making it easier to keep in touch with family and friends

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Meeting Up

I was really happy to meet up with David and his wife, Ursula. I met them earlier in May at the AERA, Denver too. :) It was really nice to catch up with them again. In a way, I feel they are like grandparents to me. After the conference ended for the day, David and Ursula took me to dinner at an Italian restaurant, not far from the conference venue.

We had a delicious dinner (I had the most fantastic duck and mushroom risotto!!) and a wonderful chat about work, dissertation, and educational issues in USA and Singapore. After dinner, they even walked me back to my accommodation, citing that they needed to walk off the heavy dinner. David and Ursula are really nice people, very grandparent-ly to me that is. :P I hope they will come by Singapore again so that I can bring them around.

When I returned to my apartment around 9pm, it was time to work as my presentation is on tomorrow morning. I haven't had the chance to practise my presentation yet. :(

Monday, 29 November 2010


I have to make a mental note to myself: NEVER fall ill before going away! I was really unfocused at the conference and most of the time, I found myself wishing I was back at my apartment sleeping. :( I was suffering from my cold and jet lag. A double whammy. :(

Sunday, 28 November 2010


Cold and miserable in a foreign country. It was only a low 18C and I was still trying to recover from my cold. :( I managed to do an early check-in into my studio apartment accommodation. And the next thing I did was SLEEP!

My studio apartment from the door

The living and the dining areas

The dining area, the kitchen and the bedroom

View from the bed towards the living and dining areas

I woke in mid afternoon, still feeling tired. :( But hunger won and I needed to get food. I walked to the city centre which was about 10 minutes away, had lunch (at Subway! haha :P) and bought groceries from the supermarket. After depositing the groceries at the apartment, I went to the conference to register and collect the conference materials. While walking back to the apartment, I saw an Asian supermarket! :) I went straight in and bought instant cup noodles!! Haha :P That was to be my dinner as I was still too tired and sick to venture out later in the cold for dinner.

I was nodding off at 9pm while watching tv. The overnight flight has taken its toll on me, and I think being unwell added to the toll as well. I decided to have an early night so that I can be ready for the first day of conference tomorrow.

Saturday, 27 November 2010


I will be away for a conference and a short break after the conference. There is no Internet connection where I am staying. I will try to update my blog during my break in Sydney. If not, I will definitely update it when I return to Singapore after 7th December.
Thanks for bearing with me.

Juliane's Graduation Ceremony

Today is Juliane's graduation ceremony. She will be in Primary 1 next year.

We arrived at NTUC Auditorium, Marina Boulevard at 11am because K2 graduates have to arrive earlier to dress up in their graduation gowns and hats. The MMI concert started at 12.10pm with a welcome speech and followed by the presentation of certificates to the K2 graduates. I am so proud to see Juliane in her graduation gown lol. :P

Juliane was also the emcee for their K2 dance item as well as being in the dance. She showed a lot of confidence speaking in public which is good. :)

The concert ended at 2pm and Juliane took some photos with her K2 classmates as after next week (last week of school for K2), they will be going their separate ways.

Happy Birthday, Dinh

It is my sister-in-law's (who is in UK) birthday today.

Happy Birthday, Dinh. Hope you get lots of love and LOVE. :)

Lots of love from your family in Singapore

Friday, 26 November 2010

Farewell, Shirley

Today we had a farewell lunch for our colleague and friend, Shirley. We went to Pastamania, Tuas as it would be less crowded than our usual eating place. :)

We talked and laughed in between eating our pasta. All too soon, the good time ended and we have to go back to the office. Before we left, we presented Shirley with her farewell gift. We hope she will remember us always whenever she sees the gift. I think it would be hard for her to forget us haha. :P

See, with a gift like that, how to forget us?! Haha :P

It is sad to see Shirley go but at the same time, I am happy for her as it will be a new journey in life for her. I wish you all the best, Shirley. Keep in touch, ok?

