To be honest, my 2017 wasn’t great. In fact, it’s probably the only year ever that I felt actively unhappy about things that were going on in my life. I did have a lot of great moments and good times of course, it wasn’t like I spent it in Azkaban wtf. But something was missing.
I actually feel like a different person this year, and I don’t feel like I even know myself all too well anymore. So it’s hard for me to try to write down what I feel, but what hasn’t changed is my inclination to record down personal parts of my life so here. Imma try.
This year, what changed?
I gained new friends, reconnected with old ones.
I always knew I was extroverted but this year confirmed it lol. I got a lot of happiness from making new friends and hanging out with new groups of people. I reconnected with old friends, some from college days, and remembered what being young felt like wtf. A friend whom I had cut out of my life for the better part of a year didn’t give up; she kept trying until I saw what it’s been like in her shoes, and realized I wasn’t such a great friend myself.
I love my mom friends but this year I realized that I also needed to move out of my comfort zone and connect with people who are different – who would challenge me emotionally, intellectually, and humorously wtf. Talking to more different people also caused me to start studying my life and what I wanted out of it.
I started work on Colony
Colony will always be Fatty’s pet but I’ve enjoyed working on it. Not going to lie, work put an immense strain on our marriage. Fatty is a very different person at work and as it turns out, so am I wtf. He started off very abrupt when talking to me about work, and in turn, I got super defensive about everything. I also had a lot of trouble juggling motherhood and the household, my blog, and work, even though I was on flexible working hours. My brain is already like a sieve on normal days but now I forgot everything wtf F everyone around me’s life. I got wonder if I had inflexible working hours, would I be better at managing since there was more structure? I will never know. I’m still struggling now – I write to do lists but sometimes I even forget to add items to the to do list wtf shit me. T3T
But I enjoyed creating the physical space of Colony. Conceptualizing and working with the team to see it come to life – Colony is beautiful and we made it happen! 🙂 It made me feel like I could do something else besides just writing blogs or handling social media wtf.
I applied for a project that I felt passionate about and got rejected
Yea this was like exactly one year ago. I submitted an application for something that I felt strongly about and got rejected. I appealed and that got rejected too wtf. It sort of set me adrift for a while – I had my heart set on it and I felt lost and unsure what to do next. That’s why Fatty got me onboard to help out with Colony actually – to give me something to work on.
I actually started posting less on social media
Especially Dayre. I used to post on Dayre every single day without fail but sometime this year I stopped. I’d go weeks without updating and only within the last month or so have I been trying to post more regularly. Being away from Dayre actually made me feel like less people were reading and I could be more honest with what I wrote. So I try to write more to more or less document the humdrum stuff that happens every day that will matter to me ten years down the road.
But the reason why I took this half hearted break from social media is that I felt half hearted. The truth is, this year I didn’t feel I had aim or meaning in my life. Even the kids – I think I’m still a devoted mother but most of the time it was like I was on auto pilot mom mode.
So I posted less. It wasn’t even that I was in introspective mode or whatever, I just didn’t feel like I had anything worthwhile to share.
What I’ve realized this year….
That I stopped learning
Sure, I learned a lot about building and renovation. I learned some about interior design and how some old man contractors can be so sexist wtf. I learned how tough it is to work with a spouse wtf. But I have stopped challenging myself. I stick to the easy routes and my comfort zone because it is just so easy. This year I realized I stopped pushing myself and so I stopped growing. And it is because….
that I’m sooo complacent
You see, my life is pretty damn easy. Some might call it tai tai life wtf and it wouldn’t be that far off the mark, despite me being very defensive about the term wtf. I don’t work to earn a living; I work but very very flexibly, and the compensation I receive is more than the time I put in to be honest wtf. I don’t need to do housework. My full time job is purely the kids actually, and that takes up most of my non sleeping hours.
My inertia to even get started on anything is so big because I just have it so easy. There’s no reason or drive to push me to do something more. Coupled with the fact that being a mom is a full time job, it’s so easy to say I don’t have the time and I would be justified.
I am just lazy and complacent wtf. I realize that.
that relationships are a work in progress
Relationships are tough. To be very honest, I think I’m good at connecting with people, and clicking with them and making good friends. But I’m also lazy wtf. Most of the time I coast along because I’m good with people, and the people I love also love me back wtf.
But relationships are hard and they need work. What you have today could very well morph into something else tomorrow and it’s up to you to put in the work needed to maintain it. I’ve also realized that I don’t know very much about human relationships after all.
But mainly I realized…
In 2017 I felt unhappy. Early in the year I broke down because I was so tired. I recovered but that was the catalyst for a lot of internal change.
This year I don’t know what came over me, but it was as if I just suddenly woke up, took a look at my life and asked if this is where I want to be.
All my life, I now recognize that I drifted. I drifted into science stream in school cos it was supposedly more prestigious. I drifted into the advertising industry because Fat Her thought I would like it and he recommended me to my first internship. I knew I wanted to marry Fatty eventually but I also drifted into it because he proposed at that point. I hadn’t thought if I wanted it then. And I drifted into having kids because it was the thing to do.
Now the critters are older – they’re both in school! – and Fatty has a new venture he’ll probably be working on for the long term, I suddenly look around and think, what about me? I ask myself that every day and I still don’t know.
Maybe 2018 should be the year I figure that out.
Well the day is finally here. School officially starts January 2 so today was his Orientation Day. The school told us to come with the kids dressed in their school uniforms, and their lunch kit.
This is their tea kit! Hahahaha damn cuteeee although I think everything in there is from Daiso wtf. Upon registration, the teachers presented each child with a cloth bag with a small food container, a fork and spoon, a cup, and a towel inside. They need to bring this with them everyday so I’m assuming it’s part of the school’s syllabus for Independence lol.
