A review on the Detective Conan Schedule Book 2018

We are less than 3 months away to 2018! How time flies eh?

I was searching for a 2018 planner online until I stumbled upon Detective Conan schedule book at HLJ. In Japan, a planner is more commonly known as a ‘schedule book’. I wasn’t the biggest Detective Conan fan but I want to get a fancy planner that is anime themed so I got this planner myself.

Detective Conan 2018 Schedule Book 1
I wrapped mine with a books plastic cover

It’s not a very big planner, measuring at a B6 size (H 186 × W 1134 × D 5 mm) at a total of 80 pages. Yes, it is a very lightweight planner and I think it’ll be easier to carry around. The downside is the cover material. I’m not sure what’s the right word but it will leave oil stains if your hands isn’t sanitized or washed before touching it. The first few pages looks like this:

Detective Conan 2018 Schedule Book 2

Detective Conan 2018 Schedule Book 3

Can I just say how tiny those boxes for ‘yearly schedule’ pages were? I don’t think I could write anything inside the box, so it’s better for it to be reserved for symbols or birthdates instead. The boxes at the monthly pages at least gives me some space to be able to jolt 1 or 2 things down.

Detective Conan 2018 Schedule Book 4

After December 2018 monthly page, then it’s the free writing memo pages. I like the different designs of the memo pages (blank, lined, etc) so it makes writing notes more interesting I guess. The ‘Address’ page is redundant for me, like all other planners I had before but who knows, I may be able to write something next year? The last page is ‘Personal Memo’ or I call it, personal biodata page.

Detective Conan 2018 Schedule Book 5

Detective Conan 2018 Schedule Book 6

Detective Conan 2018 Schedule Book 7

Detective Conan 2018 Schedule Book 8

Detective Conan 2018 Schedule Book 9

Detective Conan 2018 Schedule Book 10

Detective Conan 2018 Schedule Book 11.

Detective Conan 2018 Schedule Book 12

Overall, it is an okay planner. I mean, if you are a big fan of the Detective Conan series, you may want to get this before 2017 ends. For casual fans like me, you can either choose to have it or skip it. As I mentioned earlier, I just want an anime-themed planner and this so happens to be the one available from HLJ.

Detective Conan Schedule Book 2018 was released in September 2017. Get your’s from HLJ, amiami, YesAsia, or from 1999.

Thanks for reading, and take care!

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Food Review: Yam Yam Sarang Korea, Batu Bersurat, Brunei

One of the well known Korean restaurant in Bruei is the Yam Yam Sarang restaurant located at Batu Bersurat. This wasn’t the first time I had Korean food here as the last I had was in May 2016 (well past a year!). However, I do think that the quality of food they served comparing last year’s to this is still high quality and delicious food. They managed to maintain the food quality and let’s be honest, not many places can do that here.

Every diners will be served this 6 mini side dishes as starters. There’s anchovies, long beans, kimchi, radish, sausage in sweet sauce and fish cakes. You can ask for a second serving of the side dishes as I did. #freefoodFTW

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As I had this dinner with my family, we ordered quite a number of dishes: Tuna kimbap and kimbap, Korean potato pancake, Miyeok Guk (Seaweed soup), Japchae (potato noodles with vegetables), tteok bbok gi (rice cake) and of course, their famous fried chicken. We ordered the ‘sweet & spicy’ and ‘garlic & soy sauce’ flavor for the fried chicken. Korean fried chicken is known for it’s crispiness and flavour so there’s definitely in their menu. I would definitely go to yam yam sarang just for their fried chicken to be honest. Oh yeah, I’d recommend you to order ‘Sikhye’ for your drink. It’s rice water, but sweet.

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Kimbap
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Potato Pancake. I almost call it pizza.
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Fried chicken =3
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Japchae

 

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Spicy rice cake (tteok bbok gi)

If you are thinking of having some Korean food, I’d highly recommend this place. If it’s during payday, it’s best if you make a reservation prior going to the restaurant.

