Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Happy 14th Anniversary!


04 Dec – 2013 : Yes, our marriage is as old as old first HDB home in those days it’s the SOP: wedding proposal – buy flat – weddings – matrimonial home.

14 is not a big numbers and neither is it considered small in term of Marriage years. We had truly grown as a family and understood now why the older generation said a family is incomplete without children.

Looking back at the years that the kids were born and growing, the marriage became stronger as we learnt to manage all the difficult situations that aroused from those times.

Today, we are stepping into a new journey with the new home and new environment but all the familiar movement and people.  We are still growing and learning every day to live and love each other our own special way.
Happy 14th Anniversary!

 (PS: almost left the wedding portrait behind during the recent house moving…)

 时间过得好充实,十四年了!这十四年我们都很努力的经营这个家和婚姻。一段姻缘来的不容易,所以我们必须用心和爱,还有许多耐心去好好培养它。没有一段婚姻是十全十美的,我们从不完美中学习保护它和克服任何困难。

新的家“诞生”了,希望它代表新的生命力和毅力让我们勇敢的走向另一个婚姻的领域。

注:在搬家的时候,竟然差一点忘了把结婚床头照带走。。:P

Our Wedding Portrait

Friday, November 01, 2013

Home of 14 Years…

It was in November 1999 that we officially became the proud owner of our 4 room flat. We did minimum renovation as we had a pretty tight budget as we were also at the same time planning our customary wedding dinner in Year 2000.


Minimalist we kept the home decoration simple and easy to maintain. It was our matrimonial home and we saw the birth and growth of both Anthea and Anders, in year 2002 and 2004 respectively.
 

We had many, many fond memories in the home and neighbours were warm and helpful to one another.
MY Kitchen
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
As the children grow older, we felt that it was time to “upgrade” in unit size. So we were looking at 5 rooms unit within the same location, as it’s near school and conveniences.

By sheer of luck, I had the opportunity to meet up with an old schoolmate. Through our conversation, I had the understanding that she was also upgrading to a new property and thus selling off her old.

Without any delayed, we set up viewing session and confirmed our deal without much issue. We liked the unit and the timing were just right.
Study cum Home Office

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
So after 2 appointments at the HDB, on 1 November 2013 we are the proud owner of our new 5 room property.

It will be a new beginning for us in the new property in year 2014, however, we will not forget the GOOD OLD times in our old flat.  
Our Small Space





Wednesday, May 29, 2013

3 Days 2 Night Adventure Camp


Primary 5 is a year of busy school life schedule for Anthea. Since the beginning of the year, there were many letters from the school informing the parents of all the upcoming events for them.

One of them was a 3D2N Adventure Camp at a local campsite. Initially I was very hesitant for her to partake in the camp as she has never been exposed to such environment.

After a few emails exchanges with the teacher-in-charge, I had all my worries packed in a bag and she was off for the 3D2N camp.
 
The camp took place from 15 to 17 April 2013.

15 April:  Assembled in school at usual hour and the buses took them to the Jalan Bahtera Camp located off Jalan Bahtera.  The first activity that took place was High Elements Exercises. Looking at some of the photos that were taken during the various stations, I was full of admirations of the kid’s courage to go so high.
Doing the Rock wall climbing


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The High Element
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
In the evening, we decided to drop by to the camp to pay Anthea a surprise visit. We had quite an “adventurous ride” to get to the campsite. As it was located nearby to a Military Camp, we actually “gatecrashed” and went into a Military training ground. Luckily after some time of searching, we finally found the children campsite.

Anthea was very surprised to see us and they were having great fun playing a game of “Kidnapped”. We didn’t stay long and bade her goodbye after visiting the sleeping huts. (There were no air-conditions and fans!!) 

16 April: A full day of activities for the children and in the evening the P5 parents were invited to the camp fire. The school even organized buses to ferry us to the campsite at a nominal cost of $3 for 2 ways transfers. I had a fun time at the camp fire and seeing Anthea enjoying herself. At 9.30pm, the camp fire came to a closure and we said Good Bye and see your tomorrow.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
17 April: Home Sweet Home.

