Monday, February 20, 2012

A Series of Firsts

Over the weekend, Marissa started her baby ballet classes at Sole to Soul Dance Studio. Bought her a leotard (RM55) and paid up the fees : RM20 for one-time registration and RM50 fully-refundable deposit (cos got cases of students who attend one or two classes and just disappear!). Class fees are RM60 monthly and if you start like in the middle of the month - the fees are pro-rated. 

She wore a pink tutu which came together with a ballet book I purchased some time ago.... and pre-loved ballet shoes (although shoes are not required). She could follow the instructions and it was evident that she had a good time dancing during the entire 45-minute class. 

Then on Sunday morn, Marissa attended children's church together with her brother. Previously, she didn't want to go or she would only just stay for the singing. This time she stayed on from the start to the finish! 

Evan started on the Specialist Music program at Anne Perreau's (now known as V & A Music Center). It's a weekly 2-hour class on music appreciation where the children (max 5-6 per class) will learn about composers, instruments and theory of music but in a fun way. There's a 15-minute snack time for the children to socialize too. His teacher is a very young, nice and patient lady : Ms. Phylicia. I sat in during the class - only 3 students present.... the other 2 being girls! They were so talkative - just like Evan! He was quite comfortable making friends with the girls though..... ahem!

He will attend this program first until he is ready to progress to the piano. Fees are based on terms i.e. 3 terms in a year and each term is 15 weeks. RM500 - refundable deposit required but no registration fees.

Sorry for the lack of photos - for the first time.... I forgot to bring my camera and didn't take any pics! 

Anyone knows where I can get a used WHITE upright piano? May need one in future!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Singapura O Singapura

Our much anticipated Singapore Trip started on February 1st - a public holiday for KLites. 
My brother drove us to LCCT for our flight on Air Asia. Touched down in Singapore Changi Airport and had lunch at Burger King. Then we took the free shuttle van provided by Grand Mercure Roxy Hotel (East Coast). Photo above taken at the hotel lobby while I was checking-in. I booked 2 packages at the hotel : Stay 3 Pay 2 and Scratch-and-Win. Both packages were for the Superior King room. Complimentary extra bed and wi-fi. Kids eat free for breakfast. Coin-operated launderette was a plus point - I did 2 huge loads of laundry during our 6D/5N stay there.

On that night itself, we went to the Night Safari. Purchased 3-in-1 park-hopper tickets valid for Night Safari, Zoo and Bird Park. The main highlight was the tram ride to see the animals (mainly deer) at night. The 'Creatures of the Night' show comes highly recommended.

The next morning we went to the Dinosaurs LIVE! exhibition at the Singapore Science Center. Very interesting and life-like exhibits of dinosaurs! Had fun! We also explored the Science Center and our favourite section was the optical illusions!

Lunch was at McDonald's and then to the Omnitheatre for an IMAX movie about flying dinosaurs. Absolutely a must-see. Tickets were expensive but worth every bit. We met up with hubby's sis for dinner - Singapore Laksa! Then we went window-shopping at Parkway Parade just opposite our hotel.

On our third day in Singapore, we visited the Jurong Bird Park. In this pic, Marissa is striking a pose at the newly opened Birdz of Play water park.
Weather was balmy throughout with very light drizzle.

We watched all the bird shows! Enjoyed all of them! We also had buffet lunch (delicious especially the laksa!) with the parrots. Do not - I repeat - do not miss any of the shows! Much better than the one in KL. 
Met up with some friends for a relaxing dinner at Marina Bay.
Hubby's sis joined us on Saturday morning for the zoo trip. We had buffet breakfast there at Ah Meng Restaurant.  Then we went around the zoo - walking most of the way. You can take a tram ride and a boat ride too for a small fee.

Lunched at KFC which was just beside the water play area. Being the weekend, families were out in full force! We went for all the shows too and all of them were good! Dined at a cosy restaurant at Novena.

