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Inspirational Quote of the Day

"Growth is not built around a life of ease but through a/the path of discomfort." —Unknown

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

THE PUBLICIST, by Christina George

My Review:

It has been a while since I picked up a novel like this and I'm glad I did. The Publicist is a light read, no doubt about it, but it's also funny (fun!), insightful, and I found myself immediately drawn to Kate.

I will not tell you which page this is but this one resonates so strongly with me, I could feel myself vibrating with excitement.

To be with Nick felt like cheating and yet, there was Mac, married and unyielding from his position. Kate sighed, she needed perspective, she needed something to balance herself out emotionally. She had fallen for Mac, a man with whom she had no future. Her feelings were so jumbled she wasn't even certain. Nick was here, single and wanting her. They could have a future, something that would never be afforded her if she allowed herself to continue to become so entwined with Mac's life.

This is not the only part. The way Kate is obsessed with her work makes me love her character even more. She is very resourceful and is THE publicist that would make you famous or literally turns things around. We are talking about near-impossible things. She's one of a kind. And also the kind to succumb to the married but available Mac. The irresistible Mac.

In short, I loved The Publicist. It's a great read and if I could finish reading this standing up in a packed bus over two days (I was at the same time busy with moving house), it must say something about this magnetic contemporary romance. Go ahead. Read it. Turn those pages (participate in the Kindle giveaway down below!). You will get insights into the life of a publishing house and more specifically what a publicist like her do. It is amazing stuff.

Stay tuned next Monday, 2 February, for my review of the second book, Shelf Life, and the author interview with Christina George.

Book Synopses: Behind every book, there’s always more to the story.

Can one woman change an age-old institution like publishing? Probably not, but Kate Mitchell sure wants to try. As a publicist with a large, respected New York publishing house, Kate finds herself at the mercy of a broken publishing system, books that don’t always sell (at all) and author egos that are often, well, as big as the island of Manhattan.

Enter the star Editor, MacDermott Ellis. Tall, handsome, charismatic, married, and ready to save the day. Kate wants to do the right thing but her hormones seem to be driving her decisions. Then there’s Allan Lavigne, once a revered author, now as forgotten as yesterday’s news; and his nephew Nick, who wants to sweep Kate away from New York for another coast, California.

As Kate tries to navigate the landmine of publicity, the over-the-top author expectations, and the careful dance of “I’m sorry, your book isn’t on the bestseller list this week”, she also finds authors who are painfully overlooked by a publisher wanting more sex, more celebrities, and more scandal.

About the Author:  Christina George has worked in publishing for twenty years (give or take). Here’s what this book isn't. It’s not a slam against publishing (though it is broken) and it’s not a slam against authors (though some of them are crazy). This book is not autobiographical though many of the stories are true. No you won’t know which ones, cause it’s more fun to guess, right? George continues to work in publicity and helps authors because at the end of the day she does love books, she loves publishing, and she loves authors. She hopes you’ll enjoy this romp through Kate’s world as much as she enjoyed creating it.

Connect with Christina: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~ Goodreads

Where to buy the book: Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Many thanks to Laura Fabiani from iRead Book Tours for sending me a complimentary copy of this book. Please visit the other blogs for the iRead book tour for Climax for more reviews and giveaways.

Thank you, too, for stopping by! Your comments are most welcomed.


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Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Please welcome guest blogger and author Lisa Lynn to Hello, My Name Is Alice!

The Smart Use of Safe Supplements
by Lisa Lynn

I don't suggest that everyone take supplements unless diet and exercise aren't enough. I do suggest the smart use of safe supplements for people who lack energy, struggle with losing weight because of hunger and cravings, as well as those times when our weight loss needs a push! Losing those last 5-10 pounds can be difficult and using the right supplements can make it easier and faster. I suggest supplements as natural remedies to replace over the counter medicines that slow our metabolisms such as melatonin for sleep instead of sleeping aids that affect weight loss. Or recovery agents that help ease inflammation and reduce pain instead of pain relievers that can stop weight loss and may cause harm when taken long term.

