An Exercise In Trivial Pursuits

Fatshion, Food & Frivolities – Life in Las Vegas & Singapore


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Making time for family

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I’ve been in the US just over 4 months and it’s been really unreal to be so far away from home. I still have debates with T over whether I should return to Singapore (and have him come with me) because I still feel lost and somewhat empty. On weekends, T tries to show me the sights and we go out to do stuff even though he might be too tired from working all week. I try not to bother him but it gets really boring here when you’re so far away from your people.

My days are spent cleaning the house, making food, watching reality TV and keeping Max the Maximum Dog company. I really don’t have anything to do except relax and be happy. T doesn’t care if the house is a mess or if I don’t bother doing anything in the day at all. I spend most of the afternoons yearning for T to return home from work and I do still get a little anxious when we are apart because at the back of my head, it’s too good to be true. And maybe, illogically,  it feels like it’ll take months before we’ll see each other again and I am so relieved when he’s back by my side.

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Having my family here though has been a great help. My mother and my sisters keep me occupied and busy. Their company in our quiet house has been much appreciated. We have been going out (in fact, we’re in New York for the Christmas holidays now), doing stuff (i.e. sight-seeing and shopping) as well as just enjoying the space here – we live in a nice, big house in Singapore but being in a big city, there’s no way to escape the street noise and crowds.

It’s also great to have my family’s approval of my current lifestyle. My mother seems to find our house in good shape and is impressed that I “maintain” the entire house on my own. She’s been taking tons of pictures since she got here and proudly telling everyone that I can do it without external help. It’s weird to many because it’s just cooking and cleaning but if you know how she’s never lifted a finger at home in her entire life and that we’ve always had a string of maids taking care of everything… then yeah.

I must say that the Internet is great! Even my mother agrees because I’ve learnt how to do the most basic of things like folding fitted sheets and scrubbing toilets by watching videos. Thank heavens for high-speed Internet! IMG_2054While I’m deliberating whether or not to stay here for good, my family seems to enjoy what the US (especially Vegas) has to offer. There are the crazy bright lights and polished malls along the Strip and the beautiful nature reserves just over an hour away. It is comforting to know that at least my younger sister wants to come back every Spring and Autumn (when she can), and that my mother loves the cheap shopping (fashion, handbags, groceries, gemstones etc) here to stay away for too long.


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Home for Christmas

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They say home is where the heart is and you know, I’m feeling homesick right now. T and I have been decorating our house for Christmas and it’s the first time he’s ever done that in his adult life since he’s never found the reason to. We put up stuff outside the porch, some lights on our balconies and also tried to cosy up our main living area. We’re trying to keep to about USD100 in all and our tree is largely bare. Also, part of our strategy is to take the next few years to really grow the collection so that every ornament has a story, rather than everything from a pre-packed store bought box.

I usually have lots of year end activities – non-stop parties and dinners with people close to my heart (sometimes juggling 2 to 3 events in a day). This year, we get to T’s home state of New York just before Christmas to spend it with his Mom’s extended family (also doubling up as our wedding celebrations with both our maternal units). Then we get back to Vegas just in time to drive 6 hours to Arizona to spend New Year’s with his Dad and Step Mom. The best part of course, is sharing this holiday season with my mother and sisters as well! As you’ve seen from my Throwback Thursday snaps, I miss my sisters a lot. Some of the things I ALWAYS have with me are pictures of us when we were little. It was always (usually *koffkoff*) great to have them to play with (bully *koffkoff*) and be a buffer for when I get mad with my parents but still want to make sure they’re okay.

T and I have been stretching the last of our dollars and spending those treasured Amazon giftcards we got for our wedding on some furniture – especially for the empty guestroom. My sisters will inaugurate our 2nd guest bedroom in a few days’ time! When this was T’s bachelor pad, it was a junk room with lots of dusty books, game cartridges & consoles (yes plural), exercise equipment, spare computers etc. When I visited previously, we kept the door to this room shut so that I won’t have to see the mess. However, 2 months ago, I threw myself into making this room usable. It took perhaps 3 weeks to clean, throw (imagine empty drink cans and receipts from 2009), sort, dust, wipe and vacuum the entire place!

I am very happy with what I’ve done with it and it’s another milestone in putting our home together. (Okay, after I cleaned it and cleared space, T had to physically put 4 hours of elbow grease into setting up the furniture.)

Because we don’t believe in credit cards, our finances are really tight at the moment – given the tens of thousands of dollars of upfront cash expenses we didn’t budget for (travelling back and forth to see each other, getting married, quitting my job, immigration fees, Max’s cancer etc) yet this year’s holidays will be especially wonderful for T and I. I don’t think we’ll ever get to do this in our lifetime again since all our families are so spread out. I’ll definitely savour every moment in the upcoming weeks.

Happy Holidays everyone and may all of you always have the warmth of family to share special occasions, wherever home may be for you!

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Hello from Arizona!

IMG_8715T and I got back yesterday evening from visiting his Dad and Stepmom (who live with their dog, Bandit) in Fountain Hills. We drove the rented FORD Taurus through a gorgeously scenic route that is the Joshua Tree Parkway and past places with cute names like Bullhead, Kingman, Wikieup and Wickenburg; into Phoenix and past Scottsdale before reaching Fountain Hills. The drive took us just under 6 hours and we made several pitstops to let Max out for a walk, do his business, hydrate etc. It was so fun!

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We stayed 2 nights at T’s Dad’s lovely home, ate lots of food, watched TV (and some movies) and had chatty conversations. Oh and T’s Stepmom gave me 2 of her old gold rings! I am a sucker for these things – I mean used things with sentimental value, not gold. She said she lost weight and couldn’t wear them anymore (I have fat fleshy fingers and I reckon I’d have to lose some weight to wear them properly as they’re kinda tight now.). One of them was designed and made by a friend who dabbled in jewellery-making on the side (I tried googling her name but nothing turned up).

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So anyway, it was the Labor Day holiday and most of the shops in downtown Fountain Hills, as well as their world famous fountain were not in operation. (Maybe the fountain wasn’t working for another reason, I don’t know.) I did enjoy the drive around to see what the town was like though. There were many metallic sculptures around town and along the streets which I loved.

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IMG_8800T’s Dad drove us to Sedona on Sunday and I pretty much enjoyed the red rock mountains as well as the Mexican-style shops/buildings dotting Uptown Sedona. Also, we had a cheese pizza at Famous Pizza & Beer, that had a great crispy crust, cheesy cheese and the perfect amount of grease that hit the right spot! (T’s Dad says Pizza is his favourite food group… heehee) The next time I go there, I’ll be more well-prepared. I picked up some free tourist guides and a map from the shops at Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village, and I will be able to identify all the formations before I visit again – Courthouse Rock, Bell Rock, etc.

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So that’s us signing out from T’s favourite state – Arizona. Next up, the state where T grew up – New York, to visit his Mom, Grandmother, Aunts, Uncles and cousins!