Friday, April 13, 2012

Powder Room Renovation!

Ever since we moved into our house I've had a running list of things we would be eventually changing....landscape tweaks and new living room and hall lights were at the top of the list. Now that we had that done, it was time to start thinking about the next renovation. I have always disliked the pedestal sink in our powder room. I wanted a vanity with storage so I didn't have to keep things in bins and eventually when we have kids could safely store (and lock) away the cleaning supplies. I also wanted a pop of color somewhere in the house since most of the house is shades of browns/tans. Janet and John were planning to come up to visit, and luckily for us John is super handy around the house. They asked if we had anything we wanted to do around the house so John knew what tools to bring.....I asked if he could install a sink and when I got yes at the answer, there was no turning back. 

Now if you know me at all, once I get an idea in my head for our house there is NO turning back and generally I have the whole thing done within a week. Poor Ed always gets sucked into these "brilliant" ideas :) Well the idea got planted in my head, John and Janet were coming in 5 days....that meant crunch time. We had 5 days to agree on a color for the bathroom, paint it, and buy the new sink and vanity. We finally settled on a pretty red color so that Wednesday and Thursday we washed walls and painted them after work. Of course before doing this we ripped the sink out, Ed did a great job and it ended up being easier then we thought. 

We forgot to think one small detail new sink THEN rip out old sink. Oh well....guess that really meant we couldn't turn back as now we had a room without a sink and something was going in that spot! We frantically shopped for the perfect Vanity for 2 days. We finally found one we both loved. That Satuday Ed and John spent a good 4-5 hours installing the new vanity and hardware. It was easier said then done but each hurdle they found, they found a solution. So now we have a beautiful new Powder Room. We are still looking for the perfect mirror but I am so happy with how it turned out. Thanks so much John & Ed!!!
Here are a few pictures!


Goodbye sink!

1 coat of paint done, LOVING the red

Vanity is in, now to do the plumbing

Love the new faucet

Vanity/Sink ready to go

New TP holder

New Towel Rod, goodbye ugly gold one

New Powder Room! Mirror still needs to change but love how it turned out!!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The rest of our Singapore Vacation

Day 2: Saturday

We started day 2 by heading over to the botanical gardens! It was a perfect day to walk through, sunny and HOT! Wow were we sweaty though. After a nice walk through, we all met up on Orchard Road (shopping district woohoo!) for some lunch and to figure out the rest of the day.
Entrance to Singapore Botanic Gardens
Me & my brothers at the Botanic Gardens

Ed and I at the Botanic Gardens

We decided it would be fun to do a bumboat ride (little rickity chinese boats). We headed down to Robertson Quay to get a ride. Unfortunately when we go there we were greeted by an impending downpour. So we did the most logical thing....looked for a bar to drink at as it passed. The good thing with Singapore rain is that most of it comes on quick and leaves quick. We found a bar on the water so we could enjoy the view of the Marina (where we also were able to get our first glimpse of our next hotel, the marina bay sands). We were all amazed by the view, almost everything we were looking at was not there 11 years ago. There was the new F1 race track, the Singapore Flyer, the Art & Science center, the Esplanade, and the most spectacular thing of all the Marina Bay Sands. Seriously words don't do it justice. I suggest checking out the website..... The bar we settled on was advertising for 1:1 drinks, we were a little confused but later found out that was Singapore's way of saying buy one get one. So we grabbed some drinks and watched the rain. By the time we finished 2 drinks each the rain had passed so we were on our way.

We found out the Bumboats were actually cheaper to do from our hotel we were going to for our last 2 days so we decided we would hold on that. Since we were down in that area we decided to walk to the Merlion and take pictures. We then walked to Boat Quay and Clark Quay (very fun bar and restaurant areas). In Boat Quay we went into the red dot brewery for some home brews and of course Jeff needed the green beer that they claimed cured AIDS, hilarious.

Bumboat with F1 race track in the background

The Marina Bay Sands...the top of the part that looks like a boat is where the Infinity pool is!

At Happy Hour

The Merlion in front of the financial district

Boat Quay

The family at Red Dot Brewery enjoying some beers
Next up we hit up our hotel pool to cool off. It doesn't take much walking in Singapore to build up a sweat, which is actually pretty gross. We changed twice a day! After swimming we all split up for dinner. Ed and I went looking for a restaurant I loved when I lived in Singapore that had THE best crepes....we didn't find it :( I found out later it had moved out of the building I remembered it being in and was now a block away, can't believe we missed it. We ended up going to a food court and getting amazing kwey teow. SO GOOD! By the time we got home it was almost 10 so we headed to bed.

