#LJIL; January 2016

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January has been one of those months, to which I can look back at, smile, and simply know that I have been beyond blessed to have experienced/ achieved all that I managed to.

I adore new starts. Well true, it can sometimes prove difficult to figure out what we want out of life/ what life wants out of us with no instruction book, and no clue as to where all the important bits are supposed to go. However, I don’t believe that new starts will definitely have to be coupled with a set of concrete intentions. Someone could simply embark on a period of ‘new-ness’ just with the meaning of feeling… ‘new’, don’t You think? As what Lee Iacocca wisely said, “So what do we do? Anything. Something. So long as we just don’t sit there. If we screw it up, start over. Try something else. If we wait until we’ve satisfied all the uncertainties, it may be too late.”

Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming… Well then, “Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” – Oprah Winfrey

The selfie above was borne out of a delightfully cheery day at school and I just couldn’t help but document the positivity that was radiating out of my soul. One day I’d have the option of looking back at these selfies and remind myself that better days do exist!

I could essentially be my own happy pill!

C H A N G E

1. I currently make it a  point to drink at least 2 cups of tea a day. It does wonders to my digestion!

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2. Speaking of digestion, I’ve also included the consumption of a litre of lemon water (1 litre of water + the juice of 1 organic lemon) 30 minutes before I have my breakfast. Why? Because it helps digestion, is a natural flush, an immune system booster, makes our skin ‘happier’ (blemish-free wheeee!), an excellent source of potassium, reduces inflammation, freshens our breath and helps us achieve/ maintain a healthy weight

More on it here: The Benefits of Lemon Water in the Morning

And here: 11 Benefits of Lemon Water You Didn’t Know About

3. I began adding vanilla into my Choco-banana oatmeal breakfasts. If You are wondering – like I did – whether vanilla or chocolate would champion in such a concoction, imagine this: chocolate marrying vanilla and then comes along a baby called “chenilla” or maybe “vacolate” – whichever floats Your boat – which has the most delightful, perfect balance of the floral tones of vanilla and the dark, musky (and might I add, sexy) tones of chocolate. It’s a beautiful marriage, I promise You.

4. I’ve also been cheeky with adding rosemary into my sweet potato curry vegetable stews.

I couldn’t have imagined how much of a world of difference these little additions made to my dining experience.

5. Winter has really made its presence known. We experienced snowfall which lasted a few days and it left us with about 10cm of snow! I had to be a lot more careful when it came to cycling – simply less adventurous/ dare devil-esque with my turns!

6. With the plunging temperatures, I’ve had to change up my biking attire a bit. I somehow found a way to wrap my scarf around my face such that it’d leave my nose and mouth snugly protected from the harshness of the cold wind (or sometimes even snow).

7. With a new term in language school comes a new set of classmates. I’ve unfortunately been separated from Wei, but Robert and a few other have thankfully been allocated the same class as me. Fortunately, too, Wei and I share the same break time (i.e. recess) so we still manage a meet-up then!

8. My refusal to let the weather dictate my fitness routine – because hey, health cannot be discounted (unless Your body isn’t in the best condition for it)! – has led to a change (INCREASE!!) in fitness level! My FT4 Fitness Watch has been showing me that I’ve been burning less calories while doing the similar routines over time. This means that my body has been getting accustomed to the form and intensity of exercise. This also means that it’s time for a level up!! Whoopeeee! :’)

G I G G L E S

1. I was paired with a South Korean woman for an activity in class and I really cannot recall as to how we got to the topic of “age” but this was what she said, “I am 31 in Korea and 30 in Germany,” followed by a quick burst of laughter before she covered her mouth with hands as she realised she had invited the attention from the entire class. I don’t know why I found myself laughing so hard, but all of the sudden, I couldn’t stop. My breath came in quick gasps between my unstopable giggles. Tears gathered in the corners of my eyes, threatening to spill over. Why? Because the first 9 months spent in the mother’s womb counts for the first year of a person’s life.