The week before I kept reminding him that we have school on Saturday but Mommy would be going with him, and Chase would be there too. He agreed nonchalantly and seemed perfectly fine.
My handsome boy all dressed up in his new school uniform! He likes it more than his previous uniform cos the sleeves are shorter wtf. #toddlerlogic
He wasn’t really unhappy here – he was trying to act cool LOL.
Found his classroom, met the teacher and got some materials. Then we found a place to sit. See his backpack is bigger than him FHL hahaha. At this point he started to get slightly antsy, reaching for my hand as though scared I’d suddenly make a run for it. -_-
Chase arrived though so all was good for a while….
Both are four year old boys though and Chase would worriedly keep looking out for his parents. Fighter on the other hand…. without warning burst into tears. O_O
Between sobs he stuttered, “I want when I’m studying Mommy stay here with me.” And big ol’ tears kept welling up in his eyes and dropping down his cheeks. T3T
I had to carry him out of the classroom to calm him down. I don’t even remember what I said cos I was just trying out telling him different things and one of them happened to work wtf. He calmed down enough to accept that when school starts proper, I wouldn’t be around but I would be waiting to pick him up after school.
After that the teachers asked all parents to step out of class. I assured Fighter I would stand right outside his classroom and he could see me through the window. He started crying again but by the time I got to the window outside he had already stopped wtf.
Watching me carefully to make sure I’m paralyzed and stick to the window wtf.
Then orientation started! Couldn’t really hear what teacher was saying, but she was probably explaining basic rules. Then they got the boys and girls to line up separately, and ushered them all to the bathroom to wash their hands.
Teacher teaching them how to open their tea kit, remove the utensils, and pack back everything again lol.
Time to greet the teachers bye and go home!
Damn happy when finish school hahahaha.
Tomorrow is the first actual school day though – he will be going in to school and classes will commence proper.
Packed his bag tonight! Sharpened his pencils, labeled all his stuff and wrote his name and class on his books. Prepared his tea kit, his pencil case with stationery, even put in some color pencils, and a required handkerchief to go into his pocket haha.
Wish us luck!
Penny’s First Day of Preschool
edit: Adding this on because the day after, Penny started school too! She’s been going to an independent play program since before she turned two but this year she’s turning three and due to start nursery!
This is my big girl, super proud of herself and taking a selfie dressed up in her school uniform. She was soooo excited about her school uniform btw. The day I brought it home, she insisted on putting it on already lol. And the first day of school was actually PE day which meant the kids should wear their PE outfits. But this girl wanted to cry when I took out her PE uniform….. so she was the only kid in class wearing this uniform while everyone else in PE clothes lolol.
While waiting for school to start….
Penny is used to being dropped off and fending for herself in school. But this is after all, a new school, with new teachers and new classmates. I wasn’t sure how she’d react and I steeled myself for the worst wtf.
She was totally fine.
Here she is, coloring before lessons start. Totally happy in her new surroundings.
After a few minutes, I crouched to her level and said, “Penny, mommy is going to the market now okay? I’ll come back to pick you up when school finishes.”
She nodded and waved her hand dismissively at me WTF.
Pick up time. She’s been doing super well la! The first two days, teachers told me she cried during the second half, after snack and playground time wtf. Maybe she cried cos all the fun parts are over wtf.
No la I think she cried cos she was tired already. Her two year old school was only two hours long and she has to adjust to longer school hours.
She also really likes her laoshi so I think that’s a huge plus! Her laoshi only speaks Mandarin to the kids and Penny doesn’t understand a word of Chinese wtf. Once we were playing hide and seek at home and Fighter was in a Mandarin speaking mood wtf. I was hiding and I could hear him call out, “Wo mama zai na li?”. And apparently Penny ran along side him and asked, “Koko. What you saying?” Hahahahah.
But when laoshi spoke to her in Chinese, Penny was nodding along as if she understood everything LOL.
So that’s both kids’ first days! So proud of them that they’re so big and independent now. From the second day onwards, Fighter now walks in to school on his own after I drop him off at the school gate. Penny waves bye to me calmly every day and goes about whatever business almost three year olds get up to in school wtf.
On the other hand, I have no helpless babies anymore. BRB crying in the corner.
Hello! I wanted to blog about this so I can read back years later and rub it in to my kids’ faces how challenging it was raising them wtf
So when I first found out I was pregnant with this one, I cried wtf. I wasn’t ready and Fighter hadn’t even turned a year old then! I didn’t know how to cope – Fighter was essentially still a baby (and he was nowhere near walking or talking yet ahem late bloomer) and I didn’t know how I was going to handle another baby on top. T3T
These two are 19 months apart and today they are best friends (and look like twins wtf). They do everything together; in fact, Penny wants to do whatever Fighter does.
While Fighter more or less spoils Penny like the baby sister she is. They get into regular fights and rival in the way only siblings can, but many times I’ve also seen him talk to her gently, instruct her (albeit bossily wtf), and give in to her (not every time, but pretty often). He’s even told me that his favorite person in the world is Baby.
Penny loves her Koko too, but the main highlight of her life is Mommy wtf. Since birth, Penny has been super duper oompa loompa attached to me. When people asked, I just attributed it to her being a colicky and horribly difficult baby and I was the only one who could stand her screaming and took care of her those dark days wtf haha. But there it is. When I’m around she doesn’t want anyone else, when I’m out she goes from room to room calling for me. We thought it was a phase but it’s been going on for 2.5 years already wtf.
Penny is also extremely posessive wtf.
