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Friday, 30 November 2007

Christmas Dinner (Real Early, lol)

Tonight is the Christmas Dinner hosted by the girls' father's company at The Line, Shangri-La Hotel. There were about 28 of us, including children and spouses. It was buffet dinner at The Line. It has various open-concept kitchen stations serving different cuisines/ food: Seafood (fresh), Salad, Japanese, Western, Chinese, Indian, Local, Dessert, Ice Cream, and Crepes. The selection of food was pretty good and wide. The most popular stations would be that of seafood and Japanese, and I think, Dessert! :) Here are some photos of the stations, mostly dessert, lol. :P

I really enjoyed the Seafood and Western, especially the Yorkshire Potato Pudding, the potato gnochi and ravioli, all creamy and sinful stuff. Lol. Of course, not forgetting the desserts, glorious desserts!! Don't worry, I didn't eat everything by myself, I shared. Ain't I nice? Hahaha.

I also ordered two different kind of lemonade. (Yes, yes, I know, my sugar level is going to hit the roof, lol).The first was Citrus Mint Lemonade, a real refreshing drink and the second was Chamomile Vanilla Lemonade. While the first lemonade wasn't so sweet and has a minty taste (which I like), the second has a unique aftertaste of vanilla and chamomile which made it interesting but it was a tad too sweet. I really can't decide which one I liked better. :P

After dinner, there was gift exchanging. Way before tonight's dinner, each staff had to draw a name and to get that person a gift that starts with that person's name! It was a rather interesting and fun way of getting someone his/ her gift. You can imagine the laughter that came about because of the gifts received. :) The girls' father got himself a clip-on light (for reading) and I got a HUGE bottle of Jelly Beans!! Yes, my kind of gift. Lol.

The dinner ended close to 11pm and the girls' father gave two of his bosses a lift to their hotel and gave his colleague, Lia a lift home. I enjoyed this company dinner very much. It is many times better than the one I attended last year where the atmosphere was kinda tense and stiff all because of a particular person. But this year, it is FUN, livelier and much cosier. =D

Thursday, 29 November 2007


Since two days ago, I have been helping a good friend and his wife to look after their cat, BC while they are away on holiday. I didn't mind helping them because I have had a cat before so it would be pretty easy for me to look after the cat. I dont think I would dare to help them if I didn't have the experience. I didn't mind too because I miss having a pet so I can use this opportunity and pretend he is my cat, lol.

I really didn't have to do a lot in terms of looking after BC. I only need to make sure there is enough food and water, to clear the litter box and to keep BC company. Actually, we keep each other company. He is always with me while I work on my laptop in the study. I am glad for his quiet company too. I would often have a conversation with BC while I work or while I am brushing him. Have you ever tried talking to an animal? It is actually quite comforting. For the cat? I don't know about that but it is comforting for me. Lol. But BC is probably thinking why is this human talking so much, lol. Who knows, maybe after two weeks when my friends are back, BC would be most glad to be rid of me, hahaha.

So far, I am really glad for this opportunity to look after BC and I am enjoying the time with him. It is nice to have a pet again. =)

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Count Down is Over

Today is the last day of the 3-day workshop. I had a great time working with the teachers. To take away the tediousness of the work, we often cracked jokes and chatted with one another. Basically, we were able to have a fun time too while we worked. At the end of workshop, I gave my teachers each a card, a Kit-Kat bar (Have a break! Get it? Lol.) and post-it notepad as my token of appreciation for the hard work they have put in over the three days and for time and effort they have put in by participating and supporting the project over the past two years. I really appreciate your efforts, Teachers. I wish all of you the best in your teaching careers.

Today is also the last day for me in my current project. I must say the best gain from the project was getting to know my ex-colleagues and current colleagues whom I have become good friends with. Well, of course I do learn some things too from the project. Lol.

The count down is over!

Tomorrow is a brand new start. :)

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Counting Down Still...

Today is the second day of the workshop. The teachers did a lot today and mind you, it was certainly not an easy process, the whole moderation process. It was undoubtedly very tiring for them mentally and physically. Well, for me too, as the facilitator as I have to record all their consensus scores of the artifacts, lol.

