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Little Brother’s Birthday Dinner at the Little Diner (no pun intended)

Little Diner
789 Bukit Timah Road Singapore 269763
Phone: +65 6466 4088

My parents abandoned us and took off to Winter Wonderland in Harbin over the long New Year’s Eve holiday and tasked my sister and I to bring my brother out for his birthday!

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After booking out of Tekong, he requested for Western meal! We decided that since he was being so braved and strong in army, we brought him out to Little Diner and ordered as much as we could to let him try out a wide variety of “western” food as possible. Do try to make reservation as they are really small and it gets filled up pretty quickly!

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The food was great and I like that it is a cozy diner tucked in a quiet neighbourhood in Bukit Timah, which means we don’t have to squeeze with the crazy crowd in town.

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Here are all the food we ordered!

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Rustic Lamb Ragu $19.50, love the tender soft lamb which was cooked to perfection.

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Mikey’s Fish & Chips $18.50, was good and my brother loves it.

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How can we not have some greens with all the sinful dishes we had? Smoked Duck Breast Salad $13.50, the smoked duck paired with the salad was fantastic. Love that we added some greens to our meal.

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We changed our fries from one of the dish to their much raved about Truffle Fries and it really good. I love that they are not stingy with their Truffle oil! Yums.

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One of their daily special, beef chili’s or something but it was mediocre.

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Another of their daily special, pan fried salmon and it was cooked to perfection! One of my favourite.

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Version 2.0 Baked Mac & Cheese Royale $20.50 which is another delight with Truffle oil in there.

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All American Buttermilk Fried Chicken $18.50, their signature and it was really good. Their is a surprising buttery milky taste which blended well in their batter and in their tender fried chicken!

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Happy 21st Birthday Roy! We are so proud of you!

Our Family Basic Military Training Experience at Pulau Tekong

Just yesterday, my family accompanied my little brother to Pulau Tekong where he will transform from a boy to a man! This is what all Sinaporean Son has to experience and they have to give close to 2 years of their life to Army! We had a lot of fun visiting the camp and looking around his bunk! It was a very well organized half day tour and we are all guilty for smiling and laughing too much while my brother was nervous on what’s to come.

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My brother just shave his hair and we noticed he got a really round face! HAHA. Here’s us waiting for bus at Pasir Ris Interchange!

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Waiting for the ferry at the Jetty.

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One of the highlight of the trip is to see their bunk! Everything is exactly like the local movie “Ah Boys to Man”!

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We tested the bed and it is actually quite comfortable!

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They shared with us on the items in my brother’s goodie bag!

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A sneak peak on the obstacle course! Looks fun but they are supposed to complete the course in 6 minutes. OMG.

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Their Officer Commander gave a talk on what’s to expect and sworn in the new recruits. The pledge is pretty funny, it started with “I, (Full name & NRIC Number),…” and ended with “WITH MY LIFE” filled with gusto. Haha.

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They also asked us to follow their Facebook Page so we can track their progress! Wow! Talk about technology and social media.

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We also get to sample the meal! Wasn’t too bad!

Dear Little Brother,

We have great faith that you will do just fine in the BMT given your small light built and love for Nerf! Stay strong and know that we love you lots! Good luck and enjoy the journey, make a lot of friends and make the best out of this experience! See you real soon!

With love,

Your crazy eldest sis

DIY Jade at Lu-Fung Jade Workshop, Hualien, Taiwan

28 May, 2014 9:35 pm

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My mum and her auntie pattern. Haha.

Lu Fung Official Website
Address: No. 91 Zhongxiao Street, Shoufong Township, Hualien, Taiwan.
Email: lufung97@yahoo.com.tw
Tel: +8863 865 2323

After Jade hunting at Baibao creek shared in the previous post, we went to Lu Fung Jade Workshop (如豐琢玉工坊) nearby to have our raw jade made into accessories. If you didn’t bring your own Jade, you can also pick some rough ones at the workshop to try DIYing your own jade accessories at a fee. You get to take them home.

This workshop is funded by the government to retain the heritage of jade booming industry back in the 1920s – 1940s. Back then, Taiwan jade was mined by the Japanese and was extremely famous around the world. In the town where Baibao creek is, many families survived on Jade crafts and the town was prospering. But after years of prosperity, the town got complacent and the industry died. In order to preserve this part of the history, the government support Lu Fung Jade workshop which allowed visitors to learn more on Jade processing.

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Above is a quick recap of what we picked!

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Here’s how to differentiate a jade versus a rock, jade allows light to penetrate!

There are five steps in the process.

