Cook With Us #34- Secret Santa gift post for @chloephuan93

Hello Steemians! This is the first time I am participating this interesting #cookwithus challenge, where I am not a chef (in fact I am the worst cook in the family) but I don’t mind trying new things.


@chloephuan93 has been having a really hard time going through her storms and as a godma who can not really do much, what I can do is probably show her what I am doing and hopefully it will one day turn out fantastic for her to try out.


So today, I have managed to learn to cook a Vegetarial Dal (Lentils) dish that I have always loved; but since I am not allowed to eat spicy, I have twisted a little to my taste and I am still trying to tweak it properly.

Unfortunately I just read the contest entry and I hope that they will still allow me to enter even though I forgot to write a the paper down. @pandamama has previously seen my dish before in Whaleshares so I hope I will be able to update later when I cook another pot again haha; but rest assured that the images with a flower type design logo as water mark (my signature in all my original photos) will temporary fit in the criteria until I update it with a pen the next morning since it is quite dark now at the dead of the night.

So, let me show you my dish: @littlenewthings Tweaked Vegetarian Non Spicy Dal

Yes. There is no trace of spiciness at all, that is why it will be perfect for @chloephuan93 when I manage to season to taste properly.

It also has no diary ingredients so this too is perfect for lactose intolerant individuals.

(Perfect for seniors too if you manage to cook them soft enough)

Note: The Capati is store bought from the frozen section; I only cook them from package.

Here is the up close photo that I have cooked, where I added frozen mixed vegetables plus freshly cut carrot.


You can add in potatoes too, if you prefer it to be thicker and starchier; but when you manage to cook it properly, the softer mashed Yellow Dal (pigeon pea / Mung bean – I think I used the former, the package didn’t say) with the consistency will give both fiber and protein satisfaction.

What are my ingredients?


Actually the base ingredient was precooked on 17 Nov (the day my dad was hospitalised) but I have frozen them nicely in boxes.

They consist of white onion, mixed vegetables, yellow Dal (either pigeon pea or skinned mung bean) with spices like Indian mixed herbs, one dried full shaped Star Anise (Illicium verum), one cinnamon stick, a tiny pinch of turmeric powder, vege (for vegans) / chicken stock, Himalayan rock salt and pepper to taste.

I will have to show you all how to do the base mix (that can be eaten with it directly with Capati flat bread (or any bread)

Note: Turmeric powder is a good anti-inflammatory natural ingredient, and for me who has been suffering thresh, it is a perfect ingredient to numb the pain.


Other than the base ingredient, I have added this, which to me is the crucial ingredient to have that thick soupy stew-like dal; which most Indian / Muslim Indian (Mamak) restaurants will have.

Red lentils cooks fairly qick, and if you let it simmer long enough they will dissolve into the thick consistency that I have noticed.


Off topic: When I tried to boil my base mixture longer with vege stock, it wasn’t soft enough for that stew-like texture I wanted. The Red Lentils did the trick


I have mixed all of them together with some extra vege stock to a boil.

And after that, I transferred it to this Thermal Cooker (that my aunt gave to my mom as she had another one) and let it self-cook for another 8 hours.

You can use slow cooker or crock pot to do so, but since I cooked this at night time before bed it was perfect for it to just simmer nicely while I rested, without extra electricity used. Speaking of eco-friendly, that the way to go!

After that, it was ready to serve in the morning after a reheat.

It’s actually super easy one there’s a base ingredient previously made, but if you want to see how I did the base from scratch, that would be in another post because this is a little too long now haha.

 




The #cookwithus contest is organised by founded by @chefsteve@offoodandart and @pandamama. On their official @cookwithus account.

Welcome to Texingtal: The Forest is Beautifully Alive!

Today I just so happened to spot #photochallenge popped up at my feed and I have been wanting to continue to showcase the beautiful places I have visited during my backpacking trip in 2015 visiting friends.

And today, moving a little away from the cost line countries of the West, I have decided to introduce you the highlands of Austria.

One of my favourite place that was unplanned (by me) was the invitation to my friend’s best friend’s wedding whom I come to know and became friends as well.

