Day 159: (Red)eemed

The choir was presenting a song item on Sunday so we were all decked out in red. I wore my red batik dress from Surabaya and red Aigner suede shoes :)
I loved seeing everyone dressed in the same vibrant red, singing with one voice to The Lord. But more importantly, it is heartening to know that we sing because we have each been redeemed by the grace of God. And we sing in the same spirit of faith.

The song we sang was A Mighty Fortress. I was listening to the song during the week to try and memorize the lyrics and it brought me great encouragement. Knowing that our God is a righteous judge that rules over all with love, justice, freedom and mercy, we need not be overwhelmed by all the injustice, trials and bad stuff that we see and experience.


Day 157: Cross Country

I had successfully avoided running in all the cross country runs all the days of my school life. Yet on Friday, I voluntarily headed to Macritchie Reservoir for a run with my colleagues. Sometimes I surprise myself. 
So the days's outfit comprised of a really old tank top and FBT shorts. 

It felt good to fill my lungs with fresh air and feel my heart beating again.


Ordinary Days

There are days when life seems just ordinary. We wake up, do our best to get through the day, go home, sleep and the cycle starts again. These were some of those days.
Clockwise from top left: Winter scarf. pink tank top, leather belt and home-sewn polkadot skirt; red tank top and black pants; hand-me-down pale green dress which made me look like a nurse; home-sewn green dress with knitted vest
Clockwise from top left: hand-me-down pink top and black skirt with my english class workbook; embroidered spag top, denim shorts and leather satchel; purple dress with pink cardi; dress from my mom and home-sewn apron
But if we stop every once in awhile, we may just notice that even the ordinary days are filled with so many blessings. Like my colleagues showering me with warm winter clothes as I prepare for the Polish winter next week. Or the kids that seem to be improving in my English class. Or the friends that still meet up with me over dinner even though they have to wake up at 5 am the next day. Or just the love shown to me in simple ways. For all these I am thankful. Thank God for ordinary days :)
With Mr Kwek :)


Day 151: Christmas Comes Early

In preparation for the Christmas decorations at church, we headed down to a festive decorations wholesaler. 
It was like stepping into a Wonderland
Every nook and corner was filled with various bright and shinny objects that overflowed with festive cheer. 
I'm so excited to be part of the decorations team this year. Such a privilege. Unfortunately, I won't be around for most of November so I'm trying to be of some value now. Praying for wisdom and creativity. 


Day 146: Grace of Longest Knowing Friends

Meet Lynn, (the one on the right) she declared that Ms Yang and I were her "longest knowing friends". Such an honour. Though I've never heard of that term before lol

Both of them revealed that I had bullied them when we were in school. I had zero recollection of any of that. And im only finding this out now. Oops. The follies of my youth. I'm grateful for their forgiveness, and sorry for behavior. 

The revelation also made me reflect more about how I treat people. I really do need to be more conscious about loving others. 

The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. (Galatians 5:6 NIV)


Day 147: Reno Diaries

The public holiday was the perfect time to catch up on all the things we had to do for our Kwek Kampong renovation. 

First stop was to check on the state of the renovations. It still looks a mess to me, but the contractor says it the tiling will be done by this week. 

Then it was off to the contractor's showroom to talk about my cabinets, and doors. 

We took a journey to the west in search of Kong Thai Hardware Store which was reported to sell the cheapest home appliances in singapore. The reports were true! We got our heaters at $50 cheaper each than the cheapest store we had found so far. We our ceiling fans and stove there too! The savings was well worth the journey. N they were doing a thriving business as the shop was constantly crowded with people.

Last stop was getting our Johnson Suisse toilet fittings. Comparing the prices from my contractor's supplier and our own sources (renotalk recommendations), I think my contractor was getting a huge cut. Grrrr... Note to all: do your homework! The contractor may not b getting you the best deal. 

Our home is taking shape. We are soooo excited! I'm already planning housewarming parties in my head! 

Day 144: Vintage Shopping

Over the weekend, Mr Kwek and I went vintage shopping for our new home at Wee's Collection. Based in his home along Changi Road (very close to the famous Seng Kee Black Chicken Herbal Soup), David (who is a fellow SMU alumni) has a amazing collection of vintage items. Entering his house felt like stepping into a different era.
Mr Kwek and I in a room overflowing with vintage charm
 He had everything from old peranakan tiles, to old signboards and home appliances.
Items from before my time.

And there were these icons of life growing up in Singapore in the 80s.

The provision store cash register
I had always wanted this Mickey Mouse phone as a kid and there's even a photo of 4 year old me standing with my cousin's Mickey Mouse phone

Everyone had Vicks rubbed on them when they were ill right?
 I fell in love with the mosaic tiles on his floor.
Mr Kwek and I are still thinking about how to incorporate some of the items into our new place. But if you are looking for anything old school or vintage, Wee's Collection is the place. And David is incredibly friendly and passionate about what he does, which makes for a great vintage shopping experience. I heard he does rentals too (for those of you who work with events).

Filling our new home with goodness is so exciting. If any of you have vintage stuff to give away, Mr Kwek and I are accepting donations :)


Days 129-131, 145 and 149: The Family of God

When Mr Kwek and decided to get married, we knew that we must worship and serve at the same church. Eventually the decision was made to attend Bethany. To be honest, it was a struggle. But looking back at the last year, the Lord has been good and I have much to be thankful for. From the teachings, to the opportunities to serve. I also thank God for the people at Bethany.

