Hi Paris

Arriving at Paris CDG airport on a Friday morning. It was my first time travelling alone and setting foot on a country that I had never been. No cars and with no intention to take a taxi to my hotel, I scampered together with other travelers to the long waiting queue of the lifts. Holding tight to the luggage and making my way to the train station, my heart palpitated as I wondered if I would lose my way in Paris.

There were three types of trains that I would need to take. The CDGVAL shuttle train to RER station, the RER then a Metro from CDG airport to Montmartre where my stay would be.

journey

CDGVAL is easily identified as major signboards are located along the way. Not knowing where to head to, I just followed the crowd. RER is one of the train services, from lines from A to E, travelling further out or into Paris. I took the RER B line to reach Gare du Nord (aka Paris Nord) to switch to a Metro. Comfort of escalators were gone once I reached Gare du Nord station. I had to lug my luggage up and down numerous flights of stairs starting from there to the place I stayed. A Metro, with 15 lines (complicated but coded with different colours) connected all over Paris, was the next transportation I took. I boarded Line 2 (blue) train, from La Chapelle to Pigalle. Walk from Gare du Nord was a short 10 minutes with an underground connecting. Maybe it was in the morning, I kinda of eased a little when I saw many people in the underground.

Journey to Pigalle was quite fast. Stops from station to station was pretty short but crowded. Only saddened by the rain when I reached my location, thinking how on earth was I able to carry a 17kg luggage up the flight of stairs and holding an umbrella. Stranded, I waited together with others at the end of the stairs but decided to just cover myself with my scarf as I did not feel really safe alone. On my way up, some offered help but I declined, for fear that they might be pickpockets (being warned by many about pickpockets in Paris).

I will be sharing my Paris in snippets of locations instead of days as there are quite a number of pictures. 🙂 So I will start off with food on my first day since I did not visit much places while waiting for my hubby to arrive in Paris in late afternoon. Of course, the jet lag played a part and knocked out in hotel.

BreakfastRaspberry tart

Had a little snack at a café opposite the Metro after placing luggage in the hotel. An awesome raspberry tart with fruits melting in my mouth. A hot chocolate to soothe my cold body after being in the rain.

Price: about €5.00 for a set

Location: La Brioche Dorée, 16 boulevard Clichy, 75018 Paris

Tel: 01 46 06 18 16

Dinner1Dinner2Dinner3My Dinner

Shopped a little at Avenue des Champs Elysees and popped by La Maison del’ Aubrac recommended by a Sales Assistant from Montblanc. Upon hearing that we were from Singapore, his eyes sparkled. He started to reminisce the days he did his internship in Singapore and how he enjoyed his stay. 🙂

Food was fantastic at Aubrac especially love the succulent Veal Skewer and Zucchini. Hub had the Roast Chicken with Herb and Fig while his colleague had the Sirloin Steak and potatoes. All receiving good comments. Bistro alike ambience where soft music is played and lightings. A good place to eat and chat comfortably. Perks, there is wifi connection in the restaurant. 🙂

Price: about €30 per person (including a glass of wine)

Location: La Maison del’ Aubrac, 37, rue Marbeuf, 75008, Paris

Tel: 0033 (0)1 43 59 05 14

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Filed under Food Glorious Food, Love, Paris, Travel

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. 😦 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. 😦

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. 🙂

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. 🙂

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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Love: It’s Time for a Date

It has been a while since Jon and I have our night out. Before he flew off for another oversea work, we decided to have a ‘romantic’ dinner. Son protested the moment we told him about our dinner date while sending the children to their granny’s place. Son said he wanted to join us. To him, a romantic dinner includes beautiful candle light, good ambience and soft music. He even asked Jon if he had prepared a ring. Son said at a romantic dinner, the guy will put the ring on the girl’s finger and ask her to marry him. So hilarious when I heard his interpretation of a romantic dinner but I am sure his future girlfriend or wife will be a very fortunate gal.

Hmmm… nope. There is no ring. To Jon and I, a romantic dinner need not include all the above. It is just a time to throw back our worries and truly enjoy each other’s company, with just a simple dinner and holding our hands strolling down the busy Orchard Road. header

We pin-pointed at a location which is Takashimaya and then decided what we wanted to have for dinner. We chose Pique Nique which is situated beside KFC. The burgers and spaghetti  in their menu attracted us (Jon is a spaghetti person). As it was a weekday, the place was not at all crowded. We were led to a sofa seat. Comfortably seated, we had our food and at the same time, chat about our recent lives.  Jon and I have been so tied up with our work that we have not had a real conversation lately. So glad that we actually made time for each other that day.

