Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye to 2010 and a HUGE HELLO to 2011!


Another year has passed... As I've posted on my FB status, "A little bit older, a little bit rounder (or shall I say MUCH MUCH rounder haha) and hopefully a little bit wiser". Looking back at 2010 makes me realize how blessed I am. There are a lot of things I am grateful for - the love of family and friends most especially.

I had the opportunity to travel to new places this year, meet new friends, eat new food (haha), watch new films, and gain more weight haha. I know, not necessarily a laughing matter. I was looking back through my 2010 new year's resolutions and it's funny how I forgot them faster than it took me to think of them. Oh well.

It's sad I haven't been able to update this blog as much as I want to. Previously, I brought home my office laptop but since I started my new job last August, I rarely get to do so. So my first resolution for 2011 is to religiously update this blog and get a personal laptop once and for all. Which I am contemplating to do first thing tomorrow morning hahaha. EXCITED! :)

On a more serious note: Yesterday, I found out the wife of my brother's close friend tragically passed away. See story below:

When I was in Manila for the holidays, I even spoke to her briefly when I saw her at the Fort. I really couldn't believe it when my mom told me about this. First time I read this news article, it never crossed my mind that it was her. So you can just imagine my shock when I learned it was her, though I wasn't exactly close to her unlike my brother or his friends. It's very painful and tragic when someone you know passes away. It made me realize how fragile and unexpected life can be. It really pays to take each opportunity to tell your loves ones how much you love them. I truly pray for her soul. And justice to their family for a quick resolution on this case.

Anyway, I wish each and everyone of you (Yes, all of you my 3 or so readers hehehe) the best of luck, love, health and life in 2011! Credits to my brother for the awesome picture (above) which he took when he was here in SG for the holidays last year. Darn, I turned 30 this year! So, it's definitely one of the most memorable years! :) Read more on "Goodbye to 2010 and a HUGE HELLO to 2011!"!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Newfangled Musings

I seriously didn't know "Newfangled" was a word haha. I just googled synonyms for "recent" for this blog title haha.

Anyway, work and life (what's new...) has pretty much consumed my waking hours, which explains why I haven't had the time to write as much as I want to. Life has been good (which I believe is a choice no matter the circumstance) and I'm very thankful. Work has been taxing to be honest but for some reason, despite the almost-daily overtime hours, I'm very happy.

Since its past midnight and just a few more hours til I need to wake up and work the daily grind, I'll just be bull-listing (my own word for bulleted listing haha) some recent milestones:

- I successfully baked a cake! (with my cousin Aileen's help)

- As with my perpetual desire to lose weight, I switched gyms and enrolled at Fitness First. Much nearer my office though 3 times more expensive than California Fitness. With hopes that the expensive monthly fees will compel me to go to the gym regularly (which I have been recently, believe it or not)

- A good friend whom I haven't seen in at least 4 years came by for a visit from Chicago/Manila

- 3rd year anniversay :)

- My 30th Birthday!!! I always thought I would be stuck in my teens or 20's. I do somewhat feel oldER. I have been experiencing aches and pains which I never felt in my teens, which is also the reason why I enrolled in a gym again

- With another new budget airline from the Philippines (AirPhilExpress), I managed to book a relatively affordable ticket for the coming December holidays.

- I finally made my first sale at work with the help of my dearest colleagues who have really been selflessly helping me and teaching me the tricks of the trade plus the nitty gritty of HR software solutions (though I admit it hasn't been easy and im still struggling) You know who you guys are! BIG BEAR HUG FROM ME!!! :)

- My first overseas dinner & dance with my new company at Desaru, Malaysia :) I am very grateful for the wonderful people at work plus our management who really painstakingly take care of us, the employees. Imagine iPad for our raffle and $100 shopping voucher for everyone! Is that cool or what!? :)

So that's pretty much it! I'm really looking forward to coming home to Manila this December as I wasn't able to go home last year.

