Pretty Eveel Adventures

Pretty Eveel Adventures: August 2009

Saturday, August 29, 2009

kek lapis, love & tragedy

this year, i decided i want to try and make kek lapis or thousand layer cake. it's a dense, rich, moist cake, that you layer one at a time. one layer, bake, then one more layer, bake- that's how it got its name- the thousand layer cake.

its a really dense cake, and uses lots of eggs yolks. since this was my first try, i decided to halve the recipe and even then, i needed 15 egg yolks, and 4 egg whites!

such a labour of love it was. i was on my feet for 3 whole hours, baking layer by layer (lost count after 20th layer), making sure that the thin layers didn't get burnt! it was very tiring.

while baking, i was reminded of an old friend in uni. he was a brilliant soci student, a few years my senior (he's gone and done a pHd and is a lecturer now) . our families knew each other, his family was distantly related to mine. i was already seeing someone then, but we spent a lot of time chatting. he was such a precious friend to me. i knew from stories my aunt told me, about how good a son he was, that he was good at making kek lapis. one day, bringing it up, i asked whether he'd ever bake me one.

he did. a lovely mocha flavoured kek lapis. it was the most exquisite tasting kek lapis i had ever tasted!

we drifted apart after i graduated, and we're not in touch any more. today, while i baked. it dawned upon me what a labour of love it was. and it made me wonder about his feelings for me then. i mean- why would he have gone through that much trouble. to prove to me that he could bake it? no- i knew without a doubt that he was able to. maybe he did harbour some feelings for me then. if so, i was quite the goondoo for not noticing it.


anyhow, my cake didn't turn out all that good. i think it was too dense- too much butter, and the layers didn't show well. but it tastes really nice. but not as nice as that mocha one that was made just for me! =)


fruity salad

mom had a date with some friends to celebrate a teacher-friend. so i was left at home on my own devices, to prepare our iftar meal.

surprise surprise, instead of losing weight from the fast. i've managed to add on the pounds! *shrieks*

so i thought i'd make a simple and refreshing fruit salad. helps load up on the vitamin c, fibre and fluids which are so important for the body, when you're fasting.

try this. it's so refreshingly simple. you can throw in any sort of fruit. i used grapes, green apples and watermelon. throw in some grassjelly (chin chow), and mix it all up. Serve in individual dishes, and just before serving- pour generaous amounts of soya-bean milk (like from the box is ok- less sugar option please!) over. If you like throw in some mixed nuts (but i cut them out this time, to reduce the calorie count). It's absolutely delicious and refreshing i promise you!


Friday, August 28, 2009


did u know that tickets to the blackeyedpeas concert in kl only costs RM103! The blackeyedpeas cum beyonce concert in singapore costs SGD200 per tix. with the current exchange rate the kl gig costs only a quarter of the singapore one!

Unless i'm dying to watch Beyonce shake her booty 'to the left, to the left' watching the concert in kl (2 tix, the drive up and one nite stay in a decent hotel) in kl would cost less than watching the gig in s'pore.

Only problem- they won't allow muslims in. I thought to myself- hmm maybe only msian malays aren't allowed. I'm not a msian citizen, what jurisdiction would the authorities there have over my soul? I was wrong,

I emailed the ticketing agent and they replied, muslims aren't permitted. They stopped short of saying, regardless of nationality.

Tourism? Bah! Apparently they're only interested in non-muslim tourism dollars. I'd have splurged on a nice hotel and would have left registers ringing at klcc. Their loss!


7th month & ramadhan?

i found the three gals huddled in pretty large meeting room yest afternoon. the 3 were huddled over their late afternoon mcdonalds delivered meals away from our usual snack corner in the office as they didn't want to offend the muslims in the office who would be observing the fast. i, on the other hand, can never be left out of a social gathering, and went trudging around the building looking for them. i wasn't bothered that i couldn't eat, would be more bothered about being left out.

amidst our happy chatter, the room lights suddenly dimmed. all on its own! we looked at each other suspiciously. nervous laughter followed a second of silent nervousness. we continued our happy chatter happened again...this time becoming dimmer. again. we looked at each other nervously. then one of the gals said, 'aiyor, and seven month has just begun!'

i immediately responded ,' don't worry. it's ramadhan. we muslims believe that the devil, ghosts and spirits are locked up during this holy month.'

