2013

It has been a long, long time since I last posted, but today is the last day of 2013 and even if I haven’t posted anything for 4 months, today did seem like it did deserve a post.

It has been quite a bit of a roller coaster, but I’m just going to recount some of the many blessings that happened this year because this was a year of many wonderful, great things happening, beautiful things falling into place whenever I needed them to. I may not have deserved all of it, but I guess that just makes me even more grateful and thankful for everything.

January

Taught me a lot of perseverance.
This was a month filled with calling up preschools and childcare centres in the hope of finding one that would support my final year project research. Of the 80+ schools that I called, only 8-10 took the time to listen to my pleas, and of those, only 1 finally agreed. It was also weeks spent with my family (breakfasts in and out with my mom, grandma and baby brother every few days) and in church with the youth cats. And the frantic filling up of scholarship application forms, receiving acceptance letters to some of the UK universities I’d applied to and basically being happy with the company of adventure time and birthday celebrations.

February

Probably the most tiring month this year.
Finishing up my final year project, writing reports and doing presentations and making edits until 3am in the morning; living on coffee and finding out the terrible ways my body reacts to redbull through firsthand experiences. Also the last few weeks of being in poly, with all the farewells and feeling time just fall past our fingers, never to be held again. This was also my first household for the year, where I got my blessings jar (yay!) and went back to yfc.

March

Art, art.. art?
March was the completion of my portable sleuthing kit, and also other Illustrator related adventures. I spent a lot of time with people I hadn’t seen for awhile – it was finally the long awaited break after finishing the last day of school after 3 whole years.

April

was beautiful.
I went for the International Leaders Conference (ILC) in Manila, and it was so amazing; a total blessing and beautiful experience of God. This was a month of experiencing God’s love in such a very extremely real way… I also worked as a wardrobe assistant for a TV show (it was not the best experience, but I did learn quite a bit). I ordered a lot of books, and sewed a lot of stuff, made a lot of things, and went for a gazillion exhibitions.

May

brought a shower of unexpected blessings.
I got into YNC (which I had found out about only in April) and it was totally unexpected and never part of the plan. I made so many new friends, explored a lot of pretty/cute/fab cafes and bookstores, did something special for Mother’s Day with my baby brother, baked a lumpy space princess rainbow cake!, went for all the different schools’ art/graduation shows, and also explored different parts of Singapore. May was also the month of my graduation and I wrote a letter to every single person in my class (+ a few others).

June

spelt e-x-c-i-t-e-m-e-n-t.
I couldn’t wait to move into the residential college for school and for school to start. I finished my job as a wardrobe assistant and spent my time eating good food, baking bunny shaped cookies, reading up on useless information, having sleepovers and feeling damn badass for battling the haze. I took a ferry with my family to Batam for the first time, and went for several camps, a friend’s debut, and pinkdot.

July

was like a dream come true.
School finally started, and we had orientation. I made new friends, and those same friends are still my best friends and (spoiler!) one of them is my boyfriend. Most of July, though, was spent in the US of the A – my first (and probably only) trip there. It was the best three weeks ever!!! I went to Mystic, Boston, Salem, New York and spent the rest of the time in Yale University in New Haven. I visited so many cool places and museums (MoMA, MET, Yale Uni Art Gallery, etc), took a walk in Central Park, ate pizza bigger than my body. I spent so much time doing so many amazing cool things with the best people ever and it was just. Really gr8.

August

the start of something new…
We visited the UN headquarters and met Ban Ki Moon, and then school started proper. It was overwhelming but fun and so different from anything I’d ever done before. Also, dorm life. A mixture of homesickness and spontaneous fun doing the most of random of things! I also went for the Color Run which was one of the coolest “marathons” ever, and.. sushi feast for my birthday (heck yeah).