When she sees Fighter going to me, she hurriedly throws down whatever she’s doing and hurls herself at me, sometimes even shoving Koko to the side WTF. She’s always negotiating to be carried, so Fighter either settles for holding my hand, but more often lately, he seeks out Fatty or our helper, Gaston*
*not her real name wtf
She insists I do everything for her – feeding, bathing, washing up – then dilly dallies so long when I do it that Gaston ends up doing the same chore for Koko.
It’s actually been happening quite consistently for the past six months or so, but I assumed it didn’t bother him that much because Fighter has always been so generous and uncomplaining with his sister. I even stupidly thought, wah my son is so mature, only four years old and knows how to give in to his younger sister.
But lately, I opened my eyes a bit more. I saw Fighter start toward me, then immediately turn and run to Fatty. When he wanted me for something, but Penny spoke up (usually loudly), he’d just quietly relent and go off. More strikingly, when he needed help, he started to not look for me and just ask someone else or not do it at all.
This forced independence hit me right in the stomach.
I realized that I’ve been neglecting Fighter’s emotional needs in favor of Penny’s. T_____T Just because I thought he was older and therefore more mature, I unfairly assumed he would be able to handle it. But he’s only four. T_____T
So that night, when I was putting him to bed, I cuddled him and told him,
“Jude, I’m sorry that Mommy is always so busy with Penny. I thought you’re a big boy already, but I miss doing things with you. Even though Mommy has to take care of Penny sometimes, I want to tell you you’re a good boy and I love you very much.”
“I love you one million much.”
He said, “I love you twenty seven billion much!” And then he closed his eyes and went to sleep.
So I’m trying to make up for it in small ways. When I put him to bed, instead of rushing him to sleep and telling him ‘no more talking!’ wtf, we chat about his day and his thoughts before he finally goes to sleep.
Last night, Fatty and I left Penny in bed at home and took Fighter out with us to a wedding dinner and just spent time with him, which was nice.
And this morning, when Fighter woke up (early as usual), instead of bringing him downstairs, I was too sleepy so I asked him to climb into bed with me instead. For an hour, when I opened my eyes to peek on him I found him just looking at me, and smiling when he caught my eye. I hugged him to sleep and he hugged me back and would have stayed there if I didn’t get us both up for breakfast. (Penny was already downstairs with her grandparents.)
This is to remind me that while tending to one child, I cannot forget about the emotional needs of another, no matter how loving and obedient (and low maintenance wtf) he is. To my baby boy, thank you for teaching me wisdom in parenting.
The answer is Resorts World Singapore (RWS). Hahaha.
This past year we’ve been pretty busy with work (hi Colony looking at you) and also saving money hahaha so we’ve foregone fancy long haul holidays and spent more time exploring our own region. We went to Bali, Legoland, and Singapore several times. We’d always wanted to make a trip to Universal Studios Singapore (USS) and recently Resorts World Sentosa Singapore contacted me for a Christmas trip to RWS!
Here’s us at the entrance of USS (right after the giant globe). Penny wasn’t too keen on taking the photo as you can see.
Stepped into USS itself and behold! Christmas decor galore! Love how festive everything looks! Cos we put up Christmas decorations for Colony and it’s really nice but also maxed out our budget so I keep wondering how much everyone else’s decor cost now HAHAHA. #auntie
Anyway I was gonna write it’s my first time in any Universal Studios during Christmas but it’s not!
I have photographic evidence wtf. This was in Universal Studios Japan.
And now my kids are the ones posing with Hello Kitty!!! God I feel old.
I was scrolling through my old pictures and I feel like USS is even more Christmassy than Japan where it’s actually cold in December. They have tons of Christmas related activities and attractions happening.
Like this Santa’s workshop! Basically it’s a walkthrough attraction where we learn how to be elves to help Santa for Christmas hahaha.
Because guests enter in batches it can seem like a slightly long wait. But USS funned it up by sprinkling fake snow on us while we waited hahaha. The kids were highly entertained…. until they realized the snow keeps coming.
Entered and you get this! Omg am I giving away too much wtf.
Sit Santa’s sleigh first. Kids very obliging ah!
One with the elves! Fighter damn sien already itching to start hahaha.
And one more with Dada who came along for the ride! (literally lol).
So basically the whole thing is a series of challenges that the elves give us and we have to complete each challenge…
Here’s a robot building challenge. I dunno why Penny like this hahahaha.
Before we can meet Santa in the end! You see this samseng Penny’s face lolol.
Milk break after getting their elves certificate hahaha. We stopped outside Mel’s Diner and listened to this jukebox quartet perform Christmas songs. FEELS.
Sorry had to do this. Main Street is my favorite part of Universal Studios! My tastes in music and fashion date back 30 years before I was born I swear hahaha and Main Street is so retro and nostalgia evoking!
Because look who we bumped into on Main Street!
Before we went to USS I told Fighter and Penny that we were going to meet the Minions (one of their favorite characters) and Fighter was soooo excited about it. But look what happened when we actually saw the Minions HAHAHAHAH.
Don’t blame me leh I tried to wake him up but he promptly fell asleep again.
Angry cos he missed his heroes hahahaha. But it’s ok cos we managed to catch a Christmas show on Main Street too!
I think he couldn’t fathom how come these characters dressed like this hahahaha.
Penny was pretty in awe though.
I think this was Penny’s favorite part of USS. When the illumination lit up the entire street and there was a Christmas fairy (who was really an acrobat) gliding and twirling in the air above us. And then all the angels lit up!
Her eyes were wide and she was just staring up in amazement. And then later on when we were heading back to the hotel, she kept asking me where the fairies were hahahaha.
Right before we exited though, we bumped into another Christmas parade! Wanted to stay longer and watch but by then both critters were whining and rubbing their eyes already.
