Wednesday, 26 February 2014

being a kid again ^_____^

So, a few days ago, Alex bought back the Pretzel burger from Wendy's because it was advertised as 'the best burger' and only offered for a limited time only...

And he also got a kid's meal because that was cheap lol... and came with a drink, small fries, and this...

He told me to throw it away... but do you think I would do so???

Plus.. it clearly states..

.. YUP, definitely appropriate for me! hahahaha

So what did I do with it? #taitailife #toofreeandbored

Then I realised my work is too childish lo. So I decided to be more "poetic"....


It does feel good to be a kid once a while ;)

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Cincaicook #3 - Oreo Truffles!

Last Saturday, our church organised a Lantern Festival celebration for the chinese community, and we were also encouraged to bring along some dishes for the potluck dinner... I told Alex that we should make some oreo truffles (that he once did for another church event before), and he entertained me, got me the recipe, and I went to get the ingredients from Countdown right after the English class in church. Well, there were some ugly fights in the kitchen when we were making it together but we definitely made up after that and had a rather nice evening together... SO, personal drama aside, here's the recipe for the truffles!

Before we start, make sure you would have at least 3 hours to do this before deciding that you wanna do this ... okay?

Let's look at the ingredients!
- 1 block of Philadelphia cream cheese.
- 2 blocks of dark chocolate of your choice
- 3 foils of oreos (roughly 450 gram of them)
- some chopped peanuts / almonds / any decorations you desire

Yup, sounds simple right.

Now let's go to the steps!

1. In batches, put your oreos into a ziplock bag, and use a roller to crush them into fine pieces and crumbs.

2. Put all the oreo crumbs in a large bowl or preferably your food processor, and mix them well with softened cream cheese. (The softer your cream cheese is, the easier it will be for you. Since we did not have a food processor, I had a challenging time using our hand blender, stopping every 20 seconds or so, dug out the sticky dough from the blender, mixed manually with my spoon, then used the blender again, and repeated the steps till I get a beautifully mixed dough.) This should be how it looks like..

3. Now, scoop the dough with a spoon and roll them into small balls. Make sure they are not too big because it will be too much of a bite after with the chocolate coating. With this recipe, you can comfortably make 40 - 50 balls.

4. Put the little balls into the freezer for 30 - 45 minutes.

5. Now comes the tricky part - melting the chocolate. Melting the chocolate is actually not as easy as it sounds (which I found out the hard way). Chocolate scorches easily.

There are 2 ways to melt chocolate.

If you want to use the microwave (which is faster), break the chocolate block into small pieces and put them in a microwaveable bowl. Now, set your microwave to the lowest heat for 30 - 45 seconds. Then take the chocolates out, give it a stir, and place it back into the microwave oven for 10 - 15 seconds, take them out, stir, and repeat the 10 - 15 seconds cycle till it's fully melted.

The second way is to place your chocolates (that are broken into smaller pieces) in a bowl, and place that bowl in a bigger pot that is filled with some water, and cook over the stove.Make sure that NO WATER gets into your chocolate or it will make your chocolate unusable. Watch over your chocolate, stirring it frequently, making sure the heat is not too high, till you are happy with the texture of it.

IF water did get into your chocolate (which happened to ours), it would not melt, but will clump... The way to save your chocolate is to add oil, stir it, add more oil, stir it, till it melts)

6. When your chocolate is fully melted, you have to act fast before it hardens. So use spoons, grab a ball, drop into the melted chocolate, coat it, and take it out, placing it on a non-stick foil or baking paper. Before the chocolate hardens, spread your decorations on it. Repeat this till you get all your balls coated.

7. Then, put them back into the freezer for an hour or so, and they are ready to be served :)

(since we were rushing, I actually did not have time to take a proper picture of the finished product and only remembered to do so after we presented the dish to the organising committee.. Being thick-skinned, I went back to snap a picture of it before rushing off lol. No time to do nice plating or take pictures of them in better angles hahahaha.)

Personally, I love how it tastes. Not too sweet at all because the dark chocolate balances out the sweetness of Oreo, and the cream cheese gives it a nice chewy texture. If you do try this, do show me the pictures of your creation ;)

Monday, 24 February 2014


Why do I go into details about the challenges I face here in New Zealand and publish them for people to see?
Am I not afraid of busybodies, judgment, uninvited opinions, and exposing my weaknesses?
Or, is this an attempt to gain sympathy, attention?

For instance, when I shared about how I got rejected again and again from my job applications, I had people who showered me with encouragement (that I really valued), and also people sending me messages telling me that I have not done enough. In a way, I placed myself in a position for people to judge.

