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Thursday, 31 January 2013

Stung on the Nose!

What are the odds of getting stung on the nose by a bee? Well, it happened to Marieann! Don't ask me how she managed to "coax" a bee to land on her nose! 
She was stung by the bee on her way to school. Before seeing the teacher, she managed to extract the stinger and washed her nose. I guess that action of hers helped to reduce the "damage". The school called in the morning to inform us about the incident. However, we had missed the call but were left a message. I was worried, more about the possible allergic reaction that a bee sting could bring... :( 
I managed to speak to the teacher in the afternoon. The teacher explained that Marieann was stung on the nose but Marieann decided that she could bear with the pain and decided to stay on in school, even for the after-school programme too. I didn't know whether Marieann was being brave, responsible or ... But I guess I have to praise her for her calmness and bravery. She was calm enough to extract the stinger and brave enough to bear with the pain and didn't cry. I am proud of her.
It was evident that she had been stung on the nose when she came home after school. She looked like Rudolph lol :P Other than the pain she felt, Marieann was able to tell me her observations made from her bee sting experience, e.g. the bee stinger gave off a strange smell, how the bee stinger looked like, ... I was thinking to myself, "Who, in their right mind and in pain, would still think of making observations?!" A friend replied, "A researcher's daughter, that's who." Haha. That is a good observation. :P
A big thank you to my friends and colleagues for your concerns for my daughter. Appreciate it! Sorry if I had been jumpy in the office in the morning because of this incident.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Feelings in Conflict

My girls have mixed feelings about me spending more time with them, especially on their homework. Before I completed my PhD, I had to split my spare time between supervising them in their homework and doing my "homework" (writing my dissertation). However, now that I have obtained my PhD, I could spend all my spare time supervising them in their homework. They are sometimes glad that I am spending more time helping them in their work. But sometimes, they wished that I still had my "homework" to do. Reason? They said I would not be breathing down their necks so much... Oh dear. Am I being too much of a Tiger mom? :(

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Most Viewed Blog Post

I discovered today that one of my blog posts has been viewed over 400 times! It is my post on 17 November 2012 about Seafood Dinner@Atlantic Mix Grill. I wonder what's going on. However, there are only two photos on that post. If people are really interested about Atlantic Mix Grill restaurant, they should look at my second blog post of the restaurant dated 13 January 2013 because I took more photos on that second visit. :)

Monday, 28 January 2013

Catch-up TV

Thank goodness for catch-up TV! :)
I recently discovered catch-up TV on xinmsn. Ok, I know I am really BEHIND the times lol. :P Thank goodness for catch-up TV, I have been able to catch-up with episodes of Ice Adonis (Korean drama on Channel U) that I missed parts of, due to my long journey home from work. :)
I love you, Catch-up TV! :)

Sunday, 27 January 2013

By-Election Results

The best woman won the by-election in Punggol East! :) 

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Princess Ayushka

Today, my friend and colleague, Filzah invited a whole bunch of us to her new home for housewarming. :) As we knew each other well, it was really fun to meet outside of work environment. :) The food was really good, especially the lentil soup, the crispy chicken, the stuffed tomato and the sweet rice. Oh the sparkling soda (came in a few flavours) was really nice too, which Filzah bought from a Turkish warehouse. :) Unfortunately, I was too distracted to take photos of the food and the soda by a bundle of fur. :P
I was too distracted by Filzah's kitten, Ayushka, a Nowergian Forest. Ayushka is so CUTE! She has a very good temperament and is not shy with people around. I am really glad that Ayushka likes the housewarming gift a colleague and I bought for her, a playmat for kittens/ cats. :) She was trying her hardest to get at the catnip which was in a hidden pocket on the playmat lol. I was not the only one distracted by Ayushka lol. We were all distracted and we forgot to take a group photo before we left! Lol. Here are some photos of Princess Ayushka, yes, I think she is a Princess :)

Friday, 25 January 2013

31,600 Minds

That is a lot of minds and they are thinking today (Cooling Day) about who to vote for tomorrow, Polling Day 26 January 2013. Of course, the kind of thinking done by each individual will be of varying degree...

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Serious Deliberation

After nine days of hustings by the four candidates, it is time for serious deliberation for the residents of Punggol East on who to vote for during the by-election which will be held on 26 January 2013. The Punggol East residents will have the whole of tomorrow 25 January 2013, Cooling Day, to deliberate carefully who they want to represent them in Parliament. 
Good luck!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Counselling Break?

