December 19, 2007

Joy

'Tis the season to be jolly! So I must muster up a jolly post to uplift myself and you, my dear reader.

It is the time for us to count our blessings, no matter how small. To remind ourselves the source of smiles, laughter and joy. So I thought I'd try to come up with a list of the little and big things that bring a smile to my face and give me that warm fuzzy feeling one.
  • Seeing and playing with cute little kiddies
  • Giving and making loved ones happy
  • Cooking and baking and being in the kitchen (not washing!)
  • Flowers - be it receiving, buying or arranging
  • Being appreciated and loved
  • Zooming along on a long uncongested road

What else is there? I shall try to think of more to add to the list. Speaking of lists, I haven't been able to draw up a Christmas list yet, as I've been lacking in inspiration. Find it a tad contrived to just buy random gifts for people as I believe gifts should be meaningful.

So what gives you joy? And what joy are you bringing to people around you this holiday season?

November 30, 2007

Little Katherine

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November 27, 2007

The Cutest Kiddie Ever!

 
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November 9, 2007

Pretty Things

Last week, my house turned into a floral warzone as I busied myself with preparing the bridesmaids' bouquets for a friend's wedding. I had volunteered to help make 8 bouquets to help her save some costs plus I wanted to hone my floristry skills :) After the experience, I can officially testify that being a florist is not easy as there is a lot of work that goes into making sure the flowers turn out right and pretty.

Other than the flowers, Eugene and I were sort of the wedding planners for the day. Woke up at 6am (having stayed up till 3am the night before making the bouquets) and was basically up and running around until midnight. Phew. But the wedding went well, everything was great! Pretty bride and handsome groom :) Don't have that many pictures from that day, still waiting for the official photos to come out!
Apologies for the lack of news. It's been a pretty whirlwind couple of weeks - winding down my previous job and settling back here. Physically pretty wiped out from early starts these days. Have to get used to the new routine, though I've never been much of a morning person. Bah. Oh well. Can't believe it's almost the end of the year already!

October 21, 2007

Back From A Long Hiatus

Wow it's been nearly a month. Guess the past weeks have been kinda hectic - i.e. travelling. Let's see, I was in 6 different countries in the last 3 weeks (Sg included). First week - to the Pinoy land of Manila (hopefully it's the last time already) to finish off a project; second week - to HK and Macau for the annual conference; and this past week - Cambodia and KL for leisure. Well, this will probably be the last of my travels for a while since I go back to the mothership in 2 weeks' time. Actually, less than 2 weeks. Sigh.

Phnom Penh and Siem Reap were great. Despite the short 3 days we spent there, I think we managed to squeeze in most of the key sights. Stayed at the Raffles in Phnom Penh and Hotel De La Paix in Siem Reap, both of which were excellent choices. I'd recommend the latter to anyone who is going to Siem Reap. Great new boutique hotel run by the Bed Supperclub people.

Angkor Wat and the other temples were impressive to say the least. Actually my favourite is Ta Phrom, which is the temple in Tomb Raider, with all the overgrown trees amidst the ruins. The temple is situated in lush greenery, with great big fig trees, which I suppose are not really good for the temple. Nevertheless, there's a sense of tranquility and you feel like you've just stumbled upon a lost ancient city. We caught the sunset on Phrom Bakheng, a temple on the hilltop, which was overrun with Japanese and Taiwanese tourists. Actually everywhere would have been so much nicer without the busloads of tour groups. Luckily, we woke up early enough (5am!) to catch the sunrise at Angkor Wat and walked around the temple before the hordes got there. However, it was very disappointing that we couldn't climb up to the third (and highest) level at Angkor Wat as they closed it for restoration works last month.

Sitting in a tuk tuk and traversing the vast expanse of old Angkor city was really enjoyable. The weather was really pleasant, and the sprawling fields, forests and lake, dotted with temples and ruins, made for an amazing backdrop. It won't be hard spending a week in Siem Reap just to chill out at the hotel and take in the sights slowly.

