Posted in Rants & Raves

Preparing for Halloween 2014

So I’m excited for my 2nd Halloween in the US (read about my 1st one here)… This year I spent a total of $15 on the decorations and reused the ones I got last year. I’m not very crafty with my hands and I’m not the decorating type but I did get my lights and stuff all up by early October.

IMG_8581While I was among the first to get my decorations up, I noticed that in the last couple of days, the neighbours have really stepped up their game. Some of them have really good stuff out – one has a cemetery, another has very good webbing (my friend says that mine looks like college boys tried to TP my balcony HAHAHHA) and another has limbs and rats strewn about their front yard. I went up close to examine some of them so that I could learn how to do mine next year. I think this crazy Halloween decorating¬†thing would probably be more fun if I had some teenagers in my house (I’m envious of my friends whose children are already in their early teens. JEALOUS!).

IMG_8582One thing I’m doing differently this year is that I’m giving out candy bags instead of having the kids grab 1 or 2 candy bars from a bowl. I want to be that house that the kids all want to visit! We live in a very quiet gated community and my husband chose a house that faces the desert so we hardly ever see people around. I want to make the kids’ visit worth their while. I’ve never trickortreated but I can imagine that going house to house collecting candy is like collecting Ang Pow during Chinese New Year and since giving out candy is much cheaper than giving cash (what’s the market rate now? $4 minimum?), I bagged up about 10 different sweet treats in each pack. We had about 20-30 kids come by last year so I bagged 20 goodie bags and for those who come late, they just have to see how much their fist can grab out of the bowl. Hahhaa!!

IMG_8587And to end this frivolous and pointless post, here’s a picture of Max looking all silly and happy in his new Halloween costume (I got it at Big Lots with a 20% coupon for under $10 including taxes)!

Posted in Rants & Raves

Home for Christmas


They say home is where the heart is and you know, I’m feeling homesick right now. T and I have been decorating our house for Christmas and it’s the first time he’s ever done that in his adult life since he’s never found the reason to. We put up stuff outside the porch, some lights on our balconies and also tried to cosy up our main living area. We’re trying to keep to about USD100 in all and our tree is largely bare. Also, part of our strategy is to take the next few years to really grow the collection so that every ornament has a story, rather than everything from a pre-packed store bought box.

I usually have lots of year end activities – non-stop parties and dinners with people close to my heart (sometimes juggling 2 to 3 events in a day). This year, we get to T’s home state of New York just before Christmas to spend it with his Mom’s extended family (also doubling up as our wedding celebrations with both our maternal units). Then we get back to Vegas just in time to drive 6 hours to Arizona to spend New Year’s with his Dad and Step Mom. The best part of course, is sharing this holiday season with my mother and sisters as well! As you’ve seen from my Throwback Thursday snaps, I miss my sisters a lot. Some of the things I ALWAYS have with me are pictures of us when we were little. It was always (usually *koffkoff*) great to have them to play with (bully *koffkoff*) and be a buffer for when I get mad with my parents but still want to make sure they’re okay.

T and I have been stretching the last of our dollars and spending those treasured Amazon giftcards we got for our wedding on some furniture – especially for the empty guestroom. My sisters will inaugurate our 2nd guest bedroom in a few days’ time! When this was T’s bachelor pad, it was a junk room with lots of dusty books, game cartridges & consoles (yes plural), exercise equipment, spare computers etc. When I visited previously, we kept the door to this room shut so that I won’t have to see the mess. However, 2 months ago, I threw myself into making this room usable. It took perhaps 3 weeks to clean, throw (imagine empty drink cans and receipts from 2009), sort, dust, wipe and vacuum the entire place!

I am very happy with what I’ve done with it and it’s another milestone in putting our home together. (Okay, after I cleaned it and cleared space, T had to physically put 4 hours of elbow grease into setting up the furniture.)

Because we don’t believe in credit cards, our finances are really tight at the moment – given the tens of thousands of dollars of upfront cash expenses we didn’t budget for (travelling back and forth to see each other, getting married, quitting my job, immigration fees, Max’s cancer etc) yet this year’s holidays will be especially wonderful for T and I. I don’t think we’ll ever get to do this in our lifetime again since all our families are so spread out. I’ll definitely savour every moment in the upcoming weeks.

