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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

2014 Highlights

Happy New Year, guys!

I know I'm kinda late considering this is already the 6th day of 2015, but better late than never, so here's to wishing all of you a great, great year ahead, that 2015 will be the best year yet for you and your loved ones! :)

This post sat in my draft since 31st December 2014. Been so, so caught up with so many family commitments, weddings, work and a last min road trip that I didn't actually have time to pen this down before 2015 arrived, which I was supposed to and is something that I'm feeling pretty disappointed about :(

Before we headed to Ming Han's NYE party on 31st, I took an hour out to reflect on all the highlights of 2014. I was feeling really uneasy the whole time thinking that I haven't had time to sit down, reflect on how the year went and what I want to achieve/change in 2015, so by hook or by crook, I had to make time to sit down and get my thoughts straight, and be mentally and emotionally ready to welcome 2015.

And guess what aided me in recalling all the moment?

Instagram :')

Scrolled through my Instagram account starting from posts in January all the way to December, and copied the photos from my Facebook Instagram album, which explains why the photos below aren't too high res. My apologies for that!

So let's begin. There were many beautiful, happy moments spent with the loved ones in 2014, and some upsetting ones too (2x car accidents, friendship issues, and some others). They were all part of my year and I've accepted and moved on with it.

But here are my highlights of 2014, things that I did different, new adventures and significant moments that should be remembered years down the road.



January 2014

El-Shaddai Refugee Learning Centre Library Makeover Project

I gathered a group of young people (myself included *ahem*) to help the El-Shaddai Refugee Learning Centre in Klang to give their library a makeover. We previously collected a good sum of money during Emerge 2013 to help this learning centre, and they made their needs known to us that they really needed help to revamp their library, and so we did!


First off, a group of us went to the place to clear and throw away old, unwanted items and tidy up the room which will soon be a conducive learning space for the students! We then did some recce and see what furniture needed to be bought, took some measurements and went for Klang Bak Kut Teh after hehe.


On our second trip, we brought along some truly talented artists who did some amazing drawings on the walls, removed the book shelves to be cleaned and spray-painted outside, and these were our fruits at the end of the day!


Went back on a third visit to install new floor mats, and to receive the new furniture we bought from IKEA!


We spent another whole day there, and look at this husby! He can literally sleep anywhere. Good, but not good. Tsk tsk.

It was a long process from getting the funds, to gathering the manpower, liaising with the management, buying the paint and tools, buying the furniture, moving the books and racks in and out and in and out again. But thank God I didn't have to do it alone, and accomplished it with a group of young, willing and compassionate people. Thank you guys. You know who you are :)



February 2014

Sony Alpha 5000 at a Bloggers Preview- Won a Camera! 


I'm not one who is lucky enough to win prizes at lucky draws, but this time, I really got lucky!

You can read all about the details of how I won the camera in this post HERE, but the gist of it is that we were all supposed to compete by taking the best photo using the new Sony Alpha 5000, and the best photo wins the first Sony Alpha 5000 in Malaysia!


This was my winning shot. All the researching before my pre-wedding photoshoot did help after all, eh? :P 

Best feeling ever! 



March 2014

Invited Speaker for R.E.A.L. Schools' Social Media Anti-Bullying Campaign


Was one of the invited speakers to touch on anti-bullying in social media, alongside Nadine Ann Thomas (Miss Universe Malaysia 2010) and Dr. Edward Chan (International Psychologist Centre).

It was quite an eye-opening and enriching experience for myself, speaking on such a powerful topic as a blogger and social media influencer. Poured my heart and soul into preparing the topic because I knew that someone somewhere in the crowd would be suffering from bullying on social media. Turned out that there were more than a few who came up to me at the end of the talk to pour out their feelings to me, cried and asked for advice. That was when I realised that the younger generation are put in so much stress in this day compared to us when we were younger. With social media taking over our lives more and more these days, the pressure to be popular and keep up with trends are so overwhelming, even for students as young as Form 1.


It was my first ever autograph session :')

Felt so, so awkward! I mean, why would anyone want my signature? Was pretty reluctant to do it but I went with the flow anyway when I saw that it meant so much to the students. Including their name in my autograph would mean so much more to them, which they would afterward tag me on Instagram to shout out about it. Oh, how things have changed. The Form 3-me would have been extremely shy and too paiseh to even ask for Wang Lihom's autograph!


