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Inspirational Quote of the Day

"Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking." —Marcus Aurelius

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Saturday, October 31, 2015

THE TIME GARDEN, by Daria Song

I've been quiet in the last few days, mostly contemplating on what to do next (or what to color next; should I do this piece instead of that). Simon P. brought back a gift from the UK, a coloring book titled The Time Garden, and I fell in love with it immediately. It's such a beautiful thing.

I've decided to temporarily put the Crazy Camper Van project on hold while I embark on this cuckoo clock fantasy. Here's a glimpse on what I have been up to...

Book synopsis: The Time Garden will sweep you away into an enchanted world, created in intricate pen and ink by Korean artist Daria Song.

Journey through the doors of the cuckoo clock and into its inky innerworkings to discover a magical land ready and waiting for you to customize with whatever colours you can dream up. 


Thursday, October 08, 2015

Cooking Experiment: Success!


Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Stimulate Your Mind

Continuing on from yesterday’s post on Follow Your Questions, I find #13 Stimulate Your Mind an interesting one. This is because when you really think about it, it has connection with everything else in the 24 Daily Habits That Will Make You Smarter.

Click on the article to view a larger image.

In this post I’m going to list down some of the ideas of stimulating one’s mind, particularly on brain games or exercises—they’re mostly stuff I’ve tried and tested (#10)—and attempt to link them to the rest of the 23 daily habits from the infographic.

The following exercises will strengthen the brain’s higher functions such as memory, creativity, reaction time, and critical thinking abilities. Brain exercises (help tone and shape your mind) are like physical exercises (help tone and shape your body). The idea is to increase speed, alertness, focus, attention, spatial reasoning, problem solving, and reaction time.
  1. Brain games and training. Luminosity (#17 and #23), Brainist and Games for the Brain. I’m very tempted to sign up for Luminosity’s personalized training program…
  2. Puzzles such as crosswords, word finds, or math puzzles. I’m currently trying out cryptic crosswords and they’re so tough! Bonza! is a great crossword where you arrange the pieces to solve the puzzle. I only started playing Bonza! (#17 and #23) in July this year after being introduced to it by my brilliant-brainy guy, Simon P. (#15 and #21)
  3. Pub Quiz (#21). Go easy on the beer, though! When I’m not participating in the weekly pub quiz, I play QuizUp (#17 and #23), a free and awesome app where you get to either pick your opponent (friends) or any random person in the world. I was introduced to QuizUp only yesterday, again, by my brilliant-brainy guy, Simon P.
  4. Chess. I think it’s a great way to exercise strategic thinking prowess. Many have said it’s fun to play but it’s also something that I’m still having trouble getting started because it’s scary. (It’s time tackle #19!) I’m particularly interested in strategy games because they help develop long-term thinking and make you think many steps ahead.
Come let's play Bonza!

So, all in all, I’m going by the principle that the best way to increase one's intelligence is to stimulate one's mind! Here are more stuff I regularly do.  Pick a topic that I really enjoy (I love the spelling, grammar and Italy quizzes in QuizUp). #20 and #23 – Go for stuff that interests me and would like to learn more about (I enjoy learning languages and Duolingo is a great free app to explore and be exposed to new tongues). #4, #7 and #23 – Set aside an hour a day and read passages from a book on that topic or subject. #20 – Open up your mind to new things! #24 – Don’t forget physical exercise and a nutritious diet for a happy brain and help mind juices flow! Right now I’m doing #8 and #12 by writing this post.

My QuizUp

What’s not in this post but are available elsewhere on my blog:
  • #2: Follow your questions—I do this often, which explains my passion for reading and exploring things. I did a post on this yesterday.
  • #5: Watch educational videos instead of TV—I’m a big fan of TEDTalks. Find me here!
  • #14: Take online courses—I’m a big fan of MOOC and my favorite platform is Coursera. Check out my posts here.
  • #16: Subscribe to feeds of interesting information—My Twitter lists and Facebook are full of interesting and useful stuff. I also share them here and here.
  • #18: Use a word-of-the-day app—Take a peek on my blog’s sidebar for the Italian and Spanish WOTD.
  • #22: Set aside some time to do nothing—Yes, it’s really good for you. I’ve tried it and doing nothing is liberating.

