Thanks, 2013

Monday, December 30, 2013

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Hello there :-)

So 2013 is nearing its end it's time to beckon in the New Year. Isn't it strange how in time to come, we'll have years like 2020 - it's so weird to pronounce. Okay but for now it's really just 2014 we'll have to deal with and get used to.

How has 2013 been like for me? To say the least, it's definitely been one of the most empowering and life changing years of my life; a year where I was forced to come out of my comfort zone on numerous occasions but undoubtedly gained so much from the processes. It's been a year that hasn't been smooth sailing at all but I've become a lot stronger and my mindset towards many things have bent towards the positive spectrum, something extremely important to me and something I'm incredibly proud of!!

I think some of the major events that have happened this past year would be Year One Orientation, my Dwen An trip, Annual Assembly, Sports Fest, the Singapore Writers' Festival (yes this one is a little bit weird but true) and my little holiday work stint at Toys "R" Us. They were experiences that allowed me to not only discover and learn things about myself but were also events where I had a ton of fun and thoroughly enjoyed despite challenges and difficulties. It's insane how everything just flew by but I'd like to do a quick recap in pictorial form (with links to their original posts), as well as to feature some of the people who have been in a prominent part of my journey this year.

Orientation 2013 - Probably one of the craziest period of this year, having to handle my new commitments all at once because it was the peak period for every single one of my roles and responsibilities - as a House Captain, a Prefect and a SIMU member! I remember night surprise where I was already so incredibly exhausted from the day's activities but still had to emcee and act out major roles in both the Channel 5 and PB skit and while dancing as an RI dude in front of the Year Ones, I completely blanked out and couldn't see anything except white and felt like I was going to faint anytime soon but I just kept moving my body acting all high and weird. Fortunately, I didn't plonk on the floor and all was (kinda) well in the end :-) 

Of course, the Orientation concert was one of the highlights of the year as well, being Channel 5's first ever emceeing stint and it was actually one of our bests as well! It went really amazingly, thank you guys for everything :') 

Dwen An Trip (both in Taiwan & Singapore) - Skipped precious precious days of school for this, especially the one in Singapore - it was campaign period for my little ones! (even more critical for the RI guys actually, with their EOYs super close) but this entire experience allowed me to step out from my comfort zone and work with people and working styles I've never interacted with before - referring to both the Taiwanese and well, the opposite gender). Made lovely friendships as well :') And of course, it was really beautiful in Taiwan and it was really quite cool to skip school to go overseas. This journey was sometimes frustrating and weird but eventually everything worked out as well! 

Iskandar Learning Journey  - Learning Journey week's always one of the most exciting weeks during the school term because it's just excursions all day long which is always fun and this Iskandar one stood out for me because it was overseas and it was rather special (hehheheheourchaperone)

 House Comme - First ever proper overnight House Comm Camp! :-) Was quite a meaningful and lovely bonding experience for all of us. 

Annual Assembly - Still in awe at how 13atch managed to pull this off but hey, we have a record number of President Guides within us, of course anything is possible! ;) Super proud of this and it's definitely a great milestone for all of us. We were all insanely busy because it was the PT/ AA period and it was quite stressful as Concert Comm I/C with Valerie but we did it. Dancing with this group of people was pretty fun too hehe. 

House Practices - Always looking forward to Wednesday afternoons with House Practices even though I'm stressed or tired from an entire day of lessons in school because spending time with House Comm and the Year Ones never fail to make me incredibly happy :') It was such a good year of House Practices, with Waddle nailing Mass Dance all the time (which is like the major thing) - I am so very blessed. 

And this was the last ever House Practice of the year - thank you so very much once again, Waddle Year Ones (wow they are Year Two next year hehe) and House Comm :') You guys are genuinely the sunshine of my 2013!

Of course, thank you JING EN once again hehe I love you very much and you know that :-) And you also know that I wouldn't have survived this year (or the past four years actually) at all without you - your constant support, guidance, and encouragement through everything. 

Sports Fest 2013 - An incredible day that was hectic, busy, fun-filled, emotional and WONDERful indeed :') Winning the cheerleading trophy (well - not me exactly) again since our Year One win just felt mind-blowing and amazing and really, I can't be prouder. 

Channel 5 Outing - Well, well catching up with Channel 5 (minus one, because Van couldn't make it sigh) during the June holidays was pretty life changing and it'll always stay in my memory because of the valuable conversations we had then :') I love them sigh. 

Guides Striping - To be entirely honest, the event itself wasn't that emotional for myself but recently, I was packing my room and clearing out stuff and re-read all the letters and cards I got from Striping and it impacted me a lot more than the ones I received for my birthday/ other events (all the same appreciated though!!) Not sure why, but I think there's something really special about the bonds made through Guides and it reminded me that I should come back to visit often. 

