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Greens from the “Sky”

Today, I was privilege to bring our Japanese friends to visit Sky Greens Farm, a vertical urban farming at Lim Chu Kang to learn a little bit more about vertical farming. This is one solution to farm some food for our growing population and definitely a great idea to add some greens in our crowded urban area! Hopefully this simple technology can take off and we can see more greens in our residential estate too!

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Almost 4 storeys high!

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Hands on experience to harvest the vegetables!

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Our familiar Nai Bai!

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Look at the amount of greens!

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We had a tasting session too!

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All I wanted is some Curly Fries

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Source: Here

Ever since Mac Donald’s came out with their Prosperity Meal in celebration of Chinese New Year, I’ve been craving for their curly fries. But I’ve been working hard at work and at Yoga and was resisting the sinful temptation until today. Triggered by two episodes of frustrating incidents at work, (1)unreasonable customer and (2)unreasonable job applicant, all I wanted was some happy food. But lo and behold, Mac Donald stops selling curly fries!

Do you know how depressing that is? They should just include curly fries into their main menu! Sigh.

#1 Unreasonable Customer

To all unreasonable customers out there. Don’t ruin somebody’s morning just because you are a grumpy and angsty shopper. This woman has since reprimanded me three times since we opened and each time, before I can say anything, she started ranting and scolding. After hearing my explanation, she complained more and said it is unacceptable and continued ranting. This morning when I saw her, I intended to greet her good morning with a smile and inform her that the Fresh Dried Cranberries that she has requested a few days back are here. But after I said “Good …”, she started ranting and scolding me. Gosh!

Here are some insider tips if you have feedbacks.

Rule #1. Be nice. Usually the nice customers are the ones we make exceptions for, smile and wish them all the happiness and luck. The nasty ones, yes they do get their way this time round, but we will record it down and remember their face. The next time if they have similar request, it won’t be granted that easily.

Rule #2. Don’t kill the messenger. Most of the time, it is not the fault of the person or manager. Get your point across and we will do our best to assist.

#2 Unreasonable Job Applicant

This applicant was interviewed by me and has accepted the job offer. Thereafter, because he is a foreigner, we had to send him for medical checkup and applied for his work permit with Ministry of Manpower (MOM). After he went through the medical checkup and got his work permit, he changed his mind and got another job. He called me and ranted about the inefficiency of our HR department in canceling his work permit and how the HR personnel is rude to him. Hello? We don’t owe you anything. I told him calmly that first, he already wasted our time and resources for all the interviews, medical checkup and Work Permit application. Can’t he wait for a few days for MOM to cancel his work permit? Second, if he spoke to the HR personnel the way he just spoke to me, no wonder the HR personnel got frustrated at him. Third, the HR personnel do not report to me. I can pass his comment to the HR manager but please stop shouting and ranting in the phone, there is nothing I can do to further assist him. Someone please knock some sense into these job applicants!

Gosh.

Thankfully, I still love my job and went for a calming session of Hot Stretch Yoga. Ommmmm.

In case you are wondering, I am still alive. Hell just started today and I am both excited and extremely tired. Day One down. Thirteen more days to go. Charging towards the opening of a (finger crossed) beautiful store.

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Meanwhile, I spotted someone doodling and sketching people he saw on train. What do you do on train? Most people are fixed onto a screen once they are on train, playing games, Facebook, videos, surfing, E-book and much more. I’m guilty of that on top of reading a physical book. But sometimes, it is nice to just look up and around and watch the world go by.

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Wondering where am I digging among for the next few weeks and months? Right here. Renovation is almost done and it is up to my team of 100s to work some magic! It is a stressful period and I will press on. 2 weeks of dust, 1 week of guarding the store and a month or so of festive madness.

A Chinese saying which is loosely translated here, “Grabbing the Buddha Feet in the last moment”, So here is me, grabbing Jesus and Lord’s leg with a prayer. It has been a long time since I said a prayer, so here goes.

Dear Lord,

Let this setup be smooth sailing, let it be a learning journey if it is not, let it be a time I show great patience especially to my hard working staffs, let it be a time I display leadership, let me grow as a person, and let me enjoy this busy process! Lord, thank you for all the angels in advance! I’m sure you have prepared great friends, colleagues, and other blessings to aid me in this journey. Let me be forgiving to the not so loving people that I’m about to face. Thank you Lord for all the mercy, grace and love you’ve shown.

In Jesus most precious name I pray,
Amen.

Dinner and Dance

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Captain and I.

This year, we were involved in our company’s Dinner and Dance committee and the theme was “Around the World”. Being part of the organising committee, we were all dressed up like Cabin Crews! Even though we were essentially working during the event, we had a lot of fun dressing up and looking pretty! Haha.

