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Friday, November 24, 2017

Application for U.S. Visa & other legalities


Planning my next vacation...


It seems the rules have changed a little since the last time I traveled to America. Nowadays, I can still travel Visa free for 90 days or less (about 3 months) provided I have ESTA authorization on my passport and the airline I am using is aware of and approves of me travelling Visa free. How do I check with the airline on this when I book the ticket through a travel agent or online. ESTA is the Electronic System for Travel Authorization and online applications are only USD$14, if denied approval then it only costs USD$4.


The most common type of visa to apply for is B-1/B-2 for business or leisure (including medical treatment). For this type of visa, you're usually staying for 6 months to 2 years and it costs USD$160 to apply for. There is a validity period of 10 years but that is not relevant to us as we need to specify the departure and return dates on the visa application.

image from acedrive.sg

Driving a car or atv in America requires a Driver's License. Our driving license is valid in the U.S. for only the first year as an international driving license. Any stay longer than a year requires you to sit for and pass the State driving tests. This local U.S. driving licence allows you to drive only in the State the license is issued in. To obtain an all-state U.S. driving licence, you need to give up (confiscate) your home country driver's licence. 



Friday, November 17, 2017

Anniversary Birthday



Got my dad something from LV this year. It's his 70th birthday celebrations.



Dinner @ Four Points by Sheraton. There is a Chinese herbal restaurant there so this dinner menu is a real treat.


My sis ordered custom macaroons as door gifts, each parcel came tied to a balloon. I always thought you had to order through the hotel's wedding/party planner. But, you can actually order it from somewhere else and have it delivered to the Hotel Function Room, balloons too.


Longevity Buns!


Dinner menu has plenty of Chinese herbs and includes the chef's specialties.





Friday, November 10, 2017

Renovations Update



The toilets are already done, thanks to HDB upgrading the entire estate. It's all standard stuff inside. My dad had to get new faucets for me coz the new ones take up too much space in the bathroom. It's meant for much bigger showers than this.


The kitchen was hacked up by the contractors and re-tiled nicely in what looks like marble. The kitchen cabinets are also done up in marble laminate to match the walls. We were deciding on what stone counter-top to use, I really like light green but it looks like jade and is too premium for a HDB flat. In the end we went with black marble composite with silver-ish glitter inside. The new kitchen sink is much bigger and comes with a drying rack on top of it. The only thing I am not sure about is the removal of the breakfast counter that has been replaced with a tempered glass panel.


New gate got installed, along with the new door, both from HDB upgrading works. The painters came around and I got a real headache coz the place is a mess and they wanted to confirm colours and dates.


In the meantime, we've been eating a lot of takeaways.


Trying out this instant hotpot available in 2 flavors, beef or vegetarian. Just add water and wait 15-20 minutes before eating. It's 麻辣火锅 all right, authentic and delicious, except it costs over $20 each. The price includes potato noodles, various mushrooms & root veges, quail eggs, meat. 


That's real steam coming out of the lunchbox. It goes on for another 20 mins or so. I want to drink all that soup down coz its soo delicious, but my mouth was numb by then.


Friday, November 3, 2017

Qoo10 Auctions Haul


Qoo10 is kinda like Taobao and it even has an auction section that is not necessarily cheaper than the regular price. Explanations are vague and there are lots of pictures to go through. I feel like I am looking at a wholesale catalog, only I am ordering 1 item and only 1 item. I used to leave this site as my homepage coz everyday there are new products on sale and I look out for cartons of drinks or food items.


Pantene Shampoo, 3 for $20, free delivery. The retail price is about $10 each.


Can of Dry Shampoo $7.90, this is something new that the various haircare brands have come up with. No need for water, just spray onto the hair to get it clean. They should come up with something similar for body.


Wine Lip Tint in burgundy colour $3.90. You can find several novelty lip glosses on Qoo10 and this is one of them, it's about $15 for one and comes in wine themed colours.


Morinaga Cocoa powder, usually around $12, I paid $3.50.


Pom pom keychains, the new pompoms have preserved flowers inside. Not sure if that's for real, even on Qoo10 its $30 to $50 each.



Astrology water bottles. I wanted to get the whole set of star signs but for now its just Aquarius and Pisces. These bottles are made to be heat and cold resistant so you can drop it into a pot of boiling water or throw it in the freezer.



Rilakkuma Bourbon Torte tin of cookies, usually around $12, I paid $7.50. The tin comes nicely sealed in a box, really creamy cookies.



Friday, October 27, 2017

Rainbow cake pops & such ...



I helped my sis decorate this basket with stuff bought from Daiso, including floral foam in the center. It's meant to hold these rainbow cake pops, a really great idea especially when cardboard cake pop holders are not available in a store near us.


3D doll birthday cake for Sophie this year. You have to buy the Barbie doll in advance to pass to the baker for several reasons. You can ensure its authentic Barbie coz the doll makes another gift for the birthday girl and this particular doll has the leggings and bodysuit already on so it's not naked in the cake.


Staying with my sis ain't so bad after all, it's easier to buy food for large groups of people and I can always find someone to go out for lunch with.


Anyways, I read in the newspaper that there is a new 24hr supermarket near my place and went to take a look. You can't see it from the main road, it's right inside the new estate. Run by Giant, this supermarket has loads of China food stuffs.


I bought loads of disposable plates & cutlery coz our place is still a mess! Moving back to stay even though renovations are still in progress. At least the electricity and water have resumed.


Halloween treats from Cold Storage. I honestly believe this holiday was created just for the candies.