Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014


Christmas at Nana's Green Tea
  1. Spent Christmas with Eddy this year. an impromptu session - as all our meetings are. and half the time on special occasions. 
  2. It's about less than 2 hours to the new year, but i don't quite feel anything in particular but fatigue. time has been flying and half the time i feel so consumed in work and everything i don't even have time to do anything else.
  3. which reminds me, my parents were away last week and the responsibilities of feeding the dog and cat fell on me. and i tell everyone i don't even have time to feed myself sometimes...
  4. but that does not explain my weight gain since work started.
  5. it feels like Christmas crept up all so suddenly and took me by surprise. this year, i scrambled to put gifts together. and i will unashamedly say that as my Sparking Snow Yankee Candle is burning at the side of my table, i have a stack of unwritten Christmas cards (which i intend to finish tonight) to send off tomorrow. yes, i do know that tomorrow is 1 Jan 2015. lol.
  6. i didn't even have time to do any Christmas baking :<
  7. i also need to clean up my room and get my life in order.
  8. i procrastinated blogging since the eve of Christmas. and this is rather unlike me. i need to make new year resolutions. i will think about them and write about this again sometime next month.
2014: 
it has been a life-changing year. and a year filled with learning experiences and new things. 
with graduation and entering a new phase of life. getting my first job - yes, i actually got a job. in a company that i'd never imagined i would be working in. and being a part of an awesome team. making friends, both new and old. i also actually organised an entire dance workshop on my own and started returning to physio this year. experienced a short health scare.

it also seems almost too surreal that my Korea exchange has now passed, more than a year ago. that it happened in 2013. i miss Korea terribly, i miss being in Korea and i miss being a student in Korea. feeling like a local and speaking Korean. and it saddens me that those will always be just a memory. i will have to return. 

i wish i had more time to write and tidy up things i want to say.


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Sunday Afternoons; Apple Cinnamon Rolls & Work

Work-in-Progress; Apple Cinnamon Rolls

Have absolutely been procrastinating the entire day in writing. i disappeared for a month - work has been crazy. i sometimes wonder if i'm giving up things i'm passionate about. that aside, today was one of the first days in a long long long time that i spent doing nothing important. except sleeping. (:

1. i squeezed time out to do the Last of Fall baking. they didn't turn out too pretty but they were absolutely yummy. yes i'm shameless but #truestory lol. Apple Cinnamon Rolls.





2. i've been going through rough weeks after weeks. two fridays ago, i decided to escape and went to watch a movie with a friend. picked a light-hearted movie - Penguins that was really quite funny. after which, there were no more buses home and we ended up walking. yes i walked home - with a cider in hand. goodness. was absolutely exhausted that day and was amazed that i was still able to hold a conversation at 2am. slept at 3am - explains my heavy sleepy debt.

3. i have been working over the weekends for the.. past few weekends. i haven't been eating with my family a lot. and it's been a little more than just tiring. i had one of those hospital appointments on Friday and managed to take a day off yesterday. it truly gave me some space to breathe and time to catch up on sleep. in fact, i've been sleeping practically the day away (both yesterday and today) but i still feel tired. one more night tonight and i hope i'll live again.

4. my stomach hasn't been at its best with my irregular eating hours and the stress. i have even stopped keeping track of the amount of coffee i've been drinking. 2 pumps from the coffee machines, or more on some days. but my stomach hasn't been very happy and i've been forced to stop these few days.


5. been eating lots of Ramen recently. RamenPlay is actually pretty yums. and i'm not saying that cos i'm biased but i truly feel that way. and so i've been eating Ramen everywhere else too. the one at Parkway is awesome too.

6. i need to rededicate my time to things i want to do. my korean classes, my dance classes - goodness even my physio has been telling me that i need to exercise. i was out of breath less than 10 minutes into doing strengthening exercises. need to reprioritise my life.

