Saturday, 21 June 2008

Inspired to write

I'm always apologising for not updating my blog regularly. Bad Elle, naughty Elle, *slap on wrists*. There we go.

Well to be honest the reasons are perfectly legitimate. In the past three weeks I am either:

1. Working
2. At church
3. In the gym
4. Cartwheeling around deeds packets trying to prepare reports on title
5. At client events
6. At work events
7. Preparing pitch documents
8. Out with friends who are either
8.1 Celebrating their birthdays
8.2 Celebrating their engagement
8.3 Celebrating being single
8.4 Going away to
8.4.1 Peru to teach English
8.4.2 Canada to be a lawyer
8.4.3 All over the world to, just travel... FOR A WHOLE YEAR!

Good grief my humble rented apartment is like a hotel. I don't even shower here anymore. It's basically work --> gym --> shower hair & make up at gym --> back to work to leave my gym stuff and swap my trainers for some nice velvet heels --> out for drinks at any of the above non-work situations. I am out of the house at 8am and back in at about 11pm to midnight.

My eyebags are bigger than my eyes!

Which is why I am REVELING in the face that it's the first Saturday in weeks that I am in my room, typing on my laptop at 2pm, STILL IN MY COMFY COSY PYJAMAS. My feet are thanking me, I can hear them now..."oooh baby thank you thank you for not making us trot around in three inch peep toes!". I walk around barefoot on comfy ivory carpet that we have in our cheap ya-ya aparment.

I am rested, happy and loving this me-time!

Perhaps I will even have time to post photos on Italy, Wales, and miscellaneous :)

Watch this space

Haha just kidding... I'll do it now.

Lets see, which one shall we do first?

Saturday, 31 May 2008


To be perfectly honest I like living here in the UK. The perks are endless - cheap journeys to continental Europe for travelling, an established and accountable government and systems, interesting people, a variety of places to hang out, eat, shop and explore and working here is not too shabby at all. Good friends and colleagues, and a great church family.

However I can't help wishing that I had more here - am I being greedy? I wished my family and friends from home were here. I wished Orchard Road was here. I miss Malaysian / Sgian conversations, my family and my boyfriend. Now to add to the confusion, Boyfriend is in sunny California.

I have been praying for an answer, a clear direction which is God's and not solely mine. Because Lord knows (literally) how confused I am. Should I/ Will I / Can I stay? Or should I go back to Sg/Msia?

Dear God,

You know the desires of my heart and that I long for a training contract here in the UK. My search has so far been futile and you know the disappointment I feel with each rejection that comes. I pray for your authority over my career, and that you will guide me to choose the right job and contract, and that I will succeed. I thank you Father for blessing me with my current job which I prayed for, for the experience has helped me grow in confidence and knowledge of the legal industry by leaps and bounds.

But most of all, I pray Father for you to show me where I should go, and grant me the patience, security and faith to wait upon You and seek You first.

In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

Back from Italy

I'm back from Italy which was absolutely beautiful. I travelled with E, an old girl friend who I used to go to junior college with. Travelling with her, even if it was for just five days, made me miss my old life a lot, and I LOST WEIGHT JUST HANGING OUT WITH HER! Granted I was walking loads but my eating habits have evidently changed. I used to eat like she does, and every one else back home - healthy, and now I am this pudgy girl!

I am resolved to be my old self, a high achiever both inside and out!

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Just because someone doesn't love you
in the way you want them to,
doesn't mean that they don't love you
with all they've got.

Thursday, 22 May 2008


I am so sorry I've been away for so long! Sorry to the grand total of two people who read my poor journal.

Anyway the reason for my recent no-show is that I have too much work to do and after-work meet-ups to engage in. My poor home laptop has been severely neglected and I can't exactly blog from work... the horror!

Another reason is that I am trying to tie up loose ends as I am going to Italy this Bank Holiday weekend! Yes my dears, Rome, Milan and Florence here I come!!!! I am so excited everytime I think of it my tummy does a happy joyful jig of delight. This is something I am definitely blogging about when I get back. Come to think of it I am yet to blog about Wales. It's not entirely my fault though, everytime I try to upload even one measly photo, my computer freezes. It's past its time and should have retired a long time ago.

Saturday, 3 May 2008

5 essentials

The five condiments/ingredients I must have in my kitchen at all times are:

1. Soy sauce
2. Wine
3. Garlic
4. Olive Oil
5. Rice

What are yours?

Bug eyed

If you know me personally, or even if you look back at my previous posts, you would have figured out that I adore cooking and food in general. I love making meals, baking, entertaining, thinking up new ideas and at this stage of my life I just wish I made more money to be able to buy quality ingredients!

As a fresh graduate in a graduate job, my hours are a tad long and the wages are reasonable but I am pretty much confined to shopping Asda Smartprice and Tesco Value.

Nothing wrong with value stuff really, sugar is sugar.

I do occasionally browse through Harvey Nichols' Food Market, farmer's markets in various towns across the UK or Marks and Spencer's Food Hall but my favourite ingredients like scallops, crab, pomfrets and tilapia are extremely pricey here in the UK.

Harvey Nick's Food Market - It's all very pretty but a little pretentious and a lot overpriced.

