Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Things I miss

I miss the deep blue sea...

I miss the clean, fresh air of the high altitude...

I miss sweating it out and donning on my trek or exercise gears...

I miss eating spicy/chili dishes...

I miss the sun, sand and sea...

I miss my tiny clothes...

Oh... How I miss all these. Counting down to resuming life before pregnancy... If I could.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Baby Bump

My baby bump is finally showing.

I am getting seats on the train... Thanks to kind hearted folks. On and off, people do pretend to be asleep. Either that or I am quite good at concealing the bump.

Anyway, some friends already noticed on photos.

I do miss my XS figure and all those tiny, pretty clothes I used to wear... my activities like dancing, running, diving and hot yoga... and the ability to eat a lot of food (my appetite shrunk and I can't eat certain food at all)... and, I do miss looking slim and thin on photos... But oh well, this is parts and parcel of being pregnant. I have already proudly embraced this privilege to put on weight. It IS my entitlement.

So, yes, I do proudly try to push out my tummy more on the train for a seat. I shamelessly tell restaurant folks I am preggy and need my food "now". Haha.

Ok. I sound like I am abusing my pregnancy. But hey! Might as well make the fullest use of this moment, right? *batting eyelids*

Oh yes. I am happier to show off my tummy and look fat.

Here are a couple of photos I realised my bumps are really obvious.

Kick Kick Kick

From those faint bubble bursts to hard kicks, I am finally recognising them as my mini's kicks.

This morning, he gave me a hard nudge to wake up for work. And kicked harder when I decided to laze around in bed longer. That feeling was quite awesome and amazing. Like, how is it possible that something so tiny could have such a strong nudge? How is it possible that something so tiny is growing inside me?

Anyway, yes... Few posts ago, I said that there are life changing events and I wasn't ready to share. Now I am. I am having a baby. And it's a boy. An active one... Like his parents.

We were initially suprised and a little unprepared but now, we have both adapted well and looking forward to his arrival. Baby has also moulded into this father-to-be figure very well. I am so proud of him.

I imagine all the things I could do with my boy - diving, climb mountains (daddy said he has retired from this), running and all the amazing "rough it out" sports.

We are like proud parents-to-be now. Our lifestyles are changing for him to be a part of our lives. Counting down... (although, I am afraid of the delivery...). :)

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

What I learnt from Mum's incident...

If there is anything I learnt from my mum's incident, I learnt the importance of insurance.

1. Hospitalisation & Surgery bills can be really hefty. Good to have.
2. An insurance that covers the possibility of loss of ability to work and long-term medical treatments.

I used to want more money so I started with endowment plans. If I could turn back time, I would go straight for an insurance that can cover ill health.

Imagine all you ever wanted is to have a lot of money in your bank. But after saving up hundreds of thousands, for some reason, you become ill health. Then you have to be hospitalised, go through surgery and after that, get a lower paid job, or worse, cannot work. Your income comes to a standstill, yet you have to continue paying to survive.

I think even a mountain of gold will be wiped out in no time. And this is very true after speaking to other patients.

So, I urge those people who are currently young and healthy to think carefully about the long-term future. We will one day grow old and die. Given the kind of lifestyle we lead now - rich food & drink, sedentary lifestyle, stressful work life, late nights and exposure to pollutants, radiation and harmful chemicals in the air, we never know when we would be attacked.

It is always best to prevent. It is also very good to encourage family members to do something for themselves.

Watch yourself, get yourself properly covered and have a lifestyle that loves your body and health. Think of your future generation by being responsible now.

My bestie is a Financial Advisor and Insurance Agent. I have entrusted her to take care of these. So, I know I can rest my mind. I am thankful for an angel like her.

I am also thankful my hubs took responsibility and get himself covered.

Turn of Events

The last few weeks had been an emotional roller coaster ride for me.

One moment, we were happily preparing for my brother's wedding in December... And I was celebrating the joy of the marriages of Kelvin and Steph and Ling and Bird... Celebrating knowing our baby is a boy... Anticipating our Taiwan trip... the next moment, I almost lost my mother to the devil of death.

How is it possible that life's turn of events could happen within such short moments of joy and sadness? But it was. And life is very fragile.

