Review: 3M Safety Film with Jestac

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Thanks to the team at Jestac, I was offered an opportunity to redo the safety films for the shower screens in both the ensuite toilet and common toilet in my home. Thanks so much Jestac!
The shower screens in both toilets are not the easiest to deal with. The common toilet was small and there were 4 panels of glass to work with, and has 2 overlapping glass panels where they slide open. With the ensuite toilet, there was a narrow gap between the glass panel and countertop. Mr Chen and Raju definitely had their work cut out for them.

Master Room ensuite, narrow gap between countertop & glass panel

The tiny space to work with for the common toilet!

What appeared to be a seemingly simple job (at least to me!) took about 2.5 hours. The duo had to strip the previous safety film, clean the glass before applying the new sheet of safety film on the glass panels. So the job sequence was like:
– remove existing film;
– spray soapy water on the glass, and clean;
– spray film with water for it to adhere onto the glass;
– stick film on glass, slide film to adjust and fit;
– spray on film again, and use a fabric wrapped taping knife to smooth out any bubbles and to prevent any scratches; and
– trim the excess film off the edges.

smoothening out the film with a taping knife

assessing how to slide the film into the thin gap

What I liked about how they went about the job:
– They tidied the silicon edges by trimming (my glass had fraying, uneven silicon finishes where they fitted into their frames) before they even started so that the glass would fit nicely without any bumps;
– They used a penknife blade to clean the glass, making sure that it would scrape any dirt or residue from the previous safety film. The previous contractor used a taping knife to scrape off. I personally felt the penknife blade would do a better job haha;
– No bubbles in any of the glass! So so happy with that.
– One of the knobs of the glass panels couldn’t come off, making it harder for Mr Chen to trim around the edges (btw, they do it freehand). But the ultimate result was done really really well, compared to the square the previous contractor did;
– they redid one of the glass panels in the ensuite when there was a speck of dirt under the film. I was worried about them having enough film, but they did! And they cut a fresh piece out to fit it on the glass.
– Most of the edges were trimmed really smoothly! There were some uneven edges but it was all corrected after we told Mr Chen.

trying hard to remove the stubborn knob for one of the shower screens

Jestac’s freehand cutting vs…..

previous contractor’s ‘wonderful’ freehand. WTH, they cut a SQUARE around the knob okay. 

small space meant..sitting on toilet bowl haha

What I didn’t like about the job:
– Most of the edges of the films were trimmed smoothly, however there were some inconsistencies where the film was trimmed shorter for the film that was redid for a 2nd time;
– There is a pipe running through the ensuite shower screen panel, and they didn’t cut out the shape of the pipe enough to fit, so the film was not flushed against but slightly away from the frame;

film not flushed with frame in Master Room ensuite

the pipe in question

Overall, I am fairly satisfied with the job, given what I felt was difficulties in doing the job (Mr Chen had to sit on the toilet bowl at one point to adhere the film). I was a little disappointed with the 2nd sheet of film for the ensuite glass panel but I did suspect it was due to the lack of time. They did complete the rest of the panels with no further issues (ie no short trim, edges nicely trimmed, smooth and no bubbling).
Post job, we were given instructions to not wet the films for 2 weeks so that they would set properly. It wasn’t much of an issue as the films were stuck on the exterior of the shower area so no water would be splashed on it. Mr Chen did explain that consistent splashing of water on the films over time will affect the durability of it.
It’s been almost a week and we are pretty happy there’s no bubbling so far!
Category: Daily

grieving

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writing has always been cathartic for me. it’s been a while since I actually used this blog as a outlet.

I had to write an eulogy for my grandma. It was the hardest thing I ever had to write. It started off easy, I had an idea for the direction of the eulogy. Memories came flooding and the words just flowed. Then I burst into tears, at the realisation that she would really be gone after I read out my eulogy for her.

It’s been a long while since I have had to grieve for a closed one. The last one being my maternal grandfather and even then, I wasn’t close to him cos he wasn’t always around.

This time round, she was someone who had been a big part of my life and she had also gotten to know my kids, well, some of my kids depending on where her memory failed. She definitely remembered Oliver, the rest, probably a little hazy.

It all started on 25th March when she first got admitted for UTI. A week’s staycation, then home for a week, and then back in the hospital for another 2 weeks, home for 2 weeks, and then she left us on 5th May in her home.

There were moments of quiet when I visited her at the hospital and when she was awake enough, she would see me and then smile. I would hold her hand and she would then pat me on the face if I was close enough and made a funny face at her. Those pats, seemed like pats of assurance and her comforting me. It was easy to think that she was already 96 and that she had led a good life. But it was hard to let go.

