Saturday, 22 February 2014

all things important.

Celebrations are important! Why not celebrate? There's so much to be grateful for!

My cousin (who has been playing the role of an older sister ever since my birth), has just turned 46 recently! And this was when I realised that we have never ever celebrated her birthday before. Her birthday was back in January...however it took us over a month to find a date where my whole immediate family was at home. Then we surprised her with a mango sponge cake :). It was lovely to see the surprise on her face!

I've also decided to incorporate a bunch of mandatory questions to be asked at every birthday. My hope is that this will continue on with each and every birthday in the family.

Miao Gun Jeh / Mandy Zheng's Birthday 2014 <3

How old are you? 46
What was the best thing that happened to you in the last year? Going to China to visit parents
What are you looking forward to the most this year? Completing my Certificate IV in Business
What do you want to achieve this year, before your next birthday? To learn more English
If you did not need to worry about money or time, what would you do? I would travel the world, firstly visit my parents as they are the most important thing, then other places. But parents are the first priority.

I may turn this into a family blog after all.. :)

Monday, 27 January 2014


I've been trying to start reading "The Power of Now", however I'm finding the concept a little difficult to grasp. I don't mind that though, I'm not expecting to fully understand it. One interesting thing is that it basically is attempting to teach the individual how to concentrate on "Being" and not on our "Mind". Eckhart Tolle also explains that the Mind is directly linked with Time. How our minds are constantly thinking about the future, the past, and never really allows us to appreciate now.

On a slightly different level...time is so very interesting. We all know that "time flies by when you're having fun", also that time appears to be longer when you fit many things into the one day, but also how time can take forever when you're waiting for something. I attempted to meditate today for half an hour, and it was super pleasant and enjoyable because my half hour felt like 2 or 3 hours. I actually felt a bit energised afterwards! I wonder if I'm doing it right. Either way, I think it's great for me to be in a different setting to my usual home, and just take a moment to sit, and allow my thoughts to wander, without feeling guilty that I'm not thinking about nothing, and just allowing time for my mind to meander without resistance.

I will continue to try this.

On a side note, I had a spectacular long Australia Day weekend :).

Met up with my lovely high school friends who I feel brilliantly comfortable with. Caught up and discovered another side of my uni friend whilst eating at a very innovative Vietnamese tuck shop; Miss Chu's, went for a lovely jogging tour with a friend from back in the day, spent some quality time with some furry friends and engaged with people out of my usual circle, learnt to wrap a traditional sticky rice banana dumpling from my mother, completed a 10 minute YouTube workout with my mother, caught up with a beautiful Dubbonian friend over the phone, received some words of wisdom from my super duper uncle, spent a bit of time getting to know my new Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, changed the Christmas decorations for CNY ones on our makeshift tree, and really just overall I feel a bit more at ease with the world right now. OH, I forgot to mention that I even watched an entire tennis game!


Monday, 13 January 2014

another few interesting catch ups + family time.

I love finding out about people. Other people's lives! Am I just nosy? I find it incredible how we all have different brains, different thoughts, different foci. It's super to meet really driven people and find out what goes on in their brains.

To learn the ambitions of others, and the successes of others. Sometimes it is difficult not to begin comparing yourself to others, and judging their actions. This can cause me to feel bad about myself not doing equally "big" things. However, we need to remember only to compare ourselves to ourselves and watch our own progress. This is how we progress the most!

Gaining insight into a Methodone clinic! Learning the processes which are involved there, and the issues surrounding. Finding out a friend is keen to open up a cafe in Sydney. Then remembering the bigger picture of how lucky we are, and how our lives are so full of opportunity. Reunited with an old inspiring role model and mentor. Finding out that he is also Dick Smith's hero! Finding out that he is actually a portion Aboriginal! Discovering he too, has a passion for learning about ancestry and heritage, and unveiling the personal stories and truth of our immediate older generations.

Wonderful people :).

I then delayed bed time by engaging in conversation with my lovely aunty who has moved in with me. Her presence allows me a buddy to share my inspired ramblings to. Someone whose English is more than ample to understand my thoughts I want to convey. I am so incredibly lucky.

That is all. Sorry about the vagueness of this post, but I feel that it covers all the imminent points! I am doing what I want to be doing.

- catching up with those who inspire me
- meeting new people
- trying new things

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

a wonderful NYE :)

It required a little bit of a warm up. But I listened to my body. My body was tired from an impromptu 17km (split by an hour) jog yesterday. It needs rest, my joints are sore. So, instead of going out and partying, I decided to stay at home with my parents. Best. Decision. Ever. Who better to spend NYE with than those two who love me more than any words could describe! Their whole lives are based around me and my brothers. They have so much love to give! Of course, I get frustrated at many little things that they do, and I have the worst temper around them..but we found this lovely equilibrium between entertainment and bonding last night.

