Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sunday Afternoons; Eat Clean & Sleep

Ion Orchard; Toss & Turn
1. BFF and i finally managed to find time to meet yesterday. after over-eating more rubbish than i should last week, both of us decided to eat clean and boost our vegetable intake. had a very good salad at Toss & Turn with friendly and (relatively) patient staff. the plum sesame sauce was fantastic and the portion was appropriate.

2.  i have been rather sleep deprived trying to adjust to work schedule and juggling managing the dance workshop Facebook page. i was so tired i slept through my alarms today and missed service. 

3. my weigh-in this morning was at 46.5kg which came as a shock because i thought i'd have put on weight over the two weeks of work. (yknow, sitting in the office and all). but i didn't!! thankfully. that means i can start baking. lol

4. i was browsing my newsfeed on Facebook and came across this article about being good enough. it said something that made a lot of sense. "you will never look good enough for someone who doesn't love you." - food for thought maybe.

5. it's less than a week to the start of the dance workshop - my baby project and i am really excited. if you don't know yet. this is what i've been working on and this is a one-girl-show project, at least on the Singapore side, together with tons of love and support from my friends and family(:

6. i can't believe i'm saying this but i actually rather like my job. and for someone who has been eternally afraid of hating what i eventually would do, or being a slave to my career, this is rather significant to me. liking my job (or at least not hating it) - ranks rather high in my priority list. almost daily, i feel pangs of gratitude and awe that i'm right there at that desk, in the team. i am absolutely convinced that it was a divine intervention and God's plan (recalling my almost disastrous interview).

7. i am mega proud of myself to have started and finished my Sunday Afternoons post WITHIN Sunday. definitely improving, and definitely getting better at finishing tasks within the day. it must be all that training from work. ^^' anyhow, it's gonna be another awesome week and i'm really excited!!! (: may your week be as exciting as mine (alternatively you could find things to be excited about!!)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Sunday Afternoons; Work

1. i started my first week of work and it has been really interesting. i still constantly feel blessed at how everything just fell in place and how amazing God has been in really showing me what He has in store for my life. how everything really comes together for good for His glory. it really is still a little inconceivable and as much uncertainty as there may be, i have to constantly remind myself to ground myself in the right places.

2 of the most important boys in my life 

2. i spent the last two nights relaxing and chilling with friends. we hung out till almost 4 in the morning and i'm beginning to feel that i'm really too old for this. but i'm living while i am. if that makes any sense at all.

3. the dance workshop that i have been working on has also been falling in place. miraculously. all that hard work over the past few months. i honestly don't think i can put a price on how much i had spent, time, money, effort into what i believe is of so much value. what i see as a passion and something i genuinely enjoy doing. (yes, despite the stress, tears and sleepless nights.) i fully believe in this project, this workshop, and most of all, my teacher. and i also really appreciate all the support i've been getting from friends and family and everything that i have been learning. (:

4. this week i wondered about freedom.
i guess it really boils down to what you want to do in your life. i'm afraid of forgetting and i would say it one more time, that we only have that few 20-something years of our lives. what is it that we want to do in these years? where do we want to invest this limited amount of time? where do you want to put your energy, heart, soul and ultimately life? perhaps i'm afraid of losing these few years. of getting old. of no longer being a 20-something. yes. age is just a number. i want to be young at heart, all my life.

5. i'm excited to bake! after i repay my sleep debt (that i collected over the past couple nights), i really have to get myself back and make myself some breakfast! i really love how close my office is - i'm pretty sure i can heat something at home, bring it to work and still have it hot. time to dig up some Fall recipes and have some Apple Pie or Apple-something. excited!!

6. i know i'm late in writing Sunday Afternoons, (it's a Monday night now), but i'm improving! i have been EXTREMELY busy the past week with work and work after work (handling workshop issues). it's like i work 24/7. but i'm glad to say that i do feel rather fulfilled. (:

7. i finally caught up with the past episode of Dad! Where are we going?. i was so busy that i stopped a quarter into the episode and left it there for almost a week. it's an extremely heartwarming and meaningful reality show that i think everyone should watch!

8. it's the end of the long weekend~ work tomorrow so i shall sleep earl(ier)! have a blessed week ahead everyone! <3

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Sunday Afternoons; Haze

1. Petal is our cat and this is her latest hangout. before anyone judges her name, let me say that she was found in a bed of flowers which was why the people who found her named her Petal. anyhow, she is a cat with a supermodel figure (long body man) and she lazily says hi to our neighbours who passes the corridor. ^^' a cat's gotta do what a cat's gotta do.

