Wow, it has been awhile, hasn't it?
This must be the longest time I have not blogged! More than a month. Even when I broke up a few years ago and took a hiatus from blogging, it wasn't this long, I think? It almost feels strange.. foreign... to type on this space.
Anyway, I know we are almost 2 weeks into 2015, and I am probably the last one in the blogosphere to talk about my 2014 in review, but I swear that I have a valid excuse! I fell sick one day after New Year (actually I was sick during Christmas period too, but that's another story for another day), and was quite out of it for a few days. By then, work has piled up and I was busy catching after I recovered.
But that few days that I was on bed rest, I had a lot of time to think about the past year. And I would really like to lay my thoughts on this little personal space of mine. :)
So here goes... My 2014 in review.
In early 2014, the boy and I finally moved out! It was mostly due to the fact there wasn't enough space in his family home, plus his family home is really far from KL, where he works. I was so excited, but really nervous too! As it is, I am not the most organized or homey person, and to have to take care of someone else PLUS a naughty puppy... I have to admit, I was scared shit! But I told myself that I would have to learn how to be a wife, how to take care of a household someday... So we took the plunge!
Almost 1 year later, I am glad to report that we are still alive wtf. Staying together is tough! I would say that the boy and I have really good dynamics and rapport pre-cohabitation times, and even then, we fought a lot after moving in. Mostly about chores wtf. We have very different styles when it comes to housework (for me-- house chores will never end, so I do it according to my own schedule and convenience; whereas for him housework is a top priority and he will be gladly doing laundry or cleaning floors at 2am O_O). It took us quite awhile, but I *think* we have managed to figure out some kind of compromise. Fingers crossed that we can keep up the good work! :D
A little X'mas corner in our humble abode. The Jenga set is actually our wedding guestbook which I used as decor in our home! :)
Which brings me to the biggest thing that has happened to me in 2014 (or make it my whole LIFE)...
I got married!
To the love of my life whom I have been with for 11 years. :D :D :D
Is there any difference after married life?
Yes and No.
No, 'cause we have already been living together for about 5 months when we got married. Yes, 'cause it does hit home now that we are a team. Whether it's finances, or future plans such as relocation, career changes etc, it's no longer an individual decision. It still makes me giddy to look at my wedding band ("I'm a WIFE!"), and I still shudder when people address me "Mrs Cheah", haha.
I am really lucky that although I have moved out, I still stay really near to my family. In fact, I drop by at home almost everyday, HEHEHE. The hubby and I also meet my family for dinner every Sunday (a long-standing tradition in the Hoe household). He also gets along with everyone (even my grandparents who don't really speak English (and he's a banana)!), and I especially thinks that my dad enjoys having someone around to have guy talk with (my brother is still quite young).
One of the challenges of being married is accepting another family as your own, and it's something I am still learning. Making it a point to see the boy's family more as well!
Also, one thing about moving out is that it makes you realize that you really took for granted the times when you were staying together as a family. T__T Nowadays, I will go fetch Teeny for lunch to catch up, and have also recently started a routine of seeing my mom once a week for lunch.
One of our weekly lunches.
I have to admit, when the boy's mom fell sick with terminal cancer in 2013, I got very, very distracted. I spent a lot of time accompanying him, even flying down to Singapore every few days (where his mom was seeking treatment). When she left us, it was a devastating time for the boy and his family. My focus on AZORIAS just wasn't there.
There were times when I told myself, "Damn, I really should start paying attention back on the business, I only have once chance on this". But then I will think, no, I only have this one chance to be there for the boy; I want to be there for him. Do I regret it? No. Did the business suffer as a result? Yes.
Ironically, the more something spiral downwards, the harder it is to admit that you are not doing well. Conveniently, I had a wedding to plan, so it was much more fulfilling to direct my focus and passion there, than to channel my energy into something I felt almost helpless in. Alas, after the wedding, I had nowhere to escape anymore. It was time to face my fear. It was time to get back into motion. It was time to restructure.
