making it easier to keep in touch with family and friends

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Another one?!

My girls and my mother are now hooked on yet another Korean drama, Smile Again 笑吧!東海which replaced the last Korean drama, Ice Adonis when it ended its run during the weekdays. My mother said she has never seen a girl so evil and wanted to see how she will end up. LOL. 
Me? Well, I am not too much into Smile Again because I realised how addictive it can be! I only watch it if it is still showing when I come home from work. Otherwise, no big loss lol. 

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Ang Ku Kueh 红龟糕

I have a weakness for ang ku kueh since young. Ang ku kueh (红龟糕)is small oval shaped Chinese pastry with soft sticky skin and fillings in the centre, usually grated peanuts or bean fillings. Ang ku kueh looks like a tortoise shell and it rests on a square piece of banana leaf.  Ang ku kueh is literally translated as “red tortoise cake” (=red, =tortoise,=cake or pastry). Now-a-days, ang ku kueh is no longer just red in colour, it now comes in a multitude of colours and with different kinds of fillings other than bean and grated peanuts! But whatever colour it is, I still only love "ang" ku kueh with grated peanuts fillings. :)
Colourful ang ku kuehs! :)

Friday, 29 March 2013

PoTeaTo = Potato + Tea

Potato and tea - two of my favourite items together at this cafe in Tiong Barhru.:)
PoTeaTo is a nice, cosy and serene cafe in Tiong Bahru, just a few doors down from Forty Hands cafe. PoTeaTo has mostly potato dishes (they have other dishes too) and large selection of tea! It is not easy to find cafes that specialise in one of them, let alone both items. I tried its Tofu Potato Cakes with avocado tomato salad ($14) and its Raspberry Mint premium selection tea ($7.20). The potato cakes are simply delicious!
Although PoTeaTo is not as crowded as its neighbour, I much prefer PoTeaTo because of its more cosy and serene ambiance and more importantly, because of its potato dishes and tea selection! Yes, I am a potato lover and a tea drinker. :)

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Shopping with Mom

It has been ages since I last went shopping with my mother! Since my mother needed some Clarins products, we went to the Isetan Private Sale after work. When my mother shops, she behaves like a black ops on a mission. Get in, achieve the target, and get out! We bought what we came to buy in under 30 minutes lol. The only two unexpected occurrences were Juliane and my father. Juliane, who was with us, wanted to check out children's clothes. My father, who was at home, wanted us to check out a pot that he was eyeing. Those two occurrences added another 45 minutes to our total shopping time.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

"Round Robin Art"

I tried something with a new counsellee today in order to build rapport. I used the Round Robin method but instead of writing something, we drew me lol. The results were good. :) The counsellee enjoyed herself , I learnt a bit more about her and I looked very fashionable in the drawing of me lol.
What I looked like to my counsellee lol

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Will I Return?

I went to MOE HQ for a meeting today. While I was there, I started thinking back to my time working at MOE HQ. There is no denying that I did learn a lot during my time there. It was then a steep learning curve as compared to teaching. When I left MOE, my life has taken on different priorities and goals. Then, I thought I will never return to MOE again. However it seems life has me thinking hard and re-prioritising my goals again. Just wondering, if someone asks me, "Will you return to MOE?", I seriously do not know.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Taipei Accommodation

Our accommodation in Taipei has been booked through the help of my mother's friend. She is able to get discounts at this accommodation because she is working in the defence sector. :) Yippee, more money for shopping lol. :P

Sunday, 24 March 2013

One in a Million by Bosson

I watched Miss Congeniality years ago, and it made me laughed. I happened to catch Miss Congeniality again on TV and it still made me laughed. At the same time, I re-discovered this song again, One in a Million by Bosson. :)

(uploaded by HitzLyrics2U)

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Ready to Travel

I bought our air tickets to Taipei for travel in early June from Jetstar. We are ready to travel. :) 

Friday, 22 March 2013

The Croods

My girls and I went to watch The Croods on Wednesday. It is a story about a prehistoric family whose only home they knew, "the cave" was destroyed and they had to embark on a journey to search for a new home across unfamiliar land, with an intelligent and innovative caveboy in tow. Besides lots of funny moments, there are educational moments as well as a sad moment or two. But don't worry, it is a cheerful movie. The Croods is a movie for everyone, regardless of age! :) It is entertaining, educational, funny, and ... Just Go and SEE IT! You won't regret it. :) 

The Croods trailer (uploaded by DreamworksAnimation)

The Croods official trailer 2 (uploaded by DreamworksAnimation)

The Croods official trailer 3 (uploaded by DreamworksAnimation)

Thursday, 21 March 2013

On Leave

So NICE to be doing nothing! Didn't check emails, didn't do work, didn't write, just didn't do anything lol. Actually, I did do something. I spent time with my girls again lol.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Tiger Mom's Downtime (Kids Rejoice!)