So bye bye Universal Studios Singapore!
But wait there’s more.
We also managed to make a trip to the SEA Aquarium where the Merry Fishmas program was going on! The kids got a piece of paper with stamp boxes and as we made our way through the aquarium, we had to find the sea creatures that was in the paper and stamp to receive a prize at the end.
Here’s Sepet Baby and her SEA Aquarium hat haha.
Christmas elf cleaning the tank LOLOL. For the first time ever, Penny ran up to him and asked me to take photo for her. I think she was as impressed as I was by the dedication of the diver, wearing an elf suit above his diving suit hahaahha.
Very glad we took the kids there in time for Christmas! I’d heard that Universal Studios is less suitable for toddlers their age cos the rides tend to be a little older and there’s minimum height requirements (92 cm for most rides FYI) but it didn’t feel like a problem to us. Bringing little kids around can be pretty slow at times so we didn’t set a fast pace anyway. The few rides that they could go on was enough, and we filled the rest of the time just looking at things and meeting the characters and watching shows.
Plus the fact that it was Christmas, there was quite a lot extra going on so our whole day was packed yo!
Go check out USS if you have time! And watch out for my Instagram cos Imma be giving away passes to USS!!!
This post was written in collaboration with Resorts World Sentosa Singapore.
Fighter is super happy about it being school holidays (except that he misses his friends) but I can slowly feel life ebbing away from me wtf. Hahahahaha no la but I suddenly find myself with a lot less time on my hands. My carefully balanced juggling of work, school runs and errands totally flipped on its side already hahaha.
I still try to allow the kids mostly free play time, but I’ve also been trying to plan for some structured activities so they pick up new skills too.
Like doing activity sheets…. (aiya don’t say tiger mom la ok he hasn’t touched it since that first day lolol.)
Making trips to exhibitions and art installations…
And I also registered them for toddler gym classes for something physical to do.
And another thing we can do together is learn how to cook! Inspired by this story I heard of recently of a five year old Japanese girl called Hana, whose mom before dying of cancer taught her how to cook at four, and now she cooks for her dad T____T, I thought ok let me teach (or at least expose) my kids cooking in case I die WTF touch wood.
I’ve baked with them a couple of times but this is the first time we’re doing cooking so I was slightly nervous. Dah lah my cooking also subpar one hahaha and I’m as likely as the kids to cut my own finger off. :X
So pasta it is! I chose spaghetti bolognese because easy la hahaaha.
Started off with boiling Prego Angel Hair pasta in a pot of water and a dash of olive oil.
Then the usual steps – fry minced garlic on medium heat; add onions, then minced meat.
Then add my Prego Mushroom Tomato sauce. And add salt and sugar to taste. The kids took turns stirring the sauce around hahaahah.
When the sauce was done, I smothered the angel hair pasta in lots of butter, then added the still warm sauce and got the kids to toss the pasta.
(Totally regretted wearing white that day)
Plating pass boh!? I think not bad wor! And no blood shed over this hahaha kiddingggg.
Because it’s December, I got all extra and told the kids we’re making pasta Christmas trees hahaahha. Cut up slices of carrots to decorate the tops of the “trees”. The plating and food art were the hardest for me please haha. If you close one eye and squint with the other, the carrot stars don’t look so bad shaped right hahahaha.
Sadly, they still wouldn’t eat their carrots. T3T
But I think it’s a really simple yet festive dish for the year end. Unless you’re on a low carb diet, I don’t know anyone who would turn down a nice plate of pasta haha and kids definitely love it. I think there’s loads of ways to decorate and serve up pasta dishes which would suit any celebration and make it all the better. 🙂
In the spirit of the year end celebrations, Prego Malaysia is running an online contest on their Facebook page HERE.
Step 1: Snap a shot of your cooked pasta meal using the app available on the Prego FB page
Step 2: Frame the photo using special Prego frames and upload.
Step 3: Create a slogan OR a 4-line quatrain which consists of the words “Simple”, “Special”, “Delicious” and “Prego”.
Step 4: Submit with details and receipt number of your purchase.
Prizes worth up to RM80,000 to be won. ^^ To join, go here.
This post was written in collaboration with Prego Malaysia.
This is Mild. She’s the one in the cream dress and she was one of my best friends back at Mount Holyoke!
(the one in blue is Jeannie hahahaahha I grabbed this photo from an old blog post and I dunno why I put up this photo of her hahahahahaha. Come to think of it I dunno why I’m putting up this photo again ahhaahahah oh right cos it’s funny hahahahaahah)
Anyway Mild and Jeannie were part of the reason why MHC was fun for us. And Mild got married last weekend in Bangkok!
So it was like a mini reunion for us! The last time I saw Elise was in Singapore before I was married, Mild was also years ago before I got married. I saw Angela a year after I had Fighter in LA, but I hadn’t even seen Jeannie since we graduated nine years ago!
The moment I saw them all though – it was like no time had passed. T3T It’s as though I just saw them for brunch yesterday or something and we were just picking up from there. T____T
Mild was so gorgeous in her wedding dress T_______T Maybe cream is her color she always wears cream hahahaha. They exchanged vows and I started tearing cos everyone was tearing WTF *sheeple. Even though I don’t even understand Thai hahaha.
They’ve gone through quite a lot to be with each other la T3T So so happy that we get to witness their happily ever after!
Gratuitous picture of us wtf. Shit my top senget until wtf.
With Jeannie and Elise. Coincidentally our outfits matched and complemented each other very well! Is it we know garden wedding so we automatically gravitate towards blush and florals wtf.
