5 HABITS THAT WILL UPLIFT YOUR SOUL

Last week, I shared with you 5 Healthy Habits That Will Boost Your Health. This week, I want to talk about 5 habits that will uplift your soul. 

I will be sharing habits which I incorporate into my life that has helped me improve my emotional well being. I have seen positive changes in my lifestyle so I strongly recommend you guys to try them out too!

**If you want to read more on mental health, you can read 6 Ways You Can Improve Your Mental Health – it’s one of my most popular posts on this blog!** 

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WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO UPLIFT YOUR SOUL?

We all have had experienced bad days where you would just roll out of bed feeling so cranky and you just at annoyed with everything. Whether it’s because you did not get enough sleep or you are feeling stressed out.

And that’s okay, do not feel bad about yourself because it happens. I’ve been there.

SIDE NOTE

Paula from Thirteen Thoughts has been one of my favorite lifestyle bloggers to look for self-care advice. She, like me, struggles with depression and her advice are just so genuine and inspirational.

Do give her a visit and let her know I send you there!

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5 HEALTHY HABITS THAT WILL UPLIFT YOUR SOUL

1. TRY MEDITATION

Having tried meditation a few times, I find it a struggle at first. Not because it is hard to meditate, but because I cannot focus my mind on finding my inner peace and calm down my soul.

I find myself opening my eyes and wondering why it is not working. However, you will improve after constant practices and a whole lot of faith.

Try meditating right after you wake up so that you can start your day in a lighter mood. I  like meditating in the mornings because I am someone who tends to overthink (way too much) and meditating definitely helps me focus on the present.

2. WRITE SOMETHING EVERY DAY

Whatever thoughts you have in your mind, write it down.

Writing helps to prevent clutter in your mental space. Allowing my head chatter into my fingers has been one of the foundations of my self-growth. When I don’t write, I notice. I notice myself feeling more anxious and stressed than usual. 

Our inner world tend to be neglected because we can easily declutter things that are physically there. But the next step? Maybe, just maybe, the next step is to declutter your mind.

 

3. PRACTICE GRATITUDE

Being thankful for the little things in life is one of the most powerful ways to feel happier. This trains your mind to be positive – and being optimistic, in turn, will improve your overall mental health.

RELATED POSTS:

31 Simple Ways You Can Achieve Happiness in March

30 Simple Ways You Can Achieve Happiness in April

We all have so much to be thankful for in life, but many of us tend to take them for granted. Take something as simple as this – it is a blessing that we are able to wake up each day and breathe!

Try writing down 10 things you are grateful right now and you will notice your mood instantly improving. Trust me, it helps. 

4. STAY CONNECTED

Relationship with others is imperative for mental health. 

To nurture such connections, try simple acts like grabbing a warm cup of tea or coffee with your family or friends. Or plan dinner with your relatives. 

MORE: 5 Valuable Life Lessons to Learn from Failed Relationships

5. NOTICE YOUR SURROUNDINGS

Give your attention to your surroundings rather than what is on your mind. This will help you be more involved in the present and divert your attention away from unnecessary setbacks.

When I do this, I feel so much more at peace and relaxed because I wasn’t consumed by the inner mental chatter. But when I don’t, I will start feeling really tense and stressed out.

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“THE SOUL USUALLY KNOWS WHAT TO DO TO HEAL ITSELF. THE CHALLENGE IS TO SILENCE THE MIND.”

I cannot agree more to this.

Many times, our actions are based off what our minds tell us to. But if you are able to control and silence your mind, you will find yourself more at peace. This is when you are also making the right decisions because you are not making decisions while feeling stressed out.

Try out some of my tips, they might work well for you like how it did for me. Be patient with your progress, because it is not going to be easy. But when you do succeed, you will be setting yourself up for long-term happiness.

Stay beautiful girls, both in and out.

What do you do to improve and take care of your mental health? Let me know in the comments, I would love to hear them!

Big Hugs,

Yue Xuan

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5 HEALTHY HABITS THAT WILL BOOST YOUR HEALTH

Summer has arrived in the United States and so I thought it would be a good idea to do a little #SELF CARE SUMMER post!

As a girl myself, though I’ve never personally experienced summer in my life, I am aware that Summer can make you feel insecure about your body.

I want to share some habits that you can utilize to look after your own body and feel more confident about yourself.

RELATED POSTS:

6 Ways You Can Improve Your Mental Health

5 Ways to Get Better Sleep During the Holidays

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WHAT IS SELF CARE?

How do you define self-care?

Ask ten different people and you’ll likely get ten different answers. That’s because self-care is different for everyone. Self-care isn’t just about physical health. It also consists of other aspects of life which I will cover later on.

**If you haven’t read my previous post, be sure to hop over after this! – I talked about 5 Valuable Life Lessons We Can Learn From Failed Relationships.**

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Today, I will be giving you girls some advice on “Habits That Boosts Your Health”.

I will be sharing habits which I personally incorporate into my life that has helped me improve physical health. I have seen positive changes in my lifestyle and I strongly recommend you guys to try them out too!

It is so important that you take care of your own body because no one else can do it for you. Of course, this will also help you live your best life or even change your life for the better.

So, without further ado, here are 5 habits that will boost your health!

HEALTHY HABITS THAT WILL BOOST YOUR HEALTH

1. EAT ONE HEALTHY MEAL EVERY DAY

Pick one meal and make it healthier. A total transformation of your health sounds appealing, and I would totally hop on the wagon if it is that easy, but sudden drastic changes at once usually won’t lead to long-term success.

Take myself, for example, you all know how much I love my desserts. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy them pretty much every day. However, I eat them in moderation and ensure that I still eat healthy whenever possible.

Instead, change up the way you eat a little at a time. Say if you are used to eating pancakes with maple syrup and bacon for breakfast, try switching it up for scrambled eggs and a cup of your favorite fruits.

For more healthy breakfast ideas, check out some of my favorites:

  • Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes
  • Yogurt with Vanilla Almond Granola (I make them myself!)
  • Cinnamon Oatmeal
  • Toast with Peanut Butter and Sliced Bananas
  • Hard Boiled Eggs and Fruits

This will help you pick up the habit and slowly, you’ll realize that you feel so much better about yourself and what you put into your body. Take it one step at a time, plan ahead to set yourself up for success and your body will thank you.

