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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Finally, it feels like Summer!

The temperature swing over here is quite "wild". last week was so cool and wet and this week's so HOT!

whatever it is, glad that Kaira can now wear her summer clothes before they get too small for her ;p





Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Which Currency is going to depreciate next???

I wrote this in 2010, IN JEST.
Which Currency Will Depreciate Next

I shall now make a bold prediction that it shall be the SGD that will start it's depreciating journey starting from end 2011/early 2012!!!! :D

[Just Kidding K?!?!]

Haha, but yes, you got the HINT, we are making the big move back to Singapore by year end!

This move back to Asia has been something that we've been talking since we arrived!! hehe, yeah, i really didn't like this place very much when we arrived in June 2008 ;p

We knew we wouldn't be able to move back to asia so quickly ... but we can always hope! haha.... so i kept bugging God about it ;p God is always teaching me about submitting to His plans and timing ;p and this experience here in the netherlands is the same. I was so sure that I want to go back to asia that i was praying and praying for it and asking God WHY NOT??? it's difficult to be happy when my thoughts are filled with "Why Not Why Not?" and the negativity that comes with it. Cos it shows such a deep sense of discontentment -- HOW to be truly happy? On one hand, i know that i need to trust God and submit to His will, on the other hand, i want MY will to be done.

How often does that happen? So often i lost track ;p But God is truly patient. He teaches us in the most gentle of ways. And i am grateful He did not give up on me. I am grateful that even when I strayed away, He still loves me.

After a year or 2 of struggling .... i made peace with the Lord. and truly, honestly, i gave up. I wasn't going to make myself unhappy by harping on something that i cannot control. i just had to make the most of what is present and continue to serve Him and do His will. When the time for us to move comes, He will show us. there's no need to struggle and to keep asking. What is more important is that we have the peace that HE is in control and that, He is with us. What more could one ask for? If He is for us, who can be against us??

And last year, after all the struggling and finally learning to submit to the Lord's will and just when I was prepared to stay here FOREVER (haha, no lah, not forever, but at least for a longer period of time) -- God started to move ... seems like a MIRACLE. Maybe He just likes to play tricks on me ;p

I believe in HIS PERFECT TIMING. 2011 is his perfect timing for us to move back to SG. I will trust in Him -- that everything will fall perfectly in place and he will provide abundantly. :)

Even as I am glad that we are moving back to SG this year, i have a feeling, this is not likely to be our last move ;) even prior to this move back, there was discussions to go elsewhere (but thank God that's put on a back burner!!). So yes, i shall enjoy whatever time i will have in Singapore. I believe we should be back in singapore at least for 2-3 years. Hope so!!!

And in the meantime, i am starting to throw out stuff and also selling off some stuff.

I have started a temporary blog for this purpose : Let's Recyle! Things for Sale! Hep me to publicise ya?! Thanks!

No, i didn't get it......

So yes, will just have to continue to wait before i get my hands on the iPad2!! ;p

Friday, June 24, 2011

Will i get it ??

hubie's coming back from singapore tomorrow. he was away for a one-week business trip.

he;s supposed to get the iPad 2 -- but it seems like it was out of stock @ the shops he visited. wonder if he will have any luck elsewhere.

it will be so disappointing if we have to wait another couple of months... :(

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Rode Bessen

From my friend's garden (or rather her mum's) .... wonder when i will get a chance to eat anything from my own garden? hehehe.



O, i forgot! i actually have a mint plant in my garden and it's growing pretty well and is my supply for fresh mint tea! Ha, there's something fruitful afterall ;p

Monday, June 20, 2011

Weather .... Again!?!

since last week -- the weather has not been good! wet, windy and quite cold at times :( think it's been raining everyday for at least 5 days now? although there are brief periods of dry-ness, but it's just abit depressing that this could signal what lies ahead for us for summer :(

spring was dry and sunny that many were "warning" that we can expect a wet and cold summer ;( i hope NOT! i hope that this wet and cold weather is but a passing "shower" !!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Bak Zhang 粽子

