Sunday, March 13, 2016


One of our Aussie friends go picnic very, very often. When we met up once, we asked her about it and she told us about beaches that her family often goes to. So, we tried going beaches too since late last year.

During the Christmas break, we decided to make a trip to Mornington Peninsula, which is about 1-2 hours away from our place. It is a very popular tourist spot, so I did some google before making the trip, and I was a bit stress out with the food preparation (I always worry I don't pack enough (be if food/drink/clothings/anything for the kids especially!).

We drove a bit to Dromana, went sight seeing a little around there, and drove back to Mills Beach in Mornington for our first very own beach outing.

Natalie enjoyed the beach a lot!

Trying to practice her swimming

This is their 2nd time @ beach but they looked like they know what to do....

Our little tent

Building sand castle

The three excited kids!

The little destroyer!
The day's weather was very good for the outing. It was about 25C, but there's no cloud in the sky so it was really, really sunny and hot! I got a little sunburnt on my back because I wore a singlet and I missed that spot while applying on my sunscreen.

The girls enjoyed themselves but the day didn't end very well - everyone was cranky while we're leaving. It was our first time so we made a few mistakes.
1) We wore the wrong shoes - we should have worn thongs but the girls wore the wrong type of slippers (hard to walk on sand), and EG and I wore socks with sport shoes. Very wrong!
2) I over-packed. I think we had almost 4-5 big items to carry. Bags with food, clothings / towel / extra clothing to change, water bottles/cold drinks/, sunscreen, our tent, sand play toys, etc. Ended up we all were pretty clumsy when leaving - with sticky bodies (sand and sea water) even we have cleaned up in toilet, and the girls were complaining they couldn't walk properly with their wrong type of slippers.
3) We parked too far. It was our first time there so we just parked at the road side. But we didn't realise it was so far to the beach shore. So again, the girls especially the younger one, were complaining all the way when walking to the car, and the daddy was super irritated so everyone got scolded and in not so good mood.

I didn't even want to get into the cleaning part after we're home! :P

But nevertheless, everyone (maybe just except me :P) still enjoyed themselves a lot during the beach outing. The girls and EG talked about it a lot and been asking for another one before the school term starts.

So, 3 weeks later we went again to another beach. This time it's nearer, maybe just 40 minutes away from where we live. Eunice said she didn't want to go so far. So, we went to Chelsea Beach. We've been to this beach last year with a friend, so we know what to expect here. This time, I made sure everyone wore the right types of shoes, and we put on sunscreen for everyone before we left the house. I still over packed a little, but it wasn't as much as the first time. And I tried to keep the food simpler. This round, everyone was happy. The girls enjoyed themselves a lot, while the parents also chillax together.

Borrowing each other's courage while going to the waves!

Ahhh.. RUNnnnNNnnnNNnnn.....

Trying to do a hand stand


Daddy, and his two darlings

Mermaid in the making

Little mermaid II


Our little tent...
However, there was only ONE problem. It was too windy. The sea breeze was very strong and the wave was stronger too. The girls were a little scared when playing in the water. I remember when we first came last year it was the same, very cold and windy. This time round, the weather was warmer, but still as windy. So it might be because of the beach itself. We were eating our food mixed with sand! :P... However, it was still a very, very good and relaxing experience for all of us.

And today, we decided to go to a beach again since Monday is a public holiday. This time, we didn't tell the girls to avoid them hassling us the whole day/weekend. I only told them the night before that we might be going to a beach. I asked Eunice, which one do you want to go? She said she prefers the further one because the sea is quieter. Good, so she won't complain about the distance, since she chose it as well.

We decided to try Mothers Beach this time - which is just next to Mills Beach. Since we're going to drive all the way to Mornington, we included visiting Mornington Craft market in our day out itinerary. We only ended up at the beach about 1.50pm and we stayed till almost 4pm. This time, I only started packing in the morning. And I only brought a set of clothes to change for the kids. Food wise, I only brought water (I used to bring juice/soda along), and went to the shop to buy some bread. The kids will be too excited to eat anyway. We had some nuggets as snacks while we were walking around the market, so the kids really didn't eat much after we arrived at the beach.

This time, we changed our mat to a water proof one, and it was cloudy today - so we omitted the tent - one less thing to carry. And I reminded EG to park as close as we can to the entrance of the beach so we don't need to walk so far. It went all good today. Thank God! Less things to carry, and not as hot as it was cloudy.


Dunno what's the fun of building a sandcastle and then destroy it....

