She just turned 7 weeks old!

10 weeks ago, I was wondering how life would change. Here I am, with the baby at her 7th week, now sleeping in our room as I type this post. I am amazed at seeing her in real life — from black and white ultrasound pictures to a real being whom I can cuddle. I still cannot believe that the foetus that had baked in my womb for almost the past one year is now in my arms. Isn’t God amazing and wonderful? Praise the Lord!

Our baby has been so blessed and loved, since conception till her birth. Sometimes I can’t believe that everything has been rather smooth thus far — everything was just right– like how baby waited till 18 January for the Caesarean section (when she could have come out earlier — that would have been an emergency c-sect), how her jaundice level was just at the acceptable level which allowed her to be discharged, how I had so much help from my family members, especially my mom, my MIL and my sis since the baby’s birth. God revealed to me that He cares and He is my provider, such that everything will be just right, just enough.

Challenges may come after I go back to work, especially with my work nature, but I will take each day as it comes. Each day has its own worries. I believe God will provide everything to be “just right”, “just enough”. He knows what I can bear…

Meanwhile, I’m enjoying the time without having to type emails, read newspapers for work muahaha. For now, life is about waking up to feed, changing diapers, talking to baby, pacifying the baby, pumping and napping whenever possible. It’s not bad… :p

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Getting ready for our little one

It started with attending a pregnancy seminar…

And we visited a baby fair at Expo where we got a breast pump and a cot, including this free packet of diapers!

Mom (Grandma) bought our little one lots of onesies that can be buttoned from the front.

And we bought a changing table cum chest of drawers from Ikea, which was later painstakingly assembled by DR and Sarah using three hours!

Mom bought her towels..

And a church friend offered their pre-loved bottle steriliser!

Some pending items that we need for now:

– Baby bottles

– Baby carrier (getting a second-hand Manduca from Carousell which is in a pretty good condition. If the baby doesn’t like the carrier, at least I know I haven’t spent a bomb on this)

– One or two more sets of bedding (mattress cover, pillow case) for the cot

– Lots of diapers (S and M-sized)

– Lots of baby wipes

Things you need in your fridge

Realise this was in the draft. Since I am now on WordPress, let’s get this published!

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DR and I enjoy grocery shopping together. After staying on our own for slightly more than 1 year (oh my goodness… Where did time go??), these are the things we buy most often/need minimally in stock at home to survive:
1. Carrots

2. Eggs

3. Cheese

4. Garlic

5. Seasonings (e.g. salt, sugar, soy sauce, oyster sauce)

6. Navel oranges (because they are sweet and easy to eat as fruits)

7. Apples (only NZ’s Pacific Rose apples allowed in the house… They are the best!)

8. Greenfields milk

9. Rice

10. Nissin and Myojo instant noodles

11. Yakult 

12. Fruit juice 

Quick lowdown of our trip to Taipei

Here is a quick overview of my recent trip to Taipei, from 9 to 14 Feb 2016. Hopefully I’ll have some time (ok, more like motivation) to blog more in detail.

Hotels we stayed in
1. Smile Inn Taipei – 8/10. Points for the convenience as it is surrounded by a 24-hour McDonald’s, 7-Eleven, Uniqlo, H&M, Shin Kong Mitsukoshi etc. Good, strong shower. Too bad our room doesn’t come with a window so we can’t wake up with natural light.

2. Nine Plus Spa Hot Spring Resort at Beitou (also known as Lotus Spa) – 2.5/10. Points given only because of the private hot spring tub in our room and a helpful shuttle bus driver. The cleanliness of the room and breakfast were terrible. The dim room looked like some old Chinese movie set, that I dreaded to open the cupboards and drawers in the room, fearing that I will find a skeleton. The wooden bed frame had such a thick layer of dust, that according to the Hubby, if you rolled it into a dust ball, you could make it into a small pillow. The breakfast items, comprising Chinese food like plain porridge, veggies, stewed pork, were mostly cold and too salty. No proper coffee and tea as well. They seriously need an overhaul for this hotel.

3. Hotel Fun (formerly known as ‘TW1 Hotel’) – 9/10. New, clean, bright, has friendly receptionists and is conveniently located at Ximending. Right below the hotel is Ay Chung flour rice noodles shop (or ‘Ah Zhong meesua’) and it is 3-min walk away from Ximen metro station. Comes with a window so we get to wake up with natural light in the room. Only minor gripe is its shower curtain which makes the toilet floor too wet and slippery.

How much we spent for 6 days and 5 nights in Taipei (excluding hotel + plane ticket) – about $1,000 for transport + shopping + gifts + food.

Things to buy in Taipei
1. Umbrellas at the underground malls of Taipei Main Station. A decent umbrella there costs NT$200 (about $8.80).
2. My Beauty Diary facial masks. To me, they are better than the masks from Korea. 
3. Bifido gummies (also known as Yakult gummies) from 7-Eleven.
4. Winter boots (if you happen to be there during winter).
5. Chia Te pineapple pastry. Be prepared to queue for them.

