Monday, January 19, 2015

Week in Recap: The First Ten Days

Hello, Friends!
Can you believe it's already the middle of January? Sometimes I still write "2014" when signing something, and here we are, almost entering February!
This is the first activity that we did on January 1. Hubby and I woke up around 6 in the morning, then we took our son to a nearby park to play with the swing. It's a morning off day ritual that we savor. Hubby and Michael are both early risers, so they have their father and son bonding time about three times a week, by going to the park just the two of them. Mommy needs her extra snooze, so I join them on off days and weekends. What a simple, positive and wonderful way to start 2015 with my treasured husband and son!
Early January was Michael's second birthday. We had a simple celebration at home with a chocolate Christmas roll cake than happened to look a bit like a locomotive (Michael is so into trains nowadays). The cake was a gift from my mother in law, who couldn't be there on the D-day since both my parents in law were vacationing to Perth, Australia.
Have you ever experienced those annoying occassions when you needed something, you knew you had it in the house, but you couldn't remember where you placed it? I already prepared candles for Michael's birthday cake, and on the day, I searched everywhere and couldn't find it. Fortunately, the two red sugar mushrooms on top of the cake looked a bit like candles, so they represented the two candles for his second birthday!
Michael is such a simple kid. All he wanted for his birthday was to ride a choo-choo train at a nearby big grocery chain. So we went there and he rode the choo-choo train three times!
Some people asked me why we didn't throw a huge birthday party for our son. Well, we did had a family party with lots of food and presents to commemorate his first birthday, but we don't believe in having huge birthday party for a toddler, because that would be the parents who want it, not the child! Besides, we tend to familiarize our son with simple, frugal life, first. He can be introduced to "branded" kind of life later, because Hubby and I believe that it's much easier to get used to the finer things in life - material wise - , than the other way around. We look upon ourselves and how our parents raised us. My parents taught me a simple, frugal life. As I got older, I began to experience a more "glamorous" kind of lifestyle, with parties, clubbing, branded goods, yacht trips, vacation to Europe, etc. However, I had my feet solid on the ground, and as much as I enjoyed it, it never became a burden, a must, or the most important thing in life for which I have to parlay my life or values for, and I believe it's because of my background and upbringing. Thank you, Mom and Dad!
On the weekend, Hubby and I celebrated New Year by having dinner at Grand Cafe at the Grand Hyatt Hotel downtown. It was my favorite hotel and mall and place to hang out, and we went after New Year, so we skipped the "special" rate for New Year's Eve dinner, which was exorbitant. By waiting a day or two, the rate went down significantly to its regular price, but the New Year's atmosphere is still there; thus we got the best of both: New Year's celebration at this posh place, still in festive mood, but without the "festive" price. Well, I don't mind celebrating New Year a bit late if I could get a get deal out of it!
I wore a new batik dress and I really like the horisontal patterns! It looks like three different fabrics sewn together, but actually it's the original design just the way it is. Batik is a traditional Indonesian fabric, and since we are both proud Indonesian Chinese, we wanted to wear something truly Indonesian to celebrate 2015. Hubby took pictures of me in front of a Hermes boutique which was closed down due to renovation, and I jokingly asked Hubby if I could get a Hermes bag for New Year's present.
I'm not a sucker for branded goods, and I usually refure to spend more than fifty bucks for a purse; - often much less than that - but Hubby wants me to have nice things once in a while. When purchasing high quality bag that cost quite a lot of money, I always, always, choose one made from real leather. Not nylon, not fabric, not faux leather. If I were going to spend a month's rent on a bag, it better be on something that I could carry for many years to come, and will not wear and tear on the second year. 
We went around the mall, and I stumbled upon a Furla boutique, where I fell for these two bags. The store happened to have a year-end sale, so Hubby encouraged me to get one. It was pretty difficult to choose, since both purses are lovely, but I finally chose the camel colored one, since the metal design is quite unique and I don't have that color in my collection. I already had a red handbag. The picture doesn't do it justrice really, the camel bag is really beautiful and super elegant. I love it. Thank you, Hubby!
When Michael was born, we received a lot of gifts. Sometimes we got similar gifts, and ended up with like four diaper bags, two activity chairs, which I ended up giving to friends. We got this really expensive Maxi Cosi Opal car seat that we never used since we already got another car seat. I was thinking to sell it online, but never really got down to it until last November when I finally listed it for sale. For more than a month, nobody made an inquiry about the car seat, and I was thinking ro reduce the price a bit, but then with the holiday and everything, I forgot all about it. Well, lucky me! When I was having a vacation in Semarang, a young man, a new father of a newborn babygirl messaged me and asked about the carseat. On the first weekend of 2015, we met at a nearby mall, and he bought the carseat on the spot, so I got some spare money! If I reduced the price on the first place, I would have received much less for the price of the carseat.
I used some of the money to buy some Christmas ornaments for our next Christmas. January is the best time for early Christmas shopping, since the price of almost everything is reduced by 50-70%! Hubby have longed wanted a white Christmas theme, and this year, he will finally get his wish!
I spent the rest of the money to treat my team. They asked for lunch at Duck King, which is a rather expensive restaurant, but I didn't mind, since I already planned it since December when Lisa asked me to donate more for office party, which I refused. She agreed that she prefer I spend the money for this lunch than on office party. Haha!
It might sound extravagant, but I like to start the new working year on a positive, cheery, upbeat note. As the team leader, my job is not only to get things done, but also make sure that I motivate my team to keep bettering themselves. It's like what one of my Managers said: "First, you feed us, then you whip us to work the best we can do!" Hahaha! That's correct!
Lastly, these are gifts that Michael received for his birthday. Hubby's sister spent Christmas vacationing to Texas, USA, and she got him toys like cars and puzzles, military style shirts and cargo pants. Also, a girl at the office, Dina, bought him new outfit that is super cute, with tiny whale prints all over the shirt. Hubby's parents bought him T-shirts from Australia, with kangaroos and koalas on them, and my parents got him new clothings with dalmatian prints, as well. Thank you, All! We already got him new house clothes and new shoes, but we haven't got the chance to buy him any going-out clothes, so these presents are totally useful!

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