Wednesday, December 19, 2007


My rock climbing days seem to have come to an end ever since I switched jobs, but I still love the sport and am always excited to meet someone in Singapore who's taken up climbing. I was really excited to hear about the Singapore Women's Everest Team, who are attempting the first all-female Singapore climb of Mount Everest.

They're currently running a campaign to help fund their cause by allowing you to adopt a metre. They're currently on eBay at $10 and $20 blocks. Not only do you get your name on a metre, you also get some yummy treats like chocolates at Sins and discounts at Swirl boutique. Go adopt a metre now! Mine is 3026, yay!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

This Dec, I am into...

(Over)eating: Gunther's, Relish, party food, goodbye dinners
Wearing: new tan tan dress and other dresses not worn yet, wide leg jeans, distressed straight leg jeans, metallic olive green gold nail polish, new tortoiseshell-like MJ glasses (for the serious secretary look), Michael Kors heels (when it arrives!)
Watching: Lovers, Mixed-up Investigative Agency
Selling: Bags on eBay!
Parties: ZoukOut (what a blast it was!), Christmas, New Year, my birthday

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Monday, December 03, 2007

A week’s break in numbers

Visits to the gym: 3
Visits to the bank: 2
Visits to the office & home to get visa sorted out: 2 each
Movies watched: 4 (Enchanted, 881, Ratatouille, The Pink Panther)
Number of times checking work email: 1
Pieces of laundry done: 4
Drives to the East Coast: 2
Amount of cake & ice-cream consumed: too many to count
Rooms cleaned: none

An excellent break.

Friday, November 23, 2007

A holiday in Singapore

The last time I was in Singapore for my week-long break was 2 years ago when I was suffering from vertigo and had to cancel my holiday plans. This time, mainly because I didn't really have time to make any overseas holiday plans and also because airfare is soo expensive ($900 to Korea!), I'll be in town for my break next week.

So far, this is what I'm planning on doing:
  • Get work permit to UK sorted out
  • Open bank account with HSBC - not opening it anymore
  • Convert driver's licence to international - maybe I do that end Dec instead?
  • Catch-up lunch with relatives
  • Quiet tea at Dempsey Rd
  • Visit the gym more often
  • Go rollerblading at East Coast
  • Catch up on movies (do you think Bee Movie and Stardust will still be showing?)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Nicholas K

Another droolworthy designer, Nicholas K, in the same vein as Mike & Chris, with lots of urban warrior chic jackets and cardigans. Me wanty!

See the full collection.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Phillip Lim <3

The love for 3.1 Phillip Lim continues...

View the full collection.

Also, I have learnt how to apply rounded corners to photos! Hurrah! Now all I need to learn is how to get the pesky default grey outline to disappear from Blogger.


Note to self: don't use Klorane Detangling Balm with Mink Oil again unless you want the crazy, stiff hair sticking out everywhere look.

On another note, the length of my hair at the moment is at this annoying no man's land of being somewhere near my shoulders. Is it considered long or short? Thanks to the crazy length, my hair refuses to behave, and sticks out in all the wrong places. I'm trying to grow my hair out now, and it's taking me all my willpower not to run to the hairdresser to either chop it to a nicer looking length, or to straighten the hair. Urrgh.

Monday, November 12, 2007

This Nov, I am into...

Watching: Story of Hyang Dan (so awesomely cute!)
Reading: The Message by Eugene Peterson (in peenk!), Great Food Fast
Eating: places I won’t be able to eat at for a while (top of the list is Westlake)
Face & makeup: Urban Decay eye palette, Jurlique Lavender Silk Dust, The Face Shop Flower compact powder with SPF and Mung Bean face wash, Fancl Washing Liquid, Bourjois kohl eyeliner pencil
Wearing: Black wedges with multicoloured crystals from Hollywould (at 90% off!)

