Posted in girls, Grace, Plystudio

[Goodbye 2017, hello 2018]

So much happened this year, yet it seems just like a blink of an eye ago we were just at the start of the year!

On the family front, one of the most momentous year long process has got to be taking the PSLE exams with G & navigating the choices for the next phase of her education. As she aptly sums it – taking PSLE is like having a baby- the process takes 9 months of pure rollercoaster emotions, and as the imminent time approaches, one gets more and more nervous! 🙂 I asked her if it was because one is excited and nervous to greet the new born? In classic G form, she replied- if course not! They are just worried they will get an ugly baby!! LOL. It is this super resilient humour that I am most proud of, in her journey through the last year of her primary school education. That and her innate stubbornness to give up ‘living’ just to get ready for these critical exams. Through the obligatory nagging, the incessant procrastination, the self motivated studying…. We all learnt a little bit more about ourselves in the process. I am so not looking forward to going through it again in 2 years time!

The girls have also grown up so much – emotionally and physically. G is now way taller than me, and K is catching up slowly but surely!

On the work front, this year saw us completing 2 projects – both coincidentally starting and ending at almost the same time, although very different in scales. You can read more about them on our Website – HERE and HERE. The overseas projects that we have worked on took us to exotic and far-flung locations – most memorable of all has to be Africa! We experienced our very first Safari which was mind-blowing. As we move into 2018, we look forward to more rewarding works to be completed.

These are my fav photos of the year:

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Jan : Chinese New Year!

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Feb : Took this photo on site for G’s biography of my life.

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Mar : Celebrating G’s 12th birthday with a shopping trip out

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Apr : Happy K indulging in simple things like picking up Sago seeds

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May : Mother’s Day – with cousins

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Jun : We hosted Papa’s 70th bash and had a quiet celebration for Vic’s bday

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Jul : We head up north to Bangkok for a short work trip, meeting up with long ago friends from our days in London.

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Aug : We went for an unforgettable Safari, for an extended work trip to Africa!

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Oct : So many things happened in October! G finished PSLE; K and my birthdays; we presented and hosted Archifest at Rainbow; took a road trip up to KL for kittens!! and lots of excursions with the p6s!

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Nov : the emotional rollercoaster of waiting for results, getting the results, & the biggest change – giving G her 1st mobile phone.

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Dec : The month simply flew by! As the grandparents are on holiday for 9 days, we took a break from work during that time and did lots of stuff together in and about home and the city. And at the end of the year – finally (thankfully) getting the long awaited 1st choice for Secondary School placement!

2017 seemed at times passing too quickly – yet as I look through all the photos, we have accomplished soo much!! We look forward to 2018 with bright eyes and gleeful anticipation. For the new beginnings for G, and also the rest of us! To learning new things (us with the Jap language classes, K with her art classes, G with a brand new curriculum and so many new subjects) To making new friends and forming new relationships. To taking time to nurture our own personal growth and hobbies. Here’s wishing all of you who read this blog (I don’t think there’s very many!) – Happy New Year and Good Health and Wealth!!

PS. We deliberated long and hard about G’s secondary school choices (mostly between HERE and HERE), but in the end, we felt that her personality and strengths are so much more suited to the IB Eduction. Some articles related to IB Education – HERE, and HERE. Also HERE.

 

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Posted in girls, Grace, Primary School

[G’s P6 Graduation (& thoughts of the Primary school journey)]

I remember our very 1st year of entering into RGPS with G – she was overjoyed with the playground in the canteen, the huge school hall, the many large open grounds. It was such a change from her intimate kindergarten, where everyone knew everyone. She soaked in the “big girl” school vibes and was super happy to go to school every morning. Things then started to go downhill barely 1 month in though – I guess she started having anxiety attacks and a very bizarre bout of separation anxiety. It was very traumatic for all involved, not least herself! We are grateful for the overwhelming support from the school, from the Principal herself, through to all the subject teachers, and also the PV mums that I have gotten to know quite well in the 2 years volunteer work I carried out for the place in Primary School. Gradually, the anxiety faded and she was back to her spunky self for the whole of her lower primary journey.