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2. GO FOR A WALK

Going for a walk seems like an easy task, but most of us do not actually walk enough. We tend to spend too much time sitting (I am so guilty of this) due to whatever reasons.

So, one way which I like to incorporate some sort of walking to my daily routine is by taking a scenic route. And what do I mean by that?

Take a walk in the park. Or if you have pets, walk them. Going grocery shopping? If there’s one near you which takes less than 20 minutes, walk there instead. Basically, you want to try and expose yourself to nature as much as possible.

However, it might be a little boring to walk alone sometimes. But you can try listening to upbeat music. Music is something which helps to improve my mood and I am sure it can do the same for you too. Besides, most of us cannot live without music, right?

Also, I have created two Spotify playlists ready for you if you are interested! You can listen to them here (or download on Spotify!):

My March Playlist 2018

My April Playlist 2018

This will keep you healthy in the long run and as an added bonus, save you tons of money from transport.

3. FOLLOW THE “IS IT WATER?” RULE

Ask yourself each time you have a drink – Is it water?

If the answer is no, then do not drink it, with the exception of coffee and tea. I personally don’t drink sugary or gassy drinks due to medical conditions so it isn’t a huge problem for me.

Cut down on sugary drinks or, even better, eliminate that from your life. Sugar decreases your metabolism and that’s not going to help improve your health.

If you must, swap sugary drinks with fruit-infused water, dairy-free milk or coconut water. You can also start cutting down on sugar if you add them to your coffee or tea.

Personally, I like to have a big glass of lemon water because it helps to detox my body and it is a healthy alternative to flavored water.

4. GET ENOUGH SLEEP

I struggle with sleep and have experienced negative effects like tiredness, lack of focus, a decrease in productivity and so on. Adequate sleep is so important in keeping your mind sharp and appetite under control.

I have gained a few pounds from sleeping late the past few weeks and let me tell you, it does not feel good at all. Hence, try making a habit to sleep and wake up around the same time every day.

Do not make the same mistakes I did.

RELATED POSTS:

5 Ways to Get Better Sleep During the Holidays

5. LAUGH!

You have probably heard many people saying laughing is the best medicine. And it’s true! Laughing has shown to boost your immune system, promote heart health, burn calories and overall improve your quality of life.

Watch some funny videos, hang out with friends who have a sense of humor, think positive. Take life a little less seriously and you’ll find yourself much happier and healthier!

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TAKING CARE OF YOUR PHYSICAL HEALTH IS IMPORTANT. IT MIGHT BE DIFFICULT AT FIRST, BUT IT IS POSSIBLE.

I hope that my tips are helpful!

Here is a little summary of my tips in case you missed out on any of them:

  1. Eat one healthy meal every day
  2. Go for a walk
  3. Follow the “Is it water?” rule
  4. Get enough sleep
  5. Laugh

Taking care of your physical health might seem like a daunting task, but in reality, it’s not as difficult as it seems. I faced difficulties in taking care of my health before and it became so bad that I almost risked my own life!

Girls, do not ever risk your health for beauty. You are beautiful the way you are. I know, you have this phrase a zillion times now. But it’s true, you ARE beautiful the way YOU are.

You do you girls. Forever and always.

What are some habits which have helped you boost your physical health? Let me know in the comments, I would love to hear them!

Big Hugs,

Yue Xuan

5 VALUABLE LIFE LESSONS TO LEARN FROM FAILED RELATIONSHIPS

We have all faced failed relationships at some points in our lives. Whether it be between you and your partner, your family, your friends, or with yourself.

Today, I want to touch on the topic of romantic relationships – the one between you and your “significant” other.

RELATED POSTS:

31 Simple Ways You Can Achieve Happiness in March

31 Simple Ways You Can Achieve Happiness in April

6 Ways You Can Improve Your Mental Health

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AN ANNOUNCEMENT…

**Below is an announcement I want to make. However, if you are not interested in reading it, just skip this part and continue on with “Why Do We Face Failed Relationships at the First Place”!**

Now, I want to let you know something which has affected me a lot. 

As some of you might know, I had a boyfriend. However, I am sad to say that we have broken up on 9 May 2018. Yes, it happened not long ago. 

I kept quiet during this one month period so that I can recover from the breakup. It wasn’t easy and I am sure it wasn’t easy for the other party as well.

Both of us have agreed to go our separate ways because we feel that it’s the best decision for us. I will not talk about the negative parts of it because I want to respect the privacy of my previous partner. However, we did face many major problems which have caused his love to deteriorate.

I feel that it is only right for me to let you guys know because I have featured him in a few of my previous posts. 

Here are the posts where he was featured (on text and/or photos):

Lunch Date at the Next Stop Cafe

Free Ways to Celebrate Your “Anniversary” at Vivo City

31 Simple Ways You Can Achieve Happiness in March

30 Simple Ways You Can Achieve Happiness in April

I want to be as transparent as possible as it just doesn’t feel right for me to leave it in the dark and have people come to me asking what happened after a while.

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**This is going to be a very long post (about 2000+ words) so do get a cup of tea or coffee and I will appreciate if you could spare me some time to read this post!**

WHY DO WE FACE FAILED RELATIONSHIPS AT THE FIRST PLACE?

Now that you know what happened, I would like to talk about 10 reasons why we face failed relationshipsin the first place.

Oh and, if you are interested, do check out my previous post on How to Travel in Singapore on a Budget!

There are no right or wrong answers to this. But there are definitely some common reasons behind failed relationships which I have personally faced:

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1. YOU AND YOUR PARTNER HAVE DIFFERENT EXPECTATIONS

It’s not an easy task for a couple to walk through a journey together for a long time without having the same expectations and mindsets in life.

As reality and personal demands sets in, a couple’s expectations might go from “what we want” to “what I want”. If this happens, it is very likely that relationship divergence will occur. 

 

2. LACK OF COMMUNICATION

This one is a killer. Without healthy communication, a relationship is very likely to be unsuccessful.

Also, do not be afraid of addressing an issue with your partner even if it affects them negatively. I feel it’s important to talk and discuss problems openly and solving them together rather than keeping quiet just because you do not want to hurt their feelings.  

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3. LACK OF TRUST

This one is another major killer in many relationships.

Without trust, what is the point of having the relationship? Honestly, without trust, you can never truly love your partner 100% because there will always be a gap between you and your partner.

