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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Where Do We Go From Here?

2020 has proven to be a unique year.  Being an 80s baby, I feel like my generation has really gone through a slew of enriching experiences in our lifetime.  We were around during the pre-digital age, went through the transition into digital, and now immersed in digital and tech.

We also experienced climate change.  I remember a time when I was younger when the day temperature averaged at 27C and nights 20C.  I distinctly remembered this because as a child, I was obsessed with general knowledge and one of the info in the book I read at the time included the average temperature of Malaysia.  And yes, I verified this with a thermometer.  It was a time when I used to hear stories of Mount Kinabalu having snow (recently there is news that snow has returned!).  Now the average day temperature is 31C and nights at 24C.

Our generation had the privilege to grow up enjoying exercising our imagination through play.  Some were more outdoorsy and sporty, while some were more on the what-can-we-make-and-do-at-home crowd.  Being in the latter group, I remember doing a lot of crafting with my mum, playing make believe with my brother -- building forts with blankets in the living room, playing Christmas day with a vase as the "Christmas tree" with our toys wrapped in newspaper at its base, pretending the bathroom was a swimming pool, paying pretend storefront with pretend money.  Then we bridged into console and computer games.  Haha.

We were the generation when the government started experimenting on changes in the education system.  Introducing English, removing subjects, introducing illustrated history books, elective SPM subjects, meritocracy (students were chasing certificates of participation and taking up co-curricular positions left and right), compulsory "book club" where we had to report on books we read, and more.

We are the generation that had to pivot from old, traditional beliefs of the working environment to a more modern, open, and flexible workflow.  A lot of my friends have since migrated from a full time 9-to-5 to being business owners and entrepreneurs.  I suppose if we could summarize my generation in 1 word, it'll be "Transitional" or "Adaptable".

Obviously I don't speak for everyone in my generation, just my direct experiences being a person of my generation.

Source : Worldometer

We've gone through economic crises and pandemics.  The biggest one is the one we're experiencing now.  An amalgamation of both health and economic crises.  Since March, when the Movement Control Order (MCO) was implemented here, so many struggled to adjust, there were lay offs, and business closures, on top of the rising number of cases.  Then we learned to quickly pivot.  Many, regardless of age, were forced to be digital.  To be online.  I'm grateful for my early immersion in the digital world.  I've been living in the digital space since 1995.  Hehehe.

Only a month ago from writing this post, we thought we had flatten the curve.  For many, work was just regaining momentum and we were embracing staycations.  In fact, my family and I were looking forward to having our staycation and chill time early this month.  I was also supposed to fly to KL for a work event and a friend's wedding this month.  Sadly, the day we were supposed to return from our staycation, was Day 1 of the inter-district movement restriction.  Our pool villa staycation immediately turned into a stay-in-cation.

In a matter of weeks, we went from 100+ total active cases to almost total 8,000 active cases.  We were doing so well.  There has been a political blame game going around that I may comment on in a later post.  For now, where do we go from here?

My Facebook feed has been showing friends and acquaintances shifting their schedule again to digital.  More grievances on cancelled gigs and events, and suffering in silence.  The financial stress of accepting the end of the 6-months moratorium we had in April-September, the heightened imbalance of income and expenses, and steady outflow of savings.

Staying positive and motivated has never been more needed.  For me, the key thing now is acceptance of the situation, remembering we're all in this together, and figuring out how to survive and ride this wave.  Having passive income has never been more essential.  As for my businesses, building a brand and awareness is paramount.  For those who knows me know that there's just so many things I want to do, so many ideas to do them, it now just time to light the torch and go.

So where do I go from here?  Survive and thrive.

Stay safe, stay sane, stay healthy everyone.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Am I back to Blogging?

 It's been awhile hasn't it?  I remember a juncture a few years back where I considered actively blogging again.  That clearly didn't happen.

Sometimes we go through life and we let life take over us.  Consume us even.  So many things has changed since I started this blogging adventure.  Yes, it was an adventure.

In high school, in the 90s, (yes, giving away age tidbits here), I was acquainted with the internet.  Then the internet brought me lessons in HTML.  Being young and hungry for knowledge (and things to do), I taught myself HTML from websites like w3schools (it's crazy that they're still around!) and the likes.  There was a time I made a website teaching basic HTML too as part of my digital experiment in creating websites on different providers.  Adel's Classroom was on Crosswinds (if I remember correctly. It was ages ago).

