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Friday, November 28, 2014

Holiday @ NSW Australia

Went for a 9 day holiday recently to Sydney and surrounding areas.  Documenting my itinerary for future reference :

Day 1:  Arrival in AM @ Sydney airport.  Drive to Jervis Bay.
             Stay at Tranquility Beach House
Day 2 : Whale watch cruise, exploring the area
Day 3 : Hyams Beach. Drive to Bilpin, Blue Mountains (Farm stay).
             Explore the farm Bilpin Springs Lodge
Day 4 : Jenolan Caves, Echo point look out
Day 5 : Scenic World, Blue Mountains. Drive to Hunter valley. Stay Hunter Valley Resort.
             Hunter Valley Gardens Christmas Lights Spectacular
Day 6 : Horse riding, winery tour, wine tasting, shopping. Drive to Sydney
            Stay The Sydney Boulevard Hotel.  Dinner @ Chinatown
Day 7 : Walk to Opera House/Circular Quay (pass the botanic gardens)
              Ferry to Manly Beach.  The Rocks Night Market
Day 8 : Paddington Market.  Attack of the Pirates boat ride. 
             Darling habour (Tumbalong water play area+ fireworks)
Day 9 : Darling habour (again! for the kids). Depart of Singapore in the afternoon.

My reviews of the places can be found on tripadvisor if you would like to know more :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Kaira's birthday celebration in school

Since her birthday is during the school holidays and we will be overseas, Kaira requested to a have a simple celebration during school recess for her.

Being the big girl she is now, she requested for cupcakes and specific designs! 

Had initially thought of ordering from someone I know but Kaira kept changing her mind about the designs she wanted .... that I thought it might be better if I make them.... plus the cost of ordering is not a small sum! I would have to spend more than $100 just for cupcakes for her class.... and how hard can it be right?!?!?

The trial run went quite smoothly I must say.... After all only Made a few!!

And honestly it was not that difficult to make cos I chose a simple cake recipe and what I thought was a very simple design!!

However, as with all homemade stuff,  it is very very time consuming!!! Just prepping the fondant took me more than 3 hours. But of course I am a first timer at doing this (2nd timer if u consider the trial run! Heehee) and really slow.

The assembling on the morning itself took about 2 hours!! There were moments I wondered if I can make it in time ?!? Of course there are hiccups..... like the circle fondant tops that I prepared turned out too big for the cupcakes I baked! (But during the trial it was perfect! Go figure ;p)  so time is spent trimming the tops etc. ...

Funny how the cupcakes on pictures/blogs all look so nice ... mine ? The cupcake wrapper started to come off after the cupcakes cooled down.... had to make a last minute purchase of cupcake wrappers the night before! Thank God I baked the cupcakes in the afternoon. ... imagine if I baked them at night...... where can I buy cupcake  wrappers at 7 in the morning? Lol.

I guess all these comes with an experience.... and if I do it again, I will be better prepared!

But haha,  unlikely I will do it again for so  many kids.... Small scale parties no problem. ...:)

o well, as long as my daughter's happy! It's worth the effort I suppose ;)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

So frustrated with Asus!!

I am now regretting not sticking with a more established brand when I bought my new laptop earlier this year :(

I thought I should be be open minded and try other brands. .. Instead of my trusted Japanese brands and what a pain it has been.

First time that I bought a laptop (and I have had my fair share of laptops!) that I need to send in for repair....! Aaargh.  Sucks.

Never mind the inconvenience of not having my laptop while it is repaired. ....trying to find out what is the status of the repair is worse!

When I brought it in on monday morning 18 aug, the standard reply was 3 to 5 working days.  OK.  So I wait till Friday and I called. The CSO replied... o they should be contacting me soon... The official start date of repair was 19th Aug. ... status is under repair N estimated is 3 to 5 working days and it's still within their official estimate.  

Fine.

Weekend came, Monday came and went and no calls from Asus.  

I called on Tuesday. Same standard answer!! I asked for a number to call since call  center is of not much help. Sorry Madam, service centre only outbound calls. I asked CSO to check then on the status. He says he will let service centre know and by end of Tuesday to have an update.  No update.

I called on Wednesday morning. Insisted on speaking to someone with authority who could do something about finding out exactly when I can have my laptop back?  The supervisor actually said... madam I will escalate AGAIN to service centre and get back to you on FRIDAY!?!

I am surprised I did not give the supervisor a big scolding!! I am already creating a ruckus and impressed upon you that it's been too long a wait  .. and u suggest coming back to me on Friday? ??? Told her I want an answer today.

Gave her a piece of my mind. So she said she will get service engineer to call me.  No no no.... don't try to shirk responsibility here... I told her it doesn't matter who calls me.... All I want is a status (1) is my laptop repairable?  (2) how long more r u going to take? (3) why no alternate solution if I have to wait longer the said time frame??

And so i have go wait till end of today for her to come back to me on the status of my laptop repair! 

I have half decided to go buy myself a new laptop this weekend. And no, it will not be ASUS!!! have an awful feeling that even if I get back my laptop... I will continue to face problems with it!!! Aaargh.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Your Perspective. My Perspective.

