The Latest

I can't get this track out of my head. There's something about the beats and lyrics that resonates with me.  I've had it on repeat for a few days now. 

Whilst many say that the lyrics refer to the artist & substance abuse ... I feel that one can take the lyrics in so many more ways.  There's something deep and passionate about it.  Could you feel - could you love someone that much ? 

This is quite the summer anthem this year - and quite a sexy track overall.  I've found myself grooving down the street to it over the last few days.  Perhaps it's the musical emotions that come to mind when I hear the track. 

Have you heard this before ? What do you think ? Do you hear the Michael Jackson influence in the vocals ? 

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. Rules are simple. Leave ONLY the ACTUAL LINK POST here and grab the code below and place it at your blog entry. You can grab this code at LadyJava’s Lounge Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!

Where do I even begin ? I haven't really touched this space - this little haven where my thoughts would pour out in the last 2 years.  I tried - but the grief I was going through overwhelmed me.  I wanted to write - to express what it was that I was going through and the words would cause my heart to close in on me.  The ache was so terrible that my eyes would water until the screen was too blurry to even see. Then the pounding headaches that made me want to smash my head against a wall as that would distract from the pain I was going through.  Who would want to deal with that right ? 

Then yesterday, I found myself saying it out loud to someone that I barely knew. I admitted that I stopped doing something I really enjoyed because grief took over me in a way that I didn't know was possible.  Could I have really been grieving that long ? 

My Dad passed away in August 2013.  I went from being on holiday to his hospital bedside.  I had to make that terrible phone call to tell my Mum he was no more.  I never thought I would end up planning a funeral.  I didn't realize just how much my world would change.  My tolerance for anything and everything was almost volcanic in nature.  I attempted to break the silence - but just found myself in that limbo state of mind.  Fellow bloggers reached out to me and I probably didn't say anything to them then but it meant so much knowing that you cared enough to just send hugs.  Then I tried to get back into it all with the A to Z Challenge in April 2014- you know, instead of pouring my heart out - just follow instructions for a challenge ... that didn't work out as well as I wanted.  I got to the letter G and my post was titled Grief & Grieving and my emotions went off on this roller coaster ride that I couldn't quite get out of !! 

After this chat I had ... I woke up this morning and for the first time in a long time, I felt like opening my blog and brushing the dust off it.  I'm still me - and I realize that keeping things bottled up is not good for me as a person.  It's a bright sunny day here in London and perfect for penning down a blog or two.  So, for the brethren of bloggers out there checking into this space - thanks for wandering by and for believing that I will rise from the ashes (eventually)
We cry in our rooms, remembering a man who will never be here again.  The house creaks.  Maybe it feels the weight of our grief, maybe the floorboards are buckling because the burden is too heavy.  - Rochelle Maya Callen, Ashes & Ice

Grief is something everyone experiences at some stage or another during their lifetime.  The most painful loss we can experience is the death of a loved one (and of a loved pet)  We all know it will happen one day - but nothing can really prepare you for it when it does happen.  

There is no 'right' way to grieve and each of us have to find our own way through the healing process after a loss.  There will be good days, there will be bad days and then there will be days where you find yourself lost - but it will eventually pass.

I left my parents home last summer to head back to London and 3 weeks into my trip I was informed that my Dad was in hospital.  He was absolutely fine when I left and it didn't make any sense.  I wasn't able to fly back for a week - but that was the longest week I have been through.  I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep, I couldn't think and I would spend my day just waiting to know 'what was going on'.  The minute I got a confirmed seat on a flight - I was out of there and by his bedside and that's when I knew my world as I knew would come crashing down.  I was in the hospital - just outside his room when he passed away.  They wouldn't let me go in until they pronounced him no more.  I had to make the call to my Mother and siblings; all the while signing paperwork at the hospital.  His funeral was a blur later that same afternoon.  My friends showed up.  I had a fever for days.  6 months later - the roller coaster of emotions is still full of highs and lows; some days are flat (i.e. blank) and others are worse than others.  I think it's worse at family events - anniversaries, birthdays and religious days (my Dad was quite religious).

