Thank You, 2015!Thursday, December 31, 2015
Today, we spend the last day of 2015. Yet another year has passed, and yet another year is coming by. As I grow older, I get more thankful that my family and I get through every year safe and healthy.
There are so many of us that didn't even make through this year, so looking at this, there are certainly many things to be thankful for.
This year has been great, and so many things to look back to!
Here are some of our memorable happenings:
#1. We went Taiwan & Hong Kong for a holiday!
Unlike past years, having two kids in tow means that we cannot travel as frequently as I would love to, (Notice I used the word "I" instead of "we"? LOL) but my husband always try to make things count by bringing us overseas at least once a year. This year, he surprised me because just as I thought we were only going Taiwan, we ended up extending our holiday and jetted to Hong Kong, on a Hello Kitty Eva Air, no less!!!!
#2. Revamped Hello Lobang
Hello Lobang started off as a site selling discounted travel tickets, but with the encouragement of Nian and our friends, we revamped it and changed the direction of our business in March and from then, we never looked back.
For the past 9 months, we have done over 50 big and small parties for mummies and their babies. Each of these projects are specially looked after by me, and most of the time, I am the one who is doing the design work, procurement, setting up, tearing down, customer liaison, so on and so forth.
Thankfully, I had the support of my parents, who loaned me their car when I needed one to ferry everything around; my sister, who helped me as much as she can in terms of setting up and tearing down; my mother-in-law, who would come by and help me take care of the kids whenever I need help...
I am never alone in this new journey and I am so thankful I had so much support!
#3. Got rid of my freckles forever! (or so I hope)
I was blessed to have met the talented Dr. Gerard Ee from The Clifford Clinic back in March where he gave me hope of having flawless skin with Q-Switch Laser. With his expertise, I no longer have anymore stubborn freckles on my cheeks, and that makes me really happy because I really used to find them an eyesore.
So glad that they are finally gone!!!
#4. Pursued my hobbies
I've always had a penchant for spending time doing absolutely senseless things like... bento making. Or sewing, colouring, writing, reading... and in the past, when I was working full time, I never had the time to pursue these hobbies.
Now that I work from home, I have so much more spare time that I can not only spend them with my kids, I have the luxury to cut apples from felt cloth and sew them one by one! All these took 6 hours off from my week, but absolutely nothing can replace this sense of achievement. Not a 5-page spread for a client on a prestigious magazine can be compared to this.
What's more meaningful to me is that my hubby (in terms of bento making) and kids (in terms of quiet book making) love the outcome of my hobbies! It's nice to be making things for people who truly appreciate it and not because they paid you for it. :)
#5. Had a huge celebration for Dylan and Alexis' birthdays!
Unlike most mummies, I am a mother who is extremely terrified of parties because while I am rather talkative, I am actually afraid of mingling in crowds. Too many people freaks the hell out of me and I get awfully stressed up with everything (including cleaning up omg) so I usually end up opting for a quiet celebration instead of something that is rowdy.
However, this year was different as Alexis turned one. Nian thinks we should hold a party because Dylan got his when he was 1-month old, where we combined it with our housewarming party. I was so turned off by the cleaning up after the housewarming, we didn't have ANY parties for 2 years!
When Dylan turned 1 year old, we had a quiet celebration by having a staycation in Sentosa. When Alexis turned 1 month old, we didn't actually had any celebration at all, apart from distributing full-month cakes. Nian thinks we should have a party for her so that all's fair. LOL.
Turns out, I think I kinda enjoyed the party as much as I enjoyed organising it. I am not sure if it is because of the constant exposure to parties because of my work nature, or it was because we booked a function room this time and I really didn't need to care if someone dropped a piece of cake on the floor.
I had a great time DIY everything and Nian was such a great help too! All in all, it was such a wonderful party with bouncy castles, activity corner, TV programmes playing, plenty of food and drinks... all party mamas would be proud of me. :) And I am glad that we gave Alexis something so memorable for the entire family!
#6. Celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary and our 7th year of being together :)
Being with my better half for more than half of a decade has not only brought us closer, it made us love each other even more.
Recently, when Minister Mentor LKY passed away, Nian and I were talking about being together for many, many years. And how weird it will be when the time comes when one of us has to go. In the past, he would always tell me that he would be 'very strong' to continue living, because we would have children that may need him, and life still goes on.
But as the years passed, he told me that he cannot imagine a life without me being with him. (This was what I have been telling him since forever, ok!!!!) And we actually sat down and make plans together about something morbid like death.
It's funny how the whole thing sounds so negative and all, but through it, I could tell that he really loves me and of course, vice versa. Finding another half and being able to spend my time with him, is something I am thankful for, and I will celebrate our time together, every single year.
#7. Scored a freaking Tula WC
I know it is ridiculous. How is buying a carrier one of the most memorable happenings in 2015?!