Listening to the doctor explain her CT scans (thank God I didn’t forget my neuropsych) was painful. Hearing the doctor say that Mama probably had dementia for the past 10 years was a revelation. None of us would have known. She acknowledged us when we visited, never had tantrums (something I would have thought dementia patients would do). Then again, we had no reason to suspect she had dementia, given that we rarely carried a conversation with her cos she was hard of hearing. She was just quietly sitting in her wheelchair and watching us, smiling when she caught us looking at her.

There were tears a plenty. It was a loss after all. The first thought that came to mind as I stood in her room, ‘have fun with Kong Kong, don’t nag him too much.’ Her husband passed away 27 years ago. I wouldn’t be sure I could survive that long without Donald..haha.

Do I have any regrets? Fortunately, no. At least I felt that I spent enough time possible with her since she got admitted. I couldn’t bring the kids along, but it bought me a lot of time with her, coaxing her to drink, to try to eat, make movements and taking a lot of photos with her. I got to celebrate her birthday with her, with a balloon and a slice of cake.

But it doesn’t make the loss any lesser. Oliver wasn’t super tactful when he caught me crying (‘what now..?’roll eyes* haha dammit you brat), and Quentin would come over and stroke my arm when he saw me crying. Sarah would of course whinge when she saw me crying in Donald’s arms (‘MAMA!!’) and tried to pull us apart. The crying took a few days; I..just wasn’t ready to say bye yet. And Donald encouraged it, haha I think he rather knows how I am feeling than to hide it in.

And then you get the random Quentin quirks:

Quentin: mummy, is it cos Chor Chor eat alot that’s why she die?
Me: no..she is very old that’s why she died.
Quentin: *sees me spooning macaroni into my bowl* mummy, i don’t want you to eat. You cannot eat.
Me: why?
Quentin: because if you eat alot, you will grow old fast and then you will die. I love you and I don’t want you to die.
Me: *?* oh Quentin, I still have many years to go..and I need to eat some food so I don’t fall sick too. Okay, how about I eat a little each day so I don’t grow old too fast?
Quentin: *perks up a little* okay! Just a little every day ok? So you dun grow so fast. Only I can grow so fast.
Me: Quentin, I will try n live as long as possible for you. Mummy wants to watch you grow up too.

Then we had a chat about him growing up, how one day he may become a daddy, travel on his own, cook for us and grow old.

It obviously set off the waterworks that afternoon.

I didn’t really like what I was feeling to be honest, the crying coupled with swinging hormones wasn’t a good combo. I kept reading the eulogy I wrote as it had a lot of memories of her and me. I thought if I kept reading it, I would not forget about her. I would end up in tears each time I read it. I was afraid that if I accepted that she was gone, the memories I had of her would somehow vanish, like she wasn’t a part of my life. That her gone, would be a new norm. It took many talks with the hubby before I came to a compromise/understanding. He reminded me that the memories were here to stay, regardless of her gone or not.

She was there in the many photos I have together with her. And they won’t disappear.

It took awhile. But I read the eulogy for the last time, I had another good cry. And then I said a quiet bye. Bye Mama. 

The days are better, but there are moments when I get reminded about something and the tears start welling. Heck, just even watching a video about a girl and her grandma trigger the tears. Poor Donald came in to find his wife sobbing away at her desk and he had to stand there comforting me till I could stop crying.

So super thankful for Donald who was a champ and handled the three kids whilst I attended the wake. He took over once I was done putting Sarah down for a nap. And he put all 3 to bed for a couple of nights! It gave me more time to spend with family and my late grandma. Thankful for the help from my mil who cooked for the kids so that they don’t have to eat junk food nor do I have to worry about meals.

I still miss you terribly. But I do know that you are in a better place, so I will seek comfort in that you are in the arms of my Heavenly Father. 

Category: Special

#justsometingsinTasmania: Launceston and about

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When I first told some of my ex-uni mates that we were going to be spending 2 weeks in Tasmania, their first reaction was:

What are you going to do in Tas for 2 weeks?? Got so much things to do meh??’

Got okay! To be honest, I also had a bit of reservations about spending so long in Tasmania, but I figured, got nothing to do then enjoy the chill and slowpaced lifestyle lah!

For the uninitiated, here’s us sharing our trip to Tasmania!

