Fantasie Impromptu

I first heard this piece in the library of my secondary school, watching the animated version of “Little Women” – our literature piece that year. Just writing that, I can remember how the library looked – the cubicles separating the TVs, the chairs and  how I kept hitting the rewind button on the vcr (yes, you read that right. VCR.)

It struck me that I’d LOVE to learn this piece but of course to a 14yr old who has left her piano days behind her after finishing her Grade 4 exam(teenagers very drama one), it sounded very far fetched. I managed to get the score  – only to keep the book away cos the number of notes on that page was not humanly possible to learn. Not for a grade 4 amateur (who has already left her piano days behind her blah blah).

Over the last 20years, I have taken the book out a few times when I feel brave enough to attempt learning it. But never could I play it anywhere near this. What changed? I didn’t go back to learning the piano (I’m still at grade 4 =p) but I think that every piece I’ve learnt contributed to teaching me how to play this one. It’s like levelling up with every sonata/invention/classical piece.

It is a milestone for me to be able to play even this bit (and not as cleanly as I would like). So it’s true – you really can do ANYTHING you want so long as you do not give up.

Fantasie Impromptu

The FAQ on my exercise regime!

Have you always been into exercising?

I’ve always been quite sporty (the occasional wakeboarding or badminton session), but only started exercising regularly at the start of 2014. By that, I mean exercising (almost) everyday by following this zumba dvd set I got from Guardian (was meant for my mom =p)

zumba

What is the best workout?

It hit me quite early on that there is no best workout for everyone. I strongly believe that doing something you enjoy is the only sustainable way of exercising. For me, (easy) dance workouts work because I love dancing and music (duh!) so I can do more for longer without feeling like I’m working out. But when I have no time, then I do the 15min workouts because some exercise is better than nothing. Also, adding variety to my routine is always good =)

Did you always have abs?

Nope! I did not even notice that I was developing abs til 3 months into zumba. I was quite astonished by the changes in my body as there was quite visible overall toning. And of course when I saw results, I was doubly motivated to exercise. Results breed more effort!

IMG_5813

Do you join any classes?

No I don’t although I think I should because I know I would enjoy the energy in a class. However, I’m just plain lazy to go anywhere (must bring change of clothes, look presentable, plan the clothes/stuff to washup and shoes and you get the drift) when I can do it at home. Besides, when I’m exercising at home, a little girl sometimes joins me and you can’t beat that.

What youtube videos do you follow?

1) “Pump It Up The Ultimate Dance workout” is my top pick for a hardcore cardio workout. I like it because the girls can dance really well and have super hot bodies (c’mon, I need motivation too!).  It’s my “am i fit” gauge – if I complete it without feeling like I’m going to die, then I must be ok. It’s broken up into parts so you don’t have to do the entire workout (it’s more than an hr!) if you don’t have time. Also, it really isn’t a 1980s aerobics class although it may initially look like it :p

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsVp7wRWG7I

2) “Zumba Mujer” is something I found recently. It’s not really zumba but a new type of dance workout called sh’bam. A really fun workout cos the instructor is fun and the music is current. 45mins of easy dance moves that hides some serious cardio!

3) “Fitness Blender” is a channel that has LOADS of short workouts. I do them when I only have 15-30mins to workout. Here’s the one I follow most often and there are links to every sort of short workout that targets different body parts.

4) Tara Stiles is a yoga instructor I enjoy practising with because her pace and dialogue is very comfortable for me. Her approach to yoga is very direct and I prefer the simple explanations on the how to, rather than one with dialogue that has an emphasis on the spiritual aspect of yoga that is tied with ancient traditions. Here’s a simple 7min morning flexibility exercise with links at the side to others =)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRsC1YdXqOc&list=TLnuIzfp9Imps

How often do you do yoga?

Well, if we’re talking strictly an entire yoga routine, then maybe only once a week. I usually do a dance workout and cool down/ stretch out with yoga poses. I’ve always been quite flexible but recent months of practising yoga poses has improved that by quite a bit! I’ve also noticed that my arms are stronger thanks to doing inversions and pushups from the 15min workouts =)

**********  UPDATE!   *********

Found another channel with MANY easy to follow videos called REFITREV. It’s my latest favourite until the DVDs I ordered online arrives. Best part is I can pick and choose the ones I like to dance to so long as I do about 45mins to an hr of it. It’s So much fun! =)

Here is one of my favourite video – you can find links to the others by the side!

Hallelujah (cover)

This is one of my favourite songs and also one of the most covered songs around so here’s me adding to that collection =p hope you like it :)

ps: The rock was painted by Camryn, my 9yr old niece =)

Arms (Cover)

The newest home project is to finally set up the home studio. It has been low on the priority list (although to be honest, it’s probably even not on that list) but the mister decided today is THE day.

Met with difficulties at every turn.

- No max bond to bond the egg trays to the walls. (That reduces reverb)
- Dan’s new iMac can’t read the external drive.
- Cannot install ProTools cos can’t read external drive.
- External drive cannot eject installation disk.
- After it finally ejects installation disk, I tried to install tutorial disk.
- External drive cannot eject tutorial disk
- Must wait very long to download Pro Tools from the internet
- Wait very long to download AND install AND restart then it says got missing extensions.
-Bad link to download missing extensions. *pounding floor at this point*

Sigh….. So instead I decided to upload this : my previous recording of Arms. Renee can actually sing this!

So this is for you sweetheart =)

Frivolous Post

When I was 6yrs old, the position for “flower girl” opened up when my uncle and aunty were planning their wedding. As my sister and I were their only nieces, it was only natural that we were to fill that position.

What wasn’t natural, was that my grandmother decided that we should have permed hair to carry out the duty.

Of course there’s no happy ending to that one. VERY bad perm on my stubbon hair = VERY bad perm for VERY long time. (I envied my sister so much cos her hair was thinner, softer and the aunty curls washed right off in less than a week!)

It was life scarring.

Which is why I have never permed my hair after that. But 30 years is a long time to hold a grudge, so I thought that I should try a perm to celebrate the world not ending. 

What do you know – I actually like it (nice?)

Okay, so it’s quite a wuss perm since only the ends got any but hey – i was scarred remember? I can’t perm my hair to the roots if my contingency plan was to cut it all off if it didn’t work out =p

And now, the curls don’t look like they’re going to hold. $198 for 2 weeks of curls is really expensive. Wondering if I should go back for a re-perm (will they do it for free??), or if that is too harmful for my hair. Hm. How?

Well, I did warn you that it’s a frivolous post. If you’re in a frivolous mood and have some advice, please send some on twitter ok?

The Carrot, The Egg and The Coffee Bean

“A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up, She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, ‘ Tell me what you see.’

‘Carrots, eggs, and coffee,’ she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, ‘What does it mean, mother?’

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after
sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they  had changed the water.

‘Which are you?’ she asked her daughter. ‘When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Think of this:  Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the
heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a
financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavour. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can’t go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling.

Live your life so at the end, you’re the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.

It’s quite morbid to think about one’s own funeral, but I’d like it to be a celebration of my life instead of everyone around me crying. I otherwise agree with the rest of the article – I WANNA BE A COFFEE BEAN!