Creating Picture Collage

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Well done, my boy! We love your smile...
I like creating attractive picture collages. They can be made into beautiful desktop wallpapers, poster prints, calendars and photographs.

One collage with multiple pictures and expressions. This is the latest collage that I’ve made.

Some picture collage softwares are free for download. I’ve tried Shutterfly Studio and Google Picasa. Both of them are generally easy to use. You can personalize your collages anyway you like; add picture borders, change background, add captions etc.

Skinned His Knees

Saturday, November 29, 2008

[He refused to look at me when I snapped this picture]
Two days ago, Edison fell down outside Grandpa’s house and skinned both knees. He was probably running or walking too fast, without holding on to Grandpa’s hands.

He kneeled down on the road as he fell. As a result, he skinned his knees. He was shocked to see his knees with a little bit of blood. Grandpa & my helper immediately carried him back, cleaned the injured areas, disinfect and attached plasters on his knees. Surprisingly, he did not cry. Wasn’t it painful, my boy?

Well, this is the down side of an active toddler. Bumps, bruises and scrapes are all part of every day life. Every time Edison has a fall or knock his head, I will tell him that it’s part of growing up.

He walks, runs, climbs and crawls everyday. He is unstoppable.

The up side is that a busy toddler leads to a tired toddler, which leads to a decent nap, which leads to a happy mummy. Yay!

Charles & Keith Warehouse Sale

Friday, November 28, 2008

Charles & Keith Warehouse Sale
Up to 70% Off
Date: 27th Nov 2008 (Exclusively for Members*) /28-30th Nov 2008 (Open to Public)
Time: 10am-8pm
Venue: 21, Tai Seng Street Charles & Keith Building Singapore 534166

Ever since we shifted our office from Lorong Chuan to our new building in Tai Seng, we have been aiming for C&K warehouse sales. Our new office is just right across the street from C&K!

--[My office - the blue building which is just across the street from C&K!]

Our dream finally came true yesterday as C&K launched its warehouse sale from 27 Nov – 30 Nov. As early as 10am, some of the female staffs in my company sneaked out of our office and headed to C&K building. Half an hour later, they were back with more good news – C&K staff did not check for membership card (even though they said 27 Nov is exclusively for members) and there are tones of shoes and bags for grabs at irresistible prices!

What I can say, “No government today? How come they can go shopping during office hours?” And the short answer is “Yes!” Apparently, our big boss was on business trip yesterday.

From 11am till our lunch hour, 2/3 of our female staffs were already in C&K warehouse. Amazing? I and my colleagues joined the crowd during the lunch hours. No doubt there are tones of shoes and bags with up to 70% discount. Some of the shoes are even sold at $9 per pair!

We had a hard time finding the right shoes and bags due to the overwhelming crowds. After half an hour of battle, we left the warehouse and hurried into the cashier counters. At this point of time, there were almost...

- 50+ people queuing at the cashier counters (circled in RED)
- 100+ or more in the warehouse
- 200+ or more waiting outside the warehouse! (circled in BLUE)

--[Photo taken from my canteen window]

The crowd reached its peak at around 12:30pm. We were glad that we survived the battle and managed to crawl back to our office in ONE PIECE.
If you are a size 4 or size 7, or you like super high heels (3 inches & above), then this warehouse sale is good for you. If you are an average size 5 or 6, you can give this a MISS. Most of the nice designs do not have size 5 and 6.
I was literally disappointed with the warehouse sale. After spending half an hour battling with the crowd, I can’t find anything for myself. Frustrated & unwilling to leave the place empty-handed, I simply bought a pair of heels at $17. This pair of heels will probably end up collecting dust in my store room.
Until about 6pm, I can conclude that 98% of the female staffs in my company have been to C&K. From the 20s to the 40s, non-executives to managers, singles to married; there are simply no exceptions. When it comes to sales and shoes, all the women will go crazy!
So, anyone going for the 2nd round today?

