Nature is beautiful. It never ceases to amaze me. Be it up in the sky or down in the sea, beauty is aplenty.
There’s so much we can do to preserve this gift from above.
What say you?
It’s been awhile since my family’s been on a holiday together.
They went to Europe late last year but I wasn’t able to make it due to work commitments. Well, we’ll all be in Cebu in just a couple of hours! And as tired as I may be, I’m pretty damn excited.
Family is forever xx
(First entry from WordPress’ updated app)
Just like that, the new year has started.
2012 has been kind and I am so thankful. The people that matter are still by my side, healthy and happy. I got to explore multiple cities, try lots of delicious food and meet up with family members all over the world.
I’m blessed. And no matter how tough the going gets, I never forget that.
I’m broke. There. I said it.
Always believed that if I can’t confess to something, I’m definitely in denial.
Bank account-wise, I’m in a terrible state. I’m not living on credit (hell, I won’t let that happen), but I’m broke. Considering how I’ve been working for almost 3 years, I’m PATHETIC.
So I sat down and thought to myself, “WHAT AM I SPENDING MY MONEY ON?”. You’ll be pleased to know that I’ve come up with a list of items. Perhaps, you’ll be similar to me and you’ll think, “hell, I better do something about it before I end up like Joy”.
I spend SO MUCH on food it’s not even funny. I love eating. And to make matters worse, I love eating a variety of food. I can’t just order a burger at dinner. I have to order fries, wings, nuggets etc. on the side. I can’t just order a plate of fried rice. I have to order meat, vegetable, appetizers etc. I can easily order for four when it’s just the two of us. I’m a glutton and I won’t rebut that.
Food also includes morning coffee, after-dinner tea, snacks for work and of course alcohol. All these don’t seem like a lot when you buy them separately but when you put them together, geez, they add up to quite a bit. And then I spend yet another lump on the gym because I can’t just eat and not feel horrible about myself. WHAT A SILLY VICIOUS CYCLE! This brings me to my second point.
I pay about $150 for my Fitness First membership. Why? Because my company isn’t affiliated to Fitness First so I pay the full monthly fee. I could have signed up with other gyms that are much cheaper. But! There’s a Fitness First right down the road from where I work at, there’s also one that’s an MRT stop away from where I stay and they also have a nice big and quiet branch at Fusionopolis. They also have good classes and convenience is really important to me. I sometimes run during lunch (because evenings are meant for relaxing and pigging out) and it helps to make me feel less guilty so I guess this is the only item that I won’t be able to do much about.
It’s a known fact that I love travelling. I want to travel the world. I REALLY want to travel the world. The Earth is amazing, why coop up at home when there’s so much to explore! I do my best to sneak in a holiday (any holiday!) whenever I can.
Now, this is where the problem comes in. Most of the time, I only have time for a short getaway so I choose places like Bangkok, Krabi, Bali etc. It’s easy to think that you save more by going to neighbouring countries because there are budget airlines that get you there, the Singapore dollar’s strong blah blah. But no!! If you think about it, a “quick” vacation can easily cost you $1,000!
Let’s take a 4D3N trip to Bali for example. Give and take, this is how the breakdown will be like:
Wow that’s already $1,170. Of course, you can share a room with your friend but my point is, these trips aren’t cheap! Save up and go on a really big holiday (if you can) :D
4. Online shopping
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been stressed/frustrated at work and then I type asos into my google search bar. Free shipping, constant sale items. HOW NOT TO BUY! It would be foolish not to buy! Plus, there are now also lots of other local blog shops that have made payments so much easier. No more bank transfer or meetup blah blah. Just use paypal! Or your credit card. A dress costs about $30. That seems decent! BUY 3 DRESSES! $90! Bye bye money..
Moral of the story? Tahan. Or practice better self-control. Have a buddy. Someone that can help keep you in check. Confess everytime you make an online purchase. Remember, if you’re hiding your buys, you’re doing it all wrong. You’re in trouble! Save it and splurge on a nice bag (ok, I did not just say that *slaps mouth).
