Monthly Archives: October 2012

. all hallows’ eve 2012 .



Happy Halloween! Our first carved pumpkins!

. passing the quarter mark celebration .

 Unlike the previous birthday celebrations, I decided to do away with extravagant birthday surprises this year and opted for a relatively simple affair. 1 Oreo Cheesecake. 1st visit to a dog cafe. A seafood fiesta dinner for 2. 1st ever Halloween celebration together at FrightFest 2012. That pretty much sums up our simple but perfectly wonderful day.

to my favourite boy in the world …
Happy 26th Birthday!


We are The Furballs (WTF) Cafe
45 East Coast Road

Singapore’s 1st dog playhouse. 6 small dog breeds. 1 Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. 1 Toy Poodle. 1 Daschund. 1 French Bulldog. 1 Mini Maltese. 1 Mini Pomeranian. 6 x the fun.

Adopting the concept of cat cafe from Japan, WTF Cafe (love the name lol) is Singapore’s 1st dog cafe that allows people to experience the joys of a canine companionship without bearing the responsibility of ownership. A visit to the dog cafe would set you back about $6.50 (weekday) or $7.50 (weekend) for 1 bubble tea drink and unlimited hours of cuddling time with the 4-legged companions.


 No thanks to the weekend crowd, the dog cafe was packed to capacity with several groups of teenagers and families who wanted to play with the lovable puppies. In fact, there were times when I felt that we had to jostle to get the puppies’ attention as there were about 20 people and only 6 puppies.

In an increasingly stressful society where it’s a norm for people to work long hours, pet cafes like WTF Cafe fill the void of those looking for animal companionship. During our 1 and 1/2 hour visit, we had seen families with children in tow, dog owners with their small breed dogs (only small breed dogs are allowed entry to the dog playhouse), youngsters and couples out on a unique date. Not too bad for a novelty concept in Singapore although only time will tell if this will eventually translate into a winning formula.

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The 6 puppies are generally friendly and adorable though some appeared to be quite nonchalant about our presence. Or perhaps, I’m just biased as every dog owner think nothing but the BEST of their dogs and I never fail to have the full attention of my furry boys most of the time! LOL.

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LuLu, the poodle that ❤ to cuddle and sleep on anyone’s lap!


Lola, the mini Pomeranian that looks uncannily like our latest k9 addition to the family, Simba!


Mochi, the super tiny Maltese that is quite the hot fav with most of the customers.



Our favourite dog at WTF – Bui Bui, the french bulldog with the perpetually miserable but adorable frown. 



Prawns Overload @ Seafood Paradise


FrightFest 2012 – The Undead Forest
@ Singapore Flyer

Halloween – It’s actually my favourite holiday right after Christmas! 🙂 Looking back, I’ve been celebrating All Hallows’ Eve almost every year since my JC days … It’s funny how I seek so much pleasure in paying to get scared. And trust me, boy do I scream my guts out!

Ironically, the boy and I have never ever celebrate Halloween together since he’s always working. That’s what you get when you have a boyfriend who works in the nightlife & entertainment industry – Be prepared to bid farewell to celebrating festive occasions together!

This year, we ventured into the Undead Forest @ Singapore Flyer where we came face-to-face with both Oriental and Western characters inspired by popular spine-chilling horror movies. Hell hath no fury like a spirit’s scorn! Having experienced many other scarier haunted attractions, I must say that the FrightFest is probably 1 of the least frightening and most predictable haunted attraction. We could even spot some of the spirits from a distance away – Kinda spoils the “shocking” factor lol.

Scare Factor: *** out of 5
* Part of a DEAL bundle package – $28 for admission to FrightFest 2012, a ride on the 6D XD Motion Ride and river cruise. Very worth it!


Can you believe that I actually fell for the touristy gimmicks and spent a bomb to purchase an instant polaroid of us in action with the infamous Ghostface from SCREAM? ❤ the boy’s expression! Classic!


. Berries children’s day activity book .

A picture that I took of the hot spring @ Sembawang has been featured on the Berries Children’s Day Activity Book! Mini-hooray!


. the birthday boy … 26 times .

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Marriage lets you annoy 1 special person for the rest of your life.

