It’s Time To Reflect And Look Forward

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NYE is the time for me to reflect and look forward…2015 is an amazing year for me. I’m grateful for receiving lots of wonderful surprises even though there are some unpredictable ups and downs in my life. I’m happy to find myself finally becoming the person I always wanted to be. To appreciate ups and downs in my life that I let it be my mentor to guide me walking in the path I envisioned. I know there is a long road ahead of me. Whatever it is, I’ll always smile through it.

Let me take a moment to appreciate each and every single one of you who has been greatly supportive of me. I believe I can finally be the person I always wanted to be is because of you. Your support and motivation encourages me to be the best I can be and keep doing what I love. Thank you very much!

Here I am wishing you a very Happy New Year! May you be blessed with bliss, love, good health, and prosperity! Enjoy! ❀

*Don’t know why my photo becomes all blurry…You can click to see a clearer picture if you are interested. πŸ˜‰

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Reconnecting With My Birth Story – The Meaningful Dragon

I thank my mom for making Mid-Autumn Festival an extra special day for me. A day she wasn’t worried about how heavily pregnant she was to go out and celebrate the wonderful festival with her loving husband and her little princess right inside her tummy. A day she wasn’t worried about the troubles that may cause her if I decided to see the world on that day. All she wanted was to show me her love by taking me on an adventure to enjoy the spirits of the festival.

The curiosity of seeing what she saw on that day has been haunting me for a long time, but I never take the time to go out and enjoy the spirits of it until this year.

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I was trying to keep my expectation as low as possible, but the beautiful lights from Chinese wreath kept me thinking what would happen as I explored.

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Drum rolling perked up an exciting ambiance while keeping me awake from dreaming too much. Performers all started to entertain us by holding festive lanterns one by one.

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Fire Dragon Dance finally began after much anticipation. The smoke from the Dragon permeated the place while a thousand of people cheered the performance. Photographers ran up and down to capture the perfect moment. The place became much more chaotic than usual, but nothing could stop me from connecting with the Dragon. The Dragon that I saw as my mom – a powerful woman who lights up my life with laughter, love and kindness…whose Chinese horoscope happened to be a powerful Dragon as well…

The dance was short but memorable. People might forget it after some time, but the feelings of it kept growing on me.

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The smell of the smoke, the image of the dragon and the noise of cheering never seemed to fade away until I saw chains of festive lights shining in the darkness. A moment reminded me of the magic of the Universe. There are billions of people in the world, but I was long destined to be the daughter of my loving parents.

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Exploring the place with how proud I was to be their daughter made my adventure truly special. I didn’t know if it was coincidence. The place was somehow decorated with a traditional theme to make me feel as if I traveled back in time when I was still rolling inside my mom’s tummy. Neon signboards with some names that could only be seen back in the day and lanterns designed in a traditional way were presented in front of me all at once. Such a scene added a delighting note to my beautiful memories.

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I thought the delighting scene already wrapped up my night beautifully, but a joyous moment came in suddenly when I saw lion dance lanterns. It was colorful and moving that seemed to celebrate my birth.

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It was also a moment when I seemed to see my mom smiling and crying happily. Holding a fragile little me gently in her arms without forgetting to act as a powerful dragon to protect me from day 1 until now.

*Post note: You all know I already shared my birthday post here on WordPress. Mid-Autumn Festival is actually my lunar birthday. Although I rarely celebrate it, I think it would be amazing to dedicate this post to my parents especially my mom.

Overwhelming Birthday Love

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I believe I was the luckiest birthday girl. Before my clock was hitting 12am HK time (my official birthday 18th September), a good friend of mine from Sydney already said me happy birthday via whatsapp at 12am Sydney time. Then, I received “red eggs” and red pockets from my mum early in the morning. My birthday blessings had never stopped. In fact, it was just the beginning. I was overwhelmed to receive tons of birthday messages from friends, family, relatives and you guys (my fellow bloggers and Instagram friends). I even got lovely friends doing birthday prayers for me. Can someone pinch my face and tell me it was real?

My lovely friends took me to a popular restaurant later that day. I rarely go to pub/bar/club as I don’t usually drink. Even if I drink, I tend to choose cocktails with a light amount of alcohol. However, I must say the mini bar section of this restaurant looked pretty cool.

