Sunday, December 23, 2012

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This post is going to be rather lengthy and unaccompanied by visuals, but it means so much to me. 

Well, so it's Christmas Eve (technically, although I'm still living the night of the 23rd of December). 

This season is such an appropriate time to think back about how life has treated us this past year and in the midst of the craziness of last-minute Christmas shopping, in the midst of enjoying the light flicker of the flame from the wick of a scented candle, in the midst of enjoying a warm peppermint mocha, I realized how thankful I should be for everything that has happened to me. Cliché as it may sound, I mean every word that I'm going to say in this post.

Now that the Mayan prophecy has indeed been proved wrong (not that I've ever believed in it), I'm feeling so grateful for the people I have around me and so thankful that I'll be spending more time with them. Honestly, 2012 has not been the best year for me, but it has taught me to be stronger. So much stronger that I never thought I would be. 

On a whole, things in school this year has not been smooth sailing at all. In fact, it was rough. Since I was young, school has been something I was good at and never have I stumbled upon so many obstacles throughout my entire school journey till I entered Year Three. I got hit hard at the start of the year with a relatively new responsibility and I learnt how to approach situations with more assertiveness the hard way - with people telling me I wasn't doing a good job, with people telling me how disappointed they were in me. True story. I am in no way exaggerating anything I have just typed/ am going to type in this post. It was a major blow and such a horrid wake up call but I'm glad I experienced that because it taught me how to stand up for things that weren't right. 

Then, came the academic work. I have never been good at academics once I entered secondary school and Year Three was just frightening, possibly because I had new commitments that I've just committed myself into and it was exceptionally difficult to adjust to the new workload. To be honest, I wouldn't say that I have learnt how to prioritize my time because I have not and my acads suffered miserably this year. (Don't worry, I am not those people who complain about how they have not done well but end up topping the class or something, though sometimes I wish I was) But, throughout all of these, I have realized how much the people around me cared for me, especially the ones that are closest to me, yet most of the time forgotten - my parents. My parents, throughout this horrible academic year, have never once chided me for producing considerably lousy results, perhaps because they knew how stressed out I was feeling, judging from my late nights, my consistent break outs on my face, my insistent binge-eating and the most obvious give-away, my heavy eye bags. My lovely mum and dad constantly supported me and encouraged me in what I was doing, were extremely proud of my non-academic ventures, and made me feel so appreciated to be a part of their life. 

But of course, 2012 has not been filled solely with terrible events and meaningful lessons that I've learnt from them - there are, of course, very happy and wonderful things that have happened, such as being given the opportunities to embark on lovely journeys such as vice captaincy for Waddle, participating in the Moot Parliament programme, campaigning round two, participating in Hwa Chong's Student Leaders' Convention and every organizing event I have been part of because all of them allowed me to meet new people and grow to love every single one of them.

2012 has been ridiculously eventful in both good and bad ways and I'm just so incredibly grateful and thankful for everything that has happened because I always believe that everything happens for a reason. Have a very merry Christmas! 

P/S: After publishing, I realized that this is my 400th post on this blog. Happy 400th! (': 

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

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Hi, I'm back. 
Evidently, I have been very lazy. Or rather, I've been occupied with things that I enjoyed doing - I love writing and blogging but it felt good to take a break from it. Sometimes, I check the number of views I was still getting on this blog even without updating and I felt a little bit guilty. Don't worry though, guilt is not something I would allow to motivate me to do something - I'm back because I enjoy blogging. 

So, what have I been doing recently? 

Well, I've been baking,

spending time with people I love (not limited to Channel 5 of course), 


and thinking & reflecting, a lot. 

It's really crazy how 2012 is almost coming to an end and sometimes it  makes me happy thinking about what has happened so far and most of the time, I honestly end up feeling so blessed and fortunate. 2012 has been a rollercoaster ride for me, with so many ups but an equal amount of downs. I've learnt to let go, and to stay positive no matter what because I really believe that everything, everything, happens for a reason, whether we know it or not.

If the world were to end on the 21st of December this year (in which it probably won't, but still), I can safely say that I am not afraid at all. First, it's because everyone would perish together and there won't be any heartbreaks due to missing a loved one. More importantly, because I feel like although I've not accomplished anything much, I have lived my short 15 years to the fullest - I have dared to take risks and I've been a pretty happy person most of the time.

