My name's Deb, how lovely to meet you! I'm so glad you stopped by...

In November 2008 I made my first sock monkey (yep, that's him alright)....and as they say...the rest is history...

In February 2009, Sock It To Me! was born and my life used to consist of Teza by day (Good afternoon, you're speaking to Chaos Control & Crayon Girl, how may i help?) and monkey business by night.

It was very exciting but I left my home and reality for a crazy journey of enlightenment around Asia. So, here I am soaking up the sights and sounds of sunny Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and working for CLEO, the coolest mag ever. Thanks again for stopping by, sit back, relax and Happy Reading!

xoxo Miss Deb

Thursday, January 28, 2010

An orange muffin day...

So people, I finished my 'test' article for CLEO and sent it off this morning, here's hoping it gets a gold star!

After the gym I decided it was time to break out some of the baking goodies I got for my birthday...

This is essentially what I'm like in the kitchen. :)

Anyhoo, I was lucky enough to get 3 mixing bowls in the end, a spatula, a measuring cup, an oven mit and all sorts of other non-baking items. So being unemployed and all, I didn't exactly want to make an extravagant 3 tier cake or anything so like anybody who's still plagued with student economics I first had a look at what I had lurking in the fridge. Then I had a look online and found this awesome basic muffin recipe. Here it is with my changes:


2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
Zest of 3 oranges
1 cup milk (I used the juice from the oranges and added milk to make it up to 1 cup)
1/4 cup vegetable oil


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C).
Stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar (and grate in orange zest, as soon as you hit the white bit of the skin move on to a new spot ok? Or else they'll be bitter) in a large bowl.

Make a well in the center. In a small bowl or 2 cup measuring cup, beat egg with a fork. Stir in milk and oil. Pour all at once into the well in the flour mixture.

Mix quickly and lightly with a fork until moistened, but do not beat. (As you know, the key to a good fluffy soft muffin is minimal stirring) The batter will be lumpy.

Pour the batter into paper lined muffin pan cups. (If you have a non-stick muffin tin you don't have to bother with the muffin cups and always half fill or else you'll encounter the overflowing muffin effect)

Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden.

Other Variations: Blueberry Muffins: Add 1 cup fresh blueberries. Raisin Muffins: Add 1 cup finely chopped raisins. Date Muffins: Add 1 cup finely chopped dates. Cheese Muffins: Fold in 1 cup grated sharp yellow cheese. Bacon Muffins: Fold 1/4 cup crisp cooked bacon, broken into bits.

Now you should know that I have a citrus phobia, so cutting and juicing and zesting the orange was huge. I didn't think I was going to actually eat any but they smelled so good when I took them out of the oven. So I took a mouthful only to realize they tasted fabulous too. It's not too sweet so if you have a sweet tooth you might want to dust it with a little icing sugar but I swear the more you chew the flavours and the sweetness come through. YUM!

Wanna see?

Mmmm...nom nom nom!

Miss Deb

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The life of leisure...

Hello puppies...how's it hanging?

Yes, jobhunting is well, going. I have a few things in the mix that I hope to hear back from this week. Meanwhile, in my spare time, I have been going to the gym, sewing sock monkeys, watching movies while stuffing monkeys and reading lots. I wanted to share a few books and a lovely movie I watched today.

There's a library at MANZA (Malaysian, Australian, New Zealand Association) House which I visited recently. If you don't know this already, I'm a huge fan of libraries and borrowing instead of buying books. I've yet to find a public library nearby to where we live. The great thing about the MANZA library is that most of the books were donated by expats traveling around like us, so I am pleased to report that it is a treasure trove.
I finished Backpack by Emily Barr which I think is a must read for people who've travelled around Asia. It is a bit of a thriller too so don't read it while you are traveling alone if you scare easily like me. I could really relate to her experiences, not the 'charlie' withdrawals but the misconception of some travel destinations in Asia. Her skewed view of her relationship with Tom tugged at my heart strings, do we all have to go through the same thing? I guess so...

Also, finished Lolly Winston's Sophie's Bakery for the Broken Hearted. Now that lady can write! It was an absolute pleasure to read...and extremely relatable and very funny. I highly recommend this one to anybody who loves books about falling over and finding yourself. It was a little like Eat, Pray, Love minus the zen wisdom. Looking forward to reading more stuff by her!