2. my friend Abigail is currently in Channel U's Project Superstar and i filmed this as part of her special feature. basically she declared to the world that i was her 最爱的人. LOL ^^' we filmed this at Bishan Park and it was an extremely good day with an overzealous sun. when the footage was aired i had tons of people texting me commenting on my Chinese, my hair etc. and i kept getting screenshots of me talking. WHO LOOKS GLAM TALKING -.-. anyway it was pretty fun despite the fact that the wind that day didn't seem to agree with my hair. Project Superstar is still airing every Monday at 8PM. download ToggleNow to vote for Abigail!! *^^*

3. i had wanted to update after making some Strawberry Swirl Cream Cheese Pound Cake but the
haze has been rather bad and i've developed somewhat of a dry cough from last night. i didn't even go to church because i was kept awake by this mysterious lump in my throat and only managed to fall asleep at 3AM.

4. i recently launched a project that i started on my own a couple of months ago. i'm bringing in an ex-YG dancer who was my dance instructor in Korea. (omg i have typed this so many times that i am just ._. ) but yes. she is a fantastic dancer and i had really wanted to bring her in because i felt that people who were into K-POP or dance or things like that would really appreciate the opportunity to learn from someone who have performed professionally in the industry.

organising this wasn't, and isn't easy. and saying that is the official opening of floodgates to come. i literally one-girl-showed everything from plane tickets, accommodation, studio, Facebook page, marketing and (almost) all promotional materials. through this experience (so far) i have really learnt so much. so so so much. and i've also experienced so much support that my friends and family have given me. i question myself and ask if this is the right thing to do. it had honestly started out simply because i wanted to help her, as a friend or a student. no thoughts of profits, no thoughts of business. and then, it just happened. so this is what i have been doing these days. spending the lasts of my days before work starts next week planning, marketing, promoting, photoshopping, selling. it's extremely draining and i found myself at a breaking point yesterday. but then again, it might be the drugs i'm on. anti-inflammatories has a tendency to make me depressed. it might also be because i had been staying home for some days trying to recover so that i can tutor my PSLE kid tomorrow without the fear of spreading any germs to her.

but yes. i have been learning a lot from this one project that i have single-handedly created, crafted, planned and eventually execute. i don't think i regret it.

5. i signed my contract yesterday, and i'd be starting work next week. a little short notice but i'm glad and am thankful that i had the buffer of about a month or so and that i really have been trying to make the best of everyday, going out with friends and spending time with people who are important because that's when time is meaningful. spending time alone is certainly meaningful as well but if you spend time alone everyday it starts to lose its value. which is why i had abi come out with me today and we had lunch together after which i'm spending some work time at Starbucks in Bugis, working and editing on more posters for publicity purposes, doing more arranging and planning and promotion. at least i feel slightly more sane than i was yesterday when i perpetually felt like i was rotting at home. waiting for abi to be done with shopping~

6. i am also taking this opportunity to really move closer to God and believing that all things work for His good. it isn't easy, isn't easy at all. but i'm starting to do my quiet time once again in a bid stop my mind from running at night and to help me sleep better. despite the cough syrup and flu pills, i am still having some trouble falling asleep.

7. i know it's already Wednesday and i'm like 3 days overdue. but i really have been rather busy and sick and trying to get well and somehow, i get stuck ever so often while typing this. but everything is made for man and not man for it right? we must learn to be flexible!!! hahahahaha. ok sorry. i will try to be on time more often.

meanwhile, i hope everyone's having a great week AND PLEASE SIGN UP FOR THE WORKSHOP if you're interested! means a lot to me. <3

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sunday Afternoons; Hong Kong

View from Discovery Bay
Breakfast at Australia Dairy Company

i had missed last week's Sunday Afternoon because i was in Hong Kong! but i really do have tons to talk about so i think i'd be able to make up for it some time this week with another post.

