An Exercise In Trivial Pursuits

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


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LYFE Kitchen (Las Vegas)

IMG_6930I first heard about LYFE Kitchen coming to Las Vegas in June and even though it opened this July, we didn’t get to visit it till a few days ago. T and I came here to celebrate my 1st full year living in the US. I’m very happy with my experience even if it wasn’t life changing. I’m glad the purported healthy eating is none too obvious here. T and I went to Cafe Gratitude in Venice Beach (California) a few months ago and we found the food (and ambience) rather contrived – maybe raw foodism just isn’t for us.

IMG_6929Technically this branch isn’t located IN Las Vegas but Henderson, which is a more family-friendly and upscale area just outside. But who cares? It’s about 30 minutes’ drive from where we live and about 20 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip itself, so if you live in Las Vegas or are visiting, this technicality is negligible.

What I loved about LYFE Kitchen:

1. The bright/airy decor – it wasn’t too crowded even when it was almost full. There is also outside seating.

2. Segregated menus for easy ordering – they have a gluten-friendly, a vegan-friendly, an EVERYTHING and also a wine/beer one.

3. Reasonable pricing – came up to about USD40 for both of us – 2 entrees, 2 starters and 2 drinks.

4. Good portion size – if you’re looking for buffet-style, value-for-money, then this is not the place. What we ordered was just right. I didn’t feel sick after eating everything nor did I go away feeling half-empty. In fact, we even had space for dessert elsewhere about 30 minutes later.

5. They offered 3 types of water on tap at the self-service kiosk where you grab your own cutlery and napkins.

IMG_6931T and I ordered: Vegan Unfried Buffalo Wings, Sweet Potato Fries, Crispy Chick’n Sandwich, Italian Sausage & Mozzarella Ravioli, Cucumber Mint LYFE Water and Hibiscus Beet LYFE Water. ALL 100% good! We polished everything clean and loved it all!

When I asked T if he preferred Veggie Grill or here, he said Veggie Grill only because he liked their fast-food concept. I am still undecided because both are delicious and warrant their own merits. Also both are very similar – down to decor and the way you order (queue at the entrance, order at the cashier, pay and find a table, wait to be served). I agree with T with regards to the more fast food type options at the Veggie Grill but I also like that LYFE Kitchen serves organic and low-calorie choices as well as the fact that we can bring non-vegetarian friends here because they also serve meat!

LYFE Kitchen, highly recommended. Only gripe is their dessert menu and I hope they open more branches in Las Vegas! 4.5/5*

LYFE Kitchen (Las Vegas)
140 S Green Valley Parkway #142
Henderson, NV 89012
Ph: (702) 559-0131


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Mount Everest India’s Cuisine (Las Vegas)

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First off, when we saw the name we thought it should be Nepalese food instead of Indian but I guess both cuisines are very similar so it could work too. Who cares what the name is? This place is a keeper!! YUM! Non-pretentious, yummy and affordable!

The first Indian place T and I went to in Las Vegas is an Indian buffet place called India Masala. I had a crazy craving for spicy food and we happened to drive past. For just under US$40 for both of us, we ate till we were so full and I was excited to know that there was good Indian food here. And ever since, we’ve been on a hunt! Mount Everest is our 2nd and so far, the best (there’s a 3rd which I will talk about in another post soon).

Credit goes to our friend May Leng who said she’s always wanted to visit this place but never did. She suspected it might be good because there were usually Indians outside – an indication of authenticity, if you know what I mean.

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For US$48 (including taxes), we had Paneer Tikka, Malai Kofta, Channa Masala, Garlic Naan, Onion Kulcha, Samosas and a Mango Lassi (just me). The basmati rice came free (I say this because it apparently isn’t always the case.) It was so good that we were talking about it even days after this meal. The portions were pretty decent. T and I ended up doggy-bagging some of it! And guess what? It’s even more delicious the next day!

Authentic Indian cuisine, affordable prices, decent portions and good service – great casual dining experience.

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Highly recommended. Will definitely go back again soon!! 4.5/5*

Mount Everest India’s Cuisine

3641 W Sahara Avenue

Las Vegas, NV 89102

Ph: 702-892-0950


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Elvis, Atomic Testing and Sex (museums) in Las Vegas

During our 3 day “mini-moon” where T’s company gave him extra days to celebrate our wedding, we became tourists in the city we currently live in. T is originally from upstate New York and while he’s lived here for about 5 years, there is still a lot he hasn’t seen. To be honest, Las Vegas is one of those cities where there’s just so much to see and do, you’ll never be bored! Just the major shows and exhibits alone, keep changing all the time. We however skipped the bright lights and headed for lesser known museums with Groupon offers. YUP! I’m couponing again!

