An Exercise In Trivial Pursuits

Fatshion, Food & Frivolities – Life in Las Vegas & Singapore


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Beauty Secrets from Around the World

There are beautiful women, and then there are iconic beauties like Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, Sophia Loren and Audrey Hepburn, who cause widespread envy among women all around the world. We may have our own beauty routine, but we can’t help but look outward for more beauty inspiration. What is it about Greek women and their glowing skins? Italian women with their lustrous hair?

With these beauty tools and tips that women around the world credit for their youthful and radiant looking skin, you won’t ever have beauty envy again.

CHILE

02-Beauty-Secrets-from-Around-the-World-Red-Grapes-1Chilean women owe their luminous skin to the antioxidant powers of red grapes. To revive fatigued skin, they create a paste by mashing up a handful of the fruit and adding two tablespoons of white flour. Then, they apply the mask to their faces and leave it on for about 10 minutes before washing it off.

CHINA

Chinese women lighten dark spots caused by sun damage or acne scars with a gentle and natural method: mint.

Mint-leaves-2007To get bright, luminous skin, grind fresh mint leaves into a paste before applying it to your face as a mask. Then leave on for about 15 minutes before washing off. Do this daily and voila! Porcelain smooth skin. Be careful, though, as mint can be a tad too harsh for super-sensitive skin.

EGYPT

cleopatra_milk_bath1Queen Cleopatra’s widely-known beauty secret was taking milk baths to remove dead cells and soften her skin. To get your own milky-smooth skin, add two cups of powdered milk to your bath.

GREECE

Blessed with Mediterranean skin, which is light in colour but contains enough melanin to shield harmful UV rays, Greek women sure lucked out in the DNA game.

But even for those who aren’t genetically blessed, you can still get Greek-tastically beautiful, primarily with a Mediterranean diet that is loaded with skin-rejuvenating fish packed with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, as well as fruits and vegetables that provide vitamins and antioxidants.

06-Beauty-Secrets-from-Around-the-World-Olive-Oil-1They also believe their regular consumption of olive oil contributes to their glowing skin. So drizzle your smoked salmon salads in olive oil and nix the butter!

ITALY

Monica-Bellucci-Dolce-Gabbana-MakeupI mean, just look at Sophia Loren and Monica Bellucci. Those lustrous locks! With healthy hair, half the work is done. So how do we get glossy tresses like those Italian beauties? Turns out, the answer can be found in the kitchen.

yoghurtItalian women keep their hair shiny by mixing olive oil with yoghurt and using the mixture as conditioner. The protein in the yoghurt gently nourishes and conditions hair, while olive oil retains moisture and keeps the scalp healthy. To whip up your own Italian conditioner, mix one cup of plain whole-milk yogurt with one teaspoon of olive oil. Apply the mixture to washed hair, and let it sit for five minutes before rinsing with cool water.

JAPAN

Japanese women have seaweed to thank for their silky dark locks. Nori is a rich source of the mineral iodine, which is vital for healthy hair growth. (The iodine added to table salt isn’t ideal for nourishing your hair as the body doesn’t absorb it easily.) Seaweed also contains other hair-strengthening minerals, such as zinc, iron, selenium, and copper. Japanese women either eat nori or boil it and apply it to dry hair as a paste.

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Also, as sake is rich in kojic acid and enzymes that help soften skin and reduce hyper-pigmentation, Japanese women get their soft, dewy skin from sake baths.

MOROCCO

Moroccan women swear by argan oil, which is packed with antioxidants beneficial to hair and skin. Plus, it is absorbed much more easily than regular skin oils like apricot and avocado.

SWEDEN

Swedish women attribute their healthy, glowing skin to their antioxidant-rich diet of fresh berries and grilled fish, which also contains omega-3 fatty acids, a major skin and hair booster.

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Saunas are also a large part of Swedish culture. The dry, clean heat flushes toxins from the body. Heading for the sauna can boost circulation to the skin surface, leaving you with fresh, radiant skin.


