Thursday, June 30, 2005

The stage is set



We recently moved a stone table and bench into our garden, but so far, it has only been used to read newspapers on. Quite underused, you would say. I think that table is perfecto for breakfast and tea. Just imagine sitting there with a hot plate of freshly-baked scones and cupcakes, a basin of real cream and strawberry jam, with the scent of fruit tea wafting to you from a freshly-poured cup. Mmm.

Those images have inspired me to start cooking and baking again. Ever since coming back to S’pore, I’ve been too lazy to do any real cooking, aside from the occasional cake and cookies. And of course discovering this whole profusion of local foodie blogs has further fuelled my inspiration and I have decided to roll up my sleeves and get back into the kitchen.

The grand event that will mark this lofty ambition? My mother’s birthday in two weeks. She’s notoriously difficult to buy presents for. She doesn’t like spas, hates getting massages, doesn’t go for manicures and pedicures, doesn’t wear perfume, dislikes little knick-knacks, and is extremely persnickety in her taste of shoes, clothes and skincare. Every year (actually twice a year, because of Christmas) I have to rack my brains thinking of a worthy present. But I think this year, I have hit on the right one. I went to a cooking class recently, and learnt how to make cherry tomatoes and garlie tarte, pork involtini stuffed with spring onion and green asparagus rolled in bacon with fresh plum sauce and a soft milk chocolate cake with fresh strawberry and vanilla seeds salad. (What a mouthful eh?)

So come two weeks, I will be rolling out pastry, trying to separate yolks from egg whites, and in general, as I refer to the typed-up recipe sheets with charmingly misspelt words (“70 grams of cherry tomatoes cutted in half”, the chef’s Italian), trying not to ruin dinner. Wish me luck.

Update: Bah, so much for the planning. Last night, my mother decided to veto the idea of staying home for dinner, and instead wants to try The Line at the Shangri-La. Since that's what the birthday girl wants, I'll have to shelve plans for grand meal 'til another day. Maybe I'll do it next weekend. hehe.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

ShooStories: Heel, girl!

#14

The Shoo: The Little Black Heels
Circa: sometime 2002
Where: L'ultimo, Hilton Hotel Shopping Gallery

The Story: This is probably the pair of heels in my collection that gets the most wear. Just like the ubiquitous little black dress, a girl can never do without one good pair of black heels. It took me a while to find the purr-fect black pair, and involved much hunting around. I didn't want a cheap-looking pair as I wanted to be able to wear them to formal dinners and work functions, so I was pleased as punch to spot these stylish girls during a sale at the Hilton Hotel shopping gallery.

This much-loved pair of shoos has travelled with me to all my holidays and work trips as the back-up pair of shoos that go with everything, has been to numerous weddings, accompanied me clubbing and some nice dinners. A very well-travelled shoo indeed.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Unravelling

Quite frankly, last week was not a good week for me.

I felt as if all the pieces in my life were slowly unravelling and everything that I have been taking for granted could oh-so-easily be taken away from me. Suddenly I'm confronted with issues that I have been shielded from, and I have had to force myself to grow up and not pull the wool over my eyes anymore. God give me strength.

My only sliver of a silver lining? The Chip & Pepper jeans I bought from Blackjack at 40% off over the weekend.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

ShooStories: Strappy happy

#13

The Shoo: Shiny Shilver
Circa: sometime 1999 (I think)
Where: M)phosis, Ngee Ann City

The Story: Remember when grey was the new black sometime during the late '90s? Editors of fashion magazines started gushing about the joys of wearing charcoal grey: "It's less severe than black, and yet it goes with everything!" And of course, little lemming that I was, I fell for it and bought grey skirts and grey pants...then realised, black shoos don't go with grey! However, I have discovered this about m)phosis shoos - while they look really good, they're pretty painful to wear after a while. So like so many other heels that I have, this is one of those pairs that I don't wear so often.

Bonus!

Yet another gratuitous shot of my feets

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Shoo away for holiday


The shoo of the day

No ShooStories today because I was running late this morning and didn't have time to take a picture. So as a poor substitute, I present a re-run of a previous week's shoo. Yes, I'm wearing these today (and now you get to see what my office floor looks like harhar).

Monday, June 20, 2005

Weekend shenanigans*

* Although the word shenanigans would seem to imply that I got up to much things naughty, when in truth I didn't...oh well


