For one, we sold the house in Tiong Bahru and moved to another neighbourhood further up in the West to be nearer to the hubby and brother-in-law's workplaces as well as a potential primary school for my girl. That meant spending almost every weekend packing up all of our stuff into boxes for moving, which is no mean feat considering we were four adults and two kids!
|As usual, the OCD in me ensured that there was a system to all the packing!|
To ensure that moving day was as hassle-free as possible, we hired professional movers to do the job. Sure, it is more expensive but they got the job done in just four hours! Definitely well worth the money in my opinion.
Our new place is a rented condominium unit, which was the same rental price as a 4-room HDB flat in the same area, but with facilities and without the conservative and parking fees (can you say free parking for two cars?! *grin*). We are going to rent while looking for our permanent house in the same neighbourhood.
Many people have asked us the same question so I thought I would provide our rationale here:
Why did we choose to rent for a year instead of buying a new house straight away?
- We are very picky, with a long list of requirements for our new house. Such a perfect house at a reasonable cost would require some time to find (good luck to our property agent! *laughs*)
- Rushing through house-hunting, renovations and moving (because you have to vacate your house in 3 months) while taking care of two kids and holding a full-time job is probably not a good idea. I've already got waay too much on my plate! I don't need that kind of stress :S
- Renting lets us have an idea of how it feels like to live in our prospective neighbourhood without actually committing to it. If we don't like it, we can still move back to Tiong Bahru or some other neighbourhood.
- We wanted to have more disposable income to travel and buy whatever we want so we decided to buy a HDB flat instead of the more expensive condominium for our first house. However, we still wanted our kids to enjoy condo facilities and renting provides us with this option, even if for only a year. Our condo has almost everything: gym, swimming pool, tennis courts, BBQ pits, mini mart and even a child care centre! My kids are having a blast every week! =)
|My very ecstatic kids in the pool!|
Since we no longer live in the heart of town (*sob*), the hubby also got me an 8-year-old car so that it is more convenient for me to send my girl to school and go to work.
I have always loved the MINI Cooper so although the hubby was very reluctant (because it is so small, only has 3 doors and cost more than most Japanese cars), he eventually relented when he saw how much I swooned whenever I saw a MINI. By God's grace, we found a really nice yellow one in excellent condition selling for a good price. The car was so well-kept and had so low mileage that it was equivalent to a 5-6 year old car. We didn't even have to look any further. It was like God led us to the car and a few hours later, it was mine! =)
Everyone meet MINIbee, my first car and my dream car! *grin*
|The day that we met and bought my MINIbee =)|
|The iconic circular design of the MINI that we all know and love|
(the speedometer in the middle is no longer in production!)
"When I get my own car, I will buy a miniature one exactly like it to put on the dashboard. Wouldn't that be cool?" I used to say to myself whenever I browsed the collection of die cast cars in the kids section. So after searching everywhere for a yellow, die cast MINI Cooper that looked as much like MINIbee as possible, I finally found one in Batam for only S$10!
|It looks exactly like how I envisioned it! =)|
|Other than not having white side mirrors and two white stripes on the front bonnet, mini MINIbee looks exactly like, well, MINIbee!|
As MINIbee is not very big, I decided to get a preloved carseat that was suitable for both my girl and my boy. That way, either one of them can travel in it if I ferried only one of them because I think it is safer for my girl to travel in a full car seat. However, as I can't possibly fit two full size car seats in my MINIbee, my girl will have to sit in a booster seat whenever I have to drive both (works out ok for us so far).
I managed to find a really good one that coincidentally came with a Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) System (read more about the LATCH system here) that matched perfectly with MINIbee. In essence, the LATCH System was created to overcome the problem of people wrongly installing car seats using the car's seat belt. I found the LATCH system better and easier to install the car seat than the regular car seat belt; I strongly encourage you to get a car seat with the LATCH system if your car is compatible.
|After a good wash, our preloved carseat was good as new and fits nicely in my back seat|
Initially no one wanted to sit in my car because it's so small and I needed to get my driving groove back on after not driving for almost four years. At least, no one except for my girl! Gotta love her. Now I know who really has my back! *laughs*
I was quite apprehensive of driving on Singapore roads, knowing how aggressive drivers in Singapore can be. My fears were unfounded though as MINIbee is such a breeze to maneuver (some experts have even likened its steering to that of a gokart) that I had no problems changing lanes or parking. I suspect that the small and cute exterior also helped to influence other drivers to give way to me on the road (because everyone feels instinctively protective of cute little things, don't they? *laughs*). So far so good by the grace of God =)
|First time parallel parking outside of my Pilates Studio|
(it has been so much more convenient to get to places now that I have a car)
I realised that driving can be enjoyable, if you get a car that really fits you. And MINIbee really fits me =)
Of course, now that I drive to work everyday instead of taking the bus, I have less time to blog (and you know I blog a lot on the bus) which explains also why this blog has been silent for a while. Well, I may not be able to blog as often as I used to but I sure as hell won't stop blogging or sharing my thoughts in some way because that's just the way I am =)
Looking forward to more Adventures with MINIbee!