Category Archives: My thoughts

Random Monday: Thankful and Happy Thoughts

A few months ago, a friend asked why I have not been updating my blog? Kinda of happy cos there is someone who reads it. ūüôā But in true fact, I have not had the time to post any of it even though I have folders of pictures that I have edited and were all ready to post up. I have been kinda of asking, what I have done over almost half a year when my last post was My Obsession with The Heirs in December.

Looking back, son started Primary 1 and girl moved on to Primary 3 this year. With one in the morning and the other in the afternoon session, I was happy that I do not have to put up with their endless squabbles and fights. Oh mine, I was wrong. I am actually busier than expected with the sending, picking and the preparation. I am always the first to wake up and the last to be on bed. I am not complaining but in actual fact, I enjoy every process of it.

I enjoy waking up in the morning, preparing Kaitlyn for school, making sure she gets enough food and take my time to tie the neatest plaits, holding her hands to stroll to school. I enjoy waking the deep asleep Kaiden up, taking time to see his smiles in his sleep, walking the longest walk to school cos he wants to spend a longer time with me. I enjoy having breakfast with hubby in the morning cos he is so busy providing for the family, spending little time at home. Though frustrated that I have to keep on nagging at the children to complete certain tasks and not being able to see hubby almost the whole day, I am still glad I have them with me.

That’s for home. Work wise, setting, vetting and editing of worksheets is a weekly thing. Never ending, never stop. I have to find pockets of time in between to clear my work. Mostly in the morning before Kaiden wakes up or late at night when the children are asleep. I am glad I have a job, providing little help to ease the household. Not only that, I have really nice colleagues who share and help one another. I really enjoy what I am doing now. The only sad thing is I really do not have much time to create more pretty accessories. I miss crafting time.

With this random post, I am going to throwback to my days in December in 2013 when I have my children at home and a break from work when we¬†took a short getaway to Avillion Port Dickson to attend Jon’s cousin wedding. Desperately need some sun, water and sand.  Children on Kiddy rides 1 Sunset at Avillion Resort Sunset2 Group1
selfie

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Filed under Family fun, Love, My thoughts

My Obsession with The Heirs

Seriously, I have never been so obsessed with a Korean drama. I am sad that today has came to an end and will be having a Heirs withdrawal.

To be honest, the storyline is¬†a normal romantic love story¬†but the casts are super with my favourite Lee Min Ho (as Kim Tan), whom I never miss his drama. Park Shin Hye(as Cha Eun Sang), who acted in He’s Beautiful and Heartstrings. Of course there are other interesting characters in the story that we can take days to talk about them.

theheirs

The Heirs was aired  every Wednesday and Thursday for the past 10 weeks. Being in Singapore, I do not get to watch the show until the next day with the subtitles. In fact, I can live without watching the show cause I have turned myself into a reader. Thanks to Joonni from joonni.com, I got first hand news of the drama via reading. She types while she watches every episode so every Wednesday and Thursday, joonni fans including me would gather at her website waiting patiently for her recaps. Hilariously, readers would be busy sending virtual pop-corns, greeting each other from different parts of the world and especially in episode 16, giving out tissue papers and wheezing together.

Together with other commenters, we grow with the characters in the story as commenters shared their views on the characters’ actions and feelings from their point of views. Some very insightful while some with bias critics. Nevertheless, their perspectives have given me a deeper understanding of the way the characters behaved and why the story¬†was written in that way. Comments even shot up to 800 over in episode 16 when the ending of the story became very bleak. All forecasting how the story should flow, ranting for the heartbreaking and nerve wreaking scenes.

I also would like to compliment the writer, Kim Eun-sook for bringing me on a roller coaster ride feelings thrown in the story. Even though I mentioned the storyline was not that fantastic but it will be a show that I would keep watching again and again. I love how the writer brings in literature and facts to blend the story together. There are many read between the lines scenes.

“According to British Council, the most beautiful word is Mother, followed by Passion, Smile, Love and Eternity” – Kim Tan lecturer

In fact the ending of the story is already decided in episode 2. To me, I would just think that the statement made by the lecturer would just be a statement. Through the comments, I realized that story has been revolving around these five beautiful words.