Tomorrow is the last day. The teachers are looking forward to it. Frankly, so am I.

Second last day and counting...

Monday, 26 November 2007

Counting Down...

Today is the start of the 3-day teacher moderation workshop. I have been doing this teacher moderation no less than 5 times since 2004. I can do it in my sleep too, lol. Although the teacher moderation process is tedious, I enjoyed working with the teachers very much.

Anyway, I have worked for this current project since July 2004. Having worked 3.5 years for the project is a long time considering that the colleagues who were first with me when we started out in the project have all left the project. These former colleagues, who have since become good friends of mine, have joked that I should receive the Long Service Award. I will be leaving the project soon, on the same day as this workshop ends.

Counting down...

Three days...

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Australia, Here We Are, Almost. :P

We went back to Outback Steakhouse for lunch. This place really makes me feel like I am back in Australia because of its decorations. Real authentic Aussie stuff, lol.

We were given Bushman Bread to start while waiting for our orders. The bread was really tasty and it went really well with the whipped butter. The girls each had two slides of the bread with the whipped butter.

For Aussie-tizer, we ordered the Bushman Shrooms ($15.90) again: fresh button mushrooms breaded and deep fried served with spicy ranch dressing. It was still as delicious as the last time we ordered this dish. (No picture as it was shown in the post "Aussie Day" on 9 September 2007.)

For the girls, they shared (from the Joey Menu) a Kookaburra Chicken Finger ($10.90) again like the last time and it came with a free drink. Our server was really attentive to small details. She actually gave two free drinks to my girls instead of one only. (No picture as it was shown in the post "Aussie Day" on 9 September 2007.)

The girls' father ordered Ribs on the Barbie (half a slab) ($19.90): smoked and grilled pork ribs and served with mashed potato and coleslaw. The pork ribs were really well-marinated and remained tender and moist after being grilled. The mashed potato was different from the usual fare, it had bits of potato skin in it for the extra bite.

I ordered the Shrimp and Mushroom Pasta ($23.90): fettuccine alfredo mixed with mushrooms and parmesan cheese and tossed with grilled shrimps. A simple yet flavourful dish. I love the alfredo sauce - creamy and rich and yummy!

For dessert, we shared a Chocolate Thunder from Down Under ($13.90): fresh baked pecan brownie and vanilla ice cream, topped with chocolate sauce, whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Deliciously sweet. :)

We parked our car at Conrad Intercontinental Hotel. The hotel's Christmas tree is made up of teddy bears so it is big and cuddly. Yes, one could literally hug the tree. :)

An aside:
While collecting the car, we met a family who was going home after a wedding solemnisation. The father was very nice and gave the girls the wedding flavour which was a box of Canele biscuits. It was really nice of the father. The biscuits were really nice! :)

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Wedding by the Sea

Today is the joyous occasion of our good friend (former colleague), Elizabeth's wedding. Elizabeth and Greg had their church ceremony in the morning and the wedding dinner by the sea at Rasa Sentosa Resort.

I gave Kin Meng a lift from Wheelock Place after I had my make-up done at Isetan Scotts. Well, no choice, I don't know how to put on make up, lol. We arrived at Sentosa around 6:45pm, in time still for the cocktail reception which started at 6:15pm. We were seated at the table around 7:30pm. There were 8 of us at the table: Bai Rui, Poh Hoon, Michael, Mrs Chan, Margaret, Clara, Kin Meng and I. We all knew each other so the entire evening has been really fun and enjoyable. The conversations at the table were going non-stop and there were never any awkward silences which you sometimes get when you are seated with strangers at weddings. Thank goodness, we are seated among friends! The company was excellent.

The food was pretty good and tasty. Not a lot of MSG because I would have reacted but I didn't. We were all quite full by the time the 6th dish arrived, lol. The service was very good too, they kept bringing me a new glass of diet coke when I have almost done with my glass, lol.

