Ee Ni Mi Ni My Ni Mo

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

You can be anything you want to be, have anything you desire, accomplish anything you set out to accomplish -- if you will hold to that desire with singleness of purpose.

Robert Collier

As judgment day draws near, I'm sure many students are faced with the impending decision. The all important choice of one's career path. We will be made to choose between a practical career that will make us rich but unhappy and a fantasy career that will fulfill your heart but not your wallet.

We live in light-speed computation but in this fast-paced society, we still are plagued with mundane choices. Stiff, Rote, Boring, Repressive. Those are some criticisms of the Singapore education. Sad but true. The arts, music or any form of creativity are often nipped in the bud as soon as a child decides that it could develop into a professional career. The arts is deemed as 'useless' subjects which have limited financial prospects. Idealism is useless becoz it can't put food on the table and in life. The pragmatists always win. However, being stuck in a job that you hate is an awful hate. I'd like to say never to compromise on your dreams coz without passion, you will never succeed at whatever it is that you do. You've gotto ask yourself if your passion will sustain. Be honest now. However, does this pragmatic society really condone such thoughts? Not unless your parents are rich or you are motivated enough i guess? Motivation is of utmost importance in a job. It will inspire you to get up in the morning. Trust me, that's no easy task! I know money is a big motivation for me, thus find your motivation and try not to compare with others else you'd never be satisfied. Easier said than done i hear? True.

To some, making money isn't the only way to success, but it's certainly a useful barometer of whether one is successful in his/ her career and it's especially crucial with our unhealthy dependency ratio. I used to be really passionate in the Arts too. I think I have a natural affinity and flair but there was a lack of confidence and support. Well thank goodness I stuck to something I am familiar to. My dreams did not dissipate. It's just shelved. To me, the Arts can be pursued on the side. I'm now slowly returning to my earlier passions. I hesitated a whole lot before deciding to give up my 9-5 job. A very glam industry no less but I listened to my gut instinct. Great satisfaction comes from living the life you choose for yourself and seeing it pay off. Sure, my dreams have yet to be fulfilled. Each time when I get trapped in a votex of comparison, I have to lower my bar once more. I still have a strong desire to succeed in whatever I do. Been hoping someone could give me the 'right' answers rather than exploring and finding. But, i gathered, we all have to arrive at an answer indipendently. Bill Gates taught himself computer programming at an early age in high school. So I guess, nothing is impossible if you really want to make it work. Whatever you do, make sure you don't live a life of regret but be clear that whatever you choose, you'll have to make things happen and make things work. It's all within your control. You can make things happen if your willpower is strong enough!

I believe that we are solely responsible for our choices, we have to accept the consequences of every deed, word and thought throughout our lifetime

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

PS: Above post inspired after meeting ex-student K...hope that after reading this you feel more surreal? :)

You better watch out!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world!

The past few days have been really exciting. Beginning with catching up with an old friend M and I (who returned from London after such a long while). It's heartening to see that M's daughter has grown so much and that she's now preg with her second one! My affinity with little C grew when she warmed up a bit.
Look at that angelic face! As pretty as mommy. Sure to be the belle of the school when she's older. Already, she has loads of "boyfriends" in her neighbourhood. Who can resist her charm?

I really love Christmas and all the typical traditions. Ever since our visit to the States in 2007 when our dear friend N brought us to his dear friend's house for a party, I've been embracing such a tradition. I love parties with family(ok, not so actually) and friends. I love the celebrations the food, the carols and the presents!
Pressies galore from dear students. Every year (after our honeymoon days), sweetie and I 'wholeheartedly' and 'mutually' agree that we don't need to buy each other presents. Each year, he doesn't fail to surprise me! This year isn't an exception.
Invited an army of friends (17pax) over for a Christmas party. It's really enjoyable to see everyone gather and have fun. It's even more heartening to see my culinary skills appreciated. The process however didn't come easy. Grocery shopping started on the eve. After cleaning our house and a siesta which dragged till 9pm, sweetie and I went for dinner and grocery shopping at NTUC Bedok as it is now operating 24hours. Was disappointed when I learnt that the seafood and ham section was closed at 930pm. Then what's the point of being 24hours? I might as well visit 7-11 convenience store for my canned food or snack fixes! Hopped over to Seng Siong. It's array of food is far superior. At least you could still find a live fish swimming in the tank at 10pm! Was ecstatic when I found aluminium trays worth only 55cents. Well, to be honest, I was having mixed feelings. Overwhelmed with frustrations as well as joy. Frustrated becoz earlier when I visited at Value shop at Potong Pasir, I bought similar trays for 99cents, thinking that they were a steal! A joy coz I didn't buy enough and found cheaper ones at Seng Siong!

Xmas morning was spent at the wet market. Spent only 15mins and got all that was needed. This was followed by the washing and cleaning of foodstuff. Peeling of 1kg of prawns and skinning 1kg of squid is absolutely torturous! After lunch, I stood all the way to prep for the great Xmas party. Started actual cooking at approximately 330pm and was still frying when guests arrived at 630pm! It wasn't coz I was inefficient! Simply becoz i was multitasking! Was trying to be innovative with my food thus prep work took a long while! Fortunately D came over early and helped skew the bacon to the scallop and the asparagus with enoki mushrooms. Sweetie was also a dime (only a dime coz he went to the range in the afternoon for some golf!). He helped make the pumpkin mash. There's a strange madness in the Christmas air. It's as if something's pumping through the air that makes people grumpy. Instructed sweetie to do stuff, but after one task, he forgets the other. All in a span of 15mins! Memory of an elephant!
Halfway through prep work, we decided to chill over some drinks. Give the chef a booze to calm her nerves!
I know I'm big on recycling, but this is getting ridiculous! Found my 2008 placecards in the storeroom!

The spread was finally served at 7pm. The menu:
  • Scallop bacon wrap
  • Butterhead with Crab and apple salad
  • Potebello Mushroom with ham and cheese
  • Asparagus wrapped with enoki mushroom

  • Hickory Honey baked Ribs
  • Crockpot Mid Wings
  • Pork Chops with cranberry sauce (Took almost half an hour to fry the chops..Need a bigger non-stick wok!)
  • Satay (sponsored)
  • Sirloin Rolls (these were painstakingly rolled onto lemongrass. Marinated it with a special sauce which I concorted. Inspired by a certain recipe from Morton's)
  • Salt and Pepper Squid
  • Garlic Prawns (a flop in my opinion as the garlic didn't turn out golden brown this time. Very disappointed as this is one of my specialties!)
  • Pumpkin Mash Potato
  • Butter Rice

  • Tiramisu made by C. Always like a guy who can bake! Think it's sexy!

Christmas is a season for indulgence. It's a way of justifying self-damaging excesses of food and alcohol. So to make my menu less sinful, I figured we need something light and refreshing. Couldn't find French Endives at the supermarkets thus had to make do with butterheads. Works just fine. Several found it refreshing. It's a nice blend with all the meats.

Binge drinking all in the name of joy, giving, happiness, generosity and love! haha
We welcomed guests to a cup of Nespresso. All who drank fell in love with it. My little coffee corner's looking adorable!!

Leftovers-- some wings and butter rice. We did good. Managed to finish 99%. Sweetie's mash potato was unfortunately thrown away as it was simply too much. Sigh...think my baby shouldn't make anything for nxt yr's Xmas...

'I' brought along her party gear and I had fun acting like a dumb blonde! haha

Games Galore! This year I've assigned Lieutenant Ang to be in charge of games. He proved his worth. everyone was entertained! However, the most actively participated one has to be gambling! Chinese New Year came early! aha

Chrstimas always throws us into disarray. Fortunately this time round we have the wkend to recuperate! Today feels like Sunday, but it's consoling to know that it's only Saturday thus I can afford to blog.

