One People One Nation One Singapore

One People One Nation One Singapore.
The above text is most apt to describe how Singapore came together over the past week.

I hope the kids might read this post again in the near future and understand that such spontaneous outpouring of emotions might never again appear in Singapore. We Singaporeans are not particularly known as expressive (sentimental), but ChannelNewsAsia (documentaries) and Social Media sharings brought tears to my eyes countless times.

Singapore was grieving together as a nation. (read article about Vigil guards).
Vigil Soldier

Video : It all started with Auld Lang Syne. The lone Gurkha bagpiper bidding Mr Lee Kuan Yew before he leaves Istana for the last time. Solemn and dignified.

Crowds gathered to witness his Gun carriage travel from Istana to Parliament house.
Crowds stream non-stop to bid Lee Kuan Yew farewell at Parliament House’s Lying In State.
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Newspaper articles indicate “Queuing for History”, definitely a historic moment for Singapore.
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We did not queue successfully to pay our respect at Parliament House earlier.
Lee Kuan Yew Lying in State

But we pop by MM Lee’s one and only constituency, Tanjong Pagar. This CC is one of the 18 tributes sites in Singapore for us to pay our last respect, and pen our heartfelt gratitude.
Lee Kuan Yew Tanjong Pagar Tribute

MM Lee’s Lying in State (Parliament House) allowed Singaporeans to show their respects, together.
Families queued for hours under the sun or overnight just to say “Thank You”.
Most have not seen MM Lee face to face before, and all mentioned their 8-hour queues are nothing (compared to Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s lifelong service)
It was heart-wrenching to see parents weep together with their kids, or older folks making extra efforts to pay their last respect.

This is a side of Singapore which we do not get to see often!

MRT and Bus services ran 24 hours to ensure everyone can visit and say one last farewell.
We see Singaporeans from all walks of life coming together to help each other.
Volunteers were out in force to distribute water, umbrellas and biscuits.
Soldiers and police help to control the massive crowd turnout.
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Smaller kids might not understand what they are queuing for today, but they will understand later.
As Singaporeans, the kids have a lot to be proud of.

We sing patriotic songs during National Day, Stand up for Singapore, Count on Me Singapore, Home etc. This week, we heard a beautiful and sorrowful rendition One People One Nation One Singapore at Parliament House (by Rani Singam and Jeremy Monteiro).

After MM Lee’s passing, every patriotic song sounds especially meaningful.

29 Mar 2015, we bid goodbye to Lee Kuan Yew one last time along Shenton Way.
The rain and wind never stopped during the Funeral procession, it was cold and kids were shivering, but we soldier on. Waving Goodbyes with our little flag, shouting “Lee Kuan Yew, Thank You!”
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Strangely, the scenario reminded me of Singapore’s wet National Day Parade in 1968. Then, the country was still very young, and had to face the harsh elements. We are celebrating SG50 this year, perhaps the sky was tearing for MM Lee too?

It was hard for me to finish singing our National Anthem Majulah Singapura today, I choked a few times.
Lee Kuan Yew Funeral Procession

A few more poignant moments :

Video : Lee Kuan Yew Funeral Procession
Video : Majulah Singapura by DISRUPT

Thank you Lee Kuan Yew for everything!
One People One Nation One Singapore.

Photoshoot with Cloud Productions

[ Sponsored ]

I did something memorable on my birthday last month, family photoshoot with Cloud Productions at Toa Payoh Town Park.

We were in our sports attire as I wished to emphasised “A family which trains together, grows strong together”.

Then and now, my brother and me πŸ™‚
After Toa Payoh Town Park was rejuvenated (the pond was crowded with tortoises then), I am happy to find familiar arching stone bridge and low hanging trees.

We did not specifically pick any colour-matching clothes, but the pictures turn out great. Cloud Productions make us look photogenic and Happy. Say Yes Please πŸ™‚

Truth is, it is never easy to gather the kids’ attention. They were tired after morning activities.
The tortoises were a constant distraction, and I had to remind the kids not to throw stones at the poor tortoise!

