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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

30 Years of Boon

1 September 2015- It's the husby's 30th birthday today! 

To commemorate this special occasion, let me walk you through some of Boon's old photos and let's see how this cute little boy above has grown and matured over the years!

Just in case you can't recognise Boon in a sea of people, I've made it easier for you to identify him in the photos below as they're all circled in bright yellow. Nonetheless, here are some few ways to spot him even without the bright yellow circle.

How to spot Boon #1: He is the one with his eyes closed

"Ready? One, Two, Thr- (closes eyes) -ee"

Boon and flash photography are NOT friends. He is so sensitive to camera flash that before the photo is even taken, his eyes will automatically close as a defence mechanism. Ever since I knew him, he had always been sensitive not just towards camera flash, but also movements towards his eyes! It's a tough feat trying to keep his eyes open while helping him with eye drops. Before I open the box of the eye drops he'll already start blinking nonstop and start screaming on his own. 

For half of his school photos his eyes were half-closed or entirely shut. Oh boy :') 

How to Spot Boon #2: He is never ready

Seriously, Boon.

How to spot Boon #3: He is the one with the cheekiest smile

...and the cutest rabbit teeth.

...and the non-existent eyes :')

How to spot Boon #3: He is the one who's had enough

He's pissed. He's had it. He's done. 
He's ready to give you a piece of him.

Now, there you have it. Four useful tips to spot Boon in photos! Not too difficult, is it? 
He's really so easy to figure out hahaha!!


Jokes aside, it's his 30th birthday today. To me and also many people, the age of 30 means something. It is stepping into the 30's, crossing over into a new chapter of adulthood, a milestone and a mark of more exciting grown-up adventures to come.

To Boon though, every birthday is just another passing day. A simple celebration with me and his family is enough to make him a happy man, the same goes for his 30th, or even 40th. Every birthday means the same to him. I guess that's just how contented he is with life and everything in it!

But truly, reason why I place so much priority in celebrating his 30th birthday is because every of his birthday matter to me a lot, especially milestones like today. This 30th birthday is indeed a special one, because we have a baby on the way which makes it even more exciting to celebrate and look forward to the years to come. Stepping into a new chapter with this 30th birthday milestone as a father, with a new little family is what is making this birthday even more meaningful.

Taken on 30th August 2015, his "back-to-kids" themed McD surprise birthday party!

On this special day, I just want to appreciate and celebrate the man that he is and has grown to be. We have celebrated his birthday together for the past 11 years since he was 19, and with every birthday he grows to become a better version of himself.

If you ask me, Boon is one of the most consistent individuals I have ever known. From the day I knew him until today, he has been the SAME. He is as nonsensical as before, as funny and lame, as genuine, as helpful, as generous, and as responsible. Every trait of his personality and character remains the same, just better and more refined with every passing year. After being with him for the past 11 years, I guess I'm qualified to vouch that he is indeed one of the best human beings on earth.

"Boon in High School"

Let's do a little throwback, shall we? His friends always told me that in high school, he was one of those crappy prefects, the one who will tell his friends that there will be spot check at 2pm and warn them to pass their phones to him first. He was everybody's friend due to his friendly and jovial personality. Everybody loves Boon.

He was a school bully too, going around school busting balls and crippling nipples of unsuspecting male victims, to a point that most guys in school walking with their feet together for fear that monster Boon would attack from behind. He was so popular for it, that his friends call it the "Boon's Ball Buster and Nipple Crippler" (3BNC), and they still laugh about it until today.

Apart from being a bully, he was also a school hero. He was super active. Was a prefect, active in the Leo club, played the volleyball, basketball, cheerleader for his 'rumah' (he doesn't really want people to know this one lol), and made history when he fell from the first floor while hanging a banner in the school hall. He ended up with broken bones and fractured hips and had to be hospitalised, immobile for 3 months. The whole school then knew him as the one who fell down. Legendary! He also blamed the fall and 3 months of immobility for the loss of his 6 packs. He said he used to have 6 packs. It's a bit hard to believe but I only have one thing to say- Why so unfair when I'm with you edi no more 6 packs!!!