Kicking in water. Hmmm... She's ready for swimming class, I think. :)

Love this picture. Daddy and his darlings having some quiet talk together.
Beach, is not exactly my thing. But the other 3 in my family love it, so it is 3 against 1. This time, I sat on the mat most of the time, and just snapped a few pictures here and there. It was truly a very relaxing experience. And after the previous two experiences, the girls know what to do when we said it's going home time, they know how to clean themselves, and that we have to walk a little to the car. And they didn't whine or complain anymore. All I did was just offer them the leftover spam/nuggets, and some crackers on the way home. And everyone was happy.

EG and I decided that maybe we should visit other beaches around us - if the weather is kind to us. Summer's now over and autumn is on its way. A friend likes to go beach during winter, but I am not sure if we're up to it as it can be freezing cold, but it might be something that we should put in our to-do list for this year. :)

Monday, February 08, 2016

2016 Chinese New Year

I love it when this year's Chinese New Year's reunion falls on a Sunday. It gave me plenty of time to prepare, and to get things organised. Besides, I think now we're pretty good into the routine now, I could do more this year comparing to last year. I made some CNY cookies (will blog about it separately) and cooked up a storm for our reunion lunch. Well, I told EG we should improve bit by bit every year. Next year we'll surely be better.

This year we got my aunt and her family over (one cousin didn't join as he had to work) for reunion lunch. I wanted to keep it simple but still ended up cooking quite a bit with EG's help -  it was a bit chaotic as I tried many new dishes this year. But I must say I am very proud of myself. I received compliments for all my dishes. :)

2016 Chinese New Year Reunion Lunch - Full Feast!

Dishes that I cooked:

  • Hokkien mee - recipe from here.
  • Garlic shrimp - recipe here
  • Buddha's delight (vegetarian) - recipe here
  • Steamed barramundi (must have for CNY!)
  • Coke soy sauce chicken (from Buffalo smart cooker recipe book)
  • Fried boiled eggs (mum's festive must have dish)

 And my aunt brought sashimi, crackling roast pork, tempura, a fruit platter, and a bottle of champagne.

All these food, for 5 adults and 2 young children. o_O!

2016 CNY Lunch

We ended up with lots of leftover - which is good - 年年有余!

Now to some photos. I took a picture of the girls in their cheong sam in the morning before we went to church. Yea, they were very happy with their special "costume" and many in church actually complimented their dress, and said that they were very cute. Eunice told me, "I don't like people say I am cute. I like it when they say I am pretty." Oh my goodness!

After my aunt's family left, we decided to have a family photo shoot. In actual fact, the girls were all sweaty and tired with all the playing with my cousin (look at their messy hair!). But I still insisted on photo shooting. So I had to bribe them that I'll let them have swimming session in the bath tub if they cooperated.

While EG was setting up the camera, we had some candid shots which I thought they were quite nice too.

1. Not very happy look

2. A trial shot - always have to remind Nat to just smile normal :P

3. Oops, EG's head got cropped off

4. Forgot what's the joke

5. Daddy, are you done yet?!

And finally, a good shot of our family in 2016 CNY!
(after some photo edit by EG)

Happy Chinese New Year everyone! Hope this year bring good health and abundant of blessing to all of us! I am ending this post with a video of my girls wishing everyone Gong Xi Fa Cai! :)

Friday, February 05, 2016

Lucky Draw: Silver Circus

I want to remember my "emotion" when entering this lucky draw.

I got the email in my mailbox, I entered my details, thinking to myself, what kind of logic do they use for prize draw? I write scripts for prize draw at my workplace too. 

And I got an email telling me I am one of the three lucky winners!

I was skeptical, I showed EG. We went and googled and see if there's any scam about this. After 30 minutes, we couldn't find anything. I decided to reply without giving any personal details.

After maybe 2 rounds of emails, I finally am convinced that I was one of the winners, but still reserved.

And last night I saw this in the website.

I can't find a word to describe my feeling (poor vocab). I never have any luck in winning any lucky draw! The previous win was in 2007! I am just TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO happy!

What a GREAT start of the year! Thank GOD! :)

Friday, January 01, 2016

Throwback: My birthday

I am a Boxing Day baby. My mum told me she had a stomachache after Christmas because she ate too much cakes, and she went to the hospital and that's how I came to this world. 

This year, I disabled my Facebook notification for my birthday. And told my sister not to wish me in Facebook - I wanted a very quiet day. Haha! Also, EG's idea is that with this, you'll find out who remembers your birthday. :)

I cooked myself the foochow chicken soup and mee sua every year. Somehow I could cook it MUCH better here than in Penang. I don't know why - maybe it's because of different ginger, or chicken. I can now cook it taste very similar to my parent's!

Chicken soup
Foochow mee sua - mum brought it over for me last year
EG bought me a simple cheesecake from the shop, and we started our photoshooting. Girls were already in their pyjamas but they were smart enough to suggest to put on a jacket to make them look better. Bright idea!