Girlfriend replied earnestly,' is it all ghosts and spirits or just muslim ones.'

i shrugged my shoulders,'i dunno. I'll ask my mom tonight'



Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ramadhan 6 days in

Ever since i could remember i have fasted during the holy month of Ramadhan. I've always always cherished the experience, and for awhile it's been my favourite month of the year. I don't mind the hunger or thirst really, well okay maybe- like right now, when my colleagues are ordering mcdonalds for the office, and all i'm thinking of is the wasabi mayo double fillet *drool*.
but its amazing what faith allows you to achieve- i definitely don't have enough self-control to go on a diet, but i can strangely refuse food and water in the name of the almighty.

Anyhow, i came across a very very interesting article 'Hunger is God's Food' by Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey on . No summary will do this article justice, and i definitely think it's worth reading. enjoy!


grumbles less

after all the grumbling yest morning, hubby responded so sweetly in the evening when he picked me up from work.

"i'll wash the toilet tonight, ok?"

the 6 most beautiful words an exhausted wife longs to hear. i was deliriously happy. but i was thinking during the day, when i was reflecting about how much he does @home, that i realised that hubby likes to do things together. the times that he'd helped out, was mostly when i was doing the chores too. like 2 weeks ago, when i was hanging out laundry before going to work, he happily came and chipped in. or 2 nights ago, when i was folding laundry after the dinner, he merrily came around, and helped me fold. although he did get a little bit grumpy when i told him he was doing it all wrong, and proceeded to instruct him on my '5-steps to a perfectly folded t-shirt' process. (note to self: stop being so anal about everything!)

so i replied, "thank you hun, but let's do it together ok?"

it was a romantic evening spent. my hubby and i, cleaning the toilet together. it took half the time i would have otherwise taken, and i was happy, not grumpy, after the experience.

since this was a win-win behaviour i wanted to encourage, i let him go prawning last night after all the chores we done.



Wednesday, August 26, 2009


i've been grumbling. a lot. a lot lot lot.

especially in the morning, especially when hubby sends me to work. i guess there's someone there to grumble to. i mean, i'm definitely not going to grumble to the stranger next to me on the bus what! there's enough weirdos on the bus as it is.

i dunno why i've been grumbling. tired i suppose. but really, there shouldn't be any excuse right?i should not be grumbling to my husband, about silly things. like not helping with the chores etc. cos he does actually. When i do stop grumbling and think about it, i realise that he does quite a bit already. i mean he could do much more, but then again, all of us could do much more. I could definitely do more *not grumbling*. Right?

*rolls eyes* *sigh*

i'd better stop it. in the interim, i told hubby- better don't send me to work anymore. i'd rather take the bus, than end up unconciously grumbling to him some more.



Monday, August 24, 2009

3rd day of e holy month of ramadhan

it's the 3rd day of the month of ramadhan.

i always enjoyed the month. always feel more serene and i always feel more at peace with myself. even more so now that a dear friend-work (not colleague- she's valued dearly as a close friend) volunteered to take over my trip to Vung Tau this week. She knew that i'd prefer to spend the holy month at home with the family- yest hubby and i were at my in-laws for iftar and we then did our terawih prayers as a family- it was nice.

Not going to Vung Tau was a tough decision to make. I feel that it's my job, my duty, and i shouldn't be shirking my responsibilities. I also don't like that people may feel that religion is more important than my job. although the lil angel that sits on my right shoulder whispers in my ears that we shouldn't choose the now instead of the hereafter. but i don't want to go into a religious discussion right now. let's just say it was a difficult decision.

it took awhile but i finally decided. why turn down this generous offer (which my boss agreed to anyways)? i'm so thankful for this wonderful blessing.

happy ramadhan y'all! =)


willa@e postoffice

so cute.

willa's birthday was last week. me, being the procrastinator i was, mailed it out late. actually hubby mailed it out for moi.

