Archive | April 2009

Cookies and Cream Truffles

photoThis photo doesn’t do any justice to the truffles.

Discovered a recipe (from Cosmopolitan) that will surely impress your loved ones with very little effort! Introducing the Cookies and Cream Truffles that are presentable, chocolitiously yummy and almost effortless! Follow the recipe below and you will be baffled by your chocolate making ability.

8 Oreo cookies
4 ounces of cream cheese
1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon of icing sugar

Line a baking tray/plate with baking sheet / aluminum foil. Then put the cookies in a zip-lock plastic bag and crush it. Add the cream cheese and mix them thoroughly. Use a teaspoon to scoop the cookie mixture into small balls (I used my fingers!). Place the cookie balls on the baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm (about 1 hour).

After 1 hour, microwave chocolate chips for 1 minute and then stir it. Microwave the chocolate chips for another 1 minute. Dip the cookie balls into the chocolate using toothpick/fork (I used chopsticks!) and place it back on to the baking sheet. Put icing sugar in a sieve and lightly dust the truffles. Cover with plastic wrap, and freeze until firm for about 1 hour. Serve cold.

Voila! You just become a domestic goddess!

Note: Store them in an airtight container in the freezer and they’ll last 2 weeks.

Why ah?

Have you ever wondered why some female bloggers are more popular compared to the rest? If your answer is a big YES, I have the answer right here!

the-females-in-the-blogging-world3

Content Disclaimer: The above throughout analysis is neither meant to be exhaustive nor an objective opinion of the general public. Comments and criticisms are warmly welcomed. 

My Perfect Traveling Companion

travel-case1[Credit: http://capable.deviantart.com/art/Just-in-Case-50370669]

Last weekend, I was at Mustafa to hunt for The Perfect Traveling Companion” on a splendid journey with me to Seoul.

The Perfect Criteria
Budget: $150
Appearance: Decent Colour
Material: Hard casing
Size: Medium
Wheel: Four wheel 360 rotation

The trustworthy looking Mustafa uncle recommended a companion which matched my criteria perfectly.

Budget: $147 $88
Appearance: Dark Grey
Material: Hard casing
Size: Medium
Wheel: Four wheel 360 rotation

Wow, it seemed almost God send. Except… for the fact that the brand – “President” – is unheard of.

Being a true blue marketer and a brand whore, I was a little apprehensive of the recommended brand “President”. Mustafa uncle assured me that “President” is an established brand and it is actually Japanese. Ah. Japanese. It must be decent.

See. The marketing theory explained that when consumers have little/no knowledge of the brand, they look at extrinsic cues such as price or country of origins to evaluate its quality. Hmm. But according to my marketing sixth sense, “President” sounded too much like an Indonesian brand (just like “President” cup noodle). With a tight budget and a trusting heart, I ignored my superior-innate-marketing ability and picked “President” as my traveling companion.

A few days later, I googled and found out that “President” is a freaking indo brand! That Mustafa uncle is a liar. Hmph.

“President Luggage roots date back to 1970 when, as Continental Plastic, started in the luggage and travelware industry, manufacturing a small range of hard-shell luggage under the brand name “President” in Indonesia.
President Luggage began exporting in 1987 to a few neighbouring Asian countries. Ever since, exports have constituted a significant part of President Luggage business. “

From: http://president-luggage.com/about.php

Tomorrow will mark the end of my academic life. 

At least for the time being. 

“???”

cityvibe

Why do they name a building with a decent architectural design “Cityvibe”, worst still “???” which is loosely translated as “Gold all over the floor”?

This is almost as disturbing and vulgar as naming say Obama’s Portuguese water dog “Bush”.

“金满地”

cityvibe

Why do they name a building with a decent architectural design “Cityvibe”, worst still “金满地” which is loosely translated as “Gold all over the floor”?

This is almost as disturbing and vulgar as naming say Obama’s Portuguese water dog “Bush”.

Skinny French think they’re fat?

OMG. If they are fat, I am obese.  With news like this and others like the one about Model Stephanie Naumoska, who is 1.8 m tall and weights 49 kg, getting into the finals of Ms Australia Universe contest, what do we expect next? That all people with a BMI above 15 should be sent to the obese training camp?!?! 

French think they’re fat

The Straits Times, April 23, 2009

PARISFRANCE has by far the highest proportion of clinically underweight women in Europe, but only half of them think they are too thin, according to a new study.

In other European countries the opposite is true: the number of women in Britain, Spain and Portugal, for example, who see themselves as seriously skinny easily outstrips the number who actually are.