September

was full of joy.
I got to be a bridesmaid for my cousin’s wedding (tick off the bucketlist!), and then E asked me to be his girlfriend officially and it was the happiest moment ever (I’m grinning to myself as I type this hehe). First dates, walks and whispering secrets in the middle of the night. I also spent a lot of time savouring homecooked and homebaked food and eating a lot of icecream yum yum. And oh, so many people came to visit me in my temporary home bearing gifts and food :D

October

made me a temporary hipster.
We had our Week 7 special activity/project thingy, and mine was about modern art and the meaning of life and identity and it was quite fun to pretend to be a pretentious hipster and be all like, like. I started painting my nails again too, and I spent a lot of time eating and meeting people (not eating the people).

November

was full of tiny surprises.
I got a lot of cute stuff from my angel in school, and it was a constantly uplifting feeling to come back to my room and find someone had left me stuff outside my door :’). I also got surprises from many other people and a lot of them told me to let myself be loved – I guess I never realised how much I shut myself in a tower and refuse to let people in. I also went for the Singapore Art Book Fair and it was so freaking lovely.

December

not anywhere near the end.
I moved back home for the holidays and spent most of my time trying to rest in between going out and going for camps and making/buying christmas presents. I went for a DIY pancake buffet by chance, had a 2am pizza party, dressed up as Aristotle’s wife and later the little mermaid, walked down Orchard Road to see the Christmas lightup, explored Tiong Bahru and went cafe hopping, baked cookies and cheesecake with my mom for Christmas and played a lot of lame computer games.

2013 has been good to me and I have all that I need – my family, friends and E.

#TYL

PS I’m sorry for the lack of pictures, but if I went to look for them I would never be able to post this before midnight. :p

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New York

In July, we had a summer programme in Yale before school was going to start, and on one of the weekends, some of my friends and I took a short trip to New York! Here is my adventure in photographs:

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Good things come in little packages

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Some weeks ago, I was craving pancakes. So were my friends.

And thus was the birth of a pancake hunting adventure. Our hopes high and stomachs determined to be satisfied, we set off to a happy cafe called Little Pancakes!

lp-3 lp-4 lp-5The interior of the cafe was both cozy and spacious, and the menu… I would have bought everything if I had 5 stomachs. (Sadly, I don’t… But I guess that means another trip here hehe!) After much deliberation, we decided on:

lp-8Strawberries or Me ($8.50) for me! It came with fresh strawberries, strawberry jam, maple syrup, and strawberry icecream… And 10 tiny pancakes! It was soooo adorable and totally delish.

lp-10This is what I did – layered different toppings with each other! Mixing and matching, creating different combinations was super fun (and a little messy, but a totally worthwhile mess)!

lp-7Gimme Smore Oreos! ($8.20) for my friend, where she basically had melted marshmallows, oreos, maple syrup and cookies & cream ice cream to layer with her pancakes to create pancake smores! Pores? Smancakes? (Okay they don’t sound appealing) BUT DON’T LET THAT FOOL YOU, they tasted so good!

lp-11Just look at that hot, hot mess. Oh, life. Oh, love. Oh, goodness and awe and wonder in one bite.

lp-9My other friend got Going Nutella For You ($8.20), and she got a treasure trove of hazelnutty chocolate goodness: Nutella, chocolate sauce, chocolate/hazelnut cream wafers, chocolate ice cream and maple syrup. The pancakes she decorated were soooo good that I ate them before I could take a picture (oops).

lp-12 lp-13This place was a real delight to visit and chill at, with gr8 service, gr8 ambience and gr8 food PLUS gr9 company (cause that’s even better than gr8)!

If you would also like to have yourself some spiffy little pancakes, hit them up at 200 Upper Thomson Road, #01-04, Thomson Imperial Court, Singapore 574424. It’s near Marymount MRT on the Circle (yellow) Line and there’s lots and lots of other good food in the area too, like Old School Delights! You can also check out their Facebook page here.

What do you dream about?

