• Posted On: January 22nd 2024 at 1:08 am | Add a Comment?
    Categories: Insights, Personal life

    Recently I started watching some of the real estate related videos and there’s 1 part of the video that really hits me.

    “Buying a property is not just investment centric or own-stay centric. It is also psychology centric. When you owns an asset, it trains you to save because now you have a responsibility… A home also has psychological factors because the moment you start to own a home, you need to maintain it. You need to pay property tax, monthly conservancy or MCST, electrical bills, Internet bills and stuff like that. That will give you like an internal, healthy motivation to be hardworking because you now have a responsibility.”

    Wow, like just wow. Can any property owners relate to it?

    Posted On: December 7th 2023 at 7:40 pm | Add a Comment?
    Categories: Funny moments, Insights, Personal life, Rants

    I discovered my love for Popcorners in my last US trip in 2022. It was available in the office pantry and I had the Sweet and Salty flavour. Then I went back to the same pantry this year and I couldn’t find it anymore. I wasn’t able to find it in Sprouts too. I nearly forgot about it until I saw it in Google office pantry. Many thanks for my friend/ex-colleague Daniyal for inviting me for a lunch at his office. I had an office tour, tea and even snacks haul when I was visiting San Francisco as part of my personal vacation. 🙂 He told me I can get it from Costco but I don’t have Costco membership. He told me next time he will bring 3kg worth of Popcorners for me since I love it so much. Hahaha! Anyway, I managed to find it in Safeway in the end and I brought 4 big packs of Popcorners home. Feeling quite happy.

    One of my favourite Korean YouTubers, Kieun Choi, also likes Popcorners too haha.

    I have an interesting story in my hunt for Popcorners actually. After I went to visit Daniyal in the Spear Street office then I walked to Ferry Building to get my matcha latte from Blue Bottle Coffee. I don’t drink coffee but Blue Bottle Coffee is so ironic and I felt I should get something from there. I usually get hot chocolate but I wanted a change. In my effort for more changes, I opt for almond milk instead of normal whole milk. It’s not very nice so be warned – don’t pick almond milk when it comes to matcha latte. :/ Anyway, it is like 13 degrees Celsius and I somehow decided to drink iced matcha latte instead of hot. Then I took an Uber ride to Golden Gate Bridge and was quite pleased with myself for ordering the iced version. However, Golden Gate Bridge is quite cold. Folks who visit San Francisco before would know that the fog and temperature is usually the lowest in Golden Gate Bridge. Here I am – drinking iced matcha latte and walking on the bridge. Not exactly a wise choice but hey, it turned out to be a good choice because I was sweating on the bridge. Well, I was wearing my thin collar short sleeve shirt from Uniqlo (meant for Singapore weather), my baby blue cardigan from SPAO (my recent purchase from my Seoul business trip a few weeks back), my relatively new down jacket from The North Face and my new 100% cashmere scarf from Hermes. The cashmere scarf turns out to be too hot for the 11 to 13 degree Celsius weather on the bridge. I was basically sweating on my neck and arms. To be honest, I don’t think I will sweat without the Hermes scarf. Well, that proved to be very worthwhile purchase I guess. The iced matcha latte helped to keep me cool.

    Then I stayed on to watch the sunset at the Golden Gate Bridge since I realised it is going to be sunset and it isn’t as crowded. Probably because it is much colder than usual or by SF standards and also a work day so less locals are there. The sunset in California is always very beautiful. The paddle pop sky is very pretty.

    Then I decided to hunt for Popcorners since I have some time before going back to meet Gulabi for dinner. I originally wanted to take Uber to go there but I happened to see a bus at that time. So I decided to ask the driver if that’s the same bus that is going to the direction where Safeway is. Luckily I asked because it was the wrong direction. Lol. So I waited for the right bus and board it to go to Safeway. Unfortunately, I am supposed to alight before the bus goes into Golden Gate Park but I missed the stop so it went into the Golden Gate Park and exited it on the other end. I could have retrace back the route but it is quite dark and Golden Gate Park looks quite dark and scary. So I immediately went to find another Safeway that is slightly further but I can take another bus from the other side of the Golden Gate Park and avoid the dark and scary route of Golden Gate Park. When I reached the bus stop, I realised the bus I am taking is arriving much later. So I took the bus that came earlier and boarded it with everyone else in the same bus stop. The unfortunate part? I have to walk 6 streets/junctions before I can reach Safeway. Well, the roads are dark but since it is like the residential area, it doesn’t feel as scary. Furthermore, that area is relatively rich neighbourhood so it is unlikely to be dangerous. Scary – yes. Dangerous – no. Unfortunately it is a upslope route so that was a good workout since I haven’t been working out for some time. I’m still wearing the same Hermes scarf that is causing me to sweat earlier. However, the temperature has dropped and there is no sun to generate heat so it is actually quite cold. I’m thankful for the scarf at that time.

