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i have things to say

It’s October and so much of the year has already gone by. Too many wasted moments. Too many dashes out of the door. Too many hugs not given. Too many words left unspoken. And far too many special moments that should have been savoured, I’ve let slip by.

So here’s what I’m doing right here, right now.

I’m setting aside time to be thankful.

thanksss

I am thankful for still having a head of hair. After over two years of fighting elevated IGEs of close to 5,200 wherein Prednisone was my only friend, I’ve lost almost half of my hair. And what’s left is incredibly weak. But I am thankful. *

I am thankful to live in a country wherein the freedom to be Catholic exists. Not all of us are as blessed. Being from a Muslim country, I have sadly borne witness to this on a personal level, numerous times.

I am thankful for the kisses my daughter gives me each morning before she heads off to boot camp aka high school. I dread the day when university beckons, and I am no longer able to reach out, hug her, tell her I love her. Be physically there for her.

I am thankful to have been nurtured in an environment wherein hugs and physical demonstrations of love were always encouraged.

In turn, I am able to pass that on to my family.

I am thankful for my first job abroad. Alone for the very time in my life, with very little money, there were days when dinner was a slice of  bread and nothing more. That time changed me. It made me street smart. It made strong.

I am thankful for being afraid every now and again. Fear forces me to look within myself. To understand what’s going on. Why I acted the way I did. And come out of it, aware. Without fear, I would never venture beyond self-imposed boundaries.

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I am thankful for all the horrid and not so nice people whom I have met. Because of the way you talk, act, and think, I know exactly what sort of person I do not ever want to be.

I am thankful for each and every single dysfunctional relationship in my past. Without experiencing them then, I would never have learned to recognise the glint of real gold today. I would still be placing superficiality and material things on a pedestal.

I am so thankful for my husband.

He is the crunch to my bacon.

He is the sweet to my Milo.

He is my everything.

I am thankful for today.

I am thankful for being alive.

I am thankful for being me.

 

What are you thankful for?

Love, Sheela

* In August 2012, I was diagnosed with a condition wherein my body believes it’s under siege all the time and retaliates by over-producing histamine. That, in turn, leads to rash all over my body, including my face. Many nights I sleep with ice packs. In addition to chronic oral medication, I’m also currently undergoing Xolair injections fortnightly to try and temper the situation. For a while, the therapy worked but lately, it appears to have lost efficacy, so I’m investigating further options. Wish me luck :)

Indeed, they do.

Here, in Houston, we’re barely (if ever) presented with style loopholes that necessitate creative layering. Opportunities to wear a scarf or sweater or boots are about as rare as the Hermès Diamond Crocodile Birkin. You can imagine how a coat wouldn’t fit here. I could buck the norm and go big but visions of sweat necklaces doting my décolletage forbid me to venture further. As such, living vicariously through the layering adventures of others is, well, du jour.

Hypothetically speaking, given the right temperature and circumstance, I crave coats in almost every shape and form. My love is lavished equally on architectural lines, baroque notes, whimsy and outright flamboyant. I ask only for spectacular design and zero itch factor.

Presenting a parade of what I would wear in a flash.il_fullxfull.566536035_97r4This, this, THIS is it. This cuts across predictable waves of Blacks and Greys and Navies like the Northern Lights streaking across the night sky. A masterpiece from Malam.

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A playful plaid piece is never displaced when it starts getting nippy. Those waves around the hips? Less peplum-ballooning, more shape-flattering. I’m reminded of a stylish swashbuckler and that rocks. Full details here.il_fullxfull.646139232_agy0

For many chic women, reworking staples to be season-ready is Style 101. I can so see this classic piece transcending the phrase “must-have” with absolute ease and panache. Wool with weather. Scrumpdelicious.il_fullxfull.642714441_hoyhSpeak (easy) volumes with this oh so versatile piece. It’s a coat. It’s a cape. It’s a cardigan. It’s a poncho. It’s practically everything, and meets so many of my warm weather criteria that I’m ready to strut in Slate.il_fullxfull.617161876_19qvTrust an Italian to create something so graphic and bold without forsaking femininity. I covet this. I covet it so.

What’s on your wool agenda for this year?

 

Love, Sheela

So, Galliano for Margiela, huh?john-galliano112While chaos and unbridled madness run rampant, stripped bare, Galliano has always been about making beautiful clothes. Garments that transcend trends. Which defy technical boundaries.

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By comparison, Maison Martin Margiela is architectural. Pared down luxe. Precisely austere. Stark, even.maison_martin_margiela_5maison-martin-margiela-2011-1maison-martin-margiela-spring-2012-23margiela-x_2432902a

I, for one, am dying to see what he comes up with for Margiela. Paris Couture Week in January couldn’t come any faster.

