Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Hong Kong : Food Hunt

So I spent a very short 2 days in Hong Kong sometime ago & it's actually been a whopping... 6 years since I last went to Hong Kong for a holiday! That was back in 2009 with 2 friends from SAJC & in fact... those blogposts are still on my blog. That's how old this blog is hahaha.

Anyway the main purpose of this trip was to go to Hong Kong Disneyland!
So I bought the tickets online, prepared my theme-park-going outfit (cute to suit the Disneyland theme but still practical for being outdoors all day, hey it's not as easy as guys think ok)...


And it wasn't even a drizzle. It was a proper downpour & the weather forecast predicted it would last till evening! Theme park-ing in that weather would SUCK. So we cancelled our plans T_T

Luckily the Hong Kong Disneyland tickets are valid for a couple of months, so we'll have to plan another short trip back to the city! What a bummer...

Anyhow we did get to try a few yummy food places thanks to Yina's pretty comprehensive blogpost on Hong Kong! You can check it out HERE; I referred to it for a few of the places she went to!

Tsui Wah

If I had to pick one ultimate favourite Hong Kong food, it would be this.
Macaroni soup with luncheon meat & egg. So incredibly simple but so, so good!
Macaroni - awesome.
Luncheon meat - awesome.
Sunny side-up eggs - awesome.

It's a winning formula!

Anyway if you can't recognise the porcelain cup in the background, this was taken at Tsui Wah.
Tsui Wah has a chain of Cha Chaan Teng cafes & so it may be what you call commercialised, if you're into those hole-in-the-wall type of things. However many Tsui Wahs open late or even 24 hours, with an extensive food menu that's still pretty good (to me), so I'll definitely keep going back!

Bai Wei Cold Noodles
Argyle Centre

So I tried these cold noodles back in 2009 & since then I've never forgotten them.
It's a small stall & you just pick which sauce + toppings you like!

And don't forget to check out Argyle Centre itself! It's kinda like a smaller version of Bangkok's Platinum Mall & I bought a few things here. Argyle Centre is much better for shopping than many of the other street markets, which have become so touristy that they sell really boring & ugly souvenirs. In fact many of the items at the street markets can be found at Singapore's own tourist trap - Chinatown.

Hui Lau Shan

Another food chain, but it serves a wide variety of mango desserts!
All the different options are pretty creative & as again with chains, open till pretty late!

Tried a random street shop's curry fishballs, but they are so different from Singapore's!
Singapore's fishballs are more springy while Hong Kong's are so starchy. Not a fan :/

Capitol Cafe
Wan Chai

So Capitol Cafe is one those FAMOUS breakfast cafes! 
The other would be Australian Dairy Co, but I didn't visit it on this trip.

Their macaroni soup was really good, but they're apparently famous for the Black Truffle Scrambled Eggs! Well I'm not a huge scrambled eggs (prefer omelettes) nor truffle fan, but this definitely was very fragrant, even to me. Texture of the eggs were really good too.

Oddies Foodies
Wan Chai

The ubiquitous egglets (I guess this is like an Asian version of waffles?) now with ice-cream & chocolate syrup! There's a few variations (pineapple, sesame... etc) but we stuck to the simplest with chocolate syrup, called Night Wolf. It was not bad, but I didn't find it particularly worth making a trip out to find. Maybe the other flavours would be more unique? Mine in the end was just... a waffle with ice-cream & chocolate. 

It's however located pretty near to Capitol Cafe, so it makes sense to try both if you're in the area!

The usual MTR tiled walls!

Reminder to self not to take pictures with grid lines in the background.
Even Meitu Xiu Xiu cannot edit this much haha.

Caught taking pictures.

Kau Kee Beef Brisket Noodles

Wow this was SO GOOD.
And if you know me I'm rarely enthusiastic about things! :O :O :O
I had the curry beef brisket for supper & it was really super yummy!
Really glad we got to try this!

Okay so final conclusion is: Capitol Cafe & Kau Kee Beef Brisket Noodles

These are the 2 places you must try!

I didn't bother with actual street addresses because I bought data & simply Google Maps the restaurant/shop names (don't even need the street name) & follow the route!

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

A day in Amsterdam

Booked with Viator for the Zaanse Schans, Marken & Volendam day tour!

Zaanse Schans is a cluster of windmills now preserved as a tourist attraction, while Marken & Volendam are coastal cities famous for clogs & cheese respectively!

There are a few shops among the windmills, which sell a range of products going from souvenirs (naturally) to soft serve ice-cream & chocolate!

The whole place is pretty touristy & there's quite a continuous flow of people, but thankfully it's not YET crowded-crowded the way some other famous places are. And it was a great summer day!

The entire vibe at Zaanse Schans is really nice actually, very laid-back & relaxed.
All you really do is just stroll among the windmills (frankly one looks pretty much like another) but it was pretty nice. Just to note that actually entering & going up the windmills is chargeable.

