The challenge

It is indeed a dangerous thing when attempting to move into a new house with not one but 2 babies on hand!

We have moved! And to say I’m in a great transition in life is an understatement. Of course, in the midst of all this juggling I’m now doing, the ol’ blog takes a back seat.

Tonight there is alittle window of opportunity considering both babies are sleeping and I want to retire for the night before the next dream-feed comes around for our almost-three month old Sofia.

We had a rather good time today at the GP in Sepang, and thanks to a friend we managed for the first time to enjoy the race from a Corporate Suite that overlooked the stretch at the starting line and also the pit lane. They even served beer! Not that I had any. The rain did dampen the mood alittle but we were glad for the early exit (about 15 mins before the race ended) to avoid the traffic. I forgot my camera but hubby had something even better – the Samsung Galaxy Note. The camera on that thing is quite awesome.

So here ends by post – my eyelids are droopy already at 10pm these days.

Til I settle down nicely the posts might be abit hard to come by but I am keeping this blog alive, so do come back and visit.

Cheers

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Moving Day

The length of time I havent blogged is prolly the length of time I have neglected to even turn on my laptop. Thus far my tech reliance has been on the ipad during potty time and of course the ever present and glued-to-my-hand blackberry for emails. And you know how lovely it is to actually type on an Ipad right…..*roll eyes*

The reason for the lapse? Moving into our new home! As you all can probably guess.

The new house is not 100% decked out but its habitable. To my hubby, that really means we are ‘unifi-ed’ and HIS tech reliance is satisfied. As far as he is concerned, I’m sure, any tent will do, as long as he has his PC and a 20-mb line (and oh yeah, air-conditioning, of course). No one likes to sweat while surfing the net, do they?

For me, its having a great shower, WC, toiletries and the fabulous bed! And the fact you can eat and microwave stuff. Now, having a new pad means having to have all the baby-appliances too. That sorta doubles the challenge. I actually have 3 playpens, 1 babycot and 2 ‘sarongs’ for 1 baby! And no baby bottles steriliser for the new home yet.

Today marks the day.

We are spending the first night (plus Jade) at our new home. The dream home has finally become reality – Praise God! Judging from the rolling deadline, delays and frustrations I’ve had with the renovations, I thought I’d never see the day. But yes, we are IN and rather settled. OK, so I havent used my range cooker just yet (hubby has fears that I never will) but I will, as soon as I find time after the second baby arrives (cringe).

I have so much mixed emotions about arrival of baby no 2. Fear of continued sleep deprivation and sacrificial breastfeeding mainly dominate my thoughts – and now, Jade is being a bit of a tyrant. Its practically impossible to go out to dinner with her without having to eat your meal halfway and half soggy or cold after entertaining her throughout dinner. Yet, I cant wait to meet our new baby and I at times really wonder who the baby will look like…

Its getting late and hey! I just realised this is my first blog post from our new home. So tonight its the inauguration and breaking-in of the new bed. LOL. Dont worry, all we can manage to do is sleep on it.

Til next….

Lights…..action!

if you find myself ranting about our new place alot lately, it because i’m literally having dreams about home renovations at night. Ive been ‘light’ hunting by day and dreaming about it by night. I’ve been to just about every recommended and respectable lighting shop in town (including those I pass by during a drive past) and jumping in to review the place in under 5 minutes. Yes i pride myself in having a good, sweeping and rather haughty eye by now…

ive realised the art in selecting a suitable light decoration piece (e.g. for the dining area) and discovered i dont have the skill or talent in this business. I see something that yeaaaa, looks rather nice hanging in the light shop then i make a mental picture to sorta superimpose the scene of the dining area in my mind. that must explain the state of my dreams….

The range of lighting decor are far and many, starting from RM200 to RM200,000 and prolly beyond that (hand blown murano glass, anyone?).

for my budget in question (which has realistically reduced me to finding a superb, classy, value for money, china made but not cheap looking, italian inspired, decor light i.e. of the needle in a haystack variety) i’m reduced to looking for something in the region of RM1,000 to RM3,000 (RM3,000 being a bit of a stretch – oh dear…). I’m just mighty glad i only have 2 large pendant lights to search for and not 20.