Monday, November 05, 2007

Like pieces of a puzzle

Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
-- Psalm 37:4

"The Lord's delight is in you and on you."
-- Brent Chambers

Friday, October 26, 2007

It bags

If I said I'm not a bag label whore, I'd be lying. While I'm definitely not your monogram LV-loving girl, I do like a well made label bag which doesn't scream 'I is carrying a branded baggie!', yet has a distinctive enough design that is immediately recognisable. My collection of branded bags seems to be growing, from what was a little Fendi Ostrik, a Kate Spade classic tote (a gift from a cousin), an electric blue Chloe Paddington to the most expensive buy yet, a black Balenciaga First. The next bag I'll be adding to my collection is a Miu Miu coffer in gold (I know, so ostentatious, but I couldn't resist).

I've realised that once you've started on one label bag, it's a long slippery slope to bag label hell. One is never enough, and you start looking for the next one to acquire. Right now, the bags that fill me with insatiable lust (and a wish for very very deep pockets) are:
Mulberry Bayswater in purple patent (only this colour! Or the gold is good too)
Valentino Maison in either silver (as pictured above) or cream, like Nicole Ritchie
Marni Balloon in any colour but brown

Luckily, I know these bags are just way too far out of my reach that I'll just content myself with ogling them online...or hunting down cheap Korea lookalikes hurhurhur.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

This Oct, I am into...

Eating: Jam sandwich creams from Marks & Spencer, new eating places Cicada and Mimolette
Wearing: Kiehl’s lip gloss in Berry, curly hair for S’pore Fashion Week gala dinner (like in a Korean drama heehee!)
Reading: Chicklit(e) like Cents & Sensibility and The Debutante Divorcee, and young adult fiction Twilight (oh the shame!)
Watching: Successful Story of a Bright Girl, Legend
Listening: Who Am I, Casting Crowns; Number Ones, Michael Jackson
Shopping: New dresses from Far East Plaza & Max Studio, shoes from Substance, new winter coat from DKNY, moleskine notebooks on eBay
Planning: the move from S’pore to London, holiday in November (Seoul or back to Tokyo?)

Monday, October 22, 2007


Most of my close friends know about this already, but there was a reason why I was in London a couple of months ago. At that time, I didn’t really want to tell too many people, especially those at the office, as I hadn’t quite made up my mind yet. But now that the official announcement has been made, I can now say that I’ve been offered a position with the UK office, and will be moving to London next Jan. I thought long and hard about this – whether I was ready to make a big move to live overseas and truly become independent. Timing-wise, it couldn’t have been more perfect. I’m single, no children, no commitments to tie me down in S’pore, and I’m pretty much at the right age where one gets the hankering to make a big change in life. As they say, the window of opportunity gets smaller each year.

Funnily enough, I’ve always had a strange affinity to London. Maybe it’s too much reading of Enid Blyton and Famous Five books from childhood, but a holiday visit with my family when I was 13 sealed the deal. Despite the cold and gloom, there was such a charm to the city that really attracted me, and from that time onwards, I always felt it would be great to live and work in London someday.

It never occurred to me that it would come true someday, and best of all, to have it happen without me actively pursuing it. I really am so blessed. :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Nodame Cantabile

I’ve always been quite amused at how there is an anime series for almost any subject out there, whether you like cooking, vampires, cars or tennis. With the plethora of subject matter available, there had to be one on classical music made one day. The latest anime I’ve found and recently finished watching is called Nodame Cantabile, a very enjoyable shoujo about a nutty but gifted piano student called Nodame, who falls for the supremely talented but arrogant Chiaki
(he plays the piano! He’s a whiz at the violin! He dreams of being a conductor! He can cook fancy French food! He speaks German! He cleans!).

While the anime really is all about a girl and a boy falling in love, I like to think that it’s also a lot about the music. Anything that describes Mozart’s music with the words “pink-coloured aura of love” gets a big thumbs-up in my book. But aside from the crazy humour and laugh out loud gags, I loved this series because it brought back a love for classical music, playing snippets of some beautiful piano sonatas, violin sonatas and symphonies within the series, like Mozart’s Two Pianos sonata, Beethoven’s Spring sonata for violin, Elgar’s violin sonata and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7. Also, having played in an orchestra during my schooldays, it brought back pleasant memories of playing in a large group, and digging down and becoming familiar with the nuances of a piece of music.