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Step 1: Cutting them to reveal more details and characteristics of the raw jade. In the above picture, the raw jade is huge and that is the size you will pick when you go after Typhoon season!

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Remember the big green one we picked? The Jade craft master cut it into half to reveal the jade inside. Isn’t it amazing? What looks like a rough rock revealed the beauty of the jade inside! The master advised us to keep the jade as per the way it is. After cutting it into halves, it looks like a rugged jade mountain paperweight.

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Step 2 & 3: It involves the designing and cutting of the rock to the desired shape.

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Step 4: Smoothing out the jade using sand paper like material. This is really tough! While trying it out, I hear my fingers getting scratched!

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We are not very good students. We really suck at it. Haha.

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Trying hard to focus on it but still sucks.

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Gave up and got the master to do it!

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Step 5: Polishing and Buffering the jade using horse skin. This step we left it entirely to the master as it requires great technique and tolerance for heat!

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Step 6: Assembling and adding finishing touch.

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That’s my final product! A teardrop shape keepsake! The transformation is amazing! There is a Chinese Proverbs which goes

“玉不琢不成器,人不学不成才” which is translated as “Jade must be carved and polished before it becomes an ornament, man must be educated before he can achieve great things.” and yes, isn’t it true!

Jade Picking at Bai Bao Creek, Hualien

Another one of my favorite destination in our Taiwan Trip is Bai Bao Creek (白鮑溪) in Hua lien. During a holiday, I prefer to be engaged in an activity while taking in the scenery, it definitely beats just making a photo stop at a location.

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At Bai Bao Creek, we were there to hunt for jade! As the source of the stream flows from an old Jade mine, there are plenty of raw Jades left for picking even after the miners stop mining them.

According to our tour guide driver, around 3 days after the typhoon seasons, the jades which are picked are bigger than palm size and they are rolling around you for your picking. Usually the aboriginals will go upstream in the forested area to pick them and sell them to the nearby Jade workshop. Even though there are plenty of jades to pick after Typhoon season (October – November), it is a dangerous activity (plenty of snakes), takes a lot of energy (to carry those rocks down) and requires a lot of luck (it must be around 3 days after typhoon season). Our tour guide driver once happened to be available for picking and managed to lug down a whole bag full of jade!

Even though it wasn’t Typhoon season during our picking (mid May), we did manage to pick a few in that 1 – 2 hours of picking. It requires some techniques, patience and luck!

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That’s my family hunting for jade! There are a lot of back bending activities, lifting huge boulders aside, balancing in the fast moving streams and algae covered rocks and attempting to differentiate between rocks and jades!

A few characteristics of raw jade, they are green and when put against sunlight, it is a little translucent.

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Too bad we are only there for a short 1 – 2 hours, otherwise, I would love to swim in the stream! The water is crystal clear and very cooling! Perfect for a dip during a hot day!

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That’s me and my sister showing off all the loots we picked! To give credit to the real pickers, my Dad picked one decent size and quality jade which is suitable for further processing, my sister’s boyfriend picked one decent size and quality jade and a few rough ones of good size. I picked a lot of tiny ones which we can’t do much with them and my mum picked a huge rock with only 5% of jade content in there while my better half, he got none as the heat got into him. Haha.

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You see the big black one? That’s the one my mum found! Haha. She was resting and playing with water most of the time. It seems like we picked a lot, but there is only 2 which can be further processed. The rest is either too thin or that there are cracks in the jade which is not suitable for processing.

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The big green one was found by the tour guide driver! He is good! In the next post, I will share how it looks like after processing them!

Tosokchon Samgyetang, Joo Chiat Singapore (Closed)

6 Apr, 2014 8:16 am

Tosokchon Samgyetang

283 Joo Chiat Road
Singapore 427537
Tel: 6348 8039

My little sister got her first bonus (even thought it’s prorated and wasn’t much!) and treated us to yummy Korean food! She found Tosokchon Samgyetang which is apparently the same famous Tosokchon Samgyetang in Seoul, Korean near Gyeongbok Palace!

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They have a very limited menu as most people will just order their famous Ginseng chicken soup, but we did ordered other food in their menu which is also yummy! I enjoyed the food a lot but my sister thought the one in Korea is much better. Haha.

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The famous chicken which I love and my sister not so. The free flow of sides!

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My favourite! Bibimbap in hot pot! Really nice!

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We thought this is some sort of pancakes when we ordered, turns out, it is a meat and potato ball which is really good! Taste like homecook meal!

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The only non chicken dish in the menu! Saba fish. Didn’t managed to try it!