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Preparing for Halloween 2014

So I’m excited for my 2nd Halloween in the US (read about my 1st one here)… This year I spent a total of $15 on the decorations and reused the ones I got last year. I’m not very crafty with my hands and I’m not the decorating type but I did get my lights and stuff all up by early October.

IMG_8581While I was among the first to get my decorations up, I noticed that in the last couple of days, the neighbours have really stepped up their game. Some of them have really good stuff out – one has a cemetery, another has very good webbing (my friend says that mine looks like college boys tried to TP my balcony HAHAHHA) and another has limbs and rats strewn about their front yard. I went up close to examine some of them so that I could learn how to do mine next year. I think this crazy Halloween decorating thing would probably be more fun if I had some teenagers in my house (I’m envious of my friends whose children are already in their early teens. JEALOUS!).

IMG_8582One thing I’m doing differently this year is that I’m giving out candy bags instead of having the kids grab 1 or 2 candy bars from a bowl. I want to be that house that the kids all want to visit! We live in a very quiet gated community and my husband chose a house that faces the desert so we hardly ever see people around. I want to make the kids’ visit worth their while. I’ve never trickortreated but I can imagine that going house to house collecting candy is like collecting Ang Pow during Chinese New Year and since giving out candy is much cheaper than giving cash (what’s the market rate now? $4 minimum?), I bagged up about 10 different sweet treats in each pack. We had about 20-30 kids come by last year so I bagged 20 goodie bags and for those who come late, they just have to see how much their fist can grab out of the bowl. Hahhaa!!

IMG_8587And to end this frivolous and pointless post, here’s a picture of Max looking all silly and happy in his new Halloween costume (I got it at Big Lots with a 20% coupon for under $10 including taxes)!


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T’s Mom visits

IMG_8469My husband’s mother is Mom. His Step-mother is Mama. My mother is Mummy. T grew up in New York and his Mom recently bought a house near Syracuse. In the midst of the busy move, she decided to take a break and come to the West coast for a holiday. The last time she was here to visit T was in 2009 and he didn’t have much furniture then. She and Grammy had to stay in a hotel. Now that we’re more settled in, I wanted to make sure she felt comfortable staying at her only son’s house while she visits for a week.

T’s been busy with his game and he didn’t have much time to take her out himself. He did get to spend a few hours a day with her and we went out for meals together. I think perhaps her favourite day might have been when he drove her to Mount Charleston. Just the day before, he drove 4.5hrs to Culver City to attend Indiecade (and another 4.5hrs back that night).

The last time I saw my MIL was last Christmas when I brought my family to meet T’s. I feel bad that T only sees his Mom a few days a year because he relocated to Nevada for work, so while she visited, I tried to do as much as I could with her.

This MIL is not the shopping type – unlike my Mum who can walk for hours at a mall. She loves nature, reading, arts and crafts, and antiquing. So while she was here, we drove around a lot just to see the sights. I took her to visit a super quaint village about 15 minutes away from where we live – they have 1 Elementary school, maybe about 50 quaint cottages and a general store that also houses the Sheriff’s department.

IMG_8471Mom is a very interesting person. She trained as a teacher (with a Masters in Education) before going back to school to get her nursing degree for better career prospects. There are some things she knows a lot of but they’re not just book-ish stuff. She’s almost 70 and recently just painted the interior of her own house. She also makes her own curtains for her windows, stains furniture and re-upholsteres old chairs. Her favourite activity now that she’s retired is… GARDENING! (While she was describing to me how she digs trenches and moves soil around to plant everything from roses to asparagus, I got really tired for her!) So of course, we had to visit some nurseries while she was in Las Vegas.

IMG_8472While Mom was here, we also went to

The Strip (just riding through it in the car)

Lake Las Vegas

IMG_8470Island Malaysian Cuisine for some Southeast Asian food which she’s never had. She wanted Cashew Chicken or Sweet and Sour but we ended up getting Nasi Goreng Ayam with Kuah Satay (aka Chicken Fried Rice and Sweet Peanut Sauce).