I think we should never take life for granted and we should always love ourselves. My mum's refusal to face her health problems was the reason she reached the extent of almost losing her life.

When the doctor told us that there was a 50% chance of survival from her surgery, the whole family was in tears. We braced for good news throughout the whole period when the surgery was going on. I always thought I would only experienced that in the movies or drama serial. But, we were in real life, prancing up and down the corridor outside the operating theatre, rushing to whichever doctor who came out to find out about her situation or progress of surgery.

It was the worst wait in my life, ever. Every time I closed my eyes and opened them, it was only 2 minutes that had past. When we finally saw the doctor who told us the operation was successful, we were so relieved.

Naturally, the days that followed were not easy. It was a lot of attention on her to encourage her and help her get well. Mummy has always been more on the timid and pessimistic side. So, being by her during the first critical week was significant.

Now that we are in the second week, it is becoming more eminent to keep her spirits and emotions up. She is expected to stay in for another month or so, and go through one more operation. So, in order for her to sustain the stamina to stay positive, we have to keep encouraging her and keep her happy.

It is not easy. And it pains us to see her suffer - all those needles, tubes, drips, blood withdrawal, medicines, nausea... But we have to stay strong. In fact, we have to be stronger than ever so that she can inherit those positive vibes from us and stay strong herself.

I pray and keep faith that she will recover sooner. That she will surprise the doctors and get well faster than they expected. Of course, help her with baby steps without pressurising her.

For all the prayers dear friends and family you have given her and my family, big thanks...

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Launch: The Classics, 8pm

Finally! I am back in action. Been so busy that I had to leave most of the work to poor C, who was also very busy. She was busy with work, flying around, and chasing after idol. ;p

We are launching a range of classics this time after the casual range the last launch. The clothes have been handpicked and C personally selected the items when she was overseas. Thanks to all the hard work she put in while I was recovering from some changes in my life.

So, here are some sneak previews. Join us tonight at http://www.lamodashoppe.blogpsot.com/.

This is a really sweet dress. 

A personal favourite! I love how the back opens up slightly with a cape.

Absolutely love this Chanel inspired rendition.
Slightly different from the last one we had.

Love this shot - max!

I think W looks really lovely this in Smarty Dress. Great for work!
Comes in black, which I own.

C creatively puts together previews for all launches.
Always surprises me pleasantly.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Finally... Another Post

Oops... It's been a while - many months to be exact since I last posted. Well... Let's just say that there has been a lot of changes in my life! I'll share more when the time is right.

I picked up baking and had successfully baked Chicago Cheese Cake. I also made Apple Strudel, which was quite a failure. The puff pastry was completely flat!

Anyway, sharing something very meaningful here.

Our Lord Protects!

Monday, 27 June 2011

How Time Flies

Wow! I must say, time really flies!

Firstly, I am grateful that I am settling into my new job really well. Thank God for really nice people around me. And thank God for blessing me and showing me favour. I don't think in my human capacity would I be able to be doing well in my second month! :)

Anyway, I just celebrated my birthday about a week ago. It was such a bash.

My birthday started with my brother throwing me a birthday celebration at Timbre - good food, good times and good alcohol. Then, my lovely friends at Friends of Children decided to surprise me at our meeting. It was so sweet of them. I shall add these photos soon.

The eve of my birthday was such an exciting one. My colleagues and I went to beerfest. But my beloved girls turned up at beerfest with a cake and a generous present. I was so shocked that it took me moments to realise who they were. After that, we were drinking ourselves silly. It was certainly fun-filled. As always, with them around... It's always fun.

The next day, sweet colleagues celebrated my birthday in the office and EG, Jeff and Jun gave me sweet presents - sweet surprise.

The finale came when I met Baby at Ricciotti and he told me after much suspense, witnessed by brother Ray and Dearie Suz at 1.30pm that he was taking me away - diving on White Manta! How awesome!!!

So, we went home and packed - with most of the things already prepared by him. We then headed to our 3D2N all wreck dive.

