It’s not always about us.

Truth is, we do not shop only within our own store! Here’s one of my recent Swedish obsession: Superfront.

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From handles, legs, to your cabinet finishing, Superfront designs and tailors super upgrades for your already existing IKEA furniture (namely BESTÅ sideboards to Metod or Faktum kitchens). This allows you to customise boldly, at the same time, giving your old furniture a new lease on life.

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Fronts all come with a wide variety of colors and patterns. (Image via Pinterest)

And we’re not finished with oggling its perfection and brilliance.

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Designer shoes for your furniture? YES PLEASE. (Screenshot via www.superfront.com)

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This marks the end of ugly-handles era. (Screenshot via www.superfront.com)

Color changes the style and mood of your interior setting. (Images via Pinterest.)

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The sideboard of our dreams. (Image via Pinterest)

So what are we waiting for? Superfront ships internationally. 🙂

10 Things NOT To Do For The Lunar New Year

Dong dong dong chiang! Well, it’s Lunar New Year (or Chinese New Year a.k.a. CNY), where people regurgitate all the standard greeting phrases to the 1/365 (those that you meet 1 day in a year) relatives. Some of you may still be receiving red packets, some of you will be giving them away for the first time, and some of you may be M.I.A. for certain reasons we don’t want to know about. There are many practices we should be aware of during CNY, such as not wearing black, not doing any sweeping, amongst other stuff. Regardless of your status, age and gender, let’s look at some things you definitely should NOT do during the festive period (or ever).

  1. Hide in the toilet and check how much is in your red packet.

    If you get caught, you’ll be blackmarked for the next few CNYs.

  2. Ask questions like “When are you getting married/having a child/having a second child etc”.

    Well, it IS a personal question, isn’t it? Let’s move on.

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  3.  Over-indulge in one particular snack while visiting.

    I know that Bee Cheng Hiang bak-kwa was recently voted the best in Singapore, but come on – play nice and let all your other relatives and friends have a bite, too. Too much of a good thing usually isn’t very good for you.

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  4. Trying to avoid giving red packets.

    Times are bad. But like Christmas, it’s the spirit of giving that we’re sorely missing now.

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  5. Asking for a red packet back when you realised you’ve given the wrong one.

    “Let it go, let it go…” Just make sure you don’t repeat the mistake.

  6. Transform into the God of Gamblers during the CNY period.

    It’s a big mistake trying to win all your friends’ red packet money… or worse, losing all of your own to them.

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  7. Be a show-off.

    It’s CNY, not X-Factor or Singapore Idol.

  8. Staying in your Batcave when you have visitors.

    Multiplayer games cannot be paused, so why not give that game a break, go out, and socialise instead?

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  9. Letting noise levels go out of hand (especially late at night).

    It may be festive season, but please know that you have neighbours and everyone’s tolerance to noise is different.

  10. Last, but not least, don’t drink and drive.

    Self-explanatory. Keep safe, be responsible and enjoy your CNY!

We will also take this opportunity to update everyone on our operational hours during the Lunar New Year period:

Lunar New Year Eve (Sunday): 12pm-5pm
Lunar New Year Day 1-2 (Monday & Tuesday): Closed
Lunar New Year Day 3 onwards (Wednesday onwards): 12pm-8pm

Mondays Off wishes everyone a happy Lunar New Year!

Twenty Sixteen

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Visually, time seems to pass even faster. (Pic via Marjolein Delhaas.)

Two days more before 2016 comes around, and a lot of us will make that error of writing 2015 as the year, or even worse, tearing the wrong year on your parking coupon.

With the new year comes great resolutions, and it is always jarring to look at your own resolutions set for the current year, and realised that you did absolutely NOTHING whatsoever to achievement. Oh, the horror.

To be entirely honest, I did manage to achieve 1 out of 3 resolutions set for 2015, which is to exercise at least once a week. That is, if exercise means exerting strength and perspiration, I’m pretty sure that’s more than once a week.

In 2016, my resolution is to write a book and get it published. I figured that since I know absolutely nothing about writing and publishing a book, one resolution should suffice.

Why write a book?

Some people spend most of their lives figuring what they are good at, and I happen to be one of them. I spent the good part of my student life and early career trying to fit into social circles, and not having a clue about knowing my strengths and putting it to good use. For the past 5 years, I began to question myself: What was I good at?

