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Monday, August 29, 2011

有朋来自远方

这两个小不点, 同是2007年的11月宝宝 , 难怪一见如故!

Javier 现在芬兰居住..... 再过一年会回到新加坡.... 这可好了, 乐妍有朋友咯! :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Relaxing.....

Went to the PeuterDag (if i am not wrong, literally Toddler Day) event organised by Kaira's school
Pity the weather wasn't great. kept raining!! :( else would have more time to enjoy the free food, drinks and games!! LOL
Another face painting today!!
Everyone went home with a ball. (yet another one?!??)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

"哈租族"

read this article on thursday. even though we are not at this stage, i find myself identifying with the last sentence in the article.

"坦白說,無根無家那份不穩定的感覺有時令人難受,不過如果現實如此,何妨以另一個思維
去處世處事,不需要擁有可以是一種豁達。
"

truly, sometimes, it just takes a different perspective to change everything.

u know, i am one of those who believed that we should work hard, accumulate $ and assets for our future (future generations). and that financial security is important and i have to work at it to ensure that i am provided for. of course, i was also motivated by the idea that all my hard work will be rewarded whether it's more money, material goods, luxurious holidays or whatever.

alot of focus was on working, working hard and being employed. it was hard to imagine not working and with that, losing the stable income.

i was like in a game u know -- after u cleared one stage, u advance to the next and it gets harder and harder to clear it ;p and it's like never ending. although i think i see the "end", but it's not the end yet ;)

maybe i was the "un-enlightened" one and allowed myself to get caught up in the game. and sadly :
(1) i didn't know how to press the reset button (2) i was not happy to be stucked at a certain level and so continued to work at cracking the next level (3) on top of that, i want to beat the highest score to-date. No-no, low scores are for losers.

seriously, i think i was very "un-enlightened" and allowed myself to be running the rat race. and one aspect of the race was the consumerism.... and in the end i was the one being consumed ;p LOLOL.

am i the only un-enlightened one? (-_-)

even though, i am not one into branded goods, it is the idea that i should be earning enough to afford them IF I WANT TO that drives me. of course, i have my indulgences lah, who doesn't?? and food is one of my indulgence :)

but honestly, i was always feeling poor!!! and i think one of the factors that exacerbated the situation was the housing loan. it stressed me that we have a loan and that should one of us not work, we will be in trouble. and therefore i must work. and even when i didn't really enjoy what i was doing i just continued. no wonder i was so stressed lah.

when the chance came for hubbie to move to hong kong, i was more than ready to go. it presented an opportunity to "re-start". don't ask my why i find it so difficult to restart when i was singapore. maybe it's the comfort zone that i was in. maybe it's just a combination of factors such as expectations, familiarity and so forth.

hong kong enlightened me in a few ways -- the first job i took showed me that heyz, i can actually have work life balance!!! hahah. the second job i took was completely different from my past jobs and gave me the opportunity to experience something new. the idea of working changed.

the european enlightenment was something else. the reason why i was so bored of this place was because in HKG and SG, our key activities were working, shopping, going out to restaurants for meals, hanging out with frens for coffee/tea/drinks etc. and coming here ... oh dear, there's no life!!!

rediscovering the simple joys of taking walks, doing gardening, pottering around the house and enjoying nature is just that -- simple -- life became simplified. and it was no wonder that i found it difficult to adjust coming from the hustle and bustle of city living.

coming back to the article and the "哈租族" -- i am neither for or against the idea but it did set me thinking and it came at the right time --- since we will be going back to Asia soon and asia's consumerism "spirit" is a strong force to reckon with ;p

honestly, i've never been more contented with my state of being, than in my 3+ years here in the netherlands. despite all the "complaints" i have about this place and being here, i can honestly say that i am contented.

somehow, being here, there's no need to strive. and everyone seems contented with their own lot too. as i mentioned above, life's simple. nobody seems to care for the latest gadgets or looking to upgrade their property/cars etc. everybody's so leisurely and seemingly having lots of time to spend with the family and going to the parks and having family outings.

maybe it's just me -- that i'm easily influenced and caught up with the rest of world. maybe you are not like that --you are able to step back and let the world race past without being caught in the fervour of the race. good for you!!

