An Exercise In Trivial Pursuits

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


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Back from a week in LA and E3 2014

It’s been an exciting week for T and I (perhaps even Max). We left Max the Maximum Dog in Las Vegas with a wonderful dog-sitter we found through dogvacay.com and he had so much activity with the other dogs in her house that we think he’s depressed now that he’s home with us. We’ll definitely check Max in with her again if we need to go out of town.

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In other (BIG) news, T’s game Axiom Verge won the GAMESPOT Best of E3 2014 (he’s excited to be mentioned alongside No Man’s Sky, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture and Batman) and also made the list for IGN’s Best of E3 2014 Best Action Game AND Best Playstation 4 Game.

The week was well-spent even though T was super apprehensive about having to show his game alone and meeting new people. I think one of the biggest breakthrough was him making new friends WITHOUT ME and getting invited to dinner TWICE with a super lovely couple – James Petruzzi (of Discord Games, who makes CHASM) and his master baker wife, Trang (check out the treats she makes here! OMG If I had her mad skills, I would die of FAT in 24 hours). It’s a super big deal for T because we ever only go out with my friends and I always feel he should have his own friends who share similar interests. So so proud of him for breaking out of his shell this week and he picked a fantastically fun couple for us to hang out with! Chop, stamp, approved!

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I didn’t get a pass to enter E3 so T had to be on his own – which made him really anxious but also forced him to step up his game. (See his “uniform” which we made indie-style with homemade iron-on sheets.) I was a little sad to be apart but I was also happy to have 4 days to hang out with my friends. To my husband’s initial horror, my friends suggested I drive to meet them where they were – West Hollywood and Marina Del Rey, while our hotel was Downtown LA. It was crazy traffic and I quickly learnt to increase my following distance because it seems like LA drivers don’t use their turn signals to indicate their intent and weave in and out of really tight traffic every opportunity they get. But I did fine… Pfffft!! Didn’t scratch the car, didn’t cause any accidents, didn’t hurt anyone. I feel POWERRRRFUL for braving the urban traffic in the US, considering I was just driving only on the other side of the road less than a year ago.

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  • On Monday, I got to hang out on set of a new indie feature film called Wiener Dog Internationals that was being filmed in Huntington Beach. I even got to hold a wiener dog (and umm… unwittingly ended up cupping its balls for a while but that’s another story), and be an extra in the film representing Singapore!
  • On Tuesday, it was all about the kiddos, we had lunch at Du-Par’s at the Original Farmer’s Market which was right across the road from the Peterson’s apartment, bought snacks at Trader Joe’s and headed for Coldwater Canyon Park in Beverly Hills before stocking up on instant noodles in Koreatown (I’m definitely going back to Galleria Market!).
  • On Wednesday, Stella and Kate brought me to Manhattan Beach after Kate finished school. Lovely low-key retailers with many unique wares, none of that mass market stuff and lots of yummy treats! We had ice cream at the Manhattan Beach Creamery and the shop itself was super fun! You know summer’s out when people are walking around in bikinis…
  • On Thursday, it was a lovely walk from the Yeo’s apartment in Marina Del Rey to TonyP’s for lunch, then to Mother’s Beach where Kate played on the playground for a bit before we walked to Abbot Kinney aka Hipster Central (I WANT TO GO THERE AGAIN).Oh I love the dreamy houses that we passed at the Venice Canal!

And of course, deserving mention would be

  • Drago Centro – posh-looking inside and out but when they missed out on my order they more than made up for it by offering to give it to me for free and while I waited for it to be cooked, I starved off hunger by eating some yummy bread they provided. YUM! Mushroom risotto! Lovely service staff!
  • Bottega Louie – fancy decor, super delicious treats all calling your name upon entering the door, very crowded (and noisy) but very efficient service.
  • Veggie Grill – Unpretentious vegetarian fast food! YO hello! You people need to open one in Las Vegas soon. I have eaten at your LA restaurants 4 times in a row! We need one here!!

With that, it’s bye LA, hello Vegas, I’m home.


