Memory keeping with Photobook Malaysia

It’s an aging thing – memory keeping. Little girls grow up to become young ladies to later turn into women and soon.. aunties that loves the monstera deliciosa species and looking at old photos.

Despite the many photos I have uploaded and kept in my phone and stored in my cloud – I feel I need to have physical photos to look at once I get very old and feeble. InsyaAllah kalau umur panjang.

Recently Photobook had a Payday promotion. I can print 100 pieces of 4R Matte photos for only RM28 (including delivery). I used the offer to print out photos of my kids. Then, I brought another voucher in a different promotion which allows me to print 200 photos for only RM32. I used it to compile photos of my parents in law and hope to present it in an album and give it to my MIL on her birthday.

Photobook lets you save your work on the My Project section. You could use photos from your own desktop, digital files or even Google photos. My recent project were mostly from Google photos. It can be quite a pain to find the photo that you want from there if you’re not organized especially when you want to print 100 pieces. I suggest you start organizing the photos on your Google account a.s.a.p. Prior to starting a project on photobook, I put the images that I want in an album on Google photos. I labeled it as Photobook project 100 photos. This is so – that when I start my project, I can just upload the photos from that existing album instead of having to scroll in the little space for the photo that you want.

I also find that some vouchers do not work on the Mobile App. Hence, to be sane.. use your laptop/desktop. Delivery was super efficient. In Malaysia, you can expect your photos to be delivered as fast as 2 working days via GDex.

My next photo printing projects will be mostly on our travels. Perhaps I’d do a coffee table book to get conversations started. Or turn photos into interesting momentos. We will see.

Filtering Instagram

For the past few months – I have been decluttering my Instagram Following list. I have less than 500 genuine followers but I myself am following more than 1000 other accounts. I had thought to myself do I need to follow all of these accounts? Park Seo Joon has over 4 million followers and yet he only follows 79 people. Like, whoa. That was mind blowing.

I started by unfollowing accounts that has been inactive for more than 6 months, fake profiles and selected sellers account. The trend back then was if someone follows you, you are (made to feel) obliged to follow back. When in fact, there could be sinister reasons as to why they would want to follow you. For instance, they are selling on Instagram and they see you as a potential buyer, so they’d leave a like on your photo, give a random comment and click Follow. When you follow them back, you realize that they intend to flood your feed by advertising the things they sell.

So, I unfollowed those accounts that sells tudung I would not wear, dresses that I won’t fit into or way above my budget, accounts that sell seasonal viral food like asam or fish skin or those with stores which are not located in Melaka or KL. Like why would I follow a shop based in Terengganu and does not do postal services.

Then I unfollowed celebrity profiles which I feel would not add value to my life or whose lifestyle are not one compatible to mine. I still keep ctdk and chef wan for instance alongside IU (korean singer). But I did remove personalities like David Beckham etc.. coz they just seem so far away. I think I followed Beckham because of Harper initially. I could always read up on her via Google or some sort of tabloid site.

Which comes to the next accounts on the list. The tabloid accounts. I feel I don’t need to follow all the ohbulan, lobakmerah, yada yada cause they highlight almost the same things. Plus, I am seeing a lot of them already on Facebook as my friends love to share the links on the news feed.

I also filter the influencers. I slashed ambiguous product sellers, profiles that make tutorials I have no use for at the moment

These itself got me down to a few hundred already and I was already at about 700ish at the time. Next was a bit difficult as I go through my planner and stationary related list. Some had gone inactive, said goodbye to a few sellers and made a mental note to follow the good ones on my other IG account called Hobominci. That is specific to it.

Once I have passed that, I went through the recipe/food list. This was easy to do and now I only have a handful of accounts to follow.

Now I am at a stage where I need to choose which friends that I know personally to remain as a follower. So far I have removed myself from accounts that are inactive, hacked or for some reason has become a hardcore sellers account. I am OK with the occasional feed that promotes their business but not every single one of them. I also deleted accounts that are equally active on Facebook because I don’t need to see the same updates on both social media.

Since I still have FOMO – I decided to follow hashtags. It gives me a variety of accounts to stalk and explore. It still feeds my curiosity of the wonderful things that are happening around me. I am proud to say that from the more than 1000 accounts I have followed, now it is down to about 235 accounts. I will declutter from time to time.

