making it easier to keep in touch with family and friends

Thursday, 31 July 2008

"Contest" by Matthew Reilly

Despite it being Reilly's first book, I only read "Contest" recently. After reading it, I am most glad that Reilly decided to stick with his style of writing. :)

Contest has a simple storyline. It is about a contest. Yes, exactly as the title said. :) But it is a contest of a different sort that involves, hmmm, other life forms in the most unlikely place ever, the New York Public Library. :) Our main character has been chosen to represent Earth in the contest against his will, with his daughter in tow. In his usual style, or rather, the beginning of his current style, there is a lot of action and excitement. There are also his trademark themes of friendship, loyalty and family. :) I shan't say any more. Read the book. It is easy to start but hard to put down until you have finished with it. :)

Enjoy reading. :)

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Small World!

It is a small world after all!

Today, I went to look for my PM (Project Manager lah, not Prime Minister, hahaha :P) for some workshop materials but she wasn't around. I saw a lady working in the other PM's office so I left quietly. Hmmm, so we have another new PM. Hmmm, she looks familiar and her name looks familiar too. Nah, my imagination.

I went back again to look for my PM after 20 minutes. She was still not around. But now the lady in the other PM's office spoke to me and asked if I am Hwei Ming. Yes, yes, I am. Lol. So my PM left instructions and the materials with the new PM. The surprise came when the lady said I look very familiar. I stepped back to look at her name again and I just said, "MOE?!". We both laughed. Yup, we do know each other. Actually, I worked with her husband when I was in MOE HQ. I have met her on several occasions. Both are really lovely people. It is such a small world!!! :) We spent a few moments just catching up and laughing with each other. :)

It is so nice to have another friend, another familiar face at work. Yar, Aida, we shall have lunch one of these days. :) Welcome to the centre. :)

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Am I Strange?

I have friends who tell me that I am strange at times. I have strange interests for a girl, I have strange logic, I have strange experiences, lol. Anyway, did this blogthings and I am 50% weird, lol. In other words, I am 50% normal. But how do you define what is strange/ weird and what is normal?? What is strange/ weird to one person may be normal to another person. I guess since I am both normal and strange/ weird, I am very balanced?! Guess not. No wonder, I am so confused at times haha. :P
You Are 50% Weird

Normal enough to know that you're weird...
But too damn weird to do anything about it!

Monday, 28 July 2008

Bad Headache

I HATE having headaches mainly because there is very little I can do about it. Allergic to the painkillers, remember?

I had a very bad headache in the evening on my way home. I am not too sure what brought it on. It might have been the one hour I spent in the printing room, photocopying a chapter from this huge Statistics textbook. Or it might have been Stats, lol. :P Or it might have been the 20 minutes I spent sitting at the spectators' stand in the late afternoon, hoping that a change of scenery might give me inspiration to re-work the book review I am working on. Nope, change of scenery didn't work. Sigh.

When I got home, I took a teaspoon (5 ml) of my liquid paracetamol at a strength of 250mg/5ml. That is the dosage for children under 5 years old. It is damn SAD! But anything more, I get an anaphylactic reaction. Sigh. I took a nap after my medication.

I am feeling all better now. :) It might have been the work of the paracetamol, even with such a low dosage. Or it might have been the nap that worked because looking back, I have had only 10 hours of sleep for the past 48 hours. :P

I think maybe for tonight, maybe I should sleep early.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Working Day

Despite having slept only at 5am, I woke up at 9am this morning after less than 4 hours of sleep. Surprisingly, my mind was pretty alert and I could start working on my slides again, lol. I managed to work on the notes for about 15 slides before I had to get the girls ready to go out for lunch. We arrived at our favourite Yum Cha place, East Ocean Teochew Restaurant close to 11:30am. It is the usual gathering of our yum cha kakis, KL and Juliane's godfamily although it has been a while since our last yum cha session, lol. :P There is the usual chatting, catching up with one another and of course, the eating. :) Our Yum Cha sessions will be much more regular from now on because Juliane's godfamily has returned to Singapore permanently after staying close to 2 years in England. :)

After lunch, the girls and I were dropped back home while the girls' father went to book the tickets for our Hong Kong trip in late October. He is the one in the family who is most excited about the trip because he loves HK, after his first love, his car.