    By the time I reached Safeway, it’s like close to 7pm. I managed to find my Popcorners at the store and it makes all these adventures pretty worth it haha.

    It’s interesting how some stuff seems to be messed up at the start – like my “bad” decisions on the iced matcha latte or the missed bus stop for my bus ride to Safeway turned out to be a good decision in the end. Life is interesting, isn’t it?

    Posted On: November 4th 2023 at 10:00 am | Add a Comment?
    Categories: Insights, Korean related, New stuff, Overseas, Personal life, Rants, Shopping, Travel, Work

    I’m blogging this on my phone as I am flying from South Korea to Singapore. For some reason, I am always very motivated to blog when I am on the plane. Maybe it is a quiet time since I am not connected to WiFi and I can’t do much while on flights. Maybe I am feeling more insightful when I am up in the skies? Lololol.

    Well, it is more boring in the current flight because my Netflix is not logged in before I fly so I cannot access my downloaded videos. Somehow Netflix thinks I am downloading videos on multiple devices and refused to let me download more videos so I have to login to log out all devices. I did log back in again but somehow it log me out again. Gah. I have to reach out to Netflix to sort out the issues when I am back in Singapore.

    I realised I am the biggest critic to myself. I should learn to appreciate my own achievements. I have achieved much more than what I started out with. Just because there are people who doesn’t see my true value or appreciate my efforts/hard work does not mean I should not see my true value. I am gaining more self-awareness and learn to gauge people around me. I’m also learning to trust my gut/intuition more. It’s also important to celebrate small wins in life. 🙂

    Anyway, it has been a fruitful trip as I was able to top up my skincare items along with getting my personal colour test and new hairstyle. I was able to get new makeup based on the results of my best colour match as well as 1 new outfit for Chinese New Year too. 🙂 I got a new cardigan for me to wear in US too! Whee!

    I got more sunscreen from Olive Young too. Trying to save money by buying cheaper sunscreen instead of Kiehls sunscreen. Haha.

    I did splurge on hand cream though. I went to Tamburins and got more hand and body cream for myself. I even got myself a new bottle of perfume from my favourite scent – Berga Sandal.

    I even managed to get my new accessories which I didn’t get in my previous trip then got tempted when I am in Singapore. Sadly the first faux pearl necklace I got broke before I managed to wear it. I still managed to get replacement for it at another place too. I also managed to get a nice pair of clover earrings – yeah the fake Alhambra earrings lol. I probably won’t wear it with my real Alhambra jewellery haha. It’s in the colour that matches my best personal colours too.

    The lady at the personal colour test told me that my current spectacles doesn’t suit me. I will look better with silver or transparent spectacles. Or even black. These are the colours I never considered until the personal colour test.

    So I went to Gentle Monster and got a black frame with silver spectacles hehe. Still thinking if I want to make it into sunglasses or just normal spectacles. I’m definitely working hard to glow up after my break up. I have to put in extra effort to make sure that I am taking care of myself better. I think my goal for remaining months of 2023 and 2024 is to sleep more. I need to get my health in better condition. This year has been pretty tough for my health and I hope next year will be better. Eunice mentioned that this year is expected to be tough for us and whoa, she is right at least for me.

    I definitely achieved way more than I initially expected in this trip, on top of learning new stuff for work. Good job, Sakura! *patting myself on my back* Hahaha.

    Anyway, I’m listening to the audio book – 5 levels of leadership on Audible now. It’s a book recommended by one of my career mentors. I’m thinking if I want to buy the physical copy of the book. Not sure if I want to build a mini library of physical books in future. That is going to be on top of my library of music books. Space is a serious consideration though. Hmm…

    Posted On: July 28th 2023 at 10:00 pm | Add a Comment?
    Categories: Insights, Love, Personal life, Rants

    If I am still in a relationship with Chin Hau, today will be the 5th anniversary. However, the relationship was not salvageable. I tried my best and don’t know what else can be done. Relationship counselling only works if both parties are in the mindset of trying hard to salvage the relationship – like work together to fix the issues instead of fixing each other. It takes 2 hands to clap for it to work.

    5 years is really long time. It’s also too long to have a relationship and not get married. If the couple were decisive and able to be honest with each other from the start, I don’t think it will take more than 3 years to settle down. It takes 2 hands to clap – for both to be decisive and honest with each other. It also takes the decisive one to see and point out the issues much earlier so we can’t just blame the indecisive one.

    I would like to end this post with the following quote. It’s always difficult to see the true nature of people in good times. It’s the difficult times that will let you see the real beauty of people. Just like diamond – it takes a lot of heat and pressure for nature to create such a beautiful stone.