Sometimes we can't lose weight because of nutrient deficiencies such as vitamin D or omega 3, so I created my own brand of supplements that not only solve these problems but are also specifically geared for sluggish metabolisms and are geared for weight loss. What really makes them unique is the quality used and that makes all the difference when it comes to results! You can compare it to cooking with the best ingredients. The food always comes out the best and when you use top quality supplements which includes protein shakes and protein bars, quality changes everything. I suggest people do a test and stop what they are currently using and use my brand for 2 days to compare results. People are amazed when they can tell the difference in one day when they use my brand vs store bought shakes and bars! The truth is sometimes people are doing the right things but they aren't using the right supplements and that makes all the difference when it comes to boosting your metabolism, and you'll end up taking less which saves you lots of money in the long run. Buying higher quality can save you time and money. I had to learn the hard way after struggling to lose weight and trying to skimp. You can't skimp on health! You'll save more doing it right the first time!

This was another lesson I learned working with Martha Stewart. I used to think that rich people who had money didn't understand about cutting costs, but what they teach us is to do things one time right vs trying to cut corners and skimp which costs us more money and frustration!


My Book Review

The Metabolism Solution gives a background to the author’s personal story of living with a family of alcoholics and addicts. She was also a compulsive overeater. Despite all her best efforts back then to diet and exercise, nothing seemed to be working for her. She then met Dr. Fred Hatfield, an internationally renowned fitness expert, and learned from him. Lisa is also Martha Stewart's trainer and friend. She has also earned several educational certificates from the International Sports and Sciences Association’s Professional Division.

The book has nine chapters and they are informative with photographs, charts, and recipes. I am not a fan of cooking so I have not tried any of the recipes but they do sound good and very doable. True to its title, the book provides lots of insights about boosting one’s metabolism. In some ways, most of the information is not new to me because I have read them from other materials and when I see the same contents again in Lisa’s book, the pointers resonated with me. For example, I drink a lot of water (at least 2 liters daily), so when Lisa says by drinking enough water we can boost our metabolic rate, I am thrilled. This means I am already doing it right. When I feel hunger coming, I drink water and the act of water drinking does curb that hungry feeling.

"Hunger is a good sign. It means your body is about to burn fat."—The Metabolism Solution, Lisa Lynn. I always have hunger pangs and to me that’s a good thing. Enjoyable even, because I know I am about to eat something good and satisfying that would nourish my body.

I used to be a big fan of fruits but I have stopped consuming them after reading Tim Ferriss’ book, The 4-Hour Body. Therefore, when Lisa says limit fruit to one or two servings per day for greater weight loss (because fruit converts to sugar very quickly during digestion), it is not a hardship to me at all. I did not have any problems with constipation because of my high vegetables and water intake.

Finally, supplements—a topic, particularly on the author’s brand, LynFit, is heavily discussed in this book (this is the part I am not too happy about)—and exercise are covered in the book, too. Again, these pointers resonated with me because I choose and partake my supplements very carefully. I have also completed a Nutrition and Physical Activity for Health, a Coursera course in September 2013, offered by University of Pittsburgh (read my post here), so I am aware that Lisa knows what she is advocating. Also covered is the psychological and emotional aspects of eating, and the importance of faith in "GOD and Your Bod".

In conclusion, The Metabolism Solution is a great book that is fun, informative and insightful. I definitely want to maintain a good healthy body and continue to have a healthy metabolism as I get older (I am 38 this year!). The most important thing in any pursuit is doing it with the right mindset, so treat your body with respect and this book is here to help you!
Book Synopsis: Are you ready to lose 1 pound a day? Have you tried every weight loss plan under the sun? Don’t give up in frustration; The Metabolism Solution will make it faster and easier. What makes The Metabolism Solution different? It will teach you how to safely harness the power of your metabolism to lose weight and melt belly fat fast. You will learn the right way to work out to boost your metabolism with the best part being seeing results the first day after your first 30-minute workout. You will learn how to address your weight loss and fitness issues from the inside out, allowing you to focus on what created the weight gain in the beginning and how to correct those issues. Do you love delicious food? You'll adore Lisa Lynn’s 100 irresistibly delicious fat blasting recipes. The Metabolism Solution is the perfect roadmap for not only transforming your body, but changing your whole life.

