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Happy Anniversary to Us, Part 2

2 Sep

All good things must always come to an end. Our anniversary trip this year has just been awesome as we did everything from ‘A’ right through to ‘G’.

A good drive, hardly any cars

We left town on Friday for a round of golf at Royal Pahang Golf Club in Kuantan. A leisurely but fast-paced three hour round as there was hardly any other golfers. And dinner that night was at the famed Ana Ikan Bakar Petai for some cholesterol-laden seafood, a little indulgence. Obviously the 16/8 diet is out the window these few days.

Prawn, squid, stingray and the local ‘otak-otak’

The next day, we did the unthinkable, visiting the local mini zoo! Hahaha… but it was quite fun as we enjoyed the animals and the walk around the place, taking away some of the dinner guilt. When it was time to check in, we headed for Club Med in Cherating.

And the drinking, I mean fun began.

Drinks on Day One

Day two was a day of more drinking and activities. I managed to get some sun to even out my tan. And I chalked up 12 drinks. Pretty good with the first (beer) at 11.00 and the last (cocktail) 12 hours later, the bulk of it from 5.00pm onwards.

The one beer and 11 cocktails on Day 2

Rock climbing, sun tanning, hiking

Happy Anniversary to us! Cheers

We wrap up our getaway today and head back to reality. Hope the drive isn’t too bad. I look forward to what we will do next year when we celebrate the 25th milestone! Happy anniversary to us again.

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Happy Anniversary to Us

30 Aug

It’s August already but it feels like 2019 is coming to an end, having gone by so fast with so many changes in both our lives this year. The most significant being M2 going off to college in January and M1 graduating in June. Tomorrow is yet another milestone, our wedding anniversary!

As we celebrate our 24th anniversary, I reflect back with mostly good and happy thoughts of our relationship and love for what we have built together as a team – our family, our home and our design studio.

Not every road to success is a smooth journey; there’s bound to be bumps and potholes along the way but that’s part and parcel of what makes a relationship work – to listen, to compromise and to sync as one to take on this exciting and sometimes challenging journey together.

Happy anniversary to us! And to celebrate the occasion, we are off for the usual alphabet escapade trip. Be back four days later… ta!

A Celebration and a Road Trip

16 Jun

I have forgotten how tiring Commencement Day can be, after all I am a dinosaur and things of the past (my Commencement at NAU) sometimes elude my memories. We got to campus by 9.30am, looking for M1 in queue for a quick photo before making our way towards Reser Stadium and it was already packed.

We couldn’t get a spot at the lower section we wanted which was right behind School of Agriculture but we managed to get that same area at one level up. It was quite a challenge to find M1 but her decorated mortar board helped.

The ceremony took so long because there were so many speeches, several times the three of us dozed off. We learnt that this commencement, OSU has 7,492 students graduating! Wow. This figure is inclusive of their other campus and online programs, on top of all the three degrees – PhDs, Masters and Bachelors. However on the field today, there’s slightly over 4,000 graduating students in attendance to receive their certificates. Very impressive numbers nonetheless for the 150th Commencement.

We got home at 3.00pm and then we had to go out again for a private tea party celebration hosted by M1’s professor. Spent a good two and a half hours there before we had to excuse ourselves for our family celebratory dinner. We had tapas and dessert which were all bursting with strong flavors. Loved the choices we selected.

Our tapas and drinks

Dessert was oh so yummy!

When all obligations are done and checked off the list, we had to pack for tomorrow as we will start our road trip! Yay. It will be fun because they are places that we’ve never been to before and M1 will play host to show us. After all the excitement died down and packing done, it was 1.15am before I called it a night.

Be Silly or Be Happy

11 Jun

Today’s the day we leave! But there are worries, silly ones and several of it…

Silly #1: my cocoon is still hanging on the front tree and it’s been seven weeks since the giant caterpillar morphed into it; way overdue from what I checked online to be at this stage. Why is the moth not emerging? Is the constant rain stunting its metamorphosis? Is it even still alive and okay? I dare not climb up the ladder to check because it’s way too high. Whatever it is, looks like we will miss the moth emerging from the cocoon if it does decide to come out during our time away.

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It’s nice in here, I’m not ready for the world

Silly #2: my 1000 and more Days trek on the Daily Bonus for Candy Crush Soda on the retired iPhone5S will be broken because I am not bringing the phone along. And will the iPhone XR and iPad Mini have the trek broken too being in different time zones? I told myself I should stop this obsession but I just can’t shake it off. Silly.

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Day 1016 for the iPhone5S and Day 1023 for both the iPad Mini and iPhone XR

Silly #3: will Rooney, official pet number one miss us?

