travel: melbourne zoo

We feel like we did a lot of stuff in Melbourne but yet, it’s not a lot. You know what I mean?
Anyhow, as we have Elisa with us, most of our activities were kids related [confession: we brought Elisa on a few shopping trips :P].

On Christmas Eve morning, we brought Elisa to the zoo. We were tossing between Melbourne Zoo or Werribee Open Range Zoo. We chose the zoo in the end as I’ve heard good things about the zoo. It was a perfect day to be at the zoo; the sun was out, the temperature was hovering around low 20s.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe will make a trip to Phillip Island when Elisa is older. For the time being, this will do ;)

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I told Elisa what the baby kangaroo was doing, and of course she wanted to join in the party too. There were some shirts tugging involved -_-

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My first time seeing a gorilla. This fella got me excited and disappointed at the same time. I was expecting to see a big ass gorilla but turns out, they are the smallest subspecies of gorilla – the western lowland gorilla.

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We had an enjoyable day at the zoo, but in my honest opinion, Singapore Zoo is still the best in my books. No offense, Melbourne peeps! We still love Melbourne! xx

travel: christmas lights at point cook

CNY is round the corner and I’m still talking about our holiday in December. I am so so behind on our holiday posts!

One of the night after Elisa went to bed, C and I went to check out the Christmas Lights at Santander Crescent, which was 20 mins walk away from my brother’s. The entire road was blocked off for traffic and all young and old were out on the road admiring the twinkling lights.

Some houses kept the decorations to a minimum, while some were really over the top. We joked that those with a tiny snowman or with a only a string of fairy lights, must have given up hope considering that some houses really went all out in decorating their house.

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travelling with toddler

After all the travels I did with Elisa, though they were mostly short ones, I’ve gotten to know the ins and outs of flying with a toddler. I’m not an expert but I’m just sharing some tips that I’ve learnt along the way..

1. Fly during off peak hours. Planes are less likely to be packed during these times. Check with the check-in staff if it’s possible to give you an empty seat next to yours or a whole row would be best. Remember to be nice!! Most of the time, the check-in staff would accommodate my request especially seeing that I’m travelling with Elisa alone.

2. Choose your seat. Travelling with an infant, they always give me the bulkhead seat. Many parents prefer the bulkhead seat (more leg room) but for me, I don’t like it at all. I prefer to be seated as far back as possible. Normally the aft of the aircraft are less likely to be filled which means if Elisa were to cry, there will be less disturbance to the passengers around us. Also, I have more privacy when I nurse Elisa.
And the thing about bulkhead seat is you can’t leave your bags under the seat in front of you which is kind of troublesome. You have to stow it before takeoff and landing. With a toddler in tow, I prefer to have the bag within easy access.

3. Pack what you need (even if you might not need them) and more. When Elisa was a few months old, we took a flight back to Penang. During boarding, Elisa was crying so badly, asking for milk. I tried to nurse her but because we were seated at the bulkhead, she got distracted by all the movements and I wasn’t very confident nursing her with so many people moving about. To add to the drama, I did not have any milk powder with me coz I thought I would be able to breastfeed her!!! I was almost at a lost. She was wailing and all the eyes were staring at me! Luckily the aircraft was delayed. I quickly brought her to the galley (short of going to the lavatory) to nurse her. On my subsequent flights, I always bring along a serving of milk powder even I might not need it. Also, remember to pack along a set of clothes for both you and the kid. Vomit, spills or leakage will happen. Be prepared!

4. Feed before flight. Make sure your kid is well fed before flight as you never know what time the meal service will start. Sometimes, if you encounter bad weather, there might not be any service at all (that’s for short flight). The reason #3 (above) happened was because I did not feed Elisa while waiting at the holding gate although it was her feeding time. I thought I could drag it a little longer so that I can feed her during takeoff since she was not making any noise. Bad move!!!
Also, request for baby meal or child meal when booking the flight (if they are available). Do not assume it will be catered for your kid.

5. Encourage your kid to drink during takeoff and landing. The cabin pressure during take off and landing can hurt little ears. When I travel with Elisa, I always nurse her during takeoff. If she’s not keen, I’ll give her water or pacifier.

6. Snacks…lots of it. It’s good to curb the I-am-hungry moment and also, this will keep Elisa still, until I ran out of snacks.

7. Bring along her favourite toy. For Elisa, it will be her bolster and rabbit. Whenever we travel, Elisa’s bolster is a MUST!! Die die must bring! The bolster soothes and calm her down. It is her “security bolster”.

8. Entertainment. We were lucky to have inflight entertainment on our flight to Melbourne and back. So that kept Elisa occupied, I did not even need to bring out her books nor the ipad. Also, remember to charge up your gadget if you intend it to be a source of entertainment. You do not want a meltdown halfway through the flight.

9. Boarding. Personally I prefer to board first as it gives us time to settle down. Elisa is a very observant girl. She will want to see and touch everything, rummage through the seat pocket. So for us to board first, she can do all these things. And by the time it’s time for takeoff, she would have done doing her stuff and strapping her in would be easier. This is my personal preference. I know some parents prefer to board as late as possible.

10. Patience and be thick skinned. Just remember to keep your cool no matter what’s the situation. And if your baby is having a meltdown and all eyes are on you, don’t bother! Just do your best to soothe the baby.