For instance, I saw 10 scallops - DEAD, clingwrapped scallops in a tray - being sold for 5.89 GBP at M&S a few days ago. How is that ever justified when the scallops, crabs and huge tiger prawns you have ever bought were sold in huge bags, still squirming and hopping and opening and closing, for the same price from the local fishermen back in Malaysia? My father and I are both huge surf fans whilst my mother is more a turf person - her favourite meat is lamb. I used to tag along with Pa (who himself grew up in a fishing village) to his old fishermen friends (lol!) who have been at sea since before the break of dawn. We would be one of the first to be there and if you have got fishermen friends or are just crazy about seafood you would understand why. Their van would be parked underneath a tree and wooden foldable tables would be brought out, unfolded and crates of hopping flapping fish, shellfish and crustaceans caught from the day before or early morning would be laid out. The fishermen are jolly people with smiles on their wind and sun weathered faces. I guess you just take a different perspective on life when your job takes you out to the sea and nature's elements every day, as opposed to sitting on a chair at a desk facing a PC.

Selfridges food hall, London - do you see the fish floppity flopping? I don't think so! They're still and probably a few days dead - yucky.

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Cereal & Milk (Yes no more Atkins, it wasn't working!) (250kcal)
Vienna Sausages, a bit of cheese and rocket salad (300kcal)

Double cheeseburger (oh no - 445kcal)

I am only having crudites for dinner!

Monday, 28 April 2008

Food diary and Jo Malone

Mmmmm... I've got Jo Malone's Lime Basil and Mandarin scent on me and I smell divine :)

Food diary for the day:


Tub of crayfish - 120kcal
Latte - 160kcal


Green Salad with cheese, egg and mixed vegetables in a tomato sauce - 550kcal
Diet Coke (Caffeine free) - 2kcal


4 pc Chicken McNugget - 178kcal

One egg and sliced sausage - 300kcal

Cheese fondue with dash of white wine and garlic - celery, asparagus, tender stemmed brocolli, mushrooms, sliced sausage - 680kcal

2090 kcal :( WHY!!

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Fashion show

I attended a fashion show at the Lowry Hotel yesterday which was organised by Harvey Nichols.

The clothes were pretty interesting, some were way to "fashionable" for me to pull off (i.e., I am not skinny enough) but most of them were fabulous. The SHOES were fabulous! I would wear every single pair that came down the runway.

The highlight of the evening was, of course, not the champagne, tasty canapes or eye-candy...


Yeehaa! I love the Goody Bag! Jo Malone, St Tropez, Creme de la Mer YAYYYY!

Saturday morning

I love lazy Saturdays! Woke up at 7am (yes, 7 am - something is terribly wrong with me!) and lounged in my baby shorts and baby tee. I was feeling for something extra special for breakfast so I made fondue! How retro :) There is no smell more delicious and aaaaah-worthy than the aroma of wine, lemon juice and garlic bubbling in a saucepan before a heap of grated cheese gets thrown in. I threw in a pinch of cayenne pepper and let the fondue slowly do its thing while I chopped up some capsicum, celery, smoked mackerel, fresh mushrooms and parma ham and put them in little bowls for dipping. Here's a photo of what it kinda looked like, minus the bread chunks:

(photo sourced from Google Images, I was too hungry and happy to remember to take a photo of my fondue)

I then kicked back in my sofa, brewed some tea, poured out the fondue into a pre-heated china bowl and tucked in. Yummy! Saturdays are days when I can be a lady of leisure (tai-tai!). There was nothing good on television and I did not feel like watching the news just yet.

Put some Sex and the City on and oooh baby! I absolutely love SATC! I can't decide which season is my favourite, it keeps changing. The other reason why I love the shows so very much is because it reminds me of SATC DVD marathons with Rach, Ph, Yun, occassionally SS and SL, LL would join in. Boarding school days were such wonderful times with amazing friends! Friends I still cherish today. I can't wait for the movie to come out. Girls, shall we make it a point to watch it together the next time we all see each other again?

I do miss the good old times but look forward to what is to come!

You may notice that my fondue selection did not involve any bread although I do loooove bread. I am trying to go low-carb, Atkins 6 days a week and one low carb day where I am allowed just a little tiny smidgen of carbs just to stop myself from going crazy and binging on carbs on a strict Atkins. I do feel better and I lost about 1 lb (a pound!) but I'm probably just less bloated!

When I told LM, my ever-supportive boyfriend replied:

"Baby," Gosh I hate it when he says that word with a certain tone of voice. "I hate to rain on your parade but one whole pound is actually not much of a weight loss. You could poop or be dehydrated and lose that much."


Saturday, 19 April 2008

It's official

Exercise makes you gain weight. Well at least it makes ME gain weight. Don't listen to what anyone else tells you. I am two weeks into my exercise regime which involves a good mix of cardio, strength training and stretches. I don't do big weights, and I do more cardio than strength training. I have been eating normally (not eating any more than usual).

I absolutely love good home made food or dining out somewhere nice so I knew a strict diet would bring me nowhere (i.e. I would break all the boundaries I set myself!) so I was hoping to regularly work off all the calories I take in. No such hope :(

The positive thing that has come from this though is that I can run further and faster, I can do more reps of the same weights (I am trying not to move up to heavier weights because I do not want to look like this). I am more flexible and I have got into the most random pilates positions I never thought I could do!

So yes, I may still be quite far off my target BMI and weight but I can fold like a pretzel - YAY.

