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!!!
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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™‚

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!

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

 

Back!

We got back on 13 FEB and still battling jet-lag. Jet-lag is a huge monster I tell u!! We fell asleep at the wrong time, get hungry at the wrong time. Gosh… So I decided to cook to overcome the jet-lag. Works well so far! πŸ˜€

Vday was spent at home enjoying each other’s company. That includes grocery shopping, cooking, washing, unpacking. How exciting!!! I was delighted that BH volunteered to clean the place for us – the best Vday gift! I cooked a simple meal of Lotus root soup and sambal stinky beans. Home cook meal is the best! Just when we thought we could relax and catch up on tv shows we missed, Justin came over to our place! Followed by Jo&Dave and Ron! We shared a cake and spent our evening chatting away! Hahaha… It was a pleasant surprise! Really happy to have a mini get together after awhile! Who say vday is for lovers??!! It’s for friends too! πŸ™‚

Today, BH went to work and came home super early at 5pm! I love it that he comes home early and smiles as he walks into the door. I don’t know why but it’s heart warming especially on a super cold day! Hahaha..

I seriously have so much to blog about!!! Will update with pictures soon!!

So far in SG…

I am loving the weather in SG now. It is not as warm as I remembered. In fact, I can sleep without the aircon!! Amazing right?? It is either because my family installed a powerful ceiling fan or the weather is just right!! Actually, I am extremely glad to be out of the COLD USA

Most days, I spend time at home with my family and Bambi! Really embarrassed to say this but… I love being looked after after my parents. It is wonderful not to think about what to cook, doing the housework… Blah blah… I do help around in the house but my mum have her style of housekeeping… So u get the idea but I still help her when I can

Some other days, I meet up with my friends! It’s amazing how each and everyone had grown and moved on with their lives! I m happy to see my friends with their fellow partners, their small family, successful career. I m glad that throughout the years our friendship remains constant! To think about it, I do feel a little sad for myself as I have not achieve or done anything great over the years. At the same time, I also can’t help but to think of the many ‘what-ifs’ scenario. I only know that I m a much happier person than before now πŸ™‚ well, i guess that’s all that matters

Remaining other other days, I am excited to decorate our home for the first time for CNY! It is gonna be simple but I haven’t had a chance until now! I also found myself actually counting down the days to BH’s arrival in SG! Btw, 20 more days!

So many things to look forward to…. ^.^

Amanda’s 2013 year in review

It’s the time of the year again! Time for the end of year report card! Haha.. Well, this year I will be spending the start of the New Year away from BH – I hope that he won’t forget to write his review!!

Last night, after a fabulous night out with an old friend, I came home to my sis surfing Facebook ( not usual.. Haha) she was reviewing her year through her timeline. Out of curiosity, I went to review my timeline and the most memorable moment for me was….. When I purchased some 12 count, 3 ply toilet paper for $2.99! Haha.. How auntie! Facebook is not an accurate measure of my year, maybe my blog is better πŸ™‚

Just like other years, there are many ups and downs. Let’s see…

Jan
-Our small group of closely knitted friends in Seattle lost a game khaki suddenly to heart attack. It was a huge shock to us. We were deeply saddened but learnt to treasure each other and be more health conscious. This unfortunate event deserve a better post but I just can’t find the right words or courage to write it.
-BH and I went for our first vacation of the year to Los Angeles. It was the first time we attend a Chinese concert ( MAY day) in the USA . It was a cool experience. The view at Griffith observatory is probably the BEST sight I have ever seen this year!

Feb
-BH and I went for painting class together. It was such a fun vday activity!!

Mar
-Moved into a new apartment which became the BIGGEST regret of the year. Sigh!

Apr/May
– BH and I went to Vegas for a short getaway. We won a mini jackpot of US$200 !!! The biggest win so far! If you are wondering, the $ was ‘returned’ to the casino shortly. Hahaha

Jun
-Arrival of Mr Hyde! Our joy and best purchase of the year!
– started volunteering at a children’s museum! BEST decision ever! Why did it take me so long to take up volunteering!!!

July/Aug
-My loving hubby decided that maybe we should look for a new place since I was upset and uncomfortable about the apartment. We were looking at buying a place but DID NOT because of our SG commitments. We saw a place we really liked – the kind that you will want to grow your family in, the kind that gives you the AHA moment the minute you step foot in but we got to let it go. It hurts a lot because you know what you want but you can’t pursue it further. It took awhile for the heartache to go away but we still believe that other good things will come our way. You just got to be patient… Right? ηŸ₯θΆ³ηš„εΏ«δΉε«ζˆ‘εΏε—εΏƒη—›
– BH and his team participated in a Hackaton and emerged the Seattle champion!

