Why I don’t Hate Skyler White?

Yes, I’ve finally finished watching Breaking Bad.  It is now one of my favourite TV series but before I decide with series to bump off my top 10 list, I’m trying to understand why everyone hates Skyler White so much?  I actually get her, her anger and how she had to dig deep, her frustrations with her husband’s runaway ego and having to make sacrifices for her family.  That’s what Mothers do.  Not wives, nope, wives don’t do that, just the Mums.  I’m not Mum yet but I have an amazing one and surrounded with so many other great ones who would struggle the same way to keep everything together for their kids.

That said, I totally get Walt too. SPOILER ALERT!!  Stop reading if you haven’t watched the series.  I loved how Walt transformed, understood his motivations and loved that he had to face the consequences of making the decisions he thought was best for his family.  I loved how he thought money would be what his family needs and the last season saw him and his barrel of millions trapped in a lonely cabin on the mountains.  I think it happens to the best and worst of us, in our pursuit to provide for our families, we often forget that our families would rather give up all the material things for quality time spent together.

As a TV series, Breaking Bad is pretty much up there with The West Wing for me.  I love the script, the way the characters developed, the actors’ impeccable performance and most of all, I loved how the creators wrapped it up.  Fulfilling and believable.  I can’t wait for my next Breaking Bad marathon.  In the meantime, tonight I’m going to catch up on The Walking Dead.  3 more episodes and I’d be all ready for the the return of Season 4.  All I have to say right now is that I’m more scared of people than I am of zombies :p

Being a Daughter

When it comes to parents, I’ve been truly blessed.  Maybe some day I’ll get to be as great as they have been for me for someone else and accord the same luxury of being able to choose to:-

Every now and then I forget that I am able to choose to be a better person because of everything my parents gave, taught and showed me.  Let’s be very honest, my parents aren’t perfect.  In fact, they are very real with flaws, some that can drive me a little nutty sometimes but that’s where they inspire me to be the better person I want to be.  Flaws and all, even when times are bad, they always try harder.

I grew up very similarly to how my Dad did and he learnt from my grandparents how to be better than them.  He understands that I’m like him and my yearn to constantly challenge myself.  My Mum, on the other hand, grew up from the school of hard knocks and made it her mission as my mother to make sure that everyday my sister and I have the luxury to choose to be a better person.  It’s so easy for us to pick and choose to be a better person simply because of her sacrifices.

So yah, I am grateful for every chance I get to hang out with them.  Sometimes we get lucky like this trip to Perth where I got to celebrate my Mummy’s birthday with them.

My Mummy probably doesn’t realise how much strength I draw from her.  I don’t think she even knows how her sacrifices have made subtle yet impactful influences in my life decisions, especially when I can choose to not sweat the small stuff and choose to be better.  Not everyone have what I have so I lap it up that on a beautiful spring day in Perth, I got to share her birthday, listen to her stories, learn from her life lessons and remember not to take my life for granted.

In case I forget and get complacent, I have been blessed to be able to:-

  • Be Kind
  • Speak Truth
  • Love Others
  • Show Grace
  • Work Hard
  • Be Grateful

because my parents made sure I could.  I shouldn’t squander it because a lot more other people who have less than me choose to be better everyday.

Uu

If you along Orchard Road and a little bored with the usual shopping, drop by Scotts Square and check out an exhibition by Kinetic Singapore.  It’s also a pop up store of sorts to get a miniature replica of yourself done.

3D scanning is all the rage nowadays but few have the ability to deliver the quality that I saw at the exhibition.  Ok ok ok, I may be a little bias because the organisers are dear friends.  That said, go check it out for yourself and I’m happy to be corrected.  Though my hunch is that you’ll agree that the likeness is better than most 3D scanners out there.

So it’s no surprise, my besties and I had a blast inspecting the miniatures, especially the Lims, which were my favourite.  I was so very tempted to get one of myself.  I can just imagine displaying mini me with my Ultimate Bumblebee.  In in the meantime, here’s my favourite picture from the day, regular us while we contemplate about getting mini us.

The Honeymoon Part 3

Here’s the final instalment to the quick recap of the honeymoon.  We woke up to a beautiful last morning in Banff.  The sun was out and we headed back to Lake Louise for lunch.

The view was stunning.  There’s something about water and mountains that humble you and makes the pasta you’re having extra tasty 🙂  Once we were done with lunch, we had a quick walk by the lake and then it was back on the road to Salmon Arm where we had great Mexican food for dinner.  We spent a night in an ok B&B but Owlhead Creek B&B was still my favourite.  The next time I’m in the area, that’s the only place I’ll be staying in.