Even if it’s just a cartoon, I was very impressed at the level of detail which went into animating this series. Take this little still as an example:

I love that the animators drew in the shoulder rest many people use when playing the violin, and even included the little fine tuner for the e string, which lots of violinists have. (It’s on the e string because it’s the thinnest of the strings, and hence more prone to bursting when you tune it with the pegbox)

One of my peeves when watching shows which feature people playing the piano and violin is that the producers never make any effort at ensuring the actors at least look like they are proficient at playing the instrument. Invariably, the pianist’s fingers won’t match the soundtrack being played, or the prodigy violinist can’t even hold a violin properly and has some really funky bowing technique.

Anyhoo, if you want to watch it online, you can do so at crunchyroll.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Another reason to keep the phone

Like getting a new phone!

I've had my Motorola Razr for about 2 years now, and the battery is now at the point where I need to charge it almost everyday if I use it for conversations lasting more than 5 minutes. I was thinking of changing it for the LG Chocolate in pink, but finding Gelaskins, a company that specialises in making decorative skins for your iPhone, laptop and iPod, has made me reconsider keeping the phone and just buying a new battery.

PS If you don't have a Razr, but still want sticker goodness on your tech gadget, you can consider getting makie stickers from Japan. I discovered these in Tokyu Hands while on holiday last year in Tokyo. I think I spent about 20 min in the sticker aisle trying to decide which patterns to get.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Potter mania over

From Savage Chickens.

I have officially finished reading the entire Harry Potter series...hoorah! Lordy the characters, they were dropping dead like flies in this book! Rowling obviously has no regard for the rules of fiction when it comes to killing off characters. Overall, it was quite a good end to the series, although I found the epilogue kind of lame.

And now I need to buy the the Half Blood Prince and read it again because I couldn't remember what happened previously.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

London eats

Not a bite of fish & chips or typical English food!


First dinner in London, and I have...chicken ramen. In my defence, I wasn't looking for something fancy, but wanted something at a reasonable price, and it had been pointed out to me as a place that was fairly popular with the people in my office. Plus I didn't want to stay out too late as I had only just arrived and wanted to get an early night in.

Wagamama appears to be a chain of noodle restaurants, and while I like how it's done up quite trendily, I wasn't too impressed with what I picked. The soup was way too salty, and not very tasty. Actually, I had forgotten there was a Gourmet Burger Kitchen a little further down the road; I should have gone there instead.

10 Red Lion St, Richmond
The people in the London office love this restaurant, so every time they get visitors, they use it as an excuse to go to Matsuba for lunch. Hooray company accounts! My colleague thinks it's the best Japanese restaurant in London. It would have been nice to have tried some typical pub fare, but I'll never say no to Japanese food! We picked the special bento box, which consisted of sashimi, sushi, teriyaki chicken, tempura along with the usual accoutrements of a fresh salad, miso soup, rice, pickles, and finished off with some slices of orange. It was very substantial and yummy!

Four Seasons
84 Queensway, W2 3RL

I'd long heard of Four Seasons before going to London, and here I show my 'suaku-ness' by stating that when I heard people talk about the divine Four Seasons duck, I had always thought they meant the Four Seasons hotel. Quite obviously, it is not.

At first, I thought, "I'm not going all the way to London to eat Chinese food!" But my dad was so insistent about me going to try it, that he devoted one whole email giving me detailed directions on how to get there and describing the duck, that I felt I couldn't very well let his efforts go to waste. Having heard that there are always long queues to get a table, I made a booking. I have heard that making a booking doesn't guarantee you'll get your table straightaway, so was pleasantly surprised to find that we waited barely 5 min before we were ushered to our table.

