Friday, June 29, 2012

Our DIY Princess Tower

Madison's 5th birthday party is coming up so we decided to start preparing for it a few months in advance.  Invitations were sent out a few weeks ago, her theme would be Rapunzel inspired by the Disney movie "Tangled".
Front and back layout of invitations
Last weekend, a big project was in stored for me.  I drove around the appliance store warehouses to look for the perfect box to make her princess tower.  We ended up with a stove box compliments of Sears.  It took some time and dedication, especially from my DH who did most of the job considering I have trouble bending over nowadays with my ever growing bump.  The pictures will probably tell the story better.

First, we gathered up some paint and laid it out in our backyard.  We had left over pink paint from DD's room and figured, what better way to make a tower look magical than to make it DD's favorite color.

We had to wait for paint to dry on two sides before getting on the other two
Next we had to measure how tall DD is so tower window is perfect for her height, we also decided adding another window for smaller toddlers on the other corner.  Then we drew boxes out of wide marker for the blocks.  This hurt my back, it had to be done while I was crawling almost in all fours for about an hour!
The back area of course has a door for the easy entry
And then we added cut out boxes for the top of the tower. Anything can be done with a hot glue gun!
She was so happy she could not help but play all night with it, she already decided to put her sleeping cot inside.  I do  hope it will last until the party!
What do you think? I think it will be a nice area for little kids to get their picture taken at the party
This project gave me another idea.  I need Rapunzel's hair to complete the look.   Today, I rushed to the craft store to get a pound of yellow yarn.  I cut it up about 4 ft long and was going to braid it until DD insists to do it herself.  This is what she came up with.

My very own Rapunzel with her long golden hair
Let down your hair
Her party is next weekend and I still have so much to do.  I am so happy I can still manage to get things done around even with my busy schedule.  I am planning on making a dessert station for the party.  I hope I can do it.

This  is what we do every 4th of July.  Hassle up for this darling child of ours.   We enjoy doing it to a great deal.

I hope you all a Happy Fourth of July weekend!:)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Summmer Ball 2012

The weather may be unpleasant, as always, but it was another fun filled Summer Ball last night.
People dressed up to the nines with men looking dapper and women so elegant, mostly in black dresses.

Little Girl stayed at her grandparents house for the night (her first sleep over actually) giving me and Dearest Husband  the chance to really enjoy the occasion.
Some of our friends and Dearest Husband's work colleagues were also around to join in the fun.
Apart from the disappointing food, all else were good especially the drinks and the band.
I am particularly  thankful to Dearest Husband for making sure my glass is always full with Port wine. I just love it!

My dress, if you may well remember from my previous post, is somewhat a 1950's design with its full pleated skirt. It is of this reason that I asked my hairdresser to style my hair accordingly.
Unsurprisingly, she  proved her talent to me once again as she always did in the past.
Here are some pictures I want to share:

  Bardot multi stripe dress from Coast
  Suede Celestine Shoes from All Saints Spitalfields
  ring and bracelet by Jon Richard and drop earrings from Dorothy Perkins. 

I completed my  look with this evening clutch by Matthew Williamson

I just love my total 1950's look.  And when I looked at myself in the mirror I can see a 1950's housewife looking every inch of the domestic goddess.
One who can do all the houseworks despite looking like a diva.
The sight of Stepford housewives came to mind. How I wish I can look the same everyday!

We were in a table with our friends, same group as last year's.
I was seated next to a pregnant woman. She is 28 weeks gone and just the sight of her brought a very painful emotion I've been trying to contain in the past weeks.
Reality hit on me the longing I have  for the unborn child we lost so early.
I could have been 24 weeks by now if only miscarriage did not intervene.
Do not get me wrong, the woman next to me is so sweet and it is not her fault if I shed a bucket of tears last night.
After all, who am I to be unhappy for somebody's happiness?
But it is also a painful reminder of what  could have been and of what I just went through.
I've never been/chatted with a pregnant woman after the incident .
I guess, I still have a long way to recovery.

The night carried on beautifully.
There was a heads and tails game and for a minute I wasn't far from winning the £250 coveted price but in the end it went to a lovely man whom Dearest Husband works with.
The raffle prizes were also elusive to us but nevertheless the band brought out the dancing queens in us.
And danced we did abandoning our high heels. It was such fun!!

As with the previous summer balls, a photographer always comes round to help us document the night.
I checked his website and here are our  drunken photos.

And 24 hours after and here I am now enduring the aftermath of the occasion - nursing a hangover and a very bruised swollen left little toe.
Somebody must have stepped on it and I'm afraid I can't wear shoes in the next few days.
Yes, it is that bad.  But not so bad for me to withdraw the thought for the next ball.
Until  then Summer Ball 2013!