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Should I chew on it or not? Hmm…

Silly worries aside, there are some happy reasons too…

Happy #1: the pineapple in the garden. It’s been more than two years that hubby’s been taking care of it, and thank goodness it decided to ripen on time before we leave. Harvested last Friday, the fruit of labor and love weighed a whopping two kilos! Needless to say, the juicy and home-grown pineapple was thoroughly enjoyed.

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Juiciest pineapple ever!

Happy #2: the constant rain seems to be good for the habanero plant for it has thrived well and we had a bumper harvest. So much chillies! I ate a little on Wednesday night and oh my goodness, almost died from the fiery burn. This batch is super duper spicy.

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The spicy level of the reds win hands down over the greens

Happy #3: we will be meeting up with M2 in Amsterdam! Yes, our baby will fly tomorrow from Ireland to meet us at Schiphol. And she will miss a few days of Summer classes which unfortunately can’t be helped. I feel it’s important for her to attend her only sister’s Commencement ceremony, hence the plan as such.

Happy #4: we will finally be seeing M1. The last time the family unit was complete was when she came back for Christmas in 2017, so that’s like a year and a half since we last saw our firstborn in person. The weekly Skype video sessions do not count. Can’t wait. A 12 hours and 40 minutes flight for the first leg, then a four-hour transit before the second leg of 10 hours and 17 minutes flight (hopefully no delays) before the family will be whole again. Yay!!!

I guess with the happy reasons outweighing the silly ones, I shouldn’t be too silly and just be happy.

Back On Track

3 May

Now that the month of April is over for all the birthday celebrations, I am back on track to continue with the 16/8 diet to achieve my target goal weight. Last week when we went away to Awana Genting to celebrate my birthday, there was a lot of eating and drinking. But there was also a lot of exercise and activities to offset the intake; so the weight gain was only a 0.2lbs increment. Minimal I’d say.

In fact, it was the week before the getaway that the weight spiked. Thanks to my beer intake when we visited the Carlsberg brewery. Sigh…

I was skeptical this morning when I stood on the bathroom scale, thinking I wouldn’t do too good this week to shed all that weight gained. Up to last night, the numbers didn’t look encouraging.

So it was indeed a pleasant surprise when the numbers showed a mere 0.3lbs away from my target goal! Oh yay. This is even better than the last good achievement, which was 0.7lbs from target. I actually lost weight, a net loss of 1.6lbs after deducting the 0.2lbs gained at the start of the week. Awesome.

I attribute this achievement to total discipline this week, eating healthy lunches, snacking on nuts and not cookies, lots of water and light dinners. Plus a golf game on Wednesday morning because of the Labor Day public holiday helped burn some calories. This is so motivating.

So if all goes as planned, I should be able to achieve my target goal weight next week. Discipline is the key here. Then I will reset with a new target to lose another 6.0lbs before the end of the month. I can do it!

The Birthday Escapade

29 Apr

Saturday was my big day – being Queen for the day on my birthday. Hubby decided to whisk me away on Friday for a birthday escapade. And what an escapade it was!

Our room overlooking the golf course, the mountain range and clouds

We went off to Awana Genting for an Alphabet Trip, usually reserved for our anniversary but this year, an Alphabet Trip was necessary because this year’s birthday is a big milestone celebration. After all, I can’t be Forever 38… gotta embrace it.

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Had the golf course all to ourselves

We played two rounds of golf with both games finishing under four hours because there was hardly anybody else on the golf course. In fact, on Friday we had the golf course all to ourselves and we completed the game in three and a half hours!

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Taking the cable car sure beats driving up the winding road and looking for parking

After the morning fun, that evening we took the cable car up to Genting to enjoy the place and the cool air. Dinner was simple but no alcohol (yet) because the newly opened The Laughing Fish have not gotten their liquor license. So we just drank Evian water, saving space in the tummy for the beer and stout later. We didn’t mind because there was no need to keep time, no agenda to be mindful of.

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Famed for their Fish & Chips, we had to try

We explored Sky Avenue (16,980 steps on my MiBand 2 by the time we got back to the room) and even checked out the casino. I was boggled by all these gamblers throwing away money just like that at the Black Jack and Roulette tables. Stacks of chip laid out without hesitation, betting and hoping for Lady Luck to shine on them but gone in a blink of an eye. Jeez… many times mind you. Obviously I am not a gambler. We left as we couldn’t stand the cigarette smoke stench and it sticking to our clothes.

Gotta have my pint of Kronenbourg and hubby, his stout

The whole place was very happening with lots to eat, see and do. We ate (earlier) and drank to our hearts’ content—forget the 16/8 diet this weekend—and enjoyed the live band. They played songs I could sing to and it was very entertaining.

