Posted in Uncategorized

给猫猫的第十二封信

第365天,猫猫妳是否过的好… 有没乖乖喝水,有没回来看我们?

摸摸头… 一定要回来看我们,让我闻一闻你的味道,一定要。

永远爱妳

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Posted in Home Improvement Programme (HIP), Uncategorized

We survived Home Improvement Programme – Part 1 (Preparation)

Hi there! The fact that you are reading this post, you’re probably in the midst of preparing for Home Improvement Programme (HIP), or you have completed yours and is living in regret now for the lack of preparation. Nonetheless, let’s learn from experience and prepare ourselves for the upcoming battle HIP or your future HIP.

We have opted in for Home Improvement Programme and EASE, hence we will get 2 Brand new bathrooms (Common and Master Bedroom), new wooden main door & metal grille, as well as new rubbish chute hopper.

Dust-proofing

The upmost important procedure that you should never miss for your preparation. No matter how minor a renovation work is, there bound to be dust, and HIP ain’t minor work at all. So, dust proof everything that you are keeping. The whole dust-proofing process took us (2 ladies) 4 days. -A 4rooom HDB unit

 

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Box it up!
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Seal them up!
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Living Room – Bye TV, see you in 2 weeks! (oh our sexy TV)
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Living Room – We sealed the TV console after wrapping TV, but leaving the internet router and modem exposed. We left an opening with the transparent sheet because of the internet modem’s switch, so the switches are still accessable during HIP. (Picture shows half done sealing)
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Living Room – Final layer of dust-proofing, which sealed up our furniture as well. All plastic sheets are taped on both sides to the ceiling, you won’t want the sheets to drop half way through the HIP! (Picture shows half done sealing)
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Living Room – Almost done sealing this part of the living room.
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Living Room – HIP contractor will cover our floor with either vinyl or rubber sheet to protect our tiles, but they will already be dusty from previous works when being laid on our floor. So we covered the working area with plastic sheets, to minimise the after-HIP cleaning.
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Living Room – This is the sealed part of living room from the above picture. It works as a temporary storeroom as well, where we keep all the tapes, cleaning equipment and boxed up items. We sealed our windows too.
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Living Room – It’s our temporary storeroom on the left. We built a re-sealable door with plastic sheet and a Daiso retractable pole. This divides the war zone HIP area and our re-created living space (which consists of a walkway and 2 unaffected bedrooms). We seal up the “door” only for Day 1 and 2, which are the 2 most dusty days. Right side of the wall has been sealed on the other side as well, leaving our living space dust-free.
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Dining Area – Needless to say, dust-proof it from ceiling to floor as well.
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Bedroom – This bedroom is unfortunately beside main bedroom toilet (which is undergoing HIP), so seal up the windows. Praise the invention of aircon!
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Bedroom – the other bedroom has a ventilation window above the door, although this room inside our living space (which is dust-free), we decided to seal it, just in case.

 

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DB Box – You can seal your entire house, but never the DB box, for safety reason. We cut a hole on the plastic sheet, leaving the DB box cover exposed.
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Main bedroom – It’s almost a cleared-out room to start with. We stored our washing machine and a shelf here, sealed from ceiling to floor.
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Main bedrom – Wardrobe and floor covered. Will be throwing away the fan, so we didn’t bother covering it.
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Kitchen – This will be the worst war zone HIP area, because our common toilet is in the kitchen. So we double-sealed our kitchen. First layer to cover fixtures. Fridge on the other side of this wall has been sealed as well. Remember to clear the food before sealing, for you only have access to the fridge 2 weeks later!
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Kitchen – double-sealing in progress. We wanted to leave the sink exposed, but decided to seal it up in the end, because hashtag dust is nightmare #dustisnightmare.
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Kitchen – Outer layer done on both sides, floor covered, bringing dust-proofing to a whole new level.
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Kitchen – We took the advice from neighbours, seal up the powerpoints. Some workers tend to use our electricity for minor drilling works (which they are not supposed to), so sealing up prevents them from using our points. (Look out for my next post to see how workers asked me for permission to use our points, when they already knew they are not supposed to.)

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Kitchen – We sealed this powerpoint differently. It’s re-sealable. In case we need a powerpoint outside our living space, we can still use this.

Tagging

We tagged the items in both toilets which we intend to keep and re-install after HIP, so that the workers can help to keep them aside for us.

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Common toilet – We tagged items we wanted to keep with blue post-it and reminded the supersivor during Day 1 of HIP before hacking works start
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Common toilet – Tagged. (We threw this away in the end, not sure what state of minds are we in when we tagged this. Hurhur)

Materials

You may think that we are being exaggerated in our dust-proofing work, but I have to tell you, it works, not much of cleaning to be done in the end because the entire house is almost dust-free, except for the stones on the floor from all the hacking works.