MP3 Experiment - The first of its kind in Singapore, had a lot of fun though I thought the whole thing could be improved. I think the best part was spending time with Phion, Wang and Swan after the event, laughing our heads off at McCafe, something I miss a lot. 

Handover - Passing on the yellow responsibility (HAHA what?) to these two amazing, lovely, capable and wonderful girls - Karyn and Jiaying. I think they'll be able to bring Waddle 2014 to heights never reached before because the two of them are incredible alone but even better together! Perfect duo hehe really proud of them then and I still am. Can't wait to visit Orientation/ House Practices to see how they are doing. 

Final House Comm GM - I guess this really kind of marked the end of the House Comm journey for us, which sparks a new one for the Year Two new House Commers and I'm so excited for this group of special colourful people to experience everything I have experienced and possibly, even more! Thanks for everything, House :') 

IHG Closing Ceremony - Am very proud of Waddle and will continue to be, definitely :') Leading this House has been the best thing that happened to me in my four years in RG and I'm so blessed to have been given the opportunity. 

Options - Spending so much more time with the people I love after EYAs and having the time to actually go for breakfasts in the morning, pilates in the afternoon and rather enriching lessons the entire day. It was a lovely period of time and I do wish everyday was like that, with the liberty to choose the things we'd like to do. 

MPP Catchup - MPP was definitely one of the best things that happened in Year Three, mostly because of the people I was with. We are all fun-loving and full of nonsense which makes us wonderful, unless it comes to proper work. But anyway, catching up with them was lovely and I'll miss them a lot because I know I'll be seeing them a lot less next year, especially Jaclyn! :-( 

Picnic 1345 - It was the first time I participated in an event like that and it was quite memorable, because of the people I was with :') Thank you Shermaine, Sarah and Swan - you guys are such fantastic company. And also, it's my first exposure to one of the places I was going to spend a bit of my time in later in the year hehe (at SWF!)

Dramafest - I think one of the perks of being Year Four (which I've never really quite realized until now) is that you're able to do a lot of strange and um cool stuff and get away with it without people judging you too much - or at least, they aren't exactly "allowed" to judge openly because come on, we're the seniors (heh heh heh) so it was crazy when the group of us decided to go all out for Halloween! It was my first time dressing up for the occasion as well so that was really quite exciting. 

Graduation - It was such a surreal event for me, thinking that I've spent a good 4 years in this campus but there's always a time to say goodbye I guess. Thank you RGS for this emotional and physical rollercoaster ride, I've definitely emerged stronger than I was before so thank you for shaping me. Also, quick shout out once again to the most amazing form teacher ever, Mr Faizal! 

You guys know how much y'all mean to me already - thank you so much for accompanying me on this crazy adventure in Year Four (some of you since Year Three) and I honestly don't know what I'd do without you guys ahh thank you :') Every single one of you have inspired me in so many ways and allowed me to try things I would have never done otherwise. I love you guys and I hope we'll continue to stay close! 

They say "make new friends, but keep the old" and I know we're definitely still friends but I'm terribly guilty of drifting apart from you guys way too much than it should've been :-( Still, thank you for everything, especially during my lower secondary years and for constantly always being there quietly supporting each other even if we didn't show it all the time. I think what's important is that Waddle binds us together and I can't wait to see if I'll be in the same JC Orientation Group with some of you :') I love you guys too hehe. 

Singapore Writers' Festival - Enriching, amazing, eye-opening 10 days :') Not just meant for writers, but readers as well - high encourage everyone to go if they have the opportunity, really! Thank you Shermaine, Swan and Sarah for spending pockets of time with me when we were there. 

I like this photo so it'll claim a spot here :-) 

Channel 5 Band - You guys are appearing way too often in this post (this is the sixth photo of us already) HAHA but I still love you guys :') Anyway, this was our last um "public appearance" as Channel 5, the House Capts of 2013 and again, we're super last minute, meeting only the day before our performance day and it's not even like we were doing something we are good at - we actually decided to play musical instruments and sing. Risk takers, but we pulled it off all the same because we are quite incredible (HAHA) 

FAM - It was undoubtedly a night to remember and despite it being actually rather stressful and frustrating at times, it was actually quite enjoyable in the end, though I very much preferred solely the hotel stay compared to everything else. 

Special shout out to Sarah who is always there with me every step of the way (not just for FAM specifically) - thank you so much for everything! :') You are stronger and more amazing than you think. 

Catchup with Ragini - She's one of my closest friends in RG even though we have never been in the same class and I'm super blessed to have you in my life! I think it's super funny how we're super distant in Guides itself (which is where we even first met?) which is so weird but thank goodness we're close outside of CCA! 