Haha, i know i know, 端午节 is over.... but i had to post these pictures -- cos it's 粽子 that i made -- of course, under the watchful eyes of my 师傅! :) hehe.

the nice ones were made by 师傅 and the not so nice ones by 徒弟 like myself (there were 3 of us learning to make the 粽子.



one of the things that i like about being here in the netherlands -- i am learning how to make all these yummy foodstuffs. they are so readily available back home in asia that there's really no motivation to learn. ;p

and when i was making them, it reminded me of my grandma and how she used to make so so so many of them! cooking them over charcoal.... wow! those were the days!! i was too young to remember how to make the bak zhang but i remember my favorite chestnuts in them - delicious!

i am so glad that i have the chance to learn this today -- just in time! ;)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Eindhoven Culinair 2011

Happen to see a poster advertisement for Eindhoven Culinair which takes place this weekend -- got me quite excited -- cos i assumed it was a "food tasting" event where we get to sample food from the region. finally, i will get to taste euthentic dutch cusine! ;p and see what i've been missing ;p

And i was not very wrong ;p

apparently this event usually takes place over the Pentecost weekend (cos it's a long weekend) and @ this event which gathered together more than 10 restaurants which offered sampling menus -- their signature dishes @ small portions and it was a festive atmosphere with live music, lots of booze, lots of places to just sit and while the time away with a drink and/or some food and even a children's play area where the kids are looked after by professionals and entertained the whole time (think bouncy castle, arts and crafts, face painting, snacks and drinks provided)! we could enjoy the food in peace!

honestly, i don't remember seeing advertising for this event the past few years .... maybe i wasn't so in-tuned or maybe we are usually out travelling whenever there's a public holiday.... whatever it is, i am quite happy that we discovered this event this year!

where food is of concerned -- it was more of an international cuisine -- with restaurants offering asian, mediterranean, italian cusine etc .... hehehe. but it didn't matter! cos the weather was great this afternoon and we had a leisurely time sampling the food and very importantly, Kaira had a great time!

our first stop for the afternoon - before we found the children's play area for kaira - she was busy climbing all over us!
would have appreciated a greater portion of the sticky rice cos Kaira finished almost all of it! (altho she doesn't quite like the mango)
can u see the children's play area in the background?
With Kaira safe and enjoying herself, it's time for us to enjoy the food!


there was even a fashion show



one last picture before we headed home:

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Chartres

As the drive home from Loire valley takes about 6.5 hours, i was searching for a town/city that we can visit on our way home and take a lunch break or something.

After some googling, i decided on Chartres as the Chartres cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage site and apparently very famous and well visited too.

The cathedral was indeed very nice and enchanting (as my friends described). The stained glass collection was beautiful.






But that was it. the town is very small and there's nothing much to do or see. good thing this was a "by the way" stop -- Chartres is promoted as a day trip from paris and i am not sure i will be very happy if i made the trip specially from paris just to see the Cathedral ;p

Monday, June 06, 2011

My thoughts on Loire ......

i am not sure whether to write this. cos, i think i will get bashed by some for not appreciating what i can readily enjoy ;p

but that is not the point. hehehe.

anywayz, during our first day in Loire Valley, i was quite unimpressed really. Yes, the chateaus were very lovely and it was an eye opener touring them. but similar countryside scenes of sprawling greens can be seen not just in france.

somehow, the french countryside wasn't as idyllic or scenic as i had imagined ;p case of high expectations? or being immune to the beauty that is so readily available in the rest of europe? or maybe it's the romantic notion of the french that has been played up and setting me up for disappointment ;p

we kind of lost of way on the first day and had the chance to truly explore the countryside, taking off-beaten paths etc and the villages that we came across were just that -- villages -- nothing too quaint or attractive .... and certainly didn't brighten our day ;p instead it was so quiet and dead that it added to our frustration of not finding what we want to find!