IMG_8467Mount Charleston (a 1hr drive from Las Vegas) where the trees grow green and tall (but the Aspens were turning Orange at this time of year). There is also a ski resort in operation during Winter.

IMG_8466– The Buffet At Wynn for lunch which had diabetic-friendly, Vegan and gluten-free options clearly marked. USA Today also recommended it as one of 5 Best Buffets in Las Vegas.

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– The newly opened Downtown Summerlin (directions to this place on their flyer was vague but I found it once I figured out I just have to go to Summerlin). We walked around and went in and out of several shops. It wasn’t my MIL’s cup of tea at all but we did sit down and have a nice frozen strawberry lemonade and some pretzels. I can’t imagine shopping there in Summer. The shops are really spread far apart and there’s hardly any shade. But we’ll see when the real test comes in the form of my sisters and Mum in December.

Downtown Las Vegas where we walked the old part of Las Vegas (the one you see in old movies) and Fremont East which houses Downtown Container Park and is also known as the hipster part of Las Vegas. Not that my mother-in-law cares about the hipsters or even knows what they are but there are cool little shops and cafes that dot the street. And it seems like it’s even more hipster than it was when I last was there in August. Hopefully it’ll grow exponentially and combat the commercialisation that is signature of Las Vegas.

IMG_8537And because it was her last night here in Las Vegas, we went out to dinner together yesterday. My mother-in-law is a very thrifty person and seldom affords herself any luxuries especially since she chose early retirement. Dining out at The Cheesecake Factory and Olive Garden are rare treats to her, so that’s what we did. She wanted dinner at Olive Garden, we had dinner at Olive Garden.

IMG_8536And that’s the end of my mother-in-law’s Las Vegas holiday. The next time we’ll see her, it’ll be in New York state for Christmas at her new house in Syracuse!


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Fat-shaming – The Aftermath

I believe that some of you have had the opportunity to read that dastardly episode regarding my blog being featured in Reddit’s Fat People Hate forum. I also published a long post about a week ago (had over 1.5k read it) including an open letter.

Long story short, my ultra protective friends in Singapore gathered their resources and identified the woman who started the thread insulting me. I was given more information than I needed or ever wanted – information that could easily ruin her reputation as well as her career which depended on it.

Even if I hadn’t planned on taking any action, in my post, I made several remarks that would make her identifiable to her immediate peers. As I mentioned, I’m not a vindictive woman and if I was, there could’ve been so much damage. She came forward, wrote me an apology and I took it all down – from my blog, twitter, instagram and facebook. I don’t think I want any more than that. After mulling over it for a few days, I’ve decided to publish her apology publicly:

 

Dear Chloe,

I am DC. I was alerted to your blog by a mutual friend regarding my post, and immediately crafted this in response. I was deservedly told off, and I wish to offer my most sincere apologies for my actions. You are absolutely correct that I am too old to be behaving so childishly, and I am glad that you are gracious enough to withhold from seeking revenge. I’m suitably embarrassed by this incident, and I reassure you that this will not happen again. 

I have suffered from and battled body image issues and an eating disorder for years. I understand that this is no excuse for my behavior, but my dysmorphic point of view of my own body, along with a poor self image, has contributed to my lashing out at others for no reason. I have since then become aware of this, and I vow never to do this again.

I’m humbly asking for your graciousness and forgiveness once more in the form of a favor. Would you mind taking down all of the details that you’ve posted about me on your blog? I’m begging for a second chance. Should you come to Singapore, do give me a call or send me an email. I would feel very honored to meet with you, apologize again in person, and to have a conversation to find out more about who you are.

Please feel free to post this publicly on your blog should you feel that it is appropriate.

With sincerest apologies,(omitted for this post)

 

Everybody deserves a second chance, and a third or a fourth sometimes. We are human and nobody’s perfect. Anger is never the solution. Maybe it’s the teacher in me. Maybe it’s just simply because I don’t want any part of that angst and tragedy we see everywhere around us. Maybe it’s because I want to keep my blog happy and positive. Maybe because I have large network of wonderful friends who have my back and are always watching out for me, I am able to walk away so confidently.