I continued to work on my slides but I did have an hour's nap in between. Otherwise, I would be too tired lol. :P I managed to finish the notes for my slides in the evening. :) Yeah, one down! Another to go - the book review. I have 2 more chapters to read. Give me another 2 hours, I should be able to finish the book review. I think I will be able to sleep at my usual time tonight, probably at 2am. Don't be so shocked haha. That is my usual bedtime lol. :P

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Quiet Day

Today, I stayed home for most part of the day except for a short trip to the post office in the late morning. I didn't bring Juliane out because I had my relatives over for lunch. And I also wanted to work on the notes for my workshop and to write a book review. Although I felt apologetic towards Juliane for not taking her out, my father brought her shopping at Plaza Singapura which she totally raved about to me, lol.

It is a quiet day for me but mentally stimulating, I supposed. Lol.

Still working on my notes and my book review now. I should have no problem finishing both by tomorrow. :)

Friday, 25 July 2008

Narcissus and Narcissist

It is interesting how words and terms came to be. Like the word "Narcissist", did you know it is derived from the Greek mythology of Narcissus? Click on the link to read more about it.
You Are Occasionally a Narcissist

While you have healthy self esteem, you're really not that full of yourself.
Compared to most people, you're quite humble!

Though occasionally, you can't help and reflect on how great you are.
There's nothing wrong with being proud of yourself - as long as you don't let it go to your head!

It's nice to know that I am not full of myself lol. :P But seriously, I think there is still so much more that I can learn, in terms of knowledge, life experiences, character, ...

Thursday, 24 July 2008

School Official Opening

I was invited by CHIJ, where I am a counsellor, as a guest to witness the Official Opening of the New School Building on 24 July 2008. The Guest-of-Honour was Dr Vivian Balakrishnam, Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports. There was an Open House at 4:30 pm where guests, parents and old girls could walk around the school and view visual arts, P5 I-Drive projects, Investigative Science projects, NE projects, folk dances, and concert band performance. I came after work and so I missed the open house. :(

Soon, it was time to be seated in the school hall. I was at Table C and was surprised that it was right next to the VIP table, lol. Soon, another 3 gentlemen came along who were at Table C too and they were the architects for the school. Sometimes, at the end of a long working day, I just don't want to talk, lol. But being such a joyous and special occasion, small talks were inevitable. When they found out I am a psychologist and counsellor, I was asked a lot of questions! I guess people are still not very knowledgeable about how/ what psychologist or counsellor works/ does. :P There were choir and dance performances while waiting for Dr Balakrishnan to arrive. Once he arrived, there were the opening prayer by the Archbishop, addresses by the Principal, by the Chairperson of IJ Board of Management and by the Guest of Honour, Dr Balakrishnan and of course, the official opening of the new school building by Dr Bala.

We soon had dinner and were entertained with performances by the English drama, Tap Dance, Choir and Fusion Dance. Of worthy note was one of the Fusion Dances, where one of the dancers performed the difficult Art of Face-changing! It was not an easy feat and she was flawless in her performance! She gathered the most rounds of applause and she definitely wow-ed everyone in that school hall. Well-done! The dinner was great, there were only 4 of us at a table for 10! Hahaha, you could imagine how much food we were stuffing ourselves with. :P Dr Bala's PAs were seated with us for a while before they left around 7:30pm as Dr Bala had another function to attend. While his PAs were seated with us, I naturally struck up a conversation with the one who was seated closest to me.

Just as Dr Bala was leaving the hall, his PA whom I was conversing with, spoke with him. To my surprise, Dr Bala came over to me, shook my hand and spoke to me. As his schedule was tight, Dr Bala didn't have time to interact with others except those at the VIP table. So it was kind of embarrassing to suddenly have the spotlight on me, hahaha. I was asked by a number of people later how come Dr Bala came over to speak to me. You see, I know his wife and his daughter. Mrs Bala taught me GP and I taught his daughter in SCGS. Lol. One full circle. :)

The dinner ended around 9:30pm and every guest had a take-home gift. I was touched by the thoughtfulness that went into the selection of the gifts. Yup, there were two gifts in the bag. One was a crystal block with the old school building in it and the second was a hand-crafted clay angel by a student. The angel was doubly meaningful to me because it was made by a student, and also because my angel happened to be made by one of my counsellees! What is the chance of that happening?! Very rare. I will treasure my special angel for a long time to come. :)

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

I am a X-Phile!