And oh yes! Bellabox! Glamabox! All these beautiful boxes priced at super reasonable prices, giving you the illusion that you get more bang for your buck. The concept is marvellous. But it costs money (not lots but still)! I’m not sure about the rest, but I now have a lot of sample bottles at home. Untouched. I have since cancelled my subscription. I’m fuss-free. Good ol’ Garnier works fine for me.
5. Movies, Plays, Concerts
What is there to do in Singapore? Eat. Shop. Watch movies! We’re lucky that we’re a country that’s bursting with local talent. Singers, plays and shows also love to come by Singapore because we’re an awesome country! Bad, bad, bad for me. I love going to live concerts, plays etc. So how? Spend money again. Le sigh.
There, I’ve told the world where I spend most of my money on. I can’t stop what I enjoy doing but I can sure as hell strive to be a better saver!
That is all.
Thank you for reading and I hope you save tons of money too!
Over the weekend, the lovely Aku from Helsinki, popped by Singapore before her summer vacation around Asia. Adri and I were lucky enough to catch her for dinner and drinks. While I’m not proud of this, I’m still pretty much a tourist in my own country so it was awesome that we had Adri with us. She’s a walking encyclopedia on Singapore ;)
We first met Aku at her hostel – Tree In Lodge. I must say I’m pretty impressed with this place as in my head, hostels/backpackers are always rather dodgy, dingy and dirty. I think Aku paid about $50+ for two nights – what a steal! I really like that this hostel’s green-focused too.
It’s also Aku’s 2nd stay at the hostel – says alot! Do check out more pics of their bunk beds etc. here
This place is pretty awesome, they really look after their guests. Even EZ-links are provided!
Like typical Singaporeans, we took a bus (of course with Adri’s help!) to JB Ah Meng at Geylang for dinner. Seriously ghetto-like and seriously good food. I can’t wait to go back and have a another go!
My photos don’t do any justice to the food. They were reallyy good…
JB Ah Meng
New Good Place Eating House
5pm to 3am daily
2 Geylang Lor 23 (Geylang Road side)
After dinner, we headed to Haji Lane for a street party. A street party! The things we do to make our friends from overseas feel welcome lol ;)
Ah, planes.. What a stupendous invention! Amazing amazing amazing.
Met up with Charles, my aviation-CRAZY friend with the intention of passing him a limited edition Finnair Silver Bird model plane. And guess what? He came with a Hello Kitty Eva Air model plane for me too :)
Too many photos from Bangkok so I’ll do a food entry, how about that?
Here are all (almost, sans junk and street food) the food I had in Bangkok. I’ve also added addresses to these places so hopefully you’ll know where they are should you decide to go there! ;)
Skyview Lounge, Changi Airport T1
First meal in Thailand.. Lunch! Duck noodles and duck wings. I don’t really know how to eat duck wings but my friends said that it was delicious! I tried the broth and ditto, definitely worth ordering if you like wings!
It’s a little hard to describe where this is as my friend’s driver brought us there. If you’re adventurous enough, tell the cab driver that it’s at an area called Bantat-Thong, somewhere around the yellow bridge and Samyan. It’s quite a popular eatery among locals and isn’t too far out from the city.
Hyde & Seek
Hyde & Seek is famous for both its eclectic mix of dishes and cocktails. Lunch sets are priced at 295B – includes appetiser. Simply add 90B for dessert. Oh yes, there’s free wifi here! Ask the waitress for the password :) Took us a long time to find this place so be sure to ask around! We went during lunch and it was rather crowded indoors so we had to sit outdoors. A little warm! Heard it’s really nice in the evening.
65/1 Athenee Residence, Soi Ruamrudee – take BTS to Phloen Chit
Wireless Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan
Bangkok 10330, Thailand
(Residence is a walk in, you might miss it. When facing the residences, turn left and ask the guards if you can’t find the place..)
Four Seasons and After You
When I heard that the famous Four Seasons opened its first store out of London in Bangkok, I had to try it! I’ve heard raving reviews about the roasted duck and while it wasn’t extremely tasty, it wasn’t too bad! Nice gravy to drizzle your rice with!
A friend told me that After You Dessert Cafe’s worth trying but I had to be prepared for the loooongg queues. Long queues it was. Customers are given a queue number so everything’s pretty organised. They’re famous for their toast – think fried bread with lots of butter.. It’s not as disgusting as it sounds, rather scrumptious actually.