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WS dressed up as our competitors!

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Steph!

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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.

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I’m flying off to Sydney next Wednesday for four days as part of our company’s incentive trip and I can’t wait! I heard this will be the last incentive trip! Boo! Even though we are not extending the trip this time round (because we are on Scoot and we can’t change our flight!), I am looking forward to this much needed break! Haha.

Independent’s Day Celebration at Singapore American School

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On Saturday, Frontline (a code I used for the company I work for) participated in a carnival held in Singapore American School in celebration of the upcoming Independent’s Day! It is our first time participating in a Carnival and we had lots of fun selling drinks, chips and ready to eat food. It was a beautiful, haze free and sunny day!

There were two funny encounters during the carnival while I was manning the drinks booth.

Encounter 1
Dad: Hi there, do you sell juices?
Me: Erm no, but we do have pepsi, mountain dew, rootbeer, dr pepper, H2O and water.
Dad turns to little girl: Darling, they don’t sell juices.
Little girl: They…don’t …sell…juices…?
Face cringed up into a mess before big fat tears roll down her cheeks and she starts wailing like it’s the end of the world. It was hilarious. The girl looks like a doll even though she was crying.

Encounter 2
Young Boy: Can I have a root beer?
Me: Sure, there you go. Payment at…
Young Boy dashed into the dinning tent and never returned. Two other young boys stared with wide opened mouth. I felt cheated. Damn.

To end the beautiful evening, there was a five minutes display of low range fireworks. It was magical.

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Happy Independent’s Day, my readers from the states!

Tasting Wines of Victoria, Australia

Another reason why I love my job! I can be drinking and it is all legitimate. Haha.

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I tasted 13 types of wine, mostly red (bleah), some white, some sparkling and one dessert. I’m so sticking to my white and dessert. Not one of those who can appreciate the robust red, oaky taste and with a tinge of spiciness. Oops. Not so sophisticated ya. But I adore my citrus and honey white. Oh girls, don’t be jealous, I have my shitty days too.

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God is obviously playing a prank on me or giving me some life lessons. I used to stay in the East and office is in the West. Now that I’ve moved to the West, I got a new posting in the East to set up a new Frontline. Yikes. I am not going to move back to the East, not where the pain lies. But I’m going to be strong and I am really looking forward to this brand new challenge in my career.

Foie Gras and Beef at Culina Dempsey

As promised, here are some pictures and information on Foie Gras which I’ve tried at the tasting event. First, I don’t particularly like the taste. I am not a fan of fats and am not attracted to the ducky liver taste and buttery texture. Second, I don’t really like the idea of force feeding or torturing a duck or goose for human consumption, just like I don’t particularly enjoy how sharks died a tormenting manner for their fin soups. Third, it doubt it is healthy. Probably an artery chockfull of fats.

So yap, I wasn’t too happy tasting them but to each his own. Sorry for dissing foie gras fan. Oops.

“Foie gras is a food product made of the liver of a duck or goose that has been specially fattened. By French law,foie gras is defined as the liver of a duck fattened by force feeding corn with a gavage, although outside of France it is occasionally produced using natural feeding.

Foie gras is a popular and well-known delicacy in French cuisine. Its flavor is described as rich, buttery, and delicate, unlike that of an ordinary duck or goose liver. Foie gras is sold whole, or is prepared into mousse, parfait, or pâté, and may also be served as an accompaniment to another food item, such as steak.

Gavage-based foie gras production is controversial due to the force feeding procedure used. A number of countries and other jurisdictions have laws against force feeding or the sale of foie gras.”

Source: Wikipedia

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This tasted like squashy luncheon meat and slightly more palatable than the rest.

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The truffle mashed potato is yummy. The foie gras is buttery and squashy.

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Was looking forward to this but the duck meat was a little too dry.

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Still not a fan.

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This is the yummiest of the lot. I can’t really taste Foie Gras and the caramelized topping is really interesting. A creative way to turn a savoury ingredient to a sweet treat like that.

A long time back, I was also at Culina Dempsey for a dinner and wine event. Back then, I tried their steak and was in steak heaven. I was busy getting happily drunk while dunking pieces of steak in me while floating in fuzzy steak and wine heaven. Today while I am sober, I asked their manager to point out the piece of awesome meat to me and now I know the source to my happiness. Haha.

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I was given Kobe Cusine Wagyu MBS8. No idea what the rating means but I know the high it is, the greater the marbling and the better the meat. Oooh. You can pick the meat at their counter and get them to cook for you. Not sure if there is a fee for the cooking but all I remember is that it was so good.

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This is the next best alternative at a much lower rate. Look at the marbling. I love my steak and I’m the kind of girl who eats heartily and unglamorously. Haha.