 

The Body Shop haul: Singapore Edition

I have supported The Body Shop (TBS) brand for as long as I can remembered. Their 1st item that I love, and continue to purchase periodically, is their Tea Tree Oil. It works on my pimple and sometimes on cyst by reducing the pimple to a tiny dot (I don’t advise you to pop your pimples though!). From this item on, I continue to support their products, particularly their skin care range as TBS is animal cruelty-free and a relatively affordable organic brand here in Brunei. Plus, a number of their items smell so good in my opinion if you are into scent.

So when the month of June is known as the ‘Great Singapore Sales’ in Singapore, I didn’t expect to find myself the massive sale that TBS offered. I mean, just look at these:

 

It’s like ‘Buy 1 Get 1 Free!’ to me. I can never run out of tea tree oil so I purchased a set. Thinking back, I wished I purchased another set. Their Ginger Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is 1 of the newer item I picked up recently and I loved how soft my hair was after 1 usage. I remembered a few of the selected skin care items was $16 an item and the Tea Tree Skin Clearing Foaming Cleanser was among the selected items. If I am not mistaken, they also have a 20% sale for all the other items so I bought their Tea-Tree 3-in-1 Wash.Scrub.Mask and Shea Body Mist (Why was it discontinued in Brunei?)

Was this a good haul? Most certainly 😛 It felt great once in a while to splurge on items that I know truly works for my skin and won’t clutter my bathroom because they’ll be used up, and buying them on a discount,most definitely a few dollars worth of savings.

The best 2 dollar fish burger in town goes to….

Whenever I crave for something fried, I would crave for the food from Ayamku because it is cheap. It is definitely not the healthiest option around but to satisfy that fatty food craving, I would go there. I was thinking of getting their $2 chicken menu and then I remembered, they have the fish fillet burger for $2 as well!

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It’s 15cm in length, or about 6 inches. Perfect size too.

The fish fillet is fried on the spot so the burger will be very hot.  I love just how crispy the fish fillet is. I have a feeling the batter is the same for both chicken and fish fillet.

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The fish fillet is definitely not from fresh fish and it’s from the frozen pack.

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If you haven’t try this fish fillet burger, I’d recommend it. It’s probably the 2nd ‘healthy’ option among their menu after the coleslaw and mineral water.

Lessons I Learned About Money After 1 Year Working (+ Tips)

When I was a kid, money has always been an issue. I don’t like to generalize everyone but perhaps some people you know have trouble with money and financial management. Growing up, it’s hard to cultivate that savings habit when you live in a poor person mentality where ‘If I don’t get it now, I may not be able to get it later.‘ This tends to be in a vicious cycle of buying more than what I really need.

I’m officially a year in the workforce and I felt satisfied when my monthly salary was debited into my account at the end of the month. The feeling where you actually work for your own money is more satisfying than say, receiving monthly allowances. I imagined saving half of my salary for ‘Savings’ and the rest are for ‘Expenses’ so that I could cultivate some sort of a financial safety net and not to overspend.

Well, reality strikes and it wasn’t as simple as ‘savings’ or ‘expenses’. There are months where I spend more than I make and had to sacrifice previous months’ savings to compensate it. And then this leads me to less spending for the next month. There are also times when I ‘think’ I am alright and live in denial on my money situation that forces me to write down every single expense (that innocent $1 nasi katok counts too!).

I am by no means a financial planner so I speak from experience. So what have I learned in a year on earning my own money?

  1. If you don’t have savings, you are somewhat screwed.

I am sure by now you had read many articles out there on the importance of savings or anything similar. As cliché as it may sound, you need to have some sort of savings for yourself for any unprecedented events. Case in point: you may end up losing your job and not being able to have an income to survive, or someone ended up in the hospital and needed an upfront payment to cover medical costs.

Let’s face it, a lot of things we do in life require money to begin with (Paying bills, rent, groceries, education, the list goes on!). It does help if you can divide your savings into many different categories such as ‘Retirement Savings’, ‘Accidents Savings’, ‘In Case I Lose My Job Savings’, and so forth. Regardless, if you can’t divide your savings into categories, just having a ‘Savings’ account helps you in the future. Remember not to touch it though or you’ll beat the purpose of savings!