Today, in the midst of a massive cleanup of my room, I found so many lovely cards and letters that I've accumulated over the years and just reading through them one by one made me feel like I meant something to someone else and I just felt so loved. It's definitely a pity that these letters were hidden under piles of useless junk (I am a really really messy person, trust me) so I used them to decorate a underused cork board I had lying around. Now, that cork board is filled with so much love and it's displayed in an extremely prominent position in my room because I know that in 2013, it will definitely be something that I will turn to quite often whenever I feel utterly horrible about myself or if I ever need a quick perk me up.

If the world were to end on the 21st of December, I will miss the love I've felt from my friends and family the most.

I caught 12/12/12 12:12 today.
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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

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Hello folks - no I'm not dead yet, definitely not.
Close to that though, I have been a sloth curled up in bed reading shallow books that I've been analysing a little too deeply since I came back from Guides November Camp two days ago.

From when I last posted (8 November) till now (a good twelve days), many interesting things have happened and I'm going to recap the events that have occurred (much to my amusement but possibly to your boredom, whoever 'your' is going to be). It's going to be an insanely long post, apologies for that but click away if you'd wish.

10 November 2012 

If you haven't noticed, I really like Gardens by the Bay - going there shows me a side of Singapore that most Singaporeans don't appreciate that much and even though most of the plants are probably imported from other parts of the world, this nature part of Marina Bay brings out a great "Garden City" feel which I absolutely adore.

So on the 10th, a day after Emily's birthday I decided to do a little something for her and plan an outing for her with her kept in the dark of where we will be heading to/ doing. Me, being extremely dedicated in my self-assumed job of surprise planner, woke up early on the day itself to bake ham and cheese croissants for our outdoor picnic. As usual though, Emily is an extremely deep sleeper and from past experiences, I know that I should never leave my house before I make sure that she is awake and preparing. (I swear, her future boyfriend is going to be driven crazy by her extreme habit of being late) We were supposed to meet at 11am but we ended up meeting at 3pm. Oh well, it's her birthday anyway.

We made our way to Bayfront and I think she liked the balloon I got her (;

Who can resist helium and AA Milne's creations? 

We made our way to the Gardens where the view was absolutely stunning and the air was amazingly fresh. We enjoyed a perfect weather as well, with cool breezes accompanied by sunshine. It was surprisingly empty for a Saturday perhaps because it had rained in other parts of Singapore earlier on and people were probably afraid to have their moods ruined by a possibly wet Garden.  I'm actually really glad that Singapore didn't install air conditioning in the Gardens or made it completely sheltered because that would really kill the essence of the place and be insanely environmentally unfriendly.

Us with the signature Gardens by the Bay architecture structures in the background

Then we settled in a sheltered pavilion and had a mini picnic with the ham and cheese croissants which I baked earlier that day (which would have been much fresher if we had met as planned at 11AM) and iced strawberry tea which was literally iced because I left the bottle in the freezer overnight. By the time we got to the Gardens, the strawberry tea flavoured ice has melted and left us with a cool icy drink. 

And then, as what tourists do, we started camwhoring (I do not enjoy using this word but it's possibly the most suitable word for describing what we did then). 

And finally, a last one celebrating Obama's recent win in the election! (okay, it was a "recent win" at that point in time when we took the photo)

Then we headed to TWG at Marina Bay Sands where I treated her to macarons and something called "Chocolate fondant" which looked a little something like this: 

It looked really good, but if you love chocolate, eat this and you'd definitely be sick of chocolate. The two of us couldn't handle the richness of it. It was too decadent for my liking. 

Now, here's a fake smile after that chocolate concoction got into my tummy. But alright, the company was good so maybe my smile was real (-: 

Afterwards we just went to a couch at MBS and talked about everything under the sun. It felt amazing to have such a warm heart to heart talk with this girl, my best friend. The plus point was that although we came from different schools, we could relate to each other so much and sometimes it's good to view things from an outsider's point of view, as the Chinese saying goes, "当局者迷,旁观者清". Thank you Emily for six years of wonderful friendship and here's to another six strong years and more (': 

That Saturday was one to remember. 

