Welcome to 'Thebokeeffect'. My little space of life through My Perspective. Find out more about me via the 'About' section and thanks for visiting!


November 8th, 2015 1 Comment »



The quality of being thankful. A simple word that I believe everyone comprehends. But, how many of us, are actually grateful? Or, how many of us, mostly take our blessings for granted? It is not about being religious.. or poetic.. or preachy. The last couple of months have been somewhat life changing for me. Perhaps, that is almost too dramatic a phrase to use – “Life changing”. However, when you start looking inwards, your ‘inner garments’, reflecting on how you want to lead your life and change it for the better, that’s life changing, no?

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San Francisco

October 9th, 2015 No Comments »


This year has truly been a year of travel. It’s been a well balance of travels for both work and leisure. I would really like to be able to travel more for personal but I think that will come in good time. With every travel, I return fuller with experiences, horizons broaden and charged up about life.

I recalled a good friend urging me to go on solo travels. To be brave and travel the world alone. To be honest, I think that is a bit overrated. One does not need to backpack, travel to exotic (and/or dangerous) locations, to be considered solo traveling. From as far back as I can remember, I mostly travel alone. I might meet up friends at my destination for example, this April where I stayed with friends in Tokyo or in London in August, I fly alone, I navigate on myself, I plan everything without the reliance of anyone. Most friends I know travel with their partners and trust me, it is very different when you travel with someone. Traveling alone, I’m forced to be more independent, to be aware and everything is heightened. Do I think that it is a must? I don’t. I like sharing moments with people. I do enjoy me-time, where I walk around on my own, do what I want to do, eat what I want to eat but, I prefer me-time back home. Isn’t it a waste to travel and not be able to share it with others? So if you ask me, I can say, solo travel – been there done that. And perhaps in some ways, I am ‘saving up’ certain destinations to travel with friends or a special someone.

San Francisco is one of my favorite cities in the whole world. It was really a last minute work trip, just a quick in an out. 1.5 days to be exact. There was so much that I wanted to experience (eat really ūüėõ ). I’ve been to SF several times and it never gets old. So out of the list of friends living there, I contacted a friend whom I really wanted to catch-up with. And it is true when they say that when friends really want to meet up, there will be no excuses and all effort will be taken to make it happen. Never mind that he had just hiked Yosemite or that I was flat out from a day of walking and store visits, we were both tired but it was strangely relaxing catching over dinner. It’s times like these where I truly treasure the notion of friendship. Where you don’t need much but just time to catchup.

San Francisco was one of those trips which was just not enough. I needed more days, more time. Just more of it. But when I left, I was happy. Happy because it was productive, happy because I spent time where it matters. I hope to be back sooner rather than later. There is a long list of places that I want to visit and more people to catch up with.

As she grows

June 8th, 2015 No Comments »


This not so little one grows more each time I see her. Her personality really shines through these days and she is more like a little adult to me than a 2.5yo though I often refer to her as ‘the small one’..

She’s a bit of the perfect little girl. I’m biased of course.. but you see, she loves everything girly – having her hair tied, tulle and tutus, and ballet, she loves playing ‘masak masak’, princesses, pink and purple. And then, she loves books – she really has my heart there. She also loves music, running and racing with me, riding her balance bike and scooter though she’s quite terrible at it ūüėõ

So what goes on when we ‘hang out’ these days?

I usually try to think of new activities but go with the flow depending on her mood. The other day, we started off with our tea party, then Noah’s Ark and her little brother wanted to play too (She still gets seemingly jealous when I pay attention to him). Then she took off to her room so I said let’s go play downstairs. I’ll ask her to pick out her leggings and help her dress but that day, she wanted to play a different game. She laid down on the floor and pretended to sleep.

So I whispered,¬†“Is Colette sleeping”?¬†

And she whispered back, with eyes closed,¬†“Yes.”

I said, “Do you want Bunny”?


“Do you want to be covered with the blanket”?