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We saw the other group who was given a pancake which was not in the menu, so when we asked, he said that was complimentary to the group. We shamelessly asked for one too and the waitress readily agreed! Haha.

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Thank you sister! He is so going to roll his eyes when he sees this. Haha.

Lunar New Year

Happy Lunar New Year! I finally got my life back and I can’t wait to go back to my Yoga routine and get fit again. My jiggly arms are mocking me right in my face whenever I see myself in the mirror. Grrr.

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Don’t ask me why my brother’s hair is the way it is. I have no idea why either. Haha.

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Day 1 of visiting. I love my printed shift dress and those nails! I discovered Nail wrap stickers all thanks to my cool mum! This is an ingenious invention! No more late night nails painting, falling asleep with my hands apart and still ended up with messed up looking nails with strange alien invaded lines! It took me 20 minutes to get all my 10 fingers done on my first try! Also, no more boring but sexy red finger nails or expensive painted nails at nail bars!  I went on to take a look at Qoo 10 and spent more than SGD 50 on these nail wraps! Will share will I received them!

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My first Melissa Heels! Gosh, aren’t they pretty but rawr, they are not for walking. Haha. I am so not used to 4 inch heels and thankfully, house visiting requires little walking. But they look so pretty and perfect for photo taking! Other than the height, it is actually very comfortable. No blisters or abrasion at all!

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Day 2! Another printed dress with my new phone casing. Hoot!

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Day 3! Matched these pretty bracelet I got online from Bits of Love. Like that it is delicate and yet the gold and leather made it all so rustic and vintage. Just my style.

Christmas with people who matter

I heard you, I know you guys missed me! Haha. Work has been busy and I’ve successfully set up the store and it is currently up and running! The Lord heard my prayers as He has bless me with a smooth sailing set up. To top it off, the store is a beautiful one. Thank you Lord.

For the past weeks, it was all work and commuting from West to East every day. No time for Yoga (boo) but lots of time for a good read! Will share more about that the next time.

But among the busyness, I didn’t forget Christmas! This Christmas, we spent meaningful time with my family! All thanks to my sister, we gathered at home and feast our hearts out with her lovingly prepared home cook food! Grilled salmon, baked vegetables and Shepard’s pie, all prepared by my sister and assisted by us! We also had a supermarket bought turkey (reheated to perfection by yours truly!) and we brought along an Ice cream log cake which my family gladly polish them off! Everyone had room for dessert! Haha.

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The Chef and her Sous Chef! I’m the Pseudo Chef. Haha.

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My dad always has that weird gleeful smile in pictures.

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My Gram gram and bro.

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Here are some presents which I’ve received this year for Christmas! My mum is lame, she bought me Young Hearts panties, size S. OMG. My butt is huge and seriously mum, I’m turning 29 this year. I cannot believe it. My sister got me a gold plated owl bracelet, Chomel ear stubs which will not tarnish, and a pretty belt! My cousins got me an Owl phone case which I can’t wait to change the covers. A random red pouch from my another cousin and the best gift this christmas! An iPad Air from him! I almost cried and want to kill him for spending so much on a Christmas gift! As you can probably see, my family buys random token gifts for each other. We don’t buy luxurious gift! It’s the thought that count! I remember my sister buying me Wind chimes, Mugs, Photo frames from a neighboring gift shop when we were young. Haha. But I love love the iPad Air! Will come in handy during our trips! Weee!

Mum’s Birthday Celebration at Peramakan

Has it been almost three weeks since I last blogged? Wow! Thank you Reader G for the sweet reminder to continue blogging!

The past three weeks have been busy, with work and yoga on weekdays, yoga and life on weekends! I guessed I was feeling really lazy after working and working out.

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Anyway, back about this post! We celebrated my mum’s birthday this weekend at Peramakan at Keppel Bay! It was my sister and her boyfriend’s treat! I’m so glad my sister has finally started working and there’s someone to split the costs of these family dinners with me! Haha.

Peramakan is yummy and having Peranakan food is a refreshing change! My family tends to go to Chinese seafood restaurant all the time for all celebrations, so Peranakan food is good!

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Love their Ngoh Hiang (Meat and Prawn roll) and all the curry stew of various meats. Their desserts though heavy on the palate and tummy are sinfully yummy too.

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Other than having yummy dinner, my Dad got us to pick out a present for my mum at a jewelry store. My mum, being the practical and Gold loving Chinese middle age lady, loves gold!

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In the end, my sister and I picked up a 999 gold chain and heart shaped pendent with the Chinese word “Health”. Love that it is pretty and meaningful and to our delight, my mum loves it! Look at her gleeful smile!