Coping & Dealing with Grief 
Again there is no right way of doing this.  All I can say is that don't' shut people out. Talking to friends who have also dealt with a loss can help you assess your own emotions.  I know it helped me.  Don't fall down the path of isolation or resorting to excessive alcohol or substance abuse.  I say this because you may not even realize you are on that path until much later.  

Blogging has been one of my outlets (since I have never kept a diary or a journal) - but I couldn't bring myself to write or express myself.  When I attempted to break the silence on my blog after my Dads' passing - the first try left me with a feeling of being in limbo.  It was a bit too much for me - but I'm glad I'm finally writing again. My feelings were reflected in my writing and thoughts through the October Ultimate Blog Challenge

If you know someone who is grieving - the best thing you can do for them is to be there for them.  Be there as someone who will listen to them and who cares about their well being.  Ask them about their feelings and let them acknowledge the pain but also encourage them to remember the good times.  

The thought of losing my Mother makes my eyes sting and well up in tears and I feel as if I'm being thrown into a dark whirpool of nothingness.  And this is just a thought.  I can't even imagine what state I would be in if that were to actually happen.  This may sound dark - but it's a reality that will happen and perhaps I'm just preparing myself from now for whenever it may happen.  

Have you found yourself grieving ? Or know someone who is grieving ? What did you do to cope with the grieving process ? 
The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over - you cannot move forward.  - Steve Maraboli

Over the years, we've all been hurt by someone at some point or another; or had our hearts and trust broken.  The pain that you felt - perhaps lingered on too long - to a point that it's hard to let go ?  Think about it for a minute and ask yourself - have you really forgiven the person who made you feel that way ? 

That inability to let go is what causes us to be unhappy; can cause a strain on new relationships; and even make us reluctant to be open to new people because we're afraid of the 'hurt' that it might cause.  This is WHY we must learn to be able to truly forgive (from within) so that we can move on and let go.  

I've heard people say 'but if I forgive X it means that what they did was okay' .. that's not the case.  Forgiving someone doesn't mean that you forget what has happened - it just means that you are allowing yourself to let go of the anger and pain that is most likely holding you back from better things in life. 

The act of forgiveness is a process - it's not immediate.  Just because we've decided to forgive someone doesn't mean that the feelings of hurt, anger, or pain aren't there.  Those feelings don't go away overnight.  But they will - because you have to remind yourself that you have let that go and that person is no longer able to hurt you any more. 

Is there someone you need to forgive ? Why not write a blank cheque of forgiveness to this person and cancel their debt by listing the things they have done to hurt you and then scratching 'cancelled' across it.  You'll be doing yourself a big favour by releasing yourself of the grudge within yourself.  

Are you the type of person who forgives, forgets or says f*ck it ? One of my Guest Bloggers' wrote about The Importance of Forgiveness sometime ago which is a good read; and you should also read 'Letters to Self : Forgiveness' and 'Is It Time to Forgive' when you get a chance 
Those who think they have no time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness. - Edward Stanley, Earl of Derby

Yes I said Exercise.  

Most of us have a pretty hectic lifestyle. A lot of us like the idea of being fit & healthy but don't seem to find the time to fit in any form of exercise into our schedules.  It could be because of the long hours at work; or because you're a working parent with boisterous kids; or the gym fees are too expensive - basically we make excuses to avoid getting fit.  

I've always been an athletic person through school, university and even the first few years of my career.  Then the working hours got longer; I started travelling more and I found (and still find) myself exercising less than I used to.  These days I joke with my gym trainers that I can work out for 6 months at a stretch but the minute the event season kicks in - I can't find the time for the gym.  

