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Tuesday, 31 December 2013

New Year's Eve 2013

On the last day of 2013, I had Big Brunch Breakfast at Revolution Cafe, hoping it will inspire me to have revolutionary thoughts and resolutions for the new year. :P 
My Babycino with HUGE marshmallow - Sugar overload :)
Sour dough bread, scrambled eggs, bacon and sauteed mushroom - Food for the body, soul and thoughts lol
Nope, no revolutionary thoughts and resolutions yet but had very happy and sated thoughts after the brunch. :)
I was invited by my neighbour (former) and friend for New Year's Eve dinner at her house. It was an amazing meal with lots of home-cooked goodness - both main courses (beef, ham, chicken, vegetable curry, salad) and desserts (brandy fruitcake, summer pudding, chocolate cake)! The company was great too. Although it is the first time I met majority of the guests, it was a fun group to hang out with. :) I also managed to hang out with my friend's three lovely cats! :)
It is a really great end to 2013! Farewell, 2013.

Monday, 30 December 2013

2013 Ending Soon

I just realised that we are only one day away from 2014. Time really flies by. I think I have achieved most of my 2013's new year's resolution. Time to start to thinking about my new year's resolution for 2014...

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Unconditionally by Katy Perry

This is such a beautiful and elegant music video featuring Katy Perry's Unconditionally. It is a lovely song too. :) 

 (uploaded by KatyPerryVEVO)

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Spring Cleaning

Completed, well more or less lol. I realised that this is the last weekend to spring clean before the girls start school next week, and especially before my parents/ their grandparents return home next week from Xiamen. :P Well, although there is another four more weeks to Chinese New Year, no time is a good time than now to start the spring cleaning. :) Of course, with my parents coming back SOON is also a great motivation to spring clean now (in order to avoid scolding from them for messing up the place lol). 
We, meaning the girls and I, have managed to tidied up their study materials, their art and craft materials, and their toys and re-organised into the various boxes. We also threw out and recycled a lot of their past year study materials. Just a little touch up here and there in the next few days, our spring cleaning for Chinese New Year will be done. :)

Friday, 27 December 2013

CNY Decorations?!

It has only been two days past Christmas and I am already seeing Chinese New Year (CNY) decorations up and about, replacing the Christmas decorations! OMG lol. It is so surreal and strange to see CNY decorations before the English New Year! Just waiting to hear CNY songs playing in the malls lol.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Post Christmas Sales

I was reading the papers in the evening and saw that there are so many post-Christmas sales going on! I am really tempted but alas, I bought quite a fair bit when I was in Brisbane and Gold Coast - 1 t-shirt, 2 blouses and 4 dresses for myself; 1 dress, 1 blouse and 1 skirt for Marieann; 1 blouse, 1 dress and 2 pants for Juliane. I shall refrain from buying more stuff... :P

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

Merry Christmas! 

For us, it is a quiet Christmas. Actually, it is more of a Practical Christmas. While most people were still resting from the Christmas parties/ gatherings on Christmas eve or were still out celebrating Christmas today in churches or with more parties/ gatherings. We went for our haircut! Some of the hair salons are open on Christmas Day like ours is, but there are very, very few customers. So our waiting time is reduced significantly. Normally, the haircut for the three of us would take us about 3 hours. Today, it only took about 1.5 hrs for three of us to get a haircut! :) I also realised now is the best time for our haircut, not just for the kids in preparation for school re-open in a week's time, but also in preparation for Chinese New Year. :) Chinese New Year 2014 will fall on 31 January 2014. Yes, I think ahead lol. :P

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Christmas Eve 2013

It is the eve of Christmas. For us, it is quiet and normal like any other day of the year, ok, except for Chinese New Year because there are CNY traditions to follow and do.

Here is wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in 2014! :)

Monday, 23 December 2013

Holiday Celebration

This quiz result is quite on the spot. :P I am low key when it comes to celebrating a festive holiday such as Christmas. Alternatively, you can say I am lazy lol. :P
You Are Low Key
You enjoy the holidays, of course, but you don't get too worked up about them.
There's so many people celebrating in so many ways that you're content to sit back and take it all in.

That's not to say you don't life a finger during the holidays - you do. You just celebrate in small ways.
When it comes to the holidays, you believe less is more. There's enough people out there going overboard.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Dong Zhi 2013 (Winter Solstice Festival)

Happy Dong Zhi 2013 or Happy Winter Solstice Festival 2013! :)
We cooked small coloured glutinous rice balls and the larger red-bean stuffed ones in brown sugar soup (as seen in the photo). It was really nice eating the steaming hot glutinous rice balls in brown sugar soup on a cool night. :) 
Dong Zhi is a time for families to get together and tangyuan ((湯圓) or glutinuous rice balls which symbolise reunion, are eaten. :) After Dong Zhi, there will be days with longer daylight hours and therefore an increase in positive energy flowing in.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Deaths in the Family

I received a phone call from my parents in Xiamen in the evening, informing me that my paternal uncle-in-law in Kuching, Malaysia passed away unexpectedly on Thursday and his funeral is tomorrow. I called my paternal aunt to offer my condolences. Even if I can get a flight to Kuching tomorrow morning, it would be too late for me as the funeral service would be over by then. :( Rest in peace, Uncle-in-law. 