Being the school holiday, I have no counselling today. I decided to take the girls out to enjoy ourselves for a day. No homework, no scolding lol. Well, a little bit of homework in the morning. Before we went for our morning movie, Marieann took some photos of trees for her holiday homework. We managed to take a few. We arrived at Shaw Lido at 10am. We bought tickets for the sneak preview of The Croods! :) The cinema was almost full, mainly families with children lol. The movie was better than I expected! Juliane loved the show. (Will review the movie in another post.)
After the movie, we went across to Far East Plaza's Nanbantei Japanese Restaurant for lunch. We were very lucky to get a table without reservations! :) We each ordered the famous Yakitori Bento ($13) which came with 5 sticks of yakitori, rice (with mushroom, seaweed and minced chicken), miso soup and dessert. Quail eggs and dessert: red bean with rice cake are our favourites. :)
Hungry kids waiting for their Yakitori Bento
Yummy! :)
We browsed around Far East Plaza after lunch. There are plenty of nice and interesting shops. We went back to Shaw Lido for our second movie of the day - Oz the Great and Powerful 3D. It was not too bad but I think I preferred The Croods, as did Julaine too lol. Marieann preferred Oz, maybe The Croods was too kiddy for her?! 
We took a bus home. But before heading home, we detoured to the Botanic Gardens to take more photos of trees for Marieann's online homework. Below are some of the photos that Marieann took.
Taking her sister goofing around
We were tired, especially after our walk at the Gardens. But we had a great time - no scolding and no homework (of sorts) lol.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Forever Spoof

Here is a creepy but funny spoof of the song, Forever by Derrick Hoh. It is a really nice catchy song and the video is brilliant, if you can look past a few gross details. But if you have a sensitive nature, then just listen to the song and don't look at the video.

(uploaded by SuperForeverEndeavor)

Monday, 18 March 2013


I finally applied for my leave in June. Planned to bring my girls back to Taipei for another visit to the Taiwan side (maternal) of my family. :) I look forward to going back too. :) All the yummy food lol. :P

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Camping Out Cafes?

A good friend and colleague has been looking for cafes that are good for camping out to do writing, other than the usual Starbucks and Coffee bean cafes. 
The cafes need to: 
(1) have comfortable seats and tables (obviously if one is going to be seated for a period of time), 
(2) have powerpoints (for notebooks, especially if working for a stretch of several hours),
(3) have good coffee and food (especially if the brain needs a kick-start),
(4) be not too crowded (especially if writing during the weekends),
(5) have convenient parking nearby.
I think the first 3 points are a must for my friend. If anyone knows of cafes that fit the above criteria (other than the usual Starbucks and Coffee Bean cafes), let me know.
Thanks in advance. :)

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Walk + Ice Cream

It has been a long while since we last went to Tanglin Mall. After dinner, Juliane and I took a slow walk to Tanglin Mall. Marieann decided that she was too lazy to walk there lol. It was breezy so it was a nice and comfortable walk. :) 
We browsed around Tanglin Mall and saw some new shops. Before we walked back home, we had ...
Chocolate chip and Orange custard ice cream
ice cream from Brunetti. :) It was a wonderful end to a lovely evening.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Break Time

It is the start of one week March school holidays. Wondering how to occupy the girls' time, other than doing their holiday homework and revising for their coming mid-year examinations...

Thursday, 14 March 2013

The New Pope & Pope Emeritus

The new pope has been announced! He is Pope Francis I, formerly an Argentine cardinal. I wish Pope Francis all the best in his reign as the new head of a Roman Catholic Church.
 I never thought I would get to see the elections of two Popes so far. I remembered the election of the then Pope Benedict XVI in 2005 after the death of Pope John Paul II. I was especially excited about the election then in 2005 because of the novel, Angels and Demons by Dan Brown which took place mainly in Vatican City and a papal conclave was also held in the story. I really take my hat off to Pope (pope emeritus) Benedict XVI because rather than holding on to a position of immense power until death, he decided to resign from office due to his advance age, citing a "lack of strength of mind and body". Thus, giving others who are younger a chance to serve the church. That's nice of him. I wish Pope Benedict XVI the best of health. 

Wednesday, 13 March 2013


After almost two weeks of brainless work, I was able to start on some intellectual work. My mind felt liberated lol. 

Monday, 11 March 2013

Lousy Day!

Had a lousy day at work. A first in many years...

Sunday, 10 March 2013

The Passage & The Twelve by Justin Cronin

Tried out a new author, Justin Cronin. 
Read his "The Passage" and it was GOOD! A totally engrossing tale of catastrophe and survival in a futuristic America overrun by vampire-like creatures. Cronin is not like James Rollins or Matthew Reilly who fill their pages with lots of action-packed adventure. But Cronin draws you into his book even without tons of physical action (don't worry, there are some action in the book lol). He looks deep into human nature and the way he bonded us to the characters is in itself an adventure!     
Reading the sequel, The Twelve now.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Email Sign Off

You Are Sincerely
You're the type of person who puts manners first. You always act appropriately.
You are conscientious and responsible. You don't like the feeling of procrastinating or shirking.

