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Friday, 30 November 2012

Leaving Soon

I am leaving tonight for Sydney. I haven't finish packing. And I am still in the office!! I had to come into office to meet with my PI. Will try to go home soon.  

Updated on 1 December 
I felt very stressed for this trip. First, the girls' father was late by 30 minutes in picking us up and sending us to the airport so that we could have dinner before I leave and before the girls go for tuition at 7pm. We only arrived at the airport at 6.15pm. Second, the Japanese restaurant at Terminal 3 forgot our order and we were waiting for 20 minutes for nothing before we stormed out and quickly looked for another place to eat. By then it was already 7pm. Thank goodness, Coffee Club served their food quite fast and I had soup before I had to rush in at 7.25pm as the boarding time was 7.35pm. The girls were still having their dinner and they had to go to their tuition late as well. Sigh. If only someone can learn to manage his time properly. Third, the flight was delayed and we only took off at 9.30pm. All because of a couple who checked in but never turned up at the plane so time was wasted removing their luggage while the rest of us sat in the stuffy air plane. It was an awful experience with SIA. :( 
I sat on the upper deck as it was an air bus. Well, I didn't think the seats were more comfortable. Plus, only two toilets for 80+ people was quite bad. There were always long queues for the two toilets. The situation about the toilets was also made worse because there were a lot of turbulence and the seat-belt sign kept being switched on. It meant no unnecessary moving about, including visiting the toilet. Sigh. 
The only nice things about my flight to Sydney were that I managed to sleep for three hours and watched "Snow White and the Huntsman" and "Prometheus". My special non-carb diet was nice - apple salad (like wardolf salad from Soup Spoon) and boiled fish with tomato sauce and various vegetables and there's even a non-sweet jelly. :) 
I arrived in Sydney at 7.30am, 10 minutes before ETA of 7.40am. Customs was a breeze and I was at my serviced apartment just before 9am. I will update the rest of 1 December on 1 December blog post. 

Thursday, 29 November 2012


There are some last minute changes to my conference slides. I dislike making changes so close to my conference presentation. Feeling very unprepared... :(

Wednesday, 28 November 2012


but just not my luggage yet. Have been hit very badly by the cleaning bug.
It started last Saturday with packing and clearing the girls' art/ handicraft area (and materials). On Sunday, I packed my room. Something happened which I would relate later. And yesterday, I had the girls packed their closets, with me helping them of course. Otherwise, nothing will get done! We managed to clear out quite a few bags of clothes. Now there's room in their closets, for new clothes maybe lol.
As I was saying, something happened when I was packing my room. I discovered that I "lost" some very important documents. I looked into all the document bags and boxes but I just couldn't find them. I was really upset when Marieann said, "Ask Grandmother, she will know where". Isn't that exactly what I posted on Facebook the other day "Nothing is really lost until your mom can't find it"?! Full of hope, I called up my mother who is now holidaying in Xiamen, China.
No she didn't tell me where my documents were, instead she blasted me! But after that blasting, I remembered where I kept them! Guess in a way, my mother did help me to find them... Where were my documents? They were in the safest place ever, under lock and key all these time when I was hunting high and low for them. :(

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Happy Birthday, Dinh!

Here's wishing you a Happy Birthday, Dinh. 
May you always look young and be young at heart! :) 
love from all of us in Singapore and Ma & Pa in Xiamen, China

Just for fun, here is what your birthdate means. :)

You Are a Sage
You are a spiritual soul - a person who tries to find meaning in everything.
You spend a good amount of time meditating, trying to figure out life.
Helping others is also important to you. You enjoy social activities with that goal.
You are very generous and giving. Yet you expect very little in return.

Your strength: Getting along with anyone and everyone

Your weakness: Needing a good amount of downtime to recharge

Your power color: Cobalt blue

Your power symbol: Dove

Your power month: September

Monday, 26 November 2012

Celebration Lunch

I received some good news today. My colleague demanded that I give a treat lol. We went to Pique Nique, JCube for lunch. My colleague was hungry and went for Pique Nique's Big Breakfast ($15.80) and I tried the Christmas menu: Biscuit & Gravy ($18.80) since it is the festive season.
My biscuit was nice but could be quite dry without the gravy. It would have been better if there was more gravy. 