The next morning after a quick breakfast and we were on our way back home to Vancouver.  We had quite a bit to cover so we didn’t want to waste too much time.  Even though I really wanted to try wake boarding on Shuswap Lake.  Next time 🙂  We stopped in Merritt for lunch where we found a lovely sandwich place that served a very yummy vegan chocolate cake!!  I love Canada 🙂

Needless to say I was a very happy camper on the way back to Vancouver 🙂  When the Port Mann bridge came into sight, I could feel the country way of life give way to the city.  It wasn’t a bad thing.  Not at all.  I’ve come to realise that nature feeds my soul and the city feeds my mind.  I need both to be a happy me 🙂

My father-in-law picked us up as we dropped off our rental and I got to visit his workshop.  For my husband, it was a little nostalgic and for me, very novel and educational.  Millwork is an art and I have a new found love for cabinets and things made of wood.  I’ve always liked them but I now have a greater appreciation for them.  How the wood is curved, made from one piece, put together with no screws 🙂

My favourite thing about my father-in-law’s workshop is his collection of antique planes.  Technology sure has made production easier but there’s something about the old way of doing things that warms my heart.  Then it was back for dinner with a view on the balcony.

Day 12 saw us hanging out in Vancouver and dropping by another vegetarian favourite of mine where I had great veggie burger.  Shopped a little in the grocery store and happy to report most of the things I need is available in Singapore.  They never use to be and I had to lug them back from Canada :p  I don’t anymore.  We even found time to catch up with a friend over tea.

I forgot my phone on Day 13 and so no pictures there.  We caught up with Aaron’s friends and their kids.  Of course, I had a whale of a time since there were cute kids around 🙂

Instead of wildlife sightings, on day 14, I chanced upon my father-in-law’s neighbour’s kitty cat.  He peeked around the corner as I was waiting for the lift and was friendly enough to let me pat him.

Then finally the honeymoon and the vacation came to an end and I found myself finishing Downton Abbey Season 3 on my plane ride home.  That needs another post altogether but in a nutshell, it made me cry and I felt sorry for the couple sitting next to me.  They probably think my boyfriend or husband has abandoned me.  The transit in Taipei was much quicker than the one heading to Vancouver.  There was even an interesting exhibition of an artist that worked with scrap metal.  It kept me busy till boarding.

After about four and a half hours, I was back in Singapore where my sister and Wags picked me up with yummy local veggie bee hoon.  Perfect wrap to a fantastic honeymoon 🙂  To which my husband reminded me, will not be a regular thing O_o

I say, we take what we get 😉  Happy Wednesday everyone!!

Rachael Turns 4

I got back from my honeymoon just in time for my goddaughter’s birthday.  It’s her first year in school and so we decided to surprise her with a small celebration in school.  Her face when I arrived was too cute for words.  I wish I had a camera but it’s one of those moments to savour and best remembered as a memory 🙂

Boy oh boy, do I love little kids gathered in a spot together.  I’m not sure what it is but it does warm my heart when there are children around 🙂  These were very well behaved children at that, most were engaging and talking to me.  Some were as shy as my goddaughter but most were telling me their names and who’s birthday it is.  Rach, like her sister and brother, is totally shy in school and her teacher even said she does not speak unless she really HAS to but it was lovely to see how happy she was basking in the attention.  As one should on your 4th birthday 🙂

The celebration continued at dinner time and she was still enjoying her day.

Happy birthday my little darling!!  Love you HEAPS and can’t wait to watch you turn from 4 to 5 now 🙂

6 Year Wait

Some things are truly worth the wait and my honeymoon is one of them.  We got married in 2007 and knew that we wanted to do our honeymoon in Banff, Canada where we first met.  Time and money usually got in the way of making it happen but finally the stars aligned and we made it happen this year.  Here’s part 1 of 3 to a quick recap of being away for 2 weeks.

It takes a little more than 24hours for us to get to Vancouver.  The transit in Taipei was quite a while and of course, I filled up on yummy veggie dumplings 🙂  We landed in Vancouver at 8pm and the sun was’t even down yet.  I love summers in Canada!!  Actually I love summers everywhere.

Day 1 saw us going into the States where my Father-in-law recently bought a cabin on Mount Baker.  It was a lovely getaway and just what we needed to get into the time zone.  There’s something your body gets from nature.

Day 2 was my husband’s 39th birthday and he was so happy to be back home celebrating it with family.  Birthday celebrations were at my sister-in-law’s new place where we chanced on a couple of deers who didn’t seem to mind us at all.

