Archive | October 2013

LOTD: Cheap loots from Bangkok

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That’s me with my after facial glow. Haha. In a pretty green polka dot peplum top (SGD 10~), second-hand denim shorts (SGD 4), leather bracelet (SGD 6~), vintage leather bag and sea salt sandals.

I love leather accessories and I bought these pretty leather bracelets at Platinum Mall on the level of fashion accessories! I got them between SGD 6 to SGD 10 each!

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I used to own one of these but lost them a while back, decided to get a replacement but got a little obsessed over it and bought three at once. Haha. Oops.

Vintage Suave Owl by elicollarbones

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So a while back, I wrote a post on the winning of a little challenge at Elicollarbones and was awarded with one customized painting from Elicollarbones! I’ve requested for a Vintage Suave Owl and look how pretty this is! Oh so cute! Can’t wait to receive it and add to my owl collection! Hoot!

Royal Elephant Kraal and Elephantstay Sanctuary, Ayutthaya, Thailand

Our third destination is my favourite, the Elephant Kraal, which is a far ride out of the island! We just kept riding and when the journey seems endless, we stopped and asked the friendly residents who reassured us to keep going. When we finally spotted these statutes, we knew we were near!

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We also spotted an Elephant by a tree hiding under the shade and taking her lunch!

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We rode further and spotted these elephant against the wall. They were chained up and were enjoying their food as well. Talking about up close and personal with the elephants. We were really curious about what goes on behind those walls, so we rode around it to get inside.

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We went up the Pavilion and spotted another Elephant inside the enclosure. This is the Royal Kraal where the royalties in the past will gather to watch captured wild elephants train for warfare! This is the only Elephant Kraal in existence in Thailand! While we were there, there was a group of secondary school students out on excursion. They were talking to the elephant and the elephant actually waved back!

From the top of Pavilion, we spotted an elephant village from afar and am excited to get there to see more elephants!

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We were greeted by many elephants! Young and old and were overwhelmed by the fact that we were standing so close to such a majestic animal. At this sanctuary, Elephantstay, they buy old and retiring elephants to allow them to rest and enjoy their little years left instead of having them work till their death out there.

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They also focus on nurturing elephants and you can spot many young and baby elephants there too!

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Young elephant with her two front leg chained up as part of their conditioning training.

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Isn’t she adorable! Aww!

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Can you spot the little one between the two big elephants? Haha.

With so many baby and young elephants in Elephantstay, it looks like they are doing a great job nurturing them! Elephantstay is a part of a not for profit organisation and when you enter, you need to contribute a nominal fee of 50 Baht to take pictures of the elephants!

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Wat Mahathat, Ayutthaya, Thailand

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The second stop after Wat Rachatburana is the one next door, Wat Mathathat! Wat Mahathat was a grand temple and their royal temple, it was the most sacred in Ayutthaya during its glorious time. There is an entrance fee at 50 Baht too at this Wat.

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Inside the Wat, there are many Buddha statues without its head and these two are the few spotted that are close to its original form.

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In Wat Mahathat, it is also where you can spot the famous tree that has grown around a Buddha head. When taking pictures of you and the Buddha head, we were told to stay low to show respect to the Buddha.

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Wat Ratcha Burana, Ayutthya, Thailand

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Our first stop was Wat Ratchaburana, a Buddhist temple which has got a tall prang that is accessible by tourist. At the top of the prang, you get a bird’s eye view of the surrounding. It is also next to Wat Mahathat which you can see from the top! If an iPhone can take such pictures, I cannot imagine what other professional camera can take! Weather was glorious with clear blue sky! Perfect for photo taking!

A nominal fee is also collected to enter this Wat!

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Part of the prang is under conservation but you can still climb to the top!
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“Wat Ratchaburana was founded in 1424 by King Borommarachathirat II of the Ayutthaya Kingdom and built on the cremation site of his two elder brothers. The two brothers had fought to their deaths in a duel for the royal succession to their father Intha Racha.

In 1957 the temple’s crypt was looted of a large number of Buddha images and gold artifacts. The thieves were later caught, but few of the treasures were recovered. Some that were recovered are now housed in the nearby Chao Sam Phraya Museum. Subsequent excavations of the crypt have uncovered many more rare Buddha images.”

Source: Wikipedia

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Reading the information on the history of this place up inside the Prang!

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I look tiny from the top!

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Nice red bricks wall!

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Many strays chilling out at the courtyard! I think my sister will faint if she even walks near them. Haha.

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An epic attempt of a Half Moon pose! Haha. I need to pull back my shoulder more! I’m officially crazy.

