Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Should I pack some in my bag?

As you know, I will be flying to Melbourne tomorrow for a short trip with H. And you know what Melbourne is great for? FOOD! GOOD FOOD and WINE! So much good food that I am getting a bit worried that I won't be able to fit into my pants. So the question now is - Should I pack some slimming pills into my luggage bag? I think I should.... as the glutton in me will definitely rears its ugly head Down Under. Not only that, we are going to lug back more goodies....cheese, chocolate, wine, some pate and spreads; and perhaps a whole smoked ham!

My H on the other hand....

probably can be a flight attendant.
Am I talking c@ck? See my earlier post....

My H actually just got back this morning... He flew to KUL on Monday. And we are flying off tomorrow. He seems to be able to step on and off a plane effortlessly. At least these days, he doesn't travel as much as before. I remember the earlier years of our marriage... he flies every 2 or 3 days for work. He was the regional guy for one post after another. I don't really see him during the weekdays. He'll be off on Monday morning, and only back either on Thursday or Friday. And within those days, he would be covering at least a couple of countries. ...from Australia to Japan! These days...its more once in a blue moon that he travels for work....which is pretty good!

Officially End-of-Summer

Yup. Summer is over. And for many of us, it is time to get rid of the bulge and unwanted pounds that we have gained over the long Summer months. What with the frequent BBQs and cool beers - Who wouldn't gain some extra pounds? But how to get rid of the weight effectively? There are lots of weight loss programs out there....some works and some just don't. We really have to do our homework properly so that we can make an informed decision on which program to adhere to. Don't want to go on a program that doesn't keep the weight off long-term, right?

Confused Consumers!

I bet there are loads of confused consumers out there. These days, there are tonnes of brands of every single item on the market. Not to mention the varieties of the same base item. I am always overwhelmed when I go into a well-stocked store. I will just stand there ....in the aisle, staring at the shelf in front of me and try to absorb and evaluate every single brand of an item - be it cereal or coffee or biscuits. This task gets harder when it is a drugstore. What brands to buy? Which works the best? I am now looking for some all natural supplements for weight loss to help lose the extra pounds. Where do I go to get some information so that I don't spend hours in the store scrutinizing every bottle on the shelf?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I cannot be a Flight Attendant!

No. Not because that I am aesthetically- or height-challenged. Errr..actually these two are not even a necessity with European/Australian/American airlines. And one definitely need not be young too. I remember the flight attendants on British Airways when I was studying in the UK - they were even older than my Ah Ma (grandmother)!

Why did I bring this up? Well,.... my H had wanted to go to the States again (as in next week!) to do some important tasks and had asked me to tag along. I wasn't too keen ...as we had just come back from the States (landed in Asia on the 1st of August), travelled to Penang in early-August and then just flew back to Jakarta mid-August. In addition, I am going to Bangkok next month.... Seems like a lot of travelling in a short period of time and I really feel NOT settled. Don't know how flight attendants do it!

If I do go away, then I will have to arrange for dad or mom to fly over to Jakarta to babysit the boys. Not only that, I have just recently volunteered for the school's Math program which required me to undergo some training. Am also now the Class Rep for S2's class...as no moms wanted to volunteer - So 'chamm'!! Schedule has been pretty hectic. To go away means my schedule will be a bit mucked-up. Thus, really wanted to have things all sorted out first. Ding Dong here and there, then my H said that he will try to sort it out over here and thus we do not need to travel to the States. So I thought all settled and okay. No need to worry about schedules etc.

Then my H said that he wants to go on a short trip with me... and asked where I wanted to go. Again, my facial expression must have shown that I wasn't that keen...and we almost end up FIGHTING. He said "wanna go away with you also so difficult!".....
Well, to cut long story short, I am flying to Melbourne this Thursday. Yes...so very last minute. Dad's flying in to babysit the boys on Wednesday.... Lots of things to sort out. The boys schedule, my meeting with other Class Reps, our Melbourne hotel, my other appointments etc etc. Aduh!
Think this trip, we NOT going to do anything other than eat, drink and sleep. Oh yah...and shopping for more Scrapbooking stuff! Hahahha. H actually said "I don't care. Next time, I am going to get you more papers! Otherwise you are like sooooo 'hann' like that!"