When I returned from Brisbane, my parents informed me about my paternal uncle's death on 27 November (I was in Brisbane then). Again, it was a surprise to me. I had to call my aunt-in-law and my cousins to offer my condolences. According to my aunt-in-law, my uncle has been ill but had kept the severity of his illness from us. :( Rest in peace, Uncle.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Science Tuition

Trying to look for a Science tutor for Marieann. I have been helping her with Science since she was in Primary 3. She has been passing, however, with her taking Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE) next year, the stakes are too high for me to make mistakes with her education. I also feel that I reached my limits in coaching her in Science . I think it is time someone with more skills, especially in teaching her how to answer open-ended questions, should take over the coaching. I can continue to provide the support and monitoring in her homework. Please let me find her a Science tutor soon!

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Crazy Christmas: Ting Tong Belles

It was a last minute decision and my colleagues and I were lucky to get tickets for tonight's Crazy Christmas: Ting Tong Belles, Esplanade Theatre at very short notice, such as this afternoon. :P We arrived at 7pm and we walked around Esplanade. It has been a long time since I was at the Esplanade. I think I last went there due to some field trip when I was teaching in SCGS.
When the doors opened at 7:30pm, we were seated. At 8pm, the show started. Time flies when you are enjoying yourself! There was so much laughing that my throat was really sore and wished that I had lozenges on hand. I particularly loved the XXX factor segment with Singapore's own Beyonce Hou Say, Se Ki Na and Lady MaMa, the Korean band Girls Re-Generation segment, The Three Wisemen segment, Dr Teo Chew Moi TCM moments, Cat Klaus segment and finally, Kumar's segment! I only wish the whole show was longer. One and a half hour seemed much, much too short! At the end of tonight's show, everyone involved in the production of the show were given thanks for their wonderful work. 
Crazy Christmas: Ting Tong Belles is one crazy show full of fun, singing and laughter! :D I haven't laughed that much in a long time.   

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Working with

people or things? According to Blogthings quiz, I should be working with both.
You Should Work With Both People and Things
You are a multi-talented person who does best in many roles. In fact, you don't like to be stuck doing one thing for too long.
You do best in a job that allows you to connect with people ... while still having some time to yourself to build on your skills.

Absolutely true! I don't like to be stuck with doing just research, that's why I am still counselling in school (working with students and teachers!). :)

You would excel in a teaching job of any sort - from college professor to corporate trainer to Montessori teacher.
You'd also do well as a physician or health care professional. Or even as a food writer or chef! 

Well, used to be a teacher. Maybe I should consider doing some teaching again lol. Well, counselling is health care, for better mental heath. :) Guess I am in all the right line of work!  

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Growing Up

The girls are growing up too fast for my liking. Marieann is actually now slightly taller than I am! Both girls needed new uniforms which they went back to school this morning to buy. Almost all set for the new school year in 2014.  

Monday, 16 December 2013

Exit Interview?!

I received an email from HRD asking me to attend an exit interview - my exit interview. What?! A week ago, I was told that my contract renewal is being processed but now HRD is asking me to go for an exit interview! Someone better tell me what is going on!!!

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Brunch@Beach Culture, Pasir Ris Park

It has been a while since we had brunch. Since the girls' tutor is away on hols, we went to Beach Culture, Pasir Ris Park for brunch. 
Beach Culture is an unpretentious beach dining. When we arrived, a ROM event + wedding lunch was set up. Later heard that the restaurant specialises in ROM events. 
For brunch, Marieann ordered Morning Pancakes ($9.80), both Juliane and her father had Beach Culture Breakfast ($12.80) and I tried the Salmon Fillet ($18.80). We also ordered Culture Wings as appetiser, Chocolate Lava Cake ($8.80) and Apple Crumble with ice cream ($7.80) to share. It was a satisfying brunch for all. :)
Morning Pancakes
Beach Culture Breakfast
Salmon Fillet: it was cooked just right
Culture Wings: Crispy and delicious
Pasir Ris Park is a pleasant surprise: peaceful and quiet. Although it is the weekend, the park was not overly crowded and noisy. There were some people kayaking in a special cordoned off area, less than a handful of families at the beach, and a couple of runners. I only realised much later that there is a mangrove forest nearby. We shall certainly visit the mangrove forest the next time we are there. :)