About the Author: CELEBRITY FITNESS AND NUTRITION EXPERT LISA LYNN has devoted nearly three decades of her career to personal training, specializing in metabolic weight loss and performance nutrition. Coupled with her vast experience in the field of fitness and nutrition she has earned four educational certificates from the International Sports and Sciences Association’s Professional Division including: Certified Fitness Trainer, Specialist in Performance Nutrition, Fitness Therapy and Elite Trainer.

Lynn’s years of research in metabolic boosting and performance nutrition resulted in the development of her Leaner Lifestyle DVD Series, specifically designed to promote healthy fat loss by boosting the most sluggish and stubborn metabolisms. She is best known for her 13 years as MARTHA STEWART’s personal trainer who has said, “Lisa is the only trainer that made a difference.” Lynn is also a regular go-to nutrition and fitness expert on THE DR. OZ SHOW appearing in two of his highest rated episodes. Major media outlets frequently call upon her for her expertise in fitness and nutrition. Lynn maintains a diverse portfolio of clientele including professional bodybuilders, models, actors, CEOs and real-world people throughout the country.

Lisa just released her award winning book The Metabolism Solution that has helped thousands of people lose weight and reach their fitness goals. Available

Connect with Lisa: Website  ~  Facebook  ~ Twitter  ~  Pinterest  ~  Youtube Channel

Where to buy the book: LynFit Nutrition


Many thanks to Laura Fabiani from iRead Book Tours for sending me a complimentary copy of this book. Please visit the other blogs for the iRead book tour of The Metabolism Solution for more reviews and giveaways.

Thank you, too, for stopping by! Your comments are most welcomed.


P/S: For more updates, LIKE me on my Facebook pages at Alice Teh and The Weekend Traveler, OR FOLLOW me on Twitter and Instagram. See you there!

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Problem with IPE MBA at Olympia College

I have been receiving many queries from people who are interested in pursuing an MBA. They've found this blog where I write about my own MBA experience with the IPE MBA offered at Olympia College. Thank you all for visiting and for sending me messages on my Facebook page. Happy news: I have just completed my first module and is now awaiting results.

I have also been meaning to write this post for the longest time, but to write them much earlier would be, well, too early. So between November and now, I waited until I finished my first module while observing a little longer. I have committed myself to an MBA (this one) and would like to believe I have made a reasonably good choice, but sadly Olympia has been disappointing.

Now into my second module, I noticed that there’s hardly any interaction at all from the academic staff in the IPE Teamie student portal (apart from the module introduction). Although not many, there were posts from students but no responses from the academic folks. But this is not the focus of this post.

The main problems are (apart from the mistake they made with the payment, privacy issue with the TEAMIE student portal, poorly organized induction, etc.)…

Scholarvox e-Library
On 14 November 2014, I wrote on the IPE Teamie student portal to check on my Scholarvox access and was told by Mr Chan, a staff member, that “Access will take some time to process. Will contact you as soon as clearance is given.” My thought is normally an e-library access is given immediately upon the start of the study but I decided to give Olympia the benefit of doubt, so I waited. Two months later on 12 January this year, I followed up again with the IPE coordinator at Olympia College in Penang on the matter. This time, I was told that “Scholarvox ID will be provided mainly for the thesis.” I also see a fellow student who is now in her 6th module still asking about her Scholarvox e-Library access and password.

If this is the case, why is Olympia and the IPE team misleading students with statements that the recommended textbooks can be accessed in Scholarvox? My recommendation is for Olympia to either remove that statement or update it to state the truth so that we know we will not be given access anytime soon and that it will only be given “when we write the thesis.”