Last night was firm drinks and it was a lot of fun - I haven't laughed this much in absolutely ages! Did it have anything to do with the open bar (free drinks!)? Of course not ;)

Despite getting into bed quite late and pretty tipsy, I woke up at 8am on the dot and couldn't fall back to sleep. I made some sushi for breakfast and am currently watching Bloomberg Money Weekend. Oh man I am such a loser, I should be waking up at noon and watching E! or something. I should behave more my age or bear the risk of being completely boooooring.

On that note, I leave you with a photo of one of the many beautiful sunsets I was lucky to have witnessed during my trip to Wales. I can't believe I am yet to blog about this! I will soon I promise!

p/s - I forgot to mention I currently have FABULOUS nails thanks to "Tommy" at Nail City in the City Centre. I should really take a photo of them.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Swiss Muesli & Milk (300kcal)

Skinny latte (70kcal)
4 Rich Tea Biscuits (160kcal)

Half a chicken & salad sandwich (210kcal)
Mini sushi set (160kcal)
So far - 900 kcal :)

Bowl of spiced parsnip & carrot soup (190kcal)
3 slices of Nimble bread with butter (300kcal)
Can of tuna - drained (331kcal)

Total: 1721 kcal

I went to the gym today :)

Weighed myself and am NOT losing weight. Why??

Monday, 7 April 2008

Fruit & Fibre cereal with milk (300kcal)
Latte (no sugar) (80kcal)

A variety of little sandwiches (avocado & red peppers, cheese & pickle, roast beef, ham, chicken) (500 kcal)
Fruit platter (100 kcal)
A few crisps (50 kcal)

Rich tea biscuits (I think I had about 6?) 240kcal

Fridgeraiders chicken bites (130kcal)
1 piece of fried chicken (315 kcal)
2 slices of NimbleTM bread with light butter (150kcal)
1 creme egg (WTheck!) (171.6 kcal)


In other news, I went to the gym today with S and D. Did 20 minutes of cardio and then passed out quietly over a rack of dumbbells... Yes I am that unfit.

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Fitness milestones!

I am very pleased to announce that I have signed up for the gym! Wooohoooooo!

My goal is to lose 10kg by 23 May. A little extreme but definitely done before.

Personal weight-loss milestones are as follows:

By end of 11 April - 2 kg
By end of 18 April - 4 kg
By end of 25 April - 6 kg
By end of 2 May - 7 kg
By end of 9 May - 8 kg
By end of 16 May - 9 kg
By end of 23 May - 10 kg

Personal fitness milestone is as follows:

Hit the gym Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday - think positive! Others do it all the time, you CAN work a healthy lifestyle into a busy work schedule. Make it a habit/lifestyle change rather than forcing yourself to go and then quitting early. I am going to work out regularly for the rest of my life!

Personal food diary thing:

Keep a food diary as regularly as I can but don't sweat it if I can't "report back" as often as I'd like to. Keep calorie intake below 1500kcal per day.

I would normally say "Oh it's too hard I could never do it" but I don't want to be a pessimist. Whether I succeed or fail, or succeed some days and fail other days, I will keep trying and writing about whether or not I've managed to achieve my goal!

Motivation / Incentives

Summertime sunny beach weekends
Boyfriend runs and does weights all the time and is very cute and yummy so I should really return the favour and not be such a fatty!
Holiday in Rome/Milan/Florence end of May with Ellen.
Personal wellbeing / long-term health - badan cergas otak cerdas HAHAHA
New wardrobe!

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Disappointing food diary!

Banana, Nutrigrain bar

Mid-morning snack

Leek & Potato soup
Bag of Walkers snacks

Coffee & Granola/fruit/yoghurt bar

Dinner (flippin heck) - a gazillion calories
2 slices bread with egg mayo
4 herb crackers with butter
Mushroom soup
Small bowl cereal with soy milk
Smoked cheese with smoked salmon bits and a slice of chicken roll with bread
Banana cake

Whhaaaaaaaaaaaaaat kind of banquet dinner is that????????????????????????????????????? I was pretty ok up to that point!!

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Through the eyes of a loved-up me

This is a photo of the town hall in Manchester. I walk by this building almost everyday but as I was going through my old photographs, this one stood out. I took this photo with my crappy phone. It's grainy and blurry but I have never seen the town hall look so romantic, despite the crazy Santa lights in the corner.

Then I remembered when this was taken. It was Christmas of last year and my baby was with me. Things just look different when you're with your soulmate, everyday things seem a little more special.

I miss you.


One of my biggest concerns with regards to my current job is the fear of my job defining me. I fear that with each day that passes, I become less able to write creatively, more inclined to write in mechanical, concise and factual sentences peppered with legalese. Heretos and herewiths and forthwiths are no fun.

I envy people with creative jobs, jobs that create or jobs that makes use of the hands. This is why I enjoy cooking and baking, a chocolate gateux or row of sushi being the objects I create from raw materials, the presentation of which requires a little bit of artistic thought. I think architects and doctors have such interesting professions. I love the challenge of the legal industry and the corporate world, but architects have the pleasure of claiming both the challenging and the artistic.

My hope is that I never lose the ability to create something beautiful, provocative, something fun and exciting, something that evokes emotion. I hope I do not become uninteresting and routine.

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Anybody there?

Mhhh.. I am feeling lonely today. It's days like this where I wish I was home or with my man. I don't have family nor my boyfriend here and as much as I love my friends, we are all at that stage in our lives where we are quite independent of each other. Some are attached but almost everyone has at least a best friend, a boyfriend or a family member here. We can hang out from time to time and I enjoy spending time with them, but at the end of the day, they do have other commitments, as do I, and our schedules don't always fit.

