Sunday, April 20, 2014

its been some time....

but i'll always be back no doubt.
to reading, that is.
 
sometimes, new authors can be hits or misses.
the satisfaction of being well-rewarded after investing time and energy into a new hand is a great feeling to have.
and there are cases where you just feel like a deflated balloon after turning the last page, unsure what to do with this book in your hand.
for you have no way to dispose of it - even recommending to your friend is not an easy task without feeling that twinge of guilt.
 
for this weekend, I chose the safe route.
sinking into words from authors whose works I've loved before and knowing the worst is only just.
 
and what good choices they turn out to be!
 
david & goliath by Malcolm gladwell
the book was a good read for the first 2/3 of it but it loses steam a little at the last part.
for someone so good at connecting the dots, I was a little let down by how he was unable to tie back the last part to the central theme of the book.
but him being him, gladwell is a hell-good of a persuasive and convincing writer that it was always a fun ride going along with his reasoning and theories.
 
still, there were nuggets in this book - not unknown to all but some reminders are always good.
the advantages of disadvantages and disadvantages of advantages.
small fish in a big pond vs big fish in a small pond.
 
underdogs triumphing over giants is never by flute of luck.
there are more hard work and effort beneath the victory than you or me know.
 
my fav. book by him is still "outliers".
the one and only book which defined success as it should be.
and in part, does a great job in dissuading practically most of us from the notion that we can be successful. lol.
 
the ocean at the end of the lane by Neil gaiman
im starting to like this man a lot more than last time.
his more famous novels - American gods and anansi boys - are entertaining while it last but never really succeed in enrolling me to his camp.
surprisingly it was his children book "the graveyard book" that did the job.
and of cos, "the sandman" graphic novels (or comics) collection sealed the whole deal.
 
and now, he is back with his latest novel.
prose will put it in the young adult fiction genre but themes-wise is truly an adult one.
I finished it in less than 5 hours all in all - wasn't a hard read obviously.
as like the review on the front cover, the story consumes me.
I just had to keep reading to keep up with the protagonist - a wonderfully written 7 year-old boy that will somehow evoked memories of the child you were.
 
memories - gaiman explored the fragility yet necessity of it.
to me, you breathe life to memories, and memories breathe life into your life making each other whole.
 
without giving away too many details, this book is really a good one.
it's about being vulnerable, healing and eventually moving on.
but again, not every one of us is as lucky as the protagonist.
who always have the ocean at the end of the lane to return to.
 
what will be my next read??

the long weekend....

the ng family was hibernating back in our house most of the time for this weekend.
which is pretty enjoyable if you are doing things you like.
for me, I was devouring books ferociously again.
the boys were having the happiest time playing with the lego marvel hero set that I got for them from HK.
I think they built it, played with it then tore it apart so they can repeat the process again!
the husband was.... actually I didn't pay him much attention.
I guess the usual, housework and some surfing of the net? :P
 
but it was really a great Saturday for us yesterday.
and we ended it by conceding to the boys' request for having pizzas for dinner. *yeah*
 
thanks to the advice from ser, this set is really a good buy.
it has many "traps" and "functions" that allow the hero and villians to make cool moves.
the boys were loving it so much!
 
today, we decided to get out of the house.
we were still unsure where to go when we decided to head to PS (it started raining when we were near the area..).
 
we had tea break upon reaching!
wanted to try tim ho wan but the queue was atrocious even at 3+pm.. @_@
settled for a random café  - hoshino coffee - for some soufflé.
I find it so-so but the boys are always excited over anything with ice-cream.
oh well.

some photos
 
after some walking around the PS mall (which is nothing much if you asked me), we decided to take a walk to prinsep street.
it was more of my idea as I wondered if there are any decent eateries there for our dinner.
 
it was a good walk from PS all the way there.
we past by the cathay, SOTA and parklane shopping mall (which is pretty zzz...) before reaching prinsep.
I was surprised to see mr bean's still there after all these years!
the last time I was here were like eons ago with my cousins... ha.
 
anyway prinsep street has not much dining choices now... :(
so we made our way slowly back.
it had been a nice walk - tiring the boys out *hiaks*.
and it was a good surprise to chance upon rockstar along the way and I cant resist getting a denim shirt - al & Alicia x rockstar.
*sweet!*
 
ok, now to prep the mind for the upcoming long working week...
I can do this!