7. as i walked out of the hospital and along the roads of Simei, i suddenly saw how stuck and enclosed into my job i have been. not that it's a bad thing, but i had forgotten the beauty of being outside, of the other things in life. of being free. don't get me wrong. i like what i do. just that sometimes we forget that there's so much more in life than just the things that we see.

sorry for the incoherence. i need a proper theme to continue writing. i will end abruptly here.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sunday Afternoons; Recap

Singapore; being a tourist for a day
  1. i've been so tired and a little more than just drained, so pardon the lack of words.
  2. last saturday, i toured the city with a Korean friend, exploring places in Singapore that we hardly see, or hardly appreciate. i was really tired but it was fun.
  3. i also got the chance to try Honeymoon Dessert's Salted Egg Yolk Bun which was surprisingly mad yums. there was enough filling (unlike some that's actually dry). you can actually see the creamy sauce oozing from the bun.
Honeymoon Dessert; Salted Egg Yolk Bun
4. i will not talk about work today. but i will talk about my daily breakfast that i have at work. this is super easy. soaked oats in cold milk overnight together with raisins and throwing in fresh blueberries and bananas in the morning just before i pack them for work. mad yums<3


Daily Breakfast; Rolled Oats soaked in Cold Milk with Fresh Blueberries & Banana
Breakfast; Honey Stars with Cold Milk
5. I spent yesterday - my first Saturday actually free from work of all kinds. and i took 3 naps and rewatched one of my favourite old dramas. i honestly need to sleep more and get my life back in order. i am kinda missing the little gaps of time i used to have to myself. as Christmas nears, i am reminded of days of carolling. i miss singing, i miss dancing, and i miss performing. 

6. i know, Fall is almost over but i have not one single Autumn recipe up T.T i plan. but plans don't always work out. T.T but i suppose Fall foods still apply in Winter. speaking of which, it has been raining a little more than usual and it gets really cold. probably time to pull up those knits and leggings. (:

7. feeling a little jaded, of being tired. can't wait to see the rest of the family for dinner. <3 may it be an awesome week. (:


Coffee & Biscuits from HK
Group Therapy Brunch

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Jo's Dance Workshop

KARA'S MAMMA MIA'S CLASS 
Snapshot from 2NE1's Do You Love Me <3
*
 Night of Workshop Day 1 - 1AM: doing admin
Towards the start of the workshop...
By the end of the workshop - look at my poor Craftholic
Into an unacceptable state. I am pleased to report this was the messiest and it developed no more.

1. i have been extremely, extremely, extremely busy. and tired. i don't know how to emphasise this any further. my room looks like a hurricane came and left. i will unabashedly flash my dirty laundry in public. check out how it deteriorated over the days. i'm glad to report that all is in order now. i took some time after getting home yesterday to pack the place.

2. the workshop finally came to pass. and i still feel so overwhelmed, so thankful, so amazed at how everything turned out. even though i'm actually really too tired to feel too much but i know this is how i would feel if i weren't so numb with fatigue. it is a lot of work. but work i find palatable at least.

there's so much i want to say, so many people i need to thank and have a whole lot of feelings suppressed by fatigue.

my Thank You Speech

there's many to thank. during the planning period, i faced challenges and obstacles and am very thankful esp to Javius for being my official advisor: cost-benefit analyser, giving me constructive advice, helping me share the word and being so reliable. God knows how many hour long phone calls we had late into the night because that's the only time we have. i really really appreciate it - which you know <3<3. please come back soon we need to meet. Pat, for being so supportive and trying your best to help me in the ways that you could. for your time, effort and resources. <3 Lynette, for coming down on the last two days just to help me with registration and even offering to be my official photographer. and even more importantly, all that encouragement as i struggled through the first week of self-doubt and wondering if i made a right decision to do this. telling me to be positive and to dream big. you are such a source of positivity <3 Zhijun, for eventually coming down to help me with registration on Day 1 and freezing under the air con. (even though you are relatively disinterested in all that's going on but you came down for me. that is true love <3 LOL. Abi, even though you couldn't make it in the end, thank you for being there during that rough period. both of us were going through a tough time that week, and i know you were insanely busy at that point in time with PSS. but you would still always try to make time for me and give me opinions based on what you were more familiar with. i recall that day when i broke down and after we hung up, you and Tiffy kept sending me texts to check if i was okay. i was v touched :')