Flights: 

Singapore Airlines has always been a top choice for us. But after comparing the prices and connecting flights, we decided that Qantas was a better way for us. Reason being:

– the prices are a lot cheaper (about 1.2k cheaper for all 5 of us); and
– connecting flights were Qantas as well (we would have to take Virgin Australia if we took SQ), so full service rather than a budget flight and got inflight entertainment!

I did the stupid thing of booking the domestic flight from Melbourne to Hobart instead of Melbourne to Launceston. So we ended up having to drive all the way up to Launceston. Bummer. We also made sure that there was 3-4 hours transit to the next flight. Initially we had only a 2 hour transit, which would have been a little tight for us on hindsight, given that we had to clear customs, wait for baggage, go to the domestic terminal and then re-check in again. So a 3-4 hour transit was good timing. Time will really fly so it won’t feel too long.

Thing about Qantas was that if you wanted to choose your seats, you would have to fork out $40 per seat. Yikes. Fortunately for us, we managed to skip the fees cos we booked the bassinet for Sarah, so yay!

What I love about the bassinets on Qantas? They are transparent!

watching a goldfish sleep

It meant that I didn’t need to keep standing up to peep and see if kiddo was still alive. haha.

The kids had two meals for this flight: supper and breakfast. I couldn’t remember if I booked Sarah’s meals but it wasn’t registered on the flight so she didn’t get any food.

Qantas Child’s meal: Supper

Qantas Child’s meal: Breakfast

Accommodation: 

We booked two Airbnbs for our stay in Tasmania, one in Launceston, the other in Hobart.

You can use our referral code for a discount off your first booking: www.airbnb.com.sg/c/donaldt380

I cannot recommend our Airbnb in Launceston more!!  The boys loved it so much they kept asking to go back. It is absolutely kids friendly cos they provided all the utensils and cutleries for kids, AND had a high chair. They also have a lovely play area in the living room. Really spacious and a nice deck in the backyard for us to have dinner!

Our Airbnb in Hobart was great as well, a different kind of accommodation, more high tech (central heating, fancy stuff). No carpets which is great (Daddy Ting is not big on carpets big time). No backyard as it was an apartment but we had a balcony where we could see the stars at night.

Car Rental: 

We went with Avis car rental for this trip and got a Hyundai Imax fitted with 2 boosters and 1 car seat. The Hyundai Imax fitted 3 adults and 3 kids, plus crap loads of luggages like this:

how much at a Hyundai Imax take??

If you intend to go to Bruny Island, some of the car rental companies may not allow to take the car over as it requires getting on a barge and some off road areas. I guess insurance doesn’t cover any damage caused by dropping in the sea or something haha. Avis allowed us to take the car to Bruny Island; all we had to do was to sign a document to say we wouldn’t take the car off road. Which was fine with us.

It cost us about A$2050 for 2 weeks of rental. We didn’t take zero excess insurance with Avis as our personal travel insurance has some coverage for any excess paid. So that would be something you may want to consider when renting a car.

All car rental companies now do charge a surcharge of varying percentages if you pick the car up from the airport. Fortunately for us, my sister could pick it up for us in the city and come pick us up. So we didn’t have to pay the 19% surcharge for Hobart Airport. However, we definitely had to pay that surcharge when we picked our rental car up at Melbourne Airport.

Note: We took up Aviva travel insurance; if you need a contact to get that travel insurance, just email me and I’ll forward you my contact! 

Luggage: 

Good grief. Good ole Tasmania. We had gorgeous weather for a few days before it got all gloomy in Launceston. Same thing happened in Hobart as well, except the reverse; rainy weather THEN sunny WTH. All this in summer. We had to pack for both cold and hot weather.

In general, summer in Tasmania is kinda like aircon weather. But when it gets hot, even in aircon weather, you can feel the sun scorching onto your skin. So slather up with the sunscreen. Like slap it on as liberally as you can. We used Little Innoscents Sun Lotion cos of Quentin’s sensitive skin.

So we had 2 big luggages, 2 cabins (for the boys to help push), 1 Nuna Sena travel cot, and 1 stroller. The Nuna Sena is a godsend. Seriously. I didn’t have any problems with Sarah wanting to co-sleep when we got back, unlike the boys cos they were co-sleeping with us on the previous trips.

And here is our itinerary for the northern part of Tasmania!

Day 1: Flight out from Changi

Day 2: Arrive in Hobart at 3.30pm.

We get to walk on the tarmac!

Obviously my excitement outweighs the lack of sleep that I have. Everyone’s in long sleeves except me thanks to babywearing Sarah. Like portable heater, hellooo. Haha.

It was about a 2.5 hour drive to Launceston. We picked up a couple of groceries at the nearby Woolworths before finally heading to the Airbnb.