Favourite food/drink from this trip (list from both the Hubby and me)
1. Mister Donut’s cinnamon maple stick
2. 卤味 (braised pig intestines + noodles + veggies + mushrooms + beancurd + quail eggs etc) from Shida Night Market
3. Grilled squid from Danshui Old Street
4. Sea salt + matcha soft-serve ice cream at Shin Kong Mitsukoshi department store’s B1.  
5. 茶番’s matcha drinks. They need to come to SG!
6. Roasted sugar cane drink at Tonghua Night Market. Drink it warm.

Night Markets we visited
1. Tonghua 通化
2. Raohe 饶河
3. Shida 师大
4. Ningxia 宁夏

Tips for our next trip to Taiwan
1. Change money at Taoyuan International Airport – they have better rates than Singapore.
2.  Fly there not during major holidays. We wanted to go to Shifen to look at the old railway and sky lanterns, but the trains to this destination were all packed as we were there during their long CNY holiday.
3. Bring a luggage weighing scale. I thought my luggage was overweight. Turned out that I could put 5 more kg worth of things. Would have bought more My Beauty Diary masks if I knew I haven’t exceeded the luggage weight limit.

That’s about it! I will leave you with a picture of Ximending at dusk, taken from the hotel we were staying on our last day.

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*wrote this post while on the flight back*

The keys are here!

I am getting the keys of our new flat in a couple of days.

Congratulations to myself and DR. 🙂

My little success – Strawberry Jelly Hearts Cheesecake

So, you think I’m a noob cook? Well, think again. I managed to make a cheesecake! A non-bake one… haha.. so technically speaking, I didn’t “cook”. But the results made me so happy, I feel like I have accomplished a great cooking feat.

Presenting the strawberry jelly hearts cheesecake I made for DR’s 28th birthday.

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I spent 3 days to make this cake as I needed one day to chill each layer. First the crushed digestive biscuits base, then the cheesecake layer and then the jelly. On hindsight, I think I would have used less jelly so that the cheesecake layer gets more attention. Nonetheless, I find this cake still a success as DR enjoyed it! It is not easy to have DR like something as he has a rather picky tastebud.

I would like to thank my sister for helping me buy the cream cheese and lending me her MIL’s electric whisk, making this cake possible!

Anyway, if you all are interested to make this cake, I got the recipe from this website: http://www.noobcook.com/strawberry-jelly-cheesecake/

To give my cheesecake layer a little oomph, I added a little lemon juice which wasn’t stated in this recipe. I am thinking… I can also tweak this recipe and make an oreo cheesecake. I don’t feel like a noob cook after this little successful cake-making attempt. Yay!

Imagining our space

The both of us are anticipating our new flat, our own couple space, and a spot for us to entertain our friends and family. Psst… DR can cook, just that right now, it is not very convenient to do so at my place 😦 Our flat keys… FASTER COME LEH!

While we wait, we are looking at the interior design styles we like, saving money (at least $30K for reno and furnishing) and then arming ourselves with technical details of what our house needs (e.g. ceiling or standing fans, window grilles, lighting, gas or electric heaters etc) by talking to our parents and people who have gone through these. It dawned on me I need to take charge for my own place, and am no longer a child relying on my parents! Never knew that doing up a flat requires so much knowledge and effort until now.

I found a website, Sproost that helped us both think about how our flat could look like. I did a quiz and found out that my style was a mixture of “Cottage Chic” and “Rustic Revival”.  So what’s “Cottage Chic” and “Rustic Revival”?

COTTAGE CHIC – http://www.sproost.com/blog/2010/05/design-your-style-cottage-chic/

“You love old and new alike, and love to highlight them all to expose the uniqueness of each. I like how the built-in storage is modern but uses and older wood look for the doors.”

“Your true inspiration (whether you know it or not) is the sea…the colors found at your favorite beach: white and light beige of the sand, a variety of blues for the ocean and sky, and greens and pale grays of the sea glass…but the key is white!”

Elle Decor - living rooms - glass front cabinet, zebra bench, sofa table, wood sofa table,  Skye Kirby - Crisp, clean white & orange family room!

Decorology Francesco Lagnese

decorology Frank Roop

RUSTIC REVIVAL – http://www.sproost.com/blog/2010/04/design-your-style-rustic-revival/

“For Rustic Revival, the clean lines of the modern softened by rustic and vintage elements are the perfect mix in your mind.”

White, pale gray or beige, khaki and sage; all of these colors make nice, subtle backdrops for Rustic Revival style.”

Think of the colors of natural linen, concrete, and if you’d like to go dark, use the dark brownish-black of iron or the deep burnt orange of rust.”

The key is to keep the spaces feeling open (go modern!) and yet warm (yay for rustic!), and by going light on the walls and major pieces and more color on the accents and accessories you can achieve this mix really well.”

decorology Morten Holtum

Living Etc BARN-STYLE LIVING AREA

Thinking of the designs is just the start! Now, to find out about the specifications required to renovate a house, and also the type of sofa, dining table, lightings, washing machine, fridge etc we need. This is like playing Sims, except I don’t have a cheat code to have unlimited money to buy the furnishing I want for the house! Need wisdom to plan…

 

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