It's funny how although I have good friends, I haven't got a really really close friend in the neighbourhood. I used to think of LV as one of my best friends here and I really value of friendship but she has since moved back to Malaysia after graduating from her Masters programme.

Maybe I should make more of an effort to meet up with everyone. Maybe I am not too much fun to be with.

Well anyway - food diary:


2 slices of wholewheat bread. 2 cereal bars
1 slice cheese, 2 slices of chicken ham


Brocolli, peas, onion and carrot soup.
A spicy chicken thigh
1 slice Victoria sponge cake

2 crackers and low fat cream cheese
Red pepper, tomato and sausage stew
A little bit of cottage cheese and pineapple

I am too lazy to Google the calories for each. *note to Molie - yes that is what I do, search on Google for calorie counters!

I miss my old friends. I feel like the longer I stay here the more they will forget me.

Anybody there?

Monday, 24 March 2008

Four day weekend!

If you have not already guessed, I have been away over the Easter weekend. I had initially set my eyes on a sunny warm Easter in Cyprus but decided against it, firstly because I could not afford it but more importantly, S had very kindly invited me to stay at her cottage ("The Cottage") in North Wales.

Everything was perfectly inviting from my first step on the driveway leading to The Cottage up to the very last day. Pictures up later with a more detailed description but for now, a little teaser:

1. Quad-biking through sheep fields!
2. Horses
3. Mountains
4. Standing on the edge of the mountain overlooking the vast blue/green ocean
5. Chilly pebbled beaches
6. Slate mines
7. Golf!
8. Tea and cakes made of fresh cream
9. Roast dinners
10. Cruisin in my car CDs
11. DVD nights by the fire with a hot mug of tea

Ahhhh it was a lovely weekend and I am ready to face work again tomorrow morning!

As soon as I got back I cleaned the house and did all my muddy laundry.

What my holiday inspired me to do:

Run! Walk! Get out and work out! S and her sister K are such atheltic people and the weekend was just filled with walks walks and more walks (treks and so on) I felt so energised and could feel the weight very slowly coming off. I want to be like K who can just run up and down mountains and against strong winds for almost two hours, at a very good speed.

Oh and because I should, here's my food diary for the day:

Breakfast: Nothing

Mid morning snack:
2 boiled eggs, mushrooms and mayonnaise (300kcal)
slice of Victoria cake (400kcal)

Noodles with spinach, prawns and coriander. (450kcal)
Crisps and cheese/salsa dip (200kcal)

Ryvita and slice of chedder cheese (120kcal)
Slice of Victoria cake (stop eating so much cake lah!) (400 kcal)

Total: 1870kcal - bad!

If I took the cake out of the equation it would be 800kcal less. I need to throw all that cake out and STOP BAKING MORE CAKE!

Sunday, 16 March 2008

My weekend

On Saturday I went to Piccadilly Gardens at 12noon for an Outdoor Praise event which was absolutely amazing! It was just so great seeing men and women of God blessing the city with a message of hope, joy and salvation. Naturally being Manchester City Centre on a Saturday afternoon, it was mad crowded and it was just so great to have people come up to us to ask questions or just participate... or just watch! For anyone who caught us that day and want to know more, just contact us at

I stand with arms high and hearts abandoned
Went for coffee and cake at Kro Bar after with Martin, Denisha and Sharon and had the yummiest apple pie and black coffee. I noticed the funniest thing when selecting my choice of cake for the "Coffee and Cake" deal. It's 2.50 for a coffee and cake (which includes the apple pie) but if you get just the apple pie you pay 2.90... Illogical!
Had to leave in a hurry to Bella Italia to meet up with Z, Shilps, S, P, Adam, Daz, Jen for lunch. It was opposite day for me - dessert first then my main meal. I am still kicking myself for not taking a photo of my food because it was awesome! I can't believe I have never thought of this before. What I did basically was order a starter platter for two as my main meal. I'm the type of person who loves having a little bit of everything and that was exactly right. It had different types of dips, hommus, mayo, tomato basil olive oil sauce thing, garlic bread, chicken, ribs and crudites. Yummy! I had a nice glass of rose as well which was delicious!
Bella Italia was in the Arndale so we moved on to Costa Coffee (I had water because I was still hyperactive from the coffee from Kro.)
Then finally - shopping for the essentials! Woohoo :)

Sunday morning's breakfast before church.

Clockwise - Carrots, grapes, celery, chedder cheese, sliced chicken roll, bread I baked the night before. And in the middle, a slice of apple & sunflower seed cake I baked a few nights ago.

Now I must say something about the bread I baked. I put bits of sunblush tomato, parmesan and chopped up some fresh chives and threw that into the mix too. The kitchen smelt beautiful and watching the dough rise and crackle as it baked was ooooh delightful. It was crusty on the outside an soft and fluffy on the inside. Warm bread fresh out the oven mmmmmmm... slice it and melt some butter over one side and mmmmm....!


I feel ill. Urgh. And I think it's because of all the stuff I have been eating.

I'll be going on a week-long fast which breaks on Thursday evening. A week before Easter :)

Sunday will be a complete fasting day for me. Water only.

Monday to Wednesday I will have breakfast only.