And lastly, I watched Julie and Julia this afternoon. A beautiful movie about learning to cook French cuisine and the cathartic nature of cooking. I loved it, Meryl Streep is adorable in it and Amy Adams wasn't too bad either, I can't say I'm usually a big fan of hers. Watch it, but if you're not convinced, think about this: Passion. Ambition. Butter. Do you have what it takes?

Our lovely friend Michelle's birthday bash is this evening. She doesn't know this yet but she's getting her very own sock monkey tonight. Yay! Happy Birthday, love!
Speaking of birthdays, yes, I know I still owe you a post on mine...I haven't forgotten, let's just say it's taken me a little while to recover. Tee hee hee!

Talk soon and I hope you're having a howdy-do-dee day!
Miss Deb

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Reveling in a good day...

Aaah, I liked today.

This morning I made myself go to the gym even though my brain came up with half a dozen reasons for why I shouldn't. I defeated that silly voice and plan on making it disappear altogether one day.

At lunch time, I was so anxious about the upcoming interview but it was impossible to let it get me down with the number of supportive messages flooding my Facebook page wishing me luck and sending me warm fuzzies.

This afternoon I headed to an interview an hour earlier fearing I'd get lost along the way. I didn't get lost but I had some time to relax and collect my thoughts beforehand. By the time, I stepped into the office I was as cool as a popsicle and the adrenalin in my body was starting to wear off a little so I didn't babble like a crazy person or go too far off topic. I think I made a good impression but more importantly, I feel like I was totally myself and not a shell of the person I think they want me to be. It's nice to feel real and for it to be okay.

When I stepped out of the elevator afterwards, I was greeted by a torrential storm. How was I going to flag a taxi without becoming a drowned rat? A taxi just happened to drive up to the front of the foyer, I asked if he was waiting for someone and he said yes. So I went back to staring at the rain from inside the building, willing it to stop so I could go home. 2 minutes later, the same taxi man came in to ask me where I was headed, I told him and he drove me there.

Isn't it awesome when some days feel easy? I think I'll try and look out for how easy things can be in the hopes that more days like this one come along.

What's something or someone that made your life a little easier/better today?

Miss Deb

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Back to my old tricks...

I love my mum...her sewing machine foot peddle died and came back to life, but not before she bought a spiffy spare machine as she had some sewing emergencies. So guess who inherited the NEW sewing machine...Oh yeah, baby...

And the result:

Miss Deb

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sweaty but happy!

Just got back from one of those...

I'm trying to get into a routine before working life comes in to trample on my strong, muscle-y plans. Wanted to share with you a few tunes that help keep me pumped...

1. Heaven - DJ Sammi

2. Silence - Delerium feat. Sarah McLachlan (Tiesto Remix)

3. O'Saya - Slumdog Millionaire

What's your favorite workout song? You know, the one that keeps you going for just seconds longer when you think you're really going to pass out on the threadmill this time..:)

Off to the showers,
Miss Deb

Saturday, January 16, 2010

How NOT to host an interview

I just got back from an interview this morning and realized within a matter of moments that it wasn't for me. Believe me, I'm all for giving people the benefit of the doubt but I really believe that company's need to know how to make the opportunity to work for them irresistable. I want to work for a company that is well presented, offers interesting opportunities and fuels my creativity. So, while I was sitting in the waiting room pondering my existence, I came up with a few thing employers shouldn't do if they want to find high quality employees and a maybe a few clues to look out for for the unsuspecting jobseeker.

1. Office space does not equal pig stye storage area:

Unless your dream job is to be a traveling salesman, I think it's safe to assume that you will be spending a lot of time in the office. In said work area, you will have to function tirelessly, fight off unwanted stress, channel creativity and create solutions. Unfortunately I believe it is beyond challenging if not virtually impossible to do so with perfectly functional rooms and corridors strewn with countless spare parts that can be likened to what computers would throw up, if they could. It doesn't give a very good first impression, on the contrary, makes one wonder if this is a sign of how the company does business - carelessly and disorganized.