Moving on, 
12 November 2012

We had Guides Company Initiatives in school where the 2nd Coy Sec Two Guides did a pretty great job in planning. I really enjoyed myself at the pseudo Running Man game which was a new concept for me and the picnic had junk food... who wouldn't enjoy that? 

Sharmaine, Chris and me taking an apparently camera worthy break from running around school. 

Anyhow, that's besides the point. After initiatives, we had a 13atch  lunch + meeting although only a few of us could make it because the PGA kids had to go for training for their Pioneering test that was going to take place that same week (which all of them eventually passed, congrats friends :D). Nevertheless, I thought that the meeting and lunch was really productive and fun. I would go into more details of the meeting except that I'm acting on the possibility that there could be Guides juniors reading this and seniors should have mysterious super-secret plans after super-secret meetings (-;  

In our super-secret hideout at Plaza Singapura with all of us doing work and being productive. Okay maybe not all.

I became so much more excited about next year after the meeting. The prospect of being the most senior ... intrigues me a whole lot and it's funny but I really can't wait although I'm quite afraid of the pressure that I'm possibly going to face. I have new found faith in 13atch and the speed of which we are growing and assuming our new positions is scary, in a good way if that makes any sense at all.

The last ones left at the meeting (; 

15 November 2012

It was the day of House Comm Camp 2012! /shrieks/ It was what has been bothering Channel 5 for a few days and has caused us a lot of rage and frustration but it's over and it went pretty well overall (:

In the morning, I headed to Melissa Tang's house to help with all the bags of junk food which Huiying, Mel and myself purchased the day before together! (If you were wondering why it was only three of us, it's because Minglu and Vanessa were always tied down by ICYL preparation) It was hilarious how much food we bought and how much we had to lug into my dad's car.

We were getting increasingly worried because we have not done any rehearsing for our presentation to the House Commers and a lot of the programme was not exactly firmed up yet. But I think for our first presentation together as Channel 5 was pretty good when we realized that our audience was really just House Comm and there was nothing to be worried about in actual fact. 

I particularly enjoyed Intra House Time where Waddle had our own bonding and working time (': I'm really happy with our new lot of yellow people - they were already so productive and they show so much promise in terms of their new ideas because that was exactly what I was aiming for - something different for Waddle.  I'm already feeling really glad with the choices JELLO made in terms of subcomm allocations and leaders - yet another thing that is probably going to make 2013 an amazing year.  

Four of the sec threes in Waddle House Comm (':

Finally, there was Guides November Training Camp on 16 November (yes, my schedule was really packed last week) but I'm going to save that post for another day (possibly tomorrow)! 

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

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So much love for my sec one and two class (the amazing 204'11)! (':

That's right, so school holidays have officially started and it started amazingly on Monday by spending my time with the people I love - PB Formal Farewell in the morning (thank you Fiam, you've been dear!) and of course, 204'11 chalet thereafter!

To be honest, Formal Farewell went by sort of in a blur - it was too early in the morning and I was in a daze. The speeches were really good and extremely entertaining though, courtesy of Gen and Chloe. It's going to be rather weird thinking that Fidu is (kind of) officially the most senior batch of prefects now and again, I've probably touched on this topic for countless times and for countless reasons but it is indeed going to be... nerve wrecking and overwhelming. 

That aside, Jie Lin and I made our way to Pasir Ris immediately after Formal Farewell to meet our dear ex-classmates for lunch before we checked into the Arandas chalet! It felt so good to see my 204'11 classmates again - I love them so very much and Year 2 is probably going to be the best year I've ever experienced in RGS, even though I'm not done with my four years yet. 

After checking in, we split up into different activities and I went cycling with Angelia and Dawn - my favourite class chairpersons in the entire universe. I absent mindedly forgot to bring my student pass along with me, which resulted in us only being allowed to rent two bicycles - a single bicycle and a tandem bicycle to accommodate the three of us. Riding a tandem bicycle was more difficult than we had expected and we ended up struggling a lot but once we got the hang of it, it was extremely fun having to work together to control and power the bicycle. 