Exercise doesn't mean going to a gym.  It could be as simple as taking a 20-30 minute walk every day or incorporating a 20 minute yoga session at home.  What about joining a class like Kick boxing or Zumba ? I know of someone who does pull-ups on the train on the way to work.  I know a self-employed Mom with teenagers who kicks ass at Crossfit twice a week and plays soft ball once a week.  Anything is possible if you put your mind to it.  It's about believing in yourself and having the confidence to go out there and just do it ! 

I've found that home work-outs can be pretty effective if you are on a budget or you feel that you don't have the time to hit the gym or when you travel a lot for work.  There are tons of free workouts available online - my personal favourites' are HasFit and Melissa Benders Workouts - and I use them myself whenever I'm unable to get to a gym. If you enjoy yoga but can't find the time to go for a class - why not stream or download some great yoga classes from or

If you don't like working out alone - get hold of a friend to join you for a walk or to take a class together.  Working out with someone else is extremely motivating and allows you to be accountable for something you have committed to. 

What kind of exercise do you incorporate into your daily life ? Are you getting enough exercise ? What kind of exercise do you enjoy or think you would like to try ? 

Take care of your body. It's the only place you have to live.  - Jim Rohn 

The word 'detox' can be pretty scary and daunting.  When I talk about 'detox' - I'm not talking about any crazy or over-the-top detox involving calorie counting; or just drinking green juices or eating only specific foods or following any kind of diet trend (i.e. cabbage soup diet). I'm referring to a more gentle detox that you can incorporate into your life that will leave your body (and mind) feeling energized, clean and refreshed. 

The way I see it is that we have one body to live with so it's about time we start taking care of it given the amount of abuse our bodies withstand on a day-to-day basis.  

Our skin and our livers take the brunt of the all the toxins that we create within ourselves and that we are exposed to.  Something as simple as 'dry brushing' your skin even once a week with a bristle brush will help improve the circulation and blood flow in your body and leave you with healthier looking skin ! 

I lost my Dad to liver cirrhosis a few months ago and it fully struck me that the liver has this formidable task of detoxifying everything that we put into our bodies.  Given the lifestyle most of us Gen Y & Z have - our livers are probably working in overdrive and there's a limit to how much toxin the liver can handle.  So over the last month, I've been on a personal 'detox' mission wherein I'm giving my liver a break from alcohol - it's been 37 days and counting !!   

So it's a good idea to try to indulge in any simple detox as often as you can.  With the Indian culture - there are various forms of fasting across castes and cultures which are considered to be a form of detox.  If that seems hard to understand - think about it like Lent where you give up something you really enjoy.  One of my friends has given up both alcohol and any form of dessert for 40 days !! 

It's the little things that make a difference to our bodies : 

  • Starting your day with a glass of hot water with some lemon can help kick start your metabolism.  
  • Drink more water every day ! It's funny how we all forget to drink water.  It helps flush out toxins.
  • Eat more fruit and veggies.  
  • If you are a non-vegetarian; you may want to consider being vegetarian once a week just to give your body a breather.  
  • If you are a party person like me - you should give your liver a break and abstain from alcohol for some time.
  • If you are a smoker - and thinking about cutting back how much you smoke - a detox is a good way to kick-start that.  It doesn't mean you go cold turkey; but you can reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke per day or if you have the will-power; decide that you will only smoke on alternative days or not smoke at all for X days a week. 
For more ideas, hop on over to The Rising Spoon and read about 15 Ways to Detox Naturally - I'm sure you'll find something that suits you.

Have you ever tried to detox your body ? What kind of detox were you involved in ? Did you see any changes to your lifestyle ? Did the detox make a difference to you ? Or do you not believe in any form of detox ? Please feel free to share other detox tips in the comments. 
Confidence comes not from knowing you know everything, but from knowing you can handle what comes up. - Donn King

What comes to mind when you think of the word 'Confidence' ?  Who comes to mind when you think about 'Confident People' ? What is it about that person that makes you think they are confident ? 

