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Gardening Goodies from Urban Ecolife Agro Farm

26 September 2021

Hello everyone! I haven't been here in a while but I'm slowly coming back to my blogging routine now that I have my life and work sorted behind the scenes. 

So you know how we have a pretty decent garden at home that my parents grow vegetables and fruits out of? I did write a little bit about it in my previous post with some really pretty pics of our garden in Our Home Garden Tour and How We Compost Our Kitchen Waste Every Day posts. 

I was recently fortunate enough to be contacted by Urban Ecolife Agro Farm to review some of their gardening products and see how effective they are in improving our green produce. 

Here is my honest review of our experience using their products.

The Products up for Review

I requested for two gardening products from Ecolife Agro Farm for reviewing - their Organic Vermicast (Earthworm Casting) and A & B Fertilizer (Plant Growth Booster). You can easily find these items or other gardening and food products on their official website and Shopee store.


All the items arrived safely in a very secured thick bubble wrap. I had to use quite a lot of my non-existent muscles to pry the packaging open to see the goodies inside. Unfortunately, we had an accident with one of the fertiliser liquids that spilled slightly in the parcel but it wasn't anything too serious. Perhaps the brand could work on ensuring that bottle caps for their liquid products are more secure. Generally, at least in terms of delivery, it was very prompt and satisfactory.

It was actually great timing that these products arrived because we were having trouble with our chili plants that were struggling to grow healthily. And with that, we put both sets of products to the test.

Organic Vermicast (Earthworm Casting) 


Let's start with Vermicompost and exactly what it is. The product is basically vermicast which is an organic by-product produced by worms through composting activities. In simpler terms, we're looking at a bag of worm poop and other undigested materials they left behind when they were chomping on decayed waste.

It was a great addition to our existing natural fertiliser collection. Previously, we've tried many options to have our chili plants live but they always ended up growing shriveled and stunted at some point in their development. We're not sure if Vermicompost was the sole contributor to our healthy chili plants which later produced ripe produce, however, since we were mostly relying on this compost over most things, we can say that it actually worked! 

We're really happy with the results. Although we've always had a healthy population of worms living in our garden, perhaps they needed a little help with richening the earth. A little comes a long way. We sprinkled small amounts of Vermicompost around the plant base every few days before watering it down.


Fertiliser A & B

Like I mentioned before, we had a little oopsie-daisy problem when we received the packaging. Had a bit of a spill despite the generous bubble wrap that came with the products. Still, it's nothing that a few wads of tissue can solve. After reading through the description of what the two products do, we got straight into testing them out on our nutrient-deprived plants. 
From what we've gathered about the two fertilisers, you mix a certain amount of them before sprinkling them onto the soil. The results as claimed by the products are better nutrient absorption and yield. 

We're not sure which of the two products - the Vermicompost or Fertiliser, or perhaps the combination of both, but after a few weeks of trying to revive our chili plants and a few others, most of them turned out so much better than what we expected. 





The end results 


Overall, we're actually really happy with the outcome of our testing of both the Vermicompost and fertilisers. We're actually looking forward to trying out potentially good products from Urban Ecolife  Agro Farm. Who knows what other hidden treasures we can find!

Collect Your GRAB Food E-voucher Rebates

18 July 2021

 

Hello guys! How are youuu? I’ve missed out on a ton of things while I’ve been away. I know I’ve been off radar for a while, I figured I needed some space for new ideas to come by for my next blog posts. It’s kind of hard to, especially when weeks and months later, we’re still under lockdown and I haven’t been outside for a while. 

But other than that, things are doing surprisingly great for me which comes to my next question: how have you guys really been doing lately? I really hope all of you are safe and getting the support you need during this daunting pandemic.

Getting back on shopping

I want to talk about something I’m sure we can all relate to - shopping. And with shopping, getting the best bargain, discounts or rebates out of our purchases doesn’t come too far from our mind. To be frank, I didn’t do much shopping over the last year except for a few items here and there. However, knowing that I’m not going anywhere too soon in this lockdown, I’ve started to open up my shopping and food delivery apps again. 