More with my soulmate wtf. Angela’s fiance Frank said that when we’re with each other we just ignore the world hahahaha and that we just immerse ourselves in each other wtf. And apparently when we’re together we’re assholes cos we don’t care about anyone else hahahaha.
The wedding venue was super beautiful actually. But we also beautiful WTF that’s why only take photos of ourselves hahahahaha. It’s called Gardens of Dinsor (I think) and it’s a restaurant but they had an enclosure filled with white peacocks ok! (also white pigeons which I mistook for baby peacocks wtf). And swans in the pond!
(But our outfits go so well right <3)
Forgot about other people and focus on ourselves again wtf. That’s Frank behind taking pictures for elderly relatives. FHL cos he wore white shirt then all the relatives thought he was a photographer HAHAHAHAHA.
Oh for everyone who’s asking, my top and skirt are from a shop called K9 in Terminal 21.
Seriously my Huawei Mate 10 camera is the best shiznit ever.
After the vows Mild had a surprise for us! She asked all the girls to go find a balloon each and tied to each balloon was a tiny fortune. Mine was surprisingly very good, like I will have a long and happy life or something.
This was Angela’s. HAHAHAAHHAAHHAHA. Why do they bother printing this fortune HAHAHAHAHA.
Elise all ready to be a mom with Deer (another MHC friend)’s baby.
Eh sorry ah. After years of not being together we had to make up for lost time hahaha. It’s like we grew up but we’re still the same. Elise is in Singapore working with the Pedder Group, Jeannie is a neuroscientist studying dementia and she has a 15 month old baby AND she’s starting her pHD omg what am I doing with my life. Oh and Angela is doing her cold pressed juice business MELU of course. But actually Elise is still as drily funny as ever, Jeannie still talks non stop, and me and Angela are still assholes hahahaha.
One more photo with the happy couple!
Reunion not over yet! Mild organized dinner for us the next night too so we could catch up more. This is a super beautiful Thai restaurant called Ma Maison (Yea the name and the cuisine don’t gel wtf). I love the shelf styling omg this is what my bookcase at home wants to be when it grows up. (except maybe without the stuffed dead birds)
This Angela totally got the name wrong and kept saying ‘My Mansion’ to cab drivers no wonder nobody would take us hahahaahah.
Jeannie talked so much she lost her voice HAHAHAHA. We could only hear maybe 15% of what she was saying.
At Train Night Market where I wisely ate salmon sashimi (which was just hanging out on a banana leaf in Bangkok temperature) and paid dearly for it with full on diarrhea the next day.
… at Chatuckak! Yea I had to lau sai here FML hahaha. Didn’t come hear the last trip and I wish I did now! Feel like the stuff here is so much nicer and more special than in Platinum.
Like this bag LOL. Except I don’t think it should be model-wanna be guys, it’s obviously model-wannabe girls la on Instagram! I refuse to conform! *does motion OOTD wtf
Frank trying on pants behind a sarong ahhahaah. We were trying to IG story this and the girl pretended to drop the sarong HAHAHAHA. She damn funny should have tipped her wtf.
Also visited this beautiful place called The Commons! It’s filled with quirky shops and cafes and is basically an Instagram-worthy place to hang out.
Like this backdrop wall!
I’m so good at doing the Batman face Angie can’t keep up wtf.
One of the cafes.
The place really very nice! But Angela’s shoe very dirty haahhaahha.
Fatty couldn’t join us cos he had another wedding in KL but it was such a good chance for me to catch up with the girls especially Angie. It’s been nearly ten years and it was pretty interesting to see how our interactions and friendship had evolved, and to see myself reflected differently in their eyes.
How to say ah? Like same but different wtf. I’m still blur and uncoordinated and mildly irritating I suspect but I realized since we graduated that I’ve also developed more sides to my character. And one thing Angela said really hit me.
She told me that I said to her once that she always took the easy way out. I wasn’t exactly right, but she did always take the easy way to achieve whatever she wanted. In her case, she wanted to graduate with honors so she took the most convenient classes in order to maintain the highest GPA possible.
I on the other hand, always wanted to try new, random things. I took an art class and I was so bad at it Angela wanted to keep my final portrait to look at whenever she was sad WTF. It pulled down my GPA quite a lot hahaahaha but it didn’t matter to me as long as I was learning and experiencing new things.
When we got back from our study abroad program in Japan, I wanted to continue learning Japanese but our college didn’t even have such an advanced class anymore. So I decided to take an hour long bus trip each way to Smith to take Advanced Japanese each week just because.
I think that was when I told her she always took the easy way la cos I was trying to get her to take the advanced class with me hahahaha.
Anyway it hit me that… I’m not like that anymore. I don’t push out of my comfort zone or focus on trying new things. Maybe I need to get that back.
This blog post took a serious turn so quickly wtf.
Anyway to more reunions! Hopefully Angie’s wedding next year!
So the last post I talked about my inspiration ideas for our home.
This post is gonna be about the process of our renovation! It’s a very long blog post cos I realized I’d never properly blogged about this besides snippets on Dayre.
Okay so the story is this.
We’d been staying in a very old apartment ever since before we got married and when I moved in with Fatty we didn’t change a thing. The decorating was done previously by Fatty’s older brother who’s since moved to Singapore and I think the style is maybe skewed Balinese? I don’t know la but it features a lot of dark wood and beige-y tones and wooden shutters and er is not really my taste la hahaha. But because everything was in working condition and we were young 20 somethings wtf we didn’t bother changing anything.
When we had kids we er had kids and were too caught up in life to consider anything beyond what was happening day to day. But we actually live with Fatty’s brother and sister, and his brother got married last year and they were expecting a baby too! (Delivered already wtf) So family was expanding, Fighter and Penny also getting bigger and space was slowly getting to be an issue. We actually have another unit next door that used to be tenanted but since the tenant moved out and we couldn’t find another, we decided to just move into it ourselves.