Day 3: Sunday

Ed, Jeff, and I started the morning with our bakery run for delicious croissants/doughnuts/fruit/eggs. After the whole family grabbed cabs and we were off to the zoo! The zoo was still fantastic. I always loved how a lot of the monkeys aren't caged. They literally play and swing right above you in certain areas of the zoo. We did a lot of walking at the zoo and managed to see every area of it in under 4 hours. We also caught part of the Elephant show which was cute. Here are a few pictures from the zoo:

Us with the Giraffe in the background

Mama and baby monkey swinging above us, so fun to watch

Beautiful view of one of the gardens

Me & Hubby
After the zoo we were going to take a swim but the daily rain began. Instead we zipped over to Far East Plaza for some "bargain shopping". I ended up getting a great deal on a scarf and Ed got a couple watches for really cheap. You gotta love shopping where the price is negotiable! When we got back to the hotel we got ready and all headed to dinner. We were meeting our old maid, Emy, at a great Brazilian restaurant. They bring all the meat out on machetes and its all you can eat, SO good. It was fantastic to see Emy again. She has not changed a bit since we moved!

My brothers, parents, Emy, and me after dinner

My brothers, Emy, and me
After dinner we were off to the night safari with Emy. This has always been one of my favorite things to do in Singapore because its so unique. It is separate from the actual zoo and when you do it you sit on a tram that drives through and you see all the animals at night. Its so neat to see them all at night. The tram gets pretty close to the ones that are harmless, we actually stopped once to let some cross the road. Luckily they keep some good distance from the tigers :) There are also trails you can walk but given how much we'd already walked that day and the 2 days before we all passed on that!
Entrance to Night Safari
Elephants and a sleeping baby elephant on the ground!

We were able to zoom in on the baby elephant

Gorgeous elephant!! Glad we had some distance though, he was massive

Day 4: Monday 

Today was hotel changing day! Ed and I wanted to see the Jurong Bird Park badly and everybody else felt like relaxing so we got up, packed, took our bags to my parents room and headed out. While we did the bird park they were going to move all the bags to the new hotel, marina bay sands. The plan was to meet up just after lunch. Since it was a Monday, the park was not very crowded which was fantastic. Its like we had it all to ourselves. I was most excited to see penguins, toucans, and the worlds largest man made waterfall. Ed was just pumped to use his camera! The park entrance was totally revamped and wow was it pretty. To get in you walked under arch after arch that was covered in Orchids (my fav flower!). We both had a great time at the bird park. Here are a few pictures:
Entrance to the Bird Park
Arches of Orchids, LOVE!

I heart orchids

By the entrance to the bird park

In front of the world's largest man made waterfall (at least it was 11 yrs ago, not sure now!)

Me by the waterfall

This might be the most rainbow colored bird I've ever seen!

AHH! Toucan!!

Isn't my husband the best photographer? He got such detailed pictures!

We got this of the owl using night vision....we were both super creeped out when we saw his eye staring at us

After the bird park Ed and I zipped by the grocery store to get a few pics for laughs of how expensive things are in Singapore compared to the states. For example a 6 pack of jello was $18 there (about 14 US). Talk about a mark up!! We quickly grabbed lunch after this at the mall by the Marina Bay Sands and headed to meet up with our family. The mall attached to the Marina Bay Sands was insane, it had an ice skating rink, very upscale shops, and even little gondola rides through the mini canal in the mall. When we met at the hotel lobby at the Marina Bay Sands of course the first thing we did was go to the top of the hotel to take pictures of the pool. There are not words for that view. You can see almost the whole country, part of Indonesia, part of Malaysia, all the ships in the is just incredible. After gawking at the view we headed out to explore the area. We went to Raffles Hotel (Singapore first, and nicest). It is all black/white/marble and has the coolest colonial architecture. We zipped into the Long Bar which is basically a tourist trap to have a drink. Most people go there for Singapore Slings (its where the first one was made) but considering these drinks are nasty (it took me 2 to decide I can't drink them) we all got different drinks. Then we headed over to walk around Raffles and Chijmes (very cool restaurant and bar area that is also by a gorgeous church) before catching the MRT back to the hotel. The MRT is like a subway, however we weren't quite sure which stop was by the hotel so we guessed....and we guessed wrong so we had to walk a little extra but that was okay. We had some time to kill before the night so we all went for a dip in the Infinity pool. I thought it would be scary but once I got to the edge and looked over and saw there was a ledge below that was about 4 feet wide all fear was gone :)
View from the pool deck of marina bay sands

View from the infinity pool

Raffles Hotel

The Long Bar

Me and mom @ the long bar

Ed & dad at long bar

Woohoo for fruity drinks!

