Archive | July 2013

Weee!

On some exciting news, I just received my Performance Bonus letter yesterday and it is awesome! Variable bonus + special bonus + performance bonus adds up to X months! This is on top of 13th month and contribution sharing! All these adds up to probably X to X months bonus for the entire year! Thank God for rewarding my hard work!

But I shouldn’t be too happy about it because my basic salary is still pathetic! Haha. Sister, don’t even think about asking me for more money, I need to pay off my credit card debts (which I chalked up a lot for dental, facial, medical and other random stuffs) and save for rainy days! Haha. But a dinner treat for the family is definitely on the way! Woot! And shhh, don’t you dare tell mum! Haha!

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On other news! I’m flying to Phuket for a five days holiday soon! Weee! I hope for a bright and sunny week! Prepared four sets of bikini for the trip!

Top left, my all time favourite but with one design accessory dropped out. Top right, boy shorts great for swimming and running around. Bottom Left, bandeau top from my sister, a little too big for me, but perfect for tanning. Bottom right, my new bikini, love the sexy tribal yet modern vibe.

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Paddy’s Market, Sydney

One of the stops during our Sydney trip is Paddy’s Market! There are really nothing much over there and there are many shops selling identical products and stuffs from China!

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BUT, it is a great place to buy some souvenirs and nuts and I spotted a herbs and spice shop which is rather interesting! Perfect for some roast chicken! Haha.

Random Loots from Sydney

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There are not many shopping opportunities during our Sydney trip but we did visit Costco and these are the things I bought! Huge owl for under AU$13, a set of 750ml Organix Conditioner and Shampoo at around AU$30 for a set, Jodi Picoult’s newest book at AU$18, an electronic heat pad at below AU$20, some random sharpie and felt tip colour pens!

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The only three pieces of clothes I bought during this entire trip!

 

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Love my new black and white Aztec print skirt from Valley Girl! The only few things I bought in Australia for myself. Haha.

New Yoga Pants from Mustafa.

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When I was at Mustafa to grab a new luggage (yes I know, yet again, I’ve got a big luggage and a cabin size one, just bought a medium size one!), I tried my luck in search of a more airy and loose fitting yoga pants! It’s after all Mustafa where you can find everything and anything and since both Yoga and Mustafa originated from India, there may be a good chance!

I spotted these rayon material pants that is absolutely comfortable and airy! It costs only $14.90 and found near the Indian traditional clothes department! Love the boho and yoga guru look. HAHA. Added confidence!

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Can be worn full length.

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Or three quarters!

A Response to my Reader

Hi Serene

I have been reading your blog and I think you come across as a strong, confident woman who knows what you want in your life.

I would like some advice from you. I’m currently working and am very unhappy in my work environment. I have two female bosses and one is always picking on me and it has come to “bullying”, always finding fault with everything I do and humiliating me in front of the other people at work.

When I try to raise my problem to the other female boss, all she does is tell me that I should just accept it and not create trouble or the female boss bully will just find more trouble with me. I feel like there’s no one else I can turn to in the office.

I want to quit my job but I’m afraid of losing the ‘money’. I’m a graduate in the later part of my 20s. Would really like to hear what you think. Do not mind you publishing my post on the main page of your blog.

Your reader

Hi Babe,

I may appear strong and confident but really, we all have our weak and insecure moments.

Personally, being happy at work is extremely important because we spend a good amount of waking hours at work. But not everyone is lucky to have a good boss or work environment. If you enjoy your work but not your boss, then learn to manage your boss.

But if she is a really mean person and it is impossible to work with her, perhaps you can talk to your other trusted mentors or seniors on how to deal or work with her.

For me, if I hate my boss but love my company, I will explore opportunities to transfer to another department. Job transfers in the name of learning new things and exploring new areas, may be welcomed by certain company to retain and develop staffs. This is very common in the company I work for where there are people transferring among Operations, Marketing and Purchasing departments.