I played around creating sooo many websites back in the days. I wish I had a record of all of them.  I don't even remember which computer I was using to create them!  Hahah.

Some of the ones I remember:

  • Adel's Domain - This was my main personal website. I ran awards and stuff here.
  • Adel's Classroom - My basic HTML lesson website
  • Adel Online - A Teen Webring (yes, it was a thing) and personal website
  • 911 Fan Club - I don't actually remember the name but it's for the UK boy band 911
  • The Steven Spielberg Universe - A fan page on all things Spielberg
  • LimeDrops - My first foray into creating graphics and design elements for people (free!)
There were others I can't even remember now.  I know I tried Angelfire, Tripod and more.

Memories of one of the websites courtesy of the Way Back Machine

Then came the age of blogging.  I love Blogger as a blogging platform.  It is easy to use, and I could play with customizing the looks and layout of the blog.  I tried using WordPress as well but didn't quite like it (until now...) and I feel like there were other platforms I used but can't recall.

I of course went ham again with blogging.  Hahahha.  Some of my blogs were/are:
  • simply elixelle - This blog. Personal and casual.
  • elixelle's Beauty Moments - All about beauty. Hauls, reviews, education.
  • mysewingproject - I tried. Sewing is just so time consuming. LOL.
  • Casual Vanity - Basically the new home for elixelle's Beauty Moments
  • Aurora by elixelle - I had a blogshop at one point. That was fun
  • Trove by elixelle - This was my blogshop for my 2nd hand clothes and items
And I think there was one that was supposed to be documenting my fitness journey.  That journey has been on hiatus since.  Hahah.

So back to the topic of the day.  Am I back to blogging?  I might be.  There's so much to say and social media, as much as I enjoy it and love it, doesn't seem like an appropriate avenue for long form thoughts and reflections.

I'm even considering reviving my beauty blog and actually finish my lessons there. Hahaha.  I've got the experience, resources, and tools now, at least more than I used to.  But I think that may end up finding a home through my professional website.  Maybe.  I'm still in the midst of revamping that too.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

How's it going blogosphere?

Talk about being MIA from the blog realm.  To be honest, I haven't quite had much time (or drive) to take a moment to blog for quite some time.  Sad, really.  But that's just how it's been.  I keep telling myself that I should write something on my blog (or blogs for that matter) and I just don't seem to have been able to do that for many moons.

Anyways... I think a break was all I need.  For a little while there I'd go on random bursts of enthusiasm and spend hours writing posts and scheduling them.  I thought that would be most convenient for me.  But that quickly fizzled (made apparent by my lack of involvement in my blogs) and I ended up being in somewhat of a hibernation period.

I can't say whether I'll be blogging regularly or whether this is going to be just another "magical" appearance.  What I do know is that I'm not ready to let this blog go just yet.

Now, let's get down to business.  Enough of this dwelling on the past moment.

So recently I went through a massive purging of clutter (it's still ongoing really.. who am I kidding?) and realized that I'm quickly venturing into hoardersville which for me is scary.  If you've followed my blog for awhile, you'll definitely see some form of a shopaholic-ism going on.  I digress... I've thought of reviving my flea market/bazaar/garage sale glory and signed up for one organized by a previous organizer I was familiar with.  Sadly, there was a miscommunication issue and although all packed up and ready to rumble, the items never got to go on sale.  Instead, I had parked it at a friend's house for them to rummage through and pick out the ones they liked and their visitors.

Long story short, I've recently collected said items and been on a posting spree on this God sent wonderful app:

Go on click on it... It'll take you to my treasure trove of beauty items *love*

If you're not familiar with Carousell, it's basically an app that lets you snap a photo (a maximum of 4 actually), edit your photos in app, describe your item, set your price and post.  So simple, so easy and oh so convenient.  There are of course a lot of other apps with the same concept (Snap Sell, Durian, Shopee, etc) but this stuck out to me most.  I've been decluttering all my make up and beauty collection and spreading the love by selling them at an insanely ridiculously low price via this app.  Let me tell you.  The response is beyond what I had expected.  And I'm not even done yet.  I have a lot more items to put up and it's just exciting for me for some reason.  *happy place*  Anyways, if you're in Malaysia (it's available in a few other countries too!) and you're in search for make up, click on the Carousell image above to be transported to my selling page.  Alternatively of course, you can download the app on your phones (or tablets) and add me: elixelle.