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Starting my birthday night with drinking a glass of pineapple infused iced tea. Can you believe that I actually stayed sober on my birthday? πŸ˜€ In fact, I ordered Mojito as my drink at first (I would love to order Virgin Mojito if they have). It tasted nothing like a regular Mojito and all I could taste was alcohol which I wasn’t a fan of. JK insisted to swap the drink with me since it was my birthday. How lucky I was!!! The pineapple infused iced tea didn’t disappoint me at all. It was ice-cold and a bit tangy exactly how I liked it.

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I thought it would be cool to show you some of the food we had that night. However, the color of lighting kept changing a whole night and I wasn’t able to take a good shot of all the food. Well, I guess you already had an idea of what we had by just looking at these few pictures.

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We were very full after having our dinner and it was time for us to enjoy the beautiful view here. Well, I wish they cleaned their windows properly so that you could see how beautiful it was.

Honestly, I was already very happy that they treated me to a nice dinner. But, they decided to make me even happier by giving me a birthday bouquet. I was speechless to see how stunning it was and it even had my favorite white roses in it.

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The most speechless moment came in when they asked the waiter to serve me the most beautiful birthday cake I’ve ever seen. Massive thanks to JK who designed the graphic and got it tailed-made at the cake shop. It was not only beautiful, but it also had wonderful meanings behind it. As they know how much I love traveling, hot air balloon and the globe were especially designed to wish me travel around the world as my job. Honestly, my eyes were getting teary to receive this meaningful birthday cake. I was completely stuck in the moment of awesomeness.

P.S. All the birthday wishes and surprises I received truly made my birthday an unforgettable one. I’m beyond blessed to be spoiled by all of you. My sincere thanks to you all for making me the happiest and luckiest birthday girl!!! ❀

More Than Just My Birthday

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I know very well not everyone take his or her birthday seriously, but I’m quite the opposite. Birthday has always been a big thing to me. It is not only my birthday, but also a day to appreciate my parents bringing me to this beautiful world. Obviously, it is not the only day I appreciate it but it just has a special meaning.

I celebrate my birthday each year as usual, but somehow I just wanted to make it extra special last year and thus I decided blogging. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I got to know all of you my amazing friends who give me love and support through ups and downs of my life. Taking your time to read, comment, like, and even send me personal emails. I know it can be very time-consuming, but none of you never stopped doing so because of that. Your support has been my greatest motivation to keep doing what I am doing. This has been an amazing journey for me. It allows me to connect with you through art, photography, and stories. Most importantly, it allows me to stay true to who I am.

Although it is my birthday today, it is no longer my birthday. I would like to make it our birthday as to thank each of you (my fellow bloggers and Instagram friends) for all your love and support.

Let’s get the birthday celebration started!!! πŸ˜‰ Shall we?

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My mum started celebrating my birthday by giving me “red eggs” and red pockets for a few years already. It is a very traditional way to celebrate birthday in Chinese culture. She usually places it in front of my room door so that I can feel the joy of it early in the morning. As we are celebrating our birthday together, please come and take a bite. Don’t forget to take your red pockets! πŸ˜‰

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The best part of the traditional birthday celebration this year is the birthday note my mum left me. “Wish you (piggy younger sister) a happy birthday and a good health!”, written by piggy mama. I always call my mum piggy mama, but never thought she would take it seriously. How cute she is!!! πŸ™‚

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Well, it’s my birthday so how can I not to treat myself with a nice birthday gift especially when I haven’t created any digital art pieces for a long time?!?!?

I would like to stick to the birthday theme “red” and thus the art piece I created was mainly covered with a red color. Also, the color of red often symbolizes luck and joy in our culture. I think it’s perfect to wish myself/you a wonderful year with good luck and joy. What makes even more special was the original photo itself. It was taken during my Porto trip, which I see it as a trip of “dream comes true”. Using this particular photo as a base for creating this digital art is to advocate the positive thoughts of “dreams can always come true”. Β With me looking up to intensify the meaning behind the art – hope is always around. Β All these positive meanings were well blended in this art will sure make this year filled with dreams, hope and happiness.

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Apart from birthday gift and celebration, I think it would be awesome to show you how I looked like as a baby. I don’t mind to share it, but please make a promise to me not to laugh at how chubby I was. πŸ˜€ I always ask my mum what she had when she was having me in her belly to make me this chubby. I looked more like a ball than a baby seriously lol. πŸ˜›

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I was not only Β a chubby ball, but also Β a happy baby. I kept eating, laughing and sleeping most of the time.

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I told you that birthday is a big thing to me (to my family and relatives also). Look how excited we were when blowing out all the candles before sharing the birthday cake!