So there are the items we used:

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Hunter masking tape (on the right) is highly recommended (tried & tested) to be durable and does not peel paint when removing). So we used it to stick plastic sheets to ceiling and wall. Hi-bond (on the left) works on walls too. But it’s thin, not as good as Hunter.

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Plastic sheets we used for the entire house except for floors.

A full list of items we used:

  1. Hunter masking tapes (12 rolls)
  2. Hi-bond masking tapes – for connecting 2 plastic sheets and wall (8 rolls)
  3. SLM masking tapes – for for connecting 2 plastic sheets (a few rolls)
  4. Transparent tape – for connecting plastic sheet to tiles (1 roll)
  5. Plastic sheets – entire house except floor – (17 packs)
  6. Extra thick plastic sheets – for floors (did not track usage

Sorry Mother Earth for not being green, but we feel that this is essential.

Look out for next post topic: The beginning of HIP and how the detailed dust-proofing saved us.

Posted in Singapore, Uncategorized

Life Made Easier – Steigen Automated Laundry Systems

What do you need when you need to dry your wet laundry?

I’m staying at 90s HDB flat, and here are the items I need:

  1. To lift the bamboo pole the wet laundry, bring it out of window and stuff it to the bamboo pole holder and ensure it doesn’t break and land at ground floor.
  2. A platform. I 1.56m tall short, I can hardly reach the bamboo pole holder outside the window without a platform.
  3. The legendary Sun that keeps playing hide and seek with everyone, that leads to my next needed item…
  4. Some clothing are just too precious to me, and I will over-turn them before hanging them in the sun to dry, to prolong the colors of my clothes, especially black ones.
  5. If I am lucky, I have the Sunshine at the kitchen windows, else I can only air-dry my laundry in the living room. And yes, I am lucky for I live in the 90s HDB, where living room is not in a match-box size.

I thought things should turn better when I move into a new BTO flat, until I see the new laundry hanging racks.

racks
3 poles, Thank you. I had 6 much longer poles.
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I guess we are expected to dry our laundry indoor. This would save my muscles, but where do I get the Sunshine and wind from? Unless I can direct the Sunshine and wind into our service yard, say goodbye to fresh smelling clothes.

Perhaps we should get a dryer, I did a quick research and at my best knowledge, there are 2 types of laundry dryer, #1 electric dryer and #2 gas dryer. In any case, both are not cheap, in terms of product and electricity / gas bills.

Having rumbled so much, I am fortunate to have chanced upon a solution to my problem recently. After watching the demo and had a try out on the solution myself, all I want to say is, “what more can I wish for?” Continue reading “Life Made Easier – Steigen Automated Laundry Systems”

Posted in Accommodation, Holiday, Hua Hin, Uncategorized

Accommodation Review (Hua Hin): Royal Pavilion Hua Hin Hotel

Think Hua Hin, think Royal Pavilion Hotel, at least that true for me. It was our second trip to Hua Hin in July 2017, and we knew we had to go back to this hotel for it’s fantastic services and comfort. The building looks 3-stars, but service unquestionably matches it’s 4-stars rating. Continue reading “Accommodation Review (Hua Hin): Royal Pavilion Hua Hin Hotel”

Posted in Bangkok, Holiday, Hua Hin, Train

Train Ride: Hua Hin Station to Hua Lamphong (Bangkok) Station

The thought of travelling by train in a foreign country makes my cells dance. I like trains, I enjoy travelling by rail. I wrote about Melbourne’s Puffing Billy steam train in 2016, it was a short ride, but sufficient to keep me smiling for days.

 

We managed to plan for another train ride this year in July, from Hua Hin to Bangkok. This was our second trip to Hua Hin, and we went with a purpose this time round. My partner and I really love Hua Hin for its calmness and slow-living.

 

So here is our little adventure on the 229km train ride from Hua Hin Railway Station to Hua Lamphong Railway Station (Bangkok).

Continue reading “Train Ride: Hua Hin Station to Hua Lamphong (Bangkok) Station”

Posted in Bangkok, Holiday, Hua Hin, Photography, Pre-wedding, Singaporean

Casual Photography at Hua Hin, Thailand

Located in the Southern Thai province of Prachuap Khiri Khan, Hua Hin is a seaside resort with the charm and fascination of an active fishing port.

 

We especially love their scenic attractions, Swiss Sheep Farm and Santorini Park; which was the main reason we had decided to return to Hua Hin for our Couple photography 2 years later after our first visit.

Continue reading “Casual Photography at Hua Hin, Thailand”

Posted in Accommodation, Bangkok, Holiday

Accommodation Review (Bangkok): Budacco Hotel

 

This review is based on my personal experience and thoughts, it has no mean to promote or condemn the hotel. If you strongly feel that what I have written is unacceptable, please feel free to comment in the comment box.

