Itinerary planning in progress

While I am always looking forward to a holiday, I am NOT looking forward to planning an itinerary. I am usually put in charge of planning as 1) My sister is too busy (with too young kids) 2) My brother don’t bother 3) My parents don’t really know how to find information (Although they have become an expert in using Facebook and Youtube!). So in conclusion, if I do not do anything, nobody will.

My first planning was a few years back for a taiwan trip with a friend which ultimately failed. HAHAHAHA! I ended up with visiting less than half of the place I planned! The main problem was I didn’t find out how to go from one spot to another so…. we just shop around. Taipei is really full of shopping and food. I even love their convenience store! and can spend like the whole day at the bookstore! I think they should be called “shopping, eating, shopping, eating” heaven instead of Hong Kong which I sadly do not enjoy much despite going there for 3 times.

The next planning was a few years later. In between, someone else got the task or I didn’t have to. (Visit taiwan in late 2014 with a tour group. Benefit? No planning and enjoy! Negative? Too rush for everything!). It was to Hong Kong last year somewhere in April for 4-5 days. This month it was much better as we did went to most places. But with elderly, young children, it is very hard to stick to schedule when everyone look so tired. I have my personal problem so I didn’t particularly enjoy as much as I would.

Now I am again required to plan for the upcoming trip. My goal is to make sure we really visit the place. Amazingly, after visiting taiwan for two times, I still have not go to some places – e.g. National Palace Museum. It is either hit or miss. But my dad do want to go! So I am in the middle of planning. Preferably on a weekday. Just hope that there isn’t too much tourists on that day.

What I used for planning:
1) Google drive – I used Google Drive all the times at work too. It is so awesome as you can access it anytime! There is even an offline option on the mobile so when you cannot connect to data, you can still view it. Not to forget you can always share it with your travel mates if they wanted to view/edit it. Any changes is reflected instantly so you do not have to re-send when you made any changes.
2) OneNote – I used OneNote briefly for my Hong Kong Trip. It was equally useful. But somehow the application keep crashing on my MacBook. But you can access it online.
3) TripAdvisor – The one and only travel website that I visit all the times.
4) Paper & Pen – Like always, I would love to write down my thoughts. I have another purchased an fauxdori especially for this taiwan trip. It cost less than $10 (with one refill). which I would be bringing. I am definitely planning to use it all the times when I am there 🙂
5) Of course you can always google and look at someone’s blog and follow exactly 😀 I am gathering ideas but I am not following exact. I am not 100% confirmed yet. But it is unlikely I would visit other area that much.

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I am into… craft!

Ever since I am young, I always feel that I am a good art person. I like art. Who wouldn’t. I am not exceptionally creative…. But I do fine. Until my secondary (middle) school days…. What happened was an art teacher gave me a fail grade. And guess what? I. gave. up. art. So thank you to that teacher (couldn’t remember the name). Seriously, even if my art (I can’t remember what I drawn?!) was that bad, you do not have to fail someone right. It is just so horrible to break someone’s heart. anyway, as I grow up, I stopped art. But I still do collect craft stuffs (e.g. craft punch) especially after I met a wonderful friend who is really artistic. I attempted art and craft stuffs once in a while – e.g. making silly cards. But nothing really keep my interest for a long time!

I was staring at my planner a few weeks ago and decided to input something damn useful into it. I came across a listing through Etsy by a Singaporean Miniature Maker, Pei Li. She make her own miniature which is soon cute. But I kinda stop collecting and I still do not know what to do with them. So I didn’t buy. But from her website/blog, I found out that she hold craft lesson. So I decided that this would be my damn useful thing. So I emailed her and signed up for one.

I choose a date that was 2 months away so that I could prepared for it (?! There is actually nothing I need to prepare!).

She emailed me about 4 days before my selected date to confirm. I confirmed it immediately and the day came.

After doing my researching, I decided to take a Feeder bus from Jurong East. It was MUCH longer than I imagined. I quickly texted her and she was quick to response. I finally reached 15mins later than I am supposed to. But Pei Li was very nice and told me it’s all right.

The lesson was slightly quicker than I imagined. Maybe I am still so okay at craft?! 😀


This is the end result of the craft-work.