Happy Holidays everyone and may all of you always have the warmth of family to share special occasions, wherever home may be for you!


Posted in Rants & Raves

Back in Las Vegas

So if you’ve noticed the lack of daily updates, that’s because I haven’t been at work and Sianny hasn’t been taking my pictures for me. To be exact, I’m currently on leave (and then some).

Shuttling back and forth has been quite tiring. Some of you might know how much I hate flying and this journey takes me about 24 hours (Singapore – Narita – Portland – Las Vegas). But I’m glad to be back home (where my heart is). I miss my bed back in Singapore though… then again, when I’m in Singapore, I miss T so much.

IMG_8469I’m so happy to be physically next to him again. It’s very hard, this long distance relationship. Isn’t he cute as a baby? He says he was a big nerd as a teenager and he found it difficult to gain weight – so much so that he was insecure about how thin he was. That’s him and his older sister, Julie , in front of their Dad’s old car.

IMG_8457So anyway, we haven’t done much. I’m not so much into partying and shopping – which is what people usually go to Vegas for (especially since I’m kinda skint these days. My flights cost half my monthly salary). He does want to get a new Jeep Wrangler and has been going on and on about it. And since I’m here, he finally went down to the car dealer to check them out in person. As you can see from the pictures, it’s quite a big deal for him and he was really engrossed in the details. I’m just glad that we’ll have a bigger (less expensive) vehicle and Max can now go on rides (or camping or road trips) with us! Right now, his 2-seater 2008 Corvette isn’t very useful. Each time I come here, I have to take a taxi from the airport because his trunk wouldn’t fit my gigantic suitcases! So fingers crossed that the plan to get a new car for free (after selling the Corvette) and maybe make a little money…

IMG_8487While he’s at work though, I have been home alone with Max the Maximum Dog. The house is erm… not quite apocalypse (to his credit, T did try to clean up before I returned), but I have to do a lot of work still. Sorting things out, throwing away expired food, dusting, vacuuming, etc. I haven’t got much done yet to be honest. I reckon as long as I do a little vacuuming and packing (say 2-3 hours a day for now), as well as cleaning up immediately after we use certain areas, I’ll soon get this place tidied up.

IMG_8508Other than that, I’ve been cooking. We ate out once so far (The Cheesecake Factory… YUM!!) but because it costs as much as 2 weeks worth of fresh/frozen groceries, I reckon it’s better if I cook. I do rather enjoy cooking (okay, I enjoy eating as I cook more). T also appears to like my food. I guess it’s a matter of perspective. He has limited cooking skills and relies a lot on frozen foods and pre-made sauces. I’ve watched my maids and aunts cook growing up. Also, living on my own helps. I can’t say I’m a good cook but I can make stuff that I myself love eating. T seems to love it too, so that’s a big plus! The funny thing is that he always asks if I made the sauce/gravy myself because “it’s so delicious” but it’s a very simple gravy made of the exact same steps EVERY TIME – sauteed minced garlic (or sauteed onions), vegetarian oyster sauce (mushroom sauce), water and corn starch. That is all. I just put in different vegetables each time. Hahahaa…

IMG_8517The other thing is when I arrived, T had this huge gift all wrapped up in HELLO KITTY wrapping paper (he said it took 2 rolls) in our bedroom. My birthday is in about 2 weeks and I turn 35.¬†I can’t imagine what it could be. Maybe it’s a tent! We can go camping when we get the Jeep Wrangler! w000t! But for now, your guess is as good as mine. Bleagh… I can’t wait to open it! In the meantime, if you’d like to add to my happiness, here’s my AMAZON wishlist (hahahahaha…)


I love how T has done up our bedroom and the vestibule since I was last here in May. All I did was pay for the furniture and he put them together. The tapestry behind our bed is from URBAN OUTFITTERS (Oh how I love that shop!!). The nightstands, hall tree, shoe rack and night stands are from AMAZON (so convenient hor?) and every time they deliver something I buy, he’d excitedly send me photos of the package and open it (because he usually has no idea what’s inside).

Life is simple but good. No need for wild parties, late nights, eating out or crazy shopping. I’m taking it slow for now and enjoying my time in the quiet neighbourhood of Cameron & Crestone.