Sunday, March 31, 2013

Song Sharing Sunday #216 - Training To Be Cowards ~ Ah Boys To Men II

Had a great long weekend with the 6 kiddos of my extended family at the 3 days 2 nights chalet.
As usual, we had lots of fun and laughter as we celebrated my 2nd niece and my younger son's birthday.
I thought I would be posting a birthday song for this week's Song Sharing Sunday.
Instead, the song that struck me this week was to hear my 5 year old nephew singing "Training To Be Cowards" song from the movie Ah Boys To Men II.

Nope, he has not seen the movie before.
Just the shots from the television during commercial period.
It came very sudden.
He was strutting as he sang his way up to level two of the chalet.
*huge laugh*

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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?

Training To Be Cowards ~ Ah Boys To Men II

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'...

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Progress of New House ~ Update 13

As you can tell from the previous post, the major things are up.
Whatever that are still left unchecked on my renovation list will not be a hindrance to us moving in on 24th December 2012.

Since there aren't much left to talk about, today's post will be updates of 2 days:~

21st December 2012 :
The Solid Surface Table Top is UP!
I wanted to take photos of the workers doing it.
But it was way too dusty and smelly....
Even the workers had to wear masks to cover their nose and mouth while they were filing/joining the two long pieces of Solid Surface together, to complete my L-shaped kitchen cabinet.

I took a 3 seconds peep and ran off after seeing mini-white-snow flying around the kitchen...

 Now that the Solid Surface is fixed onto my kitchen cabinet, holes were cut to position my stove and sink.

 The tiler also came to complete the walkway that leads the living room to the kitchen. Tiles were laid on top of the wooden plank mentioned in the previous post.

 He also finished building up the suspended wall for the toilet bowl which was of the wrong size. Why would that happen? Why wrong size? Read "Progress of New House ~ Update 7"

I mentioned in Update 7 :
 "My renovation contractor suggested to build a suspended wall from the existing wall so that the water cistern could be supported. Thus, the toilet bowl with the measurement of 140mm, will be placed away from the original wall of the toilet so as to fit into the hole in the ground, and the suspended wall will bridge the gap.

*laugh* This might sound really confusing for some of you, I think. No worries, when all of that are done, photos will definitely be posted to give you a clearer picture. Picture is worth a thousand words, yes?"

This is the suspended wall

With this done, my toilet bowl which WAS of the wrong size can now sit NICELY onto the hole on the floor.

Throughout all these work, the kids created a 'boat' for themselves in their study room, switched on the air-con and watched their favourite videos on the iPad.

The painter agreed to come again to paint my laminated wall mentioned in previous post : Update 12.
He did come at night after we had left.

Major packing had also started in our rented flat.....

22nd December 2012 :
When we went to our new house, hoping to see a simple white paint all over the laminated storeroom door, we saw something else.

Patches of green paint ON MY MASTER BEDROOM YELLOW WALL!!!!

 I was speechless!!!!
Felt like fainting.
I could not find any reason why the painter would want to do that....

We called our renovation coordinator and after she had checked with the painter, she told us that the painter mistook the green to be yellow under night light.

Therefore because of this mistake, he had to make another trip down to my house again another day!


Monday, March 25, 2013

Progress of New House ~ Update 12

What went on in my new house on 20th December 2012?
No, I did not skip 19th December 2012, its just that we had something on that day and did not go down to take a look at our new house's progress.
We arrived there at 9am on 20th Dec.....

Remember how a NEW REGULATION gave us a crazy surprise at the very beginning of the renovation work? In fact, BEFORE anything started.

If you are not sure of what I am talking about? Read Here "Progress of New House ~ Update 1"


The floor tiles had been laid long ago (in Update 6), but why was this not done till now? Well, we were exploring new ways of replacing the polyfoam. We, especially my hubby, were not in favour of using the wooden board as a replacement of the polyfoam, as the sound of footstep magnifies every time we step on that area.

The work you see below is incomplete as the tiles are not on the wooden planks yet.