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Happy Birthday Mum! May you stay pretty, youthful, healthy and happy!

A bagful of clothes for SGD 50 from my little sister

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I’m lucky to have a sister who is a spendthrift and a fashionista! My sister has a five door wardrobe filled to the brim and many clothes that she is tired of wearing. But unfortunately, this dear little sister of mine is also an entrepreneur! She cut a deal with me and after some negotiation, I got a bag of her best unwanted clothes from her one full trashbag worth of clothes for SGD 50. Haha. It was a good deal but she should have just give it to me for free! In her defense, she is a recent graduate who still unemployed.

Here are some of the clothes that was in the deal! Love the green romper, the beach cover and a couple of dresses. On top of this, she also threw in some t-shirts and tops. Haha.

Dim Sum at East Ocean Teochew Restaurant

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East Ocean Teochew Restaurant
391 Orchard Road #05-08/09 Ngee Ann City
Singapore 238872
T: 6235 9088

On Mother’s Day weekend, I brought my family to try East Ocean Teochew Restaurant for some dim sum. They have moved to Ngee Ann City Orchard from previous Shaw House location. It was crazy crowded and we had to wait for 20 mins despite making reservation. That didn’t dampen our spirit and we were glad that despite the crowd, their service staffs are all chirpy and attentive and the food quality is not compromised!

Dim sum is not just the forte of the Cantonese, East Ocean serves delicious dim sums too!Everyone loved their good service, high quality food and affordable price! All the dishes did not disappoint us and my sister, mum and dad are all raving about it while eating them! Here are some pictures of the food we had! I only managed to take half of what we ate before we gobbled them up! Haha.

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Char Siew Pao. Very good, fluffly bun that is non sticking to gum and savoury fillings.

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Yummy egg tart.

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Look at this Liu Sar Bao! The fillings are dripping yummy!

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Pig’s Trotter Vinger Stew. I thought this is only for pregnant or mothers who just give birth. Apparently this is also good for skin and joints. My mum loves this while my sister and I winced while trying.

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It’s not Father’s Day celebration but my dad gets to pick his favourite dish too!

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My mum and dad looked at my sister’s camera instead. Hah.

Kungfu Fighting

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That’s me (unflattering angle), my sister and the Kungfu fighting Evan.

Evan

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Picture from his Papa’s Facebook

Happy Sunday everyone! I’m heading out to Baby Evan’s full month baby shower! I hope he doesn’t drool on me. HAH.

Learning to be the Perfect Shopping Companion

It is tough finding a perfect shopping companion and I am glad I found one. Here are some traits of my perfect shopping companion. You may find it in your best friends, siblings, families or partners.

  • One who helps to pick out pretty things that will made you look stunning and if you do, nudge you to buy them.
  • One who is honest and will tell you if you look fat or if it is not value for money.
  • One who is patient and interactive instead of looking bored or sulky at a corner.
  • One who enjoys your company where you can laugh or bitch about things all the time.
  • One who also shops for oneself so you wouldn’t feel guilty shopping alone.
  • One who acts like a personal porter who helps to carry all your shopping loots while you browse, try on clothes and get the smaller / bigger sizes for you.
  • One who doesn’t make you feel guilty buying things you love and even supported your decision by asking “How often do you shop?”, “When will you get a chance to see something you like?” or “When will you ever have a chance to shop again?”. For busy working adults like myself, the answer to all three questions can be three to four months! That’s because I rarely shop online anymore and prefer to touch and feel my purchase.
  • One who allows you to spend your own earnings without making you feel like a criminal to splurge on yourself.

Have you found your best shopping companion? I think I did. What other traits do you think it takes to become a Perfect Shopping Companion!

A little gift for my nephew

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This sunday, we are celebrating Baby Evan (My nephew!) first month old and coincidentally, it’s Mother’s Day! So I picked out this little cutie for him from Mother Care, filial piety needs to start young! Baby stuff is expensive! I can buy a couple of dresses for myself with this! Haha. The best part is the butt patch! Imagine him crawling on the floor. It will be so cute. Even though I am not a huge fan of all babies (imagine crying and salivating babies), but I love cute babies.

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Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Mother's Day Gift Ideas!

This year I’m tasked to buy Mother’s Day presents for my mum, God-mas and grandmas while my sister is slogging away with her last examination in her life.

Here are some ideas I’ve got while squeezing my brain out for the various types of mums in the world! From the top left going in clockwise direction!