Since there was only 2 of us and we couldn't eat too much, we got individual portions of the duck, some kai lan and deep friend prawns coated in a 'ham dan' (salted egg) batter, a recommendation from the waitress. I am so glad I went to Four Seasons because the duck was really all that - tender, juicy and swimming in a wonderfully tasty sauce - in a word, absolutely 'shiok'. I can see why people da-pao the duck back home to S'pore. The prawns were also fantastic, crunchy and with the nice salty taste to it. I just wish there were more of us so we could order more dishes.

Total: about 32 pounds

Chez Gerard
8 Charlotte St
This restaurant claims to have the "best steak frites this side of Paris", and while I can't say whether that is true, I can say it was a pleasure dining there. T and I got a cosy booth in the corner near the doorway and were tended to by a cute French waiter.We started off with a very satisfying warm goat cheese salad and for mains, I had the steak frites in the feather blade cut. The steak was good, but the frites unfortunately were what is best described as ‘nua’ – limp and stodgy, as if they had been sitting out of the fryer for a long time. Oh well, it can't be all perfect.

Shanghai Blues
193-197 High Holborn St
The only reason why I ate at this chi-chi looking Chinese restaurant is because T works here. She said dinner wasn't really worth eating at, since it was really just typical 'tze char' at exorbitant prices, but she highly recommended the dim sum. So for my last meal in London, I had dim sum for lunch.

To me, the test of a good dim sum place is the har gau (prawn dumpling). The skin cannot be too thick and the prawn must be crunchy and fresh. Shanghai Blues certainly demonstrated that it isn't just some gimmicky stylish Chinese restaurant with poor interpretations of Chinese food. We also had:
  • Supreme Shanghai seafood dumplings, a very refined version of xiao long pau, with a fantastic broth
  • Char siew pau
  • Seafood rolls with mango dipping sauce, highly recommended
  • Mooli croissant, absolutely divine turnip puff pastry which melted in the mouth
  • King prawn and Chinese chive cheung fun, a bit of a disappointment given the quality of the other dishes, but not altogether bad
  • Mini egg tarts, bite-sized and came with cubes of raspberry jelly rolled in coconut
...and all washed down with a light and delicate Longjing tea served in very genteel tiny Chinese cups.

Total spent: about 10 pounds per person

I also recommend going to Shanghai Blues for a drink. There's a bar area you can sit at and order cocktails. When I went there on Fri night to meet T after she got off work, I was given a mangosteen & lychee mojito to try. Yumminess!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

This September, I am into...

Collaging is harder than it looks!

Eating: Macarons from Laduree bought at Harrods, mooncake, mooncake and more mooncake (especially those from Raffles Hotel!)
Listening: Pink Martini, Dean Martin, Stacey Kent
Reading (or re-reading): Vanity Fair, Nehemiah, Great interviews of the 20th century
Wearing: Long white cardigan, silver glitter flats from Vincci
Playing:, Facebook
Travelling: London, KL

On another note, I've been beeesy as a bee, hence the big gap in between posts.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Pigging out in KL

Before I gabble on about London, I'm going to show some places I ate at during my little weekend jaunt to KL a couple of weekends ago. Going to KL always means 2 things for me (apart from visiting my dad): eating and shopping. I have a little list of die-die-must-go places, which include Oversea restaurant at Jln Imbi and Cilantro. This time round, I opted to try some new places, as well as mix in the oldies but goodies.

Market Place Restaurant & Lounge
4A Lorong Yap Kwan Seng, Off Jalan Yap Kwan Seng

This is a place I would never have found if my dad hadn't brought me. It's a bar/restaurant in a spacious bungalow tucked in a little corner not too far from KLCC. It's a relatively new place, having been around for about 9 months, and unfortunately it doesn't seem like it's doing too well. On a Friday night, my dad and I looked like the only patrons, and when we left, we only saw another couple at the bar. The place is really big, with a new garden for the bbq and a nice upstairs area. Actually, I think it's the perfect party place.

For starters, we had the mushroom soup, which although delicious, was a tad salty and came in such a teeny little portion. Mains was steak and chicken from the bbq menu, and while we thought the steak was lovely and tender, the chicken was quite a disappointment, since it was the manager's recommendation. I liked that we could help ourselves to the salad, which was located outside next to the bbq grill, and I could help myself to as much greens, potato salad and pasta salad as I wanted.

