sass & bide
One x One Teaspoon
Bec and Bridge
Light coats, balloon sleeve tops and long skirts, these are clothing that could take you from work to a rendezvous with friends on a cool evening.
An insight on how Psychology graduates and professionals are so good at “reading” others, if that’s what you want to call it.
One of the most common questions I get after I tell strangers/relatives/new colleagues what I majored in is this: “Can you read my mind?” The short answer is no because frankly, no one can read someone else’s mind. Psychology is a scientific discipline that explores human behaviors and experiences. The goal is to understand what motivates humans to produce certain behaviors and apply findings from research in sectors such as health, education, business and commerce so that positive impacts can be created.
At the University of Melbourne, first year students are required to take the Mind, Brain & Behavior classes before they can enroll into seemingly more interesting subjects such as The Unconscious Mind and Trends in Personality and Social Psychology Now that I think about it, I did truly enjoy my university days as a Psychology major, but more so during my second and third year. First year subjects were interesting but they’re all too general for my liking. Furthermore, I’ve learnt most of it during my time as an International Baccalaureate (IB) student at ISKL.
In my second year, I was required to complete 4 compulsory subjects over two semesters, they are Biological Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Cognitive Psychology and Personality and Social Psychology. Out of those 4, my favorites were developmental psychology and personality and social psychology. I get to explore how neuropsychological, emotional, personality and cultural factors affect developmental functioning from conception and infancy. One of the biggest takeaways is although genetics play a role in shaping a child, it’s the environment and the people surrounding it that determines how he or she will turn out in the future (I won’t deny that other factors such as policies and politics exert influence as well). Social psychology on the other hand, opens up a whole new world about human individuality and relatedness. The formation of the sense of self, how humans form relationships and how those can influence our behaviors are all too fascinating for me to pass up. I learned so much about myself and how groups and societies work, which in my opinion, is useful for self-improvement, negotiation (to fight for what’s legally and morally right) and building genuine relationships.
Psychology majors in their final year are required take two capstone subjects: Research Methods for Human Inquiry and Psychological Science: Theory & Practice. The former trains and improves our skills in research design, implementation and evaluation, report writing, just to name a few. The latter, on the other hand, focuses more on the application and ethical side of psychological research and practices. Despite having to take compulsory subjects, we were allowed to pick elective subjects that falls under the four broad fields I mentioned before. The obvious choice for me would be to pick something related to developmental and social psychology, right? Not really. My interest in developmental and social psychology was still there but I was willing to try something different. I had a tough time narrowing down the list but in the end I picked Applications in Psychology and Perception, Memory and Cognition. I thought it would be good to understand how psychology can be applied in the real world (and think about what I want to do career wise) and since I’m fascinated with visual illusions, memory and decision making, why not learn how they work and the factors that could affect them?
Most Psychology majors pursue their education further by applying for honors (fourth year), Masters and even PhD so that they could embark on a professional career path. Over the course of 6 years or more, they look into the topic of their choice in more depth, designing and carrying out experiments to help explain specific human behaviors and what we could do to minimize the negative impacts and leverage what we already have and know. This inevitably nurtures professionals who have exceptional attention to details, knowledge in body language and understanding towards factors that could contribute to a person’s decisions (good/bad). That is how they “read” criminals and help victims of crime/disaster/war. Their ability to do it so well comes from years of observation, hard work and practice.
But I don’t blame others for asking that question. The perception that certain people have psychic abilities or can somehow “read” other people’s minds is created and perpetuated by the media. How we perceive the world and how we react to immigrants and foreigners are all shaped through the TV, newspapers and now, social media. Next time you meet a Psychology graduate or a qualified psychologist, leave the “can you read my mind?” question in the back of your mind. Instead, ask them what are some of the most fascinating things they’ve learned or discovered. Because who knows? You might spend your waiting time exchanging ideas about human behaviors, righting misconceptions and expanding your knowledge in Psychology.
Isn’t that better than mindlessly scrolling through social media?
My friends call me “the girl who loves jewelry”. I still do.
I used to rummage my mother’s jewel box whenever we have special events to attend or occasions to celebrate.
At one point, I went through a stacking phase. The more the better. Then I experimented with wearing less. More dainty jewelry.
Now I’m on the lookout for something distinct.
Ziam Choker $26
My friends call me “the girl who loves jewelry”. I still do.
What are you known for?
Check out Baulblebar here.
For those of you who celebrate Chinese New Year, Happy CNY!
What I’ve been up to since moving back from Melbourne.
Every year, my family and I would visit Sin Sze Si Ya temple to ask for blessings. We tend to do this before Chinese New Year or when my brother comes back to visit. In the past my brother and I would come by more frequently to pray to 文昌王 (Wenchang Wang), the god of culture and literature in Taoism, before we sit for our final examinations. 19 years and this place hasn’t changed a bit!