If this is not possible in your company, and if you have little attachment to this company, don’t be afraid to look out and find another job! You will be surprised that there are many other opportunities out there! Even though I’m still at my first job since I graduated, I have many friends and colleagues who eventually found something they enjoyed!

As for the money, even if you get a slight pay cut, it doesn’t quite matter if that can give you greater job enjoyment! Most importantly, talk to your family about your decision to prepare them mentally. If you can find another job before you resign, that will be the best but if you can’t wait to resign and take a sabbatical, talk to your family and get their support!

Be strong and keep your chin up! You deserve so much better than this!

That’s my take and it may not be the best so my dear readers, please help! You girls will probably have greater experience to share! What’s your take and what would you do?

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As much as I would like to leave my current work area to pursue the greater challenge that my boss gave me, I will miss working with such strong in experience and great in attitude team players.

In my new environment, most of my supervisors will be new to the role, newly promoted and inexperience. It is all up to me to develop the team and I will no longer have the luxury to sit back and let my staffs do their magic. It is time to step forward to guide and develop them.

Criniti’s at Darling Harbour, Sydney

The problem when traveling with tour group is that meals are all decided and included in the tour package! And that’s not all, all the meals in our package were Asian food! Mainly Chinese and once, Thai. OMG. We were all really annoyed with the meals arrangement. Perhaps because our company gave the tour agency a limited budget and hence the lousy food.

During our last evening, we decided to leave the group and treat ourselves to a good Italian Seafood meal. Nothing like fresh seafood to complete our holiday! If you are in Sydney on a Saturday night, you might want to head down to Darling Harbour!

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There are plenty of restaurant to choose from and on most Saturday evening, there will be fireworks by the harbourside! The schedule of the fireworks can be found here!

Can you believe all these are taken by my iPhone 5 camera?!

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We found Criniti’s and boy, it was crowded! If you are popping by, I suggest reservations to be made and do get an outdoor seating if the weather permits on a Saturday evening! We waited close to 2 hours on a Saturday night. Boo! But the yummy food more than made up for it.

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One of our colleague can’t eat seafood so a wood fire pizza was ordered! I didn’t eat that but I heard that it was really really good.

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We ordered two Seafood Platters (AU$ 149.90 each) and a Cozzee Bianco Mussels (AU$24.90) to share.

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The mussels were a little too small and even though the white wine sauce is tasty, it wasn’t amazing.

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Mussels and crab that came with the platter.

The Seafood Platter was fantastic, even though there were some hits and misses in the platter, most of them were good! With grilled local king prawns, marinated calamari, oysters, scallops, scampi, mussels, clams, octopus, blue swimmer crab, gravlax salmon, lobster and barramundi with gremolata marinade.

You couldn’t ask for more! My personal favourite? The barramundi with gremolata marinade is the best. It is grilled to perfection, fresh and juicy. Crispy on the skin with juicy flesh. It is the best fish that I’ve ever tasted! If I am not wrong, barramundi is actually seabass! You can order the Barramundi fillet as a main on it’s own at AU$39.90. It is really really good. My second favourite, definitely the lobster! So fresh! Yums.

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Blue Mountains, Sydney

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Another beautiful place we visited during our Sydney trip, the Blue Mountains! Once again, it was a glorious day and we couldn’t ask for a better day!

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Our tour coach brought us up the mountain and the first stop was Scenic World. This is the basic of Blue Mountains and a must see if you are only there for a day trip! We took the world’s steepest railway down and a cable way ride up!

On the Railway, it is a 52 degree incline where it descends 310 metres through a cliff-side tunnel and emerge into a rainforest! The railway was first created for mining purposes but was later bought over by the Hammon family and converted into a tourist attraction!

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This was taken before we realized how steep it’s going to be! The sudden drop was unexpected and it was a thrilling and memorable ride!

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Look how steep this is! Can you imagine the railway ride used to be a roofless metal cage like train?

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Random photo moment along the way.

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A short 5 mins boardwalk to the cable way station. I love the forest and the clean cool air!

