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Sunday, January 16, 2022

A Letter to My Son

Dear Emmanuel,

In about one month's time, daddy and mummy are going to carrying you in our arms. It came to a point of time when we felt that we are ready for our second baby, and in accordance with God's timing, you came into our lives. Slowly but surely, you grew larger and stronger, as with mummy's appetite. Now she eats a lot of chocolate, ice-cream, mala and Thai food! It is as if you are ordering food via mummy. Be strong, be healthy, that's all it matters.

You have a big sister, Olivia, who is about 3 years older than you. We have prepared her for your arrival and we can see that she is excited to welcome her best playmate. She chose for you a baby bunny and even pinky-promise that she will share her toys with you! Did you hear her praying for you? Did you hear her kisses through mummy's tummy?

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Goodbye 2021, Hello 2022.

I can't believe I'm writing this post already. In a blink of an eye, 2021 is ending in a few days, while we usher in another year. We all thought the pandemic will be gone by now, but it hasn't. New variants kept appearing while the number of cases fluctuate, humans have start to adapt to this new norm. After all, life still goes on. And within this period, the more we should be grateful and celebrate this breath in us.
2021 for us is a a year of beginnings.

1. Say HELLO to our new addition
This year, we found out that Olivia is going to get a sibling, and it is a BOY! It wasn't planned, but by God's grace and His perfect timing, we are blessed with another. The due date is estimated to be late February 2022, so we are looking forward to his arrival. Having a second child have its own challenges, for one, we need to prep Olivia too. But as with so many children, including myself who have a brother, I believe too that it will work out just fine.
2. Welcome to Punggol
We never once thought that we would move to Punggol, since we lived at town area previously. Punggol seems like an ulu concept that we would shirk from. But here we are now - 6 months in. Living and adjusting to our new environment, and exploring new territories. The major shift was that we moved out from our parents to form a new, independent family unit by ourselves. Now as the man of the family and head of the household, there are new responsibilities to take, new challenges to face. But it's an exciting journey to take!
3. New business ventures into DNA
The second half of this year sees the launch of our new product - a DNA kit for both consumer and businesses. We took a while to explore and to craft this new brainchild of ours, collaborating with various partners and labs, doing all relevant analysis, and finally, we had a soft launch this June. As with all business ventures (and on top of our current beauty salon and e-commerce), there's ups and downs, but it's going to be fun, and hopefully rewarding.

If you are looking to explore up to 379 personal traits (including disease risks) just based on your saliva alone, you may visit our website here.
4. Olivia has started school
Due to the pandemic, we have postponed her nursery for the longest time, and she finally started school this November with My First Skool. We thought she would be alright since she started out strong (no crying - probably it's because we sent her to Sunday School already), but life happens. For some reason, she started to resist school, crying and screaming - just like me when I'm younger - all the way till I'm Primary 3 (or so I've heard from my mum). Yet we thank God for good teachers to take care, to educate and to guide her. You can do it, my daughter!
2021 was a heck of a year, not sure how many resolutions I've completed (or failed) since I've lost track since the second week of the year.

As the next year creeps in within a few days, please be good, 2022.

Friday, December 17, 2021

5 Breakfast Ideas Any Beginners Can DO! (Recipes included)

Most of us have fantasize your partner serving you breakfast in bed, as the aroma of toast and freshly grounded coffee filled up the room. There are only two scenarios. You are the one lying in bed, OR you are the one waking up earlier to make the breakfast. Morons can infer you're the latter (like yours truly) since you're looking at this post.

During the weekends, when I get to work from home, I tend to wake up earlier to whip up a simple breakfast for my family. No breakfast in bed after you have kids by the way, so we had everything proper on the dining table. To save any hassle, most of my recipes here will need less than 20 to 30 minutes of cooking and prep time. Combined. So you can get your beauty sleep as well.

Without further ado, I present to you my easy breakfast ideas that even any noob chefs can make. All this have a pretty high success rate since, you're either using the oven or waffle/pancake machine. If you do not have these equipment, not to worry, most of them can be cooked over the stove as well. If you're one of the noob chefs,  please make sure you have fire insurance beforehand.