I turned 26 in January (featured photo) and celebrated with some of my closest friends (I’ve known them since high school!) and, of course, my family. We relished some Mexican food, warm delicious scones, hearty pasta and cakes!
Although I miss my second home (Melbourne), coming back to Kuala Lumpur has its perks. I’ve been going around town eating foods that I miss: yong tau foo (a Hakka Chinese cuisine consisting primarily of tofu filled with ground meat mixture or fish paste), rice noodle roll (a Cantonese dish from southern China including Hong Kong, commonly served either as a snack, small meal or as a variety of dim sum), apam balik/ ban-jian-kue 曼煎糕 (a type of griddle pancake), nasi briyani and more. There are good places to eat in Melbourne, but the dishes/snacks there just aren’t authentic enough. Plus, it’s far more expensive to indulge oversea than when I’m at home.
I stumbled across an old watercolor paint set when I was packing at my old house and it sparked a huge desire in me to paint again. I think the last time I painted something was about 12 years ago. It took me two hours to paint the above, but I liked the process. I didn’t think about anything else except what colors to use and what patterns I should draw next. I was present and relaxed; perfect for when I need some alone time or when I’m stressed out.
Anyway, I had a crazy thought after I taped this one up. I was thinking of creating enough paintings to fill my entire bathroom door…I might just do that.
I grew up in Kuala Lumpur but I never visit the museums, galleries and other attraction sites. During my primary and secondary school days, I’ve been to the National Museum, Cameron Highlands…and that was about it. I would add National Zoo to the list but the 8 year old me couldn’t make it because I was down with fever the day before the trip. I was very very disappointed.
I made it my mission to visit places I’ve never been to in Malaysia. Whether it’s a market, an eatery, an exhibition, a suburb, anything! So far, I’m doing alright. Here’s to more adventures!
Photos were taken using Xiaomi Redmi 3, Fujifilm X-A1 and Kuji Cam app. Some were edited using Photoshop CC.
Wrote a short one on a Sunday afternoon. I hope you like it!
Here we go again, I thought. Father came home from work using an Uber and we could hear him complaining about the driver’s music, the fee being too expensive, and believe it or not, the traffic. As if the driver has control over that. How embarrassing to have our next door neighbours hear that.
Next came a series of familiar sounds and behaviours: swear words came out in bursts from his thin mouth, the slamming of the front door and then the shoe cupboard. As Father walked by the living room to get to the stairs, he yelled: “BEHAVE YOURSELF KIDS!!” Robbie and Tanya jumped in their seats and stopped playing. Their eyes wide and their arms hung in mid-air as if moving them would cause Father to get angrier. Then he turned to me and said, “Go set up dinner for me.” I put my book down and without expression, moved to the kitchen to get Father his dinner. When he didn’t get a greeting from me, Father let out more swear words, complained about my manners and stormed upstairs.
A few moments later, he was seated at the dining table. Noticing that there was only food for him, he turned his head to the side and said: “You three ate dinner without me?” I let out a quiet sigh and said: “Yes, it’s quite late now and we were all hungry. The kids will be sleeping soon so it’s better for them to eat first.” Father scowled and turned to his dinner, knocking his cutlery on the glass bowls as loudly as he could, all in an attempt to show his displeasure.
The sounds were getting unbearable and I couldn’t concentrate on my reading. Robbie and Tanya were hardly playing as well; mainly because they’re afraid that they might upset Father. Poor them…so scared of someone who acts like a kid. I glanced at the clock and said: “Time for bed little ones. Come on, let’s go.” The kids immediately jumped off the sofa, relieved to get as far away from Father as they possibly could. I put down my book, stood up and ushered the kids upstairs. Once in their room, I could see Robbie and Tanya relax as they get ready for bed. “Stop invading my space!” Robbie said, pushing Tanya aside as he stood in front of the bathroom mirror to brush his teeth. Tanya rolled her eyes and muttered: “Baby”.
The kids bantered for little while, changed into their night clothes and jumped into their respective beds. I read them two stories and announced that they should sleep. As I turned to leave, Robbie pulled the edge of my robe and said: “But Aria, I’m not tired yet!” Tanya sat up on her bed and nodded, her wavy brunette hair bounced with the movement of her head. “Alright,” I leaned over Robbie’s bed and pulled open the curtains. “Let’s see if we could identify some stars, hmm?” Tanya looked outside for a bit and lay down. “Don’t feel like stars today.” I pondered for a moment, smiled and said: “Wait for me, I won’t be long.”
I tip-toed into my room and unplugged the vintage turntable Father got me for my birthday a few years ago. As I made my way back to the kids’ room, I could hear the TV loud and clear. Good. Father won’t hear us. I went back to my room and flipped through my record collection, picked The Beach Boys and sprinted back to Robbie and Tanya’s room as quietly as I could. Soon we were dancing to Surfin’ USA. We bobbed our heads, swayed our bodies from side to side, stifled our giggles and bounced on our toes so that Father wouldn’t hear us.