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Fat-shionista #521

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We’re roadtripping again! T and I are driving to LA today! That’s Los Angeles, not Louisiana. He’s showcasing Axiom Verge at E3 and I get to hang out with my pals! The event is a 3-day affair but he has business to attend to so we’re in LA earlier. This was supposed to be a much longer trip with us going to England for a wedding after E3 ends next Thursday but you know, life throws curveballs at us every so often and it’s no longer feasible for us to do that… Ah well…

Anyway, it’s so awesomely awesome that we found a doggy sitter for Max through dogvacay.com – when we were in LA with him the last time we stayed in a doggie-friendly hotel and brought him to a nice lady on dogvacay.com who took care of him in the day while we were out. Since this is a work trip and T has been provided with accommodation near the conference venue, we decided that Max should stay in Las Vegas with someone. We set up a play date earlier and he got along really well with the dog sitter’s Black Lab – same breed!

So anyway, I’ve packed with me 4 HELL BUNNY dresses and 2 t-shirts for this trip. If I’m not wearing any of those dresses, it’ll be this pair of denim shorts. Perfect for summer!

And this post was inspired by Curves and Chaos writing about a bohemian-inspired outfit. It is rather different from what I usually wear but it’s also not everyday that I go on a roadtrip! If you’re going to be driving for hours, you should always dress comfortably right?

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What I’m wearing today:

Top: Red butterfly-sleeved top with white embroidery from FOREVER21 PLUS

Bottoms: Light blue cuffed denim shorts from OLD NAVY

Accessories: Red & Blue geometric dangling earrings from FOREVER21; Set of 7 black bangles from NEW LOOK

Footwear: Red lacquer platform sandals from ZARA WOMEN


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Weekend in Los Angeles, California

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T and I took a trip up to LA 2 weekends ago so that I could be around some familiar faces. My friends G & K who live in Hollywood just had their 2nd baby around Christmas and it was also the baby’s full moon party. The best part other than seeing a childhood pal whom I’ve known since 6, was being able to bring Max along on this trip. It was a relatively easy drive and we had Max in a comfy hammock at the backseat of our Jeep Wrangler. IMG_3123IMG_3122

On this trip, we stayed at Motel 6 Hollywood (we’ve previously had good experiences with this pet-friendly chain) even though they have a bad rep for selling rooms by the hours in the past (if you know what I mean). We paid US$111 inclusive of taxes for a night’s stay in a relatively clean and very spacious room along Hollywood Boulevard. I mean, it was literally round the corner from the Hollywood Walk of Fame (0.4mi) and Mann’s Chinese Theatre (0.4mi).

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For dinner on Saturday, T and I went on a fancy dinner date to Osteria Mozza. If that sounds familiar, that’s because I wrote about the one I visited in Singapore last year. On top of that, we went to Farmer’s Market and had soul-foody lunch with my friends at Du-par’s.

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The key thing to this trip was having a dog-sitter because we couldn’t bring Max around when we went sight-seeing and while my pal G recommended several doggy daycare services, I found a true gem in dogvacay.com. I wrote to several dog-sitters to see who was available to take Max and a wonderful lady called Chriselle answered my call. We brought Max to Chriselle’s home once we got into LA and after he was introduced to her dogs, she took his leash, food and water bowl, and that was that. She lived in an apartment that is directly opposite the Bellevue Recreation Center so we know that he was frequently walked. She also sent us picture updates of Max making himself comfortable, going on a short hike and playing with her little dogs. So Max was left with Chriselle on Saturday from 12 to about 7.30pm. Then again on Sunday from 11.30am (after we checked out of the hotel) to about 3pm when we headed back home. Such a brilliant idea!

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It was a short weekend that allowed both of us to see more of LA and eat some yummy food. I liked that we got to do some touristy things and also hangout with friends. So great that LA is only about 4 hours drive away from us! Can’t wait to do more of these short weekend trips…


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Outpost Cafe in Oak Hills, California

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Last Saturday while driving through the Mojave desert from Las Vegas to Carlsbad, California, we chanced upon the OUTPOST CAFE and made a pitstop for lunch. We had earlier seen a sign for Franky’s Diner in Victorville but were disappointed to see it all boarded up. I love our roadtrip adventures and eating is such a life’s pleasure. These truckers or roadside diners are as much the highlight of the trip for me, as it is seeing Max the Maximum Dog (who is now ready to come home).

