Is it funny that I was never homesick for the past 2.5 years of moving to America until my mum and brother came to visit me? It was so comforting when we finally moved out of our tiny rental (that we shared with my husband’s cousin) and into our very own home last October. The freedom to do whatever we want is so enjoyable. We could actually invest in everything that we own like getting brand new “adult” couches. Never once did I think that it was just the two of us until my mum and brother came over to stay for a month.
I have to admit it was not easy for all of us to adjust initially. We were all trying to figure out how we can function together without interfering too much into each others’ preferences. They made me realize that it’s really not that difficult to drive around by myself, and I should walk my dog around the neighborhood as often as I can. Yes, I am quite a wimp when it comes to doing anything by myself. Even when I was living in a city that’s filled with people everywhere, I rarely ever do anything myself other than going for yoga or dance classes.
Now that they have flown back home, I see the void; the lack of company to cook, exercise and shop with! It’s everything I liked and had when I was living back in Singapore. How am I going to do everything by myself again?
I need to remind myself that there was a lot more errands to do when it was the four of us. That’s a lot more housework to do too. Secondly, I don’t have to be shopping all the time since I have the luxury of not having to work at the moment. I can actually do most of the things I like at home. There’s youtube and other subscription based websites that allows me to do yoga, barre or dance at the comfort of my own home. Maybe when I do find a job around here that I like and actually start working, I can then use the extra cash to pay for yoga classes again.
Somehow I stumbled onto Jamie Beck’s post about her year living in Provence today. There are so many things that she said about living in the city that I do not miss too.
“I learned to live a life with less noise. My days in Provence are filled mostly with cooking, cleaning, and making photographs and those are the days when I am most happy. I found freedom. Above everything I learned, I discovered true freedom. Freedom exists beyond the ability to choose where you live or what you believe. I found freedom in my art and expression. I found freedom from money. Of course, we all need money to survive but they don’t worship it here in France and it’s amazing how much your stress levels dissolve when that’s not the goal to life. I’m really into being free from plastics and logos and that has brought down the noise in my life in the best way. I loved the freedom from a culture that tells woman how we are supposed to look. I loved being free from what society tells me I should be doing like having children and a corporate job so I have health insurance. I loved the freedom from ‘stuff’. I never had to walk outside my door and be reminded of all the ‘stuff’ I don’t have that I supposedly need to in order to be valuable. The value comes from within – in my mind, in my soul and if I can create something of meaning. I wish I had more time to work on these ideas. Time, I have come to find out, is the most valuable thing we have.”
If you love photography, do check out her Instagram Stories. The way she does her photography is so intriguing, especially when she shares the whole process of how she takes her photos. Right now she’s working on large format film photography.
Here is my messy Christmas mantle this year. It’s a mishmash of new and old stuff. I think my favorite buy from Target’s Bullseye’s Playground this year are the $3 ceramic tealight candle holder houses. I wish they had more designs, but it’s also fun to collect them over the years if they continue to put out new ones. There were $1 and $3 bottlebrush trees that come in silver, gold, white and ombre pink. Many people on the Target Facebook groups love the $5 sleigh. It looks really good when you add gnomes or even the $2 fake snowballs that Target is also selling.
Am I the only one that can’t resist all the Christmas stationery, especially when they are all $1 to $3? The stamps, ink pads and sticker labels are a dollar each. The Christmas cards (16pcs) and gift wrapping tissue paper were $3. The snow globe jars are also $3, so I grabbed all three designs.
Target Reindeer garland
Target Christmas Advent Calendar Garland
Target Christmas Lights garland
Target Snowflake Garland
Last but not the least, there are many garlands and signs for $3. The designs for the garlands are a little on the kiddish side, but I had to get at least one garland. I ended up purchasing the reindeer garland to go with some decor I got from Dollar Tree and the multi-color lights garland. The Merry Christmas sign above my mantle and the Fresh Cut Christmas Trees sign (pictured below) are both $3 which is quite a steal if you ask me.
Let me know if you need the DCPI for any of the items. I’ll try to find them for you to track them down on brickseek.com.