why did we get lost? simply because we changed our "itinerary" on arrival and we thought that the chateaus are "so famous" they should appear on the GPS (when we select tourist attractions") so even though we didn't have the exact address of Chateau D-Ussee, we decided to just venture forth and look for it. mistake! it was quite difficult to find! we only managed to find it after giving up and going to another chateau and then chancing upon a brochure of D'Ussee!

anywayz, back to how i felt .... i had initially thought that as we drive through Loire, the scenery will be breath-taking and landscape awesome....u know with chateaus dotting the landscape and catching a glimpse of them as we drive along .... HAHAHA. it didn't happen as often i'd like !

hehehe. when we were driving to Chambord from Amboise, we did had a glimpse of Chaumont and that was nice and the approach to Chambord was very impressive too. but other than that, most of the chateaus were kind of "well hidden" -- maybe the owners then meant it that way -- away from the public eye.... and they are usually in the "middle of nowhere" .... hahahaha....

well, after the first day, things got better. i did enjoy loire (but i think i enjoyed the rhine valley more!! ;p) and french food is always nice :) i wished we had abit more time to enjoy the countryside.

i think i was suffering from the "kiasu" syndrome -- we are unlikely to make another trip to the loire valley anytime soon and i wanted to see as much as we could. it would probably have been more idyllic if we had slowed down our pace and given ourselves more time to explore the countryside by foot or have a picnic by the loire. so, even though we spent 6 days in Loire, it didn't felt enough. there was more that we could do. to think that i was initially concerned that 6days was too long!!

First Pony Ride @ Eindhoven Equesterian Event

last July, when kaira was 2.5 yr-old, she was afraid to take a ride on the pony even though she was very interested in the pony and was very keen initially to ride on it. however, when the time came for her to mount onto the pony, she chickened-out.

but since then, she will sometimes say she wants to ride on a horse. i wasn't sure if she really meant it. cos her requests usually come about when e are on our roadtrips when we are bound to see horses -- and she always says she wants to ride the horses ;p

anyway, there's an equesterian event this weekend here in eindhoven -- we thought it's a good opportunity for her to try again. and glad to say that she really enjoyed it! am thinking of signing her up for horse-riding classes :))


Sunday, June 05, 2011

Beautiful Villages of France

When i was planning my Loire valley itinerary and searching for information, i came across the "most beautiful villages of france" website and listed on the list were some villages located in loire valley.

i decided that i had to visit some of the villages!!! i chose a few and on the first day, we visited @ Candes-St-Martin, it was our last stop for the day.

and boy was i disappointed!!!

it was just a small quiet town and nothing very special about it. it's not even a quaint little town. it was just a sleepy town with nothing to see :(

yup, i was very very disappointed!! so disappointed, i decided not to visit the other villages i had on my list ;(

this was probably the best picture that i had of the place. no kidding :


we had initially wanted to have dinner in the village, but the only restaurant we could find in the village wasn't even open. lucky for us, the next town was just a short drive away and we had a very good (altho expensive) dinner there. but there wasn't much of a choice. plus we were too tired to go looking for another restaurant.

the restaurant in Montsoreau and it's interior :

Inside the Chateaus of Loire

Impressions Of Loire

Besides the chateaus, it was all about the vibrant colors and the harmony of nature.










Saturday, June 04, 2011

Kaira @ Loire

Kaira loves roadtrips -- She declares. and the reason??

she can sleep with Papa and Mama in the same room and on the same bed with Mama!

all the rest didn't matter to her ;p hahaha. she's so cute sometimes. when she says that, i wonder if i am depriving her by insisting that she sleeps in her own room (she's been doing that since she was 1 year old) and the only exception is when we are holiday ;) anywayz, am toying with the idea of letting her sleep with us one day a week. let's see how ;)

but i do think she enjoyed Loire quite a bit. she loved the B&B and uncle Adrian (our host) whom she looks forward to seeing each day! she loved running around the castles and their gardens and of course Sleeping Beauty in her castle!






she's always singing and dancing and loved having the treats (like desserts, ice-cream, juices etc) during the roadtrip.







not sure how much of her childhood she will remember .... but may it be as colorful as the pictures we have taken of her!