And I am proud to be one, lol. It is okay if you think I am a geek, haha. Well, I have never been an ordinary girl, who is into sci-fi, fighter planes, astronomy, supernatural, comics, horror, wicca, ... :)

I am thrilled that The X-Files: I want to Believe is out tomorrow! I remembered being really upset and depressed when The X-Files series ended in 2002. Watching The X-Files was my staple diet then. I saw the very first episode of The X-Files on tv when I was studying in Australia in 1993 and with that one episode, I was hooked! I would decline dates and gatherings just so I could stay home to watch The X-Files, lol. I still think it is one of the best TV series of all times. I have yet to find one that comes even close to The X-Files, ok, maybe Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV series) would be closest to it. BtVS is one of my favourites too, lol. I am a X-Phile, not just because I chased after every single episode, I also collected The X-Files comics, lol. :P That was my level of devotion to the series. :)

Here is a preview of The X-Files: I want to Believe (teaser + trailer). I can't wait to watch it on the big screen. Just me, my popcorn and my X-Files. :)

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Strange Quiz

You Are a Fork

You are truthful, direct, and straight forward.
People find your honesty to be a bit piercing at times.

You are driven and wildly ambitious.
You know what you want, and you take the most direct path to getting it.

Yar, I can be too direct and straightforward at times and it shows on my face. :P

Am I driven and wildly ambitious? I don't think so leh, have always been trying to keep a low profile, hahaha. Hmm, unless it is about my dream of being a tai-tai?! Ok, then I am ambitious but somehow still not getting there yet. LOL.

Monday, 21 July 2008

Racial Harmony Day

Today, my girls celebrated Racial Harmony Day in their pre-school. They were both dressed in cheongsams, instead of their school uniform for today's celebration of ethnic diversity. They were both thrilled and happy.

At school, they celebrated by having an assembly/ sing-along session, observing a minute's silence for the victims of natural disasters in Myanmar and China, having a Fashion Parade by the children in their different traditional clothes and listening a talk about racial harmony, Maria Hertogh and Total Defence. They also showed me the orange ribbons that they were given by school, which symbolise multiculturalism, universal friendship, kinship and familial ties. The girls said they enjoyed themselves very much today.

I am glad that they enjoyed today but I also hope they will remember the reason/ the need for racial harmony. For those who wants to know more about Racial Harmony Day or the cause of it: 1964 Race Riots, or the Maria Hertogh Riots, click on the links. In case you are wondering how come I know about these historical events in Singapore? Well, I was teaching Social Studies and I was also the Coordinator for National Education. Lol. :)

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Walk at Great World

Juliane and I went for a walk at Great World City. I haven't been here for quite some time because the girls' father hates coming here, don't know why. I thought GWC isn't too bad, it has a supermarket, cinema, shops and a number of eating places.

We were dropped off at GWC by the girls' father in the late morning. There was a Book Fair by Harris at the atrium. We spent some time there and Juliane left happy as I bought her sister and her some stationery. For lunch, it was either Japanese or Western food. Surprisingly, Juliane chose Western food and of all places, Jack's Place, lol. Oh well, my fault, I asked her where she wanted to have her Western food.

We shared a Chicken & Mushroom Spaghetti with Grilled Slipper Lobster ($13): the chicken was pretty tender and the tomato coulis sauce was nice and sourish. I added $4.20 for the soup of the day: Cream of Broccoli, dessert of the day and tea. Juliane had the soup, the garlic bread and a third of the spaghetti. She must have been very hungry, lol.

We bought some bread for the girls' snack in school tomorrow and we got home just in time for my CSI: NY, lol. :)

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Trip to Holland Village

The girls have Racial Harmony Day celebration on Monday. They have to wear their ethnic clothes to school. Hmm, they don't have any and I don't want them to feel out of place wearing their school uniform while their classmates are in their ethnic clothes. So off we went to Holland Village after having lunch at home.