Friday, June 22, 2012

A Shout-out to My Little Graduate

I can't believe my DD just graduated Pre-Kindergarten.  It seemed like it was just yesterday when I first dropped her off on her first day of school.  We are so happy to see how much she has grown and how well she got along with other kids her age.  It meant a lot to us that not once has she ever cried to have to go to school.  Always been eager to learn new things, go out and join every bit of life's little adventures.  Our little baby...oh how time flies! We love you and are very proud to be your parents.

Here are some pictures from her Graduation today.

Singing their songs 
With her proud Daddy Vin
My Mini Me, such a poser
With her loving teachers
Our Little Graduate
Time to open her present
Sun-San Salt Water sandals in baby pink
While some kids would probably ask for toys for a present, mine always asked for new shoes.  She's always loved shoes even before she could say the word.  I especially got these Salt Water sandals in baby pink, she already owns one in red and that's one of her favorites.  These sandals are super comfy and are highly sought after parents who live around the beach.  They are made of leather that can get in and out of water and just gets better with age.

Also, I decided to take Madison to see the movie "Brave" as part of her graduation present.  Managed to surprise her by asking her best friend's mom if they could meet us at the theater.  She kept asking who I was saving the other seats for and was pleasantly surprised when Isabel arrived with her mother to watch the movie with us.   After the movie, we came home to get her Dad to join us for a nice dinner.  We told her she gets to pick any restaurant.  What did she pick? Soup Plantation! A salad/soup buffet place that she just loves.  Another peculiar choice for any other kid, but this one can devour her salad with no problem.  Of course, I also ended up stuffing myself and am now suffering from indigestion.

Have a great weekend ahead!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

My UNIQLO Best Buy Finds

I keep asking myself if "is it safe to wear underwired bras during pregnancy?"

Aside from Mummy Nors, my Chinese friends also advised me not to wear it too.
And whenever I have questions, I just google it...and here's what Sally Sago answers:

'There's nothing to say that wearing underwired bras during pregnancy may be harmful. However, you're likely to find them uncomfortable for your changing breasts.

Many midwives and retail outlets advise against wearing underwired bras in pregnancy. The rigid wire may interfere with the natural changes in the size and shape of your breasts. The bra may obstruct the increased blood flow or squash your developing milk duct system. At best, it'll be uncomfortable, but at worst, it may lead to inflammation (mastitis). ere's nothing to say that wearing underwired bras during pregnancy may be harmful. However, you're likely to find them uncomfortable for your changing breasts. "

Though no clinical evidence about this but then I decided to just change all my undergarments and since its Great Singapore Sale, I decided to find the perfect match...
And here's what I found...

AIRism is a new concept in functional innerwear created by UNIQLO for the spring and summer seasons. Made from ultra-fine fibers that regulate the circulation of air, AIRism innerwear feels so light and soft to the skin that you will forget you have it on.

Too bad not on sale but not so bad for S$ 34.90 each

I also got this for S$ 7.90 (UP S$16.90)
Wearing my Airism T-shirt, soft, cool and very comfy!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Another Year Older

I hate to admit this.  I just turned 33.  Another year older, and I am starting to dread my birthdays.  I feel like my life has just begun and my age keeps betraying me.  I keep reminding myself, Age is nothing but a number.  With my ever growing belly and constant back pains due to my pregnancy, I actually feel old.  Darn it.  I will just have to keep looking forward for the time when I get my body back again.  That soon enough, I will have this baby and feel like my self again.  Pregnancy feels like someone invades your body and you have no control over it.

There are some perks with having birthdays.  I get pampered and get nice presents. hahaha. This year, DH presents me with 4.5 carat earrings.  He was right on the weight I was hoping for, just not the stone, hahaha.  He said, that one will come in time, maybe after saving for another 10 years.  Mads kept saying she had a hard time keeping it a secret, as they bought it a week earlier. That was actually amazing she managed to do that.  She's not one to keep her mouth shut.

Blue Topaz in 4.50 cts set in white gold
A real beauty irregardless. I loved it.

So just to show you I was not kidding when I said my belly is growing at a tremendous pace.  You decide for yourself.  I posed with my close friend Nell so you can tell the difference.  I was as skinny as her before! Now, she looks like my kid next to me.  Sad but true.

With Nelly
 My maxi dresses are the only ones that fit me now.  I have gained 20 lbs by far and I have about 16 weeks to go.  I did manage to take photos of myself with the maternity jeans I bought from GAP.  I fear, this will only last me for a few more weeks.