 

Love, Sheela

p/s such news does leave you with the impression that the fashion world is so starved of real talent, most sins can be forgiven, oui?

I’ve been living under a rock, apparently, because last I heard of the matter, Paris Hilton was (the only one) splurging on her pet pooches. 300sq feet of space modeled after her own pad. Double story. Chandelier. $325,000. Small change for the crazy heiress.paris_1_352629k

It was a big rock.

A quick rummage through the web pulled choices running the gamut from The Colonial ($6,100 and fully equipped with climate control facilities, no less) to The Hacienda ($30,000 featuring running water, lights and air-conditioning). And we’re only talking about houses. Let’s take a quick look around at some of the most ridiculously exorbitant (and useless) things available for pets. Read on and join me in jaw-gaping disbelief.

Makers of the $725 Mink Fur Dog Coat, Harman and Rose drew more than just a few eyebrows when they launched the splurge item last year. Perhaps now they’ve come to realise that dogs do come with fur because I was no longer able to locate the Mink version on their website but instead found this much more practical option on offer.

And then there’s the Versace Barocco Pet Bowl. $754. Emm, I doubt any starved pet, pampered or street-smart, would give a hoot. More malarky here.

On the other end of the pet spectrum, lovers of felines and feline fashion are more than likely waiting with bated breath for Choupette, the Karl Lagerfeld line of wearables inspired by his own wee fluffball. main.original2

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But, you know, Meow Meow Land would be incomplete without rouge. Mais oui. Or paupières. Or crème for a satiny smooth paw finish. In comes La maison de Shupette from Shu Uemura (with packaging featuring Lagerfeld’s drawings of his cat), scheduled to debut in 10 days and counting.

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It does appear that societal obsession with pets and pampering them (beyond rational thought) is no fleeting trend.  I admit; I’m flabbergasted. When did we go from caring for the old and needy and young to this?

When did the day arrive when caring for the old, the homeless, the needy, the dying children, the ones in soup kitchens become overshadowed by stupid, extravagant purchases for PETS? That makes no sense whatsoever. And it leaves me feeling disturbed, it does.

What are your thoughts on this madness?

 

Love, Sheela

shutterstock_221204023I love Gala Darling. I want to be her when I grow up. With the technicolour hair and equally vivid outlook on life. For the moment, though, I have to be content with playing “dress-up” with today’s theme, Made Me Laugh. Amidst the angst of knee surgery (read post here and here), allow me to share with you, some links which cracked me up.

Ya wee lassie.

You just can’t help loving (and laughing with) Ellen.

Guess who he takes after.

What a trooper.

And this is pure child abuse, yo.

 

Happy Saturday :)

Love, Sheela

Fret not, this is will not be a whiny continuation of yesterday’s post.

Yes, I’m still under house arrest and, yes, still in quite a frightful load of pain but neverending pity parties aren’t much fun. Not for the host. Not for the guest, right? We attempted to shower today, and it was an acrobatic experience involving crutches, foldable step and bar counter stool. Another necessary prop was the trusty Cling-wrap.

imageI finally saw what the surgeon had done and understood the pain levels.

There were three deep incisions instead of the two I’d expected. There was quite a bit of bruising and bleeding; the gauze pads were crusty with dried blood. But everything looks as though it’s as it should be, so I’m relieved :) here’s to surviving another day tomorrow without going out of my mind with boredom.

 

This is, afterall, a day-by-day chronicle of my situation so the photo had to be shared.

So begins my first day of house arrest. Day 01/90 to be precise. What was supposed to be an easy knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus evolved into something far more elaborate. Cutting and reconstructing of ligaments. Drilling of holes. Oy. For the next three months, there shall be none of this.shutterstock_169894541And none of this.shutterstock_219464293

None of this either.shutterstock_79730008Or this.shutterstock_209621293Definitely none of that.shutterstock_157421885

Or any of this. Sigh.shutterstock_209633695Just this.shutterstock_216424414And this for now.shutterstock_217213543House arrest sucks.

 

Whiny Sheela signing off

Ahhhh, it’s been a long hard week. The kind of week that has you cranking those lungs when Friday arrives and the weekend’s here, you know? What have you got in store for the next few days? Me? Loads of rest, I mean LOADS, stay in, watch home movies and just chill.

Literally chill with some epic granita the man is whipping up. My fave? Cantaloupe.

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It’s October and October means National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. There’s a sad truth in Elaine Schattner’s piece for Forbes that awareness of Breast Cancer and interest therein appears waned. As though it’s no longer in fashion. And, I’ll be the first to admit, the pink can overshadow the seriousness of the cause BUT before you cast the first stone, pink also radiates positivity, joy, and hope. This isn’t going to be a lengthy dissection of the topic but rather, a gentle reminder to all of us that we cannot, we simply cannot, allow Breast Cancer to slip from the world’s eye. And if it takes candy colours, so be it. It isn’t a matter of which type of cancer is “trending”. It’s not a competition. We must continue to educate and reach out so communities know what to look out for. Where to go. What to do. And the options they have. Here’s a darling initiative you should really check out. And here and here.

