Saturday, 31 January 2009

>>> The Weekend! <<<

Spent the weekend chilling out! It was wayyy too cold to go out!


Both boys had to skip swimming lessons as they weren't feeling well (Zac just recovering from fever and Ollie was coughing and sneezing!) Hubs went over to Leicester in the afternoon to see a house that his youngest sis was looking to buy. His verdict was that it was too close to a motorway but hey, the decision it ultimately hers to make!

As for me, I spent my time sorting out my LOs. Yup, over the past few years, I had conveniently chucked them in 12x12 baggies and left them and now it was time to sort them out properly. I pulled previous ones out from the albums and sorted them according to the people that I had scrapped. So each of the boys had a pile, as well as both of them together. Then there was moi, relatives, friends, inanimated objects etc.

The 12 x12 LOs.
I only started doing 12x12 in the middle of last year after spending years with 8.5x11 ones.

The 8.5x11" LOs.
This is just a tiny part of them! Also realised that Zac (my youngest) has a much higher pile than Oliver! Oops, certainly didn't mean to scrap him less!

Once done, went through each pile and sorted them according to dates (realised a fair few with no dates which made them very difficult ... note to self: put dates on LOs in future!) It took me the whole nite & wee morning to sort out my 8.5x11" LOs and there were loads! I ran out of page protectors for them and ended up using the normal A4 punch pockets instead! As I was on a roll, I just had to continue. I think I'm just gonna put them in normal folders as opposed to albums.


Continued my sorting out process and attacked my 12x12 pile as well as 6x12 ones too. The whole process was repeated and each LO carefully put into page protectors. Unfortunately had to go online to buy more 12x12 page protectors (can't find any alternatives to them).

While sorting, a few alphabets fell out and I realised those that did were the Heidi Swapp chipboards ones. Gosh the glue in them are absolutely crap! Another chipboard alpha that fell out were those from Pressed Petals. I won't be surprised if they came from the same factory that made them! I'll be more wary of using chipboard alphas from now on or ensure they had extra adhesive on them.

I'm so glad I've got them sorted out. They were part of my cleaning up process last year. Now to finish up sorting my stamps as I've still got a few bags left to tackle. After that, sorting out papers. They are beginning to irriate me as they are literally in baggies everywhere! Sheesh, never realised there were so much chores to do with scrapbooking!

There were predictions of snow falling the weekend and it did! Not a lot but it did snow.

It might get worst tomorrow! Fingers crossed the schools will close! TTFN!

Friday, 30 January 2009

>>> On Display! <<<

Here's the letter Q of my A-Z BOM:

I had mega problem deciding a word for 'Q' and eventually settled for 'quintessential'. Made use of Scarlet Lime Nov kit to do this LO. The papers were SL exclusives and I luv them!

And here are a couple of LOs that I did for a Chatterbox challenge held by a UK scrapbooking store, A Trip Down Memory Lane. I was lucky to receive their latest papers in BPM kit and after completing my required LOs, I still had leftovers. Thankfully Scarlet Lime kit had a few CB papers as well so decided to make a couple of LOs for the challenge:

Have to say, the latest papers from Chatterbox are truly scrumptious! Absolutely luv their new ranges!


>>> RIP! <<<

My dad called and told me my uncle passed away suddenly from a massive heart attack! It happened yesterday and his wife brought him to the hospital but in the wee morning, he suffered another 4 more attacks and as a result, passed away. I'm reeling from shock at his sudden death. He was only 61 years old and still actively working! Just goes to show how transient life can be... one minute you're here and the next, you're gone! Just wondering if he missed the signs of heart attack as usually your body will alert you, signs that something isn't right. My mom and her sis are now busy preparing the funeral arrangements. I used to see him a lot when I was younger, playing with his kids, my cousins. Unfortunately, I'm unable to attend (I really hate being so far away from family during such situation). Guess I will have to pay my respects when I'm in Singapore in July! TTFN!

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

>>> Random Thoughts! <<<

Read this on the website and I was howling with laughter. Apparently, a disgruntled customer of Virgin Airway complaining about the food from Mumbai to Heathrow. Although I sincerely sympathise with the customer, his complaint letter was simply hilarious!

Zac spent the last two days at home, down with fever. Thankfully it wasn't serious, just need Calpol and lots of fluid and sleep and plenty of TLC! Luckily, MIL was able to have him while I went to work.

Been busy completing my A-Z BOM pages. I've completed Q, R and S letters so far. Got all my words sorted out for the other letters and now I just need to print out photos for it. Been digging into my Scarlet Lime kits too and having fun with them.

It's nearly the end of January! Sheesh, time is passing by so quickly. I've noticed it's getting darker much later too. Today it started getting dark from 5pm onwards. Looking so forward when the day is much longer. TTFN!