Ok, it wasn't really all wreck since the weather was really quite a wreck at Seven Skies Wreck. To begin with, our boat was rocking port-starboard constantly, with plates and cups sliding all around the tables and us, holding on to the sides. After that, the dive guides went down to try to tie ropes for us. But, the ropes snapped twice. After two failed attempts and about 1.5hr wait later, we decided to ditch the dive and moved on to more shelter dive sites - Pulau Darma and Pinnacle. We did three dives here in very calm water (under) including an evening dive. The highlights? VERY VERY VERY beautiful corals - soft, hard, fan... It's like a "stroll in a garden". Lovely!

We set off to Igara Wreck and reached there happy to know we were able to dive the wreck. The only thing was, the under current was pretty strong. It was - especially during our descent via the rope. It was such a tiring descent that I was panting really hard and completely conscious of my air usage. By the time we hit 30mins, baby was signalling to me that he was low on air at 50psi. But I didn't understand him at all. After three attempts, he decided to show me his gauge and insisted on ascension.

So, we did after some miscommunication underwater. And, we missed our safety stop as he was too buoyant. Nevertheless, we did our next dive - thank God we were all right. And the next Igara dive was so much better. It was calmer and we managed to see a lot. The wreck was huge! We swam through cracks, saw huge trevallies and etc. It was amazing.

Overall, I would say that the dive was good though challenging. I would love to dive Igara again! This time, with my own camera.

Some shots for viewing.

Saturday, 30 April 2011

I like this

Once, there are 2 employees. A did all the work n B only KPKB all time, pointing flaws. The boss got so impressed with B 's ability to identify flaws n decide to give B the job instead n send A off. B was so used to express his views but so...on realized he had never did any real work b4 all this while. True enough, his voice is heard, but too bad for the boss, his words is louder than his action.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

My Cry

I want our government to consider and implement green projects more seriously. The society of the world need to be active in saving the earth.

We need to save the earth. Need to save our environment.

Even if costs of housing are brought down or taxes reduced, if we cannot save our earth, it will perish. Even if they take away ERPs or reduce the prices, it will only aggravate the situation we are facing.

Those cost-savings may not even benefit our future generation. They may very well become dinosaurs of the next millenium when an overhaul occurs.

This, is one of my cries to the elected party.

Green. Green. Green.

How does it feel?

How does it feel I am 1.5 days away from bidding farewell to the company I work in for almost four years?

Relaxed, happy and excited. Savouring every enjoyable moment I can and leaving with the best last memories.

Would I be sad?

I would be of course! It's a silly question to ask. But, the intensity of this feeling is already diluted because I was so sad when I resigned, I almost cried. Right now, I am adapted to the idea of my departure. I am a little immuned to the fact that I am leaving.

This place has left me a lot of memories - mostly pleasant.

From the first time I joined and had such wonderful contributions to the company... to the take over and transitions... to having so many good friends at work... to wonderful work environment and bosses... to the parties we had... those drunk moments... those travels... those laughters... joy... sadness and farewells... Of course, those challenging moments... struggles... fears...

This place has imprinted a lot of wonderful memories. It has also seen me through my relationship and marriage. This is where I have grown up. It has made me stronger and better.

How could I not be sad?

I feel like I am bidding a really good relationship goodbye. If not because of better opportunity, personal development and desire to have my dream come true... I would hate to say "I think we don't complement each other. We have characters differences now."

I only wish that I will not cry (my tear ducts are very weak) on my last day tomorrow. So long. Farewell! I will bring along all these sweet, happy memories to my new challenge.

You will always have a place in my heart.

Letting go...

Disclaimer: This post reflects personal opinons and not a representation of the general audience. Any reference may not be supported by facts and could be purely assumptions. This is afterall my free space to express.
No... I am not telling you who I am voting for. This shall be a tough decision. I am certainly not a blind follower and I have eyes and mind to see, and a heart to listen.

The parties for my constituency are presenting facts and great solutions for my country. But at the end of the day, I must remember, whoever I choose, the party will be responsible for my neighbourhood. Or of now, my parents' neighbourhood - I have not changed my address. And I need to think about what I would hope for this neighbourhood to be for the next 5 years. What can the party bring to the table for this neighbourhood?

I need to remember that the party may or may not have a strong hold in the parliament. And the big plans for the country do not equate to what they could do for my parents in the future. Yet, I am in favour some of the big plans.

My only hope is, whichever party selected, they would listen to the cries of the citizens and consider the proposals put across by the different parties and improve them. Or else, they may not have the next 5 years. They must know that the people want to be heard. They want actions to be taken. From the flood of thoughts, it is obvious that the nation is maturing.