And the wedding place they picked was astonishingly beautiful.

Let me show you one of my favourite spots when I had some free time to wander in at the edge of the place of the wedding was held.

I must say, that took my breath a way for a moment when I found total peace and quiet. with just me and the trees.

This is the beautiful inland of Texingtal, about 1.5 hours drive from the central city of Vienna, if you don’t have bad traffic in the city center that is.

You will need to drive pass these beautiful openings of fields where agriculture  and farm is one of Austria’s main livelihood in the inner parts of Europe.

My buddy and his girlfriend (at the time) were in charge of organising the best friend’s wedding and we were there to get some of the things done, particularly the balloons.

But we are not talking about that yet. I will talk about the trees. Let’s not get side track and spoil the #tuesdayphotochallenge .

Most of the trees are untouched except when you are making mountain biking tracks inside where certain paths are cleared for a smoother way, and you can see they are quite healthy and tall.


I was fortunate to have a good 1 hour walk in the path and just soak in the fresh air as I quietly followed the mountain biking path; but I didn’t go too deep as I didn’t want to end up getting lost and my friends who are preparing the wedding and the groom will ended up looking for me instead.

However, I was very much intrigued with the place and its soil was rich and damp. Summer at the time felt a lot cooler and I was just enjoying myself on a cool afternoon before I head back to the castle (yes it was an old castle) to help out.

For a gal who has spent almost a quarter of her life working in the capital city, this was truly a sight for sore eyes, and I truly did not regret visiting this place as it was just really therapeutic for me to just enjoy the path minus off mosquitoes and heat at the time of the Summer of the beautiful Austria!

I hope you have enjoyed these magnificent pieces that I had the liberty to take with my trusty old D90 that I got from a resale which I managed to fix its motherboard right before my flight; but that has to reserve for another story to tell.

Reckless Love – When A Song Could Melt Your Heart to Repentance

Ah, Sunday celebration, sometimes when you keep going for communal church services you sometimes it can numb you to regularity and you sway towards clock in, clock out religious acts .

But today, today was slightly different for me.

I almost wanted to skip church today because I was feeling so meh the whole week but I knew I couldn’t just stay at home that could have just gotten worse in isolation.

And it was also missions month emphasis for the church.

All was just quite the norm when the music and praise just started…

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
could have pushed me through, but it didn’t…

20181028-091613_800.jpg

Until this song came in that caught my attention.

This song that was written by Cory Asbury and published through Bethel Music caught my attention especially how it amplifies the Father’s love in Christ Jesus

Before I took a breath, You breathed Your life in me
You have been so, so kind to me

Imagine when you were still in your mother’s womb, you have not taken the first breath in this forsaking world (these days), your life was breathed into by the Creator of the universe.

I couldn’t earn it, and I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God, yeah

Oh how ironic when we start to live in this world, let’s face it; we did not grow up sinless.

  • The little tiny bit if selfishness when you hope you can have more than others when the dish was your favourite.
  • How you kind of twist your parents’ arms when you tried to get things your way with pleading and maybe even threw a fit when it doesn’t go your way when were so young that you could not even remember.
  • How you hate or even jealous over some things / friend perhaps, over what you do not have.
  • How you said a white lie just so you do not get yourself into trouble.
  • How you start to judge what others should have known when you see injustice happens; as if you are better than the person(s) who made the offence…

yes, all these tiny faults that it seems normal, righteous even to your own justification; but they were not right in the eyes of the Holy God.

Tod White, a very lost but very found strong believer once said
“if you want to get what you deserve, you deserve hell in the real judgement of God; but Christ came and first died for us so that we do not have to face it.”
(paraphrased)

No one man could earn their way to eternal peace.

Whether you like it or not.

When I was Your foe, still Your love fought for me
You have been so, so good to me
When I felt no worth, You paid it all for me
You have been so, so kind to me

How many out there who did not know Him, or even did, denied Him, could still walk on earth peacefully and (most of them) without harm while they continue to blaspheme the absence of the Love of God?

