Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - The Bird Wants Some Noodles too

Monday, October 29, 2012

Progress of New House - Update 2

Backdated Post : 25th October 2012

 Most people find renovating their house a headache, I find renovating MY HOUSE a Joyful Experience!
*Huge Grin*

Though there were some hiccups here and there, it was EXCITING to see how "some" things can STILL be achieved using alternative methods. Well, if you do not know what I am talking about, go read my previous post "Progress of New House - Update 1".

When we planned to sell our house, we had already done our budgeting. Money set aside for renovation, for air-con, for a few furniture, for toilet accessories, for lighting etc
We were extremely happy with the quotation given by our contractor, which gave us a buffer from our renovation budget and we used this buffer on tiles. Choosing tiles that were above the quoted price.

If you still remember the tiles which we decided last month, read post "Renovation Company Confirmed" There had been changes. 

We were not completely satisfied with the floor tiles of the living room and the 3 bedrooms, so we asked if we could choose from another tile supplier (SBH). We had been so kiasu, that we were shopping for tiles even before our first HDB appointment, which was 4 months ago! *laugh*
Back then, we had already decided on what tiles we wanted, but we could not find those tiles in the tile supplier (HFR) showroom, recommended by our contractor, so we simply chose the 'closest' to our original choice.

After going back home with the tiles samples from HFR, we started to discuss "The tiles will be with us for as long as we stay in the house. Do we want to make do with second choice for years? Or should we go for what we really want?" The answer was obvious.

So we called up our contractor and told them that we want to take from our preferred tile supplier (SBH) and they said "Ok!"
*clap clap clap*

We went down the next day and ended up choosing some from each tile supplier.
Living Room, 3 Bedrooms and Storeroom floor tiles from SBH
Toilet floor tiles from SBH
Toilet wall tiles from HFR
Kitchen floor tiles from HFR

If you noticed, we did NOT choose any kitchen WALL tiles.
That was because we did NOT want to have any wall tiles at all.

However, all these changed when the contractor went up to our house for the first time on 12th October 2012 and broke the 'bad' news to us, read "Progress of New House - Update 1".

We had NO other BETTER choice than to use wall tiles to 'hide' the crack on the wall.
We had thought of building a cabinet, but it makes no sense as it would be a FULL LENGTH cabinet, covering the rubbish chute opening. 
I do not want that! I had enough of bending down and popping my head under the cabinet for almost 30 years just to throw rubbish into the chute, in my old house.
This time, I want to have easy access to my rubbish chute. No more bending over and No more opening of cabinet doors just to reach the chute opening. BIG X to that!

Furthermore, it would become a hindrance whenever I need to hang clothes.I can foresee my bamboo hitting the cabinet every time I shove the bamboo up.

Then we discuss about the chance of it cracking again and hubby came out with a solution.
Use MOSAIC to hide!
So that when the crack do reappear, we just need to change a SMALL piece of mosaic along the crack line, instead of changing the entire piece of rectangular tile.
Brilliant Idea!
*clap clap clap*

And so we went back to HFR, which has more range of mosaic tiles compared to SBH, to make our selection of mosaic tiles and Kitchen wall tiles.
The decision was HARD!

Mosaic tiles itself are already more expensive than normal tiles and to lay mosaic tiles, there are also additional 'laying' costs!
The ones that we liked very much, were WAY OVER our budget.
The ones that we don't were within our budget, but we do not want to face something that we don't like every single day.
Thus, in the end, we chose a design that we liked (not very much) and matches our kitchen colour theme; yet only a LITTLE over our budget.

So we thought tiles are FINALLY CONFIRMED!
No more changes!

But we were wrong!

Just two weeks ago, I took out our supposedly-confirmed tiles samples and laid them on the floor to admire.
I realised that the Living room + bedroom + storeroom tiles were grey!
We wanted white!!!
We saw that it was white at the showroom!
How did it turn grey?!??!

Once again, we went back to SBH with the sample and OMG! We found out that the lighting in the showroom and the way the tiles were displayed made the difference!

The tile which we chose were displayed vertically and it was under a yellowish spot light.
The moment we put the tile down on the floor and under a white spot light, it was greyish indeed!

After many minutes of pacing up and down the showroom.
We decided on a tile that has tiny sparkles on it.
If without any light shining on it, it has lots of pokka dots.
But when light shines on it, those pokka dots would glitter.

We were happy!
*clap clap clap*

Then last Wednesday 24th October we met up with the contractor at the void deck of our new house. They were there to distribute this slip of paper to my soon-to-be-neighbours :

My oh my!
Another problem arose with our selection of tiles.

We handed our tile samples to our contractor, who has the same name as my hubby, just different spelling.
He said that the latest living room tile which we chose (that glitters) CANNOT USE ACID to wash, something which the contractors MUST DO before they hand over the house to us after the renovation is complete.