Overall experienced was great and she came back feeling lethargic and happy.  I am happy that she had the chance to experience a campout session with all her school friends.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Happy 11th Birthday to Anthea!


It’s her 11th years old birthday and she had plans for her celebration. In the afternoon hours, she wanted to go shopping with her good friend and then joined us for dinner.

 
Yes, 11 years had gone by in a swift and each time we reached a birthday milestone, it felt like I just delivered her yesterday.
 

Her growing years had been a memorable one for me as she has always been MINE girl. Always showing me her LOVE and appreciation openly and never failed to disappoint me in her academic achievement too. She has high aspiration and I could only give her my best support and encouragement.
 

On Saturday, 6 April 2013, we had a simple family dinner with my in-laws. She had wanted to have western and thus we booked ourselves a table at Sun Ray’s Café. It’s a small café situated outskirt of Serangoon Garden. The food was surprisingly very palatable. We had mushroom soup, pasta and some meat dishes.
Mushroom soup
Lamb Rack
At the end of the meal, we had a simple Birthday Cake celebration for the birthday girl. All her younger nieces were singing different version of the birthday songs for her, we even had a Korean version…thanks to K-Drama…haha.

 On this special day, I would like to wish my LOVELY girl: Happy 11th Birthday and a good year ahead.


Happy Birthday Anthea

Friday, March 22, 2013

Happy 9th Birthday, Anders!


His birthday falls within the March school holiday, so he had the whole week to celebrate it.

We had asked him how would he like to celebrate it and he said he wanted to invite his usual gang of 4 but it was not possible as Bryan would be away for his holiday and Nicole had changed to a new school and it was not easy to invite her. So the only ONE left available was Ryan.

So we had a simple family dinner and invited Bryan along. Dinner was at TCC and it was a great choice as the food was delicious and we had a 50% discount off total bill as it was my birthday month too.


After dinner, Anders requested to play his favorite arcade game with Ryan. They had great fun at the machine. Then we proceeded to MacDonald for a simple cake cutting celebration and had our dessert at the same time.

Each birthday we celebrate for him meant we had reached another milestone – he is not an easy child to bring up. There were many occasions that I had teared because I felt that I had failed as a mother in disciplining him. But I know I cannot give up on him because if I do so, he will be a goner forever. So no matter what happen, I have to be there for him.

So on this special day – I just want to tell him: “Happy Birthday Anders, Mommy loves you very much!”

 

 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

迎蛇接福


一年一度的农历新年又过去了。时间过得很快却相当从实。正月十五天内,我们都到亲朋好友家拜年。孩子们红包一个一个收,开心的不得了。
 
正月初一是给父母亲们拜年,所以第一天都比较轻松。

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
正月初二是和亲戚们拜年。 大家集合在一起,有说不完的话题,因为一年才见一次,所以好多东西要分享。

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
今年的初三也是公定假期,所以我们多了一天的休息日。

 
接下来的周末,我也乘机和好朋友们聚餐和捞鱼生,以讨个好兆头,希望今年会过得快乐和安康。

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

7 Days Taiwan Deluxe Hot Spring Tour

Ever since the children were old enough to travel, we had been going on Free & Easy tour as we do not want to tired ourselves out. Now that both of them are older and more independent, we decided to go on our family FIRST guided tour to Taiwan.

We managed to fine a tour that matched our requirement of travel dates at the August NATAS Fair and we booked this 7 Days tour with Neway Travel. My parents-in-law joined us for this trip.

The travel date was set for 17 to 23 November, the package deal tied up with EVA Air but as the returning flight was too early, we decided to change it to Singapore Airlines and paid the difference. Luckily this was possible. So our adventure begins…

Day1: Saturday, 17 November:  Singapore – Taipei (SQ 878                       1155/1630hrs)

 Upon arrival at Taoyuan International Airport, we were met by our Tour Guide, Mr. Tony Wang. His Chinese name is 王丰麒 and he is a local Taiwanese. While waiting for the main group to arrive via EVA, we took a light dinner at the terminal arrival gourmet hall. We ordered a Beef Noodle soup to sample and the children had their first Macdonald Meals in Taiwan.