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travel: camberwell market, melbourne

One of the biggest markets to attend in the Melbourne is the Camberwell Sunday Market. It is a popular trash and treasure market, the place to go if you are looking for second hand goods.

IMG_9401This market is huge. There are stall after stall selling collectibles, vintage clothing, trinkets, crockery, books, toys and what nots. As long as they are second hand, it’s laid out here in the market.

IMG_9403IMG_9405We spent the whole morning wandering through the market, stopping at almost every crockery stall hoping to uncover that hidden vintage plate :P

Well, I didn’t buy any plates (bought too many plates this trip!) but neither did we leave the market empty handed ;)

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Camberwell Sunday Market
Station Street
Camberwell VIC, Australia

 

 

our little imp in 2014

Look at how much she has grown in 12 short months. I wish she would remain itty bitty but at the same time, watching her grow everyday often left me wondering what kind of woman she will grow up to be.

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a baby girl…one of the most beautiful miracles in life, one of the greatest joys we can ever know, and one of the reasons why there is a little extra sunshine, laughter and happiness in your world today

—Author Unknown

adieu 2014

It has been a frenzied first week of 2015. Before I could get over the jet-lagged from our Melbourne trip, I was down with a bout of stomach flu. I was out for three days.

Now, everything is back to normal.

2014 has been a trying year. There were so many, too many unfortunate incidents that happened, from tragic air disasters to relationship matters to health scare.

I spent a good 8.5 years working in the air. All the negative news about the aviation industry made my heart sank. I cried for them. It can happen to anyone of us. No one knows, really! I hope this year will be a better year for air travels. Safe travels to everyone out there!

Earlier this year, while my mum was in Singapore, my dad was admitted to hospital for chest pain. Two (or three?) of his arteries were blocked and he did an angioplasty procedure while he was all alone in Penang! He told us it’s nothing serious, it’s not chest pain, blah blah blah. But all of us knew truly well that he is making light of the whole situation. My dad is a strong man (you should see how he scolded a Chinese man who stole our parking lot in Melbourne, he wanted to punch that bugger in the face! haha) but having to go through all these alone can be quite scary. I am glad that he has recovered and enjoying his wanton mee just like before. I am also very very grateful to all my uncles, aunties and cousins who visited my dad while he was in the hospital. This episode reminded me that I have to spend more time with my family and treasure your loved ones coz you’ll never know.

Last year, a lot of hearts have been broken. It is so heartbreaking to know that for all that you have done, you are not being appreciated. To be honest, 2014 wasn’t a good year for us (I am not going to dwell on it). I am glad that we worked things out and we are looking forward to see what 2015 will bring us. To my dear friends who have their hearts broken, don’t give up even when the road ahead is rough. Keep trying!!

With every bad, there is a good. The best thing that happened in 2014 was Elisa turning one. It was a big milestone for her, for me as a mother and for us as a family. It’s not easy bringing up a baby without any family support in Singapore but we did it! Life has not been the same ever since I became a mother, but I would not have it any other way.

It’s one week into the new year and everything looks very promising. I believe that it will only be upwards and onwards from now on. Bring it on 2015!

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xoxo

 

 

travel: hammer and tong, melbourne

One of my to-do list in Melbourne was to check out the plethora of cafes the city has to offer. Melbourne is after all famous for its cafe culture scene. The thing about Melbourne is, you can hardly find a lousy cup of coffee…even 7 Eleven’s $1 coffee is good! If you do find one, then I’m sorry, you are very unlucky!

However, it seemed that we are not destined to check out the cafes. We went to Hardware Societe once and Top Paddock twice but we were put off by the snaking queue….on a weekday!!! It’s crazy!

When we went to Fitzroy on our last day, I told C we should check out Hammer & Tong as I’ve read good reviews about them. C was hesitant at first, fearing the long queue and we were quite famished. But we decided to give it a go since it was our last day in Melbourne. If the queue is long, we can just hop into any of the cafes along Brunswick Street.

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While waiting for our table, we checked out what other people ordered. Well, they are not your usual brunch fare! Fancypants is the word!!

C chose the salt & pepper french toast with fried duck egg and salted caramel ice cream. We weren’t sure if we made the right choice…french toast, egg and ice cream?? It’s sounds like a weird combi. But I tell ya…this, THIS is the one of the best, if not the best meal we had in Melbourne! I can seriously do one right now!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAsalt & pepper french toast, fried duck egg, maple, chorizo smoked oreo crumbs, duck egg & salted caramel ice cream.

We also ordered the soft shell crab which came highly recommended by the reviewers. It was okay, very ordinary. I will not recommend it though.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAsoft shell crab burger

We also had a side of kfc spice halloumi chipsIt’s a tad salty but we enjoyed it nonetheless.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAkfc spice halloumi chips

The coffee was splendid and both of us enjoyed our food. C couldn’t stop gushing about their french toast the whole day!

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If there’s one thing to pick on about this place, it would be the music. It was quite loud and throw in the chattering of the humans and the noise from the coffee machine, it can be quite unpleasant. We were glad they put us towards the end of the cafe where the noise level is slightly lower. This is definitely not a baby/toddler friendly place.

Hammer & Tong 412
Rear 412 Brunswick Street
Fitzroy, VIC 3065
(Enter from Westgarth St)
Sun – Mon 7am – 4pm
Tues – Sat 7am to late