I've recently been obsessed with planners and planner stickers.  It's bonkers!  I've ordered a Plum Paper Planner (I know, I know. The ECLP is all the rave.) and I can't wait to get my hands on it.  PPP has slightly narrower boxes (1.45" compared to EC's 1.5") and a lot of stickers and sticker sets seem to cater to ECs.  Maybe I'll talk more about that in an upcoming post (see what I'm doing there? Getting your hopes up. *evil grin*)!

Catch you all later! Be safe, stay positive and be true.

Love.  xoxo

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Finding Time and Progress

Yes, again, it's been awhile.  This is getting old.  I seem to be swinging in and out of the blogosphere as of the past couple of years.  Yes, I do miss blogging.  Back when I had practically all the time in the world, this was my little "project".  The internet to me is just such a wonderful place and one could learn so much from it, granted there are a few (ok, more than a few) bad and rotten apples tainting the web but for the most part, it's a huge knowledge arena with an even larger potential to grow.

When people say time waits for no man, well, it really doesn't.  You either get left behind or you find a way to catch up on it and master the wonderful art of time management.  Personally, that's a big issue I need to work on.  I'm either too early or too late and that really annoys me.  I can give myself a million and one excuses but end of the day I know where I went wrong and what I could've done better to improve myself.

Here's the thing about excuses.  They're really easy to make and sometimes you even get to fool yourself into believing your excuses.  But when you start thinking back and reevaluating your actions and decisions, it all boils down to you.  That holds true for me.  I know I have procrastination tendencies and sometimes I win the battle, sometimes I don't.  Best way to get things done is to not overthink it and give yourself time to back out but instead just decide and go in and get the job done.  It's pretty straight forward.  Really it is.  Now if only I can listen to my own advice at least 90% of the time.

Back to what I'd originally wanted to say, I really miss blogging.  Whether it's this blog or my beauty blog, I truly miss it.  I love taking product photos and editing and doing the write up, just everything!  Last night I just did some impromptu improvements to my beauty blog (which I've renamed and relocated, Casual Vanity) and I noticed there was a post I'd worked on a little while ago that have yet to be posted.  I'd even taken and uploaded product photos and swatches too, although I might need to retake and reupload them because it's just not the best shots really.  Anyways, from that I discovered new tweaks for Blogger which is super fun and this site has so many tips, tricks and tutorials on making Blogger do what you want for your blog.  Check out Helplogger if you want to learn more about customizing your Blogger blog.  I'm still giddy-ly browsing through the pages finding out new ways I could change the appearance of my blog the way I want. *wink*

Moving on...

I recently got an airfryer for the house. Some people (myself included) just love the taste of fried food but I don't like the greasy after taste (and plates) you get with it.  When I first heard about the airfryer, I was really excited but hesitant to buy.  The idea was wonderful, fry food with next to no oil.  Honestly, the price tag threw me off a bit.  The Philip one costs some RM1000 or so and I wasn't too confident it will in fact deliver its claims.  Recently I saw a friend post on Facebook about the amazing airfryer her MIL gifted her and then a beauty blogger I follow had one in her blog and raved about it.  I started looking at the prospects of getting it again and it still had the RM1000+ price tag in Parkson (and I imagine in other stores as well) but that was the older model too.  So I checked out Lelong and Lazada.  Lazada had the newer model (digital display instead of the knobs) which came with the stacking tray at a similar price as the one I'd previously seen in Parkson.

Many YouTube videos (research!) later, I decided to give in to purchasing it (yay!). Best investment in food and health ever.  Not only do you not need to add oil (unless the product you're cooking contains absolutely no natural oils then add maximum 1 tbsp), it extracts the existing oil (especially from frozen fried food) and coats the food ever so slightly with oil just for the purpose of making sure your food is cooked.  I love that you don't even need to thaw before cooking!  Love, love LOVE!!  So far we've only tried cooking frozen food (sausages, nuggets, seafood balls, fries) but I'm impressed.  I've seen some people try cooking steak and prawns in it on YouTube and can't wait to try.  I don't have to worry about leaving my brothers to fend for themselves food-wise as they can just cook some rice and pop something in the airfryer and go carry on doing whatever it is they're doing while they wait for food to be ready.  I'm getting the grilling attachment too so I can replace the basket with it and fry-grill some food.  Weeeee!!!!!