Sept
– BH and I celebrated our 5 years anniversary!! I am soooo happy that we r still in love and on the same page ( most of the time.. Haha) I just feel so happy that i don’t want our relationship to change. I still wish that BH will be able to put me ( family) above his work

Oct
-nothing worth mentioning

Nov
-we went to San Jose for Hackaton finals! Though BH and team did not win the grand prize, I m still proud of his achievements!

Dec
-We finally received news of something important to us. We did what we needed and hope for the best. We will only know the result next year. I am looking forward to this!
-I cashed out my first blogger paycheck on nuffnang. I earned $66 for 5 years!!! Obviously not blogging hard enough πŸ™ Still waiting for the cheque to reach me…
-I came back to SG for Xmas and New year – leaving poor BH alone for the first time during this time of the year… Boooo… Will meet in a few weeks time! πŸ™‚

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Overall, Its been a relatively happy this year. I really regretted the rental we are staying in now – wish that time will fly by so that the lease will end soon.

In 2014,
– I will continue to eat healthy, go to the gym ( really missing ZUMBA and cardio tai box now)
– Volunteer
– blog more ( post entries with more substance)!
– save more money for future home
– be happy, worry less

Hopefully, more good things will come our way πŸ™‚ Happy New Year everybody!!

Binghuan’s 2013 Year In Review!

Numbers just keep adding up doesn’t it?
Things were sort of chaotic this year.

1) We move to an older place. First time we compromised our living conditions in hope of savings. We did save more alright but not sure if its worth our sanity.

2) I changed teams for the first time in MS. Sort of change since I rejoined my old lead and another colleague. I don’t think that was a mistake, leaving my comfort zone. It also made me realize how much more I like Kirkland compared to Bellevue. Still love Redmond too..

3) We went out of our way to look for a home for us. We were really serious and I think we found a place (Took months cause we were soooo picky) that we know we would love only to finally decide against it. I will put that blame on me. Won’t go into details why but we just didn’t.

4) We didn’t go for any travel at all (beside San Jose which I will go into later). Once again, to save money…

5) I won a Hackathon! My very first one too, the Paypal Hackathon was an eye-opener. I got to visit Paypal HQ, meet new people, play with new technology. It was tiring but I have no regrets. The final for the big money was sort of a let-down, the other teams that placed in top 3 was okie and I thought we did well enough to place but apparently not. Maybe it was the MS connection that pulled us down.

6) Lots of savings! I just calculated and it was incredible the amount we saved this year. It is hard to see the amount as it is spread across a few accounts but I was really glad the compromised above wasn’t for nothing.

2014 will be a super exciting year, I cannot even wait!
1) GC process is finally moving to the last stage. Which means I will get GC, Amanda can be free to choose what she wants to do! For me is probably more of a job security as I can jump to other places but I can’t really decide if I want to. I have some friends here, and Seattle isn’t that bad besides the cold weather. San Fran would be nice but property is so expensive there that I can’t really put myself through moving all the way there.

2) We might just decide to move to another rental if the HDB appeal failed. No point suffering, and lots of new places around so maybe we will just move to enjoy 1 more year of rental.

3) I do want to return to Vegas with Amanda. We skipped it for 2013, lets return to our annual routine. πŸ™‚
We will also be flying first class to… BALI haha on SQ. Okie, short trip but hey still first class! Can’t wait for that too.

Some longer term goals?
1) I really want to go Peru and visit Machu Picchu. Not sure when but soon I hope. If not too old to climb… πŸ™

2) The elusive home that we can grow our family in. I really hope appeal goes through and allow us to sell our hdb.

3) Maybe a cute dog? πŸ™‚

brrrr.. cold

Can’t believe that my last blog entry was over a month ago!!!
NOOO… I have not given up on blogging.. just that I have been sooo preoccupied everyday

Last month, BH and I went to San Jose for BattleHack World Championship 2013 – BH and his team represented Seattle. Though they did not win the grand prize of $100K, I was super proud of the effort they put into their project πŸ™‚

In the month of NOV, I also attended 2 cooking classes with Jo. It was a fun experience. As it was hands-on, we had little pictures

The weather here is getting cold. “Super cold” is an understatement. The word is ‘FREEZING’
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The above pic shows the windscreen of my car. It’s icy! I got to scrape the ice away before I can drive! The bottled water we have inside our car FROZE too!! Really cold.. This is when I miss Singapore’s weather πŸ˜€

Well, I was supposed to be back in SG this week for vacation. However, I got to change the date because of SOMETHING which I can’t reveal here ( No, not pregnant) I spent 1k to delay the flight.. and realised that my flight next week could be overbooked! I don’t have a seat allocated to me but I am not on waiting list too. I have no idea what’s going to happen. I do want to come home for X’mas!! Wish me luck!!

ohh… the highlight of the week was meeting my Secondary school classmate who happen to have the same birthday as me!! Her family had been relocated here too!! What are the odds right! and it was my primary school friends who told me about her.. heh.. Glad to know another Singaporean friend in the area πŸ™‚

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Shall update soon!

