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5 Facts About Me:

#1: I got married at the age of 22…

…to my first love, my high school sweetheart, Boon.

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Our younger selves, me at 15 and him at 19. Look at what puberty did to us. And don’t judge my fashion sense. It was cool 10 years ago.

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We dated for 8 years before tying the knot. He popped the question on my 22nd birthday, and we got married less than a year later :) A lot of people questioned why I decided to get married at such a young age. Until now, I have no solid answer to that except for the reason that I felt ready, I knew in my heart that he’s the one, and we didn’t see why else we should wait any longer.

Two years down the road, did I regret marrying young? Not at all. I have the same freedom and support I had from him pre-marriage, and I’m glad that I have the luxury of time, honeymooning and travelling for whole two years before deciding to try for a baby. We love kids and wish to have 3-4 children, so here’s to hoping we get preggers soon! :)

#2: I am the eldest of 7 sisters.

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I know, you must be counting how many there are in my family now! This is my family, my amazing parents and 6 sisters whom I love very much.

When people ask me, “How many siblings do you have?”, my reply is always, “Erm, plenty.”

How is it like growing up in a big family with all sisters? Let’s just say it’s a slumber party everyday. The house is always abuzz with chattering, laughing, screaming, and occasional cat fights. *reow* But it’s always fun. We replay chick flicks like Mean Girls, Pitch Perfect and Bridesmaids every day to the point that we can memorise and recite the scripts at any given time. That includes our youngest 6 year-old sister!

When I moved out after the wedding, I had a massive withdrawal syndrome because my new house seemed so awfully quiet without my family. I slowly got used to it but I still miss them always, and we’ll make a point to have family meals together weekly.

#3: I was once a kindergarten teacher, dance instructor, coffee barista and freelance model

Growing up in a big family, there is sure to have lots of expenses. And being the eldest child, I’ve seen how my parents sacrificed to give us the best, which is why I value money and have always believed in working to gain experiences and earn some pocked money, even if it’s just a little. At least I could cover my own personal expenses and lift some burden off my parents’ shoulders. I stopped taking allowances from my parents since the age of 16 when I started working as a part-time hip hop dance instructor, and have been working various odd jobs ever since.

You can say that I’m the type who cannot sit still because I can’t bear the thought of wasting time. At every semester break, I would apply to work at any place that I feel could give me a good working experience that offers decent remuneration as well. So yeah, in my high school days, I worked as a part-time kindergarten teacher and a coffee barista at Coffee Bean for a couple of months while teaching dance classes, and freelance modelling, working at events and earning from some blog advertorials in my university days.

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Seventeen Magazine, Feb 2010 Valentine’s Day issue.

I slowly moved into being a commercial talent for magazines, TV commercials and print ads, started emceeing for events and also start up an online fashion boutique (www.chiqfliq.com) all while I was still studying.

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Citibank Rewards Print Advertisement

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Kellog’s ‘Special K’ TV Commercial with Carmen Soo

From the time I gradated from my Communications degree programme until now, I’ve been working on my blog, emceeing for events and running ChiqFliq.com consecutively. I never regretted working while studying as it taught me to have discipline and proper time management. I always encourage my younger friends to work while they’re still young because experiences are valuable and are yours to keep forever. Make the best out of your youth!

#4: I never bought a luxury bag. 

Taddaaaaaa. Shocker. Yes, I never bought a luxury bag before. You must be thinking, “Aiya, husband buy maaaa.” But no, I always tell him not to. Before you start judging me, let me just say that I have nothing against people buying luxury goods. I, for one, love looking at the latest luxury collections and am always tempted to get my favourite Prada bag for myself. Whenever I think of doing so, I just can’t bring myself to actually buy it. I’ll think about how much it costs, and how I can actually spend that amount on my family instead and where I can actually go travel with that money!

Let’s say my Prada bag costs RM5k, with that amount I can travel to Tokyo for 10 days and spend freely. Prada bag or travel? Travel, hands down! So yeah, that’s the reason why I still don’t own a luxury bag until today, even when I could already afford it from many years ago. The only atas bag I own is a Longchamp Le Pliage that was sponsored.

Maybe few years down the road I might get myself one when I have extra money lying around. But for now, work, family, food and travel are my priority. Yes, I am very practical and unglam one. Haha!

#5: I’m crazy!

Okay, crazy as in not the mentally deranged kinda crazy, but…you know what I mean. Beneath my prim and proper exterior is a crazy chick who doesn’t mind getting all ugly for the sake of fun! I get super excited when I’m tasked to act in a challenging role, a character that requires me to put my self-consciousness aside. My favourite actresses are Phoebe from F.R.I.E.N.D.S., Fat Amy from Pitch Perfect and Zooey Deschanel. Zooey Deschanel’s weirdness is just too awesome! And my secret dream is to act in a sitcom such as F.R.I.E.N.D.S. and be placed in a role such as Phoebe. Okay no longer a secret now, but you get the idea.