Day Trip to Ayutthaya

Here is the first post on our day trip to Ayutthaya from Bangkok! Many more to come!

“Founded around 1350, Ayutthaya became the second capital of Siam after Sukhothai. Throughout the centuries, the ideal location between China, India and the Malay Archipelago made Ayutthaya the trading capital of Asia and even the world. By 1700 Ayutthaya had become the largest city in the world with a total of 1 million inhabitants. Many international merchants set sail for Ayutthaya, from diverse regions as the Arab world, China, India, Japan, Portugal, the Netherlands and France. All this came to a quick end when the Burmese invaded Ayutthaya in 1767 and almost completely burnt the city down to the ground.

Today, only a few remains might give a glimpse of the impressive city they must have seen. Its remains are characterized by the prang (reliquary towers) and big monasteries. Most of the remains are temples and palaces, as those were the only buildings made of stone at that time. The great cultural value of Ayutthaya’s ruins were officially recognized in 1991, when the Historic City became an UNESCO World Heritage Site. “

Source: Wiki Travel

With such rich history which became a UNESCO site and that it is a miniature version of Cambodia’s Ang Kor Wat, I wondered why I took so long to visit this site! Before we head off, we researched on four things, how to get there, when to go, what to do and what to see and below are some tips to share!

How to Get There
We were debating between taking a train there which is the cheapest way or taking a mini bus which is a fast and affordable way. In the end, we picked neither and chose the lazy way out. We hired a driver from the hotel at 2800 Baht for an entire day and we were glad we did. The ride took around 1 hr 20 mins depending on traffic.

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It was a sunny and tiring day and I cannot imagine ourselves going there in any other way. We appreciated the ride back especially after a sweaty day out riding for hours! The driver was amused to see us all sweaty and toasted and congratulated us for a great work out session! Haha.

It will be of great value to hire a driver if you are traveling in a group of four or a pampering one even if it’s just the two of you. So off we went in the comfort of a Toyota Camry, with wide leg space at 7.30am with breakfast in hand! Awww. The little luxury in life. Haha.

When to Go
I read about the crazy crowd and tour bus if you head over to Ayutthaya on a weekend, so we plan the itinerary around the trip to make sure it falls on a weekday. Additionally, we set to head out early to avoid the crowd. Leaving Bangkok at 7.30am, we reached Ayutthaya at slightly before 9am and got to enjoy the peace and tranquillity before throngs of tourist came at around 11am.

We toured around for a few hours, had lunch at a nearby shopping mall on Naresuan Road (there is KFC, Pizza, Cafe and some street vendors there) before heading to another location and call it a day at around 2pm when the sun gets too hot and scorching.

What to Do
Instead of going on a guided tour or get the driver to send us around from location to location, we rented a bicycle and cycle around the island! There are plenty of bike rental place at Soi 1 and Soi 2 on Naresuan Road among the Backpackers Inn.

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But make sure the bicycle is ok, we had to change the bicycle midway before lunch as my bicycle chain is getting weird and creaky. We rented a bicycle for 50 Baht for an entire day and the shop gave us a chain and lock.

I think the cycling made the day trip much more worth while than just plain visiting the sites. It was really fun!

ayutthaya map too

Source: Planetware

Do remember to ask for maps and brochure at the bicycle rental place! We printed this map off the web and thought it complements well with the maps from the rental shop. It has got greater details of the main island then the ones given to us from the rental shop.

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Some tips on cycling in Ayutthaya. You need great navigation skills as the buildings all look similar. Try to remember the landmark and read maps. Girls can read maps! You also need a great smile and friendly attitude to get help from the locals. The street names are all in Thai characters and we asked a security guard, random middle age man on the street and a housewife at her place. Lastly, you need a strong heart and a love for adventure! We went the wrong way a couple of times and had to cycle on a few busy streets! Generally, the drivers there are very friendly and patient with the tourist cyclist. Never once did we get honked for cycling on opposite direction, crossing the road slowly, trying hard but failing at times to keep to the side of the road and observing traffic rules while hogging the road. They simply slowed down and drove past us patiently! I’m impressed!

What to See
There are plenty temples and ruins to see in Ayutthaya and after a while they all look the same. All red bricks and crumbling, so we were really selective on the ones we wanted to see. We didn’t want to see the modern temples which is still active and have picked the top 5 sites to visit! They are Wat Mahathat, Wat Ratchaburana, Wat Lokayasutha, around Phra Ram Park and Elephant Krang/Viewing Pavilion. More of them in the next few posts!

