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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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˜€

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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!

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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

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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™‚

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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!

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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

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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

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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!

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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..

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

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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!!!

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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!!!!

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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* !

1st paycheck from Nuffnang!

Heyhey!!! Can you believe it?! I really got my paycheck from Nuffnang!!! Yay!! Super Happy!!

check

I actually cashed out at the end of Dec 2013 and only received it on 13 Feb, the day I left SG!! Luckily, my parents could deposit the cash in my bank account πŸ˜€ So, it took me about 5 years+ to earn $66!!! Well, better than nothing right??! Do help to click on my nuffnang ads at the sidebar!!!

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!