#AskAwayFriday: Yoga, Baking and Photography

posted in: #AskAwayFriday, Bloggy Friends, Life 50 comments

You may know Greta of GFunkified as my project partner for the 52-week photography fun we’re having, Through The Lens Thursday. Did you also know that she’s a mother of four in a gluten-free household, a runner who does amazing charity work, and is now the owner of resource website, Today’s Work At Home Mom. Greta, do you sleep, ever? (only half kidding!) It is just natural that Greta and I would pair up for #AskAwayFriday, and she asked me some really good questions.

Greta Funk

This fun weekly link up is hosted by Penny of The Real Housewife Of Caroline Country , Amber from Bold Fab Mom, Mrs Tee – Love Life & Laughter, and This Momma’s Ramblings.  Typically for Ask Away Friday, bloggers pair up, swap any 10 questions, answer them on their blogs, and link up their posts with the hosts. It’s such a great way to get to know someone better.  

Here are Greta’s questions for me.

1. What do you love most about living in Malaysia?

I was born here, so everything here is familiar. I speak the languages (Malay, English, Cantonese), and I know my way around. It’s relatively affordable, although prices of everything is going up. It’s year round tropical weather, which I have a love-hate relationship with, but generally, it’s great, because we know what to expect. It’s hot, humid and sometimes rainy. I have family and friends here. My roots are here. It’s also close to many fun destinations in Asia, and Australia. 

2. What do you hate/dislike most about living in Malaysia?

How things don’t work very well here. The political system is corrupt, the education system is broken, and there is an underlying tension of racism here (wow, look at me go all serious on you guys). If you’re not Malay, you’re considered a second-class citizen. You don’t get the same privileges the Malays do (housing discounts, educational perks, and so on). Where I live, Kuala Lumpur, is very urban. It’s a concrete jungle, and they are still building, building, building. There is not a park within walking distance from my home. The traffic is terrible on a good day, and insufferable on other days. Many things I dislike, are beyond my control, I can’t fix them. That irks me.

3. What made you decide to go into marketing, and how did your Nike job come about?

I fell into my former profession by accident, almost. When I graduated from university, I had a vague idea about wanting to use my Communications degree, so I sent my resume to a few recruitment agencies in London, where I lived for a time. A lady from one firm called me and asked about my interest in public relations. She asked if I knew the difference between internal and external communications, and I am embarrassed to say, I had no answer for her.

My job hunt in London failed miserably. I trudged back to Malaysia and started working for an online job recruitment website as a sales rep, because it was the first job offered to me. I sucked at sales. So I was given a new role, as a marketing communications person. I lasted two months in that role. I moved onto working in sales (again) at a local TV station, and sucked at that too. But, through that job, I met someone at an entertainment venue (okay, it was a night club) who was looking for an events manager. I applied, I was hired. Two years after that, I joined a PR firm (see how that big circle came to a close?). One of my clients from MTV had joined Nike. She called me, letting me know that Nike Malaysia was looking for a Marketing Communications Manager, and voila, I ended up working with them for 3 years. It was the best job ever.

4. You seem to love baking, especially when you’re stressed out….what it is about baking that you find relaxing?

Everything. I love looking at recipes, measuring and mixing the ingredients, and pulling the final result out of the oven. It’s like making magic, in a way (unless it fails, then it’s just dog poop). I rather enjoy eating baked goods too. 


5. What’s the best perk about working in social media?

I learn something new all the time. It’s an ever-evolving space, and that excites me. I love everything about it.

6. You asked me this question, and I want to ask you as well….what have you learned so far doing Through The Lens Thursday with me?

I’ve learned more about shooting with light, framing, angles, and what settings work best with certain scenarios. What I have gotten most out of this project is pulling out the DSLR and really making the most of it. I’ve learned to tell better stories with my pictures, and the prompts help pull the stories out of me. I’m just having so much fun! 


Playing around with the camera for Through The Lens Thursday

7. I know you enjoy yoga…what’s your favorite pose, and why?

The tree pose. I feel at peace when I’m in the pose, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s a pose I’m actually pretty good at. I also love Savasana (known as the Corpse Pose). For obvious reasons.  

8. If you had an hour of “me time” per day (alone, and no more, no less) but you had to do the same thing during that time every day, what would you do?

Write. I haven’t been able to do this at all. Sigh.

9. If you were a color, what color would you be and why?

Sky blue. It’s pretty, calming and natural. All qualities I want to have.

10. What is your favorite texture to either see in a photo or feel?

This made me think! I love looking at and photographing food pictures. The best food photographs are the ones that make me feel like I can almost taste it. So I love the textures you get in desserts – smooth and creamy. 

Thank you for the great questions, Greta! Now, head over to GFunkified to see what I asked Greta!