Til the next newfangled update haha.
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Friday, September 10, 2010

Awfully Chocolate

So it's a long weekend... YIPEEE!!!

Last night, while aimlessly traipsing on my way home, I fumbled and stumbled upon "Awfully Chocolate", which newly opened in Ion Orchard. I literally stopped on my tracks to carefully inspect the goods on display. The layout of the store was very basic and minimalist which really sparked my interest.

Looking back, I don't know why in the world I didn't try them out but I think it was because I found the cupcakes "awfully" expensive. $4.90 for one small damn cupcake. Not to worry as I pass by Ion every single day (twice a day at that) so I will really make sure to give em a try next time - at least the cupcake and kahlua bars. The only thing I find unappetizing is the messy presentation of the cupcakes - you can see the chocolate all over the white cupcake holders.

Credits to

I have veeerrryyyy high expectations for their treats as not only are they premiumly priced but Aileen said their ice cream was really memorable - creamy, dense and not very sweet (great for dark chocolate lovers).

Till the next time we meet....
Click on the link below for their store locations:

For the meantime, I'm on the quest to bake my own version of "Sinfully Chocolate" chocolate cake! hehehe. Watch out for my next post...

Selamat Hari Raya to all!!!
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Friday, August 27, 2010

Rapid Eye Movement

After work, I went home with my cousin Aileen, since we both work in the Orchard area. On the taxi, she mentioned she had this dream that she was in a burning building in Eastwood in Manila. It made me realize the most common dreams I usually have which are "falling" and "naked" dreams. As you know, dreams happen during the rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep. Do you ever experience a sudden jolt like 2 minutes into your sleep? Or do you ever dream about being completely butt naked in public but no one else seems to notice but you? Well, here's what I found out through Dream Moods...

"I'm Naked!"

Becoming mortified at the realization that you are naked in public, reflects your vulnerability or feelings of shamefulness. You may be hiding something and are afraid that others can see right through you. Metaphorically, clothes are a means of concealment. Depending on the type of clothes you wear, you can hide your identity or be someone else. But without them, everything is hanging out for all to see. You feel completely exposed and are left without any defenses. Thus, your naked dream may be telling you that you are trying to be something that you really are not. The dream is literally try to strip you down to your true being. You are fearful of being ridiculed and disgraced.

Often times, when you realize that you are naked in your dream, no one else seems to notice. Everyone else in the dream is going about their business without giving a second look at your nakedness. If this happens in your dream, then it implies that your fears are unfounded; no one will notice except you. You may be magnifying the situation and making an issue of nothing.

If you dream that you are proud of your nakedness and show no embarrassment or shame, then it symbolizes your unrestricted freedom. You have nothing to hide and are proud of who you are. Alternatively, the dream may be telling you that you are drawing the wrong kind of attention to yourself. You want to get noticed, but are going about it the wrong way.

I often find myself stressing about things that I suppose other people don't really notice or care about. Add to that my perpetual insecurity about my weight and my skin. Thus, my naked dreams.

"Help! I'm Falling!"

Falling dreams are one of the most common dreams that people have. Everyone at sometime in their life will have at least one falling dream.

Falling is an indication of insecurities, instabilities, and anxieties. You are feeling overwhelmed and out of control in some situation in your waking life.

Falling dreams also often reflect a sense of failure or inferiority in some circumstance or situation. It may be the fear of failing in your job/school, loss of status, or failure in love. You feel shameful and a lost sense of self-esteem You are unable to keep up with the status quo and feel that you don't measure up.

According to Freudian theory, dreams of falling indicate that you are contemplating giving into a sexual urge or impulse. You are lacking indiscretion.

Falling dreams typically occur during the first stage of sleep. Dreams in this stage are often accompanied by muscle spasms of the arms, legs, and the whole body. These sudden contractions are also known as myclonic jerks. When you sometimes have these falling dreams, you may feel your whole body jerk or twitch and actually awaken from this jerk.

