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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sea Urchin Shells



My latest trip to Chinatown to stock up on New Year goodies yielded a surprise. Lovely sea urchin shells. A little dusty but oh so beautiful pure whites and slight purple colourations with perfectly symetrical structures. Who knew? Happy with my find, I gave them a good scrubbing when I got home and they look almost as good as new.


Sea Urchin or Uni is a Japanese delicacy and one of my favourite dishes. How did people even think of cracking open the prickly shell and eating the golden coloured roe? I think they must have been really hungry or tired of eating the same foods all the time.


Saturday, January 30, 2010

More Jewelry...



I realize Americans spell "Jewelry" and the English spell "Jewellery". Is that why search engines are not picking up my web shop? hhmmm... My friends pointed out that I should have "s" at the end as people usually search for "baubles" and not "bauble". To mitigate such chancy findings, I have decided to pay Yahoo and Google to have my site appear under key words search. My total budget for this "hobby" is taking a new dimension as ads alone will cost the equivalent of my 1 year gym membership to Fitness First.


It would really help if you could just pass the message along to the next person so I get free word-of-mouth advertising. Another thing is the website is in Flash, so it takes a while to load when someone (yes, that's 1 person) is already at the website. How crummy.


Anyway, I have been busy popping out more designs after making 2 sales this week (Yay!). Lovely new stuff for Vday that falls on Lunar New Year this year. Sign up as a fan on the Precious Bauble Facebook account to receive regular updates of new designs =)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Thanks Everyone!





The good people at Google informed me I had hit payment threshold from ads ran on my blog. Wow! I was totally not expecting that at all. Thanks everyone for actively clicking on the ads. Did anyone buy anything? Please share your purchases under comments, thanks.




As I receive a USD 10 check for all my efforts on the web, I really want to thank all visitors to this blog. At least my stuff is being read and I couldn't ask for more appreciation. So to celebrate, I am giving away a brand new copy of Trattoria, relaxed Italian recipes for the home cook. To share my love of food and cooking with everyone, I picked a recipe book to giveaway. Lots of beautiful pictures to complement the mouthwatering recipes that are true to the region. The author includes a commentary for each dish. Have fun preparing your own meals with this as a guide. To win, pls leave a comment below. Contest ends 28 Feb 2010, same time as the Winter Olympics. I will randomly pick a winner and mail this to you. Have Fun!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fabric Shopping Day






Made a trip to the cloth wholesalers in Arab street today. It's been years since I last visited this place. Arab street is like Moods in Project Runway. It has every style, colour and fabric possibly available at wholesale prices. The shop owners are happy to sell by the yard to accomodate students. But, most cater to the bulk buyer for re-selling or people with special events like weddings. In case you didn't know, it's also the come to place for haute couture fabric. Most Arabian merchants carry lines from the suppliers to haute couture houses (e.g. Christian Dior) and are happy to show you their pricey merchandise hidden upstairs. My mom and I have purchased these before and can say you WILL receive compliments. Sometimes even from the tailor. Prices start from several hundreds of dollers per yard, definitely not cheap, but, a bargain for those finicky about quality.





Today, I am trying to get material for a new piano cover. Something in lace or silk tulle, similar to my last few covers. No velvet or dark colours for me. There were a couple of Baju Kurung shops that had lovely lace at affordable prices and a couple of Chinese-run wholesale outlets with uncut machine-made lace that we commonly buy (pre-cut) for tables. After looking at the gorgeous french lace, I simply cannot settle for less. I managed to get some nice Raw Silk in pastels and a peacock blue, coloured tulle and lovely matte satin scraps (comes in 1 or 2 metre packs). Finally, I got lucky when one shopowner offered me his last bolt of french tulle at clearance prices. I took the whole thing - 12 metres of silk tulle with light pink flowers & faux pearls embroidered on, scallopped gold edging on both sides. It simply cannot go wrong. Now, I really want to turn it into curtains for my room. Let's see how the sewing goes =)


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Craft Supplies Shopping Day



It's time to expand my repertoire. Spent the last few days reading up on other jewellery making techniques and decided to invest in new gadgets. So I paid a visit to the wholesalers along the river godowns to stock up on wholesale packs of 14k gold findings and crafting equipment. So nice of them to give me more free containers to hold my beads in.