EVEN SO, I am someone, who values TRANSPARENCY.

When I share about my joys, despairs, unemployment statuses etc, I was not with any intention of creating a sob story. In fact, I simply want to be transparent.

I don't need people to make assumptions and play guessing games, wondering what am I up to or thinking that I am having a blast.

And you could say, "why worry about what others think?"

My answer is, "I am not concerned with what OTHERS think. But because I have always been transparent about my circumstances with my loved ones, especially my parents and my partner, I know it gives them reassurance and peace."

If not for transparency, my parents would not have given Alex and I their blessings throughout our long-distance relationship that was filled with all sorts of challenges.

If not for transparency, Alex and I would not have accepted each other whole-heartedly, and embark on this difficult yet fulfilling journey together.

If not for transparency, my parents would not have agreed to let me follow Alex to New Zealand, without any assurance of stable financial security.

If not for transparency, my family would not have partner with us in prayer, everyday, praying over our needs and circumstances.

If not for transparency, my family would not be able to answer on my behalf to many 'concerned' people.

Yes, so I put out my side of the story. I share the real picture, in hope that it will shed some light to those in similar situations or who naively think that all is good at this side of the world. And if people continue to make their own speculations about me, I am fine with it.

You read my story, you have your own interpretation, and that's your right. At least, to me, I was being honest with myself, my family, my friends. And even as I recount the obstacles, I find peace from God, and I just want to glorify His name.

At the looks of things, I most probably will have to go back to Malaysia to teach in March.

This is a real bittersweet decision for me.

Personally, I have a big heart for education in Malaysia - it is my home, my people. And I know that I will be going back to familiar faces, and good colleagues, despite all the lack of facilities and life's comfort in Gua Musang. But my heart has this sour grip, when I think of leaving my husband behind. Even though we had survived the past five years of LDR, it really does not make it any easier, not after you have tasted life together.

And my dad really knows how to choke me up.

Recalling a recent conversation we had (my parents have been calling me EVERYDAY via Viber lol):

Dad: Girl, people are going to label you as a failure when you come back to Malaysia. They are going to ask questions about why you can't find work there and make comments without knowing your situation. I just want you to know that we don't think of you as a failure. We love you. And we have been submitting everything to God so we just continue to live in obedience and faith. And, do you need me to assemble a team of 'kompang' to welcome you back?


I am really blessed with great parents.

Regardless of what happens, I am grateful to God for the past 2 months of being here in Auckland with my husband.

Together, we overcame some huge financial hurdles.
Together, we learn how to live together lol. (still learning..)
Together, we attended church and got ourselves involved in different ministries.
Together, we pray, every single night.
Together, we fight, we make up, we learn, we compromise.
Together, we have really really fun times.
Together, we are just a great team.

With possibly 2-3 weeks left here, I am going to
- enjoy my 'tai tai life' (seriously I AM SO NOT HOUSEWIFE MATERIAL lol)
- leech onto my husband as much as I can
- continue to serve in the free English classes and make new friendships (I now have sooooooooo many new friends from China, who can be my grandparents lol. Then again, I do know how to charm the elders hahahaha)
- cook as much as I can.
- stock up on my favourite coffee and goodies to bring back home.
- be the best fan and supporter for my husband

And Malaysia,
I hope my coming back, will be welcomed.

And God,
Thank you for everything. I praise You when times are good. And I will continue to praise You when times are bad. Open up my eyes, to see the unseen, and my ears, to hear Your words. And grant us wisdom, in every step that we take.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Cincaicook #2 - Pepsi Chicken Wings!

Alex came home with domino's pizza, which came with a free can of..

We had a sip, and we both hated it lol. So when Alex was thinking of pouring out the content and throwing the can to the recycling bin, I casually said, "why not use it for our chicken wings?"

Hence, this was created!

a collaborative effort indeed!

So yea.. here's another fail-proof recipe!

Before we start, here's some foodie knowledge I have gathered from watching cooking shows and reading recipes ... Marinating is IMPORTANT. We often think that marinating chicken or meat with soy sauce gives it flavor when actually it is more of a 'colouring' process. So, always season the meat again when cooking.

