AM pick-me-up

Been sleepy in the morning these days and I think I need a little caffeine to boost the energy level.

Green tea latte. Hmmm…

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The Wanderlust Experience

At the heart of Little India, you will find this 1920s school building (which happens to be the first site of the school I’m working in) that has been transformed into a hip hotel. Wanderlust is the third boutique hotel (after Hotel 1929 and New Majestic Hotel) that is set up by lawyer-turned- boutique hotelier Loh Lik Peng in Singapore. This was after he opened The Waterhouse at South Bund in Shanghai and Townhall Hotels and Apartments in London in 2010.

The 29-room boutique hotel is designed by four local creative agencies as he finds that local designers add more much local context into their designs. As we were introduced to the rooms at the various levels, we couldn’t help but be awed by the different designs and concepts. The rooms are not big to begin with but each has its character. As the spokesperson mentioned, they didn’t want their guests to feel that they were staying in a shoebox apartment so the designers have to work with the space constraints and come up with brilliant ideas and quirky concept.

Clearly, boutique hotels are not everyone’s cup of tea. They cater to a specific group, those who are well-travelled and it’s often people from the fairly wealthy younger set. They do get some interesting corporate types who are in industries like video-game design and architecture. Surprisingly, according to the staff, quite a bulk of their customers comes from the locals and the others are tourists from Germany, UK, etc. Boutique hotels do not have the facilities of normal hotels but they differ in terms of their designs and concepts which tend to be able to provoke one to look at things anew.

The above is a open-air Jacuzzi on the second floor of the building and when you enter the building on the ground floor, you will see different kinds of chairs, sofa and even a dentist’s chair! Many of these pieces are designer furniture which the owner has a penchant for and they, do fit into a boutique hotel.

Our group with the GM (she looks so young!) and another staff (on my right). It was a great experience and the next time I’m in Shanghai, I will check into The Waterhouse at South Bund (dear hubs, do you get the hint? =p)

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Teach with Phonics Skills Chart | Scholastic.com

I thought this is rather helpful.

Teach with Phonics Skills Chart | Scholastic.com.

Cocotte

One of my group members has managed to arranged for an industrial visit to Wanderlust hotel and I thought a dine-in experience would complete the visit. Have read good reviews about the French restaurant, Cocotte, found on the 1st floor and decided to give it a try.

It was surprisingly empty when we reached. In fact, only a few tables were occupied. The restaurant provides complimentary valet which is good since I don’t really like parallel parking.

The interior is unpretentious and exudes a warm communal style of dining; it makes one feel at ease. Only set lunch is available, which is quite unfortunate since I’m all ready to try out their signature roast pork collar. But for only $32 ++ for the set, I guess I can’t complain much.

I must say, with regret, that I was less than satisfied with the food. Perhaps I came with high expectations and it was disappointing that they didn’t quite deliver.

The soup of the day was pumpkin soup. ML and I thought it was rich and creamy but rather bland.

I had the Pear, Bleu D’Auverge Salad which is a mixed salad tossed in lemon-hazelnut dressing with fresh pears and toasted hazelnuts & Bleu D’Auverge cheese. It was rather refreshing and zesty and I was enjoying it until I consumed the cheese and realised I shouldn’t be eating such cheeses! It’s all right as an appetizer but nothing to be excited about.

For the main, ML ordered the Trout Amandine which is a whole rainbow trout with almonds and brown butter. I like the caramelised taste and the toasted nuts but the fish itself, again, was rather bland. Was it my taste buds? But ML wasn’t very impressed either, only perhaps by the size of the fish.

I wanted to order the Steak Frites but it was not available (pity) and in the end, went for Chicken & Black Trompette Mushrooms. The dish was really all right but… the chicken leg was not well-cooked and there was blood oozing when I cut into the flesh.  According to Chef Ramsey (in Masterchef), one shouldn’t serve uncooked meat. There’s a no-no for chefs and I’m not talking about eating steak in which you can choose how it could be done. Chicken has to be well-cooked! Disappointed, I returned the dish to the server for some ‘touch-ups’.

My dessert was Creme Brulee which was pleasant. The coffee was good too. Like it.

Would I come again? Perhaps ( I still want to try the Roast Pork Collar), and I would suggest coming in a group since they have this offer for DBS/POSB card – one dines free for every 3 paying guests until Dec 2012. It’s a good place to hang out with your friends.