I have a post today at Everyday Family about transitioning my toddler to a big boy bed, and am sharing my 5 favorite toddler beds – come check it out!

Comment on any two blog posts in March, and you stand a chance to win one 150×150 sidebar ad on my blog! Get the details here.

Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison's writing has been featured on Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, and DrGreene.com. She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In 2012, she founded Little Love Media, a social media consultancy specializing in blog book tours, and because she doesn’t sleep, is an editor at BonBon Break, an online magazine. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).

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  • March 7, 2014 Michelle

    Am I really first??
    I love your photography series…I keep watching from afar. I did just replace one of my sports lens because I couldn’t bear to start the soccer season without one. The only real photos I’ve been taking lately are food ones, and while I have a long way to go, I feel like I am improving. I think I really need to work on the props. I have great lighting in my kitchen, so that’s a plus. It was interesting to hear what you like and dislike about living in Malaysia…it’s fascinating to me to learn more about different places.
    Michelle recently wrote…Friends Asking Friends: #AskAwayFriday with Tamara CameraMy Profile

    • March 9, 2014 Alison

      Time to play for Through The Lens Thursday then!
      I love food photography, it’s an area I’m practicing constantly.

  • March 7, 2014 Julia

    I would do the same thing with an hour of me time. I need more time to write I’m so behind right now.
    Julia recently wrote…February – Happiness Project UpdateMy Profile

    • March 9, 2014 Alison

      I write in spurts now – when I have the time AND inspiration. Which is hardly ever. Sigh.

  • March 7, 2014 tracy

    Sky blue – I feel that in you, my friend. Love this. xo
    tracy recently wrote…You’re Totes Jelly That We Met Veronica Roth LOLMy Profile

    • March 9, 2014 Alison

      Thank you, you! xoxo

  • March 7, 2014 AwesomelyOZ

    I love going through food blogs for the photos – you’re right it’s definitely impressive when you get the sense you can almost taste the food. πŸ™‚ Do you prefer what you do now over the Nike job you loved so dearly? Happy Friday Alison πŸ™‚ -Iva
    AwesomelyOZ recently wrote…The Good and the BadMy Profile

    • March 9, 2014 Alison

      I left Nike when things started souring in my local office, due to uncertainty, job cuts etc. So yes, I definitely love what I do now over what I used to do!

  • March 7, 2014 Kerstin

    Greta is really digging deep with some of those questions – I love it!
    I think you have those blue-sky-qualities already (let’s not get too focused on the calm, we’re moms after all, right ? πŸ˜‰ ) xox
    Kerstin recently wrote…Embracing the AwesomeMy Profile

    • March 9, 2014 Alison

      She did dig deep!
      Ah, calm. It’s what I STRIVE for. πŸ™‚

  • March 7, 2014 Lisa

    Great questions and answers! I love hearing more about Malaysia. I have only been out of the US once and that was to Paris. I would love to travel more and love that, throughout blogging, I know people from other parts of the world.
    Lisa recently wrote…Calgon, Take Me AwayMy Profile

    • March 9, 2014 Alison

      I’ve been to the US many times, but I’ve actually learned more about it through my blogging buddies than personal experience!

  • March 8, 2014 angela

    I really love reading these. I really dislike seeing delicious lemon yummy things and not being able to eat them πŸ˜‰
    angela recently wrote…Ignoring the snowMy Profile

    • March 9, 2014 Alison

      Heh. I dislike it too. Posting that picture made me want to bake a lemon loaf right away.

  • March 8, 2014 Ann

    What great questions–love your answers too. I especially like the last question; it really makes one think.
    Ann recently wrote…All Natural Organic Snacks from SunRidge FarmsMy Profile

    • March 9, 2014 Alison

      That was a hard question!

  • March 8, 2014 Allie

    I had no idea you worked for Nike!? Just when I think you can’t be any cooler…
    I also learned a lot about Malaysia. Thanks for the lesson, the read & the pictures!
    Allie recently wrote…What To Wear – Fitness EditionMy Profile

    • March 9, 2014 Alison

      I did! I actually had two roles there. After the MarComm position, I moved onto Marketing Manager for Nike Indonesia, one of the biggest Asian markets. I worked in Jakarta a week out of a month for a while. It was awesome!

  • March 8, 2014 Marta

    Love these questions! And I do agree that social media is ever evolving which can be so exciting!
    Marta recently wrote…To My Son on His Seventh Birthday.My Profile

    • March 9, 2014 Alison

      It is, I love it!