Being educated, affluent and exposed, they know their rights and desires. I also hope that the elected party will not disappoint. They must remember, the people who elected them, are the people who will be responsible for their choice. If the results disappoint, they will learn. They will correct.

This should be the way people will grow. Democracy can lead to a mature society when people know what they do affect their lives and future. When they have a direct impact of their decision, they will learn and grow.

People cannot be spoon fed and hand held anymore. The higher authorities do not need to worry about us like children. They should keep faith and have confidence in the choice of the people. Afterall, the next election is in 5 years. What's suffering for 5 years if a mistake happens?

So what if at the end of the day, a mistake is made? People complain but they know what to do when the next election comes.

It is good to fail sometimes. To fall sometimes. To learn. This is life. This is experience.

The Power...

Disclaimer: This post reflects personal opinons and not a representation of the general audience. Any reference may not be supported by facts and could be purely assumptions. This is afterall my free space to express.
Of the internet and social media for politics.

We have seen in GE 2011 that those who know how to use the social media reaching out to netizens, have high influences and discussability space.

Information spread like wildfire within a matter of a few hours (even minutes), reaching far and wide, even to citizens residing outside of the country. Their opinons are also heard from miles far away from home.

I have to say, I have never been personally very involved in the politics of our nation (maybe one point in time, at the age younger than Nicole Seah). Partly because our leading party has been doing a good job, keeping the country economically and politically stable. So, I can sleep at night and focus my energy on other matters in life. Because they keep the country safe, so I am not afraid of being shot at night. At least, these occurences are few and far.

My worries revolve around whether my children will become strawberries or maybe even grapes. This seems largely a society issue, less of the governmental issue. There are countries that are thriving and yet the society do not indulge in materialism. Yet their children grow up strong, independent, responsible and sensible. This is, another topic to discuss regarding the society, which is also at the heart of the Asian culture. I shall bring this to another post, one day.

I have also thought that our people are apathetic but yet are vocal about their thoughts (compliants). Yet throughout this election, we have seen comments, feedbacks, opinions and supports for the opposing parties dominating social media and the net. This proved that they aren't just a bunch of apathetic complian kings/queens as perceived. They want to be heard and actions to be taken. They don't want to be patronised anymore.

It has been melodramatic over the world wide web and iphone applicaiton and I watched, read and studied in amusement. It has been politically entertaining.

While the mainstream media tend to lean on one side of the news, (although trying to take a neutral standpoint), the social media and net provide an alternative, uncontrolled avenue for people to air their views and at the same time, a space to influence one another's perspectives.

I am awed not so much by the drama and some dirty tactics (politics is a dirty game anyway - not my cuppa), but by the rate and speed, and power of the net and the social media.

Who needs complete freedom of the media when the net is such an excellent alternative?

Freeing the media will probably make being a reporter more interesting than before. If that's the case, could I consider joining the media and fulfill my childhood dream of becoming a reporter? How does covering a story like the Watergate Scandal sound to the politicians who said we should free the media?

Salute the creation of the WWW and the social media.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Oh! What a Glorious Day!

Caption: View from my desk - Our busy PSA port and beautiful sunny day

It is such a glorious day today!

Here I am sitting at my desk, savouring the last few weeks of wonferful scenary I have from my desk before I leave this place.

It's only recently then I really enjoy the view next to me. I realised that our port is really busy. It's filled with containers, cargos and many ships. On top of that, they seem to be reclaiming a part of the island. Evolving landscape...

Staring at the azure sea, clear baby blue sky and white, fluffy clouds, an image appeared in my mind: Me in bikini, sun hat and shades, lounging on a sun deck, sipping cocktail and soaking in a healthy tan. Staring at the endless horizon of the earth, where the sky meets the edge of the sea. Listening to the serenity of nothing but waves gently hitting the coastline. Hmmm... This is life.

So, I decided, I must go to the beach again. My body yearns to go beneath that waves-lapping surface, to visit the colour, marine world I love.

If, I don't get radiated. :)

Anyway, I sure know how to enjoy life. A few days ago, Suz and I randomly decided to go for Martini Hour at Morton's Bar. It was such an impromptu decision. And we had so much fun just sipping martinis and enjoying free steak sandwich.