Group picture with all the teachers and students of R.E.A.L. Schools, Hulu Langat. Such a dynamic bunch! I'm tempted to send my future kids to this school already!


CHCKL Walkathon with #D11CG


It was the first Walkathon of our church, and our cell group put in the money and energy to prepare and sell Chrysanthemum drink! It was the haze season then so everyone wanted to get one, and it was all sold out within just a few hours. Great job, D11!

Oh yeah, all of us went as nerds! I was the preppy valedictorian :P


Believable? :P



Surprise Trip from the Husby- Perhentian Kecil Island Getaway!

This sneaky husby planned a surprise trip for us during his offshore days, and kept asking me to free those particular dates cos he would be back, and so I did. Turns out he came back way ahead, and then told me that he will be bringing me somewhere on those dates.

He asked if I wanted him to fully surprise me by packing my stuff for me, or letting me know where we'd be going so that I can pack for myself. Knowing that I would definitely prefer to pack for myself (cos he'll always pick my ugly clothes which he thinks are nice), I asked him to tell me where we're going instead, which turned out to be Perhentian Kecil, an island I'd always wanted to visit!


At the Long Beach, located behind where we stayed. It was beautiful!


The seas were a lil rough when we were there, so snorkelling wasn't perfect and waters were a lil murky, but it was still a great time roughing it out with the waves, tumbling here and there, accidentally drinking sea water and getting sand stuck all over our bumbums! We were basically like kids again getting all excited at the sight of the beach.


It was also perfect for photography. I realised that the best time for photos at the beach is right at noon! The sun is blazing hot, but the colours are the most beautiful.


Bought Rainbow!

We bought the most expensive home electrical appliance yet- The Rainbow Cleaning System!


The husby has sinus problem, so we felt this would be a great investment for our home. It cost a bomb (RM10k), but it worked wonders and after close to a year, we're still using it happily as an air freshener and vacumn cleaner for our couch, bed and even on the floor!



April 2014

Reunited with Childhood Friends


Sarah (far right) came back from Melbourne after migrating there since more than a decade ago, so we met up for a scrumptious seafood feast at one of my favourite eateries, Wong Poh Seafood!

That's Joanne, Jolene and Sarah. They were all my very, very close friends from church back when I was still a kid. We used to dance tambourine together, discussed about crushes (one of them happened to be Boon. not my crush btw. hahahah thinking back it's just too funny!!), countless sleepovers and phone conversations! Now we're all grown up working adults. Time flies, but friendships like these need to be kept.


Blogger Engagement with the Mumsy- Borneo Soap

One of the main perks of being a blogger is that we get invited to experience really cool stuff sometimes, and what's better is to have our loved ones experience it together with us! You can read all the details in this post HERE.


It was a mothers' appreciation event where all the bloggers got to bring their mummies along for a fun time together, buffet lunch at Starhill, followed by a nice massage at Ritz Carlton.


It was a great mother-daughter time. Appreciate events/engagements like this!



May 2014

Boon & I Spoke at Strictly Students


The husby and I were invited to speak on relationships at Strictly Students service. I shared with the girls some of my experiences and values I carry while in a relationship, while Boon shared with the guys on how to be a man. Lol not exactly, well, just generally how to treat and respect a girl.

It was a really great time spent, and the questions that came pouring in were too many to handle within just one hour! Relationship/friendship issues are so real, and without support and proper advice, it can be real tough for a young person to go through alone. After the talk, many of them messaged/emailed me personally to share more, and even some of my readers started emailing me their problems asking for advice too. I feel absolutely honoured when they trust me like that, and at the same time I wish I could do more than just replying their emails. I hurts me seeing young girls mistreated in a relationship, not knowing how to protect and carry themselves. Will definitely welcome anyone who wishes to share with me. I'm only a Facebook message/email away :)


Random Penang Trip with the Husby

Been wanting to visit Penang again for the longest time with the husby! The last two trips to Penang were work trips (emcee gigs) where I brought Gladys the sis, and another the mumsie, but this time, it's no work, all play (and food) trip!