Cutlery setup

interior decoI like the place. It kinda of gives me that edgy feel with the brick wall paper, wooden table and modern lightings.

The food tasted good, not really fantastic but the good company made up for it. Price was reasonable to us. 🙂

Hot Latte

Big Breakfast BurgerJon had the Big Breakfast Burger. The share was pretty big. The restaurant was quite accommodating to Jon’s request. He was afraid of the mess that the sunny side could give and the waitress immediately suggested cooked egg. Quite meticulous.

White Wine Prawn Aglio OlioI ordered the White Wine Prawn Aglio Olio as spaghetti is Jon’s favorite with the intention to share with him. I like the taste of the spaghetti though thought of trying the Bacon Carbonara. Maybe the next time I visit the restaurant again. 🙂

JonathanHappy ME!!!Happy Jon and Happy Me with full enjoyment of each other’s company and food.

Iron Waffles

Was overjoyed when my favorite waffle came. The waitress chose to place the ice cream aside as she said the hot waffle will melt the ice-cream very fast. Love her meticulous. The waffle was drizzled with salted caramel. Been a bit hype over salted caramel lately.

We then decided to finished up the waffle pretty quickly so that we have more time to do some window shopping. Walked quite a bit… from Taka to H&M and back to Wisma then to Ion…. Enjoyed the stroll along Orchard Road on a weekday. 🙂

SAM_0664

The day ended with some Royal Pudding from Paris Baguette for the children. Hoping to make up for the romantic dinner that son did not get to go.

Thank you dear for such an enjoyable night. 🙂 I can’t wait for another night out.

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Food: Brunch @ Food for Thought

Brunch at Food For ThoughtSunday brunch with family was so wonderful. As Kaitlyn did not have piano that week, we decided to have the whole Sunday to be filled with family fun and good food.

The restaurant was not crowded even though it was a Sunday. I love the gigantic table in the restaurant that was able to house a family of eleven.

Kaiden and Daddy Kaiden and Daddy

Children were really happy when they met each other. Kaiden had his favorite eggs and Kaitlyn, her pancakes. Jon and I shared the Full Works which left no space in our tummies.

Basic Works

Kaiden and his Basic WorksKaitlyn and her Chocolate PancakesFull Works

There is a playground to entertain the children. So glad that it was not hazy, the children had some time to run around and play with the slides.

Kaiden at playKaryn at play

Children had a chance to learn things from Granny too. They were staring hard at something…. 🙂

Granny and childrenGrasshopper or Praying Mantis?

Food For Thought is definitely a place where I would visit again. Love the ambience and space. We had a leisure brunch not worrying about long queues outside the cafe.

For the morning, children and adults both had chance to be with the greenery, away from the high-tech gadgets and bustling city, breathing in fresh air and embracing the wonders of nature at the Botanical Gardens after that.

I love family time… How about you?

Kaitlyn and I

Food For Thought
1 Cluny Road,
Tanglin Gate, #B1-00, S259569
F: +65 6479 1080
Opening Hours
Mon  –  Sun
8am to 9pm
(Last orders at 8.30pm)

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Let’s Get Arty at Singapore Art Museum!!!

Have you visited the Art Garden? Actually, I was not even aware of a place like this. Kaiden saw the Art Garden exhibition advertisement and kept bugging me to bring him there. So there we were… on the way to the Singapore Art Museum with the three kiddos.

IMG_20130618_124445The children were very excited especially Kaiden who has been looking forward to this trip. The moment we reached there, he recognized the gigantic white  bunny lying in front of the museum. So now… let’s embark on our journey in the Art Garden.

Let's Go SAM

The vibrant exhibition room in the first level attracted our attention the moment we registered to venture. The entrance is free to all Singapore Citizen. Kiddos took off their shoes and went on to explore The Enchanted Garden City on their own. Colorful murals on nursery rhymes and some of the famous twisted fairytales that children have read were on all the walls. The colors used were so enticing that children stayed in this room the longest.Enchanted Garden City

A few activities were happening in this room. One of the activities, Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, which children drew, colored and designed  their own version of enchanted garden. Crayons and markers were provided for the children. Children gathered around a pond-like table to doodle while parents sat along the murals to watch. Eye power… quite easy. 🙂

Enchanted Garden 1Enchanted Garden 2Enchanted Garden3Enchanted Garden 4

The girls were so engrossed in the designing while Kaiden did his too. He drew the rainbow bridge that he saw and ran up and down umpteen times in the room.

