Sunday, December 31, 2017

Annual Dinner at Seoul Garden & Christmas Walkabout 2017

Last week, my brother and I went for our annual dinner at Seoul Garden. We started this tradition some 5 years ago, or even more..can't remember, where we both enjoyed sumptuous buffet spread of marinated meat, seafood, cooked finger foods, desserts and of course, ice cream. Each table had a grill and soup warmer so I was tasked, what was new, to grill the meat. I'm no cook but this made me feel like I was one, hehe. My brother went a little cray cray with the fried chicken drumlets because it was delish. Plus he didn't have to wait for long since he was already hungry.

We didn't take the seafood, though previous years, I did take prawns and we certainly didn't take the fish, lol. We were not fans but we went multiple rounds to take the meat, mostly chicken meat, marinated in different sauces. My brother had a little disaster with scrambled eggs when he tried to pour it over the grill and then the liquid seeped through the holes of the grill to under its metal plate. I also cooked noodles, cracked eggs, put in some ingredients like hotdogs and fishballs into the ginseng soup, which I likened to traditional Malay dish called Mee Soto. Since it was the Christmas season, there was bacon too and we also went several rounds to take the bacon pieces, lol..and oh m gee, grilled bacons taste so good.

The only disappointment was that there were no cakes but moshi instead, some soft and chewy Japanese savoury with feelings. We had ice cream which we generously took several scoops in different flavours and I made my own bingsu, which was shaved ice with some chewy ingredients for ice kachang and topped with a dollop of ice cream. Written like some true food blogger.

After our dinner, we took a bus down to Dhoby Ghaut and began our Christmas walkabout. During this month, Orchard Road streets would be decorated with many Christmas decorations that visitors could take plenty of photos of. Some malls had done the decorations in different themes and one of them had it done in a Stars Wars theme to also promote the latest movie instalment. We didn't manage to take photos of all of them as some were pretty popular with the visitors. I don't know how many photos we had photo bombed because it was quite impossible to walk as every inch we walked, there would be people taking photos.

There was also performances by buskers  who were entertaining the visitors with singing and magic performances. We stopped by a 'village' set up at Takashimaya where there was a mini Christmas fair and there was also performances and food carts. We later proceeded on with our last leg of Christmas walkabout. Unfortunately, by the time we reached Ion Orchard, they had turned off the lights. So we had to come back another time, which we did last Friday, so that we could finally write this blog post end our 2017 Christmas Walkabout. 

This wasn't planned but when we entered Ion Orchard, there was a MAJOR sales going on at Sephora and oh boy, the prices were slashed to even up to 50%!! I don't know but this was like way better than their 20% sales, haha. I could not resist taking a few items though I didn't think I needed another bronzer and highlighter, until this salesperson was promoting this Too Faced beauty package consisting of the eyeshadow palette, a diary, lipstick and mascara. And it's 50% off!!! How could I not, especially when there was only one box left with my name written all over it, lol. So from $89, it was slashed down to $44 plus with ALL of those products mentioned.

I did have my moment of hesitation but usually every bonus, I would go Sephora shopping for the more expensive items and I had not for this year. 

We wanted to go to Coffee Bean to just chill a little while but I guess coz it was raining, the place was crowded, so we went home instead as it was also getting late.

So here are the photos from that day!





























Mystery of Love



I've been a little obsessed watching clips after clips on youtube on the movie Call Me By Your Name. I don't think I would get a chance to watch it in whole in the movie theatres here in conservative Singapore because well, there is gay and sexual content.

The movie premise was set in the early 1980s taking place one Italian summer. A tall and handsome American graduate named Oliver, and in his early twenties, had come to the Italian villa of his professor as an intern for his research projects for 6 weeks. It was also during this vacation that he had also developed a short but memorable summer love between him and the teenage son of the professor, a book lover & music prodigy.

He was the object of desire of many young women in the Italian village, including Elio, who had to vacate his bedroom as he always did every summer, whenever his father had an intern coming over. While Elio did not show his desire for Oliver immediately, having a French girlfriend himself, he slowly developed feelings that he could not understand at first, but which he expressed through his own physical intimacy the more he spent time with Oliver.

Oliver was a smart young man who was being shown around in the Italian village voluntarily by Elio and it was the time spent between the two men that they became closer despite the differences in their outlook in life. Elio being a more typical bashful and emo teenager while Oliver had a more outgoing yet charming personality, just wanting to spend his best Summer vacation here in Italy.