Yet you did not see any lightning strike down every time a person speak out of hatred of the existence of God.

And how many out there, especially those who literally went through hell , carried the burden of guilt and self-condemnation, and even attempted to commit suicide, realised that they could still breathe and open their eyes and have another chance to live, have a chance to find their way hometo a peace that surpasses all understanding, all because of the finished work of cross that was (heavily) pre-paid 2,000 years prior their birth?

Yes… Even when we felt that the world has abandon us who felt less worthy of others, the price was paid, for us

That was when I felt His love shouting out into my spirit, calming the storms in my head with His assurance

…I will never leave you, nor forsake you

(Deuteronomy 31:6b)

There’s no wall You won’t kick down
Lie You won’t tear down
Coming after me

Oh how when we feel so unworthy, we walled up ourselves in order to protect ourselves being hurt from the world again, there’s a reckless love of God will pursue you until your heart is made whole again.

That, is Agape (unconditional) love,

that up till now, the closest resemblance of a human’s love towards another is the love of a parent who would do anything for his / her beloved child.

There’s only One has fully exercised it without restrain.

Sometimes you don’t need a huge bunch of list of songs to get you to re-tuned to goodness and positivity; sometimes it is just one song that speaks to your heart that would thoroughly shine through all the darkness that attempt to choke your life away.

At least, this song today, spoke to my heart.

I hope those who are struggling silently would find this song nourished for your aching soul, and know that when you think that no one in the world left who can understand you; there’s One out of this world, can.

The youtube above has the lyrics. I hope its words brings you life.

Homemade Spanakopita Mashed Potato

Today I attempt to make a simple comfort food that was introduced to me during my solitude time in 2015 in Antwerp. The host of just made some breakfast cum dinner and offered some for me and I found it tasted really nice and I liked it.

As you know that both Netherlands and Belgium’s staple food is potatoes, it is no surprise that there will be many recipe that will come out from it.

And this one added with a bit of healthiness , which is with baby spinach.

Baby spinach recipes are very common in Belgium; so instead of cooking multiple meals, you can actually mix them together.

This reminds me of our Asian culture’s fried rice or “one-pot-recipe”; and you know Asians will definitely have a lot of “tang” to it – just the staple food is rice instead.

A little nutrition facts about potatoes:

  • it has more potassium than banana!
  • it has good source of B6
  • it actually has no fat, sodium or cholesterol
    (of course, deep fried is not counted)
  • one skin on potato is only 110 calories
  • it has magnesium and antioxidants

So if you would like to only eat the potato without added stuffs, it is actually quite a good thing to have for survival.

No wonder in the movie the Martian (2015) you literally could survive if you can cultivate it!

But of course, this recipe I am doing isn’t THAT low calorie. Haha…

I so happened to have 3 mid-sized potatoes left in my storage and I have been attempting to finish off whatever I have as much as I can before I do my grocery again so that I will not waste any excess food; except this round I had to get some baby spinach.

After finish pealing, I have decided to use about 50g butter under low heat to let it melt slowly while I prepare the masher

I so happened to obtain this masher during the middle of the year just to make some mashed potato for my mom after her first cataract surgery, and you can see that it is very fast and useful instead mash until your hands are tired.

It’s not cheap, but for long term, a stainless steel can be a good investment for home made mashes.

After you add in the mashed potato with the butter, keep mixing with the spatula. Over here, you can add black pepper and salt for taste as there is no sauce to this recipe.

I chose Himalayan pink salt because it has other traces of minerals like potassium, magnesium and even some calcium compared to the normal table salt.

Time for some washed baby spinach!

While keeping on low heat , you add these greens on and kept mixing it until it is soft. I added about 20g worth of baby spinach leaves in it.

Gotta get those fibers in!

 

This should be your consistency and you know it is almost done.

While it is slightly warm you can taste it. Some part of the baby spinach can be slightly bitter so you might want to add a little more pink salt to taste. I added extra mixed herbs just to get the fragrance.

This is the basic recipe to it…

But, the difference of this Belgian mash is that it actually has an added ingredient.

You can choose to add feta cheese to it before serving.