I didn’t take any other picture as it is at her house. So it make sense that no picture should be allowed. I took this at my own home after the products are dried.

Not everything is fully completed by my hand. It is more on learning the techniques which I enjoyed 🙂 I am definitely taking up another classes again. But It might be after my vacation as I need to do a lot of planning!!

That’s all for my craft lesson. Now for other craft thingy….

Daiso is really a heaven for craft & stationary stuffs!!!
I remember Pei Li mentioned about the paints, glue she used can be purchased at Daiso. But I was too sick so I didn’t manage to get them. I will visit them again at a later date.

O.m.g. pencil pouch band!

I keep seeing similar ones on Etsy. But being Etsy, they cost a lot! Yay that Daiso have them for 2bucks! They have different colours and materials. But I choose the one in canvas and pink. It fit my Plum Paper Design Planner tight. But it fit my Erin Condren notebook and Passion Planner well. I think because my PPP is rather thick.

o.m.g Planner sticker!

Again, these would cost a lot more on Etsy. I am tempted to get 5 as you never know when things run out in Daiso. Sometimes they don’t even restock. But I decided 2 is really enough.

I also saw cute charms for 5 in a pack. For 2bucks, it is much cheaper at other stores (usually cost 3bucks to 5bucks) which I am tempted to get for my fauxdori. But I didn’t find a pack where I like all 5 designs.  And having 5 charms would be too much!

Then I saw Spotlight and thought since I am here already, I might as well go inside and see.

My eye lighted up upon seeing this!

Faux suede tassels.


Chain.

Again, this is way cheaper than getting from Etsy. I saw one necklace at Etsy for 20bucks. This is without shipping. There was also a couple of packs with the mini ones. But its either not in a colour that I wanted or there is a missing one. The package stated 5. But there is only 4. I don’t know if it was removed by the store or…. but anyway I am not comfortable in getting it. So I got 3 packs of the Medium and 1 pack of the large one. I got the chain thinking I could easily put in the tassel and TADA a necklace is made. But I was wrong. These are the loops ones which means I need to find a clasp and cut it. 😦

Also I noticed that the packaging stated these are made in china but I have never seen them before. I shall try to search them online instead of getting from the store.

Weekly roundup: Fourth week of March

Time do flies. It is now the last week!

My week begins with a very sad news when I woke up. Our founding father passed away in the middle of the night.  I cannot say I am into politics and stuffs. Other than history lessons, I don’t really read political stuffs! But I am still sad as he is indeed a great man. Without him, our nation would not be as it is. I didn’t go to pay respect to him at the PH as the whole family is sick. And my parents just wanted to go the community tribute. I really think it is really a matter of choice. It doesn’t matter if you decided to go or not. A colleague commented that it is time wasting to queue for 8 hours. Well, she shouldn’t make such comment! For things like this, there is no right or wrong! Just like personal hobby – some people think it is time wasting to spend many hours hand making a dress while others find it a joy! So do not assume what you feel applies for everyone.

Work updates
There is nothing much! But as the month goes by, things are going to start changing 😦

Minimalism, To-do etc
Again, I am down with a bad cold for 4 days. This is my fifth day and I am feeling 70% better! So there is nothing much that I have done 😦

I took an day off to source for a card for a dear colleague. And spend the rest of the day in bed as I was feeling really unwell. I knew I wasn’t feeling too well. But decided to go out anyway as I didn’t have the time. I extended my shopping a little bit so I got more sick as a result :/

I mentioned about budgeting – I tried out for a week! It was working so well…. Until I forgot about it on the last 2 days 😛 But then I was a little mess up because of the cold. But It seems useful so far!

Reading
And not done yet! 😦 The other day, I wanted to borrow books… but I forgot my identity card so I couldn’t borrow anything. I am leaving it for next week. I feel that I need to be 100% before I can start reading.

Purchases
Due to sickness, amazingly, I did not get anything online for this week! Not even a urge! Hooray! I visited the stores. But being sick, I wasn’t really in the mood for shopping. But I did get some craft stuffs! I am going to do a mega post on Craft next! 😀

Continue rant on my “some clutch”… Till date I have not receive anything at all. I was communicating with them for a “re-shipment” until they disappear again. Nice. I will continue monitor the situation and rant about it. Seriously I might just do a mega post on them if it continues this way.