Friday, April 18, 2014

short week is always happy!

with a day leave on wed and public holiday on fri, this working week is a short and sweet one!
so i was on leave on wednesday, I went on a date with the younger boy and he was such a sweet lil'
 companion!
we went to candice's house from noon till 4+pm and the little fellow was pretty good at entertaining himself which candice and me chit-chatted and watched Korean drama!
lol.
 
yesterday's dinner was with my colls - a last gathering before suz went on her maternity break!
venue was at smokehouse @ great world city and the wagyu beef is really good. *yum*
we had a really good time during dinner and the chill out session after.
crazy topics we discussed and laughter ringing throughout!
 
we'll be visiting suz and her little princess very soon again end of this month. :)
 
with the crazy folks
 
but sadly, BBQ food + wine is not a good combi.
I lost my voice today. *argh*
its a good thing that the boys are not in the mood for going out so it will be pretty much a relaxing zonked out good Friday for all of us at home!

some outfits for the week:
left: top from gg5, skirt from zara
right: top from HK, shorts from seoul

Sunday, April 13, 2014

westgate is pretty nice!

 
the past working week has been a busy one.
things to follow up, UAT to be performed and training packed to the brim... @_@
so glad when the weekend is finally here. but as usual, it was over in a jiffy as well..

we went westgate for the first  time today!
pretty impressed with the dining choices here!
but of cos, being boring us (or a particular him...), we settled at brotzeit for dinner....
*snort*

borders was having 40% sale (min. 4 books) and it was such a joy shopping for books after such a long time.
its a good thing that I conveniently forget about those unread ones back at home as I hunted for new ones. :P
4 novels + 3 kids books = $60+ only.
good deal, no?!
 
dinner time
 
some outfits for the week:
 
left: shirt and pants from zara
middle: top from topshop, skirt from gg5
right: dress from zara
(special mention for the Melissa shoes from HK! it was really comfy.
and cost me $100 as compared to $130 in sg. :D)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

finally...matchy-match

finally, I have been in my current company long enough!
the shares im holding are finally being matched by the company! *woohoo*
and heeding the wise advice of an ex-coll, I sold all the 2011 shares once they were matched. hiaks.
it was a good thing that share price now is higher (by a good 10%) as compared to my purchase price..
but (of cos there is always a but..) the exchange rate is really not in my favor now.
oh well, you cant win 'em all.

still, looking forward to the extra cash coming in.
this is good for my crazy low cash savings. :D

it is a happy thing that from now on, I have April and September months to look forward to.
this will keep me motivated at work. haha.

talking about work.
all the talk about feeling unchallenged and lethargic at work is coming back to bite me.
am going to another team to help out for the next few months!
steep learning curve and new things all over again.
but im feeling strangely motivated.
I hope this feeling persists..

Saturday, April 05, 2014

another season finale of my favourite show - walking dead... :(


with a heavy heart, i finished the last episode of walking dead season 4.
so sad.
another long wait till end of the year before the premiere of season 5.
season 4 was pretty tight and impressive for the first 8 eps.
though after the mid-season break, the "on-the-road" episodes of the different small groups were a little trying..
still, ep15 & 16 were good especially the finale one which ended with an exciting cliffhanger - rick saying:" they are going to feel so stupid when they find out.... that they are screwing with the wrong  people."!
 
awesome!
im starting to like rick as a character finally after 4 long seasons. lol.
we are starting to see him losing his humanity in order to survive and protect what he loves in this world that he slowly starts to understand more.
took him a little long but so glad that he eventually gets to that.
i still miss my favorite character - shane- who couldnt be more realistic and humane as anyone can be in such apocalyptic world.
 
some outfits for the week:
left: top from gg5, skirt from zara
middle: top & pants from gg5
right: top and pants from zara.
ok, I know. boring.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

hong kong with the peeps - part 3

 
day 3 was pretty short...
all of us lazed in bed until 12 noon since there were heavy downpour and our old bodies all need time to recover from the past 2 late nights... @_@
we were out to search for lunch and after that, the group split again (maybe we are not very close afterall.. haha).
shopping, napping, dance class etc..
 