At first, the volume was a bit too loud on the telly, and mother simply wanted to watch Korean dramas. After I was a bit of a sook, they realised that my intention was to spend time with them and chat. We ended up YouTube-ing One Direction as Dad search for "best song". We watched Mr Bean which was wonderful because it brings back super memories of my childhood. We grew up on Mr Bean episodes. Learnt that there were actually 14 episodes made over a period of 7 years from 1989 until 1995 which is the year that I was born up until the year my youngest brother was born! Coincidence? :)

We looked through the website checking out some nursery rhymes, and reading up on some festivals. Learnt that Chaoshan encompasses a few areas including Chaozhou and Shantou. My maternal grandfather is therefore from Shantao (Puning), not Chaozhou as I have thought over the years. Most of the population of Chaoshan have a native dialect of Chaozhouhua, but a small proportion are Hakka. I'm not sure why my ancestry fascinates me so much, is it human nature to be interested in your own background? Where you come from? Is it a part of figuring out who you are?

My aunty, uncle, cousin, and middle brother ended up being home for the countdown. It was really lovely to be around such loving individuals who are so important in my life. It was a very relaxed atmosphere, and I feel it was quite profound even in it's simplicity. It just comes to show that my priorities have changed, as I am now much more focused on growing and cherishing my family relationships. There is too much love there to deny them the quality time and care, and I gain so much from being around them. There definitely is room for me to grow and mature as I learn to deal with the teenage angst that from time to time is triggered despite being 7 years adult now. But, I can't wait to see how far I will have come next new years!

It sort of resembles this, but it was just round, and full of Gu Chai. Mother and I ate some just as she was about to head off to bed...but her enjoyment from consuming this pink savoury snack that my aunty had made earlier, woke her up and she suggested we stay up for the midnight fireworks :)!


Monday, 30 December 2013

last one for the year!

Part of growing up is making decisions. Learning how to make decisions. I feel as though I have become much more decisive, and now care about the more important things in life. I can almost say that I feel that I have matured greatly since 12 months ago. However, there is still plenty of room for growth.

The last week has been full of so much fun and goodness! Christmas Eve Party at one of my oldest friend's place was so lovely, meeting her family and learning about their lives. Watching my mother socialise with others; why is it so adorable? Helping out with the set up is always so much fun! Then Christmas Day, I was lucky to spend with so many people I love and care about. Had an adventurous trek out to Sydney Domestic Airport to meet a Dubbonian friend of mine, got stopped twice at the airport for carrying two knives..oops! A lovely girl downstairs was happy to hold onto it for me, so I gave her a packet of Rice Paper :).

Great conversations and activities, combined with plenty of laughter! I love watching my family laugh, it fills me with so much joy. We spoke about family dynamics, relaxing by doing things you're passionate about, interesting self help books, understanding the value of money, how to spend Christmas Day and caught up on each others' lives! I created a JibJab elf video that got my mum & cousin crying with laughter, my aunty lost her voice from laughing so much! Such amusement from placing photos of our heads onto the body of elves in a dance video! Getting my family to draw a name out of a hat and actually illustrate a portrait of that person was hilarious; very surprising results!

My brothers whipped up some super corn lunch, and my cousin & mumma whipped up some super dinner! 

Loving the silly season!

Sunday, 8 December 2013


So many ideas.

I was very fortunate to be surrounded by so many intermingling passionate brains over the past 4 days. These individuals really have a drive to make a difference, to better the health care of all Australians. It was refreshing to concentrate my thought processes in line with everyone else in formulating some solid plans for 2014.

While we are on the topic of planning...I have also been thinking about how to spend Christmas Day! I will firstly spend the morning with a lovely friend of mine at the airport for breakfast!

Then HOME time! I have decided to enforce upon my family that they must stay at home this Christmas. We have invited my brother's godmother, our grandmother, our cousin (almost sister) and her two children over.

My brothers will prepare lunch, whilst my cousin and I will prepare dinner. I have instructed mother to stay out of the kitchen (which will be very tough for her!), but it shall make for an interesting experience. We only once before forced her out of the kitchen when we went on a family beach house holiday to Currarong and that worked out splendidly (with a few kinks)!

The healthiness factor in these recipes inspire me:

Banana Oat Cookies -

Poached Pear w/ Crunchy Oat Crumble -

Yep, I will be baking. The oven is so foreign to me, so wish me luck!! Other than that, I plan on making some Pumpkin Ginger soup :).

Thursday, 28 November 2013

the flying snail

At the end of my dream, there was an amazing flying snail which slightly grossed me out, but at the same time was beautiful. It launched itself into the sky of my front garden, then got smacked down mercilessly by my mother with the aid of a red plastic fly swatter. Here is my attempt at depicting what it looked like...

And here are some interesting pictures that came up on a Google search for "flying snail":
This last one illustrates what I saw best in my dream, however the wings instead of being bird like, were monarch butterfly like.

Just thought this was worth sharing :).