The TEAMIE student portal should STOP making reference "the students can access this text from Scholarvox e-library" for the modules when stating the recommended text. The screenshots below illustrates the point.

The Library
Speaking of recommended textbooks, I visited the library at the College to look for the required reading entitled Making Sense of Change Management : A Complete Guide to the Models, Tools and Techniques of Organizational Change (3rd edition). This was the required reading for my first module, Leading Organisation. Before I reveal whether the library has the book or not, what I also found out is that most of the books cannot be borrowed. I thought well, that’s OK, I’m OK to sit in the library and study there. I love libraries and the thought of being surrounded by books thrills me. While I was thinking happy thoughts like this, the librarian told me that the book is not available.
“Do you mean they’ve all been borrowed by students?” I asked.
“No, the title is not in stock,” he said, “and most books can’t be borrowed anyway. You need to pay RM300 to borrow books, if they can be borrowed.”
Note: I have modified the librarian's original English for the purpose of this post without changing his meaning.

I can’t believe what I heard. Immediately after the library visit, I met up with the IPE coordinator to highlight the problem. Recommended textbooks are not in stock in the library. Adding salt to the wound is the unavailability of even the e-Library (this is what prompted me to go visit the actual library itself). So, what do MBA students enrolled in this program do? I know one can always be resourceful and not to depend on the college or university to provide you with resources, not to mention one can Google one's way through for materials on the Internet, but this is NOT normal for an academic institution that offers graduate studies.

I turned to my personal home library instead (read this post, Writing My First MBA Assignment: Mission Accomplished)

AMA Membership
I have only been told all the time when I followed up with Olympia that my AMA membership is being processed. I was once a member of AMA (personal membership) and appreciated its value very much, which is why when I saw that Olympia offers free AMA membership as incentive to those who enroll into the IPE MBA (and of course the Scholarvox e-library), I jumped at it. I was thinking this is awesome—I can use the AMA resources for my MBA! Now into the second module, the AMA membership is still not ready. When I check (I know Olympia must hate me now), they informed that they’ve only just submitted my details to the IPE regional center and that this offer is for students until the end of January so they will be preparing a list in February. God knows when I will get my access. I hope it’s not when my MBA ends.

In summary,
  • Poor coordination and communication (read this post)
  • Misleading: Inaccurate or partial information (You're currently reading this post)

If you are looking for an MBA program and wish to commit your time to pursuing one, there are better options elsewhere. Olympia is not recommended. In my next post, I will explain why I picked (or had to pick) Olympia.

Read ALL related posts here.


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Thursday, January 01, 2015

Happy New Year 2015!


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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Writing My First MBA Assignment: Mission Accomplished!

Today I finished writing my first MBA assignment for the module Leading Organisation and submitted it. Just in time to end 2014 and start 2015 in an awesome way! The submission deadline is 4 January 2015 but there's no harm in turning it in earlier. Here's a quick recap of my many late nights and lots of reading in the past few weeks.

How I Approached It
The first thing I did when the assignment question was uploaded into the TEAMIE student portal was I downloaded it (obviously!), and then I reread it and reread it and I think I reread it many times. Because I was required to write the case study (instead of the usual read-the-case-study-and-answer), I had to digest the question for quite a bit. This is my first module and was a bit rusty in academic writing. Fortunately, there was an academic writing class (AWC) for newbies like me, I had the opportunity to review the assignment paper with the AWC facilitator, Dato' Dr. Anthony E. Sibert (read my post).

After the review, I started highlighting the major parts of the question which corresponded with the major issues such as change management and leadership needs.

Besides reviewing with the Dr. Sibert using the assignment question as a real case study of academic writing, our module facilitator, Dr. Quah HS, also guided us on how to set it out and build our case. In lecture classes, Dr. Quah has helped us in our brainstorming and clarifying on the requirements of the assignment. 