Kaiden on Mirror, Mirror on the WallThe children submitted their artwork and the young helpers in the room scanned and tada…. their artwork was reflected on the screen. They were so elated to be able to see their artwork on display for about ten seconds for phototaking.

Their artwork

The duo, Kaitlyn and Kaiden, went on to complete other activities in the room. They searched for number of frogs that appeared around the room and gathered the titles of the nursery rhymes and famous twisted fairytales.

*By now, my camera just shut off. 😦 The result of not charging before a trip. Picture from here onwards were then taken with my Samsung S3.*

Next, we moved on to Level 2, another exhibition on Around the Day in Eighty Worlds. Transient to another world, the room was tastefully decorated with many beautifully colored and designed hot air balloons by children who had visited the place. As we walked further in, the room transformed into a monochrome of black and white. Children started playing with the games on the wall. Not forgetting looking through the kaleidoscope strategically located at different parts of the room.

Children went on spider hunting with some newly acquainted friends while I decided to do some craft with Karyn. Kaitlyn and Kaiden also donated $2 each to have a kaleidoscope arty pack which was easily created and beautified on the spot.

ADI80W

Karyn decorated the hot air balloon with the colored papers provided. A job well done!Around the Days in Eighty WorldNext exhibition was the Stellar Cave II. The display was entirely created with screws and thread. Making use of the UV rays, I was in awe the moment I stepped into the dimly-lit room, a phenomena art piece awaited me.

Stellar Cave IIChildren had their fair share of creating similar works with screws and thread. Definitely they need some visualization skills and patience, taking care not to entangle the thread while making sure that each screw is wound with the thread.

Stellar Cave IIDecided to rest our feet and calm the children down, we entered the film screenings room. Karyn was scared for the room was pitch dark and quiet. We watched a short clip for about ten minutes before moving to the next exhibit, Les rêves engloutis – Glossy Dreams in Depths.

This exhibit room showcased arts in 3-dimension. We put on the 3D specs before walking through the aisle. Children then popped by the activity corner again to create masks. Karyn handstamped her masks while the two designed with colors and markers.

This was also our last stop. Pretty much activity based and children love it. They even explored The Enchanted Garden City for the second time before leaving the place.

If you have not visited Art Garden, try making this the last excursion out with your children before the school holiday ends. It would be fun. 🙂

Find out more from Singapore Art Museum.

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Beauty: Sephora Haul

E.X.H.A.U.S.T.E.D is the only word I can describe myself now. Giving my brain a short break from churning out the activities and questions for my worksheets then realized, I have not blog for quite some time.

Was trying to update my calendar and felt so upset. I think I should be happy with the packed schedule cos (PACKED = WORK = MONEY) but not so . I have been busy with workshops, lessons and tuition straight for six days a week. Sunday a rest day? Nah… Sunday is my enrichment day, for the kids. Picking and sending them to classes, grocery shopping and so on…. I am in dire need for time out. Getting out of the house, spending my afternoon lazing and doing things I like.

I think I am reaching the brim with no breaks straight for the past two months but gonna perservere on. Jia You! Jia You! However, this makes me all the more looking forward to the coming break in June, especially a getaway with my family. *Beaming*

These few weeks, I have been focusing on my personal care. With the stress and late nights, my skin started breaking out really badly. To make things worst, make-up was on almost every day. I presume the cleansing plays a part too.

Two weeks ago, received a mailer from Sephora that they are having a 20% off storewide for members. 🙂 I have eyes on a few items and decided to grab them during this sale. Thanks to dear hub, given me a few hours off in the evening to shop. 🙂

Dior Addict

The first item that I picked up was  a Dior Addict Lip Glow. I love the natural shine on my lips. It is just a lip balm that enhances my lip color . Supposedly to react with the chemistry of my lips to create my unique special shade. I realized that as the day passed, I get different shades of pink on my lips. 🙂

Dior Lip Glow

Lip Dior swatch

Well, that’s not my lips so can’t see the change. This is the natural shade of the lippy.