“Yes”¬†with eyes still shut..

“Are you feeling warm?”

She threw off the blanket, opened her eyes, looked at me and giggled and thought for a bit then went,¬†“No.”

So I covered her with the blanket again.

“Are we still going downstairs to play? Or are you sleeping?”


“Why are we¬†whispering?”

“I don’t know.”¬†And she peeps out of her blanket and giggles.

“Shall we go downstairs and look for something?”

“Okay.”¬†.. still whispering.

“What shall we look for?”




So she got dressed, she thought it was funny that we had a secret and kept going Sshhh and we grabbed her balance bike and she picked out her purple Nikes and we headed down. She insisted on going to her school to look for lizards and I almost fainted on the spot. Well you know this smarty pants actually knows her way around. We were finding out way out of the condo and I wanted to go in one direction and she went, “No this way.”¬†I said,¬†“You are sure you know the way?” She nodded confidently. So she successfully brought me out and as we crossed the carpark, I made her stop and look and that smarty pants got it right each time.

Thankfully, I managed to convince her that the lizards in school were sleeping (Oohh my the lies we tell..) so we went along our usual area to hunt for lizards. I didn’t know what I had got myself into.. I mean, what if we never found a lizard. So while I was literally sweating trying to help her in her balance bike and then she got tired of it so I was carrying her balance bike, I suddenly saw a lizard. Monitor lizard, iguana whatever. It was a lizard. I was so excited I squealed and pointed and said, “LIZARD!!!” Well, before that, we both decided if we saw a lizard, we would raise our hands and scream lizard. I was obviously excited (and relieved) we found one. The little one tiptoed cautiously towards the lizard. It was balancing on some metal chains. Then both of us stood there for a good ten minutes, transfixed, staring at the lizard. I finally went, “Shall we look for more?”.¬†She was really excited by now and nodded. So we walked about 10m down then she said she wanted to go back to see if the lizard was still there so we landed up walking back and taking a photo of it – she was afraid to stand too close to it so she pushed me towards it *LOL.

And that was the evening. We didn’t see any more lizards and I have a video of her saying how she’s afraid the lizards will bite her, but we sat on the steps counting the number of runners with pink tops, white tops, blue tops, people on scooters and I also taught her how to watch out for her bike as we were running amok around playing ‘catching’ and she kept her eyes on her bike to check that no one was stealing it. I don’t know if she learnt anything but what I’ve learned is that to always let a kid go explore, run around, fall, pick up themselves, do new things. And you know what else I learnt? She behaves very differently when it is just us two. She gets closer to me, holds my hand and the moments are precious.

I also love that she loves being read too and flipping through books. Sometimes, I wonder if the love for reading is innate in a child or when you expose the child to it that he/she develops a love for it. I like to think it is the latter because they can’t like what you don’t expose them to right?

Keep growing my little one and keep staying curious and keep wanting to explore because Aunty A hopes to help you unlock that wonderful potential in you in being the greatest little human you will possibly be. Just don’t grow up too fast (or too heavy..)

“Aunty Andrea I want to touch the leaf on the tree!”

I looked at her dad who is carrying her brother so he grinned and went, “Good luck.”

So I carried the 15kg leggy 2.5yo and huffed and panted and squeaked, “Ok touch the leaf quuuick.”

And she giggles and it’s all worth it.


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The old favorites

May 17th, 2015 1 Comment »

Perhaps, if there is one city, just one that I can only choose, to visit over and over again, it will be Tokyo. New York City has all the food, the vibrancy, the musicals and it’s New York City! San Francisco has something about it that is charming, the vibes, the food, yes it’s always about the food wherever I go.. And Bali. Sunsets, FOOD, shopping, massages. Maybe one day, it’ll be Paris (when I re-visit) or Maldives and Santorini. But for now, perhaps, just perhaps, it will be Tokyo.

