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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My Manager's Last Day

After a quick notice, my manager is off to his new role (internal move). But, not before he gave out several books to the team. Not the first time he has given me a book. The Faux Flower book was for my birthday.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Singapore Sweep

Not a big gambler myself. But, I do have a habit of buying Sweep Tickets when the big prize is round the corner. To celebrate the Nation's birthday, Singapore Pools has increased the first prize to $2.2 million in the month of August. That is enough moolah to buy a condominium in Singapore or a trip around the world for 2. Realistically, the money would go toward paying off my study loan. Until draw date, my feet won't be touching the ground as I dream of how I would spend $2.2 million. It would be the easiest money I have ever made in my life.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Blogger's Bakeries

An impending cupcake contest sparked a flurry of emails amongst the female members of my department. As we debate what our entry should look like, we couldn't help looking to the popular online bakeries for inspiration. Specialty cupcake stores like Cupcake Momma and tofu cheesecake specialist BakinCow. All the delicious pictures whetted my appetite and I was just looking for an occasion to put my order in. So greedy right? I am only sad that Tiramisutra closed down. Looks like I have to wait until the end of the week as we consolidate our orders for free delivery.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Cherry Tomato Farm

Spent the afternoon at a Cherry Tomato Farm in Mandai. Its been a long time since I stepped foot on an organic farm. I remember the after exam school tours and the weekend trips with my mom to purchase organic produce when I was still in school. Singapore has a myriad of such farms. Growing and selling the staple of mushrooms, aloe vera, cherry tomato, cucumbers, leafy greens, potted herbs, fresh milk, eggs, poultry, game, fish, frogs and eels. As our primary focus is always on purchasing the items for home preparation we tend to skip the farm restaurants like Poison Ivy Bistro. Which is a pity and I have to make a trip there some day.

The farming family also grows a bunch of fruits for their own consumption. We were lucky as it was rambutan season and the owner and his friends were busy plucking the fruits for on the spot tasting sessions. He was even giving away big bags of the freshest and sweetest rambutans I have ever tasted in a long time. I bought a packet of gourmet fennel seeds to start my own little garden.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Mushroom Pot

This is the place touted by fungi lovers and vegetarians alike. Every dish overflows with various types of mushrooms (I think the menu mentions 20 varieties). The signature item is the mushroom hotpot which I didn't order. Instead, I was keen on trying their a -la-carte items that came strongly recommended by my friend Joanne.

Mushroom Rolls came first, with sweet chili sauce. No need to dip them in chili sauce as they were deliciously savoury on their own, wrapped in a crispy crepe. Then came the Tibet Ribs which were surprisingly tough to cut but very yummy, like the usual Chinese pork ribs you get from Zhi Char stalls. My favourite was the fried squid in century egg batter with wasabi dip. Century egg batter appears to be a Chinese restaurant trend these days. No complaints from me as it is lighter and richer in taste than the usual stuff. All the side dishes overshadowed the spicy seafood noodle soup (mains). True to the restaurant's name, the noodle soup had at least 5 varieties of mushroom in it.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Wood Restaurant

Barbecue gone fine dining. Everything is smoked with cherry wood or the like. Great for BBQ fans as the cooking method imparts a smoky flavour to everything (the vegetables, meat, fish). I wanted to try this restaurant for the longest time.

Not knowing what to have, the tasting menu seemed a good way of getting familiar with this restaurant's offerings. Let me try and remember what was ordered, it turned out to be quite alot of food. Smoked scallop with mustard (unusual taste as I am more used to the fresh taste of the sea you get from sashimi), foie gras salad (absolutely fantastic. The generous portion of foie gras was crisp on the outside and cooked perfectly pink in the middle. It was melt in the mouth delicious. Unfortunate that the chef didn't remove the artery, a step missed by most restaurants anyway), clear soup with smoked ham (again the smoky flavour), black codfish (slightly charred on the outside, but, still yummy), duck margret (another fantastic dish. If not for the smoked flavour, I would have thought a HK chef prepared this duck) and a iced fruit granita for dessert with espresso.

This place is kinda refreshing as it's unusual. But, nothing particularly exciting. I guess the privacy afforded by its decor and location make it a good place to catchup with friends after a long day of shopping.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

My first eBay account

Over the weekend, I heard from all my good friends that eBay has the best deals. Not exactly new information. But, it's the sort of thing you have to hear from your friends to believe. So I setup my eBay account and got around to posting my first item for sale, a Braun Buffel Bag I bought a year ago and used like once. Since I have already used it before, I can't give it away. Hopefully, this will give it a new lease of life.