Day 3: Hillwood Berry Farm

We all woke up late, cos hello..SG time. We had grand plans, but we ended up only leaving the house at 12.30pm (which is 9.30am in SG..so quite okay what hahahaha). Which means we could only do one place: Hillwood Berry Farm

Entrance to Hillwood Berry Farm

The quality of the PYO (pick your own) farm is fantastic! Very well taken care off farm and the kids enjoyed picking raspberries and strawberries. You basically pick how much you want and then pay for it.

This one..eating..

and more eating…

more eating

There is a little cafe where you can order some sandwiches, eat ice cream, have a freshly made berry sherbet, or some ham fritata. Also a huge sandbox, slide and chess play area.

Giant chess anyone?

By the time we were done after a late lunch, it was already 3.30pm. We ended up heading back to grab more groceries for dinner.

Daddy Ting hosed the table in the backyard down and cleaned some chairs, whilst I got to prepping dinner.

Dinner time!

2/3 of the kids.

Day 4: Van Diemens Land Creamery / House of Anvers / Mersey Bluff Lighthouse / Lilico Beach

This time we left the house slightly earlier, cos the kids sorta adjusted to the Aus timezone. It was still a hit and miss, but hey, we’ll take what we can get.

We planned our itinerary with multiple stops on the way to the destination that is furthest away from our accommodation. This helped break down the journey a little for the kids and not make it too mundane for them. The iPad helped too but getting to stretch our legs and taking in some fresh air was a lot better for them.

If you are a big fan of ice cream, you need to go to Van Diemens Land Creamery So many flavours and it is not just your usual chocolate, strawberry and vanilla ice cream. I had a peanut butter ice cream and it was soooo good. It is NOT sweet, rich enough to not make it too jelak. You can also peep through the window to see some ice cream being made. All freshly made on the factory premises. There is also an outlet in Hobart outside Mures. I had a pineapple ice cream there. mmMM. So so so good.

Van Diemens Land Creamy

All the ice cream you can eat!

Next stop was House of Anvers. The last time Daddy Ting brought me there during our paktor days hahha. Had a nice lunch there then. Now with 3 kids, err abit chaotic lah. House of Anvers is a Tasmanian chocolate factory. We love their rich hot chocolate drink. Daddy Ting loves their chilli hot chocolate. We had plans for a picnic so we grabbed some hot chocolate to go.

OUtside the House of Anvers tasting centre. Chocolate for buying and sampling!

If you can spare the time, have lunch there and order a hot chocolate to go with your meal! There is a little museum that explains the origins and history of chocolate, and the types of mould use for chocolates.

We headed to Mersey Bluff Lighthouse to have a picnic and enjoy the view. Totally forgot about seagulls -_-. They are pretty harmless..until they see you with food. They are not shy to grab any food off your hands (if you are not paying attention). In fact there were so many of them crowding around waiting for scraps. We had to hurry the kids to eat their meals hahaha. We did think about eating in the car..but hey, live life a little dangerously eh?

Picnicking at Mersey Bluff. Excuse the squinty eyes

Gorgeous day and err 3 emo kids.

After lunch, we headed to Lilico Beach, a nature reserve for penguins. We headed there in the early afternoon, but if you went in the evenings, you might be able to catch some fairy penguins heading back to their huts at the reserve!

And Lilico Beach was gorgeous. We were at the northern tip of Tasmania, with a beach littered with pebbles that had been shaped and moulded over the years.

yes, squinty eyes again.

We still had some time so my sister headed to a distillery whilst we headed to the nearby Kmart! Finally..some shopping. Grabbed some shirts and shorts for the boys, a couple of $5 tops and $3.50 leggings for Sarah (damn good deal), and Daddy Ting went looking for a cheap fishing rod and bait so he could fulfill his dream of going fishing with the boys during this trip.

Day 5: Mole Creek Caves / Melita Honey Farm / Ashgrove Tasmanian Farm

Donald & I had never been there before, and we thought this might be something we would want to do! Thankfully it was fairly kid friendly, the boys weren’t too scared of the dark. Downside, no toilets in this entirely natural cave hor. Quentin HAD to go halfway through the tour and we had to use one of Sarah’s diapers for him to pee in a corner. WTH.

one of the formations.

The caves were coooooold. 9 degrees Celsius kinda cold. It was pretty amazing to see the crystals in the caves, and that they were a few hundreds of thousands years old, with liquid slowly dripping over the years and forming these stalactites and stalagmites.

