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Thursday, 30 June 2011

Farewell, Mardiana

I have been happy to think that my colleagues and I will always be at the same workplace for a long time to come. It is only when a colleague is leaving that I realised it has been wishful thinking on my part. Sigh.

Mardiana, although we haven't had the opportunity to work together on a project (but we did work together at the 2009 CRPP Conference :) ), I am still sad to see you go. I have deemed you as an unofficial member of our project team since you have crashed our briefings and meetings ever so often! LOL. :P I will take your advice and try to relax more lol. Of course, more importantly, I will look into the degree scholarship from MacDonald's as you have suggested lol. :) Thanks for your friendship.
All the best in your future. I think you will do well in teaching, especially when you have that "death ray" stare that comes so naturally to you, the students will "guai guai" listen to you. Hey some of us takes years to learn how to do that, you know?! :D Keep in touch, ok? Take care.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Back to Counselling

It is nice being back in school again, seeing my counsellees and talking with them to find out about how they had spent their holidays. :)

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

For BSG Fans

I saw a video on my friend's Facebook and really loved it. The video, which is a music clip of an Extended Battlestar Galactica Opening, is editted beautifully. I think other Battlestar Galactica fans would enjoy the video. :) Unfortunately, I can't upload the video here but here is the link for it on Youtube,

Enjoy. :)

Monday, 27 June 2011

Tap Reef ...

is back! FINALLY!
After two days of deleting and reinstalling Tap Reef thrice a day on my iPad, I was getting pretty fed up with it. I was thinking of just deleting the apps for good and moving on to something else. Then it happened. The crashes just stopped. I think the Tap Reef developers have resolved the problem and hopefully, it stays that way! Ok I will give Tap Reef another chance.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Day Before School

It's the last day of the school holidays. We decided to take the girls out for lunch before their tuition at 3pm. We went to Double Bay Restaurant at Raffles City.

Both girls had Linguini in Tomato Sauce ($5.90) from the kid's menu. I had the Australian Barramundi with beer batter served with potato mousseline ($26.90). The girls' father had Banana pancake with sauteed strawberries ($15.90). We also ordered Roasted Butternut Pumpkin Soup with crab meat and pistachios ($8.90) and Mushroom Soup with a slow cooked egg and roasted chestnut ($9.90) to share. My barramundi was really fresh and the beer batter was nice and crunchy. I loved the potato mousseline too lol. Both soups were also creamy and delicious. The soup portion was huge enough to be shared by two persons. :) Marieann and I also shared a Banoffee Pie with toasted pistachios and honey & fig ice cream ($9.90). Yum yum! :)

Both girls were in bed by 9pm. They were both fast asleep when I checked in on them at 9.30pm lol. If only they could sleep as promptly for the rest of the new semester lol. :P

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Estate AGM

My estate held its AGM in the afternoon. I have been nominated and re-elected into the management council. Plenty of work ahead.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Tap Reef Crashes

Until this afternoon, my Tap Reef was still fine. However it started hanging and/ or crashing everytime I tried to get into my reef. :( It is really frustrating as I couldn't feed and pet my fish. I went to the Tap Reef forum and realised that others are experiencing the same thing too. I followed some of the suggestions to resolve the problem but didn't really work. Tried soft reset, hard reset, still the same problem. Finally, I tried deleting the apps and reinstalling it. Seemed to work for a while and then the same problem occured. Sigh. I guess I have to resort to delete and reinstall everytime I want to feed and pet my fish. :(
I hope the Tap Reef people will find a solution soon.

Thursday, 23 June 2011


The girls were bickering today.

Marieann: Mama, mei mei called me WEML.
Me: Huh?
Marieann: WEML.
Juliane: I learnt from jie jie WEML.
Me: What are you two talking about? What WEML??
M & J: WhatEver Major Loser
Me: Where did you girls learnt such things??!! NO MORE calling each other losers!
M & J: Yes, Mama.

Sigh. Goodness, I really don't know where they learnt all these undesirable lingo. :(

Wednesday, 22 June 2011


I have been doing the walk-about in my estate for the past two nights with another resident. We have heard complaints from some residents and we promised to bring them up to the next management council or at the next council meeting if we are elected into the management council again.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The Cookie Test

This is interesting, especially the part about "I refuse to be told what to do" lol. My friends and colleagues would totally agree with that statement! Haha :P

You Have Wisdom

You make others feel at ease immediately. You understand where each person is coming from.
You value independence and the freedom to do what you want. You refuse to be told what to do.