The cable car journey back to the hotel at Awana

The next day, another round of golf, another cable car ride after the game for another round of drinks and THE birthday dinner. Truly wonderful this birthday trip turned out as we did every alphabet on our list, A right through to G. Heheheh…

Cable car ride and pre-dinner drinks, a rum concoction

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Nauseating just watching the spins from afar at Skytropolis

Spanish dinner with two bottles of red to celebrate, yes two

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Post-birthday dinner: Spanish burger and squid ink pasta

A year wiser but definitely better with age. We returned home on Sunday morning after breakfast to hot and super hot weather, and another post-birthday dinner to cap off the birthday celebration.

Here’s to a wonderful year ahead and thank you friends and family for all your well wishes. A good start to life beyond Forever 38.

A Behemoth Munch Pot, Part 2

23 Apr

Yesterday was a typical morning like any other as we got ready for work except that we had a caterpillar to check on. We looked for our behemoth Munch Pot, straining our necks upwards to look at the branches of the tree in front of the house. And we couldn’t find it! It was there on Sunday night. No… nooooo……

 

Just when we thought something so monstrous in size could thrive, being so hidden under the leaves, tragedy struck? But hubby said, there was poop evidence on the lawn, so perhaps it’s still around but just not at its last place we saw the day before.

Last night when we got home and checked again, nothing. Even with the flash on the iPhone XR to take a picture, there was no evidence, compared to the picture taken the night before. Oh dear…

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The glow on Sunday was a giveaway on its position, but no glow on Monday

Perhaps it has reached the pupal stage and we should be looking out for a cocoon instead of the four inch fat caterpillar.

This morning, lo and behold, we spotted a cocoon! Thank goodness. I had to climb up the ladder again to take the picture. So now it looks like our behemoth Munch Pot has safely reached its next stage, and it will stay like this for a month.

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Not Being Disciplined

5 Apr

This week I was not being very disciplined as far as the 16/8 diet is concerned. I didn’t keep to the 16/8 window, rather it was more like 15/9. And I snacked throughout the week on things that I don’t normally eat. Bad…

Subconsciously, I wanted to see if what I ate had any bearings on the outcome, whether it would affect the weight within a few days. I hope not to repeat this again though.

So what exactly did I indulged in? Sweet preserved Chinese plums. Sugar right there! And cookies and candies. More sugar! I even ate chocolate and suffered the consequences, remember my Endometriosis?

Prior to the start of the week, on Sunday night, I drank three glasses of Kronenbourg beer to replenish my soul after that morning’s energy-sapping golf game and this immediately spiked up the weight. And although we had gym on Monday, I didn’t push myself enough to at least burn off the beer calories.

Thankfully all the week’s snacking did not add on anymore weight and only a teeny weeny reduction when I stood on the bathroom scale this morning for the weekly weigh-in. So the increment at the start of the week was due to Sunday’s beer. I think by not keeping to the 16/8 regime played a role in this result. This is not the way to go if I want to reach my target weight goal; I’d better be more disciplined.

But April being the family birthday month – Mom’s, the twins’ and mine, it’s impossible to stay disciplined when there are birthday dinners lined up to celebrate. In fact, I have a big birthday dinner celebration tonight with my golf friends and with the family come Sunday night. Hmm… I’d have to manage and stay more focused.

March Madness All Over Again, Part 2

4 Apr

The 2019 NCAA Basketball Tournament is drawing to a close soon. The better seeded teams lived up to their billing in the Sweet 16 round of this year’s Women’s Division 1 basketball. Unfortunately, M1’s university did not make it pass this round. Their best performance was in 2016 when they made it to the Final Four.

This year, my prediction picks for the Women’s Division 1 were spot on for three out of the four that qualified for the Final Four. May the best team wins!

And now that M1 has completed her undergrad studies, I am indecisive if I will continue to follow basketball, her alma mater or even the NCAA thereafter. Also because M2 being in Ireland, basketball is not a big thing at her college, the interest in the game may diminish once the NCAA concludes. We shall see. After all, there are still some good teams out there to follow.

5.1, 6, 7, 8!

28 Mar
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A day in the life of Munch Pot 5.1

It’s a bittersweet moment as far as the caterpillars are concerned. While Munch Pot 3.1 is clearly no more after so many days with no evidence of metamorphosis or a shrivelled body or pod in sight, Munch Pot 5.1 continues to grow. And to our delight, we found more babies, 6, 7 and 8 to be exact on the Calamansi Lime tree! Hahaha… the poor tree.

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Top: Munch Pots 7 and 8 saying “Hello”! Bottom: Munch Pot 6

I guess there’s a never ending supply of caterpillars on this particular tree to keep me enthralled.