 Once the main group arrived (we were a total of 31pax), we were guided to our bus and Tony started his introduction of Taiwan to us. Our very first stop for the evening was Shihlin Night Marker – 士林夜市. The night market was crowded with tourist and the hawkers. It was an eye-opening experienced for the children and we sampled all the different snacks from one stall to another, they were sinfully delicious. We had 臭豆腐,蚝煎,鲁肉饭,生煎包,大肠包小肠,山猪肉香肠,十全排骨汤和泡泡茶。After a good meal, we met up with Tony and headed back to our Taipei City hotel – Park CityHotel.

We checked in and had a good night of sleep before our next morning call at 6.30am.

Day 2: Sunday, 18 November: Taipei àTaizhong

After a good breakfast, our first morning stop was the famous Yangmingshan National Park (阳明山国家花园). It started drizzling when we arrived at the park and we quickly took a few photographs at the Flower Clock before taking a hide from the rain. The rain went off quite quickly and we took a walk around the park. The air was fresh and the place was very quiet and peaceful.

The next place we visited was the Xiaoyoukeng (小油坑喷气孔)which boasted itself as a natural hot spring and also its breathtaking view from the mountain. Due to the rain and heavy fogs, we were unable to appreciate the nature but were still glad we caught a glimpse of it.

After Yangmingshan Park, we visited Taipei iconic hotel – Grand Hotel. (圆山大饭店) Its ranked one of the top 10 hotels in the world, built with its traditional palace style architecture and brilliantly tiled roof.  Then after, we had the chance to view Guard Change at the Taipei Martyr Shrine. It was a very special and honorable moment.

Lunch was at a Ninja theme restaurant and we had a very nice Japanese meal.

Ximenting (西门町) was our after lunch stop for shopping and food tasting. As it was raining and crowded due to a Sunday, we hardly had the chance to walk on the street. So we decided to take shelter in a small shopping mall. There were quite a lot of shops in the mall and Anders even had the opportunity to play some games in the arcade while we shopped around.

Then we had a quick Macdonald’s tea break before heading to meet up with the group.

It was the right decision as our bus journey from Taipei to Taizhong Yizhong night market was slighted extended due to heavy traffic on the highway. We left Taipei around 4.45pm and arrived into Yizhong around 7.20pm.

Dinner was at the night market and we had beef noodles at a stall name 山西刀削面 and as the weather was quite cold due to the rain, the steaming hot soup was a welcome to our stomach. It was more shopping after dinner; we bought Anders a pair of black shoes as the one he was wearing was giving way. Then both of them bought a wallet on street side. There was also a small mall and my mother in-law managed to get herself some cosmetic from Face Shop which was much cheaper compared to Singapore.

The night ended around 9.30pm and we checked into our hotel in Taizhong – Shinkansen. Needless to say, after a long, we were all knocked out once we hit the bed.

Day 3: Monday, 19 November: Taizhong à Kaohsiung E-Da Theme Park

Our day began after a good break and saying goodbye to the hotel. We were heading towards Kaohsiung E-Da Theme Park. Yes, this is the newest theme park in Kaohsiung, according to the agency, so we were high in anticipation.

En route, we had a stopover at another place of interest – Tainan Ten Drum Culture Village. There was a guide who gave us a very good introduction to the village and then we watched a Drum show. The highlight of the visit was everyone was given a “crash course” on play the drum and all of us had good fun at the drums.












After a good drum roll session, we headed for the theme park. Upon arrival at the park, all the children in the group were wide awake when they saw all the rides. Tony brought us for a self-expense lunch at the food court. There were great varieties and price was affordable. We had a good lunch before playtime.











The children had fun trying all the rides and we went for the 飞越台湾 ride and caught magnificent views of Taiwan various famous places. My parents-in-law enjoyed the ride too. Then they left us and checked in the hotel – Skylark for a rest, while we carried on to explore the park. We finally left the park around 5pm.  Dinner was at the shopping mall with my in-laws. Tony recommend us to this restaurant 金色三麦“, it was a German restaurant and we had a very good meal at this place. We even managed to taste 3 different kinds of German Beers.  After a full meal, Anders and I went for the Ferris wheel ride while the rest went to check out the shopping mall. Anders enjoyed the ride and he said it was his first experienced on the Ferris wheel.