Random movie questions that may have been bugging you.

Nutella Crème Brûlée? Oh my.

Didn’t see this trending at all.

Feline war. Meow, kitty, meow meow.

Had to shine the light on pooches too.

Love this woman, yes I do.

 

Enjoy your weekend.

Love, Sheela

imageFor this exclusive blog interview (in fact, it’s her very first interview, ever), Sheela Goh answers quite a few questions (no diva tantrum here, she answered all 73 of them), and is candid about practically everything. Here, the complete list of questions from the interview. What would your answers be?

1. You’re from Borneo, how long have you been in Houston? A little over 4 years. I came to marry the love of my life.

2. How different is it? Very, and in a good way, for the most part.

3. Do you really swing from tree to tree in Borneo? For sure, using Loewe leather ropes and wearing our Jaeger Le-Coultre timepieces. We have tree parties too.

4. Did you think you’d ever wind up in the States? I knew I wouldn’t stay in Borneo for the rest of my life but I didn’t know I’d move 3 continents away. I’m glad I did though.

5. What are three words to describe living in Borneo? Hot. Sweaty. Hot.

6. What’s your favorite movie? Oh oh oh, can I name more than 1? I’m going to name more than 1. I could watch these movies over and over and over again. Mary Poppins. My Fair Lady. Anything from Tim Burton and definitely anything Wallace & Gromit-related.

7. Favorite movie in past five years? The Harry Potter series. Hunger Games (god, that was so groupie).

8. Favorite Hitchcock film? None. I don’t quite fancy his style. I’m more of an Agatha Christie aficionado.

9. Who are you obsessed with now? It’s so hard to say. There are quite a ton of really inspiring people out there.

10. What’s a book you plan on reading? The Diary of Virginia Woolf, Volume 1. The Creative License by Danny Gregory. The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau. And Sight Unseen from Iris Johansen. I’m actually reading a chapter of each title, each day. I’m a Gemini.

11. A book you read in school that positively shaped you? Shogun from James Clavell.

12. A book you read in school that you never think of? If I never think of it, how can I remember it? I’m confused.

13. On a scale of one to ten how excited are you about life right now? 23.798

14. iPhone or Android? iPhone

15. Twitter or Instagram? Instagram

16. Vine or Snapchat? What’s Snapchat? I feel old.

17. Who should EVERYONE be following right now? @tayd_dance on Twitter. Poshmark on Instagram. And @xtinehlee, also on Twitter.

18. What’s the coolest thing in this room? Me? Ok ok, my knee brace? It makes me feel like Robocop.

19. What do you think about Twerking? It’s hilarious. Everything jiggles.

20. What’s your favorite food? Foie Gras. Lobster. Fish, fish, fish. Duck. Bread Pudding. Crème Brûlée. Desserts count too, right?

21. Least favorite food? Anything involving greens and beans and peas and lentils.

22. What do you love on your pizza? Pineapple. Bell Peppers. Onions.

23. Favourite drink? Milkshakes but I can’t have any. Ever. I’m lactose intolerant and milkshakes make me bloated, and gassy, and rumbly. It’s not a very attractive sight.

24. Favourite dessert? Oh LOL Bread Pudding. Crème Brûlée.

25. Dark chocolate or milk chocolate? White.

26. Weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? Bats.

27. What’s the hardest part about being a mom? Being patient and understanding without appearing too inquisitive. And resisting the impulse to take a Prozac after dealing with emotional roller coasters.

28. Pilates or Yoga? Both. I love them equally.

29. Favorite solo artist? No one in particular.

30. Favorite lyrics? Emmm ….

31. If you had to choose 3 songs upon which to base your life, what would they be? Take On Me from A-ha. Limahl’s Neverending Story. And Dear Jessie by Madge. Love Madge.

32. If you could sing a duet with anyone, who would it be? You know, I’ve never given this any thought. How about Usher?

33. If you could master one instrument, what would it be? DRUMS!!!!

34. If you had a tattoo, where would it be? I have two, one on my ankle and one on my tummy.

35. To be or not to be? Depends.

36. What’s Oprah like in person? What??

37. What number of question was this? God, was I supposed to keep count.

38. Dogs or cats? Dogs.

39. Kittens or puppies? Puppies, for sure. Especially the ones in @smokenboo on Instagram. I have a soft spot for Frenchies.