Ok background story. In the world of carriers, Tula is like one of the most coveted brands because of its quality, workmanship and availability. In the world of Tula, the term "depreciation" does not exist, it is like the LV of baby carriers, I'd say? Or probably an Hermes if it is rare enough wtf.
Second-hand Tulas sometimes cost more than brand new ones, this is especially so if you have a woven converter (wc) or have a print that is extremely limited or exclusive. A single Tula can fetch up to $1200 sometimes, which is really crazy for someone who is not in the Tula world.
How the hell would someone pay $1200 for a baby carrier!?!?!?????
It's actually kinda the same thing - why would people pay $12,000 for a bag?
So since wc are very expensive in the resale market, the only way to own a wc at an affordable price is to score one at their bi-weekly stocking on the Tula website. Every fortnightly, a bunch of wc will be listed for sale - some are god-damn to-die-for prints, some are so-so prints but most of them would be able to fetch at least $600 in the retail market, where you pay $400+ during the stocking.
Hence, there would be people who would try to score because they want a wc for use, some want to score to earn a quick buck, some just want to try to get the thrill of it because these items get wiped out within 1 MINUTE of stocking.
Besides, it is an international shipping so you can imagine how many thousands of people are snatching up those Tula with you each time you log on.
As you can see, the chances of scoring a wc is like... striking 4D? Some people can try it for over a dozen times and never got to score one. The chances of you scoring a design that you actually love, is as low as finding water in the desert I suppose.
So one day, after owning 2 canvas Tulas, I decided that I would like to have a wc because it is softer, cooler and more comfortable than canvas material. I scoured the resale market but all of them were over my $500 budget, so I knew that the only way to have one, is to score one.
I then shared my thoughts with the husband and very gamely, he agreed to try it out with me. There was a local stocking happening during that time, and local stocking meant that only people with Singapore addresses can try for it, which meant that it probably eliminated the remaining 250,000 people residing in some other places. I thought we would have a good chance for it but I got nothing but farts. LOL
Then when the next international shipping came along, Nian was like... SUPER DETERMINED to score one for me. "I'll get it for you!" he told me very confidently, while I gave him the real or not face.
It is literally like throwing money at Tula, "GIMME THE CARRIER!!!" and Tula will throw the money back at you with a sold out sign. Seriously.
So when the stocking came, I was quite half-hearted because part of me was thinking that the chances of scoring one is so low, it is better not to put my hopes up. And... what do you know?
Le husband scored it. Just like he said he would.
He's incredible, isn't he??????? I still don't know how the hell he did it with his freaking 2nd generation laopok iPad.
So yes, this certainly made it to the list.
#8. We started another business
This happened just last month, which was why we were so busy. Although it is not a hush-hush thing, I would prefer to keep this low for a while until we are more stable! It is doing pretty well, much better than I had expected, but I am still keeping my fingers crossed because this business is too young. Here's praying to a smooth-sailing year ahead in 2016!
#9. We won the first prize!!!
We had a collaboration with Nestle for the past few months and with some stroke of luck, we won the grand prize for the blogging contest, which meant that we not only walked away with $1500 worth of travel vouchers, we also bagged $1500 worth of Nestle and baby products!!!!
This is the fourth time we've won the first prize but it is certainly one of the biggest prizes we have EVER WON.
The first time I won a lucky draw was in a company event, I won the grand prize and walked home with a Mac book, iPad and Samsung phone; second time was my company's D&D where I walked home with a TV; third time was being the best blogger for Marie France and I went on a mad shopping spree at Takashimaya with $1000 vouchers!!
I tried to maintain myself but I almost fainted when I saw the guys lugging in Filtrete, a 3M air purifier - all ready for the haze next year!!! And then there was the BoostAPak, which is a booster seat + backpack that Nian and I saw, but never got around buying it because it is quite expensive!
I gasped at the high chair that they lugged in next, because it looks so comfortable, it really puts our existing one to shame. I think Alexis would love this!!! And when Jeff, the representative from Nestle, told me that there was a Dolce Gusto in the Nestle hamper, I was bouncing off my walls.
A DOLCE GUSTO!!! I don't drink coffee but I would buy Milo capsules JUST FOR THIS!!!!! We also have half a dozen of tins of Milo, which my mother-in-law has already reserved two for herself. Dylan has been bugging me to open up the Gerber puffs and marshmallows... the gifts were perfect for our family and we are so thankful that Nestle have been so generous to us.
So there you have it! 12 months of 2015 summarised into these exciting bits. This year, I am really nothing but thankful because we have indeed been blessed with so much goodness and grace from people we meet everywhere. We were given opportunities and experiences that I can never imagine working it out on our own. We have great working partners, hellomrstan.com had the luxury to work with many great brands this year...
Truly, from the bottom of my heart. A big thank you all of you.
Goodbye 2015, hello 2016.