We picked the Marakoopa Caves because of the….glow worms! To be honest, I thought one of the worms would fall on my face when I looked up, but it’s safe! No bugs dropped on us. But it was really really cool to be in a cave that is pitched black and only seeing these glow in the dark bugs moving very slowly.

We were definitely happy to be out of the caves and back in the sun. Had a lunch picnic near the ticketing office (and got toilet facilities too, so yay!) and the kids had another chance to run free amidst wombat / wallaby poop that was littered all over the picnic grounds. Hahahhaa, Daddy Ting’s ultimate nightmare, IF the kids fell on any of that.

We then drove off and made a stop at the Melita Honey Farm along the way where the boys and Daddy Ting obviously had their fill of EVERY single type of honey possible. There were at least 20 different flavoured honeys for sampling, with 8-10 different types of honey, cream or liquid, you name it. Sarah and I sampled some honey nougat and checked out the bees working hard!

Obviously with the weather so good, we don’t just stop eating there. We stopped by the Ashgrove Tasmania Farm which is known for their cheese, butter, milk and ICE CREAM. I reckon the kids don’t want to leave Tasmania only cos they can have ice cream every day. *roll eyes* Sarah had fallen asleep on the way and I ALMOST didn’t get to go in cos who wants to wake the baby up seriously. 

Glorious amounts of cheese. There was so much but I had only eyes for the double and triple cream brie. OMGGGGGG. And there were some on discount too. 1.50 for a nice slab of double cream brie! It was heavenly when I had it later than night. 

Dinner that night was a Jailhouse Grill. We had high hopes for their steaks but it was disappointing. The kids had some salmon to share so it was all good.

Got home and hurriedly pop the kids to bed so we could get started on the packing. HOW ON EARTH DID WE AMASS SO MUCH STUFF OVER 5 DAYS?? *slaps head* Check out was 10am the next morning so we definitely had to have everything packed and done by that night. We also had food to clear in the fridge so I would have to wake up early to cook some lunch as we were going to take the coastal route to Hobart (ie, no towns or shops till a looooong while).

Day 6: Bicheno Blowhole / Triabunna / Hobart

It started drizzling when we checked out of the Airbnb, then started to rain intermittently once we go on the highway. We initially thought of going up to Bays of Fire, then going down to the Bicheno Blowhole, then to Triabunna. It was going to add at least another hour to the journey and given the rain, we figured we weren’t going to be able to see much. So we ended up going straight for the blowhole instead.

We took the main highway, before exiting at Campbell Town (last town of civilisation) before we turned into the A3. The roads were fine, just a little winding at times. The boys did get a little car sick but took it really well. It was a relief for them to get out and go to the blowhole. It was freeeeezing cos of the rain, but the boys were so excited! Hahaha.

Bicheno Blowhole

I never thought I would bring my kids to experience nature as it is. I never thought my kids would appreciate it. Daddy Ting had a field day taking photos of them and then standing there with them to anticipate the next wave. It was a pretty amazing site, complete with the angry weather.

We decided to then take a break from the driving and eat the packed lunch we had prepared earlier in the morning. I was feeling a little grumpy from having to entertain the toddler at the back and so decided to reward myself with a lobster roll from a nearby fishmongers haha. *pats self on back* It’s not easy ok..and poor Sarah had developed a rash around the waistband from being cooped up in the position for so long. Daddy Ting offered to take over for the next leg and I happily handed the reins over!

The drive to Triabunna wasn’t too bad, as it was the coastal road and we could see the sea instead of barren land or just trees and hills. Daddy Ting had plans to stop by a fish and chips van that he remembered having the last time he was there. Obviously the boys were very happy about it (lunch was a little crummy).

Fish & Chips from The Fish Van

 

Portions were huge and we had plenty to go around for the 6 of us. Tummies satiated, we then headed on to Hobart.It was a mix of feelings as we headed into Hobart, driving past the airport, Rosny and then getting on the Tasman Bridge. I felt that it was homecoming. I might have even teared hahaha. It really felt good to be back in Hobart.

But oh, how much it has changed since we were last there, a good 11 years ago.

Our Airbnb was not available on the night we arrived in Hobart, so we decided to stay at the ibis Styles Hobart, a newer hotel. We booked through Expedia, via Shopback, and used a HSBC coupon code which netted us a really decent discount and rebate. (Saved about 90 bucks!). Parking is available at the hotel, but subject to availability, and is charged at $25AUD a night. Alternatively, drive around till about 6pm and there are limited free parking lots opposite the hotel that you can park at.

Till the next post about our time in Hobart!

Category: Daily