Love, peace and joy came down on earth this Christmas day to make you happy and cheerful. May Christmas spread cheer in your lives,
May joy and happiness snow on you,
May the bells jingle for you and
May Santa Claus be extra nice to you.

Hibernation not

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Didn't realise that a wk had passed since my last entry. No, i'm not in hibernation mode. Wish I were, but rather, I've been up to my neck with requests as everyone's back from their hols. Sometimes I feel I'm at their beck-and-call. Been trying to make use of every morsel of time as we draw to a closure to 2009. I must say I did pretty good. To redeem myself for not being disciplined enough to write and read (*yawn*....can't seem to get that '3pgs and I'm asleep' bug out of me), here's some great snaps:

Met up with H and E for lunch at Verve Bar & Bistro nestled along Lock Road sometime back. E's going to Spain whilst school's starting for me, thus we'd better catch up! I recall being kindof stranded at that place once upon a time when I was made to deliver smth on behalf of the hotel i was working for. Sux big time. Chauffeured there in a limo but had to find my way back myself. It's pretty desserted and I had to walk out a long path b4 i hit the main road. It didn't help with the sun disappearing down the horizon and the skies turning purple.

So much for bad memories. They should be shelved or better yet incinerated! Food at Verve was pretty good. The crab linguini we had however tasted a little weird. Can't quite spell out what's wrong with it, but it's not really to my liking. The whole meal (Shared by the way)was a tat too heavy for lunch. Fortunately it was a day off for me! weeee..can't imagine having to work after such a sinful meal! Wanted to go DRX for facial. Had outstanding credit which I needed to utilise before a certain date, however, they claimed to be fully booked on a monday! ridiculous! To magnify the whole issue, the package I bought in 2006 was not supposed to have an expiry date. Was drawn to that condition thus I purchased albeit the cost and my usual principle of not purchasing packages. Wrote in to encash the remaining credit, but was rejected! GOSH! Am so not used to rejections!!! So, by hook or by crook, I have to go get my face washed by them!

Was so drawn to Lock Road that I brought sweetie to Villa Bali on a date. As if we haven't got enough of Bali. Well, it's true! Good things are never enough! Ambiance was really good and relaxing, but BEWARE OF MOZZIES! Loved the little huts they have, but it's a little inconvenient should u be wearing a skirt. To replicate our Bali trip, I ordered a Balinese platter. It's so much better than the authentic Balinese food we had in Bali lor!!! Perhaps they are being tweaked so as to cater to local palates. The sambal squid and prawns were however not warm. They had my favourite mini "mantou" aka buns to neutralise the spiciness. Kindof weird coz mantous are typically served with Chilli crab. Dessert was good. My favourite -- Mango Sticky Rice! Heavenly!

Met up with H again. Rather impromptu this time. Did some last minute Christmas shopping at Tampines One (my 2nd visit) and had dinner at Marche-like Japanese restaurant called Manpuku. Interesting concept. With several Japanese stalls under one roof, one is spoilt for choice. The decor's really cool too. Suggested to H that we should go Japan! We should seriously consider when my pocket gets a little deeper. Food was a little disappointing. not warm. Perhaps coz we didn't collect our food on time.

This wkend has got to be one of my most productive wkends. Woke up bright and early on Saturday (ok, not too bright actually) and lay out all the Xmas pressies for my kids. Spent almost 2hours wrapping! Unbelievable. Had leftover handmade (BY Yours truly) cards and decided to give each kid each. I can already see the delight plastered on their little faces. Saw the price tags on those cards and was pretty proud of my little achievement. I single-handedly (ok, sweetie did help a bit) cut out each card and sold them in stores! They don't come cheap, yet people gave me the recognition! felt really good considering that the project started less than 2 mths b4 Christmas. Typically, retailers start work 3-6mths in advance! reaped a small sum but didn't pursue in the following xmas as it was too labour intensive. Nevertheless, if anyone wants to buy/ consign, please contact me at I guarantee you will not find an exact design in the market. At least for now!