Spent an enjoyable weekend watching squash, which was surprising since I (and probably others) thought I'd be bored. It's back to the grind tomorrow. Time to pack up my mess, tie up loose ends, and psyche myself up for what lies ahead. It ain't gonna be easy but let's just take each day at a time.

September 28, 2007

Dempsey

I really quite like the new Dempsey. Yes it is atas and gentrified and somehow I just feel like I don't belong there, yet it gives a sense of calm and peacefulness. Set amid the lush greenery, the low-lying buildings create a sleepy village feeling. Only the parking situation and the expensive cars give away the demographics.

It was fun though. JW and I were at Barracks, the restaurant bistro in the House complex, which consist of a spa, restaurant and bar. Ecletically outfitted (think vintage meets MASH), the restaurant was pretty full for a Thursday night. There were no free tables and we had to sit at the counter (which was a kichen island and had 2 sinks fitted in it, yes house theme remember?) for the most part of our meal. We spied many celebrities (ok 3 but that's still many to me) and the food was surprisingly good. I didn't have high expectations for these new concept cafes, usually their food turns out s0-so with nice ambience and decor to compensate.

I had the Wild Mushroom Risotto, which was cooked to a nice consistency, with french beans (and not fava beans like described in the menu), tomatoes and of course mushrooms. It wasn't too cheesey (which is how i like it) and the veal sauce that was served with it complemented it well and cut the richness somewhat. Picture not very good below.
JW had the Ahi Taki Salad, which was seared spiced tuna chunks (very yummy and juicy) with avocado and arugula. I really liked the way the tuna was seasoned, definitely Asian touch with soy and ginger, and I don't know whether it was the size of the chunks or cut of the tuna but it tasted like really tender meat and not flaky like some cooked tuna, nor raw and fishy. The side of sweet potato fries were good too, tempura-fried and seasoned with sugar and sesame seeds. We also shared a Green Tea Tofu Tiramisu, which was alright, kinda grew on us haha. I thought the mascarpone cheese part would be substituted with some sort of tofu topping, but it actually was just sponge, with a piece of tofu and topped with mascarpone cheese. It's not as bad as I make it sound haha. But others have told me that the desserts here are great, will go back and try the recommended Chocolate Almond cake the next time.

I took a random picture at PS Cafe when Peirui and I had brunch. The nice setting of greenery and flowers always speaks out to me.



September 12, 2007

No Reservations

Caught No Reservations last night with FY and Evan. FY wanted to watch it for Aaron Eckhart and Evan for Catherine Zeta-Jones and me? I wanted to watch it for the cooking heh. It was a so-so show, just kinda brainless but with few good moments. Anyway, after watching the show, I really feel like I wanna move to NYC and/or cook good food! I realise I really like to watch cooking shows, no surprise that one of my favourite channels is Food Network haha, though I don't really watch much Discovery Travel and Living now.

But watching is one thing, doing is another. I doubt I'll have the perseverence to actually learn how to cook properly in a school, or apprentice in kitchens where a common sight is pots and pans being thrown at you by the chef. I guess I'll just stick to being super amateur hobbyist.

September 4, 2007

Stuff I Like

Yawn. Before I zonk out, thought I'd do a cursory post since I haven't done any in a long time.

To share some pretty sites I came across

Carnival & Co - A party planner/event venue/cupcake biz located in a house in Chip Bee Gardens (near Holland V). Great place from the pictures, my friend had a bachelorette party there recently where the programme was to make cupcakes. Sadly, I missed it. Would love to go and check it out one day.

Poppy - Think I've raved about it before already. Part of it is similar in concept to Carnival & Co, they do cakes and parties too in a very pretty venue as it seems from the pictures. Also in Chip Bee gardens. Difference is that they do flowers. Poppy started out as a florist in Tg Pagar, which is how I got to know about them. Damn pretty flowers, but also super expensive. Would love to get some flowers from here man. Always wonder whether it looks pretty only cos of the photography, but anyway, very inspired every time I visit this place.

