On 3 days' break...

It's not supposed to be a break. I'm supposed to work on the preparation for next week's workshop. But as usual, I stalled. Well, yesterday I wasn't feeling well. Today, I just felt not in the mood. Let's hope tomorrow I will be able to summon some mood and force myself to do those annoying work. Sigh. I still hate work. I don't know how I managed to survive 8 years + in this job, and never managed to fall in love doing it. I'm just doing it for the $$.

On my kids...

But on another note. I had a lovely day today with my kids. We went for a picnic at the beach today. The girls were excited and Khayla kept proclaiming, 'This is the best day ever!' as she splashed in the water. I couldn't agree more. I love spending time with them. I love watching their faces lit up, their carefree antics. I love them so freakin' much.

On Ed Sheeran...

I saw this video clip about this singer. He had a difficult start, hating school because he was bullied and eventually decided that he wanted nothing more than become a musician. So he dropped out, and became homeless for many years before finally his 'Shape of You' song became a hit and he sold thousands of albums. The video's message is - follow your passion and success will follow you.

I am intrigued. I began to wonder what is my passion. I had been operating on auto-mode for so many years that I realized the fire inside of me had died down many years ago. I couldn't even remember what fired me up.

I used to love graphic designs or more precisely, photo editing. I spent endless hours teaching myself Photoshop and even spent the entire night awake working on a design. I loved doing presentation montage for our group presentations, syncing the slides with music and timing it to perfection. I had loved doing those things. But somehow that love was lost. I don't know when I lost it. I think it was at the point when I switched jobs to this administrative function.

So now I am without any passion for life. I should be looking for something that will make me feel alive, and pursue that regardless what. After that, success will follow me. But I can't feel anything now. I'm nothing but an empty shell now. So how am I supposed to hope to become successful if I do things out of obligations instead of passion?

On an afterthought. Perhaps my passion is being with my kids. If only I know how to turn that into an income.
Hello there!

This is another of my long overdue post. This time around, we hit a resort closer to home - Samalaju Resort, Bintulu.

Located an hour-drive away from Bintulu town is Bintulu's first resort hotel in the Samalaju Industrial Park. The resort sits on a 2.3 acre land along the cliffs of Tanjung Similajau. We can't help but marvel at the stunning view of the South China sea in front of us as we approached the walkway to the main building.

The Superior room that we booked was located at Block A, 2nd floor. The resort provides a lift at each block for guests.

Rich brown, grey and creamy white complemented the modern chic decor in the room, with richly coloured photos of local plants adorning the wall in frames. Every attention to detail has been spent from the fan-folded bed runner to the fan-folded bathroom mat.

The 34sqm room is appointed with twin beds, a work desk, a plasma TV and coffee & tea-making facilities in the cabinet beneath the TV.

Stylishly modern room

The sliding door opens to a small balcony overlooking the swimming pools

The room is spacious and easily accommodate a small family with young children

The bathroom comes with only a shower.

Hand bidet is provided

Toiletries are pretty standard here

Coffee and tea making facilities and a small safe are available in the cabinet beneath the TV

View of the walkway

For corporate guests having team-building activities here or those wanting to get away from the ordinary routine yet still want to be connected to the outside world, the resort offers selected Astro and HyppTv channels as well as complementary WiFi throughout the buildings.

Since our room comes with breakfast and set meals, we were able to sample their food offering. My verdict? There needs to be more variety to the breakfast choice but their food is quite decent to me.

The resort is equipped with amenities to suit both business and casual guests alike - 2 adult and 1 kid swimming pool, a gym, meeting and function rooms, a KTV lounge, a Coffee House, a Business Centre and a Surau. 

Overall, it was a relaxing break for us. My only complaint would be the absence of a bathtub in the room since a stay-cation would not be complete without a soak in hot water to melt your worries away. Oh, and a spa would be nice too.

Rating: 7/10
Morning flight can be a hassle to some people but if you have small children, it can escalate to a nightmare. We once missed our early morning flight and from that day, we tried to avoid early flights unless necessary.

But if we must travel early, then we normally booked a hotel that is within short distance to the airport. That is why I think The Everly Putrajaya is a hotel you might want to consider if you are looking for a transit hotel:

#1: Its location - only 20km away from KLIA
On-site airport hotels can be pricey so why not consider a hotel that is a little bit further but still a short distance away? Everly Putrajaya Hotel is just 25-mins drive to KLIA. In the morning with little traffic, you can reach the airport within just 20 mins. Be sure to call a taxi in advance or ask the hotel to book a taxi for you.

#2: Within walking distance to Alamanda Shopping Centre
Adjacent to the hotel, there is a decent shopping mall that you could bring your kids to. There are plenty of F&B outlets and establishment such as Parkson, Aeon Big and Cold Storage. The mall has plenty to offer to travellers waiting for the flight the next day, from dining, to fashion outlets and many more.