It’s about the food again. But also, the ease of getting around via trains. I’m not afraid to get lost because it’s safe. There are cute shops, real food and desserts. The culture, the sights, the people, everything that makes Tokyo unique. As I type this, I’m already trying to plan for the next one. Never mind that it will be the seventh or eighth time – it is never enough. For each trip that I’ve been there, it’s always been memorable. Whether it was with the Allenders or the Conyards or the Uys and even eons ago, where I actually flew to Tokyo to attend hiphop dance classes! Heh. You didn’t expect that one right?

My list of places to re-visit when I’m in Tokyo gets longer each time. It is never enough time. I’m trying to put together a one page guide like I did for New York and Bali since people have been asking and it doesn’t make sense to keep repeating myself over and over again. When my colleague visited Tokyo a week back, she asked me for my itinerary and I literally took her iPhone and just typed in all the places that I visited into her Google maps and voila, it was all done.

They say that each time you travel, your horizons broaden, the experience deepens, your heart gets bigger and more excited, your senses heightened and I always return loving home more and more. Ok. I say, not “they say”. I got that from nowhere but myself. It’s a funny strange contradictory sort of explanation but that’s what it does for me. The other day, someone asked, why haven’t I gone overseas to work. Truth is, I can if I want to. Options are available. But perhaps, something deep inside within me, says, it’s not now. The travel keeps me excited and wanderlust sets in all the time but there’s also that deep sense of needing a routine and being near the people that matters most. Silly but true.

Well, I digress once again. As my colleague said, I’m an extremely interesting person. I can start off with topic A and land up at Z. How I do it, no one knows. Or rather, it’s my streak of constant randomness and I’ve also been told that my brain is constantly thinking and processing. Haha. You see, I’ve digressed once again.. SO. Here’s a recollection of pictures of my favorites, re-visited. And I hope to get that one pager sorted out soon. There’s SO MANY things to do in life! How does one.. keep still?

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Better for it

May 3rd, 2015 2 Comments »


A couple weeks ago, Nike Women launched a campaign called Better for It #betterforit. I love the campaign because it was¬†reflective of how women often tell themselves that ‘I can’t’ and somehow get motivated to turn the ‘can’ts into ‘cans’. I love the notion that being strong, lean and fit is the new skinny. Truth be told, I’d rather be lean and fit versus just skinny but all flabby and fatty on the inside. Perhaps it doesn’t apply to everyone. Not everyone gets a high or the ‘I feel good’ feeling post-workout. For me, I love working up a good sweat, I hate it when my muscles are quivering and I’m on the brink of giving up. It’s always getting past that barrier and trying to do the best out of it. The post feeling is always A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.

Almost two months back, I convinced my colleague to get onto the Kayla Itsines program with me. I couldn’t have chosen a better workout partner. We motivate each other and have been keeping to it even during our hectic travel schedules. We got up at 5am to workout and give each other wakeup calls. I’ve been waking up earlier to get in the workout and it’s so tough to physically drag myself out of bed. But so far so good. Though I don’t see drastic changes in physical tone, I am definitely feeling stronger. It’s been easier on the runs or in yoga classes and I am determined to finish the program. I’ve set goals for myself after this program is completed so I’m hoping to keep it up.

I’ve realized that once a week yoga is not going to get marked improvements in either flexibility or inversions, I’m trying to see how I can make it down to the studio more regularly. I often think to myself, there is so much to do in life. I don’t have enough time to run, yoga, strength training and that’s just working out. So it baffles me when people find their lives boring. On the other hand, I’ve also learned to not waste time on doing things that I’m not really interested in. For example, spin classes, cycling, kickboxing and swimming. So when people lament that running is so boring but it is the fastest way to lose weight, my reply is – find another sport. You’re doing it for the wrong reason and it won’t be sustainable. Whatever you choose, the aim should be to get better, an inch towards your goal (whatever it may be) and slowly but surely, I promise, you’ll get there.


