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Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Must-Knows for Singapore Tourists!

Why, hello there. It's been awhile, and guess where I am?

I'm currently inside the fourteenth floor of an office building in Singapore! Have a cup of hot Teh-O (Malay for the Singaporean tea) and a small box of oreo swirl cake on my desk beside my laptop as I type away.


I knew I wanted to come to Singapore in the future for work (well, not so sure about it now). Halfway through the school year of 2015/16 (around January 2016) an opportunity popped up- our university had some third-party connections that provided us with unpaid internships (we also had to pay for the program which included housing, travel activities, and some support abroad). After doing some research, I decided to conduct a finance internship in Singapore as I've heard that Singapore is quite like Canada as it's multicultural, and I've heard it's a very safe and clean country. Singapore is also known or being a finance hub, which fitted my career well. I conducted an interview with the program and voila! Tomorrow is my last day with this program. There were a lot of misses in the program, but I can say that I learned a lot and I don't regret coming over to another country to travel.



Singaporean Locals & the culture
I have to say that Singapore definitely has some really beautiful views whether in the day or night. Loads of multiculturalism here- the main ethnic groups here are Chinese, Indian, and Malay people, however, you see many different people who live here as well! The Singaporeans do speak "Singlish"- it's a mix of English with Malay, Tamil, Mandarin, and other local dialects in Singapore. I don't think I can ever learn Singlish- I'll have to learn all these languages!!
All in all, I do think that Singapore has great cultural diversity, similar to Canada, and the people are pretty nice and I feel that I can also easily feel personal with the local people, especially the elders, especially in the hawker centres.

Efficiency and the MRT system
Next thing I need to comment on is the MRT system and how things usually work in Singapore. I have to say, from the moment I arrived in Singapore, I can feel that the country is very organized and that systems run very efficiently. There are people sweeping leaves from the sidewalk everyday, trimming the plants surrounding roads and sidewalks, and businesses seem to wash their doorsteps and front porch daily! I really like the MRT system here as it's pretty efficient and easy to follow. They tell you approximately when the next train comes (usually within the next 5 minutes), and diagrams or intercoms to inform the next stop and where the trains are heading.

"Hawker Centres" and Food Courts
Source 
If you go to the right places, you can find some good and cheap food. There are hawker centres and food courts easily found throughout Singapore. As you can see, there are many different vendors located side-by-side within this centre for people to purchase food. There are many benches and tables located throughout the centre as well. I'm getting a bit too used to leaving my food on the table right after I finish as each hawker centre and food court usually has at least one or two people who come around to clean the dishes and tables. The cheapest I've seen some dishes go are approximately S$3 to S$3.50. The funny thing here is that I tend to feel hungry pretty easily in Singapore. I reckon that is because the dish sizes and servings are just enough to last you for around an hour or two before you start to feel hungry again. Or that could just be me, haha.

Ques, Ordering food, & upsizing
It's a little funny, but my Singaporean friends (I met them when they came on an exchange to my university to study) informed me that Singaporeans love a long line-up. That just implies there's good food here, or something popular or interesting they should not be missing out- whatever that is, they will not mind standing in line for (sometimes even if they have no idea what they're lining up for)! They tend to call "line-ups" ques, and the process of lining up is "queuing". Furthermore, to "upsize" a dish is to make it a larger portion!
Some pretty famous and popular dishes in Singapore include:

  • chicken rice
  • laksa (a type of noodle soup)
  • kaya toast (kaya is a type of jam- it is sweet and well-known here)
  • bak kuh teh (ribs and soup!)
There are many different asian cuisines almost everywhere in Singapore. Western cuisines and other culture cuisines can be found, but most of them are restaurants or within the malls (unless we're talking about fast-food restaurants like McDonald's and Burger King), and are usually on the pricier end.