    “Never forget three types of people: people who helped you in your difficult times, people who leave you in your difficult times and who put you in difficult times.”

    I definitely learned quite a bit from this failed relationship. Sometimes it might be better to be single than to marry the wrong one or into the wrong family.

    Posted On: March 15th 2021 at 10:17 pm | 2 Comments
    Categories: Fashion, Friendship, Insights, Korean related, Makeup, Personal life, Rants, Shopping, Wants, Work

    I was watching YouTube and saw 1 video from a YouTuber about minimalism spending. I thought it will be a good topic to talk about in ViolinStar.NET too. I haven’t been blogging as much as I hope to this year. I also haven’t post any photos on my Instagram accounts in 2020 and 2021 so far.

    One of the first few things I realised after turning 30 in last December is that my health/body is not as strong as before. I can’t stay up late without impacting my mornings. I really need at least 7 hours of sleep everyday. I can no longer work so hard because I will get burn out. I need to pace myself in both personal life and work life.

    I also need to save up for the future and rainy days. After seeing 1 of my friends who got cancer when she is the same age as me back in 2019, I cannot underestimate the amount of money and insurance coverage I need to protect myself. Having a deep pocket provide more options for treatment too. Insurance is important if you don’t have really deep pockets. Hence, I really should not spend wastefully like what I did in my 20s.

    These are the categories that I want to spend less in my 30s as I learn from my mistakes in my 20s after reviewing my expenditure in my 20s. Yes, I do track all my expenses ever since I started work in an Excel file. 🙂 I should have done it over MySQL on hindsight but oh well. Data analytics will be much easier if I am not tracking in Excel. :sigh:

    (1) Buy less lower quality bags

    I spent quite a bit of money buying fashion bags that are either in trend or of poor quality (such as Charles and Keith) when I was in my 20s. I even bought a Steve Madden bag from San Francisco. I thought it was leather but it turned out to be PU. It only lasted for a few months? It really cannot carry heavy stuff and it was the most expensive backpack I ever own at that time? It was US$54.44 (S$79.16) and only lasted a few months. :sigh: I have now discovered Fjallraven Kanken and got the second original kanken bag in Beijing after my first bag lasted for more than 2 years. We are talking about more than 2 years of daily use. It could have lasted even longer if I didn’t see a sale at Beijing store and decided to replace my old, dirty and worn out bag.

    I will still buy bags but I think I only want to buy the better quality ones. For backpacks, I am sticking to Fjallraven Kanken or Thule. For other bags, I think I want to either get real leather bags which I can send for servicing/repairs or nylon/cloth bags which can be dried which I can bring out on rainy days.

    (2) Buy less makeup

    I spent my 20s exploring different types of makeup and also going for makeup classes. I bought mascara that I end up throwing away after using 2 to 3 times? Yeah, it’s the cheap ones from Innisfree/Watsons but to use them for less than 5 times before throwing it away because they have a expiry date of 6 months is just too wasteful. I still like lip and eye brow makeup though. Sadly, this pandemic has force us to wear masks all the time when we are out so there’s really no need for lip makeup anymore. Maybe when we don’t need to wear masks, I can go back to using lip makeup again. :happy:

    I definitely want to buy less mascara or eye shadow palettes or eyeliners since I am just too lazy to put on full makeup and these items expires too fast for me to use them up.

    (3) Buy less costume jewellery

    When I am in my 20s, I really love to buy earrings and sometimes necklaces. I used to buy at least 20 pairs of earrings when I go to South Korea for vacation. I buy earrings and necklaces in whichever country I go to. I have some that I really love and some are just brand new which I haven’t wore. I have some that is very dressy which I can only wear when I go for wedding lunch/dinner. I really like accessorising my outfits and spend quite a bit on them. It makes me very sad and I can’t bear to throw away the ones that has either tarnished or rusted. As a result, I am always running of space to store them. 🙁

    I have learned to buy fine jewellery in recent years. These don’t rust and I can send them for professional cleaning at the jewellery stores. My first fine jewellery necklace is a silver necklace from Tiffany and Co. It’s from their Return to Tiffany collection and I bought it when I went to San Francisco in 2018. I remembered walking in to want to buy the music note necklace but they don’t have it so I fall back to my backup plan of the Return to Tiffany necklace. I have sent it for professional cleaning in Singapore boutiques numerous times. Silver is not really a fine jewellery piece but since I paid a premium (because it is Tiffany and Co), I decided to consider it as a fine jewellery piece. 🙂 I was quite sad when my pendant was badly scratched after using for some time. I even brought it to ask if they can polish it and the sales associate told me it costs S$40 for polishing. :shocked: Ever since then, I decided not to get another silver piece for a few hundred of dollars. It’s either yellow gold or white gold for me.