Vacation
I am going to spend the rest of my day doing some planning!

Budgeting in a cheaper way

I mentioned in my weekly roundup that I am starting a budgeting method.

Some ways that I could get it done: 
1) Buy an wallet on Etsy – Too expensive and not keeping to minimalism.
2) Mini expansion file on aliexpress – Cannot find in store. Do not want to order online yet.
3) Colour pouches on Taobao – Not keeping to minimalism goal.
4) Use paper envelope – Not colourful enough!

In the end, I went to the bookstore and found this much useful!


Soft PVC Bag/Pouch – S$1.70 for a pack of 4
Herma Label: 20x40mm – S$1.80 for 40 labels
I like that it is transparent so I could easily see the contents.


Using my all-time favourite marker – Sharpie, I labelled them accordingly. I decided to have a separate pouch for each day to streamline my budgeting! And yes, so happened that the label’s colours is exactly the same as the colour of the zipper! Make budgeting so much happier!


Beside the daily expenses, I have also category for Bill, Grocery and Misc. This is what I could think of so far.

Weekly roundup: Third week of March


Work updates
Nothing much this week except I received an good new. That day my boss asked me to go into my CEO’s room for a close door meeting. I was a little bit scared. I went to my CEO’s room all the time for work. But I seldom have an close door meeting. But it turn out they have decided to rise my salary. I was naturally very happy about it. With this additional money, I am planning to enrol in a couple of short courses to brush up on my HR qualification and skills 🙂 I do have something in mind but I am not sure if I will be accepted as they do have some strict requirement. It is opened to HR personnel. I am not 100% HR personnel based on my current job-scopes. One of my friends also suggested that I should take up business course. I never like business course as they are too dull. So I didn’t even consider it when I was picking an course for my degree. But of course, I feel kinda regretted 😦 I wished I knew what I want back then.

Minimalism, To-do etc
Nothing much for this week 😦 I had a personal health problem for a couple of days. I didn’t have full usage of my arm so I couldn’t do much! Unfortunately that’s also meant I neglected my planner for a couple of days again. My arm is better today (I even have my first craft lesson which I would write more about!) so I am hoping to get back into shape by tomorrow. I have guests for tonight so I would be not doing much.

But I did came up with an idea which I would start soon! I have been thinking about the way I saved. I don’t spend as much as before. But I still feel I am not saving enough. For e.g. I wanted to spend only $3.50 maximum for lunch. But I always exceeded my spend on one of those days. I would either get a drink or get expensive lunch 😦 It is okay once in a while but not every week!

Then there is this problem – stationary purchases. I always see and buy without sparing much second thoughts. Same for online purchases. Okay, I did not buy everything I see. But I am still spending. which is bad.

I suddenly thought of a wallet which I saw on Etsy – basically it has dividers which you can put cash in. It is actually an common saving method. But I just didn’t think I need another fancy wallet that cost $35! Breaking my minimalism goal at the same time. I think expansion folder would work well. So I am going to visit the bookstore tomorrow. I do remember seeing those mini folder before. Otherwise I can always use whatever I have at home 🙂

Reading
Due to the above situation, I have not complete my book – Totto Chan. But I am going to try to complete it tomorrow. I am going to visit the library and pick up some easy reading books like Agatha Christie. I have read a few last year and I enjoyed every books so much! I am trying to get more reading before I get myself busy with holiday plan. Most likely I need to plan for my family vacation again.