In a way I can use my extra time to create more content and focus my time more on other activities such as reading or cleaning the house. Ha ha ha. Gosh, cleaning is like forever. It will never be done.

I gave away books for free the other day and boy, it was a lesson learnt

Whenever I get disheartened of a humane act or good deed I do as part of Tabung Minci or for just being an NGI, I’d scroll through my previous blog posts to gather insight on why I do this in the first place.

Like this post.

I am still learning how to ‘Give Properly’. To give in abundance, in ikhlas, precious and hopefully of need and meaningful to the recipient.

Recently, I decided to do book gifting to my colleagues. It was Xmas season. I mean, who wouldn’t like a book to read right?Surely professionals would love a book. And is willing to try and take on a new genre. Right? Apparently not. I got them wrong. haih.. paiseh.

The books are handpicked from my own shelf. These are books that I love to read, only knowing myself – I wouldn’t read them the second time because of time constraint. I still have a lot on my TBR (to be read) list.

Anyway, all of these books are too shiny, glossy and pricey to be rounded up in a recycling bin. And to do a jumble sale is taking too long to organize. I could actually donate them to a public library but the titles felt so personal ( I honestly don’t know how to explain) that I thought why not share the joy of reading them with my friends.

For each person, I chose a book that I feel would suit their personality and once I gave it to them personally- that was when things got interesting and awkward to a certain extent.

Common questions I got was

  • Why are you giving this?
  • Is this a gift or are you lending it?

Heartwarming response

  • reading the synopsis and willing to try a new genre
  • saying a simple thank you and keeping the book in their personal bag
  • caught already reading the book and loving it so far
  • talking about the book and recommending titles that I may like (bonus)

Heartbreaking response (trying to be chill about it though)

  • without a single flip through the book asking is he/she could sell the book on shopee (I said the book was a gift – it is up to you to do as you please. There was a small thug in my heart as the book was a really good one. If I had known, I would have given it to someone else)
  • without reading the synopsis , kept it in the office drawer. We all know whatever goes inside the drawer, never makes its way out unless it is time for spring cleaning
  • an immediate skeptic response to an unknown form of literature. I have taken into good faith that a thriller could be enjoyed in any language you understand. I failed to understand then, that a non-English thriller may not emit the same excitement of an English thriller

Despite the shortcomings, I felt it was still fulfilling all the same. I am not looking for a book in exchange, or a thanks on Watsapp group (oh god.. please no). It was a small act of sharing joy and giving that’s all. I kept reminding myself that I should give unconditionally. Yes, hiccoughs happen but they are there for a reason. Keep giving. Never stop.

Only in the future, make it Focused, Meaningful & Beneficial.

Sparkle Run Melaka 2020 – a rare weekend activity

The announcement for this event came out very early. At the time I was contemplating on joining or otherwise. There are a few factors that I have to take into consideration whenever I choose to participate in a weekend activity.

  • Kids friendly or otherwise
  • Duration of programme
  • Venue of programme
  • Husbands schedule

If I had to attend a formal course on a weekend – then that is without a doubt, a must go. No question. No need to discuss. But when it comes to something of choice – I need to deliberate.

On Saturdays, my husband works in the clinic for at least half a day. On top of the weekday locum slots he is assigned to. He needs to fulfill his percentage of clinical work since he is most of the time doing a non clinical form of job.

On Sundays, or Saturday sometimes , he has to give community talks, organize gotong royong in a taman affected by dengue fever (which the residents don’t attend anyway) and god knows what other stuff involving handshaking the higher official menteri and such.

In a way, my Me Time or weekend activities need to also consider the above. His timetable. Safe bet is, I plan my stuff and inform him way in advance before he arranges his schedule. With frequent reminders hereafter so he wouldn’t forget through shared digital calendars, physical calendars, watsapp notification and verbal ones via the kids. Ha ha ha.

Sometimes he still forgets. Like my bellydancing session in Bangi. He made me cancel. I said No. He had to rope in his parents to help and we were grumpy towards each other the whole weekend.

Sparkle Run Melaka 2020

This run was announced many months earlier. I was thrilled for I could plan ahead. This is my first run so I am not quite sure what to expect but reading from other peoples experience of other runs – it should be a short run. Indeed it was. We came for the 0830am flag off and noted that those who went for the 0700am flag off has safely received their medal and on their way home.

