Thursday, June 9, 2016

Chinese Enrichment end of term review

Still remember 2 years ago when we just returned from USA, Xavier could hardly communicate with my parents in mandarin and reading a chinese book to him is simply impossible.  He is just not interested! He would run around or walk away when I decided to pick up a chinese book. That was when I first freaked out and understood the arduous journey ahead of us!

Did lots of research and tried different ways to nurture Xavier's interest in chinese. But we failed. Guess this becomes a vicious cycle as it is difficult for him to pick up the language since there is a lack of providing mandarin speaking environment at home. It was then we decided to send him to chinese enrichment class at Beijing Language School a year ago. Although, this is not one of the well known / popular centres but I love that their classes are small so that each child is given the maximum attention. 

We understand that a weekly enrichment of 1.5 hours is definitely not enough so on our part, we support by communicating to him in mandarin and reading a chinese book each day before bed time. We kept reminding ourselves and I have to say that it takes a lot of effort but after toughing it out for a year plus, it is really nice to be able to hear Xavier communicating in mandarin, although is not perfect but at least he is able to express himself and not resistance towards Mandarin anymore. 

Last week, the parents were invited to the end of term reviews for Kindergarten class, we got to see Xavier sing songs which involves actions and recite what he have learnt in a mini game. We were so proud of him!  

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Happy Birthday to Me

Throwback to my birthday on 24 Jan 2016 

I have turned 35


Yes, I am getting older and its not a good news thinking about growing of white hair and forming wrinkles at the under eye... HAHA!
Despite that, I am very thankful for the life I have, a loving husband, a super adorable and cheeky son and a caring family.
and I am so contented with what I have! 
But still every year on this day I will always make the same important wish is to have GOOD HEALTH for my family. This year, I have to learn to find joy in the present moment, no matter how inadequate it may seem. Because too often we worry about what happened in the past or future problems coming and neglect to live in the present.  
Life is too short... must enjoy and stay happy! 

Here some photos: 

enjoying dinner at Earle Swensen 

Saturday, January 30, 2016

our weekend picnic

Had an unplanned picnic at Pasir Ris Park again after breakfast ... just took the floor mat and off we go... 

We didn't do much.. just chilling, enjoying the sea breeze with clear blue sky and cam-whoring. LOL!  

Monday, January 11, 2016

9 Jan 16 - Cousins gathering

To start off, I've had 2 cousins whom we are particularly close with - they are Amos and Daniel. My mom used to babysit them when they were both just like a month old.. so we can literally say that Amos, Daniel, my sis and me grew up together...

Time really pass by so fast...memories of events happening when they were babies are still vivid in my minds but NOW they are already in their twenties... My gosh!!! Suddenly felt that I am so old... sob! sob! 

But I'm truly grateful that we are still so close after all these years although we don't meet up regularly. Thank goodness for facebook and whatsapp so we can stay in touch easily.  

for the start of 2016, we had our first cousin gathering last weekend to celebrate belated 22nd birthday for Daniel and super advance birthday for me! My sis treat us to a scrumptious Sakura international buffet at Tampines Safra. 

All of us had a great time over great food and silly jokes. Loving it. 

Friday, January 8, 2016

How we got our 2nd property

This post is all about our feeling , thoughts and steps by steps decision making in getting our 2nd property. Please do not judge... 

These past few weeks have been a whirlwind excitement and nerves. We bought our 2nd house! we are over the moon about it. It all happen so quickly. 

Frankly speaking, buying a 2nd property has never ever crossed our minds mainly because: 
  1. have not fulfilled the minimum stay for 5 years (bought from resale market and we have rented our flat when we were in USA.. left a few months more)
  2. outstanding HDB loan of $15K (have to clear loan before buying a new property)
  3. sky high property prices 
After we returned from USA in May 2014, we cleared (1) and (2) by end of the year. Since then we've been casually looking at showflats and browsing through property guru but nothing TOO serious because  we were always in a dilemma whether to do it all over again after slaving to pay our HDB loan for 10 years and whether it would add on alot more burden for us etc......

Deep down in our hearts, getting another property is what we've been looking forward to for the past few years but we are always deterred from all the negative thoughts. So what has triggered us???? It all started off with my sister and brother in law. They have just bought a condominium from the resale market and we been tagging them all this while for viewings, talking to the bankers and agents... so on the whole, it gave us a very clear picture on how much money we need to set aside for investment, what are the other hidden costs and the current policies etc....... 

We talked about it and did our maths over and over again... YES! Both of us felt that we should invest in a property while we are young since it is definitely less risky and not so volatile as compare to shares. Moreover, with the current soften in the market and drop in price. It seems to be a good option to go for. We research alot and happened to read about this article link here it has definitely given us a little push.
So finally, we got the bank to do a initial in Principal Approval (IPA) and this will determine the loan amount and budget... once this was done... we started our house hunting. we narrowed down our choices - east or north east, 2 or 3 bedder, new or resale with mini reno... most importantly must be affordable within our budget. 