Online purchases, Kickstarter etc
As usual, this week I kinda wanted to buy something online. I have wanting to find a pencil case/pouch. In fact, I had one pouch in my Etsy cart ready to check out. I was attracted to the panda cute prints 😦 Then I keep reminding myself its silly as I have many pouches which work well to keep my stationaries and pencil box at home! I should really curb, curb, curb! My next urge is to buy a new short. I always buy something when I have vacation plan :p It is kinda like “I-need-something-new-cos-I-am-going-holiday” but it is silly as I do not need new things especially short. I will buy one when it is torn. On the other hand, I will get something new for the trip. I wrote about waiting for a couple of kickstarter rewards to arrive.They were from last year (before my life goal commerced :() One of them is an backpack. It should be on my way! I am going to use it for my upcoming trip!  😀

I was really excited to back an new project. It is some kinda of magnetic board which I feel would make my organisation lots easier. I thought about it for a few hours. But decided to jump in at the very last couple of days. It attracted me as it can be pasted onto any surface which is just so great for me! I need a board all the times! My current board is an D-I-Y whiteboard which I ordered through aliexpress. I pasted onto corrugated board and hang it in front of my desk. It worked well as a notice board. But it is kinda shaky and doesn’t write that well. 😦 The sticky notes also drop all the times so I have to use tapes very often. In long term it would be better as I am really saving some costs. But I think the quantity given might be too much. I would have to re-look at it again when it arrives. Most probably I am giving the rest away! 🙂

Lastly, as usual, complaints for Kickstarter/crowdfunding. I really need to curb my crowdfunding spendings as well 😦 I would work on this with my new system.

Okay, so my “some charger” actually work. I had some certification error. But it somehow still charge when I tried the second time. But, it is the most horrible charger I ever have. I leave it and it will depleted by itself. So in order to charge I have to charge it first which doesn’t make sense if I am using it as an backup/emergency charger. :/ It doesn’t cost very cheap either.  With this bad experience, I am avoiding that particular crowdfunding site 😦

My “some clutch” have not arrive. Last week, I posted an rather-lengthy comment (Nothing rude btw!). And I got an email from them in a couple of hours later. Amazing eh?
– They need hire professional customer service. The person sending email is….. 1) There is no greeting. 2) There is no signature + company details. Hello you ARE representing an company. 3) There is no response to what I want to know. 4) She/he just sounds a bit impatient.
– I still didn’t get what I want to know. I discussed with an colleague who buy stuffs online all the time. She agreed that all posts from US usually comes with a tracking.

Selling
I am very excited that I made two transactions last week! I sell online mainly to get rid of the stuffs I do not want. It is not for making an income. So I am very fussy and strict when it comes to selling. I wasn’t able to sell anything previously as I have buyer who wants to meet up and bug for discount. I wrote about why I hate meeting up previously. It is mainly because of the time wasted. So I am really happy that I have two buyers who is fine with getting their purchases mailed. It is like old time. Nobody do meet up back then 🙂 I have another buyer who bug me two times to meet up. He/she still refuses to give up when I say no for the 3rd times. It is honestly just an very light weight item so I really don’t get it why he/she cannot make my life less miserable. I was also very happy that they didn’t bargain. I have people who offer me ridiculous prices. I gladly click “decline” each time. I am not selling for the money so I am happy to wait for someone who know how to appreciate the price I set.

Vacation
I mentioned that we are planning for a trip to taiwan and it is now confirmed! I am really excited as Taiwan is my favourite holiday destination ❤ We booked budget airline tickets and it cost only less than SGD400 per pax. I usually take budget if it is a short flights (less than 5 hours) but I would opt for non-budget airline if its a longer flight. Last year I took my second non-budget holiday to Australia. My first experience is of course our very own Singapore Airline which was very long ago when I was quite small. Anyway it was a awesome experience with Qantas. I would go for it again if I am visiting Australia. I feel like I need to see the rest of Australia as well 😀

Talking about this,  I have one friend who claimed that she cannot travel as she will fall sick during long distance flight or bus. It is such a pity but personally she also didn’t quite make an effort to do something to her situation. I suggested that she should see a doctor to get medicines. But she say nevermind. Oh well, it seems more like she don’t want to travel which is a little silly to me. Traveling is always good. You can see the world. Everywhere is so different. Culture, food and just EVERYTHING. Even the building are so fascinating. I was so fascinated by the old buildings I seen in Sydney. They are just so beautiful. ❤ I don’t enjoy Hong Kong when I was there for 3 times (as compare to other countries I have visited) but I do remember Hong Kong being the first country I ever visited. The neon light scenery at night is just so beautiful and always in my mind.