On the Airport Express; Luggage and I
1. i made a spontaneous decision to join my parents in HK on Friday and booked my ticket on Friday evening for the flight the next day at 730AM. it was probably one of the most YOLO things i've done. and then i had to stay up to 2 in the morning trying to pack everything. ^^' i had only an hour to sleep before i had to get up and leave with my parents. we were booked on different flights about half hour away so i left with them. well, to cut the long story short, it turned out that in my excitement of being YOLO, i had booked my flight a day later instead of Saturday. absolutely fail moment and a lesson that i will definitely remember for a long long time. i tried to get it changed but there were no more seats left for the morning flights for the rest of the day, so i headed home, alone, with a luggage, on the train.

i was absolutely devastated. i got home to a very comforting brother who just laughed at me and told me that such nonsense happens and i shouldn't feel too bad about it. exhausted, i went back to sleep, only waking up to make lunch for my brother and i. after which my parents decided at 1pm that i should take the 3pm flight. so basically i was processing the change 2 hours before the flight, at home. then i got ready and my brother rushed me to the airport. i landed at about 7pm and took awhile to change some currency (yes i had no currency hahahaha) and buy an Octopus card out of the airport. made my way to Mongkok via the train and met my parents at the foot of Langham Place - where we were staying.

the following days were spent with my brother's gf's family and meeting friends residing in HK. eating, eating and EATING. and being fed up with the pre-mid-autumn weekend crowd. oh, and swimming in the really beautiful Langham Place's pool.

2. i made some awesome strawberry jam two days ago and it was mad easy. i'll be posting about it probably some time this week when i find the time to take some shots.

3. i came across this post on Compatibility and Chemistry in Relationships and find it to be extremely interesting and quite a theoretical way of analysing a relationship. pretty relevant i would say.

4. i love that Fall is closing in on us. i know we stay in Singapore and everyone says that we are summer all year round. that is true. but i think it is also undeniable that it does get cooler towards the end of the year and summer Summer in June is truly one of the hottest times of the year. signs of Fall in Singapore include the increased frequency in rainfall, wind and a slight drop in temperature. i actually do change my wardrobe according to season - there are some clothes that are really more Fall-Wintery while some are really bright, colourful and Summery.

so recently, it has been raining a little more often and it is slightly cooler i feel. not time to whip out those stockings or tights just yet but i have been pulling out a couple more knits and changing my shoes for the season. Fall is absolutely my favourite season of the year, followed by Winter. in fact, i really love the Winter season (definitely nothing close to true Winter) here, but the holiday mood just seeps right in and visions of memories flash past my mind more often. from Christmas Eve nights spent at Clarke Quay with Starbucks in hand, to days of Christmas Carolling at The Star Vista.

Blueberry Crumble Muffin

5. speaking of the change in season, i have also prepped my pantry to prepare for Fall goodies like Apple Cinnamon Rolls, Apple Pies (or pies, tarts and crumbles of any sort), and Baked Pastas. it could also be my love for apple and cinnamon and that fall just happens to be the season for it. i am also reminded of the Fall i spent in Korea exactly a year ago. Paris Baguettes literally serve up Apple breads and pastries of various sort and i had myself trying everything i could lay hands on. (which explains my weight gain then ^^') the food bloggers were posting all these Fall food recipes that i couldn't try because i had no oven in Korea so i bookmarked all of them and i WILL do all of them this year.

6. this leads me to discuss about the abundance of time that i currently enjoy. heh. honestly, my time for freedom left is rather uncertain so i really am trying to do everything that i want to before i begin the next phase of my life. it is exciting, absolutely. and i look forward to learn more and develop myself as a person in a new environment. so i will bake more this week, pack my room, decide on the additional decors i want and fix up everything else i want to do. (i really want to fix the kitchen.) this is also the reason why i will be cycling tomorrow (hopefully if air quality and weather permits) with Grandpa and Jo.

7. Grandpa asked me to cycle with him tomorrow. i was rather reluctant, honestly. swimming is more of my thing. but since he asked, and i'm not sure when i can spare such time to spend with him once i start working, i decided to get myself out and have some (hopefully) fresh air tomorrow. for context, the haze seems to be lingering in the air today, so i do hope that it'll be gone tomorrow.

Group Therapy
8. i have also been spending time with my favourite bff, making up for all the lost time for the past couple of years. i honestly think it keeps both of us sane and grounded to the things we believe in.

9. the start of a new week; learning to live in the present and not for the future.

10. it's going to be a fantastic week ahead <3
i feel myself overflow with positivity already

Monday, September 1, 2014

Sunday Afternoons; life milestones

1. i attended a cousin's wedding at Capella Singapore this morning/afternoon and probably had more alcohol than i ever had at any other wedding simply because the food service took rather long and there were plenty of waiting gaps which we (or i rather), spent sipping our glasses. since i don't take sodas or fizzy drinks, i settled with the other choices. :D it was a very beautiful wedding and my first wedding luncheon.

2. i am feeling extremely sleepy

3. my throat hurts and i'm convinced that it might be the drying alcohol. ok.