2. I was bringing in laundry when a fly flew into my apartment and refused to come out! It was already very confusing how this fly suddenly made an appearance, considering all of its friends have ‘gone into hiding’ after the temperatures plunged, but what puzzled me most was its refusal to leave! I opened all my windows and 23 minutes, the significant cooling of the apartment and the piling of three layers of clothing upon myself later, the fly finally made its way out safely.

3. I headed to Basic Bio after class one day to get some psyllium husk among other things for my pantry. After finding everything else on my list and a subsequent fruitless 14-minute hunt for psyllium husk, I walked up to a staff member who was stocking the shelves and who I found so unsettlingly familiar – unsettlingly because I couldn’t reason out why she seemed to be someone I should have actually known. Lo and behold, she was the very lady who walked into my Zumba class that evening. Just as Robert has always told me, “Munich is a village! You know everyone!”

4. I was cycling to the Gym one evening when a rabbit hopped its way onto the portion of the cycling path that I was headed for. It got to the middle of the path, looked back, looked front and then finally hopped on forwards. I found it so adorable how confusion/ bewilderment/ indecisiveness was so apparent in its eyes hahahha it left me with stifled giggles for a few metres after.

5. The term “Baby Boom” came up in one of our comprehensions in language school and a Brazilian classmate asked, “What does BOOM mean?” to which our teacher replied, “Well it’s like a… Uhm… like a BOOM You know? Hmmm a sudden increase or explosion in numbers, yes yes that’s it.” This classmate of mine seemed to be trying his very best to understand the term when he suddenly said, “Then I made a BOOM last night!” The class fell silent as we looked at each other not knowing how to react, before we burst out in an explosion of giggles and laughter – a “Happy boom” ensued hahah!

P.s. I asked my classmate after class what he meant with what he said and he replied, “Well, I farted and it sounded like a BOOM! Hahaha!”

Oh Marcos…

6. We were discussing the various origins of the German language – Greek, Latin, English, etc. when the teacher asked us, “‘Ortho-’ words originated from Greek, can any of You think of any such words?”

“Orthopaedie…,” chirped one.

“Orthodox,” added another.

Then… “Ortho-matic,” exclaimed the class clown! He was, of course, joking hahaha!

7. The disbelief at how helpless these versions of everyday products could possibly leave me made me unbelievably amused. Check them out: Artist Creates The Most Frustrating Versions Of Everyday Products!

8. My world turned u p s i d e   d o w n when I chanced upon this fresh fact! Oh my, who knew?!

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S M I L E S

1. When I arrived back in Munich on the morning of 6th January after a trip to Singapore, I was warmly welcomed by lovely words penned down by special souls back in Singapore. It was a strange sensation reading these letters – I felt like they were embracing me and making me feel protected against all that I was facing at that point in my life. If there’s one thing I’ve taken away from this letter-opening and -reading session, it’s that love knows no boundariesbe it distance, time or circumstance. Loving thoughts are so so very wonderfully powerful and empowering to say the least.

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When someone encourages you to love yourself more than you love them, never let them go. – Qiya Solihin

3. Little acts of love are so beautiful and they make my day, no matter what. This was something that made flowers bloom in my heart recently: Photographer Takes Pictures of Camera-Shy Girlfriend.

4. More acts of love: Kind Man Buys Turtles in Food Markets and Releases them Into The Sea. This would definitely count as a #givesmehope scenario.

5. Attention attention all readers from Singapore! From January 21 to February 20 this year, five planets will appear together in the skies for the first time in a decade, and they will be to the naked eye in the early hours! The five planets are Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, Venus and Mercury. How very exciting!! Read more about it here: 6 Places To Stargaze & Watch the 5 Planets From Singapore.

T U N E S

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1. Thanks to a very lovely Miriam, this has been accompanying all my study sessions this past month:

2. I’m not sure if You may know this but I’ve got the biggest crush on Calvin Harris (hahahaha) and can’t seem to stop watching this when I’m in a groovy mood:

3. Also, the wonders of nature is simply unthinkable. I mean, really, how unbelievable is this?! Check it out: Music by BIRDS

R E M I N D E R S

Always always check Your alarm twice or thrice (!!!) before going to bed. Ahh do make sure it isn’t set to PM.

Alrighty, till next month!! Xx

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