Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Aquila style

As I've mentioned before, I get contacted quite often through this blog, sometimes by fans that cheer me on, or thank me for nice posts; but mostly by people who are about to move to Brunei and have questions, or would like some advice.

Sometimes it's about other more random things. Like this week, when a journalist from a web based Indonesian lifestyle magazine called 'Aquila Style' contacted me to ask permission to use one of my photos for an article about Brunei.
It was a rather old photo (taken from this blog post from 2010), but I still said yes. So if you are curious, here is a screenshot from the article. To see the full feature, click on the photo:

Recognize anybody? :)

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Linnea's 3rd Swim Meet

Today it was time again for another Brunei Swimming Championship for the 7-9 years. Linnea took part in this for the first time exactly a year ago, and then one more time back in May.

Again it was colliding with the Kids Halloween Hash so she got the choice which one to go to out of the two and she said she wanted to swim. (It's an invitational competition, and their swim teacher chooses who will get the chance to go.)

Anyhow, when we arrived there today she had (another) total meltdown and didn't want to swim at all. We had tears for all of the warm-up, well, that she didn't participate in... In the end it was by pure peer pressure by her friends she finally went and sat with the rest of the JIS team to get briefed, got her cap on, and got in line for her first race.
We agreed that she would at least do one race, and then we could discuss further whether we should go home or not.

After about half an hour she was like a different child, chatting and playing with her friends and she ended up doing all four races she was signed up for without any further complaints.



She didn't win any medals (this time either) but she bettered 3/4 of her times, which is the main thing. Well today, the biggest thing was actually that she DID swim at all after all that palaver..!

2013 Party in Pink™

October is well cemented all over the world as the month to raise money towards research to prevent breast cancer, so even here in Brunei.
Three years ago Zumba Fitness launched their Party in Pink™ charity campaign in the fight against breast cancer and last year Susan's Fitness Studio organized the biggest Zumba® charity event to date here. We had a three hour long Party in Pink™ Zumbathon®, with nearly 1000 tickets sold!

Today we wanted to repeat the success, but the event didn't get as big this year, we only had about 300 people joining in this morning. There had been other Party in Pink™ Zumbathons® organized by other instructors throughout the month already; plus it was also a busy fitness day here in Brunei, with a big "Ballbreaker" hash event (20k!) going on, and a running race.
All us instructors were wearing this years PIP t-shirt, in white. Here's Leigh, the newest addition to our Studio, and myself before we started:

Even though it wasn't as big as last year, it's quite impressive as an instructor to look out over this sea of people all dressed in pink, and lead such a big crowd through their workout! We had a great time! Love Zumba!

I only did one track today, one of my new MJ tracks. I still managed to get caught on camera!

And after the Zumba, the never-ending photo session started, almost as long as the Zumba session! Camera flashes everywhere and people who call you over to have their photos taken with you, it's like being on the red carpet! Ha ha!


Hafertaler Double Choc

Mmmm - the German Shop had advertised a new shipment the other day, so I went down to stock up on marzipan, nougat and other Christmas goodies they usually get in this time of year.
You better get there early, to make sure you get some!
Imagine my joy when I also found these:

Swedish cookies! Chocolate "havreflarn"! Y-U-M!
I don't think this box will last until Christmas though, ha ha.

Monday, 21 October 2013

A happy 8 year old

I have just put a very happy newly 8 year old to bed. It seems like it's nearly as difficult to settle and go to sleep after a birthday as it was before one..!

I do sympathize though, as her day kind of went by really fast compared to previous years.
It was a long day at school already. Since she had swimming after school and Lucas touch rugby, I didn't pick them up until 4pm.
On the way home we had to do a few jobs - so we weren't home until just before 5pm. Meanwhile, both Grandma and Mormor had been texting to book in some Skype time to wish Happy Birthday, and at 5.30 we had asked the neighbourhood kids to come over for pizza (by Linnea's wish) and cake, to get some birthday feeling today on the day too!

Lucky there was time to unpack a few of her presents and play with them with her friends, but it's also good in a way that there is still new things to unpack and discover for a few afternoons yet!
Playing Monster High, and building Lego together:

Playing Elastics, or "Hoppa twist" as we used to call it in Sweden. A blast from the past for me!

Of course we had to have another cake as you need to blow out candles ON your birthday too! This time we enjoyed an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen, which was really yummy. I think everybody had seconds... and even thirds!


A display of most of the presents, what a lucky girl! She's been well and truly celebrated!

Linnea's 8th birthday party

Linnea had been planning her party for a very long time, although we have a rule in our house that we don't talk about her birthday, until Daddy's birthday has been (24th September). She knew already from long ago she wanted to have a party where both boys and girls could come and have fun, but she didn't want to do a water slide one at home, for some reason she wanted to be out of the house - hey, no complaints from me!
So we finally decided to do a bowling one, like Lucas had for his 9th birthday. Although wise from experience, I put a cap on the invite list to a max of 10 kids in total - which meant Linnea, Lucas and eight little guests only. A lot more manageable.

Here's the invite:

This is how you look when you are hosting your 8th birthday party. We had bought her a whole new outfit in Singapore last week. All new from top to toe, new shoes, new dress, new cardigan and new headband!

We had her party at the bowling alley yesterday, a nice way to end the school holidays.

Whereas most of the boys at Lucas' party had enough after one game and a bit, Linnea's friends were most dedicated and super focused - they all played two games each, and took it really seriously.

They were all into the game and had so much fun cheering on and supporting each other, it was really nice to see.

After the bowling, Linnea had wished to go to Fish & Co for early dinner. Easy peasy!

This time there was no balloon swords, but a TV with some cartoons. I kid you not, had there been sound to this photo...

... you would have heard nothing, because they were all totally zoned out and mesmerized by the TV at this stage, ha ha!

Anyway, they all enjoyed their dinner, and after their food - of course it was time for cake. Linnea got sung to (well, they rapped!) by the staff at the restaurant, and then she got to cut her Glee cake.

Blowing out the candles!


The goodie bags this time included the usual goodies and chocolate, plus some bowling pin & ball-shaped erasers.

There we go, what a great afternoon!