Celebrations with Floral Garage

We had an early Chinese New Year reunion dinner cum Eizac’s 4th birthday celebration. With Eizac being born near CNY period 4 years ago, he is normally not given a proper birthday celebration as it is festive season. Either the shops were closed or we were too busy doing CNY visitations.

But this year, he is turning 4 years old and like any other pre-schoolers, he is “suddenly” aware of birthdays or rather presents, cakes and parties associated with birthdays! Open-mouthed smile

We are not big on hosting parties but decided to do a small one with the extended families in conjunction with CNY reunion dinner.

There were no other children/friends invited and my kids are the oldest (or youngest?!) in the extended family. Thus we need no entertainment, dessert tables and the likes. Yea! Because I am not good at those. Smile with tongue out

But we couldn’t just have an empty function room hey?

Floral Garage – a local floral shop – came to our rescue! The company was set up in 2015 by 2 guys who wanted to make flowers gifting an affordable option to consumers. They have gone into party decorations and supplies as well.

And the kind folks there decided to help me out with the supply of party decorations for the event as I was quite haphazard in what I wanted since it was a dual-celebration.

We ended up with a combination of both and here’s sharing how the place looked like after decorations. Have to apologise for the lack of quality photos as the older boy came down with stomach flu just the night before the event. Our hands were full with bringing him to the doctor, nursing him and getting ready for the function too. That’s why it’s advisable to either outsource venue decorations or buy ready-to-install decorations for such unforeseeable situations. Open-mouthed smile

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Eizac’s Happy Birthday Banner with big gold balloons letters.
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Another look with the cheeky birthday boy.

Initially I wanted lots of balloons to create a party atmosphere. Balloons are known to generate squeals from children and add on to the party mood.

There are balloon packages from Floral Garage such as those on this link. However, our event was on a Sunday which happened to be the day that Floral Garage is closed. As such, we couldn’t have the usual latex balloons as the helium will only be good for 6-8 hours. Eventually, we opt for some foil balloons which were delivered on Sat. Some managed to stay full till the event timing.

A note on the big balloon letters – they don’t float due to the size but they last for many days! I gave the festive letters to Eizac’s school a few days after the event so they can reuse them as decorations for the school’s CNY party. Very useful! Open-mouthed smile

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On the other side of the wall, we have the same gold balloon letters but in “HAPPY CNY”. Star and heart shaped foil balloons for the children.

To create a “fuller” backdrop, you can opt to get glittery backdrops from Floral Garage. Something like this: (Image from Floral Garage)

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With 2 of the major walls done, I decided to work with the other materials provided. A search online rendered these pretty photos for the ceiling:

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Unfortunately, I do not have enough bandwidth to do such an elaborate decoration. So we D.I.Y with the crepe streamers and balloons provided by Floral Garage and ended with a decent enough look.

Ok, it’s not as nice as those PinInterest photos. But good enough for the short time we have.

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D.I.Y decorations on the ceiling with crepe streamers and balloons.
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Happy Chinese New Year from another angle.

Floral Garage also sent a lovely CNY flower arrangement, which we displayed near the buffet line and thereafter “re-used” it at home. The flowers are very lasting and we still have them in the house till date!

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We ordered a birthday cake from Bengawan Solo simply because it has the series of Paw Patrol cartoon characters. These are Eizac’s favourite cartoon for the season.

And he has to choose a Paw Patrol or rather “Air Patroller” as a birthday present too. Smile

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We ended the evening with a “Loi Hei”; toss up for a good Rooster Year ahead!

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The family’s usual “formation” when it comes to Loi Hei. So that the ingredients can still be eaten after the enthusiastic toss up.
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The entire extended clan from my mother’s side. It is always good to follow traditions. Smile
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Any parents will know it’s not easy to take a family photo with young children. We managed one here with the help of our helpful relatives. Open-mouthed smile

And Thank You to Floral Garage for the kind sponsorship of the decorations for the event. Though there was a minor slip-up due to miscommunication between their operations and marketing team, credit has to be given to the marketing team for prompt service recovery. Most people look to florists and party suppliers for significant events, so prompt, accurate deliveries and reliably good products are always a must in this trade. Floral Garage is still relatively new in the floral and party business, but they are worth a try if you want an affordable bunch of flowers or a fuss free party supplies package.

If you need some ideas for the special occasions, do check out their details below:

Floral Garage: https://floralgaragesg.com

For party supplies:  https://floralgaragesg.com/party-supplies-singapore

And for the upcoming Valentine’s Day: https://valentines.floralgaragesg.com

I do especially like the artisan freestyle bouquets of flowers available on their website – “Rustic” goes well with me. Open-mouthed smile

And I have some happy fresh news for readers here. Here’s a 15% LIFETIME DISCOUNT Code which you can use when you order from Floral Garage.

Hope it will come in as using savings when you get a bouquet to brighten someone’s day. Smile

Enter this code when checking out: evelynXFG15

Next up, with Valentine’s Day in just 2 weeks time, Floral Garage is kindly sponsoring a giveaway of a “Freestyle Bouquet” for one winner! You can have it delivered to your loved one or for yourself just simply because you need some fresh flowers in the house?! Smile

Floral Garage Giveaway

To enter the random draw, these are the criteria:

1) Visit Floral Garage Facebook Page. “Likes” are appreciated but not compulsory.

2) Visit Evespiration Facebook Page. “Likes” are appreciated but not compulsory.

3) Share this post on Facebook or Repost/Regram on Instagram; please remember to tag me – “Evespiration” and ensure your post setting is public. You will be contacted via your FB/IG account when you win.

T&C of this giveaway:

This giveaway ends on 8th Feb 2017. The winner will be randomly selected from announced on this blog post on 9th Feb 2017.

Winners will be contacted via the FB/IG account used to enter the giveaway. Winner will be given 48 hours to respond; failing which a new winner will be selected.

By entering this giveaway, you agree to release your email address to the sponsor for verification, contact and marketing purposes.
This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook/Instagram.

Updated on 10th Feb 2017:

Giveaway has ended! Thank you for the participation everyone! 🙂 

And the winner goes to Elizabeth De Cruz! Congratulations! You will be contacted on your Facebook ID and hope the flowers will make your day extra special! 🙂 


Here’s wishing everyone a Happy Rooster Year; May the new year brings new beginnings and create happy memories! Smile 

And of course to my CNY baby, A Happy Blessed Birthday! Eizac, you are super loved and cherished!

Happy Birthday Eizac

This Is How I Met Your Daddy

29th April 2016

Today marks the 10th wedding anniversary for Kim and me. But it seemed like yesterday that we fell in love, stayed in love and married each other.

I am not one who is good with numbers so more often than not, Kim is the one who reminds me how many years we knew each other, our Nth wedding anniversary and etc.

It probably doesn’t matter that much to me because I know that this is one man I will stay married and committed to; so I lost count. hehe… good excuse. Smile

On a church trip to Israel – circa Year 2004. I almost can’t recognise myself here!

This is part of a blog train “This is how I met your Father” hosted by one of the mummy bloggers, Michelle, in my blogging network. Hopping on to share a personal love story as it etches onto my memory and I hope that my 2 boys will read about it one day especially when they reach the I-don’t-want-to-talk-to-you-teenagehood-years.

Boys, this is how I met your Dad.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

We were junior college mates to begin with. Kim was in the Science faculty while I was in the Commerce faculty. Our paths seldom cross until we were elected into the 19th Student Council (SC). In 1996, we were merely SC friends and being in different faculties, we seldom talked except in groups in the student council room. His initial impression of me was horrible to say the least. I was this obnoxious, irritating, BOSSY and arrogant Executive-Committee member who likes to boss people around and stick my head into discussions. Admittedly, I was probably over zealous in too many things during college days.

And my first impression of him is : I can’t remember anything of him! hahaha! Except when I tried very hard to recall, there was this very normal incident when all the SC members had to build a “ghost house” for a funfair; he was one of the guys who went to buy bamboo poles together. And that’s it. Zero impression.

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I don’t know why we looked so dishevelled here! I think it was when we were rehearsing for a cheerleading act.
But this is one of the rare photos we took before we were attached.

IMPRESS UPON ME

In Year 2 of college days, we had more interaction as we approach the end of our term as student councillors. He became more prominent because of his musical and leadership skills. He was taking the lead in bigger student events and suddenly his guitar and music skills came into use when the SC were organising chapel worship sessions (we were in a Christian college). What made me noticed him was that everyone was asking him to teach them guitar. He is good at his skills but irritating as a guitar teacher because he “motivates” by showing you the hardest pieces first. He still is the same now except that I gave up learning guitar from him! So, my dear sons, learn a musical instrument if you want to impress girls. Smile with tongue out

We stepped down from SC in the mid of Year 2 and it was an extremely emotional stage. Using his music-writing skills, Kim wrote a parting song for all of us at SC and we cried buckets of tears as we celebrate the friendships built within the SC and with the entire student cohort. That’s another story by itself. But all those months was the built-up to the start of a relationship between us. Actually I can’t remember the details of how feelings between us emerged. But we knew it all started from friendships.

