Sunday, October 28, 2012

Trying out Morganfield's

You know you're trying out a so-new-no-one's-heard-of-it-before restaurant when the taxi driver doesn't even know the mall that the restaurant is located in. Well, we did get to Morganfield's and thankfully there was no queue outside the restaurant so we were able to breeze right through. There was no question on what we were going to order - since Morganfield's prided itself on being the Home of Sticky Bones, Sticky Bones would be the order of the day. And good on Morganfield's for watching out for families with kids, not only did we get the requisite balloons that every casual dining place seems to have but we also received 2 free kid meals, one for each main dish we ordered. The kids' meals were actually quite substantial enough for adults. I would know since I finished off one of those babies by myself. In fact, the portions are quite good. We had a full rack of sticky bones, a grilled chicken dish and 2 kids' meals and still had half a rack of sticky bones left over. And we're talking 5 adults and 2 kids here so it was quite a big group. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before more people hear about this restaurant. Go and check it out.  

Here's what a full rack of Sticky Bones looks like 

Lexi enjoying her Fish Fingers 

Morganfield's - Home of Sticky Bones 

A bit of Morganfield's history
The Star Vista, 1 Vista Exchange Green, #02-23
Singapore, Singapore 138617

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Gap Sale is On!

The Gap Sale is on again at Isetan Scotts, L3 Promotion Gallery. As with previous promotions, discounts are up to 70% and additional 20% for more than 5 items, which works out to an actual 76% discount on each item. This is the second Gap Sale I've been to and I look forward to it each time. There are always crowds at these things and you'll have to jostle your way around, but hey, that's the price you pay for fashion. These truly are fashion finds because I've had to dig through piles and piles of clothes to get them.  

Animal print halter dress. Original price SGD99. Discounted price SGD23. 

Ikat-print top. Original price SGD59. Discounted price SGD14.

Cowl-neck top. Animal print scarf. Royal blue cardigan.
Each item original price SGD59. Discounted price SGD14.

I bought other stuff as well such as basic white shirts and chinos, even stuff for the kids such as some past-season DVF dresses. Another great haul. Go check it out. Sale started today Oct 26 and ends Nov 8.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Interior Design Inspirations

Some design pegs for our future home.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Singapore Spaces

This December will be my 9th year in Singapore. In all this time, I've stayed in a whoppingly large number of apartments...okay fine, it's just 5 apartments, but if you move every other year or so like I do, you'll be feeling like a turtle too at the end of it. You can check out pics of the Singapore apartments I've stayed at here and here, and though all of them were lovely and cozy and full of character, I took an impending move as a sign from the universe that it was time to settle down.

I never really expected to stay this long but somehow life just happens. When I came here, I was just a twenty-something single girl trying to prove I could make it on my own away from my family. I was initially planning to live and work in Singapore for a couple of years, be able to tick that off my to-do list and then move back home, but then my sister followed me, and I eventually got married to a fellow expat. Time passed, the kids came, and though we did go back to Manila to have my second baby delivered there, we eventually made our way back to Singapore.

Now with my eldest daughter having just started preschool, it's so much more important for us to stay in one place, which is why we've decided to finally buy an apartment.

Prior to that decision, I've consulted with several experts on the matter, specifically, the taxicab drivers of Singapore. Yup, somehow or other, I ended up having the same conversation every time I made my way to work. The taxi driver would pick me up along the streets of Balestier and comment about the great hawker food at Whampoa market, then he'd make an insightful comment about the explosion of high-rises within the area which would eventually lead to a discussion on the evolution of property prices and the current cost of buying an HDB flat. In any case, after a number of these cab conversations, I eventually brought up the issue with my husband and prepared key points for why this would be a good time to buy:

1) High cost of renting - We were quite practical and managed to save tons of money on rent by living with housemates for years and choosing old apartments whose rental prices were slightly below market average (at one time we lived in a 4-bedroom bi-level penthouse but split the cost among 6 people!), but we don't have housemates anymore and are only now starting to feel the pinch of high rental prices. Add to that the cost of clothing, feeding and sending kids to school, which we didn't have before, and we seriously needed to manage our household budget and try to cut down on costs.

