Why bother painting anymore?

Bosie: I really don’t know why people bother painting portraits anymore. You can get a much better likeness with a photograph..

Robbie: But a photograph is just one moment in time, one gesture, one turn of the head. 


Wilde: Yes, portraits are not likenesses Mr. Gray. Painters show the soul of the subject, the essence.


(Excerpt from Wilde the movie)

Introduction to WordPress & Coding

I believe in continued education and realise the value of being self-sufficient instead relying on people around us (no matter how much skilful they are in comparison).

So my little cousin (who has ambitions to be a programmer) and I took a short four hours WordPress/basic programming class with David Wang. Here’s a list of things I’ve learned that are helpful for maintaining my sites:

1. To maintain a website, you need to constantly update:

  • Theme
  • Plugin
  • WordPress itself

That’ll prevent hacking (hopefully).

2. Html comment
* <! – – Hi There – – >

I was told that I shouldn’t play with html because one small mistake can ruin the whole thing. Solution: always jot down the changes I made within it using Html comment!

3. Check code

  • Command + Option + I = go to inspector
    Command + Option + OPTION + U = go to source itself
  • Shortcuts to check things like the sizing of the fonts on my site, so I can preview it and make changes.

4. Then difference between HTML & CSS

  • HTML = content/data
  • CSS = style

5.Check colour on the web 

  • https://www.webpagefx.com/web-design/random-color-picker/

Useful when choosing colour for my site(s).

6. Using Child theme 

Once WordPress is updated, any changes you’ve made to its still will be lost. Using a child theme means that WordPress updates won’t override the changes.

7. How to check efficiency

  • Gtmetrics.com
  • tools.pingdom.com

8. Creating contact form

David recommended Ninja Form. Though I still can’t do it properly yet because of some mail server issues.


There’s so much more to learn! But I think the most important lesson is to know that I can and should do things on my own. If you have any comments on how to improve these sites, please let me know:

Next goal, learn to add a ‘RANDOM’ button to STICKGEEK so that visitors can randomly select a comic.

Live gently

“Every day, your body requires energy to survive, to think, to do well, to be happy. You don’t get infinite energy. One way to replenish energy is to sleep. The other way is to eat well and exercise. But another way to replenish energy is to live a gentle life. As gently as possible. Which means all negotiation need to be smooth else they result in anxiety and fear and guessing…future depletion of energy. And then you die faster than the one who lived gently. Try this. Next time you are in a negotiation, don’t forget to relax your face”

– James Altucher, The Choose Yourself Guide To Wealth

Learning Japanese from a lazy egg

Doings things gives me adrenaline rush, which in turns makes me want to do more – it’s almost like a drug. But time is always a limiting factor; so even my leisure time has turned productive (?!). What do I do on Instagram? Learn Japanese from Gudetama, my favourite lazy egg.

What I’ve learned:

  • yaruki (やる気) = motivation
  • yarukinai (やる気ない) = demotivated
  • 気 = Qi
  • Minna o machikane = Everyone waited
  • Kyushoku (給食) = school lunch
  • Jikan de ichi su (時間で一す) = It is time
  • Minna o machi kane kyushoku no jikan de ichi su (みんなおまちかね給食の時間で一す = Everyone, it is time for school lunch everyone’s been waiting for (?)
  • ikiteru (生きてる) = alive
  • kiiroi (黄色い) = yellow
  • Asonjya ikemasen (遊んじゃいけません) = do not play
  • 遊 (yau) = tour

Why it is important to think & plan

A few ideas flooded my mind as I’m sitting down thinking and planning.
  1. “Sharpen Your Saw” – Steven Covey
  2. “An unexamined life is not worth living” – Socrates
  3. “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”


In retrospect, I’ve lost many hours of unnecessary labour because I didn’t put serious thoughts into what I was doing
Other times, I feel that ‘thinking & planning’ inhibits the ‘doing’.
Now I realise that it’s not enough to do things mindlessly; we must do things with a purpose.

Happiness is…

When people enjoy my recipe and encouraged to eat better

Conducted a cooking demo and talk with McCormick & Malaysian Women’s Weekly at The Cooking House, Bangsar.

So glad to be able talk about MSG, umami and salt (things I’ve been reading and find absolute fascinating). Shared my favorite Jamu Tonic recipe too.

What a great way to spend my Saturday morning!


What else can I get rid of?