Now isn't that interesting? I guess there's a common theme to my recurring dreams - insecurities and uncertainty. Like at work, I get to meet a lot of people doing IT sales and I can't help but wonder on how much they judge you based on your appearance.

I haven't really dreamt a lot lately because I'm too damn tired when I fall asleep so I guess that's good? It's amazing how your mind can play tricks on you and manifest your daily thoughts into your dreams.

What do you dream about?

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Grandma's, Orchard Parade Hotel

My company had a software launch event at the Orchard Parade hotel 2 weeks ago and the very gracious owners of our company treated all of the event participants to lunch at Grandma's.

The interior of the resto was very "kampung" style which gave a homey relaxed atmosphere. I ordered "Nasi Bukhari" (S$ 14+, I think) - pilaf rice with fried chicken thigh, half a boiled egg, and sides of beef rendang and prawns with sweet onions.

I read from other blogs that the chef in Grandma's was a former head chef in Madam Kwan's, and I only found out about this after I already ate there. If this is true then I'm very disappointed, because the Nasi Lemak in Madam Kwan's is sooooo much better by a far mile. The nasi bukhari was very ordinary even the neighborhood hawkers served better malay food. Plus, the serving was very small -there were 2 tiny pieces of shrimp plus maybe a tablespoon of beef rendang. The chicken was also dry and bland. And to top it all off, it takes 15-20 mins to prepare the dish which the waiters forewarn you upon ordering.

Luckily, no rating for Grandma's since I didn't pay. I should probably bring Zach to this place so I can get a second opinion. If I had found out the chef used to be from Madam Kwan's BEFORE eating there then I probably would have been more disappointed.

Address: 1 Tanglin Road
#01-13 Orchard Parade Hotel
Tel: +65 6732 3082

Opening Hours
Lunch: 11.30am – 3.00pm
Dinner: 5.00pm – 10.30pm

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Red Velvet Cupcakes

2 weekends ago, I was in a baking mood (as usual haha) so I decided to finally try my own version of red velvet cupcakes. It was also my friend's bday party so more reason to do so.

I'm really so glad I have this baking book. It really comes in handy for baking all sorts of stuff. I used the recipe for Classic Chocolate Cake - though I replaced the water with 1 cup homemade buttermilk and 1/4 cup red food colouring. I always find myself modifying recipes a bit and experimenting so that I can rightfully say the finished baked product is truly my creation hehehe.

Anyway, I find it amusing how the cake batter turned from cream to chocolate brown to a deep red. The red food colouring we used was on the darker side, maybe next time I could try cherry red for a brighter red velvet cupcake.

It was quite a long process and I was really late for the birthday party. Thank god my cousin Aileen is also a baking aficionado and she was the one who prepared the buttercream icing. I was so happy to find disposable piping bags at a neighbourhood store so that came in handy.

So there you go!!! I definitely still need to perfect my piping and the icing but I'm very happy how it turned out. Not exactly perfect but decent enough to give as a gift hehe. AND modesty aside, it was a hit at the party!!! Guests were actually taking pictures of the cupcakes! :) I love how the cake itself turned out, very moist and chocolatey despite the very red color.

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Angelina Jolie plays Evelyn Salt, a CIA officer who swore an oath to duty, honour, and country. When she is accused by a defector of being a Russian sleeper spy, Salt goes on the run. Using all her skills and years of experience as a covert operative, she must elude capture and protect her husband or the world's most powerful forces will erase any trace of her existence. (

I saw this movie a few weeks ago and all I can say is Angelina Jolie rocks! I couldn't think of any other female actress who can pull off this movie, to think that it was supposedly meant for Tom Cruise.