2. Do not be late for the appointment:

It is common belief that this applies to both employer and potential employee however I've come to observe otherwise. Few companies keep to pre-scheduled appointments with potential employees. This is quite a shame as we all know that leading by example is the best way to lead. A lack in punctuality could mean the inability to to prioritize or juggle tasks effectively.

3. Do not answer your phone while interviewing me.

This is a huge No-no. It is simply common courtesy especially when a potential employee has been alloted a short period of your time, it is only fair that they receive your undivided attention. Failing to do so often results in people feeling unappreciated, worthless and therefore resentful.

4. Do not go for more than an hour.

An interview is meant to be an opportunity for both parties to meet, discuss the job on offer and figure out if the collaboration is meant to be. Discussing these details shouldn't take more than an hour as that leaves the chance to speak off topic wide open. A clearly structured meeting makes it possible to ascertain all the necessary information in the shortest period of time.

5. Do not ramble...

There is much information to be gained from an initial meeting. So, to make this easily digestible employers review CVs while chatting to applicants. In an ideal world, a similar CV-like document about the company would be given so that jobseekers can also understand or ask questions about the organization. It is important to remember that delving into an in-depth recount of the company's 10 year history is highly unnecessary. Clear, concise information is key.

6. Have some manners, please!

It is important to remain polite and courteous at all time. It isn't nice to read and snigger at a potential employee's CV in front of them, or look at their clothes and mumble something under your breath or inform them that they are not your first choice. The fact that you are taking the time to interview them surely means they possess some talent. Therefore, it is pointless to belittle or demean them when they are already anxious and wanting so much to impress you. Being gracious, humble and understanding is a skill for life.

7. Do not compromise my standards.

It is vital to be clear on the company's values and standards. Only when an employee knows of what is being asked of them can they excel and achieve. However, in the unlikely event that they uphold higher standards than the company, it is safe to assume that convincing them otherwise is unhelpful. Instead it should be viewed as an opportunity to utilize their abilities to raise the company's standards and obtain a competitive edge.

8. Sell the job to me.

This doesn't mean misrepresenting the job. On the contrary, it is speaking of the challenges while highlighting the rewards and opportunities. It is painting a picture of the possibilities. Telling of the countless long days with no breaks or overtime isn't a unique selling feature. However, if a company feels that due to previous experience or high turnover that this is absolutely necessary information to impart, it may be time to review the their priorities, values and work ethics. It is a known fact that companies that take care and care for the well-being of their employees get a happy and highly effective crew in return.

9. Do not burn bridges.

From the sea of people interviewed, there will only be one or two selected to join a company. However, every interviewed individual will take with them an idea of what the company represents. It is a small world out there, so make it a positive one. Word of mouth is a terribly powerful thing; amazingly helpful or thoroughly damaging. After all, six degrees of separation is all that stands between someone worthwhile and whether your company is worth dealing with.

10. Do what you say and say what you do.

This is a simple promise but a hard act to follow. If parameters are created, for instance, shortlisted candidates will be notified in two days, then it is essential that they are contacted within that time frame. Failing to do so, they should still be informed of the delay. It is the little things that make a company stand out in an ocean of faceless Capitalism.

Have I missed anything? Feel free to leave me a comment.

P/s Images taken from Google Images. :)

Miss Deb

Friday, January 15, 2010

25 things I want for my 25th birthday... (Part 2)

Good morning puppies!

Today's 5 potential present ideas for Miss Deb come from the awesome-mest online shop on the planet - fredflare.com

It is safe to say that I'd adore anything you choose from this website. So without further delay...

1. Hot shot! Camera ring

2. Rain parade mini umbrellas

3. This airmail pouch...

4. Gingham "I Heart You" dress - swoon!

5. And finally, everyone needs a bacon wallet!

More to come...
Miss Deb

Thursday, January 14, 2010

25 things I want for my 25th birthday... (Part 1)

10 sleeps to go, people! So, just in case any of you are feeling particularly generous, here are a few items that would do well as 25th birthday type pressies...