“If I end up kneeling, I kneel. But then I can get back up. If I keep getting up, then the day will come when I don‚Äôt fall.” – Kim Tan

I feel more courageous when I heard this statement made by KT, so determined and so not afraid to fall.

“I‚Äôve come far from home, it‚Äôs night, and you came. So I am escaping into a dream. Just for one more day a midsummer night‚Äôs dream.” -Eun Sang (midsummer night’s dream from Shakespeare)

The dreamcatcher which appeared in the story ties in a lot with Shakespeare’s MidSummer Night’s Dream. It is said that a dreamcatcher would filter out all bad dreams and only allow good thoughts to enter our mind. Once the sun rises, all bad dreams just disappear.

I love the OST especially when you know that each song is tagged to the scene and feelings of that episode. Some are sang by the casts themselves and especially love ‘Love Hurts’ by Lee Min Ho who sang on behalf of Kim Tan, expressing his painful love when he lost his family, brother and Eun Sang.

I also love the little cute scenes that Kim Tan have with Eun Sang.

theheirs donuttheheirs shoestheheirs3

I typed this while Joonni is still tidying up the details of the final episode, go on and read her recaps now.¬†Joonni, a big thank you for bringing me into your journey, riding¬†together with many other readers. You¬†never fail to give¬†your insightful thoughts and comments¬†at the start and end of¬†each episode. Love the commenters who shared¬†your laughter, sadness and joy in this channel. The Heirs is a success judging at its viewers ratings for Nationwide and Korea. What I consider more successful is how one drama can bring everyone from different parts of the world, be it UK, USA, Asia or South East Asia gathered at the same place, same time (despite difference in time zone) voicing out thoughts, ideas and¬†discussions¬†for a show. Everyone is feeling a bit down now cause it is also time to part and say good bye. Till then….

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Moulin Rouge at Montmartre, Paris

Moulin Rouge in the dayMoulin Rouge CoupleJonathan in front of Moulin RougeMoulin Rouge 1Moulin RougeJonathan at the entranceAt the entranceThe long queue to get into Moulin RougeOn the wallsMoulin Rouge programme listWhile queuing to go into the show areaJust ended the showMoulin Rouge at night 

Moulin Rouge, I first heard of in 2001 in the movie cast by Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman. The touching story is about the love of a poet and a terminally-ill cabaret star of Moulin Rouge. Extravagant costumes displays and lovely use of popular music inter-twined into the story of the movie.

Cabaret is not one if¬†without females dancers, high kicks, flamboyant costumes and some¬†tasteful nudity. We are talking about culture and good behavior. If you think about getting into Moulin Rouge and look at a bunch of females with boobs, ūüôā you are in for the wrong reason. ūüôā

Could  not decide on the River Seine cruise or the Moulin Rouge + Feerie show dinner, we booked the tickets only the night before the show. Jon called Moulin Rouge and was glad to secure two seats as I heard of the place being full house all the time, particularly popular with tourists. We decided to have a good dinner followed by the show.

Just ten minutes walk from our hotel, Moulin Rouge is just opposite Blanche metro station. Dinner was to start at 7pm but there was a already a queue forming when we reached at 6.30pm.

Dinner was awesome. Though a three-course dinner (appetizer, main, desserts), it lasted about two hours and was fulfilling. Why so long??? LOL, Food was served in slow pace, giving us a chance to really enjoy the food, soaked in the atmosphere¬†and to have our casual conversations. We were given 2 set menus to choose from and we decided on¬†Belle Epoque,¬†with Sirloin steak as main. Jon had the Lobster thin Pie √† la Parisienne, while I had the Duck foie gras with sea salt for appetizer. Waiter said all desserts¬†were good and¬†were¬†Moulin Rouge’s¬†specialties, so we just chose any on the list. In between meals, we sipped champagne¬†while enjoying the live band music on stage before the real show started. The ambience¬†was immaculately chic with lowly-lit red table lamps beside us. The only sad thing¬†was that we were not allowed to take pictures the moment we set foot in the dinner cum show area. There were photographers around to take pictures for a price. ūüôā