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T and I have previously been to 2 other diners (both in Yermo) and I wrote about them too. Peggy Sue’s and Penny’s Diner were 50s style diners and were basically situated just across the road from each other. We drove quite a while from Las Vegas before we hit the Outpost Cafe and it really didn’t seem like much from the outside. I was so glad we stopped because I was virtually famished and this is the first cowboy-themed diner that we visited. T loved the wagon wheel chandelier and the iron cast finish on the counter seats, while I just wandered around taking pictures of the decor in the entire place. The toilets were spacious and clean. There were many different types of seating – including outdoors, and there was a good selection of food (even for us vegetarians).

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T and I spent under USD35 (including a 20% cash tip) for my breakfast burrito, his Karma veggie burger and fries, our 2 refillable Cokes and a shared slice of Red Velvet Cake. That was not bad in my books. While T thought the patty in his burger and the cakes were “store bought”, I thought the redeeming factor was the small-town feel and their decor! I would definitely love to be back to see what other veggie-friendly options they have.

Ambience 4/5

Food 3.5/5

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OUTPOST CAFE

8685 US Highway 395

Oak Hills, California 92344

Phone: (760) 949 0808

Facebook Page: facebook.com/OutpostCafe

Twitter: @OutpostCafe


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CarMax, Motel6 and Penny’s Diner

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Last weekend when we went to visit Max in Carlsbad, we brought him to spend the night with us at the hotel – Motel 6 has a pet-friendly policy. All you needed to do was to let them know beforehand and they will arrange for you to stay in a more pet-friendly part of the hotel (i.e. near the grassy areas).

Other than our overnight bag, I also packed snacks, bottled water, Max’s doggie bed, some doggie treats and his leash. T brought along his laptop to code since we were going to spend a quiet night in the hotel after retrieving Max from the hospital. It was so awesome and you could tell that Max was really excited to be around us. We even took turns to walk him around the compound at least 5 times before having to return him.

Before Calsbad though, T went to get his Corvette appraised again (you know, this business of raising funds for Max’s treatment). CarMax took slightly more than 1 hour to get that done and we entertained ourselves by taking selfies, surfing the Net (there’s complimentary WiFi) and walking through the used car lot to see if there was anything within our budget and to our fancy.

On our way home on Sunday afternoon, we ended up at Penny’s Diner again. This time, we shared a chocolate malt, T had a veggie quesadilla with refried beans and rice, and I had a veggie omelette with hashbrowns and an English Muffin. YUUUUMMMY!

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And that was how we spent last weekend! How do you normally spend your weekends?


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My Stuff: What’s in my overnight bag?

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T and I have been travelling quite a bit since I’ve been here. We spent 2 nights at his Dad’s home in Arizona, 4 nights at his Uncle’s home in New York and last weekend we spent Saturday night in California while visiting Max. Next week, we’ll be in LA for IndieCade, so it’s another trip out of state again!

This weekend, we’ll be travelling to Carlsbad and I thought that I’d frivolously share what I packed for our overnight bag. T has always left the packing to me, even when we travelled around Southeast Asia. I’ll just have to list what I packed and give him some prompts as to what else he might need, then I’ll add to the bag.

So here’s our overnight bag:20130926-154850.jpgIsn’t it cute? It’s from Singapore brand Veira. I’ve used it less than 10 times even though I’ve owned it for several years now. My holidays are usually much longer than a few days, so it’s actually too small if not used as an overnight bag.

For me I packed:

JuanitaTortilla pouch (with my skin care, a toothbrush, shampoo/conditioner, facial wash, toothpaste etc)

– UNIQLO bra top and Cotton On shorts (my default night-outside-the-house sleepwear)

– 2 changes of underpants

– My HELL BUNNY dress

– iPad

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For T, I packed:

– 2 changes of underpants

– 1 pair of socks

– 1 t-shirt

– 1 pair of bermudas

– AXE deodorant

– ORAL B electric toothbrush

20130926-154743.jpgI also have a medium-sized canvas tote that I carry water and our snacks for the road trip. Additionally, there’s my handbag (but I’ll leave that for another post because it’s a grab-and-go bag that I carry whenever I go out).

So how do you pack and what kind of bags do you carry for a short trip?


