5 Things To Do in Seremban (Before Heading to Malacca)

Malacca is famous for weekend getaways for its culture and local food. While you leave early to avoid jam in the city but you're too early for Malacca, enroute you can drop by Seremban for a little fun first!

1. Dim Sum Breakfast at Pak Chok - 8.00am
Pak Chok is officially one of my favourite place now! The dim sum is delicious, the price is reasonable, services is GOOD and the place is breezy and cozy - the best i can get from a dim sum place because usually they are so crowded and hot! Seremban is not so far from my house anyway so we even consider coming back here purposely just for a dim sum breakfast.
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HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. It's a yam version of normal salted egg 流沙包. It's the first time i've seen this sold in any restaurant. It was so creamy and heavenly. We went back for it two days later :p
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The paste is delicious. I especially like the sauce of this.
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HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. It has both soft and crispy texture with it. If you love duck meat, you'd definitely love this!
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As usual, their paste is delicious. But i guess this type of beancurd dim sum can be found in any dim sum place.
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HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. The bf lovessss this. We saw almost every table order this, so this must be one of their bestseller! And the portion is really big at RM5.50.

2. Tapau Siew Pau from Master Siew Pow - 8.45am.
How can you leave Seremban without buying any Siew Pow? According to my friend Stephanie, Master Siew Pow has the better siew pows than Empayar Seremban Siew Pow although the latter may seems more popular and on bigger scale.
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Many types of buns are available there too! Everything is freshly baked and sold there and then. It's the perfect snack for after dinner or on the road!

3. Stationery Shopping at Tabiyo.
For stationery lovers like me surely have heard of Tabiyo. It's one of the first online sellers for Midori Traveler's Notebook in Malaysia and the trend setter of stationery in Malaysia. I bought my first and only TN from her too! I'm so happy that they have finally open a physical shop so i get to touch and feel the stationery before buying them :)
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4. Cendol and Rojak at Haji Shariff.
After shopping at Tabiyo, you can head over to Haji Shariff for a chilling bowl of cendol or ABC. If your stomach has some extra space, share a plate of famous rojak with your friends too!
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5. Curry Mee as Lunch at Asia Laksa.
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The bf is crazy about curry mee and he declares this is delicious! I don't have much preference about curry but i like it here because they have Lau Shu Fen to go with it! I think it's the perfect combination! I hate yellow mee, meehoon goes terribly with curry and kuey teow is too soft. Thick Meehoon (normally used in Fish Head Noodles) and Lau Shu Fen is the best!

And now you can go Malacca with satisfied stomach which is gonna last you through all the long queues in Malacca :p

KeepCup x Jocelyn

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Pitch me anything about being green to the earth and i can easily be sold. KeepCup was invented to encourage the use of reusable cups. Instead of getting a new paper cup from your favourite shop, have them make your own in your own KeepCup!

A wide range of designs and colours are available on their e-store. I particularly love the Cork Edition which emits a rather rustic vibe. 

Oh did i mention? You can also build your own combination of KeepCup by ordering the parts separately! 


Keepcup Instagram: @keepcup


Things I Wish I've Known When I First Started Working

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1. Experience is more important Company.

When you're discussing about job hunting with a group of friends, at least one of them would look rather proud that he/she landed on a job with a MNC company. No doubt, getting into a MNC company isn't easy. The bigger the company is, the more challenging its interview would be. And standing out among sooo many other candidates can really boost your self confidence. 

Moreover, big companies have more benefits ie health, dental, claims and whatnot. Your year end bonus would be higher too (3 to 4 months) as compared to SME employees (1 to 2 months).

There are so many advantages working in a MNC right?

It would be perfect if you plan to stay with your company forever. The problem comes when you wanna switch job or company.

You see, the bigger the company, the more specialised its departments would be. You as the tiny individual in a team of a specialised department can only learn so much about the big picture. Very often, the skills you have acquired is a very tiny part of complete system and therefore, very niche. So if you were to change job, you will have to find another company with the same department (ie its competitors) or you risk your salary being cut when you switch to a job you have no 'real' experience.

My Personal Experience:

I once worked in a bank for three years as a sales executive. My job is to approach customer and recommend suitable financial products to them while also serve as a customer service who takes care of their banking whatnot. So it's also our job to get familiar with the market updates on daily basis so we can recommend the right products for customers.  When i first quitted my job, i thought "Getting an entry level job as research analyst for market news shouldn't be hard right? After all i have exposure in that area and i have working experience."

Wrong.

According to them, my past job scope is more towards customer service and sales, rather than understanding markets. It's related, but not accurately matched. So my somewhat past related experience in a reputable bank didn't help one bit in landing me an ENTRY level market-related job.

So during job hunting, choose your desired job scopes, not the desired company.  

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2. Appearance Does Matter.

Stop the crap of "I look pretty even without makeup!" "Argh, people who wear makeup everyday is so shallow/pretentious/fatt hao." "All i need is my intelligent, not my beauty, to stand out."