What I want to achieve:

1. A healthier body.
2. More time spent with God (as opposed to cooking or eating and snacking!).
3. Gaining discipline to not overindulge, to eat for sustenance rather than pleasure (food is pleasure for me, yum yum) and to show myself that I do have the self-control!

Will report back!

Friday, 14 March 2008

Sushi rants

I am at my desk at the moment, on my lunch break, yes yes don't be hating, I am not bumming at work trust me. It's a legitimate break where I have my "me time" unless the phone rings.
It's a Friday afternoon and seriously I am so HAPPY someone invented weekends. Oh my, if I had to work 7 days a week I do think I will go insane. Hmm OH WAIT I should be doing my food diary. Yes yes. Well here it is (so far)

Morning - slice of apple cake with strawberries and sunflower seeds that I baked on Wednesday (I really should get a camera if I am going to take this "document my life in a blog" thing seriously - I know, how 1990s - blogging is OLD, every Tom, Dick and Prince Harry has a blog can't you be a little more original, EZ?) The cake came out gorgeous, Ladies Man will propose in a heartbeat and declare his undying love for me if he got a whiff of it. Unfortunately he is still in LA at the moment and I can't exactly post slices of cake to him. It will get squished, or the dogs at customs and excise will tear it apart and wolf it down. I'm telling you, no one is able to resist my cakes. No one.

Half a glass of milk (I was rushing).

Mid morning muesli

Lunch - Sushi and a little bit of sesame noodles.
Ok here I definitely need to rant.
People - Hardened long grain rice wrapped with soggy seaweed does not a sushi make. Neither does smoked salmon. Neither does (gasp!) sweet chilli sauce from a bottle. I wasn't asking for much really, I wasn't expecting wasabi, just the regular soy sauce would do but no, the sushi was served with sweet chilli sauce. The sesame noodles was basically cold noodles tossed in sesame oil which got all over the hardened sushi and I DON'T KNOW WHY I KEEP BUYING SUSHI ON SUSHI DAYS WHEN I KNOW IT'S GOING TO BE THIS BAD EACH TIME! No wonder most people in the UK hate sushi - if I were subject to the sushi available in Tescos and Marks and Spencer's and Sainsbury's I would hate it too. I think P in the café has probably had enough of me nagging his attempts to serve East Asian cuisine. We love each other really - I nag him and he thinks I'm being overtly fussy and it kinda ends there. At least he makes mean English pub meals, and curries. And he knows how I like my cappucinno. And he's such a lovely guy, it just happens the sushi is crap.

Dinner - I don't know yet but it's firm drinks night so I expect a couple of drinks and canapes. I should really stay away from the canapes but ooooooh just one will do? I have no willpower...

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Food Diary

Breakfast (350kcal)
Cereal, weetabix and milk

Mid-morning break (220kcal)
3 jumbo caramel rice cakes

Lunch (500kcal)
Salad (cous-cous+potatoes+cucumber+egg+tomatoes)

Dinner (750kcal)
Chicken stew & Rice
Slice of bread with peanut butter & jelly
Handful of jelly beans

Total: 1820kcal

Exceeded my target kcal by 320kcal!

Yup I'm trying to only consume 1500kcal per day because I believe this is all I need in my sedentary life!

Saturday, 1 March 2008

You weird schitzo...

Dear Government/NGO/XX Foundation,

Hi it's me. Remember? You gave me a scholarship before and I must say we were such a brilliant team don't you think so? No bond on your part and I worked hard and uh... brought your educational institutions to new heights *ahcoughem*. I gave you up to pursue my own dreams and career and well, I'm ready to go back to school and be an academic now! Show me the money! It was the perfect synergy, you pay me to study and I make you proud and prove to you that it paid off. Look at me, I am the epitome of success, almost. Well ok, I haven't qualified as a lawyer yet but I am in the right direction, trust me! I just need another year or so to uh... bum around whilst doing a graduate programme reflect and gain new experiences exploring greater depths of my field of study.

Lets do this! Boo yaah!


Elle Zhang

Dear Potential employer

Don't listen to that deranged lunatic above who claims to be me. I can assure you I am READY for this grown up world of politics, business and corporate law. I can do this - I will be updating spreadsheets, manning my mobile/office phone, watching my Blackberry like a hawk, pinging off emails left right and centre, being completely diplomatic yet ruthless and most importantly, I am ready to be paid for the excellent work I promise I will produce. I will offer SOLUTIONS. I am ORGANISED, METICULOUS and plain AMAZING at networking. I am SMART and you won't regret taking me on your fine establishment.

Kind regards

Elle Zhang

Sunday, 24 February 2008


This is not how a Christian should feel or think, but...

I'm not strong enough, not thin enough, not funny enough, not smart enough, not high achieving enough, not rich enough, not organised, not athletic enough, not talented enough, not english enough, not witty enough, not quick enough, not educated enough.

Give it all you got

I was confiding with L today about how although I have managed to secure a really good job, I somehow feel that my heart is not there. I just wanted to pen down what she said to me because it just hits home.

God blessed me with my current job - He knew I prayed for it and He knew I needed the money. It's His provision for me, and as a Christian I must honour His gift to me by taking it seriously and doing my very best, joyfully, even if it is something transitional.

At the same time, God has also given me interests and passions for certain things in life and I should prayerfully consider what these are and then pursue them as a career.