The shops were unusually packed. I think it's because of the Lunar New Year, where everyone tries to stock up on supplies to make their own decorations. These shops didn't disappoint with 3D crystal tigers & pineapples kits, money kumquat tree materials and 16 metre long reels of chinese knotting thread in every colour. Strictly for serious hobbyists only. I am in heaven!


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dian Xiao Er






Dian Xiao Er has my favourite duck rice. Roasted duck with a thin layer of fat beneath the skin, drowned in delicious tangkwei herbal sauce. Althought they use less meaty ducks nowadays, it's still all good when paired with crunchy cucumbers.





They drizzle the delicious sauce on the rice as well.





You get an additional double boiled soup of the day for a 1 person set meal for $6.90, that's almost the same price as the hawker center.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Old HK Kitchen






Old HK Kitchen serves typical Cantonese fare, similar to Crystal Jade Restaurants. Decked out in Wayang (Chinese Opera) paraphernalia & souvenirs you can buy (e.g. chopsticks, tingkat, bowls). The food is really good - excellent cooking techniques with choice ingredients. They offer dimsum for lunch, try the pork rib with black bean sauce done with pork shoulder. Also try the lobster congee ($18) that is meant for 4 people.




Saturday, January 23, 2010

Home-made Burgers






Putting the Morton's recipes to work, I picked up freshly ground beef, blue cheese, tomato puree, first born eggs (the best eggiest ever) and a loaf of mediterranean bread (olives, tomatoes baked into the bread).





I saw Chef-for-hire Ryan do this before, you roll up the cheese inside the beef patty so it oozes out when you cut the burger. Yuumm...





Hot sizzle when the gargantuan patty hits the pan, using the last of my Christmas truffle oil. The bread gets buttered and toasted while we wait for the patties to cook.





The end result with home made french fries is DElicious! Good cookbook, highly recommend it.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Branded Goods Auction

No free giveaways, just plain shopping for branded goods at discount prices. Awesome stuff. An example would be Carrera Y Carrera for 1/4 the original price when it is never on sale. Unbelievable right?!





Website: http://www.bidz.com/invite/raspberrycreaminc

Thursday, January 21, 2010

New gemstone supplies







Having received more gemstone supplies over the last week, I have confined myself to my room to work on more jewellery pieces and sketching. There will be the spring-summer collection for 2010 and also hoping to come out with a sub-collection for this year's Valentine Day. But, only have 3 pieces so far (*oh no).





Setup Facebook and Twitter for my online webshop and since launching my online advertising blitz last Saturday, I have 10 hits and still no fans on my facebook apart from my mom. Starting another ad campaign next week with Google to try and reach the international audience. The most obvious change are the prices that have been moderated downwards to hit almost rock bottom. Wish me luck!




Saturday, January 16, 2010

Day Spa






The Day Spa is a quintessential Singapore activity. It must be our Asian heritage. No matter what culture you belong to, there is a history of body wellness rituals that we urbanites surrender ourselves to over the weekends. Singapore being a melting pot of cultures offer a myriad of holistic treats for the spa-goer, from Indian Ayuvedia to Chinese foot reflexology. My personal favourite is the Javanese Mandi Lulur, pre-wedding prep for Javanese princesses. Get massaged in aromatherapy oils before getting scrubbed down in Javanese traditional herbs and yoghurt. Ending with a soak in a bath of aromatherapy oils & fresh flowers. hhmm...heavenly. Your skin feels soft to the touch and exudes a radiant glow, leaving you relaxed & happy. You gulp down your candied ginger tea before leaving for the day to meet your friends/family for dinner. What's not to love above about these wellness centers?





The Wellness Village scam has not scared me off yet. As I took a much needed break at another Day Spa today. Luxuriating in the soothing treatments and fragrant tea for the better half of the day. Just what I needed to end my week on a good note.





Pictures from Body Contours Spa.


Friday, January 15, 2010

Jumbo Seafood for lunch






Met my mom for lunch at Jumbo Seafood Restaurant near her office. We had a 50% voucher for fresh prawns you see. We ordered the herbal drunken prawns that was so drunk, we could smell the XO a mile away. Mee Goreng, with huge chunks of seafood amidst the spicy egg noodles and fried doughnuts with seafood paste. It came up to $15++ each. I can't believe people don't do this more often.