The dinner was quite a quick affair, ended at about 10:15pm. However, Kim Meng, Clara and I didn't leave yet as we have to wait for the girls' father to pick us up. So we sat at the table to continue talking. Elizabeth came over to talk to us as most of the guests have left and they didn't have to stand at the entrance to bide farewell to their guests. Around 10:45pm, we decided to make our way out too. Elizabeth was, by then, at the entrance again and we talked to her again since there were no one behind us. While talking most animatedly, there were suddenly a group of people wanting to say farewell. We were standing there next to Elizabeth while the guests said farewell. Can you see anything wrong with the picture?? HAHAHA. We had become part of the family of the bride and groom, LOL. HAHAHA. It was pretty funny when the wedding couple's parents started laughing at us. Opps, what a boo-boo. :P

This wedding by the sea has been a beautiful and joyous occasion. Congrats, Elizabeth and Greg. May today be the start of a beautiful and wonderful life together!

Here are some pictures of us.

Friday, 23 November 2007

Forever Young (almost), LOL.

I went to the library to borrow some books using my staff card (which has been programmed to function as the library card too). The librarian swiped my staff card and proceeded to process the books: scanned, stamped the date. Just before she closed the books, she looked at the screen and then something clicked in her. She asked for my card again.

I thought, "Here it goes again, there is some problem with my card again". I had tried previously to borrow books and was told my borrowing privileges has been suspended because my contract was ending. Well, it has been sorted out now, I was told by HR.

She looked at my staff card, looked at the books, looked at me and then burst out laughing. I was like "HUH"?? Seeing the puzzled look on my face, the librarian explained that she has wrongly stamped the return date of my books as that for students. She swiped my card and knew I am a staff but yet when she looked at me, she couldn't register me as staff but as student because I look so young!

Hahahahaha. A beautiful mistake. It is okay, I DON'T mind, lolol. This is not the first time that I have been told I don't look my age at all. Well, if most of my students said I still look the same as I did when I taught them almost 10 years ago. I think I should believe them, right? Lol. Those friends who have known me since secondary/ JC days, have also said I haven't changed much since then.

Truth be told, I am happy to hear that I still look young. I don't think anyone would be adverse to hearing that, right?! Lol. While I can still receive comments about me looking young, I welcome them. Hahaha. Well, I will try to be "forever young" as long as I can, especially at heart! I think that is the most important factor to staying young, being young at heart!

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

For the past few years, every Thanksgiving, the Wiardas - my Aunt-in-law and Uncle-in-law would invite us to their home for a sumptuous Thanksgiving dinner.

However, at the end of last year, the Wiardas decided to move back to the United States. I really miss them (they are one of the nicest people around) and their Thanksgiving dinner which is legendary. They cooked everything from scratch! Yes, that included the roast turkey, the turkey sauce, the turkey stuffing, the cranberry sauce, honey baked ham, carrot-raisin salad, Cesar salad, mashed potato, and for dessert, they always made mud pie and carrot cake. Yum, yum!!!

This year, however, there is no Thanksgiving dinner at Wiardas' place, too far to travel so we had it at Lawry's instead, lol.

The girls had their usual Kid's Burger (chicken) which came with the Lawry's Spinning Salad, a juice and dessert: strawberry ice cream. (Pictures were posted in a previous Lawry's post on 27 October.)

We, the parents, decided to have the Thanksgiving Dinner set.
For appetiser, we had the Steam Baked Slipper Lobster Mousse: mixed vegetable lobster mousse served with a spicy Balsamic mushroom sauce. The lobster mousse was a little bland but at least, I could taste the lobster. The sauce was pretty spicy but added taste to the lobster mousse.

We had the Spinning Salad again. (Again , pic was shown on 27 October post.) For the main course, we chose Traditional Oven Roasted Turkey ($68.80): 3 slices of turkey breast served with lemon cranberry sauce, Tarragon bread stuffing, Idaho mashed potato, turkey gravy and buttered peas. The turkey was not too dry and went really well with the gravy and the cranberry sauce which was given a twist with lemon added into it. The stuffing was really delicious and not too salty.

For dessert, we ordered the Pistachio Pumpkin Cheese Cake: served with vanilla ice cream and strawberry pumpkin sauce and the Oven Baked Pecan Pie: served with vanilla ice cream and chocolate mocha sauce. Both were superb! The lemon in the cheese cake actually brought out the taste of the pumpkin. The pecan pie was a tad sweet for me but it was really yummy.

