| A blog on my journey as a WORK AT HOME MOM and my WORK AT HOME BUSINESS |

27 December, 2007

looking back on the cruise ship

Now that I'm having stable wireless internet connection, I can post some photos taken at the. cruise ship. It had been an amazing cruise for us three and I believed the one who enjoyed the most would be our little boy.

The kids buffet corner was perfect for little ones and being parents, we could enjoy our little corner with our boy too. I was really glad we chose the room with balcony as that gave us more space and we could step out whenever we felt a little congested in the room.

It was nice visiting all the islands and get a taste of the island's culture oand lifestyle. Hawaii is such a lovely place and we know we will be back one of these days while extending our stay in our favourite island. The thing is, it is hard to pick one favourite cos each of them has its own beauty and charm. One thing I know, if you want to get to know each island, make sure you stay at least a week to get a true experience.

a nice island called Kauai

One of our favourite port of calls on the cruise is the island of Kauai. This is a quaint and laid back village that is relaxed, casual and friendly. We took a walk to the shops outside the pier and did some shopping at Honolua Surf Co. I got a few sun dresses and tops and DH got himself few surf shorts. I thought that was a fabulous shop to walk around! Kauai had been hit by many hurricanes over the years and the latest one was Hurricane Iniki. The hurricane brought extensive damages to the island and more properties and condos for sale had been built in the last two years. The most famous destination in Kauai would be the Napali Coast, a favourite filming spot for the Hollywood film makers which saw many movies being made including Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones. I'll post the photos in another post.

Here are some photos from the island of Kauai...

Clayton enjoying the wading pool at Marriott, Kauai

23 December, 2007

back on land on waikiki

Oh yes - we are back on land after seven days in the islands of Hawaii. So how was the cruise, you asked? My answer: fantastic! It was awesome! Though I enjoyed cruising in the islands, it did feel nice to be back in Waikiki, though it was just for a night.

We'll be heading to Los Angeles tomorrow to celebrate Christmas and honestly, I am excited. I know I'll miss Waikiki - it is such a lovely place to be. I hope to be back soon and will miss those lovely sunrises and sunsets. I have never taken so many photos of sunrise and sunsets for two weeks in a row!

Only thing is I have many many comments to moderate and some assignments to complete. Yes, I know I'm on vacation but I still need to do some work to cover my shopping splurges :) I really love those surf shops and cool shops here.

Enough for now, it's time to snooze so that I can maximize my time in Waikiki tomorrow.

20 December, 2007

blogging from the cruise ship

I cannot tell you how nice it is to be blogging at the sounds of roaring waves in the deep ocean waters - it is simply exhilarating! I am now sitting at the balcony of our stateroom in the cruise ship and it is so cool to be blogging under the moonlight. While DH is sleeping early due to some bouts of sea sickness, my little boy is too tired from a whole day of excursion and activities.

We were in Kona today and we actually went on a submarine excursion, descending to about 100 feet to the ocean floor - cool! While I wished there were more sea creatures to be spotted, it was exciting seeing the ocean floor so close! The submarine was comfortable and the seats even had car covers on them! Kona is such a charming seaside town in the Big Island of Hawaii and I strongly recommend this place to anyone who enjoys water activities!

I only wish I can post some photos in this blog but I wouldn't do this in the ship cos the internet connection speed is not as fast as I want it to be. Besides, it is expensive! So, here's just a short post and I'll write more when we are on shore again...

18 December, 2007

we are in Maui!

I cannot tell you how frustrating it is when it takes more than 5 minutes to load a page in our stateroom... then I found out that we were on dial up! We have been so spoilt with broadband and wireless connection so dial up is so pathetic! Worse still, it is expensive getting an internet package on board the ship - 240minutes for $100 USD! But DH and myself need it so we know it's one of those things we can't save! I had some writing to do, including a drug rehabilitation related one and DH had his option trading to keep track.

I am posting this on the waters of Maui - one of the top 10 popular islands in the world - oh yes, Maui is beautiful but we aren't going to do much in two days. DH is off to snorket in Molokini crater tomorrow, a top 10 diving sites in the world while I babysit Clayton in the Maui Ocean Center.

So if you don't see any posts in the next few days, you know it has something to do with the connection in the cruise ship. And again, we are on vacation :)

reports from the pride of america cruise

It was an exciting experience as both DH and myself had never been on a cruise in our lives! We arrived at Pier 2 to board the Pride of America, a 7 day cruise to 3 Hawaiian islands. Those of you who had travelled with little ones could understand the challenges of checking in and out the airport with a child which explained why I had decided to book into a cruise like this to experience the islands.

