December 8, 2011

Do you have passion for Life?

If u had asked this question to me years back, I would have told you that I seriously do not know or understand the phrase “Passion for Life”. It is not a phrase that anyone will simply say or admit to. It’s a phrase that you tend to only ponder when you are at your darkest and desperate moments in life or when something really good happens.

Passion as defined is “boundless enthusiasm" and the artistic definition of Life is “the physical, mental, and spiritual experiences that constitute existence”. Which when put together spells out one need to appreciate what they have, how they notice, welcome and enjoy what is happening to them in their Life.

Life by its own is simple yet complex but it has its moments when at times unknown pleasant surprises are dusted upon us to give it a sudden sparkle. But most of the time, we bypass these seeming less sparkles as it loses its colour within the boundaries of our busy life. We are so materialistic and less appreciative of the simplest moments that we tend to ignore and call out to the far horizon hoping what you want comes to you. Sadly it doesn’t. We forget to optimize what we have now and enjoy the precious gifts of everything around us and thus the passion for life fades and dies.

We are so busy seeking passion in our lives in all the wrong places that we forget that they already exist in our lives. Being a normal ordinary person, I tend to ignore the small gifts in life and always look beyond for all those familiar wanting. Shame on me but hey, I am no saint either. But I have been my own enemy by forgoing on all those "might haves" and "could haves" opportunities. I have at times stupidly kept wanting special things to happen when they were already there but I was just too busy not to notice them and grab hold of the opportunities. But I am consciously starting to court Life’s precious moments, like the beautiful smile on my niece’s face, friends who are there when I truly need them, family’s love and support for me that never dies but keeps on multiplying and of course Life’s many challenges, opportunities and adventures.

So if you ask me now, I will say, Yes! I do have passion for Life and constantly seek to make it stronger each day. But being an ordinary person with more then ordinary desires, I do embarrassingly succumb to the daily chores and busy schedule that stops me to appreciate and hold on to the passion for my life.

November 8, 2011

Shopping for Christmas Presents!

Its that time of the year where you are busy writing down a huge Santa list to figure out who gets what. I normally start writing my list in the middle of Oct. I know, its early but hey, by the time I finish writing the list, it will be 2 weeks into November. You see, writing the list who I need to get Christmas Pressies are more of a challenge then getting a present for them. I have to make sure that I have got all, from family to friends and some extras, just in case I am invited to more then 1 Christmas Party and I need to bring present that is " not more than $10"....

Christmas Presents...Here are some tips that I have learnt from my past mistakes. Firstly, don't get T-shirts or Clothes unless its your best friend and you know his or her size exactly. Otherwise, why waste time sourcing a nice dress or tops only to see your friends get them exchanged cos they did not like the colour or they just couldn't fit or found your taste in fashion quiet unacceptable/comfortable. So stay away from clothing.

Secondly, avoid fragrances, unless you are 110% sure that that is what the person whom you are getting it for wanted. But again, its best to leave fragrances out of the Christmas Present List. Its simple, the smell that you most adore may not be someone else's favourite. Also, avoid those body bath, shampoo and all in one toiletries baskets. I remember a friend of mine got me this expensive toiletries basket from Paddington London. But she got them in Lavender & I don't like Lavender smell. Some how it sets off my migraine. I would have appreciated and used it with a grin of it was in Rose or Lily but not lavender. So I had to give it away as a Birthday present to another friend ( who does not have any association with the friend who gave it to me!), for sure I know she will love it cos she loves Lavender.

Finally, avoid giving the obvious, such as things that they like a lot. Obviously, they would already have it and probably someone else might be having the same thoughts of buying it for them. Unless its a designer collection, only 10 pieces in the world or something that you designed and had it made in what ever or which ever way that will be enjoyed by the person.

So what can you give? I learned that, being neutral and simple is the best, especially for friends. The harder I try and get them the blings or something fancy, they always exchange them for something they actually like. So I started investing in Gift Cards. Not only they are simple and they come in heaps of varieties, there is something for everyone. It also allows the person to go for after Christmas shopping and spoil themselves buying what they really wanted. There are ranges of Gift Cards for Spas, Mani & Pedi, Toys, Travel Vouchers, books, IT stuff, shoes, fashion, jewellery, dine & wine and many more. You can get spoilt for choices. Also, they come in affordable prices, as low as $20 - as high as $1000 or more. So basically the choice is yours. You can even buy them online and have them email the link to friends email ID. this is good especially if these Gift Cards/Vouchers can be used internationally. Thus, having to send Christmas Gifts to family & friends who are overseas can be a breeze.

I have a bunch of close girlfriends whom I see every year for Christmas. Since I was living in Sydney the past 6 years, the only time I was back home was for Christmas. So I always make it a point to meet up with my girlfriends and we dine & enjoy chatting. always we end up opening presents and squealing like little girls. As I am always busy having to buy last minute souvenirs for home and family friends, I hardly can buy gifts and fit them in my luggage, considering I am only allowed a maximum of 20kg luggage allowance. Thus, this gives me very little time to do any shopping back home as well. So, I became a Online Shopping Addict. Online shopping has pretty good ideas that can be bought and delivered to the address you wish. Also, it allows you to work within your budget.

Here are some products that I am considering purchasing online this year:

Handy cosmetic mirror with LED lights.

It is cheap and it is something that every gal wants to keep in her handbag to make sure she looks good all time all day long. You can get them from eBay, selective UK stores and at Alibaba. The good thing about this is, it comes in various colours, shapes, designs and even rhinestone crystal encrusted for that Diva look. It is prices between $15 - a lavish $45. 

The House of Fraser sells it for £ 22.00 that comes in animal prints as well. Check their website:

This is a neutral gift that can't go wrong.

The other gift that I am going to shop online is Jewellery Stand. I know my sister in laws, Aunts, even some of my girl friends have heaps of fashion jewellery that are cluttered in their jewellery boxes. I, myself often have to spend like 10 mins to rattle through my jewellery boxes to get the matching earrings and such. So this can be  a perfect neutral gift that can be a good ornament and user friendly as well.

There are so many different styles that you can choose from. Again, you can get them from eBay Australia, Amazon and many other online stores. 

adventurous type, why not get them a Contigo Sports Bottle w/ Key & Money Compartment ( It is selling for $30 (not inclusive of shipment). It is a drink bottle that acts as a key/money holder. Great for guys who loves to go to the Gym or rock climbing or trekking. 

For a guy who is neat freak or an organised person or who often forgets their stuff, why not get them this cute Doororganiser. All they have to do is drop in their phone, keys, car keys, pen, wallet and anything else they need to bring along to their work and hang it on their bedroom door knob. So before he dashes out, all he has  to do is, get all that stuff out and put it into his brief case or his pockets.

 Whats' more, they are not that big, so he can actually have it work as his in bag organiser as well. So he just takes them out of the door knob and puts it into his bag. It is priced at $27 ( shipment price not included).

So you see, for a guy, think of his personality and you can choose a good Christmas present for him.

Well, I am still sourcing out websites for more better & interesting ideas. And if I do come across any, I will post it in this blog.

As for the websites, please be aware that they are not dodgy, go for the ones that are specialised in online shopping or the ones that recommended by others or even the well known online stores like Harrods or David Jones and so on.. Always read the reviews of the products as it will give you rough idea of the seller, the shipment, the product and so on. I always trust eBay as it is globally recognised and it rates its seller. I always check their 1 year status and reviews before I decide on buying from them. Also, I always look out for the Return Policies. read the fine lines too.

So happy shopping online and have grand fun making others smile for this Christmas.


November 2, 2011

Make up and everything colourful =)

Hi all....

Hope October had been an awesome month. I can't believe that 2012 is just 2 months away! OMG! Where did the 10 months gone! Gasp!!! Well, at least for me, it had been a good year back in Singapore and been with the family. Hope it has been good for you in some ways.

Well today I thought I will write about make ups, colours, brushes and some beauty tips that has worked for me. For a starter, I don't wear make up everyday. It just clogs up my face and makes it drier. My daily regime for my skin is a good mild daily facial scrub. I like Ginvera marvel gel with green tea ( seen in the picture below.)

Ginvera Marvel Gel with green tea . It can be purchased from Guardian or Watson's Pharmacy in Singapore and pretty much available all over Singapore & Malaysia. I have heard that even London has this product in its chemist. What I like about this product is that, it is a mild facial gel scrub (no beads). Just gently rub it on a wet face in a circular motion and you will instantly see it remove the dead skin, which is whitish small rolled up thread like. You can feel your skin freshen up instantly. Research has shown that Green Tea has more powerful antioxidants properties than vitamins A, C and E. What it means is that this ingredient is great for anti-bacterial, astringent and anti-ageing as well as UV protection qualities. I totally love this product. I use it on alternate days and my skin never dries out.

After the gentle scrub I always apply moisturiser. It is important that you apply moisturiser to retain the suppleness and hydrate the skin. Although there are several available in the beauty world I have found one that works for me very well. My take on moisturiser is don't go for the branded ones or recommended ones. Use the one that best works for you. It may take awhile for you to select a particular moisturiser but it is worth it. I remember my mother giving me an Olay facial moisturiser for me to try when I was a teenage girl. It was super oily on my face and yet, since my mom gave it to me, I stayed on with it thinking that is the best available, only till I started to break up and needed an instant change. I have gone through many sample bottles of every kind of moisturisers available in the pharmacies. But finally I have settled for the Bio-essence Bird's Nest Nutri Collagen & Whitening Moisturiser (See Picture below).

 Just one pump of this moisturiser covers my face and neck. I love this. It is not oily and last long. As for any other benefits mentioned, like diminishing wrinkles and whitening the skin, well, I can't say it does diminish the wrinkles but I guess the suppleness of the facial skin and boosting of the collagen helps to slightly smoother wrinkles. As for whitening, products with whitening on it will make people whiter. Is it does, I guess 3/4 of the population in the world will be walking "whites"...LOL... But as for moisturising effect, this does a good job. I use this twice a day, once in the morning & night. I have T-zone oily face, so my cheeks are drier but this helps to even out my T-zone.

Apart from the above "musts" I also use Neutrogena Lip Balm to help smooth my often cracked lips. I never had cracked lips before I went to Australia. The winter there made my lips dry & cracked, which sometimes bleed. Since then I started using Neutrogena Lip Balm (Picture below) and it has helped. So since, I dab this on on my lips when ever I feel that my lips are getting drier.

 When I do go out, I do apply my mineral powder, mascara, maybe eyeliner and some lip gloss. I had tried this mineral powder sample sizes (free) from Everyday Minerals. It is a website that actually allows you to choose a set of 5 mineral make up, whether it is blusher, eye shadow or face powder. So I gave it a try and got myself a set of 5. Applied it and loved it. It came in a small 1g jars (See picture) that had a "Try Me" on it.

 To my surprise, It was wonderful. I have tried BYS Mineral face powder but some how this is the best. Just glides on smoothly and covers well, even without a corrector or concealer. Which I think is good, as my face can get a bit too sensitive if a dab on too many products on my face. Thus this Everyday Mineral face powder was great. I love it and the best part was, I can actually try a few shades to see which suits my skin tone best without having to spend on buying a few jars and mixing them up or having to buy lighter or darker shades to realise that they are not the right ones. With the sample sizes of the different shades, I was able to decide on the best two and now I am ready to order my full sized bottle. Furthermore, Everyday Minerals ships them fast and they do not force customers to buy extras that you may not need. Go and check out their website at and go crazy....

Mascara is always more then enough to transform a dull make up into a glamorous one without much fuss on adding on the eye shadows and so on. So, when ever I am heading for grocery shopping or to the library or for simple afternoon coffee catch ups, I just add a dash of my mascara and my eye lit up instantly. I always have Maybelline's Great Lash. It is truly great. It gives depth and volume to the lashes. When applied, it is more then enough. There is no need for eye liner as the lashes are well defined and opens up the eye. Adding a eye liner only makes the out look more Gothic, unless that is what you wish to achieve.

It is simple and easy to use, no clog ups or mess ups. Very black and gives an instant lift up for any dull looking eyes. The other mascara that I use is Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Lash Extending Treatment Mascara.

Well, I tried this by accident. When I was at the Sydney International Airport Departure DFS shopping, I was informed by the salesgirl that I had two options of Elizabeth Arden's Mascara or Lip Gloss to buy at $10! I was like, wow! $10. Sure, why not. So I ended buying both the items and I don't regret the buy. I love both of them. The Mascara is not thick and it is smooth. Defines the lashes and separates them to give a fuller definition to the lashes. It has a demure elegance when tried on.

As for the lip gloss, Elizabeth Arden High Shine Lip Gloss, I choose, Berrylico. It glides smoothly and does not give a heavy glossed up look.

There are many shades to it. It is not that expensive either, given that Revlon & Maybelline do sell their lip gloss for almost the same amount. So give it a try.

 The next item on my list is Body Shop's eyeliner.

I have been using this for the past 5 years and I am still very loyal to it. I always choose black, as that gives the right kind of definition to my eye. It is simple to use, the tip acts like a felt tip pen, so it is easy to glide on and dries moderately fast as well, so there is room for you to quickly dab out any unsightly mistakes with a Q tip. Although I want to try a gel eye liner, I would like to have some suggestions of any that you think is best and does not smudge.

 Apart from the above, I do at times love to give my face some colour. So I always end up using eye shadows from Lakme. It has a range of rich earthy tones, dramatic beautiful deep colour sets and soft palette as well.

The above palette is the Peacock coloured palette. I have the Dessert Rose (seen below).

I always use my finger tips to apply my eye shadow, which allows me to blend as much ( meaning darker/richer colour of the shade) or less (meaning, a lighter colour of the shade). It is definitely smoother and the quarto eye shadow palette gives a nice blend of all the shades together for the eyes without having to look as if you had dabbed on many shades onto one eye lid.....

So, there you go. My simple make up or facial regiment that I normally use.

 My advise is do not ever skip on moisturisers, even when you are at home. it prevents wrinkles and allows face to retain some form of hydration. Always chose a make up, brushes or products that you are comfortable with, not some one else cos, everyone is unique and thus, not all products works the same way for every individual. You have to definitely give a try to a few or many before deciding what is best for you. always go for samples. You can ask at the counters or even try getting samples from websites, blogs or articles that you read from magazines. they always have samples to spare and what more, you do not lose out.

Don't always go for the famous brands, although they do spend a lot of money on R&D to develop the best products, but there are a few out there which are featured in magazines and newspapers articles who use natural ingredients as a base ingredients for their products. These few have had their own share of problems with the common market brand goods and thus have spent R&D on how to eliminate theses problems and develop a saver product.

Last but not least, you do not have to stick with the same branded face care and facial products for yourself. you can mix & match the products individually that suits you best. For example, I use Ginvera, bio-essence, Neutrogena, Tea Tree Oil, Body Shop, Lakme and so on cos I found that selective individual products from these products works well for my skin and overall facial adaptation. So go for it and mix & match but be careful. Do it slowly, one item at a time. But beware, that, if you do have a very hyper sensitive skin, always consult a doctor and sample try on your arms before applying to your face.

 So that's all from me...take care..


September 28, 2011

Nail Art

Hello peeps...How have you been? Hope the new week has been treating you well...

Today I want to share with you everything (almost) on Nail Art. I was amazes when recently a friend of mine sent me a video of Nail Art. It is no longer a simple painted flowers or stickies that you just paste on your freshly coated nails!!!! It is way more than that and it is beautiful. Great minds have come up with using Nail as a canvas to express themselves. It can be in Bold colours like this

Or it can be elaborate such as this 

It even gets very complicated and artistic....

It is all up to your imagination and creation...!!!!

I am totally amazed at the artistic talent that are displayed by these individuals and after a further research, Nail Art is being considered as a Elective Subject as part of a Degree Course!!!!

Definitely it is not easy. It needs patience, good sense of colour combinations, quick and clean strokes, elegant and delicate use of Nail Art tools and a good creative imagination as well. There is a definite trend currently that is booming well in Korea and Japan. Youtube has many video clips of individuals who show of simple to complicated design. There are many books in teaching you simple steps on "How to" and giving tips as well.

I tried my hand at it. Well, not a natural artistic person, I realised, I will start of on a simple pattern. For a starter, my nails are not too long as seen in these pictures. There are many ways to lengthening your original nails. Several techniques have been developed (apart from having to grow one's nail) such as ,  Acrylic System which adds PH Bond to apply artificial nails to your own and look like natural nails. This definitely gives you a instant length to your current nails and they look nice too. But there had been several stories suggesting that the bonding glue can harm your own nails if the technique has not been applied well. It also depends on the types of glue and chemicals used by the Nail salons that can further damage your nails causing irreversible damaged nails which will never look the same again. I, for one, would not like to add these to lengthen my nails and so I took a couple of weeks to grow out my nails. I used the basic steps of buffering and filing to prep the nails for the final step.

Since this was a trial, I managed to scavenge cheap nail polish (although they turned out really good and nice) that were sole for Buy 2 and get 1 free for $5 at Sasa Singapore outlet at Nex Shopping Centre. But As I did not want my nails to turn yellowish as some nail polish does that to your nails, I decided to splurge on a good Top & Base Coat applicator. So I bought the Sally Hansen's Top & Base Coat applicator which cost me a whopping $21for 13ml bottle.

My attempt was not so bad for a first timer. I will upload pictures soon. I had  realised that for one to get lovely designs on their nails, they should have a steady hand, not shaky like mine. My flowers at times looked very nicely painted but most of my nails had this smudged flower looks. But I loved my teal coloured background on my nail. Being a medium chocolate honey skinned, teal was not so bad. I normally stick to the safe colours like dark red, maroon and pinkish tones. But this teal looked fresh and brightened up my hands.

Overall, this was a great experiment. I was less stressed and kind of enjoyed the whole artistic feel to it. But whether I will do it often?...ummm...Nah. I rather be pampered at the nail salon while I just relax. This takes a lot of patience and definitely a good drawing skill as well. But I may make my nails unique for special parties like Halloween, Dinner & Dance, special company functions and birthdays. Cos Salon provides limited varieties and they really don't care if you brought them a drawing for them to paint on your nails. So, Yup I will do this nail art for special occasions.

For those who are interested in YouTube videos, have a look at this by cutepolish - She has simple and beautiful designs that anyone can follow. She also shows a wonderful Nail art technique called water marbling. It is really cool.  Her latest angry bird is something I want to try next...

Enjoy unleashing your creativity and artistic side =)


September 22, 2011

Common Sense no more...

A lovely but a sad read...but reflects the reality that we live in...

An Obituary printed in the London Times: Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he ... was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: - Knowing when to come in out of the rain; - Why the early bird gets the worm; - Life isn't always fair; - and maybe it was my fault. Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge). His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition. Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion. Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault. Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement. Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason. He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers; I Know My Rights I Want It Now Someone Else Is To Blame I'm A Victim Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.

September 17, 2011

Life sayings.....

Today is Friday and definitely everyone is looking forward to a wonderful weekend...As usual, I came across some wonderful quotes and wanted to share them with you =)

Life is like a blanket too short. You pull it up and your toes rebel, you yank it down and shivers meander about your shoulder; but cheerful folks manage to draw their knees up and pass a very comfortable night. ~Marion Howard

Have a great weekend all,


September 16, 2011

Banana Bread

Hi all...with the week starting off a bit rocky and feeling so down, I needed a quick fix to this emotional turmoil. So I ended p baking Banana Bread. My favourite, especially if you were to toast a slice of Banana Bread , thinly spread with butter and have it with hot Mocha...Oh Yummy!...

have yet to try Jamie Oliver's Banana Bread. Will do that soon...

Have a look at this Youtube video clip for the ingredients. It is a fast quick recipe.

Enjoy =)


September 12, 2011

Monday Blues

So yet another Monday has arrived and I am feeling the blues way more then I should. Why? I have no idea and that's frustrating. The whole weekend was kinda of off for me. Nothing happened how I wanted it to be. Just felt tired, sloppy and way more accident prone. It was one of those weekends that everything felt completely not centred and I don't know why.

I just feel like curling up and doing nothing. Just want Monday to pass by. I don't think I can be any wiser or productive today. I just keeping doing things wrongly and I need to re-do them again. Sigh!!!!! Fly away Monday...take my blues with you too...


September 10, 2011

I read this n thot will share it with all....

To date to successfully and manage your relationships effectively, you must have a clear vision of yourself and others. One popular method to define that vision is to create a list of the qualities you want in a soul mate — a list that gives you a perfect guideline to use for your own self-inventory.

1. Values. You want someone you can believe in, someone you can trust. Can you count on him to do what he says? Can you trust her to do what’s right and always be there? What about you? These shared values form the basis of a lasting relationship.

2. Emotional health and maturity. To have a lasting relationship, it’s important for both people to be emotionally healthy and mature. Does he have a positive attitude? Does she like herself? What about you? When you and your mate are at peace with yourselves, you won’t need others to make you happy.

3. Financial responsibility. No, money can’t buy love, but you’d be amazed how much trouble financial irresponsibility can cause. Does his career provide a lifestyle you’re comfortable with? Does she handle her money wisely? What about you? Think about this one carefully.

4. Physical appearance and fitness. We all want someone to whom we’re physically attracted, and we want someone to be physically attracted in return. Does she take time to care for her appearance? Does he eat and exercise to stay fit? What about you? Remember that first impressions count!

5. Communication skills. Lasting partnerships depend on open communication that allows both people to share their thoughts, concerns and dreams. Is she assertive in communicating her thoughts? Does he shrink from confrontation? What about you? You want someone who’s willing to develop good listening and communication skills.

