Latest Posts

The Solitude in Words

The rays of the golden hour gently warming up my skin, frosted from the wintery cold of the office, as I strolled towards the nearest train station. Guilty of the act of simply scrolling through my social media channels, I took the chance to look up from my screen to take in the urban landscape before me.

Jazz music playing softly through my earphones as I stumbled through the crowds across 2 varying train lines to make my way back to home. It’s been a tough couple of months at work, and my spirits has been really worn thin. The shroud of negative energy from my team rubs off easily on me and all I could do was seek solace in words. Words I’ve written years ago when I was equally worn out, they proved to be a timely reminder that things would eventually get better once we are well adjusted.

“If you’re feeling frightened about what comes next, don’t be. Embrace the uncertainty. Allow it to lead you places. Be brave as it challenges you to exercise both your heart and mind as you create your own path towards happiness; don’t waste time with regret. Spin wildly into your next action. Enjoy the present, each moment, as it comes, because you’ll never get another one quite like it. And if you should ever look up and find yourself lost, simply take a breathe and start over. Retrace your steps and go back to the purest place in your heart… where your hope lives. You’ll find your way again.”

– Everwood

As I retraced the steps I’ve taken thousands of times home, to the place where I spent 15 years of my life. To the home where I’ve spent countless hours by the pool staring up into the light polluted sky to seek out the stars, the endless swim sessions with my neighbors, long study sessions at the Guttensohn’s, midnight conversations and the long walks to the bus stop with Wiam.

My mum used to ask me what is the definition of a home, and for years, I’ve pondered over it, never truly contemplating the real reason for her questions. Until recently, when my home of 15 years went onto the market for sale, did it hit me hard. Home is where you’re comfortable and feel safe. It is a place where you could cry freely without any concern, it holds a fortress of memories built overtime, and most importantly, it is where you would want your kids to grow up in.

Over the years, I’ve traveled throughout the world in search of answers. Seeking solitude in the foreign environment, moving on when familiarity / hardship sinks in and never wanting to look back. Yet, I’ve always gone home, to recover, renew my spirits and start again. This is where the purest place my heart has, where my hope lives, and where I begin the journey of finding my way again.

 

Let’s Eat | Open Farm Community

The daily habits of scrolling through Instagram has seen me flicking through countless beautiful Instagram photos of the “new kid on the block”, Open Farm Community. Being slow to the cafe hunting game, due to the lack of private transportation, I’ve never really headed down to the new joint until recently.

Since I’ve joined a new firm, it’s became a ritual for me to catch up with XT over delicious food, usually on Fridays. Dashing into her car one Friday afternoon to escape the choking haze, I was met with an exclaimation “Let’s try Open Farm Community! It looks delicious!”. We took a short drive to Demsey Hill with our fingers crossed, in hopes that the restuarant isn’t full.

As the car’s tyres met with the sounds of gravel, we were transported to an Urban Farm. The concept of the Open Farm Community (OFC) meant that the cafe uses farm-to-table herbs and vegetables, and it’s as close to the “country-side” as we can get, just a couple of minutes from the city.

We greeted warmly at the door and promptly shown to the communal table situated in front of the kitchen. As we sat down, the indoor sittings were promptly filled as conversations peppered through the air.


The Rigatoni cooked with local mushrooms, smoked pancetta, stilton in balsamic reduction. The balsamic reduction was almost a perfection and the meal left me wanting more.

Side order of the 3 in 1 Sweet Corn platter consists of the deliciously juicy grilled corn, baby corn and popcorn.

Coconut laksa barramundi, crushed potato cake, bok choy

Chicken katsu burger, carrot spaghetti, white cabbage chiffonade, curly fries, lime & Japanese mayo – a truly interesting combination.

Our post-lunch routine usually includes a trip to the Common Man Coffee next door.


Open Farm Community
130E Minden Rd, Singapore 248819

Happy 1st Bee-day, Casper!

Dear Casper,

It’s been almost 1.5 years since your mum told me that she was expecting you. That moment when she told me about you was one filled with mixed emotions, especially since we’ve lost your older siblings previously. Your arrival took a huge rock off my chest and it was being replaced by pride and joy. Baby boy, you did well.