We counter proposed to the relevant department, who changed the regulation of using polyfoam, to use hollow block instead, but they took so long to come back with a "YES" or "NO".

After much calling and even running down to their office, their answer was "NO."

Then my renovation company counter proposed to use ANOTHER material and once again, after many calls from our side to hurry them into making a decision, they still did not agree.

So we were back to square one.
The original plan of using wooden board to raised the floor of that small walkway towards the kitchen.

Not only will there be sound, the white cement that lines the edges of the joining tiles will also come off easily; and when that happens, we will need to fill up the gap again with white cement. Sound like a hassle isn't? Well, we were mentally prepared for these to happen.

our small cabinet beside our sofa is also up from the unfinished work on 18th December:


and the doors of my beautiful BLUM corner unit drawers

See the L-SHAPE shelf at the corner? I LOVE IT! 'cos FINALLY can see MY IDEA come to LIFE!

I do NOT like to have top kitchen cabinets because I like things to be accessible. If I had to put something so high up, whereby I need to take a chair or stool to get it, I will probably not use it anyway.
If so, then I might as put them in the storeroom, whereby it makes more sense.

Thus, why bother to spend my money on making top kitchen cabinets whereby it will only store things I would not use?
Does not make any sense to me though.

This way, I can also make sure that I do not end up stocking up or buying lots of UNNECESSARY things; because I don't have 'extra' space to store them.
Therefore teaching me to shop wisely each time.
*thumbs up*

This house is a new beginning for me (emotionally) and the last thing I want is to bring over UNWANTED things that bring back unpleasant memories from the old house into this new home of mine.


All appeared to be going pretty well eh?
If so, then I would not have dropped so much hair during this last week of renovation, before we moved in officially.

1) The carpenter had completed all his tasks. He had left with all his tools and not coming back already. Only then, did we realise that our wardrobe DID NOT HAVE THE METAL POLES for us to hang clothes!!!

I called my renovation coordinator and she said that they will bring the poles down soon...but no dates were promised.

2) Then the window maker COULD NOT get my window grilles up till AFTER WE HAVE MOVED IN!!!
He said his work on hand is so full, he just could not get it done in time.
Anyway, I have SOOOOOOOOOOOOO MANY ISSUES with this window maker.
Will do a separate post on him another day.

3) This was followed by another horror!
The wallpaper contractor, which we SOURCED ON OUR OWN (not from our renovation company), and had paid deposit to before we even completed the HDB transaction, came today.
We were so 'KIASU' (eager)!

He came and did the measurement to make sure that the 3 rolls of wall paper which we purchased were sufficient.
All was good until he said this, "The wallpaper cannot stick on this laminated door (my storeroom door). It will peel off. This laminated door must be changed, otherwise we are going to leave it as it is without any wallpaper."

I, with my eyes opened wide begged, "You try lah. Maybe can stick?"

He refused:"We give 5 years warranty and we would NOT warranty for this."

Oh no!
That is not what I want.
He continued to say that he has done it before on laminated doors and he received complains from those clients, which is why he refused to even give it a try.

My head was going "Shit! That means its another delay again if I need the carpenter to cut out another piece of wood to make the new storeroom door.
He would need to FIND TIME to come and remove this and fix the new one up.
And my money?! 
My money spent on this wooden door and the lamination would go to waste!
And I still need to pay extra for an additional new storeroom door!??

Imagine the sides of the storeroom is with wallpaper and the storeroom door (at the left corner in picture below) is not?!??

Immediately I called my renovation coordinator again and asked the big "HOW?!?" because during the discussion, she was confident that wallpaper can stick well on laminated doors.

Then again, come to think of it. I was quite silly to spend money on the lamination, since I have already decided to put wallpaper.
Well, our original plan was to have lamination on the BACK of the door, so that when the storeroom door opens up, the 'inside' of the door would be presentable, since only the front of the storeroom door is with wallpaper.
Little did I think of wrapping the ENTIRE door with wallpaper!!!
*Slap Forehead*

Guess what?
The painter agreed to come to paint the entire door for me the next day; front and back, so that the surface becomes slightly rough for the wallpaper to stick on.