Saw this picture from Serene’s blog and I couldn’t help but to agree on how true the quote is. Granted, I’m not married and not on the way of getting hitched anytime soon. And please, no more question on when is it my turn to get married. When we do eventually decide to walk down the aisle, trust me that you guys will hear about  it. Lol.

The boy and I have been together for about close to half a decade now – Long enough to know that we actually annoy the hell out of each other at times. For instance, how I dislike that I always have to nag at him whenever he leaves used tissue papers and ARCHIE comics all over the room. His erratic working hours which leave us with basically no full day to go on a proper date. His constant craving for Japanese food almost 90% of the time we go out on dates. 

BUT …

I love that the boy is always asking for a cuddle and hug in the middle of the night when we are in bed.

When I’m down with menstrual cramps or suffering from bouts of severe headaches, he’s there for me with a bottle of warm drink and pills.

Attending hot yoga classes with me even though yoga is never his cup of tea.

Come every Friday evening, he brings home supper for the both of us – Always a delicious set of nasi lemak and a bottle of water chestnut for me. What a great start to the weekend!

Attending to the needs of the 3 rascals (our dogs) whenever I need some time alone, be it cleaning their pee/poo or giving them  a good shower.

He is my pillar of strength and confidence when we attend dog obedience training lessons with Archie & Frosty because I’m just a total ball of nerves. I admit that I lose it very easily when the dogs start barking and lunging in public and thank god that the boy’s there to instill a sense of calmness in me.

He ensures that I’m never hungry as he’s the better cook between the 2 of us. Make that the only one who cooks as yours truly is hardly ever to be spotted near the stove.

And despite being together for close to 5 yrs, my heart still plunges and I get the ‘butterfly feeling’ when I reach out to hold his hands occasionally.

 Happy 26th Birthday, my boy! You’re officially past the quarter mark!


. interview with Kristin: After her sabbatical .

This post is really belated as I’ve been procrastinating to post this up for months! Exactly a year ago, I featured an exclusive interview with my close girlfriend, Kristin, on her decision to walk the less trodden path by taking a sabbatical when she was at the start of her working career. Read about the pre-sabbatical interview here.

Today, armed with an experience of a lifetime, Kristin shares with me her unforgettable experience, as well as  her take on making a relatively career-risky decision. Taking a gap year to travel & do things I love remains as a dream but meeting inspirational people like Kristin definitely gives me the motivation to steer towards that direction. 🙂


Why did you decide to take a sabbatical of 4 months and what have you done during these past 4 months?

Before the sabbatical, I was working at People’s Association as a Constituency Manager, handling grassroots organizations, liaising with the media and organizing events among other matters. It was my first full time job out of university, and when you immerse yourself in the working world for the first time (internships aside), I find that you start learning so much about yourself – about your priorities, your dreams, your boundaries and more.

As time passed, and although there are definitely perks in this job, it became clear to me that I didn’t feel fulfilled with what I was doing and where this path would have led me. However, I also wasn’t sure where I really wanted to go. I once had a conversation with my grandma, and I lamented about why I didn’t seem to like doing anything, unlike people passionate about engineering, computing and science. She studied me for a while, and then replied that it was not because I didn’t like anything, but because I liked doing everything. So what I really needed to do is focus on a few key areas rather than trying out everything and burning out my time and energy.

With that, I decided that if I stayed on in my first job, I would only entrench myself deeper in a job which could not make me happy, both in what I was doing and where I was heading towards. While I am still at an age where it easier for me to change my line of work and while opportunity cost (in terms of job responsibility and compensation) is still relatively lower, this is the best time to kick myself into action by leaving so that it would force me to look for something that would give me greater fulfillment in the rest of my career-life.

At the same time, it was perfect that there were a lot of travel opportunities coming in. Suddenly I felt so free after making my decision, unbounded by the routine of work and time seemed like a plentiful resource. Time was lost over work instead of it being spent on loved ones, but now, I could spend it on them once again. So we made plans to spend it, not just together at home, but on holidays so that we could experience each other’s companies over a wonderful trip. I had my apprehension about not being able to find a job if I took the time to travel. However, it made sense not to rush into a job but to use this time to explore my interests and find myself so that I could come back from my travels knowing what I wanted to do.