Of course, a school hero will inevitably be a ladies man. He had A LOT of female friends who would confide in him regarding all sorts of problems, and he would hear them out patiently and sincerely just as a friend with no ulterior motive. Gentleman. Girls like that! He was humorous too. Girls like that too! In high school alone, he had 4 girlfriends (1 girl friend in primary school. so altogether 5 girlfriends before me. and I had 0 boyfriend before him. unfair.) and they were all serious relationship okay. To top it off they were all some of the prettiest girls in high school. SMK Damansara Jaya. DJ- the hub of pretty girls in his time. What an achievement! I'm so proud to land myself a ladies man! :P

*Update: Correction. He said the girl friend in primary school was not officially a girl friend. She's just a girl who had a crush on him and liked him. While he did not reciprocate. Okay.

I often imagine if I were the same age as him studying in the same school, would I fall for him? I think I would. He had all the characteristics of a high school dream boyfriend- popular, 6 packs, the crappy prefect, sportsman, the bad boi bully but a gentleman inside, smart and intelligent. Wah the more I talk about it the luckier I feel!! What have I done to deserve this bad boi!! :')

Okay again, jokes aside. I do feel like the luckiest woman alive everyday. He treats me with utmost respect, care and gentleness, never running out of love. Especially in these recent months of pregnancy, he shown and proven himself to be the most patient and understanding husband. I won't go into all the details in this post because if I do I would never stop, but bottom line is, he is truly the best in so many ways. And I'm extremely grateful to God for blessing him into my life, for the privilege to call him 'husband'.

Thank you for being my dream husband, and I have no doubt that you will be the best father there is to our children.

Here's to many more 30 years to celebrate together, and the most exciting and fulfilling years to come. 

I love you, Ng Boon Hock. 
Happy 30th birthday :)

love, baby buu/chu chu chong.
This post is filed under Personal, Marriage.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tokyo 2014 | Our Tokyo Airbnb Apartment

One of the best decisions that we made for our Tokyo 2014 trip was to stay at an Airbnb apartment. Everything from the enquiry to liasing with our Airbnb host, til the end of our stay was nothing short of pleasant.

And one of the things that we made sure we did was to stay as nearby Shibuya as possible, because we knew that we would be spending a lot of our time there. Initially, we tried looking for apartments and even hotels in Shibuya itself, but because our trip was at the end of the year which was a pretty peak season, most of the ones we eyed on were either fully sold out, or available for only a few days in between our trip. Plus, what made it more difficult was that our trip was 9 days, so to book an available stretch of 9 days straight was quite tough. We did consider staying say, 4 days in one place and 5 days in another, but when we found this particular Airbnb apartment by our host, Nao, we gladly stayed put at her place throughout all 9 days.

Let me bring your through a thorough look of our Airbnb stay :)

A small passage to enter into the apartment lift. Throughout our 9 days staying there, we overshot and missed the small entrance into our apartment a couple of times. But it's no biggie!

This was the name of the apartment, located just 1-min walk away from Ikejiri-Ohashi train station, which was only one station away from Shibuya station. 

During our Osaka trip in 2013, we stayed at a hotel just above a subway, and this time, a train station right outside our place, and I cannot emphasize enough just how convenient that is! It made travelling about so much easier! Throughout our trip I kept telling Boon, "OMG thank God we have a train station just right outside", especially after a full day of walking nonstop, or during rainy days. Don't have to worry about walking in the rain or taking a cab (which is crazy expensive) just to go to a train station.

Before our trip, we had already been in contact with our host, Nao on where and what time to meet so that she could pass us the keys to her house. We arrived the night before at 10.30pm local time, put a night at a Manga Cafe, went for sushi at Tsukiji Fish Market in the wee hours of the morning, and after that we just strolled around Ginza which was pretty close by the fish market, all the way until it was time to meet Nao at 11.30am at Ikejiri-Ohashi train station. 

Nao took her lunch time at work off just to meet us, walked us to the apartment and showed us around. It was not difficult to spot her at all cos she looks just like her Airbnb profile photo, if not prettier! She spoke very decent English which was definitely a plus point! It was also Nao who recommended us to spend Halloween night at Shibuya, or else we would have gone to Harajuku cos we thought, you know, it's Harajuku!

