Wednesday, November 06, 2013

COUNT MY BLESSINGS

"The pursuit of happiness is the root of misery. 
The more you desire it, the unhappier you will find yourself. 
Count your blessings, and you will find every day a happy day."

Time seems to flew past especially fast this year. Blink and it's now November, fifty more days to Christmas and eight more weeks before we bid farewell to 2013. When I was in town last week to run some errands, I saw that the malls have already started putting up the Christmas decorations.

There was a time when the Christmas mood would hit me in June, when we started coming up with designs for Christmas decorations and putting together the proposals. By the time Christmas came, I would no longer have the mood to celebrate. Now however, it's a different story. For someone who dislikes heading to town, this is the only time in the year where I will not mind making a trip down to feast my eyes on the beautiful blinking lights, the various Christmas trees and decorations.

This time of the year also means that it's time to get some shopping down, not for myself but for my loved ones. To me, it's not spending on myself but spending on my loved ones that makes me happy. To me, seeing my loved ones happy is the best present that I can ever have.

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It's been a while since I did a round up of my life, so here's a round up of my not-so-exciting life in recent weeks. 

20 September 2013
Friday

Celebrated the last birthday for our gang and it was that of Michael. Being the one in charge of sourcing the venue this time, I suggested Strangers' Reunion after hearing and reading rave reviews about them. Unfortunately they do not take reservations, so I made my way down at 6.00pm in the hope of getting a table and thankfully enough, I managed to get a table for four. 

What I loved about this quaint and indie cafe is how the owners have decorated it with vintage furniture and Chinese paintings. The cosy and laid back environment makes it a great place to hang out with friends though it can get a tad too noisy during meal times. The flower lover in me always love having a pot of fresh florals on the dining table and the Strangers' Reunion didn't disappoint in this aspect.
For coffee lovers, you might want to order a cuppa cause they are famous for their coffee with the Singapore National Barista Champion 2011 & 2012 as the owner. Being the non-coffee drinker, I settled for my all-time favorite, English Breakfast Tea. Brownie points for serving the pot in a pretty wooden tray.
Although we were supposed to have dinner but because all of us were not feeling hungry, we decided to order some light bites to share. Our choices for the night was the Lotus Chips with Spicy Aioli, the highly recommended Crispy Pork Belly with truffled mash, ginger beer, apple & date chutney and Buttermilk Waffles with vanilla ice-cream & fresh fruits. Coffee lover Jupiter also ordered a latte for his own drinking pleasure.
The first thing that I will usually order in a cafe/restaurant would be the truffles fries but this time round, I decided to go with the Lotus Chips, a healthier choice and I figured it's time to try something else rather than always going for the usual stuff. Some of my friends who had tried it before didn't like it because they felt that it was too salty / not so crispy but thankfully for us, the ones that we had was just nice in flavor and definitely crispy! Probably the chef was in a good mood that day. 
The highly recommended Crispy Pork Belly which I didn't really try cause I was feeling a little full from finishing almost the entire waffles on my own. 
Among all the dishes that we tried, my favorite has got to be the Buttermilk Waffles not because I'm an avid fan of waffles but because what we ordered was really good! I love crispy waffles, the crispier the better, and my favorite toppings are always vanilla ice-cream and bananas and Strangers' Reunion hit the mark on both. I will definitely head back for more of the delicious waffles.
Jupiter's latte that came with a pretty art on top was destroyed almost immediately after this photo was taken.
Once our tummies were fed, it was time for to cut the cake. Now, one thing to note is that Strangers' Reunion does not have ANY candles. So if you are going to celebrating someone's birthday there, be sure to bring along your own candles. What we had to do was to run down to a bakery further down the road, bought a lemon tart for S$3.00 just so we could get a candle. 
Birthday gift for the Michael this year was a limited edition Haters cap, adding to his growing army of Haters caps. 
Our gathering will never be complete with a photo session, especially with me around. Posing with the tank tops that Michael got us from his Bangkok trip, a group photo of the boys and for once a proper photo of us without using the front facing camera. And that marks the end of this year's birthday celebrations. Looking forward to our annual Christmas gathering soon!

Strangers' Reunion
37 Kampong Bahru Road
Singapore 169354
(10 minutes walk from Outram MRT Station)
Tel: 6222 4869

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11 October 2013
Friday

The later half of the year has always been a period for us at work and even more so this year for the Twin who was also busy overseeing the renovations for her new abode, so we were really happy when she finally got a day off and we could meet up again!
As I was craving for some Thai food, we went back to Porn's at Liang Seah Street for dinner. As always, Porn's never fail to disappoint with their food. Dinner choices for the night included the Seafood Fried Rice, Fish Tom Yam Soup and the yummy Thai Prawn Cakes. Drinks wise, we both settled for the Longan Tea. 
We then decided to adjourn to Haji Lane for some window shopping where we discovered a quaint boutique carrying plenty of lovely pieces at exorbitant prices. After digesting a portion of dinner, we then settled down at The Crostini Bar for a drink and truffle fries. The truffle fries has got to be one of the worst I ever tasted and their drinks menu is really limited. However, the Twin's company made up for everything. After a good two hours of catching up on each other's life, updates on the Twin's new home, it was time to call it a night.
It's always times like these that never fails to leave a smile on my face and more happy memories.

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1 November 2013
Friday

So last Friday, Bud Michael and me headed down to Sentosa for the Halloween event, Sentosa Spooktacular. For the last two years, I had been going to USS Horror Nights for a good scare but this year, I decided to have a change. After reading up on the event, I decided that Sentosa Spooktacular shall be the place to go. 
Held at Fort Silosa, five classic Thai horror films; Dorm, Body, Shutter, Pee Mak and Coming Soon; came to life in this year's Sentosa Spooktacular. Five elaborately themed haunted trails inspired by these five GTH's  internationally acclaims that tested our nerves.

The venue itself, Fort Silosa already so creepy at night and the addition of fog machines, show lighting and props only served to make it even creepier. So much so that both of us actually contemplated leaving even before entering. But, it didn't made sense for us to have paid S$93.20 only to go home. So both of us gathered whatever courage we had and went on with it.

As much as I would love to share everything about the haunted trails, somehow I just can't remember what exactly went on in the trails, especially that of "Coming Soon" no matter how hard I tried. The only thing I could remember were the navigating lots of maze like corridors in total darkness, a gallery of grotesque photos and plenty of dismembered body parts (fake of course) everywhere. Well, I guess that's not a bad thing not remembering.
Having been to USS Horror Nights twice, I got to say this was way much scarier. The strict control of guests in each trail meant that there was a large gap between each group and depending on how gung-ho you are, that can be a good or bad thing.

By the time we were done with the second trail, all signs of fear had dissipated. Instead, we found out energy back and went round taking photos with the scare actors. All in all, it was definitely a great experience and I can now say I survived Sentosa Spooktacular!

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