So many things I want to do/learn. So little time. But I can find time. First I need to eliminate things I don’t need that steal my time/attention:
1. DRIVING. I hate driving and I don’t do it if I don’t have to. This month, I decide to not drive AT ALL and Uber/Grab everywhere I go just to see how much I spend on it and how much time I save. I’ll be doing whatever I want/need to do during the trip. It should answer the question: do I really need a car? (probably yes unfortunately…)
2. APPS. Deleting apps I don’t need. Only apps I use daily will be place in the first two pages of my phone. The rest will be in folders. I shall just delete all the fun apps I used to like e.g Fatify/ Chess too which I find hard. What if I want to play one day? Don’t play with your phone, play with people Sara!!!
3. BEAUTY TREATMENTS Friends always show up looking fabulous and tell me their latest beauty treatments. I am so tempted. But I this month decided to not do anything other than lash extensions because the 2 hour spent (including trip) saves me on putting on makeup the entire month. No manicure, no hair treatment, no massage etc.
4. OVERTHINKING/DAYDREAMING I think a lot (which is important for creation). But I’m not sure how much time I spend thinking about unnecessary things… I’m a dreamer. I dream of things BUT then I make them happen. Now, I need to monitor my thoughts that does not lead to action.
5. DIGITAL MESS While I’ve got rid of most material things I don’t need, I still have a lot of intangible junk: files and photos in my computer/tablet. Need to find time to delete stuff.
Let’s see how much extra time/peace of mind I can get…

40 Days Book Fast

This year’s Lent, I decided to give up books for 40 days. It’s rare ‘sacrifice’ because reading seems to be something that one can easily give up (not true for me).

It’a also seen as a good thing. But at the rate that I was going (though much less than known avid readers like Bill Gates who read an average of 50 books a year), I’m not sure it really was.

I feel that consuming/thinking, gets in the way of creating/doing. I thought going on a book fast on Lent is the best choice – because I won’t give up reading for anyone else!

The last book I read before my 40 Days Book Fast: The Course of Love by Alain de Botton. I haven’t read (contemporary) romance novels since secondary school. But this is not your typical happily-ever-after romance novel. It’s about the reality of love, in which romance only play a small part of. I read it with much anxiety/ stress; we are all duped by the idea of Romanticism! We must navigate relationship(a) not just with feelings but with skills.

Here’s what happened when I stopped reading:

1. Withdrawal symptoms
Reading is a natural thing to do. Bored? Read. Stress? Read. Curious? Read. Feel stupid? Read. Going away on a holiday? Find something to read. Exploring a new place? Check out a local bookstore. So when I couldn’t pick up a book, I actually felt jittery. Like “What am I going to do???!!” I didn’t know that a seemingly good hobby can be bad.

2. Explore other hobbies/ get out of my comfort zone
Not being able to read made me realise that I have other hobbies like drawing and playing the ukulele. That I could also try to do other things that I normally do not like to do, like watching anime. I ended up drawing heaps of Stickgeek comic, played a few songs on the uke, watched some anime/movies e.g Castle In The Sky, Princess Mononoke, Rear Window, What If…, The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

3. Do more
Because I have nothing to when I’m alone, I think I did more things. I either work, tidy up, and cook.

4. Move more
Do you know why ‘jocks’ are ‘stupid’? Because they exercise their body, not their brain. Do you know why ‘geeks’ are ‘uncool’? Because they exercise their brain, not their social skills.

I believe that we need a balance in life. Neither one is better. We should not conform ourself into a particular category that we have inclination to. Instead, we should strive to be better!

So when I was severely warned that giving up books was a stupid thing to do, I knew it wasn’t for my case. Though I would much prefer to read, I went on my exercise mat. Instead of sitting on a couch to read, I do sit ups. I did move more than I normally do. And I think it’s a good thing.

5. Lighter conversation/ less idea
What you say reflects on what you think.

“Since the time of the ancient Greeks, one’s spoken words have been seen as an expression of one’s inward thoughts and intellectual capacity,” said Edward Schiappa, professor of rhetoric and media at MIT (source)

I think that was the big downside of not reading. I felt a little dull. During the duration of my book fast, I realise conversation was lighter than usual. I speak about people more than I do ideas.

I just finished reading ‘Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future’ by Ashlee Vance and Show Your Work by Austin Kleon, and if you speak to me now I’ll love to talk about electric cars, space travel, human as multiplanetary species and how to exhibit our work more. I didn’t have much interesting things to say/ or new idea to discuss when I didn’t read.

It’s boring but its true: moderation is the key. I think I might sometimes read excessively. Its like “Oooo, what’s new out there to read?”.

I think we should be mindful. Why do you read? Do you read because you want to learn something that will enhance my life/career? Reading for leisure is good too but I think we should also indulge in other leisurely thing like going out for a hike with friends.

I think I want to read to inspire me to create. Not read because I have nothing better to do, because I do.