Even if you have reasons to be suspicious over, I would advise you to talk it out with your partner. Stay sincere and allow your partner to explain the details to you. This will create a stronger bond between you and your partner and prevent any unnecessary misunderstandings.

It’s very important to always think before you act.

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4. DIFFERENCE IN PRIORITIES

I’ve been there and it felt so bad.

If your partner prioritizes things above you that are supposedly “unreasonable”, then the relationship might start to get unstable because you feel like you don’t matter in your partner’s life.

5. ISSUES IN LIFE HABITS

Excessive drinking. Smoking. Swearing and so on. 

You know what I mean. These bad habits will cause problems in your relationship if one of you are against it.

6. MOVING THROUGH LIFE AT DIFFERENT SPEEDS

Everyone matures at a different rate. For instance, if you are ready to start a family but your partner isn’t ready, tension will arise.

Education is another common factor between young couples where one wants to continue on with further education while the other wants to settle down. 

My advice to you is to look for a partner in the same stage of life as you.

 

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7. LACK OF EFFORT AND TIME

For me, the problem I faced was the lack of time. He was always busy with studies and other external activities that we don’t really have any quality time for each other.

This might be a good sacrifice because education is a very important factor in Singapore, and I do not want him to lack behind because of me.

It takes a lot of effort from both parties to make a relationship work. If any of you lack the time and effort to recognize the issues that are threatening your relationship, you are just making room for a breakup.

8. FAMILY ISSUES

Let’s admit it, family and friends have more influential power in your relationship than you realized.

Most times, these loved ones can be supportive of your relationship. However, there are also many cases where you or your partner’s family and friends aren’t. This will cause both of you to drift away from each other if one decides to take in the opinions of others.

Know what kind of friends your partner keeps and what type of advice they give regarding your relationship. If you realized something is concerning about one’s opinion, it’s time to think twice of your relationship.

Always follow your heart and do what is best for you.

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9. LOST OF PASSION

When your partner lost feelings for you because they feel that there’s nothing left except for sex, this is a sign that you should end the relationship. They do not truly love you for you anymore.

10. NARCISSISM 

It’s okay for people to feel insecure about themselves. However, too much might, in turn, kill your relationship.

If you lack self-esteem, this might cause your relationship to lack intimacy because:

1. Physical Appearance – You are not confident in your own body

2. Emotional – You become too clingy and possessive of your partner

Instead of questioning your own worthiness, try asking yourself “What are some things I love about myself?” This will help you build up more confidence about yourself and hence strengthen your relationship.

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5 LIFE LESSONS I’VE LEARNT FROM MY FAILED RELATIONSHIPS

With the reasons behind our mind, I want to share with you what I’ve learned through them. Hence, here are 5 life lessons I have learned from my failed relationships:

1. SELF-LOVE IS MORE IMPORTANT

According to Notes On Bliss, she mentioned that “Self-love is the most important kind of love because it determines your capacity to love others”.

I couldn’t agree more.

I didn’t love myself fully, which was why I felt that he would never love me 100%. I always ask myself questions like “He doesn’t really love me, does he?”. I felt that I was lacking in so many ways as a girlfriend.

In turn, I expected him to fill in those gaps for me. Yet, I still wasn’t happy. When he was away from me, I felt myself breaking apart again. This caused many arguments and problems in our relationship because I end up expecting too much from him. 

2. DO NOT GIVE TO RECEIVE

I repeat. Do not give to receive.

If you expect anything back from your partner, you are more likely to set yourself up for sadness. Wanting to be loved isn’t wrong, but expecting the love to be given to you just because you showed the same isn’t going to work.

Men and women are different. The way one expresses love might not be the same as the other. 

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THE 5 LOVE LANGUAGES

I truly believe in Love Language. I have personally experienced them before, both positively and negatively. If you want to know more about Love Language, you can read more on The 5 Love Languages.

If you just want the general idea, these are the 5 Love Languages:

1. Words of Affirmation

2. Acts of Service

3. Receiving Gifts

4. Quality Time

5. Physical Touch

Understand your partner’s love language and show them their love language, while still incorporating yours so that they know what your love language is.

By showing your partner’s love language, they are more likely to express your love language back to you. And that will strengthen your relationship with one another.

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3. YOU CAN’T CHANGE OTHERS

If you want to change your partner, then they are not the right person for you. Why? If you genuinely love your partner, you will accept their flaws and the way they are.

You can only provide guidance and advice, encouraging them to change for the better. However, that’s really all you could do. Whether or not your partner changes only depends on them.

If they choose not to, then you can never change them, and neither will they ever change. You can either choose to accept them and adapt to it, or you let go of them for the best of you and your partner.

No matter what, do not let their personality affect you negatively. 

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4. OVERTHINKING IS YOUR ENEMY

Ever heard of “curiosity kills the cat”? Overthinking plays a similar role in that phrase. 

When you overthink, you will start building up these negative emotions inside of you because you will think about the worse scenarios that can happen. Even worse, you might start developing anxiety or depression like how I did.

Do not think too much. I know, it sounds easy to say, but in reality, it isn’t something easy to do.

My previous partner and I are heavy victims of overthinking. This has made us drift apart from each other because we felt like the other party “isn’t loyal enough”.

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5. YOU WILL SURVIVE

Yes, I have been there.

I told myself and my family that I cannot be happy anymore without him. That I no longer have the courage to love, to smile, and to move on.

But I did. It takes a bit of time, but it will end at some point. You will survive.

These are some things which have helped me and it might help you too:

  • Baking
  • Hanging out with my friends
  • Deleting photos of him
  • Talking it out with my family and friends
  • Watching comedy shows and/or movies
  • Listening to music

Find activities that keep your mind busy and those that make you happy – It can be anything. From reading a book or going for a walk to visiting the beach or playing your favorite sport!

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EVERYONE WILL FACE FAILED RELATIONSHIPS, AND THAT’S OKAY.

I’ve covered with all of you 10 reasons why some relationships failed, as well as 5 life lessons which we can all learn from it.

This has been a very pretty personal and saddening thing for me to address. However, I am glad that I had the courage to express it out to the world.

Hopefully, my advice will help you if you are facing or have faced failed relationships before but don’t know how to handle it. These by no means happens to everyone, find what relates to you and take the necessary actions.