Some photos walking down memory lane:

1st day of school :

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In Primary 4, she was streamed into the GEP cohort. It was there that she really blossomed socially – she finally found a group of equally quirky and crazy friends who got her. These were my thoughts when she was first excepted into this stream and they remain true to date! Academically, I suppose the GEP stream does offer them a myriad of opportunities – however, G being G, has eschewed most of these (mostly because she doesn’t want to feel let down if she doesn’t do well), and sometimes due to her irrational (to us) fear of puking in public (no it has never really happened but she has had this fear since she was in kindie) Her teachers have dubbed her – spelling bee G – because she infamously refused to represent her year in the annual spelling bee (& because we stood by her decision).

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We’re so proud of our grown up little miss today! G – as with all the major milestone events of your young life, you have taught us so much in the years of Primary school education that we feel like we’re also “graduating” from Primary school at the same time as you!

We are so happy that you have found your tribe of girlfriends and can finally feel the acceptance and mutual joy that is derived from such pure and innocent friendships. Even though most of you are going to different secondary schools, we hope you’ll try to keep in touch and hopefully you’ll be able to find the same type of friends that have your back as you move into the next part of your education journey!

So…. my dearest Grace – here’s all the many prayers for this Friday’s PSLE result! No matter what it is – know that we will always support and love you – the journey is more important than the 3 numbers of your PSLE score – they do not define you, your experiences, and what you make of yourself – do!

 

 

 

Posted in Birthdays, girls

[K is 10!!]

Both our little girls are now in their double digits. And they are slowly becoming truly close sisters (having the type of sisterly relationship I used to yearn to have). K is finally into her double digits – and this year she opted to invite 3 of her closest friends for an afternoon of old school bowling and arcade games.

Before the photos of the party, here’s the obligatory 10 year round up –

0Newborn K – she was such a happy and easy baby!

1at 1+ – inquisitive and so good at amusing herself!

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Smiley & chubby….

1bEven though she normally gets manhandled by her sister!

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22a

This is how she concentrates (biting her bottom lip) and ‘writes’!

33 years old and so very bubbly and giggly

64 years old birthday party at McD’s.

77a7 yrs old – she’ll write lots of sweet notes like the one above (and still does!)

88 years old – terrified of cats but trying her hardest not to show it (otherwise she gets teased by her sister) 😛

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Photos of the birthday party – the girls thoroughly enjoyed themselves!! As usual, K spent a lot of time planning for this party – she shopped for each of her guest individually, wrapping up their goodie bags with a very specific design brief!!

 

Dearest Katie:

You have grown up to be a very articulate and well mannered little girl. We are constantly amazed by how much you know – the YouTube videos that you make are getting better and better! We love that you are so self motivated about doing your own stuff- you have nearly reached all your goals for 2017! As the mei mei, you are much more exposed to all the teenage-type influences than G was at your age. I suppose this shapes the way you think, but we’re glad that you have a mind of your own, you’re very clear and unwavering in your likes and dislikes. Your fashion sense is so “on fleek” that even G consults you for sartorial advice! This year is also the landmark year that you gave up your Barney bu-bu! We are so proud of you when you carried through your promise to us- it really shows the determination of your personality! It makes my heart swell to see how grown up you have become- making well thought through decisions about most things- especially on the collectibility of your obsession- the LPS toys! Through you, I have learnt all about the various generations of the toys – one of the most profound things you told me “rare does not mean desirable if it looks ugly!” 🤣

We hope you will continue to look at the world through ‘script maker’ eyes and to always have interesting conversations with us while cuddling (which thankfully -for me- is still your favorite thing to do!) 

Happy happy birthday again sweetheart!

♥️ mummy & daddy ♥️

 

 

 

Posted in Birthdays, Grace, Uncategorized

[G’s 12th Birthday]

In the Chinese Zodiac, the 12th year cycle is a very significant milestone in a person’s life. G’s 1st milestone is also the most stressful year of a Singaporean child’s life, as it marks the year that they will be taking the dreaded PSLE (primary school leaving exam). This will be the last year of Primary School education for G, and as she embarks into teenager-land, aka secondary school – these are the hopes and dreams we have for her:

We hope that she will always:

  1. retain her sense of humor (her wittiness and slapstick humor are highly entertaining to all who know and love her)
  2. be affectionate and loving (she has started a ’20 second’ hug routine with us as she claims a little hug goes a long way!)
  3. be curious always (this is from someone who has routinely scoured the library – and now the internet – for books pertaining to the topic she is currently obsessed with)
  4. never lose sight of the big picture (which is to make the most money for the least amount of effort – but perhaps she can learn also some empathy cos it ain’t always about making money sweetie)
  5. be the unique individual (although sometimes it’s tough being different, it’s always better than blindly following)
  6. love books (this is easy)
  7. look over her little sister (we know she does it in her own way)
  8. never stop learning (even though this is the psle year, there is more to learning than getting the grades, and getting into a good secondary school is just the beginning)
  9. strike a balance between hard work and passion, fun and procrastination, friendship and popularity, looks and attitude, art and science (or math), patience and complacency.
  10. live life to it’s fullest (ever since she’s a baby, she has always screamed the loudest, ran the fastest, ate the most, laughed the silliest. The joy in living every moment is evident in her every being, and we hope teenage hood does not strip that away!)
  11. know and do the right thing (as one grows into adulthood, a parent’s role of pointing out which is right and wrong lessens. As G goes into teenage-hood, we hope she will be able to distinguish right from wrong, and if in doubt, we hope she will still talk to us and hear us out)
  12. finally, we hope she will always always be close enough to talk to us about anything and everything. 🙂

So, 12 little things for my 12 year old.

Some photos to accompany this while I go off to grab a tissue box and sob about my baby growing up!

Posted in Craft Fairs, crafty stuff, Grace, Uncategorized

[TANJONG GOODMAN MARKET]

Hey all you wonderful people who bought the key fob kit!

I realised that there isn’t a very easy way to find the link for the video, so I’ll attempt to place a widget on the home page for that.

In the meantime, please use this to link up.

Here it is!

Enjoy making!!

 

ETA: I realised I could add a little link at the top of my website- if you click on Tutorials all the way at the top of the page, you’ll see this video! Otherwise, it is also on the link at the right side -> called My Other Pursuits! Happy Crafting!

 

Posted in Birthdays, girls

[K’s 9th bday!!!]

Dearest K,

You’re finally 9!! You said to me last night that you almost feel like you’re 10, cos you feel like you’ve been 8 for a REALLY long time!! Haha…. so cute.

As always, you spent a loooong time planning your birthday. Every year, we will give the girls a birthday budget, which they can then spend on organising a birthday party with friends, or have a smaller group of invited guests (e.g. BFF like last year) or to just use the budget to buy presents and have a small family celebration. Being the sensitive girl that you are, this year, instead of inviting your current BFF (as you were worried last year’s BFF will be offended), you decided to just have a tiny celebration with our immediate family instead.

Part 1 of the celebrations – a much awaited Gold Class movie! We were thoroughly spoilt by the fantastic service at Gold Class!

Super luxurious plush recliner seats, cuddly blankets, service at a touch of the button.

Part 2 of your birthday plans was to get your ears pierced! You have been thinking about doing this I know, for quite a few months now, but you’ve never really confirmed it until a few days before your birthday. In typical Katie fashion, you made the decision to do it and there was not much wavering or backing out when you got there. You just sat yourself into the chair and said that you’re ready!

So proud of you and you look super pretty with the earrings!! 🙂

The final part of your birthday celebrations are with your nearest and dearest family. You love chicken rice & cupcakes, so it’s celebrations at the club again and we made sure we bought 9 cupcakes for your birthday!

Happy birthday once again our sweet little one.

Lots of love & hugs, mummy + daddy

 

Posted in Japan, Osaka, travel

[10/10: OSAKA – SG]

Ready for the start of a New Year! We usually fly back on the 2nd of Jan and this trip was no exception.

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Bye Bye once again Japan – we’ll be visiting again real soon!

Inspired by this trip with the girls, dragging them around for the ‘walking’ part of the trip, we have decided that we should be doing some of our own trips. Here’s what we hope to sometime achieve.

Self-guided walking tours

Onsen trips

Rural town visits (for food and craft!)

ETA: We did do a walking FALL trip!! Just us, without the girls. Will blog about it someday soon 🙂

 

Posted in girls, Japan, Osaka, travel

[9/10: OSAKA – Being local]

As the girls grow older, we are able to fit more activities into our trips. They’re just able to absorb more, there are no longer any needs for naps and other logistics with younger kids. The more activities we have packed into each day, the longer the trip seems! So even though it is the same duration of all our annual trips (usually 9 or 10 days), this trip just seems a lot longer due to the many activities we managed to pack in!