Cycling with them just made me feel so happy, feeling the breeze in my hair and thinking about nothing at all. I haven't experienced such a feeling in a long, long time and being with my sec two classmates just brings back the carefree memories and emotions that I've felt. 

After cycling, we went to E!Hub to shop for groceries for our class that will last us for the night. It's amazing to do something as 204 chairs again - I absolutely love doing things with Angelia and Dawn! It was so funny how we bought so much nonsense that appealed mostly just to the three of us like snow peas and green bean pastries. 

For dinner, we ordered pizza into the chalet (the pizza guy was pretty cute kekeke don't tell anyone this) and devoured the food as a class which was a little weird because all of us were just standing and chewing around the boxes of pizza and there was this weird silence but someone commented that it was a "comfortable silence" (': Ahh I love 204!

Then, we watched Saw II (which wasn't even scary at all and to be honest, it was a horrible movie with no plot, not a lot of character exploration and if the gory parts were supposed to be the most interesting parts, I don't think it was successful in doing so) and I was introduced to Doctor Who which is an amazing show. I can't believe that I never dared to watch this show for fear of disappointment but boy, for the episodes that I watched at the chalet, the plot is so witty and well-developed and the Eleventh Doctor is so amazingly talented and charming! 

Halfway through the night, because of presumably an allergic reaction, my upper left lip started swelling up a lot - something which I have never experienced in my life so I didn't know how to react to it. I must have looked quite a sight with Angelina Jolie- sized lips and they got really red too. I iced it and I was so glad they subsided after around eight ice cubes. Thank goodness the reaction I got was just the swelling of my lips and not what I usually get which is asthma which could have been pretty severe. 

At around midnight, some of us became bored, so we decided to go out and walk around Downtown East - more specificially, E!Hub - but we realized that all the stores were closed and there was practically nothing except the bowling alley. So, we headed to a nearby Macs (because trusty Ronald stays open 24/7)! 

Well, well, some typical toilet camwhoring 

(Also, I sincerely apologize for the horrible quality of photos in this blog post but no one brought a camera to the chalet and we end up having to use our phone cameras which ends up being a little grainy)

Midnight gang consisting of Samantha, Najla, Clare, Tabitha, Dawn and myself! 

We reached the chalet at a little later than 1AM accomplishing nothing except that feeling of feeling like a rebel and the adrenaline rush of scaring ourselves while walking through the dark and narrow pathways of Downtown East (not so dark and not so narrow but well, you get what I mean).

Plonked at the side of the bed and dozed off while some of them continued to play cards. Did I mention that I do not know how to play any form of  games relating to poker cards? I don't particularly enjoy card games or board games or any form of social gathering games which is why I have never bothered to learn them (Is that a "loser!" I hear? Well I've gotten quite used to it).

Woke up the next day (pretty early, in fact) and headed out for breakfast with Angelia and Dawn (': Lovely time once again.

Soon after, the class checked out of the chalet and we parted ways. I really love this bunch of people, we should meet up at least once per year! 

(please pardon me if my blogging style seems a little different in this post, I'm just feeling rather high and "fluffy" for no known reason!)
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Sunday, November 4, 2012

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Tomorrow officially marks the first day of the year end school holidays which means that the school term has also officially come to a close (well, it technically has closed already two days ago but well, for the purposes of making the opening of my post more dramatic -).

Not sure if many of you can tell, but the last week of school for 2012 has been... a roller coaster ride.

On Monday, we had our Year 3 Fun Fair where my class organized a Haunted House!

Me with fellow clown buddy, Phionna! 

The cast of 306's freakshow

Insanely proud of our class - we raised the most money out of all the classes in our batch, with an amount that totalled more than $400! 

On Tuesday, I was down with a horrible horrible inflamed throat and fever and flu and all the viruses that came together in the package I always get when I fall sick. 

On Wednesday, it was the Year 4's Graduation and Farewell Assembly.

I realized that I have yet to blog about this graduating batch of Year 4s yet and to be honest, it still hasn't really sunk it that these big lovely seniors of mine will no longer be around or are already not around. 12affles batch is definitely the batch of seniors that I'm closest with, for we are only one year apart and there's so many special and lovely people in that batch that means so much to me. 