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sad things, happy things
hopes and wishes and magical things that aren’t real (or are they?)

i dream about love and finding someone who loves the me that no one sees
about adventures and exploring the world and the universe and soaring through skies and oceans and tiptoeing so i don’t scare kittens away

i dream about places that i’ve never been to,
palaces and kingdoms created in my head
big scary numbers eating me alive and fairy lights binding me
and swinging me from tree branches
leaves of gold, and jewelled blossoms

candy coloured houses, each one identical to the next with candy coloured people wearing candy coloured clothes and carrying candy coloured babies

i dream of the space between dreaming and reality
the tiny line between sleep and dreams

Cakes in jars

In the midst of a group of flats in Everton Park, there lies a rare and beautiful gem: That of the cake in a jar, in a little shop called Grin Affair.

2013-06-10 12.48.01This cafe sells a large assortment of jar cakes, with toppings and ice cream, fillings and cake all mixed, matched and layered.

2013-06-10 12.26.45 2013-06-10 12.27.13On a beautiful sunny day, a friend and I took a stroll and ended up here. We got Hazelnut ($5.50) and Strawberry ($6). It was an amazing experience of heaven on our tongues and in our tummies. (/ * v * )/

2013-06-10 12.40.14 2013-06-10 12.29.06They had a total of 12 different combinations on the menu, and it was so, so, difficult to choose.

2013-06-10 12.28.48 2013-06-10 12.39.42 2013-06-10 12.29.23The shop was really adorable, with really pretty decor – watercolours, wooden furniture. The only disadvantage was that there wasn’t a lot of sitting space, but luckily, we were the only customers at that point of time!

2013-06-10 12.39.33 2013-06-10 12.40.33 2013-06-10 12.40.49The cake that we ate here was really good, with great ambience and a really pretty interior. Plus, the cafe owner was really friendly and even helped us wash our jars because we wanted to take them home!

2013-06-10 12.41.23 2013-06-10 12.47.55If you’d like to visit Grin Affair, they are located at 3 Everton Park, #01-77A, Singapore 080003, which is a short walk from Outram Park MRT and also reachable by several buses! You can also visit their website here.

Cards and kittens

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If you like cats and stationery, you will LOVE this shop. Hidden in the dreary looking Bras Basah Complex, Cat Socrates is a tiny shop full of treasure.

2013-06-06 16.42.33 2013-06-06 16.40.22 2013-06-06 16.43.08 2013-06-06 16.40.16The exterior of the shop is vintage, homey and just plain pretty. I love how they have so many tiny details, yet manage not to be overly cluttered. Also, look at all those exhibition/performance posters – perfect for inspiring the bored soul. :)

2013-06-06 16.39.28 2013-06-06 16.28.42 2013-06-06 16.39.07Their cashier/counter is just cray cray, but omg I could spend hours just looking at all the pretty photographs and decorations. And look! WASHI TAPE. If you’ve read some of my other posts, you’d know that if there’s one thing I’m crazy for, it’s tape. Tape and stickers.

2013-06-06 16.23.37 2013-06-06 16.33.17 2013-06-06 16.33.12 2013-06-06 16.25.05 2013-06-06 16.24.23They also have a super huge collection of pretty cards and postcards, and they’re really affordable from as low as $1 for a postcard. If I could, I would probably have bought a whole ton of these hehe. Plus, there are so many styles and designs to choose that there’s definitely something perfect for everyone (unless you’re someone who only likes ugly things booo).

2013-06-06 16.22.03 2013-06-06 16.28.55 2013-06-06 16.26.53They also sell all sorts of cute totes and bags, and even adorable vintage clothes! I super love the ‘Oh my deer’ tote! * v *

2013-06-06 16.27.16 2013-06-06 16.26.59Of course, as with every gift/stationery/cool shop, they also had a lovely selection of notebooks, diaries and planners.

2013-06-06 16.27.56And oh my gosh, super adorable cups. I love the one with triangles! I can totally imagine having some lemonade or apple juice in it. Yum.