When I replied her e-mail, I suddenly felt very teacherly – after all, this woman is the same age as my former students. I imagined her to be one of them and if something similar should happen to any of them, I would want the same response and wished that they be forgiven easily once they’ve admitted their mistakes.

 

Hi (omitted for this post)

I’ve removed the entire entry instead of just omitting the details. I’m heartened to receive your e-mail even though I know that there’s no guarantee that this wouldn’t happen again or that your e-mail was crafted with the help of others. I understand that it’ll take a while before people change and it’s human nature. There’s no need for me to tell you how this works, seeing that you’re a (omitted for this post)

I hope that you’ll have the support of your friends in working out your demons and regardless of the methods they will use to help you exorcise this entire episode – whether the bitching continues in private (which is what happens everywhere anyway) or they choose to reinforce the positive attributes of your personality. I hope at the end of it all, you’ll see that everything is pointless and it’s such a waste of your time and abilities to resort to becoming a keyboard warrior stereotype.

You know that I could’ve done so much more with the information provided to me but having had 2 near-death experiences, each moment I live is precious and I choose to only focus on the good so that I’m always ready to leave my corporeal self with no regrets. I have no desire to meddle elsewhere except in my own business, so I wish you well. Perhaps we would meet when I return to Singapore for a visit next year.

As for posting your email, I most likely would in my own time. Thank you again for coming forward with your apology.

My best,

Chloe

 

There were several e-mail exchanges that followed. She opened herself up and told me her problems, then asked if I could take down the other stuff from my other social media accounts. I obliged, told her to take care of herself and wished her well. End of story. Sometimes, life doesn’t have to be too complicated.


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My foray into Young Living Essential Oils

I got my first packages from Young Living a few days ago and I’ll be sharing my journey over the next few months. My friend Ana (One Drop Nirvana) kinda offered them to me and hopes that they would be beneficial to some health issues I’ve been facing. Ana was an ex-colleague and when I first met her, she was a new mother. Now she has 2 beautiful children and is using essential oils regularly to keep her family healthy and safe.

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Before I told her to sign me up, I asked her some questions to find out more.

1. How did you get started with this?

I started becoming acquainted with Young Living oils in 2009 when a very good friend gifted me with some, but only began using them seriously in 2011. Keyaan had started preschool and was falling sick every fortnight. It got to a point where it was ridiculous – fever every two weeks and doctors kept plying him with paracetamol, ibuprofen and antibiotics. All didn’t really help except to force the symptoms into submission. But his immunity was poor and so kept falling sick.

I decided enough was enough, pulled Keyaan out of school for a week or two and decided to really try out the oils exclusively. I went back to the friend and asked for help. The specific oil that did the trick was a blend called Thieves (https://www.youngliving.com/en_SG/products/essential-oils/blends/thieves-essential-oil), a highly anti-viral oil.

The difference was palpable because when Keyaan recovered this time, he didn’t fall ill again. In fact, my kids now rarely fall sick and when even they do, they recover quickly.

I keep up a maintenance routine of using one drop of Thieves essential oil on the soles of their feet, twice a day or before and after they enter an indoor playground or visit people’s homes (as much as possible).  When they’re ill, I ramp it up to every 15 mins or every hour.

2. Why Young Living and not other essential oils?

Young Living is the only company in the world that produces essential oils to a level that makes them therapeutic grade. Any grade lower than theirs’ would not be suitable for healing purposes. I’ve been to the farm (and about to visit two more this year), learned their Seed to Seal (https://www.youngliving.com/en_SG/discover/quality) process and am utterly convinced that it is the only oils that I would trust to use on myself and family.

Other oils (like NOW from iHerb) might be good enough for fragrance purposes or at best, food grade (doesn’t kill you to ingest, but no real benefits). I’ve smelled doTERRA, Mt Sapola and other types of oils – they range between smelling very “nice” and perfumy (i.e. fake) or rancid/faint (adulterated with alcohol, liquid paraffin and other fillers).

