Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ice Kachang

A classic Singapore dessert - shaved ice with 4 types of flavoured syrup and condense milk, sometimes with gula melaka. Underneath is red bean paste, attap seed, sea coconut and corn. It's the hot weather that drives us to this.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Iwai Zen

Iwai zen is a celebratory meal and happens to be on Ichiban Boshi's menu this month.

Best part of the set are Ibi Shiba Ni and Kouhaku Salmon, embellished with a 金龟!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Chinese Tonics Hall

Mom's stocking up on chinese herbs after the CNY celebrations. We had lots of delicious herbal hotpots and dishes this year, thanks mom! 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Shop Amazon.com

Everytime I search the internet for something I want, I almost always find it for sale on Amazon.com. Which is a great convenience except I live in Singapore and have to factor in shipping on top of fx conversion. So I almost couldn't believe it when I found Prubuy.com - a singapore based amazon associate that offers amazon.com goods at singapore prices and Free Shipping. So now I can get anything I want from a Kindle to american style furniture. Just remember that electrical goods have american wattage and plugs.

* while there are bargains to be found, some of the items are overpriced. So do your homework first before making a purchase.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Nacho Cheese

Liquid nacho cheese that comes out of a can, my new guilty pleasure. It's that stuff on top of cinema nachos, over KFC fries and on breadtalk buns. You can make your own cheese sauce but it's not the same.

(1) Belmonte Latin Foods sells 3kg Muy Fresco tins for $23.90
(2) SSAS sells 4 pack cartons of Ricos Cheese for $102
(3) Tostitos cheese dip at supermarkets (next to the salsa)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Automatic Cross Stitch

There have been times when my friends and I complain about the toil of cross stitching. Although this craft does not require the acumen of tailoring clothes it is nonetheless time consuming.

At first look, most embroidery machines do the typical longstitch embroidery and most of the auto software really just digitize your image into cross stitch patterns. However, if you dig deeper into newer add-ons, you will find something that does automatic cross stitch. To set the budget right for yourself, it is the cost of the machine plus all the optional addons. That's right, you have to be prepared to get the works, including that laptop to load the software onto. Prices range from $2,000 to $8,000 depending on model and brand. Also be prepared to commit about 10 hours of learning on how to use all the applications and tools. I found this great deal on sewingmachinesplus.com (USA only delivery).

Alternatively, there is this Chinese manufactured industrial cross stitch machine retailing for $67,500. So if you have that lovely pattern but do not want to work on it, bring it to a friend with this machine. I am sure she needs to recoup her cost as well. Apparently, this machine can produce a 10 million count cross stitch in 3 days as opposed to a year by an experienced sewer. It also works on at least 10 needles so you don't have to change the coloured floss as often as the 1 needle domestic machine.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Largest Jade Buddha

Largest Jade Buddha on exhibit at an open pavillion outside Ngee Ann City. This 2.7m tall sculpture is carved out of gemstone nephrite and will eventually reside at an Australian temple. Amazing!

There was a mandala prayer session when I was there.

The gift shops sell buddhist clothes, decor and stationery items. But, everyone was queuing to purchase jade prayer beads and amulets. There are even jade buddha miniatures for sale; 0.5m version goes for $25k. Hhmm, too precious an item for the family alter.

A little further down is a flower arrangement in the shape of a dragon.

Wild cherry ice-blended and red velvet cake for tea.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

CNY House Party 2012

My parents host this house party once a year. We cater non-chinese food as these caterers are easily available now and this has got to be the best bryani in Singapore. 

In the evening, dad drove us to see the Chinatown lightup. The centrepiece is just that one huge dragon leaping out onto the road. 

A look at the tail of the dragon.

And it's head, up close.

Lim Chee Guan that famous bak kwa shop in chinatown has closed it's shutters for CNY but is completely lit up on the outside.

2012 is the year of the dragon, and I am looking forward to it ;)

Gold coins on the side of the road, mini dragons on the bridges and neon lights of trailing dragons. That's the Chinatown lightup.

Monday, January 23, 2012

CNY 2012 Bags

I have been looking for an occasion to use these pouches; (1) lime green brocade clutch I found in Shanghai with a custom silk & treated jade tassle (2) red pony hair JT clutch. The tassle smashed onto the ground during lunch and I tried to mend it best I could for the time being, what a great way to start the new year. 3rd incident since the weekend started.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

CNY Offerings

Not forgetting to make offerings to the ancestral tablets on CNY eve, my dad is usually in-charge of this. Assorted roast meats, sweet cake, mandarin oranges and chinese sponge cake. Items that will already be in everyones kitchen at this time.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Sims 3 expansion pack

Usual price $43.90, now $10 at Popular bookstore, obviously not a pricing mistake. I get to travel to far off lands and have adventures without leaving my room.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

CNY 2012 Decorations

I bought these gorgeous Jim Thompson silk cushion covers during their last sale. Cream colour with a splash of red, just nice for chinese new year.