If you want to have a chat with me, feel free to drop me a DM on Instagram or send me a message via the Contact Page. I am more than happy to provide a listening ear and offer you some help!

Which of the above points do you relate to? Let me know the number(s) in the comments, I would love to hear them!

**I can also better understand the type of content to make for you!**

Big Hugs,

Yue Xuan

HOW TO TRAVEL IN SINGAPORE ON A BUDGET

TO PIN IT FOR LATER, JUST CLICK THE LINK BELOW!

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I’m assuming you clicked on this post because you are looking for some advice on how to maximize your experience here in Singapore but yet be smart with your money, aye?

Today, I will be sharing my 6 tips for traveling Singapore on a budget because Singapore can be an expensive country for both locals and travelers alike.

IS SINGAPORE AN EXPENSIVE COUNTRY TO LIVE IN?

People around the world would have commented that Singapore is an expensive country to live in. And I agree, but not fully.

Whether or not it is expensive will heavily depend on how you spend your money and where you spend it.

As a local myself, I try to live on a budget and save up for traveling expenses in the future. It is honestly not difficult to live cheaply in Singapore if you know where to find the best deals.

We all love cheap stuff, right?

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HOW CAN YOU TRAVEL SINGAPORE ON A BUDGET?

I will be sharing 6 ways you can travel Singapore on a budget based on: 

  • Food and Beverage
  • Getting Around
  • Leisure

These tips will be from yours truly, a local Singaporean blogger and your handy-dandy virtual tour guide!

RELATED POSTS:

Free Ways to Celebrate Your “Anniversary” at Vivo City

You can also head over to these Singaporean blogs for more travel-related content:

Are you ready my friends? Let’s dive right into it!

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FOOD AND BEVERAGE

DO NOT BUY PLAIN/MINERAL WATER

You can save up those few cents.

In Singapore, our waters here are pretty clean, which means that you can safely drink them straight from any tap you see in Singapore.

If you are afraid of diving right into drinking from the tap, you can find re-fillers beside most toilets. So, do not buy water, just get FREE ones!

EAT AT PLACES WHERE SINGAPOREANS EAT

I’m talking hawker centers, food courts, and kopitiams. You will hear them a lot from locals because that’s where most Singaporeans would go for a cheap yet sinful and delightful meal.

RELATED POSTS:

A Cozy Date at the St. Marc Cafe

Lunch Date at the Next Stop Cafe

Affordable Lunch at Swensen’s for a Happy You!

There are a lot of such places so here is a list of some of the best ones to check out!

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Food typically ranges from $2.50 to $10+ depending on what you’re having. 

Of course, with cheap food comes a “downside” – most of these places aren’t air-conditioned.

I know Singapore is a relatively hot country, but it isn’t as bad as it seems. So hop on the wagon and eat like a Singaporean!

GETTING AROUND

USE THE MASS RAPID TRANSPORT (MRT)

If you have done your research before visiting Singapore, you would have come across many articles saying just how great Singapore’s transport system is.

One of our best transport services is the MRT, a train service that’s air-conditioned, convenient and fast. You can travel from one end of Singapore to another in barely an hour!

**I use the MRT every single day when going to school so you can trust me on this.**

AVOID GETTING A RIDE

Avoid getting a taxi, Uber, Grab or whatever else you call it to get a ride. Most rides would cost around $10 but they can easily shoot up to a whopping $30, just for a ride!

Singapore has a lot of great public transport services (such as buses and trains) which are much cheaper, so try them out instead.

LEISURE

SHOP AT THE RIGHT PLACES

For more luxurious shopping, you can visit Orchard, Raffles Place, Suntec City and/or other air-conditioned shopping malls around Singapore.

But if you’re on a budget, try shopping at places like Bugis Street and Chinatown! Consider a similar-looking shirt, one that costs $5 and one that costs $30. The difference is huge, trust me.

VISIT FREE-ENTRY PLACES

I know most people visit the country for its tourist attractions and unique experiences which other countries do not have.

However, these mostly costs a lot of money since it is a tourist attraction (and that’s how those places earn money!). Instead, visit places in Singapore which are not tourist attractions to save a ton of money.

Below is a list of places to visit in Singapore for free:

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SUMMARY

To travel Singapore on a budget, you should:

1. Avoid buying plain/mineral water

2. Eat at places where Singaporeans eat

3. Use the Mass Rapid Transport (MRT)

4. Avoid getting a ride

5. Shop at the right places

6. Visit free-entry places

I hope that my tips are helpful whether you are a first-timer here in Singapore or an experienced traveler!

Singapore can be an expensive country, but if you know how to find the best treasures, you can certainly travel Singapore on a budget.

What are your best tips for traveling on a budget? Comment down below, I would love to hear them! 

Big Hugs,

Yue Xuan

DEAR DAD.. | FATHER’S DAY 2018

“Thank you, dad.”

These 3 words are so simple, yet many of us, including myself, don’t say it. Why? Maybe because we forgot about it, maybe it’s the lack of courage to say it, maybe we don’t know how to express ourselves.

RELATED POSTS:

Dear Mom.. | Mother’s Day 2018

They are reasonable because humans are born imperfect. But try taking the chance this Father’s Day to just say “Thank you, dad.” I promise it is worth it and not as scary as it seems.

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**Side note, if you are looking for a nice place to celebrate Father’s Day, you can check my post on Affordable Lunch at Swensen’s for a Happy You!**

When I was little, my teachers would always make me do cards for my parents during special occasions to show how much I love them. Honestly, I was young so I feel that those cards might not be genuine.

As I’ve grown older, I am more aware of everything that’s around me. And I thought, if I am more mature now, my letter would be more genuine and meaningful, right?

**The above paragraphs are purely my opinions and how I personally feel. This definitely does not apply to everyone because we are all different. I apologize if I offended you in any way but they are never my intentions!**

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A LETTER TO MY DAD FOR FATHER’S DAY

This letter is for you, dad.


Dear Papa,

Firstly, I want to apologize. I’m sorry for not being a filial daughter at times, showing you attitude which you time and again forgive me for. You were always patient with me, but I would take them for granted and repeat the same mistakes.

There are times where I feel that you didn’t love me because you would scold me for things that I do wrong. You know how much I don’t like being scolded, but you’ll still do it because you care and love me. Through every scolding you gave me, I learn and grow to become a better person every single day, and I’m really thankful for that.