The girls each chose a pink cheongsam but of different design at a shop in HV Shopping Centre. They looked really adorable wearing the cheongsams, lol. I wonder how come I never bought them Chinese ethnic clothes?! Lol. :P

After the shopping, the girls complained of hunger. We went to Fosters, an English Rose Cafe. We ordered a few things to share:
Baked Mushrooms with ham and cheese ($8): this was a bit salty and the portion was small and kind of pricey.
Devonshire Cream Tea ($10.50): 2 scones, a piece of fruit cake and 2 finger sandwiches - ham and tomato and a pot of tea. The scones were quite good, not too dry. It would have been better though if they use Devonshire clotted cream instead of fresh cream.
Apple Pie with vanilla ice cream ($9): the pieces of apple in the pie was big and chunky and with vanilla ice cream, nothing can beat this dessert. :)

Friday, 18 July 2008

"Scarecrow" by Matthew Reilly

"Scarecrow" is the third book by Matthew Reilly featuring Captain Shane Schofield, whose call sign is Scarecrow. It is a sequel to "Area 7", which is sequel to "Ice Station". However, all three books can stand-alone as Reilly does briefly describe the past events and various characters without weighing down his story-telling. Of course, it is good to read them in sequence as you will get more out of it, such as understanding the characters more in-depth and so on.

In "Scarecrow", the action started right from the first page! This time, Schofield is one of 15 targets to be eliminated, with a price of almost $20 million on each target by a mysterious group of 12. As Schofield fights for his life against international bounty hunters, he is also plunged into a headlong race around the world and against time as he has discovered a vast international conspiracy and he has to stop it in time... There is Reilly's usual engaging accounts of combat/ action scenes such as dogfights, aerial battles and weaponry used. :) The mentions of combat vehicles, fighter planes and copters (Yak-141, Sukhoi Su-37, Mirage, Rafale, F-14, F-18, Mi-34, X-15), missiles (ICBM, AAM), submarines, aircraft carrier, sports cars, ... :) In short, it is action galore. I think guys would really appreciate this book more than gals unless they are like me who have an interest in war stuff lol. :P

As with Reilly's other books, it is not a one-man's fight against the bad guys. Schofield works with his people (characters who have appeared in previous books) as a team which makes the whole story much more probable and human. You will see more interactions between the various characters too. There is an interesting new character in this book. I think I would like to see more of this character in Reilly's future Schofield books. However, be warned that there is a character death, really unexpected. :(

As always, Reilly's books are page-turners, full of action and adventure. Don't even think about sleeping if you happen to read his book before bed. Lol. :)

PS. A guy friend once laughed at me when he knew that I read Reilly's books. He said his books are so macho. Lol. But I think differently. No doubt, there is a lot of war stuff in Reilly's books, e.g. Schofield series, Jack West series (which I enjoy reading about anyway haha) but what's more important to me is the way Reilly portrays and emphasises certain themes in his books, namely that of friendship, loyalty, and family. So, to me, his books are not just mindless action. There is more than meets the eyes, lol. (to borrow the line from Transformers) :P

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Songs by Bedingfield Siblings

Quite a talented pair of siblings.

Both songs, "Pocketful of Sunshine" by Natasha Bedingfield and "If You're Not the One" by Daniel Bedingfield are catchy and easy to listen to. :)

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Taiwanese Cuisine

Today, my mother cooked one of her Taiwanese dishes - Savoury Tang Yuan (Savoury Glutinous Rice Balls). This dish is not found in Singapore. Most people here are much more familiar with Tang Yuan as a dessert. But in Taiwan, we have Tang Yuan as a savoury dish too.

My mother first made the tang yuan dough from scratch and then made the minced pork filling for the tang yuan. So Savoury Tang Yuan is basically glutinous rice balls with pork filling instead of the usual sweet fillings of red bean, yam, peanut, etc. These savoury tang yuan are then cooked in soup and served with Tung Ho (a vegetable with a distinct taste). I love this dish because it is a refreshing change from the usual tang yuan dessert and I love glutinous rice balls, whatever the filling is. Lol. :)

