Thursday, 31 December 2015

2015 // 2016

(this is quite a shitty post, but I am too tired to think coherently for now)

It is New Year's Eve, so of course I had to have a lengthy post reflecting on the past year.

I feel like I severely lost my sense of time this year. I have no recollection of how 2015 started, what happened before my internship began and whether certain events took place this year or the year before. New Year's Eve actually caught me off guard, because I kept thinking there is still a long way to go before the year ends.

Everything was just a blur to me. I guess I was too wrapped up in my internship bubble, heh.

So, things that happened 2015...


Leaving Tembusu


This was the year I left Tembusu; the end to living in my little UTown bubble. I never liked goodbyes, so it was difficult to acknowledge the end of my two-year stay. 

I have already blogged about it previously, so I shall not go on any further as I have nothing much to add for now. I will miss Tembusu tremendously when the new semester begins and I have to deal with school without the convenience of Tembusu.

CAP


This was also the year my CAP finally improved. It has been a rollercoaster ride, from 3.5 > 3.38 > 3.33 > 3.59. It is far from impressive or ideal, but I am just glad to finally see a significant improvement. A little progress is better than none.

FFFA (Free Food For All)


This was certainly an unusual internship, if you could even call it that. It felt more like a school project, and I spent most of my time going around to interview people who lived in one-room rental flats.

I have learned so much from talking to the people we interviewed. From kindly old people who seemed contented and happy despite their circumstance, to the scheming ones who lie their way through to receive more free stuff, it was certainly an eye-opening experience (as clichéd as it might sound).

MBS


Right after my short stint at FFFA, I started my internship at MBS. This I certainly was not expecting. 

I will leave the reflections for my last day of work next Friday. All I can say right now is that this internship was the most significant part of my 2015 and I am eternally grateful for the opportunity. 

Things I learned in 2015:


This was the year I realised how much I enjoyed spending some quality alone time, and how precious it can be. Learning to be comfortable in your own company is important, and this was something I figured out in 2015.

I probably liked spending time alone all this while, just that it became more apparent this year. I would attribute it to having my weekdays sucked away by work. Alone time is so hard to come by these days.

This is my view right now and I am soaking up every minute of it:


Another thing I learned about myself was how I had crazy high expectations for myself at times, and that I project these expectations onto others as well.

I already mentioned something similar in last year's post, but that was specific to friendships. This time round, with the internship and all, I realised just how much I expect of myself when it comes to work. Any expectations others might have of me, the expectations I set for myself will far surpass them.

This may seem like a good thing, but too much of anything is never good. It is not sustainable and it will only be a matter of time before I crumble. Also, I end up getting so frustrated when others fail to meet the expectations I have set. I get so particular about making sure everything is done right, and I do not hesitate to point out any mistakes or inadequacy.

Which brings me to my goals for 2016:


Be happy


I need to be less uptight and less of a perfectionist. Sometimes, it is okay to not have every single second planned in advance. Certain issues do not require my criticism if it does not value-add to anything or anyone. Worrying is a waste of imagination and god knows I have an incredibly vivid imagination, judging from all the things I get paranoid about. I should be the last person to make myself unhappy and my life difficult.

Read more


I used to love reading. I used to read all the time when I was young - when I eat, when I shit (ha ha), before I sleep, in the car, you name it. This habit stopped reading when I entered JC, I concluded that social media and smartphones are to be blamed (okay, more like I am to be blamed for succumbing to their evil powers). 

In an attempt to read more, I have been following @blueeyedbiblio on Instagram. Her photos are so pretty, they really motivate me to read more. Also, booksandquills on YouTube does great book reviews and she is so bubbly in her videos, which makes reading seem more exciting. 

I am currently reading We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, which has been really interesting so far, so this was a good choice to hopefully spark off a reading streak in 2016.

Exercise more


Bought a new swimsuit and a pair of Nike Roshe this year, and it is about time I put them to good use. I need an exercise buddy to drag me out of the house and into the sun, so if anyone is reading this, please jio me out to exercise.

I do not wish to regret my terribly unhealthy lifestyle only when I am 30, 发福, turn into a fat auntie and discover all sorts of illnesses festering within me.

What lies ahead...


