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Remember nearly a year ago when I first moved into our new home, it was right into active mosquito breeding season (March-June). After that, we enjoyed relatively peaceful time until these couple of months, little annoyances are back.

These time, though, we are slightly better prepared. Mosquito nets are generally fixed on some openings, incense oil (lemon grass) and burner are in place. But we still can’t enjoy completely mosquito free environment. They seem to become smarter and harder to catch.

Once again, I went online to recap the previous tricks and tips of getting rid of them. Here’re the findings:

Quick and Dirty Mosquito Trap

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From DIY Happy http://www.diyhappy.com/quick-and-dirty-mosquito-trap/

Mosquito trap using UV lights and fan

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Bought one of this. However, it doesn’t really work as effective as I want. It only works effectively for the first couple of hours. Anyway, I kill more mosquitos by my hands than this.

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What color is this Christmas? Black? Gray? White?

A year has passed since we came back. Time flies. 

What had we achieved in this one year? Well, we finally settled down, having a steady job despite the economy rolls from rocking high to rock bottom. We are still facing financial constrain though. Lots of targets, hope to achieve in life. It takes time!

We still miss traveling a lot. This year we are really grounded to rebuilt our social life again. This year, due to the change of job environment, we met lots of new friends, and new stimulants occur.

Hopefully soon we can get back to travel and visit some countries which we have not been before. 

A heartfelt wish to everyone: Merry Christmas!

Flipping through tons of home deco magazines and carried back books on “loft” design during Takashimaya sales, home make-over ideas were generated from very minimal to extremely elaborate – re-doing the toilet, tear down wall and create another entrance and build a loft etc. But at the end, due to the recent higher cost of living and inflation, “Only do the essential.” Alex says. I am still unemployed, sure I agree. Since then, we have been cracking our head to build a cosy home with little budget. “There are 2 things in life which we drain our saving away.” David from our favorite David’s Antiques once told me. “Getting married and getting new house. You can’t avoid it.”

Yesterday we visited our friend Thomas’ home – a stylish two bedrooms apartment in the same boutique development. He has furnished it with Barang Barang’s dark teak wood furniture, using few selective color range and make it looks classy and expansive – good model of million dollar home.

Ours? An old clock; 2 colonial arm chairs David’s Antiques; 4 panels of old window frames we salvaged from a construction site; a street sign we picked up in Berlin and of course the rest are mostly Ikea stuff. Not to mention couple of the huge potted plants that the old owner left us with plus Swee Yin’s kind donation of some pots. Well at least, we have very nice elements to start with…

Joerg describes our home, “It is growing organically day by day…” Alex’s vision is creating a paradise in the mist of mismatching.

Recently I have been digging through books and search engines try to find out various ways to pest control this little creature – Mosquitos! Our new home is invaded by mosquitos as it is surrounded by plants and vegetation. It may be breeding season now too. Checking with my neighbors, apparently they are also recently disturbed by mosquitos, and raising awareness of its hazardous.

There are many different species of mosquitos here. It makes my earlier attempts of using environmental friendly pest control failed. Then I explore other options – anti-mosquito body spray, close doors and windows, incant stick, mosquito coil, mosquito net, UV light trap, mosquito plants etc. There all has its pros and cons. Some methods can only temporarily keep them away (10-15 minutes) and the hassle is back again. There are no one method works for all. A combination of a few ways is essential.

There are a few methods that I use and find it effective:

  1. Mosquito net or screen. It blocks out 100% of mosquitos if it seals properly. I started making screens on windows, it certainly helps maintaining air flow (instead of closing off windows). However, I am suffocated sleeping in mosquito net. Otherwise, it certainly helps a great deal for a peaceful resting night. There are ready-made DIY net for window screen using either velcro or magnetic strips in Home Fix or Self Fix. There are also contractors specialized on making window screen or door screen as well. I opt for lower cost DIY, I bought some screens from Sungai Road’s hardware store, and bought some strong magnetic strips from Art Friends or other hardware store.
  2. Burning 100% pure essential oil of lemon grass and/or citronella. Citronella tends to have stronger smell, so I generally prefer lemon grass. Not all essential oil is effective though, especially the fragranced ones.
  3. Mosquito trap. There are different models and sizes, price ranges from S$99 – S$999 or more. This trap has claimed the most effective mosquito control. However, imagine a piece sitting in your house and it often does not match with your interior design.