Us and our host, Nao!

Alright, on to the photos of the apartment!

This was our apartment door!

There were also umbrellas on standby at the corridor. 

The first look of our apartment upon entry.

I remember telling Boon before we arrived, that if the apartment turned out to be exactly like the photos on Nao's Airbnb listing, I'll be super happy! Turns out, it truly looked exactly the same. Fully equipped with everything you can think of.

The bed was only slightly larger than a single bed, but it was just nice for Boon and I, especially for the winter weather. A little snuggle wouldn't hurt ;) Loved the ample sunlight that comes into the room and the full length mirror! Makes getting ready everyday a bliss.

Heater behind our bed! It came in handy on super chilly nights.

Fully functional TV with all Japanese channels haha. Did not understand a thing but it was just nice to have the TV turned on. After all, we're in Japan! It's nice to just be soaked in all things Japanese!

Nao also left her iPad and Apple TV in her apartment! Talk about real trust!

As stated on her Airbnb listing, a complimentary pocket wifi device would be provided. We already brought ours from over, so the one Nao provided became Boon's. We both had a pocket wifi each! Which made things easier cos we could be apart and still contact each other!

A mini kitchen/pantry area fully equipped with everything to cook up a meal.

Nao left some welcome drinks and snacks in the fridge just for us. She worked with a Sake company, so that explains the drink ;) The snack was some pineapple tart thingy that Boon and I fought over to finish lol.

Laundry area. Ahhhh can't thank God enough that Nao has a washing machine in her apartment that we could use.

Knowing that she had one and also provided towels, we travelled lighter and brought lesser garments cos we knew we could wash them. Best thing ever! The thing that we washed the most? Our socks :')

Opposite the washing machine was a quaint little sink space where I spent lots of time at lol. I placed all my toiletries and makeup products at the built-in cabinet by the sink, blew dry my hair here and curled my hair outside at the full length mirror. I became so at home that when I went back to Malaysia, I missed this space T-T

The bathroom has a bath tub that me and Boon used to soak our tired and sore feet almost every night, and a shower hose. Small space inside but you know what made this shower space so special?

The bathroom heater system!!!
OMG best thing ever on winter days!! It had several functions like releasing hot air, cold air, and dry mode to dry our clothes and towels. So basically this bathroom acted also as a dryer in a way. So freakin cool.

The toilet was opposite the bath area, and was clean, nicely scented, and toilet seats are WARMED. Best thing ever when we return from the cold outside, and especially when we just woke up in the morning!! T-T

The apartment has so much sunlight that made it perfect to take selfies too. Hahaha not part of the apartment feature but you know, just sharing.

We stayed on the 8th floor.

Now, let me take your downstairs!

They have a special indoor garage that stores all of its tenants' bicycles and motorcycles. And you know what, it's super clean in there!!!

More organised than my house woiiiii!!

Then there's this door that leads to the back alley.

That leads to this small lane and all the cute little shops! And of course, the highlight is that it has a 7Eleven outlet!!

Super convenient! Almost every morning we came down to tapao breakfast (usually onigiri and milk tea) before we started our day! Plus plus plus point having a 7Eleven just downstairs!

Okay, end of apartment tour. We ended our trip by enjoying the complimentary sake that Nao gave us on our last night in Tokyo.

SO GOOD. No points for guessing who had most of it, heh.

If you're planning on travelling to Tokyo soon and considering an Airbnb, I would highly recommend doing so for a variety of reasons. One of them would be definitely getting to experience the local life, and live like the locals do, where the locals do. You travel experience will be enriched compared to staying as a guest in a hotel.

If you're interested to check out Nao's apartment, below are the details!

The rates fluctuate for different times and seasons, so do check out the listing for the latest rate. And don't forget to drop the owners a message to ask questions! From our experience they're usually pretty friendly and nice :)

That's all from me for now.
Til' the next post!

PS: This is not a sponsored/paid post by Airbnb. Just sharing from my personal experience.

love, Careen.
This post is filed under: Travel, Tokyo.

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