Mint green

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Have I ever told u that I’ve got this unexplainable crush on mint green? My personal and work phone both have mint green covers, I’ve got a mint green wireless mouse, I’ve got 2 Tiffany & Co boxes so far lolol.

Then I came across these 2 lovely pens that I simply had to buy. Just $1.20 each! Cheap stuff (jus realised that the tops come off quite easily bleah) but I couldn’t resist the urge to own them when I saw them at Thomson Plaza yesterday.

Retail therapy works regardless the cost. So yes, I’ll be happy if you put me in Daiso 🙂

My girl’s very first exam of her life is coming in about 2 weeks. Well actually she had her oral last week already and her paper 1 and 2 are coming along next month. If you ask me, I’m not extremely worried or anxious. Given her current performance in the usual school work; she will definitely pass la hahah.

I’ll be thrilled if she can get above 90 though! *wink* I’m actually very glad that she is in this particular primary school. This school ensures that the student gets a well balanced life of work and play. Wednesdays are no-homework days. Other than that, homework load is also very manageable. Very good for the parents!

Monday is nearly over. Can’t wait for year end to arrive!

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Living with the end in mind

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I have been thinking.. I have a plan to eventually go full time writing / blogging in the near future. I am not fully certain if I have a talent in writing.. I don’t know if it’s possible, there are a 101 I don’t knows. I just hope to give it a shot, try some freelance writing in the meantime; see how it goes.

Then I just read about how these 2 anti-gahmen (is that the correct term haha) bloggers have carried their passion overboard. I believe in those bloggers hearts, they are willing to sacrifice everything in the name of their passion. They don’t think they are wrong, they are just going all out. They probably think it’s okay to earn a bit lesser/ spend lesser time with loved ones in order to spend more time in their passion. I think they will be even willing to offend their loved ones in the event when their loved ones oppose of what they are doing.

I may have a desire, just like them. They want to push their ideas forward, like how I want to write fulltime.

But I do not want to sacrifice my loved ones in the name of my passion. I do not want to sacrifice my already limited time to pursue my passion. I want to be fully present with my girls’ growing up process especially. I want to spend more time growing spiritually. I hope to spend more time with hubby doing things we like eg watching drama or playing mahjong with friends. With 2 young kids and my full time job already taking up most of my time, I think i will be really pushing it if I add something else on the plate. It will seriously overflow and topple everything off balance.

Maybe I am tired of trying too hard. Maybe I don’t want this bad enough. Maybe I need a break… at this point, the most appealing thing to do is to just go shopping and buy all the things I like with all the imaginary money I have $_$

Ok i am getting out of point.

I guess in the end, the question I need to ask myself is – how should I live with the end in mind? What will truly truly last even when I am no longer here?

Artisteaq Art Jam at Mandarin Gallery

You know what – I wish I am painting now. Just idly dabbing away on the canvas, without any care for anything else.

I had my very first experience of painting a proper art piece on canvas last Friday. 3 hours per session and it wasn’t enough for a beginner like me. But still, that 3 hours was such a time of freedom and peace. To me, it was pure idling away, a supreme luxury.

My girl and I reached Artisteaq rather early so we decided to check out its cafe. I needed my afternoon caffeine shot so I ordered a cappuccino and also an apple cake to share with my girl.

We sat by the windows.  There was this whole row of low tables and sofa chairs – very comfortable looking. My girl settled right in with her newly borrowed library books – within 1 minute she was lost in her world of The Sewer Demon.

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My coffee arrived in a elegant wooden tray. No sugar again.. I didn’t bother asking. If you are wondering what I’m talking about, read my review on GastroSmiths and how they serve coffee with sugar on the side!

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My coffee came with a few biscuits, which my girl automatically took and started chomping away happily. She took a few gulps of my coffee too. Runs in the family.

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I wished there was more time for us to just laze there and just do nothing in particular.

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This was their apple cake, I believe it’s one of their signature dishes. I find it quite nice – think my girl found it too soft and squishy. It’s a very moist cake.

We hurriedly finished the cake (the cake took so long to come) and went next door for our art jam session.

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It was like a classroom. we put our bags on the shelves at the back of the classroom and then wore our aprons. All the materials were prepared nicely for us already.

20140912_161201I flipped through the painting samples and settled on a woman dozing off on her chair. (yah you can safely say that I wish I can be that woman!)

Time just ZOOMED past when we were painting. My girl was very quiet through out the whole session, talking only when she needed help with squeezing out the paint or tearing away the dirty palette. First time I see her so focused on something for such a long period of time!

I thought I had to help her with her painting when I was done with mine – BUT she actually finished first…. =_= and i very nearly couldn’t finish!