Willa's mommy just emailed me to tell me that they just received a note that they have to pick up the package at the post office. and it HAS to be Miss Willa herself, whom the parcel was addressed to, who picks up the package and noone else.

hmm..yeah i suppose a 2 year old wouldn't be able to authorise her mummy and daddy to pick it up for her.

so mommy and daddy would be waiting for willa to wake up from her aft nap so that they can make a trip down to the post office.

happy belated birthday willa! i hope u like the gift!


Sunday, August 23, 2009

the plight of afghan women

up early today, as i decided not to go to bed after sahur and get some work done instead. i turned on bbc world on the telly and just managed to catch the beginning of Panaroma: What are we fighting for? This short programme by Jane Corbin investigates whether UK presence in Afghanistan has helped the plight of women.

the report was painful to watch early on a sunday morning, especially right after i had washed and hung the laundry out to dry, while surfing the internet and finishing some work. my heart went out to these uneducated women who have no choices in life, no rights at all to determine how their lives should be lived. at the mercy of the men in their lives. lucky if their brothers, fathers and husbands treat them kindly and doomed if they did not.

my heart went out to a young girl, barely 25. she was in a french NGO hospital for treatment of burns. she had poured oil on herself and set herself alight. she told her story- of being sold by her brothers when her protective mother was away, to a man who initially took care of her well. 2 years into the marriage, he started beating her day and night. And one day out of desperation, she poured cooking oil on herself when he was beating her, threatening to set herself aflame if he did not stop beating her. she hadn't intended to burn herself. but when her husband said,' look, she's wasted 20 afghani worth of oil, and hasn't even burned herself'. She snapped, took a match and lit herself on fire. She was one of the lucky ones who arrived at the hospital in time for treatment. Many of these girls die.

The hospital receives up to 20 cases a day.

The thought terrifies me. in this holy month of ramadhan, i have much time to reflect, and i'm so thankful that i was born into a family and a society which believes in educating girls, and that we can be more than just slaves to the family and our place in life beyond the kitchen alone. i'm definitely going to get involved in this issue, if i can.

*sigh* and i was just complaining to hubby, that he hasn't been helping me enough @ home.


no room for our strays?

One of the headlines on the front page of the ST today read ,' Gone to USA'. About a little Singaporean mongrel Lily, who is now running freely in a home in Massachusetts. Lily, a Singaporean stray, was not able to find a home for herself in Singapore. So the Action for Singapore Dogs (ASD) did what they could, and found someone from the great big USA who was willing to take care of Lily. ASD was reported in the ST to say that 'dog owners in Western Countries are said to be more welcoming of non-pedigreed, imperfect dogs, unlike in Singapore'.

Lily looks happy in the big field of grass. I'm sure she'll have more room to run freely than Singapore could ever offer her. I'm happy for her.

But at the same time it's sad, that on Saturday, we welcomed 3600 new citizens, but we can't even take care of our own stray non-pedigreed, imperfect dogs. I love Singapore passionately, but really what DOES this say about us Singaporeans?


twin palms phuket fantastic

we stayed at twin palms phuket for our honeymoon. although it was less exclusive than the first resort we stayed at- aleenta- it was much more memorable due to its wonderful guest relations which has focused on its 'after-stay' relations.

when we arrived at twin-palms i received an email from the management, saying that they know that i blog, and want to give us one nights free stay, if i blog about my stay and link the hotel website to mine. Unfortunately, i was very busy, and missed the one-month deadline to blog and tell them about it.

just last month, i received an email from them again. this time saying hi, and telling me that they'd like to send me a gift. all i have to do is to send back an email reply, confirming that my account is active, and to confirm that my mailing address remains the same.

hmm..this was no impersonal flyer. i was curious and replied positively providing the contact info they asked for. and lo and behold, last week, i received a CD produced by the resort, and a personal handwritten card. we love the CD and its coolbeats, and its been featuring in our bedroom reminding us of the fantastic time we had when we were in twinpalms. and it's been helping set the honeymoon mood all over again, if you know what i mean *grin*

they're personal touch is working. i'm bugging hubby to take leave so that we can go back to twin palms for a romantic weekend soon!

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Friday, August 21, 2009

a thought

So i hope i don't, by this act of kindness, lead you to belief, that our brief fling with the notion of a romantic idea many many years ago is worth revisiting. I ask you to leave this be. I will pray that you will find happiness and satisfaction. And i hope you will do the same for me.