Raindrops by Regina Spektor
- An indie artiste, Soviet-born American, singing cute songs mostly accompanied just by piano. Guess that's what drew me was the simplicity and clarity of the tunes. I really really like Raindrops. Em posted it on her blog and now I'm on a quest to find that song, which can't seem to be bought cos it was an unreleased demo?? And whatever I found on the Internet is not the full version. Ahhhh...

Oyako Don - Made this yesterday and am very pleased with the results. A good one person easy to make meal. Yum.

White Roses - Got a cheap dozen at the market, sitting prettily on my dresser. I hope they last a few more days but they look pretty open already.

August 17, 2007

An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away!

I'm soon going to be the proud owner of a new 20-inch iMac and a 4gb red iPod Nano! Woohoo!!! Can't wait.

HURRY UP AND SHIP IT TO ME!!

Drool.....



August 13, 2007

Kids Say The Darndest Things

It was little Chloe's birthday and we had bought her this cute pink Powerpuff Girls trolley bag which she had apparently been eyeing. When the door opened and she greeted us, she spied us trying to hide the present behind our backs and even before we could wish her happy birthday and give her her pressie, the first words that came out were, with a genuine matter-of-fact look on her face:

"But I already have a trolley bag!"

That little girl is so clever and cute I tell you. Heh heh heh. Apparently her grandma had bought her a smaller Barbie one recently to placate her. We burst out laughing and tried to convince her that this bag was bigger and better. She proceeded to zoom around the house dragging her bag, which was almost as tall as her, laughing and babbling while stoic lil' Nathan ambled after her.

Such cute kids.

A Thousand Words

I was looking at some professional wedding photographs online and was enraptured by the moments that the photographer managed to capture on film. The radiance and the smiles on the faces, definitely takes talent and skill. The photographer is pretty famous in the wedding circuit, Kelvin Koh of Lighted Pixel. My sister will also be using him for her wedding, hope her photos will just be as amazing.

some thoughts from it -

doing something you love for a living and the passion that goes with it

those moments in life that take your breath away simply remain in your memories unless they can be ingenuously recorded. but they are but a mere cross-section of your life, perhaps not showing depth of the past or future.

the casual shoots are actually more fun. everyday life immortalised. if only each day is lived like that.

August 6, 2007

A Great Weekend

Gosh am I tired or am I tired. Think this bag of ole bones can't tahan staying up late and back to back activities anymore. But that said, it was a fruitful weekend spent with friends.

I would like to leech of Peirui's blog entries on the movie we watched, The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros, and MAAD which we went to yesterday hehe, honestly, I think we felt the same way about the movie and MAAD. I'm glad we went to watch the movie, and we have to go watch the Thai one too when it comes out! MAAD was a tad disappointing due to the limited stalls but their quality was pretty good. I collected a whole bunch of cards so that I can check their websites out.

Anyway, had a good time on Friday catching up with the council peeps, in honour of the homecoming of our supreme leader hah. As usual, the guys outnumbered the girls and quite a few brought their wives/fiances/gfs along. Can't believe it's been ten years already. Crabs at Defu Lane Seafood Paradise was good, it was surprisingly windy despite being in the midst of an industrial estate. Had a late night chatting with FY until like 4+am (which must have been the latest I've been up in recent times lousy me).

Saturday was a pampering day, what with facial and a pedicure. Spent a nice evening with the girls at Pierside Kitchen watching the NDP rehearsal albeit the not that great food, and lack of fireworks. Apparently they've already done all the full rehearsals and the Sat one was like a last minute practice. The boats and choppers and planes were fun to watch tho. Great view by One Fullerton, of course would have been better if there were fireworks. We then karaoke-ed late into the night. Kbox isn't very good though I must say. Firstly, they gave me and Ruth this huge VIP room, which you'd think would be state of the art cos it's VIP right? Wrong. The bass was muted, the control panel tv screen tiny (in relation to the room) and we had to go really close to see what we were choosing. In the end, we asked to be moved to a normal small room haha.

