Jan 21
icon1 miche | icon2 Belle's Life, Family, Nature | icon4 01 21st, 2018| icon3No Comments »

Today was like any other Sunday. Went to church, ate delicious food at Chicken Salted, went back home and did our own stuff.

I practised piano after helping Bas try to catch a dragonfly (unsuccessful). I may actually finally finish one Synthesia piano tutorial on YouTube if I keep progressing at it…

Whilst practicing, Ezra and Yosef were outside at the ponds fishing.

Guess what?! They caught a fish!

Which led me to mourn over the failed attempts I had tried to fish. The fish probably like boys better. Or maybe I was too impatient and left 5 minutes after I had suffered a number of mosquito bites.


The first fish (yes, the ‘first’! I can’t believe their fortune!) they caught was too overwhelmed by the boys who probably was so excited at their first catch, while running back to the house, made the fishing line bop up and down, inflicting hell for the poor fish, therefore resulting in its death a few minutes after Kakak removed the hook from its tongue.

Its tongue. Imagine the pain. 

Anyway, Kakak gutted the fish (it was a female, poor thing, and had caviar too) and the boys ran back to the pond to fish once again.

Ergh. Pictures won’t upload.

Well, we won’t die. We spotted a biawak (or is it an iguana…no…biawak…or is it?) resting on a branch. Literally resting–its limbs (hands,paws,legs,arms?!) were dangling on both sides of the branch and it had droopy eyelids.

I don’t think it ever had a fear of falling over. Lucky animal.

Now I know where that big brute of a biawak whom Moon likes to chase hides when it’s not on the ground eating all our fish.

They caught another fish (Ikan Haruan) and Mom wanted to slaughter it but it was so thin. Couldn’t even make one person full.

So I let it ‘free’ in fish tank No.3, where it can finally get rid of all the creepy tadpoles that infests that place!


I’m not too sure if Ikan Haruan likes tadpoles for meals.

I nearly forgot to mention an important thing that happened today. When my family and I were in the car heading to Chicken Salted in Taman Merdeka (check it out. They sell the most delicious food in the world. Very very cheap. They don’t sell salted chicken though), Daddy broke “news” to us.

“I’ve already signed you, Belle, and Clarissa, up for the Pitas mission trip.” Daddy said, with authority.

Whenever Daddy says anything with authority, deng deng dennnnnng!!

At first I was indignant but later on decided that it’ll be a pretty eye-opening adventure so yeah.

“See? Daddy just signed me up without consulting with me first!” I ranted to Clarissa (before I decided to go), who didn’t listen to what I was saying because I happened to be her sister.

“It is my right as a father to make good decisions on behalf of my children.” Daddy replied coolly, in his lawyer voice.

Ah. Authority.

“Well, I hope you won’t do that when it comes to marriage.” I said.

Mummy perked up from the front seat.

“That’s a good idea!” she said.


Jan 17

When I was 13 and had recently joined the Sea Scout troop, the troop brought us to Pulau Upeh during a seaside Maju camp.

Now, when I joined the troop at the age of 13, I had no physical training whatsoever, no knowledge of kayaks and sea kayaking or any sort of that smart-stuff. I had no idea of the “what to do”s, “how to do”s, or “when to do”s stuff.

We went to Pulau Upeh by kayaking there. It took us about 3 hours to get there and on the way, I puked in the kayak because I had seasickness.

That was pretty embarrassing, especially since my partner was a foreigner and she was startled when I started “cleaning” the kayak by frantically dishing seawater into the kayak.

That was 2 years ago.

Now I’m slightly stronger, slightly more knowledgeable and slightly more capable of not simply puking in kayaks.

But compare a 5km kayak expedition to a 50km kayak expedition (end of January)!

If Belle pukes one time during a 5km kayak expedition in the sea, how many times will she puke in a 50km kayak expedition?

If you know the answer, don’t tell me. I don’t want to know.

Of course, it’s not 50km non-stop. That’d be ripping off our arms and crumpling our core a hundred times over.

Especially mine.

Despite all those gloomy and somehow unrealistic thoughts, I feel pretty excited. I mean, come on! It’s not every day you get to go on a 50km kayak expedition in the sea!

