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IKOU

Thursday, December 10, 2015
IKOU kindly sent me 2 pairs of shoes, just in time for the festive season!
I picked out a pair of classic black heels (easy to match) & glitter gold ballerina pumps.

IKOU shoes are made from genuine leather that cover both the inside & outside (rather than just inside, like most shoes are). The leather used is also non-pig leather so it is suitable for Muslims (never knew this was a factor haha). The insoles of both shoes were very thick (they consist of 5-6 layers of latex cushion) & surprisingly comfortable! I could keep a light bounce in both shoes & even the heels felt soft on my feet, which is rarely the case for me & heels.

All designs are specially catered for the shape of Asian feet & are handmade in Taiwan!

IKOU is currently having its Christmas sales, with a storewide 20% discount!
There is also an additional $5 voucher for signing up to their mailing list!


They are also launching soon on ZALORA & will be participating in ZALORA's massive sale event, held on 12th December! IKOU products will be available on the site from 12th onwards. 



The black heels I picked!
A simple cross-strap design for the parties :D







Normally heels start to hurt my feet not long after wearing them but these were really surprisingly comfortable! Felt like I could go all day in them :O

And here is the gold pair of glitter pumps!
Also perfect for the festive season because it is so sparkly!









IKOU's shoes are honestly not the cheapest around, but the quality is much better than your run-of-the-mill cheap shoes. So if you're looking to invest in longer-lasting shoes, consider IKOU!

Find them on these platforms!




And from 12th December onwards:


Thank you for the shoes Ikou!

Hong Kong : Food Hunt

Tuesday, November 10, 2015
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)...

THEN IT POURED ALL DAY.

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
Mongkok

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
Central

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!

A day in Amsterdam

Wednesday, November 04, 2015
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.