Friday, May 24, 2013


The title says it all. Just a few snapshots of dogs to cheer up the day =)

Fat Bunny

Went to a mall a week ago and there was this animal fest. I've seen some fat bunnies previously but this one takes the cake.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

NOTD - Etude Ice Cream Nails - Pastel Green

I've never given much thought to Etude's nail polishes so I was quite surprised when I set foot at their shop one day and found that they had a lot of offerings, many of them so up-to-date but with extremely affordable prices.

One pet peeve: They use numbers instead of names for their polishes.

I picked this one up from their Spring 2013 line, called Ice Cream Nails. A selection of pastel colors, some with glitters in it. This pastel green / mint one has the speckled/staccato effect that has risen to popularity these lately. This is kinda a dupe for Illamasqua's Mottle albeit lighter.

The container literally resembles ice cream.

With Flash

WIthout Flash

Without Flash

Without Flash

With Flash

WIth Flash
The color looks off in the pictures without flash, the color looks more true to life in the pictures with flash.

NOTD - Chanel Holiday

Just like the title says, Chanel Le Vernis in Holiday. It's a rich, bright orange with a touch of jelly finish which makes your nails look...pillowy? cushiony? It's this plastic finish that reminds me of a beach ball. How appropriate, no?

Without Flash

Without Flash

With Flash
With Flash

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Blogsale #3

Hi, if you have time, please check out my blogsale, I just put up several things for sale ;-)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Poached Egg and Pancakes

I LOVE poached eggs. I made a poached egg for the first time today. Not bad, I'd say *self-pat my back*. The yolk is still too runny for my liking but there will always be next weekend.

The yolk is still too runny

Wall Art and Vanity

I love to play with my wall arts and I rearrange my vanity almost every week. I don't know, it's a very girlie thing to do. I especially love playing with wall arts because it really helps setting the mood of the room.

However, as I am only renting my place, there are restrictions of what I can and cannot do. Putting a hole in the wall, for instance, is out of the question. There are also the budget issue as well as the logistical issue should we ever need to move to a new place. And then there's a question of maintenance. Living in the city is expensive so the least maintenance required is always most favorable.

Sometimes, I'd think it might be easier for me to just live with plain walls and boring room but what kind of life would that be? If there's anything I've learned in life so far is that if you came across any chance at happiness, how little or trivial it may be, you gotta snag it. That's what frills and whimsy mean to me, a little chance at happiness.

So, practicality be damned, I had to find my way through these limitations. Budget issues meaning I got my frames from places such as IKEA and Daiso. I also framed tear sheets from magazines or created my own poster/art instead of buying for the bigger ones. No holes meaning I compromised by using bluetacks to hang my wall arts. This poses another issue because bluetacks can only support so much and it has given way several times but I just have to live with it.

For example, the big frame with Katharine Hepburn in it fell a month ago and cracked open the black border. It's too bad because I really liked the composition of the frames but I was wary about getting a new one because the big ones have a history of falling down one too many.

Instead, I decided to replace it with two smaller frames which are lighter.

Now I only have one big frame up on the wall to worry about.

Here's how my wall looks now.

I have taken down the other wall art that I created and used it as a backing for my vanity. I just love rearranging and looking at my vanity! I think it's a very magpie thing to do, my vanity is like my magpie nest where I store all my beautiful and colorful shiny little trinkets.

In this last shot, I'd like to introduce Missy. Missy can look petrifying sometimes but at the same time she is stylish and endearing, kinda like Cara Delevigne, lol.

Our resident stuffed animal, Missy

Quick Weekend Dinner Recipe : My Version of Steak Au Poivre

My version of Steak Au Poivre

A little backstory, I was always bummed because as someone who can't afford to rent a whole flat, cooking is very tedious for me, or so I thought. I got myself a multi-cooker few weeks ago and has been loving it ever since. Seriously guys, if you live in the city and you're short of space, you should really get a multi-cooker! It's a space-saver, powerful, versatile, and very easy to clean. I got me a Cornell because it comes with a non-stick pan for less than S$60.

Today I made my version of Steak Au Poivre and I loved it so much I just had to share the recipe with you. It's so easy and to think you'd have to shell out about S$40++ / pax in a restaurant for something like this is like, blasphemy.

A little disclaimer, I have never had an authentic Steak Au Poivre so I really don't know how my version would fare against the real thing. I got the basic recipe from a French cookbook but I think it was already a tweaked version which I had to tweak even further due to lack of access to certain ingredient.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves 2

1 pc of striploin steak, cut into 2 pcs
20g unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
3 tbsp of plain flour
20ml of cream
1 tbsp of black peppercorn

Sauce broth (mix the following ingredients into 1 cup):
10ml single-malt whiskey
10ml calamansi juice
1 beef bouillon cube, dilute with 1 cup of hot water

How to cook:
1. Heat butter in a non-stick pan, add garlic and onion, cook for 1 minute.