2) New job and PR renewal - I started a new job this year and me and my husband just renewed our PR status which means we're likely going to stay longer and if we're staying here longer then I refuse to keep moving. I don't want to measure my possessions anymore by the number of boxes it takes to move them around (15 as of last count). I want to finally live an unboxed life!

3) A sense of home/community - To be honest, we haven't really integrated with the community in the past. Now that we have kids though, I noticed people have started to talk to us more or rather with our kids and we in turn are finding ourselves trying to be more sociable as well. In fact, for the first time we attended a community event, mainly for the kids. I think it's a good start. And staying in an actual HDB complex will only further help us feel part of the community.
And so key points on hand, I brought up the discussion with my husband and was surprised at how quickly he got on board, but maybe he's already been thinking along the same lines anyway and our thoughts just finally converged. And so another major decision for this year, yes, we're going to buy an HDB flat!

So we prepared ourselves for the long journey of finding that perfect HDB flat, maybe setting aside a couple of months for the search, then another month or two to complete the purchase. But then what happened was that we actually found the flat we wanted after a week of searching and 6 apartment viewings (well, actually we made a bid after the 4th apartment viewing but we lost that one).

In any case, here are pics of our new place and right now it's not really great-looking, but we saw that it had potential and since we're going to do our own renovation anyway, we know we can make it look good. In fact, the current condition is probably why the owner asked a reasonable COV (cash over value) amount.  

 Bedroom 1

 Bedroom 2


Living Room with extended balcony

We're so looking forward to transforming this space into a home. More updates to come.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

What the Future Looks Like

I can't believe we're getting at that stage where we're talking about what preschools our children should be getting into and what property we should be investing in. Anyway, talking about investing in property, we attended an Ayala Land roadshow some years back and they were talking about this wonderful new development south of Metro Manila called Nuvali. Yes, it sounds a bit far, it is outside Metro Manila, but for someone who's always lived an hour/an hour and a half away from the city anyway, it's actually not that bad. And though the thought of paying toll fees just to get to the city seemed like money going down the drain to me, when they started talking about the plans for this place in terms of being eco-friendly and sustainable it just seemed so ideal, so forward-thinking that we bought into it straight away.

The particular development we bought into was called Venare and its unique selling point was Active Living - it would be situated near the Republic Wakepark (which is now fully operational, by the way), a bird sanctuary and there would be running and biking trails around the vicinity. Apart from that, it boasted a ton of amenities and facilities - 5 so-called amenity zones focusing on different multi-active experiences for the whole family.

Aqua Zone which would have free form pools, lounge pool, leisure and lap pools, kiddie pools and wet play area.

E-Zone which would have a Library and Board Room, Game Room, Outdoor Theatre, Children's activity area and Teens' activity area

Green Zone which is at the lowest point elevation within the village and would include a picnic & camping grove, mountain bike & hiking trails, botanical park, detention pond with boardwalk & footbridge, bonfire and BBQ pit area, terraced garden, organic farm, greenhouse and plant nursery

Go Zone which has covered play courts (basketball, badminton, volley ball, table tennis), outdoor play field (foot ball, frisbee, ball kicking, dodge ball), jogging path

Me Zone situated at the highest elevation point within the village and would have meditation grove and viewing pavilion, gym & outdoor exercise area, rock garden

Here are photos of Venare in the early stages of construction:


  Venare in August 2010 (all photos courtesy of leechtat from

And here are the more recent development pictures from as of August 2012

Things are taking shape and it looks really big and really nice. We won't be settling down in Venare in the near future but it's wonderful to think that this is what our future will look like...mountain views, rolling hills, healthy outdoor living, camping/BBQing maybe wakeboarding and even sailing (Taal Lake is 30 minutes away from this place).

If you're interested in Venare or other Nuvali developments, you can check out or You can also check out the discussion in skyscrapercity or read an actual Nuvali resident's blog at