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Trip Prep

I will be going off on Saturday night. I have yet to finish packing my luggage. :( I initially thought I could bring my summer clothes but it seems the weather is going to be cold, max around 22-24C while min can be as low as 11C. :( I have to pack my winter wear instead. Sigh. That is going to add weight to and take up space in my luggage which means I can't shop as much as I want lol. :P
Can't shop as much aside, I think I am more worried about my health. As I am still recovering from my cold, I will certainly dread catching another chill there. Touchwood!

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Down and Out

I thought I might be able to sleep off whatever I was suffering from yesterday but it didn't work. I dragged myself to see the doctor this morning and I was given a bunch of medication. Yup, I am down and out. My only concern is that I might not recover in time for my trip where the weather is currently erratic, one week hot and another week cold. :(
Meanwhile, I sure try to rest as much as I can, drink plenty of water and (yes, my family doctor said this to me) DON'T talk so much! I talk so much meh?! :(

Tuesday, 23 November 2010


While at work, I didn't feel too well. My throat was really sore and my shoulders and back ached. :( I hope I am not coming down with something...

Monday, 22 November 2010

Conference Prep

I am still in the midst of finalising my slides. :( I had initially hoped that I would have finished by now. Maybe another day or two.
After the slides, I have to start thinking about writing and submitting an abstract for another conference next May. The due date for the submission of abstract is on 1 December. Not many days left... :(

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Hi Cute Baby

For the very first time, the girls met their latest cousin, Yeun Zhen via Skype. They were really thrilled. Juliane kept saying that Yeun Zhen is so cute. :)

They also spoke to their maternal grandparents and their other cousins, Yeun Yi (Abel) and Yeun Song (Matthew). It has been a while since the cousins last saw each other via Skype. They haven't met each other in person yet. They should do that in the near future, in a year or two. The girls mentioned that they wanted to talk to their grandparents and cousins more often via Skype. I agreed. Maybe next weekend before I leave for my conference.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

P1 Orientation 2010

It is Juliane's P1 Orientation today at SCGS. We arrived in school by 8am and proceeded to her allocated class, 1 Grace. In the classroom, I met my former SCGS colleague who was on duty and also a close family friend and a former classmate whose daughters are allocated to the same class. :)

We left Juliane in the classroom and proceeded to the auditorium for a parents' briefing which started at 9am and lasted for an hour. The new P1 students, after being orientated around the school, joined the parents in the auditorium during the second hour for a concert. After watching the concert, Juliane now wants to join gymnastics and dance. Oh goodness.

Juliane seems set to be in P1 in 2011. She is already talking about meeting her new friends next year. However, she has also asked about exams, if they are going to be difficult and if she is going to do well in them. It is not a good sign that she is overly worried about exams now! I have to do something to allay her fears.

Friday, 19 November 2010

What are Kids listening to Nowadays?! II

I don't believe this. I have been asked to look up "Annoying Orange" videos on Youtube by my girls. I did and I am truly amazed by what the kids are listening to nowadays. I am even more amazed that some Annoying Orange videos have as many as over 5 million views!!!
BUT I have to admit some of the Annoying Orange videos are funny lol. :P However, I doubt my girls actually understood the jokes or spoofs. And oh, the endings can be horrific as there is always character 'death'. :( So it might not be a good idea to let young children watch them.

Here's my favourite Annoying Orange video - Lady Pasta. Please take it with a pinch of salt. Oops, no pun intended haha. :P

Thursday, 18 November 2010

What are Kids listening to Nowadays?!

Just the other day, my girls told me to go to Youtube and listen to Gummibär, "The Gummy Bear Song". I did and I think I am mentally scarred for life. :( The lyrics alone is fine and quite catchy but the animation, it was... disturbing... a gummy bear showing off his butt crack and shaking his butt... OH MY GOODNESS!

Here is a clean (still) version of "The Gummy Bear Song"

WARNING: Should you decide to look up the original "The Gummy Bear Song" video, I cannot accept responsibility for any mental breakdown or disturbance arising from watching it.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

All Things Katsu

It's a public holiday today, Hari Raya Haji.