Mom 'forced' me to have dinner with her today, claiming that it's been a long while since we had dinner together. Well, i supposed she's jealous that i packed a good meal for dad the other day whilst she was out! haha....Nevertheless, I did feel a sense of obligation as an only child plus sweetie indeed hasn't been meeting expectations as a son-in-law who would visit at least once a mth. You'd be lucky if he pops by once every 6 mths! I don't blame him. Look at the mess (above pic). I don't understand how can anyone be so messy and untidy?! How can anyone live in such a pigsty?! I know I've ranted time and again, but the situation seems to be deteriorating each time I'm back. Just 2 wks ago I was there, painstakingly folding her clean laundry and placing it on the sofa (she doesn't like me to pack it into her cupboard. Claims that I'll mess things if I can do any worse!). 2 wks later when I'm back, the clothes are still there, only messier! Why? She's treating it like a bloody walk in closet! Someone plssss tell me why is she like that? Each time i reproach her, she'd get all touchy and emo and tell me how hard she has to work day and night. That she has 101 housework to deal with. FYI, she doesn't cook! Have told her repeatedly that if it's that tough, stop the shop. It's not giving good income. In fact, I believe it's a breakeven or worse yet, a losing situation. However, she's as stuborn as a mule. Even Dad's complaining coz he has to pay for all the stock she buys!

A good meal to reward myself on a busy Sunday. Highly recommended! Two Chefs Eating Place at Commonwealth Crescent Blk 116. had a slight trouble looking for the place as Mom was buzzing out directions as if she knew the place damn well! Just because she spent her childhood across the street, she thinks she knows it by the back of her hand and thinks that after so many years, the place is still the same! URGH! Due to her incessant rantings and "trying-to-be-smart" buzzings, we missed a turn! I kept saying we should turn, but she said no no no, it's further up. As such, my voice was masked by hers and sweetie missed the turn. Only after that did she say " you should have turned there!"....We moved on and said there's probably another entrance. Indeed there was. Again, she had to say "see, i told u it's not there..i told u that you should enter by here!"..wah lau! SHUT UP!

On a totally different note, a far more palattable one, the Butter pork ribs are to die for! The golden mushroom beancurd's portion was pathetic! We basically had a piece each and that was it! The Mayonaise Prawn balls were an interesting delight. They topped it off with some pork floss. Soup of the day was herbal chicken soup which is only available on wkends. On normal occasions, Dad would not drink/ eat anything which has herbs. But, it's a clear soup without the strong herbal taste and dad kept coming back for more. However, the highlight had to be the Drunken cockles! Easy to make, yet everyone was giving the thumbs up! So much food for only $59! A note to take -- IT"S DAMN CROWDED!!!! but their turnover's pretty fast though! Within minutes of being seated, our first dish arrived! Impressed. Rating: 4.5/5

My Alter Ego

Monday, December 14, 2009

The heavens had turned gold with the rays of the morning sun. Golden fingers of sunlight smite through my window. In the cold morning air, I shivered like a drenched cat in the rain. It's times like these when you wish you can forever curl up into a ball under those cosy sheets. The past few mornings have been great. Opening my eyes and cuddling up to my love one. Each time the morning dawned frosty and bright. Didn't need to switch on the fan at times. Wish such weather conditions can continue to prevail in tropical Singapore.

The past few days had been good. Long wkend! :) I can certainly get used to this, but sadly, as the year comes to a closure, so does my leisure. Well, I'll try to absorb the festive mood rather than to wallow in sorrow. In fact, I'm tryin to steel myself for more action in the coming year. This hols had been pretty productive so far. Had fruitful undertakings over the weekend.

Always had a penchant for the Arts. Regretted heeding mum's advice not to be enrolled in the Art Elective Program when I was younger. Not everyone was given such recognition n chance. Unfortunately, she denied my opportunity. I used to satisfy my thirst for art by painting the sunset or trying my hands at knitting, (which failed terribly due to my lack of patience) during my school hols. This time, my alter ego surfaced int he form of cushions. Probably inspired by my Mac, I've paid much attention to its keypad, thus the recent flow of creativity.

