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September 2015: Link love


Note: My gosh, it’s less than 3 more months now till I’m going to tie the knot. So many last minute stuff to left to do, but I’m pretty excited about the married life <3 This month, becoming more aware about my own carbon footprint has affected me profoundly. Moving into our new home will be a major breakup with most of my material possessions, but I know that minimalism is the way to go because it’s the most sustainable way of living. I’m prepared to put aside my shoes, my accessories, and most of my wardrobe by the end of this year … though not my books. But hey, I’m rambling here. Departing a bit from the previous months, this month’s favorite links cover life-long rules I believe every smart woman should live by. So sit down, brew your favorite cuppa, and read on~



1. How to power dress without the pain of heels. [Career Girl Daily]
Flatten your definition of empowering.

2. 10 easy ways to reduce stress [Kamea World]
Simple strategies you can use now and for life.

3. Create something everyday. [Medium]
Why it should be your #1 rule of living.

4. Marriage isn’t for you. [Seth Adam Smith]
#relationshipgoals #marriagegoals #truelove #agape

5. 5 Ways: From head knowledge to heart application. [Desiring God]
Because a change of heart takes real work.




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via Career Girl DailyKamea WorldJulie Soudanne on Pinterest / Cameron Hawaii on Pinterest / Word Painting on Tumblr


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[Japan 2015] Day 6 of 7 | Hitachinaka + Tokyo: Summertime at Hitachi Seaside Park and a brief stop at Asakusa~


Previously: [JAPAN 2015] Day 5 of 7 | Urayasu: A day well-spent at Tokyo DisneySea~


Continue reading [Japan 2015] Day 6 of 7 | Hitachinaka + Tokyo: Summertime at Hitachi Seaside Park and a brief stop at Asakusa~

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On repeat: Satellite


50-01I find it intriguing to see people’s reactions when they find out I listen to (and love) trance music. Yes, it’s technically rave music, but you’d be surprised how most of these tunes are so chill and *pun-intended* en-trancing. The genre itself is basically a baby, as it only appeared less than 50 years ago, yet it’s evolving quicker than any other genre. Trance today is synonymous with mainstream EDM – it doesn’t even sound the same as it was just 5 years ago, and 5 years ago, it didn’t sound like it did 10 years ago, and so on and so forth. IMO, the golden era was during the whole time Armin van Buuren stayed on top as the world’s #1 DJ (by DJMag‘s annual Top 100 DJ standards) – during those years, the industry’s produced countless records that would go on to become classics. One of the many is OceanLab‘s Satellite, a song no true progressive trance fan will ever get tired of listening.

I was sold the first time I heard the breakdown of the original Above & Beyond Mix (Above & Beyond is the trio DJ who specially collaborated with vocalist Justine Suissa to form OceanLab) – it’s my all-time favorite spins of the tune, but I’m starting to like the Seven Lions Mix over time. Though I’m not a big fan of dubstep, somehow the tranquility of the melody and the breakbeats come together, so much so that these days I keep hitting repeat on my iTunes. It’s such a versatile track sonically, that any DJ can morph it into almost any version he or she likes, hence the many, many remixes out there. This doesn’t mean the original Satellite hasn’t got depth, departing from the famous words of Myon & Shane 54’s Mario Egeto in Not A Lot Left: “If you take away the majority of dance songs, and strip away the dance beat, there’s not a lot left!” So yeah, not a track for the pure movers and shakers, but the Seven Lions Mix is a great tune to have in the background for when you’re trying to seek a little thrill, but also to just chill.

If you’re not yet familiar with OceanLab before this post, I dare you not to obsessively repeat the whole Sirens of the Sea (2008) album wherever you go – it’s perfect for singing, perfect for driving, perfect for when you’re taking a bath, perfect for working out, and perfect for going to sleep as well. And if you must know, yes, I was a huge Above & Beyond fan.



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You are not your own.


© tinylittletea

The image on the mirror is ugly.

it has small eyes, wide nose, thin lips, thin hair, flat chest, and wide hips. I wish its skin’s a bit fairer, its hair’s a little fluffier, its lips much fatter, its eyes bigger, its nose much straighter, that it’s way bustier than it is, that it’s got slightly longer legs, and just a little bit taller.

I also wish it’s more mature, more patient, much more gentle, much, much slower to anger, thinks way less about things than it does now, way less anxious than it is now, and much more loving, caring, and forgiving to others.

“Then, you wouldn’t be your own image,” the mirror said. “If all your wishes come true, you wouldn’t be God-send. You’d be others-manipulated, conventions-regulated, and pretty much everything else other than your own person.

I froze for a moment. I stared at the image again.

True, that image is not me. I was never my own to begin with, and I should be stepping away from this deception.

I stepped back from the mirror1, and I remember the verse.

That’s when I know, I am beautiful. In every way that I already am.