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Penny’s Diner in Yermo, California

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When I was writing up the post about Peggy Sue’s 50’s Diner, I came across mentions and comparison’s between them and Penny’s Diner (which was just across the street). As we were driving to Carlsbad last Saturday to visit Max the Maximum Dog, I saw a small sign for Penny’s Diner and yelped! T reacted quickly and turned off to exit from the highway so that we could have lunch.

Unlike Peggy Sue’s where advertising billboards (yes, with an “s” cos there were several) can be seen more than a hour’s drive away from their actual location, I don’t recall seeing anything for Penny’s. Penny’s Diner is apparently part of the Oak Tree Inn that’s right next to it. So I guess people who are staying at the hotel would go to Penny’s for their meals and maybe that’s why they don’t need much advertising.

According to T, most roadside diners look like Penny’s – I’m taking this to mean the chrome Airstream exterior and Art Deco interior. There were some booth tables and some seats at the bar counter. We sat near the back in a booth seat, not far from the toilet – which was actually more updated and cleaner than Peggy Sue’s. T got to write and decorate the wall of the diner with some dry erase markers while we waited for our food.

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When it came to taking our orders, we had a very friendly waitress attend to us. We explained that we were vegetarians and she recommended some options, then offered to swop some of the meat ingredients out to customise our meal. I ordered the Hopped Up Hashbrowns, nachos, onion rings and a sweet tea. T had french toast, a side of hashbrowns and a cola. And for desert, we shared a homemade bread pudding with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Our total came up to about USD35 inclusive of taxes and a 20% cash tip – price wise, similar to Peggy Sue’s. What’s different was, we were asked repeatedly if we wanted refills for our drinks – something that T enjoyed because he does love his soda. I didn’t because the sweet tea was too sweet and I instead had a glass of ice cold plain water to wash everything down. I think the hopped up hashbrowns and regular hashbrown were both good. I particularly enjoyed the nachos which were actually deep fried corn tortillas. I highly recommend it!

IMG_9840With both Peggy Sue’s and Penny’s, I don’t think I’ll travel all the way just to eat their food. I do think that Penny’s food tasted less “store-bought” and their service is much better but Peggy Sue’s decor is so much fun. With them both just side by side, I guess if I come this way again, I’ll go to Peggy Sue’s for pictures and to check out their gift shop, then head to Penny’s for my meal.

Penny’s Diner

35450 Yermo Rd

Yermo, CA 92398

Phone: (760) 254-1148


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Motel 6 Carlsbad South

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So last Saturday morning T and I drove up to California again to visit Max. This time, we decided that the prudent thing to do was to spend the night. We didn’t rent a car because there were only 2 of us. Petrol in California is more expensive than in Nevada and we didn’t want to drive back and forth since it’ll cost us twice as much than if we were to stay in a budget hotel. T found a Motel 6 that was less than 10 minutes away from the hospital and booked it online the night before we left. We got to see Max on Saturday afternoon and again on Sunday!

The drive through the desert was boring after about an hour or so. I tried to entertain T (and myself) by clapping. T was puzzled but didn’t ask me why I clapped repeatedly. He has long come to accept that I’m a special snowflake and there are just some things that I do that defies logic. I saw that we drove through Zzyxz Road (Cool name right?) and I spotted a sign for Penny’s Diner! We dropped in for lunch (will write another post on this) and headed straight for the hospital to play with Max.

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When we finally got to check in, we drove to the wrong Motel 6. There are apparently more than one of them within a short distance. T said that he didn’t like the first one because the reception area smelled bad and he was glad the one we stayed was better.

I think the Motel6 website for this particular establishment has outdated pictures. Our room was definitely much nicer. At the very least, the sheets and decor was more modern. We had a queen-sized bed, a TV (with many cable channels for FREE), an area with shelves, hanging rail and 6 hangers for clothes, ensuite bathroom with toilet and bath tub, a spacious vanity/sink outside the bathroom (very handy when you have more than 1 person in the room) as well as a small corner table with 2 seats (suitable for a proper sit-down meal or just throwing all your stuff). Outside, there are some vending machines, an ice machine and also a pool.