The weather was slightly warm but the trees were really inviting. We pose around the branches with gorgeous background water body.

In case you are wondering why Boon Xin refrains from smiling, she is very conscious of her missing front teeth. She still looks very sweet though. I am definitely bias πŸ™‚

Our package was 60 minutes, but I suspect maybe 20 minutes was spent coaxing the kids to cooperate. You know, the reminders “Look here, Open your eyes, Smile, 5 more minutes finish”.

Cloud Productions’ Chief Photographer (Irene) was very patient with our kids’ antics. I know how hard it is to make everyone stay still for 10 seconds and look at the lens haha.

Within the hour, Irene captured a few lovely and warm family portraits. Some of the poses were spontaneous, but we love the effects! Mummy especially like the first picture, with background sunlight embracing us.

The kids had fun running up and down the various contours too.

Yeah, the siblings like to play with stones too, they sometimes aim the pebbles at each other too!

We hope the siblings will continue to love and care for each other as they grow older.

Cloud Productions specialize in Children & Family Outdoor Photoshoot, and photoshoot for Kids Birthday Parties too. They have a team of 6 photographers, and each brings out different style in their photos. More portfolios and testimonials can be found on their website and social media channels :
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Click for more photos on our Fanpage album.
outdoor family photoshoot

We are happy with Cloud Productions’ outdoor family photoshoot, and we hope more families will benefit too. Do pop by Cloud Productions’s special promotion for our blog readers.

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IKEA living room makeover

[ Advertorial ]

NICE, our living room is much more spacious now.
Kids are keeping their toys and accessories into the colourful Trofast trays.
Everyone got their own set of colour, no more contention.

Neat and elegant, we can configure the cabinets in different orientation too.
Less messy, visually pleasing, we love how the colourful trays seem to increase our living room’s floor area.

Before and after IKEA living room makeover :p

Video : Fast forward, kids took 30 minutes to construct our Trofast

To digress a bit, we all know kids grow up fast. We have been living in Sengkang for 14 years! Our family size has grown bigger, and our decade-old furniture and accessories are showing signs of wear and tear.

When kids were growing and getting heavier, they like to jump from our sofas, chairs etc.

When we were house-tidying for Chinese Lunar New Year, we took the opportunity to replace some of the old furniture.

IKEA was decked in festive decorations, and the Chinese New Year mood is everywhere.

If shoppers are ever clueless about makeover ideas, we would recommend IKEA’s HDB rooms mockup. That was how we came across our Sofa design.

1. You can research and shortlist your ideas from the catalogue or mobile app.

2. Next collect the packaging from the racks.

3. Payment and load into car. We love the whole DIY concept at IKEA.

Kids, however have other ideas when they visit IKEA. Their FUN is not only confined to chicken wings, ice cream cones or SmΓ₯land. The trolleys and luggage bags never fail to provide some sorts of entertainment for them!

Measuring tapes can be handy toys too (Daddy try to hide behind some Billy book shelves, so embarrassing haha)

But when it comes to real work, kids are very efficient with alan keys. With so many helping hands, we diy our own Trofast cabinet in under 30 minutes.

Besides Trofast, we got some additional storage with wheels.

With six family members, our laundry clothes are always piling like a hill. With the wheels, kids can now help to cart the laundry between living room, washer and bedrooms.

Before and after, we are confident our new sofa will have more seating space πŸ™‚

The last thing on our shopping list, a three seater Kivik sofa, should last us ten years (warranty). We do not expect the kids to be jumping on the sofa anymore, three of them will be serving National Service come 2025.

Somehow, parents and kids could not agree on how the sofa will be laid out. We shall see.

Whatever it is, we are eagerly waiting for our new sofa’s arrival. Four more days πŸ™‚

ps.. we are sponsored by IKEA to showcase a different theme each month. February is “Living room makeover” for us. You may be interested in January’s theme “Let there be Light“.

** updated 2015Mar …
Our new sofa πŸ™‚
IKEA sofa