I look up to you as my role model. You are so different from other fathers around the world. The way you teach, implement values to me and my sisters’ lives and the way you try to communicate with us is very admirable. Sometimes I feel like you’re a big brother to me because of how child-like you can become (I think that’s where my playful genes came from)!

One major event that happened which made me treasure you much more was during secondary school. I first took Additional Mathematics as an elective subject but regretted it so much that you were the first person I go to when I needed advice. I remember telling you that I want to change my elective module to Art.

Like most parents, they probably wouldn’t agree to it so easily. But you just said “Okay I’ll write a letter to the year master. I’ll help you handle this” without even thinking twice. You trusted me with my decisions and you believe in me that I’ll make you and mummy proud. If I didn’t make this change, I probably wouldn’t do so well in school that year.

You also made a lot of sacrifices for this family which is often overlooked and underappreciated. Everyone sees the effort you’re making and we are always grateful for the things you’ve been doing and is still doing for us. I promise to make you proud of me as your daughter and achieve your dreams for you.

Sometimes I wonder – are you a kid or an adult? You never hesitate to entertain me and my sisters when we look for someone to play with. You never fail to make me laugh (super hideously) because of how humorous you can be for your daughters. Our family is so lucky to have you in our lives. 

There are also times where I would tell my sisters and mummy that I want to have a boyfriend that’s like you in the future. You have most of the qualities I look for in a boyfriend (but you’ll never be my boyfriend because you’re my dad and I want someone “cuter” HAHA).

I feel like we have a bond which really fits like a puzzle, just like this saying “Like Father, Like Daughter”.

I still have a lot of things I want to say, but I probably cannot ever finish saying them. I owe you my life, and I am blessed to call you my father, my best friend and, my overgrown brother.

I will express my love for you through my actions, today, tomorrow, and every day forever. Happy Father’s Day and I love you, Papa!

Love,

Yue Xuan


Father's Day Quote

Your father has probably sacrificed a lot for you and the family.

So, thank him for everything that he has done for you. You don’t need to wait for special occasions like Father’s day to let him know how much you love and appreciate him.

A simple “How’s your day dad?” will likely make his day because it shows that you care about him. It’s simple, you just need the courage to say it.

What is your best memory of you and your father? And what would you say to him this Father’s day?

And to all the fathers out there especially to my dad, Happy Father’s Day! 

Big Hugs,

Yue Xuan

FOOD DIARY: SWENSEN’S

Cornflake Chicken @ Swensen's

Hey everyone and happy June!

I can’t believe we are already halfway through 2018. Time literally passed by SO FAST.

If you’re a student, reward yourself with quality sleep which you’ve sacrificed for those exam periods and assignments. I have a post dedicated to this if you’re interested – How To Get Better Sleep During The Holidays.

**If you like this post or knows someone who will enjoy it, please share it! Also, you can follow me on Instagram – I post about lifestyle, food, and travel!**

AFFORDABLE LUNCH AT SWENSEN'S FOR A HAPPY YOU.jpg

Today, I will be sharing what to eat at Swensen’s. All of my current favorite things to order and why they’re worth every penny.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Swensen’s, I will be explaining more about them later!

I don’t think I’ve done one of these “restaurant reviews” before, except for cafe ones which I will link down below.

RELATED POSTS:

A Cozy Date at St. Marc Cafe

Lunch Date at the Next Stop Cafe

As far as I could remember, I’ve been visiting Swensen’s since I was a little girl. My family would always bring me there for free ice cream during my birthday and I could still remember the moments where I saw the little lit-up candle approaching me in a distance.

Such sweet memories!

**Just a disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. Swensen’s have no idea who I am or how big of a fan I am. This is purely out of my love for them!**

ABOUT SWENSEN’S

Swensen's Logo

Swensen’s first opened its door in Singapore at 1979, serving delicious ice cream for Singaporeans. Since then, it has developed and became a restaurant chain not only offering ice cream, but also casual dining that serves hearty foods, desserts, cakes and all that good stuff! 

Swensen’s has 27 outlets located all over Singapore, so you can definitely find one near you! Just a warning though, their prices are slightly more pricey so if you’re saving up for any reasons, you will thank me for this post!

May I present to you, Swensen’s “Happy Weekdays” Promotion!

SWENSEN’S “HAPPY WEEKDAYS” PROMOTION

The Swensen’s “Happy Weekdays” Promotion is available every week during weekdays. EVERY WEEK. Oh my god. It offers 1-for-1 from 2.30 PM to 4.30 PM for its mains and/or desserts. This offer is valid on weekdays but invalid during weekends and public holidays.

**This promotion might not last forever so please be careful and double confirm with the staff there before you actually dine in!**

Swensen's Happy Weekdays Promotion

Some of you might be confused the first time (like me). Basically, the lowest priced items in the same bill will be free!

For example, you order a Main that is priced $15 and a Dessert priced $9. Since the dessert is cheaper, that dessert is free.

AFFORDABLE LUNCH AT SWENSEN’S

Baked Spaghetti Bolognaise

Baked Spaghetti Bolognaise @ Swensen's

I don’t favor the meatballs as they are pretty salty for my preferences but the cheese, tomato and beef sauce and the al-dante pasta made up for it. If you have a bigger appetite, definitely give this a try. I wouldn’t recommend this to those who have a small appetite like me because I felt so full after the meal and it lasted me until late dinner.

Baked Spaghetti Bolognaise @ Swensens

Beef Lasagna

The cheese is so “pully” (Is that even a word? But I’m sure you know what I mean) and I love those fried onions on top, it’s so crispy and savory! There is also spinach in between the pasta layers which is very uncommon in a lasagna, but it really goes well together with everything.

Beef Lasagna @ Swensen's

Crispy Cornflake Chicken

I love how huge the portion of chicken is (really, it’s bigger than my hand)! The chicken is so tender and honestly, I love seeing the melted fat dripping onto the plate because it shows just how good quality the chicken is. Also, the cornflakes are really crunchy and it stays that way even after it’s cooled.

Cornflake Chicken @ Swensen's
This image is taken by my best friend!

The fries are alright, but it can definitely be better. As for the coleslaw, it is actually better than most out there at other restaurants, except that there are pineapples in it, which I don’t like.