Dear Lord,

Thank you for blessing me with my current job and I pray that in everything I give you praise and glorify you in the fruits of my labour. I pray that you guide and help me towards finding and pursuing my future career.

In Jesus' name, Amen.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Gross post - Proceed with Caution

You know you've been together too long when you are willing share your most embarrassing updates with your significant other

Elle Zhang: Baby, I have to tell you something.

LadiesMan: Yeah?

EZ: For the past few days, whenever I poop, I see blood on the TP. And I am not on my period.

LM: Ew, that's sick babe.

EZ: Do you think I need to get it checked out?

LM: Yeah, rectal bleeding is not a good sign, something's up - it might be an infection.


LM: Yeah ok... go on WebMD ok? Then get it checked out.

I am slightly disappointed that my boyfriend does not share my sense of humour! On a serious note though, should I be worried? About the bleeding I mean, not Ladies' Man's inability to laugh at something as hilarious as the above.

Monday, 28 January 2008

Dear Lego, Happy 50th Birthday

On January 28, 1958, Godtfred Kirk Christiansen submitted a patent for the interlocking and studded plastic brick that can now be found in almost every child's toy box.

Seven boxes of Lego are sold every second around the world, and 19 billion components are produced each year -- enough to wrap around the Earth's circumference five times.

Thank you for all the years of feeding my imagination. I built houses, bridges, skyscrapers. I made animals and boats. I was a pirate, a homemaker, a chef of a restaurant. I ran a hospital, a school, a police station.

Funny though how I never built a law office. I guess Lego didn't make mini photocopiers and dictaphones :)

I bonded (and sometimes fought) with my younger siblings over Lego. Every time I walk past the newest Lego set in shops, I feel a pang of nostalgia.

I <3 Lego.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

When will I stop talking about food?

My diet is appalling. APPALLING I tell you. I am on my lunch break now so going online very quickly is acceptable. I just had to write this down:

Leftover churros-like things (deep fried dough sticks) and tea

Meeting with client
Tea and two cookies. (Calories burnt from talking and scribbling notes - negligible)

Shepherd's pie and tea.

It's only lunch time and I have had 3 cups of tea - disgraceful. I don't see any fruits and veg in the above either! Am going to O's for dinner today. She very kindly invited us over to hers - will definitely load up on vegetables then!

Monday, 21 January 2008

Put your face on

I was putting my make-up on and felt I had to just jot down a thing or two. It has been very difficult for me to look forward to going to work every morning. I think to myself surely when work is such a huge part of one's life, it should be something one looks forward to?

Thank you God for being the great I AM, and thank you that even when I forget to acknowledge your presence, you are there, watching over me. Please help me do my work well, find favour in my employer's eyes, and see with eyes of faith rather than my natural eyes.

In Jesus' name, Amen.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Fitting in the mould

Last night was a BLAST. Ok you can add lamb curry and naan to yesterday's list now. And two glasses of wine. Seriously, does shisha help you lose weight?

Last night also got me thinking about the kind of life I wanted, and the type of career I am going for. I felt slightly inadequate - J's now working in the finance department of a big international bank in the City and R's working for one of the big four, training to be a Chartered Accountant. J is paid loads but after calculating the number of hours she put in, she is working for less than what a McDonalds employee will get per hour. It's not so much that I feel underpaid (I am getting paid more than R and am not even in a trainee position yet) but the fact that they are in a position that has some promise. They are going somewhere in life wherelse I am, well, I am a legal assistant.

It also made me wonder whether I am cut out for the long hours and lifestyle. Granted, I've lived in various big cities but my roots are in a small town in Malaysia. I love taking time off for myself, I want a family, I love cooking and playing the piano, and I want to have time to climb mountains/ go swimming/ have breakfast with my husband and kids. I guess it's like what H said - bite the bullet now, while you're young with no family of your own. London's turnover rate (for the multinational law firms and banks) is insanely high. Give it all you got for the next 5 years or so and then see what you feel like then. You may completely embrace the lifestyle and continue to work your way up to partner. Alternatively, you may think, ok this is enough for me, I'll move on to a more balanced way of life.

Sure, we weren't put on this earth to be in the office / see a client / travel to the office or to see a client 99% of your waking life (which is a lot considering you'll get an average of 3 hours of sleep per day) but the reality is that if you're not going to do it, someone else will take your place.

But people who succeed at junior positions are willing to put in the hours because of the promise of what is to come. And I want that too! I want to achieve my full potential.

The question is, as a Christian, do I take the same attitude towards God and His promises yet unseen?

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Obviously I have little self-control

Ok, lets be realistic, that 1000kcal diet is never going to happen. I guess I very much am motivated by my environment rather than from within. When I went on that 2-muesli-bar-a-day diet, I was surrounded by skinny, waif high school girls and my gym teacher told me I was too fat. I was a size 12 and lost weight to a size 8 in about 3 weeks in total.

Now I am in England where bits are pretty much celebrated! I know that unless my BMI is 19 and I am a size 8, I will always think I'm fat. Nothing can change that. My BMI is now an appalling 24!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Kill me. 24 back home is obese. But oooh I love cooking :)

I'm not going to do a food diary for yesterday because it was horrendous. We had free flow champagne at the office to celebrate the promotions so the kcals in alcohol consumption alone would exceed my recommended daily intake (i.e. recommended by self). Ooh what the heck, I'll do it anyway just so I know.

