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Those wonderful long weekends

May 3rd, 2014 No Comments »


The months of April and (newly minted) May have been the best with the Easter and Labor Day long weekends. Although work has been physically and mentally exhausting for a good couple of months, I’ve been extremely excited and happy about the new role. I think 2014 has started off to a jolly good start with so many things to be thankful for. I might even say, please, time, please slow down for a bit so that I can literally slow down and smell the roses. The moments are almost fleeting that I can’t savor them enough before the next one arrives..

But for now, be it floral arrangement classes with Yi Lian, photography sessions at my home, catch-ups over early morning brecckies and even something as simple as sleeping in on a Sunday to catch up on sleep because I’ve been working 10-14 hours straight for a few weeks, I’ve been taking it all in good stride. I’ve discovered that when things get crazy hectic busy i.e. lunches are a 10 minutes rushed affair at my desk and the minutes fly by and there’s endless to complete, I breathe and take each day at a time. Well, I’ve survived without any meltdowns so it’s been all good.

May is going to zip by in a flash and June will be crazy again but let’s bring it on shall we?


*pictures galore!

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April 15th, 2014 1 Comment »


A short but much needed trip. Take me back to paradise please …

I did a digital detox i.e. I went off wifi for the day – yup no emails, social media or whatsapp till a quick check-in at night for the days that I was there. It was good for the soul and much needed. I returned and plunged straight back into work craziness but felt completely rejuvenated and energized. Nevermind that I’ve been pulling in extra hours at work and together with a busy personal life, I’ve fallen sick again trying to juggle everything. Urgh.

Sometimes, I work so hard to take trips like these and sometimes, I’m so busy at work that I don’t have time to take enough vacations. Nonetheless, this is going to make me look forward to the next break. Until then.. wanderlust.. perhaps, maybe, sooner – I hope.

And for all its worth, life is really good right now. Really good.

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Montigo Resorts

October 15th, 2013 No Comments »

The best vacations are sometimes the ones where you absolutely do nothing so that you don’t need another vacation to recover from a vacation.

When the girls wanted a short getaway and the unanimous decision was to do a trip where we could just chill, eat, sleep, read – repeat repeat repeat. We landed on Montigo Resorts in Nongsa Batam which seemed absolutely perfect though when friends heard that I was going to Batam, they all went, ‘Whaaaat?!!!” Until I posted pictures on Facebook and Instagram and a flood of questions came in saying – ‘Where is this haven’? Lol. So I thought I’ll share some details about this lovely gem.

It’s a 30 minutes ferry to Batam, the drop-off point I hear is different from the usual. Transport to the resort can be pre-arranged and it takes about 5-10 minutes to reach from the ferry terminal. There are two ways to book the ferry tickets, either by Batam fast or Wavemaster. Alternatively, if you prefer to travel in style, opt for the private transfer from Singapore to Batam via the private yacht. It will cost SGD$118 versus SGD$50.

The daily rates for Montigo isn’t the cheapest. It ranges from between SGD$300++-SGD$600++ depending on how early you make the reservations, date and type of villa. Be prepared to pay an average of SGD$400-500 per villa. However, as I’ve told a couple of my friends and colleagues, I think it’s worth considering as it’s just 30 minutes away from Singapore so it makes a nice weekend getaway, service is good and food is actually great too. If you would like a place where you can just chill and not leave the resort, this will be perfect. If lazing by the beach is what you have in mind, this might not be suitable then. I hear the kids centre at the resort is cool so it’s worth considering for a short trip with the kiddies.

Almost all the villas come with a cabana and private pool. The pool is a tiny dip pool and if you fancy a swim, the resort as an amazeballs bar pool and main pool. The main pool has deck chairs inside the water so it’s pretty awesome by my standards. The villas are 3 storeys high and come with a gorgeous roof top. In fact it is rather massive. There are two bedrooms – a master bedroom and double single beds in the other. There are bathrooms in each room and I love how Malin+Goetz toiletries are provided.

On the first night, we ordered the BBQ menu. The staff will set up a dining table on the roof top, prepare and cook the food for you and clean up after everything is done. It’s actually really lovely. The BBQ food was really good and tasty. I would say one of the better BBQs done. Though I’m not typically a big fan of prawns, the bbq prawns were my favorite. The BBQ menu comes pre-arranged however, you can add on more al carte menu items which greedy us did.. and over-ordered as usual..

Breakfast is provided in most of the packages and it is tempting to stay in the villa and order-in for breakfast versus heading over to the main buffet area. Could I suggest waking up earlier, taking the effort to head out of the villa to TADD’S instead because the buffet is a pretty awesome spread. As for dinner, we were lucky to be invited for a complimentary food and wine pairing. Montigo Resorts exclusively brings in Marabino wine from Sicily. While I am no wine connoisseur, I dare say the wine is top notch – especially the moscato! I hear it’s available in Singapore – I’ll need to hunt for the contact.

Spa services are offered. I did a 90 minutes Indonesian massage – I wanted a strong/hard massage akin to a sports massage so this was recommended over the Montigo massage and requested for the peppermint oil to be used. My therapist was Mia and she did knead out my muscles hard so I got what I asked for. Having said that, it is rather pricey so it will be a nice luxury option for me, but not a must-have. The ginger cookies provided together with the ginger tea post-massage are lovely so don’t miss out on those.