But I don’t have feta cheese with me so I added some mozzarella cheese that still left from my previous mini tarts recipe. It gives a whole different level of consistency to the mashed potato and it is actually a lot more feeling.

I actually could not finish all and I have kept some for tomorrow. I already could feel full with only 3 scoops on a small bowl. Maybe it is the mozzarella cheese that keeps me from finishing everything.

I hope you like this version of Belgian Spinach Mashed Potatoes that I learned. A little different from the normal ones that you get from the fast food like KFC.

Doing the Right Thing for the Wrong Reasons

The last 7 days was a time to reflect whenever I had a chance to reflect in life. From books (including the Bible) to recently speaking to someone who regardless of our age difference has brought much insights in my journey of life.

Including why I have taken the time to write on this public permanent platform; which I can never be able to take back the words I put down; as if written on stones (as long as the Internet and the witness nodes lives, very grateful for their effort).

I have been trying to realign my thoughts lately, in personal life, work life and what I truly wanted. And this morning with the Grace of God I was able to chat with someone who has recently have a really serious head concussion, unable to do what she wanted to do anymore, limited with time due to her much need of rest; but yet, still has that fire and passion in her heart.

 

Partly because she also recently found her Ikigai – The reason of Being.

 

We, from the moment we were conceived in our mother’s wombs, have a purpose in life.

Often times we stumble across our years without really grasping the true reason. Hence most of the time we will just be drawn to all sides just to be able to feel the reason of living.

It can be from a vision, a material, recognition, even a person; that usually is not because what we truly wanted inside; because if it does, even without a positive outcome we would still be enjoying what we do and not running off to find something else to fill the emptiness that is inside of us that is supposed to surge from inside, unlimited, and overflowing.

 

This includes faith.

 

Wait… Why? Wouldn’t God be enough? Isn’t it good to live for God?

Yes it does. Only when you live for the right reasons.

 

Because in Christianity, unlike any other faith and religion, is a relationship lifestyle. It’s exactly like having a relationship with someone you love; and often times, you can do the right things for the wrong reason – in order to belong.

 

It is no different when a person (regardless of religion or faith) tries to fit in into a crowd just to feel – belonged.

 

From praise worthy fame; or just for a glimpse of Heaven.

 

What’s wrong with that? Isn’t it important to see open Heaven?

 

Yes it is not wrong; unless you are doing that just to satisfy your crave – like a shot up.

 

Just like helping out someone, prayers, care acts even – what are you doing those for? So that you can boast it in this public platform; or something that you will keep doing because you know you can and you know that some people will just need that small spark of hope without any feedback even.

 

That is where you will see whether you are doing this for the right / wrong reasons.

 

And how you can keep going even when there is no one looking back at you and say, “well done!”

 

Or with gifts, a pat on the back, adoration, and so much more.

 

You no longer be driven by fear, rejection, isolation even; and you are very clear what is right and what is wrong in the laws of nature.

 

( Of course, if those actually do come without you even expecting it, then that is the bonus you have in life)

Because everything that comes out, comes within you, the source of your being, when you know exactly who you are.

 

Just like a little child who knows exactly who they are in his / her parents’ eyes.

 

Only one who still have a huge question mark in his / her head be trying to do all sorts of things (or worse, not doing anything at all)…

 

Maybe these can be some of the questions you can ponder:

 

– Am I waiting for someone to just say well done?

– Am I doing this just for the sake of obtaining what I can have?

– What if that something I am currently doing / currently having is being stripped away from me; will I still be able to continue a brand new path with the same believes in me? Or do I feel that I can never be able to live another day?

 

If you are saying yes to all the 3 questions above, then you are just going onto default mode. Fitting in wherever you can, moving along the waves and dictated by its uplifting / destructive force.

 

My dear reader, you are not made to fit in, you are made to stand out.

pinched from Jim Caviezel

 

Everyone is very unique, and nature proves it right.

 

Look at your finger prints. Not one person in this world will be the same as yours.

 

But many of you (including myself) will never see this as a revelation until we find our core purpose in life. And some would simply point it out as – passion.

