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There is a first time for everything and this March school holiday, Ashley participated in her first ever runway show during the MaxToon Holiday Carnival at Suntec City North Atrium (the perfect location in which Ashley can have her dance lessons in between the fashion runway sessions). I must confess that I was not a avid follower of MaxToon and they came to my notice last November when Ashley’s dance school asked if we were interested in registering Ashley for an audition to participate in the Nutcracker performance with the National Ballet of China. However, Ashley was unable to join in that audition as the audition day coincided with Kingsley’s 1st birthday celebration and Ashley, being the ever loving sister, would never miss his birthday celebration for anything in the world.
Nevertheless, this event made me notice the emails I received from MaxToon and as fate would have it,an email arrived from MaxToon on an opportunity for Ashley to build her confidence on stage before her solo dance competitions for the year. Before this year (excluding the Xpress Dance Challenge held earlier in March), Ashley has always had her friends on stage with her in every performance and we were unsure if she would still be her bubbly self when she is alone on stage. Therefore, we are taking any opportunity we could have to get her used to going on stage by herself. This holiday season, she was lucky enough to join other kids in strutting down the fashion runway organised by MaxToon with apparel sponsored by KidStyle.
Here are photos taken of Ashley during the fitting session and runway day.
Today is the start of a brand new year and I have managed to steal a few moments to sit down and compile some of the highlights we had in 2018.
Work wise, the past one year has been kind to us with Colin and I achieving new heights and pursuing new direction in our careers respectively. With Colin swamped in work, I was lucky to have the opportunity to have a change in environment to not only learn new things but to also devote more time to the 2 cheeky little babies at home.
Switching gear to the little ones, nothing delights us more than seeing the growth of the sibling bond between Ashley and Kingsley and we hope this bond will continue to grow stronger as they grow up and even grow old. Here are some sneak peeks of the little ones together.
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It has been ages since I have updated about Ashley’s dance curriculum and this makes an excellent opportunity for me to share on her dance journey thus far. Since mid last year, we have switched Ashley to Jody Marshall Dance Company (JMDC) as we realised that she was not learning much from her previous dance school which operated more like a multi-chain school which does not demonstrate dedication to individual students’ need. In May this year, she joined the JMDC 6 and under dance troupe upon completion of her TTA exam and the first item that caught our eye for their events in 2018 was he year end performance in Hong Kong Disneyland. Of no surprise, Ashley showed no hesitation in wanting to participate in the event when we asked her and went through months of training with her fellow JMDC dance mates for this Hong Kong trip.
After months of hard work from all the kids in JMDC, we finally set off on 6th December 2018 for their Hong Kong dance journey. Despite an early flight out at 7.40am, the kids were all bright and cheery on the day of departure (Daddy Colin is absent from the group photos as he readily stepped up to the role of the official photographer to capture the beautiful moments of the trip).
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Although it has been less than a year since our last holiday to Australia, Ashley has been asking us when would we be able to bring her for another holiday to Australia. I must be honest that I would not be that enthusiastic in planning yet another holiday to Australia that soon upon considering the long 8 hour flight with a baby and a child in tow. However, such thoughts do not taunt us for long as Colin and I quickly got down to plan a week long holiday to Brisbane and Gold Coast as the thought of spending quality time with the little ones outweighs all hesitation and uncertainty. From our past experiences travelling with Ashley, we noticed that red eye flights were the best for the little ones as the timing would coincide with their bedtime and hopefully, they would be able to sleep through the bulk of the flight time. This holiday was no exception as we selected the 8.45pm outbound flight and boy were we glad that Kingsley slept through at least half of the journey in the bassinet or in our arms.
As I was planning the itinerary for the trip, I decided against accommodation hopping given that (1) the holiday was only going to be 7 days and (2) majority of the attractions being nested within an hour’s ride from Gold Coast. Next question that might pop up in one’s mind is, “Where is the best place to stay in Gold Coast then?” I believe Surfers Paradise is no stranger to many and some may reply, “Where better to stay in Gold Coast other than Surfers Paradise?” I would definitely agree to that statement as F&B outlets are aplenty in that area. However, budget wise, accommodation in Surfers Paradise are generally pricier given the prime location and since I needed a 2-bedroom apartment with proper laundry and kitchen facilities, it made sense for me to source outside of Surfers Paradise. If you have chanced upon our earlier post on our holiday to Sydney 2 years ago, you might have heard the name Meriton Suites. Given our good experience staying with them, it was no hesitation for us to return to another Meriton Suites for our holiday. There are 2 Meriton Suites located along the Indian Ocean in Gold Coast, of which they are situated at Broadbeach and Southport. As we were planning to drive around as usual, we decided on the Meriton Suites Southport for our week long stay for the following reasons; (1) there is a Woolsworth located in the same building which makes it convenient for marketing and (2) competitive pricing as compared to Meriton Suites Broadbeach while still offering a beautiful view of the Indian Ocean. Even if you do not rent a car in Gold Coast, it is relatively easy to commute around the Gold Coast city street scape with the G:link Gold Coast Light Rail network.
Here are some photos of our 2 bedroom ocean suite at Meriton Suites Southport.
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