Our first full day in Osaka was supposed to be a fun filled one, starting with the Instant Noodles Museum! We researched it and was super stoked to go there, but unfortunately, the Museum was closed for renovation! *insert sad face*. Lesson learnt- check the ACTUAL website to know if the venue is open on that day! Do not trust recommendation websites…. they are usually of past posts – which could be years ago!

To our delight, and a much needed consolation – there was a very good Ippudo cafe at the train stop.

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Super yummy ramen and great onsen egg!129

Interesting fabric architecture (taken while wandering around the streets)

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They really are the “Mian Weng”!

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YUMMMMM…… Look at that egg!!

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Since we didn’t have much activities planned for the afternoon, we decided to be a “local”. We just walked about the neighbourhood…. going to the parks, playgrounds etc.

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Enjoying each other’s company. Most of the times, we try to do too much on trips, sometimes, it’s just great to be just living “in the moment”, enjoying each other’s company, just being us 4.

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Ice creams from the local minimart. K’s looking glum as we forgot to get a wooden spoon for her ice-cream tub. Oops!

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Finally G finished her popsicle and K could use the wooden stick as a makeshift spoon 🙂 Happy Girl!

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G being a sculpture. She’s always had a very quirky sense of humour!

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Having fun at the playground.

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We had a super healthy lunch! It’s somewhere around the “glico man” square. Lots of shopping places there, so it’s great to stay put in a cafe – settle lunch + dessert for the girls, and we get a chance to do our own solo shopping excursions.

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Enjoying a healthy carrot cake dessert….

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And a super unhealthy macdonalds’ fries after dessert dessert! haha!

Some links for the websites that we referred to while planning this leg of the trip:

General Information

Kids in Osaka

Posted in girls, Japan, Osaka, travel

[8/10: Kyoto -> Osaka]

We usually do this on our trips with the girls – split the destination into 2 main chunks, so that we don’t have to drag our luggage over too many places, and it has worked out pretty well so far! For this trip, we arrived at Kansai Airport in Osaka, but took the Limousine transport directly to Kyoto upon arrival. We spent the majority of the trip in Kyoto (with 2 day trips out), but for the last few days, we decided to travel back to Osaka, which will be where we will be departing from.

119Taking the train ride from Kyoto to Osaka. That’s all our baggage! Kudos to V who is always the luggage packer (OCD has it’s advantages! :))120K with her latest fascination with toys in bubbles. We bought so many on this trip – everytime we passed a toy dispensing machine, she will spend her budget on these!121Rare sisterly affection. She was feeding K some snacks.

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The famous square with the Glico Man. We were very puzzled when people kept using the term “Glico Man” when trying to give us directions – eventually when we reached the square, we understood! It’s a big thing in Osaka and lots of people use it as a navigation landmark.

124Sartorial shot of V

125G wanted me to take a catwalk shot of her too!

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As it was almost the New Year, lots of stores offered Happy Bags!

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K being absolutely thrilled at what her daily budget (1000Y) yielded!

Osaka as a whole was sooo much more relaxed than hoity toity Kyoto! I think we all heaved a sigh of relief as there were no more stares and shush-ing to be done for the exuberant girls! 😛

 

 

 

 

Posted in girls, Japan, Kyoto, travel

[Day 07/10: KYOTO-Northern Higashiyama]

Also known as the “Philosopher’s walk”, the Northern Higashiyama portion was a stretch of walking which we prepared the girls for!

94All walks need to start with good breakfasts! And this cafe was one of the favourites – to us – for the old school but interesting interiors, to the girls – for the thick slices of milk toasts! K loved her butter especially!95G pretending to be thinking along the philosopher’s walk! haha96Distances and directions97It’s a rather long walk without much to do along the way, so it might get a bit boring for younger kids. The girls as usual found ways to amuse themselves-  like walking along the path by balancing only on the kerbs!98Beautiful flower / vegetable arrangements in front of the houses99So pretty!100First time seeing oranges on trees!101102Some much needed retail therapy after a long walk!103On the temple grounds. Love the greenery!104A little break at the tourism kiosk – the lady there was really good and made a great suggestion for Soba noodles (see below)!105One of the yummiest places we visited this trip.106Waiting for our food in this traditional courtyard house107Little japanese girls mastering the art of kneeling108Yum!109Look at that slurp!110I love this photo of K! She was waiting impatiently for her noodles to cool down!111Happy girl after lunch112Puppy fats 🙂113A decent family shot by the very obliging restaurant owner. Highly recommended place if you do the same walk!