Hong Kong Mysteries – Kennedy Town

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There’s always something new to discover in Hong Kong despite my millionth time there. In the past, my friends and I adore the bustling local scenes on Kowloon side. But this time, I went in search of quirky westernised scenes nestled in old Hong Kong.

Kennedy Town, Hong Kong – Hippy Spin to an old town

This little suburb is a perfect place to head to for a sip of java and enjoy a meal away from the hustle and bustle of the city (which is really only 2 MTR stations away with the new extension of the Island Line).

A bit of HK History download from my local friend, Hong Kong Island was the beginning of this city, before expansion to Kowloon. Kennedy Town was a part of the reclamation along the coast and development was not as vigorous as other urban parts of Hong Kong until recent years, which explains how Kennedy Town is a melting pot of old and new.

IMG_2550Take a stroll along the strips of waterfront in the evening and enjoy the breeze, take in a slower pace and serenity of Hong Kong. It’s such an undiscovered gem for a romantic evening even my local friends were pleasantly surprised *took mental notes for spots to bring their girlfriends*.

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Go in search of cafes hidden away quietly among local cha chaan tengs and traditional medicinal shops. Every corner you turn, you will be able to find a delightfully designed cafe, Italian restaurant or pub to chill out. Walked pass Bistro Du Vin at Davis Street, didn’t get the chance to give this popular one a try. If you are in Hong Kong definitely give this a go! The restaurant offers a really relaxing French bistro vibe (somewhat countryside).

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Waffling Beans shopfront caught our attention and we were not disappointed by the Belgium Waffles and Coffee served. Tucked away on a street of car mechanics and hardware suppliers, this cafe hits all the sweet spots. The play of mirrors in the cafe, stocked with a bounty of magazines, free coffee smells and an extensive menu of toppings for your Belgium waffles.

Check out Kennedy Town the next time you’re visiting Hong Kong. I like to search for local favourites on OpenRice HK too whenever I am there.

Struggles of the new age

Do you feel like you want to do something but you just can’t seem to figure out what you want to do? I have that feeling all the time…my hands itch at the thought of being stagnant, and I get this feeling hitting me straight in my face whenever things get too boring, aimless or comfortable.

Maybe its a disease of the new generation.

Either way, I am obviously in that state now else I wouldn’t be sharing it.It doesn’t mean my life or work isn’t exciting, but I want a more holistic experience. And I notice that are a few small little baby steps to make myself feel “better” (or rather, less frustrated at my inability to stay still).

Just do something!

We wake up, go to work, come home, go to sleep. Repeat. It is easy to lose sight of the bigger picture and get into a robotic mode. I try to have something exciting to look forward to every week (as much as I can) – be it meeting friends, trying a new drink at the bar, catching a movie, or better still, if I get to learn something new like fishing or archery – it goes a long way. Its a fine balance between being in the comfort zone and being out of it. In it, you get bored, outside of it, you get stressed and uncomfortable but discover something new about yourself.

Find out the source of any bugging feeling and face it 

For instance, we have been brought up to find a job we like, only then will you find happiness. But does it mean that you quit if you hate it? Probably not. Sometimes all you need to do is identify the reason, and a simple change of setting some boundaries between work and personal life will help. Have goals for yourself outside of work! For me, my goal this year is get my diving and driving license.

I am still trying to figure out new ways to deal with this strange bugging feeling, and at the same time looking for opportunities to venture into new terrains.

Starting right

I have a reputation for being an early bird, morning person, etc. And it puzzles my friends how I can wake up early, naturally. Of course, I had my periods of laziness and snoozing for gazillion times! But its actually really easy to kick start your day early and feel super productive.

Here’s a Business Insider I stumbled upon:

http://www.businessinsider.sg/how-to-get-up-early-2015-1/

My take on the tips? Definitely give it a try! Well…reading a book and not drinking alcohol before bed time is pretty much a no-brainer, yet something really hard to achieve. Because it’s really hard to put your phone away in the first place? haha…yeah I know…

But Getting sun as soon as possible is something I know works for me, indefinitely. It really helps reduce that dreadful lethargic feeling with the right amount of sunlight and “heat”. Drinking water chokes me in the morning but it helps, cause I end up trying to “wake up” so I don’t actually choke…

Yoga in the morning sounds too daunting, consider stretching your calf muscles by tip-toeing in bed, do some ankle rotations and stretch your arm all the way back above your head. Loosening up all that stiffness and you will be ready to spring out of bed!

Kickstart your day at work

Last tip, clear your morning. “The Most Important 20 Minutes of the Day” is usually in the morning right? Or so says famous founders, entrepreneurs, lala… I don’t disagree with that, but I do have a tip of my own.