3. What are the 3 most common things you use essential oils for?

The health of my family is top priority for me, so I use a lot of anti-viral single and blended essential oils to build immunity and prevent disease. These include the aforementioned Thieves, singles like Peppermint, Lavender, Lemon, Frankincense, Idaho Blue Spruce, Copaiba, the Eucalyptus varieties and many more, including a collection called Raindrop (http://www.youngliving.com/en_US/company/media/events/raindrop) and other blends such as DiGize, ImmuPower and Purification.

I also practice drawing from what I call the Source or Universal Law of Attraction, so I use oils with a higher frequency for emotional and spiritual purposes. Some of my favourite blends (and the names of the oils gives you an idea of its purpose) are: Abundance, Believe, Magnify Your Purpose, Build Your Dream, Awaken and Valor.

On a more practical front, the oils are so versatile that they can actually replace some of my beauty and personal care products on a daily basis and even more so when I’m travelling and on the go. For example, Frankincense and/or Lavender make a great face serum; Sage is a great anti-perspirant; Petitgrain is a mild deodorant, and in a pinch I’ve even used the blend Valor (which is made with fractionated coconut oil base) as an eye make-up remover!

Hope these answer your questions.

And yes, they did and I want to experience some of those benefits too. Her answers were enough to pique my curiosity and so Ana got me a Basic Starter Kit as well as 4 other oils.

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The starter kit itself contained information about Young Living as well as some of their products. I got 1 small bottle of STRESS AWAY with a roll-on attachment, samples of the Ningxia Red dietary supplement (2 packets) and several small sachets of other oils like Lavender, Peppermint, Thieves, Lemon and Peace & Calming. I tried the STRESS AWAY immediately because the roll-on applicator made it very convenient to apply topically on my wrists. I also rolled some onto T’s wrists and he really liked how it smelt.

IMG_8072Ana also gifted me Lemon, Thieves, Progessence Plus and Geranium with some instructions on how to use them:

1. Progessence (for hormonal health) – apply one drop on either sides of your neck (carotid arteries) before bedtime and in the morning daily. Alternatively, apply on inner thighs.

2. Geranium (for stress) – apply one drop on your inner ankles before bedtime and also one tiny drop, rub lightly on your palms and dab it on your face as a serum. In addition to providing stress relief, is a great way to gently rebalance female hormones, especially for those facing some challenges in that area (e.g. PMS, PCOS, irregular menses, fertility etc).

3. Thieves (prevent disease, antiviral) – one drop on soles of feet, twice a day. If sick (or going to be), ingest one drop in a spoonfool of organic honey.

4. Lemon (antioxidant) – 3 drops in a litre bottle of water, once a day.

I posted some pictures of the products I’ve been using on Instagram and have started a healthy discussion with some friends who are also into essential oils. I’m keen to learn and would love to engage you in a conversation with them too. If you have any knowledge of essential oils or are curious about them, leave me some comments below or else just follow my journey over the next few months.

IMG_8087And here’s a picture of the lovely Ana and the Melissa plant. She visited Washington State a few months ago and got to experience the Young Living farms herself. In fact, they are also open for anyone to visit! Imagine fields of LAVENDER… Anyway, visit Ana’s blog ONE DROP NIRVANA and write to her if you are interested to learn more about oils.


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5 Must-Have Accessories for the Working Woman

The minimalist chic look is all the rage especially with the very trendy “less is more” attitude, but sometimes there’s nothing like a statement necklace or a pair of diamond studs to kick a look up a notch. Women have been accessorising for centuries, with precious stones, beads and the like, all to impress the people they meet.

And where better to make an impression than at the workplace? A classic accessory or two makes an outfit look professional and pulled together. Accessorising for the office can be a tricky task – it’s a fine line between exuding a personality and looking professional, after all.

What are some must-have fashion accessories for the office? Read on!

1. Headband

If there’s any hair trend you are going to embrace this season, make it the headband. Functional and fashionable, the black headband is a classic hair accessory that is work-appropriate.