All in all, Singapore is a pretty small country and there is only so much that one can do. There are definitely a whole lot of malls down the streets. After this experience, I can only guarantee that in the future, I want to either travel with friends or family, or travel to meet more friends or family! After all, I feel that travelling is a chance for one to get to know yourself better while encountering and learning about new cultures and broadening your mindset. On another level, it's not where you travel to, but who you travel with! It's a little annoying when people gush that I'm lucky to be in Singapore for a month, but in reality I'm often alone and there is only so much I can do in this small country. I cannot wait for my next stop in the Philippines! ^_^ More on that soon! I also can't wait to write up a blog post about my future plans and how travelling is taking a part of my life!

Keep up-to-date for Part 2- locations to visit in Singapore, and part 3 for working in Singapore!

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Summer '16, Here I Come! {Life Update}

Why, hello everyone!

Wow, it's been so long since I've posted. Whenever this happens, I can even feel a twinge of anxiety and guilt when I attempt to sneak back into the blogging world! :P Anyway, summer '16 has arrived for me and wow, second year has flown by!! I feel that I enjoyed second year way more than first year, likely because I started to realize the various opportunities available on campus, and learned more of who I was, and became more adapted to campus life.

A few interesting things that happened this school year 2015-16:
  • I worked at our university's call centre during first semester (this is going to be a fun topic I'll leave for a blog post later on!)
  • I got way more involved in extra-curricular activities: I was an English Conversation Leader for the International and Exchange Student' Centre, my friend and I created a club together, and I was self-employed as a part-time teacher!
  • My business class (Business 2257)'s Feasibility Study Project was a definite highlight of my year- this project constantly took up some of my time throughout the year and it was a horrid experience (the first time I ever pulled an all-nighter) while I learned a lot about teamwork and projects
  • I was surprisingly able to somewhat balance my school life, work, and sleep (a little bit of social life, but it can definitely be improved)! 
I have finally moved back home for the four months' of summer and I cannot wait to spend more time on my blog! I've constantly been thinking about blogging, and I was wondering if I should continue with this blog or should I create a new blog altogether? I think I might just continue with it, but change my domain name and design later on, just to preserve my dear followers and my past posts. :) 
Anyway, I will definitely talk more about my work balance with school in a later post- this post shall be your "warm-up" post, and behold my massive splurge of posts later on! 

Here is my iPhone 4s photo to remind you of my face (I took right before my last exam):
 



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Sunday, 27 September 2015

Rosa Novias Bridesmaids

Hi everyone,

So I am introducing a website to you all- a bridesmaids' dress website called RosaNovias (based in Australia). They offer plus size bridesmaids dresses, lace bridesmaids dresses, cocktail dresses, and more.

Some key notes when purchasing bridesmaids' dresses:

  • Aim for baby colours or lighter colours
  • Avoid trying to steal the bridesmaids' spotlight; design should be sweet and simple
A few from RosaNovias that I really adore (they have a wide variety- I suggest at least taking a browse to see what kind of designs you like and perhaps finding that in a store if you feel online shopping is sketchy):
Dress



Plus Size Dress


For sure take a look at the variety of designs :)

Have a great day!





Note: This is a sponsored post. All ideas and thoughts and this blog post was written by me. 


Monday, 14 September 2015

Senpai, Please notice me~! *Squeal* Animethon 22

"Senpai, please notice me!" (Followed by a squeal). 
Haha.. that was like the hit line for casual street talk awhile ago~ :P

Talking about anime, have you watched any so far? I know many who are more into TV shows or dramas since they're more realistic, and animes seem childish.. but seriously try watching one- especially if you're bored or if you're feeling stressed out and sad because they will boost your mood- I'm not kidding! C: Some of them are so funny and agh, you could really get addicted to them! I was first hooked onto manga back in eigth grade.. ah, those good ol' days when we didn't have much homework and I'd be spending the nights laughing over the books. ;) Many of the books I were reading were "shojo mangas" which is more on the girly, highschool side (mind me, I was still a growing teenage girl!).

Anyway, here was my last Animethon post, which I gotta say, felt like forever ago.. and I do feel fairly bad about only being able to fit in 5 posts during the 12-months gap!