Thank you, batch'12 for always being there, for showing the path and for being the most amazing mentors any junior can ever imagine to have. There are so many of you who are so dedicated to everything you do and trust me, even if I don't know every one of you personally, the entire school is witness to the amazing passion your entire batch emits everywhere y'all go. Your batch has left a legacy as being one with a crazy amount of energy - infectious energy. 

Thank you so much, seniors. 

On Wednesday, it was also Dramafest. 

Waddle did a pretty amazing job, I must say (': 
We definitely improved leaps and bounds during the actual performance as compared to the previous few rehearsals we had. 

Thank you Valerie, Lei Zuo, Jing En, Jiaying, Karyn, Lijia, Kelsie, Krisi, Qi Shuen, Wen Wen, Na Yeon, Rhe Anne, Lei Rong, Tricia, Vicki & Yun Ting for spending your time working on Dramafest and making it such a wonderful success. You guys are amazing!

After Wednesday, the week took a turn for the worst, for reasons I shall not mention. But life is fine now, and I'm really excited for the holidays - it's going to be a time to relax, recharge and revise. Wow, how pairing! 

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Saturday, November 3, 2012

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Pressure, an absolute horror when put in place in a manner far less than healthy. Pressure, is what leads to an insane number of adverse consequences. Possibly everyone living in this world has experienced some form of pressure, good or bad. The pressure of feeding a family for one more day, the pressure of finding a job, there are countless pressures everywhere. In a school under Singapore's education system, an education system that supposedly "works", immense amounts of pressure are placed upon students. 

Pressure takes the form of anything you can imagine and comes in every way possible - expectations of oneself, peer influence, overprotective parental control, society's mindsets and social norms, amongst others. Expectations to excel in every single branch of one's life are most evident in Asian countries like ours. In a meritocratic society, success takes the form of academic achievement most of the time while every other aspect is most likely overlooked. The competitive spirit creates unhealthy pressure, with students cramming and studying instead of the ideal learning and growing. Such pressure isn't something every single student is able to handle and sometimes, the easiest path chosen could possibly be escapism.

Escaping from reality, escaping from pressure and finally, escaping from life in itself by ending it. In my opinion, that is an extremely dumb and the worst choice anyone could ever make, but sometimes, desperate times call for desperate measures. To some, there is no point in continuing life judging from the route it is taking and death seems like a quick and easy way out. But no, don't ever ever ever attempt to take your life. Anyone, out there. 

It causes pain, fear, regret, guilt, amongst the many emotions, not just in yourself, but the people around you, the people who love you and the people who care for you. 

Sometimes, pressure can be a horrible thing. But it's up to you to make the pressure you get into good pressure. 

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

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My mind's all muddled up and my throat's hurting really badly - down with a fever and I overused my vocal chords yesterday but I'd really like to blog about so many things and thought today would be great to blog about the recent Sunday that was so superbly lovely.

So two days ago, Sarah, Jaclyn, Nicole and myself decided that it would be really cool to act like tourists in our own country and visit the amazing tourist side of Singapore, armed with cameras, as what tourists do. Our chosen place of interest was Marina Bay Sands, with all the atas (otherwise known as high class) boutiques as well as Gardens by the Bay, which none of us have been to before!

For me, that Sunday was really a day I set aside to relax and rewind amidst all the insane amount of work I was facing at that time and I'm so glad I went all out to have fun and not think about any work. (I still went home that night to rush out some stuff though since I can't stand irresponsibility, especially in myself) It was such an amazing day, with amazing company and well, I shall make this a photo post since I'm feeling a tad bit lethargic right now.

We saw a Cece Frey look-a-like at the Gucci  boutique!

What we basically did most of the time we spent at MBS was going into random boutiques but not purchasing anything and taking photos at the same time! I must say that the pretty side of Singapore is indeed really pretty and extremely photo worthy. It's sometimes really rare for Singaporeans to admire their own country but I think Singaporeans should take some time off and appreciate the beauty of this city. 

Jac and myself! 