Photographic Memory Home Practice (Part I)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

It is coming to five months since Edison started his lessons at Shichida Method. I have not started any home practice on photographic memory yet. So I’ve decided to start it this week. It will take a little time and efforts to prepare the home practice materials, but I’m determined to do it.

Photographic memory is defined as the ability to memorize something at one glance, and this is one of the functions of our right brain. Every week, Edison does a lot of practices on photographic memory in his class. In order to enhance these weekly inputs, I need to start practicing with him regularly at home.

I have a few ideas in my mind now. I will elaborate on one of them in this post.

Step-by-step Instructions:
1. Prepare two seemingly identical pictures. Example:

2. Print them out on A4 size papers. Cut and paste them into A4 size blank flash cards.

3. Show our child one of the pictures and keep the other one. Tell him to take a picture using his ‘special camera’. Let him look at the picture for about 3 seconds.

4. Now, put the two pictures together and shuffle them. Show him the two pictures and ask him which picture he saw a moment ago. Let him point to the correct picture.

This is probably the easiest and simplest memory game that we can do at home. You will probably ask me where we can find these identical pictures. Remember when we were young; we often played with this game called ‘Spot the Differences’. We were given 2 similar pictures and we tried to spot the number of differences between these pictures. You can google about this topic in the internet and you can find lots of similar pictures for our memory games.

For a start, I will use pictures with single object. (like the pictures featured in Step 1 above). Then, we can slowly progress to pictures with several objects with minor differences. See this example:

Here is one of the website where you can download the similar pictures: My Kids Corner

I’ve made two sets of memory games last night using the examples listed above. By 11pm, it’s all done and I crashed into bed.

I will practice with Edison tonight. Let’s see how the progress is. I will update again.

Adding the 'Related Posts' Widget to Blogger

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

You may have noticed it, I have added the ‘Related Posts’ widget into my blog recently. Unlike Wordpress, Blogger doesn’t have a pre-made ‘Related Posts’ widget. Thus, we need to employ some hacks in order to add this widget to Blogger.

The ‘Related Posts’ widget in Blogger works on label basis. The widget will display a number of posts with the same label after our last blog post. We can customize the number of posts and the number of labels to be displayed in our blog.

Hoctro has developed the widget for Blogger. You can download the codes for free from his blog. I'm quite pleased with the results after adding this widget. You can give it a try too! :)

Christmas Coffret Sets

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I love Christmas time. It’s the time for Christmas sales, lots of shopping and the most fantastic skincare and perfume coffrets. The Christmas coffrets are beautifully packaged, offer exceptional value for money and always seem to please. They are perfect as Christmas gifts or simply as our own personal treats.

The leading prestige skincare brand SK-II has launched its exclusive Christmas coffret sets. Each set is specially designed with the ideal combination of products featuring their all-time favorite Facial Treatment Essence. Being an SK-II devotee, these coffret sets are simply too irresistable to me.

I’ve found what I want for Christmas! I want an SK-II Pitera® Radiance Set!

SK-II Pitera® Radiance Set
Set contains:
• Whitening Source DermDefinition 30ml
• Facial Treatment Essence 150ml
With the following complimentary products:
• Facial Treatment Cleanser 20g
• Facial Treatment Clear Lotion 40ml
• Facial Treatment Cleansing Gel 15g
• Whitening Source Derm-Revival Mask 3pc

I love Facial Treatment Essence. It has been called “miracle water”, with a bit of exaggeration; but it sure works! It is hydrating and balances skin’s sebum secretion. If you are interested to try out SK-II products, this SK-II Pitera® Discovery Set is perfect as your starter kit.

SK-II Pitera® Discovery Set
Set contains:
• Facial Treatment Essence 75ml
• Facial Treatment Cleanser 120g
With the following complimentary products:
• Facial Treatment Clear Lotion 40ml
• Facial Treatment Cleansing Gel 15g
• Facial Treatment Mask 1pc

We are back!