 

Not the distorted ones that you are doing for the sake of approval. You do it anyway no matter how many times you fail.

 

You just keep moving forward, picking what you learned be it achievement or failure, and press forward; you know what you are doing.

Below is a clip shared by my friend explains more about what passion is; where she used the Ikigai Method that is done by multiple times with a Life Coach of you need to. I know a few of the motivation / Life coaches in #teammalaysia would be more than happy to show you.

 

I hope those who are stumbling in life would be able to find it useful; and even if you DO stumble, be of good cheer, you can still stand up again because life is not at the end of the road yet.

Review: Gems out of Africa booklet series

When it comes into books out of Africa, for certain group of people’s mindset, there have certain reservation and comments they’d always like to give before even looking into it; even for Christian community.

Maybe certain prejudice has  been formed from the few bad apples in the basket; but one must take on any material with an open mind and always counter check it back with the source – non other than the Good Book, the bible.

Wasn’t there a written word that spoke of it?

Do not treat prophecies with contempt, but test all things. Hold fast to what is good. – 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21

So today, I finally found time to review what I have been combing through these easy-to-read booklets after going through the recent Ignite night rally and of course, tested through all the scriptures Rev John has been explaining and preaching before deciding to get these 3 books.

Honestly, I love to read; but as age catches up and there are just more and more things to juggle, reading has pretty much gotten to the back of my list and sometimes, I still slip and slide even opening the bible for an extensive read.

@chloephuan93 and @aikido.hung of course has witness the decaying of my mental state whenever I rush too much and lack of good input daily, so it was a perfect time to realign myself with some really easy read materials to kick-start my brain again (as per Dr. Caroline Leaf said. I’ll talk more about what I discover from her sharing later)

So what was my take away out of these few booket in the series?

Opening the Portals of Prayer

I must say this series is a very specialised book especially for believers; but it also touches on how when things go really well all things fall apart concept in the spiritual realm. So for those who sometimes tend to say, “Why??? Why God??? Why now when everything is working so well??” this little booklet would have given the clues to it.

Another eye opening part especially for those who are very dedicated to intense prayer life is the explanation of disturbances or distractions that comes by that will just love to throw you off your focus; especially when it speaks about the Armour of God, just like when you go for battle, a lost of a gear or even a split second off focus could jeopardize a lot.

My personal take from this is when Dr. John was mentioning this:

The Bible calls them the armour of God. It is not our armour; it is God’s armour. When we use it, we allow God to fight on our behalf.

Now a lot of religious practices always emphasize on you to do all the work, which can be rather pressured (for performance); but in the Christianity concept, we get engage in our prayer life without the stress of pressure, allowing us to focus much more knowing that we are not alone in any battlefield.

The nice part is that many religious book out there would pretty much touch this topic in the sense that you may not be good enough; but the author emphasise that while it is essential to practice a discipline prayer life, there are still room for improvements.

After identifying the cause in the spiritual realm, it is also to understand how to strategies your thoughts and “know your chess moves.

One more note on this booklet: For those who believe in light and darkness, yin and yang, good and evil; the force and the dark forceyes; darkness is real. Very real; and churches out there who are still slumbering and preoccupied with number of attendance KPI should really look deep into this topic.

The Abrahamic Strategies

Would be your next book to touch upon, and how you understand the meaning and importance of prayer altars; in both side of light and darkness.

And you know some places when you say that you would go to this place and you can either feel peace / something weird or even eerie despite of the place may not have regular frequency of people, the booklet gave a simple yet straightforward explanation to it.

Love Covers A Multitude of Sins

… can say is one of my favourite of all 3, simply because perhaps my family have been going through a lot the past years and this little booklet not only explains on situation when people disappoint us especially with something that truly damaging, see it in God’s point of view and how we can overcome that judgmental thought and see with compassionate eyes.

Just today I have heard of a very young talented woman who ended her life, she can be very wrongly perceived or not even being compassionately viewed in a strict Asian society, especially by the elderly; but this booklet helped many to understand the struggles of fallen individuals who took on their lives themselves with their limited and erroneous mindset, and how to compassionately and persevere to reach out to them with no prejudice eyes.