Clayton was all enthusiastic about getting into a cruise liner! The check-in was fast and we were surprised at the crowd even at an early check-in. I mean, we were going to be on-board a cruise ship that could house 2,000 over passengers! I chose the higest deck for our balcony stateroom at 11th deck and it was nice up here. We were so eager to see how our room was like since we had never been in a cruise. To our surprise, it turned out to be better than expected. We had a big Queen size bed that looked more like a King and a sofa bed next to it which we didn't use. I must say that it wasn't easy trying to fit in 2 big luggages and a couple of smaller bags but we managed it somehow.

Obviously, we took a tour around our 'cruise ship' and was happy with the fact that we were on the floor where the coffee house was situated, as well as the 2 huge pools. The ambience of the cruise was great upon arrival – relaxing, pleasant, filled with Hawaiian singing and music, smiling and curious faces...etc.

The ship sailed late due to the some snow-stranded flights in some airports but nevertheless, we were too busy checking out the shore excursions and other facilities while waiting. It didn't bothered us a bit. While lunch was at Aloha Cafe and dinner was at Liberty steakhouse. Aloha Cafe, like all coffee houses, was a big buffet cafe and you could almost anything you wanted to eat here. From the east to the west, there was something for everyone here, we were happy to be sitted at the Kids Cafe area, which was pleasantly decorated with bright and cheery colours.

Surprisingly, opposed from the critics and reviews I read about this cruise ship, the food turned out alright for some fare, especially the roast beef. It was so yummy that I went for second helpings. I loved the baked potatoes too, not forgetting the fresh local papaya and mangoes cut right before your eyes.

Ok... though I really want to tell you more, the internet connection on the ship is expensive and slow, unless the Hilton Hawaiian Village... til then, I'll post more reports and photos when the wireless is on again!

16 December, 2007

hang loose!

I love this cute T shirt I got for Clayton at the ABC Store... and this is what he has been doing this week too!

a lovely day in Kailua and more charming sunsets

Many of you would have known that Waikiki is filled with more Japanese tourists than any other place. After a while, you tend to think that every Asian looking individual is a Jap... I have been mistaken as a Jap too in retail shops and a Hawaiian girl in some - all thanks to my natural tan. I guess I look very Hawaiian too - lol.

It has been a week of great fun and relaxing moments. We had a wonderful day in Kailua, the windward town of Oahu on Thursday. The beaches were beautiful with clear waters that are calm and the waves, gentle. It was nice sitting by the shore with Clayton, waiting to be swept by the rolling waves... he had so much fun. This was the first time he would run in the waters and splashed around freely - but he was still very cautious - he is a city boy lah!

I had a great time in Tiffany when DH went for his surfing lessons too! Though I couldn't afford those diamond pendants, I bought a beautiful Elsa Peretti pendant that I had been eyeing for. Honestly, when you see the price tags in Tiffany here, you tend to think that they are so affordable - just don't convert into ringgit currency! I guessed I got carried away and ended up with a few items after one hour in the shop.

That's it for now and there'll be more reports as we set sail in the Pride of America today for the next one week. Here are a few photos of Kailua, the famous Waikiki sunset (they look different everyday!) and the fireworks at our hotel last night.

13 December, 2007

loving eggs n things at waikiki!

Whenever it comes to food during our vacation, we tend to be easy and flexible. After a few months of research from travel guides and websites, I heard about this fabulous place for breakfast - Eggs N Things.

We finally found our way there yesterday morning to discover a queue outside the shop. It was great that it was only 5-10mins walk from our hotel so we didn't take too long to find the place. One peek at the shop and you know that these people are there for some real American breaky. The pancakes arrived in stacks and the fluffy omelettes in a plate full, topped with either rice, potatoes or buttermilk pancakes. It was hard to find a table with no leftovers - I mean, the portion was seriously big enough to feed a hungry family! In this place, people don't talk about corporate performance management or whatsoever, you can tell they are only ready to pig out!

For some reason, every tourist or local seems to know the reputation of this infamous breakfast joint!

We are certain that this won't be our first and last visit... in fact, we were there again for lunch today. So if you are in Waikiki, be sure to check out Eggs 'n Things!

