Friday, 24 September 2010

Money Isn't Everything

Most of DH's friends all have children now and some of his friends who have been married for a while but are still childless are starting to feel the pressure. One of them actually told DH that he couldn't wait to pass around the cigars if his wife gets pregnant! I guess for some who are older, having a child is top of their priorities now. Its true when they say money is something but not everything, at the end of the day.

Discounts at Red Envelope

One thing you have to love about the US is their wonderful shopping centres and superb retail discounts. They have sales for just about anything and anytime of the year! Best of all, these sales are extended to their online stores too so people like us who are outside the US get the enjoy them. Recently, I was browsing online and came across some great deals at Red Envelope for their Black Friday specials - Save 20% at RedEnvelope this holiday. So if you're looking for some great deals, try Red Envelope before their sale ends!

Gift Buying

DH's father is a real garden enthusiast. He's transformed their garden back home into a little pond complete with lighting, a bench and fat fish which his grandchildren love to torment whenever they're back. So, when he was wondering what gift he should get his dad for Christmas, I suggested going to a gardening shop to look at some pond supplies. I'm sure his dad will love it and put it to good use rather than something else such as a massage chair which he may find less useful. It's never easy trying to think of gifts for others.

Pesky Pushers

The insurance and credit card business here is highly competitive and aggressive. The other day, I was stopped by someone on my way to the office offering me up to $1,000 in vouchers if I signed up for a credit card! DH, on the other hand, was badgered by someone all the way home who was trying to get him to listen to their insurance quote and sign up an insurance package. It is quite unnerving at times and I wonder how the banks make money when they push such aggressive campaigns. Perhaps they have a really big advertising budget!

US Law

One of my favourite sitcoms here has been Drop Dead Diva. Its a really entertaining series about a supermodel who dies and gets transferred into the body of a plus-sized but intelligent lawyer. What I find most enjoyable is watching how she manouveres her way in and out of the courtroom to win the most difficult and controversial cases. It does make the dry legal profession seem almost a desirable profession! Then again, law in the US has always been a lot more interesting than UK, especially when there are lawyers for all kinds of situations right down to personal injury lawyers Tucson! Working or trying to run a business in the US isn't all that easy if you have the risks of getting sued anytime for anything!

HDB Upgrade

We've been enduring over a week of dust and inconvenience as our landlady has opted for a HDB upgrade programme which involved the hacking and renewal of both toilets. They are now towards the end of the programme and tiling works have started. I have to admit, I was rather impressed by the quality of their tiling work when I took a peep. The tiles were set and done really well and were in fact much better than the workmanship we had in our condos back home! Granted, it was not fancy fittings such as Kohler kitchen faucets nevertheless, the quality given for a Government flat was pretty good finishings. Its no wonder then that Singaporeans love their Government!

Taking on Second Jobs

I just read in the papers today that inflation has gone up yet again. With the rising cost of living, is it not surprising that many are having to take on second jobs to have the lifestyle they desire? Many young people have started taking on real estate jobs, insurance, distributor water filter and others just to earn some extras. Some of these second jobs can actually pay quite well if you have a wide client base. However, like everything else, it requires a lot of time and hard work to build the right foundations before one can reap the benefits.

Globe Trotting Children

DH's brother's family is heading to Japan this year end holidays for some skiing fun. The kids are, needless to say, terribly excited about it and looking forward to playing in the snow. They have also gotten their necessary winter stuff such as coats, snow boots and hats to keep them warm there. Those kids are really lucky children to be so widely travelled at such a young age. They just had a wonderful beach holiday in Maldives in May and are now off to Japan for a winter holiday! They are probably more widely travelled than me!

Monday, 20 September 2010

Slimming Treatments

We usually get copies of free newspapers on the way to work in the mornings. The papers are free and usually heavily paid for by slimming companies and cosmetic surgery companies offering great deals on their packages. I've noticed that the Singapore papers seem to advertise slimming pills a lot less now since the incident several years ago where an actress nearly died from taking slimming pills. Now, they tend to advertise slimming treatments instead. Perhaps it is a better move compared to slimming pills which may cause long term damage to your body. Nevertheless, any form of assisted slimming treatment never comes cheap so do make sure you have deep pockets before starting one!