The people who show real care for each other and have embraced me as their own;
Dinner and ice cream with Lou and Eugene :)
The people whose lives are wonderful examples and who serve wholeheartedly together;
Washing the dishes after lunch at church
The people who learn from the Word of God together;

And those who share yummy fellowship together :)

Having missed 2 Sunday church services due to my work travels, It was good return from my last trip to an intense 2 days of Young Adults Retreat.

The process of me changing church was not an easy one. But I am thankful for the teaching from the Word that I have received and for the people who make the church a family of God.

If any of you are looking for a church to attend, or want to find out more about this faith, talk to me :)

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever." (Psalm 118:29 NIV)

Day 140: the Best Friend

Hi Everyone, meet Miss Yang (the best friend). 
We have known each other since we were 9. We are as different as chalk and cheese. She's neat and tidy, I'm usually a mess. She's got her schedule planned at least 2 weeks in advance, my plans change with the wind. She eats vegetables, I don't. 
But somehow, our lives have always taken tracks that were never too far from each other. Like the time both of us ended up in china for our internships. She was in the hip and happening Shanghai while I was in the Suzhou industrial park. So I spent most weekends hoping on the train to hangout with the best friend and the bright city lights. 
I thank God for Miss Yang. While we don't see each other as much as we used to, I'm glad to have someone so caring, thoughtful and giving as a best friend. Miss Yang isn't going to be a miss for long though. She's getting married at the end of this year. I'm so excited. I've already told her we need to have kids at the same time so we can bring them out together. :)


Day 138: Fabulous Thrift Shop Buy

Remember how we went thrift shopping during lunch 2 weeks ago and Frank bought a set of golf clubs? This is the dress I bought that day at just $3!!! I say it was a steal :) Worn together with my black leather heels and black leather tai tai bag, and a silver belt to bring some dazzle to the all black ensemble.
I love thrift shopping don't you?

Days 135-137: Green is My Favourite Colour

Clearly green is my favourite just look at my outfits for 3 days in a row!
Day 135: still hugging my laptop after a long day at work, in my green printed skirt, white tank top and silver flats.

Day 136: conquering the renovations at my new home in my green Thai shirt and cut off denim shorts

Day 137: Tired after my first day helping at crèche and hours of looking at toilet bowls, sinks, taps and fans. Renovating my home can be so mundane. In another green printed skirt, black turtleneck top, leather bag and hairband from Ghana.

What's your favourite colour?


Day 134: Old Friends

These girls are among my oldest friends. We went to school together for 10 formative years of our lives. In the best school around (read: SCGS) of course. 
I'm often amazed at how differently we turned out, despite sharing the same education and similar upbringings. One is a doctor in Australia, one is a teacher in our alma mata, and one is a drummer in a band on the brink of stardom.

We don't often meet, since we are hardly in the same country. But when we do, it's like the distance between us disappears and we just take off from where we left off. The laughter, candor and honesty are what only old friends share. 
And old friends also share good old people food: mee sua and zi char. All that was missing was bottles of beer with ice.

What I Wear 24/7

I have been wearing a different outfit everyday for the last 133 days. Yet there is one thing I wear 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

It has been my faithful companion since I was in primary school. I still remember the time I bought my first one from Yaohan at Plaza Singapura. 

For years on end, it would wrap around me yet it never was a hindrance. At school, at work or at play, under fluorescent lights, under sunlight or under water, through the deserts of Dubai and the Oslo winter. It was my constant companion even through sleepless nights and anxious exams. 

Last week in Beijing, it somehow dropped off somewhere in the middle of the Temple of Heaven. 

When I realized it, it was too late. It was lost in the vastness of the ancient gardens. And I was lost without it. 

Today, after 6 long agonizing days, we are finally back together again. I bought another one exactly like the one I lost. 

My dear Swatch Watch, how I have missed you. Please never leave me again. 


Days 124-127: Blessed Beijing

I spent 5 days in Beijing last week for a workshop and those days were filled with blessings. 

The day before I left, my Mom called her friend, who opened her beautiful home to me, which was closer to my meeting venue than the hotel I had originally booked. So I just had a 15min stroll in the cool (but polluted) Beijing air to my workshop everyday.
At the temple of heaven in my jeans, tank top and 10RMB ($2) scarf

Bright blue skies and lovely weather (apparently a rarity in Beijing) surrounded me for 2 out of the 5 days.

The trip to Beijing was also an opportunity for me to meet with old and new friends in the climate change circuit. 
With my friend from the Chinese negotiating delegation who treated me to a yummy dinner, in my tai tai jacket, grey shift dress and black tights
Crashing a gallery opening with the Brazilian delegate in my arty farty scarf, furry black jacket and brown shift dress

 I also had the chance to see a bit of the city in the free time after the workshop :)
In the "traditional" Chinese uniform

Cool shops in town
Watching the flag raising ceremony at Tiananmen Square at sunrise

 I thank God for blessed trips like these, for creating such a wonderful world for us to discover and for brining me home safe to loving arms :)