We spent a total of USD45 for the both of us visiting:

20131112-182542.jpg1. Atomic Testing Museum (with a visit to the AREA 51 exhibit) $20

We started with this museum because we wanted an off-the-Strip experience. No neon lights, no crazy partying. Some serious stuff, you know? Why this museum is so important is that the testing were done in Nevada. I’ve always kinda-sorta known some stuff about the bombs used in WWII but I never knew much otherwise. The atomic testing here definitely changed the history of this State and the world – affecting the land, the forced migration of Native Americans and devastation that followed after.

If you’re curious about the related historical events, there are films, photos, depiction of life in that era and lots of archived materials from the atomic testing programme itself. Extremely informative and educational (might not be something you want to bring your 3-8 year old kids to unless they are into this kind of thing).

The Area 51 exhibit though, was a total let-down for me. T rated 6/10 because he actually found some of the information about planes and technology (minimally explained) interesting. It was more like 4/10 for me. Poor quality displays and unclear curation that looked like it could have been done by some secondary school class (with a little bit of help from a teacher).

20131112-182710.jpg2. The King’s Ransom Museum – Personal Treasures of Elvis Presley $10

I think at $5 per person, this was really worth our time (even if it took us a while to find this place which is actually on Fremont Street and not The Strip). While this was really quite fun, I wouldn’t call it a museum. It’s a good-sized collection of random Elvis-related items. Some photos and trivia from his childhood, many were clothes he wore in movies and concerts, personal possessions that were given away to miscellaneous people in his life and even a section with Lisa-Marie’s childhood toys.

My favourite item in the entire collection was a library slip of a book he signed out for as an Elementary School kid. I’m not sure if it’s real or a copy but I think that if it is real, it’s awesome! I love books and as a child, I was always borrowing books in school and my mother would take us to the library in Toa Payoh every weekend to loan new ones. How did they even find that book with the slip? It wasn’t till much later that he became famous. Who’d have thought to save every single library loan slip signed!?

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3. Erotic Heritage Museum $15

$7.50 per person is reasonable, I think – plus it’s near The Strip and very appropriate for Vegas! If you think it’s all pornography and smut, you’re only 1/3 right. It’s not pure pornography because it’s called the Erotic Heritage Museum for a reason (though maybe a little thinly disguised). There are videos, porn movies, sex toys, ancient artwork (Chinese porcelain figurines, Japanese paintings, handwritten Persian sex manuals etc), the evolution of selling sex throughout history, celebrity scandals etc. There’s also a small library outside the curated space of the museum with books on human sexuality.

I wouldn’t recommend this place if you’re purely looking for porn, also it’s a museum – how things get to be in a museum is that they are dead (or too freaking old). The porn stuff on display are the classics (if you can even call them that) that don’t seem to go beyond 1988. It was quite fascinating though and we spent about an hour in there.

Because Las Vegas is largely a tourist destination, there are so many other interesting little places to visit. I’ll definitely be checking out everything from Madame Tussauds, to Bodies… The Exhibition, to the Pinball Hall of Fame and all the little odd ones that are waiting to be discovered! So fun!!!


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Red Rock Canyon

When I explored the possibility of leaving Singapore and moving to the US to be with T, many of my friends were excited until they found out that it’s Las Vegas. To them, the cities “worth” moving to are places like New York City, Los Angeles or even Seattle – big and cosmopolitan, culturally diverse, artistic, etc. What little we know of Las Vegas is essentially casinos, quickie weddings, gentleman’s clubs and the likes.

That is… until I actually lived here long enough to start discovering a whole new world outside the Las Vegas Strip… (Okay, I have seen the Strip maybe 5 times since May this year, so it’s still exciting and fun for me to explore.)

IMG_1470And this brings me to the Red Rock Canyon which is only a 10 minute drive from where T and I now live, straight down Blue Diamond Road, in the direction of Summerlin.

Here are 10 things you need to know about Red Rock Canyon:

  1. It’s only 24km west of the Las Vegas Strip – not too far away.
  2. The highest point is 2, 485m called La Madre Mountain.
  3. The conservation area is one of the easternmost part of the Mojave Desert. (There are different types of deserts even within the same continent. I didn’t know that!)
  4. As many as 6 different Native American cultures may have been present in this area over the millennia – including the most recent, Southern Paiute (900 –  modern times) and the earliest, Paleo-Indians (11000 – 8000 BC).
  5. There are numerous Petroglyphs and pottery fragments that can be found in this area. (Most people leave these ancient artwork alone so others can enjoy them too.)
  6. This area is the protected habitat of the Desert Tortoise. (There are signs along the road telling you to slow down and be careful of tortoise crossing.)
  7. There are many wild animals that can be seen in the Red Rock Canyon – from wild burrows to big horn sheep to rabbits and squirrels.
  8. The Red Rock was located under an ocean basin during the Paleozoic Era 600 million years ago. (Yes you get to walk on a prehistoric seabed!)
  9. The varicoloured landscape is a result of the movement of a fault millions of years ago. (Giant lands crash into each other and things are pushed up and around.)
  10. There are hiking trails and picnic spots but if you’re too lazy, you can take a scenic drive through the entire area instead.