Thursday, August 20, 2009


i'm exhausted.

my day started early today. hubby was kind enough to put the laundry through the wash at the half-time of his early morning Man U match. he did this, so that when i woke up at 5.30am in the morning, i can hang up the laundry.

work was especially tiring this week, so i skipped off for an early celebratory birthday dinner with the girlfriend.

got home about 9.30pm with the hubby. he was exhausted and sleepy as he stayed up all night to watch the game and couldn't sleep in as he had to send me to work. he had a shower, while i put the air-dried laundry in the dryer, for a short tumble, so that they're toasty warm and smelling lovely.

while he showered and the laundry tumbled, i caught up with the local ST news. when he got out of the shower, i jumped in to clean the toilet. It's mid-week laundry and toilet cleaning day.

when i was satisfied with the toilet, i showered. then collected the laundry now tumbled dry, folded the laundry and put them away. I hung up work type clothes that i'll keep for pressing on Saturday, while my hubby is quickly snoring away.

it's almost midnight.

This is a weekly routine. I do laundry 2x a week. I clean the toilet 2x a week. I vaccuum the house 1x a week. Dust and clean the room 2x a week. and i work- pretty hard too if i may add.

It's exhausting, especially when work is busy. I only make it a point to blog these days, despite the exhaustion, cos it's an outlet to just let go of all the thoughts bottled in my head. it helps with the stress.

why don't we get help for the house? well, financial constraints would be one factor. i also never liked the idea of having a maid in the house. and i also think it keeps me grounded. i hope i can keep this up, cos i'm feeling quite drained as it is.

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i'm really passionate about my job because its allowed me to grow as an individual, and not only acquire new skills, but has given me the space to practice them.

i've always liked to teach. it's the love of being able to interact with others, entertain them (usually by clowning around) while at the same time, hopefully, imparting some knowledge to the young minds who are always open and filled with wonder. i've spent much of my youth working with young children in early education and i've always felt that the experience was very rewarding. Especially when the young ones reward you with hugs and kisses, and pure adoration! *love*

I've had to stop teaching wee ones in this current job, as i just couldn't find the time. but i've been able to explore the world of androgogy (as opposed to pedagogy), and today, i completed my first full-fledged facilitation session. of course with the help of an excellent co-facilitator.

I had a fabulous time, but better than that, i really felt that i was able to make a connection, and helped encourage my participants to think about how they can make positive change in their areas of work. I didn't get any hugs and kisses, but their thanks was more than enough to make me feel just as rewarded.


having faith (part 2)

being the only one who needed to leave on tuesday, so i could be back at work on wed, i left ba ria vung tau. alone. in a car with a driver who spoke no english. yes no english.

i was tired, and sleepy. and with katie perry playing on my phone, i left my fate to the driver. i had to have faith that he would take me to the airport, to get me home. not recognising any key landmarks and completely illiterate in a country where none of the road signs are in English, i had to guess that i had arrived in Ho Chi Minh City after a 2 hour drive, and that the little roads that the car was taking me through would eventually lead me to the airport.

more than once during that 2 hours, my faith was quite shaken- in the thunderstorm, heavy traffic, and unfamiliar views of rows of tractors by the road- it felt as if i was farther than ever from the airport. it didn't help that i had katie perry's LOST on repeat! but i kept my faith, and the stellar driver got me there, in one piece. i kept quiet, and let him drive.

when we pulled into the terminal, he heaved a sigh of relief. my eyebrows lurched upwards. perhaps he too thought he would not have been able to get me to the airport in time for my plane.

i'm glad i didn't lose my faith in him. If i had, just maybe, he would have lost faith in himself, and i wouldn't have made it back home at all.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

having faith

training in an overseas country is always a logistical challenge. we're so used to the kind of facilities we have back home. it's always an exercise of faith when you're overseas, and when things don't seem to be the way you want it to be from the onset. It's an exercise of faith and patience. Faith that they will get it right, as you've provided the info early, and patience- especially when things get chaotic, to allow things to unfold naturally, and order to restore itself. it's easy to lose your cool and be totally Singaporean, and rush the process. it's not worth it i think, better go with the flow, and be cool as a cucumber, rather than be the ugly Singaporean. yes- we are task driven and want results, but we should be reasonable not to appear too demanding, and risk stepping on other nationalities toes. When in Rome, do as the romans...


