An Exercise In Trivial Pursuits

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


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Seattle 2014 – Day 2

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Today was basically me on my own for most part of the day. I sauntered off to explore more of Pike Place Market before going to meet Erin for lunch at O’Asian near her office. We spent over an hour just chatting and chatting. I had a super lovely time!

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As I walked down 5th Avenue, I entered Chinatown aka Seattle International District to do more exploring. Wish I had more belly space because I found so many things I wanted to eat at Uwajimaya! I did end up buying a Beard Papa cream puff just for nostalgia sake. AND IT WAS DELICIOUS!

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More walking and walking saw me wandering through some really interesting streets with old buildings that I really like. I believe I was in Pioneer Square and I also entered the Pioneer Thrift Store but came out empty handed.

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T had a long day first day at PAX Prime and he had about an hour’s rest in the hotel before heading out again. We went to a party hosted by Sony. It was held at Chihuly Garden & Glass. We mingled and chatted with other developers till 11pm. Most of the conversations were over my head but I enjoy learning new things and I’m really interested in people so that helped. Tomorrow I’ll take it easy and sleep in late, not walk too far and maybe spend most of my day chilling in the hotel room…


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Making time for family

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I’ve been in the US just over 4 months and it’s been really unreal to be so far away from home. I still have debates with T over whether I should return to Singapore (and have him come with me) because I still feel lost and somewhat empty. On weekends, T tries to show me the sights and we go out to do stuff even though he might be too tired from working all week. I try not to bother him but it gets really boring here when you’re so far away from your people.

My days are spent cleaning the house, making food, watching reality TV and keeping Max the Maximum Dog company. I really don’t have anything to do except relax and be happy. T doesn’t care if the house is a mess or if I don’t bother doing anything in the day at all. I spend most of the afternoons yearning for T to return home from work and I do still get a little anxious when we are apart because at the back of my head, it’s too good to be true. And maybe, illogically,  it feels like it’ll take months before we’ll see each other again and I am so relieved when he’s back by my side.

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Having my family here though has been a great help. My mother and my sisters keep me occupied and busy. Their company in our quiet house has been much appreciated. We have been going out (in fact, we’re in New York for the Christmas holidays now), doing stuff (i.e. sight-seeing and shopping) as well as just enjoying the space here – we live in a nice, big house in Singapore but being in a big city, there’s no way to escape the street noise and crowds.

It’s also great to have my family’s approval of my current lifestyle. My mother seems to find our house in good shape and is impressed that I “maintain” the entire house on my own. She’s been taking tons of pictures since she got here and proudly telling everyone that I can do it without external help. It’s weird to many because it’s just cooking and cleaning but if you know how she’s never lifted a finger at home in her entire life and that we’ve always had a string of maids taking care of everything… then yeah.

I must say that the Internet is great! Even my mother agrees because I’ve learnt how to do the most basic of things like folding fitted sheets and scrubbing toilets by watching videos. Thank heavens for high-speed Internet! IMG_2054While I’m deliberating whether or not to stay here for good, my family seems to enjoy what the US (especially Vegas) has to offer. There are the crazy bright lights and polished malls along the Strip and the beautiful nature reserves just over an hour away. It is comforting to know that at least my younger sister wants to come back every Spring and Autumn (when she can), and that my mother loves the cheap shopping (fashion, handbags, groceries, gemstones etc) here to stay away for too long.


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Goodbye New York!

T and I got home to Las Vegas just before 9pm last night. Our DELTA flight from JFK to McCarran took us about 5 hours and the taxi ride home was about 20 minutes.

We spent the last 5 days and 4 nights in upstate New York – amidst lush quiet greenery just across the Hudson River. I had a great time visiting T’s family and a wonderful stay at his Uncle and Aunt’s ranch house. (Not far from a cute ice cream parlour called Weir’s – YUM!!)

20130909-212550.jpgT’s uncle is a manly man who is handy with all things mechanical – fixing and building; his Aunt is the hostess with the mostest – great cook and decorator. I understand now why T was so looking forward to staying at their home.

I was introduced to as many people as possible yet it remained a leisurely trip. The last 2 weeks, I rather missed being in a big city and I’ve always loved taking the trains in foreign countries (mostly to get lost, wander aimlessly exploring and people watch). Our day trip to NYC satiated that for now.

With that said, I’m glad I’m back in our home in Enterprise, Las Vegas. There, I said it. I’m beginning to feel more and more like this is home, our home.