IMG_1471We took Max the Maximum Dog there to run leash free (in some parts where it’s further in and has less people) on his Adoption Day Anniversary. As it was just 1 day before Veterans Day (11 November), the park entry fee of USD7 per car was waived. As you’ve seen from a previous entry, I was all dressed up and I refused to change out of my pretty tulle skirt and sparkly sweater. We chose a relatively moderate trail and we slow walked it for maybe 20-25 minutes before turning back – so it didn’t require crazy hiking equipment or more protective gear anyway. I had a good pair of hiking boots that helped me go up and down the slopes, as well as walk the uneven red rock, which I can’t help but romantically imagine being formed millions of years ago by undulating, prehistoric sea currents as I walked upon them.

If I sound like crazy city folk, I am. When T drove me through the roads that passed Red Rock Canyon (not within the conservation area), I was in awe of the rock formations, the quietness and fresh air… for all of 20 minutes before falling asleep (because his Corvette drives so smoothly *koffkoff*). I also never understood his excitement until I got to walk down the slopes into the basin and see it for myself upclose. It was amazing and breathtaking.IMG_1472While I miss my big city roads with brightly lit street lamps (even in the suburbs) and my efficiently organised public transportation network, I can’t wait to see more of nature and maybe discover an unbeaten path. T has seen petroglyphs in person on hikes and I can only imagine how I’d feel when I do stumble upon some. So not too far away from the neon lights, debauchery and commercially produced musicals, Las Vegas has way more to offer.

Wish me luck as I start falling in love with my new home…IMG_1469


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Back in Las Vegas

So if you’ve noticed the lack of daily updates, that’s because I haven’t been at work and Sianny hasn’t been taking my pictures for me. To be exact, I’m currently on leave (and then some).

Shuttling back and forth has been quite tiring. Some of you might know how much I hate flying and this journey takes me about 24 hours (Singapore – Narita – Portland – Las Vegas). But I’m glad to be back home (where my heart is). I miss my bed back in Singapore though… then again, when I’m in Singapore, I miss T so much.

IMG_8469I’m so happy to be physically next to him again. It’s very hard, this long distance relationship. Isn’t he cute as a baby? He says he was a big nerd as a teenager and he found it difficult to gain weight – so much so that he was insecure about how thin he was. That’s him and his older sister, Julie , in front of their Dad’s old car.

IMG_8457So anyway, we haven’t done much. I’m not so much into partying and shopping – which is what people usually go to Vegas for (especially since I’m kinda skint these days. My flights cost half my monthly salary). He does want to get a new Jeep Wrangler and has been going on and on about it. And since I’m here, he finally went down to the car dealer to check them out in person. As you can see from the pictures, it’s quite a big deal for him and he was really engrossed in the details. I’m just glad that we’ll have a bigger (less expensive) vehicle and Max can now go on rides (or camping or road trips) with us! Right now, his 2-seater 2008 Corvette isn’t very useful. Each time I come here, I have to take a taxi from the airport because his trunk wouldn’t fit my gigantic suitcases! So fingers crossed that the plan to get a new car for free (after selling the Corvette) and maybe make a little money…

IMG_8487While he’s at work though, I have been home alone with Max the Maximum Dog. The house is erm… not quite apocalypse (to his credit, T did try to clean up before I returned), but I have to do a lot of work still. Sorting things out, throwing away expired food, dusting, vacuuming, etc. I haven’t got much done yet to be honest. I reckon as long as I do a little vacuuming and packing (say 2-3 hours a day for now), as well as cleaning up immediately after we use certain areas, I’ll soon get this place tidied up.

IMG_8508Other than that, I’ve been cooking. We ate out once so far (The Cheesecake Factory… YUM!!) but because it costs as much as 2 weeks worth of fresh/frozen groceries, I reckon it’s better if I cook. I do rather enjoy cooking (okay, I enjoy eating as I cook more). T also appears to like my food. I guess it’s a matter of perspective. He has limited cooking skills and relies a lot on frozen foods and pre-made sauces. I’ve watched my maids and aunts cook growing up. Also, living on my own helps. I can’t say I’m a good cook but I can make stuff that I myself love eating. T seems to love it too, so that’s a big plus! The funny thing is that he always asks if I made the sauce/gravy myself because “it’s so delicious” but it’s a very simple gravy made of the exact same steps EVERY TIME – sauteed minced garlic (or sauteed onions), vegetarian oyster sauce (mushroom sauce), water and corn starch. That is all. I just put in different vegetables each time. Hahahaa…

