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. 😉

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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? 😀 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!!! ❤

Magical Instant Boost

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I always try my best to stay as positive as I can, but I must say I also have one of those days not feeling my best…feeling moody…feeling a bit down…Whenever I encounter such an unpleasant mood attack, I usually take eating as a kind of therapy to cure my mood swing. The day I shot this picture was exactly the day I was feeling a bit down because I wasn’t really happy with my job searching situation.  So, same as usual I just wanted to eat. I felt like eating fish meat siu mai all of the sudden even I just finished having late lunch not long ago. The moment I stepped outside the train station to go buy siu mai was when the magical moment happened. I saw a marvelous sky doing its dancing show beautifully. Seriously,it has never happened in where I live before. I felt like God has well listened to my inner voice which he knows how much I love beautiful skies and therefore he made it happen to uplift my mood. I’m honestly blessed and grateful for this wonderful gift. It somehow told me no matter how bad the situation can get, there is always something positive waiting for you. 🙂

As promised before, riddle answers will be posted this week. Here it is:

1. Dragon

2. Goat/Ram/Sheep

3. Thermometer

Congratulations to those who got all of them right 😉

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 electric 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. 😉

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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 🙂

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 ❤

Blossoming Flower

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As many of you know that I hasn’t been really happy since my mood has been dramatically affected by the loss of my uncle. In fact, I’ve become more emotional nowadays because there were way too many sad incidents happened to my family and  life struggles happened in the past few years. It is what gets me realized life is too short. I must do something that makes me truly happy. Therefore, I choose to make art to express my emotions and thoughts. To me, art is a wonderland where I can transform a blank canvas into a colorful world which I envision to see…I can express my million complicated feelings without even talking…I can paint whatever I want without being judged by the blank canvas…The creativity will always be remained in me.

The digital artwork I made this time is exactly a wonderland to me. It is a wonderland which I envision to see in my life. Although the sad incidents and my own life struggles happened in the past few years have dragged me down for a while, I believe it is not the end of my life. In fact, I believe it is a new beginning of my life. Without bitterness, I will never know what sweetness tastes like. Without failure, I will never know what success is. Without life struggles, I will never know what I truly want. I know all of these happened will never be able to stop my life from blossoming just as the Khloe you and I see from the artwork standing firm in the middle of a blossoming flower. The more the difficulties I experience, the stronger I am. The more the cruel reality turns my life into black and white, the more vibrant I will color my life. Choosing Amsterdam as the artwork background not only reminds me of the good memories I had when travelling to Amsterdam, but it also symbolizes that bad time will be flamed to dust and good time will always be here with me.

Although the artwork was initially made to encourage myself to stay positive, it isn’t dedicated to myself anymore. It is made for all of us now. I hope the artwork helps you out and puts a big smile on your face when dealing with ups and downs in your life. I also hope  to see how your life blossom as a colorful flower. Here I am sending my sincere thanks to you who always brighten my day with your love and continuous support. I love you all my beautiful souls! ❤ Hugs and kisses to you ❤

Stay positive and smile always,

xoxoxoxo 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. 😛

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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. 🙂  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. 😀

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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. 😀 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 to 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 😛

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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. 🙂 The baby potato was also perfectly cooked. It was neither too hard nor too mushy with a rich curry flavour. Yummm 😛

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Finally finally my favourite part of a dinner – dessert hehe 😛 …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 🙂

The Sweetest Love

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My grandma has never changed a bit from I was a kid until now. She has always been genuine, loving and caring. She always spent a massive amount of time taking care of my grandfather who had stroke and diabetes before I was born. His physical movement had become limited and he needed to use a wheelchair if he wanted to go somewhere a bit far after having the stroke. He also needed to follow a special diet because of diabetes. My grandma knew she couldn’t take him back to the time when he had no stroke and diabetes, but all she knew was taking good care of him might prevent his case to go worse. From that time onwards, she handled everything related to him from a simple daily activity to a more complicated tasks. She helped him to put on his clothes and bathe. She was fully in charge of his diet to ensure every single meal he had was nutritious enough  to keep him healthy. She took him to a hospital for constant regular check-ups and wherever he wanted to go. Anything could help comfort him and make him happy, she would do it without any complaints.

Unfortunately, he had his second stroke which left him unconscious when I  was only 7 years old. Even though he was in a serious condition, my grandma was very strong and she didn’t cry a single tear. She just focused on praying hard for him and hope he would get better. He finally became conscious after a week something and told her to be well-prepared if anything happened to him again. Then, he passed away 2 days after. Although she didn’t cry much, I knew it was the toughest time of her life to lose someone she loves the most in a short period of time. I must say she was incredibly strong. She remained positive and went back to her regular routines of taking care of my brother and I right after the funeral. It was a time when my grandma and I started to develop a great bond between each other. One day, I told my grandma that I wanted to sleep with her. In fact, I didn’t want her to feel lonely without my grandfather sleeping next to her. She started to feel the love I have for her and taking good care of me has become one of her favorite things to do. She took me to school, made me delicious meals, buy me toys that I wanted…Gradually, my happiness has become all that matters to her. All these years, she wants nothing but to see me happy.

As her 92nd birthday is approaching, I’ve been stressing on what to buy her lately.  However, there is nothing she is lack of in terms of all the material things. I figured making her a hand-made birthday card with the digital art I made and other photos we took together is much more meaningful than anything else. Choosing this artwork with me smiling for the birthday card is most appropriate as she loves to see my smiling face. My smile is a reflection of all the hard work she put into making me happy. The messy background represents how much she protected me from all the noises that might be harmful to me in order to keep me happy. This artwork will be an artwork represented the love between us is unconditional and the love I received from her is the sweetest love I’ve ever had in my life.

I love you grandma!!! ❤

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With love,

xoxoxo your granddaughter Khloe ❤ 🙂 ❤