With a loose top from H&M, Gap Maternity corduroy pants, Toms University shoes in red
And this skinny jeans are also from their maternity line.  I bought a new pair of Toms shoes as well because they are so comfy!

My favorite mexican patterned top, GAP maternity skinny jeans, Toms shoes corduroy in teal
Of course, my DD has to pose for pictures too.

My friends keep telling me that I am so lucky because I don't get fat with pregnancy.  Are you kidding? I can only hope I can keep my weight down to another 10 lbs for the next 16 weeks.  My goal is to at least keep the weight gain at 30 lbs.  This is proving to be harder than it seems.  I never had to deal with this issue with my first child.  Oh well. We shall find out not too soon enough.

I also have another good news! I have a pending job offer.  It's just a matter of deciding whether its something I can deal with at the moment.  I am trying to negotiate the hours and I fear it is something that I will hate. Sigh. 

I finally checked my mailbox and saw this card for my birthday.  Thanks MummyNors! That was sweet of you.
I almost thought this lady in the pic has a baby bump. lol
Until next time! I hope you all have a nice day:)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Rainy Days and Fifty Shades

Note: I wrote this blog on June 11 2012 and not June 4 as it says.

The past week and a half I was pretty much quiet and busy.
 Blame it on the weather. It is pouring again.
 I wonder if we will  ever have a warm, dry summer this year.
 Even the long weekend Diamond Jubilee celebrations  did not escape from the very washout weather. Watching the Thames River Pageant in the television made me so thankful we decided  in the end not to go to London on that weekend.
Our rugby club  had also its own celebration so we went there instead last Monday.
We all came in the Union Jack colours.
I was thankful we did not pay attention to the 1950's dress code especially as I was very disappointed. There was really nothing much and was just plainly boring.
But here we are anyway in our Jubilee outfits:

My Little Girl came prepared for the weather with her wellies.

And mummy's version of the red, white and blue (although there's no white in this outfit!)

Last weekend  we also went to a 50th birthday party.
It is of Dearest Husband's work colleague.
It was very good fun.
There was a big marquee in the garden and a big bouncy castle for the children.
Drinks were overflowing.
I was having so much fun catching up with the rest of my husband's work colleagues.
We did not notice the time and Little Girl  was  also enjoying herself in the bouncy castle.
We went home at around 10 pm when Little Girl was already dozing off.

As Father's day is only a few days from now, I helped Little Girl with her Father's day cards for the 4 men in her life ( Her dad, 2 grandfathers and maternal great grandfather).
We were working against time as 2 cards need to be sent to the Philippines so we prioritized it.
Here they are:

The card cover for Little Girl's maternal grandfather

The picture is taken inside a train going to London when my parents came to visit us last year.
Little Girl was just about 15 months old here.

And the inside content of the card which is obviously just scribbles really.
But I am pretty sure this will bring so much happiness and pride in my father's heart.

Little Girl calls my parents Papa and Mama the way I address them.
We all wanted her to call her maternal grandparents Lolo and Lola but while my parents where here she heard me all the time calling them that way so she decided to follow suit.
Even now that it's been 6 months since we last saw them, she still addresses them the same.

Little Girl's Father's Day card for her 95 year old great grandfather

And the inside content showing a picture of her with her Lolo Meloy.
Little Girl was about 10 months old here when she first visited the Philippines.
I asked her to put some stickers and she decided putting them upside down is the best way to do it.

We already posted these cards last week so hoping it will arrive in time for Father's Day this Sunday.
We are at the moment busy for her Daddy and Grandad cards.
 I want Little Girl to appreciate   how lucky she is to have 2 grandfathers and a great grandfather (as not everybody is as privilege as she is).

 Here is a rare picture of last year's Father's Day.
From L-R: My father, Dearest Husband with Little Girl and my father-in-law

I also managed to finally get my Summer Ball shoes. I am very happy with this purchase:
Suede Celestine Shoes from All Saints Spitalfields
The heels might be 4.3 cms high but they are very comfortable even on a night of dancing.

And of course what really kept me so busy this past week is this trilogy.
I managed to read them 3 books in 1 week.
I heard so much buzz about this book that it piqued my interest. I just have to have it. So I purchased the entire trilogy from Amazon.
It kept my boredom at bay while it was soaking wet outside.

Here are my thoughts for this book.