2. Add steaks, cover and cook over high heat for 2 minutes on each side; remove from pan and set aside.
Place steak on top of the sauteed onion
 *Tip: Steak Au Poivre is known for its simplicity so it's best to use the best ingredients you can have, especially the steak which is the star of the dish. Here, I use Australian Angus beef striploin.
Cook briefly on both sides

Remove the steaks and set aside
3. Stir flour through pan juices over low heat until the flour browns, pour in the sauce broth. Over high heat, stir until mixture comes to boil; reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes until it thickens.

Add the sauce broth into the pan
*Trivia: The recipe actually calls for dry sherry or brandy but I couldn't find any at the time so I improvised using single-malt whiskey and calamansi juice;whiskey for the alcohol and calamansi juice for the fruity accord. Brandy is made from fermented fruit while whiskey is from grains, hence the use of calamansi juice.

4. Add peppercorns.
Add peppercorns

5. Add cream; stir occasionally, crushing peppercorns lightly with a spoon.
Add cream

6. Return steak to sauce; cover and cook about 5 minutes for a medium rare steak.
Return the steaks into the pan

7. Serve with aglio olio spaghetti and boiled baby carrots on the side.
8. Enjoy!
Serve with aglio olio spaghetti and boiled baby carrots on the side
Medium rare, just the way I like it

NOTD - Models Own Champagne

Quick post of a nail polish swatch I've been meaning to share. Meet Models Own's Champagne, a gold foil with a hint of copper in it. It's not as yellow as a gold polish can sometimes be, it's a one-coater and has no streaking issue whatsoever!

Reach for this one when you need to look polished for a party quick! You don't even have to use topcoat because the foil will reflect lights and mask the lack of topcoat. Models Own is not big 3-free, though, so it applies easily.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Quick Weekday Dinner Recipe : Stir-fry veggies

I recently made a pact to eat more healthily because I think it's about time I get fit and also because I had a little health scare some time ago. I'd like to cook more so I went out and bought a multi cooker and I've been really enjoying having it around!

Here's what I usually cook for a weekday dinner:

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves 1

1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 broccoli, cut into florettes
1 cauliflower, cut into florettes
a small plate of baby corn
3 pcs of chicken franks, halved
2 pcs of tempeh, diced
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

You can prepare the ingredients ahead of time

How to cook:
1. Preheat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a non-stick pan and fry the chicken franks and tempeh in high heat for 1 minute until the tempeh is golden brown and crispy on the outside. Set aside.
Make a cross cut about an inch deep into the halved sausage so it'll 'bloom' when fried

2. Pour another 1 tbsp of olive oil, let it heat up for a few seconds then toss the sliced carrots. Add 1/5 cup of water, stir fry for a few seconds then cover for 2 minutes in high heat.

3. Toss the rest of the veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, baby corn) into the pan, stir fry for a few second while adding salt and pepper then cover for 2 minutes.

4. Toss the sausages back in, reduce the heat to medium low and cover for 2 minutes.
Don't toss back the tempeh before serving like I did! It kills the crispiness

5. Place in a bowl then sprinkle the fried tempeh on top.
6. Enjoy!

Healthy big bowl of veggies, no carbs please!

PS. I made a mistake by not adding the tempeh last, I tossed it back together with the sausages in step 4, instead. It made the tempeh lost its crispiness :(

Breakfast on a Rainy Morning

The title says it all. It was raining cats and dogs in the morning that Sunday but my roommate and I just thought it would be nice to go out and have breakfast.
We safely made it to the MRT station!
We braved the wind and all to go to our chosen breakfast place: Cafe Cartel at Nex mall at Serangoon.
Cafe Cartel's exterior
It was very cozy inside. We immediately ordered warm mini sweet buns with butter which were so great for its sheer simplicity.
Warm mini sweet buns
Here's our french toast with sausage, bacon,and scrambled eggs complete with honey on the side.
French toasts breakfast


Living La Vida Local : Serangoon Gardens

Smart title, eh? :-p

I went to Serangoon Gardens area for the first time a few months ago since I moved to Singapore. The area is famous for the hawkers centers (there are a few), most famous probably being Chomp Chomp. When I went there, though, all the stalls were closed. Renovation, perhaps? Anyway, we went to another hawkers center which name I unfortunately forgot.

You can either reach there by private vehicle or by bus but I seriously recommend you try the bus because Serangoon Gardens has the most beautiful bus stop I've ever come across in Singapore! It feels so quaint, what with the classical-styled lamp post, the stone finishes, and the small plaza.
Bus Stop at Serangoon Gardens

The small plaza
The area is gentrified. There are a lot of repurposed shophouses in the area and it is surrounded with landed properties.
Serangoon Gardens' neighborhood

We also took the time to visit a relatively new suburban mall called MyVillage. It is a very small mall within walking distance if you stay in the area. Very cute!
MyVillage mall

Front entrance to MyVillage
The hawkers center that we went to was no different than any other hawkers centers you'd find in Singapore with relatively the same offerings. Still, it was nice to have a change of scenery.

Here's what we got that day:
Fried oysters

Fried wontons


L: Butter cake; R: Banana cake
Funny thing is, I really like the cakes the most. They were moist and fluffy with just the right amount of sweetness. What are the chances they'd bake me a birthday cake with the recipe? LOL.