12 December, 2007

our waikiki trip photos - pt 1

I have posted some photos of our Waikiki trip... more coming up! The weather has been perfect since we arrived on Sunday and I bought my swim wear!

the penguins at Hilton Hawaiian Village, just below our hotel tower

the clear blue skies of waikiki

featuring diamond head

Sunset at Waikiki beach outside our hotel.

the salt water got into Clayton's eyes - the city boy's first encounter with the beach

happy birthday, auntie tracy...

This was recorded all the way from Waikiki from Clayton...

11 December, 2007

a day in waikele shopping outlets

I woke up this morning with excitement. I had booked myself to the Waikele Shopping Tour - woohoo! DH agreed to babysit Clayton so it was just me and me alone in the fashion outlets. I was glad that I got to do what I like - to do some good shopping.

The Waikele Shopping Trolley took shoppers straight to the Waikele Shopping Outlets at $28 return trip. With a few pick up points in several hotels, it took about 1 hour 15 mins to arrive. Along the way, the driver did some commentary about certain popular landmarks of Oahu.

As soon as the trolley stopped, everyone got down and off we went! My first stop was Banana Republic, followed by Osh Kosh, Le Sportsac, Calvin Klein, Clarks, Polo Ralph Lauren, Carters, Coach, a few other shops and it was time to head back. All in all, it was 4 hours of pure shopping and I didn't even bother to find a place to grab any foods except to Godiva! I was glad to buy some good chocolates at the Godiva outlet.

I must say that I had some great buys at the outlets. Many of which were offering discounts on top of the discounted prices shown on the tags. With 4 hours, I couldn't finish walking into every shop so I really got to be selective.

I bought alot of cheap and nice stuff for Clayton, which was the main reason why I was in Waikele. Coach was offering a huge discount for the bags but I didn't find anything I like. I bought myself some nice pants from Calvin Klein and Banana Republic so it was a fruitful trip for me. I do hope to return to Waikele when we had the rented car on Wednesday... I was so busy maximizing my shopping time that I didn't take pictures of the store :)

More reports coming up!

10 December, 2007

finally in waikiki

Well, well, well, this post is coming to you all the way from Waikiki, Hawaii - Aloha!

We reached at 9am (honolulu time) this morning and that was after a 12 hours transit in Seoul and a total of 14 hours traveling time in the plane. While the flight was smooth and the flight service of Korean Airlines had exceeded our expectations, it wasn't even coping with a curious toddler during take off and landing time.

Unlike what my BIL said, (who thought that parents with kids must take S'pore Airlines), Korean airlines stewardess were a nice and polite bunch. Infact, I dare say they are better, more friendly and definitely more humble than the SQ girls. Being a Singaporean doesn't mean I will be biased. Anyways, that's not what I want to talk about.

While I would love to post more about my first day in Waikiki, I do need some sleep now since I haven't been sleeping well in the last three days. So til then, more Waikiki reports on the way. I'll be heading to Waikele fashion outlets tomorrow while DH babysits Clayton - yay!

08 December, 2007

have a great weekend! I'm off to Hawaii!

Oh yes, it's finally here! We are leaving for Hawaii at 1.30am on Sunday and this means in a few hours' time. It's definitely great to look forward to a long vacation after a year's work. It's amazing that I took only less than an hour to do the packing and I've brought the bare minimum so that we will not have to end up with a heavy luggage when we return... or maybe we'll buy another new luggage if necessary.

I'm so thankful that Clayton is finally recovering with a croaky voice to be restored soon. The high fever got me so worried as he had some mozzie bites on Monday night - whew! It's no joke when a kid's body temperature reaches 40 degrees!

So we're all packed up and will be arriving in Incheon airport, followed by a 12 hours transit. Then it's another 7.5 hours to honolulu. I'll be blogging still but you'll probably hear more about our holiday reports... till then - have a great weekend, everyone!

gurney drive at The Gardens

To those who crave for real Penang local fare but can't travel to Penang... take heart cos there's a new Penang joint in town that has opened up at the Gardens, the new wing next to Mid Valley Mall. Gurney Drive is an upmarket hawker fare restaurant. Upmarket because you will be paying nothing less than $10 for a bowl of Duck Drumstick noodles (ngap toi min) and $6 for a bowl of chendol. Believe it or not but 3 pieces of popiah will cost $15 (or was it $12) and $16 for a plate of Loh Bak.

Well, we tried it anyhow since it was my birthday lunch. The restaurant is huge and packed with corporate and entertainment crowd. It's not cheap for an executive or average waged worker to eat here though...

I must say that the quality of food is quite good though the prices are on the steep side. I know the Penangites will be comparing and wondering why people are paying 2-3 times the amount for a bowl of local fare but for those who live and work in KL, you may treat this as a lunch treat at the beginning or end of the month.