Now what else was I going to talk about? I got a bit distracted for a moment (30mins is hardly a moment, let's be honest here).

Ah yes.  Downsizing.  I've been living in excess in so many ways and I'm trying to downsize as many ways as possible.  I've sorted through some of my makeup and that's going off to friends and a garage sale. I'm getting rid of more than half of my handbag collection and we'll see what condition my shoes are in cos those need to go too.  Tangent topic: I've been really loving the Dexflex Comfort and Comfort Plus by Predictions range of shoes from Payless.  They're just super comfy!  Fioni isn't too bad either but it doesn't have the same cushion insole as the former 2 does.

I've been meaning to get back to my sewing projects too.  Maybe soon.  Was planning on sewing up my own Raya outfit with a friend.  Some things are so much more fun to do with a friend.  Hehe.

OK.  So maybe I'll save the other updates and chit chat topics for another post.  Fingers crossed it won't take months and years before that happens.  LOL!

Happy Ramadhan loves.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Neglected Hobbies and Growing Up

 December 30, 2013 
Where do I begin? I've not been blogging on any of my blogs for pretty much the greater part of this year. And to think I love writing and blogging too. Can I blame social media for that (pretty please?)? I think with the instant bursts of updates that I've been posting on Twitter and Instagram, there's little else for me to talk about or rather update on my full blown blogs.

It's not so much that I haven't had any profound revelations this year or that nothing interests me but for lack of a better explanation, I've been either asleep, marathoning TV series, spending time with my bros or just plain ol' housework. Yes, yes. Very domesticated. Responsibilities and time management ought to be BFFs but in my case they're more on a frenemy relationship.  *haha* Moving on...

 March 1, 2014 
*fast forward 2 months since the 2 paragraphs I drafted above... Eeekk!!*

To say plenty of things has been happening is both true and false really.  I teamed up with one of my aunts and opened our own little sofa and curtain showroom at Villa Tropicana (along the Penampang Bypass road). If you wanna see what we've got to offer, check out our facebook page, MYA Design Furniture & Furnishing.  If you live in the KK, Penampang, Inanam and surrounding vicinity feel free to drop by and have a look, yea.  We're open everyday except Monday. *wink*

Anyways, as I was saying... Apart from that, pretty much everything else is somewhat the same.  A few improvement and progress here and there but relatively the same nonetheless.  I tried out body massage for the very first time this year as per recommendation from a good friend.  Oh. My. God.  The most painful experience I could ever imagine willingly putting myself through.  It is supposed to be good for blood circulation and getting the veins to their optimal peak performing condition (if that makes sense).  I definitely went home with a few bruises here and there but the excruciating pain was pretty much just then and there (thank goodness!!).

Hurm... What else? Oo yea.  The part about growing up.  Well, I officially turned 30 about 2 1/2 months back (yay! December baby!) and to be honest, it doesn't feel any different.  Well, technically you don't magically become a full year older overnight, and I was 29 years 51 weeks and 6 days old before my birthday give or take. Anyways, the point being, adulthood just poses responsibility upon responsibility on a person.  The part that is quite the struggle point for me is to grow up in the circumstances that I'm in with the things that I had never envisioned myself to have to ever take on and not feeling like I'm allowed to feel overwhelmed or angry or suffocated and the likes.  I understand that everyone's journey is unique to them and I appreciate that I'm not out on the streets in much severe conditions but sometimes a girl just needs to vent. Plain and simple. Living in a house with boys, they're not the best listeners. Although I might be a bit biased since my benchmark is my mum who is still in my mind the most amazing person to ever walk the face of the Earth. Poor things. My brothers I mean. I'm grateful and very appreciative of the love and support from friends and family lending an ear (and a shoulder) whenever I need it but some things you can only share with your mum, or at least someone you can trust completely 200% or more.

