Saturday, September 17, 2016

an unexpected conversation over lunch with my ex-coll blew the dust off an almost forgotten dream of solo travelling. can I do it? will I do it? is responsibility just an excuse for my lack of courage? ok, seed of intent is planted anyway. waiting for the day for it to blossom into a sturdy tree of actions!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

3D2N @ the Canopi

the ng family first getaway for the year - to the canopi! i first learnt about this new resort in bintan from a travel mag late last year and it sprang to mind again early this year when i was trying to plan a bday weekend for the younger boy. so without further ado, i booked 2 nights for this weekend and it shall be a short getaway for the bday celebrations for both the hubbi and YR. :D

we took leave on fri and fetched both boys straight from their schools. a quick change of clothes back at home and its off to tanah merah ferry terminal to head to bintan! the ferry reached bintan in a jiffy around 2pm and it was a good thing the resort is located like 5mins drive from the terminal! our package included express immigration and shuttle service so we arrived at the resort in less than half an hour time!

this view greeted us at the lobby when we alighted from the shuttle bus! sweet!

the canopi sported a concept that merge camping with luxury - glamping! so we stayed at a tent which is fully furnished! :P there's a man-made lagoon in front of our tent with treated/filtered seawater to give us the crystal clear water to swim in and a variety of land/water activities to choose from around it! the place aint big with ~ 40 tents in all but enough activities to keep us occupied and happy for these 2 days!

inside + outside of our tent

we wasted no time to change into our swimming gear to do some water sports/play for the rest of the afternoon when the weather was good. i tried stand-up paddling - something that i wanted to try for sometime and surprisingly it was more manageable than i thought though pretty tiring! the husband and boys did the water tricycle as i huffed and puffed near them on the paddle..
and of cos, after that, it's water playtime for the boys while i lounged around on the sun chair... :P

good activities for our first afternoon there!

dinner was in house at their bora bora beach bar which serves one of the better pizzas we have ever eaten. yum! we K.O. pretty early for bintan time since it's 1 hour behind us but expected given the boys had a long day with school and all the physical activities for the day.

the next day, we woke up bright and early and after breakfast, we had a try at the segway (for hubbi & me) and mini electric ATVs (for the boys)! it was pretty fun and it's a first for me on segway too! impressive to see and feel the auto-stabilizer function in action though for a brief min, i was unsure how to get off it as it seems to be constantly in need to be in action!

after the brief ride, the boys hit the water again while i lazed around with a magazine! bliss!

fun morning on the 2nd day!

after a bath, we took the shuttle bus to explore the lagoi mall nearby which was a huge disappointment...more than half of the shops aint open yet and there was really nothing much to do there. the good thing was we managed to find a decent enough restaurant to settle our lunch and i managed to do a massage while the husband and boys were very nice to wait around for me.

we headed back to the canopi and spent the rest of the afternoon... in water of cos! hehe.
after showering, it was rather peaceful and zen to laze outside of our tent watching the sunset and talking nonsense with the boys.
and before long, it's dinner time at the same bora bora beach bar (yes, the only not-so-great thing about here is there's only 1 eating option in house) but luckily we love the pizzas...

lovely sunset

we were blessed with good weather throughout and the only heavy downpour happened on our 2nd night in the wee morning. today, we woke up late, lazed in bed, went for late breakfast and before long, it's time to checkout and head back to SG!
what a great short getaway! we should do this more often! where's next for us?! i cant wait to plan! hehehe.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

busy week

this week has been pretty busy for me both at work and after. 

transition month is never good and I'm feeling the stretch. holding on to current portfolio and ensuring a smooth half-year closing/reporting + trying to learn the ropes (and multiple ones too!) of my new role all at the same time. still, i'm optimistic. while I don't know what I don't know still, I'm trying my best to plan around as best as I can. trying very hard to live the steven covey's habits. currently, the 2 most relevant ones are having the end in mind and sharpening the saw! budget is round the corner and knowing exactly what's the right thing to do is essential and I'm guiding my behavior and actions around this habit at work now. off work, healthy living + eating remains a continual focus. trying my best to eat well, rest well and exercising adequately, I hope to keep my mind and body strong to take on life. :D
what's lacking is meditation - I'm not sure if I'm in that space yet without lapsing into laughter. i can definitely start with reflection time-out. need to start allocating time for that!

did dinner with ex-deloitte colls on mon and it was nice having girly talk with gerry + GS. after dinner was shopping time and i ended up buying a pair of le pommier - cute hand-made shoes. it seems super comfy. cant wait to wear it!
dinner with suling on tues and she's looking good for someone in 3rd tri! and then, i joined a drink session after work today for a short while for a great coll who is retiring from the company after 30+ years! wow, i wonder which company and role i will be in when i retire next time. learnt a great quote that retirement means you stop living the working and start working the living! i need a great retirement plan to keep me occupied and fulfilled after i stop working for sure!

and finally tomorrow, the ng family is heading to our short getaway! sorta like a mini bday celebration for both the husband and the younger boy whose birthdays are only 1.5 weeks apart!
cant wait for it! it will be my treat to them and i hope and think it will be a great one for all if us!