Especially GrabFood.

I’m not kidding, I would have at least one Grab delivery guy dropping off a random Tealive drink or McD by my door at least once a week. And in all that flurry of shopping food online, I didn’t get into the habit of looking out for rebates for a little extra cashback until just recently.
What’s GETBATS?

GETBATS isn’t a name I haven’t heard of in my circle of friends or social media. It’s been quite raved about for a while now for being a great platform (website and mobile) for offering cash rebates from purchases as low as RM10. Customers like me can get cash rebate deals from purchases for 1-5%. 

Just thinking about the amount of cash rebates I would have in my e-wallet for my next shopping spree had I used apps like GETBATS or something similar sooner is giving me a migraine. I would have saved a bit of cash.

Get extra cash rebates with GETBATS e-voucher

I’d recommend the GETBATS app for avid online shoppers like me who frequently visit Grab, Shopee, Zalora and other shopping apps on our phones. And when it comes to maneuvering around the app? Almost effortless. I have a few dozen apps on my phone, but GETBATS has features on its app that’s generally familiar to me. It’s a no brainer to use the app alongside the app I shop on.

Not only that, I save a lot of time from scavenging for the latest offers, discounts and cash rebates when I can find them all in one app. 

GETBATS not only gives very high cash rebates from online purchases for online shoppers, it also allows me to enjoy cash rebates instantly. Say the next time I’m ordering something tasty from GrabFood, I’d have a little extra cash for my next purchase. If you often shop on GrabFood like I often do, you can purchase yourself GETBATS 50% Rebates GrabFood e-voucher from its website or app. 

Steps to claim your e-voucher:
1. Purchase the GrabFood e-voucher.
Place the selected e-voucher into your shopping cart

2. Clicking the icon on the top right corner of your app, find “My Voucher” where your purchased item will be.

3. Select “Details” on the e-voucher and tap “Select to Redeem”. An OTP will be texted to you and all you have to do next, is to tap in the code on your Grab app to fully redeem 50% cash rebates off from your purchase on GrabFood.

4. You will find your cash rebates ready in your “Rewards” on Grab!

There are tons of other cash rebate options and stores on the app you can look out for the next time you’re on a shopping spree. Personally, I would definitely keep on using the app for my next purchase, saving a few coins for future shopping. If you’ve tried the GETBATS app, do let me know how your experience is. I’d love to know more from my readers.

Until next time, thanks for reading!

My Top 6 Presentation Template Websites

30 May 2021


I've always been very obsessed with making presentation slides. Finding the right template will always be my top priority (other than the content) and I believe that "wowing" your audience with engaging slides is important. 

Gone are the days when slides strictly consisted of white/black background with dull font colours (the worst when they're in red over a black background). Today, your audience appreciate not just your content and what you have to say, but also if your slides are visually pleasing and engaging. 

I have used several platforms to get my presentation templates from, most you can easily download to edit on Google Slides and Microsoft PowerPoint. 

Here are My Top 6 Presentation Template Websites:


1. slidesgo


A great website for anyone to find free and premium presentation templates and other graphic resources such as infographics. You can filter out the array of beautiful templates by colour and style. For the time being, there are 6 kinds of presentation templates you can find here:
  • Education
  • Business
  • Marketing
  • Medical
  • Multipurpose
  • Infographics
Check out their "Recent" or "Popular" slides for the latest and trendiest templates!

2. powerpointify

Another favourite would be powerpointify. I think they have more variety of slides for different purposes such as creative, pitching, business reports, technology, etc. There is a mix of "outdated" looking slides here but you don't have to look far for some surprisingly pretty ones too.
 