While I was really impressed by the service (we each got a copy of a lounge music CD!) and had a saxophonist serenade us and really like the atmosphere of the place, I really can't in all honesty say the food is anything special. It's not bad, but not fantastic either. That's why for dessert, we headed over to...

Alexis Bistro & Wine Bar
Great Eastern Mall, 303 Jln Ampang

My dad's quite a regular at this place, and he likes to come here for dessert, some drinks and listen to the live jazz. (He says the food at the bistro is so-so). They had a very nice display of cakes, and it took me a while to select the tiramisu cake. I loved it! It had all the textures: crunchy, creamy, spongy, chocolatey and wasn't as heavy as a traditional tiramisu. The raspberry puree at the side was an interesting touch, and actually went quite well with the cake. It was the perfect end to the night, what with a yummy cake in my tummy, and the grooves of Marvin Gaye and Eric Clapton played by a visiting Brit band.

Ah Koong's Seafood
Jln Pudu, behind Berjaya Times Square

This is one of my must-go places when I visit KL. I guess it's best described as a yong tau foo kind of place, where you pick up a bowl and select your noodles, (I always pick bee tai mak, or loh shee fun), seafood like fresh prawns, pomfret, oysters, hum, abalone, and other goodies like deep-fried fishcake, eggplant, fresh tofu, stuffed ladies fingers and more. My eyes are always bigger than my stomach and I always tend to pick more than I can eat. They then serve it up in a tasty broth with fishballs, garlic chips and chinese parsley. The combination of fresh oysters, pomfret and abalone are to die for! As a bonus, the place is air-conditioned as well, so you don't have to sweat it out while sitting along the roadside.

Ming Room
Bangsar Shopping Centre

The whole purpose of my going to KL was to attend a friend's wedding. The main ceremony was held in Australia, but since I couldn't make it there, I decided to attend their second dinner. I'd heard quite a lot about Ming Room and how good the food was, so was pleased that I'd finally get to try it. The food definitely didn't disappoint; almost everything we had was delicious! I'm definitely going back there next time I visit KL.

As for shopping, there wasn't much time for that, but I did manage to go to Bangsar Village II, which I've heard is the new 'it' place to go. The shopping there is pretty good, and there are a few little boutiques with nice things, and I was very happy to discover a 'high-class' Vincci, where I bought 2 pairs of shoes. Whee!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

London calling

In case you're wondering whether I've disappeared off the face of this earth, I haven't. I'm just in another continent - in London, land of tea. The trip was made quite hurriedly, and I didn't have much time to plan things to do, but I guess it doesn't really matter as it's a really short one. I got in early Wed morning (London time) and will be leaving Sat evening.

This trip is being sponsored by our London office, and I'm really impressed how generous they're being. They flew me in on Business class on BA, and are putting me up at this gorgeous hotel.

The view of the River Thames from the breakfast room

I think I came at the right time too. The weather is mild and pleasant and it's been sunny the last 2 days I've been here (fingers crossed it'll keep until I leave!). The area where the office is located is in a beautiful part of London, situated right by the river Thames. It feels like I'm in the country!

It's like being out in the country!

The only downside is that I'm quite far from central London, which means a 1 hour tube ride. I'm supposed to meet T and P tomorrow to go out parteeing, and I'm still trying to decide if I should bunk over either of them or take the last tube or night bus back to my hotel. I'd prefer to go back, only cos I get to have breakfast overlooking the marvellous view, and also I don't have to worry about rushing back to make the 12 noon checkout time. Hmm decisions decisions.

In the meantime, I'm setting up my tummy for dinner tonight. We're going to eat the famour Four Seasons duck! :)

Monday, August 27, 2007

This Aug, I am into...