Shopping Loots from Bangkok, 2013

For girls traveling to Bangkok, it is mostly for shopping. The clothes are cheap and fashionable and it is a shopping paradise. Unlike for guys, we are not that into cheap booze and food, we want our clothes. Haha. Ok, before I make myself sound like a helpless shopaholic ready for rehab, we did make a trip to Ayutthaya and cycled around the island! More on that later with lots of beautiful pictures.

First up, here is a summary of my purchases and it can be a great reference on what to expect if you intend to go shopping in Bangkok!

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Melissa shoes which I paid approximately SGD 74 for each pair! Decided to not buy cheap shoes that won’t last and invest in a few pair of good ones instead.

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My favourite buy other than my Melissa shoes! These beautiful printed shift dress are so well fitted and good in quality! With double layers and beautiful fit. They are the most pricey of the lot at 650 to 750 baht for each dresses. But they are considered cheap in Singapore! The sales girl even wrapped them up in plastic, gave a free hanger and put them in these reusable bags! Wow! They are found in Platinum Mall level 2, near an escalator and their store is called Trust. The prints varies from time to time.

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Second Hand Denim Shorts from Chatuchak at 100 Baht each! They were first introduced to me by my sister in our last trip and at SGD 4 a pair, it was a steal! Not for those picky but do remember to wash them thoroughly with antiseptics! Haha.

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From a Vintage dress shop in Chatuchak which is also recommended by my sister! At 300 Baht each! I love vintage dresses as they are often well made and has that swing that modern dresses don’t have.

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Dresses from Platinum Mall. All between 300 to 400 Baht.

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Pretty tops between 200 to 350 Baht.

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Cheap waist belts! Not so adventurous me got them in brown, black and gold. Leather accessories which I love! And two necklaces. Didn’t buy any chunky necklaces this time round.

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Pretty bracelet for my sister and I at 150 Baht each!

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Dog treats for my friend’s dogs from Chatuchak! They are only 3 for 100 Baht which is dirt cheap! In Singapore, they are retailing for around SGD 4 – 7 dollars! Heartguard for Steph’s dog at SGD 20 a box! In Singapore they are retailing at SGD 48! Thailand manufacturers a lot of the dog treats and medicines and so you can find them at really low prices!

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My sister’s favourite garlic bread from Chatuchak which was freshly baked daily. I lugged these and hand carry them just for her!

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Naraya Bags for our friends.

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Pretty little baby girl’s dress for Little Alph. So cute! Haha.

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Pretty printed laptop bag for a friend.

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For my little brother! Short sleeve shirt and t-shirts!

Melissa Shoes, Jelly Dreams Bangkok

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Melissa Shoe is all the craze right now and in Singapore it is selling at quite a high price at some stores and online shops.

I love rubber shoes, even before my Crocs days I already own a few random rubber shoes! I love that I can splash them in puddles and it is so light and comfortable! During this trip, I’ve decided to pop by Jelly Dreams, Central World – the official Melissa Shoes store in Thailand!

It is indeed comfortable and really light! They have many crazy designs and really stylish ones with spikes and all. But I am someone who likes my shoes in basic colours and design so that they are versatile and I can wear them everywhere with any outfits! Haha.

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Wanted to get this in nude, but the entire Bangkok ran out of my size despite it being part of the New Arrival

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Got this design in Nude and Black instead! Yes, I’m crazy. Getting two shoes of same design in different colour. Haha. Because it is simple and comfortable! Nude for going out and black for work! Price at 1990 Baht, tourist has got a 10 percent discount and so in the end, I only paid for SGD 74 for each pair! A saving of SGD 31 compared to the ones sold at MDreams Singapore and it is not even on sale! Can you imagine how much they will be when on sale?

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Got another pair of the black version for work at the same price. The cat is too cute! Meow.

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All their shoes come with a cotton shoe bag! Nice!

Glow Pratunum, Bangkok

I am back from Bangkok and I can’t wait to share all the photos that I’ve taken! It was a really great trip! Great fun, great shopping, superb weather and I couldn’t ask for more! We even got bumped up to Emergency Exit seats and First Row seats to and back from Bangkok on Tiger Air! How blessed and fortunate! First post, on our hotel!

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Glow Pratunum came recommended by Yvonne who went there earlier last month and it was really nice!

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Very comfortable, love the fluffy soft bed and pillow, very clean, and it is very new too!

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There isn’t a tub but I don’t mind at all! Bangkok tap water is not exactly clean for soaking. Haha.

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Their toilet is connected to the room via a wardrobe which is accessible by the toilet or the room!