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  1. James 1:22-25 []
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What’s not popular: A sense of belonging + a culture of gratitude


Everyone loves the ESFP gal (what in the world is an ESFP?). She’s the ideal blogger who doesn’t care much about what people think about her rants and raves and controversial views about the most debatable topics. For one thing, these gals have very thick skin, and I cannot imagine how many hate mails they receive on a daily basis. But then, that’s where the cash comes in; because they’ve gotten past the whole daring-to-be-yourself, I-don’t-care-what-you-think phase, it doesn’t take them long to master this power that I’ve envied since forever – the power to relate to others.

From time to time, I still fall back into self-pity and juggle between the whole fake-confidence thing and total hermit, which I’m fully aware alienates people and leaves them with a lot of confusion. So it’s no wonder I was never a popular kid at school – as much as I wanted to belong to one of the popular cliques, it doesn’t come naturally to play the dearest, always-perfect, happy-go-lucky social butterfly. I’ve tried, hard. Maybe a little too much. I’ve even compromised my personal core values several times just to “belong”, then hated myself later on. As time goes by, I just feel exhausted by all the energy I have to put in in order to build this mask, but even more exhausted from all the potential friendships I’ve lost because of my fakery.

But I’m done with trying. The difference today is I have Jesus – the one integer that puts every piece of me back into whole, the loving-kindness who mercifully preserves me from the different facets of my evil mask; the impartial judge who took my death sentence, died in my place, and went through all the trouble of the slow and painful crucifixion process, just to relate to me (and you, btw). There’s nothing in the world I can repay him for letting me know I belong to him just the way I am.


Spread the love, not your soul

I’ve always thought you have to be a certain definition of perfect in order to belong to a clique, and if you want to belong to another clique you have to fit yourself into that particular clique’s definition of perfect, and so on and so forth. At one point, I’ve spread myself too thin that I didn’t know who I was anymore. Maybe an expired butter that wishes it’s Nutella. But many of you longtime readers know I’ve suffered from depression and didn’t have my period for 17 months when I was 21. Any human can eventually withdraw from the world when they’ve given “everything” to the whole world, but gets nothing in return. Put simply, what I’ve learned from is that dark period of my past is that truly giving your all doesn’t involve selling your soul to the devil – it’s giving everything you’ve got because you’ve already got all that you need.

nutella-01Translated into blogging, this is why it’s never 100% for-profit for me. If I did, I would’ve hand-picked a niche a long time ago, stuck myself to that, constantly grinding content within that niche, and one day become just another “expert” on that topic till the end of my life. Essentially, I know I’ll become a slave to it. There are so many things I count as blessings in my life that I cannot contain into boxes, and when I’m older, I want to recount everything just so looking back would be a rewarding experience for my kids, my grandkids, and myself. You already know how much of a worrier I am, which was probably why God sent such a positive person to become my life partner1, and so to really count through my little joys is important to me.

There was a time when I had a full agenda of content prepared to be read and loved and go viral on my editorial calendar, but it didn’t work out. The more I wanted to be “popular”, the less grateful I actually become toward the blog and as a person. That period did help me to recognize the kind of content I no longer want to put out for the long haul, but the whole process was mentally and physically draining – all I could think about was the pressure to get something out, things like I have to gain traffic, I have to convert, I have to create buzz. I know, pretty soul-crushing if not, de-humanizing.


A little difference is still a difference

We humans are not moved by reason alone – we’re moved by emotion. The last thing I want is creating singular reasons why people would want to come find me. What I want is pure connection with you, one-on-one, on non-conditional contexts so we hit it off, it can turn into real friendship. Though I’ve pigeonholed my topics now to Wellness, Beauty, and Leisure for easier reading (and the extra fun stuff that doesn’t belong to the 3), I still want to actively relate to you in the realest, rawest way as I’m doing now with this kind of free-flowing post. The kind of posts that doesn’t fit into any category.

In the same vein, before I have the kind of relationship I have with him now, I was practically crushing my soul into pieces and fitting them into neat boxes that I can blend into pre-existing cultures, niches, cliques – whatever you want to call it. Now, what I understand as part of my co-creating walk on earth with God, at least in my line of work with the blog, is that we’re supposed to be cultivating cultures instead of letting pre-existing cultures limit you.

I may not be the first blogger you look for if you want to know about the latest trend or fad or buzz, or the first platform you look to sell your products and/or services when you have zero marketing budget in your wallet, but this is the place for everything I love and that I’m grateful for in my life, and my hope is going through it inspires you to do the same. More important than that, I want to connect with you on a personal level, as with a friend who probably thinks through everything too much (thus the loooooong posts you see a lot), but the first that came to mind when you think of someone you can relate with, in the truest sense of the word. I believe it was Mahatma Gandhi who once said that everything that you do in life will be insignificant, but it’s very important that you do it. Any blogger will tell you that taking and editing pictures take more work than you think, and I honestly don’t enjoy it as much as I write. But for reasons I don’t know why, God is using me to keep this blog running all these years – probably because He knows I’m pretty consistent with my content (though obviously not so much with staying on topic). But it’s because he loved me first, and persistently so, that I’m eternally grateful for all that He does in my life.


You relating to this? Drop me a fellow looooooong reply if you do. Just scroll down a bit, and let it all out on the comments section below.



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  1. if we’re talking Inside Out, he’s the joy to my sadness []