Confidence is knowing what you are good at; knowing the value that you can provide to a situation; and the ability to convey this to others by way of speech, mannerisms and body language.  Confidence also indicates that you are aware of your weaknesses and the ability to accept that your point of view may not be the only one around. [Let's not confuse confidence with arrogance]

Sometimes I think of life as one big obstacle course.  Once you have accepted that life is going to throw the good, the bad and the ugly at you; you need to start believing that you can get through it no matter what - and that is confidence.  

Personally - I'm a confident person.  I'm very comfortable with myself and my point of view on various topics; and I'm not afraid to ask questions or learn about the subject areas that are not my forte.  Over the years I've learned that unless one is willing to take a risk - you'll never know what the outcome was (and that may leave some feelings of regret at some point in time).  Just remember that nothing can substitute experience. 

A simple example.  If you're the kind of person who loves the idea of exploring new countries but can't find a have a travel companion - why not go traveling on your own ? The idea can seem daunting but think about all the people you will meet and all the places that you will see.  Once you get the flight booking done - it's just about sorting out your accommodation; then heading over to TripAdvisor to check out places to visit; maybe join a social network where you plan to visit and meet a few people.  Once you start setting small goals for yourself - everything falls in place.  So just be confident.  Life is about doing things now and not letting opportunities pass you by.   

What about you ? How confident are you as an individual ? Have you ever felt a lack of self-confidence ? What did you do to overcome that ? 

Why don't you start believing that that no matter what you have or haven't done, that your best days are still out in front of you. - Joel Osteen 

Sometimes it's really hard to 'believe'.  Life isn't easy.  Life is a test of everything we have ever learned.  It throws things at you when you least expect it.  Sometimes circumstances leave you emotionally and mentally drained and we lose belief in ourselves and that is okay.  As long as you get right back up and have faith in yourself and your abilities - you'll be able to deal with whatever life hurdles come your way.

I'd like to believe that despite everything I have been through over the years - there's something better out there for me.  I can't possibly be working this hard to just be where I am right ? I have to believe that I have the skill sets that will help get me to where I want to be - no matter how hard it is or how long it takes me.  That belief in myself is my survival skill and I give myself a pat on the back for all my accomplishments. You should do that too ! 

We aren't all born with silver spoons in our mouths - but we all have the capability of purchasing said silver spoons as an indulgence at some point or another.  We've all heard people go on about how everything happens for a reason .. and in all honesty - it does (at least 90% of the time, the other 10% is out of sheer bad luck!)  Life is about acceptance of all things good and bad - and after that it's about taking all the chances that you get and see how far you are willing to go in order to pursue your hearts desires.  It's about believing that you are worth it ! It's about having confidence.  Believing in yourself is being sure that you are going to go after whatever you want even if others are against you.  If you have confidence in yourself - so will others. 

How do you assert your belief in yourself ? What dis-empowering beliefs do you have that you want to change ?  I recently read 'Believe In Yourself - A Self Care Strategy' on Huffingtonpost and 'Life Is A Result of Your Beliefs & Expectations' on TinyBuddha and would recommend that you have a read as well when you get the chance.  

Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.  - William James

How many times have you heard men & women say that "life is not fair" or "why does this happen to me" ?  Life isn't fair - it never is ! 

We have no 'real' control over what life has in store for us.  We don't know how our day will go or whether we will wake to see another sunrise.  Nothing is permanent; you could have all the riches in the world today but tomorrow it could be gone.  Things happen; all that you've ever known could change and everything you've ever experienced can transform or have an impact on your life.  It's our approach and outlook to life that can determine whether we are going to spend it happily or just be miserable about it.  Simply put - bitch less, enjoy more ! 