The run venue was near to home, so it’s a plus point.

It was stated kids friendly but from the email, it discouraged bringing kids less than 2 years old. So I didn’t bring Ninie. On that day however, I saw other runners bringing their kids in strollers. Dayum.. I could have done the same.

My 5km run with Ee was done in 43minutes. We were pleased with ourselves and will consider joining other runs later. If it fits my weekend activity criteria.

Weddings , grocery shopping for instance are kids friendly activities with a less than 3 hours duration. The difficulty level may differ depending on the variables for the day – husband presence, kids mood or Will to Cooperate, the crowd etc. Even then I still need to plan my grocery trips – is it better to go Family Store where they help you to pack your stuff with less variety or to Tesco with good variety but hands off attitude when it comes to packing customers grocery. In both situation – I bring my own shopping bag. But Family Store was more willing to help.

Anyway, now that I find Fun Run interesting – I will now need to juggle future runs with other cropping weekend agendas – Ee’s skill classes, weddings, birthday parties, courses, visit parents etc etc.. thankful for my faithful HoboMinci.

The mysterious task

We called over Yasin for a special task today. He will be paid RM50 for a job requiring less than 30 minutes to execute.

Yasin is our regular grass cutter. He is a Bangladeshi and he works legally with a local company doing landscaping, general drain cleaning and grass mowing. To earn extra money, he does freelancing grass cutting. Before Yasin, we had Sohail to mow our lawn but then Sohail completed his legal working contract and was ready to go home. So, he passed his mobile phone to Yasin and that was how we got to know him.

Yasin’s usual job is to cut our grass once a month. We would give him a fee for his effort and most of the time I would throw in a packed hot meal for him to tapau home depending on what we’re having for the day. Sometimes it is rice, others would be noodles – on the odd days I’d just make him Indomie with fried egg for his dinner.

Today, Mr Husband called him in for a different task. It was actually a chore that Mr Husband had to do but since he has a weak gut – he passed it on to another person. He should give Yasin a raise.

We have this bathroom that we have not used for a very long time because the flush doesn’t work. Husband is taking ages to fix it. Naturally, it became musty as ventilation is poor. Little did we know that the bathroom were beginning to have visitors until one day we noted a very distinct rotting smell. We had thought that it could be something dead in our attic since the stray cats love to eat their meals there but upon checking, there was nothing there.

The smell became stronger every week and it started to linger into the living hall and such. Soon we were able to follow the scent and it came from the bathroom. Now, just so you know, we had made sure that the toilet lid and the drain hole was closed when we decided to put the bathroom at rest. So when I decided to check the bathroom I was so surprised to see animals in there! DEAD ANIMALS!

Thankfully I am not the sort of person who screams but the sight did make me jolt a bit. Mr Husband macam biasa bukannya nak tengok coz he geli. *rolleyes*.

I saw a little dead frog decomposing near the bath tub water plug and as I stepped nearer, I then saw a decomposing big black lizard. Probably the length of my forearm. I’m not quite sure which animal died first although the story behind it would be interesting. From what I gather, they are both in the 2nd stage of decomposition. The bloat stage – where they release gas that cause the body to rupture. I feel it has not entered the active stage cause there were no maggots and fluids around. (thank god). The putrid odour was unbearable as I entered the bathroom. There were 2 other dead cockroaches and that was it.

Yasin came and Mr Husband assisted him in the 3D challenge. Dirty, Dangerous & Demeaning. In less than 30 minutes, the carcasses are out of the house.

It is still puzzling to us as to how these animals gained access to the bathroom. We feel that the bath tub drain was too small for them to enter plus the toilet bowl and floor drain entry points does not seemed compromised. Do frogs and lizards have abilities like cats to squeeze themselves into really small holes? Or have we overlooked an opening that we are not aware off? Or did the lizard came when it was still small and grew inside our bathroom by feeding on frogs and cockroaches? Bizarre right? Mr Husband went as far as to guessing that this had to do with black magic. Like, omg.. is someone trying to send us a spell and these reptiles magically landed in our bathroom. oh boy, what if it was a snake? That would be really creepy.

I hope that will be the end of our surprises. I hope not to discover any more dead animals soon. urgh.