Whatever it is, I hope i will be able to strike a balance and keep my sense of zen when we move back to Asia. :)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Dancing in the Rain

As we walked home from school in the rain, my daughter declares that she loves walking in the rain. she loves the water puddles. she jumps from one puddle to the next and tries to be as splashy as she can!
no matter what i say, she ignores me. so heck -- i decided to let her enjoy herself. and she was jumping into puddle after puddle all the way home from school. her white tights became brown when we reached home ;( aaaaargh -- that's the main reason why i don't like her walking in the rain -- so dirty!!! more work for me ;p



Cupcake Decorating Fun

This is a rather outdated post ..... a few weeks back, had the opportunity to learn from a fren how to work with fondant and marzipan.

it was quite fun .... and these are my 2 works of art :

Guess this is what i appreciate about my life here .... lots of time to indulge in such activities ;p

i was toying with the idea of making a nice looking fondant cake for kaira for her 4th birthday....but hahaha....i think it will too much work ;p i am not as good with my hands as i'd like to think i am!!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Self Praise....

Yup, shameless me. Going to praise myself today .... LOLOL.

Yesterday, i made 糯米饭, my first attempt. And i have to say it -- i think it tastes quite good!!! kekeke. in fact, if i find a lotus leaf and wrap it up, i think i can easily pass it off as something i bought from a restaurant .... *tsk tsk* where's my modesty????

Ok, enough of self praise. i kind of need it. cos i am kicking myself for closing off my 3 trades in a breakeven position when it should have been positive!! *pissssed* sometimes i need handcuffs. i must remind myself that no position is also a position. and so this week, i have decided to abstain from trading. and lo and behold, all my paper trades are POSITIVE. geeee, if they were real trades, i'd be quite rich now. *pissed again* i am going to wait till after friday after Banana speaks and see how the market goes next week before doing anything.

ok, back to the 糯米饭 or 荷叶饭 or whatever name it goes by.....

actually, i don't really like 糯米饭 -- one can tell from the way it looks that it's fattening and high in calories ;p

but u know lah, being away from home can change one's perspective..... i eat and cook things that i'd most probably avoid if i am in SG. plus hubbie likes to eat such stuff ;p so there, "virtuous" wife here sacrifices her waistline by cooking such calorie-laden foods!!! ;-)




The Witch's Hat

Can't remember when it started, but she's into "pointy" hats for some time now. must be the witches that she reads about in the story books all the time. she doesn't like the witch, but yet she's very into the hat.

this is the second one that we've made. the first one was destroyed some time back ;p



Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Summer Vacation is Over

Did i mention that Kaira's back in school since monday?

even though it's only for a couple of hours each day, i am kind of glad she's back in school! haha. Bad mummy!!!

But seriously, she's happier, I am happier :)





Monday, August 22, 2011

Madame Butterfly

We were at Roermond Shopping Outlet on Saturday and there was free face painting activity for the kids. her last experience with face painting -- she was very apprehensive and had only a small heart painted on her cheek. On Saturday, she boldly declared that she wants a butterfly painted this time and was eagerly looking forward to her turn. She was super cooperative during the few minutes :)

she chose the colors herself and the entire conversation between Kaira and her face painting artiste was in dutch.... don't ask me what they said ;p


she was really thrilled to see herself all "made up". and i found it funny that initially she didn't want to close her mouth .... then i realised it's her first experience with "lipstick"!! LOL.

When we got home and had to wash off the beautiful butterfly..... she cried buckets. insisted that i bring her very soon for another face painting session! ;p

Friday, August 19, 2011

gave back my kacang putehs .... bleah. itchy fingers.

now on the side lines again. need more kacang putehs!!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

closed both the positions i initiated last week during the market selldown.

made some kacang puteh....

on hindsight, i closed one of them too early. too kaisi.

guess it's a learning experience every time.

see if there's more kacang puteh to be made in the days ahead.

meanwhile, my pillow stocks are suffering.

Monday, August 15, 2011

am i really that free?

i wish.

but i am glad i am not :)

what am i busy with?

ha! that's a good question.

;)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

We are in Japan?!?!?



every once in a while, we will be in Dusseldorf in our "preferred" japanese restaurant and for that 2 hours of so, it's easy to think that we are in japan until we hear german being spoken ;p lots of japanese patronise this restaurant. the chefs and waitresses are all japanese. as authentic as it can get :)

and yes, yesterday we were @ Dusseldorf for our japanese fix again. Papa is away for one week from today.... so here's another photo for him :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Red Cabbage

before our summer vacation, i've not cooked the red cabbage at home. i don't really know what to do with it ;p

after trying the sour red cabbage in prague, i went to search for a recipe and experimented this week with the red cabbage.

Now, it's ranked quite high on my "like" foods ;p


Saturday, August 06, 2011

We Went BlueBerry Picking!

Berry picking in netherlands is something that i've wanted to experience but never got to doing it till this summer.