I’ve had family and friends who occasionally enjoy some of the stuff I’ve written, whether it is a short musing on Facebook, some of the formal email replies that I helped them with, or even the posts from this blog. They never failed to let me know that I had decent ability to write, and my usual riposte was “never thought about it”, followed by a nonchalant shrug.

Perhaps it’s time for me to act on it now after giving it some serious consideration.

How’s your 2016 going to be like?

Cheers,
J

Now Is The Best Time For New Beginnings

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When we started Mondays Off in early 2014, we knew it wasn’t going to be a walk in the park. We had great expectations for 2015, buoyed by the tremendous encouragement from friends and family, and were better prepared for what the journey had in store for us. But life always throws you curveballs when you least expect it. This year couldn’t have been more challenging for us. Every pitfall, every mishap, every mistake severely tested our mettle and challenged our being here.

Looking back at all the ups and down, we were very pleased that we found strength and fortitude to press on, doing what we love and striving to be even better in the next term.

We would like to usher in 2016 with the spirit and passion that burns within us, remembering the relentless support from our loyal customers, friends, family and the media. Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

There’s no need to wait for the New Year. We begin now.

Love,

Leyna & Joel

Fear Is An Illusion

Going for a holiday is usually about these few things:

  1. A good reason to get away from work.
  2. A good reason to explore new & exciting places.
  3. A good reason to shop & eat.
  4. All of the above.

My trip this year (and the only one), was to the sunny island of Boracay. I’ve heard and seen much about it, but I’ve always wanted to see those pristine beaches with my own eyes. They say seeing is believing. So I went, and I saw. Before I arrived, of course, my selection was (4).

Never did I expect it would be a holiday that gave me so much more. I learnt so much – about myself and what I could do.

There’s a place that everyone needs to visit when they visit Boracay: Ariel’s Point. Located about 40 minutes via boat, away from the main island, Ariel’s Point offers not only great scenery but also the thrill seeker’s perfect playground – cliff diving. Parasailing & banana boats are for kids.

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Ariel’s Point, Boracay – A view to die for.

I’ve always had a slight fear of heights (acrophobia) and water (aquaphobia). I guess most people don’t like heights to a certain degree, so that’s fine. My fear of water came from a near drowning incident at Bali when I tried to snorkel in the murky and strong waves that is more suited for surfing. For almost 2 years, I didn’t even go near the swimming pool (it’s stupid now that I think of it, because the depth was only 1.2m – all I needed to do was to stand up).

So what the hell was I doing at Ariel’s Point then? This place was the amalgamation of my two worst fears!

A: I was on HOLIDAY, and I needed to experience everything that a new place has to offer.

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There were varying heights to jump off from: 3m, 5m, 8m and the Mt. Midoriyama – 15m.

We were excited, and went straight to the 5m. (WHAT?????)

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Too excited, forgot to take off my top. A true facepalm situation.

As I lurched closer to the edge, I literally felt very small. I didn’t want to let go of the railing. Why did I put myself through this?

I never knew how I mustered the courage to take the leap of faith. All I remembered was I left earth, I fell through the air, and landed in the water blinding quick on my bum. There wasn’t even time to scream.

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The wife had guts.

After two jumps on the 5m, the 8m was pretty acceptable. But we were still apprehensive on tackling the 15m.

I realised that I was probably never coming back to this beautiful island any time soon, and it was now or never.

The fear was the same as the other heights, but somewhere in between the jump and landing, I experienced a very brief moment of freedom. Nothingness. Liberation. And this could only be possible if I had faced my fears, challenged myself to the seemingly impossible, and take the leap of faith. The only thing I had to overcome was myself. The fear of heights and water were only an illusion – one that my own mind persuaded me to believe that I must stay away from the risk and danger.

I felt real good after this experience. I felt that if I could overcome this mental block and obstacle, I could do anything. I truly gained so much more than “(4) All of the above”.

Sometime there is no point in overthinking. With a clenched fist and a few thumps to the chest, just do it. The more I hate doing it, the more I will do it. If it’s difficult, the more I should do it. And get better, and better, till I master what is something I thought I would not have done.

Try it. Do it. You’ll be surprised to find that it’s not that hard at all in the first place.

