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Currently | August Edition

Quote of the month | “Hold on to your values, never forget them and allow yourself to compromise. Remember always that whilst money is essential for survival, it’s not everything. There’s always going to be burn outs, challenges, learning curve and politics, but how you handle it defines you. Don’t let situations define how you react, take control and remember to always pray” – I wrote this quote to as a reminder to myself whilst I am at a huge crossroad in my life.

Listening  to a beautiful blend of one of my favourite Ed Sheeran song with Pachelbel’s Canon. If I could, I would get married again just for this to be played on my wedding day.

Grateful that in just 9 days, I’d get to spend some precious time with my best friend and God-son. Technology has also made it easier for me to talk to my best friend without worrying about costs especially when I’m going through a rough patch in my life.

Learning to cope with the fact that what we want in life may not always be reality. Life’s cruel like that, it’s how you choose to deal with it that makes a huge difference.

Celebrating a new opportunity that appeared in my work life. The best part of this new opportunity is the ability to fulfil my wish for a challenging job scope and being able to do something that I’ve always had a passion for.

Thinking about the arrival of our home and knowing that there’s a lot of work before it becomes a home. Even then, I’m grateful that soon, I’d have a place to call my own.

Enjoying the quality time that I get to spend with my family and B over the last 2 weeks. Really happy to be able to spend time just relaxing and chatting about life with family.

Treasuring the last couple of weeks where I get to sleep in and waltz into the office at 9am before I move to another place where working hours are longer, but the work would be a fulfilling one.

Missing my mum and maternal grandpa, especially after stumbling upon a Hainanese Hair Salon one afternoon. Listening to them chatter in Hainanese really brought tears to my eyes.

Being a God-Parent

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There’s something special about having a child who is a part of your life in a huge way, one where you’re not a half-sibling or an aunt, but rather, one where the kid calls you “Godma”. Their growth and milestones brings unlimited amounts of joy even when 2427 miles separates you from them. While the guilt of being remote gets to me at times, I am grateful for the daily videos, photos and the conversations with my best friend (C’s mama) about his growth.

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Being able to travel with him to Japan last year was a pure joy, where we took him across the region doing fun things like stroll through the gardens, wander through USJ and pulling the child-switch so that we can all ride on rollercoasters. C’s really good with us, and it shows during those child-switch times where he plays and interacts with Ben.

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Often times, when I do get to spend time with C in person once every quarter, I fear failing at the parenting job. I’ve got to admit that I’m constantly afraid that I would do something that would screw up his life, or say something horrible and he picks it up. When I’m around C, I constantly try to behave well and set a great example for him. I feel that it’s important to know the kind of parenting method used on your godchild, so that you can ensure a consistent “message” to the child.


Captured by S. Benjamin and myself with the Sony A7M2 & iPhone 7

 

To my ex-best friend, A

To the one who used to know my secrets, A

How have you been? I’ve heard that you’ve landed a job that you love and got the promotion that you’ve longed for. While you’ve landed your dream job, I still wish you the best for all the other areas in your life that I know means the world to you. I still wish you the best, I still hope that you’d find a man who is worthy of your love. Someone that would travel the world with you, one who loves to have tea, to watch movies with you and to grow old with you. I hope you are happy where you are not and that you’ve had everything you’ve ever wanted. And I hope you’ve found someone who was a better friend and fit into the direction your life was taking you than I was.

It’s been 4 years since we parted ways at the airport where you stomped out of my life and never looked back. I’m sorry that it happened and should you still habour any ill towards me, do know that I have none for you, and I’m really sorry that I wasn’t aware of the things I said that drove us to this state. We grew up and made it through polytechnic together, and we grew apart, it happens and I know it’s just a part of life. I don’t blame you for walking away, it’s just that I get really sad when I’m full of nostalgia and can’t tell you how I feel and say “do you remember when…”

When we meet someone, that person would either serve as a lifelong bond or a lesson, and you were the latter. This lesson was a heartbreaking one for me, and in all honesty, I wished it turned out to be a lifelong bond. Those memories we’ve created, they serve as a lesson that I’ll never forget. Should there be a day when I have my own children, I do want to share the stories of our glory days. You’ve not been erased just because you’re no longer a part of my life.

Thank you for all the valuable advice you’ve given me, the times when you tried to cheer me up when I was down, the time we spent together, and most importantly, for helping me discover who I was. I’m sorry that we’ve became incompatible over the years, but I’m no longer sorry that the journey we took brought us to this sorry conclusion.

