Chinese New Year 2017

screenshot_2017-01-27-14-02-39-02.jpegPicture courtesy of http://www.holidaycardssapp.com

The Year of the Rooster will begin on January 28, 2017. Celebrations are starting soon. The festive period usually lasts for two weeks.The Chinese New Year takes place on a different date every year as it is based on the lunar calendar. Each year is represented by a different symbol from the Chinese 12 year animal zodiac in a cycle of 12 years.

Chinese families will gather tonight to start their auspicious celebrations. Mandarin oranges which are considered traditional symbols of abundance and good fortune will be displayed as decoration and represented as gifts to relatives and friends. Red envelopes stuffed with “lucky money” will be given to children.

So while my Chinese friends are ushering the New Year with great joy and happiness, (Goodbye Year of the Goat, Hello Year of the Rooster) I am going to spend my long holiday with my loved ones.

Advertisements

Just good parenting?

screenshot_2017-01-19-09-25-03-01.jpeg

My eldest boy who will be turning 11 this November has had a mobile device in his possession for a couple of years now as I wanted him to easily communicate with me, his dad or the authorities in case of an emergency and also to gain access to the internet for its educational value. But Bug and I also knew that by providing these tools opens the door to a bunch of potential problems.

He has recently added some of his friends to his contact list and they have been communicating through WhatsApp. There is no simple answer to the question on whether I should read his text messages. I feel that he should reasonably expect some privacy as he is mature and that my interference will send a negative message to him by in the form of trust. But at the same time, he is still a child, and I have to step up and not get confuse about my role as a parent and that is to keep him safe by keeping an eye on his daily activities while I still can and giving him the best advises possible.

So I found out yesterday that there are a couple of girls having “crushes” on him. And they were telling him how they feel about him. My gosh! I did not have this privilege of getting myself heard when I was a child. I can’t even use the house phone to talk to a boy! So unfair! This is all new to me. It was really funny. My son being him, straight with no emotions, just told these girls that he doesn’t wish to talk about the “crush” topic or else he won’ be texting them ever again.

So my advises for him this morning was to respect others even when he is communicating with them over chats. Never to hurt anyone regardless of their attitude towards him. Be nice and stay focus in class. Life has so much to offer us. And this is just the beginning.

He did asked me though if I read his messages. Well of course I denied it. Just told him it was purely motherly instinct 🙂

The Silent Wife

screenshot_2017-01-18-11-11-05-01-01.jpeg

by A.S.A Harrison

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Nicole Kidman

Image courtesy of http://www.overdrive.com

Jodi and Todd are at a bad place in their marriage. Much is at stake, including the affluent life they lead in their beautiful waterfront condo in Chicago, as she, the killer and he, the victim, rush haplessly toward the main event. He is a committed cheater. She lives and breathes denial. He exists in dual worlds. She lies to settle score. He decided to play for keeps. She has nothing left to lose. Told in alternating voices, The Silent Wife is about a marriage in the throes of dissolution, a couple headed for catastrophe, concessions that cant be made, and promises that wont be kept. Expertly plotted and reminiscent of Gone Girl and These Things Hidden, The Silent Wife ensnares the reader from page one and does not let go.

Verdict: 2.5/5

The Silent Wife claimed similarities to Gone Girl, which, to my opinion is not true. I was flipping pages feeling really disappointed. By the time I got halfway through the book, Todd was still not dead, yet. It was a big mistake to compare The Silent Wife to Gone Girl. They are completely opposite. In Gone Girl, there was a murder at the beginning of the plot and you have no idea how the victim disappeared and why but in The Silent Wife, you already know what is going to happen right from the start, no mystery to it.

But I do feel that the main characters of this book are interesting. Jodi is calm and cool on the outside but suspense simmer around her constantly. She is a psychologist by trade and she knows herself deeply but as you progress deeper into the book, you will learn how complex she is. Todd is so self centered, will never see how his actions impact others.

I am not crazy about the ending either as I find that it was really predictable. But nonetheless, I will still watch the movie once its out. So please, go read it if you enjoy psychological thrillers like this. This is just mild crazy for me but it might be super twisted for you. Enjoy!