Monday, November 24, 2008

We are back from Ipoh. Yippee! All of us are so exhausted today. Little Edison dozed off to Lala Land again. He seems to have a nice 'sleeping trip' in Ipoh, probably due to the cool weather.

A lot of things to update about our trip. Although it's a mere 3 days trip, there are so much of happenings. There are not much photos in my camera. Little Edison has been clinging to me all the time, and thus I don't really time to take photos.

Ok, will post more updates later this week. I need a GOOD REST today to recharge.

New Blogger Template by Birdie

Friday, November 21, 2008

Hi Readers,

Birdie has just launched a new blogger template called Welcome Autumn. Here's a snapshot of the template. It is sooOOoooo beautiful! It gives me a totally refreshing feeling too. In addition, this is a 4-column theme. Wow!

If you are looking for a new template for your blog, this will be a perfect choice.

The Precious Moments

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I found this cute picture of little Edison as I was browsing through my photo archives today. He was only about 2 months old then.

How quickly time flies! I can’t believe I actually took this picture ONE year ago! He looked so funny in this picture.

KIDS. They can’t stay little forever. In fact, they grow so fast and they become more and more independent. When they started schooling, they will have their own friends. When they started working, they will have their own colleagues, girlfriends and boyfriends. When they are married, they will have their own family.

You see, there isn’t much time for us to ‘dominate’ their lives. I’m glad to spend every single growing-up ‘bitter-sweet’ moments with little Edison. As I always said, every moment is an experience and every moment is precious. It cannot be reproduced; that’s why it is so precious. I will treasure every moment that I spend with little Edison.

A Long Break this Christmas

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Last week, my company announced a year-end shutdown for 2 weeks from 22 Dec 08 till 2 Jan 09. I was completely over the moon when I heard of the news. Finally, I can take a super long break this Christmas.

This is part of their cost-savings initiative due to the current economic downturn. Many technology companies are conducting shutdown or skeleton workforce to cut down their expenses. So, this isn’t a big surprise to me.

Well, I need to make good use of these 2 weeks. I can’t go on a vacation as my husband needs to work during this period. So, what else can I do? I have this on my list:
1. Make a trip to my hometown and spend some quality time with my parents
But, I’m still not confident to travel to Malaysia alone with Edison (even if I can bring my helper along).

2. Invite my parents and my newly-wed sister and bro-in-law to Singapore
They can enjoy the festive Christmas celebrations here.

3. Clean my house, esp. the store room, my shoes, old clothings, old toys etc.

4. Go for slimming! I bought a slimming package last year (bought on impulse again!).
Only attended 2 sessions, left with 8. So, I should complete all the treatments now.

What else? I still have 4 weeks to plan for this shutdown. If you have any good suggestions for me, pls do leave me a comment. Thanks!

Cost of a University Degree

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Have you ever wonder how much a university degree will cost in the next twenty years? This question just popped into my mind out of a sudden this morning. So, I start googling on this topic today. I’m completely freaked out when I see these figures:

Whether it is for overseas or local studies, the cost of university education has been marching up. In Singapore, the increase in mainly driven by inflation, government subsidy and university policy. These are, more or less, the same factors that drive cost increases overseas.
Since January this year, out of my own initiative, I opened a savings account for Edison. This account is solely meant for Edison’s future university education. I started with $400 per month.
Based on 13 months salary per year
Based on 20 years of savings (and working)
Exclude bank interests
Exclude hubby’s savings
So,$400 x 13 months x 20 years = $104,000. Just barely sufficient for a 3-year local degree!
In order to support a 4-year local degree, I need to start saving $500/month from year 2009. ($400 x 13 months) + ($500 x 13 months x 19 years) = $128,700
If I'm a little bit more ambitious and I want to send Edison for a 4-year degree in Britain, this is what I need:
∑ ( [$400 + $200 (Y-1)] x 13 month )
This formula means I need to increase my monthly savings by $200 each year! $400/month in year 2008, $600/month in year 2009, $800/month in year 2010 till $4200/month in year 2027. I will get $598,000 if I do this!
Wow! It seems like studying locally is perhaps the most economical option for little Edison. Mummy will have a really HARD time supporting him for an overseas degree (unless I strike a TOTO!)
After today, I will stop dreaming about being a SAHM.