We had lunch at the food court (since we were budget conscious tourists) where Sarah and myself shared some shrimp dumplings which were quite disappointing indeed. The texture was chewy and the dumplings were very dry. I personally feel that as a tourist attraction, MBS should do more to ensure quality control of the local fare offered by such eateries since these are the food tourists will be tucking in and will be the food that makes an impression on them. 

That aside, we then headed to TWG to have some tea (not really) and dessert! 

I ordered three macarons - Napolean Tea & Caramel (black), Earl Grey Fortune & Chocolate (brown) and Grand Wedding Tea, Passion Fruit & Coconut (purple). The black one is by far the best macaron I've ever tasted - it's really really amazing (': 

Sarah's mango crumble which was a tad too sour for my liking! 

Nicole and Jaclyn (': 

After walking around aimlessly for a while more, we headed to Gardens by the Bay - a really pretty place, I must add - except for the insane heat but well, that's Singapore for you! 

It was the perfect place to take photos too!

We had to approach so many different strangers to get a four-people photo, thank you to all the nice people out there! We stopped asking strangers to help us take photos after we got this creepy group of Chinese male tourists to help us take a photo and the guy taking the photo kept giving us instructions on how to stand and his friend nearby was taking photos of us in his own camera as well. Oh goodness it was such a horrible experience and we quickly thanked them before running away. The photo that he took is the one below: 

Apart from that creepy encounter, the rest of the day was fabulous! Thank you Jac, Sarah and Nicole for that Funday (':

On a sidenote, 12affles Batch is graduating tomorrow and I simply cannot come to terms with that - this batch of seniors has been really really amazing and the closest batch of seniors ever. But I shall keep an emotional post for another time (probably tomorrow) since I am in desperate need of some rest now. 
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Thursday, October 25, 2012

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Well, well, so I promised that I'd blog on more often after the EYAs and I'm sorry that I've failed to do so - the post EYA period was everything that I've never expected. My life is getting much more hectic and to be honest, it's been getting really scary.

Everything seems to have been going wrong for me, with post EYA plans not coming to light due to the lack of time and insane amounts of self doubt. The worse thing is that I absolutely hate the fact that I seem to always need to rant whenever I don't feel confident about myself in any way.  And that is something I don't particularly think is a trait that anyone should have. Especially for myself, I feel like everyone has so many expectations of me and the more I talk about my problems, the worst everything gets.

I'm just really glad that despite everything not going that smoothly, the problems that I'm facing are still related to things that I'm passionate about - so it makes everything a tad bit easier and I feel a little happier. I just feel like I should have a better control of my own emotions so that I won't affect the people around me too much. Even just typing all these right now makes me feel a little uncomfortable that I'm sharing my insecurities.

I have been feeling much more healthy recently - something that I'd be blogging about soon. I'm feeling really great physically (:

Personally feelings aside, there has been quite a few events that have happened recently which I'd like to talk about. On Wednesday, we had our first General Meeting as PB 2013, called the Annual General Meeting, although it won't be that much of an Annual event since we'd be having two this year. This first meeting is when the heads would release our department allocations for the next year. This year, I was in Finance which has been an amazing experience overall - Finance work is the majority of what made me enjoy PB this year. I had no clue of which department I'd be put in so when they announced that I was in SIMU (Spirit Ignition and Maintenance Unit), it came as a complete surprise for myself. It was something that I had never expected that I would be allocated to, because I never did indicate my interest in that department. Looking back though, I'm wondering why I never considered that department since it suits my personality quite a lot. I'm really excited at the prospect of being in SIMU (:

I feel like I've been given so much exposure for next year and there's going to be quite a lot of pressure on myself to continue to breathe and handle everything well. Here goes.

Another exciting thing that happened was Netball Carnival yesterday! (: This is an annual event that really makes everyone feel a strong sense of class spirit - look at our beaming faces!

Everyone did really well, I'm so glad that our class managed to churn out a class tee in time (Thank you, Phionna!) and it turned out quite pretty. Although our class won only the Cheer competition, at least all of us had so much fun - I love activities like these that make us truly feel and experience class spirit. It was so funny how we wrote the cheer only the night before and everyone just memorized everything in the morning and we still managed to win!

6/10 of 306's cheer squad (; This is such a weird photograph. 