Thursday, January 14, 2010

Morton's Burger






It's a classic...or so they say. Making a recent appearance on the bar menu for $25 if you have it at the bar. It's $30 in the restaurant and comes with the much lauded, delicious onion bread. I tried it twice to ensure I got it right and it's waaayyy too salty to taste the premium quality meat and fresh veges. I made a complaint to the manager and bought the original recipe book with the cheeseburger recipe in there to check. It is definitely over-seasoned regularly! Anyway, I will be back solely for the steak and other bar snacks. Hey, call me along the next time you go. It's the type of place you have to go with someone.





Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Spring Cleaning continues...






Mission is to cut down my stationary supplies by half.





Challenging when you have 2 trolleys (filing cabinets) worth of stuff inherited from my siblings who have since moved out into their own homes. It's enough to stock a small stationery shop of my own. I start by removing the broken, melted and indisinguishable items then move on to seeing what I can give away. At the end of the day, mission accomplished as I get rid of 1 trolley. I can't believe I have 6 staplers (working condition) and 12 roles of tape!!




Next is to sort through my shoes. Uh huh...


After chucking the broken & melted (again). I have salvaged a dozen pairs to be sold on eBAY (pic above). Hurry on down if you want a bargain from $10 - $80. I plan to donate it all to the Salvation Army after Chinese New Year.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

www.preciousbauble.com






Hurray! My website is finally setup and it's flash! I can't believe such a simple site can take up so much time, resources & effort. I truly expected to formulate it within a day.


Pls spread the word for me : http://www.preciousbauble.com/


Monday, January 11, 2010

Palm Beach @ One Fullerton






Great place for business lunch given it's close proximity to the office area and really, nobody comes here for lunch so you have the wait staff and cooks' full attention. It comes up to $10-$15 per person for a simple lunch.





Delicious starters of achar and deep fried fishes are served to all customers.





Each order of noodles are meant to serve a group. So "small" is really for 2-3 people. It's really much better than the food court.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Crumbling bookshelves






My bookshelf finally crumbled under the weight of it's contents this week. Luckily, my dad came to the rescue with metal reinforcements to hold up it's structure. Then came the daunting task of fitting all the books back onto the shelves. It's been 7 years since I graduated from University, so it's about time we bin the textbooks. Look at the stuff we had to get rid of (pic below).





Saturday, January 9, 2010

Fauchon Housewarming Hampers






I just found out my secondary school friend is moving in next door. We'll be block-mates =)
I got a whole bunch of stuff from Fauchon, pink for CNY & those in love. Appropriate for this year given Valentine's day and Chinese New Year fall on the same date, 14th Feb. This should be enough for her to get started on the housewarming parties and Chinese New Year celebrations.





Friday, January 8, 2010

Itacho


 
This new sushi place at Ion Orchard is quite good. I have been back a few times. My favourites so far are the Lobster Udon with flavourful clear broth that shows the chef's attention to detail.

 

 
They have a sushi roll wrapped in sakura leaves. Interesting for it's uniqueness and really adds another dimension to the taste.


 
For visual appeal there is the jumbo scallop sushi that is really quite huge. Delicious!

 




Thursday, January 7, 2010

Gordon Ramsy's TV shows



Been busy this last week on a Gordon Ramsy marathon. Watched Hell's Kitchen Season 5 and 6, as well as Kitchen Nightmares Season 5. I know I am a little late hence, the TV marathon. It's really entertaining to see the contestants struggle and backstab each other. The one thing that gets me is the amount of food wastage, especially on quality ingredients!


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Lingzhi Vegetarian Restaurant






There are 2 great restaurants in Singapore that we head to on days that we have to be vegetarian. Original Sin and Lingzhi. The lovely food smells waft out from the restaurant enticing passer-bys to reconsider their lunch options.





Their best mock meat dish is the sweet & sour pork equivalent. The texture and taste is the same as done with pork shoulder.





My favourite is the fresh Rojak topped with tempura enoki mushrooms. Lovely sauce, crunchy fresh vegetables and fruits...the perfect salad.