I personally have struggling love ones and yes when they reacted not as I have expected I did felt betrayed and was unable to tackle what is in their mind; but this tiny little compact book gave me many encouragement not to give up as no human is regarded as beyond help as long as they are still alive.

Overall, there are actually 9 booklets in the whole series, some are even more spiritual including family and nation building; and although I only got hold on 3 of them I felt that it was good enough to kick-start of a renewal mindset on how my spiritual walk should step out henceforth.

If you ever get a chance to get hold on this series, especially for a believer, do have am open heart to read it and know that every page was written with love and edification and correction.

I hope you find this review curious enough to compel you to purposefully spot this series out, as much as I have been very blessed reading them.

Tips and Tricks: Save Time in Controlling Your Google Sheets

If you think you cannot learn anything new every day, think again.

This actually applied to my most recent exercise conducted for #teammalaysia when I was asked to help out to track on our recent t-shirt ordering and buying “expedition”.

You can actually read the summarised progress here on how it how far it has progressed.

Over here, I would like to share what I have learned in my most recent attempt to make full use of Google Sheets (which can be viewed in public for the benefit of transparency).

@aikido.hung would have been proud of me, but then again, to him it is just easy peasy; because he is the master of Spreadsheets!

I would believe that most of the time we are very much used to the basic use of Google Sheets (or Excel Spreadsheets), and most of the time (like me, maybe not you) would probably just manually fill in everything that needs to be filled in; and this usually could cause human error compilation.

Especially when your data is very important for the supplier to read through later.

(oh no no no, the supplier will not see this; but will see the summarised version based on what we have collected. The sheet is still in progress of becoming better)

Anyways

Here are some of the things that I have learned recently that perhaps, just perhaps could be of great use for you in the future!

Tip 1: The If statements

The IF statement is actually very useful especially when you are looking into different types of responses.

I however did use a very manual style to do this (until I perfect it in the future), but if you noticed that different “X” mark in the cell produces different cash value.

A very good example is the application if the order requires express postage poslaju .

A t-shirt that is 2XL and below all comprises of MYR 23 in total for full customised printing of a t-shirt with at least 6 colours on it; but if a buyer request for a postage service, if you do not use a formula to do so, you will end up having doing all the calculations manually, where you can make mistakes.

Therefore, in every cell in column N (Total Price), this rule was applied:

I figured a screen capture will work better as there are colour codes to it

This applies to those who used cash sales, and if there is and indication of “Y” in cell L (That includes poslaju services) it will add an extra MYR 9 into the service charge (including packaging)

Now that, is actually quite simple and most intermediate users would have known this formula.

I can assure you, I have plenty of admin staffs who still know nuts about this, and they use garbage in garbage out method to manually key in. The most they would use is SUM and addition and subtraction.

Now come the INTERESTING PART

Tip 2: Colour coding your cells based on certain rules IN A RANGE.

Yes, because most people would have done the cell-by-cell custom colouring; but to save time, there is this really cool feature in Google Sheets (I have not checked Excel sheet) that will help you to colour code your cells based on the criteria you already set.

1. Where to find it?


When you right click your cell, you would already see that there is a “Conditional Formatting)” feature stated at your Google Sheets. All you have to do is to click on it and it will bring you to a special window at the side for you to set it up.

2. Specify your range


Usually when you click a single cell, it would just show you just one cell; but if you would like to specify an entire column to look at, you will need to type this (and it will automatically formulate for you when you press “Done” later)


Leave the to range number unfilled so that the system will intelligently fill up the default range for you; otherwise you will need to specify yourself.

3. Tell Sheets what you want

This is where the magic happens. At the value of formula you would need to write in your specific thing to look into; BUT, so far, as I have not used the IF statement yet, you should specify a simple value only instead of complicating things because one range of cell can actually receive multiple rules to look into (sequentially)


Notice that I only specify one cell as a reference to look into ?