We set out quite early this morning (10+am) to a blueberry farm (Van Grotel Blauwe Bessencultuur) nearby our place

When we left home, the weather was quite cool abt 17 degrees i think so it's really perfect for such an activity. after a while, started to feel a lil' warm. think it wouldn't be that enjoyable if it was too hot ;p
kaira really enjoyed herself and was focused on picking the big berries :)

we picked abt 350g of blueberries after about 45 minutes. the cost? 1+euro only!!! we must return to pick more blueberries :)) they had other blueberry products as well -- jam, beer, sorbet, juice etc. Bought a bottle of blueberry juice to try.

Next, i hope we will have the chance to do some strawberry picking. hope the weather the next 2 weeks will be good!! I love this kind of summer activities. Will definitely miss them when we go back to Singapore.

Kermis - Park Hilaria

The kermis is here once again and since the weather is dry today, we decided to head there this evening.

guess it's more fun for her, than it is for us.... since i don't really fancy those rides and i think neither does hubbie.

the highlight of the day for her was the cotton candy. her first experience with it. (i haven't had it in a long while.....and boy was it sweeeeeeet!)

she's never tasted it before but she was VERY CONFIDENT that it's gonna be tasty and was super excited by it.
she tried some new rides this year and she was initially very excited about this car ride:
then, when it started, it went up a slope and i think she got a bit of a surprised and was quite apprehensive. can see from her face ;p but after a while, she was ok. although before the ride ended, she was shouting to us, wanting us to stop the car ;p LOL.

the pony ride, she liked very much as she has done it before:

can u see her "crying face"?? she initially got on the car very excitedly but when she started steering it, i think she couldn't control it very well and ended up knocking into the railings. she wailed. not sure if she's scared, worried or what. heehee. so after that, papa had to get on the car and helped her manoeuvre it.
here are some other shots at the kermis :


guess we will visit it again if there's good weather..... since there's nothing much to do in the evening here anyway ;p

Friday, August 05, 2011

my boundaries limit her......

something that i am becoming more aware these days (it probably started when kaira was 1 year old, there abouts, i cannot remember exactly when) is my reaction to stuff around and how they have such great influence on kaira.

take for example the other day in the garden. while clearing the weeds i saw a big fat squiggly (slimy and wriggly....heeeeheee) earthworm. eeeeeks. i absolutely dislike anything slimy and wriggly and let out a "scream". ;p kaira's immediately reaction "eeee, i don't like this worm" and she showed me her "scared" expression ;p she's never seen an earthworm close up and my reaction has tinted her world.

i tried to salvage the situation lah .... since i was wearing gloves, i was "brave" enough to touch it and tried to show her more of the worm.... i think there was some damage control.... but not fully ;p

this is a small thing really. anyways, at her age, what "big things" are there? it's the small things that counts. but it was a REMINDER to me.

That i should not limit her perceptions/abilities by my own boundaries and lack of knowledge.

of course, as parents we have the advantage of experience and we should put that to best use -- in general terms that is. i'd like to remind myself that "one man's meat is another man's poison". i can share all my experience and knowledge with my daughter, but i need to remind myself that as she grows, she's likely to see things from a perspective different from mine. and i am writing this now so that i can remind myself in future.......... cos i don't want to be disconnected from her world simply because i hang on so tightly to mine.

don't know how on earth an earthworm can cause me to have the above thoughts! ;p haha, but i think it's easier now to set my thinking clear and know where i stand when she's still young then when she's a young woman trying to establish her identity ;p

well, i shall stop here and revert my attention to the markets. a sea of RED. 5 Aug 2011, is that a turning point for markets?

Thursday, August 04, 2011

My first experience in a Safari Park -- Safari Park Beekse Bergen @ Tilburg, NL

I don't know who's more thrilled today -- me or my daughter?? ;p

but we spent a wonderful day @ the safari park, about 30 minutes drive from our place, having close encounters of the wild kind! the weather was also kind ... it was quite cool , not too sunny and even though it rained, it did only towards to the end of the day and was a slight drizzle that didn't affect our plans much :)

we could explore the park in 4 ways :
- by car
- by foot
- by bus and
- by boat.

when we reached, we decided to explore the park by car first. quite an experience being so close to antelopes, deers, zebras, cheetahs, giraffes etc. My favorite is the giraffe!!

they weren't afraid to come by the cars and started licking the car roofs, windows etc....so cute!!

taken from our car:


this photo was taken when we were taking the bus at the end of the day when it also started drizzle... which was why the giraffe was licking the bus roof and windows -- they were having a drink!)
when we took the bus tour, we had the chance to touch and feel a real antler -- kaira was thrilled, she wanted to put it on her head ;p they are so heavy!!
the cheetahs also got quite close to us when we were driving the elephants and baboons made kaira very happy too :

it was an enjoyable trip! am glad that we are able to make this trip before we return to sg! one more item on our "to do" list accomplished :)