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The whole student council as we “celebrate” stepping down as councillors. Can you find Kim and me? Smile

I remembered there was a school camp which we were organising and we stayed overnight together with many others. That night, he indicated that he had some feelings for another girl (!!!!!) and me (!!!!!). hahaa…. the peak of teenage-manhood!? I was like…ok … so how… it became a little awkward initially. I didn’t like love triangles –not my kind of thing. Shortly after that night, he sorted out his thoughts and feelings. He called me one night and told me one long story of A,B and C. Till today, he is one good story teller. I fell for it and am still falling for his stories!

Few days later, he was sending me home from school. I stayed really far away from school – about 1.5 hours of bus ride to reach home. He took good advantage of the long journey and we talked and talked. I cannot remember the minute details (memories are failing me!). I only remembered I held his hands in acknowledgement of his confessions and we were a “couple” after that bus ride home. He held my hands tight; almost afraid I will regret and let go! Kim specifically recorded the momentous date – 31st July 1997. Interestingly, our first son was born on 31st July 2009 – 12 years later! “God-incidences”? Smile

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In Student Councillors get-up. Circa – Year 1997

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MARATHON LOVE JOURNEY

Thinking back, I was like – Isn’t 18/19 years old kind of young??!! If my son tells me at 18 years old that he has a girlfriend, I might demand to meet the girl immediately! haha. Protective-mom on full alert!

But it did kind of felt right then.

Our relationship was not without hiccups along the way. We are possibly poles apart in our likes and dislikes, interest and hobbies. Kim is quiet(er) than me, introvert and more action-less-word kind of person. He enjoys (English) music, playing his guitar, learning new instruments, Maths and Sciences, general knowledge. I am loud, talkative, impatient and cannot-sit-still-type. I enjoy socialising, chatting with friends, food and (Mandarin) songs, drama serials. But it seemed that opposites do attract! We built similarities and common interests and friends over the years. Most importantly we shared the same faith which is the foundation of our relationship and later on, marriage.

Being involved with each other’s lives helped in the continuation of our boy-girl relationship. After my graduation, I decided to join Singapore Airlines as  a flight stewardess. Many church friends were not for it and cited this could possibly be a break-up point in our relationship. But Kim was very supportive and asked me to pursue my “dream”. Together, we went through his 2.5 years of army, 1 year of overseas working trip, 3 to 6 months of overseas school programmes and my 2 years of SQ life. The truth is we almost decided to part ways twice in our 9 years of relationship, but thankfully we never did.

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Since the Korean drama DOTS is very trendy now, here’s one of us in his army days. Smile – Circa Year 1998
My graduation trip with friends to Thailand – Year 2002
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Not our wedding! This was taken during his commission ball during OCS days in the army. One of the speeches that left me a deep impression during this ball was what one of the guys who went on stage said: “If the girl sitting next to you is the same person when you first joined the army, you are very lucky”. How true?!
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Took the opportunity during our wedding photo shoot to take memory photos of me in kebaya.

MARRIAGE PROPOSAL IN THE SACRED LAND

Nearing the 8th year of our relationship, we knew that we were ready to take the relationship to the next stage. He secretly planned and executed a marriage proposal when we were in Israel on a church trip. I honestly never see it coming! And I always thought I will be able to guess when he will propose! I knew he was going to propose one day; but I just didn’t expect it there and then and in a foreign land. He managed to borrow a guitar, wrote and sang a compelling song where he tricked me into saying YES in order to complete the song! He brought along a ring to accompany the whole action. How to say no lah. After the whole episode, he told me he just wanted to get rid of the ring because he was worried of losing it during the trip! So he “got rid of it” on my finger!!

Celebrating right after the proposal and the ring that he needed to “get rid of”

AND THEY LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER  …….

We got married in church on 29th April 2006. Kim wrote an English cum Mandarin song because he knew my preferences. Here’s a blog post I wrote few years back with a video clip of the song he composed: https://evespiration.com/2013/04/29/i-wanna-spend-my-life-with-you-2/

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How I met your Daddy

No marriage comes with a fairy-tale ending. But that’s what make life interesting. We can chat about almost anything and yet also appreciate silence when needed. And it is true that opposites attract! We filled up the gaps in each other lives. He is the rational, logical and pragmatic one whereas I am the spontaneous, chatty and emotional half. He is our finance and strategy director while I am the events and activities coordinator.