4. my BFF Wu Zhijun recently flew back (for good i presume), from Australia and i'm meeting her in the coming week *^^*

5. i have been feeling the weight of God's grace, mercy and abundant favour in my life, yet i have also been reminded that we all only have one life, and am really only young once. where do we want to invest our youth in? these 20-something years we have are numbered and limited. although age is sometimes really just a number.

there are really so many possibilities in our lives. we could do whatever we wanted to. limits are drawn by ourselves. but then do we really know what we want in life? a senior once told me that honestly you'll never know what you want until you go about trying different things. which is why i'd just try anything. but ultimately i think i do know the direction that i want to head. with this life that we have, what is it that you want to make sure that you'd never regret when you face death?

i'm not sure but i believe that everyone has had or have a vision of how they want or had wanted their lives to be like. how they would be living. will it always be a distant idea, somewhere that only exists in your head or are you going to go about doing something about that dream to make it your reality. i was listening to the radio the other day and the DJ mentioned that this was one of the top few regrets that many dying people have expressed. i was certain, at that point, that i didn't want to be one of them. doing is sometimes better to have not done at all.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sour Cream Blueberry Pancakes

For more pictures head here

Edna Mae's Sour Cream Pancakes (Yields ~12) 
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman
7  tablespoon Flour
2 tablespoon Sugar
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
2 Large Eggs
180g Sour Cream
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Butter for greasing
  1. Whisk eggs and vanilla in a small bowl
  2. Sift all dry ingredients
  3. Mix dry ingredients into sour cream. Whisk in egg+vanilla mixture until just combined.
  4. Do not overmix
  5. Heat a pan over medium heat. Grease with butter or oil.
  6. Spoon some mixture into the pan. (add blueberries or fruits, nuts here if desired) Cook until bubbles form on the surface of the batter. Flip and cook for another minute. (NOTE. pancakes are extremely extremely soft and may be slightly difficult to flip. i found that they also burn easily.)
  7. Serve warm with fruits if desired, butter and syrup.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sunday Afternoons; fearless

1. I made Sour Cream Pancakes littered with tons of berries because i had left over sour cream from making cupcakes and it seems to be the berry season when blueberries and strawberries are everywhere in supermarkets and going on sale. they are so much more affordable than usual. by the way, the pancakes were mad soft and fluffy and really really easy to make. no stand mixer or blender required. (yes it was even easier than throwing everything in the blender because washing the blender can be annoying.) recipe here

2. I have been making an effort in taking proper chio pictures, food or not and i even fished out my Canon G15 to snap shots of the glorious sour cream pancakes and its berry counterparts above. i have rekindled my interest in some decent photography after spending a week sorting out almost 5 years worth of old pictures and realising that i took more than just a handful of pointless, un-chio and sometimes blur pictures.
3. I had two dance classes and a swim session over the past week and my body is aching so much right now. at least i'm burning off energy (and hopefully fats) which can offset my recent high carb breakfasts (like pancakes, scones and bread).
4. I want to shift to wordpress. but am trying to figure out a way to do all that without losing anything. i googled but they lost me at DNS domain. ...

5. my ankle still feels funny, especially during dance with all the footwork in the current choreo. i am starting to wonder if i am making a fuss out of something called an old injury and if it can be improved or cured at all. i go for physio sessions (although i'd admit that i have lost all passion to do the exercises at home) and i tape up during dance. but it still bothers me enough. i will make an appointment to see the sports trainer (which i initially refused when the physio wanted me to). the discomfort is too depressing.
6. about two weeks ago, i returned to CGH for my usual ankle review. dr ng told me that my ankle was still slightly swollen. nothing swells for a year. since my MRI was clear of any bone or ligament injury, the next possibility would be a blood problem. so he had me run (more than just) a couple of blood tests, drawing four tubes of blood and putting me on medication. 
"what if it isn't?" i asked.
"so it should be."
i didn't know how to feel about it. i prayed and told God that I believe that all things will work for the good of His plans. thankfully when the results came last Wednesday, i was clear. my blood was normal and Dr Ng concluded that it must just be my body type and that the sprain left an irritation at my ankle that caused mild inflammation when annoyed and hence the mild swelling. if that makes sense. well there is apparently a name for that but i forgot.
the incident may be over, but it did made me think however, of life and living in general. was i afraid of dying? if i lived as if it was my last everyday, i'd probably be fearless. there would be nothing to lose. what would you do if you had nothing to lose?