If I remember correctly I think it was 4 Euros per person? Or 6?

I feel like I really need to come up with my own "trademark" pose to replicate all over the world.
If you didn't know, this... pose, where the girl "leads" her partner to various scenic locations worldwide, is called the Follow Me To photo series & it went viral. And since then couples everywhere have been doing it haha. So I'm being totally unoriginal.

However we've already taken quite a few of these & I have no other ideas so... #unoriginal

Saw a little family of ducks! 
Baby ducks are so cute & fuzzy when they don't have proper feathers.
Looks like fur!

All chilling in the shade.

Luckily I have me hat!

Next it was on to Marken & Volendam!

This scene of 2 BFFs (or I like to think so) spending their days sitting on a little makeshift pier looks like it could come right out of a movie, likely a period film that will star Keira Knightley (although I do dislike her) & go on to win Oscars. It's strange how different our lives can be.

Got to sample lots of yummy cheese!
The French blood coursing through my veins means that I do quite like cheese, but I knew my mom & I would never finish one this size within the expiration date. But not that that usually bothers us...

Wow fish sandwiches. Possibly one of my worst food nightmares.
I mean ok hand me a Filet-O-Fish anytime, but these weird half-cooked fish stuffed in hot dog buns...

I love, love this! How quaint is being able to moor a little rowboat at the end of your backyard & row over to a neighbour's place for barbecue?! Well at Sentosa Cove they DO drive little buggies to each others' multi-million dollar homes (as I was saying, oh how differently we all live...) but this is too cute.

I may have a mild obsession with photographing cats.

All these little bridges! And that cat relaxing in the grass! And the little duck!
And all the flowers! How are all the residents so good at maintaining flowers?!
Even my cacti die! I have no green thumb whatsoever wtf.

Chilling in your backyard on a sunny afternoon licking ice-cream & watching the spectacle of tourists trudging by stopping to take pictures of everything.

Case in point.

ActOne nature photographer.

I have to say... I don't quite see the appeal of clogs.
I don't even mean aesthetically, but rather functionally.
Many traditional items were pretty ingenious back in their day, but clogs...?
Aren't they ridiculously chunky & heavy? Do they protect you from the cold?
Is it so that fathers can be woken up when their daughters try to sneak out for a secret rendezvous?

Well I guess there's always dressing up cow figurines...

Didn't take any pictures in central Amsterdam which was quite a shame really!

While I was there I happened to see a gay parade & it was so awesome! Everyone (regardless of sexual orientation) was revelling & everything was so colourful & it was just a fantastic all-day party.

And it's always so fun to see people going past in their private boats on the canals right through the busy city; the dad smoking a joint at the wheel while the mom sips champagne & a little girl plays with her dolls at the bow. Just all-round a really laid-back city to visit.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

It's been a long time...

... without you my friend
*cues music for Fast & Furious 7 song*

No but seriously, I was looking at my number of blogposts & was greatly saddened by how much they've dwindled. And I clicked on a few posts & felt so bittersweet reading comments left by people. I guess in a way this blog & all the people that gave me the time of the day to come see it & sometimes leave a note, are both strangers & friends to me.

Now it feels so surreal, surreal how my life was such an open book.
I posted such mundane, mundane things like where I ate & what I did & what I wore & whatever else. You can probably call it vapid, really. But at the same time it's quite heartening how it was so... 

... simple

Those were the days before content was so carefully curated. I did of course, still watch what I said back then because well, I'm not completely retarded, but when I shared things I didn't think so much about whether it was sufficiently aesthetically pleasing. It was... just sharing things. It didn't matter if my pictures were a little grainy or too underexposed. Pictures of food were just that, no careful arrangements & deliberated placed branded sunglasses, jewelry or wallets.

Then over time that became the norm.
People stopped caring less about what you said & more about what was nice to look at.

I too, started taking better pictures. I mean, that's a good thing.
I was finally putting my DSLR to some kind of use, beyond just the Auto mode.

But wow, churning out posts the way I used to became impossible.

And I've become a lot more guarded as an "online influencer".
The same way my peers have I suppose. I know close to nothing about most new bloggers these days. I have no idea how old they are, whether they work or study, if they have any siblings, pets...


Hello! Here's a little news update about myself:

I'm currently seeing someone. Have been, for almost a year.
His name is Shaun & he is 5 years older than I am.

He's not adverse to online attention or anything like that, but I find it difficult to explain why I've become so private. 
I guess I feel a need to keep my public life as pristine as possible, as curated as every other Instagram feed out there. 
But that's not my life, it isn't pristine.

I didn't even realise, but I stopped taking pictures.
I know right? A blogger, who stopped taking pictures.

Shaun has brought it up a few times; that I never want to take pictures together. We've gone to so many places & done so many things together, but we can come back completely empty-handed, with nothing but memories. And it saddens him that after all this time, he has very little to look back on.