Jeff & his yard beer

Katie & Jason

Courtyard at Raffles

Asian men trying to get us to take rickshaw rides


The church by Chijmes
Mom, Dad, Katie, and Me enjoying the Infinity pool
After our swim we got ready and then took some pictures of the city at night. Then we caught the laser show in front of the hotel, very cool mix of lasers, fire, mist, and music. After dinner we caught the hotel's version of the bumboat (little more upscale) and went to Boat Quay to bargain for our dinner. When you enter boat quay there are many little restaurants and outside of each the owner tries to sweet talk you in by offering you deals on your meal or throwing in free drinks. After talking to 4 or 5 different men we settled on the place with a great menu, waterside seating, 20% off our bill, AND a free tower of beer (about 8 pints). The food was great. We got a bunch of different food to share, pepper crab, chili crab, baby kailon, fried rice, egg rolls, and pineapple chicken. Needless to say I didn't touch the seafood but apparently it was quite tastey. We had a great time at dinner. It was a great end to the day.
View of the Art & Science Center (white), F1 race track, double helix bridge, and city

Financial District @ night from hotel room

Marina Bay Sands @ night

Photo of the fire during the light show, my photos weren't great but the show was!

Ed & I before the boat ride to dinner

Left to Right: Singapore Flyer, Double Helix Bridge, Art & Science Center, Marina Bay Sands

The Merlion lit up for "Light up Marina Bay"

Free Tower of beer!

Chili Crab

Ed & I after dinner

Day 5: Tuesday

Sadly our last day arrived :( We had to make the most of it. We got up early and grabbed a fast muffin at the bakery before heading out to the woodlands to see our old school, Singapore American School. I had been warned it had changed a lot but holy cow. My old high school is now the middle school and there is a completely new building for the high school. The campus was huge when we lived there but its even bigger now. It was really fun for me and my brothers to see our old school and I loved that I finally got to show Ed where I went to school. 
Walking onto campus

Jas, Jeff & Me by the alumni office at SAS

New entrance to the new HS
Track and High School

High School Courtyard
After SAS we headed back to Marina Bay Sands so we could grab a bite to eat before heading to China Town. I love Chinatown, its such a fun place to shop and bargain. I got a another cute scarf for like 2 bucks! I love bargaining!!! We all got our name written in Chinese on silk paper. I can't wait to get red frames for Ed and my name to put in the house. Then we headed back to the hotel to relax in the pool and enjoy the view!
Killing time before China Town on the pool deck

I just can't get enough of this view

Looking towards the pool and city

Temple by Chinatown

The nice man writing my name in Chinese

China town


Ed & Jeff getting into the pool

Ed & I into the pool
For our last night we decided to stay close to the hotel since we didn't want to be up to late as we had to be in the hotel lobby at like 430 AM to get to the airport for our flight. We found a great dumpling place where they fresh make all the dumplings. SO good! After dinner we stopped at the candy store for plane snacks and then went back to the hotel. Part of the family went swimming, Ed & I walked all over the Marina taking pictures on his camera. We walked to the double helix bridge where Ed got some great pictures of it's structure. While we were there, our timing was perfect, we caught a light show we didn't know existed. On one side of the Art and Science center digital media is displayed on the side and music is played while a story is told. it was so neat to watch! Then we walked by the marina to see a lantern display Ed had noticed the night before, as you spin these huge water jugs they light up, fun to play with! Ed & I made it back to the hotel about midnight, grabbed a few hours of sleep then it was off to the airport.

I love fried rice

Dumplings, they were SO good
Chocolate liquor? Yes please

The city on our last night

Another view of the city from the pool

My family after dinner

The pool deck at night
The Singapore Flyer

Esplanade Theater

Art & Science Center, one of the images. The white flower got blown away and flew into a field of flowers (see below image)

Double Helix bridge
Financial District
Such a beautiful city
The lantern's that lit up
It was SUCH a great vacation with my family. We are so grateful we were all able to take this trip together. I finally got to show Ed where I grew up, and after 11 years my family took a family vacay again! Here's hoping the next family trip won't be so many years away :)