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The cable way ride back up!

On the way back, our coach stop by Echo Point! Perched on the edge of the mountain, Echo Point provides a panoramic view of the Blue Mountains and the iconic Three Sisters! This place has the best view!

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Pancakes on The Rocks at Darling Harbour, Sydney

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Darling Harbour
227 & 229-230 Harbourside Shopping Centre, Darling Harbour
Trading Hours: Sunday – Thursday 7am till 1030pm | Friday and Sat 7am till 12midnight
Phone: 02 9280 3791

The Rocks
4 Hickson Rd, The Rocks, Sydney
Trading Hours: 24 HOURS, 7 DAYS A WEEK
Phone: 02 9247 6371

Despite our packed tour schedule in the day with little free time, we managed to sneak in some time for pancakes! The famous Pancake on the Rocks is apparently a must try which came highly recommended by the locals!

We went to the branch at Darling Harbor as it is nearer to our hotel and it opens till midnight on Friday and Saturday! If you didn’t manage to catch it before midnight, you can try their pancakes at their original The Rocks branch which opens 24 hours daily! Isn’t it awesome!

Pancake on the Rocks also serves the regular western food but of course, as their name suggests, they are famous for Pancakes! We wasted no calories and tried only their pancakes!

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Devils Delight, a chocolate pancake, was too heavy for my liking. It is not as fluffy as their plain old buttermilk pancake which a lot of people ordered on it’s own with ice cream!

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Bananarama was good! I love banana on my fluffy buttermilk pancake! Would have tried their Blueberry Heaven, blueberry with pancake, if not for the heavy dinner we had before that! Boo! I’m a traditionalist at heart! Haha.

So if you happened to be in Sydney and are tried of drinking and fine dining, there are pancakes for supper!

Sydney Harbour and The Rocks

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We were dropped off at Macquarie Street for another great photo opportunity to view Sydney Opera House up close and personal!

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Even though we have seen the Opera House umpteen times and were getting a little sick of it, the gloriously sunny weather more than made up for it! It was a beautiful day with clear blue sky!

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After getting enough photos of the Opera House, we walked towards Circular Quay for a harbor cruise with Captain Cook Cruises!

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Around Circular Quay, we also spotted street art and performers! Isn’t it cute!

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We were given twenty minutes to roam around before departing on the cruises and I ventured further to The Rocks Market!

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It is a tiny market, five minutes away from Circular Quay and on Friday, it is a food market. During the weekends, The Rocks market transformed into a handicrafts and knick knacks market. It is a pity that we didn’t get a chance to see it during a weekend!

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At the food market, they were selling gourmet Kebabs and the queue was really long! I regretted not trying them! There were other random stalls too selling homemade chocolates, olive oils, tea and mini cupcakes!

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I tried a lemon mini cupcake and had a sugar rush! Yums!

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There is also a Museum of Contemporary Art!

Now back to the Captain Cooks Harbour Cruise! Even thought the sight was beautiful, we found the cruise a little too long. We were basically sun tanning at the deck, lazing, chit chatting and enjoying the sight and company! Now that I think about it, it wasn’t that bad. Haha.

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The not so pearly white Opera House up close!

Queen Victoria Building, Sydney

During this trip to Sydney, we didn’t had much free time for shopping. The main shopping street in town is George street and walking along George street you will pass Chinatown, Woolworths and a few shopping malls. Queen Victoria Building is one of them and it is touted as the most beautiful shopping complex in town!

” The Queen Victoria Building, now affectionately known as the QVB, was designed by George McRae and completed in 1898, replacing the original Sydney markets on the site. Built as a monument to the long reigning monarch, construction took place in dire times, as Sydney was in a severe recession. The elaborate Romanesque architecture was specially planned for the grand building so the Government could employ many out-of-work craftsmen – stonemasons, plasterers, and stained window artists – in a worthwhile project. Originally, a concert hall, coffee shops, offices, showrooms, warehouses and a wide variety of tradespeople, such as tailors, mercers, hairdressers and florists, were accommodated. “

Source: QVB

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The picture is slanted! Haha. My excellent photography skills!