1. A wonderful Lomo:

2. This fabulous necklace inspired by Sophie from Mamma Mia and handmade by onelifejewellery

3. Some new togs would be nice, mine are sagging in all the wrong places! These 50s inspired ones would be perfect.

4. If possible, I'd like a big box of this...

The skill not the book...

5. This gorgeous tattoo as seen on my blog crush Bleubird Vintage:

6. A nice mixing bowl so I can stop marinating or combining things in my sauce pan and any other baking related items are much welcomed:

7. A sharp knife set so I can have sliced instead of mushed tomatoes in my sandwiches...

8. I'd like to finally know my purpose in life please...

9. I heart charm bracelets like this one from littleminds:

10. Nothing says love like stationery! Like this fabulous journal and cute note paper from Bust Boobtique

Tune in tomorrow folks, for more gift ideas!

Miss Deb

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Kick job-hunting blues...

You spoke to your ex-colleagues and they tell you that they're drowning in work. They would trade and arm and a leg to be in your shoes but why do you feel like a sack of potatoes anyway? So you've applied to a couple of places but you haven't heard back. There are a few that are taking a while to get back to you giving your imagination an excuse to create elaborate scenarios of how they must've already rejected you if they've taken this long. Here's what you've got to do. STOP THINKING. Easier said then done so here are 5 distractions to help you:

1. Change your state with music - queue your party-starter tune on your iPod and dance around the apartment. And I mean dance, like a child crazed with wonder, just focus on the beats or the lyrics, whatever does it for you to lift you out of your foul mood. Oh and resist the natural urge to put on something dark and ominous, and No, you don't want to plunge deeper into the depths of misery, if you did you wouldn't be reading this! x

2. Exercise - Yes, that can be a scary word but it can be anything as long as it gets you breathless. So brisk walk to the dairy, jump in the pool, sprint around the block. Take care to not hurt yourself in the process but the simple act of getting up to attempt any of the above will drive you. Momentum is key, you can't take one step without taking another then another then another...

3. Cook - As much as you think you are culinarily challenged I bid to differ. It's about starting small to gain more confidence before you attempt that lamb roast with homemade mint sauce and mustard vinaigrette roast vegetable salad. Don't hurry, you are in charge of the kitchen so take things slow. Sometimes it helps to chop everything up and have it ready before starting. Many people feel like they have to cook as they go so the stove is on and the garlic is turning black while they are trying to dice up the meat and they wonder why it spells out disaster. Just stay calm and cool and you'll do just fine. In many ways, this one's a double whammy - you're also helping save money while the cash flow is slow. Frozen homemade meals are awesome when the tummy is starved and the chef is unwilling.

4. Change the scenery, make the ordinary extraordinary - now it's time to get off your behind and make the simple tasks fun. If you have to look for jobs, consider taking your newspaper or laptop and internet down to the pool side. A little fresh air and Vitamin D never hurt anyone. If you have to clean the house, turn on some music and work it out while you do it. If you've got to do ironing, consider moving it to in front of the TV.

5. Me time - I don't care why you are unemployed at the moment. What i care about is that you are wasting time moping around. Your time will come when all the days merge from working non-stop and you've forgotten what it's like to eat a meal sitting down. So for now, enjoy this. Recharge. Don't feel guilty, this is useful downtime to work on YOU. Buy a magazine, read a book, go window-shopping, get a haircut. It's like someone pushed the pause button so you could catch up so don't waste it! Set yourself up for a huge win in the not too distant future!

Remember, you have to be in tip-top condition when that dream job of yours comes knocking. If you don't feel that way, you've got to act as if until it comes naturally. If you saw yourself in your jammies, watching day time television and eating cereal all day, would you hire you? I promise you'll forget all those negative job-hunting jitters once you've had a shower, put on something cute, and started living.

Miss Deb

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Writer's block...

"I used to get away with so much, now I can't get away." -Michelle Branch, Hotel Paper.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Bring it on 2010!

Still recovering from last night's festivities but I wanted to wish you a very Happy New Year. I promise an in-depth post on what we got up to as well as a recount of our recent trip to Malacca!

So my dear readers, yeeyah for 2010. I wish you a year full of good health, dreams becoming realities, self-belief and unfailing willpower!

Miss Deb
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