Okay...gotta go search for my hotel rooms now.

Double Whammy?

Don't you think it is a Double Whammy?
...when you are having a bad migraine and you go into the drug store to get something for it, but instead of getting the pills that would give you great relief, you are faced with ten brands all claiming to help your migraine. Which to get? Can't exactly buy all of them and try all of them right?
That's when reliable online reviews on migraine relief can proof to be invaluable! Just remember the top brands that works, pop into the drug store and grab what you need. No more standing in front of the bottles and bottles of pills and feeling confused!

Need to lose Weight!!!

How does one lose weight effectively?
Do I hear EXERCISE?
Yes. Yes. I know that exercise is important in helping one to lose weight. But I think diet control is important too. But how to control the diet? Do I totally NOT eat breakfast, lunch and dinner? Or do I eat normally but take weight loss dietary supplements? Or do I have meal replacements-type of drinks and not eat normal foods? Well, I luuuuuurrrrve to eat. So I can't exactly not eat my favorite foods. So maybe I should take weight loss dietary supplements and 'eat normally'. Do you think that would work?

Limited Benefits!

We have been rather spoilt by the benefits accorded by H's company - insurance coverage, housing, international education for our kids, car and driver amongst other things. I have to say that we are pretty lucky. Some companies only offer limited benefits to their staff. A company in the same industry as H's is one example. Though they can offer a higher salary than H's company, the benefits are pretty limited. They do not provide housing for the whole family, but only the employer. Plus, they do not provide healthcare. Staff would have to seek affordable health insurance on their own! This particular company did ask H if he wanted to be in their employment. My reaction to that? NO WAY!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I had a BREAKDOWN yesterday

Donno why... but I did... and burst out crying.
Donno whether it is the alignment of the moon and stars or what.
No. Not over the silly scrapbooking comments from H. He was working till late last night.
Who else can make me go gila other than the boys?
I supposed it wasn't anything extraordinary wrong that they did. It was just be SNAPPING.
I had told them NO more computers nor games after dinner, as they HAD been playing the whole of yesterday. They agreed. After dinner, they practised their instruments. Good boys, right?

Then S1 asked if he could watch telly...and I said Yes, provided that it be turned-off at 8 PM as they need to wind-down for half an hour before bedtime at 8.30 PM. At 8 PM, I sorta told them it is 8 PM already...and they should get ready for bed, read their books etc. BUT when I came out of my room at 8.30, both were at the computers. I just snapped!
Usually, I would nag, scold, scream etc. But this time, I just broke down and cried.
Is it soooooooooooooo difficult for them to just give me that liiiiiiiiittle bit of respect and follow instructions?

Am just soooo00000000000 tired of this thankless job of wanting the best for them. It would be great if I could just NOT care. Don't care if they have enough sleep. Don't care if they eat well. Don't care if they end up to be road sweepers or shit pourers. If I don't give a shit, then I won't be upset or hurt anymore.

Would you wanna Stand???

I had set my homepage for Yahoo UK, and this was what greeted me when I opened IE.......

Standing Seats on Flights!






Would you actually take a flight whereby you have to stand?? I cannot imagine doing so....

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I am very very upset with my H!!

I tell you....I am so very upset with my H!!!

You know what that idiot said about my scrap booking pages??? He said that they are UGLY and looks like cheap comics!!!!! The nerve of him!! He kept saying that I have tooooooooooo many photos on a page. And I write too much! Makes me sooooooooo mad that I want to give up scrap booking liow!!!! And also to smack his head!!

He said that I should have a maximum of two photos per page...like in the magazines. And NOT write. If I follow him, die lah. I would have like 10 albums for just one holiday. Either that, or I don't develop so many photos. but how can??? You go on holiday, of course must showcase where you've visited right? And how can don't write? Must journal our experiences, right?
Agree with me or not??

So upset with him....wanna make him sleep on the couch tonight!!!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Are you loyal???