We went out for a late lunch as I was working on my slides. We went to Vivocity first and the car park was full. Next we drove to Paragon and again, the car park was full. We finally went to Ngee Ann City. By then, it was close to 3pm and we were famished! :(

We went straight into the first restaurant we saw, Tonkichi. Thank goodness, the food came really fast. :) Juliane had the Kid's Plate ($8.90): rice balls, deep fried prawn and chicken and edamame. Marieann had the Chicken Katsu Don ($22.90) which came with miso soup, salad, appetiser and fruits. The girls' father had Hire Katsu Toji ($25.90): deep fried pork fillet simmered in egg and special soy sauce in hot clay pot, served with rice, miso soup, salad and fruits. I decided to go for the promo, Hokkaido Katsu Gozen ($32.90)(photo below): scallop katsu, konbu katsu (seaweed and asparagus rolled with sliced pork loin), prawn katsu, hire katsu (pork fillet), appetiser, chawanmushi, kinoko mushroom tonjiru (miso soup with pork slices, root-vegetables and mushroom). The katsu items were tender, moist and most delicious. :) The soup was yummy too. :)

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

On My Plate

After my dissertation, I will be working hard on my conference slides. I realised I only have two weeks left before I leave for the conference! However, since I have been revising my dissertation, it makes it easier for me to work on the slides as I have a fairly good idea of what I want to go into the slides. :)

Monday, 15 November 2010

Handed In!

I feel happy and relieved when I handed in the latest version of my dissertation to both my supervisors this morning. Both are happy to see me finished with it. Hopefully, they are happy with this version and I can proceed to the next stage: send my dissertation for external examination!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Applebee's Singapore

With Juliane having dinner at her friend, Catherine's place, we decided to go somewhere nearby to have dinner before picking Juliane up from her friend's at 7.30pm.

We decided to try out Applebee's, TripleOne Somerset (the former PUB Building). Marieann had, from the Kid's Menu, Pasta in Marinara sauce ($9.90), the girls' father had Double-Glazed Baby Back Ribs with Honey BBQ sauce (half rack: $21.80) and I had a Parmesan Chicken with pasta in cream sauce ($15). The girls' father thought his pork ribs were only average. My chicken was really tender and moist and the Parmesan was just the right touch, without being cloyingly rich. :) Be warn, the portion is fairly large too. I had to doggy-bag my pasta lol.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Birthday Parties

In the early afternoon, I brought Juliane to my colleague/ friend's son's 1st birthday party at Club ITE, Dover. Marieann didn't go because she didn't finish her homework.

We arrived around 12.30pm and soon met my two other colleagues/ friends there. There were a lot of toddlers at the party lol. When Juliane saw the birthday boy, Luke, she had these words, "He's so young?!" haha. She had thought Luke was around her age. :P I was tasked to be camera person for the cake cutting. I am glad to be able to use my skills learnt at work outside of work context lol. :)

In the late afternoon, the girls' father brought Marieann and Juliane to Marieann's classmate's birthday party. I was still recovering from the earlier birthday party so their father had no choice but to bring them and chaperon them at the party. Hopefully he would now know how tiring it is, chaperoning the girls at birthday parties.

Friday, 12 November 2010

All Done!

I have finally finished with my dissertation revision. I have added another section in my Introduction chapter, added in another chapter as well as revamped my final chapter. I printed out three copies of my dissertation and ring-bound them. Two copies will be on my supervisors' table come Monday. Wish me luck, LOTS OF LUCK. Lol. :)

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Big Bruise

I had an accident last night. I fell and landed on the raised door ledge. This morning, I woke up to see a huge bruise on my left calf. :( HUGE bruise, the size of my palm. :( :( It is so darn ugly! Although I know it will take a few days to heal, I hope the bruise will go away sooner.

Since becoming pre-diabetic, I found myself bruising very easily and my wounds and cuts also heal a lot more slowly. :(

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Last Session

Today's the last session of counselling for the year 2010.

As it is the close of the year, the students were also busying preparing and rehearsing for the school's 55th anniversary and Graduation Day. As such, I was running around, up and down the school trying to find my counsellees because they were all over the school practising or rehearsing. It was a workout that would last me for the next 2 weeks. :P

Have a good holiday, everyone. See you in 2011.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010


As mentioned, my colleagues/ friends celebrated today after last night's hard work and this morning's hectic testing. In between the morning testing and afternoon observation, we had a window for lunch out of school.