sights and sounds

as head of delegation, i was required to give a speech. there was even media coverage. this job is always a challenge. how do i stand equal to the mayor? i always feel small- as a woman on an international relations type job, and still relatively young- it's hard to stand tall, chin up expect to be taken seriously when a lot of the world is still very protocol concious, and if you're not a man, or older- you'd never be taken seriously.

this isn't the first time, i've been put in such a position. i try to rise to the occassion, but each time, its a brand new challenge. i've tried to deal with it psychologically, by trying to dress older. put on pearls wear extra heavy makeup, blow my hair. when i shared this with a senior official from another ASEAN country, who had kindly taken me under his wing during a conference, he told me that i was being silly, and that i should never ever have to try to look old to be taken seriously. he said, it was not necessary, and that others would respect me for who i am, not because i look older but because, i am a confident and intelligent young woman, who can hold herself well. i felt quite silly then.

but what did he know? he was an OLD MAN with many many years of experience under his belt. He'd never stood in my size ten, SCHOLL high heels!


sea snakes anyone?

Ba Ria Vung Tau is famous for cheap but good seafood. We went to a famous restaurant by the beach and had the most amazing flower crabs. The crabs were accompanied by steamed garoupa, squids and other very delicious dishes. And it all came up to only about SGD90 for 5 of us.
The only thing that i was not convinced to try was the sea-snake!

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Monday, August 17, 2009

hand woven, machine, pakistani, iranian

birthday dinner at arab streets cafe le clair with the breakfast club ( previously referred to as supper club turned brunch club- breakfast club just sounds nicer i think) ended up with quite a lengthy stop at the carpet shops nearby. Friends got one beautiful handwoven carpet for their bedroom while another was mulling over a bigger piece for her living room.

I loved the colours and it reminded me so much of the beautiful carpets at Lahore's Pearl Continental Hotel. My one regret, was never getting a carpet when i was working in Lahore. They were cheap.

Though PS did, when we spoke about it in Lahore, said not to support an industry which employed young child workers. sigh...


special other pressies

special birthday pressies...

hubby got me a nice skagen watch that i had only briefly looked at when we were out shopping. so bling with the swarovski crystals! and it also matches my tiffany somerset wedding ring. i love the watch, but miss it sorely now that i'm in vietnam- didn't want to risk losing it!

one of the girlfriends also got me a special gift! 3 jars of lovely hediard jams. i'm such a nut for jams since Sydney. And how timely, the 5 beautiful jars of jams she got me from the london markets have just finished. i'm dying to dig into the jar of fig jam!

it's been a lovely birthday!


Sunday, August 16, 2009

vacuum cleaner pressie

every year, the family asks what i want for a bday pressie. this year i thought long and hard, at first i asked for a new cake mixer. i desperately want a new one for myself. mom's mixer has been very good, but i think its time to retire it. but just 3 weeks before my birthday i changed my mind and asked for a vacuum cleaner instead.

the friends, rolled their eyes when they heard this. "like babe, so auntie!"

i try to explain- i do most of the vacuuming at home. i am also a clean freak that cannot see dust. so i end up cleaning quite a bit (have you heard of the time i cleaned the toilet at 1am, cos i just couldn't stand it anymore?). look it's not OCD. it's just that my dad mops, my mom cooks and drives people around AND does most of the families laundry, and i vacuum and clean the toilet. my sis usually makes a mess and my hubby is around for moral support! =P

i've had enough of the rubbish phillips vacuum that dad bought for about $100 few years ago, that is slowly dying. It sucks, and i don't mean literally. And we have a british short hair, and a carpeted staircase, so a good vacuum cleaner is sooo important! so i asked for a Bosch, i asked for a cheaper version, but my dad got me the Bosch Home Pro!

It is....*drumroll* absolutely amazing- i've been in vacuum nirvana since i got it! It's got a ten year warranty on a turbo powered motor (hubby was so excited, that we had a turbo something even if it was a vacuum cleaner! although he'd prefer the colt Version R turbo engine instead)
Its got an extra long electric cable which is a plus, it's light, it has fabulous stainless steel well thingees, it puts away nicely, it has a special head for parquet and tiles, and it's great with the carpet!