What a waste of money on the lamination work on the storeroom door!
*heart pain*

Well, its a lesson learned indeed!


Did the rest of my renovation work go smoothly after this?

Come back for the next renovation post, should be up soon.......


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Song Sharing Sunday #215 - Hands Up ~ 2pm

We are finally back from the 5 days 4 nights Vietnam trip.
It was pretty rare to hear English songs being played in the shops, but there were...nonetheless...

However, it CERTAINLY made me stopped and turned my head when I heard a Vietnamese singing a Korean song!

It happened when I was exploring the clever and deadly traps created by the residents of Cu Chi to kill the enemies at the Cu chi Underground Tunnels during the Vietnam War.

While I was engrossed in snapping shots of the cruelty of war, all of a sudden, I heard a voice SINGING loud and clear "Put Your Hands Up, Put Your Hands Up. Put Put Put Put. Put Your Hands Up, Put Your Hands Up."

I wanted to laugh.
But somehow the 'bloody' drawings infront of me overruled that urge to giggle.

This teenage Vietnamese boy with his other friend walked over and asked my tour guide to help them take some photos. And after every snap, he would go "Put Your Hands Up, Put Your Hands Up. Put Put Put Put, Put Your Hands Up, Put Your Hands Up."

I had totally lost count how many times he sang those sentences in that short 1 -2 mins.

By the way, those were the ONLY few words he sang, but he was DEFINITELY IN THE ZONE man!
....but at the wrong place for sure....
....unless he was referring to the troops who surrendered back then....

*huge laugh*


I told myself that I MUST put this song on my Song Sharing Sunday.
A song that's going to bring back a very funny memory for me.

I have heard this song before on the radio, but never watched the MTV.
When I clicked the 'play' button on YouTube and found that the MTV was taken in Singapore, Hhhmmm... pleasantly surprised indeed!


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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?

Hands Up ~ 2pm

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, March 17, 2013

FREE McDonald's Egg McMuffin Tomorrow !

Was in McDonald's today and saw many cute little eggs standing on the POS machines.

It Reads.........

I didn't know that there was such a day called "National Breakfast Day"!!!

And McDonald's are giving away 1000 Egg McMuffin™ per participating store on 18th March 2013.
The give-away starts at 5am and ends at 10am.

However, the outlets below will be giving out the Egg McMuffin™ from 6am to 10am.
  • McDonald's Singapore Polytechnic 2
  • McDonald's Temasek Polytechnic 
  • McDonald's Nanyang Polytechnic
  • McDonald's Compass Point 
  • McDonald's City Square Mall

Do Take Note that the following outlets will NOT be giving out FREE Egg McMuffins:
  • McDonald's KK Hospital 
  • McDonald's Changi Airport T2 Transit Lounge 
  • McDonald's Lucky Chinatown 
  • McDonald's Clementi Ave 3 near the Polyclinic
  • McDonald’s Tampines Interchange Kiosk
  • McDonald’s Yew Tee Kiosk (Ground Level)
  • Collect your redemption coupon from the participating McDonald's Restaurants on March 18th 2013 itself and must redeem on the same day.
  •  No Purchase is required.
  • Only ONE redemption coupon per customer. No coupon = No FREE Egg McMuffin.
  • You MUST QUEUE up IN THE RESTAURANT in order to get your FREE Egg McMuffin. So forget about going drive thru! 
 Would you be having a FREE McDonald's Egg McMuffin for your breakfast tomorrow?
Too bad, we could not., 'cos we will be on our way to the airport before they start giving out the coupons....

Song Sharing Sunday #214 - One Republic ~ If I Lose Myself

A song that brings my elder son and I together....
The moment this song comes on the radio, he and I will start singing....

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?

One Republic ~ If I Lose Myself

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'...

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Progress of New House ~ Update 11

As mentioned in my post yesterday, I will be doing a DAILY post, instead of a weekly post for ease of reading.

