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? 😀 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!!! ❤

Porto Trip – Part 3

When I was a kid, I only dreamed to see futuristic architectures (the fancier the better). Such a dream has changed overtime…Now that I’m an adult, I wish to keep everything in balance. Living in Hong Kong, I often see high-rise buildings. They are mostly built very close to each other giving me a sense of oppression. I realise what I need is to have a balance in order to keep me alive. When I’m tired of seeing buildings, I will go out and connect with the nature.

Before traveling to Porto, I already planned to visit Crystal Palace (Jardins do Palacio de Cristal). I knew it is a place where it has the power to refresh my mind. The Crystal Palace was initially built in 1860, but the edifice of it was replaced with a huge domed pavilion in 1956 to serve as an arena hosting sport events, concert, etc.  Although the domed pavilion seems to attract most of the attentions from tourists, its adjoining gardens are equally attractive.

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I felt rejuvenated when I saw the luscious green garden right in front of the domed pavilion. It awakened the happy child inside me and I couldn’t stop smiling at the beautiful scene here. The garden was well situated to create layer effects complementing the domed pavilion. It was not only enjoyable for the eyes, but also gorgeous enough to make you amazed. The beauty of it seemed to steal my heart away, but I knew I better started moving from here in order to discover more.

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The more I walked, the more interesting my journey had become. I found a “secret garden” with a small lake reminded me of the Chinese garden I used to go with my parents. When I was reminiscing about my childhood, I heard someone whisper in my ears suddenly. I thought I could leave the whispering behind, but it was haunting enough for me to keep wondering who it was.

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After a few minutes of walk, I finally found who they were. They were volunteers who had been working here for years and the nicest people I’ve ever met in Porto. They never stopped smiling when talking to me.Their soft-spoken voice reminded me of bird singing. Their friendliness simply warmed my heart. They even showed me the way to explore Crystal Palace.

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I never thought I could find a secret paradise like this without their help. I believe the aura it had could only be maintained through silence. Distance myself from it by peeking through bushes was one of the best ways to respect its purity. The secret garden had slowly become a unique piece of jade when the color of sunbeam started changing. The shine it had completely broke through a peephole and I could no longer stay behind the bushes. I knew I had to walk through the “paradise” searched for something fantastic.

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Glad I took the courage to do so… Otherwise, I would have missed the chance to enjoy this breathtaking view. Standing on the veranda overlooking Douro River while watching all the small boats passed by was truly amazing. I wish to camp here watching stars shine bright in the dark and starlight sparkle in the reflection of the river.

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I thought nothing could steal the shine from the breathtaking view of Douro River, but it wasn’t the fact in reality. All the attention was immediately captured by peacock ever since he started walking. Although his bright-colored feathers were designed to attract more peahens, I was greatly fascinated by his irresistible charm just like any other peahens.

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He was not only charming, but also a gentleman. He showed where he usually hung out with other peahens. He sure knew one of the best ways to keep his queens happy was to show them blooming flowers. If I were one of his peahens, I would be drowning in his love.

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After spending some time with me, he had to leave for preparing a candle light dinner. Although I started missing him already, I wasn’t disappointed to explore this place alone.

Exploring the place alone was indeed delightful. I took my time to enjoy the serenity here. Let the sun gently shine on my face while listening to the rippling sound of Duro River. Each drop of the water had slowly purified my soul to make me realise the importance of living in the present.

“True happiness is… to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Behind The Darkness

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What does it feel to be in the dark? Instant fear with scary images emerged? Scared of haunting sounds slowly whispered in your ears? Feeling worried if there is no way out?

Does the darkness sound familiar to you when dealing with difficulties? Darkness drifts in as if it is going to rain heavily to wash away all your hopes and dreams… Visions have become blurry to leave your path uncertain… Carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders with the anxiety of deciding what to do in order to overcome difficulties…

The truth about difficulties is more frightening than anyone could imagine or we simply let it blindfold us with darkness? Whether struggling in the dark or being the person who sees the light through darkness and blooms through adversity, it is dependent on your willpower to fight through it.

“Circumstances don’t determine your state of mind, for that power rests with you. When you maintain a peaceful inner posture, even in the midst of chaos, you can change your life.” – Wayne Dyer

 

When Spring Brings In Good Old Memories

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I always thought what I love the most about Spring was only when the plants went luscious green and the flowers started blooming. It is a scene I always fancy since it gives me rejuvenating feelings which I feel like everything has begun to reborn. I still have the same feelings about it. However, my thoughts about Spring has changed slightly when I walked pass Clausena Lansium tree my grandfather planted unintentionally long back. He threw a seed of Clausena Lansium in our backyard after having the fruits of Clausena Lansium more than twenty years ago and it somehow grew into a big Clausena Lansium tree. Unfortunately, he can’t be here to see this tree is still going strong even after so many years. However, I’m glad that my grandfather left this precious gift to my grandmother who can still feel his presence and spirits through this luscious tree. I know it means more than just a gift. In fact, it is what feeds her soul. It seriously means a lot to her. I truly hope the tree keeps growing healthily! Also, I would like to thank the sun and the bees for taking extra care of this precious tree apart from the massive amount of care she has been putting into! ❤ Moreover, I would like to thank Spring for bringing me good old memories which made it extra special! 😉

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 🙂 . Believe it or not, I think it’s super duper cool to have a common day for everyone’s birthday. 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 😉 . 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! Happy Birthday! 😀 😀 😀

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!”) 🙂 My health finally got better on the first day of Chinese New Year, yay! 😀 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! May the bold Chinese New Year firecracker scare away the bad luck and welcome the good luck all through the year! 😛

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. 😉

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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? 😛 😛 😛

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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 😀 ).

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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 😀

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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! 🙂

With love,

xoxoxo Khloe ❤