Only 2 things i thing can be improved, its wheels don't go over the electric cable easily. So if your wires get in the way of the vacuum, it takes a bit to get it to go over smoothly. And two, the handle isn't too ergonomically designed i think, my wrist tires quite quickly. But other than that it's FABULOUS!



getting to vung tau city

works taken me to vung tau city, vietnam. vung tau is near the southern tip of vietnam, about a 2.5 hour drive from ho chi minh. and its a resourt town. our hotel is just across from the beach, and my friend tells me that some of its beaches about 40 mins away from the city where work has taken us, is absolutely beautiful.

we had a bit of a scare upon arriving at ho chi minh airport. the hotel sent just one car, for 5 of us. And we had a whole lot of luggage, seeing that we were here for work, and when u conduct training for work- it means never travelling light. seriously, one car for 5 people? ridiculous!

hmm..vietnamese do tend to be quite small, so maybe 5 vietnamese in one car on a 2.5 hour journey would be ok, but not for us!

we had to wait, while the hotel worked it out. it took a whole hour for them to sort it out- got another taxi involved, and we were off. it was a long drive. and not very scenic. but i'm glad i'm here.

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Friday, August 14, 2009

happy me, celebrating with family!

last week, the gals asked- are you coming to the office on the 14th? seeing that my birthday is over the weekend, they were wondering if i'd take leave. i never ever take leave on my birthday. i'm not typical of most people who choose to take their birthday off.

i don't- cos to me, it's spending my birthday with family. i do spend most of my hours in the day with the people i work with. they're more than colleagues or friends, they're practically family to me.

i wouldn't have it any other way!

Thank you guys for the 2 Gs and 2Ls. Good times, Gossip, Laughter and Love. oh and of course for the occasional bitching! =)
my brand new Fifi Lapin Le Sport Sac bag!



it was a fabulous nite. the weather was cool. we came in pretty late, sat on the lawn, enjoyed the pre-concert music while we waited for the band to come on. i'm not big on concerts really. i've only been to 2 concerts (not including classical concerts) in my life before this one. never thought it was a big deal- i mean, isn't it just like listening to the CD but seeing the singers live? big deal i always thought- never worth the moolah!

the 1st concert i ever went to was a concert for KRU. lol. yes. KRU. the second was for My Chemical Romance- with the hubby (before he became the hubby of course). But when i heard KEANE was coming to Singapore, and hubby wanted to go, i said 'BUY' withouth a second thought! And boy i didn't regret it!

KEANE is the only band i've every really really been a fan off. Their first album- Hopes and Fears- was the album i spent the most time listening to. I had them to thank for getting me through 4 years of university. Their music was so soothing and calming that i had no problems going through my readings while their music played, almost merging with my subliminal. I fell asleep to KEANE in the NUS library while taking breaks, listening to them on the long bus ride on 165 to school everyday.

KEANE was also the band which played on my MP3 as i backpacked through the US with J.
When the music started, the memories came flooding back.

Somewhere only we know...J would be jealous that i was at KEANE's concert. In the arms of someone else.

It was a fabulous night. The vocals were fab and the music awesome.

And the sound technician dude was super cute!

I now get it. Why concerts are worth the money. =)


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

an early birthday celebration

the family got around tonight to celebrate my birthday, about a week early as dad had plans for next week, and anyways, i'd be busy with this mendaki club symposium which i'm moderating on saturday.

mom cooked, which is always great. she made chilli and black pepper crab! how many mom's do you know who can be bothered to do that for you? actually mom AND dad worked all morning, from shopping for the crabs, to cleaning them, killing them, steaming them before actually cooking em in the chilli and black pepper. definitely a labour of love.

and my sis-in-law baked a mean blueblerry tea-cake. Gorgeous. She got it absolutely perfect. She's turned out to be an amazing baker!

it was really nice, as usual, but there wasn't a kick. i think celebrating early is never as fun as celebrating on the day itself. i've saved the birthday cards for the actual day itself- so that it doesn't feel too empty. and best news today was that hubby said, he won't go fishing this weekend and spend it with me, especially cos i'm going to be flying to Ho Chi Minh the next day.