As you can tell, I did not cosplay this year like I did last year... pout.. cosplaying can get expensive, or costly (time-wise) if you decide to do-it-yourself! I tried to fit in with the whole anime/cosplay spirit with these kitty tights and the hair bow on my head! 


(...a few months later: September)!!
Hi everyone! So I started typing up this post a few weeks ago, and here I am, finishing it up! :P
Boy, did summer go by fast~ I'll definitely be posting up a reflection of my to-do list !!! (Let's see if I actually completed it :P)! 

Cheers to a new school year!!

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Inspired by Mint Chocolate- yum!

Morning, all! Typing straight from my sister's laptop in a residence! :) It's the first week of August and you know what that means, right? Probs not, haha, but it's Animethon Season! Don't know if you recall my post from last year about Animethon! A post this year shall be airing! :)

Anyway, this outfit was from a couple of days ago and didn't make it on the blog as quick as I had planned for it to. This outfit reminds of mint chocolate- black, brown, and green- yum!! Haha! Oh, right, and the cherry red on top! :D 

I think crop-tops are best paired with high-waist (or in my case, I suppose, something that looks high-waist)! I don't think patterns clashing are a complicated mess, not if the colours are bold enough to outweigh the patterns! Tidying it up with a brown leather shoulder bag which brings the outfit to a more organized end, haha. 




These shoes are from Aldo- I'm loving the newest trend of sporty sandals- they are so chic and effortless, plus they feel oh-so-comfortable! I also love the glitter on my sandals! The only worry I have is that the straps on the sandals seems similar to sand paper.. ah, but all for the good price of roughly $30. 


Outfit Details: 
Top: H&M
Skirt: American Eagle
Shoes: Aldo
Necklace: vintage
Bag: Marco Polo
Sunnies: Target



Do you have any outfits inspired by any type of food? :P
Let's name some, haha! 


Much love,
Nicole







Friday, 31 July 2015

Spending the summer with books.. as if all those textbooks weren't enough during the school year!

I loove reading. Even textbooks (as long as they're interesting! Psychology? Yes! Economics? Gulp...).

Let's talk books that I've read so far during the summer! Squeezing time in between full-time work, French class, piano theory class (and studying for it), and above all, helping get groceries with my newly received driver's license and spending time with family, I had a chance to read two books! What an achievement, hey? Haha.

As you've heard, it was a hectic summer so far, so no photos for this post (at least, no photos taken by me)! Just reading- how does that sound for a blog post about books? ;)

Book #1: Quiet by Susan Cain
Source

I loved and enjoyed her TEDtalk: The Power of Introverts so I knew I had to get ahold of her book! This book is almost a must-read- whether you are a self-declared introvert or extrovert. After reading this book, I can be more proud and confident about being a half-introvert. This book doesn't just describe the pros (and cons) of being an introvert, it also gives insight to how you can make your whole life easier and fulfilling for yourself just by doing the smallest things: for example, introverts may feel obligated to attend all those parties and accept the party invitations coming in every week. A tip brought up in the book suggests limiting yourself by suggesting a number of parties you will go perhaps every month and stick to it. It will make you feel a lot more comfortable about rejecting the others because you have already achieved your maximum! There are also tips for introverts on networking and other things.

This is not only a great book for extroverts to get to understand introverts- but useful for introverts to get to know themselves and not be ashamed of those occasional tingly feelings of wanting to be by themselves elsewhere during a party. 

Book #2: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
Source

Also a must-read for anyone- a similar style to Quiet, this book draws forward to encouraging women to "lean in"- taking action to lead the life they want without being criticized or held back because of their gender, and encouraging men to understanding the gender inequality gap that still exists after years of slowly becoming narrow and also giving tips to how they can lean in.. to the kitchen table. 

She also spoke about the issue of not enough women leaders and the topic of feminism on TedTalk.

I would strongly recommend both of these books to anyone- a real good read to understand and know about the people around us (and/or ourselves), plus understanding and closing the gender gap!   