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The easy solution to a bad-hair day, the headband adds a cool Brigitte Bardot-esque twist to both casual and sophisticated styles alike. Just look to Lily Collins and Olivia Wilde’s voluminous up-dos for proof.

2. Rock ‘n’ roll bracelet

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Whether you’re working in a conservative or creative environment, a spiked bracelet adds just enough edge to your outfit without being too theatrical. It works for Katy Perry’s Grecian style top and Sofia Vergara’s black body-con dress, so you know it works for both smart casual and formal occasions. Opt for designs in silver or gold, and black diamond pave beads. Spikes optional.

3. Sleek Necklace

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Julianne Hough keeps it sleek and classy with a gold plated pendant necklace. Paired with a crisp white shirt, jeans, and a cross-body bag, a sleek necklace takes you from the office to the streets. Just finish with a clean and bright lip – red is always a great choice.

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If you are going with busier prints like Anna Kendrick, a simple necklace adds glimmer without stealing the show.

4. A tiny handbag

Who needs huge totes anymore, right? Small handbags do the job just as well – at least, where style is concerned.

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Victoria’s Secret model Lily Aldridge does workplace chic with a Salvatore Ferragamo navy cropped jacket and matching navy trousers, a blue python-print crop top and python print pumps, topping it off with sleek hair and a small handbag. Swop the top for something more conservative, like a printed blouse, if a crop top draws too many eyeballs at the office.

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Emma Roberts’ look is easy enough to pull off. Her all-Fendi outfit, from dress to sandals and the Fendi mini peekaboo bag, is comfy yet sophisticated. A French knot, earrings and strappy heels is all you need to complete this look.

5. Sunglasses

This is for the executive on the go. Whether you’re making coffee runs or rushing to meetings, accessorise with protective eyewear.

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Jamie Chung’s does seventies meets urban chic in this flower power silk bomber jacket from Rebecca Minkoff and leather pants from Anine Bing. Amp up your look by working John Lennon-esque round sunglasses like Jamie.

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Miranda Kerr’s street style has always been laidback but classy. On Casual Fridays, throw a long cardigan over a classic t-shirt and jeans combo and slip into ballet flats. Sunglasses, a cross-body bag and red lipstick are enough to dress up your outfit.

What are YOUR must-have accessories for work?


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I am playing Kim Kardashian: Hollywood

It’s true! I’ve jumped on the bandwagon! I’ve been playing the game for about a month now and it’s nuts. I’ve become one of those people who spent real money buying energy lightning bolts!! But after $4.99 I stopped because I ran out of credits hahahahaa… (T’s mom gave me a $50 iTunes giftcard last year for my birthday and I’ve spent most of it on music.)

So anyway, in just over a month, I became an A-lister (starting out as an E-lister you work your way up by increasing fans with different frivolous activities). In the game, you start by needing to work day jobs in clothing stores then progressing to doing photo shoots mostly. Energy lightning bolts give you power to complete tasks and are renewed every 5 minutes. Other than owning the clothing store that I first worked at, now I own a condo in Hollywood and a house in Miami. They are mostly furnished and in each I have a pet dog. My next goal is to earn enough money for a car but I keep spending them on clothes!

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I read that it’s hard to keep up a relationship and your career in the game. People get addicted to it and become irate when they run out of energy lightning bolts. I usually just stop the game and do other real life stuff – cook, chores, walk Max etc. After a couple of hours, I’ll have full energy again. I’ve learnt that the best way to maintain a relationship is to get it out of the way early in the mornings when I get up because I would have full energy after not playing the game through the night and also I wouldn’t forget to meet them. If you don’t see your partner daily, they would want to break up with you and I never have enough K-stars to charm them into staying. I’ve broken up with so many partners – male and female, because of that. There is no option of calling or texting, so the only way is to go into a club or restaurant, then call your partner to meet you there. I haven’t exactly counted but I think it takes at least 30-50 energy lightning bolts to complete a date and you have to pay for everything, on top of being insulted every single fraking time you start the date.