We went to Northpoint, the nearest shopping centre to the school and we had lunch at Swensen's. We had baked rice and pasta for mains and ordered two sides to share. The finale was The EARTHQUAKE haha. Delicious!! What a sugar rush after that haha. :) We had a really good time, eating, chatting and laughing away. Oh yes, and playing on my iPad too. Lol. It was my pleasure to give the girls a treat for their hard work. :)

Ladies, it has been a great pleasure and fun working with you! Let's hope we can have another lunch or dinner gathering like this again. :)

Monday, 8 November 2010

Working Late

We are going into school for a reading test tomorrow morning. But we still have a few things to prepare before our school visit.

My colleagues/ friends and I stayed back late in the office to prepare the passages. It was tiring but I think we had fun while working. Jokes were cracked around the table while working hard to sort out the different combinations of passages. With many pairs of hands, we finally got the job done at 8.30pm. :)

Great teamwork, Ladies. We will celebrate tomorrow! :)

Sunday, 7 November 2010

What Side of the Brain Are You?

Interesting and fairly reliable results lol.

You Are the Right Side of the Brain

You are a naturally creative and imaginative person. You have the mind of an artist.

You are inspired by the whole world around you, and you never hesitate to act on your inspirations. You are very spontaneous.
I can be too spontaneous at times lol. :P

You are a true multitakser. You are always scanning and processing the world around you while you get other things done.
So excuse me if I sometimes don't seem to be focusing on you. I am and on other things as well. :)

You see the big picture like no one else. You have spot on intuition and a good memory.
Spot on intuition, yes. Good memory, hmm not sure haha.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Discovery Visit to RWS

The girls' father had his company's D&D, 6.30pm at RWS Convention Centre. Since he was going to drive there, we hitched a ride. :)

As I had earlier been to RWS once (exploring too :P), I was able to lead the girls from Hard Rock Hotel to the Universal Studio and Candylicious where we took some photos.

My photo from an earlier visit to RWS

My photo from an earlier visit to RWS

We went to Hard Rock Cafe for dinner. The girls had the kiddy meals ($10 each): Mac & Cheese and Hot Dog. I had the Rock Chop (pork chop, $26). Unfortunately, it tasted like a rock too, really tough and dry. :(

After dinner, it was pouring most heavily which stopped us from exploring further around the area. :( We went back to Hard Rock Hotel to wait for the girls' father to finish his D&D. We waited for close to an hour before he was done with his D&D. Thank goodness for my iPad, otherwise we would be bored stiff haha. :P

Friday, 5 November 2010

Zombie Day

It was zombies and more zombies for me today lol. Oh, by the way,


Back to zombies lol. While I worked on my revision, I watched Zombieland which was really funny. Juliane was watching it along with me and she commented, "Not nice, not scary". Haha. We have a horror movie buff in the making here haha.
Later in the night, I watched "The Walking Dead". I have been reading the graphic novel for The Walking Dead and it is very good, a real gripping storyline. :)

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Zonked Out

Updated 5 November 2010, 1:15am
I only just woke up! I was that exhausted. :(

I am totally zonked out today. As I was waiting for my bus home, I totally spaced out and missed it! In the end, I had to wait an extra 20 minutes for the next bus. :( All that waiting made me even more zonked out. I got home close to 7.30pm and I am going to sleep now. zzzzZZZZZZZ

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Wrapping Up

I am starting to wrap up some of my cases, especially the P6s. I hope I don't see them again. No, don't get me wrong. I meant that in the nicest possible way. If I see them again next year, that would mean they didn't do well for their PSLE and had to stay back in primary school. So to all my P6 counsellees, I said to them, "All the best, keep in touch but I don't want to see you again next year!" Lol.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

November Checklist

Ok I better make a checklist for myself so that I will be on task. (I hope!)

Draft revision
Prepare slides
Prepare abstract
Prepare for trip

Monday, 1 November 2010

November Plans

It is already November. Times really flies. I am behind in my MAIN To Do task. :( I will finish my writing by end of this week. I HAVE TO as I am already two weeks behind schedule. There is no more time left... :(