After an eight-month break from school, it is time to go back. I have no idea how I will adapt. I think I have forgotten how to do citations, and have suppressed the traumatic memories of going through piles of readings. This will be even more difficult since it will be my first semester without Tembusu. I will get over it somehow, but I will definitely miss Tembusu during the first few weeks.

I am, however, looking forward to planning for the upcoming Arts Camp. I have toyed with the idea of joining O'Comm last Arts Camp but felt too attached to T4 and wanted to just crash as a senior. After joining the camp as a freshie, a councillor and a crasher, I will now experience Arts Camp from a whole new perspective. I am honestly very excited for this, to the point where it is getting rather uncool, hehe.

Overall, I would say that 2015 trumps 2014 hands down. 

And now, to ring in the new year, I will be bingeing on Essiebutton's YouTube videos and rewatching Sherlock in anticipation of the Christmas special, while a very yummy Frosted Cranberry candle from Bath & Body Works makes me room smell more festive.

(ノ´∀`)ノ*.゚・。:*:.゚・☆ A HAPPY NEW YEAR ☆・゚.:*:。・゚.*ヽ(´∀`ヽ)

Friday, 25 December 2015

MERRY CHRISTMAS

'Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la la la, la la la la *ଘ(੭*ˊᵕˋ)੭* ੈ✩‧₊˚

johana basford enchanted forest
At 11:40pm last night, I was going to post this on Instagram but I ended up falling asleep instead, right then and there. So... I spent Christmas day sleeping like a pig and clocking in 18 hours of sleep in total.

Last week was full of work and meet-ups. I am so incredibly exhausted after going out for 7 days in a row, with 5 consecutive days in town. I hate the crowd and honestly, town is getting real boring these days.

Okay, time for a quick update!

Saturday:

Went to watch Mabel's play, which was really hilarious.


Yay good job Mabel! Also, that guy in the red suit behind us was one of the really epic characters who made me laugh so much, hahahahah.

Sunday:

Finally met up with Xing Xing! Always fun catching up with her, hearing about her life as a med student and talking about our non-existent love lives.

the sushi bar salmon aburi roll
Lunch at The Sushi Bar, which was amazing as always. My love for their Salmon Aburi Roll and Scallop Mentaiyaki will never fade.

Xing Xing suggested we wear our formal dinner dresses, so we were matchy-matchy in white that day. My too-short dress doesn't look very formal though, heh. I was feeling really insecure about accidentally flashing everyone, so my parka came in handy.

Monday:

Met up with Jit because we wanted to try Cocoa Colony.

cocoa colony signature gelato amazonian liquid gold
Had their Signature Cocoa Colony Gelato with the Amazonian Liquid Gold. The ice cream tasted like peanut butter, and was really thick and gooey. I expected the chocolate sauce to be this thick chocolate fudge, but it just hardened and formed an indestructible shell instead. We had a hard time breaking it apart with our plastic spoons.

Tuesday:

Met up with Maddy before she flies off for exchange! Had the usual Maddy favourites: Nam Nam and O'ma Spoon. Okay, both are my favourites too (*´꒳`*)

o'ma spoon mango cheesecake bingsu
Featuring my favourite bingsu at O'ma Spoon: the Mango Cheesecake!!! They always give generous portions of mangoes that go really well with the milky bingsu. I think this is an indulgence worth the occasional splurge.

We took lots of selfies in front of Orchard Centra's award-winning (ha ha) 'Icicle Xmas' decorations, and this was our most normal-looking photo...

...because the rest were just full of nonsense poses, ha ha ha.

Wednesday:

Lunch at &SONS, followed by dinner with Nichol after work!

Ordered the Penne with Pork Cheek Ragu, which was way better than the carbonara I tried the previous time. The pork cheek was really creamy and cheesy, but it was not too jelat because the penne and tomato sauce balanced things out. I usually have problems finishing my entire meal, so it was a rare sight to see me diligently scraping every piece of food off my plate.

Rushed from work to meet Nichol for our yearly tradition of walking down Orchard Road at Christmastime while wearing our Santa hat hair clips.

It was late, we were hungry and every place that serves food seemed to be flooded with people. We ended up at PAUL since it looked rather empty, only to be greeted with such terrible service.

