Jun 6, 2017

Happy to be back!

Have I told you that I'm back in the city now?  Turned out suburb living wasn't really working afterall despite the lovely neighborhood and green parks.  The last couple months living there traffic became so crazy it took us more than 2 hours to go into the city!  It became a problem because BJ got a new job in the city and he had to commute there every morning.  Most days he went home very late at night and very tired from the traffic.  Living out of the city worked well for us when we worked from home, but now that BJ had a city office, we decided to move back into the city.

Honestly I'm so happy we're back :)  I miss this big bad city that feel like home. We don't know how long we'll stay though, at least two years, and after that I'd like to consider new plans.  May be I've turned into a nomad spirit who can't stay too long in one place lol...

Whatever it is, always be thankful :)

Feb 25, 2016

About Bubu, Cali and Timtam

It was hard when we first moved into this house.  I was emotionally distressed.  But there was this little thing that we feel grateful for.  It was these 3 feral kitties hanging around our house.  They made a habit of showing up in the morning and afternoon expecting leftover food.  They were young maybe not even a year old and we guessed they were siblings.  We called them Bubu (Abu-abu / white grey spots, male), Cali (calico, female), and Timtam (Hitam / white black spots, male). 

Their predictable presence everyday helped us create a familiar routines in the chaos of the big move.  They soften and warmed the strange new place we just moved into.  When I looked out my windows and see unfamiliar view, I always feel much better when I spotted these 3 kitties playing around in the front yard or napping among the bushes.  

Bubu found top of the car is a great spot for napping and watching his teritorry

They distrusted people and ran away if we got too close.  We never been able to touch them.  Bubu was the bravest and the one closest to us.  He would jump and hanging out on the kitchen window ledge and watching people in the house.  Sometimes he came inside the house checking things out and bolted out again.  More than one occassion he stole our chicken or fish from kitchen table!  We found that amusing and laughed.  

Then one day Cali didn't show up for breakfast, we never saw her again.  I tried not to think the worst, I said to myself may be she met a cute male cat and followed him.  

So, it was only Bubu and Timtam, at least they had each other.  Then few days ago we found bubu in the corner of our garage looking very sick.  We brought him to our trusted vet and I know they'd tried their best.  It's FPV and he's feral and never been vaccinated. 

Bubu at the vet, he was weak and terrified, poor thing

Today we received the sad news that Bubu couldn't make it :'((( I still cried as I typed this... I'm sure I'll cry everytime I see the kitchen window too, his fav spot and Timtam... Poor Timtam is all alone now.  I hope he'll be okay living alone out there.  He still shows up everyday for food.   But we never know with a feral cat.  

I wished I had a chance to photograph the three of them together when we opened the door every morning or afternoon and found them there, meowing.  Always at the same hours.  It was such a happy sight we looked foward to everyday.  But I always thought I'll do it tomorrow... there's still time.. How I was wrong!

Now our house already felt like home and warmed by the people we love who are visiting and staying here with us.  We have good neighbours and the streets and buildings has become familiar too.  But we will never forget the 3 feral kitties that welcomed us at our door the first time and had helped us settle in before the people were here.  We are forever grateful.  We hope they are happy and loved wherever they are.

Thank you Bubu, Cali and Timtam xoxoxo

Dec 25, 2015

The Story of Finding the Perfect House

Happy Holidays!  

Seems like everyone is going somewhere fun, since Jtown had no traffic at all this morning! Yaay :)

I'm sure malls and other favorite vacation destinations are jam-packed with people.  That's why BJ and I are spending some nice quiet time at home this holiday.

We might be having one or two parties until the New Year but that is all.  No out of town vacation is being planned at the moment.  Now that we have a flexible working time, we are able to plan our vacation some other time, whenever we like :)  And certainly not during peak seasons when the prices are high and it's crowded with tourists everywhere!

first holidays in the new home :)

What makes me excited this year is that we will be spending our first holiday in our new home.

Yes, we have finally moved to our new place last September.  And since then I've been busy with the 'home projects'.  BJ has been so sweet by keeping me off work these past few months.  He knows I'll be happiest when I'm busy creating things and arranging stuff for our new home.  

This is the third place we got since our marriage.  All are rentals.  We are truly grateful for every single one of them.  Each of the places was a gem, from a tiny studio rental in the middle of the city, a two bedroom apartment unit on the 20th floor, to this lovely two stories suburb house.

big view from our first tiny studio, great location right in the middle of the city!

Moving in to this new house was not easy.  It's emotionally and physically exhausting.  We started months before the big move looking for the right home in the right location.  I spent hundreds of hours browsing the web, looking at local property ads, contacting agents, and visiting new places and locations we've never been to.  Plus, the thought of leaving the city that had become my home made me so sad and nervous.

