Tags: s.b

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There are penguins at the Bird Park??








All photos courtesy of W


Last weekend, the boys decided to head over either to the Botanical Gardens or The Bird Park. They chose the latter after I decided to stay home instead to lounge around and bake. A few minutes ago, I found out that there were penguins at The Bird Park and I was wailing away that I had missed out.

You see, penguins (and dolphins) are my absolute favorite animals. I adore penguins. If I had known that there were going to be penguins, I would have gone in a heart beat.

A: You mean there were penguins at The Bird Park??!
B.T: Uh yep. Penguins are birds too.
A: You didn't tell me that there were penguins!! I would have gone *wails
B.T: *grins I didn't know either. There's always the next time *grins
A: Penguins!!!! I missed out on penguins!!!?!!!
B.T: YUP. There were fake penguins too.

On a separate side note, a short trip to NYC fell completely through the cracks when I had a last minute work trip or rather, trips, and my leave AND entire NYC trip had to be cancelled. So I'm looking forward (most definitely) to our upcoming trip to Tokyo and as W is a big foodie, he checked out a couple good Jap restaurants which we are making a point to do so! It's not going to be cheap though!!! But these two really know their food so we will put them onto our list.








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Goofball


B.T: You're such a goofball. But I still love you.

:)

He is often amused at my silliness and goofy moments. We seem to only take pictures during travels so this was taken last weekend and Methinks I should take more pictures with him!

A random thought - the thing about me loving to photograph people and objects is that no one is as obsessed as I am so except for self-shots, I don't have many shots of myself!

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The night thief

Another resolution for 2011 -

To learn how to consistently steal and safeguard my 'bolsters' at night.

We don't use bolsters per se but pillows that function as a bolster to hug. Additionally, we each have a green 'Ally' minature pillow. I got them a few years back and he has claimed firm ownership over one particular one. Like try taking it away from him and he'll fight nail and tooth with you.

Don't get in between him and his ally bolster. Seriously. The only time I'm allowed to have it is when I'm sick.

To annoy him, I'll try to steal it whilst he is sleeping. Sometimes, I'll wait for him to fall asleep and slowly wrestle it away. However, he is quick to grab it back even in a half asleep stupor. I swear he has an invisible bond with that damn thing. We now spend the night stealing each other's bolster throughout the night and guess what? It's a subconsious effort.

I tried before we slept but he said that he should re-enact how I try to do it which is sooo stealth that he is unaware. Each time I try to pull it towards me, he smacks my hand. So I gave up and went to sleep. Then I woke up this morning to find mine gone and he was hugging BOTH. I asked him about it earlier on-

THIEF! You stole mine again! When did you do it?

I had no idea. It was a subconscious effort.

I wonder if every couple steals each other's blanket, bolsters, pillows etc. He says that we should get separate blankets as the way I steal the queensized duvet is quite an art. He is left shivering in the middle of the night and sometimes, it's firmly wrapped around me like a 'popiah'.






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Running and us

I am enjoying and treasuring this cool January that we are blessed with! It's the perfect time to hop back into running after the holiday season and that's what I have been trying to do.

I did my third run for the year yesterday evening and I felt great throughout. I think I'm back! It felt a lot easier than the previous night, I was running at a good pace and even he noted that I was on a runner's high.

We managed to keep a conservation every now and then which was good and this came up mid-way -

A: So what was the first thing that you liked about me when you first met me?
B.T: Athletic people have this certain glow about them. You had that.


:)

I love running so much, I don't think I can ever date a guy who doesn't appreciate it. He doesn't have to run the same amount as I do, but at least not frown when I do. I remembered running with him when we were still hanging out as friends. He was trying to impress me back then and when we first met up for a run, I almost giggled at his get-up of a cotton cut-off tee and basketball shorts. He said I whipped his ass the first time (and last).

I was later amused by his running routine on the roof-top - loops of 200m. I would sit on a chair and watch in bemusement. But I did think then that he had some sort of running potential. That running routine soon died off after he injured his knees for running in a clockwise direction continuously and we started running outdoors again.

I think later that year, I did his first half with him but I hardly trained and landed up slowing him down with cramped calves. We ran across the line (rather me hobbling), hand in hand. I don't know how I even convinced him to sign up for the NYC marathon but we did and finished our first marathon - not together. He was way too fast for me and seemed to pick it up easily. He has the long legs, the stamina and the mental to race good and well. I was like a little hamster beside him.

I was probably the one that got him started in serious running but ironically, he's the one that lands up motivating me and better at it. Today, he's the one to tell me that I'm not running hard or fast enough. He definitely doesn't love running the way I do and it's quite annoying that he's rather good at it but I'm the one that's average and totally into it.

They say that a couple that plays together stays together and if you have common interests, you will bond. It felt so last night as we ran side by side, he obviously slowing down to let me catch up. We don't need to share everything in common and function like Siamese twins but I do treasure the fact that he runs with me and that we have accomplished quite a bit together.






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The night before the dinner

We went on an impromptu date to choose our second set of bedding, grabbed some ingredients for the dinner party tomorrow, tested out some tempurpedic mattresses and basically spent quality time together.

