ViolinStar.NET

  • 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. :smile: 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. :sad:

    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. :smile: 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.


    Posted On: October 12th 2020 at 10:05 pm | 1 Comment
    Categories: Technology, Work

    I left my job at Grab and is joining PayPal. In fact, today is my first day of work at PayPal. Due to the extraordinary times of the pandemic, I am not able to go to office and have to start work virtually. It’s an interesting experience indeed. Well, even changing jobs in the middle of a global pandemic and recession is interesting.

    I’m happy to receive the MacBook Pro for my work laptop. I haven’t been using Windows laptop since I switched to do security work at Autodesk. I am also on MacOS for my personal work. Actually, I have iPad, iPhone and iWatch devices as well so I am in the Apple ecology of devices. :smile: I’m glad that I won’t need to take time to adapt to Windows OS.

    Hopefully I will get used to virtual onboarding. I wish I can meet my new colleagues but I guess I will make do with virtually meeting them for now.


    Posted On: September 2nd 2020 at 7:00 pm | Add a Comment?
    Categories: Technology, Work

    I realised I haven’t blogged about how I passed my Splunk Core Certified User (SPLK-1001). Hehe I passed it on 18 Aug 2020 which was awesome. Now I am studying for AZ-104 which is Microsoft Azure Administrator certification. I’m still waiting for the AWS Security Specialty exam voucher which I signed up for but my company hasn’t distribute it. I’m definitely loving the time and free exams from Azure to upskill myself.

    I paid for my Splunk exam at full price and it’s only after I passed, the account manager at Splunk messaged me that there is a promotion of $50 (not sure USD or SGD) for any of the Splunk exam (one time usage). Gah, I think I might go for Splunk Core Certified Power User (SPLK-1002) after my AZ-104 and if my AWS Security Speciality exam voucher is not here yet.


    Posted On: August 31st 2020 at 11:12 pm | Add a Comment?
    Categories: Personal life, Rants, Work

    How is everyone doing so far? COVID-19 situation is getting better in Singapore and we are getting used to the new normal. Shopping malls are much more crowded than pre-covid days since we are essentially locked in Singapore. We can’t go anywhere else and Singapore is such a small country. There’s only so much you can do in Singapore and it’s so freakingly hot in Singapore too. So where do the locals go? All rush to shopping malls to chill and retail therapy. Surprisingly, the number of community cases are still pretty low (like less than 5 cases in a day). Everyone is obediently wearing masks and social distancing even in crowded malls. That’s something that the westerners can learn indeed. If such a densely populated country like Singapore can manage the COVID-19 situation, I am sure other countries that are less densely populated can do.

    I’m happy that COVID-19 situation is getting better now but Dengue situation is getting worse. Those mosquitoes are spreading dengue around us instead. :sad: Sadly, both disease symptoms are kind of similar. These days people prefer to get dengue instead of COVID-19. I don’t want any of the diseases. :stressed: Hopefully the weather gets colder and makes it hard for the Aedes mosquitoes to spread dengue…

    I’m getting used to working from home and got an office chair to sit comfortably while working at home on my dining table. I guess this arrangement is going to last longer and I can’t wait to go back to office. I miss working in an aircon environment. :sad: Singapore is just too hot to work in non-aircon environment, unfortunately. Fortunately, it has been raining heavily in the afternoons and that certainly helped in relieving the heat in Singapore.

    Anyway, I shall prepare to sleep soon. I feel like I am abandoning the blog so need to come here every now and then and blog a bit. I wish I am much more active in blogging though. Oh well. Life has been busy with all these learning and hustling. Bleh…


    Posted On: August 4th 2020 at 12:25 am | Add a Comment?
    Categories: New stuff, Personal life, Technology, Work

    I realised I haven’t been blogging much. In fact, no new entries in July 2020. Omg. :shocked:

    Anyway, I’m going to summarise what has been going on in my life in July 2020 in this post.

    Firstly, Singapore has started Phase 2 since mid June 2020 and life has been back to the new normal in July 2020. Shops are open and shopping malls are really crowded.

    Secondly, I also got my Nintendo Switch on 4 July 2020 from Amazon. Chin Hau got me Animal Crossing and I have been playing it since July 2020. :grin:

    Thirdly, I bought my nephew’s 1st birthday presents too. I got him a watermelon romper and a customised cardigan from Kids Crafters. August is his birthday month and I wanted to get his presents early. :grin:

    Last but not the least, I cleared my Microsoft Azure Security Technologies exam. Whee! Now I’m AZ-500 certified. :smile: I cleared it on 29 July 2020 and was spending the past 1.5 months to study for the exam. It was tougher than AZ-900. :stressed:

    Now onto Splunk Core Certified User certification. :smile: