making it easier to keep in touch with family and friends

Saturday, 28 February 2009

Pre-Birthday Celebration

We met up with Juliane's godfamily for late lunch at Sushi Tei, Vivocity. Thinking it was already 2pm, there would be plenty of tables. However, the place was still pretty crowded when we arrived at 2pm. We talked about our past holidays. Now it seems like we may likely be going to Korea for a holiday. Juliane received her birthday present from her godparents. She was smiling from ear to ear when she saw the present and ang bao lol. Marieann also received a present too.

We parted ways after lunch and browsed around the place for a while. We left at 4pm+ to get Juliane's birthday cake from Bengawan Solo, Centrepoint. It was raining dogs and cats when we left. It has been a long while since it rained like that.

In the evening, we had a pre-birthday celebration for Juliane. It was a quiet affair compared to Marieann's, with a close family friend having dinner with us. My cousins were out of the country and my in-laws, one was sick and the other decided not to come too. Oh well, it didn't matter to Juliane because she was only interested in having her cake and eating it, literally hahaha.

Friday, 27 February 2009

Expectation and Disappointment

Being a psychology grad and dabbing some bits into statistics, I should have known this a long time ago. Yet I still fell for it.

Expectation and disappointment are positively correlated. The higher the expectation, the greater the disappointment. Sigh.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Respite For Now

Today is the last day of going out to the schools for testing. The next busy period will be in May. So for now, we will have some rest until May. However, that doesn't mean I will be shaking leg from now till May lol. There are still preparation work to be done for the testing in May. But at least preparation work will not be as physically gruelling as going out to the schools and lugging the materials for testing. :P

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

USA Conference Trip II

Would you believe me if I told you that I have already planned out what I am going to do on my USA conference trip?

Yup. I have it all planned. :) From the first day I arrive, right up to the last day I depart. Besides the 3 days where I will be at the conference, the rest of the time I will be sight-seeing lol. :P I already have in mind which are the day trips that I will be going on - Orange County experience, LA/Hollywood, San Diego & Mexico and of course, not forgetting Universal Studio, Disneyland Park and Disney's California Adventure Park. :) Yes, I will be packing a lot into the limited days I have, hahaha. Oh yes, and outlet shopping too! :)

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

USA Conference Trip

I have almost settled the administrative part of my USA conference trip.

I have registered and paid for the conference. The air ticket has been booked and paid. My seats have been selected too. :) My accommodation has been booked at a nearby hotel, 5 minutes walk to the conference venue. All that I have left to do is to apply for the authorisation to enter USA. Maybe I will do that over the weekend. :)

Monday, 23 February 2009


Wah this one is real accurate! :) Tried with my girls' birth dates too and I am completely in awe lol.

Your Birthday Predicts You're Adventurous

Ever since you were born, you've loved your life.

You keep very busy without meaning to. There's just so many activities that you enjoy.

Travel, friendships, an interesting career, and lots of hobbies fill up your schedule.

You find so much joy in the world. You have a very rich life.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Educational Outing at Science Centre

We - Marieann, Juliane and I had a girls' outing with Marieann's classmate, Jewel and her mother at the Science Centre. Jewel's mother picked us up from the Botanic garden at 9:30am. When we arrived at the Science Centre close to 10am, there were quite a number of cars in the car park. Everyone must have had the same idea as us, start early lol.

We browsed around the halls and at one of the halls, the girls saw a chick hatching which enthralled them completely. We went over to the Omni-theatre at 11am to catch "The Alps" followed by "Wild Ocean" at 12pm. Both movies were pretty interesting. But I think sitting in the omni theatre for 2 hours were too long for the girls hahaha.

We had lunch at McDonald's before going back into the Science Centre to explore the halls. We also saw the Magic Exhibition. The girls were fascinated by the truth about magic haha. Our last stop was the shop. Girls being girls, we have to shop hahaha. :P The girls each bought an item that was not more than $2 - an hour glass. :) Jewel's mother sent us home around 3pm.

We had a really interesting and educational outing and day. We all took back some new knowledge with us and I spent quality time with my girls. Not to mention, the girls had a fun time with their friend and I also got to know Jewel's mother better. :)

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Birthday Party

I attended Marieann's school's briefing for parents at 11:30am. It was informative. After the briefing, I chatted with my former colleagues. They laughed that I should be speaking to Marieann's form teacher but instead I was chatting away with them. Well, there will be parent-teacher meeting for that haha. :P

After the briefing, I rushed down to Tanglin Mall where Marieann and Juliane were attending a birthday party from 12:30 to 2pm. It was a neighbour's daughter's 2nd birthday. Most of the children are much younger like 2, 3 or 4 years old, Marieann might have felt out of place so she was pretty much just standing at the side and observing them. As for Juliane, she was just joining in the fun without care hahaha. The girls also had their face painted.

The party ended just after 2pm. As it rained, their grandfather came to pick us up. We got home and we both went to work - Marieann learning her spelling and I working on the project.

Friday, 20 February 2009


Updated 21 Feb 2009, 1:12am. Still awake despite being exhausted. :(

Exhausted! I really am exhausted. I think I can sleep for 24 hours straight!

Sorted out a bit of the budget in the morning before going down to the school. Came back from school, throat sore and hungry. But there was still much to be done, like packing of materials for Monday early morning school visit! If a good friend hadn't drag me to lunch at 3pm, I think I would have totally skipped lunch. :P

Really exhausted...

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Mind Games

I like playing mind games. I don't mean the psychological term of "mind games". I have no time to play those type of mind games. I literally mean games that stretches your mind. :)

I have been playing the Shanghai Mahjong game to relax my mind when I take a break from my work, especially when I work late at night. It is quite challenging as you have to clear all the mahjong tiles in order to win. You really have to strategise how to pair off the tiles. My best time was under 4m to clear all the tiles. :) After the game, I often feel my mind is more alert lol.

Try it at this
link. It is quite fun and truth be told, it is quite addictive too. You have been warned. :P

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

On a Continuum

Today, I experienced from one end of the continuum to the other end.

I received some news and became really depressed in the morning. :(

However, as the day progressed, I saw how my friends rallied around me, how they encouraged and cared for me. I began to feel better. I realised that I was not alone. Thanks, my friends. I really appreciate all of you. :)

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Energy Level

I received a nice comment on my recent Sunday blog post. I thought I would reply her here. :)

"Charmaine said...

How did you do it with so little sleep? When I do not have enough sleep, I feel grouchy the next day. You still have energy to cook and coach your girl. Really admire your energy! :-)

17 February 2009 09:18"

Well, many thanks for your compliment. :) You make me sound like I am some superwoman lol. :P I do feel grouchy too when I don't get enough sleep (like only 1-2 hours of sleep) but my body has been conditioned to survive on just a few hours of sleep (average 5 hours) over time. I guess growing up in a household of late sleepers and early raisers makes my sleeping habit seems "normal" lol. But it is a bad sleeping habit, no doubt haha. So don't follow me! Haha. :P

A tip: I do find taking power naps of duration 15-20 minutes, really great for revitalising me lol. :P

Monday, 16 February 2009

Work, Work, Work!

I seem to be clearing things off my Things To Do list slowly. Once something is done, I would tick it off my list. It never fails to give me a sense of achievement haha. :) But somehow once something is cleared, something else would come its way. It is a never ending cycle lol. Such is life.

I had just finished editing the book and going through the paper for submission. Two other things have appeared on my plate - I have to work on the proposal budgets again... and I have taken over from my PI to continue to work on another paper that my PI and I are going to submit to the conference proceedings which is due this Friday! As my PI said to me which sums it up, "Breathe, breathe, life is just so exciting, as usual!" Hahaha :P

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Stay Home Sunday

But I wasn't lazing at home. I was up to my neck with work, lol. No, seriously, I was.

Since last night, I spent my time editing a book till the early hours of this morning like 7am. Had some sleep. In the late morning, I had another go at the editing before I sent it off to the other co-editors. After that, I took a last look at the journal paper that my PI and I are going to send to one of the top prestigious science education international journal. In the afternoon, I worked on creating a master list for 29 classes of P1 students. At night, I worked on my counselling reports. In between, I cooked pasta lunch for the girls and taught Marieann her spelling. Juliane was pretty good and didn't disturb me much.

All in all, it was definitely a busy "Work, Work, Work!" Sunday for me.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Oz Double Bay in Singapore

It is the weekend again.

We went to try out a new dining place in town, Double Bay which serves Australian food at Raffles City for lunch. I like the greenhouse look of the whole place, fantastic for watching people and cars, lol.

For soup, we shared a Seafood Cioppino ($10.90): seafood broth with clams, mussels, fish, squid and prawns. The portion of ingredients were pretty generous but the broth was a little too salty and I thought maybe if it was a cream soup, it would have been better. We also shared a Mussels Mariniere in White Wine ($18.90): mussels cooked in white wine and leek. It was not too bad.

The girls shared a Linguine with Seafood ($19.90) and each had a scoop of ice cream as dessert.

I had the traditional charcoal grill Kurobuta Pork Loin ($16.90) served with mashed potato and salad. The pork was nicely grilled, not dry at all and went well with the mustard sauce. But as it was a starter portion so not very filling. :( The mashed potato that came with the pork was wonderful. Really buttery and smooth. :) The girls had most of it. :) I had, for dessert, the Assiette of Dark Chocolate ($10.90): a trio of chocolate mousse, bitter chocolate tart and chocolate ice cream. Pure HEAVEN! The chocolate trio wasn't very sweet and not cloying too, maybe because the portion was quite small. The girls also took bites from my not very huge portion of dessert.

The girls' father had Barred Cod ($23.90) served with mushrooms. The fish was a little too oily for my liking or maybe it was just today that I didn't fancy fish. For dessert, he had Double Bay Signature Warm Apple Pie ($10.90) which came with vanilla bean ice cream. The apple pie was a crusty pie of a moderate size. :) It was quite nice, sweet and sourish at the same time.

On the whole, Double Bay is not too bad. The menu is mostly make up of seafood dishes. They have limited meat dishes and they are only starter portions from the Grill. Maybe next time I will try its sandwich or pie dish which looks a lot more filling. :P

Friday, 13 February 2009


For the second day running, my blog has 100+ hits. :P

Today, I also received a number of comments on my blog posts. :) One was an extremely nice and heartfelt comment. I was very touched by the comment. However, I have deleted the comment at the commenter's request. I have posted my reply (in comment section) to the commenter. Thank you very much. :) And to my friend, yes, you are very blessed to have blessed family and friends. So must appreciate us and don't be late anymore for our gatherings! Hahahaha. :P

I also received comments that I have an interesting blog and that I have an interesting life. :) Well, I always thought that my life can be much more interesting lol. But it is interesting to know that people view my life as interesting. Thanks. :)

To my friends, to my blog readers (both accidental and intentional :)), thanks for reading my blog and thanks for leaving your comments. I really appreciate it. :)

Thursday, 12 February 2009

My Blog

I was very surprised with the number of hits I had on my blog today. It had 102 hits.

But I think I know why. Quite a number of colleagues were reading my blog post about a certain wonderful colleague of ours leaving. (Sob sob again.) I didn't realise some of my colleagues were actually following my blog and I think some of them must have told others about it lol. I had a colleague telling me that she read my blog and I don't recall ever sending her my blog link. Yikes. My blog is circulating around and I hope it is circulated among friends, haha. :P

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Good News II

This evening when checking my work email, I received a most wonderful piece of news.

I have been awarded the International Scholarship for the coming international conference for science education in April in Orange County, California, USA! There are only 15 scholarships to be awarded. I had thought I would stand no chance of getting it as there are many international participants as can be seen from the 45 pages of presenters' schedule. So you can imagine my happiness! :)

I immediately informed my PI, and my good friends about my award. Hahaha. Good news must share mah. :P They are all very happy for me too. :) Not too bad, I managed to bag two international conference scholarships within a space of 6 months. Yeah! :P

I must work really hard now. Maybe can bag best paper award too??!! HAHAHAHA. Only joking. :P

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Sad News

Today, my heart is heavy. A really good friend and colleague is leaving our centre. Sob sob. :(

Belinda is a really encouraging person and never fails to bring a smile to my face with her cheerfulness. She has often looked out for us and helped us in whatever way she can. She is a really good friend. Oh she happens to be my friend's aunt too. We only discovered the connection 2 years ago... small world indeed. :)

Today, a good friend/colleague and I had lunch with Belinda at Soup Restaurant. It was the best lunch I have had... the food was good but most importantly, it was the great company. We were really enjoying ourselves with the food, chatting away and laughing. It was nice to be so relaxed until we saw big shots from our institute walking into the restaurant too! :O Hahaha. You can imagine our shock! My friend and I were but not Belinda, she's as cool as a cucumber. Lol. Of course, they saw us so no choice, we have to greet them. :P

Belinda, thank you for everything you have done for me, all those encouragements and smiles. You really look out for me, for us. You are always so supportive of us! Thanks. We will take your advice to heart. :) Remember to work hard and play hard too at your new work place. We will do the same here, haha. :P But without you here, it would be different...

I wish you all the Best. :) Do keep in touch!

Monday, 9 February 2009

Good News I

I had two school visits today.

After the first school visit, I received a sms from a good friend notifying me that it is official. Huh? What is official? Oh, the professor whom I am currently helping has received his appointment as Head of our research centre!

I have been waiting for this news for quite a while. Finally, it is official! :)

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Bad Headache

I started having a very bad headache the night before. It was so bad that I threw up. I felt slightly better after that. But as I worked on a journal paper, it started getting really bad again and I decided to call it a night at 2:50am. Maybe sleep might help.

Woke up in the morning and the headache was still there. Don't know what is wrong. Never had a headache so bad before... :( Actually my headaches are becoming more frequent too. Maybe it is time to have a check. :(

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Weekend Homework

Marieann has to make a glove puppet over the weekend to be handed in next Tuesday. We went to Spotlight, Plaza Singapura to get the craft materials. We bought some black wool, red sequins, eyes and craft glue.

Before we bought the materials, we had lunch at Cafe Cartel.
The girls had Soup of the Day: Mushroom and shared a Carbonara pasta ($13.50). I thought the cream sauce was really nice. :) I had the Grilled Chicken ($12.80) but with the side dish of pasta changed to mashed potato. It was not too bad. We shared a Waldorf Salad ($8.20). The girls' father was on diet by having only a Banana and Peach Waffle ($8.80) (he is disillusioned if he thinks that is going to help him lose weight).

When we got home, Marieann and I started making her glove puppet. It was quite fun. :)

Friday, 6 February 2009

Death and Honour

Within the space of one year, I have attended four wakes. It is sad for me because I feel for them, those who have lost their loved ones.

I think most people would shy away from attending wakes and even more so during the Chinese New Year period... But to me, if I have to be there to give support to my friends, I will be there. No questions asked as I have done for the past two Chinese New Year. As I always said, luck, be it good or bad, is what you made of it.

After work, I attended a wake in the evening with another friend. Our good friend has lost his grandmother. Our friend was concerned when it started raining and told us not to bother. But to me, once word is given, I will stick to my words. Not go, just because of rain? Then I would be a very shallow person, wouldn't I? A little inconvenience won't stop me from being there for my friends.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Energy Level

Guess if I am holding a number of part-time jobs concurrently, I will need to have my energy level high! I can survive on less than 6 hours of sleep each day. Good or bad?! Lol. I think I can use my energy productively as long as I don't procrastinate like now, I am blogging away haha.
Your Energy Level is High

You are a very enthusiastic, productive person. You have no trouble getting anything done.

Beyond having a lot of energy, it's likely that your energy level tends to be quite steady.

Unlike people with very high energy, you don't tend to be impulsive.

By keeping your energy in check, you are able to use it as productively as possible.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Office CNY Party

Our research centre had its CNY party at lunch. I attended it after my counselling.

It was potluck rather than catered food. It was a refreshing change. For once, I could take quite a lot of the food because they weren't spicy lol. Most times when the food was catered, there were spicy dishes. :( I really like the Korean pancake made by a Korean colleague, lol. :) The dumpling was really nice too. So were the salad and the mushroom tarts. :) The ice cream was the best hahaha. :) Yes, I was on a sugar rush after that even though my colleagues were watching me closely. I still managed to sneak past their eagle eyes and eat more ice cream than I should lol. :P

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

2nd Opinion

It is time to seek a 2nd opinion.

Marieann has been wearing her glasses since she was in K1. The school health team discovered that she has astigmatism and she was prescribed her glasses. There was a follow-up check when she was in K2. However, since late last year, she has been telling my parents who are at home most of the time that she can see clearly without her glasses.

I guess I better bring her for another check-up, for a 2nd opinion. This time, the appointment is at NUH Eye Clinic. Let's hope we hear good news.

Monday, 2 February 2009


It has been a month since Marieann started Primary 1. I think she is settling well.

She would write her homework stuff in her dairy if there is any. She would do her homework if she has any. She would tell me if there is any notice from school. She is packing her own bag now without my help. There is now Spelling and Chinese spelling every week for her. So far, no complaints from school yet. That is good! Considering I used to be a teacher and taught at SCGS too, it is pretty stressful for me hahaha. Imagine if my former colleagues have to call me up to complain about my girl?! Where would I hide my face?! Lol. :P

Marieann is coping well in school and I am proud of her.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Books and Lions

I brought Juliane to Popular to buy textbooks for Marieann. She has been keeping her textbooks in school. There was this other day when Marieann called me at work and said that she had to revise Hanyu Pinyin at home and the thing was she left her Chinese textbook in school! Sigh. Thank goodness, I have Hanyu Pinyin cards at home which she could use to revise. So I thought might as well buy another set of textbooks to put at home so that she could revise at home when needed.

I also got my UK nephews two Chinese books. Although the books are in simplified Chinese, whereas my nephews are learning traditional form Chinese, the books might still come in useful as they have Hanyu Pinyin, Chinese characters and English meaning as well as sections where they can practice writing the characters. So YM, the books should be going your way soon.

After Popular, Juliane and I walked to Raffles City for lunch. On the way, we watched lion dance at Raffles Hotel Shopping Arcade. Juliane was excited to see the lion dance up close but at the same time she wasn't too thrilled with the loud gongs and such. After lunch at The Spoon Soup and having Hokkaido ice cream for dessert, we went home.