Both at the ground floor
This is a famous eatery, both among the Thais and Singaporeans. Good Thai food in a super convenient location.
Siam Square Soi 5
I’m not a huge donut fan.. I like them plain or with minimal coating. Krispy Kreme is delicious but I could never understand people packing them in boxes and taking them onto their flights! However, I really like a certain donut from Mister Donut. It’s called the pon de ring which is 22B – that’s slightly less than S$1. It’s super chewy ! You can find Mister Donut outlets everywhere.
Chatuchak Weekend Market
How can one go to Bangkok without experiencing the heat and haggling from this famous weekend market! When you’re there, keep a lookout for the dancing milk tea. What a name right? That’s because the guy literally dances with your tea before passing it to you. It’s similar to Teh Tarik which you can get in Singapore but this is so much cooler with all that spinning and dancing! A little note of caution, it’s mighty sweet! Told the guy that we wanted less sugar and *brace yourselves*, for three cups, he used an entire can of condensed milk!
Bangkok International Suvarnabhumi Airport
Last meal in Bangkok. Forgot the name of this restaurant because we were all rushing but they serve good Thai iced milk tea and coffee!
Of course, we had lots of alcohol throughout the trip too! ;)
That’s it! Four girls and four days in Bangkok. Khop khun kha for reading my entire post!
I know that I’m supposed to share more photos from my trip to Helsinki. BUT! I realised I don’t have many photos of the trip.. Cos I was indoors for most of it – how devastating.
However, my very nice journo friend, Alywin, who went with me on the trip agreed to let me use his GORGEOUS photos. On one condition. I can only use those with my face in them… Le sigh! I pity you guys and apologies in advance, haha!
Alywin took such amazing amazing photos of the city and I wish you could see them all! Guess we’ll all just have to wait for his article to be published on TODAY! But seriously, it’s so awesome going on a trip with an ex-Reuters photog, hur hur hur!
What a short trip! What a severe lack of photos! Such a hectic trip. Right after the second day of meetings were over, I got my ass into Petteri’s car and sped off to the city for a short tour of Kallio in the day. Alywin did a short interview with Petteri by the sea (you see, I don’t even know where I went) and I had about 2-3 hours to kill in Helsinki. And kill I did.. To my wallet!
I’m careful with what I blog about.. Especially when it comes to speaking about my clients. They’re all GREAT but the last thing I want to come across as is being a fluffy cupcake – promoting brands just because I handle their PR work..
To make it clear, every post I write about isn’t endorsed by any brand. It’s 100% me and I make it a point to never, ever, write about something I don’t believe in. Ever.
I flew to Helsinki on Finnair last week.. Just for a night. It was a work trip and as usual, I didn’t have much time to explore the beautiful city. I did, however take lots of photos on board.. With the intention of passing them on to my aviation-crazy pal, Charles (because he asked for them). I’m not going to post all but I figured it would be nice for you to know what you can expect on Finnair’s Business Class.
Stay tuned as I have a crazy story at the bottom..
After dinner and before I fell asleep in the comfort of a Finnair Business Class seat (don’t slap me!), I decided to apply some moisturiser on my face.. You know how dry it gets up in the air. So I removed my rings (two of ‘em), placed them on my blanket on my lap and well.. moisturised away. Just as I was about to sleep, OMFGOMFGOMFG, I realised I dropped my rings while getting comfy in my blankie.
OMFGOMFG it was all dark in the plane and everyone was sleeping and I was seated beside a very tall dude who had fallen asleep the moment the plane took off.
I swear it was the longest flight of my life.. I couldn’t sleep! I told an air stewardess but really, there wasn’t much she could do as it was dark and everyone was sleeping..
The rings are from Dad and I COULD NOT IMAGINE MYSELF WITHOUT MY RINGS. I wear my rings everyday and basically, I was feeling really really horrible… I take a sleeping pill before every flight and I was feeling drowsy so I slept.
Fast forward a couple of hours later (I slept like a baby btw), I woke up when we were close to landing. I approached the friendly Finnair staff again and an air steward offered to help me with my rings.