Truth is, human are visual animals. The first impression people have for you is not how intelligent you are, but how you look. Because, if you don't look like you can take care of yourself well, what should makes me think that you can take care of anything else well? I definitely do not agree that looks are more important than brains. But looking decent will boost your confidence and help people to have confidence in you.

You don't have to apply full makeup and wear slutty clothes but you need to put effort in grooming yourself to look decent and presentable. 

Whether you like it or not, being attractive makes your life easier. Don't believe me? Watch this!


Does it pay to be attractive? - Street tested by BuzzfeedBlue.


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3. Set A Monthly Saving Target.

When you first get your first paycheck, it's very easy to get too excited and start checking off your wishlist because you are finally earning your own money and you don't need to ask anyone's permission before spending it anymore! (Yay!)

It's a rookie mistake to spend first and save whatever amount you have left later. If you think saving RM200 a month is good enough, ask yourself if RM2,400 is enough for you to travel (or doing anything at all) at then end of the year. 

To make sure that you will save a desirable amount annually, set a monthly saving amount and work your expenses around that. 

How much is a "desirable amount"? 

Ask yourself how much would you want to see sitting in your bank account at the end of the year. Then work it backwards. 

If you wish to save RM5k, your monthly saving is 416.67.
If you wish to save RM10k, your monthly saving is RM833.33. 
If you wish to save RM20k, your monthly saving is RM1666.66. 

I also find having two accounts is extremely helpful. First one, maybe a current account, for your daily expenses. Second one, a high interest saving account, for your monthly savings. Make a rule to yourself that once the money is deposited into the saving account, you can never withdraw it until the end of the year. It also helps to open the saving account with a foreign bank because it discourages withdrawal since they don't have much ATM around. Out of sight, out of mind!


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4. Start Planning Your Second Stream of Income. 


This is especially important if your current job is not what you want to do for long term. It creates an opportunity for you to jump out of your rut. Even if you love your job, spend the extra hours to improve yourself at it for a promotion. Or just simply utilizing your time for extra cash. 

However, i'd suggest to consider this 6 months or a year into your job. First job can be too overwhelming for you to spare your brain capacity elsewhere. It's better to focus on your day job, make sure you master it before spending the extra time devoting to your second income stream. 

I made the mistake of being comfortable for too long. 

Short-term Second Income Ideas:

1. Weekend Promoter
That is, if you don't mind being seen as promoter. I know many people see promoter as a low class job and embarrassed to be seen at it (myself included). But you can always choose to work at a mall further away from your house. Your friends usually hang out at PJ area? Work at Klang or Cyberjaya haha! 

Pay is around RM80 to RM120 per day. If you can find one that pays commission, it's even better. 

2. Home Based (anything)
If transportation is a problem for you, try getting a home based part time job. Designers, writers, data entry, online recruiter, anything. But please be aware of the scammers around. If they ask for a deposit for 'materials/training pack' before you can start working, chances are it's a scam. Also avoid MLM companies and sales-based job if you're not into it. 

Recommended site: 

3. Tutor
Every neighbourhood has a tuition centre for children. If you have one near to your house, try emailing or phoning them on any vacancy for tutors/assistant tutor/marker. It helps that it's so near to your house, you can easily do it after work or even during weekends. 

Recommended place:
Kumon

Long-term Second Income Ideas: Anything you want to be in future that takes time to master. Be it a photographer, writer or coder, spend your leisure time in acquiring those skills and one day you'll live the dream - do what you love for a living. 

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5. Minimize Your Commitments.

It didn't happen in a day. You'd just receive your paycheck one day and wonder where your money has gone after you paid your bills. And the amount left for you to survive till the month end will get lesser and lesser if you're not careful enough. 

With the convenience of credit card, paying for an item on monthly instalment is getting easier. Almost every store offers it. Paying RM50 per month may not seems to be alot at a time. But using the same logic on 10 items, your monthly commitment will add up to be a whopping RM500! 

Don't take monthly instalment too lightly. Even if it's just a RM30, try imagine that you're gonna pay this RM30 every month for 3 years!

Another way youngsters usually surge their debt ratio is by buying an expensive car. It's not a rare sight to see freshgrads driving a Honda Civic. 

    Salary: RM3500 (at most?)
    Honda Civic monthly instalment (3.5%, 9 years): RM1200 

With just one purchase, 35% of your salary will goes into an asset which depreciates the moment you got your keys. Don't forget: with expensive car comes with expensive maintenance fee too. 

Spend only what you have, minimize your monthly commitment to maximize your monthly disposable income. 


My Biggest Supporter

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I haven't been noticing this in the past but ever since i got unemployed, the bf has become very reliable and supportive to me.

Everytime i talked to him about worrying money issue or getting a job in the future, he would patiently calm me down and reassure me that he would take care of things, that i can just leave everything to him. 

One of the exact phrase was: 

"Dear, you don't have to worry about earning too much in the future. Get a simple job and focus on doing what you like during leisure time like writing and photography. Leave the heaving liftings of earning the big bucks to me in the future." 