Catchup with Emily - Thank you Emily for always being there for me despite all the distance differences and not being in the same school (which is a terrible inconvenience). You are very very special to me and you know that. We have such differing yet similar mindsets to things it's quite crazy and weird but anyway I hope we'll remain friends for a long long time - that's actually something I'm super confident of! I mean, come on, we've done that for four years already :')

Catchup with Chris - WONG :-) You know how much you mean to me and you never fail to brighten my days by being annoying sigh. Don't even know why your annoying can be quite cute :-( Also yes sorry your selfies all get deleted ;) Thanks for all the get fat sessions and being a part of my life!

Wow yup. I think that's all for now.
If you have been featured in the above, even if it's just a little face in a big photo, you mean a lot to me and I'd like to thank you for everything you've done because you've impacted my life positively. If you haven't, it might have been my fault and I forgot and I'll give you the liberty to smack me but also it probably means we haven't been hanging out/ taking any photos, which is a pity but thank you for still being a part of my life. 2014 will be a year of opportunity and lovely things - I'll make it count.

Also, while writing this, I realized I've attempted so many firsts in 2013, which is incredible because I'm not much of a risk-taker most of the time and I do a lot of things within my comfort zone only. But I've tried new things this year and actually enjoyed them so it's amazing :')

Hopefully everyone has have had an incredible year - sigh I was inspired by so many things, by people, books, events, places and discovered a mad love for cooking/ baking/ making food look pretty! Thanks 2013, you have been pretty darn wonderful and 2014, I have really high expectations of you.
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Christmas & Cakes

Saturday, December 28, 2013

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(belated, but nevertheless, I hope all of you have had a great one, whether you celebrate it or not)

So, Christmas was three days ago and I haven't been blogging for a pretty long time - nothing much's been happening but I'd thought I give a little update, in cake form :-)

So, a week before Christmas, I somehow decided to enter a Facebook contest organized by The Icing Room and it was a caption contest - I had to fill up the speech bubbles of the provided comic strip and I ended up winning it and won myself a log cake from them. To be honest, I was really quite confident of winning (don't ask me why) and I did :-) So that was nice hehe brought it to my maternal family Christmas gathering and my little cousins were really quite excited at the Rudolph cake because it's cute - it's called Chocolate Rudolph and it was quite rich and good with moose and caramel in between the layers. And a chocolate ganache covered it all mmmmm! I mean, come on, it tastes of victory (heh heh heh) 

Okay, moving on from the Chocolate Rudolph cake :-) I have no idea but strange things happened at work during the Christmas period with the Christmas party and all and things got a bit weird. On Christmas eve, I was feeling really miserable after work (yes I had to work that day) because it's the busiest day for a toy shop - parents all scurrying to buy last minute gifts and it all felt so sad because I usually spend that day with my family, especially my mum but I was mostly alone. So before heading home, I got myself this little cupcake with a Santa on it and it made my day 10000x better!

At first, I thought it was a super gross tasting cupcake that only looked cute but it was actually really good with liquid chocolate in the middle of the cake so I was pleasantly surprised and I went to bed on Christmas Eve feeling happy (which would have been otherwise if not for this cake). 

Oh, and I saved the Santa on the cupcake for the next cake that's going to be featured which is the cake I baked for my paternal family Christmas gathering! My aunt ordered it from me when she had a taste of the Christmas fruit cake I baked in November :-) She really really liked it but requested for it to have booze so I soaked the fruits in brandy and I was actually really scared that it'll be a disaster because I've never tried baking with alcohol before. 

Fortunately, my relatives really liked it and it was a huge success hehe so many of them told me it was their favourite on the Christmas table and that they could really taste the booze. To be entirely honest, I very much preferred it without the brandy added but I guess they all have more mature palates. My aunt even wanted to order the same cake from me for Chinese New Year because it was so well received but she decided that I had to focus on my studies because school would have started by then. 

Last but not least, the prettiest cake of them all (in my opinion), saved for Boxing Day! :-) There was so much food on Christmas Day itself, we didn't even manage to cut this cake so we devoured it on the 26th instead, and it's such a lovely and cute cake :') Plus it's chocolate again ahhh who can resist? 

P R E T T Y (I wish I'd be able to bake like that someday)

So, that's how the Christmas season went for me, in cake form :-) 
Incredibly blessed with food, family and friends :') I hope this finds everyone well! 

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Lola's Café with Chris

Monday, December 23, 2013

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Hi friends :-) 

So yesterday, on 22 December, Christina and myself finally went out for our biannual "get-fat" session! Biannual because it normally occurs during the June & December holidays and get fat because we basically entertain ourselves solely with food and each other's company. 

