Underwater birdnest

This eucheuma seaweed is also known as ‘underwater birdnest’(海底燕窝)

I did not realize until recently that I’ve been raised eating collagen-rich plant, sea, and animal product. This is better than eating bird’s saliva in my opinion.


I’ll be making seaweed jelly with dates and osmanthus flowers. Let food be our cosmetics! 🌼


#seaweed #collagen #beautyfood


“There’s not much to say about the period except that most writers don’t use it soon enough.”

– William Zinsser

And I am a speaker who uses few full stops #chatterbox


12 things that are better than youth & will improve with age

Tomorrow, I’m turning thirty. And I’m excited. More excited than I’m expected to be. People’s reaction to growing older troubles me quite a bit.

Why is everyone so gloomy about growing older? Some don’t want the cake to have three huge candles. Some want to keep their age secret. Some asked if I can’t wait to get married.

All seems to suggest that our worth (as a woman) greatly depreciate as we age, that our value lies in our youth and beauty, and success is when we find a husband.

This is what I’ve been fighting since teenhood. My worth is much more than my face or my body, or whether someone wants to date/marry me or not. Unfortunately, girls are often given the message that youth and beauty is their (only) asset.

So I feel compelled to state that there are many things that we can be proud of besides our youth and beauty. Instead of being obsessed with our appearance, these are the things worth chasing for and are most likely to improve with time:

Version 2

1. Family
Are you close to your family? Do you make it a point to spend time together? Do you try to make them happy? Do you always pick fights? Are you patient or do you lose your temper easily? Are you gentle with your words?

2. Friends
Do you keep in touch with your friends? Are you making new ones? Does your friends enjoy being with you? Do you burden them with your negativity or do you lift them up with constant encouragement? Do you gossip about them or do you defend them? Do you remember their birthdays?

3. Acquaintances 
Are you friendly with people you’ve just met? Are you open to talk to anybody and not judge them by their race, religion, background, gender, etc? Are you able to converse with absolutely anybody?

4. Faith
Do you have faith that someone is bigger than you? Or at the very least subscribe to a life philosophy? Do you know how you want to live your life? Who do you turn to when everything is  not right?

5. Character
Do you treat everyone equally and have same manners for everyone? Would you push others down to climb on top? Are you punctual or do you think your time is worth more than others? Do you say one thing and do another? Do you keep to your words?

6. Love
Are you loving? Do you think of yourself or others first? Do you have bad thoughts about other people or do you want the best for everyone? Do you harbour hatred on someone or do you do learn to forgive?  Do you give unconditionally or do you expect everything to be done for you?

7. Peace
Do you have a peace of mind? Or are you troubled with things you have no control over? Are you present or distracted with daily worries? Are you able to sleep well at night? Do you feel at peace with yourself, people and the world?

8. Knowledge
Do you think you know everything and resistant to learning? Do you think that everyone has something to teach you? Are you still curious? Do you want to learn and make time for it? Do you keep an open mind?

9. Confidence
Do you believe you can do anything if you put your mind to it? Do you get out of your comfort zone? Do you get angry easily when teased or corrected? Do you put up with abusive relationship? Will stand up for yourself? Will you stand up for someone else?

10. Capability
What are you able and willing to do? Can you write computer codes and improve softwares for many? Can you entertain a crowd with a musical instrument? Can you lend a listening ear to someone who needs you? Can you make a meal for your family? What do you have to offer? And do you offer it often? Are you independent or are you reliant on others?

11. Health
Are you treating your body right? Do you exercise and eat as well as you can? Or do you sit infront of the TV and eat junk food? Are you lethargic? Do you feel your best?

12. Happiness
Are you happy? Do you take delight in the simplest thing or are you hard to please? Do you smile and laugh often? Or do you frown and pout at everything? Are you contented with what you have or are you jealous of others? Are you fun to be with or are you a sour grape? Do you do things that makes you feel good? Do you have a hobby? Do you know how to poke fun of yourself or do you take yourself too seriously?Sara-Harvesting-Indian-Borage

Final thoughts
Yes, we all want to look young and beautiful. It’s perfectly fine. But it’s not okay when women think that that’s their only, if not major, worth. It’s not okay to spend most of their time on it, and forgetting other things that matters more. It’s not okay to forget that growing older and being able to celebrate birthdays is a blessing. It’s not okay to think that youth is all we have. It is not.
How should we live our twenties? In such a way that youth is not our only commodity.

A woman’s market value does not necessarily decline with time.
Your body is not for looking at; it’s for doing things.

Productivity in the hair saloon

I believe that knowledge is useless unless applied. So I’ve been trying to implement whatever I learned…from trying a new recipe from a cookbook to more frivolous things like braiding my hair.

While waiting for my turn at the hair saloon, I flipped through a styling book and practice three different braids: French braid, Dutch braid and lace braid. 