I had the Ngap Toi Min Sin and truly enjoyed the light herbal broth. The Loh Bak was freshly fried and one bite and you knew they were made of quality ingredients. DH had the Sar Hor fun which he commented was quite 'nice'. The Poh Piah wasn't that great for that price and DH claimed the Chendol was a refreshing treat.

So if you are desiring for some real Penang fare, now there's an option to Penang village and Little Penang. Check out Gurney Drive.

05 December, 2007

i'm another year older today...

It's funny how I like to grow up faster when I am a little girl but when the day I passed my big '30', I wish time slows down... Well, today I'm another year older. Unlike some years, I used to look forward to birthday gifts and surprises but today, I'm a little quiet and bored. Hubby asked me what I want and I have no mood to think about it. Maybe I am too tired from watching over a sick boy the last two days and all I need is a cuddle, hug or nice surprises. Looking back, I can't thank God enough for a great year He has blessed me with.

beware of hernia surgeries

It's scary to read about problematic surgeries made by medical and healthcare professionals... I mean, we tend to expect doctors not to make mistakes, do we? I was reading about how the Kugel Hernia Mesh had caused adverse side effects and reactions to many hernia patients who had undergone the surgery. Worse still, some of the Composix Kugel Mesh Patches were recalled by the manufacturer as the ring can break under the stress when placed in the abdominals. So if you know of anyone who is suffering from a hernia surgery discomfort, it's time to seek the proper legal consultation.

christmas in Singapore

I took some photos of Christmas in Singapore couple of weeks ago. I've always like to behold the Christmas lights up in Singapore and somehow, the decorations tend to bring in the festive cheer, especially in the evenings when the night draws near.

I must admit that I was feeling a little stressed with the busy crowd made up of shoppers and tourists. It seems that Singapore is becoming busier and more crowded each time I'm back in town. Walking around with a stroller can be challenging during peak hours and weekends but I suppose I've gotten used to it after all these years. Now, it'll be nice to know what's Christmas like in Hawaii and Los Angeles... maybe the lights should be nicer and brighter.

04 December, 2007

another weekend spent at Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur

It's always nice to watch out for Christmas lights every year no matter where you are. Last weekend, Clayton and myself spent our afternoon in The Pavilion since we were home alone. The Christmas decorations in this new mall was impressive and it was just the right thing to do for their first Christmas. The white Christmas theme captured lots of families and leisure photographers, definitely a popular backdrop for tourists in the Bukit Bintang area.

We stopped by to listen to the Christmas emsemble played on the all white stage with the huge white Christmas backdrop. Besides witnessing the Christmas spirit in Pavilion, I was there to check out the new Food Republic which is a not-to-be-missed food court if you are in the mall. Hailed from Singapore, this concept was set to attract families, tourists and individuals. It was hard to resist those attractive food stalls since each one was handpicked for their good food and traditional heritage and popularity. I must say that this is the most crowded and most impressive food court in Kuala Lumpur so far. It feels like home for me since Food Republic has already won the hearts of most Singaporeans back home.

I didn't end up with any J Co. donuts this time around as the queue was ridiculously long, even at 11am! It was still a good day out with clayton and I can't wait to unveil my new Mandarina Duck vintage bag :)

a time to remember our families and special friends

As the Christmas spirit fills the air, this is the time to remember our families and special friends. I am feeling blessed that we can spend Christmas outside our home this year and best still, a cooler Christmas and not a tropical one :)

I'm also starting to shop for gourmet gift baskets for overseas friends, since this is one of ways to send lovely surprises across the miles. Everybody loves surprises! When it comes to sending gift baskets, one of the challenges is that many online gift shops do not send outside the US but Gourmet Gift Baskets is one of those who does. With lots of beautiful and attractive gourmet gift baskets to choose from, you can easily find one that suits your budget and needs. What's nice is that every basket is carefully packed and wrapped with great care with the highest quality of freshness ensured.