While both men had keen interest with certain women in the village, there was no deny that both were quickly drawn to each other though they tried to repress the feelings and not pursue their desires. Though they did not fall in love with each other immediately, the connection became stronger with Elio blurting out that he wanted to be with Oliver and Oliver telling Elio that he could kiss him if he could.

However, Oliver also felt that they should not pursue their feelings for each other any further, even though he desired for Elio as much as Elio desired for him when they were both chilling on the grass after a little water play at a lake. At one point, they grew apart when both had differing views in showing their affection when Elio wanted to pursue more. But it wasn't for long though as they couldn't stand to be apart, leaving each other little notes, and leading to Elio approaching Oliver at the patio after receiving the note to meet him at midnight in his room. It was there that they finally gave in and started a passionate affair, which sadly, came to an end when Oliver had to leave for America after his 6 weeks stay was over.

So this movie was about finding a love so rare, that even though it was short-lived, it could alter one's live forever as they cherished this given opportunity to love and be loved. It is also about discovering the feelings invoked by first love. And that love knows no boundaries and would only become stronger over time. Love also shows that two people, irregardless of their differences, can develop strong feelings, as they forge a deep connection of undeniable and unexplainable desire.

Though I've mentioned that I had not watched the movie, I did watch montage clips, that showcased how their love started from the friendship they developed as they toured around the village and spent a lot of time with each other, doing things like cycling, swimming and even dancing at a party. The actors portrayed the roles really well. We see Elio's vulnerability when he sees Oliver taking a fancy of one of the local girls, giving longing looks and sneaking glances, his reactions upon almost being found out doing something, how he initially concealed his growing feelings towards Oliver in a nonchalant way up to a point he had to blurt out he wanted to be with him. Then he started to open up  a little more to Oliver, wanting to kiss him, hold his hand and hug him even though he was quite aloof with him at first.

I think I liked the Midnight scene where he was all shy and nervous but at the same time, clinging on to Oliver, wanting him so badly when Oliver was being a little doubtful..before both of them gave in to passion. Oliver was also not quite the typical tall and handsome man. He cut through Elio's aloofness with his smart choice of words and zest for life. But he was also careful with Elio's feelings, initially not wanting to give him false hope when he found out how Elio felt about him and how he later felt the same way too.

But both of them still pursued their desires, even if they knew their time with each other, and also their love, would be short-lived. Knowing this, they took this opportunity to spend as much time as possible with each other and even taking a short vacation together. However, they could not avoid the dawn of realisation that this would be the final moments they get to be together before Oliver had to leave and it was really heartbreaking. Nothing was as heartbreaking when the two shared their goodbyes in no spoken words but merely hugging each other tightly, while controlling their emotions, and nodding to acknowledge their final goodbyes before Oliver went up the train carriage.

If I were to watch this movie, I would probably cry uncontrollably as I weeped with Elio when he broke down and cry when asking his mum to fetch him and later crying in the car. Also, I could have watched their words and actions leading to them falling in love with each other.

Of course one of the highlights and most romantic thing everrrr said..was when Oliver uttered 'Call me by your name and I'll call you by mine' in bed after they consummate their relationship. It could mean a few things but I think it just means you're mine and I'm yours.

When Elio was being emotional, his father offered some advise while letting him know that he knew what was going on between him and Oliver and that he sympathised with him. He too had a summer relationship like him with his friend back in his younger days and that Elio should actually find pleasure in his grief since the true love they shared with each other is rare.

It wasn't a tragic love story and even though Oliver had moved on with his life when he called Elio few months later to say that he was getting married, them calling each other by their names meant that the love they had shared stayed with them forever. 

The movie and the actors deserved award accolades and the young lead actor had such great talent by truly embodied his character fully through his expressions and emotions. 

This is not a movie review though because it wouldn't be fair to review without watching. However, if you get to watch the movie, I would recommend it. And to note that love can have cunning ways of finding its way into your heart even if you can't understand it at first. That when you finally embrace it, love can give you a roller coaster of emotions and change your life forever. This is the mystery of love.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Sentosa Pop Up Night 2017

A few weeks ago, just mere days after I got so bogged down with high fever (the agony..) I got slightly better. Believe me, when the fever goes away, life takes on a different refreshed meaning, although initially it was hard taking those few steps into the public. And then life goes on as usual, like going to Sentosa. 