Over the four months of my break, I became a serial traveller, exploring the dense jungles and majestic hidden temples of Cambodia, flying all the way to the other end to Peru eating the strangest but really delicious delicacies, walking spiritual routes up the mountains, admiring the breathtaking views of Machu Picchu, hitting my bucket list visiting the Galapagos Islands, taking a romantic trip down south to Brisbane and a crazy shopping trip in California.

I also think it is important to keep on learning and improving. So I continued on with my basic interior design certification from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), finally got my driving license, took on personal Photoshop projects, took on a 2-day event management crash course and ran my half marathon. In between, my close friends have been extremely supportive as well. When I was back home in Singapore, I met up with those I have been losing touch with, exchanged ideas and talking about our futures, having conversations that can impact some huge decisions.

Just those 4 months alone have really been one of the best experiences I ever had, and it will be something I will remember for life.


What are some of the most memorable times that you have had during the career break? 

The Galapagos
The place I wanted to go for since almost a decade ago! To get to come here was insanely awesome. I used to read books on dinosaurs, animals, evolution and the like when I was a child, and this topic was always something that interested me. So to find out that Charles Darwin was inspired to come up with the Theory of Evolution from these islands made me want to come and see this place for myself.

I was elated to set foot to this place. The simple airport was surrounded by a desert-like landscape – sandy, yellow and filled with cacti. Yet, it actually grew some sort of hay-like grass everywhere. Beautifully strange!

The first sign of any animals were the lazy sealions (my first time seeing seeing sealions in the wild!!) all lying languidly on the horizontal beams of the port where we waited for our dingies to bring us to our ferry. Sometime in the evening, our ferry was trailed by a flock of frigate birds, which looked like a group of huge batman signs soaring in formation behind us. What followed as the days went by were awesome sightings of punk-looking swimming marine iguanas, land iguanas the size of your average dogs, giant sea turtles, diving birds with the most queer sky-blue feet, baby penguins which we surprised to see just living at the equator and  short -winged flightless cormorants. My brother even had a baby sealion follow him all the way up a little hill. Really cute!!

The Galapagos is made up of a few islands. So every island also came with its own scenery, all diversifying in its own way to adapt to the different tides and temperatures. One looked like we landed on the moon, with the whole island black and cracked with crevasses with a gigantic volcano in the middle. Another had a martian landscape, with red sand and light lava rocks the size of a basketball. The giant turtles lived in the one which was overgrown with mangroves, swimming about a metre deep and munching on the moss growing on the mangrove roots.

When you ask people where are the types of places they love travelling to, some may answer places with a rich culture, a great view, yummy food, much shopping options.. For me, my answer’s a place with wild animals. Absolutely loved Galapagos. My next bucketlist place is the safaris in Africa. But since I need to save up, perhaps I’ll go see the orangutans in Borneo first.

Cuzco
We took a spiritual tour to Cuzco,  a gorgeous and ancient city atop the Peru mountains, led by the local hispanic (half-Spanish half-Peruvian) guides and shaman. They were extremely friendly (and the guides were hot!), bringing us around to all the sacred Incan sites and teaching us how the Incans used to carry out their rituals. Although we cannot share the exact details, I am impressed with all their spiritual wisdom. Many of the old Incan structures still remained in Cuzco, including their houses, drainage systems, fields of corn and huge religious monuments.

Do share some of the interesting experiences that you had encountered during your trips?

1) Swimming next to a sealion
2) Trapped in a Cambodian cinema
3) Nazca Lines
4) The night on the island in the lake
5) The 2 Travelling Girls

What do you think are the biggest challenges/hardest times for you during the career break?

Judgment
The biggest challenge for me was facing people. After I came back from my trip and started officially looking for another job, 4 months had already passed. There were people who began to question what I was doing, telling me straight to my face that it was “very bad” that I couldn’t find a job, asking why I couldn’t find a job after so long and wondered out loud if it was because I wasn’t of good calibre.