  1. Pay your debt because it will haunt you if you don’t.

Debt is a complicated matter and the sooner you know how to solve it, the better you will be. Sometimes, we have debts from the loans we took from banks or we borrow money from our relatives or friends. For whatever reasons you have debt in the first place, ALWAYS make an effort to settle the debt no matter how long it will take. Think of it this way: If you have a debt of $1000 and you commit to paying $100 a month, you will be debt-free after 10 months and on the 11th month onward, you’ll have an extra $100.

While I am aware that some debts will take years to be cleared (especially on home financing or on educational loans, etc), you have to have the commitment to pay all your due debts. If you find it hard to pay your debt, discuss it with your local bank to see if there are any ways you can clear your debt in line with your salary or talk to the person who lends you money and see if you can agree on the amount you can fork out per month to get the debt settled. Landing yourself in a debt is a financial responsibility that you have to bear. If you cannot afford that dream holiday or travel, that new phone or gadget, and has to be in debt to achieve them, then you know your bank account is screaming to you for help.

  1. All these ‘just in case’ or ‘standby items’ can wait.

How many times have you wandered into a supermarket or a department store, thinking, “I need to get that extra bottle of shampoo in case the ones I have runs out” or “OMG, the thing I wanted is on sale, I must buy it now because it’s cheaper!”. I sometimes find myself unnecessarily buying all these ‘standby items’ or I like to call them, ‘in stock items’ for myself because once I’m already out in the stores, I might as well get everything I needed for the future. Truth to be told, maybe these items can wait for another few months. Realistically, I can use up to 4 months for a bottle of shampoo and only go buy one when I am really running out of it. I guess it is the temptation to buy them in bulk for the few dollars of savings or so my future self doesn’t have to make double trips. However, by doing so, I ended up with more unused items sitting at a corner and that ends up with more clutter and maybe will be cleared in few months.

Save yourself the trouble by firstly evaluating what you really, really need to buy and then make another list of things you don’t necessarily need. The next month, evaluate again and see if any of the things from the other list will make it to your ‘to-buy’ list. If it doesn’t, that item can wait (and you can save money too!). Buying things on sale or in bulk equals to spending money so if you don’t buy anything, yay to your money.

  1. Definitely set aside an amount of money you can for things you love.

This is different from the ‘savings’ strategy I mentioned above. I’d like to think that each one of us has a hobby we like or love doing, or an interest we want to develop further, which may result in us spending a bit more on the hobby or interest. You may like arts and handicrafts and is willing to spend more on crafting materials, or you like to cook and rather spend more on food ingredients. If you want to buy that big ticket item (new phone, laptop, gadgets, etc), start saving up so you can get that item. Personally, I like to travel so I make a point in allocating at least 10% of my salary to this and stick to this. If I have extra cash, I could allocate more.

Why would you want to set aside an x amount of money and not mix it with ‘savings’? The difference here is that this money will be used for your wants, hobbies or interests, while you try not to touch your savings account. In other words, you set a budget and hopefully won’t over-spend yourself.

  1. Making your own food totally beats takeout, big time (money-wise).

Let’s face it, who doesn’t love food? Whether you eat to live or eat to live, we do need food for our energy sustenance throughout the day. We may over-eat or under-eat but my point is, we are bound to buy food. I understand that not many of us have the luxury of making and preparing food at our homes and prefers to buy takeouts as it saves time. If you can allocate x amount of food for your monthly food expenses, then by all means, stick to it. However, if you think you have been eating out too much and needs to cut that spending, scale back and try to make an effort to prepare food at night after work. Maybe cook more for dinner so you can pack the leftovers for lunch, or prepare your go-to breakfast the night before so that in the next morning, you can just grab and go to school or work.

You can definitely save more in the long run if you make the effort to prepare your food. Allow me to demonstrate a simple example with an estimated cost:

Say, you always buy this ‘roti kahwin’ sandwich for breakfast and it costs you only $1. ‘Roti kahwin’ typically consists of 2 pieces of bread with butter on one side, ‘kaya’ spread on the other. Assuming you buy your favorite ‘roti kahwin’ for every 5 or 6 days you work, you will spend $5/$6 a week, which results in $20/$24 a month.

You’d think, “Well, $24 a month isn’t a lot since it’s only $1 a day.”

