Binghuan’s year in review 2014

This year was tough, I don’t know why but I feel this year was the toughest so far in the USA besides maybe the first year. Maybe it is due to me aging, maybe it is due to not having anything that is life changing happening to me…

Let’s recap all the biggest events again..

1) I ticked off something in my bucket list of giving a talk. Granted it is a small talk, I always wanted to do it, not so much that I think I am great at it. In fact, I think there are lots which I can improve with. It is more because I like to challenge myself. I hate that people will say you cannot do this or that, and I showed that I did it. Obviously I have lots of supporters in the form of my wife and my wonderful team. Challenge accepted and completed.

2) Was selected as the only person from my team to attend an Adobe conference for marketing analytics and I got to go to watch an NBA match in a suite! If only the teams were better, but hey its all free. With that trip, I also manage to visit Utah which is a really interesting city with its Mormon background. Would definitely re-visit it again with Amanda to for the rock and mountain.

3) Was fortunate enough to be re-assigned to a really hot project and deliver it on time. The Halo Channel is by far my toughest assignment so far. With less than 2 months, we had to almost re-write an entire app for Xbox one and Windows. I love UI work but obviously it is not my strongest skill set. Still very happy to learn new frameworks like AngularJS and be able to take a small leadership role to guide 2 vendors is awesome. I think I did overwork but it was all made up for with a 2 weeks break that I got for free…

4) Road trip with 2 close friends to Alaska! I don’t think Amanda and I have done anything as extensive as our Alaska trip with Jo and Dave. It is really hard to find friends especially friends who are of similar age and circumstances. I think we spend so much time in 2014 with them that facebook might think we are 1 big family with their year in review. Alaska was lots of fun, I hope everyone else enjoyed it too.

5) First all-inclusive resort in Cancun. So I got the miles from Southwest and decided to go all out and fly to Mexico. We didn’t want to splurge too much so chose a resort which I think we sort of regretted. There wasn’t a lot of good food choices within the resort. The food and drink is good but I think we both felt that we could have gotten better one. I actually enjoyed us visiting Moon Palace the most, if I have a choice, I think I might have chose that resort instead. Lot more food choices, activities to do. The view and water isn’t as nice though, so I guess its a coin flip. The other issue I have with all-inclusive resort is I miss my wife’s food… πŸ™‚

Did I miss anything, feels bland to me. I am wishing 2015 will be a big year for us, I wish things will change drastically in every facet. I think I am tired, or old. I am tired of getting old. I am thinking of travelling to somewhere far, like Machu Picchu or London. But we have to go back for a wedding, so I guess that is the trip. Amanda and I have like this 5 years plan which I am hoping we will just finish next year too. So that will be great if we do execute that plan.

Hope everyone else have a good year and an even better one next year.

Amanda’s 2014 review

I know I had neglected my blog again. It had been a long while since I blogged πŸ™

It’s the first entry of year 2015!! Happy New Year! This year we went to a friend’s place to welcome the new year. Guess how we spent the 1st minute of the new year? Of course, we drank champagne! So as the saying goes or rather the Amanda’s theory – “If you spent the first minute of the new year drinking champagne, you will be drinking champagne for the rest of the year!!” May this be a prophecy for all who still reads my blog!!! *cheers!!*

2014 had gone by in a flash. Let me try to recall some highlights-

Jan/Feb
The first 2.5 months of 2014 was spent in Singapore. Little would i know that this will be the LAST long vacation I will have for a long long time. I had an enjoyable time with family and friends. BH and I finally spent CNY in Singapore and gave out angbaos for the first time since we are married!! We also redeemed our expiring Krisflyer miles and traveled to Bali in Business Class! I love our Bali vacation so much.. probably the best vacation ever!!

March
We returned to Seattle and decided that we can no longer stay in the crappy apartment.We found a fabulous new community to move to. The rent is expensive but we decided that we wanted to enjoy our lives and save on other areas, so we moved. I think God had planned for this all along. After committing ourselves to the new apartment lease, we received good news of our PR status. This means that I can work and help out with saving more! The fear of increased rent was uncalled for! Just when I thought looking for a job will take me a long time…. someone sent an email within the Singaporean Meetup group, saying that his firm have a job vacancy. I applied and started working the next week! This is the reason why I can no longer go back to Singapore for long vacation already. By the way, that was the first resume I sent!!! (I am still working for him now.. my boss is by far the BEST I have ever had!)

April
Hosted Keurig Houseparty – I received a Keurig coffee maker for free!!! so happy to get selected!

