The Pinnacle @ Duxton

July 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

Keepsake

July 6, 2012 § 10 Comments

I love a good deal. And so, ever since the Groupon phenomenon swept onto the shores of Singapore a couple of years back, I have been perusing the website on an almost daily basis in search of bargains. Many moons ago, there was an amazing deal from Photobook Singapore. For S$21 you can design your very own digital photo album, then have it professionally printed and bound into a hardcover book. As a scrapbook fanatic and avid bibliophile, this was one deal I could not pass up on! 

I had six months from the date of the Groupon purchase to complete and submit my digital photobook—easy peasy, I thought. Well, the months went by and in late June it occurred to me that I had yet to start on the photobook. With only days before the expiry of the Groupon, I went on a mad dash to piece together what would become the pages of the photobook. It was a race against time and for eight hours straight I was glued to the computer screen trying to figure out the software, manipulating photos, and keeping hydrated with lots of water while working through the unbearable afternoon heat. There were times during those long hours when I asked myself: “Why, oh why, did you fall for this Groupon temptation? Why didn’t you just go for that manicure deal instead. Heck, even that 1-for-1 buffet deal sounds pretty good right now.”

At last, the photobook was accomplished and with a click of the mouse it was sent off for printing. Then, it was just a matter of waiting for the finished product to arrive at our doorstep. Within a few short days, a package was delivered in the quiet hours of the night. Lil’ Miss Busybody was eager to help with the unwrapping of the package.

Ta-da! “The Adventures of Lil’ Miss Red Maple Leaf: The Story of Our First Year” …starring none other than the little nugget herself. I have to say, I’m quite pleased with the quality of the finished product. In fact, I was half expecting some of the images to come out grainy because I didn’t have the time nor stamina to make improvements. Somehow or other, everything seemed to work out in the end (which shows that even non-techies, like me, can miraculously churn out a decent photobook). Here’s a sneak peek into the pages of what has now easily become a favourite keepsake of ours…

Disclaimer: HAPPY.BARK.DAYS is an independent entity and was not paid to write this review by any of the commercial enterprises mentioned in the article.

9-to-5 in 3×3

July 5, 2012 § 9 Comments

The days are flying off the calendar (goodbye June, hello July)! Sometimes I wonder where all the hours in a day go, and I often catch myself asking this question: “Am I spending my time wisely?” Today, I decided to find out by documenting, hour-by-hour, my 9-to-5 routine as a student and stay-at-home momsy to Lil’ Miss Maple. Be warned, however, you won’t find anything other than the mundane here—no impulse mid-afternoon trip to the beach, no extravagant lunch at a swanky hotel, and not even a quick run to the coffee shop for a caffeine fix. This is just an ordinary day in the life of Lil’ Miss Maple & Me.  

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

June 3, 2012 § 22 Comments

Butterflies were fluttering in my tummy as we headed for our last Good Canine Citizen class. This particular class was to be different from the ones before it. After 8 weeks of training, it was time to put all our hardwork to the test. Both MM and I were hopeful that Lil’ Miss Maple would do her best after seeing how well she had adapted to learning the commands and befriending some of her canine classmates. So, when it was our turn to take the stage, we mustered up our nerves and went for it. There were times when I thought, “Oh, boy. I hope the examiner didn’t take notice of that slight deviance…” But, all in all, Miss Maple did pretty well. For the first part, that is!

The second part was a group test. And this was when it got to be a little much for the furball. The canine students were lined up in a row for a 30-second “Down-Stay”. Miss Maple was sandwiched between two of her bigger canine peers, and I think that made her feel slightly uncomfortable. About 15-seconds into the test, Miss Maple broke from her position and gingerly walked towards me. Oops. Well, that seemingly innocent move led to an automatic F-A-I-L. We didn’t bring home a ribbon that day, but we stayed on to soak in the joy and excitement of Miss Maple’s classmates who passed the exam with flying colours. Congratulations to the graduates! Here are a few of their beaming smiles 😀

Although we completed the Good Canine Citizen Course sans ribbon, we tried not to let that get us down with worrying thoughts. After all, our little munchkin tried her very best to make us proud. We’re more than happy with Miss Maple’s progress and, even though the course has ended, we’ll definitely continue brushing up on her Good Canine Citizen skills. So, to reward ourselves (and to celebrate Miss Maple’s belated 2nd birthday) we headed out for some fun in the park!

If there’s one thing that can lift Miss Maple’s spirits, it would be a ball—baseball, basketball, soccer ball, tennis ball… you name it, she’ll play with it! First up, the soccer ball.

What do you think? Does Miss Maple stand a chance to play in the 2014 FIFA World Cup? Watch out David Beckham… here comes Lil’ Miss Beckham!

Next up, the tennis ball. Miss Maple is frighteningly obsessed with this itty bitty bouncy thing. In fact, I dare say that her affection for the tennis ball far outweighs her addiction to liver treats!

As we were playing, a couple arrived at the park with their two furkids in tow. It took no time at all for Miss Maple to initiate greetings with a bark. We were introduced to ‘Girl’ (a very sociable Shih Tzu mix) and ‘Honey’ (a spunky little Chihuahua). It took a little longer for Miss Maple to warm up (she often requires a slow start) but, soon enough, the trio became friendly acquaintances. Here’s a cheerful video that we’ve pieced together as a thank you to Girl and Honey for reminding us to not worry (about the past) and be happy (about the present)!

I think this is one belated birthday adventure that Miss Maple will remember for a long time to come. Just look at the furball’s sand-caked paw. I think the picture says it all. Happy Birthday, Lil’ Miss Maple!

A Feathered Friend

May 3, 2012 § 18 Comments

There’s a new resident in our neighbourhood whom we have named “Kakatua”. We would never have spotted our new neighbour if Lil’ Miss Maple and I had not been out on the veranda one lazy afternoon.

As usual, Miss Maple positioned herself on the lounge chair for a nap. I, too, was about to fall into a slumber when, suddenly, a frightening noise sliced through the still air: “BRAAAAAAAK, BRAAAAAAAK. BRAAAAAAAK, BRAAAAAAAK.”

I stumbled onto my feet and blinked my eyes once, twice, thrice to shake them out of their semiconscious state. The leaves on the tree were rustling in a puzzling manner. Looking up, I spotted a… could it be? Cockatoo!

Wild cockatoos are native to this region of the world. In fact, the word cockatoo is derived from the Malay word ‘kakatua’ which is used to describe this particular avian species. Cockatoos, however, are quite a rare sight in urban Singapore. I’ve been lucky enough to spot a few, although always from a distance, when these gorgeous birds are in flight. On this day, however, we were within pretty close range. Kakatua’s arrival to our abode was certainly a welcomed sight.

It was amusing to watch Kakatua enjoy an afternoon snack from this fruit tree. And look at the balancing act—perched on a branch with one claw while the other maneuvered the fruit between the beak. Now that’s talent!

After the feast, Kakatua bade us farewell. I wonder where’s the next destination for our feathered friend. Hopefully it won’t be too long before we meet again. Miss Maple, who was perhaps a little jealous that Kakatua was receiving so much of my undivided attention, did not even stir to wish Kakatua a good flight.

All it took was just a bit of coaxing (and a belly rub) on my part to make amends with the furball. And, perhaps if Kakatua were to bring a tasty house gift on the next visit, Miss Maple may have a change of heart.