Impulse buy from Mudan, Far East Plaza

Because it has been established that I love lists, here is another list of listy goodness over the weekend:
  • Scarfing down popiah, kuey pie tee, lontong, Lana chocolate cake, homemade flourless chocolate cake and peach pie at friends' dinner party on Fri night
  • Heading over to Velvet for a late night out and a bit of a boogie. So...many...people. So...many...young...people. Can barely move
  • Lunch at Pete's Place for the soup and salad bar and the chocolate profiteroles and lychee dessert spread. I love the bread there!
  • Getting back to playing violin in church. It's been a while, and it was also nice to be welcomed back so prettily by the team
  • Braving the crowds and shopping for birthday/Father's Day present for father. It's always hard getting him a present - he's had enough ties and shirts from me. Eventually found a leather box for him to hold all his watches at Takashimaya.
  • Spending Sat night curled up in bed reading The Five People You Meet in Heaven. I finished it in 3 hours. It turned me to mush.
  • Waking up early on Sunday to go roller-blading with B. We made it past Bedok jetty *punch fists up in joy*
  • The orders from Victoria's Secrets have arrived! Try everything on and plan outfits a week in advance (ok, I admit sometimes I lie awake at night thinking about what I will wear for the week, it saves time getting ready in the morning, I swear!)
  • Take new jacket to tailor to get it altered
  • Purchase pretty pretty necklace from Mudan while waiting for said jacket to be altered.
  • Resolve to stop spending more money on shopping
  • Start reading new book and end up sleeping late on Sunday night. The reading spree has started!

Friday, June 17, 2005

Discovery of the day


Diet schmiet

After lunch at the canteen, I went over to the little provision shop to get some cotton buds and spied these. For the benefit of those who can't read what it says on the shiny bru packaging, it sez 'Double Delight Oreo: Peanut Butter n Chocolate Creme'. And I wonder why I can't seem to lose that extra 5 kg.

Sidenote: This is also the first photo I have taken with my new phone and uploaded onto the 'puter. Whee!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

At home for the movies

Steamboy
It was the opening film for the S’pore International Film Festival this year, and boy am I glad I didn’t shell out $25 to watch this. After hearing so much hype about this, I was expecting to be totally blown away by the story and the animation. Well here’s the deal: it sucked. My friend managed to buy the VCD at a shop and lent it to me. It took me two nights to watch, because I found it too boring to sit through in one sitting. The story was not compelling at all, and the characters terribly unattractive. Set in Victorian England, the plot was a clich├ęd boy-saves-world and war-is-bad theme, ending with the requisite huge amounts of machinery, 'bots and flying dirigibles.

Nothing made me want to continue watching, and the ending, which built up into a massive battle, just finished abruptly and pffted into an obligatory semi-happy ending. If this movie was meant to be a statement on the effects of industrialisation and the role of science and technology, it didn’t work. I didn’t care about the characters, even bland hero Ray Steam. Sure, the animation is good and incredibly detailed, but when there are so many animes out there which boast good storytelling and great animation, what’s the point of catching Steamboy?

What's Steamboy about?
Another review

Akira
I always see this mentioned along with other anime classics like Ghost in the Shell and Ninja Scroll, so I thought I should catch it to see what it’s all about. Normally I’m not that big a fan of sci-fi stories, but I thought Akira was really good. Miles away better than Steamboy, it had a strong, gripping story which hooked me in (mainly because I was rather confused as to what was going on, I suppose). Not sure if I’m stoopid or something, but I had quite a lot of ‘huh?’ moments while watching this. But I sort of got it at the end, although I still had some questions about who or what some characters were. I guess it’s hard to compress an entire manga series into a movie which is less than 2 hours.

As for the animation, for something that was made so long ago (I think this came out in 1988), it was truly stunning. Oh, and it had some really cool bikes in it too. Hehe.

What's Akira about?

The Motorcycle Diaries
First off, Gael Garcia Bernal is a HOTTIE. Whether he’s clean-shaven or sprouting a 6 o’clock shadow, clean and neat or dirty and scruffy in a shirt, it doesn’t matter. He is HOT. And when he smiles, those dimples…mmm. But anyway, notwithstanding the hotness that is Gael Garcia Bernal, I adored this movie. What made it really worth watching was the incredible beauty of the South American landscape. Watching this made me want to pack up, go on my own road trip and discover the world and myself. The world is small, and yet at the same time, it is such a large place. There are so many things that I don’t know about, insulated as I am in this little air-conditioned bubble of an island.

I’m not sure how accurate this movie is about painting the young Che Guevara’s life, but if taken as just a movie, I found it highly romantic and enjoyable.

What's The Motorcycle Diaries about?

Wall art

If ever I felt the urge to paint my walls, I would probably want them to look like these lovely wallpapers, designed by Lili Aysan. With these, I won't need to put up any pictures! You can view the full range of wall decos here.


Poppies


For all (cow)boys

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

ShooStories: Let's go boating!

#12

The Shoo: Nautical Bent
Circa: sometime 2002
Where: some little shoo shop amidst other shops in the Annexe at the Heeren

The Story: I haven't worn this pair in a while, because I've stopped wearing red and navy blue. I'm in a whole green phase right now, but that doesn't mean I don't love these nautically-minded shoos any less. Everytime I look at them, I think of sailing beyond the seas on a yacht in a white pair of capri pants, a red scarf carelessly knotted around my neck, and speaking in an unspeakably bad French accent. Mmm...tropical island...holiday...frivolous cocktails which require umbrellas in them...hunky shirtless...umm right, sorry got carried away.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

The delightful wisdom of Edward Monkton


Presenting the wonderful words and charming images* of Edward Monkton. This man understands women.

- Link found on the incomparable Manolo's site.