May
Stopped volunteering to focus on my new job. Other than that, I can’t recall anything much

June
Trip to Napa Valley!! The first trip we took since I started working!

July
Bing and I discovered that our apartment have 2 fancy grills. We were like grilling steaks every 2 weeks! so delicious!
We also went to Seattle Sounders game with friends.

August
We finally took our post wedding pictures! The pictures turned out great!! Happy that I have 1 thing off my bucket list! πŸ™‚
We also went on a trip to Alaska with Dave and Jo!! Travelling together was so much fun- we will remember this adventure for life!

September
Happy 6th wedding anniversary to us! BH was busy with work but he still spend time to create an album with our photos!

October
Nothing exciting? Bing was working alot

November
Also nothing worth mentioning…

December

Went for Health check and was told that I have high cholesterol!! It is amazing how much I neglected my health when I start working πŸ™
Our vacation to Cancun, Mexico!! Such a relaxing trip!! I really love the all inclusive resort experience!!!
IMG_0496 (2)

I guess that sums up my year in 2014!

In 2015, I will
1) go to work on time and leave work on time everyday
2) go to the gym or zumba at least 2 times a week
3) blog at least once a week
4) study hard to get my paraplanning certification

Just like last year, I hope that more good things will come our way and that our family&friends will stay healthy and happy!
Happy New Year! πŸ™‚

My twin!!!!

Bing had been working a whole lot. Today is one of those days that he decide to work late and not come home for dinner. So… I got to cook for myself. Anyhow, I need to squeeze in a post while waiting for my food to cool down a little….

We have assigned parking slots in our apartment. So, just a few days ago, my parking neighbour bought a new car!!!! LOOOK!!!!

IMG_0427-1.JPG

Boo… I think the driver is a girl!! I haven’t met her yet!! What should I say if I see her???

Bing thought our cars look cute together… I can’t help but we feel that she ‘copied’ me πŸ™ hahaha… And I am renaming my car BAYMAX!! Just saw Big Hero 6 and BAYMAX is sooo cute!!! So my car is my BAYMAX now πŸ˜€

Time to eat!

6th 6eptember!

Happy Anniversary to us!

6 years of marriage flew by quickly. I have been very blessed to know and eventually marry such a wonderful guy. BH is NOT romantic, neither does he cook or clean. However, he is a good provider. He is motivated to work hard so I don’t have to. I remember how he was not too excited when I decided to go back to work “Why don’t you tell your boss that you can only work 4 days a week?” I guess, the MCP part of him just wanted a wife to clean, cook and wash?

Well, so what have we achieved in 6 years? erm… nothing? I really still enjoy having just the 2 of us. On most days, we just feel that having a dog would make our relationship more colorful. Yes, we have been dog searching whenever we can – however, we are just so picky. Just last week, we FINALLY see a puppy we both liked. Like most first dog owners, we were asking a whole tonne of questions.. in the end, the seller/breeder sold the pup to someone else. You should have seen the sadness on BH’s face. His exact words was ” It feels like we lost a child.” I was speechless.

Then again, I am really glad that we still have so much to look forward to as a couple. It’s like we have so much to do BEFORE we have kids. I guess the phrase that we look forward for is to have our own house, buying furniture we really like and decorating our own space without limits. Hopefully or maybe the time will come soon?

Finally, I am delighted to say that BH and I finally took the plunge and did something we wanted to do for a long time….. we took our post-wedding pictures!!

Here’s a few pictures πŸ™‚ Thank you Sam, my first friend in Seattle, who helped with the make-up. Photography by KristenΒ – she is young but talented. Photography session with her feels like a therapy – she interacts with us, ask us questions and certainly helped us to feel even closer after 6 years marriage (+ 6 years of dating)!

Amanda+Bing167

Amanda+Bing160

Amanda+Bing144

Amanda+Bing137

Amanda+Bing118

Amanda+Bing099

Amanda+Bing066

Amanda+Bing032

Amanda+Bing026

Amanda+Bing024

Amanda+Bing010

What do you think? We loved them! These memories will last a life time πŸ™‚

I am still alive!

I haven’t blogged for so long and I forgot my log in to blog!!!! I still can’t rem my log in but luckily ipad saved my info.

Things have been going on great! I think I had gained weight ever since I started working πŸ™

Last weekend, I went to my first soccer match. I am not interested in soccer so I was super bored. However, the weather was really nice until it started drizzling towards the end!