We happily brought home our paintings. and we were tired.

So here’s her finished art piece:

20140912_195354I really applaud her determination to finish such a big painting – it’s not easy for a girl like her who hates to do any form of hard work ahahaha.

Basically I googled this picture and I helped her draw Sarah’s head (a circle) on the blank canvas to help her gauge the rough sizes of the pictures she should draw. Then she did everything else on her own! very good job I say!

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And this is mine. On its own i think I pass. Pass because i think she looks like what she is – a woman.

Then I did a comparison with the original:

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I think, I have just made that woman look so horrid in my painting… The woman in the original painting looks so sexy and voluptuous.. while mine looks like a creature with an oversized face and super short arms. I did not notice the boobs part in the printout that was given to me in class. maybe resolution of that picture isn’t too good.

But having said all that, my girl and I still enjoyed myself SO MUCH at the art jam! I am already thinking of purchasing art materials and going to the park or the beach with my girl and just paint all day. Wish I can do this at home though..but it may be a bit messy and there is no space at home to place any easel!

I even checked out adult art classes – expensive man – each class can cost up at $90!!! Think I will just paint on my own on drawing block paper (hahaha) and then maybe go NAFA for a proper art course when the girls are older…

Just saying.. 🙂

 

 

iPrice the One-Stop Online Experience

Coz it simply has everything a woman (and a man) needs 😉

At first I was a bit stumped by the new concept. But after browsing through their website, I realized that iPrice Shop Singapore provides product information on all brands and also carry online coupons codes for web-stores such as Zalora and more! It informs me of all the ongoing discounts and good deals that their featured stores offer – I didn’t have to go to each online shop to search for promotions – I just have to go to iPrice Shop and it will show me all the deals they have on hand!

 

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This is their website showing products from a large range of different brands (ranging from sports brands e.g. New Balance Singapore, Nike Singapore, luxury brands e.g. Longchamp Singapore, Marc by Marc Jacobs Singapore and Prada Singapore and many many more), with products ranging from watches, clothes, shoes and bags.

If you click on any of the items that attract you, you will be directed to the store’s website immediately.

Their coupon page shows all the ongoing deals and promotions that their featured stores are offering:

 

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Once you land on that page, you will see all newly added coupons i.e. deals and promotions. Their featured stores are all listed on the right. So if you are planning for a holiday and you click on Zuji for example..…

 

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You see all the promotions that Zuji currently has. Cool eh? Once you see something you like, click “Go To Offer” and you will be directed to Zuji’s promotion page.

In summary, you would be able to get all your favourite brands under one roof and be notified on the sales that are going on for it. This is absolutely 1 website you should save under your Favourites so you can slowly browse and explore during your “de-stress” time at work XD

Happy shopping~~**

新源记 Xin Yuan Ji at Tan Quee Lan Street & Ah Chew Dessert at Liang Seah Street

I’ve been to Xin Yuan Ji twice for lunch with colleagues. The first time I had their clear fish soup for $8.80.

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It was really fantastic. And i was happy paying $8.80 for the bowl of superbly fresh fish.

2nd time was even better – I had their curry lunch set!

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Seriously the best curry I have ever tasted in recent years. The spicy level was just right – the gravy thickness was just right for the rice and I was freaking happily bloated after the whole meal.

So I suggested to Belle that we shall go Xin Yuan Ji again for her birthday dinner. Belle’s birthday dinner last year was at Running Man Restaurant and we had a bit too much to drink hahaha, so we said that this year we shall be good girls and just have Ah Chew Dessert after that!

And that was last week. We got a table immediately as we were early. Reached there at about 615pm. It was just the 2 of us, so we just ordered the Nonya Fish Head and the Prawn Paste Chicken. We wanted some space for dessert!

Now, the curry set lunch is not served during dinner. But in the dinner menu, they have 2 kinds of curry. Nonya Fish Head and Assam Fish Curry. As the curry set lunch definitely did not taste assam to us, I ordered the Nonya Fish Head that night and believed that it was the same as the one I had for lunch.

2014-09-17-17-47-39_decoThe Prawn Paste Chicken arrived, piping hot and crispy.

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All ready to be devoured. The chilli sauce provided at the side of the dish looks very very shiok too. It’s probably belachan chilli – ooohhh my favourite!

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Indulgence, indulgence.

Verdict of the chicken – I quite liked it. But again, it did not win the ones I had at Hooked on Heads!

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Rice was quite a lot…….. curry without rice is sin.

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and our Ms Belle had to have her chilli padi.

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Nonya Curry Fish Head arrived and my first thought was – why look so different from the one i had for lunch leh?

I took a sip of the gravy and immediately knew that it was different. THIS ONE TASTED SOUR! I got the waitress here and asked “Does this Nonya Fish Head normally taste sour?”

She paused for a nano-second and went “Ya usually, a bit sour” in Mandarin.

Me: I came here to have lunch that day and I had your curry set. Not the same?

Her: No, the lunch one is Assam Curry.

I settled at that but in my heart, I was like, SIMI SAI?! English translation = WHAT THE XXX?

The lunch curry was DEFINITELY NOT ASSAM coz it was not sour at all. Does the restaurant have problems differentiating the different curries?

Anyway, this Nonya Fish Head that we had during dinner was a very weird curry. It was sour and the flavour simply wasn’t there. The gravy was very very thick, as you can see in the next picture..

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See, the gravy stayed put on top of the rice and did not seep in at all lor. I had to mix it. Argh. Even Belle said it was just OKAY.

Bad….very bad… Only good thing about this dish was that the fish was fresh.

Aiyo the whole purpose of eating curry was to have that gravy mah!

very buay song after the dinner. Got so full for such a mediocre dish – waste of calories leh. Sigh I really should have asked when I ordered la!

We proceeded to Ah Chew Dessert and got a nice corner table. We ordered THREE desserts coz the dinner was just too dak-shiok!

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As you know, Ah Chew is a very dim place…so I did my best to brighten it up!

We had Orh Bee Buh (Black Glutinous Rice with Coconut Milk) which was HEAVENLY!!! I don’t know when was the last time I had this – so Belle and i enjoyed it so much.

We then moved on to the one on the top left – some cold chestnut dessert with egg white which Belle always orders when she’s there… She enjoyed it as usual. I tried it for the first time and I went “Errr it’s funny.” Somehow the egg white taste is too strong and egg whites taste strange when they are sweet.

It’s JUST ME.

The last one – durian sago. It was very good, but we didn’t finish it coz we were TOO FULL. hahahha. GREEDY.

~

I went back to work the next day and re-confirmed with my colleagues who also had that curry set lunch – they all said it was not assam curry. I shall go back soon and clarify!

 

川国演义 Chuan Guo Yan Yi at 29 Sultan Gate

**Update as of 4 Dec 2014 – I walked past a few days ago and it’s no longer in operation O_O!!!***

 

If I ever had a past life, I think I was from Sichuan China XD

COZ I ABSOLUTELY LOVE SICHUAN FOOD!

My colleague Anne recently brought a few of us to 川国演义 for lunch.

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These were a few of the pics I took. There were other dishes but it was a big group so I didn’t wanna hold up the rest from digging in. The soup on the top left is actually a spicy sourish soup with beef slices and green chilli. From the colour it looked quite harmless.

haha it was damn ooh lala. The more u drink the more u sweat!

Top right was French beans stir fried in dried chilli. Very fresh vegetables which wasn’t very spicy actually.

Bottom left was the remains of spicy chicken cubes in dried chilli and bottom right was red bean pancake in Sichuan style. The skin was chewy and stretchy instead of the crispy one we usually have.

The best dish has to be the 水煮鱼 (fish slices on chilli oil) which I didn’t snap a pic of. It was the best one I’ve had!

So this was my first lunch there. Very good experience. The food came fast and waitress was patient and nice.

And then yesterday we went again… haha. Anne suggested and I simply couldn’t resist!
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It was 5 of us so I could take some nice pictures! This was 鱼香肉丝! Literal translation to English will read “Fragrant fish with meat slices”.

But this dish has no fish at all 🙂 Sichuan dish names are really wicked coz u won’t know what you will really get!

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This is the fabulous 水煮鱼! English translation – water – cooked fish.

Again the name is a trick! It’s chilli oil-cooked fish can! Haha.

Besides fish slices, you also can find plenty of bean sprouts and cabbage inside. I love to eat my rice with that gravy. It’s super duper shiok to the maximisation!

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Remains of our french beans in dried chilli. In chinese, it’s 干煸豆角。

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This is 小炒肉. Basically stir fried pork. But they also added huge pieces of green chilli that didn’t taste like green chilli… We all felt that it tasted like bell peppers!!

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This came very late. We nearly wanted to just pay for whatever we had.. then this came in the nick of time. We were glad we had this!!!

The name is 蚂蚁上树, in English it means Ants Go Up The Tree. It’s stir fried vermicelli with minced pork and green chilli. Anne explained that the minced pork resembles ants, hence the name.

I tell you, this dish is so so so fragrant! But so so so so sinful. The oil has been fully absorbed into the vermicelli and the taste was smack licking good! We were all very full but we still finished every bit of this. Wahaha. U really must try this if you are there. But warn you first, this dish has quite a heavy taste of pork.

