29 Jan 2016

That Time I Put My Kid in Danger

We went away the other weekend. We just went to Kiama, about 1.5hrs south of Sydney. We were celebrating hubby and I's seven year wedding anniversary and I was in charge of planning our celebrations, so I decided to go away this year. We took the boys with us cause our regular babysitters (grandparents) all had other plans too. This is one of the annual issues faced when your wedding anniversary is the same or a day apart from your parents and inlaws. 

30 Dec 2015

How Running A Business Is Like Having a Newborn

It's been 6 months since I started my business, Follow Me Media. People ask me how it's all going and to be honest, it's going really well. I'm still surprised and humbled by how well the business has taken off, but like any business owner would understand its a lot of hard work. I remember seeing a quote that read, "Entrepreneurs are people who quit their 9-5 to work 24/7". There's always misconceptions about running your own business, such as having the flexibility to work your own hours - ha, if working 16 hours a day every day is working your own hours. Or not having a boss to report to - but it means you're doing the work of every employee of a business, from book keeping, marketing, sales, customer service, graphic designer to CEO.

10 Dec 2015

Accommodation at Big Island Hawaii

As I've mentioned previously, various members of my family have visited Hawaii before, but our recent trip in September was the first time we all travelled there together. Last time I went I went to Hawaii I checked out Honolulu and Maui. So this time, around I wanted to visit another island and after asking a few friends for their suggestions, Big Island was recommended as the next best  island to see.

14 Nov 2015

It's My Birthday!

Another year flew. It's so cliche but as you get older time seems to fly. Hubby and I were reflecting on ageing the other day. When you're younger you look forward to things, or look forward to things coming to an end. Like finishing uni, or looking forward to getting married, or having children. All these things I'm slowly ticking off or experiencing, I never really pictured myself ... ageing. Of course I age as the years go by, we all do. I've always believed you're as young as you feel, or feel as old as you let yourself to be. Even though I'm clocking over another year, my mind, my sense of humour, things I value, and what I enjoy hasn't changed much in the past several years. So I don't feel as old as I am. What I see in the mirror though ... well my thoughts on that is totally different. 