Over the years I've learned (and trust me when I say that I struggle with this) that one must learn to 'Accept' the way things are; one must stop complaining and that when thrown in a situation - one must embrace it and find a way to cope in order to thrive.  Basically one must learn to look at each situation / circumstance in a positive manner rather than in a negative manner.  When it comes to relationships - the only way one can move on with life is 'acceptance & moving forward' without looking back. 

Another thing I've learned is that in order to be truly accepting of all that is around you - one must look beyond their own point of view and open their mind to the perceptions of those around them.  This doesn't mean you blindly agree to everything that you see or hear but this will make you more accepting and tolerant to others around you.  

How accepting are you to those around you that share different perceptions to you ?  Have you found yourself saying 'life isn't fair' ? What are you going to do about that ?  Have you noticed any changes in your life since you started 'accepting' things around you ? Do you believe that everything happens for a reason

I noticed that the A to Z Challenge was hosting a 'Theme Reveal Blogfest' (which unfortunately I didn't get to sign up for in time) and realized that over the last 2 years that I have always 'revealed' my theme beforehand and now it's a part of a lot of linky love as of 2013 ! 

Those of you who have followed my blog will recall that my theme in 2012 was the A to Z of Blogging and then in 2013 it was the A to Z of Sex (yes a tad racy but I got a lot of positive feedback and re-tweets on those posts).  

I've been through a lot emotionally over the last 7 months which resulted in me in neglecting my blog; and I thought it would be apt to choose the theme I've chosen. 

So without further ado - the theme for my 2014 A to Z Challenge is the A to Z of Life !  I'll be posting about the things I think are important in life including traits that can help enhance our day to day lifestyle.  I hope you are able to join me on this journey and share your thoughts to my two bits ! 
After what seems to be a lifetime of silence on my blog - I'm getting myself back into it ! 

This will be the 3rd A to Z Blogging Challenge that I'll be participating in and I'm looking forward to getting out of my writers block.  I know where the block is and I suppose I could have found a way to express myself but I think it was a bit too much for me to deal with at the time.  

For those of you that don't know about this challenge : basically you need to post every day except Sundays during the month of April and to make things interesting, you have to blog thematically from A to Z about anything and everything or you can even follow a theme.  

The posts should be at least 100 words to show that you’ve put some kind of effort into the topic.  Then it's time to share your posts on the A to Z Facebook Page; and share your posts on Twitter using @AprilA2Z and the #atozchallenge hash tag.

I've known about the challenge for months and I really should have planned ahead better but I have an idea about what I want to write about and will reveal my theme on the 21st of March along with all the other bloggers participating in the challenge. 

Are you participating in the challenge ? If so - don't forget to share your blog link in the comments below so I can come visit your website.  For those of you that haven't participated before - would you consider joining up ? 

I've often wondered about this (and it seems like the ideal quote for a wrap up post).  I'm the type of person who has a folder on my laptop filled with various images, quotes and even cartoon strips that have caught my fancy over the years. 

Some of the content would cause those acquainted to me to reassess their perception of who I really am.  At end of the day - we are all 'someone' on the surface but there is much more to our individual characters than what we allow the world to see.  I can be an extremely expressive person except when it comes to being 'emotional', 'mushy' or 'overly romantic'.  Don't get me wrong - I can - it's just not in my comfort zone.   Having said that, I've found a way to express myself by way of some of the lovely content available online and those few lines of expression are what I can relate to immediately.  It's as if someone else has read my mind and penned it down.  

Thanks to social media - I feel that I gain a better insight to a person when I see some of the articles, links and images that they post via Facebook or Twitter. It's those things that we no longer talk about or express in person that we do by way of social media (through images / quotes etc) that says more about an individual than words could justify.  

Think about it ... if I shared something today that appealed to you and it was something you didn't expect from me - your perception of me would be altered. Try it out within your own social network and see how many people surprise you. 

What are your thoughts ? Do you think our favourite quotations say more about us than we let on in person ? If you've been following my blog through the Ultimate Blog Challenge - have you enjoyed the quotes that I have used ? Were you able to relate to any of them ? 

p.s. If you're a lurker and came by without leaving a comment - now would be a great time to delurk and reveal yourself to me. 