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Oh we also had these 2 bottles of homemade chestnut drink. Very light and refreshing 🙂

We both paid $17 each for yesterday’s lunch. And yes we will probably go very often!!

Guest Performance with Rhythm & Wave

You know, after watching quite a bit of Voice of China, I am seriously jealous of people who can tell beautiful stories with their voices. I really really really wanna be like them, but I will need to join Rhythm & Wave to brush up on my vocals.

If I am a swinging single (or even a swinging married woman), I will probably be visiting Rhythm & Wave very frequently to learn vocals and keyboard. 2 weeks ago I was there for the first time for my guest performance practice. It was located so so conveniently right above Chinatown MRT Exit D – no umbrella also nvm, coz once you exit, you get right into People’s Park Centre. And over there, there are really plenty of food choices lor – cheap somemore. Really very convenient.

On a serious note, I have been quite reflective lately. Life has been sucking me dry pretty much – and I think it really shouldn’t be like that. Well, I have been busy with work and my young girls – which is probably part and parcel of this phase of life, so I ought to take it into stride and find joy in the ordinary.

But i know deep within me, there are things I would like to do, like to explore, like to enjoy. One of them is singing. I used to be able to sing quite well – with a good strong vocal range (I remember being able to sing Amei’s 站在高岗上 using real voice) and all. Oh I might as well show you guys my ge tai pic!

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That was one good memory – I sang professionally for about a year I think. That was in year 2002.

So now is 2014 – 12 years later. 12 years of non-existent proper practice = vocal range easily reduced by half. Now I mew like a cat (although my falsetto has gotten better and stronger) and after watching Voice of China – I think I sound like a duck compared to those beautiful voices on the show. And now that my vocal range has reduced so much, singing at KTV really irks me coz I am unable to bring out the best in a song. Sing half way I gotta change to falsetto – so anti-climax lor! Sigh.

But but but, singing brings out something in me which I find it hard to explain. The only proper singing I am doing right now is singing songs of praise and worship in church. I guess only believers will be able to understand – praising and worshipping God has to be the most emotionally satisfying experience that one can ever encounter. Yes, even better than the best concert you have ever attended. I also feel similar waves of euphoria when I watch Voice of China, when the 4 judges listen just using their ears and get so touched by the voice that they had to tap that button to turn around.

So, one of the things which I like to do when  I am more free (that will take at least a couple more years I think) is to learn singing professionally… I have gone for a few lessons at a music school maybe a couple years ago, but i stopped after that coz it was just me and one other student and I found it quite bleah… and the location is quite bleah too. So i stopped.

Then Kim set up Rhythm & Wave. I didn’t know Kim at first, I knew Yanxi at work and that was how I got to know about Kim and his music school. And I was invited to their first student showcase at Fullhouse Signature Restaurant!

On Thursday night (3 days before actual performance) I went to Rhythm & Wave music school for practice. I really loved what I saw – it was so cosy and homely that I would really like to go there more often. And when we practised, it was such fun coz we all had the same objective – which was to learn and make beautiful music together.

On the actual day – I was so nervous can. My throat became very dry (not the first time when I experienced this when I am on stage actually) and I didn’t sing really well 😦 but thankfully I chose really simple songs with a very manageable vocal range!

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Before start of performance. Hubby and my elder girl went along with me – I took this from my table.

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It was a simple set up – very close to the audience, casual and non-intimidating.

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Rhythm & Wave holds its student showcases every Sunday evening – check it out if you are heading to Clarke Quay! I personally think it is such a great platform for students to learn stage singing!!

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We started at 730pm. If I remember correctly there were about a total of 8 to 9 songs per set. I had the easiest job – sing 2 songs 🙂 That’s Yanxi singing!

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I must say that she has improved so much in her singing – the stability has improved a lot and she is starting to learn techniques that make her sound softer and more vulnerable 🙂

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This was the other student Kenneth – very nice and friendly guy whose voice is like a rubber band (dunno if it’s an apt description lol) – I mean his voice can stretch until quite high and he still sounds quite comfortable. Falsetto also not bad!

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My turn – JITTERS.

and oh my goodness I look fat on stage.

And hubby managed to take a couple of videos of my crappy singing lol. But you gotta turn the volume way up to hear me coz the white noise level is extremely high – videos were taken using iPhone 5s.

Starting of A Thousand Years.

My falsetto gone totally haywire and shaky due to dry throat 😦

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But despite the lousy singing from me, I thoroughly enjoyed the evening coz it was a casual set and Kim’s emcee-ing made everything so comfortable 🙂

Thanks once again to Rhythm & Wave for allowing me to sing on stage that evening!