We popped by Queen Victoria Building (QVB) and thought the building was beautifully preserved. Sorry for the lack of good picture to show how it looks like from the outside.But here are some pictures I grabbed off the net to give you an idea.

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Source: Here

QueenVictoriaBuilding

Source: Here

We didn’t had much time for shopping as it was turning dark and we were hunting for dinner. I did however popped in to this Chocolate store – Haigh’s Chocolates – to grab some yummy chocolates for my mum! Haigh’s is a premium chocolate stores found in 1915 and is based in Adelaide with stores in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales. We saw that it is popular among tourists and locals alike! I bought some for my mum and they were amazing! Smooth chocolate and fresh crunchy Macadamia nuts.

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The Domain, Sydney

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One of the first stop in Sydney was to the peninsula in Sydney Harbour where Mrs Macquarie’s Chair is. We were very blessed to enjoy four glorious and sunny day in Sydney and that was the best part of the trip. The weather! Haha.

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This place has the best view of Opera House and Harbour Bridge. But because of the sun, my iPhone camera couldn’t take a good picture!

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A cave at the side!

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Please ignore the sea of red. They are the worst nightmare of any tourist. 3000 PRC tourists invading Sydney during the same period of time, photo bombing in many of your pictures. I met the worst of the worst too. I was shoved and pushed aside by one of them in Blue Mountains and one Red man also stood infront of our colleague who was trying to take a picture. We politely asked him to step aside but he ignored us. Four girls saying loudly in Mandarin, please excuse me, we are trying to take a picture. But was ignored too.

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” Mrs Macquarie’s Chair (also incorrectly called Lady Macquarie’s Chair) is an exposed sandstone rock cut into the shape of a bench, on a peninsula in Sydney Harbour, hand carved by convicts from sandstone in 1810 for Governor Macquarie’s wife Elizabeth. The peninsula itself is named Mrs Macquaries Point. It is located at the end of Mrs Macquaries Road which is part of the The Domain, near the Royal Botanic Gardens. ”

Source: Wikipedia

Isn’t it sweet? Mr Macquarie created a bench for his wife just so she can enjoy the great view of the beach! Awww.

Even though I’ve visited this same spot two years back, I still very much enjoy the view and the air! Love it!

Scooting off to Sydney and back

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If you have yet to take the plunge to try Scoot – our local premium budget airline (I know, it’s an oxymoron, haha), here’s my take on my experience with Scoot to Sydney!

Here’s a little background. Our company flew us via Scoot from Singapore to Sydney and ordered set meals for us and it was a flight of approximately 7 hours plus.

Facilities

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No entertainment but you can rent an iPad with movies for SGD 20.

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There’s only two buttons.

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No foldable headrest.

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No feet rest.

Now that I have experienced Scoot, I will appreciate the little things more in a full service carrier flight! Haha.

There are no feet rest, no inflight entertainment and the headrest does not come with the foldable side to keep the head in place. It was an uncomfortable 7 hours plus ride. The basin in the toilet is needs to press a button above the tap to release the water. Many passengers don’t know about the function of this button and left it all filled with water and soap. It will be helpful if there were some labels. But I do appreciate that they provide a tap for drinking water! Yay.

Meals

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The food is overpriced and the set meal is not worth mentioning. I had the Moroccan Chicken and it wasn’t warm and a little too salty. There are some chucks of chicken, tomato, peas and beans and comes with a bread roll.

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For the return flight, I tried their Soya Sauce chicken with rice. It is much tastier than Moroccan Chicken but for SGD 10, it is extremely expensive.

Service

One word – Basic. Their staffs are inflexible and lack personalization. For my Moroccan Chicken set, it was served in the early morning and the set comes with a choice of Coke / Coke Zero. I don’t know any sane person who will drink Coke in the morning! When I asked to change to juice / coffee / tea, I was denied of it despite it being of the same value. I can understand if they have already arrange for Coke because we preordered it. But they could have tried and put in a little more effort. For instance, they can serve the entire flight first and decide later if they have other excess beverages that I can change for. But no, none was offered and they are certainly not service oriented.