My living room suddenly took on a more artsy look with my new handmade cushions! I pride myself for them! Now, the sofa's my absolute favourite spot for chillaxing! Can't wait for the coming wkend (it's only the beginning of hte wk and I'm thinking of wkends...tsk tsk) when I'll be lying on my coach and the caressing breeze would cast a spell on me, rendering me helpless and bringing me to myy Sunday siesta.
Adore the little blackboard to the max! Cute much? (Condemn me for the usage of the word "much"...seems like the latest slang for most teens. Such grammatical error should not be condoned!) Sweetie is heartened (or at least I'd like to think he is) by my efforts in decorating his little coffee corner.

Speaking of talent and the Arts, Kseniya Simonova is someone not to be missed. She is a Ukrainian artist who had just won Ukraine's version of "America's Got Talent". With a mix of dramatic music and a light box and loads of imagination, she placed her sand painting skills to good use. oh, by the way, she's not only talented, she's a Chio BABE!

Amazing Sand Drawing @ Yahoo! Video

The clement, glorious day is now setting into a nest of purple clouds. Wish it didn't had to end......

Pride and Prejudice

Pride is gleaming for Singapore at the 25th South East Asian Games. We are currently ranked third on the board and are definitely in the running for more Gold medals. Typically, I wouldn't be all that interested or enthralled, but this time, a familiar face caught my eye!
Nigel Lim Swee Hon! We were once upon a time acquainted (still vaguely are for that matter), in the same prefectorial group and studying in the same school! Gosh! Didn't know you shot with such bull's eye and shot yourself to fame! PROUD OF YA!

The shooting team made it four golds from their squad as they added another one today from the three yesterday. Nigel Lim, Poh Lip Meng and Gai Bin teamed up to win the Men’s 10m Air Pistol team final, while Lip Meng claimed the silver medal in the individual event.


As Crafty as a fox

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Green fingers are people who are good at fingers is when you are freezing or sick, so what do you call someone who is good at craft work? hmmm....

We bought our Macbook at least a month back now, but I haven't really played with it. Sweetie was randomly checking out its functions and realise a really cool thing we could do with it! A MONTAGE! We simply imported our wedding photos and Viola! A wedding montage! Showed this off to a few brides-to-be friends and they were pleasantly impressed! We could perhaps save some money and some professionals may well be out of job! haha

With a little more time at hand this hols, I decided to embark on some "simple" projects. Managed to drag sweetie to Spotlight @ Plaza Singapura Mall on Saturday. Was supposed to visit botanic gardens to check out GA kid's Xmas tree but unfortunately it rained. Sigh.....

Inspired by a certain designer online, I made these coasters from scratch. Neat isn't it? Sweetie said perhaps I could make and sell! haha...perhaps perhaps...afterall, that designer is selling his for USD24 for 6 coasters!
Some time back I blogged about an adorable couple who seem to be a physical mismatch at first sight but as time goes by, they seem to be the perfect jigsaw pieces. Well, this adorable couple is finally walking the red carpet after years of courtship. Coordinating and preparing for a wedding is no easy task. In order to save a few moolahs, Miss Bride-to-be bought this dainty pair of heels for a mere $50 and added bling blings to it to give it that expensive touch! I adore blings and have always been an advocate of DIY! However it was no easy task. X was told that she must use a blue flame to heat each crystal so that the glue underneath would melt. Then, she must attach it to the shoe and hold it for a few seconds. The gems were so tiny that even using a pair of tweezers didn't help much! According to the salesman, it should take her half an hour to don these blings onto her shoes, but she must have spent hours painstakingly attaching each crystal onto the strap. Finally, I suggested a simpler alternative -- GLUE LA!! hahaha..

A first hand prelude to the happy couple's wedding pics.....The bride is STUNNING! The groom's a lucky man! :)

Love makes a lot of things possible. Still, getting married is probably one of the most important decisions a woman can ever make in her life. It certainly takes courage to finally decide your man is the right one for you and to share the rest of your life with him.

