Friday, February 27, 2015

Sister's Tepee

Baby Lia likes to crawl under her Jumperoo and I thought she would like a tent to hide in and play. I asked Jane during our latest visit to IKEA if she wanted to buy one for the girls but she declined. Saying it was too small. There were two options, Castle and Circus.

Then a couple of nights ago, they surprised me with this!

Jane constructed a huge tepee right inside Ashrie’s bedroom! It’s basically made with laundry stuff like wooden poles, blankets, clothespins, and some string to tie it all together. She placed it over the carpet and propped it with lots of pillows.

The girls enjoyed it and had lots of fun. I did the cleaning up and I'm pretty sure it was a lot faster than setting this all up.

Cheers to the creative mom!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park: A Gem in the Heartlands

During the CNY, we were able to revisit Bishan Park, now the newly-improved Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park. Like the water park in Khatib, we also lived in the area for a few months.

While we were staying in Ang Mo Kio back in 2008, half of the park was being constructed. The only open areas were the ones along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1. We have visited the park during that time and I still have memorable photos of Baby Ashrie with both me and her mom. So when we went there last week, we went directly to the newly constructed areas, skipping the areas we've seen before.

This park can be seen from the MRT in my daily commute but it is so much better to actually be in it. The park is quite surreal because it is really spacious and the difference in slopes makes it even more interesting. It is flanked by high-rise condominium and housing blocks so it kinda looks like an oasis in an urban jungle of sorts. They really made a good job because out of the unsightly sewer canal before, they transformed the space to a man-made but natural-looking stream, teeming with small fishes, aquatic plants and grasses. The vegetation now serves as a filter to the water passing through while attracting birds, insects and even frogs. They have made an entirely new ecosystem and it is very beneficial both to nature and us. And yup, the stone steps bridge was fun!

And whoever thought of using those massive concrete slabs from the deconstructed canal to be saved and used for the hill is genius. Here, they've upcycled those materials to be the stairs and floors and added a modern steel sculpture to be the focal point. A perfect juxtaposition of old and new, rugged and refined.

We had a short picnic on this spot with friends then we went to the playground for the kids. It was a sand park with huge concrete spheres. And the girls loved it. It was also Lia's first sand experience. Hopefully the next one will be on the beach.

Aside from the huge lawn, a skating rink, a dog park, exercise area (of course), there's McDonalds. So the park got your needs all covered. 

It was a lovely day and a pleasant experience indeed.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Lower Seletar Reservoir Park Revisited

For almost five years, we have rented a flat in this area. We've stayed just across the road and the lake was our everyday view, from the balcony!

During the latest holidays, we were able to revisit the park and enjoy the place. It was a cool afternoon with an understandably busy water park. The mom came equipped with extra clothes for the girls so that both of them can have a little dip.

Little Lia loved it. And Ashrie being well familiar with the place couldn't be happier.

We'll try to visit again soon.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

La Casa's Living Hall Update

Inspired by IKEA's new SILLERUP rug, we've given the living hall a little facelift. The Egyptian-made rug measures six square meters (2m x 3m), just the perfect size for our seating area. It's black and white and is very graphic with its simple geometric pattern.

We stored the old jute rug and removed the red side tables to keep the color palette neutral. In the meantime, we used the pair of ottomans as small side tables instead. We pulled in our favorite LONE armchair for a splash of color and the matte black DAW chair for extra seating. And finally, we layered the look with black and white frames, gold mercury glass, some indoor plants, a few white-covered books and a small bunch of deep purple-colored mums in a blue whisky glass to complement the jeweled-tone sofa.

Here it is!

We are now looking for a good-sized side table and probably change the Patrizio painting to a graphic black and white print. But for now, we love, LOVE the space!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Ashrie's Room: A Girl's Bedroom Update

Ashrie moved to the bigger bedroom in the last quarter of 2014. It is the largest bedroom in the casa, the brightest, and the coldest. The plan was to have this as a shared bedroom for the girls, Ashrie and Lia. But since the latter is still very young, Ashrie can have the room all by herself at night and share the play area with the little sister during the day.

Before we moved in, one wall was painted with black and white stripes and another in a matte black chalkboard paint. We had this repainted with Nippon's Urban Grey and had the aircon unit replaced.

Knowing that the room will be a chaos of colors, we hang basic white curtains and positioned her bed in the center of the windowed wall. This creates a focal point and is especially beautiful with the morning light seeping in. We shifted all her things from her previous bedroom to her new room and brought out all her toys from the storage room. And finally zoned out the spaces for reading and study, playing, and sleeping.

For now, here's how it looks:

So far, we are satisfied with the outcome. Looks like staying up to 3:00 AM to surprise Ashrie was well worth it.

The Living Hall update is up next! Stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Mandarin Orchard (Take Two)

Visiting new places, seeing new things, and experiencing new adventures are great, but sometimes being in a place you've been before exudes a special charm, and a warm, welcoming feeling in your heart.

We've stayed at the Mandarin Orchard during my birthday in 2013. It was when Singapore's PSI rose to record high. Nevertheless we had a wonderful time in the hotel. Two years later, with an additional family member and with Jane's birthday in two days, we've decided to have a little R&R, and a well-deserved one at that.

Our room as we've learned was part of the newly renovated wing. It is contemporary, with a very masculine vibe. There are no ornate mouldings, no elaborate tiles, no fussy accessories, instead it is functional, clean, and modern.

The wallpapered walls were light in color contrasted by the dark knobless wood furniture. The carpet had a herringbone sort of pattern which I really liked especially if they haven't used the same on the hotel corridors. The mattress was firm but the pillows were too soft. Our favorite part was the lounge chair in lieu of the usual armchair. It is really cozy and can double up as an extra bed. And the cylindrical lamps and bedside sconces which were matte black in color can be focused where you need it.

The toilet was spotlessly clean with stone tiles and Grohe fittings. We loved the huge mirror and the pair of undermount sinks. Personally, although it is really beautiful to use the same stone tiles for the walls and the floors, I'm not a fan of polished bathroom floors especially in the shower area.

We stayed on the 29th floor and the view is spectacular. From there we can have a panoramic sweep of the city center up to the Marina Bay area. It was indeed visually stunning at night as we can watch the laser light show of the Marina Bay Sands all framed by our hotel window.

Our stay was short and sweet. And I think we need another one soon. But for now here are some of our photos.

Until next time! And oh, Happy Birthday Jane!

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