#3: Value for money transit hotel
While I like splurging on hotel stays if I am on stay-cation trips, I tend to look for value-for-money hotel when I am on transit stay. Why pay for more when you just need a bed to rest and shower to freshen up before your next trip? You can get a room for below RM200 per night if it is during off-season.

So with those reasons, we stayed at The Everly Putrajaya the night before we flew back to Bintulu during our last trip to KL. We booked a Deluxe Room at the Non-Smoking floor as shown in the photos below:

All Deluxe rooms are accorded with spacious twin beds, a lounge sofa, flat screen tv with satellite channels and work table

I love the fresh and vibrant look and feel of the hotel room. The feature and side wall is given a coat of pastel green paint to complement the carpet, with matching floral decor frames adorning the wall.

Simple yet modern decor

A view of the TV and work desk

It gives me peace of mind to have an affordable transit place to spend the night before your early morning flight the next day. The hotel is new and modern, and the rooms are clean and decent (perhaps a bit crowded with two adults and two kids in the 25 square metres room). So, I highly recommend The Everly Putrajaya for travellers looking for a comfortable place to rest for the night.

Rating: 7/10
3 years back, I wrote a post sharing my doubts and worry about relocating back to my hometown after more than 10 years since I left.

After 3 years, I fear that those worries weren't baseless. They are real. I am stuck with that decision and now at my wits' end on how to undo it.

We shouldn't have left, my heart told me countless times. We should've stayed put in KL. I should've handed in my resignation. Continued raising my kids as full-time mom.

Look at where you are now, my heart urges me. You are like in an abusive relationship. You get panic anxiety thinking of work, you can't sleep well, you dread coming to work every single day. You dread seeing your boss, and when you get a text from her, your heart beats faster than a shinkansen, your palms get sweaty, you get light-headed.

Yet you can't leave this job.

You beg your husband to move back to KL, yet he is reluctant because he likes it here and he doesn't understand the torment you feel inside. To him, it's just a job, why are you freaking out? Besides, didn't you persuade him to move back here because you can't stand being a single mom every other week? You know that, and how you regret that!

Every night, you cry in your heart wishing something change for the better. Wishing your boss gets transferred. Wishing your husband gets a well-paying job enough for you to leave your job. Every day you die a little inside, becoming more and more despair. You are tired, you don't feel like reaching out to anyone anymore because no one can help you. So you become silent.

It's getting more difficult for me to search for a meaning to stay on in this job. I am doing myself and the company injustice for staying on, but what choice do I have? I can't even think of how to exit, every single scheme I conjure in my thoughts, there's always self-doubt that shoots it down. You aren't good enough. You've never done that. What if it doesn't work? What if you can't earn as much as you are earning now to cover the bills, the food, your kids' education?

What have become of that confident woman that was me?

I'm truly at my wits' end. My only constant effort right now is my prayers to God - Dear God, please end this torment. Please open my husband's heart to see my pain, and grant him a better job somewhere far away from here so I can finally be free from this misery. Amin..
Hello! What a busy time I had since my last post, that I had a few reviews lined up but never got around to post about it!

Anyway, remember my previous post about using AirBnB to book an apartment in Osaka? Well, since we had a positive experience with AirBnB, we decided to save up on hotel stays and booked a studio apartment during our visit to Kidzania KL back in January.

So, if you are looking for a decent stay within walking distance to Kidzania in Mutiara Damansara, then I would recommend NEO Damansara. It is barely 1km away from The Curve so it was not such a long walk for our family including our 4-year old daughter.

Below are photos of the studio apartment that we booked:

A Queen-size bed is provided, and there is even extra mattress and quilt in the wardrobe for additional guests

Mini kitchen with double door fridge, a kitchenette, a microwave and electric kettle. Cutleries are available in limited quantity

Washing machine is also provided, but you need to buy your own detergent

The bathroom has hot shower. Toiletries are also provided.

My review:
1. Very near to The Curve / Kidzania / Ikea / IPC (less than 1 km away)
2. Check in was a breeze, with the security personnel informed of our arrival ahead of time and the padlock number given to us prior to our arrival.
3. The apartment size is ideal for two to three adult guests or young family of four.
4. A convenient store, a mamak restaurant and even a clinic are available at the property. Super convenient.
5. The apartment is clean and basic, suitable with the price.
6. Complete amenities including a tv, sofa, ceiling fan and aircond on top of the above that I mentioned.
7. Check out was also a breeze.

1. The bed mattress is not exactly hotel standard. You could feel yourself sinking into the mattress.
2. The extra mattress has stains.
3. The aircond needs servicing, but it does get the room cool after several hours. You can opt to switch on the ceiling fan too.

Overall, it was a satisfactory place to stay for the money we paid.

Rating: 5/10

...when your heart ceases to beat on its own, my heart carries the beats for you.