Instead of planning, prioritising and organising your day in the morning, try this. My Daily Routine:

1. At the end of each day, look at your task list and check them off one by one. (Satisfaction!)

2. Reassess, and immediately create a new list for the next day.

I personally think that this helps you leave work feeling good that you’ve accomplished a quantifiable amount and knowing what to expect for the next day allows you to relax and rewind for the night.

3. The next morning, look at your list, and START! Keep the adrenaline pumping. If you have ad hoc activities, add them in as the day goes by but make sure its prioritised accordingly.

This is especially useful for me as it reduces the inertia to kickstart the day at work. You can give it a try and share your tips with me too! What works for me may not work for you.

Third Last Day of 2014

One of my Christmas cards this year wrote:

” 2014 has certainly been an exciting year for you 🙂 Wishing you a really Happy 2015! THIS IS THE YEAR FOR YOU 🙂 You know it…”

2014 has indeed been one of the most exciting year for me. I met lovely people along the way, I lost some along the way. It was a roller coaster year I will never forget! Every experience is a valuable lesson for me in 2014, which will pay off in 2015.

I’m thankful for the best friends who stayed by my side and always supportive. (Yes, don’t doubt yourself, you’re all the bestest ever!)

I’m thankful how I learnt to treasure my family more.

I’m thankful for how I’ve been through so much and became who I’m today.

I’m thankful for those who helped me along the way in every smallest action possible, because it takes a lot (inside) for someone to willingly offer a helping hand.

2015 will be a blasting year! I’m gonna be soaring and I know it! 😉

Stay healthy and happy everyone. And always be thankful of the little things in life.

Stop being jealous

It’s perfectly normal to be jealous of the success of others, especially those whom you think are not “that” much smarter or better than you are (or so you think).

Feeling envious of Mark Zuckerberg or any other billionaire startup founder and spurred on by them, is also a perfectly normal situation.

I’ve been there, the whole realm of jealousy. But we all know that is a tiring affair. And now, I don’t get jealous anymore (most of the time). I start to learn how to feel happy for others. The key to that is knowing what makes you happy. If success makes you happy, then define your success. It doesn’t necessary mean starting a billionaire dollar company, because I personally think that takes more than what you think to achieve, a lot of hardship, cold times, and a bucket full of tears/sweat.

Humans are born to want more. If we aren’t, then there isn’t globalisation, technology, improvements in the world, and you wouldn’t be reading this.

I recently learnt that, knowing what makes you happy is the key to happiness. And when you are happy with what you can or want to achieve, you will be happy for other’s success, instead of feeling jealous. Because that success is theirs to own, not what you want for yourself.

I am happy learning new things, working hard to gain a new skill, throwing ideas off different people, and having my daily coffee 🙂 I may not be successful now, but I am working towards happier days that sums up my life at the end of the journey. Baby steps yo!

Trying to come up with an out of the world marketing idea for the travel platform I am working on now, so if you have any crazy ideas, let me know! ANY, crazy ideas. No restrictions or boundaries.

Blueberry Muffins + Banana & Walnut Muffins

Somedays I wake up feeling like I want to bake something, although most of the time I will be stuck at what should I bake?

And today felt like a day for small, simple treats like muffins.

Muffin Batter

The original recipe was for Blueberry Muffins but decided to switch out the blueberries for Banana & Walnuts, which turned out even better.

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Just to take randomness one notch higher, cocoa powder and Herseys chocolate chip buttons were added to the batter. Stuffed a slice of banana in to the center before popping the tray in to the oven. So there you go, Chocolate Banana Muffins 😉

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Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients A (Sifted)

  • 436g Cake Flour
  • 10g Baking Powder

Ingredients B

  • 220g Softened Butter
  • 200g Fine Sugar (Adjust accordingly to your sweet tooth)
  • 8 Eggs
  • 120g Fresh Milk
  • 125g Blueberries

How To:

  1. Beat butter and sugar till its fluffy (slightly pale yellow)
  2. Mix eggs and milk in a separate bowl and add into the whipped butter gradually till its well incorporated.
  3. Add Ingredients A and beat on low speed
  4. Add blueberries and mix with a spatula
  5. Spoon (or pipe to avoid mess) the batter into muffin tray with paper moulds
  6. Bake in preheated oven of 180 deg cel. (depends on your oven actually, so if its too hot try to reduce it a little)
  7. Turn off the heat when the surface starts to brown and continue till its golden brown

I ran out of paper moulds halfway through and realise baking paper works even better & looks prettier (if you are using a muffin tray).

Do share any recipes with me so I can try it out!