For this particular recipe, remember that any form of soda only tenderises the meat. It does not really add flavour to the meat. Ok, we shall proceed to the ingredients :)

Ingredients needed: (for 2 servings)

- chicken wings  (8-10 nibbles)
- a can of soda (coke or pepsi)
- two spoonful of honey (I used our cheaper clover honey. Don't waste your manuka honey on this)
- two spoonful of soy sauce
- salt and sugar (according to your taste)


1. Marinate your chicken with the pepsi (we flooded the wings with the soda and threw away the rest lol), honey, and soy sauce for at least 3 hours.
2. Now you have two choices: You can either pan-fry the chicken first till cooked and golden brown (without the marinate sauce) or grill your chicken till your desired doneness (which my husband did and grilled them so beautifully).
3. Once you are happy with how your chicken looks, pour in the marinate sauce. Once boiled, lower the heat and let it cook and simmer till completely reduced and absorbed by the chicken.
4. The end product would be beautifully caramelised chicken, a lil sticky, sweet with some fizzy taste to it!

Try it! It gets addictive ;)

A humbling journey

I actually wrote this on my FB status as my personal reflection for today. Just thought I should share it here on my personal writing space ~

One by one, rejection emails are coming in...

They all started politely but that's just a nicer way to say that 'we don't want you.'
Up to a point, (without really telling my husband) I felt scared and somewhat depressed... I was a multi-scholarship recipient, I was a well-appreciated and acknowledged teacher, I had New Zealand qualifications and a rather impressive resume (especially since I started working at the age of 14), and yet... I couldn't even secure a part-time, retail assistant position.........

Then it struck me real hard... There were so many 'I's in my thoughts. Again and again, I allowed myself to think too highly of myself, forgetting that all those were blessings and gifts from God. And even though I have been praying and submitting my circumstances to God, it seems like I was still relying on my own perception of my abilities, and doubting His provision and guidance...

This is definitely a HUMBLING journey.

I looked at Alex and told him, our deadline is really near. In fact, in 9-10 days if there are still no opening for me here in NZ, I be going back to Malaysia, and we will start the dreaded long-distance-marriage. Even as I said so, there was peace in my heart. Simply because we have decided to submit everything into His plans. And IF, we were to be separated, I believe God will give us the wisdom and strength to endure the difficulties ahead.

Plus, I have applied all that I could (the education related ones have not gotten back to me yet), and thought I want to make my days here in Auckland of worth. So, I volunteered to help out in our church's English classes and was told to go for their sessions to see how I would like to help. And so I did.

Last Friday, I walked to church, not knowing what to expect. And WAS I BLOWN AWAY. There were about 30 mums, dads, grandpas and grandmas in that classroom (and there was also another class for weaker students), actively engaging in the class!!! Even with limited English, they were responsive, checking their electronic dictionaries, asking questions, making notes... and I was just impressed by their commitment and enthusiasm to learn! Very quickly, I made friends with those around me, including a couple of grandparents from Hong Kong, and they kept thanking for being there because I was helping them to understand better. Of course the lessons taught were really simple for me but I was soaking up like a sponge, observing how the teacher - Juliette was teaching. I found myself learning again which was plain exciting for me.

And this morning, I was invited by my new friends for a bible study in church (especially organised for the Chinese). Once again, impressive turnout and made more friends. As I helped to translate or guide the ones beside me on vocabulary and content, I found joy, just being able to contribute and help someone. Now, my new friends insist I join more of the conversational classes or bible study (this church does 3 free english classes a week) with them lol, and guess what, most of them are not even Christians but came to learn and they were asking me about baptism and Christianity.

So yea, I don't know how much more time do I have in New Zealand, will I be making a move or will I be staying... But I love my current state of mind. To worry less, submit it all to Him, and just enjoy the ride. I truly believe that He has plans for us and his timing is always the best, beyond our expectation or even our comprehension

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Cincaicook #1 - Valentine's Meal

When I first agreed to be a wife, one of the main concerns that I had was that I have to feed the husband, and I might poison him lol.

Though I always observe grandma when she cooks (and she is a GREAT COOK), I hardly need to prepare food in the kitchen, especially when take-outs are so cheap and accessible back in Malaysia. Even when I was teaching in Gua Musang, living independently and all, I couldn't really cook because there was no proper kitchen and if I were to wash the fresh ingredients or dishes, I have to go to the toilet... yup.. Better just pay RM5 and get a decent fulfilling meal (with drinks)!

Now that we are in New Zealand, cost of living is CRAZY HIGH! Eating out is definitely a luxury, so I had to buckle my courage and embrace my role in the kitchen lol. As I mentioned in earlier posts, my first few attempts were heavily dependent on recipes I found online, always finding myself checking my phone for each and every step... But a few tries later, I go with the 'feel' - Still a real kitchen noob but you start to realise what are the basics, what flavours go well with what, and you learn to love playing with seasonings..