A few tries to get a decent shot

Us with silly faces - except Nat.
She actually said "Sorry daddy I didn't make funny face" when we showed her the picture.
Forgiven because of her cuteness.

We then moved to our kitchen to do the birthday song singing.
Blowing candle after my darlings sang me birthday song

A shot with my two lovely darlings

Love them to bits
Happy birthday to myself! This year birthday I truly think that it's not what you do to make a special day special, but it's who you're with that makes the day extra precious. :)

And truly grateful for some friends who wished me privately. :)

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Reflection

No matter how I neglect my blog, on the last day of every year, I make sure I make time to write a few notes. :)

I just read through my write-up on my 2014 reflection. It's funny how human's memory works - well, it does make sense if I use the rational in the cartoon Inside Out - I somehow couldn't recall much of the messiness of 2014, but instead, I felt rather at peace in 2015.

For me, the greatest thing that happened in 2015 is probably that it has been a great year for Eunice in her first year of schooling in Australia. She has blended in so well that she has made so many friends, she's been so independent, and of course lots of praises and compliments from her teachers to her. We are very proud of her and also very relief that she's enjoying herself much in her first year of "formal" education. For us the parents, we were also grateful with the school system, and the parent representatives which has helped us adjusted so well into the new system and new routine. Now, I am much more efficient and relax in regards of the schooling works / system, as well as the daily preparing lunch boxes chore!

As for Nat, we changed her childcare since Aug 2015 and we have never been happier since then. She loves the new childcare (actually she loves the old one too!), but most importantly, both me and EG love the childcare a lot! They use Reggio Emilia approach, and because we all love it so much that we increased days of care for Nat from once a week to 3 times a week! And with this, we're now very happy to tick this item off our concern list.

For me, 2015 taught me to trust God in His providence. It is sometimes very amazing to see how God provides for our family! There ought to be some stressful times with all the uncertainties but I am really thankful how God has carried our family to sail through 2015 peacefully, and everytime I look at my girls' happy faces, or when I hear their happy laughter, I know it's all worth it. Psalm 46:10 - Be still, and know that I am God - has always been my comfort whenever I felt lost.

2015 also put me and EG's into a position to re-invest into our marriage. We agreed that we were so pampered back in Penang that we worked in the same company for 5 years, and we literally spent whole day together, eating and talking, communicating, doing things together all the time. But now, all these are luxuries. With the busy and hectic lifestyle here, it's hard to find chance to spend time with each other quietly and peacefully. I shared with my friends before that somehow, I felt that both my girls have grown up now and they don't really need me anymore. For the past 5 years, ever since I became a mother, my whole mind was all about my children. But now, I switched my attention back to my husband, which I am glad that he thinks the same. We tried to make effort to spend time with each other, and we will try harder next year.

So when I think back 2015, we don't have any major event but we did manage to tick off many things in our list. I feel much more settled in 2015 - which I am really thankful for. And I pray that God will continue to bless our little family in 2016!

Happy new year from all of us!!

Thursday, September 03, 2015


My current workplace supports Australian charities. In the first week when I joined, we hosted Australia's Biggest Morning tea. Occasionally, I'll receive emails in my inbox regarding some charity work or fundraising events.

Last month, HR sent out an email regarding Steptember. It's a charity event that encourages people to take 10,000 steps a day for 28 days in September for fundraising to support people living with cerebral palsy across Australia. That's the equivalent of virtually climbing the highest peak on every continent!

Aside from doing charity, I find it really interesting as I have been walking much more than I used to ever since I started working in the city, but how many steps did I really take each day? Seriously, being a data analyst, I am really curious of the "data" I am going to collect and some interesting fact that I will discover with the data that I collected.

I talked to a few colleagues (it actually took some courage out of me to do this) to form a team of 4 and registered ourselves. In less than 2 weeks, I received the kit in my mailbox and it came with a pedometer - small enough to keep in my pocket/bag to track every step that I take.

I started trying out the pedometer a week before.

So, how many steps do I take? My amazing discoveries below:
1) In a morning, from the moment I stepped out of my bed to prepare breakfast / wake Eunice up / prepare myself / going in and out Eunice's room etc, I actually took >500 steps.

2) From the moment I stepped out of my home to bus station then to train station and to my office at 9th floor (using lift), I took almost 2300 steps.

3) From the moment I stepped out of my bed in the morning up till 8pm, I actually took 5360 steps (worked through lunch hour).

Total steps from 6.45am to 8.15pm on a normal working day

4) I took 873 steps just in my own home from 8.15pm to 11.05pm - just walking around the house settling the children and etc. Hmm.. quite amazing. So on my typical day, I actually took 6233 steps. That's double of what the video in Steptember shows that average office worker only takes about 3000 steps a day. Not too bad!