Whether you're having a fairytale princess wedding or a simple wedding, I wish you the greatest happiness and a blessed married life ever!

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.

-- Germaine Greer

Christmas Preparations & Men @ Work

Christmas! A word filled with anticipation for children, a word full of memories for grownups. Was in the festive mood just the other day and decided to be crafty. This white mini tree has been with me for the last 18 years! OMG!

A little homework for my little one but a HUGE project for myself! Decided to do up an advent calendar for N. Essentially to count down to Xmas, there's a riddle to decipher each day. The first alphabet of the word of the day will join together to form a Xmas wish at the end of 25 days. It was insanely tedious to be cutting and pasting onto foam paper to create that 3D look. Somehow, I get overly engrossed with such stuff.

Xmas is not here yet, but someone's already delirious with joy! Sweetie ordered himself so many Nespresso capsules, he can bury himself with them! what about my Xmas present? hehe

Rewinding a little.............Men @ Work. My boys decided to whip up dinner last wkend and I have no part in it, only to EAT! Yeah! For once I'm being "pampered". There's something alluring about men cooking. I think it's simply sexy!

Look at the tantalizing feast! The mash potato sweetie made was particularly tasty!
Big bro is eyeing on the food, wondering when is dinner gonna start!
FINALLY! Everybody tucking into their food!

Inspired by their enthusiasm, I felt like trying out some new recipes too. This month's issue of Simply Her came with a free Xmas recipe book. The pictures looked so good, i simply had the urge to cook. Cook I did, but with little success. Apart from the veg and soup which will never go wrong and are not part of the Xmas recipes, the cereal pork chop (cooked using simply a toaster) is a tat too salty. probably due to the garlic salt I've added. The lemon cheese prawns actually tasted nice, except that it was a tedious chore to be placing sandwich cheese (I should have used grated mozzarella cheese instead) on it and ensuring that it is in place in the midst of cooking in the toaster. Perhaps I'm not used to using a toaster to cook, thus the flop. However, i'm truly impressed with this new way of cooking. Less oil and less washing!

Am having mixed feelings about Xmas. On the one hand, I'm looking forward to our yearly party with friends and am already racking my brains over the menu (totally excited but clueless), but on the other hand, with Xmas coming, it spells a new year which implies the start of my hectic schedule. Shouldn't be complaining in times like these, but am still probably suffering from Bali hangover! That's right, I should focus on positive thoughts. The sense of excitement, dripping excess of adrenaline. It just wipes your brain out of negative thoughts, summoning what you may call insanity!

Screaming surreptitiously

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Letting out a silent scream surreptitiously. I feel so small, tiny, puny, minute, minuscule......If you google his name, he's top on the list, holding top position in an MNC. Shows what a high flyer he is. Recently blissfully married to an attractive babe, he used to be the one whom Mom would compare me to. More recently, I learnt that he bought a property at a luxurious precinct of Singapore . We used to "compete" academically though deep down I know he's in a totally different category. The brain just ticks in a different way. I guess my left brain isn't keeping up with his despite Mother's incessant naggings. Over the years, we've grown apart. Reminisce the days when we were in the car and yr mom would be testing you idioms or vocabulary every 5 minutes! Perhaps if mom were to adopt such teaching methods, I would have turned out differently. I would probably not be lamenting and dwelling in my own tiny world. But, there's only admiration and new-found respect for this relative! *salute* Though hardly any interaction, he is like a shining beacon in an unfathomable abyss of darkness.

As a guru once said: If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things. EASIER SAID THAN DONE! But indeed, little is needed to make a happy life; it's all within yourself, in your way of thinking. A happy life is one spent in learning (which I did as proven by the DISTINCTION i've attained this year....can't help being overly ecstatic abt it coz it's been a while since such productivity is displayed), earning (wish I can say more abt that, but unfortunately, the economic downturn has hit even me) and yearning (I'm yearning for more day by day!!!)