You are more intellectual than people realize. You don't go out of your way to flaunt your depth.
You are simply optimistic. You think there is a lot more good in this world than bad.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Fishing Joy

I used to see people playing this at the game arcades. I couldn't understand the appeal/ fun of it. That is until I installed the game on my iPad. It is quite addictive but in a frustrating way for me, at least. :( I kept "dying" because I just couldn't catch the fishes in the nets. It is the angle or something. Anyway, the more that happens, the more I am determined to play it until I can catch something in the nets! Ok, maybe it is not addictive but bordering on obsessive for me lol :P

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Asian Food Day

The girls and I didn't have any Asian food throughout the entire time we were in Sydney. We suddenly craved for Asian food this weekend! We had Korean food for lunch and we had Japanese for dinner. Talk about overdose of Asian food lol. :P

Saturday, 18 June 2011

11 years

I just realised that I have been married for 11 years yesterday.

Friday, 17 June 2011


Today, I received the examiners' reports on my dissertation. I didn't realise how nervous or scared I was. My hands were shaking when I received the sealed package of the examiners' reports and marked dissertation from my supervisor.

Both external examiners recommended that I be awarded the degree subject to minor corrections and the internal examiner recommended that I be awarded the degree subject to major amendments. Overall, it is good news. :) I have been given 6 months to make my final revision.
Wish me luck!

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Compare Notes

It is never a good idea to attend a meeting on stats data when you have a mushy brain, courtesy of jet lag and exhaustion. :( Thank goodness, my RAs were also at the meeting and we could compare our notes. :)

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Unofficial Work Day

Officially, it is my off day on Wednesdays at my workplace because of my counselling in school. However, as we have a project meeting on Thursday, I had to go into office today just to check the data that we have generated for our Thursday discussion.
I was so concussed throughout the day due to jet lag as well as lack of rest during our Sydney trip. Felt like a zombie lol.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

We'll be Back, Sydney!

We are going home today. The girls are a little sad and said that they want to come back to Sydney. Yes, we will be back definitely. :)

We woke up around 9am but continued to laze a bit in bed lol. Around 10.30am, we went for a final browse at the World Square Shopping Centre. I bought a BD disc for my friend from JB Hi-Fi and I discovered there were a few fashion shops at WSSC! Unfortunately, I didn't have time to try out the clothes. I also bought some buns as snacks in case the girls were hungry before we went to the airport. We returned to the hotel. I packed in the bd disc, checked the luggage for the last time and locked them. We lazed around and watched tv for almost 45 minutes before we left for the airport.

We lazing in bed lol

The girls with the Bull statue at the hotel courtyard

Our room, 1632

At 12.30pm, we took the taxi to the airport. The journey was smooth and we arrived at the international airport under 30 minutes. We had our boarding passes within 20 minutes. We browsed in the airport shops and bought a few more packets of nougat and macadamia nuts, for self-consumption and as extra gifts. The girls also bought storybooks for reading on the plane. At 2.20pm, we cleared customs and immigration. We looked around at the duty free shop but there was nothing that interested us. We sat down to have Mckkies ice cream before we went to the gate for boarding at 3.25pm. We totally enjoyed the ice cream. Somehow, it was creamier and nicer than that in Singapore lol.

Our plane was the Airbus A380 lol. The plane seemed better than the usual lol. We could watch the plane as it taxied on the runway and when it was in the air due to the camera on its rear tail. For entertainment, there were so many videos/ movies to choose from to watch as well as many music albums to listen to. The plane took off on time at 4.10pm. Soon we were served with dinner. As the sun was setting, I exchanged seat with Juliane who was seated at the window so that I could capture the sunset. :) We were served with refreshment about 2 hours before we landed in Singapore.

Views of the plane in action from the rear tail camera

My diabetic lunch of boiled fish in tomato sauce and vegetables

The girls' meatballs and spaghetti looked so delicious! :P

Views of the night sky as the sun set

The kids' refreshment

My refreshment

At 10pm, we touched down in Singapore. Back to high humidity and temperature in the high 20s! Back home!

Coming Soon - Sydney Trip Updates

It has been a week since the last post on my blog. My apologies.

It has been really exhausting looking after two kids on my own, 24/7 for 9 days. It was definitely a holiday for the kids but not a holiday for me lol. I will update after I return to Singapore on 14 June 2011.

Please check back later in the week. Thank you for your patience. :)

Monday, 13 June 2011

Pancakes, Shaved Ice and Kangaroo

Today is our last day in Sydney. :(
We slept in and woke up close just after 10am. What a luxury lol. We decided that we would take it easy and just hit some of the places we have been before.