We found a few from the resale market, some comes with tenancy but the price is way too steep and some need a major renovation which easily comes up to $50K -$80K on top of the price of the property...hmmm... cannot afford so we dropped the idea of getting one from resale. 

We continued sourcing until one fine day, hubby saw a "new" post but was not exactly new, it was posted on property guru a month ago... about a fire sale for this particular property which was located in Pasir Ris just a minute walk to the Pasir Ris beach.... is a new project still under construction and expected to be ready in mid or end of 2016.... being a fire sale the owner is willing to sell it below the valuation so the price is very affordable!!! But the floor area for new condo is so much smaller than the older ones. But at least, we can save up on the renovation costs and it comes with all brand new facilities. So, these are the pros and cons of buying a new versus a resale. But for us, our intention is not self stay so i guess buying a new condo will be a more wiser choice as long it comes with reasonable floor area with full condo facilities.  

We met up with the agent the next day, he showed and told us whatever we need to know about the project and the unit we were interested in. As this was term as fire sale, there were quite a number of interested buyers and we were the 5th couple in line. In our mind, we knew our chances were very slim but still went ahead to make a verbal offer, slightly lower than the price which the owner had paid in 2013...somehow that made our chances even slimmer right???? Who on earth will sell it at a loss given the fact that the value would have appreciated over the years??? Lots of questions to ponder over 

But the offer we made is definitely not something that pluck out of the air... All thanks to hubby who is very meticulous in his research and he always have a "thing" with property... he always love to read property forum so to keep himself updated whenever he can. Thumbs up for him!!!! There were lots to read and research before we derived the offer price, we took into consideration: 

  • current value 
  • 2013 is a peak period when the property prices went up 
  • compared the price when initial launch in 2013 to the current transacted prices
  • since we are intending to rent, we have to look at the rental in that surrounding area
  • different level and facing will also impact on the price, as the unit is at low floor, we need to know the average per floor price differences and make the appropriate adjustments ( 1 floor diff is about $3K-5K - that was so shocking! OMG!)  

So, we prepared a cheque for the owner, which was known as option to purchase (1% of the purchase price). After that, the seller was given a week as the "cooling period" to decide whether he wants to sell...

we waited and waited... feeling so anxious everyday... totally don't feel like ourselves

Finally on the 3rd day... the agent called and the deal is ON... it just ended our agony and that was when we started to be a slave again.... lol 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

2nd day of 2016

Had our first steamboat with my family on the 2nd day of 2016
at my sister's new place

Thanks to Mum who prepared most of the food and homemade the soup stock 
with lots of sweet corns, tomatoes, carrots, ikan bilis and dried scallop 
super yummylicious!!!!  

As we had craving for BBQ as well, sis bought a new pot which comes with the soup pot with BBQ grill pan at Giant supermarket for $69  

End our days with lots of welfie, fun and laughter 

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Goodbye 2015 Welcome 2016

Every year this moment of times comes when we have to say "bye..bye" to the current year and welcome to the new year. 

As 2015 comes to an end, I'm thankful for all the things, people and events that happened in the year. A new year, a new beginning. Hope for a better year ahead. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Teacher's Day 2015

The time of year has come again, it's Teacher Day! 
Getting ready a small token of appreciation for the teachers
Thank you Cheryl for making the super cute crochet Owl key chain

staycation - Hotel Michael RWS and USS

4 September is my brother in law's birthday and Xavier had no class too (Teacher's Training day). So, we spent a short staycation at Hotel Michael RWS. The last time when we stay at hotel Michael was in Jan 2012 when xavier was only 3 months old baby. Time passed so fast! 

For this staycation, we did not plan the itinerary so all were impromptu.... 

We checked in at around 3pm and let cheeky boy took a nap so we just hang out in the hotel room till dinner time. We had a hearty family dinner at Chilli's cos the guys had craving for their juicy steak.

Love their mini burger... super juicy! Even the little one loves it too yumz!

After dinner, we just walk around and took some photos before ending our day. 

Next day, we started our day early.. we had an early breakfast and got ourselves ready for Universal Studios. This is our first time visit to Universal studio in Singapore together as a family. Last time, Xavier was still a baby when we went to the universal studio in Orlando, so he could not join us in any of the rides. This year, Xavier would be able to experience some rides with us. Yeah!

We took the following rides: 
Madagscar boat ride, Shrek, Sesame street show and best of all Xavier conquered his first adrenaline rushing ride puss in boots and transformer.. I'm glad that he trusted us and went through with us... super brave boy! 

Work in progress for Minions show... hope to try it the next time we here!

We had spend almost the whole day at USS... tired but happy! Till the next time!