My favorite picture from the day. No editing!!! Love the color of the sky. Can you spot the space needle??

20140719-175727.jpg

The working me

It’s not easy to be a good employee and a good wife at the same time.

Let’s just say BH and I started our life here with me not working. When I went back to work, our lifestyle needs to get adjusted. I could no longer clean the house on a weekday and sometimes, I get too tired to cook after work. This is when I really miss being back in SG – at least I have a nice home-cooked meal by my mum when I go home after work.

For now, if I don’t pull myself together and cook, we got to eat rubbish food outside. Blah…Housework have to be done on a weekend – just glad that BH is willing to give me a hand after my nagging repeated plead for help.

Those who are still living with or near your parents… ENJOY IT while it last.

Such is the life of us now.

 

A recycled gift :)

Updated 4/19 – Shortly after I posted this entry, I saw that the hands on the 2 mini ‘clocks’ on my watch came apart ( as seen in the pic)!!Geeez… I sent it back to Fossil to have it fixed…

I was back in Singapore a few months back and was packing my things as usual –Β  so many years in US and still many things in Singapore. My mum found this watch which I totally forgot that I had it!

watch

This is a watch which BH gave me on my 21st birthday! wah.. sentimental value right? However, the strap broke. At first, I did not want it anymore BUT my mum persuaded me to bring it back to the states with me. So I did. I contacted Fossil and was told that this watch had been discontinued…… and…. they are going to give me $125 credit towards a new watch!!!! OMG!! Such joy!! New watch!! It’s like a birthday present – recycled.

Tadah! My new watch!

IMG_9921

Thank you Fossil for the amazing after-service, even though it’s nearly 10 years!!!! Now, I am hoping that a broken Philippe Starck watch is not a collectible item which is worth more than $125….

Crazy month of March

It’s been a while since I last updated. I meant to update more often but I was just too tired and busy.

The month of March had been extremely challenging for me or us. I am glad that it’s over! Now we are starting everything anew!

Here’s the updates –

Wisdom teeth

On the last day of February, I extracted my wisdom teeth. Everything seem fine. However, I noticed that the left side of my mouth/ jaw area is numb! I was horrified. It just does not feel the same as before. I went for my post-op exam and the dentist told me that one of my tooth was pretty near a nerve. The nerve could be bruised during the extraction and there is nothing I can do except to wait for it to heal by itself. Gosh! Anyway, it’s a month after the surgery and the numbness indeed wore off. I still feel the numbness at times but it’s getting better πŸ™‚ Will be going for another post-op later this month

Mr Hyde

It was injured!!! Heart pain πŸ™ Someone in BH’s office reversed into its rear. Luckily the impact was low. The guy is at fault and his insurance paid for our damages. We managed to get it fixed! Still, it was a painful experience.

We moved

Finally!! Moving is very tiring, we still have things which we have not unpacked. I am enjoying this new place except that the toilet sink is leaking πŸ™ The maintenance team came to have it fixed.. hopefully, they did a good job.

I turned 30

I thought I was going to enjoy my birthday by doing my hair, going for pedicures and pedicures, eating something good. Turns out that we need to move because BH is going to a conference. I technically didn’t celebrate my birthday. We had cake though. Shall blog more on this.

Home alone

This month also marks the FIRST time ever in the states that I stayed alone as BH went for a conference in Utah. I am glad that we moved, staying home alone at our new place feels so much safer.

Green card + work

The biggest and best news! We got our Green Card status on the last week of February. This means I can officially work. The week after, I got a job offer and I accepted it! I am working now! The working hours are Mon-Fri 10-4,so I can still come home to cook and do housework. My boss is very kind and understanding so far, I am really happy. He is also cool that I leave earlier on Fridays for volunteering! Pay wise, it is on the low side but I am entering a new industry and learning something new! Really relieved that I can find a job! What more can i ask for?! Thank you God for answering my prayers and opening this door for me!

Pulled over by police

On the last day of March, when I thought March is going to be over…….The police pulled me over on my way to work!! Well, it’s a FIRST time for me. I was super scared!!! Turns out that my car license tab had expired. He gave me a warning. Thank God!

—–

Eventful March right?? Shall take it slow from now on….

 

Bali Happy vacation!

Finally down to blogging about one of the BEST vacation ever πŸ™‚

8 – 10 Feb

BH and I planned this trip about 6 months back. We wanted to use our expiringΒ  Krisflyer miles and also travel to somewhere relaxing. We decided on Bali! Since we had the miles, BH suggested that we should fly Business class. Yes, we still need to pay SG$180 per person ( for taxes and etc) but it’s a once in a lifetime experience! And so… we went for it.. and it was the BEST flight ever!