And I couldn't really justify it. All I can say is, I just somehow lost the habit. Without even realising it, I simply stopped. I used to carry a camera out with me every single day & I took pictures of anything & everything. Now, I lug out my heavy DSLR the whole day, just to capture 1 outfit picture for my Instagram. I've become someone who takes pictures only intended for posting online.

I used to capture everything & upload everything. Anything that wasn't uploaded was deleted. I have never kept pictures purely for the sake of just... keeping them. My form of reminiscing was Googling my own name & whatever occasion I intended to look for.

Now that I no longer blog (much), I still keep nothing. Because I have nothing to begin with.
I can't grapple with the idea of taking pictures just for them to rot in my computer.
I just somehow can't imagine taking pictures & having nothing to.. do with them.

So I stopped altogether.
But maybe I should slowly try to struggle to get that habit back?

So hey, here's a hugeass picture of us in Paris, at a fairly new attraction termed the "I Love You" wall where it's written in a multitude of different languages. It's located somewhere in the Montmartre area. Taken with my iPhone 6.

Monday, October 12, 2015


Benefit Cosmetics is now available on Luxola.com.sg!

I'm sure most of you have by now heard of Benefit Cosmetics, which is a really popular makeup brand from California! They're usually very recognisable due to the cute packaging!

If however like me, you are usually pretty lazy to dress up, battle traffic & head out to town to replenish your makeup items, you can now get them delivered straight to your home through Luxola!

Luxola is an online retailer of beauty products that has been around for quite a while now & now they finally stock Benefit Cosmetics (as well as a range of other brands)!

Luxola kindly sponsored me a few Benefit Cosmetics products to try out, which I happily selected & received all within the comfort of my home! Below are the 4 items I chose:

Fakeup Undereye Concealer
Posiebalm (tinted lipbalm)
They're Real! Lenghtening Mascara
Big Beautiful Eyes

I basically selected items which I thought could do a simple makeup look for a casual day out!

Undereye concealer - one of the most crucial items for me due to my dark eye rings :(

What I love about this Fakeup Undereye Concealer is the mixture of moisturiser & coverage! 

If you didn't notice, the concealer stick features an inner tinted beige section surrounded by the outer moisturiser, so you get a good mix of both when you apply it. This concealer also contains Vitamin E as well as apple seed extracts to keep your skin hydrated!

The concealer glides on easily & feels very moisturising without being overly oily!

Posiebalm is a non-sticky tinted lip balm that contains mango butter to combat dryness!
My lips are perpetually dry & peeling no matter what I do, so lip balm is essential for me.

However it's often tough to layer lipstick over lip balm as the colour tends to "run" or "leak" into the tiny lines around your mouth & it just ends up looking smudged or badly applied with no clean lines.

I picked a very sweet, pink shade that's easily wearable on its own!
However I also discovered later that this lip balm layers very well with lipstick!

I dabbed my normal lipstick over this lip balm (instead of a full swiping application as the lip balm already has some colour) & found that they mixed very well. The colour didn't run at all & was pretty lasting! 

As you can see, the Posiebalm is a good option for fuss-free makeup days!
Perfect for work or school, where you want some colour without overdoing it.

The Big Beautiful Eyes set is a great palette to carry around as it contains concealer + eyeshadows!
The dark brown eyeshadow is able to double up & line your eyes, without the harsh effect of actual liquid/gel eyeliners. And I simply love metallic copper/brown shades! Very wearable!

My favourite is definitely the copper-tone metallic eyeshadow!

Just to note, the brown eyeshadow is a little more powdery (good for blending) & less creamy compared to the other two, so there tends to be some flaking during application. I would recommend holding a piece of tissue under your eye to prevent it from getting on your face!

And last but not least, the They're Real! Lengthening Mascara
I picked this in black but it comes in softer shades like brown as well!
This mascara is smudge-free & promises to really enhance your lashes! You can check out some of the before/after application pictures online & they're pretty impressive.

I did a simple makeup look using ONLY the 4 Benefit Cosmetics items above for a casual brunch!

As recommended by the instructions in the Big Beautiful Eyes palette, I used the dark brown on the outer edges to create deeper-looking eyes & lined the bottom lash line as well.

Using eyeliner on the bottom lash line often looks too overly strong so I do recommend using a dark brown eyeshadow instead, or at least layered together to lessen the abruptness of eyeliner!

I even had to forgo my usual wingtip eyeliner that I so love just to test out doing it with eyeshadow instead! It's definitely different from my usual red-lips-wing-tip look that I've been sporting for a while, but it's a nice change! This was pretty much what I looked like during my university days actually, back when I was still into light pink blushes & lipsticks.

You can of course add on your own makeup preferences for a different look!
Browse the wide range of Benefit Cosmetics products available online at Luxola.