Shinnpark's Collection

Monday, November 17, 2008


Last week, I stumbled across this really cool online fashion store named ShinnPark – a local blogshop completely about fashion clothings, accessories, bags, shoes and even stationery! Complete with pics, descriptions and measurements.

I was instantly captivated by their Flutters Collection. Flirty dresses and lovely tops that come with warm spicy hues and sorbet colours. I have always been a big fan of halter-neck dresses. Thus, I couldn’t resist this Maeve Gold halter-neck dress with gold plated metal chain around the neckline. It is indeed a prefect dress for any occasions. In addition, the price is really affordable.

Without wasting much time, I sent my order via e-mail on Thursday morning. Within the next hour, I received an order confirmation e-mail from Shinn Park. The dress has been placed under reservation for me for one day, pending for my payment. I quickly login to my internet banking and make the payment. The dress was posted to me the very next day through registered mail.

On Saturday morning, the dress was delivered to my door step. I was totally amazed by their prompt service and most importantly, the lovely dress! I love it soooOOOOoooo much! I haven’t worn a halter-neck dress ever since I gave birth to little Edison. Reason – every time I try on a halter-neck dress, I look so FAT in it. Thanks to my tummy and that extra 3kg that I put on after I gave birth.

But but but… I have a totally different feeling after wearing this Maeve Gold dress. In fact, I was surprised that the size is totally fitting for me. I certainly don’t look fat with this dress and I feel young too! I cannot imagine that a $25.90 dress can make me so happy. Nu ren ar!

Now, I’m looking at their accessories. I’m hooked again! Its Swarovski Dazzle collections are absolutely stunning and unique. As pretty as diamonds, these accessories are perfect companion for any outfits. So, this one is now on my shopping list again... Yay!

It’s so much fun to browse and shop here. After the shopping spree, don’t forget to take a look at these cute emoticons at the bottom of their webpage. Super super cute! You can use them in your blogs and MSN too.

Wedding Congratulations!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Dear Stevie & David,
How marvelous it is to be able to congratulate you on your wedding. We wish you all the happiness that you both deserve as you travel through life together. While you may experience those challenges of life, you will never again be alone in conquering these issues for each of you bound together in marriage form a tremendous power to exceed, to persevere, and to help each other be all that each can be.
We are glad to offer our thoughts on what makes a happy marriage:
  • never take each other for granted
  • remember it is the little things that make a difference
  • always make time to spend time together, no matter how busy you are
  • always have respect for each others feelings
  • and last, but certainly not least, always talk about things that are bothering you

Once again, please accept our sincere congratulations on your wedding.

"A wedding is a start of togetherness... of walks in the rain, basking in the sunshine, shared meals, caring for one another and sensing the love that a marriage carries."

Looking forward to your wedding this coming Saturday.
Yours sincerely,
Sister, Bee Bee & Bro-in-law, Venneth

Difference between Man and Woman

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I usually hate forwarded e-mails due to the massive amount of junk mails that entered my mailbox everyday. However, this one seems to be an exception! When I opened the e-mail, the subject “Difference between man and woman” and the cartoon drawings caught my attention. I couldn’t stop laughing when I read through it. Super funny, but it’s also 100% true for me! I can’t help posting it here!!!

What about you?

Amazing, isn't it? Hehehe...

Shopping Online

Friday, November 14, 2008

Recently, I’m getting a little addicted to shopping online. This obsession started soon after my maternity leave. At that time, I was too busy with my work plus taking care of Edison. I simply didn’t have time to go out shopping. Even if I do, it’s still such a hassle bringing a baby along, especially when I am trying out clothes.

