husband, music, songs

This just in: New YouTube video!

I have a new YouTube video out!

It’s a little bit special because it’s a mashup of Grammy winner Lady Antebellum’s Need You Now and Taio Cruz’s chart-topper Dynamite. Well, we tried anyway 🙂

A country song and a dance tune combo? You betcha!

Click on the video below to hear it for yourself. Enjoy!

SuziemcleanThanks for visiting my blog! If you like what you just read, feel free to share it on Facebook or Twitter. You might also like to check out my older stuff and my other blog. Thank you so much and see you soon!

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husband, karaoke, me, phone, sing, songs

Pop dream

Some of you might know that I sing as a hobby. But most might not realise that I have a YouTube channel which is very active of late.

I think I began uploading videos of myself singing cover versions circa 2007. At the time, I had my favourite Nokia phone which had two cameras and recorded quality videos and audio — but I dropped it in front of the office without realising it one day and it was gone 😦

My channel went on a hiatus for a while after that because I couldn’t find a good camera to record with. I ruled out web cams because they are horrible for recording YouTube videos. The visual and audio quality is unpredictable; you just don’t know how your videos are going to turn out.

It’s a good thing that my husband and I got the Sony Nex5 recently because it is not only a good digital slr camera but also an excellent video recorder as it records in High Definition.

And this time around, I have my husband to play the guitar for me so that I don’t need to rely on instrumental/minus one and have more room to add my interpretation to a popular song.

My channel doesn’t have thousands of subscribers yet. Sure, one video has had close to 3,000 views — only because I linked it to a popular video and it has been there for three years.

But getting thousands of views was not my aim when I set up the channel. It’s all just for fun; something that my husband and I can do together in our spare time.

I don’t want to say much because I’d rather the music speak for itself. So I’ll leave you with one of the videos that we recently recorded. Enjoy!

SuziemcleanThanks for visiting my blog! If you like what you just read, feel free to share it on Facebook or Twitter. You might also like to check out my older stuff and my other blog. Thank you so much and see you soon!

blogs, family, home, husband, me

Where do you live?

In an interview with one of my favourite bloggers Gretchen Rubin, economic development expert Richard Florida said that: “As I explained in my book Who’s Your City?, the place we choose to live in is the single most important decision we make. It has a profound impact on the jobs we have access to, our career path, our social networks, the people we date, family and lifestyle choices and ultimately the wealth we accumulate as well as our overall happiness”.

I absolutely agree with him. Living in Shah Alam (in Selangor, Malaysia) has indeed had a profound impact on various aspects of my life.

I landed (and accepted) my current job when I was living in Shah Alam because, as a non-driver, I was confident that I would make it to work on time as I needed to take only one bus to work.

I don’t think my early courtship with my husband would have lasted very long if we had lived in different towns (I know Shah Alam is a city but to me it feels more like a town).

I have lived in Shah Alam since my late teens — first as a student, then as a working adult and later as a married woman. Naturally, I have developed an attachment to this quiet town.

Sure Shah Alam can be buzzing with activities if it wants to. It’s unbelievably jammed up during football/soccer matches, Sunday mornings due to the farmer’s market, Friday prayers because of the beautiful mosque that we have and also during Ramadhan because people from other towns know that they can do great Raya shopping at PKNS Shopping Complex and the other malls in the vicinity. Besides that, TV3 still tapes its entertainment reality shows at Plaza Alam Sentral. That’s a crowd puller too.

The shopping malls here may not have a lot to offer in terms of high street fashion and entertainment — we don’t have any cinemas — but it is still crowded on weekends.

And we have beautiful parks here for picnics with the family, for exercising, for cosy dinners dates, weddings and indie music showcase.

80 per cent of the time, the traffic here is bearable. I don’t know about the industrial areas of Shah Alam but the (noise and air) pollution levels at the residential areas here are pretty low.

The rent here is not cheap, though. As a small town with at least three major tertiary institutions, houses and rooms to let are snapped up like hot pisang goreng (banana fritters). I was really amused to see this room to let advert (that I saw in UiTM Shah Alam a few months back) which listed washing machines and wifi Internet connections among its basic amenities to attract new tenants. Back when I was a student in the late 90s and early 2000, we would be very lucky to even have a tv or phone line at our rented flats. Heck, we would be blessed to have our own personal computer at the time, let alone a laptop!

Times have changed, and so have lifestyles.

Shah Alam today is filled with middle-class families with money to spare — maybe more so than before. Although I had lived in Shah Alam longer than my husband has, I have only started mingling with born and bred Shah Alam residents through him.

Through them, I get to see a different side of the town. The youth of the town can be very liberal in their outlook and lifestyle. This is an affluent suburban where the kids go to the nearest town to have fun because they have the allowance and the car to get there. A majority of them don’t attend the public universities in town either because they don’t have the grades to qualify or they feel like an outcast and fit better in the private colleges. Their parents earn enough to make it possible for them to switch colleges “in case things don’t work out”.

But people from other towns have a lot of misconceived notions about this town and its people. When people tell me that they feel the people here are country bumpkins, I just laugh because it could not be farther from the truth.