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The room also comes with a couch! Perfect for breakfast and snacking.

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Spacious and corners to dump your luggage!

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Best part? Just a short walk to Platinum Mall and walking distance to Central World!

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Our glowy hotel! It actually looks like a Love Hotel from the outside, with those lights and all pinky like a club. Haha.

Here are the Yays and Nays of this hotel!

Yays!

  • Really affordable. I booked it at a promotional fare of SGD 285.79 for 4D3N stay without breakfast via Hotels.com! and also top up an additional SGD 60 – 70 for a half day extension till 5pm.
  • Great location for shopaholics! Just a short walk away to Platinum Mall and there are many facilities around the hotel. E.g Starbucks and 24 Hours Mac Donald right below the hotel!
  • Walking distance to the nearest BTS station.It took us approximately 15 minutes to walk over to the BTS station. Otherwise, there are plenty of Taxi and Tuk Tuk outside the hotel.
  • Clean and comfortable.
  • Cable TV (e.g Channel News Asia, Sony Entertainment, Universal, Syfy, MTV etc) are available
  • Free Wifi in the room! Extremely important!
  • Swimming pool, gym and steam room available. But we didn’t get to use them! Too busy shopping.
  • Provide 4 bottles of complimentary water!

Nays!

  • BTS station is not at the door step. Haha.
  • Basic amenities like safe, fridge, kettle are available, but I wished they provide better shampoos / shower foam (we used our own instead), disposable shaver and a box of tissue in the room instead of just in the toilet! Haha. Ok, as you can see, I am really nitpicking because there is really nothing to complain about!

So will I recommend this hotel to my friends? Absolutely yes! Will I stay there again? Very likely unless there is another hotel recommended by my friend to give it a try! Haha.

My new found weakness for tiles.

Previously in one of my post a long while back, I shared about my love and my style as per below. I now have to officially add in another weakness!

My style and weakness

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My friend’s new floor tiles.

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My weakness for tiles! After seeing my Facebook friend Eva’s new floor tiles for her home, I feel like jumping around her floor and rolling around it! It’s so pretty! Apparently, she got her Vintage style cement tiles from Unlimited Enterprises! I want!

So here’s my weakness for my future home.

  1. Pretty floor tiles. It’s a must.
  2. Leather sofa. Oooh, those soft buttery sofa.
  3. Wooden furniture.
  4. All things vintage.

Crazy Scoot Sale!

During the Hari Raya holiday on Tuesday, a crazy war happened between 7am to 9am. Crazy because who wakes up before 7am on a public holiday, and secondly, who is able to secure 6 tickets in under an hour with all the dates and decision making, and lastly, the price is just crazy!

Scoot was having promotional fare starting at SGD 88 from Singapore to Taiwan, Seoul, Tokyo and Gold Coast. In the short span of time, I managed to secure 6 tickets to Taiwan for my family at an average price of SGD 273! I am so subscribing to Scoot Newsletter for any crazy sale again!

On the other side of the line, is my crazy sister (who shared with us on this deal), mahjong mum (who played throughout the night and was awake at 7am) and my sister’s grumpy boyfriend (ok, I’m not sure if he is grumpy but she nudged him awake for this crazy deal). After securing the tickets for a family of six for a nine days holiday to Taiwan next May. My sister proceeded to book another group of tickets to Seoul for next June! Return tickets to Seoul, Tokyo and Gold Coast were all below SGD 400! Can you believe it? I was so tempted to book another sets of ticket to Tokyo just for the fun of it! I love Tokyo! But was reminded to save money for our Taiwan trip. Boo! Reality is such a damper!

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Source: Here

I want to see Alishan’s sunrise!

So yeap. I am now planning for a nine days holiday to Taiwan for my family even before my Bangkok trip (in a few hours) and Langkawi trip (in March)! La la la. Traveling keeps me sane!

Elicollarbones on Instagram

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A while back my ex colleague Elisa started an Instagram / Facebook page for her quirky doodles and illustration elicollarbones which have been gaining popularity in the instagram-sphere. Till date, she has got 316 followers and it is increasing daily as we are speaking. It started out as a random doodle site but gained popularity during the Minions-Craze where she started drawing and posting pictures of her own versions of cute and silly minions.

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Recently she came out with her #collrbnsHIDEandSEEK challenge where she doodles and hides them in a secret location. Whoever finds it and shares it on her page will get a customized drawing in the size of a name card!