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Morganfield's - Sticky Bones and more

After the girls' tuition, we went for a late lunch at The Star. After walking around, Marieann decided on our behalf to have lunch at Morganfield's. She wasn't hankering after their food but more for their desserts lol. 
Juliane and her father shared the signature dish, Sticky Bones - Hickory BBQ Spare Ribs (full slab $36.90) with coleslaw and fries. The ribs were really succulent and juicy and HUGE. The father and daughter only managed to finish half a slab and had to pack home the rest as did Marieann and I. The servings at Morganfield's were just huge. :P
Marieann tried their Cheese and Mushroom Burger with pork patty ($20.90) while I sampled their Chicken Roulade ($21.90). The pork patty was really tasty but a tad spicy due to the pepper in it. My chicken roulade was stuffed chicken thigh with minced pork sausage and wrapped with bacon and came with mashed potato and sauteed vegetables. The chicken was very tender and the bacon and minced pork sausage added flavour. Really delicious. :)

In the end, we skipped dessert as we were extremely full. But we did pack home the Blackball Taiwanese dessert, grass jelly with taro balls and sweet potato balls for later. :)

Saturday, 24 November 2012


I got hit by the cleaning bug. I am supposed to start packing for my conference trip but got side-tracked and tidied up the girls' art/ handicraft area instead with the girls helping, of course! Took us three hours to sieve through the stuff. Finally, they agreed that things look much neater now and they "promised" to keep it that way. :) I am praying that they keep their words!

Friday, 23 November 2012

Not Ready Yet

By this time next Friday, I will be on the plane to Sydney, Australia. :) Looking forward to it but I realised that I have yet to pack my luggage. Usually by now (a week or so before the conference), I would have been all packed and ready! I shall start to pack SOON!

Thursday, 22 November 2012


The PSLE 2012 results are released today. I am really happy to know that all my P6 counsellees passed! :) They will be able to graduate and start secondary school next year. I hope that all of them will get into the secondary school of their choice. :)

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Limit's Reached

Oops. I just discovered that I have reached 99% of my 1GB quota for photos. :( I have heard of bloggers who have retired from blogging totally because of this limit. There are two more options available. I can either start paying a monthly fee to purchase additional storage space or I can downsize my photos to a certain size. Guess it is easier to downsize my photos. :) I apologise in advance if the quality is not as good as before. 

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Skyfall by Adele

I was surprised when I heard that for the latest James Bond movie, Skyfall, Adele would be singing the theme song of the same name. Adele, who sang songs like "Someone Like You", "Set Fire to the Rain", "Rumour has it", "Rolling in the Deep" and many more, is going to sing a James Bond song? How would the song sound like?!

(uploaded by adelelondon)

I am really impressed. Adele managed to sing Skyfall in the classic James Bond style and has also incorporated the signature James Bond theme into the song. Well done! :)

Monday, 19 November 2012

Taiwanese Tea and Dessert

There are many bubble tea chains in Singapore and most, if not all of them originated from Taiwan! :) There are Gong Cha, ShareTea, Each A Cup, KOI Cafe, Chatime, A-gan Tea, TTP tea club, Zen Q Desserts, Blackball, and many more. We usually get the teas (milk, fruit, herbal, bubble) from Gong Cha, ShareTea, Each A Cup, A-gan Tea, TTP tea club and get the grass jelly with taro balls dessert from Zen Q and Blackball. We really like the grass jelly with taro balls dessert because the grass jelly tastes better and the taro balls remind us of Jiu Fen, Taiwan. :)

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Flying Soon

In less than two weeks, I will be flying off to Sydney for my conference and thereafter, a visit to my best friend and her family. I realised there is still a fair bit I need to do before I leave - top up my Australian bank account, get travel insurance, get my travel medication, get travel stuff like wet wipes, etc., re-confirm accommodation booking, book airport transfer, get pressies for my best friend and her family, ... 
Ok that's quite a FAIR BIT to do. :P

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Seafood Dinner@Atlantic Mix Grill

It has been a long time since we were last out for dinner. We went to Suntec City and had dinner at this new eatery, Atlantic Mix Grill. It serves mainly seafood but there are a few meat dishes available for order. 
The girls, as usual, ordered pasta dishes, Marieann a Crayfish pasta and Juliane a Carbonara pasta (which was not on the menu but the chef has kindly cooked it). I tried the Grilled Salmon ($18.80). The salmon was grilled to perfection and went really well with the kahlua sauce. :) The mashed potato was creamy and well seasoned. :) We also had a few starters: Chicken Wings ($6.80), Buttered Corn ($5) and Fried Calamari ($8.80). We really love the chicken wings and the corn. :) For dessert, we tried the Chocolate Fondue ($14.80). We enjoyed eating our fruits with the dark chocolate. Yum. :)

The dishes at Atlantic Mix Grill are reasonably priced, between $5-24. If you are looking for a casual place to dine at Suntec City, give Atlantic Mix Grill a try.