I think it’s a great place to live in but I do worry about raising teenagers here. Bored suburban kids can get into a lot of trouble. Having said that, I think that generally, the 21st century has become a complicated time to raise a family, no matter where you live. Kids get abducted, purses get snatched, new born babies abandoned on a daily basis.

So I guess what’s more important is not where you live but how you live (your life). As the lyrics to that Dionne Warwick song goes:

And a house is not a home
When there’s no one there to hold you tight,
And no one there you can kiss good night.

holiday, husband, relationships

Next trip: Port Dickson?

Last month, I went to Kuala Terengganu for my cousin-in-law’s wedding. I’ve only been to Terengganu once before, and even then it was a day-trip (for work). So it was nice to spend the weekend there and get to see the city a bit.

That trip was made especially more memorable because we drove all the way from Shah Alam and back. That is a loooong way, in case you didn’t know. The journey is roughly six hours with some breaks in between.

This month — April — is my wedding anniversary. And my husband and I are planning to book a night’s stay at Legend Water Chalets that weekend.

I have heard about this place from my two female colleagues who spent a night there after one of them won a night’s stay at the chalet.

To be honest, the rooms look gaudy but the “attraction” is its open bathroom (with a jacuzzi-sized tub and separate shower) and lighted solid glass panel for viewing the sea beneath the floor. I’m also a little put off by the room rates. They’re pretty ex!

I’m still undecided about this place. The more I look at the rooms, the more I’m thinking: “Maybe not…” 🙂 We’ll see…

Budget aside, it shouldn’t really matter where we go. I’m happy to just stay somewhere in town, even at home, as long as we get to do things together — preferably something that is out of the ordinary.

But I won’t say no to checking in to a hotel for some privacy 🙂

Well, I’ll keep you posted on this. I’m going to take a hot shower and call it a day. Tomorrow’s another busy day!

great assignment, Happy thoughts, husband, job, lucky, music, office, songs

How was your day?

There are days when you woke up on the wrong side of the bed. You leave your bed with little motivation and enthusiasm to go about your day that although nothing bad happens, (your day) just lacks that umph.

Other days, you wake up the moment that alarm clock rings and you immediately hop off the bed, sing or dance in the shower and proceed to have a mini-adventure of your own later that day.

I think I just had one of those days where I felt alive and chatty.

I had all reasons to be grouchy because I had to wake up at 5am just to make sure that I finish my work before 7am and have it ready for the boss to go over at 10am.

Plus, I had to rush all the way to Bandar Baru Sg Buloh to meet a class or Fifth formers who published a book, which is now in its second print. I’ll blog more about that some other day.

And then, I had to take the komuter to go back to the office and finish another piece of writing to be submitted before my sub leaves the office and takes the day off tomorrow.

But today, I also have a lot to be thankful for.

I work up at 5am and managed to finish my work within two hours  —  just like how I had planned. Normally, I would set the alarm at 5am and would hit the alarm and go back to sleep.

Then, my husband was free to send me to Bdr Baru Sg Buloh, so I didn’t have to take the train because I was running late anyway. We got to the school without any problems because I could find the school in the GPS and it took us right to it, right on time.

I had a blast talking to the students and some of the teachers who treated me to lunch. And then, one teacher — who was on the way home — was very kind to give me a lift to the komuter station.

I had to wait for only 15 minutes for the train to arrive and had a good chat with a Sixth former who was going back to her boarding school in Seremban. Before I alighted the train at KL Sentral, she actually salam-cium my hand as a sign of respect because earlier I had told her I was older than she thought. She thought I was a college student. Haha! That made my day 🙂

I got back to the office just in time to write the piece and still managed to leave the office at 6pm.

And when I got home, my mom-in-law had cooked yummilicious nasi ayam and I had that for dinner.

My day couldn’t be any better, really!

So I wonder what kind of day is in store for me tomorrow? Whatever tomorrow lies for me, I’ll start the day with a prayer and a rock-out session with my Disney princesses Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez.

I love my manufactured pop and rock songs 🙂

business trips, fashion, friends, great assignment, husband, karaoke

Meanwhile, back at the ranch

It has been ages, I know. For that I apologise, folks.

My last post was 15 days ago. Needless to say, I had been up to many good and no goods since then 🙂

I went karaokeing with my husband and sister (on two separate occasions)

There is this new karaoke place in SA on the topmost floor of a nearby hotel. I promise you it’s not dodgy. In fact it’s quite clean as it is relatively new. It’s arguably one of the cheapest joints I have been to. If you are ever in town, do drop by. I mean, where else can you sing your heart out for only RM25 for TWO hours?

I had a lot of noodles

I recently discovered N00dle Stati0n. Its speciality is of course noodles but it serves Malaysianised Western food and goreng-goreng as well. But what got me hooked to the eatery is the more than two dozen types of hot and cold beverages on the menu. I recommend this one drink which is blue in colour and tastes like tasty cough syrup 🙂 Everything there is about RM6. Western food is slightly more expensive. The drinks, on the other hand, are rather pricey. They are also priced at RM6. But they come in tall glasses, so you can share the drink and split the cost.