So click on the above link and shop early to avoid any delays in your gift giving this Christmas!

clayton is down with fever

Clayton is down with fever for the past two days and it's worrying me. He hasn't been himself and I can tell that he's uncomfortable and probably in pain. Usually he'll be actively playing even when he's down with a cold or under the weather but this time, he's been cranky, listless and teary. This is the time when I'll be feeling most frustrated and needing more patience than usual. It isn't always easy but there's no one to take care of his needs if I don't. So is being a mom an easy task, definitely a big 'no' for me.

discount scrubs for the medical professionals

Anyone care for a trendy collection of scrubs for your medical or nursing team? Check out this one-stop online store for scrub tops, scrub pants, scrub sets, medical uniforms, nursing uniforms, scrub jackets and more! I never knew that medical scrubs can look so fashionable and stylish especially the patterned fabric ones that present a modern and trendy feel to the scrub uniform. With cute little prints of dragonflies, animals, flowers, colourful polka dots, swimming fishes and more, these patterned tops are different from the conventional dull coloured ones you often see in labs and medical centres.

Scrubset dot com offers scrubs cheap and is growing its popularity among doctors, nurses, veterinarians, dental hygienists, and all medical professionals. They know that they are getting wide variety and quality medical uniforms and nursing scrubs at the best prices. Whether it's a lab coats or jackets, all items are available in various sizes with details to assist you in your shopping purchases. Most scrub sets come in different colours so you can pick the ones that blend in with your corporate identity. Most importantly, all items are sold at discounted prices in this online store that is specially designed for those in the medical and health industry.

online credit card made easy

I believe many of us must be increasing our credit cards usage during this festive period. Last weekend, I tried to pay for something in a computer shop and found out that my credit card had reached its limit - anyone agree that the credit limit in M'sia is pathetic?

It's probably a good time to consider a new Credit Card to replace this current one since the features aren't that attractive. These days, searching a credit card online is easy via Credit Card search engine, where you can compare cards and the attractive options that follow. Some cards offer special rebates on shopping purchases, 0% balance transfers and much more. Applying for a credit card can be done easily online without having to drive down to the bank anymore.

03 December, 2007

why online shopping is convenient

A reason why online shopping is very convenient for comparison shopping is it gives the consumer the opportunity to compare items which are not readily available. This may include items which are new and popular as well as items which are older and rarer. Making these comparisons in traditional stores can be quite difficult because the consumer may not be able to find stores which are currently stocking a particular item.

However, when shopping online it is far easier to find online retailers who offer products which are otherwise hard to find, whether you are searching for port authority clothing or closeout items. Therefore, it is much easier to compare these items online. This is because the comparison can take place even if the online retailer does not have the product available for sale.

The online retailer likely has enough of a product description stored to provide readers with a wealth of information about the products which may not currently be available. Conversely shoppers who rely on traditional stores may spend days, weeks, months or even years waiting for a particular product to become available for comparison purposes.

plan for 2008

One of my plans for 2008 is to consider buying a property in Singapore. Mom has been nagging me about this and after much thoughts, investing in a property will force me to save some money every month. Besides, I could get my CPF to work for me too :) It's nice to leave this ardent task to the real estate agent friend of mine in Singapore. But with property prices soaring high in Singapore in the last six months, I have to keep my fingers crossed in getting one in a good location, at an affordable price, of course.

02 December, 2007

my brief updates

Hmmm... it's busy weekend. I'm clearing up the house in time for our long vacation so that we come back to an organized home office and neat home. Clayton is on holidays so that makes packing a little challenging.

I suppose this is a good month to wind down with the year coming to an end and the vacation leading up. I haven't booked our ground tours in the Hawaii islands but at least the two day car rental in Oahu is confirmed. It feels nice to know that there is no more projects from now til next April.

Last two weeks had been a splurge for me on the personal front. I finally rewarded myself with a nice watch and couple of Camper shoes - they were on sale mah! What an excuse! I'm waiting to complete my shopping spree in the premium outlets in Hawaii and Los Angeles.

Blogging wise - I've been busy with my Project B... everyone is working on their own Project B or #2 after being smacked by the big Guy out there.

That's all my brief updates for now... have a good weekend, everyone!

01 December, 2007

Clayton got a LeapPad Learning System

Yesterday, I took Clayton out for a time of bonding in the mall. It was nice having lunch at Sushi Zanmai before heading to Isetan for some shopping. I had some vouchers that were expiring and it was a good excuse to go shopping with clayton!

I decided to get him a LeapPad, which was also Clayton's gift from godpa Daniel. I could see that his eyes lit up when I told him that I was buying that for him. For a long time, I wanted him to have a LeapPad and I thought this was a good time, since he had started to talk so well and begin with some simple reading.

So now, LeapPad Learning System has become his new toy... he woke up with LeapPad in mind, cut down his TV and rather spend time checking out his new learning system. As usual, I'm a little slow in uploading the pictures... will be posting soon!