IMG_8517The other thing is when I arrived, T had this huge gift all wrapped up in HELLO KITTY wrapping paper (he said it took 2 rolls) in our bedroom. My birthday is in about 2 weeks and I turn 35. I can’t imagine what it could be. Maybe it’s a tent! We can go camping when we get the Jeep Wrangler! w000t! But for now, your guess is as good as mine. Bleagh… I can’t wait to open it! In the meantime, if you’d like to add to my happiness, here’s my AMAZON wishlist (hahahahaha…)

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I love how T has done up our bedroom and the vestibule since I was last here in May. All I did was pay for the furniture and he put them together. The tapestry behind our bed is from URBAN OUTFITTERS (Oh how I love that shop!!). The nightstands, hall tree, shoe rack and night stands are from AMAZON (so convenient hor?) and every time they deliver something I buy, he’d excitedly send me photos of the package and open it (because he usually has no idea what’s inside).

Life is simple but good. No need for wild parties, late nights, eating out or crazy shopping. I’m taking it slow for now and enjoying my time in the quiet neighbourhood of Cameron & Crestone.


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My week of domestic bliss in Las Vegas

I was away in Las Vegas for about a week and just got back this morning in the wee hours. It’s been surreal and I’m suffering withdrawal symptoms. Or maybe it’s just jet lag. It took me almost a day to get back to Singapore but here I am! Las Vegas, Portland, Narita, Singapore… bleagh… I hate flying. I hate this long-distance relationship thing even more.

Every moment was precious and other than spending time together, T and I managed to catch up with some friends. My dear friend G, whom I’ve known since we were 7 (we were Primary schoolmates at CHIJ Toa Payoh), specially drove in from Los Angeles with her husband and baby. G and I kept in touch even though she left Singapore to attend high school ages ago. I’ve hung out with her and her husband on several occasions when they came back to visit in Singapore but this is the first time I’m meeting her 2-year old, Conrad. We had our first sleepover guests and it was great!!! I loved every moment and I’m so terribly envious of her. Her son is not only gorgeous but so incredibly intelligent for a 2-year old! He’s definitely ahead of his peers in many ways! We had so much fun visiting Circus Circus and playing with the different claw machines! G’s husband was on a roll and won just about every kind of plushie possible for their baby. They ended up with a bunch of toy cars too!! It was crazy! We ended Day 2 of their visit at the Bacchanal Buffet at Ceasars Palace and after an hour long wait in line, I just went nuts! I think it was definitely made better eating with friends… I can’t wait to see them again in LA when I go visit next!

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T and I spent most of our time just doing nothing in particular. I loved cooking, cleaning, walking Max, splashing about the pool within the housing community, watching movie after movie on Netflix and just lounging about talking endlessly with T about the most inane things. He drove me around every other day just to see the sights – sometimes with the top of his Corvette down and now I’ve got a tan from the desert sun (my mother doesn’t like it and was lamenting about how my fair skin is now dark).

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Of course, I had to go to the Las Vegas Strip (well, kinda) and pay a visit to the premium outlet malls. We also drove up to Mount Charleston and I fell in love with the views. I’m thinking I want to spend a night in one of the log cabins there in Winter. Maybe Mount Charleston Lodge?

One of the highlights of my trip was visiting different supermarkets and buying a lot of household things. We just filled the house with food, containers, cutlery, and I even bought myself a super cute cupcake print apron from Cost Plus World Market. I think I also ate too much and would need to watch my food intake for the next month! We went to Gigi’s Cupcakes on E Flamingo (their mini ones are better), Claim Jumper in Henderson (love love love their Spinach Artichoke dip), had the best veggie cheeseburger in my entire life at Capriotti’s and an amazing avocado filled egg roll at The Cheesecake Factory (okay, their cheesecakes are faaaaaab too!).

My week has come and gone. We’ll be apart for another 92 days and I’ll go back again to this domestic bliss….

BTW, check out the awesome SHARE buttons that T installed for me. Now you can LIKE and SHARE and PIN my posts!


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Surviving the Distance with Selfies

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I love the selfies that T sends me on a daily basis. Some days I get more than 1. Other days, I get photos of what he’s eating or of Max running in circles, wagging his tail excitedly. I also have a lot of location shots of different places in Las Vegas as T does his groceries or shopping at the malls.

What would we do without technology, smart phones and 3G connectivity?

T and I are constantly communicating. Whatsapp, emails, Facebook, Skype and phone calls are a daily occurrence. We drop pin and let each other know where we are; send photos of whatever is in front of us; update each other of daily routines; and of course… Fight. *Koffkoff*

I love his selfies the most. You can see how he’s changed over time and I love looking back at the older pictures to compare too. The goofy ones are of course the best. He’s such a big nerd, he can wear hipster clothes without a hint of irony. I LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT!

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How do you survive your long distance relationship?