Playhouse Memories

I spyed this little cardboard playhouse and it brought back such memories! This one looked like it came ready made, but as little girls my sis and I had DIY ones made by my dad. He would cut up large cardboard boxes, and joined them up to make tunnels, towers and such.

I remember we once had a little house with cut-out windows too. We would make our own little curtains using scrap cloth, bring in our stuffed toys, blankets and kitchen sets, and spent hours playing imaginary roles.

Those were very happy days! :)

I Need Quiet

It was one of those nights when I was out running errands. I was hungry. I wanted something quick, and relatively healthy.

After getting my food and sitting down, I was reminded why I really dislike having meals at most food courts. It was INCREDIBLY noisy :( Clanks of cutlery, loud chatter of people, dragging of chairs across the floors etc. These sounds are fine as background noise in more open surroundings like at a hawker centre. But in an enclosed space it was really uncomfortable.

My nerves felt frayed by the noise. Managing to quickly down only part of my food, I decided I had to leave.



Career Options

I've been in the work force full time for nearly 7 years. It is a substantial amount of time to be in the same organisation. Long enough to know that I need to intentionally take steps to move my career and personal development in directions I know I should head towards.

It is because of these intentional choices that I've grown professionally and have been able to play a variety of roles throughout the last few years.

God has certainly blessed me career-wise and for that I am very grateful. I hope that the skills and experiences I have picked up will enable me to contribute towards meaningful work and the building up of others.

I've now reached the end of a well-trodded path, and I'm standing at a junction deciding which way I should go.

I have a few ideas and several opened doors. It is now time for seeking counsel, planning next steps, and keeping my ears open to listen to God's Will for me.

I'm excited :)

Weekly Chef - Baked Salmon


We had leftover pasta sauce from last week, so I decided to have pasta as a side. Baked salmon was the choice for our mains, and I tossed a spinach salad (with chopped Edam cheese - the only kind we had) for our intake of greens.

I managed to do the salmon almost perfectly this time. It was moist and juicy :)

Wedding Guests

The wedding couple had a number of guests from out of town.

We offered a place to stay for two of these guests:


They left a sweet little gift on our fridge, which we found after they left :)

Wedding Flowers

There were so many flowers at the wedding banquet.

When told we were free to bring them home, the girls went around happily pulling out stalks of lush red roses and pink eustomas.

One of the husbands then took it upon himself to lift up whole bouquets from the flower stands :)


I took a bundle home and put the flowers into 2 seperate vases (actually one was an empty pasta sauce jar). I love the richness of the red and the prettiness of the pinks.

The Friends Are Married!

A beautiful wedding.

Full of laughter, touching speeches peppered with wit and humour, fantastic singing, a surprise jazzy performance by the friends, pretty colours and happy tears.

It was wonderful to have been able to share their joy!

On the way to the aisle

The friends are getting married!

The bunch of us have been busy helping out with the many preparations. It is going to be a small and cozy wedding. Knowing the guests, it will be an absolute blast as well. Being in the planning "committee", I'm excited to see the roll out of our plans.

The first of the wedding ceremonies will begin early tomorrow morning. I've been given the honour to be one of the two Emcees at their wedding banquet in the evening, which I hope will go well.

We're all so happy and excited for them :)

Off to get my beauty sleep!

Flowers

A friend asked me if it made a difference to me if I received a single stalk versus a bunch of flowers. He wanted to know if I would think a guy is being cheap if he gave me only a single stalk.

I found that conversation interesting because it reminded me of all the flowers I have ever received.

I remember my mother being very amused when I came back from school one day with a huge bouquet of Valentine's Day flowers. It was my first year in a co-ed school, and a schoolmate had skipped classes to buy the roses for me. It could have been one of the first few times (if not the first) that he bought flowers for a girl. It came in a huge plastic box, and being shy, he walked up to me, left it at my feet where I was seated, and quickly walked away.

I was very embarrassed (everyone was staring) and didn't quite know how to react. I said a simple "thank you" while my girlfriends were squealing around me. I brought the flowers home and presented them to my mum.

Since then, I have to say that I have received more than my fair share of flowers.

Through the conversation I had today, I was made aware that it has never mattered to me what form the flowers came in. They could have been single stalks, little bunches or huge bouquets.

It has always been the giver, rather than the flowers, that makes a difference for me.

I'm always thrilled when Roboman presents me with flowers. They make me feel warm and fuzzy inside :) They tell me that he thought about me during the day, and wanted me to feel special and loved. I never care what flowers they are!