Initially, I was a bit skeptical towards shopping online. I thought that it would be risky to give our personal particulars and credit card information to the merchants. I fear that this information would be made public.

However, shopping online today is safer than ever before, not to mention a whole lot easier. Just a few clicks on my computer, the items will be delivered directly to my doorstep. Fast and hassle-free. My husband just cannot understand why I’m so tempted to click on that “Buy” or “Add to Cart” button.

I love American brands of children clothings - Gymboree, BabyGap, Pumpkin Patch, OshKosh etc. Their designs are fantastic! Although some of these brands are available in Singapore, but sometimes, it is still cheaper to buy from their online stores. Having said this, my Gymboree loots from the US spree have arrived. Hehehe.. I’ll be making the collection from the spree organizer tomorrow.

Now, I’m tempted to order some clothes from Old Navy as they are having 30% discount. And JShoppers is having their free shipping campaign too. Help! Help! Somebody please burn down my computer before I make any further damages to my wallet! Or simply chop off my hands! I'm so addicted!

Learning Skills

Thursday, November 13, 2008

[Experimenting with the remote control]

It’s really amazing to witness how much Edison has learnt during his first 14 months. So much that I simply couldn’t write it down, even if I tried. From a baby who knows absolutely nothing about the world into which he is launched, he becomes an active learner who thinks, interprets, relates and remembers. This transformation is truly astonishing.

He constantly seeks new learning experiences himself as a result of his own natural curiosity. I viewed him as an active learner. He likes to imitate what the adults do too. We just have to show him once, and he will master it in no time.

The other day, I showed him our family portrait. Much to my surprise, he can point to the correct person when I call out their names – Mummy, Daddy, Grandma, Grandpa and Godpa! Amazing, isn’t it?

By looking at his body gestures, I know that he can understand some of our daily conversations. Just to name a few…

“Edison, are you scared?”------------He will pat his chest with his hand.
“Knock your head, pain pain!”-------He will pat his head with his hand.
“Edison, how to tip toe?”------------He will stand on tip-toe.
“Edison, wash your hair.”-----------He will put both hands on his head and rub his hair.
“Edison, wear your shoes.”---------He will sit on the floor and stretch out his legs.

As he embarks on his learning journey, I will continue to guide him and create meaningful and high-impact learning experiences for him.

JSHOPPERS - Free Shipping & Handling

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Once again, JShoppers launched its free shipping & handling campaign from 11 Nov 08 - 25 Dec 08 (noon Japan time). This means you can buy any amount (even if its only 10 bucks!) with absolutely ZERO shipping & handling fee.
However... when this happens, you have to place your orders fast! JShoppers will be flooded with orders now and some of their favourite items will surely run low in stock.
From my past experiences, the items will reach our door steps within one week after we have submitted our orders. I'm amazed by their prompt service.
Check them out if you are looking for new Christmas outfits for your little darlings!

DIY Flash Card #2: Sports

Title: Sports
1. baseball
2. badminton
3. soccer
4. diving
5. tennis
6. rugby
7. hockey
8. basketball
9. cycling
10. golf
11. boxing
12. water ski
2. Microsoft PowerPoint Clip Arts

Prince Edison - 14 months

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hooray! Edison is 14 months old today. These are pictures of him taken at 2 months vs. 14 months. It’s absolutely amazing to see how much he has grown over the past one year.

Edison has always been a good boy. He rarely fusses at night. And even if he does, it’s just because he is tired. Usually he goes to bed at around 9pm, after practicing his flash cards with Mummy. His attention span has improved tremendously this month. I can flash up to 100 cards in one session now. I’m glad that my hard works have finally paid-off.

Edison walks a lot now. Although he still topples and falls at times, but he is able to stand up on his own and continue walking with courage. That’s my boy. I’m so proud of him.