No. Not asking if you are loyal to your spouse. Just asking if you are loyal to any hotel brands, ie. that you MUST stay only at Hilton hotels. Other hotels are out-of-the-question kind. Well, if you are NOT (like us), then you really must go to the following two sites to book your hotels whenever you travel. (Nope. This is not a sponsored post. Don't worry..NOT trying to sell you stuff!)

1) http://www.hotwire.com/

2) http://www.priceline.com/

I tell you, it's really really cheaper than what you would find "normally" online. The only thing is that you do NOT know the name of the hotel when you book it. They do list their usual partner hotels somewhere on the site, and these are the well-known brands...so don't worry as you will not get some AH KOW Hotel or whatever.

Our experience has been pretty good for our recent trip to the US. We used Hotwire for our New Orleans hotel. Their tag is "4* hotels at 2* prices". We selected the dates and there would be a list of hotels ranging from 2* to 4* with varying prices. There would be guest rating of the hotels, list of facilities, general location of the hotel. The only thing is the NAME of the hotel is NOT given. The name of the hotel is ONLY revealed to you after payment. We picked a 4* hotel which was at $69 + tax. And the hotel we got was Intercontinental New Orleans. For this price, if we were to select KNOWN hotels, I really could only get 2 1/2* hotels. Yes. I checked. Plus the location was really great. I have a friend that had previously used this site for her Rome hotel, so it works for Europe as well. Don't think they cover Asian hotels yet though....

As for Priceline, they have HK and Singapore sites to cover the Asian region. So DO check them out. When I mean check them out, not the "usual" hotel booking. You have to use the "NAME YOUR OWN PRICE" option to get the best discounts. Again, you do NOT know the hotel name. You pick the location, dates and then place a bid. If a hotel accepts your bid, you agree and pay, only then the NAME of the hotel will be revealed. I did this for our Washington DC hotels. I started off with bidding for 4* hotels, but my bid of USD 100 was not accepted at all, so had to downgrade to 3.5*. I didn't want to pay more than a 100. Anyway, we managed to get The Crowne Plaza Hamilton which was like only a few blocks from the White House. It was pretty good. I checked online for the cheapest rate....which was USD 199 + tax, if I were to go straight for this hotel. The only catch is that if you wanna extend your stay, you might not be able to do so.... like in our case. So, I re-bid but couldn't get the same area...but got the Marriot Wardman Park at USD 100 + tax. Cheapest online rate on Orbitz was like USD 225 + tax.
Really, USD 100 + tax will only get 2 - 2.5* hotels if the hotel name is KNOWN when booking.

For our Houston hotel, used this option too....bid USD 60 for a 4* hotel in the Galleria area. Managed to get Hilton Post Oak. Very very nice.

So.... next time when you go on a holiday, and you don't mind which hotel you stay, use these two sites. As I said, don't worry...they won't use AH KOW HOTEL for they have their list of partner hotels....

Oh yeah. For cars... go to www.carrentals.com as they will give you a list of cars from ALL major rental car companies and types of car. So you can pick and choose the cheapest etc. I mean you usually would get the smallest car thinking it is the cheapest, right? How wrong we were. Our huge 4WD car in NYC (this was in October 2008) was waaaaaay cheaper than the usual Economy-classed car.

What is wrong with my Klic-N-Kut????

Do you remember from my previous post, I mentioned that my friend, S gave me her computerised Klik-N-Kut cutting machine? Well, I finally went out to BUY a new sturdy shelf with a big enough table-top today and unboxed the machine. Look how big it is compared to my iPhone...(the red thingy sitting on top is my iPhone lah)...
Installed the software, plugged in the machine to my USB port, plugged in the security key (very pah-pai ...to avoid piracy, must have a security key plugged into another USB port for software to work) and then put in all the necessary settings.... BUT BUT cannot work!

I mean the machine works, as when I turn-on the power, the blade roller goes to the original position like it should. I could change the pressure settings, the speed on the machine. BUT the problem is my laptop is NOT communicating properly with the machine. Something with the COMM port. I checked and reinstalled the driver etc etc, still tidak bisa. Fiddle here. Fiddle there. Been doing it the whole afternoon and still not able to get the communication to work properly. I really don't know lah. I have sent an email to the manufacturer this evening. Hopefully, they will respond soon....so that I can start cutting! This machine cuts paper, cardstock, foam, chipboard etc. Think if I change the blade, I can even cut fabrics! Terrer machine...but cannot talk to my stupid DELL... so disappointing. Bleah.
Potong Steam...
Now wait only lor....