The friendly people at the saloon saw and asked “Sara! Why are you braiding your hair when you are going to cut it?!”

Oh, because it’s really fun to do things!

Underrated beautiful things

I love all things beautiful. Who doesn’t? Yes, but I love it in a way that moves my heart and soul. I’m not talking about good looking people or cosmetics (though I appreciate them both). It’s not purely aesthetic. I’m talking about the underrated beauty that surrounds us. They makes my heart flutter and lingers in my mind for days…


It can be a sight. A beautiful view of paddy fields and sea from the top of Gunung Jerai. The field and the sea brings food – and hence life  – to people.

It can be a word. Multipotentialite. A term I didn’t know existed which shows that having a wide range of interest could be as rewarding than only one.

It can be a piece literature. Sherlock Holmes series which blends good literature, amazing story telling and strong values. ‘The Scandal In Bohemia’ is possibly my favourite short story of all time. 

It can be an idea. Thoughts of a modern philosopher about living a meaningful life. There is a place in this capitalistic world for philosophy, as human will always try to find meaning in life. This life, it don’t have to be one or another.

It can be a song. Charles Trenet’s La Mer. A song so beautiful in tune and lyrics that l I play it again and again and again….


I realise recently that there are many beautiful things in this world waiting to be a discovered and appreciated. I can’t wait to live!



Finding my capsule wardrobe

There’s an article on FT about how millennials are anxious about appearing too often in the same outfit (Title: “Shopping: Retail’s Holy Grail”). That’s rather alarming as I’m trying to do the opposite.

I want to put a ‘positive constraint’ in everyday things like choosing what to wear and channel those energy and time into generating cool things.


 So I try to wear the same thing as often as I can. This method made me realise the clothes I really like and are flexible (appropriate for almost every occasion). Clothing that I think twice of wearing, I plan to giveaway.

I’m hoping to reach a capsule wardrobe soon. It shall consist of quality clothes I absolutely love and would wear again and again. For now, I really like my flouncy black skirt, knitted striped top, studded loafer and a few A-line dresses.


Top: Axotiq, Loafer: Lewre, Bag: Miu Miu, Glasses: Prada

Good luck to me!

Doing the Miss Universe Makeup

Last weekend, Manda came and taught me how to put on Miss Universe kinda makeup. I requested a one-to-one makeup session as my belated birthday gift (Our family values time and skills over gifts)  

So Manda bought heaps of products over: primer, foundation, putti, eye palette etc. With them, Manda did some magic on me. She drew my brow in a certain angle and contour my nose to sharpen it.

Though I’ve done professional makeup before, but I still learned quite a bit! Do you know that if you have a big face, the popular straight brows will make it even larger? How interesting!  

We ended the session like this:

“Woohoo. So hot! You can enter Miss Universe pageant!”

Before I could smile, she said too earnestly

“But you’re a bit too old”


Your body is not for looking at; it’s for doing things

Like other girls, I think about beauty a lot. How to attain it? How to resist it? How to subdue it? Why is it so powerful? What is beauty to others? What’s my definition of beauty?

This is one of my favourite perspective of beauty. We will always desire it, but it is not the most important thing and should not be our main focus. Our body is not for looking at; it’s for doing things.

“Stop talking about your upper arms like a disease, those are the arms that reach out and bring the things you love close to you” – Renee Engeln

School girl in Ginza

This is a rare OOTD because I’m wearing my Japanese school girl uniform after 13 years! I only recently discovered it after spring cleaning my house the KonMari way. The uniform surely sparked joy and I thought ‘why not use it?’ I plan to make it a permanent part of my wardrobe and wear it more often, not just in Tokyo.


And there’s a funny story behind it. Upon discovering I was wearing half my school girl uniform from a student exchange programme I joined as a teen, the Boyfan furrowed his brows and formed a deep frown.“Don’t you like my skirt?” I asked. “It’s pretty but I don’t want people to be thinking you’re a school girl!” he confessed.


He is worried that people will think a gaijin (foreigner) tricked a school girl into being with him (?!). Haha! I might look younger than my age but I surely don’t look like sixteen!


note: I was missing Komatsu all day. Sigh! The next trip, earthquake or no earthquake, I am going to see my host family! 

Geeks say the darnest thing

“Do you want to go to Disneyland?”

he asked inbetween reading a guidebook on Tokyo. Sitting on the floor at 3.30 am waiting to the famous Tsukiji market, my bored face lit up and with eyes wide opened, I nodded excitedly.

“Since you always say you want to go…”

Now here comes the anti-climax:

“Do you want me to go with you or do you want to go alone?”

I gave him this face:


“What?” he asked cluelessly, almost defensive 

“I’m so going to blog this!”

It’s a line I used to remind him whether what he said is widely acceptable. He only seems to get it when his romantic reputation is at stake…

 Lucky for me I’ve always know how to entertain myself.