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So with some sheer luck, I happened to pass by Orchard Central for my late morning Yoga session yesterday and decided to give it a try to see if it is still around! And TADAH! I found it! Haha. I’ve submitted my request and guess what have I requested for? A Vintage Owl of course! I’m really excited to see elicollarbones‘ creative interpretation of it! Stay tuned for an update!

If you enjoy the drawings of elicollarbones, do follow her on Instagram! Oh, and if you are curious about my random life, follow me on Instagram at somethingboutrenes too!

The Milk Toof!

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I used to subscribe to The Milk Toof in my reader but am not sure why my latest reader did not have them. Recently, their release of their second book popped up in one the blogs that I subscribe to and I’m glad to reunite to this lovely blog and add them to my reader again! Yay!

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It’s hard but I am trying to love every bit of my life! Weee!

Brunch at Habitat Coffee, Upper Thomson

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Habitat Coffee
233 Upper Thomson Road

I love brunch and enjoy a brunch session once in a while. This time round, we headed to Habitat Coffee at Upper Thomson and enjoyed a sumptuous brunch at a reasonable price!

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High Ceiling!

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Scary me without makeup. Boo!

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Drawings on pallet! This picture looks really familiar but I’m not sure where I’ve seen this before.

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More seats up there!

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Hot Chocolate for my sweet tooth!

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The Chicken Shreds sandwich (SGD 8) which may not look special is actually yummy too! Juicy and flavourful! A steal at a mere SGD 8!

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The Big Ben Breakfast set (SGD 14) is great! Below the eggs are a fluffy pancake and a ham. The potato hash brown with herbs and spice batter is really unique! Looks like I will be back for more at Habitat Coffee!

PS. Cafe at Paragon

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PS.CAFE at PARAGON
LEVEL 3 . PARAGON S.C.
290 ORCHARD RD . SINGAPORE
T:(+65) 6735 6765

Met up with Lydia at PS Cafe Paragon. A not too crowded and cozy branch with rather good food! I’ve never tried their mains before and was surprised that they have great food besides desserts!

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The Farmer’s Beef Stew is yummy! The beef is tender and well cooked! Love this except for the black olives in it.

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The PS Burger Club is delightful! Juicy Wagyu beef patty and I couldn’t get enough of the Roasted Herbs and BBQ spiced rustic potatoes. So good!

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Love the Maltese but this cake is a little too sweet for me. Oops.

Collecting Memories

This video shared by peonies and pancakes is indeed beautiful. I love the part where you are stuck with bad memories but when you meet new people along the way, you build and collect more memories. I love the last part where the old man was protecting his memories as they slowly slip away with age. It is sad but also so sweet.

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This little video by Hélène Leroux is just so beautiful. It tells the powerful tale of how we go about our lives collecting memories from experiences and people we meet along the way. And what happens to these memories as we grow older.

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Teletubbies vs Yoga Glow

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Source: Here

Went for Hot Core Yoga today and I almost died and I suck at it. I am supposed to look like this but whenever the instructor asked us to use our abdominal muscles and breathe into our abdominal, all I can think of is my Teletubbies tummy. Gosh. I am weak and I hate my useless tummy.

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Creepy creepy Teletubbies. Halloween is coming, dress up like one of these and I’m sure it will be a frightful night. Haha.

On a happier note, a young student asked me to complete a survey on tertiary students doing part time. While I was completing the survey, the student asked if I am a tertiary student. I was dressed like this today.

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I said no. She was in shocked and proceed to ask if I just graduated. I said no. She then asked how old I am. I told her 28. She was shocked. Haha. I think it must be the after yoga glow instead of the huge acne on my nose.

I’m heading to Bangkok in a few days time and I can’t wait. A few days back I actually dreamt that I missed my flight to Seoul – India trip. Yes. Weird right? In the end, I hopped on a flight to HK – India instead. Gosh. I need a break and a geography lesson. Haha.

Yay to my well deserved break before all hell breaks loose! Any final recommendation on must eat?

Kiehl’s UV Defense and Corrective Dark Spot Solution

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I am declaring war with the sun! My recent temporary posting to the Headquarter got me walking to the bus stop in the blazing sun in the morning and when out for lunch! RAWR! I can see my skin ageing with pigmentation and freckles! Nooooooo. Another impulse purchase! A few months back I recall my sister telling me that Kiehl’s has got a great sunblock so I popped by to grab one as a gift but was convinced to buy another one for myself! The sunblock was on sale at SGD 52 (OMG so ex!) On top of that, I got the corrective dark spot solution (SGD 90) to get rid of the existing spots. Vanity is a scary thing. Will try and share in a few months time!