  • For tired mums who deserves some pampering and mother-daughter time, bring her to a massage session.
  • For practical mums, bring her on a grocery shopping spree. [I’m sort of doing this for my grandma!]
  • For yoga guru mums, get her a yoga towel for better grip and comfort while she sweats it out
  • For youth loving mums, get her the elixer from Estee Lauder to maintain her eternal youth. [Perfect for my mum!]
  • For romantic mums, a pretty carnation and rose arrangement in a simple vase!
  • For classic mums, a gorgeous pair of pearl earrings
  • For rarely makeup mums, bring her on a makeover and photoshoot session!

I hope you got some gift ideas for your well deserving mums over here! Feel free to add on to this list!

Life Lessons my Mother taught me

In tribute to my Mum for the coming Mother’s Day, I thought I should summarize some of the life lessons she taught me. I may not practice all of these for a 100 percent, but I try my best. My mum don’t read my blog and I am not someone who expresses familial love easily, but here goes.

Here are some life lessons that my mum taught me:-

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(1) Be generous to those in need: My mum is the most generous person I’ve seen. She often lends money to her friends / relatives and not expecting them to return back to her. She also volunteers weekly to help distribute food bags to needy families. I’m very proud of her in this aspect.

(2) Never let people who is picking you up with a car wait at the roadside: As a kid, whenever we ask for a ride home / elsewhere, she expects us to be at the pickup location earlier or on time. As I grew older, I understand the inconvenience of having the car wait at the roadside with ongoing traffic. These days, even though I can’t be early or on time all the time, I try my best to be early and wait patiently with a book in hand.

(3) Cherish siblings relationship: My mum is very close to her sisters and they have gatherings at my grandma’s place every week. She also gives monthly allowance to her elder sister because she is retired and has no income. I can tell that she really takes care of her siblings and their relationship is very tight knitted. I love you sister and bro too!

(4) Put in effort in my dressing and makeup: I remember when I was a teenager, I mum will make sure that I draw my eyebrows to perfection. Whenever I try drawing my eyebrows without her guidance in the past, I will end up with two caterpillars on my face and for sure she will nag at me.

(5) Be open minded and accepting: My mum is the coolest mum of all time. I remembered when I came home telling her that I want to convert to Christianity when I was 16. She is totally cool about it. She told me that even if I chose to marry someone of a different race and believe in a different religion, as long as I’m happy, she is cool with it. She is one who allows us to make mistakes in life. We can choose to do anything as long as we are happy, live with no regrets and answer for our decisions.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Love through Feeding your Favourite Food.

You know your family loves you when you go back and visit, they will feed you with all your favourite food. HAHA.

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Purple sweet potato. Yummy.

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Roast duck and roast pork.

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King of fruits, durian for dessert!

My parents love me!

How do you know when your parents love you?!

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Whenever you visit them at home, they will dish up your favourite food just for you! My sister and I always fight over the precious crab pincer and instead of making us fight over it, my Dad went to the wet market and got eight giant pincers just for us! Haha. I didn’t know wet market sell them like that! Thinking that it wouldn’t be fresh, it turns out alright! All fleshy and juicy! Yums!

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That’s me having a crabilious time without makeup. Say hi to eyebrow-less me! Haha.

The Line, Shangri-La Singapore

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A few weeks back, my mum won some lottery and decided to treat us to a nice meal! We picked The Line at Shangri-la which is touted as the best buffet in town. This is my first time there and frankly speaking, it is the best buffet I’ve tried till date but I am not a buffet fan. I prefer quality over quantity and I prefer to dine in a nice restaurant and have a few dishes that will blow my mind away than to try a million dishes and not remember which is the best. Haha. But it is a must try for buffet lovers!

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That being said, it is still a good dinner. Let the pictures do some talking! This is not all the food we tried because we were busy eating half the time! Oops.

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Love their mussels and crabs. Too bad they don’t have any Alaskan King Crab on their Friday dinner menu. Boo.

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Local Fare!

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Love their soft cheese with various types of crackers. Total yums.

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Desserts!

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Love their range of desserts! Look oh so pretty!

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I’m obsessed with taking pictures in mirrors. Heh.

A simple family dinner.

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My family with Mummy Kang, a person who is understanding and ever filial to my grandma! A great sister to my dad, a great daughter to my grandma and a great aunt to us!

This reunion dinner, we had it at Mummy Kang’s place. Thank you Mummy Kang for hosting us and dishing up our favourite food! It was a small and cozy family dinner.

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Yums!

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My cool mum who loves us dearly and who can be harsh with words but shows her love with actions.

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My cute pampered sister with my conservative dad but chose to accept and love us no matter what happens.

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My coolest grandma. Even though she is the oldest in the family but she is the most open minded! It probably comes with age and experience!