6. Confidence. Confident people radiate a glow that inevitably attracts us. Does he have strong self-esteem? Has she taken responsibility for her own life? Even the most tender of partners should bring strength to a relationship.

One of the quickest and surest ways to find your match is to become your own best friend and soul mate. Mirror, mirror on the wall… When the image clears, shouldn’t the reflection be yours?

I want to add on Forgiveness to the List as suggested by a friend. In a true relationship, forgiveness should be an ideal characteristics to adopt. Without forgiveness one starts to build bitterness towards the other and as years goes by, the relationship slowly and surely gets destroyed. So forgive and be happy but take the lesson learnt to develop a stronger and lasting loving relationship....

leave comments ....


Jamie Oliver Banana Bread


1 cup (115 grams) walnuts or pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped (optional)

1 3/4 cups (245 grams) all-purpose flour

3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar

1 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

3 ripe large bananas (approximately 1 pound or 454 grams), mashed well (about 1-1/2 cups)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Garnish: (Optional)

1 large banana, sliced or dried banana chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place oven rack to middle position. Butter and flour (or spray with a non stick vegetable/flour spray) the bottom and sides of loaf pan. Set aside.

Place the nuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Let cool and then chop coarsely.

In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nuts. Set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl combine the mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, lightly fold the wet ingredients (banana mixture) into the dry ingredients just until combined and the batter is thick and chunky. (The important thing is not to over mix the batter. You do not want it smooth. Over mixing the batter will yield tough, rubbery bread.) Scrape batter into prepared pan and place the slices of banana on top of the batter for garnish. Bake until bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 to 60 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool and then remove the bread from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature. This bread can be frozen.

September 9, 2011

Recipe Exchange Project - Irish Guinness Stew

Hi there everyone...How have you been? How was the week? I hope all was good despite a few low moments...

For today, I want to talk a bit about Recipe Exchange Project that was started by a few Uni friends. Well, after Uni, most of us started working and living away from college. This definitely inspired a few of us to explore the diverse array of delicious food. The smell, taste and texture inspired most of us. Overall, this Project that was just recently started has been a great source of rich and often tried recipes.

It is also a great way for me to keep in touch with friends in Australia & the US.

Here is one of the recipe that a dear friend of mine shared. Tried it out and it was awesome. I cooked mine with lamb cos I can't eat beef...

If u have a slow cooker, good, else your regular stove pan will do but have the flames on very low.

1kg of lean beef OR lamb chunks (tell butcher to cut for stewing)

2 Whole Onion cut into 6.

4-6 cloves of garlic

2 bay leaves

1 tin of Campbells select Harvest Tomato and Capsicum Herb Soup

3/4 cup of Guinness Stout (not the strong brew kind ah)

500-750ml beef OR chicken broth

4 carrots cut to desired length, not too small else will break...

4 Red skin potatoes, skin on but scrubbed, cut to quarters

2 tbsp plain flour

Olive oil for browning meat

Salt and course ground black pepper

Chopped parsley


Wash and clean the meat, pat dry and season with salt and pepper. Dust with plain flour nd brown in oilve oil on both sides, 5-8 mins. remove from pan.

In preheated crockpot or PAN stove pots, pour in the oil and brown bits. Add the oinions, garlic and bay leaves.

Add the meat.

Pour in the canned coup, stout and broth.

Top the cut carrot & potatoes.

Cover the crockpot, cooking time abt 10-12 hrs, on LOW! if on HIGH, half that time taken to cook.

Add salt to taste and peper too..

If stove pot, 4-5 hrs can I think..

Garnish with Parsley Serve with buttered rice or warm french loaf bread!

Enjoy =)

September 4, 2011

My 2cents worth...product & service review :-)

Hola everyone :-) Missed me? I sure did miss all of you....

I apologise for being MIA since April. I will update my life's happenings since then on the next post. Need to sort out the events...bear with me...But till then, I leave you to read this post. It will all be about my 2 cents worth of products and services that I have come across since the beginning of this year. So enjoy....

Disclaimer: I am an independent freelance reviewer. My review is based on the products & service that I had encountered. I am in no way writing this in anger or to defame anyone or any brand. Just a frank opinion/feedback.

Nail Palace  at AMKHub

In Februray 2011, I went to this Nail & Spa at AMKHub, called Nail Palace (

My 1st impression was the very bright pink décor that was glaring at me and how big and open the Nail Palace was. I was stood at the entrance for a staff to attend to me. Obviously, I must be transparent! I saw many of the staff chatting away, laughing and a few did glance at my direction.It took a staff to come by 5mins later to attend to me. I asked her the price for a simple pedicure and she said it will be $25. Wow! That's a great price as the prices elsewhere were $35-$45. I really needed this pedicure, so I agreed. I was ushered in. The place was quite empty. only about 5 patrons sitting. The staff kept looking out to the front while walking me down to my seat. Suddenly she excused herself and ran over (there were at least 6 other staff around doing nothing but chatting and applying make up to this old lady, who I think is the Boss Lady) to attend to a customer. I am assuming she is a regular there and the staff quickly brought her over and sat her down, while I was just standing right there!!!!

After chatting with her in Chinese, this staff turned around and without a blink of her eye or apologising, pointed to the seat which was like 4 feet away and asked me help myself to my seat. Nice...I was a bit upset by all this and I should have walked away for such rude service but I was enticed by the $25 offer so I clinched my anger and sat myself down.