Sarawak Laksa

A Sarawak Laksa place that has to be recommended. Cheap and not bad. It’s found in Blk 204, Bedok North St 1. @ $4.50, you can look forward to a good sized bowl that is filled with prawns, shredded chicken and egg and bean sprouts. Some have reviewed that the taste is not as strong as the ones sold in Sarawak but to me it is just delicious. A few metres down the road, the same food is sold in Bedok Point but each bowl cost $7.50! Have not personally tried it but I think I would be paying for the air-conditioning with that amount. =p

 

Next time, I’ll try another specialty which is the Kolo Mee.

Yup, I’m really enjoying while the hubs waited for his Aston’s fish and chips.

It has been busy, busy and real busy for the past few weeks. On one hand, I’m thankful that I am attending the July cohort for MLS  since we all know full well that the second semester is hellish but having to juggle between work and studies is no easy feat. Years ago, I could do my part time post grad studies while working full time but now, I feel my energy dipping. Each day when I reach home after school, the body is already tired. My mind is filled with images of undone work and assignment but I couldn’t start my engine.

Friday afternoon signals the end of the week for studies and after collecting my new passport (but can’t travel!!!), decided to reward myself with gong cha and go straight into vetting of papers and writing my own PP which took an incredibly long time (haiz! why do we need to do this??!!)

Saturday morning saw me returning to school for r***ing and then catching up with the GS gang in the evening. It was a good evening of catching up with old friends and the conversation revolved around cycling, work and family. It’s always good to catch up with friends!

Maya explaining to us the dish served for housewarming for the Indonesians – Nasi Tumpeng. She got her caterer friend to prepare the delicious food for us. Yummy!

And Vic baked us a decadent blackforest cake. It’s a pity that the LCB-trained Vic decided not to open a bakery after all. Thankfully, she will still bake for friends!

On the way back while driving along ECP, I was greeted by the fireworks display from the NE show. It was beautiful, an amazing feeling. As I caught a glimpse of the sight, I couldn’t help but be thankful that I’m a citizen of this city in the garden. We are not perfect. Indeed there’s so much improvement to be done. Instead of merely complaining and always asking the government to do something for their people, perhaps it’s time to ask ourselves how we can give back. The progress of the nation does not solely depend on the government. Every one of us needs to be involved.

Yes, I’m a proud Singaporean. And no, I didn’t take this picture (I’m driving!). This pic is sent to me by my course-mate who was there for the NE show. Beautiful!

Sluggish weekend

These days, pressure is building. While studying and having to fulfil the requirements AKA reflections and more reflections, there is always the school work at the back of my mind. Things not done and they are pressing. HOW???

And there are other things to do like setting up Faith’s room, getting confinement nanny, cleaning up the apartment, etc. So on Saturday, the hubs and I went down to Ikea for some idea for Faith’s room but in the end, bought more furniture for our nest.

This simple design is probably what I would be going for. And I’m glad that we would not be paying for delivery now since we have a car that is long and big enough to fit the parts in.

This adventure started off well but unfortunately, the hubs hurt his lower back while trying to lift up some heavy stuff. Bad position and off he went to the physician. Sigh! Signs of getting old. =p

And now, I have to reluctantly go back to my work. I need MOTIVATION!

A busy start

I’ve been uber busy since the course started. Each day, there are thought-provoking and laugh-aloud moments because the professor is just so humourous in his delivery! There is of course much food for thought and each day sees me leaving the campus with a much reflective mind.

I wouldn’t want to miss yesterday’s lesson if not for the fact that I have an appointment with Dr Poon for the detailed scan. When I reached the clinic, guess who I met? It was Nan! This is what I called divine meeting. She is back for a short period before going back to the field again and the Lord has granted us 30 minutes of chat time!

The detailed scan was all right. It seems that Faith is growing well, all of 300g at this point in time. I was worried about the size of my tummy since many have told me that they hardly know that I am pregnant but Dr Poon assured me that she is growing well. Got a flu jab and off I scoot to school.

Some pics of the scan. I can’t really decipher what it is showing. =( All I can see is the spine. Period.

@ 20 weeks
53.5kg
BP: 119/67

Errands

Today is Running Errands Day!

We really ought to make time for the arrival of Faith and that means scouting and finalising the hospital, confinement lady, etc. We started off with brekky at the ECP though initially I wanted a nice continental breakfast. But yours truly is really a lazy girl and dread going to the city thus we or rather I decided to stay within the  eastern area

We proceeded to Parkway East Hospital (PEH). We didn’t make appointment but the hubs decided to just ask if they could cater to last minute request for the tour. And we were granted! There was actually a tour at 10am and we could join! Yay! PEH was a small hospital and the number of parking lots was pathetic. However, you could definitely park around the vicinity. The interior is surprisingly enticing and I didn’t really feel that I am in a hospital.

