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Thursday, 15 January 2015

My 2014

Hey to whoever's still visiting this forsaken blog on a regular basis, I'm back!

I know it's been a long while since I've been here. Almost like half a year? 2014 has been filled with so many things that even I couldn't really keep up with what I was up to. It's been mainly work, accumulating life and travel experiences through that and my own self travels, and a large part of it, just lazing around, self-absorbed in my own privacy too, I guess,

The later half of 2014 was nothing short of amazing though!

In August, I brought mum on a Europe trip.

Which I personally think, is honestly the best thing I've ever done since I was born. It was her first ever out of Asia and our first trip together, just mother and daughter. =) We visited Edinburgh, Paris and London and it was supposed to be Fall so I packed light but it turned out to be freezing cold so both of us were just battling the rain and cold and the darn flu the whole time. Still, it was amazing being on a 2 week trip with my mum. It cost a small bomb, even though it was free and easy, but I wanted the best experience for her. And let's just say, it's a little mental to attempt backpacking-budget travel style for a middle aged woman and a small sized kiddo-looking woman like me.

We stayed in decent hotels (thank god for the hot showers and nice comfy beds at the end of a tiring day) and went with reasonable travel means. I seriously can't imagine catching overnight coach buses or staying in budget hostels, though dragging our luggage from the airport to the hotel on public transport was a reality that we somehow managed,

Still, like I said. Best decision ever to go on a trip with mum. It was money well spent and quality time even better spent. I was so overwhelmed with love for her as I watched her get all excited at places of interest and the way she attempts to interact with the locals in her Singlish. And how she'd wash my clothes and socks after a long and tiring day, or wake up way earlier in the morning to prepare snacks for the day. <3 <3 <3 We even had heart-to-heart talks late into the night, and she felt more like a best friend than the sometimes annoying mum that she is back home.

I wish we'd get another chance like this again, to bring mum somewhere. Any amount of money is worth it. And I'll do it again in a heartbeat. (and more cash flow, of course)

Us inside Edinburgh Castle

In front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

Us doing the typical touristy shot with the poor guard in London

In October, Simon and I went to Korea for our pre-wedding photoshoot with I-Do Wedding

We kinda saw it as our honeymoon in advance but we both know that there will be another honeymoon after the wedding anyway, so yeah.
Had a bunch of fun at some places of interest but spent most of the trip mainly pigging ourselves out on Korean food. Which I'm totally berating myself for, up till today because I looked so round in my pre-wedding photos. But really, who else can I blame?

That aside, I still strongly believe in being happy and truly enjoying yourself. Even if it's at the expense of looking rotund in pictures, I AM NOT GONNA SACRIFICE AUTHENTIC KOREAN FOOD.

Will do our Korea trip more justice with a proper post next time, but meanwhile, here are some pictures up for preview first.

At the Hanok Village (Korean Traditional Village) in Seoul

At Nami Island in Seoul

We planned the trip to happen in October, hoping to catch the autumn leaves but as you can see, this is about as good as it gets. It was mainly green all over and the weather only turned cold the week we left.
Someday, autumn leaves, I swear I'm gonna get ya.

Bride and Groom (신랑과 신부 in Korean)

It was super cute how they made us wear these gowns so we don't get makeup on our clothes.
And these tags which we wore so they could identify us in the studio. Which may seem a little stupid but there were quite a few other couples in the studio so I guess that's how they remember our names.

Ready to go!

Just FYI, for any couples out there that are interested, Ido-Wedding returns all the unedited raw photos that were taken. You collect it from the agent in Singapore in CD-ROM format and basically select your pictures during your free time at home, put your selected files and comments on what you'd like them to edit on a excel sheet, send it back to them, and wait for the album to be sent to you.

We have our raw photos with us now (took only about 1 month for them to send them over) but I don't want to reveal the pictures yet. Shall wait till it's closer to our wedding date.


Yep, date is fixed so mark it down on your calendars people!

Exciting months ahead. :D

In November, Simon unexpectedly got sent to Houston for a 3 month work assignment and I was fortunate enough to visit him over Christmas. 

The best part of visiting during the festive season is that nobody wants to work during that time, hence, he had plenty of time to spend with me. In fact, there wasn't a single day which he had to go to work and left me at home alone. But between that and the Christmas Sale that was going on, I couldn't really decide which was better.

Seriously, I mean it. THE SALE!

We went to the outlet mall 4 times in total. Tell me about it. I spent all my USD the very first visit to the outlet mall. The rest of the other 3 I used I credit card. FML.

This is solely my haul but hey, don't say it's a ladies thing because Simon's already done his homework and his word of advice - online shopping in States always gives the best deals.

His shopping is way out of line, I tell ya. Boxes and boxes of them all carefully stacked up and tucked away in the corner of the house without me knowing what they were until I asked!

But anyway, of course I didn't mean shopping weighed more than visiting him. How superficial is that, really???

I kind of really needed to see him at that point in time and I must say that I am very very grateful for the chance to visit him. It was nice, just having the two of us in the house. It felt.... whole. Ok, I felt whole.

It was just the kind of warmth I needed for my Christmas.

But spending Christmas in States meant that almost all the restaurants were closed. So we very spontaneously attempted a Christmas dinner despite the fact that neither of us are experienced in cooking, and invited darling Rita (a colleague of mine who was on a Houston trip) and her junior for the Christmas dinner. Her junior played us out in the end. But I guess she knew better than to join us, maybe. Haha

Us preparing our Christmas dinner. 
Check out that huge ass Salmon!

I said Salmon, not Simon.

Darling Rita who so very politely sat through the entire dinner without a single complaint about the food, except for that it way too much for her.

Honestly, I don't know how she sat through every course. Amateur Chef Simon and I basically smoked through all the dishes. Poor thing!

The two people whom I spent 2014 Christmas with

All decked in Christmas colours and being more happy over the company than the food, I think!

Besides frequently visiting the outlet malls during my 7-days stay, Houston was actually more fun that I made it sound. 

Here's us at the NBA game

It was Houston Rockets VS Portland (whatever they're called) that day. And Simon confessed it was the cheerleaders that kept him entertained more than anything else. Hmm. That I don't blame him. This guy knows his stuff! haha

So that about sums up what I've been up to since I disappeared, like a quick flashback of the later half of my 2014. So half-f**ked right? 
I'm sorry, I'll try harder la.

In between is just mainly work and me bumming around at home watching trashy American TV.

(Completed Desperate Housewives, Once Upon a Time, Devious Maids and awaiting new episodes. In the midst of completing Orange Is The New Black now.)

I know I suck at keeping this blog thing alive, but hey, good start for 2015 huh? ;)

The last day of my 2014 ended with a tad bit of drama, basically a little bit of tension between a friend. But I told myself to let it go because that's not really worth losing the friendship over. Either it's not worth me losing a friend or not worth letting it get to me. Things are fine now cos we both sorta just brushed it aside but I guess it also reminded me of how I've grown and some things just don't really bug you the way they used to anymore. 

I don't mean like it's not important to me but more of the attitude I want to take on in 2015. To have more positivity in life and to have a more generous and forgiving soul. To be more understanding towards others and choose to be happy simply because I have the choice.

I know New Year resolutions are bullshit, I never ever see through them even if I do remember what resolutions I've made. 

But 2015 is going to be special because Simon and I are getting married! So I'm working hard to save money for that but definitely not giving up on enjoying life and travel, and giving myself the rightful treatment I deserve. 

Money is important but happiness is equally, if not, more important.

Have an awesome 2015 ahead everybody! =)