Then we met up with Adrian and continued our shopping spree. Finally ended at the hotel room at 10pm and called it a night.

Day 4: Tuesday, 20 November:  Kaohsiung E-Da Theme Park à Kaohsiung Fu Guang Shang à Cing Jing Farm.

We had a good hotel breakfast before setting off for our day tour. The first place for the day was Fo Guang Shan (佛光山). The place was founded by Venerable Master Hsing Yun in 1967 and is popular among many Buddhist from different part of the world. We prayed for good luck and good health for the family.

The temple visit was very calm and peaceful and I enjoyed revisiting this place after so many years.

Our lunch was at a Hakka Restaurant (客家餐厅) and the food was delicious.

The “arduous” journey began after lunch. Yes, we were heading towards Cing Jing Farm. The road up the mountain was very winding and narrow, sitting on the coach; we could literally see the edge of the mountain. It was quite terrifying and both the children got a little motion sickness. Upon reaching Green Green Grassland and disembarked from the coach, we were greeted with fresh air and scenic wild greenery. All these helped them overcome the motion sickness.

The most interesting part was there were sheep wandering around the area, waiting to be fed and the children had fun time doing that. The adults were busied enjoying the Versant Mountains and the paradise of the mist.

We stayed the night at Notable Vacation (名人度假村) and as the night was quite cold, we had wine and fruit party in our room after dinner. That helped to keep our bodies warm.

 Day 5: Wednesday, 21 November:  Cing Jing à Sun Moon Lake à Evergreen Spa Resort

After a very cool night on the mountain, we checked out of the hotel and started our day trip to the ever famous Sun Moon Lake tour. (日月潭). We went on a guided lake cruise. The guide cum boat driver gave us an introduction of the history of SML and we tried the famous 阿嘛茶叶蛋. It really tasted different from our own version.  After the cruise tour, we disembarked and had lunch at a nearby restaurant. Then it was another long drive to our next destination – Evergreen Spa Resort.

 







Upon checked in to the hotel, we were all super delighted as the rooms were very spacious and there was an in-room spa.


Our first activity was SPA, yes; we wasted no time in changing into our swimwear and headed straight for the SPA area. There were different spa for different parts of the bodies and we tried all of them. To Anders’s delight, there was a fish spa area, he had always wanted to do fish spa, so his wish came true in Taiwan.

 

 After a good one hour of spa, we went back to the room to change and got ready for our sumptuous buffet dinner. The dessert bar was really good and we managed to sample some very nice Japanese dessert.

 







Then we went back to the room to rest and relax, both Anthea and Anders went for the room spa and soaked in the tub for another half an hour. We had a good night sleep after the good spa and meal. This was the highlight of the tour.

Day 6: Thursday, 22 November:  Evergreen Spa Resort  à JiuFen à Taipei 101

The hotel buffet breakfast was great and before we set off, heavy rain poured in. Jiufen was our morning stop. (九份). This was the place to sample all the different kind of snacks such as 猪肉纸,芋圆,太阳饼,凤梨酥 and many more delicious and tasty snacks. We spend about 2 hours at the place and finally left around 12noon with all the purchased.

Lunch was at an artistic restaurant known as Five Cents Driftwood – 五角船板景观餐厅。The food was good and the interior decoration was very unique.  It was photo time after lunch.

After lunch, Tony brought us to Wei Ge (维格) to buy the famous Pineapple Tarts.

Taipei 101 was our next stop, as our tour package does not include the viewing gallery; we didn’t have the chance to view the skyline of Taipei. So we ended up shopping in the mall while waiting for our dinner at Ding Tai Feng.

Our final night was at Park City hotel and after checked in, we were busied packing all our purchased of goodies/snacks for the trip.

Day 7 - Friday 23 November:  Taipei – Singapore (SQ 877 1410/1850 hrs.)

After a good and relaxing hotel breakfast, the driver drove us to the airport for our flight to Home-sweet-home.
 
Overall we had enjoyed the 7 Days guided tour and found it an interesting experienced and we would be back for more....:)

台湾,真好游,我们会再重游!再见!