Mega Burger

When I had my first bite of this mega burger, I instantly fell in love. Every layer was perfect and has it’s own distinct taste to it. I really like how it incorporated eggplants into a burger (and I love eggplants too) which made it more unique in terms of taste and texture. 

Lamb Chops

The mint sauce is the star of the show here. I didn’t expect mint to go so well with lamb! The meat is really tender and easy to cut through, making it ideal for people of all ages. The veggies are slightly more classic like all the other western restaurants, but the lamb is really one of the best here in Singapore.

Lamb Chops @ Swensen's

SWENSEN’S FOOD REVIEW

Now, I don’t have a most favorite dish from the menu. But if I must choose one, I’ll give a vote to the Mega Burger. All I can say is that I love every part of it. Okay, maybe except for the tomatoes. But everything else is just perfect.

If you have visited Swensen’s before, what is your favorite dish to order and why? For those of you who haven’t, what dish would you want to try?

Big Hugs,

Yue Xuan

5 WAYS TO GET BETTER SLEEP DURING THE HOLIDAYS

Are you a student? If so, you would probably agree that most students don’t get enough sleep due to those assignments, homework and midnight oil sessions. We had to sacrifice our precious sleep for studies, and even if holidays are here, we tend to be busy with activities and camps from school.

“What is sleep?”

I know. I’ve been there.

5 WAYS TO GET MORE QUALITY SLEEP DURING THE HOLIDAYS.jpg

Last week, I’ve shared with all of you some ways to overcome homesickness (which you should totally go check it out!) and so I thought – why not expand it and try to solve problems that students might also be facing? 

So here I am, presenting to you “5 Ways To Get More Quality Sleep During The Holidays”!

RELATED POSTS:

How To Overcome Homesickness As A Student

6 Ways You Can Improve Your Mental Health

Getting sleep might seem impossible when you’re wide awake at night or trying to stay awake to finish up your work. However, you actually have much more control over the quality of sleep you get.

WHY IS QUALITY SLEEP SO IMPORTANT?

Sleep plays an essential role in your physical health. You probably want to perform at your best state during studies. But studying all the time and not resting isn’t the way to go.

If you sacrifice sleep for studies, not only will you not perform as well as if you have sufficient sleep, you will also be putting your health at risk.

That doesn’t sound like a good idea, hm? 

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Sleep deficiency can result in some of the following problems:

  • A Decrease in concentration and productivity
  • Increased risk of weight gain
  • Increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke

I struggled with insomnia the past few weeks due to stress and anxiety, but after implementing some of the tips I’m going to share with you in a couple moments, I find myself going to sleep much easier (although it still takes a while for me to actually fall asleep).

Always be reminded that health is one of the most important aspects of life. Studies can come in second. I cannot emphasize this enough, please, PLEASE, do not ever let studies deteriorate your physical well-being. 

SO HOW CAN I GET MORE QUALITY SLEEP?

5 WAYS TO GET MORE QUALITY SLEEP DURING THE HOLIDAYS (2)

Below are 5 tips on getting more quality sleep during your holidays:

DRINK CHAMOMILE TEA

According to Dietitian Anshul Jaibharat, chamomile tea helps to promote sleep and treat insomnia as it relaxes nerves and soothes the nervous system.

Some other benefits include:

  • Boosts immunity
  • Treats cold
  • Reduces muscle pain and period pain
  • Soothes stomachache
  • Reduces stress
  • Lightens skin
  • Reduces acne
  • Anti-aging

You want to avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages before going to sleep as they will keep you awake. So, avoid them for 4 hours before going to sleep.

I don’t drink chamomile tea because I don’t like the taste of it when I first tried it. Plus, a box of chamomile tea (about 20 sachets) in my country costs around $7 SGD! That’s really expensive come to think about it, if you buy a year’s worth of that tea it would cost $84 SGD, FOR TEA!

GIF from https://giphy.com/gifs/mrw-news-harmless-T3GCDVH2wVu5q

I won’t force myself to drink it just so that I can sleep better. Oh and, I love green tea though, so that should help (I mean, it’s still tea after all, right?).

However, for those of you who haven’t tried chamomile tea before, you can go try it out and let me know whether you’re just like me (who hates it) or you love the taste of it. 

Perhaps you can try this one below – Twining’s Chamomile, Honey & Vanilla Tea!

WORK TOGETHER WITH YOUR SLEEP CYCLE

AVOID NAPPING THROUGHOUT THE DAY

This one is easy for me since I don’t nap. But for some people, it might be a difficult habit to break. I understand though since you’ve gone through such a tiring day in school, all you want to do when you reach home is sleep.

However, if you nap throughout the day, your body will get used to it and you’ll find yourself wide awake at night.

Image from https://giphy.com/gifs/mrw-news-harmless-T3GCDVH2wVu5q

“But Yue Xuan, I really really need to nap. So what can I do about it?”

No worries, if you really have to nap, then try to nap for maximum 20 minutes a day in the early afternoon. 

WAKE UP AND GO TO SLEEP AROUND THE SAME TIME

As much as possible, try to sleep at the same timing every day. Choose the timing where you tend to find yourself being tired or the timing you want to achieve.

Your body will adapt to the sleeping cycle and you’ll find it easier to sleep at night. You will know that you had quality sleep when you can wake up by yourself without the need of an alarm.

CREATE AN ENVIRONMENT THAT WORKS FOR YOU

The environment plays a huge role in affecting your sleep. A cluttered area would probably result in less-quality sleep as opposed to a comfortable and clean area. You want to create an environment which is sleep-inducing (not the opposite!).

KEEP THE NOISE LEVEL DOWN
GIF from https://giphy.com/gifs/mrw-news-harmless-T3GCDVH2wVu5q

Minimize the noise level in your room. This will help you set the mood to sleep since loud noises would probably keep you awake (unless you’re a really deep sleeper and you can sleep pretty much anywhere!).

SLEEP IN A SLIGHTLY COOLER ROOM

Most people find it easier to sleep in a slightly cooler room. You probably won’t be able to sleep if you’re sweating because it’s too hot or freezing cold because it’s too cold. Find the temperature which works for you and your body.