Durian Cravings

4 Pieces of D24 Durians


All good, except that we forgot to air our car. It smelt funny the next day! Had to drive with the windows down till the air cleared.

Canopy

Canopy, the little eatery at the Marina Bay Golf Course, boasts beautiful views of the city skyline and lush green of the golfing greens.

I was looking forward to some quiet and simple fare.

The food from their overly extensive menu (from oysters to mee goreng!) was so-so. The service was mechanical and smile-less.

And most unfortunately, this was where I got my horrible mozzie bites :(

A Baby


So beautiful, tender and trusting.

I look forward to having one of my own.

Maybe

Someday

Hopefully Soon


Bin It

Someone "decorated" a trash bin next to a public carpark.
I thought it was pretty cool.

It was very telling though that there was no recycling bin in sight!



My Morning

I'm off work today because of an adverse allergic reaction to some bad mozzie bites. The last time this happened, my ankles swelled so badly they looked sprained. I wanted to take a day off to rest. Just as well that the doctor felt I deserved a medical certificate.

I'm so glad for this morning, which was a beautiful one of quiet observations and reflections

1. At the doctors I saw not one but THREE fathers with their little sons! It was very heartening to know that these fathers took the morning off to accompany their sick little ones to the doctor. I usually see mothers doing that. Hardly ever fathers. One little boy must have been really feverish. His dad laid him down on the chair and was tenderly massaging and caressing him. Another father bantered cheerfully with his son, while still another held his son close while the little one rested his head on his father's belly.

2. An old lady in a wheelchair was selling packets of tissue paper. 3 for $1. When I walked up close she hesitantly said "Tissue paper?" in Mandarin-accented English. She smiled. I put $2 in her hand and thanked her. I walked away quickly without thinking. Typical mental check off my list of things to do. I wish I took time to stay to chat. Next time I will.

3. I sat at O'Brien's for breakfast. As I munched on a bacon and cheese sandwich, and reading my borrowed copy of Freakonomics, a beautiful little British baby girl (I assume British from her mother's accent) gurgled next to me and pointed to my food. Apparently my sandwich looked more tempting than the Cheerios her mother was feeding her :)

4. Later, a beautifully dressed mother and grown up daughter came to join me at my table. I quietly marvelled at their impeccable dressing and make-up, feeling underdressed with my makeup-less face and mozzie bites ridden ankles. But we quickly felt comfortable in each others' company, and I found out they were from Malaysia and had come to see relatives.

5. There were a bunch of Indian workers doing some construction work at the foot of my apartment block. I heard one of them before I saw him :) Because he was singing a Bollywood sounding tune as he worked. When he saw me, we both smiled, then he continued singing where he left off, doing his work with a lighthearted gait.

That's Life, isn't it? God made (and loves) us all :)

Light

I was lying down looking up at the light in our guestroom. It was left there by our apartment's previous owners. We kept it because it was in a good condition, although I don't like how it looks very much.

Looking at this picture. I guess it is not so bad after all. Serenity.

A Quiet Night Out

We wanted a quiet night out, so we headed to Gillman Village's Turquoise Room. When we arrived, we realised with some surprise that the restaurant has changed hands and is now called Verve.

A quiet night we certainly got, because throughout our dinner, we were the only patrons in the indoor seating area! I had to ask one of the servers why, because it is very unusual to be in an empty restaurant on a Friday night. We were told Verve is only about a week old, and that there were a few patrons at the outdoor deck at the back. We walked around after dinner to have a look, and the outdoor area certainly looked pretty.

It was very pleasant to be in a cozy little place like this. The food: We started with a Greek salad, and for the mains I had a duck confit pasta, and Roboman had a lamb shank. All were pretty good, definitely above average, although my pasta was a tad too oily. Desserts: We shared a chocolate fudge brownie (I'm boring, I almost always pick a chocolate dessert), which was alright. I really liked the vanilla cognac ice-cream that went with it, and told the server that I could have done with a larger serving of ice-cream ;)

All in all, it was a very nice evening to start off the weekend!


Blending In


I was amused that Roboman's T-shirt (almost) perfectly matched the wall colour of a restaurant we were in =)

Burst of Colour

I just purchased this beautiful bright orange pin from Etsy.

Can't wait to see it in person!

Caged Up

A colleague recently commented that I seem constrained by the work environment.