I think the waitress who took our order forgot all about our food. A more senior-looking waitress came to ask us who took our order, before making an accurate guess. I am guessing this was not the first time that waitress screwed up, for the senior waitress to ask such a question the moment she realises something went wrong.

We shared this dish with a French name I could neither pronounce nor remember. It was basically sea bass with a lemony cream sauce. I liked the fish and the button mushrooms.

We also shared a strawberry tart, which was really mediocre. I liked the crust, but that was all.

Overall, it was not a pleasant dining experience at all. Never going back there again.

We walked along Orchard Road and ended up at CHIJMES, although everything at the Christmas Market was closing by the time we reached. Nevertheless, the place looked really magical and had a really chill vibe, so we just sat a one of the benches to soak in the atmosphere.

Yay us in our Christmas hats this year!

Thursday:

AKA Christmas Eve. Half day at work followed by dental appointment and dinner with Daphy.

So yesterday, I stood at the end of the Helix Bridge to stupidly stare at the building for awhile, because I am an overly sentimental freak and could not help but think about how much I enjoyed my time there and how much I will miss this place when I leave. Eight more days of work left to go. I am savouring every bit of work I have to do.

Next up, dinner at Switch by Timbre to finally satisfy Daphy's cravings for their duck pizza.

Her Apple Martini tasted too artificial for her liking and my Mudslide was too diluted. I also dislike how their alcohol always tasted so strong and reminded me of rubbing alcohol. Every single trip to Timbre leaves me disappointed with their drinks.

switch by timbre roasted duck pizza truffle fries apple martini mudslide
The Truffle Fries were extremely addictive and impossible to stop at just one, although the mayonnaise had a strangely watery consistency. Their Roasted Duck Pizza was the same as always, with the popiah skin constantly stuck between my teeth and pricking my gums, pretty much undoing all the polishing done at the dentist earlier on.

Aaand this concludes my very tiring and busy week of rushing reports at work and rushing off to meet friends after work. I am socially exhausted and due for a recharge. Christmas and New Year's Eve are the only time for me to sleep in and have all the alone time I want and so desperately need.

I shall go pamper myself with a hair mask, body scrub and face mask (⑅˘͈ ᵕ ˘͈ )

Sunday, 20 December 2015

LAST WEEK: BAKER & COOK AND DAZZLING CAFE

It is four in the morning and I am wide awake, so I guess it is time for a quick update about last week! Although I am sure the blue light emitted from my MacBook screen is not helping me fall asleep any sooner.

Baker & Cook


I have been hearing lots of good reviews about Tea Pigs recently and found out that Baker & Cook serves them. Decided to give it a try as part of my quest to like tea.

I tried the peppermint tea and roobois creme caramel, both of which I could not finish because I just hated how diluted everything tastes. My favourite was the tiny cube of brownie they serve with your tea.

My failed tea appreciation aside, the cafe was rather cozy to chill and read on a rainy weekend. There was a constant buzz of people but the place was small and had limited seats, so it was never too noisy or crowded.

Dazzling Cafe


Took half day leave on Monday and met up with Daphy! Thanks for making me feel tall every time we take photos ^_^

Finally tried Dazzling Cafe, which has been on our radar since forever. After reading several unimpressed reviews, I went in without much expectations. The food turned out to be pretty good!

dazzling cafe classic honey toast
The Classic Honey Toast was really yummy! Ice cream, toast and honey can't really go wrong, can it? I just wished there was more toast, because the crust was barely edible and so the portions ended up being quite little.

dazzling cafe strawberry ice cream waffle
I liked the Strawberry Ice Cream Waffles as well. As usual, the ice cream + waffles combination never disappoints and the strawberries were slightly sour, which balanced out the sweetness. Their mochi waffle was chewy, which gave it an interesting texture.

I think I preferred this to the honey toast because the whole cold + hot + sweet + sour + chewy combination gave it more personality. Which worked out well, since Daphy hates sour stuff and preferred the honey toast.

dazzling cafe mentaiko fries
I thought all that dessert would be overwhelmingly sweet and so we got us some savoury Mentaiko Fries to balance things out. I am so glad we ordered this! The fries alone were really good, but the mentaiko sauce made it even better. I think this is subjective though, and not everybody would like it. I love those fish roe you find on sushi, so this was really addictive to me.