Rings aren’t big and it wasn’t easy to spot them at all. The steward, Miko (I think that is how you spell it), went on all fours and started prowling like a grizzly bear. I felt so bad.. It was like he was inhaling all this germs/dust from the small corners around the seat trying to find my little rings.
He used his bare hands, a clothes hanger and eventually found them both. I don’t know how he did it but maybe my prayers did help. It seemed like FOREVER and when he surfaced (after what seemed like forever) with my second ring, I couldn’t help but exclaim “I LOVE YOU!!”
Miko was a real star. Perhaps he could see the look of fear and sadness in my eyes, but even as he was searching for my rings, he even found time to comfort me. I remember him saying, “oh this happens all the time, don’t worry, we’ll find it”. SERIOUSLY!? All the time? You’re on the floor all the time searching for lost rings?!
Thanks again Miko! I hope Finnair conveys my heartfelt thanks to you ♥
I feel so proud to be doing work for this airline. I’m a strong believer in Finnair and the work that they do, but my flight to Helsinki only reinforced my faith in the brand. It’s young in Singapore but trust me when I say we’re different! In a good, unique, creative sort of way :)
Wait for my next post on the very little bit of Helsinki that I experienced during my trip :)
I’ve been back in Singapore for almost two and a half years. Time flies, I remember dreading my graduation because it meant that I would be back in this shit hole.. Away from the things I loved and enjoyed doing.
I graduated after spending four years in Australia, got back to Singapore and landed a job almost immediately. So it was wham wham wham – no time to process, no time to feel.
I used to cry a lot at night when I first got back.. I felt like I was gonna crumble and die in the crowd and heat. It was a snowball of factors that made me feel breathless.. The stress I experienced on a daily basis was a silent killer.
It’s quite amazing how I’ve managed to block out certain events and memories with time. It’s not easy but it’s a conscious effort. My memory used to be superb (to the point of being scary) but now, it doesn’t remember much beyond a year.
Today, I am going to reminisce (force myself to remember) about the times I had in Brisbane because you cannot avoid memories. They will only haunt you further.
I miss (you will realise it’s a lot on food):
Ok I’m gonna stop because I’m getting too hungry and slightly emo.
In my dictionary, it is true that any holiday with a pool/sea, sun and a coconut is an awesome holiday.
Over the long weekend break, I had an awesome holiday at Krabi, Thailand.
Sometimes I wish I can just pack my bags and take a two week break. Just sit by the pool, read shitloads of magazines and books and just rot.
Life’s a funny thing. Throw in work and it becomes a circus.
I’m so tired.
Shopping and Dining
Ao Nang is Krabi’s city centre. All shops can be found there.. Think shop after shop of the same kinds of t-shirts, dresses, beach towels, snorkel gear, sunnies etc. There are also people selling lanterns by the road side.. What you do is you write your wish on it, light it and let it go at night – your wishese are supposed to be fulfilled, plus it’s a beautiful sight. Food standard is all pretty much the same but I had dinner at Ao Nang Cuisine, The Hilltop (awesome sunset view) and at Krua Thara and food was awesome, very authentic.
No problems getting a Tuk Tuk around town. Costs anything between 30-50 baht per person around Ao Nang area. My Tuk Tuk from Krua Thara to Ao Nang city was 40 baht per person (approx SGD 2).
Where to Stay
I stayed at Red Ginger which is a 10 minute stroll from the city centre. Loved the place! There were little massage houses around the corner too.
If you go/have gone to Krabi, let me know how it goes/went!
Koh Samui next!
I went to Nepal over the weekend and I was expecting nice clean air, mountains, roaming yaks and colourful prayer flags. But no. Sadly, Kathmandu city i.e. downtown, is awfully polluted. I really have a new found respect for the people who live there. The kind of hardship they go through and their harsh living conditions, I could never do that, really.
I’ll share photos of my Nepal trip in a later post but for now, here are some of the photos I took of the children living in Nagarkot, Nepal.They are just beautiful :)
*Nagarkot is 32km east of Kathmandu, up a mountain and is considered one of the most scenic spots in the Bhaktapur District. It is renowned for its sunrise (will share photos in my later posts) and panoramic view of the Himalayas – on a clear day that is.