For the birthday celebrations, my sister-in-law cooked up a dinner and made an awesome vegan carrot cake.  Needless to say by the end of the night, we were all satiably in need of a bed.

My husband and I stayed over at my sister-in-law’s and got in some work on day 3.  Picked up our rental car for the road trip and went to the Naam for dinner.  It is my favourite vegetarian restaurant in Vancouver!!  I could eat there EVERYDAY 🙂  Had an apple blueberry pie BEFORE dinner and was again very happy by the end of the night.  I’ve come to realise vegan desserts make me very happy.

Day 4 was the official start of the honeymoon and after lunch, we drove out of Vancouver towards Banff.  It would take about 8 over hours so we broke the trip up and planned to stop in Sicamous.  I’m so very glad we did.  We ended up at Owlhead Creek B&B and I would go back again for sure.

If nothing else, Deb the owner, makes AMAZING breakfast.  The best we had the whole honeymoon.  I would consider moving back to Vancouver just so I can take long weekend breaks at the Owlhead Creek B&B :p  The surrounding trails were beautiful.

After a quick hike where I saw the biggest pine cone ever and a wooden branch that looks like an iguana, we were back on the road towards to Banff.

The views on the road were stunning and we stopped at the rest stops just to take them in.  My favourite stop was the Northern Light Wildlife Wolf Centre.

Everyone knows I’m not crazy about zoos and aquariums.  I understand the necessity for them but I’m not crazy about them.  Same with this center, I totally understand the need and appreciate the fact that I could be looking straight at wolves.  Yet a little part of me was sad.  I would never like to be enclosed and I guess that empathy for wild animals is why I’m not crazy about zoos and aquariums.  That said, if you are in the area, it is worth checking them out.  While I’m not crazy about enclosures, I’m all for helping 🙂  We bade farewell to the pack, went back on the road and arrived in Banff ready for dinner.

Once we settled in our cozy cabin, we took a quick walk to the only vegan restaurant in Banff, Nourish Bistro.  It was a little expensive for what they were serving but not bad at all 🙂

Part 2 and 3 coming up.

The Chens and My Little Christian

Before I leave for my honeymoon, better late than never 😉 I caught up with my Godson.

Isn’t he growing too fast?  He’s starting to look like his Mummy and is as cute as she was when she was a little bub.  He was the perfect little one to shop with.  He likes walking around and looking at stuff.  Needed a little feed and had the cutest cry that gave a hint to the sweet personality he has.  His Mummy, my cousin and I had fun walking around the baby section of H&M.  There may not be as many boys clothes as there are girls but they are quite spiffy too.  I can’t wait to take him on one on one dates!!

In the meantime, I love watching my cousins grow as parents.  How they balance each other out perfectly 🙂  They truly are made for each other and my Godson, Christian is a pretty lucky bub.  He’s going to have his own trials and tribulations for sure but I have a good hunch, with all the love that surrounds this little one, he will be the better versions of who we all want to be.

What a Difference a Month Makes

My very first Godson turned one month old on Father’s Day that makes him one month and one week old.  What a wonderful gift for his Dad too who also celebrated a birthday on Saturday before Father’s Day.  On the 16th, they all got together with family and friends to celebrate how this little boy is changing the world.

Maybe it’s just my world that he’s changing and one day, I’ll share with him how his presence makes everyone laugh little more, share a little more and be kinder.  Why?  Simply because, that’s what he’s been like in the last month.  He came into a world where he’s had to share his home with Bailey, a cute equally loving corgi who’s been in the house a little more than over 2 years before him.  Bailey can bark and he doesn’t mind it one bit.  In fact, he breaks into a smile when she barks.  He sleeps quietly while a party is rocking in the house.  If that isn’t sharing, I’m not quite sure what else is.  He’s definitely made me all warm and fuzzy that I am kinder after he and I have hung out for a while.  So yes, he is changing my world coz that’s what Godkids do to Godmas 🙂  I’m looking forward to him sharing his life with me.  The ups, the downs, the laughter and the tears.  A lifetime of memories awaiting us and I can’t wait.

For now, in the last month, I’ll remember how quick he’s growing 🙂

He is too too cute, right?