Other than the movie and MAAD, plus catching up with Jules on Sunday, the highlight of my weekend was our long awaited cookout at Daniel's place. Silly boy went to google Aug 5 to see what important events we could celebrate and came up with the Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving Day of Croatia, which is apparently to commemorate the liberation of some city called Knin in 1995. Despite the difficulty of obtaining Croatian recipes, I'm glad he didn't persist with the original country Burkina Faso (I admit I've never heard of it until Dandan mentioned it). We had an aweseome time mucking around in the kitchen, doing stupid things like creating a backdrop of the Croatian flag on Dan's computer and posing for stupid pictures. We even found the Croatian anthem and attempted to play it before we succumbed again to the 90s music on Class 95 on Sundays, which was really really good and nostalgic. At one point, we even attempted to do the running man to Ditty. Hahaha. No, we didn't have much to drink. Some pics from the crazy night :)




July 13, 2007

Potty Over Potter

Yes, I'm on of those must-see-Harry-Potter-movie-as-soon-as-it-comes-out types. So went to catch it with JY last night at Cineleisure. All the theatres seemed to be showing only Harry Potter. Must be super big money-spinner for them.

I was looking forward to it since the beginning of the week, and the excitement mounted as THE day drew nearer (I'm look forward next to the release of the last book).

Verdict? The movie wasn't very 'wow', pretty patchy. Which is not a big surprise since Order of the Phoenix the book is after all the thickest book of the series and Order of the Phoenix the movie is the shortest of the movies, which means they had to squeeze a helluva lot into a short 2 hrs 15 min. Well, I must say that I had quite high expectations, working myself up like that. The movie chose to dwell on certain threads in the original story, while almost completely ignoring others. However, I must admit that JK Rowling does indulge in description quite a bit in OOP. Example, I read the first 20 pages last night but didn't even get past to the first scene of the movie. The classroom scenes and the usual school life scenes kinda get downplayed here but I suppose many would find that passe since the first few movies have dwelled on that sufficiently. Instead, screen time was devoted to building up to the eventual good vs evil fight that will take place further down the line. Oh one more thing I didn't like, Ron didn't really get much of a part in this one. He probably says like err 10 lines in the whole movie.

That said, despite it not being very 'wow', I think it's still worth a watch as part of the Harry Potter experience. Plus if you don't read the books, the movie would probably be pretty satisfactory to you. Oh, the actors have really grown since the first movie huh. Daniel Radcliffe was SOOOOO small and cute last time. He's practically a man now. And I can't stand Cho Chang man. Yeuuccchhh.

Can't wait for the book next week!

Unrelated note, going to play some netball tomorrow or most probably just sit on the bench. Being roped in by Peirui (who's a victim herself heh) to help the organisation play in some netball league. Yay, time to get some sun and move those old bones.

July 8, 2007

Pressie





I got a new Eeyore recruit to join the evergrowing army over the weekend. This one's a little retarded - it looks retarded lah, poor thing. But it's just soooo cute. Haha, I can make it do stupid things like hold its ears over its eyes (the ears and hands are magnetic and so is the cup/hat). Or hold its hat/cup with its ears, or look it's wearing a turban, or just pulling his ears - like in the pictures above. Ok, kinda bo liao but you get the idea.


June 15, 2007

A Wonderful Surprise

I had lunch today with Peirui and Jac at the Whitebait & Kale Deli. While the food (read sandwiches) wasn't anything to rave or flog about, we had gone there in search of a cute guy. Alas, we were to be disappointed as there was NO cute guy. The confession came out that the above said cute guy was spotted ONCE working at the restaurant one Friday about one and a half months ago *faint* hence it was quite a far shot that he would actually be there today.