Progress in my new house on 18th December 2012:~

Its carpentry work all the way in the afternoon....

But before I get to all the woody stuff, the OpenNet guys came in the morning to fix up the internet access. 
It was a HORRIBLE roller coaster ride with OpenNet before this faithful day came.

I need to access my PC in order to earn money.
To have the majority of my income compromised because of this?!?
No way!

Allan called up M1 and asked if they are able to 'do something' to make the installation happen BEFORE WE move in on Christmas Eve 2012.

Guess what?!?
There is a reason why M1 starts with 'M '.
They performed MAGIC!!!!

A friendly M1 staff called back after a few hours and confirmed the installation to be on 18th Dec 2012!!!
We were thrilled!

We love you.... for more reasons than one.
Without M1, I would NOT have met my beloved Dearie and married him.* wink*
Thank you M1 once again!

We were hoping that the carpenter would come in the morning too, so he could tell the OpenNet guys where to place the OpenNet Point exactly, so that it could be just beside the hidden power points.
In other words, to 'hide' the OpenNet Point.

Unfortunately, our wish did not come true....

The carpenter could only come in the afternoon.
As a result, the OpenNet Point is exposed, not hidden.


Ok, let's get down to carpentry work now....

Beginning with my favourite BLUM System. 
My LOVE!!!
It started off with a simple action of picking up brochures at a Furniture and Interior Design Exhibition in Sing Expo.
Took the white and orange theme booklet from one of the stands and discovered this fantastic concept : BLUM Corner Unit.

With this Corner Unit Concept, it makes full use of the hard-to-reach corner of a L-shaped kitchen cabinet, which is exactly what my new kitchen cabinet would be : L-Shaped.

I did not like the round-about/turn-around corner unit system that is so commonly found. I like none of them because the frame of the round-about/turn-around corner unit system is usually made of a few strips of metal.

Thus its very easy for things to drop behind or fall over into the base of the kitchen cabinet, making it extremely hard to retrieve. However, there is a reason why they had to use such light material as metal strips; because it needs to maintain light weight for easy rotation.

In other words, if you use such round-about/turn-around corner unit system, you can forget about putting stacks of porcelain plates and bowls. 'Cos it would be too heavy and thus creating too much pressure on the centre 'spine'.

The following are some examples of the corner systems which I mentioned above and I do NOT Fancy any of them: ~

But I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE MY BLUM corner unit system TO THE MAX!!!!!


We went direct to BLUM on our own WAY BEFORE we confirmed our renovation contractor. 
We source for the retailer and were hoping to get a good price.
However, sadly, they ONLY supply to professional carpenters or renovation companies.

But since we were already at their showroom, which is in Dover area (this location is accurate at the point of my last visit there in November 2012), we want to know how much it would cost, so as to set aside a budget for it.
Very much like a toddler craving for chocolates!

The lady in the showroom told us the damage would be S$600+.
By the way, there are 3 different depth for the BLUM corner unit drawers.
This S$600+ is based on 1 Deep Drawer and 2 Shallow Drawers.
We did not opt for the Medium Depth Drawer.
At that point, deep in my heart, I know the carpenter will definitely charge more than that.
Am I upset?
Of 'cos NOT!!!
Hey! Carpenters need to make a living too!
C'mon! I am not expecting them to charge me nothing for fixing the pieces of wood for the base of each drawer!
I would be a total Jack Ass if I have even an ounce of such thoughts.

And true enough, he quoted us $1000+ for the material, the fixing and the alignment.
It was really difficult to get the angle right .
The carpenter had to keep shifting a few mm each time the BLUM corner unit hits the neighbouring cabinet doors.
No joke. 
It was really shifting mm by mm.

And only after the fitting is set, he can inform the factory to do the 'doors' of these L-shape drawers.
Its made-to-measure for sure.
A mm more would be disaster as it would hit the cabinet doors on the left and right.  

It was hard work!
I am more than willing to pay that amount to them.