Looking  Up Sources
I gathered all my resources, both online and books from my personal library, dig right in into the specific areas I highlighted. Those areas were identified as change management and leadership styles. I did try to use the Olympia library but it's not to my liking. The ScholarVox e-Library is still not working, but I won't let all these stop me from working on my studies. So after building my case around the key areas and analyzed them with the relevant theories, I started to write my 4,000-word paper.

I'm now keeping my fingers and toes crossed for good results!


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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Madonna and Child: This picture of the painting was taken when I was in the Duomo di Ravello, Amalfi Coast, Italy.


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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Pinocchio (and Alice Teh) for the @MarcoPolo_Pinocchio a Gedda Project

In October this year, I was privileged to be invited by Maristella Tagliaferro to participate in the @MarcoPolo_Pinocchio a Gedda Project. I'm elated to be able to use my knowledge of Italian to translate one of my favorite childhood stories: Pinocchio! The whole experience has been gratifying and I love interacting with the group members and getting to know more new Italian friends. I dedicate this post to the dearest Maristella. More about the project below!

About the Project:
Tradurre a distanza un breve brano de "Le avventure di Pinocchio" per accompagnare i bambini della Scuola Italiana di Gedda alla scoperta del libro italiano più tradotto nel mondo.

La sfida viene lanciata dal progetto @MarcoPolo di Maristella Tagliaferro e dal gruppo Facebook Adotta il Tradotto fondato da Clelia Francalanza in collaborazione con il Consolato Generale d'Italia in Gedda, in occasione della XIV Settimana della Lingua Italiana nel Mondo, che nella seconda città dell'Arabia Saudita si svolge dal 26 ottobre 4 novembre 2014: la giornata inaugurale è stata interamente dedicata a Pinocchio.
In English: Distance translation of a short piece of "The Adventures of Pinocchio" to take the children of the Italian School of Jeddah to the discovery of the world's most translated Italian book. 

The challenge is launched by the @MarcoPolo project by Maristella Tagliaferro and the Facebook Group Adotta il Tradotto founded by Clelia Francalanza in collaboration with the Consulate General of Italy in Jeddah. This is in conjunction with the 14th week of the Italian Language in the World. The event takes place in the second city of Saudi Arabia from 26th October to *4th November 2014. The opening day was entirely dedicated to Pinocchio.
The above is taken from the blog of Maristella (@MarcoPolo_Pinocchio a Gedda: traduzioni a distanza in collaborazione con il Consolato Generale d'Italia).

*The project end date was later extended to 16th November 2014.

The Project Outcome:

The hard work of these two wonderful ladies, Maristella and Clelia, has produced an awesome result. Please visit the website dedicated to this project. Here you will also find my Malay and Chinese Mandarin translations.

The Chinese translation is done in collaboration with my dearest mom. I prepared the first draft and emailed it to her for review. We live in different states in Malaysia: my mother lives in Kuala Lumpur while I'm in Penang. Penang is four hours' drive away from home. We spent about 30 minutes on the telephone going through my translation, discussing and fine-tuning certain sections of the translated text. As she does not speak Italian, I had to explain certain parts to her so that we could use the correct expressions. And this is the end result. The distance and being apart did not hinder us from combining our strength to get this done!

I was so excited about this project and as part of my personal project in addition to this one, I decided to collect and compile all the Italian dialects into one document.What's even more exciting is that the document is also being uploaded into the official website. You will be able to download it here. I'm so happy!!!

Screenshots of my compilation of the various Italian dialects

My audiolettura: Here's your chance to listen to my voice reading aloud Pinocchio in Malay! The video is produced by Clelia Francalanza with photos of Malaysia taken by me during my Cuti-cuti Malaysia vacations. I really love the Pinocchio soundtrack. I hope you will like it too!

For the complete playlist of all readings, please click here.


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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Teaser Tuesday and Book Review: SANDOKAN by Emilio Salgari

Happy Tuesday, everyone! For this week's Teaser Tuesday, I would once again like to pick Sandokan: The Pirates of Malaysia by Emilio Salgari but quoting from the Malay edition (ISBN: 9879830685335). First the teaser followed by my English translation of the selected text, and finally the book review.