Meanwhile, the children of Mr. and Mrs. Page were watching the Jeromes dancing from their bedroom window across the street.
“Eaton! Shut the curtains! They might see you!” Eaton gave his sister an irritated look and hissed: “You do it then.” Samantha nudged her brother to make space and situated herself in the center, where two curtains meet. “You just hold the edges of the curtains and make a small slit with your fingers. Like this. See?” Eaton nodded and kneeled behind Samantha to mirror her behaviour, his head hovering above his sister’s. “I wonder what song they’re dancing to”, whispered Eaton. “Maybe something from The Beatles? Look how happy they are!” Samantha stared at the Jeromes with envy. “Yes. They sure look like they’re having fun,” Eaton sighed. As if on cue, they both turned towards their bedroom door and listened. The sounds of anger, jealousy and bitterness seemed to get louder.
I get prompts from this site whenever I feel like doing creative writing. Check it out if you don’t know where to start! 🙂 Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!
Learn how to dress an oval body shape (think Seth Rogen) and find shirts that fit your frame.
Happy Wednesday everyone! I hope your week is going well. I started writing down highlights-of-the-day and things I’m grateful for at the beginning of 2017 and I have to say, the process is quite enjoyable and relaxing. I always feel satisfied and full after that. Some of the things I’m grateful for include:
If your goal is to learn to dress better, turn to the internet! It doesn’t matter which fashion or styling site you pick, just click on one and learn from it [Give fashion blogs a read because you might come across helpful tips that popular fashion sites miss]. Do take it one step at a time because with so much information at our fingertips, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Treat this as an opportunity to discover something new, surprising or different.
Last month, I created two summer look-books for women (I’m not weird, it’s summer in Australia and New Zealand!) who have hourglass and rectangular body shapes. I gave tips on how to create illusions to trick the eyes and flatter what the ladies already have. This post however, is for you gentlemen out there. If you have an oval body shape and you have no idea how to dress it, keep reading!
First things first, what classifies as an oval body shape? Grab a measuring tape and get someone to measure your shoulders, waist (the narrowest part of your mid section) and hips. Once that’s done, check if the middle measurement exceeds the other two. If it does, your body shape is oval. In order to balance out your frame, your goal is to dress in clothing that lengthens the torso and widens the shoulders, or at else divert attention away from the mid-section.
All products featured here are from an Australian brand called Trenery Their modern yet classic designs could be easily incorporated into everyone’s wardrobe. Plus, Trenery’s commitment to make every product sustainable is an effort worth supporting. Remember that fashion is not just about expressing your style, it’s also learning how to make your pieces work for a variety of occasions (don’t get into the habit of buying clothes for one occasion).
The first outfit (furthest left) is great for when you need to be slightly dressed up but still remain casual (i.e. dinner with a mentor or your partner’s parents). Since the bottom half of the outfit will be quite plain, I chose a grey blue printed top (1) to add interest. Some people prefer to wear a plain top so that the focus won’t be on the top half of their body. But in my opinion, as long as the print is not located around the midsection, it’s completely fine. When you’re getting a top, make sure the shoulders fit well. If the seams are sitting below your shoulders, don’t get it because you’ll look like you have small or slopping shoulders. The fabric of your top should hang over your tummy, not hugging it. You don’t want to bring attention to your midsection!
A dark stretchable chino (3) works best for men with an oval body shape because it’ll be forgiving on the tummy and it elongates the legs. Chukka boots also have the ability to “lengthen” the legs because of the high top. If your upper body is shorter than your lower half, you might want to stay away from high top boots as they will further lengthen the legs, making you look out of proportion. For those of you blessed with a long torso and short legs, dark colored high tops are your best friend [This effect works best if you’re wearing dark colored pants and vice versa].
Things can get tricky when you’re shopping for tops. Sometimes you’ll find that the shoulders fit but the tummy area is a bit tight, other times it’s the opposite. Shopping for clothes that fit you is challenging and time consuming. So when you have time (or when you’re girlfriend is shopping), visit stores and try on some clothes so that when you need anything in the future, you’ll know where to go.
The second outfit is for those who work from home or in the creative industry. Dressing up at home “tricks” your mind into thinking you have important things to attend to, which puts you in a productive state of mind. During the summer, choose fabrics that keep you cool, like this linen collar shirt (3). Top off the look with a dark colored jean (1) and a pair of leather sneakers (5) for ultimate comfort. Another thing to take note of is the length your top. Make sure it’s not too long or you’ll look slouchy. This outfit maybe too much for some, but that means you don’t have to change your top when you need to attend a virtual meeting or run last minute errands!