Some times i wonder, if it's because of age.  or have i changed?  to be less accomodating? less patient? (ok ok, i know i know, patient is not a word to describe me anyway ! ;p) or simply that i don't wish to perpetuate what i think is not 100% accurate.  even if it's an opinion.

sometimes i wish i can just shrug off comments and let live.  it's their point of view anyway.  why should i bother?  most times i just ignore.  i mean, there's no point trying to make others see another view if they are so entrenched in their own views?  it's so painful and tiring.   and who am i to "impose" my views any way?!? like i have said, everyone has their point of view.  and there are usually 2 sides to the coin.  Why can't people see that?

of course, if it's a friendly discussion between like-minded people, the conversation can be interesting, thought provoking and absolutely rewarding.  i love those conversations. where differences are embraced and opinions shared frankly with no judgements and preconceived notions.  and usually these are the people who make good friends.

some times i wish i can just accept comments at face value and let live.  but some times it's difficult. i need to pray more. seriously.  i think over the years as i drifted away from God, i have become more and more anal.  I need to draw near to God.  To pray and ask for His grace, love and patience to grow in me so that i can have extend more grace, love and patience to others. 

But usually what irritates me are sweeping statements....

anyway, as an example.  Us moving back to singapore end 2011.

To me, there is a season for everything.  A time for every purpose under Heaven.  I embrace the Lord's plans for us and i choose to believe that His plans are the best for us at the point in time.  We can plan and plan but He orders our steps.  And through our lives, He has shown Himself to be faithful and able.  Leading us in His ways, and always providing for us.  Unfortunately, i am not as faithful to Him as He is to me.  Always the delinquent one. Always trying to run away from God.  ;p

I digress.

While i believe that moving back to Singapore is the BEST for us at this point in time, since the Lord has paved the way to bring us back, and i can see many positives with this move, there is also the flip side. the not so good bits about being back in Singapore.

So please spare me comments like "it's good that you all came back.  good for kaira's education!"  or "why did you all move back? singapore school so stressful. better to be overseas"


all i can say is this.  the earth is round. not square.  absolutes can be obsolete.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Taiwan trip Jun 2014

About 10 (+/- i cannot really remember ; p) years ago I made my first holiday trip to taipei ... It was a short trip and did nothing to make me like the city/country... hee hee.  All I remembered wad grey skies, rain, drab looking buildings and so-so food.

So for this trip we made in June I had pretty low expectations! Which was good for the trip turned out to be pretty pleasant!

Why plan a trip to Taiwan if I don't like it?  Well I didn't actually  planned it. A friend has made plans and bookings for the trip and she asked if we wanted to join them? So I did!

Here's the itinerary for our recent trip:

day 1: arrive tao yuan airport in the afternoon and took the transport directly to hualien.  We took the van and the journey was about 4+ hours including 1 pit stop.  It was a nice drive through coastal roads... but it meant that for some parts of it kaira experienced a bit of car motion sickness.  But thank God it wax only the last bit of the drive. Pity also theat it was evening time...so we miss some of the scenery.

Day 2, 3 & 4 - we hired a local guide to bring us around hualien.

Day 5 - took the train to Tou Cheng, spent the night at the Top Cheng leisure farm

Day 6 - took train to taipei. Arrived late afternoon

Day 7 n 8 - taipei

Day 9 - took afternoon flight home.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Don't mess around with my beloved country :p

the parliamentary debate is happening this period.  i was just watching some of the exchanges and had some thoughts, and wrote a short note on FB.  thought i'd just copy and paste here for my own record.  this is one rare post of my thoughts on singapore politics ;p
========================================================
i will be so worried if a party led by Mr Low is in charge of singapore. after listening to some of the debates, i don't sense that he has a vision for singapore. or that his party has a plan in place to offer constructive alternatives. granted he may not be as articulate as PM Lee, but he sounds totally clueless as to what he is saying.
After all the "raah-raah" at the last election and the "high hopes" with Mr Chen joining WP, it's disappointing that they have not engaged the ruling party in a more rigorous way.
As for PM Lee, i totally respect him. And in many of his speeches (not just in parliament), i can feel his passion for the country and the people of this country. His father had a vision for Singapore. I believe he too has a vision.
I remember i didn't like him very much when he was younger. To me, he was arrogant. And similarly, for PAP. Arrogance + Detached from the ground == deadly combination. But i guess over the years and especially since the last wake up call, there has been a change. Sure there are still some questionable characters (;p) and challenges and problems..... but at least I see the government trying to adapt and change. and that is important to me. In the last 2 years since i am back in singapore, i can see the effort by the government to make SIngapore a home for all of us. To help those in need.
Sure, there may be things that i disagree, i believe we can voice out through appropriate channels. and pitch in when we can.
its easy to point out that this and this is no good. it's easy to criticise. and some people may go far simply by talking..... just like in the corporate world ... u know.... those who can BS ... climb far....
but it is far more difficult to be the one on the ground doing the work, thinking of the solutions and alternatives. any help (in the form of opinions, actual involvement) will be appreciated. and i hope as singaporeans we will all see that we have a part in this.

Enough of the pointing fingers and empty talk.

i love my country too much to put it in the hands of a party that doesn't seem to know where it wants to take my country.



Friday, May 23, 2014

.........................

it's been such a long time since i last wrote a post that i don't know what to write now! ha! seems like much has happened and i am at a lost where to "reconnect" the dots..... *sigh*

hope to get back to writing, so that years down the road i can read about what happened and remember the good times! :)