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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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

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Well, well, it has been a while, hasn't it? 

Staying away from blogger has been pretty frustrating and therefore, I am caving in before my exams have officially ended. But they are going to end - really really soon - in two days (two more papers left - History tomorrow and Math 2 the day after) and I am absolutely thrilled by the mere thought of that.

So, how has my life been from 14 September till today, the 9th of October (wow that's almost a month, I'm impressed)? Honestly, everything that has happened circled around academics, books, notes and exams. Actually, it sounds pretty bad but I kind of enjoyed it - studying makes me feel really smart because normally I'm really dumb. Knowing that I do have a bit of concentration when the occasion calls for it makes me feel a  tad better. This EYA period hasn't been as bad as I had imagined it to be, possibly because my subject combi of PhysicsChemLitHistory was on really good terms with the person scheduling our exams. I personally don't feel like it's the EYA period but rather just a series of minor tests and everything just feels pretty weird and surreal, maybe it's because this year I started hardcore mugging a little earlier than I normally do.

Then comes the next question. How have my exams been so far? Let's go through the motions, shall we?:

28 Sept: English & Chinese Paper 1 - The papers were exactly how language papers should feel like but I regretted writing the topic that everyone chose for my English exposition essay because it'd be much more difficult to stand out when everyone's writing the same topic on foreigners. 
4 October: Social Studies & Physics - I love SS so it was quite a joy to write and Physics was alright especially when I vomited all the equations I stuffed in my brain at the side of my paper. 
5 October: Math 1 & Literature - I absolutely hate Literautre to be scheduled after Math because I can't switch from left to right brain that fast based on experience but Math was pretty alright considering that it is my worst subject and that I didn't feel prepared for it. Literature circled around Singapore poems and I personally love that genre of poems. I fell in love with Poem B there and then so sitting for the exam was really fun. 
8 October: English & Chinese Paper 2 - English was a little more difficult than usual and Chinese has never been my forte - I had about 10 minutes left so I guess that's quite good considering quite a few people couldn't complete/ had to rush through. 
9 October: Chemistry - Second worst subject after Math and went into the exam room with my mind already set on not including Chemistry into my GPA but it was surprisingly okay - I have no idea if it's because of my incompetence and simplistic mind so I felt like the questions were manageable but apparently it was a killer paper so I was very confused. 

Overall, EYAs this year have been pretty decent as a whole, I didn't have any subjects that I felt like I was totally going to flunk in and do super badly, unlike during Mid Years where I knew I was going to screw up Math and Chemistry. Good vibes good vibes (':

History paper tomorrow - I should really go and study now, I need to do well in History! 

Can't wait to get back to blogging regularly after EYAs are over and my hopefully my posts will be much more interesting - I have so many things I plan to do post-EYA (': Press on, 13atch! 2 more days. 

"Let them eat cake." 
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