What is in my clutch?


I thought it would be fun to write a “What is in my clutch?” post!

I usually do not bring an clutch to work or anywhere else. It is kinda inconvenience not to be hand-free. And I really don’t like the idea of bringing not much stuffs (Especially umbrella!). Even if I do bring a small bag, I would tried to carry a smaller bag to put stuffs that do not fit such as my umbrella. But today I had an half day off from work so I tried to go minimal with my work bag to see if it will work!

My clutch is an handmade vegan suede clutch from Etsy. Like what I said, I didn’t have an fashion clutch previously so I feel that this is a purchase I wanted to spend. And I so happened to have some extra cash due to Lunar New Year. I am so in love with this clutch that I am really on the verge of buying a grey one in a bigger size! But of course, I am not doing it! The colour shown a very brown colour but its actually more towards a lighter brown. I don’t usually like brown but this is a awesome colour for clutch.

So what IS in my pouch today?
1) Wallet (Black Pouch) – I bought this vegan leather pouch in taiwan and I love it so much! It is my favourite pouch if I want to go light. I will just throw in my essential cards such as ATM/Debit Card and some notes into the pouch instead of using a whole wallet with all my cards. I usually avoid carrying coins but this pouch do have a good compartment to carry coins if I needed to. It actually fit very iPhone very well but a bit too tight. So sometimes, I will use it for lunch.
2) Apple devices Cables Pouch (Black Graffiti style) – I usually used this pouch to carry my Pebble(s) cable instead of my Apple devices Cables. I ditched my Pebble for normal watch today so I decided not to bring those cables. Instead I used it to carry my Apple devices cables. Even though it is only half day, but I really don’t like the idea of having no cable with me. And I have so much Apple devices that I can bring two original cables to work 😀 I kept one at home and uses other 3rd party cables at home.
3) Public Transport card (Pink Pouch) – I had to keep a separate pouch for my card. Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to find the card 😀
4) Usual devices (iPhone, iPad Mini, iPod Nano) – I used to bring my Kindle too. But for this year, I kinda stop reading that much. It is simply because I seldom read on the way to work or at work (during lunch break of course). I am really very fussy when it comes to reading. I like quiet environment and in a comfortable position. So the only place I can do that is… at home! I am kinda limiting all my reading time which is bad I know.
5) Tissue – I had to carry tissue no matter where I go!
6) Daily notebook + Parker Jotter + Muji Gel Pen – I don’t bring a pencil case nowadays so I only kept two pens with me. These are my most favourite pens at the moment 🙂 And yes, I decided not to bring my planner since I am at work for half-day. I usually have the time to look at my planner only during lunch. But since I didn’t have lunch break today, so I decided not to bring my planner!

Conclusion: This is a good clutch to carry an essential amount of stuffs. But for a full day work, I am still not comfortable to go minimal yet. Maybe I can still go work without an umbrella, but I don’t think I cannot pass by a day without looking at my planner. I did think of getting a much bigger clutch to fit in my planner. But my Plum Paper Design planner (which I am switching over to in July) is really huge. I don’t think I could find one that fit! 😀

Weekly roundup: Second week of March

The last 3 posts are all about shopping. So I figure I do a weekly roundup as I have NOT been just shopping! 😛

Minimalism, To-do etc
Now I really think a RIGHT cup of coffee is really important in order for me to work. This morning actually noon (My nieces were here in the morning so I wasted spend my morning with them), I tried a new brand of coffee which uses Stevia. I never heard of Stevia until Breaking Bad. So I thought I will tried since nobody will poison me huh. It turns out to be the worst cup of coffee I ever drank. It is strangely way sweeter than any instant coffee I had and it doesn’t taste like coffee at all. I drank half and poured half of it away. What. a. waste.

Then I was tired and wasted the afternoon doing some shopping. oops. And finally went to take a nap and woke up at 4pm and decided I need my real coffee. So I would probably stay up till very late tonight which is bad as I prefer waking up early.

anyway, back to the topic… 
I did clear a bit of stuffs last week. I couldn’t do anything today due to the above situation. So I will try to do some minimalism later or tomorrow morning!