Cheers,
J

The True Spirit of Christmas

Buy a gift from the heart this year. (Pic via Pinterest)

Buy a gift from the heart this year. (Pic via Pinterest)

Alrighty folks, that time of the year is here again. The decorations are up, shopping promotions are everywhere, and kids work temporary jobs as gift wrap assistants.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it: Get a $10-$20 gift for the office Christmas gift exchange, buying useless things for someone you’ll probably don’t really care too much about.

Wait a minute, hold on to your horses.

Is this what Christmas is really all about?

I’m not saying gift exchanges are bad. I’m not saying Christmas and receiving gifts are bad. But how many of you out there are so sick and tired of having to buy a gift just because you need to? That’s no Christmas. That’s more like receiving a fine for an offence you didn’t commit.

I somehow get the sense that people are just getting weary with Christmas; year after year of splitting headaches, thinking of gift ideas after spending so much time thinking of where and what to eat daily. It is a big headache.

This year, don’t be the Grinch.

Just do this little exercise: think about the people closest to your heart.

Where are they now? What are they doing? Could they have forgotten about the good times because they are so caught up with work? Is there someone you would like to show appreciation to? Write down the names of all these special folks.

Now, go out there and buy something meaningful for them. Something that the both of you will immediately smile at when they unwrap the present. Something that signifies that special bond that you share with that person. It doesn’t have to be expensive – in fact, it could be hand made.

It also doesn’t matter if they forgot or if you don’t receive a gift back. That’s the spirit of Christmas – it’s all about giving to those important people around you; a reminder that they mean so much to you! This is the exact feeling that has been lost over the year on year commercialisation of this special day!

I once bought a Rubik’s Cube for a gift exchange many years back. Now thinking back, I wouldn’t mind one for myself. I always wanted to learn how to solve a Rubik’s Cube and unlock all of its mathematical mysteries. 🙂

That's a nice ornament! (Pic via Imgur)

That’s a nice ornament! (Pic via Imgur)

Mondays Off will be reopening soon (updates on our Facebook page), and do swing by then if you still haven’t got that gift for the wonderful people in your life.

Cheers and Merry Christmas!
J

“You’ll Never Win Anything With Kids”

To football fanatics, this infamous quote would be all too familiar. The notion that organisations will never find success with pimply adolescents had backfired spectacularly on Alan Hansen, as David Beckham and co. proved that youthful energy and exuberance can be a winning formula.

As we approach our 2nd Christmas (and soon our 2nd anniversary) at Mondays Off, I took some time to look back at all the young guns that toiled tirelessly, shared our pains and frustrations, along with crazy fun and laughter. I cannot emphasize how important they were – it surely would have been much tougher without their help.

I always believed that young people were raw gems. Some needed more time to show their true potential, some just grind themselves to perfection. The fact of the matter is, we cannot discount their importance – they are the future after all. Great ideas always came about when we were kids.

Somehow the passage of time and life may shroud our thinking, creativity, alertness, ability to make good and quick decisions, and find ourselves stuck in a rut at work. In my opinion, the young ones don’t have this problem. They see things in simplicity, obstacles as exciting challenges, going forward to uncharted territories to seek experiences. They dare to try and they dare to fail. I find working with them an immense pleasure, and a wonder to set my own mind thinking about how I view life, work and challenges. We were once like that – so what’s stopping our ability to think differently and creatively?

I see it as a balance of youthful thinking vs life experience. When life’s harsh realities hit, all that creative energy is evaporated; cast aside for immediate problem solving skills required to tackle the issue at hand. Our minds start to revert to conventional thinking, as risks start to compound and the ‘dare to fail’ attitude crudely changes to ‘cannot fail’. The trick is to maintain that fine balance between Mr. Youthful Maverick and Mr. Play-It-Safe-Because-I’ve-Seen-This Before, and this is difficult for most.

I wouldn't have a clue how Gene made this picture. Another little example on how youth wins.

I wouldn’t have a clue how Gene made this picture. Another little example on how youth wins.

I see it as a motivation to share my own life experiences to all the young staff that has been, or are with the Mondays Off family and hope it will be useful to them – while leveraging on their energy, learning their multitude of expressions, and boundless capacity to think simply. The challenge to find the balance is an never ending one.

To the young ones, thank you for showing us that life can be simple and that we can win with kids.

P.S. Brenda, Amanda, Gene, Yiwen, Sonya & eventually Shiryn, thank you for being a part of Mondays Off and sharing this exciting journey with L & myself. You all have made it so much more fun and worthwhile.

Cheers,
J