So last November (omg a whole year ago!) we started our renovation process. And since we’ve gone through the entire process, I thought I’d write about what we’ve experienced and what I learned.
Interior decorator – yes or no?
I think that’s the big question for most people – whether there’s a need for an ID even. I think most people just hire a master contractor and sort of go along and decide on the design themselves.
I decided to get an ID though because I’m a total noob in renovation and design! I didn’t have confidence in myself at all – not just in the design but even stuff like estimating how the sizes of furniture pieces might fit in the same space. Even more so for the renovation bit – I had no clue about buildings and construction and even what to look out for, and I wanted someone I could trust to manage and coordinate the project. Also I didn’t want to be yelling at the contractor and different sub cons every day wtf die early meh.
So based on friends’ recommendations, I interviewed a couple of interior designers to compare prices and settled on one I liked.
I think it’s very important to have rapport with your ID! Our ID is also an architect by training so I felt comfortable that she would be able to do the structural work well too, not just the design aspect of it. Also different IDs just have different styles and not everyone can switch up styles just like that. So it’s important that you look through their portfolio and figure out if their work reflects your taste as well.
Katrine (our ID) seemed to have pretty versatile styles – she could do contemporary, but also classical. And more importantly, she could do a mix of contemporary and traditional, which is what I wanted.
You sure fight one
Hahahaha my sub title. Apparently this is super common. Katrine told me she’s had clients who couldn’t agree on decisions and started bickering in front of her FHL. Couples sure fight because it’s a home they share but they may not necessarily have the same tastes and opinions and the entire process can be a balancing and compromising act between the both of you.
Fatty didn’t really care either way cos he was also working on Colony by then. So I had more or less free reign over the direction and ideas. But even then we still fought wtf. When I went over budget lolol.
Katrine confided that a lot of her clients don’t really know what they want. Like maybe they ask for a minimalist house but then want to buy baroque chairs for the dining table wtf. I knew what I wanted for sure, but the more I worked on Colony, the more my tastes evolved hahaha. So towards the last 1 month, we changed up the design, which caused some delays too. So to avoid too much waffling, I’d say really do your research and Pinterest first to get a clear sense of what you want to achieve for your house.
Um this is probably the first thing you should agree on and fix before you start talking to IDs and contractors. Budget is important obviously cos that’s how much you’ll be spending, but it will also give your ID/contractor an idea of how much can be done within your budget. Our ID was pretty creative in making our budget work by recommending cheaper options or alternatives to what we wanted.
Even then our budget bao zha la wtf. There can be unforeseen costs. Actually I feel like renovation is just one big unforeseen cost at times. For example, we realized that our balcony floor wasn’t level so rainwater would flow in to our sliding doors are, causing a flood. D: So we had to level off the floor to make sure the water drains out. We also had to do a lot of waterproofing cos it’s an old apartment and there were some leaks.
Let’s not forget adding items on halfway that we’d forgotten, eg. alarm system and CCTV for one. Another unexpected expense was when we realized how much nicer (and warmer!) timber flooring looked, compared to tiles or laminate and timber flooring wasn’t in the budget wtf.
I think with the budget you gotta be reasonable too. Don’t give an RM50K budget and then expect the world cos that’s not happening. If you want certain things that you’re not willing to give up and you have an unreasonable budget, you just gotta expect it to go over then.
Renovation is just a huge spell of hiccups lolol. You have to accept that! *bangs table wtf. Like I’d mentioned, the balcony flood and the leaking were just two of a lot of problems. And these hiccups often cause…
From everything from getting approval from building management to issues arising on site to even screwed up delivery of things. Our delay was extra special cos we actually used the same ID firm to build Colony. And Colony was more urgent so we diverted all the resources to Colony and put our house on hold. End up our house renovation took like seven months to complete (not including design phase ok) lolol and our place is not even big.
Problems after moving in
When everything is set up and ready, moving in is the final test to make sure everything is working fine. When I moved in only I realized… cos my closet is small, we installed a baby ceiling fan. Then when I opened my cupboard door, the door hit the fan WTF. Hahahaha so we had to move the fan. And random things like the front door was hitting our kitchen counter when opened, so we added a stopper. Or I found that Fighter’s shower head was missing WTF.
These are all teething problems, to be expected and settled accordingly. The bright side is you get to do it while in the comfort of your new home. 😀
But all in all, I had a great ID and project manager. And while we had minor problems here and there, I was quite satisfied with our sub contractors too. And we had some really nice sponsors!
Here’s the team from Suzuka, a company that specializes in wall finishes and stone/brick veneers working on the kids play room.
I installed a white brick veneer as a feature wall for the play room, and for our balcony too.
This is what it looks like (and that’s our new wooden floor). Why I’d recommend doing a veneer instead of regular bricks is that it’s cleaner and less dusty. Also it takes up less space than normal bricks. And Suzuka’s quality is fantastic – the brick wall looks so real. 🙂 It’s certified with SIRIM and Singapore Green Label and is suitable for both indoor and outdoor – I used it for the kids’ room and the balcony after all!
(There is a 20% off promotion for their brick collection from now till February 2018, and free 1 kg grouting material with every box. Go here for details. )
For the look I wanted we also decided to install paneling/wainscotting. Yea la now everyone says my house like mini Colony wtf. #onetrickpony
Paneling halfway through!
A lot of people asked about my lighting too! I gotta say that Katrine is fantastic at lighting. She really knew how to balance regular down lights with ambiant lighting and spotlights as well. My pendant and ambiant lights (the three lights above my kitchen peninsula and the bubble lights above our dining table) are all sponsored by a shop in Kota Damansara called Ambiant Lighting. They don’t have a website but here’s their contact details and address.