Notes:
1. I got to emphasize that all ingredients are flexible. You just pop open your fridge and see what's there to use. As with every recipe, this serves only as a guideline. Like tomatoes? Add more. Don't like you food too sweet? Minus the sugar. Don't have fruits lying around? Sub with raisins. You get it.
2. If you're cooking for more people, apply your primary school multiplication on the recipe.
3. Unless otherwise stated, all ingredients are to be of room temperature. This helps for easy mixing and acquiring the desired texture.

Friday, December 10, 2021

Happy 3rd Birthday Olivia!

Time flies, when you're having fun, filled with parental stress and all the anxieties that comes together with having a child. During the end of November, our not-so-little Olivia turned three. And it's amazing how fast and how big she has grown.

I remembered the cries inside the operating theatre three years ago, and the two drops of tears that rolled down my cheek. I remembered the difficult transition when we had to learn so much in so little time. I remembered the first time she called "papa", her first step, her silly laughter and giggles. I remembered the countless times we had our evening walks in her little carrier, which eventually become walking side by side her, as she rode her little scooter.
And... of course, we need to dress like sharks. Doo doo dooooo.

We had plans to get her a pinata cake online, but was quickly put off by the ridiculous price (about $200 for one). If you have no idea what's that, it's basically a spherical chocolate structure, filled with candies, chocolates and even toys. To get what's inside, they have to slowly knock the chocolate walls till it crumbles and reveals all the goodies inside.

So, I tried making it. For the first four times, I tried, but failed. Mixing white chocolate coverture and compound and what not, trying several ways to take out the structure without cracking its delicate walls. I tried and tried. Like Thomas Edison, this Thomas tried 1000 times until I succeed. All those nights trying, was all worth it with this smile.
And... of course, I need to put her favourite Kinder Bueno eggs inside.

Friday, December 3, 2021

Birthday Staycation at Shangri-la Rasa Sentosa (Haagen-Daz Package)

After impressing us with their super child-friendly amenities at their Orchard branch, Shangri-la has been on the top of the list when it comes to bringing our little one(s). So it was almost a no-brainer where to book for Olivia's birthday staycation to celebrate her 3 years on earth.

Olivia was so excited whenever we showed her the hotel's video on YouTube. Now fast forward to the day...

Our Deluxe Sea View Room
We checked in at around 4pm. There wasn't any queue (thank God), so the whole process was pretty fast. Their deluxe sea view room is of comfortable size with most in-room amenities you would expect, such as bar counter with complimentary tea/coffee. The bed was slightly high for Olivia, so we had to place a stool beside the bed for her to come up and down freely. Cot is available upon request too.
Now this is the money shot, straight right out of our room's balcony - a unobstructed view of the sea. Paired that up with the swimming pool, private beach, and beautiful clouds hovering on top of Sentosa, I'd say this is the view I don't mind waking up to, every. single. day.
And so it happens, when we were looking for Shangri-la deals, we chanced upon this limited promotion -  a Haagen Daz-theme staycation, featuring a whole freezer worth of ice cream, and a set of take-home merchandise which includes bath bombs, cushion, face masks, and even a really cute high-quality teddy bear (you can tell by its fur that it's not cheap ass). 

Friday, November 5, 2021

Babymoon staycation at Mandarin Orchard

Since we are not able to spend our babymoon in a nice resort somewhere else (we went to Taiwan for our first baby, you can read it all here), we decided to go for another... staycation! Talking about being staycation-connoisseur, Mandarin Orchard is our seventh since the pandemic, so we had a certain expectation from the service, room to the food, etc.

Let's talk location, Mandarin Orchard is located at one of Singapore's busiest street, Orchard Road, so you could have plenty of shopping and dining options all around. These include malls like ION Orchard, Paragon, Cineleisure, Ngee Ann City, Wisma Atria, and so many others. Point is, if you like to shop, this is the best place you could ever stay in Singapore.

Our Room: Premier Room

Checking in was fuss-free and pretty fast, since we checked in around 4pm. The staff was really nice to upgrade our Superior to Premier room, which is located at level 36. Yup, and that meant a panoramic view of Orchard street. Here we can even see City Hall, Marina Bay Sands, Bugis, Singapore Stadium and our previous home (near Concourse). That's a whopping 8-10 MRT stops worth of view through our window!