They had a free photobooth that day, and the auntie in me was so excited for free photos!!!

And now, for random scenery that fascinated me.

Happened to be at Beauty World the other day and noticed that the view from the hawker centre was quite pretty!

And my stroll across the Helix Bridge after work led to lots of photos once again. I was particularly intrigued by the clouds that day. What little life I must have, to be so easily impressed by clouds. I would, however, prefer to view it as an ability to find joy in simple things ^_^

Saturday, 19 December 2015

CHRISTMAS WONDERLAND @ GARDENS BY THE BAY

Or, squeezing with roughly half of Singapore's population just to see lights and foam bubbles.

This year's Christmas Wonderland seemed so much more hyped up than last year, but everything seems to be the same. Same lights, same Garden Rhapsody light show. And I really detest crowds, so going on a Friday night was not the best idea.

Still, it was a fun night of taking photos, eating good food and randomly singing Christmas songs.

gardens by the bay christmas wonderland 2015

gardens by the bay christmas wonderland 2015

gardens by the bay christmas wonderland 2015

the dutch pancake store
We had the best pancakes ever from The Dutch Pancake Store!!!

the dutch pancake store
Look at these tiny morsels of heaven!!! Each bite-sized pancake was so fluffy, they were really generous with the maple syrup, and that chunk of butter was so yummy! I usually find butter rather disgusting, but this one was pleasantly sweet. I could not stop shovelling these into my mouth; I literally devoured each pancake in just one bite.

the ice cream & cookie co
We were eyeing the ice cream & cookie co. the moment we saw it.

the ice cream & cookie co
I chose the cookie butter flavour, although I could not taste much of the cookie butter. This was not bad, but I would pick the pancakes if I only had space for one dessert.

We went to The Future of Us exhibition as well, but it was quite boring. Also, admission is free but you need to book your free tickets here.

Those clouds just look like moldy poop floating in the air.

We amused ourselves by taking random photos...

...and grainy selfies.

'twas a fun night, mostly because of the company. Got lots of photo-taking tips from this ex-Visual Media intern, hehe! "You must tap on the brightest part of the photo!" "Hold the food this way" ha ha free photography lessons. 

Looking forward to Cocoa Colony on Monday!

Sunday, 13 December 2015

RAINY OFF DAYS & WEEKENDS

Took an off day on Friday and another two more half days next Monday and Tuesday. It's gonna feel like a blissful long weekend, oh yeah~

I have been stuffing myself silly with lots of food this week, so here's more food spams!

Curious Palette


Nichol wanted to try this cafe and so we did. I had no idea this cafe is related to Stranger's Reunion until I saw the articles about Save-a-Stranger.

curious palette berry ricotta hotcakes
The Berry Ricotta Hotcakes were pretty good, and I would say I prefer this to the one at Paddy Hills.

Most importantly, that white blob was ice cream instead of mascarpone. I love me some cold ice cream on warm cakes! And I did not think I would care for those sunflower seeds scattered all over, but they added a nice texture to the hotcakes. 

curious palette soft shell crab burger
Their Soft Shell Crab Burger was alright, but I was constantly comparing it with the one from Lepark. I prefer Lepark's take on the soft shell crab burger, with salted egg yolk sauce, meatier crab and best of all, the mantou bun!!!

Food-wise, I still have a soft spot for Stranger's Reunion because it is one of my favourite cafes ever. I rarely see the point in revisiting cafes since they tend to serve the same overpriced food, but Stranger's Reunion has such amazing waffles I would go back there over and over again.

curious palette
They had huge mirrors in the cafe, perhaps to make the place look bigger? Hee hee, 被我抓到了, sneaky interior design.

I loved how cozy the cafe feels, with the warm lighting and lots of big windows and mirrors. We trudged there in the rain and the moment I entered the cafe, I just felt like staying there all afternoon to read by a window while enjoying the rainy weather.

The rest of the day was spent shopping, and I ended up spending about $200. No thanks to Nichol, who gleefully encouraged me to buy something each time I hesitated.

