Friday, November 30, 2012

My Christmas Shopping with Amex; Will I Win SQ Round the World Tickets?

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It's that time of year again when we put Yoda up in a tree

It's that time of year again, when we put Yoda up a tree, like a guardian angel overlooking the home. Yes, it's Christmas! OK, so he's totally unrelated to the festive season, but we like him there anyway. And Chewie is that brown furry thing just below on the left.

It is also that time of year when we splash out a little on those nearest and dearest to us. Actually, to be honest, I don't believe in presents at Christmas but it's nothing Scrooge-like -- I just believe in presents ALL YEAR ROUND! Hahaha! Aren't they more fun when gifts come as surprises? But Christmas is when there are lots of sales and giveaways, so it's a good time to get stuff that you do need.

For me, I like presents that bring experiences, new skills and knowledge. Books are a big favourite, but I have way too many that I can barely finish. Good food is a great sensory experience, and travel is one of the best gifts in life. Did you know American Express is giving out 6 pairs of round-the-world tickets? Someone is winning every fortnight! You'll get to choose from destinations like Moscow, Houston, Frankfurt, San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul.

I'm daydreaming here, but I definitely want to go to Moscow, Tokyo, and Houston (hopefully I can pop over to see a friend in Oklahoma). I want NY too, as the last time I was there was in Aug 2001 (yes, right before Sept 11). I haven't been to LA or Frankfurt. Seoul too, was just a stopover.

So yes, we went shopping with hubby's Amex card. Took shots with the trusty old iPhone.

The kids chose their goggles at Ocean Paradise
Proper swimming goggles for children. There's nothing Nadine (right) loves more than swimming, so we're getting her the ability to see underwater. It helps with swimming skills and confidence, according to a coach who teaches kids with special needs. Nadine is a bit on the fearless side, but the goggles will help her swim towards the right directions.

Zoggs kids' swim goggles
The flowery designs did it for the girls. Well, I'm taking them for a staycation soon at The Sentosa Resort, and they'll be able to use these right away. They'll go nuts at the Port of Lost Wonder too.

Jolie and a shocking pink tutu at OKH Ballet
Speaking of Moscow, the ballet there is world renowned. I wish I could take Jolie there one day. But for now, perhaps better-fitting supplies for her ballet class are more urgent. She is outgrowing stuff fast!

We got her new shoes, a skirt, and I spied some cute teddy bear earrings
So new shoes and a lovely wrap-around skirt with lettuce edges and a shiny ribbon waist. There was a 10% Christmas sale too at the OKH Ballet shop where we picked these up. Oh and the earrings were just too cute to resist, so I had to throw them in (only S$3 too!).

Jolie looks like a dream dancer with that flowy wrap-around skirt
There she is! This was really a good find! We love how pretty it is!

On the homefront, there are a couple of items still on the wishlist:

The NESCAFÉ DOLCE GUSTO Piccolo machine (about S$189) makes all kinds of hot and cold drinks. It's not just coffee but some teas as well (Green Tea Latte and Chai Tea Latte). I just like popping in capsules, pressing a button and seeing a drink miraculously appear. More fun than vending machines.

Nestle loaned us a unit, and we liked the Vanilla Latte Macchiato best. See how it actually comes out in such pretty layers? You don't even need a separate milk frother. I hear there's a S$40 discount right now in stores.

So many flavours - not just coffee but tea too!
There are so many flavours -- the one I really want to try is the Chai Tea Latte, not pictured here.

I also need a rice cooker. Thanks to modern technology engineered to fail at the right time, our rice cooker that's nicely out of the warranty period has retired itself. Truly, gone are the days when appliances used to last decades! My mom's rice cooker (you know that simple type) lasted forever. In fact, I think it still works!

So maybe for Christmas, I'll get hubby a rice cooker. Hehehehe. Either that or he can start cooking his own rice. Manually.

We are using a claypot right now to cook rice, and actually it works quite well. So I'm still deliberating.

Yes, this all seems so terribly non-festive and overly practical, but fun stuff we get at other times of the year.

Care bears galore

Here's wishing you all happy shopping and may your festive season be filled with warmth, care and love!


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