it was dinner time when we met again.
simple one at tsui wah before the girls adjourned to causeway bay for last minute shopping!
it was a good thing that shops close at 10pm in HK!
 
the crazy guys went for drinking again!!
either really good stamina or just like torturing their well-beings!
 
the girls went back hotel for chatting and i rewarded myself with late night mac supper.
:D
 
and before we know it, the trip is coming to an end!
our flight was at 420pm on sunday and so we left for the airport after lunch for last minute shopping of foodstuff at130pm.
 
the husband was complaining that my luggage (the middle one) was an overkill for such a short trip.
but look at mine compared to dd & gb's one!!!
tsk tsk.
and theirs were packed to the brim too!
 
and as usual, we always need another holiday after a holiday.
all of us were so drained when waiting for the flight at HK airport.. lol.
vacant looks and all.


this picture of dd slumming over his luggage sums it all up...
 
the flight back was pretty terrible at the start.
thunderstorms looming when we took off and the plane was shaking like nobody's business.
I ended up with clammy palms. :(
luckily the second half of the flight was smooth and we had a great landing at T1.
good to be back home!
especially with the husband and boys waiting for me at the arrival gates!!
 
and we are very very lucky.
the every evening that we departed from hk, it was hit by hailstorm (with roof of festival shopping mall collapsing due to the hail stones), flights were delayed and thunderstorms forecasted for the rest of the week!

it was a lucky thing that we were blessed with good weather during our time there and we were back just in time before the hailstorm came!

shopping

and I found some of my shopping passion back this trip..
lol. I thought I don't fancy anything anymore.. :P
stuff for
myself: 8x clothings, 2x shoes, eye masks, skincare
boys: 6x clothings, lego set, frames
hb: 2x clothings
perfume for mum and lots of foodstuff for everyone.

normally I don't buy much foodstuff back but this time round, everyone in the group has a his/her own highly recommended food stuff..
and we ended up buying everything that we recommend to each other. lol.

the boys love the frames that I got for them to put up in their room.
I like the toy story one the most!
 
it was a crazy short, packed trip but a super fun-filled one nevertheless.
though i think we need another few years to recuperate from each other before attempting another group trip. :P

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Hong Kong with the peeps - Part 2

it was such a luxury to laze around and sleep back in the morning!
it was well past 10pm when I finally dragged myself out of bed to bath for the new day!
lunch (or rather brunch for who has time for breakfast!) reservations was 1130am at 富聲海鮮酒 @ wanchai.
and i've to conclude that this is officially the best dim sum place in HK for me.
yes, it has replace maxim palace! *wee*
everything is so yummy and pipping hot!!
 
look at the sumptuous char siew!!
 
after lunch, it was a slow walk (we welcomed it after the cant-be-fuller lunch) to causeway bay for shopping!
 
but of cos we made a pit stop at yee shun milk company for their 燉奶!
 

 it was shopping and more shopping for us.
 
only tanny and I continued strong for shopping.
the rest split from us for tea break and made their way back to hotel to laze.. *tsk tsk*
tanny and i were finally back at 5+pm and totally drained from all the walking and shopping hehe.
 
before long, its time to get ready for our dinner!
reservations was 7.30pm at this Sichuan restaurant 四川菜大平伙 @ central.
this is my first time trying Sichuan dishes and I must say they are really not for those who cant take dishes spicy!
but though spicy, the food is so shiok that you just keep having seconds!
 
I especially  love the ma po tofu! so good with rice!

*yum* swimming in spices though.

the place was like an art galley with oil paintings done by the restaurant owner himself.
and strictly by reservations for the place was pretty small with around 5-6 tables at most!

as usual monkeying around, creating a din and disturbing other diners. :P
 

then, its off to LKF for some serious drinking!!
brrr.... I think im going to swear off drinking for the rest of the year!!

its a crazy night and I think now I know how much we love each other in the group.
the nonsense we have to take from each other is crazy!

it was the sevens and lots of crazy people dressing up and photo bombing everywhere..
 
it was a long and tiring day 2 and we took much longer to recuperate on day 3...
the photos dwindled and we had less zest as the days passed... LOL