3. PresentationGo


If you're looking for more options to spice up your slides, search for PresentationGo. You're not only spoilt with beautiful presentation templates, there are also charts and diagrams, vectors, texts and tables, as well as other graphics to choose from. All the designs are versatile and you can access the files through Google Slides and Microsoft PowerPoint. 

4. SlidesCarnival

SlidesCarnival is a good alternative if you're looking for quick, simple and colourful templates to create your slides. All the templates here can be downloaded on both Google Slides and PowerPoint. 


5. Canva

This is a MUST-GO-TO platform if you loveeee pretty templates for all occasions and purposes. I'm not just talking about presentation slides but also posters, social media thumbnails, Instagram story templates, etc. There are plenty of elements or graphic resources you can use to add to your selected template to include your own touch to your slides.

Perhaps this isn't something new, you can now add animated stickers and simple transition effects to your slides for free. I had religiously used Canva back when I was doing my masters degree and occasionally received compliments for my presentation slides.


6. SlidesMania

I recently discovered this platform and the presentation templates hereeeee are *insert chef kiss*.

There are dozens of interactive presentation templates to download (accessible on Google Slides and PowerPoint), as well as designs for weekly planners, certificates, adorable icons, games and more. I didn't have the opportunity to use the resources here before but I definitely would give it a go the next time I'm called to present.

Honourable Mention



Now if you're an avid presentation slides user and looking for something a little more premium, you can also try SlideModel.com. It's a great option if you prefer to create slides on Powerpoint because through this platform, you can get access to not just PowerPoint templates, but also different kinds of diagrams (I'm obsessed with limiting as many words on my slides as possible), shapes, diagrams and illustrations to spice things up, and even templates for maps, tables and charts.

πŸ“’ Other tools you can check out:

Sudio Nio Apple Skin Leather Case Review

24 May 2021

 

Recently, I was approached by Sudio for another product review collab and when I was informed that it'd be about Sudio Nio's latest case made out of apple skin leather, I was more than intrigued. I'm still very impressed by their wireless earphones which you can read my full review here. 

My mum is equally heads over heels in love with it too and it has been a great addition to listen to videos while cooking and gardening. It has gotten to the point that she keeps losing her phone because of how convenient the earphones are! 

Vegan Friendly Plant-Based Leather

Front view of the casing

Initially, I had a lot of questions about the casing and the process that went into processing apple peels  into leather. I did some reading here and there because I haven't heard much about this innovation and I found out that this is pretty new. Sudio is one of the few companies who are incorporating plant-based materials that are biodegradable such as apple peels to be part of their products.

Firs impression when I held the end product, is that it's very soft and smooth, has the appearance of leather with the fine grainy imprints outside. When I turned over the flap cover to reveal the compartment for the wireless earphone inside, it's covered with a soft material to securely hug the product. An elastic band is also attached to keep everything in place.

Side view of casing

Back view of casing

With the Sudio Nio Wireless earphones inside the casing, it feels compact and secure, especially with the elastic band. It puts my mind at ease that now I won't risk having scratch marks on the wireless earphones plastic charging case. Overall, it makes a great accessory, it's very pleasing and stylish to the eyes, and I can chuck my earphones inside the casing in my bag without worry.

Get Casing for FREE with Sudio Nio Purchase

Between 10 May - 6 June 2021, you can get Sudio NIO wireless earphones for only RM272 AND 50% off for the apple skin leather casing. Use the discount code "NIOCASE" to grab this bargain. There is also free delivery within Malaysia and Worldwide and 3 years warranty with every purchase from Sudio. 

The Time I Lost My Voice Before a Job Interview

20 May 2021

 

What I’ve Been Doing Lately

For the past few months, I submitted dozens of applications for job positions that best fitted my interest and areas of specialisation. I’m leaning towards the roles of an English language educator and stretching my job scope as far as a content writer. And until just recently, I received interview requests and assessments as part of the initial screening process. 