However, it was definitely not a wasted lunch. Great company plus the wonderful Peirui gave me final instalment of my birthday present (first instalment was an Eeyore phone holder, second instalment was a Frienster testimonial). I must say I was swept off my feet (alrite, I'd be if Peirui was a guy), it was one of the most thoughtful gifts I've received :)

All wrapped up in a pretty brown box and ribbon! Peirui calls it my Think Positive box.



Tada! I was greeted with a handmade card and a pretty white gerbera (I love gerberas!). Next was a Yes! Attitude book (haha, I so do need this). And then a Martha Stewart book - The Martha Rules: 10 Essentials for Achieving Success as You Start, Build or Manage a Business since I've been going on and on about doing my wedding planner thing and other harebrained entrepreneurial ideas. Last but not least was a box of Marks & Sparks Apple Cinnamon Flakes, which is what keeps me happy and satiated during a dull dreary office day.

I really couldn't ask for a better put together gift and a more thoughtful friend. Thank you dear, it was a really sweet gesture and I think my donuts pale in comparison heh. :)

June 11, 2007

Jack the Plant

The office went on an Ikea shopping spree get new furniture and stuff for the office. I've a new plant! So exciting, I've never really had a plant before :) As my colleague says, it looks like a farm of sorts with all my soft toys resting in its shade. I hope it doesn't die, don't know how often I've to water it man. I shall call my plant Jack. Don't the plaited stems look pretty? Looking at the plant makes me happy. Yay.

Mookie, Eeyores & Jack

June 6, 2007

Numbers Formulas Lookups

I lurve excel! I lurve modelling! Woohoo! Rediscover the geek!

June 1, 2007

Food @ Central

Heh heh heh. Since Peirui already did the honour of blogging about it first (you're too fast for me girl!), I shall just steal her post about the sinfully decadent night we had pigging out on desserts to commerate Guru J's birthday from Gobi and Paisley & Cream.


These 2 lovely places are located at Central, the new mall at Clark Quay, with tons of Japanese eateries and other cafes. Had ramen at Central the other day at Marutama Ramen, reputedly one of the better ramen shops in Singapore.



I had the regular ramen with pork belly and egg. Not too bad, the soup was yummy, made from chicken stock as opposed to pork based tonkatsu ones. The stewed egg wasn't as runny as I'd hope it'd be. The pork belly is like "kong ba" but seasoned with soy sauce rather than five spice. Noodles were springy and thin, more like wanton mee "mee kia" rather than instant noodles. Not too sure which is more authentic though but I think I prefer thicker springy noodles.


I've yet to try Miharu, which is the other ramen place that's supposedly the best in Singapore, so can't really make a comparison. Marutama is good if you don't have to queue. Apparently it gets quite ridiculous on weekends so be forewarned.

May 23, 2007

Lapillus Accessories @ Clark Quay 25th-26th May


Helping my friend advertise for her upcoming bazaar (and jewellery website) at Clark Quay this weekend (Fri, Sat). If you're free or in the area, do pop by! They have nice stuff! Their website is here.


May 22, 2007

Happiology - The Search For and Study of Happiness

Taken from April 07 issue of Her World (yes, can find some good stuff not always fashion and trash)

Happy Triggers
  • Happiness is dependent on your state of mind, not on your bank balance. Cultivate a positive outlook and find a positive spin for negative events.
  • Count your blessings - start a gratitude journal.
  • Perform random acts of kindness: Smile at someone who looks forlorn. Let someone in a hurry in front of you in the queue. Call or visit a grandmother or older family member.
  • Interact with nature.
  • Look after your body. Eat right and exercise.
  • Find your magic trigger - the thing that makes you happy, whether it's writing, loving, dancing or climbing mountains.
  • Each day, no matter how busy you are, find one thing to bring you back to consciousness and to happiness.
  • Live in the moment.
  • Don't compare yourself with others - self-awareness is the route to true happiness.