Thursday, January 07, 2016

happy burpday to my love!

and so, the husband turned x9 today! and once again, he's 5 years older than me! *teehee*
one of the perks of him changing job last month is he's working much nearer to me now and we can finally resume weekday dining near town again! so for his birthday today, we headed out for a proper dinner without the kids, :P, after work!
I brought him to 31 bar & kitchen @ keong saik street and the food were really good! hubbi had lamb shank and he concluded it's one of the best he has ever eaten. I'm glad for it's hard to please this man's taste buds which doesn't follow the usual rules..
my fish was equally good and I wouldn't mind a revisit next time!

lovely evening just chatting with the husband with good food and wine. though in less than 2 hours time, it's back to reality with us making our way to fetch the boys from gramps place. LOL.
now that the boys are bigger, I'm looking forward to spending more quality time with my "first" love! *puke*

foie gras appetizer is always good. the tiramisu is really fluffy and smooth though I would prefer one which rum is stronger 

Monday, January 04, 2016

1st day of school for the boys

in a flash, school holidays were over and the boys started their new school term today! P3 for the elder boy and K2 for the younger one. cant believe that YR will be starting P1 next year! there goes my 6 days childcare leave. :P

YZ will be in a new class this year - I hope he will continue to find learning a joy and make good friends along the way. for YR, there will be homework and spellings for him this year. *teehee* no more relaxing and playing while his elder brother is working hard!

today was a little hectic for the mummy for YR school was only an hour long to cater to the new nursery kiddos attending school for the first time. so I have to wait for him at school and ferry him back to gramps before heading to work. and during lunch time, I had to dash to YZ's school to settle the logistics arrangement with the school bus driver before another mad dash back to work. :(

oh well, glad all is settled now and they are ready to start the new school year! and the ng family is really to settle back to school routine (waking up by 630AM and sleeping by 9PM - kiddos/1130PM - adults)! in line with healthy living so why not!

Saturday, January 02, 2016

birthday staycation - oasia @ novena + a peaceful, relaxing new year day!

on the last day of the year, aka my day, we were heading out for the last staycation for the year! after settling the last work email and some tasks and more, i headed out to meet the husband at fairmount hotel! it's my birthday lunch at mikuni. :)

thanks to WL's recommendation, we discovered this nice jap restaurant. while hubbi wasnt too impressed with his king prawn lunch set, my premium bento lunch set was slurping-ly good! the tempura, grilled cod, unagi and yellowtail sashimi were the highlights! *yum*
i wouldnt mind coming here again to try the other stuff on its menu!

after the sumptuous lunch, we went to pick up the younger boy to check in our staycation for the night. YZ was supposed to come along but he was still recovering from his cough hence he checked into hotel gramps instead..

the husband didnt want town location and we are staying the east area already so there wasnt really much choices left. in the end, i booked oasia given it's pretty new and we seldom explore the novena area. to be honest, it is quite a boring area but good enough for an evening and we were nua-ing in the room most of the time. :P

@ oasia!

we only made our way out to explore novena/united sq after 6 in search of dinner and some exploring. united sq is surprisingly a nice place to roam around - alot of kids stuff.
we let the younger boy explored toys r us to his heart contents (whose birthday was it exactly?) and we bought a monopoly set to play as a family with the elder boy on new year day! it's one of my fav. childhood game! 
and we had dinner at.... MAC! LOL. both hubbi and i were still feeling too full from our super filling late lunch so we let YR chose and that's where we ended up at. i had prosperity fries for dinner - very sinful and very satisfying. HEHE.

@ united sq

the hotel surprised us with a lovely cupcake at night and that was a timely supper! YR and hubbi sang a bday song for me - simple gesture like this makes all the difference in the world. :)
the younger boy also penned me a birthday note the next morning that brings a smile to my face everytime i read it. im indeed blessed.

right: note from YR

we started the morning early by having a healthy breakfast (only for me - granola yogurt with chia seed , the husband got himself lemon tart + gula melaka pandan cake!) @ joe & dough. i really hope to start and maintain 2016 with healthy eating and living.

@ joe & dough

we checked out around noon and had lunch @ the in-house marmalade pantry. baked snapper for me and beef burger for the hubbi. 