Our kitchen was sponsored partially by Venture Ideal Renovation. OMG my kitchen I went back and forth between blue-grey cabinets and my original love, white. I think I made a decision at least three times F Katrine’s and Venture Ideal’s life. In the end I settled on white la cos that’s what I’d always wanted – a clean, white kitchen.
See where the three lights are? There was a wall there but I broke it down to create an open concept kitchen. MIL warned me that oil is gonna get everywhere and my sofas are gonna be oily wtf. O_O So that’s something you gotta think about ok don’t say I didn’t warn you. My MIL did warn me but I stubborn hahaha. But on the upside, the space looks much bigger and I like that if I’m in the kitchen I still get to keep an eye on the kids.
And last but not least, thank you Mitsubishi for furnishing our kids’ play room with the air conditioner!
OK so guys I wanna ask you this – how are your kids with eating fruits and vegetables?
I started my kids on veggies and fruits really early on – like every other baby, pureed fruits and veggies were their first solids after all. But today at age 4 and two, here’s their preference: They both love broccoli and baby spinach and watercress and refuse everything else. They are particularly suspicious of peas, carrots and beans and Fighter spat out his eggplant at dinner today. T_T
Fruits fare slightly better with these two – they like bananas, pears, watermelon and grapes. Fighter also likes mango while Penny is actually much more of a fruit person and she loves strawberries and papaya too. In fact she’ll eat most fruits I offer her but Fighter is much pickier and if she sees him refuse something she’ll also refuse out of solidarity or what I dunno. -_-
I gotta keep trying though! I myself like vegetables but as a child I didn’t, and only ate them cos I lived in fear of the wrath of Mummy Ooi hahahaha. Fatty on the other hand is super picky when it comes to veggies and fruits, only eating leafy vegetables, and that’s a habit I’m trying to avoid with our kids.
I heard somewhere that kids need to eat something seven times on average before they accept it so… challenge accepted. Here’s my three proven techniques of getting kids to eat their greens.
I half feel that a basic foundation to be Secretary of State you gotta go through training of persuading toddlers to do things they don’t want first hahaha. Anyway the first step is always negotiation. How many times already I’ve made Fighter try some food only to have him like it, but he still NEVER GIVES IN. Every time is a new battle with me going, “One bite. Just one bite. If you don’t like it, you can spit it out.” And he’ll be shaking his head vigorously and clamping his lips wtf.
This works half the time though. And when he does take the bite, half the time he likes, it half the time he doesn’t. I’ll take whatever wins I get.
When negotiation fails, I resort to tearing up veggies into miniscule pieces and hiding them within spoonfuls of rice. :X Sometimes they stop and extract some veggie fiber from their mouths, but usually if I cut up the food small enough, they eat it up. :X
3. Feed them juice
Did you know that our recommended fruit and vege intake is 2 servings a day? And only 6% of Malaysians get enough fruits and greens? To supplement the critters’ (and Fatty’s) intake, we normally have juice in the morning – either freshly pressed or juice boxes like from Marigold Peel Fresh. The kids are perfectly willing to drink juice cos they love sweet drinks and I’d much rather feed them juice than soda.
And I was invited to speak at the Peel Fresh Daily Fruit Goodness roadshow last weekend! From the point of view of a mom with two toddlers (and a picky husband lolol).
With fellow blogger Lizzie, and Nazrudin and Lisa Surihani!!! I don’t even follow local entertainment but I was starstruck anyway hahaha cos they were all so eloquent and intelligent and warm. We’re all parents so I found our discussion about kids and healthy eating pretty interesting and insightful.
Thank you MARIGOLD Peel Fresh for having me!
There were a bunch of a games held at the roadshow…
Like this mini golf game where you hit an orange instead of a golf ball lol. Super suay, you get three turns and I failed to hole in one any of my three balls. But then when I posed for this picture, I successfully hit my orange into the hole cis hahaha.
No surprise there but the critters’ favorite out of the 9 Marigold Peel Fresh flavors is Mango. There is also a No Sugar Added range with 6 flavors – Orange, Apple, Cloudy Apple, Mixed Powerberries, Mixed Powerveggies & Fruit, Mixed Fruit Mangosteen and their newly launched Mixed Kale & Veggies.
All Peel Fresh juices are fortified with Vitamins A, C, E and antioxidants.
Penny’s like O RLY?
Yes really. Hahahah love this pic it looks so posed my critters so clever *sayangs
This post was written in collaboration with Marigold Peel Fresh.
I realized I haven’t actually written at all about our renovation process! When we were going through it, I thought OK I’d write after everything is finished and tadah I’d have nice pictures to show wtf. But then I realized that actually I have a lot of things to say dammit wtf. So Imma break up my blog posts into a renovation series! *crickets chirping wtf
Hahahaha I have no idea how many of you guys are interested in home and decor blog posts but whatevs wtf.
Today’s post is gonna take no effort at all to write wtf cos it’s actually about the decor inspiration behind our house.
I feel like most people in Malaysia tend to go for the contemporary look – indeed, the portfolios I checked out when we were shopping for designers all contained pictures that look like this.
Nice but not really for me cos I prefer something more comfy and homier.
But maybe this is a bit much wtf. On the other end of the spectrum, we have the Traditional style which is too fussy for me too.
This was the style that I really wanted to go for! It’s called Transitional and it’s basically a good blend of Traditional and Contemporary. So you have cushy, more traditional looking furniture but you also have cleaner lines and simple silhouettes and a more muted color palette – usually in shades of grey and blue I notice.