What’s NOT in this post and NEEDS ACTION:
  • #1: Come up with 10 ideas every day
  • #3: Play devil’s advocate
  • #6: Read the newspaper
  • #11: Start a “Stop doing” list


Sunday, October 04, 2015

Follow Your Questions

I was reading an article on about 24 Daily Habits that Will Boost Your Intelligence and the point on “Follow your questions” (see item 2) has triggered me to give it a little more thought. So, what is follow your questions?

Click on the article to view a larger image.

I would say it is the idea of being curious and follow your curiosity. You’ll never know where it’ll lead you but you can almost always be surprised by how awesome that discovery will be. Follow the trail.

Personally I love burning questions that lead me to deeper questions. Pondering on them and the uncertainties can be mentally exhausting but also satisfying. To me, the sense of accomplishment when I found the answers which then leads me to potentially more questions is very appealing.

The idea of questioning the situation or material was not easy for me when I was younger, and it is something I took lots of practice with for it to become a second nature to me. I used to be really obedient in school, and although I had many questions I seldom ask but just accepted what was being taught. But then as a mature adult, I starting asking.

We can all do this by questioning the situation or material. Ask: What's really going on here or why does this resonate with me? Why does it matter? How does this help others? Does it make sense? Is there something more to it than what has been explicitly said or what might I be missing? If I’m reading a book, who is the author (for example, I research the authors and examine their social media presence)?

Questions are the basis for learning. The process of slow, curious investigation is a good foundation to personal growth, so do not fear those questions or curiosity!


Saturday, August 29, 2015

My (Third) Coloring Project: Crazy Camper Van

"It [coloring] engages both sides of your brain in that it’s both creative and tactical."
—Psychologist Alice Domar, Ph.D., executive director of the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health

There are a few things that are close to my heart: reading, traveling and studying languages. I have forgotten about my love for coloring. When I was a wee kid in primary school, I loved participating in coloring contests. I buy magazines with my pocket money and the first thing I did was flip the mag to the contest page and started coloring. I then passed up the finished product to my mom neatly sealed in an envelope for her help to post it. I also checked carefully that my personal particulars on the contest form were error-free. Meticulousness is a habit I cultivated from young.

Just how did I reconnect childhood coloring with adult-coloring that coincidentally seems to be the craze lately? I don't have a good answer for that but I can assure you there is a time and season for everything. Coloring is a beautiful hobby. Most of the articles on adult coloring talk about coloring as a stress-relief thing. For me, I have a love affair with paper and pen for the longest time, and now pencils.

Seeing a black-and-white page transform into a colorful one with your dash of style and quirkiness is a fulfilling and very satisfying feeling. So coming back to the quote by Alice Domar, Ph.D. right at the top of this post, the creativity comes with envisioning the color selection and how it will play throughout the piece, while the tactical involves applying your decisions to the artist’s design. With that, I am now ready for my next (third) project. See all my coloring activities here!

Here are some great articles to get you started:


Friday, August 28, 2015

My Coloring Project: The Blue Peacock (COMPLETED)

To see my first coloring piece on The Whimsical Penang Heritage House, check out this post.


Saturday, August 22, 2015

Back into the Loving Embrace of Latin

I started learning Latin after I got the hang of Italian, but stopped when I was distracted by other pursuits. So, I'm like this and I get easily distracted. I'll poke around new things and if it's something I really want to dive into (such as Italian), I'll make that commitment. If not, I know I've tried and it's not really my thing.

Now, while Latin has gone off my radar for a while, that doesn't mean I've lost interest. I'm still very much into it and I'm thankful to the article that steered me back into the beautiful path of learning this (dead) language. Should you need convincing, come with me and read Why We Should All Learn to Speak Latin.


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Getting Artsy with Canva

16 August 2015: I started using Canva for book quotes too. What fun!

13 August 2015: Canva has become my playground. I saw this Drake quote and wanted to do something with it, so I practiced again with it. I've done something using the very cool Canva for my coloring progress post.

I had much fun creating this!


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