I had a bad week so I didn’t do much planning towards the end of the week. But I probably will catch up tomorrow. Now I started to think again… Is it a good idea to plan out the day only on the night before? I like it because it is much flexible if there is an changes of plan. But if I am in a bad mood, had an sudden engagement, Chance are I would probably skip the planning :/ But then again, planning is just a plan… There is no need to follow it blindly. Oh well, anyway I would try planning in advance for the next week tomorrow.

My day off…. 
I had an day off and went to the mall. I usually avoid the mall even on my day off but I was having a bad week. So I wanted to get out and enjoy….

I always started my day with a breakfast at MacDonald or KFC whenever I visited the mall in the morning on a weekday. Actually its more for the coffee than the breakfast itself. I will take my own sweet time sipping the coffee to think and write. In this case, I wrote about my career, my life and generally, everything!

After 1.5 hours or so, I will pack and get ready to… shop…

Nowadays, I am also keeping to a simple way of shopping by visiting only the shops I wanted. This is to minimise temptations to shop more than I needed to. But then again, It is always the best to avoid everything together.

I always visit only bookstores, Mark & Spencer, Muji & Uniglo.
For this trip I also went Tokyu Hand to see if there is any interesting there. I was immediately attracted by the range of stationaries but I was expecting much more. A bigger store maybe? I was expecting more pens and stamps. But the washi tape section is really big. I am not really into washi tapes.

I ended up with some stationaries! Believe me, this is really at a minimum level 😦 My brain was working throughout the whole trip and I cut down A LOT. e.g. I wanted to get a new pen case (Attractive colours at Tokyu Hands) but I resisted. I didn’t buy any clothes though this means something 😀 I got some books too but didn’t take a picture. There is a need to support local bookstore once in a while or they will close down.


I couldn’t resist picking up a new preppy as they have designs in Hello Kitty!! which is super adorable ❤ They have been around for a long time. But this is definitely the first time I am seeing it.  Oh well, I don’t care for pens that much last time. So I might not have noticed. It is much expensive than the regular ones. So I probably won’t be getting another one. I got a new Platinum Plaisir too. The label in the shop stated it as yellow but there was nothing yellowish about the colour. It is more like gold 😀 They are cheaper as compare to anywhere else so Tokyu Hands is a good place to get them! Yay for opening up Tokyu Hands in Singapore. Although it is smaller as compare to Japan, but I am happy to be able to get my stationaries.

I saw Pilot Kakuno too. But NBC bookshop is selling them at a cheaper price. So I didn’t get it as I went TH after that. And I wanted to go home. Also I have so many other pens. This could be save for the next time.

I got the Panda stamp at NBC though. It’s for my planner. I also picked up an Midori Travellor Insert for an fauxdori I am waiting for. I will post details of it when it arrives. Both NBC and Tokyu hand carries the insert and the notebook itself. But I am only interested at the insert. 😛 I don’t like leather notebook 🙂

Work updates
So I had a bad week at work. If you read my “About Me” section, I have been thinking on a change in my career progression. Opportunity has arisen at work but it wasn’t given to me as I didn’t have the necessary qualifications and skills. Sigh. I just feel so disappointed that people think that I am just not good enough for it. I put in so much efforts in giving the best effort in whatever I have done. But still, I am not good enough 😦 Oh well, I cannot complain much as I would be given a pay rise soon. But I am definitely looking at other options.

Reading 
I managed to finish Singapore Siu Dai 2 within 2 hours. It is still funny but I agreed that book 1 is much better. It is however really a must read for all Singaporeans.  Now I am reading Totto Chan. Totto Chan is the first english book that I really enjoyed. For a couple of years I have been wanting to get the book and re-read. I finally got it last Thursday as I have 10% off for membership. I finally can re-read my favourite childhood book! 🙂 My other favourite childhood books are The Baby-sitters Club and Sweet Valley!

Kickstarter
Well, I am still continue to get frustrated with both projects I mentioned last week. There is still no solid updates from both. In the meantime, I am waiting for the arrival of the other two projects within the next couple of weeks. I will comment more if it turns out to be as equally frustrating.