3. Linen End on End Band Collar Shirt $129 (sorry about the numbering, didn’t realize that until now.)
The final outfit is super casual but it’s not for everyone, here’s why. Fashion magazines, advise sites and blogs often stress that those with oval body shape should wear clothing with vertical lines. They’ll create the illusion of a long upper or lower body, hence minimizing the roundness and shortness of the overall frame. There’s logic to that but this particular t-shirt works because (a.) people will look at bright colors first [this diverts focus from the middle section] and (b.) the horizontal line near the shoulders creates a widening effect [which is further accentuated by the lines extending to the sleeves]. When paired with a forest green twill jean (1), we’ve “manipulated” the shape of the body from oval to inverted triangle. Don a pair of black leather sneakers and you’ll have an outfit fit for day trips, date or bar hopping.
I hope you find these tips helpful! I do have one more look-book lined up so watch this space. Do let me know in the comment section if you have any questions. Until then, enjoy the rest of the day and stay safe. 🙂
Do you have a tomboy/rectangular body shape but you never know how to style it? Read on to find out as I share a few outfit ideas and styling tricks with you.
Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope the first three weeks of January was relaxing/exciting/eye-opening for you. I still have a lot to deal with (mainly with cleaning out my physical and digital space) but I’m enjoying driving again, catching up with friends and conquering my addiction with YouTube (Are you guilty of this too?).
I’m learning to be flexible with my schedule. I used to get irritated if I miss one or two to-dos but saying yes to spontaneous activities doesn’t hurt, especially when it’s with my family. That said, my productivity level has been dipping and a recent episode of food poisoning made it worst. Nevertheless, I’m excited to get back on track and what better way to start things off with a “how to style” post?
Last week I created three trendy summer looks for women with an hourglass figure and gave tips on how to accentuate certain body parts. This time, I’d like to focus on those who have a tomboy or a rectangular figure. Women with a rectangular body shape would have similar measurements on the shoulders and hip. They’re also usually smaller in the bust department.
If you’re thinking, is it even possible to create shape on a shapeless figure? The answer is absolutely and the trick is learning how to play with lines and patterns as well as understanding which designs suit your body frame. The outfit above is great for someone with a tomboy figure for a number of reasons. First, the stripes on the dress (1.) run at different angles. Instead of uniform horizontal lines, which creates a widening illusion, this dress conjures an hourglass shape. The flared out sleeves on the top half creates the illusion of a wider upper body. The double pointed darts cinches in at the waist while the (slight) A-line skirt creates a wider lower body. The result? An hourglass-looking figure!
Although this look-book is for women 160 cm and above, there’s no harm trying to look taller. A pair of wedge with a t-bar in the center (like the one shown above) can help elongate the legs and make you look a few inches taller. Finish this casual yet classic look with a pair of pinkish acetate earrings and a leather clutch that carries not only your makeup and credit card but also your mobile phone.
Want something more polished? This white linen twill pant (2.) is what you need. In the summer, you want to wear something that keeps you cool and doesn’t stick to your skin. Linen’s weave, fiber and its “stiffness” do just that, allowing you to experience optimal comfort. Use the belt to create a smaller waistline and lightly tuck the flowy top (1.) into the pant and voila! If you have a wide set of shoulders, choose v neck tops as they guide the eyes downward instead of across. On a side note, silk is also great for summer since it’s known for its impressive moisture wicking properties. But if you tend to sweat a lot it’s best to avoid wearing silk. Don a pair of pale blue leather loafers (3.) for added interest and sling a reasonably sized leather bag (4.) for an understated elegant look. This combination is great for weekend meetings, shopping or brunch. Have an evening event to attend? Switch out the loafers and sling bag for a pair of red stilettos and baby pink knot bow clutch.
For the third outfit, I went for something more girly and casual. A silk tank top (1.) and a cotton pleated skirt (3.) not only keep off the heat but they’re functional enough to run errands in. The thin straps of the silk tank give the impression of wider shoulders while the pleated A-line skirt defines the waist even more. You can achieve an hourglass figure with this look but if the flair of the skirt is too much or if the fabric is too stiff, you’ll end up with a pear shaped figure instead (since your shoulders will now be smaller than the bottom half of your body). Look for A-line skirts that are not too stiff and when you try it on the fabric should fall nicely from your hips down to your knees. Since the outfit is quite plain, I chose a sling bag with stripes and hints of tan. Sling bags are great when you need both hands to run errands. It also minimizes the chances of it slipping off your shoulder so that’s one less thing to worry about. Finalement, always be mindful to protect yourself from the harmful UV rays and be generous with your sunscreen. Wear a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes and finish the look with Trenery’s leather Agatha flats for a relaxed yet sophisticated look.
I hope you feel inspired and that the styling tips will guide you during your next shopping session. Feel free to ask any style related questions if you have them. Also, would you like to see a look book for petite and plus sized women? Let me know!