Imagine how fun it would be! Imagine how burnt I will get once I return home!

Mom will totally freak out.

Jan 14

Hello, I’m Belle.

I’ll go about telling you a little bit about myself, what I do and so on, but first I’ll tell you what led me to revive this once-popular blog of my Mom’s.

Kids need pocket money, to be independent of their parents’ cash and to have that responsibility of decision making. I used to receive RM1 from Mom when I was in primary school. After I left and began homeschooling, there was no more pocket money being handed out because we didn’t have to buy food from the canteen. We got food for free.

Now, I’m a saver. I think about the future. I have to go to university somehow or another. If I don’t earn a scholarship, I’ll need money to enter the University of my choice. From what I’ve heard, universities cost a huge amount of cash. Imagine my parents dishing out several hundreds of dollars multiplied by 6 if all 6 of their children applied for university. If I could somehow earn enough money to pay for food and accommodation, that’d minus probably half the total amount.

So for 1 year and a few months, I taught art to a group of little kindergartners. I don’t know how much I made because Mom was the self-proclaimed treasurer and accountant. We stopped after that period of time due to Mom’s growing Nyonya Chang business.

I began mincing 7kg of pork for RM15 for my income. It was tiring and hard work, but it was decent enough. I stopped when Mom and Dad were blessed with more workers. I could focus on my homeschooling instead of dead pigs.

Most money I made went into savings. I had no pocket money unless Mom pays me my salary for mincing pork. Now that I had no existing salary whatsoever, I had to go get one.

“Save your own money. No money, don’t get.”

I remembered that Mom used to earn bits of money from blogging. I could do that. I love to write. I have access to a computer. I can write nearly about anything and I need to earn money. So why not?

Mom agreed to let me take over her blog and now I am. I’m not expecting much to happen, like millions of people coming in gushing to me saying, “Oh Belle, I absolutely ADORE your posts, they’re SO beautifully-written with brilliant content, here are 500 dollars as a token of thanks for your brilliant writings!” but of course, it’ll be nice if it does happen.

I’m also writing for the sake of my own experience. It’ll be pretty interesting taking over Mummy’s blog. What was once used to be filled with Mom-posts and Food-posts and Pregnancy-posts and all that mother-wife-SAHM topics will now contain posts that have typical teenager content.

Just kidding.

I’ll be writing about my point of view on daily life (after all, this IS Sketches of Life), Sea Scouting (because I love it), friends (because I love them), family (because I have to love them) and so on.

Not so much of a “typical” teenager point of view. I don’t like that word, “typical”. I prefer “unique”. Just because we happen to be in our teens and act like other teens once in a while (or continuously for several years) doesn’t mean we’re the same as every other teenager. Not that I’m like that, but you get my point.

I’ll end this post with a brief intro about myself.

I’m Belle.

I’m a Christian Homeschooler Sea Scout, daughter of David Bong and Michelle Soo (founder of Sketches of Life), eldest of 5 younger siblings, love to read, write, draw, colour and so on. A girl blessed with a kampung home that is home to the famous Nyonya Chang business of her parents. A girl blessed with many opportunities to learn. A girl that was born into this world with a purpose.

I think that’s dramatic enough.

I hope you enjoyed reading it. Please do share this with other people! Look out for more. :)

See ya!

Jan 13
Hello 2018: Handing Over
icon1 miche | icon2 Uncategorized | icon4 01 13th, 2018| icon3Comments Off

It has been 2 years since I last wrote here. If it not for my 14yo eldest daughter, I do not think I will visit here. :D She suggested to let her take over this blog since I am way too busy to blog. I think it is a good idea. Let’s see our life, my life from the point of view of a teenager.

The past 2 years have been a very fruitful and blessed years. My Nyonya Chang business is truly blessed. Hubby and I are doing it fulltime now. Do visit our FB page at https://www.facebook.com/authenticnyonyachang/.

Till then…say Hello to my eldest daughter, Belle.