Updated: Visited Altlantic Mix Grill again in January 2013. More photos :)

Friday, 16 November 2012

I have deleted my Facebook account

No, not me but Marieann. She told me that she has deleted her Facebook account because she realised that she is under age and thus, violating the Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. I am so proud of her for doing the right thing on her own accord. :) 
Marieann went behind my back to set up a Facebook account when I have told the girls not to do that (she gave in to peer pressure as her friends are also on Facebook). As a parent, I know I could have deleted the account on her behalf but it would be by brute force. If she could not understand the reason why I wanted to delete the account, it would be very easy for her to set up another account under a different name and it would be much worse as I would have no way of ensuring her cyber-safety and wellness. It would also damage our mother-daughter relationship. So I did the next best thing - talk to her about cyber-safety and wellness as well as checking in with her about her Facebook movement. At last, the message has sunk in. :) She made her own decision and deleted her Facebook account. :)

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Sleep Talking

I don't know if it is because of her current illness (flu with fever), I discovered that Marieann talks in her sleep at least once during the night, for the past three nights. As her fever tended to flare up in the night, I would monitor her closely at night.
The first time it happened, I thought she was awake and talking to me so I replied her while I was reading my book. We had a couple of Initiate-Response cycles (to borrow from IRE cycles in education, she initiated question and I responded). Suddenly, there was just silence and I then reslised that she wasn't even awake! She had no recollection of our "conversation"when I asked her in the morning.
It happened again the second and the third night. On the third night (last night), she had a monologue and lasted for at least 30 seconds. As I couldn't hear clearly, I asked her to repeat and she did! It was kind of funny.
I just hope the sleep talking is a result of her fever and it would disappear soon.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Counselling's Over (for 2012)

Today I had the last counselling session for the year. I will continue to see most of the counsellees next year, 2013. I said good-bye to some of the counsellees who are in P6 as they should be moving on to secondary school. Their PSLE results will be released next Thursday 22 November. I hope they will do well enough for their PSLE to get into the secondary school of their choice. 
Good luck, P6 counsellees. Take care and keep in touch.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Happy Deepavali

To all my Hindu friends (and Hindu readers who chanced upon my blog):

May the year ahead be as bright as the diyas 
and glow with happiness and joy. 
Happy Deepavali!

Monday, 12 November 2012

I'm Bored

That was what the girls said today. It is only the first day of their school holidays and they are already bored!! Gosh. I have to think of something to occupy their time. Perhaps I shall ask the tutor to give them more homework! :)

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Catch My Breath by Kelly Clarkson

Another great song, "Catch My Breath" by Kelly Clarkson, one of my favourite singers. :)

 (uploaded by kellyclarksonVEVO)

Saturday, 10 November 2012


Today's date is in sequence and only happens once every hundred years. The next 10.11.12 we see will be on 10 November 2112!  

Friday, 9 November 2012

School's Over!

Today is the last day of school for Marieann and Juliane. Their primary school, SCGS ends the school year slightly earlier than the other primary schools because it is a full school with both primary and secondary sections in the same premise. As a result, they release the primary school students earlier so that the Secondary 4 students can sit for their GCE O level exams in peace. :) 
Have to figure out how the girls can occupy their time meaningfully during the school holiday...

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Forward Planning

The girls have already selected the movies that they would like to watch during the school holiday.
In order of their preference:
1. Rise of The Guardians (release date: 22 November)
2. Hotel Transylvania (release date: 6 December)
3. Frankenweenie (release date: 29 November)
4. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (release date: 22 November)
I wonder what other lists they would come up with - places to visit during the holiday, things to eat during the holiday?

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Report Books

The girls brought home their report books today. 
Marieann has improved in her studies. Well done, Marieann. Keep it up. 
Juliane could have done better. Time to buck up, Juliane. 
The comments from their teachers were encouraging and positive. The girls couldn't have achieved so much without their teachers. A big thank you to their teachers for teaching them this year and for their patience and guidance.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Presentation Details

The detailed programme for my coming conference in December is finally out. I eagerly looked for the day and the time my presentation is slotted into. I had a BIG smile when I found my name. :) My presentation will be on the first day of the conference (3 December) and in the last concurrent presentation session of the day (4.30-6pm). My presentation is also the first presentation of my session. :) Good! I much prefer to get my presentation over and done with on the first day so that I don't feel so stressed for the rest of the conference. :)

Monday, 5 November 2012

A Like-Hate Affair

I am currently in a like-hate relationship. What should I do?!
I thought I was done with statistics as my project is drawing to an end. But there are still some last minute questions about the data from our partner, the final questions I hope! I thought I would dread analysing the data again. But as I was running the stats, I found myself smiling. OMG. What is happening to me?! I am supposed to hate stats! Lol. Stats and I? It definitely won't be love anytime soon. I guess I like it a little at times but I also hate it at times lol.  