Not only were the doors for these BLUM Arrow-Shaped drawers were not installed today (18th Dec), the rest of the doors for the kitchen cabinet were also not fixed up.
The only doors fixed on the cabinet was the two beside the BLUM corner unit, just for the purpose of testing and getting the right measurement for the L-shape doors.

 I was not the ONLY one who was loving the BLUM system's SOFT-CLOSING technology.
My younger son was literally PLAYING with it!
No matter how hard he pushes.
The drawers just do NOT slam!

It moves fast at first, but as it reaches the last inch, it slows down and closes silently.
Love It!!!

 So you must be wondering, "What?! The carpenter just did this on 18th December?"
He is a very hardworking individual.
Oh yes, I forgot to mention that the carpenter had so many projects on hand as it was year end, thus he only sent ONE WORKER down to my house.
So if you are thinking of renovating your house, do NOT do it during the months of November, December and January. It is their peak season!

Well, though he is a one-man-show, I love his work.
Gentle yet secure.

It was a hard day for him.
All alone in my house doing endless hammering, adjusting, drilling, screwing, etc

Thanks to him, my storeroom finally has a door!!!

 My TV console is up too!

However, we were not pleased.
No, not his workmanship but with the boss who came down to take the measurement.

As you can see, the Featured Wall is NOT IN-LINE with the beam on the wall above it.
That was NOT what we want.
In fact, we wanted it to go all the way UP to the Ceiling!
Somehow, there is a miscommunication somewhere and this was what the boss told the factory to make : A Featured Wall which was NOT what we hoped for.

When we called our renovation contractor to ring up the carpenter for an explanation,  the carpenter highlighted the 'weird look' of a Feature Wall if it runs all the way up to the ceiling, especially when we told him we intend to put wall paper on it.

He said, "If it goes all the way up to the ceiling, from the side view, the Featured Wall will show two different thickness. Thin on top, because of the beam, and thick at the bottom. Not Nice."

Hhhhmmm.... we didn't think of that!
Quite true.

So we changed our mind from wanting a Featured Wall that goes all the way up to the ceiling, to a Featured Wall that is in-sync / inline with the beam.

Are they going to demolish the whole Featured Wall and do a brand new one for me?
Dream On!
They will try to find a big plank of wood that has the same / similar thickness as the difference needed to let the Featured Wall have a 'smooth flat look' from the edge of the beam.
Then bring that plank of wood tomorrow (19th Dec) and just nail onto what is already stuck to my wall.

Now that I look at the above photo once again, I recalled how unhappy I was when I saw the big gap between the OpenNet Point and the Featured Wall.
I made a marking for the carpenter, 'telling' him where to 'place' the Featured Wall; AS WELL AS told my renovation contractor to convey my message to the carpenter in the morning, after the OpenNet guys have left. 

But instead of following my instructions, he chose to leave a bigger space!
His reason was: "If based on the marking, the gap would be too small for the wall paper guys to work on the edges of the Featured Wall."

I do not know if he is right or wrong till I meet the wall paper guys on 29th December 2012.
So we shall see!

I believe that was the ONLY thing I was unhappy with him.
Every other job which he did for us, I would give two big Thumb Ups!

My beautiful ShoeRack (below). *smile*

My lovely Wardrobe. 
Slides with ease and guarantees that the doors will not fall out because the tracks are running on a U-SHAPE strip and not the traditional V-Shaped strip.

The last thing I want is to have the doors fall out like what happened in 2010. 
Read what that fallen door did to my younger son's toes here : "Love For Brother Paid With Blood"


I loved the carpenter's boss's suggestion of having 'exposed' drawers for the wardrobe.
Gives me such ease to find what I want.
*Thumbs Up*


Can you believe it?

Yesterday's post was longer than my sidebar.
Today's post is EVEN longer than yesterday's.

Tell me!
How can I blog a whole week of events in one single post?!
It would be insanely lengthy!
My fingers may never straighten again by the end of that and you, my dear readers, might end up having a big jump in your astigmatism.
*tongue in cheek*

So it was a good decision to do a daily post instead!
*pat on my shoulder*

My dad used to say this so often: "Self Praise is NO Praise."
I'm doing it now....