We ended the dinner with tea and coffee. It was a good hearty meal but I still miss the Wiardas' Thanksgiving dinner.

For this Thanksgiving, I give thanks for my health, for my two girls, for my family and for my many good friends and their friendships!

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

I Need A Break

I need a break.

I have been stressed by the coming EOGM at my estate regarding the enbloc. I am AGAINST selling my home. It is priceless. It is my safe haven. It is my place of security and happiness. It is a place where memories are made and treasured. I love my home.

I really need a break. Going out of the country is out of the question as I can only leave my current project after 28 November and my new project starts on 3 December. I can only stay put in the country. :(

Hmm, maybe I might just go for one of those weekend hotel packages offered by Singapore hotels. What do you all think? Any good recommendations? Pray tell.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

A Flurry of SMSes continues...

Although my friends managed to get into Sydney after a delay of 2 hrs 40 minutes, they had missed their original connecting flight to Auckland. As they had to rush immediately after disembarking to the next flight to Auckland, my friend smsed me (S'pore time about 6:00am) for help to contact the person who was going to give them a ride in Auckland. Again, a flurry of smses continued - received instructions from friend, smsed to the person giving them a ride, smsed back to friend, more instructions from friend, smsed back to person giving them a ride, ...

All seemed to be going well... until the person giving them a ride smsed me around S'pore time 10am for their flight number as they had not arrived at the estimated time of arrival (ETA). Again, a flurry of smses continued - flight info, double-checking on instructions given by friend, ... Thanks goodness, after 30 minutes, my friends finally touched down in Auckland, about 40 minutes behind ETA.

Ok, things are going well now, right? Dead wrong! Two of my friends had lost their luggage upon arrival in Auckland!! Another flurry of smses ensured - whose luggage got lost?, what happened?, got insurance?, ... 3 hours later, received sms that their luggage have been found and they were on their way to the conference in a town that's two hours' drive away. Was so relieved that things were finally going smoothly for them.

Alas, I spoke too soon. Upon arrival at the college hall, they discovered there was no heating, no water, no hangers in the rooms and worse, there was no Internet!!! My poor friends. It seemed the trip from Singapore to the conference venue was just one long continuous nightmare for them. :(

I sincerely pray for them that, after a good night's rest, tomorrow will a brand new day for them where all things will go well. Good Luck for your presentations, my friends! :)

Monday, 19 November 2007

A Flurry of SMSes

My fingers have never been so tired! I have never sms-ed so quickly and so many times within an hour. Ok, maybe I exaggerated a bit but it was too many smses and too frequent for me, lol. Not used to it, hahaha.

Tonight, two colleagues and friends of mine are off to New Zealand for a conference. They have to catch a plane to Sydney to catch a connecting flight to Auckland. Apparently, their plane to Sydney had some mechanical problems and they were still grounded after an hour after their scheduled flight departure at 7:55pm. One of them smsed me for help. It seemed they might miss their connecting flight from Sydney to Auckland and there was someone waiting to pick them from the Auckland airport. I helped to search for the phone number for the car rental company so that a message could be left for the person picking them up. I looked up the next available connecting flights from Sydney to Auckland for them. Next, I located the contact details for the shuttle service from Auckland to the town where the conference will take place. They might have to make their way to the town on their own if their ride can't wait for them.

The last sms I received from them was at 9:53pm, two hours after their scheduled departure, that the place was finally taking off. Really happy for them, after two hours of sitting in a grounded plane!

I really hope I have been helpful with the information that I have provided them. I really hope that they can make it for the next connecting flight in Sydney to Auckland. I really hope they will arrive at the conference refreshed and stress-free. =)

I am really happy that I have been able to help my friends. Nothing makes me more happy than having friends trust me to look me up for help. To me, it is a great pleasure and honour. I truly believe that my friends are able to look me up not just in good times, but especially so, in bad times.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Disney Mickey's Magic Show

Today, we brought the girls to see Disney Live! Mickey's Magic Show at the Indoor Stadium. We arrived about half an hour early before the show started at 11:30am as we didn't know how bad the crowd it was going to be. Better play safe to be earlier than late, lol.