Show started at 9pm and ended at 11pm. There¬†were two shows. The one that started at 11pm would end at 1am but if you are thinking of having dinner, you can only take the earlier show. The show, “Feerie” was exceptional good.¬†Look at the ¬†picture above with the long queue waiting to enter for second show after the first show ended and you will know. The show featured a troupe of¬†eighty performers dressed in spectacular costumes, a jaw-dropping experience especially for me who likes musical. The frequent changing sets and vibrant use of lightings refreshed my senses with the colorful backdrops. Most amazed me was the gigantic aquarium which¬†rose slowly¬†in middle of the stage and the moving staircases which was lowered towards the end of the show.

I was so glad that I actually chose to experience Paris in such way. I would say not cheap for the dinner + show but for once in a lifetime experience. Worth it!.

Since there¬†were no pictures, I would include a short video clip of what to expect¬†from the show. Enjoy! ūüôā

Price: ‚ā¨210.00 per person

which include Belle Epoque dinner + 1/2 bottle champagne and Feerie show

82 Boulevard de Clichy, 75018 Paris, France ‚Äé

+33 1 53 09 82 82

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Filed under Family fun, Food Glorious Food, My thoughts, Paris, Travel

Loving the Trains in Paris

RER at Gare St-LazareRER at Gare St-Lazare 1Looking LostDouble decker RERon a RERAnna on a RER

I can’t help but to share more about my observations and feelings on the RER or metro. I caught the metro every day while in Paris. It was the most important form of transport for us. Every morning before going out, I would pull out the metro map and discussed with hub on which line we should take and changed. There were just so many choices that we could make. Sometimes, we bickered insisting that ours¬†were the shortest way. Sometimes, we blamed ourselves when we realized that we had taken the wrong route. After two days of trial and errors, we decided to ask the information counter before we confirmed our routes.

Metro tickets are at ‚ā¨1.70 per trip. If taken together with RER, it will be wiser to buy from the information counter as the staff will combine the ticket price. As compared to Singapore, the price of the ticket does not account for distance. One ticket allows me to travel to any station at any distance. So even if I plan a longer route, I will only waste my precious time.

The interior of¬†each station¬†is unique to make me slow down my every walk and to see more.¬† There¬†were different interior designs for each station. It’s like an art gallery! Some days, I would see workers in coveralls holding rolls and rolls of posters, changing the big posters in stations with scraper and pail. At times, there would be street musicians playing in the underground. This sight is quite common in Singapore but to see a group of eight musicians playing and promoting their music with different kinds of big instruments is somehow rare.¬† ūüôā Stations hardly have escalators too. Every day, we had to walk many flights of stairs to reach and out of the metro. A lot of training on our calves. ūüôā Vending machines for snacks and drinks can be found before boarding the metro so which means food is allowed but the metro remains clean.

The metro is not as long as Singapore’s MRT and¬†they¬†have cabins that do not allow passengers to pass through. The doors are not automated for older metro. Passengers have to push a button or lever to open the doors in order to alight or board. An ingenious idea¬†is the lever chairs near¬†the doors (like our olden days’ cinema chairs). When the metro¬†is not crowded, passengers tend to¬†push down the chairs to rest. There is a rule on the metro that these¬†chairs should not be seated if¬†the metro¬†is crowded.

As the metro passed by many stations, graffiti can be seen almost on every walls in the tunnels, all beautifully drawn. At times, sudden blast of music could be heard in the metro, someone personified as Michael Jackson dancing to his hits or just an old man playing on his button accordion. At the end of their performances, they would go around to collect gratuities.

RER is somehow not as exciting as metro in Paris but a good time to enjoy the scenery. Maybe it travels a longer distance and further out of Paris. Pictures above were all taken in a RER on my way to Disneyland Paris. We took the wrong route and¬†got stranded in Gare St-Lazare, one of the main stations. In the end, we had to seek help from the Metro information counter to direct us the shortest way to reach our destination. It was my first time on a double-decker train. Train was pretty empty and clean. ūüôā Since a long journey, we camwhored!