1

Business class passengers have access to the SilverKris Lounge. Basically, it’s a rest area with shower rooms, wi-fi and a generous Buffet spread !! I was extremely happy to eat chwee kuayΒ  and sip TWG while waiting for boarding time! πŸ˜€

2

of course, the flight was extra comfy.. we get to read magazines and have our baggage tagged as ‘PRIORITY’ – no long waits for luggage!!

Oh… and for SQ First/Business class flight from SIN to other destinations, you have the option to ‘Book the Cook’ You get a special gourmet meal! we had Lobster brunch!!!! so extravagant!

1 week before our flight, we also called the SQ ticketing office and told them we are celebrating our anniversary!!! we got a nice cake on the plane together with champagne!!! wah!! super impressed with the service!! seriously the BEST!! By the way, we were so full from the food so the SQ crew packed our cake for us to enjoy in Bali! πŸ™‚ Love the thoughtful service!

3

The flight was just too short πŸ™ We arrived in Bali in about 2h 30mins time!!

At Bali airport, we took a cab to Villa Uma Sapna

5 6

Beautiful villa!!! We had welcome drinks and fruits, chilled out a little..jumped into the pool, washed up and went sightseeing shortly!

We took a cab to Potato Head Beach Club – a nice place to sit down and chillax πŸ™‚

7

The following day, BH arranged for a driver (US$50) from Bali Bliss Tour

The driver did have a planned itinerary. He wanted to bring us to watch some Bali dance and shop at Craft village, we are not interested so we declined politely. The driver was cool with it. In the end, he drove us to drink Luwak Coffee.Β  BH and I love coffee, we felt that the regular Bali coffee was watered down – Luwak coffee is very strong and bold BUT EXPENSIVE!

9

Then he drove us to see Ubud rice fields – it was nice but not as huge as I thought it will be. We also walked around in Ubud downtown area. I bought 2 bottles of gourmet jam from KOU which tasted really good! haha… yes, of all things, jam was the only thing we bought in Bali

10

Lunch was buffet at a restaurant with the view of the Volcano ( not sure the name) This is the ONLY decent pic I have of this place because it started pouring during our meal and the volcano disappeared behind the clouds

volcano

Traffic is quite bad in Bali. The scooters are crazy! so scary to drive!!! By the time we arrived back in Seminyak, it was almost dinner time!

BH and I went to Breeze at The Samaya for dinner. Super romantic place!! The view was beautiful! Gosh… very nice!! I don’t wanna leave!!! Food was on the high cost side but we decided to indulge – so happy to spend such a wonderful evening with my dearest!

11 12

After dinner, I arranged for Spa Bali to pick us. I did a Body Scrub while BH did hot stone massage. It was only about US$15 for each service!!! Very affordable!!! I love it so much that I booked another session with them on the next day ( before we leave Bali)

On the last day, BH and I explored the Villa’s art gallery. Art pieces are very nice, wish we could bring them home! haha..

13

Then we had lunch at The Bistrot Food was alright. We dined here because I love the ambiance πŸ™‚

15

After lunch, it’s Spa time!!!! This time BH and I did facial. Then I had manicure and hair treatment! Sooooo relaxing.. and much cheaper than SG!!! Big love!!!

14

We still had time (& money) after the Spa, we decided to go to Sardine just to chill out16

Just for us to remember, we only changed SG$400 and did not use credit cards for our meals/spa. It was enough!!

Weird enough, we had to pay exit tax ofΒ  150,000 rupiah when we depart Bali – I thought it was included in the airfare?! In any case, we paid part of it by USD because we didn’t have enough rupiah already πŸ™

Anyhow, 3 days 2 night at Bali was just tooo short!!!! Would love to go back again!!!Β  πŸ™‚ Thank you BH for such an amazing, pampering holiday!!!!

4

 

 

all my wisdom is gone!!

The last time I had 2 wisdom teeth at the right hand side removed in Sept 2011. After procastinating for a long time,I removed the other 2 on the left hand side TODAY! Yay!! I am sooo done with wisdom teeth now!! Dentists.. pls stop pestering me!!!By the way, I decided to go with another oral surgeon, hoping he is better!!! πŸ˜€ Now I just hope that it heals fast and painless!!And they didn’t keep my wisdom teeth for me to take a look *again* !