Saturday, May 29, 2010

Wedding Band 1

This isn't just ANY Yamaha acoustic piano. It's a grand piano! My friend for the morning.
Stuck my phone in to take a random shot of the insides.
Shot from the back of the stage, while waiting for the church hall to be filled.
The piano's mine for today! But ok, it wasn't really in perfect tune. I was suppose to wear a longer dress befitting of a wedding pianist playing in a presbyterian church but my original dress was pulling wardrobe malfunctions on me. So it had to be changed at the 11th hour. meh.
The Wedding Band-ers. :)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Jed and I

Was reading my newspaper when this Jed came and lay down on it. I don't know why he does nonsense things like this. So, i fell asleep on the floor as well, holding my pet dog's paw on my palm. It's such a peaceful feeling. :)
I've got nothing to say.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

In recent snaps... (part 2)

Movie night with the folks. Mum had fried some rice at home and we tapao-ed it. We were eating dinner in the car, in the car parking lot. It was delicious and spontaneously fun.
The rice looks a little pale but trust me, it was tasty yum. Diced assorted fishcake, chilli padi, beansprouts, soy sauce and rice.
My attention was caught by these beautiful flowers growing along the outer perimeter of a particular JC. Lovely!
Lovely view from the corridor at sunset... And yeah, the white dot is the moon. :) I love sunsets.
This was taken from my seat at a malay-muslim coffeeshop at Tampines. It's adjacent to the Tampines Round Market. It was a bright, hot, beautiful blue sky-ed day. We were there having brunch after sending my sister off at the airport. I had delicious rendang, chilli veg, and some other stuff i cannot remember but it was lip smackingly good. And i also had that gorgeous teh halia. Milky and sweet but it didn't overpower the tea and ginger taste.
This was the nutella crepe cake at Everything with Fries. Very unique... But something was just missing in it. It was chewy, at room temperature, and just mildly flavoured (bland...?) with the supposed nutella. It didn't taste as exciting as it looked in the glass display.
My mains from Everything with Fries. The fries were nice (freshly cooked and piping hot, tasty), coleslaw was cool and crisp and tasty and the burger was good too. This was the kid's meal because i knew that this was all i could manage. The burger is tiny, as u can see. But i was stuffed after the meal.
Was at Tanjong Pagar food centre with 2 classmates and this was our dessert after dinner. I decided to create my own dessert so i asked for "durian ice". The aunty gave me a funny face and said that she has never made that before, so i said "i'll just have your ice jelly but with durian topping". I could see that when she set to work, she was exercising her brain's creative centre as she made my dessert... It was yummy. :)
Was roaming Novena Square after my practicum one day and stopped by this salad bar for dinner. I ordered this Indian salad wrap, which was good. Healthy ingredients, yet satisfying and tasty to boot.
Jed giving me an ultra cute dipped-nose-eyes-looking-slightly-up expression.
Another cute pose, cuddling on my bed, blanket and pillow.
Shot taken at Kovan, near a friend's house. The expanse of wide, uninterrupted sky and the wide road was really refreshing. I felt like i was standing in some sort of strange combi between urban land and countryside.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Baked eggplant with tomato sauce and cheese.

In not wanting to waste the eggplants sitting in the fridge, i decided to try making that baked eggplant with tomato and cheese dish that i had once at this Italian restaurant, Amici. I remember falling in love with the dish and wanting to try making it on my own. So, here you go... Another one of my cooking adventures again.
Above: Spagetti sauce ready made by mom. I'm defrosting it here. Sorry guys, don't have the recipes for this... Though i know it consists of fresh tomatoes, garlic, onions, and herbs.
Above: My eggplants, olive oil.
Above: Leftover cheese, mozzarella and cheddar.
Above: One of my favourite ingredients.
Above: Mixed herbs.
Above: Random bottle of wine. I have NO idea what this is or its significance.
Above: Jed knows what to do whenever i open the fridge. When he sees me open the door, he would automatically lower his head so that the door can pass over his head. But when he saw me grab the camera for a shot, he scrambled to get up and away... Haha, i think he thought that i was going to use flash, which he does not like.
Above: All sliced up, mixed in the olive oil, oil from sundried tomatoes and the whatever-wine.
Above: Some other wine.
Above: Playing around with the depth of field.


Above: Into the oven to bake and soften. They took forever to do so.