While you don't always sign your emails 'Sincerely,' you make sure that they are well composed.
Whether you're emailing a friend or a business associate, you take the time to double check your words.

More than any other type, you make sure email doesn't pile up for you. You know it's important to reply quickly.
Some may say that email is going out of style, but you still consider it an art form. And you couldn't imagine living without it.

This is true of me. :) I always check and recheck my emails for mistakes before I send them off. I do read all my emails as soon as I can and reply as soon as I can but I seldom clear them out until I get a warning message that I have almost reached my mailbox quota lol. 

Friday, 8 March 2013

The Horsemeat Saga

On 25 February 2013, Sweden's IKEA stopped the sales of meatballs at its cafeteria across Europe after tests revealed that the meatballs contained horsemeat. Although the IKEA Singapore branch obtained its meatballs from Australia, the sales of meatballs were halted as a precautionary measure on 26 February 2013 amidst the growing horsemeat scandal in Europe. 
Today, IKEA Singapore resumed its sale of meatballs with a special promotion of 10 cents per meatball after tests confirmed that the meatballs are horsemeat-free, in a bid to resume public confidence. People were queuing as early as 10.30am for the meatballs. IKEA Singapore definitely played it right, anything that is cheap will most certainly entice people to buy lol. 
Did I go? No because I don't take beef for many years now lol. :)

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Travel Alone?

Marieann asked me if I would allow her to travel alone overseas with her school. I said, "Why not?". She told me that school has some Chinese cultural exchange programme during the school holidays and the notice will be given out next week. 
Well, technically she won't be alone as she will be travelling with her classmates and school teachers. :) I will definitely let her go if she is selected because it will be a great learning opportunity for her in many ways - build her confidence, make her more independent, practise her Chinese/ Mandarin, make her appreciate home and us more lol. 

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

"You Need a Loan?"

Marieann told me that she received a strange sms on her iPhone. The sms is as follows: 
"You need a loan? 100% lowest interest rate in town for personal loan. Instant approval. Call xxxxx @ 9xxxxxxx."
I asked her what she thought of it? "Loanshark!" was her immediate reply. Well done! I am very glad to know that she is keeping up with current affairs and knows what is a loanshark lol. Told her to delete the sms and to ignore such smses in the future.
But it is quite unnerving that these loansharks are openly smsing people, making illegal loans very easy to obtain. It is definitely bad news for the families of chronic/ compulsive gamblers. :( Hope the government can look into it...

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Internet Security

I keep forgetting to renew my Norton Internet Security on my Asus notebook. The first time I saw the warning was 20+ days ago, I think. I didn't pay much attention but I bought the NIS 2013. :P 
The warning just popped up again and I only have 5 days left to renew my subscription. It is too late to renew tonight for I have to wake up early tomorrow for counselling. Guess I will renew tomorrow. :)

Monday, 4 March 2013

Try by Pink

I was captivated by Pink's performace of her song, Try during the American Music Award 2012. Actually, my girls were the ones who told me that the song is called Try. (They are spending too much time on Youtube!) I remembered that my jaws were on the floor when I saw Pink's powerful dance moves which accompanied the song really well. Finally decided to look for the actual music video and it still wows me.
(uploaded by PinkVEVO)

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Learn to Love Again by Lawson

I love this song, Learn to Love Again by Lawson. Catchy tune. :) 
(uploaded by LawsonVEVO)

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Family Visit

to the dentist! My girls, my mother and I went for our dental check ups by my friend, Hoon. Hoon, who is my uni-mate, is our family dentist lol. Yes, my father sees her too for his tooth problems. After 2 hours, all four of us were done with our dental check ups. No major tooth problems for any of us. :)

Friday, 1 March 2013

Happy 9th Birthday, Juliane

It is Juliane's 9th birthday today. She has been looking forward to her birthday for a while now. Always asking me as well as her sister what we would be getting for her birthday present(s) lol. We celebrated her birthday with a fresh fruit salad cake from Sun Moulin which she likes very much.
Marieann and I both got Juliane things from her favourite Rilakkuma. Marieann got her a Rilakkuma pouch and I got her Rilakkuma sticky note pads. She also received a non-fiction book, The Best of National Geographic Yearbook 2013 from my colleague. Juliane really likes the book and started reading it straight away! :) Juliane received lots of birthday wishes from her classmates, her friends, her family as well as from my friends and colleagues lol. She is well-known (in a good way lol) to my friends and colleagues. Happy Birthday, Juliane. May all your wishes come true!