Anyway, I’ve gone only far enough in 2 relationships to be given a key to my partner’s house and be invited to their house for a date (you order take-out and YOU PAY). I would enter a club or restaurant and bump into my partner there. They would suggest that you go back with them to their homes for a date and you can choose to say yes or no. I always choose yes… Hahahahaa!!! So far, both these partners’ homes are the same house in the game. I read that depending on your social status (mine were both A-listers), the default home would be different.

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In the game, you have a default arch enemy in someone called Willow Pape and there are sometimes different options to select when responding. I usually choose to let the claws out instead of ignoring or walking away quietly. It makes you lose fans and hinders your progress in the game but it’s more fun! I like the option of not taking the high road! Hahahhahaha… I did read that you should always be nice to Willow when the Anna Wintour character, Elizabeth Korkov is around. So I do and she praises me for it. It’s apparently good for getting more jobs (i.e. photoshoots for raising profile).

So that’s how far I’ve gotten in the game and sometimes when I play it, T looks over my shoulder and I explain what is going on. My poor husband… A legitimate indie game developer whose wife has no appreciation for his work but instead plays frivolous iPhone app games. Hahaha!!


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Back from Seattle

We’ve been back a little over 24 hours now. I miss Seattle weather. It was about 15-20degC while we were there and when we got back, it has been well over 40degC (about 100degF). The heat, the dryness… Oh man! This sucks. I’m glad to be home, I’m happy to see Max again but… you know… I’m still not used to the desert heat.

So anyway, we spent a lovely 7 days and 6 nights in Seattle. We paid $0 for our flights by cashing in our frequent flyer miles and were very fortunate that T was offered accommodation at the Sheraton on 6th Avenue, Downtown Seattle. I love their soft, fluffy beddings and the weight of their duvets (there’s something about the feeling of cosiness and security with heavy or layered duvets and we can’t do that here because it’s too hot). My main gripe is their toilet paper. Being one-ply is one thing but being so rough is another… ouch! While we were there, the location was great. T was barely 5 minutes away from the Washington State Convention Center where PAX Prime was held. I roamed all over and hoofed it for all the days we were there. Very conveniently located near Pike Place Market, walking distance to the Seattle Center as well as International District. If you refuse the house-keeping services at the Sheraton, you earn $5 for each day or 500 SPG points. I diligently kept the room clean and chalked up $15 worth of vouchers which I had hoped to exchange for 1500 SPG points but on the last night, my husband decided to splurge on room service. He ordered CARROT CAKE – the worst kind of cake in my opinion. Hahhaha… And after he had it, he didn’t think it was comparable to my sister’s homemade carrot cake nor the chunky slice I got him from Pike Place Bakery (1/3 the price t00).

Here are some observations and random musings from the trip:

1. My hair loves the humidity in Seattle. It was light and full and bouncy. Now that I’m back, it’s limp and sad.

2. When I was at Forever21, a boy with bright yellow (not blonde) hair and stood taller than my husband, came up to me and told me he loved my hair. The catch was that he was with 2 other girls and he was carrying (his own) pink HELLO KITTY backpack.

3. There were a lot of boobs at PAX Prime. I feel like [insertname]-Con gatherings are not that much different from tourists in Vegas. People dress and act as they normally wouldn’t. Usually more brash and less conservative.

4. In Vegas, I can’t tell the difference between slutty girls and prostitutes. In Seattle, the hipsters I sometimes confuse with the homeless. Or maybe even the homeless guys in Seattle dress better?

Over the last week, we went to Long Provincial Vietnamese Restaurant twice and the Veggie Grill 5 times. We had some hits and misses with food but we’re now back to our ultra tight budget. Next time, I plan to bring a rice cooker with me if we are leaving home for more than 5 days in a row so that we can save money on food.

Can’t wait till we go on another adventure!


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Seattle 2014 – Day 5

As I write this post, T is snoring next to me. Our flight back to Vegas is at 1pm and I can’t wait to see Max again. I know he’s in good hands but we’ve been away for a whole week (we left last Wednesday).