So another year another round of 'Things About Me'. This is my third year doing this and admittedly I'm running out of 30+ new things to share about myself, but here we go ...
  1. The reason why I always wear sunglasses when I'm out is because when I was 15 I suffered from pterygium. Apparently I got it due to over exposure to sunlight. My treatment didn't require removal, but since then I'm very sensitive to direct light.
  2. I love mint chocolate.
  3. Being late is a pet pee of mine. I hate being late and I dislike when it's done to me. 
  4. I love organising and planning things, in particular events or parties. I don't do it often but when I do, I can be a little ... over the top and demanding. I don't do things in halves.
  5. I guess that reflects a bit of my personality. When I've set my mind to doing something, I go for it.
  6. I've always blogged. In high school I use to blog and build personal websites back in the day when of GeoCities and AltaVista existed. I wasn't doing much of it in my mid twenties but I was really into it in my teens and during uni. 
  7. My hair takes for-ev-er to grow. I'm not kidding. I prefer long hair and I barely cut it because I'm always trying to grow it. I get very envious of friends whose hair go from bobs to long manes in twelve months. 
  8. Actually I have a thing for hair in general. It's the one aspect about myself I put some effort in. Everyone has one feature about them self they put extra care in. Some people care about their eyebrows or their complexion, mine is hair.
  9. I like to travel.
  10. I like my name and maiden surname. I really struggled (and still complain about it actually) when I had to change it after I got married. I felt I was losing a sense of my identity when I changed my name. 
  11. I'm a big coffee drinker. 
  12. I like to cook. I prefer to cook. I'm not the best at it but I don't do too bad. I've learnt a few rules of the kitchen and have a few recipes up my sleeve. I find cooking therapeutic at times.
  13. However I can't bake. I've tried a few times and it always turns out bad. 
  14. Growing up I had a fear of people not liking me or being excluded. I think this insecurity really held me back growing up. There was so much I wanted to do, to say, to try but I didn't want to seem .. uncool or rejected. Speaking of excluded, I only recently learnt what FOMO stood for: Fear of Missing Out. A friend dropped it in a conversation and I had to stop her and ask what it stood for. 
  15. I rather clean the bathroom than do the ironing. Why cause ironing can take me hours, but cleaning the bathroom, less than an hour. 
  16. I'm a morning person. 
  17. But I could sleep all day.
  18. Putting this list of 34 things about me, that I hadn't included in my previous list is hard. I've struggled on number 15 for the past two days. 
  19. I never took piano lessons. My dad taught me everything he knew as a child - what key was what, how to read notes and music. Then in my early teens I suddenly had a new found interest in playing. So I learnt all the cords and studies how to read music sheets. Because of this today I'm really slow at reading music. I didn't learn any of the fundamentals or techniques one would learn if they took lessons.
  20. Same fact as above with my bass guitar skills. Suddenly had an interest in learning, dad taught me the basics and off I went and taught myself the rest. 
  21. Riding a horse is one of the top things to tick off on my "bucket list". This desire stems from when as a kid. Where we use to live, our neighbour's daughter (who was much older than me at the time) owned a horse. While over my neighbours house playing with her younger sister she asked if I wanted to see her horse, she was going to go get him. I said yes and waited all day for her to return. I remember feeling excited in anticipation, but when it got dark and realised the horse wasn't coming felt really disappointed. Now you're probably reading this thinking, "Maybe she never had a horse to begin with and she was just joking?" My younger sister has seen and ridden this horse, I just wasn't present that occasion.  
  22. Sharks scare the b-jebus out of me, but ironically I love being in the ocean. 
  23. I'm not a pet person although I've grown up with many dogs during my childhood. I'm just turned off by the maintenance involved in owing a pet. 
  24. I like documentaries in particular murder mysteries. 
  25. I know I have a resting b!tch face. I do frown a lot and according to my husband, apparently the shape of my eyebrows adds to why I have the resting b!tch face. Doesn't bother me, only when I see candid photos of myself and I look mad.
  26. I know at times I don't stand up straight, something when I do realise I correct. Again I think it's got to do my childhood. I've always been a taller girl amongst friends, mix in my fear of wanting to fit in ... well my body language over the years would reflect this insecurity. 
  27. I have big eyes. Not really an unknown fact, but as you can probably tell I'm running out of new things to share about myself.
  28. I literally laugh out loud when I find something really amusing. 
  29. If something takes too long to learn, I get lazy or feel like I can't be bother learning how to use/do something. Of course if it's something that I'm totally interested in then I can spend hours immersed in learning.
  30. I trend to rush things in the end. I'd say I do better under pressure. Like this post which I drafted a week ago, facts 14 onwards were written 24 hours ago. 
  31. I went to a co-educational high school from years 7-9, then moved to a girls school afterwards. I prefer the co-ed school over the girls school. Not because there were boys, but I noticed a big social difference between the two different high school. Girls from girls schools are cray cray! Also I ranked better in school when I was matched up against boys. 
  32. I'm bad at remembering numbers, especially logins that require numbers. I can't even remember the numbers to unlock my husband's phone. 
  33. I avoid medication. I'm a firm believer you should let your body's immune system do its thing before you take drugs. Whether it's get some rest, hydrate, sleep or eat something good. I always try one or all these things when I feel unwell before I take anything. 
  34. I have slow reflexes. This is one of the reasons why I started playing sports later on in life, to improve my reflex. I refused to accept my body can't be learn to move quicker as I age.
Hopefully I haven't repeated any of the 34 items previously. You can read another 65 facts about me from my previous birthday posts here and here

What have I got planned for today? Just chill and hang out with my family, couldn't have asked for a better birthday. 

27 Oct 2015

Review of Aqua Pacific Monarch

During our first week in Hawaii we stayed at Waikiki, on the island of Oahu. Originally we had booked an apartment that could accommodate my whole family, but six days before we were about to leave I get an email from the owner saying she had double booked us for a few days and couldn't check in until 3 nights later. The only compensation she was offering was to remove the cleaning fee and of course not charge us for the days we weren't going to be staying. This completely annoyed me, and I refuse to give her our business any longer and asked for a refund of what we had paid to date. So that left us scrambling for some place to stay that could accommodate our large party. Eventually we decided on Aqua Pacific Monarch based on hotel's location, consistent positive reviews and was within everyone's budget. However we were separated into tree different rooms, but I think that was actually a good thing.

Unfortunately I didn't take any photos of the room we stay in before we messed it up. I was a zombie by the time we checked in and I like to take photos of the accommodation we stay at when I first walk/check in. If I'm doing a review I like to give readers a view of what I see when I first see a room. But there are photos of the rooms available on their website and on Trip Advisor and that's where I got the photos you can see below. 