We have been ‘sold’ lights that resembled space ships, giant octopuses or squids, noodles, plastic bags, pillows, rattan balls and even balloons….

Til this point of my life (at the ripe old age of 31) I’ve managed to ignore every single light fixture that hovered over my head. Now, everywhere i go, there is a new respect for those things hanging overhead that does more than just light a room. A great decor light can give warmth, eccentricity, tell a person’s character and essentially, change the look of a whole room! So for a person who is as picky as me…finding one can be brain numbing….

A variety of really funny lights:

Innermost

Artemide

Innermost

Artemides

Green, mean, little machine

When even my building contractor is having sleepless nights, I should have finger-nail-bitten-to-the-bone-level anxiety. Its taking too long! And when people ask me…why so?….i am sometimes left pretty speechless.

OK so we changed our designer mid way – mid way of drawings and layouts and that took about 2 weeks off the schedule. Now I heard that there is order lead time of  2 months for our sanitaryware so we will make that renovation completion deadline by the skin of our teeth.

And, who knew that even regular ol’ taps are not taps (*BUZZER!* Wrong name! You call a tap a MIXER, I learnt! Cos most taps now mix hot and cold). And NO, you dont call a sink a sink – not just any sink is a sink. Its called a WASH BASIN! *BUZZER!!!!*. You only and ONLY find sinks in the kitchen, never a bathroom or toilet. And mixers today have some form of water + air technology to it. Even technology needs to be GREEN nowadays (using less water, more air?).

Fridges, washing machines, cookers are not left out, NO no no. The colourful brochures printed by electronic and appliances companies scream GREEN! GREEN! GREEN! There is almost always a little green stamp around the product so much so your eyes ignore it after a while. So now we know all these competing brands are GREEN! So the ones that are un-GREEN are quickly slashed off our shortlist, are they? So now we have elimated 10%, we have another 90% to choose from that are all GREENNNN!!

So now, do you want a fully imported model or a locally made model, or alternatively, a model made in either Indonesia, China or Thailand? Now the further the country from where your appliance hailed from, the further the spare parts are, and perhaps the worser the after sales technical service will be. And the dearer the price.

The sales talk is “Wellllll, if you invest ALITTLE more on the fully imported model, you shouldnt have any problems”. Well whats the difference, you ask. For example, the bracket for the german-made BOSCH washing machine is in cast iron, compared to the one on the local Electrolux – is made of plastic! So there you go. And you say to the salesman…”Ohhhh….” and thats it. does that help in decision making? Yes and NO. I go back to my budget and probably decide that I will have to make do with plastic after all!

So….what will it be? It will be what the Budget says….

review drama

Who would have thought that buying home appliances for your new home could be as tiresome as say, writing a 100 page report for a 10million dollar investment?

I was reading reviews on washing machines…YES, just washing machines and not yet the fridges, ovens, microwaves, range hoods and gas hobs. Anyway some of the comments are hilarious. These aussies really have the gift of the gab. www.productreview.com.au (mighty useful). At risk of plagiarism, let me share some (note, this does not represent my views on any of these brands or products):

Of X washine machine

Overall: I read a heap of reviews on these washing machines & went to quite a bit of trouble finding this machine in my home town. When I got it home I was so excited and put my first load on and all was running beautifully until it came to the spin cycle and my god it was like a plane was taking off in my laundry, I turned the spin cycle right down to 600 RPM & this did not make one bit of difference, It was so shitty the machine literally ended up moving a meter from where it started. The clothes were washed really well so much better than my Top Loader LG. I have only had the new machine 4 hours and I have come to the conclusion I have purchased a lemon so I am going back to the store tomorrow to swap it for another one as I do really want this machine. If anyone else has had this problem please let me know.