Jan 5
Blessed New Year 2016
icon1 miche | icon2 Business & Work, My Life, Parenting | icon4 01 5th, 2016| icon3Comments Off

This year is gonna be an exciting year for me. 2 of my younger children is in kindergarten. I have one teenager this year who is also starting to prepare for IGCSE. I am going all out to promote my Nyonya Chang and praise God that I have a part-time helper now whom I am teaching how to wrap the Chang too. Homeschooling for my other children resumes too. My schedule is pack every day. From God I draw my strength and giving glory back unto Him for His blessings.

Jul 8
Started Music Lesson Again
icon1 miche | icon2 Music | icon4 07 8th, 2015| icon3Comments Off

Praise God that my eldest daughter started music lesson again. One of our church young adults offered to teach the youth any musical instrument that they want to learn. I thought my daughter will pick the jazz electric guitar or the drum but she chose the keyboard. After quitting piano class, I thought she want to stay away from getting piano lesson due to her past unpleasant experience. She told me that she wanted to learn how to play the keyboard because she wants to serve in church.

May 23
Nyonya Dumpling Nyonya Chang
icon1 miche | icon2 Food, Food in Malacca | icon4 05 23rd, 2015| icon3Comments Off

The Dumpling Festival this year falls on June 20th. If you plan to get Nyonya Dumpling a.k.a Nyonya Chang to celebrate the festival, you can order from me. :D These are made by a Nyonya from Melaka, living in Melaka.


Many friends who have tried my mom’s Nyonya Chang gave it a thumbs up. We received comments like,

“I have been looking for this for years. It is as good as my late grandma’s Nyonya Chang.”

“The rice was nice, soft and chewy. The pork filling was just as flavourful as the outlet where we use to buy.”

“Your mom’s chang is the only Nyonya Chang my mom angguk bagus.”


My mom is a perfectionist. She makes sure her Nyonya Chang is almost perfect triangle and neatly tuck in and tied. I tried helping her, she rejected mine saying that it is not pretty. First impression is very important, she said. Since she single-handedly make every single piece of the Nyonya Chang, she only make max 50 pieces per day. So, you can assure the quality of her Nyonya Chang. No mass production.

Nyonya Chang1

I am arranging another group buy for my customers in KL. The collection will be at Ara Damansara or maybe Jln Gasing. You can place your order with me and once I get the collection date and time finalised, I’ll inform you. It will be some time in 2nd week June. Email me at cencalukbelacan@gmail.com or Whatsapp at 012-2544606.


These were taken last month. Part of the 400pcs that my mom’s made for my KL customers.

Apr 11
Nature is their toys
icon1 miche | icon2 Nature, Parenting | icon4 04 11th, 2015| icon3Comments Off

nature's toys

When I was growing up, my parents did not buy me any toys. I only have 2 toys which was a gift from a rich uncle; a cooking set and a soldier set (remember the green soldier stuck onto a plate). I do not remember complaining that I have nothing to play. I was always occupied by my surroundings. I have cats and dogs to play with. I have chicken, ducks, gooses and turkey to chase and be chased. I have the trees to climb. I have the tweaks as my sword and many more that God has provided for me for free.

And the best part is playing like what my children were playing in the photo above. Coconut husk boats race!

Apr 10
Yamaha Guitar
icon1 miche | icon2 education, Music | icon4 04 10th, 2015| icon3Comments Off

During the recent Cheng Beng family gathering, one of my nieces brought back her yamaha hs80. It seems that my eldest daughter has been arranging for her to do so, so that they can jam while the parents are busy catching up. My girl on the piano and her cousin sister on the guitar. Praise God for blessing them with music talent. The house is always filled with music.

Apr 9
Acar Cili & Acar Timun
icon1 miche | icon2 Food in Malacca | icon4 04 9th, 2015| icon3Comments Off

Acar Cili & Acar Timun

Normally we only get to eat Acar Cili and Acar Timun during the Chinese New Year season. Now you can get it all year round from ME! :D These pickles are made by my Nyonya aunt. The filling for the Acar Cili is the grated papaya which has been dried up. My favourite is the Acar Timun which I love to munch while watching my favorite movie.

Email me at cencalukbelacan@gmail.com to order.

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