The Mad Sailors

img_20170114_160018_556.jpg

Bug decided to take me to my favourite place in Singapore (Arab Street) since I was in PMS mode. I wanted to have fried western food so Bug suggested we go for a good ol’ English meal. So we decided to have a go at The Mad Sailors.

screenshot_2017-01-14-23-11-48-01.jpeg

Picture courtesy of themadsailors.sg

The Mad Sailors is located right smack in the middle of Haji Lane. The cool contemporary cafe is decorated with padded sofa benches, wooden tables and floorboards, books, posters and dim warm lighting which makes you feel so welcomed and at home. We were greeted by a sweet lady who I think really loves what she’s doing. She was all smiles and warm which gave her customer service a plus. The cafe was almost full downstairs but we were too lazy to go up to the 2nd floor which we were told by the way, was more cool for the hot weather and there were also more seats. We decided to get a small little corner seat by the window. We truly enjoyed the ambience.

Our food took awhile to arrive, which we didn’t mind at all. We were so entertained with the atmosphere in the cafe, people watching and we had our kiwi-lime and mint drink that came in this cute green bottle.

852121783_46117.jpg

I wished I had brought the green bottle home. Imported directly from the United Kingdom! Kiwi, Lime & Mint at $6.50

img_20170114_185556_801.jpg

Beautiful Golden Fish & Chips $20.00

So it was Haddock Fish & Chips in housemade batter served with fresh slaw for us. This is sooo good! The best Fish and Chips we’ve set our tastebuds on! I promise you! The fish was fresh, and although the serving doesn’t look that huge a portion, the fish was really meaty! And yummy!

img_20170114_190554_424.jpg

Amazingly wicked Fried Mars Bars with Ice Cream $14.00

This one up here is definitely a sugar rush goodness. Not for the faint hearted. You’ve got to be all crazy for sweet sugarly desserts to go for this. It’s simply delish! Cool on the outside, battered warm and caramelized mars bars on the inside. I couldn’t finish this on my own no matter how much I love desserts. The serving was huge! We love this. Really packing on the calorie.

852108141_102281.jpg

Yummy – Yums Yums!!!

Verdict: 3.5/5

It was one of the best food adventure we had this year… Well, we are still in the month of January. We love the atmosphere in the cafe, the food was great, pricing goes well with the food, service was wonderful! Yes, we will return again for sure! Gosh, I miss the haddock fish and chips already!

Check them out at:

http://www.themadsailors.sg

How to get there:

24 Haji Lane

Singapore 189217

Opening hours:

Monday to Thursday – 1100hrs to 2200hrs

Friday – 1100hrs to 2300hrs

Saturday and Sunday – 1000hrs to 2300hrs

Contact:

+65 82482853

Please make a reservation for a table to avoid disappointment

ask@themadsailors.sg

On Being a Stay At Home Parent

screenshot_2017-01-13-17-54-13-01.jpeg

It has been almost a year since I left my nursing job. The truth was, Bug and I had been considering this idea since a couple of years before after we had our 2nd child but we never got to execute it. We were faced with the dilemma on how to manage the boys after we had our 2nd one. I had to return to work after 4 months of paid maternity leave. We do not have much options on childcare. I was not keen to send my baby to childcare at an early age due to some personal experiences. Basically, we were doing this on our own.

We had people close to us saying that it wasn’t a good idea if I were to leave my very secured job. What was I to do being a SAHM (Stay at home mom) at a very young age. How it was going to affect our finances since I was earning quite well, how tough it was going to be for Bug to work on his own in a country like this, where everything is so expensive. We didn’t get the support we wanted. And so we put the idea aside and got a helper instead.

Having a stay in helper (better known as maid here) was really a roller coaster ride for us. It was definitely not the best choice. It was the ONLY choice. We were going through some really hard times. Having to juggle work, family commitment, the children needed us more, I was trying to find time for myself to do other things that I had to, Bug was doing his studies after work, having to care for the helper who is supposed to ease your load but instead was giving us a lot of issues to deal with. So after much discussions with Bug and  thinking it thoroughly, without consulting anyone at all this time, I followed my heart.

Being a stay at home mom has been a very worth while experience not only for me but for Bug and the boys as well.