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From left to right – my elder brother, elder cousin brother, younger cousin brother, me

Not only did we like to celebrate birthday together, but we also liked going to the park together. Let me tell you a secret (shh…please don’t tell anyone). I saw my younger cousin brother as my future husband while he saw me as his future wife at that time.Β  Obviously, the dream has remained as a dream. He is already happily married.

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Wish us a wonderful birthday! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

*Sorry for not making this post as cohesive as I can, but I was way too happy and I had no idea what I was doing lol! But well, one thing for sure I would like to give you a big thumb up for being my amazing friends!!! ❀

Unexpectedly Festive

I couldn’t believe I actually went out and celebrated Lantern Festival yesterday as I didn’t like any crowded places. I was very surprised that it wasn’t as crowded as I imagined and it was way more festive than I thought it would be. I felt like having a dream when I was surrounded by all these stunning lanterns. ❀ I guess I shouldn’t talk too much and let you enjoy its beauty. πŸ˜›

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Apart from the lanterns, there was an amazing 3D light show also. Look at the pictures down below πŸ˜‰

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Hope you enjoy this post! πŸ™‚ So sorry that some pictures were looking pretty ugly as it was raining yesterday and I didn’t have a DSLR camera to take pictures with. πŸ˜›

 

 

 

Happy Lantern Festival

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Today is the 15th of Chinese New Year (CYN) and last day of celebrating CYN. This is the day we celebrate Lantern Festival starting the day with dragon and lion dancing. Later in the evening, many colourful lanterns will be lit as a part of celebration and riddles will also written on some of the lanterns traditionally.

Image courtesy: http://www.pptbackgroundstemplates.com/chinese-temple-lanterns-800x600.html
Image courtesy: http://www.pptbackgroundstemplates.com/chinese-temple-lanterns-800×600.html

Few days ago, I found a shopping mall in Hong Kong actually took the traditional concept to spice up the mall by displaying electricΒ lanterns with riddles on them. I immediately took some quick snaps for you all to enjoy. I think it would be fun if you could try solving the riddles. πŸ˜‰

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Although it is Lantern Festival today, some consider this special day as Chinese Valentine’s Day because of the romantic vibes given by the beautiful lanterns.

Obviously, we can’t end the day without eating something sweet. We eat glutinous rice balls to symbolize having unity and harmony in family while enjoying the stunning full moon.

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Happy Lantern Festival/ Chinese Valentine’s Day all my lovely friends! ❀

*Answers will be posted next week. Stay tuned for that πŸ™‚

Happy Birthday To You All!!!

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According to Chinese genesis, today (the 7th day of Chinese New Year) is the day when humans were created πŸ™‚ . Believe it or not, I think it’s super duper cool to have a common day for everyone’s birthday.Β As you know our family received orchids as a gift for Chinese New Year, I think it’s awesome to share close-up pictures of the orchids with you today as a gift to celebrate this special day for all of us πŸ˜‰ . Hope you like it! ❀

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I wish you all the very best, all the joy you can ever have and may you be blessed abundantly today, tomorrow and the days to come! May you have a fantastic birthday and many more to come!Β Happy Birthday! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

With love,

xoxoxoxo Khloe ❀

Happy Lunar New Year

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Gung Hei Fat Choy! (It means “Best wishes and Congratulations! Have a prosperous and good year!”) πŸ™‚ My health finally got better on the first day of Chinese New Year, yay! πŸ˜€ Thank you all for being extra sweet and nice to send me all the speedy recovery messages! You guys are definitely my homie and love muahzZz >3< Here I am wishing you a Happy Lunar New Year whether you are Chinese or not!Β May the bold Chinese New Year firecracker scare away the bad luck and welcome the good luck all through the year! πŸ˜›

When I was a kid, I didn’t really like celebrating Chinese New Year. I needed to visit some relatives I rarely see and they loved to pitch my chubby cheeks before giving me red pockets. 😦 However, it’s a completely different story after becoming an adult. I got to appreciate every single tradition we have during this festive and colorful festival. It’s a tradition to put beautiful flowers as a part of decorations at home during Chinese New Year. I love to make a guess on what the orchids look like each Chinese New Year before we receive it from one of the most famous gardener in Hong Kong. He is as generous as usual sending us a gigantic and super gorgeous orchids this year. It instantly delights my entire house once we places it in our living room. ❀ It is so uplifting to look at its vibrant colors and I hope it uplifts you all as well. πŸ˜‰