I was really taken aback because we are not particularly close, nor have we worked on long-term projects together before. I'd like to think that I have been a consientious worker - having taken on many critical projects and being recognised for the work that I do. So it is not as if I have been whiney or not doing my job well.

Am I that transparent?

Then I remembered that a similar assessment was made of me about 4 years ago (gosh has it been THAT long?). I was attending one of those personality type certification programmes where we had to take a series of "tests". When the trainer looked at my results, she told me that I am naturally free-spirited and that I may feel constrained or restricted working in an organisation.

4 years on, and a random colleague makes the same assessment.

Is this a sign?

In this day and age 7 years is a long time to be with any one organisation. But more than just a time factor, this colleague's remarks serves as a shout-out to me to re-examine my career choice and how I spend most of my waking hours.

There are so many other things that interest and energise me. I have to decide if I want to build my career vertically up - by building on current abilities and expertise, or to hop onto something completely different - but which would allow me to roam a little freer.

Pin-up

Found at the back of an old notebook
and coloured in by me.

Beyond Bread

Not being very much of a bread/pastry person, I was grouchy when we had no choice but to have dinner at Cedele (a long story).

It was my first time there, and I've always had the impression that it was a place just for gourmet sandwiches - bread and more bread.

I was thus pleasantly surprised that some branches actually serve proper food! We were particularly impressed with their Hearty Beef Stew (which they classify as a soup) - it was tasty and satisfying, with tender chunks of beef. Cedele claims that everything is cooked from scratch, with non of the artificial stuff, and I think the wonderful taste proves this claim.

I was even more impressed with their wide selection of warm salad meals. Not many places can boast such a selection.

My delicious Grilled Prawns & Avocado Salad:


This is definitely a place I'll come back to!


A friend's wedding

Love knows no limit
to its endurance,
no end to its trust.

Love still stands
when all else has fallen.

1 Corinthians 13:7-8


Weekly Chef

Our dinner tonight:

His favourite fish: Cod
about to be steamed

My Dream Mirror

LOOK WHAT I FOUND!!!
A gorgeous Peranakan style carved wood mirror!
(The doors in the centre open up like a window to reveal the mirror.)

Look at the beautiful colour:

I have always admired this style of mirrors, telling Roboman that I love how they look, but I have not been prepared to part with $$ for it.
So what made me get it this time?

Do a quick guess before reading the rest of this entry!
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I got it completely FREE!

Yes, it is one of those fabulous finds from our apartment block's carpark area :) Our neighbours seem to have a knack for discarding the most useable and interesting things. This mirror adds to our list of Ikea boxes still flat-wrapped in plastic, a CD player, an amplifier, and a couple of newish magazines - all found in the same carpark.

I feel like God has given me an early little Christmas present! :)

Another Black Dress

I was asked to take someone's place at an annual society dinner where my organisation regularly gets invited to.

It was a last minute request, so I had to rush home to freshen up and change my outfit. (I was in black patterned tights and a flouncy top that day!)

I've attended this dinner before. So I knew that unless I really wanted to stand out, I should stick to basic black.

I was right. It was basically a sea of black. Not surprisingly, someone from senior management actually expressed that he thought black should be the colour to wear for any formal event.

Anyway I don't have a problem with that. I have several black dresses to help me blend in with the crowd. I just added some shine with a few extra diamonds :)

There are Prawns and there are prawns

There are only very few dishes that I take pride in doing well.

Fried rice is one of them. I'd like to think I do a mean fried rice. I feel that I have a knack for throwing together different ingredients each time, but always managing to ensure the right balance of delicious flavours.

This week, I craved for salmon, and so I decided to whip up Salmon Fried Rice.

At the supermarket, I spied a little tray of READY PEELED prawns. I had no intention of using prawns, but when I saw the ready peeled ones sitting there I got rather excited. I have prawns! I don't need to peel them (and get my fingers poked)! They are small! I don't have to cut them up!



So I happily bought them.


Seasoned the fish.

Fried the rice.

You know what? I was so disappointed that the little prawns totally spoilt the flavours of the rice :( They were overly salty and had a certain fishiness to them (prawns can taste fishy?). There were even little bits of prawn shell that didn't get peeled off properly. The prawns killed the lovely taste of the salmon, which was I hoping would be the main flavour to the rice.

Next time, I don't care if I get poked in the fingers. I would fall back on what I usually do: Buy large tiger prawns and peel them myself.