Monday, 26 January 2009

>>> 新年快乐! <<<

Happy Chinese New Year to my dear friends who celebrate it! This the Year of the Ox.

These are the animals that represent the Chinese years. Each appear once every 12 years.

And this is what we give out , exchange of oranges when we visit friends and ang pows (red packets containing cash) to kids only. Unfortunately don't get a chance to practice them here. Hub's family are more white than chinese even though his dad is Chinese!

I know I'm missing the CNY goodies back home! There's so much delicious snacks that goes with this festive occasion. Sigh! TTFN!

Sunday, 25 January 2009

>>> Chinese New Year Eve! <<<

I usually hold the traditional Chinese New Year dinner and this year was no exception. It was a little low key this year as not all the family members were available but we still had a great time. Best part about the meal is little preparation is required as everything is raw, well almost! We actually cooked the ingredients in a pot (aka steamboat) during the meal.

Hubs prepared a cooked duck, more for the kiddies.

Laying out the ingredients for the meal, fishball, cuttleball, fish tofu, vegetable, king prawns, squids and raw, marinated beef!

And this is the steamboat that we use to cook the ingredients in. We actually make use of a rice cooker although one can actually purchase a proper steamboat (not sure if it exist in this country though as I hardly see this particular cuisine eaten in restaurants. It's very common in Singapore!

Pity I didn't have a tin of abalone, it would have been an icing on the cake! However, meal went well and kids enjoyed it. TTFN!

Friday, 23 January 2009

>>> On Display! <<<

Here's some stuff that I've created. This was done for Banana Frog Blog:

Made use of Scarlet Lime Jan main kit but used Banana Frog stamps, namely, Diamonds Forever, Teen, That Takes the Cake, Journaling and Backgrounds.

I'm continuing my A-Z BOM album. I started last year but somehow, life got into the way and it got somehow forgotten. Anyway, I'm determined to finish the album. So here's letter 'P':

Made use of Scarlet Lime December main kit. I'm so glad I'm finally using these kits. They are simply gorgeous but I just don't have the time to play with them. Thank goodness, I've got a few projects coming up that require me to use my own stash so these kits will be top priority in usage!


Tuesday, 20 January 2009

>>> A New Beginning! <<<

for the United States of America! The Inauguration of Barrack Obama as President of the United States! I saw it on TV and have to say it was moving.

The crowd that went to watch it... bearing in mind it's very cold too. You could see the pride on people's faces and the joy too. Obviously, they must think he's very special. He did fumbled at his oath but he was ever so cool! What I like about him is his ability to make public speeches. He's so good at it and somehow, gets the crowd roaring away when he finishes!

All I can say, I sincerely do hope he does make changes for the better, not just for America but for the World as well. In this economic gloom and doom, we certainly do need hope and lots of it! TTFN!

Saturday, 17 January 2009

>>> The Weekend's Here Again! <<<

I was looking at the calendar and suddenly realised that Chinese New Year is next Monday (26th)! OMG! That means I need to sort out the traditional New Year Eve dinner. I make it a point to try and follow tradition by having the reunion dinner here and that mean have a steamboat dinner with the immediate family. Wish I was in Singapore for this festival as you can really feel the buzz and get really excited about it. Over here, it's dead quiet!

Anyway, hubs and I went to Wing Yip to get stuff for next week's reunion dinner. Bought the usual stuff, king prawns, squids, fish tofu, fishball etc. Pity I don't have a tin of abalone. It would have make the meal even more delicious but unfortunately it's wayyyy too cost to buy it in this country! Oh well, will just have to make do with what I can get here for the dinner.

Will have to see if the boys can fit into their Chinese New Year outfits! It will be great to have a photo of them in it! TTFN!

Thursday, 15 January 2009

>>> Unlucky! <<<

Hub's car was broken into this morning. They took his wallet and phone. God knows why the heck he left them in the car but that he hasn't learnt from past experience where his car was broken into a few years ago!!! My car was also on the driveway but it was untouched. I guess they saw the muck inside and thought better of it! I even sent hubs out last nite to retrieve Zac's violin that was in the boot and never once did he thought to look into his car to take anything out!

Anyway, he made the necessary calls to the banks to cancel the cards and was told that a neighbour had found his wallet sans cards! Not a surprise!

I'm sure they would have a harder time breaking into the Jag than a VW Golf GTi! Then again, if they wanted to steal, they would do anything! TTFN!

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

>>> On Display! <<<

Well, now that the Homegrown Fall Survival programme is over, I can reveal the rest of my stuff that I did!

This LO was done as a challenge to try and record memories that you didn't have photos for. Well, I used to play a rope game when I was little and it was a pity I never had any photos taken as I played it all the time with my friends! Hence the photo of rubberbands and the journaling behind it.