Overall: replaced a large kleenmaid which was the bane of my life, cost me a fortune and finally kicked the bucket just as my kids arrived home from london broke and nowhere to stay. 8 adults and 1 3yr old. new machine did 10 full loads first day and 4 loads a day since. had it 4 months and just cant highly recommend it enough. do yourself a favour and get one of these you wont be sorry. i had sent weeks trying to make up my mind as to what to get, thanks to this web site every one i looked at or was pushed to buy came up bad on the reviews. finally took the plunge at went the bosch frontloader. bit dearer but at this stage who needs the hassels, not me.

of the Y washing machine

Comment 1
Pros: When it works, it works well
Cons: It’s a pile of rubbish. It’s second rate performance is exceeded only by Y Customer “service”. After only three years we have just replaced ours because of RS service and amazing spare part prices; we’ve been out of action for over five weeks waiting for parts and competent servicemen. The next time we look at ANY Y product will be when Hell freezes over.
Overall: IF you have money and time to burn, buy one. You won’t be disappointed. Otherwise, go Japanese or European. Quality and service leave this Kiwi company in the dust.
Comment 2
Pros: Made a substantial difference to water usage, when that was important.
Cons: 3 years and 3 weeks after purchase, it is FUBAR. 2 year warranty is a joke. Destroys buttons on sleeves, destroys collars on shirts. Kiwi crap of the highest order.
Overall: I will never, ever buy another Y product in my life, and hopefully I can instill this life-message upon my children. Don’t even get me started on our Y dishwasher…..
Of the Z French door refridgerator
Comment 1
Pros: Looks great.
Cons: Delivered 29/1/11. Broke down today 17/2/11. Unbelievable. Have to take time off work to wait for technician (been given a 5 hour window) Not good enough.
Overall: Do not buy this fridge. This fridge came highly rated by Choice Magazine. That was the reason for purchase. I will not be purchasing Z again and am cancelling subscription to Choice.
Comment 2
Pros: Design is brilliant but that is it.
Cons: Horrible customer service, fridge keeps turning off, water dispenser doesn’t work half the time. Very expensive, the stainless is so thin on the unit it looks warped.
Overall: After paying more money on the fridge than our car I was disgusted to see how many problems the unit has, poor service, poor build quality I can’t believe people buy these “things” because of the design. I was conned into a brilliant design but which wasn’t practicable in reality. Can’t wait to move out of my house, I’ll leave the fridge in there and get myself something simple but reliable.

Coordination – so simple yet so hard

I am up to my eyeballs talking and coordinating for the new house. So, let us all not underestimate the word COORDINATION and the humble profession of COORDINATOR.

When you have 1 person on the job…..ok, smooth and dandy. Then you decide you need another on the job, and then the politics start. I think the heart of the problem (after my careful and irritable dissection of the issue) lies with the human need to pre-conceive and make self assumptions. It also rests mainly on a human being’s previous experiences (which are ALL usually BAD that are kept in permanent memory).can A work with B? We are all mature human beings, adults too. Arent we?

I have decided to make my life even more difficult by hiring (yet another) interior designer – one that really (so far) sits on the same page as me (thanks Wei Ney!) and she’s a gem. However, now the nightmare of coordinating old and new designer, contractor etc starts. Well, shall I not be so pessimistic? Shall I tell myself it’s just teething problems and everything will smoothen out….? Or is it the start of bigger problems to come???

One thing’s for sure – the costs of renovation, carpentry, electricals, interior design, sanitaryware etc etc are escalating. Our pockets are fast growing flat (I’m sure there’s a hole in it, somewhere!) and on top of everything, everyone wants Deposit! Deposit! before any action can be carried out.

More updates to come on home renovations…and here’s a look at our home at the moment.

Rubble-stage

 

 

 

Fingers crossed!

 

 

 

The dream home in motion….slow motion

When I log on to my blog much much less than I do the stock exchange – I concede: thats a problem! It indicates that I am keeping in alot of pent up ranting in my mind which strangely rears itself in my brain all throughout my 90 minute massage sessions (also a rarity these days but not extinct, I’m proud to say). It has been about 7 months ago since I declared here that we found our dream home. Well, our home is taking a snail’s pace in becoming our DREAM home. The current state it is in (just a shell and sliver of it’s once complete  previous self) is close to being left as a ceiling with columns and a couple of hacked walls holding it up. Looks like we have a long way to go – even more so when someone like me is in charge – I am so indecisive! Give me more than 3 colours, 3 varieties, 3 patterns and my mind literally explodes.