Gosh, it was crowded. Lots of children with their parents. We entered through the North Entrance and once through the entrance, we were greeted in the face by booths selling the Disney and Mickey merchandise! Wah, these people really know who to sell their stuff. At least, we stood firm and refused to give in to the girls' demands. We were seated in the second section which was about 10 rows away from the stage but still near enough.

The girls, thank goodness, showed their enjoyment of the show with applause and claps and NOT screaming. They were actually staring at the ang moh kids seated behind them who were screaming into their ears, hahaha. Despite it being a kiddie show with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, and the various Disney Princesses: Snow White, Cinderella, Jasmine, Ariel, Belle, I actually enjoyed the magic show too. Maybe deep within, the child in me hasn't grown up at all! After all, I grew up with these Disney characters too (except the more recent ones like Jasmine, Belle and Ariel). :P The show sure brings back fond memories for me of my own childhood. =)

The show ended at 1pm. Not very sure where to eat around the Indoor Stadium, we went back to the city to our favourite mall, The Central. We went to Ma Maison, a Japanese Western restaurant. As the special lunch menu didn't suit us, the kitchen was very nice and made for us something from the dinner menu instead.

The girls had a Spaghetti with Seafood in Tomato Sauce ($15.90) to share. This dish was not even on the menu, the kitchen made it especially for the girls. A big plus point for the restaurant for service! The girls really enjoyed it.

I had from the dinner menu, Spaghetti with Seafood Cream Sauce ($15.90) which had mushroom, onion, cuttlefish, salmon and baby prawns. It was delicious, I really love the cream sauce. Sinful but good.

The girls' father ordered a lunch set: Omu-rice ($14.80) which was ketchup rice wrapped in omelette with brown sauce. His set came with salad, clam chowder soup and a drink. The omu-rice was quite nice, especially with the brown sauce.

Lunch was late but everyone enjoyed it.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Hello, Wheelock!

After a brief hiatus, Juliane and I are finally back at Wheelock Place again! Lol. It has been a while since the two of us wandered around Wheelock Place.

We browsed at Marks & Spencer and Borders before adjourning to Sakae for lunch (yes, again, lol). I think Sakae has improved its menu because there are some new dishes such as Rekon chips which is lotus root, thinly sliced and fried. Juliane enjoyed it very much, besides her usual Sakae chawanmushi and tamago nigiri sushi. I tried out their new Udon chawanmushi which has udon in the steamed egg. Hmm, it is an interesting combination. Lol.

After dinner, we went to Vivocity. Again, the girls were lamenting that they have not gone on the cable car before. It looks like we, the parents might have to bring them to Sentosa soon or we will never hear the end of it every time we go to Vivocity. Lol.

We broswed at Page One where the girls got their kiddie magazines before we went to Corduroy Cafe for a snack. It is nice to be back at the Cafe. It is a nice relaxing place.

We ordered to share:
Cream of Mixed Vegetable soup (soup of the day) ($9). It didn't look very appetising when it arrived, a mustard yellow colour. But it was tasty! I could taste pumpkin, carrot, cauliflower, asparagus, potato,... that's about all that I could discern from the soup, lol. It is one of those good hearty soups to have on a cold night

Kartofel Salat ($4.50) which we had before. It is potato salad, with bacon bits, cider dressing and diced apple. (Picture shown in a previous Corduroy Cafe post). Still just as yummy.

Apple and Pinenut crostata ($6) which is quite similar to apple pie, apple crumble. It is nice enough.

The girls had their lemon cupcakes ($2.50). The lemon cream on top of the cupcake was really delicious.

I ordered an iced Earl Grey tea with mint ($5.50). I asked for the mint syrup to be served separately (which came in a shot glass) so that I could mix my own. It is really refreshing, with the mint and the lemon slices added an interesting twist.

We left around 9:30pm for home. Tomorrow is going to be an exciting day for the girls for they are going to watch Disney Magic show in the morning.