Welcome to our living room. One of the reasons we bought this house was the vaulted ceiling and hardwood floor in the living room. As first time home buyers, we didn’t notice the lighting in the living room. It was only after living in our house for a few months did I realize that one ceiling fan light and two recessed lights is not enough to light up the whole room. I also notice that not everyone likes to light up their rooms as much as me.
After trying to recall all the houses we saw while house shopping, I’m almost certain we have not seen any recessed lighting in all the houses we have seen. It is just a rarity at our price range. We bought the brightest LED light bulbs we could find to replace the ones that are in the house.
We had to buy a ladder to change the two recessed lights, and when it came to the ceiling fan light, things didn’t go well. My husband tried to unscrew the globe off the ceiling fan but it just wouldn’t budge. Just imagine a guy on a ladder wrangling on the ceiling fan and suddenly the whole globe fell off because the wire tore off..
Yep, so now we are down to two recessed lights in our living room. I don’t know what to do now. It will cost a few hundred dollars to install more recessed lights and we can’t really afford that at the moment. Getting a new ceiling fan would cost at least $200, and it wouldn’t light up the ceiling room anyway. Light kits for ceiling fans are almost as expensive as getting a new ceiling fan unless I get the boring old designs. Below are some of the ceiling fans and light kits that I have shortlisted.
The Halloween decor in our guest bathroom cost less than $6, and I’m actually very happy with it considering the amount spent. It consists of these three items:
Ghost hand soap dispenser from Walmart for $2
Small skull plate from Michaels for $2.99
Spider craft piece from Target’s Bulleye’s Playground section (6 pieces for $1)
Oh, and the tiny glass jar is actually a Yoplait’s Oui yogurt.
There is also a smart bluetooth LED speaker bulb in our vanity light. We actually bought it last Christmas to test it out, and it’s fun when we can play seasonal music wherever we placed it. Our guests are always amused when we tell them how it works. We love putting it in our dining room light too.
Yay to a new season! The weather hasn’t really changed here in Oklahoma, but I can’t wait for cooler weather. Having four seasons is something quite new to me since I’m from a tropical country. There’s so many new things to learn for each season.
One of the first things I learned so far is that the new Starbucks drink Maple Pecan Latte is way too sweet for my liking. Haha now I need to find a good coffee shop to try a pumpkin spice latte since I have a feeling I won’t like it too.
By the way, apple season is part of Fall right? There wasn’t any apples at our local farmers’ market on Saturday morning. Maybe it is a few weeks later in Oklahoma since we are further south. I want to try these two apple recipes soon: Honey, Apple, Cheddar and Bacon Panini and Apple Crumb Muffins.
Here’s the simple fall decor I’ve done so far.
I wish I have a bigger budget, but I’ll just take my time to accumulate more over the years.
We bought our first house last October, and it has been a blast. We can finally do whatever we want! There will be no roommate or rental property management company drama to deal with. I can actually devote time to build up a garden.
On top of that, there are also many small things that I appreciate here in the US – things that the average American may be very used to.
A bath tub
It feels so good to be able to take a bubble bath from a tub that is solely for you. (I need to remind my husband to fix the jets! I can’t imagine how awesome it would be if they worked.) It used to be a luxury when I lived in Singapore because most of us live in apartments.
A dryer It is such a convenient way to dry clothes. It is such a hassle to hang out clothes to dry which I think is very common in tropical countries like Singapore and maybe even Europe?
A fridge with water and ice dispenser Again, what a convenience to have filtered water and ice at your fingertips. I have no idea why it isn’t common in Singapore. Tropical country and iced water should go hand in hand.
A recliner These are just the most comfortable things to sit on. It feels like I am in the first class seats of an airplane every time I plonk myself on the recliner. There may be more aesthetically pleasing couches out there but nothing beats a recliner when it comes to comfort.
Garbage disposal Getting rid of leftovers in the sink is so much easier than throwing it in the bin. I don’t have to clear my trash as often.
Dishwasher The ability to be lazy and not have to hand wash dishes is incredible especially if you have a big family or just had a gathering at your place. Food just taste better when you use proper cutlery.