banana cupcakes with honey cinnamon frosting

thought's i'd break out the baking tins this weekend. decided to try this lovely looking recipe from my new favourite

decided to try baking some banana cupcakes with honey-cinnamon frosting. the recipe is really easy-peasy! a beginner could do it, but watch out, the cupcake recipe are for real banana lovers only. the cupcakes turned out pretty interesting- it's quite dense, with a healthy dose of bananas in them (i'll probably reduce the bananas when i try this again). It's almost like a moist banana-bread. If you're a banana lover, you'd just love these moist luscious cupcakes.

The frosting is really sweet, the recipe asked for just a bit of cinnamon. i love the flavour of cinnamon more than honey, so i loaded on more cinnamon to suit my own tastebuds. It turned out pretty good by accident really, as the bananas i used weren't actually suitable for baking- mom bought them for banana fritters. They were ripe, but not as sweet as other bananas, a little bit on the tart side. Which worked perfect for me, it balanced off the sweetness of the honey-cinnamon frosting.

All in all, i enjoyed it, i'd definitely try these again!


Monday, August 10, 2009

fresh bulgogi

had a lovely dinner yesterday with the in-laws to celebrate our august birthdays. hubby picked his favourite restaurant- fresh bulgogi at changi airport terminal 2. It's concept is similar to Seoul Garden- a korean bbq plus steamboat restaurant. Unlike Seoul Garden, it has higher quality meats and food prepared, and its served- not buffet style.

the girlfriends who are, in my mind, professional meat-grillers who often feast on wagyu and the like would scoff at this place. but if you're looking for decent halal options where you can feast on some diy grilling, this isn't too bad. the lamb was good, and i LOVE the lettuce wraps- just like in my fav korean dramas, having meat wrapped with chilli paste and garlic, in a lettuce is just fabulously refreshing and bring back lovely memories of my time in south korea! and the hot-pot isn't too bad. i really enjoyed the kimchi based soup- i should starting cooking kimchi soup again, it's been quite awhile.

if you're looking for something different, and a halal option- i think fresh bulgogi is worth a try!


Saturday, August 8, 2009

birthday month!

tis august!

august is a month of birthdays. there's MINE on the 15th! Yaay! and many others.

5th Aug- small bro in-law
8th Aug- ex-bfren Z
9th Aug- Singapore's
10th Aug- big bro in-law
10th Aug- colleague K
13th Aug- ex bfren A
15th Aug- MOI!!!! MOI!!!! MOI!!!!
15th Aug- cousin
15th Aug- ol pri school friend Heather
17th Aug- Willamira
27th Aug- hubby's aunt


pretty pressies below: one for big bro in-law and for 2 year old willa mira (it'll go in the mail to sydney on Monday)!

happy happy august!


gelatin at coffee club

sought shelter from this terrible heat and haze at coffee-club at siglap with the friends. i only had one thing on my mind- an ice-cold coffee. as hubby and i arrived before the friends, i ordered a iced-blackberry coffee.

seconds later, the manager came over and informed us that the coffee contained jelly which contained gelatin. i was obviously muslim to her, which was why she brought it up (i don't think they go up to all their patrons to inform them that there's gelatin only muslims) i didn't ask whether she knew whether it was animal based gelatin (often times from pigs) or vegetable based gelatin, but immediately changed my order.

when the girlfriend arrived, she ordered something else, and was later told that it contained gelatin too, and she too promptly changed her order. only difference between our experiences was that she wears a head-scarf, and therefore obviously muslim ( i suppose).

some thing similar happened to some of my abu dhabi friends. they wear the abayah, and were at raffles city, looking for food. they went to some restaurant, i can't recall which, that is not halal-certified, and the waiter told them that the place was not halal and they shouldn't eat there. my friends KNEW it wasn't halal and they were comfortable with that fact, and was comfortable eating just no pork no lard type stuff. but they were denied this freedom and choice to do that, feeling terribly scrutinised they went to BK instead.