Then there's the neglected hobbies.  I love blogging which may or may not be apparent from the posts I've done in the past (and amount of blogs I've created) but now I find myself not having the time (and sometimes inspiration) to write about stuff.  I think it might an OCD thing where I want to do photos and edit and stuff and the whole things gets put off when I don't get to do everything at once.  Hahahha.  Anyways, I think I need to blog again.  Keeps me sane.  Maybe home stuff like decor and organization? There are so many awesome bloggers out there doing those and I definitely am no where near their level of dedication and photo prowess.  I shall try to do my own thing.

Ah yes.  And my love, make up.  I wanna get that back up and running and maybe something more in the future.  I'll save that for when I actually get that future project launched. *wink wink*  But yea, if you're in the KK area and need make up services, or you want a private lesson at your home, drop me an email here and we'll set something up!  I've also got a ton of make up I've only used once or twice or a few times that I feel should find new homes soooo... I haven't confirmed yet but I'm gonna be joining possibly the Damai Garage Sale soon to sell them off for pennies.  It's gonna be seriously cheap and I'll have it sanitized and cleaned and there's a good mix of high end and low end brands all of excellent quality. Will announce that soon. *yippee!!!*

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Winds of Change

Midway into 2013 and change is definitely underway.  Some changes are small, some personal, and some in a big way.  This is probably the first year that I've taken charge of my New Year's resolution and actually work towards accomplishing that goal.  It's a beautiful feeling really.

"See a need, fill a need" - Robots

Instead of pushing aside or running away from issues, I'm beginning to accept them and find solutions for them.  Obviously I have yet to eradicate all issues from my life.  Haha.  Clearly some are more pressing than others to resolve while some I might not be ready to tackle just yet.  Sometimes we see a different picture than others and I understand how other people might not understand my vision in certain things.  Nonetheless I'm always open to thoughts, inputs and opinions from the people around me.

Recently I had a long (overdue) talk with my brother.  For the longest time I've feared him despite being the eldest sister here.  There were things that should've been addressed a long time ago but I'd kept mum about them and it had taken a toll on myself and our brother-sister relationship.  Sometimes you need that little boost of courage to get the ball rolling.  Sure, he wasn't too happy about the way the talk started earlier that afternoon but sometimes my soft approach isn't always the best way to go.  He didn't understand where I was coming from, shocked mostly at the changes he missed while I "grew up".  Like I've said before, change isn't always easy but more often than not, necessary.

At some point in my life, I had a fire in me.  A passion to live life to the fullest within the bounds of morality instilled in me.  As I grew older, it got lost.  I missed that.  Soon after I became a push over, someone you could take advantage of, trampled.

Sometimes I wonder how my parents did it before, especially my mum.  Adulthood definitely isn't a bed of roses.  There's just a lot of thought and weight that goes into making decisions and attempting to figure out what the right thing to do is. Nothing is black and white or straight forward. Decision and choices we make no longer only affect ourselves. Everything is played at a much larger scale and it's so easy to be overwhelmed. I'm only beginning to get the gist of what my mother had to go through many years ago. And she was right. It is tough.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Difficult Truths and Pushing Through

I have decided that 2013 would be my year of changes and betterment. I don't know if I'll pull it off or if I'd stick to my resolution but it's never to late to make that decision again and try.

Sometimes -- more often than not -- things happen out of our control and it's not even an implication of something we've done or are doing. Sometimes there are just other forces at work that interferes with our goals and future. Although at times we might not know what is going on or happening to us, with faith, God will show us truth and the path we should follow.

2012 was a tough year for me mentally and emotionally. Despite the smile I put on for the world, I felt like I was crumbling inside slowly but surely. I was beginning to fear that maybe, just maybe, I might have been going through a bout of depression. Thinking about it, I felt I am still too young to put myself through such a heavy and draining state of mind. But like all who've gone through a similar situation or phase, when it hits you, the world around you seems bleak. Hope was possibly the only thing holding you together. I was admittedly a complete wreck inside.

I'm thankful to Allah for blessing me with supportive family and friends even through times when I didn't believe in myself and didn't think there was light at the end of my path, I had support. Sometimes it may have felt like it wasn't enough but they were there.

Recently, some things have come to light and although sad, it's just one of those things that is beyond my ability to control. Looking back, everything made more sense and my instincts have been proven right. The only thing that I can do now is to pick myself up, push through and protect my loved ones.

Bottom line, never be afraid to seek help. Sometimes you just can't take on the world on your own.

2013. I'm looking forward to beautiful and exciting things this year. Insya Allah.