On this trip, I’ve gotten to know more of this man – he is a big, quirky man-child who interprets the world in ways that I sometimes don’t see but am curious to be led into. We’ve travelled quite a bit together in the last 6 months and from the get-go, we’ve always worked great as a team. T is very giving and it makes me very happy to go with what he wants to do too. It’s very much a “let’s take turns to flip our Choose Your Own Adventure book“. I love it!

20130909-212607.jpgT’s mother who now cares for his Grammy and lives with her in Nanuet has a beautiful garden that she happily showed me around. It’s a garden I wish I had! As much as T has done a great job with the house in Vegas, it’s still a desert climate. The flowers and shrubbery lovingly cultivated by my future mother-in-law is one I envy! Also Grammy’s house is a cute red cottage with the quaintest decor – not unlike the ones I used to fantasise about and build/furnish in The Sims!

20130909-212614.jpgOther than visiting homes, I loved the time we spent bonding with T’s mother. She told me stories about the family, showed me lots of old photos including adorable ones of T growing up, and also took us to an artisan village kinda place called Sugar Loaf – one of those places T used to go to when he was little. There were many shops with handmade crafts – soaps, pottery, wooden signages, crochet goods, containers and country-style decor made of gourds etc. A few shops were shut and it was relatively quiet when we went though. We assumed that it would be livelier on the weekends when most shops would be open for business.

I love that I got to see the places where T grew up. The streets he used to live on, his old haunts and where he went to school. Speaking of which, his old High School is just across from the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets! I went there yesterday with his Aunt a few hours before we had to leave for the airport. I was quite restraint because I need to make my money stretch and I only bought a pair of TIMBERLAND hiking boots (USD62 with tax). T’s Aunt bought me a stretchy belt from NINE WEST for the low low price of USD2.59 with tax – Hello, can we say SCORE!!!!!

That’s the thing with being on a long holiday – you have all the time in the world to shop but no money. But really, I don’t need those extras though. Being on a budget made me think twice, thrice and again.

20130909-212559.jpgTalking about tight budgets, I’m glad to announce that we spent a total of USD146 on our day trip to NYC. $33 for bus tickets from Monroe to the Port Authority Bus Terminal (thanks to Aunt K), $30 for both our Metro cards, $7 for ice cream at Baskin Robbins, $20 for large smoothies & lunch at Jamba Juice, $6 for 3 bottles of cider at a farmer’s market in downtown Brooklyn (1 bottle was for Katie whose awesome apartment we visited in Brooklyn), and $50 (including a cash tip) for the both of us when we had dinner with his cousins at Sofia’s in Little Italy (good call by T’s cousin D).

20130909-212623.jpgI got to see different parts of NYC – downtown Brooklyn, Times Square, almost the entire stretch of 5th Avenue, Central Park (special thanks to T’s cousin E & his girlfriend A for the special tour of the best bits), and Little Italy. We passed by several landmarks that I’ve always seen on TV or in movies – Rockefeller Center, the Flatiron Building, Empire State Building, Tiffany & Co, Trump Towers…

I think we did well for my first trip and most definitely would have many more to come…

Thank you and adieu New York, the Empire State. Till we meet again…


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Fat-shionista #503

20130830-102208.jpgHello hello! I’m back with the outfit posts! Hopefully I will get this thing started again. I blame it on the holiday mood right now. I’ve been sleeping in and generally just in shorts & t-shirt while pottering around the house. Today though, T and I went out to get the rental car for our roadtrip tomorrow to Arizona. We’re visiting his Dad and Step-Mom there. So yes, this is the outfit I wore to rent a car.

What I’m wearing today:

Dress: Red & white floral dress from NEW LOOK

Accessories: Red floral hair clip from ACCESSORIZE; Gold weave pleather belt from H&M

Bag: Grey clutch with studs and chain strap from BERSHKA

Footwear: Black hidden wedge pumps from ZIPIA

Pictures by T in our yard. I’m not sure why I’m so red. Is it the reflection from the surroundings? Or is my iPhone 4 crapping on me??