I like this quote because it perplexes me in a way.  Based on numerous conversations with people and reading various blogs - it seems like individual self-worth is down and people don't realize that they 'deserve' the good things out there and they just need to find the path to lead them to it.  

Who doesn't want to be a laid-back billionaire with a private jet ? That's aiming pretty high but that doesn't mean one doesn't 'deserve' to go on a few holidays a year.  We all struggle with this balance of being financially stable and having the good life and sometimes it so happens that to have the good life - your finances can take a bit of a hit.  That is one of areas I find that makes me anxious BUT in the last few years I've sort of tossed it in the air and said that I deserve that luxury week long trip or the extravagant annual birthday weekend because if I don't spoil myself now in my prime years - when the hell am I going to do that ?? 

I know I can afford to do this because I have my own business and I'm my own boss; but I also have friends in corporate houses who make it a point to take a long weekend or a week off every quarter because they damn well deserve it for working their asses off all year round.  Obviously one can't go completely off the chain and pour their hard earned money down the drain; but the point is that stop worrying about the what ifs and learn to spoil yourself - you've earned it.  

On the other hand if I apply this to my personal life - it makes me sit back and think.  There are days I don't even know how I feel about relationships; it's been a while since I've been in one and I know I'm very good in one as well - but business is booming and my personal life has been sacrificed for the time being and I'm left wondering one of two things.  How is it that I haven't found myself in a relationship and then the immediate thought after that is because I deserve better than what is currently around me.  Perhaps a tad cocky - but I really think so and that's why I'm okay with where I am today.  

What are your thoughts ? How do you feel when you read this quote ? 

Do you ever find yourself wondering 'oh I could have done XYZ' or 'I should have done ABC' ?  The thing about human nature is that it's only natural that we wonder and cross-examine the ifs, buts, whys, who and wheres in our lives .. but the problem with that is that we end up setting ourselves up for disappointment.

Have you ever found yourself trying really hard to achieve something but you end up struggling with it ? And at times, the minute you just stop and let go - things seem to fall into place ? 

I'm a self proclaimed workaholic - I like the buzz and the random stress that comes with the job of an events & wedding planner.  Having said that, I also decided that life is too short to stress oneself out and made a conscious decision to let things come and go naturally to me.  As harsh as it may sound - I apply this to people around me as well.  I know which friends I am certain of ; I know that other people are all passing by to share a lesson or two and then there are some people we need to let go off.  We must rid ourselves of fears because fear stumps our growth and crushes the potential we have deep inside.   I rather live a life stating 'oh well' than thinking 'what if'.

What are your thoughts ? How do you avoid stress ? Do you dwell on the could have / should have of things ? Or do you go with the universal flow and see where it takes you ?  
I've always believed and felt that we meet the people we do for a reason.  As a child I used to think we were characters in one massive story - The Storybook Life - and each person we met had their own chapter and our lives / chapters merged together.  When I look back at those thoughts now - I reckon I was on the right track. 

I've had the pleasure of meeting some amazing people over the last 3 decades of my life who have given me so much.  There are some people who have opened my mind and heart to the possibilities of so much more just when I thought I didn't have it in me to 'feel' a certain way.  Not all of those experiences ended in a positive way - in fact probably more painful than I care to admit - but definitely an experience I'm glad to have had because it just leaves me in a better place overall.  

Life is as complex as it can get and each of us has our own experiences to add to it and I just feel that there's a reason we choose to interact with certain people - it's because we were meant to (for whatever time  period it may be).  Every interaction has taught me a valuable lesson (good and bad); has made me evolve more into the person I am and added to my own character.

So if you’re reading this, you are in some way a part of my story –and I want to say ‘thanks for reading’ !  (just de-lurk in the comments so I know how to find you)