Gin, you may have absolutely zero interest in this hobby of mine but you still always gave your all in terms of brainpower. i know you're constantly drained from work but thanks for making the effort to always check on my progress and if i needed any help. and even still texting me after we fought over this. (we should have known, from the days of project work). but i really appreciate how much heart you put into this project that wasn't even part of your life. and checking on me every now and then to see if i needed anything. please know that i know. (:

tons of other people to be thankful for, like my Family, for being so supportive and worried for me. like my brother who proposed going on Facebook Ads and even sponsoring close to half of the Facebook Ads cost. I was really surprised when he came into my room and brought this up. and always being my (legal) advisor and telling me what he thinks is better. Family also includes my cousins Jo and Va, for helping me with the collaterals and artwork. I am very fortunate to have extremely artistic cousins who will always try to make time for me. they are still bogged with schoolwork and projects but they will always try if they can. my parents for sending Jo and I around and giving moral support by being physically present and trying to help in any way they can.

also everyone else who helped in one way or another, the little texts of support (Alice, Xinyi ...) very thankful. and also everyone who came. it was amazing and thanks for being part of this project. i truly hope that everyone learnt something valuable and improved in some way or another.

2. as i had mentioned earlier, i walk into my office everyday feeling thankful to be there. i definitely don't hate my job - something i've been eternally worried about since i could and it amazes me that close to a month in, i still sit at my desk and get pangs of awe and gratitude for being there. and i'm exceptionally thankful that i was accepted for being who i was and who i am. because being myself and being true to who i am is so important to me.

at the same time, i am glad to be able to still pursue things i love, as a hobby. the dance workshop for example, stemmed from my heart. it was never my intention to profit or earn from it - it just developed that way. it's something i wanted to do and something i enjoy. even more so, something i truly believe in. it amazes me because exactly one year ago, i stood in the studio of the dance school in Korea a little behind Ssam, and thought to myself that my dance friends back at home would benefit so much from her - if they had a chance to learn. and a few days ago, i stood in the studio here, back at home and watched it happen.

/written on 22 October 2014

1 Nov 2014/

3. i know i still owe everyone pictures and videos but i truly honestly have been so overwhelmed with work (i mean check out this outdated post by almost 2 weeks) that i haven't had time to really do it. i managed to upload day 2's pictures today at least. one more to go. and many have asked about the next workshop. let me just say that discussions are underway and we'll see what happens but will definitely keep everyone updated(: meanwhile, my heart, mind and soul is really gradually being engulfed with work. so that will come first.

4. i realised i didn't mention, besides being extremely thankful for everyone who has helped and been part of this project, i also want to mention and thank those who really made us smile through your actions. i'm glad to have been able to bring some joy into lives, and at the same time, i experienced so much joy from watching these happen and receiving thank you cards and text messages actually thanking me for making this happen. it was honestly overwhelming and i was really, really touched. :') you guys know who you are and thank you for the effort, cards for both Jo and I and messages of appreciation really continues to motivate me. i truly treasure these encouragement, so, thank you. really. and another special thank you to mom and daughter who came down with gifts before Jo flew. it means a lot to both Jo and I and Jo expressed to me that she was v touched and at a loss for words.