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Statistics and I

Statistics and I are strange bedfellows. I don't exactly love Statistics as some of my friends would know, lol. But I had to do Stats because it was a requisite to get my Psychology degree. I am still amazed that I passed all 3 years of Stats hahaha. :P I thought I never have to do Stats again. But of course, I just had to land myself in research work where using Stats analysis is part of the work. Maybe I just have a thing with "torturing" myself, hahaha. :P

Today, I was working on a set of data. The data was quite strange, couldn't really get much out of it. To be honest, it was a little frustrating. But I guess that is where the joy of Stats is as well. Stats allows you to play around with the data until you can make sense of it. It was exhilarating when I could finally understand what the data was trying to tell me. :)

Monday, 14 July 2008

Young Avengers and X-Men

I have started reading graphic novels again. My latest read are Young Avengers: Sidekicks and Family Matters, which follows after Avengers Disassembled. Can't wait to read the next issue of Young Avengers, that is, if I am lucky to find it in the library, lol.

I also read X-Men. Happened to see this on Blogthings. So which X-Men am I?

You Are Jean Grey

Although your fate is often unknown, you always seem to survive (even after death).

Your mind is your greatest weapon, literally!

Powers: telepathy and telekinesis, the ability to project thoughts into the mind of others, communication with animals

Cool, just the kind of powers I have always wanted. Hahaha. :P

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Afternoon Tea

We only went out in the afternoon after I watched my CSI. We went to Isetan Scotts again lol. We went to tcc first for afternoon tea as I didn't really have lunch and was quite hungry.

I ordered a Cream of Fennel with Smoked Salmon ($7) and a Lychee Jazz ($5.80). The soup was really tasty, better than I had expected and the smoked salmon gave it extra taste and flavour. :) I liked the Lychee Jazz because it has my favourites together - lychee and mint. I found it a tad too sweet though, might ask them to serve the syrup separately next time.

The girls had cakes: Devil's Chocolate and Chocolaty Berries ($5.80 each) and we shared a Warm Vanilla Bread Pudding ($7.20). The bread pudding was warm, moist and sweet and it went well with the cappuccino ice cream.

After our tea, we spent some time at Isetan as the girls' father wanted to buy a pair of shoes. We left for home when he didn't see anything he likes.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Weekend with Juliane

The little one initially didn't want to go out with me, wanted to stay home with my mother again. Lol. But I finally managed to coax her into going out with me, even promised to take her to her favourite Green Frog. But today, she asked for Korean food! Ok, on! Anything that is not Green Frog, I am happy lol. :P

Yes, as I have predicted, we were at Isetan Scotts again. Lol. I got myself a top but also got some nagging from Juliane about buying too many clothes lol. Talk about role reversal, haha. :P

After shopping at Isetan, we walked over to Far East Plaza to have lunch at Su Korean Cuisine Restaurant. We ordered a Lunch set ($8) to share: Seafood Fried Rice which came with a choice of Korean side dishes or soup and we ordered the side dishes. At the end of the meal, each of us got a plate of fruits as well. Definitely value for money! The 6 side dishes were simply delicious. The fried rice was standard but they were very generous with the ingredients such as prawns and squid. Juliane loved the fried rice. :)

After lunch, we headed for home. Juliane sought her grandparents' company while I started reading Matthew Reilly's Contest. :)

Friday, 11 July 2008

The Weekend is Here

The weekend is upon us again. I have to start cracking my brain to think of a place to bring Juliane to. We are always at Isetan Scotts because it is nearest to home and the furthest I have brought her to is Raffles City. It is not that I don't like Isetan Scotts. In actual fact, I love shopping there because of the discounts I can get and of course, I've got my Kipling counter there lol.

It is always the lunch that I dread if we go to Isetan Scotts. Juliane only wants to eat at Green Frog (Sakae)! Sigh. Somehow she is not very adventurous when it comes to food. I know she takes after me with her sense of adventure. But apparently, her sense of adventure disappears when it comes to food, lol.

Thinking, thinking, where to go tomorrow?!

PS. Most probably will end up at Isetan again. Hahaha. :P

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Comic Kid

I was coding a video clip today and I saw the funniest thing.

It was a lower Primary classroom and the teacher was going through the marked worksheet with the students. The class was rather rowdy and noisy. At times, I couldn't hear the teacher nor the students very well because of the noise level. A number of students were told to stand by the teacher for making too much noise. About 20 minutes into the video, the person who took the video slowly panned the camcorder around the classroom and it rested on this particular boy. I have seen him previously in the video, he was a very quiet boy and seemed to be looking at his textbook. Soon, the camcorder started zooming in on him. Oh mine! The boy was not reading his textbook. He was openly reading a classic Batman comics! No wonder he was so quiet lol. He was really cool as a cucumber. He continued reading his Batman comics the whole lesson his teacher was scolding his classmates left, right and centre. He never once looked up! The amazing thing was the teacher never caught the boy even though he was only seated in the second row in class and openly reading the comics. Lol. One cool kid, man or one gutsy kid. Hahaha. :P

I know the boy shouldn't have done that and I shouldn't have thought it funny. But it was the funniest thing I have seen in a classroom since I left teaching. I burst out laughing when I saw that in the video. The things that kids do in class, lol. :P

Wednesday, 9 July 2008


I heard Blake's CD when I was in my friend's car last week on my way to Seletar Reservoir. The CD belonged to her husband who was driving the car then. Friend's husband said Blake is a band from UK and he likes their singing.

At first, I thought, "Hmm, ok, beautiful voices. In perfect harmony and pitch. But hor, classical singing, must be some prim and proper, boring looking, middle-aged guys." Boy, did my eyes pop when I saw the CD cover. I saw four really gorgeous looking guys!!! And Friend's husband insisted that Blake is NOT a boy band. Err... hello, Friend's Husband, a group, gorgeous looking, still NOT boy band??!! Hahaha. Even better, they can sing most beautifully! Lol. :)

After more than a week, I found myself still thinking about them, oops, I mean their singing. Lol. A Freudian slip. Hahaha. Lol. :P Here's Yo Te Voy A Amar (I'll Make Love to You) by Blake, the classical boy band. :)

PS. My heart is melting just listening to them sing. Hahaha. :P

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

What Holiday Food Am I?

I know I had some holiday in March. But I am already looking forward to another holiday and some delicious holiday food!

You Are a Gingerbread House

A little spicy and a little sweet, anyone would like to be lost in the woods with you.

Hmm, sounds really naughty lol. :P

Monday, 7 July 2008

Monkey Businesses

As I looked at the events of the past week, I realised it was dominated by monkey businesses! Lol.

First, it is, by now, the infamous monkey mating business, haha. :P Already on that day, colleagues who were with me at Seletar were "lamenting" (jokingly, of course) why I didn't capture it on video. When my other friends read about that blog entry Sunburnt Fun, some asked how could I not have captured that?! :P While some asked why was I so tickled by that? Well, we all need some excitement in our lives lol. Never mind, if it is only excitement from seeing monkeys mating away. A colleague said either we (researchers) are very deprived or we are going nuts, haha. Hmm, maybe both I think. :P
That blog entry also resulted in an ex-student of mine laughing in her class. Thank goodness, she wasn't caught by her teacher for not paying attention in class. I am glad I could still make you girls laugh (remember I used to tell you girls jokes in class?) but please NO MORE reading of blogs in class. Pay attention, even if the class is boring. Ok?! Haha.

Second, it is the Kipling bags. I have never been to Kipling shops one day after another. In case, some of you don't understand, the logo for Kipling is a monkey. For some of its collections, each bag has a little monkey hanging from it and each monkey has a name. :) That's why my girls and I also fondly call Kipling the Monkey bag. Actually, I think I buy Kipling bags for the monkeys. Hahaha. :P No lah, Kipling bags are water-resistant, light weight and durable. :)

It has been a fun week with the "monkeys", lol.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Kipling Craze II and Tea Break

We had lunch at home as my mother cooked chicken rice. We won't pass it up for anything, lol. After lunch, we decided to go "walk walk" but undecided where to go. My mother upon hearing we were going out, wanted me to get her the same Kipling bag which I bought from the Kipling boutique at Vivocity just last week. Ok, that's it, my mother has just decided that we are going to Vivocity but I dragged her along. Haha. Since she wanted to buy her bag, she might as go down to the boutique. Who knows, she might decide another bag is better. :)

At the Kipling boutique, the salepersons were clearing away some of the collections to put in new arrivals so it was a little messy and some shelves were empty. Unfortunately for my mother, the bag she wanted no longer had the blue colour. She looked around and did find something else that she likes but it wasn't on sale as it is a new arrival item. She decided she will wait for the Isetan private sale to get the bag from the Kipling counter.

We were tired as we spent an hour at the Kipling boutique lol. :P We went to Pacific Coffee Company for tea. We girls had gelato (strawberry, chocolate, vanilla and tiramusu) and we also shared a Ham and Egg Pie and a Molten Chocolate Cake. The gelato was nice and cooled us down as we were seated outdoors. The chocolate cake was really rich and sweet. It was a pretty relaxing afternoon. :)

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Kipling Craze, Choupinette and Lord of The Rings

Today I went out with Juliane. We went to Isetan Scotts as I needed to buy pj for the girls and some items from the supermarket. With the Isetan card, we could save a bit, lol.

As usual, my first stop at Isetan was the Kipling counter, lol. Currently, they are having a 30% off for selected regular-priced items. For sale items, they are as much as 50% off for some! Quite worth it! Hahaha. Ok, it might be worth it to me only as I am crazy about Kipling bags lol. I was just causally looking through the sale items and saw the cutest Kipling mini handbag! It is a miniature of the adult handbag. Really cute! It is just nice for the girls and it is 50% off, at only $49.50. Hmm, it is time to introduce Kipling handbags to the girls. Hahaha. Must share the joy, right? :P I got both girls the same mini handbag but in different colours, Juliane purple and Marieann red. :) They look quite good on me too, I can borrow from the girls. Lol. :P

After being sidetracked at Kipling, we returned to our shopping and then adjourned to Sakae for lunch. No choice, since Juliane hasn't had it for a while. Wah, Sakae has upped the prices. Sigh. Inflation, what to do?! :(

We got home around 2:30pm. After that, I had a pretty relaxing afternoon reading a novel and napping, lol.

The other morning, after registering Marieann for Primary 1, the girls' father and I wanted to have a quick breakfast before he sent me to work. However, not many places were opened for breakfast. We had almost given up hope and thought Mckkies might be the only choice when we happened to chance upon Choupinette which is along the way to my work place, lol. Choupinette is a quaint little French bistro along Bukit Timah Road. I like the decor and the atmosphere. :)

We both had the Laurent's Set ($18+): egg (scrambled, fried or poached) with sausage (chicken or pork), a "tomato provencale" and bread roll with small juice and hot/ cold drink. I had scrambled egg with pork sausage, grapefruit juice and iced passion fruit tea while the girls' father also had scrambled egg but with chicken sausage, orange juice and iced mocha. I never ate my breakfast so fast! Lol. It was really good, specially the scrambled egg and pork sausage. The egg was moist with a creamy consistency. The pork sausage was nicely herbed and with bits in it. It was very nice and full of flavour and bite.

I will come back to this bistro again to try its other dishes. :)

Am watching The Lord of The Rings while writing this entry. LOTR is one movie or rather a trilogy that I will never tire of watching. My family all rolled their eyes when they saw me watching The Two Towers last week and now The Return of the King today lol. I can't help it, LOTR is a great epic fantasy! :)

Friday, 4 July 2008

Road Trip

I used to go on road trips with two good friends when I was in Australia. We have done road trips in Queensland and Victoria. The guys would take turns to drive while I just relax and enjoy the scenery cos I can't drive lol. Unfortunately, I haven't had the chance to go on road trips any more. Hopefully, I will again one day. Maybe when I learn to drive, haha. :P

Here is what the Road Trip test say about me, lol.

The Road Trip of Your Life

You see romantic love as what's most important in life. A deep connection with someone else is the primary thing you crave.

Your life is quite hectic. You try to slow down when you can, but it's not easy!

You're willing to take a few risks in life. You may not take the road no one travels, but you're happy to take the road less traveled.

You are able to find a fairly healthy balance between work and play. You work when you need to, but you never let yourself burn out.

In another life, you could have been a great artist. You trust your creative instincts enough to let them lead you.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Primary 1 Registration

This is the time of the year where parents of 6 year olds would be registering their children for Primary 1 in the school of their choice the following year. There are a number of different phases for registering the child for Primary 1. Click here.