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Be Prepared Early

Upon my insistence, the girls packed away their 2013 school stuff as well as prepared for school in 2014 today. They were not happy when I told them to pack their stuff. 
"We have still have two weeks before school reopens," they complained in unison.
"Always good to be prepared early," said I. 
Their books are now wrapped and their bags are packed for school in 2014. :)

Friday, 13 December 2013

4 Pants and A Dress

That's how my boss described our dinner gathering last night lol. Our boss, David is back in Singapore for a week. We had dinner with him at House, Dempsey Hill. The food was great and the company was fabulous! There was endless topics to talked about and plenty of laughs too. :) 
I hope to see David back in Singapore soon. If not, I could always visit him in Brisbane! :)
Pretty lights at Dempsey Hill

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Movie Premiere - The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

I attended the movie premiere of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug last night. My free ticket was the courtesy of a friend and NZ High Commission. :) I watched The Hobbit on IMAX HFR 3D. The Hobbit was absolutely brilliant. Although it was 2 hrs and 40 minutes, it seemed very short! :P From the start, it was action, action and action!! There wasn't a dull moment. I won't say much more except to catch the movie! :)
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Sneak Peek [HD] (uploaded by Warner Bros. Pictures)

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Official Teaser Trailer [HD] (uploaded by Warner Bros. Pictures)

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Official Main Trailer [HD] (uploaded by Warner Bros. Pictures)

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Happy Birthday, YM!

Happy Birthday, YM! 
Hope all your wishes come true! :) 

Lots of love from your family in Singapore

Your Birthday's Wisdom is Rebirth
You believe the beauty of life is that anyone can be reborn at anytime.
The world is full of fresh starts, and you take one whenever it comes your way.

You are constantly evolving and changing. And to you, that's a beautiful thing.
You aren't the person you used to be... you're so much better now!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

CC No More

After not having played Candy Crush Saga for the past 2 weeks (because I decided not to bring my iPad to Brisbane), I found myself no longer addicted to it! I haven't played CC since I came back. :) Guess the cure for any game addiction is going cold turkey as well as replacing it with work, preferably hard physical work that you are so tired out that you do not think about the game any more! Lol.

Monday, 9 December 2013


The first day back at work after a substantial amount of time away from work is the hardest to adjust back into the work routine.
I survived my first day back at work! Mainly clearing my 150+ emails. I decided not to check work emails for the 2 weeks that I was in Brisbane. I felt really great for those 2 weeks, no stress from work but today I paid the price.  

Sunday, 8 December 2013


After a full day of sleep, I am now unpacking our luggage. We used 40kg of the 60kg we were allocated by Qantas (30kg per person). Wish I had bought more stuff now haha. :P

I will also update my outstanding Brisbane & Gold Coast posts in the coming week.
Thank you in advance for your patience. :)

Saturday, 7 December 2013


Three words to sum up how I felt physically after the Brisbane trip:
Jet lag!

Friday, 6 December 2013

Brisbane Sad Day 1/ Home

It was our last morning in Brisbane. The weather looked great! It was a pity that we were leaving. Wished that we were staying on for a few more days. :) 
Great weather on our last morning in Brisbane
Clear weather and we could see the mountains in the distance
Our airport transfer arrived promptly at 7:30am and we were at the airport by 8:20am. There was a LONG queue for check in at the Qantas counters. Thank goodness I have already checked in online so I was in a much shorter queue and we were done in 20 minutes. 
The Story Bridge as we passed in our airport shuttle
After checking in our luggage
After clearing immigration and customs
At our Gate 85
Our Qantas flight that is going to bring us home
Boarding now
By 10:05am, we boarded the plane. Once again, we were really lucky. We had three seats to ourselves so we could share the extra seat. :) There was a slight delay and we only took off at 11am, instead of 10:30am. The journey was smooth, hardly any turbulence. :( I was seated next to the window so I could take lots of photos whenever I fancy lol. :) I enjoyed the food too. :) Other than watching the inflight movies, we also took naps. :)
Brisbane city as seen from the runway
We had earphones on and busy watching movies
See the plane on its flight path to land
Flying over the mountain ranges
Meandering river
Farm land
Kid's meal :)
My curry vegetable meal - thank goodness, not spicy :P
Hot chocolate and Peppermint tea
Flying over ocean and an island
Nice, fluffy clouds
Dessert! Weis' mango and cream ice cream - delicious!
Flying through cloud cover
Kid's light meal
Light meal consists of chicken mayo, sun-dried tomatoes, and rockets sandwiches
Nearing Singapore
Flying over Singapore land
Land ahoy! :P
Landed at Changi International Airport
We landed in Singapore at 4:17pm. Although we took off later, we still arrived on time. Oh it was also wet as it had rained, it seemed that I have brought the rain (wet weather) back to Singapore with me lol. It is good to be home. :)