2013-06-06 16.26.29 2013-06-06 16.25.41They really sell tons of knick knacks. Basically anything pretty, cool or artsy. :)

2013-06-06 16.26.01And oh, ribbons! The next best thing after tape and stickers. And these were cotton ribbons, soooooo gorge.

2013-06-06 16.25.22 2013-06-06 16.25.51Lastly, they also have lots of pretty posters. Paper AND cloth! With wisdom and wisecracks to beautify your home.

And my favourite part of all…

2013-06-06 16.37.09 2013-06-06 16.37.33ADSLKFHD;LSH LOOK AT THE SHOP CAT. His eyes are just. Wow. Beautiful. And he was so friendly too! (Well, I think it’s a guy. Not sure. Oops.)

2013-06-06 16.43.24If you want to drop by and give your eyes a feast, Cat Socrates is located at  #02-25 Bras Basah Complex, 231 Bain Street, Singapore 180231. You can also check out their website here!

Old School Delights

2013-05-16 13.22.02The last 2-3 weeks have been a crazy blur (because of the haze. okay bad pun hehe) with back-to-back camps, a family getaway, and random meetups with people I love, cause I’ll be going off to college in less than a week’s time.

One of the little cafes I visited was Old School Delights, a prettier version of my primary school canteen, and full of nostalgia and good food.

2013-05-16 11.58.33You make your orders by writing them down on a little whiteboard (So genius right, they’ll never forget your orders!). My friend and I ordered a happy selection of food and drinks and had a mini feast.

2013-05-16 12.08.02The average price for one dish is about $5-7 if I remember right, and it’s totally worth it because the food is really quite tasty! :) We had macaroni soup, nasi lemak and a lot of chicken (yay!). For drinks, I had Barley with something (I forgot) and it was suuuuper yummy and refreshing, and my friend had a Bandung Dinosaurus (something like that, it was also really nice)!

But of course… the best part of every meal is:

2013-05-16 12.53.36DESSERT. Just look at this beauty. Chocolate fudge cake. Oh yum. It was heaven. Really. Words cannot describe the immense joy and satisfaction one would experience with just a bite of this cake.

I can already taste it again.

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At the counter, we were greeted with a pleasant surprise – one of our favourite bible verses on the register! * v * ANDDDDD, we got to write our names on their new set of menus – totally leaving our mark behind.

2013-05-16 13.22.08If you’d like to have lunch here, Old School Delights is located at 215M Upper Thompson Road, Singapore 574349. You can check their website out here!

P.S. I’m terribly sorry for the bad photos, all I had was my phone cause I forgot to bring my dslr out. :(

An epic, curious brunch

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So a few days ago, I went on a brunch date with one of my friends to this charming little place along the Singapore River, Epicurious (hence the title of this post). It was kind of hard to find, or maybe I just have a terrible sense of direction.

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The interior was all vintagey and there were drawings (probably done by kids) stuck on the walls, making the place all homey-feeling. Hehehe.

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We had vodka, best thing to start the day with, right? Hahahaha, but really, they served us iced water in these bottles. Just. Too. Adorable.

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My friend had earl grey tea (I forgot the price) and I had some homemade pink lemonade ($4.50). I found the lemonade a bit too sour, but well, it’s lemonade right? Maybe I’m a bit too used to the sweet kind that I usually make on my own at home! Oops.

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My friend also had the Ratatouille Omelette ($15). It was light and tasty, also quite filling I think? She said the apples tasted like apples (okay…), the toast was perfect – crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and the omelette was yumz.

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I had a smoked salmon bagel with cream cheese ($10), and this was really, really good. The bagel was lightly toasted and very fresh, with a slightly sweet taste that was so yummy I was just eating it on its own. I could live on these bagels alone forever. The smoked salmon and cream cheese filling was rather generous, and also tasted really good. All in all I was pretty satisfied, hehe.

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Adorable salt and pepper shakers.

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I think they also sell stuff that you can take home, like jams and stuff.