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20130830-102224.jpgMax kept wanting to get in the picture so T took a photo of him. Heehee… Max the Maximum Dog is a good boy. He keeps me company throughout the day. Today, we have made the 2nd floor our base and his choice spot is the balcony for sunning himself. It rained earlier, so the outside is kinda wet (and cool). I love it when it rains (regardless of whether in Singapore or Las Vegas or London). I love the smell of rain, the pitter-patter of raindrops, I love the humidity (except when it’s muggy in Singapore) and I love how the temperature drops… Zzzzz…

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20130830-102243.jpgThat’s the red FORD Taurus that we rented. Parked it across from our house because T’s Corvette was in the garage and we’re next to the fire hydrant so we aren’t allowed to park or block the passage. Anyway, the place we rented it from is called Enterprise Rent-A-Car and they have a pick-up service which is cool. They send someone to your house to pick you up and send you to the rental office. The entire process took less than 20 mins – checking my drivers’ license to payment, to checking the car for damages before handing over, signing forms etc. Easy peasy! Can’t wait till tomorrow! We aim to leave the house at about 6am and hopefully reach our destination by lunch! I’m excited! I haven’t been to Arizona and I really want to go to Amy’s Baking Company (the crazy Facebook meltdown following Chef Gordon Ramsey quitting on them is AMAZING). T says he doesn’t want to waste his time there but I thought it’d be funny you know? Just to see if it is true.

In other news, I’ve officially driven a car in 5 different countries – Singapore, Malaysia, England, Australia and now the USA! While I took my driving test using a manual car (it was then compulsory in Singapore), I don’t think I can operate a stick shift anymore. The last time I did, was several years ago at Tamares’ wedding in England. I drove the bridal car. To say “drive” is pushing the definition. I couldn’t find the biting point and had problems shifting gears. It was horrifying how many times the car stalled. Lucky for us, we weren’t in Central London but peacefully quiet Oxfordshire. T wants me to drive him home from his eye surgery in 2 weeks’ time and I fear his car. Firstly, it’s a sports car. Secondly, it’s manual transmission… EEEKS!! Stay tuned, folks!


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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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A New Frivolous Couponing & Life Challenge

About 1 month ago, I set myself 35 goals to achieve before I turn 35 in about 2 years – my 35 before 35. And Number 18 on that list is “Go on holiday with only a handbag and no luggage.” Together with my Couponing addiction of late, I’ve decided that there is an opportunity to now combine both.

Last week I bought a coupon off StreetDeal.sg for a 4day-3night holiday to Bangkok, Thailand (even with the additional fine print nonsense like taxes, it came up to only about S$300 inclusive of hotel & flights). The minimum to travel was 2pax and I bought 1 more for Big Nat. We haven’t locked down the dates yet but it’s valid for travel till 30 April 2012.

The slouchy black MNG handbag I carry to work daily

The slouchy black MNG handbag I carry to work daily

Just for fun, I tried packing stuff into the black MNG handbag I carry to work everyday. And I think I can do this! I managed to pack everything into 4 small pouches that’d fit into my handbag – a little snug but not in danger of splitting.

The 4 pouches in comparison to the bag (which is half empty now)

The 4 pouches in comparison to the bag (which is half empty now)

The red Eagle Creek Half Cube contains:

  • 1 H&M dress
  • 1 Gap Favourite Cami (for bed)
  • 1 pair of black shorts (for bed)
  • 1 t-shirt
  • 1 pair of 3/4 leggings
  • 1 frilly TOPSHOP tank top
  • 5 pairs of panties
  • 1 pair of ankle socks
  • 1 M&S tankini set
(Ok this combination is a bit ridiculous and they don’t go together. I was just trying to see how much I can put in and I grabbed whatever that was on the top of the pile.)

The maroon Eagle Creek Quarter Cube contains:

  • 1 All-in-One Universal Power Adapter
  • 1 iPhone wall-unit charger
  • 1 Joby GorillaPod (for point and shoot cameras)
  • 1 set of sample travel-sized Biotherm toiletries – facial wash, toner, moisturiser
  • 1 pack of Biore Cleansing Oil-In Cotton Wipes (7 out of 10 sheets left) make-up remover
  • 4 Colgate Wisp mini-brush Spearmint sets (travel toothbrush with toothpaste)
4 pouches with all the essentials I need for a 4-day jaunt overseas

4 pouches with all the essentials I need for a 4-day jaunt overseas

The metallic blue pouch is my purse and it holds money, credit cards, my passport and a pen!

The black Paperchase pouch with skull prints holds my everyday make-up.

  • 1 Paul & Joe lipstick (no. 17)
  • 1 MAC Select Sheer Pressed Powder (NC 25)
  • 1 Lancome ARTLINER eyeliner (Noir)
  • 1 Paul & Joe face colour (no. 12)
  • 1 BENEFIT Lemon-Aid
  • 1 CANMAKE eyebrow pencil

How? Not bad right? Hahaha! I just need to make sure I’m wearing most of the other stuff – jeans, cardigan, shades/spectacles. And then with my iPhone 4, I’m ready to travel!