Book 1 is Fifty Shades of Grey.
At first I was especially  intrigued by the title. What is Fifty Shades and why Grey.
First few pages answered my second question. Grey is Mr. Christian Grey. The main leading actor if you would put it like that in a movie.
The plot is about the unconventional relationship between fresh college graduate Anastasia Steele and very manipulative, controlling multi billionaire Christian Grey.
Mr. Grey is the domineering type. Wanting to control Ms. Steele over her life and introduces  her to BDSM.  But Miss Steele is a very much virgin herself so this is very new to Mr. Grey. Thus the twists starts here.

The first half of the book is an interesting read.
It comes from Miss Steele's point of view.  She seems very innocent and yet witty.
Mr. Grey on the other hand appears to be very over powering and yet a lost child inside.
I wanted the author to explore more on the BDSM aspect.  Yet most pages were about the unnecessary sex scenes. I do not mind it all only if the story calls for it.
After all the likes of Joan Collins and even the great  Paulo Coelho for his Eleven  Minutes did write about sex but theirs did not revolve purely on the detailed sex scenes, there was more to it.
 Fifty Shades was just too much for me. Visual pornography that is.
 I lost count of the number of pages that I have to skip because they were just about sex.
I  know from the start it is an adult book but I have questions that I want answers to it.
Thus I find the second half of the Book 1 just boring, draggy, repetitive and shallow.
I know some like it the way it was written but unfortunately Miss E.L James failed to impress me especially the way she left her readers like me hanging at the end.

Book 2, Fifty Shades Darker is better than Book 1.
If Miss E.L James know how to write she could have just put book 1 and 2 together and it could have been perfect (and skip the unnecessary sex scenes).
The answers I have been searching for were all here.
John Grisham's books are mostly courtroom drama and yet it is never boring. He can tell everything in just 1 book.  I hope Miss E.L James can learn on that.
She stretches her imagination and penned it on Book 3, Fifty Shades Freed, which for me could have just been incorporated in Book 1 and 2.
I can forgive Miss E.L James because it is her first book but what I cannot forgive her for is Fifty Shades  becoming a best seller all because of sex.
How shallow we can be now, making soft porn a best seller.

All-in-all Fifty Shades is a good read. It has an interesting story. If only the author is only able to concentrate on exploring the character of Christian Grey on Book 1.
Miss E.L James also seemed to have done a very good research. I have never heard of BDSM before although I know about the sadistic personality.
 I also love the witty banter between Grey and Steele over their email correspondence.
She seems also very good in writing those very detailed sex scenes, I wonder where she's taking her inspirations from - personal experiences perhaps?
I do not want to explore more on Fifty Shades in case some of you want to read it and I hate spoiling anybody's read.

Anyway, I have to call it a night now.
I sincerely wish our weather would brighten up although the forecast seems unpromising.
Some parts of the UK are even experiencing 1 month of rain in just 24 hours thus the heavy flooding.

A very good night everyone and a happy birthday for tomorrow for my fellow author and great friend, Madsaboutu.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Beginnings of Summer

I was craving for some fish tacos so we decided to head out to El Gringo in Manhattan Beach to get me some grilled mahi mahi tacos.  It was a great excuse to head out to the beach once again! Who wouldn't want to? It was so nice out that it almost felt like Summer.  Of course, everybody else was thinking of the same thing as the beach was packed when we got there.
My little beach bum
My husband gets sunburn rather easily so we stayed close to the boardwalk so we could get some shade in case it gets too hot and we decide to overstay.
I get cold rather easily so I wear a light sweater to keep me warm
Such a Daddy's girl
She loves the sand and does her version of swimming on it
We had a great time as usual.  Then when we got home, a huge package was waiting in our front door.  I knew right away it was the infant car seat that I ordered online.  If you know me well enough, you would know I am a very impatient person so I did not wait to get it all assembled to check if everything is intact.  Now I just need to figure out where to store all the items I already purchased for new baby.
Maxi Cosi infant car seat 2012 "Mico" in gray cloud
This will work with the Quinny Buzz that I already purchased earlier.  You take out the chair from the stroller and use this instead so you don't have to constantly take baby out of car seat and stroller each time you go out.  Will work perfectly especially when baby is asleep and don't want to be bothered.  The car seat is very light so it's an added bonus.  We also have an extra car seat base for the other car so we do not need to take base out each time we change cars.

Quinny Buzz Stroller in red
Don't ask me why I did not stick to the color red.  When I purchased the stroller, I did not know I was having a boy yet so I figured red is a good neutral color.  On the other hand, I wanted the car seat to be gray to match the interior of our cars. If you take out the seat that came with the stroller, there won't be any red left so it will just be black and gray.  Makes sense?  Anyway, I still have to figure out what big car we are going to purchase...I am leaning towards a minivan vs an SUV.  I wish Toyota will make a Prius version in vans!

I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend!:P