Other things that stuck:

"Researchers have also found that it's not so much the rewards, the accolades, the new house, the new car, but the dream of it and the pursuit of it that can bring happiness."

"It's the process of being alive, of doing something that is far more important than the results"

"... remember to enjoy the moments of happiness without allowing worries or fears to steal away from them."

I'm also reading Daniel Gilbert's Stumbling on Happiness right now, pretty interesting read on how we imagine the future and our assessment on what we think will make us happy. No it's not a self-help motivational slash inspirational book. It's written more from the angle of sociology, psychology and economic theories with lots of case studies and social experiments.

Tons of books awaiting my reading. Tons of work awaiting my doing. Away with the procrastination monster!

Apple Cinnamon Yum

Marks & Sparks Apple and Cinnamon flakes are addictive!!

In a bid to distract me from my irritatedness, I've been snacking. Peirui thinks this is a weird concept. So do I actually but I think I'm weird.

May 17, 2007

Kidnapped

If I got kidnapped, who would come and pay the ransom? I dun think I would matter enough to anyone to warrant ransom payment, especially if the ransom was like $5 million bucks (or anything in the millions).

But since I'm that insignificant, I'm in no danger of being kidnapped anytime soon. Or find out how much I'm actually worth to those around me.

The above thought is courtesy of yet another random tangent at work. The Philippines Yearbook publishes the number of people who are kidnapped year and amount of ransom asked for amongst other nonsense like number of prisoners escaped and also those recaptured.

Random Rants

Eating Marks & Sparks Honey Roast Wiltshire Ham Potato Crisps with chopsticks. Yum. High on sodium!

Did you know that you need USD30 million net worth to get a Krispy Kreme franchise? And apparently the franchise fees alone are 2 million (not sure USD or SGD), not to mention operating equipment, start up fees, labour, rental yada yada. We (our intern and I) spent a good part of the afternoon coming up with a P&L to see the feasibility of opening a Krispy Kreme here. No wonder Singapore has no Krispy Kreme. Next to impossible unless you're the Sultan of Brunei with money to throw into the toilet.

Been reading up on mental illnesses and personality disorders on wiki lately. Cluster B personality disorders in the DSM are quite interesting - antisocial, borderline, histrionic and narcissistic. There are probably tons of people with some sort of mental illness to various degrees, just that not many actually undergo diagnosis, often attributing it to external circumstances or PMS. Now doesn't that sound familiar. Haha.

May 15, 2007

Friendly Advice

Advice from my wonderful friend:

You totally should get yourself into the dating scene. It's the equivalent of going for interviews even if you don't actually intend to resign - it's good to find out your market value.

Haha. Well put. Now, where can I find that scene?

Why Are We Weird?

Having Fizzy Fish from M&S in the office. They are sooooo SOUR!!! But that's good, cos I need to wake the bloody hell up from my food coma.

Many things to blog about (mostly food) but a little lazy right now to upload pics. Peirui is hounding me for all the non-existant entries in BYTFF. Ok, so just to hold myself accountable here's what I need to flog - Canele from lunch yesterday and Ikukan and Patissier from dinner.

I think we get weirder as we age. By we, I mean my friends. We've always been a little strange but the weirdness gets honed instead of going away. Case in point: conversation over dinner last night. Unlike normal amicable peace-loving people who would nod politely and say "Ah, yes ok" to straightforward answers to nuggets of wisdom such "Why not to order seafood on a Monday" and "What is deadweight loss" or "What is a ketone", we question and poke and probe and argue and expand a subject that's probably only worth 2 lines into a PhD thesis. Why ah? (other than the fact that we need to entertain ourselves this way) But it's amusing nonetheless.

And Spizza is pronouced as it's spelt! Spiz-za, NOT es-pissa!! Who says that gosh!
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