  • March 8, 2014 Tamara

    I think you’re just like sky blue – pretty, calming and natural. For sure.
    And I was happy to hear more about Malaysia. I always do wonder what language you speak at home and what language(s) you write/think/dream in.
    I’m English and more English. Lame. I wish I was bi-lingual.
    Tamara recently wrote…Just Like an Interview With a Friend.My Profile

    • March 9, 2014 Alison

      Aw, thanks.
      I speak 3 languages, but I think in English, because it’s what I use most. I also speak a smattering of Arabic, thanks to my husband’s family. πŸ™‚

  • March 8, 2014 Robbie

    Year around tropical weather? I could learn to LOVE that.
    Robbie recently wrote…Fractured Friday Forty-NineMy Profile

    • March 9, 2014 Alison

      There is a lot to love about that!

  • March 8, 2014 Greta

    Mmmm…that lemon cake. I may have licked the screen. And those little toes!!

    Thanks for humoring me with the questions, Alison!
    Greta recently wrote…Asking, Answering, Singing, Eating, WHEW.My Profile

    • March 9, 2014 Alison

      Thank you for asking me such great questions!

  • March 8, 2014 vanita

    concrete jungle…oh girlfriend, i absolutely feel you. we have to take a bus or a cab to spend time in a park with actually grass. so funny how are homes are so much alike though so different. i don’t envy you the tropical weather due to my frizzy hair.
    vanita recently wrote…Free Stock Photos That Could Have Cost $1000My Profile

    • March 9, 2014 Alison

      Isn’t it annoying, to have to travel to get to some form of nature? I do love NYC though, I’ll take that (and its fresh air) over Malaysia!

  • March 9, 2014 Angela Youngblood

    I love your answers. I am starting to understand your love of baking without mixes. I made a cake from scratch last night, while I wouldn’t call the results magical I really enjoyed the process. I totally see you as sky blue.
    Angela Youngblood recently wrote…Shredding & What I Know For SureMy Profile

    • March 9, 2014 Alison

      It is such a fun thing, baking!

  • March 10, 2014 Keely

    I’m so in love with reading all about my friends. Also? Your texture answer about desserts made me want dessert.
    Keely recently wrote…100 Things In My House? Never.My Profile

    • March 11, 2014 Alison

      It made me want dessert too. Though not much triggers that need generally.

  • March 10, 2014 Christine

    Love that you and Greta paired off this week. Savasana is most definitely my favorite pose. It took me a long timeto really relax and be in the pose but it is the best. I love what you’ve learned through Through the Lens.
    Christine recently wrote…Yoga for Runners – Part 3My Profile

    • March 11, 2014 Alison

      It is the hardest and the easiest pose, I believe. πŸ™‚

  • March 11, 2014 Allie

    I love getting to know about you! Yoga is on my list of thing I need to start doing! I think I’d really like hot yoga, because I never quite feel like I’ve gotten a work out, unless I sweat.

    • March 11, 2014 Alison

      Trust me when I tell you, you will sweat in regular yoga too. πŸ™‚

  • I’m impressed that you can do the Tree pose! I always loose my balance. But I’m very good at Corpse too…
    Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes recently wrote…Happy Birthday!!My Profile

    • March 11, 2014 Alison

      I have great toes for balancing poses πŸ™‚

  • March 11, 2014 Maureen

    Jakarta now sounds so similar as KL! Great to know more about you Alison. Love sky blue, for big city dwellers sky blue is pretty awesome πŸ˜‰
    Maureen recently wrote…Letter To My Younger SelfMy Profile

    • March 11, 2014 Alison

      Yes, yes it is!

  • March 11, 2014 Katie E

    I think you are sky blue πŸ™‚ And I want to eat that lemon-y cake.
    Katie E recently wrote…Monday Minutes #4My Profile

    • March 11, 2014 Alison

      Aw, thanks Katie.

  • March 12, 2014 Jeanette Nyberg

    I LOVE that you two interviewed each other- they were so fun to read- and that is a fantastic little kid toes photo!
    Jeanette Nyberg recently wrote…Rainbow Bread is The BombMy Profile

    • March 12, 2014 Alison

      Thank you, Jeanette!

  • March 14, 2014 Jin Ai

    Your food photos make me drool! And I know what you mean about the one hour write. These days it always gets pushed out by other things.

    Love your new blog design!
    Jin Ai recently wrote…Sling it, wing itMy Profile

    • March 14, 2014 Alison

      You have 4 kids so that’s totally understandable! And thank you!

  • March 18, 2014 Andrea

    Greta had some good questions! I’m a sucker for learning about a person’s stories and experiences. Great answers!
    Andrea recently wrote…Old School Blogging – Random EditionMy Profile

    • March 18, 2014 Alison

      She did, and thank you!

  • March 19, 2014 Kim

    An hour of writing time sounds awesome. Last week was March break here and we were definitely off our routine.
    And your loaf photo? Looks so delicious!
    Kim recently wrote…LayersMy Profile

    • March 19, 2014 Alison

      I hope you’re back to your routine! And thank you.

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