Sunday, January 1, 2017


ps: super image heavy post

This year, I:

Finally decided to take fitness seriously. 

After 8 months of going to the gym diligently + buckets of blood, sweat and tears, I have successfully lost 4 inches of my waist, reduced the cellulite on my thighs by ALOT, and am so much more stronger now than I was! :D

I'm still not as lean as I'd hope to be, but this is a good compromise for being able to have McDonalds every now and then :P

I also made a trip to my favouritest shopping place on earth - Bangkok! :D

Where I shopped and ate my heart out! And oh, 200 baht massages how I miss thee everyday!!! T_T

We also finally visited the Sirocco Skybar:

Where we paid too much for mediocre drinks :/

Crossed off a Bucket List item when I visited the magnificent Borobudur Temple in May:

Witnessing the sunrise from this magical place is an experience that I will always cherish in my heart:

It's sooooooo crowded though!! >.<

While in Yogyakarta, we made a detour to Dieng to hike Mount Prau. Was expecting this magnificent view at the top:

image from

But alas, luck was not on our side. We were greeted with this thoroughly disappointing view after climbing the mountain the entire night!!!

The mist was soooo thick that we can't even see beyond the edge :( *Cries a river*

However, I learnt that sometimes, the journey is as important as the destination. Looking back, my friends and I had SO MUCH fun, and we were really blessed to have a mountain guide that took very good care of us and was so hilarious we laughed our tummies sore! :D He also went above and beyond his duty by trying his utmost best to "make up" for the disappointing view (although it is 100% not his fault!!). Because of his kindness, we had so many beautiful memories that will last us a lifetime, like this picture of us:

The thick mist provided a nice feel to this pic, no photoshop needed! XD I just wished we left our bags out though... that water bottle is so AUNTY can?!! XD

We also went tubing down River Oyo:

And had the most AMAZING Nasi Liwet ever!!! I'm now salivating at the memory of this!! :O~~

We also managed to go on a jeep ride on Merapi:

You can't tell but I was damn scared the whole time I was on that car!!! Very high and slanting leh! XD

Come August, I manage to go on a short dive trip to the pristine Perhentian Island:

Spent that 5 days diving at various spots around the Islands. We also caught the nailbiting Chong Wei - Chen Long Olympics Badminton finals on the island - it was sooo exciting to see so many people from different nationalities cheering our Dato Lee on!!

Everything will be A-OK!!!

I was also so blessed to be able to revisit Japan in the fall this year.

We started out the journey at Osaka:

Where I did the very touristy thing of posing with the Glico Man! XD

Visited the Whale Sharks at the Kaiyukan:

We also visited Kyoto - it is so very beautiful in the fall!!

Started out at Arashiyama, where we walked along the banks of River Oi, just taking in the spectacular autumn colors:

Visited the bamboo forest:

Hmmm... I don't get the hype of this place though. It was pretty underwhelming for me (and SOOOO CROWDED!!! I waited for AGES to get this humanless shot!) :/

A surprising find was this paddy field outside Kameoka Station.

We had just got off the Sagano Romantic Train and right outside the station was this beautiful view! The sun was just setting, and the rice stalks glimmered in the rich golden light! So mesmerizing! <3

We also rented a bike to cycle around Eastern Kyoto:

Despite nursing a sore behind for days after that, I still think that it's a great way to explore Kyoto...

... just not during the fall when the crowds are INSANE:

In some temples you can only march single file due to the massive crowds and there are places with people with loud hailers yelling at you to carry on walking :(

The autumn foliage at Kiyomizu-dera was abit beyond peak when I was there:

But when you find pockets of colors left... you SELFIE!!!! XD

Fallen leaves are still beautiful though:

...and they remind us that beautiful things remain for but a fleeting moment, and we should never take anything for granted!!!

Some temples will have special evening illumination sessions in the fall:

Methinks they're a good and less crowded alternative to visiting the temples during the day! :)

I also visited the Fushimi Inari Shrine on a rainy day:

And had some awesome matcha at a traditional tea house in Uji:

Rented a Kimono to explore central Kyoto in:

And almost froze my toes off!! Still, the gadzillion compliments that I've gotten that day was worth it!! Lol!!! #bimbo

I also visited Nara:

where dears roam free in the city:

They're super cute and most will bow if u have a cracker for them! :D

People need to know that they bite, too!! They tore a hole in my brand new fleece stockings... and this is just the 1st time I'm wearing them!! T_T

I also had this MASSIVE strawberry matcha Daifuku here:

Soooo delicious and DANGEROUS to eat in the presence of so many greedy deers! XD

Talking about food, one cannot leave Japan without having a gastronomic adventure of a lifetime! :D

We went to Kobe to sample their world-famous beef:

So so rich and decadent, it's worth every squat I had to endure after that!! :D

Had many soft-serves throughout our trip:

These 3 are the most memorable: Matcha ice cream at Arashiyama, Lavender ice cream at Kobe and Black Sesame ice cream at Shinsekai! So so good!!

Had many awesome noodle meals too!! I LOVE RAMEN AND UDON!!! :O~~~

Ichiran Ramen - it was good, but not the best we've had. I will return only if the queues wasn't insanely long :P

Udon from Yamamoto Menzou... waited almost an hour for this but worth it!! The burdock fries are amazing!!!

Beef Kimchi Ramen from Tenkaippin. The thick tonkatsu-like broth is surprisingly made from chicken instead of pork, but it's still super rich and delicious! :D

This grilled sotong we had in Kyoto is the BOMB!!! I miss it everyday!!

And, no trip to Japan is complete without trying out fatty bluefin tuna:

I have died and gone to food heaven!!! So so SO GOOD!!!! :O~~~

On the beauty front, nothing much's changed since last year. My current skincare regimen is still working beautifully for me, and I'm not inclined to change anything for the foreseeable future (unless they raised the price by too much :( ).

I do think that I'm really growing to like the quintessential red lip on myself though... and I find myself wearing it ALOT this year:

MAC Russian Red is still my go-to red lip... but I think I'm ready to invest in more red shades now ;)

Overall, 2016 has been quite kind to me. After two consecutive crappy, emotionally-draining years (read it here and here), this year finally has finally restored some balance into my life. I'd like to think that after so much fighting and struggling for the past 2 years, I have finally grew and developed a muscle strong enough to fight back all the negativity in my life and and keep pressing on. I won't lie though - there are some days when I felt thoroughly incapacitated by rage and resentment, and will spent many hours wallowing in my own pity party, but what I do know now is that I AM strong NOW, and I CAN and HAVE overcome this - I just need to claw my way of of this sickening cloud of depressing thoughts that threatens to draw me back into that horrible, hopeless place.

How was your year? :D My sincere wish for all of you is to have a happy, healthy 2017, surrounded by love and family. And of course, to have many exciting and fulfilling adventures too!! :D May this year be even better than the last, and may all of us achieve everything we have set out to this year!!

Happy 2017 everyone!! :D
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