Currently they have an event going on called Pop Up Night at Imbiah Lookout and Merlion Plaza. Basically, it's a series of exhibits that are neon coloured which of course made some cool looking instagram worthy photos. I rode on one stationery bicycle which would light up when you cycle fast enough...to a point you get a little tired, especially when you just recovered from fever. But honestly it was fun. 

When we arrived, it was actually drizzling but we continued on since we had already come so far, with my brother complaining that we could have arrived earlier, if the bus wasn't late and we had to detour to take the train. Anyway, for awhile, he stopped complaining when he got busy taking pictures and videos. I think the short ride on the stationery bike got me a little tired...even though, I managed to snap a few more pics and then plopped myself on a bench to recuperate. The after effects of fever, sigh.

Then later we walked down to where the statue of Merlion was because there would be a light show happening within 10 minutes. Basically, it was a projection show on the Merlion statue itself and it was so beautiful :)) 

We didn't explore much because the rain seemed to get heavier and it was quite a walk to the bus terminal to head back into the city area from the island. This event is on until 1st January 2018 and it's best to see a little later at night, say..after 7pm so the lights really pop up in your pictures.

So enjoy some of the pics below! And also, here's the link for more info on the Pop Up Night.








Saturday, December 16, 2017

It's B-B-Bonus Time!!!

I am always excited when it comes to the December payday because it's when I would get the bonus. And it's also exciting because this year's bonus is one of the highest for the government sector over the years. Usually their excuse is that the economy isn't doing so well or is just picking up..but this time, the economy is doing well! Yay! 

I don't exactly know what it means and how they analyse the economy because I is no economist. But whoever you are, thank you :)

I tried to make a list of things to buy but I didn't manage to get all on the list. Not because I can' get it, okay maybe one of them..it's just that I felt that the things I bought, were a replacement of things that had finished or needed to be replaced, like a new foundation, new make up brushes and a new wallet. Yes, wallet. My wallet has seen better days, lol. I didn't buy that wallet anyway. In fact, I have not bought a wallet for some time because they were usually gifts. I used to buy from Guess but I thought of getting from Charles & Keith because it's cheaper than the Guess ones. Plus I think Guess needs to update its design, lol.

It's the priciest item I have bought, believe it or not. And that's only $46.00. Well yesterday I bought two clothing items because I have no choice, thanks to my mum who constantly thinks I need an updated wardrobe. So that's over $70 over dollars. And that set me back around $70 plus. Also, I spent around the same amount at Nando's as a treat for my family as it's my mum's fave. 

Ever since I started to read this website called The New Savvy and how I went almost broke mid this year, I didn't want to take this chance of getting a fat bonus to squander it away, you know. Because of the broke mindset I've had for the last few months, I've gone into being more practical and budget conscious just to make sure I have enough to last until the next pay day.

Again, I hate to go into this mentality of living paycheque to paycheque which is one of the reasons why I started the online shop making customised cards. They don't quite require high inventory costs unless I go crazy at the shops with stickers, papers and stuffs (well..I used to anyway) but I just buy the newly released stuffs that I find practical for the cards I am going to make or fit the general themes I usually get. 

But it's still a long way to go. At times I would be happy I managed to save some moolah and then well things happen....life happens....and then I need to use that to tide things over...sigh.

So I was toying over whether I should buy this makeup palette from Zoeva which is one of the cheapest and yet high quality eyeshadows at $39.00 that I can find in Sephora. I actually took the palette a couple of times to the extent of wanting to pay but then put it back. I pulled back into reality about what are the things that I have yet to spend on because of time factor, like my friend's present and my clothes insisted by my mum and have no control over, including the designs. Also, I need to set aside some money for the Seoul Garden treat for my brother which has yet to happen because he wanted it next week instead. 

I re-focused on my goals and then thought about what I actually wanted out of this salary and then in a split second, it would be to finance my further education. So that kept me grounded and determined to use my under-utilised makeup palettes at home. I also want to earn some money first before going back to the store and buying that item. It's not a seasonal item so even after Christmas is over, the item will still be around, I hope.

Based on experience, there's a high chance I would use up all the money for again, life reasons and whatever that comes up. But before that time comes when I'm back to square one again, hopefully not too soon, since my last two salaries (again with my broke mentality), I say my gratitude to God for whatever amount I have left. And it gives me a peace of mind without being too caught up with every dollar and cents. Of course it doesn't mean I would anyhow spend. But it makes me more financially responsible besides being responsible in taking care of my family's needs.

Okay I shall end my ramblings here. So enjoy the pics below!

This is me enjoying the halal frothy butter beer from Boo-eh

I loved this wintery Christmas set ups at Marina Bay link

A gift all the way from UK!! Finally had my hands on Tanya Burr cosmetics

Screen capture of Tanya Burr opening up the Advent Calendar

I spent my half day leave at my former workplace, helping a little and then going for dinner



Sunday, December 03, 2017

Getting Over Fever, Fitness Update & Happy December!!

Can you believe it, that we are now in the very last month of 2017?!!! What have you achieved so far? This year, I got a new posting and into fitness now ever since I found out from my friend about these free fitness classes by HPB in collaboration with various organisations. While time is an issue for me since I end work at 6pm, I'm glad that at the very least, there are at least 2 places that I can go nearby my workplace and be there on time. The furthest I go to is the Plaza Singapura at Dhoby Ghaut and even though I enjoy the work out there because I sweat like there's no tomorrow, the popularity of it is getting overwhelming. So much so, since I can only reach there almost to the starting time, the space is getting more squeezy and then there are those annoying people who just need so much space to do *rolls eyes* So that is a bummer for me, at least recently. 

Anyway, while I feel that I still need to do something about my choice of food at times, lol..I enjoy these fitness classes because it makes me in control of my health. 

Speaking of health, last week I was so sick with fever and headache. I didn't have fever for a long time ever since last year in July when I came back from a ferry trip from Pulau Tekong after sending my brother off for his National Service. It was bad. I shall not compare because both were equally bad but for this one, it was coupled with headache that was so annoying to a point, I even thought I had brain cancer.

Yes, I am so drama. I didn't think so but well, it didn't hurt (pun intended) to google about it. And one of the questions was about how long can one live once diagnosed with brain cancer. The answer wasn't direct and instead, asked to go on to the next question. After reading the symptoms, clearly I didn't have one. 

But I know once you have cancer, it's almost like a death sentence. There's little chance of survival and hearing how many months we have left, put things to perspective. If one has been living life to the fullest or at least feel satisfied of the quality of life they have been living prior to this, the precious times they have left, they mostly spend it with good friends and family. All this while dealing with the side effects of chemotherapy, surgery and medication that can make life so dreadful that it's really hard to live life to the fullest each day, with what little time you have.

Even though there are survivors, life changes drastically but basically, life still goes on. People start looking at the bigger picture and what life has to offer to them instead of just being focused on what they can't do or can't have. Because every minute and every second matters especially when they have been given this second chance of life that may just be taken from them anytime should the cancer strikes back again after being in remission. 

I wrote about how November has been pretty dreary for me at to cap it off with fever, like oh my gosh. This week, wasn't so bad actually. I attended a two day course for work which was quite fun, not what I expected. I didn't do any fitness classes last week including spending time at the gym as I was so sick. And then this week, I restarted it again and the first class was the Strong by Zumba. I felt like I was knocked out several times but I managed to last, lol. I still made money even though I was sick. 

I temporarily closed my online shop but when I was feeling a little better, I managed to still make some things even though I got quite frustrated because my fingers got too shaky, from the fever and meds. While I would love to close a little longer, I feel that I shouldn't get too carried away. I have been so motivated by some local young entrepreneurs how they move from point A to point B and point C and I'm thinking how they can juggle different things. Yet, they still have a life. 

I feel so small as compared to them and the way I handled my online business last month was pretty bad. But I wrote down what I want to achieve and it helped me to re-focus. I need to improve a little on my time management such as it would be great for me to start the ball rolling with working on an order before I sleep so that I don't have to rush when I wake up. I still struggle with that because that time prior to bed is really my most unproductive, haha. I can't force myself to do something that I don't have the mood for.

Anyway, I'm feeling better and that same week when I started with high fever, I managed to go to Sentosa for the Pop Up Lights, coming up in my next post. 

Thanks for staying with me until this end! Some pictures just for the sake of it. I 'stole' these pictures again from Facebook. Me at Zumba session last Thursday and the wind was so strong and I think I struggled with getting the hair out of my face than in following the moves.

The second picture showed me in action. Like expert like that, lol. Looking forward to two more sessions of these because it's a wrap for the year. I couldn't go for the very last session because I have a Christmas dinner and gift exchange with my bestest buddy :)

Okay, I go now. Bye!




Long Weekend, A Little Rambling & My Lack of Gratitude

The day I discover IG filters It's almost mid week to August..argh. I am in the midst of a long weekend, which sadly will come to ...