Saturday, November 29, 2014

30 Days of Thanksgiving - 8/30

Today I am thankful for facials. I went for my first ever facial today (yeh, yeh my skincare habits are appalling) and oh-em-gee what have I been missing!

I was doing research online for "best facials in Singapore" and came across a few blog reviews for this place called Porcelain Face Spa. Sure, they looked like a sponsored campaign from 2012 but the reviews came with pictures, and it's hard to fake images of all the extracted gunk from your face.

Emailed them and was pleasantly surprised to get a well written reply asking about my skin condition and what objectives I had. After discussion with the lady via email, I booked myself for 2 trial sessions. One is an oxyrevive facial (to hydrate and good for first timers cos not pain) and the second was the extraction a week later. I also had a complimentary half an hour pick-me-up facial thrown in, which I will do the day before my wedding.

I arrive at the facial place and get changed and lie on the bed. The therapist is gentle and explains each step that she does. Cleansing, cleansing again, removing blackheads with a gluey gel thing stuck on to a paper and the oxyrevive thing which consisted of jet spraying oxygen and salt water (I think, wasn't really listening) on my face. She finished up by spraying some rose water mist, then a moisturising rose + chamomile mask while giving a shoulder massage. She ended the session by applying a soothing gel and aloe vera gel on my face, and topped up with sunscreen (which is very, very important).

I didn't care too much about the technical aspects about why they were doing what they were doing to my skin (short attention span and I tended to zone out when she was explaining stuff) but it felt so good.

My skin was visibly brighter and felt so much smoother! Amazing! No wonder people go for facials. Lol.

Friday, November 28, 2014

30 Days of Thanksgiving - 7/30

Happy Thanksgiving! At least I think it's thanksgiving based on the posts I see on facebook. Hehehe.

Today, I'm thankful for the love and support that I receive from family and friends. I'm lucky to be blessed with an amazing bunch of people around me, both near and far.

2014 has really shown me how loved I am when we announced our engagement and wedding plans. I'm touched by everyone who is genuinely happy for us and who offered to help in one way or another.

So a big hugs and kiss to all of you out there. Too many of you to tag! Muaks.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

30 Days of Thanksgiving - 6/30

Posted yesterday's thanksgiving a day late because I had crafted an entry and fell asleep halfway. Feeling tired because it's the peak period for me in the office.

It's easy to complain and moan about being overloaded at work (and I'm not saying I don't), but today I'll focus on the positives.

On days that I'm feeling whiny, I remind myself to be thankful for my job because at the very least, it helps to pay the bills. With the year end 13th month aws bonus coming in, that extra bit of dough will help defray some of the wedding costs.

I'm also thankful that no one bats an eye when you go for tea at 3pm. The food in the canteens are cheap and I have really been able to save quite a bit of money because of that.

Most recently, due to circunstances at work (our in house designer quit and the other designer is overloaded), I offered to do some simple web banners despite having zero technical skills in photoshop or illustrator.

Although I'm struggling with it (took me 2 days to do one banner), with +3's help, I'm picking up enough basics to cobble together a fairly decent web banner.

So yay to having a stable job!

30 Days of Thanksgiving - 5/30

I don't really talk much about my nanny, but just like the rest of my family, my nanny has been there since day 1.

Now that I'm not staying at home, having a home cooked meal by my nanny is always something to look forward to. She knows what my favourite foods are and happily prepares those few dishes whenever I'm back.

My nanny works hard to provide for her family back in the Philippines, always making sure she can send them a care package at least once a year. She also has a fondness for korean drama serials. Lol.

I'm thankful for my nanny, who took care of me since young and who has always  took care of us while we were growing up (and still does!), always watching over us, cooking the meals at home and upkeeping the house.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

30 Days of Thanksgiving - 4/30

I've not always been very close to my brother. When you have a brother who is eight years older than you, it's hard as a child to connect with the teenage boy in the house who wants to play guitar and who has an obsession with joining the commandos.

He was a good brother, though, and used to read Bible stories to us at night, and let us tag along if we wanted to go for church service with him. I remember taking the bus with him one day, and he offered to share one earpiece from his walkman, and he was listening to praise and worship songs.

I also learned the phrase "buay tahan ah!" from him and that jeans were meant to be used to wipe your fingers on after eating goreng pisang. Hehehehehe.

I was only 12 when he moved to Australia to study. After that he got married and settled down there. He came back to Singapore to work for a year but decided to move back to Australia eventually because they were expecting their first baby.

With all the bad press about Christianity these days, I have to say my brother and sister-in-law are the type of Christians who lead by example and give religion a good name. The amount of love and patience they display when raising their three children is something to admire. My brother almost never raises his voice and a stern word is usually sufficient to keep the children in check.

Now that I'm older, I'm glad that I am able to have a better relationship with my brother. And with whatsapp and group chats, communication is so much more convenient.

Anyway Co, thanks for always keeping me in your prayers, whether I wanted it or not. I'm lucky to have you as a brother.

Monday, November 24, 2014

30 Days of Thanksgiving - 3/30

There is something special about the relationship between two sisters. Despite the yelling and the fighting, your sister is always someone you know who  will always have your back. She knows all the embarrassing stories about you but loves you nonetheless.