I also bought my favorite concealer, the Clinque Airbrush Concealer. It was highly used by Lisa Eldridge in her make-up videos. Love this as compared to YSL Touche Eclat as this is less illuminated. I used to use Bobbi Brown’s Quick Corrector to cover my under eyes but often cakey after a while leaving more lines. This one is love.

Clinique Airbrush Concealer

Clinque Airbrush Concealer

Now the cleansing part. I highly suspect that I have not done a thorough cleaning on my face. Even after removing my make-up and cleanse with facial wash, I still see remains of my make-up on the cotton wool when I apply the toner. With the 20% off, I decided to purchase the Clarisonic Mia2. A lot of reviews mentioned the initial break outs when first use due to the purge. Seriously, I am already breaking out so ya… thus decided to take a risk. I must say this is amazing.

Clarisonic Mia2

Just one week, my break outs started to ‘simmer’ down. My chin area used to have many comedones and they are slowly disappearing. Skin is definitely cleaner with no more make-up residue on the cotton wool when applying toner. I have also noticed that my skin looks clearer. My Naruko toner, moisturisers and Chanel serum seem to absorb faster than before. Though stated that it is fine to use twice a day, I only used it at night after removing my make-up. Days without make-ups, I will skip it. 🙂

Above were my major splurge.  In addition to those, I also bought a Sephora lavender eyeliner. Wanted to try out different shades for summer.

Sephora Haul

As I walked towards the MRT station, I could never resist going into Chanel. My Chanel cosmetics and skincare collections are slowly building. Spotted the eyeliner in the above picture? I have dumped all my eyeliners after I found this, the Chanel Sylo Yeux Waterproof Long Lasting Eyeliner. I have very oily eyelids and so far all crayon eyeliners melt on my lids. This works fine for me but what I really love is the colour, a natural brown, Espresso. Unlike my black eyeliner, this colour blends in well. The texture is so smooth and easy to draw with.

Though busy, it is still important to take good care of myself. 🙂 Retail therapy is one of them. 🙂 Yea!

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POLW – Aye! Aye! Captain!

Been to Port of Lost Wonder many times. Love the sun, the smiles of the children, the running, the shouting….. Just love everything that is part of the nature. Situated at Sentosa Palawan Beach, the location is walking distance from the  Beach carpark. The moment, I entered the area, soft breeze from the sea caressed my face while I screamed at my children not to run. They went crazy the moment they saw the pirate ship. So glad that the weather stayed that way throughout the day we were there.  Lazing under the coconut trees looking at the fluffy clouds on azure sky , sitting on the white washed benches to watch children sliding from the colourful slides or joining them in the water play, getting myself wet, were just part of my plans.

We reached there early, hoping to grab a good spot. There was already a queue at the entrance. As it was a weekend, crowd was expected. Love the way payment is taken. Adults go in free with a hug from their kids. 🙂 Melts my heart. POLW entrancePicture perfect with the cannons

The kiddos each received a bag of curios and a Port Pass. Every day, there are series of games and activities throughout the day which the kiddos can use the curios to pay for. From the moment it opens at 10am to it closes at 6.30pm, activities vary from treasure hunting, planting and bubble party. Weekends’ activities are far more interesting than weekdays. 🙂

The main attraction is the Pirate Ship and the only place where my two children would spend most of their time at. They can run up the stairs and down the slides umpteen times, not feeling the slighest bit of weary. Well, I enjoyed myself too but definitely had to take turns with Jonathan to entertain kids.Pirate Ship side viewsafety rules

Though the planting area and bubble party were very enticing, the children were not keen. They still prefered to stay at the water area. Kids love water and especially when they get splashed with!!!planting and bubble partyplay area 2water play area1

There is a picnic area where we can prepare our own food. Since, we did not have picnic in mind, we did not prepare any food. There is one and only cafe, Port Belly, that serves savoury food. Kids meals are a must. We ordered children’s favourite, hot dogs set meal, and they waited patiently with their rumbling tummies. Our tag number is 10! Big and promninent! Very soon, the waiter dressed in pirates costumes served the food to us. Children gobbled the food so that no time was wasted to continue their play.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPort Belly

This is definitely a place where kids can play to their hearts content. I must admit that the management is very thoughtful. The toilets cubicles are equipped with hot and cold showers. The day ended with a warm shower with another blast from the rain showers after being in the cold the whole day. Definitely will set foot on this place again. 🙂

relunctantly

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