it's not that it's a bad thing that the staff pointed this out. it can be good. it makes muslims feel assured that there are people out there to looking out for them (us). it's just that i like my anonymity- that i look a little chinese, filipino, thai, malay,cambodian and nepali. i don't like that people know what race or religion i am, just from looking at me. it's also why i'm reluctant to put on the headscarf, if i do- i'd be pigeon holed as a muslim girl. i just like my anonymity too much at this point of time to give it up.


geylang, si paku geylang, geylang!

had lovely love malay nasi padang lunch at haji maimunah at joo chiat with my supper kakis now turned brunch kakis (i think age is getting to us, i cant do supper any longer, no more late nights for moi!)

lunch was not too bad- had my siput sedut (escargots cooked in coconut curry). it was good, but not fantastic. it wasn't spicy enough for me. i like it really really spicy, but the kerabu taugeh was lovely, and the ikan bakar (grilled fish) was just gorgeous! With a side of with kicap manis (sweet soy sauce dip with onion and green chillis) mixed in and a squirt of fresh lime- heavenly.

we then, visited the newly renovated pasar geylang or geylang market. we walked the clean airy 2-storey building, with neat rows of stalls selling fresh produce, clothes and even a food centre on the 2nd floor. all i could think about the entire time, was how much i missed the dark, narrow passages of the old market, packed with makciks and pakciks shopping for groceries, with their pants or kain (long skirts) rollled up, skirting over the water logged floors.

actually, i was never fond of the market, always getting out of trips to geylang market with my mom, complaining it was too hot, busy and chaotic. and now, i wish it was still the same hot, busy, dark, dank, market that it was. before it was stripped of its character- now like any other wet market.

nostalgia- i always find it interesting, how we romanticize the old, even when we didn't quite really appreciate it when it was around.

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

working hard

it's been tough days at work. i really like my work- passionate about it, but sometimes when i feel too tired it really gets to me. i've been feeling pretty down lately as i've been under a lot of pressure.

sometimes i think that my losing the pregnancy may have been a good thing. sigh. its awful having thoughts like these, but i can't imagine being pregnant, with the fatigue and the nausea and having to work the way i'm working. i know, work is not everything. but there is work to be done, and if i'm not doing it, my team will have to bear the brunt of it. that's not fair to them either is it? we've decided to wait before we try for another baby, which is a good thing- as i don't think i'll be able to cope with a pregnancy right now.

but i'm blessed with a wonderful working environment with great colleagues. And the work means something to me.


luv me hubby

i've been having a tough time@ werk. been working long hours. i try to get in the office between 7am to 8am, and usually leave after 7pm. i have no energy to take the bus to work- last time i took the bus, i felt like crying cos the 40 min journey felt like forever and i felt i was wasting precious moments on the bus.

hubby starts work at about 11am, so i asked him whether i could drive to work, and he take the bus. Or if that wasn't acceptable, if he could send me to work.

bless his loving soul. he's rolled out of bed almost everyday as early as 6.30am just to drive me to work.

couldn't do this job without him.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

dean & deluca @ ion

visited ion yesterday with one thing in mind! DEAN AND DELUCA! Read somewhere that some gourmet supermarket was opening at ION orchard and bringing in Dean and Deluca. Found it 360 degree marketplace on the 5th floor and found the most besotted Dean and Deluca row of pretty jars.

First discovered by moi on Felicity the tv show starring Keri Russell and then mentioned in the Devil Wears Prada! i loved the stuff when in NYC, and was delighted that its now on our shelves in Singapore!

I know i sound very...jakun*...but i can't help it!

And they have waitrose products tooooooo! me in heaven!

* a malay term referring to a person who doesn't know something common


18 chefs

Someone brought me to check out a great cheap pasta place at fusionopolis at one north. She didn't realise that it was Eighteen Chefs, a restaurant with a great social vision of helping troubled youths integrate into society by giving them very handy job-skills.

Ordering system was complicated. One of those self-service, order on a chit type place. It was not foolproof, cos i mucked up my order. Wanted pasta, but got a chicken cutlet instead. It was good, and i was happy with the mistake. The staff were so sorry about the mistake- apologising profusely, although it was this goondoo(me) fault, rather than theirs.

Portions are huge, and the prices reasonable.

I'd definitely come again, to support this very honourable enterprise.