It can be a very stressful period for some parents. Actually, the stress can start as early as two years before. For parents who want their children to get into certain schools (usually the popular and good ones) and they aren't old girls or old boys, they would have to start doing voluntary work at the school at least 2 years prior to their children registering for Primary 1. And these voluntary work for the school may not 100% guarantee a place because the popular schools more often than not, always have to ballot the remaining places. So for these parents, getting into a particular popular school can be considered as lucky as striking the lottery. :)

I am lucky that I am an old girl and a member of the SCGS alumni. I was able to register Marieann in Phase 2A1. I was at my alma mater at 8:15am and I was Queue No. 6. Lol. My former colleagues were delighted to see me. Yar, I was once a teacher at SCGS, lol. I spent time chatting with them while the girls' father filled up the forms. By 8:50am, everything was done and Marieann has been confirmed of a place for Primary 1 in 2009. :) This also means that Juliane will automatically get into SCGS too when her turn comes for Primary 1 registration. Hahaha. I am very glad that I only have daughters because I know they can get into SCGS through me. It would be a nightmare if I have a son because the girls' father was formerly a Malaysian and the schools closest to us are Nanyang, Henry Park, ACS... See the problem? Thank goodness. Lol.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

The Happening is Happening...

For environmentalists, environmental conservationists, The Happening is happening and it is a happening movie, I think lol. I watched The Happening in the evening.

The movie wasted no time in throwing us into the mystery. It started with people doing strange things in Central Park, New York; the school where the main character Elliot is teaching is cancelled due to apparent "terrorist attack"; construction workers jumping off building; people shooting themselves in the head,... Soon, you have Elliot, his wife, Alma, Elliot's teacher friend, Julian and his daughter, Jesse leaving on a train for safety. Things started going downhill when the train stopped in the middle of nowhere. News started coming in of similar strange occurrences in other states but contained to the northeast US. Julian entrusted his daughter, Jesse to the care of Elliot and Alma while he went to look for his wife. Elliot and company, and others left for the state line. People in the group started getting affected and killing themselves whenever a strange wind blew, rustling the trees, the bushes and the grass.... Elliot finally believed that the plants were killing people by releasing some kind of toxin and the toxin was triggered by the threat, ie. the big groups of people, the plants perceived. More things happened in between and people continued to die... Then, the mystery/ the crisis ended as suddenly as it appeared. Three months later, life was almost back to normal for Elliot, Alma and Jesse. A scientist on a talk show warned that the strange occurrence was a sign, like a red tide, that the planet is fighting back against Man who have been polluting the environment. The host said if what the scientist said was true, it should be happening in other places. Just then, we are shown France and it has started again.

My initial thought of the movie was I didn't like it because there is no twist. It is just a natural occurrence, a very simple event happening. I much preferred M. Night Shyamalan's The Sixth Sense which had drama, mystery, thriller, supernatural. The Happening is just very plain.

However, as I thought more about the movie, I realised that there was more to it. Although a plain movie, it has a powerful message for us, about us destroying our environment, our planet. If we don't change our ways now, maybe our planet might take matters into her own hands, like in the movie, and crush us like cockroaches. Who knows, our planet might already be fighting back. I think students might enjoy watching this movie as it would provoke them to think about environmental conservation. The Happening might engaged them more than the documentaries such as An Inconvenient Truth, and The 11th Hour, lol.

Verdict: I like The Happening for the thoughts it provoked.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Charming Work

I volunteered for an assignment today. I thought I probably won't get it as I am only a small fry. To my surprise, I actually got it. :) Excellent! A good friend told me most people would not have volunteered for things like that because no one wants to take on more work. Hmm, does that mean I am an idiot, asking for more work? Maybe, but I prefer to see it as a learning experience. That's me. :)

The admin staff said I got the assignment because I am charming. Hahaha. That's funny. I don't think I am always charming. I do have my uncharming days, lol. Tried out this Blogthing "Are you charming?".

You Are Pretty Charming

While you're not a natural charmer, you can be charming when you want to be.

And lucky for those around you, you usually feel like turning on the charm.

You project a happy, calm image - even when you're feeling the exact opposite.

You make people feel great about being around you... though you're not always up for putting in the effort.