I spent more time with my family. I used to have to leave home for as early as 0630hrs to make sure I get there on time for our roll call and will only get home by 1800hrs. I had to rush through preparing dinner (my helper doesn’t do the cooking. I prefer not to due to hygiene purposes). I didn’t have much time with the boys and by the time I get to sit down with them, I was dead tired.

I actually like not having to go through all the stress of having to do everything to be successful. I think many women are pressured into feeling that they must be both a mother and a career woman to be successful in life. This is absolutely not true. I wake up everyday be there for my boys and that makes me feel really contented. And I worry less about their well being too. Bug really appreciates it as he gets to fully concentrate on his career and plans to further his studies again soon.

We are spending much lesser now. I get to save on the electricity bills, water bills, cut down on the marketing expenses and learn how to budget myself. I used to spend money like the way I waste water. I am still learning the difference between needs and wants everyday. I also learnt not to judge someone by the things they wear or carry, or how they look or what car they are driving in (we are travelling by public now. If you know how expensive a car is in Singapore, you will understand why). This is truly a humble journey and I believe I am becoming a better person because of it.

These are just some of the things that benefits me in being a homemaker that I can think about right now. I am not saying that it is all good. I still face ups and downs sometimes and there are a lot of negative points in being a homemaker too. I am living life the way I want it to be and that makes me happy and fulfilled. Be honest, ask yourself what you really want in life. What makes you happy. If you are happy working for you and your family, then that is your journey. But if you think that you want to stay home and be there for your family, then do it. Either way it is not going to be easy. But life is unpredictable. Make full use of it. Live life to the fullest. Never regret your decisions. Be happy. Be truly happy. This is what every parents deserve no matter how you get there.

The Girl On The Train

screenshot_2017-01-03-20-26-26-01.jpeg

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

The Girl on the Train was rated 6.6/10 on IMDb and received 43% from rotten tomatoes.

Cast:

  • Emily Blunt
  • Haley Bennett
  • Rebecca Ferguson
  • Luke Evans
  • Justin Theroux
  • Edgar Ramirez
  • Allison Janney
  • Lisa Kudrow

This is a 2016 American psychological thriller mystery film based on a novel written by British author, Paula Hawkins which launched at No.1 on The New York Fiction Bestsellers of 2015 list for both print and e-book.

Rachel an alcoholic, who was traumatized by her recent divorce, spends her time daily on the train which passes by the home she once shared with her ex-husband. To take away her pain, she focuses on fantasizing about “the perfect couple” who live in a house just two houses away until one day, she saw something that left her as a suspect of a missing person.

Verdict: 3/5

I tried to look for the original piece over kindle but I couldn’t find it. I read that the book scored better than the movie. But since I am truly a psychological thriller fan, I had to watch this. And I didn’t regret it at all. Put aside all the comparisons you have between ‘Gone Girl’ and ‘The Girl on the Train’. Even though both uses the word “girl”, Rosamund Pike in ‘Gone Girl’ is a psychopath, manipulative, cunning woman and Emily Blunt in ‘The Girl on the Train’ is just a mess drunkard. So you see, they are not very similar at all. I simply love how Emily Blunt brought her character to life while maintaining her accent!

Eshan, the special one…

screenshot_2017-01-08-12-50-37-02.jpeg

This is a subject that we keep close to our hearts.

He was three when the doctor said ,” Just by looking at him, I think he is autistic.”

As a parent, even though I was prepared,  I was truly upset. Being a nurse, which the doctor doesn’t know by the way as I didn’t disclose, I couldn’t accept the way he was diagnosed. Well, maybe not exactly diagnosed but as a medical practitioner, I don’t think you should say things like that unless if you are really, really, sure about it. Tests should be done and analysis should be based on results.

So, we had to take him for hearing test and a couple of other assessments before they can diagnose him so that the hospital will be able to refer him to the other channels for therapy. The ENT doctor wanted to put him up for General Anesthesia for his hearing tests which I was not keen at all. Call me old fashion but I just cannot put my son through it. Besides the common side effects of General Anesthesia, there was a study done recently which concluded the use of general anesthetic drugs may increase the risk for learning disabilities and behavior problems such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). I managed to convince Bug to stand by me on this, I based it on all my motherly instinct, I might be right, I might be wrong, and so, we took him off everything.