LIMIT YOUR EXPOSURE TO LIGHT AT NIGHT

According to HelpGuide.org, Melatonin is a hormone controlled by light exposure. It helps to regulate your sleep and wake cycle. Your brain secretes more Melatonin when it’s dark which makes you sleepy, and less when there’s light which makes you more alert. Hence, try to expose yourself to bright light in the morning and early afternoons. 

EXERCISE DURING THE DAY

If you exercise during the day, you’ll feel more energetic and awake throughout the day, which hence prevents you from taking a nap during the later part of the day. You will also sleep better since exercising helps to improve symptoms of insomnia and sleep apnea.

Vigorous exercise is more recommend to be done during the mornings and early afternoons. However, if you want to exercise at the later part of the day, then avoid heavy exercise and aim for lighter exercises such as yoga and stretching (which also helps to promote better sleep!). Try to avoid any form of exercises 4 hours before you go to bed.

WIND DOWN AND RELAX

If you find yourself unable to sleep at night, chances are you are thinking way too much for your mind to relax. You might be stressed, worried, anxious or angry about certain things but do not let these stimulate your brain and make it much more difficult for you to sleep.

I tend to find myself awake at night when my mind is thinking about certain things (I’m actually thinking about what to eat the next morning, haha).

Don’t think about what to eat until the next day actually comes. You’ll be so hungry and you won’t be able to sleep knowing that your warm cup of Milo and croissant won’t be at your table the next morning.

This, my friends, is based on my experience. It’s so hard.

5 WAYS TO GET MORE QUALITY SLEEP DURING THE HOLIDAYS (3).jpg

Let’s summarize what I’ve shared with you today.

If you want to get better sleep during your holidays, you can:

1. Drink chamomile tea

2. Work together with your sleep cycle

  • Avoid napping throughout the day
  • Wake up and go to sleep around the same time

3. Create an environment that works for you

  • Keep the noise level down
  • Sleep in a slightly cooler room
  • Limit your exposure to light at night

4. Exercise during the day

5. wind down and relax

Next time, if you’re ever facing problems regarding sleep, just look through my tips again and try to implement them little by little. I’m sure even a little goes a long way!

These are tips that I’ve personally tried and they have been working well for me, so you guys should definitely give it a try!

**p.s. If you like this post, please share it with your friends, family, your pets (and whoever else you can think of)! I will love you for life.**

Big Hugs,

Yue Xuan

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/sleep/getting-better-sleep.htm

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-reasons-why-good-sleep-is-important#section4

HOW TO OVERCOME HOMESICKNESS AS A STUDENT

If you plan to travel during the holidays without your loved ones, but tend to get homesickness while you are away, this post will be beneficial for you. Today, I will be sharing 5 ways you can overcome homesickness (as a college student).

**Story time..**

You are going abroad for longer than how much you normally would, and you are super excited but at the same time, you suffer from homesickness!

“How can I survive out there without my family and friends? Oh my gosh, I cannot do this! What if my friends and family forget about me? What if something happens? What if – “

Sounds familiar?

**End of story time, now back to the blog post!**

Hey guys, I hope you’re all doing well!

Exams week is around the corner for most polytechnic students in Singapore but that also meant that the holidays are coming.

So push on guys, you can do this!

**I recently created a Bloglovin’ account so if you are interested, you can follow me here! Oh and, if you have not read my previous post, be sure to read it after this! I wrote a letter to my mom for Mother’s Day 2018! **

Although I personally don’t experience homesickness when traveling without my family and friends, I still wished that I have the decent knowledge to help you guys out (even if it’s just a little!). Just in case, do not worry about having homesickness as is very common among the population. 

But before we get started, for those of you who might be wondering..

WHAT IS HOMESICKNESS?

Homesickness has different meanings depending on the person or situation. In a general context, being homesick means you’re anxious about certain things because you’re separated from home. You’re surrounded by unfamiliar things that are out of the norm for you.

Homesickness can be a major problem for many reasons – people who are doing long-term traveling, for students studying overseas, working adults who have to be away from home due to work, going on a holiday etc.

6 EASY WAYS TO OVERCOME HOMESICKNESS WHEN TRAVELLING (3)

SO, HOW CAN I OVERCOME OR PREVENT IT?

Want to know how you can overcome or prevent homesickness? Below are some tips:

1. CREATE A BUCKET LIST

Rather than spending time thinking about just how much you miss home and want to go back as soon as possible, try to get your mind off from it by creating a bucket list for wherever you’re going!

This will not only keep you busy for a long time, it will also allow you to experience life much more on the present. I mean, you get to create precious memories which the people you’re separated from and missing so much don’t get to experience!

Here are some general ideas to include on your bucket list:

WHERE TO EAT

Cafes, local supermarkets, famous restaurants in the area, shopping malls etc 

PLACES TO VISIT

Tourists attractions, nature places, museums etc 

THINGS TO DO

Go for a walk in a local park, take pictures, make a friend, shop for clothes etc

Or perhaps, take a look at this graphic that I made for (my local country) some inspiration:

5 WAYS TO OVERCOME HOMESICKNESS WHEN TRAVELLING (1).jpg

2. STAY IN TOUCH (BUT NOT TOO MUCH!)

It’s okay to be in contact with your loved ones whether by phone call, social media or writing a letter (like what I did for my mom back on Mother’s Day recently!). However, it is important not to do it too much til you aren’t able to direct your attention away from it.

Sure, staying in touch might help you feel more secure and connected when you’re separated from them, but too much can, in turn, cause you to feel the distance even more!

Hence, ensure that you stay in touch (maybe for safety update purposes) but not too much! I’m sure you have many more things to do other than this.

Live in the present and live it to the fullest!

3. BRING A LITTLE PIECE OF HOME WITH YOU

When traveling, you can bring a little something that makes you feel connected to home. 

This can be anything from a keychain and wallet to a photo and something small that is given to you by your loved ones. This will provide you with a sense of familiarity when you’re away from your usual comfort places.

For instance, I will always bring along a keychain with me which is related to my home when I travel overseas so that every time I look at it, I can feel much more at peace (it also adds an extra touch to wherever you decide to hang the keychain on!).

5 EASY WAYS TO OVERCOME HOMESICKNESS WHEN TRAVELLING (2)

4. THINK POSITIVE

I know. It’s hard to think or even stay positive when you really miss someone so much and knowing that they’re not there with you really sucks. But, try to tell yourself that everything is temporary.