Above: Whenever i checked on the eggplants in the oven, i would feel a sharp pain on my neck. It was because the metal from my necklace was heating up and burning my skin. :( HAHA. Had to take it off cos it was THAT painful.
Above: After the eggplants got cooked, i buanged in the sauce. But later realized that the eggplants were still hard, chewy and tasteless. So i let the mixture simmer in the oven for a longer time till it passed the taste test.
Above: The final touch. Cheese and herbs (see above).
Done!
The End.
My baked dishes always look the same hor. Cheese on top all the time.

Yesterday was our 4th year and 8 month anniversary... It's almost 5 years since we've gotten together. But if i were to hazard a guess, just for fun, of the amount of time that we've ACTUALLY been in each other's physical presence, i think it would only come up to... 2 1/2 to 3 years? HAHA. Mostly because we're both quite busy in this phase of our lives. Busy-ness usually ISN'T and SHOULDN'T be a reason to explain away the lack of time spent with your partner. But, we've been REALLY busy.

I guess we're both independent individuals who also enjoy our space and own activities, but of course each other's company as well. There is a comfort in being both apart and together. Perhaps that is easier to say and do for now since we've not started living under one roof. But still, we are who we are and we are perfectly fine without clinging to one another.

I've learnt though, that being TOO involved in your own life has its pitfalls because that sidelines the other person and s/he may be prone to wander... in whatever ways you can think of. It is never good to take the other person's presence for granted. So Gem and i do keep the smses going, though not all that often, but at least one sms conversation a day. Or a call.

There's been a lot of "wedding talk" around me recently. Friends talking about getting married soon and friends talking about the things i should do in prep for my own wedding... Not that he has proposed anyhow. hurhur. I can't wait to be at my friends' weddings, i don't mind being a jiemei over and over if they don't mind the supposed "inauspicious" aura around that. :P

Thursday, May 20, 2010

video

Heh. This is Jed poking his nose around my Loef and BonitoChico stash that arrived today. After the postman (whom he could not bark at because i buanged him in a room while i peacefully collected my registered mail) left, Jed made a beeline for my goods. He poked, scratched, sniffed, licked, and even ripped off... Oops, he wasn't chewing my "letter", i meant, envelope.

In recent snaps... (part 1)

Lunch at Tony Romas with family and friends. :) With a (heavensent) $100 voucher. Happiness.

My french onion soup, the MUST ORDER for me since i was a kid. Sadly, the standard of the soup has dropped DRASTICALLY since the heydays when Tony Romas first opened. The soup bowl used to be filled to the max with soup, and there would be huge chunk of bread immersed and soaked with soup just below like a mountain of chewy cheese that would engulf the whole of the top of the bowl, with cheese sliding down the sides. Now? Erk. I really don't know HOW it got to this level and why no one in the management seems to be keeping tabs on the quality. But still, it's the only place i know that serves french onion soup this way (soup with bread and cheese). Let me know if you've tried better! Mountain of fried onions with a special sauce (cos i cannot remember the name, only remember it being nice), and the standard potato skins with sour cream. Lovely. More pictures below.
Did i mention that i've attempted to make potato skins? In my opinion, they turned out awesome. ;) i think u might be able to find photos of it on this blog, somewhere.
Fried onions: Quite a tasty dish as you chew slowly to get the taste of onions and the batter out, not too salty, unexpectedly huge. Goes well with the sauce, but oily of course.
Ah hah! And the baby back ribs.
Salad. By the way, i had an AWESOME moroccan salad at California Pizza Kitchen some sundays ago (also had a voucher, thank God). Mm... Yum. But no pictures of it, oh well.
The End
***
My attempt to create hot foam on top of my sunday earl grey tea.
After having tea with hot foam on top at a cafeteria, i was hankering after tea with foam one sunday morning. Having no machine, i sought the all knowing Google to help me find people crazy enough to think up of ways to do this without a machine. So i did! One person suggested that you take a glass bottle with a cap, fill it with the desired amount of COLD milk (skim or full cream does make a difference to the outcome, apparently). Cover the bottle and shake madly for 45 seconds. After which, buang it into the microwave for a few seconds to warm the milk just enough such that the glass is not too hot to handle. Pour milk into your cup of tea. Well. This was the outcome. Pass or fail, i dunno. But i was happy to have some semblance of foam la. Hur.

Jed doing a Cleopatra.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

One main gripe about dresses from blogshops is that they tend to be a little short for me! Ragh.
I wish they would make office dresses at least a decent 33"-35" long, as it makes a world of difference. Casual dresses could also be at 33" at least... 31"-32" is just... TOO SHORT. Woah lao eh, cannot sit down without having to make sure i cover my butt before my behind hits the chair. *growl*

There are times when i have to wear my black running tights underneath the dress to preserve my modesty. Guess not everyone is my height lah. But even then, i'm not even that tall. I stand pretty average at 1.59m.