I created a 2008 album. I've been doing such albums for 2006 -08. It's a good reflection of the year but oh, it's every so hard to chose just 1 photo to reflect that particular month!

In all, I created 11 LOs and a mini album with the kit and still have loads leftover! It has been a fun kit to work with! Looking forward to the Winter Survival kit. TTFN!

Monday, 12 January 2009

>>> Accolades & Brickbats! <<<

Last Friday, got a lovely bouquet of flowers from the mom of the boy that I look after in school. I wasn't expecting it and it was a pleasant surprise!

Not a good idea taking it in at nite!

Just practising my macro shots!

Not everyday is a good day and today was one of them. We had wet play i.e. it rained outside so the kids couldn't go out. The alternative is to gather them in the hall where we have a disco session. It can be a bit of a nitemare sometimes! Anyway, cutting the long story short, I ended up in the special needs class and trying to calm a particularly violent kid, prone to kicking and lashing out at others when he gets into that mood! So here I am, trying to restrain him but at the same time keeping an arm's length as he has a tendency to jerk his head backwards. Thankfully, his teacher came and took over but it sure as hell left me shocked. The incident only made me feel thankful that I've got normal kids. TTFN!

> On Display! <<<

A few stuff that I've done:

For BackPorch Memories Jan Solo kit. Played with Chatterbox Together papers. Boy were they so yummy to play with!!!

Managed to capture the frost in the garden. LO based on a sketch by Becky Fleck.

Played with the warholizer and luv the effect that I just had to scrap it!

Had to make some cards as I will be needing a few to use this year. Played with my cuttlebug and embossing folders. Even used a couple of die cuts!

Here's what I did during the Xmas period! My best friend requested for a birthday planner and this is what she got. Incidentally, she made me a double sided apron... so lovely too!

Utilised my Scarlet Lime kit papers hence the kaleidoscope of colours here! I wanted it bright and cheerful, just like my best friend. As usual, added stamped images too. Bought a set of months in French (from Purple Onion Designs) and used them. So fun! How remiss of me not to take photo of the tags... glimmer misted, distressed and stamped as well!


Sunday, 11 January 2009

>>> News On The Street! <<<

Gosh this has a whirlwind week! Routines started, moi the chauffeur again to the boys and everything back to normal!

The start of the week was extremely cold. Snow fell but only a little but the temperature was below 0 degree celcius so it kept the snow on the ground for a while, making driving conditions pretty bad, especially in place where they were not gritted (like the slope up to my driveway!!!) The boys didn't go back to school till the 6th and had a field time playing in the snow.

My little punk sweeping the snow off!

Since my Nikon 18-55mm broke (it became stuck and while removing it, heard a crack and that was it! Kaput!) I was devastated as it was one of my well-used lens. I've got another 55-200mm lens but not suitable for closeups! Hence I was debating whether to get another 18-55mm with VR. Then mid-week, a friend mentioned she got the 18-200mm lens... which got me thinking of the possibility of switching to that as I was constantly changing between my lens! Anyway, after a few searches on the net, found one selling rather cheaply at John Lewis! Didn't hesitated and got it straightaway! So today, I'm a proud owner of a monster lens.... who would have thought I will be so excited over a piece of glass!

Isn't she a beauty?!!!

I cherish the thought of not having to change between my lens now! Gotta go sell off my 55-200mm lens. It's no longer needed! Next on the list is a Nikon flash gun SB600! I need that badly!

Finally the last piece of good news is that I bought my air tix and I'm going home in summer! Yay!!!! Have been on the hunt since the beginning of this week and managed to find cheap fares provided I leave before the middle of July. After that, fares increased to double the price! I just couldn't believe it. Again after a few surfs, found a travel agent which sold the cheapest flight fares. Then hubs told me to check Emirates site and I discovered that it wasn't that much dearer, in fact it was £15 (overall fare) more to get from Emirates site. In this economic climate, I reckon Emirates is less likely to go under than a travel agent (which I've not used before!) so I ended up booking on the Emirate site. What more, I even sorted out meals as well as seating arrangements too (gotta luv the internet, god knows what I'll do without it now). So now my electronic tickets are all printed out and kept safely. Will even check in online a day before departure! Now I can sleep easy. In fact, this year's flight fares is far cheaper than last year and I thought I had net a bargain last year! Which makes me wonder, how do they set a flight fare... imagine a seat selling for £450 can suddenly double to £900 at certain periods.... just doesn't make sense! I supposed it's the same with Next clothes where one may find a coat for £80 and during sales, drop to £30! You just wonder, what is the nett price?!!