Other tips and tricks:

  1. Make sure there is no standing water.
  2. Mosquito is active during sunrise and sunset. Make sure the doors and windows are close (if without screen) during this period of time.

On 12 April, we declared occupying the apartment at 9am. We had a small breakfast, boiled water (using a pot as we didn’t own a kettle yet) for tea, and a small gathering on the patio. The day followed by unpacking and temporary arranging our stuff. It was tiring but the environment is peaceful…

In the evening, we started creating some privacies by pasting decorative stickers (from WINK) on our front window. Although it will not fully block passing neighboor from looking through the glass but at least it creates an interesting obstruction.

Last Thursday, our two arm chairs and a side table were finally arrived. We at least can sit in the living room comfortably…

Due to shortage of storage, most of our stuff is still lying on the floor of the living room till today…


Actually I didn’t celebrate at all. But my colleges thought otherwise and surprised me.

My colleges were very kind. There was no indication of my birthday age just 1sweet candle.

Of course the chocolate made me feel extremely guilty but once or twice a week is ok I think. Why else should I drag myself to gym during the week if not to eat later a lot of cakes.

Cutting hearts

I had to cut 2 hearts. Slightly a painful process and not successful at all. They just broke like in real life.

I had a HAPPY BIRTHDAY……
All the best Alex.

Since we received the apartment keys on Monday, we hold our breath and can’t wait till Saturday to view the place which is finally ours…

The place was nice and clean. With the black scolling blinds down it looks classy…

Mum immediately check out some auspicious moving dates for me… but the result is sad – due to Ching Min Festival (day of worshiping ancestors), we can only move in nearly a month later…

Our fall back plan is to engage some contractors to do up some storage for us. However, no one seems free at the moment. At the end, we spend $1000 to paint the interior wall instead. After all, it is probably a better idea to first living in before spending money for any renovation…

One of our favorite Hong Kong originated dessert is Ginger milk. I am dying to learn how to make it since the first time I tasted it (many years ago). In Singapore, one famous place for this dessert is located in Chinatown. Remembered once I asked to see the chef making it, but they told me that it is their trade secret, can’t share. Fine!

Thank goodness while we are staying with Chang, his sister visits him and taught us how to make it. “It is very simple… very very simple” She said. The catch for making Ginger Milk is the temperature of the milk, and the proportion between milk and ginger. Proportion: a bowl of milk vs a table spoon of ginger.

Firstly, preparing ginger: We shred a few pieces of ginger and squeeze/filter out the juice in a bowl.

Secondly, preparing milk: Dissolve one spoon full sugar in milk, then use low heat and heat it in a pan and stir. Once it reaches a simmer (first sight of steam raises), turn off the heat immediately.

Finally, pour the heated milk with sugar quickly into the bowl of ginger juice and wait for about two to three minutes. The milk will then solidify like a curd.

Alex is watching to catch the first sight of smoke…

Not long ago I started longing for having my own home. Especially the cost of living in Singapore has become so high that living out of a rented apartment is no longer the best choice. So, we started our house hunting even before we touched down on Singapore and prepare every necessities to ease the process of getting the place.

It didn’t take us long to find one – an apartment nearly end of the world, just barely big enough for the two of us, in a barely affordable price. However, let’s put the idea of investment aside, it worth more than enough to substitute our future rental. Despite the long journey to our workplace, we love its quiet location, peaceful environment and the opportunity of various outdoor activities. A good get away for the weekend.

Our future home

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The furniture belongs to the current owner

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We love this patio

When we get the key to the house in March, we will have an empty living room and bed room, but fully furnished kitchen and bathroom. So, riding on the Lunar New Year sales, we bought 2 arm chairs and a side table for the living room, and a mattress in the bedroom. This would be the start of our new life in new apartment.

Really looking forward to it…

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End of November we moved to Sean’s place. It is so good to have friends that are so supportive and tolerance to take us 2 crazy chicks into their place. (Now I have an urge to get a laptop too.) All of us got addicted to facebook. So our evenings look mostly like this.

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This is my first time living in a HDB (Housing and Development Board) flat of Singapore. With the exploiding housing rents most of us ‘Ang mos’ don’t have a choice then leaving our comfortable condos behind and moving into this legoland houses. They are comfortable though just the view is crappy lah.

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All pipes are exposed in the shower rooms. So I can hear thundering water flushing through the pipes from 10 floors above every now and then… uuhhhg

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These niches get used for hanging laundry but you better don’t cross them downstairs. Flying banana skin is the best that can drop on you… I tell you.

Alex

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