About a year after college I moved to the big city to work for a foreign government office.  I've spent almost half of my life in this city.  I remember, the first time living there I was terrified, everything seems so strange and it felt so big I had no idea where I was most of the time!  Many years later every corner, every street, every building, every sound, sight and scent felt so familiar and comforting.  I love my big bad-ass city with its crazy traffic, endless cafes, glittering malls, bustling and chaotic life.

I miss waking up to this view from the 20th floor ~

But living in the city means limited space and high cost of living.  BJ and I always wanted a dedicated space to work at home.  We also need a backyard with grass and fresh air where our kitties can hang out, and also a comfortable guest room for our family when they come visit.  In the old apartment, our home office was doubled as guest room, so whenever we had guests over we couldn't really work and it wasn't really comfortable for the guests too.  That means we need at least three bedroom unit.  Backyard means grounded house, not apartment.

Mell and Miu love their morning walks, but it'd be nice to walk on cool soft grass instead of hot concrete 

We knew finding an affordable three bedroom house plus a backyard in the city center was almost impossible.  So, we need to consider locations just outside the city.  It means further commute to the city center, time lost in crazy traffic, unfamiliar new place, new routines, and the con list was just going on and on...

On the other hand, we could get the bigger space we need, the freedom of designing and furnishing our home as we like, fresh markets, better air quality, outdoor dining, parks, cheaper rents and it turned out almost everything else is much cheaper in the suburb!

So, we decided to give suburb living a try.  We called lots of property agents and made lots of trip back and forth to see more than ten houses.  It was so frustrating.  I know, there's no such things as the perfect property, but I wished we can at least get more than half of 'the-must-have-items' on my list checked.

countless trips checking out new locations, it was exciting but also exhausting  ~

There was this shiny brand new house with everything in it still in plastic wrapped, even the toilets!  I thought it must felt really good to be the first one to tear the wrappings and use it for the first time LOL.  Like opening a birthday gift!

Sure, we like the house, the location was great too, but it's a bit smaller than we like.   The layout wasn't really working for us and since it's a very new residential area, the neighbors hadn't moved in yet.  So the houses will be empty for weeks or maybe even months.  It would be like living in one of those dead towns on The Walking Dead!  Expect walkers at your door any day!

Despite that, the house was the top of our list, the other houses were too old and smell weird, or bugs infested, or needed so much works before we could move in.  We asked the agent to have a second viewing and was about to seal the deal when another agent texted us there were two more houses she wanted to show us.  Me, being the kind of girl who got to see the entire shop before deciding to buy anything, agreed to meet her after lunch.  And I was glad I did!

The first house she showed us didn't impress me, but the last one... The first time I enter the house I was wowed!  It was like love at first sight, like it was meant to be.  I can see all the items on my list checked, checked, checked.  Perfect!

Mell approved the huge windows in her bedroom, perfect to watch birds and bugs on nearby trees :)

The house was not brand new but it was such in a good condition, newly painted and very clean, it looked like new.  No plastic wrapped toilets, but I can live with that ;))  It was located in a nice and quiet family friendly residential cluster.  Lots of tree, love!  The house was airy with lots of big windows.  It had a good size backyard, perfect for gardening and my kitties.  The master bedroom was so huge, it was bigger than our first tiny studio rental!  Across the hall was another spacious room, great for our home office.  The guest room had its own bathroom.  The kitchen was a bit small but came with kitchen cabinets so we didn't need to install a new one.  Saving! :)

there's a private mini club with kiddie playground and swimming pools nearby

I was so happy that the very last house turned out to be the perfect house.  It had been a stressful process and I was looking forward to move in.  So exciting! :)

Sep 28, 2015

The Essentials of Cool and Comfy Bedroom

Oh, is it end of September already? How time flies when we got so many things to do like.. how about house hunting and the big move!  For you guys up north it’s the end of summer and you probably start welcoming the fall.  But here’s always summer in Jtown :) sunshine all year! 

It has been a long dry months over here, though… We haven’t got any rain for many weeks and the temperature is rising.  My poor plants are drying up :’(  Thanks God for the aircon in my office, otherwise I wouldn’t get any job done because my brain refused to function in the heat and I’d rather took a nap in the bedroom with the cats!  LOL

Mell & Miu blissful afternoon nap <3

Sometimes a good night sleep is impossible as we struggle with heat and bugs.  Yes, those pesky little mosquitoes.  So, how do we create a nice comfy bedroom and get some sleep we need during these hot dry months?  Let me share you some of the things I did:

Jul 6, 2015

MONDAY LOVES: Chic & Pretty Workspace

Happy Monday :)
Everyone had a crazy night out with friends or lounging by the pool on the weekend?  Well, now it's time to go back to work!  What I need to get myself ready for a week full of activities is lots of black coffee and some organizing.  The sight of a tidy and pretty workspace in the morning makes me happy :) and I feel like I can do anything!
I always look for inspirations from Pinterest on how to create a chic, comfortable place I'd love to spend lots of time working.  Here are some of my faves: 


via stylemepretty

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