacher who starts your day, makes your day! 

"Sleep early, sleep early"! This is what I have been reminding myself for so many times. Sleep is very important for my long day ahead and lack of sleep leads to so many other bad factors. Trying to tuck myself earlier to bed before morning class is something I'm still tackling with. While I do try my best to get 7 hours of eye shut, there are always times I ended up not. But I would tell you sleep is key to body restoration and we should never forgo any bit.

3. Pack everything the night before 
I packed my work outfit, bag and workout clothes before I sleep! Every morning, all I take is only 15 minutes to get ready. Brush teeth, get some light breakfast, spread my PB bread for post workout, get changed and leave the house :) if I don't prepare the night before, I'd probably be late already and I dislike being late for class!
There was once this week I left the house, tapped into the train and realised I left something out, I ended up returning home and had to miss the class, what a bum.

Do you prefer a morning or evening class?


Brunch x Strangers' Reunion

The last time I visited strangers' was last year when they were still new and small. Finally made a trip down again with my dear friends, this time to their expanded space & menu. It was pretty crowded and we had to wait for a good 15-20 minutes before we got our table.
I used to do weekly brunch when I was schooling & have much lesser privileges now after working. So glad to spend a full Saturday eating, catching up, and shopping, especially after my morning yoga class with Leah Kim!! :)

Scrambled eggs on olive bread & sauteed mushrooms and Iced Soy Latte for me!

J ended work late so it was brunch between the 3 of us before he came to find us
Not a fan of fries. I can't taste the difference between the normal & truffle fries anywayyyy!

Strangers' Reunion
Kampong Bahru Road

Am off to nurse my aching legs from my first 21km Great Eastern Run this morning :(
Have a great week ahead xx


Baking x Homemade Granola

I love it when it rains on Sunday noon when I'm home. Singapore is so humid throughout the year and raining is a nice break. This is random & baking was exactly what I did last cosy rainy weekends. Snacking on nuts & dried fruits is one of my favourite things to do. I always carry a handful of them with me in my bag. My favourite kind is definitely walnuts and almonds. The rest of tiny seeds follows behind hehe.

  • A handful of mixed nuts (I used walnut, almond, pumpkin, sunflower, seseame seeds)
  • A handful of dried raisins and cranberries.
  • 1/3 cup of rolled oats
  • Maple Syrup
  • Olive oil
  • Apple sauce

  • Mix all dry ingredients together. 
  • Mix all wet ingredients together.
  • Pour the wet ingredient into the dry ones and mix evenly. You can add in more maple syrup if it's dry. 
  • After done, put into the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes! Make sure you take a look every 15 minutes.

My dear friend & boyfriend who was lucky to have a try said it was good, Yay!
I've finished and time for 2nd batch someday :)