It was a whole 5 mins before a staff came by to attend to me. She did a quick pedicure and said all done in less than 10mins!!!!! What? She said, if I wanted more, like scrub and nail paint, it is $45!!!! Gasp!!! Are you serious? I looked at her and said , this is insane. For the waiting time, I should be given the full service. No one told me that $25 means an express pedicure when the menu outside clearly states $15. So I told the staff I will pay the $15 as mentioned in the menu and she was not happy saying I agreed to the $25. I asked to speak with the manager and she said she is busy and pointed to the old lady who had like 6 staff attending to her face, hair and make up. I was very disgusted and told her that this was the worst experience ever. I insisted I pay $15 as indicated in the menu. I even asked her, why than state $15 for an express pedicure service? She called a senior staff and ranted in Chinese to her. She turned and said that the menu was outdated and it is $25.  So I told her if that was the case, I will have to bring this up to CASE ( Singapore's small claim and complaint on the services/products by unsatisfied customers) & mention their names & the place for deceiving a customer with an outdated menu. the senior staff showed some uneasiness. I paid the $25 and walked away before taking a snapshot of the menu and the place. The staff ran after me and apologised and gave me $10 back and asked me not to mention the incident to CASE. Well too bad,You lost a customer and I hope those reading this blog will take note.

Rating: 0.5 stars out of 5

Massage Today Spa @ Vivocity

On the other hand, I recently went to Massage Today Spa and was overwhelmed by the service. Here is the website :

ViVoCity Playcourt, #02-97, [Harbourfront MRT]  TEL:  6376 8158

They do have other outlets. Check their website.

It is a big place but kind of hard to find. I came across by accident. It is just opposite the Pasta Mania at VivoCity. First of all, this place does not look like a spa. It has this Chinese massage oil smell lingering from the entrance. It has large wide yellow menu stand and the display unit has heaps of colourful scented candles. I actually thought that this place was some Chinese prayer hall or something. The inside of this place is quite bear. the ceiling exposes the pipes. Staff have a mini kitchen to the end of the store which is clearly visible. There are 2 beds for massages and have this brown blankets thrown on them. there are only 2 huge chairs ( which are comfortable). There are a total of 4 staff who are very courteous and friendly. they do not sell packages to you. In stead they ask you what you want. Which is good as I hate packages.

They immediately start on my pedicure and they did a good job. My feet was baby soft and I felt so good after that. I also had a 30mins feet massage which was awesome. I totally felt at ease. There were several other customers coming by. some of them seem to be returning customers as they were greeted by their names. I also saw a few foreigners coming by and booking for a later appointment. So don't be deceived by the looks. This is a great place to have that wonderful pampering.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Margaret Cookies & Cupcakes

My next review is about food....Yay!

On my birthday a lovely friend sent me a surprise Birthday pressie... cupcakes favourites. I was overwhelmed and totally surprised. The packaging was a simple white box with a printed Birthday greetings.

The box had 12 cupcakes, large ones. 6 of them were Red Velvet with cream cheese toppings and the other 6 were chocolate cupcakes and with hazelnut cream topping. They were the most delicious and moist cupcakes that I had ever eaten. OMG! I think I had like 4 of them and my excuse was, it was my Birthday...LOL...

Everyone in my family loved it too.

I checked it out and found that they do not have a store. You have to call them 3 days in advance to place an order. They do home delivery and you have to email them to check how much that will cost you.

This is the website: or follow them on Facebook

This is a definitely something you should try.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Cupcakes by Crystal Jade Bakery

This is a bakery at Compasspoint @ Sengkang. They do have other outlets.

I love cupcakes and one day I was just craving for one. remembering seeing cupcakes at this bakery. I went purchase it. It was utter disappointment. The cupcake was very dry. So dry, that I almost choked on the cake when I was swallowing. The fondant icing on the cake just fell off when I bite onto it. It was hard as a cardboard. I couldn't eat the cupcakes after 2 mouthfuls. My whole throat felt dry and I kept drinking water after that. It was the worst cupcake I ever tasted. The cupcakes are sold for $1.50. 

Unless you like dried up cupcakes, I would actually not buy them again.

Rating: 0.5 stars out of 5

Swensons @ Plaza Singapura

I went there with my friend. I always liked Swensons @ Plaza Singapura, this was my 1st try since coming back from Sydney. It was an utter disappointment, both with Service and the food.

Service was bad. The restaurant was not fully occupied. My friend and I had to call out to a waiter who was just standing there and was trying hard not to look at us. Once we had got the attention of the staff, we managed to get a seat quickly. We ordered a Cesar's salad, a chicken curry baked rice for myself and a Crayfish Pasta for my friend. Waited like 20mins before being served. My friend got hers first and mine came like 10mins later. thank goodness for the Cesar's Salad, which was served in a huge bowl came in at the same time as my friend's order. I was very hungry by the time I got my food. It was piping hot so it took awhile longer to cool down.

My friend's pasta was stiff and dry. The crayfish had a funny feel to it. My friend told me that it was rubbery and she guesses that it might be they cooked it for too long. In addition, the inside of the crayfish was slightly cold. We assume they use frozen food and cooked in a hot pan. That was why the middle of the crayfish was kind of cold.

As for my baked rice, it was still grainy. After chewing on the rice, I can actually taste the grind powder like after taste. The curry was so so. Not that fantastic. 

My friend loves fries, so she ordered some. She was so disappointed. It was obvious these were frozen fries. They were soaked in oil and some of them were dry and powdery. tasted horrible. The manager passed by and asked if the food was ok. We did explain the flaws and she just smiled and said, that at times the food may not be up to par as they are busy to meet the orders. We were like, What!? Orders..there were only like 10 people in the whole restaurant at that time...if 10 was a huge number for them, think how bad the food will be if there were more than 10. We were there at off peak hours!!!