Yes, we did see the sign "No Acid" written on the tile when we were at the showroom, but we did not know that the impact would be this great.

My contractor told us that without using acid to wash all the tiles, the 'droplets' of cement that falls on the tiles during the laying of tiles process, would NEVER be washed off, so it is a MUST to wash with acid. He continued to say that after acid wash, this particular tile will lose at least 70% of its glitters and will appear BLURISH!!!!
OH NO!!!!

Hacking will start in less than 5 days time and our tiles need to be changed!
What madness!

Thank goodness my hubby is in the property line whereby he is in control of his time.
We rushed down and made the change that very day!

What should we choose now?!
Spending more than 20mins pacing up and down again in the showroom, with no idea at all!

Then a very funny thing happened.
When you are so lost and you just hope for a miracle to happen, it HAPPENED!

This was our 5th time at SBH and yet, we had NEVER noticed this section of tiles before!!!
They are hidden in drawers.
We need to pull each drawer out in order to see the tiles.
And lo and behold, we FOUND OUR WHITE TILE, lying there waiting for us!!!!

Not completely white though, it has some lines on it.
It was also Matt surface!
Our almost perfect tile! (almost perfect cos it was slightly rougher than we wished) 

Matt surface = No obvious footprints from our sweaty soles
Matt surface = Scratches will be less visible
The MOST IMPORTANT thing is it did NOT SAY "NO ACID"!!!

Thank goodness!
The 'Glittering' tiles were only reserved and not paid yet.
So we could still make the change!

This time is for REAL!
*clap clap clap*

As we had a buffer from the renovation quotation, we could use that allowance on the "alternative method" to level the small kitchen floor area that we needed to (mentioned in the previous post), this "alternative method" comes with a bigger price tag than Polyfoam, which was banned by HDB this year 24th September.

Well, did we exceed our TOTAL budget?
Its still too early to tell because many of the toilet accessories and lighting were way below our budget.
So currently, some above and some below our budget.

Only when everything is done in late December, then I would know if our TOTAL budget had been exceeded.

Till then,
I am looking forward to hear the sound of drilling and hacking in my new house..... 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Song Sharing Sunday #194 - WOW ~ BTOB

Today is my eldest niece's birthday, perfect timing for my Song Sharing Sunday.
One of her many favourite Korean groups, here's dedicating this song to her.

Song Sharing Sunday Badge

Every Song reminds me of a person, an event, a place, a smell, a taste....a secret, do you have a song to share today?


Join in the fun, leave a comment with your Song Sharing Sunday post's URL and don't forget to grab the meme's badge above using the codes provided and I'll hop over to 'listen'...

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Song Sharing Sunday #196 - Get Out ~ Casey Abrams

I had been hearing this song on the radio for the longest time.
Yet, I had been missing the moment when the DJ would say the name of this song.
I heard it!

I was pleasantly surprised that it was Casey Abrams!
I remembered him from American Idol.
A really funny guy.

Hope you will enjoy it as much as I do....

Song Sharing Sunday Badge

Every Song reminds me of a person, an event, a place, a smell, a taste....a secret, do you have a song to share today?

Get Out - Casey Abrams

Join in the fun, leave a comment with your Song Sharing Sunday post's URL and don't forget to grab the meme's badge above using the codes provided and I'll hop over to 'listen'...

Monday, October 15, 2012

Progress of New House Update 1

Where's the cymbal?!

The house is officially mine since 12th October 2012!
*clap clap clap*

Which house?

My hubby and I have waited for a long time for this day.
Our necks are almost as long as like giraffe's.
So without any delay, on that very same day, we brought in everyone, involved in making my new house look like my dream house, to get all the measurements done.

Ticks for those area that we will be keeping, which is not much. I think I saw less than 5 ticks only!
Crosses for those area that will be hacked, and they are EVERYWHERE!!!

Coming together with hubby to build our dream home reminded me of the time when we put our heads together to set up our Bubble Tea Shop back in 2001.

The feeling is the same!
Lots of smiles and laughters during discussion.
Though our views on a handful of things are different, we listed the pros and cons and arguments are avoided. *thumbs up*

For example, hubby wanted a gas shower heater, while I wanted an electric shower heater.
Whoooo...both of us were not going to give in 'cos our pros and cons balanced up.
In the end, we did a voting by robing in the kids in because they have experienced BOTH shower heaters before.

Guess who won?
3 : 1

Though all seemed fun, there are also issues which are beyond my control.
When we viewed the house, before we signed any papers, we had already seen this long crack on the wall.

It stretches from the top all the way to the bottom.
At first, I thought it might be due to the poor workmanship.
I was wrong.

When my contractor came, he told us that its the building that has a crack and its not surprising that this same crack line appears on the walls of my (new) neighbours' houses too, who stay above and below my unit.