It was a quick 2D1N road trip focused on food hunting alone! Managed to eat everything that I wanted- Ah Leng Char Kuey Teow, Laksa, Fried Oyster, Prawn Mee, Hokkien Mee, Muachee, Apom, visited the famous China House cafe where we sat there and listened to the live band from start to finish!



Two hours went by just like that while we were just enjoying our drinks and listening to the couple belt out jazz renditions of pop and oldies. Such a great time. Afterward we went to Hard Rock Cafe which, aside from the drinks, was a disappointment. The band was just...bad.


Went back to China House again the following morning for desserts before we left, and took some pics! Thank you kind passerby for helping us capture this shot! :)


Bangkok Trip with the Buddies


Spent 4D3N in our second home- Bangkok with the buddies! Great time of food, shopping, food and more food.


Visited the really special Bookshop Bar! You can read my detailed post HERE.




June

Chiq Fliq Hired a Staff!

Goodbye to amateur banner designs by yours truly! Brought my friend, Lee Peng onboard as Chiq Fliq's designer who has been responsible for all Chiq Fliq's designing from June 2014 onwards! She has been doing a great job. If you wish to engage a freelance designer/web designer, contact Lee Peng at engleepeng@gmail.com. She was also the one responsible for my new blog revamp that you're looking at! :)


My First Fashion Week! KLFW14


I'd been invited several times to various fashion week in KL, but never really attended cos got no kaki (company), but this time knowing that Chenelle would be going too, I went ahead courtesy of Clozette.co!




Hillsong Conference, Sydney 2014


Hands down, one of my greatest highlights of 2014!


Since I was little (say, 7 years old?), I had been listening to Hillsong up til now, and used to watch their live worship DVD at home and pretend that I was Darlene Zschech :P That little girl could only dream of one day being in a Hillsong live worship session, but God granted more than what I wished for. We went for the much celebrated Hillsong Conference in Sydney instead!


First night of the conference. Felt surreal and was so hard to believe that I was actually there among tens of thousands more delegates from all over the world.


Every session of every night and day were phenomenal. I was so blessed again and again by different speakers, the presence of God through the worship, and just learning by seeing and hearing from different people who spoke in the Masterclasses (workshops in between sessions!)


So soaked in the presence of God. Thinking about it gives me goosebumps as I'm typing. Thank you, God for the opportunity to be there, to learn, to experience. 


While we were there, we made a super last min/impromtu decision to join the rest who already bought their tickets to watch Lion King The Musical!

It was so last min that Boon gave up having the yummy Jap ramen dinner we were having to queue up for the last hour in hopes to get the last few tickets. We had to wait until no one claimed their reserved tickets, up til the last min we managed to get 2 tickets of different seatings and prices. We went ahead anyway, sat at different sections, burned our pockets but totally not regretting it. We LOVE musicals and apparently Lion King is one of the many very well done ones, so we were lucky! Felt so touched that the husby went lengths just to get the tickets for us. You're the greatest, baby.


We visited Newtown with our usual company for the trip, and it was my first experience eating Cronuts (croissant-doughnuts)! It was foodgasmic!!


Cronuts at Brewtown, Newtown.
Been craving for it everyday since I had it!


Hillsong 2014 was such an experience! Definitely isn't our last Hillsong conference. Looking forward to bring our children to Hillsong Kids while we attend the conference in the future :)



July 2014

Shot Chiq Fliq's First Youtube Video


With Gordon Ling from Reanimated Studios, starring our much loved Chiq Fliq model Lynn Lim, and Malaysian pride, illusionist Zlwin Chew.

It was a casual, fun project collaborated with some of my favourite people!
Watch the video below! :)



Featured in City News


Was honored to be one of the many outstanding personalities featured in City News SG. Thank you for remembering me. I'm absolutely flattered!



August 2014

We Bought a New Ride!


You can read about it HERE.


Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Seminar, Kota Kinabalu

Spent 3D2N in KK with a bunch of my church friends and leaders for the seminar, and it was one of the most interesting experiences ever. Aside from learning lots on Relationships and Marriage (on the first day), me, along with ten over people who shared the seafood dinner with me got food poisoned to the very core that left us all having severe diarrhoea, vomitting, fever, headache and just overall feeling weak and crappy.

All thanks to these. We suspected it was the oyster :/




Thank God I slowly got better after a while, and manage to catch the glorious KK sunset after camping indoors for 12 hours straight. Phew!