Sharon, Jac and myself! 

Great job, 306! :D
This concludes my awfully unorganized and cluttered blog post. 

I should stop being a complete wreck, even if I don't appear to be.
Jiayou, Li Yin! Have faith in yourself even if no one else does. 
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Sunday, October 14, 2012

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It has been five days and a lot more freedom since the last post. 

Yup, EYAs 2012 have officially ended and it's time to commence the Post EYA plans that I have been planning well, during the EYA period. Apart from going out with people, this year's post EYA plans have been really different from previous year's as I now have a lot more introverted activities. I have really grown to be a lot more introverted this year - and that's not necessarily a bad thing, really. That aside, the first thing on my to-do list (literally) is to: 

I love love love baking - I love the process of baking, from going to the supermarts to shop for baking products, to the baking process itself and right down to the eating of course! I'm really trying to reach a good level of competence in baking so I can come up with my own recipes and experiment with things. As of now,   I'm still stuck to following recipes which I really hate - namely because I hate following measurements and just following steps. To be honest, when I bake, I don't follow the measurements stated - I use my own intuition and that's really the fun part about concocting your own surprises.

Yup so I turned on my oven today and baked a Chocolate Raspberry & Blueberry tart! I call it my "Berry Chocolate Tart"! (: It's a modified version of Laura Vitale's Chocolate Raspberry Tart!

Here are the more photogenic ingredients! Hershey's semisweet chocolate chips, fresh raspberries, fresh blueberries and graham crackers. The ingredients not pictured are the butter, the sugar, the salt and heavy cream. I never knew that Singapore sold graham crackers and I used to substitute them with digestive cookies but it wasn't quite the same - digestives were definitely more delicious, to be honest but I always wanted to know how graham crackers tasted like. I chanced upon the crackers yesterday and found out that these were really legit graham crackers so I was pretty happy with my find! I found out that Singapore sold buttermilk as well - which was actually an ingredient that put me off from baking red velvet cupcakes because of the hassle of making my own buttermilk substitute. Now I know that they are so easily accessible in Singapore, you should know what my next baking experiment will be on (;

The first step was crushing my graham crackers - It was quite a horrible experience. They were so difficult to crush properly and I didn't bother to continue crushing halfway since my hands were getting a bit sore so my crust had quite a bit of huge pieces. Oh well, perhaps they added an extra crunch to my tart.

Mixed the cracker crumbs with melted butter and sugar and lined the tart pan before baking it. I got really distracted by a lot of nonsense so I left my crust in the oven for a little longer than it should have and look at what happened. It was so charred and burnt. But I still used it since I didn't have enough butter to re make the crust. 

Then I moved on to mushing the blueberries and raspberries before putting them through a sieve to attain only the finest juices - I took a taste of the puree and boy was it sour. I guess it would lend a bit of a tart taste in contrast to the sweetness of the chocolate - so that'd be great. 

Next, I worked on the real "filling" of the tart - the creamy part! It's extremely fattening - the cream and all - but the product was pretty worth it, in my opinion

Had to bring the cream to a simmer - I'm always scared of cooking desserts over the stove, it always makes me feel a bit paranoid especially with custard-like dishes. I'm always afraid that the would thicken up or burn. This this happen to the heavy cream, fortunately. 

Dusted some salt over my lovely semi sweet chocolate chips before pouring the simmering cream over them. 

The little chips started melting and blending into the cream. 

Boy oh boy, look at that glorious rich chocolatey colour! 

Then poured the raspberry and blueberry puree into the chocolate mixture for a good balance between sweet and sour. I couldn't resist trying the mixture and it was really good. 

 And into the tart crust it went! The mixture was really smooth and looked heavenly to taste. 

And afterwards, I garnished the tart with the leftover raspberries and blueberries! 

End product was insanely good, to be honest. The crust was a little too crumbly than I would have liked - should have added a lot more butter to it - but it was still quite good.

Overall, I don't think I would be making this for leisure again - unless there's a special occasion because of the high price of the ingredients. The raspberries were rather costly and making the tart amounted to over twenty bucks, which is a price which could probably get you one that's already pre made. 

But it was fun making it and it's really yummy (: 

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