Cutleries needs serious overhaul. They had little cracks on them and scratches. The spoons & forks were not clean. they had little spots on them. The glasses were scratched and were not clean either.

Rating: 1 star out of 5

Swensons @ Sengkang

This Swenson outlet was direct opposite. The staff were friendly. Waiting time was less than 5mins before I and my niece got our seats. Staff took our orders immediately and even suggested kids meal for my niece. My niece's food was served in less than 10mins and the staff apologised for making us wait.  I guess they know that kids do not handle hunger as well as adults. My niece loved her kids menu. Mine came 5mins later and the fries were good. Even the mushroom omelette was delicious. Moist and the cheese in the mushroom was just nice. The atmosphere was great. Staff came by 10mins later to check if everything was alright. they even acknowledged my niece and asked her if she liked her lunch. I felt that was a good customer service, taking in all customers feedback regardless of their age. My niece being frank said that the hash-browns were too small and she ate it really quickly. the staff laughed and brought in another set of hash-browns  compliments from Swensons. My niece was beaming widely. I really thought that was a real nice gesture. I sat and completed the feedback form, praising the staff's initiative and good manner. We both left the place satisfied and very happy.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

So that's all folks. There are many more but I guess this enough for today. I hope you liked it. State your comments or your experience as well, so others can either enjoy the good service and products or they can be saved from a bad service/products.

take care and Love u all...


April 26, 2011

Happy Easter...

It amazes me how a long weekend can pass by so quickly. Before you realise that you are enjoying the good times with family and friends, it's ending...sadly, for many, long weekends are squeezed with so many activities, by the end of the holiday, everyone is tired .

For me, I love long weekends. It is the time where I can sit back, relax and enjoy some quiet fun moments. I love venturing out, but the excitement of any holiday only creeps in a day or 2 later. Why? Cos, to me, I need a good rest to actually enjoy a day out or a weekend out. So I normally start to off the evening before the long weekend to relax, enjoy a magazine read, good TV programs or a movie a nice dinner with the family. The next day is dedicated to finishing household chores that had been pending. Normally, it will be a day for laundry, sewing on torn hems or missing buttons, ironing, cleaning my room and so on. Not a happy scene but I rather have these done before my full enjoyment starts, than after I return from my holidays. The frustration sets in right after any holidays, cos you know that you have to either return to studies or work, which means little or no time for self indulgence. To add to this woe of frustrations, household chores is the last thing you want to finish. As such, I would rather do these mundane chores right before my holiday. Some how, the feeling of frustration is not there when I decide to do these before than after.

Once those has been done and set's fun truly starts. It can be a blissful one with just family or friends, heading out to bistros, cafes or restaurants to enjoy food, chat and laugh off the tiredness. Or it can be a day out to the nearest attractions, shows or musicals. I rather keep it simple. I love road trips, but not on every long weekends. It becomes less fun, something common after some time. I rather keep them for a longer holiday trip, well planned and truly enjoy it. On a shorter weekends,  I rather  like to take the time to catch up with family, friends or just with myself. Do my hair, manicure/pedicure ( I prefer pedi to mani...), a massage, window shopping, cafes, cakes and stuff like that. It makes me happy to just chill and enjoy things I like. Even at times, I stay home and enjoy a cup of coffee with my favourite music playing in the background and reading a gossip magazine or a good book. I never feel that the day has been wasted. It adds on to a simplistic enjoyment.

When I was in Sydney, I often take long walks to the beach, Coogee mainly, and sit at the cafe there enjoying the sound of the waves or bring along a small rug, set myself on a nice quite place on the beach, enjoy the people around me, enjoy the book, sand and the sea...awesome relaxation. I return back to work feeling refreshed and ready to go, unlike my fellow mates, who often complain they never had enough time to unwind themselves...that's cos they had squeezed in way too many activities within a 4 day weekend holiday...!!!

Well in Singapore, only Good Friday is a public Holiday and so the weekend was a 3 day weekend. I ended up catching up on DC Cupcakes, NCIS Season 7, went to Starbucks to get my Green Tea Frap and did some window shopping...simple but awesomely good...

So how was your long weekend ?...


April 12, 2011

Everything nice, Everything spice....

Do you ever wake up and start thinking how you would like the day to be? If you don't give it a try, it is really fun and you get to add some twists of excitement to the day.

What most of us do, is , we wake up and start off the day with the usual routine without giving much thought and how we would like to picture the day. Well I guess, it is because all of us has gotten accustomed to a set routine and don't see anything changing much except the weekends...but that is where we can be very wrong. Yes, we have work, the usual transport chaos, brekkie, lunch & dinner and finally sleep. But we can spice it up , with a bit of imagination. Don't get irritated when you start waiting for the overly late train/bus ride. Bring along your camera and click at what's going on around you, constructions, little kids playing around, the train tracks, beautiful sky, the sunshine, flowers and stuff like that. That will take your mind away from the frustrations and at the end of the day, you would have a beautiful album of what not that can really beautiful. Of cos if you are not a photography enthusiasts like me, than this suggestion may become a tat boring for some. Bring along a magazine than and catch up on hollywood gossips.Grab different falovoured coffee on the way each day. It will sweetly brighten up your days.