There were countless times I tried to set it as a range to spot for the word “Sabah”; but often times it gave me an error.
After vigorous searching thanks to Presearch that gives more unfiltered search results compared to using Google search directly; I found out that somehow because of the range I have set to look on, each of the row in column U (for example) will automatically counter check each row in column R.

Notice that I put a $ before R? That is because I only want the rule to check on nothing but column R; otherwise the whole formula will go crazy because it will check the entire range including the application range U.

After that, you can just apply the style you want exactly as you wished so that it will show just like what you want.

4. Repeat step 2 and step 3 if you want more rules to apply to the same range


As I have mentioned before, you actually CAN make multiple rules for the system to check sequentially on each rule. These rules become “If statements” or “Case select” statements (for those programming junkies) so you won’t have to be frustrated to make if formulas into the format cell if… section.

I have not tried adding multiple match conditions into the formula just yet; but if you already know about it, do share your comments or even point me to your post if you already have written one.

Knowledge is power and sharing is wealth. Sometimes we keep the things we learn so much to ourselves we ended up overloading our lives with unnecessary burden when people come and try to ask you for help.

These are already quite common and humans should not race and compete with each other, but instead offer ourselves in terms of service to those who truly need help and perhaps, from that point, our validated characteristics will win the hearts of more than what we can charge them for, and that, actually generates more wealth than you can think of.

Anyways, enough with the philosophical part above. I hope from this post you have learned a neat trick or two to impress not only your bosses but make your lives easier, as much as this discovery helped me so much!

Tried and Tested – Heart Rate Tracking Pedometer under 5 USD

Hello everyone! I hope the HF20 hasn’t really discouraged everyone too much now that version 20.5 has been implemented!

Today, after tried not to have a pedometer (and also can’t find my old watch) for a few months I have finally resorted to get a new one within a thrifty budget, added with some “jazz”!

(I’ll explain that part later)

So what did I manage to dig up from the nifty online store in Malaysia?
TADA.

Yes, and it is less than 5 USD (excluding shipping)

YES. I am not kidding you.

You’d probably be wondering is this for real because you might not easily get it, and even my niece also mistakenly thought it was the famous MI band 2 from Xiao Mi which could cost almost 50 USD; but nope, this is a cheap version of it that does all the basic stuffs you need, minus the water proof and password unlock feature.

Yes, this little gadget under 5 USD is not water resistant; so don’t go try to wash with it, or worse, swim with it if you don’t want to flush your money into the toilet.

If there is a 5 USD worth of watch band that is water resistant, I think almost the whole world would be using it.

Ahem, I am digressing again…

Back to this little gadget:

At first look, it does resemblance the MI Band 2, only that the on/off sensor has a print on it instead of a sleek surface to feel it. I like the fact that the LED display is actually quite bright compared to my last pedometer that seems to be a Fitbit lookalike.

(I didn’t know about it until my friend asked me)

Sensor wise for the heart rate is impressive, both with or without the silicone wristband; and it is not constantly on until you decided to switch it to heart rate / blood pressure display.So this means it saves battery power; besides you don’t need it to monitor you all the time.

My previous one had a button at the side, and sometimes it is quite a hassle to press on it especially after you have used it for almost 2 years (until the silicon band broke).

With this one, a gentle touch at the fingerprint area you will be able to switch from one mode to another.

The other really cool feature is if you do not wish to disturb your wrist band, as long as your Bluetooth is on, you can go to the heart rate or blood pressure interface and you can click on the play button for it to detect your heart rate.

There are a lot of pedometers once strapped it on, it will not be as accurate or it will take longer time to perform readings but so far with this model, even with loosely latched on band it isn’t too bad. I suppose if you press it on the skin it will detect better with the sensor light below.

So when your pedometer interface is not switched on to the heart / blood pressure part, you will not see this green light turned on.

Another really cool feature is that you can actually turn it off, should you choose not to use it for sleep, or when you need to charge.

Even the charger dock looks a lot like the Mi Band 2’s.

Geeze, talking about imitations; they are just getting better, don’t they?

PRETTY COOL, NO?

Oh yes! You did notice that I mentioned about this gadget came with a little “jazz”?