Say you’re a student going to study overseas for a few years, tell yourself that “I am going to experience so many new things and I’ll tell my family and friends all about it when I come home!”.

No one can make you truly happy unless you help yourself by allowing it to happen. Homesickness might be a common problem in many people, but do not let it control you.

Here are some positive words of affirmations to tell yourself:

**I found these quotes from Pinterest! They are not mine and all credits goes to the original owners of these quotes!**

5 EASY WAYS TO OVERCOME HOMESICKNESS WHEN TRAVELLING (3)
5 EASY WAYS TO OVERCOME HOMESICKNESS WHEN TRAVELLING (4).jpg

5. MAKE NEW FRIENDS!

Making some local friends in the new area will help you reduce the oh-so-scary homesickness because you probably miss your friends back in your own country.

Try asking your friends for some help! I’m sure your new friends will certainly be happy to help you familiarize with your surroundings and keep you busy with tons of enjoyable activities!

And who knows, you might (and certainly will) be blessed with long-lasting friendships that last for a lifetime, which is especially great if you’re an international student who’s going to study abroad for a couple of years!

Below is a picture of me and some of my friends who went to Australia for a 1 week overseas learning trip!

**Are you guys interested in a post dedicated to my trip? Let me know!**

That’s it! Manageable, right?

6 EASY WAYS TO OVERCOME HOMESICKNESS WHEN TRAVELLING (3)

So, next time if you or someone you know have problems dealing with homesickness, try to incorporate these tips I’ve just mention and I’m sure it will help a ton! 🤞🏻

Do you have homesickness? If so, what are some ways you overcome or prevent it? I would love to hear from you guys!

Also, can you just do me a favor and share this post if you liked it or you have friends and family who have homesickness? I’m sure they will find this post beneficial!

Take care, and I’ll see you all next week!

Big Hugs,

Yue Xuan

DEAR MOM.. | MOTHER’S DAY 2018

DEAR MOM.. MOTHER'S DAY 2018.jpg

Hey everyone! ☺️ Mother’s Day is tomorrow! YAYY, that means it’s time to show our love and appreciation for that brave young woman who has brought us to life. 😘

And getting to eat cake. 🍰🌚

So not guilty (I am 🙊).

Anyway, are letters too outdated now? 🤔 I mean, we have electrical devices which are available for us to use now with social media platforms such as Whatsapp, Facebook or Snapchat to chat and connect with people around you. But nothing is more sincere than a heartfelt letter (be it handwritten or typewritten)! 😇✨

Oh and, if you haven’t checked out my previous post, you can click here to read it!

Hence, I would like to dedicate this letter and this post to my mom. ❤️

Mom, this is for you:


Dear Mummy,

I don’t always share my inner thoughts and feelings with you. But today, I would like to take this chance to show them to you with my most innermost sincere words on this post dedicated to you. 😊

I still remember the times where I would bring home cards I made during primary school art lessons and gift them to you, with all the sweet phrases such as “I love you mummy” and “You’re the best mom in the world” every time mother’s day is around the corner. 🌹🙆🏻‍♀️ However, as I grow older, I don’t express my love and appreciation towards you that much anymore. 😣

I couldn’t even remember when was Mother’s Day, and I don’t try so hard to figure them out and do something special for you. 😔 But this year, I thought that I needed to change and stop taking you for granted. 😇❤️

I am sorry for always causing troubles for you and the family, being disobedient and stubborn many times to the point you’ll just give up trying and give me that look of disappointment. 🙁 These are what I show on the outside, but on the inside, I feel so bad and want to apologize but I don’t.. because you’re so used to seeing me as a loud and troublesome daughter. 🤭

There are times where you’ll have little arguments with me because we pretty much have “mirror personalities”, but there are also times where the argument goes so bad I’ll raise my voice to you and those times break my heart. 💔 I would like to take this opportunity to say.. I’m sorry mummy.. 😢

I guess this year has been one of the worst years that I caused for you and I’m truly sorry for that.. but still, thank you for supporting my dreams and decisions that no other parent will ever do it so willingly at this point in a child’s life. 😘 I am forever grateful for you and the sacrifices you’ve made. 🤗

I promise you that I’ll do my best to make you proud and make up for that sacrifice you made for me. 💪🏻 I’ll work ultra hard and show you that this risk is worth it. Please continue to support me throughout this journey alongside the other family members and I will not let you down. 😚🤙🏻

Thinking of the bright side, we have a bond that I don’t think anyone would ever understand. 😍 When we have little arguments, we aren’t actually fighting, I feel that we are almost just communicating in a way that only we understand that many people often tend to misunderstand as an argument. 😑 But it’s funny how we can just laugh it all while still insulting each other like best friends. 🤭

I can’t deny that I still rely on you a lot as a daughter because, no matter what problem I have, from school stress to personal emotional problems, you’re always the one standing by my side to help me solve them alongside papa and everyone else. You are definitely the family’s superwoman hehe ☺️❤️

I’m also sorry that I always hurt you with my words and actions because of the way I show it.. I’ll try to be more obedient and make you happy! I’m forever your cute little daughter hehe! 🙆🏻‍♀️😈🌚

Words can never express just how much I appreciate you and am blessed to have you as my mom. 😙 I’ll never trade you for anyone else and I’ll try to show more love to you in real life. This might be a common phrase but I still want to mention because it’s 100% true! – You’re the best mummy in the whole wide world! 😍💗

Mother’s Day is tomorrow and I would like to tell you: Happy Mother’s Day and I love you mummy! ❤️

With Love,

Yue Xuan


DEAR MOM.. - MOTHER'S DAY 2018.jpg

As society progresses, we can’t deny that life has sometimes made us occupied with so many things that it started to drive us apart with our loved ones (especially our families). 😔 We tend to only focus on things that are important to us and we’ll forget to take some time off to spend them with the people who have been there for you since a long time ago.

This might not be true for every single one of you out there, but I personally face this problem in terms of commitment and priorities. 😣 Initially, I didn’t even know Mother’s Day was coming until I watched the television showing advertisements of it! 🙊🙁

So, take this time to think about what your mom (or any other female wonder women in your life) has done and is still doing for you. 👌🏻 Thank her and let her know that she’s appreciated, loved and cared for this Mother’s Day. 👍🏻😇

What would you say to her? 🙂

xoxo,

Yue Xuan