Connaught Night Market: Little Pots of Cactus

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It must have been yearsss since i've been to Connaught Night Market. The last time was on our first official date.. which is 3 years ago lol! 

Look what i've found this time! These three little gorgeous pots of cactus only cost RM10. What a bargain! 

The selection there was huge. I had a reallllly hard time choosing because.. i want them all! They all look so interesting! Needless to say, i went a bit berserk in the middle of selection. The packaging is very fascinating too! It's like it was custom made for these pots.  Since my last indoor table plant died, i've set my mind on getting some cactus for replacement. Simply because i can bet on cactus to have the highest vitality right? Haha 

After bringing them home, i placed them three together in one single pot for easy caring and thought the different patterns of each cactus would compliment each other and look more interesting together. 

I think they do :)

3 Effortless Ways To Save Money

Like many fresh grads, for the first few months of employment, i would spend almost all my monthly salary on things on my wish list. We would give ourselves treats from time to time as a reward for working "so hard". The spending habit went on until a year went by and i looked at my saving account and all i saw is disappointment in myself. 

As much as enjoying life is important, having savings for future is important too. So i started making budget, setting saving targets and watching my spending to find out what went wrong. 

While i still spend on the things i love (ie books, skincare products), i cut down on the things that would be unnecessary to begin with. Like, the extra cup of Starbucks.

Here are some of my ways of effortlessly saving a few extra bucks:


1. Do Groceries Shopping at Mydin
Disclaimer: This is not an advertorial (lol)

I genuinely love Mydin from the bottom of my heart lol. Their wet section is much more cleaner than Giant. Their raw food are always fresh. Their staffs are 10x more efficient and friendlier than Tesco's grumpy staffs who move in sloth mode. 

Above all, the main reason is I can easily find things here cheaper than any other grocers by about RM1 to RM2 which can amount to a significant figure in long term.

I never thought it would be possible for the price to have so much difference (20 to 30%) because i thought all prices for general household items are pretty much standardized everywhere. I was wrong. 

Some examples of my usual purchases: 
1) Febreeze
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2) Johnson Bath
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3) Shimeji Mushroom
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If one trip saves me RM20, i usually do my groceries shopping twice a month, i save up to RM480 in a year. 

And the best part is? I am still enjoying the exact same things I wanted and I don't have to go through all the hassle of saving up coupons, waiting for the big sales and whatnot to save this RM480. I just simply choose where I shop at. 

Although i would admit the selection here in Mydin is quite basic. I usually go to Jusco or Isetan for imported goods like Japanese rice or fruit jam.

Another favourite place for the cheapest chips ever is Speedmart 99. 
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2. Buy A Cheaper Smartphone
..with equivalent specifications and I wouldn't know the difference. 

I know it's common for iPhone users to have this unexplainable loyalty towards Apple products, but with iPhone prices keep increasing, you'd have to ask yourself is throwing your hard earned money worth the chase?

I once was a Blackberry user, then iPhone, then eventually Samsung. When my Samsung was dying, i started checking out the prices of few arising brands like Huawei and OPPO.

I was surprised to find that they only cost a fraction or some even less than half an iPhone! But i was careful not to compromised with lower specifications because i have this phone 24/7 attachment. Having a lower resolutions screen or a lagging system would makes the whole experience less enjoyable. 

High and low i searched and found OPPO F1. It was their latest model at that time. It has everything i need: good resolution screen, good camera, white colour, normal size (my Samsung Note 3 was too big for me). 
Oppo F1 v iPhone 6 main

Here's a simple specification comparison table between iPhone 6 and OPPO F1:
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For full comparison, click here

Not much difference, is there? 

On more than one occasions, my friend who owned an iPhone 6 mistook my OPPO F1 by mistake, and only realised when she checked the phone for messages. The size and weight is that similar. 

The difference might be 10-20%? But i saved RM1,701 (60%). That's a Tory Burch or Coach bag there. 



3. Learn To Make Simple Recipes
It's a common culture now for Malaysian to hang out at cafes during weekends. While it's a good thing to socialize with friends, one meal at a cafe can easily costs around RM30.

So on quiet nights or weekend mornings when i have my me-time dining alone, i cook for myself. It's always cheaper and cafe food can easily be duplicated, especially Big Breakfast, which you basically just have to pan fried everything and serve in a big white plate. 

I've grown fonder of cooking in time (watching Masterchef helps lol) and i'm quite proud that i have mastered quite a few recipes now. 

One of my simplest recipes:


Non-baked Oreo Cheesecake:

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 View my 4 steps recipes here



Self Craved Stamps on Coaster

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Ever since i joined stamp craving class with The Craft Crowd, i've been wanting to make some on my own. Found these plain grey coasters in Daiso at RM5.30 for three pieces. With nature as the theme, i made few stamps: a leaf, a tulip and its branches with leaves separated.


Workshop: The Craft Crowd
Youtube Tutorial: How To Crave an Eraser Stamp
For Inspirations on Instagram:  @sowiesowies
                                                      @parade.made
                                                      @huttestamp



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