I'm sure what I'm about to say will raise a lot of eyebrows but I liked this movie more than Inception. Yes, it was also a bit confusing but not as mind-boggling as Inception. I guess I was too enamored with the action scenes that I didn't catch some of the details - thank god my friend explained it to me haha. I love how the movie came together in the end but you do have to note the details along the way (e.g the spider, the russian school, etc).

There's a few things though that I still don't understand in the movie:
1) What has the North Korean torture scene got to do with the story? Why was she tortured anyway? Or did they just want to show how she met her husband?
2) And how could her husband have saved her from the North Korean prison in the first place?

Anyone please enlighten me?? hehe.

Anyway, still a great movie. My rating for Salt is 4.5/5.0.

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Sunday, August 1, 2010


Precious is an adaptation by Geoffrey S. Fletcher of the 1996 novel "Push" by Sapphire. Clareece "Precious" Jones is an overweight, illiterate African-American teen in Harlem. Just as she's about to give birth to her second child, Precious is accepted into an alternative school where a teacher helps her find a new path in her life.

Now let me be honest with you and say that one of the major reasons why I wanted to see this film is because Mariah Carey is in it, and she being deglamourized in the movie is an understatement. Seriously though, more than Mariah's cameo role, I think the movie was an awakening experience. Though the movie isn't specifically based on someone's real life, it is based on real life experiences.

I, having come from a third-world country and being overweight (or shall I say obese) my whole life can personally relate to the movie. Harsh circumstances depicted in the film is such a day-to-day reality in the Philippines. And to know that such occurences also happen in the land of milk and honey, USA, is really moving.

The film was not only heart-wrenching but funny at times. I do remember laughing a few times especially in the scene where they were gushing and flirting with the cute male nurse. And going back to Mariah, OMG!!! Her look was so downplayed in the movie that I almost didn't recognize her! Now I wonder if they used prosthetics to make her look that terrible or is that how she really looks like sans the makeup and designer clothes?? But Kudos to her! Her part in the film was definitely way way much better than "Glitter" haha.

My rating for Precious is 4.0/5.0
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Dried Cranberry & Blueberry Scones

It was a Friday night and it was nearing the end of my 1-week break so I decided to do something productive. Enhancing my baking skills is definitely on top of the list so I decided to bake Dried Cranberry & Blueberry Scones!

I'm really very thankful I managed to bring to Singapore some of the baking cookbooks from my modest collection. This cookbook "New Baking Book" from Better Homes and Gardens was a gift I got from one of our annual christmas gift exchanges with my cousins, a few years back.

I remember baking scones several years ago but I can't remember which recipe I used and how I baked it so I was glad to find an assortment of scone recipes in the book. I do remember though that it was quick and swift.

Please see entire recipe and baking instructions in the picture above. You might want to save the picture and zoom on it for better reading.

I guess baking scones is artisan in a way because it involves kneading and no use of electric mixers. I did modify the recipe a bit to add more fruit and replaced the cherries, as I'm really not a fan of cherries that much. I also replaced half of the all-purpose flour with cake flour just because I felt it would make the scone more moist and cakey instead of dry and crumbly. Also, I added a tad bit more butter and replaced the sour cream with lite sour cream (haha who am I kidding). Lastly, I had to add more AP flour (maybe a cup more) during kneading as the dough was quite wet, maybe because of the added fruit and butter.

Taadddaahhh!!! Dried Cranberry & Blueberry scones!! Don't they look perfect??! hahaha. Oh and I brushed the top with beaten egg for shine and colour. You can add clotted cream as a siding or orange glaze for topping. Plus, you can use a cookie cutter to make them look more like scones. Zach said they were very good so that makes me a happy baker hehe.

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Friday, July 30, 2010

Madam Kwan's, Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur

After we checked out the following day, I was craving for sinful, artery-clogging fast food and I was so decided to eat at Carl's Jr to try their chili fries. On our way, we so happened to pass by Madam Kwan's and saw the place was crowded (on a Monday at that) so we figured why not try authentic Nasi Lemak!! I can always eat Carl's Jr in Singapore anyway.