40. Dolphins or koalas? Sharks.

41. Bird-watching or whale-watching? Neither. I don’t get along very well with Mother Nature.

42. What’s your spirit animal? My daughter instantly said tiger. Fox. I like foxes. Could I be Dali? He has wild, animalistic eyes.

43. Best gift you’ve ever received? Mother’s Day this year. Together, my man and Eve took care of breakfast and lunch and dinner, and made my favourite desserts. It was the best_gift_ever.

44. Last gift you gave a friend? A faux leather fringed maxi skirt.

45. A person you want to have coffee with? Could we make it tea? And it’d be with Oprah (touché, huh?)

46. A historical figure you’d love to have coffee with? Marie Antoinette and with crumpets.

47. How do you like your coffee? I don’t drink coffee.

48. Cooking or Baking? Both.

49. What’s your favourite curse word? Isn’t this a child-friendly blog?

50. What’s your favourite board game? Scrabble.

51. What’s your favourite country to visit? Italy. And practically every country in Europe as well as Eastern Europe. I’m fascinated with the legend of Dracula and Transylvania.

52. What’s the last country you visited? Italy.

53. What country do you wish to visit? Hungary.

54. What’s on the telly now? A TJ.Maxx commercial.

55. How old are you? In my 40s. Next question.

56. What’s your favourite color? Red, Purple, Black. You’d never guess that from looking through my wardrobe.

57. Least favourite colour? Insipid shades.

58. What colour dress did you wear to your prom? The concept of prom didn’t exist in Borneo when I was in high school.

59. Diamonds or pearls? Emeralds. And White Gold or Platinum.

60. Cheap shampoo or expensive? Whatever works.

61. Blow-dry or air-dry? Definitely blow-dry.

62. Heels or flats? Heels. Always. Even when preggers.

63. Can you give an impersonation of someone? I can do Elmo and Cookie Monster reasonably well.

64. Can you do the same impersonation with a British accent? Oh yeah.

65. Most beautiful woman in the world? Monica Bellucci. Aishwarya Rai.

66. Pink or Purple? Purple. Hands down.

67. Pilates or Yoga? You already asked me that.

68. Running or swimming? Running.

69. Best way to decompress? The gym.

70. If you had one superpower, what would it be? I want to be Mystique.

71. Can you describe an experience you felt most nervous? Getting married, actually. It felt surreal. I was giggling the entire time!!

72. How tall are you? 5 feet + 1 inch. I’m a VCD. Vertically Challenged Diva.

73. Last question: Is this the strangest interview you’ve ever had? I wouldn’t know. I have nothing to compare it with since this is my very first interview.

 

~ written in response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Challenge Theme, Interview ~

shutterstock_184732583Nine years ago, I received news that my Dad had suffered a cardiac arrest and needed a bypass. Or was it a stem implant. I don’t know. The details are fuzzy. My hands were shaking and I was at a complete loss. To fully appreciate the situation, you have to understand that this information was relayed via text and I was living in another country. I was also in a media van, chaperoning a client to the local telly station for an early morning business talkshow interview. Icing on the cake? The text ended with these words, “Just letting you know, don’t worry.”

It was 6.35 in the morning.

In retrospect, I now see that my mum was attempting to downplay the situation so I wouldn’t freak out but the way she broke the news to me? I went into hyperventilate mode instantly. I almost had a heart attack then and there. Pun fully intended. That night, we took the evening flight back home to see my Dad. After thoroughly smothering him with hugs and love, I realised the man was a cardiovascular catastrophe just waiting to happen. He ate unhealthily. He no longer worked out. He’d become so terribly sedentary, it was shameful (I love you, Dad). I mean, this was a man who trained in Silat (Malay Martial Arts) and emulated Bruce Lee right down to, yes, Jeet Kun Do. This was the man who would weigh his meals (typically raw eggs with tuna flakes) and who used to do countless chin-ups just for the fun of it.

Thus began the mission to saving Mr Goh.

I have to give props to my Mum here. She did everything in her capacity to nurse him back to health. From cooking healthy meals and shushing him whenever he protested that they tasted bland to, as the weeks passed, dragging him out of bed in the morning for what would become their daily routine of park walk/jog sessions followed by a nice, light breakfast.

Almost a decade later, my Dad is healthy and happy. He no longer evokes palpitations of fear in me :) he’s come a long way and that’s pretty cool.

So, Dad, have a heart and keep taking care of your heart so we can have you around for as long as possible to love you? So you can witness how your only grandchild is growing into a strong, confident, beautiful person. So you can continue to be there for your son and your daughter who have never ever stopped respecting your thoughts and your opinions. So you can continue to say, “Night, Ling” to your wife every single night, as you have been doing for the past 44 years.

Because, you know, we kinda love you.

 

Love, your princess

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