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The shop had seating both inside and outside and we didn’t have to wait to get a table, although that’s probably because we went for a weekday brunch. They have all-day breakfast on weekends! I really love all the tiny things they used to decorate their cafe, detailed but not cluttered.

If you’d like to drop by, the one I went to was at #01-02 The Quayside, Robertson Quay. You can also check out their website here!

Have a happy middle-day-of-the-week! :)

Explorer by day, explorer by night

So I was cleaning up the files on my computer and I came across the essays I wrote for my ync application… and well, I decided to share them! So here’s the first one, about something that inspires me:

When I was 16, a book changed my life completely. In that moment of tearing away the plastic covering the book and reading the first few pages of my new treasure, I felt something change inside me.

I never knew my heart had eyes or that my eyes could do much more than just see. The world was the same, and yet I’d never really looked at it before. All of a sudden, I saw the same world I had always seen – and a whole lot more. This magical, mystical creature that the book seemed to be, was also called ‘How to be an Explorer of the World’ by Keri Smith. And within those humble pages, was a collection of the most valuable treasures in the universe.

The first was the idea that everything is interesting (look closer), and quickly, this beautiful idea became my greatest belief. I began the endless search of finding something beautiful, something interesting in every single thing around me. I don’t just see things; I look at them.

The second was a license to create my own reality. With the help of the missions and lists of inventive ideas in the book, I have indeed become an explorer of the world around me. I change my course often, never stopping and settling for too long. I am more observant. I notice things (both tiny and huge). I document my findings in different ways. I question. I do research for the sake of curiosity and the desire to learn more. I use all my senses to appreciate and explore. I am never bored.

The third was the true definition of what a mistake is: Happenings or occurrences by which the creator does not have complete control over the final outcome that result in conclusions the creator did not predict. I lost my fear of making mistakes; instead choosing to work with whatever result I got. In fact, mistakes make life even more interesting. Mistakes are the result of answering that question at the back of your head that stops you from falling asleep (What if…?). If the predicted outcome is always supported, there isn’t much to learn from doing research. Yes, it feels good to be right and to know the ‘correct’ answers. But sometimes, it feels even better to be wrong and to learn something amazing in the process. I have done so many research papers and experiments, and the one observation that I cling to is this: A non-significant result is still a result, and the disproof of a hypothesis is still a finding – no more, no less.

This book holds countless treasures, and I would never be able to list them all. It has made me challenge convention, and the greatest treasure it holds is the realisation that someone – Keri Smith – is willing to share her wonderful ideas, for the pure joy of seeing other people also find beauty in the world around them.

I want to do that too.

exploreroftheworld

A trip to Dempsey Hill

2013-05-21 20.02.22A week ago, I went on a mini-exploration to Dempsey Hill with one of my friends, before going to the NTU ADM grad show (more about that in another post!). Okay, I didn’t really get to look around that much cause we didn’t have a lot of time but I’m just going to share a few of the bits and bobs I got to see! :)

2013-05-21 20.44.54This is the first thing we passed by, a cute butchery (?! I never thought I’d describe a butchery like that) and there were these cows outside with all their, uh, parts labelled. So adorable, right?

2013-05-21 21.29.28We popped by Ben & Jerry’s for some ice-cream, the best solution to a hot day (that is, everyday, here in Singapore) and it was really yummy despite them kind of cheating us. The interior and exterior were both kind of vintage and old-fashioned, and all in all it was a nice place to chill at.

2013-05-21 21.28.35After that, we just walked around aimlessly for awhile, and came across this little patch of garden with a fountain and a tiny merlion. And we saw several small shops and a pretty (?! I know..) bar:

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We even saw a fat, lazy cat. I like cats.

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It’s a really quiet, beautiful place to go to. Kind of feels a little haunting, but aye, I’d like to go back and explore the whole place properly. It’s like a tiny town all on its own, separated from reality. Oooh yes, and I want to visit the White Rabbit too (that’s a restaurant there)!