There are not attentive to details. Some of my colleagues picked Coke Zero during the pre order but was served Coke instead. What’s the point of having our preference taken when they don’t follow? The set also comes with a small can of Pringles and there were two options. Original or Sour Cream. But the staffs didn’t bother asking for our preferences and gave out the chips randomly. The staffs speak basic English and some can’t even form a grammatically correct sentence or pronounce words accurately.

The worse came when there was a turbulence and when there was a slight sudden drop, one air stewardess screamed while squatting on the ground. It was very unprofessional. Shouldn’t they remain calm? Haha.

The saving grace came from the ground staff at Sydney! My luggage was 5 kg above the limit and because we were checking in as a group, it was waived.

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Overall, it is definitely more comfortable than Tiger Air or Jetstar as the seats are wider and more comfortable. Perhaps I was a little too critical, but will I take the same flight to Sydney again? Probably not. It was a painful ride and too long a flight. But I will surely take Scoot for slightly shorter rides say, 5 hours or so. Haha. I’m the pampered princess.

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I was so bored and managed to finish a book within one flight! Isn’t the owl adorable? Will share more about it in the other posts!

SbR Nominated for Liebster Award (Part I)

I’ve been nominated by Natalie for the Liebster Award! Thank you babe, that’s so sweet! That’s my first blog award nomination! Haha. Ok, I’ve no idea what this award is all about and instead, turn to Google for some answers. Here are some information about Liebster Award from other bloggers!

Liebster

“ The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. So, what is a Liebster? The meaning: Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. Isn’t that sweet? Blogging is about building a community and it’s a great way to connect with other bloggers and help spread the word about newer bloggers/blogs.” from Welovedhere

Ok. So maybe it is not a prestigious award or a real award, but this idea is superb! I’m not complaining if my blog is shared by others and I can share other interesting blogs that I read.

Here are some rules I gathered for receiving this award:

  • Post 11 random things about myself
  • Answer the questions that the tagger set for me
  • Create 11 questions for the bloggers that I’ve tagged
  • Pick 11 people and link them to my post
  • Go to their blog and inform them
  • No tag backs

The rules are a whole lot and I’m bad in coming up with questions and random things about myself! Here is part one! 11 random things about myself and the answers for Natalie’s questions. Will try to post part two (hopefully I will get to it when I’m back from Sydney), on the 11 questions and the bloggers that I will tag.

11 Random Things about myself

  1. I’m staying with my granny and her maid now. I love the freedom, the privacy and the services (from my maid). Haha.
  2. I am aggressive at work, a perfectionist and a task oriented person. But in a relationship, I can be a closet little woman.
  3. I love dancing even though I have two left feet. I love shaking my booty!
  4. I am a tea person. Whenever I drink coffee, my heart will beat real fast for hours.
  5. I love traveling and exploration. Even to rural places, I love seeing places that I’ve never seen and experiencing their cultures.
  6. I’m a glutton. Don’t even try to steal my food. I will bite. Like seriously. Haha.
  7. I am a person of many interests. I love trying new things. Tried acrylic painting, silver making, dancing, tennis, guitar and eventually yoga. In the end, am now in love with Yoga.
  8. I hate working out but I love the effects thereafter. Mentally and physically.
  9. I love CSI, Law & Order, Criminal Minds and Grimm. Intense. Heh.
  10. I’m adaptable. Throw me anywhere I will probably struggle a little and strive thereafter.
  11. I love chocolates, cakes, tarts, ice cream but hate candies.