For most compatible / imitation-like pedometers out there from the real deal, they usually do not come with much selections on accessories; but THIS one, does come with a small range of colours for you to choose, from the usual ones like whites and blacks (and blacks are usually sold out), to much funkier bright colours like orange, blue, green, yellow and pink.

How much do they cost? About 1.30 USD for each coloured band. Not bad at all!

So there you go; my simple short review of my “new toy”. As I continue to check on how good this is, I might actually get extra for my parents; especially for my mom who now suffers from hypertension. This will be easier for her to monitor if the readings are accurate.

For those who are interested in purchasing this, usually a single pedometer like this would usually need to add additional 2.30 USD for local shipping in Malaysia; however for those who wants to add an extra jazz into their lives they can opt to purchase extra coloured bands (or the same colour for safekeeping) to round up until 9 USD you will get free local shipping.

International wise, express will cost a bomb; so if there’s anyone who’s interested in bulk purchase, please do let me know if you need help and see if I can help you to arrange for a more affordable shipping deal.

So far I have checked from aliexpress.com website, it cost about 8.12 – 10 USD. Some vendors offer free shipping while others will add on a little extra for the fee.

Like it or not, I think this can serve as a pretty good Christmas present which is not too expensive, wouldn’t you agree?

pst! If anyone from #teammalaysia who wants to get one, please let me know, I might want to get extra coloured bands so we can buy it together if you want to!

I hope you have enjoyed reading this simple review as much as I have enjoyed preparing it!

Are You Ready to be Tested?

It’s been days I have been trying to write something, but the chain of events in my real life happening all over has been pretty overwhelming; nevertheless as long as we kept pushing forward and not losing sight in life any storm can be overcome – especially faith wise.

A lot of people on Earth always wished that things would go smoothly in life; great family upbringing, open doors to great career, meet the right partner, enjoy great friends, eat whatever we want, work whenever we want… you know, The Good Life; like a well oiled engine that will never stop.

But that kind of life is just a plateau, a boring state even; and humans, like any other living created thing, deep inside will never be truly satisfied even though one will slide into complacency.

Even a tree needs to be pruned to yield healthy leaves and bare fruit. Because if you are a gardener, you would have noticed that un-pruned trees, the leaves will grow old, and it becomes lifeless and dies off.

My recent lemon tree that I thought it almost died unable to weather the May – July heat (because I let it run its own course with just some water and fertilizer), now started to bare new leaves and it is healthy and lively again.

So it is the same as you and me.

In John 15:2, Jesus mentioned,

“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. “

So do not be surprise that when you think you have the good life, God is not allowing trials to come their way to test your endurance; not to punish you for enjoying life, but to train you to weather storms of life that can hit you any time.

And this happened to my own family.

I must admit, this seems a little drama, right?
From mom’s surgery, to another surgery; relationship challenges and financial trials – and these are just the tip of the iceberg.

But this is where that I know, that I have something to learn, to improve. Greater things awaits in the future but if I am going to face it with my current capacity, God knows I will not be able to handle it.

Before I go further:
If you think that Christianity is a fast track to a great life and abundance only, boy you are in for a surprise.

Any preacher that only emphasis this is only shown you part of how living in Christ is all about.

Even in the secular society when you are entrusted a higher position in the market place, or even to expand your business (for example), requires to even re-learn, re-set your mind just to handle greater providence at hand.

Nothing is ever smooth sailing, so don’t even start thinking that Christianity is a bed of roses. No sir, it can be an exact opposite.

But the best part is that you are going to be more equipped to head on in life and live even a much bigger better life; one season to another.

And right now, as I am writing this down, this shaking will not just only to be be, I can see that whoever that thinks that they have reached the mark, be ready for more: Especially churches.

To revive, sometimes is to be ready to be re-built.

Are you ready tests of life at hand to get you through to level up mode, just like in those games you got to have a big battle before you are powered up?

I hope this revelation gives light to many out there who kept wondering why life is so hard and is this ever gonna end; the thing is, perhaps, the next turning of rough roads, is a great prize waiting for you.