Brain Development Techniques

I recently attended a really interesting workshop over lunch where they talked about brain development and frontal lobe development. The person conducting the workshop was a really experienced person with lots of degrees in psychology and brain development. One of the activities he recommended for developing your brain further was the meditation and deep breathing technique. According to him, meditation is a good way to calm your mind, a natural migraine treatment and to easily improve your brain activity without having to use challenging methods. I think its a good time to try meditating and deep breathing to calm myself from the renovation stress!

Home Renovation

There has been lots of renovation happening in our block recently under the Home Improvement Programme by the government. It is clearly an election campaign move as I have heard that housing estates under the opposition do not get these sort of benefits. While it benefits the owners, it has been a nightmare with dust and mess everywhere. We've had to cramp ourselves and our things into one small room and I'm trying to work from home during the week while the work is going on. Pretty stressful not to mention the amount of cleaning we'll be looking at once all this is over. Oh well, perhaps it is one way of how to lose belly fat fast and get the exercise we need!

Health Phase

DH has recently gone on a health phase. It all started after my uncle advised us of some powerful combination of flaxseed oil and cottage cheese that was said to be really useful for cancer sufferers. Since then, DH has been doing research on the benefits of flaxseed oil and powerful properties the little seed brings. We now try to take it for breakfast and he wakes up extra early to blend the mixture. It takes some getting used to as the texture is quite creamy and a little salty. But once I throw in my handful of raisins or prunes, its actually quite palatable. Anything in the name of health!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Life Insurance Policies

I've been wondering if we should consider getting some term life insurance while we're here. I don't believe our Malaysian policies are applicable anymore as policies are usually limited to the country they are operated out of. However, we're trying to save for a few things here and a term life insurance will definitely delay our savings plan. Perhaps I can just ask around first to get some term life insurance quotes before we make any decisions.

Doing Business

We caught up with DH's friend last weekend when we were in Muar. He's a highly successful business owner and was sharing how he has recently expanded into the Australian market with the help of another friend who is now his sole distributor. It's probably a lot easier to work with a friend than to contact wholesale distributors at random whom you might not be able to trust as well. Despite the risks that come with it, I still think doing your own business would prove to be more successful in the long term than employment.

Improvement Works

We just got a notice yesterday on some improvement works that will be carried out in our landlady's flat. It spans over a week and a half and is going to be really inconvenient as one of us will need to be in the house during that time. They will also be doing hacking so it's going to be really dusty and dirty and I'm guessing that we will not be able to cook or maybe even do our laundry during that period! Sigh, I wish this could have been done before we moved in!

Discouraging Car Drivers

We don't have a car here and I have to say I do miss the conveniences of a car terribly especially when we have to go back to Muar or want to visit somewhere less accessible. However, the cost of owing a car now is just too high and the Government has recently imposed further charges to discourage drivers. Overnight and season parking in the public housing areas have gone up significantly as well, not to mention car insurance, road tax and roadside assistance club membership. I'm not sure if its working as I still see lots of flashy cars zooming by on the road!

Holiday Plans Finalized!

We've finally decided on our holiday destination and booked the tickets yesterday. Finally! :) Our original plans was to go to New Zealand but after we had a lot of trouble booking airline tickets, we decided to change the destination instead and are now heading off to Europe! How luxurious and decadent. I can't wait to head back to one of my favourite cities in the world - London!

Watches Instead of Diamonds

A colleague at work is a huge watch fan. She told me that she even asked her husband to buy her a watch when she got engaged instead of a diamond ring. Then again, her watch probably costed her husband more than a diamond ring did! It's not a simple watch but a highly expensive collectors watch similar to brands like IWC and Cartier. Isn't it an interesting concept? Its something that you can wear everyday on your wrist without fearing for your safety.