20130923-202221.jpgWe paid just over USD60 inclusive of taxes and I think it was a decent price. It’s basic and clean. For the amount of time we spent in there, I think the room served us just fine. We checked in at about 4pm on Saturday, rested for about an hour, then headed out to have dinner with my friends Noel and Stella (and their baby Kate) who’ve just moved to LA from Singapore. LA is a 90-minute drive from Carlsbad and by the time we got back to the hotel, it was close to midnight. A quick shower, some TV and it was lights out till about 9.30am on Sunday. Check out time is 12 noon and we dilly-dallied watching more TV until it was just about 5 minutes to check out.

They provide more than an adequate number of towels (wash cloth, bath towels, face towel, floor towel for the bathroom), 4 plastic cups and a plastic container (similar to a generic ice cream tub) for ice. There’s no in-room mini-bar, and there are no toiletries except for 2 small bars of soap (one at the sink, one at the bathtub). But that’s okay, right?

Staying in a motel is definitely not as good as being in your own bed at home. I couldn’t wait to get back to our house but I’d say Motel 6 wasn’t too bad. If it’s necessary, we might stay at a Motel 6 again sometime soon.

Motel 6 Carlsbad South #471
750 Raintree Drive
I-5/San Diego Freeway at Poinsettia Lane
Carlsbad CA 92011
Phone: (760) 431-0745


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Peggy Sue’s 50’s Diner in Yermo, California

As I write this post, we’re preparing to leave our house to visit Max in Calsbad, California. The nurses have been really nice and sending us email updates with photos or calling to tell us what he’s up to. They told us that Max is very happy whenever they take him out of the kennel for walks. Max is such a sweetie pie and he does love having a human friend around all the time. Anyway, on Monday on our drive home to Las Vegas, we dropped by this diner for dinner.

I saw signs for Peggy Sue’s 50’s Diner maybe about 1 hour or 45 minutes before we were even near Yermo, California. The drive through the desert is quite a boring one, if you can imagine a vast expanse of rocks, hills and you know, sky. While the scenery was beautiful, it was same-y after about an hour. Signs for the outlet shopping malls and Peggy Sue’s piqued my interests and perked me up. T said we should go to Peggy Sue’s on our way back, and that was possibly the only thing that distracted me from the sadness of leaving Max behind at the hospital for radiation.

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We arrived at about 6.30pm and it was just about getting dark. The entrance was designed and painted to look like an old jukebox. It was a sight to behold because I love kitsch and colours (and also, the surrounding area was basically just dirt tracks and nothing else). Inside, it was kitsch, movie memorabilia and 50s themed everything I’ve ever seen in movies or old Archie comics! There were many tables and we had our pick of seats before the dinner crowd came in about half an hour later.

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I must say though, their mannequins scared me. There was one dressed as Elvis with a guitar in hand, one woman (I’m not sure if she was supposed to be a character or just a generic person styled in a 50s outfit and gloves) sitting at the bar counter and several others that spooked me when I saw them from the corner of my eye. Other than the dining area, they also had a store in one wing that sold almost everything kitschy – t-shirts, weird games, snacks, candy, postcards, mugs, keychains etc.
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T ordered a veggie burger that came with several choices of sides – he had potato salad and curly fries (is this 50s?). Also, a root beer. I had the deep fried dill pickles (super yum!!!!!) with ranch dressing dip, onion rings (which T said was really good. It’s pretty good to me, but nothing special) and also a rather non-descript corn bread (because other than the corn muffins at Kenny Roger’s, I’ve never had others and T has asked if I could make them). I also had an old fashioned ice cream soda (vanilla of course), just like they had in the old Archie comics (the 50s themed ones, not the updated ones I grew up with in the 80s). While I was full to almost the brim, T still wanted dessert and he ordered a huge-ass chocolate malt ice cream thing with Whoppers for about USD5.

All in all, dinner was so-so.  We paid under USD35 including a 20% cash tip. The food was not bad but I wouldn’t come here just to eat. I love the kitsch and the 50s theme. Even the waitresses had pink/mint green 50s style uniforms! I’d say food 3/5 and ambience 4/5. This was fun though and I can’t wait to check out other roadside diners in future!

Peggy Sue’s 50’s Diner

Open Daily 6:00am-10:00pm

35654 Yermo Road

Yermo, CA 92398

Phone: (760) 254-3370