How has your April 2020 treated you so far? Most of us around the world are staying home, or in various stages of lockdown and isolation, and there seems to be little be happy about isn’t there?
For us here in Malaysia, we are at day 44 of restricted movement, as of today, and I’m not sure when it’ll end for now. While I’ve kept my spirits up for the most part, I cannot deny that there are days when I lie back on my couch in the middle of the day, and wonder when life will go back to a semblance of normalcy, when we can go out at will, head to the park and just catch some fresh air and sun.
Yet, there have been bright spots in the month, that are worth documenting. I’d love to know what yours are too – they are there, look for them, hold them close and remember that this too shall all pass eventually 🙂
WHAT I LOVE: Cooking
Continuing on from last month, cooking remains a bright spot in this month of April. I’ve always enjoyed cooking, so being forced to stay indoors and to whip up my own meals, as opposed to eating out, isn’t as much of a torture to me.
But what I have loved about cooking this past month, is expanding my cooking repertoire even wider. I used to do mostly Western style dishes because I found them easier than cooking Asian food. But now, with time on my hands, I decided to delve a little more into cooking Asian food, and appreciating the work that goes into it. It also means I appreciate eating out much much more now! 😛
There are some dishes I enjoy eating, that I don’t have as much as I’d like to, like ayam goreng kunyit and chicken marsala, both of which turned out to be easier dishes to make than I expected. I’ve also tried making loh pak ko (savoury radish cake) the way my late grandma made it, and I’m still working on it! How on earth did she ever make it so effortless and delicious?! 😛
I’ve had my fair share of disasters (but thankfully have a mate who’ll quietly eat it up without complaining too much LOL!). For example, who knew onde-onde would be so hard to get right?! Everyone says it’s easy! Someone has to tell me how to ensure the dough balls don’t develop holes that cause all the gula melaka (palm sugar) filling to leak out 😛
RELATED READING: I’ve also learnt the best way to store my vegetables so they remain fresh longer READ HERE
WHAT I LOVE: Oil in my hair
I’d always read about the benefits of putting oil in the hair to keep it soft and healthy, but it was something I did not put into practice. I used to shower in the evenings at the end of the day, and I’d blow dry my hair and hop into bed.
This past month, I’ve had to run off the pup’s energy in the mornings, which necessitates a shower and hairwash in the morning. I did not want to blow dry my hair that often, so I opted to air-dry my hair.
Instead of using so much conditioner in my hair, I’d just wash it with shampoo, then run a few drops of the Chanel Huile de Jasmin through my hair. It isn’t an oil I like on my face, but on my hair, it’s absolutely lovely!
Aside from the pleasant light scent, just a few drops of the lightweight oil massaged into the ends of my hair seems to make it feel softer and lighter. My hair was feeling like straw for the first few days, as it’s grown out, till I decided to have a go with the oil, and I won’t be looking back!
This is a great little tip, and a good way to use up whatever facial oils you have, that you can’t use on your face. Your hair will thank you for it! 😀
RELATED READING: Consider these other beauty treatments you can do using your facial oils too! READ HERE
WHAT I LOVE: Time to reflect
It hasn’t been the best of times, but it hasn’t been the worst of times either. One thing I’ve appreciated from this past month, is the chance to reflect on how things are progressing in life, and whether I’m happy or comfortable where I am.
Some things that happen make you pause and question yourself, and your judgment. Trust is hard to earn, and easy to lose. It’s a lesson I’ve had to learn over and over again.
At another time, in another place, I do wonder if I might have reacted differently, but I suppose I’d never know. Perhaps I’m more matured now, perhaps I’m a doormat. hah. Who knows really?
But this time for reflection has been important. I’ve had the past try to encroach on the present and I’ve found that I can be civil, without wanting to rip anyone’s head off. I’ve found myself being far more tolerant than I have ever been. It’s been a good time for self-reflection.
WHAT I LOVE: Watching my dog grow up
I suppose this is like a parent with a human child. Being in enforced confinement with my 5-going-on-6 month old pup, Sherlock, has taught us both about living with each other, and for me to appreciate watching him grow up and develop.
I’ve had to learn patience (although I have lost it multiple times 😛 ) and the joy in teaching him to behave and to do tricks.
He’s taught me to care for something other than myself. When I don’t feel like eating, he still has to, and I still have to prep his meals. When I feel like just lying on the couch and rotting, he forces me to move, because I know I have to give him his daily exercise to burn off all his energy.
I make him treats, and I spend my time doing research on his breed (beagle), his diet (he eats raw food so I have to find a good balance) and dogs in general, so I can better take care of him.
He forces me to move – active play in the mornings and evenings tire both him and I out – and that keeps me active. The one day I didn’t play with him enough to tire him out, the bored pup chewed a hole in my sofa. Sigh….
I’ve also seen his character come through – stubborn and greedy, but smart. He picks up new tricks fairly quickly, and when he’s calm and collected, he’s fun to be with.
But when he’s in one of his moods, or being naughty, goodness! He’ll try the patience of a saint! 😛
Some days, when I’m cleaning up after him, or in despair at yet another thing he’s chewed up, I wonder what I got myself into; but other days, when he’s all charming and acting cute laying by my side, I know I wouldn’t trade this for life without him in it 🙂
WHAT I LOVE: Not being fickle with my skincare
Skincare has always been my focus, but this lockdown has made me appreciate not being fickle with my skincare.
In the beginning, it was due to a sense of malaise and discomfort. I wasn’t particularly interested in beauty, which I found a frivolous pursuit at the time, and I just kept to my routine.
When that sense of malaise passed, and the new normal reigned, I began to notice that my skin had been behaving itself incredibly well. I did have the odd hormonal spot pop up on my chin, like an old faithful, but the rest of my skin was calm, even toned and hydrated.
I attributed it to not hopping around so much, trying new things, a proper skincare routine, and not skimping on sunscreen. I know many people are at this time, because of the perception that you’re safe indoors, but let me assure you, you aren’t 😛
RELATED READING: Breaking out more than normal while staying locked in? You should read this READ HERE
I have thought often about what would happen if I were to hang up my blogging boots, because I don’t have much to write about anymore LOL! As it stands, my cleansing balm is on its last legs, and I’m actually contemplating repurchasing, instead of running off to try something new.
For some reason, in this new normal, the tried and true feels more comforting 😛
What are 5 things you’ve loved or appreciated in the past month? Share!
I think of this as a little introspection at the end of every month. It allows me to think about things, and to give a little thanks for helping me through yet another month 🙂