5. i wish i could say more but i've got stuff to work on. and i rightfully have to post a Sunday Afternoon tomorrow. so i will update more about things tomorrow.. and maybe bake.... maybe.. before Fall is over T.T - before this develops out of the topic, that's all. and see everyone at the next workshop (:

xoxo

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
Ingredients:
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
Syrup
Fruits
  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.
(pause) 
"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?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Wholemeal English Muffins


Wholemeal English Muffins
as i type, i actually have a batch of Wholemeal Raisin Walnut Bread in the oven. ^^' i picked up a reduced to clear bag of bread flour awhile back, which explains my sudden bread baking frenzy. i also found some wholemeal flour which was on sale. this English Muffin recipe used 100% all purpose flour. i subbed that out with half bread flour and a quarter wholemeal flour in an attempt to clear them before they expire. The Cooking Geek mentions that we shouldn't use bread flour to maintain the delicate crumb of an English Muffin but i love bread and i love the chewy starchy texture of bread so i really didn't mind. i mixed Bread Flour, Wholemeal flour and topped the rest with Top Flour (similar to Cake Flour)

these were mad yummy especially right out of the oven (then again, what isn't?), but i found them a tad on the salty side. The Cooking Geek used sea salt but said that table salt was fine. i used table salt and it was a little too salty for my family's liking. i would reduce the salt amount by half. maybe that's also cos my mom in particular loves having bread with salted butter and since these were already tasty on its own.... perhaps they would have been better with jam. but then i wouldn't know because i only managed to have one. :<

i made 8 in total and had one right from the oven. so i split the remaining 7 into bags for the family's breakfast tomorrow. i packed two individual muffins in a bag each, two muffins in one bag and the remaining three in another. i woke up the next morning to find that they were all gone T.T so apparently my mom took both individual muffins, my dad took the two muffins in one and my brother saw the last bag on the table and took it.. ._. and i was really looking forward to breakfast T^T. oh well. at least they cleared fast. ^^'

i was really pleased at how pretty the evening sun shone on them. a really gorgeous colours. these are not edited guys. no filter, no edits. #truestory


they puffed up really beautifully. :')


Wholemeal English Muffins (Yields 8) 
Adapted from The Cooking Geek
(pop over to The Cooking Geek for step-by-step instructions)

Ingredients:
100g Bread Flour
100g Top Flour
50g Wholemeal Flour
(or use 250g all-purpose flour/cake flour/top flour)

150g warm water

1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon yeast
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
Cornmeal as needed
  1. Sift all dry ingredients except cornmeal into a mixing bowl. (i used my Kenwood Kitchen Mixer, dough hook to do the work. so i used the Kenwood mixing bowl for the Kitchen Mixer)
  2. Melt butter and leave to cool
  3. Attach dough hook to Kitchen Mixer and fit in the mixing bowl. Turn up the power to 1 to mix dry ingredients. 
  4. Gradually add half the water. Add melted butter
  5. Slowly add the remaining water until a dough starts to form. (i usually eye at this point to see if there is too much or too little liquid and adjust accordingly)
  6. Leave the machine to knead for 6-8 minutes.
  7. Stop, remove the dough hook. The dough should be in a ball shape at the bottom of mixing bowl. Lightly grease with oil or butter and leave to rise for 1 hour.
  8. Once the dough has doubled in size, turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface.
  9. Divide the dough into 8 pieces and round of each piece of dough by folding in the sides and shaping with your palm.
  10. Dip in cornmeal to lightly coat them
  11. Leave to rise for 30 minutes.
  12. Heat a pan. Lightly oil or butter if you wish. (i usually don't or do so sparingly because i like the browning better with less oil) Once hot, place balls of dough in the pan.
  13. Do not overcrowd the pan because they will rise. Do not flatten.
  14. Flip once brown.
  15. Serve warm with butter or jam :)

artistic shots i try

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Grandpa and I


I had been having trouble sleeping and i mentioned it while chatting with the physio and the other sports trainers the other day. i blame myself for staying home most of the time and not burning enough energy during the day these days. one of them suggested that i swim. i was rather hesitant initially, but with the lack of exercise and hardly any decent dance classes AND that i probably wouldn't be so free when i start work, i decided to get my lazy self out.