Armed with our family day monorail pass, we first went to Darling Harbour's Harbourside Shopping Centre where we had our brunch at Pancakes on The Rocks. It is similar to Pancake Parlour, my favourite restaurant in Brisbane and Melbourne. :) Marieann had a Short Stack (two pancakes) with ice cream and maple syrup (A$6.95). Juliane was ravenous and had a Ned Kelly (from the kids menu): a buttermilk pancake with whipped butter, scrambled egg and bacon (A$5.95)and ordered sides of grilled pineapple (A$0.95) and grilled banana (A$1.50). I wanted something light and had a Seafood Crepe (A$15.95): fish, prawns, scallops, mushrooms, and spring onions in a creamy white wine sauce served with hollandaise sauce and seafood sauce and salad. All dishes were absolutely delicious lol. :) When we left at 12.30pm, there was a long queue! Proves how popular Pancakes on The Rocks is.

However, there is always room for dessert. We went to Paddy's Market, back to The Meeting Point, the Taiwanese restaurant for Taiwanese Traditional Shaved Ice (A$10.80) with toppings of coconut jelly, mini rice balls and taro balls. Cold dessert in winter. Nice and refreshing! :)

Light rail at Paddy's Market

After dessert, we proceeded to Pitt Street Mall for our "exercise" lol. The girls spent close to 2 hours shopping for their clothes at Westfield Sydney. Around 5pm, we went to JB Hi-Fi to look at my BD discs. After an hour of hunting through the discs, I finally bought True Blood Season 3 and Resident Evil 4 for myself and How to Train Your Dragon for the girls. :) It took time to choose the discs as I had to make sure that the discs are all Regions (A, B & C) before I could buy them. There were PLENTY of discs selling at A$30 for 2, new titles too(!) but they were all Region B unfortunately. :(

Interior of Strand Arcade

Night view of Pitt Street Mall

We went back to Darling Harbour for dinner lol. When we were walking along the stretch of Harbourside Shopping Centre's restaurants facing Cockle Bay, we saw that there was a Jazz & Blues Festival. There were people crowding round the stage and enjoying the performances in the cold crisp winter night. We went to Plate Restaurant (one of the restaurants on my restaurant list lol) for dinner. Both girls had Kidz Fish and Chips (A$8.00) and I had Kangaroo Fillet served with potato and bacon in red wine sauce (A$26.80). Having kangaroo meat on the last night was a nice finish to my Sydney trip. :)

Jazz & Blues Festival

The girls looking at Cockle Bay and Imax

We went to Coles supermarket to have a last browse before we went back to the hotel. After our showers, I packed our luggage while the girls watched television. Good thing that I brought an extra carrier lol. :P

Sunday, 12 June 2011

HM Packing Service

On this trip, I am really excited that my girls will get to meet my best friend, Min or Aunty Min to them and also they will get to meet her family. :) Min and I made arrangement and we are off to visit them today.

We left the hotel after 10am to take the train to Padstow station where Min's husband, Graham and her older son, Ben picked us up. After which, we picked up Min and her younger son, Josh from their house and we were off to see their new house! :) Min and her family would be moving to their new house soon. They were in the process of renovating their new home as well as packing up for the move when we visited them.

Goodness, the new house is really huge. Although it is still in the process of renovating, I could see how everything is going to come together and it will be the perfect home. When I was being shown the various rooms in the new house, the kids found their own entertainment, playing hide and seek lol. We went back to their old house where we had lunch and we also did some catching-up. :)
After lunch, the kids played basketball as there was a bit of sunshine while the adults worked lol. Graham went back to the new house to do some renovation work. Min and I did some packing of the kitchen. In 4 hours, we packed 8 big boxes of kitchen stuff for the move! :) Min was worried about me helping her to pack as I am supposed to be on holiday. Hey, what are best friends for, we help each other in need. Besides, I am experienced in packing (having once helped another friend to move house too)! HM Packing Service, I am. Lol. :) While we were packing, the kids played Wii, watched DVD and played hide-and-seek. They really enjoyed themselves.

For dinner, we sat down to a delicious meal of spaghetti bolognese prepared by Min. Oh boy, everyone was really hungry after all that work and play lol. :) Thanks for the delicious dinner, Min! :) The kids played a while more while the adults chit-chatted. It was past 10.30pm when Min dropped us back at the hotel amidst the rain.