I still miss you and I still hope that one day we would find our way back to each other down the road. The doors will always be open to you, but I’m sorry that I need to stop trying hard to make it up to you. You’ve seen me when I ugly cry, my nasty breakup with R, we’ve been through things that there was no going back from, and this means you will always be welcomed back into my life with open arms.

Perhaps one day, I will bump into you on the streets and all will be forgiven, and we can start being friends again. I’ve accepted that this might never happen considering all the history I’ve seen with your ex-best friends, but I do want you to know that you’d never be insulted or belittled should you decide to come back into my life.

So, I do look forward to following your progress through social media, and all the tidbits from mutual friends. I do hope that one day your kids would hear stories about me and know that we had a bond that had endured adventures, and I hope that you would tell them kind things about me and us our friendship as a lesson where some friends are forever, and some aren’t, and know that there isn’t anything wrong with that.

I wish nothing but the best for you, and I hope you’ve found some other amazing best friends like I did.

With Love,
The girl who used to be in all your pictures, S

Currently | May Edition

Researching: on the styles I would want for our new house. There are too many things that I love, but I know it wouldn’t be practical for my place.

Planning: for my upcoming trip to Japan with my family. I’m feeling a little nervous as it’s been almost 8 years since I’ve traveled with them. My traveling styles has changed greatly since I was a teenager and that makes me nervous, especially when my father is often critical of my choices.

Coping: with jetlag and the humidity after the glorious sunshine & cooling weather in London. The 25 degrees Celsius change in temperature has really made my body scream in horror.

Celebrating: B’s very first business trip with his new company, and it goes without saying, I tagged along and made a trip out of it. I am really happy to have met some of the people he works with and I do like them quite a fair bit.

img_6592Loving: the wonderful time that I’ve had in the UK on my own, wandering through the streets of various cities and falling deeply in love with the Kew Gardens. The gardens has given me the opportunity to spend some alone time and mourning the fact that I was visiting one of those places my mother would have loved to visit.

Listening: Beauty and the Beast – Voctave. I am totally in love with their voices and there’s no auto-tune! Hurrah!!

Reading: The Defenders of Shannara Series by Terry Brooks. As a teenager, I’ve always been a fan of Terry Brooks and Raymond E Feist. I do believe that I was greatly influenced by my mother who was a bibliophile with a penchant for mysteries and fantasy books.

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Grateful: for the timely trip out of an unexpected circumstances that allowed for 4 glorious days with my best friend and godson, C. They returned home when I needed support and distraction the most.

Learning: how to be patient with C, and how our actions are often mimicked by the little ones who are watching. They really pick up nonsense that we utter in an instance.

Universal Studios Japan

USJOver the last 7 years, I’ve often visited Universal Studios Singapore and it has provided me with tonnes of memories. When Universal Studios Japan (USJ) introduced the Harry Potter world, I knew it was a trip I had to make. When the opportunity arose from our crazy impromptu trip to Japan, I jumped at the chance to squeeze it into our trip.

Planning the trip to USJ with a 14 month old child was a challenge and we were skeptical that it would work out. After much research and planning, we decided to take the risk (child switch doesn’t really work in USS) and bought the tickets from JTB Singapore due to the great pricing that they had. However, we got the Universal Express 7 from Klook as they did not sell them at JTB.

We arrived at the Universal City Station at 8.30am in the morning and decided to have breakfast outside of USJ since the park only opens at 9am. 

However, it was a huge mistake as the queue to enter the park was massive. We stood in the queue for 20 minutes whilst attempting to entertain a 14 month old child whom only wanted to run around.

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The moment we entered, we made a beeline for the Flying Dinosaur as it was the one attraction that we’ve heard loads about, but our Express didn’t include. 

Prior to entering the queue, we asked the staff for the Child Switch option that they had. The child switch was a life saver, especially with Cas in tow. We were able to queue as a group, reach a certain point of the queue and 2 of us would take Cas into the waiting while the other 2 heads onto the ride. When we were done, the other couple would zoom to the front of the queue whilst Cas is being entertained. This was an excellent option as it had space for Cas to play and be distracted.

The staff were really nice, they played with Cas, made funny faces and noise to get his attention when we were attempting to get a group shot. They even gave him cute little stickers!


Harry Potter World is the bomb! I love the pine trees that lined the path towards Hogsmeade and I felt like I was being transported out of Japan into my favourite fantasy land. They had the Flying Ford Anglia in the forest before you reach the gates of Hogsmeade and it’s a perfect photo opportunity.