We are on the RER

Train system in Paris is so complicated and definitely needs time for further investigation. Put aside the inter-twining routes and fifteen color-coded lines, I think I am in love with the train systems in Paris with so much to see and feel.

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Love: Spending Quality Time with Son

Recently, I have been getting a lot of complaints about son’s behavior. These complaints came mostly from family members about him misbehaving and at times from his school bus auntie. When told not to do certain things, he will purposely do it. Maybe I should say that he is acting out. I know that something is wrong but¬†is not able to pin-point the cause.

I started to reflect.

What caused the change in his behavior that everyone started to label him as naughty? Usually, I will send Kaiden to school. Especially recently, he has been clinging and whining to me whenever I sent him. Teacher has to pull him away from me or I have to sneak off. It was not longer a breeze sending him to school. ūüė¶ I actually pin-pointed the problem to the school. Last week, I asked the teacher if anything had happened in school and was wondering why such behavior.

Teacher called me that very afternoon, told me that she has spoken to Kaiden, only to say that he did not want to go Speech and Drama. Teacher said he is a polite and well-behaved boy, gets on well with his friends and¬†never gives her problems in class. I was even speculating that he could be bullied by his classmates cos he has been giving his toys away to his friends. I shared with her the different Kaiden at home, the naughty and hyper-active one which is a different person to her. Then she posed the question back to me…. Could it be that something happen at home recently? Or any privileges that were taken away that caused him to act out? I paused and could not answer cos most of the time, he is at my mil’s place. Asked him about things happened in mil place, he just brushed across saying nothing. It then dawned on me that I may not be spending enough time with him. My focus was on Kaitlyn. The whole afternoon, he was at my mil’s place as I used all my afternoons running workshops,¬†creating¬†and vetting worksheets.

No wonder, he wants me by his side on his bed to accompany him every night.

No wonder, he wants me to send him to school every morning.

No wonder, he would always ask if I have workshops, if I could pick him up from Granny’s place earlier.

Teacher told me to have a good chat with him hoping that we could find out the root of the problem and not just label him as naughty. No one likes to be labeled. ūüė¶

Not accepting more workshops, I decided to spend a little more time with him. Working from home so that I could bring him home earlier. Probably to him, his language of love is quality time. ūüôā

He enjoys his company with grandfather. Though grandfather spends very little time with him every weekend, he spends quality time. Really enjoying what he does with Kaiden and focusing on doing it only with him. Father would bring out different kinds of exercising gears to workout with him only. So funny when Father took out the dumbbells and followed through with Kaiden. Father was more excited and amazed than Kaiden when he could lift both the dumbbells.

Get ready

Let’s get ready to exercise!

Tummy Tuck

Tummy Tuck Time

Swing our Arms

Then swing our arms!

Leg Lifts

Lift your legs and touch your feet!

Twilling our waist

Twill our bellies…

March on the Spot

and finally march on the spot.

That ends the exercise procedures. Kaiden was proud of himself and decided to show grandfather one last stunt…

I can do it

Yea!!!!

So come to think of it… throughout the process, I don’t see son not being able to take instructions… or misbehaving. He was just enjoying the fun he had with grandfather. Clearly the time spent was deeply etched in his memory…. So happened when school required him to complete a work, he did this. Pictures of course done by me but is the thought that counts right. ūüôā

Follow-up

So ya… A reminder to myself, I should try to listen to him more and spend quality time with him. Focus on him and look at him while talking¬†instead on my phone. *Guilty*

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If Music Be the Food of Love, Play on…..

started the play, Twelfth Night.

Since a few years ago when SRT decided to host Shakespeare in the Park in Singapore, I have been wanting to be part of it.

Intensively studied Shakepeare in my uni for almost half a year, I have read quite a number of books written by him. The love, tragedy, satire, jokes and the language totally immensed me in his works. Though in olden English, with the ‘thee’ and ‘thy’, I enjoyed every bit of the beauty of the language. Besides Midsummer Night’s Dreams, Twelfth Night is next on my favourite list.

Was a little disappointed when I reached Fort Canning Park with the drizzle. Though with the thought that the play would be cancelled, Jonathan and I still proceeded with the queue to enter the park.