Relaxing Weekend


Made a trip to the spa this weekend. I had a nice relaxing massage followed by a parafango mud wrap then got a manicure and a pedicure, not enough time for a facial though. This was just what I needed to wrap up the week with. Spent the rest of my weekend window-shopping.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Esthel's new bag

Met Esthel for dinner. What a long week it has been, covering 2 of my colleagues who are out on extended vacations. Can't wait when it's my turn to go on vacation. I wanted to see Esthel's latest Louis Vuitton Neverfull GM that she got from Paris (the tax rebates make it cheaper). Seems to be pretty popular as my former colleague bought one as well last month as a diaper bag. It really is handy and roomy, I saw her shove a packet of diapers in with room to spare for other personal effects. We had a quick dinner of Japanese Ramen as we wanted to catch the movie "Batman, The Dark Knight". I finally got home at 11.30pm, just missing the midnight surcharge. And with just enough time to squeeze in an email to Amazon.com to track a missing issue of my magazine subscription.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Passport Collection

I renewed my passport via post and saved $10. The immigration office scheduled a time for me to pick it up today from their office which I did after a 2 hour wait. I thought the process was automated? So all's good and I am set for my next travels.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

LV Travel Notebook (Tokyo)

I think I know where I am going on my next trip. The good people at Louis Vuitton informed me that they were down to their last Tokyo travel notebook, done in collaboration with illustrator Yoko Yamamoto. The friendly sales staff even wrapped it in a nice box for me. =)

While I was there, I couldn't help getting acquainted with their luggage. It is what Louis Vuitton was originally built on and is every girl's dream to own a piece of LV luggage. I am not talking about a 16 piece luggage set but just a Pegase to start off with. Doesn't hurt that Murakami's new Monogramouflage collection features a Pegase 60 or that there is the new Monogram Vernis Pegase 50 in Amarante available in stores now.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Bag Borrow or Steal

I had to check out this website again after all the hype. It is also the place that stocks Jennifer Hudson's shredded Chanel Bag in the SATC movie. I have to agree that the LV bag in the movie is seriously overpriced. It looks like something a child would carry. The Richard Prince "Jokes" collection may be edgy but its a work of art that you can display after use.

There are several other bag rental sites online. All of which do not hold the necessary appeal to the average Singaporean female. The cost of renting a bag for 3-6 months is equivalent to purchasing it brand new. Its the same thing with buying a 2nd-hand bag. You do not know what others have done with it. I think the Singaporean alternative to Bag Borrow or Steal is to buy a branded bag then sell it off to a 2nd-hand bag shop when you get tired of it. However, judging by the site's abundance of limited edition items, it will enjoy brisk business from the collectors out there. I tried asking for the "Steal" price on the LV watercolour speedy but was told I need to rent it first.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Louis Vuitton Colour - Amarante

Saw my colleague carrying her new LV Monogram Vernis "Rosewood Avenue" bag in amarante and had to dig out my "Roxbury Drive" in amarante to use as well. There is just something about this colour that I just can't get enough of. I feel Marc must share my sentiments because he put it in his own label collection. I manage to get a matching pair of shoes from the cheaper (relative right?) Marc Jacob Collection. The LV Monogram Vernis heart coin purse is a 2008 Valentine's day limited edition that was sold out on launch day in Singapore. I think eluxury still has stock, unfortunately they do not ship outside USA.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Viktor & Rolf SS 08 for Shu Uemura


Last look at Viktor & Rolf's Spring/Summer 08 collection for Shu Uemura Tokyo Lash Bar. I had my personal consultation today with their makeup artists as they fixed on my free pair of Shimmer Brocade eyelashes. The picture shows the underside of the lashes which is fixed with gold strands and the top side is just plain black lashes. Its a little subtle, just the way I like it as I am still not accustomed to the really theatrical lashes they are famous for.



This was to celebrate the Viktor & Rolf collaboration for the SS 08 collection. This season's limited edition lashes are Rhombus, Wing and Swirl (from the top down). At $105 a pop, I think I will give it a miss. Safer and cheaper to stick to the less dramatic lashes that can be worn daily. My favourite daily wear pair is Black Focal.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

TGIF


Finally reached the end of the week and time for some well deserved rest. I ended the day with some Maggi noodles and Archipelago beer that I had purchased duty free from the airport. Its some sort of eastern flavor infusion that tastes bitter and very dry. So much for my experimentation with beer. I will be sticking to champagne and liqueurs at the airport next time.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Back to Work

Back to work today and could barely get out of bed. The worst part of coming back after a vacation is the clogged email box and endless phone messages. It took me a day just to go through all of them. Not too bad, considering that the endless meetings will start tomorrow, "while you were away"...

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Macau Holiday

I booked this trip earlier this year, taking advantage of the cheap airfares ($19.90). It was actually quite enjoyable with a good mix of sightseeing, shopping, gambling and eating. The rainy weather made sightseeing a little more challenging, but, we tried to duck into the shops for cover and shop until the rain went away.

Some of the highlights of my trip include eating Portuguese egg tarts at St Paul's ruins, playing the slots at The Venetian, see actual F1 race cars up close, afternoon tea consisting of Macao pork chop bun at Victoria Restaurant, buying first day covers at the old Macao Post Office, seeing the peacocks at Flora Garden, having green wine with authentic Portuguese food at Fisherman's Wharf, praying at the Ah Ma temple and obtained a copy of the old captain's notes (Its only available in Portuguese but hey! still makes a great souvenir).

I put myself on the wait list for the LV watercolour speedy before I went to Macao (I also put myself on the Singapore wait list). By the time I got there, they only had the Watercolour Papillion and Richard Prince's Jokes series (Heartbreak, Graduate & ManCrazy). I couldn't come back without a bag so I ended up with the Longchamp Le Pliage BD tote in rosee. Looking forward to using it on my next trip.