Total steps I took in a day

5) I took 1318 steps from home to Eunice's school.
Total steps from home to Eunice's school

6) I showed Eunice my pedometer while walking home from school last week. I told her it'll count how many steps she takes. She was very excited and was holding it jumping around to see the number increases. So it might just add another 20 steps extra. :P.. Otherwise, for the same distance, a 5yo took 1623 steps from school to home! 300 steps more than me! :D

The excited girl

Eunice's total steps from school to home

7) Steptember started yesterday and I stopped a train station earlier than my usual one to increase my steps, but I got lost in the city! (Yes! Terrible sense of direction! How embarrassing...) And I ended up wandering around in the city for 30 minutes before I finally found my way! But again, I didn't go anywhere during lunch and worked through my lunch time, and I went for small group at night which I only sat in the couch from 7.45pm to 11pm. So in the end, I only had 9029 steps! Missed by a bit! But not a bad start... (Pardon me for the dark pic as I took it at night when I was falling asleep :P)

9029 steps in the first day of steptember
 8) Today I came down a train station earlier again and made sure I came out from the right exit (YES!), and during lunch, I walked to the market to get some fruits. When on my way home, I came down a bus station earlier than my usual one and walked more. By 8.45pm, I already achieved 10K steps! Yeay!

Total steps in day 2 and still increasing! Yay!

So far I find it pretty interesting, though I had some cramp feet at night (LOL). I am never a sporty person but for the cause of charity, and since this is also for my own health and fitness, I hope I will be able to last through 28 days with this determination!

And after Steptember is over, I am going to put this on Natalie and see how many steps my hyper girl actually takes everyday! *GRIN*

PS: Besides just walking, we also can convert the activities (like gardening, yoga, sports, cycling, swimming, etc) into steps. I'll see if my weekend gardening help much in the total steps, and it shall then fulfill more of my curiosity. :P

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

My new season

I started a new job in Melbourne city in end of May.

Honestly, I struggled when I went for the interview - part of me wanted to get a better pay job, but another part of me was reluctant to change the routine which we were comfortable with. But when I was offered the job, I took it up.

It's since 2 months I started working in the city. In the beginning, I had to adjust my hours to wake up 1+ hour earlier, and travel 1 hour to work (one way), taking 15 minus bus, 30 mins train and another 10+ mins of tram or 15 mins if I walk. 2 weeks after I started my job, my office moved to a new premise which is right next to the train station. Thank goodness! That easily cuts my journey short for 10-15 minutes. And makes my coming home trip easier too!

Now, my biological clock has adjusted. I could automatically wake up earlier without feeling too tired. And with all the walking, running (chasing train/bus), standing in crowded train, I also feel that my stamina got better. In the first week, I felt dizzy in the office due to all the commuting but now I am fine. In fact, nowadays I tried taking the bus earlier so that I can reach office earlier to have a fresher start each day, and leave sharp at 5pm to come home earlier to my family.

With the new routine now, I also have to be more efficient in many things that I do. I started doing bulk cooking for lunch/dinner, and bake something over the weekend for Eunice's lunch boxes. However, freezing food is still not something that I am used to. On the week nights, I prepare everyone's lunch/lunch boxes after dinner, and I even chose my work attire for the next day to make my morning more efficient - and believe it or not, it does make a difference. Instead of going into store for my weekly grocery, I now do online shopping to click and collect - where I make my order and EG will go and collect it on Friday. Works perfect and saves us at least an hour every week.

For the children, we make them go to bed earlier (by 8pm) and wake up earlier so that I can change and tie Eunice's hair before I leave to work. In most mornings, I'll prepare her breakfast and she'll be eating her breakfast while I leave the house. EG will then take over from there. And EG also has taken over the main cooking task on weekdays as I only reach home by 6pm. Sometimes I do some cooking at night for the next day too so he can have more time doing his work.

It has been quite an adjustment but I am glad that we're coping pretty well. Even though I used to be sad that I am now further away from my children, but I must also remember that for the past 1 year, I had the privilege to be close to them and to be involved in many things in their happenings in school, and it surely helps me in learning and coping about schools and child care here better.

It was sad for me to leave my first workplace in Melbourne. It was indeed a very nice place to work, with very understanding and flexible bosses. Even with me leaving, they fully supported my decision. I surely wish that I will have the opportunity to work for them again in the future, esp since they are only 5km away from my home!

Farewell gift, and some shots in my old work place
Nevertheless, I am thankful for the new career opportunity, and after having a break for a year+, I have a paradigm shift on "job". I thank god that I can work on something that I am passionate on with a team of professional folks. And even though I still desire to be a stay at home mum one day, I will enjoy my new season and continue to cherish this opportunity that I have now. ;)