As he worked, I spent 1.5 hours preparing the ingredients for tomorrow so that we will save a lot of time and will be less in a rush after work.

It's not impossible to have a dinner party on a weekday, we asked my family to bring some dishes and we are preparing the rest from scratch!

The onions, carrots and celery are all diced up. The mangoes, avocados and pink ruby grapefruits peeled, pitted, sliced and stored in separate containers. And I've even pre-wrapped the asparagus with bacon. The chicken stock has also been prepared! We will save a lot of time tomorrow!

I hope the mango pavlova will turn out fine! It was supposed to include passionfruit as well but that is a rather difficult fruit to find so we are doing without it. If all fails, heh, my backup dessert will suffice. Mmm.. The Studio smells glorious right now as I'm burning my newly acquired mint chocolate candle :P

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The last few touches


The third cat and final decal of the kitty series :)


We added the last few (but not finishing) touches to The Studio. We finally had time to enjoy it to ourselves as our guest has left. Over dinner (with Thanksgiving leftovers), we cheers to another milestone crossed together.

We have still one more piece of furniture to move out (if you can spot an additional mirrored dressing table in the reflection), negotiating a purchase of a rug (we have two options), getting new bedding which my mom is buying for our Christmas present (dark olive green and grey will be our color options), the specific magazine rack and a flat screen TV (no hurry for this since we both don't watch TV). We decided on monochromatic brown tones and accent colors which we could change out whenever. For example, our accent color is now green but we can switch it around to yellow or orange by changing out the cushions, throw, and bedding. Initially, we wanted red but it looked strange on the couch so we tried out a few colors and landed up with green.

But it feels really comfy right now and we are pleased with the outcome and how we have miraculously managed to increase our storage threefold in this really teeny space and for me, the best part is enjoying a fairly large wardrobe space (we have 6 panels in total) in a studio.

After we have settled in proper, we will start inviting family and friends over for mini housewarmings. As our studio can only accommodate a maximum of 6 people comfortably, it'll need to be done in stages :P First lot will be my family of course!


The L-shaped couch, throw and pillows


This couch was the cause of a whole string of arguments between us two! I, being the more practical one loves L-shaped couches but feels it's more suitable in a larger space and a simple straight couch will suffice. He loves L-shaped couches and insisted one would fit though I begged to differ. After countless debates, he decided to just get one anyway and risk having to send it back and paying for the additional charges -_- It did work out in the end and I do love it but sigh, it was one helluva long conversation over.. a couch.


I love the velvety textured white pillow


I love a couch with numerous pillows of different shapes, textures and sizes. The pillows and felt throw is the accent color and I still want to get a few more - looking for a specific furry like cushion in some wild color! It sounds ridiculous having a throw here in this humid country but our air condition is always mostly on and it's nice lazing on the couch, typing on my macbook (as I'm doing right now), feeling snug under the throw. And it's cozy for naps too. Again, I saw a fluffy furry throw but it was a bit costly.


This is pretty much the space minus the bathroom and kitchen. I did say that it was tiny!


Excuse the current bedding (we haven't had time to buy more matching ones yet). I wanted the accent color to be blue but B.T doesn't like blue for the house -_- So the sheets as mentioned above will be earth tones. I'll be looking at Aussino bedding since my mom passed to me the discount card and hmm, any other suggestions? I might splurge on a high count Egyptian cotton bedsheet!


mobile clip photos


I love taking photos of people, things and places and naturally love having photos around the place. I have some on the display cabinet, some on the desk, and in little places. This one is stuck onto the mirrored wardrobe door and it looks ridiculous hanging randomly in mid-air but I love it. I think having photos around makes a place cozier.


This is our favorite item of the house - the Molecule table which has been converted into a dining table for 6


When your space is small, you'll look for ideas and furniture pieces that can optimize that space. We bought this 9 months ago and it was kept in storage for that length of time! It cost a fair amount but we felt that this Italian made convertible was worth it and it's made of solid wood. We have watched numerous videos on how you can optimize a small space and this certain company makes a range of such furniture (distributed by Molecule).

I love how easily it pulls up into a dining table and the hydraulic system is fantastic (which is what you are really paying for). The hidden storage is great too. We love hidden storages. In our space, we have storage under the window ledge, under the bed, under the couch and under this table :P



Let's dine!


We completed the purchase of all the crockery and I knew specifically what I wanted. It's mostly pristine white square/rectangular plates and bowls with the pop color of green for the soup/salad plates. If we felt like it, we could change out the colors but changing some items and we kept the place mats a standard brown. We are still in need of a center runner for the table.

The crockery is all versatile. The green glasses double up as drink glasses or for desserts like ice cream. The white square bowls double up as soup or salad or oxtail soup type of dishes. The baguette smaller plates will be for serving appetizers or tidbits. We have a number of other servings plates and bowls which can be mixed around too. :)

P.S excuse the wilting flowers! I bought them last Sunday and mighty glad that they are still alive! They cost a mere $3.20 in total and heh, I'll be buying more on a regular basis! I hope sunflowers will be available next!