The girls were talking non-stop about how much fun they have had and that they wanted to go back again the next day lol. Thanks so much, Min, Graham, Ben and Josh for having us over despite being busy yourselves. Next time we are in Sydney, we will be staying with you guys in your huge house haha. :)

Saturday, 11 June 2011

The Rocks

Today, we are off to explore The Rocks and Sydney Harbour. :)
We walked to our nearest train station, Town Hall to catch a train to Circular Quay. However, upon arriving at Circular Quay, I realised that I forgot to bring the pre-paid cruise tickets. :( Oh well, we now have more time to explore The Rocks lol. :)

First, we went to The Rocks Weekend Market. The girls enjoyed looking at the many different stalls. They were most enthralled by the stall selling crystals. I was pretty surprised lol. I told them that they could each buy a crystal of their choosing since they were so interested in the crystals. :) The girls also bought a handmade pouch for their handphone. The girls also enjoyed strawberries and marshmallow dipped in chocolate at the weekend market.

After the weekend market, we went to The Rocks Discovery Museum. The girls found the exhibits really interesting and informative as they learned about the history of The Rocks from pre-1788 till present. They enjoyed playing "archaeologists" by piecing broken pieces of crockery together.

Initially I wanted to have lunch at Orient Hotel (from my list of restaurants lol) but it was full. So I brought the girls to the next option, Harbour View Hotel. Due to my "superb" map reading skills, we took a long, scenic route to Harbour View Hotel. :P But hey, we did find the Sydney Observatory on the way, which was our next destination lol. However, the restaurant was closed. But the bar was open lol. We were too tired to walk so we had bar food which was really delicious. :) Marieann had Pasta of the Day with mushroom and squash in tomato sauce (A$10.50), Juliane had Pancakes with bacon, banana, strawberries and ice cream (A$13.50) and I had Big Breakfast - eggs, bacon, sausages, roasted tomato, mushroom, hash brown and toast (A$13.50).

After lunch, we took a slow walk up to Observatory Hill where the Sydney Observatory is situated. The scenery from Observatory Hill was amazing. We could see the Harbour Bridge, and The Rocks. We had time to look at the exhibition before the 3D Space Theatre movie started at 2.30pm. After the movie, we had a day telescope viewing session. However as the sky was overcast, we used the telescope for a real close up view of the bridge. The girls enjoyed the telescope viewing session. :)

On the way to Observatory Hill where the Sydney Observatory is

On Observatory Hill

View from Observatory Hill

The Sydney Observatory

Outside the observatory

Telescope viewing

We were hungry after the walk up and down Observatory Hill lol. I took the girls to Tara Tea Room (on my restaurant list lol) or soon to be known as The Tea Cosy for afternoon tea. The Tea Cosy is situated at the rear courtyard of the Irish Design Shop. We had the Tasting Basket for 2 (A$26) - 1 Plain, 1 Cheese and Onion, 1 Date and Apricot, 2 Apple Strudel scones, clotted cream, double-thick cream, butter and 3 jams (strawberry, fig, almond & ginger and paw paw, lime & passion fruit) and 2 drinks. The scones were scrumptious with the clotted cream, double-thick cream and jam! :) While we were enjoying our tea, it started raining heavily around 4.30pm. We stayed at the tea house till 5+pm. However the rain didn't let up. We had no choice but to venture into the rain to make our way back to Circular Quay. The girls, although they had their NorthFace jackets that are water resistant, shared an umbrella while I had my trusty Mountain Designs waterproof jacket.

It was close to 6pm when we arrived at Circular Quay. Vivid Sydney, held from 27 May to 13 June, would transform the city into a canvas of light, music and ideas after 6pm. There would be light projections on the iconic Sydney Opera House sails, performances from local and international musicians as part of Vivid LIVE and a free outdoor exhibition of interactive light sculptures all over The Rocks. Since we were in no hurry to go anywhere (besides it was still drizzling), we stayed to watch the light projections on the Sydney Opera House. The light show was spectacular and breathtaking, not just on the Sydney Opera House, but on the other buildings too such as the Customs House, Museum of Contemporary Art and other office buildings around Circular Quay.

Marieann's shot of me taking photos of the light show on Sydney Opera House

Light show at the Museum of Contemporary Art

Light show at the Customs House

We watched the light show till around 6.30pm when Marieann asked if we could go back to The Rocks to look at the VIvid Sydney Night Markets. Always one for such markets, I didn't mind lol. Juliane was the only one who complained about having to walk back to The Rocks area and pulled a long face during the entire time at the night market. :P

By 8pm, we were back at World Square Shopping Centre. We went to Coles supermarket and bought some goodies that we can't find/ see in Singapore lol. :P Since Day 1, the girls have been asking me to let them soak in the tub. I finally relented tonight and they enjoyed themselves even though it was only for 15 minutes lol. :)