The last year was tough, spending most of my time an ocean away from you meant that I couldn’t cuddle you, spend time with your parents or be there when your mummy needed help. Yet, I am glad that even from afar, I’ve always been kept up to date with your progress with the daily photo / video. 


As you turn ONE, I wanted to let you know that we want to celebrate all those moments – The first time I saw you and snuggled up with you, the first time I heard you cry when you were separated from mummy, to the first few steps that you took unassisted right in front of me. We are celebrating the nights you kept mum and dad up, the days that you spent at the park with your parents, the falls you had while trying to walk and the new adventures to the aquarium.


Happy Birthday my beloved busy bee! It has been an honor to be your godmother. I am looking forward to spending more time with you and being there when you need me both physically (if possible) and electronically.

Lots of Love,
Godma


Captured by S. Benjamin with his beautiful Sony A7M2 and myself on the iPhone 7

Island Living – Seminyak Style

As the cloud of gloom settles over the post-nuptial bliss of my wedding, I sat at my desk confronted by the triple-digit email inbox that awaited my attention, I decided, I needed a break and a change of environment. Coincidentally, my husband had decided that we should pack our bags and head away to Bali for a vacation over my birthday weekend. Tickets were booked 2 months in advance and the countdown towards our trip started ticking.

We left Singapore on a rainy Friday afternoon, happy to be escaping the harsh reality of the working world. Despite arriving 3 hours earlier for our flight, we’ve managed to be royally late for our flight. (Blame it on Changi’s wealth of duty-free shopping and our pre-flight ritual of alcohol dosage)

Two hours later, we land in the light of the beautiful full moon with the evening breeze gently blowing on our skin. We were met with our drive who drove us through town, braving through the evening to get our Mobile Data card. We drive past familiar landscapes and our favourite restuarants to Seminyak, where we pulled up to the newly opened Ibis Styles Petitenget.

The latest hotel on the Ibis Styles chain, Petitenget was in a great location for the budget travellers. Just 10 minutes away from Seminyak Central, it has a wide variety of restuarants within walking distance that is worthy of a visit.

After a good night’s rest, we find ourselves, strolling along the streets of Seminyak  in thick 35 degree heat, the sun blazing down relentlessly on our faces. The delight of finding new alleyways and rediscovering old favourites was not lost on us as we basked in the joy of being back on the beautiful island.


We break for a short reprieve from the relentless sun, at one of Seminyak’s best coffee house, Revolver Espresso. The cafe was packed to the brim with tourist who found the gem that is located just off the main Seminyak area, the coffee tastes exactly the way we’ve remembered it.

After a session at a spa and a facial session that was underwhelming at best, we decided to devote our time to being on the beach since it was almost time for sunset. Crowds of people flock to the sea, digging their toes into the sand to feel it’s warmth and simply enjoying the breeze in their faces, we aren’t so different afterall.

With the final salutation to the non-existent sunset, we dusted our feet after an hour, and made our way to our dinner reservation at La Lucciola, under the gloomy cloudy sky.

The selection of food available was great, and I really appreciated the availability of gluten free options. We shared conversations over dinner and simply watched the world go by. It was one of those rare wonderful, authentic moments that can’t be scripted.


Captured by S. Benjamin with his beautiful Sony A7M2

The Wedding Reception

It’s a scorching afternoon in Singapore and we’re out at the Fort Canning Hotel to celebrate SL & Sam’s Registration of Marriage, when I turned to Ben and proclaimed that I wouldn’t want to entertain a ballroom full of guest after our wedding ceremony. Being innately introverted, I’ve always chosen to shun the crowds, always choosing to stay on the sidelines when forced to attend events.

The Ritz Carlton Millenia, where we’re staying for our wedding, was an obvious choice for a dinner location. It’s reputed to have one of Singapore’s best dinner buffet, with the wide variety of seafood and superb service. Situated in the lobby, the Colony had the perfect space for our intimate dinner. Sliding wall to ceiling mirrored doors and partitions carefully designed by the award-winning New York based Tony Chi, provide the comfort and ambiance we had desired.

img_0883
img_0880

Sitting a group of 20 was no easy feat, couple that with varying groups of people from our lives could have proven disastrous, but it was a success. The conversations on the table flowed endlessly, laughter, giggles floated through the air.