A colleague suggested to me that I should consider taking a break from counselling to concentrate on my career in research. 
He said, "Just take these two to three years off counselling so that you can focus on your research. You can go back into counselling after that". 
I understand where he is coming from and I know he meant well. I am splitting my energy between my research and my counselling and I would achieve more if I focus on the more important thing for now, namely research. For counselling, there is no promotion opportunities. Whereas, if I focus on research, there are opportunities for promotion and pay rise. 
However, what he did not consider is that I have been counselling for the past 10 years and I feel a passion for what I do. More importantly, I feel for my counsellees. Thus, it is very difficult for me to even consider taking a break from counselling. I will continue to counsel for as long as I can until the school wants to stop my counselling service.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Life of Pi and Taiwan

I have heard that Life of Pi is a great movie and to experience fully the greatness of Taiwanese-born American director, Ang Lee's story-telling, one should watch Life of Pi in 3D. I will endeavour to watch it soon. 
Another reason I want to watch the movie is because 70% of the filming took place in Taiwan, especially in Taipei zoo, a giant wave tank in an abandoned airport in Taichung and Kenting National Park in Pingtung County! I guess the Taiwanese blood in me is feeling extremely proud that Taiwan can play host to the filming of a Hollywood movie and by a Taiwanese-born director too lol. :P 

 (Uploaded by lifeofpimovie)

Monday, 21 January 2013

Chinese or English?

I was searching for something in the English papers on Sunday. However, I could find no trace of the news! I swore I read it in the papers. While trying to recall if it was the Sunday papers or maybe papers from Saturday, I flipped through the Chinese papers. Lo and behold, the news I was looking for was in the Chinese papers! I was very surprised as I thought my Chinese has always been stronger and I would be inclined to remember better in Chinese. I realised I must have read the news which is in Chinese. My mind then translated it into English so that it could be filed and stored it away as English.
I have a question for people who are bilingual.
For those of you who are bilingual, which language do you remember your things (in your mind) in?

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Snow and Chicken Pox

We saw snow in London!! :) Well, not in person but through Skype lol. :P We had our weekly Skype session with my brother and his family who are in London, UK. My nephews, especially the youngest, Yeun Zhen was so happy to play with snow that he didn't care to Skype with his grandparents and us! Lol. Well, he is two years old, can't blame him for choosing snow over his grandparents. :P Now the girls are affected by their cousins and want to see snow and play with snow balls! 
We also saw chicken pox close up! Well, not in person but through Skype lol. :) Yeun Zhen has chicken pox but he didn't look like he is too bothered with all the blisters/ scabs on his face haha. :) Brave boy! :) My two other nephews, Yeun Yi and Yeun Song have had chicken pox before so no fear for them. 
Enjoy the snow! See you guys next week. :) 

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Long Life Rain (长命雨)

It has been raining/ drizzling non-stop since last night for over 20 hours. The weather has been cool throughout the day and cold at night, especially since we are staying on higher floors. 
The weather forecast for the next few days is going to be rain and showers. :( No leather shoes for the next few days... 

Friday, 18 January 2013

Death in the Family

My cousin-in-law, aged 52, passed away this morning. Condolences to my cousin and her children as well as my 2nd aunt. We won't be able to attend the funeral in Taiwan but our thoughts are with them... I hope they will take it easy...

Thursday, 17 January 2013

News (unpleasant)

We received unpleasant news from Taiwan. One of my cousins-in-law is gravely ill. He is suffering from lung cancer and was in the midst of chemotherapy when he suddenly took a turn for the worse. The doctors are not giving him long to live... I really hope he can pull through...

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

By-election II

It is confirmed. The ruling party as well as three alternative parties will be contesting against each other at the Punggol East by-election. However, it will be a fight mainly between the ruling party and one of the alternative parties. May the best woman or man wins lol. :)

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Vicious Cycle

A vicious cycle. 
Eat porridge = get hungry sooner = gastric pain = lose appetite = eat porridge = ... ...
Still recovering from my stomach flu... :( 
I just couldn't stomach other stuff so have been having plain porridge but porridge makes me hungry sooner... 
I want to get well soon! :(

Monday, 14 January 2013

1st Illness of the New Year :(

It is my first illness of the new year! :( I really didn't expect it so soon. :(
Woke up at 6am with cramps but I brushed it off as nothing serious. Bearing with the discomfort and pain, I went to work. Within an hour at work, the cramps got increasingly worse.:( I also had to visit the washroom thrice. Those who saw me said I didn't look well at at all. I had no choice but to postpone one meeting and to miss attending another meeting. I left in a taxi to see the doctor.
I saw my family doctor at 10+am and the diagnosis was Acute Gastroenteritis or more commonly known as "Acute Stomach Flu".
It is not fun being ill! :(