Growing up, I'm sure my sister found me a pain. From the constant non-stop yakking at night, to having to deal with my tantrums and violent outbursts, there was so much she had to put up with. Imagine being smacked in the face with a badminton racket or being stabbed in the arm with a mechanical pencil. (Sorry Che!)

She probably also found me highly annoying. We were in the same Primary school and I remember every time I walked past her classroom I'd wave and shout out "Heeeeyyyyy Che!!!!" Another time I fell down and scraped my knee, and instead of going to the staff room and seeking help from the teachers, I crashed her choir practice and cried to her for help.

We got closer as we grew older, and our bickering made way to more mature (but not always- we can be rather bo liao too) conversations. We'd meet each other for dinner after work and enjoy a meal together before heading home. She was always my sounding board and someone I could count on to give me a logical point of view about things. When I was going through difficult times, she always encouraged me and told me that I'd get through it.

It's the random little things I miss since my sis moved to the US. Singing together (somewhereeee out thereeee, beneath the pale moon liiiiiiight!), going for dinners, cooking together, being annoying by giving her wet sloppy kisses. But thank god for technology (another thanksgiving post on that later hur hur) that allows us to keep in touch readily.

Now that babyWei is here,  it's amazing to see how well she is settling into the role of being a mom. If she could love me so much despite all that happened growing up, babyWei is super lucky to have my sis as a mom.

Thank you, Che, for being the best older sis one could have. And also for giving birth to babyWei who is too cute for words. Hehehe.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

30 Days of Thanksgiving - 2/30

Yesterday, I wrote about being thankful for my mom, and it's only fitting that I write about the other half of the pair that brought me into this world.

I'm thankful for my dad. Together with my mom, they are the first two people who knew me and loved me even before I was born.

He has always provided for the family. Even when things were bad and we had to sell the car and house, there was always food on the table and he always made sure we had enough. His mental strength and perseverance is something I always admire and look up to.

Every year, without fail, he would call all his family, friends and contacts to wish them Gong Xi Fa Cai during the first day of Chinese New Year. He is charming when he wants to be, but usually leaves my mom to entertain and make small talk.

My dad has seen the best and worst of me, and has always been patient with me, giving me advice and words of wisdom to help me become a better person (although I admit I was probably the child who tested his patience the most hehehehe). He always taught us to be grounded, kind, and generous if it was within our means.

He is a night owl, which meant that he always knew when I got back home late after a night of drinking. Our usual exchange at 2am would go something like this. "You're drunk ah." "No... *stumble*" "Drink water and sleep soon la." Hehe.

Even after all these years, I know he still worries about me and wants to make sure I'm ok. And I'm glad he feels happy with and approves of who I've chosen to spend the rest of my life with, and that he will be proudly walking me down the (very short) aisle. Love you, laopa.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

30 Days Of Thanksgiving - 1/30

There's one of those things going around on facebook where you post something you are thankful for, everyday for thirty days. I wanted to do it on facebook, but realised that I probably wouldn't be able to save those posts, so thought about posting them here.

Then I thought maybe I'd combine everything into one giant post, but was reminded that being thankful should be a daily exercise and that I shouldn't be taking short cuts. Hur hur.

So here it is. Day 1/30.

I'm thankful for my mom. Anyone who has met my mom will probably remember her as someone who is friendly, warm and kind. She is also the perfect hostess. When there are guests coming, you can be sure that the dinner table will be properly set, silverware neatly wrapped in matching napkins and food beautifully garnished.  

She never gets mad, and even if she does, she never shows it. I remember when we were younger, the harshest thing she would say in frustration is a muttered "punyeta!" which, according to Google, is tagalog for "what the shit".

One of the wisest things she taught me (that I really ought to follow more) is that if you have nothing good or kind to say, it's better to not to say anything at all.

And I know it's so easy to take her for granted, because she will always be there for you, whether you ask or not. If I was down after a relationship ended, she would always be ready with a song to put a smile on my face. Gotta admit, singing "Diamonds are forever" (who needs men?!) and "Who's sorry now?" is something only my mom can pull off to help mend a broken heart.

Of course, now that I'm preparing for my big day, I'm honoured that my mom will be singing at my wedding. We've asked her to sing something for my walk-in and I'm excited to show off her singing to all my friends (family already know hehe).

I should say this more: I love you, Ma. Thank you for always being there for me and loving me unconditionally.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Sambal Goreng Tempeh

I'm a big fan of tempeh and came across this dish one day when I was buying my lunch at the Malay stall. Apparently it's quite common but I've never had it before! Asked my colleague what it was called and googled the recipe for sambal goreng tempeh. 

Found a couple of recipes and headed to Sheng Siong after work to buy what I needed. Unfortunately, I don't have a blender at home so I thought I'd just buy a sambal paste and see if it would be successful. 

Chose the Singlong Sambal Ikan Bilis because I thought it would go well with the tempeh. And it did! 

Tempeh (3 small blocks, 2 slabs in each block)
Coriander seeds
Sambal ikan bilis paste, 2 heaping tablespoons
Kecap manis, 2 tablespoons
Cut tempeh into small 1cm pieces. Add salt, sugar and coriander seeds in water. Soak tempeh. 

Heat up oil (enough to deep fry) and drain tempeh. Fry tempeh till golden brown, remove. 

Heat up oil and fry the sambal till fragrant. Add kecap manis and mix well. Add fried tempeh to paste, mix well. 

Ta da! Serve with rice.