Happiness comes with a price…

I wish mine was cheaper.

It had came to a point that I was going crazy with the insects at our current apartment. The last straw came when we saw a HUGE silverfish on the curtains and centipede on the carpeted floor! I freaked out.

I really don’t want to be a trouble-maker but I just want to be happy at the peak of our lives

Thank you to my loving husband who is willing to do anything to make me happy…

Wish us luck!

Getting older

I recently celebrated my birthday – which falls on a Saturday! My favorite birthday day. I know, it’s weird to have a favorite birthday day but that’s Amanda..quirky like that! nah… I didn’t have any celebration or demanded anything out of extraordinary (though a car would be nice.. haha) . I was really contented to spend my day with BH.. we watched Oz the great and powerful for the last weekend at IMAX. I love that movie.. well.. let’s put it this way.. I love movies that enables normal people to do great things! “It’s not about the GREATness but the GOODness”

I had a teary birthday. Somehow, I was sad that I’m older and I have not really got what I thought I would have by X age. No… kids are not in the question… BUT I always wanted to have a home.. nice kitchen.. nice furniture.. The only thing I achieved was… being a homemaker… I know, how different people have different dreams and i may sound like a weak woman for saying this BUT i just want to have a nice place to settle in and have a loving family. this was the sole reason why I thought I saved so hard for (and y i chose the teaching profession in the first place). Now.. it’s just useless…

Well, the thing about me is.. I know what I want so it just feels miserable that I just didn’t achieve it. Now.. another year had passed.. so i was just sad…and teary… boooo…. to top it up… the cake BH bought me tasted stale – I am sad when I didn’t get good cake – so disappointed by the bakery.. it WAS my favorite!!!!

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My Corgi, Bamboo eyeing the cake πŸ™‚

Next entry…. updates on new place!

California girl for the weekend Part 1

BH just moved our site to a new server and he had been bugging me to blog. haha.. so here I am!

we went to LA! well.. it’s not my first time but it was BH’s 1st. The main reason for going to LA is for MayDay concert! I am so not a concert person however it’s really rare for a Taiwanese Rock bank to come to USΒ  for performance.. and this is BH (and my sis) fave band.. Off we went!

 

31 Jan

We took early flight.. so that we won’t waste any time πŸ™‚ some random sights….

random LA sights

First meal was at Craft. BH and I had been watching alot of Top Chef. Going to one of the chef/judges restaurants will be soooo cool! Craft is Tom Colicchio’s (1 of the judges) chain of restaurant. It was a nice surprise to know that this same restaurant was featured on Top Chef this season!!! hahaha…

hmmm.. i personally felt that the food was alright… I mean.. not fantastic… ok.. if u r expecting HUGE portions, go to another place. The portions here are good for 1 person, not meant for sharing.

Lucky for us, when we were in LA, it was “Dine LA” (Please don’t pronounce as Dine lar, the singlish way, which I did. The server looked weirdly at me.. hahaha)- you can get a 3 course menu for about US$28.

craft1 I had salad as my first course… and the vege were kinda yellowish… i feel disappointed that it’s not THAT fresh…

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My 2nd course was quail with herbs… wanted to try quail as it had been cooked quite frequently on Top Chef. BH had Berkshire Pork with Polenta, Greens and Dates – he liked his alot and found it very flavorful

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I guess.. my favourite was dessert. It was Olive Oil ice-cream! wow…I have never tasted such before! It is actually very good (&healthy I hope) hehe…

Next… we checked out Hollywood!

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We got our tickets to Jimmy Kimmel Live a few weeks before hand. BH was super thrilled to watch him LIVE! However, we were stuck in traffic… and couldn’t mk it to the line early enough…. so we didn’t get the chance to go to the studio . The most upsetting thing was we were the next 3 from the cut-off line… oh well… FYI, the celebrity for the night was Jennifer Lawrence!

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Dinner was at Chick-a-fil. There’s no chick-a-fil at WA state.. so we thought of trying it… food was mediocre

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It was a super long and tiring day since we starting fairly early… headed back to our Airbnb guesthouse after dinner….

To be continued! πŸ˜€