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The Hogwarts Express and the train conductor greets you the moment you enter the town. Piped music plays throughout the zone, setting the mood as you walk through the town towards the castle.

dscf3250dscf3248We took the 4D ride (which made everyone sick) and spent a huge amount of time there, where we bought wands, tried the robes, lunched at the 3 broomsticks, took tonnes of photos and simply soaked it all in.

img_2618img_2619Do head back after the sun sets and you would find a totally different environment. It makes me wonder how beautiful it would be if it was a real town.

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We wandered into the Universal Wonderland for Cas and he had an awesome time playing catching with Cookie Monster. The Cookie Monster actually played catching with Cas and he was just giggling non-stop.

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I would really recommend USJ to everyone even if you have a young child. They will have a wonderful time, but be sure to go as a group to do the Child Switch. It’s worth to note that even with the fast pass, planning and optimising our time, it was not a walk in the park and we didn’t finish the entire park. 


Captured by S. Benjamin and myself with the Fujifilm X100T & iPhone 7

Currently | April Edition

Listening: Shape of You – Ed Sheeran. I love this song, the beats are great to dance to and it is a great pick me up in the morning. When I need to just perk up a little, I’d just blast this on my earphones and pick up pace.

Watching: 13 Reasons Why. If you’ve not watched this Netflix series, you should. It really makes you reflect on the choices you’ve made, and you can’t help but wonder if you are still making those mistakes. 

Celebrating: our first wedding anniversary and B’s birthday at Siem Reap. It’s a great change of scenery for celebrations, one that is filled with loads of cheap massages, alcohol and lazing around.

Reading: Paper Princess – Erin Watt. When you’ve read most books and nothing much interests you, this book would be great if you love cruel intentions. The twists might be really obvious, but it’s a relatively well written novel.

Coping: with being an asthmatic after more than 20 years without it. It means no more traveling without an inhaler, even when you think you are well enough to do so.

Playing: mahjong, a game that is commonly played in Asia. A game that requires a poker face, skills and a good amount of luck.


Grateful: for technology. Being able to keep up with Cas’ growth, watching videos of him as he navigates through his childhood and having time to speak to my best friend when I need her.

Planning: for our upcoming trip to London. It’s really about listing out places that I love and want to explore with Ben, as well as, new spots that I’ve never been to.

Learning: to cook and eat clean. After my trip to the OBGYN the other day, I’m feeling rather spooked by my health condition. Time to eat clean and change my lifestyle.

The Twenty Sixth

“I must have flowers, always, and always.”
– Claude Monet

It was March the Twenty-Sixth. Six years ago, we had one of our last meals with my mum.


I woke up suddenly, after snoozing my alarm, grabbed my phone only to see 3 missed calls and 10 messages from my aunt. I grabbed my clothes, washed up and made a dash for the bus stop.

Close to ten minutes later, my aunt pulls up to the curb and I hopped in. It feels like any other weekend.

We pulled up at our family home, my aunt quickly dashed into the house and proceeded to hustle everyone out of their jammies and breakfast.

“Quickly, we are running late. Your dad is almost on his way” says my aunt.

As I sat in the car watching everyone scramble to the car, I wondered, How can it be six years already? And why does this feel so normal?

After a good 10 minutes, everyone piled into the car, and we are off.

As we drove down the road that leads into the Church, the car fell into silence. The carpark was relatively full and we pulled up into the last of the remaining lots.

The way to Mum’s spot is familiar to us, we are drawn instinctively to Mum’s place, as though it has a pull on us.

I look at Mum’s plaque. It’s unchanged, it is always the same.

As everyone hustled around, I rushed around to wipe the dust off the little trinklets that we’ve brought her over the years – the 2 schnuazers to represent our dogs, a model fruit that that I brought back from Taiwan, my brother’s miniature baton, and mum’s favourite Little Miss.

I always liked to be the last, it was my moment with my mum.

I sat down silently, I know I had to be still instead of hiding it away to let myself feel. I gave myself time to remember, to feel, to weep, to grieve, to question, to rage and at the end of it all, to try to accept once more.

With tears dripping down my cheek, I touched my mum’s plaque as I speak.

“I love you, Mum. I love you more than I’ve ever expressed and I wish you were here to see all that we’ve accomplished. I hope that you are proud of everything we’ve done and no matter what I do, I would always keep you close in my heart because you were my first love. I will forever be your child. I wish you were here to snuggle up with me in bed with a book in hand. I miss you mummy…”

I walked towards the rest of the family and watched on as Sam plays with them.

As we drive through the gates of the church, I feel as though we are leaving mum behind again, even though I know in my heart, that we were the ones who was actually left behind.