Yesterday's food diary:

Hot chocolate and McCoy's Steak flavoured crisps (what kind of breakfast was that??) 600kcal

Grilled Salmon, new potatoes and vegetables in a creamy cheese sauce (should have replaced the cheesy veg with a fresh salad but I love creamy cheese sauces!) Prolly 600kcal

Hmm where do I start
4 glasses of champagne.
One too many canapes and nibbles - mini chicken mushroom pies, mini steak pies, pate and steak slices, battered king prawn skewers, bruchettas with cream cheese, cajun wedges, chicken satay, hash brown, lamb kofta ok I should stop now this is really painful haha omg I can't believe I ate all that. They were really good though. (1000000000kcal +++)



Two small boiled eggs and three slices of thick wholemeal toast with soya based spread. One clementine (300kcal)
Small bowl of cereal. (200kcal)
Two slices of Ryvita with low fat cream cheese. (200kcal)

Prawn and spinach curry I made with onions and peppers. I steamed some rice to go with it as well. (700kcal?)

I'm eating out tonight with the girls so will jot this down later :) We're going for drinks and shisha after too. I wonder if smoking shisha helps you lose weight... (?)

Thursday, 17 January 2008


My legs are ACHING! Oh maaaaaan they're sore. I was just talking to V yesterday about how I have not exercised since time immemorial... well not really, just since I started work *which to me seems like a looooooooong time ago. She made me skip rope. Yes, I fell into one of ASDA's many post-christmas health product traps. At least I bought the skipping rope for less than two quid rather than the friggin trampoline or protein shakes! I skipped rope for a grand total of four minutes and my legs were burning and screaming for me to go veg-out on the couch, watch "Diet Doctors - Inside and Out" on TV and feel good that I am not obese like the participants of the tv show. (Can I just say here that I am not prejudiced against obese people - I was fat in my teenage years - but I do think being obese is horrible, it's unhealthy and it's difficult to live with and losing weight is very challenging). I will NOT let myself get that fat, gosh having bits hanging out is just so unsightly! I want to be a hot mama until I am 60 at least... and get slimmer after each baby I've had. I want to be a trendy, lovely, slim, fit mother and my kids would look at me as an good example of how you should stay healthy. I want to be able to look gorgeous in clothes with three kids in tow and never want to hide under baggy jumpers and tracksuits.

So yes, four minutes of "intensive" workout. She then made me do sit ups and crunches. V is hardcore - she gyms 5 days a week. I used to be really good with my fitness, particularly in Singapore where everyone's a fitness freak (NAPFA? NAFTA? NAFPA?) I could run pretty well, do pull ups, press ups, I was flexible... the works. Nowadays I just walk a lot but to be honest, my cardio fitness could be much better. Upper body strength too - I probably couldn't even do one pull up and I used to be able to do quite a lot!

My legs are burning but I like the burn - I need to do more more more! Maybe I should keep a food diary here too. But wait that reminds me of a certain someone. It reminds me of Bridget Jones - the fictional woman who noted the number of alcohol units, calories and fags she's had everyday. That's original EZ, way to go...

I'll do it anyway heh heh. Here we go

Yoghurt with fruit compote.
Toast with spread and slice of mature cheddar. (how well behaved!)

Cappuccino (one hundred caffeine units)

Lamb Rogan Josh, fragrant rice and fresh salad (one billion calories)

Don't even get me started I ate so much oh man what was I thinking
(Very) Large bowl of prawn and vege fried rice
2 hash browns
Two slices Ryvita with cream cheese and honey, one slice of seeded bread with the same.
Bowl of oatmeal
(infinity calories)

Did I even come close to my five a day target? Not really. And my calorie intake was completely bumped up at the very end of the day, which is idiotic since I fall asleep a little while after dinner!

Ok I will have a little deal with myself - two resolutions until the end of January:

Skip rope and do crunches every night
To shrink my stomach, a drastic diet of 1000 kcal a day until the end of this month.

Simple enough I should think! EZ's change two things programme heh heh. Will report back tomorrow! Did you know I have actually managed to achieve weight loss of 4 kg within the span of a week just because I was consuming like 2 muesli bars per day and nothing else? This was back in high school. I wouldn't recommend it though.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Sounds expensive...


Foreign law school graduates must request individual evaluation to determine pre-legal and legal education equivalency. Graduates from common law foreign law schools may qualify to take the California bar exam if they satisfy the First-Year Law Students’ Exam requirement and if they complete additional law study for a total of 4 years at a law school registered in California. Graduates from non-common-law schools are not eligible to take the exam and are required to either graduate with a J.D. degree at an ABA-approved law school or complete 4 years of law study at a law school registered in California. Foreign law school graduates who are admitted to practice in any jurisdiction do not have to complete any additional law study to qualify to take the bar exam.


Gosh I seem to have a so much to talk about in terms of work - I have no life! I had my appraisal today and even though I was trying really hard not to think about it the night before, I couldn't help worrying.

It. Went. Well :)

I don't normally type with a smileyface but this really deserved one. When you're so caught up with work you never stop to think about what others think of your work! The feedback that I got was just so, well, unexpectedly good!

:) :) :) :)

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Found - same boat!

I found someone who is in the same situation as I am, English law degree, Malaysian, wanting to qualify in California. Naturally I Facebooked her!