so i arranged to meet grandpa last week to swim, since he swims almost daily at the club. i did a good 14 laps or so and was thoroughly worn out by mid-noon. i slept really well that day. i had wanted to swim this week as well, but i couldn't and decided to go run at the gym instead. so i met grandpa this morning - i was late - and i headed to the other complex after he signed me in.

so this is what happened. i had rang CSC beforehand to ask if guests were allowed to use the gym and the person i spoke to said yes. i signed in at the gym with little difficulty. after the gym however, it seems that whether guests or not, there was a fee for gym usage. and members had to be present to sign the chit. i worried a little at this point because grandpa said i didn't have to wait for him after i was done. i spoke to the lady who ran a check on the system and exclaimed in shock that the member was an old man. LOL. i clarified and informed that he was my grandpa and she said that she knew him because he was such an old member and she has been working at the club for many years as well. i was terribly relieved in hopes that she would be able to help me out somehow. i explained that i could ring my grandpa but grandpa is 92 this year and hard of hearing. it would be really hard to speak to him on the phone. (he called me when i was late but couldn't hear me when i tried to explain repeatedly that i'd be there in 10 minutes. i could try ten times or twenty times over and not be frustrated but i hate the feeling that he might get upset at himself. so i'd rather not.)

anyhow, we managed to work things out. after showering, grandpa actually rang me and asked if i was done. he came to get me and we headed for lunch together. i updated him on my graduation, job search and showed him the family Whatsapp chat that the uncles, aunties and cousins have. we spoke about our trip to Medan where he reminisced about the food and the various beautiful places that we should have gone to. he told me that he didn't have anymore schoolmates, friends, and even some of our family anymore. i honestly didn't know how to respond at that point. i really wondered at that point, how my grandpa feels, when most of the people he knows aren't around any longer, or that he has lost contact with them. fear? sadness? loneliness? it really is quite a depressing thought that i'd rather choose not to think about.


Monday, July 7, 2014

days of our lives

i actually have a couple of drafts stuck in the draft bin which i begin the last few days but never did finish them. it's amazing how time is flying despite how i don't really have anything concrete or important to do but to get a job. i've just been job searching, applying, going for interviews. cleaning my room, meeting up with friends for lunch/dinner, swimming, dancing, going for physiotherapy. it actually seems like i have a thousand things to do. i actually have to go pick up my mirror from Ikea - i really don't have a mirror in my room right now. I had wanted really big mirror for dance purposes so i've been thinking and planning about how to go around putting it in my room. and there's a never-ending pile of laundry that demands to be put away.

strangely, or not, baking has been one of the last things to do on my mind. i guess i've been trying to watch my weight recently. with the trips to Korea and Medan and honestly not controlling my diet as much as i did, i do feel like i've probably gained a couple of pounds. it doesn't show on the weighing scale but i do feel it. i wish i could bake without having to eat. then again, i know i really should take advantage of the luxury of time i have these days to spend more time in the kitchen before i seriously get a job. then i'd literally have zero time to bake.

okay i shall prepare for my interview tomorrow, shower and head to bed early.

till next time
<3

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Korean Food: Tuna Bibimbap

Tuna Bibimbap

hello~ it's been so long since i last posted. in fact, i don't think i have had a proper post since the year started and it's already the later half of 2014. given that i've been away on exchange the later part of 2013, i haven't had any food post up either. so i thought i'd just do a short jumpstart here with something i made of lunch yesterday. before that, here's a little update about my life. i had made a trip back to Korea in May and went to my grandpa's hometown in Medan, Indonesia last month. it's strange how busy i still feel despite graduating and technically having nothing much to do but send resumes. i guess it's still summer holidays and i still have all my friends chilling around with me. ^^'

surprisingly (or not), i haven't been baking much. haven't had the motivation to bake mainly because my family doesn't really like sweet stuff or desserts. we tend to prefer savoury foods than sweets. but i've turned to cooking lunch on my own recently. Korean food in particular. i'm still learning and practicing to tweak ingredients and methods of cooking to my own liking and i was really pleased with the Tuna Bibimbap that i made for daddy and myself yesterday.