Freak Accidents

I don’t like them but every once in a while they happen.  Earlier this week, one of my Goddaughters, Nicole had a very strange one happen to her and I’m so grateful she wasn’t badly hurt.  Actually in the bigger scheme of things, she was ok 🙂

Here’s what happened, some how, no one knows exactly how but her earring got pulled into her ear lobe!!  Yes, where the stud/stone usually is, the front portion of the earring, it was pulled back into her ear lobe.  So much so her parents thought the stud/stone had broken off because you could still see the back of the earring coming from the back of her ear.  It wasn’t until the x-ray revealed this:-

That’s the stud of her earring actually intact and in her ear lobe!!  According to her doctor, this isn’t common but it’s happened before O_o  Makes me rethink this ear piercing business.  I still remember getting my ears pierced and I was only 3 at that time … that’s for a whole other post.  Back to Nicole who was as brave as one can be with an earring stuck in your ear lobe, which made me realise how much she’s grown since I first started getting to know her.

That little precocious toddler has given way to a considerate little girl.  There are still a couple of days when that spunky toddler appears especially when she feels she’s had made one too many sacrifices for her little sister.  Those days are rare, especially with me as she’s growing to be quite the kind and compassionate girl 🙂

As tween-dom beckons, the challenges of this new stage are slowly showing.  I’ve started to notice the insecurities, I remember so clearly in my own growing pains, appearing as she starts to navigate the world of friends and people outside your comfort zone.  Dealing with people who may or may not like you, trying to understand where people are coming from, developing empathy … these aren’t things that can be taught.  You learn them watching the people around you, parents, grandparents, teachers and other children around you.  It’s exciting and scary at the same time.  As a Godmother, I must admit, I do get nervous watching these little ones enter this new stage of their lives, only because I remember the complex terrain of it.

As they grow, I’ve to remind myself to give them space to find themselves.  I’m pretty sure I’ll keep trying to be that cool Godma/Aunt … at least from my perspective :p  I’m going to be right there holding their growing hands through this stage as I did when they were little toddlers needing help climbing stairs, going down slides or just walking along.

It’s when they go into teen-dom that I’ll really start to worry 🙂

Bali Blues

Last week this time, I was just back from Bali and thriving on a Bali high but it’s been a week since I got home from a very relaxing time with possibly the best bunch of people to go away with.  So the Bali blues are setting in and this post is me taking a stroll down memory lane and reliving the 5 days in Bali.

Some of us got there by budget and others got upgraded to business.  Either way we took off from rain in Singapore to sunny skies in Bali and landed pretty much at the same time.  First life lesson from the trip, it really doesn’t matter how you get there as long as you get there 🙂  As usual the drive to Seminyak, which actually isn’t far from the Denpasar airport, took about an hour … I promptly fell asleep for a nap and woke up to our lovely villa.

This was home for 5 days in Bali.  It was a large enough pool with just enough space for 4 people to lounge around.  It was a lovely spot hang out, do a little work, get in some skipping, talk, hang out some more, swim and basically just chill.  It was close to the main road but secluded enough to be quiet.  It isn’t very known yet so taxis may have a hard time looking for it.  Yet with all things in Bali, the minute you step out of your pretty villa, it’s messy everywhere.

This is what we have to walk through to get to the main road, which is maybe 2 minutes away.  This is the part about Bali that puts people off but for me, it is strangely intriguing.  I can’t quite explain it.  Something about chaos makes me wonder about people and their possible stories.  How people live through chaos?  Settle into living through mess?  I guess the luxury of growing up with needs met gives you coloured glasses to look through.  Makes me grateful for my first world problems I face, like the water pressure in the villa being weak to say the least :p

Water pressure aside, the beautiful villa is a bonus and I have nothing to complain about but it’s always the company that makes the difference in any experience.  With friendships, I’ve been really blessed with people who make simple dinners to beach holidays so much more wonderful.

Even better, I had a circle of friends collision 🙂  As the stars aligned, my other friend, Mia who lives in Melbourne was in Bali for a wedding and we all caught up for dinner.  Crazy people gathered around a table is formula for nonsense conversations and a fun night, which is exactly what it was.

Needless to say, I had a great time in Bali.  We even ventured out of Seminyak, which is rare for us and caught a sunset by Jimbaran.

Pretty, isn’t it?  That’s the only reason why I’ll go to Jimbaran.  Other than that, the seafood restaurants along the coast are all tourist traps and I’ve had better food elsewhere in Bali.   Suffice to say, I had a good time in Bali.  We stayed for 5 days this time and a little longer than our usual and I’ve realised I can stay a week in Bali.  5 days was a great length of time though.  Enough time to settle in, do the usual and try something new.  Like this:-

Yep, don’t mess with me 🙂  I can pull out the Street Fighter move when I want to.  Ok ok ok I’m not that delusional, the impressive one is Zack who is doing the jump and Resh who is taking the photo.  I just got into pose … that took work too :p

I’m already planning for the next Bali getaway.  I can’t wait.