‘This shows that what people consider an ideal weight in France is lower than in other countries,’ said the study’s author Thibaut de Saint Pol, a researcher at France’s National Institute of Demographic studies, which published the study Wednesday.

‘If a French person who feels fat were to go to the United States,’ – which has much higher rate of obesity – ‘he probably wouldn’t feel fat anymore,’ he told AFP in an interview. [LOL]

The study also reveals a big gap, both objective and subjective, between sexes.

In western Europe, the mean weight of men in every country except France and The Netherlands tips the scales into the ‘overweight’ category, according to World Health Organisation (WHO) standards.

By contrast, in only three nations do women join the menfolk in crossing that line: Britain, Greece and Portugal. And only among the Dutch does one find more overweight women than men.

France is the one country in which both sexes are solidly in the ‘normal’ weight bracket, and the only one in which more than five per cent of women are offically ‘underweight’. — AFP

somethingboutrenes-hit-rate

If only my bank account balance is growing at a similar rate as my hit rate in SbR. Humph.

Myirandom.wordpress.com

myirandom3

My sister got herself a new blog. HAH. 

Marketing Concepts applied to the World’s Oldest Profession.

This article demonstrated the importance of the role of a marketer. The marketing concepts we learn in school is applicable to ALL industry and that includes the world’s oldest profession.

 

world-germany-reuters[Credits: http://www.straitstimes.com/Breaking%2BNews/World/Story/STIStory_366452.html]

German sex industry hit

The Straits Times, 21 April 2009

BERLIN – IT DID not take long for the world financial crisis to affect the world’s oldest profession in Germany.

In one of the few countries where prostitution is legal, and unusually transparent, the industry has responded with an economic stimulus package of its own: modern marketing tools, rebates and gimmicks to boost falling demand.

Some brothels have cut prices or added free promotions while others have introduced all-inclusive flat-rate fees. Free shuttle buses, discounts for seniors and taxi drivers, as well as ‘day passes’ [O_o] are among marketing strategies designed to keep business going.

‘Times are tough for us too,’ said Karin Ahrens, who manages the ‘Yes, Sir’ brothel in Hanover. She told Reuters revenue had dropped by 30 percent at her establishment [lol] while turnover had fallen by as much as 50 per cent at other clubs.

‘We’re definitely feeling the crisis. Clients are being tight with their money. They’re afraid. You can’t charge for the extras any more and there is pressure to cut prices. Everyone wants a deal. Special promotions are essential these days. [-_-]’

Germany has about 400,000 professional prostitutes. Official figures do not distinguish between the sexes and the number of male prostitutes is not known, but they account for a small fraction of the total and are treated the same under the law.

In 2002, new legislation allowed prostitutes to advertise and to enter into formal labour contracts. It opened the way for them to obtain health insurance, previously refused if they listed their true profession.

Annual revenues are about 14 billion euros (S$27.1 billion), according to an estimate by the Verdi services union. Taxes on prostitution are an important source of income for some cities.

Prostitution is also legal and regulated in the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Greece, Turkey and in some parts of Australia, and the U.S. state of Nevada.

In other countries, such as Luxembourg, Latvia, Denmark, Belgium and Finland, it is legal but brothels and pimping are not.– REUTERS

The Seoul Lusting Series

In Seoul they too have their very own Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive as in the Hollywood in Apgujeong-dong and opposite Apgujeong-dong’s Galleria Department Store you’ll have Cheongdam-dong, Seoul’s very own West Hollywood. In this area, you can check out the chicest designer boutiques, elegant cafes, art galleries and luxury restaurants. Does all these sounds expensive to you? Definitely, and that’s because this is the place for Seoul’s super rich and their crème de la crème. So if celebrity spotting is one of your missions in your trip to Seoul this will be the place to be. Otherwise, you may also spend an evening here (if wallet permitting) to experience the contemporary culture of Korea with style.

opera-gallary-in-seoul

To get there: Short trip with taxi from Apgujeong subway station (Line No.3), or Cheongdam station (Line No. 7)

 

T for …

My sister rushed out of the bathroom, bursting with excitement to tell me about this joke regarding her friend’s friend.

This joke is about this girl and a random boy in a club.

B: (swagger and smile seductively at G) Hey babe, may I know your name?
G: Ha, my name is the same as a very famous jeweler. It starts with a T!
B: (pauses for a while and flashes a wide smile) I KNOW! TIANPO!
G: -.-

LOL. This is for real. 

Whoever doesn’t know who this FAMOUS T-name jeweler that we are talking about, please go bang your head against the nearest wall you can find NOW.