@ marmalade pantry

we left and picked up YZ from my mum's place and rest of afternoon was spent lazing at home. all of us took a nap from 3 to 430PM - so shiok and been a while the whole family nap together. haha.
i went for a quick 30mins jog after that and we headed out for a simple dinner + grocery shopping nearby. in the evening, we played monopoly as a family for ~ 1.5hrs and guess who's the winner for the night? YR! it was old good fashion fun and we cant wait to play again this weekend! :)

most probably will be a quiet weekend for us before the hectic school term (for the boys) and year-end closing (for me) start again next week. i shall indulge in my fav. activity for the moment - reading. :)

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

recap of 2015 - a great one no less!

as with tradition, recap of 2015:-

jan - YZ advanced to P2 and YR started his K1 journey with the same old church kindy as gor gor. YR transited to the new school better than i thought which is awesome. the husband turned 38 (!!) and i brought him to try italian food at etna for his bday. YR turned 5YO too and we spent a lovely evening at night safari as per his birthday wish! an extremely short 2D1N trip with colls to batam - montigo resorts is crazy big and i dont think i will want to come here with the boys! went for an internal interview for a team lead role - was feeling apprehensive but i knew i did my best then and will be at peace with whatever the outcome may be.

feb - watched the Dream of the red chamber play with hubbi and while some parts were lost on us, the title song is really good. celebrated 13 years anniversary with hubbi!! had the most delicious dinner @ restaurant ember. started my new role as team lead - a journey (on hindsight as i look back now) in which i grow a lot and forces me to step out of my comfort zone countless times.

mar: the ng family went to HK with my mum + in laws! the highlights was staying @ langham place - good location and 5-star amenities but such a group combi is a bit..... i dont think i want to attempt such a trip so soon again. :P bought tons of lego back from HK! :D
got myself the very versatile and functional tube WOC from fendi too. and it was a sad month too when LKY passed on and (almost) the whole SG mourned for him. i went to pay my respects at the parliament house too.

apr: share matching for my company shares so i enjoyed a modest neat slice of profits when i sold those shares. :) bought a classic pair of CD earrings - goes extremely well with formal outfits!

may: Dividends month - handsome sum of dividends from all my shares even when the share prices plummeted. @_@ with the help of the extra windfall, i got the cartier love necklace that i've been eyeing for some time! and thrown in with the indulgence was a matching CD bracelet (to the pair of earrings bought last month)! the husband wasnt too impressed. :P

jun: family trip to BKK during school holidays - siam kempinski hotel is a comfortable stay and strategically located next to siam paragon! nice! the boys enjoyed kidszania lots! it's sad that BKK has to suffer the bombing incident later in the year. everywhere is getting unsafe nowadays.

july: quiet month - attended big bang concert though. :P

aug: sammi's concert and it's good to hear her singing live after so long - very nostalgic! ng family did a SG50 staycation @ shangri-la too. breakfast at the line was great though the hotel room has seen better days..

sept: 9 years wedding anni with the husband! and we did a st regis staycation with lightbulb YR in tow! tsk tsk. and it's staycation month - we tried lloyd's inn during sept school holidays. the location is alright but i wasnt too impressed with the size and not-so-great sound proofing of the room.

oct: YZ's 8YO bday! we brought him to science centre per his preference to catch an omni-max theatre show. and he started wearing specs.... same as mummy. why cant he has perfect eyesight like papa? went to USS halloween night for the 1st time with friends and it has been a long while since i took any rides! im more scared of the rides than those actors/resses wandering around! but the whole set up was really good and it did get more than a few screams from me! 
went for annual health check-up and received a good report card with the exception of higher body fats %. i really need to get back into some form of routine exercising soon!

nov: paris bombing, change of plans and in the end, we were off to central japan for a good 10D9N!
it was lovely to revisit kyoto, takayama with the boys and hubbi. we enjoyed the whole trip a lot even though the boys were making me lose my temper like n times everyday! LOL. 

dec: it's confirmed at work that i will be getting a new and bigger portfolio in the new year. i've accepted it apprehensively (again!) but at the same time, im looking forward to the challenges (which i view as opportunities for now..) too! come what may! if we take the step to make a deliberate and conscious choice, we can only grow and be better after each experience. *positivity galore*
and of cos, im turing 1 year older to ..... 34!! gosh. to cheer myself up, we will be heading for a staycation (yes, 4th one this year!) @ oasia hotel tomorrow! only YR will be joining since YZ is down with cough so he's checking into hotel gramps again. and since it's birthday PLUS year-end sales month, i have been buying lots of stuff after japan trip. :P all this while, my shareholdings continue to shrink given the really bad market outlook. *sniff* i need to start giving some tender loving care back to my bank accounts i guess. 

all in all, a great and lovely year for me! im extremely grateful and feel super blessed to have my loved ones with me, staying happy and healthy together. i look forward to an equally great, if not better, 2016 with my family + friends!