Read: Prince Edison - 13 months

Shichida Kindergarten

Friday, November 07, 2008

I received a brochure from Shichida Method last weekend. It says ‘Shichida Kindergarten - a mini university at pre-school level.’ As I read on, the brochure has a very impressive introduction of the Shichida Kindergarten which will be opening in January next year.

I was captivated by their syllabus. Their concept is just the same as university. Instead of the commonly used ‘terms’ and ‘subjects’ in ordinary kindergartens, Shichida Kindergarten uses foundation modules and elective modules. Their syllabus encompasses a wide range of learning, from literary skills, creativity, whole brain learning, convincing speech and lots more. You will be amazed by the level of activities that they introduce to the students.

Good things always come with a ‘price’. This kindergarten is charging a whooping fee of $800 a month, for a mere 3 hours class per day. Currently, I’m paying $800 every 3 months for the Shichida enrichment class that Edison is attending. To me, this is already considered as expensive. I still feel a little ‘heart-pain’ when I sign my credit card bill every 3 months for $800. So, I cannot imagine myself paying $800 every month for this kindergarten!

A typical PAP Community Foundation (PCF) kindergarten charges about $100 a month for a half-day programme. School fees for private kindergartens, however, vary from several hundreds to over one thousand per month for their full-day programmes. Despite the hefty fees, many parents still choose to send their children to private kindergartens.

So, can I conclude that Singaporeans are rich?

Perhaps the role of kindergarten has changed tremendously over the years. Parents are more focused on pre-school education to build up a strong foundation for their children. It’s not just learning A, B and C, but we want an effective education that will nurture our children and challenge them intellectually, emotionally, physically and socially. Better trained teachers, creative and stimulating atmosphere, enriching syllabus and smaller size classes are the factors that contributes to the hefty fees.

Somehow I wonder. My mother never taught me flash cards. I studied in super ordinary neighborhood schools. I’ve never engaged any private tutors. But I can still make it to the university. So, I’m sure my little Edison can do the same too.

But again, time has changed. Nowadays, children are more advanced than their older generations. At a tender age of 1 year old, they are already learning ABC and counting. Their education journey and future career path will be much more challenging.

However, despite me thinking that these private kindergartens are ridiculously overpriced, I am still considering to enroll my little Edison with a private kindergarten. Hehehe! It’s difficult not to be ‘kiasu’ living in Singapore. After all, I’m not going to have ten children. I’m only planning to have two. So, I’m going to give them the best that I can afford.

If you are interested in Shichida Kindergarten, they are having an open house this weekend at their Tanjung Pagar branch. Don’t miss this opportunity if you are keen.

DIY Flash Card #1: House of Disney

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Last night, after Edison dozed off to Lala-Land, I quickly started my mission to make one set of flash card. With the assistance from my helper, the flash cards are completed within an hour!
Title: House of Disney
1. Mickey Mouse
2. Minnie Mouse
3. Pluto
4. Donald Duck
5. Daisy Duck
6. Winnie the Pooh
7. Piglet
8. Eeyore
9. Tigger
10. Lilo
11. Stitch
Download URL: of Disney1.ppt

What I used:
UHU stick, blade, cutting board, long ruler, printed pictures, blank flash cards

How I do it:
1. Download the disney pictures from these websites.

2. Make flash cards using Microsoft PowerPoint. Insert one picture into one slide. Print them on A4 size papers using a colour printer.

3. Next, cut the pictures in accordance to the size of the blank flash cards. I am using A5 size blank flash cards.

4. Paste the pictures onto the blank flash cards using the UHU stick. UHU stick does a better job than glue. Less mess and no spillage. You don't have to worry about the flash cards sticking together due to the excess glue.
5. Finally, write the names of the Disney characters (i.e. Mickey Mouse) at the back of the flash cards. This enables us to read out the names when we flash the cards.

These are the pictures of the flash cards and PowerPoint.

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