Inniskillin Icewine

When I heard that I am going for a tasting event at Culina Dempsey for Inniskillin Icewine and Castaing Foie Gras, I almost did a cartwheel! Yes, my job is awesome and I know it! I am not a fan of Foie Gras but oh my gosh, I love Inniskillin Icewine. I call them liquid gold because they are so pure, so rare, so precious, so expensive and oh so good. They are not your ordinary dessert wine, they are pure goodness with the balance of sweetness and acidity. Yums.

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If you’ve no idea on the process of making icewine or the reasons why they are so expensive, read the extract below from Wikipedia.

“Ice wine is a type of dessert wine produced from grapes that have been frozen while still on the vine. The sugars and other dissolved solids do not freeze, but the water does, allowing a more concentrated grape must to be pressed from the frozen grapes, resulting in a smaller amount of more concentrated, very sweet wine. With ice wines, the freezing happens before the fermentation, not afterwards. Unlike the grapes from which other dessert wines are made, such as Sauternes (tried and love it!) , Tokaji (tried and love love it!), or Trockenbeerenauslese (tried and love it too! my favourite german Riesling and favourite dessert wine which I can afford!), ice wine grapes (my favourite dessert wine which I can’t afford!) should not be affected by Botrytis cinerea or noble rot, at least not to any great degree. Only healthy grapes keep in good shape until the opportunity arises for an ice wine harvest, which in extreme cases can occur after the New Year, on a northern hemisphere calendar. This gives ice wine its characteristic refreshing sweetness balanced by high acidity. When the grapes are free of Botrytis, they are said to come in “clean”.

Ice wine production is risky (the frost may not come at all before the grapes rot or are otherwise lost) and requires the availability of a large enough labour force to pick the whole crop within a few hours, on a moment’s notice, on the first morning that is cold enough. This results in relatively small amounts of ice wine being made world-wide, making ice wines generally quite expensive.”

– Source: Wikipedia

So, are you ready for the pictures?

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I didn’t know Inniskillin also serve Riesling. This gorgeous Late Autumn Riesling is such a baby. Not too sweet, really easy to drink and so smooth and balanced. I love it.

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This is what I’m here for. Inniskillin’s Vidal Gold Oak Aged Icewine 2008. Yes 2008. It is pure liquid gold. You cannot imagine how wide my grin was when I took a sip. I was so eager to slurp it all up and declare a major yums! I hate to say this, but I also shamelessly asked for a second serving. I am so going for my Vidal Gold Icewine.

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Just look at this. Oh gosh.

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They also have it in Cabernet Franc Icewine. Not as mind blowing as Gold Vidal but it was good. I was on perpetual sugar rush after the event. Icewine is made for girls.

You cannot imagine how happy I was today! Haha. Will share more about the Foie Gras later, I’m really not a fan.

2 seconds of Fame

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After the Gala dinner last night, I appeared on Channel 5 and Channel News Asia for a whole of 2 seconds when the VIPS graced my exhibition booth. As the exhibition ambassador,I did my thing and introduced my booth, rattled on some facts, smiled widely and was extremely friendly.

It’s my side profile and I bet no one can recognize me while I did a little twirl upon knowing about my 2 seconds of fame. Haha. The only thing I’m really glad is that my yoga paid off and for the first time, my arms are not flabby! That’s a huge news! Haha.

Workspace

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At work, I am blessed to have my own room instead of a rat hole or a cubicle to do my work. I love the privacy and space! This is especially useful when you need a space to air your frustration at work or when you had a bad day. At work, I practiced an open door policy. All my hundred and twenty staffs who work with me can walk into my office when I’m around anytime. Some managers do not fancy this style as it invades into their privacy and it can be destructive at times, but that’s how I do it. However, when I had a bad day or am rushing some work or am ill, I will usually keep my door close. This became a signal to all my staffs to stay away from me before I bite their heads off. Those times are rare but I love the option to do that.

My office is a three by five metres room with some walking or storage space other than the fixtures. But with four walls around you, it gets a little lonely and boring. Yesterday, I decided to do a little revamp in my office by moving the table to face another direction and connecting the side cabinet to my table to give myself more surface area to work with!

Other than adding a little tray of my beauty products and a vase of dried flowers gifted by my supplier, I can’t do much to dress up the place. After all, it is a workspace and I do not own the company. If I can have it my way, I would paint the wall yellow or teal or just about any colour to brighten up the otherwise dull space. Boo.

Savour 2013, Singapore

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Was given complimentary tickets to Savour – a 4 days event to unite the best in food and drink that is accessible to all. An event to enjoy Michelin-starred dishes and do some culinary shopping. There are also master classes and live demonstrations for those keen culinary enthusiasts.