This time, we headed to Lola's Café at Simon Road. The nearest MRT station is Kovan. Previously, we headed to Holland V & Orchard Central, which is more of Chris' "territory" and this time it's supposed to be me bringing her somewhere I'm familiar with but to be honest, it's my first time heading to that place & apart from Kovan being just one MRT stop away from my home, I know nothing about it! My deepest memories of the area is taking my piano exam there all the time :-( Not a very good memory to start with. So ya. We were basically venturing the unknown though I made the additional effort to reach earlier to find the place first :-) (I'm such a good friend, I know thanks; you're welcome Chris)

Lola's Café has the same queueing system as GRUB but it was super fast - we barely walked 5 steps from the café after making our booking before we received a call. And Chris went to type my name as "Yup" so it was a bit weird and awkward. Oh and I thought the ordering system was the same as Fast Food for Thought so I went to the counter and it was damn embarrassing because only the waiters are supposed to go to the counter :-( 

Anyway we did a little Christmas gift exchange hehe :-) I gave her one side of my boot filled with stuff and she gave me a bagful of stuff too! Thank you bb!

Chris appreciating my style and choice of shoes ;) (I know you do) 

With the Xmas card I made her :-) That's just the envelope though. 

Hehe evidently didn't take this photo in the café - but this is the super cute package Chris gave me :-) 

And then, our food came! I think it's really hilarious how I somehow always order fried chicken of some sort at every (hipster) café and eatery I go which offers it. But I love chicken :') 

Honey & Paprika Crispy Wings ($9) - fried chickens never cease to satisfy me no matter what and these ones were quite well done :') Love the flavour combination so much but Chris found it weird that the chicken was sweet because of the honey and she preferred the ones at EWF (which basically just tastes of salt).

Iced mocha ($6) - I didn't really mean to order this because I am super fussy about how I like my coffee done (extra sweet) and it was like this moment of impulse that I told the waitress I wanted this :-( It was bitter and thin and I didn't like it. Chris' drink (I totally forgot what it is - some apple thing) tasted like water according to her so I think drinks there are generally a no-no. 

In loving memory of the last chicken drumlet which Chris insisted I eat up (I ate more than her hur hur) because her appetite has decreased to the size of a pea after her UK trip. 

We didn't order any main courses off their brunch menu because Chris was a pea heh heh heh and I was craving soupy Asian food instead of creamy/ rich/ thick dishes - I don't know why I keep craving for Asian food nowadays. But we were extremely full by the end of our visit there which is really weird because we ate  really quite little! (Get fat session fail) 

Then we had desserts - most of the items on the dessert menu were tarts! It was good that the tarts were quite small at priced pretty reasonably so people can try a variety of various flavours. 

Lemon meringue tart ($4) - "Passable" according to the super fussy lemon tart eater. I shall interpret that as "not too bad" HAHA. 

Caramelized banana earl grey tart ($4) - It wasn't too bad but I didn't particularly enjoy it just because I felt like it wasn't a mushy banana day for me. Earl grey flavour was nice though. Oh, and both tarts have the hardest crust ever!!!! :-( It's not crumbly or buttery or flaky - it just tasted like a stale biscuit, I think they just bought machine-made crusts because they all look so uniform. It's almost impossible to take a nice piece of the tart with just the metal fork provided because the crust will probably fly to someone else's table. 

With the disappointing tart :-( 

Then we headed to Serangoon (my territory HAHA) and went to the rooftop of nex because it was quite a good location to take photos - which is another component of our biannual get fat sessions! Don't mind the photo flood please thanks :-) 

"Chums", says Chris. 

I think this photo is super cute hehe :-) 

This one too - the lighting (i.e. the Sun) is super good :') 


Urm this is Chris trying to keep a straight model-style face. Much better than my attempt anyway - give her credit for that :-) 

And Chris brought her polaroid camera! Love love love how the polaroids came out :') 

Pretty Chris in her typical Chris pose (that I sometimes rip unknowingly sigh I'm sorry) 

HEHEHEHE the cute print on my shirt - it used to be a T-shirt that my aunt bought from Bangkok for my brother but he didn't like it and didn't wear it ever so I stole it from him and made my own alterations to it! :-) Basically snipped off the short sleeves and used a bit of fabric glue. 

Be careful - I'm standing right behind ya!!!!

It was really really nice catching up with Chris - thank you for being one of my closest friends from RG ever since Year One in Guides! I have been through so much with you and we've literally seen each other in our best and worst moments for the past four years. You're a beautiful person both inside and outside and I really hope we'll stay close even in JC! :-) Let's play our favourite game to end off this post:


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