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After from looking at the beautiful orchids, we eat glutinous rice balls on the first day of Chinese New Year (meaning to have harmony and unity within our family). There are many different fillings we can choose, but I like black sesame and peanut butter flavours the most. I usually have one with black sesame fillings and two glutinous rice balls with peanut butter fillings. It seriously tastes delicious!!! Do you want to have some? πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜›

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Eating glutinous rice balls is just the beginning, we have various snacks for visitors to eat (showing you some here…obviously we do munch them also lol :P). I love eating prawn crackers made by my sister-in-law’s mother, but better eat in moderation (just don’t want have sore throat and gain so much weight…Actually, I don’t want to be fat like a ball and roll round lol πŸ˜€ ).

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Speaking of Chinese New Year, how can I not mention what signify this festival the most – red pockets :D. Who doesn’t love them? Extra money goes straight to your pockets πŸ˜€

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Whether you celebrate this festive or not, I hope you feel the festive spirits from my post. May peace and love fill your heart, beauty fill your world, and contentment and joy fill your days! πŸ™‚

With love,

xoxoxo Khloe ❀

Non-Traditional Christmas Celebration

???????????????????????????????I didn’t have any plans to celebrate Christmas or whatsoever this year. Thanks to my wonderful friend who tried to brighten up my gloomy days due to my uncle’s death! ❀ It was a last-minute plan to simply have Christmas dinner together. I’m sure majority of you chose to have western cuisine as part of the traditions. We actually chose to dine at a restaurant specializing in making Asian fusion dishes. πŸ˜›

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When we stepped into the restaurant, we were very surprised to find out only one table was taken at that time. The entire restaurant looked incredibly cozy with full of Christmas decorations which I absolutely adored. We only sat there for a few minutes and requested to sit outside for a better view.

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Its view amazed us as we didn’t know it has a good view before we came. It not only had an amazing view, but the vibes were incredibly relaxing there.

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Yes, you are right. They were papadum and prawn crackers. πŸ™‚ Β The restaurant offered us papadum and prawn crackers as free snacks before we started to have our Christmas dinner. I always love to have papadum with mint chutney, but never tried to pair prawn cracker with mint chutney. I really loved this pairing actually. πŸ˜€

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I wasn’t hungry before the appetizers arrived. Once I saw the appetizers right in front of me, I couldn’t resist the temptation to dig in. πŸ˜€ The appetizers included Thai pomelo salad in chilli jam with shrimp, rice paper roll with soft shell crab and avocado, and tandoori turkey tikka with cranberry chutney. I have to say all of these appetizers were absolutely delicious, but my favourite went toΒ tandoori turkey tikka with cranberry chutney. The turkey was super duper tender and juicy. I didn’t know what kind of seasonings or spices they put into marinating to make the turkey this flavourful. The cranberry chutney had even brought its rich flavours to another level!!! nom nom πŸ˜›

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The second course was cream of asparagus with scallop. I’m not fond of cream usually, but this creamy soup was definitely an exception. I adored its creamy texture without making me feel heavy. I didn’t know how the chef made it refreshing and creamy at the same time. It tasted absolutely divine with a distinct sweetness of asparagus and scallop. The more I had it, the more I liked it. ❀

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I was almost full after having the appetizers and second course, but I pushed myself to eat more not to waste all the delicious food here. Main course finally – Tandoori salmon with dill & honey mustard served with baby potato in cumin and naan…The salmon was perfectly cooked and it was quite interesting to have it naan. I liked it, but I liked the baby potato even more since I’m a big fan of potato. πŸ™‚ The baby potato was also perfectly cooked. It was neither too hard nor too mushy with a rich curry flavour. Yummm πŸ˜›

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Finally finally my favourite part of a dinner – dessert hehe πŸ˜› …The desserts were mango cheesecake and homemade cardamon ice-cream with pistachio. Honestly, I never liked cardamon. However, this homemade cardamon ice-cream completely proved me wrong. I actually loved it very much. I never thought cardamon ice-cream can taste this divine. It was very refreshing with a great smell of cardamon. Although the mango cheesecake wasn’t as good as expected, I didn’t care much about it since the ice-cream had already ended our night beautifully.

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❀ ❀ ❀ Merry Christmas! May this Christmas be bright and cheerful! May the New Year begin on a prosperous note! ❀ ❀ ❀

With love,

Khloe πŸ™‚