11 Questions from Natalie

  1. Do you think you’re living the life you want? I am not living the life I want. The life I want would have been perfect but that isn’t life. So no regrets here. I am enjoying every bit of my life right now.
  2. If you could change anything in your life what would it be? To have greater self esteem and be courageous to live life.
  3. Would you want to live life over again? If so, what would you change from your past? Yes. I would not do the bowl and flip pose during my Chinese dance in primary school. It’s a pose where you lay on your belly, grab your ankle, rock your body and flip to have your chest on the ground and ankle at the side of your face. Ok, after explaining this pose, the reason why I want to avoid doing this pose? This pose flatten my boobs and damaged my glands. Haha.
  4. What would you want written on your gravestone? A charming lady, a loving wife, a filial daughter, a whacky sister and a patient mother. (In no particular order)
  5. Hugest idol everrrr? I don’t have an idol now but I used to be a huge fan of Fann Wong (a Singapore Artist). I just heard an uproar haha. Yes I know it’s not exactly cool. I used to have two exercise books with all the cut out of her pictures and articles. Haha.
  6. Brains or beauty? You can’t choose both. And if you choose brains, remember that you might look like utterly deformed. You may not even be able to walk. And if you choose beauty, you’d have an IQ of like 90. Between deformed or IQ 90? I think I prefer to be a beauty with an IQ 90, to be ignorant, contented and blissfully happy and unaware of this cruel world.
  7. On that note, which do you think is more important, IQ or EQ? Once again you can’t say “oh they’re both equally important” Make a stand! Definitely EQ. I’ve seen people with greater IQ who made a fool of themselves. EQ is something that I’ve been trying to master too.
  8. What is your meaning of life? To be happy and be at peace with oneself in all decisions I make.
  9. How would you like to go? Death in sleep is not an option. I don’t want to died in an accident because I can’t say goodbye. But dying of cancer sounds painful. URGH! This is tough. I have no answer to this and I don’t even want to think about it. Perhaps I will make a will, write my goodbye letter and say my goodbye via a video? Then I can have a random and short death without having to suffer but still get to say goodbye. Haha.
  10. Tell me a joke. Like a really really good one. I won’t even try. I’m so bad at this.
  11. Erm I’m out of questions so.. Tell me a joke? A really really bad one? I can’t even tell a bad joke. Sorry to disappoint!

Decor at Ben Sherman Paragon

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Was at Ben Sherman Paragon last weekend and thought their decor is so pretty! Love their black and white tiles. Love the contrasting cement and tiles floor. Love wood and leather look!

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My vintage brown leather bag totally fits in! Haha

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Spent my weekend soaking in the pool, baking cupcakes, watching movie by the pool and having plenty of fun! Up next, Sydney!

Weekend Brunch at The Marmalade Pantry

The Marmalade Pantry
Unit 03-22 ION Orchard
2 Orchard Turn Singapore 238801
T: +65 6734 2700

This weekend, I spent a lazy late morning at The Marmalade Pantry for brunch and loved every bit of it. Marmalade Pantry has a weekend brunch menu and I picked their Eggs Benedict! Also tried their Pantry Club and it was good too!

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Green Tea Sakura. Very fragrant and great scent and taste.

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Pantry Club.

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Eggs Benedict. Pouched Egg was really good. Muffin was soft and fluffy.

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Lemon Brulee Tart. So so good. Never too early for dessert. Love the tangy taste, creamy pudding and yummy tart.

La Senza Sale now on!

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La Senza is having a sale now and I got 10 colourful cotton undies for $60 with an additional 10% discount for members! Out with the granny pants and in with my cheerful undies!

TGIF!

It’s Friday and I’m on leave tomorrow! It feels so good to shout TGIF! Yes, my work has it’s sucky moment and it happens every Friday evening, it kicks in the moment I had to sleep early knowing that I’ve got to work for four hours on a Saturday. Boo. But otherwise, work is treating me well. Haha.

Back to TGIF! I’m heading out for Brunch and hopefully get to laze by a pool. Dear Lord, please grant me a beautiful day tomorrow without haze or rain! Let it be mightily sunny! Haha. Amen.

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Source: A cute read from Daily Mail

Damn, if know I can have her body. Haha.