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Meal@Atlantic Mix Grill (again) :)

This is our second visit to Atlantic Mix Grill and with my parents in tow. :) The first visit was back in November 2012
Both Juliane and her grandfather had Fish & Chips ($11.80), Marieann had Pink Salmon Spaghetti, my mother tried the Grilled Salmon ($14.80), the girl's father tried the newly included menu item, Pork Ribs ($16.80) and we shared a large Mixed Pot of clams and mussels in Atlantic Seafood Broth ($17.80) and escargot. We each thought our dish was delicious and the portion was just right for an adult. Might be a bit too much for children as we had to pack Marieann's spaghetti home and Juliane's too if I had not helped her to finish her second piece of fish fillet. Maybe they can consider coming up with Kid's size for certain dishes.
The girls and I also ordered Hot Chocolate Molten Lava Cake with ice cream ($7.80) for dessert. 
The fish fillets were crispy but not oily. The side salad was a good inclusion.
The portions of salmon in the spaghetti were big and generous. The cream sauce was yummy.
The pork ribs were huge and really tasty. :) The mashed potato was creamy and delicious.
The Atlantic seafood broth was tasty.
The hot chocolate molten lava cake was heaven (and not too sweet) and paired well with ice cream. :)
The dishes we tried were delicious and the prices remains reasonable which is good. :) Maybe next visit, we may see more new dishes and Kid's size dishes. :)

Saturday, 12 January 2013


A second by-election would be held in Singapore in less than a year. It looks like it would definitely be a multi-cornered fight between the current ruling party and several alternative parties. Really interesting to see who are the candidates... Wonder who will win? :)

Friday, 11 January 2013

End of Week 1

The girls have settled down into the school routine again. Marieann is now in Primary 5 and Juliane is in Primary 3. I hope they will have no problem adjusting to the changes in their workload which is considerably heavier than last year.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

MSN is Retiring!

An email was sent to my Hotmail account yesterday with the below announcement:

"On 15th March 2013 we are retiring the existing Messenger service globally (except for mainland China where Messenger will continue to be available) and bringing the great features of Messenger and Skype together. Update to Skype and sign in using a Microsoft Account (same as your Messenger ID) and all your Messenger contacts will be at your fingertips. You'll be able to instant message and video chat with them just like before, and also discover new ways of staying in touch with Skype on your mobile and tablet. ..."

Feel so sad that MSN is retiring soon. :(

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Week Zero

The girls kept referring to this week as Week One. No, I said, last week was Week One. NO, they said, last week was Week Zero! Huh?! Since when is there a Week Zero?! Well apparently, there is now. The girls showed me the calendar and explained it all to me.
Term 1 started on 2 January 2013 Wednesday and will end on 15 March 2013 Friday. That is actually a total of 11 school weeks. Therefore, last week was Week Zero and followed by this week, Week One and so on and so forth, until Week Ten. Ah, I see. 
However, there are still only 40 weeks of school for the students. Although Term 1 has 11 weeks of school, Term 4 will only have 9 weeks of school to "compensate" the students lol. Thus, the last day of school for 2013 will be on 16 November 2013 Saturday. :)

Tuesday, 8 January 2013


I had meeting after meeting today. It was cognitive overload! Lol. Lots of new information to assimilate and there is going to be some pretty steep learning curves...

Monday, 7 January 2013


Here are some cats that I have seen around in Singapore. :)
"Want me to cross your path?!"
"To jump or not to jump?"
"Bow, human"
"Do you mind? I am trying to nap!"

Sunday, 6 January 2013

My Homework

I have homework to do. I need to email my daughters' teachers. It is my habit. I always email their teachers during the first week of school as a courtesy. It serves to inform them that I am aware of the importance of parent-teacher partnership and I will work with them to develop my daughters' potential. So far for the past few years, their teachers have responded favourably to my emails and have always kept me updated about my daughters' progress in school. :)

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Home Finally

My parents finally reached home just after 1am. Their flight was delayed for two hours because the plane came from Tianjin to Xiamen and there was a snow storm in Tianjin. 
The girls were happy to see their grandparents, well, me too. Because there were presents for us! Lol. :P 
It is very nice to have my parents back. We already have a wonderful line up of my mother's food that we want to eat. Chicken rice for tomorrow's dinner, char siew for the next, braised pork, and so on lol. :) We feel so blessed. :)