It was a well rested trip for us. I spent a lot of time recuperating and spending quality time with the girls. If you’ve looking for a short trip away, this might be another option to consider. I’ll let the pictures convince you :)

Thanks Montigo Resorts for having us and being such amazing hosts!

*Warning – heavy loading of photos after the cut. Photos were taken using my iPhone 5 so it is really gorgeous :) Enjoy.

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Happy Easter!

April 8th, 2012 No Comments »

Happy Easter everyone! I loved Easter as a kid. It meant loads of chocolate eggs, a church play and Sunday brunch. Easter now for me is quite different but I’d say still good in many ways.

Firstly, we are literally cooking up a storm at The Studio. I refuse to let our tiny kitchen limit what I can cook out of it though not having a proper oven and only an oven toaster, can be a constraint at times, but I try my best to make do. So in case you are like us, not owning a proper oven, fret not, I’ve managed to churn out all kinds of goodies from pavlovas to shepherd’s pie to breads and pizzas using our modest tiny oven toaster. Expect a string of recipes to follow over the next week or two, how does pear sake sorbet, (more) homemade pasta with a new sauce – chicken in brown butter with sage and cinnamon, crispy flatbreads, just to name a few, sound? :) Coming up real soon. I promise.

Still on the topic of cooking and food, I’ve been researching on ice cream recipes and have a list all lined up – pear sake (done), s’mores, basil mint, vanilla bean, lavender (of course, T is still nagging at me to finish up my lavender flower heads! Jeez! He never gives up!) and loads more. I’m making them in 1/2 quarts quantities so that we don’t die of a sugar-overload.

T was quite shocked when he opened my vanity cupboard in the bathroom and spotted bottles of nail polishes. Let’s say, my collection doubled. I had to admit that I brought back 6 new polishes on my last trip so yup. I’ve been trying on the new colors and can I say I’m a new fan of Butter London with the solid colors and subtle glittery specks. Also, I do love Deborah Lippmann’s sparkly polishes however, they are a bit of a hassle to remove. Still love ’em!

Finally, I spent the long weekend surfing.. ok fine, click therapy, to hunt for paper striped straws – takes me like a week at least to decide on colors!! Mmm droolsome Bodum-ware from a new happy place that I’ve discovered and also gingham waxed paper (have a new breakfast theme thought up!), baker’s twine and other happy stuff.

So how has your long weekend been? Hope it has been fab too!

Have fun hunting for chocolate eggs and stuffing your face with hot-cross buns!

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Lunar family gathering

January 30th, 2012 2 Comments »

We don’t exactly celebrate Chinese New Year. There isn’t any visiting – except to pop over to my ‘rents to wish them and collect ‘ang pow’. I can’t quite decide which I’d prefer. While my friends groan about the endless visiting there is to be done during CNY, I do think it’s a cool tradition to have but yea, the visiting can get tiring especially when you are visiting relatives that are distant and don’t really care about or just doing it for formality. Oooh the complaints on CNY that are all over my Facebook. So which? I don’t know.

My parents are usually vacationing during CNY and surprisingly, no one did so. Even T and I stayed in town to just chill and not do anything. We started off with the ‘reunion’ dinner on eve at far flung Tuas -_- followed by a gathering at my folks’ and I guess it was sort of a house-warming party.

I liked it very much. There’s only one family on my Dad’s side that we are close with and it’s my aunt and her brood. And seeing my niece and nephews each time is entertaining. My cousins are all way older than I am ranging between 6-12 years and I always wished I had cousins closer to my age but my parents come from rather small families so let’s just say, I’m mighty glad I at least have a sister I’m close with but for us both, we spent our childhood mostly playing with neighbors.

My Dad and Mom did the cooking – I’m hopeless when it comes to Chinese cooking. The kids were entertained watching haunted house in 3D, I caught up with my dear Aunt who’s soon moving to the States, we played ‘Manila’ which is an awesome board game that’s similar to ‘craps’ at the gambling table *ahem, and it that was our Chinese New Year. A family gathering with people that really matters, fab company and great food. What’s there not to love?

Hope everyone enjoyed theirs, here’s wishing everyone a prosperous Year of the Dragon!

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On Christmas Eve

December 25th, 2011 No Comments »

Merry Christmas to all! Hope you’d a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner (like I did) or going to have one soon! It was a fabulous one for us and we are now chilling at home because the tall one is sick and trying to recover quickly. The weather wasn’t the best yesterday since it was pouring at my end for awhile but I’m sure, all around was nothing but warmth, love and joy with loved ones.

T and I decided to cook dinner for my family and luckily everything turned out well, the only downside was that my poor Fur Rug was ill and was constantly running to the toilet to poo or throw up. Poor mite. Then our dinner ended abruptly in a hurry when we had to send the lil sick one to the hospital for treatment. She’s a lot better now so yay!

I’ll just leave you with pictures from yesterday! Have a blessed one everyone! xoxo

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‘Tis the season

December 24th, 2011 No Comments »

There wasn’t a Christmas tree at my folks as my Dad donated ours some time back to the hospital. However, the place is still warmly decorated with some lovely festive ornaments. The two reindeers are my favorite!

What is a tradition that you’ve started at your own home? I think I will start some when I have kids of my own and have a bigger space. Meanwhile, here’s some taken at my ‘rents’.

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