Click to enlarge

*
I added the colours.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

ShooStories: Shiny feet

#11 *Fresh!*

The Shoo: Black Beauty
Circa: June 2005 (last Sunday!)
Where: OZOC, Citilink Mall

The Story: The afternoon started out grumpily for both my mother and myself. I was supposed to pick her up from church and then we would go for Teochew mui buffet at Kitchener Rd. But I got out late and my mother, grumpy from waiting for me in the hot sun, changed her mind last minute and decided to eat at Raffles City. So she was grumpy at me for being late, and I was grumpy at her for not being able to wait 5 mins and having to cancel our reservation. Luckily the extremely filling buffet at the Plaza Market Cafe gradually revived us (and our good humour) and we decided to explore Citilink.

She was looking for a pair of walking shoos, so we walked into Charles & Keith and VNC to see if they had anything. But as is normally the case for the someone who is out looking to buy, we couldn't find anything suitable. Whereas, I, who was not looking for another pair of shoos, caught at these sequiny pumps in OZOC. I originally wanted them in silver, but they didn't have them in my size, so I had to 'settle' for black.

So yes, Sunday was that much better since I have found these shoos.

Bonus!

Semicircular silver

This June, I am into...


Bunny wave and Fuu for the phone

...closed-toe shoes, my white lace Naf Naf top, Japanese hip-hop, creating cute wallpapers for my new phone (shown above), Bleach anime and manga, rediscovering all my old lippie colours, finding someone to play tennis with.

How about you?

Monday, June 06, 2005

After an orgy of buying, a shopper confesses

Dear Lord,

I know You said not to store up our treasure on earth and that we won't be able to take any of it to heaven with us, but if you had seen the buys I got over the weekend, you would totally approve! After all, since I'm going to be on earth for a fair amount of time (by human standards), I might as well make the most of it, right? Right?

Let’s start with my biggest purchase. Now you know I’ve been carrying the same phone for the last 3 years, and it was time for an upgrade. So really, this buy was practically an investment! And given the recent laws on talking on the phone in the car, I just HAD to get the wireless Bluetooth headset. No pesky wires to get tangled up in, no need to plug the connector to the phone. It even came with a car charger! Ooh!

And you know, that queue to get the new phone sure was tiresome, I had to do something to while away the time. It’s not my fault there’s a Gramaphone right next door to M1, is it? And I would have gotten those 2 CDs at some other point anyway.

I know I don’t need a new pair of new shoes, especially since I had just gotten a pair over the weekend in KL, but these OZOC shoes were such a bargain! They were originally at $95, but they were at 50% off. Half price, Lord! Sparkly and sequiny! They look good on my feet! Then you know how everyone is going organic right? I'm all for saving the environment and not using processed chemicals, so I had to show my support by purchasing some make-up fluid and a lipgloss from Lavera. And since we're talking about make-up, my make-up bag at home is getting too small for its contents, my eyeshadow, lippies and brushes are practically spilling out. I needed to get a larger one to hold all my stuff, so you wouldn't begrudge me just one pretty flowery make-up bag right? After all, it was only $15.

And then, MPH was having a 20% storewide sale. I haven’t visited a bookstore in ages, and my book-wishlist has really been growing steadily over the last few months. Naturally it made sense to try and reduce that wishlist by actually purchasing some of the books. Anyway, I see this as enriching my mind.

The breakdown
Motorola V3 phone: $328
Bluetooth headset & car charger: $128
OZOC shoes: $47.50
Books: $47.88
Lavera Cosmetics: $62
Tea makeup bag: $15
CDs : $41.90

Holy moly. I did spend a lot over this weekend, huh? But if you really look carefully, most of my buys were meant to be scattered throughout the year, only this happened to be squashed into one weekend. I promise not to spend so lavishly for a while. So Lord, please give me the strength to resist further sales (unless it's a really really really good bargain).

Amen.

Friday, June 03, 2005

The foolish female heart

He doesn't remember your birthday, he doesn't remember you don't eat durian, he doesn't take pains to come talk to you in a group, he dodges outings alone with you, he only calls when he has something to ask or something to tell.

And yet you persist in reading more into the things he says, the emails he writes, the calls he makes.

Get over it, move on, girl. He's not into you.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

ShooStories: In the pink of health

#10

The Shoo: Pink Comfort
Circa: August 2004
Where: Some general shoo store near Broadway & Columbus (I think), New York

The Story: My grandaunt used to wear Dr Scholls when I was a wee little tot, but back in her day, these orthopedic shoos only came in unexciting colours of navy blue and beige. I'm not sure when Dr Scholls became so cool, but I noticed them again in one episode (Season 5) of Sex & the City , and realised with delight that they now came in cute colours. Unfortunately Singapore did not sell these delicious treats, so I had to wait for my trip to New York to get them.

The New York trip was a whirlwind affair, and I did not have time to hunt around for them, but a quick check at many stores showed that they were as elusive in S'pore as they were in New York. In the end, I had to resort to google to find a general shoo store that did carry them. So on my last day there, I took the subway (all by myself too!) there and finally found this pair. Not only are they comfy, apparently they shape your calves as you wear them too. I dunno about that though, I wear them fairly often, and my calves still look the same.