Ah, another gripe is that the clothes can be on the small side, though they are the exceptions of course. Most times, you see free size clothes, or clothes that fit XS to M sizes. The measurements for PTP (armpit to armpit distance when you lay your garment flat) is usually 13"-16" as the minimum (though i've seen 12". Mad.), and usually can stretch to 16"-18". However, you need to be aware that not all fabrics (like SATIN!) are as stretchable as fabrics like cotton, so you may have a hard time fitting into a top or dress of such materials. For example, I may be able to fit into a cotton top with a PTP of 13" to 16", but i may not be able to do so for a satin top. (Thankfully, Tracyeinny has been merciful in this area... but the stuff are a little pricey.)

Which also means... there's no way that i can happily eat, not exercise and put on weight during the lifespan of my current stash of online goodies otherwise, i won't be able to fit anything anymore. HAHA.

Think i'll feedback to the sellers about the length of dresses (which i have more of an issue with) if there's some kinda feedback system.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

EDIT: Note that released collections on Jipaban is usually smaller than releases on the retailers' blogshop itself.

Dear girls (esp. diehard online shoppers),

You will love me for this. Go to http://www.jipaban.com.sg/ (if you already knew about it... WHY NEH TELL ME?! HAHA.)

It is a treasure trove of online goodies... They've collated a whole bunch of online stores for your perusal. It certainly WIDENED my list of favourite stores now!

At Jipaban, you can create your filter (eg. price range, types of items you want to see, whether the shop is rated or not), create your own "mall" with your shortlisted group of favourite online stores. You will be updated on new items put up by the sellers, you can create a wishlist of items, share your items (that you are eyeing) with your friends to see what they think, make purchases... Woah. I kena stunned liao by this creation of some really clever person(s).

Yours truly,
Joline-the-online-shopper-because-shopping-outside-is-too-expensive-for-me

PS: hang on tight to your purse strings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

After what a certain leader did, i feel quite shortchanged, doubted and discouraged. I don't know for sure why it was done of course, but it sure makes me feel 2nd class by the sheer action that the deed was done.

Honestly, i can face up to difficult truths and i prefer it that way. Yet, I don't want to make myself improve just so that i have to prove myself to anyone. I only have Father God to be accountable to. But still. If only such choices made by others didn't have to elicit such emotions.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

I happened to glance at the stack of GNC Fish Oil capsules that my folks have stocked up on and decided to try one just for fun. So i shook out a lovely yellow softgel pill and supposedly washed it down with some tap water... Well, supposedly. The dang thing took like 10 minutes to fully make its descent down my throat into my stomach. HAHA. Felt it slowly centimetering its way down via peristalsis despite my efforts at making it go down faster with my morning earl grey tea. Felt so constipated in my throat! Kinda like a smaller scale of the feeling you get when you've swallowed a hardboiled egg too quickly and the contents are so stuck that you just have to not panic, just breathe slowly and let it go down without gagging.

Recently, i've given up on my Dr Brandt eye cream. It does nothing for me even after using it religiously... and it has the nerve to make my eyes feel puffy and heavy after applying it during the day! Bah. So i decided to give Aesop's parsley seed anti-oxidant eye cream a try. Well, i like it so far and my eye bags do look slightly better (i'll elaborate on this later). Ok, SLIGHTLY. Aesop does not promise to do things that it cannot do like some other brands, which i respect so much.

By the way girls, i'm currently trying this little regimen out. I've done just a bit of reading on the internet and decided to do (in Gem's words) a little "science experiment".

Project ZapDarkEyeCircles (NOT eye bags... cos they're still there)

Before i sleep, i warm up an eye pack and place it over my eyes for as long as i feel is necessary. This supposedly causes the blood capillaries to dilate and increase blood flow. Well yeah, when i looked into the mirror, i was horrified to see my undereyes so red. So that worked. I'm dilating the capillaries to help decongest/detoxify the eye area later...

After which, i used a small loofah/brush to gently "dry brush" my neck and eye area. I cannot really demo how i did it here, or describe it. It's something i learnt at a workshop that i attended with my mom and am willing to try out. Click on the link to read about it!

When i'm done, i put on another eye pack but this time, a cold/cool one over my eyes. This causes the capillaries to constrict again and lessen the redness from the previous increased blood circulation. When i'm happy/eye pack has warmed up/when i've fallen asleep and woken up with a start at 4am to find the tv still on and the "cool" eye pack warmed up from my body heat (this is usually the case), then i'll smooth on some of the Aesop eye cream. And then, i hit the sack.