I guess I've pretty much posted the main parts (or almost all) of the space post renovations. I forgot to take pictures of how the place looks prior but those that have visited it before will know how drastic the changes are.






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Moved in


Getting some ideas - crockery shopping will be last but I know exactly what I want. It'll look nothing like this though :p


monochromatic browns will be popped with mostly green and some hints of yellow. Red was our first choice but it didn't work out.


I want some cool lights


Taking a break at ToTT

Moving in took place swiftly and smoothly as my entire family came by to help! 1 van and 1 car - two trips and we were done!

Not everything is completed yet - I would say that we are at 80% right now. There are still a few more things to sort out -

Thursday - fitting of the sinks and counter top, completion of the bathroom, fixing of the drawers which B.T has some minor issues with and several other stuff that need to be perfected.

Friday - collection of the black out curtains, Ikea shopping again

Saturday - delivery of the molecule coffee table convertible

Sunday - delivery of the couch

Rest of next week - shopping for crockery and stuff, fixing of the wall decals and decorating, photos to print out for display, get chairs and a rug etc

I truly can't wait for all of this to be finally done! It's not been all sugar and rainbows, we both had a number of disagreements and arguments and the stress and fatigue wasn't helping us at all! But I think when it's all done and we are able to sit back and relax, it will be sweet.

Meanwhile, our storage space had tripled (actually I think it's even more than that!) I thought I wouldn't be able to fit all my stuff over but I might be wrong and quite possibly so. I seriously can't wait to unpack and move more of my clothes over! And yes, my bags are very pleased too :p

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Love

Last night, I knew of the passing on of LKY's wife and felt sad. I was then touched by their 61 years love story and it was just like the love video of Annie and Danny which I recently posted. Sweet and moving.

It gives us hope that true love does exist in this world.

This morning, I saw B.T trying to fix the photo frame that I handmade for him 3 years ago. The mosaic pieces were falling out and the card board stand was wobbly. I said that I could get him another frame if this one was broken. But he said no. And he glued it back together.

I never knew that he was sentimental. It made me smile. And I'm glad that I have him as my boo.

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A lovely surprise!


The first flowers that he electronically sent to me!


Gorgeous flowers with an earth friendly packaging - me likey


Close up - with gold words on the petals


The words that filled my heart with love and joy

Someone started knocking on the door late at night. I get anxious whenever it happens. I always think that it's bad news or something. B.T persuaded me to open it.

Then I peeped and saw a man in scruffy berms and tee shouting something. He was carrying a bundle of stuff wrapped in newspapers. I thought he was saying Bak kwa!

I told B.T I didn't want to buy bak kwa so I didn't open the door. Plus, I was wearing my eye masks and jammies - how unglam is that? He sighed and opened the door. Then I heard Song (4) Hua (1)

Oh.

He says I'm such a goofball. He wanted me to open the door and receive the flowers. Oops.

Anyway, he isn't typically one who goes all romantic with flowers and surprises so this came as a real surprise. They say always ask for what you want and though I'm not huge on flowers as it's expensive, I did tell him that it would be nice to get them once in awhile. And he pretty much outdid himself when I asked for just a few stalks.

The words that he wrote really touched me and I was so happy. Still am. :) He's not a man to express his emotions but what he wrote really touched me and put a huge smile on my face for the rest of the day.

You mean a lot to me too. The world. And yes, to many more anniversaries to come.

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The ramen bar at Holland Village


Traditional Hakata ramen


I have so many entries lined up for posting (mainly back-dated posts from my D.C and Hong Kong trip) that uh it can probably last for a month of daily posting. I seriously don't know why I have so much to talk about and trust me, this is probably at most half of what I am really doing!

Anyhoooow..

Ramen. Let's talk about ramen. We were just hanging around Holland Village, which I do have to admit, is a really lovely place to just lounge and hang out at on a lazy Sunday. There's a certain cozy vibe about it that is quite different from say Orchard or anyway else. Perhaps, Siglap in the East side would come close to it. Anyway, I digress. Back to to the ramen. We randomly chanced upon it and thought it looked nice, plus it was having a 20% off lunch time offer for Citibank card holders.

The restaurant set-up offers both indoors and outdoors seating. I would recommend indoors as the interior is quite nice. I love the decor and the 'I'm in Japan' feel. Most of the ramen on the menu has white pork bone soup base. There is a good selection of sides like gyoza, Japanese burgers and more. I love the additional section where it recommends the condiments to be used for gyoza and the ramen. I thought it was rather cool when we were each given a little mortar and pestle to grind the sesame seeds for the ramen. Neat!

Gyozas were good - just the right amount of meat and the skin was not too chewy and thick. The noodles are the thin and hard type and has a decent bite to it. The traditional Hakata ramen that I ordered came with two halves of the soft-boiled egg (yummy) and 3-4 pieces of fatty char siew. It did hit the sweet spot for me. Overall, I would say if you want to satisfy a ramen craving and around the area, this might be worth checking out.

I've heard about a new ramen place in Paragon. I do want to check that out sometime soon perhaps.

Yoshimaru Ramen Bar (by Jumbo Seafood)
31 Long Liput (Holland Village)
Singapore 277742
+65 6463 3132


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