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Pasir Ris Park

I took the girls to Pasir Ris Park as they have never been there. The main intention was to bring them to the beach. However, the weather wasn't too good and we couldn't see much of the beach. :( Maybe another time. We had dinner at Mid Summer Nite Breeze. Marieann had her all-time favourite:  Marinara Spaghetti ($11.80), Juliane ordered a Hawaiian Pizza ($13.80) and I tried the Swedish Meatballs (Chicken) in White Wine Sauce ($11.80) and we also shared Breaded White Button Mushrooms ($7). This is the first time I tried Swedish meatballs and I loved it. :) I haven't had it before because it is usually beef meatballs. The restaurant offered chicken meatballs as an alternative so I just went for it. :) Another dish worth mentioning was the breaded mushrooms. The mushrooms were huge and really fresh. :)
After dinner, we went for a walk around. The girls were thrilled to see two friendly community cats in the park. :) They kept asking if we could bring one of them home lol. Sorry, girls. 
After the cats, the girls were intrigued by the loud croaking that they heard all over the park. However we couldn't see any frogs. By following the sounds, we finally discovered the hiding places of the frogs. The frogs were in the drains! At every drain cover, we could see one to two frogs in the exposed drain portion haha. It was quite funny as the frogs were croaking in sync. :)

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Day at the Gardens

The girls and I signed up and participated in the NParks Green Corridor Outreach Programme at Singapore Botanic Gardens which was organised in partnership with SCGS. It started at 8.45am with registration at Jacob Ballas Children's Garden. The parents and SCGS students were split into two groups: Blue and Yellow. My girls and I were allocated to the Blue group.
The director of Singapore Botanic Gardens, Dr Nigel Taylor gave us a warm welcome and briefing at 9am. After the briefing, our Blue group attended the talk on Benefits for Biodiversity & Community in Bloom first and followed by the Demo of Native Birds iPhone/ iPad app. Little did I know, my girls already had the Birds of Sinagapore app installed on their phones! Lol. The parents and the children were separated for the next activity. The parents went on an exclusive guided tour to the Plant Resource Centre (or affectionately known as the Nursery by the staff of SBG) while the children went on a Education Tour round the Children's Garden and followed by a Hands-on Planting Activity. I really enjoyed the tour and briefing at the four stations at the Plant Resource Centre. The staff are really knowledgeable and passionate about their work. Hats off to them. :) 
Some of the lovely flowers seen at the Plant Resource Centre

By the time, we, the Blue group parents, were reunited with our children, they had planted their "Pink Lady" plant (its common name or also known by its scientific name as Dissotis rotundifolia). Marieann and Juliane said they really enjoyed the planting activity.  
The girls and their Pink Ladies (bagged for easier carrying)
The girls and their Science teachers
At the end of the outreach programme, a buffet lunch was provided. After our respective tours in the Children's Garden, we all tucked in eagerly and happily. Before we went home, we walked round the Children's Garden again. 

The girls' Pink Lady plants
Goodies from the outreach programme: sling bag with badges, gardening hat with packets of seeds (ready for planting)
After returning home, I met with my neighbour around 12.30pm and we went to Botanic Gardens for lunch (well, dessert for me) lol. We went on a walk around the Gardens to walk off the heavy lunch around 3pm and only got home around 6pm. I definitely did my exercise for the week! :P

Friday, 2 November 2012

The Wrong Doctor?

According to the Blogthings quiz "What Popular Career are You?", I should be a doctor. Well, I am a Dr now but just not the medical kind. 
You Are a Doctor
You are a total brainiac who isn't content to just be smart. You want to do something with your smarts!
You'd like to change the world or at least change lives. You feel like it's important not to waste the gifts you've been given.

You may cure cancer or simply make a few people healthier, but you will rest well knowing that you've made a difference.
You're the type of person who does the right thing even when no one else is watching. You're very ethical.
What Popular Career Are You?

So am I the wrong kind of doctor? I guess not. I know I won't be able to cure cancer or make a few people healthier but I know I can make and have made a difference in some students' lives. I am a doctor, just not the kind that uses medicine but the kind that uses words and evidence from research. :)  

Thursday, 1 November 2012

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Briefing by Air New Zealand

This is really precious! This is really epic!! LOL. Air New Zealand definitely shows its great sense of humour with this new flight safety video! The video promotes both the new movie, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey which is hitting the cinemas in December 2012 and its airline lol. Now I can't wait to watch The Hobbit and I think I should visit New Zealand via Air New Zealand lol. :)

(uploaded by airnewzealand)