On Sunday, had a scrumptious buffet breakfast at the hotel. Then off to Chinatown! Everything here is so organized and clean.... actually everything in Singapore is so organized and clean - especially the toilets!

We found the Tintin Shop which is located in Chinatown on Pagoda Street a stone's throw away from the MRT. After that we went to Tanglin Mall for more shopping and lunch.

In the late afternoon, we went to the Esplanade for a dance appreciation ballet - Swan Lake - performed by the Singapore Dance Theatre. An educational performance about pantomine in ballet. Only Acts II and IV were performed. The entire show was about 1 hour. The actual ballet will be in March. For dinner, we went to a food court in 112 Katong - a shopping mall just behind the hotel.

I pulled out Evan's wobbly front tooth after breakfast in the hotel. Painless procedure really. After that, we checked out and waited for my SIL to arrive at the hotel. 
Pic above taken on Orchard Road. My SIL tortured us by making us walk the entire road! Had dim sum lunch at Bao Jing Tian (Pau Today) nearby Somerset. Very good paus! We also visited Vivocity. My SIL arranged for a cabbie to pick up our bags from the hotel and then pick us up from Vivocity to Sentosa Island.

Checked into Resorts World's Festive Hotel on Sentosa. The kids were super excited about the loft bed! SIL slept on the sofa-bed while hubby and I had the entire King bed to ourselves! No free wi-fi here... but given complimentary bottled water, welcome drinks and gifts for the kids. Dinner was at the Malaysian Food Street - so many people cos it was Chap Goh Mei..... then we watched the crane dance - a free light/sound show.

No prizes for guessing where we went the following day after buffet breakfast...... pic above taken at Far, Far Away with Puss in Boots. We rented a stroller while at Universal Studios. Not many people and hardly any waiting time for the rides. We didn't ride on any of the roller coasters though cos too scary! By the way, kids below 4 years (according to birthdate) enter free. I had to sell off Marissa's ticket cos I pre-booked it via the hotel thinking that she needs one. Good thing I managed to sell it to a Japenese lady who bought it at after bargaining for a 10% discount. I even gave her a free ticket to the Maritime Museum cos Marissa doesn't need a ticket to enter.

We had lunch and dinner in Universal Studios - food was only average. Lots of retail shops selling merchandise.

Last stop before boarding the airplane.... the Maritime Museum at the Waterfront, Resorts World. Very educational visit. Too bad we had to rush because we need to check out and catch a plane. 

Singapore is a really nice city - wished I lived there! My brother says he would love to work there next time once he gains enough working experience in Germany. 
However, prices of stuff are on the high side. Anyways looking forward to another trip.... not sure when but definitely after the River Safari is opened by year end..... and we also have lots more places to visit on Sentosa Island.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Enter the Dragon

CNY came and went in a flash! Was so busy baking and planning our family trip to Singapore that I only managed to decorate - at the last minute. Last year we were so busy moving into our new place that we didn't have time to decorate.

The photo above is one of three Flower Ball Lanterns that I made - absolutely beautiful and easy. Thanks to one of my CG members who gave me a huge stack of gorgeously beautiful ang pows from OCBC bank. The ang pows were just the right size for the lantern! The longish ones or the square ones can't be used - I tried and I got an oddly shaped lantern instead of a nice round shape. Anyway, here's the link to watch the YouTube video on how to make your very own flower ball lantern. 

Bought some decorations from Jaya Jusco and Metrojaya - both departmental stores were having discounts 30% - 40% for the CNY decor. The centre court of Mid Valley Megamall has quite a number of booths selling decorations too. Bought a few Chinese knot art tassels there. 

We spent Chinese New Year eve in KL. The very next day, we drove down south to my hometown and then back to KL after a 3D/2N stay. Both the kids received a record-breaking collection in ang pow money! Most of it  is set aside for their education fund, another portion went into the church offering bag while another portion was spent on holiday in Singapore. Will blog about our trip soon. Stay tuned!

Hope it's not too late to wish everyone a happy Chinese New Year! Ending this post with pics of CNY cupcakes: