November 21st, 2010


House, truffle fries and good convos

Pumpkin salad

My social life this year has been faring poorly. The training for the marathon took up all of my available free time and it left me mostly exhausted. Then, it was followed by the start of the renovations which was energy zapping. I try to meet up with friends every now and then and sadly enough, I land up having to cancel on a few which is really bad. But I try my best to make time and make the best of it.

I like spending one on one time with a friend each time wherever possible. It takes a lot more effort but I think it's totally worth it. Big group gatherings somehow don't quite cut the deal for me. It's fun but I can't really chat and catch up proper with the person.

Late lunch with C some Sunday ago was great. The weather was a bit of a damper but it didn't kill our spirits and we had a lovely time enjoying truffle fries, salty fish and gingery apple crumble. And loads of good natters of course. And oh. It's wonderful being with a friend who loves taking photos and won't think that I'm mad trying to get a good angle of the tin of fries. :P

It's not a really good idea to write about truffle fries at midnight. I'm feeling peckish and thinking of truffle fries! Argh!

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The magazine rack

We have almost completed our list of shopping for The Studio sans the rug which I'll need to check out from Muji and we are looking for a specific magazine rack like the one above. This one is from Ikea but it is too long - we need a similar shorter version with two instead of three racks. Anyone knows where I can find this?

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Shedd Aquarium

I love the Singapore Zoo. I love animals (except snakes) and my favorites are penguins, polar bears, dolphins, otters and seals. Heh. As you can tell, they are mainly associated with marine life. I've never visited a zoo when I travel overseas. In fact, I heard the Oregon Zoo is quite a treat but never quite thought of making a trip there. I think we would have probably skipped the Shedd Aquarium if it wasn't part of the pass that we purchased.

We took a bus to the Shedd Aquarium and truth be told, I was quite excited to see penguins again. I have this thing for penguins. They are so adorable and I love the fact that the Emperor Penguin is monogamous and would search for the perfect rock to give to his partner. How sweet is that? So that was the top of list of animals to see.

The great thing about visiting the Shedd is that it is situated in an area which allows you to absorb in a great view of Chicago. The day was relatively clear and sunny so it was a lovely viewing. We spent some time outside admiring the scenery and taking some pictures.

If you wish to watch any of the shows, those are available at an extra cost, we decided not to as well, it can get rather expensive visiting all these tourist places. We did spend a nice time admiring fishes, marine life, sharks and all and we would stop and sit to stare as the fishes swam by. It was kinda surreal. Everything looks so unspoiled and colorful and cheerful. I think the underwater world is beautiful and I can understand why people love diving. However, I do still have a fear of being deep down inside the waters. Ironic I know since I used to do a little be of triathlons.

The penguins were adorable and I was utterly amused by these two that were standing side be side, with one having his flipper around the other, facing the wall for a really long period of time. The rest of the penguins were either swimming or waddling around but these two were just frozen into position at the corner and it was hilarious. I wish I could have one as a pet.

I actually think that the Shedd Aquarium is a worthwhile trip and it's great for kids. Some of the areas are interactive. There was this place where we could touch a starfish. The water was freezing as that is the temperatures that they thrive in and touching them felt really weird! But it was definitely a treat for the kids. As mentioned earlier, it is more worth it to buy the Chicago pass which allows you entry into five places which includes the Shedd so don't forget about that if you ever wish to visit Chicago and some touristy spots.

John G. Shedd Aquarium
1200 S. Lake Shore Drive
IL 60605
+1 (312) 939 2438

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A well deserved dinner

Today was DIY Sunday. I assembled 5 goddamn wooden stools and it took 60 screws to put them together. This is dinner and we deserve it.

B.T's brother just flew in from The Bay Area. So it'll be a really busy week for work and personal. I'm really looking forward to the Thanksgiving dinner as well!

This weekend has been productive. Really productive. The Studio is almost completed and I'm totally happy with my candle displays all around the house and the wall decals :)

I can't believe that it's almost December! We are discussing travel plans and Tokyo and Hawaii are on the cards. I'm of course hoping for Chicago again and NYC.

Speaking of which, I'm a notorious planner. I plan almost everything in advanced so perhaps I should start giving headsup here on what I plan to do and write etc. Being sarcastic here :p

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Decorations and stuff

Trying to arrange 3 candle sets for display around 3 different parts of the house.

I hope this opens soon. We might find some cool stuff here for the house

I bought some geberas for the house and we are doing a fair amount of soft lighting, candles, photos and other decorative stuff. I'm planning to get more candles from the States - should have bought more from Chicago at Anthropology and Urban Outfitters.

The house smells like jasmine right now. It's such a rejuvenating scent. Everything is slowly falling into place. The crockery is going to be bone white with accents of green and a mixture of shapes of oval, squares and rectangles :)

I can't believe this renovation took a year to plan, finalize and put together, traveling too often also made it difficult to start on it but the pain has been worthwhile. We said that at least it was a great learning experience for both and the next will be way better.

We spent the last two weekends on the place and are exhausted. What about you? Hope that everyone's weekend went great.

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His and hers

Mine - obviously with the tutu skirt.

His - his lucky gold fish and turtle, the money jar and clock

He says I should stop posting photos of The Studio until it's 100% done :p But I can't help it. He doesn't want anyone over too - for now.

This one is our respective bedside table and lamps. We created electrical plug points all over the house which turned out to be a brilliant idea because I can now sit on the window ledge with Julius and not worry about the battery dying.

More on the house later.

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Would you?

B.T met my colleague's husband who is American too so they had loads in common to talk about. In between conversations, his kids would run up to give him a hug or ask for something and we noticed that he didn't alter his language and words used. For example, as typical adults, we will cuss about and the f-word is commonly used. There were no 'hushes' when the kids came by and later on, as a couple of us were trying to figure out some figurative phrase around the topic of s*x, the two young kids (age 11 and 7) were present and listening.

That question popped up later on and the mom said that it's totally fine in this household for the kids to say the -f-word or discuss about s*x. They watch everything and they just need to understand the rules and context on when to use it. For example, the f-word cannot be used in school and in front of grandparents and of course, not to the parents. But it's fine to speak with it and sing songs with it because they understand how and when to use it.

This would be something that most Asian parents would be aghast upon hearing it. Most parents I know, don't teach their kids about s*x until they reach their teens which in my personal opinion, is already too late. Or if they do, it's called the birds and the bees instead of using the actual biological terms.

Much as my folks are open-minded i.e. giving me full permission to club the moment I turned of legal age or allowing me to stay over at my steady boyfriend's house as it all boiled down to trust, when it came to language usage, they were a lot more strict. I liked the way my parents brought my sis and I up and giving us full authority to do whatever we want with no curfews because without being told, we informed our whereabouts and never betrayed their trust in us. It's like reverse psychology. The more you tell a kid "You cannot do this.", the greater the temptation for them to do so. It's like wanting to try what's forbidden. It's a thrill.

Last night, B.T and I were talking about it. We are the type who prefer treating kids as adults. No baby talking to them but rather, speaking to them as though they were adults and speaking to them in proper sentences etc. You don't shout at kids unless it's necessary because that leads to crying and wailing but instead using a firm tone. We've seen friends bringing up their kids and it works.

So how about this language issue? We both agreed that it's perfectly fine if the kid says the f-word provided they understand the context of it and don't abuse it. Crying out loud, F*ck! when you stub your toe against the door is just voicing out frustration. What is the difference between saying that and Oh golly or something considered 'more refined'? Of course if they turn at you and say f-you, that's totally different as what my colleague mentioned above.

Adults make rules to try and keep their kids from 'harm'. Sometimes, it's whether these rules make sense. Why is it that an adult can say or do something but not a kid? Why smoke and tell your kid otherwise? That's just double standards? If you don't want your kid to say the f-word, don't say it yourself. How about intimacy with a partner? Well, the difference between kids and adults is that the former are unable to firstly take care of themselves nor have the ability to be responsible should something happen. That's the reason why you tell a kid that you don't go around sleeping with your partner because the maturity to handle responsibility isn't there yet. Not, you can't because I say No or that it is bad.

Everyone has a different way of bringing up their kids and there's no right or wrong. At the end of the day, parents only want the best for their children. One of the reasons why B.T and I get along well is because we share the same line of thoughts. And we both decided that if we have kids together in future, the way we'll bring them up might be rather different from the traditional ways.

P.S I'm not spelling out s*x only because I don't want my entry to be flagged offensive :P

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Coconut pancakes

I love Bangkok for it's shopping and food. This is one of my favorite Thai snacks. It is best eaten hot and fresh! These were a tad too large and I prefer the smaller versions but they weren't available so I settled. I wished this was sold here in Singers.

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