Connect

Day 5 challenge is all about tagging your posts smartly. A combination of broad and specific tags is recommended, and no more than 15 lest it won’t show up in the tag pages of other bloggers’ Reader feeds.

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I didn’t know what to take a picture of for this challenge. I had a chain in mind (hello, “connect” 😁) but couldn’t find one with enough ‘drama’ to feature. I also already featured a knit project the last time and thought it’d be boring if I posted a close-up of crochet or knit stitches this time too.

Fortunately I was experimenting with vertical orientation again and found this one, and I thought – “Branches connected to the trunk – hmmmwill do!“.

Now how to tag this smartly … πŸ€” Does anyone know the scientific name of this tree?

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What Is Your Idea of Bliss?

I have a gazillion answers to this question but right now, what’s making me feel blissful is the creation that’s taking place on my knitting needles:

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“Anne” & Mr. Piddles πŸ™‚

Challenge number 4 is about adding captions to your image. At the same time, you’re being asked to take a picture of what your idea of bliss is.

I didn’t want to overthink my answer to this question. I could have woken up at the crack of dawn for instance, and taken a picture of the sun coming up to represent early mornings, my favorite time of the day, and always a time of bliss for me. Or posed a book, a cup of coffee and my feet propped up on the coffee table – but we already have a picture of my feetΒ πŸ˜‰

So a photo of my latest creation-in-the-works it is then, because it is always bliss to have a crochet or knitting project to work on, with delicious yarn that you took hours to finally choose. It is always bliss to contemplate the final product, how exciting it will be to post photos of it on your blog. How blissful the feeling of getting to wear something you’ve created and mayhaps, people might throw a nice word or two about it your way too 😘

Being able to work on a project is bliss because right now it also represents small pockets of time when I can put my feet up and rest.

How about you, what is your idea of bliss?

Fetish For My Feet

After laboring on the streets for challenge #2 I’m only glad to move on to challenge #3 with the subject of water and the assignment of exploring vertical and horizontal orientation.

Using the right orientation for your photos is actually a very pragmatic tip to keep in mind because it can help convey the message more effectively. On thinking about it, I realized I have a strong bias for horizontal pictures, as evidenced by those I use on this blog, but I’ve never really given it any thought until this course.

Remembering that I have a lot of pictures of water in my files and wanting to check if I had taken any vertical shots at all, I came up with this:

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And then a horizontal version:

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Both were taken at the same time, and obviously with the same subject: water my feet 🀣 (And between you and me, I think both orientations work just fine πŸ˜„).

Well what do you think of that? I learned something new about myself today – I really like my feet! I have more pictures of them, if you want. No? Okay, your loss πŸ˜„πŸ˜‹

What I Learned From the Streets

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It’s only exercise #2 and I’m already sweatin’. Picturing a street scene using a wide angle shot was easy enough, but the combination of that plus putting a subject in the foreground proved to be quite the challenge.

My immediate neighborhood offered nothing of interest, quiet streets and big modern houses. So I really had to go out and into the streets of the city in the hopes of capturing something compelling.

I wanted to take a picture of a very common sight around here, street vendors. But I stuck out like a sore thumb with my pale complexion and conspicuous digicam 😟 This prompted some of the people to either pose and wave, or stop and move out of the frame altogether (gulp!).

I felt self-conscious and obtrusive. On hindsight I could’ve just played along, grinned widely and charmed them with a “boleh photo-photo“? But I wasn’t in the mood. (Mental note: prepare mood before embarking on a photo-photo spree).

A week went by and circumstances remained unfavorable. The perfect shot remained elusive while the rest of the (daily) assignments were piling up. I felt pressure. I read up on street photography and learned that some photographers really sit in one spot for a certain period of time and wait for that perfect moment. Hmmm …

Well at least I learned something new about composition + the fact that I need to learn how to be less conspicuous if I want to pursue street photography. That and, perfection will just have to wait another day 😏

I decided to move on to the next …

(2 down 8 more to go πŸ‘ŠπŸ»)

It’s Time To Get Started On 2018

Hi everyone! I’m still here, in case anyone’s noticed 🀭

I’m still living life in 2-hour sleep-deprived increments and experiencing post partum hair loss as we speak (eeeek!).Β  But I’m doing quite well under the circumstances.

So what’s new?