I'm sure I'm gonna regret slightly for leaving before term ends as the boys will miss out on a fair number of activities... most likely sports days, parties etc. BUT I'm not paying double price fares during school hols! That's daylight robbery!

All I can say, this has been a happy week for me! ;) Let's hope next week is equally good! TTFN!

Thursday, 8 January 2009

>>> Desperate! <<<

to try and get cheap flights to Singapore during the summer hols! I have to admit that I CAN'T look after the boys during the 6 weeks by myself! I'll go bonkers! That's why either I need to go back home or have my parents come up. Seeing that they aren't spring chickens now, it's much better for us to go over instead. Anyway, why the heck do I want to hang around the UK during summer? Weather is diabolical at times and I need to get away from this country to refresh and recharge! I can't tell you how last year's trip made a big difference to me, having had time off housework, cooking and being able to hang out with friends once in a while while my parents looked after the boys. I came back recharged and full of energy. Not worn out like the other moms who couldn't wait for the school term to start. Most of them were complaining how they had had enough of their kids. Well, I didn't feel that way, instead, I had a great time with them (only b'cos I wasn't with them all the time! Ha!)

So the hunt began... popped into Thomson as I booked with them last year. Unfortunately the date I want to leave doesn't offer much in terms of discount. However, leaving a week earlier would.... mmm have to check the school calendar! The school recently sent out a leaflet about taking kids out of school during term time for holidays, which they kinda discourage! Anyway, seeing that it's the last week of the entire school term, where everything is being cleaned out for the next school term, I can't see the Head saying 'no' to my request! During that period, the kids either play with toys or watch video most of the time. So I can't see my sons losing out in terms of lessons. In fact they get to start their hols a week earlier! ;)

But seriously, a day difference in flight dates make a BIG difference, we are talking about paying double the amount if you leave a day later! How ridiculous is that! I'm not surprised parents chose to book their hols during term time especially when the price is far far cheaper! Blame it on the travel agents and those involved in holiday pricing for jetting up the prices during school holidays! It 's not fair!

Think I'll hunt a bit more before getting the tickets... I won't sleep easy until I know I'm booked to go home! Miss my dad so much! TTFN!

Monday, 5 January 2009

>>> Battle Of The Wills <<<

between mom & youngest son! So I decided to cook a 'vegetarian' soup containing of chinese cabbage, carrot, seaweed, vermicelli and fish tofu. Soup was made using bean paste and vegetarian stock. Called the boys down and both turned their nose up when they realised no meat was available. I do try to have a vegetarian meal once a week so as to detox. Don't like them eating too much meat in a week. Anyway, the eldest sat down and began to eat and even had second helpings. The youngest decided he didn't want to eat and had his head on his arm the whole meal, whimpering away! In the end, told him he either eat or go to bed as I wouldn't put up with his nonsense! So the whimpering got louder and I brought him upstairs, changed him into his pjs and put him to bed. Dad tried to console him to no avail. He was determined to make himself heard! I told hubs he was not to even attempt to make an alternative meal for him. He eats what is on the table otherwise too bad! I've seen instances where moms give in to their children's dislike of food and end up cooking different meals for different child... bloody ridiculous! Parents should be in charge not the kids!

Anyway, after half an hour in bed, the little mite decided that he wasn't gonna win as both of us ignored him. So he did the most sensible thing, went downstairs and ate his dinner! Every single morsel of rice was gone and he even had a bowl of cereals after that! And then afterwards, acted as if nothing ever happened!

Moral of the story, stick to your guts and break their resolve. Kids are there to test your limits and see how far they can push. Give in and you are slave to them! I didn't and my son now knows better than to throw a tantrum on the dining table! Now to get them to eat curry...... :) TTFN!

Saturday, 3 January 2009

>>> On Display! <<<

Here's a couple of LOs done with Homegrown Scrapbooks Fall Survival kit:

And here's what I did with BackPorch Memories Jan Solo kit:

Featuring Chatterbox Together papers. Ohh, they are fab, a far cry from their 2005 range! LO was also done as a challenge in the forum.


Thursday, 1 January 2009

>>> Happy New Year! <<<

All of us had a lie in including the kiddies and we didn't stir till 11ish in the morning. Felt good not to have to get up so early. The afternoon was spent taking a walk down the beach in Poole. Daft thing to do as it was freezing cold and after a while, I gave up and went back to the car to take cover. Wimp! But the cold and moi are not best mates!

The boys loved playing with the sand and we kinda limited them to sand only as they would go to the sea if they could!

Moi, all bundled up and still feeling the chill!

Having a great time chilling out here. Managed to complete a couple of pages while I'm here. Yup, brought my scrapping stuff here but limited to Homegrown Fall Survival kit as I'm still working on them. With the boys engrossed with their cousins, I had time on my hand and made full use of it! TTFN!