Compare this to you buying a loaf of bread and the butter and kaya spread, and start making your own ‘roti kahwin’ from scratch for your own breakfast. You may end up spending only $11:

  • A loaf of bread (Up to 5 days) = $2
  • 4 weeks worth of bread = $8
  • Jams/spread (Good for 1 month) = $3
  • Total spending for 1 month: $8 + $3 = $11

Assuming you were to continuously buy your favourite sandwich from the stores, you will spend $24 a month as opposed to making your own which only cost you $11. That’s $13 difference. To put that in perspective, if you can save $13 a month by making your own sandwich, multiply that by 12, you would have saved $156 a year instead of spending it.

Of course, this is just a simple example to get you thinking and you can try doing this by comparing the food you always go for takeout versus buying the ingredients yourself and make them. Chances are, you helped yourself to save more money for other important matters.

I hope reading this article will help you think about how you save or spend your money. I am still learning myself and if these tips or knowledge is useful to you, I’m glad that I could share it with you. Until the next article, take care!

 

Review: SEPHORA COLLECTION Microsmooth Baked Sculpting Contour Trio in Sweet

I went to Singapore in June and 1 of the must-have places to stop by for makeup junkies is Sephora. Sephora sells a lot of brands for both beauty and skincare purposes.

Ever since I told myself to become a minimalist, I tend to look at makeup items more of a clutter, and only but if I really need it. I would think that I was a makeup junkie myself few years back. Now, I visit Sephora just to look at all the pretty items they have. Makeup window shopping isn’t guilty, is it?

I did have 1 item in mind when I entered Sephora, and that was to buy a brow product from benefit. And then I bought a couple of skincare items as souvenirs. The total bill came to SGD $105. The cashier gave me a free gift, which is the Microsmooth Baked Sculpting Contour Trio from the Sephora Collection. I was excited for it, partly because I was given a free item that looks expensive and also, I didn’t bring any makeup with me so this 3-in-1 item is so useful.

From Sephora Singapore website, it actually cost SGD 32 and comes in 4 shades, ‘sweet’, ‘sassy’, ‘sultry’ and ‘sophisticated’. Mine was in the shade ‘sweet’, which compliments my skin tone well. I’d think ‘sassy’ may not be my liking because of the bright pink blush colour and ‘sultry’ and ‘sophisticated’ is too dark for my skin tone. Allow me to copy from the website what this product claims to be:

About
This three-in-one formula effortlessly enhances skintone and give a flawless, no-makeup look and feel. Use all three for seamless, natural-looking radiance.

Benefits
Ultra-light, micronized pigments
Luminizer for highlighting cheekbones
Matte-satin blush to make cheeks pop
Matte-satin bronzer to contour and define
Free from parabens, sulfates and phthalates

I don’t normally use bronzer for my makeup (because I didn’t know how to) so that got the less use compared to the blusher and highlighter. I must say, the highlighter is perfect. It has that subtle radiance when applied on the face but not too overpowering.  Likewise for the blusher, it gives enough colour to make my cheeks has that hint of pinky shade. Of course you can slowly build up the colour to amp up your look. I prefer to have subtle makeup on my skin so less is more for me and this product does justice.

If I didn’t have this item given to me for free, will I fork out my money to get this now that I know what it does? To be honest, maybe not, simply because I have individual blushes and highlighters that works on my skin. But if you are just starting out makeup and needs something in a 3-in-1 compact, this item may be good as starters.

 

Goodbye Chester. RIP.

Waking up to a news that the main vocalist of Linkin Park, Chester Bennington, had committed suicide was just surreal. The band is in the middle of their ‘One More Light’ tour and we’d think all is well.

Sadly, Chester had passed away at a young age of 41. His death is on 20th July, the birth date of Chris Cornell.

When Chester’s friend Chris Cornell had committed suicide in May, he dedicated the song ‘One More Light’ in honour of Chris.

And I would like to think of Chester when I hear this song.

Rest in Peace, Chester.

The Evolution of Blogging

The act of blogging has taken a change in discourse for as long as the Internet exists. It still remains 1 of the ways to deliver information to the general public who reads and consume information online. As I was modifying this blog and changed the ‘About Me‘ section, I was reminded of my old blogs on other hosting websites such as Blogspot and LiveJournal. If I recall correctly, Blogspot is perhaps the starter domain for people who are new to blogging. LiveJournal would be more on the content sharing site.