I went to Ho Chi Minh City for 4 days and 3 nights

I’ve been to Hanoi before (last year) and was quite excited when I was sent to follow a group of 60+ college students on a study tour there. I really had fun because I had good company. We visited a local orphanage, did some sight-seeing around the city, visited local tertiary institutions, interacted with local students, shopped and tasted local delicacies.

I was proud of myself for being brave enough to try the local street food (equivalent to our gerai). It’s a pretty big deal for someone who is so anal about getting food poisoning (excuse the pun). When the host asked me if I’d like to try the local food, I had to grin and bare it. I don’t feel good about forcing everyone to follow my dietary regime. I know we’re supposed to follow our guts but in this case, I refuse to let my gut rule my life. I didn’t regret my decision at all. The grilled fish we had was so tasty and sweet and I loved the way they cooked the kangkong. Sedap!

So, moral of the story: high stakes, big reward.

P/S: I bought imitation canvas shoes which I simply adore for less than RM55. So happy 😀

I received lots of free books in the mailbox

I joined this online book swapping club called BookMooch recently. I sent two books to Singapore and Spain and have received two books so far from Spore. These are books that I have been meaning to buy but couldn’t afford — despite having book allowance. Well, you have to have some dough to buy the books before you can claim, right? Anyway, I’m happy that I got these books for free. I only spent about RM20 in stamps to send my two almost brand new books. I’m glad to report that my two recipients were happy with the condition of the books.

I received lots of items I bought online in the mailbox

These include my two tops, handbag and necklaces which I wear to death. I’m itching to make new purchases online. I saw a few nice tops and a pair of pants on cososo which I may just get. Free postage mah!

I’m sure I did a lot more than this but I can’t really remember. Besides, I’m kinda tired. Till next time neh…

cousin, exercise, family, fashion, food, friends, holiday, husband

All you can eat weekend

Looks like it’s going to be a weekend of eating, eating and eating.

It started with my friend, Shah’s 30th birthday bash on Thursday. It was a cosy get-together. He had some food catered but many of the guests brought their own. It was almost a pot luck affair. Some of them brought triffles, roast chicken, creme puffs etc. I loved the white chocolate birthday cake. Normally, I hate white chocolate because it’s too sweet. But this one was different. It had almond in it and it was not sweet at all. Just perfect!

The venue was our friend Sh3gar’s boutique-cum-office. He’s trying to develop his own clothing line and already has, at least, two local celebrity clients – both girls have been VJs and are top local actresses. As the office is quite new, he hasn’t come round to fixing the prices on his clothes. I told him that his designs are something that I would definitely wear. If they’re not too expensive, I would definitely buy em 🙂

To burn off all the calories I consumed from the party, I went to the gym and had a good 40-minute walk/climb/run on the treadmill. I think this is the perfect routine for me because although “switching gears” is hard but it made the time fly by. Before I knew it, I was already on my 35th minute!

I discovered one trick to distract me while I’m running, especially when I’m not listening to the iPod – play games on the treadmill. By that I mean as I run, I make a square. One second I’m on the left side of the conveyor’s belt and another I’m on the right. It’s like I’m running in a zig zag motion. I found that although I was on a relatively comfortable speed, I exerted more energy just to keep up. Whatever it takes to get my heart rate up, yeah?

After the cardio, I did some squats, walking lunges, sit ups on the exercise ball and threw some punches with a 5-pound dumbell on each hand. Just moves that I remember reading from my health magazines.

Right after gym, I had a shower and met my husband who played three rounds of volleyball on the rooftop. After both of us were done, we went straight to my husband’s cousin’s place. An@s (the cousin) had a going away party/kenduri doa selamat. He and his wife, A1re3n will be leaving for Istanbul on the 12th as he will be doing a three-year dentistry postgraduate course there. Istanbul is also where his parents-in-law are. His FIL is the malaysian ambassador there, if I’m not mistaken. I think by the time they come back to KL, they would have had a kid or two 🙂 Insya-Allah.

Just this afternoon, his uncle of his had a housewarming party. I’m still stuffed from the beriyani and ayam masak merah.

I suppose tomorrow we will be eating in. But since Mak Na (his aunt) and her husband, Uncle J0hn and two children – Ad@m and B3n, are down here from New Castle, mom-in-law is sure to have some dinner plans. 

Now usually all this eating would make my stomach go haywire. But since I started taking DigestAid, I have had little to no problem. The only uncomfortable side effect is the flatulence. Either I’m farting all the time or I’m having difficulties passing wind. But that beats needing to urgently pass motion. It’s one evil or the other, I guess. Remember, beggars can’t be choosers!

But I think I’m going to try to substitute my DigestAid pills which contains papaya and pineapple enzymes for the real thing – papaya and pineapple fruits. Like on Friday, I missed breakfast, so I took a long piece of papaya just before lunch. After lunch, I took a pill. The surprise was, I was fine. No stomach cramps and urgent need to go to the toilet. Success!

I think Princess wants to do dinner on Monday. More eating! But I must reconfirm with her. So, later!

P/S: I have Rihanna’s Take A Bow minus one. Next singing contest, I’m singing Rihanna for sure 😛