Sometimes we have cherry blossoms, most times pussywillow. Mom's going for a completely red and gold theme this year.

The giant chinese knot we purchased in Nanjing a couple of years ago. Still my favourite piece today.

Selection of the finest oranges on the dinner table. New tablecloth from Jim Thompson as well. Please ignore the mess in the background, there as a result of spring cleaning and hopefully removed before people start visiting our home.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Hard Rock Cafe Guitar

My dad finally made his hard rock cafe pins guitar and got it framed in time for Chinese New Year. Personally, I love it! He has enough to make another guitar but maybe in the shape of a drum set or microphone. Wonder what this would fetch on ebay?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Stamped Cross Stitch Kits

Stamped cross stitch kits cost slightly more but offers soo much more in terms of convenience. If you are new to cross stitching than this is for you. The fabric is pre-printed with the design so you just sew over. Wish I could trade in my unopened kits for these new ones! 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

4D egg

This one dissolves in water to reveal a zodiac animal and 4D numbers. Because I want to buy numbers for the new year draw and don't have any numbers. Costs as much as my bet itself *sign*

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Don Dinner

Dinner at Toa Payoh hub with mom. The seafood bibimbap was delicious, crispy rice at the bottom of the stone bowl was the best part. Mommy's salmon don below.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Herbal Soaks

Packaging the Tibetan herbal foot soaks to give away to my cousins during CNY. It has a minty scent and makes the warm water stay that way longer.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Dragon Tees

Of all the 12 animals, the dragon has to be the most imposing and beautiful. I look forward to the year of the dragon as every retailer will emblazon their goods with this mythical creature. The last time the dragon year came round, I bought a Jean Paul Gaultier wallet with a dragon design in front. So far, I have purchased these 2 T-shirts from Giordano (2 for $40, originally $29.90) to wear at home. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My Dressing Table

My dressing table is actually a column of shelves that run parallel to my full length mirror. People always ask me why no chair? And the answer is simple - no space!

Top Shelf : Watch/Jewellery boxes with warranty, Candles, Nail lamp & drill
Second Shelf : Cosmetics (pic below)
Third Shelf : Skincare & Haircare (pic further down)
Fourth Shelf : Stockpile (pic at bottom)

I used to keep 2 sets of makeup; 1 normal skin tone and 1 darker set in case I got tanned. 2 perfumes; 1 light fresh scent for day and 1 muskier scent for night. You get the idea, everything in twos.

Since then, my dressing table has evolved into holding 4 foundations of varying shades and a dozen compacts of 2-way cake, powder, finishing powder, bronzer and blushers. 11 lip glosses. 10 eyeliners in different colours. 6 bottles of perfume. 6 eyeshadow palettes. 2 concealers. 2 eyelash curlers. 2 types of mascaras. 1 box of loose powder. 1 bottle of primer. And backups of everything. Not quite up there with the youtube makeup stars yet, so I consider this a working wardrobe.

I have 5 combs that are meant for different hairstyles. The pink big toothed one is for permed hair, blue fine toothed one for administering hair treatments, 2 different sized ox bone ones that are anti-static and good for travelling to winter countries, big flat brush for normal & rebonded hair. I keep an extra fine tooth comb in my bathroom.

A 3 layer stockpile like this would last me about 2 years and works as a resource for last minute gifts. When I see it visibly diminishing, I know it is time to stock up.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Recycling Candle Containers

Once a fragrance candle has burnt down it's wick, I can't bear to throw away the beautiful glass containers remaining. So it gets cleaned out and recycled as containers for my makeup brushes and lip glosses. As you can see, I only have 4 right now. That is because untempered glass breaks when the wick is too long and the flame gets too big. That usually happens when you try to burn a candle down to it's last centimetre. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Currently Reading

Scott Adams hasn't come out with a new book in years. So I picked up one of his comic compilation books today. His older comics are still the funniest.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Baskin Robbins

And it's back! Baskin Robbins my favourite childhood ice-cream store. Used to be 101 flavours but there is a lot more variety than that.

There are sundaes, waffles and my all-time favourite dessert, ice-cream cakes. The cakes at BR are a whole different ball game. It's the cake recipe I tell you.

So cute, pink spoon door handles.

The ice cream cakes are very reasonably priced, from $35 for a log cake to $88 for a 9 inch cake.