In the morning... I am PLEASED to find that my eye bags aren't as red anymore!

So, i'm not sure if the improvement is from the cream, or the massage or both. So, i guess i'll know in time to come. Whatever it is, i'm going to continue with this regimen since it works for me and also well, by the end of the day, my eyes feel tired again and will need some TLC.

Oh, and something i found rather amusing from the Aesop eye cream packaging. I was expecting your usual factual tips you get from health and beauty products:

"Aesop Eye-giene (hurhur) Tips

- The skin around your eyes is the second thinnest on your body. Always smooth product in, never rub. (sounds normal enough)
- The eye area has very few sebum producing glands so is prone to dryness. Hydrate regularly.
- Sleep derivation is evidenced under the eyes. Treat yourself to an early night at least once a week (HAHAHA. Boy, do they know how busy people are nowadays around the globe!)
- Wearing UV protective sunglasses in summer (in Sg, it's all the time, baby) helps prevent squinting, an unnecessary strain for the eye area.
(and lastly... the one that took me by surprise)
- Avoid excessive tears by only watching movies with happy endings."

Ah, the packaging writers have a sense of humour, no? :)
I think that's the kind of attitude i want to have in life. Throw in a little humour, we don't have to be so prim, proper and serious all the time!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Last night, dinner was a simple yet satisfying affair with V and Y. I had 6-8 pieces of sushi, shared 2 desserts and had milk tea. I used to be able to exercise control over my food portions to curb the dreaded IBS bloatedness but as usual and lately... i've been stuffing myself silly and regretting it later. I know (both in stomach and mind) that i'm full, but my mental hunger isn't satiated at the same rate as my stomach. Ah well, but i think i've stumbled upon something really helpful for bloatedness...

Was feeling quite bloated (i think the milk tea did it man...) from the overeating and while waiting for the girls, i popped this pill called "Dandelion Complex" from Vitahealth (free from my Cozycot card goodie bag sign up).

I'm not sure what exactly did the trick, but i felt the warmth from the peppermint (an ingredient in the pill) go down into my stomach and in a matter of minutes, i felt the bloatedness lessen somewhat. I'm not sure if all this was a placebo, or whether it was the peppermint or the whole pill itself, but i really did feel slightly better. Shall try it again when i have the chance. Darn, but it would mean i would need to feel bloated again some time. Bah.

Anyway, here's what the pill bottle label states:

"Rich fatty meals and overeating (!!!) tend to cause digestive discomfort. VitaHealth Dandelion Complex is a unique formulation that combines Dandelion, Artichoke, Ginger and 3 other herbs to:

- Help maintain healthy digestion system
- Support liver health
- Promote healthy fat digestion"

Under ingredients, it says it contains: Dandelion, Burdock, Ginger, Artichoke, Peppermint, Capsicum.

Will update again if there's anything notable.

Update!
I just googled "peppermint + digestion" and WOAH LA... --> "(...) A number of studies support the use of peppermint for indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome... (...) A number of studies have shown that enteric-coated peppermint capsules can help treat symptoms of IBS, such as pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea. (University of Maryland, Medical Centre)

"Peppermint aids digestion by helping to prevent cramping of the smooth muscles lining the intestine. Studies have shown that peppermint can significantly reduce symptoms of gastrointestinal upset, and may even help prevent the formation of stomach ulcers. Peppermint tea has been used to treat colic, heartburn, indigestion, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)." (extract from http://www.vitaminstuff.com/herbs-peppermint.html)

***

Loving every moment of my self imposed break... (when i should be doing my disseration research. Hm...)

Went shopping (for me, it's mostly window shopping) with the 2 girls and I realized that there's no real point for me to go shopping because most things (clothes) cost $30+ and above, which i'm not really willing to pay UNLESS i REALLY like the item a lot. So, i just revert back to shopping online where it's definitely more kind to my student pocket. Haha, ah well. But still, i love looking at clothes, touching and feeling the fabrics and experimenting with what would look nice on me. After all these years, i'm still trying to understand my body better.

Plucked some guts to wear out my beachy looking wedges today, this pair of shoes that i bought a couple of years ago from Bata but never wore out till today. Must say that i kinda like how it looks when i wear it but i need to learn how to walk less like an ungainly ogre... Had to consciously tell myself to walk with my legs closer to one another and not stomp around so much!

Think i might go back for that basic Zara tank top ($19.90). It has a lovely cut, and it's made from a very comfy material. Stretchy, dreamily soft and silky, and thick.

Ok, time for bed.