To document my journey as a noobie cook, I created an album on facebook entitled "The Kitchen Misadventures of a Newly-Wedded Wife." Surprisingly, it became something that my grandma looked forward to lol. She would tell me that my food looks good and ask me what will I be cooking next. My parents too will call me up telling me they are waiting (and have been waiting for 20 over years) for me to cook for them hahahahaha...

This is my first ever homecooked meal -
Fettuccine with capsicum, onions, and white wine cream sauce, smoked salmon and egg-filled capsicums. (pasta sauce and salmon are #cheatone lol)

and today I'm going to share my #cincaicook recipe of the 'romantic dinner' for Valentine's..


Ok, there are a few components to this meal.. And the recipe is for 2 servings ~
So let's start with the simplest: Oven-Baked Corn

You need:
1 sweet corn, butter, black pepper, dried herbs (I used Italian Herbs from Greggs) and aluminium foil.

1. Clean your corn. Snap it into two.
2. Spread the butter evenly and generously over the corn.
3. Sprinkle the black pepper and dried herbs all over the corn.
4. Wrap each corn with the aluminium foil, making sure you twist the ends of the ears.
5. Pop them into a pre-heated oven (Our's is set at 250 celcius) for 30 minutes.
6. Serve them when it's done :)
*the juices are sealed in the corn, making it real juicy*

Here are the steps for the Prawns Salsa Salad.

You need:
2 small red onions (brown ones won't suit), 1 tomato, 1 bunch of fresh coriander, olive oil, 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon of castor sugar, 10 prawns (clean and deveined), chilli flakes, and some butter.

1. Diced the onions, tomato, coriander into small bits (of similar bite-size).
2. Mixed them in a bowl, and add in some olive oil, squeeze in the lemon juice and mix well with the sugar.
3. Refrigerate them for at least one hour while you prepare the other ingredients.
4. Heat your non-stick pan, put in the butter.
5. Pan fry the prawns till cooked and brown, and sprinkle on some chilli flakes.
6. Serve the prawns with the chilled salad.
*very refreshing and appetising*

Medium-Rare Steak with Caramelised Onions.

You need:
2 cuts of steak (we chose premium eye fillet), black pepper, salt, olive oil, 1/2 brown onion, butter and sugar.

1. Cut the onion into slices.
2. Carefully rub the steak cuts with black pepper and salt, and coat them evenly with a layer of olive oil. Allow them to sit in room temperature for a bit.
3. Heat the pan with butter, and stir-fry the onion slices till brown. (add more butter if you want them to brown beautifully).
4. Add in some sugar (according to your own taste), and continue to fry the onions till your desired texture and colour. Then set the caramelised onions aside.
5. With the pan still buttery and with a taste of onions, add in the steak.
6. Leave it on for 3 minutes on each side. The steak will brown really fast depending on your pan.
7. Take the steak out from the pan and let it rest for around 5 minutes, then serve it with the caramelised onions on top :)

Really simple recipes that I believe are quite fail-proof lol. If I can do it, you definitely can! Give it a try!

Thursday, 13 February 2014


all couples who are in, or have been through LDR would know how hard it is to celebrate important dates, including the highly commercialised ones.

And tomorrow, will actually mark the first Valentine's that we celebrate together! Not that it's that big a deal for us, but it feels nice to be celebrating Christmas, Chinese New Year, and now Valentines together (though very much low key and far from fancy)..

One of the many funny traits of our relationship is that - I always managed to ruin Alex's surprise, even without trying lol.

But, this year, he totally sabotaged himself.. which was hilarious and I did not let him get away with it easily lol.

What happened was, a few days ago we were worrying about the huge bills coming in so we sat down together to look at our card transactions on his computer... While I was carefully screening through our expenses, he suddenly exclaimed 'What did you buy from Amazon?'

I totally gave him a clueless look.. and he quipped.. "Oh, it was me."

Immediately I looked straight at that particular item (and its price), and laughed out loud.."YOU GOT ME A TEDDY!!!! HAHAHAHAHA.. YOU RUIN YOUR OWN SURPRISE! HAHAHAHAHA"

He tried to brush it off and distract me with his antics but I kept pestering him "When is it coming? When is it coming?" lol.

To be honest, I wasn't expecting anything because Alex is more of a action-speaks-louder-than-gifts person. In fact, he never understood the act of gifting before we got together. But I was fine with it because he knows just how to pamper me from time to time, like getting me cronuts when he got back from work and giving me massages and making me laugh... I definitely appreciate those lil acts that are consistent more.

Another fun fact: Throughout our 5+ years of partnership, the last valentine gift I received from him was 4 years ago lol. And that was such a funny incident because in 2010, Valentines day fell on the first day of Chinese New Year. Since he couldn't find a Taiping florist online, he ordered flowers for me from Ipoh, and the poor delivery guy was stuck in the massive CNY traffic jam for more than 2 hours (the usual trip should take around 45 minutes), gave me the flowers, and had to return back to Ipoh and go through the traffic jam again. Poor guy.

picture is blurry because my phone sucks at that time lol.

After that incident, he said he would not torture any florist delivery guy anymore hence no more flowers for me @_@


And the packaged came two days ago!

ITS BMO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was ecstatic when I saw what's in the box because my husband actually entertained my love for BMO!!!

Must take more pics of our new addition!

And we welcome this lil family into our lil household

 (bride and groom plushies are our wedding / christmas gift from Uncle Daniel.)

Instead of over-priced jewelry or short-lived flowers, I am so thrilled that he pays attention to my likes and dislikes..which makes this gift so much more precious to me!

Now that I received his gift to me, I was under immense pressure of what to prepare for him. I knew I am going to prepare a Valentine's meal, but I wanted to get him something thoughtful too..

This is when the problem arises.

I am a "gifter", and I probably have given Alex everything I could think of. I knew what he really wants but they are too pricey (eg the Prada shades he has been looking around for) and it will be unwise for me to get those when we have bills to worry about; so I can only go for 'its the thought that counts' lol.

During his birthday when I first celebrated with him, he was 21 years old so I got him 21 small gifts that reminded me of him.

I did scrapbooks ...

with songs that I wrote..

printed photobooks..

and also gave him stuff from 'Gifts for Him' department...
I'm running out of options.
In the end, I decided to just prepare these for him..

and knowing he has a sweet tooth, here's

filled with marshmallows, toffees, chocolates, gummies and fruit lollies :)

So what shall I cooked for tomorrow's special dinner?

Monday, 10 February 2014

Marriage 漏满地 #5 - The Interview Prep

Last Friday, I was estactic when I received a phone call for an interview on Monday (today). To be honest, it took me by surprise because for one, it wasn't even the end of the application period yet, second - everyone told me it's really hard to get even an interview because of the little postings and competitive applicants, and third - it was only the 3rd day since I started applying for jobs.

Alex, being the supportive husband he has always been, decided to 'PREP' me for my interview. It is a teacher aide role and that would mean working with kids with special needs, so Alex, without any prompting, had been acting as a really really really difficult child hahahahaha... He may have taken his role a lil too serious lol.

Our conversations for these few days have all started with "TEACHER TEACHER!" in his hilarious, pitchy tone.

"Teacher, teacher! Jerry said that you are fat!"

"Teacher, teacher! You smelly!"

"Teacher, teacher! You got a pimple on your face!"

"Teacher, teacher! I tell my mummy, you ask me to go back to JAY - PAN!"

"Teacher, teacher! When I get nervous, I poop in my pants! Oops. I think I just wet myself!"

"Teacher, teacher! Why is your nose so flat???"

and the funniest , out-of-control line...

"Teacher, teacher! I'm going to tell my mum, you touch me in places I've never been touched! I'm gonna call the police to catch you!!!"

hahahahahahahaha... laugh die me.. and he doesn't seem to be stopping anytime soon!!!


Thursday, 6 February 2014

The VISA fiasco - Our experience with Immigration New Zealand.

"The grass is greener on the other side."
"You are so lucky."
"You are living the life!"

I've heard it all. Though I would not deny there's some extent of truth in those statements made, there are also a lot of problems that we faced and are still facing at the moment. Definitely not a bed of roses (never actually understood why that is used to describe an easy life... The person who came out with it must not have seen the thorns that come with roses.. )

This post is written, not only for me to reflect on what we went through with this whole VISA fiasco, but also to shed some light for those who might be looking to apply for working VISA to come to New Zealand... Please bear in mind though that everything written here is purely based on our circumstances and what we experienced, and should be read merely as reference :)

Stage One - Understanding the various VISAs.

I am someone who HATES to read legal stuff and my mum could testify to that. Yes, I have been paying for an insurance policy that I have no idea of its coverage and contents and only did so because my parents told me I should lol. And as the saying goes, "One would do all things for love", I found myself spending HOURS going through the immigration website, downloading and reading the guides for different forms, reading forums just to find out my options.

What I found out were - teaching is no longer categorised in the priority list for 'Skilled Migrants', and my best bet was getting a Temporary Working Visa (under partnership basis) to be with Alex for a year before applying for residency.

Stage Two - Medical Check Up

There are different forms of medical check-up for different types of application. Please read carefully. You would not want to end up going through all that and paying for it to find out you been using the wrong medical certificates.