I am so glad that I still have friends who could do happy hours together with. We agreed that we should not stop this. Let's hope it continues through our older age!

Here are some images.

Dearie with her Lychee Martini

Me with Lychee Martini

Chocolate Martini

Steak Sandwich - don't ask what the red "stain" was

They were so generous and kept serving us the steak sandwiches - when I already had in my hand.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

My Creation: Cordon Bleu Chicken

I wanted to use up my Mozarella but wanted to make something that would make me feel less guilty - doesn't mean healthier. So, I decided to buy chicken breast meat and make Cordon Bleu chicken.

Not my first time making this. But, first time using Julie Wheat Crackers as the breadcrumbs because Shop & Save ran out of ready made breadcrumbs.

It was tasty nevertheless. In fact, tastier with the crackers. Yumz! Baby thoroughly enjoyed chicken breast meat, which he doesn't usually like and admitted it didn't taste so bad afterall. Of course! Efforts put in to make sure the breast meat would turn out juicy and tender.

I looked so focus on eating.

Highly Rated Tonkatsu

Tonkichi is renowned for serving very good Tonkatsu (pork cutlet).

Friends, including those who lived in Japan before raved about the tonkatsu at this restaurant. So, when we were shopping at Isetan, curiosity got the better of me. We were debating whether or not to try since, there could be "radiation" in the meat. But, who cares. If AVA allowed, we should be safe. That shows how serious I am about my food.

Anyway, I won't say that the prices were cheap for just fried pork cutlet. Furthermore, Baby and I decided to try the #1 USA Black Pork, which cost more than S$30 for just a fried pork cutlet and, ok, rice, miso soup and three pieces of watermelon. But since we were there, Baby decided we might as well just try the "best".

I have to say, the menu was quite informative, with visual aids to help customers differentiate between different types of cutlets. For instance, Rosu and Hire, and so on.

So, below are some photos and my opinions.

This part was fun. We were given some sesame seeds mixture to grind for our Tonkatsu.

Smelled really aromatic too

My turn to have some fun with the grinding

Added some Tonkatsu sauce after the sesame mixture became finer

Some braised pork to fill us a bit. We were feeling ravenous. And my... They were very delicious. Almost melted in our mouth and did not taste "fat" at all.

The Tonkotsu ramen soup was tasty. But the pieces of meat were shredded. Very unlike the usual Tonkotsu ramen I had before. Not sure if this is the traditional way of the ramen.

Finally! The Tonkatsu (Black Pork)! The breaded batter on the outside was crispy and light, the inside was tender and juicy. Was quite worth the price because, the pork cutlet was sizably big. And there was free flow rice and cabbage too.

Commoner French Cuisine

"What do Singaporeans like to do?"

This is one question that many of my foreigner friends ask me. And I always say "Eat!". Which is true, since there is really nothing very much to do except eating and socialising. With no lack of good food places to visit, cheap or luxurious, this is one of Singaporeans' favourite activities. And, it is conveniently tied to a human basic need.

So, I am yet again blogging about food, which so happened to be one of my favourite things to do - cooking and eating.

Baby and I went to The French Stall (Serangoon) last Friday. This was not the first time we have been there. Whenever we crave for good French food at a decent price, we like going there.

Aside from the slow service (hard to get someone to attend to you) and feeling really hot (as this place was really a coffeeshop setting), The French Stall is great. With French music and some French street decoration, it is a great place for lingering - if you can take the humidity and heat.

I'll be bringing my friends from France there to hear their opinions on the food. Update after we go!

Traditional French Onion Soup

Carrot Soup (soup of the day) - looks like Baby was enjoying

Duck Confit - so many times nicer than the last one I had at Stellar. Very tender and tasty. On top of that, there was a piece of duck liver.

Baby's Sirloin Steak - which was so-so

Bordeux Decaffe

Goes well with our red meats

Decaffe was better than buying a bottle since there were only two of us

Tiramisu - nothing to rave about
Chocolate Cake

Giant Profiterole - with ice-cream instead of cream. The puffs were a bit tougher than the small ones we usually eat at other restaurants. Drenched in chocolate fudge...

You can see the size here. Huge.