With lots of medicine in tow, I went to Bali last week! Mel and I had been planning for this trip for ages. Well, we didn’t exactly plan the trip (you’ll realise why later) but we booked it way in advance so it was definitely something we were looking forward to.
Imagine my disappointment when I got sick a couple of days before the trip.. O’bummer. Well, whatever. We packed our bags (identical by coincidence btw) and off we went! Not many cool photos to share though, purely because I was sick and my blocked ears were totally pissing the shit out of me. Plus, I slept a lot..
Remember how I said we didn’t have time to plan our trip. It’s true. We were SO busy at work we only had time just before our flight, at the terminal!
We took the late arvo KLM flight and landed at Denpasar Airport around 9pm. The flight was really empty so Mel and I helped ourselves to the Economy Comfort seats – much better for people with longer legs but what would I know.
Met up with Rio (an old UQ mate that happened to be in Bali at the same time as me!) who was staying a few blocks down for dinner.. After which we took a short tour of Kuta by foot and did the usual touristy thing. Stop by Hard Rock Hotel and pose for a shot. Rocker-faced.
Day one, we tried to be adventurous by walking out of our hotel (located at Kuta) in search of an awesome beach to tan at. What a waste. Our nearest beach was the German Beach (that’s what I’ve been told) and it was hideous. Not to mention, we got harrassed by so many taxi guys along the way. Still remember this guy going, “Oh, you’re so sexy!! Sexy sexy! Sexy ya, not Taxi!”. Puhlease. Gimme a break. That wasn’t classy!
We walked back to our hotel and tanned at our rooftop pool. Much better. After which, we headed to Potato Head to see what the fuss was all about.
The place was really quite pretty but a pity we had to spend minimum Rp 500,000 to get a day bed. That’s about SGD70.. Mel and I already had lunch, plus I was down with a cold so there was no way we were gonna spend that much on drinks.
After awhile, we got bored so off we went to Ku De Ta. Now, this was a place I really wanted to check out and it didn’t disappoint. No pool but lovely sea view and they have a 1-for-1 pizza promotion running Monday through Thursday!
Mel and I took a stroll to admire the sunset by Seminyak Beach.. Very romantic I know. I even popped her Sunset cherry haha!
Day two. Ubud! I was really quite excited about this one.. But maybe our driver wasn’t that great (he didn’t speak much) and accompanied with the entire day of rain, it was REALLY REALLY sucky. We went to a Batik factory as well as a wood carving place (skipped the silver and painting place) and I must say that Indonesians are quite the cheeky bunch.. I have evidence!
The Batur volcano however was gorgeous. The air was cool and you know, I love cold crisp air so all is good. A pity the driver didn’t take us to the famous Bebek Bengil (loosely translated as the Dirty Duck Diner) even though I insisted on it. Argh, but like I said, all is good when the air is crisp.
And then it started to pour. Non-stop. We skipped the coffee plantation because of that.. Our driver brought us to see the famous ‘padi fields’ and guess what? We braved the rain for this
Which looks exactly like the image on Google. Just that mine had rain for some dramatic effect..
Lotsa rain throughout…
We had to walk around the temple with our brollies.. Sigh! Such crap weather!
After a crap day out, Mel and I decided to spoil ourselves by having a nice candlelight dinner
Night was spent at our hotel alfresco bar with beer and babies galore!
Spent most of our last day at the pool. Though sick, I was determined to have some F-U-N! Let the jumping begin! Here are some of the better and funnier ones.
Well, all in all, we spent most of the trip walking around Bali trying to find places. We found some, didn’t find some, discovered new places, went for massages and bought cheap dresses. It’s one of those places where the first trip is more to recce and get a feel and then you keep going back because it’s so cheap there! I really wanna go back again.. When I’m feeling better too! No more blocked ears!
Finally spent CNY this year in KL after many many years.
Back in the days when J+J weren’t born yet and my MaMa was still alive, the four of us (parents, Jana and I) – towed with plenty of comfy pillows and bolsters – would drive to KL for CNY every year. Since then, things have changed. The family has gotten so big and there are people I barely know but whatever, it’s a getaway nonetheless.
P.S. I read somewhere that in order for this year to be lucky for me, I have to travel. What a good excuse!