Towards the end of the night, friends were seen cozying up with one another with cakes in hand and smiles on faces. The party promptly proceeded to our wedding suite where we showed off the night view of the Marina Bay area and endless photographs to seal those fleeting moments.

img_7763


Table Conversations

Earlier this month, the “stars” aligned and I’ve finally managed to catch up with 2 of my closest friends from University – Aloy & YL.

Over coffee, we talked about everything under the sun – well, almost. Plato, Socrates, gossips (not really) about where some of our course-mates went, our Professors and some impressionable topics that they taught.

Upon returning home, I kept thinking about those conversations that we had. It occurred to me that it was probably the most intellectual conversation that I’ve had with my friends in a long time. It has always been about mindless things and I hardly get anything meaningful from it.

The differences between my friends are drastically different. In example, lunch with XT would be mindless conversations about spending crazy amounts of money on houses, food and our little monsters (i.e her nephews and my step-brother). Perhaps for many, that is a meaningful conversation, but for it, it feels empty.

Ohh, it’s such a shame… That we don’t talk anymore. We don’t talk anymore, like we used to do. We don’t laugh anymore, like we used to do…

The lyrics from Charlie Puth’s song, We don’t talk anymore, is really truly apt for any broken relationship / friendship. Ever since my ex-best friend Angel decided to take a walk from my life, I’ve really missed having someone to have a deep conversation with (other than my husband). Honestly, I hate how Facebook reminds me of the times I’ve spent with her. The hours shopping, conversations and the crazy things we used to do together. What I would give to have those back, but alas, split milk will never be placed back in a cup wholly.


Angel, if you are ever reading this. I’m sorry we’ve came to the state we are in today. I’ve missed you.

Blog Your Heart | Sept ’16 Edition

I’ve been a huge fan of Stephanie Howell’s BYH for a while now and decided to do a September edition of it. Here are some “rules” for the post:

  1. Blog whatever is authentic. Whatever is truly on your mind and in your heart.
  2. It can be serious, silly, short, long. [NOTE: No one said it has to be serious. But it should be authentic.]
  3. No judging allowed no snarky comments, no making fun, no passive agressive digs.If you are going to read the blogs linked below, don’t be mean. Nothing here is whining, though I can’t help it if you perceive it that way. It’s me honestly sharing my feelings. if you feel that it’s whining, then you don’t have to read. 🙂
  4. If you BYH, link back here in the comments. I always read and comment on every single post.
  5. Feel free to use the graphic above. Just make sure to link back to me.

5 months after my wedding, I am sick of people asking me when I would be planning to have my first child. Honestly, I wish that people would mind their own business.

Work -life balance does exists in my dictionary. My current job is a dream come true with its flexible work hours and the ability to be independent. While flexibility is a common practice elsewhere in the world, in Asia, it is not widely practiced.

Being plus sized really sucks, and I can’t be positive about it. Accepting my “fat” body is just society’s way of telling me you’d never be skinny. Alas, it’s time to work on the health aspect of my life.

I can’t wait for the 19th, my beloved Godson would be back in the sunny island and I would have unlimited access to him for 2 glorious weeks. He is super precious and I am glad to be his Godma.

Learning to cook proper meals prepared from scratch is tough. I’ve always been able to bake most things from scratch, but to cook Asian food, I am absolutely hopeless. One of the goals I would love to accomplish before my new home is ready is to be able to cook basic meals.

I need my own home ASAP! Living at my in laws and not being able to cook, bake or even practice my piano is taking a toll on me. Seriously, I need more personal breathing space. On a better note, 5 more floors before the building is completed! Hopefully it would arrive by the end of next year and my nightmare would be finally over.

Work politics are bad, especially for an introvert like myself. I can’t deal with the gossips, it makes me want to huddle up and hide away with my books.

I’ve started keeping a physical diary and hope that I’d get the hang of just simply writing my heart out again.