As a property agent for 5+years, hubby has also seen such crack line on the walls of a number of old flat units and all appearing at the rubbish chute area.
To him, it is a common sight.
However, it is not a common knowledge to us that the crack line will RE-OCCUR again!

My contractor explained in detail what they would do to prevent the crack line from surfacing again but its NOT a 100% guarantee.
Thus all that we could do was just hope and pray.

a new regulation came out just few weeks ago on 24th September 2012.
We needed to level up a small area of the kitchen floor with polyfoam, something that was allowed for many many many many years already.
Yet, just 3 weeks before the submission of the renovation permit, HDB said NO More Polyfoam is allowed.
When I heard that, my mind went, "Waaahhhhh....we are soooooooooo 'Lucky' ah! Other people do renovation can use, when its finally my turn to do, this rule came out."

Then again, I am thankful that the rule did not come out nearer to the renovation date or else, I would have paid for the Polyfoam and not be able to use it. That would be worse, isn't?!

Well, that is life, right?
Not everything will go according to what we want.
If so, our creative cells would have died long ago!

So hubby and I brainstormed and thought of other ways to improve that small area.... and we are still in the discussion process with the contractors on the feasibility of our ideas.
*fingers crossed*

After measurements were done, the new estimated completion time would be in mid December instead of end December.
*clap clap clap*

We are not the only one who are thrilled over this new place, my in-laws too!
The two old folks made a special trip down the next day, 13th October 2012, to see and feel the walls.
At the end of it all, my MIL insisted on having a HOUSE WARMING PARTY!
*jaws dropped*

NOooooooooooo, that was not our plan at all!
We just want to build a comfortable home to stay in, not to show-off!
In fact, a number of my friends asked if we are doing any fancy renovations, my answer is "NO! I do not even have false ceiling to hide the wires."
I want to create a place where I feel HAPPY staying in, not a showroom.
So we dumped our money in for what we think is necessary and on things that will cheer us up whenever we come through our main door.
We did not think false ceiling was a necessity.

To us, 
a house is to keep us warm during cold weather,
to shelter us from the rain and sun,
to store lots of laughter,
and a place to accumulate memories a ton.

I am in such good spirit!
I created a poem without any effort!

Simple homemaker, simple wish.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Song Sharing Sunday #195 - Count On Me ~ Bruno Mars

I missed my healthy elder son...
I loved the time when we sang this song together while watching this video...
I treasured the little giggles we had when we saw some of the funnier graphics...
Get Well Soon, son...

Song Sharing Sunday Badge

Every Song reminds me of a person, an event, a place, a smell, a taste....a secret, do you have a song to share today?

Count On Me - Bruno Mars

Join in the fun, leave a comment with your Song Sharing Sunday post's URL and don't forget to grab the meme's badge above using the codes provided and I'll hop over to 'listen'...

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Song Sharing Sunday #194 - We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together ~ Taylor Swift

This week, I am dedicating this song to myself as the day of the HDB final appointment for my new house gets nearer. Never ever getting back together again with being 'homeless'! *wink* Whoo-hoo!
Song Sharing Sunday Badge

Every Song reminds me of a person, an event, a place, a smell, a taste....a secret, do you have a song to share today?

We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together -Taylor Swift

Join in the fun, leave a comment with your Song Sharing Sunday post's URL and don't forget to grab the meme's badge above using the codes provided and I'll hop over to 'listen'...

Monday, October 1, 2012

My Birthday 2012

1st of October marks the beginning of a SUPER EXCITING MONTH and at the same time it ends the birthday celebration month for me.

Here's a small recap of what I did for my birthday this year 2012.
Few words, more photos. because I am too busy this month for long posts.

Had Dinner with my Sis and BIL at Zafferano
 Check out my Zafferano blog post here "Zafferano - Restaurant at Level 43"

 Also had a dinner celebration on another day at The Soup Restaurant at Vivo City with J., XY., and P.L.
Their presents for me:

Yeah! Heard a lot about this product and had always wanted to try. But I think to pay 'that' amount for 'trying' purpose was way too much for me. So thank you girls (including B.L. who did not attend the dinner due to poor health) for making my wish come true.

A Surprise Gift from the girls too! Lovely bag for me to use during wedding dinners! Yeah! *clap clap clap*

My Birthday Cake!


A Birthday Card from my lovely insurance representative! What a surprise! I cannot even remember when was the last time I received a Birthday Card.... Thank you, thank you.....

On my birthday itself, the four of us went to KISEKI Japanese Buffet Restaurant for a truly sumptuous and enjoyable dinner!

Here's one without the 'Calefares'! *laugh*

That satisfied look! *laugh*

But the THING that made me leapt was THIS!!!!
Present from hubby!
Seen so much, read so much, finally can use so much!

With that, ends my birthday celebration for this year.

Thank you EVERYONE who put a smile on my face!