Celebrating My Second Twenty Years Old: Thoughts & Emotions

Next week, I’ll be celebrating my second twenty years old. Let me count. One, two, three, four and five, six, seven, eight, nine… more than ten strands of grey hair easily found. Give up already, stop counting lol.

At every birthday, I’ve been a little proud of the year under my belt. But this year, it feels different. I have all sorts of mixed feelings. I want to celebrate. I don’t want to celebrate. I’m sad. I’m no longer 30s. I’m happy. I have what I’ve always wanted. Now, I just want to crawl under the covers.

second twenty years old

Still, the number 4 freaks me out. It’s kind of like a grieving for the loss of a “younger me”. Saying goodbye to a part of me, and moving on to the next phase of my life.

I looked at myself in the mirror, much longer than before. I have more crow’s feet than I thought I would. I have stretch marks on my belly. The frontal third of my hair is thinning much faster now. Signs of aging are everywhere – but look – I have a beautiful son to show for it.

My beautiful son!

I also felt that 40 is a reflective age. It makes you look back and think about your achievements (or lack of) and whether you are (or not) where you thought you would be at 40. I guess by 40, you’re expected to be well in most aspects of your life. It’s about meeting expectations, yours and others. Whether you have a great career, a house, a car, family, and how much savings in the bank.

While we may feel pressured, there’s really no need to feel embarrassed about our age. I don’t feel the need to hide it either. And I don’t need a lot of Botox to make me look young. Yes, I’m 40 now. So what? My life goal is not to look young forever, but to age with grace and to be comfortable in my own skin.

“Happiness is about accepting yourself and aspiring to be a better person.”

2017 Bring It On!

moonlight

Hello everyone! First of all, let me wish you a very Happy New Year! I know that this is so late (sorry!) but I’ve been very busy with work, new school year for Edison and my K-drama obsession. I’ve three K-dramas on my plate now – Goblin, Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim and The Legend of the Blue Sea.

Work has been crazy after the Christmas break, coupled with job rotations and new responsibilities. Edison has embarked on his Primary 4 journey and will be streamed at the end of the school year. Thus, we have a different schedule this year to fit his tuition programs and sports that he enjoys – swimming and tennis.

Blogging

Today is the 8th anniversary of Our Little Smarties. Instead of announcing a giveaway or celebration, I’ve decided to go the opposite direction. After 8 years of blogging, it seems like I’ve pretty much run out of topics to blog about. What have been said has already been said, and honestly, many times I stare absently at my computer screen and my mind goes blank.

I want to enjoy what I used to do when I’m blogging, and I want to share with you all the lovely things around me. Unfortunately, I haven’t been feeling inspired for a while. Therefore, I’ve also informed my agency that I’ll stop taking new campaigns after this month. I have a ridiculous phobia of deadlines now, and I don’t want to add unnecessary stress to myself.

After much deliberation, I’ve decided to slow down on blogging and focus on other priorities – my full-time job, family and myself. But don’t worry, I’m not stopping blogging but I need to slow down to gain some perspectives and to truly enjoy blogging as a hobby.

So, please stay with me and I really appreciate your continuous support all these years. Thank you!

Home Improvement

Time flies, it’s been a year since we moved to Bartley. Our new home is looking good without any major issues. We enjoyed staying here because of its convenient location. V and I have been planning for some mini upgrades in our home, and hope to complete them by March.

We’ve been thinking of replacing our gas stove with induction cooking. We checked out a few brands but we still couldn’t find a model with the exact fit to our existing cooktop. As much as possible, we want to avoid alteration (cutting the table top) because there’s a risk of damage to it. As of now, we’re still searching for the right size.

The second thing that we want to install is a digital lock. Keyless digital locks have become increasingly popular among homeowners. The main obvious advantage is not needing to carry a key. And without a key, we’ll no longer need to worry about losing it too.

Thirdly, we’re thinking of giving our home a colourful facelift with Nippon Momento Special Effects Paint. Truth be told, we seriously considered it during our home renovation a year ago. However, our ID encouraged us to use wallpapers instead – but we weren’t keen. At the end, we scrapped the idea. Now, it’s good to revisit Nippon Momento Special Effects Paint again.

Hello Term 3!

Can you believe it? June holidays have come to an end. Yikes! My alarm clock has been set at 6:00am again, and we’re back to regular ‘programming’.

Fortunately, the June holidays were well-spent. We flew to Korea on the very first day, and spent an awesome 9 days there. When we got back, we naturally slowed down our pace of life (mentally and physically). We relaxed and well-rested. ^^

We also spent some time to do revision on all the subjects. No doubt, sticking to revision during a holiday is a major challenge with all the distractions, but it’s essential. I believe that having a healthy study routine is the most important thing for a student.

Thus, I’ve been enforcing this for years – with hope that Edison will develop a healthy study routine on his own, and to avoid intense last-minute study for exam.

With my assistance, he worked out his own revision time-table and schedule. This term, we’ve some changes in his schedule. He started his first tennis lesson last Saturday, and he absolutely loves it!