The picnic started at 6.30pm but with the drizzle which then turned into rain did not dampen the spirits of the others. People behind and sitting beside us started laying their wine, food and have made themselves feeling cozy for the long 3 hours play which started at 7.30pm. We continued to hide under the umbrella and even prayed to the weather angels for the change of weather.

We remained positive!!!

And before the sky turned dark, a rainbow appeared in front of us. The rain stopped just before the play started. Though drenched, we felt happy.

It took me quite a while to recall the language and the storyline. Love the character of the Fool acted by Adrian Pang. He added a lot of laughter to the play. He even sang!!! ūüôā

Amazing night with the cool breeze, the atmosphere, the lighting effects, the cast and the company of Jonathan. Simply divine!!!!

And also a night for us to rest and relax in the park (and with the backaches for sitting almost 3 hours). Totally worth it!!! ūüôā

Lastly to leave you with my favourite quote from the play, said by Malvolio,

Source: google.com via Anna on Pinterest

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Filed under Family fun, Lovely quotes, My thoughts

The reason for my MIA

I am back at work. Life is so so so busy and hectic. I must say after staying home for 3 years, getting back to work was not easy at all.

During my stay at home, my mum always asked me when I am going back to work. She said if I stay home too long, I would have difficulties going back to work. I do admit that I am really struggling with my work-life balance.

That day a colleague was sharing her daily life with me and I realised that we shared the same routine.

My Daily Routine:-

I will prepare Kaiden in the morning. Jon will send Kaiden to school while I continue to prepare Kaitlyn before sending her to my MIL’s place. Normally, I will go for a heavy breakfast so as to save time having lunch at work. ūüôā A great way to slim down too. Work continues and by the time I reach home, it’s usually 7pm. Frankly speaking after I have gone back to work, I have been eased off a lot of my workload at home. I no longer cook, do the cleaning and laundry. Jon is in charge of all the fetching and picking up of the children. All the household chores are under Jon’s charge. ūüôā By the time I finished my dinner, it’s about 8pm. Then it’s time to help Kaitlyn with her homework. Amazingly, as a Primary 1 child, she has homework almost every day but is glad that they come in bite sizes. Easy for me and her to digest. While coaching Kaitlyn, I have to chase Kaiden out of the room sometimes with all the shouting and screaming, depriving the time I have with him since I already don’t see him the whole day. At about 9pm, Jon would send Kaiden to bed leaving Kaitlyn and I to continue with the coaching. Oh boy! Aren’t I am glad that I am done for the day? I am not. That is when the second part of my work comes in, late at night at about 10.30pm. Usually I will end my day at 12 plus if not, sometimes at wee hours of 2am.

Then my colleague asked me if I am going to be like this forever? I told her I don’t know shrugging my shoulders.

I think a lot of mothers who went back to work struggled like I do. Looking at all the good food and stuff that my facebook SAHM have posted and sharing from mothers that are staying home now… I miss a lot of things.

I miss spending time with my children. ( I used to see them 24/7 a day but now only about 2 hours a night, especially for Kaiden)

I miss spending my time in the kitchen whipping up nice food for myself and family. (I love the look of my love ones savouring every bit of food that I cooked)

I miss creating crafts with Kaitlyn. (Bonding time now becomes lecturing when her work does not meet up to my expectations)

I miss updating my etsy shop with new items. (Totally beading thirst)

I miss spending the twosome night with Jon after the kids are asleep. (Busy clearing my work while Jon does his and at the end of the day, he’s always ended in up bed first. Sorry dear, could not help in editing your report as promised. ūüė¶ )

Though having negative thoughts about going back to work, I am thankful for the people around me. They gave me a lot of encouragment and help during this period. It gave me a little more courage to accept the changes. I am thankful for all the help rendered especially during the days when Jon had to outstation. Volunteers came from both sides of the family members,¬†helping to send and pick up the children,¬†which left me really touched. Jon has been bugging me to leave and do what I really want but with the thought of where and what I will be five or even three years later freaks me out. ūüė¶

Mothers who went back to work successfully after staying home for long period of time,¬†would love to get inspired from you.¬†Share your story with me. ūüôā¬†

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