"Hi CH

I'm EZ- B's friend. We went to uni together in OX, UK and she recently mentioned you because (apparently! correct me if I am wrong) we are in kinda sorta the same boat. I've got an LLB from OX and am now working for Global Heavyweight LLP here. The problem is my boyfriend is American and the long term plan is to move to California to live with him. As we are all well aware, I am in the wrong jurisdiction! Bea told me that you are trying to qualify in Cali as well. Now what I was told by my American professor here when I was studying in OX is that the best thing to do is do an LLM in one of the big three unis in the California region - Stanford, Berkeley, UCLA etc and then proceed to do the Cali bar. He has been teaching and practising in California for quite awhile so I suppose his experience is wholly reliable albeit not the most up to date. Just wondering if you could share what your plans are? The whole LLM plan is EXPENSIVE OMG!

B said that she mentioned me to you and that I should contact you directly. I hope everything's going well on your end! Lookin forward to hearing from you.


Thanks and best wishes,


Sunday, 6 January 2008

Praise before manifestation

Give praise to God in any circumstance and see that He will do great things.

Saturday, 5 January 2008

Jem is excitement!

I really wonder how many of us remember Jem and the Holograms. I used to watch every single episode without fail as a little girl (giving away my age here!) and thought being a member of the Holograms was the coolest thing in the entire universe.

"Jem is the leader of the Holograms and the most popular singer of her day. She is the alter-ego of Jerrica Benton, owner of Starlight Music. Jerrica also runs Starlight House, a home for foster girls. Using the power of Synergy, an incredibly powerful holographic/audio synthesizer, Jerrica can become Jem by touching her special star-shaped earrings (the "Jemstar earrings") while saying "Showtime, Synergy" (Jem changes back to Jerrica by saying "show's over, Synergy"). A primary storyline of the series involves her hiding her identity from others, especially Rio Pacheco, who loves both Jem and Jerrica. The character was voiced by Samantha Newark and her singing voice was recorded by Britta Phillips."

Then there were the Misfits who I did like the look of but they were always scowling and frowning. The Misfits had, in my opinion, cooler hair, cooler music and cooler outfits but the scowwwlllsss.

"Phyllis 'Pizzazz' Gabor (Lead Vocals and Guitarist) — Pizzazz is an archetypal spoiled rich girl. Abandoned by her mother when she was a child, Pizzazz was raised by her tycoon father and given almost anything her heart desired. She is the primary antagonist on the show, constantly trying to upstage Jem and the Holograms. She has been shown to be attracted to Rio (Jem/Jerrica's paramour), Sean Harrison (British teen idol and Kimber's on-and-off boyfriend), and Riot (of The Stingers). She despises her real name "Phyllis" and is prone to fits of rage if things don't go her way."

Relationships in the cartoon were dead simple. The Holograms were good and Misfits evil. The Holograms always triumphed at the end. The Holograms would sing a song and the Misfits would sing a song. The crowd would prefer the Holograms despite the Misfits' efforts to sabotage their concerts. I suppose there was a lot of underlying tension even within the groups, for instance, Kimber being jealous of Jerrica for always being in the limelight - but at the tender age of 5 or 6 such nuances didn't really impress upon me.

My favourite character was (naturally!) Aja Leith. Aja was COOL. She was capable and independent. She was the calm one, the one who drove, loved sports. Aja was free of all that superficial emo nonsense that the other girls would grapple with. I revisited Aja on the Wikipedia site on Jem.

"Aja Leith (Lead Guitarist and Backup Vocals) — Aja is a Chinese-American foster girl who grew up with the other Holograms at Starlight House. She was the first one adopted by Jacqui and Emmett Benton, Jerrica & Kimber's parents. Naturally handy and a sports fan, Aja is cool and level headed. She is the girlfriend of Craig Phillips, the brother of the Misfit's keytarist, Stormer. Aja is almost always the driver of the Rockin' Roadster."

When I described Aja to a couple of friends, they were annoyed. How STEREOTYPICAL, they exclaimed. Just because she's a Chinese girl you naturally assume, due to China's one child policy at that time, she HAD to be the poor orphan who Jem's rich parents graciously adopted.

Well not really, Shana the bassist was also adopted by Jem's parents. It still sounds a bit dodgy because Shana is African-American... who plays bass... ok.

I suppose it was good that they tried to ensure that minorities were represented. To be honest, I never thought Jem and the Holograms was stereotypical in any way. I loved it. I loved Aja. I loved Jem and Shana. In fact I tried painting my face with the two pink stars so I would look like Jem. My mother wasn't impressed when she saw what I did with her fresh tube of lipstick.

Friday, 4 January 2008

Motivations for starting this blog

I want to qualify and work as a law attorney in California. The only problem I currently have is this: I graduated very recently with an English law degree. I am currently paralegaling in an English law firm.

I know, whoops, wrong jurisdiction!

What I know so far:

One lecturer, Dr M who taught one of my final year courses in law school here practiced and taught in the US. I asked him for his thoughts on what I could do to pursue a career as an attorney in the US, specifically California. His advice was to do an LLM in a reputable university in CA and then prepare for the Bar. From what I've gathered from my research so far, it is extremely difficult for a person without a J.D. (an American law degree) to find employment in a US law firm.

What I believe:

God will provide and he knows the desires of my heart.

My most current prayer is for my boyfriend, AW who was on his flight back to California yesterday. I have not heard from him since and his phone is off. Dear Lord, please protect him and keep him safe. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

// Update: AW is safe and back in LA!