To be fair, half that amount went to a pair of Nike Roshe One. I cannot believe I got myself a pair, because they seem like hipster shoes, but I have no sports shoes so it was about time I got one. They were super comfy as well, and hopefully match my outfits. The more versatile it is, the more it justifies my impulsive purchase. Maybe this will be motivation to exercise more next year? Ha ha, who am I kidding.

Tony Roma's


Met up with the CNNY exco on Saturday for St Games and dinner. Roamed around Orchard Central for a while because deciding on this place, and I am so happy because I have wanted to try this for the longest time!!!

tony roma's the original baby back ribs baked potato fries
The Original Baby Back Ribs was amaaazing. The ribs were soft and tender, the barbecue sauce was deliciously smokey and the baked potato was so soft and buttery. Five of us shared this, but I think I can wipe out that entire plate on my own.


tony roma's ocean feast
The Ocean Feast was alright. Nothing impressive. If I were to visit Tony Roma's again, I would just stick to the ribs.

O'ma Spoon


Just how many more times will I be visiting this place??!?! I was just here on Monday, oh my goodness.

I realised we eat bingsu every single time we meet up. Tom n Toms, One Ice Cafe and now this. They are my Bingsu Buddies now.

o'ma spoon omaspoon very berry bingsu matcha bingsu
Sigh this 臭 Minyi trying to photobomb my bingsu
Very Berry Bingsu was not bad, really sweet and milky with the occasional dried cranberry that was rather sour but provided a nice contrast.  I only stole a few spoonfuls of the Matcha Bingsu since I am not a fan of matcha, hee.

o'ma spoon omaspoon very berry bingsu
 And of course, the mandatory liquid-being-poured-over-dessert shot.

We were struggling to take a selfie and so a nice waiter offered to help us. I thought this was a really nice photo! I love the white bricks in the background.

To end off a rainy Saturday, I decided to pamper myself. Which called for:
  • Hot showers with Body Shop's bath lily loofah which lathered up lots of foam (that I can pretend is snow)
  • Palmer's cocoa butter lotion (which smells of chocolate)
  • A new Vanilla Spice candle from Cotton On (which smells just like the Vanilla Spice shower gel from an old Body Shop Christmas collection)
  • Very comfy Relaco lounge pants from Uniqlo
  • Snuggling up under my blanket with the air-con running as I type this
  • And the cherry on top, the rain!!!

On a side note, I need to stop with this home fragrance craze. All those candles and reed diffusers and essential oil burners... stop spending money, eve. Stop it.

Friday, 11 December 2015

INTERN ADVENTURES: FILM FESTIVAL, PARA GAMES & CHRISTMAS LUNCH

Work has been rather eventful lately, so here's a photo dump of events that happened recently:

Singapore International Film Festival


Red carpet at the SkyPark

Omg all that facial hair

Blurry photo of Michelle Yeoh

Badly taken photo of the sexiest man alive

ASEAN PARA GAMES


Brought some beneficiaries to watch the wheelchair basketball finals, and it was so exciting!!!

I never found basketball interesting, and did not expect to be so interested in the match. Watching them zoom around in their wheelchairs and bounce back up when their wheelchairs overturned just left me in awe.


I kinda regret not watching the other APG matches, because this was quite a rare opportunity. It's held in Singapore and it's free. And I think it is so much more interesting and inspiring than normal sports events.

Also, I fell in love with this song the moment I heard it.


I wanted to cry when I first watched it, but I hate crying in public especially when I was around my colleagues and the beneficiaries. Last night, I watched it again in the privacy of my own room and I really did cry (for just one second), ha ha.

The video is so well done, I am extremely impressed!

CHRISTMAS LUNCH


We had a Secret Santa gift exchange yesterday, followed by Christmas lunch at Mozza!

Don't know if it's fate or what, but Clement turned out to be my Secret Santa, ha ha ha ha ha.

And now for photos of fooood, because it is not every day I get to eat at a celebrity chef restaurant.









And here are some random photos I took at work while running errands a while back, hehe.

Me and Clement were randomly taking a photo of the theatres while waiting for someone from another department. She was probably judging us when she saw us being so boliao.


As much as I feel sian and burnt out at times, I know I will miss this internship when it is over. 

I think I will cry on my last day of work because I am extremely sentimental and I know I will definitely miss everyone :'(

4 weeks left. I shall make the most of my remaining time there.