Listening: Humming Urban Stereo, Mika’s Lollipop with the new Sennheiser headphones
Watching: Coffee Prince, Thank You, Bad Couple, Nodame Cantabile
Reading: Translated Japanese magazines like With
Wearing: Ahava matifying moisturizer, stuff that hasn’t been worn yet in my wardrobe
Eating: Camel Adenishiki nuts (so addictive!), Marks & Spencer Honey Nut cereal, Marigold Fuji Apple jelly, going to Dempsey (without planning!) 3 weekends in a row for dinner & dessert
Partying: National Day BBQ, going to KL (twice!) for work and for friends’ wedding , newly upgraded California Fitness membership

Friday, August 10, 2007

Red, white and very full

You know it's a good party when you have cute babies, a social doggie and good food. I ate so much I thought I was going to 'splode.

Suzy's Cake (Take 1)

On Wed night, I attempted the Suzy's Cake recipe from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme. Having scoured the book, I'm convinced this is the easiest recipe in the book. Like the book says, it's the classic cream butter, eggs and sugar method, but the results are devastatingly good. This cake packs a powerful decadent punch of pure chocolate goodness, and you'll feel very satisfied (and gelat) once you've had a little slice.

When it comes to making something so simple, it pays to spend a bit more on ingredients. Although the book recommended Valrhona Guanaja (70%), I couldn't find it in the store, so I got the closest, which seemed to be Araguani (72%).

Everything started out fine, from the time I creamed the butter and sugar together, to the time I added the chocolate and flour.

It looked good coming out of the oven too...

...but alas, I had plucked it out of the oven before its time. Too moist in the middle!

Better luck next time.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

National Day bbq: what to make

My friends are having a bbq at their place on Thursday, and I’m in charge of dessert. I’d have made trifle, except some other friends are bringing konnyaku jelly, so I’m thinking something more cakey or chocolatey would bring some variety.

I don’t really have much time to make dessert (Wed night and Thurs afternoon), so something simple will have to do:
It’s a tough fight between the cake and the chocolate cupcakes!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Raspberry marshmallow friands

I've been on a bit of a baking spree, eh? Last night, I took a break from baking cupcakes and decided to try a recipe from marie claire style: desserts. Part of my criteria in picking a recipe to try is 1) it has to sound yummy, 2) it has to use ingredients that aren't too chi-chi and are easily available at any supermarket, and 3) it has to be easy to make.

I had no idea what friands were, but judging by the picture, friands looked like mini-muffins. A search on the web revealed that friands are kind of like tea-cakes, with a dense and pretty moist interior, and made with almond powder. As with so many recipes, I found that following it to the letter would not provide the same result as what is shown in the picture. Actually, my friands look nothing like the picture. Hmmph. If you're interested, here's the recipe, modified to suit my tastes and kitchen:

Raspberry marshmallow friands
Makes 12
1 cup plain flour
1.5 cups icing sugar
100g almond powder (the book says hazelnut meal, but I used almond instead. Also, the almond taste came out too subtle, so I'd actually go with half a cup more)
0.5 cup desiccated coconut (I skipped this, since I don't like coconut)
5 egg whites
180g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
100g raspberries
50g small pink marshmallows, chopped (I'd say you can add more marshmallows if you want to)
  1. Preheat the oven to 170 deg. (Book says 200 deg, but I think that's a little high. I'd rather bake for longer at a lower temperature to risk burning)
  2. Sift flour and icing sugar together. I've mentioned this before, but I'll say it again: sifting icing sugar is a pain in the bum!
  3. Whisk the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until foamy. This means you have to beat them until they get really light, white and frothy. It could take a while.
  4. Fold into the dry ingredients, together with the melted butter.
  5. Set aside 12 raspberries, and fold the rest into the mixture.
  6. Spoon into tins (make sure you grease them!)
  7. Press a raspberry into the top of each friand. The book mentions pressing a halved marshmallow onto the top as well, but I don't recommend that. My marshmallows just melted into an awful brown gooey mess.
  8. Bake for 20 min or until golden and starting to come away from the tins. I made the mistake of taking them out a little too late, as I thought they still looked a little moist.
  9. Leave to cool, and once ready, dust with icing sugar to serve.

They don't look too pretty, but at least they tasted pretty good.