Note: For those head banging people. The answer is Tiffany. You idiot.

The Seoul Lusting Series

The Seoul Lusting Series is a weekly collaboration between two esteemed blogger Amandina and SbR. This series seeks to introduce COOL HIP NEW CHIC PLACE in Seoul for our itineraries.

A trip to Seoul is not complete without a visit to Korea’s “jjimjilbang” (a unique Korean-type sauna)! Spend a day / night in one allows you to soak up all therapeutic, beauty and health benefits in their various facilities. The Dragon Hill Spa is one of the largest, most luxurious jimjilbangs in Seoul providing various facilities such as the conventional oak wood charcoal oven, the crystal salt room and Hinoki forest bath among others for a mere 10,000 or 12,000 won (Approx SGD12 – 14)! And you wonder why the Koreans always carry a healthy flush on their cheek!

jjimjilbang2

For more information: A Visit to the Luxurious “Dragon Hill Spa” in Seoul

Insomnia.

 

insomnia_by_gloredel

[Credits: http://gloredel.deviantart.com/art/insomnia-41967583]

Insomnia hit me yesterday till 0452.

 

Note: I realized I’ve been blogging a little way too much. Is this what people call blog diarrhoea? 

Our children are colour blind.

Yasmin Ahmad is brilliant. Yes. Many know her only recently as the critically-acclaimed film director behind the funeral ad for Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) while others may have already seen her ads for PETRONAS in Malaysia. I particularly love this. Our children are colour blind and we should definitely keep them that way.

my beloved sister is attached. woot!

A visit to Batam Island

The boat ride to Batam Island was horrible. It was stuffy and warm inside. Instead of turning ourselves into dried shrimps, Jason and I decided to take a breather outside.

me-and-baby-love

According to Visit Batam 2010, if you have not been to Barelang Bridge that means you have not been to Batam. So for the very first time, we went on to the bridge and took pictures like what tourists should do.

dsc_0338_edited

On the bridge, there were street hawkers selling some local street fare, like deep fried crab and shrimp-flour fritters. After the Indian Rojak saga, you definitely need an adventurous heart to try those street delights.

street-snack

We had seafood lunch beside a Kelong (a Malay word to describe a form of offshore platform built predominantly with wood). It may look all scenic, tranquil and peaceful from our pictures.

kelong

dsc_0382

But in reality, we were all battling against the army of flies. YIKES. The food was average and I can’t help thinking of the black pepper crab we ate the last time round!

For massage, the mini bus driver (The twelve of us paid $8 each to rent a full day mini bus) brought us to a dubious massage parlor called Universal Massage instead of The Sports Massage that Cat recommended. The reason given? He said someone died there before. -_- A more likely reason? He probably earns commission from Universal Massage. With our almighty woman’s instinct, the girls went around inspecting the environment and concluded that Universal Massage is not where we belong. Why? First, there were scantily dressed people walking around. Second, a place with many old men only means something. Third, the decorative lights were red! Fourth, the staffs were not in uniform. Fifth, an old Caucasian man held my friend’s waist on his way out. Hello. This is not a club! With these obvious signs of a sleazy massage parlor, we told the guide we refused to have our massage there. By the time we got the guide to call Sports Massage they were all fully booked. SIGH. He even took my Sports Massage name card! But if you are interested, just look out for a blue signboard across the street of Harmoni Hotel. Fortunately, we found a place (cannot remember the name) with scrub and massage services similar to Sports Massage at a comparable rate.

Shopping in Batam basically means grocery shopping. For women, you can get cheap monthly essentials, full and travel size toiletries. For men, I remember from my last trip, the guys bought a lot of toothbrushes. -_- For young and old, you can buy cheap snacks like Keropok (fish shrimps crackers), Cereals (my friend bought 3 boxes of cereals, Honey Stars, Coco Crunch, Milo, one of each) and Tim Tam (Indonesia made Tim Tam cost half the price of Australia made Tim Tam but taste just as good. Ok, maybe just 80% of the goodness derived from the Aussie ones.)

I’ve been to Batam thrice in my life and each time I experienced something different.

SIGNS (2009)

SIGNS, one of the participating films for The Schweppes Short Film Festival 2009, was simply magical, intelligent use of music and words/signs brought life to this 12 minute film. A perfect example of effective product placement featuring Schweppes in a subtle yet noticeable manner.

 

Watch other participating films at http://www.schhh.eu/shortfilms/ .

Cheesy Ad Example #1

cheesy-ntu-ads

 

I am speechless. I must say, the brain behind this idea is strangely courageous . On a side note, Timothy does look like a happy boy.