Next post might or might not be up within the next 7 days, as we will be busy preparing for our boys' First Ever Plane Ride!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Progress of New House - Update 10

From the visitors traffic report, I know that my series of blogposts on my new house renovation garnered interest in many. I know some of the readers, as they told me that they are preparing to renovate their own houses, or they have plans to buy a new house. However, I am unaware of the majority of the readers' identity, which is very normal in the blogosphere.

Last month I received a few emails from readers of the latter group.
Some started off with :
"Hey there! I hope everything is fine over at your side. Could you continue to blog about your new house renovation?"
"What happened to your reno updates?"

Others who obviously have no idea that I had already moved into my new house since Christmas Eve 2012 would start off their email in this way :
"Did something happen to your new house? Why has the renovation updates stopped suddenly?"
"Have you moved into your new house yet? Why has the blogposts of your reno stopped abruptly?"

As a blogger, if feels good to receive such emails.
Such short messages tell me that readers are REALLY interested to read what I have to say.
*Shy Grin*
But I SWEAR I did NOT stop the renovation posts on purpose.

After we shifted over, there were too many adjustments to do as the renovation was NOT completed yet on the day we moved in.
There were things we could unpack first and at the same time, there were many boxes and cartons which we could not clear yet.
The whole house was more or less a mess.
So there were lots of thinking and planning to do.
My PC was not up till a week after we had moved into the new house.

Then I realised my blogging momentum was lost.
Some how just could not get my butt to glue down to the seat.
When I finally could calm my wandering blogging soul,  it was time for Chinese New Year!
Therefore I decided to roll our the Zodiac posts first, instead of continuing with the renovation updates.

Ok, enough explanation........ or excuses *laugh**bleh*

Let's begin with the renovation posts again:

17th to 23rd December 2012 :-
Mad rush this week and yet there are still hiccups!
Well, that is life right?
Catch you when you least expected it....

Alright, let's get into details for every good and bad that had happened during this final week of renovation, or rather that was what I thought.
By the end of the week, I realised it did not conclude the renovation process.
So I will be moving into an 'incomplete' house.

I wanted to make this a Super Duper Long Post at first.
Then I find that making readers stare at a single blog post for more than 10mins seemed a little too much to stomach.
It would be unhealthy, I think.
Do not want any of you to have stomachache later.
And for slow readers like myself, probably would take more than 20mins! And that might cause indigestion!

So I changed my mind and decided to do a daily post for this week : 17th to 23rd December'12  instead.
Alright, here goes.....
What happened on 17th December 2012?

We continued to go up to our new house to check the house progress more than once a day.
When the sun was still high up in the sky, my new house looked like this:

The carpenter delivered all the 'woodwork'.
Remember this post? "Progress of New House - Update 9"
I mentioned that the carpenter needs to get all the basic 'woodwork' done in his factory before he can start work in my house.

My bedroom Wardrobe

My TV console + Drawers for my wardrobe (rectangular) + Drawers for my kitchen cabinet (arrow-shape) from my FAVOURITE BLUM SYSTEM. Its for the corner unit of my kitchen cabinet.

Other parts of 'woodwork' for the kitchen cabinet and wardrobe.

As you can see, the whole house is still pretty much of a mess isn't?
Into the last week of renovation work before our big move-in, it was still unsafe to take off your shoes in the house.

BUT.... When we went back in the evening with my curious Sis and BIL, Ta-Da..... everything looked so much better!
Even the air smells fresher for once!
*thumbs up*

Yes.... the cleaners came to remove the debris and also did some simple sweeping too.

My Living Room

Living Room from another angle with the storeroom on the top left hand side

Kids' Bedroom

Kids' Bedroom from another angle

Study/Work Room

Study/Work Room from another angle


Kitchen looking Bright and White. *muack*

Hubby and my 'love' room. *giggle*

That's it for updates on 17th December 2012.
More madness coming up in the next update... hopefully the wait will not be too long.