But then we started work on Colony and as I researched and absorbed more, my style changed much to the chagrin of our designer hahaha.
In the end I wanted something like this.
I know this style by “Parisian apartment” but who knows if it has any other name. Most of Paris was rebuilt in the 19th century so their apartments feature a lot of ornate molding and paneling, fireplaces and mantles. Contrasted with sleek modern furniture and lots of art work and even some antique pieces, it’s a striking combination! To me la at least.
The elements are – elaborate moulding and paneling, artwork, slightly rustic or antique furniture, and chandeliers! And usually parquet floors, especially in a chevron pattern.
As for kitchen, I love this kitchen by Emily Henderson! The tiles and the color of the cabinets and the semicircle (?) handles….
For Penny’s room don’t need to guess what kind of room I wanted la ok hahaha. Penny actually loves pink too so it was a no brainer, only need to figure out what kind of pink style to give her.
This was one of the inspirations. Muted pink with grey. Ooh pink with mint was another alternative.
This one is a brighter option! I considered this cos the kids have toys and books obviously and those are usually quite colorful. I was thinking it would be easier to style her things this way.
Okay this one only cos it’s sooo sweet. It looks like an illustration from a kids book can?! Like Secret Garden or something. But it’s a bit too saccharine for me la and doesn’t really suit Penny cos she’s so gangsta.
For Fighter’s room I went back and forth quite a bit! Fighter is older so his preferences are more developed but at the same time, he’s quite fickle. And I didn’t want to focus on a particular cartoon or character like Batman or Star Wars cos he will definitely outgrow them at some point.
In the end I decided on a intergalactic/starry sky theme for his room. Navy walls are not that childish and can be adapted as he grows up.
AND THIS IS SO DAMN GORGEOUSSSSS. But I don’t know where to find any of the pieces here hahahaha.
This too! Dark grey walls work equally well as a starry night sky and the moon light is so beautiful. T____T If anyone knows where to find something like that please tell me wtf.
Anyway that’s about it. In the next post I shall reveal whether my vision came to life in our house or not hahahaha.
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays! I used to be damn gung ho dressing up some more. Lemme dig out some photos.
…. OK I say gung ho but actually I just realized I was always very kiam with my costumes HAHAHA. I refused to spend on expensive costumes and this was a time before DIY and Pinterest so I anyhow make do only hahahaha and my costumes were not imaginative wtf.
Dressed as a bunny in Kyoto. Only because I found the ears and fluffy bobtail in Claire’s for like 200 yen wtf.
Dressed as a leopard the next Halloween wtf. Also cos I found the leopard ears and tail for cheap at Claire’s. Do you see a trend wtf.
This wasn’t for Halloween but it was for a Nuffnang costume party. I think the theme was animal so I went as a bumble bee. My most DIY costume cos I wrapped black ribbon around myself to make stripes, fashioned feelers out of an old headband, and used tulle to make bee wings!
Anyway since I had babies, Halloween’s focus has always been on them. And this year we attended our first Halloween party for kids! Halloween is not that mainstream here la but it’s recently been getting bigger and bigger. So yay! This party in particular was at a friend’s condo; the condo management damn nice organized a party and trick or treat. Whoever residents are interested can sign up and prepare treats, and the party would just head to whichever apartment.
Getting ready! Fighter had his Captain America suit all ready and Penny has an Anna from Frozen dress AND a Belle dress from Beauty and the Beast but what does she want to go as for Halloween?
I gotta give it to her for choosing strength over beauty lolol.
Anyway I obviously had no Supergirl costume at the last minute! So I borrowed Koko’s Superman tshirt that conveniently comes with an attached cape and paired it with a red tutu skirt and called it. :X
Koko on the other hand was super proud to wear his Captain America suit! Suet got it from the UK and it comes with a mask and a shield! He refused to put on the mask though wtf.
Suit comes with built in abs HAHAAHHAHA.
Supergirl and Captain Chase wtf. Fighter is mildly interested in superheroes but Chase is obsessed with pirates and the ocean.
These four as usual hahaha. Lollipop is a ballerina and looks super pretty next to my Supergirl hahahaha.
OMG Supergirl’s smile beh tahan. And got double chin suddenly hahahahaha.
These two suddenly damn lovey dovey kept holding hands hahaha.
With the critters. Fatty didn’t dress up so he has to take the photo for us hahahaha. I didn’t plan to dress up until like the day of the party also la but suddenly got mood wtf. Dug out Mickey ears from Tokyo Disneyland, this red Azorias skirt, a black turtleneck and black stockings and called myself Minnie Mouse. But then I realized I forgot about the polka dots on Minnie’s skirt hahaha. #fail
Trick or treat! Our first time doing this ever and I really had a lot of fun, don’t say the kids hahaha. Like there was this warm sense of community even though it isn’t even our condo lolol.
And our kids were so polite! Some of the residents weren’t in and they left like trays or baskets full of candy for the taking. Our kids always took one each only damn not greedy. <3
This guy went all out I think he should win best dressed WTF.
Fighter started calling him Pumpkin Uncle and I think the uncle was a bit amazed cos that wasn’t the look he was going for apparently hahahaha.
Trick or treating over, time to indulge wtf. Penny is holding up a chocolate eyeball hahahaha.
These gluttons cannot wait lol.
Unrelated photo cos we were so surprised we didn’t snap any. But they had a Best Dressed contest at the end of it and Fighter was one of the best dressed winners hahahaha. Captain America woohoo wtf. He won…. a bar of chocolate wtf.
And that was our Halloween! The kids loved the whole process and the candy of course. And it’s rekindled my love for costumes hahahaha. Next year Imma start work on their costumes after CNY WTF Fatty included.