Here’s the craziest thing I’ve pulled so far.

If you’re crazy like this too, we can be best friends ;)

That’s all from me for now! More on the blog at www.careentan.com.

Signing off!

xx

Denise Lee
Nuffnang Community Team

Yen (aka Baby Sumo) blogs at Goodyfoodies about food, travel, hotel reviews and kids stuff. Here are 5 lesser-known facts about her.

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#1 Cooking from a young age

I started cooking when I was about 7 years old. I am starting my kids young too – my son who is 4 years old now started baking/cooking in the kitchen (with supervision) since he was 2+ years old. And he’s loving it!

And since we’re on the topic of cooking, one of my favorite chefs and inspirations, Gordon Ramsay follows me on Twitter 

Yen 2

#2 I love travelling

I used to live in the UK for 7 years before moving back to KL. Happy that I got to visit so many wonderful places in Europe (just to name a few – Spain, Germany, Luxemburg, Paris, Amsterdam, Prague, Venice)  and all over UK while I was there. My two favorite places are Scotland (the beautiful sceneries) and London (musicals, Michelin restaurants and visiting all the touristy places).

When I was pregnant with our first child, Hubby flew me from London to Kuala Lumpur on Business Class and later, when I was pregnant with our second child, he flew me First Class on Malaysia Airlines on the same route . Unfortunately for me, I’ll be flying Economy Class from now onwards as I am not planning to have any more children.  :P

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#3 I love photography

I bought my first DSLR after the birth of our first child (so I can take lots of photos of our baby girl). That was about the time when I started taking lots of photos of food.  And thanks to my love of food photography, I got into food styling a.k.a making food look good and appealing on the plate. I guess it has now become a hobby of mine.  I also love taking photographs of nature – flowers, insects, sunrise, birds.

I love Instagram. Been using it since the app first came out. It’s become a routine for me to post at least one photo a day, so do follow me @babysumo for daily photo updates. 

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#4 I have a double-degree

Most people are surprised to hear that I am a housewife with two degrees under my belt – a First Class Honours in Engineering as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in Surveying from two reputable universities in UK.  I am proud to be a full-time mum to my two kids now.

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#5 Urban gardener, music and yoga

I cook a lot of Western food at home and Western cooking usually calls for lots of fresh herbs. For that reason, I started a herb and fruit garden.  I find great joy in harvesting basil and making my own pesto as well as roselle to make jam.  Yup, gardening is therapeutic and very rewarding. Try it.

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I like listening to music when I blog. Puts me in a good mood. And I do yoga to keep fit and healthy.

Samantha Tew
Nuffnang Community Team

Hello Nuffnangers! If you have been following us closely, you will definitely not miss out our Featured Blogger Of The Month – Karen Kho. A new addition to our Nuffnang family, we have her with us to share some interesting facts about herself this week.

Who is Karen Kho?

Karen Kho is a fitness and lifestyle blogger. She’s definitely a fitness addict who likes to share her fitness tips on her social media, and aspires to motivate her followers to lead a fitter, healthier lifestyle.

Karen Kho

#1 Capturing the Moment Before It’s Gone
I love playing with light and photography, capturing some of the amazing scenes and moments that I see. Perhaps it matches my personality, that I love the quietness and stillness of waiting for the perfect moment for the shot. We can’t stop time, but photos can save the moment and turn these special times into unforgettable memories. Although I’m not a professional but I am working hard to improve my photography skills.

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#2 Music Makes Me Happy
I used to learn piano and violin when I was younger, but I’ve stopped for more than 10 years. I still keep my piano and occasionally play with it whenever I’m home. I think it’s the best way to release stress.

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#3 Secretly An Introvert
I’m not good at expressing myself and I’m shy too. That is why blogging, photography and music seems to be one of the ways to express and share my feelings to the world. It might sound weird but I want to share my thoughts with others in a different way. It could be because I don’t have any siblings, hence I have no one to talk to. I always wanted to be understood and hopefully I can meet someone who’s like me.

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#4 High Achiever
My friends always say that I’m too aggressive and competitive and I stresses myself out all the time. This is mainly because of the people around me. It is very difficult for outsiders to understand because I’m a very insecure person.

Karen Kho

#5 Scraping Off The Bucket List
There’s a bucket list of places that I want to visit. I want to explore the world. I want to visit all the places on my bucket list before I grow old. One of my dreams is to earn more money, retire young and to bring my family and my loved one on a great leisure trip, to enjoy the lifestyle together.

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Want to know more about Karen Kho? Read more about herself and her fitness journey at her blog: www.karen-kho.com

You may also check out Karen Kho’s profile here.

Xing Yi Wong
Nuffnang Community Team

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