People in general, especially the older generation, tend to think that at this age, doing anything that isn’t work means that you are lazy, useless, irresponsible, lousy, unfocused, and the list goes on. The more they say or imply it, it really can get quite damaging for the morale. So, the more I had to be stronger, because I knew that I had something bigger that I want to achieve by doing this.

Opinions
Although many people were helpful and we kept talking about our future career goals, what follows is really choice overload. Everybody throws out so many suggestions, which is great because it is always good to know more. However, every possible next career has it’s pros and cons which everybody discusses as well, making every choice seem good and bad at the same time. I found it extremely difficult at first, because I realized that all my thoughts on all my options came from everybody so, how could I possibly sieve out the thoughts that truly belonged to me to make a decision that not everybody wants me to make, but rather, the decision that mattered the most to me?

Cashflow
This is the first time in my life that I’ve ever had a negative cashflow on my bank account. I’ve been taught from young to always save, and from there, I somehow developed some sort of synesthesia perhaps? Having money constantly depleting feels so painful, like a dagger stabbing my chest. Yes, drama, I know, but I do feel that! I have now completely stopped shopping for anything and only spend on meals when meeting friends.

Time Management
Without a routine, matters like how can you effectively make use of your time start to eat you up. It is just too easy to slip into Facebooking, chatting with my family members, doing useful but unimportant matters like packing my room and simply unimportant matters like watching television. Plus these are things that I would have still been able to accomplish even if I were working. So I wondered where my productive hours flew. When I did use up my time in my day like that, I really felt useless and unproductive – time slipped away just too fast, and I would feel angry with myself at the end of the day.

It didn’t help that I intended to use the time to practice a skill like Photoshop/video making/app programming, but I would start feeling guilty when I did not use the time to apply for jobs. And when I did use the time to apply for jobs, I would get annoyed with myself for not using the time to hone my skills.

Many people would love to embark on the amazing journey that you have recently did but they would come up with an endless list of reasons not to, e.g. I wish I could take a break like you but I have no money/no time/etc. What are some pieces of advice that you would give them?

1) Don’t jump into it until you know you can take the consequences
2) Have a backup financial plan
3) Cost of staying put is greater than cost of change
4) Understand what is a day well spent to you

What have you learnt at the end of the day?

1) There is so much beauty in this world waiting to be discovered. So knowing that  our time is limited here as well, time must always be set aside to get out and discover (not just overseas but even within where we are).

2) (Over the spiritual tour in Cuzco) To love is to nurture, grow, give attention to and protect. It is a combination of action, care and effort. In life, we need to be conscious of the things we love, and that is a great way of deciding where our paths should lead and where our effort should be placed.

3) Knowing what is important is so important. Days can be lost so quickly in the midst of distractions. And days were so unsatisfying-ly spent when I lost track of what I had to do, which made me feel unproductive the whole day. I also reflected on work, and realized that if the work you are doing is something that you don’t really like, you have lost a day wasting it over something that didn’t help in appreciating life.

4) I’ve learnt to be stronger because all the challenges faced are matters which I once couldn’t handle. Especially not if they all came together. However, I’ve learnt how to strategize and do quick pick-me-ups so at least even if I am beaten by these challenges, I won’t stay down for too long.

5) My personal learning for my direction is that I wanted to do something creative, get some achievements in my career, and yet have enough time for my family and friends. This was after having a good think with so much beautiful scenery, over conversations with friends and over the courses that I attended. So it’s now looking like a marketing job with a good work-life balance.


How are things getting along for you now that you are back “to reality” and in the job hunt?

At the moment, things are a fine balance. All the challenges mentioned earlier are still looming, though handled slightly better now. However, I’m glad that things are moving for me too.

Career
I realize that it isn’t easy to get a job again because for one, taking a career break doesn’t look too good on my resume. Grades are not really on my side either, so I’m banking on my one year’s experience plus CCA experience in event management to land me another position.  Most of my free time now is taken up by job-hunting (and my new found addiction, pinterest).

At the same time, I decided to take the time to do some volunteer work and hone my marketing skills. I was very happy to find Halogen Foundation, a voluntary body that aims to instill leadership qualities in youth. I liked their cause and all the exciting events that they have been coming up with. So I approached them to ask how I could volunteer. After a while, they offered me a flexi-time internship with them, so now I feel like I’m really learning quite a bit doing social media content and campaigns, and researching on interesting fundraising techniques.