Among my goals for this year is to take better pictures and to (finally, finally) use my DSLR as I go along.Β  I’ve always wanted to improve my photography skills and I bought the thing to seal the deal – you know, very much like buying a treadmill or a lifetime gym membership to affirm the veracity of your intentions πŸ™„

However, after leafing through its manual like it was some distasteful magazine, the DSLR turned into a pricey paperweight, gathering dust as the limelight went back to my ever handy, lightweight & uncomplicated iPhone. (Which reminds me of my treadmill which also became a pricey clothes rack & laundry hamper station, but I digress… πŸ™„πŸ™„).

2018 will be a year of ‘more doing and less hair twirling’ for me though so the DSLR has been exhumed and together we will be bonding over some photography courses this year. To help get me started, I’ve decided to do WP’s Photography Developing Your Eye 1 course rrrright now.

The 1st assignment is to get oriented with your camera (gulp!) and to take a photo representation ofΒ  what the word “home” brings to mind for you. Right away I think ~ hmmm, how fitting for someone who is all but home!

However, it didn’t take long for me to decide on a subject: our living room.

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Okay, I do know that you’re supposed to take pictures with the light behind you, but that view just wasn’t as nice as these ones so …

I chose our living room because it’s one of my pet projects in my quest to making Batam work. I love this space because it is sunny and airy, and I want to build on this by turning it into something cozy and fun.

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I still have a long way to go [because I get distracted] and have only managed to add everything else that’s not the black couch, the 2 black sofas and the square table. (Unfortunately, they come with the house so there’s nothing I can do about them). On a good day I’d put a few of my potted plants here and there but I was too lazy to get them for this shoot so you’ll just have to do with fluffy-huggable Anais and Mr. Piddles instead 🀭

So anyhoot, this space represents the concept of home for me. Familiar, pleasant, comfortable, fun.

(1 down, 9 more to go πŸ‘Š) πŸ€ͺ

Lessons from 2017

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A friend from home recently told me she was feeling depressed. She was doing an end-of-year review and was feeling morose about the year that wasΒ πŸ˜• Which got me thinking about my own experience of 2017 ~~ hmmm, certainly not bad and definitely with a big bang 😁❀️

The good thing about having a blog is that it makes a year-end review quite easy. Even if you didn’t blog everything, the posts will be enough to jog your memory. So here are my take-aways from 2017 (in no particular order):

1.Β  Man plans, God laughs.

2.Β  Create happiness within your own 4 walls.

This applies to everyone but is especially true for expat SAHMs.

3.Β  Happy people are good people. Good people are not always happy.

4.Β  Community (really) matters.

And I’m talking about the village of support you create for yourself in the shape of friends, neighbors, your go-to hairstylist, even your favorite book store. Let’s just say this is one thing I didn’t know I missed until it was gone. Unfortunately, I still have to find a way to fix this (if there is one!).

5.Β  Never under-estimate the power of retail therapy on not-so-busy weeknights (or wherever the malls are open till 9 or 10 PM).

Much lesser people makes the whole process unhurried and, actually pleasant.

6.Β  Schedule a real change of scenery from time to time. (As in, anywhere but on this island)

Short reason: so that problems don’t seem larger than they are.

Long reason: otherwise idyllic, the sleepy atmosphere of this place (that permeates everything) can drive me nuts at times 😏

7. Dress and make yourself up for the day, even when you’re just staying home.

This includes taking a shower before 10AM otherwise, good luck with the humidity! πŸ˜„

8. Let the breadwinner earn bread the way he wants.

Everyone is just happier that way.

9. Have fun marking the passage of time.

Set goals, take on projects, schedule stuff in your calendar to look forward to, and then blog about it.

99.9% effective against the doldrums 😁

10. Break it down into bite-sized chunks.

Absolutely golden advice.

11.Β  Never run out of Re-Mag & Re-Myte supplements.

I didn’t blog about this but this has to have a spot on this list because the difference it makes is just too obvious to ignore. I have more energy, I sleep better, I am in a pleasant mood, I have better cognitive function, I even have more breast milk. When I was pregnant, I would experience those pregnancy-related swollen feet & ankles whenever I did not take these supplements.

12. Everything looks better arranged on a tray.Β 

(I absolutely love this one!)Β  I mean, seriously! Just give it a try! πŸ‘πŸ‘

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What about you? What are some of the lessons you learned in 2017? Let me know in the comments section, bet I can learn from you too πŸ˜ƒ ❀️