These were the moments I had been waiting for in a long time since the start of the year. I said yes to about any interviews I received because at this point of time, and the number of resumes, CVs and cover letters I painstakingly prepared, and looking at the development of the pandemic to our economy, I wasn’t about to be too picky with the opportunities that come my way. As much as I pushed it out of my head, I can also feel the subtle ticking of the clock as each day passes by and I’ve yet to find a stable job to support myself.

Of course, I’m fortunate enough that I’m living with my family who can still support me and that my freelance proofreading business (The Owls: Proofreading & Translation) is enough to temporarily sustain my personal finances. However, having said that, I make it my goal to be financially independent with a job that I can develop my skills and knowledge to another level. To put it simply, I want money (lol) and I want to be as busy as I can on a day-to-day basis. Soon, if possible.

The Story

So my story goes on like this. I had an interview this week and I spent the weekend before that to prepare slides for mock teaching, read as many online articles as I could to get the gears in my brain to work again and be familiarised with a writing style that I liked and impress the panels. I really wanted to make a lasting good impression on my interviewers and basically, show off everything that I got.

via GIPHY

Two days prior to my interview, I miraculously made my mind up to get back to exercising again. I haven’t done anything physically active since Raya (heck, perhaps even before Ramadan). I did some light exercises in the small confines of my room. This will probably sound… dumb  if I were to lightly describe it, because as I was beginning to speed up my exercise routine, my mouth became dry (this is normal right) and I tried to swallow saliva down my throat to get it to become normal. Unfortunately, it went down the wrong pipe and I was coughing like a madwoman to get the liquid out of my lungs(?).

Sigh, this isn’t looking pretty. But anyway…

I don’t think potentially dying from swallowing saliva down to my lungs was what caused the damage. In fact, I think it was the way that I violently coughed it out that did it. By the time that I stopped coughing (hopefully, my neighbours didn’t think I was actually dying), the damage was done and I felt my voice box or whatever they call it swollen. I didn’t think much of it and drank water to calm myself down. Later that evening, I had some light coughs here and there and around midnight on a voice chat with my friends, I knew for sure that my voice was slowly diminishing.

via GIPHY

My mum advised me the next day to constantly gargle on warm salt water and drink lots of madu kelulut (honey from stingless bees) that I concocted into tea. The home remedies helped a lot although I still sounded like a truck less than 24 hours before the job interview.

And My Interview Went...

Fine, I suppose? Not talking as much the day before helped and my voice sounded a lot better on the day I had my online interview. It was still rusty but it could have been worse. I was beyond relieved that at the very least the panel could still understand me. I wasn’t coughing anymore either so that was one less thing to worry about.

Once I left the chat window, I drank more warm water and napped. I still had a slight fever from the exercise-choked-on-water ordeal. Safe to say, I will avoid going through that again. Especially just days before an important event. NEVER AGAIN.


I'm currently in my mid twenty's, living what's supposed to be the best point of my life, that is, without the global pandemic glaring in the background. I definitely did not anticipate that in 2020 and the series of events that followed.

When I was much younger, I used to think that by the time I hit my twenty's, I would have most things in life figured out. Spoiler alert, I still don't. But having said that, I do acknowledge that I've grown up a lot over the years thanks to the many hit and miss things that I learned along the way.

Still, if there was a way that I could have some things turned out differently in the past and present, I would. It might not change myself or what is to happen entirely, but I could at least be more prepared.

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Here is a string of advice from myself and friends we wished our younger selves had years ago.











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This post isn't entirely about past regrets nor is it supposed to be. We've grown past those moments and moving on. 

I've told this to a good friend, these advice isn't for us really but to those who find themselves in our shoes like where we used to be but didn't have someone to chip in advice they didn't know they needed.

I hope you like today's post. I'd like to thank all the contributors of this post for sharing your precious advice. I learned so much while curating this post. I hope I can do similar post projects like this soon!

What about you? What advice you wish you had or would like to let someone else know?