Today marks our 10th wedding anniversary. It is definitely not sun and roses everyday in our relationship and marriage; we have our fair share of quarrels, tears and getting mad days. But I am thankful that I found a man whom I can depend on for life – my friend, my husband and my love.

And just for my husband whose love language is words of affirmation, here are 10 reasons why I love this man:

1) He washes the toilets. I never ever need to wash any toilets in my life because I don’t like it. I will always take other chores such as washing dishes or mopping the floor over washing toilets. Save cleaning airplane toilets, I never need to wash our house’s toilets because Kim volunteers willingly. (I did break the records recently when the helper went back for home leave and the man is very busy)

2) 9 out of 10 times, I get to shower first when we reached home. He knows I don’t like to sit waiting for the shower. Very mundane thing, but a small act of consideration goes a long way.

3) He carries my bag. I know some are in disagreement on this. But I find it a gentlemanly act to help the girl carry her things/bags. One of the reasons I fell for him – He carried my books! If you are my era, you might remembered there was a trend of using elastic bands to tie our books together and carry them on our hands instead of in the bags. Kim always helped me with my tied-up books. Checked. Smile

4) He indulge me in the good things and provides for the family. Love alone cannot fill the stomach ya? He is known to be thrifty on his own expenses. But he will buy the best for me, the family and our extended families.

5) He allows me to eat! Ok, not too excessively! But he knows I enjoy my food. He did try to change me in the earlier days as he is the practical sort and subscribe to the “eat to live” thinking rather than “live to eat”. I belong to the latter and he soon learnt that almost nothing comes between me and my (yummy) food. hehehe.

6) He listens to me. Since we knew each other, we can talk and talk into the wee hours; even to the point of silence (when one of us fell asleep on the phone!). Till today, I am glad that he listens to me and my suggestions. Very often, that’s all women wants – to be heard? Smile

7) He humours me. In the literal meaning, he has a sarcastic sense of humour. And he makes effort to laugh at my jokes/actions to humour me.

8) He sings and play the guitar well. They say that music stirs the heart. And blessed with a good voice, he can be kind of charming when he sings.

9) He is the problem solver. Maybe it’s a man’s thing and a Godly man’s thing. Whether it’s a business problem I faced or the choked water pipe which needs fixing, he is my go-to person; not the plumber. hehe. I strongly believe the head of the household needs to be a good handyman too!

10) Last but not least, he loves me despite of all. And he never fails to remind me I won’t be able to find a person like him who can withstand my stubborn nature and loves me more than him. He’s probably right. hahaha.

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On our honeymoon to Eastern Europe – Year 2006

Xi En and Eizac, if you are reading this in the future, learn a trick or 2 from your Dad. Open-mouthed smile I hope you won’t start a relationship as early as Daddy and Mummy because we know the struggles of a marathon relationship. But I pray that when you are ready, you will learn to be a man who can be depended on, just like your Daddy. On the romantic part, ask your Mummy for tips. Open-mouthed smile

And to my friend of 20 years and husband of 10 years, Kim, Happy Sweet 10th Anniversary! Here’s to infinity. Smile

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Took a photo on 31st July 2014 at our alma mater which no longer stands at it’s old location

This is part of a blog train “How I met your Father” hosted by The Chill Mom

Tomorrow we have Janice Wong from Mishmashmess

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“I am a very exhausted full time working mom (FTWM), wife, crafter, blogger and educator who does everything just because she loves her family. I treasure this life which I have and do my utmost best to carve out as much as possible.”

If you have enjoyed reading this post and will like first-hand updates on future blog posts, please subscribe to our email updates on the right hand column. Do connect with us on Facebook or Instagram where we post more regular updates. See you around!

Closure on Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

Closure on the death of a loved ones is actually much harder than the receiving the actual news of the passing on.  At least that is so to me.

During a funeral, there are lots of buzz going around; friends and relatives rallying around.

When all is done and the crowd disperse, the void, the deep pain of loss sets in.

I felt this first-hand when my maternal grandmother passed away some 7 years back. I wrote about it months after it happened.

Lung cancer took my beloved grandmother away too suddenly just weeks after her diagnosis; and just one day after she started chemotherapy.

I had the privilege to be part of the 4 persons family members which stayed with her all night in the hospital and shortly after the whole clan arrived, she opened her eyes one last time seemingly to bide us farewell.

Regretfully she left us.