While at office, I would like to tidy up my desk a bit at the beginning of each day, and lay out the urgent to the non-urgent files. I love to have colourful post its to brighten up my tasks. Being a lecturer, this helps to elevate my mood for the day. I also have a sense of which tasks need to be completed urgently and so on. I always like to colour my desk calender according the important days of meeting, student consults, period of grading papers, seminars, conferences and so on. Yeah...boring stuff but when you have the passion and liking to something, you kind of look forward to that particular day to attend a seminar or conference or something....I like to add smiley faces in between, these are to remind me of having to catch up with friends for coffee. What happens is I have a few friends in other faculty. Due to the busy schedules, we hardly meet up. So I pen in some coffee dates with them. It will be a short one, probably 20 to 30 mins. Not much can be discussed so we end up just updating each other. But it still turns out well, you just had met a friend who you have not heard from or seen for some time. On days I have to have lunch on my own, I would take some time to check out some bakeries/cafes or eateries near my workplace and have a look at the menus. If there is something interesting, I will just head to that place and enjoy the food. It may be good or at times can be a disappointment, but I perk myself up by have bubble tea or grab a coffee of my choice back to work. At times, I will have  a back up place, a place that sells cupcakes, desserts or something small but has had good reviews. I will just pick it up. Being in Singapore, Taxi fares are not too expensive as in Sydney. So I will indulge in a small adventure and head out to places that I would have no time to on other days and still get back in time for my teaching.

Being a Psych reserach student/management lecturer, I have a weird habbit that is to observe people, even when I am having lunch. So I enjoy some quiet time, sitting at a cafe and observing people, the signals that they give to one another, the waiter/waitress, cashier and so on. I get happy and excited especially if I can associate with the behaviours!!!! This is what I do, but there are so many other things that you can do and link it back to what you like. Some like books, so bring along one and have a read of a chapter or a few pages.

I always keep grocery shopping and window shopping out of my work days. Why? Well, grocery shopping are chores and when you tend to squeeze in this in between dinner or coffee breaks, it only stresses you out and drains your emotion and energy level. So, unless it is urgent I keep it for the weekends. Studies have proven that all are extremely positive and have excellent mood for the weekend. So no matter what, even grocery shopping will become a fun chores. As for window, shopping, it is a great way for girls to relieve some stress, but we run out of time and end up back in the office only thinking about what we could have bought or seen. This actually stops us from being productive and makes us even more frustrated when things do not go our way...

When heading back home, I would like to look out the window and watch the scenes go by, shut off my brain cells and let it wander I reach home, a simple dinner is always the best unless I have the energy to cook myself a storm. .

Of course, all my days are not a wonderful and candied coloured...but I would say most of my days are lovely, cos I make it that way.

So go ahead and make your day a good one, add some spice to and everything will be nice =)


April 11, 2011


Omg! Has it been that long since I last updated this blog. Looks like it...

It has been 4 months since I had come to Singapore and I have settled in well. It has been great to be home and with my family, especially my chubby chub chubs, my niece & nephew. It is amazing how a kid and a toddler can entertain me all day long and I still yearn for them to repeat their silly tantrums and joyful pranks on me.

Home is good. It has a lot of changes. Starting with Singapore. The island that has approximately more than 4million people is still expanding! Amazing!!!! New building has cropped up and one of them is the height defying Marina Bay Sands. It is really awesome, especially at night. It looks amazing and sometimes makes me wonder, can designs and architectures get any weirder in Singapore. Although the design is clean and has sophistication written all over it, it does challenge the notion of gravity and balance with a huge ship like roof deck...You have to see it to be amazed! I have yet to travel all the way up, which is a good  55-storey high!!!! It is called the Sands Skypark that is a 1 hectare sky terrace on the roof which  houses the world's longest  elevated swimming pool along with a museum, restaurants, nightclubs and a garden as well. I will go by there, once I have gotten over the height phobia! Seriously, 55 story high!!! Wow!!! But my friends and family who had been there said that it is truly amazing looking down upon the whole island!!!...okie, challenge is accepted and I shall, within the next few months give it a go.

The other interesting discovery is the Singapore Universal Studios. Yes! Finally after years of hearing that it will be "coming soon" has finally arrived. Will be going there for my birthday and I can't wait to absorb everything fun there. Although the ticket prices are a tact too expensive for me, I wish the government would have subsidised for the citizens. But yeah, it will be a one time trip for me and my family.

Tried out a lot of food, which is a distinct hobby of most Singaporeans. The food is heavenly delicious. Starbucks are still my favourite hang out place. With free Wi-Fi, I could be sitting there for hours and most of the time don't realise that the afternoon has passed by. Super love the green tea versions of latte and frap. I am drafting out the places and food that I ate and will be posting them soon.

Apart from exploring the food, new ventures and shopping galores, I had been mostly occupied in catching up with my family who I had been away from the past 6 years with occasional holidays. It has definitely been a super awesome time to be with them and feel the support & love from all of them.

I had also be painstakingly been applying for jobs and the pain of being rejected can only be described as " Why am I NOT good enough?" but followed by a few successful interviews with one job offer , I was like " Finally, they realise how truly I am a great asset to the Education sector in Singapore"...haahaa...But truly, I feel really grateful for being offered a job, especially one where I have the most passion to give my full potentials. I can't wait to start as I still have a few more formalities that I had to adhere to before being accepted by Kaplan. So till, than, my mom has been the most inspiring and supportive. Always letting me know that I am the best and the best will be there for me when the time is right. Dad as usual, casual and makes life a breeze by putting a smile on my face with his true but silly jokes and humours of life's disappointments....

So there u go, my brief selective updates of what's been happening around me...

May you all have a good Monday,