I used to think that people who write online on personal blogs are called ‘bloggers’ and the act of writing is called ‘blogging’. When the Internet took off in late 90s early 2000s, writing online is appealing that it shifts away from the traditional media (newspapers and magazines). This was the Modem era where using the Internet means no one can use the house phone as it is connected to the land line. Loading an image takes minutes and videos aren’t popular just yet. These are all before YouTube as YouTube was founded in 2006.

So how did people share information before YouTube? It does sound impossible now, isn’t it? My old blogs reveal to me that the difference between now and then is that the speed of information in which they travel. Getting information from blogs or websites means one would have to read the entire article written by the writer. On video sharing websites, however, one needs to search for what they are interested in, click the video and watch the information formed onto words and visuals. It does sound like a chore reading an article about something when the same information can be compressed onto a video but hey, we’re talking about pre-YouTube here 😛

But of course, I think that when YouTube becomes more relevant and engaging, the art of blogging transcends to many different methods. People don’t write to spread information but rather, create the content in video forms. Video sharing websites make information more exciting where it has visuals and motions. Blogging for the sake of blogging isn’t as popular as it was.

How does blogging fits in today’s complicated and intricate world of social media? If you happen to follow online personalities on your social media accounts, chances are they may start out as a blogger, and slowly becomes a person with an online presence in the things they enjoy doing and perhaps known for. Now, you have your food bloggers, beauty bloggers, YouTubers, the list is endless. 1 thing in common between these ‘new media professions’ (at least that’s what I like to call them) is that they are all sharing information within a specific subject and/or interest through the Internet and social media apps. Food bloggers are more likely to talk about food and eatery places. Beauty bloggers may discuss the beauty trends and provide review on the new makeup collections. Yotubers in general showcase their interest in videos on Youtube.

But does that mean blogging is ‘dead? I refuse to think so because there are plenty of blogs out there that spread information without having any YouTube account. There are also YouTubers who have blogs as a means to explain more in depth in writing. I don’t think writing will become obsolete in the near future because having things written down is an evidence that it had happened. Videos may be entertaining to watch but I’d like to think that reading can be as entertaining as well 🙂

 

After 2 months hiatus, I’m back.

It’s a little over 2 months since my last blog post. There are reasons for this.

When I broke the story on donUT scarves’ story on stealing designs, I have doubts if I’ll ever be contacted by the company, etc. Fortunately, until today, no actions were taken towards me. But was this the reason I didn’t blog? Of course not! 😛

Lack of inspiration was one thing. I think we do have at some point of our lives just didn’t wanna do anything. And then comes the fasting month where things just slow down.

I had a chat with a friend of mine who works in the media industry. We pondered upon reasons why we started these kind of medium: What was the purpose? Do we do it for information? For fame? For self satisfaction? As a hobby? The list goes on.

It made me think too about this blog and all the other blogs that I had throughout the 10 years of blogging.

I can say that this blog will be a semi-personal blog where my opinions are posted. But at the same token, I’d like to share useful tips and tricks on the things that I find interesting.

Food Review: Fried prawn wantan from MJ Fried Wantan, KB

I love wantan but a fried wantan is different from what I normally would eat. Wantan are best eaten with soup but it couldn’t hurt trying something different, I guess.

Of the many stalls at KB old market, I think there is only one stall selling fried wantan. I had forgotten the flavours but the prawn ones are what I was interested at.

I wasn’t expecting much from this. I would have assumed they used ‘udang kering’ \ but when you can see actual prawn meat, that $1 is a great deal.

Feel free to visit their IG page here to place your orders!

I craved for french fries and I am kind of picky when it comes to the fries. I liked the crinkle fries ones and I bought this for $1. Portion size is too tiny.haha.

From the same seller who sold me the fries, this was placed nearby. Price hikes happen every year and let’s hope we can still enjoy affordable food.

Translation:  From 14th April 2017 onwards, the price of lamb chop and chicken chop will increase by only 20 cents as price of ingredients had increased. Guys, inflation is real!