Budacco Hotel, Bangkok is located near Ratchaprarop ARL (Airport Rail Line) Station, I would say 8minute stroll is sufficient to reach the hotel from station, if weather is good. We paid 1000Baht as deposit. From online review, most Taxi and Tuk Tuk do not know where this hotel is since it’s in a small alley, so just tell them to go Baiyoke Sky Hotel, you can walk in from there.
There’s a video from the hotel website that guides you the way to hotel from Ratchaprarop ARL Station. For your convenience, I’ve note it down in point form. That was how we got to the hotel.

Source: http://www.budacco.com/location.php

From Ratchaprarop ARL –

  • walk towards Phaya thai station,
  • exit Ratchprarop station,
  • look for Exit 2,
  • go down to ground floor,
  • turn right in direction of Baiyoke Sky Hotel,
  • walk along shops,
  • turn right at “Ratchaprarop 3” sign,
  • walk straight,
  • turn left when see Budacco signage on top of a like yellow building (opp Baiyoke Hotel),
  • walk straight in and turn right,
  • Budacco is on right hand side (Beside Blue Spa Massage)

Depending on your objective of the Bangkok trip, this hotel might not suit you. If you are into shopping (Singapore Bugis street style) and will only be spending a day or two in Bangkok, then this hotel is heaven, because it is within walking distance to Pratunum!

But if you are planning to explore more, then you might want to read this para. The only train station near the hotel is Ratchaprarop ARL Station, while most malls and attractions are along BTS (Bangkok Mass Transit System / Sky Train) or MRT stations. You will need to take ARL to Praya Thai (1 station away) to connect to BTS stations; or take ARL to Makkasan to connect to MRT stations. ARL train doesn’t come as frequent as BTS, I would say it’s about 10 to 15 mintues interval. But on the bright side, you can take ARL to Hua Lamphong station and connect to SRT (State Railway of Thailand) and Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Hotel staff greeted us with a big smile at the entrance and welcomes us with a glass of chilled drink and hot towel each. We check-in to the hotel twice for this trip, 2 days per stay. My review hereon will be for 2 rooms.

We stayed in Oriental Room 31 for 2 days on our first stay. Scheduled check-in time is 2pm, but they had allowed us early check-in at 12nn. Room is spacious and clean. Hotel showed their warm hospitality by folding our bath towels and face towels into elephants. Bed is comfy and firm enough, with 2 pillows and 2 cushions. There’s 4 windows in our room, 1 behind the wooden duo seats, 1 by the TV console, 1 behind the bed and 1 by the basin in the shower. 1 of the windows faces window of another building though. There’s a little ¾ length mirror corner where ladies can blow-dry your hair, and have your makeup put on, admire yourself before you start the day.

 

Our second stay at Budacco Hotel for the trip was at Deluxe Room 36, there’s no more Oriental room on Zuji.com for our second stay. Deluxe Room is a few SGD cheaper than Oriental Room. But the room orientation is so much different. The cute towel elephants are gone, shower is much smaller, basin is by the TV (yup, by the TV, in front of the bed). When we check-in to Room 36 at night, window wasn’t locked, it was faulty and took us awhile to get it locked properly. The window is greyed out/ covered, it’s as good as no window, we couldn’t see anything from the window at all. We open the window (since it wasn’t locked) and peep into someone’s kitchen from our room! *rolling my eyes* Bed is so soft that it gave me backache on the first night of the second stay. We requested for cushion, thought it could support my back alittle, (the one we had in Oriental Room, it wasn’t in Deluxe Room) but was rejected at the reception counter, they claimed to have no extra cushion for us. So that few SGD makes a dramatic difference!

 

Daily breakfast was fine, no delicacy but sufficient to fill our tummies to start our day right. The hotel has a little patio, so if the tiny café is full, you can consider having your first meal of the day at the patio, it’s sheltered, no worries about the scorching sun or even if it rains.

 

We had one of our dinners at the hotel café, the day we came back from Hua Hin at night (look out for my review on accommodation at Hua Hin!). We understand that hotel food can’t be compared with outside food, and our objective was just to fill our tummies and then sleep. Spicy stir-fried instant noodle with grilled chicken (100++ Baht) wasn’t too bad, but the amount of chilli padi almost turned my lips into sausages. Grilled chicken breast with teriyaki sauce (150++ Baht) turned out to be boiled-looking chicken in pepper corn sauce. We settled the bill with 1000Baht but hotel staff claimed to have no small change. We tried again with a 500Baht note, they hesitated before accepting it. So, my suggestion is, if you are planning to have your meal there, prepare the exact amount.

Budacco Hotel has kindly helped us store our luggage after our first stay, while we travel to Hua Hin for a night in smaller bags, since we will be returning to their hotel for a second stay. That really eased out worries of carrying huge luggage for train ride.

That’s all for my review on this budget hotel, and I hope it helps you a little in your planning. Bangkok has been good to us, and I hope you have a pleasant stay in the Land of Smile too.