One of the limitations of AZORIAS is that it is pricier as compared to some online stores. Of course, being made in Korea products, the quality is great, but I acknowledge that not many people would like to fork out the same amount of money for clothing. Also, sizing. This has got to be the single-most feedback that we get from our customers. Unfortunately though, Korean clothing generally run small in sizes, and for the longest time I have been trying to figure out a way to overcome these limitations. Manufacturing seems to be the way out, but I don't think we are ready for large-scale factory productions yet.
As luck has it, I came across someone who works as a tailor, and after working closely with her for sometime (she does some odd jobs for AZORIAS sometimes, such as minor repairs/ alterations), I found out that she used to be the factory production head in one of Malaysia's leading fashion label. The job doesn't pay much, and when her husband fell ill with cancer a few years ago, she quit her job and became a full-time tailor (which ironically pays more than being a factory head!). She is extremely hardworking and entrepreneurial, working a few jobs at a time, and she was really interested to work together to produce small collections of clothing for AZORIAS.
And thus, ARTISAN was born.
We have launched this new line for less than a month, and so far response has been quite good! The great thing is, we have sizes now! Size S to L. Hopefully, in the future we can go to size XS and XL as well. :) Prices are also more affordable, starting from RM79 for dresses. Each design is produced in a very small selection though, so things do get sold out quite quickly. If you are interested, do check it out here, and let me know what you think!
2014 was quite filled with travels, and that's something I am always grateful for.
The year started with our annual Bangkok family trip LOL.
Went to Bali for the first time, and fell in love with the place!
Went to Seoul with my family, which was quite special, because I get to show off my 'work place' to my family (especially my parents).
Went back to Bangkok, but this time with my fellow tai-tais, Audrey and Bobo! It was also my first ever all girls' trip, heh.
Went to Bali again for our mini-moon.
Visited Osak, Kyoto and Kobe for the first time as well.
What I hope for 2015:
i) Career-wise, I want to further build the ARTISAN line, because it is really addictive to get back to my roots of starting an online store-- providing great designs at a decent price and quality standard. I also have another project that I am SO excited about, with a partner whom I just adore. Work looks awesome in 2015, and I can't wait to see how everything unfolds!
ii) Learn to be a better wife-- be supportive in the hubby's endeavors, and be more proactive with household chores. Cook healthier meals, take better care of us. I have only been a wife for about 6 months, but I guess this is an eternal learning process, hehe.
iii) Travel-wise-- hoping to go to Europe and/ or US. I believe in the SECRET, that's all I am going to say! :P
iv) Blog more, with better, more meaningful content. This is inspired from a conversation with Timothy Tiah, where he pointed out that the blogosphere is saturated with girls who just talk about what they wear. It kind of hit home, I know I am capable of much better writing. It's just that somewhere along the lines, you get lost in all the censorship (can't talk too much about work, other half etc.). But I am definitely going to dig a little deeper from now onwards, starting from this extremely honest blog post you are reading right now. :)
v) Practice positive thinking. Admittedly, I haven't been really good with this. It's hard to, when you see how life throws you curveballs and hardships. But being negative isn't Hui Wen, so this year, I want to only harbor GOOD POSITIVE FEELINGS AND THOUGHTS.
vi) Due to the boy's mom's passing, we have not had our tea ceremony or reception, and the plan was to do it after June this year (after 2 full years). We have been making trips to Kluang to get an auspicious wedding date, but each time we have been told to go back the next time. I was really disappointed, and at one point I thought we will never ever get a date. T_T Anyway, during our most recent trip to Kluang, we finally got a date! But it's not in 2015 though. T___T Apparently 2015 is a really bad year for us to get married, and the earliest auspicious date is in May 2016.
To be honest, I was feeling quite bad about doing our ROM 'cause essentially it means we would have to pay double (for photographer, decor etc). The decision to have our ROM came about 'cause we wanted to get registered first, and have a small celebration to please all parties). But now I don't feel bad about it already! Because imagine if we waited for the 2 years to be up, we would still have to wait till 2016 to have the wedding, and we would end up having the longest engagement in history-- 3 years wtf.
Anyway, I hope to book all our vendors and venues ASAP, and not worry about wedding-planning till 2016, HAHA.
Hmm, that's about it, I think! Feeling excited as I type out all the things I look forward to in 2015... Thank you for sticking around, and here's to an awesome year for all of us!