* Note: Kristin is now working as a marketing executive at a local company.

Self-Improvement
From this break, I really could take the time to concentrate in Interior Design (I passed!) and driving (also passed!!). Other than that, I went for a few courses to pick up more skills including a two day crash course on “How to Plan Any Event” and a quick course on “How to Find Work you’re Passionate About”. Been back at Singapore, I have also been following a stricter exercise routine with more time in the evening (as opposed to being back at 10pm on some nights due to my earlier shift-work).

I have also all along wanted to be good at Photoshop, so this free time worked out well for me. At times, I’ll try out small design projects for myself, drowning myself in Photoshop youtube videos to suss out techniques to complete what I wanted to do. From a complete noob, I am no expert yet, but I feel more confident of using Photoshop to at least do out a decent piece of work. This 2012, I also finally gathered the courage to join Toastmasters. I have already participated in my first round of Spontaneous Speech (better known by Toastmasters as Table Topics), and won my first speech along with two others! I’m hoping that this would develop my communication skills for my hopefully-future stint in a marketing career.

People: Family and Social Circles
Things are actually going pretty well with my family. It’s great that I get to see everyone so often now as compared to when I was working/schooling previously. My grandmother is always especially happy to have me around at home, and we’d always have longer and better chats now. A more morbid fact, but I know that time is against her as well. So, to be able to spend more time with her is really time that is very precious to me.

It is going two ways with this. I am both meeting up more and meeting up less with friends. Now, given more time, it seems so much easier to meet up with people, especially since I can look for them over lunch. However, much as I try to handle my emotions over this somewhat-trying period, I still get into my “I am not good enough” mood at times. It feels like, to have a job, you’re wanted by a company, and to not have a job means that you’re unwanted. Of course, that isn’t necessarily true but thoughts like these do play in your head. As such, when I meet friends and these thoughts well up inside, I always have to fight an internal battle and give myself internal prep talks to be able to quit comparing and just enjoy their company.

. Kranji Countryside Farm Tour with parents .

As I grow older, I’m starting to see how my priorities in life have changed over the years. Back when I was still schooling and adjusting to the first couple of years of working, my social life and relationship took precedence over my family. These days, I’m trying to devote more time to health (yoga!), my dogs (best & worst times of my life) and of course, family. So when my Dad asked if I would like to join him and my mum in a farm tour organised by his company, I agreed without any hesitation. That being said, I was the “oldest kid on the block” as everyone else’s child is between the ages of 3 to 12. LOL. Come to think of it, I’m actually old enough to be their mother lol.

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Hay Dairies
Singapore’s only goat farm



I missed out on the milking session during the first time I went to Hay Dairies with the boy a couple years’ ago as we are hardly the morning couple. This time round, I managed to catch the milking demonstration which takes place daily between 9am to 11am. The goats were fed hay during the milking process to distract them from feeling too uncomfortable.

Do you know that there are less than 5 bucks (male goats) in Hay Dairies and that their main existence is to aid in the procreation of more goats?




Kin Yan Agrotech
220 Neo Tiew Crescent

This farm is probably the highlight for most of our fellow tour-mates because I Likewise, my parents purchased $30+ worth of wheatgrass, mushrooms (huge fan of mushrooms), cactus and pea sprouts.  We even bought a mini organic wheatgrass farming set so that we can growing our own wheatgrass and make our own wheatgrass products! :p

Shall blog about our short stint as a wheatgrass farmer once we start getting our hands dirty! Lol.







Animals’ Corner at Farmart

It was about a decade ago that I last visited Farmat and back then, it was a popular and bustling weekend spot with both families and tourists. 10 years later, Farmart is a pale shadow of its previous glory. Many of the tenants have since vacated, thus leaving the entire place in shambles.

The Animal Farm Corner that houses domesticated animals such as the goats, rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters is probably the most popular area in Farmart as it provides an educational experience for the children. Having said that, the living conditions are horrible – No animals should have to tolerate such unhygienic conditions! We even spotted a dead rat in 1 of the cages! :0