Ok so the pro's and con's of Aqua Pacific Monarch.

  • Rooms had a kitchenette which comprised of a electric stove, microwave, fridge and basic utensils for when you can make your own meals. 
  • Spacious room for the boys to play around in, and plenty of storage space for our things. 
  • The hotel is two short blocks away from the beach. The hotel is close to the nicer side of Waikiki beach where there's more sand real estate, and there was barricades to filter waves, so  it was a very child friendly spot to swim. 
  • Some great food joints within hotel's door step, (I strongly recommend that Korean BBQ place across the road) as well as various convenient stores for essentials. 
  • Staff were always friendly.
  • Guest collect beach towels and beach chairs for free from the front desk. 
  • We all stayed in studio style room apartment where there was a kitchenette and living room space. The price was reasonable, we paid roughly $130 AUS a night per room. 
  • Although you can tell the room has elements of modern fixtures it's still quite outdated. The hotel is probably really old so it could do with a complete renovation - but that's just my opinion.
  • Weak air conditioning. None of the rooms have ducted or built in air conditioners, so there was a unit in one corner of the room that supplied all the cool air. If you're not in the room during the day it's fine, but we kept our thick curtains closed at all times to keep the heat out and cool air in. 
  • Small bathroom with poor ventilation so would steam up quickly when taking hot showers.
  • Poor lighting in the room.
  • In our room house keeping was terrible. They would either not come so we'd have to call them to come in and do it, or arrive at 9am when we're still in the room. This happened everyday during our stay. 
  • Although hotel was close to the beach it was a little bit of a hike to the retailers and popular food joints. I don't mind walking however with young children four blocks to get anywhere can be challenging if a child is not in the mood for walking. 
  • There was a free shuttle bus that takes guests to Ala Moana Mall but it was always full from collecting other guests from other hotels. Plus it only came around every 30 minutes. It was easier and quicker to catch a bus from across the road, buses that included Ala Moana Mall in it's route came every 5 minutes.
Would I stay at Aqua Pacific Monarch again? No. There's are so many more other accommodation options available in Hawaii. Given we were forced to find an alternative so soon to our departure date, this was what we could find that met everyone's requirements.  

Have you stayed at a hotel around Waikiki before? Where did you stay? Would you stay there again why or what not?

Linking up with Jess

13 Oct 2015

Tips For Traveling With Kids

We did it again. We travelled overseas with two kids under 5. This time we took an even longer flight, a 9 -10 hour flight each way.

29 Sep 2015

Belated Happy 2nd Birthday Post

This post should've been published on the day of my son's 2nd birthday, but it wasn't finished and I don't like publishing posts I'm not 100% with.

Our recent holiday didn't give me a lot of free time to be in front of the laptop, (like as if I would rather be anyways) so now that I have finished it, I can now post it.

Happiest 2nd Birthday Kai. My baby boy, King Kai, Kai Kakes, Keks ... I have so many pet names for you. You're so adorable in my eyes that one name (or nick names) isn't enough to identify you. You need more, as you have so many layers, personalities to you.

I'm going to start by saying you've grown so fast. For me it feels like one day you're a baby and the next moment you're two years old. I wish I can slow your growth down, so I can appreciate and enjoy you at this stage of your life more. I feel guilty at times cause I know the kind of attention, care and priority you receive isn't equal.

You're quiet but communicate loudly in your way. You get hurt a lot, but you're hardly ever phased, or you stand up for yourself. You're demanding, always wanting it your way, but you're so sweet, so loving, and loyal.

You're defensive and don't back down from a fight. You love to laugh and make others laugh too. Right now you trains, The Wiggles and are drawn to animals. You're not afraid of them, you'll chase a dirty cockroach if you see one. You're much bigger than your older brother at his stage, so you're wearing (and out growing) so much of his hand me down's already. You pull the funniest faces, like your "beautiful eyes" and "gigil face" - they crack everyone up. You're a baby version of your dad. You look just like him in every way, even the long hair ... this is probably why I just want to squish you whenever I hold you. 

We love you so much Kai, you're so unpredictable and difficult at times, but we wouldn't want you to be any other way. You make our parenting life ... interesting, but you'll always be my baby boy. 

May you continue to thrive, be alway in perfect health, and be watched over. Happy birthday son. 

Linking up with Jess (it's been awhile)
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