This was quite tricky for me as I was still teaching in Gua Musang at that time, inaccessible to approved panel physicians. So when I had the chance to go back to Taiping during short breaks, my parents helped me from one stop to another to get all that done. I stupidly left my passport in Gua Musang which caused a lot of inconvenience including doing a written statement, had my reports held till I managed to produce a certified copy of my passport, my parents had to pick up my reports since I went back to Gua Musang to teach, and had them posted to me so I could proceed with the application @_@

At least, having a medical report done in Malaysia is a whole lot cheaper than doing it in New Zealand. I can't remember the actual price I paid but it was less than RM300 for the medical check up, chest X-Ray and blood test.

Stage Three - Police certificate

You will need to provide a police certificate to prove that you have good conduct and won't be of risk to the country. In Malaysia, we would have to log on to and complete the form of the Certificate of Good Conduct, get a postal order of RM20 (which I waited in the post office for 2 hours for), and send the forms with a self addresed prepaid envelope, and wait for the cert to be delivered to you.

It took me 2 weeks of processing, and one week waiting period, just to receive this super thin and flimsy paper @_@

Stage Four - Evidence of Partnership

We were confident that this would be the least of our issue since we have been together for 5 years (at the time of application) and I am someone who is quite open about our relationship on social media. So I compiled our partnership timeline from our first date to our in-between trips from Malaysia - New Zealand, to his proposal to our wedding planning with dates, pictures, and even specific links to my blog entries. I also prepared evidences in forms of our e-tickets, corresponding mails, cards he sent me etc...

Turned out I received a phone call from the Immigration officer in Singapore (Malaysia does not have a NZ Immigration consulate and our nearest office is in Singapore) stating that 'though we recognised that you and your partner are in a stable and genuine relationship, but because you have not lived together for sufficient time, we could not grant you a working VISA.'

I was crushed at that time.

So even though we survived five years of long-distance relationship and are in the process of getting married with me relocating to NZ - that was not as good as 'LIVING TOGETHER'...

This officer offered me a 9-month Holiday Visa instead (which meant that I could go over, live there but NOT ELIGIBLE TO WORK), for me to work out the requirement on 'living together.' Beggars can't be choosers and we believe that everything happened for a reason, so I took up that VISA (plus, we paid for it. Cost us NZD360 = RM985.73).

Stage Five - Submission

Unfortunately for me, there was no way I could submit the original documents including my passport personally in Singapore - I have to teach, and the office will not be open during weekends, and the thought of a 12 hour train ride killed me lol. Plus, it will be impossible for me to enter Singapore with a passport, surrender my passport to the immigration officer, and return to Malaysia without one..

The only method I was left with was - to courier my application to Singapore.
This led to another heart-wrecking experience. NO COURIER SERVICE IN GUA MUSANG WAS WILLING TO HELP ME COURIER TO SINGAPORE. NOT EVEN THE ONES WITH INTERNATIONAL BRANDS!!!! Reason being, they think its too much trouble and they are happy with only domestic orders!!! WTH!

Eventually (thanks to Nadia for her driving me everywhere and such a good confidante), I managed to persuade this chinese uncle who ran a courier service to process mine. He was very reluctant as he said its 'ma fan' and he had never done it before. Anyway, he couldn't read English so I had to read the manual for him @_@, got my things weighed, paid, and later was informed that my documents were held up in the Kota Bahru office because he 'UNDERCHARGED' me!!!

I had to go back to the shop to pay him the remainder money, made him promise me that it will be a smooth delivery this time, only to find out later I couldn't track my package!!!!!!!

They too couldn't track it and after many calls, found out they were stuck at the customs because the value of the package was not declared!!! I had to make the calls to them, get it cleared before they could send the package to the immigration office!!!!!!

I tell you, I lost soooooooooo much hair during that period of time.. Was worried dead that if my original stuff went missing, the pain of compiling everything over again. Not only that, the Ah Pek had the guts to tell me if my stuff went missing they can only pay me a maximum of 100 bucks! No thank you, you can take your 100 bucks and clean your butt if you want! Just get my documents safely delivered!

A simple courier delivery that I paid for which should take 1 day, ended up taking 4 days.. At least the documents were safe and intact.

Stage Six - The wait.

Probably the scariest part - because you have no control of the outcome. We prayed, we did what we could, and all we could do was.. wait.

And of course, as explained in Stage Four, our application failed. Not entirely. But it helped us to realise that we were doing too many things on our own, planning our own ways, and not really seeking God for directions. So as we came to acceptance of the failed application, we learned to submit entirely to God and just take a step at a time.