Views reflected here represent my personal opinions and are not reflective of my company’s

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The need to

April 17th, 2015 No Comments »


Sometimes I wished I had more pockets of time to do the things I love. Like cooking and baking. Time is a luxury. Having enough time is or is it the result of poor choices that we make?

When I spend ? of my time at work, at a place which gives me financial independence and pays the bills, the rest or remainder of it is precious. Many times, I do envy my friends who have the luxury not to work where there is more flexibility to plan the things that their hearts’ desire . For me, where the precious pockets of time that is left after work is mostly left to do the laundry, grab a meal, a workout and sleep. Repeat.

I enjoy work. I do enjoy it. But what if, what if I didn’t need to? Where money wasn’t a concern and I could use the time to do what I love. Bake. Yoga. Run. Spend time with¬†loved ones. Travel. Sometimes, it is an irony. You work hard to bring in the dough and to fund things that make you happy. Such as, buying ingredients to bake and cook, buying an air ticket and paying for a holiday. Paying for yoga classes. Having time to do all of it without worrying about money. What if?

But for now. Taking a quick half an hour to bake matcha and chocolate granola, it’s simple but still baking and it fulfills a tiny part of what I desire. And lately, sleep seems to have taken priority above all.

There will never be a perfect scenario. The pastures are always greener on the other. And perhaps, all there needs to be done, is to find that balance. To figure out the priorities, what truly matters, what is important and what will result in happiness. And I wish, I didn’t need so much sleep -_- If I just needed 5 hours of sleep daily, that will give me so much more time to do more things. But I suspect, when that happens, it will still be .. not enough.


January 23rd, 2015 No Comments »

It’s way past my bedtime (breaking one of my goals..) but I feel like writing and it’s been a terribly long week. These pictures have made its rounds on my Instagram, but these days, I hardly use my camera since the iPhones function well for me and perhaps, I need to get a wifi card or upgrade my Sony to one that has that built in.

I’m trying to grapple with the fact that January is almost done and dusted, like seriously, where on earth has it gone to?!! It’s scary how fast time flies by and I seriously want it to please slow down. Perhaps when you are so insanely busy, time goes by more quickly, I can’t even recall how each day has gone by since the year started. Oh wait. I do. Tonsillitis then it was back into work and it’s been non-stop since. Like pulling late nights till almost midnight and lunch is a 10-15 minutes at the desk affair and I’m so brain dead but trying my best to keep up to my resolutions for this year and I am pleased to say that it’s been pretty much on track so far.

Much as I love work, it does get draining and I find myself looking forward to the weekend where I can veg and do nothing and in short, not use my brain. Unfortunately, the last few weekends have been work weekends so well, work isn’t as fun as everyone thinks -_- I seriously kowtow to full-time working moms. How challenging is it to rush into the office each day, stay focus at work so that they can leave on time or at a decent time to rush back home to spend time with the kid(s). Lunches and coffee breaks are a luxury and the majority of working moms that I know and work with – they hardly spend time on social media. For me, I’m literally brain fried, brain dead after a day’s work and to return home to be a parent and wife is so difficult. And for the men that share the same parenting responsibilities, it’s the same. So for that, big big respect.

So what have I been filling my spare time? The last two weeks is sleeping and doing household chores. I try to bake or cook on weekends mostly to destress and I’ve been doing yoga quite diligently, stretching and slotting in runs. Life gets busy as it always does and I really shouldn’t complain because if I look at the big picture, I’m lucky. Lucky to have work to pay my bills and mortgage and everything that I need to keep me comfortable. And lucky to be able to do the things that I want and spend time with people that I love. So next week will get better, it always gets better after a tough week (or two or three) and well, I do have a vacation to look forward to. Now is to plan for the next big one and hmm maybe one year end and then try to slot in Bali and Bangkok. Uh ambitious? Possible if I try and possible if I remain focus on what I want to achieve and push aside the distractions and keep moving forward.

TGIF! And for this week, seriously, THANK GAWD IT’S FRIDAY! :)

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