Monday, September 06, 2010

Why not a native speaker?

Okay....a bit of intro here. Kids in secondary school are supposed to take two MFL (modern foreign languages) the moment they enter Year 7. My S1 chose to take up Mandarin and Japanese. The mandarin teacher was a HK guy with a somewhat Cantonese accent before. Loads of parents complained blah blah blah. I figured Cantonese accent also Chinese accent what. Didn't bother me that much.
So it didn't bother me when I found out that the Japanese teacher is angmoh. Surely he is really qualified to do so.

Fast- forward two years down the road. My S1 is now in Year 9, and he has a new Mandarin teacher. And guessed who replaced the old Cantonese-accented teacher? An angmoh lady! When I heard the news, I still gave her and the school the benefit of the doubt that they won't simply appoint teachers in the school. Surely she can speak very well.but guess what? The moment, S1 had a class with her, he texted me "she speaks like a gweilo".

When I had lunch with my friend the other day, she confirmed that the new teacher does speak with a Caucasian accent.
How can???This kinda bothered me. I mean, Mandarin is a very tonal language. One wrong tone, the meaning of a word is totally changed. So why can't the school get a native speaker? Surely a Teacher from Beijing would be cheaper and more qualified than an angmoh from the land down under, right?? Why? Why? Why?

The TV Addicts

Yes. ALL of us are TV addicts. Some more than others.
My H is the biggest TV addict of all. And the kids too (how to blame them when daddy absolutely loves the TV??). But daddy is the biggest (in size??) addict. He wakes up, and first thing he does is turn the TV on. When he comes home, first thing he does is also to turn the TV on. So what did he do yesterday?
Yup. You guessed it. He went to get himself a new TV - a huge 50 inch Samsung TV. He asked me "would you prefer that I plonk myself in front of the TV or go out Karaoke and party every night?". True lah...his eyes on the TV better than eyes on other women!!!!

He was so excited that he squeezed the TV into the car. If the store were to deliver it, it would be Tuesday the earliest....and he just couldn't wait. Of course we couldn't all fit into the car. Both S2 and I took the cab, and apparently my poor S1 had to be somewhat squashed in between the front seat and the TV. Hee Hee...

And what do you know? When we were watching from our bed, he said "Eh...like not big enough lah". I think either he needs a new pair of glasses or maybe we should push the bed closer to the TV!!!

10th Year Anniversary...

I just realised that my sister just had her 10th wedding anniversary earlier this year. Not that I was keeping count, but she did get married the year S2 was born. Can't remember what month though. Think S2 was about 3 or 4 months when she got married - so is it May or June? Yes, the day and come and gone. Was so busy with everyday stuff that it didn't cross my mind to send her some 10th wedding anniversary gifts, even though she did mention it on FB that she was going out for her anniversary dinner. DUH! I was so blur. Sorry SIS! I wonder if I could send her a belated gift? Did you know that for the 10th year, the gift is supposed to be of something made of Aluminium? Saw this lovely aluminium gift on a gift website.

Don't you think it looks great? Come to think about it, maybe I should buy a couple more of those lovely wedding anniversary gifts for my other sisters...as their anniversaries are also coming up in a few month's time - in December!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Productive and Hardworking?

Who? Who?
Certainly not the hired help lah. I mean me, of course. Even my sisters have been saying so... Uploading pics to FB & blog, scrapbooking, going to the gym, lunching with friends (3x this week), 90-minute massage, grocery shopping, playing Word with Friends, baking etc etc....

Go here and here for my most recent painting uploads. I supposed you can tell that one of my favourite colours is RED.

Then there's my Lebaran cupcake order from my friend... and there will be another batch tomorrow.

Been going to school everyday this week... and will have to do so later today as well. There will be a presentation to Year 9 parents regarding the outcome of the inquiry into the incident this evening. Will update later.