Yesterday I did a lot of walking on my own since it’s the last full day I had in Seattle. I walked from the hotel, past Bell Town to the Seattle Center.

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I read that Bell Town is currently the most densely populated area in Seattle and from the looks of all the new high-rise condos (not unlike the ones in Singapore), it doesn’t seem like it’s going to stop growing anytime soon. While it used to be a low-rent industrial area (lots of gorgeous old brick-y building that have been converted in to nicely renovated studios and small 2-bedders), it’s now full of quirky restaurants and newly built fancy buildings. If I were in my 20s, I’d imagine this would be a great place to be to start my new life here. I actually went up to many of the unoccupied ground floor apartments and pressed my face against their windows to see the interiors.

Many of these brand new condos are a stone’s throw away from the Seattle Center, which was my end destination. I saw the Space Needle, browsed the gift shop and used the toilet *koffkoff* because I haven’t got the $$$ to spend on the ticket to go up. I walked around the vicinity and saw people taking pictures, rolling around and sleeping/reading/chatting sprawled out on the lawn. It was such a lovely day out yesterday! I also stumbled onto the Bumbleshoot festival right outside the EMP Museum (which T and I visited last year for the Nirvana exhibition). Then I headed back because I had a lunch date with my husband! We ended up for the 4th or 5th time on this trip (I can’t remember now) at Veggie Grill because we haven’t got one where we live.

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In the evening, we headed to Bell Town for Indian food based off a recommendation that T got from twitter. I checked Yelp for reviews on Far Eats (5th Ave, Seattle) and there were 4 stars so I thought okay that sounded promising. Maybe because we eat a lot of Indian food in Vegas and Singapore, but we both felt that for the price, it was not bad but not something to shout about. We’ve definitely had better and cheaper but hey, don’t discount the fact that maybe there aren’t as many Indian food places here in Seattle so maybe it is as awesome as they get here.

And that was it… We ate, we walked back to the hotel and… My husband was hungry again. He rang up room service for a large Carrot Cake which he devoured quickly. It was apparently tasty but not as good as my sister’s. I didn’t have any because I HATE carrot cake.

So that was how we ended our last full day in Seattle…


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Seattle 2014 – Day 3 & 4

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The highlight of my Saturday was definitely meeting my old school friend Anita and her boyfriend Eric. Anita was my senior in school and she moved to Seattle for work several years ago. I haven’t seen her in yonks and it was superbly awesome to have caught up with her. Lots of chatting and laughing – my favourite! We walked to the waterfront and went to a restaurant called The Crab Pot. I don’t eat crabs (or anything with a face) but there were things in the pot I happily ate. Oh man… Good times…

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And on Sunday, I found a new ornament for our Christmas tree! When T and I got our tree last year, we couldn’t afford many things so we made do with fairy lights and a star topper. I made the decision to grow our collection of ornaments together – quality rather than quantity. So we buy what we can afford and remember the story of each ornament. I was looking for a Seattle souvenir to mark this trip and I walked all over but only saw mass-produced stuff that were run-of-the-mill until I stumbled onto a shop that specializes in maps. MAPS!! How quaint! How uhmmm hipster? I ended up buying a little globe covered with a vintage map. It even came with the attachment for hanging and a little box for storing.

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Oh yeah and we ate crappy vegetarian food in a crappy dungeon last night. I passed New Saigon (6th Avenue, Seattle) a couple of times and told T we should try it since we’ve already had Long Provincial twice since we came. The flashy neon signs that said VEGETARIAN FOOD was calling to me. Should’ve checked Yelp before we went in. Gaaaah!! As much as Yelpers were right about Long Provincial, they were right to give this place 2.5 stars too. Dangerous & awkward basement location, bland and boring decor, substandard service and food. And this was all within walking distance of Long Provincial which ALSO served Vietnamese cuisine with a vegetarian menu, had a more chic interior, fast and friendly service AND were identically priced!! BAH!!

Oh well… The ups and downs of travel and discovery… ONWARD TO MORE
ADVENTURES!!!