Term3

Originally, he had swimming lesson on Saturday morning. I had to shift it to Thursday evening to free-up Saturday morning for tennis. But the good thing is, both lessons are conducted at our own apartment. Thus, it saves a lot of travelling time for us.

Also starting from this term, his Chinese tuition has been changed from 1-to-1 to group tuition because his teacher will be going on maternity leave soon. Math tuition on Friday afternoon remains unchanged.

Hope all of you had a good break. Let’s start Term 3 with a bang! 🙂  😉  😛

2016 School Holidays and Vacation Planning for Family

holiday

Before Edison entered primary school, I’ve no idea how important it is to plan ahead for vacation. When he was in pre-school, he could still skip a few lessons here and there to go for vacation. Now that he’s in primary school, skipping lesson is certainly not advisable and thus, we often have to pay extra for travelling during the school holidays.

Nonetheless, planning ahead helps you to save some pennies by watching out for flight and hotel promotions in advance. MOE has just released the school terms and holidays for 2016. Having said that, there are also some “no-school” days for primary school children that you can plan ahead – which I’ve listed below.

Let’s start planning for our 2016 holiday now!

1. The school year for 2016 will start from Monday, 4 January and end on Friday, 18 November 2016.

2. School Calendar 2016:

__Term I – Mon 4 Jan 2016 to Fri 11 Mar 2016
__Term II – Mon 21 Mar 2016 to Fri 27 May 2016
__Term III – Mon 27 Jun 2016 to Fri 2 Sep 2016
__Term IV – Tue 13 Sep 2016 to Fri 18 Nov 2016

3. Term I holidays:

__Chinese New Year from Mon 8 Feb 2016 to Tues 9 Feb 2016
__Term break from Sat 12 Mar 2016 to Sun 20 Mar 2016

4. Term II holidays:

__Good Friday on Fri 25 Mar 2016
__Labour Day from Sun 1 May 2016 to Mon 2 May 2016 (3 days long weekend)
__Vesak Day from Sat 21 May 2016 to 23 May 2016 (3 days long weekend)
__Term holiday from Sat 28 May 2016 to Sun 26 Jun 2016

Tips: Parent-Teacher Meeting is usually held on the last day of Term 2 (27 May 2016). If you can reschedule the meeting, you can actually fly-off on Thu 26 May evening.

5. Term III holidays:

__Youth Day on Sun 3 Jul 2016 to Mon 4 Jul 2016 (3 days long weekend)
__Hari Raya Puasa on Wed 6 Jul 2016
__National Day on Tue 9 Aug 2016
__Day after National Day on Wed 10 Aug 2016
__P6 PSLE Oral Exam – 2 days in Aug (P1 to P5 students no need to come to school)
__Teachers’ Day on Fri 2 Sept 2016
__Term break from Sat 3 Sep 2016 to Sun 11 Sep 2016

Tips: Teachers’ Day celebration at school is held one day before the actual Teachers’ Day Holiday. So, you can actually fly-off on 1 Sept evening.

6. Term IV holidays:

__Hari Raya Haji on Mon 12 Sep 2016
__P6 PSLE Listening Comprehension – 1 day in Sep (P1 to P5 students no need to come to school)
__Children’s Day on Fri 7 Oct 2016 (3 days long weekend)
__PSLE marking – 4 days in Oct (all students no need to come to school)
__Deepavali from Sat 29 Oct 2016 to Mon 31 Oct 2016 (3 days long weekend)
__End of school year holiday from Sat 19 Nov 2016 to Sat 31 Dec 2016

Note: Please refer to MOE website for more information.

Bartley Residences Work-in-Progress: Apr 2015

Last week, I visited the on-going construction of Bartley Residences and took some pictures. Some forumers called the developer and were told that the TOP will be in July this year. However, I’m not overly optimistic because there are still a lot of landscaping works to be done.

No matter when is the TOP, we’re not in a hurry to move in. Strangely, as we move closer to the TOP, I started to have mixed feelings. First, moving to a new property is exciting especially since its just 5 minutes walk to our boy’s school. Second, the sadness of leaving this apartment which we called home since the day we got married. And third, the fear of the amount of works that need to be done in the subsequent months. As what my friend said – the defect verification is enough to kill.

We spent the first Sunday looking out for furnitures and interior designers. It was really tiring, and I wonder how many weekends we need to spend doing this. Nonetheless, it was a fruitful trip and I can start drafting our budget now. We’re really inexperienced in house renovation and interior design since we didn’t do much for our current apartment. We’re the second owner, so everything in our current apartment has been nicely done up by the first owner.

Here are some pictures to share.

Bartley Apr 15 - 1
The last block is almost completed now

Bartley Apr 15 - 4
View along Bartley Road

Bartley Apr 15 - 5
View from the main entrance at Lorong How Sun

Bartley Apr 15 - 2
More trees have been planted

Bartley Apr 15 - 6
A 3BR unit with two balconies – similar to ours

Bartley Apr 15 -3
The 120 years Bodhi tree in between the blocks

Bartley Apr 15 - 8
An L-shape leather sofa that we’ve shortlisted