Semalam di Penjara

Jeritan dan raungan lelaki Cina di perkampungan Cina mempunyai kesan sama seperti gong yang dipalu di jalan-jalan di Kanton ataupun di Peking. Dalam sekelip mata, kira-kira dua ratus orang Cina yang lengkap bersenjatakan batang buluh, pisau, batu dan payung berkumpul di hadapan kedai makan itu, menjerit dan memaki dengan sekuat suara.

My English translation:
A Night in the Jail

The shouts and screams of the Chinese man in the Chinese village has the same effect of gong being beaten on the streets of Canton or Peking. In the blink of an eye, about two hundred Chinese complete with weapons of bamboo, knives, stones, and umbrellas gathered in front of the restaurant, shouting and cursing loudly.

My Book Review:
First thing first... how did I come to know about Sandokan? Here's the full story. I decided to read the Malay translation of the Italian novel (yes, it's written by an Italian!) when it was introduced to me by an Italian friend from Venice.

I have totally enjoyed the book. I am usually not fond of pirates but this time I am seeing things from another point of view and that is from the pirates'. In this story, the fearful Sandokan, known as Harimau Malaysia (Tiger of Malaysia) is a famous and powerful pirate, and leader of the Mompracem pack. Together with his good friend, a Portuguese man named Yanez de Gomera, they set out to rescue the ill-fated Tremal-Naik. Tremal-Naik was framed for something he did not do and was exiled and imprisoned. Kammamuri, the servant of Tremal-Naik, when captured by Sandokan gains the pirate's admiration for his bravery in fighting like a hero. Sandokan decided to spare him and soon finds out about his problem and decides to help him. They are now up against the powerful James Brooke, king of Sarawak, who abhors pirates and makes it his mission to kill each and everyone of them.

The novel has a great plot and is exciting to read. I cannot stop reading and the pages kept flipping because I needed to know what would happen next. The Malay translation by Zaleha Abidin is well done. Apart from the few typos and errors in the book, everything is great!

Here's what my Italian friend, Clelia F., said about Sandokan and its creator Emilio Salgari:
Per me Sandokan è il pirata-principe-tigre della Malesia di Salgari, scrittore di libri per ragazzi che pur non essendo un viaggiatore aveva tanta fantasia da sfiorare la realtà, compreso il nome "quasi-vero" a questo punto del suo personaggio-clou.
In English: For me Sandokan is the pirate-prince-Tiger of Malaysia created by Salgari, a writer of children's books who although had not been a traveler he had a lot of imagination to touch reality, including the "quasi-real" name.

It is a wonderful thing that I found out about a famous character written by an Italian author with a story set in Sarawak, Malaysia, through my Italian friends.

Buy from: (English) | (Italian) | ITNM (Malay) | FREE Excerpt (up to Chapter 3)

Let's take a look at the video clips of Sandokan (in Italian, of course). Thank you, Maristella Tagliaferro, for sending me the video link!


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Monday, December 22, 2014


The title of this book says it all. I couldn't resist making it a part of my personal library when my friend, M. B., mentioned it in one of our conversations. I bought a used copy from Better World Books for only $3.98, and the book—previously owned by the Sara Hightower Regional Library—is as good as new. What a great bargain!

THE MAN WHO LOVED BOOKS TOO MUCH by Allison Hoover Bartlett

Unrepentant book thief Gilkey has stolen a fortune in rare books from around the country. Yet unlike most thieves, who steal for profit, Gilkey steals for lovethe love of books. Perhaps equally obsessive is Ken Sanders, the self-appointed "bibliodick" driven to catch him. Following this eccentric cat-and-mouse chase with a mixture of suspense, insight, and humor, Allison Hoover Bartlett plunges the reader deep into a rich world of fanatical book lust and considers what it is that makes some people willing to stop at nothing to possess the titles they love.

Have you read it? Do share your thoughts about the book!


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