We started off at the Gourmet Market where there are various exhibits breaking into Jason Gourmet Market, Savour Gourmet, Savour Lifestyle, Savour Wine and Savour Baking. I thought the Jason Gourmet market was fantastic. With generous sampling of cheese, deli and snacks, you really get to sample some of the best gourmet items. I was tempted to bring home a block of beautiful French Brie but decided against the idea as I will be the only one stuffing my face with it at home.

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The rest of the exhibits didn’t excite me much, there were Savour Gourmet, Savour Lifestyle, Savour Wine and Savour Baking. I overheard someone lamenting that there are fewer exhibiters this year and the hall seems sparse compared to previous years. Perhaps it is the first evening of the event and it’s after all a Thursday.

But we did get to eat some yummy pie from The Gourmet Pie Company, they have a booth at Savour Wine and Gourmet Village. We tried their Beef and Onion pie (SGD 6) and it was worth every penny. The beef is in chucks instead of the usual mince meat you see in most pie. But I thought the pie could be slightly bigger! Haha.

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We also chanced upon Windowsill Pie at the Savour Baking section and got to sample some of their yummy sweet treats.

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Isn’t these bookmarks adorable!

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Tiong Bahru Bakery also set up a booth there but tasting bread which was left out in the open for hours doesn’t entice me at all. There were also some baking accessories for sale at the booths from Phoon Huat and Bake King but I’m surprise TOTT was not there!

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After touring the Gourmet Market, we proceeded down to the Gourmet Village where the Michelin Stars dishes were! At both the Gourmet Market and Gourmet Village, you need to buy Savour dollars to purchase the food.

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Do bring along your Standard Chartered credit cards if you are heading there! They are giving out free Savour Dollars if you topped up SGD 50 or SGD 100 with the card!

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We tried Wild Honey’s – a 1 Michelin Star restaurant and chef from UK – Squid and Mackerel burger but was sorely disappointed with the too salty and too oily dish. It looks nothing like the picture.

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We also tried the grills from Stellar at 1-Altitude and was treated with yummy lamb rack (SGD16) and beef short rib (SGD16).

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Lastly, we tried some dishes from this 1 Michelin Star restaurant from Sweden and declared that their dishes are the best amongst the few that we tried.

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Their Cod with Egg of Quail (14) is fantastic. Love the sauce and the fish. The egg was also beautifully done.

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Their Chocolate Brioche (SGD6) was yummy too! Love the contrasting sweet (from the cake) and sour taste (from the berry sauce). Yumms.

Overall, it was an expensive pleasant evening spent with yummy food and great company! Managed to catch up with Stephanie – my bestie from our management trainee batch at work – over random topics.

Would I pay to attend this event? I may think twice, because spending so much on bite size Michelin Star dishes while jostling with the crowd is maddening enough. It would have been worst if I have to pay just to get in. But if I am gifted complimentary tickets on a weekday evening, why not! Hah.

Helping out at Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day

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I was at Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day at Triple One Somerset Finest to help organize the queue and it was the most painful experience. What’s with encouraging people to grab an ice cream when I am yearning for an ice cream and salivating like a puppy looking at bacon!? Haha.

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Collecting donations for Project Happy Feet

But don’t get me wrong, I had a blast encouraging people to drop some pennies into the donation cone, sharing with them the various flavours that they are serving and finally enjoyed my well deserve strawberry cheesecake on a cone! It is my first Free Cone Day and I had a lot of fun!

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The boy scouts encouraging people to Do Good.

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Happy with my cone after some hardwork. You can tell how hard I work according to the messiness of my hair. Hah.

Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day!

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If you have not heard! It’s Ben & Jerry’s free cone day tomorrow! As part of work ah-hem, where our company have our first collaboration with Ben & Jerry’s, I will be manning the crazy queue, asking everyone to drop some pennies and dollars in support of their adopted charity program and serving myself some ice cream (I hope!). Haha. Have a blast tomorrow people!

Sydney here I come!

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My company is bringing me back to Sydney for an incentive trip this year! Previously I was there for two days for a food convention, so we didn’t get to see much of Sydney!

I heard whispers that it is going to be in May! That is pretty soon! I hope I get to extend the trip by a week and do a road trip up to Gold Coast / Brisbane. I’m also looking forward to visit vintage flea markets and farmers markets!

Any recommendations on must see/do/eat/buy?

My Office’s Vanity Corner

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I did a mini spring cleaning in my office room today and created a mini vanity corner! With my all time favourite perfume, hand cream, lip balm, hair conditioner, and sun screen!

Do you have a vanity corner in your office? What are some basic beauty items in your office?

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It’s almost confirmed, I am heading to Kobe, Japan for 17 days from February to March for a work study trip. It’s going to be cold. Brrr.