Stage Seven - New Beginnings in New Zealand

After taking a few days to settle down back in Auckland, we made a trip to the Internal Affairs Department to book our slot for our marriage registration. The earliest we could get was 7th January 2014. Paid for the marriage fees (NZD 173.70), Alex signed the Statutory Declaration that both him and I were never married before (the process is so much simpler here in NZ than in Malaysia, I don't even have to produce evidence of my 'single status'), and we were set to be married on the appointed date. Came that date, with two witnesses, we exchanged our vows, signed the papers, and went home with the Copy of Particulars of our Marriage.

10 working days later, went back to the office, paid NZD26.50 for our Marriage Certificate printout.

Stage Eight - Calling up Immigration

Here in NZ, one is not advised to go to the office to wait for your turn to speak to an immigration officer. In fact, only those with appointments for VISA processing are given priority. So we either check for the needed answers on their website, or call up the lines. I did the latter, and after waiting for my turn, got to speak to a rather friendly officer. However, this officer did not think it would be wise for me to apply for the working VISA when I have only lived with Alex for less than a month, explaining that working VISAs are hard to come by nowadays and my chances are higher if I apply in March or April, which would give me 'more sufficient' period of living together... A lil saddened by the news, Alex and I continued to pray everyday about what we should do. My unpaid leave ends late march so do I stay? do I leave? do I get an extension? do I just try applying?

So many questions. And we were not getting the answers we badly needed. There were also a lot of frustration because as I see my husband hard at work, I could not even work legally to contribute in this family. Cost of living is really high in New Zealand, we were digging into our savings, my mum had to help me transfer some of my savings over so we could pay some big bills... Our faith was never that tested before.. We came into the point of total surrender, having no control of our circumstances, praying for breakthroughs, deliverance and declaring His promises and provision...

And when we reached a month of being together, i just felt this burden in my heart - to apply. I decided to talk to Alex about it, we prayed over it, and he told me to go ahead.

Thankfully, for this second application, I need not redo my medical certificates or police check because they last for 36 months in the system!!! Praise God! I started to see why it was necessary for me to go through the first application because that actually helped us to save a whole lot of money. I can't even imagine what I would have to pay if I got them done here in NZ. For one I knew I be paying more than NZD 300 (RM821.45) just for the medical certificate application - without X-RAY and blood test!

And I would not want to think of the trouble of obtaining the certificate of good conduct from here...

So this second application was a lot easier for me. Complete the forms, provide the timeline of our relationship, produce evidence stating my financial contribution, our joint back accounts and corresponding addresses, our marriage certs, my original passport, my husband's form of supporting my application... and off i went to the immigration office on Queen St...

and enjoyed a cup of flat white after that..

Stage Nine - The Second Wait

After 3 days of submission, I suddenly received a call from a Documentation Officer telling me that I had to submit a certified copy of my husband's passport, or better still, go to their office in Manukau Rd on that day with my husband and his passport. Alex was really sick that day but he accommodated me and we drove to that office. She took his passport, went in to certify it, not so sure what else she did and came back with his passport. She told me now my application is complete and that it would be processed within 25 working days, and I would just wait till I get contacted.

25 days????

(Looks at the calendar). Ain't look good.. Then again, let God arise..

Stage Ten - The Surprise.

I was suffering from severe menstrual cramp, and later an ear ache! It got to a point when I couldn't sleep, was having headache and the sharp pain from my swollen ear canal was too difficult for me...Of course I would love to see the doctor and get it checked, but without a residency status, I am not registered and it will cost a bomb...

I remembered I was showering, and thinking inside "I really need to see the doctor.. But I don't even have my passport with me! And if I have to return to Malaysia in March, how can I do so when I don't have my passport?".... Suddenly, Alex came asking me whether I missed out the postman the day before as a courier guy came with a package for me...

I was like.. "What is it?"

He checked and said, "Oh.. its your passport"

and I was already speechless. They returned me my passport after 7 days? And just when I was thinking about it????

I got dried up and quickly tore open the package... found our marriage cert FOLDED :'( , a receipt of the payment, and my passport.

When I opened up my passport....
I saw...

I. Was. In. Disbelief.

I was jumping around. Squealing.

My heart was resounding with joy and praise. God is good! He is so so good!

It was impossible in our mind to even receive news about our application before March.

I was waiting to be contacted by an officer like my first attempt.

And if I listened to the first officer instead of the prompting in my heart, I would not even apply before March!

And instead of 25 days.. It took only SEVEN days... and this came right to our doorstep!

