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Zack is quickly developing his own personality and style. Look at the cheeky fella here at Sunday school. *Heart melt*

Have Yourself An IKEA Christmas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” sings Andy Williams. And I have to agree.

People seem more cheerful, everything is on sale and homes are dressed up to the nines in Christmas decorations.

Christmas is also a time where many reflect on the year and be grateful for their blessings, and I have to count IKEA as one of them. I was invited to be an IKEA ambassador earlier this year and that was a fantastic experience. IKEA is also a lifesaver for busy people like me during the Christmas season.

Pei Chyi and I are both business owners, and life doesn’t stop during the Christmas season. I’ve been racing to complete projects in December, so that I can have a peaceful year end break. Throw a hyperactive 2-year old in the mix and you have a recipe for mental meltdown!

So with limited time and opportunity to shop, I need someplace that has everything I need to decorate my home for Christmas, and to grab a few gift items too. And not to curry favor with IKEA, I honestly say that I am thankful to them for solving this problem for me.

For our Christmas decor this year, we bought a FEJKA Christmas tree and JULMYS decoration baubles in assorted colors. What I liked about the FEJKA tree is that it looks more realistic than your run-of-the-mill artificial trees. I bought one from Jusco 2 years ago but didn’t like the wire-brush style pine needles. The FEJKA tree is realistic enough that some people thought it was real when they saw my Instagram ;)

Conveniently, IKEA sells tree decorations too. Zack had a fun time helping with decorations, and we personalized the tree further with handmade ribbons. Read More »

At the beginning of 2011, I began hosting my websites on Site5. I have been singing their praises and recommending everyone I know to them. Today iThemes publicly announced their endorsement of Site5 hosting (and how terrible Hostgator is too). I’m really excited about the development because iThemes is a major WordPress plugins and themes vendor, so their endorsement confirms my feelings about Site5. Also, the CEOs of both companies have been communicating directly which will hopefully result in even better WordPress compatibility with Site5. Check out the announcement post, Site5 has a 6-month free trial (!) for the iThemes community.

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Ben Brooks writes about a problem that many blogs and news sites have – too many things that distract the site visitor from reading. I share a similar opinion which is why I have removed all the ads from my site and reduced the design as much as possible. It’s a good read if you are considering a new design for your blog.

The most epic bowl of Maggi noodles I’ve ever seen

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How do you turn an ordinary bowl of instant noodles into an epic one? By adding a humongous crab to the bowl of course!

The most epic bowl of Maggi noodles I’ve ever seen, courtesy of my friend Ezak’s Facebook photos.

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Running for Beginners, taught via YouTube videos!

Running is easy right? You put 1 foot in front of the other and repeat. But if you run over long distances at faster speed, you put a lot of stress on your ankles, knees and hips. So the correct running technique is important so that you can run more efficiently and avoid injuries.

I’ve turned into quite the running addict on my fitness journey. (LOL! I know right?) However after starting to run further and faster, I found that my joints hurt! I realized that my running technique was off. So I began researching proper running technique online and found surprisingly that you can learn a lot from YouTube videos.

I’m made a playlist of the best videos that I found on YouTube called Running for Beginners. It’s a compilation of videos that teaches beginners the basics of proper running technique, mistakes to avoid and choosing the right pair of shoes. I wanted to provide a little bit of context for each video so I’ve annotated the videos below.

The Elements of Good Form Running

The first thing I learnt when researching running techniques was that there are many running techniques and styles. Who would’ve thought?! Many of them seemed overly complicated to me. The one that made the most sense and seemed to be the most straightforward to me was the Good Form Running technique. Good Form Running advocates 4 elements – posture, cadence, landing on your midfoot and leaning forward while running. This video provides a quick introduction to the technique. Read More »

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Brand affinity case study: Nike vs adidas

I’ve recently started to enjoy running and after increasing my distance and speed, I realized that I need a good pair of running shoes. So last week I went shoe shopping and I had an opportunity to observe myself making a buying decision for a rather expensive product.

I have 2 favorite sporting brands – adidas and Nike. Just the previous month I have purchased gear from both brands. adidas seemed to me like the more affordable brand and I probably own more adidas workout and training apparel than Nike. However the Nike Running sub-brand spoke to me more directly since I actually enjoy running. Read More »

“Copy Address” in Apple Mail without the contact’s name

In recent versions of Apple Mail (Snow Leopard onwards to be exact) choosing Copy Address from a contact’s contextual menu would put the contact’s name with the email address in brackets, instead of just the email address. So from the example above, you would get the following on your clipboard:

iTunes Store <[email protected]>

This is not really helpful when  you really just want to copy the email address, and not fiddle with deleting the extraneous information. Longtime Apple Mail users might also prefer the behavior from versions before Snow Leopard. Luckily there’s an easy way to change the default behavior and only copy the email address without the contact’s name.

Start by quitting the Mail app. Then launch Terminal and type (or copy and paste) the following command (all on 1 line):

defaults write com.apple.mail AddressesIncludeNameOnPasteboard -boolean No

Now when you open up Mail again, copying and address will only give you the email address without the contact’s name. Yay!

If you want to revert back to the default behavior, quit Mail and run the command in Terminal again but switch the last word to Yes.