Uncle's Wedding

My beloved uncle got married! Assisted him in organising the programmes, coordinating the actual wedding reception and inviting performers.


Rememebr our trip to Penang? We got the contacts of Jay and Hazel who performed at China House, and thought of them immediately when we were looking for performers! So glad they managed to come, where they sang beautifully at my uncle's wedding reception. Felt so happy to hear our favourite duo again :)


September 2014

Husby's Birthday!


Gave him a surprise to be pilot for a day! Read detailed birthday post HERE.


Ended with a lovely dinner at El Cerdo :)


GUESS Blogger Awards Top 4


After months of competing online, yours truly emerged as the Top 4 finalist for the GUESS Blogger Awards organised by female Magazine :)

Read my OOTD contest entry post HERE.


Blogger Engagement with the fambam- Sharp Quattron TV


Definitely one to remember cos it's my first blogger engagement with my family! Thanks to Sharp Malaysia, my family was sponsored a trip to Zoo Negara where a team followed us to capture the fun moments, where we got to view back on the Sharp Quattron TV! You can read the post HERE and HERE.



October 2014

Organised Dzonecamp 2014 with the Husby!



Where we hosted and organised telematches/talentime together with this amazing bunch of young people from Strictly Students!


Such fun times!


Met Baby Junya!

Got to know Cheesie a little better this year after engaging her a couple of times for Chiq Fliq sponsorships and collaborations, and was one day invited over to her place to have tea and just chitchat! I bought onigiris over and we looked through her wedding and honeymoon pics until #bbjunya woke up from his nap! :)


It was a really nice afternoon. Made me wanna have baby even more!



November 2014

Tokyo, 2014


Where we visited Disneyland (my first time, the husby's second after Paris Disneyland) and Disneysea where I was just feeling super surreal and overwhelmed. Never dreamed that I would one day step foot into such a magical place.


The ultra fun and scenic Disneysea!


Toy Story alien mochi's that were super yummeh :P


Odaiba- had our first Purikura together!


Early Autumn at Kawaguchiko Lake!


Where we also spent..


Our 2nd Anniversary!


Where I spent 4 hours writing our Wedding Day post!



25th Birthday! 


Brunch at Nutmeg, surprise spa, surprise birthday gathering. Cannot ask for more :)



Blogged all about it HERE!


Our 10th Year Anniversary


This is surely worth noting. 10 years anniversary from the day we dated til now. We're officially a Primary Standard 4 kid now! Yay!


Joined Nuffnang Malaysia


Have always been an independent blogger, non-exclusive to any blogging advertising agency, but decided to give Nuffnang a try after they invited me to be a part of the Blogerrati programme, and I'm glad I said yes. It's been real nice so far working with the team at Nuffnang. Looking forward to more fun in the days to come! :) 



December 2014

Sisterhood of the Random Roadtrip!


One day Sarah texted me and asked if I was interested to go on a random all girls road trip. I said yes, she asked me to block my dates, and there I was on the most random road trip I've ever been on!

We were all invited at random, and though we see each other in church, we were nothing more than hi-bye friends who never had proper conversations before. This trip brought us all closer, where we went on spontaneous food/café hunts, did a makeup tutorial by yours truly, and stayed up til 4-5am pillow talking and sharing our hearts out, discussing marriage/relationship questions, etc.


It was a very meaningful trip to me. So glad we did this :)


These were my highlights in 2014, alongside many others that were not mentioned here. In 2014, I received a good number of emcee and blogging gigs, and I'm thankful for all the opportunities and open doors. To all the brands who worked with me, thank you for choosing and trusting me. To all my readers who have been reading, thank you for supporting me all the way. Without you, I would have given up blogging long ago. Grateful for all that has happened in 2014, the good and bad.

Okay, Grammy's speech over.

Til' the next time :)
xx


love, Careen

3 comments:

  1. It seems like you married your best friend :) Only too glad to find out that because i'm now 19 and am already completing 4 years with my boyfriend. Been feeling quite vulnerable for being so utterly sure - it really scares me. Thanks for the assurance that you unintentionally gave me!

    ReplyDelete
  2. May I know where did u go for the random sisters road trip? ;)

    ReplyDelete

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