Reluctantly we let her go.

For months thereafter, her family gathered together. We met more often than usual. My uncle (her son) did a memorial book which combined all our heartfelt thoughts. My sons were not born then. But if they were, I believed Xi En would have written “I missed you”.


23rd March 2015 marked the passing on of one of the greatest man in history, Singapore founding father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

A week of national mourning was the darkest I have ever seen in Singapore. Radio stations played nothing except soft sentimental music throughout the day.

Social media profile photos were changed to shades of black and white. Even the man-in-the-street went around our daily chores less spirited.

For me, I had the longest and deepest understanding of Singapore history since it’s Independence Day to today. I had these lessons through the many sharing online, on TV and in the papers.

It was a sobering week. And I believed I wasn’t alone.

From grief, it grew to respect, to admiration and appreciation for this man and his team which gave us modern Singapore. We are all beneficiaries of his foresight and sheer determination to build Singapore into a clean, green, corruption-free and hardworking nation.

I recalled when I was probably 6 to 7 years old, I ride in my uncle’s car to “make up the numbers” to enter the CBD. During those days, there was a rule to maximise car rides into the CBD, thus you need to have minimum 4 (or 5?) persons in the car to enter the CBD area. I was “the number”. I sat in the car quietly wondering to myself why are there trees on every single roads I passed. I searched for a single road without trees grown on the sides. I couldn’t find one. I was curious why so. Only this week, I remembered this fleetingly thought and realised LKY had the foresight to distinguish Singapore as a green city.

Last week, we visited tributes, paid our due respect to LKY and wrote in the memorial books.  Maybe we needed to do something. For memory. For respect. For appreciation. For closure.

I don’t know this man personally but it really felt like a closed relative had passed on.  Many had been said and I have my tributes set in my heart too.

I enjoyed reading tributes of those who knew him personally and I wept at the eulogies presented by his loved ones.

One of the interesting illustration which hit home to me was put forward by S Dhanabalan (Former Cabinet Minister). I learnt that Mr LKY is an idealist not just a pragmatist. We all knew he is a pragmatist but he is also an idealist and push his ideals to reality too.

“He was a pragmatist, yet in a very deep sense, he was an idealist. This is well illustrated by his approach to the language policy…. the easiest way to ensure electoral support would have been to champion Chinese language… To convert Chinese schools into national type schools and to push for Mandarin against Chinese dialects were the acts of an idealist not the acts of a pragmatist. “

More of each public eulogies can be read here.

At the private funeral, our Prime Minister Mr Lee Hsien Loong recalled a speech his father made in 1972 at a congress of cardiologists. I was curious and searched online to read the full article. The end of the speech probably summed it all:

“There will never be a final solution to the problem of life an death, other than death itself. And whether it is philosophy or logic or medicine or morality or law, we are all human beings with human imperfections, both as individuals and as societies. And Singapore is an imperfect society. But I hope, despite all the imperfections you have found some pleasure in having come here.”

If you are interested, read the full article here.

Because of LKY’s legacy, I can lift my head up high and proudly say I am a Singaporean.

Even months and years go by, for as long as I live, I will tell of this week’s story to my children, grandchildren and maybe great-grandchildren. And of your story, the Singapore story and the Singaporeans’ spirit.

Just like in remembrance of my grandmother, she lives forever in our hearts. Likewise, in our own little ways, we will remember the LKY’s spirit of doing good for Singapore and contribute positively to the society.

There’s nothing else to say except: “Thank you and Thank you, Mr Lee. May you rest in peace.”

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Among all his speeches I’ve read last week, this is one of my favourite:

“You begin your journey not knowing where it will take you. You have plans, you have dreams, but every now and again you have to take uncharted roads, face impassable mountains, cross treacherous rivers, be blocked by landslides and earthquakes. That’s the way my life has been.

I’m grateful that I got where I am.

happy that I’ve made a contribution to many people. And reassured that I’ve helped select a team of people to keep Singapore going…

At the end of the day, all I have cherished are human relationships.

Your worldly wealth you can’t take with you.

Your life has been lived.

It is the friends you have made. your family ties. Which sustain your spirit with a certain warmth and comfort.

So you cannot say you plan your whole life.

And that’s why I feel life is an adventure.

Exciting, unpredictable and at times exhilarating.

What is crucial is never to lose the joie de vivre.

That zest for life.

To watch the sun go down

and wake up to a new day

rested and refreshed after a good night.”

– Mr Lee Kuan Yew 2003

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Source of photo: Bloomberg