Friday, 4 January 2013

I Can Have Laksa Again

That was what Marieann said when she knew that her grandparents are returning home tonight. Yes, both girls missed their grandmother's cooking and to a lesser extent, their grandfather's cooking lol. Grandfather is more about desserts lol. 
My parents are returning home after being away for about four months (my mother) and for two months (my father). It would be good to have some yummy food again. Lol :)  

Updated 5 Jan 2013, 00:15am
It is very strange that my parents are still not home yet! They said they would be home around 11pm. My mistake for not taking down the details of their flight... I am getting worried... :S

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Nervous 1st Day of Work

It was my first day of work yesterday. No, I have not gone elsewhere. I am still working in the same university but just transferred from one of the research centres to the headquarters that oversee all the research centres in the university.  
It was pretty nerve-wrecking for my first day because I have absolutely no idea what my work responsibilities are and I have not met any of the new colleagues that I will be working with. At least now, after meeting with my Reporting Officer, I have some inkling, and more details will be revealed in the coming week. Come Monday, I will also get to meet all my new colleagues at the weekly meeting. I guess I am slightly more settled and less nervous now. :P

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Happy 11th Birthday, Marieann

It is Marieann's birthday today. She is 11 today. :) As promised, her birthday cake is the New York Cheesecake from Bakerzin. It is just a simple birthday cake cutting for her today. When her maternal grandparents return this weekend from their break, they will probably cook her favourite dishes for her lol. 
Blowing out the candles after making her wish :)
Trying be funny - cutting her cake "Psycho" style
Cutting her cake properly this time round :)
She has plenty of birthday wishes from family and friends - her maternal grandparents called from Xiamen, China; her maternal uncle called from UK; her maternal aunt and cousins in UK left message for her on my Facebook; her godfamily in Dubai/ Germany left message for her on my Facebook; my friends and colleagues who know Marieann also left messages for her on my Facebook; her friends and classmates; ... :)

Happy Birthday, Marieann. Hope you have had a great day! :) 

Happy 1st Day of School

It is the first day of school today. It is also Marieann's birthday today but more about it in another post. :) 
Marieann has most of her Primary 4 classmates back in the same class as her. In a way, that is good because she doesn't have to spend time making new friends and can focus on her studies! Lol. I saw her list of teachers who will be teaching her this year and several of them are my former colleagues! Pros and cons I guess lol. 
Juliane has some of her Primary 2 classmates back in the same class as her. I am not too thrilled about it because Juliane is extroverted in personality and could be spending too much time on making new friends rather than on her studies.  I reminded her to pay attention in her class and in her studies.
There were no lessons today as the time-table is still being confirmed so it was free and easy for the girls. They were happy to use the time to catch up with their classmates as well as make new friends. The girls have yet to meet all their subject teachers, probably in the next day or two.
The first day of school has been a happy one and has gone well for the girls. :)

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy 2013!

Happy New Year. May 2013 bring you good health, wisdom, love and all that you wish for!

We started the first day of the new year by going to the temple to pray for the new year. I pray that the girls will have a good start to the new school year. :)
After our prayers, we went to The House of Robert Timms, Wheelock Place for brunch/ lunch. The House of Robert Timms serves Australian food. :) What a great start to the new year with my Stout Braised Kangaroo Loin ($26.90) served in stout brown sauce with carrots, zucchini, mashed potato and cripsy puff pastry!! :) I just love roo meat! :P Most of the kangaroo meat pieces were tender (a few pieces were tough but I could bear with it) and tasty with the sauce.
Marieann had Garlic Cilantro Prawns Spaghetti ($20.50). The pasta was spicy as chilli flakes were added although it was not stated to be so in the menu. I am surprised that Marieann managed to finish most of her spaghetti before the spiciness got to her. The prawns were really fresh.
Juliane ordered from the Kids' Menu, Sausage and Eggs Combo ($9.80): cheesy chicken sausage, scrambled eggs, toast and baked beans and fruit salad. She enjoyed her eggs and sausage.
The girls' father had French Toasts with Fresh Fruits ($11.80). We all shared a Pot of Clams in White Wine. The clams were tasty and the sauce was delicious.
Both Marieann and I had dessert: Red Velvet Cupcake with cream cheese ($5.60) and Lemon Crumble Bar ($5). The cupcake was yummy and the lemon crumble bar had the right balance of sour and sweet. :)
Latte art of a teddy bear
A great meal and it is a GREAT start for the NEW YEAR. :)