We were shown all the different types of rooms available and though I feel they are a tad smaller than the ones at Mt A, they are still comfortable. Next, we went to Mt A and it took us quite some time to travel there mainly because I’m not very good with the directions. Upon reaching, I was disappointed! It was under renovation and no parking lots! We have to park at the nearby MacRitchie Reservoir and the sight wasn’t really inviting. As I drove past, I saw a long queue for the cabs and grouchy-looking people. Hmmm, I think at that instance, I have made up my mind to deliver at PEH since the cost isn’t that much of a difference. More importantly, the distance isn’t that far and being the practical us, we would definitely prefer that option.

@ Thai Express, the eatery where we had our first few dates, the hubs and I decided that we would not need prenatal classes since a dear friend and sis have both suggested that we could learn from the confinement nanny. So, what I need to do is to read up more and learn from the nanny whom we have also just kind of confirmed.

Oh! Exciting times ahead!

Booking of all sorts starts now!

Leaving…again.

It’s not the first time that I bid farewell to my family at HWS. However, this time round, it’s less painful since I can always go back to catch up with some work and eventually still be back for good.

These six months have been enriching, though frustrating at first. There’re so many things that I need to know and new staff to befriend. Relationships need to be built, without which I find working a tad less joyful.

I wouldn’t say I have already reached (oh, definitely not!) but certainly I am more aware of the current situation and can act in more confident manner. Alas, just as I am getting the hang of things, I have to bid sayonara, this time for professional development. Hopefully, I will come back stronger in my knowledge as a leader.

And now is the time to read! Yipee! I hope I can really find the time to do so!

Give up!

After a week of bearing with the pain, tip-toeing my way around and groaning endlessly in the middle of the night, the hubs finally issued me a decree – to consult the doctor. And yes, this time round, I couldn’t talk my way out of it. I HAVE TO GO.

So here I am, much as I dislike consuming any pills, I have to take them. Of course, the doc assured us that they are safe for pregnancy. We still do not know the cause of the pain since the tendons are fine and it has nothing to do with the bone. What the doc suggested was high uric acid and for that, I would have to find out from some form of health screening.

Thankfully, it will not impact pregnancy. But still, I need to get myself checked up once the delivery is done.

Sigh…when you get older, all sorts of crap just creep up.

Time to look after oneself. Eat well, exercise well. And meanwhile to soak the feet in  the tub of hot salt water prepared by the hubs. =)

Monday blues

It should have been a wonderful Youth Day school holiday but…

the hubs had to attend some ceremony and we could not have a nice day out. I believe he must have felt irritated also and asked me out for a walk in the morning. Putting on my sports shoes, I went down with him and within one minute, I had to call it quits. My heel hurt a great deal and the pain had shot up to the thigh area. I suspect the pair of running shoes is now too small for me and I ended up going back to rest.

The only thing that I looked forward to was the massage session in the evening. I have been looking forward to this day! My body aches and my legs hurt with cramps every other night. But when the hubs and I reached that place, we realised that the shop was empty! Arghhh! The business must have ceased and they didn’t inform us! Darn!

It’s really a dampening Monday. To be honest, being pregnant can be wonderful but not everything is beautiful. While I know deep within me, I would rather have all the pains and sickness in exchange for a healthy and normal baby, I have to admit that at times, I can’t help but feel the blues. The dear hubs has been very supportive and tries his best to cheer me up. Sometimes I feel bad for him so I guess I need to pick myself up.

So, from the motherhood forum, I have found a person who can do prenatal massage and she’s one who would go to the person’s place to do it. I don’t even have to travel! When I called her, she advised me to wait till I am in my 21st week before going for it. I’m thankful for her honesty and so I will wait it out. *Jenny*

So next, I need to get some workout. Besides walking, I would want to sign up for yoga/pilates since I know my lower back is weak and might pose problems. So, yes, waiting for the other party to reply.

Have emailed PEM confinement agency. Awaiting their reply.

Will visit hospitals this weekend. I think we are pretty set on two. By this weekend, we should confirm the hospital for delivery and also the prenatal classes.

Will need to purchase insurance too.

Will need to get flu jab for my next gynae visit. Now coughing already. ANd would need to consult a doc if the pain in the heel still persists.

Oh…so many things!

@ 18 weeks

My body has become bigger and I have out-grown the maternity wear that my friends have loaned to me. Why are they so small-sized??

After a week back to work, I have developed a nagging and irritating left heel pain. It got to the extent that I have to tip-toe rather than walk properly. It must have been the sudden increase in walking. Oh darn. Pls go away!

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The weekend’s makan.