Another book I am going to start reading before school kicks in in September is by Dale Carnegie. I'll be sharing my thoughts on it after I've finished it or during my read- I've read some online reviews and most of them sound great! Plus, it was recommended by my business teacher. Of course, right when I borrowed it from the library, I expected my sister to be sneaking around and reading my books. She gave me a thumbs-up on this book, so I have a pretty darn good feeling about this upcoming one!

I hope you've got some books on your shelves that you can grab and dive into excitement when you have the need to kill some time or entertain yourself! :) And of course, I don't just love reading books, I can't wait to catch up on some blogs!

Let me know your thoughts on the books in the comments below or share some books that you've been reading or if you have any recommendations for me! 



Cheers! 
-Nikkie

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Summer OOTD ! & First-Year University Reflection!

Ello ello! So I said I would be back and here I am, haha (yeah, like 1 month later.. ;_;)! 

Well, anyway, the uni life post that I was promising is here! HERE!  I actually don't have that strong urge anymore to post about this topic in particular because of my poor memory...

But as most cliches have it- the show must go on! *sits up straight*


The outfit for today- a light cotton blue shirt, feeling cool under the blazing sun! Adding some pops of orange to the outfit with my bag and these heels! ;)

Don't forget sun glasses during the summer- they help protect your eyes from the terrible UV rays; too important: if there is something you must take away from today's post, it is to wear sunglasses- even during the winter because of snow (you can get blinded by the sharp white colour if you stare at it too long)! 






What were your thoughts before you went into university? 
To be honest, it didn't quite hit me that I was departing to eastern Canada until 2 nights before my flight to London, Ontario. I was laying in bed, going to sleep, and I was like, oh my... in two more nights I'll lying in a dorm in an unknown place with a roommate. I actually started panicking really hard and tried to do mental preparation, which I suppose did help- my transition was actually not too bad; I was absorbing everything splurging my way! I did break down when I was heading back to school after I went home for Christmas break. Anyway, I didn't give much thought about it, and I think it was mainly because I was avoiding the topic of going somewhere else by myself (well, my Mom came with me to help prepare, but that was it), while everyone else I knew basically stayed in town for their career or life, whatnot.

Expectations:
Truth be told, I suppose I did for maybe some split seconds, think I'd magically transform into this super outgoing person with a million new friends, having a great time, living the college life! 
Reality? I guess not.. haha.. ended up studying some Friday nights while the party music upstairs start booming at roughly 10pm. 
Mostly, I was hoping to continue to be involved within campus and to make sure my life was balanced with school, socializing, and all that, while being happy and healthy. 

Did you meet your expectations for university?
Maybe I could have if I specified my goals and actually aimed at them, coming up with plans and more. I definitely enjoyed the experience, even though there were lots of downs and ups- if I stayed in town, I wouldn't have cultivated this new mindset I have fostered which opened me up. I am so incredibly blessed to have this experience (though not yet excited or ready for school again in September, haha). In the end, just go with the flow! Everything seemingly worked out fine and I have learned a lot.






Tie a knot on the ends of the shirt for an edgier, more nonchalant feel! 





Any tips?



  • Get your butt out of your comfort zone! Join a club and go to sessions, even by yourself, if nobody wants to do it with you. You get to meet some great people, have a great time, and you will feel fulfilled/feel that your university experience is at least worthwhile with this activity! 
  • Balance your life! University isn't just about studying- as said above, maybe join a club, make a club, get a job for the experience (and extra cash should help with your tuition, no?), and do something different, something you would normally not do! Why not study abroad? Consider things you would normally not think about!
  • Prepare... for the unexpected! There are times when a door will close- you were rejected for a position, you don't do as well as you expect in school, or if your relationships are getting weak. Embrace these "down-times"- when a door closes, more doors open: more opportunities and space for improvements. Don't stop.. believing!
I might sound super positive, like I totally nailed all of these, but nope! There were times when I missed an opportunity, I was afraid to take the leap, but I won't regret it, rather I'll embrace the chance for me to reflect and learn!






Until next time! :) I hope you are all enjoying your summer! 
What lessons have you learned from this year? 
Any reflections or thoughts you'd like to share? I got my ears open for you! Leave your blurb below!
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