We quickly took a glance at what everyone else was ordering and it was pretty obvious their Nasi Lemak (around RM15, S$6.50) was the house specialty. So we both ordered Nasi Lemak and shared Dumpling soup and Beef Rendang.

The Nasi Lemak was just pure heaven!!! The chicken curry was super tender with the right amount of curry and spice. The rice was very fragrant and the coconut taste was mild yet apparent. The sides were also interesting - the ikan bilis (dried anchovies) were not the usual fried and crispy. Instead, they were drenched with sweet chili sauce and onions.

The dumpling soup was light and refreshing. The beef rendang was also uber tender though honestly, it wasn't the best Beef Rendang I've ever tasted. My ex-flatmate Al made a better version of this.

Overall, the food was great. We kept on raving about the Nasi Lemak with every bite haha. Oh and the service was really fast! To think the place was packed and it was lunchtime rush hour. The one thing I didn't like was that the seats/tables were too close to each other it felt like you were sharing a table with everyone else. I mean other restaurants will at least have a considerable distance between tables to allow some sort of privacy, if you know what I mean. Lunch came up to RM75, around S$33 - it is quite pricey but we were in a restaurant after all, plus the servings were bigger than usual.

Here is my rating for Madam Kwan's:
Ambiance - 5.0
Service - 5.0
Food - 4.5
Presentation - 4.0
Value for Money - 4.5

Madam Kwan's, Pavilion
Lot 1.16.00 Level 1, Pavilion KL, 168 Jalan Bkt Bintang.
Tel: 03-2143 2297 / 6

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Ichiban Boshi, Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur

Over the weekend, we had a quick 2-day getaway in Kuala Lumpur. Luckily, Air Asia flights were cheap and flight schedules were perfect which meant we had 2 full days for food, shopping and more food :)

On our first night, we had dinner at Ichiban Boshi - a japanese restaurant in Pavilion shopping center. The interior was really nice and I love the conveyor belt concept.

We were so hungry from walking all day that I forgot to take a picture of the sashimi platter we ordered haha. We also had 2 kinds of Karaage - the usual fried one and another with teriyaki sauce, plus a few pcs of California Maki.

Food was generally good. I'm always a fan of Japanese food. As long the food is fresh and the soy sauce and wasabi are of good quality, then its a thumbs up for me! Service was OK but the waiters had to pay more attention as they actually served us the sashimi platter twice and if we kept our mouth shut we could have gotten the 2nd platter for free haha.

We paid around RM80, which was roughly around S$35 - quite cheap for the amount of food we ordered considering the resto was in a high-end shopping mall.

Here is my rating for Ichiban Boshi:
Ambiance - 5.0
Service - 3.0
Food - 4.0
Presentation - 3.0
Value for Money - 4.5

Ichiban Boshi
Lot 1.14, Pavilion,
168 Jalan Bukit Bintang,
55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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Saturday, July 24, 2010


Since I've a lot of free time on my hands lately I decided to check and housekeep my hotmail email account and I was so shocked to see emails from some blog readers from more than a year ago!!! I really feel bad now that I wasn't able to reply to their inquires regarding some blog posts/reviews :( So I do hope they still receive my looonngggg overdue email responses.

The thing is I rarely (or almost never) check my hotmail email account as I mostly use my yahoo email accounts. But it does melt my heart to know that people are reading my rambling on this blog :)

I was actually also very surprised to learn that almost 40,000 people have visited my blog since I started in June 2008 but I do sometimes wonder if people read my entries or at least look at the pictures hehe. So to the readers out there, please do feel free to leave any comments, suggestions or even hate mail! haha. Yes, I do have some of those as I had this very ugly dispute with a "famous" food blogger in Manila.

Anywayyyyy, thank you for reading!!! I hope to hear from you guys!!! I'm planning to run this online contest soon with REAL prizes!!! :)

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