Now its not just aesthetics that I have to contend with, its actual practicality and function. We all want a nice place, but not one that is so hard to clean and maintain. Take, for instance, a beautiful wooded patio/deck. Nice and shiny and oh so zen and relaxing just to look at. But in less and a year, its gonna look beaten up, faded and God-forbid, UN-EVEN! So should I go with tiles instead? Cheaper and longer lasting AND easier to clean.

ANd windows! Who would have thought that nowadays its not just glass within a frame – we have to drill down to the thickness of the glass and the quality of the hinges (whereby, I’m proud to say, ours would be hidden). Sanitary ware – taking up a good percentage of our budget – unfortunately, having a nice shower and comfortable poop station nowadays will cost you, and cost you dearly.But hey, I dont know about you, but I do spend alot of time on the potty as you all know by now. Stop cringing, its not like I wrote a blog post from my potty before….(dont have any qualms about doing it, though! Ha ha)

Decisions, decisions, decisions.  Something minimalistic but not too stark. Something cosy but not ancient. Something modern but yet old school. Something warm but not too dark. Something interesting but not gaudy. Something cool but not over the top. You need practicality, and a great imagination. And all that…is not kind to your pocket. You also need heaps of time to scour furniture, marble, wood, tiles, curtains, lightings, sinks, taps, etc etc. And time is really, really a luxury I dont have. Every activity I choose to partake in takes me away from the baby, so that activity has to be worth the while. So what do you do? You hire someone….and spend all your time now chasing them instead. Not that fun either….

And the fun continues…

I am trying to update my blog as often as time permits. When the baby’s asleep, when I’m done with my poo of the day, when the husband’s away, when I’ve eaten and showered etc, you know – all basic needs. I wanted to write less but write with more….how do you say it….QUALITY? But maybe just to touch base with all of you out there…I should write more often, not with less quality, but with something shorter with more fun packed in.

Til my next fun packed post – adios. I need to spend at least 10 minutes a day with God. Night Night, sleep tight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Age Hammock?

The Lujo Hammock

This is probably the coolest looking hammock you may ever see….IF you are ever looking for a hammock anyway! Its made and designed in New Zealand and can be enjoyed by 2 people (or 1 really huge person). My chubby hubby is already fantasising about lying in one of these with beer in hand.

What do you reckon? Is it too hot to swing comfortably in one of these in the Malaysian heat? My advice – don’t swing in it at the time of the day when the garbage collectors are passing by! Fuuhhh!!

Or can this be enjoyed in the shade or even better, indoors, in front of your flat screen tv under the airconditioning (with or without playstation controllers in hand)? Tee hee.

Images and more information on www.lujo.com.nz.

Lujo.com.nz

Home and Creature Comforts

After submitting our ‘dream’ home to the Lord for about a week during my prayers, everything seemed to work out. The ‘dream’ home is now legally ours to purchase and now its about sorting out the financing and S&P. Everything happened too quickly but the dream is now fast becoming a reality!

Ever since I have started my blog over 18 mths ago, we had been on the lookout for a home to call our own. Many trips to view houses, appointment with various agents, surfing iproperty.com and after a few disappointments over the past 2-3 years, I hope we can finally clinch the deal with the property we both like extremely.

Hubby and I are equally excited about decking out the place but unfortunately, like everyone else, budgeting comes before renovation and italian designer furnishing fantasies. Should we blow a lump sum on getting everything done to perfection the first time (at the risk of pauperism) or do the renovation and furnishings slowly, just getting by with the major items (read: just a fantastic luxury bed + 52 inch TV + a fridge that MUST dispense ice and water???).

I am now adding a new category to my category cloud – “Home & Creature Comforts” to document our new adventure – which I hope can contribute to advice for you if you too are going to be first time home owners.

My other half has been enthusiastically roaming the net til wee hours of the morning looking at home furnishings – while I scour pages of ID magazines (cutting and pasting concepts). So far we have the same ideas and ideals for the theme of the house so no arguments yet. I am keeping my fingers crossed and continue to pray for a speedy settlement for the house! I hope time will be on our side since our baby is on the way!

For now, the fantasy lives on…

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