And they gave us a 90 dollar discount from our 360 dollars payment because this is a second application (the first officer i talked to in NZ told me I wasn't eligible because the first VISA was a holiday VISA)!

Isaiah 55:8-9

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Truly, His ways are better than ours, and beyond our understanding and expectations. And when we let God be God, we see real wonders.

Now that I am finally eligible to even apply for jobs here in New Zealand, I plan to do just so... and keeping God first in every single application.

I have seen so much of His provision, in His own time (which is always the best time) and in His remarkable ways.

Still, we have no idea what comes our way - whether I will even get a job in this competitive job market, but we will continue to TRUST in Him, PRAISE Him always, and DECLARE that God is GOOD.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

My TOP 10 Most Memorable Moments of Our Wedding :)

Prior to this I actually composed an essay - yup, an essay of the real drama that happened behind the scenes of our wedding with my reflective thoughts. The last i checked, it was 6 pages long (on Word doc), 2467 words! lol. Then i realised unlike Wordpress where i could privatise some of my posts, i was unable to do so with blogger, so i ended up saving that essay in my draft folder, and emailed the pdf version to my parents and husband hahahahaha... Coz it was very very detailed, overflowing with my real thoughts, fear and gratitude okay.. and those 3 are my most important readers.

Once again i would like to apologise to many of our friends and even extended family for being unable to extend our invitations to all. We have our reasons, and it was a really small and intimate affair. We do hope that all of you will continue to watch over us, cheer us on when we fall, and give us your blessings~~

If I can put a description to my wedding day on 13.12.13, it will be - "His ways are always higher, a taste of God's faithfulness."

Forget about the normal bridezilla moments we see too often on chick flicks, what we went through, the amazing way God works, still made me gasped in disbelief and filled with joy.

At the end of the day, it was a beautiful ceremony, a wonderful celebration, with those who matter to us :)

So, here are my top TEN moments during the big day~

(in no particular order lol)

When my mum and grandma helped me with my wedding gown.

I actually gained weight from my Taiwan trip and was very worried about fitting into my wedding gown. Thank God for my mum and grandma who helped with the difficult dress, getting me sorted before freshening up themselves. I felt a 'moment', just having my mum carefully tying the strings for me. While I was also multi-tasking with other coordination, my heart was just filled with gratitude and emotions..


This girl flew in from Singapore, had to wait in the mall for a bit before i could get back to the hotel and arranged for her to freshen up in my parents' room.

Suddenly she came running into our bridal room, hugged me tight and started crying. Made me all mushy mushy and teary.. Love ya babe!


When the girls came all dolled up and i saw real genuine happiness that they had for me :')
The photographer asked us to act like we were talking and laughing, so we started shouting or yelling or talk random stuff in very loud noise hahahaha..

dang. I was the one laughing too hard. lol
Back to control 'ayu'.

The walk in.

Dad and I were talking in great depth and praying that we forgot to cover my face with the veil! lol.. Everything still felt pretty surreal to me at that point.

The exchange of vows and the rings covenant.

I was choking when i said mine. So overwhelmed with emotions.
Witnessed by men and God, we became one.

The very rowdy and loud tea ceremony - noises made by my very excited uncles and aunts lol


I prepared a special dedication for my parents, aimed to make them cry coz they said they wouldn't earlier. It was a song performance of 'You Raise Me Up' with a video slideshow to go with... Ended up I was sobbing, and found it difficult to sing some parts, and they of course were a bunch of mess lol

and daddy came out to hug me :')

Our father-daughter dance.

You know there will always be technical difficulties in important events? Ours did not escape the curse. But still, we had fun (despite several awkward pauses due to the broken music lol)

later joined by our family members

The HORLIAO speech from my dad

I think all of us were highly entertained and impressed by his impromptu speech!


At the end of the day,
No one really cares about the invitations, the colour of the napkins, the flowers etc. The people is what makes a real celebration of worth. The people who came with hearts of joy, to celebrate with us. And to all these people, we love you, and we thank you.

To our God,
once again we tasted your faithfulness and we want to glorify your name.

To my parents,
you guys are my heroes. Nuff said.

To my brothers (Joel, Joshua and Ivan),
you guys are the best. Thanks for all the behind the scenes support!

To my extended family and in laws,
your presence was very very much appreciated and thanks so much for your blessing and love gifts.

To all my friends,
i can never thank you guys enough for making my day a special one.

To my husband,
thanks for enduring everything with me, for protecting me, for encouraging me, for teaching me, for saying your vows with clarity and without any hesitation, for looking at me lovingly, for taking this great journey with me...

ps. <message for my 'facebook friends'>  for more pictures, go to my facebook :)