i've also gotten around to working to minimise the amount of work and time needed to prepare. it may also take a little more work depending on the ingredients. if you've noticed, i didn't include spinach and bean sprouts this time simply because i didn't have them. i only had carrots and cucumbers own hand, and dried chinese mushrooms. so i made do and seasoned them. i also used canned tuna and an egg for some protein. most importantly, the gojuchang sauce that i got on my recent trip back to Korea. i absolutely adore the brand that i'm currently using. i had tried a couple of brands and the difference in taste and quality is significant in my opinion. Lynette and I were at Lotte Mart debating if we should buy back tubs of gojuchang (luggage limit alert) and one of the Lotte Mart staff came up to us and pointed out this particular brand, saying it's the best. well technically i believe whatever Korean Ajjummas say in regards to Korean cooking so we were immediately sold and picked up a tub each. in fact, i didn't even have to season the gochujang with anything before using it as bibim sauce. i just scooped the sauce directly from the tub to the bowl, unlike my previous experience when i had to mix it up with sesame oil, salt, sugar and a little warm water to liquify it. it was mad delicious and i think i'm a convert to the brand. i'm not sure if it's available in Singapore at the moment though, even if it is it probably is twice the price. T.T

anyhow, the recipe is pretty straightforward and just involves slicing up ingredients and seasoning them with some light stir fry. but i'll include it at the bottom anyway. i actually added spinach the last time and it was delicious as well, but a little more effort to rinse the vegetables, cook and season. not an issue if i'm cooking for 2 or more but i do get a little lazy when it's just me. ^^'

i personally love making my own bibimbap when i feel like i haven't had enough vegetable intake, which is often the case when we eat out often. i can also freely adjust the amount of rice if i want to reduce my carb intake and increase protein and fibre. the amount of vegetables in this dish can fill you up fast (:


Tuna Bibimbap (Serves 2)
Ingredients:
1 cup rice, washed, cooked (i recommend 3/4 cup rice for 2, especially if you're not a big eater)
2 Eggs
1/3 Cucumber
Medium Carrot
6 Dried Mushrooms
1 Canned Tuna (i used the one with light olive oil)
Salt
Sesame Oil
Sesame Seeds
Gochujang
  1. Cook rice. Soak mushrooms in water. (i use warm water to speed up this process)
  2. Slice cucumbers and carrots into strips. Set aside separately. Salt both evenly.
  3. Once mushrooms are rehydrated, remove stalk and snip them into strips.
  4. Carrots should have softened. Rinse carrots to remove salt. 
  5. Heat some oil in a pan. Sauté mushrooms. Season with some sesame oil and sesame seeds. Remove from pan and stir fry carrots. Remove and cook eggs - sunny-side-up.
  6. Rinse cucumbers thoroughly to remove salt.
  7. Assemble: In a large bowl, position rice in the middle and respective ingredients at the sides. Add tuna from can and the desired amount of gochujang. Place egg on top.
  8. Serve immediately.
note: although the rice kept in the rice cooker will remain heated and warm and help to keep the dish served hot, i tend to try to work fast before anything becomes cold. which does happen if i take my time. 

i shall head to bed now. i honestly have had tons of thoughts and things to talk about but i'm not even sure where to begin, how to begin and if i should even begin. i haven't been blogging for awhile, not here, not in my personal blog, which may explain my weird sentence structures, English and lack of ability to phrase my words properly. so give me some time while i start writing all over again. writing has been, and still is my outlet for all the thoughts in my head. it keeps me sane and grounded. it reminds me of the person i am. a habit i ought to keep. i hope to write a little more personally here, with more of my thoughts and more of me. it's something that i've always been afraid to do. it takes courage to hang your heart on your sleeve and leave it open to the possible power of the world. the anonymous world i would add. but, life is short. i simply will do what makes me happy. 

till next time.
<3